The long way around (Revised)

by RisuUmbra

First published

How an ending can also be a beginning all at the same time

The multiverse is in mortal danger

Worlds are being destroyed left and right and can’t be stopped and now a regular human who has nothing to do with this has been sucked into the middle of it.

!Warning! Very old and very cringe, full-on wish fulfillment story

Chapter 1

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The Multiverse is a very fickle thing, always crisscrossing in the strangest of ways but ways that always make sense somehow in the end or beginning. No, the multiverse is infinitely more complex than what your mind can comprehend and that is just a small strand of the metaphorical fabric of existence. This story will not focus on just one little fiber in the large infinite wool sweater that is the multiverse, no it will begin with the first strand, the first thought, the seed of creation, the beginning, but in order to understand the beginning of everything you must understand what brought about the thought of the strange yet beautiful concept that anything is possible and is, had, and will happen, The single action which set in motion everything yet nothing at all, the action which started with a single deviation of thought, the thought that was-.

“Maybe I could take the scenic route home”
The thought struck me as I was walking back to my car after my quick run to the mall for art supplies after a particularly long assignment for my classes involving practically all my lead, erasers, and color pencils. My car was parked almost on the other side of the whole lot so it was a bit of a walk till I reached it, good thing I only had one bag with me and it was relatively small and light. I waited for a car to pass before stepping off the curb and down one of the parking lanes, during my walk you could see my reflection in the tinted glass of the parked cars revealing to me my caramel skin but slightly darkened by the dark windows and my signature warm black jacket which I am glad I grabbed due to the freezing evening winds of winter that seemed to somehow cut through any clothing I wore but I grateful nonetheless.

I finally reached my classic red mustang that my father gave to me for my 17 birthday, it was originally his till he got a new car and didn’t want to sell this one. I’m not very picky when it comes to cars and know next to nothing about them so no skin off my teeth, I unlocked and climbed into the vehicle and sat my bag in the passenger seat while I keyed up the engine, I checked my rearview mirror showing me my chocolate eyes before adjusting it to its proper position before checking if anyone was behind me which there wasn’t so I slowly backed out of the parking space then turned put it in drive then driving out of the parking lot and away from the mall

“Maybe I could take the scenic route home” I entertained the thought once more and decided to indulge myself by going to my favorite park nearby that held a lot of fond memories from my childhood. The park itself was not that far away from my family's current home which is nice so after a quick detour I arrived at the old park. There wasn’t anything special about the park other than it’s pretty large and has a few trees planter for shade but other than that there are people walking around and having picnics, I got out of my car after parking nearby and started walking to a large willow tree that’s near the edge and looks comfortable there was no one nearby the tree but still in yelling distance, but when I arrived something felt off, like that feeling when you're about to go down a drop on a ride at an amusement park and your stomach jumps and after a moment of thought I realized my feelings, Fear and Dread.

After my realization The world felt like it lurched and I could feel the air shutter, I looked at my surroundings and it seemed I wasn’t the only one to get this feeling as people were stopping and looking around searching for something until stopping at my position or near me. I quickly whipped around to see what everyone was looking at until I did something I will always slightly regret, I looked down. Below me was a glowing blue ring of energy slowing growing stronger in both light and energy if the arcs of electricity is anything to go by. By the way during this time I am slightly panicking and trying to run away but there’s some invisible wall stopping me and any sound from getting through which makes me look like either a maniac or the world's greatest mime but most likely the latter in this case. Then it appeared, the wall of pure white energy that came from over the horizon and swallowed some things and disintegrating everything else. It killed everyone disintegrating then instantly while they filmed me on there phones while I pounded on the barrier and pointed behind them trying to warn them all while screaming my heart out hoping that at least someone would notice, but it was all for naught as the wall of what I could only describe as void devour everyone and close in on me on all sides like I was the epicenter of this … this … What the heck is even happening, I’m pretty sure I just witnessed the apocalypse!!?

I was surrounded on all sides by white with a circle of bright electricity blue like I was trapped in a huge funnel. Everything was still and there were no sound-
Oh never mind the circle beneath me is starting to crack… oh no.

Chapter 2

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???’s POV

The sky was bright and sun’s rays cascaded over a small farm that covered the area full of growing green healthy crops and a big red barn near the center and a medium sized house next to it, down near the main house of the farm, were three figures spoke softly and happily like talking to a family member, which they were.

“Do you have enough to eat, Are you sure you’ll be alright out there?” A older female sounding voice said worriedly

“Yeah, you can wait till your ready before leaving there’s no rush” A older male voice spoke in a soft baritone.

“Yes!, i’ll be just fine you don’t have to worry i’m an adult now so I can take care of myself” A younger sounding male voice responded to their concern with confidence.

“Okay we’ll stop smothering you but still are you sure you’ll be okay out there, the only threat isn’t just hunger and weather son.” The revealed father and mother said to their grown child with a tone of underlying danger to which the son smirked and said

“I’m far from defenceless myself, but I will be careful thanks” the son smiled and adjusted his bag off his wings then continued

“I should start heading to the next town before it gets dark so I guess this is goodbye for now huh?” he faced his mother who was tearing up and embraced her lovingly and held her for a moment then had to reach around and pry her talons off because she wouldn’t let go. Then turned and started walking down the path leading off the property and to his future, as he exited the farm the sign post next to it caught his attention and he smiled warmly at it

“Won’t see this again for a while hehe” he shook off the fond memories and continued past and opened his wings then kicking off the ground with a paw showing the sign no longer blocked by his body “WELCOME TO BLACK FEATHER FIELDS”.


Have you ever been forced to wake up and you get that disoriented but alert feeling and you feel on edge which either results in you punching someone in the face or run away from something, well imagine that feeling along with having a minor concussion which in itself is like having someone play a bass drum in your head along with having the mother of all migraines. That’s how it felt when I woke up earlier and after some events i’m still trying to understand I am now standing at the edge of what looks to be a cliffside that had the actual cliff part cut off from it, and when I say cut off I mean freaking cleanly chopped off and now the side of the cliff is smooth as marble. I’m covered in small burn marks and bruises while holding a very odd sword in a sheath in my right hand but I’ll explain that in a moment, first I need to recall everything that happened in like the last half hour or so.

30 Minutes earlier…

Referring back to the waking up feeling I woke up feeling like I fell asleep on a rock then low and behold to my confusion I found that I did in fact awake on a large stone or to be more specific an altar of the sacrificial kind if the bones i’m feeling next to me are any indication but they are really thick bones so they’re no humans and i’m still too disoriented to react to it, my hearing started to kick in and stop being just a high pitch whining I heard what seemed to be chanting around me in a very throaty tongue which sounded like they were trying to hack up a lung while talking… wait one of the voices sound like they are getting closer …Hold on one second! Do the math Alter plus bones multiplied by creepy chanting and divided by nausea equals … I have to get out of here, now that my body is catching up to my mind I tried to say something or yell but somehow my mouth was sealed by what looks to be a type of paste or sap so when I tried to sit up but I could feel the leather straps holding me down around my chest and legs so I immediately set to work on the first strap to release me with both hands then stopped and looked down at my arms to see the stupidest thing ever
They tied down the arms of my jacket instead of my arms so my hands were free. If I could speak I would either call them idiots or just yell profanities at them but for now I just had an epic facepalm.
The voice from earlier is getting closer and I could hear … is that clopping?
Are they gonna sacrifice a horse too?

Not even moments after I had that thought a figure leaned over my side so I kept my arms limp on my chest to make it seem i’m defenceless just in case I need to smack a bitch. When the figure leaned into the light I nearly choked on my own spit to see a old grey haired or “maned” earth PONY with a grey coat and covered in a cultist robe grinning gloatingly down at me
“Ah it seems our guest is finally awake hmm”
He spoke with an old italian accent that a villain from a james bond movie would have then started to pace around the altar I was strapped to and started what sounded like an evil monologue to his nemesis so I just follow him with my eyes around me.
“Comfortable? Good, wouldn’t want our special guest to miss his appointment. It would be quite rude to back out now but if you say something now I’ll let you leave alright?”
I didn’t even grace him with a sound and just gave him a deadpan stare.
“Why do I get the feeling he practiced this beforehand though?” I thought to myself
“You're probably wondering what's going on and how you got here well… I might as well tell you what in store for your miserable existence”
He took a step closer to my right side and pointed to my left side with a hoof and when I turned my head to look I saw a open stone door that led down a dark stone hallway
“Down that hallway is an artifact of great power that was bestowed to us by our benefactor that lets us complete the will of our leader and also brought you here”
“Hello escape route I so missed you” I kept my grin to myself as I planned my escape.
The earth pony pulled their hoof back and reached behind them to somewhere I couldn’t see while he kept spelling out their plans to me
“To Destroy all the Heretic filth worlds that claim they can live in the same space as us superior races! We will obliterate all of the worlds that try to exist in a reality where they think they are the end all be all for power but we will show them how wrong they are starting with your life!”
The pony nazi finished his rant with a manic smile and yanked a dagger from a sheath behind him somewhere and started to bring it down on where my heart is or would be
“Alright that's enough of this”
I reached up with my left hand and easily caught the the wrist or whatever you call that part of a pony much to his surprise then wrenched the knife out of his weak grip with my right hand and slammed the handle of the dagger into the space between his eyes knocking him out cold before he even slammed into the ground. That was too easy when it comes to knocking someone out so he might wake up soon, I immediately got to work on my restraints with the knife which easily cut through it because instead of leather the bonds were what looks to be just thick cloth sewed together so it wasn’t long before I was free except I couldn’t get my mouth open from whatever they did to it but I suspect magic.
“Now that I think about it shouldn’t I be freaking out about everything that’s happened?” I stopped and thought stunned by the implication that they messed with my brain.
“I suspect more magic bullshit”
I turned towards the only hallway leading from this room and remembered that Professor evil over there had mention a powerful magic item down there that brought me here so maybe it can do the opposite.
I started down the hallway at a slow jog cautious about being snuck up on, I passed a few doors on my way down but they were closed and heavy looking. The hallway was dark with no decorations adorning the walls except for the doors that were passed and the occasional unlit torch hanging off the wall. I just kept going the same pace until I heard talking coming from a door I just passed and it's getting louder.
“Crap where can I hide ugh”
I jumped behind the stone door as it started to open so the door perfectly obscured me and my height from view
“I heard that the high priest is doing the sacrifice this time” A younger male voice echoed from around the door
“Yeah, I heard that he said that this one was special for some reason so he wanted to finish it himself” A more feminine but raspy voice
The voices continued to speak as they walked down the hallway I just came from and I felt I was in the clear until
“Oh wait for me I forgot to close the door” the male voice spoke up and I heard him trot? Back over, I didn’t have time to get ready so when the earth pony stallion closed the door and we were face to stomach and froze for a few seconds and slowly looked up at my face which was slowly trying to inch away from him
He was able to get that warning off before I grabbed his mane and slammed his face into the door next to me cracking it somehow. The mare turned and sprinted down the hall a bit then slammed her hoof into the wall where a red diamond shaped rune glowed to life
Then all Hell broke loose…
Multiple door were flung open and a bunch of acolytes ran out and looked in our direction, by that time I was sprinting for my life in the opposite direction and hoping that the supposed artifact could save me.
It was like running from giant ants while in their ant hill, they were popping out of nowhere which made me either jump over them or have to kick them out of the way, but after a few agonizing minutes of me running for my life from a army of cultists I entered a large antechamber that had a pedestal in that center with a statue of human behind it and on the pedestal was my saving grace

A floating sword that had a plaque under it that said “Watcher blade”. It was all probably an awesome sight but I was preoccupied with the literal tidal wave of pony behind me so I ran with everything I could and reached for the sword but fell short when a pegasus collided with my back just a few inches from the sword’s handle and other ponies started to pile on so I crawled they were stomping and poking me with their various horns and hooves and when I couldn’t move anymore I stuck my hand out and reached with everything I had and when I got a few fingers around the handle it felt as if I was struck by lightning in every part of my body then connected to a wall outlet, the pain was so bad that my mouth burst open from my screams then everything went white from the light and heat the sword and I were giving off and from the mind shattering pain I blacked out.

Chapter 3

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I shook myself out of my self imposed flashback and stumbled back from the newly cut cliff face and fell onto the ground in a sitting position still reeling from the experience and trying to calm myself down with my goto plan, Thinking

“So I was just abducted from basically nazi-ponies via dimensional explosion and then was going to be sacrificed until I escaped… this is not helping me stay calm”

I stood back up when I remember the weight in my right hand and looked down to examine the sword I had taken with me, The sheath was standard black leather with a few lines of iron going down the sides for reinforcement and two strap loops near the tip and handle attached to a leather belt with a buckle for adjusting it so all in all the sheath was normal but the sword itself was a whole nother story beginning with the handle it was cross stitched with some kind of padding for grip colored black and ended in a blunt point so it wouldn’t scratch the holder, attached to it was the reason for its namesake as there was a jewel embedded in the center of it that was an eerie blue glowing gem in the shape of a diamond and inside of the gem look like a dragons eye that looked to be staring into your soul, connected to the jewel was a odd curling crossguard that had four point with two larger ones curling upwards and the two smaller ones curling downward. I took my left hand and gripped the handle and pulled it from its sheath revealing its blade that was colored black with the sharpened edges being the natural silver of metal.

“This thing is so cool but I could do without the staring gem but oh well a swords a sword and a awesome one at that”

Before I could fully pull it out I heard a loud howl in the distance and was reminded of my current predicament, I resheathed my new sword and quickly checked my surroundings and only saw the cliff face and a row of dead trees and shrubs that stopped what little light there was from getting through restricting my sight. Speaking of which I pulled out my phone to check what time it was and to my shock in was about 10:30 at night! Which is odd because it was like 2 o’clock when I was transported, another weird thing is that my clock auto adjusted the time somehow either its that or I was in there for longer that I thought. I’m out in the open in the middle of the night while who knows what is hunting for dinner and I don’t want to be on the menu so I grabbed the belt on the sword and put it over my shoulder and tighten it so it won’t fall off zip up my jacket and throw my hood on so I don’t get too cold then start walking into the dark forest.

???’s POV

After flying for a few minutes I land on the path leading to the next village and rest for a moment, I was never the strongest flyer because of my large body build but over time my wings will get stronger but for now i’m gonna walk the rest of the way

“It’s pretty quiet today”

I observed my surroundings in silence showing me various green trees and other miscellaneous plants in the undergrowth covered from the bright sun overhead that started to lean towards the evening side of the sky.

Then the sky cracked…
A loud shattering noise blared from the air itself that shocked me back into the air why watching the sky suddenly repair itself like nothing happened.

“Yeah, I’m just gonna fly the rest of the way there”
And with a flap of my wings I left that area behind and flew the rest of the way to the next village.

I’ve been walking for a few minutes now and all I’ve been seeing is foliage and dirt, no civilization, no pathways, and no animals. It eerily quiet too leading me to believe that this whole area is dead, with nothing else to do my mind went back to the probably destroyed temple I escaped from, specifically the stallion I knocked out by smashing him into the stone door

“ how did I crack solid stone with just one hand”

I stopped and looked down at my hand opening and closing it

“I don’t feel any different”

I walked up to a tree and put my hand on the bark and tried to crush the surface but nothing happened

“That’s a normal reaction at least hmm”

Now I know I’m in My little pony so maybe it’s either a magic thing or a physics thing. I continued to walk as I thought this out.

“What about density?

That could be it, denser object have higher strength against small lighter objects but doesn’t that mean I’m Superman because that’s the reason he has his power and all or at least the strength and speed, but I could even put a dent in the tree hmm maybe it’s also because of living things having magic which makes it have a lower density and have its abilities, that also explains how those ponies were able to just open a door made of solid stone with their bare hooves because it was enchanted to move for them thus making it lighter and me stronger than it”.

My thought tangent was interrupted when I stepped onto a empty dirt road instead of grass much to my surprise and relief, now I just need to follow this to find a town and figure out what to do next. I looked to the left to see a few buildings and torches a bit aways from me guiding my way towards the newest chapter of my life.
And hopefully some food.

Chapter 4

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???’s POV

I landed a few talons away from the entrance of the town of Greenleaf exhausted from the none stop flight away from … from… whatever happened to the sky and i’m in dire need of some water and a place to sleep. After falling to the dirt road from my extreme level tiredness I looked up at the town to ask one of its residence to direct me to the nearest tavern or inn but to my astonishment and befuddlement all of what I could see of the town was empty of its residence like everyone decided to not leave their homes today.

“What happened to everyone?”

I voiced my thoughts hoping somehow it will be answered but to no avail my confusion overrode my exhaustion and I stood back up and started to wander into the small town noting my surrounding as I passed them. The town of Greenleaf was founded at the entrance of the forest thats infront of my home, there is nothing particularly special about the forest other than the fruit and herbs that can be found in it also the animals that made it their home making the only threat it bares the occasional wolf, bear, or hawk. The forest opens up to a large hilly grassland that has a path leading to another town that is connected to the train system to enter Equestria through what they call the Macintosh Hills and through a large ravin before it. The town itself is very green due to the large amount of grass and the sparse number of trees from the forest with a tan pathway leading through the middle of it and cutting off to the left and right. There aren’t many building from what I could see maybe ten give or take a few, It was fully evening by now and the sun was setting casting an orange glow on the sky usually around the time you would see town folk heading home from their jobs and schools but it was completely silent except for the sound of my steps.

I had just reached the center of the town when I saw that one of the larger buildings had a large sign on it that said Gold Flower Inn at the very end of the pathway to the left and looked to be open for business, filled with relief and anticipation for a good night’s rest I started on my way to the Inn and on passing I registered that there was a tavern to my right and two buildings down from it which furthered my anticipation, then the front doors of the Inn opened and out stepped or should I say clopped four ponies one earth pony, one pegasus, and two unicorns talking and laughing loudly and breaking the dead silence that reigned before their arrival onto the scene until they saw me and stopped in their tracks their action making me do so as well in front of the tavern which I could hear was full of patrons of all sorts. The group in front of me looked at each other at talked amongst each other and glanced at me from time to time leaving me time to look at each of them thoroughly starting with the earth pony, He looked to be middle aged and had a dirt brown coat with eyes of the same hue as his mane was a bit wild but short leaving its color a very dark brown borderline black and he had a small goatee growing on his chin, he was wearing a brown leather vest with no decorations aside from a few buckles that were used to tighten the vest itself and metal and leather bracers on all of his legs stopping just above the hoof. The whole group was similarly clothed with the exceptions where the pegasus had holes for his wings and lacked the bracers on his legs most likely because they weighed him down when in flight. The pegasus was gray in coat coloration with his eyes being a lighter grey and his windswept mane the same shade with a line of white going through it. The last two unicorns seemed to be twins with them both having the same shade of dark lavender with one being a stallion and the other a mare with the same hair and eye color of auburn with a mischievous glint in their eyes that would give anyone chills and they were both wearing saddlebags that seemed to be full of something.

My description of the group ended when when they stopped talking to one another and turned to the mare of the group and nodded which does not bode well for me and lit up her horn and opened up her left bag the was out of my sight, I slowly started edging my way towards the tavern entrance when I heard it.

The soft sound of metal against fabric and turned back over to the mare and watch her unsheath two daggers slowly trying to catch me off guard but griffin hearing is much better than the other races so once I caught sight of the weapon I ran back and to my right into the tavern and closing the door behind me I stopped to calm my heart be realized it was quiet in the recently loud tavern so I turned to see various race staring arme ranging from pony to griffin to diamond dog to dragons, feeling embarrassed for interrupting their time I quietly apologized and walked over and took a seat at an empty table in the back near a door and silently hoped and prayed to every God out there that they wouldn’t follow me


The tavern once again fell silent as the occupants looked to the new arrivals only to see the pony group glaring at them and averting their eyes moments later too afraid to do anything and returning to their original conversations only much at a much more hushed volume. The pony group quickly spotted me even with me trying to blend in with the crowd and the earth pony grinned and directed his associates over to the bar which was being tended by a blue dragon wearing a black vest and shining a empty glass. Every once in a while one of the group would glance over to make sure I was still there while wearing mocking grins on their muzzles. Them being there and constantly watching me made it so I couldn’t escape and no one would help me if these thugs tried to kill me later, right when I started to lose hope the front entrance opened up again but this time reveil something that confused me and gave me a shred of hope back. Standing in the entryway was a tall bipedal creature with dark brown SKIN not fur unlike the diamond dogs wearing a black jacket and pants? But what interested me the most was strapped to its back was a very curious looking sword but a sword nonetheless meaning he might be an adventurer that could help me with my current situation and by how the aforementioned problem group sneered at the being means he might have to deal with them sooner or later so it might be for the best if we teamed up so I waited for when he sat down in the booth in the back right corner of the tavern and slowly stood up so not to set off the bandits and walked over to the booth till I stood almost over its shoulder and I could hear it mumble

“That was much farther than it looked”.

Chapter 5

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Normal POV:

*A few minutes earlier*

The walk was long and silent with plenty of emphasis on LONG, I was walking for a good hour or so until I reached the entrance if the village and it was well past evening by then and the forest around me was quiet except for the occasional cricket chirp so not much to note it was a run of the mill forest and i’m sure I don’t have to describe a regular forest to anyone just guess. The only thing I could do without was the hunger because this was around the time I would have finished my dinner so at least I got to the town but unfortunately because of my hunger all my hesitation was removed with promise of dinner and help for my current predicament. The town itself was quiet and empty but that’s to be expected when you enter in the middle of the night, and the buildings were normal run of the mill fantasy buildings with thatch roofs on some and wood on others with the exception of a blacksmith at the corner of the intersection from what I could see. I started back up at a brisk pace into the town noting the various stores like a flower shop, tailor, and bakery that were as expected all closed for the night so when I reached the intersection I was pleasantly surprised to see an Inn and Tavern still open with the light from inside glowing from within.

“Finally my feet are killing me”

I voice my discomfort from the long walk in my old thin sneakers as I approached the open tavern hoping that the owner is sympathetic to weary travelers. When I was closer I briefly entertained the cliche of someone getting thrown out of the place around now and slightly hoped it would happen but was disappointed when nothing continued to happen when I stepped up to the two swinging doors that served as the entrance way and pushed them both open and stepped inside only to look back up to see various creatures staring at me in what I assumed was confusion and mild distress and after a quick glance around the room I could see why. There was a group of four ponies sitting at the bar openly sneering at me but what surprised me about them was they looked to be dressed like the thieves guild members from skyrim only ponified that included the knives that I could see so I simply pulled my hood down more to cover my face and walked to an empty booth at the back right corner of the tavern, as I passed I could hear them mumbling to each other.

“What is it-”

“Where does it come from”

“Is that a sword?”

I just ignored them and sat down in the wooden booth with a sigh and thought to myself for a moment

“That was much farther than it looked”

I mumbled to myself after a brief moment of rest and almost jumped when what felt like a claw tapped me on my shoulder and I quickly turned to see who it was and to my mild surprise what stood there was a griffin that was way bigger that what I pictured, i’m 5’10 and if I stood up straight his top feather would reach my chest. His colors were mostly grey with dark brown fur on his lion half and the grey on his feathers with them turning black once they reach his talons and his wings, his head was covered in grey feathers that were flattened smoothly over his head and lead up to his dark brown eyes which looked over his yellow beak. He was wearing only a travelers messengers bag that was slung over his chest and dangled to his left for easy access so otherwise he was a pretty normal griffin besides his height. I snapped back to reality when I realized he asked me a question

“Come again?”

He was caught off guard from my reply and shifted uneasily before he glanced around and repeated his question

“Um is it alright if I sit with you?”

Something about this makes me feel like he gonna ask me to do something for him but that might also mean free stuff if my video game knowledge is right so I gestured over to the booth seat in front of me and said

“Be my guest”

He nodded in return and turned to walk over to the seat in front of me and sat down and got comfortable, he glanced over at the group of ponies from before and turned back to face me.

“Do you know how to use that sword?” he whispered

Now he caught me off guard with the question and made me question the repercussions of saying no so I just said

“A bit why?”

He seemed to relax a bit with my answer and then got serious again

“I think we’re both in quite a bit of trouble now and we’ll need to team up to get out”

He nodded over to the group of ponies who were now snickering and pointing at me and him. They must be more like the thieves guild from skyrim then I thought, they’re going to either try to rob us or beat us up both involve a fight and we’re outnumbered separately but together we might have a chance, but he still asked me to help so i’m gonna try to get something out of this.

“I see what you mean but in return you gotta rent me a room at the Inn along with something to eat”

He hesitated for a moment and looked like he was going to decline until we heard a wolf whistle from across the tavern coming from the male unicorn of the group who held up a knife and made the “cut it out” gesture across his neck while grinning at us.


He quickly stuck out his talons for a handshake for which I obliged him and his claw felt smooth like metal but was warm and I could feel the blood pulsing from it and when I let go the deal was set now we just need a plan, we can’t fight them head on especially when they have two unicorns that can just toss us around with their magic.

“You can use those big things right?” I pointed at his wings

“Umm yeah just not for hours on end why?” if he had any eyebrows I imagine one would be arched right now in interest hopefully.

“Here’s the plan”

3rd Person POV:

The human and Griffin stood from their respective seats and made their way towards the exit at a relaxed pace with the griffin in front and the human following behind which caught the attention of the earth pony who alerted his associates by rough slaps to their heads to get their attention he then pointed to the two leaving and rose to follow the two with a grin of his muzzle. The griffin left through the door first and the human next who checked behind him before leaving as well. The patrons of the tavern watch with bated breath at the two groups tried to leave and wondered what would happen to either side, on the outside the human was standing in the middle of the path a bit aways from the tavern entrance with hood obscuring his eyes and grinning as the four ponies exited the building with the earth pony in front and the pegasus next to him and the two magic users in the back.

“So I hear you got a problem with me?”

The human shouted over to the lead pony who arched a brow and responded

“If you and your griffin friend hand over all your valuables we might leave ya with yer lives” His tone smug and confident which changed to irritation when he heard the laughter from the creature in front of him, who calmed back down and said

“Don’t hold your breath, NOW!”

Three things happened after that exclamation, The griffin leaped from the roof and landed hard on the two unicorns heads slamming their heads into the ground knocking them out cold, the pegasus taking flight to dodge and the human rushing forward and swinging his foot into the neck of the earth pony who choked and passed out from the shock of no air getting to his brain.

“I said not to hold your breath” The human said

“You BASTARD!” yelled the pegasus in the air

He dived at the human as fast as he could and almost immediately got tackled out of the sky by the griffin who has WINGS and landed on the ground struggling with him but it he was immobilized quickly by the large size of the avian feline and gave up with a irritated sigh putting an end to what some would call a fight and others would call a steamroll.
Normal POV:

“Well that went much better than I thought, I was ready for things to go wrong but it went pretty smoothly” I said to my new friend in relief

“I didn’t think just me landing on them would knock them out” The griffin said from on top of the defeated pegasus.
This even further proves my magical density theory because they began circulating their magic most likely and that lowered their density thus meaning a griffin is much heavier to them and stronger, that wouldn’t have worked on the pegasus or earth pony.
“Now let’s find out why your here” I stepped over next to the restrained pegasus’s head and leaned down so he would see my face

“You’ll be sorry once the boss gets here!” he smiled smugly at me and I just rolled my eyes

“ Aaand where is he?” He started to struggle again but was quickly stopped when he heard my feathery compatriot start growling

“Ok ok he’s at the next town over we were ordered to gather all of the valuables of this backwater town just call off your pet griffin” wow I didn’t take him for a squealer but we got what I wanted plus the griffin wasn’t even growling that was just his stomach I think. I look at the griffin who turned to look at me while wearing an annoyed scowl and I nodded at him he grinned and raised his right talon and swung it hard at his captive smashing him into unconsciousness.

“Well that was fun but we really should like tie these guys up right?” He pointed out after getting off of the downed pegasus. I turned to look at the unconscious group and was about to respond but a new voice cut me off

“No need fellas we got it from here” and walking out of the tavern was a diamond dog wearing a sheriff badge on his vest followed by a green unicorn wearing a similar vest except with a deputy badge

“Thanks to you two they won’t be terrorising the citizens anymore, before this our paws were tied due to them using loopholes in the laws but those are being amended soon” He held out a paw for a handshake or pawshake? … from both of us which we responded in kind and when finish the sheriffs face went serious.

“There is a 200 bit bounty for catching these four but because of them extorting all the money from us we don’t have much so if you could come to my office tomorrow we could discuss this more but for now we can put you two up for a room at the Inn” My eyes widen at the mention of 200 bits and dropped back from the mention of them stealing so much from them so we both nodded to the sheriff in agreement to visit his office tomorrow and the promise of a free room.

“If you give this to the owner of the Inn she’ll understand and give ya some dinner and a room, now I got to get to the jail to put these bandits in cells see you tomorrow” The sheriff pulled a slip of paper out of thin air behind him somehow and handed it to me before walking over to his deputy who had tied together all the ponies and started dragging them past us

“Were they waiting there the whole time?” I questioned my feathered friend when the duo were out of earshot. He just shrugged in response with confused look on his beak then said

“Let’s just get to the Inn, i’m pretty sure were both exhausted from today I know I am” then he turned and started for the Inn with me trailing behind wondering what we’ll get as a reward tomorrow instead of bits. The walk was silent but not uncomfortable just a tired silence that said that neither of us wanted to speak anymore and just wanted to get to the room.

We reached the Inn and entered only to be greeted by a well groomed female diamond dog smaller than the sheriff wearing a brown dress.

“Welcome to Gold Flower Inn how my I help you” he said with a soft warm voice, I handed her the slip of paper I got from the sheriff and she grabbed it and read it only for a moment before softly gasping and smiling at us then directing us up the stairs.

“I will be up in a moment with your dinners but for now here is your key” she reached under the reception desk and grabbed a key from somewhere and handed it to my because I was closer and pointed over to the stairs

“Your room number is 7 I hope you enjoy your stay” after finishing he walked away into a back room most likely to prepare some food. I shared a look with … I never asked his name so i’ll have to do that when we get to the room. We started our way up stairs and upon reaching the top we immediately could see room 7 so we just walked over and I used the key to open it showing me a sparsely decorated room housing two beds side by side with a desk in between them and a lamp on top of it and a closet on the right wall, there was still plenty of floor space left and to the right of the beds was a door leading to what I presumed was a bathroom. I didn’t need to relieve myself due to me not having anything to get rid of but my friend made a beeline for it while I walked over to the bed and laid down and then remember the sword on my back when it poked me so I took it off and leaned it on the desk then laid down for a moment just letting everything sink in.

“I am in my little pony and a few hours after waking up took out a group of bandits using only my wits and planning plus a kick to the neck” I thought to myself and allowed myself a grin in pride but it quickly went away when my thoughts turned to what the pegasus said

“Our leader is in the next town over” Does that mean I might have to use this sword sooner than I thought? This isn’t an RPG game where the enemies just dissolve into thin air each living thing has flesh and bone that can bleed and die from one strong swing of my sword, am I ready to take a life that I have no right to take bandit or not. Before I could continue my dark train of thought a knock sounded at the door right as the griffin stepped out of the bathroom with his feathers a bit damp and said

“Come In” and in walked our diamond dog host carrying two trays of what smelled to be fried fish which reminded my stomach decided to tell me by giving off a loud gurgle. She giggled and handed us our respective meals which was just two fillets of fried fish, the both of us said thank you before digging in with vigor. Something has never tasted better after so long so it was quickly devoured by the both of us and we sat in a comfortable silence that would have led to sleep if I hadn’t remembered something important so I turned to my roommate and asked

“Hey, what’s your name?” He looked back at me a bit shocked that he didn’t introduce himself then sat up and grinned then responded

“Triton, Triton Blackfeather. Your name?” I smiled at him and offered my hand to him

“Michael, Michael Mars. It's a pleasure to meet you officially Triton” He grasped my hand with his claw and shook it.

“The pleasures all mine Michael” I have a feeling this is the beginning of a long beautiful friendship.

Chapter 6

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Normal POV:

The way I sleep is odd, I usually set an alarm to wake me up at a certain time but this time I slept like the dead woke up at 7:25 according to the wall clock. I hoped with all my being that everything was a dream and I would wake up at my home or a hospital or heck even JAIL but no I awoke to the sight of the sun coming through the window over the desk lamp and into a sparsely decorated room with Triton slaying upside down on his bed twitching in his sleep.

“Ugh whyyyy” I spoke out to the air wanting an answers but got nothing back so I stood up from my bed and checked my surroundings which revealed nothing of immediate importance other than my growling stomach and now that I look at myself my ragged clothes. My black shirt had a large tear in the side of it and my jeans had small tears all over it from my run through the forest scraping against the underbrush constantly until it snagged and I pulled it free. My jacket was oddly fine just a bit ragged from constant activity so the tear on my side must have happened during the whole cultist swarm thing, I remember they have a tailor here somewhere.

I heard a groan come from a sleeping Triton and watched as he turned over and showed his back to me then continued to sleep, He must have been a lot more tired than I thought so I decided to let him sleep and go get ready for the day. I stood and walked over to the attached bathroom absently noting that I slept with my shoes on and opened the door showing me a standard bathroom having a bath, sink, and a oddly shaped toilet that must be made to accommodate various creatures of different size that was my first stop and after I handled that I washed my hands and looked at myself in the mirror and saw that right under my cheekbone I had a scrape that was still a bit pink and in the process of making a scar but still healed very quickly and neatly which is odd to me because it take humans more that a good night’s sleep for an injury to heal into a scar even if it’s a small one like this so how? It might be because of the ambient magic that i’m being exposed to so its acting like a temporary boost to my system but my body should adjust to it. I also realized that I don’t have a toothbrush to brush my teeth with so general hygiene will have to wait but there is a mint plant growing here so I tore off a leaf and started to chew it to get rid of the morning breath until I somehow buy some general items. I just splashed my face and walked out of the bathroom but not before spitting out the mint plant into the trashcan by the door, outside the bathroom I could see that Triton has just woke and and his feathers and sticking out in EVERY direction it was hilarious he looked like someone took a joy buzzer and tried to use it like a brush on him. “Why-”

“Not a word” I restrained my laughter the best I could but a few small snorts escaped through while I nodded quickly and stepped to the side to let him enter the bathroom and once the door was closed all my laughter was released but I was silently wondering what did that to him?

Triton’s POV 5 minutes ago:

“NAAGUH” That was the first sound that came out of my beak after the best sleep i’ve had in years of waking up at dawn to work but now I can sleep late as much as I wanted, I opened my eyes to see that I had somehow turned around in my sleep and was laying at the foot of the bed so I rolled over and off of the bed landing on my talons then giving myself a good shake to wake to fully then stretching to loosen my tense muscles my back legs bumped into something and I heard it fall over with a thump, I turned to go pick up the object but then I remember that I was sharing this room with someone else when I saw the odd sword that Michael had with him was now on the floor. I reached out with a talon to pick it up and when my index claw made contact with the side there was a sudden bright light that made me stumble back and a flash of pain then I standing at the end of the bed while smelling like burned chicken and with my feathers puffed out like a overstuffed pillow. I heard the creak of the bathroom door opening and turned to see Michael holding in his laughter with one hand and pointing at me with the other, he removed the appendage from his mouth and said “Why-”

“Not a word” I cut him off before he even had a chance then stalked into the bathroom to take a bath to get the burned chicken smell off of me.

Michael’s POV:

While waiting for Triton to finish up his daily routine I grabbed my sword which I swore was standing before I left to the bathroom but no harm done so I just strapped it to my back sat back down on the bed to wait for my newly acquired friend to finish up patting his feathers down. Oh yeah I remember that the sheriff wanted us to come by his office for the reward or a substitute for it anyway that should help with our money problem for now or atleast the clothes one. My thoughts were interrupted when Triton walked out of the bathroom now ready for the day, He walked over to the bed across from me and grabbed his bag and slung it over his neck. His bag was a standard brown travel sack that had only one large pocket and a flap and string to close it with, he turned to me and said

“So what are you gonna do today?” then grinned at me like speaking to an old friend and I raised my brow at the question and replied in turn

“Well WE”RE going to the sheriff’s office to collect our reward but after that I don’t know” I shrugged after saying the last part and waited for his response

“Oh yeah I forgot about that haha i’m still in disbelief that we did that but after that I was going to refill and supplies and head to the next town” This peaked my interest he might have a specific destination

“Oh where ya heading” I leaned forward waiting for the answer to which he rolled his eyes to

“I’m heading to the Griffin kingdom capital to get some work to help support my parents even though their pretty well off but I want to help” Triton smiled at the mention of his family but only reminded me of mine, trying not to let it affect me I had a pretty good idea

“Hey, what if I come with you?” I smiled and spread my arms in presentation of the idea

“Wait what, really?” He seemed genuinely surprised that I wanted to come with him

“Yeah! I got no destination to mind right now and I think we make a pretty good team if I do say to myself” I nodded at my declaration

“GURGLLER” then my stomach sang the song of its people.

“But first let get some breakfast” We both nodded in unison and stood to leave the room.

We opened the door leading out into a hallway that had multiple doors leading to other rooms and their occupants, the hallway had yellow flower wallpaper and the floor was wooden planks that were smoothed over and after a few doors a small table stood with a flower pot on it but they were currently empty. We turned towards the stairs and walked out with me in front and Triton trailing behind, at the bottom of the stairs stood the caretaker of the Inn that I don’t know the name of.

“Good morning dears, are you ready for breakfast” she smiled at use and beconded us to follow her and follow we did after smelling what smelled like toast and eggs, at the bottom of the stairs we turned right and saw there was a small table over in the corner of the room that had four chairs with two plates of toast and eggs. Standing next to the table was the Innkeeper with a happy smile

“I hope you enjoy” she was about to walk into the back room behind the counter but before she could I called out to her and asked for her name

“Oh everyone just called me Auntie Paws, now hurry and eat before it gets cold” she smiled then made a shooing motion towards the table and left us. I look to Triton and nudged him to get his attention then nodded my head toward the table, he got the message and we both sat down to eat a good breakfast.
After Breakfast:

I closed the door to the Inn after holding it for Triton to which he said thanks for and waited for me to finish looking around. It was so much different now from when I first entered this town, The diverse population were walking around some working others shopping. The sun was bright and gave a warm and happy atmosphere to the white noise of people speaking in the background but something just occurred to me.

“Do you know where the sheriff’s office is?” I asked Triton who suddenly stopped and face clawed fiercely then grunted out an exasperated No.

I walked over to a nearby pedestrian who was a sky blue unicorn who had an open book for a cutie mark

“Excuse me do you know where the sheriff’s office is” I asked politely to which he smiled and joyful responded

“Oh yes, First go to the intersection of town and it should be on one of the corners” I thanked him and he nodded in return then trotted off, I turned to Triton who was rubbing his beak from how hard he slapped his face and asked if he heard all of that so which also nodded.

“What’s up with everyone nodding today?” anyway just kept walking and on the way I saw a few stores that I should probably visit such as tailor, a bakery, a few fruit stalls, and a blacksmith but it will have to wait till after we meet with the sheriff to get our reward.

When we arrived at the town center I could see down all four walkways, the one to my left led out of town to the next town and the one to my right led back to the forest I came from. I felt someone nudge me on my arm and looked over to my right where Triton was standing and I saw him pointing to the station which was across the road from us.

“Good eye” I praised him and started walking with him to the station which looked to be the strongest building in the area, the outside of the building was made of a mix of cobblestone and wood with what looks like metal reinforcement on the front door and Its two stories tall. We walked up to the door and I knocked three times then stepped back with Triton to wait, It only took a few seconds before the unicorn from before opened the door

“Hello, welcome the the station the sheriff was expecting you please follow me” she smiled at us and opened the door wider for us to enter behind her. I followed without a word with triton behind me into the building, the interior was pretty sperse when it came to decoration but there was a table over by a set of stairs going downward at the corner of the room and on the wall there is a cork board with a bunch of bounty pictures on them and a few of them had the pictures of the group from last night with a 50 under each picture. My analysis was interrupted by the unicorn trotting upstairs and away from us so I grabbed tritons shoulder and pulled him along to speed him up the stairs which showed a focused sheriff working on some paperwork in what looked like a normal study with paperwork on the desk and a small table on the side of the room with a stack of forms on it and across the room lying on the wall was a weapons rack that had three iron swords on it, The unicorn from before was standing next to the desk of the sheriff waiting for us.

“Ah there you are I was wondering when you would arrive, now down to business and hurry I have much work to do” The sheriff looked up at us and folded his paws to show he was paying attention to us.

“As i’ve told you each of the bandits are worth 50 bits but with them occupying the town for so long and them sending the wealth they gathered from us away we’re a bit strapped for cash and can’t afford to just give you hard bits so to remedy that i’ve sent out letters to all of the shop owners in town that you can choose a limit of four stores to buy 50 bits worth of items from them in pre-paid credit, how does that sound?” He looked to use for a response while I was still a bit stunned at the efficiency of his plan even though he only had a small amount of time to make it. I looked down at Triton who was just as surprised as I was and asked if he was okay with this arrangement

“Yeah i’m good, but I get 100 bits to do what I want” He bargained with me

“ 50” Me.

“75” Triton

“How about we both get 50 and the last 100 we can use for tools for the journey” He tried to compromise with him to which he was silent and thinking about it then nodded to me in agreement

“ Alright we agree to these terms” I said to the sheriff who was patiently waiting for us to finish debating

“ Alright, so take this note that has the 200 bits on it and go spend it on any supplies you want but I recommend spending all of it because after today that is invalid” He turned his head back down to his documents after setting down a sealed envelope signaling that the conversation was over so I stood along with my companion and said goodbye and thank you after pocketing the note and walked back down stairs to the exit with Triton following me but before I left I snagged a few wanted posters for later if I ever wanted to be a bounty hunter. We stepped out onto the road and looked around to see what to buy first.

“Want to split up and meet back up at the town center?” I asked him and he considered the idea then nodded to me.

“Well then see you in like an hour so something” then he just walked off into the town leaving me. Well now I hope I remember where that tailor is.

Chapter 7

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My first stop should be that tailor from before that I passed on the way to the meeting, I retraced my steps back to the tailor by the Inn. Arriving back at the tailor I looked up to see its name which was “ Mother’s Needle” which was a nice family store name if I do say so myself, I walked up to the store and opened it to show me what looked to be Rarity’s shop but no garish colors and kitchin there were some fabrics on the floor and ponyquins showing various garments and colors that looked like a pain to wear and others that looked just like work clothes for the farmers. The reception desk was unma-ponied at the moment but there was a silver bell to ring and ring it I did *Ting* A fairly loud ring sang through the room and a few seconds later I heard the clop of hooves coming from the back room.

“I’ll be there is a moment” A young male voice rang out from the back room along with the sound of a low twinkling noise, moments later a tan unicorn with a brown mane with measuring tape around their neck exited from the backroom and trotted over to the front desk

“What can I do for you sir-Oh it’s you yes I was told about the bits and have already made preparations in case you came by please follow me” He grinned and turned to walk back into the room he exited prior to the conversation. This would kind of freak me out and make me very suspicious if I didn’t know about the letter that was sent to everyone with a business, I followed the pony into his backroom which turned out to be a similarly sized room than the last that had a stage with mirrors in the center with various sewing utensils around it.

“Well what are you waiting for come come step up onto the stage” I followed his orders with slight hesitation, now that he’s speaking more I think he sounds a bit british somehow like with the underlying speed of their speech patterns and different emphasis on words.

“Arms up” I raised my arms in to a T-pose and felt the measuring tape coil around my midsection like a snake but not crushing me then move up to my chest then my arms and neck which made me flinch and almost ripe it off me but it quickly came off then floated back down to my legs and feet.

“There we go now that I have your measurements you can tell me what your preferences are and how many bits you have to work with hmm” He look up at me waiting for me to give details

“What will 50 bits get me?” He stopped and thought for a moment with a hoof to his chin and bringing his brown eyes to the ceiling

“I would get you a regular tunic, trousers, boots, and some basic leather vestments but there would be about half quality but if you choose to remove one of those then the others can be of a much higher quality” I flinched when he mentioned leather but I calmed when I realized this might be normal in this part of equestria. My jacket is fine for now and the leather probably isn’t that comfortable so i’ll stick with the regular clothes

“I think i’ll get just the tunic, pants, and boots please no leather, I want the others to be a bit higher quality and I’ll leave the colors and design to the professional” I grinned and nodded the him to which he returned then turned over to a table full of different color swatches

“ Well if you insist on leaving the coloring to me than I must do my best for this, Now sir if you could please stay very still and keep your arms up” I raised my arms back up and tried to stay as still as I could

“Thank you, now this might be a bit disorienting but you will be fine after” He lit his horn and the pile of fabrics glowed with it- wait disorienting?

“Wait wha-” I was cut off by a literal TORNADO of color surrounding me and spinning around me so fast that I had to shut my eyes or else I would get dizzy and fall off the raised stage. After a few seconds the wind dies down and I cracked open an eye to see what’s happening but the room had returned to before with the color swatches on the table in a neat pile except for two which were floating in the unicorns magical grip a dark blue and a black piece of fabric

“All done, that wasn’t too bad was it? Now I’ll need you to come back in a few hours for me to see if it fits you or if there are any areas that are too tight” He walked away from me while saying that and finished when he left the room leaving me stunned from my colorful assault but after a few seconds I shook it off and what he said registered after a second so I stepped off of the stage walked out of the room, He wasn’t in sight so he might have gone into a different room, there is a side room so maybe there. I walked out of store only slightly stunned still and wondered what I could do in the meantime, It’s gonna be a while until I see Triton again so that’s a no for now hmm… maybe I could go shopping for supplies but I said I would do that with Triton as per our agreement so what do I do? I shifted my weight and felt my sword shift with me reminding me of its presence and also giving me an idea of what to do with my free time. I started to walk back over to the forest to find a suitable training dummy, on my way many of the citizens waved to me in respect to which I waved back and I’m pretty sure I saw Triton in the blacksmith's shop but that's his business so I continued till I arrived in the forest and walked into the foliage for a target to practice on but it took a while until I found a withered tree. The forest was nice and cool with all its shade and the subtle ambiance of bugs and small animals around me, I found a nice old looking tree after a bit of walking and if I turned around I could see the edge of the town so I couldn’t get lost easily. The tree looked like it was on its last legs but was still stand through sheer plant determination but that made it the perfect practice dummy so sorry in advance mother nature, I reached back and unsheathed my sword and hold it at arm's length to admire the blade. The blade itself was the length of a bastard sword which means it could be used as both a one handed and two handed weapon, the eye crystal in the hilt of the blade still slightly unnerved me but I was getting over it. I brought the hilt down near my stomach and pointed the tip towards the leaves of the dead tree then stopped a bit confused on how to use a sword and i’m sure I could get better with it if I practice with it but if I don’t know the correct form I could become a failure with a blade.

I stood there with the blade in my hand and just lifted it up over my head and quickly slash downwards but I underestimated it weight and when it stopped it pulled me forward off balance and almost face first into the tree amd when I stabilized myself I squared my body and did a diagonal slash which didn’t unbalance me as much so I just practice that slash until it felt steadier and I could do it while walking around. The sword weighed less than a melon but was harder to hold, the grip was fine but the way I hold it made it so its killer on my wrists and I could feel calluses forming on my hands already meaning I might need gloves and some wrist tape or something to help. I was satisfied with what I could do for now so I put away my sword and made my way back and by now the tailor should be done or almost done so I went straight there.

“Ah there you are, your a bit early but that’s find i’ve completed your clothes much faster because I was struck by a moment of inspiration” I was genuinely curious about how it turned out so I was about to ask but he just rush over to me and started to pull my arm with magic over to the fitting room from before.

“Now now no more dilly dallying we must get this done” He left me back on the stage then left the retrieve the clothes, while he was gone I looked at myself in the mirror. I had a few wood splinters on my clothes and the tear in my shirt has gotten bigger somehow and now reaches my back so I reached back and took off my sword and sat it on the floor then proceed to remove my jacket when the stallion returned with my new garment in tow. The tunic was long sleeved and was mainly black but had dark blue running longwise down it over where my heart would be, the pants were black and similar in design but the line only went down the side of my left leg and was thinner then the line on the shirt, The boots looked like ordinary black work boots that would last a long time but the left boot had the blue line on it and ending in a circle on the side of the boot, it looked pretty cool

“Hurry now put it on I want to see how it looks” He floated the clothes over to me and I didn’t even care he was in the room I threw off my shirt, jeans, and shoes then put on the pants on first which felt like jeans but felt like I was wearing cotton then the shirt which was just as comfortable then lastly the boots which fit perfectly. The only problem was that I had to use my old belt to hold up the pants a bit.

“These are perfect and the fit perfectly thank you” I am being very sincere about this these are very awesome and in the words of a certain blue pegasus I feel 20% cooler just wearing them.

“You are very welcome I was inspired by your weapon and thought to make a matching set so I decided to make the leather as well but only if you do me a favor” He floated over a sleeveless leather chest piece colored black with a few highlight of blue running through it and a row of small pockets leading diagonally to the right across the chest, my answer was immediate.

“What do you need me to do?”
Triton POV:

After leaving Michael I went straight for the blacksmith the get some basic tools for the journey, after just one day I realized how under equipped I am. The blacksmith wasn’t far from where I was standing, I saw it when I first entered to so its back by the forest entrance so I made my way through the small traffic over there and low and behold there is was with a stone foundation and forge exposed in front with someone hammering away on an anvil. When I got closer I was sort of surprised to see it was being handled by a dragon with red scales but it's missing one of its wings which made me wince just thinking of losing one of mine. The dragons underbelly was covered by a very large apron and its wearing a pair of goggles to cover their eyes, as I stepped up to the dragon I saw he was hammering a horse shoe into its iconic shape.

“Excuse me?” I tried to get his attention but he was so focused that he was tuning everything out, I was about to try again but a different sound gained my attention *TAP TAP TAP*, it was coming from the window so I turned to look and saw a smaller pink dragoness gesturing me to come inside with a claw then stepping away. I followed her directions and entered the blacksmith showing a standard counter with various small metal wares on it and a few larger items on the walls like swords, wood cutting axes, and a few braces and gloves. Behind the counter was the dragoness from before waiting for me with a happy smile on her face.

“Welcome to Tallow Forge, my name is Pitch what can I do for you” she finished were introduction with a nod in my direction.

“Well I need some basic traveling tools, you know the usual” I don’t know what the usual was but I hoped she did. Pitch arched her scaly browe at me in amusement then gestured to a few barrels that were next to the counter that I somehow missed upon entering.

“Well come have a look here” I approached the counter and there was three barrels one was filled with bed rolls the next with small carving knives and the last had a few miscellaneous stuff like fire starters, lanterns, and compasses. I reached for the compass first and a few fire starters, then went for two bed rolls and a carving knife. I put everything on the counter and asked how much all that would cost.

“That comes up to an even 60 bits” Celestia dang it! So close

“I could shave off a few bits if you do me a favor?” I perked back up and looked to her to show I was listening and replied.

“Depends on what the favor is?” I waited for her to respond to my question

“Oh it won’t be nothing dangerous to a big griffon, I need help collecting some minerals were running low on but can be found in abundance nearby” I was slightly interested so I nodded to tell her to continue and her smile grew a little wider

“So a bit a ways into the forest there is a natural mineral deposit of raw light crystal that we use for the lanterns and fire starters but recently a few timber wolves have made that area its home, its not much of a problem for two dragons but my brother there is a bit busy and I have to mind the store right now so could you deal with the puppy problem and bring me 5 light shards, that should last us quite a while as we turn them to dust” It seemed pretty easy from the way she said it but it’s still a timber wolf den so i’m gonna need some help with this hmm maybe Michael would be willing to help since he was so keen to travel with me?

“Is it okay if I get some help from a friend?”She just shrugged

“Sure go ahead, i’ll be waiting here for the shards either way” I nodded and left the building to find my new friend for our first adventure.

Chapter 8

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Normal POV:

After grabbing my original clothes and leaving my new ones with the tailor who’s name I never asked and set out to find my feathered companion for his assistance in what could be the beginning of an awesome job.

*Flashback *

“What do I need to do?” I eagerly asked after seeing my new armor and slowly reaching out for it but it was yanked away from me when I was noticed

“In the forest a special blue plant called Polycanthium or more commonly known as Ocean Blossom, I used the last of my stock when I made your clothes and I tend to go through it quite fast but it only grows in the glow of light crystals due to its magical properties and its need to be exposed to it to grow.” I was confused when he told me this part because it sounds like he knows exactly where it is so I asked

“Why can’t you just go grab some yourself if you know where its located?” I was slightly irritated when he started to chuckle at me and when he calmed down he continued

“The plant can’t just be plucked and brought home, its reliance on the crystals makes it so once it leave the light it was quickly start to wither away to dust so I will give you a bag that has a mortar and pestle along with a few vials of cold water to mix with them then use the vials to contain the dye” This seems almost too easy, he was giving me everything to get this right so what is he not telling me? After the silent deadpanned stare he relented and spoke once more

“Well there is another small problem, the area seems to have been claimed by some wild timberwolves so they might serve a small problem but you have a weapon with you so I think you’ll be fine good luck!” He gave a dismissive wave to the mention of living automatus wood wolves that could tear my delicate insides to pieces then handed me my old clothes all patched up and my sword with a messengers bag on top with something heavy inside then happily trotted out of the room with my new clothes in tow leaving me almost naked in a fitting room trying to figure out how I got into this situation.
*Flashback Over*

Maybe Choose was the wrong word for this whole thing, I felt like the moment he suggested the ‘little’ errand he put me on I had no choice but to accept or he would hold my clothes for ransom. I sighed once more and put my sword over my shoulder and the bag hanging off my left side, speaking of which I opened it up to see how much dye he needed and so my relief there were only three medium clay flasks full of what I assumed was water all sitting inside the mortar next to the pestle. The bag itself had multiple pockets on it but the items were placed in the largest or ‘main’ pocket, the sound of talons hitting the ground alerted me to my friend Triton running towards me then coming to a quick stop in front of me.
“I need your help to get something?. . .”
“I need your help to get something?. . .”

The both of us spoke at the same time and we had the same confused face
“What do you need help with?” He asked just as surprised as I was

“I was ‘asked’ to help gather and make some special dyes from the forest that only grow in the light of some magic light crystals or whatever but apparently there are some timber wolves in the area and the only way I know of to make the dye is to mix it in the light of the stupid light crystals” I finished with a sigh and look to Triton who had a growing ‘What?’ face during my whole story then he collected himself then said

“I was just tasked to find the very crystals your flowers grow under and to exterminate the wolves so I was coming to ask for your help with it but it seems we have to help each other if we want to finish our respective goals” he finished with a flat look aimed at the blacksmith down the road. I facepalmed at the mention of him needing the very crystals I need to find, which brought up another problem that needed addressing.

“So, do you know where the crystals even are?” I questioned my friend while having a strange sense of deja vu as he face ’clawed’ at the mention of us having no clue where to go.

“Give me a second, let me think” Triton started to pace back and forth in front of me while I had the idea to check my pockets to see if the tailor stole my stuff while he stitched up my clothes, so far everything was accounted for. I had my wallet, my phone which is for some reason still charging, my bronze pocket watch, but when I patted my back pocket it crackled like paper which didn’t make sense because I didn’t have any paper on me, I reached in and pulled out a small folded piece of scratch paper. I unfolded it and read what it said

“Sorry for not telling you in pony but I am very busy at the moment so to reach the flowers you must go back on the main road through the forest and once you pass an almost dead tree take an immediate left turn towards it and a little ways past it is a clearing housing the flowers and crystals growing from the ground naturally Have Fun!” I stifled back the idea of crumpling up the paper and tried to get the still pacing griffins attention.

“Maybe I could search from the skies? No that would take to long”
“Or I could go buy a map of the area it could have it on there, but we have no more bits to use for anything except for basic tools”
“What!? Oh what’s this?” After showing him the paper he calmed down just stared at it.

“You ready to go?” I asked to which he stowed the note away in his bag and nodded then we both turned towards the forest and started walking.

It didn’t take long to walk back to entrance of the town for a second time today so we sped up a bit to get this done faster and within a few minutes we were on the forest path and turned into the forest to find the tree I was practicing at. We had reached the dead tree and were starting to go past it to the clearing where our respective quarries would be growing along with the problems living there. I was just about to ask Triton if he had a plan when he shushed me and pointed in front of us and for very good reason, the crearing was in sight along with the crystals and blue flowers scattered around the area and unfortunately that also included the timberwolves. This area isn’t very saturated in magic apparently so there wasn’t many and they didn’t have that green glow like the ones from the everfree, there are six wolves that I could see and all looked grown so no pups so they must have just migrated here. They were just milling around the area gathering sticks possibly for themselves to regenerate with but other than that nothing else was there.

“There’s the crystals and flowers, what should we do first?” Triton spoke in a very low whisper to not alert the wolves.

“I think you should fly up then dive onto one of the bigger ones while I fight on the ground, you back me up if you can and if you have time gather some crystals but that might have to wait till after the fight” He nodded in response and got ready to lift off but as he shifted to the side a sharp *CRACK* rang through the area
Triton stepped on a branch…
“Fly Now!” I shoved Triton away from me while the wolves all turned and charged our position while I tried to run to the left into the clearing trying to buy time, but I didn’t account for how light wood is compared to flesh and blood meaning they were immediately gaining on me leaving me fumbling for my sword. Right when I was able to unsheath my sword one of the faster wolves lunged at me and I turned to meet it and bat it to the side with the flat of my sword like with a baseball, downside to that though is the vibrations rang through my arms feeling like I had a bunch of needles drilling into my arms causing me to drop my sword but launching and braking the brittle wolves when it crashed to the ground. The next wolf tried to accomplish what the other could not but before it even got off the ground it was slammed into the ground along with another wolf by Triton from above, his attack gave me enough time to dive for my sword next to the slowly reforming wolf. I grabbed my sword with slightly numb hands and kicked the reforming wolf back into pieces for good measure then turned to the remaining three which were circling the bigger catch Triton and disregarded me which gave me the chance to run up while preparing my sword to slash one in the back or neck, I charged this time and caught one unaware and clashed downward as hard as I could lopping its head off with splinters flying from it. Triton took this as an opportunity and grabbed one of the wolves head and slammed his claw straight into it then pulled it back out showing a hollow center and letting the wolf just fall to the ground leaving only one wolf remaining and unfortunately it was giving me the death stare and growling at me like I killed its family…oh

“Look Out!” I snapped back into reality at Triton’s warning and the wolf jumping at me startling me making me fumble for a moment before falling backwards to move out of the way and thrusting out my sword… I waited for a moment before looking up at the wolf speared onto the end of my sword by its own momentum.

“That was a complete shitshow” I let my voice show how I felt about this whole thing while I stood up and kicked the timberwolf off my sword leaving me covered in wood pieces and what I think is tree sap.

“Well… it could have been worse” Triton added with a shrug then started to walk over to the nearest area of growing crystals with me following him to help. The flowers I had to harvest looked almost identical to poison joke but without the yellow stamen which is the fluffy yellow stuff in the center of a flower and is a slightly lighter blue. Wait! are the bottles okay, I hurriedly checked the bag and the bottles were strewn about but still full of liquid good. I pulled out the mortar and pestle along with the water bottles then got to work just grinding up the flowers and adding the water from their respective flasks then when finished I stowed them away leaving my hands with small blue stains on my fingers.

“It looks like I lost a game of thumb war with a blue marker” Triton snorted from that and went to pull some of the smaller crystals from the ground leaving himself with five and stowing them away.

“All done here, let’s leave before something bigger comes” He turned to walk away but stopped when I didn’t move with him and was reaching down.

“What's wrong?” I answered with me holding a another light shard up and grinning

“First quest, First trophy” I pocketed the shard and started my way back to the town with Triton with my spirits slightly higher

Chapter 9

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The walk back to the town was in silence but not the awkward kind of silence, just a mutually tired and annoyed kind of silence. Triton’s feathers were still a bit ruffled and had a bit of wood fragments in his … well everywhere and i’m pretty sure I look similar along with some new scratches and holes in my clothes from slashing and falling down onto the ground twice. We exited the forest edge showing us the bright almost noon sky over the town, I looked to Triton as we walk in.

“Meet back up at the center?” He looked up at me and nodded then held up a claw for a fist bump for which I reciprocated then we split up to finish our respective requests. I walked straight to the tailor which wasn’t far while walking past the inhabitants who also avoided me from the irritated look on my face and the trail of wood chips trail behind me from my clothes. By the time I reached the tailor I was in full don’t give a fuck mode and didn’t care for manners at the moment so I just walked into tailor without knocking with the bell ringing overhead and continued to the side room where he is most likely at. I opened the side room showing a sparse work area with sewing tools everywhere with the unicorn owner in the corner sorting through fabrics

“Oh! Back already?” He put the fabrics down and started towards me “I didn’t hear you come in”

“Here” I sat the bag down on the nearest desk and waited for his response which would hopefully include giving me my new clothes NOW! Sensing my irritation the tailor who’s name I still haven’t asked levitated over my clothes including the armor in a neat bundle tied together by a leather belt

“Thank you for your help and if you take out the dye and mortar then you can keep the bag also I have too many extras” he waved me off and returned to sorting through the pile of fabrics, I just sighed at this and took a hold of the clothes and the bag after dumping it out onto the table and leaving with it in slightly better spirits but still wanting to shower so I went down to the blacksmith I saw earlier to see if Triton is done and we can get some food and water for the trip.

Happening at the same time

Triton POV:

I split up from Michael after agreeing to meet up at the center of town and started my way over to the blacksmith through the crowd and ending up in front of the aforementioned building but this time the older dragon was not at his station hammering away at something on the anvil so I just continued into the building and I saw that instead of Pitch waiting for me her brother was standing at the counter with a bored look on his face that livened up a bit when he saw me.

“Ah, you must be the griffin my sister told me about” his voice had the standard deep baritone most older dragons had and he grinned at me and started to turn around and walk into a room in the back then swiftly returned while holding a medium sized burlap sack, while he walked back I moved closed to the counter.

“This contains your standard survival gear including a few collapsible pots and pans along with the items you chose” He handed me the bag which I happily grabbed and set to the side then reached into my bag to retrieve the handful of light shards the sat them onto the counter leaving his to inspect them to his own leisure.

“Hmm Perfect this should last us a few weeks until the traders finally arrives” He nodded in satisfaction at the sight but what he said caught my attention.

“Are the traders late or something?” I was slightly alarmed by that because the trade route leads through the next town that we have to travel to.

“Yeah, lately the usual traders that come through the area have been either going missing or just up and giving up before they even reach our town so I hope they make it this time” He just shrugged his shoulders and turned away from me to walk into the store room from before leaving me with some slightly alarming news that might mean something is wrong white the next town, I grabbed the bag and turned an hurried to exit the building.
“I have to tell Michael”

Third Person POV:

Michael had reached the center of town by the time Triton had left the blacksmith in a hurry to find his new companion and tell him what he just learned. They met at the town square that was still full of small stalls selling trinkets and produce to the remaining populace

“Hey I think we may have a slight problem and by slight I mean roadblock sized” Triton said worrying slightly upon meeting up with his friend while only slightly registering his attire who looked slightly concerned from his tone and raised an eyebrow at his behavior but realized that facial expression is lost on beings that doesn’t have eyebrows too he said

“Whats up?”

“I just found out that anyone who has crossed through the next town never makes it to this town even the local traveling merchants which wouldn’t make sense because traveling is their livelihood”

“Can’t we just go around the next town?” Michael was confused from the urgency in his tone.

“We can’t just go around because the next town is the only actual town in a twenty mile radius that has a train station that leads into equestria proper and not around the edge according to the map” the two would slap whoever thought to build only one train station if they weren’t already dead for the sheer short sightedness of their design.

“So what your telling me is we have to walk straight into what is probably a bandit base camp that no one has returned from with only our bare hands to fight with and my sword” Mychael asked rhetorically while giving the most deadpan look ever witnessed,


“Fan-fucking-tastic let’s get the food and leave” Michael turned away from Triton and walked to one of the stalls filled with different produce like herbs and spices

“What do you recommend for traveling long distances” Michael asked the brown earth pony tending the stall who stopped to think for a moment

“Besides fruit and vegetables of your choosing I recommend buying salt and other spices along with fish as a meat for you two as we enchant out fish here to preserve it” the earth pony nodded to himself after giving his opinion then turned a bit to the left and pointed to another stall tended by a teal unicorn mare and another griffon smaller than Triton. “You’ll find the fish there”

“Thank you” Michael said and the pony nodding in return and after purchasing some spices and vegetables with some prepaid bits they walked over to the fish stall and bought two full fish minus the heads and wrapped them in paper before stowing them away in our respective bags all that costing about 40 bits which sounds a bit expensive to me but I don’t know the exchange rates here so I can’t complain. We then went to a fruit stall a got some apples and smaller nuts and berries for snacks and some tomatoes for dinner which all added up to 100 bits exactly, again very pricy but it probably has something to do with the traders not able to come here anymore. After we finished shopping we sat down at a bench at the side of the road to discuss what we’re gonna do.

“The walk is probably gonna be long and tedious but well get there within two days of walking or if we speed up we can make it by evening of tomorrow” Triton said pulling out his map to which Michael nodded along with understanding and not looking forward to the walk but slightly looking forward to practicing with his sword.

“Also I got you these” said Triton while pulling out the bedrolls from his sack and dropping one in his bag and clawing the other over to Michael along with the fire starter and a compass and him keeping the knife and collapsible pots and pans.

“I think we’re ready to go what about you?” said Michael which looking through his bag incase anything was missing.

“Speaking of being ready, nice clothes dude” Triton acknowledged Michael’s new clothes, with a nod. His jacket was still on and went over the leather armor unzipped showing the armor and his pants and boots fit perfectly together

“Thanks, they’re pretty comfortable to wear honestly but I hope getting new clothes and armor won’t be a hassle in the future” Michael stood after he finish speaking and fixed his bag on his shoulder and his sword comfortably before speaking again

“We should probably hit the road before it gets dark and get their sooner than later” Triton nodded in agreement and stood as well before turning along with Michael in the direction of the next town and heading off.

Chapter 10 part 1

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???’s POV

“How did everything go wrong so fast?” A voice sounded out in the darkness, a young male voice brimming with a sadness that shouldn’t be there said. Another sound rang through the air like the chiming of bells then light briefly lit up the area revealing a dark cell full of people of all species cramped together.

“What did you expect to happen when you face a large group of bandits all on your own? Make them back down through sheer force of will?” The sarcasm was palpable from the new raspy female voice where the light was originating from. The light was dark green in color bathing the surrounding people in the same color but uncovering the two having a conversation in the corner of the room.

“I just thought that if I was strong enough… ugh i’m sorry” Once the male finished speaking he lifted his grey paws up to his muzzle and covered his face out of guilt and sadness. The female let out a sad sigh and trotted over to her friend and sat down next to him and put her hoof over his shoulder for comfort

“It’s not completely your fault, you don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your back. We’re all partially at fault for just letting you try to do all the work for us” The mare leaned closer to her disheveled friend

“And for what it's worth, i’m sorry” The room was silent from the sentimental moment… until the room started to shake then promptly stopped

“What was that” A earth pony in the crowd sounded out a bit startled then the room shook once more this time dust fell from the roof covering the crown in dust before it stopped

“Wait… “ The marte from before stood and slowly trotted to the center of the room and inspected the ceiling for a moment before a shocked look came over he features

“Everyone away from the center of the room!” She yelled as she dived back to the corner to cover her friend as the ceiling suddenly fell in narrowly missing some of the inhabitants of the room but obscuring their vision with dust. For a tense few moment everyone watched to dust settle until they saw a tall figure stand up and speak

“Why is nothing going to plan!”


Michael’s PoV:

We’ve been walking in silence for about two hours now and I know we’re both thinking about the same thing and its possible outcomes and the long we think of this the more we’ll be dreading the end of our walk. I looked to my right at Triton who was looking down the worn road in silence showing he was in deep thought just as I guessed and after this long of just silence and the slight wind i’ve had enough and tried to make some small talk.

“So… where ya from?” wow that was a weak conversation starter

“Hmm? My family runs a farm in the opposite direction of the town, were one of the main providers of meat products and woodwork in the area” Triton puffed out his plumage in pride and smiled at the mention of his family business.

“That’s cool, got any siblings” At that question his smile dimmed a small bit but didn’t disappear completely.

“Yeah I have a sister but, she moved away a few years ago and I kind of miss her ya’know” He looked at me and shrugged but what he said just made me think of my family so I stopped that train of thought before it derailed completely and responded

“Hey if we’re lucky we might find her on the way” I tried to end on positive note but the mention of our journey we grew silent and thought of what awaited us at the end of this long road. The blowing wind growing colder brought my attention back to my surrounding and made me look up to see the sun drawing closer to the horizon giving me an idea of what to do next.

“Look we need to talk about what to do about this town situation so… why don’t we set up camp for the day and talk about it over dinner alright?” Triton perked up at my proposal and smiled

“Okay, i'll go get some firewood from the forest nearby and you can get started on setting up our bedrolls” He removed his roll from his back and clawed it to me which I grabbed and opened his wings to fly off but before he left I had flashbacks of the timber wolves from before

“Oh one more thing, try not to alert the whole forest your there okay” I was going to raise an eyebrow at him but remember the gesture is lost on him so I just started to walk over to the side of the road to set up camp.

“It’s fine I won’t, be back in a bit” then he took off to what I think is the west to a nearby patch of forest to gather wood. While he was gone I unrolled the bedrolls with little difficulty then walked around the area looking for stones for the fire pit which was also easy due to the plain grass being pretty short, all in all it only took about five minutes to do everything and Triton still has the pots and pans as far as I know so with some spare time I decided to practice with my sword. I just practice swinging it in different directions and getting used to using on or two hands when necessary, it is perfectly balanced for a sword but when I swing i still off balance myself when moving and swinging so the most movement I can manage is to slowly walk in any direction except backwards.

By the time I had finished practicing Triton had returned with some wood and what looks to be a canteen of water with him, He landed and I put away my sword and walked over to see if he needed any help. He was breathing a bit harder then when I last saw him but he did tell me that he was a weaker flier then most so that might be why.

“Need any help?” He nodded and gave me some of the wood to set up into a nice cone shape in the makeshift fire pit I made then took out the fire starter and with a few strikes of it sparks flew out and ignited the wood and grass into a nice orange flame. I smiled and went back to my back to prepare the fish, we don’t have a lot of different types of spices so we settled on fish rubbed with salt and a bit of pepper roasted over a fire. I cut and speared both halves of my fish on a stick and posted it next to the fire to cook. I took my seat on my bed with Triton to the opposite of me past the fire both of us staring into the flames waiting.

“We need a plan” Surprisingly Triton spoke first and turned and reached into his satchel and retrieved the map an opened it.

“We need to go into this city for the train service, there’s no way around it” He stood and moved his bed to next me to plan.

“See, we can’t go any other direction because we’ll just get lost or hurt doing so” he was right, The map showed that there wasn’t a safer route then on the train through. We were located at the bottom right coast on the stretch of coast between the forest and water and apparently after the town a desert starts next to a spire with a skull on it which does not bode well for use if we travel by foot or paw.

“The train is the only way for us to travel into equestria proper and if there are bandits then they have effectively taken over their own slice of equestria” I felt slightly impressed and confused as to why no one has noticed a whole corner of a continent being cut off from trade or guards… oh I think I know what happened now.

“We really need a plan to get through this town.” my words made Triton nod in agreement.

“What if we just sneak into the town and release everyone we might have a chance to fight or at least stall for time until we can get to the train” That plan sounded good but it had too many holes for things to go wrong but for now its all be got. We grabbed out now roasted fish and ate while we spoke

“If go in at night it could help I guess” we were both uncertain about what to do so I proposed this idea.

“What we need is a good look at the town so how about we get there first then decide what to do” Triton mulled over my idea then nodded thinking its a good idea so we both stood up and threw out stick into the fire and crawled into our bedrolls to go to sleep. I laid there for quite a while before sleep finally greeted me.


I was jolted awake by a nightmare that I couldn't remember, leaving with that foggy disoriented feeling that made me question where I was for a second of I quickly recalled what’s happening and sat up from my bedroll. Triton was still asleep and it looks to be just past three in the morning so I was a bit cold and the wind wasn’t blowing anymore. I couldn’t shake that feeling of restlessness and nervous energy from jolting awake so I quietly stood from my bed then rolled it up and put it by my bag. I grabbed my sword and walked a bit away from Triton to practice swinging my sword, I unsheath my sword and just practiced what I needed to while thinking about my current predicament deeply. I have been pulled into another reality by what seemed to be a racial cult via reality destruction meaning my world… my family may be gone forever. My thought traveled to all the happy and sad times i’ve been through with them, My brother and sisters faces crossed my mind along with questions on what would they do in my situation. I didn’t register the fact that my swings have started to get faster and I started moving, my face showed no hints to the turmoil going on inside of me. My thoughts turned back to the people who brought me here and their motives for this… there might be more of them which means there might be more items like this sword or more powerful then it. The thought made my next swing hesitate before continuing on its path, if there is more then if I get my hands on them I could try to fix everything if that's even possible in the first place.

“Your up early?” Triton’s voice brought me out of my head and back to reality directing my attention to Triton who looked to be ready to go, I looked past him to see most of the camp packed up and his bag hanging from his side along with what remains of our firepit snuffed out leaving my bag on the ground.

“Nightmare… ” There was a small stretch of silence at my admission then Triton looked back up at me and gave me the closest a griffin can have to a grin

“Yeah, I didn’t sleep to well either” He turned and nodded towards my bag

“Let’s get going, if we leave now we should be able to see the coast and by evening the town should be in sight” I nodded and put away my sword and walked over to my bag silently noting how sweaty I am. After strapping everything on and taking a swig of water I turned to Triton and nodded signaling i’m ready to go so he turned down the path along with me and we walked a bit faster than yesterday.

It was a few hours after the sun passed noon when we caught sight of the coastline. The was air is bit more humid and the land gave way to the sea with a small cliff as a drop off, The wind started to pick up due to us being closer to the sea.

“Were almost there now, we should be able to see the town in a few hours” Triton relayed our position to me while checking the map leaving me to inspect the water. I could see a bunch of different species of fish and crustaceans swimming about even from this far away.

It had officially become night and we just caught sight of the town and it’s worse than we thought. We had just passed a sign post that would have said the town name but it was deface and covered with the words KEEP OUT and LEAVE in paint. The village itself was hard to make out due to the sizable wooden barrier surrounding it like a wall, Triton perked up for a moment and pointed at the wall where I could barely make out small figures patrolling the wall.

“We shouldn’t be out in the open” I whispered to Triton who looked to me and nodded and we jogged to the edge of the forest to make a plan. When we reached the woods we crouched down behind some bushes and I went to speak to Triton but when I looked at him he looked shocked staring at me wait… behind me. I slowly turned my head but stopped when I felt something cold and sharp press into my adam’s apple and when I looked back at Triton he was in a similar predicament with a unicorn covered in black leather armor holding a knife to his neck.

“Stand, slowly” A scratchy voice spoke from behind me and slowly pulled the knife up with me following but stopping with me in a crouch due to the size difference and with a claw landing on my shoulder as I guide, I couldn’t see Triton when the turned me away from him and led me deeper into the forest but I could at least hear steps from behind me. I kept quiet and slowly tried to turn my head to see my attacker and my head didn’t get far as the knife nicked me a bit but not drawing blood but, I did get a glimpse of them. They are a griffin as far as I could tell and wearing similar leather as the pony but was much shorter than Triton where he came up to my upper chest they came to the middle of my ribs. And they had a bandolier of knives on their chest which means I could get out of this or at least get a fighting chance.

“Who are you?” I said to my captor trying to keep her attention on me as I slowly reached for their knives

“Keep walking” they responded without pause or hesitation

“Well that’s rude, I just wanted to know the name of my newest friend” my hand was almost there now I just need to distract her a bit.

“I said keep walking and be silent!” I was getting to them at least a little bit as their voice was laced in annoyance now I got to confuse her

“Hey, why is a raven like a writing desk?”

“Wha-” I ducked my head around the knife while grabbing the knife on their bandolier only cutting my chin but I wasn’t paying attention to that now as I grabbed her with my right hand by the beak and putting the knife to her neck and turning around to the other one then stomping down on the talon with the knife making her drop it.

“You really should pay more attention” I kicked away the other knife and stared at the other attacker while Triton looked to be grimacing for some reason.

“If you could kindly let go of my friend and refrain from harming us i’ll consider releasing your friend here with her neck attached!” I wouldn’t really do that but I was angry and wanted to see them scared.

“Alright laddie we won’t touch ya, now release the lass now won’t ‘cha” The voice behind me made me flinch and I slowly turned around to see a camp full of similarly clothed people ranging from ponies to griffins and a minotaur

“I need to pay more attention” the clearing was filled with the sound of my face palm.

Chapter 10 part 2

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We were promptly re-detained and disarmed, we were lead to an empty large tent that had a wooden rectangular table and a few chairs but, besides that it was bare. I went and sat on a chair and rubbed my face in annoyance but stopped when I brushed over the cut on my chin which stings pretty bad now that i’ve drawn attention to it. I pulled my finger away from the cut but it didn’t have any blood on it so i’m fine until the thieves guild wannabes decide what to do with us. Me and Triton sat in silence for only a short time until a small unicorn trotted inside

“Well now that you’ve calmed down and released my associate which I appreciate, we can speak about what you were brought here for” The small pink mare was a bit bigger than a foal and was wearing what looked like baby sized armor and she would look adorable if half of her face wasn’t scarred and she had bandolier full of thin but long white needles giving her a slightly menacing look.

“You mean when we were brought here against our wills?” My sarcasm could be seen dripping from my mouth when I said that and I swear I could see a ghost of a smile on her face and was about to grin as well if Triton didn’t elbow me in the side

“Yes, that was pretty amusing but we have bigger problems right now and I think we could both benefit from it if you helped us” She grinned at us like we already said yes

“Now we noticed that you need to get past Twinleaf and onto the train into equestria but to do that you’ll have to get through the town which is crawling with bandits like us, so you could try your luck and get killed in the process or you could assist us in taking back the town” Me and Triton were silent throughout the proposal but we were shocked at the ending

“Why would a group of bandits want to liberate a whole town from other bandits?” Triton spoke with a suspicious look on his face speaking for both of us. The mini mare appeared to grimace at the question then straightened up and spoke.

“This group used to be apart of the bandits controlling the town but back then the group was much smaller and we only focused on robbing and maybe pillaging small villages and caravans and we were content doing just that. Back then I was co-leader of the group along with an ex-guard by the name of Light Spire and for a while we were on the top of the world and nothing could stop us, then Light started to get greedy with the raids and kept going after bigger and bigger targets without rest or remorse he wanted everything and that attracted the wrong kind of attention and if he kept at it we would have the full attention of the crown making us a problem needing to be solved and that’s exactly what happened” She stopped for a moment to catch her breath from the long winded explanation then continued.

“The princess sent a detachment of guards along with one of her captains to take care of us but what they didn’t think of was that Light was ready for them and set a trap and it was a complete slaughter that I had no knowledge of and only found out after the fact what happened and confronted him. When I found him he was still caked in blood from the fight and holding the guard captain’s weapon in his mouth and the mangled corpse of the captain at his hooves… it was horrifying to see.” She had started to tremble and breath heavier so she stopped and steadied herself then continued

“ I didn’t want him to fall any further than he already had so I tried to get him to retire from the rouge life but he snapped at me and left and the next time I saw him he had a new group of bandits much more bloodthirsty than ours and their first goal was to hold a town hostage from the crown and if they don’t comply then they will kill everyone in the town, I tried to talk him out of it and to just come back with me but when I finished he just turned away from me and grabbed a lit torch while asking if I would let him do what he wants and I said no… he burned me.” She stopped and dragged a hoof over the side of her face with the large scar with a depressed look.

“ Anyway, we know the crown doesn’t care about some small village at the edge of equestria so we know they won’t send any help and we are positive that Light will deliver on his threats” I was a bit overwhelmed from the whole backstory but something stuck out at me.

“How do you know he’ll do it?” I questioned

“He tried to make an… example of a child that tried to escape but he was stopped by some travelers who were there, sadly they were just beat by numbers and put away with the rest of the townsfolk” The mention of a child almost getting executed made something flinch inside of me for a moment before I calmed down and the low growling from Triton means he mirrors my feelings on the matter.

“This is why we brought you here, we need more help and we could use the helping hooves for the plan” she looked at us and waited for an answer, I looked at Triton for his impute and he just nodded at me with a serious look in his eye showing he was willing to help but I had one more question.

“After the battle and everything is all said and done with, what will you do with the town” I crossed my arms and waited for her to respond.

“Heh all of my men are sick and tired of this kind of life, so after the battle the group will disband and go our separate ways. I can’t speak for everyone but I plan to settle down in the town and live out the rest of my life” Her small stature makes her seem young but when she said that it was like she aged twenty years and I could see in her eyes how tired she is so I made up my mind.

“Alright we’ll help” I nodded to her and she gave us a grateful smile then turned serious and jumped off the chair to the floor and moved towards the entrance of the tent.

“ Follow me, we need to get you guys your equipment and tell you the plan” We stood and followed her out of the tent and into the quiet camp. Many of the members were just sitting and talking in hushed voices or just silence, I saw the griffin from before just as she enter one of the tents. There are about five tents including a bigger one where I could see there were stacks of boxes and barrels inside and around the area and we followed her to that tent and went inside.

“This is where all our resources are stored and your weapons and bags were put in that crate over there” She pointed to a box in the corner with the lid off and I could see my sword sticking out of the top. Triton and I walked over and strapped on our bags and my sword then turned back to the pony

“ We have some spare griffin armor for you but I don’t think we have anything in stock for you that you size at least you i’ll send you over to our armorer to see if he can make you something with some spare leather” She turned and opened a nearby barrel and pulled out a leather chestplate that would fit Triton and a knife to defend himself with then nodded at me to follow her which I did without question.

“Since were a bit strapped for resources the armorer will most likely just make you some gloves and some arm guards” I was okay with that and I already had a chest piece so I hope i’m fine after this. We had entered one of the smaller tents to show an older unicorn stallion working on some sowing but stopped when we entered.

“Ah, what do we have here” He eyed me curiously while putting down whatever he was fixing

“Sharp Eye this is the creature that’s assisting us and he’ll need some more armor for the plan tonight” My eyes narrowed at being called a creature but it was drowned out when I heard that their plan was happening tonight.

“Wait, your plan begins tonight? What is it?” I was concerned with the lack of time to get ready but the mare just waved off my concern and turned back to Sharp

“Can you make him some gloves and arm guards?” While ignoring me, Sharp turned to the pile of materials behind him and brought a teal hoof to his bearded chin then turned to look at my hands to which I opened my hands and held them towards him he leaned closer. I heard his magic activate with the sounding of chimes in the air and the feeling of cold water flow over my hand, my hand was covered in a dark blue aura and was trying to hold me still but to me it felt brittle and fragile like old glass

“It shouldn’t take long, one moment” Pieces of leather were cut and stitched right in front of me at the speed of… well magic. Soon wraps of leather were covering my hands and fitting to my size along with cuts being made in it simultaneously making me flinch before stilling, The leather seemed to meld over my hands with the aid of magic and after a minute some thin but durable gloves covered my hands, they weren’t the prettiest sight but they were functional and would last to the end of the battle at least.

“Sorry, thats all I could make with what I have” Sharp eye apologised then turned back to whatever he was fixing and basically telling us to leave so the mare and I left the tent without a word

“ you should be good on equipment and you friend should be finished changing now so lets go get him and discuss the plan” she turned back in the direction of the supplies tent but I stopped her with a question

“Wait, what’s your name?” she looked back at me and said

“Call me Quick” The she continued to the tent where a armored Triton just walked out. He was wearing a similar uncolored leather chestpiece and some arm guards, when he reached us I gave him an approving nod then returned to following Quick back to what I assume is her tent and inside was two other people the griffin from before who was glaring at me and a minotaur sitting on the ground barely fitting. The minotaur was as you expected one to look but this one was all height and not a lot of muscles and he also looked tired

“Alright people it’s almost time to start the plan and now that we got some more help it might go even smoother” She turned and pointed at us.

“These two will be tasked with extracting and protecting the civilians and our job will to be to find and kill Light Spire the leader of the group, if we kill him most of his bandits will either leave or surrender and if not we will take them down, Try not to damage the town much but if it’s you or the wall you know what to choose” She turned to the minotaur

“Your team will focus on the distraction so these two can get inside and get the civilians and when that’s done try to meet up with me and Tiff” She nodded over to the apparent griffoness then turned back to us

“You to will be provided a map of the town to find where the people are being held captive then if possible extract them back to the forest and if not possible find somewhere to defend yourselves from” She reached into a bag and handed me a rolled up piece of parchment and I unrolled it to see a map of what I assumed is the town sketched on it. The town was built with what seems to be the mayor’s office in the middle and everything spreading out from there and leading to the ocean where the docks are or were in this case, where the docks would be are instead a bunch of what look to be spikes or spears. We need to get to the top right side of the town to free the civilians and get them back to the forest if possible, I handed Triton the map for him to study and turned back to the conversation.

“We don’t have much time to prepare due to Light getting more aggressive with his demands to the crown and so we will be striking within the hour so ready yourself” And with that the meeting was adjourned and everyone left the tent calmly leaving Triton and I with Quick sitting on the table.

“You two know what to do correct?” Triton and I nodded at her question and she grinned at our immediate reply.

“Good, if you do your jobs right we won’t have to protect the people while fighting but if you do get pinned down try to handle it if you can if not then try to hold them off until one of us can assist you. Now go find Tiff, she’ll lead you to your entry point” And at that she walked out leaving us in the silence.

“Are you ready to do this?” I questioned Triton out of apprehension to which he responded

“ Are you?” I could see the same emotion in his eyes are he repeated the question back to me. I was a normal everyday human a few days ago and now I have escaped cultists, fought bandits, trained with a sword, traveled long distances and now i’m about to rescue hostages from town that was taken over by blood thirsty criminals that will kill me and everyone they could get their hands or hooves on if possible, so am I ready for this?

“I don’t know”

Chapter 10 part 3

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It just turned midnight when we got the signal, we had been told to hide by the left end of the town in the trees out of sight. Triton and I were led here by the griffiness named Tiff who didn’t say anything besides.

“Wait for the signal” before flying off without warning leaving us in the dark with tension in the air making us stay silent. While we waited I was checking my equipment, I left my bag back at the camp but I kept the light crystal in my pocket and wrapped in some extra cloth so it doesn’t give off light. My gloves were fine for now and my jacket was in good condition, the chestplate was still untouched and my pants and boots were tightened along with my swords strap.

“Hey” I looked at Triton and was about to ask why he’s whispering when he held out one of the knives from his bandolier

“Just in case” I hesitated before grabbing it with a nod in his direction then went to strap it to my belt in the back and when I finished I unsheath my sword and waited.

The signal was hard to miss as the blockade on the main road exploded and followed up with the sounds of battle jolting both of us out of whatever reviery we were in and making us run towards the town. We made it across the field with no problems and had just reached the wooden wall built around the town, I saw Triton open his beak to say something but I grabbed it a kept it shut as I heard hooves beat across the walkway above us.

“They breached the entryway, hurry” I heard a passing voice gallop past followed by what I think is two others and when I couldn’t hear them anymore I released Triton”s beak and looked back at him.
“Thanks, I’ll fly up and pull you over after” We both nodded at the plan and he left afterwards over the top of the ramparts and after a minute I peeked back over and lowered his claw for me and I jumped and grabbed it and he pulled me up and over onto a wooden platform giving me a view of the town. The town of Twinleaf probably looked pretty nice but now it was dirty and run down and because of the fire from the attack you could see where the battle is taking place at the front entrance. I tapped Triton to get his attention and pointed down to the ground and he nodded when he got my idea and grabbed my arm and jumped off with me coming along, he opened his wings when we got close to the ground to slow us down and we landed unharmed.

“Let me see the map” I whispered to Triton and he whipped out the map and handed to me, we are currently across town from where the civilians are being held and we have at most an hour before the distraction moves to the main fight so we need to run. I handed Triton the map and started to jog through the alleyways with Triton following me while listening for any wing beats or the sound of steps getting closer.

We had just reached the main road of the town when we heard voices but couldn’t make out what they were saying, we had to keep still and wait for them to pass which they did without problem, and we were about to step off the main road when we heard it a loud BOOM! Ringing through the air and making me and Triton jump and slap our hand on eachothers mouths before slowly looking up at the rooftops nearby… They have a cannon. Who mounts a cannon on top of a house! It was the type of cannon you would see on a pirate ship but old and rusty

“What?” I could hear Triton through his beak yelling this and apparently so could whoever was aiming the cannon as it slowly turned towards our direction.


“Run” Both of us ran towards the building the cannon was on top of so it couldn’t hit us, but the moment we left that spot the cannon fired and the resulting explosion sent us flying towards it. The heat hurt only for a second before the adrenaline kicked in and we rolled to a stop in front of the building a bit disoriented and with our ears ringing.

“We need to take out that cannon before it kills anyone!” I could barely hear Triton yell but nodded, I stood up and ran around the side of the building and climbed the uneven wooden planks and I could hear Triton’s wings flapping while I climbed. On the roof was two diamond dogs manning or dogging the cannon with a stack of cannonballs nearby, I threw myself over and pulled out my sword while I stood up but the dogs were on me before I could attack. I tried to slash one but I had to stop to catch the paw he tried to claw me with while the other aimed the cannon towards us, He was stronger than me and was slowly pushing me back off the edge and would have succeeded if an eagle cry didn’t distract him for a moment and made him look past me for a moment giving Triton the chance to fly past me and crash his closed claw into the dogs muzzle sending him flying back into the cannon knocking him out and knocking the cannon up and backwards aiming it right in the face of the other diamond dog who flinched back and out of the way of the cannon but near the edge giving me an idea, I ran up and grabbed a cannonball and tossed it to the dog.

“Hey, catch!” He did catch it but it pushed him back and almost over the edge of the building but they grabbed the lip of the cannon to keep steady. I heard clicking noise and looked to see Triton lighting the cannon fuse with the fire starter and grinning a bit and looked back to see the dogs eyes widen in shock then push the cannon straight up and back down at us and we respond in kind. We were pushing the cannon back and forth trying to not get shot and at some point the dog had thrown the cannonball up and it landed inside of it somehow. This went on for a few moments and might have looked comical to some but it was pretty nerve wracking to us and at some point the diamond dog had enough and when the cannon descended on his side he reached over and stuck his claw into my collar bone but luckily the armor stopped it from hitting skin but it still hurt quite a bit. When the dog tried to remove his claw it wouldn’t move meaning we were stuck together while a live cannon was pointed into his chest.

“Oh no” I just braced myself as the cannon went off with two cannonballs inside of it launched into the chest of a diamond dog at point blank distance and instead of tearing him to pieces the ball got lodged in his chest sending him and me along for the ride as he dragged me with him with his claw in a death grip on my armor.

“Michael!” I could hear Triton fading into the distance as I flew through the air with the wind wiping into my face and past my ears, I could hear someone screaming and it took a moment for me to realize it was me. At some point the dead diamond dogs paw came loose letting me rotate a bit in the air, my gaze wandered to where the battle was taking place and I didn’t like what I saw. We’re losing, I could see the minotaurs team struggling against the enemy and being pushed back. I tried to see more but I could feel us hitting the summit of our arc and start to go down again, my first instinct was to curl up in a ball and hope for the best and that’s exactly what I did.

We were heading straight for a medium sized run down house, the corpse hit it first leaving a hole large enough for me to pass through but after that I closed my eyes and all I could feel is my body hitting something slanted making me roll then hitting the corpse again and hitting the floor and stopping. My whole body was one big bruise and I had a few small cuts in my jacket, but I was alive and breathing. I looked up at my entryway and saw how I survived, the floor had been caved in a bit and was slanted down and into a hanging chandelier and there hanging impaled by his face was the dead dog on the chandelier acting like a speed bump basically. I slowly stood and waited to see if anything else would happen, I almost fell again from weak legs but slowly but surely I stood then glanced around and shrugged when nothing happened, I was about to walk off but the floor creaked loudly then started to cave in with me in the middle and before I could move it fell down into some basement with me standing on top covered in dust, wood, and dog and human blood. When the dust settled I stood up again and dusted myself off and sighed before saying in frustration

“Why is nothing going to plan!”

Chapter 11

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There come a time in anyone’s life where they have to question what they are willing to deal with today, some try to just make it through the day so they can do what they want another time while others don’t have such a luxury and have to deal with their plans going haywire at the first signs. Michael only had one job, make it to the hostage civilians and escort them somewhere safe, but of course he had to be nice and stop the other from getting blown up by a somehow magic cannon which then launched him through the sky and crashed him and the corpse of diamond dog through the roof of the building they were looking for along with alerting probably every enemy in the nearby vicinity without anyone to back him up so when the unicorn guard keeping the civilians locked in here came down the stairs moments after he stepped down from the pile of rubble he rode down on Michael only had one response to the dumbfounded guard that peeked through the opened cell to see what happened.

“Fuck this” Forgoing the sword altogether Michael grabbed the partially opened cell door and slammed it closed on the stunned unicorn smashing into his head with a dull thud before the unicorn promptly collapsed unconscious from the blow. Silence reigned for a while while the occupants stared at their odd guest who just knocked out their warden in silent shock and amazement that is until a voice sounded out from the corner of the room.

“That was amazing, who are you?” A teenage diamond dog walked up from the corner of the room wearing nothing but a frayed red neckerchief and a few nicks and scratches could be seen through his ruffled fur. His eyes were a bit dull from the somber atmosphere that no doubt hung over them all but now had started to regain their bright emerald color.

“I’m here to get you out of here and away from the battle above us, there’s supposed to be two of us but he has to catch up so we’ll see him in a bit” Michael responder while checking himself over for any serious injuries and when he reached his lower back he felt a sticky wetness and brought his hand back to see his fingers covered with some blood. Now that he was aware of the injury a throbbing sensation started to emanate from the area making him need to lean against the cell bars for a moment out of pain and this didn’t go unnoticed from the other inhabitants of the room.

“Excuse me um… sir are you injured?” A tan unicorn stepped forward with a slightly haggard appearance, she had a blond mane with matching warm eyes and a cutie mark of two bandaids crossed over each other.

“Um yeah” At the strained response she seemed to straighten up and smile a bit.

“well I am rather proficient at first-aid spells, I could patch you up if you’ll allow me?” When she finished speaking her horn started to glow a sunset orange and she waited for his consent to heal him to which Michael just turned and lifted his shirt up to show the long slice going along the width of his lower back that still had blood oozing out slowly.

“This will only take a moment so please hold still” The unicorn approached the injured human and tilted her horn towards the cut and slowly the blood was wiped away and the cut slowly knitted together leaving a fresh scar along is back. When she finished healing the cut Michael shivered violently then pulled his shirt back down slowly so he wouldn’t touch the blood still on his shirt or pants.

“Thank you, now is there any more civilians trapped in here?” The one who replied was a donkey that had gauze wrapped around his head.

“No, were the only ones who were captured, the others were released so word would get out to the capital about the ransom but some … didn’t make it” the donkey finished with its head bowed and a moment of silence passed while everyone thought of the ones they lost, that is until they heard a groaning sound from the door interrupting the silence. The guard that came to check on his prisoners was still knocked out on the floor in the doorway and was now slowly waking up while rubbing their head disoriented.

“Wha-” He was promptly cut off by Michael kicking the door closed again knocking him out for the second time but this time he was softly snoring and seemed to be dreaming peacefully.

“Okay, now not the time to mourn the dead we can do that after this is all over but for now let’s get out of here” Michael was about to turn and lead them out but the diamond dog from before spoke up again.

“Wait! Some of us had weapons that were taken from us maybe we could help” The hound stepped forward with a pink pegasus pony with a purple mane done up in a ponytail with a look of excitement and determination respectively in their eye.

“If we find them, then we’ll talk about it.” With that the human turned and went through the door with the other occupants of the room following him while stepping quietly over the incapacitated guard who now sported two large nasty looking knots on either side of his head. The jail cell led out to a corridor with other empty cells that led up to a staircase with a few lit sconces line the walls as a primary source of light, when the leading group of the human, Diamond dog, and pegasus reached the stairs there was a loud snapping noise from above them and no even seconds after they heard the loud sound of something crashing into the jail cell and the sound of something splashing. It was then Michael remember the diamond dog corpse that was hanging from the chandelier when he fell through the floor and the first one to address the sound was the unicorn that healed Michael earlier.

“What was that?” and before anyone could turn and check what the sound was Michael called everyone’s attention and pushed the pony along up the stairs.

“Nothing’s wrong keep moving” After he ushered the residents up the stairs they had to bare witness to the destruction that happened during Michael’s ‘entrance’.

“Did you do this?” The young hound asked this question as the rest of the people filed out of the staircase with Michael being last up so when he heard the question everyone was looking to him again for his answer.

“Well they asked me to drop in, so I did” Michael tried to play it off with a joke and while it seemed to work with most of them, the diamond dog’s eyes seemed to sparkle when he looked at the human before his eyes trailed over to a barrel that was knocked over during the entrance and peeking out of the top of the barrel was multiple handles to a variety of objects.

“Hey! they’re over here” The young canine picked up the barrel back onto its right side and reached inside and pulled out what seemed to be a wooden sword with green rune like designs near the hilt, it looked sharp enough to leave a cut but nothing lethal. Next the pegasus stepped up and the diamond dog reached in for her and pulled out a bow and a quiver full of real arrows, but besides those the only things left in the barrel were crudely shaped clubs and makeshift weapons like shovels and rakes.

“Now that you got your weapons let get out of here, my partner should be nearby” Michael turned and walked around the large gaping hole and went for the door to leave.

“We should probably hurry, my entrance has most likely attracted the attention of some of the bandits nearby” While speaking Michael was opening the door and when his view of the outside wasn’t obstructed anymore he was greeted with two crossbows being pointed at him by a griffin and a earth pony with a unicorn between them with their horn lit from across the street.

PoV Change: Michael’s PoV

“That is just my luck” I slowly tried to raise my hand to my sword on my back but one of the bowman perked up and was ready to shoot me for any reason so I froze with my right hand hovering over the handle of my sword. We were in a stand-off and they knew it, if they just shot at me there was the chance they could hit their only bargaining chips and if they came closer I could knock them out somehow but the same could be said for me so we just had a stare down. While we stood in silence with the civilians hiding behind me, but that changed when in the area between the four of us a black feather slowly floated to the ground… and I smiled.

What happened next was a flurry of action as a smoke bomb fell from the sky to obscure our views of each other so I took that chance to jump forward while unsheathing my sword from my back and when I landed I could hear an arrow hit the wood where I was standing moments ago and seconds later the griffin bowman burst through the smoke and was startled that I was there and was rewarded by a swift hit to the temple by the flat of my blade knocking him to the ground then getting knocked out by my foot to his beak and then I turned to where I thought the unicorn was and through a break in the cloud of smoke I could see the unicorn charging their horn with a pink aura and I only had seconds to bring of my sword to defend myself when a large beam of magic left their horn and when it made contact with the blade it felt like someone took a high powered pressure washer and fired it at me but after a moment of struggle the blade cut through the energy re-angling the now two beams in two different direction then slowly it petered out. The shockwave from the blast had cleared the smoke and the unicorn was staring at me in terror before bolting into an alleyway leaving me standing there with the sword glowing from the friction and me with my hand feeling like they’re on fire.

“You’re a sight for sore eyes” I said this to Triton who was standing over the other bowman while I nursed my hands trying not to cry out and he just stood there of a moment blinking before shaking himself out of whatever stupor he was in and responding.

“Sorry I took so long, got a little held up but I was still able to save your sorry hide so I guess we’re even in the saving department” I nodded to my friend and rolled my eyes while putting the sword away then turned to the townspeople but they were just standing there and staring at us especially the young diamond dog and it was getting pretty creepy.

“What?” The question seemed knock some sense into them and they exited the building and started to surround us waiting for orders.

“Now that we’re all here let’s get out of here before anymore show up, last I checked there are two direct entrances to the town the front entrance and a smaller and more guarded back exit behind the mayor's house.” I turned to Triton as he fished out the map we were given of the town and our exit route.

“The distraction at the front was so the back exit would be weaker or even unguarded so we could escape and get you a safe distance away” My gaze wandered over everyone and I could see most of them were confident they could make it but some seemed to be nervous and ready to run which is what we want for now.

“Alright let’s move!” I turned towards the center of town with Triton at my side as we ran and judging from the sounds we were being followed by the civilians and no one was speaking leaving it quiet beside the sound of appendages hitting the ground. We had been running for a few minutes with no obstructions so far so I decided to strike up a conversation with Triton.

“Hey, where did you get those smoke bombs?” I was genuinely curious because I don’t remember being given any during the briefing.

“Oh I found them along with a few other stuff in the storage room while I was putting on the armor and when I asked someone they said go ahead so I helped myself” He started flying for a bit while he rummaged through his bag and pulled out two more smoke bombs and a small bag of what look to be caltrops and handed them to me.

“Don’t worry, I got a few more where those came from” I grinned at him while putting the smoke bombs is my pocket and tying the bag to my belt for ease of use.

“Thanks man, these might come in handy” I responded as he landed and continued to job along with me only slightly winded from flying.

“No problem, now let’s just hope nothing else goes wrong” When Triton said those cursed words I wanted to slap him across the beak so hard! I never got the chance as we had reached the mayor’s house, but we weren't alone. When we ran up with the civilians in toe, a whole squad of seven different species greeted us, some with crossbows others with swords and knives, but the worst one standing in the middle holding a beaten and injured Quick in the air by her mane was none other than … Light Spire.

Chapter 11: The Final Battle

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Michael POV:

“Quick…” I heard someone whisper her name from behind me which brought my attention back to her battered body, she was covered with various cuts all over her body that were staining her coat a crimson hue and her right foreleg was crooked in some places making me assume it’s broken, but altogether painting a very grotest image making me take a deep breath so I don’t panic. I felt a nudge in my leg and glanced down at Triton who made a motion with his beak to look past Light Spire, and there standing quietly was Tess the griffiness.

“Well, well, well, looks like the children are sneaking out for a party now doesn’t it” Light tilted his head towards his henchme… ponies who just laughed along with him.

“Hmm, what do you think we should do with them hun?” He turned the hopefully unconscious body of Quick towards him and had her lean into his ear like she was speaking

“Oh you think we should punish them darling, but doesn’t that seem too harsh they’re just some young foolish foals” I felt revolted when he had her body float back and shook her head hard like she was disagreeing with him sending drops of blood and other vital fluids flying then had her lean in again.

“You think we should… Kill Them! Don’t you think that’s a tad extreme?” He acted shocked for a moment then grinned evilly as said

“Well, your the boss, love” Then he hurled Quick’s body away at high speeds making her hit the ground and skip off of it and into a wall of a partially collapsed building opening even more cuts leaving her bleeding on the ground. I wanted to run over and help the poor girl but we still had multiple crossbows trained on us and i didn’t want anymore blood spilled because of us..

“Ya know, most creature would have ran away or declined if they were offered a chance to attack one of the most feared mercenaries in equestria, but you two apparently have balls made of dragon scales so what i’m wondering is what could that sad excuse of a leader offer you to make you take part in her suicide mission?” Light was slowly walking in a counter clockwise path toward Triton and I while doing his equivalent of an evil monologue and was waiting for one of us to respond to his question, we needed to stall for time so I spoke.

“Well like they say there is a fine line between bravery and stupidity, but what I want to know is what would you get from taking over some random town on the very edge of one of the largest countries” I started to walk the same direction of him while keeping him the same distance from me as to not tip him off of my plans.

“Heheheh, i’ll have to keep that one. As for what I get out of this… Nothing, other than getting the opportunity to go up against some of Celestia’s finest of course” That actually threw me for a loop for a moment so I foolishly responded.

“You want to be caught?” At my question Light started to laugh softly slowly building up to a hysterical laughter, by now we had switched sides and he was by Triton and the civilians.

“Who said anything about getting caught? What I want is that feeling, that feeling of ending a life after fighting for your own, that feeling of euphoria when you slit the throat of a guard and watch the light leave his eyes, The WARMTH of the BLOOD splash onto your coat” he was slowly creeping up to the civilian while saying this and watching with madness in his eye as they shrunk back in fear of him.

“But most of all, the glorious FEAR that you can see in their eyes before the end comes, that is why I fight, why I kill, why I do all of this” After finishing his speech he turned back to me and started stalk towards me while slowly unsheathing his sword with his magic.

“Now be a good guest and show me a good time” I reached up and hurried to pull out my sword as he launched towards me with a possessed fever, he slashed downwards with his sword to fast for me to block so I had to throw myself away from him to his right letting his sword cleave down into the road easily, his sword was normal in sword terms ,but the whole blade was glowing a faint yellow with tiny arcs of electricity jumping off it and into the ground scorching it a ashen black.

“Aww don’t run now, the fun’s just started” with ease Light was able to pull the sword out of the ground and stalk towards me again, I rolled back to my feet and readied my sword for the next attack while slowly stepping back away from him.

“I may not know what you are, but I know from looking at you that you’re just boy pretending that everything will be FINE” At the end of the sentence he swung the sword again but with me ready I was barely able to block it with the flat of my blade but it still knocked me back and unbalanced me.

“Well, sorry to disappoint you boy but this won’t end well for you Hah!” with a quick leap forward Light swung the flat of their blade at me from my left and because I was unbalanced I was only able to bring up my arm to cover my head so my arm took most of the damage which I was positive would bruise terribly, but for now I tuned out the pain as I was shoved to the side by the force of the blow nearly sending me to the ground. At this point I was beginning to realize how out classed I really was and how lucky i’ve been up to this point, when the thought of death crossed my mind I started to shiver from the cold bite of fear pulse through me and it seems Light noticed as well.

“Aww, it seems the child is starting to realize how out of his depth he is” His grin widened as continued to slowly trot towards me, each one of his steps matched my own as I tried to stay out of his reach but that was in vain as he lunged out and tried to stab me with the tip of his blade. I was only barely able to dodge his thrust while it cut a rather large slice through the leather chestpiece, but it left him open enough to get a sloppy swing in a his head and I would have gotten a pretty good it in too if he didn’t lean his head away so it only left a shallow cut next to his mouth leaving a small trail of blood to flow down. He stopped at the sudden attack then looked at and smiled fully while licking up the blood next to his mouth.

“That’s what I want to see! C’mon now HIT ME!” Light didn’t even raise his sword for his next attack as he threw himself at me in a full body tackle sending me flying a good while away from and knocking the wind out of me for a second.

“How about this, if you can survive this attack I won’t kill your friends or the civilians over there, but if you can’t take it then… well you can guess what’ll happen” He started to chuckle lowly as his horn glowed with more magic and his sword seemed to crackle with more wildly sparking electricity that seemed to be getting stronger with every moment.

“Michael dodge!” I heard Triton trying to warn me and I tried to heed said warning y standing and getting ready to move but it was too late as Light Spire swung the sword in a wide diagonal arc at me and a yellow ring of spinning electricity launched at me at breakneck speed and hit the flat of my sword with the weight of bull baring down at me, I braced my sword with both hands but it wasn’t enough as I was thrown into the air by the attack. The impact itself shook my brain from the hit, but I was able to at least make it so I was thrown away from the blasts past. I felt myself flip maybe twice before landing hard on my stomach, the air completely knocked out of me this time leaving me struggling to breath while the dust settles from the explosion of the blast landing behind me.

“Hmm you survived, i’m actually impressed” I couldn’t see Light at the moment but I could hear him speak along with the slow sarcastic applause he was giving me, after a moment I was able to bring myself up to a crouch while the dust finally settled giving me a direct line of sight with Light was now sitting there calmly clapping while his sword was stabbed into the road next to him, after our sad excuse of a fight Light only had one red line of blood on his cheek staining his white coat but leaving his studded leather armor untouched while I probably look like I just rolled through a burning chainsaw factory.

“Ya’know that performance almost makes me want to consider honoring our deal, but… where’s the fun in that… shoot them all” my eyes widened as the grunts lifted their crossbows and aimed them at the crowd and a feeling of restless energy seemed to enter me as I watched the elders try to protect the youngest and then… they fired.

“NOOOO!” I could see the arrows let loose from their strings and slowly fly through the air towards their intended victims, I could see the looks of horror and sadness on the townsfolk and friend and it all… slowly… came… to… a… stop. Everything around me was slowed to the point of not even moving, at first I thought this happened when your about to die, but after a minute that probably wasn’t even an actual second I realized I could move while everyone was suspended in time. I stood and moved towards the arrows out of curiosity and it turns out everything isn’t suspended in time… i’m just moving so fast that everyone looks like their standing still, realizing the opportunity presented to me on a silver platter I set to work. I turned every arrow around and pushed them back towards their sender which to me took about a minute or two which wasn’t even a second in real time i’m guessing, but after that I started to get slightly dizzy which might be a warning that whatever this was is ending soon so I turned my attention to Light Spire who is still grinning like a mad man in the direction of where I was before. I started to think about everything he’s done is the short time I knew about him, he threatened my friends, innocent people, took over and basically enslaved a town and its residents, and lastly… I glance over to Quick’s bleeding and broken body and made my decision, I stated to walked over to Light Spire’s frozen body with a look of cold resolve and slowly started to gain speed and when i was about to reach him while running at full tilt I raised my sword and when he was in range I swung down with all of my strength.

Chapter 12: Recovery

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Triton PoV:

It all got out of claw so fast, it started with me finding out about the missing merchants that usually travel through the area and wanting to find out what’s happening at the next town and now here we are, roped into liberating a whole town from psychotic bandits who have a leader that can shoot lightning out of his sword apparently! At first I didn’t worry about him and only worried about having Michael back in case of any enemies then we had to take down a cannon so it doesn’t kill everybody and while doing so Michael was launched away along with one of the cannoneers and into the building full of civilians so I had to fly as fast as I could to follow them leaving me winded but I was still able to reach him as he encountered some of the enemy bandits. The battle was short thanks to some of my smoke bombs but soon after we ran into Light Spire himself along with a few of his subordinates all armed with crossbows and swords, Michael tried to face him but was losing ground quickly and was at the end of his rope. Then Light gave him an ultimatum of surviving his attack or he would have his troops shoot us all down, I could do anything to help or else they might shoot so all I could do was warn Michael as Light seemed to charge his sword up with his magic and fling it at him with destructive force.

Michael was barely able to deflect the blast off of his sword, it’s a wonder that thing hasn’t snapped in half by now. While Michael was able to deflect the blast somewhat at the expense of his footing the building behind him wasn’t as lucky as him, when the slash hit the wall of the derelict building it almost seemed to be cut in half by the blast until it exploded leaving only burning wood and stone behind. I was so mesmerized by the pure destructive force that I didn’t hear what Light said next, but I did hear the sound of crossbows cocking and the horrified gasps from the ponies standing behind me giving me enough hint to what is happening. I tried to spread out my body over the two ponies behind me in an effort to shield them from a painful fate, but when I was about to turn there was a bright flash of blue light and the smell of ozone seemed to permeate the air around me. I looked back to the fight to find out what happened, only slightly noticing my fur and feathers standing on end from static. What I saw confused and morbidly relieved me in the worst of ways, Standing there was Michael looking down at the ground with his sword gripped in his hand dripping with someone’s blood. A slow glance down showed me the owner of said liquid as the headless body of Light Spire greeted me in the only way it could, I idly remembered the arrows that were supposed to skewer me and the civilians and slowly panned my vision over to where the underlings of Light used to stand key word ‘used’, each one had a single arrow lodged deep in their skull giving them each an incurable case of death with no possible recovery.

“Michael?” I slowly crept towards my friend wondering about his personal health until when I close we gave a shuttering jerk then let go of his sword making it clang on the ground followed by Michael himself as he collapsed down into my arms while shaking violently. I was snapped out of my shock and was filled with alarmed concern for my friend. I had to yell to the towns people to help me with him and Quick, two ponies came forward. The first was blond in coloring while the other was violet, they helped me stop Michael from going into seizures and get him stable then helped me bandage both him and Quick up until we could get the both of them a proper hospital. Another pony came forward and told me he used to be the mayor of the town and would be happy to let us stay in his manor until they recover which I gladly accepted. They gave me Light Spire’s sword while we were carrying Michael and Quick to the house as a trophy or something I don’t really care for blades so I just accepted it and hurried along. Once we had left Michael and Quick inside the manor we had everyone else evacuate until the battle was over which they had no problems with, I stayed in the manor with Michael and Quick tending to their injuries and waiting for the coming end of the battle.

With the death of Light Spire the battle ended just as fast as I predicted, most of Light’s so called troops were Mercs he employed himself so without him they have no reason to be there anymore and left. I’m told that all the remain bandits that were loyal to Light were captured and held in a different holding cell while they wait for the royal guard to come take them away. Quick woke up first as her injuries were more numerous then serious according to one of the doctors that came to help the two warriors, she was pleasantly shocked to find out Light was dead and who his killer is as well. She seemed to look at us in a new light but her newfound respect for us was eclipsed by the news that Tess the griffiness that brought us to them had betrayed them and still escaped with no consequences. With her injuries still affecting her she was unable to go after her, but after further prompting from her doctor she let it go and rested with her men who had taken up residence in the town as the new militia with Quick being the leader. It had been three days since the battle of Twinleaf and the town was slowly recovering, most of the building have been rebuilt with the power of magic from the resident unicorns and have been enchanted to be fireproof now incase of another attack in the future, Michael’s injuries have healed but he still hasn’t woken up and I pretty worried about him and his mental state. His clothes were shedded terribly during the whole battle, the jacket he usually wears is in tatters and is barely being held together from all the burns and cuts on it. His chest piece was pretty damaged as well but it was easy to replace along with his pants and shirt but his jacket is a lost cause for now, we have replacement clothes ready for him when we wakes up. The doctors he should be waking up soon but now i’m having doubts about whether they know what their talking about.

It been another day since the battle and Michael is started to move more in his sleep, but he still won’t wake up. The doctors stopped me from waking him up myself when he seemed to be in a terrible nightmare so I just stayed with him and stopped him from hurting himself during his episodes. The diamond dog who name i’m told is Terren and his pegasus friend Bolt Shot came to visit Michael one last time before they leave tomorrow on the train now that it’s back up and running along with the rest of the town, They told me that their on a journey to find Terrens twin sister who was apparently abducted by pirates and they asked if we could keep a lookout for a female diamond dog by the name of Maron. I said we would keep an eye out for her as they left to go prepare for the journey ahead of them, the thought of them need to restock on provisions helped me remember that some of the townspeople had gifts they wanted to give us before we left in gratitude for what we did. I went to check on Michael in the room we were loaned in the manor and sadly he was still asleep and unmoving, I had a moment of morbid humor of comparing him to a corpse before a wave of guilt and dread came over me before I went to close his door while subtly hoping my friend would wake up soon.

Chapter 13

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At the end of the battle
Michael’s PoV:

The moment time sped back up around me and Light’s head seemed to blast away from his body, my body was wracked with what felt like thousands of white-hot knives piercing into me. The sudden pain drowned out everything else making me not even realize I had fallen to the ground spasming in pain, I couldn’t even scream as my body jerked and twitched from the white hot needles of pain hitting me in places I didn’t know I could feel. I could barely hear what I think is Triton’s voice but was quickly fading along with my consciousness, but at the edge of my hearing I could hear… the faint echo… of laughter.

When my senses returned to me the first think I felt was the cold then slowly a dull pain made its home behind my eyes which made me open them and blink blearily until I could focus a small bit. When my vision cleared I was greeted to the sight of a mist filled voided spanning above me and when I turned my head I found I was surrounded by thick white mist that I could barely permeate with my sight, it took a moment for the new information to sink in and when it did I strung up onto my feet in alarm only to be hit with the biggest fit of nausea. My vision swam for a moment and I started to stumble around on the now noticeable smooth ground while trying not to throw up bringing me back to my hands and knees taking deep breaths, I stayed like this for a few seconds until I heard the sound of chuckling coming from in front of me making me look up with my still swimming vision. I could barely make out the figure of a man shrouded in the mist obscuring everything but his general shape, I could see him bring his hands up to his hips before speaking.

“Well aren’t you a sorry sight, let’s fix that shall we” his deep voice reverberated through the mist and sounded like it was coming from every direction at once as he slowly raised his arm and pointed it towards me and when his arm made its apex my nausea suddenly increased ten-fold and I could feel a burning feeling rush up throat until I closed my eyes and projectile vomited all over the ground leaving me feeling weak and my throat burning, I opened my eyes and was about to yell and question the figure when I caught a glance of my sick. Instead of the bile I was expecting a viscuse glowing azure liquid was splattered in front of me and seemed to repel the mist around it.

“That’s better, you shouldn’t even have this stuff in you until later so we’ll have to fix that quickly” The sound of the figure speaking jolted me back to the present moment making my need to question him even more important so I forced myself to stand with only a bit of dizziness then spoke.

“Who are you,where am I, and what happened to my friends?” I must have sounded kinda aggressive because the figure raised their hands in a symbol of surrender then responded calmly like one would a child which annoyed me slightly.

“Its okay your friends are safe and sound… well as safe as someone who liberated a town from a pack of bandits but safe nonetheless, you on the other hand are in a sort of coma after the little trick you did when you fought the leader so concerning your current location welcome to your mind!” The figure raised their arms in a way of welcoming someone then dropped them as he continued speaking.

“Well… the sleeping part of it at least, who I am isn’t really your concern but if you need something to call me just call me Argo it’s an old nickname. Now that all your questions have been answered let’s get to the main reason I brought you here” The Fig-Argo raised his hand towards me again and the azure fluid started to float and move on its own and move towards his open hand where it slowly turned black like the rest of him and disappeared.

“That stuff I just absorbed was basically biological super-charged plasma, its what let you move so fast during your disaster of a fight. Your not supposed to have this in your body but as it seems your body is regularly producing it now you need to learn how to fight properly with it or else you might just overload and explode leveling the planet and a good chunk of the multiverse which includes me, so it either I teach you how to use this or you need to somehow painfully extract it from your DNA which I doubt you can do so were going with my plan” Argo raised a hand and snapped his fingers making the fog slowly retract from around me leaving a wide open area that had only one other thing in it, a skeleton or what remains of one as all that was left was a human skull sitting atop a pretty big pile of dust much more than what a full skeleton would make when turned to dust. I took a step back from the pile in mild distrust then turned to speak to the voice again, but I was interrupted by the sound of rattling and the sound of sand moving making me whip back around to see the skull slowly rising into the air with the dust following and slowly transforming into a full skeleton.

“You might need this” This time the sound came from my right making me look in that direction to see the silhouette of Argo reel back then throw something in my direction fast, the sudden speed made me jump out of the way to protect myself but when it landed it speared blade first into the ground. The object that was thrown at me was my sword but with one key detail missing, the eye in the hilt was missing leaving just a gaping hole where it used to be. Through the hole I could see the skeleton fully completed and now was reaching down into the leftover dust and pulled out a rusty iron sword making me stand up and try to pull the out of the ground but it wouldn’t budge and the skeleton was starting to make it was over.

“You might want to hurry up a bit, it’s getting closer” the condescending voice of Argo made me snap back at him with.

“Are you TRYING to KILL ME?” I could hear him laugh under his breath for a moment before speaking.

“Ah you got nothing to worry about you can’t die here, but getting stabbed does hurt quite a bit” That didn’t help me in the slightest, I started to panic a bit as the skeleton came ever closer and closer until it was within striking distance then it brought up it sword getting ready to cleave me in two so as a last ditch effort I pulled so hard I heard my arms start to crack in odd places then as the skeleton’s sword was about to come down on me the sword in the ground finally gave but with how much strength I was putting into it it flew upwards very fast launching me back off my feet and onto my back and smacking the skeleton in the face with the flat of the blade knocking its head off and making the body lerch back in what I think is surprise.

“Wow that was pretty close, I hope you do better next time” I was about to respond to Argo with a sarcastic comment, but the ending of his sentence registered finally.

“NEXT TIME?” I turned back to the STILL standing body of the skeleton as it screwed back on its skull and seemed to glare at me with its lidless eyes then started towards me again but a bit quicker this time.

“crapbaskets” I pushed myself back to my feet and raised my sword in front of me in preparation for what going to happen and was right to do so as the skeleton crouched down and jump high into the air and tried to bring his sword down onto my head, key word is tried as I had already started running out of the way so when the skeleton landed its sword was lodged deep into the ground leaving his back open and giving me the chance to sprint over and lop him head off again letting bounce off it's still embedded sword. I let the feeling of victory flow over me for a moment before backing away from it while remembering that it will just stand up and get faster after beating it and that’s exactly what it did but something different happened this time, As the skeleton stood and put its head back on it slowly turned to me and stared at me with its dark sockets and slowly a red glow started to come from them like small pupils and spreading from there the sun bleached bones slowly turned a dark purple until it reached the sword which lost its rust and turned black started to give off mist like it was freezing.

“That doesn’t look good, you might want to move” The warning from Argo surprised me and made me look back at him for a moment until I whipped back towards the skeleton as it reared it blade up into the air and slashed it down at me and when it hit the ground large shards of ice the size of my legs grew up from the ground and was leaving a trail coming towards me, I had to dive out of the way as it continued past me leaving a line of sharp ice shards. I heard loud stomping coming from in front of me and looked up at the running visage of the skeleton as it hurried to strike me while I was down, I would be able to stand by the time he would reach me so when he got close I rolled to the side then spun on my back and kicked him into the ice shards leaving it stuck for a moment while got up and backed away again to collect myself.

“Clever, but you’ll have to get used to dodging until you tap into the plasma as your not leaving until you do” The sentence made me groan out loud and look at the skeleton as it escaped the ice… this is gonna take a while.

Chapter 14

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Unknown amount of days later

I’ve lost count of how long I been in here just fight and dodging this skeleton’s sword, exhaustion doesn’t seem to be a thing here as instead of wearing me out i’ve been slowly improving my reflexes and sword skill I even ended up creating my own style. Argo has only said small tips in hopes to speed up my so called training, but the advances i’ve had on the energy front is the ability to summon it for a moment so I can do a more watered down version of my now nicknamed Blade Time after Max Payne’s Bullet Time. After using it a few times i’m starting to get the principle around it, he ability doesn’t increase my speed it increases my reaction time and comprehension of said time that way I won’t hurt myself by moving at supersonic speeds and stopping suddenly. The first time I discovered this ability was when I was running on pure adrenaline meaning my body only cared about self-preservation so it hurt me afterwards ,but now that I can make it a conscious thought I have a version that won’t injure me from using it. I watched as the skeleton gained some distance from me with a giant leap backwards to the edge of the fog ring then seemed to ready it’s dark frost covered sword for a move I was very familiar with, the skeleton swung the sword down at the ground but instead of ice barreling towards me the ice started to surround him and when he was completely surrounded the skeleton wound up there sword again and struck the ice while spinning shattering it and sending large shards of ice flying at me. I stepped back for a moment before taking a deep breath and silently activating blade time, when I activate blade time I have no outward appearance change other than my eyes changing slightly. My eyes are naturally a chocolate brown but when blade time starts a ring of glowing azure grows around them showing that the ability is enhancing my sight and other functions, the only downside of this ability is that it’s tied to my mental stamina which I can still feel here so at most I can do about nine or ten of these a day if i’m not being to strenuous with them if I am then about half of that.

The approaching shards slowed down immensely but not completely leaving me a perfect path through them and to the vulnerable skeleton, I weaved my way through the field of ice slipping past some that posed no threat while breaking any that came close with my sword until I was right in front of my enemy, I was in mid-swing when blade time ran out letting me slow back down to regular time as I finally stabbed my blade through the skull of my opponent. Slowly the skeletons body when still and from the toes up it slowly turned back to dust and when it reached its head I heard a quiet whisper at the edge of my hearing.

“Well fought” and with that final word the skull disappeared along with the body and the dust pile blew away in some invisible wind and flew deep into the fog. I took a step back from the the diminishing pile in a small show of respect and quitely smiled to myself in pride of how far i’ve come ,but the moment was cut short as the voice of Argo cut through the mist from all directions.

“ Fantastic work ,that took a bit longer then I thought but who can say no to progress. Now that you have a way of using that plasma we’re no longer in danger of dying in a multiversal explosion and that means my work here is done, before you ask you will see me again just not anytime soon” I looked towards my right to where his silhouette had appeared and listened and was about to question him on how to leave but he beat me to it.

“If your about to ask how to get out of here you don’t need to this is your mind so once I leave you will inhabit your body once again and on that note it has been a pleasure to watch you slowly grow more competent with your sword and abilities but I must be off, please improve immensely so the next time I see you I will be impressed goodbye” and with that the dark silhouette of Argo seemed to dissolve into the mist along with the sword in my hands leaving me alone in the mist wondering when I would wake back up. My question was answered as slowly my feet seemed to sink down into the ground like I was standing in quicksand, panic started to rise in me until I hs is had the thought that this is how I wake up so just grit my teeth and beared it until it was at my next and held my breath until I blacked out suddenly.
Triton’s PoV:

It’s been closer to a week since the battle and Michael still hasn’t woken up, it’s getting better as his breathing has evened out and he doesn’t move as much in his sleep. I need to go shopping for more supplies for the train ride to our next destination, I walked over to the door and grabbed my bag before opening the door. I had to stop for a moment to fix the strap over and around my beak then pull out a piece of paper from my bag to make a list of what we need, it took a bit of searching and digging through my bag making me think I really need to organize my bag. I heard a noise behind me but just chalked it up to Michael rolling in his sleep or something, after a few more seconds of digging I was starting to get a bit irritated so I voiced my anger.

“Where is this stupid paper, it’s in here somewhere!?” I was expecting silence to reply to me not the familiar voice of my comatose traveling companion.

“Did you check the inside pocket it could be there” I didn’t even register the tired voice of my friend at first as I reached into the inner pocket and pulled out a few folded pieces of paper and grinned in satisfaction.

“Thank you…” I had turned to thank Michael but when I saw the struggling form of my friend trying to sit up it finally sunk in that he was finally awake, the shock made me drop the paper on the floor and slowly a smile made its way onto my beak.

“Your awake!” By the time those words even left my beak I was at his side and helping him up into a sitting position, Michael turned his head slowly and looked around the room in what I guessed was confusion so I explained what happened while he was out.

“After the death of Light the rest of the mercenaries he employed either surrendered or escaped now that the one paying them was dead, there were a few casualties on our side but not too many thankfully. Quick was pretty banged up but she’s healed up now and has decided to settle down in town as a sort of guard captain with the rest of her group joining it with her, the town itself has been repaired and rebuilt pretty quickly thanks to some magic and a lot of help from everyone.” Michael seemed pleased with the outcome and was about to ask about something but flinched and settled back down.

“Careful now you may be healed but your gonna be pretty stiff and sore for a while or at least until you get walking around again” He took a deep breath and nodded to me and pulled himself back up to a sitting position, I took a few steps away so I was close enough to steady him but far enough so he could try to stand up. With a deep breath he pushed off of the bed and put his feet on the ground then stopped and looked down at his toes then turned to me.

“Triton… where are my clothes?” I stifled a snort at his confused face and settled for a grin as I pointed at a pile containing his repaired clothes sans jacket also a little gift from the town.

“You clothes were pretty much scrap after the whole battle but they were easy to replace but you jacket was a lost cause as we had no way of fixing it after it was singed, cut ,and trampled during the battle so instead the local blacksmith modified your chestpiece and made this” I pulled out Michael’s new jacket with a bit of a flourish and looked over it, the remaining clothe from his old jacket had been used as a lining for this one so the interior was black and soft while the outside had been changed from a chest piece to a more leather jacket with sleeves now. The new sleeves were just as tough as the rest of it along with having metal elbow covers for his arms, the whole thing retained its black color and had the blue stripe running from the bottom up the jacket’s arm and ending in a circle on his shoulder. I handed the jacket to Michael who slipped it on along with the rest of his clothes and in my opinion it looked pretty nice on him and judging by the smile on his face he liked it as well, he seemed to glance around the room again before looking behind me and seeing his sword in its sheath leaning against the wall next the light’s sword which reminded me.

“Oh yeah the residence town wanted us to have light’s sword and Quick didn’t want it so it along with some supplies was our reward for helping out pretty cool huh?” Michael reached down past me and grabbed his sword and strapped it to his back in a practiced motion then grabbed light’s sword and gazed at it for a moment then shrugged and just attached it to his belt.

“Hey, where’s my bag?” I perked up at his voice, silently noting that his voice was scratchy from lack of water and pointed next to the door where a hook was jutting from it and had his back hanging from it which he smiled at and grabbed and put over his shoulder.

“Let’s get out of here, i’m so tired of being tired” He turned away from me and opened the door fully waiting for me to follow which I did happily while silently feeling relief for my friends health.
Michael’s PoV:

The transition from being in my mind and awakening was a bit terrifying but once I blacked out everything felt back in place besides feeling a bit stiff everywhere making it pretty hard to move at first but once I got back on my feet and had Triton explain everything along with the slight shock of awakening with only my underwear I got all my stuff together and wanted to leaving this town finally and get to the train, I was sick of sleep… for now, but nonetheless I was still slightly tired so I took it slow down the stairs and out the front door into the warm sunlight which woke the rest of my body up, I stopped and stretched in the light relishing in the feeling. I heard Triton close the door behind me and I turned to him as he spoke.

“So since we’re taking the train into Equestria proper we only need some basic food or snacks which I got yesterday so today I was thinking of letting you decide on where to go but we should hurry the train leaves in a few hours so maybe one store, two if were quick so where do you want to go” The way Triton explained it made it easy to see that he was excited to move on judging by the small grin on his beak so I just laughed a bit with my dry throat reminding me to get some water in me then glanced around the town that was looking much better then when I last saw it, you could clearly tell some building were brand new and others were repaired as the bright fresh coats of paint stood out more than the faded colors of old buildings but one building in particular caught my eye. The building was called the Magical Menagerie and looked to be full of small magic trinkets judging by the front window like a toy store but the sign hanging from the door caught most of my interest it said.

Enchantments Available inside” The idea of having magic tools was to tempting as I pointed at the colorful building and gestured him to follow which Triton did so willingly, the inside was structured like a toy store but that’s where the similarities end as the shelves were full of different glowing items ranging from simple stones and pebbles to small knives and bags, I approached the front counter with Triton trailing behind me a bit looking at the shelves. The front desk was being manned or ponyed by a brown unicorn with brown hair that was whispering quietly to two toys sitting on the counter beside him, one looked like a pony with a fish bowl on its head and was colored green and white and the other was a cow pony that was wearing a brown cowboy hat. I cleared my throat to get his attention which made him jump and look over at me and Triton who was also staring at him with slight confusion like I was so he slowly pushed the toys away from him and trotted closer to the counter to serve us.

“Umm welcome to the magical menagerie, sorry about that I was in the middle of… something anyway my name is Sandy Stones but everyone just calls me Andy what can I do for you?” I just stood there for a moment just looking at him then the toys then back to him before I just disregarded it and went to ask about the enchantments.

“What kind of enchantments can you do?” At the question the unicorn looked towards the back and lit his horn and a few moments later a list floated it was over to us and stopped in the air and opened for us to see. The first was the standard fire proof charm that would last for a year or two, a warmth charm, a cold charm, a light charm, a size increase charm, a shrink charm, a house enchantment, and a custom enchantment.

“What’s the house and custom enchantments?” My questions were immediately answered by the stallion with enthusiasm

“The house Enchantment is something I came up with, It works by first casting a waterproofing charm along with an insulation spell which includes the two heating and cooling charms and ending with a small scale space enhancing spell that will make the inside of the house larger but keep the smaller appearance” The first part sounded useful to apply to my coat but the last part where it makes the house like the tardis interested me the most as I could apply that to my bag to carry more stuff.

“The custom spell is just specific spell you can ask for and i’ll estimate a price for it, which would you like?” I looked to Triton and asked him how much money we have.

“We have about sixty bits remaining after restocking our stuff so that might be enough for one or two enchantments” I nodded to him and turned back to Andy who seemed to be staring at the toys again so I snapped my fingers to bring his attention back to me then gave my order.

“Can we have two space expanding spells on our bags, one on each?” He gave me a quizzical look before saying.

“You know that doesn’t make what’s in there lighter, right?” I nodded and he shrugger before gesturing with his hoof to hand him the bags which Triton and I did, Andy laided the bag down before us and closed his eyes and concentrated while alighting his horn. It was quiet for a few moments before a beam of yellow magic shot from his horn and onto our bags and after a few more seconds the glow faded from our bags and his horn and it was done.

“There all done, they should be about half a size bigger so that will be about thirty bits as that was one of my more taxing spells” I grabbed the bag and checked inside and nodded appreciatively at the sight of my bag being indeed bigger on the inside, while I check the bags Triton pulled the money out and gave the stallion the thirty bits and we turned to leave. The bags didn’t feel all that heavier but I didn’t have much int here besides a bit of food and a crystal, Triton seemed to regain the small bounce in his step and started to take the lead to what I hope is the train station as I don’t know this town as well as him.

“The station should be around here somewhere” I heard Triton speak to me without turning around while he scanned the area for our destination, I looked around as well as I was taller and could see more so I was easy to see the top of the train poking out over the stalls in the market area so I nudged Triton who looked at me questionaly but stopped when he saw me pointing in the direction of the train so we rushed the rest of the way there in fear of missing it. On the way many of the residence waved at us and yelled thanks which I tried to reciprocate but it was over fast as we reached the station, the train was just as gaudy from the show but it was our ticket to the griffin kingdom or at least our ticket to the boat that’s our ticket to the griffin kingdom. We walked up to the ticketstand which was being ran by another griffin but this one looked to be a different species of bird as their beak was more curved then Triton’s and looked to be much younger, The ticket master was leaning against the counter looking bored so when he saw us he just sighed and held up a talon and said.

“Buying or boarding?” I looked to Triton who started to rummage around in his bag for a moment before pulling out two tickets and saying.

“Boarding” The ticket griffin just took the tickets and waved us away so we just entered the train which appeared to be not long to depart, I saw a few familiar faces from the battle sitting in the seats we past and there were quite a few so we had to walk for a bit before coming to an empty booth so I unstrapped my swords and bag and sat down with them to my right against the wall and Triton sat across from me so he could see out of the window to our right.

“Whoa” I made a small sound at the train jerking and starting down the tracks and into edge of the desert meaning the first leg of our journey was over and who knows how many remained in our future.

Chapter 15

View Online

Michael’s PoV:

We had been sitting in the quiet for a few minutes until I started to get bored of it and tried to start a conversation with Triton.

“So um… got any stories to pass the time?” Triton seemed to notice my attempt at passing the time and seemed to blanch slightly at the subject choice.

“Um.. not really, besides stories about my sister she was the more adventurous of the two of us and ever since she left it been kinda dull up until this point so I got nothing” When he finished speaking Triton leaned back into his seat with a sigh probably thinking about his sister again because of me, the awkward silence reigned for a while until a sound could be heard in hallway outside the booth, a trolly cart carrying many different types of snack foods rolled past with a grass green earth pony mare with a lollipop for a cutie mark pushing it and asking passengers if they would like anything from the cart.

“I brought some food for us so were good” Triton answered for the both of us when the nice mare came up to us, she nodded and smiled as she went past and was almost out of sight until I heard someone call out to her from down the hall.

“Excuse me ma’am could I have some taffy?” I recognized the voice slightly so I leaned over and peeked behind my seat and to my surprise I saw the pegasus that I helped to free during the battle and apparently she saw me as well as she glanced over at me and her eyes seem to widen a bit before turning back to the trolly and receiving her candy then steping to the side to let them pass then turning to me.

“Oh! your the...thing that saved us, I thought you were still unconscious?” She seemed confused on what species I am so I let the thing comment pass for now and just introduced myself.

“My names Michael Mars and i’m a human, nice to meet you… “ I left the end open for her to say here name which she caught onto quickly.

“The names Eagle Eye and the name of your little fan is Terran” I was glad to hear he name but the comment about having a fan named Terran threw me for a loop and I was about to ask who, but Eagle Eye just turned and stuck her head into a booth behind us and said something into it then I heard the sound of something hitting the wall between us then the diamond dog from the town who I assume is Terran stumbled out of the booth and turned to see me leaning out of our booth and seemed to freeze for a moment before shaking himself out of whatever stupor he put himself in and speaking to me.

“H-Hello again um… you probably already know but my name’s T-Terran” He took a step closer to me and held out a paw which I grabbed and shook I also silently noted he was shaking slightly, i was about to speak up and introduce myself again but he spoke again cutting me off.

“I have so many questions for you… oh sorry I didn’t mean to interrupt you…” After apologizing for interrupting me Terren covered his mouth with his paws and stayed quiet… is he holding his breath? I stood up and walked out fully into the hallway and grabbed his paws and uncovered his mouth to which took a deep breath and panted for a bit before regaining his composure and blushing a bit out of embarrassment.

“Why don’t you two come sit with us so we can talk” I walked back into the booth and reclaimed my spot by the window with the other two following me and during the conversation Triton has been listening with muted interest and was about to go to sleep to pass the time, but woke up fully so he could be part of the conversation. Terren sat next to me while Eagle Eye just sat next to Triton who had to scoot over a bit so she could fit comfortably, when they were situated I asked the first question.

“So, where are you two traveling” both seemed to perk up at the question and turned to each other before turning back to me.

“Well it’s more like who were looking for” The one who answered me was Eagle Eye who then gestured for Terren to speak next.

“You want the short story or the long?” I was pretty interested in what could have happened, but Triton spoke up this time.

“Well we’re gonna be on this train for about a day or two so a long story is just what we need to pass the time” After ending his sentence Triton got comfortable and gestured for Terren to continue which he did.

“Well as you probably know diamond dogs live underground in colonies, but me and my sister Aurora were born runts and were abandoned by our parents above ground where we were found by a older pony couple, they were unable to have children so they adopted us and raised us as their own. We lived peacefully in their small town for years… until one day our village was raided by a group of bandits, they stole the villages valuables and kidnapped a few of the townsfolk including my sister. The only reason they escaped is because they used the townspeople as shields while they boarded one of our ports airships, the town itself suffered a bit of damage during the raid and in an effort to save my sister both my parents died along with a few others. Since the only family I had left was somewhere probably being forced to work for some filthy bandits i’ve decided to find her no matter what, along the way I met Eagle here who saved my butt from the jaws of a timberwolf pack and decided to come along to help me which was nice of her. The best way to find her for now is to goto areas with high bandit activity and once I beat them i’ll make them tell me where she is” Terren smiled confidently while Eagle just facehoofed at the plan that obviously has many large holes in it, an idea came to me when I remembered that his weapon was a wooden sword meaning it’s pretty challenging for him to inflict damage onto others and I just happened to have a new weapon that I don’t need.

“Well that seems to be a noble reason to travel, but I don’t think you’ll get far with only a wooden sword to defend yourself” I turned and reached for Lights sword that was still leaning against the wall under the window and brought it up and sat it on my lap so Terren could see it and when he did his mouth gaped open and I saw recognition flash in his and Eagle’s eyes.

“That’s Light Spire’s sword, y-your gonna give it t-to me? why?” I rolled my eyes and pushed the sword into his paws making him gaze down at it while I spoke.

“I already have a sword so I think it’ll get more use from such a noble quest like yours, also it would probably just collect dust with me” I noticed a subtle flash of fear go through his eyes when he looked at the sheathed blade, it only to a few seconds for me to realize why he was afraid of the blade so I place a reassuring hand on his shoulder and spoke softly to him.

“Hey your not him, you are your own person which means you can use this how you want meaning it can be a tool of good and not a object of destruction like Light wanted. I don’t think he ever named his sword so why don’t you?” The quick pep talk and idea to name the sword seemed to stick a cord within Terren so he slowly unsheathed the sword until all but the tip was showing and he gazed at it frowning and slowly his frown changed to a smile and he spoke.

“Empathy… i’ll name it Empathy, to remind me to be kind to others and to help whenever I can” I smiled and nodded at his newfound conviction and leaned back proud of myself for helping him, no matter how small it was.

“Thank you for this… really, you might have made my journey a whole lot easier for the both of us. We were talking for quite a while so let’s keep talking tomorrow okay” Terren nodded at me with gratitude in his eyes and turned to Eagle and signaled her to follow while carrying his new weapon and walked back to his booth down the hall with the pink pony following behind.

“Thank was *Yawn* nice of you” Triton yawned while speaking to me then started to stretch out and fill up more of the seat to get comfy.

“But they were right it’s getting pretty late so you should get some sleep, it should be about midday when we reach Appleloosa so then we can choose whether to continue to Dodge Junction or go all the way around to ponyville to get a *Yawn* connecting train straight to Baltamare when we get there *Snore*” I didn’t hear the second half of what Triton said before he fell asleep but I got the gist that we’ll be choosing where to go next when we get to Appleloosa, I looked out the window into the dark night and looked at the unfamiliar constellations until I started to get tired as well. I turned over and kick my feet up on my seat in an attempt to fall asleep, it took a few minutes of staring at the ceiling but the swaying of the train car lulled me to sleep finally.

“Hmm thou are an odd creature… what are thou strange one?” The voice stood out to me the most in the crowded halls of my school, usually no one spoke to me in between periods and I didn’t remember anyone I know who spoke in a shakespearean accent.

“This is most strange, it is unusual that our presence does not bring thou into lucidness” I was finally able to pinpoint the now puzzled voice and shot my eyes up towards the ceiling only to see a small blue horse with space in its hair staring at me with a question in its oddly emotion filled eyes. The horse was about to speak once again but was cut off by a foreboding rumbling that slowly grew louder and louder, The crowd of students paid the horse and the rumbling no attention as the two different creatures looked around for the cause of said rumbling. The sound of rushing water made me turn around to see a flood of glowing liquid fill the hall washing over my classmates with nothing slowing it down, it reached me and the horse in mere moments sending us flowing along with it at a breakneck pace. This continued for a moment until my head was able to breach the surface for a few seconds and I was able to see where we were going, I didn’t believe my eyes for a moment as I saw that instead of flowing down the hall I was falling down a vast waterfall down into mist covered pointed rocks that spelled death for me. From the corner of my vision I saw the horse from before falling with me until her horn gave off a dull flash and she faded from my sight, I was confused by the sudden disappearance but I was more preoccupied with the rocks drawing ever closer along with my rising terror and just when I was going to fall to my death my consciousness went dark.


I awoke with a jump when I felt the train car jump from the terrain making me bang my head on the seat, I looked up at the window to see where we were and I could see we had just enter the mountains before Appleoosa the name escapes me. I looked up at the barely visible sky and saw it was early in the morning meaning Triton wasn’t off when he said we might arrive around noon or a bit before, knowing sleep was out of my grasp I sat back up on my seat and stretched out which keeping in mind the low ceiling and was rewarded with the satisfying feeling of bones popping and settling back into place. I looked over a Triton and saw he was still deep asleep as he curled up on his side and used his wings like blankets to keep warm, I was reminded by my stomach that eating is necessary to survive but it grumbling like it hated itself and by proxy me so I reached over to my back and pulled out some apples to hold me over till later in the day where we can get or make some proper cooked food in us. As I was chewing my mind was drawn back to the off dream you were having, of course you don’t remember most of it but you do have a foggy grasp on some of the more important bits. I almost choked on some of flesh from the apple when I realized Princess Luna was in my dream and was almost swept away to her dream death, I felt slightly guilty for putting her through that but it faded when you realized you had no control over the situation and just let it drop for now or at least until it becomes more relevant. I wondered what to do in the meantime as I knew I wouldn’t be going back to sleep so it only took a bit before deciding to practice using my plasma a bit so I reached into my back and pulled out my old wallet and pulled out the now useless quarter and got ready to flip it, I flicked the quarter up into the air spinning quickly and when it was at the apex of its launch I activated blade time and the piece of metal slowed down immensely meaning I could see the sides clearly and it spun slowly and fell in slow motion back down to my hand. I took the chance to try and predict that it would land on heads then deactivated Blade time, the coin resumed its speed and fell down into my hand. When I opened my hand it showed me it landed on tails making me wrong in the end which I was slight upset about but I just shrugged and tried again until it was easy for me to predict how things move during Blade time.

A few hours later

*Yawn* Michael? Your already up?” The voice of a drowsy Triton knocked me out of my concentrated state and made me miss the quarter as it dropped passed my hand onto the floor making me bend down and pick it up while I responded to Triton.

“Yeah, I woke up a few hours ago and couldn’t go back to sleep so i just sat here and practiced” Triton rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and looked at the coin I was holding between my fingers with mild confusion and interest in his eyes.

“What are you practicing?” His question made me remember that I never told him about my abilities or where I came from so I got ready for a pretty long story.

“Well remember when I was fighting Light and when he tried to shoot everyone he along with his grunt were dead in a flash of light” Triton nodded and seemed to lean in to show he was intently listening.

“From my perspective everything slowed down to a stop giving me the chance to move the arrows and to kill Light then when it ran out you know what happens from there” I refrained from telling him about the voice in my head and went with this instead.

“While I was out I could feel the energy used to do that running through me so now that I have a sort of sensitivity to it i’m using it to try and replicate it with mild success” This made Triton grin in anticipation at the possibilities then he spoke.

“So you have the power to stop time now… thats Awesome!” I was right to assume he would be excited for me and I smiled right along with him, I resumed flipping the coin and trying to guess but this time Triton wat watching and he saw my eyes slowly grow a glowing blue circle around my iris. Everything slowed once again, but this time instead of internally I said my guess out loud.

“Heads” Speaking broke my concentration and let time resume around me letting me catch the coin and show I was correct which had Triton in awe along with a fleck of confusion which I assume is directed at the coin which showed the head of George Washington printed onto it.

“Oh yeah I should probably explain where i’m from and how I got here” I threw the coin back into my open bag and started another stony before Triton could interrupt.

“To begin with I should start with the fact that i’m not from this planet or even this dimension entirely and please save your questions till after the whole explanation” I stopped Triton from questioning me before I was don’t to which he seemed slightly annoyed but he understood why so he sat up straight and listened closely with a serious expression on his face.

“I lived in a dimension where magic and magical creatures like griffins and unicorns only exist in myths and legends meaning my species called Humans are the only sapient species on the planet maybe in our whole universe but we don’t know yet. Somehow some extremist cult on this world got their hands on some magic universe destroying artifacts or something and decided to go on some sort of religious crusade and try and ‘cleanse’ the multiverse” I made air quotes with my fingers when I said the word cleanse and decided to leave out my prior knowledge of his world and continued.

“Now this artifact works by latching onto something or someone from the targeted universe and somehow uses that link to detonate that universe and use it as a sort of springboard to bring the linked object to this world, when the linked object is living this cult tries to kill or use these creatures but i’m guessing a bit there. I don’t know what they do with inanimate objects” I stopped for a moment to study Triton’s expression and was confused by the look of realization he had slowly dawning over his features and when he realized I stopped talking and was looking at him and went to explain.

“I’ve always questioned this aout equestria, if the majority of the population is ponies then why do they have product and tools that require fingers or talons to use. My family alway got a pretty good discount on tools at the market and this might be why, they must have been brought here and recreated but they could find a way to make it pony friendly” His idea seemed to make quite a lot of sense as that had been a big question in the my little pony community so I nodded along with him while giving it some thought before continuing my story now that neither of us were speaking.

“Anyway, when it happened it me I was to be honest terrified as my world slowly turned to void and I was pulled away from everything I knew and loved” I was silent for a moment while I remembered my family and friends before continuing.

“I woke up strapped to an alter about to be sacrificed to a discount Ind… Daring do villain who didn’t know the difference between arms and the arms of my jacket” That gave Triton and I a laugh, when we calmed I started again.

“I knocked him out and cut myself free with his knife then I tried to escape, I ended up being seen by some other cultist ponies and they sounded the alarm so I just ran while the whole place was after me. I ended up finding the artifact that brought me here and tried to get it and use it to get me home, instead when I touched it I blacked out and when I woke up again I was outside on a cliff edge that had been cleaved from the side of a cliff from there I just wandered until I found a town and you know what happened from there” When I got to the part about an artifact I gestured to my sword making Triton look back and forth between me and my sword with surprise and when I finished my story he went to ask something.

“If this has been happening for a while and you have one of the artifacts does that mean there's more parts to it?” I turned to gaze at the sword as I answered him.

“Most likely and i’m probably the only one who has a chance of stopping them so was hoping we would find some clues on their locations and stop them” Saying it out loud made it sound much harder than I thought it would be, I felt a moment of dread for the road ahead of me but I was brought out of my dark thoughts by Triton hitting my leg to get my attention.

“Hey that sounds like quite the adventure ahead of you, mind if I joined?” I was actually surprised he just volunteered like that so I had to question him about it.

“Are you sure dude it’s gonna be dangerous and there’s a good chance that we might die?” I thought the prospect of death would make him question the choice a bit more but instead he just grinned more and responded with conviction in his voice and determination in is eyes.

“As if i’d just ditch you over something as stupid as dying and your only making it sound cooler by adding all those warnings so you’re gonna have to deal with me for a long time because i’m not going anywhere” I could help but smile at the show of loyalty and feel a little bit surer in myself now that I had someone to back me up so I did the only thing I could to cement this new partnership. I held up my glove covered hand and formed a fist and held it out to him, it didn’t take him long to figure out what I was doing so he brought his claw up to complete the fistbump just as the suns rays broke through the window and Appleoosa came into view.

Chapter 16

View Online

Michael’s PoV:

An hour or two after Triton and I decided what our long term goal would be we made the choice to continue to the griffin kingdom and to pick up leads along the way so we can do what we want along the way. After we stopped talking we spent the rest of the trip eating the lunch Triton brought, it mostly consisted of fruits and dried meats but they tasted pretty good so it was okay and enough to hold us over. Appleoosa was in sight and off to the side I could see a large apple orchard meaning the problem with the buffaloes is already past which is good as I wanted no part in all of that drama, when we finished eating I went to use the bathroom on the train and when I returned Terren and Eagle were waiting for me in our booth.

“Good Morning you two” I greeted them with a smile and a wave which they reciprocated with a smile, I returned to my seat and this time Eagle sat next to me and Terren next to Triton.

“So where are you planning to go next?” Triton started off the conversation while also bringing out his map.

“Well there’s been some bounties on bandits based off near the Smoky Mountains so we’re gonna take a connecting train through ponyville to Tall Tale then travel back from there, what about you two?” Triton opened the map up and traced the path with his claw and nodded finding it acceptable then turning to me to help him answer the question.

“I guess we’re gonna go to Dodge City first and if nothing is there we’ll take a connecting train through Canterlot and around to Baltamare if possible” The plan seemed to satisfy the duo and they sat back and made small talk with each other while Triton and I did whatever to pass the time.

“Hey Triton, i’ve been wondering… how old are you?” Triton seemed grateful for the conversation and seemed to puff up his chest a bit in pride when he said.

“I just turned 16 in this passing June, I am now an adult in griffin culture” His age actually caught me off guard as I realized he’s younger than me.

“Wow, I didn’t expect you to be younger than me i’m 17” That seemed to deflate him a bit before he got over it and we shared a quick laugh over it, a lull entered out conversation as we thought about what to say next when I had a thought.

“Hey have you ever thought about getting a weapon?” That seemed to surprise him and he thought about it for a moment before replying.

“I’m not really a fan of carrying around a hunk of metal or wood so I usually stick to my fists and claws but if you have an idea i’m open to suggestions” He looked at me for a reply and I thought about how he fights. I only seen him fight a few times and even then it’s always been quick little takedowns and bouts so he’s pretty good with his claws that’s for sure so I just went for the obvious.

“Why don’t we save up to get you some metal gauntlets, I bet metal fists hurts more than flesh and bone” The idea seemed to intrigue Triton and he mulled it over then nodded along with it think it was a good idea. He was about to say something else when he was interrupted by the shrill sound of the train whistle and the jerking motion of the train slowing down, I looked up out of the window and saw we were pulling into the station much to my surprise and also to my mild confusion as the station was void of any civilians besides the crew working there but even they had an apprehensive look on their faces like they didn’t want to be there.

“Does this look odd to you too?” I pointed out the lack of a crowd which made the other three in the booth look out with me and search for anyone other than train workers which there wasn’t. I stood and put my effects back on which prompted the others to do the same, Terren and Eagle left the booth to go grab their things while Triton and I put our bags and weapons on. I walked out into the aisle and strided for the exit while stretching my legs at the same time, I stepped down out of the train and onto the station platform then took a quick glance around. The roads ahead of the station were completely empty I also noted how after a few seconds of looking a dry breeze blew by and blew a tumbleweed across the road and out of sight, I had a quick giggle at the cliche western moment before turning when I heard everyone following behind me.

“Let’s ask about travel times” Triton was still glancing around when he nodded back to me while Terren and Eagle were looking at me when they agreed, I strolled over to an unoccupied light blue unicorn mare who I assumed was working there by her train conductor hat and train cutie mark.

“Excuse me miss, do you know when the train leaves again” The mare was facing away from me when I spoke so when she went to respond she turned to look at me and froze on the spot and seemed to start shaking while she struggled to get the answer out.

“T-T-There’s a l-list of t-times over t-t-there s-s-sir” When she got the last word out she scurried back onto the train with her tail between her legs leaving me a bit confused at her reaction to me, the ponies at the last two towns didn’t have a problem with my appearance but now their skittish? I pushed the thought to the back of my mind and walked up to a wall that had a list of travel times on it and a analog clock next to it, the clock said it was around 11:45. I looked at the list and saw that the next train to Dodge City would leave in three days while the train up to ponyville would leave tomorrow as the longer trips had more priority which irked me a little but I got over it. I walked back to the group who had relocated to a nearby bench to wait for me.

“So good news is that the train to ponyville will be leaving tomorrow while our train for Dodge City will be leaving in three days as its closer and not as important so tomorrow might be where we part ways for now” The mention of parting seemed to sadden Terren judging by the low whining coming from him, even Eagle looked a bit more down compared to before. Triton seemed to pick up on their moods just like I did and tried to help.

“Hey cheer up you two it’s not like we’re gonna be gone forever, you’ll see us again and most likely with your sister in tow” That seemed to do the trick for Terren but I wasn’t sure for Eagle because she had put on an emotionless mask so I couldn’t tell so instead I pressed onto the next problem.

“Well next problem would be to either find a place to sleep for tonight or we can find out why this town is so dead” My ending statement made everyone take another glance around the empty streets for any signs of life but still came up with nothing, everyone stood and we set of into the town to look for some answers.

We started with the local tavern called the Salt Lick, we walked up to the building only for me to stop them when I realized something off.

“What’s up?” Triton seemed puzzled as to why I would stop them but trusted me enough to hear me out first before assuming anything while the other two just assumed I wanted to talk about something so they stopped and waited for me to say a line I always wanted to say.

“It’s quiet… too quiet” Triton actually seemed to get what I meant and squared his shoulders and readied himself for anything while Terren and I rested our respective hands and paws on our swords and Eagle pulled out her bow just in case. I slowly opened the swinging doors and walked inside, what greeted me was a dark and empty bar with only an earth pony bartender washing a glass. I reached back out of the door and signaled my friends that it’s all fine letting them drop their guard slightly and follow me inside. The sound of us entering seemed to scare the pony a bit make him almost drop the glass mug he was cleaning.

“W-well I wasn’t expecting any customers today or this month” He seemed to falter when he saw me and Triton but quickly recovered and kept talking, the mention of no customers for that long made me curious so I asked him about it.

“Why haven’t you had any customers lately?” I sat down at the bar as I asked my question and the others followed my lead and sat next to me.

“Ya haven’t heard? The whole towns on lockdown, there’s a murderer loose” The thought of there actually being a murderer in equestria caught me off guard for a bit but I recovered in a moment and gestured for him to continue speaking.

“Well I only know the general story that was told to us towns folk, but apparently the husband of a mare named Bright Dawn was found murdered in his home while the wife was out getting groceries. The husband was well known and always had a smile on his face so everyone knows it isn’t a suicide so someone must have done him in while his wife was out” I was listening close and it had my attention so I questioned further.

“Is he the only victim or is there others” The bar pony nodded and explained.

“There’s also a young griffin child that’s gone missing, a body hasn’t been found but after all this time he’s been declared dead that’s all I can give ya” I stared at him for a few moments which seemed to unnerve him slightly.

“Are you sure that’s all?” My stare continued for about a minute until he broke.

“Alright alright i’ll tell ya just stop that, while the husband was well liked he had a few enemies because of his job as a landlord for a good bit of the town. He had recently raised his taxes on the areas due to the recent closing of his wives store, if anyone would want to do him in check them” I nodded to him and asked one more follow up question while I started to stand up.

“Do you know where they lived?” He seemed to chuckle a bit at the question as he answered.

“Just look for the house with road blocks in front of it and guards patrolling it, you can’t miss it” I gave a short goodbye and turned to leave with my friends following me, outside a moved a few feet away from the door so the bar pony couldn’t hear us.

“Michael are you okay? You aren’t usually so… blunt” Triton questioned me first out of concern for his friend to which I grinned at him and answered nicely.

“Sorry, but when children get involved I tend to get a bit more serious especially when they could be hurt” Triton seemed to get a bit more serious as well when he hear my reasoning which means he might know what I want to do, after speaking to Triton I turned to address Terren and Eagle.

“Since you two have to leave in the morning lets find a place to sleep in the meantime then we can discuss what’s happening here” The two shared a glance before nodding to me, I turned down the road and search for either and inn or somewhere that would put us up for the night. The walk was pretty quiet as everyone was thinking about the information we just got, I still had the details of the murders in my head and felt that a good chunk of information was left out which irritated me to no end. I lost track of how long we were walking before Triton bumped into me to get my attention, I looked down at him as he gestured to the building in front of us then I turned and looked up at it. It was a regular two storied house that had a sign over the door saying Quill’s Bed and Breakfast, it wasn’t something you’d expect in a western themed town but it was the best option apparently. I went to walk inside and was greeted to the soft chime of a bell and a warm cozy interior, The inside was a nicely decorated front room that led to a desk where a dark brown and red maned earth pony mare sat and waited for us to approach while wearing a smile. I entered with the rest of the group following and greeted her with a smile, I idly noted that she had dark bags under her eyes most likely from lack of sleep.

“Welcome to my bed and breakfast my name is Quill, would your group like a room?” The pony greeted us in an almost robotic tone, is seems she looks like she hasn’t slept in a few days. I remember not being able to sleep because of schoolwork back home so I felt my heart go out to her for a moment before asking how many beds are in a room to which she rubbed her eye with the back of a hoof and replied.

“The rooms each have two beds and a bathroom stocked with all the needed amenities and it co-*Yawn* sorry I haven’t been able to get a lot of sleep lately for obvious reasons, anyway the rooms cost five bits per night but if you want the added breakfast it will be ten bits.” I looked at Triton as he’s the one who carries the money and saw he was digging through his bag and pulled out five bits with little twos on them, he handed them to me which I gave to the exhausted pony who smiled and gave us a room key then turned to Terren and Eagle. I stepped to the side with Triton to ask him something while the other two payed for their room.

“How many bit do we have left?” Triton reached back into him bag and showed me his bit bag showing me we only had enough bits left for another night which means we’ll need a way to get more bits so I pocketed the key and spoke to our friends at the counter.

“Hey, i’m gonna go wonder around for a bit so i’ll meet you guys back her for dinner ok?” Terren seemed a bit disappointed that I wasn’t going to hand out with them a bit more but still nodded while Eagle didn’t seem to care what I did, I looked down to Triton and asked a silent question if he wanted to go with me and he shook his head and said.

“I’m pretty tired, can I get the room key?” I nodded and reached into my pocket and grabbed the keys and threw them to him which he caught with ease then started his way to our room deeper into the building. I made my way to the door unimpeded and exited bringing me back into the warm light of the sun, the streets were still empty so that made it easier to look around. In the area of the Bed and Breakfast are multiple houses and small gardens and further down the roads I can see the beginning of multiple ranches and orchards, there was a turn leading deeper into the residential area of the town so I headed down there first. The scenery didn’t change much from the dry sand and dirt covered area other than some of the houses having a deck built on the front, my gaze traveled up the road and saw the roadblock the barpony was talking about. The house was a generic wooden frontier home that looked like many others in the neighborhood but the one thing that made it distinctly different is the large amount of green plants growing up and around the property, vines were growing up the mailbox in front and on the sides of the house. Once I got closer I saw that some of the vines had been painted on instead of grown giving a nice nature-esque look that I kinda liked, Next to the house seemed to be a shop of some sort as I couldn’t make out what it sold from here. In front of the house were two alabaster pony guards armed with golden swords strapped to their sides, the only problem with them was that they were wearing solid gold armor in basically the desert so both were slouched over and sweating profusely. I kept walking until I was about to pass the two guards, I waited for them to react to my species but they were so out of it that I passed with no problems. Now that i’m in front of the shop I could see that it’s like an Apothecary but full of different herbs and medicinal plants and when I peered deeper inside I could see art supplies and canvas sitting on shelves and propped onto the walls, seeing the art supplies I started to feel the familiar itch to draw or doodle that i’ve been drowning out with traveling. I entered the shop with no problems and saw that the interior was like a mix between a pharmacy and a art shop which would have looked odd but everything was flower and plant themed so it flowed pretty well besides the copious amount of green on the walls. I heard a sound from deeper in the shop so I assumed the owner was back there and wouldn’t mind me perusing their items while i’m here, I stepped down the aisle containing miscellaneous art supplies like notebooks and quills and inkwells or random paints. The first thing that stuck out to me would the large lack of pencils which was slightly disappointing as I didn’t know how to right or draw with a quill, I’ve seen someone write with a quill before but it was just a knockoff fake with an internal inkwell like a regular pen and a fake plastic feather, these quills were real and made from what looks like real feathers. The feathers were dark brown and long and some were pure white but shorter than the others, I reached out and picked up a dark brown quill and felt the feather with my other hand. The feather was stiff and rigid but the edges were soft and flimsy like an actual birds feather, I put it down and picked up a white and did the same. The white feather was much more flimsy and looked much more flexible than its darker counterpart which did feel nicer in comparison, I put it down and turned to keep walking down the aisle and came down to the paint section to see a variety of colors. When my eyes passed over a few shades of red I stopped and had a pretty morbid thought, I turned back to the quills and just stared at them while I thought. There is a small griffin child missing and presumed dead along with the husband of the shop owner who was murdered in his own home while the wife was gone, I picked up the large feathered quill and held it in my hand and looked closely. I thought I saw something when I heard the sound of clopping coming around the corner so I slipped the quill into my sleeve and called out.

“Hello? Is this your store?” I had to act like I just got here so I don’t arouse anymore suspicion, the sounded hurried for a moment and around the corner the head of a burgundy pony with a purple mane peeked out and glanced at me. The pony flinched when she saw my size and went back around the bend quickly before calling out again.

“U-um yes i’m the owner of this store s-sir… if you don’t mind what are you here for?” She was very caught off guard by me being here so I kept my voice natural and kind so she doesn’t alert the guards outside.

“I’m sorry to bother you i’m just shopping for more art supplies, are these brand new?” I pointed towards the quills and waited for an answer, She peeked around the corner at the mention of me being an artist and she came around fully when I asked about how new the quills were in an impressed tone.

“Oh yes! Yes they are, I make everything in the store myself so I know just how long they will last and let me tell you those are the best batch i’ve ever made.” She reacted very well to the question and had said the one thing I dreaded to hear, now that she was around the corner fully I could see that she was a pegasus and had the cutie mark of a rose on a piece of paper.

“Do you also grow all the herbs for the medicine over there?” I pointed past her to the various shelves built into the wall showing signs describing the medicins effects and their cost, she turned and glanced at the shelf before grinning again and answering.

“Why yes I do! I grow all of my herb in my garden at my … house.” she slowed to a stop when she got to the topic of her house and slowly her smile fell until her face showed no emotion, her eyes were blank for a moment before she shook her head and turned back to me with her smile significantly lower.

“Look… if your not gonna buy anything i’m gonna need you to leave, i’m… gonna close close up a bit early.” I lost my smile as well at her behavior and nodded then went to the front door with the mare walking me out, before I opened the door I turned to her and spoke.

“Before I leave… what’s your name?” I put my hand on the door and waited, she perked up at my request and responded with a confused edge to her voice.

“Bright Dawn… why do you want my name?” I stepped out while I spoke to her.

“To tell you not to worry about to worry about the whole murderer thing, they’ll be caught soon ok… “ I smiled one last time to her and let the door close behind me then started my way back to the Bed and Breakfast, once I past the guard I spoke out loud to myself as my smile dropped down to a frown.

“Yeah… Real soon” I took out the quill I had up my sleeve and gazed at the roots of the barbs and put the quill into my bag when I found what I was looking for on it, on the root of the feather’s hairs they were covered in a faint red dust that smelled faintly of iron.