Shadow and the Dark Horse Trilogy by AlmanacPony
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Shadow and the Arcane Search

 


 

Evil. Darkness.

These were nothing but silly concepts constructed by weak minded fools that knew nothing of the real world. But what world was real? Years spent in this strange world had not yet acclimated me to its ways entirely. Things were different here. Things were alive.

The rocks, everything, simple wood and branches roamed the forests as creatures of nightmares, starry skies gave birth to beings of night that growled and grew tall, and such frail forms that were simplistic, laughable, and ultimately powerful roamed the lands as though it were theirs.

Ponies, of course. I’m talking about ponies.

I look out at these strangely coloured creatures, gazing at the way they went about their lives, wondering how such a world developed, how such a thing came to be in the most peculiar of ways. Well, I wondered once. But right now?

Right now I barely gave a shit.

The world had changed, and I barely knew this one, barely remembered the last one, and all I cared about now was finding out what the fuck I was supposed to be doing. Fuck…such a strange word. Do I use it? Here they say ‘buck’…every word a play on puns and names of things jests in their own but ironically…the jest is lost on them. Like the universe makes them name things and alter things and change things to place them into a humorous context that is entirely lost on its inhabitants.

What gods had so much free time on their hands they felt they could fuck about like that? Or maybe it’s time on their ‘hooves’…fuck it.

My mind was a strange thing, and often not my own. I would stand and stare, thinking the strangest of things, wandering about the absurdity of it all, only to realise what I was thinking, and come to a second realisation that I really didn’t give a crap.

But if I didn’t care, then why did my brain ask such nonsense?

Once again, I found myself trying to search for a fuck I couldn’t give. A fuck I had seemingly wanted to give not thirty seconds before when the thoughts popped into my head.

Breathing in the stale air of the dusty surroundings, I focused my mind on more important tasks. There had to be something to do. I headed in search of Ka.

He wasn’t hard to find, egotistical brooding bastard that he was. Oh I had respect for him, but that respect only went into his power. As a person he was a complete shithead. I approached the stallion who had sat himself on what resembled a throne of rock, obviously carved by himself. Of course he’d make himself out to be like a king on a throne, just as he’d changed his form.

Ka was a demon.

They all might as well be.

We weren’t ponies. None of us were, and none of us were even supposed to be here. We were in pony guise because that’s what this world did to us, and some of us with the power to change, chose to stay in those forms for security reasons. But others took it too far.

Ka was one of them. We were monkeys originally, from the ancient spiritual plains of Sea Dragons, Pirates, Ootu Mystics, Ice Raiders, Chim Foo, and Mek Tek’s. In our world we were of the line and dynasty of the great Monkey King.

I can’t remember much of what happened, I can’t place what went on and even if I could, I probably couldn’t care to tell you. But suffice to say a portal was opened by Ka to escape, a portal to another dimension and instead of bothering with any form of coordinates, he just picked at random. And this was where we ended up, this prissy pinkie, childish land full of kindness, magic, and monsters that barely fit into its own world.

But this place had power.

This place had magic. Magic was the life blood of this land and every inch of it hummed and shone through everything else. It vibrated through molecules and atoms and changed and warped its world around it. And it had warped us.

The moment we came here, our bodies had changed into the most sentient and dominant form in this land.

Ponies. Though some of us were changelings (not the changelings I’ve heard about in this world, I mean someone with the power to change his/her form), sadly not I, but Ka was. So would he settle for the normal Unicorn form he got? Of course not. He would search for the single most powerful form he could find, and that’s what he did. And would he just settle on the most powerful form? Oh no…Ka had to have his fancies. He had to become dark, shadow style and filled with redness and evilness and the embodiment of every cliché imaginable.

The result laid before me in all is eye-rolling glory. A red and black Alicorn. His bat like wings stretched out majestically and seemed to be touched by a level of darkness that sight could not penetrate; his body was muscular but lean enough to be fast as well as strong. The red stripes over his form took on the guise of glowing red scratches through the very fabric of light itself, like a threat from the darkness. His eyes however, they were simply blue. Blue but harbouring a dark animalistic slit instead of the usual round pupil.

He looked extremely dark, powerful and foreboding. But I, as well as anyone that truly knew him, understood it was all a visage. This wasn’t his form; he just enjoyed looking the part. Personally I feel he should take a few notes on subtlety and consider a different form, but he was never the greatest of thinkers. Which in itself was ironic. One of his main powers and capabilities was seduction and manipulation, though I wasn’t fool enough to think it was his charisma that drew his enemies to his side.

It was his magic.

Dramatic and eye-rolling as he may be, and sometimes thick as shit…he was powerful.

He was the single most powerful being I have ever known, and that is what earned my respect.

As I approached his ‘throne’ I smirked at him.

“Ah, Shadow.” He greeted. Shadow was the name he had given me. I knew I’d had a different one once, but I couldn’t remember it. I’d tried a few times, but it hurt so I’d given up.

“Hello your black and red-ness.” I jested. “Please tell me you have something for me to do. I believe I might just torture Zero some more if I don’t find something immediately, and I’m not sure the poor thing could take much more today.”

The thought of the imprisoned batpony formed mare in the dungeon had my sheath twitching slightly as a smirk ran across my features. I won’t lie in my happy desire to sexualise her, but I always got the most erotic kick out of brainwashing the pathetic girl. I was never one for physical torture, unless it was the sexual kind. I much happily preferred the mental torture that came with clever manipulations. Although, I’d lost patience and with frustration due to boredom I’d had my way with her previously today and I wasn’t sure dear old Zero would be able to handle a second round, which wouldn’t be fun at all. Toys weren’t the same after they were broken.

Ka turned to me and glared. “Oh I’m sure there are many things you could be doing.” He got up and approached. I couldn’t help but look up at his forehead. Where a long horn had once sprouted proudly from his head, now simply sat a broken jagged keratin stump; it was a constant reminder of his failure.

Ka was powerful, and one of his greatest abilities was possession and a spell that could kill anyone. Though such spells required an anchor, in any form. And that horn had been the one thing he couldn’t change or alter. When it broke, Ka had lost his ability to possess or kill, lowering his powers considerably.

“You know I have studied all of the tomes we have collected. There is no way to simply fix that.” I informed him with a shrug.

“You will find a way.” He said darkly, his words making me sigh.

“Allow me to explain this to you.” I began, trying for simply terms. “Horns are infused with magic, magic can affect them but not easily, and healing magic requires an intimate knowledge of what it is you are healing. None of us know how horns work, or how much power it would take to affect one. None of us can do the spell, least of all myself.” I extended my wings and brushed the front of my head lazily. “No horn, remember.”

Ka growled softly, a low rumble that was not the sound any pony should be capable of making.

“Find a way.” He said darkly as he turned around and sat back on his throne.

I sighed and shook my head. “Fine.” I said, turning away and heading once again for the library.

The place we lived in (huh, lived, ‘cuz that’s totally what I’d call it) was a large run down tower complex in the Everfree Forest. There were many keeps and castles in this place, remnants of an ancient city that had apparently once been ruled by the Princesses a thousand years ago. That told me there was like to be a castle somewhere, but I hadn’t yet found it. The place was large but crumbling. We had no shelter from the rain, even the dungeons got soaked on bad days, and we had little light from the sun. What we did have, was a library, and a rather extensive one at that. I would like to say I spent most my time there, researching and learning as I rather enjoyed doing. But sadly the majority of the tomes were crumbling to dust, so I had to be careful. Besides, as much as I valued knowledge, most of the goody-two-shoes that I faced liked to just pull out a blade, so I spent the majority of my time training in my sword skills.

As I approached the library, I heard a sound beside me, and hooves gently pressed at my back. I turned and my eyes fell upon red eyes that looked up at me with a smile that simply turned my stomach. Her pink coated hooves ran over my side, and slipped slowly underneath me. The first attentive touches of Anna’s hooves at my sheath had me already swelling slightly. But physical reaction did not mean much in the ways of desire. Did I desire her? No. Did I enjoy sex? Rather definitely. Did I care where I got it? Not particularly.

“What are you doing?” I asked with a grunt.

“Pleasing my stallion…” She said, her hooves stroking along my cock as it slipped from its sheath.

“Pleasing me? As if you could.” I scoffed, meaning every word. Anna Goodshimmer was a hole to fuck at the best of times, and an annoyance the rest of the time, and downright vile at the worst of times.

She stiffened at my words and looked down. “But…I’m sure I could please you...let me try.” Her muzzle went underneath me and a soft warm mouth engulfed my equine shafts head. I felt the sensitive flesh tense and twitch at her attention.

I let out a pleased nicker, it was pleasurable and I would never deny that. But Zero was better, besides…there was a certain level of sadism I required most times. But if she was so insistent of pleasing me, I could hardly deny her the usual ride.

She always knew what would happen, yet I could never fathom how she ever failed to get it through that thick skull of hers that it wouldn’t change. She’d pounce on me, and I’d beat and fuck her. She’d suck me, and I’d rape her throat. She’d try seducing me, and all I would ever give her in return was coldness and violence. Dumb bitch just never learned. It wasn’t that she liked the treatment; it was truly that she believed the next time would be different. I grabbed her side, mounted her mouth properly and suddenly drove in hard. She choked under me and struggled As I smirked, forcing my shaft down her throat, ramming in and out, choking and gagging her eagerly, loving the way she squirmed. I kept thrusting, forcing my balls to slap her chin every time, thanking the Equestrian gods for making nudity the norm in this universe, it certainly made moments like this easy.

The moment my cock flared I drove in hard and erupted down her throat, forcing her to drink my stallion seed before pulling out with a smirk.

“Thanks for that. I was a bit pent up.” I shoved her away, causing her to fall over to the ground, coughing and spluttering, seed drooling down her lips. I chuckled, loving the sight of her nice and used before I walked off, ignoring her pleas for me to come back, asking if she’d done well. A part of me wondered how any external viewers might see what just happened. A random show? A single action that barely mattered and was just thrown aside? Well you’re reading this. What do you think? Should I care?

Should I give a shit about some obsessed mare that offered herself so freely? If that’s how you think then you might as well close this story. Because I don’t care. She was a hole, why did she have to be anything more.

The night before had rained and like usual the first part of the library was soaked whilst only the back remained intact. I headed to the larger tomes and pulled out the shelves of books, sighing to myself. I had been through each of them. There were some basic histories, a diary or two and many a combat companion as well as tactical stratagems. Their contents pretty much confirmed that the area of the city we’d established ourselves in had been some kind of military barracks. But I hadn’t yet found any weapons, which was a shame. Thankfully though, I was able to use my own. I’d managed to bring my preferred weapon to this dimension, and that would have been fantastic, except ponies were not usually meant to wield swords. I tried several times and failed to even grasp it decently in my hooves, so I’d done some research. Thankfully there were a few books; it seemed swordplay for ponies was done in the mouth, using the ball at the end of the pommel for advanced movements. I thought this might hurt, but after a few tries I quickly realised that pony teeth were incredibly strong, I wondered if it was even possible to break them. I’d cut myself and given myself a few new scars in my attempts to gain this skill, but it quickly developed and it wasn’t long before I was as adept with a blade as I’d ever been. Sometimes I think I might even be better in this form than any of my others. I could use my tongue to turn the pommel to face the blade to almost any direction, movements of my head allowed it to arc and swish and glide through the air in intricate circular movements. It was like tai chi with a blade. I liked it. I could move fast and strong, momentum being my force and the faster I moved, the more deadly it was. So I focused on speed. I’d been training ever since I came here, and I had yet to be bested by anyone.

Ka had asked me to keep trying, but I’d read these books a hundred times and none of them showed anything new in the tomes around me. There were a few magic books, beginner manuals for unicorn combat, and it did give way to some information on healing spells. But healing spells were hard. To heal something you had to understand how it worked, how it formed and how things knit together. I wasn’t very good at biology and I knew jack shit about horns. And no one else among our cohorts could do it either. I looked up and climbed a ladder to the higher shelves. There was a section I hadn’t yet explored, but considering that it was always rain sodden, I didn’t expect to find anything that was legible, let alone helpful. I glanced over the dripping books and sighed, finding nothing at all that looked in decent condition, or even remotely promising. I was about to give up before something caught my eye, it was something behind one of the books, slightly sticking out. Pulling out the book it fell apart sloppily. It had me grumbling from how disgusting it was.

Looking behind the book and reached out and pulled out a piece of paper. It had been spared some of the rain by the books surrounding it. It was wet, but not yet falling apart. I opened it up and my eyes widened. It was a map.

I got a little curious and went down the ladder again to the table. Unfurling the map I scanned over it. It seemed to be a very old map of what this land had once been. The title at the top read ‘Tabvla Equêstria II’. Scanning over it, I realised just how big this forest was. In the time of this map the forest wasn’t here at all, it was in the east and bordering the city. This told me that after whatever had ruined this city had happened, the forest had crept up and engulfed it. And considering how vast the city was, and how vast the forest looked on the map, it was safe to assume that the Everfree forest stretched on for a VERY long way.

A neat thing the map did offer though was a map of the city.

I looked through the streets and found out that to the west, nearer Ponyville, was the castle that the princesses were once in. This place only had basic healing, and combat tomes with some minor history. I was certain that any magical texts that could give me an answer to Ka’s problem would likely be in the palace library, rather than that of some lowly barracks. Looks like I had some hiking to do. I grabbed some supplies and headed for the gate.

I didn’t often like to venture outside. It was dark and dangerous in those woods. But I had done some recon before. I liked to look and examine the different creatures around, figuring how best to use them if possible, or defeat them if needed.

A few always caught my eye in terms of interest.

Timberwolves were magically enhanced spiritual creatures made of wood and rocks. Magic was certainly an interesting thing. I had no idea how they were made or what they could do. Only that they were vicious when roused. I kept my ears out as I clopped my way through the underbrush to a clearing before looking up at the open sky. I extended my wings and launched. I used to be a monkey. I used to be a being of a spiritual ancient realm and a line of the monkey king and their guardians…I didn’t like the pastel colours of this place, I didn’t like its smell, and I didn’t like how some things were alive when they weren’t supposed to be.

But there was one thing I did like.

One thing that constantly helped me to forget my troubles. Something that helped me to feel free.

Flying.

The feel of the wind as it brushed through my feathers always sent shivers through me. My eyes closed and colours swirled in my mind as I arced and moved. The colours were wind patterns. Signals sent from the wings to the brain, transferred so distinctly they were almost visual. This was the power of being a Pegasus. I could beat my wings and create a tornado, fly a direction and create wind paths that would blow a gust. I could dissipate clouds or form them together, make them heavy to rain or command them to strike lightning with a single instinctive touch. Pegasus weather power fascinated me. I didn’t know much of it, or how to do a lot of it yet, but I wanted to learn.

It seemed a lot of the skills were not ones that were easily obtainable, a lot of the magic of a Pegasus had to be taught and learned and trained in. Same as unicorn magic or earth pony magic…earth ponies. This was a strange subject for me. I had monitored the forms of each version of pony and discovered a few differences in makeup and biology. Pegasus were weak it seemed. Our bones were slightly hollowed and we were designed for flight, whilst still retaining a pony form. Earth Ponies, whilst having non actual magic were strong. Their bones were dense and their muscles far better formed, making them the heaviest and the physically strongest of the three races. Unicorns seemed to be in the middle. Their bone density was the same as Pegasus, but their bones were holly, making them stronger. But they weren’t nearly as physically strong as earth ponies, but they of course had the advantage of magic. But despite these differences, I had also noticed that it was only slight. The majority of earth ponies were only SLIGHTLY stronger. The majority of Pegasus, only SLIGHTLY weaker and lighter. The majority of Unicorns only SLIGHTLY in between. They were differences enough to be evident, but not enough to cause societal issues.

Pony society was incredibly strange. There were differences and segregation, but not based on prejudice, it was based on capability. Those that had an affinity for certain things, were instantly places in those certain areas, whilst everyone (or ‘everypony’ as they say) of their type was capable of doing other things. Farm work for earth ponies was expected and understood, sky work for Pegasus was expected and understood, and each of their races were capable of doing not only their talents, but also their race duties, and without a single inch of distrust or jealousy between them. I do certainly believe that we stumbled into a world based on rationality, and common sense.

Which I probably don’t have to tell you, is in itself bloody shocking. Sorry for my mind rambling. Flight does that.

The fresh air as it blew through my feathers always let my mind wander, and when my mind wandered, it always went to questions, and answers, and politics. I was so fascinated all the time with everything around me...but simultaneously. I didn’t give a shit.

Though I believe I’ve already explained this a few times. My duality of desire that constantly raged within me and distracted me and not to mention infuriated me to no end.

The forest below me flew by with streaks of green. I tried to pay attention and follow the map I had memorised in my head. I should be about a mile from the castle, so I decided to speed up to cut off the amount of time I spent on the journey.

I started to descend, landing sure-footedly on a cliff area looking over the castle. It was far grander than the place they were staying right now, and were it not for its proximity to Ponyville, I might have informed the others about it as a place to go live. But personally, I’d rather not be right under the nose of those pastel ponies. They could be bothersome. Travelling down the side of the cliff I approached the stone ruins, eyeing towers and windows that used to have stained glass windows in them, and a few windows that were even intact. I entered the large entrance and looked around. I could easily imagine this place being grand when it was in its prime. But for now, it was old, stale and dusty. The scent of decay hung heavily in the air and moth eaten tapestries hung down along the walls. Though I was surprised to find a few in decent conditions, they looked like they might even have been repaired. I wouldn’t be surprised if that had been done by one of those from Ponyville. Their kindness was always gag worthy to me. Sure one or two of them had a mean streak, but it was like their mean streaks were the equivalent of playground bullies. It was quite pathetic.

I travelled through a few of the rooms, finding a dining room, a throne room, and finally, I stumbled into the library. My eyes widened as the tomes stretched out on the shelves, bringing a grin to my face as I gazed over them.

They were in good condition, almost all of them readable.

I began looking over the tome titles and humming to myself when a slight change in the air alerted my instincts that I might not be alone in the room anymore.

I showed no sign of noticing, my humming barely missing a beat as I looked over the tomes, keenly aware of movement behind me. The moment it got close I ducked rapidly. The blade struck overhead into bookcase. I looked up, it was a broad headed axe, and it was quite firmly wedged where my neck had once been. I couldn’t help but chuckle.

“I told you he’d dodge.” A feminine voice said behind me. Turning to face my opponents I smiled at the sight of my two old friends.

Megan Goldtail and Paige Flintwish.

Megan was an earth pony. Well, that was her form anyway, but I’ve explained it all before. She had no horn and no wings, she wasn’t magical in any fashion, but she was a really good fighter.

“Ah and how are you both today? Having a nice stroll?” I asked them curtly, grinning softly at both of them. “Interesting that you’d just attack me by the way, not usually your style.” I said, grabbing the handle of the axe in my teeth and flinging my head violently. The axe tore from the wall and flew right at them, smashing into a bookcase behind the two of them, missing them by inches and imbedding in the wall. I did it on purpose of course; it’d be no fun if I just killed them.

Paige’s eyes were wide. A look I couldn’t help but adore.

She was once a blue Pegasus, but situations in the past had granted her extreme power, she’d been given something that in our own world, would have allowed her to become what was known as a Dynasty Immortal. A great and sacred line of ancient power granted to very few who were worthy. But in this world it had taken a different form. She had become an Alicorn.

She was the only one among us who had achieved this state through more than simple shape shifting, she had earned it, her coat had turned white, and she stood more regal than ever. But she was still Paige.

My dear sweet Paige that was utterly hopeless without her friends. From what I had seen, she was utterly hopeless with her magic, and no matter how strong she became, I knew she would never be a threat. Indeed, all she was doing right now was staring at me. The stupid girl had never really had the spine to stop me. Megan however…she was a different story.

She had once been considered one of the kindest and gentlest people (or ponies) I’d ever known, until I joined Ka of course. Now she couldn’t stand the sight of me.

“What can I do you for?” I asked them both, smiling as I looked between them, letting my eyes wander over Paige. I had no inclinations towards her, but I let my eyes relax and become lidded, a light playful and predatory smirk touching my lips as I gave her a look that suggested dark and erotic things.

She reacted just as I wanted her too; she shivered, and looked away in fear and a light chuckle escaping my lips before I could stop it. Megan however, simply glared.

“We’ve been keeping an eye on this place, and an eye on you. You should leave.” She said sternly, her eyes narrowing.

“Aww, is that really anyway to talk to your friend? What did I ever do to-” I didn’t get to finish my sentence as suddenly I was slammed against the bookcase, Megan’s hoof crushing at my throat as she glared. “Get. Out.” Her voice was a portent of dancer, and for an instant, I admit…I was actually scared.

But only for an instant.

My lower hoof snaked around hers and struck the back of her knee, my right for hoof came up under hers, arching her hoof out of the way and grasping her elbow. I twisted. Her body spun and suddenly she was off balance, her hoof behind her back and pain lancing up her arm.

“I wouldn’t try that again Megan.” I said darkly before letting her fall to the ground. Megan was a great fighter; in a real bout she had a good chance of besting me. I admit to not really knowing who’d really win, which was why it was best to get a single move off, and claim superiority, make her second guess herself. It was a good way to maintain the upper hoof.

“I know what you’re after.” Megan said fiercely as she pulled herself to her hooves.

“Wonderful.” I exclaimed. “Then you can tell me where to find it. I’d rather not just have to go through all these dusty books, it can get quite tedious.” I smiled. Megan spat at the ground in front of me.

“We’re not helping you, but we will stop you.” She lunged. Her hooves were fast, but I was just as fast as she was. I moved and arched, ducked and slid around her, making sure to deflect every blow rather than simply attempting to block. She was an earth pony, her bones and muscles were stronger than mine, a full force buck from her could snap me, and so I had to use her strength against her. But I was lighter, suppler, and faster.

I ducked under a blow and struck her ribs on her right side, Moved under another and lashed out with my lower hoof, striking the same rib again. She turned and arched a hoof around, I didn’t duck in time and it connected. My head snapped back harshly and I fell a short way away from her, grunting as I tasted blood in my mouth.

“Now it’s a party.” I grunted and smirked.

Suddenly she was over me, her hooves rearing up, ready to stamp down before my lower right hoof struck up hard on the same rib as before, a satisfying crack coined the air and a loud gasp sounded from the mare. I kicked up with both my lower hooves, making sure one of my hooves was on her broken rib, sending her back with a yell of pain, causing her to land with a dull thud.

I pulled myself to my hooves and wiped my mouth of blood, a smirk adorning my muzzle. I charged at Megan then, I was over her, rearing up like she had me, and I lashed down with my hooves. I wanted to feel her break, to watch her blood flow, to see her scream out in a last gasping breath. I was half hard just fucking thinking about it! Suddenly I was thrown back by an unseen force, I struck a bookcase with suck force it exploded in a shower of smoke and wood, my back lanced pain through my body and I groaned, coughing from the smoke around me. I looked up, and as the smoke cleared my eyes fell upon Paige, a dark look in her eyes, a single tear down her cheek and her horn glowing.

“Get away from her.” She said in a shaky but resolute voice.

“Ouch.” I grunted out, shaking myself. “Well, is it you we need? That Lightcore power of yours? Can you heal something like a horn? Or are you as clueless as the rest of us.” I grunted, walking out of the rubble, a slight limp in my step. I must have a lot of bruises, but thankfully I don’t think anything was actually broken.

She shook her head. “A horn is magical. You can’t heal it from the outside easily.” She said firmly.

“But what about from the inside?” I asked as an idea came to me. Her eyes widened and I realised I’d touched upon something. “Like a potion?” I asked curiously. “Well that certainly gives me a place to look.”

“I won’t let you fix him.” Her voice a little stronger this time. She really believed she could stop me…it was kinda cute. “Shadow…” She began, her gaze slowly stopping. “Phil…please.”

That’s when I threw it. A stone I’d grasped in my back hooves when she wasn’t paying attention. I flapped my wings and span, using the momentum I loosed the stone and it struck her in the forehead hard. Her head snapped back, a trickle of blood ran down her face and she toppled sideways unconscious.

“Well that was fun.” I smiled, approaching Megan who groaned on the floor, looking up at me.

I grinned down at her darkly, stepping forward and pressing my hoof on her painful side eliciting a pained yelp and groan from the mare.

“Now, you are going to tell me all that you know.” I asked in a calm voice. This was going to be fun.

An hour later I was by one of the evergreen streams, washing blood from my hooves, humming rather merrily to myself. That was a rather bracing session, I so did love torture. I left her alive of course, no point in breaking a toy I could use again in the future. But I’d done enough to get what I wanted, and to make her remember today for a very long time. I sighed happily to myself at that thought. I so did love making an impression. I knew exactly where it was I needed to go. There was a certain occupant of these woods that I needed to visit.

The hut was not hard to find. The billowing smoke was a good indicator of location. I approached and looked through the bushes; the white and black equine in the hut seemed to be stirring a pot of some green liquid. I approached and knocked on the door and put a smile on my face. The door opened.

“Oh, a new face has come to see,

Are you lost or looking for me?” Her voice was whimsical and elegant in her thick accent. She wore golden jewellery and her eyes were a rather beautiful emerald green. I considered maybe taking her for myself; I’d never indulged in a zebra before. But maybe later, for now I had work to do.

“Hello, my name is-” I hesitated before simply smiling. “Phil.”

“Phil? A strange name but I’ve heard stranger still,

Are you perhaps from Ponyville?”

He shook his head. “Oh no, I’m rather new around here. I’m actually looking for some help; it’s something of an emergency.” I said, smiling, scratching the back of my head awkwardly.

“An emergency you say?” Her eyes widened. “Then I shall help in any way.”

I sighed with relief. “I’m really glad you said that. You see my friend’s horn...well it’s been broken off. Entirely.” I said, letting my face form a grimace as her eyes widened in shock.

“A grievous wound for a unicorn to endure,

And not one easily fixed I’m sure.” She said, looking rather worried.

“I heard that because horns are magical, that normal magic doesn’t affect them as easily as it does everything else. That it has to come from the inside, something arcane, like that of Zebra magical potions?” I said, biting my bottom lip.

The zebra eyed me suspiciously. “Not many are aware of this,

The magicks are dangerous and could go amiss.

The arcane route is not lightly tread,

And can sow destruction in its stead.” She said warningly.

“Yeah, but that’s only if it’s done wrong. I heard you were like, a master at this stuff.” I smiled, trying to seem casual.

“Whoever told you speaks too much.” She said firmly, as though almost offended. “But a potion to heal, I know of such.”

“Great.” I said, grinning.

“But first, before I give you what you seek,

I must meet the afflicted of which you speak.” She said, her eyes narrowing slightly as they regarded him.

Well shit.

She had to meet Ka.

And this was going so well.

“Well, shit, looks like that plans out.” I sighed, dropping the pretence, the Zebra’s eyes widening. “Sorry little Zebra, though I admit, I’m kinda relieved. The nice-guy act just stresses me out to keep up.” I smiled and shrugged. “I suppose if you wanna meet Ka, then I don’t really have a choice.” I approached her darkly with a smirk. Her eyes widened.

“I knew your aura was darkly stained,

But I saw a spark, buried and tamed.” She said, backing off. “You are not who you even think to be,

I can aid your struggle if you would let me.” She offered, trying to bargain with him.

“Help me? How could you help me?” I asked, smirking as I approached her.

“You are corrupted and controlled,

I could brew a potion to release their hold.” She said, her voice going a little higher in pitch from fear.

“Oooh, tempting…naaah.” I said before grasping the nearest heaviest thing and striking her hard with it, sending her down to the ground. “So many unconscious mares today and not a single one of them gets a filling.” He muttered to himself with a sigh. “Even if we get that horn fixed I think this day’s been a total waste.” I sighed and heaved the zebra onto my back and headed for the door. The moment I stepped outside something exploded in my face, smoke erupted in the air, I looked around with wide eyes and suddenly there was a flash of light that blinded me and a silhouette in the brightness of a white Alicorn before something struck me hard and the light was engulfed in darkness.

I woke up after a while, it must have really moved on because it was now dark and the stars littered the sky. I looked around, the zebra was gone.

“FUCK!” I shouted in anger. “Oh that’s great, no zebra, and no bitch to fill…” I bucked a part of the huts wall and crashed a hole in it. “I need to make Zero scream or something.” I growled to myself, thinking of the slave in the dungeons back home. I think a good dose of screaming would calm me down. Until then, I had to deal with Ka after failing him. The fucker wouldn’t be pleased. Well, at least I knew what I needed to find. It would take arcane zebra magic to fix the horn, a potion that works from the inside, and I knew that the zebra needed was with the ‘good’ gang.

I always did love a good reason to beat the shit out of them.

At least this gave me one.

Time to hunt.


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