This fanfiction is a loose retelling of an actual blog created by the Candlekeeper, called Hurt/Heal. This fanfiction contains foul language, violence, (fanservice), and decent amounts of blood. If you are under the age of 13 you should not read this. Read at your own risk.
Begin Chapter 23
‘Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.’ The phrase echoes in my mind. Over and over again in my sub-consciousness.
Eventually the voice is replaced by Sea’s. ‘Wake up Silverheart. Wake up...wake up and face the one who died to defend you. He is your responsibility now. Wake up and smell the ashes.’
Soon my consciousness stirs and feeling starts to return to my limbs and I see that I’m at the spot where Blue struck me down. Except this time Blue is gone and only the still figure of Bunker laying on his side remains. I walk up to Bunker and am about to rouse him when an all too familiar scent hits my nostrils. The stench of death. It clings to him like a spider to a wall. The unflappable smell of decomposing flesh. I cringe. ‘She killed him. She killed him…’
‘Yes she did Silverheart,’ Sea says, ‘He died saving you. Keeping you from experiencing the same fate. He was trying to keep you going. He knew you were truly a pony worth saving.’
‘Why?’ I wonder, ‘Why would he save me? I tried to kill him. I almost did kill him. That should be no reason for him to save me.’
‘True...but he did not save you due to how well you have treated him. He saved you on the account of the fact that you are much like him. Smart, cunning, cold, and cruel. Not like you are much like that now, but Bunker did not know that. He wanted an ally in villainy. Still his heart was true. Him saving you may just be enough for him to achieve enlightenment,’ Sea pauses, ‘Now you must perform a task for me and for Bunker.’
‘Yes what is it?’
‘This task is of the utmost importance, Silverheart. You need to carry Bunker back to his home camp. Make sure his soldiers and friends know the full story, the correct story. Then you must be the one to bury him six feet under. Do not cut any corners. This pony has sacrificed his life in your name, Silverheart. Do him the justice of a proper burial and ceremonies. Now go!’
The voice of Sea dissipates from my thoughts and I am left to my own thoughts and a dead body. I look over once again at the fallen Bunker. His eyes are still open, glazed over, no longer holding the cold fire that once burned in them. His mouth is still twisted in defiance, the last thing he felt before he touched the eternal darkness. Another dead pony under my name. The hot bullet of guilt once again burns, like an old war scar being reopened. Sea has done this to me on purpose. Showing me that if I stop, many more will die at the hooves at the merciless Bluelighting.
Still, I must worry about such things later. I have a task to complete. I levitate Bunker’s corpse off of the ground. Knowing that I won’t be able to carry him all the way like this, I reluctantly drape him over my back. I am now surrounded by the stench of death, so potent I almost retch right there. But I don’t. I carry on, just like I always have. Slowly, I trek across the plain, heading towards the Rebel camp.
The walk gives me time to think. A pony is never truly alone. He is always followed by his conscious and his shadow. His inner demons and his own problems. True loneliness does not exist. Most of all, his thoughts always follow him. His worries and his troubles. His fantasies and dreams, always trailing him. Trailing him like a faithful sheep dog. Except this sheep dog isn’t always a good thing to have around. Instead of herding sheep, this dog would rather eat them for himself. That is what this metaphysical dog does to you. He eats away at the herd of sheep that is your soul. Slowly gnawing through, slowly breaking you down.
I walk along and the sheep dog mercilessly follows me, always at my heels. I don’t want him there, yet he follows me. Thoughts of what is to come in this war bombard my mind. Years of anxieties and worries plague my thoughts. ‘For once I wish I wasn’t blessed by the angels,’ I complain to myself.
It was true, since Sea had first come to me, I had begun experiencing night terrors. Unrelentless nightmares came to me every single night. They never failed to show up. It made sleeping incredibly difficult. It’s not like I really need sleep since I can’t die from exhaustion, but it’s nice to be able to catch a few Z’s now and then. So for almost an entire year I have been trudging through every single day on about three hours of sleep. It hasn’t seemed to affect my performance on the battlefield, but everywhere else it hits me hard.
The trek continues and the sheep dog still follows, my every step he shadows it. The body of Bunker seems to get heavier with each step. When I can see the camp in the distance his body seems to weigh a ton. I drag myself the last few miles, pushing towards the Rebel camp. It seems like I have walked for hours upon hours. A rational part of my mind knows I haven’t been walking all that long. Maybe an hour or two, but my body tells a different story. It screams with pain, every step causing the agony to once again shoot up my legs. It’s not like I’m in serious pain, but the troubles in my mind make it seem so. Like some sort of messed up hysterical pain.
I struggle up the hill with the loyal sheepdog in tow, and a dead pony over my back not making the trip any easier. Sometimes I would hear Sea’s voice telling me inspiration things like, ‘Don’t give up,’ Or, ‘You’re almost to the top.’
I seriously wanted to go up to Heaven and smack him in the mouth. Despite this, I finally reach the top of the hill. The Rebels are smart, they put their camp on an uphill, makes it easy to defend. Smarter than the Lunars in in that regard at least. It amazes me how foolish they had been in their camp placement. Who puts a camp on a downhill anyway. Not the most strategic of planners that EpicLuna was.
I reach the entrance and see two guards holding a sentry at the gate. The one to the right sees me instantly and shouts out, “Halt! Who goes there!”
Knowing that my alias is known across the land I respond, ‘It is the UnknownProdigy. I come with something that belongs to you. I need to speak to Crystal Blue."
Both guards reel back at the sound of my title. ‘The UnknownProdigy?’ One soldier asks, ‘The one that defeated Bunker at the Innomado Battle. You single-handedly lost us that fight. Be gone with you!”
“'I’m going to say this again. I come with gifts, or at least something to give you. Out of respect. It has something to do with Bunker.”
One of the guards perks up and ask, “Bunker? Do you know where he is? Have you talked to him?” Then his expression darkens, “What’s that on your back? Is that….No! What did you do to him!?”
Both guards draw their weapons and I curse under my breath. ‘Of course they think I killed him. I’m the little boy who cried wolf. Not a single pony can trust me,’ I think to myself, ‘I must convince them otherwise.’
“It’s not what it looks like,” I respond, “I have come to bring him back so he can be buried properly. I did not kill him. He was killed in battle by another.”
“And who would this mystery pony be?” asks the left guard venomously, “A Lunar? A straggler. Just admit to your crimes Unknown, and your death can be swift.”
Ignoring his comment I verbalize the killer’s name. It burns on my tongue now, like I’ve been swallowing fire, “The pony responsible for the death of Bunker is,” I pause, almost for effect, “Bluelighting..."
The name hangs on the air like a cloud of fog. The guards stay silent for what seems like hours before one of them speaks, “But they were childhood friends, she would never kill him. Never!”
That may have been true at the beginning of this war, but not now. She has changed, she’s no longer the peace lover that she was. She has fallen to the grasp of Discord and Chaos. She has been lost to the insanity and bloodlust that stirred from here months ago. She is truly a merciless killer now, no longer the Blue I fell in love with all those years ago. Still, I’m somehow attracted back to her. I kept her Bible and her cross, despite her wanting to kill me. Despite her rejection of me. Maybe I’m just too weak-willed to get rid of them. Maybe I’m still stricken with love for her. The sheepdog whimpers at my feet. My thoughts spiral, doing one-eighties in my mind. I dismiss the thoughts and continue on speaking, “She’s changed, and not for the better. She’s become a killer, and no longer cares who gets in her way. She has lost the ability to feel any guilt for what she has done. She killed Bunker because he got in her way, that is the only reason.”
“So she just wanders around killing anypony that makes the mistake of crossing her path? What sort of pony would do that?” The right guard questions.
“One that has gone insane from this experience. She no longer is the pony from her youth. It’s a shame really, she was so nice and caring.”
The right guard mutters in agreement, but the other still looks defiant. “I don’t believe this lie. I should kill you where you stand!”
The left guard draws his pistol, but before he can fire, a familiar voice sounds. “Oh I believe him. I believe him with all my heart, “The voice says, “Blue hasn’t been herself lately. I know this for a fact.”
The pony that has spoken comes out the shadows. It is dark so I can see very little of him, but I do recognize the voice. “Hello UnknownProdigy.” says ShadowPirate, “How have you been all these years, old friend."
* * *
Shadow had very little to say to me on the walk to the central tent. He walks with the same stoicism that he always did back in Grieta. He came from a proud family and he made sure everypony around him knew that. Now I look at him, and I still see that ambitious fire still alight in his eyes. He always pushed himself so hard in training, trying to be the best of the group, get the record time.
We had known each other in our school days. We had been great friends, always getting into some sort of trouble or another. It was always our mission to make our instructor have a nervous breakdown. Eventually we had succeeded and they had to replace her. Looking back, I think our morals were slanted. Still, can’t change the past, got to keep pushing forward. We are about to reach the entrance of the central tent when Shadow finally speaks up. “So Unknown, before we go in I must warn you. Crystal Blue has been rather stressed with the war effort already. She may not be able to take the death of her best friend so easily. She may try to pin this on you, much like the guards did. I will try to keep her at bay for as long as I can, but I fear that this meeting will ultimately end in violence. Do you understand?”
I nod my head slowly. I know Crystal had always had a short temper. She paraded herself around Grieta like she owned the place. Technically her family did, her father being the leader of the country. She was the first pony out of the gates to greet the Ninpundist. She was also the pony that provoked the war by firing a shot at one of the Ninpundists. That shot lead to thousands upon thousands of death. I still wonder if she can sleep at night with that much blood on her hooves.
Then I begin to wonder something else. I voice my concern with Shadow, “How do you know I’m not lying to you. You seem so sure that I am telling the truth. Why? Are you biased?”
Shadow chuckles, “Yes some ponies may think that I am biased towards my friend, but I have other reasons to believe you. Prodigy do you know what my task was during the War at the Rift?”
I have to rummage through many buried memories trying to find the answer, “You were a war interrogator. You were the pony who asked captured enemies their plans. You used many means of doing this. Why is that important?”
“Well Prodigy, it means that I can tell if someone is trying to pull a wall over my eyes. I can tell if someone is lying to me. And I can tell that you aren’t trying to decieve me. Hopefully I am correct. Now another question, why did you bring Bunker back to us? Do you have some sort of debt to repay?”
“No, I’m just making sure that the pony who saved my life gets a proper burial. I couldn’t just leave him out there to rot. He deserves better than that. So I brought him back here so you and the rest of your faction could hold the proper ceremonies.”
“That is very noble of you Prodigy. I haven’t seen much nobility these days. Everypony is only worried about themselves, and no one else. It pains my heart to see such disharmony.”
“Says the pony who is trying to overthrow the government,” I tease. Shadow chuckles, “Touché. Now let us go inside and get this entire thing sorted out. You can leave Bunker outside. I’d rather not have him stinking up the war room.”
With that he slips inside, and I follow.
The inside of the tent is a mess of tables, chairs, charts, and maps. A single pony stares at them, standing incredibly still. This pony is also wearing a hood, so it is hard to distinguish what she looks like, but I already know who is is. “Crystal,” Shadow calls, “We have a visitor.”
Crystal Blue turns slowly and I can see her eyes. They appear to drill holes into my soul, almost as if they are trying devour it. Her mouth twists into a sneer, “Why have you brought this scum to me? Has he been captured in battle? If he is you know what to do. Have him lynched. Hang him, shoot him, poison him, I don’t care how you do it. Now begone and leave me to myself.”
Shadow balks and I know I have to pick up, “Crystal that is not the reason Shadow has brought me here. I come bringing something that belongs to you.” I see Crystal’s ears perk up. “You have something for us? What is it? Gold, weapons, gems, information? Tell me!”
“I only bring news, Crystal,” I respond, not showing my fear of what is to come when I utter the news, “The news is that the great Darkstar: The Bunker Guy has died. He was struck down by Blue in battle. He died valiantly, I have brought back his body so he can be buried properly.”
Crystal stands there for a few seconds. She stand completely still, her eyes dark. Then she says one word, “No…”
Before either me not Shadow can react she quickly draws her pistol, holds it up to her head, and pulls the trigger. Shadow yells as Crystal’s blood splatters onto his coat. He falls to the ground as Crystal’s lifeless body slams into the cold, dark earth. I stand completely in shock, my thoughts gone, my brain silent. I can’t do anything, all I can do is stand, rooted in place. I feel like a statue, unmoving. I don’t even notice the blood that has covered the front of body. Nothing registers. The sheepdog whimpers and the bullet drills itself deeper into my chest.
Finally after some time I can hear Shadow’s brisk voice shouting to me, “Prodigy! Prodigy! Are you ok? Prodigy!”
I finally find my voice, and respond quietly, “Yes, I’m fine. I’m fine.”
Shadow’s face holds that of a concerned parent. A parent that has just witnessed their child’s loss of innocence. It’s not like I haven’t watch a pony die before, but it this seemed different. Watching a pony take their own life was very different. In my entire time of being a soldier I have yet to see another take their own life. News stories dumb these sort of things down. When you see it firsthand, it isn’t pretty. It’s ugly and messy.
The Rebels heard the shot and have crowded into the tent. When they see their dead leader on the ground some scream, others faint, some cry, and still others stand completely silent. Shadow looks over the crowd of his worried army. Now his army and says, “I need you to grab some shovels and fashion crosses out of any wood you can find. We need to have funeral for Bunker and Crystal. Now go!”
At the order the rest of the Rebels rush off in different directions. Shadow looks out, making sure no other ponies stayed behind. He looks back at me and say, “Well old friend it looks like we’ve got some bodies to be buried.”
I quietly respond, “six feet up…”
Shadow, knowing the phrase finishing it for me, “...six feet down. Now come Prodigy. I’ll need to oversee the ceremony. You should come too.”
He turns around and walks out of the tent. Shortly after I follow him, a bullet in my chest and a sheepdog at my heels.
* * *
(Celestia’s POV) So the first year of the war began. And so the first year of the war ended. Lines were drawn, lives were lost. The angels were crying for all those whose lives had been wasted in the first bloody year. Still there was hope in a single pony trying to redeem himself. Silverheart: The UnknownProdigy was one step closer to achieving enlightenment.
End Chapter 23
Orginal Blog Creator- The Candlekeeper
Fanfiction's title inspiration- Guildmaster Grovyle
Main Supporter- Seaswirl10
Template Creator- Meester Tweester
Special Thanks to the Bluelighting, Seaswirl10, The Bunker Guy, Crystal Blue, Epicluna, and ShadowPirate for letting me use their usernames and OCs in this chapter.
Thanks for Reading