This fanfiction is a loose retelling of an actual blog created by the Candlekeeper, called Hurt/Heal. This fanfiction contains foul language, violence, 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 27
Luna’s blade is easily knocked aside by own, sending a shower of sparks through the dawn air. Luna sneers and slashes again and, once again, I parry the strike. I steal a quick glance at Celestia and see that her horn is glowing with a golden aura. I can see the area around me beginning to brighten as the sun rises in the east. Luna continues to press, staying on the offensive. I am the best swordspony in the land. I will not be defeat by some wannabe princess. Luna strikes again, but this time I decide to stop her dead in her tracks. When her blade hits mine, I pull out my second flintlock and fire. Luna jumps back in surprise, the booming sound rocking through the battlefield. Using this opportunity, I knock her blade out of her magical grip, sending it spiraling through the air, finally wedging itself in the trunk of a tree. The blade wobbles slightly, and then goes still. Luna looks at her lunar blade buried into the trunk of an ancient tree in complete shock, in complete disbelief that she had been bested. She slowly begins to back up, tripping over her own hooves.
At that very moment the sun bursts over the horizon, lighting up the battlefield in shower of light. Celestia stands and shakes off the dust clinging to her coat. She glowers at her cowering sister, her eyes burning with rage. “Run, cowardly sister. Run!” Luna falls on her hindquarters, then pulls herself back up swiftly. “Retreat! Retreat! Fall back to the base of the hill!”
Her soldiers are already ahead of her, sans Bluelighting. She is still locked in vicious combat with the UnknownProdigy. The small circle of sky above them is still choked with thick black thunderheads. Lightning continues to flash and boil, while thunder cracks through the air. A single storm marring a beautiful, clear day. Bluelighting slashes again with her knives and they are immediately met midair by the curved, barbed blades of UnknownProdigy, another shower of sparks fall to the ground, near the two brawlers hooves. I hear Luna’s rasping voice shout again. This time it is only to Bluelighting. “Bluelighting! I said retreat! Fall back! NOW!”
Bluelighting finally gets the message, but not before slashing at UnknownProdigy one more time. The strike is once again parried. Unknown backs up and allows the light blue unicorn to flee. Bluelighting spits one last insult that I don’t catch and canters back to the massive hole in our once proud defensive wall. The rest of the Lunars soon pour out of the camp, like bees out of a broken open nest. A few of the Solars let out a celebratory shout and begin hurling jeers at the bolting army. I push my way through the crowd, standing on the pile of rubble that was the front wall. I look down at the Lunars’ flight and shake my head. They escaped with too many uninjured and too few dead. They will be back for another round in the evening.
I examine my leg and see a long gash running down my leg, blood slowly oozes out of it. I shrug and limp back to the center of camp. As I walk back to the central tent, I hear footfalls behind me. I turn and see UnknownProdigy limping after me. His wounds healed quickly thanks to Celestia’s magic, but it could only do so much for him. He may never walk without a limp again, but at least he can fight again. I sit down, allowing him to catch up. As he nears, I can see a welt protruding from the side of his head. Due to the welt being on the bad eye side, his scar has been reopened and blood is slowly trickling out. The reopened scar reminds me of the scrap I had with him over a year ago. The fight that I slashed open his eye. He always told me that it didn’t really bother him anymore, but I can tell it does. He has to turn his head all the way to the left just to see out of that side. He’s constantly trying to see out of the left side without turning his head, and then getting frustrated at the void in his once perfect vision. Half of his vision has gone dark, and I am to blame. The Prodigy of being Unknown has lost half of his sight, the sight that allowed him to be so dangerous. Still, there is little room for remorse in during war. The moment you show weakness, you have already lost.
UnknownProdigy finally reaches my side, wincing at every footfall. I open my mouth, thinking about telling him that he should head back home instead of staying here fighting this war. Then I remember that Unknown really doesn’t have a home to go back to. Maybe he could stay at camp as a doctor. He did have a PHD after all. Prodigy starts talking before I can even find the words to tell him this. “Grovyle, the Lunars have retreated to the base of the hill. They have set up a temporary camp in the valley. They are in a very poor position. We should strike them hard and fast. We could finish this today. I’ll even lead the charge if you want.”
I can tell he’s passionate about this. His voice rings with confidence. Conviction that I have not seen out of him in quite some time. I fear that I will have to be the one to stamp it out. “Unknown, you can’t lead the charge.”
“Oh that’s fine! I’m sure that Ugly or Hysterical could lead it. I’m not the only-.”
“No Prodigy, you don’t understand. You aren’t going.”
Unknown’s ice blue eye that was once burning with determination is now confused by what I’ve just said. “W-what do you mean I’m not going? I’m one of your best fighters!” I shake my head. “There’s no doubt there Prodigy, but I fear the severity of your injuries was worse than I thought. From the looks of it you can barely keep up a trotting pace.”
“Yes I can! I’ll prove it to you!”
And with that he starts to limp rapidly off. He manages to get a few feet before his front legs buckles and his gets a mouthful of dust. I shake my head again. “No Prodigy. I’m sorry. You could always stay back and help Nurse Redheart.”
“B-but I-,” Prodigy looks like he’s on the verge of tears, “Fine Grovyle...I’ll stay back at camp.”
Unknown struggles back to his hooves and starts to slowly limp back to the medical tent. My conversation with UnknownProdigy divulged something that I hadn’t noticed before. His voice was slowly, but surely losing the raspiness I had grown used to. A deal we had made with him for joining our cause was we would use anything in our power to heal his damaged lungs. Using the medical supplies and copious amounts of healing magic, the lungs slowly began to heal. I had expected his voice to return to the sarcastic, icy tone that it once was, but this wasn’t the case. The cruelty was no longer in his voice, and through the raspiness, I heard the voice of the caring Unknown of days past. Or at least that’s what I was told he sounded like. I never knew him when he was young. A shame too. It could have shone some light on how he became so cold and violent. Maybe it was the knives. Those beautiful, deadly knives. The knives of nightmares, barbed and curved, they rip through flesh like a fish through water. Many ponies have lost their life’s blood on those iridescently terrifying knives.
I recently did some research about those knives. There were plenty of books in Twilight’s library that spoke of a pair of legendary daggers. They granted the user spectacular strength and dexterity, but these gifts do not come without a price. The users are smitten with sadness and misery. They never are truly happy again and will die in extreme pain and misery. The knives have a tragic and bloodstained history. The book also cautioned that those who kill the bearers of the knives then have to wield them themselves. They cannot refuse, as if some sort of external force is making them pick up the knives and brandish them. The knives also seem to have an adverse side effects on the handler’s mental state. It degrades their morals and destroys their sanity. They are truly the knives of nightmares, for those that totes them and for those that are on the wrong end of the blades. I shake my head and sigh. No one should suffer such a fate. I slowly begin to make my way back to the camp when UglyTurtle trots up to me. Following him slowly is a miserable, bluish-white pegasus filly. “Grovyle?”
“What!?” I say quickly and sharply.
UglyTurtle slightly recoils at my tone. I mentally sigh again. This war has put more stress on me than I had originally thought. “I’m sorry UglyTurtle. What do you want?” “Well…” He brings the filthy filly forward. “This is Snowdrop. I found her alone, wandering the battlefield,” He leans in and whispers. “She’s blind.” I nod. “So I’m assuming that you want to nurse her back to health, and then send her back to her family.”
“Yes. That is exactly what I wish to propose.”
“Fine. But the moment caring for her gets in the way of your work-.”
A slightly raspy voice sounds. “I’ll care for her.”
I turn around and see that Unknown has returned. “I’m stuck in camp anyway,” He says, “I might as well have something to do while I’m here.”
Unknown walks up to the pitiful filly and looks down at the miserable scrap. “Is she blind?”
“Yes.” UglyTurtle’s voice wavers when he says this.
“Well I suppose that’s good for me. She won’t be scared by my appearance,” He then turns to the filly, “Come along, little one. I have a nice warm blanket ready for you.”
Unknown levitates Snowdrop onto his back and begins to stiffly trot over to the medical tent. His lone eye shines with compassion. I watch him slowly walk away, a fragile soul on his back. It warms my heart to see such kindness during such misery. Some ponies would leave a pony like Snowdrop out in the cold to die. They would see her as nothing but a burden, another useless mouth to feed. But we are better than that. The moment we show such cruelty, we have become ruthless savages. We would all become like the Unknowns of the past and the Bluelightings of the present. Unknown has reminded me of this, and I’m glad that he has. I look back at UglyTurtle. “Get a strike force ready. We attack the Lunars. Now.”
“But we just finished fighting them, we’re injured.”
“No. We are still strong enough. I want the menace that is the Lunar Republic to be destroyed. With them gone, this war can end, and no more ponies have to die. Now, follow my orders and get some volunteers. I want an attack force of about five hundred or so. That should be enough to attack the Lunars and win.”
“But they brought their entire army! They are almost five thousand strong! We will be crushed!”
“No, you won’t. The Lunars are poor at defending. They rely on their wall. Now that they are out in the open, they will be unable to defend their camp. They are also on a downhill, making their stronghold hard to defend. Five hundred can take five thousand if you play your cards right, UglyTurtle. Get Hysterical, Computer, Queen Chrysalis, Celestia, Candle, and that Meester Tweester to go. He’s been in camp for over a year, he seems to be loyal to the Light Cavalry, we need to put him to use. Now go!”
UglyTurtle bolts off, heading to Candlekeeper’s quarters. I watch him disappear behind the wall of white canvas and begin to trot back to my own quarters. I need a quick bit of shut eye before we start the raid. As I walk I unstrap the flintlock I fired and begin to reload it. Always a boring, tedious task. That’s why I always carry numerous pistols on me at one time and rarely use them in combat. I’ll stick to be shortsword thank you very much. I’m almost to my tent, when suddenly I feel a tapping on my back. I quickly turn around and prepare to snap at whomever thought it was a good idea to try and ruin my chance for a little bit of rest. When I do this I am met with Candlekeeper. His face is hard to steely and he’s cut in several places, blood still oozes from one in his shoulder. “Grovyle, are you sure that attacking them now is such a good idea?”
“Yes, I think that it is the smart thing to do. They are reeling from this defeat. It’s about time we finished this, once and for all.”
“I can’t disagree with you there, but Celestia has voiced some concerns.” “Like?”
“Why only bring five hundred. She says that we bring everyone. I agree with her.” “But what if they launch a counterattack without us knowing?”
“They won’t. If we bring everyone they will be too swamped to even think about sending a strike force to our camp. And even if they do, there’s always Unknown.”
“So, you are putting the safety of our camp in the hooves of the insane gimp? Why does this sound like a bad idea?”
“Oh, please Grovyle. You know that Unknown is the best fighter around here-”
Candle rolls his eyes. “You are such a narcissist sometimes, you know that? Fine, second best fighter around. He held off the entire Lunar army with a pistol, a sniper and two daggers. You have to admit that’s pretty impressive.”
“I think he just got lucky.”
“Maybe, but the harder you try, the luckier you get.” “Whatever.”
“Well, I’ve mustered all of our troops. I think we should be heading out now.” He begins to trot back to the gates, but I hail him back. “But I haven’t even decided anything!”
“All the other leading officers and Celestia voted for an unrelenting assault. I think you’ve been outvoted.”
I sneer and mumble a curse under my breath. “Fine…”
I plod forward, not really wanting to go through with this assault any longer. I fear that it may be just another failure to defeat the Lunar rebels. We’ve lost tens of thousands of soldiers in this petty power struggle. The entire town of Ponyville now sits in smoking piles of rubble. A once friendly and happy place, now is choked with the bodies of the dead. The ground is carpeted with the decaying, reeking bodies of those that have fallen in this war. The smell of death and misery hangs in the air like smog. It’s a constant stench, an undying sensation that never falters. It has gotten to the point where most ponies no longer mind it. They have grown accustom to the potent rank fetor. I haven’t, and I don’t think that I ever will. It is a smell that I will never allow to fade. I won’t let it become something I just ignore. I need to be constantly reminded about the cost of this war. I need the sight of a thousands dead and the smell of rotting, festering bodies baking in the heat. I need the sound of gunshots and cries of anguish and pain. And most of all, I need the sound of crying, the sound of a brother or sister sobbing over the mangled body of their fallen sibling. I need that sound most of all. All these sensations remind me. I have to make sure that none of them go stale, that their potency does not fade. For the moment I do, I will have lost myself to the fickleness and violence that dominates the hearts of the weak.
Due to my slow, dragging gait, it takes me a fair amount of time before I reach my destination. It seems that the whole of the Light Cavalry have gathered at the crumbling, fragmented gates. They mill around the gate, speaking nervously and impatiently. A few nurses push their way through the crowd, strapping saddlebags to the backs of soldiers or replaces gauze and bandages. Off to the side of the group, a lone blue unicorn and a small ice blue filly sit. Unknown looks rather run down from this angle. When this war started, he was strong and full of life, but thanks to injury after injury, it appears that he has grown almost ten years older. His lone eye looks tired and no longer burns with the fire it once did. His mane itself has begun to grey. He’s not that old, at least I don’t think he is. I walk up to Candle and nudged him. “I’m ready, but I have one question. Do you know how old Prodigy is?”
Candle looks at me inquiringly and then responds, “He’s in his late thirties I presume, maybe older. Why?”
“Oh, just a little curious that’s all. Shall we begin the march down to the Lunar camp now?”
“A splendid idea,” He turns to the the gathering of equine before him, “Form ranks!” The disorderly throng of Solars soon shuffles about, forming ranks rather swiftly. Candle barks yet another command and the lines begin moving. I trot up to the front of the front and position myself so I am flanking Celestia to her right. I may be marching down the hill to an enemy stronghold, but my mind is elsewhere. On Unknown, on the tiny filly Snowdrop, and on what happens when Luna falls and the Solars are victorious. Will Celestia kill her? Will she show her mercy? Will Luna allow herself to be torn to shreds rather than surrender peacefully? These thoughts and queries float around my head, only adding to my already prominent pounding in my head. I just want all of this to be over soon.
Celestia turns her head and looks at me. Her set face turns to one of concern. She’s excellent at reading emotions. “Grovyle, are you all right? You look concerned about something.”
“I’m fine,” I respond, “Just a bit distracted that’s all. There’s nothing to worry about.”
Celestia opens her mouth to respond again when an explosion shakes the air. I’m knocked off my feet and sent sprawling. The explosion has left both of my ears ringing and my hearing has become muffled. I hear more explosions, but they sound as if they are a miles away rather than right next to me. I feel myself being lifted back to my feet by a magical aura. I look around and see Celestia. Her horn is alight with its familiar golden glow. She sets me back onto my hooves. I can see that she’s trying to ask me a question, but I cannot hear it. It takes her four more times until I finally hear it. “Are you all right? Grovyle? Are you all right? Answer me!”
“I’m fine, I’m fine. Don’t worry about me, get the soldiers going!”
Celestia looks at the scrambling Solars and shouts, “Attack, now! For the Solar Empire!” Those that aren’t panicking begin to barrel down the hill, weapons at the ready. I look down at the Lunar camp and see a congregation of Lunars, ready to meet the Light Cavalry. Luna is at the front, in full armor, her sword of black metal at the ready. My gaze skims the Lunars’ ranks. I can’t see Bluelighting anywhere. ‘Where is she?’ I wonder, ‘You’d think that she wouldn’t miss this opportunity.’
I shake my head. The thought is too trivial for me to worry about. Maybe she was too badly injured in her duel with Unknown to fight. If that is the case, the day shall be ours. I draws my sword and a flintlock and follow my loyal foot soldiers down the hill. A majority of the Light Cavalry have already met the Lunars in vicious combat. Already dozens of Solars and Lunars are lying on the ground dead or dying. Screams of anguish and pure, unfiltered agony slice through the air like a sword through flesh. So much suffering, too much for this early in the battle. It is obvious that neither side is going to hold back, no one is going to relent. This is true, unrestricted warfare. Blood stains the ground and bodies fall. Final breaths are exhaled and darkness settles over the sight of many. More fall, dozens every minute. No matter what I do, the mortality rate will be through the roof. Despite this, I charge through the waves of flailing, living corpses and barrel straight into Luna. Her eyes widen as I crash into her, sending us both sprawling. Her sword clatters against a few rocks, just out of her magic reach. She glares at me and sneers. “A cowardly move, Grovyle.”
“Not cowardly. Strategic.”
I raise my blade and prepare to finish this war. It will only take one deft swipe, that’s all I need to do. Smite Luna down and stop this ruthless, bloody war. The blade begins its journey downward and I hear Luna say something that catches me completely off guard. “Grovyle? Where’s Bluelighting?”
My blade stops midarc. “What? What do you mean?”
“Ask yourself, Grovyle. Where is Bluelighting?”
I look around the battlefield, expecting to see the conceited unicorn mare slashing through enemies like tissue paper. I search the crowd vigorously in search of a light blue fighter. I don’t see one. “Sh-she’s…”
“Oh yes Grovyle. She’s at your camp.” The revelation sends a horrible chill down my spine.
End Chapter 27
Orginal Blog Creator- The Candlekeeper
Fanfiction's title inspiration- Guildmaster Grovyle
Main Supporter- Seaswirl10
Template Creator- Meester Tweester
Special Thanks to the The Candlekeeper, Bluelighting, Meester Tweester, UglyTurtle, ComputerPony, Hystericaldominolego, and Guildmaster Grovyle for letting me use their usernames and OCs in this chapter.
Thanks for Reading!