You know what I'm going to say. This fanfiction has harsher language, violence, and other things that your mommy and daddy warned you about. Read this at your own risk.
Begin Chapter 34
“One year”. One year indeed. One year has changed everything. The whole dynamic of the war. Factions have fallen, the death count has escalated quickly. The entire land of Equestria has been ravaged by war. Perhaps even farther than the reaches of Equestria...I do not know. What I do know is this. I have done it, I’ve protected Celestia with everything I have. No faction nor anypony else for that matter has come even close to laying a hoof on her. With the alliance of Crimson and his masterful strategic mind, we wiped out the rest of the competition. Still, we have sustained heavy losses. Recruitment is next to nothing, and the war has dragged on for far too long.
However, there is hope on the horizon. Only one major faction remains, the ones that protect that back the mare called Applejack, one of the former members of the hexagon alliance. Now, she is the only one that remains in our way. Rainbow Dash is on our side, Fluttershy and her supporters have gone into hiding, Rarity and Twilight Sparkle have both fallen. And Pinkie Pie hasn’t been seen in ages. Only one prideful Earth Pony is in our way of total victory. The war will end, and perhaps the rebuilding can begin. No corner of Equestria has escaped, blood runs fast and free in every river and ashes salt all corners of the land. It’s a very sad sight. To see such a beautiful place turned upside down. It will all be worth it in the end. After all, war is a necessary evil.
Perhaps we could advance further if our leader, Candlekeeper, would get his own head out of his ass and actually lead. He just sits in on meetings, sitting in silence. He adds nothing and hardly acts like the disciplined stallion that muscled his way to the top that I once knew. He’s changed. The war has changed everypony. Bluelighting, I didn’t know her well, but she’s gone mad. Our spy has infiltrated her ragtag group of followers and has reported the mare to be on the brink of pure hysteria. She is, according to him, filled with bloodlust and rage. He says that she will set into motion an attack by the end of the lunar cycle. That is little of our concern. We can easily stave off the attack. Our spy has reported a rather small army, far outnumbered by ours. Blue is hardly a threat. Her quest for revenge against Silverheart has driven her to desperate lengths. This shall be her undoing.
Today is the end of the lunar cycle. Blue will attack today. I’ve been readying the troops, telling them that there is nothing to worry about. At the end of my rounds, I stop by Silverheart’s tent. I sigh heavily. The stallion has been crippled permanently by his leg injuries. It’s a crying shame too. He was most likely the most skilled fighter in our entire army, sans for myself of course. If we still had him duking it out for us, perhaps we would have won this war by now. He is the terror of the battlefield. Recruits are often told of the glorious battles in which “The Reaper”, “The Prodigy of Death” would swoop in and defeat legions upon legions of soldiers while only using a simple pair of horrible knives. The Silverheart died a long time ago. All that is left is a stallion haunted by the ghosts of his past, desperately trying repent for all the pain and misery her wrought upon the innocents. For all the widows and parentless foals he left in his murderous wake. Now, he sits in his tent, preferring to be left alone. He only resurfaces from his own company and misery when there is a battle. Then, he takes on the task of undertaker and buries the dead. Alone, as always.
I walk up to his tent and look at the flaps. As always, hanging above the entryway is a flower. Snowdrop to be precise. I can recall him telling me of its significance. “A reminder. A reminder to myself of my failure. To always remember my mistake. Always.” It is almost enough to make your heart wrench for the poor sap. Almost. I push myself through the tent flaps to see the dark blue stallion sitting on the edge of his bead, reading a well-worn book. The Bible, of course. Always that damn holy book. That’s all he ever does anymore, read that book. I cough lightly to clear my throat. Silverheart hardly reacts, but he does grant me a response. “What do you need, Spearmint?”
I bite back a retort. That is hardly a way to respond to your commander. I refrain, however, and maintain my composure. “I was just going to tell you that Bluelighting is planning on attacking our camp today. I thought perhaps you would to know.”
Silverheart still doesn’t look up from his book. “Is that right? How the time flies, huh? Well, are you ready for the assault.”
I scoff. “Of course we are ready, you fool! We outnumber Bluelighting’s army ten to one. There is no chance that she defeats our superior strength and size.”
This time, Silverheart does look up from his book. Grey hair flecks his muzzle. His eyelids are baggy. His eyes however...His eyes look...fractured...unfocused. His mouth curls into a dour frown. “You underestimate your foe, Spearmint.”
I glare at Silverheart. “How dare you!? Our army will quash the resistance with ease. There is nothing to fear. No tricks of Bluelighting could possibly stop our great victory. We have defeated far greater foes in our quest for dominance. Why should one little pony and her little ring of hoodlums stop us now? There is no possible way for Blue to emerge victorious. Perish the thought!”
Silverheart glances back down at his book and shakes his head. “As I said, you underestimate her. She would not have challenged you if she didn’t think she could win. Her heart has been blackened by ruthless ambition, but she is no fool, Spearmint. Beware.”
I sneer at the rambling stallion. “If you are so worried about it, then why don’t you come out and fight with us? What’s the point of sitting in here? Work through the pain. If you perish on the battlefield, at least you died a hero. Instead you sit in here and rot. Change that. Come with us and vanquish our pathetic foe. One last time, take up arms and do what you do best! You still have one good fight left in you, I’m sure.”
Silverheart looks up from his book and stares at the wall in front of him. His expression adopts a look of pondering. It is over a full minute before he speaks up again. “I will fight alongside you, Spearmint. One last time, as you said. I am sure it will be the last time.”
I nod. “Do you plan to leave after this battle?”
Silverheart shrugs. “Something like that. Now, let’s go out-...What is that noise?”
I cock my head to one side and hear what sounds like whistling. The whistling of...The whistling ceases and four explosions rock the ground beneath my hooves. The siege has begun. I rush out of the tent and head for the defensive line I set up. I look out at the flat and see Blue’s army marching forward...A huge army. Almost larger than ours. The pony heading the charge is Blue herself, four cannons being dragged forward behind her. I can see Blue smile coldly across no-man’s land. She is carrying a wooden pole beside her in her magical aura. Tied to it is...our agent...Bloody and very dead. Bluelighting plants her pole in the ground and throws her head back and laughs. A musical bit of crazed laughter that pierces the cool morning air. She shouts across the field, addressing me. “Oh what a crying shame, Guildmaster! It seems that your little spy was feeding you bad information this whole time! I only told him what I wanted him to know! My army is far larger than just fifty soldiers. Try over one thousand! Now then, hand over Silverheart and the rest of you will be spared. If not, you will all perish at my army’s hand!”
Silverheart has finally caught up to me and breathes in my ear. “Don’t. It’s all a rouse, she’ll just kill everyone anyway. Fight her with everything we’ve got.”
I nod curtly. I understand perfectly. I look down the line of soldiers. Four crater holes pepper the ground only a few hundred feet away. Warning shots, Blue wanted the whole faction to know that we were here. I decide to shout back at Bluelighting. “Where did you scrounge up this group of one thousand bottom feeders?”
Bluelighting just chuckles. “They are the faction that supports Applejack. I waltz in and merely charmed my way in. Soon, I was running the whole show. Now they follow my orders! Now give me Silverheart!”
I look toward the three ponies manning our three remaining cannons. The nod back at me. Everything is ready. I turn back to Blue. “Sorry, I’m afraid I can’t do that. FIRE!”
Three loud cannon shots split through the air as our artillery shell the enemy line. All three score direct hits on the enemy, but the damage is not significant enough. I scream to the artillery. “RELOAD!”
No sooner than a moment after my order, Blue’s voice shouts to her own army. “FIRE!”
Four shots sound. The shells seem to come apart as they hurtle towards the front. Then, I see that they are tiny pellets. Eighty in all. They rip through the defensive front, killing scores of soldiers in the process. I grit my teeth as all that is left of swaths of soldiers is a fine red mist. The artillery ponies nod to me as they finish reloading. “FIRE AGAIN!”
Another three shots fire, this time striking down one of Blue’s artillery, but we might as well be throwing rocks at siege towers. The damage is minimal at best and we would have to pound Blue’s line a hundred times to deal the same damage that one single shot from Blue’s inflicted. I motion for the cannon operators to not reload. I turn my army and nod curtly. The nod back and turn about face. The draw their numerous weapons and charge the enemy. Three more shots fire from Blue’s cannons and tear through the line, but my army continues its charge. One pony brushes past me and rushes into the fray far quicker than Silverheart, whom I know was standing behind me. Instead, I see Candlekeeper running at the advancing army of Blue’s, weapons at the ready. I raise an eyebrow in shock. Finally, Silverheart limps to my side. “Well, ready to go in there?”
I nod. “Of course I am.”
Together, I run and he limps into the battle that has already descended into chaos. Shots sound off at random. Metal clangs against metal as ponies engage each other. It’s a slaughter, ponies drop to the ground dead like flies. Cries of anguish and death ring out through the cool morning air. Celestia is raising the sun, alone in her tent, unable to help us at the time being. It’s all for the best anyway, I don’t want her to be out here to see this slaughter.
As I canter into the fray, I feel a chill in the air. My blood runs cold. Something dark, something powerful is afoot. Something is very, very wrong. Then, I hear it. A mad cackle of pure mirth rings through the air. Suddenly, the sky begins to flood with storm clouds. Lightning boils and thunder rolls. The air sparks and is charged with an electric current. My fur stands on end. This is all wrong...Then, it happens. A shockwave of energy rushes out and sends scores of my soldier sailing like ragdolls. The cackle sounds again and another magical attack hits the right flank, sending more ponies into the air. Blue’s ponies and mine, there is no bias as to who is flicked aside like insects. I rush forward trying to see who is at the epicenter of the maelstrom, but I already know. Standing in the center, sending jet after jet of magenta magic at her foes, is Blue. Her face twisted into a horrible expression of pure manic glee. Then, she finds her prize and her smile wavers. She speaks in a horrible, singsongy voice. “Found you.”
At first, I think she’s talking about me, then I realize that she doesn’t even see me. Her gaze is fixed on a dark blue unicorn laying on the ground in front of her, having been knocked over by the last shockwave. He struggles to rise, but his legs don’t seem to be working correctly. He looks at Blue and I see something I thought I thought I'd never see in Silverheart’s eyes. Fear. Absolute terror. He tries to crawl away, but Blue is far too quick. She cuts him off before he can get back to the crowd. “Tsk, tsk, Silverheart. I thought you were a fighter not a coward. Why don’t you stay here and die like a true stallion?”
A pony in the fray tries to raise a knife and stab her in the back, but his blade ricochets off some sort of forcefield. He looks dumbfounded. It seems Blue has made sure that no pony will interfere with her victory. She smiles cruelly. “No ponies to hide behind anymore, Silverheart. You’re out of luck and out of time. Good-bye, UnknownProdigy.”
She slashes downward with her knife, going for the killing blow. I look away, not wanting to see my friend murdered in cold blood. I expect to hear something, a cry of pain or of anguish, but all I hear is a clang. I look up in shock to see that Silverheart is not lying in a pool of his own blood. He is on his hooves, knives drawn, one of which is hovering above his head in his magical aura, deflecting the strike of Blue. He just smiles. “Sorry to upset you, sweetheart. But I’m not quite done yet.”
A shocked Bluelighting stumbles backwards and then hesitates for just a second. A second is all that Silverheart needs. He lashes out with breakneck speed and strikes Blue square in the muzzle with the end of his blade. She tumbles backwards into the dirt, cursing his name. She snarls at Silverheart. “You arrogant fool! You think you can beat me!”
Silverheart just smiles. “I don’t think I can beat you, Blue. I know I can beat you.” Bluelighting lets out a roar of fury and lunges at Silverheart, daggers raised above her head. Silverheart waits for her to come to him, then at the last moment, sidesteps the move and lashes out with his own blades. They graze Blue’s right flank, sending the mare into an unbalanced tumble as she hits the mud again. She is hardly hurt however. She just looks even more furious. The blood drips out of the wounds for a few moments, then the chill returns. My blood feels like ice in my veins. Blue chuckles, then begins to laugh. “You thought...you could beat me?”
She turns around to face Silverheart who is preparing for her next move. Then, I see her flanks. There are no wounds, no blood. They are just gone. Healed is perhaps a better word for it. I stand in shock, a battle happening all around me. It’s a miracle that I haven’t been jumped on by an enemy by now, but I am too focused on the battle unfolding in front of me to care. Bluelighting takes a step forward. “You thought you could stand up against me? I told you, Silver. I am a god now! I am indestructible!”
She charges up her horn and sends a bolt of dark purple energy at Silverheart. He barely has enough time to react, raising his blade to deflect the ray off of it. The force of the impact still knocks him back a couple of feet. He shakes his head. “We shall see about that, old friend.”
Bluelighting smiles. “Indeed we shall.”
She rushes forth again. This time, Silverheart doesn’t have the time to evade the strike, he must meet her. He parries her powerful strike, but it causes him to stumble back. Bluelighting takes this chance to try and sweep his legs out from under him, but Silverheart manages to dance out of the way, wincing in pain as he does. This time, he goes on the offensive, slashes a wide arc with both of his blades. Bluelighting deflects the first of the two blades, but the second hit home. Hitting her right in the neck. Bluelighting falls to the ground, blood spewing forth from the wound. She chokes and writhes...and then, she’s still. A pool of blood blooms around her, stained the mud crimson. Silverheart looks down at Bluelighting and just shakes his head. “You deserved better than this.”
He begins to walk away, his eyes filled with tears. His limp is worse than ever and he’s cut in more than just a few places from scraping against the dirt. He walks towards me and nods. “Don’t worry. She won’t be bothering anypony ever again. It’s over.”
I smile dryly. That’s good to hear. I nod back to Silverheart. “Thank you. For all you’ve done.”
Silverheart just shakes his head. “It was nothing. She went down easier than I expected. It really wasn’t that difficult. She was sloppy. It was almost like she was trying to lo-.”
Silverheart’s eyes go wide and he looks down. I look down with him and I see what cut him off. An arrow...an expanding tip arrow, much like one of...No...Silverheart looks back at me and coughs...Coughs up blood. He looks back and I looks around him. Blue has risen, her wounds have been healed. Her face dons a crooked smile. “I warned you, but you wouldn’t listen. You can never beat me, Silverheart. Never.”
Silverheart looks back at me… “Shit.”
He loses his balance and collapses into the dirt, blood pumping out of the wound in his chest. Bluelighting takes her time walking up to him, relishing in the moment of it. Seeing this as an opportunity, I pull out my flintlock and aim it at the twisted blue mare. However, just before I pull the trigger, the gun turns to ash in my magical aura. The wind sweeps it away. Blue looks at me. “Wait your turn. I’ll get to you soon enough.”
I try to rush forward and defend Silverheart, but the forcefield keep me back. I cannot reach him. Bluelighting reaches Silverheart and kneels down before him. He’s struggling to breath now and he’s losing too much blood. He manages a weak leer. Blue just shakes her head. “What a pity. You were a worthy adversary, I must say. Sorry to see it end this way, but this was the only way it could have ended. I win. I’m the hero in this story, Silverheart. Don’t you see that? I win and you lose. You lose because you are the villain. The ghost story that mothers tell their foals to keep them from sneaking out of bed at night. ‘Watch out, or else The Prodigy of Death will get you’.” She laughs, “But you aren’t that scary, are you? Because in your final moments, you are nothing. You are mortal, you are finite. I however, shall be eternal. I shall never die. Your old friend assured me of that.”
Silverheart curls his lip. “Discord…? You allied...with him?”
Bluelighting nods. “Yes, I did. He’s helped me in my quest to defeat you. He’s granted me immortality! I am unkillable. Nothing shall stand in my way now! NOTHING! NOT YOU, NOT ANYONE!”
A small voice sounds from the edge of the clearing. The fighting has stopped. “I will.”
Bluelighting turns around in shock and I look as well. Standing there, amongst the silent calm is Candlekeeper. I look around...The ground is littered with corpses...Only a few survivors run off in full retreat. Laying dead on the ground is an orange pony with a cutie mark with three apples. The pony we came to defeat. The last domino to fall. Candlekeeper’s composure remains steely. “Applejack is dead, Bluelighting. It’s over. Surrender.”
Bluelighting looks taken aback by the sheer gall of Candlekeeper. Then, she laughs. She falls over in laughter, rolling on the ground with great revel. “You….YOU WILL!? Oh, that is priceless! Absolutely priceless!”
She finally manages to calm down, meanwhile, Candle has stepped forward. “Yes, I will. I will meet you back here in this same spot at sunset. We shall see who is best then.”
Bluelighting smiles cruelly. “I accept those terms, Candlekeeper. You have just secured an early death.”
Candle nods. “We shall see.”
He turns around and heads after his retreating army. Bluelighting nods. “Yes, we shall.”
She turns back to Silverheart, whose breath has become slow and shallow. He is almost gone now. He looks up at Bluelighting. “You...are...a fool.”
Blue just looks at Silver like he’s a petulant child. “Do you think so? Does allying myself with the God of Chaos make me a fool?”
Silverheart nods. “Never...make...a deal...with the...Devil...Blue...He always...collects his...dues…”
Bluelighting just chuckles. “How cute. Still worried about me, are you? How pathetic. How could you possibly still care for me? That’s your problem, Silver. You’re too soft. That’s what got you here in the first place. You could have been great, yet here you lie. Dying on the grass. Such a shame...Well, I suppose I must leave you now. I have a battle to prepare for. Oh, and one more thing.”
Her horn lights up and small plant grows rapidly from the dirt. It soon blooms in a white flower, Silverheart’s eyes widen...He speaks softly. “Snow...drop…”
Bluelighting smiles maliciously. “Greet her for me. She was an excellent plaything. Oh, and one more thing."
She reaches out an plucks Silverheart's knives away from him. "I think these are mine now. Good-bye, Silverheart."
And with that, Bluelighting disappears in a flash of magenta light. Her forcefield falls and I rush to Silverheart’s side and kneel next to him. Tears are flowing thick and fast from his eyes. He’s muttering the same word over and over again. “Failed...Failed...Fail...ed…”
I shake him lightly. “Silverheart? Silverheart!”
He looks up at me weakly. “Failed...I failed...her...Spear...mint.”
I look at the flower. “Snowdrop? No, you didn’t, Bluelighting killed her in cold blood. You failed no one.”
Silverheart shakes his head. “Failed...Blue...Couldn’t...save…her...”
I look in confusion. “You mean...you couldn’t save Bluelighting?”
He nods. “Wish...I could...fix...But...failed...Sea...He...told me...to...fix...her...failed…”
I look out at the horizon. “Don’t worry about her anymore, Silverheart. She was beyond help.”
Silverheart is barely breathing at this point. His face looks ashen. He speaks almost inaudibly. “Do you...want to know...what I wanted to be when I...grew up?”
A strange question, but I humor him. “Sure, Silverheart. That sounds wonderful. What did you want to be?”
Silverheart looks at me dead in the eye. “Known...I wanted to be...known...Do you...think they’ll...tell legends...about me?”
I laugh, fighting back tears. “Yes, Silverheart. Of course they’ll write legends about you. How you never faltered and were always leading the charge over the top. How you faced many a foe and never once cowered. How you were a hero. You were a hero Silverheart. You are a hero, Silverheart.”
I look down at him and he smiles. “I like that...Hero...Hero...Silverheart...The Greatest...Hero…”
He exhales and his head lulls to the side. The great UnknownProdigy, Silverheart, is gone.
End Chapter 34
Original Blog Creator- The Candlekeeper
Fanfiction's title inspiration- Guildmaster Grovyle
Main Supporter- Seaswirl10
Template Creator- Meester Tweester
Special Thanks to Bluelighting, Candlekeeper, Seaswirl, and Guildmaster Grovyle for letting me use their usernames and OCs in this chapter.
Thanks for Reading!