“What happened to her?” the worried, red teenage dragon asked.
Twilight Sparkle and the girls explained how she came to be like this, as well as their encounter with a Rock Ogre. The Dragons had no trouble believing them, since they have had encounters with such creatures outside of Equestria, and the rocks around them were evidence enough to prove the presence of one.
“But will she be alright?” Garble asked.
“Yes. She is just sleeping now, but we should let her rest. She has done more then enough for us already,” Courageous Heart decreed.
“Yeah, I agree. Besides, my Grandmother gets pretty cranky when her nap is disturbed. Trust me, I know,” Garble warned with a chuckle.
“I’ll take your advise on that one,” Spike supported.
“Right now, it’s time to break down the barrier and get inside the Castle,” Courageous explained as he trotted over to the gates.
The six mares, Spike, and Garble along with his gang of nine, ran over to join Courageous in removing the Darkness that covered the one and only entrance into Tirek’s fortress. “I can do this. Everypony stand back.” Courageous instructed, to which they obeyed.
Aiming his horn at the gates, the Champion focused and within only seconds, shot a beam of Light at the massive doors. The effect caused the group to shield their eyes as the Darkness fought with the Light, but in the end was removed.
“Alright! Way to go, Courageous!!” Rainbow Dash praised.
The rest were all amazed to see the power of the Light push back such evil energy so easily. Being the chosen one of the Light was really something. The two bigger dragons used their strength to open the great doors, allowing the group to enter at last.
“Come-on ya’ll. We got ourselves a centaur to fight!” Applejack stated as the ponies and teenage dragons made their way inside. The two bigger ones decided to guard the doors to prevent any dark ponies or otherwise from entering; also they would watch over the Wise One, and hope she would wake up soon.
Back in Ponyville, the army of ponies, zebras and buffalo were still trying their best to outrun the evil hydras that were tearing their way through the town, knocking over every house and building along the way. The forces of Good tried to fight back, but their strength and skills had very little effect: the sleeping arrows would only put at least one head to sleep, while leaving the rest awake and able to march on; one buffalo’s strength alone was not enough to knock one hydra down.
The Hydras charged on , pushing back everypony in their path. On occasion they would reach down and snap at any they could get close enough to, but would always end up missing.
Subira was fed up with the hydras having a distinct advantage over her friends and allies. She pulled out an arrow with a rope tied to it, and readied herself to fire. Right up ahead of her was a six-headed Hydra that was making its way through the crowd towards her. Waiting for the right moment, she fired…but missed.
The six heads laughed as the arrow went right passed them, but little did they know a few Pegasus ponies grabbed the arrow and flew right around its necks to tangle it up. Next they all pulled on the rope which forced the hydra to be redirected…right into another hydra. Once the two crashed into each other, their heads got all tangled up and they fell onto the ground.
“My aim is swift and true,” She said to the dazed Hydras, “Now if you will excuse me, I have other matters to attend to.”
With two Hydras down and still many to go, Chief Thunderhooves recalled his tribe to him and together they stormed right into the legs of a four-headed Hydra from behind. The Hydra tired to keep its balance, but soon realized it could not for much longer.
“Bring it down! Bring it down!!” The Chief cried.
With the combined strength of the buffalo and earth ponies, the Hydra finally fell. The zebras used their sleeping arrows to knock the creature out cold. Even though their were still many more left, there was now way to beat these creatures. The battle was long from over, but their hopes all depended on the small group up in the dark castle in the mountain.
Immediately upon entering and making their way through the Castle hallways, the small group of ponies and dragons were both running and engaging the Elite Dark Pony Guard that were trying to hinder their efforts of getting further inward. While Courageous and Twilight used the Light and Magic to push back all those in front, Spike and the other dragons used their flames to keep the ones behind from getting closer.
Eventually the path ahead was clear, but the ones behind were increasing in number and would soon catch up.
“We’ll stay here and hold them off. You go on without us!” Garble announced as he and his gang stood ready to hold the dark ponies off.
“No way are we just gonna leave ya’ll here like dis!” Applejack argued.
Just go!” Spike yelled as he joined Garble and the others, “Somepony has to hold these evil ones here or none of us will reach Tirek!”
The group stopped and turned to the brave dragons. Although they were right, leaving them to hold off the enemy was dangerous.
“No Spike! I won’t leave you again!!” Rarity cried.
Spike turned towards the little white unicorn whom he admired for so long and smiled, “It’s okay Rairty. I will be alright.”
Rarity knew he was lying, but there was nothing she could do to change his mind. She shed a tear and wanted to stay with him, but she had to go with her friends in order to save Equestria.
“Be careful Spike…be careful all of you.” Twilight said.
“Yeah! Show those evil ponies who’s boss!” Pinkie Pie inspired.
“Please…be safe,” Fluttershy said with worry.
“Don’t worry, we will,” Spike smiled as he turned back to see the dark ponies galloping down the hall towards them, “Now GO!!”
As the seven ponies ran on down the hallway, Rarity turned her head to gaze at her beloved dragon, “Be safe, my little Spikey-Wikey…”
Spike smiled warmly, for he was able to hear her words with his strong ears. As the dark ponies came closer, the group of dragons breathed hard and flames roared out of their mouths, keeping the evil ones from getting closer.
The seven ponies finally made it out into the courtyard; the area was wide and open and right in front of them were the doors that would lead to the throne room. Courageous stared up at the balcony that was without a doubt the room where Tirek sat.
“We are almost there! Its just through that door and across a few more hallways,” The brown alicorn declared.
“We have made it this far…I am ready for anything!” Twilight also declared.
Courageous and Twilight galloped on ahead. The other five were ready to gallop with them, when suddenly the floor beneath them disappeared. Applejack, Rarity and Fluttershy fell down the hole, while Pinkie Pie tried to avoid it by grabbing onto Rainbow Dash. Unfortunately, Rainbow was surprised by all this and could not stay in the air with another holding her down. She fell along with the pink pony down the hole.
Twilight turned back to see her friends falling. She gasped and ran back to help them, but the floor reappeared, closing the massive trap door.
“NOO!!!” She yelled for her friends, “Courageous, we have to help them!!”
Courageous ran to where she was standing to help reopen the trapdoor. About half way there, a beam of dark energy was shot right at the ground in front of him, bringing the Champion to a halt.
“What in the-” He uttered as he looked towards where the beam came from. Both he and Twilight gasped as they saw a large white unicorn with piercing dark eyes standing before them. Quickly joining him was a dark pink alicorn with the same eyes.
“Big Brother...? Cadance….?” Twilight muttered when she saw Shining Armor and his wife blocking their path to the throne room.
“Well well well! We meet again…little sister!” Shining Armor mocked.
“Yes, indeed. Only you would be so foolish to enter our Master’s castle and try to undo his work!” Cadance snarled.
Twilight felt like backing away; She turned her head, not wishing to see them as they were. She loved Shining Armor and Cadance so much, she could not bare the thought of engaging them in battle.
Courageous stepped forward and held his wing out to protect Twilight. He snarled at the evil couple as he stood his ground.
“Whats this? You have a boyfriend now, Twilie?” Shining Armor laughed nefariously, “I knew only you could be so lame to be with the Master’s sworn enemy!”
Twilight tried to block her brother’s cruel words, but could not. Though Courageous was protecting her, she had to stay strong for him.
“Don’t listen to him, Twilight! That is not your brother speaking…that is Tirek making him say those horrible things!” Coruageous explained.
Twilight nodded and came up to the alicorn’s side, “I know…and I won’t let him use my brother, or my sister-in-law, like this any more!!”
Courageous smiled proudly at the lavender unicorn whom he care for deeply in his heart as they stood side-by-side, ready to fight.
“Looks like its two on two, Captain,” Cadance chuckled at her partner.
“It sure does!”
“I’ll take the Champion!” She snarled as she grinned at the brown alicorn that she just now targeted.
“Fine. That leaves me with my weak, little sister!” Shining declared.
Cadance took flight and charged at Courageous, who quickly did the same, but flew passed her in attempt to lead her away from Twilight and Shining. She growled and flew after him.
Twilight Sparkle was left to face off against her brother. The two glared at one another and awaited for one to make the first move.
“Take this!” The Captain shouted as he fired a dark beam from his horn at Twilight.
Twilight shot her own magic at him and the two beams met in the middle. The two struggled to push against the others magic, and see who would come out the victor.
Courageous flew fast, avoiding Cadance’s dark magic as she fired at him, “You can’t outrun me for long, Champion!!”
The brown alicorn snorted at her words and made his to the wall, flying alongside it, “I learned from the best long ago…so don’t underestimate me!!” He then flew closer to the wall, and ended up running along it as he stayed in flight.
Cadance growled and shot multiple spells at him, but each one missed, for Courageous was too quick. She kept trying but when her attempts kept failing, she charged at him to tackle him.
Courageous noticed he was going to run right into a sharp corner; this would be the perfect opportunity for him to strike. He jumped onto the other wall and prepared to jolt, “DARIO…” He cried out as he leaped from the wall and right at Cadance, “…UNWAITH!!!”
Courageous’s whole body glowed with the Light as he bolted right at Cadance, going right through her as if she was air. The Darkness inside Cadance was hit hard, but the alicorn herself was unharmed, although weakened by the effect. She lost her strength and fell, but Courageous quickly grabbed her.
Meanwhile, Twilight and Shining continued to fight with their beams of magic pushing against the other.
“Give it up, you little twerp! You don’t have a chance!” Shining mocked, “I was always better than you, and you know it!!”
Twilight Sparkle had enough of this and decided to show him just how much she had learned while being tutored by Princess Celestia. She teleported herself out of the beams way and right behind her brother.
“What!?!” The angry, yet confused white unicorn shouted, “Hold still, you weakling!!”
He fired another beam at her, but she teleported yet again to the other side. He kept trying to hit her, but her spells were just too fast and well timed for him to keep up with. After twelve attempts, the Captain of the Dark Guard was getting exhausted.
“What’s wrong, big brother? Can’t hit your little sister?” She ridiculed, “And here I thought you were the best in all of Equestria?!”
Shining Armor growled, turned and fired harder this time. Twilight saw it coming and teleported right above him. She aimed her horn downward…and fired. Shining was hit hard by Twilight’s strongest spell, causing him to collapse upon the ground.
The brilliant lavender unicorn teleported down to her dazed brother and placed her hoof on his back, and squeed, “Who’s the weakling now?!”
With Shining Armor subdued, she soon saw Courageous return, carrying Cadance in his arms, and placing her gently on the ground.
“Is she alright?”
“Yes, she will be. What about you and your brother?” Courageous asked.
Twilight turned to her brother and then back to her beloved alicorn, “I’m fine…cant say the same about him though.”
“I’m sorry you had to fight him like this.”
“Me too, but I had to. Besides, I wanted to get back at him for some time,” Twilight explained, “When I was a filly, he hid my favorite doll, Smarty Pants, from me for a whole day. I searched all day until night, when he showed me where he hid her. I said I would get even with him…although THIS is far from what I had in mind, but I guess its better than letting my Big Brother get away with it.”
Courageous chuckled at the smiling Twilight, and was proud of her for overcoming her fears and give it her all. Twilight felt proud as well, although for a moment she still wondered what happened to Smarty Pants since that love-charm incident she caused back in Ponyville some time ago.
Suddenly, Twilight saw Courageous gasp as he was looking at something right behind her. She tried to turn to see what it was, but Courageous quickly jumped over her head. After she ducked, she was able to look and see that Shining Armor had gotten back up and was going to attack again.
Courageous glowed once more with the Light as he ran towards Shining Armor. He charged at the white stallion, spun around and bucked him right in the head. Although only the Darkness would feel that, Shining was weakened by the blow and soon became unconscious.
Twilight ran up to her brother and saw that he was unharmed by the bucking. Breathing a sigh of relief, she hugged Courageous for saving her and putting both Cadance and Shining Armor out of commission.
“Thank you, Courageous.”
“You are welcome, my dear Twilight,” He replied with a warm smile on his face.
Twilight smiled back and could see that they were not only a good couple, but a good team. Suddenly, she remembered her friends and turned back to where the trap door was, “We have to find my friends!”
Courageous closed his eyes, and used the power of the Light to locate the missing mares. He turned towards the other doors and said, “It’s okay. They are safe, and heading up to the Throne Room.”
Twilight was relieved to hear that her best friends were alright. Both she and Courageous ran to the doors, pushed their way through and galloped down the hallway towards the room where the Master of Darkness was waiting for them.