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Monsters in the mists

By Anonymouss
Created: 5th March 2021 07:44:45 PM
Modified: 12th April 2021 10:18:13 PM

  1. >The thick mist that covered these lands felt suffocating and overpowering.
  2. >You look over to your right and find your companion checking the straps on her shield in preparation for what is to come.
  3. >Stealing a deep breath you peek your head from the small shack that the two of you took cover in.
  4. >Silence and endless fog.
  5. >Bringing your head back in your companion looks to you expectantly and you just shake your head.
  6. >"Wish these things wouldn't hide like this. Bad enough these are the only contracts this town has." she says with a scrunched snout.
  7. >Stout Shield was her name, she had been on a few hunts with you now, she was a brash fiery mare with the scars to boot, her blazing red mane and tan coat was likely the last thing many monsters saw before their ultimate demise.
  8. >She seemed to always dislike that you were in this line of work, saying something along the lines of, "A stallion like you shouldn't be out here fighting, you should be at home with your foals."
  9. >Good memories. She had a lot less scars back then, her beauty unmarred by the wounds of the hunt.
  10. >A feint scratching sound can be heard from within the mists outside and the two of you immediately jump to attention.
  11. >You grab your small makeshift pistol and watch the door of the shack, looking for any sign of movement in the mists.
  12. >Stout slowly edges into the mist with you behind her, the sound of scratching growing ever more present as you walk deeper into the mists.
  13. >Suddenly without warning an ear-piercing screech rings out and you feel movement in the mists.
  14. >It's circling you, slowly, watching its prey.
  15. >After a moment a thin hairless dog jumps from the mist, its wide all-devouring maw prepared to tear you to shreds.
  16. >Stout brings herself in between you and the monster raising the shield attached to her hoof.
  17. >The monster attempts to grab on to the shield as to gain a foothold in the battle but is thrown to the side by Stout.
  18. >Left flailing trying to collect itself, you aim and fire your makeshift pistol the bullet hitting the beast in its side and the horrible shrieks that come from it force you to cover your ears to dull the pain.
  19. >Stout must have been affected by the beasts shriek, as she too was stunned momentarily causing the beast to sense an opening, quickly scrambling to its feet and lunging once more at you.
  20. >The monster threw itself at you, knocking you to the ground and forcing you to hold it back with the edge of your pistol, as it thrashed and wailed against your pitiful defences.
  21. >Your arms were about to give out when Stout came up from behind the beast and bashed it over the head with her shield causing it to go toppling to the side once more.
  22. "Hold it back for a moment." you say quickly trying to place another bullet in the pistol's chamber.
  23. >The beast raged once more at being denied its prey, it thrashed its head around and charged once more at Stout however this time she was ready.
  24.  
  25. >She brought her shield crashing down onto the head of the beast momentarily stunning it and you quickly finished reloading the pistol.
  26. >Another cacophonous boom rung out and the beast squealed once more however with less vigour than before, it seemed to stagger and fall over, the floor slick with its black blood.
  27. >The two of you waited a moment, tense and ready to fight again, but the monster had lost all fight simply lying there limp.
  28. >Dead.
  29. >As though to eccentricate that fact, the mist slowly cleared and the cobbled streets and store fronts were once again visible.
  30. >"Tell me why you don't just use one of the standard issue pistols again?" Stout says between heavy breaths.
  31. "I don't trust them and they wouldn't be able to shoot that thing dead without this babies firepower." you say with slight pride at your own creation causing the mare to simply roll her eyes.
  32. >"You stallions and your whimsy." she says with a huff.
  33. >The two of you walk over and inspect the newly made corpse.
  34. >"These things are showing up more now huh? Must be a pain in the flank for the townsfolk round here."
  35. "Well we did our part, thankfully they pay handsomely for these beast's deaths."
  36. >Seemingly satisfied with your answer she leans over the corpse and pulls out a small dagger from the strap on her hoof.
  37. >She digs the blade in and cuts an eye from the monster as proof that they had slain the beast.
  38. >"Lets go turn this one in then. Drinks are on me tonight." she says with a smile.
  39. >The two of you head down the road towards the town hall, the only sound being your footsteps and the soft clopping of hooves beside you.
  40.  
  41. ____
  42. >The warm cider goes down quite quickly as your empty your cup.
  43. >Loud chatter and the busy bartenders fill the tavern leaving a homely atmosphere, and Stout was sitting beside you regaling her tales of heroism to the crowds of patrons who had come to lend an ear.
  44. >"That's when I gave him a smack on the head with this shield here." she says with a prideful tint as she points to the shield on her back.
  45. >The many ponies 'oooh' and 'ahhh', as is want to do for these excitable ponies and you can't help but smile.
  46. >While pony alcohol didn't have much of an effect on you, you still enjoyed a nice cider from time to time.
  47. >It seems as though Stout has had more then her fair share though.
  48. >Stout downs another whole cup of cider and gives a satisfied sigh making the whole crowd cheer in response.
  49. >As you were watching Stouts antics, you see a hooded mare cloaked in a thick dark robe approach you from the corner of the tavern.
  50. >"Hello there, I am to take it you're beast hunters then?" She says to you in a low whisper you can barely hear amongst the bustle of the tavern.
  51. >You nod, but you can sense somethings off about this pony, the way their eyes seem to stretch ever onward beyond your understanding, the way the mare's presence seems to warp and taint reality itself in a way.
  52. >The crowd goes silent as they notice the hooded mares presence and many stallions slowly scatter not wanting to be near such a being, the mares either being too brave or too drunk to scatter from the mare's presence.
  53. >"I am a Baroness from far away and I have heard of the two of your exploits, the many battles won. I have a proposition for the two of you, if you are willing of course." a thin grin appears on her lips from under the cloak and unsettles you slightly.
  54. >You look over to Stout to see that she's still boasting to the crowd still unaware of the deep unsettling presence or to the crowds newfound lack of enthusiasm.
  55. "What does the job entail. And how much are we getting paid." you say cautiously not wanting to turn away a potential contract just because you were a bit weirded out.
  56. >The mare chuckles a deep inky chuckle and the air itself feels as though its being chilled around you causing you to break out in shivers.
  57. >"I have the bits, if you are able, I wish for you to go to the town of Vallemhoof and slay the beast residing in our town. It has been an issue for the past few generations and I wish to rid my family line of it, for which you will be rewarded handsomely of course." she says, her eyes still filled with an abyssal void which imparts a bone chilling fear in you.
  58. >You definitely should not take this contract, your gut has never been wrong before with things like this.
  59. "I'm going to have to decline, I'm sorry but we're already headed the opposite way. I'm sure you can understand." A disappointment and anger beyond the normal response one would have to declining of her contract fills her void like eyes.
  60.  
  61. >Stout has noticed the mare you're talking to now and has shambled over, staggering slightly as she does.
  62. >"Who's this then Anon?" she says, blissfully unaware of the ominous aura that surrounds this mare.
  63. >"A client, perhaps a mare like you would be more open to reason." she says frowning at you.
  64. >As she does you can feel your jaw clench and your heart race, something in the mares eyes was alight with anger yet her face showed no emotion.
  65. >Stout shakes her head and looks at you.
  66. >"You're turning down this contract? You know we could always use more good work." she says turning back to the mare in the cloak "So what's the deal?"
  67. >A thin smile reaches the mares face once again, her face barely visible in the shadow of the cloak.
  68. >"I was requesting that the two of you go to Vallemhoof to slay a beast residing in our town, I am a baroness you see and I have many bits to spare for the heroes who slay this awful beast." Stout seems to light up as she says this and nods eagerly.
  69. >"Pssh is that it? Of course we can do that! I don't know why you were so worried Anon." she says with a laugh.
  70. >You pull Stout close and whisper into her ear.
  71. "Somethings wrong with this mare, something about her just strikes me as off, I really don't think we should take this contract." you whisper nervously but Stout pushes you away gently.
  72. >"It'll be fine Anon, it's just your stallion whimsey getting in the way of us getting paid." she says with a laugh and turning back towards the cloaked mare.
  73. >"So where's the contract?" Stout says eagerly
  74. >The cloaked mare reaches into her saddle bags and produces a small piece of parchment and inked feather.
  75. >Stout skims it and quickly, sloppily, signs the contract, putting your name down too.
  76. "Hey! I didn't even get to read it!" you say frustration building.
  77. >"Don't worry, colts like you need to know when to settle down and let the mares take the reigns." she says shaking her head and hoofing back the contract to the cloaked mare.
  78. >"Excellent, here is your advance payment. Happy hunting." she says hoofing a hefty bag of bits towards Stout.
  79. >The mare her business concluded walks towards the tavern door, ponies quickly scampering out of her way.
  80. >You furrow your brow and look over to Stout.
  81. "What the hell Stout?"
  82. >She doesn't even seem to register what you're saying as she's too busy counting the bits in the bag.
  83. "Stout!"
  84. >Seemingly broken out of a greed induced trance she looks up at you.
  85. >"Huh, what's up? Do you know how many bits we just got payed Anon?" she says with a large smirk.
  86. >You shake your head once more, your anger threatening to boil over and overwhelm you.
  87. "I'm telling you that there was something wrong with that pony, somethings wrong with this whole damn contract. And yet you still sign our names on it!" you say almost yelling causing the other patrons to look over at the two of you.
  88.  
  89. >"What? I didn't see anything wrong with the contract and I know how you stallions are easily spooked by the small things, I didn't want you to miss out on the payday of a lifetime!"
  90. >All you could do was slump in your chair and put your head in your hands.
  91. "Fine. But you're ordering the next rounds." you mumble as you wave over a bartender.
  92. "Give us your hardest cider and leave the keg." you say causing Stout to laugh heartily.
  93. >"I knew you would see it my way Anon, a mares always right in the end."
  94.  
  95.  
  96. ____
  97. >You wake up with a dry throat and in a tiny cot barely remembering the events of the night.
  98. >Looking around the room you see Stout in the cot on the other side of the room sleeping soundly.
  99. >"Ooooh." she seems to moan in pain.
  100. >Or not.
  101. "That hangover hitting you hard?" you say pulling out your small canteen and taking a swig wetting your dry throat.
  102. >"Don't talk... Please." she says clearly in pain.
  103. >You walk over to Stout's bedside and place the canteen on the floor next to her.
  104. "Make sure you have a drink of this." You say barely above a whisper attempting not to speak too loudly.
  105. >Reaching into Stouts bag you pull out enough bits to buy supplies for your travels and head towards the door.
  106. >"M-make sure you get the sweet candy I like at the store." she says then groans once again in pain.
  107. >You nod, unsure if she can see the gesture but you continue towards the door and slip out into the illuminated hallway.
  108. >Heading downstairs you see the tavern keep behind the counter and she gives you a nod.
  109. >"Mornin' mister, you and your companion had quite the night it seems." and you reply with a small nod yourself.
  110. "Do you know where the general store is? I need supplies for a trip that my companion and I are heading on."
  111. >She points out the window to a small store down the road.
  112. >"It's just down the road, I don't know if they'll have what you need but I can attest to the owner being a good mare with good prices, if a little naïve."
  113. >You thank her and head out the door passing the few mares, who've seemingly just woken up, sitting on the stools that decorate the main hall of the tavern.
  114. >The streets were mostly empty and the few ponies who were on the street were shuffling half heartedly towards their destinations, the thick morning mist slowing their movements and enthusiasm.
  115. >When you reached the store you pushed open the door, a little jingle announced your entrance, alerting the mare behind the desk to your presence.
  116. >She snaps out of her idle trance and she looks up to you giving you a slightly confused glance, as though she was confused as to what you were but seemed to shrug the thought from her mind in the instant it came.
  117. >"Hello there, what can I do for you on this fine morn'?" she says with a tired tone breaching her practised cheeriness.
  118. >You take a look around the shelves and look up to the mare.
  119. "My companion and I are heading on a trip to Vallemhoof, so I'll need some rations, bandages and a map of the area if you've got it. Oh and some sweet candies if you have any."
  120. >The mare behind the counter is stock still, her eyes wide with fear.
  121. >"Vallemhoof isn't a place for Stallions stranger, horrible beasts roam the lands, even the land itself turns against you in an attempt to take your life."  her tone sober and fully awake.
  122. >You nod that strange mare coming to mind once more, the strange fear racking your body once more.
  123. "Would that I could stay from that place, but we've already signed a contract with the baron herself."
  124.  
  125. >She shakes her head and gestures for you to wait behind the counter.
  126. >After a few moments she returns with the supplies you asked for and a small lockbox encased in her magical aura.
  127. >"This should be a few weeks rations, the map is here as well. But if you and your companion are set on venturing into Vallemhoof then I would ask a favour of you and your surely sturdy companion before you go." she says as she opens the small lock box pulling out a sturdy ebony dagger.
  128. >You raise a brow and look at the mare with curiosity.
  129. >"It's a dagger from my fore-mothers, it would do my family honour if you slew a particular beast with this blade." she says with a deathly serious look on her face. "Her name is Lakrasha, her jaws have felled many of my ancestors and I fear I am not built a fighter and am unable to face such a perilous beast."
  130. >She floats the blade over to you in her magical aura and you can feel the strange weight of the dagger, its black surface seemingly devouring the light around it and the hilt emanating a strange heat, dull as it was but still noticeable.
  131. >"I know it is a difficult task, especially for any stallion, but there is no way a trader such as myself could slay the beast and I cannot withstand the dishonour of allowing this beast to live."
  132. >You nod and sheathe the dagger into your belt, the mare breathing a heavy sigh of relief.
  133. >"Thank you stranger, she lies just out of town, haunting the graves of our fallen in the Cemetery. You will know her by her song, a horrible devious thing.
  134. >She seems to fade off for a moment, lost in thought until she snaps back to reality and continues.
  135. >"Worry not about the price of my goods, take them and leave. I wish you luck on your surely dangerous travels."
  136. >You grab the supplies and head back towards the tavern, the mares solemn tale resounding in your mind.
  137.  
  138.  
  139. ____
  140. >Creaking open the door to your room you see Stout sitting up in her cot now, seemingly less affected by her hangover.
  141. >She notices you slipping through the open door and nods in your direction seemingly battling her curiosity of what you were and the pounding headache.
  142. >You place down the box near the door and head over to Stout handing over the sweet candies.
  143. >She quickly takes another swig from the canteen and then pops a sweet into her mouth, letting loose a hum of pleasure.
  144. "Feeling any better?" you say barely above a whisper.
  145. >"Yeah, I'm getting there." she lets loose a grunt of pain as another throb of pain strikes through her.
  146. >A small smile crosses your lips and you rustle her mane softly causing her to bat away your hand with her hoof.
  147. >"Hey, I'm not a little filly." she says before she sees the new dagger attached to your hip and her eyes light up.
  148. >"Oooo what's that!" another pain rings through her body once again and she lets loose another grunt of pain.
  149. >You unsheathe the abyssal dagger once more and show it to Stout, her eyes alight with curiosity.
  150. "I got it from the merchant in town, she wanted us to slay a beast that has tormented her family for generations. It's not too far from here and we can get a few bits from it to aid our travels."
  151. >She nods and lies back down in her cot.
  152. >"J-Just let this hangover pass and we'll head out." she says pulling the sheets up to her snout.
  153.  
  154. ____
  155.  
  156. >The sounds of the bustling town faded as the two of you went off towards the cemetery, the grim resting place looming over the horizon.
  157. >"So did the merchant say anything about what type of beast we're looking for?"
  158. "Nothing much, although we know it'll be a dangerous beast, that much is sure." you say once again admiring the dagger you were given.
  159. >"That's a strange dagger to be sure. How much do you think it would fetch if we were to sell it?" she says with a hint of greed lining her voice.
  160. >You frown and shake your head at her not so hidden implications.
  161. "We won't be selling it, first of all its part of this contract and second of all, I quite like how it looks, gives me that edgy badass vibe. Don't you think?" you end with a pose you would imagine look quite cool but Stout merely looks at you in confusion.
  162. >"Why would you want to be a sharp donkey? And if it's looks that you're concerned with I'm sure we could get you a flashy stallion dagger for a few bits." she says causing you to sigh and give a weak smile.
  163. "Never mind, let's keep going. This Lakrasha should be around here somewhere, keep your eyes open." you say while the two of you continue on the cobble paved path.
  164. >All is silent, the cemetery silent, grieving ponies seem to have long since disappeared and the tombstones seem to be neglected.
  165. "A shame that these ponies lie here, their graves disregarded and forgotten long ago."
  166. >Stout merely nods, the sound of your footsteps the only sound resounding through the cemetery.
  167. >"Perhaps the beast is threatening the gravediggers. We'll be doing good by every pony if we put the beast to rest, perhaps we could even get a reward from the mayor herself?" a grim laugh escapes her lips.
  168. >You go to give a surely witty retort but are stopped before the words leave your lips by a feint, echoed humming.
  169. >Stouts ears perk up and she looks around to find the source of the noise.
  170. "It's here, ready yourself."
  171. >The humming continues as the two of you continue cautiously, inching forward slowly you hear the snap of twigs instantly gaining your attention.
  172. >A shadow seems to dart and dance between the large gravestones, closer and closer.
  173. >Stout raises her shield in preparation of an attack and you pull your pistol out, mentally preparing yourself for the battle ahead.
  174. >Suddenly the humming stops and the shadows flittering movements with it.
  175. >A thick bulbous head, slick with a viscous fluid slides from behind the cracked gravestone, it's wide empty eyes looking directly at you.
  176. >"S-s-so t-they sent a c-colt to k-kill me?" it says in a jittering shaking voice, seemingly unable to complete its sentences without stuttering.
  177. >You pause, not having faced a beast with any ability of communication aside from animalistic screeching.
  178. >The beast seeing your confusion starts to hum once more, the sound filling your heart with fear and making your hands slick with sweat.
  179.  
  180. >Quickly the beasts hiding spot it seems to shudder and shake, its body lumpy and fat body appearing from behind the gravestone.
  181. >As to how it could hide such an glutinous mass you cannot even fathom, but it appears you have bigger problems as the beast moves with unnatural speed not befitting its form.
  182. >It rushes towards you with extended limbs, lined with all sorts teeth and opened maws waiting to taste your flesh.
  183. >Despite your terror, you react quickly and dive behind a small stone fencing causing the beast to ram it instead, the fence being shattered and broken.
  184. >You reach for your pistol and fire into the beasts head, the blood that spilt from the wound splattering on the ground with deathly sizzle.
  185. >Its humming grew louder, seeming to dull the other sounds around it and muffling even the sound of your own breathing.
  186. "Stout!" you cry out and yet  your words seem to be eaten by the unearthly humming.
  187. >Looking around you find Stout fending off the beast's flailing limbs, its jaws wide and unerring in their desire to kill her.
  188. >Her grunts of pain are similarly muffled by the deafening hum, you reach into your pouch and bring out another small iron bullet.
  189. >Quick. Quick. Quick.
  190. >You fumble with the bullet as you push it deeper into the chamber and quickly close it once more.
  191. >In an instant a flailing limb reached out towards you seemingly infuriated with Stout's defensive techniques rending your flesh and causing you to drop your firearm.
  192. >Shit, that hurts like hell.
  193. >Quickly you roll behind a small gravestone next to you and use it as a temporary cover and Stout attempts to gather the beasts attention once more.
  194. >When you finally gather the nerve to look down at your fresh wounds, you see a chunk of flesh missing from your arm with blood still spilling from the open wound.
  195. >Your hand trembles as you reach for the small pouch next to your chest and you pull out a small bottle of whiskey and scraps of bandages.
  196. >Pouring the alcohol onto the wound causes a searing pain and you attempt to scream once more but nothing aside from the hellish humming hangs in the air.
  197. >You grit your teeth and quickly bandage the wound causing yet more pain to flare up in your arm but once the wound was bandaged you peeked out from behind your cover to see the beast edging its way towards you, it's lumpy flesh covered in its sizzling black blood.
  198. >"L-Little c-colt... L-Little c-colt..." it says barely a whisper above the humming.
  199. >The onyx dagger at your belt begun to thrum with colour, it blazed a bright blue and almost blinded you as it did.
  200. >Sensing this vulnerability the beast rushed towards you its arms flailing wide once more but before you were mauled once more everything froze.
  201. >"And what are you?" a distinguished purring voice pierced the now silent air.
  202. >Even in a frozen state you couldn't help but shiver at the horrifying visage that surely lined that sickeningly inviting voice.
  203.  
  204. >"Ah, I suppose I can't show myself as I am now. Not fit for first introductions, much less with a new friend." a sickening crack and squelching noise followed the words.
  205. >Gracefully a figure entered your view and the finery adorning her form caught your eyes first. Her barrel was covered in a royal purple robe and resting on her head was a small crown fit with many jewels in the shining metal.
  206. >The mare's mane was a vibrant blue and her coat was a shade reminiscent of the darkest oceans, something about her eyes though, they flickered with malice and curiosity.
  207. >She slowly looks you up and down as though gleaming all of your memories from one small glance and once she's finished her grin widens even more.
  208. >"Ah, where are my manners? My name is..." She pauses for a moment looking at you but merely dismisses the thought with a shake of her head.
  209. >"Hmm, just call me Moonlit Daisy. Yes, that's quite a good pony name one would think."
  210. >Seemingly pleased with herself she looks on at you once more then stomps a hoof to the ground and you are taken out of your frozen state falling weightlessly to the ground.
  211. >For a moment you lie there stunned but quickly you scramble to your feet once more and back away from the mare.
  212. >"Dearie me, don't be so afraid. I know how you colt's are, but I thought you would be a little more receptive to this form." she says with a small pout on her lips.
  213. >You've never seen any beast with this sort of power.
  214. "W-What are you?" You say reaching for the dagger at your belt once more but find it missing its comforting warmth at your side now gone.
  215. >"Really, they shouldn't be having stallions like yourself playing with mare's weapons like this... Tsk." she says with a disappointed look on her face the dagger floating in front of her face.
  216. >To say you were left in shock would be an understatement.
  217. >She breathes deeply and lets loose a sigh but then looks back at you and smiles once more.
  218. >"And really that mare that you were with should never have let you get in a situation like this, for shame. Oh well, Anonymous..."
  219. >You go to stutter a response but she quickly cuts you off with a laugh.
  220. >"Come now dearie, of course I know your name. I know EVERYTHING about you, surely you've caught on by now that I'm not your regular pony."
  221. "W-why? How?" you barely manage to edge out the words in your confusion.
  222. >She shakes her head once again and goes to turn towards the towering mass of flesh that has been frozen before it could crush you.
  223. >"You mortals and your silly questions, don't ask how or why. Ask 'What' I can do for you." she says with a hint of frustration to her voice.
  224. >The air sits still for a moment but you cautiously ask the question.
  225.  
  226. "Alright then. What can you do for me?" she spins around her eyes alight once more with the promise of brief excitement.
  227. >Quickly she trots over to you and she presses herself against you, forcing you back.
  228. >"Now THAT is the question I've been waiting for dearie!" she rears onto her back hooves and leans onto you.
  229. >Perhaps it was better if you hadn't asked.
  230. >"Now considering the situation you've gotten yourself in is quite dire, my price is going to be quite steep dearie. But I'm sure you'll manage to fit the cost." Her grin widens with malice as she continues but pauses for a moment leaving a fearful tension hidden in the air.
  231. >"I would offer you the finest silks and riches as I would to most stallions, but I know that you aren't an average stallion now are you? No. I offer you my services, another blade at your side and another pair of eyes."
  232. "And the price? I want to know what I'm getting into." you say and attempt to stop yourself from stuttering the words.
  233. >Taking her hooves off of you she trots back for a moment and you can see the blade rear itself into view once more its vibrant blue coating the mare's face in a eerie glow.
  234. >"For you to entertain me." she says slowly etching the words into the air around her.
  235. >Your brow immediately furrows at the vagueness of the statement but you aren't in the best position to argue.
  236. "There's always a catch isn't there, so what's the catch here?" you say and in response she lets loose a cold laugh.
  237. >"Of course dearie, although blood prices are just so overdone and I don't have much use for your soul, considering. I've been locked away for so very long that I could use some good fighting to spice up my time here."
  238. >Locked away here?
  239. "What do you mean locked away? And if you're so powerful why don't you just break out of here yourself." you say causing the mares grin to swiftly disappear and a scowl replaces it.
  240. >"I won't have a mortal dare question my methods." Quickly she takes a moment and a softer smile appears on her lips once more. "I apologize dearie, as I said I seem to have lost my manners in my time here. The ponies who crafted this dagger were cultists of mine of an age so long ago and allowed me a vessel into this world."
  241. >She turns away for a moment to look off at the fleshy beast next to her but her face turns to one of disgust and she looks away.
  242. >"But one of those foolish mares allowed the blade to get into a holy mare's hooves and they cast their holy enchantments locking most of my power away. Perhaps some of these beasts may allow my passage into this world once more, now I understand you may be trepidatious about that but have no fear, I'm a changed mare." she says as she puts on an innocent smile.
  243. >You bring your hand to your chin in thought and you stare deep into the endless mouths of the devilish beast that has been frozen in time.
  244.  
  245. "I don't have much of a choice now do I?"
  246. >The mare's grin grows wider once more and she laughs her cold laugh once more.
  247. >"No I suppose you don't." she says causing you to breathe a heavy sigh.
  248. >The dagger floats over to you slowly its gleam renewed in strength and Daisy motions for you to take it.
  249. >"Take the dagger and the deal will be made, I imagine I'll enjoy our time together in the near future."
  250. >Once you take the dagger by the hilt you can feel the heat searing into your palm and the daggers gleam turned into a bright flash blinding you.
  251. >When the flash disappears and the world had returned the humming begun once more. Quickly you came to your senses and you looked around for the pudgy beast's deadly limbs but found no such thing.
  252. >Instead the limb lies flailing on the ground as though it were still clinging to life even as it had been cut from the beast and in response the beast howled an echoing screech that could be heard through the humming.
  253. >In fact it seemed that the humming had stopped. Its sickening sounds silenced by the loss of its limb.
  254. >The beast seemed to be fighting with Daisy and despite how quick the beast was, it seemed desperately slow in comparison with the pony.
  255. >Her dagger glowed with a fiery blue flame but she seemed not to notice despite the fact that the flames licked her snout. When she noticed you staring she looked over to you and even with the dagger's hilt in her mouth the grin she gave you sent a chill down your spine.
  256. >In her moment of cockiness she was caught by a extended limb tossing her across the graveyard and forcing a pained yell from her.
  257. >While the beast is focused elsewhere you attempt to scour the graveyard for your missing firearm.
  258. >The gun's gleaming coat shined in the sun's light and you quickly rushed over to grab it and as you do you spy Stout attempting to recover from a nasty blow.
  259. >"A-Anon." she struggles to vocalise her words as she attempts to get to her hooves.
  260. >She's pretty beat up, her fresh wounds thick with blood and dirt.
  261. >You rush over to her for a moment and gently push her back down.
  262. "Get some rest, we'll get this done. Please Stout." you say and she tries to protest but her words are cut of by her own horrible coughing.
  263. >"I can't-" her words are once more cut short by a thick cough but she struggles once more to continue. "I can't let a stallion fight my battles for me now can I?"
  264. >Her pained grimace is replaced with a grim smile and she tries to rise once more.
  265. >The horrible roar of the beast rings out and you raise your head to see it looking for you once more, Daisy no longer attracting its attention.
  266. >As Stout tries once more to get up and fight, you shake your head and push her down once more then raise your weapon to fight the disgusting beast.
  267. >You had never expected to die like this but if you're going to go out, you might as well go out fighting.
  268. "Come on then!" You shout to the beast hoping that if you did die here, you at least looked cool while doing it.
  269.  
  270. >Raising the gun and pressing on the small trigger you hear the sharp crack of black powder once more and the beast flinches its black blood spraying the ground.
  271. >The beast despite its wounds still rages on towards you and you fervently attempt to slide another bullet into the chamber.
  272. >Closer and closer still it shifts. The wounds of battle has taken its toll on the beast's agility and now it is reduced to a shamble.
  273. >Cmon, Cmon.
  274. >The bullet fidgets and slides your shaking hands unwilling to calm themselves for but a moment.
  275. >Suddenly the beast roared in pain, its attention drawn elsewhere behind it.
  276. >Ah there!
  277. >You close the chamber once more and raise your gun once more.
  278. >The mare that was so casually tossed aside before returned, her body covered with blood and dust but her grace still remained.
  279. >"I got too cocky there Dearie but I'm back." you can hear her shout from the other side of the mass of flesh.
  280. >Letting another bullet ring out the beast shudders in pain once more, unsure of which threat to deal with it merely flails it's still attached limb.
  281. "I think we're getting through to it!" you cry out, more for yourself than anyone but the mare on the other side merely laughs as she continues her graceful swordsmanship.
  282. >From the corner of your eye you see that Stout has managed to rise again, leaning her weight on a nearby tombstone she reaches for something in her pouch.
  283. >Narrowly dodging a gangling limb you struggle to find some level of cover as you attempt to reload once more.
  284. >Another horrid shriek comes from the beast as you rest your back against a large wall and load another bullet hoping that your allies don't falter in your temporary absence.
  285. >As you peak from your hiding place you see Stout struggling to throw a small vial at the beast, the chaotic colours dancing in the small vial as it travels towards the beast tantalizing you for but a moment.
  286. >Once the vial breaks on the beasts lumpy body the fluid engulfs it and It takes a moment to process what just happened but that was all you needed.
  287. >The shot rung out again, you had hoped it would be the one that would put this beast in the ground and to your relief the beast was set alight its thick body going up in flames.
  288. >It flailed and writhed as it fell to the ground, it's lumpy body now turning black and burnt and the haunting screams echoed through the graveyard.
  289.  
  290. >For a moment you had thought it would rise again, even from its ashen and burnt state.
  291. >But rise it did not, the beast lie still and Daisy stepped close to its corpse and watched the embers of the horrendous beast.
  292. >You're taken out of your trance by a loud thud to your side and you quickly look over to see Stout hit the ground.
  293. >Rushing over to her you glance at her wounds quickly and attempt to patch them up using the meagre supplies you still had left.
  294. "Don't die on me yet Stout, cmon... Who's gonna try to out drink me now? Please..."
  295. >The blood pooling on your clothes barely matters to you as you focus on bandaging her wounds.
  296. >You barely notice the soft clopping of hooves behind you but you quickly notice the voice beside you.
  297. >"She won't last much longer, it was quite an entertaining battle. I hope I didn't ruin the fun for you two."
  298. >You turn your face painted with inhuman rage and sorrow.
  299. "Help me damnit! You've got to do something!"
  300. >The mare smiles and yet says no more opting to watch the scene without interrupting.
  301. "We made a contract right!? You've got to help me!" you say tears filling your eyes.
  302. >"And dearie? This is most entertaining so I don't believe I will." her grin widening as she watches your shocked expression.
  303. "Fuck you." you say through the burning tears in your eyes as you gently pick up Stout and rush her into town.
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