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The Master's Legendary Quest - 18

By Trixiefap
Created: 29th June 2022 02:51:56 AM
2nd October 2022 07:30:20 AM

  1.  
  2. >There’s nothing much you can do.
  3. >The staff threw out everything that could work as an anchor in the train, so there’s no trying to put one on something solid.
  4. “…Everyone, get low to the ground! This might be a bit rough!”
  5. >Redheart and Berry start pushing other ponies down when they were busy screaming and yelling in fear while you spoke, and eventually everyone gets to the bottom.
  6. >The horn keeps blaring.
  7. >The train isn’t slowing down fast enough.
  8. >The Ghastly Gorge station is coming up fast, and you can already see the ponies waiting staring and pointing in shock.
  9. >The train’s getting slower, but not fast enough.
  10. >It’s seconds away.
  11. >You’re about to crash.
  12. >You, Berry and Red all hold each other close and close your eyes, bracing for the worst.
  13. >If it hits…
  14. >The horn blares one final time…
  15. >And the stopped train blows its own horn, beginning to move up with a powerful blast of violet magic.
  16. >It’s moving up!
  17. >You’ve never seen a train ever accelerate that quickly, so something outside must’ve pushed it.
  18. >Your train slows to a crawl as it enters the station, and everything sluggishly stops, with two trains equally in and out of each side of the station.
  19. >The air is still as you watch everyone realize just what happened.
  20. >Then, cheering.
  21. >Blaring, ear-wrenching yells of relief and crying laughter of survival.
  22. >”WE’RE ALIVE!”
  23. >”THE TRAIN STOPPED, DID YOU SEE THAT?”
  24. >”THANK YOU THANK YOU-”
  25. >”WHERE’S MY DAMN SANDWICH!?”
  26. >You and your party decide to go with the flow and stay with the crowd that’s rushing out of the train, no longer desiring to stay on such a death trap.
  27. >When you look out to the station, that’s when it hits you.
  28. >N-not the train, that’d be bad.
  29. >Twilight’s here, at the station.
  30. >Just her, although she looks like she just ran five miles.
  31. >”T-twilight?!”
  32. >Redheart seems much more surprised than you or Berry.
  33. >She waves a weak hoof as the three of you approach her.
  34. >”What are you doing here? I thought you went to Winsome Falls with the rest of the girls?”
  35. >She smiles a bit, still weak from something.
  36. >”I did, and they’re resting right now outside the city after a long day… Celestia sent me a letter regarding one of the trains being conspired to be robbed just a few hours ago, and when I did a little research, it turns out it was your guys’ train. I helped myself to a few of the magical wells in Winsome, made a few potions, and teleported here as fast as I could. Looks like I made it just in time, huh?”
  37. “No doubt. … Wait, you…”
  38. >The three of you slowly look back at the other train in pure shock.
  39. >Berry vocalizes the thought process first.
  40. >”…Did you move that train?”
  41. >”Er… Yes, I did.”
  42. >”What the fuck.”
  43. >”Berry!”
  44. >”HOW DID YOU MOVE A TRAIN!?”
  45. >”Well… It’s simple momentum calculations based on the train’s weight and speed to which I divided the amount of force needed to create deceleration over the surface area of the train and how much I could grab utilizing my levitation spell. It’s pretty simple.”
  46. >Berry stares at her in complete disbelief for a moment.
  47. >After completely failing to follow what she said, she uncorks her Black Rum Flask directly from the source and starts drowning it.
  48. >Twilight doesn’t look too happy about that.
  49. >”That’s very unhealthy!”
  50. >Now you’re at the Ghastly Gorge Station, anyways.
  51. >This’ll set the group back a few hours, definitely.
  52. >”…Anyways, I’ll need to head back soon. I’ve already called in pickups for all these ponies, and you guys will get your own carriage that’s going straight to Apploosa. … Where’s Anon? And Gable? And the changeling?”
  53. >What do you say?
  54.  
  55.  
  56.  
  57.  
  58. >Search for ‘that mule’
  59. [Cannot find that mule!]
  60.  
  61. “Well, it looks like the Doc is MIA, so I sent Gable and Five to go look for him further back in the train, which sort of uh… disappeared. Now that the train’s stopped though, we should probably help with the search. Those robbers meant serious business.”
  62. >Twilight looks up at you in confusion.
  63. >”Well, don’t they all?”
  64. >Redheart takes over.
  65. >”They had firearms, Twilight. The invention Anon made.”
  66. >”Oh… They’re more powerful versions of a bow and arrow, right?”
  67. >”Much stronger, faster to fire and faster to reload… Ugh…”
  68. >Redheart herself seems ready to heave, despite the entire time staying composed during that situation.
  69. >Berry takes over when she can’t continue.
  70. >”Basically, Anon figured out something was up before any of the rest of us, and when we went to the conductor to see what was going down, he gets shot with that FUCKER, right in the chest.”
  71. >”I-Is he okay?!”
  72. >”We ended up healing and patching ourselves up, and after Anon made a plan to take them all out, we sort of… did.”
  73. >Twilight breathes in relief.
  74. >”I wondered what happened when it was just you guys that came out. You guys all got… shot, then?”
  75. >You all nod, Berry continuing.
  76. >”I got hit in the knee, Iron got gutshot… Gable fucked up his shoulder. Red and Five were alright, though.”
  77. >“So where are the robbers, did you get them?”
  78. >At Twilight’s question, the three of you look towards the ground, unable to say anything.
  79. >”…Guys?”
  80. >It takes a very long time for any of you to get the courage to speak, and it ended up being you.
  81. ”It was kill or be killed, sister. Some of them were junkies, and tried to kill us before we even knew what was happening… There were six of ‘em, and only one… got away.”
  82. >Twilight looks even more confused until she finally realizes what exactly you meant.
  83. >Her eyes widen in shock.
  84. >”…O-oh… …I’m so sorry, guys.”
  85. “Hey, we did what we needed to do.”
  86. >”I’m… gonna go check on the.. er… bodies.”
  87. >Twilight excuses herself with a silent nod, and enters the train.
  88. >You figure now would be as good a time as any to get your spear back.
  89. >You jump off the station’s platform and walk around to the back of the train, and untie your weapon from the ropes, making sure the blades haven’t dulled too badly before returning.
  90. >When you get back, you see Twi’s already returned.
  91. >Along with a green, goopy puddle underneath her.
  92. “She threw up, didn’t she?”
  93. >Berry nods and pats her on the back.
  94. >”Hey, you think we didn’t wanna do that, too?”
  95. >”…Heugh…”
  96. >While Twilight begins to recompose herself, a few of the ponies on the hijacked train approach your party, looking rather shy.
  97. >”Uhm.. W-we-”
  98. >”We just wanted to, er,”
  99. >”Thank you for saving us.”
  100. >”You guys are like, heroes, especially that tall robed guy.”
  101. >You all look at each other in disbelief, but you decide to milk it for all it’s worth, baby.
  102. “We’re awesome like that, aren’t we? Just cruisin’ through the neighborhood, lookin’ fine and mighty, until we came and busted those thugs’ asses and giving them the fight ‘n’ bite ‘till they went and took flight! OH YEAH!”
  103. >As you flex to the cheers and coos of the mares that were thanking you, you suddenly feel a stabbing pain in your shin.
  104. >Berry just kicked you again, didn’t she?
  105. >The instant wave of agony doubles you over, clutching at your leg as if it was shot too.
  106. >”Hey loser, this isn’t a victory! Anyways… Twilight, you doing alright?”
  107. >She shakes her head, but wipes her mouth off and breathes.
  108. >”I’m… I think I’ll be alright… So, you guys said there was one that got away?”
  109. “R-right… He was a mule, had a rockin’ goatee goin’ on, and big fat glasses framing his face.”
  110. >Twilight whipped out a notepad from somewhere and began writing your every word.
  111. >”Did you catch his name or his friends’ names?”
  112. “There were two mules, three stallions and a zebra. They only went by letters, though. T, M and F were the ones we heard.”
  113. >She writes down the more or less useless information.
  114. >At this point, Steam Pocket joins the group after calming down a few of the other conductors, so you spring for a question.
  115. “Hey brother, we need a quick shop to the supply carts. What’s the quickest way down there-”
  116. >”I’ll take you.”
  117. >You, Red and Berry all look at Twilight, who’s already drinking another huge vat of magic blue stew.
  118. >”Just give me a second for this stuff to kick in, and I’ll teleport you all there.”
  119. >You raise your eyebrows in surprise.
  120. >”Damn, you’ve got some power tucked under that horn of yours, huh?”
  121. >Twilight smirks a bit.
  122. >”Just a bit…”
  123. >Is there anything you’d like to do or say before being taken to the supply carts?
  124.  
  125. >Well, your ticket there seems to be ensured.
  126. “Hey Trainmaster, can you send something down to pick up the cars while we secure them, then?”
  127. >Steam Pocket nods subtly, looking back at the other conductors.
  128. >”Can’t say it’ll be easy, what with how they’re freaking out over all of this, but we’ll get something down there. Just get back soon so you get your carriage ride.”
  129. “Will do. Thanks, brother. So, I guess we better get ready for another fight…”
  130. >Berry’s neck-ring gleams with pure magic flame, and Redheart braces her shield as Twilight approaches you three.
  131. >You draw your own spear and ready yourself.
  132. >”Alright, I’ll teleport you guys there and let you take care of business, and I’ll get you and the other three back here before I leave. I have to get back to the girls as soon as equinely possible.”
  133. >Redheart nods.
  134. >”Just don’t overstress yourself with that magic.”
  135. >”It’s fine, trust me. Ready?”
  136. >”Ready.”
  137. >”Let’s do this shit.”
  138. “OH YEAH!”
  139. >Your vision is suddenly encumbered by a powerful violet light, and you blink to find yourself smack-dab in the middle of the desert.
  140. >When you turn around, you see the supply carts that were on the train before.
  141. >But the entire interior has been wiped clean.
  142. >Every cart has their locks broken, and every single one of them are empty.
  143. “…Looks like we were too late.”
  144. >The four of you looks around just to make sure the robbers were gone.
  145. >It’s completely barren out here, and Anon, Gable and Five are nowhere to be seen.
  146. >Twilight sighs and gives you all an apologetic look.
  147. >”Sorry we couldn’t make it in time. I’ll wait with you guys while they come back, at least.”
  148. >”Thanks.”
  149. >Red sits and lays down on the dry ground, obviously exhausted from the events of the last hour.
  150. >Berry joins her, not even taking a drink as she just leans over the nurse like a pillow.
  151. >Is there anything you’d like to do while waiting for the rest of the party?
  152.  
  153.  
  154. >Change Perspective
  155. [You feel your mind being lifted out of the minotaur, carrying itself into the void once again.]
  156. [You must switch to another mind. Who would you like to change to?]
  157. -Anonymous
  158. -Redheart
  159. -Berry Punch
  160. -Gable
  161. -Iron Will (X)
  162.  
  163. >Anonymous selected!
  164.  
  165. [REDIRECTING MIND . . .]
  166. >…
  167. >You are Anonymous.
  168. >And you’re fucking tired.
  169. >You’ve been walking along these tracks with a cavity in your chest in the middle of the desert for nearly half an hour.
  170. >You can feel yourself dehydrating with every step you take, but you’re no closer to the carts than you were before.
  171. >You can’t even see the across the horizon, and it’s dead flat out here now.
  172. >At least you have the hope your party will be okay.
  173. >What would you like to do?
  174.  
  175.  
  176. >Well, since you’re out here doing jack shit, might as well practice your magic a little bit.
  177. >Used Levitate
  178. [Nothing to practice levitate on!]
  179. >If you can’t do that, then you should probably try something that might help get you there faster before turning into beef jerky.
  180. >Used Teleport (-20 MP)
  181. >You zap as far as you possibly can down the railroad.
  182. >Used Teleport (-20 MP)
  183. >You zap as far as you possibly can down the railroad.
  184. >Used Teleport (-20 MP)
  185. >You zap as far as you possibly can down the railroad.
  186. >Used Teleport (-20 MP)
  187. >You zap as far as you possibly can down the railroad.
  188. >Used Teleport (-20 MP)
  189. >You zap as far as you possibly can down the railroad.
  190. >Used Teleport (-20 MP)
  191. >You zap as far as you possibly can down the railroad.
  192. >Used Teleport (-20 MP)
  193. >You zap as far as you possibly can down the railroad.
  194. >Used Teleport (-20 MP)
  195. >You zap as far as you possibly can down the railroad.
  196. >Used Teleport (-20 MP)
  197. >You zap as far as you possibly can down the railroad.
  198. >Used Teleport (-20 MP)
  199. >You zap as far as you possibly can down the railroad.
  200. >Used Teleport (-20 MP)
  201. >You zap as far as you possibly can down the railroad.
  202.  
  203. [TELEPORT UPGRADED!]
  204. [You can now travel farther distances when you teleport!]
  205. [You can choose from a variety of specialties.]
  206.  
  207. -Potency (Increases combat multiplier by x0.5.)
  208. -Efficiency (Able to teleport one extra pony with you for only double mana.)
  209. -Haste (Decreases in-combat cooldown by 1 turn.)
  210.  
  211. [Which would you like to pursue?]
  212.  
  213.  
  214.  
  215. [Efficiency selected!]
  216. [TELEPORT: (-30 MP, Allows medium distances to be traveled instantly and take another with you for double mana, Com: Couple with another attack for x3 damage, 5tcd)]
  217. >…
  218.  
  219. >Used Magic Recombobulator!
  220. >-300 MRP<
  221. >+300 MP<
  222. Anon: [HP: 140/140][MP: 305/305]
  223. MRP: (23/500)
  224. >Used Medium Mana Potion on Magic Recombobulator!
  225. MRP: (356/500)
  226. >…
  227. >That rejuvenation felt rather nice, and you feel stronger than ever.
  228. >It’s like that mana rehydrated you almost, yet you still feel a potent thirst on your tongue.
  229. >Since you still can’t see anything down the railway, you get back to work, using your bloomed magic to take you even further than before.
  230. >Used Teleport! (-30 MP)
  231. >The instant you zap forward with your farthest reach, you feel a sense of overpowering speed enveloping your body.
  232. >When your senses come to, you realize the entire countryside looks different now, more rocks than desert.
  233. >When you turn around to look, you see that you overpassed the supply cars by nearly a football field’s length.
  234. “Holy shit…”
  235. >You must’ve gone at least three times as far as your last teleport, because that single leap was over 2 miles if that horizon planet curvature thing is true.
  236. >You see some of your party at the sides of the car, and another look forward tells you that two flying figures are headed towards you.
  237. >What would you like to do?
  238.  
  239.  
  240. >You squint your eyes to see the figures more clearly, and it turns out to be Gable and Five flying together.
  241. >Not sure what happened there, but they seem fine, and so does the rest of your party.
  242. >Your heart finally breathes with joy and relief knowing they’re alright, so they must’ve stopped the train somehow.
  243. >You wave down the two flyers as best you can, and you walk back towards the supply cars.
  244. >By the time you get within speaking distance, you notice Twilight’s there with them.
  245. >Wait, what’s she doing here?
  246. “Twilight, what are you doing here?”
  247. >As soon as you speak, they all lift their heads in familiar recognition.
  248. >”A-anon?!”
  249. >Redheart’s the first to react, where she gets up and sprints to you.
  250. >Before you can even register what happened, she’s got you in a vice grip.
  251. >”Oh… thank Celestia you’re alright!”
  252. “I-I’m fine, really!”
  253. >The rest of them had gotten up at this point to greet you, and Five and Gable had touched down behind you.
  254. >Twilight then points something out with a confused look.
  255. >”Hey… How did you get on this side? Didn’t you come from the other end?”
  256. >Gable looks around.
  257. >”He wasn’t here?”
  258. >”No, he just came from this side.”
  259. >”We didn’t see him.”
  260. “I teleported a bit too far trying to get back here, sorry about that.”
  261. >Twilight’s eyebrows raise in unison.
  262. >”You must’ve gotten better, then. Either way, let’s continue this at the train station, alright?”
  263. “Oh, okay.”
  264. >Gable shakes his head subtly as he and Five join the group.
  265. >”I have no idea what’s going on…”
  266. >Twilight’s horn flares to life, and you’re all engulfed in a luminous violet light.
  267. >The next time you blink, you’re at a train station you’ve never seen before.
  268. >You do see Steam Pocket though, so you can’t be in too foreign of territory.
  269. >Twilight wipes sweat off her brow from the intensity of the spell she just cast, and smiles at you.
  270. >”Sorry, just wanted to make sure you’d all be here for the carriages. What were you going to say?”
  271. “When I went up to the roof of the train to get the water line, that mule I let live happened to be there. He’s the one that disconnected the supply from the passengers, and we had a little scuffle… I sort of lost, and he threw me off the train.”
  272. >There are multitudes of light gasps, though you’re not sure why since they see you fine and healthy.
  273. >Iron Will looks at you in surprise.
  274. >”Damn, brother. I wouldn’t have pegged you for a true man of Iron like myself! Getting thrown off a speeding locomotive ain’t a picnic, after all.”
  275. >You shrug, and look at Gable and Five.
  276. “Why were you guys separate from them, anyways?”
  277. >Five speaks first.
  278. >”We were given a task by Iron Will to go after the supply cars to check on your condition as well as attempt to stop the robbery.”
  279. “…So how did the others-”
  280. >Twilight intervenes.
  281. >”I got them here, actually. Like I told them, when Celestia sent me a letter about fears of a robbery on the railroads, I figured out it was yours and got here as fast as I could. I managed to stop the collision and I brought them to the supply cars to see if we couldn’t help, but…”
  282. “But?”
  283. >Redheart chimes in with a sullen tone.
  284. >”We were too late. The cars were completely empty.”
  285. >…So everything you did was for nothing.
  286. >Killing those thugs served no purpose.
  287. >You try to push the despair-riddled thought out of your mind as you remove your kit from your bag.
  288. “Alright, anyways. Iron, Gable, Berry, come here, we need to get those bullets out.”
  289. >Red gets your attention.
  290. >”I actually took care of Berry in the lull of the situation. I’ll help you with the other two.”
  291. “Thanks.”
  292. >Used Doctor’s Kit on Iron Will and Gable (split)
  293. [Removed bullets from body cavities of Iron and Gable!]
  294. >…
  295. >”Quit your whining, Will! It wasn’t that bad.”
  296. >The toughened minotaur snorts derisively.
  297. >”Speak for yourself toots, that stung! You stuck metal inside my wounds, how would that not hurt even the most rockin’ sockin’ bull there is?”
  298. “Gable didn’t say anything.”
  299. >Gable smiles in the background as Iron rolls his eyes.
  300. >”He doesn’t count.”
  301. “Sure…”
  302. >Twilight starts walking off a little bit as you make sure they’re both alright.
  303. >”Alright everypony. I need to get back to Winsome as soon as possible, so is there anything you guys need before I go?”
  304. >Is there anything you’d like to ask Twilight before she leaves?
  305.  
  306. [spoiler]>Everyone looks around at each other, not having anything else to say.
  307. >At this point, you grow a devilish grin on your face, and decide to ham it out to lighten up the situation.
  308. “Well shit! I guess you’re just a fucking cunt! Come back to meh when you got that stick out yo ass!”
  309. >Twilight’s jaw drops as you begin to gyrate your entire body to move your legs in a specific set of motions that project the illusion of forward momentous bipedal walking while at the same time in reality simply moving backwards.
  310. >From somewhere out in Equestria, you hear a canterlot voice yell ‘THAT’S MY MOVE, MORTAL!’
  311. >Well fuck Moonbutt’s shit, you’re better at it.
  312. >In fact, you’re so good at it that Redheart, Twilight and Berry start cumming and farting uncontrollably.
  313. >It becomes a powerful rhythm that not even the King of Pop himself could handle, and the moon suddenly dislodges from Woona’s grasp and falls into Equestria, destroying the planet instantly.
  314. >Somewhere out in the depths of the rocky aftermath in space, your feet still walk…
  315. >…On the moon.
  316.  
  317. “I just wanted to say thank you. I owe you one for helping us out.”
  318. >”Aww, it’s no problem. You would’ve done the same for me.”
  319. >Regardless, you lean in and the two of you hug each other tightly.
  320. >She smells oddly enough of skittles.
  321. >Maybe it’s the byproduct of being in a city filled with rainbow falls.
  322. >Once you part from her, a few more things pop into your head.
  323. “By the way, when you see Pinkie, can you tell her to pick a birthday for me? I don’t have any memory of it right now, and it’s not like I know the dates of this world anyways. I think she’ll have a bit of fun with it.”
  324. >Twilight gives you an odd look.
  325. >”Wait, so in your world it’s different from January and February, and Tuesday and the likes?”
  326. “…Er, no. I guess it’s the same then.”
  327. >She smiles at you.
  328. >”You’re so weird sometimes. I’ll see you guys later!”
  329. >Everyone waves to her, but something crosses your mind at that instant.
  330. “Hold up! Before you leave, just one second. I found this note while I was securing their weapons, might be important. I doubt it pertains to Winsome Falls, but it can't hurt to check.”
  331. >Twilight looks at the letter you hold with interest.
  332. >”Okay, let’s see it.”
  333. [You open the letter allowing you and Twilight to read it.]
  334. [Letter to M]
  335.  
  336. This is your last chance. Do not fail me on this simple job or you will suffer dearly for all of your failures while serving under me. We need this Trotium if we’re ever going to make better weapons for ourselves, and while Mr. Gear has proven himself a powerful financial ally, we cannot rely on our funds alone to get the materials we need. Failure is not an option. The lives of not only your family, but your teammates’ as well, depend on it. It’d be a shame to see them in the Equestrian obituaries.
  337.  
  338. ~DF
  339. [End Letter]
  340.  
  341. >You both grow silent for a moment as these words sink in.
  342. >Twilight recovers before you do.
  343. >”I’m going back to Spike, so I’ll send this letter to Princess Celestia promptly.”
  344. “…A-alright.”
  345. [You give Twilight Letter to M.]
  346. >”I’ll be going now, got a lot of things to do!”
  347. >With a final goodbye, Twilight’s body radiates with violet power as she disappears, returning to her own mission.
  348. >You turn back around to the party.
  349. >”What did it say, Anon?”
  350. “Those thugs got blackmailed by someone called DF, probably initials… He called a Mr. Gear a financial ally.”
  351. >The silence that follows is very potent.
  352. >When it is broken, it’s Redheart’s words that do so.
  353. >”…It couldn’t be him, could it?”
  354. “I hope not.”
  355. >Deciding to put the issue in the back of your mind for now, you look over at Gable and Five.
  356. “With everything we’ve gone through I've fallen down or been knocked over more times than I can count. Since you two can fly, got any techniques you can show me to not land so hard?”
  357. >Gable shrugs after a moment of thinking.
  358. >”I usually use my wings to slow down my descent. Tuck and roll, bonehead.”
  359. >Five says nothing, Gable’s words being the sum of what she would.
  360. >Whoa, when did Five put her disguise back up?
  361. >You sort of missed that white fur and red mane.
  362. “Alright, thanks for the tip…”
  363. >You and your party begin to make small talk as you await for the carriages, so you decide to have a bit of a chat with Steam Pocket, still resting from the traumatizing incident.
  364. >He spots you before you’re able to speak.
  365. >”Anon? Where did you go before, taking a joyride on my train?”
  366. “I got kicked off the top by one of the thugs.”
  367. >”… Nevermind then. Hope you’re alright?”
  368. “I’m fine. Lucky we met once before or I wouldn’t have realized something was up when I didn't see you.”
  369. >”What do you mean, son?”
  370. “Well, you’re the conductor, and if you weren’t the one answering the door, wouldn’t that be a bit suspicious?”
  371. >He laughs a bit.
  372. >”There’s many more conductors than just me, doctor. I actually wasn’t even scheduled to be on this train, but Wrenchworth decided to call in sick, that lazy sack of rocks.”
  373. >Oh, that makes sense.
  374. “So are you driving this train as well?”
  375. >He gives you another look of disdain.
  376. >”What train? I’m gettin’ on a carriage back home, the trains are out of commission.”
  377. >That makes sense, too.
  378. “By the way, how long is it gonna take them to get out here?”
  379. >”From how far out the station is from the Ghastly Gorge Mine, I’d say two to three hours. Long wait.”
  380. >You’re currently waiting for the carriage back to Appleoosa.
  381. >It is currently 1:00 A.M.
  382. >What would you like to do?
  383.  
  384.  
  385.  
  386. >You thought about checking out that mine, but there probably wasn’t anything there, not to mention it’d probably filled with actual miners and not tourists.
  387. >You get up and look around for an inconspicuous spot to begin practicing your magic.
  388. >After a quick farewell to Steam Pocket, you approach your group before leaving.
  389. “Hey, tell me when we’re leaving, okay?”
  390. >Berry looks up at you with little emotion.
  391. >”Where ya goin’?”
  392. “I’m just gonna train my magic a little bit.”
  393. >They wave half-heartedly.
  394. >They’re all pretty tired, and you are too now that you think about it.
  395. >Got to do something while you wait, though, and that’s a good thing to do.
  396. >You make your way over to a rather deserted wall of the station, and begin to summon your magic from your body.
  397. >With one quick test to make sure the flow’s flowing, you get to work.
  398. >Used Shockwave! (-4 MP) (1/10)
  399. >There’s a slight tinge of electricity that crackles the ground around you, but that’s it.
  400. >Used Shockwave! (-4 MP) (2/10)
  401. >The ground itself shakes with the force you exert, but no magic actually leaves.
  402. >Used Shockwave! (-4 MP) (3/10)
  403. >A more complete shockwave breaks the ground around you.
  404. >Used Shockwave! (-4 MP) (4/10)
  405. >A strong force eminates from your feet, but there’s no electricity again.
  406. >Used Shockwave! (-4 MP) (6/10)
  407. >An overbearingly strong shock of magic explodes into the ground around you, but there is little force.
  408. >Used Shockwave! (-4 MP) (7/10)
  409. >The force and magic begin to dwindle.
  410. >Used Shockwave! (-4 MP) (8/10)
  411. >The force and magic begin to dwindle.
  412. >Used Shockwave! (-4 MP) (9/10)
  413. >The force and magic begin to dwindle.
  414. >Used Shockwave! (-4 MP) (10/10)
  415. >The force and magic begin to dwindle.
  416. [Shockwave fully upgraded, usable to its fullest extent.]
  417. Anon: [MP: 241/305]
  418. >You feel crushingly tired all of a sudden.
  419. >Each time you cast that spell, it just weighed heavier and heavier on you.
  420. >You feel like you’re holding up hundreds of pounds on your shoulders, yet you still have plenty of mana.
  421. >Not exactly sure what’s going on…
  422. >What would you like to do?
  423.  
  424. >You look around the Train station, seeing many hustling and bustling ponies trying to settle everything after the incident with the trains.
  425. >The ground beneath you is cracked and broken from your shocking adventures.
  426. >You also see something subtly sticking out of a bush in the darkness, but you can’t be sure.
  427. >Might as well use your mana a little more just to be sure it wasn’t that shockwave session you did.
  428. >Used Invisibility! (-50 MP) (4/10)
  429. >Your body is suddenly enshrouded by a force field that reflects all light and sound away from you, making you invisible to the world.
  430. >At least, for a split second.
  431. >The spell falters and you feel your body cry out in protest, feeling an overbearing exhaustion upon you.
  432. Anon: [HP: 140/140, Ex][MP: 191/305]
  433. [Filled Magic Recombobulator with your mana!]
  434. Anon: [MP: 0/305]
  435. MRP: (500/500)
  436. >You’re going to need some sleep soon.
  437. >Yeah, probably need to go to Redheart now.
  438. >You drag yourself back into the station with heavy eyes, eventually reaching them after what seems like an eternity.
  439. >Iron, Berry and Five are asleep.
  440. >Gable’s trying not to fall asleep, but failing rather potently.
  441. >Redheart’s awake as a whistle, however. She smiles as you come up, but it drops when she sees you.
  442. >”That was quick, babe. … Are you alright? You don’t look very well.”
  443. “Not doing too good, actually. When I was recasting a spell to practice it, I just got horribly exhausted.”
  444. >Redheart gets up and makes you kneel down, giving you a quick inspection like the professional nurse she is.
  445. >Sometimes you forget what everypony used to do before this whole shadow debacle.
  446. >”Well, from what I can tell, you’re still injured from that hit to the chest, Anon. That combined with the fact you haven’t slept in 20 hours, your body is probably just telling you to get some rest. You can lay down here with me on the bench if you’d like, because the carriage is going to be a while.”
  447. >She finishes checking you over with a kiss to your cheek, which makes you feel a good deal warmer in the chilly breeze.
  448. >She’s most likely right, you’re probably just tired.
  449. >What would you like to do?
  450.  
  451.  
  452. “That sounds lovely. But, can we do something real quick?”
  453. >Redheart looks around with an intense blush on her face.
  454. >”A-anon, not here…”
  455. “N-no! I mean, not right now, er… There’s something sticking out of the bushes out back, and I was going to go grab it before I got all… tired. Can you come with me and check it out really quick?”
  456. >”Oh, well sure. What is it?”
  457. “That’s what I wanna find out.”
  458. >You slowly stand up using Redheart to help you, and the two of you cross back over the Trainstation on a painstakingly slow pace, you having to lead the way.
  459. >Finally, you reach the area where you pulled your little stunt, and step over the rocks to take a closer look at the thing sticking out of the bushes.
  460. >Check/Inspect
  461. [The object in question seems to be tangled in the branches of the bushes. Once you get a close look, it looks to be some sort of old parchment.]
  462. >”…What is it?”
  463. >What would you like to do?
  464.  
  465.  
  466.  
  467. “I don’t know… Let me see if I can’t get it out.”
  468. >You raise your fingers and slowly pick away certain branches, removing certain corners of the paper.
  469. >”Careful, not too hard!”
  470. >”Ooh- don’t pull it like that, be gentle…”
  471. >”Anon, watch your fingers, don’t rip it!”
  472. “Red, are we really having this conversation again?”
  473. >”Hey!… You’ve gotten better at that, it has nothing to do with this.”
  474. >You sigh and concentrate on salvaging the paper from the bushes despite Redheart’s constant shoulder-looking, and you manage to untie it.
  475. >The parchment is very old, and you even feel it crumbling a little underneath your thumb.
  476. >Holding it carefully, you turn to Red.
  477. “Let’s go back before we look at it, I’m not sure how much longer I can stand.”
  478. >Red nods and keeps close to you as the two of you walk back around into the station.
  479. >She helps you sit on the bench softly as time wears on you through the night, and it takes a focused effort to keep your eyes open now.
  480. >Red jumps up and sits next to you as you open the parchment.
  481.  
  482. [It seems to be a map of Equestria itself, with an emphasis on the northern mountains being detailed with the land under it only sporting names in general areas, and fiery rings marking some sort of treasure.
  483.  
  484. “Far over the Crystal Mountains’ desire
  485. To dungeons deep and caverns mire
  486. We must away; ere’ break of day
  487. To find our long forgotten fire
  488.  
  489. And we shall become gods once again”
  490.  
  491. Smokey Mountain, the clean hoof ( )
  492. Winter Tundra, the choker (X)
  493. Ghastly Gorge, the back ( )
  494. White Tail Woods, the tail ( )
  495. Macintosh Hills, the crown ( )
  496. Rumbling Rock Ridge, the armed hoof ( )
  497. Manehattan, the running leg ( )
  498. Foal Mountain, the striking leg ( )
  499. Hollow Shades, the halo ( ) ]
  500. >Redheart looks on in fascination, using her hoof to smooth out the paper as she examines it alongside you.
  501. >”This must be… centuries old. What do you think it is?”
  502. “I think… It’s a treasure map.”
  503. >She pushes you playfully and you look a little closer at it.
  504. >You’re pretty sure it’s for the rings of Kinich-Ahau or whatever his name was, and Berry’s got the choker right now.
  505. >It was in that chest found in the cave, so you’re probably to assume that all of the rings are kept preserved like that in some form.
  506. >And it looks like there’s a ring right here in the Ghastly Gorge.
  507. >If the last one was in a cave…
  508. >But you’re so tired.
  509. >It’s about 2:00 A.M.
  510. >Even Redheart’s starting to nod off a little bit now after sleeping on a relatively normal schedule for these last few weeks.
  511. >What would you like to do?
  512.  
  513.  
  514. >Right now, there’s only one thing on your mind.
  515. >You fold up the map and shift your legs up on the bench.
  516. >The feeling is heavenly, just kicking back and laying your head on Redheart’s side like a fluffy white pillow.
  517. >”Ah- hmm, I’ll wake you up when the carriages come then, babe. Good night.”
  518. >She rubs your head gently as she shifts herself to lay down, cuddling up with your head at her side.
  519. “Night..”
  520. >Before you know it, your eyes are shut and your breathing slows.
  521. >The night drifts away into endless dreaming.
  522. >…
  523. >Well, it felt endless.
  524. >You awaken and slowly open your crusty eyes, taking in your surroundings.
  525. >Nearly a minute passes before you’re able to remember everything that happened yesterday.
  526. >Once you gather your bearings, you realize Redheart’s shaking you awake, giving you a concerned look.
  527. >”Anon, c’mon. Get up, the carriages are here!”
  528. “Oh, yeah… What time is it?”
  529. >Red smiles sympathetically at you as she slides out from under your head to stand up.
  530. >”We’re still going, aren’t we?”
  531. >You sit up and see that your party is experiencing similar emotions of grogginess from being woken up, but they’ve started walking after one of the many numbers of the carriages that’ve come to take everyone to where they need to go.
  532. >Gable mans the door and looks at the two of you as Berry and Iron climb in.
  533. >You suddenly remember that treasure map you found in your sleepless stupor last night, and a quick check confirms it’s real.
  534. >Should you stop them and check out the mine, or go straight to Appleoosa?
  535.  
  536.  
  537. >There’s got to be a way to do what you need to do and get that ring.
  538. >It could be invaluable in the inevitable conflict against the shadow.
  539. >You slowly get up and shake off your exhaustion and call down the party.
  540. “HOLD ON!”
  541. >You meet them halfway from the carriage and Berry is the first to speak.
  542. >”What going on now? We’re supposed to be going to Appleoosa now, right?”
  543. >You pull out the map you found and start unfolding it.
  544. ”Just check this out. Red and I found this last night, it looks like it's in reference to those rings, like the one you're wearing right now. It seems like the more we have, the more powerful they are.”
  545. >You spread the map out and let her, Iron Will and Gable look at it closely with the latter taking a special interest.
  546. >”…This is gryphon handwriting.”
  547. >Redheart’s interest (and eyebrows) perk up and she closes in next to him to inspect the calligraphy more carefully.
  548. >”Really? … It’s very ancient, so it must be from very far north.”
  549. >The feathered lion smirks a bit at this.
  550. >”You know your history, don’t you? And here I was thinking you were just a nurse with a penchant for badassery.”
  551. >Red smiles back.
  552. >”I might not be like Twilight when it comes to books, but I do read plenty.”
  553. >Iron rolls his eyes at the spectacle.
  554. >”You two should start up a little book club or something. What’s up with this, doc?”
  555. “Well, I’ve been doing some research, and what I’ve found is pretty much confirmed by this map. The rings I’m talking about are specifically called the Nine Rings of Kinich-Ahau, and according to this little poem here, you get a lot of power for each ring you find, and since we’re probably going to need it if we face the shadow directly, it’s not a bad idea to search for it. The next one’s right here in the Ghastly Gorge, I’m guessing the mine. What I’m getting at is, how do you feel about a little treasure hunt, Berry?”
  556. >Each member of the group looks around at each other, gauging their worth for it.
  557. >Red’s the first to respond.
  558. >”Don’t you think we should take care of the Hive first before going after anything? I know this could help us if it’s there, but we’re a bit tight on time, since their hive’s been attacked since… nearly a week ago?”
  559. >She has a point.
  560. >What do you say?
  561.  
  562. >You think for a moment, scratching your chin in deep pondering wonder.
  563. “Hm… how about this? Gable, you and Berry check out the mine; maybe you two will be able to find some other gryphon artifacts while you're in there. We'll scout ahead and see what info we can gather at Appleloosa about the Hive. Might make some preparations in the form of more potions and such, too.”
  564. >After presenting that on the table, Gable’s eyes light up.
  565. >”I can see a lot of shine, then. I’m in.”
  566. >Berry shrugs after a moment, a bit weirded out by the gryphon’s enthusiasm.
  567. >”Sure, I can go for it. Would love to see how much fire I can belch out at once, right?”
  568. >The two of them chuckle as you hand over a few things.
  569. [You give Gable your Pickaxe.]
  570. [You give Gable your Nine-Rings Map.]
  571. [You give Berry 200 bits.]
  572. “There’s the map, the pickaxe in case you find any good ores, and a bit of cash for a carriage back to Appleoosa when you’re done. You guys sure you’re okay with this?”
  573. >Berry and Gable nod, and before leaving Iron takes the former’s hoof in his hands.
  574. >”You’ll be careful, right Ber?”
  575. >Berry gives him an annoyed look.
  576. >”What did I say about the special treatment?”
  577. >Iron stands back up and coughs nonchalantly, wearing a dopey smile.
  578. >”Right, yep. See you two on the flip side! Kick some flank if you find any zombies or something.”
  579. >With that, Berry and Gable wave to the party and you wave back.
  580. >”See ya guys, find out where we can buy the good shit, I’m gettin’ tired of rum!”
  581. >”Don’t hurt yourselves in the wild west, we’ll be back soon.”
  582. “Heh, see you guys soon. And be careful in there! It should be just a simple pick-up, but keep your eyes peeled for anything dangerous. Or shiny.”
  583. >And so they leave, following the map’s directions to the mine.
  584. >Redheart and Iron walk you to the carriage in your groggy state and help you inside.
  585. [Cannot use Doctor’s Kit on multiple party members without splitting!]
  586. >The feeling of sitting on an exquisite, cushioned seat makes you nearly fall asleep on the spot.
  587. >Your friends have already been taken care of though, so it doesn’t really matter.
  588. >All of a sudden, the latch to the driver’s seat opens and a rugged stallion pokes his muzzle through.
  589. >”Where to?”
  590. >Red’s on the case.
  591. >”We’d like to make a quick stop at Ponyville, then go to Appleoosa from there. Is that okay?”
  592. >He nods, but you see the slightest of scowls on his face before closing the latch again.
  593. >You don’t blame him, that’s quite a ways to go.
  594. >But you’re beyond caring at this point, as you’re far too tired to think straight.
  595. >You drift off very quickly once Red now uses you as a pillow and cuddles on your side, and Iron takes the entire other seat, enjoying the space.
  596. >The carriage begins moving, and you begin dreaming.
  597. >…
  598. [ACTION DERIVATIVE TO THIRD MEMBER OF PARTY]
  599. [REDIRECTING MIND . . .]
  600.  
  601. >…
  602. >You are Berry Punch.
  603. >Got woken up in the middle of a nice dream with fountains of wine and rum, being served plates of cheese by five-legged stallions.
  604. >You know what that means.
  605. >Of course, the ride coming to get you guys just -had- to be in the middle of the night.
  606. >Now you’re on this treasure hunt that you could’ve easily said no to and just had some well-deserved sleep.
  607. >…Aww, let’s be real, you would’ve went to get that set regardless.
  608. >You’re actually fucking psyched to get another ring, this is going to be awesome.
  609. >’Xcept being with Gable here.
  610. >You like the guy, especially after the Windigo incident.
  611. >You just feel like it’ll get a bit weird being alone with him.
  612. >Either way, he’s here now and at least you know you’ll be safe in that dank mine.
  613. >At this point, you and him are traveling down a downsloping dirt path down right into the gorge, and it’s pitch black out here.
  614. >Good thing you have this first ring, it’s a good light source.
  615. >You can see the mine across the distance, but there’s a rushing river blocking the path to the other side.
  616. >You were only able to see that because your ring’s literally the only light source for an entire mile, and it’s glinting off of the movement of the waves.
  617. >What would you like to do?
  618.  
  619. >When the two of you get to the bank of the river, you realize something.
  620. >All that walking, and neither of you have said a word.
  621. >Gonna be awkward when you do now.
  622. >Approaching the rushing sounds of the unrelenting force, you see that there’s no way you’re getting through here by swimming.
  623. >Probably wouldn’t be too pleasant drowning in the middle of the night hundreds of miles away from home.
  624. >That thing is deep, too. The side you’re on goes way past your head starting at least three feet in.
  625. “Hey uuh… Don’t think we could fjord this, could we?”
  626. >Gable chuckles softly.
  627. >”I bet you’re wishing you were a pegasus right now, huh?”
  628. “I like my thunder thighs, thanks. Locks my prey in real nice, if you get what I’m saying. Anyways, I’m gonna give us a little light, y'wanna tell me if your eagle-eyes see a bridge nearby? …Or you could just carry me?”
  629. >Gable sighs sarcastically.
  630. >”Oh, I’m not sure if I could carry thunder thighs, but I’ll give it a shot.”
  631. >You both share a bit of a laugh as Gable starts to hover with his impressive wingspan, and you get a nice little view before he lands over your back.
  632. >…It’s nice.
  633. >His claws clutch around your sides a lot more sensually than you thought possible for a ragtag fighter, and he slowly starts to take off, your hooves leaving the ground before you can blink.
  634. >His speed accelerates dramatically as he starts to glide across the river with you in tow.
  635. “H-hey, don’t you dare drop me, okay?”
  636. >”OH SHIT!”
  637. “AAAAAAAAGH!”
  638. >You see your life flash before your eyes as you cover them with shaky limbs…
  639. >…Only to hear the asshole tearing up his sides.
  640. >”Oohh.. That was funny. We should hang out more often.”
  641. “Oh yeah, as if you’d just LOVE to be… …That was a horrible pun.”
  642. >”Payback for the windigo.”
  643. >As he finishes this statement, he sets you down softly on the other side of the river, grounding himself next to you.
  644. >”Wasn’t so bad, was it?”
  645. “Whatever.”
  646. >You take a good sip of your rum to get a bit of a buzz going on after that shit.
  647. >He starts to walk forward towards the cave opening to the mine that’s embedded in the side of the gorge.
  648. >What would you like to do?
  649.  
  650.  
  651. >Inspect feelings for Will and Anon
  652. [What feelings? You just want their dicks. Okay, maybe you’d follow Anon to the ends of Equestria for the guy he is and for saving you, and maybe Iron’s a bit closer to you than the others, but that’s it. Not too hard. Well, you want them hard, but it’s not hard to understand, you just want those to be-- er, nevermind.]
  653.  
  654. >Looking at Gable, you realize just how much of a sta- … handsome guy he is.
  655. >You’d just totally fuck his rule 63 self, and Femanon too. Wait…
  656. >Either way, onto the more important business right now, it’s time to find the legendary artifact that’s going to make you such a flaming faggot fire female fighter.
  657. “Let’s start this search, and make sure you speak up if you see something shiny, got it?”
  658. >”Don’t have to tell me twice.”
  659. >The two of you walk side by side up the hill, and arrive at the mouth of the cave.
  660. >The light of your ring illuminates an old, decrepit wooden sign at the side, and you squint as you read.
  661. [“He who enter this mine be warned; turn back, or forever be lost within the labrynth.”]
  662.  
  663. >That doesn’t sound very inviting.
  664. >But, you didn’t come all this way for nothing, did you?
  665. “I’m not gonna go back just because some dumbass miners got spooked by some rocks, are you?”
  666. >You trot forward without a second thought, and Gable goes right after you.
  667. >”Just be on guard.”
  668. >Your sight barely stretches past your own hoof even with the ring light, so it’s probably best to be careful.
  669. >Inside are many different tunnels spanning in different directions, all with an abandoned railroad track splitting up to meet them all.
  670. >To be completely honest, you’re a bit spooked.
  671. >As you go through the centermost tunnel, you look at Gable to see how he’s doing.
  672. >Like the champ he is, there’s no emotion.
  673. >That’s all stoic warrior, right there.
  674. >You take another swig of rum and decide to break the silence, speaking a bit more quietly because of the expanding echoes.
  675. “So uh… Whaddya think about Anon?”
  676. >”Huh?”
  677. “You know, your impression.”
  678. >Gable raises an eyebrow.
  679. >”Are you trying to find out if he’s interested?”
  680. “Wha- No! Of course not, c’mon… Wait, is he?”
  681. >”No clue.”
  682. “Shit, well. You know what I mean, what do you think of him?”
  683. >He sighs with a much more genuine tone, and speaks.
  684. >”He’s a lot more jaded than most in this world. At the same time, he’s optimistic as all hell, and it makes me angry just thinking about how those two qualities can exist inside one living person. Then I sort of forget about it and realize he’s a good friend, which is hard to find when you’re someone like me. So, he’s good. That answer your question?”
  685. “I guess.”
  686. >”What about you? What do you think of him?”
  687. >You blow some raspberries as you think, the echo making a funny effect that gets you a little giggly.
  688. “I don’t know… Saved my life, and that’s good enough for me.”
  689. >”When was this?”
  690. “Back when we first met, the shadow decided to take a little trip over Ponyville, and it wrecked the entire town. I was in a bar at the time, and the entire counter went over me. Got cut up real bad, should’ve bled to death… Then there’s this guy, standing on two legs with fingers, pulling me out and taking me to safety. That was before he knew shit about first aid and magic and all that.”
  691. >”Wow. Didn’t know he was such a stand-up idiot. Could’ve gotten himself killed doing that.”
  692. “Well, if he hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here. So wherever he goes, I go until this whole thing’s over with.”
  693. >With that, there’s nothing more that needs to be said.
  694. >After a while, you and Gable come to a divergence in the mail tunnel.
  695. >The left path seems to go down very quickly, and is the only path where the cart road turns.
  696. >The center path goes straight ahead, but something seems extra dark about it, like it expands.
  697. >The right path has a ladder going up to some sort of trap door.
  698. >What would you like to do?
  699.  
  700. >”So… The map doesn’t say where to go. You’re the treasure hunter here, so pick a way.”
  701. >You look at each of the three paths, completely clueless.
  702. “Are you under the impression I’m like, Daring Do or something? ..Fuck… Uh… T-the right path. Yeah.”
  703. >Gable rubs his nose a bit to cover his inevitable chuckling, and he walks towards the ladder.
  704. >”Good choice, I see a lot of thought went into that.”
  705. “Get bent.”
  706. >You follow behind him and he flies up the ladder without so much as touching it, checking the trap door for any traps.
  707. >When you get to the bottom of it, you draw your spear and stick it into the ground next to it to mark your path.
  708. >Probably won’t need it, right?
  709. >Suddenly, there’s a powerful SMACK right above you, and dust flies everywhere.
  710. >You try to yell at him for breaking a door when you’re right under the crossfire, but you’re too busy coughing.
  711. >”Sorry, should’ve warned you. It’s open now though.”
  712. >He flies through the opening, letting you catch up.
  713. >After you get the dust out of your eyes, you begrudgingly swing your rum to your back and start climbing, your hooves wobbly from the lack of dexterity when it comes to being tipsy.
  714. >Finally, you reach the top and climb up into the next room, brushing yourself off and walking forward.
  715. >You bump into something feathery about three steps in.
  716. “Hey, what’re you standing around… for…”
  717. >You look up and see what Gable’s staring at.
  718. >There’s an entire cavern up here.
  719. >It’s filled with treasures of countless ages, piled in some areas and organized in others, lit by the many blue-flame magical orbs acting as lights across the entire space that’s nearly a football field large.
  720. >Every single crevice filled with silver, gold, even enchanted jewelry, Celesteel and Luminum…
  721. >At the very back, there sits an old decomposed throne, and on it lay a sword made of Trotium.
  722. >”…It’s… How…?”
  723. >You’re completely lost for words.
  724. >This might be the greatest discovery of the modern age.
  725. >And you are going to be FUCKING. RICH.
  726. >What would you like to do?
  727.  
  728.  
  729. ”I'm going to be really pissed off when I wake up in a couple seconds and find out this is all just an alcohol-fueled dream. This is too good to be true… be careful if you go after that sword, it feels fishy. … Gable?”
  730. >You look around for your hybrid friend, only to see him already hovering over the throne, examining it closely.
  731. >That didn’t take long for him.
  732. “HAY!”
  733. >”WHAT?!”
  734. “DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING UNTIL WE’RE SURE WE CAN!”
  735. >”DON’T LECTURE ME, BEERMARE!”
  736. >You take a quick look around and make sure the exit’s there and there’s no weird magical traps.
  737. >It seems to be fine, so you go to the nearest pile and check it out.
  738. >Inspect Pile of Treasure
  739. [Amongst the golden goblets and gemmed necklaces, you see that there’s a pattern to each of these pieces of treasure. Every single item in this cavern seems to have a linked chain pattern on their design, likely due to some sort of signature style of whoever made and kept this treasure before.]
  740. >You’ve never seen the pattern before, so it could be a completely new find!
  741. >But just to be sure…
  742. [SEARCHING FOR EXITS . . .]
  743. [The only exit is the broken trapdoor you came in.]
  744.  
  745. >Gable looks like he’s sweating bullets, using every bit of willpower not to touch anything as he flies back to you.
  746. >”Okay, found nothing out of the ordinary. Can we start hoarding? Please?”
  747. >Holy shit, he said please.
  748. >Well, you don’t see anything wrong.
  749. >What would you like to do?
  750.  
  751.  
  752. >You might not see anything wrong, but your gut is still telling you otherwise.
  753. >And your gut’s usually never wrong.
  754. “See these markings? I think all this stuff’s linked with each other in some way, so there has to be some sort of trap. Keep looking around, and I promise we’ll take some if it’s safe, okay?”
  755. >Gable rolls his eyes and reluctantly follows you as you walk over to the throne.
  756. >Inspect Throne
  757. [The Throne itself is rather fancy, filled with extra pampering details to make it look as ornate as possible. Too bad it’s very ancient, ready to fall apart at a moment’s notice. Upon close examination, you see the same pattern embroidered on it.
  758.  
  759. >Inspect Trotium Sword
  760. [It’s definitely one of the sharpest swords you’ve ever seen. It’s a hoofguarded katana with an unknown language scribed into the broad side of the blade, complete with silver wrappings around the hilt. It too bears the chain pattern as the rest of the treasure does.]
  761.  
  762. >After looking for any abnormalities, you still can’t find anything.
  763. >There must be no traps.
  764. >But just to be completely safe, even if you yourself are getting a bit tired of it, you have to be sure.
  765. [SEARCHING FOR RING . . .]
  766. [You don’t find anything resembling the ring of Kinich-Ahau.]
  767.  
  768. >Well, that was fruitless.
  769. >Gable’s getting rather impatient, and you’re all out of excuses.
  770. >What would you like to do?
  771.  
  772.  
  773. >You already checked for any traps in the room, and you found nothing.
  774. >You already checked for any extra markings in the room, and you found nothing.
  775. >But you do have one more hunch.
  776. >A brisk walk takes you over to the exit, and you put one of the stray cavernous rocks right on the edge and let it hang, effectively blocking the path in case something tries to close.
  777. >Then you turn back to Gable.
  778. “Hey featherboy, can you read what’s on the sword?”
  779. >He shakes his head with impatience.
  780. >”No, it’s an ancient language. Red might’ve known, but I’m uneducated, remember?”
  781. >That’s true, and now you feel like a bit of a jerk for asking him that, but anything to help in this situation.
  782. >Your gut is warring with your mind right now, and you have no idea what to do.
  783. >”Are you seriously still thinking about this?”
  784. “Yes, because I have a brain to think! … I’m just not comfortable. Here, let me try something you big baby, I got an idea.”
  785. >You pull out one of the rags you got from the Tundra cabin and wrap it around your hoof, walking up to one of the piles of treasure near the trapdoor.
  786. “Watch, let’s see what happens when we drop one of these out of here, okay?”
  787. >Gable crosses his arms and watches you unenthusiastically.
  788. >You stick a tongue out at him before turning your attention to a good looking goblet near the top, and you reach for it.
  789. >As soon as your hoof touches it, there’s a slight flash and there’s suddenly two goblets.
  790. “…Wait, wha-”
  791. >The cloned goblet falls from its original perch and hits one of the necklaces in the middle of the pile, and it doubles.
  792. >Suddenly, every single item in the pile doubles and it nearly knocks you off your hooves from the force.
  793. >One of the doubled treasures rolls off to one of the shelves, and then the entire section of that treasure doubles itself, starting a chain reaction that begins to come across the entire room.
  794. >”…Oh shit.”
  795. >The instant Gable’s curse rings out of his mouth, the original doubled pile falls towards the ground, and every hit to a different piece of treasure triples, and it starts waving around through the cavern, already filling it nearly four times as much as it was.
  796. >You try to step back away from it, but you kick a silver bar in the process and it doubles underneath your hooves.
  797. >The doubled one hits the first bar and your leg and they both triple, quadruple, quintuple further and further until you’re riding on a stream of metal about to smash you into the ceiling!
  798. “AAAGH, NOOOO OH FUCK!”
  799. >The immense pile carries you to your death…
  800. >Until Gable swoops from above and scoops you out of the pile with his talons.
  801. >The entire cavern is alive with the sounds of scraping and dinging metal across other cacaphonic melodies that begin to turn the entire place into a literal goldmine.
  802. >Gable tries to fly back, but a rogue cloned trotium sword flies out into the air and nearly slices his wing off, and the offput balance by your weight sends you both crashing into the ground in the center of the room.
  803. >You both immediately get up and stand back to back as treasure crowds around you.
  804. >Then all is still.
  805. >Things finally settle to where nothing is duplicating anymore, with just a small space with you two in the center and real mountains of magically-enchanted treasure blocking every possible path from the ground.
  806. >There’s a lot of swords too, so there won’t be any coming back if you screw up again.
  807. >You’re trapped.
  808. >”….Okay, I’m sorry about being a dickwad earlier…”
  809. “Yeah. Uh… How do we get out?”
  810. >What would you like to do?
  811.  
  812.  
  813.  
  814. >It’s not that you’re so much completely petrified by fear, so much as you just don’t want to drown in treasure.
  815. >You’ve always said that’d be a good way to go (and drowning in liquor), but this isn’t what you had in mind.
  816. >You pat your hoof back and feel Gable still standing stock still behind you, the both of you leaning back to back in this little clear pile with this stupid ass treasure all around you.
  817. >It’s maddening that you can’t take a single bit, and yet here it is just taunting you, daring you to touch it.
  818. >You pull a bit on Gable’s armor to get his attention, and you speak like you’ve been standing there for a whole week doing nothing.
  819. “I will give you so many blowjobs to fly us over to the exit, drop us down, and get the fuck out of here. Like, you could even have a sip of my rum. That's how serious I am about getting the fuck out of here without touching anything.”
  820. >He looks back at you as well as he can without losing balance.
  821. >”Your real rum?”
  822. “…Y-yeah.”
  823. >”I get to wet my whistle and my lips, right?”
  824. >You didn’t really think it through when you told him that.
  825. >Iron’s going to be pissed, but too late to turn back now.
  826. “It’s a date, now use those damn wings and don’t kill us!”
  827. >Gable pulls his arms back around you and holds you tight by interlocking his talons together, and he jumps up with added wingpower to fly straight up.
  828. >When the two of you are in the air, he throws you up and flips around, catching you in his grasp and keeping the two of you at eye-level.
  829. >Nose to beak.
  830. “What’re you staring at? Never been this close to a mare before?”
  831. >”Shut up. I’m concentrating.”
  832. >You roll your eyes, but when you see he’s serious you stay quiet for the benefit of your lives at hand.
  833. >He begins to weave through the massive piles of the booby-trapped treasure by thrusting each of his flaps to send him up and back, keeping the two of you curled up as possible.
  834. >You cling to him like your only link to life, because he literally is right now.
  835. >You might’ve done it too hard, as Gable starts pulling you back a bit in the middle of four huge piles.
  836. >”Hey, loosen your damn grip or I won’t be able to move!”
  837. “Where am I supposed to grab!?”
  838. >He sighs like he’s talking to a child, which pisses you off a bit.
  839. >Before you can make a comment about it, he grabs your hooves and pulls them off of his waist, wrapping them around his neck instead.
  840. >He braces you up to him and makes sure you’re secure.
  841. >”There, is that better your highness?”
  842. >You’re so close to his face you can smell his breath.
  843. >Yeah, it smells like meat, what’d you expect?
  844. >He continues with trying to get out of the cave alive, a few minutes passing before the two of you are finally able to see the trapdoor where you came in.
  845. >”Oh, shit…”
  846. “What?”
  847. >You look at the exit from around his cheek, and your hopes for not getting squished by Midas gets, well, squished.
  848. >The entire opening’s been filled with treasure.
  849. “Great…”
  850. >The tenacious gryphon doesn’t stop flying to it, however.
  851. >He stops right over it and looks you right in the eye.
  852. “…What are you doing?”
  853. >”Remember when I said don’t cling so tight?”
  854. >You eye him as he continues.
  855. >”Well, don’t let go.”
  856. >He’s going to do what you think he’s going to do, isn’t he?
  857. “…Don’t you dare.”
  858. >”Sorry.”
  859. “Don’t YOU FUCKING DAREEEAAAA!”
  860. >Gable flips over and starts twisting like a missile straight at the trapdoor, and crashes right into the magic-laden treasure headfirst!
  861. [-20 HP]
  862. >Holy shit, your head!
  863. >You can’t see from the spots clouding your vision.
  864. >You start to move a hoof to feel the bump, but a talon grabs it and pulls it back as you suddenly feel a dangerous pressure building around your body.
  865. >In the midst of the gold and silver chaos, you see wings, paws and determination claw through the infinitely multiplying metals, keeping you in tow as you feel everything crowding around you tighter and tighter…
  866. >It’s too much, and not even Gable can keep up with the trap’s vice grip.
  867. >So this is how you die, huh?…
  868. >You’d thought out of everything that’s happened, you’d die fighting the shadow.
  869. >Looks like you won’t even get to help…
  870. >All of a sudden, you smell fresh cave air.
  871. >You open your eyes and see salvation.
  872. >He managed to fly out of the treasure!
  873. >You watch as the rest of the multiplication takes place underneath you, nearly flooding the rest of the cave with it.
  874. >Eventually it stops, much quicker than before since there was only a small opening for them to go.
  875. >When all is still, you look back at him with trembling eyes.
  876. >”…Berry, remember this moment right here the next time you decide that my instincts are bullshit.”
  877. “Just set us down over there…”
  878. >Gable flies to the edge of the other two paths.
  879. >You get off of him promptly and wipe yourself off of gold dust and dirt, deciding it’d be best not to give him eye contact for a little while.
  880. >”So, where now?”
  881. >You look at the other two tunnels with a little less rashness.
  882. >The left path seems to go down very quickly, and is the only path where the cart road turns.
  883. >The center path goes straight ahead but something seems extra dark about it, like it expands.
  884. >The right path has been caved in by booby-trapped treasure.
  885. >What would you like to do?
  886.  
  887.  
  888. >Looking through the center path, you get a little curious what could be there.
  889. >It must be its own huge cave, and there’s hopefully not any trap-laden treasure in it.
  890. >Besides, going down a path that’s obviously the right way? Way too predictable.
  891. >The path that the tracks go down is where you think it probably is, but that’s what they want you to think.
  892. >That’s probably a trap too!
  893. >In fact, with that little stunt the entire cave is probably protected somehow, and you could be stuck in here forever, with no food and no water and-
  894. >”Hey, what’s up with you?”
  895. >You look back at Gable for a moment before taking an unnecessarily large swig of rum.
  896. >As every drink pours down your throat, you feel yourself getting less and less stressed, relaxation taking over once again.
  897. >Your lips curl off of the top of the bottle with a loud, satisfying sucking noise, and you start walking to the middle path.
  898. “Thish way! Hic..”
  899. >He chuckles softly to himself as he follows you.
  900. >When you walk through the small archway into the path, the ring’s light illuminates the interior slowly.
  901. >The light stays uniform around you, indicating that if there are walls, they’re not anywhere near you.
  902. >In fact, you walk forward for nearly a minute, and there are no walls to be found, just a bubble of light with you and Gable inside.
  903. >”What is this place?”
  904. >Looking around isn’t going to do anything right now.
  905. >Maybe you should just turn around and-
  906. >Your hoof bumps something hard and you squeal like a little filly, hooves scraping across the rock as you run back and jump into Gable’s arms in shaking, trembling fear.
  907. >It takes him a second to realize what you just did, and he pushes you away.
  908. >”Hey! It’s just a gem, Berry. Hey…”
  909. >He walks ahead of you and picks up a big blue gem, shining under the warm light of your ring.
  910. “I knew that! I… I’m just jumpy from the goldapalooza back there.”
  911. [Gable has received a Gargantuan Gem.]
  912. >You both look all around you, seeing absolutely nothing but brown rock ground.
  913. >However upon closer inspection, you swear you see some twinkles out in the distance of the darkness.
  914. >The gem wasn’t trapped since you were able to touch it.
  915. >What would you like to do?
  916.  
  917. >Inspect Gargantuan Gem
  918. [Even bigger than a Large Gem! Value: 640 bits]
  919.  
  920. >You get a bit of a premonition of what’s going on.
  921. >There may not be any walls, but there has to be a ceiling, right?
  922. >You look up, and see…
  923. >Darkness.
  924. >Shit, so much for that idea.
  925. >It’s too pitch black to see anything in here.
  926. >If only you had some sort of light you could throw around.
  927. >You raise your hoof to scratch your head in thought, but it hits and dings the fire ring around your neck.
  928. “Huh.”
  929. >”What?”
  930. “I think I just got an idea.”
  931. >”That’d be a first.”
  932. “Bite me, now check this out.”
  933. >You breath in and raise your ring to your lips, and ‘fire’.
  934. >Because it’s fire, get it?
  935. >If you’re shooting fire, shooting is also called- aw, fuck it.
  936. >Used Drunk Dragon!
  937. >Your fire breath rockets out into the darkness, passing over light across the entire cavern.
  938. >The light flashes over the walls, shown to exist.
  939. >They’re just really, really, really far away.
  940. >Then the light passes over a huge pile of non-trapped, unadulterated doubloons.
  941. >There’s gems of all colors and all sizes, emeralds, rubies, even a few diamonds scattered about!
  942. >Then the remnants of the fire passes over two gigantic green eyes.
  943. >This ain’t no good.
  944. >You back up slowly with a wide stare and bump into Gable, who has a look of intense fear frozen on his face.
  945. >If he’s pissing his pants, then you’re in trouble.
  946. >You look back, and see those same eyes glinting in the darkness, rising higher and higher.
  947. >And that’s when you see smoke.
  948. >No, fire.
  949. >Whatever it is suddenly blasts out a blue flame so hot and bright it nearly blinds you, coursing over your head like a lethal river.
  950. >When you’re able to see again, there are patches of hanging straw that’ve been lit by the flames like makeshift braziers.
  951. >Within the dim light, lies the biggest dragon you’ve ever seen.
  952. >With blazing scarlet scales and a body bigger than all of Ponyville, those steely, glaring eyes that have pupils larger than your body tower over you.
  953. >He does not look happy.
  954. >Especially since your breath combined with his much hotter, bigger one melted most of the gem pile together.
  955. >What do you do?
  956.  
  957. >You swallow the lump in your throat, wishing you had a drink.
  958. >You feel like if you make any sudden movements, he’ll use you and Gable as toothpicks next time he goes on a murderous rampage.
  959. >But there’s got to be something you can do, right?
  960. >Now you wish the rest of the group were here.
  961. >If Anon and AJ and Pinkie were here they’d have beaten this thing into a bloody pulp by now.
  962. >But, looks like you have to rely on your brains for this one.
  963. >Oh, why did you have to drown your brain in alcohol?
  964. >You swallow one more time, and speak as strongly as you can, but instead you do a great impression of Fluttershy.
  965. “Hey, uh, cool, you can do that too, huh?… Pretty useful, I gotta say. So, uh…”
  966. >The dragon begins to lean in, his wings beginning to spread.
  967. “L-listen, I'm gonna be honest with you, we just came in here looking for this one thing, probably in a box about this big. You wouldn't have happened to see it, eh?”
  968. >The dragon snorts, and a big wave of dark blue smoke clouds over you and Gable.
  969. >The two of you cough and hack like two cancer patients that can’t get off menthol.
  970. >You wave away and try to be as polite as you can.
  971. “If you j-just give us some directions, we’ll be happy yo leave and you know, never come back?…”
  972. >The mythical creature rockets forward to the point where his teeth encompass your whole vision.
  973. >Gable is still as a statue, unmoving, while you’re trying to back away but he won’t let you.
  974. >The sight nearly gives you a heart attack when they part, his lips beginning to move.
  975. >>”Why should I let two insignificant little pests leave my lair when they decided to take my treasure, and carelessly wander through my prized trophies?”
  976. “Wait… what?”
  977. >>”Do NOT play dumb!”
  978. >His voice shakes the entire foundation of the mountain.
  979. >>”I heard the ruckus in the other tunnel. You attempted to steal my own worth, only to be overwhelmed by my charm. It is a shame you did not perish… But you will now.”
  980. >You can’t help but whimper a bit as he raises his head back up, standing on all fours with four unique thuds that rock the cave with vibrations.
  981. >>”Tell me why I should let you go, thieves?”
  982. >What do you say?
  983.  
  984. >It’s very hard to even gather strength to talk when you could be spit roast in a matter of seconds.
  985. >But Gable’s not about to say anything, so you try your best to return the live-saving favor.
  986. >You look over at him and you slap the gem out of his hand, letting it fall to the ground.
  987. “Well we’re not exactly alone! We came here as part of a group, and…. Look.”
  988. >You take out your bit pouch and throw a few coins down near the gems.
  989. [-20 bits]
  990. “We’re sorry, we had no idea this was your home and… I know we don’t have much, but take that as an apology. We’re on a journey to-”
  991. >>”What are your names?”
  992. >Your throat catches in the middle of the sentence, caught off-guard by the question.
  993. >Glancing at Gable, you see that he’s still completely tongue-tied.
  994. >This is getting ridiculous, you thought he was supposed to be a fearless fighter, right?
  995. >He didn’t even flinch when he had to fight the all powerful Princess Cadance, who at the time was beefed up with weird shadow juice!
  996. >…Speaking of, if you were able to handle her, why can’t you handle this dragon? He’s big, sure, but that just means he falls harder.
  997. >However, when the dragon breaths another cloud of hair-burning smoke into the two of you, you decide to stick with talking for now.
  998. “…Uh… I’m Berry Punch, and…”
  999. >You nudge the petrified gryphon in the ribs.
  1000. >”…Gh-uh, Gable.”
  1001. “Yeah, that’s him. Why do you ask?”
  1002. >The dragon regards the two of you carefully before subtly licking his lips.
  1003. >>”I always know the names of my prey… It makes it more personal.”
  1004. >You become so shocked by this statement you can’t stop smiling with your mouth open.
  1005. >You quickly snap yourself out of it and hold your hooves up in defense.
  1006. “Wait wait wait! Listen, we’re on a journey to find the uh, the rings, the Nine Rings of Kiniwawa and we-”
  1007. >”Kinich-Ahau…”
  1008. >You glare at Gable before continuing.
  1009. “And we really need this set because we need the power to defeat a great power, a shadow, that’s trying to destroy this world, not to mention its already destroyed its own!”
  1010. >The dragon raises one huge eyebrow with a bored expression on its face.
  1011. “We know that there’s a ring in this cavern… We were just looking for it, not your gold, honest! See, a few weeks back this shadow passed over a town called Ponyville and-”
  1012. >>”BE QUIET.”
  1013. >OHfuckohfuckohfuck-
  1014. >You tremble wordlessly, trying not to empty the remnants of your drink down your leg.
  1015. >>”I care not for this ‘shadow’ that you lie of.”
  1016. “B-but-”
  1017. >>”Though, I do wonder if you have such potential, that you imply…”
  1018. >The dragon raises itself and moves into a sitting position, and his tail suddenly lashes out at the two of you.
  1019. >Instead of hitting you, it smashes into the ground right next to Gable, sending a shockwave that knocks both of you over a few feet.
  1020. >>”I have a game for you to play.”
  1021. >Oh, this should be fun.
  1022. >>”You are fighters, and I seek entertainment. If you woke me from my nap, then I will have it not be a waste. If you can fight and overcome my challenge, then you may leave my presence, and get your little ring.”
  1023. >You stand up with Gable’s help as you consider the request.
  1024. >He has something for you to fight that isn’t a 12 story dragon, so that seems fair enough.
  1025. >>”I want to see you struggle for your lives if I am going to allow you passage.”
  1026. >Do you accept the challenge?
  1027.  
  1028. >What else could you do?
  1029. >It’s a free passage to get out without being the hot topic and get to kick some royal ass while you do it.
  1030. >After a concerned but excited look from Gable, you look up at the dragon and flick your ring.
  1031. “What do you have in mind?”
  1032. >The dragon’s teeth begin to realign in such a way that there is an upward crescendo of altitude at the back angles of the jaw.
  1033. >Oh, he’s smiling.
  1034. >>”Good…”
  1035. >”What’s your name, then?”
  1036. >The dragon’s smile fades pretty damn quick.
  1037. >You look over at your feathered FAGGOT AND PUNCH HIM IN THE GUT.
  1038. >”Auf… He knows ours, we get a right to know our bloodmaster.”
  1039. “You’re suicidal, aren’t you?”
  1040. >>”Ator. Now, witness your challenge.”
  1041. >You and Gable watch as ‘Ator’ wrenches his neck back, and throws a powerful blast of white flame in between you and him.
  1042. >It explodes into the ground, but instead of radiating outward and killing you instantly like you expect, the power of the flames begins to show magical qualities, turning into some sort of spell.
  1043. >The ball of primordial magic begins to twist and spin on the ground, growing taller as if it were some sort of tornado until it reaches a stead.
  1044. >The twisting mass of fire converges its lower half closer to the ground, and the top half sprouts elemental arms with multi-gemmed braces, a sword and a shield.
  1045. >The last thing to materialize is two searing blue eyes that give a very menacing stare.
  1046. >>”Survive, and you keep your lives.”
  1047. >You and Gable ready yourselves to defend from one of the biggest elementals you’ve ever seen.
  1048. >“Do you… you think we can do this?”
  1049. “Don’t worry, he’s not so hot.”
  1050. >”Berry-”
  1051. “We may be out of the frying pan and into the fire-”
  1052. >”For fuck’s sake-”
  1053. “Hey bro, don’t flame me.”
  1054. >”…Ator, can I go and she fight?”
  1055. “Very funny. That’s one I’ll have to remEMBER.”
  1056. >Gable charges ahead of you without warning, and the elemental brandishes its weapons.
  1057.  
  1058.  
  1059.  
  1060.  
  1061. >Berry Punch: [HP: 200/220][Stats: 40 PD, 60 MD, +10% Fire D +15 HP / +80 PA wep]
  1062. -Throw beer bottle
  1063. -Drunk Dragon (R, 9.6x multiplier AoE, 24x against wood, 3tcd)
  1064. -Fisticuffs (Basic attack)
  1065. -Do No Evil (Good Attack, +25 PA, 5tcd)
  1066. -Trample (+25 PA, 50% chance to crit for x2.5, 2tcd)
  1067. -Scorch (R, +30 MA, x2.5 and 75% chance to burn, 5tcd)
  1068. -Olberslash (Epic attack (RND), 5% chance to incapacitate, 8tcd)
  1069.  
  1070. >Gable: [HP: 180/200][Stats: 20 PD, 12 MD / +10 PA base, +20 PA,+25 MA wep]
  1071. -Expert Hand to Hand Combat (+15 basic attack, 10% chance to crit for x2)
  1072. -Winged Fury (x5, 3 turn CD)
  1073. -Screech (+15 PA, 20% chance to fear for 5 turns, 3 turn CD)
  1074. -Flight (Allows 3-dimensional travel / R, +20 PA, 40% bleed chance for 5 turns, 4 turn CD)
  1075. -Rip and Tear (Good attack, 25% bleed chance for 5 turns, 5 turn CD)
  1076. -Frost Nova (5tcd, +75 MA AoE solid, immobilizes for 3 turns)
  1077. -Slash (Basic attack, 10% chance to crit for x2)
  1078. -Fury of the Storm (Good attack, +20 PA, x5, 80% bleed chance for 5 turns, 7 turn CD)
  1079. -Shoot (Shoots D.I.C.K.)
  1080.  
  1081. Ator’s Atronach: [HP: 10,000/10,000][MP: 420/420]
  1082.  
  1083. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1084. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1085. >Used Do No Evil on Atronach! (5 turn CD)
  1086. >66 (+25 PA)(x3 trips) = >273<
  1087. AA: [HP: 9,727/10,000]
  1088.  
  1089. [GABLE]
  1090. >Used Frost Nova on Atronach! (5 turn CD)
  1091. >4 (+75 MA)(x5 Effectiveness) = >395<
  1092. [-25 MD]
  1093. >370<
  1094. AA: [HP: 9,357/10,000]
  1095. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1096. >Ator’s Atronach used Inferno! (-15 MP, 2 turn CD)
  1097. >1 (+70 MA) = >71 solid<
  1098. Gable is burned!
  1099. [Varying Defenses]
  1100. Berry: [HP: 190/220]
  1101. Gable: [HP: 121/220, B]
  1102. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1103. 1
  1104. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1105. >Attacks Atronach with Olberslash! (8 turn CD)
  1106. >97 (RNG = 3)(x2 Critical Strike) = >894<
  1107. AA: [HP: 8,463/10,000][MP: 405/420]
  1108. [GABLE]
  1109. >Attacks Atronach with Fury of the Storm! (7 turn CD)
  1110. >64 (+20 PA)(x5)(x5 Effectiveness) = >2,100<
  1111. Elementals can’t bleed!
  1112. [-25 MD]
  1113. >2,075<
  1114. AA: [HP: 6,388/10,000]
  1115. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1116. >Ator’s Atronach attacks with Thunder Flash Cannon! (-50 MP, 7 turn CD)
  1117. >0 (+250 MA) = >250<
  1118. [-12 MD]
  1119. >238<
  1120. >Tough Hide prevents Gable’s death!
  1121. >”AAUGH!”
  1122. Gable: [HP: 1/200, B, KO]
  1123. “Oh shit, hold on Gable!”
  1124. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1125. 2
  1126. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1127. >Used E. Medium Healing Potion on Gable!
  1128. >+66% HP (x2 doubles) = >100%<
  1129. Gable: [HP: 200/200, B, KO]
  1130. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1131. >Ator’s Atronach attacks Gable with Steam Press! (-30 MP, 3 turn CD)
  1132. >0 (+120 MA) = >120<
  1133. Gable is already burned!
  1134. Gable is already KO’ed!
  1135. >Gable burns for 10 damage!
  1136. Gable: [HP: 70/200, B, KO]
  1137. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1138. 3
  1139. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1140. >You see that there’s little you can do against such a monster like this.
  1141. >But you have to protect him.
  1142. >You raise your spear in front of Gable and defend him.
  1143. “I won’t let you hurt him anymore, even if it kills me!”
  1144. >Used Guard! [+5% M/PD]
  1145. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1146. >Ator’s Atronach attacks you with Inferno! (-15 MP, 2 turn CD)
  1147. >2 (+70 MA) = >72 solid<
  1148. [+60 MD, +10% Fire Res., +5% G]
  1149. Berry: [HP: 190/220]
  1150. >Gable burns for 10 damage!
  1151. >Gable is already KO’ed!
  1152. Gable: [HP: -12/200, B, KO]
  1153. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1154. 4
  1155. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1156. >Inventory
  1157. Bit pouch (180 bits), Box of matches (14), Bottle of hard liquor (DD up), Vibrator, Torches (2), Rags (4), Bulletin (Animal Aggression), Firewood (2), 2 bundles of sticks, Clawed Thick Iron Horseshoes (Modified, +20 PA/+24 Claw PA, Grants ability Trample), E. Medium Healing Potion (+128% HP, 1), E. Small Healing Potion (+66% HP, 1)
  1158. >Uses Neckring of Kinich-Ahau to control the fire! (Triple effectiveness)
  1159. >You will the magic of your ring to unleash its inner strength, and prepare to turn the fire of the elemental against itself!
  1160. >Your ring glows with radiant white energy as the Atronach charges!
  1161. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1162. >Ator’s Atronach attacks Berry Punch with Apollumi Pyralis! (-100 MP, 10 turn CD)
  1163. >7 (+10 MA)(x20) = >340<
  1164. >Berry’s ring counters the attack, blasting it back at the Atronach! (Triple effectiveness)
  1165. >(x3) = >1,020<
  1166. >Ator’s Atronach is stunned! (3 turns)
  1167. AA: [HP: 5,368/10,000, S][MP: 210/420]
  1168. >Gable burns for 10 damage!
  1169. Gable: [HP: -22/200, B, KO]
  1170. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1171. 5
  1172. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1173. >Uses E. Small Healing Potion on Gable!
  1174. >Adds rum to the concoction!
  1175. >+66% HP<
  1176. Gable: [HP: 110/200, B, KO, Tipsy]
  1177. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1178. >Ator’s Atronach is stunned!
  1179. >Gable burns for 10 damage!
  1180. Gable: [HP: 100/200, B, KO, Tipsy]
  1181. [FROST NOVA REFRESHED!]
  1182. [DO NO EVIL REFRESHED!]
  1183. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1184. 6
  1185. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1186. >Attacks Atronach with Do No Evil! (5 turn CD)
  1187. >88 (+25 PA)(x2 doubles) = >226<
  1188. AA: [HP: 5,142/10,000, S]
  1189. >Ator’s Atronach is still stunned! (2 turns)
  1190. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1191. 7
  1192. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1193. >Attacks Atronach with Scorch! (5 turn CD)
  1194. >2 (+30 MA)(x2.5) = >80<
  1195. [Fire Immunity]
  1196. >0<
  1197. AA: [HP: 5,142/10,000]
  1198. >Ator’s Atronach is still stunned! (1 turn)
  1199. >Gable burns for 10 damage!
  1200. Gable: [HP: 90/100, B, KO, Tipsy]
  1201. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1202. 8
  1203. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1204. >You attempt to utilize your ring to banish the fire elemental.
  1205. >Er… How exactly do you do that?
  1206. >It’s not like you’ve had formal training on this thing, the deflection was a lucky break!
  1207. “Gh, gotta try something else…”
  1208. >Gable burns for 10 damage!
  1209. Gable: [HP: 80/100, B, KO, Tipsy]
  1210. >Ator’s Atronach is still stunned!
  1211. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1212. 9
  1213. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1214. >Uses Neckring of Kinich-Ahau to control the fire!
  1215. >The ring gleams a bright white again, ready for battle!
  1216. >Ator’s Atronach is no longer stunned!
  1217. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1218. >Ator’s Atronach attacks with Inferno! (-15 MP, 2 turn CD)
  1219. >0 (+70 MA) = >70 solid<
  1220. >Berry’s ring counters the attack, sending the inferno back at the Atronach!
  1221. >70+70 = >140<
  1222. AA: [HP: 5,002/10,000][MP: 195/420]
  1223. >Gable burns for 10 damage!
  1224. Gable: [HP: 70/100, B, KO, Tipsy]
  1225. [FURY OF THE STORM REFRESHED!]
  1226. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1227. 10
  1228. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1229. >Uses Neckring of Kinich-Ahau to control the fire!
  1230. >The ring gleams a bright white again, ready for battle!
  1231. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1232. >Ator’s Atronach attacks Berry Punch with Steam Press! (-30 MP, 3 turn CD)
  1233. >9 (+120 MA)(x2 doubles) = >258<
  1234. >Berry’s ring counters the vicious attack with a surge of power even greater!
  1235. >(x2 doubles) = >516<
  1236. AA: [HP: 3,996/10,000][MP: 165/420]
  1237. >Ator’s Atronach suddenly throws his sword and shield down, yelling an ethereal battle-cry as its white flames begin to take a blue tint, raising its hands towards you!
  1238. [+100% Enrage, susceptible to fire damage]
  1239. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1240. 11
  1241. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1242. >Attacks Atronach with Drunk Dragon! (3 turn CD)
  1243. >9 (x2 doubles)(x9.6) = >173<
  1244. >+100% Enrage bonus = >346<
  1245. AA: [HP: 3,650/10,000, E][MP: 165/420]
  1246. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1247. >Ator’s Atronach attacks Berry Punch with Volcaslash!
  1248. >5 (+80 MA)(+100% Enrage) = >170<
  1249. [-60 MD, -10% Fire Res.]
  1250. >99<
  1251. Berry: [HP: 81/220]
  1252. “Agh.. f-fuck..”
  1253. >Gable burns for 10 damage!
  1254. Gable: [HP: 60/200, B, KO, Tipsy]
  1255. [OLBERSLASH REFRESHED!]
  1256. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1257. 12
  1258. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1259. >Uses E. Medium Healing Potion on Gable and self (Split)!
  1260. >66% split<
  1261. Berry: [HP: 220/220]
  1262. Gable: [HP: 192/200, B, KO]
  1263. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1264. >Ator’s Atronach attacks Berry Punch with Hand of Kalimag! (-150 MP, One use)
  1265. >The Atronach raises its blazing hands with blinding fury as its flames spread, torches of destruction.
  1266. >His fingers extend outward in searing might, and his hands crash together in front of him.
  1267. >A powerful wave of blue and white flame blasts out in a cone of sulfurian wrath that envelopes the entire area within, including the party!
  1268. >5 (x100 MA) = >500 split<
  1269. >Berry is stunned!
  1270. [Varying defenses]
  1271. >The flames pass through your body at agonizing temperatures, only mitigated by the shielding of your ring’s power.
  1272. >Gable’s body however is unprotected, the wave flashing through his body and charring him to his very core, obliterating his body into ashes.
  1273. “NO, GABLE! GABLE!! G-… …”
  1274. Berry: [HP: 49/220, S]
  1275. Gable has died.
  1276. [DO NO EVIL REFRESHED!]
  1277. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS][Abilities: +25 MD, Volcaslash (+80 MA, 100% burn), Inferno (-15 MP, +70 MA AoE solid, 2tcd), Steam Press (-30 MP, +120 MA, 100% burn, 50% stun, 3tcd), Elemental Regeneration (-40 MP, Heals 25% HP, 5tcd), Thunder Flash Cannon (-50 MP, +250 MA, 7tcd), Apollumi Pyralis (-100 MP, +10 MA, x20 MA, 5tcd]
  1278. 13
  1279. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1280. >Uses Neckring of Kinich-Ahau to control the fire!
  1281. >The ring gleams a bright white again, ready for battle!
  1282. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1283. >Ator’s Atronach attacks Berry with Steam Press! (-30 MP, 3 turn CD)
  1284. >5 (+120 MA)(+100% enrage) = >250<
  1285. >Berry’s ring counters the attack, deflecting it back at the Atronach with even greater power!
  1286. >(+100% enrage) = >500<
  1287. AA: [HP: 3,150/10,000][MP: 0/420]
  1288. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1289. 14
  1290. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1291. >Uses Neckring of Kinich-Ahau to control the fire!
  1292. >The ring gleams a bright white again, ready for battle!
  1293. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1294. >Ator’s Atronach attacks Berry Punch with Volcaslash!
  1295. >6 (+80 MA)(+100% enrage) = >172<
  1296. >Berry’s ring counters the attack, deflecting it back at the Atronach with even greater power!
  1297. >(+100% enrage) = >344<
  1298. AA: [HP: 2,806/10,000]
  1299. [SCORCH REFRESHED!]
  1300. [DRUNK DRAGON REFRESHED!]
  1301. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1302. 15
  1303. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1304. >Uses Neckring of Kinich-Ahau to control the fire!
  1305. >The ring gleams a bright white again, ready for battle!
  1306. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1307. >Ator’s Atronach attacks Berry Punch with Volcaslash!
  1308. >7 (+80 MA)(+100% enrage) = >174<
  1309. >Berry’s ring counters the attack, deflecting it back at the Atronach with even greater power!
  1310. >(+100% enrage) = >348<
  1311. AA: [HP: 2,458/10,000]
  1312. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1313. 16
  1314. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1315. >Uses Neckring of Kinich-Ahau to control the fire!
  1316. >The ring gleams a bright white again, ready for battle!
  1317. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1318. >Ator’s Atronach attacks Berry Punch with Volcaslash!
  1319. >6 (+80 MA)(+100% enrage) = >172<
  1320. >Berry’s ring counters the attack, deflecting it back at the Atronach with even greater power!
  1321. >(+100% enrage) = >344<
  1322. AA: [HP: 2,114/10,000]
  1323. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1324. 17
  1325. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1326. >Uses Neckring of Kinich-Ahau to control the fire!
  1327. >The ring gleams a bright white again, ready for battle!
  1328. “…But what’s the point?”
  1329. >You lightly touch your ring with your hoof, tears forming but steaming away the instant they leave your eyes.
  1330. [AWAITING ENEMY ATTACK…]
  1331. >Ator’s Atronach suddenly backs away, staring at your ring with unbridled, angry eyes.
  1332. >The firelord then raises its arms up in a cross formation in front of it, its magical braces gleaming in front of it defensively.
  1333. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1334. 18
  1335. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1336. >What’s he doing?
  1337. >He must’ve figured out how you’re pushing everything back at him.
  1338. >Look at him, he’s mad, huh?
  1339. >You feel your hot tears come so forcefully they get halfway down your cheeks before they evaporate.
  1340. “Oh, you're pissed now?! Good, one more thing we have in common! We're both fire-users, we're both pissed, and we're both probably going to die in this room.”
  1341. >Ator’s Atronach squints its ethereal eyes, understanding your words.
  1342. “You first.”
  1343. >His fire burns brighter than you can look at, but his guard stays solid and unmoving, the white and blue composition twisting around him in an impenetrable ring of fire.
  1344. >Uses Neckring of Kinich-Ahau to control the fire!
  1345. >The ring gleams a bright white again, ready for battle!
  1346. >You stare at him with hatred and murderous intent as you wait for him.
  1347. >The Atronach will not attack!
  1348. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1349. 19
  1350. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1351. >If he’s not moving, neither will you.
  1352. “You won’t break me… Give it up!”
  1353. >Ator’s Atronach stands guard, its flames getting brighter.
  1354. >Uses Neckring of Kinich-Ahau to control the fire!
  1355. >The ring gleams a bright white again, ready for battle!
  1356. >The Atronach will not attack!
  1357. “C’mon you punk, show me what you got!”
  1358. >His flames burn brighter and quicker than ever, and you start feeling very pasty in your mouth.
  1359. >Sweat is pouring across your body, too.
  1360. “Gh… Get fucked! You can break yourself on me or we’ll both die of old age… Or you could give up. Your choice!”
  1361. >As the fire gets even hotter, while your ring is protecting you from any direct burns, you feel the temperature become unbearable, and you realize what he’s doing.
  1362. >He’s smoking you out!
  1363. >If you don’t make a move, he’ll just fry you in this oven for a cave!
  1364. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1365. 20
  1366. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1367. >You watch as the flames burn brighter, heavier, closer to you.
  1368. >But you’re not about to give up.
  1369. “You know… Destroying your master’s valuables is a great plan to have yourself killed.”
  1370. >The Atronach doesn’t respond, but a booming baritone voice suddenly rocks from high above you.
  1371. >You realize that it’s Ator himself, who’s been watching the battle silently the entire time.
  1372. >>”I have my hoard protected, little fire. His time is limited by my will to carry him, so he will continue until you perish like your dear friend.”
  1373. >You feel more tears streak your cheeks, but they evaporate instantly before they’re able to fall.
  1374. >The heat’s beginning to harm you now, and you can’t stay up for much longer!
  1375. >Berry is burned for 10 damage!
  1376. Berry: [HP: 39/200, B]
  1377. >The Atronach will not attack!
  1378. [AWAITING BATTLE COMMANDS]
  1379. 21
  1380. [BERRY PUNCH]
  1381. >You can’t anymore, you have to try!
  1382. >Brandishing your spear, you charge again and break the cycle!
  1383. >Attacks Atronach with Olberslash! (8 turn CD)
  1384. >97 (RNG = 6)(+100% enrage) = >1,394<
  1385. >Your ring suddenly bursts out in golden flames in tandem with your emotional state, fire wrapping around your spear as you bring it down upon the Firelord!
  1386. “Now GO FUCK YOURSELF!!”
  1387. >(+60%) = >2,230<
  1388.  
  1389. AA: [HP: -116/10,000][MP: 0/420]
  1390. >Ator’s Atronach bleeds away into the abyss, its fire extinguished!
  1391. >…
  1392.  
  1393. [LOOT]
  1394. [BATTLEGROUND]
  1395. >You have found 3 Gargantuan Gems!
  1396.  
  1397. [ATOR’S ATRONACH]
  1398. >You have found Bracers of the Firelord, 1 Suncore, 1 oz. of Everlasting Ember and 6 Emeralds!
  1399. >…
  1400.  
  1401. >You lower your spear.
  1402. >You won… But you don’t feel like it.
  1403. >Turning around, you immediately head over to Gable, or his remnants.
  1404. >The sight is too much to bear, and with the heat no longer present your tears flow freely.
  1405. >>”You survived, and by that I am impressed. You may take your life this day, but should you ever return, I will not hesitate to let you join your departed companion. Take what you need from him and leave.”
  1406. >What would you like to do?
  1407.  
  1408. >You kneel down next to what’s left of him.
  1409. >It’s unbearable, but you have to… you have to pay your respects.
  1410. >It’s the least you could do for failing him.
  1411. “Looks like I couldn't hold up my end of the deal… I'm so sorry. …See you later, champ.”
  1412. >…
  1413.  
  1414. [LOOT]
  1415. [GABLE]
  1416. >You have collected Sword of the Windigo Spirit (2H, +20 PA/+25 MA, Grants ability Frost Nova), D.I.C.K. (R, +150 PA, 10 turn reload, 1 oz. of Kablooie powder per shot, can shoot up to 2 miles away), Charity’s Hope (Astonishing chance to find valuables in places not normally found, great chance to find special items in said places), Nine-Rings Map, and Gable’s Headband.
  1417. >…
  1418.  
  1419. >You slowly pick yourself up after you’re too dehydrated to cry anymore.
  1420. >There’s no point.
  1421. >You knew that when you took up this trip with Anon that there’d be losses.
  1422. >You just didn’t know that it could hurt so bad.
  1423. >With one final look at the friend you could not save, you turn around and head for the exit of the cave, not giving Ator your presence of mind.
  1424. >He says nothing as you leave.
  1425. >You return to the converging paths, seeing the treasure that he saved you from.
  1426. >But no more dwelling on that.
  1427. >You’re already in a lot more pain than you ever thought you could experience, so there’s no point in adding fond memories.
  1428. >No drink would ever help this.
  1429. >You look over at the final, untouched path, and begin to descend down the railroad tracks, beginning to leave the past behind as soon as possible.
  1430. >Is there anything else you’d like to do while you advance?
  1431.  
  1432.  
  1433.  
  1434.  
  1435. [You don’t have any more healing potions!]
  1436. [You can’t mine without a pickaxe!]
  1437.  
  1438. >Inspect Bracers of the Firelord
  1439. [These are the legendary bracers that Ator’s Atronach carried, the magical conduits that kept him in this plane of existence. Common Elementalism states that each and every elemental being that travels to the main dimension have to have some form of connection with the elemental plane, whether it be a crown, necklace, bracers or a sword. Bracers usually indicate a form of defense, so these would work great with a fire-oriented attacker, or for selling at your local magic shop for massive wealth. (+100 MD, grants immunity to fire, grants ability Hand of
  1440. Kalimag)]
  1441. >Inspect Everlasting Ember
  1442. [This is an ingredient required for many higher-end fire-related recipes such as Etherember. Only found in areas with heavy lava streams or dropped from fire-type creatures.]
  1443.  
  1444. >Inspect Suncore
  1445. [This is the ingredient required for the clockwork robot that Gyro Gear sent you to speak with Frizzy about. This might make things a little easier! (If ingested, grants ability Plasma Lash for 3 turns)]
  1446.  
  1447. >With nothing else to look for, you continue on.
  1448. >Down towards the path, you finally get on some even ground after what felt like an eternity going deep into the earth.
  1449. >You will your ring to shine a little brighter since it’s so damn dark down here.
  1450. >Warm, yellow illumination overtakes the room you’ve found yourself in.
  1451. >It’s a very expansive room, not unlike the cave that Ator resides in.
  1452. >This one’s actually built though, as it has rundown cobble grounding and a few coffins around you.
  1453. >Oh great, more death. You needed that so much right now.
  1454. >You look around and see nothing but the ground around you and coffins.
  1455. >Upon closer inspection however, you notice a few braziers shining across the blackened room, unlit.
  1456. >What would you like to do?
  1457.  
  1458.  
  1459. [EQUIPPED BRACERS OF THE FIRELORD]
  1460. Berry Punch: [HP: 39/220][Stats: 40 PD, 160 MD, Fire Immunity, +15 HP / +80 PA wep]
  1461.  
  1462. >Inspect Hand of Kalimag
  1463. [The user charges their mana for a turn to unleash a devastating wave of fire and lava that destroys everything in its path. (-80 MP, +250 Fire AoE split, 100% burn of 50 MA)]
  1464.  
  1465. >You tap your hoof on the ring and get a bit of fire to strip away from its source, getting it to float just above like you had summoned it.
  1466. “Alright, don’t miss baby… Gotta be careful..”
  1467. >You concentrate on throwing this thing so much you don’t even feel your tongue dripping out of your mouth like a cartoon.
  1468. >You reach back, eyes on the prize, and you throw the little fire as hard as you can right at the top of the left brazier.
  1469. >The fire splashes across the wall, missing its target.
  1470. “Shit. …Wait.”
  1471. >You squint your eyes and see the remnants of the fiery light crawl across the wall, and you see odd markings.
  1472. >It gets too dark too quickly to make them out, so you take another little bit of your fire, aim again, and throw.
  1473. >This time you manage to get the brazier, and it lights up like a Hearth’s Warming tree.
  1474. >Then, the fire starts to travel up some dark like that’s embedded into the wall, and splits near the ceiling.
  1475. >Huh, you’re pretty sure there wasn’t any oil, you didn’t smell it.
  1476. >That must be… you?
  1477. >Weird, you didn’t know you could control your fire like this.
  1478. >You must be becoming some sort of super earth pony that’s evolved so much you’re better than a unicorn.
  1479. >Or maybe not, but this is still cool.
  1480. [LEARNED BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF FIRE CONTROL (Reflect fire-based attacks against you or any other party member next turn, 7tcd)]
  1481. >One by one, the increasing fire trails start to dip down back to their original level, lighting up braziers across the entire room.
  1482. >When they’re all lit, the sight in front of you nearly brings you to your knees.
  1483. >It’s a giant temple, some sort of chasm where ancient ponies must’ve built something absolutely grand, but left here to rot within the mountain.
  1484. >The floor is a bright yellow and green tile set up that complements the rest of the jade and gold embroidery.
  1485. >In fact, this place probably costs more than all of Canterlot and Ponyville for its materials alone.
  1486. >And you feel humbled to be here.
  1487. >Not much, since you’ve been in a lot less boring places, but you’ve never seen anything like this before.
  1488. >You look back up to the far wall and see two huge doors on both sides of the expansive chasm, each surrounded by markings.
  1489. >There are also markings on the tiles.
  1490. >You’re not sure if you should even do this without someone to consult.
  1491. >You’re all alone down here, and he’s not with you anymore.
  1492. >Maybe you could try reading some of these?
  1493. >What would you like to do?
  1494.  
  1495.  
  1496. >The best course of action right now would probably be to read these things, but you can’t see anything from where you’re standing.
  1497. >Instead, you tackle the markings on the tiles since they might have similar stuff.
  1498. >At least, that’s your best idea.
  1499. >And it’s coherent.
  1500. >Wait a minute, you’re thinking clearly?
  1501. >You instantly unbottle the cap to your rum and start drowning it like BEN.
  1502. >You don’t stop until you feel like you’ve got a good buzz going on.
  1503. >Takes a minute, but it’s the right thing to do.
  1504. >You had some issue you were sad about before, but now you can’t remember, and that’s always nice.
  1505. >Why didn’t you do this before?
  1506. >You take another hearty swig before you stumble up to the first few tiles, and read them as best you can.
  1507. >Oh, it’s not writing, it’s pictures.
  1508. >Looks like a few of them have pictures of either a hoofstep, a hoof going into the ground, a hoof on fire, a hoof with some sort of prickly dots on it, or nothing but a line for the ground, which means no hoof at all.
  1509. >Weird, it just goes on and on.
  1510. >Still need to get to the doors to read the markings there.
  1511. >What would you like to do?
  1512.  
  1513.  
  1514. >Maybe you need to look around a bit more.
  1515. >Utilizing the light from your ring, you walk over to the walls without stepping into the tile area and look more closely at them.
  1516. >Nope, the walls that are close enough to read have nothing on them, and you’d have to step on the tiles to get to the actual markings.
  1517. >You take another close look at the door, but you can’t see anything extra from where you’re standing, and its not like any more light is gonna help.
  1518. >You just have to figure this out.
  1519. >You definitely know there’s something going on with the tiles, at least.
  1520. >Maybe the symbols on them correspond to something?
  1521. >What would you like to do?
  1522.  
  1523. >Okay, you might be a bit drunk, but you definitely know something’s up.
  1524. >Given some time to think about it, you bend down and put your eye right up next to one of the tiles.
  1525. >That one where the hoof goes in the ground’s gotta be like some sort of quicksand or something right? So wouldn’t it be lower than the others to set it up, or something?
  1526. >You don’t see any differences.
  1527. >Shit, well that throws that theory out the window.
  1528. >You can’t tell any difference between them except for their pictures.
  1529. >Well, if you can’t eye your way out of this, only one thing left to do.
  1530. >You walk back to the center of the room and look at each tile.
  1531. >The first green one is the one with just a hoof on the ground.
  1532. “…Okay, it’s just a piece of marble, no fret… Just… D-don’t kill me, okay? Don’t need any more of that now…”
  1533. >You raise out your hoof and ready yourself to touch the tile with the hoof stepping on the ground.
  1534. >Are you sure you want to touch this tile? Y/N
  1535.  
  1536.  
  1537. >Here goes nothing.
  1538. >You slowly lower your hoof down onto the yellow tile, and make like the picture by tentatively putting your hoof down on the tile.
  1539. >The marble’s really cold, but it’s been in a dark and damp cave for centuries, so that’s expected.
  1540. >But hey, nothing happened, right?
  1541. >Sometimes you feel like alcohol gives you like, superpowers when you need them, and boy did it work.
  1542. >You step down properly with a big goofy smile on your face, and the pressure of your weight suddenly sinks the tile down.
  1543. >Four hooks suddenly spring out from the marble and sink right into your wrist and interlock with a clockwise motion, and hooks suddenly sink right into your skin.
  1544. “G-AAUH! … Oh… Fff-fuck…”
  1545. >Nevermind, it didn’t work at all.
  1546. >You manage to open your eyes through the numbed yet stabbing pain, and see that you’re bleeding lightly from the four interlaced hooks.
  1547. >You try to wiggle out of the trap, but it won’t budge at all.
  1548. >You’re completely stuck!
  1549. >Even as you try to rip out of it in a drunken, foolish move, it doesn’t even give you leeway to rip your skin.
  1550. >The hooks must be in your bone.
  1551. “Damnit… no…”
  1552. >There has to be some way out of this, there has to be!
  1553. >What could you possibly do though?
  1554. >What do you do?
  1555.  
  1556. >Okay, you’re under the control of a hell of a lot of firepower.
  1557. >You’ve got some weird ancient artifact around your neck that’s more powerful than anything that bookworm Twilight could ever throw at you.
  1558. >Hell, you’re probably more powerful than Celestia right now.
  1559. >Fire has to be able to do something in this situation, right?
  1560. >The hooks can be melted, can’t they?
  1561. >It’s just marble.
  1562. >You take a deep breath and ready yourself to blast fire all over the hooks.
  1563. >But then you stop immediately.
  1564. >That’s not a good idea, is it?
  1565. >You might be almost made of fire now, but that doesn’t mean it can’t hurt you.
  1566. >You got plenty of burns when you fought that elemental.
  1567. >Okay, you were able to pull a little lintball of magic off of the ring, can’t you keep it small?
  1568. >You lower yourself down a bit, trying not to move your leg too much so the dam of blood doesn’t burst.
  1569. >You can feel every little bit of the metal embedded in your core, so it’s a bit hard to focus.
  1570. >You try your best to concentrate the fire around your ring, staring intently at the hooks.
  1571. “You can do this… you can do this, just stop seeing eights.”
  1572. >The hooks are really blurry, to be fair.
  1573. >A little more concentration, and you finally start to pull the flames together in the front of your ring, and the flow begins to converge.
  1574. >Slowly but surely, the trickled cone of fire begins to get tighter, denser and hotter until it becomes brighter than the braziers on the wall, and you try firing it.
  1575. >A pinpointed laser of pure heat rockets down and hits the tile next to your hoof.
  1576. >Fuck, you wish you hadn’t drank.
  1577. >You move the laser over which starts to make a drunken slur all over the place, but you manage to point it at one of the hooks next to your hoof.
  1578. >With the laser starting to heat it up, it should only be a matter of time before it melts.
  1579. >Right?
  1580. >What’s the melting point of marble?
  1581. >…
  1582. >It’s taking too long.
  1583. >You sat there for nearly half an hour with a constant stream of heat on the hook, and it’s bright red, but it’s still stronger than ever.
  1584. >You stop as it’s getting too hot for even your skin, and some of your fur’s been burned off.
  1585. >It won’t come off with your fire, at least not until it gets more powerful.
  1586. >What else could you do?
  1587. >Your options are narrowing fast, and if you want to get out of here to meet your friends in time so they don’t come looking for you and find that dragon, then you need to get out as soon as equinely possible.
  1588. >What do you do?
  1589.  
  1590.  
  1591. >Okay, burning it alone didn’t work.
  1592. >Marble can be chiseled, right?
  1593. >That’s how they made the statues in the city hall back in Ponyville.
  1594. >So many you can give it a bit of oomph with the fire from your ring, and the cold from your recently acquired sword.
  1595. >You draw the Windigo Spirit sword from your pack, and look at it for a moment.
  1596. “Looks like you’re helping me out again, huh?”
  1597. >You kiss the base of the hilt in memorial after a quick, repressed thought, and you look down at the burning hook with renewed vigor.
  1598. “Don’t you let me down now…!”
  1599. >Raising the icy sword high, you strike it down as quickly as possible after making sure to aim.
  1600. >The sound of the metal strikes the marble, and you suddenly smell copper.
  1601. >Huh, that’s weird-
  1602. >…
  1603. >…
  1604.  
  1605. >You slowly open your crusty eyes.
  1606. >Oh damn… you blacked out, didn’t you?
  1607. >Well, that was to be expected.
  1608. >How’s your stump of a hoof?
  1609. >Oh wait, you can feel it.
  1610. >You look at your hoof, and realize there’s white behind it.
  1611. >Holy shit, it’s a real wall.
  1612. >You look down, and there’s real bedsheets.
  1613. >YOU’RE IN A BED.
  1614. >What the fuck happened?!
  1615. >You spin around in the bed, taking in the room a little bit.
  1616. >It’s so pristine, and modern, and…
  1617. >Is that a projector?
  1618. >You have cable!?
  1619. >No, you have to be dreaming.
  1620. >You wouldn’t be in a nice hotel room in the middle of civilization with someone in your bed next to you.
  1621. >Wait, who’s that next to you?
  1622. >You examine the bulge under the sheets closely, but shake your head in confusion.
  1623. >That’s not important right now, what happened?
  1624. >All of a sudden, the pain hits you like a hammer to the head.
  1625. >You’ve been drinking your whole life like it’s a profession, yet you can’t even remember when you had such a bad hangover.
  1626. >But along with the pain, come with answers.
  1627. >How did you get here?…
  1628. >…
  1629.  
  1630. [Earlier]
  1631. >You stand past the tiles, your hoof bandaged and intact.
  1632. >After a brief scare with the sword, you nearly cut your hoof off, so you thought it’d be a good idea to mix your rum in with a bit of the experimental stuff you found at the bar back in the Crystal Empire.
  1633. >That got ya goin’ real good.
  1634. >You tore off the hooks, patched yourself up and found yourself here without even realizing what happened.
  1635. >You sway slowly as you look at the markings in your drunken nirvana that you achieve at a special level of lucidity and stupor, reading each door carefully.
  1636. “Mmk… so, we got’n ‘O’… an O ish a shircle… ringsh are circles, right?”
  1637. >You figure the left door’s where your prize is.
  1638. >You stumble over to the right door and look around it.
  1639. “Oh…”
  1640. >You aren’t very clear on what’s happening around you, but one thing’s for sure.
  1641. >You’re pretty sure you saw some sort of sun or orb of light hit some sort of laying figure, and the next marking has the figure standing.
  1642. >Wait…
  1643. >There’s a lantern thing, and it dips out a big ball that goes inside someone, and completely revives them?
  1644. >You look at the other markings to be sure…
  1645. >It’s here.
  1646. >This door holds some sort of revival potion, something to bring people back from the dead.
  1647. >There’s no way.
  1648. >There’s gotta be a catch.
  1649. >You look over at the left and right doors for a second, trying to figure it out in your haze.
  1650. >If you take one, the other might not be accessible.
  1651. >So it’s a choice, then.
  1652. “Pfff… I know what I need here…”
  1653. >You look between the doors.
  1654. >Which door do you choose?
  1655.  
  1656. >Yeah, there’s no questioning it.
  1657. >You open the door on the right promptly, without so much as a second thought for the ring.
  1658. >There’s a way to get him back, and you’re not about to lose that, drunk or not.
  1659. >You’ll just tell Anon that the ring fell off a cliff, or something.
  1660. >You walk into the dark room, and see the dead-end wall, your heart skipping a beat for a moment.
  1661. >But you listlessly sway forward and the light of your ring reveals the truth.
  1662. >On a wall-mounted podium, stricken and covered in countless funeral gems and magically-immortalized flowers and petals, is one elevated level, holding a pristine white lantern filled with two orbs.
  1663. >The orbs cascade around each other, gently floating across the confines of their home with a warm light eminating from the both of them, energies coursing within their boundaries unlike anything you’ve ever seen before in your entire life.
  1664. >It was worth it.
  1665. >You hear the clanging of metal to rock far off in some distant room, and you know what it is.
  1666. >But you don’t care.
  1667. >You walk up to the podium, and very gently remove the lantern from its palace, caressing it slowly as if it were your own child.
  1668. >Just holding it makes you feel more alive than ever.
  1669. >And you know exactly what you’re going to do with it.
  1670. >…
  1671.  
  1672. [ACQUIRED ALICORN’S TEARS (Two uses, completely revives the recipient from death and fully restores them to their prime condition)]
  1673.  
  1674. [COMMANDS LOCKED]
  1675.  
  1676. >You wrap the lantern in one of your rags for safekeeping.
  1677. >You don’t want it breaking or anything because you can’t keep steady, after all.
  1678. >Fuck ears, and their stupid coordination pool thingies.
  1679. >You’d be just fine without them.
  1680. >You think this as you sway and stumble out of the right door using the walls as support, and you decide to see what’s up with the left one real quick before going to do whatever you were doing.
  1681. >It’s kinda hard to remember.
  1682. >You manage to cave in the doors with your shoulder, and you see a similar set up like the other room.
  1683. >There are coursing red veins of power that encompass the entire back wall, that culminate into one spherical shape with a ringed groove on its outside, presumably where the ring was.
  1684. >Right underneath it, it looks like some sort of weight mechanism coming from a string in a cubby through the wall was triggered when you took the lantern, and the ring fell into an open trapdoor.
  1685. >You saunter over to it and take a hearty look down, seeing nothing but blackness, even with the light from your ring.
  1686. “‘ELLOOOO??!…”
  1687. >ELLOOOO?!
  1688. >ELLOOo…
  1689. >Ello…
  1690. >El…
  1691. >Wow, that goes deep.
  1692. >You hock a loogie you’ve been saving and spit it down there, discolored by your white rum.
  1693. >About 30 seconds pass until you give up on listening for it, so that thing’s probably lost for good.
  1694. >Weird how you felt so much heat from it, though.
  1695. >You turn around and leave the room, knowing you made the right choice, regardless.
  1696. >Now all that’s left to do is get back, get to Gable and…
  1697. >Somehow avoid the massive, ancient dragon that you’ve forgotten about until now that said he’d roast you if he ever saw you again.
  1698. >Shit.
  1699. >Well, let’s think of this logically.
  1700. >…Fuck logic, you can’t think.
  1701. >You take a step down the rise of the platform, and you fall the rest of the way without a care in the world.
  1702. >At some point you managed to scrape your knee, but it’s nothing compared to the dull, painless throb of your burns that’ve been numb for a while now.
  1703. >You get up with a bit of swinging in your stature and a dumb smile on your face, and you make sure your things are tight on your back.
  1704. >Staring ahead at the daunting challenge the tiles poses for such a mare like yourself, you figure you can get through this like you’ve gotten through life.
  1705. >Pounding through it without relent until something else gives.
  1706. >You give your rum bottle a little pat, and you instantly take off forward at galloping speeds that olympic runners would be gawking at.
  1707. >Every step you take sends lightning-fast arrows at you, floors crumbling, weird undead pony creatures springing from coffins, and weird plasmafire stuff that homes in on you.
  1708. >Definitely making sure that you don’t hit a hook one.
  1709. >But none of it’s getting anywhere near you with the speeds you’re going.
  1710. >In fact, by the time you realize you’re safe, you’re halfway up the railroad.
  1711. >No sense in stopping now, is there?
  1712. >You hum an old bar tune in your head in ignorant bliss, and you eventually reach the three paths again.
  1713. >Oh hey, treasure!
  1714. >Wait, it’s trapped, that’s right.
  1715. >You look back at the path you once took, seeing the expansive dark now subtly lit by fading braziers.
  1716. >And the silhouette of a dragon inside.
  1717. >Fuck that dragon.
  1718. >He might as well have killed him himself.
  1719. >Guess he’ll never see you coming with the plan you’ve just concocted.
  1720. >You crack your neck, and flick your ring to make sure it’s responsive.
  1721. “Gonna get reeeeeeekt, bitch.”
  1722. >You learned that term from Anon.
  1723. >Should probably thank him later for it.
  1724. >You take a deep, bountiful breath that expands your chest to nearly twice its size, and you run forward, your ringlight beginning to charge with powers you didn’t even know you had.
  1725. >As soon as your hoofsteps start echoing through the cave, you hear the shuffling of metallic scales, and a breath of indignation.
  1726. >You’re only halfway to Gable’s undisturbed resting place before Ator’s eyes bear down on you with fury like hell hath none of, or however that shit goes.
  1727. >>”DARE YOU ENTER MY LAIR AGAIN!?”
  1728. >His vocal chords themselves were sending reverberations throughout the place that you’re pretty sure should have caused a cave-in, but for the sake of this story, didn’t.
  1729. >So, yeah, he’s pissed.
  1730. >But you’ve gotten worse looks from your saint mother.
  1731. >Always tellin’ you she’d make you join a convent.
  1732. >You fucked every priest in that convent though, so that was fun.
  1733. >Oh right, you got a job to do here.
  1734. >You exhale.
  1735. >Used Drunk Dragon (DD)!
  1736. >CRITICAL ROLL
  1737. ...

The Master's Legendary Quest - 20 - FINAL

by Trixiefap

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