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By Terrarian Pony

WARNING: This story may include violence, gore, romance, same gender romance, implied cannibalsm, ponies, referennces to several video games, and PINKIE PIE! If anypony is offended by any of the content listed above, than please turn back now. You have been warned.

Previously: *Pony's Creed: Chapter 9; Cannibal

Next: *Pony's Creed: Chapter 11; Templar Assassins

Story:

Pony's Creed

By Terrarian Pony

Chapter 10

Children of the Shadow

...

It was almost Nightmare Night, and Vinyl couldn't decide what to wear to the festivities. Octavia on the other hoof was planning not to go, saying it was a foalish holiday.

Vinyl:" But Nightmare Night is the best! And Princess Luna is going to be there, too! If we're lucky, we'll Nightmare Moon instead."

Octavia:" Still, who would want to embarrass themselves by wearing a costume?"

Vinyl:" It's not embarrassing."

Octavia:" You wore a creeper costume last year. I don't even know why you like Minecolt. Cube Pony is much better, and more classic."

Vinyl:" No it's not. Cube Pony is lame, and is much harder to play."

Octavia:" That's because you just suck at it. Also, Batmare is better than Green Unicorn."

Vinyl:" Batmare matches your soul: dark, and brooding."

Octavia:" How dare you. Just for that, I'm going to dress up as Batmare this year. And there is nothing you can do to stop me."

Vinyl:" That's your embarrassment funeral. Not mine."

Octavia:" Oh, but is. You want to know why?"

Vinyl:" Why?"

Octavia:" abe ause you're going to be th cackling stallion."

Vinyl:" No way! I'm not even a stallion!"

Octavia:" Oh we'll make you into one yet. Consider this pay back for telling that templar I was your marefriend."

...

On Nightmare Night...

Vinyl:" I am so going to kill you for this."

Octavia had convinced Vinyl to put on a purple suit, with a prank squirt flower, and white face paint, with red painted lips in a fake smile, as well as a green dyed mane. Octavia was wearing a black cape and an outfit, and a mask that had two pointy ears that made her look like a bat.

Vinyl:" We look ridiculous."

Octavia:" Why so serious? Hehehehe!"

Vinyl:" That's right. Keep laughin'. See where it gets you."

Octavia:" Darling, you're supposed to be the one laughing."

Vinyl:" Oh I'll be laughing alright."

...

Bonbon:" So... what are you supposed to be again?"

Lyra:" I'm a mummy. It's a human thing."

Bonbon:" Uhuh..."

Lyra was completely wrapped in bandages, only revealing her eyes, horn, and tail. Bonbon was dressed as a vampire, with fake fangs and a black cape. Liza Doolots came into the room with some sort of green costume, with a green mask, and a green ring around her hoof.

Liza:" I'm ready!"

Lyra:" Aw, that's cute... what is it?"

Bonbon and Liza gasped, as if Lyra had stolen their last cookie.

Bonbon:" You've never seen the Green Unicorn?"

Lyra:" No, should I have?"

Liza:" Duh! Green Unicorn is like the best super pony ever."

Bonbon:" yeah Lyra, you should know this stuff... you being a green unicorn yourself and all? Hehehe."

Liza:" Mommy has a point."

Lyra:" Well, I've never heard of it."

Bonbon:" You know what, tonight, after trick-or-treating, you and I are going to sit down, with some popcorn, and watch a movie of it."

Liza:" I wanna watch too! If I don't get too tired."

Lyra:" Hehe. Sounds fun. Let's go."

...

Octavia and Vinyl were having fun in the festivities. Finally, Princess Luna shows up as Nightmare Moon.

Nightmare Moon:" BOW DOWN TO YOUR PRINCESS COLTS AND FILLIES! FOR I AM GOING TO HELP TURN AROUND THIS CELEBRATION, AND THE FUN SHALL BE DOUBLED!!!"

Ponies everywhere were screaming in mock fright, pretending to be scared of the screaming princess. Princess Luna would be confused and frustrated, were it not for the first time she attended Nightmare Night. Now she knows better. Luna walked up to Vinyl and Octavia, glancing confusedly at them.

Luna:" What in Equestria are you wearing?"

Octavia:" I am Batmare, the vigilante of the night, and the face of hope in Trotham City."

Vinyl sighed, and rolled her eyes, giving "Batmare" a dark look.

Vinyl:" And I am her arch nemesis, the Cackling Stallion. The homicidal maniac, who likes to torture and kill ponies with pranks and bad puns."

Luna let out a loud laugh.

Luna:" This has to be the start of a bad joke!"

Octavia:" By the way, which is better, Minecolt, or Cube Pony?"

Luna:" Oh, Minecolt of course. I wouldn't be caught dead playing Cube Pony."

Vinyl:" Ha! Told you! Minecolt is best! That's 3 bits you owe me."

Octavia:" Fine. Go nuts."

Vinyl:" hehehe."

Luna:" You two had bet on which game I thought was better?"

Vinyl:" Yup! And I won!"

Octavia:" Stuff it."

Vinyl:" Nah uh. You made me wear this stupid outfit, I deserve this chance to gloat."

Octavia:" By the way, how come you're not in costume?"

Luna:" This is my costume. I'm Nightmare Moon, remember?"

Octavia:" Do you go like that every year?"

Luna:" Of course. I wouldn't have it any other way."

...

After some of the festivities were over, Octavia took off her costume, and began walking back to the house, claiming her hooves were sore. As she was headed back, she noticed a figure off into the distance. It quickly hid inside the bushes, and Octavia became curious. She walked over to the bushes to investigate. She looked inside the bushes, but didn't see anything. Looking passed the bushes, she saw a dark cloaked figure in the distance. She began following it.

The figure ran towards a cave, just on the edge of the Everfree Forest, and Octavia followed. Once she got to the entrance, she used her abilities she got from the phoenix torch, to listen in on what was going on. At first all she heard was hoof-steps, and then they stopped. She then heard murmuring, and she began to follow the figure into the cave. What Octavia saw was a pegasus... except the wings were different in shape. The wings were webbed together, instead of feathers. The pony's ears were similar to that of a bat's ears. The strange pony was green, with a purple and red mane, and she was sitting on her hind legs, and her forehooves were raised above her head as she were praying to something, she was wearing a black cloak. In front of her was a door, that had opened after she had finished her whispering.

The strange pony then stood up, and walk through the door. The door began to close, but Octavia was just fast enough to slip under the door. She began walking down a flight of stairs into a laberynth. Luckily, the strange pony was still close by, and Octavia stealthily began tailing her. Once the strange pony had reached her destination, they were in a large, square room. Suddenly, the door shut behind Octavia, and she accidentally gasped, gaining the other pony's attention. The strange pony turned to face her, shocked that she could have been tailed this far. Her cutie mark was a sword slashing through the moon. Two golden eyes, with small slits in between them. Long fangs, and a pale-ish, green coat. It was a bat pony. Octavia thought they were a myth.

???:" Who are you!? H-how did you get this far without me hearing you!?"

Octavia:" I... um..."

???:" D-don't come any closer trespasser!"

Two other bat ponies entered the room, both stallions, wearing some sort of platinum armor.

Gaurd 1:" Terra! What have you done!?"

Terra:" I-I didn't mean it. Sh-she followed me. She was too quite."

The second gaurd pointed at Octavia.

Gaurd 2:" You! Get over here. We're going to have to bring you in for memory wipe."

Octavia:" M-memory wipe? I'm not going to let you mess with my head."

Gaurd 1:" You should have thought about that before you went sticking your nose in other people's business."

Suddenly a familiar voice came from behind the gaurds.

???:" What is going on here?"

Princess Luna came into veiw, and her eyes widened in shock at Octavia.

Octavia:" P-princess?"

Luna:" Oh dear."

Terra:" M-misstress Luna, f-forgive me. It was an accident."

Luna:" I see. Come Octavia. We need to talk."

Octavia:" Um... you're not going to still... wipe my memory, are you?"

Luna:" No... but you shouldn't be here in the first place. It's too late though. but seeing as you are an assassin, we will not need to. Now come. You too, miss Terra."

Terra:" Y-yes... misstress."

...

Octavia:" I always thought bat ponies didn't exist."

Luna:" That's because they are night creatures, and they hide in the darkness so that non shall see them. The bat ponies were the first to appose the templar order."

Octavia:" Wait wait, are you sayin that bat ponies were the first assassins?"

Luna:" Yes. Today they are called the 'Children of the Shadow' for obvious reasons. And only specific assassins are supposed to know of this place."

Octavia:" Oops."

Luna:" *sigh* You really know how to get caught up in other pony's business, don't you? I swear, Octavia. It's like it's your special talent or something. However, it can be very useful. You could possibly be our greatest asset. That is... hoping you won't tell anypony what you have seen here."

Octavia:" Um... o-of course not."

Periwinkle:" I would!"

Octavia:" No! You! Won't! I don't want my brain flushed like a toilet."

Luna:" Octavia, I think it would be best for you if you had a partner. Preferably one as troublesome, and perceptive as yourself."

Octavia:" A partner? Who?"

Luna:" I've decided... Terra, I want you to pair with this pony, and I want you to aid her in her future objectives."

Terra:" But Mistress, no bat pony has ever been assighned partner with a normal pony before, especially because we both have different sleep cycles."

Luna:" Call it an experiment. I've been looking for an opportunity to see how well pony assassins do, whilst partnered with a bat pony. Do you both accept?"

Octavia:" Um... of course... Mistress."

Terra:" Y-yes... M-mistress."

...

Liza:" Best! Nightmare Night! Ever!"

Lyra:" Glad you liked it. And we got lots of candy."

Bonbon:" Don't go too nuts."

???:" Ehem."

They looked over to a unicorn pony in a black assassin's robe, not wearing the hood. He had a grey coat, and a black and blue mane, with eyes of brown.

Lyra:" Stone Kicker, report."

Stone:" We're ready to launch the attack miss Heartstrings?"

Bonbon:" Attack? Lyra I thought you weren't supposed to work today."

Lyra:" Yeah, about that... I lied. I really have to go though."

Bonbon:" *Sigh* Fine. At least try to be back at midnight."

Lyra:" I'll try."

And with that, Lyra went into the alleyway, and changed into her assassin's gear.

Lyra:" Stone, pull your hood up, you'll expose us."

Stone:" Forgive me, captain."

Lyra:" Where's the rest of our group?"

Stone:" They're all in position. They await your signal."

Lyra:" Good. Time to finally take back what's ours. I don't care what Luna says. I'm not going to let what that creep did slide."

Stone:" Key Note, ma'am?"

Lyra:" Who else? He might have gotten away with eating my mother, but darn it if I'm going to let him eat anypony else."

Stone:" I see. A crime unforgivable. How should we proceed?"

Lyra:" Follow my lead. We may have to dishonor the Ponyhoof by doing this, but those cannibals left us no choice. Let's go."

...

Lyra lead Stone into the Gourmand, disquised as a classy health inspectors. Of course, they were expected.

Key:" Ah, if it isn't our guests. Come. I've already talked to other executive staff, and you are free to roam about."

Lyra spoke as if she were one of those high society ponies from Canterlot, although, she was sure most of the ponies in this restaurant faked their accents.

Lyra:" I do hope everything is just as we discussed. I don't want my ponies to feel like they aren't at home here. We of course we would like a view of kitchen."

Key:" Of course, madame. Though, I assure you, we are clean and pest free."

Lyra:" We'll see. Now, if you would do so kindly as to take us to your... exceptional customers area."

Key:" Of course. Come, follow me."

He lead them into the next room, and the scent had instantly caught in Lyra's nostrils. She was hoping to get in and out as quick as she could.

Key:" This way, please."

He lead them into the kitchen, and the smell got worse. Lyra and Stone passed Key Note through the door, coming face to face with three templars.

Key:" Enjoy being our next meal... assassins."

He slammed the door shut, and locked it. Lyra and Stone pulled out their swords, and began fighting the templars. Once they dealt with thise three, they went deeper into the kitchen. Stone stayed behind to pick the lock, while Lyra snuck passed most of the security, and into the kitchen to find the chef.

Chef:" What are you doing in my kitchen!?"

Lyra:" You've just been fired."

Chef:" What!?"

Lyra's hidden blade came out, and she stabbed the helpless chef. She reached into her robe, and pulled out a few bricks of C4 explosives. She placed three on the stove, one on the fire extinquisher (Break glass in case of Pat), two in the cupboards, one in the sink, and two in the microwave. She heard a loud banging coming from the storage room, and she picked the lock on the door. Out came a black coated teen filly pegasus, with a purple mane, and wearing black rags.

???:" Y-you! When my daddy finds out what you've done, he'll send his whole after you! He'll... he'll kill all of you!"

Lyra:" Wait... who are you?"

???:" You know who I am! I'm Olivia Jack, the daughter of the biggest family of thieves in Ponyville. So you better keep your hooves crossed!"

Lyra:" Hold on there. I'm not one of them. I'm actually an undercover assassin."

Olivia:" Huh. An assassin? My father does business with you ponies. What are you doing here?"

Lyra:" Soon, this place is going to go boom."

Olivia:" Awsome! Let's get outta here!"

Lyra lead the filly back to Stone Kicker, who had run out of lockpicks trying to open the door. Lyra had better luck.

Stone:" I swear, you should be in the thief class. You're much better at it then I am."

Lyra:" It is done. This place is about to go down."

Stone:" You sure we should do this? What if the ponies on the other side of the restaurant go down with it?"

Lyra:" They won't, I made sure of that. Now come on."

They headed out the door, and into the exceptional customers hall, and out through the doors to the regular dining area.

They went underneathe a random empty table to put on their assassin gear, and Lyra counted down from ten, while pulling out the detonator.

Lyra:" ...3... 2... 1..."

BOOM!!!

The explosion was so big, the other assassins could see it from outside, and they began their assault. Everypony who was enjoying their meals, began running out of the Gourmand as the assassins came running in. Some of the templars from exceptional area were still alive, and the assassins began making short work of them. Lyra saw Key Note running for the exit, and she ran out after him. Before Key Note could reach the door, Lyra was in front of him.

Lyra:" You aren't going anywhere, Key!"

Key:" Th-this is absurd... even for you assassins."

Lyra:" Funny, I thought it was absurd for templars to eat meat from other ponies!"

Lyra sprung out her hidden blade, but Key Note was able to stop her before she stabbed him.

Key:" Is it really a crime? Is it so wrong that you must launch a full-on assault?"

Lyra:" You ate my mother!"

Key:" Ah, so a personal vendetta is it? Very interesting indeed. But there is one thing you haven't considered.

Lyra:" What are you talking about!?"

Key:" I am a cannabal."

Key bit into Lyra's neck, causing her to scream in pain. She fell onto her side, and Key bolted out the door, leaving Lyra to bleed out. Stone came to her aid, and picked her up.

Stone:" Don't worry, I'll get you to the hospital."

Lyra:" N-no... we must... kill... the... templars..."

Stone:" We've already cut them down. There are only a few left. The assassins can handle them."

Stone Kicker ran to the hospital, carrying Lyra on his back. Olivia followed them.

Lyra:" Don't... tell... Bonbon..."

...

The next day, Bonbon was pacing worriedly. Lyra was late.

Liza:" Mommy, when is mom coming back?"

Bonbon stopped pacing to take in the question. Gulping hard, Bonbon put on her best smile to convince Liza everything would be fine.

Bonbon:" I'm sure she'll be back any minute. Heheh."

Suddenly, as if on que, the door opened, and Lyra came in, wearing her hood up.

Bonbon:" Lyra Heartstrings! Where have you been? I was worried sick! And so was Liza!"

Lyra:" Um... things got... complicated."

Bonbon:" No! I won't take that as an answer! You tell me exactly what happened, and..."

Bonbon pulled Lyra's hood down, revealing the bloody bandages on her neck. Bonbon gasped, covering her mouth.

Bonbon:" L-lyra."

Lyra:" It's not as bad as it looks!"

Bonbon began tearing up.

Bonbon:" Why? Why are you lying to me, Lyra? I need you to be honest! What happened?"

Lyra:" I can't..."

Bonbon:" You can't what? Tell me that you got hurt? I heard an explosion last night. What was that all about?"

Lyra:" Bonbon please, let it go."

Bonbon:" I will not let it go! You don't tell me anything! I already know you're an assassin, so why can't you just be honest?"

Lyra:" Because what I did wasn't for the Ponyhoof!"

Bonbon was silent.

Lyra:" I lead an attack that wasn't approved by Princess Luna, and I blew up the Gourmand."

Bonbon:" The restaurant? Why?"

Lyra:" Because they were cannibals Bonbon! You know what that means? They eat other ponies! And thanks to this..."

Lyra pointed at her bandages.

Lyra: " ...the mastermind behind it all, got away."

Bonbon:" Okay, I can understand that... but do I have to worry about the assassins knocking down our door."

Lyra:" That's the reason I came back. I can't... I have to run away."

Bonbon:" What?"

Lyra:" I can't stay here. I dishonored, and may have possibly compromised the Ponyhoof. If I stay, I'll be executed."

Bonbon:" Wait... y-you're leaving?"

Tears were now streaking Bonbon's cheeks. She couldn't believe it.

Lyra:" I have too."

Bonbon:" But... let us come with you."

Lyra:" No... you deserve to be happy. And I can't make you happy."

Bonbon:" But Lyra you do make me happy... I love you."

Lyra:" I know... but you deserve to be happy with somepony else. Not me."

Bonbon:" But I don't want anypony else! I want you Lyra!"

Lyra:" I can't stay. I have to go."

Bonbon:" Lyra no..."

Lyra gave Bonbon a final kiss, parted, pulled her hood up, and ran outside. Bonbon fell to the ground, wailing in despair. Liza came to her side to comfort her, but she didn't know what was going on.

Liza:" M-mommy? What's wrong? Mommy? What happened?"

...

Back in Fluttershy's house, in the secret basement, Luna was frustrated about something. Octavia, Vinyl and Terra looked at each other. They didn't know what to make of it. Luna was pacing back and forwarth across the room, staring at each individual assassin.

Luna:" I suppose you are all wandering why you are here today. There has been recent developement. One that has costed us a great amount of exposer. Now... I assume we've all heard of the explosion last night at the Gourmand restaurant. I have gotten word that a group of assassins had bombed the kitchen, and assaulted the staff, which I should say, is highly reckless."

Luna scanned the room.

Luna:" I understand the Gourmand was a place of Cannibalism, but it was a foolish act to bomb the place. I want to know who was involved, and I want them executed for treason. If any of you suspect a fellow assassin, but are unsure, I want them brought in for interrogation."

A few of the assassins had already started shaking.

Luna:" However, if you are honest, and repent for your sin... then I may grant you your life. You have 24 hours to repent, or I will assume you are proud of your work, and you will be executed upon discovery."

Luna looked towards Vinyl Scratch.

Luna:" And miss Scratch... I wish to see you in my guild quarters."

Vinyl:" Y-yes pr- Mistress."

...

Vinyl:" You think I had something to do with the attack!?"

Luna:" You are the only pony I know of who would wage a personal vendetta on him."

Vinyl:" Mistress, I swear... I wasn't involved!"

Luna:" That's just what a traitor would say!"

Octavia was listening in from a hiding spot.

Vinyl:" I'm no traitor! I'm a loyal assassin!"

Luna:" Your actions say otherwise."

Vinyl:" Princess, this is a misunderstanding. I would never do anything to compromise the Ponyhoof."

Luna:" What proof do you have?"

Vinyl:" I... I don't. But please, I'm wasn't involved I swear!"

Octavia:" Vinyl is right!"

Luna:" Octavia! Gurrr... why can't you just mind your own?"

Octavia:" Because I'm nosey. Now I know Vinyl wasn't involved, because she was with me when the explosion happened. In fact, we heard it together as she stepped through the door."

Luna:" Really now? And you are sure that was just coincidence?"

Octavia:" Of course it is. Vinyl is a loyal assassin, and I know this as a fact."

Luna:" Very well. Vinyl lives for now. But I want to know who is responsible. Until then, miss Scratch will be imprisoned until we have evidence."

Octavia:" But that's..."

Luna:" I will make any further argument. That is your assignment. Piece together who lead the attack, and tell me, so I may send a search party."

Octavia sighed. She wasn't one for snitching, but she knew Vinyl's life was in danger if she didn't.

Octavia:" Fine."

Vinyl sighed in relief, and mouthed the words "Thank you, Tavi."

...

After Bonbon explained what happened, Liza was in tears herself.

Liza:" But I don't want her to go! It's not fair!"

Bonbon:" I know. I'm sorry... she said she didn't want anypony to get hurt."

Liza:" We have to find her, we have to get her back!"

Bonbon:" I'm sorry Liza. But Lyra won't come back even if we try."

Liza continued to cry as Bonbon embraced her.

Liza:" D-do you think she'll come and visit?"

Bonbon:" Maybe. I don't know."

Liza eventually cried herself to sleep, and Bonbon gently tucked her into bed, and kissed her just below the horn.

Bonbon:" (Poor Liza. She just wants to feel like she's loved, like she's part of a family.)"

Bonbon left the room quitely, and began to cry to herself.

...

A few hours went by, and a few of the assassins who were involved admited to their mistake. However, the majority had informed Luna that they had no idea that the attack was not permitted by Luna herself. Octavia didn't like it, but she was told to interigate those who repented, and figure out the details. A few of the assassins mentioned Lyra. Alas, each of the assassins involved had admitted their involvement, and had lived on. However, Luna told them they were to remain inside the guild until further notice. The only one who had kept quite was Stone Kicker. However, he was not suspected, nor mentioned once.

Octavia and Terra, not deciding to jump to conclusions, decided to make the trip to Lyra's place. Bonbon opened the door, tears in her eyes. She looked heart broken, and frustrated.

Octavia:" Hello Bonbon. Where's Lyra?"

Bonbon:" Why do want to know?"

Octavia:" Bonbon... I know what happened. Where is Lyra?"

Bonbon:" I won't let you take her."

Octavia:" I promise, if you tell me, I will make sure nothing bad happens to her."

Bonbon:" She's gone. She ran away."

Terra:" Are you sure we can promise that?"

Octavia:" Shush. What do you mean she ran away?"

Bonbon:" She's gone. She left so the assassins wouldn't track her down. I wanted to go with her but... she said I'd be happier with somepony else. I just want Lyra back."

Terra:" Do you know where she might have gone?"

Bonbon:" I don't know. But if you fond her... promise not to kill her... please."

Octavia:" I promise, no harm will come to Lyra."

Terra:" We have to report to the *yawn* M-mistress."

Octavia:" Are you alright?"

Terra:" Bat pony... daytime... tired."

Octavia:" Right... I don't know how we're going to make this partnership work out."

Bonbon:" I have coffee."

Terra:" Do you have any mangoes?"

Bonbon:" Um... sure..."

...

Luna:" Lyra? As in, Lyra Heartstrings?"

Octavia:" Yes, but we don't know where she is."

Luna:" That explains her absence. She knows what would happen if she launched an attack against my word."

Octavia:" Against your word? She asked you about it?"

Luna:" Yes, and I disapproved her request."

Random assassin:" Excuse me, Mistress."

Luna:" What is it?"

Random assassin:" A uh... Mr. Jack is here to see you."

Luna:" Cobble Jack? What is that traitor doing here?"

Random assassin:" I had no idea. He just walked right in."

Luna:" Send him in, I'll deal with him myself."

Random assassin:" Yes, Mistress."

The assassin motioned for the stallion to come in. In came a black-coated stallion with a purple mane, a cutie mark of a three coin purses. Luna drew her sword.

Luna:" You have two seconds to explain your presence here!"

Cobble:" Miss Luna, I assure you I am here on peaceful terms."

Luna:" Last time we traded with you, you had staged an ambush to steal our bits, and you think you can just waltz in here and take more, do you?"

Cobble:" Not at all, Mistress. Allow me to explain. I attacked your because the templars had given us better trade at the time. But then they kidnapped my daughter."

Luna:" And so you wish for my assassins to retrieve her?"

Cobble Jack laughed.

Cobble:" No! No! She's already been rescued, by an assassin named eh... Leera... Lyrio.... Lyra, that was the name! I simply came to thank you and her for your rescue, and re-establish trade, and alliance. Your assassins have done my family good with this."

Luna:" Wait a minute... Lyra Heartstrings?"

Cobble:" Eh... yes."

Luna:" Did this happen during the attack on the cannibal place known as the Gourmand?"

Cobble:" Yes, of course."

Luna:" Hmm... very well then. We will re-establish trade, but if you ever think about double crossing us again..."

Cobble:" Haha... I swear, after what you have done, there is nothing I wouldn't do to assist the Ponyhoof. Besides, I think you rather have us as your ally rather than your enemy."

Luna:" I am well aware of your very capable army of thieves."

Cobble:" Good day to you then."

With that, Cobble Jack left.

Luna:" I think I have a lot to think about."

Octavia:" So does that mean Lyra won't be executed?"

Luna:" Hmm... I will think about it. I am still conficted that we have been exposed. Lyra had dishonored the Ponyhoof. But I do suppose Lyra had done us a favor by gaining us an old ally."

Octavia:" Who was that anyways?"

Luna:" That Cobble Jack. He is the leader of the thieves guild, and is a very powerful ally to have. In fact his entire family are thieves. Cobble pulled a one over on us three weeks ago. I suppose Lyra deserves a second chance, but I will have to de-rank her."

Octavia:" It sounds more appropriate, honestly."

Luna:" Sometimes, appropriateness has no place in this world."

Luna walked back to her guild quarters, leaving Octavia to think about what that meant.

...

Vinyl was released after it was confirmed she was innocent.

Vinyl:" So, your partber is a bat pony? How's that working out?"

Octavia:" Honestly, I feel like Mistress could have me with somepony less... nocturnal. She seems to tire easily."

Terra:" Wait 'til Luna sends us out at night."

Octavia:" Still, I feel it's weird that you and I are just an experiment to her. We have no history together, so how are we supposed to do this?"

Vinyl:" Since when did Luna start assigning permanent partners anyways. Assassins usually work individually."

Octavia:" Really? I was under the impression that some assassins work together."

Vinyl:" We do, but usually it's a temporary thing."

Terra:" The Children of the Shadow are different. Most of us do have official partners. That's because bat ponies have to work in pairs or groups. For most of us, it's hard to work alone. We get kinda clumsy in that state."

Octavia:" Really? I didn't see you with anypony with you when we first met."

The bat pony looked ashamed for some reason.

Octavia:" Oh..."

Terra:" I lost her to the templars. We were attacking one of their forts, and they cut her wing off, and stabbed just before she fell off the wall. I went back to see if she was okay, but she'd already bled out."

Octavia:" I'm sorry."

Terra:" Don't be. It was my fault. I was the one who accidentally alerted the enemy. In the end, we took the fort, but I lost somepony important to me."

Vinyl:" Condolences."

Terra:" Thank you."

Octavia:" What's it like? Being a bat pony, I mean."

Terra:" Some are drunk on blood, some prefer fruit, and some have an odd taste for eating bugs."

Octavia:" Well that sounds unsanitary."

Terra:" It is, even for bat ponies. But it isn't all that uncommon."

Vinyl:" So Octavia. I've heard you went through the phoenix torch. You realize that you and I already have the phoenix sight, don't you?"

Octavia:" Huh?"

Vinyl:" Yeah, remember when we were teenagers, we found out we had the sight, and we were so confused about what was going on, but it felt like we could see sound, and hear shapes? And we'd use the phoenix sight for... uh... delinquent reasons."

Octavia:" Oh... so that was... are some assassins just born with it?"

Vinyl:" Apparently. But sometimes they don't have it, and they have to go through the torch."

Octavia:" What happens if one goes through the torch after already having it?"

Vinyl:" Nothing. They just burn for a few minutes, and they come out okay like everypony else."

Terra:" We bat ponies have a special night vision. It's more or less the same thing."

Octavia:" Don't all bats have night vision?"

Terra:" No, bat's are blind. Bat ponies have night vision, except it's more like the same vision the assassins use. All bat ponies have it."

Vinyl:" I always assumed bat ponies had the same flaws and capabilities as bats."

Terra:" Then you're a stereotypical moron."

Vinyl:" Hey!"

Octavia:" Ladies please, there is no need for such words and behavior."

Vinyl:" Tavi, have you met me? I'm no lady."

Terra:" Tavi? I thought your name was Octavia."

Octavia:" That's... Vinyl's nickname she calls me... unfortunately. I've asked her to stop calling me that severals of times."

Terra:" Tavi... I like that name. It's kinda cute."

Octavia:" Then you can call me that if you'd like."

Vinyl:" Why does she get to call you that, and not me? I made it up."

Octavia:" There are a few reasons I don't like you calling me that. One: You're my sister, which makes it awkward. Two: When you say it, it makes you sound like a filly fooler, which I know you are not."

Terra:" Oooh... burn."

Vinyl:" Whatever, I still made it up."

...

Lyra was just heading towards the train station to head home to Canterlot. She never really liked Canterlot, but had family there who would understand. All of a sudden, she overheard a group of templars talking. She figured she had nothing else better to do before the train arrived, so she eavesdropped on their conversation. She instantly recognized that a few of those templars were Canterlot templars, by the more fancy red coats with golden streaks, and their tricorner hats, each with a feather sticking from the top, opposed to the Ponyville templars' chainmail armor. Only three of them were talking with eachother, one from Ponyville, one from Canterlot, and a unicorn mare wearing black hooded robes. At first, Lyra thought that the latter was a traitor assassin, but peeking closer, she noticed that the hood took the shape of a crow, not a phoenix, and their were black crow's feathers placed around the collar of the robes.

Ponyville templar:" I'm glad you were able to make it. Our numbers our dwindling quickly."

Canterlot templar:" That is because you lack the means and the allies to deal with these assassins. We on the other hoof, have both. I would to introduce to you a member of a very powerful allied faction known simply as... the crows. This here is Blaze Cutter.

Ponyville templar:" Ah, she does seem reliable. But what sort of skills do these... eh... Crows bring to the templar order, and to what end are they loyal?"

Blaze:" Funny you should ask. We are just like the assassins in a way, except we are more subtle, and we serve the Canterlot Templar Order."

The mare in the crow-shaped hood bended her hoof back, and a hidden blade came out of her sleeve. Lyra couldn't believe what she saw.

Crows and Canterlot Templars

Ponyville templar:" Wait a minute... but only the assassins know how to make and use such a blade. How did you get your hooves on that? How can we trust that these assassin posers will not betray us?"

Blaze:" I'm sorry... are you suggesting I am untrustworthy?"

Ponyville templar:" Nopony dresses like, and fights in such a manner, unless they themselves were an assassin!"

Blaze:" Oh... you really know how to treat a girl the wrong way, don't you?"

SHLICK!!!

The Crow stabbed the Ponyville templar, and he fell to the ground. The other Ponyville templars stepped back in shock.

Blaze:" Anypony else think it is wise to speak to a member of the Crows in such a manner? No? Good."

Canterlot templar:" Thank you for that... generous demnstration, miss Cutter."

Blaze:" A pleasure. When will the other Canterlot forces get here? I'm tired of looking at these savages in chainmail."

Canterlot templar:" All in due time. They will coming tomorrow at noon."

Blaze:" Not as fast as I like, but better late than never I suppose, a motto I seem to go by quite often."

Lyra snuck away from the area.

Lyra:" (I have to warn Princess Luna. But she'll execute me if I go back. But the assassins... my friends... I can't just let them die.) I have to do this. I have to be strong."

TO BE CONTINUED...

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