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.
By Terrarian Pony
A few weeks have gone by since the last incident with Key Note. Octavia had made sure to burn the body just to make sure he doesn't come back to life, though the other assassins didn't take to kindly to that action. However, with Vinyl's vouching, they were able to understand why she did it. The cannibal templars that Key Note brought to Manehattan were completely dealt with, though news articles stated that captives of these cannibals had been traumatized, and the same could be said for those caught between the templars, crows, and the assassins.
Eventually, Blaze Cutter decided she wanted to join the assassins. The assassins decided they would give her a chance, and most of them offered her moral support. She went through the entire initiation, and Octavia was there to give it to her, and she became a shadowblade for the assassins. Although she is no longer a crow, she still wore the same cloak she wore when she was with them because it would serve as a reminder of who she was, and who she does not want to be again. It made no sense to anypony else, but they respected her decision. Often times, she would use the cloak to disquise herself as somepony else in order to assassinate her targets. It didn't bother anypony else too much, seeing as trickster assassin would use disquises as well. Blaze was saddened by the fact that Octavia had found somepony else to love, but she was able to accept this fact, because even Octavia didn't love her, she still cared enough about Blaze to be her best friend again.
Terra was happy with the way things were now between herself and Octavia. She wasn't very fond of Blaze upon their first meeting for what Blaze had done to Octavia, but they grown to understand eachother over the past few weeks since the incident with Key Note. Terra had also been learning to sleep more during the night, so that she may be more awake during the day, even though she was a bat pony. It was worth it for her to be with Octavia.
Octavia went back to Twilight's place to get some work done with the animus to find the apple of equin. However, something was wrong with the animus, and Twilight didn't want anypony using it until she was sure it was safe. Twilight spent countless hours trying to get it working again, and she has begun to figure out the problem.
Since the entire fiasco in Ponyville between the Ponyville templars, the crows, and the Ponyville assassins, the crows had fled back to Canterlot. However, one member abandoned her group. Blaze Cutter was deemed a traitor by both the crows, and the Canterlot templars. Since them, tensions between the crows and the Canterlot templars began to increase, and eventually they waged war against eachother in Canterlot, and forgeting the assassins altogether. Princess Celestia was not fond of the chaos and disorder that it brang, but still remained uninvolved in the affairs of the templars. Luna however, felt that it was an improvement, and that since then, there have been more assassins joining in the Canterlot branch.
Jesse knew he couldn't keep Blaze with the crows for long. Though he did love her, he was disappointed that she would abandon her responsibilities in keeping the peace between the Canterlot templars and the crows. He became angered by her rebelion, and began to question the loyalties of the other crows, and began secretly executing any crows that may have had any questionable intentions. Eventually, the crows put two and two together, and became angry for Jesse's actions. They labled him a backstabber, and executed him. This angered the Canterlot templars, and thus began war between the two factions.
Blaze's father was disappointed with Blaze for abandoning her responsibility. He denied any relation to her, and casted her out of the family. Even so, the crows became angry at Blaze's betrayal, and began taking it out on her father. They blamed him for not getting under control, and so they executed him. Soon after, a new leader, named Krey, came into the crows gang, and he vowed to make Blaze suffer for her disloyalty, but knew he must rebuild his army first.
Lyra and Bon Bon began to open up about Bon Bon being a changeling. Nopony else seemed to mind, since changelings weren't really an issue that much anymore. Eventually, Lyra proposed to Bon Bon, and she was so overjoyed. The wedding happened a week later, and everypony in Ponyville came. Blaze was especially happy for them, and she told them as much.
Though the Manehattanite templars, and the Manehattanite assassins were still slightly apposed in ideals, they were able to work out there differences civilly by creating an entire bureau for those two specific factions, in order to maintain peace between them. Four leaders were apointed from both the Manehattanite assassins, and the Manehattanite templars, and they were able to set differences aside, and agree on specific things. The templar Mason, and the assassin Malachi became the head leaders of bureau.
Periwinkle had become more active since Key Note was slain. Octavia didn't mind at all. In fact, she found it quite pleasant that Periwinkle was opening up to her.
Vinyl and Neon had gotten married a few days before Lyra and Bonbon. Vinyl was doing great with her new hobby as pianist, and Neon came by the MPB to hear her often. However, Vinyl had been acting stranger than usual lately. Octavia shrugged it off, saying it was just a "Vinyl Scratch thing", but Neon was concerned.
Octavia was looked up to, and idolized by many of the assassins in the Ponyville guild. She vowed thet she would not let down her guild, and she would make certain that the assassins would never fall to the templar order. She was proud that she was able to unite the Manehattanite templars and assassins, but she felt a slight regret to hear that the crows and the Canterlot templars were now at war with each other. Still, the crows and Canterlot templars were not in Ponyville, and for that, she was grateful. Even though she was the new Mistress, she still didn't feel like staying inside of the guild just to ordering around the assassins. This made things complicated for the scouts and couriers for a time, but they eventually resorted to just leaving notes on her desk. Octavia promised to do whatever she could to help the Ponyville assassins.
Octavia found another letter from the Canterlot assassin on her desk today. She had been getting many reports from the Canterlot branch recently, especially concerning the war between the Cantrlot templars, and the crows. She opened the letter, and was shocked by what she was reading.
Dear daughter, and fellow Mistress, Octavia,
Things in Canterlot are getting rash ever since the templar/crow war that has been going on. However, this matter is different. The leader of the crows has been assassinated by his own ponies. While I am not sure what to make of it, this is probably not a welcome change. What if somepony more suitable gains control of the crows? It could be a problem for Ponyville. Also, the Canterlot templars have just gotten a new lord as well. We knew we wouldn't be able to keep them at bay for long, however, they don't seem to be very concerned about the assassins as well as they are of the crows. I am concerned of this developement, and I am unsure of the repercussions of this event.
Signed, your mother and fellow mistress,
Octavia was erked that her mother began addressing herself in her letters that way. It was getting under her skin. But she was more concerned about the contents of the letter itself. Octavia remembered that Blaze's father was the leader of the crows, and was the one who forced Blaze to marry Jesse. Octavia was unsure of how Blaze would take this sudden news, and locked the letter away. She decided that it was best Blaze not to see it. Octavia took out a quill and paper, and began to wright back.
I've gotten your letter. If a new lord has been appointed to the Canterlot templars, than we in Ponyville may have to prepare. Keep an eye on the crows for now, will you? Keep me updated on every significant event they are involved in. And please, fot the love of Celestia... stop addressing yourself that way in your letters. It rather annoying.
Periwinkle:" Are you it's a good idea to not tell Blaze what you read."
Octavia:" Blaze has enough on her plate right now. If I tell her, she could seek revenge, and vengeance just isn't part of the creed."
Periwinkle:" I know, but..."
Octavia:" I'll tell when the time is right. She needs more time to settle with the assassins, and understand our ways."
Octavia began walking out to give the letter to a courier, until Blaze walked up to her.
Blaze:" Octavia. I've just got word that you wanted to see me."
Octavia:" Uh... y-yes. I am sending you on an escort mission. Zecora has been on the sights of the templars as of late, and I've recieved a letter from her, that she would like an escort through town so she could fetch her materials in the markets. She requested your help specifically."
Blaze:" Hmm? Not that I have any qaulms with that... honestly, I'm honored, but why would she request me?"
Octavia:" I'm not sure. Perhaps she wishes to help you get used to the assassin life style."
Blaze:" Perhaps. Alright, I'll go right away. Thanks for telling me this, Octavia. I'm really... really glad we're friends again."
Octavia:" As am I."
Blaze was escorting Zecora around town, so she may buy her potion ingrediants. There didn't seem to be anypony after her, but Blaze stayed vigilant.
Blaze:" So how come you asked for me specifically?"
Zecora:" I wanted to meet for myself. I am glad you came to protect my health."
Blaze:" Oh. Well, um... thanks. Wow, you sure speak a lot in rhymes."
Suddenly, Blaze heard fast hoof steps, and turned around to clash swords with one of the crows.
Blaze:" A crow!? Wha- AAAGH!!!"
The crow sweeped his hind hooves under her, knocking her over. When she she looked at him again, his sword was at her neck. Ponies ran in a panic. Suddenly, a cloud of smoke fogged the area, causing the crow, and blaze to start cough. Blaze felt a pull on her foreleg, and soon she was out of the smoke, with Zecora pulling her along.
Blaze:" Thanks Zecora... *Cough cough* Warning next time, though?"
Zecora:" Is that something you assassins use? I could have sworn that is an object that your kind would choose."
The smoke began to die down, and the crow was visible enough for Blaze reveal her corvix blade and stop him.
Blaze:" Well, that was intense. But where did he come from? I thought the crows had left Ponyville weeks ago!"
Zecora:" Sounds like a mystery to be solved. I would like to be sent home, if you will. I wish not to get involved."
Blaze:" Alright. It looks like you got everything on your list anyways, so c'mon. I'm going to have to report this to the Mistress."
Octavia:" The crows are back?"
Blaze:" Yes... that's what I believe. But I don't get it. The only time they had to being enemies of the assassins, was when they were loyal to the Canterlot templars. Before then, they had no motive against us."
Octavia:" Exactly how were the crows gang formed? How were they able to replicate our weapons and techniques?"
Blaze:" Huh? Oh that. Well, you see, the first leader of the crows had talked to an assassin. He asked if the assassin could train his students in the combatant ways of the assassins. The assassin trained the students for about four years before the crow leader suddenly told the assassin his job was done. The assassin was confused, but he left anyways, after which, soon the crows leader sent a few of his students to steal the schematics for the hidden blade. After obtaining the schematics, the crows leader went to a well skilled blacksmith to create upgraded versions of the assassins' hidden blade gauntlets. He called it the corvix blade."
Octavia:" I see. How interesting. Would you perhaps know how to replicate this upgraded version?"
Blaze:" I'm afraid not. I only carry the weapon, I don't know how to build it."
Octavia:" Heh, I see. Just asking. So how did your mission go?"
Blaze:" Well it was going well at first, until that crow showed up, and attacked me. I'm ashamed to say I... was caught off guard, and he tripped me, and held his blade to my throat. Luckily for me, Zecora had a splash potion that works the same as a smoke bomb, and we were able hightail it out of there."
Octavia:" What caused you to get distracted?"
Blaze:" I... I don't know. I guess I was just suprised to see the crows back in Ponyville. Or maybe... I guess I just forgot the crows were my enemy."
Octavia:" I can only guess you may have made some rather questionable friends in the crows, but remember not to let your feelings get in the way of what is important."
Blaze:" I... I know. It's hard not to have feelings, though."
Octavia:" Hmm? That's not what I mean. I only meant... it's okay to have feelings, just... don't let them get to you. I don't blame you for happened."
Blaze:" Th-thank you. Guh!"
Blaze began holding her stomach as if she were in pain.
Octavia:" Blaze! Are you alright!?"
Blaze:" Y-yeah. I-I'm fine. Just a little cramp. I'm fine, see?"
Octavia:" Alright, well I have nothing else for you today. You should get some rest."
Blaze:" Uh... sure."
Blaze walked off, and Terra walked in, a smile and a blush on her face.
Terra:" Hey. How is everything?"
Octavia:" Things are fine. You?"
Terra:" Honestly, seeing everypony here and thriving, it gives me hope for the assassins. We may not be the 'perfect' cause, but I know we are a good one."
Octavia:" Right. I'm also glad the assassins so quickly accepted Blaze into the fold. I know she'll make a great assassin."
Terra:" You know, at first I was concerned with Blaze joining us. But now that I understand what she's been through, I understand why she did what she did."
Apple Bloom at her chores today, and was currently bucking at the apple trees. She wasn't as good at it as Applejack, but she was improving.
Apple Bloom:" Last buck of the day."
Apple Bloom raised her hindhooves to the tree, and rammed them right into it. One of the apples fell right at her nose, causing her to back step.
Apple Bloom:" OWOWOWOWOW!!!"
Suddenly, Apple Bloom felt the ground give in beneathe her, and she started falling. Her scream was heard by Applejack, and even Granny Smith from the house. The Apple family rushed as fast as they could towards the screaming. Apple Bloom found herself inside a small cavern.
Apple Bloom:" What the... how'd I end up down here? Where did that come..."
Apple Bloom paused, and began to stare towards a bright light. Apple Bloom went deeper for closer inspection. The source of the light was in the shape of a very strange apple. It was very golden, and there were mysterious green lines all over it. Apple Bloom raised her hoof up to touch it, but it began shining brighter, and strange symbols were floating in the area around it. Apple Bloom squeaked, jumping back just a bit, and suddenly a bright, golden beam hit her. Applejack arrived into the cavern, and saw Apple Bloom lying on the ground. Applejack ran over in a panic.
Applejack:" Apple Bloom! Apple Bloom, what happened!?"
Apple Bloom couldn't answer. She still had a pulse, but she unconscious.
Big Mac:" APPLEJACK, FIND ANYTHING DOWN THERE!?"
Big Macintosh was yelling to Applejack from above.
Applejack:" It's Apple Bloom! She's knocked out, and this... thing... ah don't know what it is, but there ain't no way I'm touchin' it!"
Big Mac:" BRING 'ER UP, AN' LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT 'ER!"
Applejack:" GOT IT!"
Apple Bloom was lying in bed, unaware of everything that just happened.
Big Mac:" What happened down there?"
Applejack:" Ah dunno. Ah think it had somethin' tah do with odd lookin' apple though."
Big Mac:" Apple? Are you changin' the subject?"
Applejack:" NO! AH AM NOT! Ah'm tellin' ya. There was this wierd apple thingy, and it was shining brighter than Celestia's sun, ah tell ya."
Big Mac:" Now that's jus' crazy talk, tell 'er Granny."
Granny:" I honestly don't know what happened down there, but I've only known one apple that fits such description."
Big Mac:" Wait, you mean she's not jus' talkin' nonsense?"
Granny:" I never saw the relic myself, but I've heard stories of an apple somewhere in Equestria that can control the minds of others, and even cause them to against themselves."
Applejack:" So do you think it might have caused Apple Bloom to fall asleep against her will?"
Granny:" Maybe. But I've only heard about it. I don't know if that is the same relic you saw down there."
Applejack:" Now ah'm even more uneasy, knowing that thing is just underneathe our own orchard, and all. In any case, ah think ah should go tell Twilight. She's smart, maybe she knows what that thing is. What was that relic you were talkin' about called anyhow?"
Granny:" I dunno, never caught the name."
Applejack:" Well that's not very helpful."
Big Mac:" Eeenope."
Twilight was finished fixing the animus. Thankfully, all of the data she had was still intact, or she might've just collapsed permanently. Applejack burst into the room.
Applejack:" Twilight! We've got a problem!"
Twilight:" What happened? Did the Cutie Mark Crusaders run into the Everfree Forest?"
Applejack:" Worse. Apple Bloom found this relic... thingy, and she just collapsed. We've been tryin' to wake 'er up, but she ain't movin' a bit, Twi. Do ya think you could check out this relic, and figure out what it is?"
Twilight:" Bring me to it. I'll try to examine it without getting to close."
Applejack showed Twilight the relic, and they brought it back to the Castle of Friendship in a small box. Twilight took a good long look at it, and after careful examination, she was able to confirm.
Twilight:" Looks like my guess was right. This relic... it's known as the apple of equin."
Applejack:" The apple of who now?"
Twilight:" The apple of equin. I am unsure how exactly it got underneathe your orchard, but it can't have been some coincidence. Incidentally, I was looking for this relic myself."
Applejack:" Huh? Why would you be lookin' for somethin' like that?"
Twilight:" To keep it hidden from the templars."
Applejack:" HOLD UP! Are you sayin' that those assassins an' templars are involved with this thing?"
Twilight:" Not exactly. They were just looking for it. In fact, I have reason to believe one of Octavia's ancestors has come across the apple before."
Applejack:" That doesn't explain the coma mah sister is in! What do they need this thing for anyhow?"
Twilight:" The templars want to use it's power to control the minds of other ponies. That much is obvious."
Applejack:" Is it, now?"
Twilight:" The assassins want to hide it from the templars, so that it's never used."
Applejack:" How do we reverse what happened to Apple Bloom though?"
Twilight:" I'm... not sure. I think we should contact Princess Celestia. Spike! Take a note for me!"
Vinyl was on patrol duty. It wasn't too late into the day, so she was chilling on top of the town hall. In the distance, she spotted a group of dark-hooded figures camping out between the Everfree Forest, and Sweet Apple Acres.
Vinyl:" What're the crows doing back in Ponyville. It's been three weeks since Key Note's death, and the departure of the crows."
One of the crows broke apart from the rest of the camp, possibly to do some... private business. Vinyl snuck towards him, following him silently to a secluded area. Before he could notice, Vinyl grabbed him by the neck, and held her hidden blade inches away from his throat.
Vinyl:" Talk! What are the crows doing back in Ponyville!?"
Crows:" You got a lot of skill sneaking up on a crow like that. Admirable, but it doesn't make me speak any further."
Vinyl:" I have half mind to ram my hoof through that tiny little brain of yours, unless you tell me exactly what I want to know."
Crow:" Heheh... the last guy said something similar, and guess what happened to him. Heheheh... GAAAAHHH!"
Vinyl sliced the stallion's left foreleg apart from his body.
Crow:" YOU'RE CRAZY!!!"
Vinyl:" You might want to start talking before I 'dismantle' another limb."
Crow:" ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT, I'L TALK!"
Vinyl:" And stop screaming before I cut out your tongue."
Crow:" Blaze Cutter! She abandoned her duty!"
Vinyl:" What about it!?"
Crow:" The other crows want her to suffer for her treason! They've already executed her father!"
Vinyl:" I thought he was the crows' leader."
Crow:" He was! But they blamed him! Said he didn't raise her right! That's all I know!"
Vinyl:" You were very... helpful. Thank you for your cooperation."
Crow:" S-so you're gonna let me loose now, right?"
Vinyl:" HAHAHAHAHA! Nice try, but your little friends back there probably heared the commotion. I can't risk any loose ends. Besides, they'd kill you anyways for all that sweet information you gave up. I hope you understand, it's just business."
The crow fell, and Vinyl disappeared as his comrades ran over to see what happened. They were horrified at what they saw. Before they knew it, another one of their members bit the dust, and another. She only paused at the last crow she saw. A pink unicorn mare, with a yellow mane. She seemed frightened out of her wits. She even had tears in her eyes. Vinyl grinned, seeing an opportunity.
Vinyl:" As for you... I won't kill you. In fact... I'll let you live to tell the story of your fallen troops... however, I can't let you leave here alive... without taking a trophy of my own victory."
Vinyl levitated up her sword.
The pink unicorn's horn fell to the ground. Vinyl levitated it up to her own face.
Crow:" M-my horn! B-but... that's not how the assassins do things!"
Vinyl:" Heh... you're right. But they also don't burn the corpses of their enemies, and guess what happened to Key Note. Heh... it's funny. I thought I'd be the one strike the killing blow on that wretch. But I'm glad he's gone. And thanks to him, I realized that the assassins could be... more. Now... you run along little birdy, before the big bad kitty changes her mind."
The pink unicorn got up slowly, and ran away in the the direction Vinyl was facing.
Vinyl:" Heheh... I think I made my... point."
She hid the dismembered horn into her cloack, and began walking away.
Three weeks ago...
The assassins were all in an unconscious state. Vinyl was the only exception. She was caked in blood, which ran from her fave to her hooves. Key Note was grinning widely.
Vinyl:" Why... are you... doing this?"
Key:" Oh my dear Vinyl. You must understand, I am only looking out for Equestria. You assassins create chaos, and you kill whomever you deem a necessary sacrifice. In a sence, you are just as evil as I."
Vinyl:" We are... nothing alike."
Key:" Oh I beg to differ. What was that saying you use to you justify your actions? Nothing is true... everything is permitted?"
Vinyl:" You're going to drown in your blood. You were never my father. If you were, you wouldn't be a templar."
Key:" Oh, dear me. What ever will I do? Did you really think I cared about you, about your mother. No, you are all insignificant. Undivine. Unworthy of being sent to the heavens."
Vinyl:" And you think eating ponies is noble?"
Key:" That's not the point!"
Vinyl:" Than what is the point!?"
Key:" You are all the hosts of demons, and sin. I may not be any better, but at least I am proud enough to admit it."
Key:" Do me a favor. If I die, find the apple of equin underneathe the orchard of Sweet Apple Acres. Than you will see the truth. You will see why things are this way, and you will want to do something about it. There will be no denying it. The evil within all ponies."
Three days later...
Vinyl found the apple of equin underneathe the orchard. It showed her visions of flame and chaos. It showed her the past, present, and future. After looking into the small, golden apple, she began to shutter. Everything she saw, she wanted to unsee. But now she knew the truth. Equestria, as she knew it, would perish.
Vinyl returned to the guild. Octavia was glad to see her.
Octavia:" Ah, sister. Good to see you. I see you've finished with your patrol."
Vinyl:" Yes, and I've found out something you might want to know."
Octavia:" What is it?"
Vinyl:" The crows are back, and they want revenge against Blaze. They blame her for the break in the crow/templar alliance."
Octavia:" Are you saying they only came back to eliminate Blaze?"
Vinyl:" No, they want her to suffer. That's why they killed her father. That and they blamed him for her actions."
Octavia:" So that's what's going on. They didn't kill him for any just reason, they murdered him because of the actions of another pony. Typical."
Vinyl:" Did you know about her the crow leader's death?"
Octavia:" Of course I knew. I got a letter this morning about it. Do me a favor, don't tell Blaze. Not yet. We need her right now."
Vinyl:" I understand."
Octavia walked passed Vinyl, and Vinyl went into Octavia's office. She began digging through various documents to find what she was looking for. She found a locked box, and was able to pick it. There, she found the letter. After retrieving it, she locked the box back up, and headed over to Blaze's qaurters.
Blaze:" Hey Vinyl, what's up? Guh..."
Blaze was holding her stomach again, as she had been doing quite recently.
Vinyl:" What's wrong?"
Blaze:" N-nothing... I-I'm alright, see?"
Vinyl:" I have news for you. It's... not good."
Blaze:" What happened."
Vinyl pulled out the letter.
Vinyl:" Octavia didn't want you to know, so you didn't get this from me."
Blaze levitated the letter up to her face, and Vinyl began to walk away. Blaze gasped at what she read. Her heart shattered, and her legs gave in under her. Tears slowly fell from her cheeks, and she walked back into her room, closed the door, and locked it.
TO BE CONTINUED...