posted by NocturnalMirage
The last solstice
Chapter 41: Power through deceit
Luna walked over to the edge of the balcony with casual steps. She looked down to the place where her own sister vanished from her sight a moment ago, then burst out in a mad laughter.
“Ha ha ha ha ha!” she tittered maniacally. “Justice is served!”
A seconde later, something slit through the air with a loud swish, and a circular metal object pierced her chest. Luna gaped, her features revealing surprise and disbelief. Her eyes traveled downwards to see what caused the pain. She discovered with shock, that it was her own royal seal, she always wore in the middle of her breastplate. The symbol of the merged Sun and Moon, which was forged after Celestia's resignation, the same weapon she used to save Cadence, when a changeling took her hostage and threatened to detonate a Warlock Grenade. The rays of the sun were sharp blades, made of the finest reinforced steel and these blades struck her chest, piercing through the armor and the flesh. The moon goddess roared in pain and teared the weapon out of her deep wound. Fat drops of her blood splashed on the pure white marble, but it wasn't red. It was fluorescent green.
“What's the matter... Chrysalis?” a deep masculine voice called out. “Not feeling well?”
A cobalt earth poney with ebony mane emerged from below the balcony, levitating on a platform made of solid earth.
“You are too late, Nocturnal Mirage!” “Luna” laughed, then coughed up some neon green blood. “The entire château is under my influence, including the Princesses! You're all alone! What hope have you? toi cannot possibly think toi could defeat us!”
“On the contrary!” another firm voice exclaimed.
“I don't.” Mirage replied with a wide dubious grin. “I just decreased the preponderance a little.”
In the suivant moment, the majestic form of Celestia appeared, spreading her wings wide in the air.
“No! No!!! toi fell down! You're supposed to be dead!”
“I'm supposed to be dead a very long time ago.” Celestia a dit and landed on the balcony.
“Aaaarrgh!!! My mistake!” “Luna” growled and her horn charged up, firing a green magic beam at Celestia.
Mirage's reaction was irrational, fast and instinctive. He jumped off of the platform that was kept in the air par his unique terra-magic and put himself in between the beam and Celestia. The blast struck him in the chest and he fell down on the marble floor with a loud scream of anguish, then he didn't move.
“Mirage!” Celestia cried, running over to the seemingly dead stallion.
“Ha ha ha ha ha!” “Luna” chuckled evilly. “Awww, I killed your lover! You're going to weep now? So how's this gonna go down, Celestia? No friends, no lover, no magic.”
Another lightning flashed in the sky as the solar Princess slowly raised her head, glaring maliciously at her enemy.
“This isn't about Equestria, ou the solstice, is it?” Celestia asked on a menacingly calm tone.
“What?” “Luna” blinked in surprise.
“Admit it! This is about toi and me!”
“YES!” “Luna” admitted after a brief moment of hesitation.
“You have deceived me many times, Chrysalis.” Celestia continued in the same frosty and sinister fashion. “But toi let your hatred blind you, such as I let my past blind me. In your pointless quest to humiliate and destroy me, you've become vain, thinking you're an invincible god. And now, it is time for me to strike back!”
Her déplacer was so rapid and unexpected, that “Luna” barely evaded it. The form of the moon goddess turned into and abstract, liquid mass of pure darkness. This strange living black water wrote down an arch in the air, as it escaped Celestia's powerful blow. The Princess only managed to coup de poing a large hole in the floor with her hoof. In the suivant moment, a blinding green flash robbed her of her sight for a second, but after that she could finally see the face of her enemy. There she stood, the dark mare of deception, Chrysalis, the Queen of the Changelings.
“Ha ha ha ha!” Chrysalis laughed. “You have to do better than that, Celestia! toi see, I've learned a few tricks over the years. Not only I can take the form of any living creature, but any material as well!”
“This must end once and for all!” Celestia declared, glaring at the Queen.
“Indeed.” Chrysalis grinned and her horn fired a luminescent beam at Celestia.
The Princess of the Sun flared her wings and took off rapidly to avoid the blast. But the strange beam didn't strike the place where she was standing a glimpse il y a like it was supposed to. As instead, it acted like it had its own will and modified its course, following Celestia like a vicious émeraude snake. She gained altitude fast, but the magical rayon, ray was even faster. The white alicorn made a sudden left déplacer and avoided the danger but the beam managed to burn a few feathers on her wing. It headed upwards, soaring through the sky and turned back, right towards Celestia again.
Her brain switched to overdrive, seeking a solution rapidly. Yet, every turn and spiral she made in the air was useless, the death rayon, ray followed her every déplacer relentlessly. Celestia felt the growing numbness in her wings; alicorns weren't such good flyers and she was consuming her power reserves too fast. She knew it was just a matter of secondes before she won't be able to evade quickly enough. Her breathing accelerated, her lungs were burning and her joins were aching; she felt the panic emerging from the depths of her soul. She wrote down a cercle around one of the Castle's tower, hoping the beam will strike the building instead of her. But the cursed rayon, ray avoided the dome in the last second.
“A thousand devils of Tartaros!” Celestia panted, bursting out in anger.
She never was the swearing type; as far as she knew, she a dit a bad word only 9 times in over a thousand years. However, in this dire situation the curse rushed over to her tongue and slipped out of her mouth before she realized it. The beam was still chasing her in the air restlessly and she could not think of anything to counter this effect. It was literary on her tail, she could feel the heat and the stench of burnt ozone filled her nostrils as the death rayon, ray was gaining on her. Then the close danger suddenly gave her an idea. Celestia went into an extreme nose dive, slicing through the air, like a sharp knife, heading back to the Castle.
Chrysalis was still standing on the balcony, observing the events with a voracious, devilish grin on her face. She was so caught up in watching Celestia's struggle, that she realized what the Princess was actually doing too late. The sun goddess was flapping her wings as fast as she could, aiming at the balcony. Her figure grew and grew in the Queen's vision as she was consuming the distance between them rapidly. There were only a few feet left, when Celestia abruptly changed her course, flying up again. A moment later, Chrysalis let out a terrifying roar of anguish as her own magic beam struck her. It was like an electric shock and the green ray's destructive energies rampaged through her body. She collapsed onto the marble floor with smoke coming out of her mane and wings.
“Clever. An attack spell that locks onto the target's magical aura itself.” Celestia acknowledged coldly as she landed beside the injured changeling.
“You have no idea!” Chrysalis rattled and picked her head up violently.
Celestia was too close and could not prevent the abrupt attack. The sharp, jagged horn of the Queen stabbed her in the lower part of her chest, found its way through the ribs and pierced her heart. The Princess gasped for air as the shock wave of untold pain ravaged through her entire body. Her face distorted into a horrible grimace of misery and her legs wavered.
“Gah! toi fool!” Celestia coughed vehemently. “Can't toi see if toi destroy me, the world will come to an end!”
“Worth it!” Chrysalis shouted.
This time, she did not hesitate. While her horn was inside Celestia's flesh, the dark mare fired yet another magic beam. The émeraude rayon, ray went through the alicorn's body and erupted from her back side. Celestia screamed ghoulishly as the magic struck her heart. Chrysalis intensified the power of the beam, par channeling plus and plus magic through her horn. She clearly sensed Celestia's life energies escaping their vessel. After a minute ou so, she eventually stopped and tore her horn out of the wound. The lifeless body of Celestia fell on the floor.
“You should be thanking me!” she yelled and stood up, towering over the fallen Princess. “I granted toi oblivion!”
Nocturnal Mirage laid on the cool marble unconsciously. He should have been dead; the spell of the changeling Queen was lethal. The only reason why he could survive was his own unique magical aura. Back in his birthplace, the isolated village of Terra Absolutia, every earth poney had the ability to use this one of a kind magic and manipulate the earth at will. They have been living on a land surrounded par tall mountains, hidden from the world for many centuries. His mother, Summer Pride was the first outsider who managed to pass through the narrow reveal, that was the only entrance and was guarded par a powerful, ancient magic. And he, Nocturnal Mirage was the first one who ever left the village. In the eye of the world, his abilities were unexampled. This magical aura, the only legacy of his biological father now protected him from the deadly blast of Chrysalis.
His mind struggled to swim through the dark sea of unconsciousness, to reach the surface and come back to reality. The awakening was slow and painful. Although his body rejected the foreign changeling magic; the process caused him misery. At first he could only hear muffled sounds. After a while he was able to open his heavy eyelids. He was certain he heard Celestia's voice, but his vision was blurry. Mirage tried to stand up, but fell back on his stomach; his legs couldn't keep his weight yet. He felt the close presence of his beloved Princess, but he had to endure the most devastating sight, when his vision became clear.
He awakened in the moment Chrysalis tore her horn out of Celestia's chest. The mighty alicorn fell down and didn't move. Her forever billowing mane and tail laid still. A dark puddle was expanding around her body. Only then Mirage realized it was her blood.
“No...” he gasped in utter shock.
“It's over.” Chrysalis declared somberly, turning to Cadence and Twilight.
The young Princesses were watching the events with an expressionless face, Celestia's death didn't seem to affect them at all. They just stood there like mannequins, without a single frown ou any sign of emotion. The royal guards were the same. The crowd below the château was mute, deadly silence settled on Canterlot in this dark moment. The Changeling Queen killed the ranking Princess of Equestria but there was no rebellion. There was no lone voice shouting “Down with the traitor!”, no royal guard unsheathed his sword to avenge Celestia, the poney they sworn to protect. There was only silence, nothing else.
Until it started to rain. The sluices of the sky opened and the massive storm clouds poured their heavy load onto the city. Only the splashing raindrops made any sound, even Chrysalis herself paused for a brief moment to contemplate.
The buildings and the landscape faded away in the gray curtain of the rain and everypony was completely soaked in less than half a minute, but they didn't seemed to care. Every single being understood the importance of this sinister day: The era of the alicorns was over. And Mirage knew, Equestria herself will be over very soon.
Nopony paid attention to the lone stallion as he rushed over to the fallen Princess. He was the only one who showed any compassion toward her. Celestia laid still on her left side, one of her wings was open, the other was folded. Her purple eyes were still open, staring into nothingness. Mirage leaned closer, resting his head on her chest. There was no heartbeat. The sun goddess was gone. He ran his hoof down her cheek, softly touching her scars and closed her glassy eyes. That was the last drop, Mirage could not hold his swirling emotions back any longer. He burst out in tears, crying over the lifeless body of Celestia.
“What do toi want to do with him?” Twilight asked in a monotone voice.
“Nothing.” Chrysalis replied shortly. “He's not a threat, let him mourn his beloved Princess.”
She walked over to the edge of the balcony to speak to the crowds.
“Our final judgment is at hoof, as this is the will of the Creator, but the final victory is mine!” she exclaimed loudly, so everypony can hear. “Go home! Spend the little time we have left with your loved ones and brace yourself for the end! Settle things down in your souls and make a balance before toi meet the Creator!”
“You...” Mirage snarled viciously. “You will pay for this!!!”
He charged at Chrysalis, foaming with rage, but the green magical aura of the Queen suddenly surrounded his body, levitating him a few feet above the ground.
“What a strong spirited stallion!” Chrysalis smirked. “I think I see why Celestia loved you.”
“Don't toi dare speak her name, demon!” Mirage countered, struggling to break free from the Queen's magic.
“I am only the instrument of the Creator!” Chrysalis replied on a casual tone. “She's decided to punish us for the sins we have committed!”
“Keep telling yourself that!” Mirage growled, violently swinging with his hooves. “Your soul will burn in Tartaros for all of eternity, because toi destroyed the world's only hope of survival!”
“Hah ah ha! Well, since Celestia's already there for incinerating all those poor ponies in Manehatten, I won't be alone! A never ending battle... The Princess and I are destined to do this forever!”
“Aww, thank toi for the compliment!” Chrysalis taunted, then turned to Cadence and Twilight.. “Hmm... this unique magical aura makes him quite exotic, don't toi think?”
“Yes indeed.” Twilight replied on a lifeless voice.
“I've never sensed anything like it.” Cadence added in the same fashion. “And he has tremendous amount of l’amour in his soul.”
“Oh really? In that case, I have a perfect place for him in my personal attendance!” Chrysalis grinned cruelly, running down her hoof full of holes on Mirage's cheek. “I'm going to have some fun with him, before the world is over.
“You'd have to kill me first!!!” Mirage hissed and spat in the Queen's face.
“Insolent fool!” Chrysalis roared. “That can be arranged as well!”
As soon as she a dit the last word, the abstract aura around Mirage turned into a transparent green sphere. A certain changeling officer could have told long stories about this spell, since it was the same one which caused his untimely demise. The orb was slowly decreasing in size, leaving less and less l’espace inside for the trapped stallion. Mirage decided he will not give the satisfaction to the Queen par screaming in pain, begging for his life. The sphere shrank and shrank and he was forced to roll up in a ball. The walls of the orb were pressing against his body, slowly crushing him to death.
“You idiot!” Chrysalis yelled. “You could have spent your last hours on this world in untold pleasure, yet toi chose the pain!”
“Beats the alternative...” Mirage panted, since he was using up the last reserves of oxygen left inside the sphere.
“Then suffer!” The Queen shouted angrily, making the orb smaller and smaller.
Mirage pressed his hooves against the walls that were closing in, but to no avail. Chrysalis' spell was stronger. He prepared his soul for the agonizing pain when the sphere will break his Bones and closed his eyes.