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 The Lights of Harmony V

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EvenMotion
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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   20/12/2013, 7:37 am

Hailstone nodded. "I hope the matches are going well."

----

Outside, things were at a stalemate on their round four match of pairs. Null slid to the right, after getting a huge chunk of the field hurled at her. It flew over her head and rolled to a stop in between the field they were on and the field Signal Flare and Whippoorwill were fighting on. She growled as she zipped forward, using her wings to press her forward with a firm breeze.

Their opponents - a unicorn and an earth pony - didn't seem as tired as the should be. As Null neared them, the unicorn pulled out another boulder. His partner, a mare, reared back and slammed her back hooves into it. Null dove to the side and skidded to a halt out of the range of the boulder's path.

A low whistle passed the unicorn's ear as one of Void's arrows just missed her target. The rest were deflected by some small rocks flung into the way. She bit her lower lip and pulled another set of arrows out of her quiver. A cold chill ran through her spine - she only had five shots to make it count. Null fought her way back, dodging left and right from the big rocks coming at them until she was standing in front of her sister.

"How many?" Null asked.

"Five."

She grimaced. "Like we practiced then?"

Void frowned. During their free time at the mansion, they had practiced their techniques together. But on the weekends, when they went 'into town', they practiced close combat fighting as a team. It was highly coordinated, with arrows and hooves being shot within inches of each other. One mistake in their routine could seriously harm one or the other.

Harming Null would be the last thing they needed. First and foremost, she could never forgive herself if she seriously hurt her - she was the only family she had left. They had been all they had to one another. Risking that was...

"Void! Come on! Safety arrows!"

Void shook herself from her stupor. She took a deep breath and let it go, slinging her bow against her back. "Go."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   20/12/2013, 7:59 am

On the field with Signal Flare and Whippoorwill, the stallions were trying to dodge a barrage of arrows being fired from a stallion unicorn as well, only an earth pony stallion was his partner.

Whip had been distracted at first, but it took a short and quick pep talk from Flare for both stallions to pick it up a notch in their fighting.

Right now, the unicorn was using a combination of arrows and magic blasts to keep the stallion's moving while the earth pony was chasing them with his longsword. Whip's smaller size meant he was dodging with ease while Signal had to rely on his own longsword to deflect any arrows drawing near.

Whip finally spoke.

"This is getting fucking ridiculous! I'm ending it with the earth pony first."

He suddenly stopped and barreled under the earth pony, the larger stallion falling over Whip and landing on his back. The earth pony spun on his back and grabbed Whip, easily bringing him down in a clang and shuffle of heavy armor. He got Whip on his back as well and tried to pin him by putting his hooves on Whip's wings.....only for a large amount of feathers to fall out effortlessly from the smaller stallion's wings.

Instead of relief, Whip felt his blood boil and his teeth grit.

Meanwhile, Signal took to the air, dodging magic blasts left and right.

An idea formed, and his smirk finally returned.

"Hey! Come on! Hit me already! Not like your archery skills are any better!"

There was a pause, and it showed Signal that he had hit a sore spot.

An arrow was drawn, and shot right at Signal.

A powerful breeze formed around his wings, and he instantly flapped them, hard. The arrow that was heading for him was spun around midair, and soon blasted back at the unicorn, striking him right in forehead, where it stuck. He was out.

Meanwhile, Whip finally won the grappling match, his anger giving him an edge in strength, and he used the limbs of his wings to spin over the earth pony's neck, landing on the stallion's back. The smaller pegasus stallion drew his short blade and pressed the tip of the blade into the earth pony's neck.

The match was over.

At the tents, Inferno gave a small whistle.

"Now I know not to get Whip angry....I think him getting angry makes him a powerhouse. Now, let's just hope that Null and Void can beat their own opponents."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   20/12/2013, 8:49 am

Null smashed the boulder in half, using her hooves to slam into the middle of the stone. She grit her teeth together as the pain shot through her hooves, but through the dust, she could see the stunned look on their faces as she broke through it Void took a shot with her bow, but it went shy of the chest, nailing the unicorn stallion's leg.

He dropped to the ground, unable to stand, where Null pressed the advantage on the earth pony mare. She barreled her over, and Void was quick to respond with another shot, released inches from Null's head. It landed square in the chest and the earth pony passed out.

The stallion slammed his hoof against Void's side sending her to the ground in pain. It felt as though fire was coursing through her and she shouted weakly before hitting the ground. She writhed around, flailing and searching for her quiver on the ground.

Null was on him immediately, throwing punches and dodging to the left and right as he responded in kind. As he spun to the left, Null hooked her back leg under his and clamped down on it. She pressed her forehooves against the ground and flung him over her head. He shouted as he landed on his back and before he could rise, Void had crawled onto his stomach and had an arrow pressed very close to his neck.

The stallion sighed. "I yield. Well fought."

"House Hurricane wins!" Yelled the announcer, followed by cheers and boos from the onlookers above. Void removed the arrow from his neck and collapsed in exhaustion. He lifted her onto his back and shook his partner awake. "Miss Void, was it? I think you need a medic. Allow me to bring you back."

Void blushed, but was too tired to resist. Null was right beside her, looking at him suspiciously.

"Miss Null? Can you assist my partner to Princess Celestia's tent?" He asked. After a moment of strange looks, she relented, helping the other pony to her hooves.

Once Void and her opponent reached the tent, he looked over at Fas. "Lady Fas? I believe I may have fractured or broken one of her ribs by accident. I give my sincerest apologies. I am Iron Heart, Princess Celestia's armorer and smith."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   20/12/2013, 9:14 am

Fas simply nodded as she lifted Void off the stallion's back and placed her on a medical cot, then looking back at him.

"'Iron Heart' huh? I think I heard your name a few times."

Her hands glowed, but then failed as they went close to Void, the griffon gave a growl of frustration. She opted to lightly press into the pegasus's side and nod to herself.

"A broken rib at worst. The area's a little swelled, so there's definite fracturing..."

She waved a hand at Red.

"You can handle this Red, you're more....qualified for non-magical treatment."

The griffon sighed and tilted her head at the stallion.

"Didn't think the Princess's armorer and smith would here.....at least you're polite, which is always a bonus for us..."

Her brows furrowed.

"And I'm guessing you learned my name through the listings alongside Red's for the medics? Because I don't tell the papers shit."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   20/12/2013, 12:16 pm

"I learned your name from Princess Luna, M'Lady."

Red trotted over to the cot and grabbed a paste from his bag. "Worth a try," he muttered to himself. After putting on some lat, gloves, he dipped his hooves into the paste, feeling the heat tingling through the glove. He brought it close to Void and his eyebrows went straight up. "Well, Void. It looks like you can't shut down natural magic, so consider yourself lucky."

Void gasped and bit her lower lip. Her eyes watered and she tried to resist the urge to flail in pain as the salve was worked into her fur. She could feel the unusual tingle of natural magic being sucked up by her body like a sponge. Red looked more and more concerned by the minute.

"Fas... Uh-oh. Fas! Get me two lemons and darkberries from Zest! The salve is soaking in too fast!"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   20/12/2013, 12:58 pm

Fas spun around from her conversation from the smith and made her way over to a bag, putting it on the table and opening it. She removed the lemons and darkberries and walked fast over to Red, giving him the fruits.

"I've never heard of this happening with healing salves, but then again I never really knew there were ponies that could cancel out magic from mages and other magic users."

The griffon then glanced over at Iron Heart.

"Uh, just 'Fas' is good, I'm not much for those kind of honorifics."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   20/12/2013, 1:50 pm

Red frowned. "I will tell you later. But for now, thank you."

He quickly mashed together the ingredients and lathered it on the paste. Void stopped squirming and started breathing easier.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   20/12/2013, 2:13 pm

Fas sighed, a hand going up to rub at a small headache forming.

"Well, that really showed my usefulness..."

She sighed again and looked at Iron Heart.

"Well, thanks for bringing Void here. If you wanna talk, feel free to come walking over here, but for now we got stuff to do...and, well..."

She rubbed the back of her neck.

"...can you make sure Null gets back here? Considering how far we're getting into this competition, I don't want ANY of the guards alone, especially within another group of tents."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   20/12/2013, 2:28 pm

"What about me?"

Null poked her head in the tank and trotted in with a cloth around her neck.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   20/12/2013, 2:54 pm

Fas deadpanned.

"Guess there's no need. Nevermind."

She sighed.

"Nice to make your acquaintance Iron Heart. Hope to see you outside of the tournament, or if you ever come by to visit."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   21/12/2013, 9:20 am

Iron Heart bowed and left the tent.

Null trotted over to her sister, and gave her a hug. "You ok?"

"Better, now."

Red leaned over and whispered into Fas' ear. "I really hope she doesn't get hit there again, otherwise the bone will break for real. The paste worked, and I'll tell you why later. But she needs to be careful in her next round or she might have to drop out. Lucky for us, they only have one round to go with their buy. Signal Flare and Whippoorwill have to fight through two to get into the quarter finals."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   21/12/2013, 9:32 am

Fas gave a small sigh.

"I really don't want to imagine what Whip and Signal will have to go through. If something goes wrong, both Signal and Whip will have to drop out on account of possible injury to the brain. That fracture was a fluke....any harder and he would've had the bone fragment."

The griffon went over to a table and began to sort through her equipment.

"The farther we get into the tournament, the more everyone could get injured. Right now Signal, Void, and Temporal are the ones I'm keeping a closer eye on. You can understand the first two, but Temp'?"

The griffon frowned.

"She's a ticking time bomb with her magic. The moment she oversteps her boundary, she could really hurt herself with her magic. Her heart could stop, her mind could speed up, she could rapidly shift from going super fast to a snail's pace."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   21/12/2013, 11:22 am

Red grimaced. "Let's just hope that doesn't happen."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   21/12/2013, 11:57 am

The next batch of matches were about to start, and it seemed that once again, Signal Flare and Whippoorwill were in the first bout. Signal had opted to wear a helmet with a flip-up visor, since he didn't want to risk another major head injury.

Both of them had been set against an earth pony stallion and a pegasus stallion, both from the Royal Guard. The pegasus looked lightly armored, likely so he could fly easier, while the earth pony looked armored like a tank.

Signal allowed a small smirk.

'Classic heavy hitter and speedster combination.'

"Begin!"

The pegasus took off and went straight for Whip, the smaller stallion immediately taking flight as well and dodging him. Signal took the time to start heating up the arena, Whip doing the same thing.

The lightly armored pegasus chasing him in circles was probably going to be hardest to beat, while the heavily armored earth pony will probably overheat.

Whip turned and began to do a corkscrew upwards, hoping the other stallion would follow him. Even if Whip was smaller, he was also much more faster and could pull tighter turns. He began to fly in a circle around the arena, waiting for Signal to give him the...'signal'.

That brought a smirk to Whip's muzzle.

This time....they had planned out a strategy, with Dalila having assisted.

They just needed to stall their opponents.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   21/12/2013, 12:20 pm

Brimstone pursed his lips together. Watching Whippoorwill and Signal Flare running around the fields was making him more and more confused by the moment. He leaned over and nudged Inferno. "What are they doing?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   21/12/2013, 1:09 pm

Inferno scratched her head as she leaned against the edge of the tent, her claymore laying sheathed against her side.

"I...have no idea. Hope they do something..."

Back on the field, Signal's and Whip's plan was working so far. The first phase required them to heat up the field and weaken their targets...now they just had to outmaneuver them.

Signal smirked as he clashed blades again with the earth pony stallion, both of them hopping on their hooves and trying to get a strike in, but the stallion's strength was canceling out Signal's swiftness.

Signal didn't need to get a strike in...he just needed to give the word.

The pegasus traded another clash, and he swept a wing straight up, a blast of heated air knocking the other stallion's sword straight into the air and out of his hoof.

That was the signal.

Whip charged right at the sword, diving at it with an armored wing. He struck it, knocking the blade out of the arena and into the ground nearby. Knowing that he was being followed by the lightly armored Royal Guard pegasus, Whip made his move.

He turned straight up, the pegasus behind him doing the same in order to cut him off. Whip didn't make a classic rookie mistake, he had made it seem as though he did. The smaller stallion suddenly flapped hard, using the heated air as a brake, the Royal Guard stallion now flying right in front of him, where Whip then flapped his wings and shot forward, grabbing the lightly armored pegasus.

Using his armor's weight, he yanked, wrapping his forelegs around the larger stallion's wings.

They were falling now, Whip using his wings to guide them.....right into the large earth pony.

Signal was grappling with him, his sword pointed away as the earth pony attempted to pull him into a headlock. Signal rebutted with a precision elbow strike into the stallion's chest, knocking the wind out of him and using a flap of his wings to pull away.

Whip threw the stallion, using his wings as well, to blast him into the large earth pony.

There was a resounding clang as they connected, the pegasus stallion ricocheting away and landing on his back while the earth pony fell flat on his underside, a shock of pain from is spine knocking him down.

When both of them shook the stars out of their eyes, they were met by a sword pointing at their chests.

"Signal Flare and Whippoorwill of House Hurricane are the winners!"

There was cheering that Whippoowill and Signal Flare ignored as they helped their respective opponents onto their hooves.

The pegasus stallion from the Royal Guard smirked faintly.

"Haven't seen flying like that in a long time, and good use of the air stall. Most pegasi think they can only fly forward."

Whip smirked as well and bumped an armored hoof against the pegasus's hoof.

"Hey, if you or anyone else in the Royal Guard wanna join our little group, feel free to tell them."

The pegasus nodded.

"I think a few were thinking about joining....I'll send them the word."

Whippoorwill smiled and nodded as well, giving a small salute and walking off the arena, Signal Flare following after him.

Whip walked over to Lightning and spoke.

"M'Lady, it seems that we should expect some more recruits....my opponent there said he might know a few that were thinking about joining..."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   21/12/2013, 2:42 pm

Lightning nodded. "So long as I have the funding after this tournament, I would be happy to take more."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   21/12/2013, 4:09 pm

Whip smiled faintly and walked into the tent...only to collapse as the exhaustion hit him.

Fas moved fast and soon had the stallion on the medical cot and questioning him.

"How could you be this exhausted?"

Whip gave a roll of his eyes as he spoke faintly.

"My wings....that match demolished most of my feathers...I don't think I can fly anymore..."

Fas frowned and ran a hand through the stallion's feathers, a small handful of the primaries falling to the floor.

She cursed.

"Great...you're not going to be able to fly well after this...I think the only saving point in this is that your weather wing could probably keep you aloft, but that'll require a lot more magic..."

She gave a sigh and looked over at Red.

"Got anything in your magic bag that keeps burnt feathers in place for now?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   22/12/2013, 1:18 pm

Red shook his head. "No. And frankly? I don't want you to continue in this tournament if you're out of feathers. That leaves your balance off, your bones exposed, and slows you down. I can't stop you from continuing with weather wing unless I feel you risk permanent damage. Right now, because of my lack of understanding surrounding this technique, I'm on the fence on whether or not to sideline you for your own safety."

"Rankings!"

Red turned towards the door and watched one of the schedulers hang up a clipboard. Brimstone trotted over and grabbed the clipboard. "Null! Void! You're up in fifteen minutes against Signal Flare and Whippoorwill. Suit up!"

The earth pony scowled. "Make your decision with your teammate."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   22/12/2013, 2:22 pm

Whip gave a loud growl of frustration as he shoved himself off of the cot and out of the tent, Fas giving a sigh as she sat back on her haunches.

"...His weather wing will probably go out of control if he tries anything. Feathers serve as a nice conduit for the magic, keep the limb from taking damage when weather wing is used, and if he tried anything drastic, he's going to damage the limb. And a pegasus that can't fly? That's only worse."

She ran a talon through her feathers, sighing again.

"I'm not letting him fight...but if he chooses to, then it's his funeral. Right now, I'm just hoping he makes the right decision."

Inferno spoke up from the entrance.

"I've known him long enough in training to know that the only way he won't fight is if Signal tells him not to. If I remember right, Signal was Whip's first friend in the Guard, and somehow, Signal is the only one that Whip will listen to that's not the leader."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   22/12/2013, 2:55 pm

Red frowned. "Then tell him to go talk to Whip."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   22/12/2013, 3:10 pm

Inferno was about to agree when her ears perked, hearing two different voices.

She sighed.

"Looks like Whip decided to go to Signal already...."

The voices got louder, to the point Fas could make out that it was yelling.

She spoke up.

"Doesn't sound like Whippoorwill's that happy..."

In a secondary tent, Whip was livid, his mostly featherless wings outstretched as he looked at Signal incredulously.

"You can't be serious Signal! We've made it this far, why quit?!"

Signal gave a neutral look at the smaller stallion.

"Whip, it's over for us. Anymore hits to my head, and I could suffer some really bad injuries to my brain, and without any feathers, you might as well be an earth pony with extra features. We're through with the tourney because we can't sacrifice more."

He sighed.

"I know we were to go against Null and Void, but they're not going to hold back if we ask nicely. They have a lot riding on the Pairs tournament, and they don't look ready to surrender. It's better that the more healthy and less injured members of House Hurricane go ahead, and we're not in that group."

Whip growled at the stallion.

"Screw that! I'm not going to back down like a lo-"

Signal's features hardened as he slammed a hoof on the ground.

"THIS ISN'T ABOUT YOU WHIPPOORWILL!"

The smaller stallion took a step back, utterly surprised. Signal never raised his voice, not even in training against other troops.

Signal sighed hard as he spoke.

"This isn't about your pride Whip, this is about proving that House Hurricane is more capable than everyone else thinks, and showing that we are willing to have a conscience instead of going into the fray like mindless soldiers means that some will change their views, seeing our Lady as an actual pony, not just another elite that'll throw others in front of her to shield herself."

Whip tried to come up with a rebuttal, but he was drawing a blank.

Signal sighed and started to walk out, speaking.

"I'm not going to wait for you to decide Whip. The next match will start soon, and we don't have the time. I'm going to Lady Lightning and have us forfeit for medical reasons. Hailstone willingly forfeited, and I'm going to show just as much humility."

Signal left the tent, leaving Whip to stew in his thoughts.

Signal Flare entered the tent Red and the others were in, speaking up.

"Whip and I are forfeiting on medical terms. Do you know where Lady Lightning is?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   22/12/2013, 3:42 pm

Red looked up from his bag. "Lightning is talking to Princess Luna, I believe. She is in the tent of the Night Guards."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   22/12/2013, 4:11 pm

Signal nodded as he shuffled his current light armor.

"Thanks. Now to drag Whip along, and explain the situation."

He spun around on his hooves, and walked into the other tent, Whip sitting on his haunches and looking deep in thought.

"Are you ready to come with me to explain? Our Lady is currently with Princess Luna, and we may need a little more proof that we can't continue....please Whip, don't get bent out of shape about this...think about your own safety for once."

Whip didn't say anything, but sighed as he stood, his wings folded up as best they could be as both stallions left the tent, moving quickly across the fields between the arenas before finding the camp being ran by the Night Guard.

Signal quickly spotted the taller form of Princess Luna with their Lady speaking to her.

Both stallions bowed before Signal spoke.

"M'Lady, we are here to announce that we are forfeiting the Pairs tournament on account of medical problems. I'd rather not risk permanent injury to my cranium while Whippoorwill has lost most of his feathers."

Whip shuffled his wings unconsciously, a few of his last standing feathers falling to the ground.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   24/12/2013, 9:58 am

Lightning turned to look at the two. It had taken a lot of magic to repair her feathers - for Whippoorwill, it would be a lot longer. A month, maybe two? Needless to say she didn't envy his position. She gave a long drawn out sigh and looked them both over.

"It takes a lot of bravery to admit your limits. The wisest soldier takes tactical risks - not arrogant ones. They know when to make a tactical retreat if necessary to win later on. I have a lot of respect for you in coming to me. I will pass it on to the tournament organizers. I do expect you to be in your armor and to provide support for your fellow guards. But for now, rest easy." She started to turn towards the Princess, but stopped. "Oh, and Whip? Talk to Mist Negus. There's a cream I've used when I lost my feathers fighting Windigoes. It speeds up the natural process a bit, and it soothes any sore spots."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony V   

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The Lights of Harmony V
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