Bolt

Time In The Twilight

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To say Bolt was nervous about meeting Twilight today was an understatement, he never acted nervous in front of her but during the time he waited he grew ever more anxious. Turns out he'd won a day out with the princess and there's no way he was going to let that slip through his claws. Bolt was a bad person, he was greedy, arrogant and had just about the biggest ego, to ever grace Equestria, Twilight on the other hand was thoughtful, selfless and always willing to help out. They had their differences but the heart wants what it wants, and they say opposites attract. Suddenly a loud and deafening roar shook the very foundations of Ponyvillee. In the distance approached a vast titan composed of rock and magma, that had no doubt escaped from the depths of Tartarus. Bolt gnashed his teeth together and snorted ember's in excitement stating. "Now this is more my speed, this is going to be one hell of a get to know ya activity!" He looked over his shoulder still waiting for Twilight to arrive, his fears of being blown off fading because Bolt knew the protector of the realm couldn't miss this.

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Twilight was always happy to spend time with the good ponies and otherfolk of Equestria. It was a vast land of love and friendship, where harmony and tranquility were touchstones that everything else moved around. Alas, not every creature under Celestia's sun was equally invested in the ideals of harmony. This was on its own no great sin. Harmony didn't require universal acceptance. All it required was allowance and the ability to disengage your behavior when the time called for it. This as easier said than done for many but as long as the effort was there the result would be clear. Given time, anypony and otherfolk could embrace base harmonic values and truly thrive in Equestria.

Bolt as a dragon who was faster than fast with the arrogance to match. That wasn't unusual for dragons. Their size, long lifespans, and fire breathing were the perfect recipes to produce creatures that saw themselves as above those they dealt with. Their inability to socialize effectively or formulate effective social programs kept them as a very minor nuisance to Equestria at large. Hopefully Ember, who now ran the ship, would help them become better members of the continental community. And today she was with Bit who, for all of the issues he had, was at least excited to be around her and in Equestria. He wasn't a bad sort- just a little rough around the edges.

She trotted over and finally saw Bolt. He looked...nervous wasn't the right word but she would use it anyway. And then a sound cascaded across the sky and town, a burst of flame and anger that rocketed about without any rhyme or reason. Ponies ran and hid, but Bolt looked up to it with a bit of steely hunger in his eyes. Twilight galloped next to him as she looked up at the creature. “That is the...Cherufe! What is it doing outside of its natural habitat? It helps Cerberus keep stock of the prisoners there!”
 

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A cocky grin crawled over Bolt's face as he begun to roll his shoulder then proceeding to crack his claws. "The hell hound will seem like a pleasantry in comparison after I'm done with him." With that the blue dragon speeds off utterly destroying the sound barrier, and trees he rushed past were ripped from their roots by the force of the dragon's take off. The body of the dragon became a blue blur as he circled the village over and over building up momentum, once he felt like he'd built up enough speed he shot off like a bullet towards the flaming monster. Upon impact Bolt rammed his fist into the Cherufe's face, the impact was like getting hit by a fright train traveling 5 times the speed of sound, needless to say the towering titan tumbled over falling on it's backside. Bolt skidded to a stop opening his wings to catch air and and assist with breaking. Not far from Twilight he struck a heroic pose complete with cocky and a victorious expression. "Damn I'm good! You catch that Twi? The flaming pile of puke never saw it com...." However his sentence was cut short with the creature taking advantage of Bolt's premature gloating, it rammed a claw down upon the dragon threatening to crush him. Bolt saw shadow looming over him as he looked up annoyed shouting. "Nobody casts a shadow over my spotlight you got that!?" Upon seeing he was under attack he quickly raised his hands over his head meeting with the monster's massive claw. Bolt dug his fingers into the molten appendage attempting to crush him and pushed upwards with all his might. The Cherufe responded by applying more force causing Bolt to begin buckling under the immense power of the creature. Roaring in defiance he gritted his teeth refusing to acknowledge this creature was more powerful than him, however despite his best effort his legs we're starting to shake about to give way under the great pressure. "Twilight, I wouldn't object to a little help!" He muttered annoyed under his breath as the Cherufe had forced the blue dragon onto his knees by this point, a few more seconds and he would be crushed flat.

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Even before Twilight could tell Bolt everything he needed to know about the enemy they faced here today, her erstwhile ally took to the sky and tried to end it all. Bolt was fast, Twilight saw that with her own eyes. The speed and impact of his strike would have been enough to level most foes. Would have definitely made Tirek grumble about fairness, that was for sure. It sent the Cherufe down, and Bolt returned. He struck a pose and took the proverbial bow, taking his eyes off of the enemy long enough for it to be turned against him. The strength mismatch was clear and evident. Bolt was a fine physical specimen and one of the few in Equestria who could last more than a few seconds underneath the determined attack of the Cherufe. It was impressive work, really, truly.

It was also a futile gesture. She needed to tell him why brute force wouldn't work. For now, he needed help. Twilight bent low and teleported herself next to him, underneath the Cherufe's massive weight. Then she took hold of him in her magic and teleported the both of them away, the Cherufe's hand coming down with a titanic crash on the ground that sent shockwaves. The duo appeared a few hundred feet away, but Twilight was already casting another spell. Above the Cherufe, a giant purple aetheric net weighted down by bright purple balls of energy fell down, entrapping the Cherufe and forcing it down to the ground. The balls fell through the ground, ripping the fabric of reality at the aetheric barrier between the physical and arcane.

With Bolt still in her magical grasp and the Cherufe now touched by it as well, she cast one last spell. Hor horn lit up and a beam shot out- though not at the Cherufe. Instead, a midway point between them became a dark mass of energy, and all three were sucked into it- the Cherufe, at least, roaring angrily as it began tearing off the net. A few moments later and they popped into existence in a void of time and energy. It was impossible to do anything but the simplest of movements and time was slowed, giving Twilight a few important moments to talk to her aide for the day before he started taking off again.

“This spell will only last a few seconds, then we'll pop back into Ponyville. Listen, the Cherufe is a primordial. It cannot be destroyed by any physical damage and it cannot be destroyed with arcane magic. That, and without him, Tartarus will eventually collapse and the real monsters that it helps guard will escape. We don't need to defeat this creature, we need to get it to go back home- and figure out how, and why, it left in the first place,” Twilight said, her voice calm and reasonable. She was dealing with a lot more things like this lately. And when you knew that friendship couldn't solve the immediate problem, well, that left magic. And she was fairly pleased that the creation of a small and temporary pocket dimension had gone so well considering how quickly she had created it!

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As soon as the titanic weight was lifted from his shoulders he breathed a sigh of relief wanting to sit down for a moment, however before he could plant his backside he found himself hovering within Twilight's magical grasp. Waving around trying to hit the ground Bolt growled struggling against her spell, he wanted to attack the beast again and again until either he or it smashed to pieces. The Pink aura keeping him suspended annoyed him greatly as it was one of his greatest weaknesses, Bolt was a speedster thus he needed gravity and ground to run on in order to achieve the velocity he used for his attacks, if he was a strong flyer perhaps he could have returned to the battle but his speed came from his furious feet not his weak wings. The only option left to him was to watch Twilight's impressive display of powerful magic.

Twilight's energy net was a masterful spell in it's own wright capable of holding the molten mountain down but that wasn't what impressed Bolt. The blue dragon's jaw almost hit the floor upon witnessing her second spell. He looked around at the white void that existed outside of space and time his mind blown and now racing a mile a minute. "Did she create a pocket dimension!? Are we floating outside the confides of time and space? Sure I've torn holes in reality while running back and forth through time......but this.....it's impressive. The amount of control and refinement something like this take to muster.................." With that he sat simply staring into her eyes for a good moment. Bolt's didn't care about making friends but he respected power and those who wield it with finesse. It was in that moment Princess Twilight earned not only his affection but his respect as well. Mostly when taking to battle Bolt would look for a weak point if sheer force didn't work, however listening to Twilight's explanation he nodded in agreement. "Twilight this is incredible! I've heard stories of what you can do but to command reality itself!? Look I've never said this to anybody before but...I respect you....You're smart, beautiful and I'm going to be honest I think seeing magic like this would make Starswirl turn in his grave." Bolt cleared his throat as he bit his lower lip. ".........Yeah I assumed they'd send Cerberus, I coulda handled that pushover no problem." He paused for a moment taking a deep breath before dropping the awkward news. "He's looking for me.......Let me make one thing VERY clear, I am not going back to Tartarus! If I ever get my claws on the pony that sent me there I'll.....well that's hardly a topic fit to discuss with a princess. Return me to reality and I'll kill him." His voice was rough and raspy as the seriousness underlined the murderous intent his words held.

 

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What was he trying to do? Impress her? Twilight knew the roster of Tartarus, past and present, very well. After she became a Princess and then engaged in a battle with Tirek it had been a top priority for her. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Bolt was not from Tartarus. Why he would make such a claim was beyond her. Was he trying to play the bad dragon? Some mares might like the bad stallion, the bad colt, the bad seed in the bunch. Twilight wasn't one of them and she also wasn't in the mindset to really play around with the idea. Regardless she didn't really bring up her knowledge of this falsehood to bare. They had more important things to do at the moment and he had just given her a sweet compliment. She'd let the falsehood lay for a few more moments.

The more dire issue was that he wasn't listening to her. The pocket dimension they were in started to break- she had made sure to have it last only a few seconds so s to impart information safely- and slowly, as glass, the black void started to break and resemble Ponyville.Please listen to me, Bolt,” she said, grabbing his face with both of her front hooves and staring into his eyes with hers. “You cannot hurt him physically. Any time actual damage would occur, he gets tougher and stronger. I cannot hurt him magically. Any time he would get hurt, his aetheric protections get stronger. He is immortal and he is invincible and he is important to the safety of Equestria,” she said as the rest of the dimension collapsed. They were now in Ponyville, the pair of them floating in mid-air as the Cherufe rose from the ground it had been writhing on.

“We need to lead him away from Ponyville. Then we need to get him back to Tartarus and we need to know why he left,” she said, letting go of Bolt and drifting away. Her horn lit up and she shot a beam of energy at the creature as she hovered away from Ponyville, trying to draw its attention. “Cherufe! I am Princess Twilight Sparkle and I demand that you return to your post!” She yelled, her voice taking on her own inflection of the Royal Canterlot Voice. She could survive a hit from this thing as an alicorn but that didn't mean she wanted to. And if Bolt kept on trying to engage it in a direct battle, then eventually Bolt might get seriously hurt. She could only hope the hot-headed Dragon would learn before she had to pull out some more dangerous spells.

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Twilight had made it very clear this creature wasn't able to be damaged by conventional means, leaving the two of them at a disadvantage. Watching the pony flaunt her authority Bolt huffed knowing all to well talking only made a fiery anger worse. Taking note of the fact Twilight was trying to draw the creature away he loaned his power to the effort. In a flash he was several hundred yards ahead of the beast offering a roar to taunt the fire devil into putting more distance between itself and the city. With their combined efforts they had managed to lure it away from Ponyville however it didn't seem to respond to Twilight's commands. Whatever had whipped this monster into a stir wasn't going to be resolved through conversation, it may not have been exactly what Bolt stated however it clearly wanted something. The blue reptile reflected on Twilight's words of wisdom before uttering to himself. "The slayer of an immortal! It's got a nice ring to it." Snapping out of his dream of glory he called up to the princess. "Has this thing got a heart? Because if the answer is yes, I've got a trick that just may work." Meanwhile the creature focused it's eye on the alicorn firing a molten beam of energy to meet with her own spell. The beams of pink magic and boiling lava would meet in a struggle of epic proportions. The elemental Titan would gain the upper hand pushing back against the power of alicorn magic with the boiling fury of it's rage.

Bolt's eyes shot wide open seeing his ally was in danger, he looked up to the struggle in the sky cursed his weak wings, his eyes quickly darting around for something he could use as a ramp. Zipping over to a nearby tree he pulled it back the trunk buckling under his draconic strength, grabbing onto the branch the bent tree springs back into it's original shape flinging the dragon skyward. Bolt collided with the beams taking a large brunt of the element fire, seeing as dragons were immune to lava he was unaffected by the monsters attack, however he wasn't immune to magic taking a fair amount of damage from Twilight's half of the struggle. Falling back to earth Bolt slammed into the ground severely wounded. He struggled to keep his eyes open asking once again. "Dose this thing have a heart?" He slowly pushed himself to his feet his glare fixated on the clawed monster before him. "I'm sending you back to hell weather it be as it's guardian or a resident is up to you."

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With their efforts combined the two of them managed to lure the Cherufe outside of Ponyville entirely. That was all well and good as it meant soon Twilight could actually stretch her magical capability beyond those spells she considered safe for use around sentient creatures. She fired beam after beam, doing nothing but angering and distracting the beast. That was fine by her. She was never in any real danger from it, not as long as everything played out according to her carefully designed script. She would anger, distract, and tease this beast all the way back to Tartarus one step at a time if she had to. She could only hope that the hot-bloodedness of her friend wouldn't cause any undue harm. He was asking her a question but as she went to answer a new development took place.

 

A molten jet of lava and fire met her magical beams in mid-air. She briefly considered putting more strength behind her beams but decided against it. Even if she could force it back into him, the result would be minor. And she'd have spent a lot of her energy in a pointless exchange with a creature that was beyond stamina or weariness. The heat drew closer. Twilight was happy that her angle meant that the attack would land in the lake, ensuring that nothing was damaged. After she teleported away at the last second, of course. She was planning her next angle of attack, probably a few teleports and blasts, when the next dramatic event of the battle happened.
 

Bolt came flying out of nowhere, landing directly in the middle of the exchange. It was a smart move since he was immune, at least in theory, from Cherufe's lava based attacks. Of course Cherufe was a magical creature. It could likely smoke Bolt with lava if it was magically charged- which, judging by the damage Bolt took from Twilight, the dragon wasn't immune to. She teleported instantly, appearing to his immediate right the second he crashed and helping him up just as quickly, the dust and dirt on him not even settling by the time she helped him. "I think he might have a heart..." she replied quickly.
 

Then her eyes took on a dark and green aspect, her horn a terrible black fury. She shot a large black ball up at Cherufe, the slow movement belying its utter danger. It hit the creature. Wherever matter existed, the atoms, the base constitutions of reality, it tore them asunder. Cherufe was taken apart at a molecular level everywhere the ball touched. It hit its chest and moved through him as if he were paper. It left a gaping hole from the bottom of the neck to the top of the stomach. Cherufe roared in anger as the parts of it that had been un-made were re-made within moments. Despite being molecularly reduced the creature continued to advance.

 

Twilight's yes returned to normal as she looked at Bolt. "Yeah, it has a heart. Well, had. Now he has again. Had it, lost it, got it back. What's your idea?"

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Watching the ball of energy destabilize parts of the creatures body Bolt smiled flicking Twilight a thumbs up. "What is it they say about great minds?" He said before dropping all fours sizing up his quarry. "I'm going to speed up the vibrations of my body so I can phase right into that thing. If it's too big I'll make it fall from the inside, once I'm in I'll attack the creatures heart. That's when you'll have your chance to think up a plan, not that we'll need it, once I tear through this things core...well game over would be an understatement." With that he spread his feet focusing as lightning shot through his eyes causing his body to begin vibrating rapidly. Soon his entire body became a distorted blur and he shot off into the towering titan. Closing his eyes he jumped at the devil phasing through it's thick hide. Once inside he phased into the heart and slowed down the vibrations of his body until he was solid once more. Then came a pause a swift moment of silence before the storm. Massive streams of fire and lightning we're erupting from the creatures core as if an elemental store was erupting inside, the electricity shot out the gaping neck wound Twilight had made causing the monster to stagger and fall to it's knees, whatever Bolt was doing, it was slowing the monster down. Digging his claws into the beasts heart he donned a cocky grin. "You hear that? I think he wants more....then let's turn up the juice!" Giving a deafening roar that shook the very earth itself a bolt of lighting cast down to the heavens struck the creature causing it's molten heart to beat faster and faster until it gave out and exploded. With the creature's core destroyed Bolt phased out of the monster just as it started to hit the ground. The living volcano fell to the ground clutching it's chest the light draining from it's eyes. It wasn't long however before the elemental started to repair itself, the wounds on the outside started to close and a flicker of fire ignited again in it's cold dead eyes. Bolt looked up to the flying Alicorn and called out. "I hope that brought you enough time to think. Whatever you've got planned Twi do it now!" He said backing up leaving the rest to the princess, if she could pull this off well Bolt was keen to see the results. 

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He moved too fast for her to tell him to stop. She didn't know what he was thinking! She had just used a ball of dark anti-matter to literally de-atomize the creature's entire chest cavity, including its heart. She had physically un-made the heart at a molecular level and with the dark magic had erased it in a metaphysical sense as well. It had never existed and would never exist. Yet it did exist and it had reformed mere moments after he attack, and it hadn't phased the behemoth beyond reason and logic at all. It was beyond pain and beyond destruction, yet Bolt threw himself at the beast all the same. It would have been absolutely heroic if he could have done anything long term to the beast. Instead it was simply incredibly dangerous and pointless. Yet there was nothing she could do to stop him before he threw himself into his task. Too fast. Too direct.

What he did looked really impressive. She couldn't see him in physical space, too quick. Her eyes glowed white and she got a better look at what Bolt was doing. Eventually he made his way out. It looked like he had done serious damage. But she saw something different. She saw what had happened magically. The creature had allowed Bolt inside- well, more correctly, had allowed him to linger. Around him were several lines of tethered aether, invisible to the naked eye. As Bolt flew away and started talking to Twilight, the lines started to ignite. They were-

-Twilight teleported into the lines, her horn lighting up desperately. They glowed in real space a moment before they impacted, Twilight absorbing them into her. Several hundred million bolts of electricity were the first thing she felt throughout her body. Then heat- the core of the sun was a nice low point- inside every atom of her body. Then cold. Cold colder than absolute zero in every single speck of her mind and soul. A raging wind that could tear apart tectonic plates was inside of her on a molecular level, attempting to blow her apart from the inside. It all hit her at once. Time stretched on. The pain felt like it lasted ten thousand years, a singular moment stretched out into infinity.

Memories of friends and family vanished under rolling waves of malign aether. Mind, body, personality, soul, all melted away into a vast crater of nothingness. She never was. She never could be. She never would be.

Luckily the spell she had cast had worked. At the last moment before her complete and total metaphysical annihilation of both mind and body, she was pulled back from absolute annihilation and reversed the aether tracking so they hit Cherufe. It wobbled a little and laughed, its plan almost having worked. It approached, having never been in danger at all.

All of this happened too fast for anypony to see except maybe, in some small way, Bolt. Twilight's eyes continued to be alight, and her voice was very low and gravely as she spoke, hovering next to him. “Bolt...listen to me. Stop trying. To fight it. It cannot. Will not. Be hurt. The more we fight. The more. It learns. And. Gets stronger. I can't cast that spell again, Bolt,” a single tear rolled down her cheek, “I can't. I can't. We must. We must. Get this back. To. To,” she said, the words escaping her as she mechanically underwent the motions. Flying backwards with her back to Tartarus, shooting beams of magic at Cherufe, wordless, mechanically. Hurt beyond pain.

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Bolt's eyes shot wide open as he saw the immense pain and transfiguration Twilight endured; being able to move at the speed of light allowed Bolt's eyes to keep up with every detail of the excruciating pain she was victim to. He saw the purple pony age rapidly only to be reborn, he played witness to her mind being pulled apart and even watched on in horror as her body was subject to the elements. Seeing Twilight cry, seeing what she had endured in his place made the fires of his heart burn brightly. Bolt felt friendship was for the weak however loyalty was a different question. Seeing her act of selfless bravery Twilight's words finally got through as he pulled himself to his feet. He glared at the towering beast digging his claws into the dirt below. "I'm sending you back to hell." He thought to himself before looking skyward and addressing the princess.

"Twi, you've done quite enough for one day; rest and I'll take care of this monster." He opened his big blue eyes finishing her sentence for her looking ahead across the field to the doors of the underworld. "To Tartarus." With that he dashed past the titan rending his claws and craving across it's body, the wound swiftly healed but that wasn't the reason for the attack; the creature was now chasing the dragon across the field of green towards the one place that could contain it. He ran at a brisk pace as he wanted the elemental beast to be able to keep up, looking back he saw the monster on his tail. He ran faster and faster with the looming gates laying just ahead. Kicking things up to light speed Bolt's body vanished and the great stone doors flung open as he prepared them for entry, using his great dragon strength to pry them open in nanoseconds along with his speed. Dialing down the velocity Bolt returned to a much slower running speed and returned to luring the devil into the prepared trap. He dashed deep into the dark hallways of the underworld only for their seemingly immortal foe to follow. The moment both the dragon and the Cherufe were in there the doors began to close of their own accord. Not wanting to become stuck in Tartarus once again he dashed for the exit; shooting out of the great greats like a bat out of hell. He skidded to a stop looking back as they slammed shut behind him locking the horrible monster away where it belonged. Taking a deep breath he exhaled embers before falling onto his back, panting like a worn out dog.

The dragon looked skyward to the princess that held his affection, it was safe to say after a selfless display like that, his innocent crush had turned to deep affection. The realization that he'd be dead if not for Twilight rumbled around in his mind; words failed him and he did not know how to respond. Given some time to think he rolled onto his feet lowered his head long with the entire front half of his body, was he bowing? Bolt had always respected Twilight but this was something totally different; while he'd never stop acting like he was above all other ponies at least one had managed to prove herself to him. Normally a victory like this would call for a mighty roar, however given the fact he couldn't vanquish this foe with might alone, as was the dragon way; he felt ashamed of himself. A part of him wished he was locked in there with the horrid creature so the two could battle until the end of time; after all there was NOTHING! more important to a dragon than his pride.

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It had taken Twilight almost being entirely dematerialized out of existence entirely and blown away from the fabric of time, space, and memory, but Bolt finally got the message. This was not a mission of violence, this was a mission of peace- peace for Equestria, at least. Strength, speed, and power were all null factors. Patience, endurance, and intelligence were the watchwords of victory today. Twilight found herself with little ability to aid Bolt in any specific action as hurt as she was. All she could do was keep distance and shoot significantly weaker magical beams at Cherufe. She could only hope that it would be enough. Of course she continued to do so for a bit, against Bolt's wishes, because a Princess of Equestria should never fall down on the job. Well- maybe that wasn't true all of the time but it was true enough now.

Luckily Bolt took over and used his fantastic powers to lead Cherufe into the dark, deep depths of Tartarus. Celestia had made Tartarus, or found it, she was never quite sure, ages ago. There were things there better left forgotten and guardians best left to their own devices, and the area used as a prison. Those locked in passed the ages in safety and, depending on the spell, with unawareness of the passage of time. It was these former enemies of the state that Cherufe was guarding against, but he was one of many. If Cherufe could get out like Cerberus had gotten out, then what was happening to make the wards so easily broken? She had to find out, but he wasn't capable of it today.

Bolt returned. He had led Cherufe in there and then closed the doors. Once there, Cherufe would quickly become comfortable and resume his normal pattern inside of Tartarus. In due time Bolt was back. Twilight stopped flying, landing heavily on her hooves. She still felt detached and damaged, but time healed all wounds. Or at least most of them. “Good. Excellent. We did it- thank you Bolt!” She said, forcing her enthusiasm. She was tired. Sorry this got in the way of your special day.”

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Looking away from Twilight's gaze still disappointed with himself he spoke while trying to mask his true feelings. "Nah it's fine, today I got to see what you're really made of. Look I'm not sure if the bow already tipped you off but thanks....for what you did back there." His raspy tone currently carried a hint of self loathing due to his inability to kill the monster with sheer force. He looked at the purple pony's frail frame and slid under her raising her onto his back. "Come on, I'll give you a lift home. You've done enough for one day." In under a nanosecond the two appeared at Twilight's castle as if they hadn't even moved at all. The blue dragon knelt down gently placing Twilight back on her hoofs before kicking open the door to the castle, it was a rather brash move but needless to say it was the dragon's way of getting the door for a lady. Normally this would be the part where the flirty dragon tried to ask for a second date or a kiss however his mind was preoccupied with thoughts of absolute power. Looking out over the horizon with his back to Twilight he was lost in thought. Memories of ancient amulets that provided sufficient power boosts crossed his mind before he snapped out of shaking his head.

NO! If he was going to do this he was going to do it the old fashioned way, through effort and hard work. With that thought the dragon once again found his ego along with his respect for Twilight. He leaned against the door frame with a smug grin before placing his hands behind his head. "You and I make a pretty good team. Maybe we could make this a regular thing only replace the monster with dinner and the gates of the underworld with a moonlit stroll? I know it sounds like I'm hitting on you but way I see it is.....you saved my scales today Twilight. I owe it to you to show you a good time; it's kind of a dragon thing. When somebody dose something significant for us we want to repay them and at the moment I'm in your debut. I'm sure that little dude who hangs out with you feels the same way." Dropping onto all fours he looked the princess in the eyes and gestured to her home. "You look tired, you don't have to answer now. Go get some sleep and think about it huh?" 

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Twilight appreciated the ride. She could have done it herself, of course, and teleportation would have been even quicker. But she was thankful all the same. Her body and mind were wearied by the day's experience and the gnawing sense of loss deep within her sat uneasily along her thoughts of success. How would she remember this day? It would be hard to argue as anything less than a painful mystery, one she wanted so desperately to solve yet lacked the capability to do so. Nothing hurt worse than an unanswered mystery clogging up the mind, especially one rife with such dangerous implications for the ponies of Equestria. How could they be safe or breath easy knowing that the chains and safeguards of Tartarus were being broken down in ways that the Princesses didn't yet understand? Cerberus, the Cherufe, and of course Tirek. The bonds of Tartarus were weakened for some reason and she needed to understand it. This would have been an excellent opportunity to do some study on the matter. Alas, that time had passed.

It would have to be solved another day. Another day, not now. For now she had a friend to deal with. Judging by his attempted...smoothness...he wasn't put off much by the day's events. Perturbed by his inability to defeat the creature? No doubt. It was another reason she was happy he didn't spend a otl of time in Tartarus. Had the magic taken hold and his...abilities...weakened considerably, he wouldn't have been able to escape. He'd be stuck with creatures he could never truly damage, in a place of eternal imprisonment. Just another reason why today had turned out as fortunately as it possibly could have considering what had happened. “Well, I'm not so sure about dragon's needing to pay back kindness. Spike is certainly a little behind in that regard,” she managed to smile despite herself, pleased enough with her joke. “Maybe some lunches can be in our future. Not much for moonlit strolls. Moonlight makes excellent reading light!” she said happily. While that was true, she also liked playing into the stereotype as the 'nerd' Princess.

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