What Goes Bump In The Night 6

Nov 19th, 2019
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  1. >Upon entering the inside of the building, Sunset was shocked at just how normal everything seemed. The interior was very rustic. Everything seemed to be made out of pelts and wood. The carpet was an ugly brick color and thread-bare in some places. Above hung a chandelier that seemed to be missing a few light bulbs.
  2. >As Luna stepped into the lobby, she took a deep breath, a smile coming to her face. “My sister is very close. Her and many others, some of which I haven’t smelled in an age. Keep your wits about you.”
  3. >There were a few individuals walking around. Sunset sniffed the air. She could smell other lycan, undead, and scents that made her hair stand on end. She shuffled closer toward Anon, grabbing a fistful of his shirt.
  4. “Don’t go running off,” she told him. “This isn’t the place to be going on adventures.”
  5. >“I’ll be good,” Anon said as he looked around. “This place is kinda dumpy, huh?”
  6. “Shhhh!”
  7. >Sunset could feel eyes settle on their group as they walked through the lobby. Most of the glances were curious, some weren’t. No one attempted to stop them as Rainbow lead them toward a set of large wooden doors.
  8. >“Alright, you guys need to wait here while I go check an’ see if the others woke the lords and ladies,” Rainbow said, reaching for the door. “Give me a sec.”
  9. >She attempted to pull the door open. The thing didn’t even budge. Planting her feet, she pulled harder, gritting her teeth.
  10. >“Ya’ll alright there?” Applejack asked, amusement laced in her tone.
  11. >“I’m… fine… just… stupid door!”
  12. >Rainbow pulled the door until her face was bright red from exertion. The group watched her struggle before Granny, with a click of her tongue, shuffled over. Nudging the girl out of the way, She grabbed the door handle, giving it a yank. The door’s hinges creaked as it was forced open. Granny let out a grunt, leaning into her pull, the door squealed, swinging around so that it hit the wooden wall with a dull thud that echoed throughout the lobby.
  14. >“There ya are, missy. Now get on goin’”
  15. >Rainbow just stood there for a few moments, jaw on the floor, before she collected herself with a shake of her head. “Alright, I’ll get right on that. Thanks!”
  16. >With that, she raced into the darkness of the room, leaving the group alone.
  17. >“They need ta grease this door,” Granny said. “It’s tighter 'an a ducks butt.”
  18. >“It was made that way for a purpose,” Luna said. “To make it a bit more difficult for any mortal that is unfortunate enough to find there way to this place to enter.”
  19. >Applejack grunted. “Can’t break in if’n ya can’t get a door open,” she said.
  20. >“Exactly,” the packmaster said, turning to face the group. “Now, remember, be on your toes. We’ll be dealing with the undead in a few moments, and you know how they are.”
  21. >“Luna, dear sister, you wound me.”
  22. >Sunset found herself swaying as a voice filled her ears. It was unlike anything she had ever heard. Quiet, but as loud as thunder, sly, richer than honey. Each syllable rang with an allure, a dark temptation that made her want nothing more than to get on her knees and worship the speaker
  23. >A hand found its way onto her shoulder. In a drunken haze, she looked up at it, then, with great effort, lifted her head to stare into a pair of glowing red eyes.They were so lovely, so perfect. She could stare into them forever and die happy.
  24. >“Sister, stop your nonsense and release the poor girl,” an exasperated Luna said.
  25. >The eyes filled with amusement, and the spell Sunset was under dissipated. The lycan let out a bark, leaping away. If she hadn’t slammed into Anon, she would have raced out of the building as fast as her legs could take her, but with the giant there she hid herself under his arm, taking comfort in his scent.
  27. >There, standing before the group, was Celestia Von Solare. The Queen of the Black Sun, the Lady of Blood, the City Drinker, The First Vampire. The undead seemed to glow with an unnatural light, her blood red eyes staring at them with a predator’s intensity.
  28. >She was beautiful; stunning even compared to other vampires. Were it not for the fangs, one could have mistaken her for a fallen angel. She was so beautiful, in fact, that Sunset had trouble staring at her face for too long. This was something that Applejack and even Granny seemed to be struggling with as well, as her fellow werewolves were tense, brows furrowed as they looked at her. The only ones who seemed not affected were the packmaster, who was staring at her sister with a look of irritation, and Anon, who had his head cocked to the side.
  29. >“It’s absolutely wonderful seeing you, sister,” Celestia said with a low bow. “How was your travel here? Quiet I hope.”
  30. >“Very quiet,” Luna said. “Thankfully."
  31. >The undead smiled, turning her attention toward Anon. Her fangs flashed as her smiled widened. “Hello there, young man. It’s wonderful to finally meet you,” she said. “I am Celestia Von Solare, Head of the Solare Household.”
  32. >“Nice to meet, you ma’am,” Anon replied.
  33. >Sunset didn’t see the queen move, she didn’t even blink, but even so she found Celestia just a foot away from them. She bared her teeth trying to push Anon backwards. Anon didn’t seem to notice, looking into Celestia’s eyes as she stared back. They kept eye contact for a good minute before, with a snort, the queen looked back at her sister.
  34. >“That is very odd. I can mesmerize even you if I try hard enough, sister, but with him it’s as if I’m staring at a stone.” she said.
  35. >“I won’t recommend trying to bite him either,” Luna said, pointing at her canine. “Your fangs grow back far slower than ours.”
  37. >Beautiful laughter filled the air as the queen chuckled, hand covering her mouth. She looked back at the giant, offering him a hand. He looked down at it, then up at the vampire.
  38. >“Thanks for not trying to bite or hit me or anything weird like that,” he said, taking her hand.
  39. >Celestia laughed again. “Please, we vampires are a bit more civilized than that,” she said, smirking at her sister. “I try to make sure my brood are nothing less than gentlemen and women. I myself try to lead by example, especially where manners are concerned.”
  40. >In two steps, she was side-by-side with Anon and Sunset. Hooking his arm through hers--just as Rarity had, Sunset noticed--she patted his forearm.
  41. >“Now why don’t I show you around while my little sister mingles? She no doubt has to speak with the other lycan here. Isn’t that right, Luna?”
  42. >“It is,” Luna said with a nod.
  43. >“Then I have your leave to take this young man around?”
  44. >“You may, though I insist that Sunset go along with the two of you. Do bring them back as you found them before we all convene.”
  45. >Celestia bowed low, her hair nearly touching the floor. Anon looked over at Sunset, who would have stepped away from the vampire had not Applejack nudged her forward with a foot.
  46. >“Excellent! If you both would follow me. My little Rarity has told me a bit about you, Anonymous. She seemed to have a very high opinion of you. That’s rather rare, as she is somewhat critical of people that she first meets. A bad trait to have, I know, but you know what they say: anything can be trained out of a creature with enough centuries. That reminds me of a story…”
  48. >As it turned out, the queen--or Countess as she insisted on being called--wasn’t quite as terrifying as the numerous tales about her stated. There was an ancient, unsettling air about her, and if Sunset didn’t focus she found her willpower slipping just from the vampire’s voice alone, but there was something almost motherly about her. She doted openly on both of them, along with any vampire they walked past, asking questions and urging them to go to the kitchens “to get something sweet to eat”. She also seemed to know the names of everyone she came across, be it vampire or not, and she went out of her way to greet and speak with them. Her demeanor was downright sunny, which was more unnerving than the fact that she could kill Sunset with a flash of fang.
  49. >The vampire lead them both through the twists and turns of seemingly endless hallways. There, Sunset saw all manner of things. Humans in white robes walking around, vampires in all types of clothing, her fellow lycan, strange, long-limbed creatures with no mouths, creatures that seemed to shift and change and whose appearance she forgot as soon as she looked away. The lycan stick close to Anon, not quite worried, but wishing that Luna, or at least Applejack, would have come with them.
  50. >Anon, as usual, was oblivious to the very real danger that the two were in. He listened to the vampire as she spoke, answering questions when she asked them. By the time Celestia ushered them into a kitchen, Sunset felt drained, wanting nothing more than to lay down and fall asleep.
  51. >“Now what would you both like?” Celestia asked. “We don’t have much time, but I’m sure the kitchen could make you a little snake before our important business.”
  52. >“I could go for a sandwich,” Anon said, taking a seat at a stool which groaned under his weight.
  54. >Sunset looked around. There were no cooks; in fact, there wasn’t a single soul in the kitchen besides them. Did the Countess want them to cook food for themselves? Because with Anon that would endanger the entire building.
  55. >She opened her mouth to say such when a jingle filled her ears. Blinking, she turned toward one of the kitchen’s counters, where something had caught her eye. There as two sandwiches, one massive and one much more manageable. Upon closer inspection, the smaller sandwich was roastbeef, her favorite.
  56. >“Huh, will you look at that, Sunset,” Anon said, grabbing the big sandwich and inspecting it. “I got grilled chicken. Neat!”
  57. >There was a slurp, and looking over Sunset saw that Celestia was holding a milkshake, complete with a mountain of whipped cream with a cherry on top. Sniffing the air, she could smell the blood in it. Celestia seemed not to notice her unease as she sipped on a white and red striped straw.
  58. >“Interesting, isn’t it?” the vampire said, licking her lips. “We could never figure out why this happens, but it does save hiring kitchen staff. The table is usually filled with different foods, but it seems this is all that can me made while our large friend is here. Curious.”
  59. >Anon picked up his sandwich, and proceed to tear into it.
  60. “It’s… something alright,” Sunset said, making sure to keep an eye on the vampire as she made her way toward the kitchen counter.
  61. >She picked up her sandwich, giving it a cautious sniff, then took a bite. It was delicious; so good in fact that she didn’t realize she had finished it until she was licking the crumbs from her fingers.
  62. >“There you are, buster brown!”
  63. >“P-Pinkie, I don’t thin--”
  65. >“I gotta bone to pick with you!”
  66. >Both Sunset and Anon froze, looking toward the entrance of the kitchen. There stood two girls, both wearing tall, pointy hats and robes. One was that pink-haired girl that had helped them in town the other day, the other was another girl Sunset didn’t recognize. Her face was partially hidden behind a book, just a single blue eye peering at them.
  67. >Anon was able to collect himself before Sunset, taking another bite out of his sandwich. “Hiya,” he said through a mouthful of bread.
  68. >“Don’t you hiya [i]me[/i], mister stranger man,” the witch said, pointing a finger at him. “You broke my broom!”
  69. >The giant chewed his food slowly. Not breaking eye contact with Pinkie, he swallowed. “Broke your broom?”
  70. >“Yeah! Do you know how hard it is to make a broom?” the witch asked, hopping into the counter.
  71. >“I--”
  72. >“Really, really hard, that’s how hard! I might be really good at making them, but that doesn’t matter! You’re lucky I wasn’t using my granny’s broom, or I’d be really peeved!”
  73. >“And I broke it?” Anon asked.
  74. >“Well… yeah! At least I think you did!” Pinkie said with a huff. “It was working fine until I helped you guys, then it wouldn’t fly anymore. Now I gotta do through all the work to get it flying again.”
  75. >An ice cream cone appeared in the girl’s hand, with a cone the size of a soda can and more than ten scoops high of various flavors. Sunset watched as the witch’s jaw seemed to unhinge, and three of the scoops disappeared into her mouth.
  76. >“I’m sorry if I actually did break it,” Anon said, sounding genuinely sorry. “I didn’t mean to.”
  77. >The witch blew a lock of curly pink hair out of her face. “You better not have,” she said, poking his shoulder. “So... did you like the cupcake?”
  78. >“I did. Thank you for it,” the giant replied with a nod. “Thanks for helping out the other day too. Both me and Sunset appreciated it.”
  80. >Pinkie looked over at a perturbed Sunset, flashing the lycan a smile. “A Pie is always happy to help a lord in need,” she said, leaping up onto the counter. Taking off her hat, she placed it against her chest. “I’m Pinkie by the way: Party Planner Extraordinaire and witch-in-training. It’s nice to meet the two of you!”
  81. >“It’s nice to meet you too, Pinkie,” Anon began. “I’m--”
  82. >“Anon. Yep, we all know,” Pinkie interrupted.
  83. >She stood back to her full height. With a look of concentration, she leapt off the counter, head nearly touching the ceiling ten feet up in the air. As she fell, her robe puffed out around her, making her decent noticeably slower. When her feet touched the ground she placed her hat back into her head, turning around to stare at Anon. Ice cream still in hand--perfectly intact after the jump--she dragged her tongue up its length, humming.
  84. >“Everyone here knows about you, you silly billy, but hiya anyway. The girl with the book over there is Fluttershy. She’s the Sorceress Supreme’s assistant. Say hi, Flutters!”
  85. >The girl near the kitchen’s entrance let out a squeak, trying to hide behind her giant book. “U-Um, hello.”
  86. >“Hi, Fluttershy. It’s nice to meet you,” Anon said with a wave, before nudging Sunset. “Say hi too, Sunset.”
  87. Giving him a dirty look, Sunset gave them a small wave as well. “Hello. Thanks for the other day. I guess.”
  88. >A chuckle filled the air. Everyone turned toward Celestia, who looked like she was filled to the brim with joy. “Oh, I do enjoy watching introductions,” she said. “One can always tell if they turn into something more, and I feel like this is the start of something very special for you all.”
  89. >“Ya think so?” Pinkie asked, swallowing three more scoops of ice cream.
  90. >Celestia nodded, smiling from ear to ear. “I know so.”
  91. >A ring suddenly filled the air. It was a light, airy sound that seemed to seep right into the bones; another magical quirk of this place, if Sunset had to guess. Everyone but Anon looked around.
  93. >“Well, it appears that we’re being summoned,” Celestia said, placing her now empty glass onto the counter. “Come, I’ll lead the four of you into the inner chamber. Quickly now, and don’t fall behind. If you’re unfortunate enough to get lost in here you might not be found.”
  94. >The vampire lead them out of the kitchen, in what seemed like the direction that they had come from, though the outlay was completely different. Again, Sunset saw strange, otherworldly things, both objects and creatures alike. This time, different scents filled the air, some pleasant, like flowers and the smell of cooked pumpkins, while others reeked of hot garbage and rotting flesh. Sunset kept quiet, keenly looking out for anything harmful or dangerous, staying close to Anon’s side as they were led toward a pair of doors.
  95. >They were a darker shade of wood, with worn iron studs spaced throughout them. On either side of the door were braziers lit with smokeless green flames. These flames cast an eerie light in the hallway. In this light, Sunset’s shadow seemed to be moving as if it were alive. Anon had no shadow, nor did Celestia, who looked behind him.
  96. >“Ah, it seems like our magical friends took their leave along the way,” she said.
  97. >Looking over her shoulder, Sunset saw that both witches were indeed nowhere to be seen.
  98. >“Huh. I didn’t even notice they left,” Anon said.
  99. >“Yes, well, magical folk are quite good at that sort of thing,” Celestia said, walking right up to the doors and knocking on both twice. “I feel like it’s a little rude, but they don’t seem to desire my input on the matter. Sunset? Would you be a dear and stand next to me?”
  100. The request caused Sunset to move closer to Anon. “Why?”
  101. >“You and I will be seated. Anon will be standing so that he might be inspected by everyone present. Now come along. He’ll be fine.”
  103. >Celestia beckoned her with a finger. Sunset frowned, pressing her side against Anon’s. She would have refused the request, if the giant didn’t give her a nudge.
  104. >“Get going, Sunny,” he said. “I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about anything.”
  105. “But I--” Sunset took a deep breath. “Okay. Alright.”
  106. >Helped along by another nudge from Anon, Sunset made her way over toward the vampire.
  107. >“Are you ready, my dear?” Celestia asked.
  108. Sunset grunted. “Sure.”
  109. >“Then take a step toward the door, please.”
  110. “...Toward the closed door?”
  111. >“Yes.”
  112. >Taking a deep breath, Sunset did as she was told, taking a single step toward the door. When she placed her foot back into the floor, she was no longer in the hallway, being bathed in green light. She was now in a massive well-lit room. Symbols and plagues covered the walls. The ceiling depicted battles, etched in what looked like beaten gold.
  113. >“There ya are. Take a seat.”
  114. >Sunset spun around to see Applejack seated in a regular looking chair. The farmer had a weed in her mouth, her arms crossed her chest as she chewed on it. Next her was Granny, and next to Granny were lycan that Sunset had only heard stories of.
  115. >There was Spitfire Sharpfang, the famous leader of the easter packs that single-handedly put down a massive zombie plague. Raven Gloweye sat next to her, a werewolf that had gone into Tartarus and lived. Most famous of them all might have been Cheerilee Thickcoat, the Queen-That-Could-Have-Been. Had Luna not returned she would have taken control of all lycan on the continent, perhaps all in the world through might and fang alone.
  116. >“Will ya quit gawkin’ an’ sit down, girlie?” Granny snapped. “They’re gonna start soon.”
  117. “Right, sorry,” Sunset said, taking a seat next to Applejack. “Where’s Luna?”
  118. >Applejack pointed toward the center of the room. There, seated at black marble stand was the packmaster and her sister. There was a third seat, though it seemed empty.
  120. >“Silence,” Luna commanded. “The cause of this gathering is here.”
  121. >The room immediately went silent, all turning toward a space near an empty section of the wall. The room didn’t seem to have any doors, or windows for that matter, but as Sunset blinked one appeared. It opened with any prompt or sound, revealing a very confused-looking Anon.
  122. >“Anonymous the human. Please step toward the stand,” Celestia said, gesturing toward a podium that had appeared right near stand.
  123. >Anon looked around, brow furrowed as he stepped into the room. The door seemed to flicker as he stepped through it, disappearing when he was half-way toward the podium. Stopping in front of it, he cleared his throat.
  124. >“Um… hello. Your… honors?”
  125. >Both sisters smiled.
  126. >“No one here is judging you today, Anonymous,” Celestia said. “Today myself, my sister, and my niece Cadence will simply be speaking with you.”
  127. >Across the room, far away from the stand, so far that it was close to one of the walls, was another smaller stand. Sitting at it was a pink haired witch. She was close to Luna’s height, her witch's garb far nicer than what Pinkie and Fluttershy had been wearing.
  128. >“Hi Anon!” the witch yelled, waving both hands. “It’s very nice to finally meet you!”
  129. >“Hello to you too, strange lady,” Anon said, waving back. He then turned toward the sisters. “Can I ask why she’s all the way over there?”
  130. >“Because you might make me explode if I get too close!” Cadence said, matter-of-factly.
  131. >“My niece is the leader of all the witch covens. A master of all the magical arts; so powerful that she’s literally magic incarnate,” Luna said. “Which is why she was named Sorceress Supreme many, many moons ago. Because of her attunement with magic we were concerned that your presence might be harmful to her.”
  132. >“Better safe than sorry!” Cadence called. “My husband would be really mad at me if I blew up!”
  133. >In the stands, a man with blue hair and no hat facepalmed.
  135. >“Yes well, Anon, I know you’ve had some questions. Today we’re going to explain many things, as well as give you a cautionary word of warning,” Luna said. “Not a threat, you seem like a good man, but a warning.”
  136. >Anon nodded, looking somewhat confused. “Alright.”
  137. >Celestia cleared her throat. “Many years ago, before my sisters… return, our niece had a vision. A giant would come to this world. The vision said nothing of what they would do, only that they were not of this world. I didn’t think it was worth much note at the time, though I made preparations, as the Sorceress Supreme has never been incorrect in her visions, and those that come to this world through the portal, as you did, have been less than friendly.”
  138. >“We know what world you come from, Anon,” Luna added. “We know that you weren’t originally from there either, as you are a magical anathema, something which cannot be born in that world.”
  139. >“That’s what I was told back there,” Anon said. “It didn’t seem like that much of a big deal there though, just magic didn’t seem to work on me that well.”
  140. >“That’s the crazy part!” Cadence yelled. “The world through the mirror is stuffed with magic. Every pebble, every molecule, every creature is magical; all of them absorb it like a sponge. But not you. You are a black hole for magic!”
  141. >“...A what?”
  142. >“A black hole, silly!” Cadence said hoping in place. “A really, really small black hole, but still a black hole. Magic worked on you on the other side of the portal because there was so much of it, and even then it was harder to use simple spells on you than it should have been . I bet the spells sometimes didn’t do what they were supposed to either, right? It’s because what isn’t absorbed act differently because you change and warp the very laws of magic just by existing!”
  143. >Anon said nothing. His brow simply furrowed in thought.
  145. >“You’ve seen it while you’ve been here,” Celestia said. “Though we are nowhere near as magical as those on the other side of the mirror, we still have magic in us. It runs through our very veins, allowing us to do what we do.”
  146. “You shattered my teeth,” Luna said. “My sister’s voice and gaze do nothing to you. I presume that you didn’t see the will-o-wisp or hear the bell summoning you here, correct?”
  147. >“I didn’t see or hear a bell or anything like that,” Anon replied, looking around the room. “What, does this mean that I’m dangerous or something? Am I sucking up all the world’s magic?”
  148. >“Nope!” Cadence said. “You do absorb magic, but not enough to be seriously damaging. Probably.”
  149. >“...Then how am I a black hole? Isn’t sucking what they do?”
  150. >“Hah, dirty. You’re not EXACTLY like a black hole, that’s kinda the closest thing we can compare you to, since you do absorb magic and you mess around with the natural laws of the universe. You could be doing a whole lot more but we don’t know yet. It really is fascinating and--”
  151. >Celestia cleared her throat. “Anyway. Over the last few weeks you’ve seen how different you are to us. Size, strength, durability; you would not be a foe to take lightly. In fact, I don’t doubt that you could be very bothersome to any faction that wanted to get rid of you.”
  152. >“Which is why we’re here to give you a warning, Anonymous,” Luna said, leaning forward. “If you were set on doing this world any harm, my sister, my niece, and myself will unleash everything we have to stop you.”
  153. >“All the witches covens, every werewolf clan, all of my vampires; all of us will do our best to destroy you,” Celestia said. “We might not be able to hurt you, but there are still things we CAN do. Strong as you are, you are slow enough for us to steal food and drink right out of your hands, and I’m sure not even you would be able to survive if a mountain was dropped onto your head.”
  155. >“Not that we’d do any of that if we didn’t really, really, realllly need to,” Cadence said. “We’re really hoping that you’ll be really nice and won’t try to destroy the planet. That’s why auntie Luna brought you into her clan, right auntie?”
  156. One could have heard a pin drop in that massive room. Celestia, lips drawing back into a snarl, looked over at her sister. Her expression could have peeled flesh.
  157. >“What did you do, sister mine?”
  158. Luna stared back at her sister diplomatically. “I’ve made Anonymous an honorary member of my own clan. As far as I’m concerned, he is of my blood, and under my protection.
  159. >That was when the screaming started.
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