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As the group walked on, they pushed into a shrouded clearing, covered in mist. Soon, they were shrouded in it, limiting their vision to no more than a few meters away. 

 

WHO DARES DEFILE THIS ANCIENT LAND

 

A booming voiced echoed throughout the mist the very ground trembling before it's might. 

 

As if heeding the voice's call, a lone figure emerged from the mist; only his silhouette visible in the conditions.

 

These grounds are under my protection. State your reason for being.

 

 

"Not everypony can get references to our history, Enzo..."

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OOC: https://mlpforums.com/topic/145995-the-expedition                A weak rain was about to fall, as the pegasi needed to follow their schedule, but not ruining the organization of a special even

"...Really?"   "Wait, really? What the hay, it's like, there was a huge commotion in Ponyville about this! It's almost impossible to not get a clue about what I-"   The sound of a thunder echoed t

Iniblia looked at her crew.   "What did you say? I DON'T NEED HELP YOU CRITTERS! I know what I am doing. Just stay back for your sake. So, yeah, guardian kind," she turned back to Enzo, " I don't kn

Cuddle, usually bold, waits for their fearless leader to answer. Wow... Our first encounter with something... I hope it's deadly and dangerous. I wanna try a few artifacts! She thought happily, revealing her emotions with a wide grin.

 

Curious about something, she pondered, It's making mist... Either this creature can control water or there's a lake nearby...

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Hearing the mysterious figure hidden in the fog, Iniblia just stared at it. And thought: "Is this some kind of a joke from another group?" and then sought for detail in the silhouette. "I can't have a clear answer, but he really tried, I must say."

 

And then said, slowly: "Stupid pervert. Just say what do you need. Can't you see we are in serious business right now?"

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As Kasmeer heard voice of this creature, she recalled thet usuly when this happen in books, this question is asked by some kaid of ghost or an evil monster thet was geting ready to atack the heroes moment after they answer the question.

Kasmeer raised her head and smailed, even if she did not like to be in the spot light, she loved to wach monster's suffer. And if this creature was some kaind of monster it would want to atack them, giving her a reson to make it beg for its life.

"Kasmeer, dont do it." Marjory said to Kasmeer,as her small hands toched Kasmeer's face.Marjory then contineued much more quaitly then before "Dont show them thet you enjoy this so much."

Kasmeer quickly shaked her head, and as she done thet smaile from her face desapired. "R-Right." She said to Marjory, and then contineued litle louder so others could hear her "W-We should go back now."

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"Stupid pervert. Just say what do you need. Can't you see we are in serious business right now?"

 

'Serious business? That's so vague. They could be doing a blood sacrifice for all we know' Khris joked.

 

Enzo wasn't sure what he meant by 'pervert'. He hadn't done anything... yet. But still, there was more fun to be had dealing with a paranoid ponies than chasing butterflies all day long. 

 

"It is not me, but you who should do ( most ) the talking." The voice declared with 'authority'

 

 

 

"W-We should go back now."
 

 

'I'm not convinced'

 

"No no no don't go! I mean- *ahemGah, a fly got in my mouth, *cough* *spitting noise* It is my sacred duty to guard this forest against those who wish it harm."

 

A pause. Enzo took a deep breath.

 

"So, I will ask once more: What is your purpose here? If you choose to remain silent, you shall be exiled from the forest with force."

 

 

 

'I love my job. I feel like a frikkin badass!'

 

'You're lucky that there's no competition for it'

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Iniblia stepped forward. Grinned, and stared deep at the still hidden figure.

 

"Well... I'm the captain. Please don't tell me you stopped my planning for this. Nobody commands me. You are not allowed to even ask me half a question about anything, understood? But I think you understood me, I don't think a lady like me would need to get off her heels and use brute force against a non-sense dumb stallion like you..."

 

At that moment, the atmosphere started to get a soft smell of hatred and daring beneath the fog. Her eyes haven't moved a milimeter. Something metallic dropped from her saddlebag, and in a fraction of a second, it went to her hooves.

 

"Are you afraid of pain? Wait, this is a spoon... Where is my knives... Ok, it's here" When she finally found her knifes and armed herself, she looked back to the fogged figure." So... How about a test of skill?"

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 Crap, I didn't expect an actual fight, Enzo mused, backing up slightly. I can't see shit in the mist.

 

Then let my eye guide you. My sight lies outside mere light.

 

Whatever. Actually, that helps.

 

He cleared his throat, and spoke once more in his 'booming' voice.

 

Deterrence over Diplomacy, I see? Sigh... You ponies... I thought you were a race of peace....

 

The runes on Enzo's antlers glowed, and a dozen ethereal blue spears materialised around him. He stomped his hoof, and they went flying towards Iniblia's general direction, 1 by 1. A barrier of wind whipped around the clearing, pushing back Kasmeer and Cuddle. The difference in pressure however, further intensified the density of the mist within the makeshift arena. 

 

When the last spear was thrown, a magical circled appeared in the ground directly beneath Iniblia. A moment later, a fist made of stone punched out of it into the air. 

 

Looks like I was wrong.

 

Enzo settled into a defensive stance, Khris held ready to parry.

 

( Please dodge everything )

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[Hey, you intensified the blinding, thanks for making shit sticky]

 

       Iniblia could feel the moisture of air getting more intense, in a point where vision itself were impossible, and above impossible, drops of water were condensing on her coat, soaking it wet, as well as her eyes. So she realized: The place was heating up.

 

       "Blinding me? That would be an unfair game..."

 

       The air trembled slightly. "I must trust in my hearing", she commented mentally, closing her eyes. She could hear a step, and an extremely fast move. "What?" Iniblia said, moving her head as an object that seemed like a stone almost hit her face. "If our race is hostile, what your race is supposed to be?" she said, turning around. As his feet grinded on the ground and making a notable noise, she could find out his location, rotating her front hooves to throw a deadly rotating knife towards him, before running the most silent she could. "He can't see, neither hear me. I'm invincible."

 

[i'm relying on Khris now, don't frikkin fail]

Edited by Lemon Slices
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Cuddle stood by, landing on all hooves. She made herself look as weak as possible... She didn't want to flaunt yet. But in any case, she dropped her saddle bag, and proceeded to pull out four, really thick, horseshoes... Her favourite artifact.

 

Hopefully she didn't need to use them... She doesn't want to hurt this creature too badly.

 

Focusing on hearing, she heard practically everything, using past knowledge of noises to detect certain movements... Finding it hard to hear through the mist... But she definitely heard the talk.

 

"Come on captain! Take it down! But be careful..." She said, knowing how to play the part.

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"My race? Oh, just a bunch of treehuggers. We don't usually care for anything else. We are guardians of the forest, blah blah blah" he replied, dropping his royal planterlot voice for a more casual tone

With the blade hurtling towards Enzo, Khris whipped into action, deflecting the blade elsewhere in a precise swipe.

'Throwing Knives...She favours ranged weaponry'

Enzo nodded. He flourished Khris around him, the blade suddenly sparking to life with electricity.

"Heck, I'm even considered lenient by our standards. If it were any other guardian, you'd be barred from the forest altogether. And putting up a fight? Heh..."

Bright Lightning dances around Khris's metal surface.

'She's 34 degrees northwest, Go!'

Enzo charged in said direction, Khris ready to deflect incoming projectiles and attack when in range.

"You'd be dead where you stand."

( bright lightning dances around Khris, making him ( and only him ) clearly visible through the mist )

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In a fraction of a second later, a sound of metal objects colliding echoed through the forest. The impact was so intense that a slight expansion of air made itself, blowing a small volume of fog away.

That revealed the face of both competitors, surprising Iniblia and making her step backwards. "What? My plan..." She let some words escape, with a confused look at Enzo. "Well, I expected somepony more... Thin, you know."

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@@Lemon Slices

 

Enzo stepped back as well, still holding Khris in his usual stance.

 

"Not much of a sight yourself." he retorted.

 

The brief exchange and the sudden defog created a brief moment of peace in the battle. Enzo and Khris alike eyed Iniblia carefully. They conversed in the mindscape.

 

You know. Seeing a pony face to face... it's different, compared to just labeling them as 'interlopers'

 

She's more than just another magical signature now.

 

We've been alone together for too long. We have forgotten....

 

The crackling electricity around Khris dissipated and Enzo seemed to lower his guard. Keeping his casual tone, he spoke.

 

"You know what? This fight isn't going to end well for any of us. If I win, I've got 2 more to fight off. If you win, you'll have to deal with the other 'wonderful' creatures this forest has to offer; in your weakened state too, I must add."

 

He sighed. His eyes twinkled.

 

"This is my mercy. We don't have to fight unless you wish the forest harm, and you don't look like the type."

 

 

< Enzo is sparing you >

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'If he kill thet....thing.We will be able to fight more.' Kasmeer thinked. And just by thinking about this got her excited inaf thet ground under her hooves started to freze a little. "Cuddle..." Kasmeer started as she looked at her "...should we help Iniblia?"

"She could start to yell again if we dont do something." Marjory said with her normal voice - little deeper and louder then Kasmeer's voice.

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Iniblia looked at her crew.

 

"What did you say? I DON'T NEED HELP YOU CRITTERS! I know what I am doing. Just stay back for your sake. So, yeah, guardian kind," she turned back to Enzo, " I don't know what could happen if a magical place like this if it just lose its keeper. Hay... I can't even imagine why am I doing this... I mean, ahn, ehn, forget it. So, yeah, guardian kind, I don't know what could happen if a magical place like this if it just lose its keeper. Heck... I can't even imagine why am I doing this... I mean, ahn, ehn, f-forget it. sigh

So... Nah, we're not willing to disturb this place, we're just passing by. If you need any slaughtering, contact me. PS: We ponies are sympathetic, it's just that some kind of us are a bit... volatile, in few words. Just stop taking precipitated conclusions out of a mere exception like me... Fine?"

 

She walked in the opposite direction her compass said, but there was a stubborn idea that just distracted her. She couldn't resist looking back to his eyes and saying: "Exactly how long were you watching us?"

 

[Yeah, battle should have been over already. But the synergy between our characters is quite good, Enzo. I'm satisfacted.]

Edited by Lemon Slices
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Cuddle listened, hearing some creepy whispers, mixed with what seemed like... She couldn't hear what the creature said...

 

"Cuddle... Should we help Inibila?" Kasmeer asked. Getting a quick whispered retort from Majory. But Cuddle didn't hear what the puppet said.

 

"Maybe... Maybe we should... I don't know really." Cuddle said then sighed, looking at the dimming lights from where the battle held place. "Wait, what happened?" Cuddle asked, curious about the loss of the light show. Is it over? A tie? Or defeat? Cuddle got into a fighting stance, and waited for a sign.

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Enzo huffed. "If you didn't want me to jump to that conclusion, you shouldn't have been so aggressive at the start." "But I respect you for making this decision."

 

The runes on his antlers glowed. A wind whipped around the clearing, temporarily lifting the mist.

 

"Come on, let's get out of this mist. Surprise surprise: I didn't summon it." He admitted, motioning the others to follow him.

 

"If you're passing through, I know this forest like the back of my hoof. Compasses don't work in most parts of the forest due to it's aberrant magical fields. I'll help you out of here."

 

He began walking towards a thick wall of thorned vines which seemed to walk the clearing. As he approached it, the vines separated, forming a path through. The stag turned back.

 

"Oh and, technically I wasn't watching you. I just know your location in the forest, like moving dots on a map."

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       Our captain seemed to be irritated about everything. "It doesn't matter. Well, you don't know how is being in a position where you are the one being noticed" She said, before silencing completely. Something had called her attention, however, Iniblia couldn't know where did the... No, what were the actual thing that caught her. It was more of a feeling than a sound.

 

       "Wait. No, better keep it to myself. If we find something, calling the group can be a bad idea. BTW, I can't know where is he taking us... Better ask him."

       "Ahn, ehn, guardian... In which direction are you leading us toward? I mean, there's no problem in just taking us out, but this compass is just lifeless."

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Cuddle listened to the creature, still had no idea what it's name was... And heard Inibila mutter to herself about her position. She also, of course, heard the question. But she had her own to share, "Sorry, who are you? I don't know what you two are talking about. Guardian of the forest?" She asked, not sure if she heard before. "Oh, and what species are you... I'm a little curious..."

 

Cuddle waited for the responses, and quietly listened.

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Kasmeer keepet quait in back, she realy did not want to make wrong move again. Even if she want to help thet mean pony, she just get even more yelled at. 'I should have killed thet thing.' Kasmeer thinked as she looked at a ground 'Maybie then she would be nice.' After she finished thinking she raised her head and looked at thet thing thet have now for what ever reson becomed friendly. 'Is it too late....' gone true her head.

"Dont even think about it." Marjory quickly replayed. After her replay she quickly moved in front of Kassmer face, and with her back she blocked her - Kasmeer was not able too see guardian from Marjory back side now. "Yeh, were are you leading us?" Marjory said little louder so guardian would hear her. She was hopping thet by the time she got an answer Kasmeer thinking of killing thet guardian would desapire.

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"I'm leading you to the exit of the forest!" Enzo answered happily, a little spring in his step. "As for my species, I'm a... stag... I think?" He gave a thoughtful look, putting a hoof to his chin. "Honestly, I'm not sure. One of my ancestors went frisky with a unicorn and now I've got genes from both parties. Call me a 'stagicorn' if you will. ( Con staff at Singapore's Brony convention called him this )" 

 

'Technically, you are still a subspecies of 'stag', so...'

 

The group advanced out of the overgrowth of thorned vines, entering a more sparse terrain. A stream of crystal clear water flowed alongside them. Birds were singing. Flowers were blooming. Streams of sunlight flitted through the pine trees. The atmosphere had shifted to one of peace and calm. Still walking, he turned to ask the group. "Oh, and I'm going to introduce myself again. I'm Enzo, and you guys are..."

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She took a deep breath, and just after a couple of seconds, when a sunbeam bothered her bored eyes, she got surprised by the environment.

 

"Wow. This view is just... Melodic. So, ahm, ehm... Not that you're going to spare any detail of us to anypony". At the same time, a joke went into her mind, and could manifest as a smile, if her mind weren't trained enough: "Not that anyone would believe he just helped three beautiful mares like us to cross a forest". And back to the conversation, "Iniblia. Any abbreviation of my name is a deadly sin, just warning. By the way, tell me: Are you the only guardian here? This area just seem to be pretty huge to only one pony to manage..."

Edited by Lemon Slices
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"Also," Cuddle butted in to ask more questions, "What is that sword? Is it rare? What can it do? I'm interested..." She says, quickly adding, "It's a hobby."

 

A stag? How intriguing... Cuddle thought to herself. Wondering if she has ever seen anything about them in her travels... Apart from the horns and different body structure... He's not too different from a pony. Wait, he said he was mixed unicorn... Weird. Nodding her head slightly, But kinda neat too. That sword though... I thought I've seen a lot. But something strange about that one.

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@@Lemon Slices,

 

Enzo nodded. "The forest's natural predators are usually enough to deter most ponies. Not many outsiders come here, too, besides..." he flashed a smile at Iniblia. "I think there's already more than enough of me to go around."

 

He turned to Cuddle. "Nah, the sword's a boring one. Just something I picked up from the market. Oh, here we are!"

 

( We exit the forest at request of lemon )

 

The group exited the forest at the top of a hill overlooking a grassy valley. It was sunset, twilight shimmering over the horizon. A light breeze cast through the sea of grass. 

 

"Well, this is it. The North exit."

 

He turned around, facing the group. 

 

"Before you guys go, and since I'm probably never going to see you again, I'll just ask my question one. Last . Time"

 

The stag sighed.

 

"What exactly are you ponies doing out here? There is a reason nopony comes here. Nothing of interest lies beyond the horizon. Maybe there's something I'm missing. Never ventured there, though, I would love to."

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"I-I dont think you should know what we were doing here." Kasmeer started, her feeling to kill this thing were desapired as she relaised if she done something like thet, thet mean pony would scream on her onces again. Kasmeer did not whant to tell thet thing what they were doing here, but truth be told she forgot what they have doing at this place in a frst place, Leaders were suppose to avoid places were there followers will be an easy target - like the fog there leader lead em into. 

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"-Wait." Iniblia stopped the conversation.

A small current of wind blew across the green plains, and then disappeared in the other side. The sudden silence opened her mind, helping her to make a wise, calm decision.

 

"We are... In a mission. To be honest,"

 

The winds became stronger, and giant clouds grouped together above them. "I... I can't tell you why I am here. It's-"

 

She looked to the ground, as her words were fighting to stay inside her mouth.

"Grr, it's so hard to try to explain!"

 

Then she looked to her teammates. They seemed to not know about her accidental sudden captainship thing, so just telling a long story was less than the worst decision. "It would be better if I just tell him what I know about them and pretend to be one of these Seeker things." Iniblia thought, with a sigh.

 

And then, when she finally decided what to do and say, the plan autocompleted itself as fast as a blade being drawn, and in an instant, she faced Enzo with penetrating eyes while her mane was absorbing the soft running wind:

 

"I am a Seeker. A Seeker of the Relic."

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