With a metallic sound, the magic cuff around his horn fell down; the hard black metal ring now broken. A huge sigh of relief left the Unicorn’s mouth as he felt for the first time in five months his magic starting to flow normally again. He stood still for some minutes, taking in the sensation of power, before standing up, looking around the cell for his partner.
The zebra mare was looking at him with wide eyes, a slowly growing grin appearing on her features. He grinned back, and in a flash of magic, forced his telekinesis on her own metal ring until…
“Well” He said, clearing his throat, panting a little. “I was thinking this would take longer.”
“Not going to complain.” The Zebra said, rubbing her neck. “You REALLY managed to break that thing just by forcing it too much every day. I was thinking you would die from exhaustion first, Northgate.” She admitted.
“I told you I wouldn’t.” The Unicorn said, stuffing his chest in a smug demonstration of pride. “Now let’s go! He’s not going to be expecting this. We’re out of here, Nielai!”
With a nod, the Zebra trotted to the side while the Unicorn took aim. He looked through the bars and took in the picture of the area OUT of the cell. A magic, deep dark green started to appear around his horn, and then shot forward. In the air, it burst into a circle, opening a portal midair. Both leaped on it, reappearing on the outside of the cell, and started to trot at full speed down the corridor.
“Why the hay are we still here, North?” Nielai complained, the Zebra only barely managing to keep up with the Unicorn.
“We got trapped because we couldn’t get away with that orb we were dispatched to find, of course we’re not leaving without it. It doesn’t matter that our research didn’t say a thing about it being under a dragon.” Northgate said with a deep frown of concentration. “And my memories of the outside are…Kinda hazy. I don’t want to open a portal without a clear picture.”
And with that, Nielai nodded. North was the portal expert, and she wasn’t going to start trying to lecture the guy who could do that like it was his own purpose in life. Both equines trotted through the corridor, and soon, with a curve, found themselves on a much, much bigger cave. The ceiling was so high they could fit the Canterlot Castle in there and it would still have enough space for a Pegasus to stretch its wings on a regular basis.
More than big, though, it was rich. And “rich” in this case meant that the amount of gold coins and, specially, gems was mouth-widening. Piles upon piles of treasure rested everywhere, and everything had a golden light because of it. Northgate slowed down, and Nielai did the same. Unicorn and Zebra got careful, making their way around the piles of treasure. They wanted to find the owner of that fortune, NOT be found by him.
“I don’t like dragons.” Nielai mused, looking around. “Too much greed. It messes around with their magic potential.”
“I agree, but at least we know that every one of those has some kind of treasure.” North said, floating a sapphire closer to take a look at it. “You think we should take some back to Canterlot? The old folks at the research lab love these things. They are probably running up the walls with us being gone for so long, so this might get our flanks out of the fire.”
“Do what you will.” Nielai shrugged. “I only really want to get….Out…Ssh.” The zebra stopped, looking around a pile of rubies. Northgate looked at it as well, and grinned slightly.
They saw the silver-colored dragon that had caused this mess to begin with, curled up and sleeping. It was more like a huge serpent than the massive lizards most dragons were, but neither were in the right mind to take notes on that right now.
“Do your ritual, I’ll go get it and then we’re out of here.” North murmured to Nielai, and the zebra nodded.
“Be safe.” She said, before turning back and trotting back
“You too.” North said, and then slowly started to move towards the dragon. One hoof, two hoof, three hooves.
That dragon had a stinky breath…
Four hooves, five hooves, six hooves. But there it was…Laying just by the side of its head! The small glowing orb that they were looking for. Grining, North stopped and pointed his horn, concentrating as hard as he could. Veeeery slowly, he started to levitate the thing. Out of there…Okay, passing by the dragon’s ugly chin…Sharp teeth….Half closed eyes…
“Huh.” Northgate thought, looking at the half-open eyelid of the dragon, blinking when its pupil moved to stare straight at him. “I guess it IS true that these guys sleep with their eyes half open when they’re suspicious.” And then he cleared his throat when the eye snapped open fully, the pupil narrowing in rage.
“Thanks for the cell and the stay, it was lovely, okay thanks bye!”
Northgate turned back and ran at full speed, throwing coins and jewels all around in a frenzy while the serpentine dragon made the whole cave shake with a roar and lunged in pursuit.
After a sharp turn on the third gold pile, Northgate noticed Nielai running by his side, eyes wide.
“Did you do it?!” The unicorn shouted to get heard above the roars.
“I sure hope so! The runes are made and the enchantment upon the gold!” Nielai shouted back, the forced rhyme thankfully not being heard by North. Rhyming was a magical chant that she never truly mastered.
With a sharp turn, both equines started to turn towards the exit, starting to go faster. The dragon was just behind, and opened his mouth to throw a jet of fire, before blinking. He was seeing the ponies gleam like they were also part of his treasure, made of gold…A instinct to protect what was his kicked in on a primal part of his brain, and the jet of fire was delayed just enough for them to get out of the cave. Finally, free and in the sun.
“Your turn!!” Nielai shouted, still running with the dragon just behind them.
“On it!” North was with his head bowed, horn glowing. A tense moment passed when his speed decreased because of the concentration, and the dragon lunged at the pony, mouth open wide…
And then the portal was complete, and opened on the ground, below both of them. Unicorn and Zebra shouted when they fell through it, but the much bigger dragon just hit his head against the ground, too big to pass through it. It could still stare through it, though, and for a moment he saw the two fugitives, with his prize, safe on the other side. The horned one was staring straight at him. And, with a grin, stuck his tongue out, floating the orb just out of his reach, before the portal closed, sealing the two equine’s greatest escape yet.
“…Good job.” The zebra said, slowly standing up and shaking her head to calm her pounding heart. “Still sharp.”
“Of course I am.” The unicorn said, panting with a smile. He looked at the orb, firm on his magical grasp. It looked like it was just glass, but something was swirling inside of it. Something, he could bet, that he would just love to discover what did.
“That is not going to the canterlot archeological research, is it?” Nielai asked. “This escapade was something that I wouldn’t do for science”
“Nah.” Northgate shrughed. “This is for us. I did get them that neat gem, though” North said, floating it out of his saddlebag. Nielai stared, and he shrughed. “I DID say something for them would be nice not to get in trouble. Now let’s go, we’ll probably be forced to write a report once we get back to Equestria…”
“Why do they have such interest on treasures of dragons?” Nielai said, starting to walk alongside him.
“I think the Element of Magic has a dragon. Gotta learn a bit about it if there’s one close to someone so important. It kicked the flanks of the wonderbolts when it went on a greed growth, I heard…”
Obselescence ses: This one was a pretty fun read. Kinda Hobbit-y, in going on a quest to steal treasure from dragons.
I also dig the ending bit, where the whole quest ties in with Twilight and Spike, as well as the mentions of how greed works on dragons. Kinda puts everything that happened in “Secret of My Excess” perspective.
Anywho, good job! :D