Forever Wind, the first pegasus and the ancient Element of Air
Fiery waves – the ups and downs of Summer Pride
Chapter 5: The rise of the pegasi
“This is outrageous!” my borther Landslide exclaimed with the spark of fury peppering his tone. “Unicornia has existed for meer than a thousand years and I will certainly not allow the kingdom to now break up into two parts!”
It has been two days since we received Forever Wind's disturbing letter about the foundation of the Pegasus Commonwealth. After hearing the news, my siblings immediately came to the kasteel of First Magic to discuss this serious matter.
“How did we end up like this?” Whirling Abyss asked, lowering her head.
There was no answer to that vraag and she knew it, therefore she wasn't expecting one. We just stared at each other in the conference room of the kasteel and could not decide what to do. The silence that was settling on us felt like a heavy mass, slowly crushing our spirits.
“Summer...” Landslide eventually turned to me. “He loves u the best... Will u travel to Whisper Wind and try to talk some sense into our brother?”
“Of course.” I agreed without hesitation. “But I fear my voice alone will not be enough to change his mind.”
“Yes... But we have to try.” Abyss added.
It was downright painful for me to see my beloved siblings like this. They were much meer sensitive and gentle than I was and every ordeal took a tool on their souls. And they weren't young anymore... of course their Elements granted them an extraordinary long life compared to our subjects, but their body could not resist the decay of time. We have fought two wars and I was truly afraid they wouldn't be able to survive a third one. Especially not against our own brother.
So I began my long journey to the fortress in the mountains at the volgende dawn, along with two trustworthy guards. My hart-, hart was full of doubt and anxiety as I made my way to Whisper Wind... all kinds of crazy and sinister afbeeldingen were flashing in my brain and I was very uncertain about the future. As I said, I've been called many things, but irresolute? Never! And I didn't like that feeling. Not one bit. Yet, what I saw in the fortress exceeded my worst fears. First of all, the drawbridge was pulled up. That alone wasn't a good sign in a time of peace. When I reached the walls I saw several pegasus guards, but none seemed to recognize me.
“HALT!” a stern, rough voice called out out all of a sudden. “Who goes there?!”
“It is I, Summer Pride and I've come to speak with my brother!” I replied in the same fashion.
I know my voice sounds soft and warm to u as we speak now, but believe me it can be as sharp and cold as a steely blade if I want to.
“Turn back, unicorn!” the guard said. “You have no business being here!”
My eyes widened and my jaw dropped door this insolent, disrespectful tone and I felt that familiar tingle at the tip of my horn, which was a sign of my anger. But I controlled myself, for I needed to find out what is happening in the fortress.
“I find your lack of politeness disturbing, guardian!” I yelled and pierced my eyes into the stallion's up on the walls. “Perhaps u don't know who I am...”
“We know exactly who u are!”
I could not believe my ears! This pesky little winged pony just interrupted me! My pure royal blood started to boil because of this rude act.
“You are abusing my patience, guardian!!! As the Princess of Central Unicornia, I demand entrance at once!!!”
“You have no authority here, unicorn!” the pegasus declared with an annoying sneer on his face. “I only take orders from King Forever Wind!”
This conversation continued to surprise and bedevil me at every turn and I felt the flames reaching out for my soul as my fury grew with every second.
“So this is what he calls himself now? King?” I snorted. “Blasphemy!”
“You would be wise to toon respect toward the King of the Pegasi!” the guard shouted vigorously.
“And I suggest u to toon respect toward me, for if u do not open the gate immediately, then the Creator is my witness, I will tear it down and teach u some manners!” I countered furiously and my horn flashed with crimson magic aura.
A moment later, I realized with shock that at least two dozen archers were aiming at me at once. I saw the sunlight sparkling on the steely arrowheads that were pointing at me from the battlements, like judgmental fingers. My guards jumped in front of me, ready to give their life for their Princess. u could literary cut the tension in the air as every muscle in my body strained. I quickly came to the conclusion we cannot win this confrontation. We were an easy, open target for the archers and the last thing I wanted was a fight. Suddenly, a tall, bulky figure emerged on the walls and I recognized my brother's features.
“Stop, stop! There's no need for violence, my sons!” Forever Wind exclaimed and his firm voice echoed for some length around the fortress.
“Wind, what is going on here?!” I asked, locking my eyes on him. “I'm your sister and yet these guards are aiming their weapons at me!”
“I'm sorry Summer.” Wind replied. “Turn back, please. I'd hate to order my boys to shoot u down.”
I was speechless... my own brother turned against me... after what we've been through... after he saved my life countless times in the Griffon Wars... and I saved his just as many times. He didn't say anything else, but I heard him order his guards to shoot if we approach the fortress even more.
“This is insane!” I shouted at the top, boven of my lungs, so Wind would hear.
I took a step closer to the giant stone walls, but I recoiled as an arrow pierced the ground a few inches away from my hooves. I must have been quite a sight as I stood there immovably for a very long time. Those guards must have laughed their flanks off because of my expression... Not many ponies can tell they saw that dumb, uncomprehending face of me. The two guards who came with me eventually intervened and dragged me away from the fortress. We turned back. I've been traveling silently for many hours on the sinuous mountain path, replaying the events in my head over and over again. Among the infinite sea of uncertainties and doubts, there was one solid truth: this means war.
But I wanted proof. I've sent the two guards back to the kasteel of First Magic, to meld to Landslide, while I turned toward Whisper Wind once again. I hid in the mountains for several days, waiting for the perfect circumstances. When a massive, thick wolk of fog settled on the fortress, I knew my time has come. The gray haze aided my stealthy infiltration. I climbed up on the walls like a cat, without making any noise. The brand fueled my effort, enhancing my strength, as many times before. The dusk was approaching and the stronghold was silent. Only a few guards were patrolling on the walls and after a few minuten of observation, I knew their pattern, so I could slip through them.
As I was walking through the abandoned parade ground, I've seen all kinds of weapons stacked in order. Bows, arrows, swords, spears, javelins, axes, u name it. But when I've seen a target range, I almost collapsed. The targets were wooden figures... with horns on their foreheads.
“No... this can't be true...” I gasped.
Forever Wind was preparing for a war in the time of peace... he was training his offspring against us... his own flesh and blood. I could not believe this madness. My hart-, hart was unable to accept the truth. I kept telling myself that this is just a terrible nightmare, this can't be real! But it was... and a moment later, I felt the tight grasp of reality around my throat as a firm hoof grabbed me from behind and wrapped his arms around my neck, like an anaconda.
“I was wondering which one of u will come to kill me... I should have known it'll be you!” Forever Wind growled and tightened his grasp.
“Wind... stop...” I coughed as small, fiery circles began to dance in front of my eyes.
“Ssshhh... don't fight it...” he zei on a soothing voice.
Yes, my friend. He was strangling his own sister. But he wasn't a complete monster yet. He couldn't finish what he started. u know, I could only blame myself... I was careless. Of course, the infiltration would have been much easier and effective, if I could just teleport inside... but those spells weren't invented at that time.
So I passed out and came to in a lavishly decorated room hours later. The bed I was lying on was very plushy and comfortable and the covers were made of the softest silk. There was a lot of food on the tafel, tabel and a bottle Witch Blood... my brother knew that was my favoriete red wine... but as I went to the door I realized it was locked and I was a prisoner in spite of the luxurious surroundings. There were no bars on the narrow windows, but when I looked out, I immediately knew why: I was in a room up in the highest tower and below me there was nothing meer than a dark chasm. My thoughts were swirling, chasing each other like hungry dogs, so I focused on the two winged door. No matter what I tried, I was sealed inside. I felt the rage building up inside my soul as my horn began to glow. I released a powerful magic beam, but to no avail... When the smoke cleared out, I've spotted a row of shiny symbols on the wood. They seemed vaguely familiar, I just couldn't remember from when. But they repelled my magic, so it all came back to me.
I told u to keep the griffon warlord Odin in mind, because later it will be important. To be exact, his armor what matters. I saw the same runes on that armor... The ancient carvings that somehow resist magic. My brother used them to keep me in his fortress. Of course, I did not give up that easily, but every form of escape I attempted failed. A few hours later, an armored pegasus stallion entered the room.
“I hope u have everything u need, Summer.” he addressed me with a wide grin.
“Wind? Is that you?” I asked, narrowing my eyes.
I wasn't sure, because he looked... younger. I spotted the same runes on his armor as the ones which guarded the door. My horn charged up with magic once more, but his smirk grew even wider as he clicked his hoof against his helmet.
“Pretty impressive, eh?”
“What are u doing?!” I questioned sternly, moving up to his face. “Let me go at once!”
“I'm afraid I can't do that, my dear sister.” he replied. “You cannot be allowed to interfere with my plans.”
“Plans?” I retorted quickly. “You want to wage war on our land once again!”
“Our home pagina is sick, Summer...” Wind declared. “Unicornia grows weaker and weaker, so it is up to us to save her.”
“What are u talking about?”
“Just look at our kingdom! Landslide's weakness has made her wither.” my brother stated passionately, but I've seen a mad flame dancing in his eyes. “The ulcerous limb must be cut off in order to save the whole body. Unicornia is sick... so very-very sick and we are the cure!”
“Have u lost your mind?” I shouted vigorously.
“I've never been meer clear headed.” he replied.
“Then why do u want to destroy what we've built together?”
“Destroy it?!” he yelled. “I'm doing this for the sake of all of us! Look what we've become! Unicornia was a great nation once, four seas were washing our borders! Now there are griffons, earth ponies and there are rumors of a new race of equines, coming from the Northwest. They say, these creatures can change their appearance at will! I will give back the kingdom we've lost! Everything can be how we want them to be once again!”
“Who are you?” I asked quietly. “You're not the pony I remembered. What happened to you?”
“I thought you'd understand. Our kingdom needs the wings and the combat skills of the pegasi. It is for the greater good! u always see the greater picture, Summer! u should be helping me, why are u against me?”
“I could ask u the same.” I zei as my features turned cold and unforgiving. “You keep your own sister a prisoner and plan to toss the land into the fiery pit of war once more! u cannot possibly hope to get away with this! If u turn against us, u will be crushed!”
“I beg to differ, dear sister.” Wind declared with a sneer. “This will be over quickly. I have the advantage of surprise.”
“Is that so?”
“Most certainly.” he squinted. “I know what u think, but I'm afraid the two guards you've sent back got lost in the mountains forever.”
I have to admit, that surprised me, but I did not give him the satisfaction to see it on my face. I had no idea how he knew about that, but suddenly an inner instinct started to overwhelm me. I stared at my brother, but I wasn't looking at him. I let the brand assume control over my senses as I took a deep inhale. I closed my eyes for a seconde and when I opened them again, I saw it... I knew why he looked younger and where his determination originates from.
“You are packing with devilish forces, Wind.” I stated on a frosty voice. “The stench of heathen magic billows all around you.”
“Very good, Summer!” he smiled and clapped his hooves together. “You were always good at reading ponies, but heathen? No. Everything is a matter of perception. I've always wondered how the griffons were so effective against us. I've spent years studying their ancient magic and as u can see, I am pretty good at it now.”
“You have no idea what you're dealing with.” I countered.
“This conversation is concluded.” Wind declared and turned around. “You'll stay here until I've done what needs to be done.”
“NO, u CAN'T!!!” I roared with great anger and charged at my brother.
But he turned around with a rapid verplaats and grabbed my neck once again. While he was wearing that armor, my magic was useless...
“Do not abuse my hospitality!” he snarled. “You're only alive because I allowed u to. Take that as a sign of love. Don't make me regret my decision!”
He dropped me on the cool stone floor and opened the door.
“Don't try to escape. There are four guards in front of the door at all times.” Wind zei apathetically in the doorway. “If u need anything, just ask them.”
“Brother, wait! u zei u still love me... then as your little sister, I beg you! It's not too late to stop this insanity!”
He stopped for a moment and turned his head to me. I saw the hesitation passing through his face for a glimpse. Actually, that was the last time I saw him. I mean, the brother I knew. He stood there for a moment, biting on his upper lip, then his features toughened and he narrowed his eyes.
“Please, Wind! Don't do this!”
“It's already done...” he zei on a quiet but determined voice.
“WIIND!!!!” I shouted as I was running towards my brother again, but the door was shut before I could reach him.