::Malygos snorted, leaving a puff of black smoke in the air. He spread his wings and took off, heading towards his army. Thul watched him leave, and sighed, gripping his head in his hand.::
Thul: Archim xi ante maz-re mishun te nagas... [That damned fool and his convictions...]
::Thul turned to Sentinel and Aether.::
Thul: My apologies, Commander Sentinel. In light of recent events, the General believes your kind is responsible for all this. The kor'suun, Solokar's death, Vulthyol's health, all of it.
"We partially are, save for that last bit. Though, blaming an entire walk of life because one decided to hoard power is slightly unfair."
Sentinel's ear flicked.
"What's wrong with Vulthyol?"
Thul: shortly after your departure, Elder Lord Vulthyol fell ill. General Malygos and Sahlo, being the only other casters we brought, tried everything they could to help, but to no avail. The General believes the Lord is ill because of the severe drain on his magic, and has been rather vocal about his feelings about these events.
::Thul let out a heavy sigh, accompanied with black smoke.::
Thul: He is not faring well, Commander, and it has the Legionnaires on edge.
"And with Malygos being the way he is, I bet none of our casters were let anywhere near him. Unfortunate. This is a terrible development, but time now is incredibly strained. Aether here is convinced that Steelhide is following through with the final stages of his scheme."
::Thul's pupils narrowed.::
Thul: Then you must make haste, lest he fulfill whatever dark desire it is he strives for.
::Malygos' roar echoed across the mountain, and in moments there was a flurry of wingbeats as every dragon covering the mountain flew to their general.::
"Safe journeys, Thul."
Sentinel and Aether moved on, and reached the Esminet. Thankfully, he was met by an Elite, explaining they were all waiting further instruction inside. The pair navigated the halls, and reached the bridge, where Admiral Roth was going over core readings with a group of higher-ranked officers.
"Admiral Roth, sir."
The group turned and took in the sight. A giant, armored pony with the SGElite insignia engraved into the gold and crimson chest plating, with a flaming chain linking him to another, the prisoner, Aether. The officers were speechless, to say the least. Roth finally broke the silence, and cleared his throat.
"Welcome back, Sentinel. Judging from the Elites and your. . . attire, I assume your business is done in Stalliongrad."
"So, you mind telling me why there's no sun in the sky?"
"Steelhide, sir. He's. . . he's beginning a series of events that must be stopped at all costs. Aether was able to locate him, and we need to act now, or else all of Equestria, and likely the rest of the world, will meet the same fate as Stalliongrad."
You could almost see the chills run down the spines of the officers.
"You have our support, Sentinel."
"Thank you, sir. I'd like to speak to our army, if you don't mind."
Roth stepped aside, and turned on the comm station.
"Calling all Stalliongrad soldiers and Elites. This is Commander Sentinel speaking. Assemble at once to the grounds on the port side of the Esminet for further instruction."
Sentinel clicked off the station, and saw the dozens of status lights blink green across the board for message received. Sentinel made for the door, when Roth spoke.
"Let's kick some ass, Sentinel."
Sentinel smiled, and looked over to Roth.
"Try to keep up, Admiral."
::The Legionnaires backpedaled as the General paced by, filling the space after he had passed only to spread apart as he returned. From the scowl on his face, every dragon knew there were problems, and every one of them knew that when General Malygos was mad, terrible things happened.
The Royal Guard, who positioned themselves closer to the Esminet, couldn't help but watch the Legionnaires cower before their General. It was a familiar scene to many of them, they had acted almost the same way when Steelhide had been in charge, and they felt sorry for the dragons.
Malygos himself was furious. Almost two centuries ago, the ponies butchered his comrades to take the mausoleum of Vita and Nova and to kill or capture Solokar, the greatest caster the Legion ever had. Now, even after the damned treaty had been signed, the ponies had continued their efforts, seized Soleannis, and murdered Solokar. To make it worse, the pony that had attempted it back then was the same pony that succeeded in these recent days, and they had stolen Draconic form and power. The ponies deceived them all, hiding behind lies and honeyed words while they slithered around behind their backs to finish what they had started.
To say he was mad was an understatement, but he liked that. Emotion fueled draconic power, and right now he was livid.
He looked up at the change in sound, and watched the Stalliongrad soldiers start to pour into the clearing and position themselves by the Equestrian Royal Guards. He snarled when he caught the looks of pity on their faces. They had the gall to call on the Legion for help, and now they looked down on us?
Roughly eight hundred dragons were here, counting only his soldiers. The Highscales, the puffed up idiots that they were, wouldn't so much as breath in the ponies' direction without word from an Elder. Did they not see who was responsible for his failing health? Did they forget the oath they swore in blood, to protect the Elder Council from any and all harm?
The Highscales could easily be dealt with if they stood for the wrong side, he was one of the best casters on this side of the world, Sahlo was weak in comparison. The problem was the new arrivals, the Elites, as his scouts overheard from their brief conversations. The Legion had little information on them, something that worried even him. He had learned from Solokar back in the Legionnaire War that knowledge made the difference in any battle, whether it's where the enemy is, or what a single soldier is capable of. It had proven true from this Steelhide. He underestimated that pony, and it cost them so much.
His troops were strong, but too many things were left blank. He wouldn't risk an all-out slaughter when he lacked the information on what he was up against this time. At least, not yet. Lord Vulthyol's health was top priority, and it was what held him back. The Elder Lord would be furious if he found out that their own general ordered the massacre of the ponies.
That was, provided, if the Elder Lord survived.::
In half an hour, every single able-bodied Guard, SG Soldier, Elite, and Dragon had assembled in front of the Esminet, quietly talking and speculating. Sentinel appeared from the ship, and a silence fell upon the army. The unicorn built a mound, and cast two spells. The first, a voice amplifying spell to let his voice carry, and the second, from within his new reserves, a spell that allowed his voice to be heard in the listener's native tongue.
"My fellow ponies, and dragons. A great evil looms over us, ever building its power and influence every minute. The traitor Steelhide, is hiding in the Draconian Captiol as we speak, and is beginning once more the end of days for all of our kind. In less than an hour, we will be mobilizing the single largest joint assault in the history of our kinds. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interest to bring Steelhide down. This isn't a mission to remove him power; this is a mission to save our kinds from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should Steelhide dare oppose us, we will declare in one voice that we will not go quietly into the night. We will not perish without a fight. We're going to live on! We're going to survive!"
The speech was short, but effective. Soon, every pony was stomping their hooves into the ground, sending shockwaves through the ground.
"Onward, comrades, to the Capitol! Today, we end this! Today, we bring the traitor to justice for his crimes!"
::The ground shook from the ponies' praise for their leader, the air thick with their cheers. The scene ground to an immediate halt when a deafening roar drowned out all sound, shaking the mountain itself. The Legionnaires bent low, covering their heads until the roar ended, and all of them looked upon their General, seething with rage.
Malygos stepped forward, past his dragons and through the crowd of guards, each of them scrambling to not be stepped on by the giant dragon. He stopped just short of Sentinel.::
Malygos: Your kind butchered ours centuries ago, they tried to steal our knowledge, our power. I watched my comrades die defending the Legion, only for it to spit on their graves by offering that damned treaty to your rulers. Two centuries have past, and while we honored our side, yours continued their campaign. Solokar lies dead, his body and soul desecrated by a pony that led you against us at Soleannis, a pony that seized it shortly after. The tombs of our greatest heroes was defiled, our kind was defiled, and it was your kind that did it all. Now, our own Elder Lord lies broken, ill and dying from his decision to help you fix the mess your kind started because you lacked to foresight of what your ambitions would bring, and now you DARE tell US that we are to march on our own capital?!
::Malygos turned to his troops.::
Malygos: Ered'nash havik yrthog! Revos ill ok mordanas archim maz Soranaman! Archim xi ante maz-re mishun te nagas! Dalektharu il dask daku. Riftuuz e thara samanar utamus. Elas umanes azarathan rakas ibna. [Return to the Legion, brothers! We have been misled by honeyed words, and now they demand we strike our own capital. Prepare the armies and alert the other generals, the Legion stands for none but itself now! And if any dare march on the Crown, let them know the fury of the Legion entirely!]
::The dragons howled in rage, and took off into the sky, speeding into the horizon while a few remained with Malygos.::
Malygos: Retrieve the Elders, drag them back to the Crown if you must.
Dragon: Ila tuuk moranos? [And their guardians?]
Malygos: Kill them if they resist.
::The dragons nodded, and left for the peak of the mountain. Malygos turned to Sentinel, ignoring the looks from the pony soldiers.::
Malygos: I will not stand for this any longer, pony. Elder Thul is a young fool, blind to what you and your kind wreak, and our Elder Lord is dying because of you. Should you, or any other pony dare set a hoof near the Crown, we will not hesitate. We will kill your armies once Steelhide is dead, and if he has not destroyed your nation by then, the Legion will.
::A tower of fire engulfed Malygos, and when it dissipated, he was gone.::
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