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Failure(sequel to the one who understands)(trigger warning)
i turned, finding the portal gone, and left my house in the trees, jumping thru them because that was faster than walking. i got back to where i had been, but the monster was gone. fine by me. i landed and followed its trail, relived to see it headed left of the direction the elves were in. i continued on its trail until i reached an encampment of humans. enemys. it was mostly deserted, and the few guards keeping watch had no chance of spotting me. i studied the perimeter. there! an army had been marched thru... headed straight for the elves. the sity closest to my home, in fact. a defensive fort, critical to our defense.
i left, hidden easily in the shadows, to study the trail. it was a massive army, enough to overtake the fort, and with the scuff marks from battering rams and other, unclear things, it would have little trouble taking the castle walls. i peiced it together in my mind. the monster somehow tod them i was assumed dead, and they chose that as the best moment to strike. then they marched in a large enough number to overtake the fort.
there were too many for me to take, and it was too late to warn them. i had failed, and worse, i didnt know what to do. i almost always had something... but no. right now... it was too late. i ran anyways, trying to intercept the army, a stupid, halfbaked plan forming. if i could intercept them i could hold them off long enough to alert the fort before they killed me. no matter that they had the numbers to overtake the fort, no matter that without me they would just win again later, and no matter that i might be too late. i didnt have time for anything else. the tracks were old, but maybe, just maybe, at the speed i was going compared to a large human army... i reached the fort.
i didnt want to look, but since when had what i wanted mattered? i took in the burning fort, its ornate elven walls destroyed, the bodys littering the ground, and the tracks of the army heading past. i calmly walked thru the ruins, ignoring the screams of those still half alive, knowing i couldnt help them. i felt a flicker of pain, deep inside, from the emotional outpouring i just had, but i was back to my focused self. i couldnt let a failure get to me. or emotion. i ran to the stables and collected the fastest horse, apetheticlly riding to a town halfway to the capital to switch out horses. i walked in, heading straight to the stables.
"hey! who are you?" oh, right. i appered to be stealing a horse.
"a ranger. i need to get to the capital now with an urgent message." the stablemaster looked at me uncertainly. i ignored him and gave him the reins to the horse i had, jumping on a horse that he had been saddling for someone. i rode straight to the capatil, not a hint of guilt. this was way more important. i rode to the capital, and upon reaching the main road set up a quick trap. i continued to the capital,leaving the horse outside the castle an ignoring whatever was meant to be done with it, this was to urgent. i ran into the kings throne room, ignoring litrally anyone who tried to stop me. i reached it, out of breath but not caring.
"your majesty. the fort has fallen, i came as soon as i could. a large amount of human troops are heading here, as of today. i didnt take the main road, so i didnt pass them and dont know where they are now."
"dire news. what do you recommend?"
"you have at least 2 weeks until they get here. take that time to gather every availble troop and position them at the capital. i will ride out and do my best tostop them."
"that would be suicide!"
"maybe. with my training, i might be able to take out a hundred, with good conditions, possibly more." by then they would reach the capital, but- "if they stop to try and catch me, i can buy you more time."
"alright, ill meet with my advisors and-"
"no time." some courtiers gasped. if i had time for emotions i would roll my eyes. they cared that i interupted the king, but who cares if i say that the elves are about to fall.
"as you say." i was dismissed. i left, collected a horse, and rode for an hour before i stopped and made a quick camp. the horse was tall, athletic, and white. like celestia... i groaned. no. that would bring emotion.
in the morning, i rose and continued my ride. suddenly, celest- the horse, spooked. no, no, no! i had no control! it ran off the road and into the woods, tripping and throwing me. i watched as a tree came closer and closer, going limp and awaiting the impact. i didnt have tie for a concusion! i felt myself slam into it, but instead of falling, it went black.
i awoke slowly. wha... oh, my goodness... i was covered in leaves, the horse was gone, the trees were in their autumn glory. it had been months... i must have hibernated(elf version of coma). what had happened without me? i jumped up and ran to the nearest town. i stopped dead in my tracks. it had been damaged, and repaired... in a human, compact, industrial way. humans were there. i needed information. i returned to the forest and found a reflective pool, pulling out my dagger. i smoothed my torn ear, watching the blood drip and staring at it. it looked human. i turned, hesitated, and cut the other. i spent an agonizing week waiting for it to heal and entered the city.
"who goes there!" i stared up at a human.
"what do you mean?" i filled my voice with emotion- confusion.
"elf or human?"
"exuse me, but i dont know whats going on." i walked thru the city gates he opened for me(city gates!), to face him, showing my ugly, human ears very clearly.
"what do you mean?"
"why are there humans in the middle of elf terretory?"
"where have you been? we conquered the elves months ago!"
"i was captured by them, we only just got free."
"oh, we didnt hear of that. so you dont know about the conquering?"
"no, sir. will you please explain?"
"well, after the ranger died, we took their fort. then we marched thru, had a small scuffle with a weak group of guards, and took the capitol. we killed the king and nobility, and what elves remain we enslaved."
"the ranger died?"
"well, the elves had some rumors that she was alive and warned the king the day we took the fort, but she hasnt been seen. you dont need to be afraid anymore."
"but what if she is still alive?"
"she was powerful, but shes only one person. if she is we'll kill her, but shes either fled or died, as we havent seen her." i could have made all the diffrence...
"are you certain?"
"why do you care so much?"
"uh, she kidnapped me, and a couple others."
"oh, so shes still alive?" why not try and intimidate them?
"yes. and angry. she could start a revolt."
"indeed..." he knew to much.
"i can show you where she kept me, if you like."
"yes." i headed into the forest, a little ball of magic fyre ready for when we were out of sight.
i walked out of the forest and to my home. they hadnt found it. i sat and thought for ages. i had failed, and this time, i didnt just move on and fix it. this time was to final. tars stung my eyes again, though i hadnt meant to cry ever(again). where did i go now? i had no more purpose. the elves no longer needed me... because i failed. i had made a vow, once. if i was no longer capable of assisting my fellows, and if enemys were all around, i would make sure my secrets would never be uncovered. in other words, i would make sure i was dead. i never thought i would have to make good on it...
i smiled, inside. purpose. i had a purpose again. i walked to a cliff, nearby. the drop would guarentee my death. i didnt pause or bother with regrets. i wiped away my tears, to keep them hidden, and stepped off, calm and focused as i had been since the day i finished training. i waited for a rush of air to whirl past me, but instead, my hands and feet made contact with the ground after a few feet. i was alive? i stared up in surprise, too see a portal.
i looked around. the same odd, round world. i put out my hand to check. yes, a hoof. i looked around, the same garden! it was day, now, but celestia might be here. it could be dangerous. she could be gone. i put up my hood, shadowing my face, and spotted a door to a castle. i walked in, and found myself in a mess of halls. i hid in the shadows anyways and made it to a throne room, in which sat celestia. i stepped into veiw, hoping she would be able to help me somehow, and took off my hood.
"princess celestia. may i speak to you in private?" i wanted to let emotions thru again, but keept hold of my calm mask.
"of course. are you lost again?" i didnt answer, waiting to be someplace without guards who could be spies. she stood and went to the gardens.
"not exaclty. i didnt intend to come here, but my goal was acheved, techniclly."
"to take my secrets from enemys who could get them. i intended to die, but this works too."
"i failed. my kingdom has fallen, and i am to blame." i couldnt help my voice cracking as i said failed.
"when i last went thru the portal, the creature chasing me pressumed me dead. it told enemys, who seized the oppertunity and took a fort, paving the way for the kingdo to fall while i talked with you." i felt bitter, inside. emotions had caused the downfall of elves. tears had.
"i tried to save the kingdom, but after my hor- transportation went awry, i hit my head and woke up months later. while i slept, the elves fell. it is my fault."
"well, its ok. mistakes happen to everyone... oh, right, you wont fall for that."
"i dont know what to do now. i was hoping you would allow me to stay until i figure it out."
"of course!" i waited, expecting her to say 'i know what its like to fail to' or something, but she just waited for me to reply.
"thank you." i waited again, and the hope reached my eyes. she shook her head.
"i dont know what youre going thru, at least not yet, as my kingdom is still standing." she didnt mean to, but she sounded superior.
"i see." she started to say something, then stopped, and just nodded at me.
"come, your room is this way." i followed her to my new room and stared at it uncomfortably. it was large, grand, and conspicous.
"thank you." she nodded and left. i knew she meant to be kind, but it made me feel worse. so beautiful and grand. i didnt deserve it after what had happened. and i no longer had a purpose. i somewhat wished i had just died, but i didnt care one way or the other. purpose...
"can i work for you?"
"yes, the royal guard is always-"
"i dont work that way. i can hide in shadows, shoot arrows, climb, track... well, basiclly ranger skills. i assume horses dont have ranger corps?"
"we dont, sorry."
"thats ok. i already worked alone. youll barelyknow im there, but ill undo all the secret wars before a soul know about them. if you want i can give you reports."
"reports... what if you tried making freinds and reported what you learned?"
"with respect, your majesty, im a warrior. i dont do freinds."
"thats what twilight said, basiclly."
"fine." and thus, i fight horses. as a horse.