A/N: well, this is one of the last chapters, for this part, hope you all enjoy.
The Gathering Storm: chapter 14: the return home
It had been a day, since Twilight and her friends, had reached the shrine of laughter, surprisingly though Pinkie, had returned later that same day, much to their surprise, Silver had let them rest for the day, but they needed to start traveling again the next day, the new destination, was the shrine of generosity, hidden underneath PonyVille.
Silver was asleep in his tent, he had a rough night, he was up very late planning their next move, and the fact that he was still haunted by the memories of his wife, didn't help him.
Silver opened his eyes slowly, he let his eyes adjust to the brightness, of the early morning sun, as it shined through the tent, he slowly got up, and looked around, and he turned to his side, but saw nopony beside him, the other side of the bed was vacant.
He sighed sadly and got out of bed, he slowly walked over to his desk, he looked up at the mirror, and saw his messy mane, he chuckled lightly, as he brought his hoof up, and brushed it along his mane, straightening it out, and after it looked like it normally did, he smiled and walked out of the tent.
He saw that most ponies still weren't awake, as was usual, so he decided to make his rounds around camp, which was more lonely than usual, because he almost always did it with Sapphire.
As he walked toward the center of camp, he saw his son, coming out of his tent, and making his way to the center as well, so he decided to join him.
As Comet took a seat at the table, one of the guards arrived with a plate of food, and placed it in front of him, and comet started to eat, Silver smiled and walked up to him, "good morning Comet" he said, unfortunately Comet didn't expect this, he jumped up and turned around, his hoof on his chest, clearly he wasn't expecting that, but Silver couldn't help but smile.
"Whoa…oh good morning dad, don't do that" he said, as he calmed down, Silver laughed as he took a seat with his son, and just like usual another guard appeared with a plate of food, ad placed it in front of him.
He took a few bites, and turned to his son, he watched as he levitated a glass, up to his lips, "so Comet, I heard you spent some time with, Miss Meadow Dawn" he said, Comet nearly spit out the liquid, but he stopped himself, and swallowed it, at first he tried to deny it, "uh…I don't understand what you mean, dad" he said trying to sound confident, but Silver saw right through him.
Comet smiled nervously, and turned back to his food, Silver just chuckled, "Comet, it's okay, I'm not mad, I know you like her, I don't have a problem with that, she a nice mare, but if you want my advice, I suggest you make a move and fast" he said with smile, again Comet nearly choked again, but he turned to his dad, with a nervous laugh.
"What makes you think that I like her" he said, rubbing the back of his head, Silver just smiled, "come on son, I've seen the way you look at her" he said, Comet smiled nervously, "is it that obvious?" he said, Silver just nodded his head.
Silver then looked behind and saw Meadow Dawn herself, walking up to the table, he leaned in closer to his son, "there she is now, go on, sit with her" he said, with a confident smile, Comet turned around, and saw her, he smiled and looked back at his dad, he smiled, "thanks dad" he said before he used his magic to pick up his plate, he then walked over to her.
Silver smiled, as he watched them talk, although he couldn't hear them, he had a pretty good idea, he watched as they sat down together, and began talking, it reminded him so much, about how he was like at a younger age, with Sapphire, he wanted nothing more than for his son and daughter to be happy.
As he watched them talk, he didn't notice Twilight and Flame, walking up to the table behind him, "you know, they make a really cute couple" he heard a familiar lavender unicorn say, he smiled and turned around, "yeah, he reminds me so much of Sapphire and I, when we were younger" he said, as he turned back and took another bite of his meal.
Twilight and Flame smiled as they took a seat next to him, Twilight put a hoof on his shoulder, "I'm sure, Sapphire would be proud of him…and you" she said with a sincere voice, he looked at her and smiled.
Over time all the other began to wake up, and come to eat their breakfast, so the all sat their talking amongst themselves, "so Flame, I never got the chance to ask, but how long have you and Twilight been married?" Dark Star asked from across the table, Flame smiled and looked at Twilight, who only smiled back, he chuckled and turned back to his friend.
"Well, we've been married about three months now, I believe" he said, Twilight nodded and nuzzled him, "I'm still jealous of you two" Shining Armor said, with a jealous look in his eyes, Flame simply laughed, and Cadence over at him, "what are you talking about, your wedding was a national event, ours wasn't anything special" he said, Shining Armor sighed.
"yeah, but we had to stop an entire invasion, before we got married" he said, with an irritated tone, causing everpony to laugh, even Cadence, who nuzzled up against her husband, Flame looked over at Silver, "what about you Silver, was your wedding crazy, in any way?" he asked, Silver smiled, "well you could say that, being the Grand Master and all, they treated it like a royal wedding" he said, again causing everpony around the table to laugh.
Then Sky Breeze spoke up, "if you thought that was crazy, you should have been there for your fathers wedding Silver, I was his best stallion, and I remember, that he forgot where he put the ring, now that was a crazy wedding" he said laughing, a shocked look on Silver's face, but he soon started laughing, with the others.
Soon after everpony finished eating, they all went their separate ways, and began to pack up camp, as everything was packed up, Twilight and Flame had decided to go and ask Silver where they were headed.
They found him supervising the loading, so they walked up to him, "hey Silver, where exactly are we going again?" Flame asked, as they walked up behind him, he sighed, and turned to face them, "like I said before, the final shrine is located beneath PonyVille, or as I should say what's left of it, remember PonyVille was attacked, our first priority will be to find any survivors" he said, Twilight and Flame exchanged worried glances.
"Come, the ship is almost ready for departure, we need to leave as soon as possible" he said as he made his way to the ramp, which led into the large ship.
As the door opened, they all walked in, and saw the other ponies sitting at their stations, preparing the ship for launch, Silver walked up to where the captain was standing, "how is everything going, captain?" Silver asked, the captain turned to him with a smile, "the ship is ready for launch, on your command sir" he said, Silver turned to him, "give the order" he said, the captain nodded, and walked over to the intercom.
Silver turned back to the others, "it's about a day's journey, I suggest you rest up as much as you can" he said, before he turned back and walked up next to the captain, suddenly the ship began to shake, they all knew that they were rising into the air, they all looked at each other, they turned around and headed below deck, to rest up.
(The next day…)
After getting good night sleep, all the other were waken up, by the guards, telling them to get to the main flight deck.
When they arrived, they all saw Silver with a sad expression on his face, they were all about to ask what was wrong, but before they did, he motioned for them to, go to the window, they all walked over to it, what they saw, shocked them all beyond belief.
In front of them lay the once peaceful town of PonyVille, only now it was nothing but a ruin, they saw buildings destroyed, the streets completely abandoned, no sign of life anywhere, but the strangest part, was that they saw no bodies anywhere, almost as if they had been cleaned up.
They all looked out in the distance, and saw Sweet Apple Acres, no longer filled with apple trees, it was now nothing but a barren waste land, and Twilight felt tears spill down her cheeks as she looked at the devastation before her, but she felt something she never thought she would feel.
Hate, she hated Shadow Blaze, for what he had done, killing some many innocent ponies, now she wanted to stop him more than ever, put an end to his cruelty.
"captain, land us right outside the town" Silver aid pointing to a specific spot, and so the captain gave the orders, and soon after they all landed, Silver decided to send out a search party, led by himself, he took all of Twilight's friends and a hoofull of guards with him.
After they had all exited the ship, and gather outside, Silver turned to all of them, "okay, everpony stay close, we don't know if this place is really abandoned, but keep a sharp eye out for survivors, alright let's go" he said as he started walking, quickly followed by the others.
Seeing the destruction up close, was even worse than seeing it from above, they all silently walked through the streets, observing the damage, yet they still found no trace of bodies, the streets were completely empty.
By that time they had crossed into town square, and still found nothing, Silver sighed sadly, and turned to face all of them, "I'm sorry to say this, but this place is empty, there is nopony here" he said, with a sad expression, he was about to give the order for everpony to return to the ship, when he heard the sound of an arrow being pulled back on a crossbow.
He turned around sharply, and saw another pony he didn't recognize, pointing a crossbow at him, "oh I don't think so" he said, as he brought his hoof up to his mouth, and whistled, suddenly out of nowhere other ponies began to appear and surround them, all pointing crossbows at them, they were all forced into a circle as they were surrounded.
Silver got his knife ready, as did the other soldiers, while Twilight ad her friends, were pushed into the middle, "now, who are you, and what do you want" the leader said, Silver relaxed, and let go of his knife, and calmed down, "I am Grand Master Silver Heart, leader of the Guardians, we are here to help you, are you survivors?" he asked, the leader still had his crossbow ready, but answered the question.
"Yeah, we are, what is it to you" he said, and after he did, he looked behind him, and saw a familiar pony; he began to lower his crossbow, leaving a surprised look on Silver face.
"Captain Shining Armor, is that you?" he said, Silver turned around, and saw Shining Armor, looking at him, Shining Armor stepped forward, "yes, and who are you?" he said, the leader then put the crossbow away, and reached up and take off his helmet, revealing a pony that Shining Armor, knew all too well.
"Lieutenant, is that you?" Shining Armor asked, by this time all of the ponies in the center had lowered their weapons, but the others didn't, Shining Armor walked up to him, "yes sir" the lieutenant said, saluting him, "at ease soldier, now do you mind having your friends relax" he said, with a smile, the lieutenant, looked at the others, "stand down soldiers, their friendly" he yelled, the other soldiers immediately lowered their weapons.
The lieutenant, immediately turned back to shining armor, "sorry about that sir, we thought you were more of them" he said, Shining Armor didn't notice that comment, "never mind that, are you the only ones who survived?" he asked, the lieutenant shook his head, "no sir, there are others, we gathered everpony, in the town hall, it was one of the very few buildings, that stayed intact, after the attack" he said with a smile, now it was Silver's turn to ask questions.
He walked up beside Shining Armor, "how many more of you are there?" he asked, the lieutenant looked at him, with a straight face, "more than you think, I can take you there if you want" he said, in an inviting tone, they both nodded, the lieutenant, looked at the other soldiers, "alright everpony, we are heading back to the others, let's move out!" he said and he turned and walked off, quickly followed by the others, Silver turned back to Twilight and her friends, he motioned for them to follow, and so they followed the others, back to the town hall.
A/N: well, the next chapter will probably be the last, and then that will be the end of this story, and from there it on to the finale, we are almost there.