Rarity and I ran to the woods. After a few minutes of running, when the bloodbath area was almost out of sight, spotted Pip scurrying to hide under a bush. The white unicorn used her magic to drag the poor colt by his tail from the underbrush.
The little pony squeaked in fear before seeing that it was us two who had found him. "Oh, thank goodness! I thought it was one of the scary, bigger ponies from the career districts! Where's Twilight?" I don't know why, but I found his accent adorable.
"I don't know..." Rarity looked back to see the pink mare from 9 bouncing around the stallion from 11 in dizzying circles. "I thought I saw her head off towards the lake, but I'm not sure. Oh dear, this is bad."
"Well, let's go and find-" a snap of a twig behind me caused all three of us to spin around. Rarity hovered her sword and the sword she had gotten from the mare that she had killed a few moments earlier. I prepared to strike out with my hooves, and Pip hid behind me.
A career did show up, but not the one we were expecting. It was Hayseed.
"What are you doing? The others are gonna get here soon!" Hayseed waved us off. "Come on, this is risky already! Head for the deep woods!"
Rarity turned to me. "Can we trust him? He's with the careers." I looked back at Hayseed. His face was full of what I could only see as true compassion and worry for us. I thought back to the week I had spent with Hayseed. Even though he was with the careers, I felt like I could trust him.
"Rarity, I say we trust him." Rarity gave me a sideways glance. The alabaster mare sighed, and looked down at the little foal still cringing behind me.
Rarity bent down, and spoke calmly to Pip, "What say you, Pip?"
Pip tried to stay as small as he could, looking around like a terrified rabbit. Realizing that Rarity was talking to him, he did sort of a double take, and then said "Just as long as we get somewhere safe is fine with me, Ms. Rarity!"
Rarity nodded, and turned to Hayseed. "Fine. We'll trust. But I swear to Discord himself, in anypony in our group gets hurt, if I'm still alive I will gut you and hang your remains on a tree for all your career buddies to see, is that clear?" Hayseed nodded quickly and dashed off into the underbrush.
"Jeez Rarity, I didn't think that was very ladylike of you!" I said with a smirk. Rarity rolled her eyes at me.
"Please. I may act like a prissy bitch at times, but when my friends are in danger, I'll be damned if I don't help them." Six cannons boomed, letting us know that six had died in the bloodbath.
The three of us quickly trotted back over the clearing. Bodies and blood littered the battle scene, and I was just about to step out into the open when Rarity stopped me.
"Don't be foolish! Look! Somepony's dug up all the mines. I'll be surprised if they haven't scattered them around from place to place to prevent looters." I looked at the empty field ahead, the cornucopia gleaming in the sunlight.
"So what do we do?" I asked the white mare beside me. Rarity furrowed her brow in concentration.
"We-ell..." Rarity looked at a loss for words. I knew we were just sitting ducks out here, waiting for the careers or somepony else to swoop down and pick us off.
Suddenly, a voice rang out. It was coming from inside the cornucopia, and it sounded very similar to one we had all heard before.
"Hey! Are you coming or not?" All of us looked over in astonishment as a purple head stuck its way out from inside the metal contraption. "Just watch out for the mines! I reburied them once the fighting died down!"
I stared open mouthed at this. "But we were gone ten minutes, tops! And to top it off, you couldn't have buried them in the miniscule time you had after the mare and stallion finished fighting!"
"What happened to them?" Pip squeaked from in the patch of grass he was trying to hide in.
"Yes Twilight, you were here. You should know," Rarity followed up, looking at the mare for an answer to her question.
Twilight shrugged. "Well, it was odd. Pinkie Pie, the mare, just bounced in circles until the red one, Big Macintosh, got dizzy. Then, his sister called for him, and he trundled over towards the lake where she had called from. And then-" Twilight gulped, "Pinkie Pie looked at me, winked, and bounced off towards the cliffs." Twilight looked visibly disturbed. "Something about her scares me."
"Well, I guess we'll just camp in the Cornucopia." I looked up at the sky and saw that it was already late afternoon. "Jeez, does anypony know at what time we started? It can't be getting to nighttime already!"
"I think the gamemakers are messing with our heads," Twilight explained. "They have all sorts of technology that they can use to change the weather, time of day, the terrain..." The unicorn in the Cornucopia shook her head, then pointed to the ground. Jump from grass patch to grass patch. I buried the others in the grassless areas."
We all did so, Rarity helping Pip out a bit, and soon we were all in the Cornucopia. Twilight had already stashed a blanket, two spears, and a small bag of trail rations.
"This was all that was left over?" I asked, poking the bag of rations with my front hoof.
"Unfortunately. But you have a saddlebag!" Twilight excitedly took it off of my back. "Let's see what you've got in it."
Twilight opened it up, and the rest of us gathered around to see what I had procured for us. The satchel contained a brown sleeping bag, two empty canteens, a pack of firestarters, and three apples.
"Oh well..." Twilight said, disappointment creeping into her voice. "Better than nothing, I suppose."
I walked to the front of the large metal container, and looked back outside, where the body of the mare from 10 was collecting flies. It sickened me to think that just some time ago(I couldn't tell with how the gamemakers were messing with us) she was trying to kill me. And Rarity had just jumped in and saved me like that...
I was about to descend into a pit of self loathing when Pip tapped me on the shoulder. "Um, Ms. Octavia? Ms. Twilight wanted to know if you'd go on the first night shift with Ms. Rarity."
I blinked a few times, and looked back at the faol. "Huh? What? Oh, um..." I thought about this. This would be a good time to level with Rarity about my gratitude towards her. "Sure!"
Pip scuttled to the back to tell the others about my decision, and Rarity joined me soon after. "Come on, Ms. Cello player, we have to get on top to watch for careers."
I nodded, and we went outside, careful to stay on the grass patches. I let Rarity climb on me, and once she was up, she helped levitate me a bit into the top. We both stared up at the darkening sky, and Rarity put her two swords down next to me.
As the sky eventually turned to night after around ten minutes(if I had to guess), the sky suddenly light up, becoming illuminated with the faces of the mares and stallions who had died in the bloodbath.
The first was the stallion from Twilight's District, Time Turner. Below his name was the cause of death: Mauled by Snowflake, the stallion from 2. I felt a pang of sadness for Twilight. Although I wasn't sure of her relationship with Time Turner, it still must be hard to lose a District member.
The second the stallion from 5, the dark grey one with the mohawk. Apparently, his name was Thunderlane. He had died from a stabwound by the hooves of Derpy, the pegasus mare from 4.
The third was the stallion from 7.
"Goodness, I hope they aren't ALL stallions!" Rarity said with a slight chuckle.
"You killed the mare from 10, remember?"
"Oh, that's right."
The stallion from 7 was that poor colt, Snips. His cause of death was being mauled by Snowflake. Another twang of sadness hit me. He had only been what, 13? 14? He had barely lived out his life, and now he was gone.
Come to think of it, I had barely lived out my life, and I could die any moment now.
The stallion from 8, another colt named Snails, was the fourth. I heard Rarity gasp slightly when his face became illuminated in the sky. He had been killed with an arrow shot by the stallion from 9.
"Are you ok?" I asked my nightwatch companion, who still wore a slightly shocked expression on her face.
"Yes, I'm fine, it's just that..." Rarity looked off into the distance, nowhere in particular. "Sweetie Belle used to play with Snips..."
I looked sadly at the white mare. She was still looking off, her shocked expression slowly fading to be replaced with her usual one. Despite her looking fine, I thought it would be best to leave her alone for a bit.
The fifth was the stallion from 9, Donut Joe, or Pony Joe, I can't remember his first name. It simply said "Joe" up under his name. He had died from Trixie. Apparently, burned to death.
"Well, serves him right for going right after a foal," I heard Rarity mumble to herself, a bit angrily. I wasn't sure if I wanted to console her, or not. So I kept quiet, leaving her to her thoughts.
The sixth and final one was the mare from 10. The cause of death, which I already knew firsthoof, was decapitation at the hooves of Rarity. Rarity said nothing t this matter, and I said nothing back. We both knew what had happened. She had done what was necessary to save my life.
And dammit, I'd do what's necessary to repay the favor.