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The Maelstrom Chronicles
Chapter 5
Episode 2.3: The Trials of Harmony

As the seven of them approached the edge of the forest, Rider could almost taste the fear from the others, well, all except Pinkie Pie.

“Let’s go,” Pinkie cheered as she started to enter the forest.

“Not so fast,” Twilight instructed. “Look. I appreciate the offer, but I really rather do this on my own.”

“No can do, sugar cube,” Applejack countered as Rider and the others began entering the forest. “We sure an’t letting any friend of ours go in that creepy place alone. We’re stickin’ to you like caramel on a candy apple.”

“Especially if there’s candy apples in there,” Pinkie added in. “What? Those things are good.” Twilight simply groaned and entered as well. As they proceeded through the trees, Rider continued to scan his surroundings. He did this partly to keep an eye out for danger and partly to take in his inspiring new sites. He was in awe of the forest. Noticing Rider looking around, Pinkie Pie asked him, “What are you looking at?”

“This forest,” Rider said a little in awe. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Very little is really known about it, and what is known is kind of vague. I never thought I’d get a chance to see it.

“I have a question,” Rarity chimed in. “Who are you and why are you here?”

“His name is Storm Rider,” Pinkie answered before he could say anything. “He and his brother moved to Ponyville just before Twilight did.” Rider put his wing in her mouth to stop her from talking.

“Thanks you for the introduction, Pinkie. I had met all of you in one form or another. Miss Pricy is the only one I didn’t get a name to.”

“Her name is Rarity,” Pinkie Pie said before Rarity could answer. “She runs and makes the dresses for the local boutique. Great now we’re all friends.” Twilight rolled her eyes.

“I wouldn’t get ahead of yourself,” Rider said returning to his scanning. “We know each other, but friendship doesn’t come that easily.” He then added under his breathe, “Well for me it doesn’t.” He then addressed the others, “To answer your other question, I never liked sitting on the sidelines while others were in danger and there was something I could do. With my reason to hold back gone, I’m finally free to do as I please. Beside Twilight is the closest thing I have to a friend, I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror if she got hurt and I did nothing. Not only that, opportunities like this don’t happen every day. Only a fool would pass this up. Now this is a real adventure.”

“Are you sure it wasn’t for the mares?” Rarity said fixing her mane.

“Gee, empty admiration and praise, you can keep that. Trust me. I’ve seen enough of that to last an alicorn lifetime.” There was a hint of annoyance in his voice.

“Well if you’re not in it for the mares, then, just say so. You certainly haven’t taken note of the mares around you”
“Well excuse me, princess,” Rider said in a mocking tone turning on Rarity.  His emerald eyes appeared to have darkened as he loomed over her. “Sorry for having the discipline to stay focused on the task at hoof. There isn’t much known about the Everfree Forest. What is mentioned is a large number of creatures that not only eat ponies, but kill them in some of the most horrible ways. Is now really the time to be distracted at all?”

“So do you like mares?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“As a matter of fact, I do.” Rider then added under his breathe, “it’s just hard finding mares who honestly like me.” Raising his voice, he continued, “So how about we stay on track.” Rider snorted at Rarity and walked back to the front of the procession. They continued forward in silence. The girls’ fear was building as they proceeded. It was hard to tell if they were afraid of the forest or Rider. Twilight was the first to break the silence.

“So none of you have been in here before?” Twilight asked with fear still in her voice.

“Heaven’s no,” Rarity answered. “Just look at it. It’s dreadful.” The fear was definite in her voice. Rarity eyed Storm Rider and wondered if she was talking about the forest or him.

“And it an’t natural,” Applejack added in. “Folks say it don’t work the same as Equestia.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Twilight asked, her fear growing.

“No pony knows,” Dash said in a spooky voice. “You know why?” She asked as she stalked toward her friends.

“Rainbow, quit it,” Applejack scolded. Storm Rider rolled his eyes. Ignoring Applejack, she continued,

“Cause every pony who’s ever come in has never come out.” No sooner than she said that, the ground gave way beneath them. The three flyers took to the air as the others slid toward a sheer drop off. “Quick!”
The three flyers moved in to help. As Storm Rider went to help Twilight, he looked back up to see debris following them down. He flipped back around and pounced on a large rock from the side that was aimed at Rarity. Using his momentum, the boulder was deflected off course as he pounced on a second one aimed at Applejack. Rainbow Dash picked up Pinkie Pie as a small boulder flew at them. Rider flapped his wings hard to cause a gust of wind. The gust deflected the rock from hitting them. Fluttershy grabbed Rarity by the tail as another rock came down toward them. Rider flapped his wings again to cause another gust to knock the rock off course. Applejack managed to grab a small root by her teeth. Meanwhile Twilight slid to the drop off. She dangled on the edge with the threat of falling to her death.

“Hold on,” Applejack called letting go of the root. “I’m a comin’,” she assured gently sliding to Twilight to keep her from falling. The rocks continued to rain down. Rider landed behind AJ and began beating his wings. He wove small wind spells together. By using small spells, he easily performed them without revealing his horn. Using his wings, he could amplify the wind he created. He used the wind to create a shield to deflect the incoming rock slide.

“Applejack, what do I do?” Twilight pleaded.

“Storm, can ya get her?” Applejack asked him over her shoulder.

“There’s too much coming down. If I move to save one, the rocks will get the other,” Rider answered struggling under the strain to not only maintain his rhythm, but the spells as well. He was no novice to using magic or hiding magic. However, Storm Rider was finding it increasingly taxing to do both at the same time. Applejack paused before saying,

“Twilight, let go.”

“Are you crazy?” Twilight asked.

“No I an’t. I promise you’ll be safe.”

“That’s not true,” Twilight accused with fear growing in her voice.

“Now listen here. What I’m sayin’ to you is the honest truth. Let go and you’ll be safe.”

“If you’re going to do something, I suggest you do it,” Rider added between grunts. “I can’t keep this up for much longer.” Twilight let out a scream as she let go. “Twilight!” Her screams abruptly stopped. “Is she safe?”
“She’s alright,” AJ answered.
“Good,” Rider said before giving one more powerful blast and scooping up Applejack. Her hat flew off, and he managed to grab it with his teeth as they narrowly missed the river of falling rocks. Storm Rider sighed with relief as he lowered to join the others who were waiting for them and set Applejack down.

“Thanks a lot, Storm,” Applejack thanked as he placed her hat back on her head.

“No problem, and call me Rider,” he said wiping the sweat from my brow and rolling my wings. He then called out, “Everypony here? Anypony hurt?” All six mumbled they were okay. “Good. Let’s keep moving,” he announced continuing on.

“Wait,” Rarity called out. “You protected me. Why?” He stopped to answer over his shoulder.

“Three reason,” Rider simply said. “One, I could and it was fun. Two, it was the right thing to do. Three, I want to make friends, so I might as well start somewhere.” With a smirk, Twilight rolled her eyes. They continued their trek into the forest. Of course Rainbow Dash couldn’t help bragging about her saves to Twilight.

“And once Pinkie and Rarity were safe, whoosh, me and Fluttershy hooked the loop around and, wham, caught you right in the nic of time.”

“Yes, Rainbow, I was there, and I’m grateful. However, I also saw Storm Rider protecting all of us from the falling rocks.”

“Yeah those were some pretty awesome moves,” Dash admitted. “Why didn’t you do anything against Nightmare Moon?”

“I did,” Rider answered matter of fact.

“Excuse me, Darling,” Rarity interjected, “but all you did was burp in her face.”

“Exactly.”

“How the hay in burpin’ doin’ somethin’?” Applejack asked.

“Because she was using shadow magic,” he answered. The others looked at him confused. “Shadow magic is a form of dark magic,” Rider explained. “Casters using shadow magic are very difficult to deal with. Physical attacks are all but useless. Those three royal guards tried, and we all saw how well that worked out. The only way a physical attack would work if one pony has their undivided attention. A second pony can then hit them from behind, but the caster can’t see it coming. Twilight can vouch that I had pepper breath. When I burped, I, might as well, squirted pepper juice in her face. I also had her full attention.”

“Never pegged you for an egghead,” Dash commented.

“Just because you can’t use it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn about it. Knowledge is power. Besides, a strong body is useless without a strong mind to guide it”

“So ya set up for somepony ta hit her,” Applejack added continuing Rider’s train of thought. “If I had let Dash go, we could’ve got her.”

“That might have worked, but I wouldn’t beat yourself up about it. You didn’t’ know, nopony did. I was hoping one pony would catch on,” Rider said thinking about his brother. He wondered where he was during all of this. “It’s too late now, so we just have to press forward. Besides, the maneuver is extremely difficult. It takes two ponies working in perfect sync.”

“And because nopony knew what you were doing, you’re acts were in vain,” Rarity finished.

“True, but I had to try something,” he added. A menacing figure barded their pass. Noticing the looming figure, he asked, “Now what?” It looked like a lion yet had the ears and wings of a bat. It also had the tail of a scorpion.

“A manticore,” Twilight gasped. “We have to get pass him.” The manticore lunged forward and swiped with its right front paw. Rider pulled Rarity back to help her duck under the swipe. He spun forward bringing his hind hoof over his head and bringing it down on the manticore’s skull. He then rolled back onto his hooves.

“Ha,” Rarity cheered, “take that you ruffian.” The manticore roared at her messing up her mane. “My hair,” Rarity complained before running back. The manticore gave chase after her and ignored Storm Rider.
“Wait,” Fluttershy said in a quiet voice. Applejack jumped on its back and rode it like a bucking bronco.

“Yeeha,” Applejack cheered, “get along, little doggie.” The manticore jumped about trying to throw Applejack.
“Wait,” Fluttershy said again. The manticore finally dislodged Applejack.
“All yours, partner,” Applejack casually told Dash as she flew through the air.

“I’m on it,” Rainbow Dash saluted as she made her attack.
“Wait,” Fluttershy’s meager voice cried. Rainbow Dash circled the manticore at high speed. It was like a rainbow colored tornado surrounded it. The manticore swatted Dash away with its scorpion tail like she was a fly.

“Rainbow,” Twilight cried. Dash landed near Twilight, Applejack, Rarity, and Pinkie. She got up and joined them as the five prepared to charge the manticore who stood its ground snorting at them.
‘We’re getting nowhere.’  Rider thought. ‘We’re lucky it hasn’t used its stinger yet. This doesn’t make any sense. Manticores are fierce, but they’re fairly docile unless provoked. They don’t normally fight this hard. That solid hit should have scared it off. I need to stop this before somepony gets seriously hurt. Manticores only fight this hard when they’re scared or…of course.’ As the others charged forward, Rider landed between them and the manticore and flapped his wings at his friends. He caused a small gust to halt them.

“Wait!” Fluttershy screamed. She was hesitant for a moment when she noticed Rider protecting the manticore. Rider was a little surprised to hear Fluttershy yell like that. With a smile, he folded a wing to let her pass before unfolding his wing to block the others.

“Rider, what are you doing?” Twilight asked.

“Let her handle this,” Rider answered. Ginger Heart said she was good with animals. Rider just hoped that included manticores. The others cringed for a second before I heard Fluttershy say,

“Shss, it’s okay.” Fluttershy nuzzled the manticore’s left front paw. The manticore opened his paw to reveal a large thorn. The others’ expression changed to one of confusion. “Oh you poor, poor little baby,” she coed.

“Little?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Now this might hurt for just a second,” Fluttershy comforted. The manticore roared.

“Fluttershy!” The girls cried. Rider immediately regretted his choice until he heard the manticore start purring. He folded his wings and turned around to see the manticore happily licking Fluttershy. As he trotted pass, he noticed the large thorn.

“Knew it,” Rider said under his breath. He kicked it aside and continued through.

“Ah you’re just a little old baby kitty, aren’t you,” Fluttershy babied. “Yes you are. Yes you are.” The others passed by as Fluttershy pacified the big cat. Twilight waited for Fluttershy.

“How did you know about the thorn?” Twilight asked.

“I didn’t,” Fluttershy answered. “Sometimes we all just need to be shown a little kindness.” Twilight then caught up with Storm Rider.

“So how did you know about the thorn?”

“I didn’t,” Rider answered. “I had a theory, but there was no guarantee I was right. Remember. Knowledge is power. Plus, I knew Fluttershy was good with animals. I’m just thankful that included manticores. That I didn’t know.”

They continued forward on their trek. The mood had surprisingly lightened after their encounter with the manticore. As they marched on, Rarity let out a groan.

“My eyes need a rest from all this icky muck,” she complained. No sooner did she complain the moon hid itself under a thick canopy. “Well I didn’t mean that literally.”

“That ancient ruin could be right in front of our faces, and we wouldn’t even know it,” Twilight complained. The others began to argue. Rider was used to moving in almost total darkness. He developed the skill sneaking around the castle. His concentration was broken when Applejack announced,

“Oh wait. I think I stepped in somethin’.” All of a sudden, Fluttershy screamed. “It’s just mud,” Applejack said before she noticed the scary creature in front of her. At that moment, she too yelled. It became apparent to all; they were surrounded by menacing creatures. Rider crouched down and readied himself for their attack, but they didn’t attack. They weren’t even moving. The girls started screaming while backing toward Rider. He straightened up and rubbed his ears from the pain of the high pitch screams. Over the deafening screams, Pinkie’s giggles could be heard. Her laughter stopped the screams. Pinkie Pie even started making faces at one of the creatures.

“Pinkie,” Twilight yelled, “What are you doing? Run!”

“Oh, girls, don’t you see,” Pinkie started singing. “When I was a little filly and the sun was going down.”

“Tell me she’s not,” Twilight unbelievingly said.

“The darkness and the shadows, they would always make me frown.” Pinkie kept singing.

“She is,” Rarity answered.

“I’d hide under my pillow from what I thought I saw,” Pinkie sang as she bounced about. “But Granny Pie said that wasn’t the way to deal with fears at all.”

“Then what is?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“She said, Pinkie, you got to stand up tall.  Learn to face our fears. You’ll see that they can’t hurt you. Just laugh to make them disappear, Ha, Ha, Ha.” Pinkie simple laugh turned the menacing creatures into a normal tree. This caused the others to gasp. “So, giggle at the ghosty. Guffaws at the grossly. Crack up at the creepy. Whoop it up with the weepy. Chortle at the kooky. Snortle at the spooky.” With each phrase, all of them started laughing. As their laughter grew, the scary faces started to disappear. “And tell that big dumb scary face to take hike and leave you alone and if he thinks he can scare you then he’s got another thing coming and the very idea of such a thing just makes you wanna…,” Pinkie laughed for a minute before continuing, “Laugh!” All the scary faces disappeared, and the forest even seemed brighter.
As they started forward, Storm Rider noticed something out of the corner of his eye. He fell silent and slowly back pedaled out of the group. The girls were so busy laughing; none of them seemed to notice he had slipped away. Yet again without his crown, nopony noticed him. It wasn’t a very encouraging thought. As the girls moved out of sight, the darkness seemed to be moving forward even if Storm Rider stood still. Something about this seemed off to Rider, but he couldn’t tell what. He flapped his wings to cause a gust. The darkness was actually pushed back. From the dark shadows sprouted multiple little red eyes. However, their eyes weren’t focused on him, but on something behind him.

“If you want those mares,” Rider said in a stern voice, “you’re going to have to go through me.” The good news was he got all of their attention. The bad news was he got all of their attention. With nopony around, it was pointless to keep hiding his horn. Tossing my head left and right, Rider’s horn poked through my spiky mane. He charged his horn, and two katana formed from emerald energy. Rider tilted his head left and right popping his neck as he unfolded his wings. “Alright, uglies, show me what you got,” he provoked.

The shadow creatures lunged at him. Rider took to the air swiping at the place where he was just standing. The blades of light sliced through two creatures which dissipated. A shadow creature attacked from both sides. Rider side rolled slicing both of them. He charged his horn and shot four small light spells from his horn at once. The four beams of green light struck the wall of shadows. Four more creatures dissipated. Rider soared up above the canopy. He spun back around slicing with each sword before sending out a small barrage of small light spells. A sea of shadow lurched at Storm Rider. He caused a gust of wind and dove into the flood of creatures. Rider went into a corkscrew drilling his way to the back of the horde. He skidded to a stop spinning back around to face the swarm before letting out a huge barrage of small light spells.

The creatures’ ranks had been thinned, but their eyes glowed brighter out of pure hatred for the annoying stallion keeping them from their true prey. Their collective hatred allowed them to merge together. They desired only one thing: to kill the meddlesome pony. Rider looked on as the creatures mashed together growing larger and reaching above the canopy. Its body was so dense it was almost an inky black and a solid mass.

“Well,” Rider said rolling his wings, “this just got interesting.” He dashed forward as the lumbering creature smashed the ground where he stood. Rider evaded the second fist as he rushed for the creature’s legs. He sliced at both legs as he past under the creature. He carved twin lines in the creature’s back as Rider shot straight up in to the air. The Creature spun around back fisting Storm Rider. His energy swords shattered as he was sent flying. He concentrated and teleported himself on the opposite side of the creature. Rider formed a large and very wide broad sword from his magic again. Using the momentum of being hit, he sliced the opposite arm clean off. The creature roared as it reared up to punch at rider. Rider reverted the sword back into energy and fired multiple light spells as one large blast. The blast obliterated the creature’s remaining arm. Rider rose up and dove straight down at the creature’s head. He formed a green broad sword and used it to spearhead his attack. The blade pierced the creature splitting it in two as my sword sunk into the ground. Rider was panting as the two halves and his sword dissolved away.

   He surveyed the area until he spied one lingering shadow creature.

“Oh no, you don’t.” Rider yelled as he fired a light spell. The green beam struck the creature making it dissipate. His legs wobbled causing him to drop to his belly breathing heavily. “If I ever go back,” Rider said between gasp, “I’m having General Steel Hoof add magical combat to my training regiment.” Rider put his hoof over his eyes in pain as he rose. “Yeah, I’m definitely going to have a serious headache tomorrow in addition to extremely sore muscles. No time to feel sorry for myself,” he said as he stood on shaky legs, “I’ve got to catch up with the girls.”
Rider struggled forward on shaky leg. He was grateful when he came across a stream and immediately began gulping down water. Rider felt his strength return. He never understood why he recovered so fast. He was still going to be really sore the next day, but he could press on.

It was then that he noticed a sea serpent splashing in the water and enjoying his reflection. Oddly enough, Rider’s first thought was wondering if he was up river of it. It had purple scales and quaff light brown hair with a long moustache. As he studied the serpent, Rider noticed purple hairs done in a familiar twist. Fearing the worst, Rider rushed at the serpent. He skidded to a stop in mid-air as he noticed the hairs were not coming from in his mouth but on his lip.

“Oh,” the serpent exclaimed, “well aren’t you a fast one.”

“Yeah,” Rider said a little embarrassed. “I was just noticing your moustache.”

“Do you like it? This nice pony fixed it after some rapscallion cut half of it off.”

“This pony didn’t happen to be a mare with five others?”

“Oh, why yes. She was an absolutely gorgeous white mare, and her five friends were simple adorable. It was like a little rainbow.”

“Right, you didn’t happen to see which way they went, did you?”

“Oh but of course, they took that path right there,” the serpent said pointing to a path on the opposite side of the stream from where Rider had come.

“Thanks. Um, nice moustache,” Rider added before heading down the path.

“Oh why thank you. Such nice ponies,” the serpent called after. Rider flew down the path until he found five of them waiting by a cliff. He took note that Rarity’s tail had been cut very short. Rider hide his horn as he landed and trotted up to the others. He arrived in time for Rainbow Dash to emerge from the fog and pose for her friends. As the fog cleared, a rope bridge appeared leading across a chasm to the ruins of a castle. The others cheered for their pegasus friend.

“See, I’d never leave my friend hanging,” Rainbow Dash replied. She then noticed Rider. “Hey, Rider, where did you go?”

“What do you mean?” He asked keeping his cool.

“You were there and then you weren’t.”

“Wow,” he said taken back a little. “I didn’t think anypony would notice,” he then added under his breath, “nopony ever does.” He then said in a normal voice, “I just saw something I wanted to check out.”

“Are you sure you just didn’t get scared when you saw that sea serpent?”

“Actually my first thought was wondering if I was upriver of him,” Rider answered.

“Sure it was,” Dash said with a small laugh. As the group entered the ruins, they immediately found a stone pedestal with smaller pedestals branching off holding up five stone orbs with a single jewel impression in each.

“Wow,” Twilight said in awe.

“Come on, Twilight,” Applejack encouraged. “Isn’t this what you been waiting for?”

“The Elements of Harmony, we found them,” Twilight commented still in awe. The three flyers removed the five orbs from the pedestals and placed them next to Twilight on the ground.

“Careful, careful,” Twilight instructed.

“One, two, three, four,” Pinkie Pie counted. “There’s only five.”

“Where’s the sixth?” Dash asked.

“The book said, ‘when the five are present, a spark will cause the sixth element to be revealed,’” Twilight answered.

“What in the hay is that supposed to mean?” Applejack asked a little annoyed.

“I’m not sure, but I have an idea,” Twilight said with confidence. “Stand back. I don’t know what will happen.”

“Come on now, y’all,” Applejack instructed the rest of us. “She needs to concentrate.” They filed back out the door. As they waited, they heard Twilight cry out.

“Twilight,” the girls cried in unison. They looked back to see the elements caught in a purple tornado. Rider rushed forward to help.

“The elements,” Twilight said with concern as she jumped into the vortex. The swirl quickly shrank down. Rider dove for the vortex only to have it vanish before he could get to it. He was moving so fast he crashed into the pedestal. Panic grew within the girls. Rider got up with a groan. The girls were in a panic frantically searching the room for Twilight.

“Twilight, where are you?” Applejack asked with great concern.

“Look,” Rarity exclaimed pointing out the window. Another section of the castle had light pouring out of every crack.

“Come on,” Applejack instructed. Rider shook the stupor out of him and led the charge. As they raced to the other section of the castle, concern grew in Rider. Twilight was in danger. He couldn’t hold back anymore. He switched to flying and zoomed ahead of the others. He entered the chamber and landed between Twilight and Nightmare Moon. He was shocked when he saw the broken shards of the elements.

“Rider?” Twilight said a little surprised. The others called to Twilight to let her know they were coming. “You think you can destroy the Elements of Harmony just like that,” Twilight said as the others entered, “Well you’re wrong, because the spirits of the Elements of Harmony are right here.” Shards of what was left of the Elements of Harmony began to glow and lift off the ground. “Applejack, who reassured me when I was in doubt, represents the spirit of honesty.” A few of the shards began circling Applejack. “Fluttershy, who tamed the manticore with her compassion, represents the spirit of kindness.” Shards began circling Fluttershy despite her trying to avoid them. “Pinkie Pie, who banished fear by giggling in the face of danger, represents the spirit of laughter.” Pinkie Pie had shards circling her as well. “Rarity, who calmed a sorrowful serpent with a meaningful gift, represents the spirit of generosity.” Shards swirled around Rarity as well. “And Rainbow Dash, who could not abandon her friends for her own heart’s desire, represents the spirit of loyalty.” Finally Rainbow Dash had shards around her as well. “The spirits of these five ponies got us through every challenge you threw at us.”

“You still don’t have the sixth element,” Nightmare Moon countered with concern growing in her voice. “The spark didn’t work.”

“But it did,” Twilight corrected, “a different kind of spark. I felt it the very moment I realized how happy I was to hear you, to see you, how much I cared about you,” she told her friends, “all of you,” she added over her shoulder at Rider. “The spark ignited inside me when I realized you all are my friends.” A sixth orbed appeared and floated down to rest above Twilight’s head. “You see, Nightmare Moon, when these elements are ignited by the …spark that resides in the heart of us all, it creates the sixth element, the element of magic.” A bright light emitted from the girls.

“No,” Nightmare Moon cried. “I won’t be beaten again.” Nightmare Moon began charging her horn. Since his spells were smaller, it was easy to set them off before she could. Rider flapped his wings and blasted a gust of wind at her face. The wind broke her concentration. “How dare you, you insolate foal.” She charged her horn again. Rider answered with another wing blast. “You think you can defeat me?” A rainbow shot out from behind him and struck at Nightmare Moon’s hooves. “No,” Nightmare Moon cried as she was encased in a rainbow colored vortex. Rider covered his eyes as the room was bathed in a bright white light. As the light faded, Rider found the girls lying on the ground each with a gold necklace around their neck and a tiara on Twilight’s head.

“Well, that was different,” Rider simply said.

“My head,” Dash groaned.

“Everypony okay,” Applejack asked.

“Oh thank goodness,” Rarity exclaimed. Rider looked over to see Rarity’s tail had grown back.

“Why, Rarity, it’s so lovely,” Fluttershy complemented.

“I know. I’ll never part with it again,” Rarity said fawning over her tail.

“No, your necklace,” she corrected. “It looks just like your cutie mark.”

“So do yours,” Rarity pointed out.

“Look at mine. Look at mine,” Pinkie Pie exclaimed bouncing about.

“Ah, yeah,” Rainbow Dash exclaimed.
“So what was that about friendship not saving Equestria from something horrible?” Rider asked as he helped Twilight up who blushed a little.

“Jee, Twilight,” Applejack said. “I thought you were just spoutin’ a lot of whooy, but I recon we really do represent the elements of friendship.”

“In deed you do,” the voice of a mature woman spoke. The sun rose above the horizon. An orb of light drifted down from the sun into the chamber. From the ray of light, a white alicorn mare emerged with a flowing mane and tail in a ribbon of blue, green, purple, and pink. A gold crown rested on her head and a gold necklace sat around her neck. She was twice as big as any of the girls. Her purple eyes shone with gentleness and wisdom. The girls bowed their heads leaving their flanks in the air. Rider bowed his head deeply hoping he wouldn’t be noticed.

“Princess Celestia,” Twilight said in admiration walking up to the large mare.

“Twilight Sparkle, my faithful student,” the princess greeted. “I knew you could it.”

“But you told me it was all an old pony tale,” Twilight questioned.

“I told you, you need to make friends, nothing more,” Celestia corrected. “I saw the signs of Nightmare Moon’s return, and I knew it was you who had the magic inside to defeat her.” The others began to rise from their bows. “But you could not unleash it until you let true friendship into your heart, now if only another will as well, Princess Luna.” A blue alicorn mare laid where Nightmare Moon once stood with blue shards around her. Her mane was a lighter shade than her coat which supported a small blue crown. She jolted awake at the mention of the name. “It has been a thousand years since I have seen you like this,” she said as she approached and knelt next to the smaller alicorn. “Time to put our differences behind us, we were meant to rule together, little sister.”

“Sister?” Twilight asked surprised.

“Will you accept my friendship?” Celestia asked rising to her hooves. The others leaned forward waiting for her reply. Pinkie leaned so far she fell over.

“I’m so sorry,” Luna finally answered with tears in her eyes. “I missed you so much, big sister.”
“I’ve missed you too,” Celestia replied with tears of joy. Pinkie Pie had a hanky and was crying streams of joy.

“Hey,” Pinkie exclaimed abruptly stopping her tear, “do you know what this calls for? A party!” As if Pinkie had planned for it upon their arrival back town, a big celebration was under way to welcome back both princesses. The princesses rode in on a gold open carriage drawn by four white pegasi in gold armor. Spike rushed to greet Twilight. The citizens bowed in respect to their rulers. A pair of pegasi foals hung a ring of flowers around Luna’s neck.

“Why so glum, my faithful student?” Celestia asked Twilight. “Are you not happy you quest is complete, and you can return to your studies in Canterlot?”

“That’s just it,” Twilight replied. “Just when I learn how wonderful it is to have friends, I have to leave them.”

“Spike, take a note please,” Celestia instructed. Spike produced a scroll and quill and began dictating. “I, Princess Celestia, hereby decree that the unicorn, Twilight Sparkle, shall take on a new mission for Equestria. She must continue to study the magic of friendship. She must report to me her findings from her new home in Ponyville.”

“Thank you, Princess Celestia,” Twilight gratefully thanked as her new friends gathered around her. “I’ll study harder than ever before.” The town cheered.

“Storm Rider,” Princess Celestia then addressed, “may I have a word with you?”

“As you wish, Princess,” Rider said as she led me away. Once away from prying ears, she continued,

“Tell me. What are the princes of the Strom Empire doing in a small town outside of Canterlot?”

“What do you mean, Princess?”

“Your glamor spell is good, but there is a better one my library. There’s even a better one in the Ponyville library. Do not miss understand, I am grateful for the aid you gave my student and her friends. However I must know why the two of you are here.” Rider sighed defeated realizing she not only knew about him but his brother as well.

“Well we kind of…ran away from home.” Celestia raised an eye brow.

“Your father does not know you are here.”

“Nopony back home does.”

“So what made you leave?”

“It was more my brother’s idea. I don’t fully understand his reasons, but he mentioned coming here to start over. I didn’t have any friends, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. Plus, I’m not really enthusiastic about my destiny anymore,” He added looking at his cutie mark. “A skull and flames, even green flames, symbolize death and destruction.”

“Yes, being a child of World Strom is a great burden.”

“World Strom?”

“It is your father’s name. Just as you are known as Princes Hurricane, your father is King Monsoon, but those are not your real names.”

“Why is that?”

“The first king of the Storm Empire caused so much destruction that yielded new life; he was like a monsoon that had washed over the land. In addition, the first crown prince was so powerful; many regarded him as a walking hurricane. Thus they were dubbed King Monsoon and Prince Hurricane. The names were used by every king and crown prince ever since.”

“I never knew.”

“There are few who do. As for your destiny, the symbol in your cutie mark, do you know what it means?”

“Can’t say I do,” Rider said checking the symbol. It was a green ring with a bar on opposite ends of the skull that sat within the ring. The whole symbol was surrounded by a black flame lined in green. “I’ve checked many books, but I’ve never found a match.”

“Well in Equestria, it is an ancient symbol for hope or life. When it was green, it meant new hope or new life.” Rider stared at his cutie mark pondering the possible meaning. “As far as your brother, his fears are not completely unfounded. There are some that question if he really is a child of World Storm.”

“Mother would never. Father is a little rough, but she loves him.”

“Indeed she does, but she is still to blame,” Celestia clarified. “You see, she was not born an alicorn. She was a pegasus.”

“So that’s why Light’s a pegasus.”

“Precisely, now there is still the matter of you running away from home. I should tell your father where you are.” There was a pleading look in Rider’s eyes. “But I believe you would also benefit from studying the magic of friendship. We can say you were doing some foreign studies. You may take your lessons from my castle in Canterlot, as my guest of course.”

“I appreciate that, your highness, but too many would know me there. It wouldn’t be much different than being home.”

“Very well, then you will stay here in Ponyville at the library with Twilight. You will do this so Twilight can account for where you are and because you both will be studying the magic of friendship. There is one more thing. I fear Twilight’s trials have only just begun. I would ask that you watch out for her, but I must also advise against any inappropriate behavior with my student. The repercussions would have to be severe.” Rider swallowed hard.

“Understood,” Rider answered. “Do I have your permission to take my leave? I need to lay down. That adventure really took it out of me.”

“How are you tired but not any of the girls?”

“Faced some shadow creatures in the forest. I also found using magic and hiding magic at the same time rather taxing.” Celestia thought for a moment.

“Very well, but be on your best behavior.” Rider swallowed hard again.

“Yes, Princess Celestia,” Rider said as he limped away.

“Your destiny may not be with Twilight Sparkle,” Celestia said after Rider was out of ear shot. Looking at Twilight’s new friends, she then added, “but the one who is might be closer than you think.”
MC Ch. 5 The Trials of Harmony

Here is the fifth chapter to the Maelstrom Chronicles and the second half of the Nightmare Moon incident. Enjoy

 

Storm Empire characters (c) :iconcrimson-ki: and :iconangelicdemonslayer:

My Little Pony (c) Hasbro

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The Maelstrom Chronicles
Chapter 4
Episode 1.6: The Frightful Introductions

A great noise awoke Storm Rider from his slumber. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes. His confusion mounted as he didn’t recognize his surroundings. It took a moment for his memories to catch up with him. He had fallen asleep reading in a bedroom located in the roots of the tree library. Being underground, it was kind of hard to tell what time it was. He stuffed an apple in his mouth before running a hoof through his mane and heading back upstairs.

As he reached the first floor, he found most of the town in the tree having a party. He arrived just in time to see a purple unicorn’s face turn beet red. Her purple eyes water as she nearly breathed fire. Her purple mane had two different streaks of pink near the center which whipped behind her as she ran upstairs to the loft. Storm Rider’s eyes widen as he recognized the unicorn.

“Hot sauce,” a little purple dragon read holding a bottle as Storm Rider approached. He had no wings and green round spines running down the length of his body. Pinkie Pie tipped the bottle over a cupcake drenching it in a red sauce. She gobbled the cupcake in one bite like it was nothing. Storm Rider poured a little on a cupcake and ate it. Noticing the cup he whispered to the little dragon,

“She didn’t happen to drink this, did she?”

“Yeah, she did,” Spike answered.

“Why don’t you grab a glass of milk, a glass of ginger ale, and follow me upstairs?” Rider asked after thinking for a minute.

“Why?”

“Let me put it this way,” he said in a calm voice. Rider then commanded in a stern voice, “Your friend needs a glass of milk and a glass of ginger ale, stat!” The little dragon rushed off almost in a panic. He began to ascend the steps as the little dragon caught up to him carrying the glasses. As they opened the door to the loft, they found the poor unicorn running around with tears in her eyes.

“Twilight,” the little dragon cried in concern.

“Better leave this to me,” Rider instructed.

“But…,” the baby dragon tried to protest. Rider managed to get him to set the glasses down and shooed him out with his head. He easily butted Spike out the door. He shut the door behind the little guy and then turned back to the problem at hand. After a moment of thought, Storm Rider charged his horn and sent out a wave of green energy. The poor unicorn was frozen in place.

“Moving around like that is only going to make it worse,” he told her walking up.

“I can’t take it. It won’t stop burning,” she cried.

“Yeah, that’s normal,” he commented releasing her.

“I think I’m going to be sick,” Twilight miserably said. Her face almost literally turned green. She tried to hold back the coming mess.

“Wait,” he commanded grabbing an enclosed trash can with his magic. Rider placed it front of her and then instructed, “Okay go ahead.” Twilight plunged her head into the bin and let loose the vile liquid. “That’s it. Let it all out,” he encouraged her while patting her back. She pulled her head from the bin still a little green. “All out?” Twilight weakly nodded. After thinking for minute, he summoned a glass of water. She scrambled to grab the glass. “Don’t drink it.”

“But I want the burning to stop,” Twilight protested.

“Trust me. Water would only make it worse. Just use it to rinse your mouth out,” he instructed. Twilight reluctantly did as he said. After she spit in the bin, Rider used a spell to clean the bin with a momentary look of disgust. He then brought over the glass of milk with his magic. “Drink this instead.”

“What is it?”

“It’s milk. Now drink it slowly.” Twilight let the cool liquid slide down her throat. After finishing the glass, she plopped down with a sigh of relief. “Better?”

“The burn is gone, but my head really hurts,” she whined covering her eyes with her hooves.

“Yeah, that’s not good. Now how did that spell go? Oh, I remember,” Rider said placing his horn near her head. A small emerald light emitted from the tip of his horn for a second. As the light faded, Twilight’s whole body seemed to relax. Storm Rider picked her up with his magic and set her in the bed positioned above the bookcases next to the window. He proceeded up the stairs with the glass of ginger ale in tow. “Here, this will help settle your stomach,” he said setting the glass on the stand next to the bed.

“Thanks, but how did you know that would work?”

“I eat a lot of spicy food. Most experience the burning sensation and stop at that. If it’s too hot, they feel that and have a nose drip. Speaking of which, you may want this,” Storm Rider said bringing a tissue box and a trash can near her.

“Thanks,” Twilight said blowing her nose using her magic.

“Some experience a headache in addition when eating it, although, some ponies become unable to breath.”

“Why would anypony make that?”

“Tolerance varies from pony to pony. What might be nothing to one pony might cause another pony to stop breathing. Milk is usually the best for killing the burn.”

“What about this?” She asked holding up the ginger ale.

“I found it always helps to settle an upset stomach.”

“Thanks but why did you help me?”

“That’s part of what I wanted talk to you about, Twilight,” he said locking the door with his magic. Rider sheepishly added unfolding his wings, “we’ve kind of already met.”

“Prince Hurricane!” Twilight exclaimed scrambling to get in a kneeling position.

“Relax,” Storm Rider commanded using his magic to force her to lay back down. “Look. Nopony knows I’m in town, and I’d like to keep it that way.”

“What do you mean?”

“My brother and I sort of ran away from home,” he explained.

“But why would you run away and to Ponyville of all places?”

“It was actually my brother’s idea. I just caught him as he was leaving and came with him. I still don’t fully understand his reasons. But as for me, it seemed like a great chance to finally make some real friends.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Every day I did nothing but train my body and study different kinds of magic. Those who weren’t put off by my station were usually afraid of my father’s shadow. I could barely get anypony to really talk to me. Even in a crowded room, I was all alone. I was more of a prisoner than a prince. Nopony would even use my real name. When my brother spoke of starting over, I thought maybe I could finally find some real friends, maybe even a very special some pony. So can you keep our secret?”

“Um sure, although, you didn’t need to tell me. I’m leaving here as soon as possible.”

“Why?”

“Ponies around here are crazy. Too many keep going on about friendship.”

“Is that really a bad thing?”

“What’s the point? It’s not like friendship could save Equestria from something horrible.”

“Maybe, but I would at least like to try,” Rider said running a hoof through his mane after unlocking the door. “If everypony thinks I’m a pegasus named Storm Rider, I at least have a chance.”

“Fine,” Twilight groaned. “I won’t say anything about you or your brother.”

“Thank you,” he said descending the steps. “Oh food for thought,” he said from the door. “When things are at their worst, that’s usually when you need others the most. You can’t always do everything by yourself.” Rider let his words sink in as he left. He found the little dragon on the other side of the door. Rider used his head to flip him onto his back when the little guy tried to enter. The prince folded his wings around the little dragon to cage him on his back.

“What are you doing? I have to get to Twilight,” Spike protested.

“Your friend will be fine,” Rider assured him closing the door, “but she needs to rest right now.” He continued down the stairs with the little dragon on his back despite the little guy’s protest. As he reached the lower level, five ponies met him at the bottom steps.

“Everything okay?” Applejack asked with concern in voice.

“She’ll be fine,” he assured her. “She just wasn’t used to food that spicy.”

“I don’t blame her,” Rainbow Dash chimed in. “I hate spicy food. So is she coming back down?”

“Probably not,” I said. “She doesn’t strike me as a very social pony.”

“Well that’s no good,” a white mare pouted. She had a purple mane swirled around itself on one side of her head, and her tail had a similar twist to it. Her eye lids were a light blue that complemented her darker blue eyes with long eye lashes. “How can you have a welcome to Ponyville party without the guest of honor?” There was a moment of pain and annoyance in Storm Rider’s eyes. It hurt that his brother and him were so easily forgotten. The party had all but died. He needed something to reinvigorate this crowd, and he knew it wasn’t him. Rider then got an idea.

“What are you talking about? Tomorrow is the Summer Sun Celebration. We need to party all night long. Yo DJ, crank that beat.” Pinkie Pie seemed to simply disappear from the base of the stairs and reappear behind the music station. As the music began to play, the party seemed to reignite. “Come on little guy. Get down with your bad self,” Rider said as he bucked the dragon off. He landed on his feet on the table where he skidded to a stop. As the music filled his ears, the little guy started dancing.

Storm Rider hopped off the stairs and wondered over to the snacks station. Licking his lips, he poured some hot sauce on more cupcakes. As he gobbled them down, he noticed the glass of hot sauce Twilight had poured. Rider’s eyes quickly scanned to see if anyone was looking before tossing the straw out of the cup. He made another quick scan before chugging down the whole cup. A burp welled up inside until it erupted from his mouth. Rider couldn’t help but chuckle at the large burp. He quickly noticed he was the only one laughing at it. He tried talking to a few other ponies, but always seemed to drift back in to the shadows. With his crown everyone noticed him, but no one would go near him. Without his crown no one noticed him. Either way he was still alone.

The luster of the party was quickly dying for Storm Rider. He ended up just leaving. He sighed as he flew back to the cloud house more depressed that no one seemed to notice he left. He rifled through the cabinet until he found the peppers he had bought. He lounged on a chair and bit into a pepper. Heat built up inside until he literally breathed an emerald flame. He giggled as he popped the rest in his mouth. He amused himself breathing fire while he enjoyed the peppers. As Rider reached for the last pepper, a giant burp erupted from his mouth loud enough to be heard clear to the ground. Rider’s eyes were watering partly from the peppers and partly from laughing at the large burp. His laughter was short lived as he was still alone. Even as he ate the last pepper and breathed fire, he couldn’t seem to laugh. Noting was going to change unless he tried something different. Reluctantly he glided back down to the party. As he landed, he noticed ponies all heading for town hall. He had missed it. Before he walked away, he spied a particular purple unicorn exiting the library being followed by a little dragon. Storm Rider came alongside the unicorn.

“So did you have a good nap?” He asked Twilight.

“How could anypony get any rest with all that racket, and what is up with your breath?”

“Sorry about that,” he apologized. “I’ve been eating spicy food all night. So how are you feeling?”

“Other than the lack of sleep, I’m feeling better. Thanks for that, um…”

“It’s Storm Rider.”

“Really? Of all the names you could have picked, why did you pick that one?”

“It’s my real name,” he answered a little annoyed.

“I thought your name was Hurricane.”

“It’s more of a title. Honestly, I never really liked it. You seem down. Is something on your mind?”

“It’s just something I read.”

“Do tell.”

“I read something that said Nightmare Moon might escape.”

“Sounds serious. I would have tried to tell Princess Celestia.”

“I tried, but she told me I shouldn’t worry about old mare’s tales and then sent me here to check on preparations for the festival. I was hoping to do some research just in case I was right.”

“Hm. I wouldn’t worry too much about it.”

“Why?”

“Didn’t Princess Celestia defeat Nightmare Moon and imprison her in the moon almost a thousand years ago?”

“Yes, she did. Legend says on the longest day of the thousandth year, the stars will aid in her escape.”

“Well consider this. If that’s true, Princess Celestia has had a thousand years to prepare. You really think she doesn’t already have a plan in motion just in case?”

“Well maybe, but why did she tell me to stop worrying about old mare’s tales?”

“I don’t know, but Princess Celestia is very wise. She is also a force to be reckoned with. I wouldn’t worry.”
“I guess,” she said as they took their place on the ground floor of a tall circular room. A few pegasi flapped their wings to keep themselves aloft. Banners hung from the ceiling. A few ponies gathered on a few balconies. Little Spike sat on Twilight’s back for a better view. Pinkie Pie came up to them excited.

“Isn’t this exciting? Are you excited? Cause I’m excited. I’ve never been so excited, well except for the time I saw you walking into town and I was like,” Pinkie ranted pausing to gasp like she had done earlier that day before continuing, “but I mean really who could top that?” Twilight looked a little annoyed at Pinkie’s joy. Rider struggled not to laugh. A choir of song birds singing drew everyone’s attention. They were being conducted by Fluttershy. A spotlight shined on a brown mane. She had a grey mane with a white collar and half-moon glasses. She addressed the congregation.

“Fillies and gentle Colts, as mayor of Ponyville, it is my great pleasure to announce the beginning of the Summer Sun Celebration,” the mayor announced. The crowd of ponies cheered. “In just a few moments our town will witness the magic of the sun rise and celebrate this, the longest day of the year. And now it is my great honor to introduce to you the ruler of our land.” Rider’s ears dropped at the realization that Celestia was there. He slouched down hoping to blend into the crowd. The mayor continued, “the very pony who gives us the sun and the moon each and every day, the good, the wise, the bringer of harmony to all of Equestria, Princess Celestia.” The curtains opened to an empty balcony above the mayor.

“This can’t be good,” Twilight said with concern in her voice. Rider straighten back up his ear rising.

“Remain calm, everypony,” the mayor assured the gathering despite the worry building in her own voice. “There must be a reasonable explanation.”

“Ow, ow,” Pinkie Pie began jumping up and down, “I love guessing games. Is she hiding?” After checking the back, the white mare that met Storm Rider at the base of the stairs came out and announced,

“She’s gone.” The crowd gasped in fear. Rider’s ears dropped back as he steadied himself. Princess Celestia being missing was a bad sign.

“Ow, she’s good,” Pinkie Pie commented before letting out a scream. A cloud of blue mist formed on the empty balcony. A black alicorn mare emerged from the mist. She bore light purple armor and her blue mane and tail flowed with little white dots like pieces of the night sky. Her green eyes had slit pupils. On her flank was a dark purple blotch with a crescent moon on top.

“Oh, no,” Twilight whispered, “Nightmare Moon.” Poor Spike fainted at the sight of the imposing figure.

“Oh my beloved subjects,” Nightmare Moon addressed the congregation, “it’s been so long since I’ve seen your precious little sun loving faces.”

“What did you do with our Princess?” Rainbow Dash yelled. She would have attacked if Applejack hadn’t held her back, the tip of Dash’s tail in her mouth. Storm Rider suppressed the urge to engage as well. Nightmare Moon simply laughed at her.

“Why am I not royal enough for you? Don’t you know who I am?”

“Ow, ow,” Pinkie Pie excitedly piped in, “more guessing games. Um Hokey Smoke? How about Queen Meanie? No Black Snuddy, Black Snuddy.” She would have continues if Applejack hadn’t shoved a cupcake in her mouth.

“Does my crown no longer count now that I have been imprisoned for a thousand years?” Nightmare Moon continued ignoring Pinkie’s interruption. “Did you not recall the legend? Did you not see the signs?” She asked using her mane to stroke the chin of the white mare on the balcony.

“I did,” Twilight spoke up, “and I know who you are. You’re the mare in the moon, Nightmare Moon.” The crowd gasped at this revelation, except for Storm Rider who stood his ground. Dash also continued to struggle while Applejack held her back.

“Well, well, well,” Nightmare Moon almost complimented, “Some pony who remembers me. Then you also know why I’m here.”

“You’re here to…to,” Twilight swallowed hard unable to bring herself to finish her sentence.

“Yes, oh,” Nightmare Moon said as her attention was drawn to Rider, “and what’s this?” She descended towards Storm Rider. He held his ground while other ponies slinked back a little. “What a handsome stallion, such intense eyes, strong back, and regal demeanor. I could use a stallion like you at my side,” she said stroking his chin with her mane. Storm Rider suppressed his emotions to keep them from showing and held his ground. She got close to his face and whispered, “Join me.” Rider breathed in deep and burped in her face aiming at her eyes. She rubbed her watery eyes as she flew back to the balcony still facing him. She looked at Storm Rider enraged. “Impertinent peasant,” she screamed. “Thou shall pay thin impudence.”

“Please, put it on my tab,” he said with a sly grin his hard eyes still meeting her gaze. Nightmare Moon composed herself before addressing the audience.

“Remember this day, little ponies, for it was your last. From this moment forth, the night will last forever.” She let out an evil laugh as mist swirled above her and lightning cracked around her.

“Seize her,” the mayor screamed, “only she knows where the Princess is.” Three white pegasi garbed in gold armor, royal guards, took flight to take down Nightmare Moon. As they got close, Nightmare Moon shouted at them,

“Stand back you, foals.” Her eyes glowed as a lightning bolt struck each guard. Rider turned around and flapped his wings. Secretly he used his magic to cause a whirlwind to cushion their landing. Nightmare Moon laughed as she became a stream of mist and burst out the door. Applejack finally lost her grip on Rainbow Dash who took up chase after Nightmare Moon. Twilight Sparkle scooped up Spike onto her back and ran from the hall. Storm Rider stayed on her heels as she made a beeline for the library. She proceeded up to the loft to put Spike to bed. She came back down to join Rider as they tore through the library.

“Elements, elements, elements,” Twilight groaned as she pulled book after book to her. Rider had to dodge to avoid being hit by a couple of the books as he scanned the shelves. “How can I stop Nightmare Moon without the Elements of Harmony?” “And just what are the Elements of Harmony?” Rainbow Dash interrogated getting in Twilight’s face. Rider quick ran a hoof through his mane to make sure his horn was hidden. He had been too busy dodging and scanning to notice Dash and the others enter the library. “And how did you know about Nightmare Moon? Huh?” Twilight slowly retreated back from Dash’s questioning. “Are you a spy?” Her last question was almost cut off as Applejack pulled Dash back by her tail.

“Simmer down, Sally,” Applejack told Rainbow Dash. “She an’t no spy, but sure knows what’s goin’ on, don’t you, Twilight?”

“I read all about the prediction of Nightmare Moon,” Twilight began telling the small group of ponies. It was the same group that had met Rider at the base of the stairs earlier. “Some mysterious objects called the Elements of Harmony are the only thing that can stop her. But I don’t know what they are, where to find them. I don’t even know what they do.” Panic and stress was evident in her voice.

“The Elements of Harmony: A Reference Guide,” Pinkie read aloud looking at one of the bookcases.

“How did you find that?” Twilight asked bumping Pinkie pie aside.

“It was under ‘E’,” Pinkie Pie almost sang bouncing about. Storm Rider suppressed a chuckle.

“Oh,” Twilight said a little annoyed she over looked something so small. She picked up the book with her magic and read aloud. “There are six Elements of Harmony, but only five are known: kindness, laughter, generosity, honesty, and loyalty. The sixth is a complete mystery. It is said the last known location of the five elements was in the ancient castle of the Royal Pony Sisters. It is located in what is now the EVERFREE FOREST.”
The Equestrian Tales
Chapter 4
Episode 2.3: The Flight for Harmony

The equestrian world was just as much like the human world as it was different. Much of the plant and animal life was managed by ponies. Matter of fact, most of this world was managed by ponies. Ponies managed the weather and the turning of the seasons. Even the rise and fall of the sun and moon was manipulated by the inhabitants of this world. However, the Everfree Forest was something different. Much of the forest was uncharted. There were many dangerous creatures that dwelled within those trees. The wildlife, vegetation, and weather managed itself. While it wasn’t strange to me, it was very strange to the equestrian citizens. Thus, many ponies wouldn’t even go near those trees. As the seven of us approached the edge of the forest, I could almost taste the fear from the others, well, all except Pinkie Pie.

“Let’s go,” Pinkie cheered as she started to enter the forest.

“Not so fast,” Twilight instructed. “Look. I appreciate the offer, but I really rather do this on my own.”

“No can do, sugar cube,” Applejack countered as the others and myself began entering the forest. “We sure an’t letting any friend of ours go in that creepy place alone. We’re stickin’ to you like caramel on a candy apple.”

“Especially if there’s candy apples in there,” Pinkie added in. “What? Those things are good.” Twilight simply groaned and entered as well. As we proceeded through the trees, I continued to look around. I was left with a nagging feeling that something was out of place. Noticing me looking around, Pinkie Pie asked me, “What are you looking at?”

“I’m not sure,” I answered her. “These trees feel almost alive.”

“What’s so strange about that?” Applejack asked. “All trees are alive, aren’t they?”

“That’s not what I mean,” I said still scanning the area occasionally taking quick sniffs of the air. “It’s like they’re creatures instead of plants. What’s more, they all give the same vibe. I could be wrong, but it’s like this is whole forest is one big creature.”

“I have a question,” Rarity chimed in. “Who are you and why are you here?” There was a hint of annoyance in her voice.

“His name is Storm Rider,” Pinkie answered before I could say anything. “He moved to Ponyville just before Twilight did. He already met Rainbow Dash when she crashed into him. He bought apples from Applejack. I’m surprised you don’t know him, Rarity, since you were the second pony he talked to.” I put my wing in her mouth to stop her.

“Thanks you for the introduction, Pinkie. Miss Pricy did talk to me, but we never got to names. So what was your name, yours and the yellow pegasus?”

“Her name is Rarity,” Pinkie Pie said before Rarity could answer. “Her name is Fluttershy,” she continued motioning toward to the yellow pegasus. “Great now we’re all friends.” Twilight rolled her eyes.

“I wouldn’t get ahead of yourself,” I said returning to my scanning. “We know each other, but friendship doesn’t instantly happen. Well for most ponies it doesn’t. To answer your other question, my reason is the same as the rest of you. I’m here helping a friend, whether she sees me as a friend or not.”

“If you’ve moved to Ponyville, where are you staying?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“I’m staying in the library,” I answered matter of fact. I was so focused on my scanning I forgot who I was talking to.

“I thought Twilight was staying in the library,” Fluttershy added in. “Is that really appropriate?”

“It’s alright,” Rarity answered. “He doesn’t seem to be into mare.” I stopped dead in my track. Looking back over my shoulder, I asked,

“Excuse me?”

“Well you certainly haven’t been taking much notice of any of us.” Her words trailed off as I approached her. My emerald eyes appeared to have darkened. Fear slowly crept into her voice.

“First off, assumption most of the time are wrong. So why don’t we look at the facts?” Rarity slowly backed away from my threatening presence. “We are in an uncharted part of Equestria inhabited by a lot of dangerous creatures with no definitive direction of where we are going or what we are looking for.” Rarity tried to continue to slink back despite putting her back to a tree. “Is now really the time to be distracted at all? Why don’t we look at the real reason, the fact that I wasn’t putty in your hooves? Did it ever occur to you that I have enough discipline so charm doesn’t work on me? It doesn’t matter if you’re a foal, mare, critter, or stallion,” I shuttered at the last thought before continuing, “Charm doesn’t work. You’re just mad because you tried to charm me and it failed.”

“So do you like mares?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“As a matter of fact, I do. I just know how to control myself.” Turning my attention back to Rarity, I continued, “So before your spread something around about anypony, you would do well to get your facts straights like, I don’t know, ask them. Because the next time you spread something without all the facts, I guarantee you won’t like what I do.” I snorted at her and walked back to the front of the procession. “Oh and for the record, looks will only get you so far with some stallions. You all would do well to remember that.” We continued forward in silence. The girls’ fear was building as we proceeded. It was hard to tell if they were afraid of the forest or me. Twilight was the first to break the silence.

“So none of you have been in here before?” Twilight asked with fear still in her voice.

“Heaven’s no,” Rarity answered. “Just look at it. It’s dreadful.” The fear was definite in her voice.

“And it an’t natural,” Applejack added in. “Don’t know is it’s like what Storm Rider said, but folks say it don’t work the same as Equestia.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Twilight asked, her fear growing.

“No pony knows,” Dash said in a spooky voice. “You know why?”

“Rainbow, quit it,” Applejack said. I just rolled my eyes and sniffed the air again. The scent of dark energy accosted my nose. I took several sniffs trying to figure out where it was coming from. Meanwhile Dash stacked toward her friends. Ignoring Applejack, she continued,

“Cause every pony whose ever come in has never come out.” It was then I noticed the dark energy was beneath me. My memory clicked to what was happening.

“Everypony move!” I yelled, but my cry was too late as the ground gave way beneath us. Fluttershy and Dash immediately took to the air. Due to my inexperience flying, I slid with the others backwards. I pushed off from the cliff side as Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash moved in to help. I looked back up to see debris following us down. I pounced on a large rock from the side that was aimed at Rarity. Using my momentum, the boulder was deflected off course as I pounced on a second one aimed at Applejack. Rainbow Dash picked up Pinkie Pie as a small boulder flew at them. I flapped my wings hard to cause a gust of wind. The gust deflected the rock from hitting them. Fluttershy grabbed Rarity by the tail as another rock came down toward them. I flapped my wings to cause another gust. The gust knocked the rock off course. Applejack managed to grab a small root by her teeth. Meanwhile Twilight slid down to a sheer cliff drop off. She dangled on the edge with the threat of falling to her death.

“Hold on,” Applejack called letting go of the root. “I’m a comin’,” she assured gently sliding to Twilight to keep her from falling. The rocks continued to rain down. I landed behind AJ and began beating my wings. I was so glad I found a book on wind spells. I had learned I could weave spells together. Using my wings, I could amplify the wind I created by using multiple small spells. The small amounts of magic made it easy to use them without exposing my horn. I used the wind to create a shield to deflect the incoming rock slide.

“Applejack, what do I do?” Twilight pleaded.

“Storm, can ya get her?” Applejack asked me over her shoulder.

“There’s too much coming down. If I move to save one, the rocks will get the other,” I answered struggling under the strain to not only maintain my rhythm, but the spells as well. Hiding magic while trying to use it was becoming increasingly taxing. Applejack paused before saying,

“Twilight, let go.”

“Are you crazy?” Twilight asked.

“No I an’t. I promise you’ll be safe.”

“That’s not true,” Twilight accused with fear growing in her voice.

“Now listen here. What I’m sayin’ to you is the honest truth. Let go and you’ll be safe.”

“If you’re going to do something, I suggest you do it,” I added between grunts. “I can’t keep this up for much longer.” I heard Twilight scream as she let go. Her screams didn’t last long. Thankfully I already knew they stopped because her friends had caught her. I gave one more powerful blast before scooping up Applejack. Her hat flew off, and I managed to grab it with my teeth as we narrowly missed the river of falling rocks. I heavily sighed with relief as I lowered us to join the others who were waiting for us, and set Applejack down.

“Thanks a lot, Storm,” Applejack thanked as I placed her hat back on her head.

“No big, and call me Rider,” I said wiping the sweat from my brow and rolling my wings. I then called out, “Head count. Everypony here? Anypony hurt?” All six mumbled they were okay. “Good. Let’s keep moving,” I announced continuing on.

“Wait,” Rarity called out. “You protected me. Why?” I stopped to answer over my shoulder.

“It was the right thing to do.” We continued forward. Of course Rainbow Dash couldn’t help bragging about her saves to Twilight.

“And once Pinkie and Rarity were safe, whoosh, me and Fluttershy hooked the loop around and, wham, caught you right in the nic of time.”

“Yes, Rainbow, I was there, and I’m grateful. However, I also saw Storm Rider protecting all of us from the falling rocks.”

“Yeah those were some pretty awesome moves,” Dash admitted. “Why didn’t you do anything against Nightmare Moon?”

“I did,” I answered matter of fact.

“Excuse me, Darling,” Rarity interjected, “but all you did was burp in her face.”

“Exactly.”

“How the hay in burpin’ doin’ somethin’?” Applejack asked.

“Because she was using shadow magic,” I answered. The others looked at me confused. “Shadow magic is a form of dark magic,” I explained. “Casters using shadow magic are very difficult to deal with. Physical attacks are all but useless. The only way a physical attack will work if one pony has their undivided attention. A second pony can then hit them from behind, but the caster can’t see it coming. Twi can vouch that I had pepper breath. When I burped, I, might as well, squirted pepper juice in her face. I also had her full attention.”

“Sounds like you really are an egghead,” Rainbow Dash laughed.

“And your point is?”

“So ya set up for somepony ta hit her,” Applejack added continuing my train of thought. “If I had let Dash go, we could’ve got her.”

“That might have worked, if Dash did it quietly. As far as I’ve seen of her, Dash doesn’t do quiet.”

“And because nopony knew what you were doing, you’re acts were in vain,” Rarity finished.

“True, but I had to try something,” I added. I sniffed the air and stopped dead in my tracks.

“What’s wrong?” Twilight asked.

“Trouble,” I answered, the scent of dark energy invading my nostrils. A menacing figure barded our pass. It looked like a lion yet had the ears and wings of a bat. It also had the tail of a scorpion.

“A manticore,” Twilight announced. “We have to get pass him.” The manticore lunged forward and swiped with its right front paw. I pulled Rarity back to help her duck under the swipe. I countered by lunging and bringing my hind legs around to kick the beast in the jaw. I then felt fear and pain, but something felt off.

“Ha,” Rarity cheered, “take that you ruffian.” The manticore roared at her instead of me. The roar messed up Rarity’s mane. “My hair,” Rarity complained before running back. The manticore gave chase after her. It ignored me as if the insult hurt worse than my kick. Applejack jumped on its back and rode it like a bucking bronco.

“Yeeha,” Applejack screamed, “get along, little doggie.” The manticore’s pain ebbed and flowed with each buck. It was hurt. The manticore finally bucked Applejack off. As she flew through the air, Applejack casually said to Rainbow Dash, “All yours, partner.”

“I’m on it,” Rainbow Dash saluted before circling the manticore at high speed. It was like a rainbow colored tornado surrounded the manticore. The manticore swatted Dash away with its scorpion tail.

“Rainbow,” Twilight cried. Dash landed near Twilight, Applejack, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie. She got up and joined them as the five prepared to charge the manticore who stood its ground snorting at them. We were getting nowhere. We were lucky the manticore hadn’t used its stinger yet. I had to stop it before someone got seriously hurt. As the others charged forward, I landed between them and the manticore and flapped my wings at my friends. I caused a small gust to halt them. At the same time, Fluttershy finally found her voice. Her small cries had gone unnoticed.

“Wait!” Fluttershy screamed. She was hesitant for a moment when she noticed me protecting the manticore. I folded a wing to let her pass before unfolding my wing to block the others.

“Rider, what are you doing?” Twilight asked.

“Let her handle this,” I said continuing to stand my ground. The others cringed for a second before I heard Fluttershy say,

“Shss, it’s okay.” The others’ expression changed to one of confusion. “Oh you poor, poor little baby,” she coed.

“Little?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Now this might hurt for just a second,” Fluttershy comforted. The manticore roared.

“Fluttershy!” The other girls cried. As the roared died, I heard the manticore begin to purr. I folded my wings and turned around to see the manticore happily licking Fluttershy. The manticore’s pain and fear were gone. I trotted pass the manticore. As I passed, I noticed a large thorn. It seemed out of place, and I simply kicked it aside.

“Ah you’re just a little old baby kitty, aren’t you,” Fluttershy babied. “Yes you are. Yes you are.” The others passed by as Fluttershy pacified the big cat. Twilight waited for Fluttershy. They exchanged kind words before rejoining us.

We continued forward on our trek. The mood had surprisingly lightened after our encounter with the manticore. As we marched on, Rarity let out a groan.

“My eyes need a rest from all this icky muck,” she complained. No sooner did she complain the moon hid itself under a thick canopy. “Well I didn’t mean that literally.”

“That ancient ruin could be right in front of our faces, and we wouldn’t even know it,” Twilight complained. The others began to argue. I was used to moving in almost total darkness. When my eyes were no use, I wouldn’t use them and stretched out my other senses. When I did, something felt off. My concentration was broken when Applejack announced,

“Oh wait. I think I stepped in somethin’.” All of a sudden, Fluttershy screamed. “It’s just mud,” Applejack said before she noticed the scary creature in front of her. At that moment, she too yelled. It became apparent to all; we were surrounded by menacing creatures. The girls started screaming while backing toward me. I rubbed my ears from the pain of the high pitch screams. As far as scary, I wasn’t impressed. I’d seen much worse, especially since I enjoyed going into haunted houses. Over the deafening screams, Pinkie’s giggles could be heard. Her laughter stopped the screams. Pinkie Pie even started making faces at one of the creatures. I struggled not to laugh.

“Pinkie,” Twilight yelled, “What are you doing? Run!”

“Oh, girls, don’t you see,” Pinkie started singing. “When I was a little filly and the sun was going down.”

“Tell me she’s not,” Twilight unbelievingly said.

“The darkness and the shadows, they would always make me frown.” Pinkie kept singing.

“She is,” Rarity answered.

“I’d hide under my pillow from what I thought I saw,” Pinkie sang as she bounced about. I struggled hard not to bust out laughing. “But Granny Pie said that wasn’t the way to deal with fears at all.”

“Then what is?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“She said, Pinkie, you got to stand up tall.  Learn to face our fears. You’ll see that they can’t hurt you. Just laugh to make them disappear, Ha, Ha, Ha.” Pinkie simple laugh turned the menacing creatures into a normal tree. This caused the others to gasp. I was really fighting back the giggles. “So, giggle at the ghosty. Guffaw at the grossly. Crack up at the creepy. Whoop it up with the weepy. Chortle at the kooky. Snortle at the spooky.” With each phrase, all of us started laughing. As our laughter grew, the scary faces started to disappear. “And tell that big dumb scary face to take hike and leave you alone and if he thinks he can scare you then he’s got another thing coming and the very idea of such a thing just makes you wanna…,” Pinkie laughed for a minute before continuing, “Laugh!” All the scary faces disappeared, and the forest even seemed brighter.

As an empathy, I always enjoyed being around positive emotions. It always seemed to give me even more energy. Large amounts of negative emotions often made me nauseous. As we started forward, I was surprised that I was feeling a little nauseous, but it was coming from behind us. I fell silent and slowly back pedaled. The girls were so busy laughing; none of them seemed to notice I had slipped away. I always marveled at how easy it was to leave a group without anyone noticing.

As the girls moved out of sight, the darkness seemed to be moving forward even if I stood still. My discomfort kept growing with the darkness. I flapped my wings to cause a gust. The darkness was actually pushed back. From the dark shadows sprouted multiple little red eyes. However, their eyes weren’t focused on me but on something behind me. I could almost taste their bloodlust. In a stern voice I told the creatures,

“If you want those mares, you’re going to have to go through me.” The good news was I got all of their attention. The bad news was I got all of their attention. Their bloodlust was now directed at me. With no one else around, it was pointless to keep hiding my horn. Tossing my head left and right, my horn poked through my spiky hair. “I hope this works,” I muttered to myself. I concentrated on the sword Princess Celestia had given me. I let the emerald energy build around my horn. I cast the teleportation spell, and the sword in its scabbard appeared in front of me in a flash of green light. I unsheathed the blade and held it ready in front of me by magic while I let the scabbard fall to my side. I unfurled my wings and stood ready for the oncoming attack. “Alright, uglies, show me what you got,” I provoked.

The shadow creatures lunged at me. I took to the air swiping the sword with my magic at the place I was just standing. The sword sliced through two creatures which dissipated. Grabbing the hilt with me front hoof, I spun around slashing one behind me and two above me causing all three to dissipate. Since these were creatures of shadows, I sent out four small light spells from my horn at once. The four beams of green light struck the wall of shadows. Four more creatures dissipated. With each one seemly vanquished, my nausea lessened.

The creatures renewed their attack. I side rolled over the attack spinning the sword around me with magic cutting down three more. I flapped my wings causing another gust. The gust pushed the creatures back to give me a hole. I dove through the hole in their ranks using my magic to sweep the blade left and right as I passed to the back of the pack. I rose above the canopy. Grabbing the sword with my right hoof, I spun back around slicing through another. I charged my horn and sent out a barrage of small light spells at the incoming attackers. I then dove at the collecting creatures. Going into a barrel roll, I held the sword at an angle shredding my way through their ranks. I skidded to a stop on the other side on three hooves still holding the sword in my right. Holding the sword aloft with my magic, I stood back on all four and waited for the next wave.

The creatures’ ranks had been thinned, but their hatred towards me had only deepened. Their collective hatred of me allowed them to merge together. I watched as they mashed together growing larger and reaching above the canopy. Its body was so dense it was almost an inky black and a solid mass.

“Oh, you guys just made this so much easier,” I told the lumbering creature. I charged forward holding my sword with my magic. The large shadow tried to smash me. I had to dodge both fist as I ran for the creature’s legs. I slashed at both legs as I past beneath it. The creature wailed in pain. I shot straight up carving my sword through its back. The creature spun around back fisting me making me lose my grip on the sword. Through the pain I concentrated and managed to teleport myself to keep from becoming a projectile. I charged my horn and shot a large light spell made up of multiple small light spells. The creature wailed again as its arm was blasted off. I used the creature’s moment of pain to look for my sword. Before I could spot it, the creature reared up its other arm. I prayed it would work as I tried to teleport my sword to me. The sword appeared before me in a flash of green light. I grasped the sword and split the fist in two. The creature reeled back in pain. I rose up and dove straight down at the creature’s head my sword leading the charge. My sword pierced the creature splitting it in two as my sword sunk into the ground. I was panting as the two halves dissolved away.

I stretched my sense searching for any more. I spied one lingering shadow creature.

“Oh no, you don’t.” I yelled whipping my head around using my magic to throw my sword at the creature. My sword sailed through the air. The creature was impaled on a tree before dissipating as well. I walked over to the sword shifting it back and forth before pulling it free. The nausea was gone. I searched for the scabbard with a search spell before sheathing the blade and teleporting the sword back to the library.

My legs wobbled from exhaustion. I made a mental note to practice a little with magic. I also made a note to ask Princess Celestia about that sword. I was a little surprised it worked on those creatures. I proceeded on the path with shaky steps. I was grateful when I came across a stream. I immediately began gulping down water. As the water slid down my throat, I felt my strength renewed. The one advantage to being hyperactive was the short recovery time. I still going to be really sore the next day, but I could press on.

I then noticed a sea serpent splashing in the water and enjoying his reflection. Oddly enough, my first thought was wondering if I was up river of it. It had purple scales and quaff light brown hair with a long moustache. As I looked at him, I noticed that one side of his moustache was purple with a familiar curl. I ran a hoof through my mane before flying over to the serpent.

“Uh, pardon me,” I called to the serpent.

“Yes?”

“You didn’t happen to see six mares pass through here.”

“Oh why yes, I did. They were such nice ponies.”

“You wouldn’t happen to know where they went.”

“Oh yes. They took that path right there,” the serpent said pointing to a path on the opposite side of the stream from where I had come.

“Thanks. Um, nice moustache,” I added before heading down the path.

“Oh why thank you. Such nice ponies,” the serpent called after. I flew down the path until I found five of them waiting by a cliff. I noticed Rarity’s tail was much shorter. I landed and trotted up to the others. I arrived in time for Rainbow Dash to emerge from the fog and pose for her friends. As the fog cleared, a rope bridge appeared leading across a chasm to the ruins of a castle. The others cheered for their pegasus friend.

“See, I’d never leave my friend hanging,” Rainbow Dash replied. She then noticed me. “Hey, Rider, where’d you go?”

“What do you mean?” I asked keeping my cool.

“You were there and then you weren’t.”

“Sorry. I have a bad habit of doing that.”

“How does a pegasus just disappear?” Applejack asked.

“It’s really not that hard. Anypony can do it.”

“Are you sure you just didn’t get scared when you saw that sea serpent?” Dash asked.

“Actually my first thought was wondering if I was upriver of him,” I answered.

“Sure it was,” she said with a small laugh. As we entered we immediately found a stone pedestal with smaller pedestals branching off holding up five stone orbs with a single jewel impression in each.

“Wow,” Twilight said in awe.

“Come on, Twilight,” Applejack encouraged. “Isn’t this what you been waiting for?”

“The Elements of Harmony, we found them,” Twilight commented still in awe. Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and I removed the five orbs from the pedestals and placed the large orbs next to Twilight on the ground.

“Careful, careful,” Twilight instructed.

“One, two, three, four,” Pinkie Pie counted. “There’s only five.”

“Where’s the sixth?” Dash asked.

“The book said, ‘when the five are present, a spark will cause the sixth element to be revealed,’” Twilight answered.

“What in the hay is that supposed to mean?” Applejack asked a little annoyed.

“I’m not sure, but I have an idea,” Twilight said with confidence. “Stand back. I don’t know what will happen.”

“Come on now, y’all,” Applejack instructed the rest of us. “She needs to concentrate.” We filed back out the door. As we waited, we heard Twilight cry out.

“Twilight,” the girls cried in unison. We looked back to see the elements caught in a purple tornado. I rushed forward to help.

“The elements,” Twilight said with concern as she jumped into the vortex. The swirl quickly shrank down. I dove for the vortex myself only to have it vanish before I could get to it. I was moving so fast I crashed into the pedestal. Panic grew within the girls. I got up with a groan. I was definitely going to be in a lot of pain the next day. The girls were in a panic frantically searching the room for Twilight.

“Twilight, where are you?” Applejack asked with great concern.

“Look,” Rarity exclaimed pointing out the window. Another section of the castle had light pouring out of every crack.

“Come on,” Applejack instructed. I shook the stupor out of me and lead the charge. As we raced to the other section of the castle, I almost tripped on my own four feet. I had to switch to flying before I fell. We heard Nightmare Moon laughing up ahead of us. The others called out to Twilight to let her know we were coming.

“You think you can destroy the Elements of Harmony just like that,” I heard Twilight say as we entered. I landed and placed myself between Twilight and Nightmare Moon as Twilight continued, “Well you’re wrong, because the spirits of the Elements of Harmony are right here.” Shards of what was left of the Elements of Harmony began to glow and lift off the ground. “Applejack, who reassured me when I was in doubt, represents the spirit of honesty.” A few of the shards began circling Applejack. “Fluttershy, who tamed the manticore with her compassion, represents the spirit of kindness.” Shards began circling Fluttershy despite her trying to avoid them. “Pinkie Pie, who banished fear by giggling in the face of danger, represents the spirit of laughter.” Pinkie Pie had shards circling her as well. “Rarity, who calmed a sorrowful serpent with a meaningful gift, represents the spirit of generosity.” Shards swirled around Rarity as well. “And Rainbow Dash, who could not abandon her friends for her own heart’s desire, represents the spirit of loyalty.” Finally Rainbow Dash had shards around her as well. “The spirits of these five ponies got us through every challenge you threw at us.”

“You still don’t have the sixth element,” Nightmare Moon countered with concern growing in her voice. “The spark didn’t work.”

“But it did,” Twilight corrected, “a different kind of spark. I felt it the very moment I realized how happy I was to hear you, to see you, how much I cared about you,” she told her friends, “all of you,” she added over her shoulder at me. “The spark ignited inside me when I realized you all are my friends.” A sixth orbed appeared and floated down to rest above Twilight’s head. “You see, Nightmare Moon, when these elements are ignited by the …spark that resides in the heart of us all, it creates the sixth element, the element of magic.” A bright light emitted from the girls.

“No,” Nightmare Moon cried. “I won’t be beaten again.” Nightmare Moon began charging her horn. Since my spells were smaller, it was easy to set them off before she could. I flapped my wings and blasted a gust of wind at her face. The wind broke her concentration. “Insolate foal, you think you can defeat me?”

“I don’t have to beat you, Luna,” I answered Nightmare Moon. “I just have to stall you.” A rainbow shot out from behind me and struck at Nightmare Moon’s hooves.

“No,” Nightmare Moon cried as she was encased in a rainbow colored vortex. I covered my eyes as the room was bathed in a bright white light. As the light faded, I found the girls lying on the ground each with a gold necklace around their neck and a tiara on Twilight’s head.

“Perfect,” I simply said.

“My head,” Dash groaned.

“Everypony okay,” Applejack asked.

“Oh thank goodness,” Rarity exclaimed. I looked back to see Rarity’s tail had grown back.

“Why, Rarity, it’s so lovely,” Fluttershy complemented.

“I know. I’ll never part with it again,” Rarity said fawning over her tail.

“No, your necklace,” she corrected. “It looks just like your cutie mark.”

“So do yours,” Rarity pointed out.

“Look at mine. Look at mine,” Pinkie Pie exclaimed bouncing about.

“Ah, yeah,” Rainbow Dash exclaimed. I helped Twilight up.

“Jee, Twilight,” Applejack said. “I thought you were just spoutin’ a lot of whooy, but I recon we really do represent the elements of friendship.”

“In deed you do,” the voice of a mature woman spoke. The sun rose above the horizon. An orb of light drifted down from the sun into the chamber. From the ray of light, a white alicorn mare emerged with a flowing mane and tail in a ribbon of blue, green, purple, and pink. A gold crown rested on her head and a gold necklace sat around her neck. She was twice as big as any of the girls. Her purple eyes shone with gentleness and wisdom. The girls bowed their heads leaving their flanks in the air. I placed my right hoof over my heart and gave a slight bow in respect.

“Princess Celestia,” Twilight said in admiration walking up to the large mare.

“Twilight Sparkle, my faithful student,” the princess greeted. “I knew you could do it.”

“But you told me it was all an old pony tale,” Twilight questioned.

“I told you, you need to make friends, nothing more,” Celestia corrected. “I saw the signs of Nightmare Moon’s return, and I knew it was you who had the magic inside to defeat her.”

“Told ya,” I whispered to Twilight. Twilight gave me a slightly annoyed look as the others stood back up.

“But you could not unleash it until you let true friendship into your heart,” Celestia continued, “now if only another will as well, Princess Luna.” A blue alicorn mare laid where Nightmare Moon once stood with blue shards around her. Her mane was a lighter shade than her coat which supported a small blue crown. She jolted awake at the mention of the name. “It has been a thousand years since I have seen you like this,” she said as she approached and knelt next to the smaller alicorn. “Time to put our differences behind us, we were meant to rule together, little sister.”

“Sister?” Twilight asked surprised.

“Will you accept my friendship?” Celestia asked rising to her hooves. The others leaned forward waiting for her reply. Pinkie leaned so far she fell over. I suppressed my laughter for the serious moment.

“I’m so sorry,” Luna finally answered with tears in her eyes. “I missed you so much, big sister.”
“I’ve missed you too,” Celestia replied with tears of joy. Pinkie Pie had a hanky and was crying streams of joy.

“Hey,” Pinkie exclaimed abruptly stopping her tear, “do you know what this calls for? A party!” As if Pinkie had planned for it upon our arrival back to town, a big celebration was under way to welcome back both princesses. The princesses rode in on a gold open carriage drawn by four white pegasi in gold armor. Spike rushed to greet Twilight. The citizens bowed in respect to their rulers. A pair of pegasi  foals hung a ring of flowers around Luna’s neck.

“Why so glum, my faithful student?” Celestia asked Twilight. “Are you not happy you quest is complete, and you can return to your studies in Canterlot?”

“That’s just it,” Twilight replied. “Just when I learn how wonderful it is to have friends, I have to leave them.”

“Spike, take a note please,” Celestia instructed. Spike produced a scroll and quill and began dictating. “I, Princess Celestia, hereby decree that the unicorn, Twilight Sparkle, shall take on a new mission for Equestria. She must continue to study the magic of friendship. She must report to me her findings from her new home in Ponyville.”

“Thank you, Princess Celestia,” Twilight gratefully thanked as her new friends gathered around her. “I’ll study harder than ever before.” The town cheered.

“Storm Rider,” Princess Celestia addressed me. “May I have a word with you?”

“As you wish, Princess,” I said as she led me away. Once away from prying ears, she continued,

“You did well looking after my student.”

“I didn’t really do much. They could have defeated Nightmare Moon without me.”

“True, your role was a small one, but you did play a role. However, I do not know how to return you to your world.”

“You can play ignorant with your subjects, but not with me.” Celestia was surprised by my comment. “It’s kind of hard to play coy with someone you’ve already tipped your hand to. You know of a way to send me back, but the pieces are not in place to use it yet.”

“Very astute,” Celestia admitted. “I do know of a way, but that path is not ready. What will you do then?”

“I can wait.”

“If you like, you may stay at the palace in Canterlot as my guest.”

“I appreciate the offer, but I think things will be a little more interesting here in Ponyville. I’d like to stay here.”

“Very well, but you might want to learn that glamor spell.”

“What glamor spell?”

“The one that is on your hair.”

“Oh, so that’s how I’ve been hiding my horn,” I said revealing and hiding my horn. “Is there a book in the library with that spell?”

“There is a copy. Speaking of the library if you are going to stay in Ponyville, you will need a place to stay.  You may stay in the library. However, I must require you watch out for Twilight Sparkle and her new friends.”

“I can work with that, but something is still bothering me.”

“What is that?”

“While we were in the forest, I came across some kind of shadow creatures. They were after the girls. According to the book you gave me, that wasn’t supposed to happen.”

“Speak no more of the book, but you are right. This is troubling news. In addition to looking after Twilight and her friends, you must report to me anything else out of the ordinary.”

“Will do,” I said as I started to walk away. “Oh, thanks for the suitcase. I’ll be sure to put those items to good use.”

The celebration lasted the whole day. As evening drew near, I started to feel the side effects of my adventure. As I began to limp toward the library, I felt a peck on my cheek. I turned to see Rainbow Dash.

“Um…what was that for?” I asked.

“Just for, you know all your help. Those were some pretty sick moves. You’ll have to show me some of them some time.”

“I appreciate that, but you didn’t have to thank me. I didn’t really do anything.”

“Oh okay.” I only took a few more steps before I felt another peck. It was Rarity this time.

“Why did you do that?” I asked her.

“We seemed to have gotten off on the wrong hoof. That was to apologize and thank you for all you help.”

“I didn’t really do anything. You don’t have to thank me. Oh and next time you need help, all you have to do is ask. You don’t have to charm me into doing work.”

“Not that it would work, but I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks.”

“No big,” I simply said. I didn’t go far before I felt a peck on the other cheek. I turned to see an orange mare this time.

“What was that for?”

“For all your help, sugar cube. You were a big help,” Applejack explained.

“No, I wasn’t. Believe me. You could have done it without me,” I countered as I continued to limp back. I hadn’t got far before I felt another peck. I turned to see the shy pegasus.

“What was that for, Fluttershy?” I almost snapped.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Fluttershy apologized. “I just wanted to thank you. You were really brave.”

“Trust me, that wasn’t bravery. You didn’t have to thank me.” I limp toward the tree house again. I was near the library when I felt someone else give me a peck.

“Pinkie, why did you do that?”

“I don’t know. Isn’t this how everypony is greeting you now?” Pinkie cheerfully asked.

“No, they were just doing that as a way to thank me.”

“Okay then,” Pinkie said before kissing me on the cheek again and bouncing away.

“You don’t have to thank…oh never mind,” I said as I approached to the door to the library. A noise caused me to look up. As I did, my lips were met with Dash’s lips. “Why did you do that?”

“Um…I was actually going for your cheek again,” Dash said as she dropped to the ground next to me.

“Again, why?”

“Well, Pinkie kissed you twice, and I didn’t want to be out done. I am the best after all.”

“Well you certainly out did everypony else. Look, it’s not that I don’t appreciate the gesture. I really do, but none of you needed to thank me. Matter of fact, I should be thanking each of you. You’re the heroes, not me.” I walked in before she could respond. As I closed the door, I felt another peck on the cheek. “Not you too, Twilight,” I complained.

“What? I was just trying to thank you,” Twilight said taken back a little.

“All six of you,” I sighed, “you didn’t need to thank me, none of you did.”

“What do you mean? You were a big help to us.”

“First off know this I will never abandon you or any of your friends. Second, I didn’t do anything worthy to be thanked, you did. You and your friends defeated Nightmare Moon, not me. Third, believe me when I say you didn’t need me during this whole incident. You never did.”

“But you’re one of my friends,” Twilight said as I limped down stairs.
The Equestrian Tales
Chapter 3
Episode 1.6: The Nightmare Begins
A great noise awoke me from my slumber. I rubbed the sleep from eyes. I noticed I had hooves instead of hands. My confusion mounted as I didn’t recognize my surroundings. It took a moment for my memories to catch up with me. I had fallen asleep reading the book that was in my suitcase. Being underground, it was kind of hard to tell what time it was.
The book had been very interesting. Unlike all of the rest of the books, I couldn’t speed read it. I still wasn’t sure how I understood the equestrian languages. Most books were in English, but even the ones that weren’t I still understood them. This book also seemed to be getting longer. I knew I had read a lot, but it seemed like I had barely made a dent in it. I understood now why Celestia asked me not to show it to anyone else. As I read the book, I recognized it as the story that I knew would occur in this world. However the book didn’t mention me. As I read the book, my memory began to return to me of the story, but I only got back what I read.
I needed a place to hide the book while I wasn’t reading it. I used a search spell to look for a hiding spot. I found one behind the bookcase next to my bed. I used my magic to remove the books and looked behind them. I found no markings to indicate there was a hidden panel. Pointing my horn at the shelves, I said,
“Alohamora.” A beam of green light came from my horn and struck the shelves. The whole shelf dropped down quick to reveal the hiding space. I jerked my head back in surprise. I made a mental note to be clear of the shelf when it opened and closed. I made another note that I didn’t need to remove the books to open it. Within the large hiding spot, I found a stand for a book and a sword. I found it a little strange to have such a hiding space. An empty book stand was one thing, but an empty sword stand was even stranger. I removed the sword form my suitcase and placed both the book and the sword on their stands. They fit perfectly almost like they were made for them. I made another mental note to ask Celestia about this library. I thought for a moment on how to close it before saying, “close sesame.” The shelf shot back up. I replaced the books and ran a hoof in my mane to hide my horn. I stuffed an apple in my mouth before heading upstairs.
As I reached the first floor, I found most of the town in the tree having a party. I arrived just in time to see a purple unicorn’s face turn beet red. Her purple eyes watered as she nearly breathed fire. Her purple mane had two different streaks of pink near the center which whipped behind her as she ran upstairs to the loft.
“Hot sauce,” a little purple dragon read holding a bottle as I approached. He had no wings and green round spines running down the length of his body. Pinkie Pie tipped the bottle over a cupcake drenching it in a red sauce. She gobbled the cupcake in one bite like it was nothing. I too poured a little on a cupcake and ate it. I recognized the burning sensations and the level it was. It was nothing to me, because I was used to extremely spicy food. However, this level would make most miserable. I whispered to the little dragon,
“Why don’t you grab a glass of milk and a glass of ginger ale and follow me upstairs?”
“Why?” The little dragon questioned.
“Let me put it this way,” I said in a calm voice. I then commanded in a stern voice, “Your friend needs a glass of milk and a glass of ginger ale, stat!” The little dragon rushed off almost in a panic. I began to ascend the steps as the little dragon caught up to me carrying the glasses. As we opened the door to the loft, we found the poor unicorn running around with tears in her eyes.
“Twilight,” the little dragon cried in concern.
“Better leave this to me,” I told him.
“But…,” the baby dragon tried to protest. I managed to get him to set the glasses down and shooed him out with my head. For a dragon, he was more than a head shorter than me, so I easily butted him out the door. I shut the door behind him and then turned to the problem at hand. After a moment of thought, I charged my horn and sent a wave of green energy. The poor unicorn was frozen in place.
“Moving around like that is only going to make it worse,” I told her walking up.
“I can’t take it. It won’t stop burning,” she cried.
“Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me,” I commented releasing her.
“I think I’m going to be sick,” she miserably said. Her face almost literally turned green. She tried to hold back the coming mess.
“Hold it,” I commanded grabbing an enclosed trash can with my magic. I placed it in front of her and then instructed, “Okay, let her rip.” Twilight plunged her head in to the bin and let loose the vile liquid. “That’s it. Let it all out,” I encouraged her while patting her back. She pulled her head from the bin still a little green. “All out?” She weakly nodded. I summoned a glass of water. Twilight scrambled to grab the glass. “Don’t drink it.”
“But I want the burning to stop,” Twilight protested.
“Trust me. Water would only make it worse. Just use it to rinse your mouth out,” I instructed. She reluctantly did as I said. After she spit in the bin, I used a spell to clean the bin with a momentary look of disgust. I then brought over the glass of milk with my magic. “Drink this instead.”
“What is it?”
“It’s milk. Now take a little in your mouth and hold it,” I instructed. Twilight sipped a little of the milk. “Now swallow it slowly.” She let the cool liquid slide down her throat. “Once more,” I told her. She repeated the process. “Now finish it off.” She gulped down the rest and plopped down with a sigh of relief. “Better?”
“The burn is gone, but my head really hurts,” she whined covering her eyes with her hooves.
“Yeah that’s normal,” I commented placing my horn near her head. A small emerald light emitted from the tip of my horn for a second. Luckily I found a book of simple healing spells in my studying. As the light faded, Twilight’s whole body seemed to relax. I picked her up with my magic and set her in the bed positioned above the bookcases next to the window. I proceeded up the stairs with the glass of ginger ale in tow. “Here, this will help settle your stomach,” I said setting the glass on the stand next to the bed.
“Thanks, but how did you know that would work?”
“Chemistry, anatomy, and herbology 101,” I answered.
“What do you mean?”
“What happens when you mix different acids together?”
“It increases the corrosive nature of the acids.”
“You had your nose so far in the air you didn’t notice you drank hot sauce.”
“So what does mixing acids have to do with it?”
“Hot sauce is an edible acid, ergo why your mouth was burning. It then mixed with the acid your body naturally makes in your stomach. Running around was just mixing them together even more.”
“Oh,” she said realizing her mistake.
“Does water help when added to mixed acids?”
“No, it doesn’t. Sometimes it makes it worse?”
“Correct,” I complemented. “So how do you neutralize an acid?” I asked still leading her to think.
“You mix is with a base.”
“Correct,” I said. “Milk is an edible base.”
“What about this?” She asked holding up the cup of ginger ale.
“That’s ginger ale. It’s made with ginger root which is known for aiding in settling stomachs.”
“But how did you know about the headache?”
“I eat a lot of spicy food. I know the side effects pretty well. The hot sauce you drank would cause a nose drip when put on something. Oh, you may want this,” I said bringing a tissue box and a trash can near her.
“Thanks,” Twilight said blowing her nose using her magic.
“You drank that and ran around, so you were most likely to hit level three.”
“How many levels are there?”
“Four,” I answered. “Level four, you can’t breathe.”
“Why would anypony make or eat that?”
“Tolerance varies from pony to pony. What might be level four to one pony would be level one to another. I had some and it was nothing to me. In fact, I want some more,” I added my mouth starting to water a little.
“Wow, you’re a really smart unicorn.”
“Actually, that’s what I needed to talk to you about, Twilight Sparkle,” I said locking the door with my magic. “I’m not a unicorn. I’m an alicorn,” I said unfolding my wings.
“Your highness,” she said scrambling to get in a kneeling position.
“Relax,” I commanded using my magic to force her to lay back down. “First off, moving around will only make things worse in your stomach, you need to rest until it passes out of your stomach. Secondly, I’m not royalty. I’m just an alicorn. The name is Storm Rider by the way. Third, everypony thinks I’m just a pegasus. I’d like to keep it that way.”
“But why tell me? Wait. How did you know my name?”
“I got a letter letting me know a Twilight Sparkle with a baby dragon named Spike was coming. Dragons with ponies are extremely rare, so I’m betting that was Spike. He also called you Twilight.”
“Okay, but why tell me your secret?”
“The letter said you would be staying here. I’m staying here too.”
“What?” She interjected popping up. “Is this your bed?”
“Relax,” I said forcing her back down. “My bedroom is in the roots. You and Spike can use this room if you like.”
“Okay thanks,” she said relaxing.
“The letter didn’t say how longing you would be staying, but this secret is kind of hard to hide from ponies when you live with them.”
“That’s nice, but I’m leaving here as soon as possible. Ponies around here are crazy.”
“Maybe,” I said as I unlocked the door. “Folks around here are really nice. You could make a lot of friends if you gave them a chance.” I ran a hoof through my mane to hide my horn. I let my words sink in as I left. I found the little dragon on the other side of the door. I used my head to flip him onto my back when he tried to enter. I folded my wings around him to cage him on my back.
“What are you doing? I have to get to Twilight.”
“Your friend will be fine,” I said closing the door, “but she needs to rest right now.” I continued down the stairs with the little dragon on my back despite his protest. As I reached the lower level, five ponies met me at the bottom steps.
“Everything okay?” Applejack asked with concern in voice.
“She’ll be fine,” I assured her. “She just wasn’t used to food that spicy.”
“I don’t blame her,” Rainbow Dash chimed in. “I hate spicy food. So is she coming back down?”
“Probably not,” I said. “She doesn’t strike me as a very social pony.” I wondered if I was talking about her or myself.
“Well that’s no good,” a white mare pouted. It was the same mare I had snubbed who was better known as Rarity. “How can you have a welcome to Ponyville party without the guest of honor?” The party had all but died.
“What are you talking about? Tomorrow is the Summer Sun Celebration. We need to party all night long. Yo DJ, crank that beat.” Pinkie Pie seemed to simply disappear from the base of the stairs and reappear behind the music station. As the music began to play, the party seemed to reignite. “Come on little guy. Get down with your bad self,” I said as I bucked the dragon off. He landed on his feet on the table and skid to a stop. As the music filled his ears, the little guy started dancing.
I hopped off the stairs and wondered over to the snacks station. Licking my lips, I poured some hot sauce on more cupcakes. As I gobbled them down, I noticed the glass of hot sauce Twilight had poured. My eyes quickly scanned to see if anyone was looking before tossing the straw out of the cup. I made another quick scan before chugging down the whole thing. A burp welled up in me. I let it build up until it erupted from me. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the large burp. Once again I was the only one laughing at it. I had always found it amazing how someone could feel so alone even in a crowd full of people. It was true when I was human, and it was still true when I was a pony. I always got lost in big groups. Even as a pony, I was still getting lost. I spent the rest of the party at the doorway leading to the roots. I might as well been a shadow on the wall. No one seemed to even see me until I bard their pass from proceeding to the roots. The look in my eyes kept them from protesting.
As the morning approached, the ponies began to file out and head to town hall. I watched as the little dragon proceeded up to the loft with a lamp shade on his head. He returned shortly following Twilight. I came along side of her as she exited the library.
“So did you have a good nap?” I asked her.
“How could anypony get any rest with all that racket, you were making, and what is up with your breath?”
“Sorry about that,” I apologized. “I’ve been eating spicy food all night. So how are you feeling?”
“Other than the lack of sleep, I’m feeling better. Thanks for that, um…”
“It’s Storm Rider. You look a little down. What’s on your mind?”
“It’s just something I read.”
“Do tell.”
“I read something that said Nightmare Moon might escape.”
“You should have told Princess Celestia.”
“I tried, but she told me I shouldn’t worry about old mare’s tales and then sent me here to check on preparations for the festival. I was hoping to do some research just in case I was right.”
“So how did your research go?”
“The ponies around here are so crazy, I never got to it.”
“Didn’t Princess Celestia defeat Nightmare Moon and imprison her in the moon almost a thousand years ago?”
“Yes, she did. Legend says on the longest day of the thousandth year, the stars will aid in her escape.”
“Well consider this. If that’s true, Princess Celestia has had a thousand years to prepare. You really think she doesn’t already have a plan in motion just in case?”
“Well maybe, but why did she tell me to stop worrying about old mare’s tales?”
“What exactly did she tell you?”
“To stop worrying,” Twilight answered. “She then sent me here to check on preparations.”
“You already said that. Did she say anything else?”
“She said I should try and make some friends.”
“So how many have you made?”
“I haven’t. What would be the point?”
“Friendship can be a powerful thing. United we stand, divided we fall. Besides, you strike me as the good little pupil. I find it interesting that somepony like you would disobey your teacher, even more your princess.” Twilight blushed a little as we made our way into town hall. “Look at it this way. What have you got to lose?”
“I guess.”
“Well, at least you’ve made one friend.”
“Who?”
“Me,” I said with a chuckle. Twilight rolled her eyes with a groan in response. We took our place on the ground floor of a tall circular room. A few pegasi flapped their wings to keep themselves aloft. Banners hung from the ceiling. A few ponies gathered on a few balconies. Little Spike sat on Twilight’s back for a better view. Pinkie Pie came up to us excited.
“Isn’t this exciting? Are you excited? Cause I’m excited. I’ve never been so excited, well except for the time I saw you walking into town and I was like,” Pinkie ranted pausing to gasp like she had done earlier that day before continuing, “but I mean really who could top that?” Twilight looked a little annoyed at Pinkie’s joy. I struggled not to laugh. A choir of song birds singing drew everyone’s attention. It was actual birds singing in harmony directed by the yellow pegasus I had seen leading the ducks. She was one of the five who were waiting at the bottom of the stairs. Even though we hadn’t met, I knew her name was Fluttershy. I was going to have to be careful until I found an opportunity to properly introduce myself to her and Rarity. A spotlight shined on a brown mane. She had a grey mane with a white collar and half-moon glasses. She addressed the congregation.
“Fillies and gentle Colts, as mayor of Ponyville, it is my great pleasure to announce the beginning of the Summer Sun Celebration,” the mayor announced. The crowd of ponies cheered. “In just a few moments our town will witness the magic of the sun rise and celebrate this, the longest day of the year. And now it is my great honor to introduce to you the ruler of our land, the very pony who gives us the sun and the moon each and every day, the good, the wise, the bringer of harmony to all of Equestria, Princess Celestia.” The curtains opened to an empty balcony above the mayor.
“This can’t be good,” Twilight said with concern in her voice. I took a deep breath and steadied myself for what I knew would come next.
“Remain calm, everypony,” the mayor assured the gathering despite the worry building in her own voice. “There must be a reasonable explanation.”
“Ow, ow,” Pinkie Pie began jumping up and down, “I love guessing games. Is she hiding?” After checking the back, Rarity came out and announced,
“She’s gone.” The crowd gasped in fear.
“Ow, she’s good,” Pinkie Pie commented before letting out a scream. A cloud of blue mist formed on the empty balcony. A black alicorn mare emerged from the mist. She bore light purple armor and her blue mane and tail flowed with little white dots like pieces of the night sky. Her green eyes had slit pupils. On her flank was a dark purple blotch with a crescent moon on top.
“Oh, no,” Twilight whispered, “Nightmare Moon.” Poor Spike fainted at the sight of the imposing figure.
“Oh my beloved subjects,” Nightmare Moon addressed the congregation, “it’s been so long since I’ve seen your precious little sun loving faces.”
“What did you do with our Princess?” Rainbow Dash yelled. She would have attacked if Applejack hadn’t held her back, the tip of Dash’s tail in her mouth. Nightmare Moon simply laughed at her.
“Why am I not royal enough for you? Don’t you know who I am?”
“Ow, ow,” Pinkie Pie excitedly piped in, “more guessing games. Um Hokey Smoke? How about Queen Meanie? No Black Snuddy, Black Snuddy.” She would have continues if Applejack hadn’t shoved a cupcake in her mouth.
“Does my crown no longer count now that I have been imprisoned for a thousand years?” Nightmare Moon continued ignoring Pinkie’s interruption. “Did you not recall the legend? Did you not see the signs?”
“I did,” Twilight spoke up, “and I know who you are. You’re the mare in the moon, Nightmare Moon.” The crowd gasped at this revelation, except for me. I continued to stand my ground. Dash also continued to struggle while Applejack held her back.
“Well, well, well,” Nightmare Moon almost complimented, “Some pony who remembers me. Then you also know why I’m here.”
“You’re here to…to,” Twilight swallowed hard unable to bring herself to finish her sentence.
“Yes, oh,” Nightmare Moon said as her attention was drawn to me, “and what’s this?” She descended towards me. I held my ground while other ponies slinked back a little. “What a handsome stallion, such intense eyes, strong back, and regal demeanor. I could use a stallion like you at my side,” she said stroking my chin with her mane. I suppressed my emotions to keep them from showing. I held my ground and continued to meet her stare. She got close to my face and whispered, “Join me.” I breathed in deep and burped in her face aiming at her eyes. She rubbed her watery eyes as she flew back to the balcony still facing me. She looked at me enraged. “Impertinent peasant,” she screamed. “Thou shall pay thin impudence.”
“Please, put it on my tab,” I said with a confident smile. I couldn’t hold the serious face anymore after that burp. Nightmare Moon composed herself before addressing the audience.
“Remember this day, little ponies, for it was your last. From this moment forth, the night will last forever.” She let out an evil laugh as mist swirled above her and lightning cracked around her.
“Seize her,” the mayor screamed, “only she knows where the Princess is.” Three white pegasi garbed in gold armor, royal guards, took flight to take down Nightmare Moon. As they got close, Nightmare Moon shouted at them,
“Stand back you, foals.” Her eyes glowed and a lightning bolt struck each guard. I turned around and flapped my wings. Secretly I used my magic to cause a whirlwind to cushion their landing. Nightmare Moon laughed as she became a stream of mist and burst out the door. Applejack finally lost her grip on Rainbow Dash who took up chase after Nightmare Moon. Twilight Sparkle scooped up Spike onto her back and ran from the hall. I followed her as she made a beeline for the library. She proceeded up to the loft and came back down without Spike. She must have put him to bed.
“Elements, elements, elements,” she groaned tearing through the books. She pulled book after book to her. I had to duck to avoid being hit by a couple. She didn’t even register I was there. “How can I stop Nightmare Moon without the Elements of Harmony?”
“And just what are the Elements of Harmony?” Rainbow Dash interrogated getting in Twilight’s face. I was too busy dodging to notice her and the others enter the library. “And how did you know about Nightmare Moon? Huh?” Twilight slowly retreated back from Dash’s questioning. “Are you a spy?” Her last question was almost cut off as Applejack pulled Dash back by her tail.
“Simmer down, Sally,” Applejack told Rainbow Dash. “She an’t no spy, but sure knows what’s goin’ on, don’t you, Twilight?”
“I read all about the prediction of Nightmare Moon,” Twilight began telling the small group of ponies. It was the same group that had met me at the base of the stairs earlier. “Some mysterious objects called the Elements of Harmony are the only thing that can stop her. But I don’t know what they are, where to find them. I don’t even know what they do.” Panic and stress was evident in her voice.
“The Elements of Harmony: A Reference Guide,” Pinkie read aloud looking at one of the bookcases.
“How did you find that?” Twilight asked bumping Pinkie pie aside.
“It was under ‘E’,” Pinkie Pie almost sang bouncing about. I suppressed a chuckle.
“Oh,” Twilight said a little annoyed she over looked something so small. She picked up the book with her magic and read aloud. “There are six Elements of Harmony, but only five are known: kindness, laughter, generosity, honesty, and loyalty. The sixth is a complete mystery. It is said the last known location of the five elements was in the ancient castle of the Royal Pony Sisters. It is located in what is now the EVERFREE FOREST.”
SR Human Armored by AngelicDemonSlayer
SR Human Armored
This is part of the Equestrian Tales and Maelstrom Chronicles. Storm Rider has white armor, which he uses when he goes through the mirror to Canterlot High. Well he has Celestia's sun on his chest instead of the gem during this and no horn. I drew this more like a cosplay I thought up. The gem is an idea I had called a Rainbow Shard. The faster it travels the more energy it generates. Last week I just felt like drawing, so I made this.

Equestria and Canterlot High (c) Hasbro
Storm Rider and Equestrian Tales (c) me
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AngelicDemonSlayer
Slayer
Artist
United States
Current Residence: texas
Favourite genre of music: christain, jpop
Favourite style of art: anime
Favourite cartoon character: Zakuro, Tsukasa, Moka
Personal Quote: If you can prove it, it's fact. if you can't prove it, it's faith
Interests
  • Mood: Tired
Well sort of. I've been here the whole time. I just haven't been posting for a while. Even though I haven't posting, that doesn't mean I haven't been creating. I'm still taking classes over at the Art Institute. For those don't know, I made this page for the stories I composed. While didn't write or type most of them, I never stopped composing. My original watchers followed me from my story about my demon slayer known as White Dragon. It was going to be a multi book series. I am now affectionately referring to it as "The Chronicles of the Dragon". The first book was to be called "Clash with the Titans." I finish hand writing it a long time ago. I was just never able to bring myself to type it up. I also have the bleach coop I was doing. My partner stopped, so I'm not sure if I'll continue that one. Over the next few weeks, I will posting as fast as I can type. I'll finish releasing "Clash with the Titans" in episodes. I will then repost them in chapters with a few additions. I've been mulling over a new story about a chest of 26 demons. The only one who can seal them back is the very last person anyone would expect. It's a journey that goes around the world to find and seal the demons. I haven't settle on the name. It will be named after the chest, but I haven't decided on a name for the chest. While I stopped hand writing it, I kept composing "Chronicles of the Dragon." I recently became fan of the new generation of "My Little Pony" by Lauren Faust. I'm a fan, not a brony. To be funny I was going to drop WD and three new recruits into Equestria. I was going to use it to give a better idea as to how old WD was. At the start of season four, a new story began writing itself in my head. The idea was actually simple. What would happen if I human got ponified and dropped into Equestria. He used the same form and mark as WD. They look the same, act the same, talk the same, but their stories in Equestria are completely different. A friend at school liked my character and wanted to use him. So a third story that features the same stallion. The second I'm referring to as "The Equestrian Tales." The third one is to be known as "The Maelstrom Chronicles." I will also will be posting these chapters too as I write and type them. You may find the second and third almost identical, but not she same. Even if personalities are the same, a different past can make some one respond slightly different. Enjoy.

Don't forget about the rules for cosplay. angelicdemonslayer.deviantart.…


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:iconamaicherry:
amaiCherry Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
thanks so much for the watch! ^.^
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boxingglovehands Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
hi, i watch you.
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Rikativity Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconplzwatchneko1::iconplzwatchneko2::iconplzwatchneko3:
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Lily-in-Leather Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you for the watch!
If you'd like to see more, please come check my work out here:
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jlfurry Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
Sorry the delay, happy birthday!!
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MrJechgo Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014
Happy B-Day ^_^
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Nanami-Hanon Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for the watch!!^^
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SapphireEagle Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014
Thanks so much for the watch! :D
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Zhenya-Chan Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you for the watch! :D
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CheesyHipster Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013  Student General Artist
Sorry this is late!!!! :nuu:

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! :dummy:
THANKS FOR FOLLOWING ME!!!! :tighthug: 
I LOVE YOU!!!! :love: 

HOPE YOU HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! :woohoo:
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