The Equestrian Tales
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,
“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.”
“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.
“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.
“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.