"On the last episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Mah-gick...”
Luna frowned. "What are you–”
"The experiment has failed!” Wanderer D said, gasping.
"No, it hasn’t!” Luna growled.
"Discord is my son, Luna, what am I going to do?!”
Luna blinked. "Well, that was certainly unex–”
"Thou arst goingst to becometh a pegasi! Forsooth! Luna said!”
"What? I don’t speak like that anymore, and I certainly never butchered it–”
"I’m missing my Cutie Mark!”
"Wanderer D, why are you saying random things like that?” Luna asked, massaging her forehead with a hoof. "We have already discussed–”
My Little Pony, My Little Pony
Ahh, ahh, ahh, ahhh…
"Wait, are you singing?”
My Little Pony
I used to wonder what friendship could be
My Little Pony
"Cease this pathetic howling right now!” Luna ordered.
Until you all shared its magic with me
Tons of fun
"Wanderer D, I am warning you!”
A beautiful heart
Faithful and strong
It's an easy feat
And magic makes it all comp– oof!”
Wanderer D groaned and fell, rolling on the floor and holding his hooves to his stomach, where Luna had kicked him. "Wh- why did you do that?” he groaned hoarsely.
"Because randomly singing a song like that when we are trying to have breakfast is not only moronic, but pointless!” Luna took a sip of tea. "And I did warn you.”
"Y-you’re a pony, you’re supposed to be nice...”
"I only suffer fools up to a point, Wanderer,” Luna growled.
"I was only doing what a lot of mo- I mean, ‘authors’ do in HiE stories and sang in the theme tune to account for the word limit and to try and be cute!”
"Wanderer D, you are as ‘cute’ as a crocodile eating a zebra!” Luna snapped.
“But I’m as amusing as a Stormtrooper in a kilt!” Wanderer D retorted.
Celestia chuckled as she watched the pair. "Luna be nice,” she chided before looking at Wanderer D. "Now my little pony...”
Wanderer D squealed and looked at her with adoration. "Yes, princess?”
"Please sit down and finish your breakfast. Hay and oatmeal are good for you. And don’t forget your alfalfa.”
"Yes, princess...” Wanderer D said dreamily as he sat and started munching down on his simple breakfast.
"Why doesn’t he ever follow the instructions I tell him?” Luna huffed after a moment of glaring at Wanderer D in annoyance. She took a bite out of her cupcake and brooded as she chewed.
"Perhaps, sister, you’re growing too close to the subject of your experiment?” Celestia suggested, making Luna spit out the cupcake.
"Announcing, Lady Twilight Sparkle!” a guard hollered as the doors opened to let the aforementioned unicorn in.
Twilight Sparkle nodded in thanks to the guards, her smile slipping a bit when she noticed that the princesses were having breakfast with an unknown pegasus.
"Good morning, Twilight!” Princess Celestia greeted her student. "I hope the overnight train trip was enjoyable?”
"It was, Princess,” Twilight said, raising an eyebrow at the pegasus still eating.
"Good, I’m glad the train is proving to be–”
"A waste of time?” Wanderer D interrupted the princess, drawing a sharp gasp from Twilight and an annoyed look from Luna.
"How dare you suggest that Princess Celestia’s train is a waste of time?!” Twilight hissed, slight tendrils of smoke starting to come out of her coat.
"Well... it took you, what, a couple of hours at most to get from Ponyville to Canterlot for the Grand Galloping Gala on the same night it happened when you took a chariot being pulled by local stallions, right? And yet, you take the train to Canterlot from Ponyville and it takes at least a whole night? How is that more efficient?”
Twilight opened her mouth to retort, but then closed it and opened it a couple of times as her brain tried to figure that one out.
Celestia sighed. "WD, Twilight is going to join us for breakfast, I would appreciate it if you didn’t break her brain in the process.”
Wanderer D smiled sheepishly. "Um... sure. Are you going to erase her memories like you did five minutes ago and pretend this conversation never happened?”
Twilight’s eyes went wide and she took a step back.
"Wanderer,” Celestia’s voice turned cold. "You will not imply such a thing ever again, even if it is in jest, understood?”
"Good. Now, eat your alfalfa and if you behave you might get dessert, but I’ll be the judge of that, is that clear?”
"Crystal clear, princess.”
A little bewildered, Twilight made her way to the table and sat opposite the pegasus identified as Wanderer, or WD and, nodding in thanks to a servant who brought her breakfast, started eating as she glanced thoughtfully at the dull-colored pegasus across from her.
"Now, Wanderer D,” Luna said after a moment of silence. "Are you prepared for your mission?”
Wanderer D rolled his eyes. "Yes, I have even prepared a list of items I will need for this...”
Luna raised an eyebrow. "Oh? I would like to see this list of yours, perhaps we can provide you with what you need.”
"Since I am going into friendly territory, I thought best to be prepared,” Wanderer D nodded, noticing how Twilight’s eyes shone with interest the moment the word ‘list’ was used. "Let me show you:”
2: SWAT Helmet
3: Bulletproof Vest
4: Combat Knives
6: Highlander Katana
7: Can of Tuna
Luna’s eyebrows twitched while Twilight levitated the list and perused it.
"I don’t get it,” Twilight said after a moment. "I have no idea what any of this is, but just about all of them seem to be weapons! What kind of idiot takes all of this stuff to... where are you going again?”
"Ponyville,” Wanderer D supplied.
"To Pony–” Twilight’s mouth clamped shut and she shot Celestia a look that could be boiled down to: ‘You’ve got to be bucking (think of AJ’s job!) kidding me!’
Celestia herself seemed a little perturbed. "Wanderer D... why would you ever feel the need to even have half of the things in there? And why the can of tuna?”
Wanderer D shrugged. "Hey, you guys might be okay with being vegetarian... but I’m not. Now, I’m okay with compromising and not eating red meat...”
Twilight’s face was shifting from curious, to confused, to horrified.
"... but fish hardly counts, right? I mean, a pescetarian diet is not that bad here, is it?” Wanderer D finished just as Twilight covered her mouth and threatened to throw up. "Hm,” he raised an eyebrow. "I guess it is... okay, take the tuna off...”
"The tuna?!” Luna hollered, standing up and slamming her hoofs on the table. "The tuna?! What makes you even think we would allow you to carry that many weapons into a peaceful town?! And you tell me to take the tuna off? Are you stupid?!”
"Hey, I’m just helping with your experiment!” Wanderer D said, gulping down some alfalfa. "If somepony hadn't poisoned my soup and caused a piece of metal to super-heat and shoot out of a laptop straight into my heart I could be destroying someone's hopes of becoming an author right now... but noooo.... anyway, that’s... well, okay, it’s not standard for HiE fics, but now and then you see someone submit cra–”
"Wanderer...” Celestia warned.
"...stories... with lists like that.” Wanderer D grimaced. "Hell, some ‘authors’ will even include pictures of their stuff! And pony generator images of their ponies! What kind of self-respecting author does that?! It’s- it’s... lazy! It just says: Hey, readers, I have no respect for the time you are spending reading my mediocre writings and since I cannot be bothered to describe my ‘Original’ character, here, feast your eyes on this!
"It’s annoying to see over, and over and over again!” Wanderer D growled. "It’s like using the word ‘monkey’ to describe what humans look like. Humans don’t look anything like monkeys! At all! Apes, maybe, but monkeys?! Why can't they get it past their brains that monkeys and apes are not the same thing!?” Wanderer D started to hyperventilate.
"Princesses... why is... Wanderer... going to Ponyville again?” Twilight asked after a moment. "Is this why I am here?” she added, looking a bit panicky. "I’m not going to have to watch him, am I? I hate to say this but he looks... well, unstable.”
"At this point, Twilight, anything is possible,” Wanderer D said. "Do you have any idea how many people write about you or Fluttershy or any of your friends watching them?! Half the time the stories end up in clo–”
"No, Twilight,” Celestia interrupted. "Wanderer D has his own mission to accomplish, and you are not to be involved in it. That includes the other elements. Unless something drastic happens, you must all stay away from him and not interfere. For your own sake.”
"But... that doesn’t make sense!” Twilight protested, ignoring Wanderer D’s snort. She pointed a hoof at him. "This pony is clearly deranged, deplorable and dangerous! You cannot let him loose in Ponyville with a bunch of weapons!”
"Do not worry, Twilight Sparkle,” Luna spoke up. "Wanderer D is just being obnoxious. He knows he will not get the weapons he listed, and thus is making a joke out of it. In poor taste, true, but he jests, nevertheless.”
"Oh...” Twilight sighed in relief, before shooting Wanderer D a glare when he chuckled. "Well, if he is stable enough for you both to trust him, I guess I’ll trust you and not interfere with his mission and- what the hay are you doing to Luna?!”
Wanderer D gulped down the last of his alfalfa, which he had been using to scare a giggling Luna and nodded. "Good! Ahem, sorry about that... Well, if the business is done, I’d like to get started. Do you want to teleport Twilight with me to Ponyville, Luna?”
The dark alicorn nodded, composing herself. "That would be most convenient, she can quickly contact the other elements and avoid another confrontation.”
Twilight frowned as she stood uneasily next to Wanderer D. "Wait, what other confrontation? I’ve never seen you in my life!”
Wanderer D grinned. "Oh, haven’t you? Really?”
Twilight was about to respond when Luna’s horn flashed and a katana was suddenly strapped to Wanderer D’s back.
"Hey! New katana!”
"To replace the one you lost 5000 years ago while battling the first elemental and creating Discord,” Luna clarified. "Good luck, and try to stay alive this time.”
"Wait! I thought the weapons thing was a joke?! And 5000 years?! Discord? First elemen–” Twilight’s questions were interrupted as Luna’s horn flashed and suddenly they were gone.
Celestia sipped a bit more tea. "Was that necessary, Luna?”
Luna sighed. "I think he’s rubbing off on me.”
"Damn it, I forgot dessert,” Wanderer D sighed. When a hoof was pressed hard against his face he glanced up and then quickly looked down. "Twilight, I would much prefer if your head was facing the same direction as mine.”
More hooves on his face, and uncomfortable shuffling. "Hey, watch the wings!”
"Sorry! But why are we standing on a cloud?!” Twilight asked, looking down at the distant ground.
"Luna likes to teleport me pretty high up,” Wanderer D explained. "It was inconvenient when I was not a pegasus.”
Twilight blinked. "Wait, what?”
"In fact, I have no idea what to do now...” Wanderer D confessed. "I never learned how to fly...”
"Well, I would ask Rainbow Dash to teach you how, but I've been told to keep away from you,” Twilight giggled. "Although I don't know exactly why, you seem strange but if the princesses trust you, shouldn't we be able to help?”
"Twilight,” Wanderer D sighed. "You and the other Elements are awesome, but... this is an experiment. You know that to get the best results you need to keep things straightforward, right?”
At the word 'experiment' Twilight had sobered up a bit and nodded. "I guess I can see that, well then, I should go tell the others. Just... I noticed you don't have a cutie mark?”
Wanderer D rolled his eyes. "Oh, I did, but that's when I was an earth pony. It was an awesome cutie mark too... but Luna told me that:” his voice sounded like that of an old lady. "'If you want another cutie-mark you will have to discover what makes you special as a pegasus.' Annoying... I know, but I guess I never thought that talents shifted so radically even if you have the same soul in a different body.”
"I see... I have too many questions but...” Twilight bit her lip, then a resolute look crossed her eyes. "No, I should go. Maybe when your experiment is done, we can talk about it?”
"Sure! I'd love to hang out and meet Rarity for the first time!” Wanderer D grinned.
"How- never mind. Good luck, Wanderer, I'll tell the others not to interfere,” Twilight said, as her horn lit up with magic.
"Bye, Twi!” Wanderer D said. A flash of purple-red and he was alone on top of the cloud. He looked down at the distant ground and shifted his wings. Then collapsed on the cloud, hugging it. "No way, no freaking way! Last time I had no choice, but there's no way I'm just jumping down! I don't know how I'm getting all the way down there, but no jumping into the air! Nuh-uh!”
And thus the morning slipped into the afternoon as Wanderer D drifted on his cloud. Eventually he sighed. "Fine. The worst that would happen is I get another body, right?” He stood up resolutely and walked to the edge, looking down without fear.
"Okay, Wanderer, you can do it. Deep breaths... okay, calm, it's instinct, that's how birds learn to fly. Hell, how many times have you read a fic where RD simply pushes Scootaloo off a cliff and the filly learns how to fly before she crashes? Spike could fly in 'It takes a Village' and he had it tougher than you, so no procrastinating! Come on! Yeah! Yeeeah! Arrroooo! Yeah!” he stood on his hind legs and imitated a gorilla, banging his hooves against his chest.
After laying on the cloud in pain for few minutes, he slowly stood up.
"Yeah!” he looked down. "Yeah! Hell yeah I can do this! Oh yes I can! Who can do it?! I can do it! Yes! Yeah!” he gulped. "Y-you will get another body if you fail, there's no need to worry!” He daintily put a hoof on the edge of the cloud and looked down. "Oh come on D... you can do it...”
He sighed. "No... I can't, I need somepony to push me or someth–”
He felt something smash through the cloud and suddenly he was falling. Looking around wildly he spotted the perpetrator. "Dammit Derpy! Watch where you're going!”
The mailmare looked over her shoulder. "Sorry mister! I didn't see your cloud there! I'll bring you a muffin later!”
"Are you seriously like that?!” Wanderer D called after the receding mare. "Muffin this and muffin that?! There must be more to it than–” She was gone. He sighed, turning around and flying to the nearest cloud. "Never mind,” he growled, landing on it. "Now I have to find a way to get pushed off of...” he trailed off. "Dammit Derpy! Why do you have all the answers?!”
Flying around Ponyville was an interesting experience. His flying was erratic and he had basically flapped his wings non-stop since he started. It seemed awkward when compared to how just about every other pegasus flew. In the rare instances where he would rely solely on instinct, it became actual flight, rather than floundering around in the air. He had a couple of close encounters with other pegasi, but for the most part they had been amiable enough to let him float past them.
He had quickly learned that, as long as he kept an eye on the sky, he would be able to stay out of the way of most pegasi and he could enjoy the view below him. So far he had flown over all the interesting buildings in Ponyville.
The Library had been a particularly interesting experience, as Twilight had obviously gathered her friends for an emergency meeting. He had seen Pinkie Pie walk in just after waving at him (he waved back, of course) and the deliciously beautiful Rarity, followed shortly by Applejack and Fluttershy. The only one missing was...
"Hey! Watch out!”
The warning was shouted just in time, as he instinctively cringed away and was able to avoid being smashed into by Rainbow Dash, who hovered back to him with a sheepish smile. "Sorry there, buddy, I was in a hurry, you're okay, right?”
Wanderer D tried to keep a cool face. "Raihn- Reeeeein...” he babbled and shook his head to clear it. Keeping calm around Twilight had been easier and RD wasn't necessarily his favorite pony... but now that he was there, seeing her in the flesh... she had an air around her that really made her feel bigger than life. "Rainbow Dash! I- yes, I'm okay, thanks for crashin- I mean, thanks for the warning!”
"Heh, no problem! Listen, I'd like to stop and talk, but I have a meeting and–”
"No problem!” Wanderer D said. "But wait... is that... is that a Daring-Do book?”
Rainbow Dash looked suddenly shy. "Um... this old thing? Uh...”
"Hey, no need to worry, I think she's pretty cool...” Wanderer D assured her. "I just... I've never read the book and I was wonder–"
"You've never read it?!” Rainbow Dash gasped, letting her inner geek out. "You have to! You absolutely have to! You're missing out! It's like the coolest thing ever!”
"Well, I don't have a library card and–” he suddenly had the book shoved into his hooves.
"Here, you can read it,” Rainbow Dash said. "I just finished and I know Twilight won't mind you borrowing it as long as you bring it to the library when you're done.”
"Okay!” Wanderer D held the book close as Rainbow Dash gave him a final nod and zoomed down to the library. He looked down at the book in his hooves. "Well... why not? I just need a place to read... and I'm getting kinda tired...”
He slowly made his way out of town and looked around. There wasn't much, other than the park, and he didn't have fond memories of that place.
It was then that he noticed the blue-painted stage wagon on the side of one of the roads. With a growing smile he slowly made his way towards it.
It was very quiet. For a moment, Wanderer D thought that nopony was inside, but soon, he heard hooves clopping from one side of the wagon to the other. Taking a quick look around, he made sure nopony else was around, and slowly peeked inside the wagon.
He could see Trixie setting up something on a small table. Several books were piled one over the other as she worked carefully on some sort of crystal. Trixie's concentration was completely on the object, which she levitated and turned around as magic sparks flew around it and embedded glyphs into it. She would stop for a moment, consult a book, then go back to work.
However, after a few minutes, her head slumped and she put down what seemed to be a prism of some sort. Her hooves went to her face and her body shook.
Wanderer D bit his lower lip. "What the hell?” he whispered. "Trixie's crying?” he shook his head as he lowered down from the window to think on what he had seen. "But why? Did the other ponies mistreat her?” he looked up at the sky. "Before meeting Luna I would have thought they would be automatically nice or polite to her but...”
Several thumps from inside the wagon made him look in again. Trixie had thrown down the books and looked decidedly miserable.
"Damn it, there's nothing more depressing than a little pony crying her eyes out... other than that little pony being Trixie...” he sighed. "What to do? Wait... ideeea~!”
Trixie sighed as she used her foreleg to clean the tears off her face. She looked down at her current project and then to all the books lying on the floor. With another sigh, her horn lit up and the books levitated up to the table, pages flipping quickly until she was back to the section she had originally been consulting.
She paused when she thought she had heard something on the roof of her wagon, but after a minute of silence, she shrugged it off as her imagination and started reading again.
Nighttime, sharpens... heightens each sensation...
Trixie looked up. "The hay?”
Darkness stirs, and wakes imagination... silently the senses... abandon their defenses... helpless to resist, the notes I write...
Was somepony serenading her? That was preposterous! But then what–
Softly, gently, night unfurls its splendor,
Sense it, grasp it, tremulous and tender,
Turn your face away, from the garish light of day
Turn your thoughts away, fro–
"What the hay are you doing?!” Trixie growled as her magic yanked the offending pegasus from the top of her wagon. "The Great and Powerful Trixie has nothing for homeless pegasi! Go away now before Trixie reports you to the authorities!”
Wanderer D grinned. "Aw, Trixie! It's nice to see you again! I guess this is your new wagon?”
Trixie frowned. "Trixie would remember such a shady pegasus as you. Don't pretend to know Trixie to get away with whatever it is you were planning. Leave Trixie alone!” Her spell ended and Wanderer D was dropped unceremoniously on the floor.
"Hey now,” Wanderer D said, dusting himself off. "Is that the way to greet an old friend? I mean, after what happened in Everfree I thought we would at least be on good terms, you know?”
Trixie glared at him with so much hurt in her eyes that Wanderer D winced. "How dare you talk to Trixie about that! Trixie lost her very first friend there!”
Wanderer D blinked. She couldn't mean... no. Certainly not. Trixie being completely friendless was simply a fan assumption. Everypony had friends. Well, except Twilight, at the beginning. "I'm sorry, but... was I really your first friend?”
Trixie growled and Wanderer D found himself pressed painfully against the wagon. "Don't play games with Trixie! Trixie has had enough of this inane town! Six months too long to get out!”
"Wait, six months? What the... but I thought–”
"Did you? Of course not! Now, go away, pegasus! Trixie has things to do before she leaves this place forever!” she ordered, turning to walk into her wagon.
"But... Trixie, it's me, Wanderer D!”
Trixie stopped. "What did you say?”
"It's me! D! The storyteller! I was a human when we met, remember? I took on the Timber Wolves... and well, it's a long story, but I was resurrected into a pegasus!”
Never before had Wanderer D had a girl (nor mare, for that matter) run into his arms (or forelegs in this instance) and hold him tight after finding out that he was alive after his apparent sacrifice to save her life. And this time was no different.
Trixie's hoof knocked him down to the floor like a sack of flour and had him almost blacking out and looking at the pretty stars and butterflies.
"How dare you trick The Great and Powerful Trixie into thinking you were dead for SIX MONTHS!”
Wanderer D shook his head, trying to shake away the pesky butterflies. "I- I didn't know! I thought it had only been a couple of days! Promise! I had no control over it!”
Trixie had tears pooling in her eyes. "Stupid storyteller!” she shouted, rearing on her back legs. "Trixie should pummel you into a pulp for playing with her feelings!”
“I’m sorry Trixie! Really! I had no idea I had been gone for that long!”
“Why should Trixie believe you?” Trixie asked, glaring down at Wanderer D. “You are just making it up to hurt Trixie! And Trixie thought you were her friend!”
“I am!” Wanderer D said, jumping to his hooves. “I promise! I really didn’t know, I’m sorry, Trixie!”
Trixie sniffed but nodded, tensing a bit when Wanderer D hugged her, but in the end she hugged him back.
After a few moments they stepped away from each other and looked away.
“Y-yeah,” Wanderer D cleared his throat. “Why don’t you tell me what you were up to?”
Trixie nodded, a small blush in her cheeks slowly receding. “Um, Trixie was playing with a spell to be able to use story characters in her show... after Trixie is done, she will be able to summon an image of the character in question and project it into her own show as part of her stories.”
“Cool!” Wanderer D grinned. “You have no idea how amazing that is! Well,” he smiled when Trixie gave him a knowing glance. “I guess you do...” he chuckled, then his eyes lit up. “Heeey... I just got a copy of Daring-Do and the Catacombs of Oblivion. How about we try your magic thingy on it and watch it as if it were a movie?”
“Trixie doesn’t know what a movie is, but Trixie thinks that it would be a nice experiment.” Trixie said, giving the book a considering glance. “Very well, Trixie will bring the amulet out...”
Wanderer D eagerly set the book down and waited for Trixie to come back. The showmare showed up soon after. “Now, Trixie has not tested this yet, so Trixie advices that we should keep our distance in case... this implodes.”
Trixie carefully placed the crystal on top of the book and Wanderer D could only watch in wonder as it started spinning over the book. Energy crackled around both items as the spell activated.
A sphere of energy formed above the book as the words lifted off the pages and started whirling into it.
“Wow, this is awesome!” Wanderer D said, grinning as the sphere expanded. He flew up a few feet from it and peered in.
“Be careful!” Trixie called. “We don’t know how stable it is!”
“Oh, I don’t plan on getting any closer!” Wanderer D said, waving a hoof. “What sort of idiot do you think I am?”
Trixie thought about it.
“Oh, come on!” Wanderer D said, turning around and facing her. “You’re not seriously thinking about it, are you?”
It was then that a muffin bounced off of his head and landed with a soft ‘splat’ on the floor. Wanderer D blinked at it. “What the–”
“Muffin!” Derpy shouted, slamming Wanderer D out of the way as she knelt next to the fallen pastry.
“No! What have you done?!” Trixie shouted in horror as Wanderer D was hurled into the sphere, slamming into it at the same time the last words disappeared.
The world flashed and suddenly only the book remained.
Trixie galloped up to the book, tears starting to form in her eyes as she stared morosely at the only remaining item. She turned to glare at Derpy, who was happily munching on her muffin. “Why did you do that?! You killed Trixie’s friend!”
Derpy looked at Trixie and blinked. “But... muffin!”
Trixie briefly considered murder when something caught her attention. Looking down at the book she frowned. “Daring-Do and Wanderer D in the Catacombs of Oblivion? But...” her eyes brightened. “Trixie knows!” She quickly flipped open the book around the middle and began reading.
Daring-Do looked at her companion, her coat still wet from the mad dash to escape the cannibal dodos.
“Wanderer,” she panted. “I know you were trying to impress them, but you should know that they have a legend about a meat-eating pony who destroyed their ancient god in an epic battle several thousand years ago.”
Wanderer D winced as he used his teeth to carefully remove a small arrow from his flank. “You don’t say? I guess they forgot I was an earth pony when I did that...”
Daring-Do chuckled. “Oh, so you’ve heard about it?”
“Yes,” Wanderer D said, looking around. “But that doesn’t matter, I think we might have found our temple.”
Daring-Do followed his gaze to the strange structure, half-hidden by several creeping vines and plants. “That... looks like some sort of face... do you have any idea what it is?”
“That’s ‘Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme’,” Wanderer D said, walking up to it. “Down to the missing eye.”
Daring-Do blinked. “You mean Maha’heh’oha’hor’har’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme...”
“No, trust me, it’s Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme. I heard it enough times in the original dialect and from the thing itself.” Wanderer D replied, looking up at it. “We should head in, the quicker we do this, the faster I can go back home.”
Daring-Do smiled mischievously. “Missing that mare... Trixie, are we? Here you have an adventuring, wet-maned knock-out pegasus, and you’re still pining about that unicorn...”
“Wait, what?!” Trixie exclaimed, eyes wide.
Next to her, Derpy chewed on her muffin. “Turn the page!”
“Oh, give me a break, Daring,” Wanderer D growled. “Trixie and I are just friends, besides, I doubt she likes me that way, there’s little I can offer any mare other than grief and jokes that she won’t get.”
“I thought you said she was very smart?”
Wanderer D snorted. “She is, but it doesn’t matter how smart you are, if you don’t have the context to understand it, the joke is useless.”
“True,” Daring-Do said. “Hey, Carmine, can you bring–” the adventurer cut herself off, looking down and sighing. “I... forgot.”
Wanderer D put a comforting hoof on Daring-Do’s shoulder. “It’s okay Daring, none of us could have predicted what would happen to him.”
Daring-Do sniffed. “He was a good side-kick, a bit morose and going for self-pity but... he didn’t deserve to die the way he did!”
“Yes... I have seen many things, imagined many more and experienced really painful things in my life but what happened to Carmine...” Wanderer D shuddered. “I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy... that was... it was just... unnecessarily violent. I don’t think I’ll be able to forget the screams... I think I still have pieces of his mane and coat and brains on my mane. It was truly a gorefest of biblical proportions.”
Daring-Do nodded. “Well, Carmine would have wanted us to finish this...”
“Well, no,” Wanderer D pointed out. “He would have wanted us to kill him before we left, I think that was what he was screaming for us to do...”
Daring Do glared at her partner. “Oh, shut up! I wasn’t going to go and kill him! What if he could be saved?”
“Saved? From that? Daring, that guy is lucky his internal organs were not attached to him by the end of it. If he had survived that he would not have even been a pony anymore.”
Daring-Do shook her head. “Well, let’s get you to your Trixie, I’m sure she’ll want to cuddle you to death when you return.”
Wanderer D snorted. “Not likely, it’s been, what, 28 months since I arrived? Even if she forgave me for getting killed the first time, what makes you think she’ll do so again?”
Daring-Do shook her head, trotting up ahead, a small smile in her mouth. “Well, the way you talk about her and try to act like she doesn’t care, chances are she really does.”
Trixie found herself blushing. Gulping down, she started reading again flipping ahead a couple of chapters.
“What the hay is that thing!?” Daring-Do asked as her hooves sent another cultist flying.
“It’s the eye of Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme! It survived!” Wanderer D said, jumping over the cultists that lay unconcious next to him. “How did it survive getting dunked in lava and exploding?!”
“Wanderer D...” a voice echoed in their minds. “It is you... I have waited for a long time for my revenge!”
“Dammit all,” Wanderer D growled. “You’re not only alive, you’re in the book!?”
Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme laughed in their heads. “I latched to your soul as it traveled through time and space,” he said, malevolent intent seeping out of every word. “When you so foolishly traveled here, I was able to materialize and recreate this world to an extent!”
“Oh great,” Wanderer D shook his head. Behind him, Daring-Do finished the last of the cultists and trotted up to him.
“How does the eye of Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme know you?” She asked.
“I stabbed the other one then dumped his colossal ass into a lake of lava,” Wanderer D said.
“You dumped an ass into a lake of lava?!” Daring-Do shouted. “Why would you do that?!”
“His flank, Daring. His colossal flank.”
“And now, I shall begin my revenge!” Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme announced as a red-white tendril of energy slammed into Daring-Do and sent her crashing painfully into the floor.
She gasped in pain and rolled. “It burns!”
“As for you, Wanderer D, I will do much worse to you! Prepare to face the thing you despise the most!”
“No- not that!”
But it was too late. A tendril of energy smashed into Wanderer D and he felt his body transform. The pegasus shape enlongted as he assumed a humanoid shape. He landed on the floor, little pegasus wings fluttering uselessly on his back.
Wanderer D’s eyes were wide with rage. “Y-you transformed me into a humanized pony!” he shouted in horror and anger. “Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme this is too much, even for you!”
Daring-Do stared in awe at Wanderer D’s new look. “What happened to you!?”
Wanderer D’s tone was somber. “In all of fan fiction... out of the pits of crap that HiEs are... there is one thing, the worst thing that can possibly be done... it’s so degrading, so... pointless... that I cannot even stand the smell of it... it’s an act so mercilessly stupid that I hate it with all my heart... it involves doing something to ponies that has absolutely no purpose other than the ‘author’ to ‘identify’ with them more... humanized ponies.”
Daring-Do blinked. “But what does that even mean?”
“It means that there are morons out there that think that it’s ‘cute’ to strip everything that makes a pony be a pony, and give them a human form, only with... horns, or little pegasus wings sometimes. If you’re watching ponies, what the hell is the point of turning them into humans just so you can tell freaking ‘highschool’ stories?!” Wanderer D roared into the air. “There is no point to humanized ponies being such for no other reason that you wishfully think that they should be! Turning a pony into a human should be cause for horror, not amusement! If you want to watch cartoon girls watch another thing! There’s a reason Equestria Daily forbid Human, damn it, and those are part of it!”
Daring-Do and Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme both looked at Wanderer D in surprise.
“Wow, you really do feel strongly about this. That was borderline incoherent!” Daring-Do said.
“I do, and I will take revenge for this affront!” Wanderer D promised as he stood up and glared at Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme.
“We shall see, Wanderer D!” Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme growled as rocks and the unconcious cultists melded horribly together into a form five times taller than Wanderer D; an abomination made of flesh and blood with Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme’s one eye surrounded by flesh where the head would be. It broke up a piece of the wall and swung it as a mace.
As it stood and moved forward towards the humanized pegasus and the real, clean and as-she-should-be pegasus, it revealed a swirling crystal behind it.
“Daring! Do you see that? That’s what I need to get!” Wanderer D whispered. “I’ll distract him while you get it, and then we can escape this temple!”
“But... Wanderer, how are you going to do that? You cannot possibly get used to that form quickly enough!” Daring-Do whispered back.
“Don’t worry,” Wanderer D flashed her a smile as he assumed a battle-stance. “I have a katana!”
Daring-Do shook her head, slightly amused. “Even so... and I hope Trixie forgives me but...” she planted a kiss on him that made his toes curl. “Be careful!”
“Yush... preh teh poney...” Wanderer D grinned.
“What?!” Trixie shouted glaring at the book. “You can’t do that! He’s mine! Trixie demands you take it back!” she read and re-read the words over and over. “How? Why did she develop feelings for him?! When?!”
Derpy shrugged. “Maybe at the beginning of the book and all through the first half, which you skipped?”
Trixie growled. “Oh, she is so getting it! I’m gonna kill her!”
“I can see that you know how to handle yourself in that form, Wanderer D!” Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme grinned a smile full of sharp spikes and fangs with a disturbingly green tongue. “But it will do you no good! I have absorbed the knowledge of my Dodo cannibal cultists! I will crush you!”
Wanderer D smirked. “I’ll have you know that unlike the vast majority of HiEs that write themselves into Equestria, I do know how to handle a katana!”
When Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme seemed about to speak, Wanderer D spoke up once more. “Plus! I have watched Rouroni Kenshin from beginning to end more than 5 times! And read the manga! Prepare to fight against my reproduction of the Hiten Mitsurugi-ryū!”
Daring-Do cringed. “This is not going to end well...”
Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme took a step forward, making the catacombs shudder with the sheer weight of his movements.
With a cry of anger, Wanderer D shot forward, his katana sliding out of the sheath in an arc that cleanly sliced through the fleshy part of Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme’s leg, up until it struck the part that was rock. The shock of it almost ripped the katana from Wanderer D’s hands, but thankfully, he wasn’t grabbing it like a bat, and so was able to keep it rather than losing his only weapon.
The backhand from Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme, however, was more than enough to make him lose his grip regardless of how well he was holding it.
“Wanderer D!” Daring-Do shouted as the humanized pegasus that used to be an earth pony after being turned into that from his original human shape sailed past her to slam against a wall.
“Daring!” Wanderer D shouted, raising his hand to stop her from getting back to him. “You know what you need to do! Don’t worry about me right now!”
Gritting her teeth, the monochromatic-maned mare nodded and shot around Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme, who tried swatting at her. The pegasus was too effective a flyer to get hit and managed to evade it.
Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme turned around, trying to catch Daring-Do and took a threatening step towards her, only for a sword to slide through its neck and bring it to a halt. With an annoyed roar it threw itself back, slamming Wanderer D against the wall of the catacombs, making pieces of stone fall from the ceiling.
“What does it take to kill you?!” Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme roared.
“A big rock or a long fall, I’ve found!” Wanderer D growled back, teeth clenched as blood streamed from the corner of his mouth. “But that won’t stop me unless you are dead as well!”
“Stop talking about dying!” Daring-Do shouted. “I have it! Let’s go!”
“No!” Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme shouted as Wanderer D let go of the sword and ran up to Daring-Do.
“Quickly!” Wanderer D shouted as he stopped next to her. “Hold on to me!” as soon as she was holding on to his leg, Wanderer D raised the crystal into the air, holding it with his two hands as he stared defiantly at Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme. “I hope never to see you again, you ugly mother-fu–”
He was interrupted when his katana embedded up to the hilt in his neck, he looked up to see the grinning face of his enemy. “Oh, for buck’s sake...” he managed to garble as his hands went down and the crystal crashed all over him and Daring-Do.
Trixie stepped back as the book exploded in flames and two figures appeared out of it. One was the mare from the cover of the book, the other was the storyteller that had saved her life once.
And he had a katana. Stuck in his throat.
“Wanderer D!” Daring-Do cried as she held his head in her hooves.
“D!” Trixie cried, kneeling next to him.
Wanderer D looked at both of them and knew what he had to say. To hell with the consequences. “M-must’ve died and gone to heaven... to have two beautiful angels look... after... me...”
He could see Luna’s gigantic hoof massaging her forehead. She did that a lot recently.
“Wanderer D... once again, you have failed to achieve your objective and managed to mess up the world by bringing to life yet another creature.”
“Hey, Luna, come on! She was about to die there! And if Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme hadn’t tried to kill us she would have stayed behind... but he followed me there and, well, I couldn’t...”
“Especially after the kiss,” Luna growled venomously. “Right?”
“Right,” Wanderer D said. “But, honestly, how else did you expect me to deal with Maha’heh’aha’hor’hor’kaf’nog’ed’k’l’k-nepheme? Magic?”
Luna’s eyebrow rose. “Do you think you could handle it?”
Wanderer D’s eyes shone. “M-me? A unicorn? Really?”
Luna huffed. “Why not? You’ve messed up as an earth pony and pegasus, I wonder what kind of stupidity you will commit as a unicorn.”
Wanderer D grinned. “Can I please choose my palette?
Next in WD: THiEE
Hey, so, what was the last world that you visited? *whisper* Oh... Oooh.... sorry.
Look, I’ll help you with the shard, but you have got to keep Rarity away from me, okay?
What have you done with my sister, miscreant?!
Trixie! Daring! Sweetie! To me!