Chapter 6 - Quest’s Fidelity
It has been so long. How many years was it since the day I acquired the Element of Generosity? I finally made it here, despite how tired I have become.
I never thought I would see this town with my own eyes. It might not be one hundred percent accurate, but it still exists. The houses were all similar in structure. They were made of timber and the roofs were made of either straw or perhaps hay. Along with the wood houses stood some tents that also served as living accommodations. There were also some unusual housing as well, such as a giant tree. But what caught my eye almost immediately was the giant building that lie somewhat on the outskirts of the town. From what I could tell it has three stories, a balcony on the second and third floor. Like the houses, this building was also timber-framed. Flags on the top were waving in the wind. This building was a town hall.
Welcome to Ponyville.
I was standing on the south side of Ponyville, the side the Town Hall is on. And yet despite the town’s inviting appearance, the town as I expected, was empty. There were no ponies on the street. It seemed like a ghost town, not a single soul on the premises.
I remember the dream I had so long ago. Celestia told me to find them.
“I’m almost there Celestia...I’m almost there.” I spoke with a tiny grin.
I’m not exactly sure what’s going to happen once I find the last element. Perhaps this whole town will come back to life and fill with ponies. To be honest, I never understood what Celestia meant by “find us”. But I know finding the elements has to be a part of it. I have to be doing something correct!
I started to walk towards the Town Hall, wondering why no one has ever found this town. Ponyville was just down a road, so how could no one have stumbled upon it? Maybe it was something only I was supposed to see. Without the subtle guidance of the other Elements, I would have never thought of going down the road.
There was a bridge that was before me that I would have to use in order to get to the town hall. I wonder if it was the same bridge that Fluttershy dumped trash on two other ponies when she got lessons from Iron Will? Maybe this was the bridge that Spike felt bad on after he turned into a giant dragon and destroyed Ponyville? To think that I was walking in the same places they trotted on.
The bridge seemed to be completely made up of white marble. It was also a pretty large bridge; about six people or ponies could walk across it in a line concurrently. The bridge was in a slight arc shape that spread over the river.
I walked to the peak of the bridge, which was directly in the center, and walked over to the side to get a look at the water.
Defining Ponyville as a ghost town was a perfect description. There were no fish, frogs, or any other aquatic creatures in the water. Not even a single duck was floating on the water surface. Nothing has ever seemed to line up. In the Everfree Forest there were owls and even monsters! But here, its just quiet...and lonely.
I completed my walk over to the bridge and continued my trek toward the town hall. Looking left of me I could see farmland and trees. A big red barn surrounded by a white picket fence stood proudly amidst it all; no doubt it was Sweet Apple Acres. There was no vegetation on the plowed land or any apples in the trees. It looked much different where there was nothing growing. There was also different lighting not only to Sweet Apple Acres, but also to Ponyville entirely. My assumption of this would be that because now that Ponyville is in my world, it looks much different than a cartoon.
Looking in the opposite direction of Sweet Apple Acres, I can see Everfree Forest along with Fluttershy’s cottage. It’s weird to think that years ago I was in that same forest. But there is no way that can be the same forest. When I went into it, I was at a much different location that was miles away from here. Maybe the forest was ubiquitous, that is, being at different places at the same time. But, like everything on the journey, there is so much I am unable to explain.
I eventually made my way over to Town Hall and started to walk up the wooden steps. The wooden planks seemed to look a little off from what it was in the show. But, once again, it was a cartoon which would naturally make it look different when it is placed in this world. Reaching the top of the stairs I noticed something that was inapposite from the show.
There was a lone picture on the ground with two people I knew. One was a male who had blond hair and some scruff on his chin. The other was a woman with short brown hair. It looks like it was a picture of these two shorty after they got married.
I knew these two people.
It was a picture of my parents. They were both happy. Why was this here?
I reached down to grab the photo when-
At the instant I touched the photo, a giant trap door opened beneath me! Before I knew it I was falling in a pitch black room! However, shortly after my butt hit hard against what felt like some metal surface, I was still moving. It seemed to be some sort of slide was slipping down. But unlike normal slides, this wasn’t fun, it was terrifying. I tried to stop my descent, but there was no hope and no choice; I just kept sliding down the slope.
After about twenty seconds of sliding down in a pitch black room, the slide seemed to be going upwards. At the end was a ramp! At the speed I was going on the slide, I was about to be launched off. There was nothing I could do to stop; I flew off of the ramp and started to soar in the air.
I came to a dead stop by a stone wall. My entire body was petrified as pain shot to every part of my body, from fingertips to toes. I also started to pass out, at least I thought I was. It was still too dark to see anything.
After hitting the wall, I started to fall backward and eventually met another unfortunate landing. I hit the stone floor with another thud, pain once again meeting me. I could not stay awake much longer. As I was about to pass out, there was laughter. Not a pleasant laughter, but a maniacal one. It kept me up only for a bit longer, but I could not fight it anymore.
As I was passing out, the voice chanted, “Hah! What’s wrong, did you hit your head? Nighty-night human.”
I knew that voice.
I couldn't stay awake, I lost my consciousness.
I started to regain my senses. I slowly started to open my eyes, although it didn’t seem like it because I was in the dark again. I seemed to have a knack of falling down dark holes. My mouth was so dry, I moved my tongue around to quench it. My whole body was sore, but my left arm was especially sore.
“Did you get a boo-boo? I can’t believe that a human fell for such a simple trap!” the voice mocked at me.
I started to cough up all the dust that settled in my throat. I tried to speak back but it was no use yet.
“Cat got your tongue?” the voice snarled.
I had some water in my backpack, I started to reach back with my left arm but was unable to. Pain also shot down my arm; I think it might have been broken after toppling down the hole. I rotated my body so that I could take off the backpack while still laying on the ground. I winced at the pain that was still present in my body. Eventually after some choice words, I was able to get my backpack off. I dragged myself using my one good arm over to the wall that I could barley see and propped my back against it. I was sitting against the wall still soaking in the pain.
I reached into my backpack to pull out water. It seemed to be the most precious thing to me at the moment. I unscrewed the cap, which was much harder only using one hand, and drank the precious water. It was the best thing I have ever tasted.
I coughed one last time, which got all of the dust out of my lungs. Now it was time to reply to the voice I was familiar with.
“I know who you are.” I muttered.
The voice, with no apparent surprise to my revelation mocked with, “Oh no, what ever will I do?”
I gritted my teeth and replied “Discord! Where are you?! Why are you free?!”. It was a bittersweet moment. I was talking from a character from the show, but he was just as evil as he was in it. His voice actually shocked me, that it was the same from the show. I would of thought that they would have different voices because the voice of Discord on the show belongs to the voice actor, not Discord himself. I suppose it was another thing I couldn’t explain, and I wasn’t going to ask him about it. I had more important things to think about.
Discord replied, “Instead of worrying where I am, shouldn’t you be worrying about where the precious Element of Loyalty is?”
I was taken back, he knew about my adventure for the Elements.
He continued, “Go on, try to find the Element. I’ll give you a hint, it’s down here.”
I dropped right in where the Element was, but why would he help me?
“Oh, and I hope you don’t mind... but I might cause a little chaos. That’s my thing, y’know.”
At that I shouted back at him, “I’ll find the Element! You’ll see!”
“I suppose we will see how ‘loyal’ you really are.”
At that his evil laughter bounced off the walls.
After his laughter got done echoing down the hall, I once again dug into my backpack to find my flashlight. With the flick of the switch, light flooded the room that I was in.
The room I was in was not like a cave at all. The walls were made of stone bricks of different colors. Some of the bricks were also either cracked or had plant life growing on them. The room was almost a perfect square. I looked up to see where I dropped from, however there was no hole. I would assume that the bricks interlocked to hide the opening from sight.
This place is a dungeon. Discord’s Dungeon.
Looking to my right, as I was still leaning against the wall, I saw a doorway that would be my only escape out of this room.
I slowly gathered my backpack and started to stand up. I was still a little shaken from the fall and unsettled after learning Discord would try to prevent me from getting the Element. Why would he want to stop me anyway?
I tried to use my left arm to swing my backpack onto my back, however the pain was still present. I couldn't even move it, and it looked a little out of place. Without a doubt I either broke it or sprung it. I’m not sure what Discord will throw in my path, but this will put me at a major disadvantage.
I used my right arm to get my backpack secured on my back and walked out of door using the doorway. It was a short corridor that led to another room. It looked like I was in the same room; however, the room was smaller. Across from me was a solid flat wall of dirt. I went up to the dirt to touch it. It was very compact, if I were to punch it I would probably end up breaking my fingers. Looking at the color of the dirt, I could tell that it was not as fresh as it normally would be closer to the surface. It was more of a dark brown color, anything planted it would probably stand a better chance without any dirt whatsoever.
While looking at the dirt, it started to bubble. I quickly retreated my hand and backed away slowly not taking my eyes off of the compelling formation taking shape. It started to look like a face was being made in the dirt, but not a human face. It was Discord’s face.
When his face formed, Discord mocked, “Oops! I accidentally left my dirt here.”
“Then why don’t you move it?” I wasn’t really sure why I even asked that because I knew that wasn’t going to happen.
“What fun would there be in that?”
At the end of his sentence, there was a sharp clatter to the left of me. It was a normal metal spoon.
Discord continued, “I think that you should move it!” At that, his face started to vanish out of the dirt. Before he was out of the dirt, he gave his famous laugh.
“You’ve got to be kidding me...” I muttered to myself. Did he seriously expect to dig out this dirt using that shrimpy spoon? The answer to that was inevitable, I would have to dig through this dirt using that spoon.
I drug my feet over to the spoon and picked it up using my only good arm. That would be another problem, I only had one arm to chip away at the dirt with. But who knows, maybe the Element was inside. If not the Element, there would have to be a doorway at least.
With the spoon in hand, I struck it against the center of the dirt. It was hard, but I still was able to scoop it with relative ease. This was the first of many scoops.
My hand and my arm were insufferable. My hand had major cramps and it was extremely hard just to open it. I really wish my other hand was usable. I have gotten hand cramps at the factory I used to work at, but this was a whole new level of agony. My head had beads of sweat dripping off of it; the room got extremely hot during all the hard work. I was dehydrated after doing a menial task for so long. The water I had helped, but I ran out and need more.
I was digging a hole right through the center of the dirt wall, just large enough so that I would be able to crawl through it. Because I was pretty deep in the wall, I was digging blindly. I knew I was digging straight though because my body was able to lay flat throughout the entire tunnel.
A few more scoops then suddenly my spoon went through the dirt! I reached the other side! Without even wanting to scoop another piece of dirt, using my head, I pushed myself through the remaining dirt that blocked me. I flopped out on the other side of the dirt onto the stone floor.
I lay there for a minute with both of my arms plagued with pain. Could I even keep going further? Knowing how Discord is, there is probably many trials up ahead. With both of my arms incapacitated, there was nothing else I could do...
A silent whisper appeared in the air that was barely audible.
I could not go forward, I would have to head back...
I caught myself. I was falling into Discord’s trap. He just wanted me to give up and go home. Even though Discord would look me and tell me that I will fail, I must look him in the eye and press on.
I have a desire that I need to fight for! They are real, and I would fight for them with every last breath I have!
I rolled to my back and although the pain was present, I forced myself up until I was able to stand on my feet.
“I’m going to find you, ponies.” I said with my new found confidence.
There was another doorway ahead, I walked through it with my arms hanging sluggishly at my side. Through another small corridor which led me to another room.
The room was exactly like the first room I was in, the only difference was that there was another doorway on the other side. Apparently there was no obstacle in this room.
I started to cross the room but when I reached about half way through the room, one of my feet started to go into the ground a little. One of the stones on the ground went about an inch lower making a little click doing so. What is that?
Suddenly, using my peripheral vision, I saw something extremely bright along the wall. I quickly looked over to see what caught my eye. There was a fiery ball made of swirling yellow flame heading right towards me! It was a fireball!
I tried to dodge the inferno, but the room was too small so it did not have to travel far to hit me. I turned my back while trying to turn away from the fireball, it hit be square on the back where my backpack was.
The flames spread across my pack setting it on fire. I wrestled with my backpack to get it off of me, however it was hard with two crippled arms. I had to hold my arms straight out backwards a little bit so that the back would slide off of my back. It hurt but it was better then lifting my arms and removing the straps separately.
My backpack hit the ground with a thud while the flames were engulfing it. However that was the least of my troubles; the fire that was taking my backpack away from me spread onto the back of my shirt.
“Oh, things are really heating up now!” Discord blurted out of no where.
The fire took advantage of the shirt that I was wearing and was quickly overwhelming it. The flames swept all around my body. As a natural instinct, I dropped to the ground and started to roll to get the flames put out. The hard stone might of not been the best floor to subdue the fire, but I had no other options.
I kept rolling to get the flames off of me, however they were not leaving as quickly as I would like them to. The fire was searing, I could feel the fire as it started to char my back. I really wish I had some water left over from earlier.
After rolling for some time, I was able to put the flames out, but not without consequence. My back was closest to the fire, so it took the most damage. I wish I could turn around to look at it, but I was unable to. I would assume that it was very red and possibly bubbling at some parts. I knew it didn’t look attractive to say the least.
It was in insurmountable pain, I would assume it was a second degree burn. I had nothing to cool it off, still wishing I had some water. I could hardly move my back and the pain was overbearing. With my entire body clinching, I collapsed to the ground. I was in such shock to the fire and the pain I wore. I couldn’t think straight. What was I going to do?
I couldn’t continue on like this.
All of a sudden, Discord’s voice boomed through the room, “I’ll make you a deal, here I have a nice cold bucket of water...I’ll give it to you if you turn around and leave.”
I should take the bucket, it’s not like I could continue forward anyway...
At those thoughts, I had an unexpected vision.
I was outside of my current body that lay in a dungeon below this Ponyville. I was somewhere else.
I was standing inside of a castle, not an ordinary castle though. It was the Canterlot Castle that housed the princesses. The scenery was dark, like there was no light outside. Looking in front of me I saw one pony that I would not be able to take my eyes off of.
She was standing only a foot in front of me, she didn’t have a ghost like appearance like Fluttershy did in the caves. She was actually alive and in front of me. She wore a solid face that was neutral, not a smile or a frown.
I looked her directly in the eye, I wasn’t able to say anything. What could I say to her? I was speechless. However she was not. She returned my gaze and told me...
“Take heart; have faith.”
Without any further delay, I was abruptly flung backwards. White started to fill my vision as Canterlot Castle was disappearing before my eyes. Before long all I saw was white.
Shortly after, I started to come back to my senses and found myself back in Discord’s Dungeon. I was still laying on my back, and the pain was still real.
She said to take heart and have faith... I pondered on what that meant for a little bit.
Take heart...Celestia told me to have courage, to be strong.
Have faith...The ponies are real. I have faith that they are.
I got up ignoring the pain that was shooting sporadically through my body. I got up to my feet and looked at my backpack. Everything was burnt in it, however, there were still five gems that lay buried in the ashes. The Elements were not harmed in the fire, they were not even scuffed. I walked over to them and picked them up and put them in my cargo pants. After seeing that nothing else could be savaged from my pack, I walked out the doorway into the next room.
“You are either very brave or very stupid...” Discord stated.
All of a sudden, something cold and refreshing hit my back. It was the water that Discord tempted me with.
“I have no need for a bucket of water, and now I’ll get to have a little more fun with you.” Discord laughed again before his voice faded.
The cool water was very relieving, but the damage was done and the pain will still be present.
No need to worry about that though, I need to find the last Element.
I’m so tired.
All day, and quite possibly all night I slaved away at passing each room. I have gone through nine rooms in this damnable dungeon. Wall crushers, spikes, lava, a giant rock, monsters, you name it, I’ve gone through it. There was even a room filled with innocent flowers, Discord was using that room just to make me paranoid. His slanderous words have been torturing me non stop through the dungeon.
My body was useless. Every bit from my toes all the way to my head hurts. It was torture being in my body. Why would Discord behave so violently? I’m not sure, and I will never found out. Perhaps my world has made him become so, since Equestria is a much more peaceful place. Maybe when he came to my world, he observed the hatred embedded in people’s hearts and took advantage of it. Maybe the hatred even consumed him. Though, it would only be my opinion, I will never know the truth. My mouth was so parched now anyway so I couldn't even ask him.
Nonetheless, I was now in the tenth room. The room was extremely dark, the air felt as if it had weight to it. My flashlight would do wonders here, but that met an unfortunate fate when my backpack caught fire. The walls, celling, and floor were absent; it was like I was in a completely different place. However, there was a little slab of floor in front of me that led into the room.
I traveled a few steps before I could make out something before me. There was a bridge. It looked like the same bridge that was in front of the Royal Pony Sister’s Castle Ruins. The bridge was composed of wooden planks being held by ropes. I tried to see where it would lead, but the thick darkness prevented me from doing so.
I was curious to see if there was another route, but I could not find one. Looking beneath the bridge I could see only a black abyss. If I were to fall down it, I would assume that it wouldn’t be a happy ending for me.
I looked at the bridge knowing it was my only option to advance.
I wasn’t sure where it would lead. I was walking blind in this room. But I had to trust that it would lead to where I need to go.
I took hold of the rope handles and took it step by step on the bridge. One foot after the other. Sometimes I would slip, but the handles where there to hold me in place.
The bridge was extremely long and frighting , but after a minute of walking, I started to see where the bridge ended. It ended on top of a small island of of stone. It was circular and was hardly big enough to hold me if I laid on top of it.
I got off the bridge and onto the platform only to see that there was another bridge that led further in the room. Looking back I could no longer see the entrance. Actually, looking everywhere I couldn’t see anything besides the bridges.
I looked up at the next bridge that I would have to cross, but then something caught my eye. There a a very light sparkle cutting through the darkness. I would have to cross the bridge to see what it was.
Curiosity struck me and I quickly started to cross the bridge. After some time I got to about the center, I looked up to see where the sparkle was.
I could see what it was.
I was a red gem shaped in a lighting bolt. It was the Element of Loyality.
I’ve done it! I picked up my pace again, making quick work getting across the bridge.
Getting closer I could see that it was on a stone pillar. It was similar to the pillars they used to hold up buildings in Rome. I also noticed that the pillar was connected to the stone island that was like the one in between the bridges.
I was nearing the platform when...
“NO! You will NOT get the Element!” Discord.
Suddenly, the bridge collapsed beneath me in a flash. I was left with nothing to grab or hold me. I was able to lunge forward just before the bridge was completely gone.
I was heading toward the stone island. Half of my body landed on the side of the island as pain exploded on my ribs. The pain shocked me as my body slid off of the side.
I missed the island, I was going to fall.
I was able to cease my fall into the black abyss by grabbing the side with one of my hands. It was the hand I dug the dirt out with, it was still in tremendous pain. But since that was near the beginning of the dungeon it was able to heal a little.
I held on strong hoping that I wouldn't fall. Looking below I could no longer see the bridge that fell, I could only see darkness. I tried to move my other arm up to help me lift myself up, but it was no use.
There was nothing I could do. There was nothing I could grab onto.
My grip on the stone started to slip.
This would be it. I got so far.
I looked up, my eyes met another pair.
“...Rainbow?” I spoke, unsure if it was her.
“Grab my hoof! Hurry!” Rainbow exclaimed.
It was her, it was really her! She was partly invisible, but I was eye to eye with her! I was trying to not get lost in the fact that she was above me, but it was extremely hard not to. However, she might be the only one who can save me now.
“What are you waiting for?!”
“My other arm is broken!” I cried in defense.
“Just use it! Grab my hoof!”
Obeying her request, I tried to bring my other arm up. There was no pain, it all vanished! Without any hesitation, I used the remainder of my strength and reached my arm up to grab her hoof.
I didn’t grab her hoof though, My hand went right through her hoof. Rainbow Dash vanished before my eyes.
With no more strength, I fell backwards into the darkness.
Was it a trick?
Am I going to die?
The thoughts of my adventures flooded my mind. It’s true what they say, your entire life does flash before your eyes before you meet your end.
Like the time when I found my first Element, I was so happy. I remember Ahuitzotl’s Temple being the first structure I saw in real life that came from the show. I was in awe when I saw Fluttershy in the Diamond Dog’s cave. I gained amazing friends on the cruise ship and scored the Element of Laughter. I also remember when I thought I was giving the Element of Generosity away, but it proved just to be a fake.
As soon as those thoughts came to my mind, a strong sudden gust of wind blew me up.
It was lifting me toward to where the element was!
With a final poof I was launched onto the island, safely landing on it this time.
I lay there trying to gather what happened, I realized that I was safe and the Element was right next to me. I quickly oriented myself and got to my feet. I looked over to where the Element was on the pillar. I raced over to it and snatched it from its resting place.
I found the Element of Loyalty. I have all the elements. My journey was completed.
I could not contain my happiness at the moment. After everything I have gone through, it made this moment so much more sweeter. To think that I finally completed my adventure. All these years, and here I am with my journey completed. Tears started to bead in my eyes as I realized all the sacrifices and trials that I have gone through to get the Elements.
But what do I do now?
I remembered the other Elements that lay in my pant pockets. With haste, I pulled them all out and put them in front of me.
The instant I put them down together there was an extreme bright light. My eyes retreated from the light by pulling my head backward and using my hand as a shield from the light. The light did not last long, it shorty was gone.
I rubbed my eyes trying to regain my eyesight. When I tried to look back at the Elements before me...
“T..They’re gone!” I shrieked!
The Elements were no longer before me! Where did they go?!
I scrambled looking around my body to see where they were, but they were not on the ground. Maybe there were on the pillar next to me!
I stood to my feet and checked the pillar, but I stopped.
There were seven ponies in front of me. Looking at me.
Twilight Sparkle...Applejack...Fluttershy...Pinkie Pie...Rarity...Rainbow Dash.
They all had their corresponding Elements floating above them. But in front of the mane six stood Princess Celestia.
They all acknowledged me, and were smiling at me. I could see that they were proud of me, I complete the quest that Princess Celestia gave me.
I found them.
Now I will live at peace the rest of my days. I will forever be with them, and they will forever be with me.
“Muhahaha, do you think you actually won?” Discord ruined the moment.
I totally forgot that he was lurking in the dungeon. The shock was very apparent on my face, however, the ponies seemed to not hear Discord.
“I found them Discord! They bear the Elements of Harmony once again, you stand no chance!”
“That’s what you think, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve had my fun, and you’ve had your bliss.”
What is he talking about?
Everything went black instantly. There was no ponies, Discord, or even myself. I was nothing, I was nowhere.
I started to open my eyes however I felt no pain in my body. My body was mostly numb, my head was dreary like it was filled with cobwebs.
I‘m now in a bed with white sheeting. The room around me is small but shared the white color with the walls. I started to hear beeps in my right ear.
Where am I?