Arc 1: Reflections - Chapter 1: Unsung
It was evening in Ponyville. The cool night air had come and most of the inhabitants of the small town were tucked away in their homes for the night. This was no different for the two who lived in the town's library. Twilight Sparkle and Spike were relaxing in silence in the main room of the library. While the dragon was lying on the floor and drawing a piece of parchment, the purple unicorn was lounging on the couch, looking through a photo album, occasionally chuckling to herself. This eventually caught the dragon's attention.
"What'cha laughing at?" Spike asked, getting up to stand on his feet to walk over to the mare.
With a smile, Twilight replied, "Oh, I'm just looking at the photo albums that mom sent of myself when I was a little filly. Such fun memories. Oh, there are a few of you as well. It was just after you hatched." She continued to turn the pages, seeing the past on the pages of the book.
Spike looked down at the book. While he noticed himself in the pictures, he could barely remember any of the events that took place, "How come I don't remember any of these?"
"You were a newly hatched dragon, Spike. You could barely stay up for eight hours, much less walk, at the time," Twilight commented before placing her hoof on a picture, "Here was our first family portrait after you were born. A few months after that, we both went to Princess Celestia's academy, remember?"
"I guess," the dragon's words drifted as he looked at the picture. In the photo, he saw a blue unicorn male next to a white unicorn mare with a purple and white mane, Twilight's parents, a younger Shining Armor next to a filly Twilight. Then, right in front of all of the unicorns was a baby Spike.
"Something on your mind, Spike?" Twilight asked concernedly.
"Kinda...." he admitted.
"Why don't you tell me?" using her magic, she closed the photo album and placed it aside, moving over on the couch so Spike could join her, "It could help to get it off your mind."
Hopping up on the couch cushion, he began "Well, looking at those photos, it just makes me wonder....makes me wonder about my parents...."
"Huh? You mean mom and dad? But their doing fine. You can read the letter if you want," Twilight turned toward a stack of papers on the end table.
"No, not mom and dad. I mean my mom and dad. My real parents...." his words sounded distant.
The mare finally understood what he meant, "Oh, I see."
"I just don't know anything about them," Spike continued, "For that matter, I barely know anything about dragons. All I know is that I'm different. Weirder than anypony else in Ponyville. It just bugs me so much." He looked down at his dangling feet before turning back to look at Twilight, "I mean, who am I?"
With a warm smile, Twilight responded, "Spike, you are you. I know it doesn't really help with your current problem, but you're like my little brother. You're part of my family. And mom, dad, and Shining Armor think the same. We didn't care if you were a pony, dragon, or whatever. You were and are family to us."
The unicorn's words caused a smile to appear on Spike's face, "Wow....I never thought of it like that before, Twilight."
"Well, I mean it, Spike," the pony placed her hoof on the baby dragon's head before playfully roughing him up, "and you should know better than to think like that. Mom always taught us better than that."
"Yeah, you're right as usual. Thanks, Twilight," Spike gave a quick hug to the purple unicorn.
"Of course," Twilight returned the hug before levitating the photo album back to her, "Would you like to look at a few more photos with me?"
"Heh, sure, why not?"
For the next couple of hours, Twilight and Spike looked through the family album, laughing at past adventures in Canterlot, their time with their family, photos from Shining Armor's recent wedding, and so on. However, when they got to a page about Twilight's entrance exam for Princess Celestia's academy, Spike tilted his head in puzzlement.
"Is that my egg on that wagon?" the dragon pointed with his claw.
"Yes, it is. And with the help of Rainbow Dash's first sonic rainboom, I was able to use my magic to hatch you," Twilight nodded and explained.
Spike pondered before asking another question, "Where did my egg come from?"
Opening her mouth to speak, Twilight found she did not have an answer for such a question. "A very valid inquiry. I'm not sure. I figured it was part of the test and didn't question it. Very curious."
"Guessing we aren't going to find out about that anytime soon, huh?" the purple and green dragon turned his head to the unicorn.
The mare was in thought before she replied, "Well, it doesn't have to be. We could find out more about it if you'd like, Spike."
Twilight explained her idea, "Well, we could go to Canterlot tomorrow and ask Princess Celestia about this. If anypony knows the answer, it would be her. I'm sure she'll be more than happy to help offer some answers for you, Spike. You are, after all, one of her top scribes."
"I am?" Spike wasn't exactly sure if he believed what the mare said.
"But of course! She did say right after you were hatched that you, and I quote, 'are going to do some great things in your time'," Twilight mused, even imitating the regal manner of Princess Celestia's voice.
Spike couldn't help but give a small laugh at Twilight's imitation of the princess's tone, "She said that about me?"
"Actually, she said that to you, but you were too busy gnawing on your tail to pay attention to her," the mare explained before also giving a small laugh.
The dragon gave a small laugh as well at what he did, "Okay, if you are okay with us going up tomorrow."
"Anything for my little assistant," Twilight said, "But if we are going to do that tomorrow, I suggest that a certain dragon get ready for bed."
"Okay!" Spike jumped down from the couch and ran upstairs to take care of his nightly duties before he went to sleep.
Watching the small dragon dash off, Twilight gave a smile before looking back at the photo album and seeing a photo of a small, newly hatched Spike. In a soft voice, she spoke to herself, "You sure have grown up fast."
Arc 1: Reflections - Chapter 2: Off The Record
The next morning, Twilight and Spike boarded a train at the Ponyville station. The two sat on a seat in the passenger car and waited for the train to head off to Canterlot in the east. As the train engine came to live and moved all of the cars, Spike looked out the window and watched the outside world move by at a slow, but increase pace.
Twilight took noticed of the dragon's stare, "You alright, Spike?"
A bit startled by the unicorn's words, Spike nodded, "Yeah, I'm fine."
The mare raised an eyebrow, "It doesn't seem like it. Are you nervous?"
"Nervous? About what?" Spike asked, "We're just going to see the princess about something. No big deal or anything."
"I don't know about it not being a big deal, Spike," Twilight insisted, "If I were in your place, I would be quite anxious and eager to know about myself."
"But you aren't in my place, and I'm okay with all of this, really," a confident smirk appeared on Spike's face as he reassured the unicorn.
"I guess, but it is about something that is a bit personal to you. I can understand if you are a bit hesitant," Twilight gave a hopeful look to her assistant.
Spike became slightly defensive, "I'm not, Twilight. I'll be fine." He turned back to the window and watched the landscape rush by. Twilight was still worried about the dragon, but decided to keep silent.
The train arrived in Canterlot about a few hours later. Wasting no time, Twilight quickly found a royal guard and informed him about their desire to have an audience with Princess Celestia. The guard then led them to the castle, where they led into the grand foyer. Spike was in awe. He looked in wonderment at the many colorful tapestries that decorated the halls. It had been years since he had been in any part of the royal castle and he could never fully get over of how big it was compared to him.
Interrupting Spike's thinking, a royal guard entered the foyer and announced, "Princess Celestia will see you now." From the same door, the white alicorn princess entered the foyer.
"Oh, Twilight Sparkle, Spike. What a pleasure to have you visit. What brings you to Canterlot, my student?" Princess Celestia asked with a warm, welcoming smile.
"Good day, princess. We have come to request an audience with you regarding a bit of a personal matter," Twilight stated, before slightly nudging Spike with her hoof.
The baby dragon was awoken to life after the bump from the mare, "Oh, uh....right. Um....princess? I know this sounds odd, but where did my egg come from? And for that matter, if I may, where do all of the dragon eggs come from?"
Taken back from Spike's question, Celestia hesitated in her reply. With an expression of worry, she looked around her to see if any others were nearby that could overhear. With a sigh, she began, "I do have an answer for you, Spike. However, I would like this to be off the record. This is only for you to hear."
Both Twilight and Spike nodded, patiently waiting for the princess to continue.
"I personally have no idea exactly where dragon eggs are gathered. In fact, we are given them from a third party," Celestia explained.
"I beg your pardon, princess, but how do you not know about the topic? I mean, you are ruler of Equestria," Twilight was puzzled.
With a sigh, Celestia continued, "It's....complicated. Dragons, while residents in the land, are not completely under Equestrian rule in the wilderness. It's a complex and traditional order we have. The traditional system we have with dragons is that they may occupy the land and are free to do what they wish as long as no pony is harmed in anyway whatsoever. This decree is centuries old and mustn't be changed."
"So, I will never know, will I?" Spike's voice was not one of optimism or hope.
"Now, I never said that, Spike. There is always some hope," the princess reassured the dragon, "There is one place I know that might have some information that you might help you."
"Really?" Spike eagerly awaited a response.
The princess nodded, "There is a special type of library in the town of Manehatten. If you wish to venture there and inquire, I believe you can find an answer there. The librarian should be able to help, he is quite the scholar on non-pony species."
"A library in Manehatten, huh?" an idea hatched in the dragon's head, "Sounds like a quest."
"Manehatten? That's quite a trip, and I don't know if going there would be a good idea, Spike. It's halfway across the land," Twilight expressed her concern.
Before Spike could rebuttal, Princess Celestia spoke, "I will leave you two to decided on your choice. I do hope you find the answer you are looking for Spike, and I wish you a safe journey home." She turned to leave the foyer.
"Wait, Princess Celestia, I have one more question," Spike raised his claw up.
"Yes, what is it?" the princess stopped and turned back to Spike.
He paused before he spoke again, "Is it true that you said I going to do some great things in my time....or something like that?"
A smile appeared on Celestia's face, "Yes, I did. I could tell from the moment you were hatched that you were going to be a very impressive dragon."
"But....I don't understand, what could I do that would be considered something like that?" the little dragon was just confused at the thought.
"That, my dear Spike, is something that you must find out on your own. Farewell, my faithful students," Celestia left the foyer as she smiled toward her subjects.
As the princess left, Spike and Twilight exited the castle. With Princess Celestia's words still ringing in Spike's ears, the two slowly made their way to the train station to return home.
Arc 1: Reflections - Chapter 3: Ready To Start
Spike woke up the next day. He replayed the former day's events in his head. Twilight had taking him to Canterlot and Princess Celestia gave him news that he could learn about his parents identity if he goes to search for them. Crawling out of his bed he continued to think about the princess's words.
Dragging himself out of his bed, he looked at himself in a mirror and simply asked a question aloud to himself:
"Just who am I?"
A few minutes later, just downstairs, Twilight Sparkle was packing something into her saddlebag. She seemed content about herself, but a little stressed as well. Twilight looked up, hearing steps coming down the staircase. It was her dragon assistant.
"Good morning, Spike!" Twilight spoke cheerfully.
Spike looked up to see the purple unicorn, "Oh, hey Twilight," his words were distant and melancholic.
This caught the mare's attention, "Is something wrong?"
Sighing, Spike admitted it plainly, "It's the princess's words. What she said."
"You mean about the ancient decree with dragons?"
"That….and what she said about library in Manehatten," the dragon was looking up to the unicorn.
Twilight was a little concerned with his statement, "And I assume you want to go to this library?"
Spike was hesitant to answer, "Y-Yes….sorry…."
"You do know that traveling out there is extremely dangerous, right?" the mare's motherly tone was apparent.
"I know, and I don't care."
"May I ask why?"
Taking a deep breath, the dragon started, "It will always be on my mind if I don't do something about this. It will bother to me. It would just eat at me."
With a small smile, Twilight shook her head, "I figured you'd say something like that."
The dragon was confused, "Huh?"
"I understand where you are coming from with this Spike, and with that I just have one question, are you sure you want to do this?"
"Yes," Spike replied.
"It could be dangerous."
"I don't care," the dragon's words were confident.
"You might get hurt or worse," Twilight warned.
"I'm fully aware."
"You might not even get an answer for your question."
"Better to have tried then do nothing."
After interrogating Spike with multiple questions, the mare finally felt she got the answer she was expecting, "I guess there is no changing your mind, is there?"
Spike shook his head, "Nope."
"In that case, I'm sure our company will be happy to know that you are ready to go," Twilight commented as she trotted towards the front door of the library.
"Say what now?" Spike asked.
As Twilight opened the door, three different ponies entered the library. Spike was puzzled to see Big Mac, Applebloom, and Rainbow Dash randomly entered in, all with bags as if they were going on a trip.
"I don't get it, what's going on Twilight?" the young dragon asked, scratching the top of his head.
"I figured you were determined to go on this quest of yours, I'd figured I would get some help. I, of course, am going to accompany you, but I felt that we could use some help. So, I asked if Rainbow, Applebloom and, Big Macintosh could join us," the purple pony explained.
"Eeyup," Big Mac characteristically stated with a warm expression for the dragon.
"Is this for real?" Spike was simply amazed that others were wishing to help him.
"Yup! I can understand a little runt like you could be eager to get out there and find out who you are, so I figured I had to help. I remember being like you when I was back at flight camp. And if it's an adventure you want to go on, you bet I want to get in on this!" Rainbow Dash proudly exclaimed as she stated her case.
"An' ah want to help ya out too, Spike!" Applebloom chimed in, "Ah know that it not like ya have a cutie mark ta get one day, but it's somethin' like it, an' what better way ta help then by joinin' with ya! An' with mah brother comin' along, Applejack said I could!" The little filly's energy seemed to be limitless as she bounced up and down excitedly.
Spike was at a loss for words. With an expression of excitement, he spoke, "Guys….this is just amazing! I don't know what to say….just thank you. This means so much to me, thank you."
Twilight trotted over to Spike, patting him on his head, "Well, you certainly weren't going alone."
"When are we going to leave?" Spike asked anxiously.
"We are taking a late train tonight to Manehatten. You can get go ahead and get ready now," Twilight informed him.
Wasting no time, Spike rushed up the stairs to his room to pack a small bag. He couldn't believe it. Spike was getting ready to start a quest. A journey to find learn about where he came from and who he is.
TO BE CONTINUED
Arc 2: The Seeker - Chapter 1: Nothing Much To Lose
Spike was looking out of the window of the speeding train. Celestia's sun had began to set in the west as Luna's moon was beginning the rise in the east. The little dragon looked eagerly to at the moon and the multi-colored sky as the train rushed to the east. Inside of the car, only a few were riding with the dragon, four of them were seated near Spike.
"You really seem excited, Spike," a familiar voice spoke to the dragon.
Turning to the voice, Spike replied, "Well, duh I am, Twilight, how can I not be! I'm finally going to figure out more of what it means to be a dragon!"
Twilight Sparkle, who was sitting on the same bench seat on the train as her assistant, playfully pulled Spike closer to herself and away from the window, "You're already a dragon Spike. The only thing you need to really worry about is getting some rest. The train takes a day to get to Manehatten."
"That's not what I meant. What I mean is that I will finally get to learn more about dragons. I've only had that one real encounter with other dragons, and we all saw how that turned out," Spike recalled the event.
A different voice spoke up, "Yeah, we saw those dragon jerks, but don't worry about them, you're nothing like them, squirt." Spike looked up just as a light blue hoof came down on his head and roughed him up. It was Rainbow Dash who was sitting in the seat behind Spike and Twilight.
With a laugh, Spike looked up to see Rainbow Dash above him, "Haha, well thanks for those words. Why are you coming with us again?"
Rainbow Dash draped herself across the back of the seat and continued talking, "Are you kidding? The moment Twilight here said that she was going on an adventure, I had to join in on this! My only complaint is having to take a train like this though."
Spike looked from Dash to Twilight, "For real?"
Twilight sighed with a chuckle and a shrug, "She insisted."
"What can I say?" Rainbow Dash smirked, "Adventure is my middle name!"
"Your full name is Rainbow Adventure Dash?" Twilight asked with a raised eyebrow.
Rainbow smiled proudly, "Yeah, yeah, I know I'm rad."
The small dragon rolled his eyes until he saw the two Apple siblings in the bench seat across the aisle from them. "What about you two? You ponies don't have to come with us, ya know."
"Ah know! But ah always wanted ta go ta Manehatten at least once. Applejack did say it was quite an amazin' city! Besides, yer mah friend Spike, ah'm more than happy ta come with ya an' help ya out!" Applebloom spoke enthusiastically.
"You really wanted to come with us? Not like we know what were going to find though," Spike asked the yellow filly.
Applebloom's smile was almost too big for her face, "Ah know, but that's the fun part, right? Only Celestia can know what we'll find! Who knows, ah might get mah cutie mark!"
Before the little pony began to bounce throughout the nearly empty car, Big Macintosh placed his hooves on his little sister to hold her down.
Twilight gave a smirk to the red stallion, "Let me guess, you're just here for supervision for Applebloom?"
Big Mac smiled and winked, "Eeyup."
Spike laughed a bit before turning to all of the ponies with him, "I really am at a loss for words. Just, thank you so much for coming along with me and Twilight on this trip. It really means a lot to me."
Twilight patted Spike on his scaly head, "Of course, Spike. You're not just a dragon to us, you're our friend as well as family."
"Thanks, Twilight. Everyone, thanks," Spike said again as he yawned.
Smiling, the purple unicorn gave a hug "It's still a day's trip to Manehatten, we all should get some rest."
The small dragon was the first to nod as he leaned his head again Twilight's body. He looked out window to the now darkened world that was on the other side. He blinked a few times before he quickly drifted off to sleep.
Arc 2: The Seeker - Chapter 2: City Of Blinding Lights
The train pulled into the Manehatten station. The passengers got the train onto the platform, welcomed by the chilly air of the night. The flood of ponies, dragons, griffins, and other creatures moved throughout the station. Amongst the crowd, a group of five stuck close together to not lose each other.
"Go with the flow of traffic to the exit, everypony!" Twilight Sparkle tried to call out to her companions amid the loud clamor that echoed through the station. No one objected to her orders, as they all wanted to break from the crowd. Spike hopped up on the purple unicorn's back as to not get separated, and Applebloom did the same for her brother. Rainbow Dash, on the other hand, hovered over the masses and made her way to the exit.
Finally out of the station, the company regrouped. Spike was the first to spoke, "Wow, I thought we were going to be swallowed up by that crowd."
"I can second that. It was really getting claustrophobic for my taste," Rainbow Dash nodded as she moved her wings slightly before resting them back to her side.
"It's to expected," Twilight explained as she used her magic to adjust her saddlebag to have it fit more comfortably, "Manehatten is the most populated city in all of Equestria. Ponyville and Los Pegasus doesn't even come close in comparison."
"Really now? Does this mean it'll be harder ta find the place we need ta go, Miss Twilight?" Applebloom asked, jumping down from Big Mac's back.
Twilight thought for a moment before turning to the purple dragon, "Spike, can you get that piece of parchment out of my saddlebag?" the unicorn turned back to the other ponies, "I don't think it should take too long. Princess Celestia said there was a unique library in the city, and I have the directions here. Got it, Spike?"
After digging through the bag, the small dragon pulled out a sheet of parchment, "Got it!"
With a confident smile, Twilight nodded, "Alright then, let's head on out!"
Leading the way, Twilight Sparkle moved away from the train station into the main streets of the city. The city sights, however, quickly captivated the imagination of the five of them. As they walked down the street, the bright lights illuminated the big city. With wide eyes and gasps in awe, the citizens of Ponyville were taken in by the sights, sounds, scents, and atmosphere of Manehatten's night. The lights made the city looked as if it was lit up by fireflies.
"Wow…." was all Spike could utter.
"So cool…." Rainbow Dash added.
Twilight joined in, "Breathtaking…."
"It's so big an' fancy, huh Big Mac?" the little Applebloom asked trying to look at all of the sights around her.
"Eeyup…." Even the big red stallion had his mind captured by the sights of Manehatten.
After some time of taking in the new and alien environment, it was the purple unicorn was the first to bring everypony back, "Come on, we can take in the sights later. We should find the library first."
"It's not like you weren't enjoying the surroundings, egghead," the blue pegasus teased her friend.
"I didn't say I wasn't enjoying it, Rainbow Dash, but we should take care of what we came here to do," Twilight gave a smirk to Dash before looking at the address on the parchment in Spike's claw.
After a bit of wandering around in the early evening in Manehatten, the group of five found the address they were searching for. In contrast to the main street that they had trotted down that was lit up by bright lights and filled with life, the library was in a scarcely lit area that was completely deserted. The library itself looked like a rundown shop that had been out of business for years.
"Are ya sure this is the right place, Miss Twilight? This place seems like some kinda dump," Applebloom asked, stand close to the group for safety.
"This is it," Twilight replied, her voice was doubtful of her own correctness.
"This is it? It looks really sketchy," Dash commented.
"I agree with Rainbow Dash on this," Spike concurred.
"Come on now, you can't just come all this way and not venture in just because it looks scary, Spike," Twilight explained to her assistant.
Spike looked down at the sidewalk before he raised his head up and to give the purple unicorn a nod. With a big gulp, he opened the door into the library. The group of ponies followed in after the dragon into the small building,
Upon entering the library, a musty scent filled their lungs. Only a few light bulbs dotted the store to give light to filled bookshelves as well as the many stacks of books that seemed to be growing up from the floor.
"Hello?" Spike called out as they slowly wandered into the store.
A voice replied, "What can I help you with, my fair travelers?"
Arc 2: The Seeker – Chapter 3: Open Book
The mysterious voice caused Spike and the rest of the group to jump slightly. To the small dragon, the voice sounded cold, foreign and as if a sharp claw was placed on his shoulder and gripped tightly. A shiver ran down his spine.
“What may I help you with, travelers?” the deep voice echoed through the small library and the walls of books.
“E-Excuse me? S-Sir? Where are you?” Spike called out, trying his best to not trip over his own words.
In the back of the library, a pony shaped figure trotted out from a doorway, revealing a tan unicorn with a long brown and grey mane with a connecting beard of the same color. Wrapped around his body was a dirty white jacket that seemed as old as was. Coughing and wheezing, he trotted towards his customers, “Sorry for the delay, I was enjoying an evening pipe. Wasn’t expecting any patrons at this hour. Now then, what can I help you with?” His grey eyes fell upon the five souls in the library.
Twilight Sparkle took hold of the situation, “Good evening, sir. We were told that your library would have some information about dragons.”
“Dragons, huh? Hmm….” the librarian examined the creatures before him with a hoof raised, “This ol’ shop has plenty of books about subjects ranging from griffins to dragons and everything in between. You’re free to look all you like through the shelves for what you’d like, just holler if you find something you would like to purchase.”
“Purchase? I thought this was a library,” Rainbow Dash commented.
The tan unicorn turned around to trot back to the back room, “Everything has a price, pegasus. Sometimes it’s not cheap.”
Before he disappeared, Twilight called out, “Where would we find the literature on dragons exactly?”
The unicorn disappeared beyond the dark doorway, but his voice still was audible, “The shelves here have not been organized in years. If you are looking for something particular, I wish you luck.”
Leaving them in silence, Applebloom was first to speak, “Did anypony else get a strange feelin’ from that old pony?” Everypony else nodded in agreement with her statement.
“Well, let’s not waste time,” the purple unicorn was quick to change the subject, “if we split up, we can find some books about dragons much more swiftly.”
Within minutes, the group of five was spread throughout the small library, looking among the stacks and rows of books. Twilight was going through a large pillar of books with her magic while Spike and Big Macintosh were looking through the bottom of the bookshelves. Applebloom was up upon one of the moveable ladders, looking through the higher shelves while Rainbow Dash did the same as she hovered near the top.
“Any luck up there?” Twilight called out for a reply.
The blue pegasus was the first to reply, “So far, not yet. I’ve found all these weird, old books. Ghorl Nigral, De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis, Unaussprechlichen Kulten, Necronomicon, Book of Eibon, De Vermis Mysteriis, and a number of other books that I can barely say,” Dash opened one of the books up in an attempt to read it, but she quickly gave up, “What did you find, shorty?”
“Some strange books as well,” the yellow filly stated, “There’s one called Handbook for the Recently Deceased. Another called The Rats In Spats and one more called How to Become a Fancy Waiter in Less than 20 Minutes.”
“Sounds more interesting than what I’ve found down here,” Spike commented with a sigh. “I found some stuff that sounds boring. “Kitara’s Song, The Paq'batlh, A Cave Beyond Logic, Leonard McCoy's Comparative Alien Physiology, this stuff is just weird.”
“I have to agree with you on this, Spike. I’ve never even seen these books before. Men, Monks, and Gamekeepers; a Study in Popular Legend, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, The Bottom of Lake Lachrymose, these books are getting us nowhere,” Twilight was stressing as she magically looked at each book’s cover.
“Ah think ah found somethin’,” Big Mac announced, pulling a book out of the bookshelves.
Spike was first to show up next to Big Mac, “What book is this, Big Macintosh?”
Turning the book to it’s cover, the red stallion read the title aloud, “The Dragon Mythos, the book looks really fancy.” On the cover, an etching of three dragons that seemed to be engaged in a battle.
The rest of the group gathered around the elder Apple sibling. Twilight Sparkle looked at the book, “May I see this book?” The unicorn took the book and began to examine it. As she opened the cover, a number of pages fell out. Spike and Applebloom were quick to pick them up. “This book seems really old.”
“It is old. Almost as old as I,” a familiar voice stated. The librarian unicorn trotted back into the front room, “The former owner, my mentor wrote that book before he passed on.”
“You think that’s who the princess was talking about?” Spike asked Twilight as he heard the unicorn’s words.
“The princess? Princess Celestia? I heard from her that a group would be coming here looking for information regarding dragons. Obviously, she meant you,” he responded to the dragon’s question.
“I’m Twilight Sparkle, one of the princess’s students. This is Rainbow Dash, Big Macintosh, Applebloom, and Spike. We came from Ponyville in hopes to meet your mentor. We heard he was an expert in non-pony species,” the purple mare explained.
“He was. However, he passed away a few years ago. Unfortunately, I’d be unable to help you with your situation,” the tan unicorn explained.
“Seems we reached a dead end, huh?” Applebloom asked with her puppy-dog eyes.
The librarian paused before he answered, “Maybe not. I do know of somepony who might be able to help you. His name is Dr. Retev and he’s in Vanhoover.”
“Vanhoover? All the way over on the other side of Equestria?” Rainbow Dash was surprised.
The unicorn continued, “He has studied more about non-pony physiology than any other pony I know. He’s your best bet to for your quest now. He actually helped my mentor in creating the book in your hooves,” he pointed to the book held by Twilight, “You can take it with you, but do be careful with it. It won’t last long in the shape it is in.”
“Thank you very much, sir!” Twilight was honored to be trusted with such a book.
The bookkeeper nodded, “Of course. I hope it will help you, student of the princess.”
“Just who are you, anyway?” Dash asked the tan unicorn as the thought was bothering her.
“It is….not important right now. Instead, I suggest you make haste to the train station. It is a three day ride to Vanhoover,” the bearded pony pointed out.
Big Mac agreed, “He does have a point there.”
Spike was enthusiastic, “Thank you for everything, Mr. Librarian. Thank you so much.”
“Go ahead and take the book with you. And best of luck, Spike,” the librarian stated, “It is time I close the shop.”
After a second round of showing gratitude, Spike and the four ponies left the library and made their way to the train station with a new goal in mind: seeking Dr. Retev in Vanhoover.
Arc 2: The Seeker – Chapter 4: Different Names For The Same Thing
Back at the Manehatten train station, the group arrived to find the location barren. With Twilight going up to check the train schedule, the rest lounged among the empty benches.
Twilight returned to the group, "The next train to leave for Vanhoover is tomorrow morning at six. Until then, we can wait here and even get some sleep."
"Really?" Rainbow Dash remarked, "Sleep here? Are you serious, egghead? This isn't exactly ideal for sleeping."
"If ya wanna find a hotel to rest at, Miss Rainbow Dash, by all means ya can pay fer our stay," Big Mac joked with a sly smirk.
"On second thought, maybe this isn't that bad after all," the pegasus reconsidered. With Dash's comment, the group of ponies and the dragon settled down for a quick snooze before the train was to arrive.
Spike, who had some difficulty staying asleep, woke up. Raising his head, he looked around the vacant train station to see all of his pony companions fast asleep except for one, Twilight Sparkle. He sat up and slowly waddled over to her.
"Twilight?" the purple dragon mumbled, "What are you still doing up?"
The purple unicorn was sitting on the floor, carefully organizing and spreading out the pages of the book they were given from the librarian unicorn just an hour earlier, "Oh, hello, Spike. I'm just carefully organizing the pages of The Dragon Mythos. An interesting work, I must say. I wish I could have met this author, Dr. Nesier Lien, he seems to be very knowledgeable about the subject. From what I can read of this old book. I'm sorry, I was getting carried away, is something troubling you, Spike?"
The small dragon didn't seem bothered that the mare babbled, "It's fine. I was just thinking of about….all of this…."
"All of what?" Twilight turned to her assistant, giving him her full attention.
Spike sighed, "Well, this whole journey, ya know? This thing we're all on in hopes to find out just what I am and where I come from. It makes me feel…."
"Scared? Fearful? Anxious? Terrified?" Twilight tried to fill the blank.
"I was just going to say worried, but those all fit just the same," the dragon seemed annoyed that Twilight hit the nail on the head with how he was feeling.
"Spike, it's okay to be afraid of what we don't know," the purple pony explained, "If we knew what would happen to us at anytime, it would be wonderful, yes. However, it takes the thrill away."
The dragon was puzzled, "The thrill?"
Twilight laughed softly, "It's something that Rainbow Dash would say. What I mean is the fear and the anxiety causes everypony to expect the worst in frightening situations. But the fear of the unknown is what drives us to learn, to explore, to venture into something that we thought never before we could do."
"She's right, ya know," a low voice added.
With a jolt, Spike turned to see an awoken Big Macintosh slowly trotting over towards them.
"Ah'd be lyin' if ah said I haven't had mah fair share of scares, "Big Mac continued, "But ya gotta be strong an' face yer fears head on. In fact, ah'm afraid of what might happen on this trip mahself, but ah know ah gotta stand tall and strong not jus' fer me, but mah little sister an' everypony else."
With a smirk, Twilight spoke, "See, Spike? You're not the only one."
"For real, Big Mac?" Spike was bewildered.
A small smile appeared on the stallion's face, "Eeyup."
With a sigh and a small nervous laugh, Spike spoke, "Guess I am worrying too much. I mean, this is a trip that's supposed to be good and all, huh?"
"That's why you wanted to do this after all. Now, you should get some rest, the train arrives in a few hours," Twilight replied.
"Okay then, night guys," Spike smiled as he went back to the bench to sleep.
Big Mac and Twilight watched as Spike walked away. The red stallion then quietly talked to Twilight, "Did ya find anything in that book, Miss Twilight?"
"I did find something that concerns me," the purple mare admitted, "but I'm not going to make any conclusions until we find this Dr. Retev. I just hope some of the theories in here are just speculation."
Looking at where Twilight had placed her hooves on a few of the ripped pages, Big Mac gave a concerned look to the mare in response to what he had read.
TO BE CONTINUED