I only own my OC’s and the plot.
Chapter 15: Nature in Canterlot (Part 2)
In the capital city of Canterlot, ten of the chosen ponies were for the most part enjoying themselves. Some were meeting new people, shopping, enjoying a good show, or…some other activity. However, the other two ponies remained behind at the request of the mare of earth herself. She and Applejack missed the train to Canterlot intentionally to go somewhere else.
Into the Everfree Forest.
So while everything in Canterlot was happening with the other five pairs of ponies, the sixth pair was busy with their own expedition. With the sun going down over the horizon and darkness settling in, Applejack openly expressed her dislike of Terra’s idea of going in at the time. Terra had heard warning of such things from other folks around Ponyville but she didn’t care one bit. Ever since yesterday, when she heard from Cheerilee’s class that there was a zebra living in the forest, she had been thinking all about it. Her heart was determined on seeing her. Only problem was she had never been into the forest before and Applejack didn’t quite remember how to get there on her own. There was a filly who did though.
So the party was increased to three mares going into the forest. The third being little Applebloom. The way to Zecora’s hut never left the little one’s memory. She had been there enough times herself to remember it by heart. So she was acting as the guide.
Once they were on the right trail, Terra pulled out a few steps ahead of the apple siblings not only eager to get to where they were going, but to keep a lookout for any of the dark creatures the townsfolk had warned her about. Even though she was hellbent on seeing this zebra, she still knew her job was to keep Applejack safe. And Applebloom fell into the duty by family extension.
They had been walking for fifteen whole minutes without so much as a single word of conversation. It was around that time where Applejack just had to speak up.
“Why in tarnation are we goin to Zecora’s place while the sun is settin’?” Applejack asked her little sister.
“Don’t ask me. Ask her.” Applebloom pointed to the geokinetic mare walking in front of them. “She’s the one who wanted to.”
Upon walking up to Terra’s side, Applejack did just that.
“So what’s the deal, Terra?” she asked. “It’s one thing to come out here in the forest in the daylight, but at night it’s just crazy.”
Hearing the way she worded that made the yellow mare question Applejack’s famous bravery.
“Don’t tell me you’re afraid of a little darkness, Jackie.”
Jackie was a nickname Terra coined for the cowgirl mare. She wasn’t really fond of it, but she paid it no mind as long as Terra was the only one who used it. If Rainbow Dash were ever to say it, she would be bucked by a pair of strong orange hooves.
“Hey now, I ain’t scared of nothin’.” Applejack strongly emphasized the word, ‘nothin’. “It’s the place mixed with the dark that gets my coat crawlin’.” She admitted.
“What’s so bad about this forest? Almost everyone I’ve met in Ponyville keeps telling me to stay away from it but they won’t say exactly why.”
“Because this place just ain’t natural, Terra.” Applejack explained her reason of fear. “Every plant out here grows on its own, the clouds move without anypony pushin’ them around, and the weather out here is just so unpredictable. How is that not scary?”
Terra found it difficult, but she succeeded in keeping her laughter inside. The way Applejack rant on about the forest being unnatural and describing the way things work in there were just too funny.
But she had to say it anyway.
“Jackie, in my country, ponies don’t control the weather. It’s completely random like this forest is. If you want my opinion, I think what Rainbow Dash and the other pegasi do is unnatural. You guys make the weather in a factory. That’s not natural. That’s just…industrialism.”
As much as Applejack wanted to argue back, she found her mouth hanging down. Clearly her country and Terra’s were far more different than she could have imagined. Rather than the elemental powers that is.
“Well then Ah guess this forest kinda feels like home for ya. Doesn’t it?” she said as she adjusted her hat.
Right as rain she was there. Terra looked around the forest and sniffed the air around them.
“Yeah. Now that you mention it, kinda.” She answered. “And….oh good gravel.”
Terra walked away and stopped in front of a bush. Applejack looked closer and saw that it wasn’t just any bush. This bush carried a leaf that was too familiar to not recognize. Terra had a huge smile on her face as if the plant was casting a trance over her.
Even for Applebloom it was recognizable.
“Hey. Ah’ve seen that leaf before.” Applebloom said. “Yeah uh…it was in school a few weeks ago.”
That last sentence caught both Terra and Applejack by surprise. Both of them looked at the filly in fear that there may be a potential dealer in her school. And at such young age.
“Some older pony came in and gave us a presentation on how we should stay away from it. He said it was a drug. Ah don’t forget what it was called. Just that it started with an “M”.”
Both the teenage mares took a sigh in relief knowing Applebloom was clean.
“Uh…yeah. That’s right, Applebloom.” Applejack told her sister. “You just stay away from that plant. Ya hear? Ah don’t want you or any of yer friends comin’ out here just to see it.”
“Alright, AJ. Ah promise.”
“Pinkie Promise.” Applejack sternly ordered.
Terra had no idea what the heck Applejack was talking about. What the hell was a Pinkie Promise?
She got her answer two seconds later when Applebloom made a few motions with her front hooves and spoke a little rhyme.
“Cross mah heart and hope to fly. Stick a cupcake in mah eye.” After she placed a hoof over her right eye, the filly got back on track. “C’mon. Zecora’s hut isn’t too far now.”
Applebloom pressed forward with her older sister right on her tail.
“C’mon, Terra. Just leave it alone.” Applejack said.
“Yeah alright.” Terra murmured back.
But right before she turned to join them, she leaned her head in hear the plant and sniffed it.
“I’ll be back for you later, my love.” She whispered to the leaves.
When she caught back up to Applejack, their conversation picked up right from where they left it.
“You never answered mah question.” Applejack reminded her. “What put this idea in yer head?”
Finally Terra let loose her answer.
“You said a zebra lives out here, right?”
“And her name is Zecora?”
“There ya have it then. That’s why we’re out here.”
But…she already knew that much. She grunted as they.
“Ah know that’s why we’re out here, Terra.” Applejack was a bit annoyed. “But that still doesn’t explain how you know her.”
The filly up front let loose a bloodcurdling scream and dashed behind her sister and Terra shivering.
“What’s got into you?” Applejack asked.
Applebloom shakily pointed her hoof forward making the two mares follow with their eyes. Up in front they saw what caused her to scream.
A manticore was a bit ticked that three ponies were invading its territory. And it seemed intent on making the intruders either leave, or making them its next meal.
Chances were the second option was more likely.
“Ah got this one.” Applejack insisted.
Terra was quite surprised to hear that. She was all set to lay down the law Alamantian style. Instead she watched her friend pull off her hat, reach other hoof into the hat, and pull out a rope tired into a lasso. Putting it in her mouth, she then ran straight forward.
“Applejack, wait!” Terra cried.
It was too late. Applejack was already too far away to hear Terra’s voice. The manticore began to dash right for the orange mare. When she was in range, Applejack thrust the lasso forward and made it wrap around the creature’s muzzle and tighten. Then she jumped and landed on her back with the rope gripped in her hooves. The manticore began to shake its body in an attempt to throw Applejack off. Being a rodeo pony, the attempts were gonna have to be harder.
“Get along lil’ doggy! YEEEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAA!”
Terra was to say the least impressed. Applejack had some bravery to take on a manticore. It made her second guess the reason as to why Applejack hadn’t fought any Shadowmares yet. Maybe when the time comes. Who knows?
Terra and Applebloom watched for a few minutes. Applejack was able to make the creature bang it’s head into a couple of trees causing some pain and dizziness. Not to mention it was growing tired from thrashing its body trying to get her to let go.
“Alright, Terra! He’s all worn out! You take it from here!” She called to her partner.
“Thought you’d never ask.”
Applejack motioned her rope and made it come loose from the manticore’s muzzle and jumped off and away from the creature. Then it looked over and saw a new target. Another pony of yellow and brown. Terra didn’t move a muscle. She only narrowed her glare at the manticore. The creature then began to charge. When it was close enough, it lunged for the mare.
That was the moment Terra struck. Quickly, she went to her hind hooves and made a strong punch motion with her right front one. The punch came packaged with a geokinetic touch. A pillar of rock shot out of the ground and hit the manticore right in its center. It went skidding back to the place it was before at the start of its run.
Applejack went up beside her partner lasso back in her mouth while Terra made a few nearby boulders rise from the ground and orbit around her to intimidate the creature. It worked. The manticore got scared and began to run away as fast as it could. When it was out of sight, Terra put the boulders back where they were and made the rock pillar she made sink back into the ground. Applejack wrapped up her lasso and placed it back in her hat.
“Nice rodeo work there, cowgirl.” Terra complimented.
“Not too shabby yerself, rocky.” Applejack reciprocated.
Applebloom approached the two teens amazed at that they both did together.
“That was so cool!” she cried with a smile.
“How about that?” Terra joked. “We have a fangirl.”
“What a beautiful thing.” Applejack added.
And just like that, the walk to the hut continued. Only now the conversation began to turn into a different direction.
“Terra? Why is it so important we’re out here?” Applebloom asked her this time. “Did you know Zecora or somethin’?”
Finally Terra said something the sisters hadn’t already heard.
“Yeah. I know her alright.” Terra finally answered. “She lived in the same village I did within my tribe’s territory. Her hut was right next to the palace. She used to come visit me and Dunehopper almost every day.”
“Wait.” Applebloom stopped her. “If you and Zecora are from the same village in the same tribe, and in the same country…wouldn’t that mean she can do what you can?”
Applejack had never thought of that. Zecora was Alamantian. And thus being so she must have some elemental traits to her. But until this moment she thought it was just being an herb specialist and potions crafter.
“When we get there you can ask her yourself.” Terra replied. “But I need to talk to her first.”
“Why?” Applejack was too curious now. “Did something happen between you and her?”
Terra was a bit annoyed how they kept guessing everything before she could explain it in detail.
“The last time I saw her, things didn’t really go so well.” Terra began.
Terra cringed as she painfully recalled the memory.
(Three years ago; Alamante; Geo Tribe Palace)
It was a sad day for all the Geo Tribe. The announcement of Dunehopper’s death spread like a wildfire from village to village. Before it began to spread, one girl was already crushed by the news. A young yellow mare with brown here and puffy red eyes. The princess of the tribe, 14 year old Terrain.
She laid on her giant stone slab she used as a bed crying into her pillows uncontrollably while clutching in her hooves the only thing she now had left of her brother. An black elastic headband. While she wept, the door opened up she heard a voice speak to her. One of the male guards that worked in the palace.
“Forgive my intrusion, Princess Terra. But you have a visitor.” The guard announced.
Through her crying, Terra was barely able to make her words understandable.
“*Sniff!*....I…I thought I said..*sob*..to leave me…*sniffle*…alone!”
“I apologize, Princess. But this zebra is persistent.” The guard argued.
Upon hearing it was a zebra who wanted it, Terra changed her mind. She turned around and nodded her head at the guard. After that gesture, he let the mentioned zebra in. Terra ran up to her and hugged her still crying her eyes out.
“My little filly, my sorrow is great. I was shocked to hear of your brother’s fate.”
The crying filly took her head out of Zecora’s chest and looked up at her face.
“He’s gone, Zecora.” She muttered. “Dunehopper is gone! What am I gonna do now?”
“I know right now you must be in pain. I know that it won’t be quite the same.”
“Well of course things aren’t going to be the same! They’re going to be worse! In case you haven’t noticed, I hate it here, Zecora!” Terra sobbed and yelled.
Zecora helped Terra back to her bed so she could lay back down.
“Now with him gone, I’m gonna be miserable. He was the only one who made this place tolerable. Now mother and father are just going to ignore me.”
It was too unbearable seeing Terra like this. Zecora had to try something to ease her mind.
“Terra my dear, please don’t think like that. This place isn’t really all that bad. Even though your brother is no longer here, it doesn’t mean things as are they appear. Right now you are sad, and indeed you should be. But know that forever, this way it won’t be. Within each of our hearts, Dunehopper will reside. But for now, the best medicine for you is time.”
Her words were sincere. All she wanted to do was make Terra see the light in this dark time. If only she had known that there was no light at this hour with her. She was way too sad to even think about any light.
“That’s all you have to say? Time will heal me? Dunehopper was my only brother and the best friend I ever had! And you knew that! And you’re just going to tell me to get over it? I WILL NEVER GET OVER THIS! MY BROTHER IS DEAD! HE’S NOT COMING BACK! I AM NEVER GOING TO SEE HIM AGAIN FOR AS LONG AS I LIVE! DOES THAT NOT MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU!?!?”
Zecora backed up as she felt the ground shake beneath her hooves almost in sync with Terra’s yelling.
“HOW CAN YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL? YOU NEVER HAD ANY REAL BROTHERS OR SISTERS! YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE KIDS OF YOUR OWN! YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT KIND OF BOND THAT THING CREATES! YOU’RE JUST A LONELY OLD HAG! SO WHY DON’T YOU JUST GET OUT OF HERE AND GO BREW SOMETHING THAT CAN BRAINWASH A GUY INTO ASKING SOMEONE LIKE YOU ON A DATE?!”
Terra knew exactly what she was saying but her emotions were clearly dominating her mind right now. She didn’t care what she said. Zecora stood there frozen eyeing the girl with a look of sadness. Almost as if she was about to start crying.
“YOU HEARD ME! GET OUT OF HERE! GO! I DON’T NEED YOU! I NEED MY BROTHER BACK!”
With that there was nothing else to say. Terra dove her head back into her pillow to continue weeping for Dunehopper while a guard escorted a silently tearing Zecora out of the palace.
Applejack and Applebloom looked upon Terra with looks of shock. Terra didn’t dare look back at them. She only looked down at the ground with her eyes almost leaking.
“I was a complete bitch to her. And she didn’t deserve one bit of it. She was just trying to help me. And I was….just awful.”
Applejack was sure familiar with that sort of tone. It was a tone of regret and sorrow. One she was familiar with. She had been through a few situations where she herself had done the same thing with her closest friends.
After seeing what she had done to that manticore just a few short minutes ago, seeing Terra like this was a bit…odd.
“Terra, Ah know what it’s like to go off on somepony for no good reason.” Applejack softly spoke. “But whether they be friends or family, they’ll forgive you. No matter what you say, they always forgive you because you love them and they love ya back.”
The only response the orange mare got from that was a deep sigh. It was followed shortly with a few words.
“I hope you’re right, Jackie.”
It didn’t take long after that for them to reach their destination. Zecora’s hut. Seeing the outside of it reminded Terra so much of the one the zebra used to have back home in Alamante. Before it was destroyed in a surprise attack. The outer décor was almost the exact same as she remembered. Every piece made by Alamantian hooves. The three ponies stopped moving for a few seconds right in front of the door.
“You ready?” Applejack asked.
One deep breath and a wipe of the brow later, she answered.
With a nod, Applejack knocked on the door a couple times.
“It’s open!” Zecora’s voice called.
Terra lost her breath for a moment upon recognizing the voice to indeed belong to the zebra living there. The doorknob was made of stone. That made opening the door easier. All Terra had to do was point her hoof at the knob and twist a bit. Creakily the door opened up. Something that needed to be fixed.
Once all three of them walked inside, Applejack pushed the door closed. Then there she was. Balancing from the top of a stick, there was Zecora upside down. Her back was turned so she had no idea who was there.
“Well howdy, Zecora.” Applejack greeted.
“Welcome back.” Applebloom added.
Terra didn’t say a word. Not yet. Although she was thrilled to see her she just couldn’t speak.
Zecora easily recognized the two voices that spoke.
“Hello Applebloom and Applejack. It feels so good to be back.”
Terra gave a small giggle. She knew Zecora’s love of rhymes so well, it felt good to hear it again
“Did ya have a nice trip, Zecora?” Applebloom asked.
“Indeed I did through every day. It was quite relaxing I must say.”
Very smoothly, Zecora shifted her weight over to the left and made the pole tilt. She landed nicely on her hooves and let the pole clink to the ground.
Other than being a bit impressed by her skill, all three mares near the door could easily tell that happy tone was fake.
“Zecora, we know where yer from. And what’s happenin’ over there.” Applejack said quietly.
It was loud enough for Zecora to hear and it was enough for her to lose the smile.
“How is it you know of this war? Was it all from that book Twilight found before?”
“Well…kinda.” Applejack answered.
In a way it was true. The letter Master Ma hid in that book told of the war.
“And a new friend of ours helped us understand. She says she knows you.” Applebloom added.
“Somepony from home who says she knows me? I must ask you now. Who could that be?”
Finally the third voice sounded.
“You haven’t changed one bit, you know that?”
Zecora froze. She had recognized that voice right off the bat. Only the last time she heard it, it was a bit higher pitched. Turning around, she saw Applejack standing next to a yellow coated pony with ruby red eyes.
With a small gasp, the zebra turned around again. Terra frowned thinking she did that because she was still mad at her. All those years and she was still angry at her. Terra’s heart of rock was starting to crumble.
Applejack, seeing her partner’s face, thought it would be best to give Zecora and Terra a chance to talk.
“Uh..we’ll just leave the two of you alone. C’mon, AB.”
Applebloom still wasn’t sure what was going on, and she wanted to find out. Her older sister had already gotten her outside the hut before she could ask anything.
Zecora didn’t move a muscle. Terra had taken a few cautious steps closer and sat down on her haunches. She had absolutely no idea how this was gonna turn out. All she knew was it was gonna be bad and this was probably a mistake. But she had to take a chance.
“Z-Zecora…I know you I’m probably the last pony you expected to see here. And you probably don’t even want to talk to me. But just listen. About the last time you and I saw each other.”
Zecora was hoping she wouldn’t bring it up. She knew from the moment she saw her standing in the doorway she would anyway.
“Everything I said is NOT how I really feel about you. From the moment you shut my door and left, I knew that. It’s just…hearing my older brother was dead just destroyed me. I thought I could never be fixed. I thought I was beyond repair. And I know….what I did…everything I said…is beyond forgiveness.”
Zecora said nor did nothing. She remained as still as a statue. It was like she wasn’t listening to a word Terra was speaking.
Terra’s eyes began to well up with tears. She was hoping they wouldn’t but she could no longer hold it back.
“Oh Gaia I am so sorry for what I did, Zecora! I know you must be mad at beyond reason! But I just had to…GAH!”
She got cut off when one of Zecora’s hooves wrapped around her back and jerked her forward. Then both of Zecora’s hooves embraced Terra in a hug. Something the mare of earth did not expect to happen in this lifetime.
“Wha? How…how can you forgive me just like that? After all I said to you...aren’t you the least bit mad?”
It was there, for the first time ever, Applebloom and Applejack heard Zecora speak without rhyming her words.
“I could never be mad at you my little earth mover. I was just upset. You took Dunehopper’s death the hardest of anypony. I was afraid your depression would overtake you completely and you would never find true happiness.”
Zecora brought her head off Terra’s shoulder so she could look her in the eye. Both of them saw the other’s eyes overflowing with tears.
“But from your face, I see I am wrong. I can’t believe it has been so long.”
Just like that, the rhymes came back into Zecora. She was just too happy to even think about rhyming when she saw Terra. The Zebra just wanted to speak to her whether she be rhyming or not.
The yellow mare wiped her eyes clear of her tears but they weren’t done coming out of her eyes.
“Applejack…she said you went back to Alamante for two weeks. Why? You know how dangerous it is there.”
“The reason I left here was the same as the last few. I returned home Terra, to try and find you.”
Terra felt like she was about to start crying even harder. Three years have gone by and all Zecora could think about was her. The zebra braved the war-torn land they dare to still call home, just to try and find her. To make sure she was alive.
“I searched every tribe, every temple, every town. When I found nothing, my hopes went down.”
“Didn’t anypony tell you I left too? I left like three years ago. Shortly after you did.” Terra informed her.
“I asked around on my countless endeavors. I was led to believe…I had lost you forever.”
Terra sniffled and looked at the zebra who now smiled back at her.
“But now you have found a new life and new friends. And I am so happy to see you again.”
Her tears still flowed, but now Terra was smiling. She then placed her hooves around Zecora’s back and returned the hug. Now she felt safe to call her something else other than just her name.
Upon seeing them hug, Applejack and Applebloom now thought it was okay to reenter the hut. The first words they heard upon opening the door…
“I’m happy to see you too, Aunt Zecora.”
…were without a doubt a bit confusing.
Terra is a pony. Zecora is a zebra. Therefore what Terra just said made absolutely no sense.
“Wait just a minute. Zecora…is yer AUNT?” Applejack asked.
It made so sense sure. But the yellow mare was about to make sense of it all. She and Zecora just had to take a minute to stop crying and wipe their eyes clean of all tears.
“Well she’s not my aunt by blood relation.” Terra began to explain. “See, my mom was never born into royalty like my father was. She was orphaned when she was just a foal. She and Zecora met at the same orphanage. They were adopted together and they grew up together as sisters. Therefore Zecora is my aunt.”
“Oh yes she is indeed my niece. Seeing her has put my mind at peace.”
So that’s why Terra was hellbent on seeing Zecora. She wasn’t just an old friend. This was a family matter. Applejack and Applebloom would have never in a million years guessed that Zecora was Terra’s family let alone her closest aunt.
Terra pulled the door closed with her mind grip on the stone doorknob. Then all four girls sat down and finally talked.
Applebloom’s question about Zecora having the same powers as Terra turned out to be valid. Zecora answered her and she was correct. The zebra was an earth mover just like her niece was. All of the drinkware and most of the pots were carved from various stones and painted. For the first time in a very long time, Zecora openly used her powers in front of other ponies by levitating some cups over from her cabinet and into each other’s hooves. Then she used them again to move the stone teapot and pour them all some tea. Applejack and Applebloom would have been surprised but given the recent days with Terra and the rest of them, they were shocked still but seeing her actually do it wasn’t so big a thing. The zebra was pleased with that.
“Still brewin’ up remedies for anything, huh Aunt Zecora?”
“Quite indeed I haven’t stopped. And my sales in Ponyville are on top.”
From time to time, Zecora made a habit of selling some of her more simple potions to some ponies in town. Like pain relievers, hygienic things, or a brew that would clear up the sinuses faster than one could say Alamante. The only reason Zecora wanted to occasional bit was so she could buy some herbs from the local shops to put into her mixtures.
While they talked, Zecora couldn’t help but examine Terra more closely. The last time she saw her, the young yellow one was smaller in height and very depressed. But now here she is three years later, and Zecora saw the happy kid she used to know. But there were other things about her. She had friends. A bit of maturity. And not to mention that headband.
“My little earth mover, so much you have grown. If only your brother could see on his own.”
Hearing her mention Dunehopper almost made Terra want to cry again. But her rough exterior had already allowed enough tears to escape her eyes. She had grown tired of crying.
“If only Auntie Z. If only.” She mumbled.
“I see you keep his headband on your brow. And I must say, it looks good on you now.”
Terra giggled at that. It kinda reminded her of what happened before with those two snobs on the bridge. She could still hear their screams as Agua conjured up a tidal wave to carry them away. Oh what a laugh.
“I’ll say.” Applejack still had her opinion that Terra holding onto that headband to tightly wasn’t healthy, but she didn’t dare say it out of the sake of her partner’s feelings and known short temper. However she couldn’t deny it looked good on her. “Terra hear pulls off that headband better than anypony else I know.”
“Yeah. You look pretty hot in that hat of yours too, Jackie.” Terra returned the compliment.
Applejack gave hearty chuckle and took a sip of tea.
“Hey! What about me?! I have somethin’ in MAH head too!” Applebloom pointed to her head feeling left out.
The three older mares laughed and decided to throw the filly a bone.
“Applebloom you’re the only pony I’ve ever seen who’s cute enough to pull off a hairbow.” Terra said.
Applebloom beamed after she heard that. She took pride in her hairbow. Hearing somepony random or known compliment it meant the world to her.
“Thank you.” She said.
With that over, the conversation went another direction with Applejack’s next question to Zecora.
“So why did you keep yer earth powers a secret Zecora? Had you used them in the past, you coulda helped us so many times.”
“Like when Spike grew into a full grown dragon and started terrorizing Ponyville.” Applebloom added for an example.
“Or when those parasprites infested the town.” Applejack piled on.
Zecora had an explanation alright.
“I kept my powers hidden for reasons. If you recall, I was feared for many seasons.”
Applejack remembered now. Being a zebra who lives in the Everfree Forest all alone brought along plenty of nasty rumors about Zecora being an evil enchantress. If she had used her powers over earth, they would have just gotten worse.
“Ah’m still sorry Ah said those things about you, Zecora.” The orange mare had apologized to the zebra many times before about judging her by her striped cover. But to the cowgirl, it never seemed like enough.
Zecora thought differently.
“Now Applejack, there’s no need to worry. Now my memories of those days are blurry.”
She felt a bit better now. Then Zecora went on to say how happy she was Terra and Applejack befriended each other. She even said back when Terra was still not known about, Applejack reminded the zebra somewhat of her niece. The striped one said it was because of her muscles and somewhat stubbornness. Both the young mares giggled at that. That was indeed a couple of similarities they shared.
“Just wait until you meet my other friends, Auntie Z.” Terra said with a smile. “They have marks like mine. You have no idea how relieved I was to learn there were more like me.”
Then the joyous catching up moment ended for Zecora upon hearing that. The look she gave the mare of earth was more than enough to give to tell the yellow pony exactly what she was thinking.
“You already know. Don’t you?” Terra saw it clearly. “For how long?”
Zecora easily admitted defeat.
“I have known about you for a long while. The prophecy foretold of your arrival. Not only was the tale my clue. But Master Ma had a theory of you.”
It wasn’t a surprise Zecora knew Master Ma. He was already known to have quite a reputation around Alamante as the wise traveling hermit.
“He was there on the day of your birth. When you got your mark, he spoke words of worth. That you would be destined to great things. To become one of the strongest ever seen. So you could save this world from certain doom. He said the same thing this afternoon.”
That last sentence was the one considered to be the most important.
“Wait a minute, Aunt Zecora. Are you telling me you saw Master Ma?”
Terra and Applejack began to get serious. Applebloom on the other hoof…
“Master what now?”
….didn’t have a clue what was going on.
“Zecora how long has it been since you saw him?” Applejack asked.
“Why I just saw him a few hour ago. When I returned to Equestria, he walked me home.”
That’s Hitashi Ma for you right there in a nutshell. Wise, caring, knowledgeable, and a true gentlecolt and friend.
To hear he was seen just hours ago came as quite a shock to Terra and Applejack. Had Pyro been there he probably would have freaked out. Still their faces were easily read by Zecora.
“Master Ma is now long gone from here. Why may I ask do you seek him, my dear?”
Terra sighed and answered her.
“I’m not really the one who’s bent I’m finding him.” Terra answered. “It’s more Pyro.”
“Pyro?” Zecora responded with.
Terra had forgotten she hadn’t mentioned her friend’s names yet.
“Pyro is Master Ma’s student. His favorite student is more like it. And his name kinda points it out. He’s the element of fire.”
“Hmmmm.” Knowing the explanation, Zecora did feel a little less fuzzy than before. “Of this Pyro, I think I have heard. I know through Master Ma’s wise words. When I returned from my trip back, I saw him help me with my sack. We greeted each other like friends should do, then he told me something new. He told me if I met the pony of fire, I must not tell of his master’s desire. You see Hitashi is wiser than most. And where he is now, I honestly don’t know.”
“Uuhhhhh….Ah don’t get it.” Applejack muttered.
“Me neither.” Terra added.
Zecora rolled her eyes back. Clearly this called for a simpler rhyme.
“Listen to me and my voice’s sound. Master Ma does not wish to be found. I have already told you all that I may. Please, there is nothing more to say.”
She seemed insistent on it but the two mares didn’t like it. Master Ma was probably the only one in the world who knew what had to be done to defeat Nightmare. So finding him was kind of important. However, if he didn’t want to be found, then those chances of actually finding him would undoubtedly go down.
“Pyro sure isn’t gonna like that.” Terra muttered.
“Well he’s gonna have to live with it.” Applejack responded. “If Ma doesn’t want to be found then he must have a good reason for it.”
“Well…I guess.” Terra said with a sigh. “It’s getting late. Maybe we should head for Canterlot.”
“Yeah. The train leaves in about ten minutes. But even if we run we won’t catch it.” Applejack found a downside.
“We won’t be running. Come on.”
Terra got up and led her partner outside. Zecora and Applebloom followed to see what she was talking about. Once they were all outside, Zecora shut the door and Applejack stood close to Terra.
“Alright. Hang on.” The mare of earth said.
With a stomp, her geokinesis began to do its work. The ground around the two of them began to crack in a circle. Then with an upward motion of her hooves, the disc of ground they stood on floated into the air.
“Dig me, Jackie. I’m the first inventor of earth to sky surfing.”
Applejack giggled then looked down below. She knew she was kidding.
“You run on home, Applebloom.” Applejack told her sister. “Terra and Ah are gonna head fer the train station.”
“B-but…Ah don’t wanna go all the way through there at night…..alone.” Applebloom murmured.
Applejack should have known her little sister would be afraid of the forest at night. Ever since that night she and the other two Cutie Mark Crusaders wandered in there to find a missing chicken of Fluttershy’s, she had grown weary of the forest at nighttime. That manticore her older sister and Terra fought off not too long ago had also gotten her a bit creeped.
Understanding, Terra looked to the zebra.
“Auntie Z, do you think you could take Applebloom home? Jackie and I need to get to Canterlot like, right now.”
“Accompany her home, I certainly will. It’s not too far from Ponyville.”
Applebloom knew she could always count on Zecora. With a smile and a final wave goodbye, Zecora led Applebloom through the forest so she could make her way back to the barn. Terra and Applejack instead headed up above the trees thanks to the former’s geokinetic grip on the chunk of ground the two of them stood upon. They began to fly on a rock away from the forest and towards Ponyville Train Station. Terra was strong but she didn’t have enough strength in her to carry them all the way to Canterlot. The ground chunk she had would slow her down sooner or later. So the train it was.
“Ah sure learned a lot about you tonight, Terra. There anything you wanna know about me? Ah only ask because we’re friends and all.”
Applejack laid down on her belly while Terra kept her four hooves standing concentrating on her flight.
“Alright. I have a question for you.”
“What the hell is a Pinkie Promise?”