“The cave of the ursas… I‘m starting to wonder if any of these clues are going to be easy to follow.” Twilight said as she and Luna stood outside of the Everfree forest. They looked up at the dense and dying trees for a moment before they trotted back inside, “As long as we‘re quiet it should be quick and easy.”
“Yes, because Sunny Town was a walk in the park.” Luna rolled her eyes as she sighed, a rather angry look on her face as the two of them walked down the forest path. Twilight remained silent for a few minutes, her ears slightly drooped as their trotting echoed around them. She had only just regained herself after breaking down and sobbing again and gave a light sniff as she looked over to the princess,
“As long as we‘re together… we can take on anything that‘s thrown at us. So princess, how are we going to go about finding the next clue once we‘re at the cave?” Luna looked over to her before smiling lightly and looked back ahead of them,
“Well Twilight you‘ve dealt with an ursa minor before and you‘ve read up on majors as well. What I‘m thinking is that we simply move around the outer wall of the cave and look as hard as we can. Sound good?” Twilight gives a nod in response, a soft smiling sliding onto her face as they walk together.
After a short while Twilight paused, looking off to the side and down the overgrown path to Sunny Town and she stopped walking. Luna continued walking a few more steps before blinking and looking back behind her, looking upon the unicorn with a look of concern, “Twilight… there‘s nothing we can do but trust that Mitta and Ruby will look out for Zecora.”
“And there will be others…” Twilight let out a deep sigh, her head dropping as she closed her eyes. A moment later she raised her head again, looking down the dense path with a look of determination, “You‘re right princess. The sooner we find Written Dreams, the better.”
“Written Dreams? Oh you must be following him!” Luna and Twilight both jumped, looking behind them to see Ruby standing before them, looking upon the two of them with her brightly glowing yellow eyes, “Erm… sorry for the scare.” Twilight looked upon the mare questioningly as she tilted her head a little,
“Ruby…? I thought you returned to Sunny Town.” Ruby shook her head in response, walking over to the two of them whilst still smiling gently,
“I rather dislike having to step foot inside the village itself… I‘m more of an observer around the forest and that said… I think the least I can do is accompany you to the ursa‘s cave and help to locate the next clue. If you‘ll have me that is.” Luna nodded acceptingly as Twilight raised her hoof, touching Ruby’s and they shook before continuing on their way down the path,
“Hey, Ruby.” The spectral mare’s ears perked in response as she turned her golden eyes on Twilight, looking at her with curiosity, “I‘m sure you already know about Discord‘s magic having this effect on the forest but… Why wasn‘t Sunny Town effected? And what of the other creatures in the forest? How have they changed?” Ruby looked up at the trees above them, seeing sunlight peeking through the dark branches and leafs occasionally,
“I like how you assumed I already knew. Sunny Town was unaffected because it is a cursed place and only a magic stronger then that curse could change it… needless to say that wasn’t so. But once Discord‘s magic swept over this place almost everything else has changed. As you can see the forest around us seems like it is forever in a dying and rotting state but the thing is… it‘s been this way since the magic happened so basically after the initial change nothing continued changing. The animals have changed too. Although they continue to stay in their respective areas they are far more vicious then before, protecting their turf with the utmost of their determination and power.” Luna continued walking as she took in Ruby’s words but paused as she finished, looking back at her with a slightly worried look,
“So you mean the ursas have changed too?”
“The ursas… are very powerful beings and the chaotic magic only served to increase that power. It‘s not going to be impossible to find the clue, we‘ll simply have to be all the more careful when we finally reach the cave.” The three continued to walk for nearly twenty minutes until, after passing Zecora’s home, they followed the path towards the cave they were seeking, Twilight speaking up as she brushed the leaf of a fern from in front of her face,
“Ruby… you came with us after we mentioned Written Dreams. You must have met him at some point.” Ruby gave a nod as she closed her eyes, a gentle smile on her face as she continued to slowly walk,
“I did actually… he ended up staying in Sunny Town for a lot longer then most do… well the ones who escape I mean. I can tell you… about the first half before we arrive at the cave if you‘d like.” Twilight and Luna both nodded with smiles on their faces, Ruby, seeing this, smiled warmly herself as she began recounting her own experience with the pegasus.
Written Dreams let out a frustrated sigh as he trotted through the Everfree forest, looking up at the darkened sky, a beam of light catching his eye for a moment making him stumble a bit and he looked forward blinking his eyes a few times, “Should have seen that coming.” He continued on forward before he reached the end of the path and entered Sunny Town, looking up at the bright sunshine as he closed his eyes and looked towards the sky, a light wind blowing through his mane as he took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. He paused as he looked around before blinking, seeing the grey pony ‘Grey Hoof’ walking towards him. Written Dreams raised his hoof, meeting hoofs with the pony as he smiled, “Hello there, I‘m Written Dreams, it‘s a pleasure to meet you.” The grey pony nodded with a light smile in return as they shook hoofs and let their hoofs fall back to the grass below them a moment later,
“A pleasure to meet you as well. I am Grey Hoof, party planner extraordinaire, welcome to Sunny Town. The party has just started so please, make yourself comfortable. Eat and drink your fill!” Written Dreams smiled brightly as he nodded to the pony, looking past him to the various party tables before looking back to him and nodding again,
“That sounds very nice thank you. May I inquire as to the occasion?”
“No real occasion, we have parties daily so that if we ever have any new guests to our town they feel warm and welcome!” Written Dreams gave another smile as he trotted past Grey Hoof and over to one of the tables, sitting next to Starlet as he takes a cup into his hoof and drinks a bit of punch,
“Something wrong miss?” Starlet blinked for a few moments before sniffed and looked up at him through her tear-streaked eyes. She nodded slowly as she looked at him,
“I‘m… just upset because Roneo hasn‘t spoken to me all day… I think he might be mad at me, I‘m just trying to think of what I might have done.” Written Dreams remained sitting for a moment and set down his empty cup on the table a few seconds later. He stood back up and smiled lightly towards her,
“Is that him over near the barn over there?” Written Dreams said as he pointed over towards the colt standing in front of the door to the barn and Starlet nodded before sighing sadly, “How about I go talk to him for you, I‘m sure it‘s only a misunderstanding, couldn‘t be much. I‘m Written Dreams by the way.” Starlet wiped her eyes as she looked back up at him with a slight yet grateful smile on her face,
“Starlet, and thank you.” He hummed a bit to himself as he trotted over to the colt and smiled towards him friendlily,
“Excuse me, Roneo? My name is Written Dreams, Starlet asked me to talk to you.” Roneo looked over to him and let out a sad sigh before looking back off to his right down the path,
“Yes, I‘m Roneo… and I don‘t mean to ignore her, it‘s just I lost a special gift that I was planning to give her at the party tonight. I dropped it somewhere though.” Written Dreams thought for a moment before giving a light smile and nod,
“Tell you what, I‘ll keep my eye out for that gift and you head over and enjoy the party with Starlet. She thinks you‘re mad at her.” Roneo looked back to him and blinked with a surprised expression,
“Mad at… Of course not! The gift is a very shiny red gem, I hope you can find it.” Roneo said before he hurried over to Starlet and they began talking out of earshot. Written Dreams smiled to himself seeing the relieved and happy smile on the mare’s face before he looked back to the barn and then stepped inside.
As he walked inside he looked around for a moment before his wings slowly spread and beat a few times allowing him to fly over the boxes and look down to observe what was on the ground. He pauses for a moment before landing on the far side of the inside of the barn, looking down and picking up a crank before sliding it into his bag, his ears perking as he hears the sound of muffled crying, “Now who would be in such a dreary barn?” He trotted around the corner, pausing as he saw Mitta sobbing with her face buried in her hoofs. He walked over to her, leaning down and giving her face a light nuzzle, “There now, why are you crying?” Mitta continued to cry for a few more moments before she sniffed a few times, looking up at him and her eyes widened a bit as he moved his hoof over and wiped away her tears. Mitta remained silent as she simply stared at him, looking him up and down before she slowly stood up and tilted her head a bit,
“Who… are you?”
“My name is Written Dreams, I‘m here on business but I‘m more worried about you, are you okay?” Mitta paused, sitting down as she looked a bit off to the side and sniffed again,
“My name is Mitta. You‘re not safe here… you have to leave!” Mitta gave him a pleading look as she sat before him, her eyes beginning to well up once again but Written Dreams simply shook his head and let out a small chuckle,
“Mitta you don‘t need to worry about me. I‘m well aware of the curse plaguing this town.” She gave him a shocked look, staring at him in disbelief as she stood back up,
“Are you insane!? Why would you come here then!?” Written Dreams then smiled widely as he gave a sort of happy trot,
“I find this place fascinating!” Mitta’s face went blank as he said this, “The ponies turning to their true selves every night and never dying and everything else I just had to see it for myself. I was overjoyed when I learned that one of the clues I require is held by a pony known as Ruby who lives in this town!”
“I… well then… how did you find out about this town…?”
“One of the little fillies in Ponyville filled me in. I had been asking around and it seemed to both frighten her yet she was more then willing to tell me about her experience here. Also there are a few mentions of Sunny Town in books if you dig deep enough.” Mitta then sniffed again, the tears still in her eyes and she paused as Written Dreams wiped them away once again, “Here now, such a pretty face shouldn‘t be matter with tears. Come on, let‘s get you out of this drafty old place. I‘d be honored if you could show me around town.” Mitta simply stood there, blushing for a few moments before her eyes blinked a few times and a small yet gentle smile appeared on her face,
“…And that‘s just about the first half of the story.” Ruby said as they had been walking throughout her retelling of the story. Twilight looked back at her, laughing a bit while she smiled,
“He‘s a bit of a charmer isn‘t he?”
“I believe that‘s just his nature. That he enjoys making others smile and enjoy his company.” Luna stopped walking and looked back to them, the three mares standing only a few feet away from a massive cave entrance,
“Written Dreams is a charming pony… Ruby, I’m curious to know how you remember everything he said and did.”
“I remember everything that happens when a new pony comes to Sunny Town. I consider it my duty to watch over them.” Luna took in Ruby’s words and smiled a bit, looking towards the cave opening before the trio,
“We‘re here. Let‘s head inside and find our next path.” Twilight paused for a moment, watching the princess for a few seconds before turning her gaze at the cave and nodding. They all entered the cave, the only sound around them the light tapping of their hoofs against the dusty ground. Each of them occasionally kicking a small pebble out of the way as they walked. After a few moments Luna peered around a corner and brought her hoof out to the side as a signal for them to stop. Both Twilight and Ruby paused at the motion, cautiously moving over to where Luna was and peered around the corner and they both stopped cold. Ahead of them was the form of an ursa minor, its eyes closed with a light snoring echoing over to them periodically. The bear still held the form of a bear but its body was fairly transparent, a shimmering of stars on its light blue fur and on its forehead was a large star mark.
Luna looked back at them for a moment before motioning them to continue. They treaded softly as they walked around the corner and continued through the cave, each of them ever vigilant and scanning the walls for anything out of the ordinary. They continued walking for a number of minutes before Twilight spoke up, although in a whisper, “I never knew just how big this cave was…” Twilight watched as Luna turned back to her and nodded while her eyes still scanned the stone walls around them,
“Keep in mind this cave also houses the ursa major so it has to be this big otherwise it wouldn‘t be able to move around much at all… Honestly I‘d feel safer in a hallway then this.” She looks up and around at the high ceiling and the wide open area around them. Twilight’s ears perked as she looked to the end of the chamber, her eyes widening for a moment before she started quickly trotting towards what she saw, Luna and Ruby following her gaze and quickly following her as well. As they reached the end of the cavern, the three looked up at the wall and at the enormous carvings etched into the stone.
Before them, against the stone, was a depiction of a tall mountain with spiked and craggily peaks, drifts of snow falling against the top in amazing detail. A few mountains behind it in the distance but with rounded tops, making the mountain depicted look far more dangerous. A few trees lined the ground around its base and down the path stretching away from it and at the very top was a small cave and a small arrow pointing towards it.
There was suddenly a loud rumble, the cave shaking around them along with the occasional boom as something approached them, a massive, purple and starry paw slamming down around the corner, rocks beginning to fall from the ceiling and stalactites crashing down around them. The dark purple face of the ursa major moved out from behind the corner and roaring powerfully at them, large fangs barred as all three of them were backed up against the wall. The ursa began to charge, the stomping oh its claws making the cave shake as it ran towards them roaring repeatedly.
Twilight let out a quick breath as she looks to the left then to the right, standing between Ruby and Luna and she went into a charging stance as she growled, “There‘s only one way we‘re going to get out of this. When I say ‘now’, then Luna, run to the right and Ruby, run to the left!” As the ursa continued to roar and charge Twilight let out a very slow breath as her eyes stayed on the charging bear. She then slammed her hoof down hard and let out a loud yell, “Now!” Luna leapt off to the right and Ruby and Twilight run to the left, leaving just enough time to look back and see the ursa slamming hard into the wall and collapsing, the cave shaking wildly and rocks falling all around them. The mares ran around the dazed major and down across and through the cave as rocks continued falling around the collapsing cave.
The trio ran past the ursa minor and the dark blue bear began chasing them with another powerful roar. Ruby’s eyes widened as she ran with Twilight and suddenly slammed into her, shoving her out of the way before Ruby disappeared under the falling rocks. Twilight’s eyes widened as she skidded to a halt and turned around screaming out before her body glows with magical aura, Luna carrying her as she continued running and put Twilight on her back, “We‘re almost out!” The ursa let out a loud roar as rocks slammed down upon it, but still it chased them, tripping over rocks and let out a roar of pain disappearing as Luna ran out of the cave, panting hard as Twilight was released from her magic and sat on the ground, the cave collapsing behind them and the entrance being sealed by rocks.
Luna panted a bit more before letting out a slow breath and looking towards Twilight seeing her barely holding back tears, “Twilight--” The ground next to the unicorn began to give way and a few moments later Ruby climbed out and shook dust and dirt from her coat before she walked over to Twilight and smiled softly,
“Crushed by rocks… now there‘s a new one.” Ruby blinked, taking a step back as Twilight suddenly embraced her tightly and began crying. Ruby blinked before laughing lightly and patting her back, “Forget I‘m undead? You know I‘m not going anywhere Twilight, I‘ve still got to finish that story after-all.” Twilight took a moment to regain herself, letting Ruby go and taking a step back and she sniffs before wiping her tears away,
“Sorry… I thought…”
“I know, Twilight, I know, but it was either you or me and being undead, it was a pretty easy choice. Now then… I suppose with the cave being sealed off I‘ll have to be letting ponies skip this clue.” Ruby looked over as Luna walked over to the two of them and nodded with a small laugh,
“Yes, I suppose you will. Twilight, you know where we‘re going right?” Luna looked over to the unicorn near Ruby as she said this and Twilight looked back to her with a nod,
“I‘ve been there before. It‘s the mountain that princess Celestia sent me and my friends to when that dragon was polluting the air.” Ruby knocked a last piece of dirt from her mane and looked from Twilight to Luna smiling lightly before she began trotting down the trail and turned back facing them,
“Well then your destination is set. I suppose I‘ve got the rest of a story to tell.”