“You girls heard that shouting last night as well, right?”
“Of course we did. It was loud enough for everypony in the entire village to hear it.”
“Could anypony make out what it was saying though? It sounded less like words and more like thunder from my end.”
“Same here, but I think we all recognized whose voice it was. My ears are still ringing from last year’s Nightmare Night.”
“But why would Princess Luna be so mad at Ninja Mister? He just saved the village after all. Besides, didn’t he get really mad at that stallion who spoke badly of her yesterday?”
“Yeah, I got the impression that they were good friends as well. By the way dear, I think I heard that his actual name is-”
Lucario walked out of hearing distance from the mares sitting outside the café. They hadn’t noticed him as he walked by. It wouldn’t have mattered if they did. He had already heard the same gossip from half the village by this point. He was just thankful that none of them seemed to have heard what Luna actually said to him. Most of them would probably react as badly as she did upon hearing of Razorfang’s reasons for attacking.
Last night, Twilight had tried to ask him about what had happened, but he didn’t want to answer. He had acted rather cold towards the unicorn when she tried to press him for answers. Not only did he fear how Twilight herself would react, but a part of him actually agreed to Luna’s reasoning. If he hadn’t come to Equestria, Razorfang would’ve never attacked. The girls would’ve never been attacked by the timberwolves either. Luna was right. Maybe his mere presence only brought danger to those around him.
Twilight seemed rather upset once she finally left him alone. He felt bad about it almost immediately afterwards. Now he was making his way to her house in order to apologize, trying his best to ignore the villagers’ staring. He eventually arrived at the big, hollowed-out tree and knocked on the door.
“Just a sec!” A voice replied from inside. It wasn’t Twilight’s though. It sounded more like the voice of a young boy. “I’m just gonna- whoawhoawhoa! *CRASH!* Oh man, Twilight won’t be happy about that one. All right, if I could just…”
The door opened and Lucario was greeted by a large pile of books. He could barely make out the claws and feet of a small, purple creature desperately trying to carry them all. His face couldn’t be seen behind them.
“I’m sorry, you caught me at a busy moment. Anyway, welcome to the Ponyville Library! Do you want to borrow a book or are you looking for someone?”
“I was actually looking for Twilight Sparkle. Is she home?”
“She went out to buy some food a little while ago, but I’m sure she’ll be back anytime now. You can wait for her here if you want to.” The boy turned around and walked back inside. He was still so busy balancing the books that he didn’t turn his head to see who he was talking to. Lucario, however, could make out the familiar-looking spikes on the boy’s head and back, as well as the tail swinging behind him.
“You’re a dragon?” Lucario asked him as he stepped inside as well.
“Oh, so you’re new around here? I thought it was weird that I didn’t recognize your voice. Just let me put these… phew!” He finally managed to put the books down on the table in the middle of the room. He wiped his forehead and adjusted the pile a bit before turning around. “I’m Spike, Twilight’s number one assistant! What’s your- AHHHHH!”
Spike let out a loud scream and hid behind the table. “P-Please don’t hurt me! I’m not like that dragon you fought in the forest! I’m just a completely harmless baby dragon, promise! Ask Twilight, she’ll vouch for me!” He raised his arms over his head, as if he expected Lucario to jump at him at any moment.
“It’s okay. I can tell that you two are nothing alike. I’m Lucario. Judging by your reaction, I take it that you’ve heard about me from Twilight?” Spike peeked over the table to study Lucario. Seeing the Pokémon’s friendly smile calmed him down somewhat.
“Y-Yeah. Well, from her and pretty much the entire village. I heard you arrived in Ponyville a few days ago. I’m sorry for being scared of you. I guess I just got a little terrified after seeing you beat down a full-grown dragon by yourself. Oh, that reminds me!” Spike left his hiding place and walked up to Lucario. “I think that was the same dragon I met about a year ago.”
“You’ve met him?” Lucario asked surprised.
“Yeah, I happened to walk into his cave by accident. Man, he wasn’t very happy about that. Tried to burn me to a crisp for just eating a few of his gems. Twilight and Owlowiscious too when they came to save me.” Spike pointed towards the nearby window. An owl was sitting on the desk, watching them.
“Oh boy, here we go again. Don’t bother answering him, that’s all he sa-”
“I’m Lucario, nice to meet you,” Lucario answered the owl without heeding Spike’s warning.
“No, I’m not a diamond dog. I’m a Pokémon, a creature from a different world. What are these so-called diamond dogs anyway?”
“I see. They live just outside Ponyville, you say? Have they caused any trouble?”
“Hmm, I should keep an eye on that area then. Can’t let them go around kidnapping any other ponies.”
“Hold on!” Spike managed to force out. “You can understand him?! How?!”
“Let’s just say that single-word languages aren’t very uncommon in my world,” Lucario answered the shocked baby dragon. Before Spike could ask anything else, the front door opened and Twilight stepped in.
“Spike, I’m home! Did you stack up the books I wante- Oh… um… good morning, Lucario.”
“Good morning, Twilight.” Lucario remembered the reason for his visit. “Look, about yesterday, I-”
“I know. I understand.” Twilight smiled reassuringly. “I don’t know what Princess Luna said to you, but it must have been harsh. It was my fault for trying to make you talk about it immediately afterwards. I’m sorry for being so stubborn.” She looked down at her hooves in regret.
“It’s okay, Twilight. I wasn’t very friendly to you yesterday, myself. I’m sorry for being so cold.”
“Apology accepted. Now, do you want to borrow a book while you’re here? We have several books about Equestria, if you want to read up on it.”
Lucario was glad to see that she wasn’t mad at him. But most of all he was glad that she didn’t try to ask about his and Luna’s talk again. “Maybe, but I’m not sure if I can read any of it. It’s possible that your writing is different from the one in my world.”
Lucario was just about to pick up one of the books when the door slammed open behind him. He turned around and saw Rainbow Dash bursting into the library.
“Aha! Just the guy I was looking for!” she exclaimed as she pointed her hoof towards Lucario.
“Rainbow! What’ve I told you about slamming the door! Knocking goes a long way too,” Twilight scolded her friend.
“Oh come on, Twilight. At least I don’t crash through your roof anymore… or at least not as often.” Rainbow brushed her off and turned back to Lucario. “Okay, mister dragon beater. You got your good share of praise and fame yesterday, but here’s the thing: I think that I could’ve dealt with that dragon myself as well. Seeing as most ponies seems to have forgotten how awesome I am, they don’t believe me. So I can only think of one way to settle the score!”
“What score?! Protecting the village isn’t a competition, Rainbow!” Twilight tried to tell the pegasus.
“No, but this will be!” She flew up in front of Lucario. “I challenge you to an Iron Pony Competition!”
Lucario blinked curiously at Rainbow. He was about to ask what an Iron Pony Competition was when Spike suddenly perked up.
“You’re going to have another Iron Pony Competition?! That means I can be the announcer again! Can I, Twilight?! Can I?!”
“Yes, please, Twilight! Can we?! Can we?!” Everyone jumped at Pinkie Pie’s sudden presence in the room. None of them knew where she had come from.
“How does she keep doing that?” Lucario quietly asked Rainbow.
“Hey, YOU’RE the village’s new guardian. YOU go and figure it out for us,” she whispered back. Twilight brought a hoof to her forehead and sighed.
“Personally, I think this Iron Pony thing is pointless. But I guess I can’t change Rainbow’s mind once she’s decided something. But I’m sure Lucario has better things to do than…”
“I accept.” Twilight nearly dropped her jaw at Lucario’s answer.
“You accept?! Don’t you think that this is all just ridiculous?”
“She asked me up front and honestly. I don’t see any problems with it.”
“All right!” Spike and Pinkie shouted in joy. Rainbow smiled and gestured everyone to follow her.
“No time like the present. Let’s get this thing started!”
“Fillies and gentlecolts! Welcome to another exciting and thrilling Iron Pony Competition! I’m Spike.”
“And I’m Pinkie Pie! Today, we’re about to watch the two coolest people in Ponyville face off against each other! In the blue corner, we have the most dazzling daredevil pegasus in all of Equestria: RAINBOW DASH! And in the other blue corner, we have the most awesome guardian and dragon beater Ponyville has ever seen: NINJA MISTER!”
“Ninja Mister? I thought the one Rainbow challenged was Lucario, Pinkie. Anyway, it seems like we haven’t drawn such a big audience today as we did last time.”
“Oh, just have some patience, Spike. We didn’t have such a big crowd during Rainbow’s and Applejack’s competition last time, either. But once they hear all our great cheering and announcing, they’ll come running to us like hedgehogs!”
“Yeah! …Wait, what? Hedgehogs?”
Spike and Pinkie was sitting by a table some distance away from Lucario. He and Rainbow stood in the middle of a big forest clearing. Apparently, it was one of the few safe areas in the Everfree Forest, mostly because it was located just by the village. So far, Twilight was the only one watching the whole thing. At first, she thought that she was going to keep track of the score again. But when they arrived at the clearing, she found that the entire area was empty. There were no scoreboards, no gear to use for any of the rounds, and no benches for an audience to sit on. The only reason Spike and Pinkie had a table and two microphones was because Pinkie had stashed them away in a nearby tree. “In case of table and microphone emergency,” she had explained.
“Um, Rainbow, did you forget to bring everything with you?” she asked the pegasus. “We can’t have an Iron Pony Competition like this.”
“Sure we can, Twilight!” Rainbow answered. “We’re just not having the same kind of competition like last time.”
“Not the same kind? What are you talking about?” Twilight asked confused.
Rainbow was stretching her limbs. A loud crack could be heard from her legs and wings as she prepared herself. Lucario simply stood still and waited for her to explain. He sensed that there was more to Rainbow’s plan than a simple athletic contest. Once she finished her warm up, she let out a sigh and looked up. Her expression was surprisingly serious.
“Look, I’m not stupid. I saw how Lucario handled that dragon. His punch was strong enough to make the entire area shake. I wouldn’t be a match for him in a normal Iron Pony Competition. Not at all.”
Twilight was dumbfounded. She had never heard Rainbow admit that there was something she couldn’t do. “Then why did you challenge him?”
“Because this isn’t a normal Iron Pony Competition.” Rainbow suddenly had her trademark confident smile back. She began pawing the ground with her hoof as she entered some sort of stance.
“This is an Iron Pony One-on-One Battle!”
A brief silence reigned over the area before Twilight let out a loud scream.
“WHAAAAT?! You’re challenging him to a FIGHT?! Rainbow, what are you thinking?! This is just stupid! Lucario, please tell her!”
Lucario studied the battle-ready pegasus in front of him. He could see the determination and excitement in her eyes. Deep within himself, he could feel a similar feeling building up. A feeling most Pokémon felt whenever they were about to engage in a friendly match.
“Very well,” he answered. “Show me what you got.”
Twilight worked her jaw helplessly. She couldn’t believe nor understand what was going on around her. Just when she was about to argue against it, Pinkie started speaking over the microphone.
“Spike, did you just hear that?! They’re going to battle! It’s like a fighting tournament! I’ve always wanted to announce one of those!”
“I know, Pinkie Pie! This is gonna be so cool! I just hope that nopony gets hurt…”
“Oh don’t worry, Spike. They’ll be fine. Fighters, it’s almost time to go for broke!”
Lucario and Rainbow were ready. Twilight still had complaints but found herself unable to speak them out.
“Who will come out on top?! Well, stick around and find out, folks, because this is the battle of the century! Aaaand…” She suddenly picked up a bell from under the table and struck it with her hoof.
Rainbow immediately dashed forward. She stretched out her hind leg and flew towards Lucario.
Trying that again? Lucario thought to himself. A white light engulfed him as he activated Iron Defence. Soon after, Rainbow’s hoof collided with his face. Just like last time, Lucario didn’t flinch from the strike. However, Rainbow simply grinned at him. Lucario was surprised at her sudden display of endurance.
“Last time you tried this, you ended up rolling around on the ground in pain.”
“Well, that was then.” She flipped backwards and landed before charging at him again. “This is now!”
Lucario chuckled lightly before dodging the pegasus’ assault. A flurry of punches, kicks, and even headbutts tried to hit him, but he effortlessly avoided every strike. He could see his opponent growing more and more irritated with every miss.
“Your spirit is strong, but it won’t help you if you cannot get a hit in on me.”
“Grr, I’m just getting started!” Rainbow suddenly crouched down and tried to sweep his leg with a sweeping kick. He simply raised his foot over it. Rainbow wasn’t done yet, however, as she continued spinning and used the momentum to aim a roundhouse kick at the side of his head. Taken off-guard by her coordinated move, he raised an arm to block the attack.
“Impressive. I didn’t expect you to know any real martial art moves.”
“Newsletter for you, mister guardian: I have a black belt in karate!” she explained with a smile. The smile was short lived, as Lucario suddenly grabbed hold of her leg.
“Fighting-type: Circle Throw!” With incredible force, he threw her over his shoulder and up into the sky. She screamed in panic as she rolled through the air and disappeared inside a cloud. She even left a comical body-shaped hole after her.
“WHOA! He just threw Rainbow like a ragdoll! I don’t know how heavy she is, but that must’ve taken some serious strength to pull off!” Spike commentated.
“Did you see that hole she made?! Hahahaha! Oh Rainbow Dash, you’re always such a laugh!” Pinkie giggled.
Lucario watched the cloud for any sign of the pegasus. He wasn't expecting the fight to be over just yet. Circle Throw was a technique used to throw enemies a large distance away from the user. It wasn’t a very powerful attack in itself, but it was commonly used to escape from unnecessary battles or encounters. But Lucario had thrown Rainbow higher up into the air so that she would be able to take flight before crashing. He doubted that would be enough to end their battle.
His suspicions were proven right when a bolt of lightning suddenly flew out of the cloud. He barely managed to avoid it, only to find another one coming down right in his path. For a few seconds, he dodged back and forth, evading bolt after bolt, before one of them lucked out. A large explosion of dust erupted from the ground as the bolt hit him.
Rainbow emerged from the cloud after seeing her attack hit. She flew back down and landed near the dust cloud, raising her hoof in triumph. “Yes! That’ll teach you not to throw a pegasus into a cloud. We know how to make use of those babies.”
“Rainbow, what if you hurt him?!” Twilight shouted from the sidelines.
“Way to go, Rainbow Dash!” Pinkie cheered. “Even Ninja Mister couldn’t keep up with your weather management for long!”
“Hehe, of course he couldn’t!” Rainbow responded confidently. “Nopony is awesome enough to-”
“Pegasi can manipulate weather? I should remember that.”
Rainbow’s boasting was interrupted as the dust cleared from the area. Lucario was kneeling on the ground, completely unharmed. A long, light green stick was planted in the earth next to him. It was shaped like a bone and was several feet taller than his current height while crouching.
“H-Huh?! How did you avoid that?! And what's up with that stick?!” Rainbow asked him in shock.
“Ground-type: Bone Rush. It is a bone-like staff created from particles in the ground. I managed to form it and use it as a lightning rod before the bolt hit me.” He stood up and drew the staff out.
“Now… it’s my turn, right?”
He rushed forward and began to masterfully swing his weapon. Rainbow did her best to avoid the attacks, but for every swing she dodged, two others smacked her. They didn’t hurt very much, but they just kept coming without stopping. She was steadily growing more and more tired.
Okay, this is getting nowhere. In a case like this, offence is the best defense! She dodged the next strike and jumped forward. Her plan was to tackle Lucario to the ground. What happened instead was that Lucario easily side-stepped her and grabbed hold of her tail.
“Let’s see how you like your own medicine,” he said before sparks of electricity started to course through his paw. “Electric-type: ThunderPunch!”
Rainbow lit up like a light bulb as electricity showered over her body. Lucario held back the full force of the attack, leaving the pegasus just slightly scorched. Her mane had turned into an afro, inevitably making Spike and Pinkie Pie burst out laughing from their table.
“Had enough?” Lucario asked her as she shook her mane back in order.
“As if!” Without delaying for a second, Rainbow charged at him again. This time however, she flew past him and began flying in circles around him.
“Trying to catch me off-guard with a sudden strike? You’re going to need more than that to-” Lucario began, but stopped when he found his feet sliding over the ground. Rainbow was flying at an incredible speed, her body turning into a rainbow-colored blur. Before Lucario realized it, he was in the middle of a small tornado.
“There it is! With her outstanding 16.5 wing power, Rainbow has started her own miniature tornado!” Spike shouted in the microphone.
Rainbow kept the tornado going for several minutes before finally slowing down. She grinded to a halt and watched proudly as her creation died down. She expected to see a dizzy Lucario stumbling out with his eyes formed like spirals. Instead, she found the site to be empty, with the exception of a mysterious hole in the ground.
“Wait, don’t tell me he-” The earth beneath her began to crumble, and an arm suddenly reached out of it. It grabbed hold of her leg and dragged her down until only her head remained above ground. As she struggled to get out, Lucario dug himself out of another hole a few feet away.
“Come on! You can dig too?! And you say you aren’t a diamond dog,” she complained, eventually managing to drag one of her front legs out of the ground.
“You’re full of surprises yourself. Creating a small tornado with pure speed is no small feat,” he praised her. She merely grunted in response. Lucario stood back and watched her struggle as she finally got out of her prison.
“I’ve had enough of the ground for one day. Let settle this in the sky!” she exclaimed before flying up into the air. Lucario activated Magnet Rise and chased after her. After flying a large distance upwards, Rainbow turned and flew away from the area. Lucario stayed behind and watched her, wondering what she was planning. He eventually saw her turn around and begin flying back towards him. It was hard to tell, but she seemed to be gaining speed with every flap of her wings.
She wants to build up enough speed to overpower me? Good plan, if it weren’t for the fact that she’s charging right at me, Lucario thought to himself. Like this, Rainbow would never be able to hit him, no matter how fast she got. A simple dodge at the last second followed by a counterattack would end the fight.
It was at this time Lucario learned to never again take anything lightly in Equestria.
The sky around Rainbow Dash suddenly exploded. Rainbow-colored shockwaves erupted from her body as her speed instantly doubled. Before Lucario had any chance to react, she had already reached him. Her hoof collided with his face with massive force. For a moment, Lucario could feel his Iron Defence trying to resist the attack. He could almost hear it cracking as it finally gave in.
Twilight, Spike, and Pinkie watched in shock as Lucario was sent flying by Rainbow’s Sonic Rainboom attack. Like a speeding bullet, he crashed to the ground deeper inside the forest. The sound from the impact echoed throughout the area as dust filled the sky along with several panicked birds. Rainbow hovered in the air for a moment before flying after him. As the birds flew by above them, Spike barely managed to squeeze out some commentary.
Lucario rubbed his cheek as he recovered from his fall. His head was still spinning from Rainbow’s attack. It had actually hurt. What was that? It was like my ExtremeSpeed, but far more destructive and powerful. She shattered my Iron Defence like glass. Is she really a normal pony? he thought to himself.
It was then that he noticed the area around him. Several trees had fallen over and a large crater was left behind from his crash. He could both see and hear animals running away in fear all around him. A rabbit briefly locked eyes with him before it ran away with the others. As everything quieted down, he could see the remains of different animal nests laying around in ruins. For what felt like an eternity, he just watched the scene.
“You are the only thing they can think about, the only thing they fear, the only thing they respect!”
“He CHALLENGED you?! That was the reason for why he attacked Ponyville?! He was after you?!”
“WE KNEW FROM THE MOMENT THOU CAME HERE THAT THOU WOULD BRING NOTHING BUT DISASTER AND DESTRUCTION UPON THE LAND! LEAVE PONYVILLE! THOU DO NOT BELONG HERE, AND THOU NEVER WILL!”
The voices of the past died down as Lucario noticed Rainbow landing in front of him. She was visibly exhausted, but wore a proud grin on her face.
“Ha… ha… how do you… like that?!” she asked him between breaths. Her smile disappeared when she noticed the grim and serious expression Lucario had.
“Enough. Let’s stop this battle, Rainbow Dash.”
“W-What?” She took a step forward. “Let’s stop? Are you giving up or something?!”
“Look around you.” Lucario gestured around him. “Several animals could’ve gotten hurt from my crash-landing. If we continued, things may get even worse.”
Rainbow shook her head, unable to believe what she was hearing. “You got to be kidding me! Okay, that last strike may have gone a bit overboard, but let’s just fight in the air then. No animals will get hurt if we-”
“It’s not only about the animals!” Rainbow stepped back at Lucario’s sudden outburst. His eyes were almost flashing with anger. “At this rate, you could get hurt too, you know?! What am I supposed to tell Twilight then, let alone the entire village?! I’m your new guardian, the one who should protect you from getting hurt! Yet everything I do can just backfire on all of us, all of you! How am I ever going to forgive myself if something happened to any of you just because of my mistakes?! Just because of my own strength?! Just because of…”
For a moment he stared at the pegasus, seeing her lean backwards from his shouting. His eyes eventually calmed down as he let out a sigh and looked away.
“Just because of my mere presence…”
The two of them stayed silent for a minute. Around them, a couple of the animals dared to come closer and watch the scene. For some reason ,they didn’t feel as scared anymore. Sure, their homes were destroyed, but they felt no malice towards any of the two standing near the crater. Rainbow kicked the ground a few more times before speaking.
“Look… I heard her, all right?”
Lucario looked up at her. “What?”
“I saw Princess Luna flying by my house last night, and I decided to follow her. Before I knew it, she landed next to you and you two started talking. I didn’t want to eavesdrop, I swear, but I wanted to know how you knew each other. At first I thought you were good friends, but then she started shouting. Blaming you for the dragon’s attack and saying that you don’t belong here. I heard it all…”
She looked away somewhat ashamed. Lucario himself didn’t know how to react to it all. He didn’t have to, because Rainbow continued.
“Do you know why I challenged you, Lucario?”
Lucario blinked a few times before answering. “You wanted to prove that you could’ve stopped the dragon.”
“Yeah, and the reason I wanted to prove that was because nopony believed me. They thought I was a weakling compared to you. That I was just a show-off. I just couldn’t stand it.” She shook her head a bit.
“I heard that you get really mad at anypony who talks badly of her, but Luna was stupid to think that about you. She said she had proof that you’re just putting us in danger, but there is ten times more proof of the opposite. You went out to stop the dragon without a second thought. You saved the Cutie Mark Crusaders from the timberwolves, even when you were seriously injured. You didn’t even know who they were by then. You offered to become Ponyville’s guardian despite hearing of how much trouble that happens around here. For every peril you might put us into, you always do your very best to fix it. You’re always proving Luna wrong.”
She gave Lucario a small smile. “Don’t let anypony say that someone like you doesn’t belong here.”
Lucario stared at her for a long time. Rainbow could tell he was thinking about everything she had said. Just when she started to find his staring awkward, he started laughing.
“You wanted to prove that you could’ve defeated the dragon? Well, there’s only one way then.” He clenched his paw, and soon it started glowing in a blue light.
“This is the punch I used to defeat it. Do you think you can handle it?”
Rainbow grinned with anticipation. “In my sleep!”
She took to the skies, flying higher and higher up in order to gain the distance she needed for another Sonic Rainboom. Lucario stayed at the ground, charging his Focus Punch. Eventually, Rainbow turned around. The two of them stared at each other, time seemingly frozen in place as they prepared for their final showdown. Then, at the same time, they charged. Rainbow dived down, soon triggering the rainboom. Lucario jumped up, his fist held back in preparation. The two of them reached one another in midair, his paw colliding with her hoof.
A stallion in Ponyville was just about to take a sip from his cup of coffee. He never got the chance, as a loud thunder made him jump and spill it all out in fright. In the distance, he and everypony else could see a huge explosion above the forest. One half was formed like a rainbow-colored mushroom cloud. The other half was a sea of blue-colored flames. They all felt the shockwave hitting them, sending some of them rolling across the ground. The stallion grabbed hold of his table and shouted in desperation.
“Can’t we have just ONE normal day in this village, anymore?!”
The energies around the two combatants faded away. Rainbow was hovering upside down, her hoof still resting on Lucario’s paw. It almost looked like she was balancing on top of it. She was done. She barely had the energy left to keep flying. As she gasped for air, she looked down at Lucario. He was winded as well, but not nearly as much as her. In fact, his eyes were still focused without a hint of fatigue behind them. A sudden realization hit Rainbow, causing her to laugh.
“You… never used… your full strength… did you?” she asked him.
“…no, I didn’t,” Lucario confessed.
Rainbow’s eyes started watering as she looked away. “So I lost.”
“Yeah…you did,” he repeated. Rainbow bit down at her lip, trying her best not to cry.
“But you would’ve definitely beaten that dragon.”
Rainbow’s eyes widened. She looked back at Lucario, who smiled warmingly back at her. A smile of her own grew on her face as a small tear escaped her eye.
“Hehe… I knew that…” She then fell into Lucario’s arms, too tired to stay awake anymore.
“Rainbow Dash is unable to battle! Ninja Mister wins!”
Pinkie struck the bell once again, signaling the end of the fight. Lucario had landed with Rainbow Dash back at the clearing, and now Twilight was rushing towards them.
“Oh no, oh no, oh no! Please don’t tell me something happened to her! Is she all right? What just-”
“She’s fine, Twilight.” Lucario reassured the unicorn. “She’s just sleeping, that’s all.”
Twilight looked down at her friend. To her surprise, she found a smile on Rainbow’s face as she slept.
“Wow… that was the last kind of face I expected to see on her after that,” she confessed, wiping a relieved tear from her eye.
“THAT WAS SO AWESOME!” Spike shouted behind her. “That dragon must’ve been out of his mind when he challenged you!”
“And Rainbow Dash was so cool! 20 000% cooler than ever!” Pinkie exclaimed as she bounced around them.
“She surely proved herself out there,” Lucario said. “We should let her sleep now. She deserves it.”
“She can rest up over at my place.” Twilight offered before levitating Rainbow onto her back. As she, Spike, and Pinkie began to leave, Lucario stayed behind for a few seconds and watched them. Rainbow’s words still rang clearly in his mind.
“I will… prove myself as well.”
To be continued…