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“Thank you again so much for this Zecora,” Twilight said as she walked through the door of Zecora's home, the sun now only a couple hours away from setting.
“It is not a problem Twilight, I am happy to help any way I can. And this problem involving ingredients is one I can fully understand.” Zecora circled around her large cauldron and grabbed a large pitcher of water from a shelf, carefully pouring the water into the cauldron. “You said you had not eaten since early yesterday. I will make you some soup then to enjoy during your stay.”
“Oh thank you Zecora, but you really don't have to...” As if on cue, Twilight's stomach grumbled loudly in apparent protest. Zecora simply looked over to her and smiled with a soft giggle. “Of course... It would be really nice. Hehe...”
“Oh, and one more thing, before I forget...” Zecora said as she reached into a wicker basket, pulling out a near dry saddlebag. “A bag floating in the water, one I felt compelled to protect.”
“M-my saddlebag!” Twilight beamed cheerfully as she raced over. “Oh thank you so much Zecora! I don't know what I would have done without this! It has all the ingredients, the book, just... everything! Thank you so much!”
“It is not a problem my very literate friend, for I feel it my duty, to have a friendly hoof to lend.”
With Twilight's spirit lifted from re-acquiring her book, and both her's and Spike's stomachs filled with soup, Twilight felt ready to talk to Zecora about the last ingredient. After searching her back, Twilight was relieved to find that almost all of her ingredients were kept safe in their containers with minimal water damage, and that the book itself was still in one piece. Though drenched, she figured that it would be easily and safely dried with magic once she turned back to normal. Now to actually get back to normal... Twilight though as she carried the book over to Zecora.
“Zecora,” Twilight began as she set the book already opened to the desired page next to Zecora, who was sitting at the table. “This is the last ingredient we need. Everything else is still in my saddlebag, but this... 'Essence of Dragon' is the only thing we're missing.”
“Hmmm...” Zecora studied the book closely, searching her thoughts for more details on the Essence of Dragon. “Ah, Essence of Dragon, I remember it now! Also to extract it, I remember how.”
“Great! So, where do we get it from? Is it sort of like a plant or perhaps just a bit more of Spike's scales?”
“Hey!” Spike shouted in protest.
“hehe, it appears the identity of this ingredient is one you have yet to guess. It is often very difficult to extract this essence, without making a mess.” A slight blush lit up on Zecora's face.
“The identity of the ingredient?” Twilight what Zecora said for a moment. “You mean... it's not a plant? Or just more of Spike's scales?”
“It's not... b-blood, is it...!?” Spike asked, his eyes darting left and right in worry.
“I have sometimes wondered Twilight Sparkle, with your knack for reading and cramming so much knowledge in your head, if you have ever spent one night with another stallion in your bed.”
“Another... w-wait, hold on a second!” Twilight stammered as her cheeks lit up with a bright blush. “What does anything like... like that have to do with the Essence of Dragon?”
“My question is relevent, as you will seen see. For the identity of this ingredient, not pleasant it will be.”
“Well...” Twilight quickly walked over and covered Spike's ears with her claws, holding him in place even with his apparent protest. “...No. I have never done anything sexual with anypony... of either gender at that! B-but really I still don't see what this has to do with the final ingredient!”
“The final ingredient miss Sparkle...” Zecora began as she leaned her muzzle in close to Twilight's ear. “Is the ingredient meant to breed. The essence of dragon is indeed the dragon seed.”
“Dragon... seed?” Twilight stopped, looking up for a moment to think, before an idea popped into her mind. “Oh! So it's not a plant, but the seed of a plant, right?” Zecora merely shook her head with a light frown, and then looked down at Spike who had his arms crossed, not at all happy with not being able to hear. “Well, if it's not a seed, then...”
Twilight also looked down at Spike, and then searched her thoughts some more for a solution. Final ingredient is the dragon seed... Twilight though. But the ingredient is also meant to breed... b-but, that means...! Like a ton of bricks suddenly slapping her in the face, Twilight raised her hands to her mouth as she shot backwards, pressing her back against the far wall with a deep, loud gasp. She stared at Zecora with wide eyes, who only returned Twilight's extremely surprised look with a coy smile.
“N-NO! You can't... you can't be serious Zecora..!”
“What? What is it?” Spike asked, his head turning back between Zecora and Twilight in confusion.
“It cannot be helped Twilight, what I have said is true. Now you know what it is you must do...”
“A-and I have to... to get it, f-f-from... S-s-spike...?”
“He is the only dragon around and the ingredient must be served fresh, within a minute or less. But do not worry, for I shall give you a tip to get it without too much of a mess!”
“T-That's not the point! Spike is like... he's, he's practically family to me! I mean, it's just.... oh my gosh, no, no no nonono no... this is all so very wrong...”
“I know this is very troubling, and causes much distress in your head...” Zecora said as she approached Twilight. “So if it is something you really cannot do, I shall do it instead.”
Twilight grasped her claws against her head as she took a seat on one of the home's sitting logs beside her. Now, not only did she realize the horrible truth behind the identity of this final ingredient, she was now faced with an offer by Zecora, of all ponies, er, Zebras, to extract it herself! This can't be happening... Twilight though as she neared a fetal position. This must be some sort of prank. Some sort of sick joke set up by somepony... somewhere... just.... oh Celestia, what do I do? I don't think I can stand getting that from Spike myself, but Zecora.... no, no I can't, it would probably scar Spike for life. It has to be me, it has to be who he cares about most.... oh Celestia, why does it have to be me?
“I...” Twilight began, closing her eyes slowly as she lifted her head. “I... I'll do it. I'll extract the essence from Spike... if somepony has to do it, it... it should be me...”
“A very abnormal task indeed, but it is best to get it out of the way. I will go prepare the other ingredients, for you must swallow it all anyways...”
“Right...” Twilight gulped as she opened her eyes slightly and looked at Spike, his face still showing his obvious confusion. Forgive me Celestia... I have to do it...
“Can someone please tell me what the hay is going on?” Spike asked, almost fed up with this secrecy involving him.
“O-oh, right...” Twilight began as she stood up and began walking towards the home's back room. “Um, I'll tell you about it in a bit Spike, but first...” The fake smile plastered on Twilight's face was so painful for her to keep up, but a look from Zecora reassured her that she had to do what had to be done. “C-come back here with me. There's a, um, a gift I got you for being such a wonderful assistant...”
“A gift? For me!?” Spike smiled widely as he followed Twilight into the back room. “Oh boy, what could it be!?”
Twilight sat down at her bedroom desk, Spike sound asleep in his bed. Her horn lit up as she lifted up a paper and a scroll, thinking of what to write to the princess. Her mind searched for some sort of real lesson that she had learned, but at the moment only one though kept popping into her mind. Of everything that happened the past couple days, out of all the things she had experienced, only one significant detail really struck her the most. And, without thinking, she seemed to passively write down what had most often popped into her head since only a few hours ago.
Dear Princess Celestia,
Dragons are a mouthful.