Medieval – Teacher's Legacy
After Twilight and Pinkamena returned with Principal Celestia, the group immediately made their way to Medieval, where they saw it was already nighttime. It was here that Twilight filled everyone in on the status of the world.
“But… I not understand,” Fluttershy said as everyone emerged from the portal, “How world stand still if time keep going?”
“It sounds to me like the worlds are beginning to succumb to the process known as heat death,” DASH-379 stated. Poor Fluttershy gave an adorable pout.
“DASH… you use big word I not understand,” Fluttershy said, “What is heat death?”
“How to explain it,” Twilight said to herself, “Okay, so it's like when you don't have energy to use your element. The worlds are going through that.”
“Just know that if we don't fix this, it's going to be bad for everyone,” Pinkamena stated, “This happened to my world right before it was eaten by Lavos.”
“So we're running out of time then…” Applejack said to herself, arms folded and leaning against a nearby tree.
“Pinkamena, can you lead us to the statue?” Twilight asked.
“Well sure, but do you really want to go now?” Pinkamena asked, “I mean, it's super late now.”
“According to my internal clock, the time is currently 22:19,” DASH-379 said, “It might not be wise to travel around at this hour.”
“It isn't,” Applejack said stepping forward, “This hour is usually when the bandits start attacking. We should head to Canterlot and rest there.”
“Applejack, are you okay?” Twilight asked, “You seem upset about something.”
“I'm…” Applejack sighed, “It's just something that's been on my mind for a while is all. I'll talk to you all about it later. Let's head to the castle for now.”
With that, Applejack walked on ahead. Everyone watched her with worried expressions before following after her.
The walk to the castle was a quiet one, and no one was there in town to greet them as it was nighttime. Twilight really liked the feel of this world at night. There was a peaceful familiarity here, like she oddly belonged here.
Why she felt that, she didn't know.
When they arrived at the castle, the two knights standing guard saluted Applejack, who returned the salute before guiding the group inside. As they approached the throne room, they saw Medieval Twilight pacing back and forth.
“Twilight,” Applejack called out. Immediately Medieval Twilight turned to the group looking relieved.
“Applejack!” she cried running into the knight's arms, “By the Gods, you're okay! We were all worried sick about you!”
“I'm fine, Twilight,” Applejack said with a warm smile, “How are things here?”
“Well, the Viceroy is gone,” Twilight sighed, “We have a few soldiers looking around for her, but so far we've found nothing.”
“You might wanna give up on that search,” Pinkamena said walking forward and sitting on the arm of the throne, “Nightmare Moon's not showing up unless she wants to show up.”
“Um… who's this?” Medieval Twilight asked looking at Pinkamena with a frown. Applejack sighed.
“My group has gone through a few changes as you can see,” Applejack said, “This is… Pinkamena.”
“Wait a second…” Medieval Twilight looked at her closely and then gasped, “Applejack! That woman is the one who-”
“Shh!!!” Applejack shushed, “Keep it down!”
“Applejack, why is she traveling with you?!” Medieval Twilight whispered harshly, “And where's the girl that looked like the General?!”
“It's a long story,” Applejack said, “One that I'll share with you when it's just the two of us. Just… don't let word spread, alright? I sort of need her for something, and apparently she has her “reasons” for doing what she did.”
Medieval Twilight sighed pinching the bridge of her nose, “I'm going to start growing gray hairs over this…” she sighed, “I'll be in the library waiting for you.”
When Medieval Twilight left, Applejack turned to Twilight, DASH-379, and Fluttershy, “Alright, I'll lead you all to your rooms. You're free to explore the castle if you want, but try not to get lost.”
“Thanks Applejack,” Twilight said with a smile before looking at Pinkamena, “Let's go, Pinkamena.”
“Right! Coming bestie!” Pinkamena cheered skipping over to the group. Applejack took a deep breath and then lead them all to where the guest rooms were. There was plenty of space for everyone to have their own rooms. Even still, Fluttershy insisted on sharing her room with DASH-379. Pinkamena wanted to share a room with Twilight, but she insisted on having some time to herself.
After getting everyone to their rooms and filling Medieval Twilight in on what happened, Applejack went to the courtyard to think. She had so many complicated thoughts, now that they were so far into their journey.
She got to see other worlds, places she couldn't even imagine existing. She saw herself, and learned that she could have ended up going in so many different directions in her life. She even got to see her teacher again in a way, and in a way got to see another side of her through Rarity.
But that wasn't all she saw. She also got to see how fragile life was in other worlds, and how no matter where you went, people somehow all remained the same. Then there was Lavos, who so far seemed like an unbeatable God.
Lavos… just how were they going to beat that thing? Could they beat it? What was the point of going forward if they didn't have the power to destroy Lavos? Even if they did destroy him, Lavos would just come back though, right?
“Rarity… what should I do…?” Applejack asked looking up at the night sky, “I can't lead my friends to their deaths, but if we don't do something, the whole universe will…”
She waited, almost wishing she could hear her Rarity's voice. She was so wise, and strong. Applejack loved her so much. She closed her eyes, and allowed herself to remember her beloved teacher/friend.
Applejack and the General always sparred at night in the courtyard. The General felt more comfortable out in the night air, and here they wouldn't be distracted. This was their special time, just for them. Since it was just training, neither of them wore their armor, and used training swords instead of actual blades.
Applejack used both hands and slashed with everything she had, while the General kept one arm behind her back, and seemed to use less energy. Still, Applejack just could NOT get past her defense. After clashing swords a few more times, the General exerted more energy to push Applejack to the ground and then held the wooden blade at her neck.
“I win again, Applejack,” General Rarity said, her expression stern. She was so magnificent, standing over Applejack. She wore a fancy white blouse, black pants and boots. Her long purple hair was graying out, showing her age yet only adding to her beauty. Compared to her, Applejack was still just a simple girl from the country.
Applejack closed her eyes and sighed sadly, “Damn it… you were barely even trying…”
General Rarity's expression softened to a warm, motherly smile, and she knelt down before Applejack and took her hand, “Now now, none of that. What have I told you about doubting yourself like that?”
“But… you're so much stronger than I am…” Applejack said somberly, “How am I ever going to be able to stand beside you if I can't even keep my sword in my hands?”
“Do you know why I'm able to knock your sword out of your hands like that?” General Rarity asked, “It has nothing to do with strength, you know.”
“Then… how?” Applejack asked. The General looked down at her own blade examining it.
“When you hold your sword, you see it as just a tool, and hold it as such,” General Rarity explained, “It's separate, apart from you.”
“But… swords are tools, right?” Applejack asked, confused when her teacher shook her head.
“A weapon may start out as a tool, but once it's in your hands, it becomes a part of YOU. You are the blade, and the blade is you. It's more akin to an arm or a leg.”
General Rarity stood up and walked over to the fountain, where she kept her spear when they sparred. She picked it up and began twirling it around, looking like a dancer with it. Her movements were fluid, each motion leading into another, and most of all, they were seamless.
“My spear is an extension of my own body and will,” General Rarity said as her dance ended, “I don't think about where I want my weapon to land where it will be most effective. I think about where I MYSELF want to go, and then let my spear move accordingly. Once you achieve the final form of mastery, and understand the last lesson of becoming a knight, only then will you be able to surpass me.”
“Surpass YOU?!” Applejack asked incredulous, “There's no way I could ever do that! You're the strongest knight in the kingdom!”
General Rarity walked over to Applejack and caressed her cheek lovingly, “Never underestimate your power, dear. You have great potential, and once you begin to grow apart from me, you'll truly begin to see it yourself.”
“You really believe in me that much…?” Applejack asked, looking into her teacher's eyes, feeling such strong adoration from the older woman before her.
“I do,” General Rarity said kissing Applejack on the cheek like she always did, “Come now, dear. It's been a long night. Let's get some rest.”
Applejack nodded, and picked up the training swords. As the two of them walked back into the castle, Applejack felt General Rarity wrap her arms around her and hold her close. Yes, she was playing favorites, but that was okay. Applejack didn't know why she was the General's favorite, but she loved being so close to her. Applejack leaned into her teacher as they walked, wrapping her free arm around HER in return.
“I love you so much… Rarity.”
Thinking about her teacher, tears began to build up in Applejack's eyes. She never got over her grief at losing her. She meant everything to Applejack. They were closer than mere friends, possibly closer than lovers. They were best friends, sisters even. Applejack didn't want to think of what life would have been like without her beloved teacher.
But now she had to go on. The General was gone, and now Applejack had to face an evil that she wasn't sure she was ready to win against.
“I am surprised that you are still up.”
Applejack looked behind her, seeing DASH-379 walk out into the courtyard.
“Hey DASH, just thinking about things,” Applejack said as DASH went to sit down next to her, “So, is it true? That you… killed the Rarity of your world?”
DASH-379 closed her eyes somberly, “It would appear so. I remember a little girl with hair a lot like Rarity's, and Master Tirek wished for me to kill her no matter what. Learning that she was Rarity… makes me feel… odd…”
“Sort of like you're partially the reason why Rarity fell into such darkness?” Applejack asked, DASH-379 nodding sadly.
“You were close to Rarity in this world, correct?” DASH-379 asked.
“Yeah, I was,” Applejack admitted, “I think that's why I'm having such a hard time right now. The woman that killed her is right here in the castle, and I can't do anything about it. I know we need her help, and something inside of me knows that she's not a bad person, but…”
“She still took away someone that you love,” DASH-379 said, “You desire closure.”
“Yes. I need it,” Applejack said, looking forward at the monument made in honor of the General, “It's the only way I'm ever going to move on with my life. That's… not all that's on my mind though. DASH, I need to ask you something.”
DASH-379 turned to Applejack and tilted her head, “I am still getting used to people asking for my opinion, let alone you of all people.”
“Believe me, I don't do this easily,” Applejack took a deep breath, “In your honest opinion, based on where we are now, how good are our chances of defeating Lavos?”
“If I were to make a proper estimate of our chances based on our current power level, skill level, and the quality of our weapons, I would say our chances are only a good 14.82 percent.”
“I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that's not good for us,” Applejack said.
“Negative. It almost guarantees our immediate destruction,” DASH-379 said. Applejack groaned rubbing her eyes in frustration.
“I was afraid of that,” Applejack said, “That's big, coming from you of all things.”
“I may boast about being the top of my line, but as far as I know, my logic circuits are functioning normally,” DASH-379 stated, “I am aware of my limits, even if said limits frustrate me to no end.”
“We need an edge,” Applejack said, “Something that can actually hurt Lavos.”
“You are talking about a weapon,” DASH inquired.
“Yes. My teacher told me about a powerful blade called the Masamune, which was forged from something called the Rainbow Shell. We have the hilt with the blacksmith you guys met before.”
“You refer to Facet, correct?” DASH-379 asked.
“I forgot, you don't forget anything,” Applejack said, “But yes, Facet. He has the hilt in his shop, but we can't find the Rainbow Shell anywhere.”
“If I were to see the hilt, I might be able to scan it for fragments and then track the Rainbow Shell,” DASH suggested. Applejack was wide eyed.
“Wait, you're willing to help find this? You realize it's just a rumor, right?” Applejack asked.
“Affirmative, but at this point, it is the best chance that we have. If you had this sword, you might be able to stand a chance against Lavos.”
“T-thanks, DASH,” Applejack said, “I appreciate your input.”
“You are welcome,” DASH-379 said, “My battery is beginning to run low. I will return to my room to recharge. You should get some sleep as well.”
“Yeah, I will,” Applejack said. DASH-379 walked out of the courtyard, and Applejack took one more look at the General's monument. She stood up and walked over to the monument and placed a hand on it.
“Even if I get this sword, it's not going to make a difference if I don't understand the last lesson,” Applejack sighed. She walked back into the castle, unaware of Pinkamena looking out of her window at the monument as well.
After everyone woke up and ate breakfast, they gathered outside of the castle to discuss their next move.
“We only need to destroy on more Guardian, and then we can finally get to the Land of the Gods,” Twilight said.
“Last guardian use yellow elements like DASH, and first Guardian use green elements like me. That mean this guardian use red elements like Applejack?” Fluttershy asked.
“That is highly likely,” DASH-379 stated, “Although, I do think that is an odd coincidence.”
“Yeah, why do the Guardians have the same elements as you guys?” Twilight asked, “Does each world have a base element of something.”
“Not quite,” Pinkamena said, catching everyone's attention, “There's a very personal reason for that, but you'll have to wait and see.”
“You can't just tell us now?” Applejack asked, “It would sure save us a lot of time and grief.”
“Not really,” Pinkamena said shrugging, “If I told you now, you wouldn't understand. You're just going to have to trust me on this one.”
“Hmph,” Applejack folded her arms looking away seriously. Twilight took note, as ever since they came back to Medieval Applejack seemed really upset about something.
“We go right to Guardian?” Fluttershy asked the group.
“Actually, there's something else we need to get first,” Applejack said, catching everyone's attention.
“What's that?” Twilight asked.
“I've been thinking about this for a while now,” Applejack started, “We're going on this journey to save Rarity and the entire universe, but let's not forget that we still need to defeat Lavos, something that so far we haven't been able to do. Made even worse with what Pinkamena said about us not even fighting the whole Lavos.”
“That's true,” Twilight said shuddering a bit, “If that was just a fragment of what Lavos could do, I don't want to know what the real Lavos is capable of.”
“Exactly. If we were to go after Lavos now, we wouldn't stand a chance even if Rarity joined us again. That's why we need an edge, and I think I know what sort of edge we need.”
“What edge?” Fluttershy asked.
“Facet is working on repairing a legendary sword for me called the Masamune. All we need now is the Rainbow Shell to make the blade,” Applejack explained.
“If we go to Facet's place first, I can scan the hilt and begin a search for similar material within the area,” DASH-379 added, “Applejack and I discussed this last night, and I agree with her plan.”
“Eh, it's worth a shot,” Pinkamena said, “I mean, I don't know how much one special sword is going to do against the Time Devourer, but any chance is better than no chance at all.”
“So that's what we'll do,” Twilight said, “I really hope this doesn't turn into a super long side quest…”
The group made their way to the workshop, where they heard a familiar sound right at the door.
“I CAN'T FIND MY HAMMER!!!”
“WELL WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I KNOW WHERE IT IS?!!!”
“YOU WERE IN MY WORKSHOP LAST NIGHT!!!”
“PUTTING YOUR LAZY ASS TO BED, THAT'S WHAT!!! WHAT USE WOULD I HAVE WITH THAT THING?!!!”
“Glad to see they're still full of spirit…” Applejack said with an exasperated smile.
“For the love of God, we're still outside…” Twilight groaned, “How are they this loud?”
They reluctantly walked into the workshop, where they saw Sapphire standing behind the counter with a peaceful smile.
“Applejack! You and your friends came back!” Sapphire called out running to them and hugging everyone.
“Hey Sapphire. How is everything?” Applejack asked.
“Well, besides everyone panicking a bit from the Queen's disappearance and that monster appearing a few days ago, everything is fine,” Sapphire explained, “Facet and I are in good spirits, so that's good.”
“Seriously?” Twilight asked, “Because no offense, but you sounded like you were arguing just now.”
“Oh, there's no need to worry,” Sapphire said waving it off, “That's just how he and I talk. We're actually just fine, love.”
Almost as if on cue, Facet walked out with a relieved smile.
“I found my hammer,” Facet said. Sapphire walked over to him and hugged him.
“See? You were just overlooking it,” Sapphire said, “By the way, we have visitors.”
Facet beamed when he saw the group, “You're alive! Thank the Gods!” he exclaimed happily.
“Believe me, we almost didn't make it,” Applejack said. Facet looked around confused.
“Where's the girl that looked like the General?” Facet asked, worried when he saw everyone look away somberly, “No… don't tell me she's…”
“She is not dead,” DASH-379 said, “But she is no longer with us at the moment.”
“You should all come into my workshop,” Facet stated, “We can talk about it there.”
It took a while, but they each took turns telling Facet and Sapphire what happened after they faced Nightmare Moon and Lavos. Needless to say, both of them looked shocked and horrified.
“By the Gods…” Facet said running his hands through his head.
“At least the Queen is safe,” Sapphire added, “We should count our blessings.”
“That's true and all,” Applejack said folding her arms, “But we're still way in over our heads here.”
“Do you know what you're going to do next?” Facet asked.
“I'm going to rescue Rarity,” Twilight said, “I can't go on without her. After that, we can all discuss how we're going to defeat Lavos.”
Facet nodded in approval, “I like the way you think. Alright then, I'll help,” he said getting up, “What can I do?”
“I need to see the hilt of the Masamune,” DASH-379 stated, “I can then begin a world wide search for the Rainbow Shell.”
“How is that even possible?” Sapphire asked, clearly confused.
“Dashie isn't a human,” Pinkamena said, “She's something more akin to a golem, but actually alive.”
“I don't quite understand what that means, but I won't question it,” Facet said, rising up and walking over to the hilt, which was hanging on the wall over the forge. He picked it up and handed it to DASH-379, who immediately scanned it.
“Scanning for Rainbow Shell fragments,” DASH stated, “Scan complete. It is just as I thought, there are indeed fragments of the Rainbow Shell on this hilt.”
“So, we find rest of Rainbow Shell now?” Fluttershy asked hopefully.
“I will begin my worldwide scan now,” DASH-379 said looking up, “Complete. The Rainbow Shell is 30 kilometers south west of this location,” she handed the hilt back to a dumbfounded Facet, “You may now shower me with gratitude and positive reception.”
“There's that arrogance we know and love,” Twilight said shaking her head, “Seriously DASH, thanks.”
“I've never seen anything like that before in my life…” Facet said, “So, you know where it is now?”
“Yep, and if I'm correct, it's on the way to where we need to be anyway,” Pinkamena said, “We can kill two birds with one stone this way.”
“Perfect,” Applejack said, “We'll be back with the Rainbow Shell.”
“I'll be right here waiting for you,” Facet said, “You all take care.”
“Good luck girls,” Sapphire said, “You're our favorite customers, so make sure you come back safely.”
“We will, I'll make sure of it,” Applejack said before turning to the group, “Let's not waste anymore time.”
“I will lead the way,” DASH-379 stated, “Let us depart immediately.”
With that, the group made their way out of the shop, to both where the Rainbow Shell was, and the last Guardian. Hopefully, they would be making their way to the Land of the Gods soon. Yet something didn't seem right.
Why hadn't they seen Rarity or Nightmare Moon at all?