Achieving Divinity: Dragon's Deception

by The Joeker

Chapter 19: Hard Truths

I was chopping wood for AJ outside the farmhouse. I was just about done. Creature was almost done with his investigation in Manehatten. We heard rumours of Black Ring, and he went to investigate those rumours, and depending on the severity of the situation, would either deal with it himself, or call me to help out. He hadn't, so I assumed either the rumours were unfounded, or Creature had dealt with them. He was on the next train down. I went looking for Applejack to tell her I was done. I found her outside Applebloom's room.

"I'm done AJ, we good to... Go...?" I asked as I saw Apple Bloom throwing multiple items of clothing on...

"What to wear, what to wear? Oh, what to wear?!" She asked worriedly.

"Not exactly..." Said Applejack to me. "Scoot your boot, Apple Bloom! Ego's waitin'! It's not like it's the Harvest Day Parade! We're just goin' to the train station!" She exclaimed.

"Too casual." She said about one outfit. "Too summery." She said about another.

"Your cousin isn't gonna care what you're wearin'. Just pick somethin'!" Advised AJ.

"This is my first time meetin' her, and she's from Manehattan. I wanna make a good impression!" Replied Apple Bloom in front of the mirror, wearing her bedspread and a pair of glasses.

"You know what would make a good impression?" Asked AJ. Walking over to her.

"What?" Asked Apple Bloom excitedly as Applejack put her muzzle next to her sisters.

"Bein' on time to pick her up!" Exclaimed Applejack, grabbing Apple Bloom's sheets that she was wearing and dragging her along the floor. Apple Bloom got up and took to trying on more clothes.

"Don't worry Bloom, you'll be fine. Fashion won't concern her!" I said.

"He's right, sugarcube. Y'all are gonna get along great. You already have somethin' in common." Explained AJ. Apple Bloom had some... Questionable fashion choices on... All sorts of clothing and materials were flying all over the shop. One piece landed on AJ's flank.

"Oh, yeah? What's that?" She mumbled through a snorkel.

"Neither of you have your Cutie Mark." Exclaimed AJ, removing the shawl covering her flank.

"There you go-" I started.

"What?!" Yelled Apple Bloom. "How could you forget to tell me somethin' like that?" She asked.

"Well, I–" Began Applejack.

"Oh, this changes everything! Meet you at the train station! I'm gonna go tell Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo!" Informed Apple Bloom, running out past us. AJ and I looked into the room to see it dishevelled. AJ did not look pleased.

"You know, your cousin's supposed to sleep in here!" Applejack called after her.

"You go on AJ, I'll clean this up." I said.

"No no, please-" She started.

"Go." I insisted.

"Thank you kindly!" Said AJ as she ran off to the station. I used a spell to sort everything and organise it for the girls. I nodded and followed AJ to the station.


"Hey girls!" I exclaimed to the Crusaders. They turned to me.

"Hey Ego!" They exclaimed in unison, coming over and cuddling with me. They all stopped and concentrated on the direction the train was coming. Then they began bouncing around. AJ was bemused at their antics.

"Do you really think she'll wanna join?" Asked Scootaloo.

"She doesn't have her cutie mark. Of course she'll wanna join the Cutie Mark Crusaders!" Exclaimed Apple Bloom.

"I'm just so excited I could burst!" Exclaimed Sweetie, her horn fizzing for a second. They were all so damn cute!

"Please don't. These boots have just been polished." I said with a smirk. We heard the train whistle blow and the train came into view.

"Is that the train from Manehattan?" Asked Apple Bloom.

"Yep." Nodded Applejack.

"That's her!" Exclaimed Apple Bloom pointing to an old woman. "Oh, wait, no, no, that's not her." She shook her head. "Oh! No, tha-tha-that's her!" She pointed to the stallion conductor "Um, no. Oh, wait, tha– that's not her either, uh..." She said after looking at a cow.

"Apple Bloom, you've never met Babs Seed, remember?" Reminded AJ.

"Oh... Yeah." Laughed Apple Bloom nervously. The train let off some steam.

"Ah, that's her!" Exclaimed AJ, pointing. I saw her disembark along with Creature.

"Ah, here is Lord Tyrath with your family now." He said. Clearly they had met and began talking.

"Babs! Babs! It's me, your cousin, Apple Bloom!" Exclaimed Apple Bloom, rushing over to her. "And this is Sweetie Belle, and this is Scootaloo, and we are so, so, so glad you're here!" Exclaimed Apple Bloom as they jumped around her.

"Thanks, I'm happy to–" Started Babs.

"This is gonna be the best week of your life!" Exclaimed Sweetie.

"Sure hope it's gonna be–" She started again.

"Seriously, we are gonna have a blast." Smiled Scootaloo.

AJ laughed at the girls and their wily ways as we began to walk away.

"The Summer Harvest Parade's going on while you're here! You'll get to ride in a float!" Informed Sweetie Belle.

"Really? I've never been on a float before." Said Babs.

"And we've got a really big surprise for you!" Exclaimed Apple Bloom

"Yeah... uh... a surprise?" Asked Babs. Applejack, Creature and myself all chuckled. Our thoughts turned to more serious matters.

"What news Creature?" I asked.

"The Black Ring rumours were unfounded." He explained.


"Mostly." He admitted.

"How do you mean?" I asked.

"They weren't in the place Ponies had claimed. In fact, they were outside the city. I dealt with their small force and informed the city guard to keep a lookout for anything else." He said.

"The situation is serious. But I doubt they'd sacrifice a large force for such a large, non-strategic target." I said as we were about to break off from the Apple family.

"Say, Ego, Creature. Would y'all like to have some vittles around our place? I owe you both still for savin' the girls. Plus, you sound like you could use some old country home cookin', Creature." Said AJ.

"Sure, why not?" I nodded.

"Thank you ma'am." Agreed Creature.

"Say, can any of you cook?" Asked Applejack.

"Yes, I can. We had to learn while in the Slayers to prepare food. Usually we only did it in punishment so they prepared us for it. Plus, you learn to cook ANYTHING to survive during your wilderness survival training. I can cook tree bark, caterpillar and ogre. One of my most infamous dishes." I chuckled.

"Really? What else do you you know about wilderness survival and the like?" Asked AJ as we turned on the dirt path to Sweet Apple Acres.

"Like I said, I can cook anything, I can make painkillers out of various plants, can make different teas, coffees, alcohols, potions, herbs, soups, stews. If it can be boiled or eaten cold, I can make it at least edible." I said.

"We are adept at hunting. Poisons are more my thing to make out of the various plants." Explained Creature.

"Don't drink the tea you make. Understood." Chuckled AJ.

"Good idea little Pony." Chortled Creature.

"I'll have ta take you both on the next camping trip I go on. You could be a mite helpful." Said Applejack.

"If our schedule permits it, certainly." I agreed as we came onto the hill overlooking Sweet Apple Acres.

"That would be entertaining." Added Creature.

"That's that then." Smiled AJ as we got to the door.

"Hey, Ego! Want to see somethin' cool?!" Asked Sweetie.

"Sure!" I nodded. "Creature, give AJ a hand with the food. She has a lot of Ponies to cook for." I said.

"At once, My Master." He bowed as I followed the little ones. Scootaloo covered Babs Seed's eyes for the surprise.

"I give you... the Cutie Mark Crusaders Clubhouse!" said Apple Bloom to Babs and I.

"The Cutie Mark Crusaders?" Asked Babs.

"A club devoted to helping ponies get their Cutie Marks! We're its founding members." Said Scootaloo.

"Technically, we're its only members." Replied Sweetie Belle. I like her sass.

"But we're always looking to expand, and you seem like the perfect candidate!" Explained Apple Bloom.

"I do?" Asked Babs.

"Well, yeah, since you don't have a Cutie Mark and all." Explained Scootaloo.

"Oh, yeah..." Said Babs, blowing her fringe out of her face and covering her flank with her tail. "That..." She murmured.

"This is an impressive Tree Fort girls, did you build it?" I asked.

"No, Applejack and her old filly friends built it. But we refurbished, redecorated and repaired it." Said Apple Bloom.

"I may have to retreat here if the Black Ring decide to show up..." I said.

"Yeah! They'd never get past our defences!" Exclaimed Scootaloo.

"Anyway, allow me to show you just some of the highlights of our clubhouse, should you choose to join us." Said Apple Bloom to Babs, gesturing to Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle. Scootaloo nudged Sweetie Belle and she started the tour.

"This is where we do our role call..." Said Apple Bloom as Scootaloo ticked Sweetie Belle.

"This is where we eat our lunch..." Said Apple Bloom and Sweetie and Scootaloo began to pretend to eat lunch.

"Sometimes we stand here and think of great ideas." She said as Sweetie stood on a painted target on the floor with a lamp above her head. Scootaloo turned it on and Sweetie looked like she had a good idea..

"Yeah, uh..." Began Babs, not very impressed.

"Uh, could you excuse us for a moment?" Asked Apple Bloom as the Crusaders huddled.

"Sure..." Nodded Babs.

"Thought she'd be more impressed." Whispered Apple Bloom. I could hear them due to my advanced hearing.

"She's from Manehattan. If we wanna impress her, we need to really wow her!" Added Sweetie Belle.

"Hmmmm." They all looked over at Babs...

"The float!" Gasped Scootaloo. "She can ride with us on our Summer Harvest Parade float!" She explained.

"That's perfect!" Agreed Apple Bloom. "This really is a good spot for thinking up great ideas." She realised.

"Mm-hmm." They all agreed. We all headed to the barn to see the float.

"Here it is! The official Cutie Mark Crusaders float for the Summer Harvest Parade!" cheered Apple Bloom. It was a giant pumpkin on wheels. Not bad.

"As a member of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, you'd be able to ride on it with us! It'd be totally fun." Said Scootaloo. Babs laughed nervously.

"More like funny..." Came a voice suddenly.

"...looking!" Came the laughing voices of two little Fillies. One was clearly a spoiled brat and the other was her tag-along.

"What is that thing, a giant orange?" Asked the grey one.

"It's a pumpkin." Stated Apple Bloom.

"Idiot..." I mumbled.

"More like a lame-kin." Said the pink one with a tiara on her head, they both then laughed.

"How... How is that funny? That is the worst insult I've ever heard in the history of insults you asswad mongoloid." I accidentally said out-loud. The Cutie Mark Crusaders began trying to hold in laughs.

"Whatever weirdo. Who's the new blank flank?" Asked the pink one.

"She's mah cousin, Babs. She's from Manehattan!" Said Apple Bloom, proud of her family.

"Manehattan, huh? Well, I guess you have that going for you." Shot the pink one.

"Suppose you're gonna join their little club? What's it called? The Cutie Mark Crusaders?" Mocked the grey one. These fillies were really getting on my nerves... Babs blew on her fringe, looking to the Crusaders and then the two bullies.

"More like the Cutie Mahk Crybabies!" Chuckled Babs.

"Hey!!" Exclaimed Apple Bloom. Well, his took a turn for the ugly...

"Oooo, heh, big city attitude! I like it!" Nodded the pink one.

"Mm-hmm!" Nodded the grey one in agreement.

"Oh, yeah? Well there's more where that came from! Check this out!" Exclaimed Babs and knocked the front wheel off their float.

"Oh no, she didn't!" Exclaimed Scootaloo.

The bullies all laughed but stopped as the float began to roll down the hill and smashed to pieces at the bottom.

"Looks like somepony's pumpkin just got squashed!" Said Babs.

"Damn..." I mumbled.

"When ah tell Applejack–" Began Apple Bloom.

"You gonna tell Applejack what?" Asked Babs, squaring up to her.

"W-well, y'know, uh..." Apple Bloom stumbled over her words as she was backed to the barn wall.

"What're you, a snitch?" Asked Babs. Ohhhh....

"Fucking hell..." I sucked in a breath. "She went there..."

"Come on, Babs, you should hang with us! Y'know, the cool ponies, not these babies!" Said the pink one as they all left together.

"What... just happened?" Asked Apple Bloom in shock.

"I think Babs just went to the dark side." Said Scootaloo, falling on her haunches

"We have to tell Applejack!" Exclaimed Sweetie Belle.

"No! We're not snitches!" Insisted Apple Bloom.

"Well, I will." I shrugged.

"No!!! Then she'll think we're helpless and can't fight out own battles..." Pleaded Apple Bloom.

"Yeah! And we're not babies!" Pouted Scootaloo, crossing her hooves.

"Then... why do I feel like crying?" Asked Sweetie Belle.... Damn it broke my heart seeing her like that...

"I'm going inside to help with the food. Are you girls coming... Or...?" I asked.

"No. We're just gonna go sulk in the Clubhouse." Said Apple Bloom. I went inside to check on the food.

"How's it coming?" I asked. I saw Creature in an apron, frantically whisking things and jumping from station to station.

"Ah told Creature to bake some apple fritters. And then just watched the poor colt unravel." Chuckled AJ.

"You sly mare." I said, holding in a laugh.

"You're doing fine Creature!" I exclaimed, still holding in a laugh.

"Thank you! I think they're almost done!" He exclaimed.

"Listen, I have some flour sacks out by the girls Clubhouse. Could you bring one in? We used the last of this one on the 5th batch." She chuckled. Big Mac looked like he was about to burst into tears from holding in laughter and Granny Smith was hiding it behind some knitting.

"Sure. I'll be back." I chuckled. As I was getting the flour, I decided to check in on the girls.

"I still can't believe she ruined our pumpkin float." Said Scootaloo, angrily.

"I still can't believe I'm related to such a big stinkin' bully!" Exclaimed Apple Bloom.

"What are we gonna do?" Sighed Sweetie Belle.

"We're gonna build a new float, that's what"" Said Apple Bloom with determination.

"Why bother? She'll probably just ruin that one, too." Mumbled Scootaloo dejectedly.

"We could always tell Applejack." Suggested Sweetie Belle with a shrug. I saw the other two practically remembering physically what Babs said.

"No!" Yelled Scootaloo and Apple Bloom.

"We're not gonna be a bunch of tattle-tales! Besides, she's only here a couple of weeks. We'll just avoid her like the plague until she goes home." Suggested Apple Bloom.

"Avoid her. Yeah, how hard can that be?" Asked Scootaloo. They exited the Clubhouse, singing. I left them to it and went inside the Farmhouse. Creature and I had something to eat but the girls took their meal in the Clubhouse. Creature and I helped out AJ a little more the next day.

"She's just a bad, bad seed!" As I was about to exit the Farmhouse, suddenly three singing, soaking wet fillies came flying through the door and landed in my arms.

"Well, hi girls." I smiled.

"Hey Ego." They mumbled as I put them down. I began clapping slowly.

"I like your singing. You have a lot of talent. Still having problems?" I asked.

"Yeah." They all nodded. I sighed.

"You girls go dry off. Dinner is in an hour." I said.

"We'll be at the Clubhouse." Said Apple Bloom, walking out. As they went I had to follow them anyway to bring in another bag of flour.

"Babs may have run us out of town, but at least we still have the club–" Began Apple Bloom.

"Hey! What're you doing at my clubhouse?" Asked Babs, who was leaning on their balcony.

" Y- y- your clubhouse?!" Yelled Scootaloo, she managed to gain flight for a minute... "This is our clubhouse!" She yelled again.

"Well, it was yours, and now it's mine." Stated Babs smugly.

"And mine." Came the grey bully's voice.

"And mine." Spoke the pink bully.

"That's not fair, Babs! We never did anything to you!" Whined Apple Bloom.

"And let's keep it that way. Now scram, crybabies!" Exclaimed Babs, raising the drawbridge... I clenched my fists.

"Bump, bump, sugar-lump, rump!" They sang, doing some moves. At the end they bumped flanks and Babs covered her Cutie Mark-less flank.

They all laughed. Sweetie Belle began to take deep breaths, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo got an umbrella out and Sweetie Belle began crying. It did truly break my heart... It appears I've grown attached to these Ponies, more than I planned to. They all went back to the Farmhouse with me and sat in Apple Bloom's room. I was bringing their dinner up when I stopped to listen to them.

"That Babs has really gone too far this time!" exclaimed Apple Bloom. I tended to agree.

"Kicked out of our own clubhouse!" Exclaimed Scootaloo incredulously.

"And my own bed!" Added Apple Bloom.

"Seriously?" Asked Scootaloo.

"Super-seriously." Asserted Apple Bloom.

"We need to talk to Applejack." Reiterated Sweetie Belle.

"No!" Repeated Apple Bloom and Scootaloo.

"Rarity?" Asked Sweetie Belle.

"No!" They said again.

"Twilight?" Tried Sweetie Belle.

"No, no, no! We need to fight back!" Exclaimed Apple Bloom. I took that moment to enter.

"Yeah! Fight back! How're we gonna do that?" Asked Scootaloo as I knocked on their door.

"Girls? Your dinner." I said I sat on the bed and placed it down. I held Sweetie Belle's head into my side and she cried into me. Damn, I think my heart's not even functioning anymore... It's in so many pieces.

"What did you hear?" Asked Apple Bloom.

"All of it. And I agree." I spoke.

"You do?" Asked Scootaloo.

"I'm going to let you girls in on a secret." I told them.

"What?" Asked Sweetie Belle, looking at me with those heart-melting eyes...

"I used to be a bully." I said.

"Ya did?" Asked Apple Bloom.

"Back when I was at the Academy, I was the bully's bully. The head honcho. I was responsible for people being kicked out, getting in trouble, being embarrassed and even beaten up. I was the worst of the worst." I said.

"What? You? Mr. Kind goody-two-hooves himself?" Asked Scootaloo, Apple Bloom nudged her hard. But I began laughing.

"I suppose I deserve that." I chuckled. "But yes. I used to be a horrible person, or Pony in your case. And you know what bullies hate more than anything?" I asked.

"What?" Asked Apple Bloom.

"A taste of their medicine." I said.

"He's right!" Exclaimed Scootaloo.

"I suppose..." Agreed Sweetie Belle, who had calmed down.

"But how?!" Asked Scootaloo.

"By makin' her the guest of honor at the Summer Harvest Parade!" Exclaimed Apple Bloom.

"Yeah!" Gasped Scootaloo before realising what Apple Bloom had said "Wait, what?" She asked.

"When you look up 'embarrassed' in the dictionary..." Began Apple Bloom with an evil chuckle. "Her face will be there!" She yelled.

I decided to see what they had in store for Babs Seed. So i waited for them to make their move.

"Moo! Moo!" said Scootaloo

"Moo! Moo!" Said Sweetie Belle.

Apple Bloom looked out of the window and looked at a cow. It shook its head and gestured to Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo. Apple Bloom nodded and proceeded to sneak out. They headed to the barn and to the scavenged remains of their float. Sweetie Belle took out a few rolls of cloth from a bag.

"Are those from the Carousel Boutique?" Asked Apple Bloom.

"Yup." Confirmed Sweetie Belle.

"Excellent." Chuckled Apple Bloom. Scootaloo took some kind of dust on her hoof and blew it over Sweetie Belle. It turned her gold!!

"Ooh!" She exclaimed, admiring herself.

" Luster dust from Sugarcube Corner. They use it for decorating cakes." Explained Scootaloo.

"That must be what Rarity uses on her emergency edible boots!" Realised Sweetie Belle.

"The gears and bands for the moving mechanism, my tools and stuff... Did you bring the thingfrom the place?" Asked Scootaloo.

"What's that?" Asked Sweetie Belle.

"Granny Smith's kitchen timer." Stated Apple Bloom.

"What's that for?" Quizzed Sweetie Belle.

"You'll see!" Giggled Scootaloo in a sing-song voice.

"C'mon, y'all, let's get to it. We only got a few hours before mornin', and this thing has to look so good, Babs won't be able to resist wanting to ride in it!" Exclaimed Apple Bloom. They began to work on their float as I watched. I think this plan was going to be good. Near the end as Scootaloo was working on the breaks beneath the float, she came out and there was a picture of a spanner on her flank. Apple Bloom ran her hoof over it, revealing it to be an oil mark.

"Is this it?" Asked Apple Bloom.

"I think... we're a go." Yawned Scootaloo.

"Good, 'cause we'd better get out of here before Babs finds us." Agreed Sweetie Belle tiredly.

"Cutie Mark Crusaders, ho!" They all high-hooved and we all went to bed.


The next day was the parade I was standing near the edge of the crowd. I saw the girls preparing their float.

"Hot carrot crêpes! Get 'em here, get 'em hot!" Exclaimed a salespony.

Babs came over and saw the CMC.

"Wooahhhhh..." She said in awe.

"Isn't it smashing?" Asked Sweetie Belle, receiving panicked looks from the others. "No! I-I didn't mean smashing! I mean... Isn't it a hit?" She asked, more panic. "No! No, I- No! No hitting! I meant–" She shut up as Babs rolled her eyes.

"Well, don't even think about riding it, Babs." Said Scootaloo. A pause. She nudged Sweetie. Hard. Apple Bloom placed a mattress down.

"Ow!" Exclaimed Sweetie Belle. She then reached inside the float and turned something on.

"You had your chance." Continued Scootaloo. They all went to get in but Babs quickly pushed them, and they landed on the mattress with sly grins.

"See ya later, Cutie Mark Crybabies!" Teased Babs, closing the door..

"The timer set?" Whispered Apple Bloom. Sweetie nodded.

"Teach her to fool with the Cutie Mark Crusaders!" Exclaimed Sweetie. I saw Applejack right behind them.

"Y'all are letting Babs ride in your golden apple float?" She asked.

"Yeah. We thought she deserved to be the... Centre of attention." Chuckled Apple Bloom.

"Well, that's just super sweet of y'all, makin' Babs feel so special. Y'know, after all the heartache she's been havin' in Manehattan." Informed AJ, giving each of them a balloon.

Uh oh...

"Heartache?" Asked Apple Bloom.

"Well, I didn't say nothin' 'cause I didn't want her to feel singled out, but there's been some bullies back in Manehattan just been teasin' her to pieces for her blank flank." Explained Applejack.

"T-t-t-teased?" Stuttered Scootaloo.

"B-Bullies?!" Asked Sweetie Belle.

"Yup. She came up to the farm to get away from all her problems back home. I'm so proud of y'all. You've done a good deed." Said Applejack as went over to the other girls... I was sorta worried now...

"So that's why she jumped in when Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon started giving us a hard time." I heard Scootaloo say.

"She didn't want to be bullied like at home, so she decided to be a bully instead!" Realised Apple Bloom.

"And now we've turned into bullies too!" Concluded Sweetie Belle.

"What do we do?!" Asked all the CMC.

"Nice float, Babs." i heard the filly i now knew as Diamond Tiara say as i stood with the girls, who were greeting me. with hugs, of course.

"Snagged it from those whiny baby blank flanks." informed Babs.

"Too cool for mule, Babs." spoke Diamond Tiara. I saw a mule in the crowed lower his sunglasses

"We gotta stop that float!" Exclaimed Apple Bloom and the CMC began to run over to us.

"Applejack, quick you have to–" Started Apple bloom almost inaudibly over the band.

"Huh?" asked Applejack.

"Quick, you have to help us–" Apple Bloom tried again.

"What?" Asked Applejack.

"We booby-trapped it!" Yelled Apple Bloom as the band stopped... It then started again.

"Babs! Bully! Payback! No time to explain! We've just gotta get Babs out of that float!" Exclaimed Scootaloo as they all began to run and push past Ponies in the crowd. I began to follow them.

"Sorry!" Apologised Apple Bloom.

"'Scuse me! Ah, whoops." Said Scootaloo. They all stopped as they saw Pinkie's float go past.

"Whoa!" Exclaimed Apple Bloom.

"Pinkie Pie, let us in!" Asked Scootaloo.

"Funny joke!" Laughed Pinkie.

"No, really! Let- us- in!" enunciated Apple Bloom

"Ohhh! Here!" She exclaimed and dropped a rope ladder. Then the CMC climbed inside. The float then took off at speed after Babs.

"Babs! You gotta get out of that float!" Exclaimed Apple Bloom as they were next to each other.

"You're not getting your float back, crybabies!" Teased Babs again.

"But it's booby tra–" Began Sweetie Belle before Babs slammed her float into Pinkie's and it veered out of control.

"Veggie salad!" Yelled Pinkie.

"Huh?" Asked Apple Bloom.

"Veggie salad!" Yelled Pinkie again. The float then crashed.

"Veggie salad." Sighed Pinkie, eating some of her float.

"Seriously?" Asked Apple Bloom. They then took off after Babs' float.

"Hey! Don't leave me!" Yelled Pinkie. "Leaf me!" She laughed.

I saw the float begin to speed toward the cliff edge into the lake.

"Babs! Babs!" Yelled Apple Bloom. She CMC jumped in and knocked her out of the float, saving her.

"Oooh, sweet applesauce!" Yelled Apple Bloom. The float hit the mud and began to sink. I looked over the cliff and saw the CMC climb up.

"Maybe we'll get our Cutie Marks in stupidest ideas of all time." Groaned Apple Bloom. Somepony photographed them and the girls ran over.

"Are y'all okay?" Asked Applejack as they climbed the rest of the way.

"Yeah... we're fine." Spoke Sweetie Belle.

"No sweat." Brushed off Scootaloo.

"After I'd been so mean to ya... you saved me!" Exclaimed Babs.

"About that..." Sighed Apple Bloom. We took them back to the farm and began to give them a bath. The girls explained to Babs that they didn't deserve her thanks.

"I don't get it! I saw it all happen! You pushed me out just when the float was about to head into the lake!" Exclaimed Babs.

"Except... we were the reason it was headed into the lake." Explained Scootaloo as AJ poured more water over them.

"We booby trapped the float." Admitted Sweetie Belle.

"Y'see Babs, we were tryin' to get you back for bein' a big bully..." Said Apple Bloom. I noticed Applejack's expression of confusion and concern.

"But then Applejack told us about how you were being bullied back in Manehattan." Continued Scootaloo.

"And we figured out you were just doing it to avoid getting picked on in Ponyville. But, by then... we were the ones being bullies. And... Oh, why does life have to be so ironic?!" Screamed Sweetie, hitting the water.

"Life's a bitch." I shrugged.

"Guess what we're trying to say is..." Began Apple Bloom...

"We're sorry." They all said.

"I'm sorry too." Said Babs after blowing her fringe again.

"Y'know, this all could've been avoided if y'all just came to me in the very beginning." Stated Applejack with a sigh.

"That's what I kept on saying!" Exclaimed Sweetie. The other two looked sheepish.

"So... can we... start over?" Asked Babs.

"Definitely." Nodded Apple Bloom.

"Yeah." Agreed Scootaloo.

"Hey! We're making sure you're OK!" Exclaimed Twilight as the others came over.

"We're fine." Nodded Apple Bloom.

"I don't get it though. Why d'ya do somethin' like that?" Asked Applejack.

"I... May or may not have told them to..." I said.

"You?!" Asked Applejack, confused.

"You see... Back during my days at the Academy, I did horrible things to the other recruits. I guess... I never got over it. Never faced that part of myself again. I never wanted to. I guess now I have, and I know that that isn't me any more... It feels better." I nodded. On Babs last day we headed back to the train station. Creature took some money and wanted to go shopping in Manehatten as well as escort Babs to school for a while.

"So you promise you're gonna start our Manehattan branch of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, right?" Asked Apple Bloom.

"Yeah." Nodded Babs. "And I promise to keep talking to my big sis about the teasing back home." Said Babs to AJ.

"Good. And if you have any problems, we've got your back too, y'hear?" Said Applejack, pulling us all close.

"Indeed. Creature will escort you to school for a while."

"So you're leaving huh? Great! Now we're stuck here with these lame blank flanks." Came the voice of Diamond Tiara. Babs got angry.

"Hey! That's not how you talk to my friends!" Exclaimed Babs.

"F-friends?" Asked Silver Spoon, in shock.

"Yeah, you got a problem with that?" Asked Babs.

"Well, what if I do? What are you gonna do about it?" Asked Tiara. Babs looked back at the worried faces of the Apples.

"Tell your mothers about your bad attitudes!" Threatened Babs. The two bullies shook their heads frantically. Babs stepped forward and they both slipped into a pig sty.

"I'm sure gonna miss that bad seed." Spoke Sweetie.

"Bad seed? I thought y'all were friends now?" Asked Applejack.

"No, see, first we called her 'bad seed' as in actually a bad seed, but now she's bad as in good. Get it?" Asked Sweetie after explaining to Applejack.

"Yea... No." Concluded Applejack, laughing with the CMC and myself.

I went to Twilight's and now also my house, Golden Oaks and asked Spike to take a letter.

(Dear Princess Celestia, today I had to face some hard truths about myself. It wasn't easy facing up about the person I once was, but learned you have to face up, and accept that part of yourself. If you don't, the guilt will eat you up from the inside out. I am enjoying my time in Ponyville so far, and the experience has been most enlightening. How are Princess Luna and yourself faring? I look forward to the banquet next week to accompanying Princess Luna. I miss you both greatly. Yours lovingly, Tyrath Kyelinth.)

"Sounds like you had one heck of a day!" Exclaimed Twilight.

"You can say that again." I chuckled. I sighed as I prepared to rest up...