My Little Ninja

by NoMoreNormalcy


5. Crusading

Randy woke up to the bright guest room in Twilight’s castle, the light reflecting from the walls through the windows was almost unnaturally bright. Groaning, “Oh, why the juice does it have to be so bright?” He then rolled to his right and promptly fell on the floor. “Right, forgot. Pony.” As he picked himself up from the floor, he noticed Twilight was standing in the doorway with a look of concern.

“Are you okay? I was about to wake you up when I heard you hit the ground!”

“I’m cool! I’m cool!” He shook himself. “I’m good, little sore, but okay! What’s up?”

“I just wanted to let you know Spike and I made breakfast and you’re welcome to join us. I don’t think you’ve met my student, Starlight Glimmer yet?”

“Star-who now?”

Twilight deadpanned. “Well I supposed I should have guessed that reaction. Maybe you just haven’t seen her in the halls yet, you were out of it from the party.”

“Heck yeah! I party hard!”

The princess turned, and started for the hallway, “Well then you might want to hurry. We made pancakes!”

“Yes!” Randy hoofpumped.

Once in the dining room, Randy was introduced to a lighter purple unicorn named Starlight Glimmer. After some polite conversations, he finally remembered what he wanted to ask the princess. “So, Twilight?”

“Yes, Randy?” She responded idly as she ate the remainder of her pancakes.

“So, say you had some enemies, but you saw them get super defeated. What would it mean when someone tells you ‘when a threat appears thwarted is when a- you are at your weakest’?”

She stopped eating her meal for a moment with a thoughtful look. Starlight was the one to speak up. “Sounds like whomever is either really cryptic or trying to pull your leg.”

“I’ve got it! It means that even though they are dealt with, there are still other threats and you shouldn’t think you’re totally done!” Twilight beamed.

Randy smile widened upon hearing Twilight’s epiphany, “That sounds great! Great. Guess I -uh- gotta let a friend know when I get back home. Oh, by the way, how’s that going?”

Twilight’s mood suddenly soured. “I can’t find him, I don’t even know how to get to his place. I asked Fluttershy and she said that he always pops her in over to his dimension.” Using her magic, she played with the remainder of her food, fuming. “On top of that, he’s been dropping random notes, teasing me. He’s been really ornery, lately, and I’m not sure why.”

“Huh. Weird. Anyways, I’m going to head out, explore more of town, figure things out. See ya, thanks for breakfast!” With that, Randy galloped for the front door.

Once outside, he looked around before noting the coast clear and closed his eyes to focus. “Okay, maybe if I dial my senses up a bit I can-”

“Hi Randy!” The chorus of the greeting and the increased senses randy had at the time caused him to launch into the air and then onto his back. The trio of fillies from the other day surrounded his vision. “Oh, hey! Scootaloo, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle, right?” A nod from all of them. “Great, nice to see you again!” He then righted himself, his jacket still around his waist from the previous day flapping in place. Sweetie Belle gasped. “What, what is it? Something happen?”

Sweetie Belle then lifted his jacket at his right flank. “Wait, you don’t have a cutie mark?!” This remark elected a gasp from the other two girls.

“Okay, yeah, I don’t have one, though I figured I aught to hang out and relax and not worry about that.”

“But why not?” Apple Bloom asked.

“Because I- uh, well- you see…”

“Do you need help finding it?” Scootaloo asked.

“Well, maybe I- uh…”

“We can help!” Sweetie Belle shouted.

“We’re the Cutie Mark Crusaders, yay!” All three girls cheered before they took turns explaining.

“We help ponies with finding thar cutie marks!”

“Or help them figuring them out over again!”

“And you are a perfect client for us to help!”

“You sure? I mean, I have a few skills, but that’s only because I practiced.”

“What’dya mean by that?” Apple Bloom had a look of curiosity.

“Well, I can sing all right and play keytar -it’s like a guitar and a keyboard got mashed together. I can also beat nearly any high score in any video game given time. Other than that.…” Randy trailed off.

“So,” Scootaloo interjected, “what you are saying is that we need to figure out what your talent is that is probably not those things.”

“Uh-”

“Right then!” Sweetie Belle rallied the Crusaders and Randy. “We’ve got a camp to go to!”

“Okay, sure. Sure.” He followed the girls for a few paces. “Wait, you have a camp?”


“You have a camp!”

To say that Randy was in awe was a bit of an understatement. “You girls, about four to five years or so younger than me, have a camp of your own?”

“What’s so hard to believe about that?” Scootaloo replied.

“Well- huh. Not sure. Guess you just need some space someone said you could use.” He looked around. “I guess.”

Sweetie Belle held some paint and paintbrushes in her magic field, “Let’s start you off with something simple.”


“Wow. Just. Wow.”

It was just two hours later, and the Crusaders had gone through everything from painting to poetry, woodworking to tailoring, obstacle courses to simple exercise and everything in between. However, Randy seemed to either mess it up, or was just okay at it without a cutie mark.

“Wonk,” Randy said, slamming his head on the wooden picnic table he was at from his latest scrapbooking adventure. “We even tried the things I liked and could do again. Just to see if it was a fluke!”

Apple Bloom patted his back between his shoulders, “Don’t worry, we’ll find somthin’.”

“I’ve got it!” Everypony looked at Scootaloo. Glitter and paper hung from Randy’s forehead. “Why don’t we try some extreme sports!”

“Well, I never thought I was the sports type, but I guess?” Randy shrugged at the suggestion. An orange vest hit him in the face followed up with an orange helmet placed upon his head.

“Great!” Scootaloo’s excitement could barely be contained. “We can all go with you! Saftey and all that.”

“Are we going white water rafting again?” Sweetie Belle asked. Scootaloo’s eyes darted around.

“Maybe.”

“That is something we shouldn’t NOT do! I am in!” Randy rose to his hind hooves, throwing a foreleg into the air. He only maintained this pose for about three seconds before falling backwards, tripping over the bench behind him and knocking his helmeted head on the ground. The helmet popped off due to not being fully secured. “I’m okay.”

The Crusaders had two kayaks ready for the nearby river which turned into fair rapids none too far from town. On the bank they paired up, Scootaloo with Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle with Randy. They each had their protective gear on and fully secured, oars in hoof. They hopped in, heavier ponies first and to the back.

“Though why? Why heavier pony first?” Randy inquired.

Apple Bloom responded, “So that way, the kayak doesn’t float away before any pony’s ready.”

“Well that makes sense.”

Once inside the kayaks, they then pushed themselves off the banks and started rowing with the current. “Okay,” Scootaloo explained, “we’re going to go through some rookie to novice-level rapids, before it get’s calm, so we’ll take it nice and easy.”

After rowing for about two minutes, the waters became choppy and rough. Nothing the Crusaders couldn’t handle. Sweetie Belle was giving Randy pointers with navigating the rocky river using his oar to push the kayak away from rocks and logs or just steering in the right direction.

“You’re doing pretty good! Maybe we can get the next part after a break.” Sweetie Belle had turned to face Randy, she didn’t see what was behind. Randy got a good view, however. “Randy, what’s wrong? You can’t be scared, it should be,” she paused as she turned around, “calm….”

Instead of a calm break, the river twisted and turned with sharp rocks jutting out and jagged fallen logs interspersed making a maze within the river. Reacting quickly, Randy jammed his oar into the water, steering his kayak a hard left into the bank. “Okay, I don’t know about you, but that’s no honkin’ break!” Screams interrupted whatever Sweetie was about to say. Further down the river, Scootaloo and Apple Bloom were in their kayak, desperately trying to navigate the suddenly unfamiliar river, terror in their screams. “Oh, no. Sweetie Belle, stay here.”

“But-”

“Stay here!” Randy then pulled out the ninja mask, “Also, try to keep this a secret, okay?” Standing on his hind legs, he pulled the mask over his head and the black ribbons created the suit once more. He didn’t waste time on a pose. “That river looks way dangerous, what the juice is going on? Ninja Sprint!” He galloped faster than he anticipated, though he was still lagging due to the twists the river took, knocking the remaining two Crusaders around. “Hold on! I’m coming!”

Suddenly, a few hundred feet ahead, a terrifying monster with a glowing green half mustache burst its torso out of the river, roaring and snarling.

“Oh, shoob-tastic.”