"Come on... Come on... Come... ON...!"
"You can do it Twilight! Please!"
Twilight's horn glows brighter, and brighter, the purple alicorn pouring all the magic she possesses in it. Before her is a mirror, just a simple mirror big enough for her reflection to appear entirely. A swirling purple vortex appears in it, first as small as her hoof, but growing with each seconds.
Behind her is a white unicorn with well groomed purple mane and tail, a smile forming in her muzzle. "Yes! Yes! It works!"
"Continue Twilight!" says a small purple dragon with a green belly beside her.
But as everything seems to be working, the vortex suddenly starts to lose in size. Twilight tries to stabilise it, but she can't stand on her hooves anymore, and before long, she falls on her belly, and the vortex disappears.
Taking her breath, she says "S-sorry... Rarity. I thought I had it."
Rarity sighs in sorrow behind her, a tear falling from her left eyes, before she takes a big breath to regain herself as the dragon pats her leg. "It's alright darling, you have done all you could. At least, this time, you were able to open a vortex, even if only for a few seconds."
"Yes. This shows that I am in the right track. Before long, I will bring back Sweetie Belle. I may take a few more days, or weeks, but I will bring her back."
"I know Twilight. I trust you. And thank you Spike, I'm alright."
"Sorry to say this, but you are wrong about being in the right track. The train you took doesn't lead to where you want, but right into a pit." says a voice behind them. A voice they recognize without problem.
The two ponies and the dragon turn around to find a yellow pegasus with a pink mane beside a tall creature that is none other than a draconequus, having the head of a pony with the antler of a deer and the blue horn of a goat on it. His eyes are yellow with different sized red pupils, and he also has a goat beard, and a long fang. His right arm is the one of a lion, his left one is a claw, his right leg is from a lizard, and the left is from a goat. He also possesses a pegasus wing, a bat wing, and the tail of a dragon with a white tuff at the end. He seems... nervous.
Rarity says "Oh Fluttershy, thank Celestia, you finally found Discord!"
"Sorry Rarity." says the pegasus in a small voice. "He didn't want to come, and I had to use the Stare to convince him."
Rarity raises an eyebrow at Discord. "And can I ask... 'why'?"
"Oh, you know, because I had my reasons." answers Discord.
"Wait." interrupts Twilight. "What did you mean? I'm not in the right track?"
"That's exactly what I said. You should know by now that mirrors only lead to alternate versions of the same dimension, like where your friend mini Sunbutt lives."
"But it's the only way that we know how to open portals to other dimensions! Does this mean that Sweetie Belle is not in another Equestria?"
A green flashing O appears above her head with the sound of a bell.
"Exactly! And you know what this means? You lost all this time... for nothing!"
Twilight's eye twitches. "I don't understand, I was trying to use the mirror portal to create a teleportation spell that could teleport me directly in Canterlot High School! How could she end up in a dimension that is not even an alternate Equestria?!"
"Because your spell has gone BOOM!" Discord answers, making his head explode at the 'BOOM'. "And you know how spells that explode can cause mind blowing results, when it's not just blowing results. It's one of those cases."
Twilight takes a few deep breaths, like her foalsitter, Cadance, teached her. "Alright. Yes. I understand. But now you are there. You can use your magic to open a portal and-" She is suddenly interrupted by her mouth zipping shut.
"This is where I must stop you. Because, yes, I can bring her back. But the thing is..." He looks at Fluttershy, gulping. "I will not."
A white hoof then pulls him down by the beard, and he find himself facing a really angry Rarity.
"And why, do tell, you will not bring my sister back if you can?"
"You will not like the answer."
"I already don't like your answer."
"Please Discord," pleads Fluttershy. "Tell us at least why."
Discord teleports away from Rarity with a snap of his lion paw, then sighs.
"First, I must tell you something. Have you remarked how everything, or almost, seems linked?"
"How so?" asks Twilight, her mouth not zipped anymore thanks to Spike.
"Easy." He raises his lion paw toward the ceiling and unrolls a big blank paper from it. On the paper, an image of Discord on a throne with Celestia and Luna shooting a rainbow at him appears. "I was the ruler of Equestria, and Celestia and Luna used the elements to stop me. At the same time, I planted my plunder seeds, hoping that they would free me. Of course, because of the Tree of Harmony, it didn't work." Then the image passes to him getting out of stone. "One thousand and whatever years later, I'm free, imprisoned again, and released in the hope of making me one of your friends."
The image changes again, this time to Twilight, wings appearing on her. "Not long after, you become an alicorn..." The image now shows the plunder vines attacking Ponyville. "Only for my Plunder Vine to finally go on their rampage, a few hundred years too late. And you are forced to give up the Elements of Harmony to save the Tree of Harmony, and stop my vines. In exchange..." The image shows a familiar box. "it gave you that box. Box that..." The image shows Twilight and her friends blasting Tirek with the Rainbow power. "coincidently contains the power to stop the rampage of the next villain: Tirek. And to open the box..." The image now shows Discord giving Twilight Tirek's pendentif. "Well, you know what I have done. After that, you gained your palace with that map that gives you your Friendship Missions, making sure that you can do your princess job by spreading friendship everywhere. Now you see what I mean? This is what we call 'Fate'. And I didn't even include Nightmare Moon leading to you getting the Elements, Sombra and the Crystal Empire that proved to Celestia that you were ready to become a princess, or the Changelings that will probably have a role in the future."
"I... I didn't even think about this, but you are right! This is like an event leads to another, and..." Her mouth is zipped back, making her deadpan at him.
"But what does that have to do with Sweetie Belle, and why you will not bring her back ?" asks impatiently Spike, getting Rarity's words out of her mouth.
"Well, let's take a step back in this Fate story." The image changes again, showing Twilight entering the mirror portal. "The Element of Magic is stolen by Sunset Shimmer, and Twilight discovered the mirror portal. After Tirek, Twilight got her castle, and she brought the mirror in it. Note how it links to everything I have said until now. Then Twilight started to study it, and TADAA ! In the middle of an experiment, Sweetie Belle comes, causes Twilight's magic to go BOOM, and she ends up in another dimension."
"Alright." says Twilight, her mouth unzipped again. "So that was destined to happen. So why do you refuse to intervene ?"
"Because destiny has led her to that dimension, and I'm not sure that bringing her back now is a good idea. I can't see the future, so I don't know if I have a role to play. All I know is that this may be important for her. I have seen a little of what she has gone through, and let me tell you, this may be big."
"Why? What happened to her?!" asks Rarity with fear.
"The exact same thing that happened to you actually! In a more epic proportion! She is your sister alright."
"She has gone on an adventure and helped save the world from a being of darkness!"
"Wait! Let me show you!"
With a snap of his paw, a blank canvas appears before him, and Discord is now with a brush in his lion paw, a palette of paint on his claw, and a multicolored beret on his head. He soaks the brush in the paints, and starts to paint on the canvas. A few brush swings later, and he shows his creation to the ponies and dragon.
This is a painting cut into eight sections, one big round at the center with the seven others around it. In a clockwise direction, starting at the top, they can see a bottom view of Sweetie Belle beside some sort of giant hamster ridden by some pink ball and bearing a parasol. The hamster uses the parasol to protect them from giant apples falling from a living tree looking angrily at them.
The second section shows Sweetie Belle on a giant boar, the filly pulling its hears while clinging to it as the boar is on its hind legs. The pink ball, wearing some cone hat and with a bomb, and the hamster, now without parasol, are in the foreground looking at the filly and the boar in worry. A big purple owl is flying above the boar in the background, and many smaller boars are around the big one.
In the third section, Sweetie is now clinging to the lure of a giant brown fish while shooting a magical beam at its mouth. The hamster and the owl are swimming after it, but the pink ball is nowhere to be seen. However, there is a blue fish the same size as them whose square shaped belly seems to hit strongly the giant one on the head, like a weight.
In the fourth, they are against some obese bipedal blue dragon with a cream colored belly that is breathing ice at the hamster and the pink ball that are running away, the pink ball on the hamster and wearing some crown made of fire. The owl is using his claws to scratch dragon's head, and the fish is slapping his tail at him. In the background, they can see Sweetie Belle with some blue blob on her back, horn facing the back of the dragon as a bomb fall on him.
In the fifth, this is again from a bottom view, where the whole group face what seems to be a living sun and a living crescent shaped moon. The sun is charging at them while the moon is jumping in the night sky, shooting stars falling toward them. Sweetie still has the blue blob on her back and her mane and tail look like Rainbow and Scootaloo's, with some electricity visible in them, and she shoots actual lightning at the charging sun. For some reason, the pink ball is now wearing a yellow cap with a blade on it.
The sixth depicts them fighting this time a giant spiked cloud with a big eye at the center and raining lightning. Sweetie is at the foreground, on the hamster's back, shooting magical beams at the eye. The pink ball is in the owl's claws, still with the yellow hat, and for some reason, the owl is now green and throws sharp feathers at the cloud's left, the fish under them. The blue blob is at the background, behind the cloud, throwing bombs at it.
The seventh one is even more crazy, somehow... They are fighting a giant penguin in royal garments armed with a big hammer. Sweetie's fur is now brown with some white and black, and her mane and tail are white with some black at the start of the tail. She is directly in front of the penguin on her hind legs, and the pink ball, now wearing a green hat and a sword, is riding her, the sword clashing with the penguin's hammer. The blue blob, the hamster, the owl, and the fish are all around the penguin, attacking him, the blue blob somehow throwing blades.
And finally, the last section at the center. The animals are nowhere to be seen, Sweetie, the pink ball, and the blue blob being the only ones present. They are flying in the night sky, facing some kind of one eyed dark being wearing a cloak and using a sword. Sweetie's mane and tail are in the colors of the rainbow, looking like Celestia's, and the pink ball is riding again on her back, this time wearing nothing but bearing a sword that seems to be made of rainbow. As for the blue blob, it is further, at the right of the dark being, with orange orbs behind it. Sweetie is shooting rainbow beams, and the pink ball has the rainbow sword ready to slash the dark being who is charging at them, sword ready to impale, and the blue blob shoots some dark lightning at it, seemingly having not much effects.
"Do you really expect us to believe that Sweetie Belle fought all those things? I mean, the living sun and moon, really?! And since when can she shoot lightning? And why is she brown in this fight against that penguin? And-" And Twilight's mouth is zipped, again. Her eye twitches.
Discord then does something she hasn't expected. "I Pinkie Promise, everything I have painted here happened. Cross my heart and hope to fly, put a cupcake in my eye. I was in the first row."
Everyone's jaws drop at this. They have to believe him after that.
"See? Now your sister is a hero!" Discord says to Rarity, a white shirt with 'I love Sweetie' written on it appearing on everyone, alongside a flag with Sweetie's head drawn on it on his claw. "You should be proud!"
And... she faints... And is splashed on the head by a bucket of chocolate milk. "EEEEK!!!"
"No time to sleep! Don't you want to party for your sister's success?"
Pinkie Pie suddenly pops from behind the mirror. "Did someone said 'party'?!"
"So, can someone explains to me what just happened?" asks Sweetie Belle.
"The king challenged Kirby into a Gourmet Race to prove that he is still the best at eating." answers Waddle Dee.
"Okay... But what is a Gourmet Race?"
"Oh! It's awesome!" shouts Waddle Dee, raising his arms. "This is, like, the most exciting event of the castle!"
"This is some sort of championship in three races, with the winner determined by points." then says Broom Sunglasses. "To put it simply, here are the rules: the racers must try to reach the goal first in each races. In the way, they must eat as much food as possible. One plate of food eaten gives one point. A Maxi Tomato gives three points. And the racer reaching the goal first gains thirty points. At the end of the three races, the points are counted and the one that has the most points win. Easypeasy. Of course, to make it more challenging, there will be traps and obstacles in the way, and in some races, there will be more than one way to reach the goal."
"And king Dedede is the unbeaten champion!" shouts again Waddle Dee.
"But don't they risk to get sick? I mean, when I run after eating, it makes me sick."
"Really?" asks Broom Sunglasses. "This never happened for any of us, and definitely not to the king."
Sweetie Belle remains silent at this. This is clearly not the kind of thing that can happen in Equestria, unless more ponies were like Pinkie Pie. The pink pony would love this.
She laughs. "This world is more and more weird."
In the end, the banquet has lasted a few more hours, with Kirby and Dedede doing some sort of eating contest. By the time Sweetie reaches her bed, she is stuffed like she has never been before. Curse that world and its delicious food. Those apple pies shouldn't exist.
"So, do you still want me to do it?" asks Discord.
"I must see that Sweetie is alright, especially after what you told us yesterday! So yes, show me!" shouts Rarity.
It's the middle of the morning in Equestria. Rarity and all her friends are in Twilight's castle, in an empty room, facing Discord. The draconequus has his arms crossed, a blank wall behind his back.
"Alright then. But remember, this will be an one way window. We will only watch her. She will not be able to see or hear us. That means that if she is in danger, you can't do anything for her. We must let her live her adventures, and I will only intervene if there is no other way. Understood?"
"Whatever! I just want to see her!"
"Good! Then..." He snaps his fingers, and everyone find themselves on a chair facing the wall with a bag of popcorn at their side. Another snap, and a portal starts to form on the wall.
"I don't like this, watching whatever will happen without being able to do anything." says Applejack, the orange earth pony mare crossing her hooves.
"You are not the only one," says Rainbow Dash, the rainbow maned cyan pegasus at her right. "Letting Sweetie having all the fun? I would much prefer being at her side kicking flanks!"
"Hopefully, she is not fighting." says Fluttershy. "I... I don't want to see a fight..."
"It's not because she is now a hero that she is fighting H24 you know?" says Discord. "You are all heroes, and yet, are you fighting all the time?"
"Nope!" answers Pinkie Pie. "We also party, and go into picnics, and help other ponies, and sell whatever we sell. Twilight reads, I bake, Applejack bucks her trees, Dashy does her awesome stuffs, Fluttershy-"
She is interrupted by Rarity putting a hoof in her mouth. "We understand, dear, you are right. Fighting is only a small part of our life. And this must be the same thing for Sweetie Belle. Villains don't pop up everydays."
"Hush! Hush! It's starting!" suddenly says Discord, putting 3D glasses on his eyes.
On the boxing ring, Cape Knight puts a Kirby dummy in front of Sweetie Belle.
"Now, show me how you use your whip." he says.
"Ok." answers Sweetie Belle. She takes the whip in her magic by the handle and attacks the dummy with it. But the whip just seems to bounce on the dummy without doing much to it. "I just can't find how to do the crack."
"Yes. I can see. I know what you have to do. I know there is a few methods to make your whip crack, but it should be easier to start with the following. First, make sure that the whip is untangled and go straight back behind you, make sure that it will not touch your hooves."
"Like that?" asks Sweetie as she does so, making the whip looks like a snake raising its head at her right.
"Yes. Now bring the whip straight up in the air. Imagine as if you were pointing your hoof to the sky, but this time, with your magic holding the whip. If you do it right, then you should be able to create a loop with it. If you are able to create a loop, then the whip will crack. Now try."
And she does. For the following minutes, she attacks the dummy, trying to do as Cape Knight has said. Until...
A cut appears in the pink fabric of the dummy.
"Yay! I did it!" shouts the filly, before she starts hopping around in joy, repeating "I did it! I did it! I did it!"
Cape Knight chuckles at that. "You sure did it. Good job. Now that you know how to use the whip, you can try other ways to make it crack, like from the side. Just remember the loop. You must always make sure that there is a part of the whip going in one direction, and the other part going in the opposite direction. Continue to practice with this dummy, I will bring more."
When Cape Knight comes back on the ring with a big bag full of dummies, it his under the sounds of many Crack! Crack! Crack! and the dummy has now much more cuts in its fabric.
With the new dummies, Sweetie tries some different things with the whip, sometime with the help of her magic. Thus, she is able to wrap the whip around a dummy, and to send it flying around her like a flail before sending it crashing on another dummy. Then she wraps it around another dummy and sends it flying in the air, where she shoots a beam at it. Before long, all the dummies are in pieces on the floor, and Sweetie takes her breath under the clapping of Cape Knight.
"I think you did well in choosing the whip," he says. "With your magic, it is an impressive weapon. Once you master it, you will be formidable."
"Thank you," says Sweetie, rubbing the back of her head.
"Now, let's try something else. You said you wanted to use magical shield, right?"
"Yes. So I can better protect myself, and others aren't forced to take the hit for me. Dedede tried to help me by throwing dummies at me, but it didn't work..."
"I see. Then start to light your horn like you do when you shoot your beams."
"Ok." A green light appears around her horn. "What now?"
"Now..." He readies his sword. "block this!" He charges at her, about to swing his sword toward her neck.
Sweetie can only gasp in surprise, before she closes her eyes, and somehow, is able to create a green shield around her. When the sword hits, the shield his destroyed, and she find herself on the floor, her horn aching.
"Y-you could have killed me!"
"I would have stopped the sword just before touching your neck." He chuckles. "At least, it worked, right? You created a shield."
"Y-yes. I did... But why didn't it work with the dummies?"
"Because dummies aren't as life threatening as a sword about to behead you. When nobody is here to teach you how something work, sometime it's best to let your instinct do the work. And a life threatening situation is the best way to make it happen. You thought you would be killed, and you let your instinct move your body." He raises his left arm toward Sweetie Belle. "What do you think?"
Sweetie smiles at him before taking his arm to get up. "I think that it was a cunning move, and that you are crazy." She then hugs him. "But thanks anyway. You really helped me." Cape Knight just laughs, and rubs Sweetie's mane. After a few seconds, she steps back. "What about the close quarter combat, or whatever?"
"Err... For that, you will have to ask a Knuckle Joe for help."
"Eh... Of course."
"Now let's continue, with a fight. There is no better way to train than a fight. Until we are called for the Gourmet Race."
"Alright!" She takes the whip in her magic. "I'm ready!"
"Then here I come!"
"And... here they go," says Applejack.
"I just can't believe what I'm seeing. My sister training and fighting! I thought it would be more for Scootaloo, not Sweetie Belle! And a whip, really?! That... That's just..."
"Barbaric?" proposes Rainbow. This makes Rarity sigh. "I think it is cool. I mean, have you seen how she sent those dummies flying around? Whatever bad guy she may face next, he will so have a bad time."
"So true!" continues Spike. "Look! She is trying to take his weapon!" Sweetie has indeed wrapped the whip around the sword of the knight, trying to pull it out of his hand. But then, the knight pulls on the whip, and Sweetie finds herself flying toward the knight, and she has to use her hooves to protect herself from his punch, sending her back. Using the momentum, she pulls again on the whip, and causes the knight to fall on the ground before she sends a magical beam at him. "Woo! Go Sweetie Belle!"
"Yeah! Go Sweetie Belle!" repeats Pinkie Pie, waving a flag with Sweetie's head drawn in it. Rarity shakes her head.
"I'm sorry Rarity," says Twilight. "It must be hard for you to see Sweetie Belle fighting like that."
"Don't be Twilight. If it's Sweetie's calling, then I will just have to get used to it, especially if it's to save the world where she is from villains like the one Discord showed us. And don't guilt yourself about it being your fault, it was an accident."
"I know... But I should have taken more precautions to make sure it doesn't happen."
"Hey! Look! Something is coming!" suddenly shouts Pinkie, pointing at the window portal.
"Sweetie Belle! Cape Knight!" screams Waddle Dee as he runs toward them. The filly and the knight stop their fight and turn in his direction.
"Waddle Dee! The race is ready?"
"Yes! They are getting at the start! Come quick!"
"We are coming!" She turns to Cape Knight. "Let's go!"
They follow Waddle Dee in the hallways of the castle until they reach a room that Sweetie has never been in before. It's full of stalls with boars that look like a fusion of Nruff and the small ones that she fought in Big Forest. Sweetie has a big smile when she understands what they are about to do. Soon enough, they pass a big door leading outside of the castle, each of them riding a boar, the filly laughing in fun. Thanks to their mounts, they quickly go down the mountain and reach the grasslands, and before long, they are at the start of the first race.
Dedede and Kirby are at the starting line, a Waddle Dee with a flag raised beside them. At the sides of the track are countless creatures from Dedede's army, counting Waddle Dees, Waddle Doos, Blade and Sword Knights, some sort of living snowmen, Sparkys, Bronto Burts, and much much more! Before the starting line in the sky, supported by a couple dozens of Bronto Burts, is a giant screen showing the two racers. Around the public are four loudspeakers on wood towers.
A Waddle Dee and a Waddle Doo riding two Bronto Burts and holding microphones then come above the tracks.
The Waddle Dee speaks. "Welcome everyone, to today's big event..."
"The Gourmet Race!" finishes the Waddle Doo. "Today's challenger is none other than Dreamland's hero: Kiiiiirby!"
"But he will have a hard time, because he is facing the invincible Gourmet Champion himself, the king of Dreamland, Dededeeeee!"
The public yells as loudly as possible at his name, and Dedede waves his arms at them.
"Now we must remember the rules." says Waddle Dee. "This is a three races championship! No fighting between the racers! Each food eaten is one point, and the Maxi Tomatoes are three points! The first racer reaching the goal gains thirty points! The racer with the most points at the end of the three races wins! This will challenge both your speed and your gluttony!"
"I WANT!!!" screams Pinkie Pie.
"Are the racers ready?" says Waddle Doo. "Good!" Waddle Dee takes a horn and readies himself to blow inside it. "3! 2! 1!"
The Waddle Dee beside the racers swings down the flag, the speakers starts to blast a catchy song, and the race starts. Kirby is already at the lead, and before long, the two racers are gone, forcing the public to follow them with the screen.
Kirby is at the head and eats everything in the way, letting nothing for Dedede until they reach a wall of star blocks that they have to destroy. All Kirby has to do is inhaling one, and spit it at the bloc behind it to open the way for him, while Dedede is forced to use his hammer to open the way. Turns out there was food hidden inside the blocks, and Dedede gets his first points. The same thing happens with a second wall, giving Kirby a big lead. The puffball is able to reach the goal with a big advance, eating two tomatoes in the way, much to the penguin's frustration.
"You haven't won yet!" he says. "There is still two races!"
"Kirby won the first race easily! His small size helped him passing the walls of blocks and left the king in the dust! But king Dedede hasn't said the last word!" says Waddle Dee.
Five minutes later, they are at the starting line of the second race, the Waddle Dee with the flag beside them.
"Let's start the second race. This gets tough!" says Waddle Dee. "3! 2! 1!"
Flag down, the two racers start the second race, Kirby yet again at the lead. But there are many bumps in the tracks, forcing him to jump. His jumps going farther, Dedede takes the lead and leave Kirby behind. The puffball is quickly able to catch him thanks to his speed, and between the jumps of Dedede and Kirby's speed, none of them is able to stay long at the lead. They eventually reach a ladder that Dedede climbs in record time while Kirby continues forward, passing a small wall of blocks. But when he reaches the goal, Dedede suddenly falls before him thanks to one last jump and passes the goal first.
Dedede does with his finger the same sign as his symbol in victory, while Kirby looks at the ground in sorrow.
"And this round goes to the king!" yells the Waddle Dee.
"This one was pretty intense! We didn't know who would reach the goal first until the very last second! This is why I love this sport!" says Waddle Doo.
"But the king must watch out. So far, Kirby as still eaten far more food than him. Everything will be decided with the last race!" continues the Waddle Dee.
"Oh my gosh! I didn't know it would be so fun!" shouts Sweetie Belle in excitation. "Oh... I don't know who to cheer!"
"See?!" shouts Waddle Dee beside her. "I told you! This is the best event!"
Five minutes later, and place to the third race! Somewhere rather weird, with colored bells inside bubbles, and the flour seemingly made of colored kid blocks.
"This is it guys!" yells Waddle Doo. "The decisive race! In this one, the racers will have to give everything! They will have to watch out for the traps, and the obstacles will be many! Ready everyone? 3! 2! 1!"
And Kirby yet again starts the race at the lead, but trying to take a Maxi Tomato out of the way, he gives the occasion for Dedede to take the lead. But the penguin reaches a row made of star blocks that he has to destroy to continue. Kirby is able to pass by a small opening above the blocks and leave the king in the dust, only to reach a wall of spikes and, being too fast to stop, gets hurt. To continue, he has to fly up, then jump above small ponds that could slow him if he falls in. It's when he takes another Maxi Tomato that Dedede passes him, jumping right in the hole beside the tomato, only to be stopped by a few row of blocks that disappear only by walking on them, and the two have to wait together that all the blocks disappear.
They find themselves having to choose between two ways, and Kirby chooses the one above while Dedede choose the one below. Dedede has to destroy a wall of star blocks before joining Kirby who just passes another wall, taking the lead again. Kirby has to fly up again, avoiding a block of spikes in the way, before jumping in another hole and falling in a pond where there is another tomato. Bad idea, because Dedede yet again takes the occasion to be at the lead, and the two of them reach a water section, with somehow some parts without water. Once out of the water, they eventually reach another intersection,one way after another where they have to fly up, Kirby at the lead. The puffball takes the second way, and the king takes the first two seconds later. When Kirby reaches the top, he sees that he has taken the bad way, because Dedede is slightly before him, and he quickly runs to catch him. They are elbow to elbow, but then the king trips and fall, head right on the goal line just before Kirby passes it.
"And this round is yet again for king Dedede! This makes two races won for him!" yells Waddle Doo.
"I really through that Kirby would pass the goal first for a moment here. But the king tripping stopped that!"
"But this doesn't mean victory! Remember everyone, we still must count the points!"
A few minutes later, the two racers are back at the start of the first track.
"Kirby winning a race, he starts with thirty ! King Dedede winning two races, he starts with sixty! Now let's see," says the Waddle Dee.
The screen turns black, and a white line separates it in two vertically. Dedede's face with the number 60 appears in one, and Kirby's face with the number 30 appears in the other. And then, the numbers start to go up. A few seconds later, they finally stop.
Kirby : 164
King Dedede : 155
"And..." says Waddle Dee, shocked. "And... the winner is... Kirby..."
"Kirby is the new Gourmet Champion," says Waddle Doo.
"NOOO!!! I can't believe it! I have won two races! How could I lose?!" screams Dedede, making a tantrum. He then feels someone hugging him. When he looks down, he sees that it is Sweetie Belle.
"I'm sorry that you have lost Dedede," she says. "But look at the score! You have lost only by nine points ! That was a close call!"
"Yeah... I still would have prefered winning."
"I know. But what counts is that we had fun, right? Don't tell me you didn't have fun."
Dedede smiles at her, before chuckling. "I still would have prefered winning."
Sweetie laughs. "I know. But hey! That means that you will have to take back your title! And we will have more fun!"
"You are right!" Dedede turns to Kirby. "You hear that? I will train hard! And we will race again! And this time, I will win!"
"Poyo!" says Kirby, determined.
"Mph! Let's go everyone! I need to train!"
The king departs, followed by his whole army yelling his name in repetition. The only ones staying behind with Kirby are Sweetie Belle and Waddle Dee. Once they are far away, the filly hugs the puffball.
"That was awesome Kirby. Congratulation for winning," she says.
"Yeah..." says Waddle Dee. "I still can't believe that the king lost, but... good game. But you will see! Next time, this will not be the same thing!"
"By the way Kirby..." continue Waddle Dee. "Thank you for watching Sweetie Belle while the king was... you know... possessed. I... I owe you. We all owe you."
Kirby smiles. "Poyo!" he shouts, raising an arm.
Waddle Dee nods at him. "Let's go, Sweetie Belle." He starts to follow the others.
"I'm coming!" She turns to Kirby. "Listen Kirby. I'm starting to train how to use a weapon, and to use more spells with my magic. Like this, if another villain appears, I will better be able to help you without you or others having to risk your life to protect me. But this is also so I can fight you one day for real, not like last time at the Fountain of Dream." She laughs at remembering what happened. "Just know this, Kirby. Whether we are fighting together, or each other, I consider you a friend." She raises her right hoof toward Kirby.
The puffball understands what she wants, and he bumps her hoof, smiling. "Poyo."
Sweetie nods, smiling too, before she joins Waddle Dee, leaving Kirby going back to his home. She then bumps Waddle Dee on the arm. "Told you he is friendly."
"Well, I propose we end this session here," says Discord, closing the window portal.
"Wait, I don't understand. They are friends, and yet they will fight each other?" asks Rainbow Dash.
"This is what we call 'friendship in rivalry', like you and AJ when you race each other, but there, it's in battle," says Pinkie. "Now excuse me, but I have to go prepare a Gourmet Race!"
"What?! Pinkie! Outside of you, nopony will be able to go in a race like that! They would end up too stuffed, or too sick to reach the goal!" points Twilight.
"Oh, I'm sure I can find ponies that could participate! And I can always replace the full plates of food by something else, like... like candies! Yes! Candies will work! And this will be the best race ever!" And she is gone.
"I wouldn't mind participating in one. What do you think, AJ?" says Rainbow Dash.
"I think that you would lose," the earth pony answer.
"Oh yeah?! You are on!"
The two exit the room, leaving Rarity, Twilight, Fluttershy, Spike and Discord behind. The pegasus hugs Rarity. "She is alright. She seems to be with good friends, they will watch her."
"Yes, I saw. But she is my sister, I'm still worried for her even if she is not alone. This is worst, knowing that she will fight, but at least, she will not fight alone. And I can see she trusts this Kirby, so I'm trusting him."
"They did fought together an abomination of darkness," says Discord. "It would be hard not to trust each other after something like that." He then goes beside Rarity's ear and whisper to her. "I ship them."
"This is my sister, you ruffian! As much as they are adorable together, Kirby must be too old for her!"
"Actually, he is younger than her."
Meanwhile, Twilight is reading some notes she has written during the race, hairs popping out of her mane and eye twitching. "How did this penguin inflates his belly to the point of flying? How can this pink ball eat foods as big as him like that? How could he actually eat dozens of time what must be his weight, and not get bigger? How could this water float? How could those things talk without a mouth? How...? How...?! HOW...?!!"