The Crystal War Book I: A Spark to Light the Dark

by NatureSpark

Ch.8 Under Dogs

~Chapter 8: Under Dogs~

Spark had been up for over an hour before anypony else stirred from their slumber. He hadn’t slept well and awoke stiff and damp with an aching in his shoulder. Not too surprising, considering that they had all spent the night huddled in an alcove between some large rocks. Inferno was the first of his companions to wake up, yawning widely and rubbing the sleep from her eyes as she approached Spark.
“Good morning. What time is it?” she asked.
“It’s like six or something,” Spark replied. “Do you want some breakfast?” He started to dig some food out of his bags with his hooves and then thought better of it. The stallion decided to give his magic another try and was pleasantly surprised when the familiar green glow surrounded an apple and lifted it out of the bag over to Inferno.
“Hey, your magic is back, congratulations,” Inferno commented. She smiled sleepily at him and snatched the apple from the air. Taking a small bite, she sat down by the fire pit. “About last night, I’m sorry we never told you that we were reporting everything to the princess and I-” Spark shook his head and cut her off in mid sentence.
“Don’t apologize, I overreacted,” he told her. “There’s no reason that Star shouldn’t be telling Luna everything that she sees and hears, especially when the country is on the brink of war. I should be apologizing to the both of you.” He smiled at the dragon and levitated an apple out for himself. Spark bit off a large piece and continued. “I guess the only reason I even cared was because I overheard you telling Draft that I could be dangerous, yesterday morning.” She looked surprised for a second.
“You heard all of that huh?” Inferno asked quietly. She avoided his gaze and took another bite of the red fruit, chewing it for a few moments while she thought. “It isn’t so much that I think you’re dangerous right now, but I saw you fighting against those ponies. As peaceful as you think you are, you have the potential to hurt ponies should you ever lose sight of what’s important. I know you’re a good pony, Spark. Just never forget that yourself, or everypony around you could get hurt.” She finished her little speech and resumed eating her simple breakfast.
Spark thought about that for a while, wondering if she was right. He wasn’t the strongest pony around or the best at magic, he couldn’t even teleport very well, but every time it came right down to him or somepony else in a fight, Spark had been the one left standing. Even before the fight with Stone. He had gotten into scuffles as a colt and the more he thought about it, the more he remembered being no worse for wear, though the other colts had often needed minor medical attention.
“I guess that I can see where you’re coming from,” Spark confessed. “Thank you for having this talk with me, Inferno It really means allot to know how much you care.” He smiled at the dragon, who simply rolled her large eyes.
“It wasn’t an invitation for you to get all touchy feely with me. I was just stating the facts, Spark,” the dragon replied. She finished her apple, core and all, and leaned over to light what wood was left in the fire pit.
“Still, thank you,” Spark said again. She looked over at him with a much more sincere expression.
“You’re welcome, Spark,” Inferno smiled back. Then she shot a large flame out of her mouth and soon the logs caught fire in a crackling blaze of warmth and light. It helped to evaporate what dampness had collected around them as she and Spark huddled up closer, waiting for their companions to awaken.
Not long after their conversation had ended, Draft woke up, followed shortly after by Star. The black mare immediately asked for some water because her mouth was incredibly dry. She started guzzling the fluid as Draft chuckled behind her.
“That’ll happen from time to time,” he explained with a grin.
“I feel like I spent the night with a mouthful of sand,” Star choked back around the water. They both took a seat by the fire and Spark passed them each an apple. “Oh good, your magic is working again.” Star commented before she took a bite of the apple, juices running down her mouth. She wiped the stickiness off and gasped, “This apple is so good. I feel like I haven’t eaten in days.”
“That will happen too,” the pegasus added. “The first time I smoked, I think I ate my weight in rhubarb pie. I ended up with a raging stomach ache for the next three hours.” Draft smiled and she started to giggle and choked on her food.
“Easy there, we don’t need you choking to death at breakfast,” Spark said as he patted her on the back, until she caught her breath again. They all finished eating and started to pack up camp fairly quickly. It didn’t take long before the group was back on the road, with the sun cresting over the mountains ahead of them. They had three days left to travel and were anxious to be done with the first stretch of their journey.

The sky was splashed with grey clouds over its cool blue expanses, but the cover didn’t seem to be as thick and full of rain as it had been only yesterday. It might rain again in the next couple hours, but if so it promised to be nothing more than a weak drizzle. Spark figured that something else was bound to go wrong eventually, so he decided to enjoy their little bit of good fortune while he could. He walked along humming a cheery tune that he tried to match up to the sound of their combined hoofsteps. They were currently navigating around some low mountains and after that it would be an open road until they reached the capitol of Equestria, Canterlot. Spark was busy thinking about what he would write in a letter for Heart Charm when he arrived, when he heard a strange sound that interrupted his humming.
“You ever think about the uncanny relation between a pony’s given name and their cutie mark?” Draft asked. “It seems like a big-” Spark heard the same noise again and cut the pegasus off.
“Shut up for a second. I think I hear something,” Spark whispered. He stopped in his tracks to listen and his friends followed suit. When they stopped walking, the noise seemed to disappear though.
“What is it? What did you hear?” Star asked as she tried to make out whatever he had heard, but it seemed quite to the mare. The only noise any of them could hear anymore was the wind rustling a few bushes. “I can’t hear anything, Spark.”
“Me either, but I could have sworn that I heard somepony walking nearby,” Spark replied. He also had the strange sense that they were being watched. It was a very unnerving feeling and he really didn’t care for it.
“You want me to fly a loop around the area and take a look?” Draft asked. He seemed skeptical, but Spark figured it was better for them to be safe than sorry.
“Yeah, I’d feel much better if you would. I feel like we’re being spied on,” Spark admitted. Draft nodded his head and started flapping his long wings. He flew up a good twenty yards and started to circle around the hills in the area. “Maybe I’m just overreacting. I guess it was just my imagination.” The words had no sooner left Spark’s mouth before Draft dropped out of the sky a hundred yards away. “Oh buck, Draft!” Spark shouted. He bolted towards his friend as fast as he could with Star and Inferno hot on his tail.
“What happened to him?” Star panted as they cleared the last hill. Spark wasn’t too sure, but whatever had happened, it couldn’t have been good.
“We’re almost there. I think he hit the ground just over this hill,” Spark huffed. He crested the top and was met with the stares of at least a dozen diamond dogs. He stopped dead in his tracks as they started running for them. “Damn it,” he cursed under his breath as he glanced back to Star and Inferno, who both shared his worry. Spark charged down the hill straight for the closest one almost instantly, whipping out his dagger as he galloped. “The whole reason I had us take the long way was to avoid exactly this situation. We have no choice. We’re going to have to fight them off.” Star was following a short distance behind him and Inferno was right beside her. The first diamond dog reached him only to get a strong buck straight to the chest, sending the canine rolling back down the hill. The dogs ran on all four legs, but fought on two. This left their chest wide open if you were quick enough, Spark noticed.
Draft was lying unconscious on the other side of the pack. It appeared as if the diamond dogs had thrown a couple large rocks and hit him in the head. Draft’s blood was leaking into the dirt as he lay immobile in a crumpled heap. The unicorn saw his friend and made a dash for him, only to have another of the dogs get in his way. He charged forward, intending to impale the creature with his horn, but the dog’s front arms had more power than Spark expected. The dull, brown canine took the stallion by his throat and tossed him to the side. Spark flipped, head over hooves a couple times, before landing square on his back.
As Spark lay there, gasping for breath, another of the diamond dogs ran over to him, intending to finish him off. The dog raised its fist, clearly intending to beat the pony to death, but Spark managed to roll out of the way at the last second. He got to his hooves, narrowly dodging a second swing, and wrapped the violent creature in his magic, flinging the dog with all of his force, into one of the other canines in the pack. Spark then spun around to face his next foe and launched himself forward with magic. His dagger entered through the dog’s left shoulder. Spark pulled his horn out and kicked the wounded beast a few times, then he heard Star shriek.
“Get away from me you mangy mutt!” Star cried. She teleported behind the diamond dog in a flash of white and followed it up with a kick to the back of its knees. The beast dropped with a scream of anguish and Inferno smacked it in the head with her scaly tail, knocking the canine senseless. When two more of the dogs ran for them, Inferno let out a blistering wave of fire, effectively keeping them at bay for awhile longer. Spark bolted over to where they were as soon as he got the opportunity, jumping over the head of a diamond dog before coming to a stop near Star.
“Do you have any spells that will help us out?” Spark asked the panicked mare. It took Star less than thirty seconds to think of a plan, but it took one of the dogs only fifteen to make it over to them. Spark ducked under two slashes and head butted their attacker in the gut. He wrenched his horn out violently, ripping open a gash about four inches long. The dog cried out in pain and fell to the ground, clutching its abdomen to keep its entrails from falling out as the rest of its pack began to close in.
“They’re a subterranean species,” Star said as she backed away. “I’m guessing that they only came out because of the overcast sky.” Spark was trying to listen while he kicked a different dog, breaking its arm, and then stomped down, shattering its foot. He was too busy reacting to worry about seriously injuring any of the canines. Star bucked the diamond dog in the chest, sending it flying a few feet away while Inferno let out another wave of flames, as the remaining dogs began to advance on them.
“Get to the point, Star!” Spark shouted back to her. He could see that two of the dogs had turned and were headed back over to where Draft was. A few others had dug their way back underground and two more were headed right for them. Spark used his charge spell to launch himself up into the air, much higher than he could naturally jump, and landed on top of one of the dogs. Crack! He immediately turned and knocked away a vicious slash from the other. It followed up with a low blow that Spark was to slow to dodge. The dog’s sharp claws tore three deep slashes into the stallion’s chest, but he managed to toss the dog aside with his magic right after.
Star tried to elaborate on her point, explaining, “If you can cause a bright enough flash, it should temporarily blind them long enough to end this fight.”
Spark nodded and his horn started to glow as he got a spell ready that would create a large flare effect, but before he could release it, a large furry hand burst out of the ground under him. He felt it grab him by the hind leg and suddenly twist. There was a stomach churning sound of bone snapping, followed immediately by a blinding pain. Spark knew without looking that his leg was broken in at least two places. “Celestia bucking damn it!” he screamed out, but it didn’t stop him from continuing to fight.
Star’s horn lit as she cast the flash spell in his place. There was a blinding burst of white light and all of the dogs that were still above ground cried out in unison. The victory was short lived however, because three more of the dogs dug their way back to the surface. Before Spark had time to react they were each wrapped in a white glow and disappeared in a flash, only to reappear twenty feet in the air, howling in confusion. The dogs screamed in surprise until they impacted on the earth.
“Way to go Star!” Inferno cheered. She gave the unicorn two thumbs up as they both ran over to Spark. When he saw that the danger was temporarily halted, the stallion sat down to take a look at his leg. It was bent at an unnatural angle and just seeing it made him feel a little woozy. There wasn’t time to cry about the wound right then however, because some of the diamond dogs were already getting back to their feet. “Holy hay these diamond dogs are strong,” Spark groaned. He hobbled over to one of them and pushed the tip of his horn against its throat. “Unless you want me to make you into a fur coat, I suggest you tell your friends to retreat right now. We don’t want anymore trouble from any of you and I don’t think that you want any more trouble from us.” The dog looked up at him and gulped.
“Yes, pony. We will leave you now, just don’t hurt us anymore,” came the gruff reply. The dog had a gravely voice, like it had gargled with sand before their meeting. “We were just keeping ponies away from our den, but we go now. Yes.” While Spark was distracted, one of the dogs snuck up behind him. The canine jumped at his back with snapping jaws just as Star shouted a warning at him.
“Spark, look out!” Star screamed, but it was too late. Spark was about to be dog food, but at the last second a grey blur hit the dog in midair, sending it flying down into the hard packed dirt. Draft had woken up just in time to save his friend’s flank. Star let out a breath that she wasn’t aware she had been holding and Inferno cheered again.
“Enough! All of you leave right now or I will use lethal force to put you down, permanently,” Spark said coldly. He didn’t want to hurt the diamond dogs any more than he had to, even if they were the ones who’d attacked first, but if one more of them tried to bite him, Spark wouldn’t have much of a choice. His leg was already broken and his back and chest hurt something terrible.
“Okay, pony, we give up,” his captive surrendered. “You win, just stop hurting us.” Spark backed away and the dog took off, diving down one of the holes the pack had dug, presumably to hide in its den while it licked its wounds. Quickly the other dogs also retreated back underground, dragging their unconscious or severely wounded companions down with them. After the last dog disappeared, they filled the tunnels with dirt behind them, which was perfectly fine with Spark, who dropped to the ground in pain. His chest was still running with blood and his leg had already begun to swell and bruise.
“Star, I need you! I’m starting to feel a little light headed,” Spark called to the mare. His vision started to fade in and out as she rushed over to him. The last thing Spark saw was her horn glowing white before he faded into oblivion.

Spark opened his eyes again a few hours later and the first thing he noticed was that they weren’t in the same place that they had fought the diamond dogs earlier. It looked as if they had continued down the road a good distance, but he had no idea how they had managed. Somepony would have had to carry him all of the way. It seemed unlikely, considering he was fairly tall, but his eyes weren’t deceiving him.
“What happened?” Spark asked as he peered around. His voice was little more than a whisper, so nopony heard his question. He tried again, his voice straining as he worked to increase its volume. “What happened? Where are we?” Draft looked over when he heard his friend’s voice, smiling happily.
“Oh good, your awake. We almost lost you for a minute there,” Draft replied. The grey haired pegasus knelt down beside Spark and eyed him carefully. “You had some nasty gashes on your chest. Thankfully, Star stopped the bleeding. We carried you for awhile, but we still weren’t able to make up any of the lost time, because Star had to move you with her magic. We stopped every mile or so to let her rest.” Spark looked around and saw the unicorn talking with Inferno nearby. She noticed he was conscious and they both walked over to him. Spark felt pretty rough, but he got to his hooves with a little effort.
“Take it easy, Spark. I mended your injuries, but you lost quite a bit of blood back there, so it’s best if you just rest for now,” Star explained. She tried to stop him from moving, but he just shrugged her off.
“I feel really banged up, but it isn’t anything that will keep me off my hooves,” Spark tried to assure the concerned mare. “We can keep going if we take it slow. I am not going to arrive any later than I have to.” He took a few tentative steps and when he saw that his legs weren’t going to give out, he took a few more. “Let’s go.” Star and Draft just stared at each other, both thinking he was crazy. Inferno ran up beside him, intending to keep Spark on his hooves in the likely event that he started to falter.
“Come on you two. He isn’t going to stop, so we might as well stick by the moron,” Inferno called back to the other ponies. They both sighed and began following after their companions. The group didn’t travel more than a half mile before Spark needed to take a break though.
“Draft, you have to get into my bag and roll a joint, my leg hurts like hay,” Spark huffed as he came to a halt in the middle of a field. The pegasus reached in the bag, fished out the pouch of herbs and began to roll. Once he had finished, Draft passed the joint over to Spark, who smoked the herbs down like they were the last he would ever get. Draft didn’t even bother to ask for some, because the unicorn obviously needed it much more then he did. “How’s your head doing?” Spark asked as he let out a large cloud of smoke from his nostrils. “You were out cold for most of the fight.” Draft laughed at his words, but even when he was beat to hay, Spark was still more worried about his friends than himself.
“I’m fine now. Star says I have a minor concussion, but I told her that I didn’t think there was actually anything up there to concuss,” Draft joked. Spark chuckled and smoked the last bit of the joint before snuffing it out with his hoof.
“How does my leg look?” the unicorn asked. “It feels much better than it did, but it also feels kind of stiff when I walk.” He stretched it out so that Draft could get a good look at it. The leg seemed alright, although it was still swollen to some extent.
“I did my best to heal it and the leg should work just fine after a day or two,” Star informed him. “It could take a little longer since you refuse to stop walking on it.” She rolled her eyes and then craned her neck to get a better look at the appendage. “It does look pretty swollen, but there isn’t really anything I can do about that.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll be just fine as long as I can still run and jump when the swelling goes down. I guess I owe you another thanks for fixing me up,” Spark replied.
“It was no problem, Spark. Just try not to make a habit of it,” Star told him. “We don’t have the bandages or the time to keep patching you together every single day.” She gave him a playful smile, which he returned. They decided to take a late lunch break, since they were already sitting down, each of them eating the last of the cobblers eagerly.
“This is so good. I just wish that we had more,” Draft sighed, talking through a mouthful of the delicious sweets.
“Maybe on our way back through, we can stop by and visit with the Ciders. I’ll bet Valencia will make us some more tasty treats,” Spark replied as he finished the last large bite of his desert, licking his hooves clean because it tasted so delicious.
“That sounds like a great idea and I’ll bet that Honeydew would be happy to see us,” Star agreed. She was eating with much better manners than the stallions had, as was the young dragon beside her.
“It’s no ruby, but this has got to be the best non-gem food that I’ve ever tasted,” Inferno added. The dragon licked her lips when she finished, then she let out a small burp, accompanied by black flames. “Excuse me,” she said with a look of surprise.
“You’re excused,” Spark said. He started laughing after he said it and Draft joined in. Even Star couldn’t suppress a few giggles at the serpent.
“So much for miss perfect manners, huh?” Star asked as she watched her friend blush in embarrassment. A few minutes later, she got to her hooves and stretched out her body with a groan. “That was really good, too bad we have to start walking again.”
“Yup, but at least we’ve only got two more nights before we’re in Canterlot,” Spark replied. “I bet we can get ourselves some nice comfy beds to sleep in.” He was giddy with excitement just thinking about it. “I miss my bed so much right now.”
“Me too,” Draft agreed longingly. “When we finally get back to Dodge, I’m going to sleep for like a week straight and I’m also going to stuff my face with some good food,” he added with a wistful sigh.
When they finally finished eating, the ponies all got to their hooves and continued to walk westward, skirting the last of the hills and mountains. They walked for the rest of the day, but had to stop every now and then for Spark to rest his leg. It was painful, but the unicorn managed to push through his pain and by the time they stopped for the night, the mismatched group had only two and a half days walking distance from Canterlot left to travel. That thought helped them all cheer up a bit as they headed down the path.

Camp got set up quickly that night and they all ate a small meal around their little fire. Everypony, except Spark, was talking and laughing as they enjoyed the warm food. He tried to participate in the fun, but was too exhausted by the long day to gather much enthusiasm. He wondered if Downpour was having as much trouble on his trip. The pegasus should have already reached Chestnut and could possibly have been on his way to Canterlot. If they were delayed any longer, Spark thought, Downpour may even beat them to the old city. If only he had wings, Spark could just fly to the city, never mind having a broken leg, but that was not the case.
“So Star, what are you going to tell us about tonight?” Spark asked. He wanted to hear her next lesson, before he was too tired to stay awake.
“I don’t know. I guess the next thing you should hear about is the Kingdom of the Crystal Ponies, but to tell the truth, I don’t know a whole lot about their customs or history,” Star confessed. “Except that they are, or were, Equestria’s closest allies during Discord’s War.” She dug around in her saddle bag for a minute before coming up empty hoofed. “Hmm, I thought I had a book that might have more information about them, but I guess I misplaced it.” Draft had a better idea though.
“Why don’t you just tell us what Canterlot and the princesses are like?” he asked. “I don’t want to get there and make a fool out of myself or offend Celestia and Luna.” Spark realized that the pegasus had a very good point. Coming from Dodge, they didn’t exactly have the know how to act appropriately in front of royalty, aide from saying please and thank you. Avoiding the usage of the princesses’ names as swears would probably be beneficial as well, he imagined.
“He’s right. I have the feeling that we would probably do something stupid if you didn’t teach us the proper etiquette for conversing with the aristocratic ponies in Canterlot,” Spark agreed. Star nodded her head contentedly.
“I could definitely see the two of them getting tossed in the dungeon for horribly offending somepony important, couldn’t you Inferno?” Star asked with a smile. The dragon gave a big grin in return.
“Oh yes, these two have all the couth of a diamond dog,” Inferno replied. The two girls laughed at the stallions for a while after that, but Spark and Draft just rolled their eyes at them
“The most important thing, of course, is to always address ponies by their full title, unless they specifically tell you otherwise,” Star explained with an heir of seriousness. “You may refer to all of your other friends and me however you wish, but noble ponies like to be reminded of their own importance.”
“Probably because they have poor self esteem,” Draft commented quietly. Spark snickered at his friend’s, most likely accurate, statement. Star continued her lesson unfazed by the pegasus’s interruption.
“You must also remember to bow to someone of high importance,” Star continued, “and when it comes to the princesses, always bow after entering and before leaving a room that they are in. It takes some getting used to, but it is an important rule to follow.” Inferno chimed in with another rule for them as soon as Star had finished speaking.
“Never slurp your soup and always use the proper eating utensils when applicable, also remember to take small bites and use a napkin,” Inferno lectured them. Spark and Draft exchanged glances of mutual disbelief. There were so many rules to follow, but the stallions had assumed good manners wouldn’t entail much more than saying sir and madam.
“If you are ever invited to dine with somepony, remember to stand up when a mare is arriving to the table and when she is leaving. Also, when in the company of mares, never use foul language or talk about anything that has the remote possibility of being construed as sexual, or offensive in any way really,” Star explained. She paused for a moment to think. “In fact, the entire time we are in Canterlot, it may be best for the two of you to avoid talking to anypony whenever possible.”
“That’s probably a good idea. Not that you two aren’t brilliant conversationalists, it’s just that Canterlot ponies are mostly all stuck up snobs who get offended at everything imaginable,” Inferno agreed. She flashed them a knowing smile. It’s like they think we’re caveponies, Spark thought as he listened.
"Okay, okay, we get it. Is there anything else that we should know about?” Draft asked, sounding just a bit annoyed by all of the rules they needed to remember.
“We should let them know about the royal Canterlot voice,” Inferno mumbled. Spark fixed the chubby dragon with a puzzled expression.
“What in the hay is the royal Canterlot voice?” he asked. Star smiled awkwardly at them before she tried to explain.
“It’s kind of hard to describe, but that is the way that the princesses speak with their subject when in a formal setting and, unless you are very close to them, you will almost always be in a formal setting when they are around,” Star told them.
“That’s all you can tell us about it?” Spark questioned. When she nodded, he just face hoofed at the lack of help. Star shrugged her shoulders at his reaction.
“It’s really something that you have to hear to understand,” she explained. Spark couldn’t help wondering why the short mare’s smile seemed to have a hint of mischief to it. It was as if she were hiding something, but he had no guesses as to what she might be keeping secret. Draft began to roll up another joint while Star continued her lecture on etiquette and Spark resumed his silent musings.
“The only other advice that I can give is to remember that Celestia and Luna have been the rulers of Equestria for a great many years, so never ever disagree with their decisions,” Star said. Spark scoffed at that, because they may have been immortal, but that sure didn’t make them infallible. He wasn’t anypony’s little flank kisser either, so if he thought that somepony was making a terrible decision, Spark was going to call them on it. He wasn’t about to open his mouth and let Star know that though.
“If you keep those things in mind, then I don’t see any way that even you two can get into trouble... Oh, and no drugs while we’re in the city,” Star glared as she told them. “I’m fairly certain that everypony there would frown upon such activities.” Inferno winked at the stallions, who flashed strained smiles that weren’t to far from grimaces. The lecture on manners may have been a lost cause. Spark had already forgotten about half of what Star had just told them. Oh well, he thought, I can just have her give us a refresher course before we get to the city.
“I have just one question,” Draft’s said, his voice taking on a somber tone as he spoke up.
“What is it Draft?” Star asked. She couldn’t help but notice his serious expression.
“What’s going to happen when Downpour arrives?” he asked them. They had almost forgotten about his older brother. Downpour was one of the most ill mannered pegasus that any of them had ever met, which was fine around his friends, but Spark couldn’t help but think that, if they didn’t find him before he started talking to the upper class ponies, he would probably end up in a dungeon cell.
“I hadn’t considered that,” Star answered. “It shouldn’t be a problem if we can have one of us meet him at the gate, but that would mean that somepony will have to wait there for him all day.” Spark didn’t like it, but she had the right idea. It was much better than the alternative at least.
“Well, if that’s all the important business that we have to attend to, might I suggest that we get really high while we still can,” Spark said as he smiled at his winged friend. “Will you be joining us this evening, Star?” She thought for a second before politely declining.
“After last time I’m just not sure that smoking is my kind of hobby,” Star told them. The stallions just shrugged their shoulders in response.
“That is perfectly fine with me. It just means that there is more for us,” Draft replied. They burst out laughing, but once they had stopped, Spark used his horn to light the herbs. He was immensely happy to have his magic working again. The unicorn had felt like a wingless pegasus for the last day or so, or how he always imagined a wingless pegasus would feel.

The three ponies sat around the fire for a while, contentedly, Spark and Draft smoking while Star read from one of her large books. Inferno had curled up a couple feet from the blaze and was softly snoring. Spark found the sight of her, curled into a scaly ball, rather adorable and smiled as he turned his gaze back to the campfire. Before long he and Draft had finished with the joint and tossed the tiny end into the rolling flames.
“What to do now…” Draft yawned as he lay down on his back, staring up at the darkening sky. “I guess we could always star gaze.” The pegasus had forgotten one important detail though.
“I would love to, but I can’t see farther out than I can reach my hoof,” Spark replied. His glasses had been ruined during the fight with the Rock Ridge Riders, so star gazing wasn’t an option for Spark anymore.
“My mistake, I completely forgot that had happened,” Draft apologized as got back up into a sitting position. “Wait, so you fought off all of those diamond dogs while you were mostly blind?”
“Not really. I don’t have great vision, but they were pretty large, so nopony could have really missed them coming,” Spark explained. He didn’t think it was that amazing, but Draft still seemed to. “Besides, both Star and Inferno helped quite a bit. Isn’t that right Star?” The black mare was absorbed in her literature and didn’t answer him.
“You are either the most dangerous, or the luckiest, pony that I have ever met, Spark,” Draft said with a slow shake of his head, which sent a wave down his flowing, grey and white mane. The unicorn laughed his praise off.
“I think I’m just lucky. If we had to go back and fight them again, I’m pretty sure it would be you who would have to save me,” Spark laughed.
“Hmm, maybe you’re right. I hope we don’t have to find out anytime soon though,” Draft replied. Spark nodded his head in agreement. “Changing the subject back to your sight, maybe somepony in Canterlot can fix it with magic.” Spark had thought of that too, but he hadn’t been able to see well from birth, so he doubted that there was anything to be done about it. It was certainly something worth looking into when he had the time though.
“Yeah, that would make things much easier. Glasses are a pain in the flank,” Spark commented. They talked for another hour or two after that. Eventually, Star finished with her reading and bid them both a good night. Before long they were feeling the pull of sleep on their eyelids as well. It had been yet another hard day of traveling, with no immediate relief in sight.
“Well, I’m going to bed,” Spark yawned and sprawled out on the ground, taking extra care not to put any weight on his hurt leg, which by now had swollen to nearly twice its original circumference.
“Yeah, I’m pretty tired too,” Draft agreed. The pegasus started to close his eyes, but stopped when he noticed the his friend’s injury. “Luna’s horn, Spark! Are you going to be able to walk tomorrow? It looks like you’ve got a damned log attached to you.”
“I’ll be fine. I just need to sleep for right now and the swelling should be better by morning,” Spark assured his friend. He closed his eyes, breathing in and out deeply while sleep crept up on him. Draft followed his lead and soon they were both snoring softly.