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

by NatureSpark

Ch.9 She Flies on Pegasus Wings

~Chapter 9: She Flies on Pegasus Wings~

There was something behind Spark. He could feel a very dark presence surrounding him, but every time he would turn around, the feeling would be gone. It was an oppressive sensation that the confused unicorn couldn’t seem to shake off. He tried running away, but the feeling of being watched followed him everywhere. It was like a weight pressing down on his entire being, a slowly consuming darkness that would inevitably devour him whole. Just when Spark thought that he had gotten away, something grabbed his leg from behind, sending white hot pain shooting up the wounded appendage. Spark was drenched in a cold sweat when he woke up. He had rolled over in his sleep and his wounded leg had paid the price.
“Son of a mule, that hurts!” Spark fumed. He sat up on his flank, clutching his injured leg in his forehooves. He was getting really sick of all of the weird dreams he had been having lately and having to deal with his leg only added to the insult. “It must be the stress of this trip getting to me,” he spoke aloud to himself.
It was still early, the sun was just being raised over the horizon and there wasn’t much light yet, but Spark would never be able to get back to sleep after the dream he had. The unicorn glanced over at each of his friends to make sure that he hadn’t woken them while he was having his nightmare and, satisfied that they were still asleep, Spark stood up and decided to go look for some plants that might be useful to them. There was still quite a bit of walking to be done and Spark assumed that a little extra medicine might be a good idea, or at the very least some good spices.
It didn’t take long before Spark found some licorice root and dug it up in order to brew a nice tea out of it. He wandered around until the sun was fully above the horizon, taking care not to stray too far away from his sleeping companions, in case the diamond dogs were still around, but didn’t find any other plants worth picking. He slowly made his way back to the camp and even though his leg was still sore, the swelling had gone down almost all of the way, which he was very grateful for. Spark walked carefully back to the cove, trying to keep from damaging his leg any further and saw that everypony else was just getting up.
“I’ll start some breakfast,” he told them, “and I found some licorice root, so I think I’ll make some tea if anypony wants some.” Spark lit a fire with his horn and began getting everything ready as his companions stirred from their slumber.
“That sounds lovely,” Star replied as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes and yawned deeply. “How is your leg feeling this morning?”
“It still hurts if I put pressure on it, but I think it will be fine to walk on,” Spark informed her. She walked over to inspect his leg and after a few moments, along with a few prods and pokes, gave him a nod of approval.
“Just make sure you try to take it easy,” Star nearly pleaded with him. “I wouldn’t want you to undo all of the work that I put in to fixing it.” Spark chuckled and agreed to her request.
“Something smells good,” Draft commented as he sat down by the fire and pulled out a small paper and some herbs. The pegasus rolled up a small joint while he waited for the tea to be ready. “Hey Inferno, could you come light this for me? Spark is a little busy cooking.” He looked over to the dragon, who scratched behind her black spikes and ambled over sleepily. She let out a small, black flame when she reached him, and he lit the end of the joint, the strong smelling smoke wafting around his nose.
“Alright everypony, the tea is ready,” Spark informed them with a cheerful grin. “Who wants some?” The two other ponies raised their hooves and he obliged, pouring some tea into three empty flasks before taking a seat and sipping the tea himself. “Mmm, that really hits the spot,” he sighed contentedly. It was relaxing to just sit down and enjoy a cup of tea from time to time. Spark hadn’t realized how much he actually missed the small luxuries of home, like being able to have something hot to drink in the mornings.
After their tea, the four friends enjoyed a simple breakfast of apples before they headed out for the day. Spark did his best to keep pressure off of his leg, but once in a while he would wince in pain as it jarred against the road. It was nothing that he couldn’t deal with however.
“At least the sky cleared up. I would hate to watch you try to limp around in the pouring rain,” Draft joked. He was trying to be nice, but it just made Spark feel like more an invalid than he had before.
“It’s not like I’m crippled over here,” Spark retorted. “My leg will be back to its former, impressive shape by tomorrow, just you watch.” He adjusted his gait as he spoke, to try and lessen his limp, which was still fairly pronounced.
“Be nice, Spark. He wasn’t trying to offend you. He’s just looking out for your health,” Star scolded the unicorn. Draft nodded in agreement with her and continued flying along the path, with Inferno resting comfortably on his back.
“This is definitely the best way to travel,” Inferno said as she stretched her arms out happily. The young dragon was thrilled to be riding around instead of walking and Star smiled over at her friend. The group continued in this fashion for most of the morning, only stopping twice for Spark to rest his leg and catch his breath.

The sun was sitting at the peak of its path across the sky when they stopped for lunch and Spark was more than happy for the break. All of the walking was starting to make his leg hurt again. It didn’t help that every hill and valley looked relatively similar, giving most of their trip a monotonous feel to it. Spark was getting physically and mentally exhausted, but refused to let it show through much.
“I think that I’m going to have to rest her for a little while, so you can all drop your bags for now,” he finally relented. Star happily unlatched her saddle bags and let them fall to the ground a second later.
“Let me take another look at your leg,” she called over to Spark. The injured stallion stuck his leg out and Star took it in her hooves to examine it. “It looks like its beginning to swell again, let me cool it down.” The mare’s horn began to glow white and slowly, a cold sensation started creeping up Spark’s hind leg.
“That actually feels much better. Just how many spells do you know?” Spark asked once the pain had numbed a bit. He smiled at her and slowly bent his leg to see how it felt. Standing up and walking on it proved to be easier and the pain was reduced to a dull throbbing that he could just tune out.
“I’ve never really counted, but if I had to guess…” Star trailed off. She was quiet as she contemplated his question. “Somewhere around two dozen,” the small mare concluded. She said it nonchalantly, but Spark could hardly believe his ears. He could maybe use ten different spells if he tried very hard, but he only knew four or five spells without reading them straight from a book.
“That’s incredible!” Spark exclaimed. “I knew that you were good at magic, but that seems ridiculous. How can you even memorize that many different spells?” She blushed at the compliment.
“I guess studying magic is just my special skill, so I pick up on most types of spells easily. Kind of like the way that you’re good with plants,” Star rationalized.
“That makes sense, but I can’t say I’m not a little jealous,” Spark replied. “I can only imagine how useful it must be to have such a wide array of magical abilities.” Draft had to chime in after hearing him say that.
“Yeah, Spark here can barely survive with the few spells he knows,” Draft chided. The brown stallion couldn’t really argue with his words though. The few spells Spark did know well, weren’t the most helpful outside of a farm or garden.
“At least I can use magic, Draft,” Spark retorted smugly.
“Please, keep your magic,” Draft huffed. “I would take being able to fly over casting spells any day of the week.” Both stallions chuckled at his comment.
“True. If we could all fly, then we would have made it to Canterlot days ago. Not to mention my leg wouldn’t have to have pressure on it,” Spark admitted. When all was said and done however, he still preferred being born a unicorn over the alternatives.
After a few more, long hours of walking, the small group came upon a thatch roofed cottage, sitting in the middle of nowhere. There was smoke coming out of the chimney, so they could tell that somepony was home, but Spark had to wonder what kind of pony would live so far away from civilization. Even though Spark himself liked privacy quite a bit, he still lived in walking distance of Dodge.
“Maybe we can stay the night,” Star said, which didn’t surprise Spark in the least. “I would love to sleep in a house instead of outside in the cold. How about the three of you?” Star looked to each of her friends, who all nodded their agreement. Sleeping in a home beat sleeping outside, hooves down. They walked up to the small, brown cottage and Spark knocked. It only took a moment before somepony flung the door open.
“Do I know you?” an earth pony asked. The mare that opened the door was average height and had a rust red coat. “You don’t look familiar.” She tossed her head back to remove the golden mane from her eyes. “Where are my manners though? Please, please, come on in. Can I get you ponies anything?” She was talking quickly and nopony else was able to get a word in edgewise, until she paused to take a breath.
“Umm, no, you don’t know us. We were just passing through on our way to Canterlot and we were kind of hoping that we could rest here,” Spark replied awkwardly as he followed the energetic mare into a small living room, where they all took a seat on the few old chairs arranged randomly about the place.
“Well, I would just be more than happy to let you nice ponies rest here for a while,” the earth pony said. She fixed the tired group with a big smile. “You are nice ponies, right? Of course you are. I can tell just by looking at you.” The strange mare had a high energy level and Spark was almost reconsidering staying there overnight. She didn’t seem like the type to let anypony rest for long.
“Oh jeez, I forgot to introduce myself. The name is Alexia Lynn Sapphire, but everypony just calls me Axel,” she told them with a toothy grin. What a strange name, Spark thought. “I design and build carts for a living; big ones, small ones, two pony carts and even four pony carts. It’s the reason that I have a wheel for a cutie mark. Basically, if you see a cart in Equestria, there is a high probability that it’s one of my designs, and you should really see my new flying chariot that I’ve been working on.” Spark swore that he had heard her last sentence wrong and apparently everypony else had as well.
“Beg your pardon, but did you-” Spark tried to ask before Star cut him off with a motherly glare.
“We haven’t even introduced ourselves yet, Spark,” she said with a frown. He sighed and sat patiently, while Star introduced them all to their host.
“Well, it’s great to meet you,” Axel told them. She walked up and shook each pony’s hoof before sitting back down again.
“Yeah, it’s good to meet you too,” Spark replied. “Now, did you just say that you created a chariot that could fly?”
“Yes, erm, I’m working on one anyway. I think that I have it ready, but I haven’t had a pegasus to test it with,” Axel mumbled in reply, her former energetic babbling somewhat diminished as she explained. Spark looked over to Draft and smiled.
“I think my friend here could probably help with that,” Spark told the earth pony. The mare’s eyes lit up when she heard him.
“Sweet Celestia, that would be such a big help,” Axel replied. “I mean, I was waiting for somepony from the stores in Canterlot to stop by and test it out for me, but if I could get it done today that would be the best.” Draft stood up and stretched his wings out, just trying to show off a bit.
“I’ll help you out, but how big is it?” he asked. “Are you sure it will only take one pegasus? Most of the chariots I’ve seen seem pretty heavy.” Axel started shaking her head in reply.
“No, no, no, don’t you worry one bit. It uses pegasus power enhanced by a couple of different enchanted gems,” Axel told him. She was getting more animated as she explained the mechanics of her machine. “There’s one that balances the cart, one that reduces its weight and another that increases the lift.” It sounded incredible to Spark, that such an odd mare was giving the power of flight to everypony. Even if you needed a pegasus to pull you, it was still the next level in transportation. “Would you all like to go out to my shop and see if it works?” she asked them. Everypony readily agreed.

Spark examined the small chariot up close, because he couldn’t see it well enough otherwise. It didn’t seem much different than any other carts that he had seen in the past. The frame was made out of a lightweight wood, with minimal metal working and he could see the jewels that were inset on the rear underside of the vehicle. It certainly didn’t appear very flight worthy, so Spark would have to see it to believe it.
“Strap me in, I want to see this thing in the air,” Draft said. Clearly the pegasus was ready to go as he trotted up to the front of the vehicle. If this worked it would change many things for the better, not least of which was the fact that long trips with his wingless friends would take half the time.
“Okay, let me just get this harness situated…” Axel huffed as she fought with the strap. It took a few seconds for her to attach Draft to the chariot and make sure that everything was in working order. “That should do it. Take it for a test run.” She didn’t have to tell him twice. Draft took a running start out of the shop and lifted into the air. Carrying the chariot didn’t seem to be much more of a hassle than carrying Inferno had been for his friend, which surprised Spark as he watched. The unicorn had assumed that it would take somepony with as much power as Draft’s older brother to get the vehicle airborne, but he had been proven wrong.
Draft’s friends on the ground watched in awe as he pulled the flying chariot into a few of his basic aerial maneuvers. It glided smoothly through the air as he twisted and turned with graceful movements. After he had flown around for a while, Draft decided that it was about time for him to try pulling the chariot around with a passenger inside.
“Alright, which one of you ponies is going to take the first ever ride in the sky?” he asked as he landed near his companions. All of the ponies were nervous and it ended up being Spark that was chosen for the first ride.
“Okay, I’ll go first,” Spark groaned, “but I don’t want you doing any of your crazy spins or flips while I’m in that thing.” He stepped into the cart hesitantly, gripping the sides tightly with his hooves. The unicorn said a silent prayer to the princesses and then they were airborne. “Hahaha, we’re actually flying!” Spark shouted upon opening his brown eyes. It was one of the biggest rushes of adrenaline that he had ever felt. “I can’t believe it; I am actually in the air!” This must be how pegasus felt when they flew for the first time, he imagined. It was an incredible sensation. Draft noticed his friend’s enthusiasm and decided to give Spark a better reason to scream. He dipped into a dive and the unicorn nearly wet himself in terror.
“Having fun, Spark?” Draft chuckled as the unicorn yelled at him with a passionate rage. They came about ten feet from the ground before Draft pulled up out of the decline and glided safely into the sky again.
“I told you no crazy maneuvers, you ass!” Spark shouted up at his friend. His emotions were firmly wedged somewhere between anger and glee as he screamed. Down on the ground, the girls looked on with wonder as the stallions made a few loops around the property.
“Wow, Axel, that is amazing. You actually made a cart that can fly,” Star gawked as she watched the test flight.
“It’s something else, isn’t it?” Axel replied. This is what the earth pony had worked so hard for, and the chariot was performing admirably. “I’m so glad that it works right. I wasn’t sure that flying chariots were even possible before I started this project.” She squealed in happiness at the sight of Draft dive bombing with the cart gliding smoothly behind him. “My father had always dreamed about seeing something like this. I only wish he could have been alive to see it in action.” Draft pulled off another couple of simple maneuvers before landing the chariot near his friends.
“That was unbelievably awesome,” Spark told them with a smile. “Who’s going next?” He hopped off the back of the vehicle with a grin still plastered across his face. Even though it was pretty scary, flying was also the most fun that the unicorn had ever had while sober. “Axel, she’s your baby. Why don’t you go up and have a ride. Are you still good to pull, Draft?” Axel deserved to ride in her masterpiece and enjoy the fruits of her labor, but running Draft ragged wouldn’t be a good idea.
“Oh yeah, this thing is like pulling a pillow, it’s so lightweight,” Draft assured them. The pegasus cracked his neck and stretched out his wings, preparing for the next rider as Axel bounced over to the chariot.
“Yes, I want to ride!” Axel practically shrieked. “You don’t even know how long I have been waiting for this. I mean, I’ve always wanted to be able to fly and this chariot is about as close as anypony without wings is ever going to get to the genuine article.” Axel was practically shaking with enthusiasm as she climbed into the back of the cart and Draft took off, soaring high above the clouds. The pegasus could easily tell how much Axel had wanted to soar, so he gave her a long ride. He flew above, below and even right through the clouds, doing simple tricks and eliciting squeals of delight from the overjoyed mare. They finally came back to the ground a short while later, where Star was patiently waiting for her turn to ride.
“How was it?” Star asked her. She had some anxiety at first, but seeing the look on Axel’s face changed that in an instant.
“It was fantastic! Easily the most fun that I have ever had,” Axel replied. “I mean, who knew that something as simple as flying could be so much fun?” After hearing the earth pony say that, Star decided that she just had to try it out for herself. Draft took her for a short ride, because by that point he was actually beginning to tire out. Downpour may have been able to pull a chariot around longer, but his younger brother just didn’t have the power to keep going for too long.
“You really are a master of your craft, Axel. If somepony would have told me even a month ago that I would fly around in a cart pulled by a pegasus, I would have thought they were insane,” Spark admitted as he stood shaking his head, still barely believing what he had just experienced.
“It is pretty cool, isn’t it?” Axel asked rhetorically. She pulled the sky chariot back into the shop before turning around and announcing that it was dinner time. “Let’s go get some food everypony!” She smiled and led them all back to her home. Everypony was still in amazement; except for Inferno, who was just happy that she hadn’t had to fly in the wooden deathtrap. Flying was not something that the tiny winged dragon was comfortable with, at all.

It didn’t take long to get a delicious meal made with everypony doing their part to help out. Spark and Draft set the table while the girls made up a big dinner. The deal was that they would cook, if the boys promised to take care of the mess. Spark saw it as a great deal and accepted the conditions without hesitation. The unicorn had grown fond of Star’s culinary concoctions over the past couple days. When the food was eventually brought out, he wasn’t disappointed by his choice either.
“This all looks and smells so good,” Spark said as he eyed the meal. His stomach rumbled loudly in agreement. Draft had to wipe his mouth off to keep from drooling all over the table. There were juicy apples, fresh salad and a steaming platter of baked potatoes; not to mention a sweet smelling carrot cake for desert. Spark was stunned for a few moments as he took in the beautiful sight. Everypony dug right in though, enjoying the taste of the wonderful diner that the girls had prepared.
“Thank you, Draft, I think we did a great job too. Everything is really good,” Star replied. They ate quietly for a time after that, each of them too busy chewing to make conversation. Even Axel, who had been chattering constantly before, was preoccupied with getting her fill. As Star helped herself to seconds, before finally becoming too full to swallow another bite, she gave up. Soon everypony at the table followed the unicorn’s, groaning from the massive quantities of food they had just consumed.
“Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to have any trouble getting to sleep tonight,” Spark agreed. He wiped his mouth clean and sighed contentedly. “I don’t think that I’ve eaten that much in… well, ever.” His friends all joined him in strained laughter. It took another fifteen minutes before he could move enough to start cleaning up, but with Draft helping they were able to finish the task in no time at all.
“Now that that’s out of the way, I think I’m going to have to sit down for a while,” Draft said as they finished up. “Between the chariot rides and gorging myself, I don’t know how I’m going to move in the morning.” Spark nodded in agreement and followed the pegasus out of the kitchen. The girls were talking about Canterlot when they entered the room. Star was saying something about getting to see Luna early, but Spark had missed the first part of her statement.
“What’s this about getting to Canterlot tomorrow? We still have another day and a half of travel, at least,” Spark informed her. Star turned to look at him with an expression of utter delight.
“Axel said that we can use her chariot, if Draft thinks that he can manage to pull all of us that is,” Star squealed happily. She looked to the pegasus for an answer.
“I suppose I could manage with the three of you, if Axel really doesn’t mind us taking her baby,” Draft shrugged. Spark was stunned that she would even consider letting them take the flying chariot.
“You’d actually let us use your sky chariot to get to Canterlot… but aren’t you afraid that we’ll ruin it?” Spark asked in shock. Axel just beamed at him and shook her head, causing her blonde ponytail to bob around carelessly.
“Oh not at all, you all seem like trustworthy ponies,” Axel elaborated, “and besides, it was just a prototype to see if the enchantments were plausible. I’m going to redesign it, if Draft can fill me in on whatever quirks it may have had.” Spark wasn’t sure if this was the most generous pony he had ever met, or just the most insane, but he would have put his bits on a little bit of both.
“Of course I would be more than happy to help you out, Axel. It’s the least I could do after you’ve been so generous to my friends and me,” Draft assured the earth pony. “Before we leave tomorrow, you and I can go out for another quick ride and I’ll give you some notes on how she handles.”
“Really, that would be just great. I thought it would take days to get somepony to test it out, what with everypony in Canterlot being so busy and all,” Axel replied. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” She sure was a hyper pony, Spark thought as he watched her attack his friend with hugs.
“There’s no need to thank me, Axel. It’s us who should be thanking you,” Draft told her with a nervous laugh. “I know I’m not the only one who was getting tired of this trip, so getting to Canterlot by tomorrow night will be a big help.” Even if Draft had to stop for breaks, they would still be able to shave off most of a day.
“We can’t thank you enough for this Axel,” Star agreed. “You really are a kind pony.” She walked up and gave the mare a big hug after she had said it.
“Don’t mention it,” Axel replied. Everypony was enthusiastic about the new ride except Inferno, who was sitting off to the side, lamenting in the fact that she was afraid of heights. She couldn’t tell anypony about it, of course, because a dragon who is afraid of heights was just absurd. Inferno didn’t know what to do about her phobia, but her friends didn’t seem to notice her apprehension yet though, so she thanked Celestia for that.
“What do you think about giving us one last history lesson before we get to Canterlot, Star?” Spark asked her a few minutes later. He was amped by the news that they would make it to Canterlot early and didn’t think he would be able to sleep right then. Luckily for him, Star seemed to feel the same way and agreed to his request.
“That sounds like a fine idea, and you are more than welcome to join us of course, Axel,” Star invited their host. “I’ve been teaching these two about the history of the world over the past few days.” She got in a comfortable position to tell her story and everypony else crowded close to her. Star’s little lessons were quickly becoming the best part of the entire trip for everypony it seemed.
“I would love to, Star, but unfortunately I have been up since dawn working on the sky chariot, so I’m afraid I’m going to have to decline your offer,” Axel replied with a yawn. The mare got up and stretched out a bit before walking to her bedroom. “There should be enough blankets for everypony in the closet right by the bathroom. Feel free to stay up and talk all you want and I’ll see you in the morning.” They all bid her a good night before she walked into her room and closed the door behind her.
“Okay, what should I talk about tonight?” Star asked her friends. “Perhaps I should tell you about the Zebra Tribes? I know that they don’t seem to have any part in the predicament that Equestria is in, but you never really know when a little bit of cultural history will be useful to you, right?” Spark and Draft just nodded in agreement, because whatever she wanted to tell them, they would happily listen to. It wasn’t like the stallions would learn anything otherwise. Draft didn’t care for reading and Spark only read fantasy stories or books about exotic plants, for the most part.

Star began to weave her magic in front of them as she started her tale and nopony noticed Inferno, grabbing a blanket and going to sleep on one of the comfy, stuffed chairs. The dragon wasn’t in the mood for a lesson that night. In just a few moments though, both Draft and Spark were enthralled by Star’s voice as she told of the mystical zebras and their strange culture.
The zebras have always been a very mystical culture, with deep roots in the production of magical elixirs and enchanted brews. It is no mystery then, why they choose to let their most powerful shamans lead them. There are five leaders, one for each of the five tribes. Zebras live in a far away land, one that is teeming with dangerous creatures and is more wilderness than civilization. They choose to adapt to their environment, instead of changing their surroundings to suit their own needs. They believe that the earth is sacred above all else and that it is their duty to preserve the natural balance between themselves and the wilderness.
I have heard tales of other zebra tribes throughout the world, but they are all outcasts that practice shadow magic. They worship the power of stones that fall from the sky and perform living sacrifices in attempts to call forth power from beyond the stars. It is for this reason that most zebras see the stars as wicked beings and fear the night. This is also why Equestria’s treaty with the zebras was dissolved, because they fear that Luna, being the princess of the night, will one day be corrupted by the power of the stars. It may seem a strange concept to us, but the zebras believed it enough to refuse Equestria’s request for renewing the treaty after the fall of Discord.
Although the zebras appear to have no part in the kidnapping of the Crystal Empress, it is still a good idea to be wary of any that you meet. Zebras can be very superstitious and act irrationally because of this. Though many, if not all, of them that have come to live in Equestria do not hold the traditional beliefs of their home land, a few still might. Until the day comes that they see that there is nothing to fear from the princess, I fear that our countries will remain distant from each other’s culture.
Star finished her story and, after he had taken a moment to process the strange information, Spark had a few questions that he wanted answered. She had given them a short lesson, but the unicorn was still left a bit confused.
“How is it that the outcast tribes started believing that fallen stars have power?” he asked. The studious mare simply shrugged her shoulders unknowingly.
“I really wish I knew, but they really won’t talk about it with anypony,” Star replied. “It’s a taboo subject that is sure to cause trouble if it is ever brought up in their presence.” It seemed strange to Spark, that there would be a culture that would actually make sacrifices to inanimate objects from the sky. It seemed too barbaric to even consider a fact. He could respect other cultures, but even Spark had his limitations.
“Have you ever met a zebra, Star?” Draft asked. It was the next question that had been on Spark’s mind.
“I have never met one personally, but I have read a few books about them,” Star informed her companions. “Celestia has also told me what bits she can remember from her time in their country, so I believe my information is about as accurate as you can get without visiting yourself.” She smiled awkwardly before continuing. “I can only tell you what I have heard though, so take it with a grain of salt, because I don’t know everything.”
“True, but you sure as hay know more about it then either of us ignorant stallions,” Spark replied with a grin. They all shared a laugh at his comment.
“Hey now, I like to think I do pretty well for myself, considering I grew up in a small town like Dodge,” Draft defended. The pegasus feigned an offended expression before stifling another bout of laughter, so as to not wake up their sleeping host.
“Wait a minute,” Spark mumbled as he took a quick glance around the living room. “Where is Inferno?” Star noticed the little dragon, sleeping soundly in the chair behind him and pointed her out.
“It looks like she decided to turn in early. I can’t say that I blame her though,” Star explained, “she is a growing dragon after all and these long days of walking are probably starting to take a toll on her.” She walked over to her young friend and pulled the blanket up around her scaly neck, so that Inferno wouldn’t wake up cold in the middle of the night. It seemed almost like something a mother would do, Spark realized.
“Yeah, I’ll bet that she will be pretty happy not to have to walk tomorrow. I don’t think that she even got to ride in the cart today. I bet she’s going to love it!” Draft laughed. He was fairly certain that he wouldn’t have any problem pulling the chariot, even with the weight of all three of his friends dragging him down. The enchantments on the vehicle were something special to be sure.
“I know I got a kick out of it,” Spark agreed. The unicorn couldn’t wait for morning to come, so that he could get another ride. Star was in agreement with him about that, but he wasn’t sure that Inferno felt the same way. She had seemed a little displeased with the vehicle for some reason. Spark had almost asked her about the reaction before dinner, but had forgotten to do so.
“Do you think that it will hold up all the way to Canterlot?” Star asked. She was slightly worried that they would break down in the sky, but they just had to have faith that Draft would be able to safely land it if that were to happen.
“Even though the chariot is just a prototype, it seems just as sturdy as the ones that get pulled on the ground all of the time,” Draft replied. “Being in the air should wear it down less, if anything.” The pegasus made a valid point. The main concern would be that the magical gems were stable. Spark made a mental note to have Star examine them closely before they took off the following day.
The three ponies talked for another hour or so. All of them were far too excited to sleep, but eventually they decided that, if they were going to try to make it all of the way to Canterlot the next day, a full night of rest would prove beneficial. Each of them grabbed a blanket out of the closet and found places to sleep throughout the living room. Spark and Draft let Star take the couch, while they each found a spot on the floor to sprawl out on. Spark was much more comfortable than he had been outside the past few nights, even lying on the floor.
“Well, I guess I’ll see you two in the morning,” Draft said. The pegasus stretched one more time and then quickly fell into a deep sleep. Spark yawned and closed his eyes, sleep slowly taking a hold on him as well.
“Mhmm, good night, Draft and you too, Star,” Spark yawned back. He never got a response however, because Star was already fast asleep by the time he wished her a good night. Spark was growing very fond of his new friends, he realized as he found himself smiling. Eventually the thought carried him off into a peaceful rest.