The group was in shock, the princesses, both of the princesses, are missing? This was a nightmare come true for Twilight, she knew that Celestia and Luna were the protectors of Equestria as well as their leaders, without them, how were they going to figure out what was happening to the sun and moon, and find a way to resolve it?
"But I don't understand, where are they?" Twilight asked.
"We don't know, it seems that Princess Celestia and Princess Luna have simply...vanished," the first Unicorn Guard said.
"Vanished!?" Spike exclaimed and then fainted.
"Wait, if they vanished, then why aren't you guys doing anything?" Sora asked.
"This is why we have come to you," the first Unicorn Guard answered when Spike recovered.
"We await your command," the second Unicorn Guard said.
"My command?" Twilight asked, skeptically.
"We're officers of the Royal Guard, we take our orders from royalty, with Princess Luna and Princess Celestia gone, and Princess Cadence overseeing the Crystal Empire now, that means we take our orders from you."
"Huh!?" Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Jiminy exclaimed, they were surprised that the weight of Equestria is now on Twilight's shoulders, who was completely shocked at this turn of events while Spike just fainted again.
"Princess Twilight, there's no time to waste, we need to know what you want us to do."
Twilight slightly panicked; how could she lead the Royal Guard? Something like this is completely foreign to her, so she has no idea what to do. Sora noticed this and tried to think of a way to help her, then, as if a light bulb appeared above his head, he had an idea.
"Twilight," Sora began as Spike regained consciousness, "if you're gonna lead the Royal Guard, what would be the first thing you have them do? What would be top priority?"
Twilight thought for a minute and gave a face of determination when she figured out what was most important right now.
"I want to continue to search for Princess Luna and Princess Celestia, we have to find them before ponies start to panic, there must be some clue that can tell us what happened to them! If you find something, anything, let me know immediately!"
The two Unicorn Guards saluted before running out of the room, following Twilight's orders to continue the search. Twilight gave a sigh of relief that she could handle being in charge of Equestria at the moment.
"Way to take charge, Twilight," Spike praised while nudging her side.
Twilight smiled and turned to Sora, "I saw what you did there."
He chuckled, "Just helping a friend."
Just then, a Unicorn Guard with a brown coat instead of gray barged in, acting all frantic, "Your Highness! News from Ponyville! The Everfree Forest appears to be...well...invading!"
Everybody gasped, except for Spike, who fainted...again.
* * *
In the humble abode of Fluttershy, her animal friends appeared to be quite skittish, as if something has severely frightened them. Fluttershy was carefully making her way around them, so as not to step on any of them.
"Oh, excuse me, oh, oh, pardon me," Fluttershy said, then picked up a little squirrel, "Are you alright?" the squirrel just hopped out of her hoof and into her mane, shivering with fear, "My goodness, what is it that has caused you all such distress?" A bear covered its eyes and pointed a claw to the door, "Whatever it is, I'm sure it's nothing you really need to worry about."
She opened the front door of her cottage and her iris's shrunk instantly at what she saw; black vines with minds of their own overgrowing all around Fluttershy's and even scarier, black bipedal creatures, both tall and small, with claw-like appendages on their hands and feet, glowing yellow dots for eyes, the tall creatures' antennae being very long while the small creatures' are very short. They stopped for a moment and eerily slowly turned their heads to the sound of a door opening and caught sight of Fluttershy.
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!" She screamed, swiftly slammed the door, and propped her back against it, "No, you were right! You should be worried! Very, very worried!"
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Much to Fluttershy's and the animals' dismay, the black creatures are slamming themselves into the door, trying to break it down.
* * *
Unfortunately, a certain family of apple farmers didn't fare any better, several types of strange creatures gathered there as well; blue furred monkeys had claws on their fingers and toes, plants embedded into ground with blue bodies, green stems, and orange and yellow flower petals and spines near their heads, spitting seed at the ponies, big black mushrooms with no legs, stubby arms, and purple tops while giving the appearance of overshadowing their heads, and they all had the same beady yellow eyes and an emblem on their chests: a black heart crossed out in red.
A lime green, elderly mare with a white mane, orange eyes, and a pie on her flank, wearing an apple imprinted scarf was using her mouth to pull out one of the black vines, only to look up at one of the monkeys, who flicked its finger at her nose, knocking her away from the vine.
"C'mon y'all!" Applejack called. "Put yer backs into it!"
Applejack was pulling on one of the vines herself, but got knocked on her flank when a seed came flying towards her and hit her in the snout, making the weird plant who spat the seed laughing at her.
A yellow filly with a red mane, same orange eyes as the elderly mare, and wearing a pink bow on her head was pulling out another of the vines that seemed endless. A black mushroom waddled over to her and released a poisonous gas, making her cough and have to run away to avoid getting severely ill.
A big red stallion with an orange mane, white freckles, green eyes, a half-eaten green apple on his flank, wearing a yoke around his neck was trying to bite at the vines to get a grip on them, but kept disappearing into the ground like, for lack of better term, the game, "Whack-a-mole".
"Eeyup," he said as he bit and missed, "Eenope." He repeated his process a few times, "Eeyup," Bite, miss, "Eenope." Another vine, "Eeyup," but not only did he miss, he got hit in the flank by another flying seed, making him stumble and his upper body ended up on the ground while having a look of annoyance, "Eenope."
Applejack finally gave up on pulling the vine and let go, knowing that it isn't coming loose, "Dagnabbit! We'd never seem to have trouble with weeds or critters before!" She glared at the vine, trying to get a closer look, "Now that Ah think about it, Ah've never seen these kinds a' weeds or critters at all!" She turned her attention to the rest of her family, "Have y'all?"
"Eenope," the stallion answered before getting hit in the flank with a vine and punched in the face by a monkey.
"Where th' heck are these things comin' from!?"
The onslaught of creatures and vines kept coming, no matter what the farmer ponies did.
"An' what in tarnation is goin' on with th' sky!?"
Above them, not only the sun and the moon, but also black clouds that had spikes sticking out of them for some weird reason.
* * *
"Ohhhh, no, you don't!" Rainbow shouted while speeding into the sky after one of the strange clouds, "THIS is Ponyville territory! And we aren't due for rain until AFTER the Summer Sun Celebration! You Everfree cloud should just head on back to where you belong!" She charged into the cloud, only to have it stop her, "Whoa! Urk!" And drop her, but she recovered and returned airborne, "Gonna make me do this the hard way, huh?"
A lightning bolt shot out at her and she narrowly dodged it. From the cloud, three dark auras emerged and took shape into three types of creatures; the first had a humanoid-like body with the same soulless, yellow eyes as the others, navy blue skin that's protected with cyan-colored armor with a single, curly antenna poking out of its helmet, on the ends of its arms were three spikes made to look like three fingered claws, but are made for punching, not swiping, the tips of its legs had a spike where its feet should be, and two large, dark blue, unnaturally curled wings; the second had a glass, bell shaped body with four golden wings, two on each side, held together by a yellow ball joint, resting on a blue spike-like stand, decorated with two pale gold rings, on the top of the body is a gold topper with a long, curly antenna, and had three, not two, of those empty, yellow eyes; and the third had the appearance of a blue bat with the colors of the tips of its wings and ears a navy blue, a pair of tiny, yellow eyes, a jagged mouth, a silver spike protruding near the base of each of its wings, a short silver chain below it with a large, red hook with a yellow base, and all of those creatures had the same emblem on their fronts.
It wasn't long until four more clouds arrived, each summoning one of each creature, those of which began swooping towards her while the clouds shot more lightning at her.
"Whoa! Whoa! Hey!"
* * *
Just outside of Ponyville, a carousel-like building stands with its occupants unaware of what is happening in town or that the vines are growing closer to the building. Its owner, Rarity, opened the curtains with magic while humming a little tune and looked out through the window.
"Hmm..." Rarity hummed, "Something strange about the sky."
She dismissed her thought with a shrug and walked away from the window, failing to notice two of the vines wrapping around two separate support beams, glowing a sparkling, translucent blue. Just inside, Rarity was levitating a teapot and cup in her ocean blue magic over to her dining table when the translucent glow made its way into her horn, giving its aura the same color. She went to pour her tea and instead of going into the cup, it unnaturally went in several other directions. The teapot then flew away and poured its contents on one of her hats on display.
"What in the name of common chamomile is going on?"
A white cat with the hair on top of its head held up by a purple bow and a purple, pearl-studded collar was just licking its paw, until it had tea grazed just above its head and began running from the teapot as it kept firing its tea at the cat.
"Opalescence, darling, I'm so sorry!" Rarity called to the cat, "I promise I am not doing this on purpose!"
Rarity licked the end of her hoof and pressed it against her horn, putting out her magic like small candle, and in turn, stopping the teapot and making drop to the floor and break.
"It wasn't me, I swear!"
The cat named Opalescence glared and growled at her owner and turned away in a snooty fashion. Rarity rubbed a hoof on her chin in thought and bared her teeth when she figured out only three fillies could cause something so mischievous, one of them being her little sister.
"Ooh, Sweetie Belle, if this is some sort of prank you and your little Crusaders friends are pulling, I find very little humor in it!"
A white filly with a purple and pink mane and light green eyes was bouncing down the stairs upside-down with her horn's aura having the same translucent glow as Rarity's horn once had.
"Rarity! You have to help me! I think something's wrong with my horn!" She said, pointing at said horn for good measure.
The glow floated off of Sweetie's horn, separating into two, and turned black, forming two of the same type of creature; they each had a purple coat with the crossed-out heart on the front worn over their lavender robes, covering its arms and legs, a witch's hat hiding its eyes, holding a wizard's staff with the top having the appearance of a purple bat and a yellow gem in the center. They used their own magic to tear a curtain from the wall.
"My goodness! What are those things!?" Rarity screeched.
Sweetie was so afraid of them that she picked up Rarity's sewing machine and threw it at the one on the left of the curtain, leaving a bruise.
"Yes! I hit it!"
Then, out of nowhere, other creature just popped up; it has a round, black body with the same emblem on its front, a red collar around its unseen neck, its head resembling an eighth note with those same beady yellow eyes, a instrumental horn as its mouth, and wearing blue earmuffs. It bounced a little and began playing its trumpet mouth and a green aura hovered around the bruised creature, healing its injury. Seeing its bruise disappear, it turned to Sweetie and if you look hard enough, you can it furrowing its nonexistence brow in anger.
Sweetie's eyes widened by degrees, "Uh-oh."
The round creature played its music again, but this time, summoned several of the tall black creatures from Fluttershy's cottage. The magic-using creatures nodded to each other, lit the curtain on fire with their magic, and sent it flying towards the two ponies, who ran from it, screaming.
* * *
Twilight levitated her crown with her as she, Spike, Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Jiminy rushed outside after hearing the news about Ponyville, especially the reports of strange creatures popping up out of nowhere, and Sora had a good guess about what those creatures were.
"Where are we going!?" Spike asked.
"The Everfree Forest is...invading. Whatever is going on, I'm sure we're going to need our friends and the Elements of Harmony to stop it!" Twilight answered. "I just hope we haven't missed the train."
"Uh, Twilight?" Spike began, "There IS another way for us to get to Ponyville, remember?"
"There is?" Twilight asked.
"There is?" Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Jiminy echoed, all while everyone stopped in their tracks at the top of bridge.
"Ugh!" Spike exclaimed when he ran into Twilight and nearly fell into the river, but was caught by her wing and pulled back up, "You can fly!"
"Oh! Right!" Twilight said as she put Spike on her back.
"Hey, uh, Twilight?" Sora begun to ask, "Mind giving me a lift? I don't think I know how to use my wings yet."
She giggled, "Okay, Sora. Hop on!"
He did as he was told and climbed onto her back, making her blush a little.
"Wait! What about Donald and Goofy!?" Jiminy asked, frantic.
"Sorry, Jiminy, but I can't carry them all at once, I'm still learning how to fly as it is."
Sora sighed, knowing how futile it is to bring his friends in this current situation, "Sorry guys, but you're gonna have to find another way down."
With a flap of her wings, Twilight hovered above the bridge before slightly losing her balance, especially with the extra weight, "Whoa!" She quickly recomposed herself and flew off.
"AND HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO THAT!?!" Donald screamed into the sky.
"Hmm..." Goofy began to think as he tapped a finger to his temple, "I got it!"
Goofy ran off to the edge of the mountain that Canterlot stood upon, seeing the luscious landscape before him.
"So what's the plan?" Donald asked.
Goofy conjured his shield, tossed it to the ground, just next to the edge, and sat on it. Donald's eyes widened when he saw what Goofy had in mind.
"Oh, no! No, no, no, no, no!"
Despite his protests, Goofy picked Donald up and held him close, knowing that this was going to be a bumpy ride. With a push of his hand, they slid down the mountain, Donald squawking and screaming while Goofy did his usual, "YAH-HOO-HOO-HOO-HOOIE!"
* * *
Rainbow Dash was still trying to get rid of the clouds, but got outnumbered by them and the flying creatures. Down below, Ponyville wasn't faring very well, the vines were still growing out of control, the tall black creatures were now running rampant all over town, and now, a couple of new types have appeared; several very thin humanoids with the same soulless, yellow eyes, clad in dark-colored armor with the same emblem marked on their fronts, and each carrying a sword had just begun chasing three different townsponies, who were screaming as they ran; another batch of humanoids clad in silver and gray spiky armor with, not one, but two the crossed-out heart emblem upon their shoulder blades, and the beady, yellow eyes, hunting anypony they saw.
Rarity had narrowly escaped the creatures at her house with very few burn marks and got Sweetie somewhere safe, afterwards, she headed into town to find her friends, "Something very strange is going on and—" A giant vine thrust itself out of the ground, conjuring more of the tall back creatures, making Rarity gasp in surprise and ran away from the vine, under the outer roof of the town hall and continued, "—I, for one, would appreciate an explanation!"
Rainbow swooped down close to Rarity, "All I know is the sky's split in two, and these clouds moving in sure aren't from around here!"
"Neither are all these crazy plants an' even crazier critters!" Applejack called out as she pulled on one of the vines with one of the monkey-like creatures jumping on her back, but she finally had enough and bucked it off of her, "Git off me, ya varmint!" The monkey just slammed its fists into the ground a couple times and ran off, "They're comin' from th' Everfree Forest!" A bigger vine grew and Pinkie Pie just slid from it like a slide in a playground, "An' try as we might, us Earth Ponies can't do anythang to git rid o' them!" Applejack turned to Rarity, "Don't suppose you know any magic that might stop 'em from spreadin'?"
"Alas, this whole raging forest situation seems to have left my horn on the fritz." Rarity flickered her horn to demonstrate.
Fluttershy, who has escaped the creatures near her cottage, hovered next to Rarity, "We have to figure out something, I don't know how much more of this Ponyville can take." A vine snatched onto Fluttershy's hind leg, making her shriek in fright, until Rainbow kicked it off of her, "I don't know how much more I can take!"
"The forest is expandin', y'all," Applejack began, "an' judgin' by how fast it's movin', it doesn't seem content jus' takin' over Ponyville..." She looked on over the town and a little ways past it, "Ah reckon before long, it'll cover half o' Equestria!"
The vines and creatures kept growing and appearing respectively at an alarming rate, and with the only weapon powerful enough to help them beyond their reach, everypony had no idea how right Applejack was...
To Be Continued...