“I think this has gone on for long enough.” A little filly says as she walks through the little group of ponies that only a moment ago had been acting like a bunch worried children. The young filly was light brown in color with a matching horn, her mane looked golden in color and was slicked back into braid held together with a bight blue band that matched the on on her head that looked like front of her mane in place. Her blue eye shone with intelligence that probably should be far beyond that of a filly her age. But the thing that caught me the most was that she had wings too.
“Excuse me, deary?” The young filly looked to Rarity and bowed the second she was addressed. Her little pack slipped up a little as she did so. This seemed to cause a ripple of confusion to pass through the whole group, Rarity especially. “Uh, who exactly might you by young one?”
Standing tall and addressing Rarity as if she was royalty the filly spoke softly, but her voice carried a weight that brought all attention to her. “I am Raident Lining, and I have been sent here to help you with the problem at hoof.” Her voice somewhat resembled Rarity's in the fact they both had similar accents.
Skeleton Twilight tilted her head in confusion for a second. “Celestia sent a filly to help? That doesn't sound right.” As if in response to her statements, Raident Lining opened one side of her pack and pulled out a rolled up scroll. Noticing the slightly dark golden color of her magic something seemed to ring a bell of recognition in my mind. She lightly floated the scroll to Twilight and let her take it up in her dark gray magic.
Unfurling the letter and skimming over it once, Twilight's skeletal jaw disconnected from its socket and fell to the floor with a clatter. I'm certain this was just my mind showing me something that could easily be a way of saying that Twilight was shocked, but it was rather ridiculous looking. Quickly scooping up her fallen jaw with a bit of magic, Twilight spoke in a slightly hushed tone. “The is hoof written by Celestia telling Raident Lining to help us find the creature, and teach us a couple of things that could help in the fight against it.”
“I call bull on that.” Rainbow said as she looked down at the filly. “Doubt any unicorn filly could help us against something that almost no pony knows about.” With each word Rainbow slowly got closer to the filly, until she was literally eye to eye with her. This turned out to be a bad choice as the filly ignited her horn and flung Rainbow back until she skidded to a halt at twilight's hooves.
“Personal space, darling.” her mocking tone carried more weight then before as she carefully lifted Rainbow back on to her hooves. “I am no mere filly Rainbow Dash and you would find it best to listen to what I have to tell and show you.”
“Alright.” I say grabbing Raident Lining's attention as well as the rest of the groups. “What can you show us Raident?” A smile crept across her face.
“I'm glad to see that you are eager to learn, But there isn't anything I can teach you.”
“What do you mean you can't teach her anything?!” Rainbow was instantly between me and the filly, her voice betraying how angry she sounded.
Raident rolled her eyes and looked Rainbow in hers. “Listen Rainbow Radiance Dash,” Rainbow took a step back, almost backing into me, in complete shook. Taking a quick glance around I noticed that Everypony else seemed confused.
“H-How did you-” Rainbow was immediately cut off as Raident waved a hoof to silence her.
“Know your secret middle name.” A gasp came from my right, most likely Rarity.
Taking a step forward, Rarity spoke with elegance and slight shock. “Rainbow, you never told us your middle name was 'Radiance'. Why have you never told all of us deary?”
“Because my parents and I had it eradicated from from all records years ago.” The look Rainbow gave Rarity was one of surprise before she turned back to Raident. “Only me, my parents, and the judge should know that name. It was even wiped from my birth certificate. This kid shouldn't know that name at all.”
“But I do,” Raident said with a smug smile. “and it's my secret how I know it.” Everyponies eyes were trained on the filly as she took a step forward. “Jackie can't use any type of magic anymore because she can't feel anything. Even the inborn magic that earth ponies have that give them their stamina and strength are locked up and impossible to reach now.”
“Wait, this sounds familiar.” The clattering sound of bones drew my attention towards Twilight. She had her bony hoof held to her chin in thought, “I remember reading that all three races of ponies have some type of inborn magic that they use without even realizing it. It's a rather unpopular theory among many, but it states that if taught right any pony can use magic the way unicorns can. Some have even thought that the arcane arts, such as runes, could be made and used by all the races if they were taught properly.”
Raident nodded, “Exactly! Though it is an unpopular theory, it is true. All races have some type of magic they can use, and I can teach you all how access it manually. You all actually have the ability to use the magic more easily than most because of the fact you are all element wielders. It just takes a bit of emotional control.
“Most ponies don't even realize it but they are always projecting emotions when they do certain tasks. That's one of the ways that ponies can figure out their special talent and get a cutie mark. Their emotion directly links to their talent and even the inborn magic to cause the mark to appear. It's simple really, just a combination of inevitability, emotions, and magic. The emotions you all feel when you use the elements are just one case of magic being brought out. The tree of harmony imbues you all with some of it's magic and causes all of your own inborn magics to bloom. The result as you know is a very powerful spell.”
Raident's wings flared for a second, and a smile warmly crept across her face. “When I apply the same principals, I can easily do things like this.” Lifting a hoof a corona of slightly dark golden light formed around it, then it solidified into a paw similar to a bear's. A collective gasp came from everypony in the cavern.
Following her train of logic made me realize what she was saying was true. I could never use my inborn magic if I couldn't even feel the simplest of emotions. The thing was I should feel frustrated at this but that isn't the case. Not even a mild annoyance was there. This lack of feeling is so strange that it's impossible to describe. But if you were to imagine that all your senses being somehow blocked, and you are left flouting in a void alone for days on end you may come close to what it's like to some degree at least.
No emotion, no magic that's all it boils down to in my case, but . . .
“Teach the others some things they can use.” All eyes fell on me in that instant. “If I can't use this magic that doesn't mean they can't. Besides they are better off if they can use it than they are right now. The more things we can do that could be of use the more likely we can beat this creature that stole my memories.”
“But Jackie darling-” Reaching a hoof out to grab my shoulder I just looked her in the eye.
“No 'buts' Rarity. The more advantages we have the better our chances are, and if that means listening to this little girl than so be it. I don't care if she is an earth pony, pegasai, unicorn, or even alucorn, as long as what ever she can teach you girls can be taught in the next couple hours and we can still make it to the creature.”
Looking towards the tunnel Twilight and the others had come from, my voice lowered down below an audible grumble “I may not have emotions anymore, but a promise is a promise, and I will keep my one and only promise. Even at the cost of my life.”
“I only have one question.” The clatter of bones that accompanied the voice told me Twilight was the one who spoke. Turning my attention to see Twilight looking Raident Lining, something suddenly clicked in my mind, and at the exact same time both me and Twilight asked the same thing.
“Who exactly are you Raident Lining?”
Everypony except Raident looked between me and Twilight. My focus suddenly on Raident's every movement. The little twitch of her wing, and the smile that spread across her face as she looked me in the eye gave her an air of confidence that she could hide anything. “That's my little secret. All you girls need to know is I come from some where vary far away.”
There, that vague statement was hiding something. She was intentionally keeping information form us, information that I could just tell meant she had some stake in what happened next.
Raident was leading the group through the cave. She seemed to know exactly where she was going. As a matter of fact she was avoiding a great deal of dangers that me and the others hadn't even noticed. Including a part of the floor that was ready to collapse on itself because there was another tunnel below that was being eroded by some type of underground river. It was probably part of the river that passed by ponyville and cut into the Everfree forest.
She somehow knew this cave and very well at that.
“How come you know this place so well?” Twilight asks before I could bring the question up myself. It had been a couple hours since Raident had brought up the offer to teach everypony how to use their inborn magic. The crash course had gone over really well, and she was able to teach everypony except me and Pinkie something. She just said that Pinkie didn't need the lessons.
“Secrets.” That was all she ever said anymore when we tried asking her something that may give us a little information about her, or about how she seemed to know about things that should be beyond her scope of knowledge. The others were starting to get irritated by the general number of times she had said that single word since the lesson had started and ended about half an hour ago. I counted 47 time exactly, counting this time as well.
The inside of the cave was stating to get darker as we seemed to decent ever so slightly into the deepest part of the cavern. Twists, turns, and even the diverging paths came and went. It would be easy for any pony to get lost in here if they didn't know where they were going. But that only brought up the point of how this filly that, according to Fluttershy, barely looked older then Applebloom moved with such confidence in this place.
It seemed rather suspicious to me. It was almost like she was right at home here, the way that only somepony who knows every inch of their house might. But that line of thought only left me at another dead end. But one question seemed to be nagging at my mind the entire time. 'Why am I seeing this filly as an alucorn?'
When I thought about it there was at least some reason that the others look the way they do, some little part of their past that was somehow connected to her. Or at least it seemed that way, but then that left the question of why this filly had the minimal change of having wings if it was the first time that any of the group has even seen this girl before.
The sound of growl carried by a light breeze caught my attention. Stopping in my tracks, the others bumped into me. Causing us all to topple over into a pile of ponies.
“Ow,” Rainbow groaned, “Why'd you you stop so suddenly like that Jackie?”
Raident, who had been couple hooves in front of me, smiled at the little display obviously trying to suppress a chuckle.
“Because I heard something that sounded dangerous up ahead.” I say as Everypony starts to climb off of me. Rarity had luckily been at the back of the group, and thus had ended up at the top of the pile.
“I didn't hear anything Jackie darling.” Her voice sounded slightly stained as she tried to help the others untangle themselves from the rest of the pile. Suddenly the breeze picked up again, and with it came the growling sound, only louder. “Oh.” Rarity said as she heard the sound this time. “You mean that growl.”
Raident chuckled at that, her ears perking up as another wave of sound passed by. Her smile faded as her eyes closed. A sigh escaped her lips as her head lowered slightly, “Sounds like a bear of some type, I'd say it's probably a Morphicon. A bear that changes shape and size base on the creature it gets bound to. Rather rare to find them, especially in Equestria's boarders.”
“And it's right in our way.” I say knowing full well what was coming next. “Looks like we got another fight on our hooves right.”
“I'm afraid so m-Jackie.” The near slip would have been almost unnoticeable to the other but not to me. Raident had nearly said something she wasn't supposed to, and I knew it. She had obviously been taken by surprise, by the fact this Morphicon was here.
Rainbow finally got off of me with the help of Twilight and Rarity's magic. She took a step in front of me. “Well we better go kick its butt. We're on a time limit after all.”
Before we could stop her she raced ahead and around towards the growling.