As the evil demon witch continued to plot her next move and waited for Declan and the others to get where she wants them to go, the heroes had just reached the entrance to the scary looking Everfree Forest. The trees were thick and Declan could only see a bit of the trail in front of the before it vanished into the darkness, despite this he wasn’t afraid, unlike the nervous ponies next to him.
“So… what’s so bad about the Everfree Forest again?” Declan asked, confused.
“It’s just ain’t natural, that’s what! The plants grow…” Applejack started.
“The animals care for themselves…” Fluttershy added.
“And the clouds move all on their own!” Rainbow Dash finished. Rarity fainted soon afterwards.
Declan’s face fell flat. “Yeah… not that scary, in fact it sounds like home.” Declan admitted.
“Really?” Rainbow Dash remarked, surprised.
“Yeah, Earth has all that stuff… but that’s not important right now.” Declan stated. “The point is we gotta go in there!”
“No question.” Twilight nodded in agreement.
“Ok, but Declan… you go first.” Spike voiced, a bit nervous.
“Gee, thanks…” Declan remarked, sarcastically as he took a deep breath and began to lead the others inside the dark forest.
It had only been a couple of minutes since Declan and the gang entered the Everfree forest and already it had started to become very creepy. Strange sounds were heard around them and he could almost hear the heavy breathing of a currently unidentified creature.
Fluttershy and Spike looked especially scared for their lives while the rest just trotted on ahead. Eventually the two of them hear a noise and immediately freak out, causing them to jump onto the nearest pony for safety.
Rainbow Dash, who Fluttershy had grabbed onto looked a bit annoyed. “Fluttershy, relax! It was just the wind!”
After Fluttershy let go Declan, who had Spike holding onto his leg tightly groaned in agitation. “Dude! Quit being such a baby and get off my leg!” he complained.
“But I am a baby! And this baby want’s to go home!” Spike proclaimed.
“No, we’re not going back, Spike.” Princess Twilight told him.
“Well can we at least take a break?” Rarity sighed, sounding exhausted. “I don’t think I can take another step…”
“We’ve only been walking for ten minutes.” Declan pointed out, annoyed.
“Feels like forever…” Rarity sighed, with a slight whine.
“You know my Mom said that whining shows a lack of character.” Declan noted.
“Whining? I am not whining! I am complaining.” Rarity stated, firmly. “Do you really want to hear whining?”
“Don’t do it, sugarcube.” Applejack advised him, in a hushed tone. “It ain’t worth it.”
“Gotcha, well we better keep on moving if we’re gonna…” Declan began to say as he started to walk forward but Twilight suddenly grabbed him by the hood with her teeth and stopped him.
“Wait, stop!” she said, muffled.
“Huh?” Declan responded, confused.
Twilight let go of his hood and spoke clearly. “I said; stop! Look up ahead of you!” she said, gesturing to the many blue flowers growing out of the ground in front of him.
“What’s that?” he asked.
“Poison Joke…” Twilight muttered.
“Poison Joke?” Declan repeated, confused.
“It’s a freaky plant that plays a joke on you when you step on them.” Rainbow told him.
“Whoa, seriously?” Declan questioned, surprised.
“Yeah, one time it made me look tiny!” Applejack said.
“It made me look ridiculous.” Rarity expressed.
“It made sound ridiculous.” Fluttershy added.
“Yeah, it sure was funny.” Spike laughed, though he stopped when they all glared at him. “What?”
“Anyway… that’s why we can’t touch them, luckily…” Twilight said as she charged up her horn and practically mowed down the Poison Joke flowers in front of them, creating a path for them to go down. “Let’s go.
“Wow…” Declan remarked, in an amused, deadpan tone as they started to walk. “Scared of a joke plant… so sad.”
“Well, how can you be so calm?” Rainbow Dash questioned.
Declan just shrugged. “I don’t know, this place just doesn’t seem that scary to me… plus I kinda have a liking for scary things, within reason of course, probably why I walked into that spooky old mansion in the first place…” he realized.
Rarity looked a bit disturbed. “Oh my… you have such… interesting tastes…” she muttered. She noticed Declan giving her a look and acted quickly. “But I meant that in the best possible way! I swear!”
“It’s ok, I have to admit this place is kinda creepy looking…” Declan observed. “I mean it’s the middle of the day and it’s like… nighttime in here.”
“No kidding…” Spike agreed.
“Yeah, speaking of which… Twilight Rarity! Ya mind turning on the light?” Rainbow Dash requested.
“Fine, but you could at least say please?” Rarity said, a bit annoyed.
“She has a point.” Declan noted.
“Aw, zip it…” Rainbow grumbled, before Twilight and Rarity’s horns lit up, creating a bit of light around them.
“That’s better.” Declan smiled.
Fluttershy then heard a sound a quickly hide behind him. “Not really…”
Twilight gazed around as she listened closely to all the noises around them. “Hmm, the creatures from the Everfree Forest sure seem more restless then usual…” she mused. “Must be because of Sibrella…”
“Probably…” Applejack agreed.
“Great, and we don’t even have a plan on what to do if one decides to attack us the next second…” Rarity grumbled. Fluttershy yelped in fear again and hide behind a bemused Declan once more.
“Ok… this is getting old…” he remarked, dryly.
“Rarity! Are you trying to give Fluttershy nightmares?” Rainbow remarked, annoyed.
“No! I am Simply. Stating. The facts.” Rarity stated.
“And the main fact being…” Pinkie began.
“We… don’t have a plan…” Spike finished, glumly.
“Well I have a plan, it’s called ‘Operation: Let’s Get Going’.” Declan stated, seriously.
“Wait Declan, before we do we need to think.” Twilight Sparkle said.
“She’s right sport, we can’t all just rush in.” Applejack told him.
“Your right, your right…” Declan sighed, nodding. “So what should we look for when we get to the old castle’s library, your majesty?”
“I’m guessing something with demons in it?” Rainbow spoke up, deadpan which earned her a glare from Declan.
“No… it’s probably in the Ancient Equestria History section, it has books on history even I don’t have.” Twilight admitted.
“And that’s saying something!” Pinkie told him.
“Wow!” Declan said, amazed. “You know I’ve always liked the library back home.”
“Really?” Twilight asked, interested as they resumed walking.
“Yeah! They got really good books their, plus some sweet graphic novels!” Declan expressed.
“Of course…” Twilight remarked, deadpan. They then heard a tree fall down near them and jumped when they heard it crash.
“Uh… timber?” Declan quipped.
“Now’s not the time.” Applejack told him, seriously. Pinkie nodded.
“Everypony be quiet, walk slowly and stay behind me.” Twilight warned them, quietly.
As they began walking slowly, little lights that looked like eyes began to appear behind them. Then as soon as they sensed a presence they spun around but saw nothing their. They continued walking and that’s when the eyes appeared again, only to vanish when they spun around again.
“Ok… did you ever get the feeling that you were being watched?” Declan inquired, slowly.
“I get that feeling almost everyday…” Fluttershy admitted, somewhat shamefully.
“Anybody other then Fluttershy?” Declan added, hopefully.
“Yeah… I’m getting that feeling too…” Princess Twilight confessed, cautiously. Rarity then sniffed the air and gagged a bit.
“And I’m smelling the worst of smells!” Rarity added, putting her hoof on her nose. The others sniffed the air also and smelled something awful to. They quickly held their noses and groaned.
“Ugh! Your right!” Applejack remarked, a bit grossed out. “What is that stench?”
“Don’t look at me.” Declan stated.
“Wait… I know this smell… it’s…” Rainbow Dash began.
The blue Pegasus slowly turned and saw a face that made her eyes widen. It seemed to resemble a gray wolf but it was made out of twigs, logs and leaves. It’s eyes glowed bright green.
“TIMBERWOLVES!” she cried.
“Timber what?” Declan asked, confused before the aforementioned wolves made out of wood jumped out of the shadows and growled at them. They all yelped while Declan’s face fell. “Oh… never mind.”
“Run!” Twilight called out before Spike jumped onto her back and they all began to gallop away. Fluttershy screamed at the top of her lungs as she ran with the others.
“Come on Rainbow, we gotta get out here too!” Declan exclaimed as he jumped onto Rainbow’s back. “Giddy up pony!”
“Ex-CUSE me?” Rainbow questioned, sounding highly offended.
“Just go!” Declan told her, annoyed.
Rainbow groaned. “Fine…” she said reared up, neighed and galloped along with the others.
They all continued to scream as they trotted quickly through the dark forest as fast as they could while the angry looking Timberwolves followed them close behind, nipping at their hooves and barking like crazy.
“I hate the Everfree Forest! I hate it!!!” Declan exclaimed as they all continued to flee. He looked at Rainbow desperately. “Can’t you fly us away?”
“I would but your heavier then you look, kid!” Rainbow snapped. “I mean seriously, lay off the cookies, would ya?”
“Hey!” Declan said, insulted before he noticed one of the Timberwolves leaping and preparing to pounce on them. He yelped and wrapped his arms around Rainbow’s neck tightly, making her choke a bit before the Emperor’s Gem generated a force field around them and caused the Timberwolf to shatter into little bits of wood. Declan then noticed Rainbow giving him a look, once the shield went down, and loosened his grip. “Uh… sorry…”
Eventually the eight of them reached a clearing near where the bridge that led to the old castle was at and they all stopped and panted, trying to catch their breath. Applejack turned around.
“I think… I think we lost ‘em.” Applejack informed them, they all sighed relieved.
“Oh… thank goodness…” Fluttershy sighed.
“We had better find something about this demon or whatever this monstrosity is we’re fighting and it’d better be worth it!” Rarity expressed.
“You and me both, sister.” Rainbow nodded.
“Me three!” Pinkie Pie chirped.
Spike then climbed Twilight’s back. “Well, it’s a good thing we’re closer, right?”
“Right.” Twilight nodded, before turning to Declan. “Declan, you ok?”
“Yeah… never ridden a pony before…” Declan admitted as he got off the disgruntled Rainbow, before smiling. “It’s fun!”
“Fun for you, maybe.” Rainbow grumbled.
“Aw, quit your complaining would ya?” Declan said, exasperated. “What’s the big deal, anyway?”
“ ‘The big deal’? The big deal is it’s degrading! That’s the big deal.” Rainbow stated.
“Funny, the horses back home don’t seem to mind too much, course they also can’t talk so…” Declan shrugged.
“Great just don’t ever do that again ok?” Rainbow requested, a bit annoyed.
“What? You don’t hear Twilight complaining!” Declan pointed out, also annoyed.
“She’s used to it!” Rainbow stated. “That’s why!”
“Unbelievable! It’s like I’m talking to a child!” Declan exclaimed, exasperated.
“Look who's talking, pipsqueak!” Rainbow shot back.
“Oh yeah? Well at least I’m not ugly!” Declan countered.
“Hey! Now that’s crossing the line, buster!” Rainbow yelled, hotly. She was red faced with anger while Declan just grinned cheekily.
“Aw yeah, I knew that one would do the trick, and also…” Declan began before he started to sing, teasingly “Ugly, ugly! Rainbow is ugly!”
“La-la-la-la-la-la, I can’t hear you!” Rainbow proclaimed, putting her hooves to her ears. The others nearby just groaned.
“So this is what it’s like to live with me…” Spike remarked. “I’d hate living with me…”
“Would you two knock it off, you're both acting like children!” Twilight told them.
“He/She started it!” Declan and Rainbow defended.
“It’s ok Twilight, they’re only fighting because they're such good friends.” Fluttershy assured her.
“We are not friends!” They both denied, hotly.
“Well if you weren’t friends you wouldn’t care what one of you said about the other, and if you didn’t care you wouldn’t need to fight, see my point?” Fluttershy reasoned. This quickly caused the two to calm down, take a deep breath and sigh deeply.
“Man, she takes all the fun out of being angry, you know?” Declan remarked.
“Yeah, all too well…” Rainbow nodded.
Rarity nodded. “Yes, on that the two of you can agree.”
“Now then, shall we get going?” Twilight offered.
“Sure, as long as ‘Decky’ here can keep up!” Rainbow teased.
“You know that would bother me if you were my friend, but since your not… keep talking!” Declan taunted Rainbow.
“I’ll keep talking as long as it keeps you quiet!” Rainbow countered. The others sighed as the two continued their light bickering behind them.