[WARNING] There are no editor/proofreader for this chapter, and English is not my native language, so I'm really sorry if there is a fatal grammar mistake here and there. If you're okay with that, then enjoy this chapter.
I open my eyes after what it feels like the most satisfying sleep I ever had and somehow the wound on my chest didn’t hurt me or at least bother my sleep. I can saw sunlight pierce the window curtains and from the shadow it makes, I could tell it was already noon.
I set aside the blanket that lay on top of me and got up from the bed. I made a beeline to the bathroom to wash my face in the sink. After I wash my face and can see more clearly, I look at my face on the mirror and realize I looked like a mess. After fixing my look, I checked out the bandages that has been covering my chest this whole time. I’m surprised that the bandages didn’t even worn out or have been out of place after my sleep. I assume Fluttershy change it this morning without waking me up or she is that good at applying medical attention so much that the bandage won’t come off when I’m asleep and comfortable enough for me to sleep with; both are amazing feats to do.
Mentioning Fluttershy reminds me that I somehow stuck in a freaky world filled with talking colorful ponies and mythical creature like Unicorns and Pegasus. Other than the lack of technology and the existence of magic, there was nothing different than Europe medieval age.
I walked down the stairs and soon greeted by the cyan Pegasus sitting on kind of stool.
“Rainbow?” I muttered while standing at the first step of the stairs.
“Sup!” She said nonchalantly. “Glad you remember my name.” A grin adorned her blue coated face.
How could I forget her name? It’s practically stapled to her mane and tail. “What are you doing here? Where’s Fluttershy?” I asked confusedly.
“Nothing. Just dropping by. You know, to check out on my friend.”
My brow furrowed hearing that. Especially because of how she said it. Before I can say anything, Fluttershy came out from the kitchen, brought two bowls of something with her hooves, which I assumed some kind of brunch… ponies’ brunch.
“Oh! You are awake!” She said to me while flying to approach us. “I let you rest so that you will recover from your injuries faster. “Would you like to join us?” She said as she put the bowls on the table in front of Rainbow Dash which she feasts on it brashly.
My stomach churned when I saw the content of the bowls. I can tell there are some alfalfa, several types of grass and… hay?
“Umm Fluttershy, I have something to tell you.” I can see Rainbow’s ears flickered after I said that. Which I can tell she was intrigued to know what I’m going to say.
“You see this?” I said as I shown them and pointing at my teeth, or my fang to be exact.
“Oh!” Is the only thing she can produce after seconds of silence examining my teeth and looked surprised. As somepony who was an expert on animals, I believe she knows what I mean.
“I don’t get it,” said Rainbow Dash, paused at her own feast.
“He has canines teeth,” Fluttershy answered.
“I’m not Twilight.”
“I eat meat.”
Rainbow suddenly spluttered out her food on the table.
Fluttershy already starting wiping her table with a napkin she just brought from the kitchen.
“Fluttershy! I though you said that he was harmless. What if… what if he did something horrible to you!” Rainbow yelled after she put her bowl down.
“He is!” Fluttershy said meekly at her sudden accusation while still wiping the mess she makes and then looked at me and said, “I thought you’re an omnivore? You can’t eat vegetable?”
Before Rainbow steal the chance for me to explain, I answered, “I can eat vegetable… or at least plant produce. But I can’t eat raw plants; we human don’t have the physiology to digest it. We usually need to cook it first.” I took a glance at the bowl again and continue, “and we can’t eat something hors… I mean ponies eat like grass, alfalfa and we totally can’t eat hay.”
“Is-is that why you don’t eat last night?”
I gave her a slight nod.
“Ooh I’m sorry, I’m such a bad host.” She sat down and covers her face with her hooves. Her ears were folded.
“Nonono! You are letting me to stay in your house and even letting me sleep on your bed. I think it’s more than enough, and it just a misunderstanding so it’s okay!” I said panicked and squatted in front of her as I don’t want to make her feel guilty about it.
“Really?” She lowers her hooves and peek me with her so much covered face by her mane and hooves.
“Cute… I-I mean, of course!” I stammered watching her behaves like a little animal.
“Oh thank you sir, but I just showing you my kindness as a host and its guest.” She cheered up and smile. Her smile looks so sincere and warm. We locked eyes for a moment before my stomach reminds me to eat some food.
I stand up and look around the room to hide the red on my face and asked her, “Umm, that aside, do you have some fruit or something?”
“I think I have some stock of fruit for my animal friends… sorry, it’s not like I think of you like some kind of animal or-”
“It’s okay, I understand. I’ll eat what I can get.” I said cheerily, amused by how often Fluttershy apologizing.
“Okay!” She then darted off to the kitchen.
After I lost sight of her, I saw Rainbow Dash glancing to and fro quizzically.
“What?” I said.
“What did you do to her? Did you use some kind of magic to her? Did you hypnotize here? Are you actually a changeling?” She standing up and glaring at me.
Taken aback by the barrage of questions, I just replied with, “What are you talking about?”
“She isn’t acting like Fluttershy at all! She can’t have a normal conversation with somepony she just met yesterday, let alone that stranger isn’t a pony at all!”
“How am I supposed to know? Maybe she looks at me as one of her animal, I watch her talking to some yesterday.”
“Something fishy is going on here.”
“If my nose isn’t failing me, I think it’s coming from you.”
I think I made a grave mistake. No matter how I saw it, even though she is a pony and a tomboy one at that, there are several things that you should not say to a woman; calling her fat is the number one and the other one is calling a woman that she can’t manage her own personal hygiene. With that, I can saw her really pissed as she gives me the deadliest glare I ever saw in my life. Or just like the saying, if looks can kill, that looks can totally obliterate me.
“Sorry for took it so long. I need to do it silently so that the animal won’t notice.” She put a basket full of fruit on the table. There are so many Earth fruit than I can imagine. There are apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, even mangos. I picked up on an apple and start biting and chewing it even though I actually want to eat the mango since I pretty much like the taste but I’m too lazy to peel it and I don’t want to bother Fluttershy further more.
“We should make a list of pony’s foods that you can eat,” Fluttershy said.
“Good idea,” I replied and took a glance while eating the apples to saw Rainbow Dash still glared at me.
“You know what?” Rainbow walking slowly towards me, flap her wings to float then put her fore hoof around my neck and said, “How about we take a walk and show you around town to make you acclimate faster here. How’s that sound?” Her grip on my neck is tightening and shaking my body, much like she was strangling me than a friendly hug.
“Oh that’s wonderful!” Fluttershy cheered. “We can introduce him to other ponies as well!”
“Uh… no. It’s not we. You can just stay here and do your thing. Let’s me handle this by myself.” She let go of me and went to open the door and said, “After you.”
I looked at Fluttershy, and she was just smiling and said, “It’s okay. She won’t hurt you. After all this years of knowing her, I think she just want to talk to you.”
Felt reassured, I complied and went outside.
As I step outside and looked around with more stable mental condition and calm heart rate with no adrenaline involved, it feels like everything is so… perfect. Creepily too perfect.
The afternoon sun shone so bright I need to shield my eyes until my eyes adapted from the dim lighted room to the outdoor sunlight. Even with the brightness, somehow, it feels warm rather than scorching hot. The flowers decorating Fluttershy’s garden bloomed as bright as the sun, while little critter playing playfully.
“It’s spring?” I murmured to no one. I remembered that it was autumn the last time I’m on Earth. I looked to the sky and saw some clouds here and there. It looked so puffy and almost cartoonish.
“It was scheduled for spring season for a few months, why?” Rainbow asked while closing the door behind her.
“Nothing.” I replied quickly before something clicked in my brain. “Wait… scheduled?”
“Yeah, we, weather ponies manage the weather, season, and all those stuff that has something to do with the sky basically.” She paused and ask, “How do you human manage the weather?”
“That’s just it. We don’t.”
She tilted her head, raised one eyebrow. “What do you mean you don’t?”
“We human can’t do anything about the weather.”
“Anything at all?”
“Well… we have some sort of technology to predict when it will rains or sunny. And maybe force it to rains with some salt and that’s it. As far as I know that is.”
“Oh… wow,” she said. “So, what does human can do?” She asked pronouncing human right this time. I think she was actually curious now.
“I already did all the things a human can do.” I wish I still have my smartphone with me right now, I’m sure she will amazed by what it can do. Although I’m sure I can’t receive any reception here, but showing her video games and stuff probably still a neat thing to show.
I could tell her about how technology works and used, but it probably wise to not tell her everything.
“So, what’s the plan?” I asked.
“Oh yeah,” she answered simply and flap her wings as she turns away to the streets. “Twilight told me to show you around to make you ‘feels like home’,” she said as she quoted the three words and started walking.
“What do you mean to make me ‘feels like home’ here?” I skipped a little so we walked side by side as she walked or trotted in this case. “I don't plan to stay here for long!”
“Don’t ask me!” She retorted back. “I just do what she asks me to. She is the expert of this harmony thingy after all!”
I’m not sure if that is a slip up or it was intentional as she didn’t care. So this harmony thingy, as she said it, was already started? As long as it means I will go back home faster, I’ll try to do what they say.
We spend the rest of our walk in silence. After a few minutes, I observe my surrounding as we walk that I believe we were walking through an apple orchard, unless apple trees grows as organized like the one I’m walking through.
“Welcome to Sweet Apple Acres! Home of The Apple Family and the best cider maker in Equestria!” She suddenly announced while leaping to the air and hovering.
“Let me guess, Applejack run this farm?” I said just to be sure.
A gasp coming out from Rainbow’s mouth and she said, “Wow! How do you know that? Are you sure your name isn’t Captain Hindsight?” Sarcasm heavily adorned those questions.
“Yeah yeah… let’s get this over with.” I resumed my walk and said, “So, why are you bringing me here again?”
“I want to introduce you to the apples.”
“You want to introduce me to a fruit?”
“Pfft, no. I want to introduce you to her family.”
“Like Applejack and her parents?”
I realized that Rainbow has stopped suddenly.
“What’s wrong?” I stood up beside her.
“Never ask her about her parents,” she mumbled. “Especially in front of Apple Bloom.”
She starts walking again and we continue our walk side by side.
“Who is Apple Bloom? Applejack’s sister?”
“Yes.” Rainbow said flatly.
“Are they –if you don't mind me asking- an orphan?”
“Yes… and yes.” She turns her head to look at me. “And don’t ask me about it,” She barked.
I think I’m stepping at emotional mine. Applejack must be very sensitive about this topic and Rainbow was really protective about her friends. Well, an orphan would turn emotional if they were asked about their parents. But, at how Rainbow reacts, I think she knows more about which was a pretty complicated. Wait a minute. Why am I thinking like my parents still alive? But nevertheless, I shouldn’t think about this orphan thing. For Applejack sake.
After a moment of walking, we’re out to a clearing. From the distance, I can see a red house on top of the hill with a touch of country-ish architecture surrounded with a patch of various crops. It reminds me to a stereotypical farmer house.
When I saw Rainbow notice me staring to the house, she said, “I change my mind, we’re not going there, follow me!” After gesturing me to follow her, she then turning away from the house and into the dense of apple trees orchard.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked confused at her act.
“At this time of the day, Applejack is out in the field and she told me she is working on somewhere around where we're going.”
“I thought you want to introduce me to her family?” I asked, confused.
I suddenly heard a cracking sound as if someone hitting the tree with a sledgehammer. I look around to see where the noise comes from. I can't quite pinpoint the source of the noise since the dense of the trees makes the sound reverberating well enough and the pretty strong breeze isn't helping.
“Hey Applejack!” Rainbow called which I thought to no one until a voice suddenly replied.
“Howdy Rainbow… and oh hey there Spirit! How’s yer wound doing?” Applejack turns her head towards me and take of her stetson hat to sweep the sweat around her face, fan herself for a while and then put her hat back on her head.
I can’t believe my eyes. Applejack’s orange coat camouflages her pretty well in the orange afternoon sunlight. Her sweaty orange coat glistening brightly basking in the sun and her emerald eyes shines bigger and bigger as she walk closer to us.
"Hello! Anypony 'dere?"
"Huh? I'm sorry I'm spacing out there." I admitted. "And yeah, it's all better now. It doesn't hurt if I don't notice it." As I said that, I can see Rainbow watching me sharply as if waiting for me to slip up.
"So Arr Dee," Applejack said turning her attention to the mare besides me. "What brought you here and draggin' Spirit like tethered sheep?"
"You're still in Applebuck Season right?" asked Rainbow.
"Right in the middle of it, why?"
"Well, Twilight said to let Spirit work here."
"What?!" Applejack and I said in unison. After we watched each other for a while.
"Isn't this a plum too sudden?" she asked Rainbow with a look of confusion on her face.
"I actually met Twilight this morning when I make my rounds and she told me to show him around and ask you if you need help on the farm so he has something to do while Fluttershy doing her stuff." Rainbow explained.
"Then why don't you tell me right away earlier and not surprise me like this?"
"Well... I may or may not kinda forgot that Fluttershy letting a weird creature stay in her house. After I heard Twilight said that, I kinda jet right away to Fluttershy's house. Glad she is alright."
"Okay, I need to point out something that I'm not evil!" I said cutting their daily gossip. "I don't know how you get into that conclusion but I won't do something as stupid as harming someone!" I snapped because of how she treated me.
"I know you're evil because Princess Celestia can't just zap you back to your own world because she's afraid there might be something happen to you!" She suddenly barked at me. "And you know who will get bad effect when they're casted by the Harmony's power? Evil creatures! Like the one we've been defeated so far!" Rainbow huff and puff after explaining why she thinks I'm evil and a threat to her and her friends.
I just stand there not knowing about all this harmony spell and power they're keep saying about since yesterday. And they've defeat evil creatures? Like what? And how? I mean they look like a normal ponies, aside from the horns and wings of course. Are they some kind of avatar that live normally and their power will only come to surface when they're fighting evil?
"Now now, Sugarcube. Don't scare him like that. Princess Celestia said that he has a harmony within him even if it's so little. Now, about that job," said Applejack defending me and clear her throat before changing the topic. "It's true that I could use some help around this part here, but do you know why Twilight doesn't use her magic teleportation thingy and tell me in person?"
"When I met her this morning, she looked so busy with tons and tons of papers she brought with her. I thought immigration paper only needs one or two papers? Three tops?"
"It might be that most of it is a report to Princess Celestia. You know that girl." She paused to grimaced and said, "But seriously, that girl needs to stop jumping the shark like this. It will cause her something she regrets someday."
"So, when do I start?" I asked Applejack when I felt the conversation has reached its ends.
"Oh yeah, you can start tomorrow if you're ready. You can have breakfast with us so I can introduce you to my family if you haven't met them... haven't you?"
"Is it okay for me to meet your family?"
"Well, ponies will know you sooner or later, might as well has a proper introduction if you want to work here." She paused for a while and looks at me. "And I honestly think that you're not as bad as what Rainbow Dash here think you are."
The sudden silent lingered in the air and lack of Rainbow disagreement signifies that our business here is done. As I look at Rainbow, she seems has a lot in her mind right now.
"So, where are ya’ll going next?" said Applejack breaking the silence.
"Rarity I guess." She said sounds defeated. "It's nearer and I think she can do something or make something for his cloth I guess. Since he likes to wear clothes so much, I think it's best for him to have a spare change of clothes than using that the whole time," she said while pointing at my jacket and then snorted and said, "And that one starts to smell." She covers her muzzle and increases her distance from me.
"Is this from this morning? Are you still on that?"
"Now now, I don't know what beef you have on your way here but be sure to not beat each other on your way to Rarity's boutique." She looks at the sunset and said, "Ya'll better get going now before you lose the daylight and I need to buck these here apples. They won't buck themselves you know?"
Buck? As I questioned myself, I realized there are baskets of apples lying under the apple trees. She sure was harvesting the apple trees... but how?
"Yeah, let's go! Thanks Applejack, I thought you will make this harder for me."
"Nah, don't sweat it none. I'll help every pony in need... or human in this case." She chuckled a little bit. "So, see you tomorrow morning!"
"See ya!" Rainbow said and starts walking to the other side of the orchard and I followed her.
"Meet you at the breakfast, Spirit!" I heard her shouted from the distance, farther than from she was before.
When I look back to reply, I saw her kicking the apple tree with her hind legs and the apples suddenly raining from the tree right to the basket below it that she has prepared before.
My mouth agape from what I witnessed there. I was about to ask Rainbow about it but she already beat me to it. "Yeah that's how we do it to harvest an apple tree. How does human do it? Do they kick it with long leg of yours?"
"No, we only pick the high quality one with these hands," I said as I showed Rainbow my hands and wriggling my fingers while we walked.
"Hmmm-mm," she hummed. She was obviously curious about my hands from how she looked at it but restraint herself from asking further question.
After playing with my hands to tease her a bit, I nonchalantly ask her, "We want to get Rarity to make new clothes for me right? Did she even know how to make clothes for human?"
"Don't worry about it, making stupid clothes is her talent, she probably can make it in one night."
"But does she even know my measurements?"
"Well, she will take your measurements of course... and probably do something more." She grins at me and chuckle. How she worded it and how she seems going to like it just make me feel nervous and make me have a bad feeling about it.