Chapter 2: Ponies in Training
As Twilight, her friends and family walked all the way to their home, both Brad and Harley yelped as they fell to the ground. These two are obviously not used to their new forms just yet.
"Hayley, are you alright?” Justin ask his daughter as he helps her up.
Hayley nodded as she spoke, "I'm fine. Grr... I'm not very use to four legs. This could take a while."
Brad hissed in annoyance, "I wonder whose stupid idea is that?"
"Well, you've got lots of nerve for insulting someone when he tried to save your flank from being caught by the Mystic Ponies." Shadow Dragon remarks with a glare to Brad. Perhaps this is punishable enough for Brad for his attitude earlier.
"I hate to admit it but he's right. Being ponies is the only way to blend in." Mila said to her son with a sigh. Shadow Dragon has the right to say that after all. Brad needs an attitude adjustment.
"Well, we'll just have to get start practicing. It won't be so easy." Justin said thoughtfully. The new ponies will need some help in training.
"Well, why don't we y'all helped you out?" Applejack ask her adopted family and their new friends with a smile.
"Yes, daddy, you and Hayley raised us to be better...now we can help you trained to be better ponies." Fluttershy said kindly.
"Indeed, we will help you out...and maybe trained someone to be a better gentlepony." Rarity remarks, giving a glance to Brad who frowns at her.
"Yep! We're ready to do our very bestest best!" Pinkie giggles as she bounces around, literally.
"As family, we're loyal big time." Rainbow remarks with a smile to her adopted family.
"Dad, no worries. When this is over, you will blend in...as long as you all don't forget who you are anyway." Twilight said, recalling the warning from before. She doesn't want Justin, Hayley, Mila and Brad to forget whom they are.
"We're happy to help. Just remember what Yuko has said. Don't go too near any of them. They'll get suspicious too." Shadow Dragon said in precaution. He knows that the Mystic Ponies will figure it out, especially a certain rival of his.
"Good plan. I'd say we get started now." Midnight said with a thoughtful smile. The sooner the training, the better.
"Yeah." Ben said. He then gasped as Dragoking appears to be lowering his head towards him. "Don't even try, Dragoking!"
Dragoking groans a bit as he backs off. Ben is no fun! As everyone arrives, they saw two familiar Alicorns waiting for them near the castle.
"Princess Celestia!" The Mane Six exclaims as they trotted over to the princess. "Princess Luna!"
"Mom, Aunt Luna!" Ben exclaims in surprise as he trots over to nuzzle them.
"His mother and aunt?" Brad ask in bewilderment by that. "He doesn't even look like them."
"It's a long story, we will tell you later." Hayley said with a chuckle to Brad. He probably didn't read "Fluttercruel My Dear" yet.
"Grandma, what are you doing here?" Nyx squeaks happily to her grandmother, surprised to see her here.
"We came to visit you and...to meet your new visitors." Celestia said, giving an eye to the new ponies. "Hello, Justin, Hayley."
"Huh? Wait, how did you know?" Justin ask Celestia in bewilderment with the other humans looking concerned. How did the Royal Sisters figured out who they really are?
"Simple. Twilight told us you all were coming in advance." Luna remarks with a smirk on her face. "And noting how badly some of you are at trotting, it didn't take long to figure it out."
"Princesses, don't tell the Mystic Ponies." Golden Heart said in concern as he and his own group trots on over. "We want to help the humans blend in."
"Correct. They won't be happy if they came into the Mystic Realm or something." Pinkamena remarks in agreement.
"Our lips are sealed." Celestia said with a smile, assuring everyone that their secret is safe. "Now then, shall Luna and I assist in the training?"
"Right, you will need the help you can get here." Luna said seriously. "It won't be easy to fool the Mystic Ponies, especially those who still not trust humans."
"Yeah, we will need all help." Justin said with a quick nod. "So you will help us?"
"Yes. Thou has kept the Elements of Harmony holder safer when they came to thou world. We shall return thy favor."
"Hey, it's 2016. No need to speak like Shakespeare." Brad remarks dryly to Luna.
"Brad." Mila said, sighing as she roll her eyes at this.
As the training course is being set up, Brad heads into his room. He could barely be able to do so but the new Pegasus pony manages to get back into his room and locks it up.
Brad goes over to his bag and opens it, pulling out the Celestia and Twilight dolls. He smiles while playing.
"'Twilight, my favorite faithful student. Would you like to meet Ben'?" Brad ask as he imitates Celestia's voice.
"'Yes, but would it be awkward since he's your son and Cadance is your niece'?" "Twilight" ask in concern.
"No. Cadance is the daughter of another royal family. So the relationships won't be a problem.
"All right. Here's hoping."
As Brad kept on playing, he fails to see Nyx and Spike peeking in through the keyhole. The two looks amazed. He plays with MLP: FIM toys?
"Peeking in on somepony?" Pinkamena ask mischievously, making the two yelps. "I take it you found out Brad's secret."
"Wait, how did you figure that out?" Spike ask Pinkamena in bewilderment.
"I'm a Pinkie Pie, of course! Break the fourth wall and such."
"Well, I'm surprised he's playing though he seems to dislike us." Nyx said in concern, recalling Brad's behavior thus far. "Could it be that he's..."
"You best to let him come out...but the more pressure he's in, the more he will fess up." Pinkamena remarks with a smile to her two friends. "This isn't like the fact of the weird pairings the author is into."
"I don't think I wanna know."
A bit later, the training was now taking place in a field, away from Ponyville and hopefully away from spies.
"All right, now trotting is like getting on a bicycle." Twilight said thoughtfully. "Once you fall off..."
"Get up and sell it for scrap metal." Brad remarked with a smirk, making Rainbow laugh at that.
"Uh, no. I mean get right back up." Twilight remarked dryly.
"Okay, since Justin and Mila did so well, for the kids, just take one foot forward." Rarity said as she put a hoof in front of herself. "Like so."
"Like this?" Hayley asked Rarity as she and Brad put one foot forward.
"Got it." Applejack said with a smile. "Now just keep on doing it."
It took a few minutes or so, but Hayley and Brad was able to trot right and walk like ponies.
"Cool. It's like the episode where Twilight tried to train Rainbow for the Wonderbolts." Brad commented with a smile.
"First off, that kinda never happened until after we got back. Second, how would you know that?" Rainbow asked Brad suspiciously. How would he know that if he wasn't a Brony like his mother?
"Err...my mom...spoke of it." Brad said, gritting through his teeth. This made Applejack arch an eyebrow. She can tell when someone's lying.
"All right, now for Justin and Hayley, time to help our in the magic part." Celestia said to the new unicorns. Twilight, Rarity? Will you assist me with that?"
"It'll be our pleasure, Princess Celestia." Twilight said as she and Rarity bowed to her.
"And Rainbow and Fluttershy shall insist us in helping the new Pegasus." Luna said as she motioned to the New Pegasus.
Hayley smiled eagerly. This shall be fun!
Celestia, Twilight and Rarity worked on helping with their magic. Justin was having a bit of difficulty. He was even having trouble in teleportation.
Hayley, of course, was able to succeed without problems. It's like she was destined to be a unicorn.
"Very good, Hayley." Rarity said proudly. "You are a natural."
"Thanks." Hayley said with a smile.
Mila got a thoughtful yet concerned look on her face as she spoke to the princess, "Uh, Princess Celestia? Is it all right if I ask you a personal question?"
"About what?" Celestia asked Mila, wondering what she has in mind.
"At the end of 'A Canterlot Wedding Part I'...what were you and the Mane Five thinking?!" Mila asked Celestia, getting a bit upset. "I mean, trotting out on Twilight like that after accusing the fake Cadance of being evil?!"
The Mane Five looked guilty at hearing this while Twilight looked a bit worried. Celestia, however, sighed, "That was...a day I felt guilty about. We were upset and disappointed by Twilight's words and actions on that day...but more disappointed in ourselves for acting like that. I understand some Bronies were upset over that ending and I will understand if you wish to be mad at us."
"Actually, it's all right." Mila said with a smile. "I hold no grudge. I am just a bit upset. You all have good reasons to be disappointed...it's just the reaction that we aren't right about."
"It's in the past, so why don't we forget about it and move on?" Justin asked, wanting to move away from that.
For everyone else, that's a good idea. It's in the past, so let's go for it.
"All right, ponies." Rainbow said to the new Pegasus with a smirk. "Just flap up and down and..."
Brad suddenly zoomed off into the air, rushing past Rainbow and Fluttershy. The meek one exclaimed, "Whoa!"
Brad flew around in the air for a moment, and then landed down, smirking. He exclaimed, "Yeah! How about that?"
"Very good." Luna said, impressed. "But best not to show off."
"Right, Rainbow is already our showoff pony." Applejack joked a bit about Rainbow's ego showoff nature.
Rainbow just gave a glare to her friend/sister. How sad but true.
The training itself took a bit longer but the humans were able to act it. Soon, everyone stopped to have a picnic to get their energy back.
"Phew. Haven't been this tired in a long time." Twilight said with a sigh.
"Not since we got back anyway." Applejack remarked with a smile. "We done were having a bit of difficulty in re-adapting to life in Equestria."
"Speaking of adapting, I was thinking about those guys from Them's Fightin' Herds." Nyx said as she recalled the video game she, Spike and Brad played before, "Do you think we could ever meet them?"
"Maybe...for now, just watch these clips." Pinkie said as she somehow pulled a screen.
The humans and ponies saw scenes showing the Mane Six re-adapting to life in Equestria with a great deal of effort, gradually coming to grips with how much things have changed in the decade-and-a-half (Equestrian time) they've been going through with no fault of their own.
"I see. Nice." Mila's voice said impressed.
"Wait, where did you get the screen?" Brad's voice asked in bewilderment.
"Best not to ask, we gave up trying a long time ago." Spike's voice said in concern.
Once the clips were done, Pinkie pulled it up, saying happily, "This saves Jus the trouble of doing dialogue and such for the flashbacks."
"That's good for him and Neros, I say." Nyx remarked with a smile.
"Ah, yes, I get it." Justin said with a light chuckle. "Breaking the Fourth Wall. That's what I love about you girls."
"Did someone ordered a Royal Guard?" A familiar voice spoke up. Everyone saw two familiar ponies, a Pegasus and a unicorn, arriving.
"Flash! You're here!" Ben exclaimed as he trotted over to give his best friend a hug. "It's great to see you. So what's up?"
Flash smiled as he spoke up, "Sunset and I are on vacation. And what way we do is spending great time with you here?"
"Yeah, after some crazy adventures especially mine from Equestria Girls, I could get some break. And I thought meeting my own friends here was the best." Sunset said with a giggle. Justin's group could guess that this Sunset is the EG one.
"Glad you two could join us, Sunset." Starlight said happily.
"Right, we haven't seen ya in quite a while." Jack Zen said with a smile to the newcomers. "Come, join us for our picnic."
"So wait, that's Flash Sentry? The one that some fans like to paired with in the EG films?" Brad asked puzzled, making Hayley look at him. "Uh, lucky guess?"
“Huh? So who are those ponies? I'd never seen them before." Flash said, giving a puzzled look to Justin, Mila, Hayley and Brad. He hasn't seen these new ponies until now.
Sunset hummed curiously, noting their actions, "Their behavior is kinda odd like they're still getting use to their bodies. This almost looks like..."
"We can explain." Ben said seriously. He knew that Sunset was suspecting something so may as well tell her.
"No, Ben!" Shadow Dragon exclaimed in alarm. He felt like it wasn't a good idea to tell Flash and Sunset about this!
"Come on, Shadow Dragon. He can be trusted. He's my best friend." Ben insisted to Shadow Dragon. His best friend could keep a secret after all, so why not?
"So what's up?" Flash asked, suspecting that his friend is about to give him an explanation.
"These ponies here are actually humans, Flash." Sweetie said.
"And this unicorn...was our adopted dad." Twilight said, nuzzling Justin, who smiled a bit.
"No way..." Flash said in surprise and disbelief. The newcomers are humans?
"For real?" Sunset asked, surprised and amazed as well.
"Yeah, and we really love him." Fluttershy said happily before giving a squee.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Flash." Justin chuckled as he took Flash's hoof and shook it. "I was hoping to meet you. Some pals of mine are fans of you with Sunset."
"Thanks, sir." Flash said with a smile to Justin. "Ben and Twilight told us about you...but we never met you in person...err, pony!"
"I've enjoyed your performances in the EG films." Hayley said to Sunset happily. "Your song where you turned into a phoenix? Wow!"
"Aww, shucks." Sunset giggled with a blush.
"Hey, Brad? Looks like this is the same Flash who was nicknamed Brad." Hayley remarked to Brad with a chuckle.
"Yeah, a bit ironic." Brad remarked with a light chuckle.
"Well, you seem to lighten up lately." Mila said to Brad with a suspicious yet amused look to her son. "Perhaps you got something you want to share."
"Err, nothing, nothing, really." Brad said nervously, trying to keep appearances. "The whole thing? Lame!"
"Hmm, Rainbow, he's acting like you did when you tried to deny liking to read." Pinkie said suspiciously, reminding Rainbow of when she tried to deny her new favorite habit of reading.
"Yeah, but I was better." Rainbow remarked arrogantly.
At this time, a familiar boyfriend of Starlight's shows up, sighing, "Phew... That's a lot of work. Sorry, I'm late. What I'd miss?"
"It’s one thing you're gonna be shocked and surprised about.” Starlight said with a smile. She had a feeling her love would want to know about the newcomers as well.
Twilight sighs as she looked concerned, not about the problem with the Mystic Ponies, but with something else.
"Still upset you and the others missed seeing me, Nyx and the Crusaders growing up thanks to the efforts of Lizardo, Smaug and Chaotix, Twi?" Spike asked Twilight suspiciously, wondering why she looked upset.
Twilight nodded as she spoke, "Yeah. I know YOU know it was through no fault of my own, but still, missing so much stuff a good mother should be there for DOES take quite an emotional toll."
Spike hugged Twilight in assuring, "Well, at least you were found and returned in time to see Pipsqueak proposing to Nyx."
"Yeah. There IS that. Ben did an excellent job raising you in my absence." Twilight remarked with a smile. It's true. Her love did well in taking care of the two while she was missing.
"Well, Ben had A LOT of help." Spike said with a chuckle.
"Yeah, but that doesn't mean he did any worse a job. I thank you, Ben AND Nyx all very much for helping me re-adapt to Equestrian life." Twilight said with a smile, nuzzling her Dragon son.
"Much like Applejack's family helped her re-adapt, Sweetie Belle helped Rarity re-adapt, Scootaloo and Soarin' helped Rainbow re-adapt, the Cakes (including the twins) have helped Pinkie re-adapt and Discord and Fluttershy's animals helped HER re-adapt. And, anyway, you are quite welcome." Spike said to his adopted mother playfully.
Everyone soon chose this time to take a break and relax. They have been training all day and thus earned it.
"You must be very proud." Celestia said to Justin with a beaming smile. "Your adopted daughters has grown up well especially when it comes to readapting to life in Equestria."
"Yeah, glad to hear that, Celestia." Justin said with a sigh as he manages to use his magic to drink some Apple Cider.
"And how was life since that day?"
"Doing fine. I'm doing my best to resume being a good father. The fillies coming in our lives helped improved it. I'm concerned for one thing."
"Which is?" Celestia ask, arching an eyebrow in curiosity. She wonders what her friend has in mind.
"Well...I was hoping that Mila is the one. Ever since Susan died, it was lonely for me and Hayley. And after the Mane Six's departure..." Justin pauses, sighing as he glances at his adopted daughters talking and laughing a bit. "Well, I wonder if dating Mola is the right thing to do and if Hayley does approve of her."
"Justin. I saw how Mila and Hayley got along. I am sure she will approved. If your heart says you should do this...then do it."
Justin pauses, smiling a bit to Mila who is flying around while Hayley watches with a smile on her face. Maybe the princess does have a point. If Mila is the one...to help healed the pain from the loss of Susan...
Although the Mane Six's group and the princesses did their best to hide Justin's group from those who wishes ill on them, it didn't take long for reports of the humans' presence to reach someone that they didn't want to know.
"Humans? In our home?" Nezha demands to a Mystic Scout in fury. His colleagues looks shocked. There hasn't been a human in the Mystic Realm in centuries. And now, it looks like there're some in Equestria!
"We're still not sure. We'll keep our eye sharp for any update." The same Mystic Scout reports to Nezha in concern.
"You'd better. Now go and learn more about this. The Humans will do anything to control us. Not if we control them first."
The Mystic Scout bowed as he leave. ZeekCrimson gave an uneasy look as he ask Nezha, "Won't we get ourselves into trouble? We are not allow to mobilize the troops without our master's permission."
Soki the Kuro Oni nodded as he adds, "I agree. Its best we wait for his return and discuss with him."
"No...Its best we deal with this now. Until we confirm the rumors were true, we remain vigilant and be ready to hunt them down. They can run, but they cannot hide from us." Nezha remains bitterly as he look out a window to the outside in thought.
If the humans wishes to take the Mystic Realm, he will fight to the death if need be!