• Published 1st Nov 2013
  • 1,072 Views, 12 Comments

Lost Legacies Zero - AkibaWhite

The Harmony Storm approaches . . .

  • ...



[7:00 PM, The Night Of]

In spite of the evils done in the Northern Woodlands earlier that day, twilight came upon the Everfree Forest peaceful and luminous. Rich earth tinted dull violet by the fading sun parted before the claws of Spike the dragon as he dug his way beneath the underbrush in search of precious jewels. With nothing yet to show for his efforts at this particular stop, he gave himself a momentary reprieve, arching his dorsal spines up past the edge of the hole to catch the cool breeze. His eyes drifted upward to gaze upon a dazzling sight.

Rumors of the Crystalline Grove had proven true. The otherwise normal trees in this peaceful stretch of woods sprouted leaves with the transparency of finely-crafted glass, and they refracted light in much the same way. The entire canopy overhead was awash in glowing purple hues, accented by the occasional flash of shimmering red. It was a picture of beauty that Spike had never before witnessed, but in his young eyes, even this kaleidoscope of colors paled in comparison to the unicorn mare standing over him.

Rarity looked down at her scaly companion with typical bemusement, her normally snow-white coat stained in the flowing colors that danced all around. "Found something, Spike?"

"Nah," said Spike with a shrug of his shoulders, his tone as calm and casual as he wanted Rarity to believe he was. He returned to the dirt, careful to push aside confused earthworms as his digging claws penetrated the second mineral layer. "I'm kinda wondering if this 'crystal grove' is really all it's—" His right hand tapped against an object quite solid. "Cracked up to be."

Spike latched onto the rock and pulled it forth, but his momentary excitement gave way to disappointment at the sight of his find. He held the palm-sized stone aloft and shook his head. "Aww," he groaned. "Thought I had something for a second there, but it's just a piece of quartz." He looked into Rarity's sapphire eyes, finding surprise and wonder where he expected none.

"Spike," Rarity whispered in the hushed tones of awe. "Do you have any idea what you've found?"

Perplexed, the young dragon brought the roughly-hewn six-sided prism down to his level once more. "Not really," he answered. "It's pretty clear for quartz, though. Looks sorta like the leaves in the trees around here."

Rarity smiled. "The color, Spike. Look at the color."

Spike raised an eyebrow. "What? It doesn't have any color; it's just catching the light from the . . . trees." It certainly was not. The rays of last light faded from the sky above, but the multicolored glow of the crystal in his hand did not fade with it.

The light of the strange gem danced in Rarity's eyes. "That, dear Spike, is a Heart's Prism—a jewel that shines with the feelings of the one who holds it." Her smile widened. "Hmm, whatever could you be feeling right now to make it give off that light?"

Spike blushed and tried to eclipse the glow with his hand. "Nothin'," he mumbled. "Must be broken."

Rarity laughed. "I'm only kidding, darling." Spike's grip loosened in response, allowing her to take hold of the crystal with her magic. "But this is quite the find. Heart's Prism has ever been the hallmark of the mines at Piebald Peak, and even there it's considered a once-in-a-lifetime sign of good fortune." She tilted her head. "Though there are the old rumors of veins running beneath Canterlot to consider."

Spike shuffled his feet and folded his hands behind his back. "Wow, so this thing's actually pretty awesome, huh?" He felt a certain level of pride at uncovering such treasure, but in truth, he wished that he'd found a ruby or an emerald—anything that could be thrown into the cart and send them on their merry way. He gazed longingly at the entranced unicorn mare and thought, How am I ever gonna say what I came out here to say if we spend all night talking about some stupid rock?

Rarity seemed not to notice her companion's misgivings as the light faded from the crystal. "You know, Spike, there are quite a few scholars who believe that the very Elements of Harmony are made from some form of Heart's Prism." She raised an eyebrow, a sign of sudden inspiration that only a few of her friends knew how to read.

"The Elements?" Spike gasped, his concerns momentarily forgotten. "Seriously?"

Rarity's magic tore a thin strip of leather from the strap of her saddlebags. "Well, it's not as if they've any way of proving it conclusively." With a concentrated aura burst that made her squint, she punctured a tiny hole in the top of the crystal. "Even so, the more a Heart's Prism is cut down and refined, the fewer emotions it responds to. The inner light grows stronger, and the number of colors grows smaller." She looped the leather cord through the hole and tied it off to create something of a crude necklace. "In theory, if one kept whittling a Heart's Prism down, you'd be left with a gem of one color and one dazzling light that responds to just one inner value." She floated the necklace over Spike's head and allowed it to fall gracefully around his neck. Her smile became positively radiant when she saw the light inside the crystal once more. "Say, for instance, generosity?"

Spike was stunned. He took the necklace's jewel in hand and shook his head. "Holy cow, Rarity. I can't accept something like this."

"I don't see why not," replied Rarity with a provocative grin. "It looks quite dashing on you."

Dashing? thought Spike. He flushed hard at the compliment. "B-but you said this crystal's worth a ton! I couldn't . . ."

Rarity sighed. "An entire vein of it might be, but this little gem's too small for refinement, darling. As it is, it's just something rather pretty to look at, and I'd like you to have it." She offered him a helping hoof. "I do get so few opportunities to repay all the kindness you've shown me, after all."

Spike looked deeply into those sparkling blue eyes he adored. Rarity had done her level best to hide it, but he could tell that the gift had a meaning well beyond casual benevolence. She'd been thinking about it for some time prior, of a way to show gratitude and affection for a dear friend, and perhaps, something more. Before this moment, Spike had believed himself alone in that kind of thinking. Joy and relief washed over him as he took hold of the extended hoof. In his heart, he renewed the decision he'd made earlier that day. Tonight, I'll find a way, he thought. A way to tell you how much I love you.

"Thank you, Rarity," said Spike as he clambered up to the forest floor. "For everything, really."

Rarity gave a playful toss of her mane. "Think nothing of it, darling. Now, shall we go?" She motioned toward the wooden gem cart several feet away. "I get the feeling we won't find the kind of gems we're looking for in this particular grove."

Spike looked up once more at the otherworldly canopy overhead. "Really? Why not?"

Rarity tapped the stone that now dangled from her companion's neck as they made their way to the cart. "Remember how this whole area lit up when I tried to fixate on gemstones? Given the typical origins of Heart's Prisms, I suspect that this one and a few others like it drifted downstream from Crystal Mountain during the mining period that went on before the building of Canterlot. With time and proper groundwater absorption, it's more than likely that every one of these trees has taken on crystalline qualities." She shrugged. "Looking for decorative gems in this grove will be like searching for one needle in a haystack of needles, to borrow a bit of Apple family parlance."

When she looked to see her friend's reaction, Rarity noticed that Spike stopped in his tracks. "Spike?" she asked. "Is something the matter?"

A slow smile crept across Spike's reptilian features. "Not really. I just would've expected a lesson like that from Twilight."

Rarity rolled her eyes. "Don't be silly, dear. Of course I know about gemstones; it's my business to know." She looked to the side. "Still, while we're on the subject, how is Twilight lately?"

"Twilight?" asked Spike. He failed to hide a slight grimace. "Could we, um, maybe talk about somepony else?"

Concern flooded Rarity's expression. "Oh, I know it must be uncomfortable for you to talk about her like this, but you must realize that we've all been so very worried about her since that dreadful business at the last slumber party. Something scared poor Twilight half to death that night, but she kept on insisting that nothing was wrong." Rarity brought her head level with Spike's and looked him straight in the eye. "Twilight has this terrible habit of bottling up what bothers her, and we all know where that can lead. Has anything changed about her since that night, Spike? Strange reading habits? Fitful dreams?" Her lips became a thin line. "Empty mason jars in odd places?"

"Huh?" said Spike, genuinely surprised. "No, none of those things." He scratched at his spines. "Actually, I didn't even know anything bad happened that night until just now."

Rarity brought a hoof to her chest. "Well, that is a relief, I must say." Then came a raised eyebrow. "But if nothing strange is happening, why didn't you want to talk about her?"

Spike looked away. "Um . . ."


Comments ( 1 )

Wonder how the Elements went from raw Heart's Prism to the semi-intelligent machines we see in LL.

Also: yesss more Rarity!

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