• Published 31st Mar 2014
  • 3,908 Views, 67 Comments

Rites of Ascension: Fireside Tales - CvBrony



A collection of small, self-contained, often single-chapter mini-stories set in the Rites of Ascension universe.

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The Imminence of Dreams

The Imminence of Dreams

Okay Rarity, keep calm. You can do this. It's only the most prestigious party you've been to in years with the highest concentration of fashion greats the world has ever known. It's no big deal.

Rarity stood up straight and looked her mirror image in the eyes. It silently accused her of lying.

Oh, who am I kidding. This is the worst. Thing. Ever! There are two hundred ponies in the other room and every single one of them is older and more experienced in fashion than I am. I bet even the caterers think this dress is a sin against haute couture!

Her own hoof swung through the air and smacked the side of her face. Get a grip, filly. You'll be okay. Even if it is a disaster, you can always change your name and move. It will be okay.

She rolled her shoulders and took a deep breath, followed by another, and another, and another. In total silence, she massaged the marred makeup on her cheek with her magic, putting it back into place.

There. It's back to being merely 'awful,’ instead of a war crime.

Carefully, she locked her face in a solemn expression, then slowly shifted it until it was her best polite smile that she could manage. Not too wide, not too small, but just enough to convey the proper attitude expected.

She then ran right back to the mirror.

No, no, no, no! That's not right! Shorten that stride, nose higher up, and keep those hips under control! Sway like that and they'll mistake you for some Fillydelphia hussy! Subtlety, Rarity, subtlety!

She took another breath and then reset her expression again, this time keeping her nose higher and her poise under lockdown.

Just keep it up, and we'll be fine.

With a delicate, poised gait, she strolled out the door and back into the banquet hall. Just keep walking, Rarity. One step in front of the other. Somewhat more slowly. No, too slow, go faster! No, that's too fast!

She was in the middle of the hall by the time a dawning realization froze her in place. I have absolutely no idea where I'm going.

Quickly she glanced around, reorienting herself. To the left, there were snacks and refreshments, and to the right, the band. More importantly, all throughout the hall there were groups of ponies standing in tight circles chatting away, and she didn't know any of said ponies well enough to break into any of them.

Her polite expression faltered into a nervous mess. Okay, Rarity, don't panic, just, walk around them like you know where you're going until you can find an opening.

She cleared her throat, then did her best to resume that polite smile as she made her way around the room. Damnit, Fancy Pants! Why'd you have to go and cancel at the last minute!?

Her eyes darted around, rapidly examining each individual group. Silver Seam? No, we've only spoken once. Maybe Rose Ribbon? No, she insulted last spring's line. Blueblood? Oh, Celestia, no!

She was most of the way around the room and about to give up and have that panic attack that was slowly crawling up her leg and into her lips when she finally found a target of opportunity. There, across from the refreshments table was a lonely-looking pony sitting down near a corner with only one other pony talking to her.

Wait, am I really so desperate as to talk to somepony that's clearly so… antisocial? It might isolate me for the rest of— Wait! Is that… No, it couldn't be!

Rarity looked away for a few seconds to not seem like she was staring, then glanced back. It is! It's Evening Styles! What's she doing off in the corner? She's a legend!

Her mind did some fast guesswork over the situation while she bit her lip. Okay, she's only Evening Styles. Arguably the biggest name in fashion of the past century. Revolutionized the little black dress, ushering in a new era of design. So why is she over there? She glanced back over at the other groups, which were all still effectively impregnable. With a swallow, she turned back towards Evening and walked over intent on starting a conversation. When she got closer, she realized one was already in progress.

"I said, no," Evening snapped at her companion.

"Come now," the blue stallion replied. "It's a fair price, I'd say."

Rarity quickly ran an assessment of the two. The stallion she didn't entirely recognize, but his suit was certainly, to put it bluntly, unique. Red was most definitely not in vogue this season, which meant he was either trying to make it so (and failing) or far more clueless than Rarity would have expected given the rest of the company. Ms. Styles, meanwhile, was in a classic black dress that she might've worn as a young mare, which had, naturally, come back in style just recently.

She chided herself. Remember, Rarity, don't just look at what they're wearing. Look at what they're doing.

The stallion had an air of superiority about him like most Canterlot ponies; one shared by Evening, but something was off. He was looking down on her!

"I'm not interested in your bits or your company, Stitch. I want you to leave."

The stallion just rolled his eyes. "Farewell, then, Ms. Styles. I wish you the best," he said with a huff as he left.

Evening glared at him as he walked away, her eyes burning hot enough to possibly catch his hideous suit on fire. When he was out of sight, she sighed and looked down into her drink.

Seconds passed, followed by minutes. Each little clink of the ice in the glass sent a bolt of fire up Rarity's nerves, pulsing into her foreleg and temple. About the time her anxiety was ready to clench her jaw tight enough to crack her molars, she gave a little polite cough to get her attention.

"What!?" Evening snapped, causing Rarity to jump back with a foreleg raised in shock.

"Um," Rarity squeaked, nearly frozen. A multitude of possible responses were flowing somewhere in her mind, but her conscious self was as far away from the mental state needed to use any of them as the moon was from the sea. "Nice party?"

She looked her over for a few seconds, and it dawned on Rarity that she was likely doing the same type of assessment of her dress that she did on her not a few moments ago. If her heart had it's way, she would've run screaming, but her mind was too terrified to possibly hope to send any kind of command to her legs.

"What do you want?" the mare asked sternly.

"What do I want?" Rarity repeated. Two seconds later, her mind caught up. "Oh! Oh," she swallowed. "Just some conversation."

The mare kept eyeing her like a dress in a bargain bin for a couple more moments before finally relenting. "I suppose that will do. Sit. Maybe you can keep some of these parasites away."

Rarity blinked a few times at the harsh tone, unable to move until a strong glare from Evening finally got her hind legs to buckle and allow her to sit. Afterwards, she got treated to several more moments of excruciatingly silent judgement.

"So?" Evening asked. "What's your name?"

"My name?" Rarity's mind caught up again. "Oh, my name! Rarity. Rarity Belle, at your service."

That was worth a raised eyebrow, apparently. "The Element Bearer?"

"The same." She smiled. Yes, she's heard of me! She's heard of me! Wait, calm down, filly, so has all of Equestria by now from the whole 'Elements of Harmony' thing.

The other mare looked around the room. "I don't see any of the other Bearers."

Uh-oh. "Oh, no, I'm not here as a Bearer. Just as a designer."

A light seemed to turn on behind Evening's eyes, which then rolled. "My apologies, my mind is failing me as of late. I should have remembered that."

"Oh, no no, it's quite alright. I'm just overjoyed that you've even heard of my work at all!" She's heard of me! She's heard of me! Had the rest of the party been privy to Rarity's private thoughts, they'd have bared witness to the most gleeful of girly giggles in history.

"I can't say I remember enough to offer an appraisal, but it is good to see that at least some in the next generation have some manners."

Even as her soul rolled around on the floor with joy, her body and mind restored their poise. "I quite agree. It seems courtesy in fashion has been going out of style as of late, and it's a true shame."

Evening smirked, looking her over again. "You're still relatively new to the Canterlot scene, aren't you my dear?"

She swallowed. "Well, to tell the truth I'm not really 'in' the scene at all. My studio is still in Ponyville."

"Ponyville? Really?"

Rarity nodded, her smile breaking down.

“Where is my head today? Of course it has to be in Ponyville. You’re a Bearer!”

“But I’ve always wanted to live in Canterlot! All the glamour, the sophistication! I’ve been practicing and saving constantly to try to move, but it’s all been just out of reach…”

"I know the feeling. I can at least tell you that you have the accent down; I can’t find a hint of ‘Ponyville’ in it. I could’ve sworn you sounded like somepony that’s been here for some time."

She exhaled. "Well, I've always thought I should act as though I belong where I want to be, rather than where I am."

A calm grin finally crossed Evening's face. "Well, you have that part right at least. Yet, where are my manners? I'm Evening Styles."

"Charmed, though I'm certain you already knew that I know exactly who you are."

"Who here doesn't?" She motioned to the room with her glass. "Doesn't do me as many favors as you might think."

"Oh, come now! Your work in fashion has been the basis of high art for generations! How many designers have been able to say that their same dresses have come back into style three times?"

Evening chuckled. "Well, it does save on patterns after a while, but still. As a member of the old guard, I feel I must disillusion you. This is the most cutthroat business in the world, dear. The politeness is a façade, and to succeed you must see the game underneath it." She pointed at a stallion across the room. "See him? Next to Blueblood?"

"You mean Sure Stitch?"

"The same. He's over there, chatting up the Prince because he thinks he can convince him to put a stop to the eminent domain seizure of his studio in Cloudsdale. What he doesn't know is that the reason it's his studio getting seized is because Fast Fashion over there is sleeping with the good prince just so she can eliminate Sure Stitch as competition in that city."

A wretched crawl slipped up her spine at the thought of anypony doing anything with Blueblood for any reason.

"Oh, it gets worse, hun."

"No offense, Madame Styles, but I don't believe you. It can’t possibly be worse."

The devilish sneer Evening put on told her that maybe, just maybe, she was somehow wrong about that. "Oh, but it is. Cashmere over there pays shoplifters to have them, shall we say, reduce inventory at her closest competitors. And Silk Suit? Most of us are reasonably sure he's been burgling other designers' homes these past few years, stealing designs."

Rarity's jaw could've been used as an airship hangar. "You're kidding! Why doesn't some pony do something?"

Evening shrugged. "You need proof first. Then you need to find who they're paying off, then give a better offer. Sadly, that's prohibitively expensive. So, you learn to think outside the box, and get some tricks of your own. If you don’t stay sharp, you get cut down yourself."

"A 'trick' is waterproofing a seam with magic. Not… this! I honestly don't know what to say!"

"It's not too late, you know." She knocked back the rest of her drink.

Rarity didn't respond. She was too utterly stunned to possibly be able to respond. Here was an absolutely legend besmirching the entire field to which she'd devoted her life’s work, not to mention the reputation of some other extremely well respected fashion moguls. She absolutely, steadfastly refused to believe any of these slanderous words.

Then, something happened in the corner of her eye. Fast Fashion left her circle and walked behind Sure Stitch, and Stitch clearly saw her coming and deliberately stuck his rear hoof out. Before she could yell out a warning, the mare had already tripped and fell to the 'polite' chuckles of a few other patrons.

"You see?" Evening came up next to her. "There's a stark difference between being polite and being kind, or generous. Like I said, there's still time."

"Time for what?" she whispered.

"Go back to Ponyville. Stay there, stay safe. You needn't get dragged down into this pit of diamond dogs and manticores. It would be a true crime for a Bearer to sully her hooves so." Evening walked away, disappearing into the crowd and leaving Rarity alone to her thoughts.


“You’re still here?”

Rarity turned away from the view off the balcony, and looked at Evening coming up to her. Sighing, she took her forehooves off the railing. “Yes, yes I am. But I’ve been thinking about what you told me.”

The old mare raised an eyebrow. “And?”

“I still want to open a studio someplace big someday.” She turned to Evening with a smirk. “But there’s no way in Tartarus I’m sleeping with Blueblood to do it.”

“Ha! Well, good on you, sweetie. That waste of space has enough mares in his bed.”

Rarity chuckled a bit. “That he does. But it’s Rarity. Sweetie is my sister.”

“Oh! Dear me, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that was a family member’s name!”

“Yes, Sweetie Belle. She’s quite a dear, so it’s alright, truly. I’m quite confident she’ll be somepony famous one day herself. She sings like an angel, you see. Do keep an eye out for her.” Rarity winked.

“Well,” Evening smiled. “If it works out that way, I shall do so. Are you sure you still want to dance this dance, though? I told you, this is a cut-throat business.”

Rarity indulged herself by leaning her hoof. “I’m pretty sure. It would be awful to come all this way for nothing, after all.”

“Mmm...”

Evening joined Rarity in leaning on the rail, and a long silence passed between them, with nothing but the howl of wind through the lesser mountains echoing through their ears.

Rarity turned to her and asked, “So what tricks do you use?”

“Hmm? What do you mean?”

“Come now, you mentioned that everyone in the business has at least one trick up their sleeves. Burglary, politics, who knows what else? What did you do?”

Evening shook her head. “A lady never reveals her secrets.”

Rarity smirked. “Of course we do, some just don’t do so wisely. I dare say, Fast Fashion was revealing her ‘secret’ to Blueblood.”

“Haha! Oh, I should have met you long ago. It’s good to be able to share wits with someone so openly.”

She lifted a glass to the older unicorn. “To friends we should have always had!”

The clink of the glasses helped calm her nerves far more than the alcohol going down her throat. The night hadn’t been a total waste after all. One new contact was something, at least! She turned back to the mountains and the soft, singing purple light they were awash in.

“Fencing.”

Rarity looked back at her guest. “What?”

“Fencing. You asked what trick I use. It’s fencing.”

“Really?”

“In my younger years, I was the best in the Canterlot Fencing Club. Hard to keep up with the foals these days, though. Still, it’s great exercise. It keeps you alert and agile. It also doesn’t hurt that others in the game know you can chop them to pieces if they step too far out of line.”

Rarity let out a weak, somewhat unconvincing laugh. Was that supposed to be funny?

“So you really think you’re committed to this?”

She nodded. “It’s something I’ve wanted since before I even got my cutie mark.”

That seemed to her off guard a little. “Since before you got your cutie mark? That is something.”

“That it is,” she said as she took another sip.

“Well then, just one more question. Your friends, the other Bearers in Ponyville. Are you prepared to leave them to chase this dream?”

Rarity smiled, and looked back out over the horizon, and focused her eyes on a small village out in the distance. It was just barely visible in the fading light. “Have you ever met my friend, Twilight Sparkle?”

“I can’t say that I have.”

Rarity smiled, then looked back out over the railing at the sun lowering over the horizon. “She’s something else, but I always felt that she was quite naïve. I guess, in truth, I’m not much better.”

“Oh?”

“Despite that, she’s truly the best friend a pony could ever have. I envy her. Not because of her prestige, intelligence, or nigh-unimaginable magical prowess. I envy her because she found something she wanted in life, and embraced it, even when it meant leaving behind the life she knew. She gained so much for it, including a greater set of friends than I could ever hope to find again.

“But, life, as it is, flows. One of us, Pinkie Pie, has already left for Manehatten. She’s a party planner there now. Despite her leaving, I dare say, the Laughter hasn’t left us. She visits all the time, and we go there too. She’s forged ahead to something greater and grander, and I can’t blame her a bit. I know it’ll bring me to tears when I do it too, but I’m determined to live up to their examples.”

The sun finally dipped over the horizon, giving the world a brief goodbye before Luna’s night and brightest stars took over.

“Beautiful,” Evening whispered.

“Truly.” Rarity finished off her champagne.

Her guest got off the rail, and winced a little when her hooves hit the ground. “Ouch. I’m afraid I’m getting a bit too old to be staying out late like this.”

“The work never really ceases, does it?”

“No,” Evening laughed. “No it does not! Speaking of, why don’t you stop by my studio tomorrow morning? I’ll help you get an edge on these robber barons.”

Rarity lost all her poise and slumped off the rail, jaw agape. “Really? You’d do that for me?”

She turned to leave. “Yes, I would. Fashion is a business of greed, vanity, and self-promotion. It would be good to be, well, Generous, for a change. Will you be there?”

Her smile absolutely refused to be contained. “Darling, I wouldn’t miss it for all the rice in Neighpon!”

“Excellent! You shan't regret it, dear. I’m afraid there’s somepony I have to see tonight, so I’ll be taking my leave from the party a bit early. You should go back and try to enjoy yourself, but remember to watch your back! Au revoir!”

Rarity waved politely, then waited a good long minute before making absolutely certain that nopony saw or heard the most excited, fangirlish little dance and squeal she’d ever done.


Rarity shivered a bit in the brisk morning air. Just because Canterlot’s weather was regulated didn’t mean it didn’t get a bit chilly before the sun came up. She didn’t let it slow her down, though. She just let it feel invigorating on her coat, keeping her awake for the chance meeting of a lifetime: personal advice from the legendary Evening Styles in one of the most famous fashion studios in all of Canterlot and history!

She could’ve sworn Celestia was raising the sun just for her as her hooves tapped on the fancy stone path, even though there were more than a handful of other ponies getting ready for their day. The magical lamps lining the streets were flickering off from the increasing sunlight, and it seemed even the pair of Day Guards standing watch had just the tiniest bit of a smile on their faces... maybe. In any event, Rarity certainly saw it as such.

With a light song humming in her throat, she rounded the corner to take in the sight of Ms. Styles’s studio, cozily situated on the busiest corner of La Rue De L’Argent, one of the most famous streets of shopping and fashion in all of Equestria. Saying that it stunned her would be a massive understandment, particularly because there was nothing there.

Well, that wasn’t entirely accurate. The shop was there, but it was empty. There were no racks of clothes, or ponyquins in the windows. There wasn’t even a sign. Stripped down to it’s very fixtures, it was an empty shell of the legend it once was.

Confused, Rarity looked around at the other corners, thinking that maybe she just got turned around, but the other shops were all there as they should have been. Her legs started shaking from the adrenaline when she realized there could be no doubt: this was where the boutique was supposed to be.

I’ve been stood up? Her heart sank, sending her hind legs to the ground. Cut throat indeed, Evening.

“Excuse me, are you Mrs. Rarity Belle?”

Rarity turned around to see a dark purple unicorn stallion approaching her with a bundle of paperwork.

“Um,” she swallowed. “It’s Ms. Ms. Rarity Belle, but yes, I am.”

“My name is Fine Print. I’m Evening Styles’ lawyer.”

Her heart jumped up all the way from where it had sunk and lodged itself in her throat. “Her… lawyer? Am I being sued!?

He shook his head with a mournful expression. “No, not at all. I see you haven’t heard then. Ms. Styles passed away last night. I’m here to execute her last wishes via her will.”

The words hit her so hard she literally fell over on her side and had to force herself back up. “What!? How!? I just saw her twelve hours ago!”

“I know. She wasn’t supposed to leave the hospital, but snuck out to that damned party. When she returned, she called me and had her change her will. It’s remarkable she kept her wits about her as long as she did. Sungold’s Syndrome normally isn’t kind to the mind, but she was exceptional, as ever. Even managed to keep the fact that she was sick at all under wraps.”

“Sungold’s Syndrome!? But she was lucid! I talked to her!”

“I’m certain she was, I talked to her too.” The lawyer walked up to the doors of the studio, pulled out a small gold key, and unlocked the glass double doors, pulling them open. “But the mind and horn aren’t the only thing that disease attacks. Her heart just couldn’t keep up anymore, I’m afraid. The nurses made sure it was peaceful, though.”

Rarity just stood there, wishing she had her fainting couch. Right then, she was barely able to stay sitting, one forehoof supporting her jaw. I just... this can’t be real!

“Aren’t you going to go in?” the lawyer asked.

“Go... in?” she squeaked, completely lost.

He floated a bundle of paperwork and the key over to her. “When she changed her will, she left the studio to you.”

“What!?”

The lawyer walked in the space and motioned for her to follow him. Rarity’s mind wasn’t even up to processing whether or not to obey; her legs just did the thinking, stepping into the bare shop, the paper floating in her magic which also seemed to have a mind of it’s own.

“She kept working up until the last couple of days, when she just couldn’t do it anymore. A few unicorn construction workers came in yesterday morning and stripped it down in hours. It’s remarkable how fast they can work. Of course, as soon as they did, I got a line of ponies outside my door asking if they could buy it. Damn fools didn’t realize what was going on, and even if they did, I bet they would’ve tried to buy it anyway. Heh. Lot of good bits do to a dying mare with no family. I bet they would have tried to bribe me had they known.”

Rarity would have loved to join in the conversation, but all she could manage to eke out was “This... this is... Himma... Pos...”

He turned back towards the door and put a hoof on her shoulder. “I can see you need some time. I’ll be at the café down the street getting some coffee. Whenever you’re ready, meet me there and we’ll get the paperwork finalized.” His magic pulled out a paper from the bundle. “She also left this letter for you.”

She sat back down as he left, still unable to appreciate all that was happening to her. She was in a shop. Her shop! Her boutique! The most famous piece of fashion real estate in all of Canterlot! If she hadn’t dreamt of it for so long, she could sell it on the spot, retire to Ponyville and live comfortably for the rest of her life!

The adrenaline finally started to drain away, and she fell backwards to lean on a wall. Very slowly, she pulled her mouth closed again, and lifted the letter up to read it.

Rarity,

It would be a true shame to let the shop go to the auction block to be bought by somepony that would merely use it as a status symbol instead of putting their soul into it. I feel it would be under far better care while in your hooves, so I’ve decided to leave it to you. However, take my advice: do not try to copy my designs in some ill-fated attempt to ‘honor my legacy’ or any such nonsense. You will never find success that way, to say nothing of happiness. Let your heart sing out with your very special art.

I must say, it was a pleasure to meet you. I’ve never met another designer that so reminded me of myself as a young mare. Heartwarming though that should be, I worry for you. Keep your friends from Ponyville, Rarity. Cherish them, keep them close, and never let them go. Nopony you meet in Canterlot will ever be as true to you as they will.

Now, show these pompous blowhards what fashion is supposed to be, and remember,

Stay sharp,

Evening Styles

The paper floated down the instant she got to the final words. Her magic had given out from lack of focus.

This was it; this was really, truly it. A dream come true, yes, but one simultaneously crushing her heart and drowning her in the sheer hugeness of it all. Yesterday, she was a up-and-coming but still small time designer. The only thing huge about her in the world of fashion was her dreams. Now, literally overnight, the fantasy was real! It was here! Yet she had no idea what to do with it.

“Um, hello?”

She heard a light knocking, and turned to face the pony at the door, not even bothering to wipe away her tears. He was a small brown stallion with a ridiculously poofy blonde mane and an riotously pretentious outfit.

“I heard this place is going on the market,” he said. “Are you who I need to talk to about it?”

All of Evening’s words last night came rushing through her mind like a hurricane blowing around a billion copies of the letters in her hooves, sparking her mind and rushing through her soul like wind down a mountain. She felt awake!

The dream is real... A true fantasy... Yes, that should about do it.

Very slowly and deliberately, she rose to her hooves, not shaking in the slightest. When she lifted up her head, she inhaled, lifting her eyelids to the most shimmer vision she’d ever had. A toss of her mane shuffled it back into place. Lightning her horn, she bundled up the papers, and took in a breath of air from her boutique. Then, she put on a calm, confident smile and strode out the doors.

“I’m very sorry, but you have been misinformed,” she said calmly.

“But it looks empty, and I—”

She closed the doors tightly, then turned the key, feeling the deadbolt lock them in place. Her nose ever so slightly in the air, she slipped the key into the floating bundle of documents. “That will soon change. My name is Rarity Belle, and this is my shop. Welcome to The Faerie Tale Boutique, where all your fashion dreams come true! I do hope you’ll come by again when we’re ready to open! Ta~!”

She trotted ahead towards the café, letting a nice spring form in her step as she walked up to the lawyer drinking a coffee on the patio. She let the papers flop on the table before gracefully hopping the railing and taking the seat next to him.

“So,” she cleared her throat and grinned. “Where and when does the Canterlot Fencing Club meet?”

Author's Note:

So this was originally going to be part of a separate story with tales on how Pinkie, Rarity, and then Rainbow left Ponyville for good. But, the other two fell apart, and I failed. I failed real hard. I just couldn’t do it. If anyone wants to tackle them in the EU, go for it. Here’s what I originally had in mind.

Pinkie was in Manehatten on a special party planning order for the Cakes, and had completely botched it. She was in a park, going over it again and again in her mind, when Vinyl finds her and tries to cheer her up. It doesn’t work out so well, and Vinyl decided to drag her flank to her club, which is called “The Drop” and is hidden down a dark alley.

Along the way, they find Pinkie’s sister, and Pinkie finds out her family lost the rock farm. They couldn’t compete with the modern mines, and now her sister Blinkie is the only one working (at a soul-crushing factory) while the whole family lives in a Hooverville-like ghetto. Her father never told her, and Pinkie didn’t leave the farm on good terms. Blinkie’s special talent is math and her ability to solve math problems “in a blink” (literally), but can’t find accounting work because it costs too much to get the certification.

They part ways there and make it to The Drop. It’s really awesome and has a dance floor that levitates ponies in the air for a bit while the music is at a fever pitch, then the music stops abruptly and drops them to just an inch over the ground before boosting them back in the air, ultimately setting them down gently.

I was proud of that.

Anyway, Vinyl explains some business stuff to Pinkie, who comes to a realization on some things and heads to the Manehatten library and studies for a few days, then returns to Vinyl to beg for a favor. A huge favor.

Cut to later, and Pinkie is annoying some construction unicorns putting up a sign when the rest of the mane show up. Pinkie is opening a party planning business in Manehatten. Which means she’s leaving. The girls are shocked, especially Rainbow, but accept her decision. There were so many sad ponies going to work in the factory, and so many sad faces on the streets, she felt a calling to stay in the city and help as many as she could.

Hence, Pinkie leaves Ponyville behind.

This was Rarity’s chapter, naturally.

Rainbow’s chapter was simpler. She’s on the very last couple days she can join the military and get into the Bolts. Any later, and she’d age out and be disqualified. She’s torn between being loyal to her friends, and her dream. With some boosts from her friends, they convince her to follow her dreams.

Cut to Twi writing a letter to the Princess on what she’s learned. Fin.

That was the plan. I just couldn’t pull off the other chapters. Something about what I had… just didn’t work. Sorry, guys. Maybe someday I’ll figure it out, but… for now, it’s time to focus on the rest of the Rites story. Like I said, if you guys want to tackle it yourselves as an EU project, go for it.

This chapter had only rather light editing, so I apologize for the lack of polish. Hopefully it’s still enjoyable enough.

-Cv

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