• Published 16th Apr 2014
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Besides the Will of Evil - Jetfire2012


A shadow from the deep past returns to threaten Equestria, along with all the world. Can Twilight Sparkle and her friends be a light in the dark?

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Chapter 49

The Dreaming sits and hums in Lightning and infinity. It is both peaceful and cacophonous; it is both closed and open; it is both empty and spectacularly full. The Dreaming is, and is not, and that must be accepted. Such is that which lives above, below, around, above the waking world.

The alicorns stand watching, for a moment, at the space where Reiziger is gone forever. Then they turn on one another.

Done. It's done!

I can't believe it. I can't believe we actually beat him!

Yes... but it came at great cost.

The Dreaming's color, shape, and Lightning give way to a view that is above, below, around, above the alicorns. They look in all directions, all at once. They see Equestria- poor, battered, utterly destroyed Equestria. The land is gray and cracked. Mountains have been ground down into dust. Riverbeds are dry and barren- or worse, are flowing freely with a fiery trail of molten rock. Trees are dead and spindly. Animals are naught but skeletons, or else gaunt gray things that cannot be truly called alive.

It's awful... seeing it all like this, it's awful!

I wish there was something we could do.

The alicorns glance roundabout upon each other.

Is there?

They pause. Their glowing, godly eyes briefly are shut. Then abruptly they reopen.

We can do something!

We can fix it. We can fix all of it!

That's right, we can! We can restore Equestria.

All this power... I don't know if I'm comfortable with it.

Yes, it is... weird. But right now, Equestria needs us. As long as we have this power, let's put it to good use.

They come a little closer in their circle. Their eyes glow even brighter. The Dreaming swells with color and with sound, with smell and taste and touch. Power hums with brilliant Lightning blazing-

Wait!

They stop.

Well, the land and the animals, we'll fix them... but what about the ponies and deer who were killed? What about the dead?

Well, we can't restore them, can we? I mean, even we aren't that...

The alicorns once more close their eyes shut- and this time those same eyes reopen sharply, bulging out in shock.

We can. We can!

But should we?

Why not? Nopony deserved to die from Elbert's cruelty!

But all the ponies and deer and others who died... they're all in the Summer Lands, or wherever they're meant to be. The Wills That Draw The World have sorted them into their afterlives. Who are we to mess with what the Wills have done?

But we can mess with what they've done. We can! I can feel it.

I feel it, too. We can even override the fates of souls... but should we?

The alicorns are lost in thought again. Finally, they glance about.

Should we?

We have the power to do it.

That doesn't mean we should, though. We have all the power in existence... but that doesn't mean it should be used.

Their senses open up. They feel the Dreaming. They feel the Lightning, feel the shifting, feel the Life. They feel the rainbow. They feel Harmony. They feel themselves, and they feel... a place. They feel the shifting standing space beneath their feet. They feel all of reality around them. They can see through all of Time and Space- everywhere and everywhen. They realize that all existence, by itself, is free. Reality is not itself a thing that runs on rails. Things could go any way.

And yet... there is a way things should go. There is a plan, a design. It has been sketched in pencil, brought to life with ink and Prismacolor. Life is a story, even as it is a living thing. It's not our place.

No.

I want to... I really want to... but I don't think we should.

Having absolute power is one thing...

But now that I see how everything's meant to work, it seems too much to use it just however we like.

There's a plan that leads towards goodness. It's not our place to interfere.

So... the dead stay dead.

They sigh. Sadness shimmers in the colors and the Lightning and the-

Huh?

They look about. Then they look up. They see. They see.

Oh... oh my goodness, it's you.

Heya! Ohmigosh, I've always wanted to meet you guys!

I can't believe it... I can't believe it.

All the cosmos fills with SPEAKING.

You... you will? Really?

Oh, thank you! Thank you so much!

You want us to do it? Sure!

And I think that idea is a good one. Good compromise.

Why didn't we think of that?

I did, actually. I just... didn't think it was our place.

The SPEAKING rises yet again.

Thank you. Thank you for putting your trust in us. We'll be sure to use it well.

Well, let's get to it! Equestria isn't going to rebuild itself.

They nod. They gather up again in a great circle that is flashing and ablaze with power beyond measure. Once more power flows out of them. Once more the Dreaming flashes, and it surges. Time and Space and Being are undone and recreated. Ripples of rainbow come flowing through the Dreaming, and in between the bands of color there are sizzling bolts of Lightning- the Lightning that is Being, the Lightning that is Being that is the Dreaming. The rainbow waves come flowing out into reality, down into the waking world where no creature can properly observe what's happening. It seems to them that everything turns inside out-

There is a final rainbow burst that makes the bedrock of the cosmos shudder-

Everywhere, all everywhere, there is soft light that hangs in space. Every creature smells clean water and a gentle moisture scent. Behold! Above, below, around, beneath the Dreaming, down within the world that lives and wakes and breathes, there is Equestria- restored! There are its forests and its meadows, there its lakes and mountains, once more green or brown or purple, once more capped with snow and verdant leaves, once more overflowing with the wildflowers of existence. There is Cloudsdale, hanging in the sky, rainbows flowing once more from its fluffy edifices. There is Manehattan, glowing splendid in its metal and its glass, every tower, every tofu stand and fire hydrant remade just as it has been. There, high on the Eyre Mountains which themselves are now reborn, sits Canterlot, its white towers and golden tops sparkling in the Summer sun. Birds chirp. Creatures of all kinds go running, jumping, swimming, flying, splashing, laughing, bouncing in their step and joy.

That's almost it... now for the dead.

Another rainbow shimmers through reality, and all that is once more turns inside-out. The fate of those who once lived is then carried out, according to the wishes of those seated upon high.

That's it!

We did it!

We sure did, didn't we?

I can't believe it.

I believe. I never stopped believing.

I'm glad you had faith. We should have all had faith. Now I think it's time to stop dreaming...


“Do you see them yet?” asked Spike, ridges bending in the wind.

“Not yet,” said Celestia, flapping her white wings. Spike was riding on her back.

“Art thou certain they are this way, Lala?” Luna asked.

“I have Seen them where they lie,” said Falalauria, flying right beside Celestia and Luna. The green and lovely Summer of Equestria is spread out all before them, looking beautiful amid the noontide sun. “They're this way, Lulu. Just down here...” She canted sideways and began descending, spiraling down to a massive field of wildflowers. The huge expanse was colored all the wondrous shades of flowers: pink and yellow, white and blue, red and orange and purple. It was as though the colors of the ponies of Equestria had washed off of their coats and filled a space festooned with petals and with stems.

“There!” said Celestia, who sharply dove as Spike held tight. She landed in short order, galloping at first then slowing to a trot within the flowered fields. Luna came upon her left; Falalauria was on her right. Together, they and Spike beheld the scene. There they were, arranged within a circle, the flowers blossoming around their lowered heads: Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Twilight Sparkle. They were not the tall and mighty alicorns they had been in the Dreaming; instead, they were as they had been when they had entered it, taller and more graceful than the average pony, but not like Celestia- not yet. They were curled up, their heads tucked up against their sides. Their eyes were closed; they did not move.

Spike gasped. “Are... are they...”

“Dead?” asked Falalauria. She smiled. “No, Spike- this is a happy ending, can't you see?”

“Wake up, girls!” said Celestia, horn glowing bright gold.

A tickling sensation passed over all six of them. They shuddered, and then all at once they raised their heads. Six pairs of eyes came open; six mouths gapped wide in yawns. “Oh!” said Pinkie, first to notice they were not alone. “Hey Princess Celestia, and Princess Luna! Hey Lady Lala!”

“Twilight!” cried Spike, jumping down and hurrying to her.

“Hey, Spike!” said Twilight, drawing him into a hug.

“Well, that was... weird,” said Dash.

“It was astounding!” Rarity exclaimed. “To think we did all that...”

“All this!” cried Applejack, throwing out her leg.

“You did do it!” cried Luna with delight. “You did do it! You have restored everything!”

“Well, not everything,” said Fluttershy. “We left a little gap in the Drackenridge Mountains. You can see it...” she glanced off to the west, “there, actually.” She pointed, and they all followed her hoof. Sure enough, there was a narrow, but plainly visible valley cutting through the mountains. Peering through it, Dash, with her sharp eyes, could just make out the glimmer of the golden fields of Gildedale.

“We did that for Applejack!” said Pinkie brightly. “We want to make sure she can see Ashtail easier!”

“Heh, I told 'em I didn't need it,” said Applejack, blushing. “I told 'em, but they all insisted, so I guess I went along.”

“Well that will need a name,” said Luna.

Celestia exchanged a glance with her. “Hmm...” Celestia rubbed her chin. “How about just 'The Gap of Gildedale'?”

“That is fine with me,” said Luna. She chuckled. “So, you have restored mostly everything. Good enough for me.”

“A pity you couldn't return the dead to life,” said Celestia.

“Oh, we totally did that!” said Twilight.

“Yeah!” said Dash. “Well, sort of.”

“Really?” Spike said, jaw dropped.

“We almost weren't going to,” said Fluttershy. “We saw the correct order of reality.”

“We saw how things are supposed to go, and we didn't think it was up to us to meddle round with it,” said Applejack. “But then the Wills talked to us!”

Celestia's jaw dropped. “You... you spoke to the Wills? The Wills That Draw The World?”

“Yep!” said Pinkie.

“They were very kind and generous,” said Rarity. “They said that ponies did not deserve to suffer for the deer's mistakes, so they not only allowed us to restore Equestria, but they allowed us to bring back the dead, as well.”

“Or, some of the dead,” said Dash. “After all, the Summer Lands are pretty cool, and not everypony who went there wanted to leave it.”

“So the Wills let us bring about a compromise,” said Twilight. “We brought back the dead who wanted to come back.”

“We kinda read their hearts all at once, and found the ones who weren't happy in the afterlife,” said Applejack. “Then we popped 'em right back here in Equestria!”

“Such power!” Falalauria exclaimed.

“I am not surprised,” Celestia said. She smiled. “I know well the power of the Elements of Harmony. My faith was not totally blind.” She trotted forward, and was in their midst. “Oh, girls... oh, my brave mares and friends!” Tears sprang to her eyes. She pulled the six of them toward her with her magic, and she snuggled up against them all. “Thank you! Thank you, thank you all from the bottom of my heart! You have given me, and all my subjects, more than I could have hoped for... more than I deserve, for all my folly!”

“Aww, shucks,” said Pinkie, snuggling against her.

“We only did what was right, princess,” said Rarity.

“No,” and Celestia drew back. “No, that will no longer be necessary.”

“Huh?” asked Dash.

Celestia looked back at Luna; Luna nodded. “The six of you are the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony, and you are fully realized. You wield a power greater than anything I can touch and comprehend.”

“We shalt not stand on royal titles anymore, I think,” said Luna.

“No,” said Celestia, “we shall not. From now on, I would like- I insist- that the six of you just call me... Celestia.”

“And I Luna, of course. You have earned that right.” Then the six and Spike gasped, for Celestia and Luna bowed to them, dropping to their knees. Falalauria, on seeing what her friends were doing, bowed as well.

“Pri... Celestia,” said Twilight. “I... I don't know what to say.”

“Just say you'll do it, Twilight Sparkle,” said Celestia.

“All right! Okay, Celestia... and Luna.”

“You bet, Tia and Lulu!” said Pinkie brightly.

“Now I am not-” Luna began, but Celestia nudged her against her ribs. She glared up at her sister, but then sighed. “Fine, fine, the nicknames are all right, too.” She smiled. Everypony, every creature smiled, and stood there in silent happiness a moment.

“So... what now?” asked Dash.

“Well, the villain is defeated, the kingdom is saved, peace and harmony reign over all the land,” said Falalauria. “What now indeed?”

“Uh, duh!” said Pinkie. “It's time to have a party!” She pumped her wings and flew into the air, sunlight flashing on her beautiful pink feathers.


The vast fields below Canterlot were difficult to fill; they spread dozens of miles in every direction, acres upon acres of green grass and wildflowers. However, here and now they were filled, and were nearly at capacity. It was possible that some ponies had left, had hurried back to their restored and rebuilt homes after Celestia and Luna had teleported all of them back from the Crystal Empire. However, those who'd left could not be many, and for the most part everypony in Equestria was spread across the vasty fields, along with every deer who had come to Equestria since all the darkness had begun, along with all the Dale Guard, along with all the griffin soldiers, along with all the pronghorns. The dragons had flown home; no creature was too sad at their departure.

Primrose gazed into the beautiful blue sky. “The sky...” she whispered. She laughed, and fell onto her back amid the green grass. “The sky! It's been so long since I've really seen the sky!”

Stirrup stood beside her and gazed up as well. “It sure is pretty.” He chuckled. “I guess we always used to take it for granted.”

“I'll never take it for granted again.” Then Primrose turned about and looked at him. “Stirrup.” Stirrup still looked up into the sky. “Stirrup!”

“Bu-wah?” said Stirrup, who looked round along with Kindling and Plinio, the white-tail deer they'd turned into their friend. “Uh, yeah?”

“You know what else I won't take for granted again?” Stirrup stared dumbly at her. She arched an eyebrow. “I won't take you for granted again, either.”

“Huh?”

She smiled artfully. “I haven't forgotten that kiss.”

“Oh! That...” he hung his head. “Look, Primrose, I'm so sorry. It was rude of me, and sexist. I was just... I thought we were about to die...”

“I understand, and I forgive you,” said Primrose. She stood and walked to him. “In fact, I'd better forgive you if I want to be with you forever.”

Stirrup's eyes bulged, and he started back. “What? I don't get it.”

Primrose rolled her eyes. “I'm saying I want to marry you, you big doofus.”

“M-Marry?”

“Yes! Come on, let's get married and have a bunch of kids!” She smiled. Stirrup stared dumbfounded at her for a moment more. Worry fell across her face. “I mean... i-if you don't, I understand, I just thought... I...” her ears drooped. “I just-”

Stirrup leaned into her and he kissed her on the lips. He chuckled as he brushed against her side. “Heh, finally I got you all confused. Anyway, the answer's yes.” Primrose squealed in joy and gave him her own kiss.

“Woohoo!” cried Kindling.

Násie!” exclaimed Plinio, giving Kindling hearty pats upon the back.

“Congratulations!” Spearmint cried, pumping both front hooves.

“Well, that's done,” said Primrose. “Now who wants lunch? They're serving apples and hayburgers!”

Far across another portion of the field, Sharp Sound, a Dale Pony of Ashtail's quarter, glanced upon the stake stuck in the ground with trepidation. “Now... how is this game played, again?”

“It's easy,” said Big Macintosh. “You just take this here horseshoe,” he lifted it up with his mouth, “you aim it for the stake, and you give it a good toss!” He flung his head and sent the horseshoe flying. With expert form it hit the stake and swung around it, spiraling about the metal stick until it clattered to the ground, perfectly placed.

“Fascinating,” said Birdspeak.

“In Gildedale, we normally sharpen the edges of our horseshoes so we can cut with them in emergencies,” said Shield Maiden.

“Ah, er, well, that's, uh... that's fascinatin',” said Apple Fritter. “But this is what we do with horseshoes in Equestria!”

“I'll give it a go!” said Shield Maiden, trotting to the pile of horseshoes. She picked one up and squared her eyesight at the post. She took a deep breath, then she bobbed her head, trying to more properly align her aim. “For the glory of Gildedale!” she cried, and swung her head back and then snapped it hard around-

The horseshoe sailed over the post. In fact, it sailed into a crowd of ponies. “Ow!” cried somepony, and a great noise started arising from the far-off gathering.

“Oops,” said Shield Maiden.

“A nice attempt, I think,” said a Dalepony.

“If you had thrown at full speed you'd have knocked her clean out!” said Sharp Sound, excitedly. “Imagine if we could weaponize these throwing horseshoes!”

“They would be useful projectiles,” said Birdspeak, tapping her hoof on her chin.

“Um, uh,” said Baked Apple, “er, that ain't really what you're supposed to do with-”

“Oh, let me see how far I can throw this one!” said Shield Maiden, picking up another horseshoe, readying to send it flying far as she could manage.

“And so, then the evil black deer loomed over Equestria, ready to eat it, once and for all!” cried Trixie, sitting on a stage. She used magic to levitate a bunch of puppets she had made: one huge black deer, dozens of smaller deer, dozens more ponies, and six very special pony puppets in the middle of it all.

Of course, she had help. “But after all this time, after all the times when it looked like he was too big and too bad to stop, he finally met his match!” said Cadence, sitting on the stage beside her. She floated up the six colorful pony puppets. “Our heroines, the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony, had found their courage, and become truly one with all their Elements!” Cadence's magic rose a soft white glow off the six puppets. The glow rose higher, higher, far more bright and brilliant.

Inez, who was behind them both, set her antlers glowing just as Trixie and Cadence made their horns shine. The result was an enormous rainbow, a bursting blaze of color that reached out and overwhelmed the nearby space. Huge applause erupted. Ponies, deer, and griffins sat there and began to clap and clop. Particularly the many, many young creatures- the foals and does- were squealing with delight to see the brilliant show.

“And so, the Elements of Harmony banished the black deer, and sent him away forever, never to return!” cried Trixie triumphantly. As she said it, her smile grew to huge size; joyful tears sprang to her eyes. Cadence noticed these, and smiled.

“Yay! Pinkie!” cried Pumpkin Cake.

“Pinkie!” cried Pound Cake.

“That's right, dears,” said Mrs. Cake. “Pinkie was one of the six ponies! She's the savior of Equestria!”

“And Applejack is too!” said Apple Bloom.

“And Rarity!” said Sweetie Belle.

“And Rainbow Dash, who's so super cool now!” said Scootaloo. “She got all huge and her wings got all cool and now she sparkles and- maahhh, she's just so amazing!” She rolled about excitedly, little wings aflutter in delight.

At the edge of things, far from all the folk enjoying their new freedom and new victory, were all the great and mighty folk, resting in the shade of distant trees. “Hngghh,” growled Shining Armor, straining to push up against the crimson-furred hoof pushed against his own.

“Rrgh,” growled Ashtail, pushing into Shining Armor's hoof. They had set against a tree stump and were furiously focused on their hoof-wrestling bout.

“Go Shiny!” cried Twilight.

“Come on, darlin', get 'em!” cried Applejack.

The mighty stallions struggled more incessantly a little while longer. Then, all of a sudden, Ashtail gave a roar and double-up his effort. He broke through Shining Armor's last defense and flattened his left forearm down against the stump. “Victory!” he shouted.

“Ack,” grunted Shining Armor, shaking out his leg. “Best two out of three?”

“Um, actually,” said Applejack, breathing hard all of a sudden, “there's, uh... there's somethin' I gotta talk to Ashtail about.”

Twilight raised her eyebrows. Applejack glanced over at her, and then at Rarity, Dash, Fluttershy, and Pinkie. They all understood. “Right,” said Twilight. “Come on, girls, come on, Shiny, let's go see how the Deer Elders are liking Equestrian food!”

“But-” said Shining Armor.

“Come on,” said Twilight, teeth gritted. Shining Armor took his sister's hint and followed her and all her friends away toward the gathering beneath the trees.

“What?” asked Ashtail. He saw her face, and his expression darkened. “Golden darling, what is it?”

“Ashtail, I...” Applejack glanced to the ground. “I guess...” she swept her hat off of her head. “You saw this, didn't you?” She reached a hoof up and she poked her horn nub.

“I did,” said Ashtail.

“Well, it's gonna grow in more, sooner or later, and-”

“And then you'll get wings, right?” Applejack's eyes widened. “And you'll get bigger and bigger, until you're an alicorn... until you're immortal, right?”

“I... yeah, yeah, that's pretty much it.” Tears sprang to her eyes. “I'll find a way to make you immortal too! I don't ever wanna live without you round! I... I'll try...”

“Applejack,” said Ashtail, putting a hoof round her. “My dear, my love... I want to marry you.”

“But- oh! Oh, I wanna marry you, too!” She nuzzled up against him. “But... you're gonna...”

“Die? Well, yes. That is the way of most ponies, after all. You are not most ponies, dear. You are far greater, far more magnificent, far higher and more beautiful than most ponies... and on top of that, you're a Bearer of the Element of Harmony, and a future alicorn.” He nuzzled his head up to hers. “Golden darling, yes, I shall die. But you have seen the other worlds, and other planes of existence. You know even better than I that those who are joined together- in blood, in love, in friendship- never really part again. We are bound, and we shall be bound wherever our lives, and afterlives, take us. We may be separated from each other by a thousand miles- by a million miles- by the veil of death!- and I should still be with you, and you with me. And if you will outlive me... well, that means I shall be immortal in this world too. Who better to carry my memory into the ages hence than an immortal alicorn who loves me so?”

Applejack reached up and kissed him on the lips. They pressed against each other, savoring the touch of lips on lips. They kissed for near a minute, neither making any noise. When they finally pulled back, Applejack glanced up with brilliant eyes. “Land sakes,” she whispered, “I really did land a catch, didn't I?”

“Hmm, I hope so,” said Ashtail, nuzzling against her yet again. “I always try to be my best for you, golden darling.”

“And I'm my best for you,” said Applejack. She wiped tears from her eyes. “Whew! I feel like the best and luckiest pony in the world!”

“That's what I'm here for. Now, let's rejoin the others!”

Laughing, Applejack went trotting to the trees, Ashtail alongside her. There were all her friends, and there also were Luna, Celestia, Falalauria, Javier, Hammer Hoof, Philip, Glorfindel, Decima, Morta, Nordeshang, Shining Armor, and Clive.

“Applejack!” cried Pinkie, bouncing to her. Are you feeling better?

I sure am, Pinkie, Applejack thought back at her.

“Yay!” cried Pinkie, hugging her close.

“It's such a nice day,” said Fluttershy, cuddling with Angel Bunny.

“It had better be nice, considering everything we went through to make it that way,” said Dash.

“I think it is simply delightful,” said Rarity.

“Well, like Dash says, we did make it that way,” said Twilight.

“Ah, speaking of that,” said Ashtail. “Father, did they tell you about...”

“The valley? Yes, Celestia informed me earlier,” said Hammer Hoof. He glanced back towards Celestia and Luna. “It seems my hoof is forced, but only to make the decision I was preparing to make anyway.”

“Dost thou mean-”

“Yes, Princess Luna, it is time our two nations rekindled old ties even more strongly. I declare that Gildedale and Equestria will have open borders!” He banged his ivory hoof upon a tree stump, cracking it in two. “Let the pony nations be friends, now and forevermore!”

“Huzzah!” cried Clive. “That is grand good news, O Lord of the Dale!”

“I am honored that you have come to trust us so, my lord,” said Celestia.

“You should thank Applejack and her friends,” said Hammer Hoof. “They have paved the way for our friendship.”

“We have much to thank them for this day,” said Nordeshang.

“They have cleansed our sin from us,” said Decima. “The crimes of the deerfolk have been forgiven.”

“We could not do it ourselves... it took another folk,” said Morta. “We are forevermore in the debt of ponies.”

“I don't know about the rest of you,” said Glorfindel, “but I intend to stay- here in Equestria, I mean.” He turned towards the six. “The six of you have done more for us than we could ever have hoped for. As Morta says, we are in your debt, and in the debt of all the ponyfolk. I shall stay, and if you ever need my help in anything, I shall be glad to lend it.”

“Oh!” said Celestia, causing every head to turn her way. “Oh, oh, that reminds me! There is one more bit of unfinished business.” She turned, and smiled brightly. “Lala, there is still the matter of your deer, the deer of the Shimmerwood. Don't they still need a home?”

“Well, yes,” said Falalauria. “I had thought we might find a forest of sufficient size here in Equestria and accommodate ourselves. What did you have in mind, Tia?” Her eyes glimmered, their stars swam.

“Oh, hey, no peeking!” said Celestia. “Let me-”

“Oh my goodness!” cried Falalauria. “Oh, Tia!”

“What? What have you Seen?” asked Javier.

“At least let me tell them,” said Celestia, her expression sour.

“All right, all right,” said Falalauria. “You are too generous, Tia. I had Seen it in our future, but I did not know it would be directly by your hoof.”

“What? What did you See?” asked Nordeshang.

“Well, down in the south, in the south and to the east of Appleoosa,” said Celestia, slowly, “there is a fertile landscape that runs along the coastline of the sea. Amid that landscape, there is a beautiful promontory, a great shallow hill that overlooks a peaceful bay, an inlet in the sea. It is the perfect space to build a city of large size. The native bison have called the whole place Amroth, after a legendary chief of theirs. They agreed to sell us the land, and for the longest time I'd hoped to build a pony city there. But now...” she smiled, “what if I gave it to you?” She looked about. “And not just to you, but to all deer who want to live in Equestria?”

“A city?” asked Glorfindel.

“A city of the deer!” cried Decima. “There has not been a deer city built in two thousand years!”

“We could make it a crystal city, as of old!” said Morta.

Dol Amroth, we could call it,” said Nordeshang.

“I accept!” said Falalauria. “ We shall indeed have a city, a new city and a new start for the deerfolk, as I have so long hoped for.”

“I shall have to talk among my mule deer,” said Javier. “We have lived in our forests for many generations. However, from what I have seen, they have grown to like living with and talking to and fighting alongside their fellow deer. It may be that we also shall come to call the city home.”

“Let deer and ponies live side by side,” said Glorfindel. “Let us be neighbors and friends, now and forevermore!”

A cheer went up from all assembled. It flowed out from the trees and traveled cross the fields, where it mingled with the cheers, and shouts, and laughs, and whoops for joy of all the ponies, all the deer, all the griffins, all the pronghorns present. So all sounds together melded to a single symphony of happiness that rose into the beautiful blue sky.

Author's Note:

Just one more.