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Seven

You square up to the manticore, remembering how in season 1 episode 2 of My Little Pony, Fluttershy faced a similarly frightening beast, but with love and friendship. As the fearsome beast rears on its hind legs to attack, you move forwards, placing a hand on its exposed furry belly and stroking it.

“Hush now quiet now!” you start to sing, channelling your hero Fluttershy. The manticore pauses, its claws frozen in mid-swipe as it stares at you. “Who’s a lovely manticore!” you coo out, ruffling its fur. “Who’s a lovely boy? What do you say eh? What do you say?”

The manticore responds by plunging the sting on its tail into your heart and pumping you full of venom. As you fall to the ground, frothing at the mouth in agony and doing your best Steve Irwin impression, you hear a shout and everything goes blank.

“Wake up mister!”

Your eyes flicker open as a pony pushes something into your mouth. You choke out at the strange woody texture, sitting up quickly. You are no longer in the forest, but in a small tent, lying on a threadbare mattress. You spit chunks of wood out of your mouth, looking at them in confusion.

“Eat it; it’ll make you feel better!”

As the fog lifts from your mind, you see a familiar looking blue pony sitting beside you, eyes full of concern. She passes you something spherical and wooden. You look down at it. It’s a pinecone. “Trixie?” you gasp. “You saved me!”

Trixie looks away sadly. “Yes, I was once the Great and Powerful Trixie, now Trixie lives in the Everfree Forest in shame. It is…” she sniffles “…good that someone remembers me!”

You clap a hand onto your chest, where the manticore stung you. There is a collection of leaves stuck over it, held down with tree sap. You smile at Trixie, and thankfully eat the pinecone whole; it is hard and spiky, and sticks in your throat as you choke it down. You realise that it will be worse coming out the other side, but Trixie’s smile more than makes up for it.

Trixie is even more beautiful than you remember from the television show, despite her bedraggled appearance. You reach forwards to pick some brambles out of her mane. “Thanks,” Trixie smiles back. “Trixie is glad she saved the strange ape creature!”

What will you do?
Leave Trixie and explore Equestria
Marry Trixie and live with her forever
Help Trixie overthrow Celestia as rightful queen of Equestria