• Published 20th Feb 2015
  • 4,318 Views, 85 Comments

My Little Pony: The Visitor - Hopeful Soul

On a day that started out like any other, a regular boy's happy life is changed in a flash.

  • ...

Chapter 6

Chapter 6

Spike beamed with excitement as he, Declan, and Twilight made their way out of the busy Ponyville Train Station and into town, which equally thrummed with activity.

“Oh man, something tells me you’re really gonna like your stay here, Declan,” he enthused to the boy beside him. “Ponyville’s got everything! Sweet Apple Acres, the parks and fields, festivals, the cinema, plays and matinees in Town Hall, magical caves, apple cider, Sugar Cube Corner and all the shops, and if you're ever feeling brave: there’s the Everfree Forest and the old Castle to explore! That place still has tons of mysteries just waiting to be solved.”

The dragon’s enthusiasm was more than contagious; Declan and Twilight both were listening to Spike with huge smiles of their own.

“Alright, Spike, I think Declan gets what you mean.” Twilight giggled. Declan chuckled as well.

“Yeah, it sounds like a blast!” the human stated, grinning and running a hand through his brown tousled hair. “I’m always up for some exploration, just ask my parents back home. I was actually in the middle of investigating this creepy old mansion before the Emperor’s Gem zapped me here. Hopefully we’ll get to see some amazing stuff while the Princesses work on getting me home.”

“Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.” Twilight affirmed as the trio's steps across the stone-paved roads added to the bustle around them. A decent number of the townsfolk gazed upon Declan's foreign appearance with pure curiosity, which in his private opinion was a massive improvement over Canterlot. “Only trouble…is finding a good place for you to begin. We all have the whole rest of the day to just do whatever we like. Oh look, they cleaned up our mess.” She gazed around thoughtfully, suppressing the urge to blush at the thought of the mayhem their earlier battle had produced.

They had now entered Ponyville’s market, and all three were quite surprised by what they saw. The troll they had battled just hours ago had already been removed by townsfolk, the destroyed stalls had long since been cleaned up, and the market itself was back open for business, as if the morning had been perfectly ordinary to begin with.

“Wow.” Spike said.

Declan whistled in astonishment, taking a gander at the myriad stalls, colorful tents, and stands all selling many goods both familiar and unfamiliar to him. “No kidding! These guys work fast!” Seeing the market in its restored state also got him thinking for a sec as he regarded the sunlight-drenched blue and grey stones of the road. “Hey, Twilight?”

“Hmm?" Twilight's ears pricked up.

“How about we start with me meeting your guys’ friends here around Ponyville?"

“Great idea! Like I said, I can’t wait for you to meet them," Spike replied. He started twiddling his talons together. “So…since Carousel Boutique is the closest, why don't we start by introducing you to Rarity?"

Declan nodded. “Your friend that owns the clothes and fashion shop? Sounds like a decent plan to me.”

"Why not," Twilight agreed.

"Right, let's go!" Spike urged eagerly, moving ahead of them in the direction of Carousel Boutique. As they made their way over there, Declan looked at all the ponies around them and noticed that most of them were females.

“Say… how come there are more mares in this town then stallions?” Declan questioned Spike curiously.

Spike shrugged. “Got me.”

“You know that’s just gonna keep bugging me for the rest of the day.” Declan told him, as they kept on walking.

Carousel Boutique’s doorbell rang as a couple of new visitors stepped into the shop at a casual pace. Rarity, busy working lace and sewing fabric on one of her latest projects, greeted the newcomers but did not look up to them for the moment. “Oh, welcome everypony! Have a seat anywhere, I’ll be with you in just a minute!”

“Hey Rarity!” Spike greeted.

Rarity looked up from her work immediately when she recognized the voice. She flashed a radiant smile at all three of the visitors. "Spikey-wikey, Twilight, what a wonderful surprise! Oh, and who is this?” The unicorn got up from a sewing machine and approached Declan with a flare of interest.

The human just waved with a cheery grin. “Hello!”

As Rarity set about appraising Declan’s appearance, Twilight introduced him. "Rarity, this is our human friend Declan, Declan, meet Rarity.”

“It’s nice to meet you.” Declan greeted politely.

“Likewise, darling.” Rarity replied with a nod. Her smile vanished and she started glancing at his outfit with a quizzical eye, circling around him. Declan tilted his head a bit and raised his eyebrows at the somewhat extensive analysis. Twilight and Spike somewhat mirrored him, curious as to what Rarity was up to.

“Uh… is something wrong?” Declan asked with an uncomfortable tone.

Rarity's smile returned. “Oh, heavens no, dear! Not at all. I am simply taken quite by surprise at the pleasing makeup of your ensemble!”

“You mean my…clothes?”

“Ya! Your outfit is one of the few I have seen in recent memory that can sport such an, erm…" Rarity chewed on her lower lip. “…difficult color, such as green. That vest and shirt compliment your trousers and shoes quite well, and the effect is simply magnified by that exquisite bit of jewelry, there.”

Declan's discomfort evaporated in an instant, and he burst out laughing, leaving Rarity and Spike absolutely bewildered. Twilight, oddly enough, joined in his laughter.

“Declan, you must have thought …” Twilight began.

“…that she was going to insult my appearance, yeah, I know!" Declan’s laughter involuntarily increased when he saw Rarity's expression. “Sorry Miss Rarity, it must have been your accent or something that made me suspicious.” He got a grip on himself and calmed down. “Thanks for the compliment, it’s just that the uh… ‘nobility’ up in Canterlot gave me quite a lot of unpleasant looks on account of my… outfit. Although, come to think of it, that’s probably routine for all of us ordinary folk."

Rarity giggled. “No harm done, Declan. I can admit it as well, despite nobility being some of my most important clientele, they can be rather insufferable at times. So, what brings a human to Equestria? I can’t say I’ve ever heard of your kind before.”

“They’re from a…real distant place.” Spike said. “Kinda.”

“Yeah, Spike’s right. Humans are exactly…native…to your guys’ world, you see.” Declan added. Twilight quickly rushed to their aid, and briefly explained Declan's situation to Rarity, all way up to the troll attack and Canterlot.

By the time Twilight finished, Rarity’s eyes were wide with astonishment. “So, you three were the ones who quelled that lumbering monstrosity on your own using the… Emperor’s Gem? Simply amazing!” Before she could continue, she looked up at a wall clock, then back to them apologetically “Oh, drat! Well, it was a privilege to have made your acquaintance, Declan, darling. Please pardon me ever so much, but I have work I must return to that has quite the demanding deadline. I look forward to speaking with you again!”

“Likewise!” Declan replied with a friendly nod.

“Alright Rarity, we'll let you get back to things. Declan here still has to meet the rest of the girls.”

“Say hello to everypony for me!” Rarity called after them as they made their exit.

"Will do!" Spike answered back, before letting the front door close. He then noticed Declan giving him a suggestive look. “What?”

“You like her, don’t you?” The human guessed.

Spike’s became dinner plates. “What!? H-how’d you know!?”

“It wasn’t hard.” Declan replied, deadpan while adjusting his glasses. “In fact it’s not hard for anypony to figure out.”

“Told you!” Twilight called out to them as she continued to walk ahead of them. Spike grumbled in embarrassment and waddled off while Declan followed him and chuckle.

Going by terms of landmarks in the town to track down the others at Twilight's suggestion, the trio then decided to visit Pinkie Pie next, and began making their way towards Sugarcube Corner. As they passed through the lightly crowded and active streets of the town's central quarter, the group happened to run into a certain Pegasus.

Fluttershy was in the middle of purchasing produce from one of the merchants, and happened to notice Spike and Twilight accompanied by a mysterious new being she had never seen before. Her cyan eyes widened when they noticed her as well. The two waved, and began to approach her. The mysterious stranger gave her a friendly wave and also approached as well.

“Fluttershy, hey!” Spike greeted.

“Fancy bumping into you, Fluttershy," Twilight said. "We were just on our way to see Pinkie Pie, then we were going to visit you next."

“Goodness, I think I see why.” Fluttershy replied thoughtfully, regarding the human boy with eyes like dinner plates.

“Right.” Twilight gestured to Declan. “Fluttershy, I'd like you to meet... uh, Fluttershy?” To everyone’s surprise, especially Twilight and Spike, Fluttershy's face brightened with excitement, and she moved forward to get a closer look at Declan. She even began appraising his appearance, reaching up a hoof with curiosity to gently prod one of his cheeks to feel the texture of his skin.

Standing stock-still like a living statue, Declan was fighting back a massive feeling of déjà vu.

In his current state, he could almost give a professional living statue a run for their money, were it not for the rapid movement of his eyes, which were trained on the butterscotch-colored equine in front of him.

“This is so fascinating, I’ve never seen somepony…or somebody like yourself before! Um, can you understand me?” Fluttershy inquired.

Declan finally broke his stillness as Fluttershy exited his personal space. He folded his arms and looked quite bemused. “Uh… yeah.”

“Oh, um, oh my, you can!” Fluttershy seemed to regain a bit of her usual bashfulness upon hearing him speak, and retreated behind her mane a bit, but did not step away any further. “I’m Fluttershy, what's your name?”

Declan's features turned friendly again, although he made a mental note to watch himself around this one. Perhaps she was the rather excitable one Spike had vaguely mentioned? Or was that one of the others? Declan mentally shrugged. Better safe than sorry.

“Name's Declan. I’m uh, visiting here. Twilight can tell you more about it later, right?” The boy looked to the Princess, hopefully. Twilight nodded.

“Of course!”

“Well it’s wonderful to meet you, Declan.” Fluttershy smiled warmly before going to collect her groceries. “If you don't mind, I think I’ll tag along with you three to Sugarcube Corner, there was an order of mine I need to pick up.”

“The more the merrier.” Declan remarked. Twilight and Spike voiced their agreement, and the four made their way towards Ponyville's best known bakery.

“Have you seen Rainbow Dash or Applejack by any chance, Fluttershy?” Twilight asked as they walked.

Fluttershy let out a delicate snort of disapproval and stopped where she stood. “Rainbow Dash is in the park again, spooking ponies and some of the poor animals that happen to blunder into her lurking way. I believe Applejack said something about planting some new trees in the far orchards today.”

Spike stifled a giggle and Twilight turned to Declan. “Looks like we know who we'll be visiting next,” the alicorn stated, rolling her eyes at the thought of Rainbow Dash’s pranks. "Applejack’s undoubtedly busy like Rarity, so we’ll get you introduced to Rainbow Dash first after Pinkie Pie. How does that sound?”

He gave her a two-fingered salute and grinned. “Lead the way, Your Highness!”

Twilight chuckled. "Alright, then."

At Sugarcube corner, Declan’s meeting with one of Ponyville's more ‘eccentric’ residents understandably went far more oddly than the two previous.

Fluttershy went to pick up an order of cookies from the Cakes at the register, while Spike and Twilight lead Declan to a mare working around the shop who seemed to be made out of living pink cotton candy, only with twice the sugar. Declan was unsure of how to respond when the living cotton candy grinned at him from across the counter with bright blue eyes, so he politely smiled, like someone who is being talked to in a language they don't quite understand.

“Hiya! It’s super-duper spectacular to see a new face here in Ponyville! I’m Pinkie Pie, in case ya didn't know! I help around Sugarcube Corner here, but you probably already knew that!” Pinkie Pie giggled. “So, what brings you all the way from Vic-”Spike interrupted Pinkie Pie’s rapid-fire monologue by whispering something into her ear. “Uh-huh… ? Go on… For realises?”

Spike nodded as Pinkie's eyes grew alert and she turned to Declan, who was left in confusion for the umpteenth time today.

Pinkie Pie suddenly gasped loudly in a drawn out and dramatic fashion, then promptly vanished with a pop of air. She left no trace behind, and Declan's jaw now resembled an open mailbox.

“Spike… what did you… but what did she… and then she…" Declan was at a loss for words.

Twilight groaned inwardly, and rubbed at her muzzle. “Pinkie Pie is…well known around here for her rather surreal antics.”

The young dragon has his arms folded. “Best not to look into it too much.” Spike said, as he flashed Declan a mischievous smirk.

Declan arched an eyebrow. “Okay…” So, the excitable pony has been located, Declan thought to himself. Only to disappear! Great, just great.

Fluttershy brought everyone's attention away from Pinkie Pie, or the sudden absence thereof. “Um, yeah, I better get back home with these groceries. It was nice meeting you, Declan.”

“Likewise, Fluttershy!”

Fluttershy smiled and collected her goods, only to dart out of the shop at a surprisingly fast pace, leaving the Cakes scratching their manes in surprise.

“Is Ponyville just having a weird day, or something or does this happen often?” Declan questioned Twilight, shaking his head with exasperation. “I’m pretty sure weird days are a thing, even back in my world.”

The young alicorn looked sheepish. “In a manner of speaking.”

Spike climbed onto her back and chuckled, and they all headed off. “C’mon, let’s go track down Rainbow Dash before she causes a town riot or something!”

Rainbow Dash snickered maliciously as she stalked through the overgrowth on the edge of one of the town parks. Magenta eyes shimmered with pure mischief as the Pegasus stalked her prey.

Three groups of ponies lounged about in the grass of the open meadow on neat, colorful blankets beside baskets of sandwiches, pitchers of lemonade, and other food and drink. They gave no indication of having detected her, and were completely oblivious. Dash snickered again.

Ponies on picnic outings were always so gullible.

Before she could spring her attack however, Rainbow Dash felt something smooth tap her on the back to get her attention.

“Um, excuse me? Hey, are you Rainbow Dash?” A stranger’s voice inquired.

Every hair on Rainbow’s coat stood up like a cat, and the weather Pegasus let out a very feminine shriek of terror. When she recovered, she saw the stranger that had greeted her, as well as two of her friends, whom were grinning at her ear-to-ear.

“Yeah, I am the one and only, but what’s the big idea? You totally just ruined my prank, it was simple but genius!” Rainbow was sneering and had perched herself up on one of the tree branches, pointing an accusatory hoof at Declan. “Uncool!”

Declan chuckled. “Total accident, I swear! But it was a happy accident.” A smirk took shape on his face. “Name's Declan and I’m a human. Twilight and Spike have been taking me on a journey all day, learning about history, meeting you and all of their other friends, and there was even a troll battle. You should have been there.”

“Wait… that rumbling earlier today was a troll? While I was in the forest here all day, I assumed it was an earthquake or something! Drat, that could have been fun.”

“Well, I don’t know about fun.” Declan replied. "That thing was bad news, just ask Twilight or Spike.” Both of them nodded to Rainbow Dash, knowing all too well what the human meant.

“The monster was completely merciless to market stalls. Must have had a grudge against them in particular.” Spike joked. Twilight rolled her eyes and smiled.

“If these two hadn't been there with me in the market, or if I hadn't been wearing the Emperor's Gem here, I would have been troll food for sure.” Declan added, as he held up the white gem for her to see.

Rainbow Dash huffed and finally descended to the ground. She gave Declan an approving gaze after sizing him up for a few moments, and offered a hoof. Declan accepted, and they shook. “Well thank goodness for that, huh? I don't know what, but something tells me you’re a ok kid, Declan," Rainbow mused. She gave his amulet a careful gander. “So, what is this Emperor's G-.”

The Pegasus paused as she noticed a strange pink figure dashing through the street at the distant end of the meadow beyond the forest edge where they stood. “Oh! Uh, hold that thought, won’t ya? I’ve got some business to take care of!”

“Wait, you do? Hey, Rainbow!" Twilight called out, but Rainbow Dash had already darted away and took flight towards town, punching a hole through a couple low-hanging clouds in the process. “Darn.”

“Well, Rainbow Dash was a refreshing change from the usual today.” Declan remarked as he ran one of his shoes through the grass beneath him and stowed his right hand into his pocket. “No weirdness factor to be had, well most anyway…”

Twilight giggled. “Don't worry, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie are quite wonderful to be around when you get used to them. Fluttershy is probably the least difficult in that regard,” she assured him.

“I look forward to that nearly as much as the time when the Princesses find me a way home. Uh…” Declan paused and thought about the sentence, and he immediately turned sheepish as he considered rephrasing it.

To his relief, Twilight giggled again, and her voice turned tender. “Don’t worry, we know exactly what you mean. Princess Celestia will get you home before you know it, ok?”

Declan’s face began glowing with relief, and Spike elbowed him playfully. "And in the meantime, we’ll make sure your stay is as great as possible, on my honor as a dragon!”

“Thanks guys, this means a lot.” Declan expressed, gratefully.

“We’re just happy to be of help, Declan, and always remember what Celestia told you back in Canterlot earlier today. I can’t possibly recall the Princess ever being wrong about these types of things.” Twilight stated, resolutely.

Declan smiled warmly at both of them. “Princess Celestia really does seem like a dependable ruler. So, are we off to Applejack's farm now?”

“Looks like we are.” Twilight confirmed. Declan nodded, and he and Spike began following her lead.

As they entered the meadow and passed the curiosity and surprise-filled picnic-goers, Declan could have sworn he saw another tinge of rapidly-moving pink out of the corner of his eye. Was that Pinkie Pie? Or is this place's magic starting to make me hallucinate things? However, it wasn't the only thing that drew his attention away from their destination.

Declan could have sworn he had just seen a set of red eyes staring right at him from the shade of the tree line the trio had just exited from. He felt a foreign presence begin to creep into the attention of his mind’s eye.

“Guess who? Shoo be doo, shoo, shoo be doo!” A mysterious and feminine voice exclaimed within Declan's head. “Just kidding.” The voice turned furious. "I will retrieve what is mine, and I will not stop until I do. Count on it!”

Declan yelped in fear. It was a largely involuntary reaction on his part.

Twilight and Spike stopped in their tracks, and looked to their new friend with worry. “Are you okay, Declan?” Spike asked.

“What? Uh…” Declan rubbed at his forehead with one hand, which was starting to bristle with sweat, while the other was clasped around the crystalline edge of the Emperor’s Gem, knuckles turning white. He collected himself quickly and put on a weak smile. “Yeah! I uh…must have had a bad daydream there for a second. Odd.”

“I’ll say.” Spike added.

“Hmm…a random nightmare, while awake in broad daylight? Does that happen to humans often?” Declan shook his head firmly, and Twilight turned befuddled. “We should take you to see Zecora maybe if that happens again, then.”

“Okay. I think I’ll start to feel better once we go meet Applejack. She sounds like a down to earth type, and I could really use a break from the bizarre, I think.”

Spike grinned. “Well she is an earth pony, after all.”

“Fair enough!”

“Well now, ain’t this somethin?" Applejack regarded Declan, Spike, and Twilight each with pride as she saw them come up to her in one of the orchards. “Big Mac came back from the market a few hours ago, told me all about that battle of yours with that gigantic critter. And you must be the stranger he also described, it's a right pleasure to meet ya, Ah’m Applejack!”

Declan shook her hoof in greeting, smiling and suppressing his own astonishment. The mare was exuding so much friendliness that it was a wonder it wasn’t visible to the naked eye.

“And I’m Declan Shay. Beautiful farm you have here, Applejack.” he replied.

Applejack adopted a proud posture and tossed an apple at Declan form a nearby basket, which he caught. “Thank ya. What you see is generations of Apple Family hard work, love, and diligence.”

Declan bit into the fruit and nodded. “I can taste it! So, we weren’t like… interrupting anything, I hope?”

The farmer waved a hoof dismissively. “Nope. Ah was just finishing up plantin’ some new saplings in one of the younger orchards a few minutes ago. You caught me during my break, Ah was gonna hit the market myself later to see the place for myself, you three can tag along iffin’ ya want.”

“They just cleaned up the mess we and the troll made, but that sounds like a great idea to me," Declan replied. “What about you guys?”

“Let's do it!” Spike agreed.

“Alright.” Twilight nodded.

With that, the trio-turned-quartet headed back into town. Whilst browsing the remaining open merchant stalls, the pink blur phenomena returned once more, and this time everyone including Declan were able to notice it.

Applejack then mysteriously disappeared as well soon after, and it was only when the sun was beginning to set that Declan finally discovered what the bizarre occurrences of today had been leading up to.

Declan, Twilight, and Spike were inside the foyer of Twilight’s castle, when it happened. It was dark and there was a lot of confetti; Declan mentally scolded himself for having not seen the obvious early on and asking someone about it. Then the lights came on and somepony shouted loudly.


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