• Published 24th Apr 2015
  • 2,297 Views, 127 Comments

A New Life - Lunafan1k



A changeling survives a traumatic event at the cost of his memories, and his sanity. He makes new pony friends who try to help him, unknowingly making his condition worse.Takes place prior to the changeling invasion.

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Apples and Butterflies

We stepped outside and were greeted with utter chaos; ponies of all ages ran blindly in random directions as they screamed in yelled in terror, several even plowing headlong into each other, knocking themselves out. A foal cried out as she dropped her toy. A stallion jumped into a wagon, followed by several others, and hid under a tarp. Doors slammed shut, shutters and blinds closed, and a chilling silence fell over the town.

“… Twilight’s hair isn’t THAT bad.” I commented as a weed blew past.

Twilight flicked her tail in agitation, “Not now Sigma, Spike sent the town into a panic because he was screaming about vamponies! When we find him he’s going to be grounded for a month!” She yelled as she started stomping down the road, “Come on, Sweet Apple Acres is this way.”

We followed after Twilight as she stomped off down the road, muttering to herself all the while. I grabbed the fallen toy in my magic and looked it over; it was a strange doll of many colors and a mane of yarn.

“Worry not, noble… thing, we will return peace to this land within a fortnight.” I said solemnly and placed it on an abandoned fruit stall.

The others were giving me a weird look.

“… what?” Faina asked.

“Look a distraction!” I called out and pointed at a cloud. The others glanced up and the sky exploded, a rainbow of color radiated outward from a single point, while a more solid line of rainbow screaked down toward us, speeding above the town and sending shockwaves that rattled the windows in their frames.

“Holy Celestia…” I looked at my hoof in astonishment, “I can summon rainbow explosions!”

“Wha-how?!” Faina started looking between me and the sky while Rose kept watching the rainbow with a grin.

“What’s up, Eggheads?” A voice said from behind me. I spun around to see Rainbow looking smug, “How did you like my entrance?”

“Did you see that?!” I exclaimed, pointing at the sky. Rainbow nodded with a grin, “I can summon explosions!”

Her grin faltered, “Ehm, no, I did that. But it was amazing, am I right?” She said and stuck her chest out.

I turned to Rose, “I can summon explosions!” She nodded dumbly. I looked at my hoof in awe, “This is a very dangerous power, I must be careful…”

Rainbow growled as she looked around, “What gives?! I put on a show and the town is deserted! And on top of that you’re taking the credit!” She pointed at me angrily and then flew ahead to Twilight, who was glaring straight ahead still and hadn’t stopped her angry march. “Come on Twi, you at least saw me being awesome, right?”

Twilight continued on without a glance or remark. Rainbow deflated, her wings falling to the ground as she sighed.

“I saw you Rainbow Dash!” A shrill voice yelled out.

We all looked around as the sound of buzzing steadily grew louder. I looked back at my wings; they were still tucked away, so it wasn’t me. Suddenly an orange blur blew past us, kicking dust into our eyes and noses.

Oh it was horrible! My eyes were on fire and breathing was really hard! My chest convulsed as I coughed up the cloud of dirt, I could feel tears running down my cheeks as I blinked rapidly to clear them. Who did this?! Why!?

“Rainbow Dash! That was sooo cool!” the voice exclaimed.

My eyes were thankfully cleared a few moments later. Rose was broken out of her rainbow trance and Faina was focusing on Rainbow. I looked as well to see a small orange filly hopping around Rainbow and chatting excitedly.

“-and when you flew over the town to bleed off the extreme speed it was just so cool!” she babbled.

“Yes, I am pretty awesome.” Rainbow said and puffed her chest out.

The filly squealed for a moment before she finally noticed us, “Who are those weirdos?”

I looked behind us, but there wasn’t any pony else. “What weirdos?”

“Uh, you guys…” She said, pointing between us.

“Hey!” Faina exclaimed, “The only weirdo here is Sigma, thank you.”

“Yea!” I said. Wait, am I weird? “Hmm… Rose, am I weird?”

She came up and pecked me on the cheek, “Yes, and don’t you dare change.”

“Works for me!” I grinned.

“Yea, I see what you mean now.” The filly said.

Faina walked up to her, “Yep, I’m Faina, by the way, what’s your name?”

“I’m Scootaloo! The fastest filly on four wheels!” She said and struck a pose on her scooter. “Are you that vampony Spike was screaming about? Are you going to drink all our blood? Do you have a reflection? How can you stand in the sun like that?”

Faina looked annoyed at the questions directed at her; it was going to be a long day.

--

We finally reached Sweet Apple Acres, the trip taking an uncomfortable amount of time as Scootaloo kept pestering Faina the entire way. She had simply given up at this point and was now walking with a wing extended awkwardly so Scootaloo could see it and continued to ask questions.

“That’s so weird! Did the feathers just fall out? Is this what happens if you don’t preen? Will your foals have feathers? Are bat ponies born from eggs? I bet you can’t fly very fast. How fast can you fly? Can you even fly without feathers?” and around and around she would go with the questions.

I managed to tear my eyes away from the scene to take my first look at the fabled apple farm… There was a lot of trees and a lot of apples. There was also a fence, a dirt path, and a gate.

“I don’t get it.” I said.

“The apples here are known through all of Equestria, there are even a few companies in the cities that pay tons of bits just to use these apples in their stuff.” Rainbow said.

“I didn’t take you for knowing your friend’s business so well.” Rose commented.

“Trust me, sometimes when I crash in her barn with a hangover I hear her loud and clear.” She rolled her eyes.

“*cough* Lightweight- *cough*!” Faina suddenly started coughing for some reason.

I tilted my head, “Are you okay?”

“*Ahem, eahm, ack* Yea, I should be fine, something just came over me, I probably just need a strong drink.” She grinned at Rainbow, who was hovering in midair leveling a glare at her.

“Okay then, let’s go do the thing!” I called out.

“SPIKE!” Twilight yelled out, she must have used an amplification spell or something because the branches of the trees were blown back from the yell, causing several to lose their apples.

Once the echoes faded we heard a response off in the distance, “Consarnit Twilight!

“Sounds like she’s here… Have I met her?” I asked. “Wait, was she the one with the speech impediment?”

Twilight sighed, “It’s an accent, and all the Apples have it.” She set off at a trot, the rest of us following behind her down the road.

“Is it contagious?”

“No, Sigma.”

“Rose, I’m confused.”

“An accent is just how a pony speaks, as they grow up in certain areas they learn how things are pronounced, and if things are pronounced one way they will say it that way, and when they travel to an area where the ponies say the word a different way, the difference is considered an accent.” She explained.

“Yep, pretty much.” Twilight added.

“Oh. Well why didn’t you just say so Twilight?” I asked

“Uhg, why do I have to put up with all of you?” Twilight sighed.

“Because you volunteered.” I said with a grin.

Twilight grunted and quickened her pace. I looked ahead towards the horizon that quickly just turned out to be a hill and saw the orange apple pony heading our way with a sour look upon her face.

“Go on now go… walk out the door…Don't turn around now... I don't need you anymore...” I found myself uttering strange words and humming a tune for a few seconds before it faded from my mind.

“What was that, dear?” Rose asked.

“I think I remembered part of a song or something, can’t remember anything else though. Oh well.”

“I’m sure more will return in time.” Rose said.

Applejack trotted up to Twilight and pressed her forehead against hers roughly. “What in the Sam hell are ya doing, screaming and holleren the apples out of the trees!? We have to change our entire schedule just to clean up the mess you made!”

“Are they kissing?” I tried to get a better look. For some reason Rainbow thought that was hilarious and literally laughed herself out of the sky.

Applejack and Twilight backed away from each other quickly, faces burning red. “Was not! Ah’m just tryen to tell her off for acting like a foal!”

“Sure AJ, just keep telling yourself that!” Rainbow spat before erupting in guffaws again.

Applejack glared at her before coiling her back leg like she was going to kick her, but Rainbow quickly shot into the sky, conveniently taking the still yapping Scootaloo with her.

“Ah swear one of these days she’s going to have ‘er guard down and ah’ll put her out for a week!” Applehat grunted. “Anyway, I expect you to help clean up this mess. So what bring’s ya out here? Spike showed up a bit ago huff’n and puff’n about somthen.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Spike ran up to AJ as she was bucking the trees, slowing down long enough to shout hoarsely, “Pony…! Twi…! Claws…! Daylight…!” AJ raised a classic skeptical eyebrow and continued about her day.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“An then he ran toward the Crusaders’ clubhouse.” She explained. “Figured he was spooked about nothen and if you needed help ya would have sent a messenger.”

“Yea my appearance freaked him out a bit.” Faina said as she stepped out from behind Twilight. “Faina Night-Steel, thestral of the Crystal Mountain Mines.” She held out a gauntleted hoof in greeting.

“Well, look at that there fancy horseshoe! Ah bet that cost a pretty penny.” Applejack commented.

“… It’s a gauntlet, and my brother made them from scratch.” Faina said flatly.

“That’s some fine hoofwork, yer brother’s the real deal.”

“Yea, he’s one of the most talented smiths back home, I once watched him take a lump of iron, beat it with a hammer for a bit, and crafted an ornate sword just to show off. Then he used the sword as scrap metal for another order.”

“Well that seems like a waste of a good sword.” Apples commented.

“Iron swords are useless to us; we need a stronger material for mining and fighting. Like these babies!” Faina exclaimed proudly as the trio of blades sprang forth.

“That’s a fancy trick! They look mighty sharp too, could peel a whole crop of potatoes in no time at all!”

Faina sighed and retracted the blades. “Never mind, you’re failing to grasp their purpose and I don’t feel like explaining. So yes, I’m the vampony with kitchen knives strapped to my hooves. Nice meeting you I guess.”

“Aw don’t be so down, Ah’m sure mah brother Big Mac would love to talk shop, he’s friends with the local cobbler!” Applejack said.

“A cobbler. Gee thanks. Twilight where is this club house so we can finish this up? So far today has been nothing but disappointment.” Applejack looked away sadly.

“I’m sorry; it’s down this path here. Let’s find Spike and head back to the library.” Twilight said, pointing the way for Faina. She started off ahead of us and once she was out of earshot she apologized to Applejack. “I’m sorry AJ, she’s from a very different culture that focuses around combat and craftsmanship. But stop by the library later and offer her some of your special black label cider, I’m one hundred percent certain she’ll appreciate that far more than idle chatter.”

“Well, ah guess ah understand, but promise me you ain't going to drink any of it.” She said sternly.

“You have my word, I have no intentions of going through all that again.” Twilight said, followed by attempting to scoop out her eye with a hoof.

“I think we should go…” I said as Twilight rubbed her now inflamed eyeball.

Rose nodded and we started down the path to catch up to Faina. “I wonder how the others are doing at the castle.” She said.

“They probably got a small village set up, not to mention probably a mass panic after their organs started working again.” I said with a shiver.

“Agreed. Hopefully it was well contained.”

“Well Applesnack didn’t mention it, so either she wasn’t there or it was taken care of in a decent manor.”

“Her name is Applejack, dear.”

“… right, I knew that.”

“Besides, if she was there I doubt she would openly speak about it.” Rose said as we caught up with Faina. “And how are you holding up?”

“Culture shock… I heard about this from my grandfather before heading out. I knew it would be weird, being out here, but talking to that mare it just really hammered home just how… I don’t know, how everything out here is less than what I am used to. Each day we try to strive for our best and take pride in our accomplishments. Heh, and sometimes gloat about them in the great hall until someone challenges them to a drinking contest, in which case I usually win.” She chuckled, “Gods I could use a drink.”

I’m not sure exactly what happened after that, but her ear flicked at a sound I barely heard and the next moment she was ten feet off to the side as something fell on both Rose and I. It looked like a bunch of rope tied together, it almost looked like-

“A net!” Faina exclaimed.

“Yes, a rather small one too.” Rose said as she lifted the net off of us.

Suddenly the bushes started talking! “I told you to make it bigger!” it said in a voice with a weird twang to it.

“But it was the best I could do on short notice! Just be glad Scootaloo didn’t help or it wouldn’t look remotely like a net!” Said a slightly higher pitched voice.

“Shush! Keep it down or they’ll hear-AAH!” the first voice cut off in a short scream, followed shortly by Faina flying out of the bush holding two small fillies, one was the white one I saw escaping from Rarity’s wrath earlier.

Faina placed them on the net they probably threw at us and proceeded to tie them up in it. Then she threw them over her back so they would be suspended in the net on either side of her with their hooves, heads and tails poke out through the holes.

“Looks like I caught lunch-“ She said and looked at the yellow one, “And dinner.” She said to the white one, causing them both to tremble in fear.

“You know, scaring them like that probably won’t help you debunk the ‘vampony’ thing.” Rose commented.

“At this point I could care less, they shouldn’t be doing that kind of thing anyway. Hey, yellow, where’s Spike?” She asked her captive.

“If… If I tell you, promise you won’t eat us!” She said fearfully.

“I promise not to eat you.” Faina said casually.

“Well… okay… I was hanging out with Sweetie Belle at the clubhouse when Spike ran in and passed out. He woke up a few minutes later and told us a vampony was in town hunting ponies. Then we got the idea to try and get our vampony catching cutie marks and started making this net and then Spike left to go warn Fluttershy. That’s all we know!” she said, teary eyed.

“And I knew Rarity would be mad about the perfume in the soap but I thought it would smell nice so I poured some in anyway but I accidentally dropped the entire bottle in the bucket and I didn’t want to get in trouble for wasting the perfume so I hoped I could just wash the outside like normal and not get in trouble!” the other one, presumably Sweetie, rambled out.

“Well that explains that. Which way to, ah, Fluttershy?” Faina asked.

“Hey! You said you’d let us go if I told you about Spike! You promised!” The yellow one accused.

“No, I promised not to eat you, and I didn’t plan on it from the beginning.” Faina said.

“What?!” Sweetie shrieked, I had to rub my ears at the frequency. “You tricked us!?”

“No, you failed yourselves. We’re after Spike now to stop him from spreading a false lie about me and clear the water a bit.” Faina said. “Now, which way?”

The yellow one rubbed her chin for a moment, “So you’re sure you’re not a vampony? Yer teeth look mighty sharp and pointy.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I do eat meat. Not ponies or anything though. Because that would be cannibalism.” Faina said wisely.

“Well, I guess that ain’t so bad. Alright, promise that when we get to Fluttershy’s you’ll let us go.” She said.

“Done.”

“That way then.” She said, pointing to a split in the path.

We started walking down the path towards Fluttershy’s when Twilight finally managed to catch up, what she had been talking to Applejack about I had no idea.

“Here you are, and why do you have Sweetie Bella and Applebloom tied up?” She asked casually.

“Cutie Mark Crusaders: Vampony Hunters was a flop.” Sweetie said dejectedly.

“Pretty much.” Faina confirmed. “They said after Spike gave them the idea that he headed to someone called Fluttershy, you know her?”

Twilight giggled, “Of course I know her, were friends! She’s a pretty shy pegasus, so don’t be put off if she won’t talk to you or thinks you look scary, she’s literally afraid of her own shadow. But I’ve seen her face down and tame even the most ferocious of animals. Except the hydra. Too many eyes to focus on.”

“Good to know, thanks.” Faina said.

“She likes me though.” I piped up.

“What? How did that happen, you’re the weirdest looking one here.” Faina asked me.

“She helped Zecora bring him to the hospital when she found him in the forest, and since she takes care of wounded animals all the time she quickly got over her fear and did what she needed to do.” Twilight said proudly.

“You forgot to mention the part where I was drowning in my own blood from a ruptured throat from screaming constantly.” I added.

“Well I didn’t feel that that was relevant to what I was saying.” Twilight looked annoyed.

“Now I have to hear this.” Faina said. Apparently I also had the attention of the two fillies as well.

I spent the majority of the walk explaining in great detail basically everything I experienced in the last few days since I woke up to the best of my ability. Rose would pitch in every now and again as well whenever I had issues with describing certain details, up to the point I met Faina.

“Wow, busy from the start it seems like.” She said.

"You're not very smart, are you mister?" Sweetie asked.

“I have one question though; you never mentioned feeling a weird tingle before, are you still getting them?” Twilight asked.

“Actually now that you mention it, I have been for a while. I get it whenever Rose is around and it feels nice so I try sticking close to her.” I said.

“And here I thought you were just being affectionate.” Rose teased.

“I am, the warm tingles are a bonus. It’s weird though, because you all give me tingles too but not as strong.” I hummed in thought. Then I hummed just because.

“Fascinating!” Twilight exclaimed as she took notes with a paper and quill that I am 200% sure wasn’t there a second ago. “If you have time I’d like to take a few readings to try and identify what’s causing it!” She said as she started rambling about ‘the possibilities.’ I didn’t really care, personally I was still looking forward to training with Rose over the next few days. That person who sent the dog monsters after us was still out there, I would need to know all I could to help out.

“Oh look, we’re here!” Twilight cut herself off as she almost walked into a mailbox. I looked up from my musings to see Fluttershy’s cottage again.

“There, ya made it ta Fluttershy’s. Can you let us go now?” Applebloom asked.

“Sure.” Faina said and stood there doing nothing.

“Well?” Sweetie asked. “You did promise, remember?”

“Yes I remember, but I’m not holding you, so you are already let go. You are just tangled in a net that happens to be strapped across my back.” Faina grinned.

“WHAT!?”

“You tricked us again!”

“That’s not fair!”

Faina was outright laughing at this point as she was being screamed at by a pair of angry foals. The yelling and bickering stopped in and instant though when Faina lifted a hoof and the blades erupted from her gauntlet.

“Now hold still, I’m not in the mood to be covered by blood.” Faina reared back and… let the net harness slide off, the knot falling loose with the slack releasing the fillies. “There, all done.”

They looked at each other and then quickly ran away to parts unknown.

“Oh yea, I forgot my gift basket here! I wonder if she still has it.” I pondered.

“The one we all got you while you were in the hospital? She probably does.” Twilight said. I nodded as she walked up to the door and gave it a few gentle knocks. “Fluttershy? Are you home?”

“I don’t think she’s here.” I said, looking around. “Actually this place seems deserted, where are all the animals?”

“Now that you mention it, I’ve never heard her cottage so quiet before either.” Twilight said. She knocked again, “Fluttershy, it’s Twilight! If Spike is with you then you should know there aren’t any vamponies! It’s safe to come out!”

“Wouldn’t a vampony say that to lure out the unsuspecting?” Faina asked. I shrugged, I didn’t really understand what they were anyway.

Twilight groaned, “Not now, please.”

Suddenly a warm light washed over us. “What was that?” I asked.

A voice from inside spoke up, “It’s okay, they’re not evil.”

“Oh thank goodness, I was so worried. Thank you.” I heard Fluttershy say to the first voice. The door opened to reveal a tired looking Fluttershy. She stepped aside and waved us all in.

“Oh my, you must be Rose. Rarity told me about you when you went to Canterlot. You look a lot better than what she described. Did you want some soup? I have some left over; you must be getting a bit peckish.” She offered.

“Hm, I suppose I could use something, thank you.” Rose said as we made our way inside.

Faina was the last to enter, eliciting a ‘Meep!’ from Fluttershy. A moment later a different voice called out from upstairs, “Who is it, Fluttershy?”

“Spike?!” Twilight asked loudly.

“Twilight? Twilight!” There was a loud pitter-patter as Spike ran down the stairs and basically threw himself at Twilight and embraced her. “Oh Twilight! I was so worried you were eaten by the vampony! I’m sorry I ran, I panicked!”

“It’s okay Spike, but we need to set this straight before you keep panicking. Faina is a thestral, a cousin to bat ponies. She is not, that’s a capital N-O-T, a vampony of any kind. And tomorrow you will take Faina on a tour of the town and apologize to everyone for causing a mass panic. But for now, apologize to Faina. She is very upset for what you did today.” Twilight’s scolding almost brought Spike to tears as he realized he jumped to the wrong conclusion.

“S-s-so… y-you’re not a…” Fluttershy managed to stutter out as she shook violently.

Faina slowly shook her head, “No, I’m not. I won’t hurt you or your friends.”

Fluttershy seemed to calm down greatly at that, but she was still a nervous wreck, “I, um, the soup… if… that’s okay…” She seemed to sink lower and lower into herself as she tried to continue and just wound up letting out a whimper.

Faina took a few steps back and sat down, “That’s okay, you go ahead and do what you need to do.”

Fluttershy nodded and hurried into the kitchen out of sight. Spike approached Faina, “I-I’m sorry I jumped to the wrong conclusion, I know vamponies don’t exist but my fear made me forget that… can you forgive me?”

“Yea, I can accept that. So we’ll be hanging out tomorrow then?” She asked.

Spike nodded, “Yep! I’m going to show you all the coolest places in town!”

“Oh sure, let’s all ignore the breezie in the room and chat amongst yourselves. Oh, and that false alarm about the vampony, thanks for that.” The first voice we heard called out. I looked around for the source but I wasn’t able to see it. “I’ll have you know that vamponies are real in some parts.”

My eyes settled on a medium sized flower. “Guys! This flower is talking! Are you a breezie? What is that, and how is it different than a flower?”

“I’m not a flower you empty-headed buffoon!” my sight was suddenly blocked by a very large pair of light blue gossamer wings with darker blue colors swirling through them, and attached between them hanging from my horn was what looked like a teeny tiny pony! She was white but her mane and tail were a darker blue and were almost three times the length of her body, and her wings were at least ten times her size!

“… Butterfly pony?” I asked it.

“Breezie! Well, in this realm anyway, but still!” She released her hold on my horn and slowly floated toward the ground in a slow spin, her wings moved slightly and she was right side up, floating at eye level and glaring at me.

I blew air at her and the result was immediate: she screamed loudly as she spun out of control and floated backwards a few feet until she righted herself. “Don’t do that or I’ll turn you into cinders!”

“How would you do that?” I asked curiously.

“Magic.” She said simply.

“Oh.” That made sense.

“Oh, um,” Fluttershy was poking her head out of the kitchen, “Please be nice to, um, Tatl, I have a lot of guests today and they don’t really like visitors…”

“Yea! So who are you and what do you want?” Tatl demanded. Such an angry tiny pony!

Twilight stepped forward. If it comes down to a show of magic I’m certain Twilight can save us! Optimism! “Sorry about Sigma, he’s… not well in the head. My name is Twilight Sparkle, student of Princess Celestia. This is Sigma, Rose, and Grand Faina Night-steel of the Crystal Mountain Mines.”

Tatl looked rather bored at the introductions until it came to Faina, she perked up a bit. “Crystal Mountain Mines, eh? Well I’m glad Akthul sent someone to warn these ground pounders. If he trusts you you’re good in my book.”

“You know Akthul?” She asked curiously.

“Well not personally, but I’m told he’s an excellent judge of character and his pick of mortals usually go on to do great things. He was one of the first to heed the warnings I was advising the realm’s guardians about as well. Being what he is he has closer ties to the planes and was able to feel something was amiss. I am Tatl, a cleric in service to Pelor, god of the healing and sun domains. I am also closely tied to the gods of time themselves due to an unfortunate event…” she stopped moving and just stared off into space, losing altitude slowly. She was about to settle to the floor when she regained herself and flew back up. “Sorry, anyway it’s a pleasure.”

“Likewise.” Faina smiled.

“The rest of you should do what you came to do and get lost.” Her attitude changed rather abruptly as she addressed us.

“So you don’t care as much about Princess Celestia’s student? She controls the sun, wouldn’t your god have the same respects for her and who she chooses?” Twilight asked. She sounded kind of desperate.

“Do you even know what a god is?” Tatl asked her, Twilight was about to respond but Tatl kept going. “A god is a timeless being of immense power. Their power is so beyond comprehension that even the slightest act from any of them could destroy and create millions of universes. That’s why they send disciples and followers to act in their place and bless them with a smidge of their power. Pelor knows of the princesses, how they ‘control’ the sun and moon. He set it up to be that way; a sun linked with a mortal to create a demi-god after the events of the chaos beast disrupts the reality of this realm permanently. And he has poor judgement, already within the first few thousand years she has let calamity fall upon the land. Demons, enslavement, more, even her own sister fell to a simple corruption in petty jealousy. They are supposed to protect these lands, instead they send mortals as though they were full gods themselves. They are even worshiped! Pelor sees this and is displeased, but his hooves are tied as they say. So no, I don’t care. Want proof? Take the last thousand years, name one major advancement.”

“She brought peace to the lands!” Twilight defended.

“Did she? At most its balancing on weak trade agreements, and peace is fickle at best. Akthul on the other hand, he watches his children closely, he calls them as such, and he is able to judge what his children would need to reach even further. They have mastered so many works and creations that even he had no idea were possible to make. If you want to really open your eyes, return with Faina to her home and see for yourself, if you can.”

“Well I think you’re just being a bit rude!” Twilight rebutted.

“And I said I don’t care, now leave or I will force you out, this house is under my protection.” Tatl threatened.

“Rose let’s just go, I don’t want to be turned to cinders.” I said. Rose nodded and we headed out the door.

“Oi! Rose can stay, she’s got food cooking thanks to the Caretaker. She’s also from the forest so she’s welcome here.” Tatl said, ignoring the unicorn gritting her teeth.

“Can I stay then?” I asked.

She seemed to think about it and looked up to the corner of the ceiling. I looked too but didn’t see anything. “You may, there is something to discuss with you later. So purple pony needs to skedaddle or face the wrath of Tatl… heh.”

“I’m the protégé of Princess Celestia and I’ve been studying magic my entire life! I’ve even faced down Nightmare Moon!” Twilight declared, stamping a hoof in agitation.

“And I’m a being as old as time, birthed at creation in the space between spaces. Don’t push me, foal. Leave. Now. If you want a dual, seek me out later, I’m busy.” Tatl said, they air was thick with tension as they stared each other down.

“Twilight…” A soft voice called out. Fluttershy was standing just outside the kitchen with a bowl of soup held between her wings. “Please, I hate to ask you, but you are scaring them all, and I don’t want them to hurt you. Please calm down and do as she says, for your safety.”

“Fluttershy, what are you talking about? There’s nothing else here!” Twilight asked.

“They are hiding, but please, trust me on this. Consider my house a den for the Ursa and the Ursa has a baby. What do you think would happen if the Ursa felt her baby was in danger? Please, I will do what I can so you can come back to visit, I promise, but now is really, really not a good time… I… I have to put my hoof down on this.” Fluttershy said rather forwardly. I started to applaud but Rose stopped me and shook her head.

“… I’m sorry, Fluttershy. I guess I just don’t understand what’s going on here, but I will wait for when you can tell me.” Twilight said with a sigh.

“And um, take Spike with you too, he was only given temporary as… asyl… protection because we thought the vampony was real.” Fluttershy added.

“Oh, well, alright. Whatever is going on here, I’m sorry I scared you all and stuff… I’ll be going now.” Spike said as he quickly ran out of the house and down to the river.

“I guess this explains why the other animals are gone too.” Twilight said as she headed for the door.

“Yes, pretty much, my neighbor Carrot Top volunteered to look after them with her group of friends, it’s not the first time and I’m really grateful to her.”

“Alright, have a good night Fluttershy.” Twilight said.

“Goodnight.” Fluttershy said as she closed to door behind her and let out a sigh. She turned to Tatl, “You didn’t have to be so rude about it, I’m sure it would have been alright to tell her.”

“I have to follow the last request of King, I’m duty bound to uphold it any way I see fit.” Tatl said as she floated down to the table and scooped up a drop of soup in her hooves and sipped it. “Not bad. Alright, Faina, Rose, and Sigma, right? Pull up a cushion, we need to have a small chat.”

We looked to each other and shrugged, Fluttershy excused herself to make some more soup as we sat down. I nervously fiddled my hooves in the dead silence of the house, why did it feel like we were being watched by countless eyes I couldn’t see?

Author's Note:

And the 20th chapter is complete! This is pretty much part 2 of the 19th chapter haha.

Tatl is a bit of a snarky asshole, I will admit.

Anyway I'm super tired, night all!