• Published 23rd May 2012
  • 1,274 Views, 54 Comments

Quest for the Silver Crown - Lycan_01

Applejack and her friends journey into the Everfree Forest to find the cure for Winona's illness.

  • ...


"MWUAHAHAHAHAH!!!" the evil Dr. Von Serpentface cackled wickedly. The giant reticulated python, wearing a black cape and top hat while sporting a handlebar mustache, had managed to tie Twilight Sparkle up in heavy rope and strap her to some railroad tracks. Judging from the air desert landscape and the baking sun overhead, they were out near Appaloosa.

"You'll never get away with this!" Twilight proclaimed defiantly.

"Ooooooh, but I already haaaaave," the wicked green reptile crooned. Coiled up menacingly beside the restrained unicorn, he began to twirl his mustache with the tip of his tail in a rather cliche fashion. "Mwuahahahah..."

"STOP RIGHT THERE CRIMINAL SCUM!!" a booming voice echoed.

"Le gasp!" Dr. Von Serpentface looked up at the sky. "Oh no, not you! Anyone but you!"

"Who?" Twilight looked up.

She found herself face-to-face with Owlicious. "Who?" the owl hooted.

"Blue," Pinkie Pie cheered from nearby, somehow clad in a blue cheerleading outfit. "B-L-U-E! It's the best color for me!" she exclaimed, shaking some blue pompoms in the air.

"But Pinkie," Twilight frowned, "You're pink."

"And you're a velociraptor!" Pinkie replied with a grin.

Twilight looked down at herself. Pinkie was right. Somehow she'd turned into a dinosaur. Weird.

And then the nuns attacked...

Twilight opened her eyes. Darkness. All she could see was darkness. She blinked her eyes a few times, before gingerly trying to focus her magic. She'd just woken up, and in her groggy state, she had to be very careful with her arcane abilities. All she needed right now was an impromptu flashlight - if her sleep-addled mind wasn't careful, she could instead create the effects of a flamethrower.

Thankfully, despite her grogginess, Twilight possessed enough magical control and prowess to create a faint purple aura around her horn, and nothing more. The soft indigo glow revealed that she was sitting in her tent, alone. Judging from the stark darkness and the ambient chirping of crickets and nocturnal birds, Twilight assumed that it was still very early in the morning, well before dawn.

She furrowed her brow. What had woken her up? It hadn't been the dream. Fighting nuns as a velociraptor while Discord played the fiddle for dramatic musical effect was.... well, a nightmare, by most standards. But it wasn't a bad enough nightmare for her to be jolted awake. No, some outside source had awoken her. But what was it?

Somepony nearby let out a sob.

Twilight's ears immediately perked up. What was that? Was somebody crying? She sat in her tent for a long moment, not moving, not making a sound. Had it been her imagination? Perhaps she'd just imagined it.

There was another sob. Twilight heard it clearly this time. And she knew exactly who it was.


Without hesitation, Twilight began to scramble out of her sleeping bag. She telekinetically unzipped the opening of her tent, and half-ran, half-staggered out into the cold night air. She shivered involuntarily; it was much colder and much darker outside her tent than she expected. She turned towards the campfire - and nearly jumped out of her skin.

"Good evening Twilight..." the cloaked form of Zecora whispered. She was hunched over the small remnants of the campfire, idle poking at a pot of boiling water resting just on the edges of the flames. She then looked up at the stars for a moment, then stated: "No, morning. That's right."

"Zecora?" Twilight whispered back. "What are you doing?"

Another sob came from Applejack's tent. Zecora turned towards it for a moment, before returning her attention to the boiler. "Preparing a brew to help our friend rest. To help her relax, some tea would be best," the zebra rhymed softly. There was a hint of sadness in her voice. She then looked back over at Twilight, locking eyes with the mare from across the flickering firelight. She seemed to be studying Twilight. Examining her. Almost judging her...

After a moment, Zecora lowered her gaze back into the flames. She quietly whispered: "You are hesitant... Afraid to intrude. I assure you, she would not find it rude. She... is quite lucky to have such a friend. Friendship, comfort, care..." the zebra looked back up at Twilight. The glow of the flickering flames on her features revealing a soft, almost melancholy smile. "They do well to mend."

Twilight said nothing. She simply returned Zecora's smile with a wan smile of her own, before cautiously creeping over to Applejack's tent. She paused in front of it. She could hear soft whimpering and sniffling coming from inside the shelter. She wasn't sure what to do. What should she say? Should she just open the zipper? Whisper to her? Knock? Knocking on a tent was difficult, but not impossible...

Finally, the unicorn decided to just play it safe, and make her presence known. "Applejack?" she softly whispered.

The faint sobbing immediately ceased. After a few sniffs, Twilight heard Applejack whisper a response. "Twi...? That you?"

"Yeah..." the purple mare replied quietly. "Mind if I come in?"

Silence. A very long, heavy silence. Finally, another sniff, followed by: "Sure. C'mon in."

Twilight's telekinesis gently tugged at the zipper, opening the entrance of the tent. Carefully, she slipped inside, keeping a soft aura of magic around her horn to serve as a flashlight of sorts like she'd done in her own tent.

The tent was spacious enough for one pony to have a decent amount of room. Two ponies could fit and still be comfortable, somewhat. Theoretically, you could fit three ponies in the tent, if they didn't have issues with personal space and flexibility...

The soft violet glow of Twilight's magic revealed that Applejack was curled up in her sleeping bag, nestled against the far side of the tent. Most of face was buried in her pillow, and her hat was resting at a crooked angle atop her head. Only one small patch of the right side of her face - her cheek and eye, framed by loose blonde hair - was clearly visible Her eye, still rimmed with fresh tears, was locked on Twilight. "Ah woke ya up... didn't I?" the earth pony whispered. Even when speaking quietly and trying to hide it, her voice was audibly raspy from crying.

Twilight crouched down, and inched a bit closer. "Nah," she quietly answered with a soft smile and a shake of her head.

Applejack shook her head slightly, causing her hat to fall down completely over her face. "No, Ah know tha's a yes. Sorry..." she whispered. Her tone was apologetic. Guilty. Almost ashamed.

"No, really, I was having a nightmare," the purple unicorn half-lied.

"Heh. Small world..." Applejack muttered softly.

A silence fell over the two friends. Applejack sniffed a few times.

Twilight's smile faded. "Most ponies would ask 'are you okay' at a time like this... But..." her voice quietly trailed off.

"But yer smarter than that," her orange friend replied quietly. There was a mix of bemusement and sadness in her voice. "An 'egghead,' as Dash would put it. And yer guessin' right. Ah... Ah'm not okay..." Applejack whimpered.

Twilight crawled a little bit closer, and laid down on the floor next to her friend. "Do you.... want to talk?"

Applejack shrugged. "There ain't much to talk 'bout. Had a nightmare. 'Bout Winona. Ah... Ah'm..." she began to choke up.

"You're worried," Twilight softly observed. "She's more than just your pet. She's part of your family."

"Yeah..." Applejack whimpered. "Ah... Ah'm just so worried. So scared. What if...?"

"No what ifs," Twilight whispered factually. "We will find the flower, we will cure Winona, and everyone will be happy. That's how these things work."

"This... this ain't a story in one of them old books..." Applejack muttered. Her voice was strained; she was trying not to break down. "And if it is... what if it's a tragedy? The... endings ain't always happy in real life, y'know?"

Twlight raised a hoof, and gently rubbed Applejack's shoulder. Or the part of the sleeping bag she assumed was over her shoulder. "I know. But this ending will be happy. I promise..." she whispered.

Other than a few sniffs from Applejack, there was only silence for several moments. Finally, Applejack whispered: "This happy ending ain't got a Prince Charmin', does it? Cuz I remember that Bloodblood feller from the Gala, and... er... yeah..."

The two friends managed to keep straight faces for about two seconds, before both of them began to snicker softly. "Alright, fine, no Prince Charming in your happy ending," Twilight whispered. "We'll give him to Rainbow Dash."

As if on cue, Rainbow Dash stuck her head through the tent's entrance flap. "You're giving me who to do what with now?" the cyan pegasus whispered curiously.

"Aw shucks, did Ah wake ya up too?" Applejack grumbled. "Ah'm sorry, Dash..."

"Element of Loyalty," Dash smirked. "I can't just ignore a friend in need, can I? So what's up? I thought I heard crying and by the time I get done talking to Zecora and get over here, you gals are... giggling. And talking about giving me things. Soooo... spill?"

Twilight arched an eyebrow. "About the crying, or the giving you things?"

Dash shrugged. "Either, or."

Applejack sighed. "Ah had a nightmare 'bout Winona. And we're giving you mah Prince Charmin', since apparently our adventure is gonna have one of them cliche storybook endings..." she grumbled.

"Oh. I see," Dash nodded thoughtfully. "Kay, for that first part, I'm really sorry to hear that. I would come in there and try to comfort you with a hug or something, but I don't think I'd fit... at least not without making things awkward for everypony," she shook her head, smiling at the silliness. "As for that second part... ummmmm... no," she stated flatly. "Princes and aristocrats and all that jazz just aren't my thing. Too fancy and stuck up and yuck. If I gotta get stuck with somebody important... can it be a Wonderbolt?"

Applejack wiggled a hoof out of her sleeping bag, just so she could smack it against her forehead under her hat. "Y'know, I knew she'd say that..." Twilight whispered with a smirk.

"Though, isn't Twilight's brother technically a Prince now?" Dash asked with a mischievous grin.

Twilight's eyes went wide. "Hey! Leave my brother out of this!" she whispered frantically. Applejack began to chuckle softly.

"Hey, you said you were gonna give me a Prince. You never said which one, or that I couldn't pick him," the pegasus smirked wickedly.

"But... but..." Twilight gaped in horror. Applejack was now chuckling quite loudly and heartily.

Zecora suddenly stuck her head through the tent flap, her face appearing right under Dash's. The blue pony jumped slightly in surprise. "Ahem," the zebra coughed to get the other ponies' attention. "I have prepared some tea to help you rest. As far as sleep aids go, it would be best."

"Darn it. Ah woke ya up, and ya made me tea?" Applejack grumbled, squirming uncomfortably. "Sorry Zecora... Sorry everypony... Though, Ah do gotta say... Ah really appreciate y'all tryin' ta help me out. Thanks..." she whispered.

"Do not mention it!" Zecora cheerfully replied. "Though, tell me something... We're all awake - why are we whispering?"

One by one, all four friends slowly broke down into laughter as they realized the silliness of the situation. Afterwards, they all shared a few cups of tea, exchanged hugs, and attempted to go back to sleep. And thankfully, there were no more nightmares that night, for anypony.

Comments ( 9 )

Neat chapter, dunno what to type down about sad chapters but all I can say is that it made me feel sad and want to give AJ a hug but anyway, yay another chapter! :yay:

Your Zecora rhymes are excellent as usual. :yay:

As always, a big thanks to my readers. You are awesome. :moustache:

941985 Yeah, you were right. I'd been toying with the crying/nightmare scene, but your comment made me realize it was definitely needed. Thank for you feedback. :twilightsmile:

974225 I made you feel sad? Awesome! I mean that nicely, mind you. It is a huge compliment to know that my writing actually inspires an emotional response, even a negative one, in the person reading the work. :pinkiehappy:

I thank thee, friend, for the words you have said.
Your compliment is appreciated.
Zecora's lines can be quite challenging.
Iambic pentameter, plus rhyme scheme...
Many writers do not appear to care.
But to the readers, that just isn't fair!
I myself prefer things be accurate.
Is all the trouble worth it? Oh, you bet! :pinkiehappy:

If you want advice on writing Zecora lines, read Shakespeare. A lot of his stuff is written in Iambic Pentameter with an AA/BB/CC rhyme scheme. This is the same style Zecora's lines are spoken in. Reading over these lines helps you to better grasp the style, flow, and sound of the meter and rhyme.

After reading like 8 Shakespeare plays for a class last fall, Zecora's lines are actually not that mind fracturing to come up with. Usually. :pinkiecrazy:

975188 Yay, I feel influential :yay: very good emotional scene, too. And very good sillyness. Cadence better watch out, she's got a rival! :rainbowlaugh:

I love your storys :) the charecters are extsreamly accuerate to the show and you have put in cute jokes it is funny and sad and over all one of my top fav fics :) I can't air to see more chapters <3

This is an awesome story I hope to see more of sometime.
Especially seeing as it's got Zecora as a main character. :pinkiehappy:

1432504 This story is currently on hold for a moment, I am afraid. Eventually, though, I'll be going back through and making a lot of edits, expanding or combining most of the chapters before I add any "new" content. :twilightsmile:

Cool! I'll be looking forward to it then, best of luck! :yay:

"Do not mention it!" Zecora cheerfully replied. "Though, tell me something... We're all awake - why are we whispering?"

LoL! I really like Zecora in this story. She is funny, surprising and... Well... She is just like imagain her in my Head!:pinkiecrazy:

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