• Published 7th Oct 2017
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My Little Mages: The New World Map - Foxhelm

After returning from another venture and setting into the new castle, Twilight and friends learn of the next step in the Princess of Friendship quests. Where will this new map lead? A My Little Mages retelling of The Cutie Map

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Off The Beaten Trail

Prologue: Summoning the Map

Six young women between the ages of 20 and 22 entered into a room with seven thrones, one much smaller and on the right-hand side of the throne with a rendering of a purple six-pointed star that seemed to rest on an inverted white four-pointed star surrounded by five smaller white stars. The other five thrones had renderings of either a cluster of three stylized apples, three sapphires cut into kites, three pink winged butterflies, a stylized lightning bolt that looked like a rainbow of red, yellow and blue coming from a stylized cloud and/or three balloons, one yellow and two blue.

The first of the six to enter had dark sapphire hair with two streaks, one was rose and the other was violet, with violet eyes, and metallic wings purple and gold in color which seemed to float behind her and yet also come from her back with two amethyst six-pointed stars functioning for the wings like her arm's shoulder balls. She wore a headband with a horn-like amethyst focusing gem on her forehead, with a dull blue robe with large golden cuffs, pink pants and brown boots that went up above her ankle. Around her neck was a triangle-like amulet that was colored like a rainbow of orange, yellow, cyan, alabaster, pink and purple. This was Princess Twilight Sparkle.

The next to enter, flying towards the throne with the rendering of the rainbow lightning bolt, had hair that was like a rainbow in color and that was done in a high ponytail with a hairpin that looked like a stylized cloud and a tri-colored rainbow of red, yellow and blue, with cerise eyes. She wore black sock-like boats that went above her knees, with a dull purple skirt and light a dull blue shirt with white and gold wing styled sleeves. On her waist was a quiver and a bow and from her ankles came ethereal wing. Also on her shirt was a pin of a stylized lightning bolt with wings, the wings were gold in color while the lightning bolt had the coloration of a rainbow of orange, yellow, cyan, alabaster, pink and purple. This was her youngest closest friend, Rainbow Dash.

The next woman had had long deep-magenta hair with a small tiara on her head with three sapphires cut as kites, this was Rarity, she had azure eyes, and she wore a long alabaster gown with some pinkish-purple with a long shawl that was composed of two rainbows in color, a traditional rainbow going the length of the shawl save for the width of one of the shorter edges which running perpendicular to the rest of the shawl was a rainbow of orange, yellow, cyan, alabaster, pink and purple, going around her back and hanging from her elbows.

Next was a blonde woman with green eyes, named Applejack. Her hair was done in a low ponytail and was dressed in brown pants, brown boots, a red leather jacket with some pieces of armor most notably pauldrons with stylized apples, brown gloves, a scabbard with a longsword in it. Around her neck was a black cord that had a coin with a rendering of apples on both sides but looked like a rainbow of orange, yellow, cyan, alabaster, pink and purple.

After her, was a woman shorter than all the others with bouncing cotton pink hair, blue eyes, this was Pinkie Pie, she wore a bear legged leotard with blue cruelly toed shoes a pink jester coat and a dark pink jester’s hat with three balloons, one was yellow and two were blue and on her jacket’s waist was a rubber chicken called ‘Boneless’, unlike other rubber chickens his right leg wasn’t the regular orange but a rainbow of orange, yellow, cyan, alabaster, pink and purple.

The last woman in the room, and the oldest of the six, also had pink hair and teal colored eyes, but her hair was lighter shade of pink and her eyes were teal, she was Fluttershy she was dressed in a green, yellow and light blue dress with a stylized pink butterfly as a brooch for her hood, and above her left ear was a blue flower but one of its pedals was a rainbow of orange, yellow, cyan, alabaster, pink and purple. Rarity was the first to speak, “It’s nice to be back, granted this place still takes some getting used to,” Rarity said as she took her seat, the depiction of her Aura Mark starting to glow. “But it was nice to see the Shadowbolts again, even though we had another set of power-hunger world conquerors to deal with, and without either the Elements of Magic or The Rainbow of Light to help us. I almost got split ends with all the drama.” She was looking at her hair.

“Yeah, but who would have thought Fluttershy’s song was the perfect counterspell. That was awesome, Flutters!” Rainbow cheered her friend as she took her throne, causing its insignia to glow as well.

“Sunset did, Sugarcube.” Applejack countered as she too took her throne and the rendering of her Aura Mark also glowed, “but all in all it was a nice vacation. Even got the portal to Midnight Castle moved to this castle and Twilight here has a new pen pal.”

“Well, it’s a good thing that Sunset was pardoned and her sentence commuted allowing her to stay there and yet come here too.” Pinkie Pie added her two cents as she sat down, the depiction of her mark glowing, “but honestly I don’t think the best band actually won, the Dazzlings were technically a trio of singers and we didn’t have half our band in our performances for most of the contest.”

“It really doesn’t matter, it was nice to see how much Sunset had changed, looks all she needed was a real chance.” Fluttershy pointed out as she took her seat and her Aura Mark’s rendering glowed.

Twilight then went to her throne, “Hey everyone, do you all see that your thrones rendering of your aura marks are glowing?” still have not taken her seat.

“That’s bizarre. I wonder why. Perhaps if you take your seat we might figure out why.” Rarity offered.

“Yeah, maybe will learn this faster than what happened behind-stage with the Survivor of the Universe?” Rainbow joked. No one found it funny as they all gave her bemused express.

Twilight groaned, “What happened or didn’t happen is none of your business. But why would our thrones be glowing?” Twilight cautiously took her seat and the rendering of her Aura Mark glowed. At that moment a rainbow much like the Elements’ of Harmony merged with a rainbow like the Rainbow of Light left from each of the Aura Marks and traveled down the thrones to the floor that they encircled and from the floor a circular table that occupied most of the empty floor space the thrones encircled. The tap was crystalline and the crystal looked like a cross between the Tree of Harmony and the chest that housed the Rainbow of Light. Once it stopped raising from the floor it flicked the rainbow of the Elements of Harmony and the Rainbow of Light and a map of the part of the planet where the nation of Mystica is located. Over the location of Magiville were images of Twilight’s et al Aura Marks floating over the town. The images then floated over to an area on the map that was in a desert were the Mystican train system tracks didn’t reach fully.

After the map finished its arrival a purple-scaled bipedal reptile with green spines along his back, about the size of a twelve-thirteen-year-old boy came in and headed to the smaller throne with a stack of letters and newspapers. This was Twilight’s familiar, Spike the dragon, “Sorry I am late, just got the…” as he noticed the map before he took his seat, “That’s new! I like it!”

Chapter 1: Off The Beaten Trail

Spike climbed onto the table, much to Twilight’s disdain and walked on it as looked over the map the table rendered. “This is incredible! It's got all of Mystica! And Gryphonstone, The Crystal Mountains, Yakyakistan, Nyika, Magetonia and so many other places!” The dragon continued his survey.

Pinkie Pie spotted her family’s rock farm, “Hi, Mom and Dad!” she shouted as if she was some sort of giant looking down on them and trying to call to them just before Spike stepped on the projection which gave the sound of him stomping on the farmhouse followed by Spike giving a shriek like roar that lasted about twelve seconds and resonated in the room. The stomping on the rock farm caused Pinkie to whimper and cry for a second before she and the other jumped back as Spike roared, even Rainbow hid behind her throne, shaking in fear. Once the dragon’s roar was done Pinkie started giggling, “Good one, Spike,” she appalled the young dragon.

“Thank you,” Spike bowed to the pink jester a smug grin on his face, “I’ve been working on my various roars, and that’s me right now, can you image what it sound like when I am fully grown,” turning to see Twilight with a look that said, ‘there’s more to it and if you don’t tell them I will’ but it wasn’t in a threatening or ‘I’m better than you’ way, more of a ‘you kept me up doing it and I am really tired’. Spike gave a nervous chuckle before he continued, “and I have been seeing some of those monster movies from the same nation Fluttershy gets those graphic novels from. And honestly, the subtitled versions are better than the dubbed.”

As everyone else was still recovering from Spike’s roar Fluttershy took another look at the map noting the locations of both Magiville and where their aura marks were hovering, “But if this is Magiville, why are our aura marks over there?”

Twilight looked at the map as well, trying to solve the riddle she perceived, “I don't know. But it seems like the map wants us to find out. Think about it, we are connected to the Elements of Harmony and thus The Tree of Harmony, the chest that came from the Tree housed the Rainbow of Light, which we are also connected to, both the Rainbow of Light and the Elements of Harmony were involved in having this map appear. They are clearly connected to it and thus we are now connected to the map. How can we not follow it?”

“That’s a mighty big leap in logic, Sugarcube. How do wah know this ain’t Discord messing around with us.”

“Discord or not, there's a ton of room for adventure along that route.” Rainbow Dash pointed out as she called attention to the actual route they would be traveling, “Count me in!”

Applejack shook her head, “Someone has tah Rainbow from makin’ a fool out of herself, Ah reckon Ah’m in.”

“Well, I was planning on organizing my baking sheets so that I can make my grandma’s fifteen layer cake, but okay!” Everyone turned to see Pinkie wearing a baker’s apron and a chief’s hat which weren’t there previously only to take them off stuff them into her pockets as she pulled out a piece of paper and marker and drew a map of the area from the end of the line to where there Aura Marks hovered.

Rarity sighed as she got up, “Well alright, let’s get this over with. I am definitely hitting the spa when we get back.” Every one of the ladies started out save one. Noticing the absence of the last one they all turned back to see Fluttershy still at the table.

“Um, maybe one of us should stay here,” the timid druid offered only to get a series of groans from the others, “Well I might have a nice time with Spike.”

“Awesome!” Spike cheered at that, “Thunderlane, Rumble, Pipsqueak, Time Turner, Big Mac, a few of the other guys in town and me have a huge weekend ahead of us, we’ll be talkin' football, both forms, rugby, baseball, cricket, mixed martial arts, boxing, judo, karate, kendo, fencing, volleyball, just to list a few of the sports. We’ll also be trading cards and be discussing stats. You’ll really get a kick out how much Big Mac dominates the discussion and how he predicts every result, I mean he is on the ball with everything, from the number yards the first kick-off will cover before being caught, to where which outfielder will catch the failed grand slam, …” Spike continued to list things off of what he and the guys were going to do. Fluttershy, feeling like this was too much for her too soon, sneaked away leaving the door open.

As Fluttershy meet up with the others, “On second thought, maybe I'd better go with you,”.

“Looks like it's time for a road trip!” Twilight declared earning a cheer from most of her friends.

“Hopefully it’s not that trip to Goldie Delicious to see if the Pies and the Apples are related.” Pinkie commented.

“Well if ya ever want tah put the debate tah bed once and for all yah or one of your sisters could marry Big Mac even it goes against that Choosing Stone thing.” Applejack commented.

This earned a groan from Twilight, “No, I am not dealing with a Cripps Pink again I forbid it!”

“Yah do know that culvert of apples is also known as ‘Pink Lady’, Sugarcube? And also it ain't yahr call.” There were a few laughs as the headed to train station.

About the same time the following day, “End of the Line! End of the line.” The conductor said as he walked into the car the six were occupying as the train started to decelerate and come to a stop.

“But we aren’t at our destination!” Twilight pointed out as she looked out the window to see the actual train stop, knowing there was still a ways to their goal.

“Sorry your highness, but the tracks turn here. They don’t go any farther this way because there are smoother and safer ways to get to the other side by rail. If you wanted to get where ever you're going you either should have chartered a skyboat or go on foot unless you have a land boat, not that the terrain is conducive. But feel free to take it up with Princess Celestia, Princess Twilight.” Twilight pouted as she and the rest exited the train. “Make sure to read the schedule. And I hope you all had a pleasant ride. Hope to see you soon.”

“Hey whatever happened to your spellbook, the one that had your skyboat in it?” Rainbow asked.

“The book survived the explosion of the Golden Oak...barely, but the page with the image of my skyboat was one of the pages lost,” Twilight answered dipping her head at the memory of seeing the remains of the Golden Oak after Tirek blasted it.

“Well, let’s get moving.” Pinkie said as she pulled out a map she drew from the train station to the location they were heading and they all started to walk, well hover in the case of Rainbow Dash.

After an hour they arrived at a ledge and down in the gorge there was a town of a handful of two-story houses arranged as an equal sign with one house at the right end of the ‘equal sign’. Upon seeing this, “Tha must be it! That must be the place on the map!

Rarity took a seat on one the boulders closest to her and took off her flat shoes and examined her feet, “Oh thank Celestia!” After she massaged them and put her shoes back on, “Right, now let's go there and find the local spa. My feet are screaming murder.” Rarity then started to what looked like a wind and water erosion made a natural staircase that would take them all down.

Twilight took hold of Rarity’s upper left arm, stopping her, “Wait. We still have no idea why the map wanted us to come, nor do we know what dangers we might face.” She turned to the rest of her friends, “I wouldn’t be wise if we just walk right in.”

Pinkie was in a desert themed camouflage suit, “Stay behind me, everybody! I'm on it!” she then started towards the edge and down the path.

Concern for her friend, “Careful, Pink…” Applejack stopped as she saw Pinkie Pie was safe and sound at the bottom of the stairs and starting to scout the path ahead like a comical rendering of action movie scout, “Oh why do Ah bother?” Applejack then started down with the rest following her.

After reaching the bottom and just about to enter the small village, “This is where we were told to go?” Rainbow asked unamused by how the place looked. The houses looked to be in a style a hundred years older than many of the houses in Magiville, everyone was dressed in very much like the Pie family still on their rock farm, the woman all wore long shirts that went down to cover their ankles, with two equal signs with leather shoes with small heels and long sleeve simple shirts, sometimes with a vest, each one had slightly different coloration, but it was dull. The men were all dressed in black pants similar to the pants Pinkie’s father wears with shirts much like the shirts he would wear but of various colors with equal marks rendered on the upper arms and without the overshirts he wears. In addition to that, all the Magicborn had a band on their heads with a black bar that would be the normal focus gem, the Skyborn all flew low to the ground with their ethereal wings looking like black bars. “This must be the most boring place ever.”

Applejack also looked around, nothing seemed too out of place. To her, it seemed like an ordinary village full of ordinary folk. However, she elected to not comment and shrug her shoulders. An action the was repeated by Twilight.

However, Rainbow was not the only one to voice her opinion as they looked at the town, still walking into it, Rarity’s ever-fashionable eyes were bombarded with the dull and lifeless desert brown of the building’s exteriors and the plain monochromatic brown robes every one wore, “It could use a few more architectural flourishes.” Rarity then took noticed that all the men and women had basically the same hairstyles, styles that were on their way out when Granny Smith was a young girl, which caused her to visibly shake in disgust.

Fluttershy, however, couldn’t help but smile, here there didn’t seem to be any judgment in what people wore and did and they all seemed happy. “Well, I for one think it's lovely.”

This sentiment was not shared by others. “Well, I don’t like it in the slightest,” Pinkie herself, misses Smile, smile, smile, was frowning as she looked that big toothy grins of the town folks. These smiles seemed inorganic, “Look at those smile I know smiles. I have a song about why I go out of my way to help everyone put a smile on. Hm Put a smile on, put a smile on, everyone come on, put a smile on~.” Everyone gave Pinkie a slight scowl, “Sorry, but look at those smiles? They're just not right.” It was then to Rarity, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash saw how creepy everyone looked with their smiles. Something that seemed lost on Fluttershy.

“Forget the smiles for a minute, Pinkie,” Twilight, too was unnerved by the smiles, but what got her focus was that on everyone's clothes were equal signs in lieu of the various unique designs and marks that would located in various places on one’s clothes instead along the bottom of the women’s dresses and on the upper arms of the shirts for the men. “Everyone look at the aura marks. They are all the same and located in the same areas of their clothes! An entire town with the EXACT same aura mark? How? How is it remotely possible? How can it be? It doesn’t make any sense, no two people are exactly alike.” Twilight then started to hyperventilate as if she was in the middle of a panic attack.

Rainbow flew up grabbed some clouds flew back down to the ground and convinced them into a ball of water and let it dump on Twilight, “Okay, we get it. That's weird. Now calm down. Or we won’t beat what monster is behind this.” Before anyone, especially Twilight could ask what led Rainbow to that conclusion, “Nightmare Moon, Discord, Chrysalis, Nightmare Rarity, Sombra, Sunset Shimmer or rather Demon Shimmer, Tirek, and the Dazzlings. Fighting these kinds of things is what we do, it’s called pattern recognition.” Everyone in her grouped smiled at this show of Rainbow’s often hidden mind. “Also it would be so super-awesome to fight another horrific monster.” And the moment was gone earning a groan from Applejack and Twilight. Fluttershy just shook her head with a sad smile, Rarity rolled her eyes and Pinkie… well, she was still very comfortable with the smiles the people gave and didn’t seem to care.

Applejack was the first to speak up before Rainbow could complain to the reactions of her last statement, “Well, Ah reckon wah just have tah talk tah the locals and find out what the hay is goin' on here.” Applejack then continued farther into the town. Rainbow gave ‘yes’ as she jumped into the air. Rarity, Twilight, and Fluttershy were much more restraint. All the while Pinkie Pie continued to be suspicious of the smiles, giving a very comical looking scowl. As the six continued to walk further into town they were greeted by multiple residents of the village of both sexes and various ages with the unnerving smiles and the same uncanny expressions all saying, “Welcome!”

Everyone was starting to feel uneasy about the whole place, save Fluttershy, “This is the most pleasant place in Mystica!” The druid could not help but laugh and feel welcomed by the people in the town.

In her happy state, she bumped into another female Skyborn. She had white and bluish-gray hair done into two ponies tails, with cerulean eyes, she didn’t have a vest but a grayish azure dress and shirt, after the two recovered, “Welcome to our town, I am Night Glider.” This greeting gave Fluttershy to giggle a little over being greeted so warmly.

“Yeah.. um, please to meet you Night Glider,” Rainbow Dash said as more or less pulled Fluttershy away from Night Glider as the group continued along the one street in the town, “Thanks a lot, map.”

As they continued the group almost bumped into two men, one was a Magicborn with cobalt blue eyes and grayish azure hair with a streak of duller shade and with his black pants he wore a dull cyan-like gray shirt. The other man was an Earthborn with similar eyes but his hair was very much like snow and his shirt was white. “Welcome!” the Magicborn said before he looked at Twilight, as he noticed her metallic wings, “Pardon my forwardness, but are you a Demigod?”

“Eeyup. This here be Twilight Sparkle, Mystica’s Princess of Friendship!” Applejack answered on behalf of Twilight.

Upon hearing the title Twilight actually held, “Well, you've certainly come to the right place for friendship.”

The Earthborn then spoke up asking the group, “So what brings you all to our little town?”

Twilight was the one that actually answered the question, “Honestly, we don’t know why.”

Both men nodded and the Earthborn continued on, “Well all the same, welcome to our town. I am Double Diamond,” the recently self-identified Double Diamond pointed to himself and then pointing to the Magicborn with him, “And this is Party Favor.”

Applejack the reached her right hand to Double Diamond and was accepted, “Well howdy, Double Diamond,” after they shook she then turned to Party Favor and offered her hand which Party Favor accepted and they shook hands, “Party Favor, pleasure tah meet yah both. Ah'm Applejack,” after ending the shake she gestured to each of her friends in order of her introductions, “This here's Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and the already introduced Twilight Sparkle.”

Double Diamond and Party Favor then looked over each of the six seeing each of the different aura marks, Applejack’s three stylized apples on her two pauldrons, Fluttershy’s stylized butterfly brooch, Rarity’s three sapphires cut into kites on her tiara, Rainbow Dash’s hairpin and the three balloon’s on Pinkie Pie’s hat, “And you all have your own unique aura marks.” The two men were slightly taken aback at this site.

Twilight and her friends, sans Fluttershy, were fairly taken aback as well. However, she didn’t forget that they were here on a mission, “This might come off a little, well odd, but if you don't mind, has there been any sort of... trouble here, lately?”

“Trouble?” Double Diamond asked seemingly to be legitimately confused by that question, “Why, I don't think we've ever had trouble in our little village.” Party Favor silently nodded in agreement with Double Diamond. Double Diamond then looked to the house at the end of the one street in the town, “Perhaps you if speak with the founder of our village and our philosophy, Starlight Glimmer.”

As Double Diamond started towards the house and the six followed, “Well aren’t these the friendly people in all of Mystica.” Fluttershy mused a distinctive grin on her face. Pinkie Pie, in contrast, kept looking at everyone still very much not liking anything.

In a hushed tone, Rarity turned to Applejack, “Starlight Glimmer? Seriously another person with a name like our Twilight.”

“Yah’re questioning our nation’s namin’ scheme now.” Applejack pointed out.

After a few minutes, they all arrived at the house and Double Diamond knocked on the front door and called to the person who lived there in “Starlight,” Double Diamond then opened the front door of the house and stepped in escorting Twilight et al, “we have some new visitors.”

Rainbow Dash turned to Applejack as she drew her bow, “Be ready to fight. We don't know what's gonna come through that door.” Applejack nodded as she drew her sword getting in front of everyone else.

Just then the door opened and a woman about their age stepped out from another room in the house. She had purple hair was done in a slight ponytail with streaks of light purple and pale grayish aquamarine, her eyes were Persian blue. She was dressed liked the other women in town but her long sleeve shirt was a light gray, her vest was pink and her skirt was purple. This was most likely the aforementioned Starlight Glimmer, “Welcome to my little home, I am Starlight Glimmer. I'm so pleased to have you here.” She greeted them with a smile, one that seemed more organic than the smiles of the rest of the town. This caused Rainbow to groan as she put her bow back into her quiver while Applejack sheathed her sword.

She turned to Double Diamond and before she could ask who the six were, the Earthborn man gestured to Applejack and then the rest as he introduced them, “This is Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Twilight Sparkle.”

Starlight silently acknowledged the paladin, druid, trickster, enchantress, and elementalist. As she turned her attention to Twilight, the demigod’s wings were unmistakable. Looking the princess over, “Forgive my bluntness, but unless I'm mistaken, you are Princess Twilight Sparkle?” she asked. “We don't get many demigods around here.”

“No, she’s Princess Celestia, how did you miss the floating hair and the whole sun motif.”Rainbow Dash retorted borderline sardonic in her tone.

Twilight rolled her eyes before answering Starlight, “You can just call me “Twilight” but yes I am Princess Twilight Sparkle.”

“Well Princess Twilight, may I ask how did you hear of our little village here?” Starlight seemed to just ignore the comments from Rainbow Dash and turned back to Twilight, as she pondered how did the six find this place.

“Let's just say we found it on a one of a kind map.” Twilight elected to share as little information as possible, something Celestia, Luna, and Cadance advised when interacting with figureheads she might come across for the first time.

“Well, all the same, we're happy to have anybody who wants to experience true friendship for the first time.” Starlight said as she started towards the door. However she could see the raised eyebrows and questioning looks from five of the six, namely Twilight. “You see that is what our village unique. We don’t flaunt our ‘special talents',” As she said special talents Starlight used her right and left index and middle fingers to make quotes. She continued her speech, “because we have no ‘special talents’,” again she made the same gesture as she said ‘special talents’, “to flaunt.”

One of the many things that Twilight studied was aura marks and how their unique forms signify various things about a person, their talents, their identities, their destinies and any combination of the three and other such concepts, in short, they signified the uniqueness of the person. Recalling this and that each person in this town had the same, “Is that why you all have those aura marks?”

“Perhaps it would be easier to understand if I gave you a tour of the village!” Starlight then opened the door and from what seemed to be out of nowhere a marching drum set was heard. Twilight et al looked to Pinkie Pie and she shrugged her shoulders just as confused as the others. Starlight then projected her voice much like she was calling the rest of the town, “Heads high, people! Marching proud!" At this, the sound of a whistle-blow was heard. “All together now! Every one of you! No one left behind!” The rest of the town came out and headed towards Starlight’s house everyone seeming to march with the beat as Starlight began to sing, “Life is so grand in Our Town
We're always filled with cheer
We never have to look around
To know that we're all here.”

The rest of the town took over marching as they sang circling the six. “In Our Town, in Our Town
We don't have to wait
To find out that our destiny
Is just to emulate”

“Let's see those big, happy smiles!” Starlight broke in a more spoken lyrics before going back to the song.“Life is a smile in Our Town
Our aura mark's the same
Because we do not separate
Ourselves by more than name.”

The rest of the citizens took over, “In Our Town, in Our Town
We dare not compete
Winning only breeds the worst
Ego-filled conceit.”

“You see? Now everybody wins!” Starlight took over again more like spoken words before going back to singing like the rest.“Life is a joy in Our Town
We're all equal here
No one is superior
And no one shakes in fear”

“In Our Town, in Our Town
We work as a team
You can't have a nightmare
If you never dream” The citizens sang.

Starlight again took over for the singing having stopped her own march while the rest of the town encircled the seven, “Other people argue
Do you ever wonder why?
When you think your talent's special
You don't see eye-to-eye
There's just too many differences
That lead to disarray
But when you learn to act as one
It's like a holiday.”

The citizens took over the song bring it to a close, ”In Our Town, in Our Town
We don't complicate
When you learn to simplify
Life is oh, so great
Join in our utopia
Come out of the dark
Banded by equality
By our aura mark!”

After the song ended, Rainbow Dash started to laugh, “You're kidding, right? Give up our aura marks? No way!” The elementalist protested.

“Rainbow Dash, don't be so rude” the druid tried to scold the elementalist, but the elementalist didn’t care. “I don't think we should judge them. They all seem perfectly happy with their choice.”

“Don't believe their smiles, Fluttershy.” Pinkie Pie said far from believing the smiles of the villagers.

“I'm sorry,” Twilight said seeming to get in front of both an argument between her friends and a possible breakdown in communications between the six and the locals, “We're just confused by all of this.”

“There is no judgment here in our village. You see each of us was confused once as well,” Starlight began to explain what was the philosophy of the town, “We were blinded by the false promise of our aura marks. That they would guide us throughout our lives only.”

None of the six really seemed to buy what was being pitched by Starlight. Rainbow, Applejack, Rarity were skeptical about this, Fluttershy seemed to be at a loss about it but it was more of ‘let me think about it’, while Pinkie was… comically still turned off by the nature of the smiles of the villagers. Twilight, however, was confused. As the villagers went back to their regular day, Twilight turned to Starlight, “You see when we left to come here, we assumed the reason was to help you.”

Starlight looked over Twilight’s statement and after a second of thought had a counterpoint, “Have you considered perhaps that you might have been sent here so we could help you?” This caught Twilight and the others off guard. It was a possibility they didn’t seem to consider. Seeing this Starlight pressed the matter, “After all, nobody has ever come to our village and wanted to leave. Why would you be any different?” Starlight stopped there, she needed them to want to stay and she knew better than to come on strong, “But that is entirely your choice. Please enjoy our little corner of Mystica. We're all quite fond of it. No doubt you will be as well.” She turned to Double Diamond and looked to him like a general would his lieutenant, “Double Diamond, please help our guests with whatever they might need.” Double Diamond nodded and headed to escort and see to the needs of the six visitors and escorted them back into the main part of town. Starlight turned back and began walking back to her house. Speaking to herself, “Well, this certainly will provide a boost to not only our little community but to message we seek to convey. Soon the rest of Mystica will hear of Princess Twilight Sparkle giving up her aura mark to join us and when that happens they will see, know and understand what I’m trying to achieve… equality.”

Author's Note:

Song used: In Our Town

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