• Published 1st Feb 2017
  • 3,366 Views, 709 Comments

Princess Twilight Sparkle and the Quesadilla Conquest - kudzuhaiku

Twilight Sparkle has turophobia... and her friends decide to help.

  • ...

Chapter 2

Appleloosa had changed, but such was the nature of things. Appleloosa, once a settlement, was now a city. It had grown and changed with rapid maturity, very much like an apple tree left in the care of one of the Apples. Standing on the platform, Twilight took a moment to take it all in, and there was so much to take in, because so much had changed since her last visit.

Prince Gosling’s promise to bring new life to impoverished places was paying off. Appleloosa had become a railway hub for the entire southwest region, with Mount Maud, a major source of resources being right next door. Several massive railroad turntables had been built, an aqueduct had been constructed, for both the trains and irrigation, and clever canals flowed through the city, useful for everything from growing plants to moving cargo from place to place.

Appleloosa was thriving.

It was also very, very hot. Twilight already felt parched and she had only been outside just a few minutes. Her wingpits already felt moist and a bit itchy, which she didn’t like at all. Ponyville had a far more temperate climate that she prefered, although it was no Canterlot, it was nice enough. But Appleloosa? It was hot.

And to make matters worse, it was dusty. The volcanic dust from Mount Maud blew in on the desert winds, making magic somewhat unpredictable and risky. The earth ponies that lived here weren’t bothered by this much at all, but Twilight just knew that she would be irritated by it and her patience would soon run out, probably about the time that she dropped her spoon for the umpteenth time or couldn’t hold up a scrub brush in the shower.


Applejack’s voice snapped Twilight from her thoughts and she turned to face the approaching pony who had a wide grin of welcome upon his face. She waved, because she liked Braeburn, and she was not at all surprised to see that Braeburn was aging well. He had only become more handsome and distinguished with a few touches of silver in his mane and tail.

“Or should I call you Mayor Braeburn?” Applejack asked as she began to chuckle.

“The ponies of Appleloosa voted, I have no idea what they was a thinking,” Braeburn replied. The middle aged stallion stopped, looked down at Sumac, and gave the colt a nod. “Glad to see you again, Cousin. Mayhap we can has ourselves another adventure. Whaddaya say, pardner?”

“How ‘bout no?” Sumac replied, shuddering at the memory of the last time he and Braeburn had ‘gone adventuring.’ The colt adjusted his glasses as a nervous tic tugged on the corner of his mouth. “That mine was filled with giant dung beetles… giant dung beetles... and the product of said dung beetles.”

“Sho’ did have a stank to it.” Braeburn nodded.

“You didn’t fall into the dung storage shaft!” Sumac quivered with revulsion and his ears went erect at the sound of Applejack’s laughter.

“But we did find out who and what was stealing our valuable compost and fertiliser.” Braeburn looked proud and he gave Sumac a nudge with his hoof. “The city of Appleloosa thanks you.”

“The dung storage shaft?” For a moment, it appeared as though Rarity was going to swoon and Spike, the noble, attentive dragon that he was, rushed to her side. Rarity placed her hoof up against her temple, wobbled on her hooves, and then spoke in a low moan, “Oh, I think I need a bath after hearing that.”

“It was in my mouth,” Sumac grumbled.

“I didn’t mind.” Boomer flexed her claws while she spoke, causing them to tap against the wooden platform.

With a piercing, almost ear rending wail, Rarity fainted dead away, landed on the wooden planks with a heavy thud, and almost crushed Spike, who failed to catch her. Pinned beneath her, Spike huffed and puffed, trying to extricate himself from beneath Rarity’s prone, limp, passed out, marshmallowy body.

“Ooof! Don’t tell Rarity I said this, but I think she’s put on a little weight…”

The fanciest hotel in town wasn’t very fancy at all and the Princess Suite was smaller than her bedroom back at home in Ponyville, but Twilight liked it. The hotel was made out of adobe over compressed hay bales and sandstone bricks, which made it quite cool inside. Passive coolers abounded, with fans circulating air through falling water. The hotel was quite packed for the festival and ponies were delighted for a chance to meet their princess.

They didn’t have rooms just yet, because the hotel staff were busy preparing everything, trying to leave a good impression, but they had given Twilight a tour of the Princess Suite with the hopes of impressing her. More than anything, Twilight just wanted to find a place to rest, maybe take a shower, and have a nap.

The dining room was crowded and the clink of the silverware and glassware made Twilight’s ears twitch as she meandered through the crowd. She moved towards the corner, where she saw her friends, while also trying to be polite and waving when she was waved at.

As it turned out, her friends were eating, which was no surprise. Several pies were on the table, and Twilight, hungry, eyed them as she sat down on a wooden chair worn smooth from use. She let heave a sigh of contentment, looked around the table, and in a voice dry from the dust she asked, “What are we eating?”

Lifting her head, brown, sticky juice dribbling down her chin, Rainbow Dash replied, “Pinto bean pie. Try some, it’s delicious!”

Twilight doubted that. Pinto bean pie? Eyebrow arching, Twilight gave the pie a dubious stare as her friends continued to eat. “Is it a sweet or a savory pie?”

“Sweet,” Fluttershy replied and then she gobbled down another bite. She chewed a few times, swallowed, and then added, “And it has some sweet green chilis, but they’re not hot at all.”

Sniffing, Twilight wasn’t entirely convinced. Still, she was hungry, and her friends seemed to be enjoying it. Turning her head, she looked over at her most trusted assistant and best friend to seek his opinion. “Spike, tell me truthfully, how is it?”

The dragon did not reply right away, because his mouth was full, but he chewed and chewed with a great deal of lip smacking, then swallowed and began to lick his sticky claws. Eyeing Twilight, he said, “It’s good. I like it!”

Hesitant, Twilight’s ears pinned back when Applejack slid over a bright blue earthenware plate that had an enormous slice of pie on it. Horn glowing, Twilight found that she had to concentrate to hold her spoon and she gave the pie a friendly poke to have a better look at its contents.

There were pinto beans alright, some sweet yellow corn, and little diced bits of green chilis. Her eyes darted around the table, eying each of her friends in turn, and she couldn’t help but notice that they were all a little sweaty. Twilight’s tummy rumbled and in the end, hunger won out. She stabbed the pie with her spoon, scooped up a bite, and throwing caution to the wind, she ate a huge bite.

Right away, it felt like the time when Shining Armor had accidentally bucked her in the face when they were little. The fires of Tartarus ignited somewhere in her sinuses, and her nose began to run. Her eyeballs began sweating, sweating so much that rivulets of liquid ran down her cheeks. Twilight was certain that there was steam coming out of her ears and she felt her nethers clench as she thought about how hot this might be later, when she was sitting in one of the outhouses out back.

She whimpered.

Looking annoyed, Fluttershy’s eyes narrowed, her nostrils flared, and she let out a little snort of disgust. “Twilight, stop being such a foal and just eat your pie. I swear, sometimes you are as bad as Rarity.”

Beside the sunny yellow pegasus, Rainbow Dash began sniggering as she continued to shovel more pie into her mouth. Applejack chortled and glanced over at Sumac, who was sitting beside Pebble and laughing as he ate. Ignited, Twilight began to fan her mouth with her wing, fearing for the state of her backside, and wondering where she was going to be able to get a meal in this town that didn’t have ‘sweet green chilis.’

“I gotta make this at home,” Pinkie Pie said around a mouthful of food. “I think I’ve already figured out the recipe. This would sell well at Sugarcube Corner.”

Pebble nodded, but said nothing.

“What’s for lunch?” Rarity asked as she approached the table, looking a bit disheveled and out of sorts.

“Pinto bean pie,” Applejack replied.

Rarity came to a dead halt and her face contorted as her left eye began twitching. “There is no way in Tartarus that I am sharing a room with Rainbow Dash after a meal of pinto bean pie… egads!

“What?” Rainbow looked confused. “Why?”

Her lip curling back in disgust, Rarity shook her head. “I’d rather sleep with Applejack.”

“So you admit it!” Applejack banged her hoof against the edge of the table and then waggled her eyebrows at Rarity. “Finally admitting that ya have the hots for me after all these years, Rarity? Ready for a little mud wrassling?”

“Darling, no… I… oh, no no no, I didn’t mean it that way!” Rarity stammered as her entire body turned a bright shade of pink. She took a step back, shaking her head, and she looked as though she was going to swoon again. She wobbled, shuffled on her hooves, and her nostrils flared wide.

This time, Spike did nothing, having learned his lesson from the last time he had saved Rarity.

“Aaaaaiieeee!” Turning tail, Rarity fled, her hooves clattering on the wooden floor.

Elbowing Spike, Applejack nodded and chuckled as she ate, and the little dragon had a good laugh. Twilight was trying to recover, still fanning her mouth, and she was having an internal debate about whether or not the second bite would be fatal. Pinkie Pie giggle-snorted, which caused a deluge of sticky brown bean juice to go running down her fuzzy chin.

“I didn’t want to sleep with Rarity anyway,” Rainbow Dash said as she made a dismissive gesture at the fleeing mare. “She snores.”

“Boy howdy, does she ever, Rainbow…”

The Princess Suite now had flowers, a box of candy, a bowl of fresh fruit, and four small cot beds for Sumac, Boomer, Spike, and Pebble. Twilight had a good look around, finding things to appreciate, and trying to distract herself from the fact that this hotel didn’t have indoor plumbing. Oh, it had showers, it had baths, and it had sinks, but it had no toilets.

The desert was a hostile place and the flood plains, though fertile, still needed a little extra oomph. Every last bit of available fertiliser was hoarded here in Appleloosa and used to revitalise the surrounding lands. In some places, the desert sands had been pushed back and there were now a few more inches of precious black dirt, given life by the industrious earth ponies of Appleloosa.

Sumac was jumping on the bed and trying to get Pebble to join him. Twilight didn’t mind and she did nothing to make him stop, she liked it when he acted like a foal and not a teeny, tiny little adult trapped in a foal’s body. Feeling weary, she watched him bounce up and down. Somewhere deep inside, Twilight was jealous, and she wished that she was small enough to join him. It was fun bouncing on the bed.

“Nervous, Pebble?” Sumac asked as he bounced almost high enough to bonk his head on the ceiling and causing Twilight to flinch, because Sumac had endured more stitches and staples to his head than any foal had a right to.

“Yes.” Pebble’s reply came out as a hiss.

Head swivelling, Twilight focused on Pebble, trying to read the filly’s mood, which was almost impossible. The only ponies that knew Pebble’s mood with any certainty were in short supply. Eyes blinking, Twilight looked for warning signs, stress fractures that might indicate a potential Pebble eruption. Venting was good though, and Twilight hoped that Sumac might help Pebble blow off a little steam.

“You’ll do fine in the Shatterstone contest.”

Ears perking, Twilight continued her intense study of Pebble, feeling worried and maybe just a little afraid. Shatterstone was an ancient, mystical earth pony practice that very, very few earth ponies were capable of. The practice involved punching a block of stone, just one hit, a single punch, and something would come forth from the stone; a chair, a table, a statue, a cradle, a candelabra, almost anything.

Pebble took all of this with a seriousness far beyond her age, and was prone to punish herself for failure. Twilight had studied the magic of Shatterstone, trying to understand it, and she had learned very little. Princess Celestia, who was very in touch with her inner earth pony, was the undisputed master of the artform, but she didn’t compete, as she felt that it was horrendously unfair for her to do so. Princess Luna found it a colossal waste of time, and no help could be had from Cadance, who didn’t understand it at all.

“I don’t want to do ‘fine.’” Pebble sounded a bit sulky and her monotone was quite pronounced. “I want to win. I am sick and tired of not winning.”

“We can’t always win,” Twilight remarked.

Eyes narrowing, Pebble settled a little deeper into her sulk and she folded her forelegs over her barrel as she sank back into the overstuffed armchair near the bed. Bouncing on the bed, Sumac almost bonked his head on the ceiling again, and Boomer’s head bobbed up and down while she watched him with a gleeful, mischievous expression.

With a cry, Boomer launched herself, timing her assault so she crashed down onto the bed just when Sumac was landing, giving him a double-bouncy. Her sudden weight impacting the mattress sent Sumac shooting straight up, and sure enough, there was a terrific crash as he slammed his head into the ceiling.


The air around Sumac sizzled and crackled with arcane energy from his expletive and he came crashing back down to the bed while Boomer scurried away, giggling with sadistic glee. The flowers beside the bed wilted and one of the roses dessicated into a dried, withered husk of its former self. A little wisp of smoke curled up from the now dead rose and a dreadful smell filled the air.

At least nothing had caught on fire this time, and Twilight was thankful.

Snortling, the yearling sized tree dragon shot beneath the bed and vanished, leaving Twilight to wonder if she had packed the super glue and all of the proper first aid supplies that she was sure to need during the trip. Sighing, Twilight turned and began heading over to her suitcases, realising that it was time to unpack.

Author's Note:

:raritydespair: - How vulgar!