• Published 1st Mar 2019
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Magisight: Thaumaturgical Ocularity - PsychicKid



A series of strange dreams and a new, burgeoning power sends Twilight on an adventure that will change her life forever.

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Chapter 11: Towards Illustrious Silver

“Compass.”

“Check.” A clawed hand marked the box on a scroll of parchment.

“Fresh parchment.”

“Check.”

“Inkwells and quills.”

“Check and check.”

“Two maps of the area, one modern, one antiquated.”

“Check, che—um, anti-what?”

“…Old.”

“Check!”

“Checklist?”

“And double check!” Spike finished, rolling the parchment up neatly and tucking it into Twilight’s saddlebag. “Now, promise me you won’t be gone so long this time!”

Twilight turned and smiled, giving Spike a quick hug. “As much as I’d like to, I’m not sure if I can keep that promise. Ordinarily I wouldn’t be too worried about a friendship problem taking up too much time, but if there’s any chance it’s related to Amethyst Hollow…”

Twilight’s face sagged a bit as she dwelled on the roadblocks to her research and the many sleepless nights she had been forced to endure.

“Aw, don’t sweat the small stuff, sugarcube,” Applejack said as she placed her hoof around Twilight, causing her to perk up. “You said it yourself, you slept loads better last night, and all that fancy magic stuff in Amethyst Hollow don’t sound like nothin’ to sneeze at. Besides, this is way out in the middle of the forest. Ain’t nowhere near the Crystal Empire!” She gave her friend a squeeze.

“I hope you’re right. The things I learned at Amethyst Hollow are nothing short of revolutionary, so naturally I should be able to handle one measly little friendship problem!” Twilight said confidently.

“So,” Spike interrupted. “You’re just gonna zap over to this big tree, fix the problem in say, half an hour, and then zap back, right?”

“Oh Spike!” Twilight said, giving him a playful noogie against his protest. “My time in Amethyst Hollow may have strengthened my understanding of unicorn magic, but I don’t want to risk teleporting to a totally new place and causing a scene. Not to mention the chaos that can happen with a passenger along for the ride!”

“You weren’t all that scared zappin’ Sunburst this way and that, especially with all those crystals messin’ with your magic,” Applejack pointed out, tilting her head in confusion.

“That’s true, but that’s because I was teleporting to a familiar place. I was coming home.” Twilight’s eyes focused, as if she were reciting notes from an invisible book in front of her. “Adjusting the magical oscillations to the shifting frequencies of the aether emanating from the crystals came to me as naturally as breathing, and the homepoint node spell helped me hone in on the Crystal Empire’s coordinates and—”

“Ahem,” Applejack cleared her throat. “And for those of us without an education straight from Princess Celestia?” Twilight let out a soft eep, her mouth working soundlessly for a moment.

“R-Right. Sorry,” Twilight stammered, blushing fiercely. “It was really easy to focus, much easier than I thought it would be. Granted, I could have really messed up if, say, somepony deliberately disrupted my focus,” she said, drawing a magical circle in the air with a line running from one side to the other, “but it didn’t feel any different than casting a regular spell,” she finished, bending one end of the line out of the circle and letting it fly down the hall. “That’s kind of what it felt like the first time I tried to teleport there. This time…” Twilight brought the line back into the circle. “Everything just clicked.”

“I don’t think you’ve gotta worry about that. If you think it’s safer to land outside the forest and make our way in on hoof, I ain’t opposed to that. Wouldn’t be the first time we’ve gone trampin’ blindly through the woods!” Applejack said with a chuckle.

Twilight smiled, nodding, and turned to Spike. “Spike, I take it you can hold down the fort with Starlight for me again while I’m gone?”

“You can count on me!” He said, standing at attention and giving Twilight a salute.

Applejack returned the gesture with a grin. Twilight nodded and stepped closer, her horn glowing as she prepared the spell. She visualized the forest surrounding their destination—the mysterious tree—as she envisioned a pathway from her castle to the edge of the forest.

The preparations complete, Twilight allowed the spell to cast. In a flash, the two ponies vanished.

Spike sighed. “Well, the nachos didn’t work out.”

Starlight looked at Spike, raising her eyebrow. “Spike?” she asked, her voice trailing with suspicion.

“I guess I’ll have to make that double-decker-gem-burger with extra hot sauce that I’ve been dying to try!”

Starlight facehooved.


Twilight gasped as the sudden heat and humidity of the forest washed over her. She knew few ponies had made the trip from the frozen north to the subtropics in less than twelve hours, and now she felt she understood why! As she regained her bearings, she noticed Applejack stumbling from the stress of teleportation. The earth pony’s footing swayed this way and that, leaving slight depressions in the damp soil, before she finally managed to steady herself.

They stood on the edge of the forest, sweat-dripped necks craning skyward at the towering trees before them. The vegetation, while somewhat familiar, was just alien enough to make them uneasy. Though neither of them were strangers to botany, the broad tropical leaves mingling with temperate deciduous leaves was a firm reminder of their distance from Ponyville. Interwoven bands of silver streaked through the plant life, reflecting the bright sunlight. The ponies' ears rang as a cacophony of avian cries filled the air, competing with various insect chirps. Occasionally, a shrill cry would drown out all the rest of the fauna.

“Well, here we are. The Silverglade Forest. I can see where it gets its name,” Twilight said as she examined one of the shrubs nearby. As she idly flicked a leaf with a hoof, sunlight reflected off of the gossamer lines.

“It don’t sound all that bad, does it? It’s honestly kinda pretty,” Applejack said, tilting her head as she leaned in for a closer look. “Still, ain’t never seen plants like these before.”

“Neither have I. They’re quite beautiful,” Twilight said, following the reflections with her eyes. “I’ve never seen this phenomenon before—at least, not without a magical origin. Plants affecting light like this… It makes me wonder why the map brought us here.” After a moment of observational prodding, she pulled a map from her saddlebag along with her notebook. “I couldn’t find much information about the Silverglade Forest, let alone anything about a giant tree. Just a few scattered notes about it being… well, silver. We’ll need to be careful,” she said. "On the bright side, we should have clear weather for most of Equestria the entire week. That'll make our journey here a bit easier."

“Well, if the map is callin’ us all the way out here, then I think it’s obvious that somethin’s livin’ here,” Applejack said.

“Well, that’s the thing,” Twilight said, putting the map and her notes away as she shook her head. “I don’t really know for sure. None of the notes I could find said anything about it one way or the other. But, you’re right, there must be something here. Otherwise the map wouldn’t have called us.”

Applejack stood by Twilight’s side and stared into the forest, a cocky grin plastered across her face. “Well, what’re we waitin’ for? We got ourselves a friendship problem to hunt down!”

“Let’s do this!” Twilight said excitedly, and the pair began their trek into the unknown.


The thick grass crunched under their hooves as they walked. Tall, wide trees with trunks of the deepest browns peppered the path before them, along with a myriad of plants and grasses of vibrant greens. Silvery strands accented the leaves throughout the forest. Applejack cantered ahead of Twilight by a few meters, looking all around at the flora. Despite the thickness of the plant life, she managed to leave a path wide enough for Twilight to follow.

As they progressed, Applejack noticed the trees began to grow further apart from each other. Soon enough, small spaces nearly resembling trails began to wind themselves around the trees. "We should keep going this way, Twi,” she said, motioning in front of her. “There’s a patch of real nasty critters over thattaways to the south, ‘n I’m sure we’d rather not run into any wildlife.”

“Really? How can you tell? I can’t see anything through the trees!” Twilight wheezed. She gagged as a small bug flew into her mouth, coughing and spitting it out as her eyes watered fiercely.

“Well, I mean…” Applejack said, trying to find the right words. “I can’t really explain it. It's just something everypony in the family can do. I ain’t so good at spottin’ critters as Apple Bloom—she’s got a real knack for that—but we usually just know where things are. Ain’t been wrong many times before, and I ain’t keen to found out if I am now.”

Twilight nodded, familiar gears turning in her head as she followed. The pair trotted in comfortable silence; Applejack trying her hardest to find a suitable path for Twilight (livin’ in a tree didn’t do her no favors for hikin’, I tell ya…) while the latter idly followed as thoughts raced in her head. As the sun grew high in the sky, Twilight noticed something peculiar: while her friend had been choosing a route with lighter underbrush, occasionally she would divert strongly to one side or the other regardless of the path's density. Soon enough, Twilight formed a hypothesis. “Applejack, wait up a second.”

Applejack paused, looking over her shoulder. “What’s up, Twi? I’d really rather we get movin’, I'm gettin’ a mite nervous wanderin’ around in here.”

“It's about that, actually… your feelings around this place, I mean”, said Twilight. “You’ve never been here before, right?”

“Of course I ain’t! Why do ya think I’m nervous in the first place?” she said, a touch of annoyance clouding her voice.

Twilight shook her head. “I think it’s more than that, AJ. This kind of intuition… it’s unique to earth ponies. I think—no, I suspect…” she trailed off.

“Twi, you ain’t suggestin’…” Applejack shook her head. “I’m an earth pony, we can’t use magic. No horn, no magic,” she said, pointing at Twilight's horn.

Twilight gave a quick, excited clap as she smiled. “That’s just it! I've read about the applications of earth pony magic before, but truth be told, it’s never been the subject of much study.” Twilight’s cheeks flushed slightly as Applejack quirked an eyebrow. “But now I have a good opportunity to do field research! Alicorns are more than just pegasi and unicorns. We’re also earth ponies too! Nopony’s really given that much thought since you can’t see it from the outside.”

Twilight blushed further as embarrassment flooded her cheeks. “Although I, um… I have gotten a little bit stronger since earning my wings.” She gave her backside a quick raise, effortlessly raising the heavy saddlebag few inches before coming back down.

Applejack chuckled, grinning. “Well I think that's just wonderful, Twi!” She pulled Twilight into a mighty earth pony hug.

Twilight let out a squawk as the wind was squeezed out of her, returning the hug with her wings. “Do you think…” she inhaled deeply as Applejack released her, “you might be able to show me how it works? If it’s magic like I think it is—no, like I know it is—maybe I can see it for myself!” Twilight said.

“Well…” Applejack said, rubbing the back of her neck as a blush ran across her cheeks. “I can try. It's not really somethin’ I put on display intentionally for an audience, but I'll give it a shot!”

Applejack trotted to a nearby tree as Twilight curiously leaned in, quill at the ready. Applejack gave a quick tap to the trunk, a hard clunk echoing from it. She made a second tap, then a third. Curiously, Twilight didn’t observe Applejack focus or concentrate like a unicorn would. Twilight noticed faint surges of color: greens, browns, and oranges gently flowing from the base of Applejack's hooves with each tap.

Unlike the distinct glyphs and shapes of unicorn magic, the swirls danced through and around the tree, worming their way into the ground. The ghostly tendrils of warm magic snaked under the soil as Twilight followed them with wide eyes.

One of the trails suddenly lit up, glowing a light blue as it took off out of sight. Another became bright green and meandered its way elsewhere. Finally, a red wisp pointed off in a third direction, deepening to a dark crimson.

“Looks like if we keep headin’ southeast, we'll run into a freshwater river—should be plenty clean for drinkin’ if I’m not mistaken. There's a grove of fruit trees and some berries to the northeast…” Applejack said, trailing off as she looked in the red direction.

“And to the south?” Twilight asked, fixating on the red line as its flow smoothed and stopped, growing rigid.

“Trouble,” Applejack said flatly. “Let's not go that way.”

Twilight grimaced and turned to focus on the other aetherial trails. “Now, just to be clear, you can't see any of this?”

“See what, Twi? The giant critter south of us? I mean, I ain't sure what it is exactly, but—”

Twilight cut her off. “No, not that, this!” she said, gesturing toward the fading greens and blues.

“Uhhh…” Applejack drew out. “Y’mean the ground?”

“No, I—I’m sorry, I didn't mean for an outburst. I just got caught up in the moment and…” She cleared her throat. “If my hypothesis is correct—and my observations seem to support it—earth pony magic is starting to manifest for me similarly to unicorn magic.”

“Well, if you’re seein’ some magic stuff going on, I definitely can't. What's it look like?” Applejack asked, leaning in closer to the ground as if trying harder would let her see something.

“It’s beautiful. Swirling lines of the brightest colors I’ve ever seen! There’s a blue trail pointing southeast and a green one pointing northeast,” Twilight said, gesturing along the ghosts of the trails. “And…”

“An’ I take it there's one for trouble too, ain't there?”

“There is, though it's a straight red line. It’s not flowing like the others. I imagine the angular shape is to emphasize the size or relative threat level of whatever it’s pointing to,” Twilight said.

“It definitely gives me the willies, that's for sure,” Applejack said, following Twilight’s gaze with a frown. “I think we should head toward the river. If we can find water, that should lead us to some ponyfolk… if anypony actually lives out here.”

Applejack picked up a trot in the blue direction, Twilight following closely. Along the way, Twilight traced a wingtip along the ground where the magic path had been. Though she couldn’t see it very well with her eyes, she felt its magical residue on the soil. She rolled the new information around in her mind, considering these new possibilities and probabilities.

As the two made their way through the increasingly-dense forest, Applejack took notice that her friend’s pace had slowed. “Try not to dawdle too much, Twi! There might be some spiders lurking in the underbrush,” Applejack yelled, shuddering at the thought. Twilight perked up, finding herself paused in a small clearing.

“I’m sorry, AJ. All this new earth pony insight has just gotten me distracted.” Twilight looked around the clearing, taking note of the position of the surrounding trees. “I’d like to try something… something I just need to test for myself!” she said.

“Well, can it wait until we find the river?” Applejack asked with a groan. “It'd be safer there…” Applejack muttered.

“It’ll just take a second, I promise! This clearing should help me focus…” Twilight said, her voice trailing off. She closed her eyes, digging her hooves gently into the soil. She knew she had mastered the magic of her unicorn side, and at least had proficiency flying, but she felt disconnected from the physical aptitude her earth pony friends possessed.

After a moment of concentration, Twilight felt a gentle pulse—no, a double pulse. A heartbeat, she realized. It was faint, and she almost couldn’t follow it, but as she kept her thoughts focused she began to feel a gentle flow around her hooves. She steered her thoughts to follow the sensation, and soon her head filled with the sounds of water flowing through the forest.

The gentle stream of light blue coiled around her hooves, snaking their way toward the river in her mind. The heartbeat grew louder as she approached the shoreline, details of the surrounding area becoming more pronounced. This is it! she thought. I can sense—no, I can feel the land!

Beneath the thudding heartbeat, a muffled voice began to nag at the edges of Twilight’s consciousness. Almost in response, the pulse grew louder, obscuring the voice.

The voice sounded again; louder, more distinct. “Tw… iht…”

Lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub lub-dub lub-dub lub-dub; the heartbeat grew closer, more insistent.

Suddenly, between two beats, the voice broke through. “TWILIGHT! Watch out!”

Twilight’s eyes snapped open and she spun around, gasping as a giant hissing maw eclipsed the sunlight above. A forked tongue flicked through scaly lips, and Twilight’s eyes widened as she looked down the body of a massive python. She felt something click inside her mind, and without thinking she planted her front hooves, pulled in her hind legs and bucked the towering creature square in its jaw. It hissed with pain, its body trailing as its head launched backwards and slammed into a tree with a mighty thud.

Snake! Run for it, AJ!” Twilight shouted, her hooves churning the soil as she broke into a gallop.

“Ya ain't gotta tell me twice!” Applejack yelled, turning tail alongside her friend.

The pair tore through the forest, ducking and weaving through the foliage. It was a painfully long time before the angry hissing and thrashing faded into the distance. The two finally came to a stop as their adrenaline started to wear off.

“You… okay… Twilight?” Applejack asked, her breath coming in gasps between words.

“I think so. Thank you for having my back… If you hadn't seen the python, I could have been a goner!” Twilight replied with exhaustion, her breath growing ragged as she panted.

“I'm surprised you didn't see it. Whatever you were doin’, you should’ve at least been able to feel something that big sneakin’ up on ya,” Applejack said.

“It's funny you mention that,” Twilight said, dusting herself off. “I was trying to manifest earth pony magic like you do. I was able to feel out the river, and I felt a… I’m not sure how to describe it. A pulse, maybe. I couldn’t get a good idea of the distance, but I could definitely feel it!”

“I guess you could put it that way. You just sorta feel the flow of things through the ground.” Applejack pursed her lips. “But I take it you couldn’t feel the danger, huh?”

“I… I think I did,” Twilight said sheepishly. “I may have misunderstood the sensation at first. I felt a heartbeat growing as my perception neared the river. It got a lot more intense just before you yelled for me. I knew something was wrong the moment I came back.”

“Just be careful next time, sugarcube. I ain't gonna be the one to explain to Celestia why her newest princess is livin’ inside a giant snake's gut,” Applejack said curtly. “Honestly, I’m surprised you didn’t just zap yourself away… or zap it.”

Twilight blinked. “You know… The thought didn’t even cross my mind. Maybe I was so busy using earth pony magic, I didn’t think to call upon any unicorn magic?”

Applejack chuckled and grinned. “Either way, you sure sent that snake flyin’! You’re a mite stronger than you look, y’know. Could use a pony like you on the farm someday.”

Twilight blushed and couldn’t help but smile. “I think ‘someday’ is a little further out than you think, AJ. Ever since I became an alicorn, I’ve noticed enhanced strength when doing physical work around the castle, but I’ve never done done something so… so…”

“Exhilaratin’?” Applejack suggested.

“Well…” Twilight began. She paused, images of all the battles she had fought quickly flashing through her head. As she recalled, she realized the emphasis on her magical prowess, not as a physical combatant. Her thoughts turned to the earlier excitement. “Yes. Exhilarating,” she finished with a giggle.

Applejack smirked, glancing over Twilight’s shoulder. “Let's get some more distance from that snake. There'll be plenty of time for sightseein’ once we get to the river.”

“Agreed.”

Twilight watched carefully as she resumed following Applejack. With each step, the colorful swirls flared under her hooves, all but the light blue quickly fading. Applejack quietly adjusted her course to follow, using its invisible guidance. “It's gonna take us about half an hour or so, assuming we don't run into more trouble,” she said.

Twilight murmured an acknowledgement, busy jotting down more observations alongside quick sketches of the plant life and small critters she found.

The two ponies trudged through the undergrowth, passing through swarms of insects, under flocks of squawking birds, and over the loud crunching of leaves and grass. Twilight’s ear perked up, a familiar sound piercing through the air.

“Y'hear that, Twi?” Applejack asked, leaning into the sound as she cupped her hoof to her ear.

“I hear and feel it!” Twilight said, light blue magic swirling like a fog in her wake.

They emerged suddenly into a large clearing, the bushes and grasses of the forest dropping off in favor of hard-packed sand and rocks. Before them lay a wide river, dozens of fish leaping in and out of the crystal-clear water. Both ponies squinted, trying to catch a glimpse of the opposite side. If Twilight hadn’t felt the river for herself, she could almost believe she was standing on the shoreline of a lake.

“Yeee-haw, we found it!” Applejack said, rearing back excitedly. Twilight glimpsed a blue flash from beneath Applejack’s hooves when they hit the ground. “Good thing too! I don’t know about you, but I was getting a mighty powerful thirst.” She waded out into the shallows, dunking into the water to take several huge gulps.

“That really hit the spot!” Applejack said, wiping her mouth. She glanced back at Twilight, still on-shore with both maps floating in front of her. “Somethin’ wrong, sugarcube? You ain’t drank nothin’. C’mon, get some water. I’m sure y’all need it.”

“Hmm...” Twilight murmured. “It's strange, this river isn’t present on either map.”

Applejack cocked an eyebrow. “A river this big? I have a hard time believing that,” She said, wading back to shore.

Twilight frowned, sitting on the firm sand. “I thought so too, but there’s nothing. No deltas, no watersheds… nothing. I’m guessing this area hadn’t been thoroughly explored when these were made.”

Applejack pointed at one of the maps. “Well, river or no river, that tree is still out there, and that’s where the cutie map is sending us. Means there’s at least somethin’ living out here.”

Twilight folded up the maps, carefully returning them to her saddlebags. “If nothing else, we can always follow it and see if it leads us to civilization,” she said. “For now, though… you’re right.” She trotted to the river’s edge and drank, the cool water invigorating her.

Twilight looked slowly around, pausing as her gaze swept past Applejack. “It should be safe out here in this clearing. AJ, can you keep an eye out for anymore… trouble?”

“Can do, sugarcube. Though you should know, if ya start driftin’ off on me again I’m gonna make sure I get heard this time, y’hear?” Applejack said flatly.

Twilight giggled. “I trust you. Do what you have to do.” She relaxed and closed her eyes, letting her thoughts wander. As her instincts took hold, images of forest life filled her mind with greater clarity and density than any encyclopedia in Equestria. She winced, the rush of sensations overwhelming her. Trees, fish, the river, bats, snakes, more trees, crickets, all making themselves known to her at once. Her eyes clenched tighter, sweat rolling down her brow as the images merged together into a bright, white static. With a yell, she lost her balance and collapsed onto her side.

“Twilight!” Applejack yelled, her hat flying off as she hustled over.

Twilight groaned and pressed her hooves against her temples, massaging them. She slowly rolled onto her stomach and muttered, “Augh…. Applejack…”

Applejack touched her shoulder. “You okay? What happened?”

Twilight shook her head slowly, her eyes twitching beneath their lids. She grimaced as she struggled back to all fours, slowly opening one eye, then the other.

“Hey now, don’t overdo it,” Applejack said. “Tell me what happened.”

“I uh…” Twilight said. “I think I overdid it.”

Applejack rolled her eyes. She grabbed the rim of her hat with her teeth, flipping it back onto her head.

“I was… It was…” Twilight took a moment and shook her head again, her vision slowly returning as her migraine faded. “It was beautiful… I could feel the forest. The water, the trees, the animals, everything!” She hopped in place a little, groaning as a wave of nausea washed over her.

“Everythin’ huh?” Applejack asked, tapping a hoof against her chin as she thought. “I remember Apple Bloom had somethin’ similar happen to her when she was just a filly. She got all kinds of sick ‘cause of all the livestock we had on the farm. Kept her in bed for two or three days. Only happened once, but boy did it spook us.”

“Wait, really? You think it was the same thing I just felt?”

“I sure do. Granny Smith said it was somethin’ along the lines of there being too much life and energy all around so your body has no idea what to do, so it just shuts down. I’ve heard it happenin’ to some of my cousins too, so it definitely runs in the family,” Applejack said.

Twilight tilted her head, thinking. “I’ll be honest, AJ. There’s not a whole lot of documentation on the mechanics of earth pony magic. A lot of stuck-up unicorn scholars turn their muzzles up at it for not being ‘real’ magic. It was too ‘subtle’ for them,” Twilight said, frowning awkwardly as the last of her headache wore away.

“Heh. I ain’t surprised. They wouldn’t know a hard day’s work if it bucked ‘em in the behind,” Applejack said with a conceited grin.

“Regardless, based on what I’ve witnessed first-hoof and what you’ve shared with me, I believe magic runs naturally through all earth ponies just like unicorns. Your magic manifests differently than ours, like pegasi walking on clouds. Naturally some earth ponies have more aptitude than others,” Twilight said.

“Kinda like how Rainbow Dash can clear the sky out lickity-split, but Fluttershy likes stayin’ on the ground?” Applejack asked.

“Something like that, yeah. Such differences are also likely related to their special talents. For example, you and your family have a strong affinity for apples, whereas another might find their calling with something else, such as carrots, flowers, or pears. The different plants you might be connected to could have an influence on the strength of your magic.” Twilight blushed, pawing at the ground. “Of course, it’s all just a hypothesis.”

Applejack cracked a smile. “Heh. I suppose that makes sense.”

Twilight smiled at her friend. She always appreciated Applejack’s support, even when she knew her rambling wasn’t quite understood. She looked up and down the river, craning her neck to see to the horizon. “Applejack, I’m going to try this again… and see if I can follow the river in both directions. That way maybe I can locate some kind of trace of civilization.” She touched Applejack on the shoulder. “I promise I won’t overdo it this time,” she said with a smirk.

“You’d better not, y’hear? I wasn’t kiddin’. I swear I’ll carry you back to Ponyville myself if I have to,” Applejack said.

Twilight chuckled, shaking her head. She took a deep breath and let herself focus again, setting aside everything around her save the water. Slowly, she reached out with her magic and allowed it attach itself to the current.

Her perception widened, both upstream and down. Every time her magic picked up the sway of a fish, or the deep thrum of a water-dwelling lizard, or the gentle chirp of a turtle, she felt herself flinch—but she would not be deterred. She maintained her concentration, following the magic flows as they spread throughout the river. Finally, one end of the flow suddenly branched up and out of the water, lighting up like a Hearth’s Warming tree.

Twilight gasped and opened her eyes, releasing the magic. As her sensation rolled back into her singular mind, she nearly fell over again (and would have, had Applejack not braced against her). “You okay?” Applejack asked.

Twilight shook her head, her eyes spinning as she tried to catch her bearings again. As she reacquainted herself with her surroundings, she nudged Applejack to look upstream. “We need to go that way! It’s pretty far, maybe two hours by hoof, but all we need to do is follow the river and we’ll get there!”

“What is it? You think it’s ponyfolk?” Applejack said, eyes growing wide as a gleeful smile spread over her face.

“No doubt about it! We follow this river, we’ll find our friendship problem!” Twilight said excitedly. The two set off alongside the river as they made their way deeper into the heart of the Silverglade.