• Published 16th Apr 2022
  • 1,043 Views, 54 Comments

Valhalla - DanishDash

It's been four years since Thor left Equestria and Applejack. Missing her beloved, Applejack decides to find a way to get to his world! (Not connected to the marvel universe)

  • ...

Chapter 2: A Strange Unicorn

It was yet another morning in Ponyville, and Applejack found herself making breakfast for the whole household. The sun was shining, and Applejack felt very good. She hummed as she moved around the kitchen, having found her rhythm in there, and gotten used to her extra chore.

Mac was the first to arrive at the table, as usual. He'd been out taking care of his morning chore, along with some of Applejack's. It was only fair, if Applejack cooked breakfast, then she should not have as many morning chores. Not that it bothered Big Mac, he could handle it just fine.

"Mornin'." He greeted his sister, sitting down at his usual seat.

Applejack trotted over and filled his mug with fresh morning coffee. "Good mornin', did you sleep well?"

Mac yawned, which he did not often do in the morning. "Eenope."

"It's because you've gotten used to having somepony sleep beside you." Applejack giggled. Rainbow Dash had the day before flown to Cloudsdale to visit her parents, so she hadn't slept at the farm. "She'll be back at lunch, I'm sure she will. Then you can take a nap with her."

Mac chuckled, and moved his head as if to loosen up his stiff neck. "Are you going to the market later?"

Applejack nodded. "We might as well sell the last cases of Apple jam, no reason they sit here and gather up dust."

"Mind picking up something for me?"

"Sure, what is it?"

"Just need some nails, we are running low."

Applejack nodded. "I'll get them for you."

The two ate breakfast, talking about this and that. Apple Bloom didn't join them this morning, as she was at a friend's house. When breakfast was over, and Applejack finished with the washing up, she went to the barn and prepared a wagon. She had already prepared the crates with jam and other treats the day before, so she just needed to load up.

Saying her goodbyes to her brother, Applejack moved down the road and towards Ponyville. She felt well rested, and with a beautiful day like this, Applejack couldn't help feeling good. Already she was starting to think about what she should make for dinner tonight, something they would all like of course.

After 10 minutes, Applejack entered Ponyville. All around the ponies were going about their daily routines, and some even waved and greeted her on the way to the market. It really was a great town, one that had been through quite a lot over the years.

She passed the square where Twilight's old library had been. She had lived in Ponyville all her life, and saw the tree every time she passed here. So seeing it not there still seemed out of place to her. She doubted she would ever really get used to it. Still, there were a lot of other places that thankfully still remained, like Rarity's boutique, or Sugarcube corner.

As she passed the boutique however the door opened and out came her sister and her two friends, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo. The three fillies looked excited about something, and stopped as they spotted Applejack. "Heya, Applejack!" Greeted Apple Bloom with a smile.

Applejack stopped, smiling at the three fillies. "Good mornin' to ya. Where are you all going?"

"We are going to the theater." Grinned Scootaloo.

Sweetie Belle nodded. "My sister got us tickets."

"Theater, this early?"

Apple Bloom shrugged. "Well, it doesn't actually start before a few hours, but we thought we would go to Scootaloo's place for a bit, drop by Sugarcube Corner to pick up something to eat too."

Applejack nodded. "Alright, you girls have fun now, and don't fill up on sugar."

"We won't!" The three promised and went on their way.

Chuckling, Applejack went on, moving down the roads until she arrived at the market. She and her family had a permanent stall set up, they just needed to open it up and put out the products. Applejack did just that, setting up everything so they were ready to open. As she did so she got to greet some of the other stall owners. Some she knew quite well as they were regulars like her. Others were newcomers, merchants that traveled and passed through towns such as Ponyville to sell more special wear.

Applejack had seen all sorts, from ponies, Griffons and Diamond Dogs. Some had exotic wears brought from far away lands, others had special treats, while others just had junk. It was always fun to browse, listen to their pitches and learn their stories. Applejack was always wary of new merchants.

Not that she distrusted them per say, but you always had to be careful with newcomers at the market. You never knew what they might try and sell you. Some were regular travelers, meaning they could show up at one time, then show up again months later. Those who did show up again could typically be trusted. Scammers did not like to show up to the same town twice.

"Hi, Applejack." A mare greeted as she approached.

Applejack turned around and smiled. "Howdy, Roseluck." She replied, tipping her hat to her. "How are you doing?"

"Pretty well, it is a little dead today."

"Oh? How so?"

Roseluck shrugged. Like Applejack, she was a regular trader here, selling flowers by her small and colorful stall. "Not that many traders out, at least not many new ones. Nothing really interesting, well, except for that one stallion. He has some interesting things in his stall, a bunch of old things. You should check it out before it's all gone. If nothing else, it's at least pretty to look at."

Applejack chuckled. "Doesn't sound too interesting, perhaps later."

"If it helps, he is pretty handsome." Roseluck giggled, winking at her. "Just remember, I saw him first."

Applejack laughed, waving her off as she finished setting up the stall. Didn't take long after she finished that ponies started to make their way into the market, doing some shopping, or just browsing around. Like Always Applejack found her selling a lot of goods. It helped be known around town, and had a good reputation for fair pricing.

For the next few hours Applejack worked to sell off their stock, it was a good way to connect with the community. Most of her customers were regulars, and it gave Applejack a chance to catch up on local news, and talk to ponies she had a good relationship with, which were most.

However as she worked, she kept hearing about this cute, or handsome stallion at this new stall, selling all kinds of strange objects. It wasn't unusual when a new trader came to town with something exotic that ponies would talk about it. It was always interesting to see something new after all. However it did seem to stick with ponies, or at least leave an impression.

Enough so that when Applejack decided to take a small break, she wanted to see this mysterious trader. Wasn't hard to find, there was a small crowd in front of this new stall, so it was easy to spot. As she approached a voice called out to the crowd. It was smooth, somewhat elegant, but not fancy like Rarity's.

"Dear friends, dear ponies, please. There is enough for everypony." Applejack made her way closer, until she finally managed to get close enough to see this new merchant. The pony was slender, had handsome features, a gray mane, and rose colored coat. His eyes were emerald green, and were very captivating. He smiled charmingly. "Please good friends, I need a moment to rest and bring out more wares for you to see. Please, come back later."

He flashed them a smile, and the crowd all smiled back, chuckling as they started to depart. The stallion turned to close off his stall, but as he did, Applejack got a look at his wares. Her eyes widened, and she found herself trot closer to the stall. Displayed were several talismans, small carved wooden pieces, and small figures and trinkets. Normally stuff like this never caught her interest, but these, these had runes on them.

When Applejack first met Thor, she had seen runes such as these on his honor mark. Twilight had later managed to translate their meaning, and she found out it was a language that was thousands of years old, pretty much forgotten. To see them here and now, it stood out to her like a forest fire.

"Ah, I see you have an eye for quality." The silky smooth voice said, and Applejack turned around to face the smiling merchant.

Applejack was taken aback, she wasn't sure what to say. "I, well." She looked back at the many trinkets, wondering if it was even worth investigating. "I just wanted to know what these things are."

The merchant chuckled. "Why, they are the symbols of the old gods."

Applejack's ears stood up, and she turned sharply to him. "What do you mean?"

"Well, these things are not old as such." He said and gestured to them. "How what they represent is older than you can imagine. Before the times of princess Celestia and princess Luna, our tribes worshiped the old gods. They were heroes, flawed, terrible at times, but great. Wielding power to shape the world as we now know it."

Applejack narrowed her eyes, unsure how this pony could know so much. Twilight had told her what little she could from the old texts she had borrowed from Celestia, but she had never really gotten too deep into it. "So what can you tell me about these old gods?"

The merchant smiled. "I would love to talk to you about it, but how about we go around back and talk instead of out here? Do you want some tea?"

"Uhm," Applejack hesitated. While he seemed genuine, there was something deep inside her that stirred. She could not put her hoof on it, but something felt off about him. Like his smile, his eyes, the whole way he acted was too genuine, not too nice, but too forthcoming in some way. Despite this, Applejack found herself nodding. "Alright then."

"Splendid, this way."

He took her behind the wooden table that acted as his counter, and moved into a tent behind it. Traveling merchants often had a tent that could act as a backroom, and a home. The tent was very dark, not much light, only a few candles here and there provided Applejack with enough light so she did not trip on anything. The floor was covered in blankets and pillows, and above them hung several strings and chains with wooden rune carvings attached to them.

There were boxes with scrolls and books, and jars with stuff Applejack did not dare to try and describe. In the middle of the tent was a small wooden table, wooden cups already waiting for them. There was a strange smell hanging in the air, thick, heavy, but not unpleasant.

"So," the merchant suddenly said, and Applejack seemed to snap back to the present. She found herself sitting at the table, tea already in front of her. She could not remember sitting down, although she knew she had entered and looked around. Sitting across from her was the merchant, still smiling. "You wanted to know more about the old gods?"

"I.." Applejack hesitated, trying to gather her thoughts and focus her mind. "Yes. Who are they?"

"There are many gods, but of course one cannot know one if one does not know their king, Odin, the all-father. He was the one to build the worlds as we know them today, along with his brothers." His voice was soft, and spoke in a sort of natural cadence. Applejack found her mind wandering, and yet she was focused on his voice. Soon enough the steam from the tea seemed to take on shapes before her.

"Odin and his brothers slayed the giant Ymir, and from his body created the worlds. His blood became the oceans and rivers, his brains the clouds in the sky, and his flesh the earth. From there Odin created the first mortal ponies. Odin and his brothers gave them something special. One brother, Vile, gifted the first pair with horns to harness magic. The second brother, Ve, gifted the second pair wings so they could fly. Odin however, did not grant the last pair anything. Wanting the last pair to find their own way in the world, as they were how he wanted mortals to be."

Applejack thought she could feel herself sway, but she did not fall. Instead she listened, watched the steam and smoke make figures for her. It was like she could see the three brothers carve the logs into three tribes, giving them gifts, and breathe life into them. The merchant continued, his voice almost hypnotic to listen to.

"Odin fathered many children, but the most powerful of them all was Thor, god of thunder. He was born to command the heavens above, and protect the worlds from the giants. He was gifted with the greatest weapon, Mjölnir, the lightning bringer, which bonded with him and his honor mark, making him one with his hammer."

She could see him, see Thor running across the sky, lightning and thunder following in his wake. Her heart started to pound faster and faster, it was like heavy and powerful war drums in the back of her mind. The merchant continued to speak, his voice seeming almost as slippery as a snake in the grass. Then suddenly before she knew it, it all stopped. Her mind seemed to come into focus, the visions stopped, and everything became clear.

"Everything you need to know." The merchant said, placing an old looking book on the table.

Applejack blinked, it felt like she had just woken up from a strange dream. "I, what? Sorry, I blanked out for a second."

The merchant chuckled. "Sorry, I do go on and on sometimes. I said this book should have everything you want to know about the old gods." He gestured to it. "I have studied it for years, and so it is no use to me anymore. Perhaps it can give you the answers you seek."

"I don't know." Applejack answered, looking down at the book.

"This book is something special, it describes certain rituals that it says were used to communicate with the gods. Even let their seers travel to the other world to meet with them."

Now that caught Applejack's attention, but also suspicions. She looked up at the unicorn, her eyes narrowing. "Why would you give me something like this? Isn't it valuable?"

He just smiled, his green eyes looking into hers. "I know it by heart, and your needs seem greater than mine." The way he looked at her, the way he spoke, for some reason it put her mind at ease. Applejack couldn't explain why. "Your need is greater than mine." He repeated. "You should not let such a chance go to waste. Who knows if you will ever get such an opportunity ever again."

His words seemed to worm their way into Applejack's mind, sticking with her as she thought about the four years she had waited for Thor to return. Had she not been loyal? Of course she had, and if this book could help her contact him just speak to him for five minutes, wouldn't that be worth it? Yes, yes it would. What if this book could bring her to him? Yes, yes it would be worth it, and more, it all made sense now that she was told as much.

She smiled, grateful. "Thank you, I will take it."

The merchant smiled. "Please, it is a gift."

Then Applejack simply left. She had no idea how long she had been in there, or how she had really been talked into it, but she went from the stall with this old book, and right now that was the only thing on her mind.

Macintosh Apple was no stranger to hard work, in fact, most of his life had consisted of it. From a young age, Macintosh had to leave school and start helping out at home. Apple Bloom was no more than a few weeks old, and Applejack was still too young to do any of the heavy lifting.

Of course they had family arriving from all over Equestria, but when everything was said and done, Macintosh was the one who had to fill out his father's horseshoes. It had been hard for him, and Macintosh remembered many nights when he was just too exhausted to read or play. He never complained however, Granny Smith was all alone with him and his sisters, and despite never doing it in front of him, Macintosh clearly remembered her crying when she was alone.

Macintosh had to grow up fast, he had to take care of his family. Whatever feelings he had, whatever sorrow or anger he felt, he expressed it in his work. He was pretty sure that by now there was more than enough blood, sweat and tears that the farm was a part of him.

He ran this farm on Granny Smith's instruction, she was alone with him and his siblings, and with a farm to run. He did it because it was the right thing to do, because it was expected of him, and because he needed to. He had never regretted it, but it meant giving up a normal childhood. Granny wasn't blind to the demand she had put on him, and later Applejack.

In fact, he could still remember her telling him how proud she was of him. It was a moment between them and them alone, and it was a memory that would stay with him always.

Macintosh let out a small sigh, placing the flowers by the grave of Granny Smith, removing some leaves from the grave. He came up here at least one time a week, sometimes with Applejack and Apple Bloom, and other times alone. This time however he wasn't alone. Rainbow Dash, his marefriend of five years.

She stood back respectfully, remembering Granny Smith as the nicest and coolest grandma in Ponyville. As Mac stepped back, she placed a hoof on his shoulder, and he smiled, looking back at her. "She would have been proud of you." Rainbow said.

Mac nodded, pulling her closer. "I'm lucky to have you by my side."

"Of course you do, you big log." Said Rainbow, and moved in and nuzzled her stallion. "I'm here for you."

They remained for a few minutes, just in silence, respecting the memory of Granny. After a while, they decided to say their goodbyes, and head back towards the farm. Mac let out a relieved sigh, as if a visit had gone well. Rainbow smirked, trotting closer and nudged him with her body. "Don't go all silent on me."

He raised an eyebrow, smirking back at her. "Nnope."

She rolled her eyes. "Very funny."

There was no way around it, she loved this stallion. She had seen him at his highest, and she had seen him at his lowest when Granny Smith passed away. It has shown how strong he was, thinking about his sisters and their grief before his own. She had been there for him, and she had seen him break, only to pull himself up again. Their bond had really grown stronger, even Rainbow Dash had not expected him to stick with her for so long.

"I love you.." She suddenly said.

Mac stopped and looked at her, maybe surprised, but also pleased. "I love you too, Dashie. I'm lucky to have you with me, thank you."

Dashie lightly punched his shoulder. "Don't you get all soft on me," said Rainbow, blushing. "You know it makes me blush!"

"But I like it when you blush, it makes you look adorable." Mac teased, and leaned in, biting her ear.

Rainbow let out a startled yelp, and jumped. "Stop that, you dork!"

The two continued to tease one another and laugh as they made their way back to the farm. However when they did, they noticed something peculiar. The wagon was back in the barn, and the doors had not been closed as they normally did. Mac looked up at the sun, then back at the barn. "Applejack is early." He said in confusion.

Despite not working on the farm regularly, even Rainbow knew how out of place that was. "Perhaps she sold everything?" She said, not sounding convinced of her own suggestion. Even if that was the case, Applejack would not just have left the barn open like that.

The two exchanged glances, and soon enough they were both trotting towards the farmhouse. As soon as Mac opened the door, he called out. "Applejack?"

"Hm? In here." Applejack's voice responded almost instantly.

Mac and Rainbow followed the voice into the living room, and there was Applejack, sitting on the couch reading some dusty old book. She didn't look up as they entered, instead seeming to study the large book intimately. "Uhm, Applejack?" Rainbow ventured carefully.

"Hm?" Was the only response from the orange mare.

"You're home early, is everything alright?"

It took a moment before Applejack seemed to register that she had been asked a question, and when she did, it seemed it took her longer to find the words. "Uhm, yes, I'm fine, just reading."

Rainbow looked back at Big Mac, who looked back at her with the same concerned look. "Applejack," said Big Mac, looking her way. "You don't usually come home this early."

"I know," she replied. "But I found something I need to study."

"Alright, I'll bite. What do you need to study?" Asked Rainbow,

For the first time since this conversation began, Applejack looked up at her friend. "A way to find Astral."

Rainbow blinked in confusion. "What, Thor?" Applejack nodded. "Wait, I thought he was in another world, fighting those troll things?"

Applejack nodded again. "He was, I mean, he is, but this book can help me find him."

"Wait," said Mac, making his way over to them. "What is this book, and how did you get it?"

"I got it from one of the merchants down at the market."

Rainbow and Mac exchanged worried looks, then returned their attention to Applejack. "So some new trader shows up and simply gives you this book? Don't you think it sounds kind of shady?"

Any other time, Applejack would have agreed. "No, you weren't there. This book can help me, I know it can."

"Applejack, even if it's true." Rainbow started, glancing at Big Mac. None of them wanted to burst her bubble, but this sounded way too strange for comfort. "How are you even going to make it work? Doesn't something like that require magic?"

"Eeyup," agreed Mac.

Applejack seemed to digest this for a few moments, and Rainbow thought this would calm her down a bit. Instead Applejack stood up and moved towards the front door, carrying the book with her. "Wait, where are you going?" Asked Rainbow Dash.

"You're right, Rainbow Dash." Replied Applejack as she put the book in one of her saddlebags and put them on. "I need to make sure this is real."

Mac frowned, trotting closer to his sister. "How are you going to do that?"

"I need an expert in magic."

Rainbow tilted her head. "Twilight? Isn't she in Prance by now?"

Applejack nodded. "She is, but she isn't the one I'm talking about. I'll see you later!" And before any of them could stop her she was gone.

Mac looked at Rainbow Dash, who had the same worried look in her eyes. "Do you think Discord is playing a trick on her?"

Rainbow's eyes narrowed, a flash of anger crossing her face. "He better not be. It's cruel if its a joke." She thought for a moment, then nodded. "I'm going to look for this merchant at the market, see what his deal is."

"Right," Mac trotted outside the farmhouse with her. "I'm going to see Fluttershy and Discord, ask him directly if this is his work."

Before each of them took off, Rainbow paused and looked at him. "Mac, what if the book is real?"

Mac paused as well, considering for a moment. "If it is real.." He repeated in a thoughtful mumble. "Then we'll figure out what to do by then." They looked at each other one last time, each considering the possibility and what it could mean. Then without another word, they took off. Her towards Ponyville market, and he towards the home of Fluttershy.

It was a hard job to be the headmare of the School of Friendship, however it was also quite rewarding. There was nothing more satisfying than seeing her students succeed and learn valuable lessons. Sure, it could be challenging, but that just made it all the more rewarding.

The job also had its perks, like a massive library in the crystal castle, a place for Starlight to research magic, not to mention the comfortable salary. Chuckling to herself, Starlight took a sip of her tea, and enjoyed a quiet moment in her office.

At least until the door was almost slammed opened, making the mare jump. She had expected Trixie to strode in with that confident smirk of hers, but to her shock it wasn't Trixie, but Applejack. Starlight sat up, smiled, but looked confused. "Oh, Applejack. What a nice surprise, what can I do for you."

Applejack trotted right up to the desk. "Starlight, I need your help with something important."

"Oh?" Her expression turned serious. "What do you need, my friend?"

She watched as Applejack moved her head back, opened her saddlebag and pulled out a dusty old book. When it was placed on the desk, Starlight reached out, looking surprised as she ran her hoof over it. "What is this?" She asked, never taking her eyes off it.

"I need to know if this is legitimate." Answered Applejack. "If it is true magic, and if I can do it."

Starlight looked up at her, frowning. "Wow, slow down, Applejack. Magic?" She tilted her head. "I don't understand. Perhaps it would be best if you told me everything from the beginning."

And so Applejack did. From the very moment Astral dropped into her life, to when she learned he was really the thunder god Thor, right up until now. She even told her things she had not counted on, like how alone she had felt for the past four years, how much she missed Thor in her life. Applejack wouldn't normally share this much about her most personal feelings, but what other choice did she have? It was like she finally had the chance to go see him, and the spark had just been lit, she could not put it out. She needed to take action, she could not waste this maybe only opportunity.

"I need to know if it can be done." Applejack finished, looking at Starlight with a serious expression.

The mare nodded, turning some of the pages, and studied them in fascination. "Well, one thing is for certain, these are real rituals. Ancient, but real."

"Can you do it?" Asked Applejack bluntly.

Starlight looked up at her with concern. "You want me to perform one of these? Applejack, these are.." She paused, looking down at the inscriptions. "Complicated, and one needs to be a master of magic before you should even attempt them."

Applejack sighed, asking again. "Can you do it?"

"I.." She looked up. "I don't know. Perhaps it would be better if we waited for Twilight to return."

"Twilight is in Prance for the rest of the month, I cannot wait that long." Applejack couldn't calm herself, she felt as if she didn't do this now, her chance would forever be gone. She couldn't explain it, her eagerness burned inside of her like a forest fire. "Please, Starlight, I need to do this."

"I don't know.." She looked down at the pages again running her hoof over them. "It's not just about sending you to another world, Applejack. You won't even end up in the land of the gods."

"Asgard." Applejack put in.

"Right, Asgard. I will be sending you to the world between theirs and ours, uhm, Midgard." Starlight explained, squinting her eyes as if double checking if she got that right. "You will have to travel through it, and who knows how long that will take." She looked up at her friend, not sure if she understood the risks. "And even if you manage to get through Midgard, you would have to cross something called the Bifrost, something only the gods can grant access to."

"I have to try, Starlight."

Starlight sighed. "Why?"

"Because I love him," she answered honestly. "I have not seen him for four years, I feel lost, lonely. Each day I wonder if he even remembers me, if he's dead, or found another. My heart won't let me believe it, but still these thoughts pains me and hunt my dreams. Please Starlight, help me."

Starlight frowned, she knew she should really wait for Twilight. However, seeing the desperation in Applejack's eyes, she could not find it within herself to refuse her. She let out a sigh, and nodded. "Alright, I'll do it."

Applejack smiled, tears appearing in her eyes. "Oh thank you, Starlight, thank you so much."

Starlight smiled a little. "I'm keeping the book here, I got to study up. You should prepare for a journey in the meantime. If this works, and that's a big if, you need to be prepared for anything. Food, shelter, anything you can think of."

"I will, thank you."

"Oh, don't thank me yet. Twilight won't be happy when she finds out, and so far I'm still not sure I can do it." She ran a hoof through her mane, looking down at the book. "You should go home and rest up. I'll see you tomorrow."

When Applejack returned home, she found her older brother and Rainbow Dash waiting for her in the living room. They looked at her with worry, and Applejack didn't need to think very hard to guess why. Her behavior had been rather odd, even though she could see it. However that still didn't change anything, she was going to do this.

"How did your meeting go?" Mac asked.

"Good." Applejack replied, trotting in and sat down on the couch.

"Applejack. That trader you talked about," started Rainbow. "Whoever gave you that book, he isn't there anymore. He's just gone."

Applejack frowned, not sure what to make of it. "I've talked to Discord," continued Big Mac. "He promised me he had nothing to do with this."

Applejack nodded. "I didn't think so." She sighed, knowing full well they came from a place of concern. "I'm sorry I worried you, both of you. But the book is real."

Rainbow Dash frowned. "So what does that mean?"

"It means I can go see him, Thor. I can find him. It will take time, but I have to try."

"Wow, wow, wow." Rainbow jumped off the couch. "What do you mean you can go see him?"

"It means that Starlight can use the book to send me to the world beyond. From there I can travel to Asgard and find Thor." Applejack explained, feeling a knot forming in her stomach. "It's the only way for me to be certain."

"Applejack, don't you think all of this is really shady? Why would you put yourself at risk like that? I like Thor, he is a great guy, but it's been four years."

Applejack glared at her, and stood up. "That's easy for you to say, Rainbow. The one you love is here with you." Rainbow flinched, as if she had been slapped. "Tell me honestly, if Big Mac had to go away, would you just give up on him after four years? If you knew what he had to do was important, was necessary, could you just forget?" She didn't answer, instead just looked away, her ears low. "I know the risk, but it's my decision, and I have to do this."

Mac sat and listened to his sister speak, taking in every word. When she was done, he nodded to himself and got up. "We can't stop you, AJ. If this is what you want to do, then we won't stand in your way."

Applejack sighed, relieved. "Thank you."

"But," he continued. "We can go with you, make sure you stay safe."


"If you're going to do this, we are coming with you." He repeated. "That is our decision to make."

Rainbow Dash sighed, then nodded. "I'm not letting you do this alone. If you insist on going on some crazy adventure, then you better bring me along to watch your back."

"But the farm, Apple Bloom, what about work, the animals?"

Mac waved his hoof. "We'll figure something out, and Apple Bloom can be trusted. It's the light season, so we can make do."

Despite remaining unsure, Applejack smiled, moving in and hugged them both. "Thank you.."

As Applejack started to explain what their journey would entail, a dark figure watched them through the window, hidden by the evening shadows. He chuckled to himself, making his way towards the orchard, ready to leave this sad world behind. However an elegant voice stopped him.

"Didn't think you would leave without saying hello first."

The unicorn chuckled, turning around. "Discord," he smiled. "I wasn't sure if you had sensed me or not."

Discord leaned against one of the apple trees, looking down at the pony figure. "I did smell something foul in the air this morning, but it wasn't until one of my friends turned up that I put it together. To think, someone actually gave his sister instructions on how to get to Midgard."

The unicorn shrugged. "Oh well, she wanted to go. I simply helped her."

"Hm, but that idea did not just pop into her head out of nowhere. What did you do?" Discord asked, crossing his arms, narrowing his eyes. "And for the sake of the all-father, reveal yourself, father."

The unicorn chuckled, and a green glow surrounded his body. His gray mane seemed to become longer, slowly changing its color to black. His features became bigger, but no less elegant. His rose colored coat became gray like his mane before, and he seemed to grow taller. Once fully revealed, Loki shook his body, as if he had just been in the water.

"Feels good to be out of that puny body."

Discord rolled his eyes. "Impressive trick."

"You should know, I taught it to you."

"Enough with these verbal games. What did you do to Applejack?" Discord repeated, standing up straight. "I know her, and she is annoyingly honest and hard to trick. Even you would have a hard time lying to her."

"Is that what you think, Discord? I told her no lies, only the truth. I simply gave her a push in the right direction." He grinned. "And if I did lie, do you really think those toys of theirs could make her see through whatever web I cast? You give these mortals too much credit, son."

"You did something. Applejack would not trust you that easily, and certainly not trust some random book filled with spells and rituals. What enchantments have you put on her."

Loki laughed. "I did nothing but increase her desire for action. It really was no trouble at all, I hardly had to try."

"Whatever you are planning to do here father, I will put an end to it. I've become rather fond of this world and the ponies. Fluttershy would be most sad if her friend went missing in the other world."

"You will do nothing of the sort, son." Loki warned, his smile vanishing, and his voice filling with menace. "You may have forgotten the old ways, but you are still bound by the same rules as I. You will not go against my will."

Discord glared at his father, wanting nothing more than to strike him down. However, as he said, he could not. He felt the threat was real, and should he betray his father he would suffer. "What are you hoping to gain here?"

Loki shrugged, his smile returning. "Nothing but entertainment, and nothing you need to worry about, my son. Instead, stay here and play your silly little games. Enjoy your time in this world, play with your pets." He turned around. "Remember Discord. the all-father would still very much like for you to answer for your crimes. I would be more than happy to deliver you to him, should you betray my trust." Discord glared after his father as he moved in between the trees. "It was good to see you. Let's catch up some other time." And with a fading chuckle, Loki was gone.

Discord was alone, angry, and worried. He looked towards the farm, frowning. Whatever his father had done, whatever his father was planning, it could not be good. He could not interfere directly, but he knew he had to do something, anything.

If he did not, then Applejack would likely not survive the journey to Asgard.

Author's Note:

Is it Macintosh or Mclntosh? :rainbowhuh: