• Published 16th Apr 2022
  • 1,042 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)

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Chapter 8: The Rainbow Bridge

"Where am I..?"

Applejack could see nothing around her. It was dark, and the air was cold, running through her like she had no physical presence. She could hear, but she could not see. The wind was howling, shifting direction, as if it came from all around her. She tried to move, but she wasn't sure if she made any progress in the darkness, she could not feel anything beneath her hooves, nor could she feel her legs moving.

It was as if she was just floating in the void, no physical presence, but a gathering of thoughts, a mind with no body, a thought with no brain. She was here, but in a sense she was not. She felt clear of mind, as if she was awake, but still in a sort of subdued slumber.

Was she even awake..? She could not tell.

There was nothing other than her, or at least she thought so until the wind seemed to shift, and she heard something that the wind carried with it. Thoughts? No, voices. They seemed far away, and without understanding why, she willed herself closer and closer to the source.

The voices became more clear, she could recognize the pattern of words, but still not understand their meaning. She could see light, but they were far above, glittering, like far away flames, or candles. She continued until she felt as if she had entered the eye of the storm, or the center of a heated conversation.

Suddenly, the voices changed, they became clear in one sudden moment, like a lightning strike. A deep male voice spoke out, it boomed across the void, carrying authority, outrage, and power.

"Allfather, this cannot be allowed to continue. As time passes we grow weaker, we must act, and we must act swiftly!"

The light seemed to glow brighter, and suddenly Applejack could see more of her surroundings. She was in a massive hall, so big she could not even see the roof. She could see the thick pillars, to which torches were mounted. They burned like smaller and weaker suns in the night sky, large, but not with the same majesty or glow. They cast their light upon the room, which revealed much for Applejack´s nonexistent eyes.

Along the hall were several thrones, so big she would barely reach halfway up their legs. She could see shadows occupying them, ponies as big as buildings, or palaces. Each time they moved, she could feel the wind shift through her. Each time they stomped their hooves to the thick wooden floor, she could feel the vibrations in the air.

"The mortals owe us a debt, for too many lifetimes, we have received them in the afterlife, protected them from the chaotic forces beyond their worlds, and we have done it without worship. This must change." The deep male voice continued, sounding beyond frustrated, but with a hint of restraint.

"Times have changed..." A female voice replied. Her voice was soft and calm, pleasant to the ear, like hearing a beautiful song. "Our alters have become dust, our priests died long ago, the mortals do not see before they pass the great sea."

Applejack tried, but no matter what, she could not make out the details of the shadows sitting in the thrones talking to one another. At times she would see them move, nod their heads, or lean back in their thrones, but they remained shadows to her eyes.

"It is why I suggest we remind them of the order of things." The deep voice replied. "If this continues we will grow older, we will wither away. The worship of those passed on will not sustain us, we all know this."

"So what exactly do you suggest?" Another male voice spoke up. It was soft, calmer, and thoughtful.

"As I said, we remind them of the order of things. Celestia and Luna have clearly not done their duty." There was a short pause, and the shadow seemed to turn towards the end of the hall. "You granted them the sun and the moon, should they not have continued their worship as thanks?"

"It was never their duty to speak for us. The price for the power the Allfather gave them, the burden they have to carry, they have done so with honor. Their debt to us is being paid each and every day." The mare spoke up, causing other shadows to mumble a mix of agreements and disagreements.

"And they have received the worship of the mortals, taking what rightfully belongs to us." The stallion snapped back. "None of us are blind to what is happening, we all feel the weight of age creeping closer. If we wait too long, we will be too weak to maintain the balance, and so our work shall become undone. Ragnarök, the end." His head turned towards the thrones across from us. "What do you have to say to this, Thor?"

Applejack felt her heart beat faster as she turned to look in the direction the stallion was looking. Sitting in front of her was a massive stallion, as big as a small mountain, his throne wide and tall. He was still a shadow to her eyes, but it was like she could feel the air around him tensing with electricity.

"What you say is true," Thor said. "However, what you suggest would create fear, and not worship. It would send a message to Midgard, and maybe even the giants. Should they learn of this, we may not be able to stop a full invasion."

Applejack frowned, Thor sounded so calm, so exhausted. She wasn't sure what to think of it, but it did make her feel uneasy. The stallion snorted, sounding as if he either didn't believe Thor, or if he was disgusted by his words.

"Have some sense, Thor. I am not suggesting we kill them, or destroy anything, but if we let this go on, they will bring destruction upon themselves." He let out a frustrated sigh. "Your time with in the mortal world has made you lazy, your fire is dying, and you grow weak with indecision."

Thunder boomed across the entire hall as Thor stood, but before he could give his reply, a voice cut in sharply. "Enough!" The shadows tensed, paused, and finally relaxed. "Thor, sit down." Thor did so. The voice speaking was old, no, ancient. It carried an intelligence and calculation that was so clear in the way the voice spoke, that Applejack hardly dared to look.

It was a voice that held complete authority, and held the respect of the many shadows. No, not shadows. There was no doubt about who these shadows were, it was the gods. Applejack knew this in her heart of hearts, she knew it to be true, and she knew this was something she was not supposed to see.

The voice continued to speak. "No god, nor goddess will visit the mortal world. It is forbidden, it is as it needs to be. If their lack of faith causes the end of us, then so be it. However I very much doubt this will be the end of us. We are not yet defeated, nor are we at the end of our journey. So fear not, for soon we shall have hope again." The tension seemed to leave the great hall, or so it seemed until the voice continued to speak. "But we shall talk of this later, when the time is right. For now, we have an intruder among us, someone is watching..."

Instantly the tension rose, and Applejack suddenly had the feeling that they sensed her presence, that they could see her. She stood exposed, and it felt like she would be struck down at any moment!

She screamed, then opened her eyes...

Applejack sat up in her bed, her heart beating fast, her whole body seeming to twitch with nervous energy. She took a few deep breaths, calming her heart as she looked around. The night sky was getting lighter, morning would soon be upon them.

She took a moment to listen, wondering if anypony was coming to her room, startled awake by her screaming. Nopony came, and looking to the other bed, she saw Apple Bloom still in a deep sleep. Had she imagined herself screaming? Was it a dream?

She let out a sigh, unsure what to think anymore. Whatever had just happened, she couldn't go back to bed...

The sun was coming up, the night sky was vanishing, and the rays streamed in-between the many apple trees of the orchard. It was early, but still Applejack found herself wide awake. She sat outside on the front porch, watching as the sun was revealing itself. It was a sight she had always enjoyed back home, and sitting here now reminded her of those many mornings she had sat on the porch, enjoying the scenery.

It was a good reminder of everything that was good in life, it gave her a moment of peace, a moment of peace and reflection. Thinking back on the events that had led her to this point, it all seemed too amazing. A week ago she had been a normal apple farmer, now she was traveling between the worlds of the living, dead, and the world of the gods. She would never have believed it if she had never met Thor.

She had traveled the great ocean, trotted across the land of Midgard, fought a strange Timberwolf, and now she was going to try and walk across the rainbow bridge. Well, not right at this moment, but she knew it wasn't far off in her future. If everything goes to plan, it will happen later today.

Yesterday their guide, Pippin Apple, had managed to track down their parents and granny. It had been quite a reunion, with hours spent on telling pretty much everything about their lives, and what had led them to crossing over. Their parents took it well as could be expected, had it not been for Granny Smith telling them all about Thor beforehand, they might not have believed them at all. Then again, how else were they going to explain them being in Midgard?

Applejack could not have blamed them if they had not believed them, sometimes she even had a hard time accepting all of this was real. However it was real, and they had gotten so far already. Now they needed to cross over via the rainbow bridge, and then, what?

Applejack wasn't sure about what to do or what to say when she finally got there. Assuming they did manage to get across to Asgard, what could she do? She´d already decided what she wanted, certainty. Still, she couldn't imagine how it would all go. Was she scared? Of course she was, but there was no turning back now, and she wanted to know, no, she needed to know.

Their family had agreed to help them on the last leg of the journey, which should only take them a few hours. The great mountain would lead them to the highest point there was for miles, and thankfully the path was easy, having been made by several pilgrims and travelers throughout time.

"I would have thought you would sleep today of all days." Said a voice from behind her. Glancing over her shoulder, Applejack met the eyes of Granny Smith. She looked younger in this world, but her eyes were very much the same. "Mind if I join you for a bit?"

Applejack shook her head, scooting over a little. "Not at all... I couldn't sleep any longer..."

Granny Smith trotted closer, then planted herself next to her grandkid. "It's A big day, no doubt about it. Since coming here I've heard all sorts of fancy stories about that bridge, the gods, and so much more. It's enough to make your head spin.”

Applejack chuckled, nodding a little. "I just hope..." She started, but then stopped herself.

Granny looked at her quizzingly. "Just hope what, dear?"

She sighed. "I just hope that it will be as it was."

"Hm," Granny hummed. "Well, I don't think anything will ever be the same ever again, especially for you, Applejack.
all this talk of gods, mortals, and other worlds, its too much for a simple farm mare like me." She said it with a smirk, which also made Applejack smile a little. "But I think you were meant for something bigger, I can't say what it is, but I don´t think you were ever meant to spend the rest of your days on our farm."

That surprised Applejack to hear Granny Smith tell her that of all ponies. Applejack had never imagined a life off the farm. "What are you saying, Granny?"

"Well, ever since the whole Nightmare Moon thing, and you becoming friends with that nice mare, Twilight Sparkle, your world has become a whole lot bigger. Now I admit, I wasn't too sure about it at first, but you´ve risen to every challenge life has thrown at you so far. Now I might not know anything about grand plans, gods, and all that fancy magic stuff, but I know this. You Applejack, you were meant to do something else, something bigger."

The older mare turned to look Applejack straight in the eyes. "Be honest with me, Applejack. Can you see yourself returning to the farm, pretending nothing has changed?"

Applejack thought about it. She liked family life, she enjoyed working on the farm. However her world had become so much bigger ever since she met Twilight Sparkle, even more so after she met Thor. There was so much out there, and even though she did not like to admit it out loud, she had been feeling restless ever since Thor left for Asgard. Was it purely because she missed him, or was something else calling her now?

Sighing, Applejack looked out onto the orchard again. "I don´t know, Granny. Things have been so confusing lately, I don't feel like I know my place anymore. I love the farm, Mac, Apple Bloom, and now Rainbow Dash too. They're family." Granny nodding, listening intensely. "I only know that I miss Thor, and I can´t wait around anymore. I need to know if he..." She hesitated, biting her lower lip as she swallowed her fear. "If he still loves me... I don´t think I can rest before I know..."

"Then you will have to find out, don´t you?" Granny Smith grinned. "It's okay if you don't have all the answers yet, I have a feeling you will know what you need by the end of this little adventure of yours. Just remember, your family stands by you, no matter what choices you make for yourself, alright?"

Applejack smiled, feeling as if she could breathe a little easier now. The last week had been so hazy, as if her whole world had been surrounded by fog. However that fog had been lifted when she arrived, and ever since then she had doubted everything around her, most of all herself. Granny made her feel more at ease, more sure about what she needed to do. Maybe that was her true special talent?

"Thank you, Granny..." The two of them leaned closer, embracing one another.

Breakfast was a strange, but warm affair. It was strange to be all together again, Granny and grandpa, ma and pa, Rainbow Dash, and of course all the Apple siblings. It felt good, it felt right, and Applejack felt herself let go of all her worries about the future, and just enjoyed the here and now.

It had been late night before they all went to bed yesterday, but there was just so much to tell, so many memories to relive. Despite this, it seemed they would never run out of topics to go over, stories to tell, even now at breakfast.

Big Mac was feeling a lot better now too, he could walk and support himself now, but they all agreed it was better if he did not trot up the mountain by himself. He wasn't too happy about that decision, but with a single stern look from both Granny Smith and his mother, he decided not to press the point.

When breakfast ended, Granny and Pear Butter started to clear the table, along with Rainbow Dash. Applejack went with her father and grandpa to get out of a wagon to help Big Mac. They didn't need a lot of supplies on this trip, but it was best to be prepared. The whole timberwolf attack still worried them all, and Applejack hadn't forgotten what Big Mac had told her.

Rainbow Dash was a little nervous at first, being alone with his mother-in-law, and Granny Smith. Not that she was nervous about helping, but it still felt like she had to prove herself somehow. She doubted Mac´s mother was actually judging her right now, but she still wanted to make a good impression.

"So tell me, Rainbow Dash," said Pear Butter suddenly, her hooves busy with the dishes. "How is your life with my son? Are you happy?"

Rainbow Dash nodded quickly. "Oh yes, ma`am, very happy... Macintosh is a great guy."

Pear Butter smiled, nodding. "That's good to hear..." Rainbow Dash looked at the mare, she didn't look back, she seemed to be far away in her thoughts. She let out small giggle, smiling slightly as she moved her gaze from the water in the sink, to the orchard outside the window. "I wish I could have been there when he introduced you as his marefriend. I´m sorry I missed it..."


Rainbow hesitated, unsure how to respond. She couldn't imagine being in her horseshoes, able to live on, knowing your fouls were in another world, growing up out of sight. It must have been so agonizing knowing you were missing important moments in your foals' lives. Birthdays, first crush, first breakup, days of triumph, days of loss. Days and moments you would often find comfort in your family, Pear Butter had missed so many, especially with Apple Bloom.

"For what it is worth," Rainbow Dash said suddenly. "I'm sorry to."

Pear Butter´s smile grew as she looked at her. "I think you two will make a great couple, and I´m happy for my son, and happy to have you as my daughter-in-law."

Rainbow Dash blushed, chuckling, feeling slightly embarrassed. "Sometimes I´m not so sure, I´m lucky to have a stallion that accepts me for me. Mac is great, so I’m not always sure if I'm doing enough for him. If I really deserve somepony like him."

"For what Mac has told us, and from the way he speaks of you..." Pear Butter smiled. "I can tell he is very much in love with you, Rainbow Dash. I can tell you are someone who will stick by my son, be there for him when he is at his lowest, and stand beside him when he is at his best. He will do the same for you."

Rainbow smiled. "I know he will."

The two mares shared a knowing look. In the future they would meet again in this world, and she would be part of the Apple family. To Pear Butter, and every pony else on this farm, Rainbow Dash already was a part of this family.

It was late morning as the Apple Family prepared to leave. Big Mac had been loaded into the wagon, and despite not agreeing with it, he held his tongue, accepting it was what was best, even if he didn't like it. Applejack couldn't help but smile a little, it was almost like they were going on a simple family outing, not to a mountain to cross over to the world of the gods. It was almost absurd, so much so it almost made her laugh.

Apple Core and Bright Mac hitched themselves to the wagon, and with a few basic supplies packed, they went on their way. Down the path to the road, and down the road to the main road. Apple Core had been here the longest out of every pony in his company, and he had a story for every tree, rock, farm and field they passed.

"We will be passing Apple Hall on the way!" He said, "I wish you had time to see its splendor up close, but you will have to admire it from afar."

They followed the road for miles and miles, passing fields and orchards, crossing small rivers, greeting the many farmer ponies out working in the sunny daylight. Many of which were from the Apple Clan, from different periods in Equestria´s history. Some were extended family members, some that had married into other families, which was why they grew other things than just apples. Wheat, pears, oranges, cherries, anything really. Still, apples dominated these lands, filling the landscape with acres and acres of orchards.

They made their way up a more narrow road, which deviated from the main road, leading to Apple Hall. They moved towards the great mountain, following an increasingly rising road that took them further and further up. At a point, Apple Core slowed down, looked out onto the vast landscape below, and pointed.

"There you have it, Apple Hall. Home to all from the Apple Clan, seat of the head of the clan."

He sounded very proud, and when Applejack and her siblings turned their heads to look, she couldn't help but understand why. The landscape below them stretched out into a large valley, with fields covered in apple orchards as far as the eye could see. There were farmsteads spread out throughout the valley, and they were the biggest Applejack had ever seen. They were as big as castles, and some even looked like their own villages, with houses and barns large enough to house a whole community.

However that was not all, in the center of this valley was the crown jewel. An entire town is built around a large hill and rocks. Thick wooden palisades, paved streets, a market, and watch towers. The largest building was the massive keep, or wooden castle that stood above all the rest. Standing as a watcher, and a beacon of hope, and family pride.

There all Apple Clan members would be welcome, it was there no door or gate would be closed to you. It was in those great halls that the entire history of their family was being protected, retold, and kept for future members of the great Apple Clan.

It was a true marvel to behold, Applejack could hardly believe her family had built something so grand. Apple Core looked at their stunned expressions and smirked. "Pretty, ain´t it?" They just nodded, too stunned to really out their amazement into words. "Well, come on," he then said, pulling them out of their trance. "We still have some ways to go. Let's not keep the gods waiting."

They continued up the road, which became less and less steady, and more and more bumpy. The road led up the mountain, and while it wasn't too steep, it still took them farther above the landscape. Along the way they passed statues carved directly into the mountain, small as well as big. Others were carvings depicting great battles between ponies, others between the gods and giants.

Some statues were of the gods, while others were of travelers who had been worthy enough to go to the world of the gods. Scattered along the path were small altars in front of some of the statues, empty mugs that had once contained mead. Some dried fruits, candles, coins, and other such things.

It really spoke to the respect and devotion the ponies had for the gods, and it wasn't hard to understand why. It was clear by the altars scattered around, that the now passed on creatures of Midgard, that the worship and respect filled much of their daily life. The gods had created worlds for them to go to once they met their end in their afterlife, even if they had never worshiped them a day in their mortal lives.

Her thoughts returned to the dream she had the night before. The gods arguing, the powerful voice of the Allfather, and Thor, sounding tired. The image of him thin and grey haunted her for a moment, and she did her best to try and erase the image from her mind.

She wasn't sure of what was real, and what was just a dream. She did her best to tell herself it was a dream, but her gut told her something else. Applejack felt as if she was being watched, used almost like a mere chess piece on a board. Out of reflex she let her eyes dart around, as if somepony was actually watching, but she saw no one, except for two ravens up above them sitting upon a branch.

She hadn't expected to see anypony, even so, she could not shake the feeling off...

They continued their journey up the mountain, following the old road, which could become narrower, and wider, depending on which point they had reached. The decorations did not stop, and at times Applejack found herself looking at them a lot, and at times she needed a nudge to remind her to keep going.

Mac offered several times to get up and help their father and grandfather, but neither stallion wanted to hear any talk of it. He could walk once they reached their destination, but walking up a mountain path was still non-negotiable. Apple Bloom was the youngest and the smallest of their group, and despite not wanting to admit to it, had to take breaks in the wagon at times.

As they followed the mountain path, the air got colder and colder, low misty clouds surrounded them, and the wind would sometimes be gentle, or even biting cold. Applejack hadn't thought of how far up they had to go, but she had imagined they would have to reach the top. Looking at the sun, and up the mountain she couldn't imagine they would make it today.

So she was surprised when suddenly the elevation of the path stopped, and they reached a nice flat area. At first she didn't notice it, not until she sensed the shift in weight, and when some in their group started to spread out a little. She looked around, and realized they had reached the end of the path. Before them was something reminiscing of a courtyard, a large open area, with paved stones beneath them.

At the mountain wall was a large wooden door, flanked by two massive statues carved from the mountain itself. Their grandfather seemed less enthusiastic now, in fact, looking around, Applejack could make their entire family seem tense. She didn't understand, not until she saw five ponies stand near the gate. They were all armored, all of them carrying spears, and had knives at their sides. They all wore helmets that covered their eyes, leaving only half of their faces exposed.

"Right, everypony, let your grandpa do the talking." Apple Core said to the group, his voice sounding both nervous and serious. "Applejack, be a good filly and help ya brother down from the wagon."

Applejack didn't ask any questions, and did as Apple Core asked her. As she approached the wagon her brother was already making his way out. She helped him to get a more gentle landing, and he nodded a silent thank you. Apple Bloom jumped down, looking up at her older siblings, and asked in a low voice.

"What is going on?"

"I don't know," Applejack whispered back. "Stay close to us, okay?" Apple Bloom nodded back.

Apple Core and Bright Mac had unhitched themselves from the wagon, and came up behind it to get some of the sacks they had brought. Seeing Applejack's confused look, her father winked at her with a nervous smile. "Offerings to the gods."

They all started to move towards the large gate. While Applejack could not see their eyes from this distance, she could feel the ponies eyes on them, following their every move. Rainbow leaned a little closer to her. "There are more of them hiding among the rocks..." She whispered, her eyes moving along the upper parts of the mountains.

As they approached the ponies, Applejack noted they were all mares. They looked well trained, like Rainbow Dash, athletic, slender, yet with the muscles to move fast and swiftly. Apple Core bowed, and the rest of them followed his example, bowing their heads as well.

"We greet you, keepers of the mountain, guardians of the bridge, sisters of the Valkyrie. We come to pay tribute to the gods, and ask for their blessing and favor in our quest." Once Apple Core had said his greeting, he raised his head, and once again the others followed suit.

One of the mares stepped forward, awaited for a few seconds as she measured them all. Then her eyes returned to Apple Core, and she gave him a nod. "You may pass to the altar. Remain on the path, do not stray from it, or you shall be punished as seen fit by the sisters of the Valkyrie."

Apple Core bowed his head again. "You have our thanks, sister."

The mare nodded, then turned, spreading her wings. As if on cue, the doors started to slide open. The mare folded her wings, stepped aside and nodded. "Walk with peace, and act with honor, only speak the truth."

Apple Core looked at the rest of them, and nodded. "Let's go, and stick to the tunnel." He warned as he started to trot inside with the others following close behind him.

Applejack watched as they passed the door, and entered a large tunnel that seemed to lead straight through the mountain. She expected it to be dark, but along the walls were several torches, casting an orange fiery glow upon the path and the walls. Along the walls were several carvings and statues, just like on the trail up the mountain. These were somehow grander, and more beautiful, untouched by the elements outside.

As they moved through the large and long tunnel, they saw more ponies, all of them mares, just like those guarding the entrance. Some wore armor, just like the first ones did. Others wore beautiful and yet simple dresses. They were moving along the tunnel, going in and out small side passages. Some were sweeping the floor, wiping the statues or carvings. Some stood in small groups, whispering to one another, while some chanted in front of the statues of the gods.

"Have you noticed?" Asked Rainbow Dash, leaning closer to Applejack. "They are all pegasi."

Applejack looked startled at her friend, then looked back at the mares around them. She didn't see it at first, but soon enough she saw the wings. They were neatly concealed by the armor and their dresses, by a casual glance, nopony would notice them. Now that Applejack had, she too saw there were only pegasi mares here, no unicorns, no earth ponies.

She looked over at Granny Smith with a questioning look. "Granny, what is this place? Who are these mares?"

Granny Smith glanced at her, then looked around a little, as if afraid some might be listening, or if their voices would disturb the mares praying. "Well, this is the only place ponies have been able to cross over to the world of the gods. The Bifrost bridge never goes as low as it does here, or so the story says. These mares here have devoted their afterlife to honor and worship the gods, hoping to enter the Allfather's service."

"What do you mean by service?" Asked Rainbow Dash, almost a little too loud, because Granny Smith sent her a stern look that was meant to hush her.

"These mares wish to become Valkyries, messengers, warriors, and guides. For those who are killed heroically in battle, they are sent to collect their souls and bring them to Valhalla, to feast with the gods. It's a huge honor to be a Valkyrie, even the gods themselves respect them."

"So are they just waiting to be chosen by the gods?" Asked Rainbow Dash, this in a whisper.

Granny Smith shook her head. "No, not by the gods, by Odin the Allfather, king of the gods. You will be hoof picked by the king himself, enter his personal service."

Rainbow Dash looked impressed. "Has any pony ever been chosen?"

Granny Smith nodded. "Of course they have, but it doesn't happen often. Usually, there is some sort of test they will have to pass. I'm not quite sure how it works, nopony really knows much about them, other than they protect the temple here, and devote themselves to the gods fully."


Reflexively, Rainbow Dash almost compared them mentally to the Wonderbolts, but there was no real comparison to be had. These were real warrior mares, ready to fight, kill and be killed in order to serve the gods. Rainbow wasn't sure if she was impressed or terrified. A part of her wanted to test herself against whatever they had, but one look at the trained mares told her she would be done before any real test had really begun.

They continued through the mountain, and after about twenty minutes of trotting saw the light at the end of the tunnel. The wooden doors were already open, and they could already feel the gentle cold air streaming in. As they got closer, they spotted a few more armored mares standing guard. None were in doubt that their every move were being watched.

They stepped through the gate, and entered another courtyard, this one smaller than the first. It had no paths that lead anywhere, but at the end of it, straight ahead from them, was the beginning of a stone bridge. It was built into the mountain, and looked like a bridge that had been cut in half, leading only to the open sky.

In the center of the courtyard was a big pyre, surrounded by stone. It was burning, but slowly, as if the flames were lazy, ready to go out at any moment. Below them, they could see the landscape stretch out before them. With clouds hanging below them, and clouds passing above them.

They all took a moment to admire the view, when Granny Smith addressed them all. "Right, listen here youngin'. If this works, we won't have time for a prober goodbye, so better get it over with now." The mare smiled, but it was clear by her eyes she had dreaded this moment. If this worked, they would have to say goodbye, possibly for a very long time.

Bright Mac trotted up to his son, smiling like any proud father would. "Macintosh, you take care of your sisters now, you hear?"

"Eeyup." Macintosh replied, puffing his chest out a little.

"And you treat your marefriend right, and keep an eye on her. I feel like she had a habit of getting into trouble."

Macintosh chuckled, nodding. "I will do my best, pa."

"Good, good..." Mac nodded. He reached over with his foreleg, and pulled Macintosh into a a big fatherly hug. "I love you, son."

Granny Smith was looking Applejack over, mumbling to herself. "Well, if I remember correctly, Astral is a big stallion. So you better know how to handle yourself."


Granny grinned. "Well, how else are you supposed to drag him back home if he makes trouble?" She laughed. "Go for the ear, it always worked on your grandpa."

Applejack shook her head, but smiled. "Granny, stop kidding around..."

Granny Smith chuckled. "Sorry, I just don't know when I have a chance to tease you again. Just watch out for yourself, and remember to listen to your heart. I feel you have some important choice to make, and it won't just concern yourself." She shivered. "I feel it in my bones." The two went silent for a few moments, when Granny Smith pulled her in. "Just be sure to take care of yourself, okay?"

"I will, Granny, I promise." Applejack replied, hugging her a bit tighter than she normally would. She could handle it now after all.

Pear Butter was holding a sniffling Apple Bloom in her hooves, stroking her red mane. "Shhh, it's going to be fine..." Pear Butter said in a gentle voice. "We'll see each other again one day."

"But that will be a long time..." Apple Bloom said into her mother's coat.

Pear Butter nodded. "I hope so." Apple Bloom pulled back a little, looking up at her mother with a confused expression. Pear Butter just chuckled, stroking her daughter's cheek. "I hope you have a long and happy life, Apple Bloom. I hope you get to have many more memories with your friends. You get to reach your dreams. Experience love, travel, see places, maybe start a family. I want you to get the most out of life before you end up here again. I want you to have no regrets. Promise me you will keep your smile, and live your life to the fullest way you see fit. Can you do that for me, Apple Bloom?"

Apple Bloom nodded. "I promise!"

Pear Butter smiled. "That's my girl. Just remember that mommy and daddy love you very much and we are very proud of you."

"I love you too, mommy!" Apple Bloom hugged her again, burying her face in her mother's coat.

For the next fifteen to twenty minutes, the Apple family took their time to say goodbye. There was so much to be said, and yet so little time. It was Apple Core who brought them back to the purpose, and he had Bright Mac help him with the sacks. They opened them, revealing piles of delicious looking apples.

"When we cast them into the fire, remember your purpose. Remember why you are here, pray." Apple Core said. "We'll soon find out if they are listening." He chuckled, then nodded to his son. The two stallions lifted the sacks, and poured the apples into the pyre.

Almost instantly the flames came back to life, as if the apples fueled the fire. Applejack hadn't been sure what she had expected burning apples to smell like, but the smell that came wasn't exactly what she had imagined. She could smell the orchard, the freshness of the apples, it was something she had smelled often enough to recognize.

Apple Core hummed, mumbling some words Applejack couldn't quite catch. However, seeing him stand close to the fire, eyes closed and head bowed, Applejack decided to do the same. She remembered Thor, she thought of the whole reason why she was here, why she needed to see him.

She had to see him, and without even realizing it, she let out a silent, "please..."

The flames seemed to grow for a moment, and then in an instant later, die completely. It was as if the flames rose, then were sucked into a pit, leaving nothing but ash and black pieces of wood behind. None spoke, and none dared to move. Then it happened, a gentle breeze blew from above, moving through their manes like a gentle stroke from one you love.

Apple Bloom was the first to see, and the first to speak. She looked to the half bridge. "Look!" They did, and their eyes widened in amazement.

Coming sailing towards them was the end of a massive rainbow. The end seemed to stream into existence like water, white mist appearing at its end. As if guided, the end touched the end of the stone bridge, making itself an extension of it. At this point the Apple Family were not the only ones standing and watching in awe, but several of the pegasi mares had come out to watch the rainbow bridge connect with the platform. Some knelt, whispering prayers, while others simply stood there, mouths open in shock.

Pear Butter stepped forward, turning to her children and Rainbow Dash. "I think this is it, you better get on before it vanishes..." Her eyes were full of tears, but she was still smiling. For one final time, the Apple family gathered around, and gave one final family embrace.

Then it was time, with Applejack at the head of the group, she was the first to try to set her hoof on the rainbow. Carefully she moved forward, reached out, and gently stepped down on the floating light. To her amazement, her hoof did not go through, she felt the light carry her hoof. Embolden, she took a leap of faith and stepped freely onto the rainbow bridge. There was a small gasp of anticipation from behind, but she did not fall.

Applejack looked around her in amazement. She was standing on pure light, it was shining and glittering, the colors seemed to move around her like water, as if she was walking on a waterfall without a current. She couldn't help but smile, and took a few more steps before turning around to face the others.

Rainbow was a bit more brave, if she fell she could spread her wings. She stayed close to Mac and Apple Bloom, ready to act if any of them should fall. However, just like with Applejack, none of them fell, and they were able to join Applejack on the bridge. Once they got over the initial shock, they all looked back towards the platform, seeing their family waving at them.

They waved back, calling out to them, but it was like their voice faded in the wind. A strange force seemed to draw them in, and as they started to walk, the platform started to vanish much faster than any of them expected. They seemed to travel for miles and miles with each step they took. The landscape below them changed frequently, they passed mountains, forest, rivers, and so much more until there was nothing around them but stars.

The rainbow they walked on was the only path for them, and as they trotted along it, the light from it moved around, almost like splashing water moving slower than time. The stars glittered beautifully, at times, it almost felt like they could reach out and touch them. Sometimes, it seemed the rainbow bridge would go on forever, leading them into an endless sea of stars.

They hadn't traveled for so long however before they saw something in the distance. A tower, a bright wooden tower, standing tall like a lighthouse in the distance. The closer they got, the bigger it seemed. Before they knew it they could see rocks, plants, they could feel an evening wind running through their coats.

And then they were there, their hooves touching another half bridge that seemed to lead onto the rainbow. They were no longer surrounded by a sea of stars, but instead a whole new world. They could not see far, as it was night time, but the tower they stood beside had such a glow, that it almost seemed to be a source of light.

Exhaustion took hold of them all. It felt like they had been walking for hours on end, even though they had just been standing with the others back in Midgard. Looking around, there was no one to greet them. But a voice did call out to them.

"So, you made it here. You continue to impress me... Welcome my friends, welcome to the land of wonder, land of the gods, to Asgard."

Author's Note:

I´m sorry if my writing seems a little strange in this chapter. I am writing on a lap top, which is a first for me while writing stories on this site. So if something seems off, I am putting it down to that.

Not to mention my mind is a bit all over the place with everything going on around me right now. Still, I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. :twilightsmile:

Comments ( 9 )

Aaargh Cilffhanger! :raritydespair:

Cliffhanger?!? NO!!! BAD AUTHOR! Leaving us on a...

But seriously, great chapter.

And thus, Heimdall has entered the story.

Hoo boy, here we go!

Absolutely love this story! I wish you had added a bit more MacDash, I just love seeing the pair together! This story is just fantastic! You do an amazing job with Norse mythology, I love the Apple Hall and having the family united again! All of it is amazing!

Thank you so much! :twilightsmile:

Hearing that from you really means a lot to me. I have read almost all your MacxDash stories, and my all time favorite has to be Macintosh Apple: The Ghost Rider, which in large part inspired me to write stories on this site. :rainbowwild::heart::eeyup:

The story will continue, and there will be more with MacxDash in the future of the story. :pinkiehappy:

Now that makes me feel awesome! I'm glad you have enjoyed my MacDash! As a thank you for your kind words here is a little secret... I'm working on four new stories now...

Nice! :rainbowkiss:

Gotta make sure I watch you closely from now on then. :pinkiecrazy:

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