• Published 28th Aug 2020
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My Little Pony: Eternal Harmony - LightOfTriumph

Luster Dawn moves to Ponyville on her Mentor's instructions, and comes into contact with a threat even Twilight never faced.

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Chapter 4: Something Sinister

The tension was thick during the walk to Sugarcube Corner. The uneasy feeling was, at this point, impossible not to notice as it burrowed into the minds of the three creatures. Luster wanted to ask Maud and Mudbriar if they felt the same thing, but she didn't want to worry them.

Luster racked her brain, trying to figure out what this feeling was. Hoping against hope that it wasn't the obvious. A premonition. The reason why she felt something was wrong was because something was wrong. Sooner rather than later, she would have to figure out what it was.

The moment she looked at the Sugarcube corner bakery, everything she had thought about before vanished from her head.

To say the building was absurd would be a total understatement. Luster had never seen a building that looked so... Luster could think of no other word than "delicious." Walls that looked like waffle cone, a roof that looked like chocolate, a cupcake spire with three candles sticking out of it. It looked like a witch's home in a fairy tale. Luster wondered if this place was the reason for her uneasy feeling.

"Welp, here it is, Luster. Home sweet home!" Pound said. "Get it? Sweet? Because... Because dad built it to look like... Because... We should head in."

They walked through the door and Luster was relieved to see that the place was much more normal looking on the inside. The only thing that was out of the ordinary were the two ponies sitting on the counter staring directly into each others eyes. An mare about Luster's age with a yellow and orange mane, and a young colt with a light brown coat and bright pink Mane. They were staring directly into each others eyes.

"Do ya feel it, Cheese Pie?" the Mare said evilly. "Do you feel the dust in the air? Your eyes drying out? The regret of taking on the Staring Contest champion of Equestria, when you yourself are just a neophyte? It must be hard. Staring your inevitable failure directly in the face, yet unwilling, or unable... to except your inevitable defeat. It's over, boy... Give in."

"YOU WON'T BREAK ME, PUMPKIN CAKE!!" Cheese Pie squeaked loudly.

Pound turned to the other occupants in the room and waved his arms to quiet them. Pumpkin hadn't noticed their presence yet, and he intended to take full advantage of that. He walked slowly up to the counter, confident that he wouldn't be seen by the staring contest. Soon he was directly next to them. He turned back to the others and gave a soft smile.

"Submit," Pumkin Cake hissed.

"NEVER!" Cheese Pie shouted.

Pound Cake took a deep inhale. "PUMPKIN!!" Pound Cake shouted.

"What?!" Pumpkin said, breaking eye contact to look around the room and blinking several times. "What?! What?! What?! Whoa!" At that moment she fall off of the counter with a loud thud.

Cheese Pie looked like he had just won the lottery. "I did it!" he said, bouncing up and down on the countertop. "I did it! I beat the Champion of Equestria!"

Pumpkin Cake looked directly into Pound's eyes. Seemingly trying to melt him with her mind.

"Hey, sis!" Pound said in a chipper tone, seemingly unfazed by the murder that was standing not two feet away from him. "I know that you've been pulling a double shift, so I brought Maud and Briar to relieve you of duty. You can thank me later."

"Yes, I could use a break," Pumpkin seethed. "If for no other reason than to nurse the pain of my defeat... And your betrayal."

"You'll get over it," Pound sighed. "Come on, bright eyed and bushy tailed. I brought company."

Pumpkin stood up straight. "Oh... Hey Mercury, and..." she looked at Luster and raised and eyebrow. "I'm sorry, I don't think I know you."

"Oh, I'm sorry!" Luster said, extending her foreleg for a hoof shake. "I'm Luster Dawn. I'm Starlight Glimmer's second assistant."

Pumpkin Cake smiled and gave Luster a firm hoof shake. "Hi. I'm Pumpkin Cake," she said, giving a weary smile. "I'm the long suffering twin sister of this idiot right here. The little foal dancing on the counter behind me is Aunt Pinkie's revenge for every time I refused to go to bed as a foal. Nice to meet you."

"Alright, I have to ask," Luster said. Something had been bothering her about the way the twins had been talking for a while now. "You've both called her 'Aunt Pinkie.' Are you both... Really related to Pinkie Pie?"

"Not by blood," Pound Cake smiled. "But she's family."

"She used to foalsit for us," Pumpkin explained. "She may not be our real aunt, but she's so close to our parents, she may as well be. She helped raise us. I really look up to her. So I, like a nimrod, decided that the best way to repay her was that when she had a little bundle of joy, the best thing for me to do would be to foalsit for him. He is... A challenging little colt, to say the very least. Which reminds me. Thank you so much for taking over, Maud, I've got a thing I need to do"

"No problem," Maud said in her customary monotone. "Like I said, I'll take any chance to see my favorite nephew."

"Thanks again," Pumpkin said, now turning to Cheese Pie. "And tiny terror? I've heard stories of your Aunt turning a six hundred pound boulder into rubble with her bare hooves. This is not a mare that is to be trifled with. I'd say be on your best behavior, but I think we can aim a little higher than that this time."

"Going to see your boyfriend?" Cheese Pie asked in a mocking tone.

"Yes, I'm going off to see my boyfriend," Pumpkin responded in an equally mocking tone. "You should thank him too. He's the only one who keeps me from feeding you to Gummy."

"Hey!" Cheese Pie protested. "Gummy doesn't eat ponies!"

"Oh yeah?" Pumpkin said, giving a smug smirk. "Who's known him longer? You or me?"

Cheese Pie looked like he wanted to continue the banter, but his face soon drained of all silliness and he suddenly looked very, very worried. "Pumpkin?" he asked in a shaky tone. "When's mom coming home?"

Pumpkin noticed the worry on the little foals face. Her own face softened as she got down to eye level with little Cheese Pie. "Soon, okay?" she said quietly "She's just running a little late. Don't worry about it."

Cheese looked sadly down at the ground.

"Hey," Pumpkin Cake smiled softly, touching the little colt's face. "I know your mom better than almost anypony. She'd never want you to lose that smile. So just do me a favor and keep your Aunt and Uncle company. Okay?"

Cheese Pie gave a weak little smile and nodded.

Pumpkin hugged the little colt and left him with his aunt and uncle. She walked back over to her brother and the others. "Speaking of," Pumpkin sighed quietly. "Tell me you guys heard something. The little guy has been really worried. Why is she so late?"

"We've been wondering the same thing," Pound sighed. "Maud hasn't seen her, and the last thing we know is that she was at the council meeting. That's the last we heard of her."

"Um, if I may?" Luster added nervously. "She was going to a council meeting. If something had come up there, they might be there to hash it out. Princess Twilight was always somepony who liked to make sure everything got done before she left the room. They're all very important ponies. Maybe it's just been a busy month?"

Pound and Pumpkin looked at each other. "It's happened before," Pound offered. "Never this long, but it has happened before."

"Oh, so Equestria is in danger, that's comforting," Pumpkin sighed. "Well, that or theres some kind of political nonsense, either way, not super happy about it. That said, better than her being in a ditch somewhere."

"Agreed," Mercury said, now showing her own concern. "I just hope professor Fluttershy is alright."

"I'm worried about the princess too," Luster admitted. "Right now, however, theres no reason to panic. You guys are supposed to be showing me around, and I think we got a little sidetracked, don't you think so?"

"I thought you might be new in town," Pumpkin Cake smirked. "Well, this is Sugarcube Corner, the best bakery in all of Equestria, don't let anypony tell you otherwise. I am the beautiful, talented, and all around perfect cashier Pumpkin Cake, and you've already met our simpleton delivery boy."

"Hey!" Pound Cake said indignantly.

"Silence, Igor!" Pumkin Cake snapped back at him. "On the next stop on the tour, we'll be going to the residential area of Ponyville where we shall meet Down Beat. A wonderful stallion who I am lucky enough to call my special somepony, and hopefully won't dump me when I go to meet him, he won't dump me for standing him up."

"He won't," Pound sighed. "He's an idiot, but he's not that much of an idiot."

"That's a way to talk about your best friend," Mercury said out of the side of her mouth.

"Hey, don't get me wrong, I'd die for the guy," Pound said defensively. "Doesn't make him not an idiot."

"Come on, I'll introduce you," Pumpkin smiled. "And while we're at it, I can ask him some things. Because let's face it. We don't really think a meeting is running long do we?"

A wave of silent confirmation washed over the four ponies. Suddenly Luster felt the crawling dread make it's way back up her spine.

"Something is up," Pumpkin Cake said. "I'm guessing you felt it too. Since I woke up this morning the world has felt wrong, broken somehow... With you guys, you all can pass that up as a funny feeling, but I'm a unicorn. I paid real close attention when I was using how to use this horn. The only thing that could give me this kind of bad vibe this strong--"

"Is magic," Luster said, now looking right in Pumpkin Cake's eyes.

"Give the lady a cigar," Pumpkin nodded.

"Let's go talk to Beat," Pound said. "Hopefully, an Earth Pony is what we need to ground this conversation.

Author's Note:

So apparently Pinkie's kid is a boy? Okay.

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