• Published 11th Nov 2021
  • 1,670 Views, 72 Comments

A New Generation - Hakuno



Sunny and friends united the three pony races. Now they have to go on another adventure to restore Equestria's former glory.

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Chapter I - Awakening

Chapter I. Awakening

Sunny Starscout trotted down Syrup Avenue, enjoying the salty breeze on her mane.

Everypony looked at her as she passed, and she felt her heart skip a beat at every smile and every cheer. Even if the glowing horn and wings had eventually vanished, ponies easily recognized her. The earth ponies she understood, as she had known all of them all her life, and they had known her back, whether they had wanted to or not. But the unicorns and pegasi? She hadn’t spent that long in their cities, and yet they all knew who she was.

The pony that had brought everypony together.

Sure, there still were many a pony who were distrustful of the other races, but for the most part, everypony was glad that they didn’t have to live in fear any longer. The unicorns were the most accepting, since, according to Izzy, they had been living all their lives missing a sense they didn’t know existed. They had known about magic, but they hadn’t really understood what having it meant until it returned. Most pegasi, on their part, were so thrilled by being able to fly that they didn’t seem to remember their prejudices.

“But mommy!” Said a little pegasus filly as Sunny reached the central plaza. “Why do they write numbers on their products? I thought they were dumb!”

Some earth ponies scowled at the mom, who chuckled nervously as she took her daughter and took flight.

Well, most prejudices had been forgotten. They all still had a lot of work to do.

Sunny nodded and waved at the ponies that greeted her, then continued her walk to her smoothies’ stand. As she rounded it to open the blinders, she heard laughter coming from down below, and she could imagine foals of all three races playing around in the sand and the sea, and Sunny felt a rush of pride run down her body. She looked up at the sky and smiled, wishing her dad would be here to see his dream come true.

“Heya Sunny!” Izzy’s voice distracted her from her thoughts, and she turned to see her friend trotting up to her. “Whatcha doing?”

Sunny pressed a button to release the lock and began pulling on the crank to raise the blinders. “I’m opening my stand. Phyllis was kind enough to provide me with temporary housing while they rebuild my house, but I still have to work, you know?”

“Makes sense!” Izzy replied. “Want some help?”

“Sure!” Sunny said, and she actually felt a warmth in her chest. The only other pony that had ever offered to help her had been Hitch. She felt a tingling sensation in her forehead, and looked up, only to find nothing. Then, she turned to Izzy, realizing the unicorn’s horn was glowing.

Izzy craned her neck, and a huge umbrella floated towards them, then dropped on top of the cart.

“Uhm, thanks, Izzy,” Sunny said. “But it’s not even midday, yet. I don’t think we really need the shadow yet.”

“Oh, it’s not because of the sun, Sunny Sun-Sun!” Izzy replied, then nodded upwards.

Sunny looked up and saw that the sky was covered in thick gray clouds. When had they formed? She was sure the day was clear just a minute ago. Well, it wasn’t like she had never worked with rain before. Her dad’s smoothie recipes were so good that many ponies would still face the rain just to get them.

After checking that all the ingredients were fresh and cold, and all the utensils were clean and in order, Sunny rounded back the cart to the front and waved Izzy to accompany her to the bench that was on the side. They should have about ten or so minutes to chat before clients started coming.

“So, how are things in Bridlewood? I hear they still think magic is bad luck?”

Izzy giggled with that pretty raspy voice of hers. “Well, some of the more old ones still do. Alphabittle would be one of them if he hadn’t seen firsthoof the return of magic with us.”

“So they’re still not using it?”

“Oh, no, they use it alright,” Izzy said. “They just don’t want to say the word. They keep calling it ‘power’. But, well, I can’t really blame ‘em.”

Sunny nodded. “Yeah, I guess old habits die hard.” Izzy then leaned on her, and she tensed up. “Uh… W-What are you doing?”

“Leaning on you!”

“Ok… Why?”

“Because you’re warm!”

Sunny blinked a few times, feeling some fluttering in her stomach. “Thanks?”

“You’re welcome!” Izzy replied. “You earth ponies are a lot warmer than unicorns. I tried snuggling Pipp and Zipp back when we were travelling because I thought their feathers would be awesome pillows, but you and Hitch were the warmer ones. And since it’s getting a bit chilly, I thought I could snuggle you a bit.”

“Uh… Sure,” Sunny said, unable to stop the smile from forming on her face. “Glad I can help.”

They sat there in silence for a while, and Sunny was content to just enjoy the moment and the touch of her friend. It was confusing, really, to have these feelings for another mare. At first she had thought it had been the adrenaline of the adventure, but two weeks had passed since the end of it, and she still felt bubbles in her stomach every time she so much as thought of Izzy. Every time they talked, she got lost in her beautiful dark pink eyes. Every time they hugged, she relished on her woody, floral scent. And every moment they spent together, Sunny only ever wanted time to slow down just so the moment wouldn’t end.

Hitch had told her she had a crush, but she had refused to believe it at first. How could a mare have a crush on another mare? But as days passed, she had begun to realize that that was exactly what was happening. The problem was that she didn’t know what to do with that information.

Telling Izzy was the most logical conclusion, but then what? How would Izzy even react? Could Sunny play it off as an earth pony thing in case Izzy felt weirded out? She supposed there was only one way to find out.

“Iz-” but was interrupted by a drop of rain falling right on her snout. She closed her eyes reflexively and brushed it off with a hood. “Izzy.” Another drop fell on her left ear. “It’s raining, we should go under the umbrella.”

Izzy groaned, but eventually straightened up, and Sunny lamented the lack of contact. “Yeah we- Oop!” She said as a drop fell on her snout. She licked it off. “We should… Wait…” She smacked her lips, then stuck out her tongue, trying to catch another raindrop.

“What are you doing?”

“Eeth thatheth…” She said, then caught a raindrop with her tongue. “Hmm! Why didn’t you tell me it rained chocolate here?”

“What?”

Izzy lifted her head to the sky and opened her mouth, catching two more raindrops. “Your rain is chocolate! This is the best city ever!”

“Chocolate? That’s not…” She then looked at her hoof, the one she had wiped her face with, and saw a small brown smudge on it. Then, against her better judgement, she copied Izzy’s motions until she caught a few raindrops with her mouth. It really was chocolate! “Whoa, this is… This is not normal.”

Looking around, ponies started discovering the more than unusual event. The foals, of course, were trying to catch as much of the strange rain as they could while their parents couldn’t decide how to react to it. But Sunny saw it in their faces. Not everypony would simply stay still and let it happen. The first rain since the return of magic, and it was chocolate? This was a serious issue, and Sunny knew she would have to close her smoothies stand for the day.

~~~~~~~~

Canterlogic was nothing like it used to be. First a factory-slash-trade center, then armory, and now the first official Pony Congress Center. The runway had been removed to allow more space for the unicorns, and some balconies had been raised for the pegasi. It still was a far cry from Phyllis’ blueprints, but they were working on it. On what used to be the heavy presentation stage stood a large table in the form of a semi-circle facing the audience with enough seats for ten ponies.

Sunny sat at the center of the table. Despite the shape, indicating that all ponies sitting were in the same level, everypony had agreed to make Sunny’s seat in the middle, since she had been the one to kickstart the change in all pony tribes and thus came to be known as the Representative of Friendship. She still didn’t feel comfortable with it, but she thought it was easier to simply accept for now. The moment they grew bored of it, she was ready to move to another seat.

Izzy sat next to her. With Alphabittle back in Bridlewood, she was the Representative of Unicorns in Maretime Bay.

Zipp arrived from one of the windows and gently lowered herself next to Izzy. As princess of Zephyr Heights and heiress to the throne, she was the obvious choice as Representative of Pegasi. She had tried to weisel her way out of it, but despite her arguments of not being cut for this sort of thing, she was, without a doubt, the most diplomatic of Sunny’s small circle of friends. It was a relief that everypony had forgiven the royal family.

Pipp, on the other hoof, had insisted on being the Congress Moderator, taking care of maintaining neutrality and keeping conflict to a minimum. She also kept repositioning the cameracolts around, trying to find the perfect angles. So far, only pegasi knew how to operate those electronic gadgets, but Sunny was expecting other races to start learning from them.

Finally, Hitch arrived at the center, accompanying Phyllis. She was the official Representative of earth ponies, but Hitch was one of the Bringers, as ponies had begun to call them, so he had as much right to sit at the table, right next to Sunny. Plus, he was the sheriff of Maretime Bay. The added authority gave earth ponies a lot of ease of mind.

Once they were all seated, with Phyllis taking the place next to Hitch, they were ready to begin. Pipp walked over the podium at the far right of the scenario, tapped on the microphone, then waved to the audience, waiting patiently for them to settle down. Once there was silence, she cleared her throat and nodded. Sunny then saw green lights appear on the cameras.

“Good morning, ponies from all around Equestria!” Pipp said. “I’m Pipp Petals, live from Maretime Bay’s Pony Congress Center. Today, at around ten fifty-two in the morning, a strange phenomenon befell the earth pony city, confusing all its residents and visitors. Why, no pony ever expected that today’s forecast would include literal chocolate rain.”

“She’s really good!” Izzy said happily, making Pipp slightly turn her head and glare at her.

Sunny put a hoof on her microphone and whispered to Izzy. “Remember to cover your mic like this, Izzy.”

Izzy grinned sheepishly, and Sunny couldn’t really be angry at her.

Pipp recovered easily with a small cough. “As this is an unheard of event, the representatives of all three pony races have gathered to discuss and propose action plans. Afterwards, we will hold a Q&A session regarding the items of the congress. Please do refrain from inquiring about personal information.” She turned to look at Sunny. “Sunny, Representative of Friendship, you have the word now.”

Sunny felt herself blush at the mention of her title. “Uh, ta-thank you, Pipp.” She then looked at the camera right in front of her. “Well, uh, so, it started raining chocolate?” Pipp smacked her face with a hoof. “It’s, uhm, it’s a very strange thing. I had a taste earlier, and I can confirm it was, indeed, chocolate.”

“Why do you think this is happening?” Zipp pitched in.

“I don’t know,” Sunny replied. “I’ve never heard of something like this. Even in my dad’s research there’s no mention of something as… crazy as this…” She pressed her lips together. Even with her dad’s research, she had been completely blind trying to unite the races. In all honesty, it had been dumb luck that anything had worked at all. And now this? How was she supposed to deal with this?

“Well, I think it’s terrific!” Izzy said. “It’s pretty tasty chocorain!”

“I don’t think it matters how good it tastes,” Phyllis countered. “We have to find a way to stop it, or at the very least come up with countermeasures. Just cleaning the streets will be a headache.”

“Not to mention the sea,” Hitch said. “How much chocolate can it take before it starts becoming a problem?”

“We also have to consider the sewage system,” Phyllis continued. “It is designed for heavy rain, but we don’t know how it’ll react to something that is more dense than simple water.”

Zipp shifted in her seat. “The chocolate is also bad for pegasi. It sticks to our feathers. We’re still learning how to fly, so it can be really dangerous if we aren’t careful.”

Once again, all eyes turned to Sunny, who gulped loudly. “Uhm… Well, so, basically, we have to think of a way to stop the rain, somehow. Or at the very least make it so it causes as little damage as possible. After that, we’ll have to figure out what’s causing it, then work from there.” When everypony nodded, Sunny felt a weight being released from her back. She turned to look at Izzy. “Izzy, in my dad’s research, there are mentions of unicorns teaming up to affect the weather of an entire city, to the point where they could force seasons to come and pass. Do you think you can do something about the chocolate rain?”

Izzy tilted her head. “Well… I don’t know. When we got our magic back, we sort of, kind of remembered how to levitate stuff.” Somepony in the audience yelled ‘bing bong’. “But not much more than that.”

“Wait a minute,” Phyllis said. “What if this event was caused by some unicorn that remembered how to make chocolate rain?”

“Uhm…”

I assure you, this is no unicorn doing.

Sunny felt every single hair in her body stand straight. That voice had sounded like it had come from all directions.

Oh my, you are so easily frightened. I suppose ponies will always be ponies.

“W-Who are you?” Sunny said. “Where are you?”

The voice laughed with the sort of evilness that Sprout always projected onto unicorns.

I am he who represents the true state of existence. I am the beginning of everything, and I am the start of the end of all things. I am both luck and chance. I am the known and the unknown. I am everywhere and nowhere. There is no need to fear me, little ponies, for I am not evil nor am I good. I simply am. In ancient times, I was called the Lord of Chaos. You can call me Discord.

When the voice stopped talking, Sunny realized she had been holding her breath. Discord. That name rang quite a few bells. Where had she read that word? But before she could begin to remember, another sound distracted her from her thoughts. Somepony was clapping, and Sunny turned to see who it was.

She felt her heart actually stop for a second when she saw the source of the clapping.

There, in the central space in front of the semi-circular table, was a yellow pegasus mare, gently clapping her front hooves. Sunny felt her four legs shake, and if she hadn’t been sitting, she would’ve fallen on her haunches already. She recognized this mare like she recognized her own face. She had gone to sleep every night wishing her sweet dreams.

The soft yellow fur, the long silk-like pink mane, the emerald green eyes, the three pink butterfly cutie mark…

“Fluttershy…” She whispered.

The yellow pegasus mare stopped clapping and gently placed both hooves down. “That was very good, Dissy,” she said. “I told you you could do it.”

Of course I could! And it was all thanks to you!

Sunny stood up and smacked her hooves on the table. “Whe-Wha…” She mouthed a few more syllables until Fluttershy looked at her with a warm smile on her face. That’s when she felt her heart rate slow to a comfortable pace and her breathing return to normal. “How?” She ended up asking.

Fluttershy’s smile was calm and motherly, but there was something else in her, something that Sunny couldn’t quite place. Something that was making her whole body tingle. And the sensation only intensified when Sunny looked into the pegasus’ eyes. They reminded her of when she and her dad had gone stargazing at night, staring in wonder at the infinite magnitude of the universe.

“It’s not a matter of ‘how’,” Fluttershy said, breaking Sunny’s stupor, “but a matter of ‘why’. You and your friends helped restore the natural flow of magic in Equestria. Thanks to that, Discord could wake up. The chocolate rain is his way of saying hi.”

You’re welcome!

“Unfortunately, restoring the flow is not enough to return Equestria to its former self,” Fluttershy continued. “Discord, for one, is barely strong enough to talk to you and to add cocoa to the rain water. That’s why I’m here. I will help you finish what you started.”

Sunny mouthed silently for a while, unable to come up with a coherent thought. Fluttershy only looked at her, patiently waiting, as if she’d known Sunny would react this way. But how could she not? This mare… She couldn’t be here! The stories her dad told her were of ancient Equestria!

“Say, uh, Sunny?” Hitch said, and Sunny flinched before looking at him. “Doesn’t she look familiar to you?”

“She’s…” Sunny began, then slowly turned to look back at the smiling mare. “Fluttershy… One of the ponies my dad’s research mentions as being one of the Guardians of Harmony.”

Hitch breathed in through his teeth. “Isn’t that kind of impossible? Because, I mean, wouldn’t that make her, what? A thousand years old?”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Fluttershy said. “I think I should explain, shouldn’t I?” She giggled sheepishly. “I’m not… quite the Fluttershy you know. About ten years after she passed away, Discord created me in her image, infusing me with her personality plus knowledge. I don’t have her memories, however.”

Sunny leaned back, feeling an odd feeling of emptiness in her stomach. “So, you’re… an avatar of some kind?”

“You could say that,” Fluttershy said.

“Oh, this is so exciting!” Izzy said, practically hopping up and down her seat. “This smells like adventure!”

“Hold on your reins, Izzy,” Zipp said, then turned to look at Fluttershy with lidded eyes. “Who is this Discord pony, and why can’t he show up and why can he make it rain chocolate? Why are you the one bringing this ‘help’ as you call it? And why didn’t you appear before to help us unite the tribes?”

Fluttershy looked at Zipp with incredible patience. “Discord is not a pony,” she said. “He’s a draconequus, a spirit that embodies an aspect of nature itself. As such, he cannot completely exist in the absence of magic. When it started disappearing, he had to put himself into a hibernating sleep of sorts. And since I was made with magic, I had to sleep as well, or I would disappear.

“It was only when you restored the flow of magic that we could recover enough power to come as we have.”

Magic is the foundation of this world, said Discord’s voice, and Sunny still felt shivers upon hearing it coming from every direction. I am a spirit, and Fluttershy here is a magical construct, and thus we need magic to live. So do most of the creatures that exist and existed in Equestria.

“Technically speaking,” Fluttershy continued, “magic was never completely gone. It is a fact, however, that it kept making itself scarce, little by little. If another century had passed without its restoration, even you ponies wouldn’t have survived.”

A wave of gasps came from the audience, and Sunny realized even she was holding her breath.

“What do you mean we wouldn’t have survived?” Phyllis demanded.

Fluttershy looked at her with pressed lips and a frown. It was incredible how she had all the small gestures of a real pony. Sunny had so many questions!

Unicorns were going to be the first ones to perish.

Another wave of gasps sounded as Fluttershy nodded slowly. “Unicorns were the most affected by the disappearance of magic. Two weeks ago, their whole city was full of depressed souls, struggling to even find the strength to go on.” She then turned to look at Izzy. “Only very few of them were still strong enough to find any motivations at all.”

Izzy smiled back at Fluttershy.

Pegasi would have been next.

Fluttershy looked at Zipp, whose wings were pressed tight against her body, as if trying to protect them. “You aren’t as magic bound as unicorns, but you are free souls that belong to the open skies. The only reason you were in a much better mood than unicorns was that you managed to develop many other different means of entertainment. Regardless, even that wouldn’t have been enough on the long run.”

Earth ponies would not survive the other races for too long, either.

Finally, Fluttershy focused her attention on Sunny again. “Even though your magic dependence is considerably lower, you are still magical creatures. According to Twilight’s calculations, you’d probably only last a century after the pegasi to follow them into extinction.”

Silence reigned the congress again as everypony considered the words that had been pronounced. Sunny still was having a hard time looking at what essentially was the ghost of one of her heroes, and now she also had to come to terms with the fact that ponykind had literally been at the brink of dying off. That was a lot to take in! And… What was it she had said?

“Wait, did you say Twilight’s calculations?” She asked.

Fluttershy nodded. “She had a tendency to plan for the worst. That was fortunate, of course, since the worst did end up happening.”

Fortunately, you and your friends managed to avoid the end of the world. Clap clap.

“Did you just say ‘clap’?” Zipp said.

I cannot physically clap.

“Yet,” Fluttershy said.

“Wait, wait, back up,” Sunny said, feeling a throbbing headache starting to form. “Do you mean The Twilight Sparkle? The Princess of Equestria?”

The last Princess of Equestria, yes. In all her sparkly buttness.

“Discord, be nice,” Fluttershy warned.

Sunny ignored the comment. “So, not only was she very real, but she predicted that magic would disappear? How?”

“Yeah,” Hitch chimed in. “Mr. Argyle said she was the most intelligent and powerful pony in Equestria. If that’s true, then how is it that she couldn’t do anything? And that taking into consideration that, apparently, the three pony tribes were living together back then!”

Fluttershy looked down and sighed. “Twilight was indeed very smart and very powerful, but she was also too forgiving and trusting. And despite her many spells and measures, she did not expect things to get so out of control. After all, who really expects an act of kindness to end so horribly wrong?”

Sunny’s ears pressed down her head. “What… What happened?”

When you’re encased in stone, you have quite a lot of free time. When you’re alone, you can do nothing but wait for the magic to wear off. But when you’re with friends? Well, turns out that friendship can be used for evil.

“A thousand years ago,” Fluttershy explained, “three creatures attempted to divide Equestria and govern everything. They almost did it, but Twilight and her friends’ efforts to truly unite every creature bore fruit and these evildoers were defeated and punished with stone imprisonment.”

“You… turned them into statues?” Zipp asked.

Fluttershy nodded. “Two of them had already been imprisoned in Tartarus itself, while the other had her kingdom issue a warrant for her arrest. Even then, those three just wouldn’t give up, so we had to take a different approach.”

Which, in the end, didn’t work either.

“They escaped?” Izzy asked, and Sunny thought she was maybe a little too excited with this.

Worse.

Fluttershy shook her head. “They tricked Twilight into releasing them.”

“What?” Sunny asked. “If they were so dangerous, what could they possibly have said to make her even consider letting them out?”

“And how did they speak if they were statues?” Hitch said.

“They made a deal with Twilight,” Fluttershy replied. “If they were released, they would leave Equestria and go even beyond the neighboring countries in separate directions, so that they wouldn’t even be together.”

Of course, Sparklebutt was not that dumb to just blindly accept.

Fluttershy nodded and cocked her head. “She placed several spells on them. One of those would prevent them from seeking each other. Another one would force them to always tell the truth. And the last one forbade them from ever stepping hoof on Equestrian soil again.”

She also gave them magical artifacts to seal their inherent magic.

“Tirek, the centaur, had an unbreakable collar. The more magic he absorbed, the closer he’d be to ending his own life,” Fluttershy explained. “Chrysallis, the changeling, was given a special horn ring that always messed up her mental image when transforming. Whenever she changed her appearance, it would always be what she’d consider the worst possible disguise.”

“What’s a changeling?” Izzy whispered to Sunny, who only shrugged.

“Finally,” Fluttershy continued. “Cozy Glow, the pony, was given wing bracers that would prevent her from flying for one day every time she did a selfish deed.”

“That all sounds pretty impressive,” Phyllis admitted. “But, if they had all these… burdens, what happened?”

The problem is that they had too much time to think when imprisoned in stone.

Fluttershy closed her eyes. “They had already thought of all the spells Twilight would cast on them, so they had already thought of countermeasures.”

“Wait,” Sunny said. “How can they think of countermeasures against magic they don’t know?”

You seem to forget, this was when magic was at its peak in Equestria.

“They had a good grasp on how to work around spells.” Fluttershy opened her eyes and nodded. “The spell that prevented them from seeking each other was completely useless, as they had already decided of a place to meet up beforehoof. And they all were very smart, so they could use the truth to sow chaos anyway. As for stepping into Equestrian soil… Well, that was also something Twilight overlooked.

“You see, they were the ones to offer they left Equestria. That means they had it planned from the beginning. Their plan was to plunge Equestria into such chaos that it would break apart in a way that no creature called it Equestria any longer.”

“That’s pretty clever,” Izzy said.

“Fortunately, ponies never stopped calling these lands Equestria, so they could never return. Unfortunately, their influence slithered deep into the hearts of ponies, and by the time Twilight realized what was going on, magic had already started to disperse.”

Sparklebutt tried her best to bring ponies together again, but there was another thing she, like her mentor before her, had overlooked.

Fluttershy finally stood up and opened her wings and spoke loud enough that her voice echoed in the room. “Ponies had become too complacent in the absence of adversity. They had taken their safety for granted after centuries of peace and prosperity. They had become so engrossed in their own personal lives that they ignored the bigger picture.”

In the end, only a small bunch of ponies took her lessons to heart. These were, of course, Sparklebutt’s closest friends and students.

“With such a low number of ponies willing to listen and so little time to fix things, Twilight took two decisions. One was an active action plan to try to bring friendship back to the hearts of ponies, the other was a backup plan in case the first one failed.”

As you can guess, the action plan did fail.

“Because she was the princess, most ponies obeyed her,” Fluttershy said. “But you can’t force friendship, so instead of ordering them to be friends, she tried to lecture them. Her many schools of friendship doubled their efforts, but ponies were simply not interested. They hadn’t experienced what unity could do to protect them, even though they knew their history.”

“So, they ignored their ruler?” Zipp asked. “Even though she’d saved them in the past?”

“As I said, these were the great-grandfoals of the ponies that had lived when friendship saved Equestria. They knew, but they didn’t really understand. Unity was just another word to them.” Fluttershy sighed. “They didn’t even care when the more magical creatures started dying because of the lack of magic.”

Sunny gasped. “Dying?”

Figuratively, of course.

Fluttershy closed her wings and looked away. “Weakened and depressed, creatures like Kirins and Changelings stopped having offspring. Dragons stopped growing and laying eggs… Even dangerous creatures like timberwolves and ursas began to disappear.”

“But, the dangers disappearing is good, right?” Hitch asked. “I mean, I don’t know what those things you said are, but…”

“With no dangers to be worried about,” Fluttershy said, “ponies became even more complacent. Why would they worry about friendship if things were sorting out on their own? Only those with magical knowledge knew what was going on, but it was too late…”

Magic could not even sustain ponykind’s greatest threat: The Windigos.

“Windigos?” Sunny asked. “I… I think my dad told me about them once.”

Fluttershy looked up at her. “Everypony you asked would tell you that the absence of Windigos was a blessing, and in normal circumstances, even Twilight would’ve agreed. But now there was no reason for ponies to even consider working together. There were no threats any more, why would they worry about old foal tales?”

And then… Twilight Sparkle fell ill.

Sunny felt cold at that statement, and one look at her friends’ faces told her they felt the same.

Fluttershy pressed her lips for a moment, trying to keep her stoic expression. “As an alicorn, Twilight embodied the traits of all three races, and was the most powerful pony alive.”

She could even go toe to toe with me!

“So she, with the other alicorns, was the first pony to be affected by the lack of magic,” Fluttershy said. “By the time the Crystal Empire fell, Twilight and her niece Flurry Heart were the only alicorns alive. Discord was so weak that he could barely even turn oranges into tennis balls.”

Not my best moment, I admit.

“So, the back up plan needed to be set in motion.” Fluttershy sat on her haunches and looked at the ponies sitting at the table. “Twilight used her own essence to create the Crystals of Unity. Their purpose was to slow down the disappearance of magic long enough for ponies to come to reason. Her students took one crystal each and set to convince the rest of ponykind of the importance of unity and friendship.”

“But it didn’t work, did it?” Zipp asked.

Fluttershy shook her head. “The most they did was to keep ponies together, but as soon as they passed away, the races quickly began drifting apart. The Crystals became forgotten and used as simple jewelry or even tossed away in the forest. Only the earth pony crystal was kept as a research object, but its purpose was soon forgotten as well, and it ended up as a filly’s toy.”

Sunny felt a stab to the chest. Her dad hadn’t known about it… It wasn’t his fault!

“But, then…” Izzy said. “If the crystals were there to stop the disappearance of magic, why did they do the rainbow thingy that got back the magic?”

Fluttershy smiled at her. “Because Friendship is Magic. When you finally realized that the only way to bring magic back was to work together, the crystals reacted as a sort of gateway for the flow to come back to the world.”

“And why did they give me the weird, glowy horn and wings?” Sunny asked.

Fluttershy’s smile only grew at that. “You will know the answer to that as soon as all magic is restored. Discord and I are here to guide you, to tell you what must be done. All sorts of magical creatures will start to pop up again, so you will want to be prepared.”

“Magical creatures like this Discord pony that makes it rain chocolate?” Phyllis asked.

Touché.

Zipp stood up and leaned over with her wings spread. “And how do we know you’re not one of those evildoers that tried to destroy Equestria? How do we know you’re not just deceiving us?”

I could have made it rain fire.

“Discord!” Fluttershy said. “That’s really mean!”

Well, we can’t prove we’re the good guys, so, you have two options. Either you trust us and return magic to the world, or you don’t, and magic will eventually start disappearing again.

“He has a point,” Izzy said. “I vote to go on an adventure!”

“We don’t even know what we’re supposed to do,” Hitch said. “But sure, let’s at least listen, then we’ll decide.”

Zipp sat down and buffed. “Alright, what do we have to do?”

Fluttershy nodded. “North of Zephyr Heights, in the middle of the desert, there’s an oasis…”

“Yeah, the Heart of the Brave,” Zipp said. “That’s where we host the coronation for the new queen.”

“You cross the desert for that?” Sunny asked.

Zipp raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, the pilgrimage is part of the ritual.”

“Bring the three crystals to the Heart of the Brave,” Fluttershy said. “You will know what to do then.”

“Wait, that’s it?” Hitch said. “Can’t you tell us what we can expect or something? Is there a time limit?”

“There’s no time limit,” Fluttershy said. “Not one that you can fathom, anyway. But, if you want to see Equestria back to its former glory, then you should make haste. Discord and I need to go back to sleep. If we stay up for another ten minutes, we will run out of magic.”

That said, Fluttershy’s body started emitting a golden glow, and her whole body soon became translucid.

“Wait!” Sunny said a little too loudly, as the feedback from the mic produced a horrible screech. “I… I know you’re not the real Fluttershy, but… I just want you to know how much you mean to me. You and your friends…” Her voice began shaking, tears formed in the corner of her eyes. “When my dad passed away… It… It was you, or the memory of you, that kept me going… So… Thank you. Thank you so much…”

Fluttershy gave her a small smile and nodded before she disappeared.

Sunny leaned back, using her foreleg to brush off the tears. She felt Izzy place a hoof on her shoulder, and she appreciated the contact.

“Well…” Pipp said, getting everypony’s attention. “That, uh… That was the reason of the chocolate rain.” She placed a hoof against her ear and nodded. “They tell me it just stopped. With this in mind, we’re going to take a small recess of fifteen minutes.”

The cameracolts signaled that they had cut the feed, and she rushed towards the table.

“Sunny, are you ok?”

Sunny nodded. “Yes, I… I’m sorry for crying. I just…”

“It’s ok, Sun-Sun,” Izzy said. “We understand.”

“So,” Hitch said. “Are we going to go to that Heart of the Brave place?”

Zipp hummed. “I think it’s worth a shot. The place’s been used by pegasi for generations, so there shouldn’t be anything dangerous there.”

“Alright,” Sunny said with a sniff. “Let’s have a break and then talk about it.” She glanced at Izzy for a moment and smiled. “But I’m in for the adventure.”

Author's Note:

Hi! I'm looking for a proofreader to help me with this story! I need someone who can:

  • Spot any grammar or spelling mistakes.
  • Highlight and explain lack of coherent phrasing.
  • Help with brainstorming ideas, suggestions, discusion, opinions, etc.
  • Perform as a snarky commentator when needed.

I always write my stories on Google Docs first to help with editing, and I'm open for contact through Skype or Discord. I mainly want a friendly face to rant at and that can tell me when an idea is maybe too ludicrous.

If you're interested, send me a DM :3 If not, then I'll accept a comment or two every now and then!