• Published 5th Aug 2022
  • 419 Views, 66 Comments

The Equestria Chronicles: Chaotic Preparations - Slippin_Sweetie

After being altered by the Cutie Map, our heroes must take the laborious task of preparing for a very long road ahead of them. But even getting on the road will prove to be a challenge.

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Entering The Everfree Forest

Twilight crossed into the Everfree forest; the shadowy maze of vines and twisted trees still made her uneasy. Strange and unusual things were common in the forest, so it wouldn’t be too odd if her enemy hid there.

“Maybe I should talk to Zecora….” Pondered Twilight as she crossed a murky stream; the distant howl of the Timber Wolves caused the Alicorn to quickly pick up the pace as she’d begun galloping toward Zecora’s hut. She’d soon break through the wooden doors as she promptly slammed the door behind her.

Zecora looked up from her cauldron, “Greetings, Twilight Sparkle; what brings you here? Was it the howling of the Timber Wolves that brought you in fear?”

“Well, they certainly motivated me to come here faster.” Chuckled Twilight; she’d slowly approached the cauldron, “Potion or lunch?”

“Lunch.” Replied Zecora as she slowly looked up at Twilight, “You draw ever near, so what brings you here?”

Twilight, once she realized the cauldron was full of a soup or stew, she knelt to smell; it had a rich earthy scent with an aroma of herbal seasonings; she would’ve had some if it wasn’t for the urgency of her situation,
“I’m looking for someone; I have evidence to believe a unicorn was living in the Everfree forest.”

“If it is a unicorn you are looking for, then perhaps I could help you more.” Suggested Zecora.

Twilight smiled warmly at her friend’s offer, “That’d mean a lot, thank you, but I must warn you, this unicorn is no friend of mine; I guess you could call her my arch nemesis....” She would’ve chuckled if it wasn’t for the reality of things.

Out of all the people to be her arch nemesis, someone who'd be bent on revenge and her destruction. She would’ve never thought it’d be somepony like Starlight Glimmer. Not Discord, Terik, or Chrysalis, but somepony from a little town chose out of the blue; if it weren’t for the magic of the Cutie Map, the two would’ve been unaware of each other existence for the rest of their lives.

“Then we must make haste if we are to find her hiding place. I hope she is around so that we can find any trouble that must be found.” Zecora said as she blew out the cauldron’s flame with a puff of her breath.

“Right, let’s go.” Twilight opened the door with her magic before stepping outside into the forest once again as Zecora joined her. Together, they would capture Starlight, bring her to justice, and save the fillies from her magical spell.

Starlight organized her supplies neatly, taking everything she needed into account. Gingerly writing a list as she examined her goods and mentally tallied everything she had while scribbling down the exact number of food, water, and lantern oil she had.

“Two bags of grain, one bag of oats, ten cans of canned fruit, and two water canteens with about a gallon of water in total.” She’d quickly scowl at the small amount of water she had, “I wish this dump of a town actually sold worthwhile gear, a gallon of water? Seriously? When I’ll be traveling through Saddle Arabia.” Groaned Starlight.

A loud snap echoed through the forest as Starlight leaped to her hooves and quickly scanned the treeline, readying her magic as her horn glowed green, “Hello?” Called Starlight, who was met with silence; she’d squint as she scanned the trees again.

She would not make the same mistake of lowering her guard in this forest. Not when there are Timber Wolves on the prowl.

Zecora quickly gestured for Twilight to shush, pressing her hoof against her mouth as Twilight awkwardly shrugged and smiled back at Zecora. Leaning to the left, she’d looked past the tree she hid behind to observe Starlight before quickly hiding behind the tree again.

Twilight gestured for Zecora to approach before whispering, “Okay, I have a plan….you approach her and talk to her while I use a possession spell to trap her with vines.”

Zecora sighed before nodding, slowly moving from behind the tree as she approached Starlight, “Beware! Beware! If you smell death in the air, you are near the TImber Wolves’ lair!”

Starlight quickly turned around, “Get back; who are you?!”

Zecora stood on her hind legs as she waved her front legs around, “I am the…specter of this forest, I am it’s…protector?” Zecora dubiously claimed.

Starlight shot daggers from her eyes as she’d scoff, “Yeah, right, and I’m Princess Celestia. Why don’t you get lost? I have crucial things to do!”

Twilight moved from the tree as she directed her magic toward the nearby tree roots near Starlight, as she’d quickly possessed and controlled them, snaking them toward Starlight. The unicorn soon noticed the roots coming toward her as she aimed her horn at the plants and fired a beam of magic, destroying the roots.

She’d slowly turn back to Zecora, “Was that you? Well, I didn’t think zebra’s could use a possession spell, not bad for an obvious beginner; maybe I should give you some pointers.” Starlight said coldly as her horn glowed with magic.

Dozens of roots and vines began to crawl toward Zecora. The zebra didn’t hesitate, breaking into a full sprint as she ran past Twilight, “Twilight Sparkle, it is time to make haste, for this is not a very safe place!” Warned Zecora.

Twilight leaned past the tree to see the dozens of plants racing toward her, her eyes widening at the terrifying sight. The Alicorn then used a similar spell of her own, aiming her horn at the untamed plant life, and quickly blasted it with her magic, destroying the vines.

Starlight squinted, recognizing the purple glow of Twilight’s magic as she saw Twilight standing a few yards away from her, “Twilight Sparkle! My ‘good friend,’ what a pleasant surprise!”

“You crossed the line, Starlight; it’s one thing to convince somepony to give up their Cutie Mark, but to use your removal spell on three fillies who didn’t have a Cutie Mark and take away their personality and passion for doing anything? Now that’s too far!” Hissed Twilight.

“Oh, I’m sorry, did I hurt your feelings, Twilight Sparkle? Maybe we can dance and sing a little song that’ll make us the best of friends!” Mocked Starlight.

“We’ll never be friends.” Spat Twilight.

“I thought you were the ‘Princess of Friendship,’ at least there’s one thing we agree on….” Glared Starlight.

Starlight fired a beam of magic from her horn before being met with Twilight’s own burst of magic. As beams of purple and green collided and crashed into one another, creating a dazzling display of light and magic.

The mare’s grunted and forced all of their energy into each other’s spells before finally collapsing into the muddy ground beneath them.

“Had…enough?” Panted Starlight

“I’m….” huffed Twilight, “Just getting started!”

The sorcerers rose to their hooves before readying another magical flurry of attacks. Still, before another duel could commence, the thundering howl of the Timber Wolves rocked the earth beneath their hooves. As the fowl scent of rotting wood and death filled the air.

Twilight panicked, forgetting Starlight was in front of her, leaving her vulnerable. Starlight seized the opportunity as she quickly fired a paralyzing spell, striking Twilight and sending her into the mud. The Alicorn groaned as she attempted to get up, but instead of rising to her hooves, she grunted as she tried to move her legs.

“So long, Twilight Sparkle; if it’s any consolidation, you’ll make a great meal for the Timber Wolves!” Cackled Starlight as she quickly collected her supplies and galloped into the tree line. Disappearing from Twilight’s line of sight.

Moments later, the scent of rot and death became unbearable as she saw the Timber Wolves claw through the nearby tree line from the corner of her eye. The savage beasts drew near as the pack began to circle her. Twilight whimpered as she quickly cried for help, “Zecora! Anypony, help me!”

A small pouch would fly through the treeline opposite of them, not a second later as smoke erupted around them. A shadowy figure galloped toward Twilight before forcing her up. Twilight could barely move her head enough to see that it was Zecora shoving and pushing her away from the Timber Wolves.

Barely escaping with their lives, the pair quickly returned to Zecora’s hut, where Twilight was forced to drink a potion to cure her stiff muscles. The bitter taste of Zecora’s potion couldn’t compare to the bitter defeat given by Starlight Glimmer.