• Published 28th Jun 2012
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A New Hero - Alex The Lone Wolf



What if there was another pony who joined the pony gang? (Look at longer description...)

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Applebuck Season

Episode 4 – Applebuck Season

I immediately fell off my bed. Everything was shaking. I tried to grab hold on whatever I could find.

What was happening?

"STAMPEDE!" I heard outside. It sounded like Rainbow Dash.

I immediately rushed outside to find out what was happening. When I raced out my front door, every pony was crashing into each other, all yelling "Stampede!" Ponies were closing their windows and locking their doors.

I looked around and saw Pinkie Pie, who was the only one not panicking. "Hey...!" She laughed. "Thiiis maaakes myyy voooice sooound siiilly!"

"Pinky Pie, are you crazy?" I heard Twilight announce from the other side of the road. "RUN!"

"Every pony calm down, there is no need to panic!" The mayor alerted outside.

"But, mayor! Whatever shall we do?" Rarity responded dramatically.

"Look there!" Rainbow Dash cried.

She pointed across the river to where the large stampede of cows was rushing towards us.

"YEEEHAW!" cried Applejack in the middle of the group.

When the ponies saw her, they began cheering for her to save us. Applejack began rounding them up and collecting them in a straight and narrow line.

While the other ponies could only watch, Pinkie Pie, holding a bag of popcorn, exclaimed, "This is the best rodeo show I've ever seen!" She stuffed her face in the bag of popcorn.

Applejack then pushed some cows to the side, jumped on one of them, and then lassoed the leader of the group. She pulled hard on the rope in order to change their direction to run along the river instead, all while cheering on.

The ponies cheered once again. Applejack pulled on the rope until the stampede came to a complete stop. She had a short conversation with cows until they finally returned back to where they belonged. The rest of the ponies continued cheering.

"Yee haw! Ride 'em, cowpony!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed while trying to be like Applejack.

I sighed and walked over to where the mayor, Twilight, and Rarity stood.

"Applejack was just… just…" The mayor said.

"APPLE-TASTIC!" Pinky Pie finished for her.

"Exactly! We must do something to thank Applejack for single-hoofedly saving the town." The mayor added.

"I know…" Pinkie Pie began. "A PARTY!"

Soon the whole town began getting the festivities ready.

Twilight saw me. "Hey… Did the Stampede wake you up?"

"Definitely." I replied, rubbing my head.

"Good thing we have Applejack here!" Twilight smiled.

"Yeah… Pinkie Pie is throwing another party?"

"Yup! Want to help?"

"Sure."

"Alright, we'll you can help Rarity and I put up streamers. Is that okay?"

"No problem."

"Okay! Let's get started!"

I retrieved a part of streamers from Pinkie Pie and Rarity, Twilight, and I started placing them up together. When we finished, Twilight and I walked over to Rarity, who had just finished placing the last bow.

"We all ready?" Twilight asked.

"Just one last thing…" Rarity responded. She picked up a banner decorated with Applejack's symbols with her magic and placed it on top of a building. "Now, we're ready."

"Is Applejack all set?"

"Actually…" Rainbow Dash joined the conversation. "I haven't seen her at all."

"Not since the Stampede this morning." Pinkie Pie added.

"But she'll be here for sure!" Rainbow Dash said in confidence. "Applejack is NEVER late!"

Moments later, everyone gathered up in front of a podium. Twilight came up on the stage and used her magic to grab and sort index cards she was to use for the speech.

"Welcome every pony!" She began. "Today we are here to honor a pony we can always count on to help in matters great and small. A pony whose contributions to—

"DID YOU SEE Applejack's slick moves out there? WHAT an ATHLETE. This week she's gonna help me with my new flying trick, and I know it's gonna be so AWESOME." Rainbow Dash immediately interrupted.

"EXACTLY!" Twilight regained control of her speech. "And…"

She lost it to Pinkie Pie now. "This week, I get to run SugarCube Corner for the first time!"

"…What does that have to do with Applejack?" Twilight questioned her.

"OH! Applejack, one of the best bakers EVER, is gonna help me. Applejack makes everything great, so free samples for every pony!"

"Okay…that's great." Twilight pushed Pinkie Pie gently out of the way. "Now if I could just make a point without being inter—

"Twilight…" I saw Fluttershy slowly creep out of the stage.

"—rupted…"

Fluttershy took the podium and began talking. "Twilight, I'm so sorry, but I just wanted to mention that Applejack is also helping me this week with the official bunny census, where we count up all the new baby bunnies that were born this season. She's gonna help gather them using her wonderful herding skills."

Fluttershy saw the annoyed look on Twilight's face and slowly backed out.

"Anyone else…? Anyone…?" Twilight announced, but silence replied to her. "No? Well then, as I was trying to say…" Twilight noticed the mayor excitedly waiting to take the podium. "UGH! Never mind!" She threw her index cards all over the place. Twilight had walked over to where I was standing while the mayor was about to give her next speech. She had her arms crossed and an annoyed face.

"Sorry about that…" I said.

The mayor took the stand and announced, "Ah-ahem. And so, with no further ado, it is my privilege to give the prize, Pony of Ponyville Award, to our beloved guest of honor, a pony of the utmost trustworthiness, reliability, and integrity. Ponyville's most capable and dependable friend: Applejack!" The mayor pointed to the curtain that just opened while every pony cheered.

Although, Applejack wasn't behind the curtain… everyone gasped. Spike didn't seem to notice…

"Cool! Way to go Applejack, that was awesome! I mean- heh." Spike exclaimed, embarrassed afterwards.

The mayor cleared her throat while Spike reminded every pony how awkward the scene was.

Suddenly, we heard Applejack's voice. "I'M HERE! I'M HERE!" She was walking towards the trophy with a back full of apples, which at the same time fell one by one as she bumped in to every pony. She yawned and continued talking. "Sorry I'm late-whoa-I was just... Did I get your tail?" She walked over to the stand and took control. "Miss Mayor. Thank you kindly for this here... award thingy." She continued yawning. "It's so bright and shiny and, heh, heh heh, I sure do look funny heh. Ooo-ooo. "

Pinkie Pie joined her in the awkward situation. Regardless, Twilight walked up to the stage. "Okay…Well, thank you Applejack for saving us from that scary stampede, and always being there for every pony."

Applejack yawned loudly again and spoke. "Yeah. I like helping the pony folks and…" She yawned once again… "and stuff…" For a few seconds she had fallen asleep. "Oh, uh, yeah. Uh, Thanks."

Applejack grabbed the trophy with her teeth and dragged it all the way back where she came from.

It was silent for a moment until Twilight finally spoke. "Was it just me, or did Applejack seem a little—

"Tired?" Rainbow Dash offered.

"Dizzy?" Fluttershy added.

"Messy?" Rarity said. We looked at her awkwardly. "Well did you SEE her mane?"

Pinkie Pie offered her opinion. "Well she seemed fine to me. Whoo! Whoo!"

"Hm…" Twilight said.

"She looked like she hadn't had any sleep… I think that's what her problem is… for some reason…" I suggested.

"We better go find out before anything gets worse." Twilight responded. "C'mon, Alex."

I nodded and followed her. I guess we were the only ones who were going to check up on her.

When we arrived to her farm, we saw her bucking apple trees for the apples to fall down into the buckets below the trees. However, she was having trouble trying to stay awake. From the lack of sleep, she wasn't concentrating right on her duties.

"What on earth is that pony doing?" Twilight asked.

"It's the lack of sleep… she can't concentrate on anything…" I responded.

Twilight looked at Applejack. "Hey! Applejack!"

Applejack stopped for a moment and fell asleep.

"Applejack!" Twilight called again. Applejack still didn't budge. "Applejack!" No Answer.

Twilight used her magic to teleport right in front of Applejack and called her name even louder. Applejack finally shook her head and looked at Twilight.

"Oh, howdy Twilight." Applejack greeted. She noticed me standing near her. "Howdy, Alex."

"What IS all this?" Twilight questioned.

Applejack began walking.

"It's Applebuck season."

Twilight teleported in front of Applejack again, just as she finished kicking another tree, causing more apples to fall to their buckets. "Applewhat Season?"

I kept up with them if they started to move around.

"It's what the Apple family calls harvestin' time. We gather all the apples from the trees so we can sell 'em." Applejack continued to walk, which caused Twilight to continuously teleport.

"But, why are you doing it all alone?" Twilight asked.

"'cause Big Macintosh hurt himself."

"What about all those relatives I've met when I first came to Ponyville? Can't they help?"

Applejack sighed. "They were just here for the Apple family reunion. They actually live all over Equestria and are busy harvestin' their own orchards. So, uh, I'm on my own."

Twilight teleported in front of Applejack again, but didn't budge. " Which means, I should really get back to work. Ahem..."

Twilight stood her ground. Applejack tried to persuade her. " hint hint...? Get back to work?"

"Fine…" She moved out of the way.

"Could you step aside, Twilight?" Applejack asked.

"I just did. Applejack, you don't look so good."

"Eh, don't any a' you three worry none, I'm just fine and dandy. Whoa." Applejack said as she missed another tree.

Twilight teleported once again and asked, "Do you want some help?"

"Help? No way, no how."

"But there's no way you can do it all on your own." Twilight made a point.

"Is that a challenge?" Applejack asked aggressively.

"Uhm…no?"

"Well, I'm gonna prove t' you that I can do it! Now if you'll EXCUSE me, I've got apples to buck." Applejack continued to walk.

I walked over to Twilight and she looked at me. "Any ideas?"

"I could try to talk some sense into her… but I don't think it will make any difference…"

"Better than nothing… you should go try."

I nodded and walked over to Applejack, who was still bucking trees. She noticed me and spoke again.

"I told Twilight that I need t' work!"

"Yeah, I know… but you haven't slept at all, have you?"

"Noo, sir. I here have been working nonstop, since the last time I…uh…went to sleep."

"You need to rest, Applejack. Why don't you let Twilight and I help you out while you go get some rest. Then you can come back when you feel better?"

"I said… I don't want any help!"

"Applejack…"

She continued to buck trees, missing a lot of them.

"No luck…?" Twilight asked.

I shook my head.

Twilight sighed. "We should get back to town… I don't think we can do anything else to help…"

"Alright."

We walked over to her home.

"Here, come inside." She said.

I did and looked around. The whole place was like a huge library with many books on different shelves.

"I suppose I'll just read until something can be done. Make yourself at home." Twilight welcomed me.

"Thanks…" I replied.

However I leaned on the railing over the balcony while Twilight lay on the ground reading a book. Twilight noticed my silence as I just stared outside.

"Is something bothering you?"

I sighed. "I guess… I'm just worried about Applejack… she shouldn't be working… she needs help."

"I understand, Alex… but what can be done?"

I started thinking… I tried to think of something we can do, but at the moment, nothing came. We certainly don't want to force her to do anything… so…

In the middle of my thoughts, I heard a loud yell and something flew right at me. It was Rainbow Dash and she crashed right on the railing in front of me, causing me to fall back.

"Alex? Are you alright!" She asked.

"Yeah…" I rubbed my head.

She looked over to Rainbow Dash, leaning over the railing, tired. "Can I help you…?"

"I think some pony else needs your help…" Rainbow Dash replied, sounding disoriented.

"Applejack?" Twilight answered.

"Yup!" Rainbow Dash knocked out.

Twilight sighed and stood up, closing her book. "C'mon Alex."

"Where are you going?" I asked, getting up.

"Making another trip…" She replied.

And thus, we ended up in the valley of apple trees again.

We saw Applejack buck a tree and try to grab the apple that fell with her teeth, but she hit the back of her head from a branch that stood out.

"Applejack, can we talk?" Twilight asked.

Applejack ears twitched and she stood silent for a moment. "CAN BEES SQUAWK? I DON'T THINK SO!" She yelled loudly.

"No! Can we TALK."

"TWENTY STALKS? BEAN OR CELERY?"

"NO! I need to TALK to YOU!"

"YOU NEED TO WALK TO THE ZOO? WELL, WHO'S STOPPING YOU?"

"I NEED to TALK to YOU!"

"OH! WELL WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY SO? WHAT YOU WANNA TALK ABOUT?"

"Rainbow Dash dropped in to see me today!"

"THAT'S QUITE NEIGHBORLY OF HER!"

"Yes, except that she crashed onto my balcony after YOU launched her into the air!"

Applejack finally lowered her voice. "Oh, yeah. I wasn't feeling quite myself this morning."

"Because you're working TOO HARD and YOUNEED HELP." Twilight stressed emphasis.

"WHAT? KELP? I don't need kelp. I don't even like seaweed."

"HELP! YOUNEED HELP!"

"Nothin' doin', Twilight. I'm gonna prove to you, t'everypony, that I can do this ON MY OWN."She bumped herself from a tree branch. "Ow! Now if you'll EXCUSE me, I've gotta go help Pinkie Pie."

"Ugh!" Twilight sounded frustrated enough.

"Twilight, maybe you should go rest, yourself. I can try to keep talking her out of working so hard." I suggested.

"Thanks for the offer, Alex…but I can't rest until I know she stops working…"

"What do you suppose we do?" I asked.

"I have no clue… but we better think of something soon…"

We walked back to Twilight's home, but before we could think of a plan, Spike came running in, shouting in panic to Twilight. "TWILIGHT! TWILIGHT!"

"What? What is it?" Twilight asked.

"There are a bunch of ponies sick down at the clinic!"

From that, we raced down to the nurse and she opened the curtain to many ponies that were green-faced and having buckets. All of them were groaning and moaning in pain.

"Oh no! What happened?" Twilight asked.

"It was a mishap of the baked goods!" The nurse answered.

"No… not baked goods!" Pinkie Pie was among the sick ponies. "Baked bads!"

"Applejack…" Twilight announced.

However, we saw Spike eating one of the bad muffins that made the ponies sick.

"Want one?" Spike asked.

"Ew! Spike! Get that away from me! I don't want to get sick too!" Twilight responded.

"Fine! More for me!" He chomped another bite of the muffin.

"We have to go tell Applejack that she's hurting ponies by working too hard!" Twilight told me as Spike continued to eat the bad muffins.

I nodded and we raced toward Apple acres… once again…

We had just made it to see Applejack upside down with a cart she was using to load apples into a bucket.

"Applejack… we need to talk…" Twilight said.

"Whoa, huh? Oh, it's you, Twilight. I know what you're gonna say, but the answer is still NO."

"Not to upset your applecart, but you NEED help."

"Hardy Har." She struggled with her own situation. "No I don't."

"Here, let us help." Twilight offered.

"Help? No thanks." She continued to struggle with the cart. "A little more... Little... There." She managed to get herself unstuck. "I'll prove that this apple can handle THESE apples. Come on apples…" She continued to kick the tree, but failed. "FALL OFF!"

"AJ, I think you're beating a dead... tree."

Applejack looked up and noticed that all the branches on the tree were bare.

"I knew that…"

Applejack continued walked, forcing us to walk behind her.

"Actually Applejack…" Twilight started. "I had something else to talk to you about. I just came back from Ponyville Urgent Care and—

"You know, I'm a little busy to get lectured right now, Twilight." Applejack immediately interrupted Twilight.

"But if you'd just let us help—

"UGH!" Applejack groaned. "No, NO, NO! How many times do I gotta say it? I don't need no help from no pony!"

"Ugh. That pony is stubborn as a mule." Twilight told me.

"You got that right…" I replied.

We heard something behind us and caused us to turn around.

"No offense." Twilight told the mule.

"None taken." The mule replied.

"So what's the plan now?" I asked, tired.

Twilight sighed. "Well, I guess I'll take you up on the offer Alex, I don't think I can take anymore of this…"

"Alright let's go to town then…again…"

We both sighed and walked over to town … something worse happened to town by the time we came back...

We saw ponies lying on the ground.

"The horror, the horror!"

"It was AWFUL!"

"A disaster! A horrible, HORRIBLE disaster!"

There was silence for a moment. "I don't get it…" Twilight told me.

I was about to shrug but then we began hearing more cries.

"Our gardens, destroyed!"

"Every last flower, devoured!"

" By... by... THEM!" One of the ponies toward a hurricane of bunnies ruining everything.

Fluttershy was with the bunnies, trying to softly persuade them into leaving with her. "Oh my. Oh... Please stop, little bunnies. Oh no! Please, let's go home. Oh my goodness." They didn't move a muscle.

"Alright. Enough is enough!" Twilight placed her foot down.

We raced over to Applejack's farm to see her trying to buck a tree while gasping for air between each word she muttered.

"Alright, Applejack. Your applebucking hasn't just caused YOU problems, it's over-propelled Pegasus', practically poisoned plenty of ponies, and terrorized bushels of brand new bouncing baby bunnies. I don't care what you say, you. Need. Help."

Applejack gave one last kick to the tree, causing apples to fall in her basket.

"Ha! No I don't. Look, ah did it. I harvested the entire Sweet Apple Acres without your help. How d'ya like them apples?"

Surprisingly, I did not notice Big Macintosh appear next Applejack. "Um, how do YOU like THEM apples?" He pointed towards another pile of trees waited to be harvested.

Applejack began to mumble. "Where'd all the apple...?" She continued mumbling until she passed out.

Twilight began calling her name, trying to wake her up again. "Applejack. Applejack."

She woke up. "Huh?" She looked exhausted.

"Oh, good, you're okay. Now Applejack, I completely respect the Apple family ways. You're always there to help any pony in need, so maybe you can put a little of your stubborn pride aside and allow your friends to help you?"

Applejack looked at all the trees and closed her eyes. "Okay, Twilight…"

"I am not taking "no" for an answer—what?" Twilight replied, thinking Applejack would still decline the offer.

"Yes, Twilight. Yes. Please. I could really use your help." Applejack was even begging now.

Twilight laughed and sighed.

"Alex, stay here and help Applejack. I'm going to get the others."

"Alright." I replied.

Twilight ran off. I helped Applejack get up from the floor and walk her to her home.

"Thank you mighty, Alex. You are very kind." Applejack told me as I helped her home.

"It's no problem." I replied.

"I'm very glad to have you as my friend." Applejack smiled weakly.

She surprised me. I continued walking, but I wasn't paying attention, I focused on what she had said...that she was really glad to have me… as her friend…

"Is something wrong, Alex?" Applejack asked.

I shook my head and snapped out of it. "No, I'm alright." I placed her on a comfortable chair in her living room.

"Thank you, ugh."

"Need me to get you anything, Applejack?" I asked.

"I'm fine, thank you." Applejack responded. "Hey, Alex?"

"Hm?"

"Is it alright, if I ask you a question?"

"Sure…"

"How come, I've never seen you smile?"

I felt as if she had bucked an apple straight to my heart. She didn't hurt me… but… it was just something I never really expected to hear… It's true… I never smile… I've never smiled… I don't even remember the last time I have…

"I…" I couldn't really say anything… It was silent for a while…

"I… I don't know…"

"Alex…?"

I wanted to change the subject. "Listen, I should get going. Twilight and the others are probably there, and I should go help them. Just stay here and rest up." I said quickly.

Applejack didn't say anything, but she looked worried.

I walked out the door and looked around. I saw Twilight coming with the other ponies. She walked over to me.

"Hey there! Where's Applejack?" Twilight asked.

"She's inside resting." I replied.

"Oh, ok." She noticed my face. "Something wrong?"

"No, I'm fine." I nervously said. "Let's get to work."

She hesitated for a moment, but she agreed. We all worked on different parts of the trees. Some of the ponies worked together to get the apples down.

"Twilight, do you need any help?" I asked.

"No, thanks. With magic, this is super easy!" She used her magic to grab all the apples of many trees combined and placed them in huge baskets.

Wow… that's great. I don't mean it sarcastically…

"Alright, then…"

I turned around and saw Fluttershy in the distance. She was flying, picking apples and placing them in her basket. I could help her… besides… I kind of wanted to see her after I left last night… I walked over to her.

"Hey Fluttershy…"

"Oh, hi Alex." She stopped picking apples to see me.

"Do you need any help?" I asked.

"Sure!" She smiled. "Could you grab one of those big buckets and have them ready for when the apples fall down?"

"Of course." I did as she asked me and had them under where ever the apples fell.

Fluttershy and I continued working together until the sun began setting.

"How about y'all take a little break? I got some fine apple juice waitin' for ya!" I heard Applejack from over at the barn. She had a table with several drinks of apple juice. We all walked over to Applejack.

"Girls…" She looked over to me. "And Alex…, I can't thank you enough for this help. I was acting a bit stubborn."

"A BIT?" Twilight replied.

"Okay. A might' stubborn, and I'm awful sorry. Now, I know the town gave me the Prized Pony award…, but the real award is having you six as my friends."

We started drinking our apple juice.

"Phew! That applebucking sure made me hungry!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed.

Spike had walked over here and offered us a "snack". "And I've got the perfect treat!" He showed us the bad muffins that made every pony sick.

"Eeew... Spike, I threw those all away." Pinkie Pie flinched as Spike had them in front of her face. "Where'd you get them?"

"From the trash." Spike replied.

Everyone made disgusted faces and shouted "EW!".

"Just a little nibble? Come on." Spike encouraged.

However, every pony declined his offer with disgust.

Applejack offered us her apple treats to settle our hunger. She, and her sister Applebloom, made us delicious treats.

"Mmm! Applejack, these are great!" Twilight exclaimed.

"Aw shucks, nothing to it!" Applejack replied with a wink.

"Spike, take a note, please." Twilight asked, looking over to Spike.

Spike brought out his writing utensils.

"Dear Princess Celestia," Twilight began. "My friend Applejack is the best friend a pony could ever have, and she's always there to help any pony. The only trouble is, when she needs help, she finds it hard to accept it, so while friendship is about giving of ourselves to friends, it's also about accepting what our friends have to offer. Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle."

Spike sent the letter.

"How bout a toast... TO FRIENDSHIP!" Applejack exclaimed.

"TO FRIENDSHIP!" Every pony cheered, smacking their apple juice together and laughing.

After everyone one finished their treats, they all said their goodbyes and thank yous. Before Twilight left with Spike, she came over to me.

"Thanks Alex for accompanying me the whole time." She said with a smile. "Sorry, if it was a bother."

"No its okay… I'm glad to help." I responded.

She smiled and waved goodbye.

I exited out of the house to find Fluttershy waiting outside. She spotted me and walked over to me.

"Hi, Alex."

"Hey Fluttershy…"

Her eyes shifted around as she began moving her leg on the ground, shyly.

"I was wondering… if you wanted to help me feed my baby bunnies…"

It was almost dark out, but for some reason… I wanted to do this…

"Okay." I replied.

"Really?" Her eyes grew with soft excitement.

I nodded my head.

"Let's go!"

She led me to the outside of her home, which lay many more homes for different kinds of animals.

"So… how many animals do you have here, Fluttershy?" I asked.

"I have so many! I have chickens, bunnies, butterflies, squirrels, birds— she looked towards me and then blushed a little. "Well… you know… a lot…"

She walked me over to where the baby bunnies were, but they weren't in sight.

"Where are they?" I asked.

"They're just hiding under the trees. You have to call them very gently, so they won't get scared." She flew over to where the bunnies were hiding and called out to them very soft and gentle. "C'mon baby bunnies, its feeding time… it's time to come out."

They slowly crept out, looking at Fluttershy.

"There you go…" She began feeding them the food she had retrieved earlier. When they started nibbling it, she slowly petted them.

"Do you want to try, Alex?" She asked.

"Okay…"

She handed me the food and led me to another tree where more baby bunnies were hiding.

I looked at her and she nodded at me.

"Here…baby bunnies…there's some…delicious treats for you…" Despite my struggle with speaking sweet and soft, several small baby bunnies poked out and looked at me.

"There you go… nothing to be afraid of… I just have some food for you…" I continued encouraging.

They sniffed the air for a moment and slowly lurked out. Finally, they seemed to get used to me and began nibbling on the treats I gave them.

"That was great, Alex…" Fluttershy spoke.

I looked over to her, analyzing her soft and sweet smile. The feeling inside me started coming back… it felt… nice…

After a moment of silence, Fluttershy blushed. "I guess I should go to bed now… It's getting really late…" She said as she looked out to the star-filled night sky.

"Alright then…" I replied.

"Maybe we could… um… hang out… tomorrow…? Well… if you want to…" Fluttershy offered.

"…That sounds great." I responded, feeling the unknown feeling grow a little more.

Fluttershy smiled. "Okay, then. Goodnight, Alex."

"Night…"

She returned to her home.

I began walking home; thinking about this feeling that was slowly growing inside of me. The feeling felt really nice, I didn't really want it to go away… I continued walking through Ponyville. There was no pony on the roads and only the lights on the road were lit on. I could hear the slow, cool breeze of the wind and owls hooting in the trees. I arrived back at my home.

I entered my bedroom and jumped on the bed.

That's when I noticed that something definitely changed.

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