• 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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Magic Duel

Episode 57 – Magic Duel

I was woken by the several soft taps on the ground outside. I slowly opened my eyes and yawned quietly. I crawled out of my sleeping bag and crawled over to the entrance of the tent. When I was a little more alert, I realized something. Is it…raining…? I slightly opened the entrance of the tent with my hoof, looking outside and smelling and hearing the water collide with the dirt. No wonder it's so dark… I wonder what time it is…

I heard Applejack yawn and sit up.

"Mornin'." She walked to my side and looked out. "Is it rainin'?"

"Yeah…" I answered softly, noticing Applebloom was still asleep.

"Aw shoot." Applejack expressed and walked back to her sleeping bag. "I guess we're going to be in here for a while unless you wanna try heading back and getting' mud all over your hooves, slippin' and slidin' all over the place, trying to get everythin' we brought back to Sweet Apple Acres."

"Uh…" I responded after her long statement. "I don't mind staying here to wait for the rain to pass…" I walked over to my sleeping bag and faced her. "What do you suppose we do?"

"Don't know." She rubbed the back of her head, having her usual hat by her side. "I never expected rain today."

I shrugged. It was silent for a moment until I remembered about last night. "Hey AJ…" I began, catching her attention. "Are you still bothered by last night…?" I asked.

"Not really… I was at first, but now it's kinda faded away."

"And you're really sure that you saw me do all this?"

"It felt really real, as if I was awake, but I don't know…" She shrugged. "I don't see any reason why you would do somethin' like that."

"Huh…" I could only respond with, feeling empty of words as the rain continued to pour outside.

Applejack chuckled. "This brings back memories though…"

"Hm?"

"When Rarity, you, and I were sleepin' over at Twilight's. Rarity and I fought so much. It almost feels like it was yesterday…"

"Oh, yeah…" I answered. "I know how you feel…"

"Say, why don't we actually go campin'? We'll invite the other ponies to come with, includin' Applebloom's friends!"

"Sure. That sounds great, Applejack. What do you mean by 'actually' camping, though?"

"We'll go to an actual campground, hiking, and all that good stuff!"

"Sounds like a plan." I finished with a soft smile.

The raindrops outside seemed to lower their pace. I walked over to the entrance and stuck my head out. There seemed to be bits and pieces of where the sun was able to peek through and warm the environment with its beams of light.

"Don't need to thank me twice!" I heard a voice above me, causing me to shift my eyesight towards the sky. It was Rainbow Dash. She was flapping her wings as she crossed her forelegs proudly.

"Rainbow?" I asked, surprised to see her.

"Yup. Sorry for the sudden rain weather. We kinda fell a little behind on the schedule." She rubbed the back of her head. As she flew lower to view me closer, Applejack walked out of the tent to see her as well. "Oh, hey, Applejack. Were you guys having a campout or something?"

"Mm-hm." Applejack nodded.

"Aw sweet!" Rainbow exclaimed. "I'd love to have one with you guys."

"We were planning another one a while ago. You can join us on that one."

She grinned. "I am so there!"

Then, we heard a soft pair of hooves walk towards us from behind us. Applebloom popped her head out of the tent and yawned. "What time is it?"

Applejack smiled and rubbed her sister's mane playfully.

"Hey, Alex!" Rainbow Dash announced to catch my attention. "I'll race you to Town Hall! Of course, that isn't our official race, but just a warm up. You know, to see how far you are!" She grinned, knowing that she'd easily beat me.

Nonetheless, I looked at Applejack and Applebloom. "Uh… I don't know, Rainbow. I need to help Applejack and Applebloom pack up the stuff here and carry it back to their farm."

"Aw, don't sweat it, Alex." Applejack assured. "You go have your little race with Rainbow. We'll finish up here."

"Are you sure?" I questioned.

"Yup."

"Alright… We'll I'll see you later then, Applejack. Okay?"

"You got it."

I spread my wings and flew towards Rainbow Dash. She led me higher towards the sky, allowing the back of my coat to become completely sun kissed in warmth. Rainbow led me over to a cloud and placed her hooves on it. She looked at me, waiting for me to do the same. I hesitated for a moment, feeling like I would just sink in.

"C'mon!" She emphasized. "It's not gonna bite ya!" I slowly landed, placing my hooves on the cloud carefully next to her. Once I felt safe enough, I relaxed myself and found that it was all okay. Rainbow positioned herself in the way that runners usually prepared themselves at the start of a line and looked at me competitively. "Ready?" She asked as she shook her rear energetically, definitely in the mood to win.

"I suppose so…" I answered, slightly positioning myself in the same way as her.

"Alright then! Just so you know, with me, I'm full of surprises!" She mentioned, causing me to look at her in somewhat confusion. "3 2 1 GO!" She announced so quickly, catching me off guard and already flying off in such a great speed.

You've got to be kidding me… Even if Rainbow gave me a long head start, she still would have finished first…

Nonetheless, I began flapping my wings, trying to catch up to her. I flapped them as hard as I could, but only in a way where they wouldn't grow tired fast and I would have trouble keeping balance. On the way, I noticed Rainbow Dash in the distance. It appeared to be as if I was actually slowly catching up to her. Am I really going faster than her…?

However, I found out that she was only toying with me. When she was clear enough to see, she was lying on her back in mid-air, flapping her wings so gently while she appeared to be having no trouble at all. She noticed me and turned her body around, keeping up with my pace easily. "Took you long enough." She smirked. "Come on, I know you can do better than that!"

I was starting to pant, feeling my wings reveal signs that they were now reaching their limit. "Unfortunately…I…can't, Rainbow…"

She chuckled and shook her head. "Looks like you're going to need my coaching after all…" Unexpectedly, she rose above me and allowed herself to fall on top of my body. The force of her impact caused me to drop significantly in the air. I was falling towards the ground at an unbelievable rate. I had to strain myself to lift her up while continuing to fly.

"Rainbow!" I exclaimed through painful grunts. "What are you doing? You're…going to make me crash!"

"No pain, no gain, mister!" She wrapped her hooves around me in order to keep a tight grip on me, most likely so I wouldn't try getting her off. "If you want to learn to stand a chance against me, you've gotta go the extra mile!"

"What…?" I answered through another grunt of pain with one eye closed in the strain of my energy.

"If you can learn to fly fast while managing to carry me at the same time, flying without me on you is going to be a breeze! You'll be able to fly at a much faster rate!" She explained.

Her explanation did make sense…but it didn't help that my whole body felt as if it was about to shut down. "Rainbow…" I spoke between great pants now. "I don't think I can do this! I feel like my wings are just going to give up!"

"What kind of talk is that?" She exclaimed. "That's not the Alex I know! Come on! You, the element of a pure heart, giving up? You're an Alicorn for Celestia's sake! Show some pride!"

"Easy for you to say…" I responded softly through heavy breaths.

"Come on, Alex! Almost there! Don't you dare give up on me!" Was this supposed to be motivation? In order to attempt to fulfill her wish, I closed my eyes and strained my teeth, trying to just focus everything on my wings, as well as removing the pain through my body. "We're nearly there, buddy! Keep going!" I kept my eyes closed as I continued to return signs of positive pain. I felt as if I opened them, I would completely just spin out of control. "And… Stop!" She ordered, allowing me to halt my movement, but continue flapping my wings to stay in the air. This offered me some relief, but not completely.

I looked back at Rainbow who appeared to be sending a soft look of pride. She patted me on the back as I continued to pant. "Thanks for the ride." She chuckled and lifted herself from me, granting me even more relief. She flew over to a nearby cloud and grabbed it. She brought it over to me and placed it under me, allowing me to rest on top of it. "Now it's my turn." She lowered it enough to where we could see the town clearly under us. As I continued to regain my strength, Rainbow landed on top of the cloud and continued to look at me with a smile on her face. "I'm proud of you, Alex." She stretched her hoof and patted me once again. "You'll become as great as me in no time." I managed to chuckle at her high self-esteem and shake my head. She tilted her head slightly at me. "Feeling good enough to walk?" She asked.

"I think so… I'm still a bit tired, but I think I can walk…" I answered.

She lightly chuckled. "Don't think that was the only time we're going to do this." She mentioned. "I'm going to coach you, and I'm going to push you to your limits!"

"Heh…alright then, coach…"

"C'mon, I'll give you a lift." She carried me on her back and began flying towards town.

Once on the ground, she allowed me to get off her. Starting to feel the symptoms of soreness, I managed to stand up and look at her. "Thanks for that, Rainbow Dash. I appreciate it."

"No problem!" She placed a hoof around me, pulling me closer to her. If I was a colt, she probably would have rubbed my mane like she sometimes does with Scootaloo. "It's nice to help out a friend in need."

"In need…?" I questioned, raising an eyebrow at her.

"In need of standing a chance against me of course!"

Afterwards, she pulled back her hoof and placed it on the ground.

To our surprised, Rarity and Pinkie Pie walked over to us.

"Wow! That was super-duper amazing, Alex!" Pinkie exclaimed as she bounced very energetically.

"Yes, we saw what happened from down here." Rarity explained. "It must have taken a lot of strength to do that."

I smiled softly at the two of them. "Thanks… I'm a little embarrassed to hear that though…"

"Don't worry, you guys!" Rainbow Dash joined. "With Alex under my wing, he's going to become the second fastest pony to fly in Equestria! Me being the first of course." She looked around. "You two seen Twilight or Fluttershy around?" She asked.

"Twilight said she was going to Fluttershy's to practice her magic on the animals there. She told us that she was chosen to provide the entertainment for the delegates Princess Celestia is bringing from Saddle Arabia."

"Delegates?" I questioned. "Huh… I've never really knew much about Saddle Arabia."

"Whatever's the case, I'm sure it'll be nice to have some exotic ponies in our town, no?" She chuckled a little. "What about Applejack? Have you two seen her around?"

"Yeah." Rainbow answered. "She should be getting here in a while."

"Wonderful!" Rarity responded. "We should all get together for some breakfast." Rarity faced me. "I'm sure you could some food after that haul, am I correct?"

"Yeah…" I answered, beginning to feel my stomach rumble. "Food sure sounds good right now…"

"Let's get moving then." Rarity announced, leading us over to the café.

While waiting for Applejack, we all sat by a table and started off with a nice glass of orange juice.

Rarity lifted her glass up and took a lady-like sip from it. She placed it down and looked towards all of us. "What do you all feel like doing today?"

"Eh." Rainbow answered, throwing in a shrug. "Doesn't matter to me."

"Ooh! Ooh!" Pinkie Pie waved her hoof in the air and then slammed it down on the table, shaking our juices a bit. "We should totally have cupcake eating contest at Sugarcube Corner!"

"As much as I love your cupcakes…" Rarity began, signaling a decline. "I do not wish to be a part of such a fierce and monstrous competition. It's uncouth and unladylike."

I released a smile and chuckled. "Of course, Rarity."

"You don't have any work to do today, do you Alex?" Rarity asked.

"No." I answered. "I don't think the Mayor has anything planned. Princess Celestia is bringing those foreign delegates, but I think Twilight is handling it instead." I placed a hoof on my chin and thought for a moment. "Well… I could go to Miss Cheerilee and see if she could use any artwork, but I suppose that can wait until later."

"Then let us enjoy the day. Something not dealing with…" Rarity paused for a moment. "…a cupcake eating contest…" She shuddered.

I lightly chuckled and lifted my glass with my magic. Just as I was about to drink some of the juice, a ruby beam of magic was suddenly shot in front of me and shattered the glass to pieces. "What the…?" I quickly looked to my right to see a hooded pony standing right there, directly facing us.

"Call me an 'ignorant show off', will you…" The pony answered, revealing a very familiar voice that I was unable to recognize at the moment.

"What?" I asked, noticing the necklace she wore on her neck. My eyes widened and were focused on it…as if…I had made some kind of connection to it.

"Like it?" She questioned, noticing my unusual attraction towards it. "Oh, I'm sure you will." Suddenly, a beam was conjured from it, shooting straight towards me and knocking me away from the others.

I was almost knocked out on the floor. What the hay…? This wasn't any ordinary magic… I tried pushing myself off from the floor, but the beam of magic had really worn me out… It was much more painful than regular magic…

The mare walked up to me as I struggled to push myself back up. "Stay there and bow down to me. I believe I deserve an apology."

I grunted. "…an apology…? You just shot me with that strange necklace of yours! I don't owe you any apology!" I exclaimed, beginning to feel angrier.

"Oh, is that how it's going to be?" She questioned. "After such a long time of agony and humiliation, this is what I get? We'll see about that…" Magic conjured from her necklace and shot out towards me again. This time, she allowed the beam to be continuous.

When the beam attacked me, the pain was almost unbearable. I began to release grunts and cries of pain, almost as if I was being tortured.

"Hey, leave him alone!" Rainbow Dash quickly flew towards me and pushed the pony away, interrupting her spell and allowing me to breathe. "Alex, you okay?" She asked worriedly, placing her hooves on me.

"Get Twilight…" I answered weakly through heavy breaths. "I…I don't know what's going on…"

"Don't worry! I will!" She looked at Rarity and Pinkie Pie. "Take care of him! Make sure he doesn't get hurt!" Afterwards, she flew off towards Fluttershy's cottage in a rush.

As the two began rushing towards me, the mysterious pony walked towards me once again. "Hah. Even as an Alicorn, you're still nowhere close to being as great and powerful as me…" Great and powerful… Why did those words seem so familiar…? "Are you ready to apologize now?"

I scoffed. "You're 'nowhere close' to an apology…"

I could see the pony's facial expression change into an angry one. She was just about to shoot out another beam of magic, but Rarity quickly stepped in to help me. "Stop right there, you monster! Don't even think about hurting him again!"

"Oh, I'm the monster?" She placed a hoof to her chest. "Why don't I show you who the real monster is? And this time, I'm not going to mess with your mane…"

"Huh…?" Rarity slipped out, confused and beginning to flinch when the pony aimed at her next target.

"Rarity…!" I held out my hoof. I wanted to help so badly, but I felt too stunned that I couldn't move from my current position.

The beam shot towards Rarity, but received unexpected results… Instead of enduring pain like me…she endured the pain of horrible fashion. The beam caused for some dress to appear on her body, which she obviously didn't like, emphasizing it with a gasp. "You beast! This shade of brown should only be used for accents!"

Rarity was about to fall to the floor from fainting, but Applejack unexpectedly came to her side and prevented her from falling to the ground. She carried her as Pinkie Pie followed her. "Come on, Applejack. We've got to get her into a nice, soothing pink. Stat!"

As they left, I immediately heard my name being called. I looked to my side to see it was Twilight. She quickly rushed to my side, kneeling down to place her hooves on me. "What's going on here?"

"Well, well, well." The pony walked closer towards us. "If it isn't..." She grabbed her hood and threw it off, revealing an immediately recognizable face. "Twilight Sparkle." Her eyes glowed scarlet for a short second.

Twilight gasped. "Trixie!"

"What's she doing here?" Spike, who was by Twilight, questioned, forming a heated face.

"You call that great and powerful?" Rainbow Dash asked, flying above me. "More like a coward's work to me!"

Trixie revealed a corrupted face, shooting out another beam of magic towards Rainbow Dash. The result of this beam was a completely over-sized wing on the right side of Rainbow's body. She tried flapping her wings, but due to the weight and size, she was wobbling around the airspace. "Rainbow!" I exclaimed.

"Oh! She's Rainbow Wobble, now!" Snips, who was among the crowd we seemed to have attracted, commented as he watched Rainbow struggle with his friend Snails.

"Yeah! Ha ha ha ha!" Snails laughed. I narrowed my eyes in irritancy from this. "Good spell, oh Great and Powerful Trixie!" He waved towards her, seeming to forget everything about what happened last time. Are you serious? You're going to side with her again?

"You two! Quiet!" Trixie ordered, sending out another beam of magic towards them.

"Uh, hey! W-What happened?" Snips asked after the blast.

It was revealed that he was hanging on top of Snails, due to their horns being somehow mixed with each other.

Sorry I asked…

"Get off of me!" He exclaimed. He ran around in an attempt to somehow remove him, but they were stuck like glue.

"Stop picking on my friends, Trixie!" Twilight ordered after witnessing this scene.

"You and I have some unfinished business." Trixie replied. "My magic's gotten better since I was here last." She began walking towards us to meet Twilight face-to-face. "And I'm going to prove it! Me and you. A magic duel. Winner stays, loser leaves Ponyville forever!" Her eyes flashed red once again.

"Forget it! I'd never make a deal like that!" Twilight declined.

"Hm, your choice." After saying this, Trixie looked over to Spike and grabbed him with her magic. Spike released yelps as he was somehow formed into a basketball. Trixie then began mocking him by bouncing him around.

"Trixie, put him down!" Twilight demanded. Trixie shot Spike towards a basket, ending her mischievous action. "Why are you doing this?"

"Why? Because you humiliated me!" She pointed at Twilight and then presented screen before us with her magic, recalling what happened the last time she was here. "After you showed me up with that Ursa Minor, I became a laughingstock! Everywhere I went I was laughed at and ostracized. I even had to take a job on a rock farm just to earn a living! A rock farm!"

"She didn't humiliate you!" I exclaimed, beginning to push myself back up. "You humiliated yourself with all that arrogant boasting you were doing! Don't put the blame on somepony else! Grow up and learn to take the responsibility for yourself!"

"Shut up!" She shot out another beam towards me, causing to be thrown a few feet from where I was currently at and release another painful cry.

"Stop it, Trixie!" Twilight demanded desperately, unable to stand the sound of when I was harmed.

Pinkie stepped in, but was more focused on the rock farm issue. "Hey! You're lucky a rock farm would take the likes of you!"

Trixie formed an arrow near Pinkie's head. She dragged it towards her mouth, pulling it off her head and dumping it in her own trash can. How the…?

"Now I want revenge! And I'll just keep casting spells 'til you agree." Trixie focused her attention towards me and shot out another ray of magic, causing me to release cries that recognized my pain. Trixie stopped for a moment, ready to continue but facing Twilight for her decision. "Well? What do you say?"

After noticing how every one of her friends was negatively affected by this, including me, she answered Trixie. "Okay! Just stop it! Let's duel…"

"Twilight… No…" I commented weakly.

"Excellent." Trixie responded and placed everything the way it was before…except Pinkie's mouth. Pinkie Pie noticed this as she searched her face for it. She tried to point it out, but all she could give was indignant muffled noises. She was ignored. "If I lose, I won't set hoof in Ponyville again. But if you lose, you're the one banished from this one-horse town!"

The girls responded with gasps.

Twilight and Trixie began narrowing their eyes at each other. Trixie contained a more defiant expression, as if she knew she was going to win. Twilight began to sweat, giving off signals of uneasiness about the deal.

"Draw!" Trixie suddenly shouted, shooting her magic towards a nearby cart that was full of crates and barrels.

The cart was heading towards a group of ponies, initiating them to run. However, one of them tripped and could only stare at the cart headed straight towards her. Fortunately, Twilight managed to grab a hold of the cart and place it down away from her. "Phew…" She wiped her forehead with her hoof.

I noticed Trixie lift up several pies, ready to pelt them at Twilight. "Twilight, look out!" I warned, causing her to turn and gasp.

Trixie threw towards her. Twilight quickly thought for a moment. Her face brightened up and she formed something with her magic. It was… a parasprite…? The parasprite licked its lips when it noticed the pie hurling towards Twilight. It widely opened its mouth and consumed all of the pies, burping out another parasprite. Twilight quickly sent them away before they could continue.

As Twilight released another breath of relief, a large cloud hovered above us and suddenly bombarded us with snow. Twilight managed to melt it all off, shaking her mane. She counter-attacked by forming a moustache on Trixie's snout. This caused for the other girls to release laughter.

Nonetheless, she brought out scissors and snipped it cleanly off her.

"Snips, Snails, step forward!" She ordered.

"Wh- what is it, oh Great and P-P-Powerful Trixie?" They knelt before her, now in fear as Snips laughed nervously.

Trixie affected them with magic, causing them to levitate from the ground for a short moment until they fell back, revealing that both of their ages were affected. Snips was a baby and Snails was an elder one. Snips cried fiercely as Snails's hooves shook.

"An age spell?" Twilight inquired, highly surprised. "But- how could you do an age spell? That's only for the highest level unicorns!"

Trixie rubbed her necklace and looked at Twilight with confidence smeared all over her face. "Well, Twilight? Give up?"

Twilight sighed but decided to try, grunting and focusing her magic on the two.

"Come on, Twilight! You can do it!" Spike encouraged.

The look on her face stated otherwise. My fear only grew as I felt for the worst. Twilight did her best, but it was no use. The magic on her horn was fading away until it finally halted. She released a breath and fell to the floor.

"Trixie is the highest level unicorn!" She stated and laughed at Twilight's defeat. "And now it's time for you to leave Ponyville! Forever!"

I quickly pushed myself back up to protect Twilight, allowing the other girls to rush over to us and help me as well.

"That's enough, Trixie!" Applejack exclaimed.

"You proved your point, but you can't possibly expect Twilight to leave Ponyville!" Rarity added.

"You fools!" Trixie responded and managed to hold Twilight up behind us. "She's already gone!"

"Twilight!" I shouted, trying to pull her back down. However, Twilight was thrown away from me towards the outskirts of town, causing me to immediately run after her desperately. When far enough, she was let go as she bounced on the ground away from us a few times. I spotted something above us that was going to cover the entrance. I narrowed my eyes and sprinted faster. As I grew nearer to Twilight, the shield was lowering itself more. Right before I could make it, the shield completed its task and prevented me from reaching her. I smacked myself on the glass-like structure. I quickly shook my head and looked out to see Twilight only able to look in, helplessly. "Twilight! Twilight!" I pounded my hooves fiercely on it, but not even a small crack formed.

"It's okay guys…" Twilight managed to say, placing a hoof on the same spot I placed mine. "I'll figure something out. Just take care of each other. And keep an eye on Trixie – there's something strange about her..."

She then turned around and ran off, causing for a large amount of anger to build inside me.

"Twilight…?" Spike asked, sadness beginning to overwhelm him.

I growled and punched the glass with immense anger. "That's it!" I exclaimed. I pushed myself off from the glass, turned around, and began storming back into town. "She's not getting away with this!"

"Alex, wait!" Rainbow Dash called and flew by my side. However, I didn't stop. "Alex, you can't duel her! You're not experienced with magic yet! Not to sound negative, but you don't stand a chance against her!"

"Yes, darling." Rarity pleaded desperately. "We don't want you to be banished either!"

"Please Alex…" Fluttershy now flew over to me and wrapped her hooves around me.

I stopped, staring at the ground with irritated eyes. Nonetheless, I closed them and sighed. "Fine…" I turned my head back to look at the others. "But if Trixie continues this…and it gets out of hoof…" I paused for a moment. "…I'm not hesitating…"

Afterwards, I began walking back towards town, leaving the other girls to follow me in silence.

By the time we arrived back at town, Trixie was there waiting for us.

"And where do you think you're going?" Trixie asked all of us with no good intention in mind. "Trixie is an honored guest in Ponyville and Trixie demands some changes around here!"

I scoffed. "Who are you to tell us what to do?"

"Oh?" Trixie stuck out her ear with a raised hoof near it. "Could you repeat that again? It sounded as if somepony wants to be tortured by the Great and Powerful Trixie again." She then readied her horn, presenting and immense glow.

Before things could escalate, Applejack immediately spoke up. "Stop! We'll do what you want…"

"Excellent." Trixie ended her hostile threat and looked around. "You all can start by redoing this mess of a place you call 'Ponyville'." I clenched my teeth in anger. She spotted Town Hall and continued to command us. "In there. Now." She readied her horn again, causing us to obey her order and head inside Town Hall. Once there, she looked around and rubbed her chin. Then, she pointed at Rarity. "You, create some banners of the Great and Powerful Trixie." Next, was Applejack. "You, make me some applesauce for a nice facial." Now, she pointed at Pinkie Pie. "You… Hm… I guess we could use a little entertainment, can't we?" Pinkie responded with an unintelligible but questioned grunt. Trixie pointed at me. "You…" She thought for a moment. "I'll think of something for you…" She looked at the door and then back at us. "I'll come back with something for you to do…" She directed towards me and then looked at Pinkie. "You better be dancing when I return! The rest of you, place the banners around here!" She began walking out but glanced at us for a short minute. "And don't you even think of any funny business… The Great and Powerful Trixie knows all."

Afterwards, she left the building, leaving me with a highly irritated expression planted on my face.

"She's pissing me off." I answered in a straightforward manner.

"I don't like what she's doin' either…but what can we do?" Applejack asked.

"Let me make her leave Ponyville…" I muttered, almost under my breath.

"It's too dangerous, Alex." Rarity placed a hoof on me comfortingly. "Let us just…comply with her demands…"

I sighed both depressingly and angrily.

By the time Trixie came back, Rarity was on her sewing machine, creating the banners that Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy held up. To my surprise, Trixie had returned with a few more ponies. The mayor was in a cage, and Mr. and Mrs. Cake were pushing a chair inside that was made out of their sweets.

Of course, Trixie was an obnoxiously impatient pony, so she was already becoming irritated with the fact that she had to wait a while for everything to be finished.

"You two! Hurry up with my throne." She ordered the Cakes.

She faced Applejack, who was already fuming at the idea that she was crushing apples for some pony no pony even liked. "And you, how long do I have to wait for my apple sauce facial?"

"Forget it, Trixie, I ain't doing nothin' 'til you let Twilight come home!" Applejack responded firmly, crossing her forelegs and halting her productivity.

Nonetheless, her efforts were useless. Trixie easily began casting her magic to lift Applejack up and bombard her with feathers around her entire body. Applejack laughed uncontrollably.

"Trixie, stop being a coward." I spoke out, causing her to turn her head towards me. "We all know that you're making us do this for you because of that amulet around your neck."

"Hm…" She released Applejack back into the crushed apples. "Instead of whining, why don't you paint a magnificent portrait of the Great and Powerful Trixie?" She threw an easel, canvas, brushes, and paint towards me. They landed on my hooves. "I hear you're an artist." She added with a smirk. I reacted with a rebellious expression on my face. She began readying her horn while continuing to slyly smile at me. "Don't want to do your work? That's fine. You can just spend the time in misery instead."

I released one more fuming breath out of my nose while glaring at her. "Fine…" I began picking up the easel and placing it in front of me, organizing all of the other essentials she threw at me.

She grinned at her mischievous success and turned around, facing Pinkie who was just standing there, messing with her face. "I thought I told you to dance!" Trixie blasted another beam of magic at Pinkie, forcing her to dance uncontrollably.

I began painting in so much anger, using my magic to use the brush instead. I just wanted to attack her right there, but losing control of your anger usually left you in a worse position… I learned that the hard way…

Just as Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash picked up another banner that Rarity just finished, she groaned in fatigue. "Oh, Trixie's cruel magic is ruining Ponyville. Ow!" She poked her hoof with the needle she was using, causing me to widen my eyes at her pain. "Oh, somepony has to help us!" She finished with a shaking frown.

I cursed at Trixie under my breath, all while placing my anger towards the painting. I'll make her a portrait all right…

"You!" She directed towards me. "How long until my portrait is finished?" She demanded.

"Oh." I began in sarcastic tone. "Just a few more finishing touches." I strained the last few words through my teeth. For the finishing touches, I grabbed a whole blob of red paint on my brush and splattered it fiercely over the portrait of Trixie.

After, I grabbed the finished canvas with my magic and shot it towards her, having it land below her in front of her hooves, just like she did with me. She realized what I had done. I had actually painted a crudely and amateurish Trixie on the canvas on purpose. However, I covered it with the splatter of red paints I used my anger to express in. Overall, it pretty much symbolized how I felt about her.

"You…!" She commented, enraged. "How dare you slander the Great and Powerful Trixie's name with your filth!"

"Slander is when I'm announcing a false statement that damages your reputation. Looks like Trixie isn't all that 'Great and Powerful'."

She growled and immediately attacked me with her magic. The next thing I knew, I was on the floor suffering from pain.

"While I have control over you, I am!" She declared.

"Stop it, Trixie!" Applejack exclaimed immediately. "I made your darn applesauce so leave him alone!"

This statement caused Trixie to back off and look in the direction of Applejack. She narrowed her eyes angrily and looked at everypony else. "Everyone, leave now! Trixie is completely outraged with you pathetic ponies! Leave me be so I can enjoy my facial alone in peace and quiet!"

Applejack walked towards me and lifted me up on my hooves. Still feeling a little weak, she helped me walk out of Trixie's sight. The rest of the girls followed.

The escorted me to Twilight's library. All over town, I could see that everywhere was plastered with her banners… The weather was horrible. Dark clouds corrupted the entire town, filling it with its harsh winds. I was brought inside the tree. Applejack allowed me to sit on the floor. Then, she closed the door and looked at the other girls. "We can't live like this. We have to find some way to defeat Trixie."

Fluttershy flew over to me and placed her hooves on me, observing me to make sure I was okay.

"She's right." Rainbow Dash agreed. "There must be at least one book in here that'll tell us what we need to know!"

"Then let us begin searching, shall we?" Rarity added, commencing their search through the entire library.

As the rest of the girls read books, threw them when they figured they weren't good, and continued moving on, Fluttershy hugged me. I could feel she was becoming worried about me. I placed my hoof on her back and patted it gently. "Don't worry, Fluttershy… I'm okay…"

"I don't like to see you get hurt like that…" She responded sadly. "When I do…it feels like… like if I'm getting hurt too…" Her eyes were brimming with tears as they began lightly pouring out.

"I'm sorry, Fluttershy…" I apologized. "I don't mean to hurt you… It's just that… Trixie always makes me furious… I try to calm down…but with her… it seems to be not as effective… especially when she begins messing with you girls…" I raised my hoof and wiped the tears from her eyes, planting a kiss on her lips afterwards. "Go help the others… I'm fine…"

"Okay…" She pulled away and began flapping her wings, searching the top layer of the shelves.

After a moment, I stood up and joined them as well.

When most of the books were already on the floor, Spike formed a worried look. He walked over to the window and looked out, observing how awful the outside appeared to be.

"Ugh, this really doesn't seem to be getting us anywhere." Rarity skimmed through a book with her magic and tossed it over to a pile.

Pinkie Pie popped up from under the pile of books, releasing muffled noises that I could not understand at all. However, Applejack responded to this. "I hear you, Pinkie. I can't find anything that describes the kind of magic Trixie's doin'."

"Ugh, there must be something! Twilight has every magic book there is!" Spike emphasized as I was able to hear the wind howling furiously outside.

"Um, I think I may have found something?" Fluttershy announced softly, holding a book open for the rest of the girls to see.

"Yes, it's time for us to consider our futures in this new Trixie-led Ponyville." Rarity spoke, obviously ignoring Fluttershy.

"Um, this sounds an awful lot like Trixie's magic—

"She wants me to grow apples with no peels! Now how the hay am I supposed to do that?" Fluttershy's sharing of information was interrupted by Applejack. I began narrowing my eyes in irritancy, as I continued seeing Fluttershy continuously cut off.

"Um, there's a picture here of that necklace—

Fluttershy's statement was once again thrown to the side as Pinkie released muffled noises.

"Shut the hay up!" I shouted, immediately causing the girls to stare at me in silence. I looked at Fluttershy, who also seemed to be shocked by my sudden outburst. "Go on…"

Since I had filled the room with so much silence, every one of them was now able to finally hear Fluttershy. "This book has a picture of Trixie's necklace… It's called the Alicorn Amulet, and whoever wears it is blessed with untold powers. If you read a little further you'll see that even though it provides great power, it also corrupts the user…but you can't just take the Alicorn Amulet off her neck, it has a magical lock… Trixie's the only pony who can take it off…"

"We need to get this information to Twilight. She'll know what to do." Applejack recommended after hearing Fluttershy's speech.

"If any of us try to leave, Trixie's magical force field will tell her!" Rarity responded.

"I've got it!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed and flew up in front of us. "Trying to sneak past the force field would be impossible without help, but I know who's got the goods to get into those woods!" Rainbow Dash flew over to Fluttershy and lifted her up, scaring her. "Fluttershy!"

"Whaaat?!" Fluttershy exclaimed in terror and fell to the floor, covering her head with a book and shaking fiercely.

"What do you say, Fluttershy? Can you handle the mission?" Applejack questioned.

"No! I'll crack under the pressure, I'll snap like a twig!" She emphasized.

"Perfect!" Rainbow Dash lifted her up. "Fluttershy'll sneak out of Ponyville and find Twilight."

"But- but I—

"No! That is it!" I announced suddenly, startling the others. I was already majorly incensed by the girls' continuous disregard for Fluttershy's opinion. Not only did that outrage me so much, it was mainly the thought of Trixie causing all this in the first place! "If Trixie wants a fight, she'll get one!" I began storming out of the library.

"Alex!" Rarity cried out. "You can't possibly duel her! She's too powerful! You're magic is not well enough!"

"I don't care!" I exclaimed, turning around before slamming the door open. "Somepony has to stop this before she goes too far! She's done enough damage! I'm not letting her hurt one more pony!"

"But—

I barged the door open and ran out. The storm caused a heavy shower of rain. This is insane… Before they could stop me, I quickly spread my wings as I ran and lifted off from the ground, looking for that menace.

I gained the idea of Trixie still being in Town Hall, especially due to the rain. I narrowed my eyes slightly, not feeling my usual self. Once I spotted the building, everything else seemed to fade away from importance. I landed on the ground, directly in front of Town Hall. I walked towards the doors, and raised my hooves to open them. I hesitated for a moment, thinking if I should stand down on my decision, but then I remembered the behavior of Trixie, which motivated me to continue on.

I forcefully opened the doors, seeing Trixie inside. She was resting lazily on her throne, which was the chair that was made out of sweets. Both of the Cakes were fanning her as she drank a hay shake noisily.

"Trixie!" I called her name, causing her to stop drinking and place it away.

She furrowed her eyes angrily at me as she crossed her back legs. "What do you want? I thought I told everypony to leave Trixie to herself!"

"I'm done with your obnoxious behavior! We're settling this right now!" I demanded.

She reacted with intrigued eyes and a raised eyebrow. "Oh really? So it's duel you want? Just like with that pathetic Twilight Sparkle?"

I growled. "Don't you dare call her pathetic…"

She laughed and removed herself from the throne. "Okay then. It's settled. If you win, I'll leave Ponyville forever. If I win, which I obviously will, you can join your little friend in her banishment."

"You're not just going to leave… I'm going to throw you out myself…"

She continued to laugh at my responses. "You're very amusing, you know that? You expect to win this duel when you yourself can take a measly pinch of my power. Hmph." She paused for a short moment. "Let's take this outside." Using her magic, she forced a heavy wind that blew me towards the outside, but I managed to straighten myself in the air and land safely. She casually walked out to meet me. "Let me make sure you're ready. You're going to need everything you can get to stand a chance against me."

"I'm ready, you dumb mule…"

This response caused her to remove the smirk on her face and replace it with an annoyed one. A glow began lighting on her horn, but then we suddenly heard multiple voices from the side.

"Alex!" I looked to my left to see the girls calling my name and running towards me. However, bright and tall flames suddenly blocked my vision from seeing them. As I looked around, they were surrounding only Trixie and me. I faced Trixie for an explanation. She was the one forming the flames on purpose, which contradicted the heavy rain from above.

"That's just some extra insurance to make sure there are no distractions…" Trixie explained and then looked at my wings. "Or escape…" I placed my hooves firmly on the ground and glared at her. She returned the same expression towards me. There was a moment of intense silence and suspense, just like with Twilight. "Draw!" Trixie announced and shot out a beam of her magic towards me. She wanted to quickly end this by using her magic directly on me, which harmed only me for some reason. However, I shot out a ray of magic myself, impacting her beam and throwing it to the side. "Hm… It seems your magic has grown slightly stronger…but it's still never going to be enough to defeat me!"

Fed up with her unending arrogance already, I focused my magic on the rain that fell upon us. I managed to gather the rain drops and form it all together into a large water ball. "Shut up already!" I shouted and brought it upon her in order to "cool" her down. It landed all over her, soaking her entire mane and tail.

She noticed this and growled. "Why you! I just had my mane the way I wanted it! You ruined it!"

"You're an idiot! We're already in the rain! It was going to ruin it anyway!"

"No it wasn't!" She shot out another beam of magic towards me, but I quickly rolled to the right. "You like playing with elemental powers, huh? What's say you to this!" She formed a dark cloud above me. I looked up to see that lightning was crackling inside. Once I realized what she was doing, I quickly jumped out of the way, feeling the heat of the electricity strike down where my previous position was. However, that wasn't it. She continued motioning this cloud to follow me in order to strike me with its lightning. I swiftly began running in order to stay clear out of the way. I could feel it continue to strike behind me every time. Nonetheless, Trixie grew smart and moved the cloud in front of me in order to strike me in sync with my sprinting. I quickly hopped to the side, barely dodging the lightning. I continued to evade Trixie's attacks, but I knew she was eventually going to get me somehow. I had to figure out a way. Then, it came to me. Trixie can't be moving herself if she's controlling the cloud! I stopped in my tracks, causing the cloud to aim its lightning to shoot towards me. I quickly jumped out of the way and headed for Trixie. Once I was in front of her, I stopped, having the cloud be ready to shoot its lightning at me again, but this time, I jumped out of the way and pushed Trixie in my spot with my magic, having her accidentally strike herself. Being electrocuted, the cloud disappeared. She glared at me with a charred expression. "Now I'm angry!" She growled. "You owe me an entire spa treatment!"

I scoffed. "Get it yourself."

She growled loudly and instantly teleported. I quickly looked around for her, but I couldn't find her. All of a sudden, she appeared behind me and captured me in her beam of magic, causing me to fall to the floor and suffer from its pain inducing effect. "I've got you now!"

I'm not going to give up that easily! Even though I was experiencing the same pain as the last few times, I began forcing myself to get up from the floor. While trying to push myself up, my hooves slipped a couple of times, causing me to land on the floor again. Seeing this made Trixie laugh. I growled mentally and pushed myself up firmly as I grunted and groaned in pain. As I finished, I somehow managed to deflect her beam of magic and use it in my power instead. The pain was gone, and I had several rays of her scarlet magic in my command. She was highly surprised of this. To my advantage, I threw each of them at her, all hitting her successfully. Finally, with a large amount of vigor in my heart, I shot the last one, increasing its magical effect significantly. It caused her to be thrown to the ground. She was panting heavily and pushed herself up a bit as she continued lying on her back. She looked at me, still stunned in surprise as I was panting a bit myself.

"How is that possible…?" She asked. "The other times I did that, you couldn't even move your hooves! You cried in pain! How are you able to get yourself out of that!?" She demanded greatly.

"What now, Trixie?" I stood my ground. "You don't have your little cheap moves to hurt me anymore?"

She growled loudly and forced herself up from the ground. "I won't lose! Not to you!" Then, the Alicorn Amulet on her neck seemed to corrupt her entire body, covering every piece of it with darkness. She rose in the air without even needing wings. This caused me to gasp and stare in shock. "It's over for you!" To my great surprise, literally thousands of beams of magic surrounded me, pointing at me like arrows. "Now, to finish this!" She exclaimed and commanded the beams to shoot towards me. I quickly closed my eyes and summoned whatever I could to help me. Judging that I wasn't being hurt by anything, I assumed that I created some kind of magical shield around me, protecting me from the beams. However, this came at a great cost. Keeping the shield up from the thousands of beams of magic was excruciatingly tiring. Every bit of my energy, including my magic, was being depleted as I was trying to protect myself from this. I strained every single part of myself to do whatever I could to prevent the beams from attacking me. I knew that if I didn't have this shield, I definitely would have been done for.

After what felt like hours, the beams halted. My shield automatically disappeared as I was breathing heavily on the floor, unable to do anything as I was completely out of energy. Trixie landed on the floor, the darkness disappearing from her body but the scarlet beam remaining in her eyes. She walked towards me. Once she was in front of me, she pushed her head towards mine and looked into my eyes. "You were saying?" She asked with a great smirk. Then, she laughed and pulled her face away from mine. She placed a hoof on my shoulder and pushed me to the ground. I couldn't get up. I just didn't have the energy to… "You're just as pathetic as Twilight Sparkle is… But don't worry, you can see her now, because by me, you're hereby banished from Ponyville!" She extinguished the flames around us. Just before the girls could come to my aid, she grabbed me with her magic and shot me out of Ponyville through the shield around the town.

I landed on the ground outside of Ponyville, only to helplessly grunt and groan in pain. My whole body was exhausted. I could only just lay there and do nothing. My sight was facing towards the town. I could see the girls rush to the force field around, but they only stared at me worriedly. I stared back, unable to form an expression but one full of fatigue. Then, I just began closing my eyes, feeling very sleepy…

"Alex." I felt my body being shaken lightly. "Alex, please tell me you're okay… Please…"

I opened my eyes. My vision was blurry for a moment, but then they cleared up, revealing Fluttershy holding on to me.

"Fluttershy…?" I slipped out softly.

"Oh! Thank goodness you're okay!" She responded, holding me tightly.

I grunted softly. "I don't know… I feel horrible right now… so tired… I can't even move…" I observed her and noticed she was wearing some kind of outfit that was torn up. "What happened to you…? Why are you here…?" I asked.

"After Trixie kicked you out of Ponyville, I couldn't dare bear the thought of you out here by yourself…so… I voluntarily came out here with the plan the girls came up with…" She snuggled her head against my chest. "I was so worried about you… We all were…"

"Thank you, Fluttershy…" I held her back. "It was very brave of you to come out here…"

"Only for you…"

I managed to release a soft smile. I looked behind me to see the Everfree Forest. I remembered Zecora's hut is in there. Not only that… Twilight must be there too! "Fluttershy…" I called her name lightly. She returned soft eyes. "Can you help me to Zecora's please…?" I asked.

"Of course…but…" She looked towards the forest. "That's the Everfree Forest… Are you sure you want to go in there…?"

I nodded. "Yeah… We'll be fine. Don't worry."

"Okay…" She helped me up and held on to me with her right wing. She carefully walked towards the forest, attempting to pull out all of her courage and bravery to go in.

After walking for a few minutes into the forest, we fortunately arrived at Zecora's hut with no interruptions. Fluttershy led me towards the door. She opened it and walked in.

"Zecora? Are you in here?" She called.

"Fluttershy?" I heard Twilight's voice surprisingly ask. "What are you doing here?" Twilight gasped when she noticed me. "Dear Celestia!" She ran over to me. "What happened to you, Alex?"

"He got into a duel with Trixie… He needs help…"

"Don't worry, my dear friend," Zecora's voice announced. "A helping hoof, I can surely lend." Zecora walked over to me with a cup on her hoof. "Drink this trick. It will fix you up quick."

I grabbed it with both my hooves as I sat down and swallowed the liquid in it. It tasted a bit funny, but it seemed to help as I was already starting to feel better. "Thank you, Zecora…"

Then, I was able to move, so I walked towards the table with Fluttershy and sat down. Zecora sat across from us. "You look very different from the last time I saw you." Zecora told me. "Tell me, what did you do?"

"It's a long story." Twilight answered for me. "He's actually an Alicorn."

"An Alicorn, you say?" Zecora responded, highly intrigued. "I never thought I'd see the day."

"Look…" Twilight began, walking towards me. "I don't mean to interrupt… but we don't really have time for this. What happened, Alex? With the duel and everything?"

I sighed. "She defeated me…" I paused for a moment, remembering what happened. "Something's wrong with her Twilight. It's the amulet she's wearing. That's what's causing all this trouble." As I answered, Zecora offered Fluttershy a cup of her own brew. Fluttershy hesitantly accepted.

"Amulet?" Twilight asked.

"The Alicorn Amulet…" Fluttershy added. "We saw a picture of it in one of your books…"

"The Alicorn Amulet?" Twilight questioned, highly surprised. "I remember that! I had read all about it!" Fluttershy raised the cup to her lips a bit and took a sip as Twilight paced around. "I can't believe I didn't recognize the Alicorn Amulet!"

"The more she uses it, the more it will corrupt her!" Fluttershy included.

"But how am I supposed to beat that amulet? My magic's not good enough!"

"Twilight Sparkle, much work have you done." Zecora responded. "You learned all of my lessons; all but one." She held up a hoof. "If Trixie's tricks have you in a fix, you must create a leaven and use the seven."

"Create a leaven, use the seven..." Twilight thought for a moment, shuffling her eyes. "Create a leaven, use the seven!" Twilight exclaimed, gaining an answer. "Use the seven, that's it! Zecora, you're a genius!" Zecora responded with a smile and nodded. "Now we'll need to get you back inside Ponyville, Fluttershy." Twilight added and brought out a quill and paper to write on.

"What are you planning to do…?" I asked, concerned.

"I'm writing a letter to Fluttershy to take to the others. What we're going to do is exactly what Trixie did the last time she was here!"

"Boast?"

"Nope. Let's just say she's in for quite a show." She finished writing the letter and gave it to Fluttershy. "Fluttershy take this back to the others, okay?"

"Oh…" Fluttershy glanced over to me. "Is Alex going to be okay?"

"Don't worry." Twilight assured. "He'll be fine."

Fluttershy inhaled and exhaled a deep breath. "Be careful…" She told me and hugged me before she left.

Once she was gone, Twilight looked towards Zecora. "There's one thing I don't understand Zecora… You said 'Use the seven', but Alex won't be able to help. Trixie already knows he's out of town. There's no way he'll be able to help in time when we're inside."

"You'll see, dear Twilight." Zecora answered. "There's always a place for his light."

"I see…" Twilight looked around. "So what are we going to use for our own 'amulet'."

"Huh…?" I questioned, confused.

"Ah, that is easy to find." Zecora replied, sitting up and walking towards a shelf. "All we really need to use is what's mine." She brought out some sort of necklace and placed it on the table. Then, she walked towards the door, retrieved something else, and placed it on the table as well. It appeared to be some green stone.

Twilight observed these items for a moment. She placed the stone on the necklace and glued it with her magic. "Hm…" Twilight grew a smirk. "Looks believable, doesn't it, Alex?" She asked.

"I…uh…don't really know what's going on here…"

Twilight giggled. "Just wait. One thing, though. Do not mention anything about this, got it?"

"Got it…"

Twilight looked at Zecora. "Shall we return back to Ponyville?"

Zecora nodded and followed her as they began walking out of the hut. Confused, I did so as well.

They led me towards the outskirts of town, where I originally was after being "banished".

"Twilight, what are we doing here?" I asked.

"Trying to get Trixie's attention." She answered briefly and walked up to the magical force field. She purposely began banging on it. "Trixie will sense a disruption in her shield and will come check it out."

Moments later, Twilight's statement proved to be correct. Trixie was soon in sight with Snips and Snails pulling her bed towards us…with no wheels… "This better not be another false alarm, or the Great and Powerful Trixie will—Trixie gasped when she spotted us. "You!" She hopped off her bed and walked towards us with another smirk planted on her face, causing me to shift my expression to an angry one. "What's the matter, you two? Not enjoying your exile?" Trixie's voice was muffled beyond the force field.

"I know about the Alicorn Amulet. I know you cheated." Twilight answered.

"Cheated? Moi?" Trixie tried to present fake innocence by placing her hoof to her chest in an unbelievable tone.

"Yeah. And I thought you might wanna see what a real magical amulet looks like." She held it up in the air for Trixie to see. "Zecora gave it to me." Trixie began tapping a hoof to her chin in interest. "It's from beyond the Everfree Forest, and it's way more powerful than your measly little Alicorn Amulet!" Twilight finished as she placed the necklace on.

"Ha!" Trixie mocked. "Nothing's more powerful than the Alicorn Amulet! And nopony's more powerful than the Great and Powerful Trixie! Not even an actual Alicorn!" She pointed towards me.

"Care to put your amulet where your mouth is?" Twilight provoked, surprising me. "How about another duel?"

"Twilight!" I commented. "You can't be serious!"

However, Twilight didn't answer for some reason.

"Why should I? I already beat you." Trixie responded.

"That's up to you!" Twilight turned around and began walking away. "But I guess you'll never see the totally awesome magic from beyond the Everfree Forest... Come on, guys." She called us to walk with her.

What the hay is going on…? Nonetheless, I followed her.

"Wait!" Trixie suddenly cried out, stopping us. She used the power from her necklace to destroy the force field and teleport to us. "Okay, okay, you're on! A second duel."

Twilight sent a look over to Zecora, appearing as if they were on to something…

Nevertheless, Trixie led us back to the outside of Town Hall. Whatever Twilight had planned… I just had to trust her until it was over…

Trixie and Twilight both faced each other from a distance. Trixie glared intensely towards Twilight as thunder rumbled and lightning cracked in the sky. Twilight placed her hooves firmly on the ground. The rest of the girls were behind her.

"Let's start with a simple age spell, shall we?" Trixie announced.

"Let's." Twilight agreed.

"Snips, Snails." Trixie called, of course, bringing them over to be her guinea pigs. When they were soon in range, Trixie used her magic to turn them both into babies. They immediately began crying. "An oldie, but a goodie, ha." Trixie commented. "Now, let's see what your little charm can do."

"No problem. Um, Applejack, Rarity? Could you help me, please?" She called.

"Huh?" They both questioned and then walked towards the spot near the statue of Trixie.

Is it just me, or do I sense some…acting… going on here?

To further emphasize my feeling, Applejack and Rarity returned narrowed grins, appearing as if they were going to have fun with what Twilight was going to do… Twilight focused her horn as Trixie filed her hoof. Twilight shot the beam of magic, creating a cloud of magic dust. When the dust was out of the way, Rarity and Applejack were immediately brought down to size, appearing their filly selves. I widened my eyes greatly.

"How the…" I could only slip out.

Trixie dropped both her filer and her jaw when she saw the results. "...oh, ho hum. So you can do an age spell, big deal." She rolled her eyes and quickly regained her composure. Twilight released another beam and turned them back to normal. Twilight shot out another ray and turned Rarity into a filly again, having her stand gracefully on Applejack. Twilight shot out one more and turned Rarity back, but Applejack into an old pony. Finally, Twilight turned them both back to normal. "That's... that's impossible!" Trixie exclaimed in a real unbelievable tone.

"That's nothing!" Twilight replied and looked over to Rainbow Dash, nodding her head. Twilight fired her magic at a flinching Rainbow Dash. After the dust disappeared, another pair of the same wings appeared behind her. It turns out there was another Rainbow Dash that appeared above her, surprising her greatly.

"Yow!" Rainbow Dash cried out, but they soon looked at each other, grinning.

"How did you—

"Duplication spell." Twilight answered before Trixie finished her sentence. "Ever see one pony play ten instruments?" Twilight faced Pinkie Pie, who was standing near several ponies. One I really noticed was Lyra, who was too busy drinking a hay shake. Twilight shot another beam of magic towards Pinkie Pie, causing the other ponies around her to fall to the floor. Pinkie Pie immediately began playing the ten instruments.

Okay, that's not magic… That's definitely Pinkie Pie… Nice job.

Pinkie Pie played the instruments all around Trixie, shocking her.

"This- just can't be!"

"Ooh, one more. I can turn a mare into a stallion." She stared at Applejack, frightening her. Applejack tried to run away, but Twilight's beam reached her before she could.

What I saw after… It… It… No comment…

Soon enough, Applejack returned.

"Well, Trixie, looks like my amulet is more powerful than yours— Trixie's aura surrounded Twilight's amulet, tearing it off her. "Hey! Give it back!"

Trixie laughed evilly, holding Twilight's amulet. "With both of these amulets, I shall now rule all of Equestria and become the most powerful pony ever!" She secured it on top of the Alicorn Amulet. First, she tried using Twilight's amulet and shot it towards a random target. However, the result was nothing. "What? Why didn't anything happen?" She continued to zap its magic, but the result was the same. She stood in confusion for a moment, but then she turned towards Twilight and glared at her. "You! This doesn't work at all! You were trying to have me remove the Alicorn Amulet! Weren't you?" Twilight only remained silent. "No more games! Everypony is going to writhe in agony for this, Twilight Sparkle!" She tore off the apparently "broken" amulet and threw it to her side. Her eyes began glowing an immense red as she began preparing her magical attack.

"She didn't take it off!" Twilight cried out. "What do we do?!" Trixie's scarlet aura surrounded the entire area, filling every pony with its chaotic destruction. Its aura affected me as well, having me be the only one who suffers true pain from it. "We have to get it off her!"

"How? She's the only one that can take it off!" Rainbow Dash responded, her wings growing different sizes now.

I'll take my chances…

Having been forced to the ground, I lifted up my hoof in great struggle. Trixie is only several feet away from me. I have to stop her before this gets out of hoof! I then began crawling as much as I could through grunts of both pain and effort. I lifted each of my front hooves and dragged myself closer to Trixie while moving as quickly as possible. The pain slightly increased the nearer I became. I had to stop during the way because the pain was beginning to become unbearable like the first few times I received it. I couldn't afford to stop for too long, otherwise I'd give up! I shook my head and released a few more grunts before attempting my movement once again. I continued dragging myself with whatever strength I had left.

Finally, when I was in front of Trixie, who was completely controlled by her power and unable to stop, I placed my hooves firmly in front of my face. With great exertion, I slowly pushed myself up. When I was on all fours, it was a great struggle to even stay in that position. When Trixie's Alicorn Amulet was in sight, I slowly lifted up my hooves and placed them on the amulet. Using my magic to help me pry it off, I began pulling as hard as I could.

If I don't get this amulet off in time, I won't be able to handle it anymore!

Gritting my teeth, I continued to pull as I grunted. My magic and strength was weakening. I looked deep into my heart to find whatever strength I could use to take it off. Just as everything in my body was about to give up, I released a yell and finally tore off the amulet.

Everything, including the scarlet aura, halted. Everypony was left alone. I panted and released heavy breaths, throwing the amulet away from Trixie. Rainbow Dash quickly retrieved the amulet and brought it over to Zecora, who placed it inside a chest.

"Alex…!" Twilight ran towards me in surprise. "You… You took it off! How? I thought only Trixie could take it off!"

"Don't know… Don't care…" I responded, relieved that the whole incident was over already.

"What I want to know is how you did those spells!" Trixie, who seemed to not care and be out of control from the Alicorn Amulet. "Nopony can do those spells!"

"You're right." Twilight answered as she helped me up. "Not even me. Zecora taught me so much about magic while I was in exile. She even taught me when not to use it. My magic alone wasn't powerful enough to take on the Alicorn Amulet head to head, so I needed to use a different kind of magic – the magic of friendship. I also knew that the only pony who could get the amulet off your neck was you. But I was honestly surprised when you didn't." She chuckled. "I guess I should have seen that coming… Still… I don't know how you were able to take the amulet off, Alex…"

I only shrugged, once again, just happy to be out of that completely annoying pain.

"But what about the pony with the ten instruments?" Trixie asked.

"That's not magic, that was just Pinkie Pie." Twilight directed towards Pinkie, who was cheering by playing the instruments.

As every other pony cheered with our mission accomplished, Rainbow Dash suddenly flew towards me and embraced me. Before I could speak a word, she kissed me, surprising me and widening my eyes significantly. When she pulled her face away to look at me, I was shocked. "Rainbow Dash, what are you—

She giggled, cutting my sentence off. "It's me, silly." She removed her mane, actually revealing a familiar long pink one.

"F…Fluttershy…?" I asked.

Twilight noticed this and giggled as well. "Yep. Fluttershy dressed up as Rainbow Dash in order to look like her clone, since she was the only other Pegasus in the group. Sweetie Belle was also Rarity's "filly" appearance. Applebloom was Applejack. Granny Smith was the older version of Applejack. Even Big Macintosh was the stallion version of Applejack." She continued to chuckle at the thought.

"Ooh…" I released, seeing clearly what happened now. "Now, I get it… It all makes sense now." I looked around, noticing somepony missing. "Where's Trixie?"

Twilight looked around and noticed as well. "She's gone…"

I sighed. "I hope she's not getting herself in more trouble again…"

"Hm. Let's hope not…" Twilight paused and then suddenly remembered something, gasping. "The delegates! They're coming here in a few hours and we have to fix this mess!"

"Don't worry, Twilight." I responded with an assuring smile on my face. "We all have that covered. After all, that's the power of friendship, isn't it?"

After that statement, everypony began working on restoring Ponyville back to normal, removing the trash that the corrupted Trixie brought upon. We had no idea where Trixie had run off to, but we didn't worry about that at the time. Once we had everything up and ready for the delegates and Princess Celestia, Fluttershy hesitantly brought Twilight a variety of her critter friends. I didn't know what Twilight was going to do with them, but I assumed I was going to find out.

Once Princess Celestia arrived with the delegates from Saddle Arabia, they indeed proved to be very exotic, especially with what they were wearing, in a good way. It was very surprising to see an entire crowd of ponies on each stand that was set up to be available for the observance of the event. Princess Celestia and the delegates were on their own private area of the audience.

Fluttershy and I were close up front to the stage Twilight was going to perform on. Fluttershy began trembling in my hooves for some reason.

"What? What's wrong?" I asked.

"I can't look…" She responded.

"Huh…?"

Soon enough, Twilight began using her magic to raise the critters in the air. Then, she magnificently began to twirl and float them around in the air, almost as if it was a circus act. Everypony was releasing sounds of awe and amazement, including the Saddle Arabian delegates. I could only stare in awe as well as I patted Fluttershy's back, assuring her that everything was okay. She sneaked a peak, but quickly retracted it, continuing to tremble in my forelegs.

In the middle of one of her tricks, fireworks exploded above, emphasizing the beauty of the performance. However, it didn't seem to be Twilight who was doing that, which surprised me. Twilight looked around in confusion as she lowered the critters back safely on the ground. "Trixie?" She called, causing me to quickly look her way.

"It's the least I could do." Trixie spoke by me, placing her hat back on and ending the fireworks. "I treated you and your friends so horribly when I was wearing that Alicorn Amulet... I just couldn't control myself. You both can forgive me, can't you?" She released a pouty face.

Twilight narrowed her eyes and thought for a moment. "Hmmm." She smiled lightly. "Sure. What about you, Alex?" She asked.

"I don't know…" I answered, causing Trixie to worry. "I'm not sure I can forgive you so easily after all the pain you caused me with that dumb Alicorn Amulet…"

"I wasn't in control." Trixie immediately answered. "I really didn't mean to, honest. I only wanted to feel like somepony… Like I was better than Twilight at magic… but…" She looked away. "I understand if you don't…"

I sighed and remained silent for a moment. "I forgive you…" This instantly caused her to face me again. "On one condition… Don't ever make the same mistake again… Just be you and don't try to make yourself look better than everypony."

She nodded and released a breath of relief. "Oh, good. Don't you think the Great and Apologetic Trixie is the most magnificent humble pony you've ever seen?"

As Twilight rolled her eyes and shook her head, I responded against that. "Trixie…"

"Oops." She placed a hoof to her mouth. "I mean… Thank you." Afterwards she waved her hooves in the air and dust exploded in her position.

However, just like last time, when the dust disappeared, she was revealed running off. Only this time, she accidentally tripped, but continued running. I chuckled and shook my head. "Oh, Trixie…"

It actually seems to be that she only wants friends…but she believes to do so, she has to appear to be somepony great… I hope she realizes that she really doesn't have to be…

After the show, Princess Celestia spoke with Twilight and I was with Fluttershy.

"Are you sure you don't want me to walk you home?" I asked Fluttershy, who was gathering her animal friends that were safe and sound.

She released a soft smile and shook her head. "No, no. You need rest after everything you've been through today. My little critters here will keep me company."

I lightly chuckled. "I guess you're right. Well, I'll see you tomorrow then."

"Goodnight." She placed a kiss that lasted for a few seconds on my lips.

"Goodnight." I replied after she pulled away.

She then began leading her friends back towards her cottage.

Twilight walked to me afterwards.

"Hey. What did Princess Celestia think?" I asked her.

"She thought it was amazing." Twilight responded. "She said the delegates thought so also. She said that I did a wonderful job."

"You sure did." I smiled as I was really proud of her.

"Were you going to go home?"

"Yeah. I figured I could use some rest after today."

"Mind if I walk with you?"

"Why not?"

She released a smile and walked to my side.

I began walking with her towards my home.

"So…" Twilight began during our walk. "You really don't know how you were able to take off the amulet off of Trixie?" She asked.

I shook my head. "I have no idea. I'm just glad that that whole mess is finally over…"

"Me too… Was it hard taking it off?"

I released one quick laugh. "Definitely. It was like…" I looked up and thought for a moment. "Like if you were trying to pry a bit off the ground, which is super-glued to begin with."

Twilight giggled. "Wow. That sounds really hard then."

"Exactly."

"Well, we're just glad that you're okay. You're really amazing, you know that?" I looked at her, revealing an emotional face. "I guess that's what Zecora meant by your part of the 'seven'."

"I guess so…" We reached my home. I stopped, and so did Twilight. "You know… You girls are the best… You all always make me feel appreciated and that I'm important… That's why I love you all so much."

"Aww." Twilight expressed and hugged me. "Well, it's true." She pulled away and looked at me. "Anyway… I guess I better let you get some sleep. You sure look tired."

"Heh… Alright. Thanks, Twilight." I responded. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight."

I turned around and opened my door. However, I suddenly heard muffled yelling. While being inside, I turned around to look at what was going on. It was Pinkie. She was trying to yell and send a message about her mouth problem.

"Oh, Pinkie!" Twilight spoke. "I almost forgot about you." Come on, Pinkie… I love you and everything but I don't really have the energy to hear you talk for so long, especially for being unable to talk for a whole day… Twilight focused her magic to bring Pinkie's mouth back. There was a poof, and just like that, it was there again.

Sorry, Pinkie…but I'm going to have to do this… I just don't have the energy right now…

Pinkie immediately grinned and grew excited. She inhaled a huge breath, ready to transform it into a chatter of words.

I slammed the door shut.

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