• Published 23rd Feb 2013
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Friendship is SHOWTIME!! - MangaKamen



A Kamen Rider Crossover Magic – a mysterious force in this world, and each creature possess magic within itself. A gift to many, but to a few, it is nothing but a curse. And when Twilight sees a new form of magic, she'll learn that life is

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Spell 14 - Burn

“I could grow to like you. Amuse me. That’s a good scream.”
- Phoenix

TTTTTT

Spell 14

Burn

TTTTTT

It was a restless night for Twilight, after she had told Spike of the battle between Wizard and Minotaur; the young dragon was in a very upset mood until he had fallen asleep. Even when Spike had fallen to sleep with the half eaten emerald tucked in with him, Twilight tried to get to sleep, however, every time she closed her eyes, Haru’s teary eyes appeared at the front of her mind.

Essentially, it was a near sleepless night for the young scholar.

Even when the sun was beginning to rise, Twilight tried to get some sleep – But to no avail. It wasn’t the first time that Twilight wasn’t able to sleep, but most of the time she’d fill in the time by studying or practicing her magic. She didn’t feel like it though, she wanted to sleep, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Pulling herself from the bed, the young unicorn rubbed her throat with her front hoof, there wasn’t a mark from last night, but it still stung slightly. It wasn’t the only thing that stung Twilight, the words of the White Wizard also rung in her mind. ‘Haru, you didn’t need to hide that past of yours – We would’ve understood.’

Twilight shook her head, ‘I need to talk to somepony about this, and there’s only one pony I know who’s up at this hour.’

However, before Twilight began to leave, she managed to catch herself in the mirror and frown slightly, ‘Although, I should probably do something with that mess of a mane.’

TTTTTT

Twilight wasn’t the only one to not enjoy a good night’s sleep. Near the peak of one of the largest mountains near Ponyville, Phoenix was in a cave, seated atop of a large pile of jewels, coins and pieces of treasure that he kicked slightly. “In this world you gotta make the bits first. Then when you get the bits, you get the power. Then when you get the power, you get the mares! That’s why you gotta make your own moves.”

Holding up one a large ruby, Phoenix clenched the jewel tightly in his fingers as the ruby began to melt in his grasp. “Too bad I’m not interested in bits or mares, just more power.”

Phoenix tossed the ruby through the air as a large, dark shadow appeared in the middle of the large cave. From the shadow arose Hellhound in his Phantom form, surrounded by even more treasure, “M-Master Phoenix, this is the last of it.”

“Oi, kiddo, relax,” Phoenix chuckled as he pushed himself off of the large pile of treasure. “You look like I did after I mistakenly took a swig of Worcestershire sauce. You got the job done.”

The shadows at Hellhound’s feet slowly disappeared, and the Phantom gulped loudly as Phoenix walked around him. “I know that I’m pure awesome and looking at me can make you feel so small, but just relax. I’d say chill out kiddo, but we’re both born of the flames of Tartarus, so that’s asking a lot.

“But feel proud, for when this day is done, you will be a part of the second Sabbath! Darkness will spread over all of Equestria and it’ll only be a matter of time until Phantoms will walk this entire world!”

Phoenix walked towards the mouth of the cave, holding his arms up as the morning sun began to reach over the horizon. “Enjoy the sun while you can Hellhound, for once this plan is completed, it shall be the last we see of it for a while.”

Hellhound blinked a few times as he walked towards the Greater Phantom, “W-Wow, really Master Phoenix? That’s really impressive.”

“Yes, my brilliance impresses even me at times,” Phoenix cackled with his arms crossed as he lifted his head up in pride. “Of course, I could care less about this – You know what I’m after.”

With a nod, Hellhound looked towards the sunrise, “Y-You’re referring to the Ring Mage, r-right?”

“Ding-ding-ding!” Phoenix chimed out with his hands raised up over his head, waving them about. “Give the Phantom a prize! Yes, I don’t care if this plan works – It’s just bait to draw him to me, and it’ll give him a reason to go all out against me.”

A loud roar blasted through the air, shaking the cave’s basic foundations. Hellhound shuddered at the sound while Phoenix just lowered his arms. “Huh, faster than I thought, not bad for a living pair of scaled boots. Listen kiddo, you can get outta here for now, but you better get your flank back here outside the cave in a couple hours. I’ll need you to run recon for me.

“But when you come back, bring me something to eat.”

Hellhound tilted his head slightly at his superior’s request, Phoenix was scary, there was no doubt about that. But it was the shear unpredictability that the fiery Phantom displayed in the last few hours that really yanked on Hellhound’s fears – from the fact that when they first met Phoenix threatened to off Hellhound, to being nice to the canine Phantom and playfully call Hellhound ‘kiddo’, and then promptly punched Hellhound for trying to wuss out for messing with that treasure.

“W-Well, sure Master Phoenix,” Hellhound chirped out as a large shadow began to the cave a few times, making the smaller Phantom much more nervous. “Anything in particular?”

“A DLT – Daffodil, lettuce and tomato sandwich, extra tomato with a dill pickle on the side,” Phoenix listed off with his fingers, keeping his eyes on the large form that was flying towards the cave. “Hay fries, extra crispy. And a medium diet cola. But if its regular, Lord Hades help me, I’ll slice you in two and feed you to that living pair of boots!”

Tears welled up in Hellhound’s eyes before he sunk down into the shadows quickly. When the lesser Phantom disappeared from his sight, Phoenix laughed loudly as he walked out of the cave, “I never get tired of that. Feels good to get fear and respect.”

As soon as Phoenix stepped out of the cave, the large overshadowed being landed in front of the cave, a titanic being with large wings and red scales. The large shadowed creature snarled at Phoenix, who in turn playfully lifted up his hands in front of his chest, “Hello there big guy, looking for something? I think you’ll find what you’re looking right in there.”

Phoenix gestured with his hand and stepped off to the side, allowing the large being to stomp into the cave with the Phantom cackling loudly. ‘Just a little more to go, if this doesn’t work, I may have to take a page out of that Minotaur’s book and rampage that town myself. Oh well, I’ve got plenty of time.’

TTTTTT

After fixing up her mane and placing her saddlebags on her back, Twilight made her way through Ponyville. While she did, Twilight noticed that there wasn’t much damage to the town, save for a few trees that were strewn about through the streets. Most of the ponies who were awakened were actually taking care of the debris and clearing the streets.

Of course, Twilight was more concerned with getting to somepony she could talk to, fighting against fatigue. And while she dragged her hooves slightly against the ground while she trotted through Ponyville, Twilight soon found herself on the road towards Sweet Apple Acres – Applejack was the only pony that Twilight knew was awake at this time in the day.

The fresh scent of apples filled the air and reenergized Twilight slightly, making the unicorn sigh in relief when she reached the path near the apple orchard. The warming sun and cool crisp morning air was enough to at least allow Twilight to clear her head, even the calming sound of nature was able to allow the young mare to gather her thoughts and…

“Ride on right time! Ride on right time! Just run and run, like a cheetah! Emitting light! Ride on fate acting tough! Ooh-huh! If you wish it, don’t lose it, shut out the noise – Become strong like a lion! Ride on right time! Always have a target like a tiger!”

That loud screeching that could quite possibly be considered singing since there was a fast paced instrumental music that was obviously going faster than how the singer could keep up with the beat. Twilight winced as the poorly sung music was getting closer. “What in Equestria?”

When Twilight looked down the dirt path, the young mare was able to see the source of the horrid singing – Further down the road were two figures that were slowly getting closer. When they were close enough, Twilight was able to make the two travelers out in more detail.

One of the travelers was a stallion, but he wasn’t a pony stallion, it was a zebra. Twilight had seem a few of them in her books and even in real life a few times, but to see one so close was rather rare – Especially near Ponyville. This particular zebra had a messy black mane and had a large shirt that was made up of various shades of purple fabric and had a saddlebag on his back.

But what was odd about the zebra was that he had a stick attached to the side of his saddlebag that had a pair of colorful, floral boxer shorts that fluttered in the air.

The zebra had an exasperated look on his face, and for good reason. The other traveler was singing along with a portable radio that was sticking out of the zebra’s saddlebag, and was the cause for the bad singing.

The singing traveler was a tall, yet youthful looking male griffon, with the white feathers atop his head bobbing up and down a few times in rhythm with the tune as he sung. The griffon had a large, bulky red jersey on and had a large backpack that was even bigger than his whole body. How the griffon was able to carry something that looked really heavy was a little confusing to Twilight, but in the last few weeks, it wasn’t the weirdest thing she’s seen.

With a sigh, the zebra turned his head and switched off the radio with his teeth, this obviously made the griffon lift his neck up and narrow his green eyes at the zebra, “Oi! Eiji! What the Tartarus!? I was rockin’ out!”

The zebra, Eiji chuckled sheepishly as he turned his gaze away from his fellow traveler. “W-Well, it’s just we’re getting close to Ponyville, and considering it’s still early in the morning, we don’t wanna inconvenience anypony, do we?”

The griffon waved one of his talons in the air while the two continued down the path, “We’re near a farmland. I doubt anypony will be bothered with a little karaoke while we’re out here.”

It was at that moment that the two realized that they were only a few feet from Twilight Sparkle, and she was eyeing the rather odd pair for a second before she lifted up a hoof and waved it. “Uh, hello.”

Eiji bowed his head slightly while the Griffon tilted his head at the unicorn. The zebra lifted his head and smiled brightly at Twilight, “Good morning, how are you?”

“Good, I guess,” Twilight replied, still a little curious at the weird pair of travelers.

The griffon was still staring at Twilight though, at least until Eiji elbowed the feathered creature in the side with his leg, “Oi, it’s rude to stare.”

“Ow!” the griffon yelped as he rubbed his side. Then with a slight bow of his head, the griffon sighed, “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, really,” Twilight chuckled sheepishly at the two’s odd behavior.

That’s when both of the travelers nodded towards Twilight before they walked past her, the studious unicorn blinking a few times as the griffon tried reaching for the radio once more, only for Eiji to shuffle to the side slightly to make the radio just out of the feathered traveler’s reach. Twilight shook her head as she continued her way to Sweet Apple Acres, ‘A lot of odd characters are coming to Ponyville as of late.’

Twilight didn’t notice that a ghostly, red armored hand flew about the air over her, the hand turned slightly to look at her before floating off to follow the two travelers.

After shaking the odd encounter from her head, Twilight managed to find Applejack at the farm, pulling an emptied wagon from the farm. When the Southern Mare saw her friend, Applejack trotted over to Twilight, “Morning Twi, how are ya’ll doing?”

“I’ve been worse,” Twilight answered, turning her eyes slightly. “Thanks for asking Applejack, but I need to talk to you about something.”

Shuffling away from the wagon, Applejack trotted a little closer to her friend, “Sure thing Twi, Ah’ve got time for a friend. Especially after yesterday, what’s on yer mind?”

‘Something that could probably fill up a book,’ Twilight thought as she looked around. “Any place where we can go in order to get comfortable? I’ve got a lot to tell you.”

TTTTTT

At a cottage outside of the Everfree Forest, a familiar yellow pegasus was flying about to feed quite a number of different animals. As Fluttershy did her usual morning work, she couldn’t help but turn her attention back to the Everfree Woods, her wings flapping faster than usual.

When she was finished with feeding the birds with a bucket of bird seed, Fluttershy had floated down to the ground and kept her eyes on the forest for a few minutes. She whimpered a little bit as she slowly back to her house.

Last night, while most of the town was shocked with a giant Minotaur rampaging out of the town with a little armored dragon completely demolishing said Minotaur, Fluttershy had seen something even scarier (or at least she didn’t seem to really see Minotaur’s rampage since she had to search for some of the animals who had gotten lost earlier in the evening and had returned after Minotaur chased after Snips and Snails).

When Fluttershy was handing out breakfast to more of the more nocturnal animals, a large, fiery light flew through the air and scared most of the animals. Fluttershy herself hid herself behind her chicken coop as the fiery light crashed into the ground outside the Everfree Forest. When the light began to die down, the young pegasus saw that what she was looking at was a tall, red armored being with large, bird wings composed of flames that slowly dissipated from the figure’s body.

The red armored figure had stretched his body before he looked around the area. When the creature’s soulless blue eyes turned at Fluttershy’s general direction, the young pegasus tucked her head behind the chicken coop with her long pink mane slipping right after her.

She didn’t know if the fiery monster had saw her, but her fears only increased when what she assumed was the monster’s voice sounded out through the night’s sky. “Now let’s see, I can sense where my feather was used, so that’s a good start. It shouldn’t take too long to find the flank who stole my feather.

“Maybe when I’m done, I’ll burn this entire town to the ground.”

Fluttershy held her breath as she heard the fiery monster laugh, his laughter drowning out over a short amount of time. Although everything in her mind told her to not to do so, but carefully, Fluttershy peeked around the corner to see only the scorched ground and the slightly burned forested area where the monster most likely walked through. Looking further, the monster didn’t seem to notice Fluttershy at all.

Although her heart was beating a mile a minute, Fluttershy was glad that the monster was gone.

But the night after that was practically sleepless for the pegasus as she kept her eyes on the forest almost all night. Fluttershy had hoped that the scary monster had disappeared because she was pretty sure her covers weren’t going to protect her this time.

With a slight yawn, Fluttershy slowly trotted towards a smaller house with a wooden carrot sign over the door where a cute little white rabbit was quickly munching on a rather large carrot. Fluttershy smiled at the rabbit, “Good morning Angel bunny. I’m glad you’re doing so well, but, um, you may want to slow down on eating that carrot. It wouldn’t be good if you got a tummy ache or choked.”

For some reason, this seemed to offend Angel. The rather cute bunny tossed his carrot to the ramp to his little house and turned his nose up and away from Fluttershy. Fluttershy reeled back slightly before she leaned closer to Angel’s little house and pushed the carrot back up with her hoof, “Oh, um, you really should eat more.”

Angel wouldn’t hear of it!

With a quick leap, the little bunny dashed past the pegasus mare and made a beeline towards the Everfree Woods. Fluttershy’s eyes widened before she gently picked up the carrot in her mouth and stretched out her wings before she flew off. “Oh n-no! Please wait!”

Despite being able to fly, Fluttershy wasn’t able to catch up with Angel, and the small bunny was almost at the edge of the forest. But before the little rabbit was able to get into the woods, the little critter skidded to a stop as an odd, mint green pegasus casually trotted in his path. “Hello! Aw, what a cute little critter.”

Fluttershy gently landed on the ground and placed the carrot near Angel, “Oh, t-thank goodness. Angel, you don’t w-want to go in there.”

“Ah, you must be the owner of this little cutie,” The familiar pegasus – Sora chuckled as he gestured towards the scowling Angel. “Such a precious little thing.”

“Oh, um, w-well, yes,” Fluttershy whispered as she kept her distance from the unknown pegasus in front of her. “Uh, t-thanks for stopping Angel…”

Sora pushed up his hat with a bright smile on his face. “Not a problem! I, as a gentlestallion, couldn’t let a pair of ladies wander in a dreadful place like these woods. Quite the nasty place there and…”

Sora didn’t finish as a partially eaten carrot whacked him in the face, the weird pegasus reeled his head back. His gave shifted down, Sora noticed that Angel had his front paws crossed with a nasty look shot at him. “Uh… Ow?”

“I’m s-sorry,” Fluttershy sheepishly stated as she lowered her head slightly so she’d be closer to Angel. “But Angel Bunny gets a little annoyed when ponies call him a girl.”

“Oh, well, do I look like a vet?” Sora countered raising a brow at the little bunny in front of him. “If anything, I’m more like a bum. Hehehehehee.”

Both Fluttershy and Angel seemed to stare at the ever stranger pegasus before them, and while Sora wasn’t a stranger to being stared at or being considered a freak, there was usually a reason for why he did – Even if it was just for fun. With a large smile on his face, Sora quickly turned on his hooves and threw one of his front legs up towards the sky. “Oh! Look over there!”

Oddly enough, both Fluttershy and Angel looked to where Sora was pointing, and oddly enough, there was an ever-growing cloud of thick, black smoke billowing through the blue sky. Fluttershy lifted her hooves up to her mouth, “Oh my goodness! S-Smoke!”

Sora blinked a few times in confusion before he looked at his hoof, “There was something actually there? By the heavens, I have the power!”

Quickly snapping that same hoof up into the air, Sora called out to the skies above, “Let the ice cream rain down from the sky!”

For a few moments, Sora just stood there with his mouth wide open, Fluttershy blinking a few times at the weird pegasus in front of her. When it was apparent that ice cream wasn’t going to fall from above sky, Sora rubbed the back of his head with the same hoof, “Worth a shot. Oh well, that’s all folks! Dah dadada daaah!”

And just like that, Sora flew off at top speed, leaving a few feathers behind. Fluttershy turned towards Angel, who just shrugged with a disappointed look on his face. “I… I think I should tell everypony about t-the smoke.”

TTTTTTT

“So, wait, let me see if Ah got this right,” Applejack questioned as she rubbed the side of her head in confusion.

Over the last half hour, Twilight had retold everything about the meeting with the White Wizard had told her the night before – How he was Haru’s master, about White Wizard apologizing for his student’s actions (or the Phantom’s), and the biggest one of all…

“Mistah Souma’s actually a stallion?” Applejack questioned with her eyes widened.

That was a point that Twilight had brought up at the very end, and while she kept telling Applejack what she saw and what she heard, for some reason it wasn’t sticking with the southern mare. So with a sigh, Twilight lowered her head, “Yes Applejack, he was once a stallion.”

“Ah just can’t wrap mah head around that,” Applejack replied as she pulled her hat down with her hoof. “How does something like that work?”

“Well,” Twilight muttered out loud with her hoof rubbing her chin. “If I had to guess, Phantoms create their own bodies after they, well, ‘awaken’. But Dragon wasn’t fully awakened, but the damage was done and Haru’s body was probably transformed partially into the Phantom’s. Then again, I haven’t studied any Phantoms, so I can only speculate.”

Applejack blinked a few times before she shifted her eyes slightly, “So, outta curiosity, what kinda pony was Mistah Souma?”

“What?” Twilight replied, reeling slightly. “Does that matter?”

“Nope,” Applejack answered with her hat falling down over her face. “Ah’m just a little curious ‘bout that, if he was an earth pony, then Ah could probably have ‘im work out in the fields sometime. Speakin’ of the scaly poke, Ah don’t suppose he showed up at yer place after a while?”

“Unfortunately, no he did not,” Twilight sighed under her breath. “I don’t know where he is, I’m worried he’s probably beating himself up over last night.”

“Can ya blame him?” Applejack questioned fixing her hat. “Even though it wasn’t him in control, he probably thinks that he tried to hurt ya.”

Twilight turned her head slightly, she didn’t want to admit it, but even now her neck was still sore from Haru’s… No, Dragon’s claws. ‘We need to find him, we need to talk to Haru, but, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little afraid of what would happen if we found him.’

The unicorn was quiet for a few moments before Applejack got to her hooves and trotted to her friend, “Twi, Ah don’t know what’s going on in yer head right now, but when something like this happens, there are two things ponies can do. Either we can find Haru, or we can leave him to figure this out on his own.

“Ah don’t know which path is right, but as his friends, we need to try to find him. He’s been there to help us ever since day one, and we need to be there for him now. There were a few words that dragon gave me – ‘Yer just one pony, there’s just so much one pony can do before they break.’

“Ah think he just reached his breaking point.”

Twilight nodded, a smile reaching her face, “You’re right Applejack, but we don’t know where to start looking for him.”

“Oh? Ah don’t know ‘bout that,” Applejack replied with her own smile. “Tell me something Twi, did Haru leave those fancy familiars behind?”

The young student’s eyes widened as the gears in her head turned, “That’s right! Garuda, Uni, and Kraken…”

“Actually, Apple Bloom named Haru’s familiar Kenny,” Applejack stated out of the blue.

“Uh, okay,” Twilight sputtered before she shook her head. “Anyway, they all have their own minds and are connected to Haru’s magic, so if we can get them to help, they can lead us right to Haru!”

Applejack smiled, “Sounds like a plan!”

However, before the two mares could go off in search of one of the three familiars, the sky began to darken over them and made the two of them look up to see the very same mass of dark clouds that Fluttershy had seen as well. Applejack tilted her head slightly, “What in tarnation?”

Twilight sighed loudly, “When it rains, it pours.”

TTTTTT

Back on the mountain, atop of a fallen tree near the large cave’s mouth, Phoenix was relaxing on the brush with his arms thrown behind his head. A little bit of time had passed since his plan was finally taking effect, and he watched the large amount of smoke billow out of the cave. With a slight laugh, Phoenix pulled one of his hands out and held it towards the smoke. ‘Stallion, I am so smart to steal this plan from Medusa. Not only do I get to relax and have a few lower Phantoms at my beck and call, but if from what I’ve heard about this Ring Wizard, then there’s no way he won’t let a nasty Phantom like me pull a stunt like this.

‘Even if this doesn’t draw him to me, I can still awaken a number of Phantoms within Equestria – If I don’t get what I want, I can still come out on top. Damn, I’m awesome.’

“M-Master Phoenix?”

Phoenix didn’t even lift his head up when he heard that voice and waved his hand at the pony-disguised Hellhound. "Ah, good timing. I was starting to get the munchies. You get my order right?”

“Uh, well, y-yes,” Hellhound coughed as he slipped the saddlebags off of his back and onto the ground. “But I had to do some recon before I came back like you said to do, and I’ve got quite a bit of news.”

“Excellent, let’s hear the news.”

“To start off,” Hellhound listed off as he sat down on the rocky ground. “The smoke from the cave has already reached over Ponyville, and at the rate its going, it should reach Canterlot by nightfall.”

Phoenix rubbed his fingers together a few times before he chuckled, “That’s good.”

“Bad news is, there’s a task force being rounded up to investigate the smoke,” Hellhound continued with his head lowered slightly. “As it turns out, Princess Celestia seems to know that there’s a dragon causing the smoke.”

The Greater Phantom moaned loudly as he rolled his blue eyes, “That’s bad, and annoying.”

“But the task force is just made up of six ponies,” Hellhound added. “And said ponies are just a group of six, teenage mares.”

“Did Celestia recruit a team of teenagers with attitude?” Phoenix questioned as he sat up from the slightly singed tree. “That’s strangely awesome.”

“Yeah, but the six mares are kind of the wielders of the Elements,” Hellhound chimed in with a sigh following. “You know, the Elements of Harmony.”

Phoenix winced as he rubbed the back of his head, “Ooh, that’s bad, really bad if they got them shiny rocks with them.”

“I doubt that’s the case,” Hellhound pointed out as he pushed the saddlebags towards Phoenix, who was jumping down from the singed tree. “Besides, I should point out that for some reason, some of these mares who tended to be with the Ring Mage.”

While Phoenix was going through the saddlebags, the Phantom cackled loudly, “Good, good! I can use that, if they’re in danger, then I can get that Ring Mage to come quicker and fight me with everything he has! The only thing missing is how to find the guy and to get him to come.”

“I don’t think that’ll be a problem,” Hellhound chuckled sheepishly. “He tends to have eyes following some ponies. He loves to make dynamic entries by kicking or shooting us Phantoms before he kicks our tails afterwards.”

“A big time hero, huh?” Phoenix questioned as he pulled out a large brown paper bag from the saddlebags. “That’s good, real good – After I finish my meal, I need you to keep an eye on those six mares. Don’t attack them when they reach the mountain, just come to me and I’ll see what I can do.

“Now, while we’re on the subject of lunch – I hope you got everything I wanted.”

“Well, they were out of pickles,” Hellhound replied, noting that Phoenix was leering at him. “B-But! I… I managed to talk them into giving you a free frozen yogurt! Which I call frogurt!”

The look in Phoenix’s eyes softened slightly, “I love frogurt! That’s good!”

“Unfortunately, they said that the frogurt is cursed,” Hellhound replied with a shifty look in his eyes.

“Oooh, that’s bad,” Phoenix chimed in.

“But we got free toppings,” Hellhound countered

“Yay! That’s good!”

“The toppings contain potassium benzoate,” Hellhound replied.

Phoenix didn’t say a word, but rather tilted his head towards Hellhound, “… That’s bad.”

“Yes, yes, whatever,” Phoenix sighed as he pulled out the large sandwich from the brown paper bag. “Go make yourself useful and do recon around the mountain. If you see those mares or find the Wizard, let me know. Don’t engage any of them, if a single hair is out of place on their heads, I’ll break one of your limbs.”

A chill ran down Hellhound’s spine before a deep shadow appeared around his hooves and drew the Phantom pony into it. Phoenix pulled out his DLT and took a big whiff of the sandwich, “Hmm, too bad I have to change back to eat this – Fingers are useful for this sort of thing.”

TTTTT

It was early afternoon when Twilight looked upon the tall mountain before her, watching the smog from the top of the mountain flow from its hidden top. When Twilight had returned to the library, the young mare learned from Spike that a letter from Celestia had come, to which Twilight had learned that there were reports that a dragon had recently taken residence at the top of this very mountain.

Said dragon was also the cause of the smog, for when a fully grown dragon snores, it produces smoke. If nothing was done, then all of Equestria would be plunged into darkness for a hundred years, ‘That’s oddly specific and kind of sounds like something you’d read in an old story. What’s with darkness and evil taking specific times to last? Thousand years of darkness, a hundred years without the sun…

‘Seems too specific.’

Shaking that thought from her head, Twilight turned to see her friends behind her, all of them looking at the smog covered sky. When Twilight had explained to the town what was happening with the smoke (as per instruction by said letter), Twilight had gathered her friends in order to ask the dragon to leave.

Although, there were a few reservations about the plan, especially considering what had happen just the night before. But when the ground shook with a loud booming noise, those reservations started to grow.

“Whoa,” Rainbow Dash stated, using her wings to fly above the others. “What was that?”

“That is what a dragon sounds like when it snores,” Twilight answered with her eyes closed. “Trust me, when you’ve got two dragons sleeping under the same roof, you can tell. Albeit, they don’t snore as loud.”

“Ya’ll okay there, Fluttershy?” Applejack questioned, turning towards the young pegasus who had hidden behind her when the dragon snored.

“It’s j-just so… high,” Fluttershy yelped back.

“What?” Rainbow Dash scoffed with a roll of her eyes. “Okay, first off, of course it's high! It’s a mountain! Second, why are you afraid of a little altitude? We’re from Cloudsdale, that place is nothing but altitude!”

“Oh, um…” Fluttershy struggled to come up with an answer…

“Forget it,” Rainbow replied as she began to fly up higher. “I’m gonna fly up there and check it out!”

Rainbow Dash began to soar higher into the air, but however, she was quickly pulled back to the ground courtesy of Applejack pulling on her tail. A little surprised, Dash fell to the ground, with Applejack over her, “Now hold on! This ain’t a solo show, we need to stick together. Safety in numbers and all.”

Dash rolled her eyes and crossed her front legs in annoyance.

“Twilight,” Rarity stated as she trotted towards her fellow unicorn, garnering the lavender unicorn’s attention. “I’m a little curious, why didn’t we bring Spike or Mister Souma? Surely having a dragon come with us would make this dragon more compliant with our request.”

“Actually, dragons tend to be more territorial with other dragons,” Twilight explained as she looked at the mountain again. “Especially with their nests, more than likely this dragon set up a new nest for taking a nap. If we brought another dragon into the den, then the result wouldn’t be good.”

“Ooh, but I was so looking forward to seeing Haru!” Pinkie Pie sighed as she bounced around the two unicorns. “I bet his magic would’ve made this a breeze! That or maybe we could’ve had some more fun! A party only gets better with more party animals!”

“Indeed,” Rarity added. “Even if we couldn’t use Mister Souma as an ambassador in order to speak to this dragon, his magic would make this trip easier.”

“Well… You see,” Twilight tried to explain.

“After last night, Mistah Souma needed some time off,” Applejack replied as she trotted to the group. “Not every day a giant monster attacks a town.”

“Yeah, that only happens about once a week,” Pinkie stated with a bright smile.

Twilight was about to say, but then she blinked a few times, ‘Yeah, the Phantoms seem to only attack once a week. Weird.’

“So, how are we gonna get up there?” Applejack asked. “Not all of us have wings.”

“Yep! We’re not going to be able to climb up that mountain,” Pinkie Pie stated as she lifted her hoof up towards the mountain. “Ponies aren’t made to live in a mountainous ecosystem. With our strong legs, dangling head, and tall stature are for more of the grasslands – And don’t get me started on the hooves, that’s a different lesson entirely.”

All five of the other mares just stared at the pink earth pony as Pinkie reached into her saddlebags, and quickly pulled out a cute porcelain bunny. “Ooh! Maybe the dragon will leave if I give him the pretty bunny!”

Twilight was dumbfounded by her friend’s weird personality, but shook her head, “Well, you don’t have to worry. While you girls were preparing yourselves, I researched a spell that will allow us to traverse the mountain range. We’ll be able to climb the mountain terrain without having to worry about falling.”

A few moments later, with Twilight’s magic covering most of the mare’s hooves (Rainbow Dash was flying overhead), the ponies were traversing the mountainside, with Twilight behind them in order to keep up her magic and prevent any of her friends from falling off.

“I heard that dragons hoard a number of rare jewels and treasure,” Rarity muttered under her breath. “If Mister Souma’s any indication, then perhaps I can persuade this dragon to part with a few of his little trinkets.”

“Welcome to my cave Rarity!” Pinkie Pie joked with her voice a little deeper and scraggily. “Care for a diamond? Raaagh!”

Pinkie and Rarity giggled at that, however Dash, Applejack and Twilight didn’t laugh – Which didn’t go unnoticed by the two other mares. Pinkie Pie tilted her head slightly, “What? Wasn’t that a good impression of a dragon?”

“More than you know,” Applejack sighed.

“Yeah, it’s just been a long night,” Dash added as she floated overhead.

“Y-Yes, this is no laughing matter,” Twilight replied as she began to walk past her friends with a rolled up map floating next to her. “We need to do this, and not every dragon will be like the ones we know. Fluttershy, what do you think? You’re the expert on wild creatures, what do you think this dragon will be like?”

There was no answer.

“Fluttershy?” Twilight questioned as all of the ponies turned back to the ground to see the yellow pegasus hiding in a bush.

“Hey!” Dash called out to her fellow pegasus. “What are you waiting for? An invitation?”

“Ooh! I think I’ve got one in my bag!” Pinkie exclaimed before a large amount of confetti, streamers and party poppers shot from her saddlebags, scaring most of the mares. Rainbow Dash got the brunt of it though, with her mane standing on end.

“It’s… It’s just…” Fluttershy stated as she looked up to her friends…

And then looked past them when something red caught her eye, in contrast with the dark gray stones of the mountain, this red and yellow thing was easy to spot past her friends. It was even easier to recognize since Fluttershy saw the ‘thing’ just last night – It was the very same monster that had appeared outside the Everfree Forest!

The fiery monster was looking down at the group with his legs dangling over the ledge he was sitting on. The monster seemed to have seen Fluttershy, since it was waving one of its hands towards her.

The young pegasus whimpered loudly before she dove back into the bush, shaking the leafs and branches within it.

Applejack sighed before she trotted next to Twilight, “Looks like there’s no two ways about it, Ah’ll just have to take her around the mountain. Poor dear looks like she’s about topple over. It’ll take a while…”

The southern mare leaned closer to Twilight, “Twi, Ah’m gonna take that map and we’ll meet ya’ll up at that cliff up there. But while Ah take there, Ah’d like ya to tell the others what ya told me.”

“Applejack,” Twilight replied.

“Twi, they need to know too,” Applejack stated with her eyes narrowed at her unicorn friend. “They’re all Mistah Souma’s friends too, and should know what’s going on with him.”

Twilight nodded slowly before Applejack took the map and skidded down to the ground near Fluttershy. Twilight turned to her other three friends and sighed, “Well, come on girls, let’s hurry up there. While we wait, I need to tell you all something important.”

Rarity, Pinkie and Dash looked to each other in confusion. Meanwhile, Phoenix, the fiery monster had disappeared from the ledge.

TTTTTT

“Ya know, this would go a lot faster if ya’ll actually use yer legs.”

A little bit of time passed when Applejack volunteered to help Fluttershy up the mountain, and while they were taking a much easier path. But it didn’t help that Applejack had to pull on Fluttershy’s tail, and literally drag the pegasus up the mountain.

Fluttershy turned her eyes away from her friend, “I… I’m s-sorry Applejack.”

When the two reached a side of the mountain that had a few bushes and trees around it, Applejack pulled her head from Fluttershy’s tail and fell to the ground. “D-Don’t worry ‘bout it. Just try to walk from now please. We’ll continue in a few minutes.”

The yellow pegasus got to her hooves and shook the dirt from her before she lowered her gaze, “Applejack, c-can you keep a secret?”

“Of course,” Applejack replied as she sighed loudly and stretched her legs. “Anything for a friend.”

“I can’t d-do this,” Fluttershy stated bluntly. “I… I don’t want to be here.”

“And why’s that?” Applejack questioned, taking her hat off and using it to fan herself.

“W-Well, you see…” Fluttershy muttered as she looked up at one of the nearby trees. Unfortunately, when she did, the young pegasus froze up when she looked at the branches, her eyes widened and she whimpered.

That didn’t go unnoticed by Applejack, who in turned looked at the same tree that Fluttershy was looking at and her eyes widened when she saw a familiar red tail and navy blue jacket hanging off of the branch. “What the?! Mistah Souma?!”

Atop of a nearby ledge however…

“Hmm… Didn’t expect to see the mage on the mountain so soon. Maybe I’ll go down and have my fun.”

TBC

Author's Note:

MangaKamen: Hello!

I'm back, and now prepare to face one of the greatest trio of chapters in a long time - Epic battles! Awesome comedy! And of course, art by my friend Lux-Nero!

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