• 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 15 - Burn, Burn!

So you’re finally here! Damn, I was getting tired of waiting!
- Phoenix

TTTTTTT

Spell 15

Burn, Burn

TTTTTTT

“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.”

Haru didn’t have the best night, like most of the ponies in Ponyville who saw the Minotaur attack, of course his mostly sleepless night was due to the fact that Dragon never shut his yap for two bloody seconds!

Every single time he closed his eyes, the inner Phantom would spout off some sort of drivel that was disguised as something that philosopher would say. The only reason why Haru was finally able to get some sleep in the early morning was only due to the fact that he drowned out Dragon’s rambling by thinking about nothing but show-tunes.

This unfortunately led him to sleep throughout most of the day, Dragon’s voice no longer keeping him awake. He was unaware of the smoke that was billowing overhead, or for the fact that Applejack was trotting over to the tree that Haru was sleeping in. “Mistah Souma!”

The young dragon didn’t seem to hear the Southern mare.

Applejack snorted slightly before she turned around and slammed both of her hind hooves into the tree, effectively shaking the red dragon out of the tree and land on the ground before the earth pony. “Ow…”

“Good, yer awake,” Applejack stated as the groggy dragon pushed himself off of the ground.

“Hard to not be when you fall out of a tree,” Haru replied as he rubbed the back of his bruised head. “This is the second time you kicked me out of a tree, AJ, are we going to make this a habit?”

“It is if ya’ll keep running off,” Applejack retorted as she pointed a hoof at the dragon. “What in tarnation are ya doing up here?”

“Trying to get some sleep,” Haru answered as his tail wrapped around the fallen jacket. With his eyes closed, Haru spun around and dug his claws into the tree trunk. “Now if you excuse me, I’ll be going back to sleep.”

Before Haru could even get his feet off the ground, Applejack stomped on the sleek dragon’s tail and caused him to fall back to the ground. “Now hold on there! Ya’ll just ran off last night, and now yer trying to run again? Haru, just hold on for a second!”

The dragon sighed loudly as he lowered his head, “Just leave me alone AJ, it’s for everypony’s own good.”

“Ya’ll know that ain’t true!” Applejack scolded as she trotted around to look the sleek dragon in the eyes, only to see that he was turning his head away from her with his eyes closed. “Mistah Souma, fer some sorta wiz at magic yer acting like an idiot.”

“You’ve got a funny way of consoling,” Haru replied as he waved his claws about. “I’m doing this so nopony gets hurt because of me.”

“And yer doing this by separating yerself from yer friends?” Applejack pointed out with a roll of her eyes. “Mistah Souma, it wasn’t yer fault what happened last night – Twi explained that and…”

“IT IS MY FAULT!” Haru snapped back with his eyes open and narrowed down at Applejack. When Applejack reeled back slightly from Haru, the red dragon shook his head and looked down at his claws. “These claws of mine, they… They almost took the life of somepony. Not just any pony though, one who I consider a friend.

“I unleashed that monster in me, I almost allowed him to kill Twilight with these very claws!”

“Mistah Souma,” Applejack stated with a slightly annoyed look on her face.

“How can I even look Twilight in eyes after that?” Haru asked as he buried his face into his claws. “And I don’t even know if I can even control that monster within me and…”

“Haru…” Applejack growled with her eyes narrowed.

“Who knows what Dragon will do if he controls me again?” Haru asked shaking his head a few times before he lifted his head up. “It might be me ravaging Ponyville next time, and I don’t want to hurt anypony! I…”

WHAM!

Haru’s eyes widened as his face began to sting with pain before he was propelled through the air courtesy of Applejack kicking him with both of her legs with all of her strength. The force was enough to make Haru crash into the rocky side of the mountain a few feet from Fluttershy, making the young pegasus yelp before she galloped away from the dragon.

When Haru fell to the ground with his face and front of his body scuffed up slightly, “Ooooowww…”

“Sorry ‘bout that,” Applejack stated, she nodded towards Fluttershy who had galloped behind her Southern friend. “And as for you Mistah Souma, Ah hope that knocked some sense into ya.”

“It knocked something around,” Haru mumbled as his eyes spun about dizzily.

“Mistah Souma,” Applejack sighed as she slowly trotted over to the dragon. “Ya’ll have done so much for yer friends, so much for Ponyville, and just cause of one little incident, yer ready to abandon everything? That doesn’t sound like the Mistah Souma Ah know.”

Haru sat up straight and shook his head, “This isn’t just some small incident, Applejack. I almost killed a friend and…”

“Okay, enough of the pointless angst!”

The two ponies and single dragon jumped slightly when that voice rang out, making them all look up to the side of the mountain to see Phoenix sitting on one of the cliffs, waving his hand at the three. Fluttershy yelped as she dashed behind the tree that Haru was sleeping in while Haru jumped to his clawed feet. “Phantom!?”

“What in tarnation is one of them doing here?” Applejack questioned as she crouched down slightly, preparing herself for anything.

“Let’s see,” Phoenix mused as he tapped his finger against his chin. “There are a number of reasons why I’m here, let’s check our options. Option one, I’m not really here – You’re all in a group hallucination and you’ll wake up in a few moments.

“Option two – I’m here for the Monster Fan Convention and this is my costume. I just happened to get lost. Really lost.”

Phoenix leapt from the mountainside and landed on the ground with flames erupting from where he landed on the ground. With a slight chuckle, Phoenix spun around and lifted up his hand with three fingers, “Or option three – I’m here to kill some boredom. If I had known this plan of mine would take so long, I would’ve threatened the kiddo to bring me a couple magazines.

“All seem viable, but I’d go with option three personally.”

Phoenix looked towards Haru and Applejack, crossed his arms as he shook his head. “Although, I gotta say, I’m not impressed. When I heard that there was a Ring Mage running about destroying Phantoms, I was kind of expecting something a little more… Intimidating.

“After what I saw last night, fighting against that poser of a Greater Phantom, I was expecting you to be a buff warrior of great strength and intimidation.”

The sleek dragon looked towards Applejack, and then towards Fluttershy. He knew that Applejack was a Gate, but could Fluttershy have been one too? What were they doing at this mountain anyway? And how long was this Phantom around?

Haru shook his head from those thoughts, ‘GARGH! Too many questions! And I don’t have the time for this! Not when there’s a Phantom right in front of me!”

The last action that Haru performed didn’t go unnoticed by the fiery Phantom, which resulted in Phoenix chuckling as he waved his hand about. “But here I see nothing more than an angst little insect. Suck it up or give it up, just pick one! But if you’re just going to stand around thinking about everything, I could always roast one of these little mares to make it easier on you…

“DRIVER ON - PLEASE!”

Phoenix cackled loudly as the buckle on Haru’s waist glowed brightly, “Looks like I’ve found the spark to make you act. I’ve been looking for you, Ringy Wizard. Everything before me doesn’t last long, but I bet before you bite the dust…”

Several flames erupted from Phoenix’s back as he clenched his fist tightly, a loud sickening crack echoing through the air. “I’ll get to really take my time hurting you.”

Haru turned towards Applejack as he slipped a small red ring over his left claw, “Applejack, you and Fluttershy get out of here, now.”

“But Mistah Souma,” Applejack started.

“NOW!” Haru growled before he threw his hand in front of his belt. “This isn’t a debate! Now GO!”

“FLAME – PLEASE! Hii Hii Hii Hii Hii!”

Applejack nodded as Haru’s body was immediately covered in his Wizard garb, the red jewels gleaming from both his own flames and Phoenix’s. The southern mare galloped past Phoenix, keeping her distance from the fiery Phantom who didn’t even turn his head as the pony dashed to Fluttershy.

Rather, Phoenix kept his gaze on Wizard, and Wizard did the same. The masked dragon lifted his hand up and pointed towards Phoenix, “Why do you want to fight me so bad?”

“Because I can’t sing or dance,” Phoenix replied, not caring that Applejack was pulling a frozen stiff Fluttershy from her hiding place.

“Well, you’ve got your wish,” Wizard replied as he lifted up his left claw showing the ring on his claws. “I’ll take you on.”

“Good,” Phoenix cackled as he threw his right arm in front of him, creating a powerful flame that transformed into a large golden broadsword with a wing-like hilt to it. “I am Phoenix of the Phantoms. What is your name?”

Wizard tilted his head slightly at the Phantom’s question, but turned his body to the side, “Haruto Souma. Why does a Phantom care about a name?”

Phoenix pointed his sword towards the masked dragon, “Everything has name – Ponies, Dragons, Phantoms, and even the land itself – It is a name that makes us what we are, and it isn’t something to be taken granted for. Consider it a courtesy, one of the few you’ll see in this fight.”

Silence filled the air, save for Applejack’s hooves clacking against the rocky ground. With an unannounced signal, both beings of magic charged at each other. Phoenix swung his sword right towards Wizard’s upper body, with the masked dragon quickly ducking underneath it.

The fiery Phantom spun around and took a low swept at Wizard, who dodged simply by lifting up one of his legs. But with the momentum of his missed slash, Phoenix had lifted his broadsword up into the air and just as quickly brought the blade down on Wizard, who in turn spun about to dodge the attack with his tail wrapped around one of Phoenix’s ankles.

Then, with a swift kick to the Phantom’s back, Wizard pulled his tail back and caused Phoenix to fall face first into the ground with a loud whap. However, Phoenix only cackled under his breath before he jumped to his feet. “Not bad!”

“CONNECT – PLEASE!”

Wizard drew his hand out from the portal and pulled out his WizarSwordgun and charged Phoenix. Both magical beings clashed their blades with flames erupting from the steel, the two pushed their weapons towards the other, undaunted by the fire that surged past them.

Then both magical beings pushed from each other, with Phoenix rushing forward to make his move and slashed horizontally at Wizard, only to have the masked dragon leap over the golden broadsword. The moment that Wizard’s feet touched the ground, he spun around and stabbed at Phoenix.

But the Phantom’s speed seemed to be improving as he blocked the attack with his sword, and pushed Wizard back, taking the opportunity to bring his sword across Wizard’s armored chest. Sparks erupted from Wizard’s chest and sent the armored dragon skidding back with smoke lifting up from his body.

Wizard brought his left hand to his jewel covered chest, but shook the pain away when Phoenix charged forward once more. When Phoenix brought his sword down on Wizard once more, the masked dragon dove to the right at the last second and fitted a pair of rings on his right claw. ‘The battle just started, but I can already tell this Phantom’s not like the others… He’s on another level! I can’t mess around here!’

Phoenix sighed loudly as he turned towards Wizard who brought up his right hand to the hand symbol on the WizarSwordGun, making a bright light erupt on silver weapon. “MULTI COPY – PLEASE!”

Wizard threw the sword up into the air, the fiery Phantom tilted his head slightly before he charged towards the magical dragon.

However, before Phoenix reached Wizard, several copies of the silver sword fell from the sky and stabbed into the ground around both of the fighting magical beings. Phoenix stopped before any of the blades had reached him and he looked around, “Ooh, nice choice! This makes the battlefield all the more interesting!”

Without saying a word, Wizard dashed over the ground, grabbing two of the swords and charged at Phoenix. The Phantom stood still as Wizard brought down both of the blades on Phoenix, who in turn casually lifted his broadsword up to block the attacks. “That’s it? You go through all the trouble to…”

Before Phoenix finished his sentence, Wizard leapt over the rather surprised Phantom and landed behind Phoenix. Wizard quickly spun about and slashed down with one of his swords, but Phoenix turned and blocked the attack with the broadsword once more, and twisted his wrist slightly to block the next oncoming slash from Wizard’s other sword.

With a spin, Wizard revealed that coiled in his tail was another sword, which actually caught Phoenix by surprise with the blade actually making contact and slashed across Phoenix’s stomach, surprising the Phantom and actually making him stagger back a few feet.

Wizard crossed the swords in his hands and had the blade in his tail resting on the ground while Phoenix brought his hand to his stomach.

“… heh… Hehehehehe… YES!” Phoenix proclaimed as he stood up straight, throwing his free hand to the side. “That’s what I’m talking about! That’s the ferocity that I was looking for! Show me more!”

Wizard was a little drawn back from Phoenix’s attitude, but shook his head to compose himself and charged towards Phoenix, leaping into the air to bring down all three blades onto Phoenix. The Phantom laughed loudly as he countered with his own broadsword…

CLANK!

All three of the blades flew from Wizard’s hands and tail, with Wizard forced back through the air, courtesy of the powerful slash that Phoenix had delivered. ‘I need to grab one of my swords! Quick!’

“No need to fly off on my account!”

Wizard lifted his head to realize that Phoenix was right over him, having leapt over Wizard. Before Wizard could react, Phoenix threw a powerful left jab into the masked dragon’s stomach and flung him to the ground, forcing a number of swords in the ground to pop from the earth.

It took only a second for Wizard to gather himself, and realized that Phoenix was falling towards him with his broadsword held overhead.

Wizard quickly grabbed two of the nearest blades and crossed them up at the last second to catch Phoenix’s broadsword. Although he managed to block the attack, Phoenix’s broadsword was still pushing down with Phoenix lowering his head slightly to look Wizard right in the visor. “C’mon! You can do better than this! I didn’t go through all the trouble of setting this up just so you could fail so quickly!”

The moment that Phoenix finished that sentence, Wizard slammed both of his feet into Phoenix’s stomach and flipped the fiery Phantom off of the masked dragon. Wizard jumped to his feet as Phoenix landed on the ground, and immediately, Wizard pointed the sword in his right hand at Phoenix. “Setting this up? What in the world are you talking about?”

Phoenix tilted his head slightly at Wizard, “You’re serious, aren’t you? You didn’t see the growing cloud of smoke overhead?! It’s been spreading over the land for the last few hours!

“Does this mean that I didn’t have to do this plan!?”

Wizard took this opportunity to drop his left-handed blade, quickly unfolded the hand charm on his right blade, and brought his ring covered hand to the hand of it. “C’MON SLASH! SHAKE THE HAND! SLASH STRIKE!”

All of the copies of the WizarSwordGun glowed a bright red as Wizard spun around to grab another one with his left hand and a third with his tail. While still spinning, Wizard slashed through the air, creating several surges of red energy that floated in front of the masked dragon, and with a loud roar, Wizard propelled all of the surges of fiery mana through the air towards Phoenix. “HII HII HII! HII HII HII!”

Phoenix lifted his head up to see the energy zoom right at him, and he quickly brought up his broadsword to block the surges of fiery mana. The attacks exploded upon impact with flames completely wrapping around Phoenix’s body.

The copies of the WizarSwordGun faded away from the ground leaving the only the real weapon at Wizard’s right claw, Wizard sighed as he shook his head. ‘That should do it.’

“Oi!”

Wizard snapped his head up saw that the flames were now whipping around Phoenix’s body, with his sword in the ground he was leaning on the weapon’s hilt. “Did you really think fire would work against me? The only thing these flames are doing is giving me a rather nice tan.”

“Great,” Wizard sighed as he stabbed his sword into the ground as he reached for his belt of rings.

“Don’t feel so bad,” Phoenix consoled as he drew his sword from the ground. “You actually got me to block the attack. Most of the time when a dragon breathes fire on me, I just take it since it’s just regular fire, but you forced me to block it.”

“WATER – PLEASE!”

Phoenix’s eyes widened as he watched a blue runic circle pop at Wizard’s feet and surge up over his body, turning the rubies on his armor into sapphires. “SUI SUI SUI SUI!”

Wizard folded the sword into a gun and quickly brought his right hand to the unfolded hand on his weapon. “WATER – SHOOTING STRIKE!”

Then without a moment of hesitation, Wizard shot a powerful burst of glowing blue water towards Phoenix. The Phantom spun his left hand, making the flames around him combining into a large fiery shield that blocked the watery attack with steam floating into the air. Wizard stepped back as Phoenix waved his hand about, “Didn’t know you could change elements, not bad at all. Too bad that squirt gun of yours isn’t going to do much.”

Wizard tossed his gun to the side and fitted different ring on his right hand before he threw it in front of his belt. “LIQUID – PLEASE!”

Phoenix chuckled as he watched Wizard’s body shimmer into a torrent of water that flew through the air. This time, the Phantom drew his sword from the ground and slashed at the mystic liquid, only for it to go underneath it and slam into Phoenix’s abdomen. The force caused Phoenix to skid back, but immediately he was sent stumbling forward when the liquefied Wizard crashed into Phoenix’s back.

The red Phantom turned his head to watch the magical water surge around him, every few seconds crashing into Phoenix and making the Phantom stumble about from the attacks. Phoenix cackled as he slashed down only to have the liquefied Wizard spilt and reform over Phoenix. “Not half bad, Haruto Souma! But petty tricks will only work so far!”

With a loud battle cry, flames erupted from Phoenix’s body and forced the mystic liquid back and crash into the ground, forming back into Wizard who’s body had smoke rising from it. “Gargh!”

“You’re not a bad fighter, Haruto Souma,” Phoenix sighed as he slowly walked towards Wizard, his broadsword resting on his shoulder. “But this isn’t what I was hoping for. Your tactics and tricks are good, but they pale in comparison to what I witnessed last night – Surely you can do better!”

Wizard quickly pushed himself off of the ground and reached for his chain of rings, exchanging the rings on his left claw.

“But this? This is just plop,” Phoenix stated as he slowly closed the gap between him and Wizard. “The Phantoms you destroyed must’ve been at the bottom of the barrel, and frankly, I’m disappointed in you and in my fellow Phantoms. Show me that power that you used last night!”

“LAND – PLEASE!

“Dododo dododon! Don Dododon!”

The earth at Wizard’s feet rose up and immediately covered his armor with square topazes with the masked dragon slipping another ring on his hand.

Phoenix sighed loudly, “… Really? It was just a fluke, wasn’t it? Oh well, another disappointment.”

Phoenix picked up his pace and lifted his broadsword up as Wizard snapped his hand in front of his belt. “DEFEND – PLEASE!”

Wizard threw his hand forward and created a large stone wall between him and Phoenix, however, the fiery Phantom brought his sword down and cleaved the wall in two, allowing him to continue towards Wizard.

The masked dragon threw his right claw in front of his belt once more, “DEFEND – PLEASE!”

The same rocky wall erupted from the ground, but Phoenix just slashed the stone slab and shattered it into millions of pieces. Wizard threw his hand in front of his belt a third time, “DEFEND – PLEASE!”

However, Phoenix didn’t even wait for the wall to fully emerge before he spun around and crushed the defensive spell, sending debris flying towards Wizard, surprising him. While he was surprised, Phoenix slashed his sword across Wizard’s chest, sparks flying and sending the masked dragon flying through the air. “GARGH!”

Wizard crashed into the ground near his sword, and quickly lifted it up when he realized that Phoenix was bringing down the broadsword. And even though Wizard managed to block the attack, the flames from Phoenix’s sword flew into Wizard’s body, forcing the masked dragon to falter closer to the ground.

Phoenix brought his face closer to Wizard’s mask, the oddly cold blue eyes looking into the yellow visor, “Let me tell you something, Haruto Souma, despite how this world looks, the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you think you are, it’ll beat you to your knees and keep ya there permanently if you let it!

Phoenix then kicked Wizard off of the ground, allowing him to bring his sword across Wizard’s chest, flames and bits of Wizard’s chest jewels flying from him. Phoenix then kicked Wizard in the stomach and forced Wizard to the ground. “You or nobody ain’t gonna hit as hard as life. It ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

“That’s why this victory is mine! I’ve conquered what this life has thrown at me! I’ve conquered countless monsters! I’ve even conquered death!”

That’s when Phoenix wrapped his fingers around Wizard’s neck, lifting the sleek dragon off of the ground and even off of his feet. Wizard dropped his sword and clawed at Phoenix’s armored arm. Phoenix pulled him close as the air from Wizard’s lungs wheezed out of his masked covered mouth. “This victory leaves a bad taste in my mouth, I had hoped you were something more. But you’re just like the monsters I’ve slain - Unsatisfying.

“If you’re done, then time to die.”

Phoenix tossed Wizard up into the air, the broadsword in the Phantom’s hand covered in flames. When Wizard fell back to the ground, Phoenix began to bring up his sword towards Wizard…

SMACK!

At least until something smashed into right side of Phoenix’s head, making him stumble off balance and make his attack miss Wizard completely. When the masked dragon landed on the ground, Phoenix brought his free hand to his head and pulled whatever had smacked him upside the head – pulling what appeared to be a smushed apple, “… Hehehe… Hahahahaha! An apple! Oh hahaha! What pony attacks with an apple?”

As if in response, a second apple slammed into Phoenix’s face, making him stumble back slightly. When he wiped off the apple bits from his face, Phoenix turned to the side of the mountain to see Applejack standing there with her back to him, but with her head turned around, leering at the Phantom. “Ah’m only gonna warn ya once, leave Mistah Souma alone!”

Peaking from around the side of the mountain was Fluttershy, shaking visibly in contrast to Applejack.

Phoenix stabbed his sword into the ground and lifted his right hand up into the air, “Quite the brave little mare you are, wishing to take me on after seeing me utterly destroy your friend here. I can respect that.”

“Then git away from him!” Applejack shouted as she reached into her saddlebag and pulled out a couple of apples.

“Let me tell you something, little mare,” Phoenix said as his right hand immediately engulfed in flames. “While I can respect you helping your friend, I hate it when somepony interrupts my fights! Even if they’re at the end! It just pisses me off so much!”

Phoenix quickly waved his hand in front of his chest, creating several flames in the shape of small birds that cawed loudly. Then with a point of his finger, the fiery birds flew towards Applejack and Fluttershy.

“NO!”

But before the fiery birds could hit the two mares, using the last of his strength, Wizard forced himself in front of the attack with his arms raised up. The fiery birds crashed into Wizard with bits of jewels and his armor flung from him as he cried out.

“Mistah Souma!” Applejack cried out as the flames began to disappear from the dragon’s body.

As Wizard’s outfit shattered like glass, Haru fell to his knees before he fell face first into the ground, his body covered with scuffs and bruises. Smoke rose from Haru’s motionless body while Phoenix shook his head. “Tch, he wasted his life on you two. I was hoping for the steel of my sword to be the end for him, too bad. Would’ve been a fitting end for him.”

With an annoyed growl, Phoenix drew his sword from the earth and spun around to walk away. “Consider yourselves lucky, I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth after this fight and I need to wash it out.”

Applejack was about to go after Phoenix and stop him, but looking at Haru told her to just let the Phantom go. Mistah Souma wasn’t able to make a dent in that Phantom’s hide, so, what could Applejack do? Besides, she had something more important to deal with, quickly galloping over to the fallen dragon’s side, “Mistah Souma! Fluttershy! Gimme a hoof!”

Fluttershy on the other hoof was keeping her distance from the fallen dragon, and kept her eyes on Phoenix who had distanced himself quite a bit from the two mares and dragon. “This…. This…Um… Well…”

TTTTTT

While the fiery battle between Phoenix and Wizard was slowly ending, Twilight was explaining to her other three friends about her meeting with the White Wizard, what he said, and even that Haru was in actuality a stallion but was transformed into a dragon. She had even informed Pinkie and Rarity about the events of last night before she met with the White Wizard. Rainbow Dash and Rarity were simply awestruck by the information that Twilight gave them.

“I… I simply don’t know what to say to that,” Rarity mused as she brought a hoof to her mouth. “I’ve never heard of such a thing – A stallion turning into a dragon?”

“Yeah, well, I can believe that sort of stuff,” Dash stated, still flying overhead with her front hooves crossed. “I’ve seen some of the weird stuff that Haru’s dealt with, and I’ve even fought with him against some of the weird things he deals with on a daily basis.”

Twilight then turned to Pinkie, who was oddly quiet throughout all of Twilight’s explanation, in fact, aside from having that usual smile on her face, the pink mare didn’t seem phased by Twilight’s information. “What about you Pinkie? Aren’t you shocked by this?”

“Well, yeah, I kinda was,” Pinkie stated with her head tilted slightly. “But it was kind of obvious.”

“Huh?” All three of the other mares questioned as they turned all of their attention towards Pinkie.

“What? You girls didn’t see the signs?” Pinkie questioned blinking a few times before she smiled brightly. “They’re kind of out in the open – Haru’s eyes, the fact he has a cutie mark, his knowledge of pony culture, and the author’s summary of the story that he blatantly leaves on his desk – After all that, I kinda figured he wasn’t the average dragon.”

“Wait, what?” Twilight questioned as she drew her head back.

Pinkie just smiled at her friend, “Oh don’t worry about it Twilight, besides, it still is a really good twist on this.”

Pinkie lowered her head and her ears drooped slightly, “Still, I can’t even imagine what Haru went through, it must’ve been really rough for him.”

‘I wonder if Phantoms don’t like their monstrous forms,’ Twilight thought to herself as she looked up to the clouded sky. ‘I don’t know if Haru hates how his body looks, but it certainly couldn’t have been easy for him to adapt to becoming a dragon. And even if it wasn’t, who knows if he could ever return to being a pony, he could be stuck in that form for the rest of his life.’

Twilight shook her head slightly, trying to keep the thoughts in the back of her mind for the moment, “Girls, I told you this because we’re all Haru’s friends, and because of what happened yesterday, he’s going through a lot in his head. He’s helped us all in some way, either in big ways or in small ways. And as you girls taught me, we have to help our friend.”

“That’s obvious,” Dash retorted with a roll of her eyes. “The dragon’s awesome! Soon as we’re done here, I’ll fly all over Equestria to find him!”

“Yup! At times like these, everypony needs a friend,” Pinkie added with a nod. “Haru’s strong, but nopony’s strong enough to be alone at a time like this.”

“Quite so,” Rarity chimed in as she trotted over to Twilight. “Mister Souma may have a clashing sense of style, but he’s a decent dragon. Or should we refer to him as a stallion?”

“I say we stick with dragon,” Dash suggested as she flew over her friends, keeping a smirk on her face. “It’s twenty-percent cooler.”

“Rainbow,” Twilight sighed as she looked at her winged friend. “In any case, we’ll deal with the dragon on this mountain first, then we’ll go find Haru. I’m sure he hasn’t gotten too far from Ponyville, I doubt he’d just up and leave.”

“So, anypony up for tic-tac-toe?” Pinkie Pie asked, getting her three friends to stare at her weirdly. “What? We still have to wait for Applejack and Fluttershy, and this’ll be perfect!”

Before anypony could take on Pinkie in the oh so dramatic game of tic-tac-toe, the sound hooves against rocky ground echoed through the air, drawing the mare’s attention towards the rough path. “C’mon Fluttershy! We’re almost there!”

“Applejack!” Twilight called out, with the orange mare slowly coming around the corner with a rope tied around her forehead. Fluttershy wasn’t too far behind Applejack, but seemed to keep her distance from whatever was tied at the other end of the rope.

“We… We made it,” Applejack announced with a loud sigh of relief before she fell to the ground.

Rainbow turned towards Twilight while flying upside down, “Told ya it’d take forever.”

The young unicorn trotted over to Applejack, looking down at her friend as she drew closer, “Applejack? Is everything alright?”

Lifting her tired head, Applejack slipped the rope off from her forehead before she turned towards the studious unicorn. “Twi… We got bigger problems than just a nappin’ dragon.”

Twilight followed the rope and her eyes widened at what was at the end of the rope – Tied up at the waist was none other than the very same dragon that Twilight was friends with. Only instead of the cheerful dragon, there was only a very bruised up and burned Haru, who’s eyes were closed.

TBC

Author's Note:

MangaKamen: ... Wow, just, wow.

I hope you guys liked this chapter. Since its memorial day weekend next week, I'll be taking a break, but we'll have a real powerhouse chapter ready in the wings on the week after that!

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