This is my story about dealing with the nut job ponies all in my quest to get their crap over with so I can just nap the days away. All while being a soul trapped in a sword. I don't know how that all fits together but then again I don't really care.
This is such a drag, but if I don't make these things the purple princess will scold me some more.
As if being sent to a world filled with talking, magic ponies and being turned into a sword wasn't enough, but now I wake up after... who knows how long with holes in my memory. A shame one of those holes wasn't through succubus' chest. I guess I'm kind of lucky one of the ponies has magic that can help me, as long as she doesn't bring her friends around that knocked me off a balcony.
When I find Sunny, we're taking a nice long nap. I'm gonna need it after dealing with all of these nut cases.
A Soul Eater crossover. Part of the Displaced Multiverse.
Applejack ran through the halls of the old Everfree castle, panting in fear as she fled from the Pony of Shadows. Or at least, she thought that’s what it was. With all the traps and strange noises that had been happening that night, she wasn’t about to take any chances. She came to an intersection, a statue of an armored pony with a rusted sword embedded in the ground stood in the center, diverging the two paths. Applejack slid as she tried to turn to the left, only to crash into the statue. She shook her head, attempting to get rid of her daze as she failed to notice the sword slowly tilt toward her, landing roughly on her head.
“Agh! Dang flabbit! The whole building’s comin’ apart.” She rubbed the spot on her head, getting one glance at the cause of it before the sword was engulfed in white light. Applejack was blinded for a few moments before said light moved away and disappeared into the shadows of the castle. A shiver went down her spine as, from the spot where the strange sword had vanished, a single, blood red eye opened. She didn’t even think twice about running when it was accompanied by a set of gleaming, jagged teeth.
“No pony of shadows is going to eat me!” she cried as she ran for it at top speed down the opposite hall. Meanwhile, the red eye and teeth finished yawning before stretching her arms above her head.
“Holy shit. How long was I out?” the human girl groaned as she got up. She took some time to brush the thick layer of dust off her yellow and black jacket, jeans, and silver hair that covered half her face. “Must’ve eaten something magical that I shouldn’t have.”
Once she was clean enough for her standards -which weren’t very high- she took a glance at the stone walls around her. “Great. Ruins. My favorite,” she grumbled with all the sarcasm she could muster in her groggy state. “Well, guess I better look for a way out.” She didn’t even bother looking at each hallway before picking one and walking down it, hands in the pockets of her jacket.
* * *
In the library of the castle, Twilight was looking through the journal she had found. “Would you look at this Spike. It seems to be a journal that belonged to Celestia and Luna.” Spike didn’t respond as he was too busy jumping at every shadow. Twilight didn’t notice though as she gently turned the old pages with her magic, trying to make out the smudged ink.
Eleventh of A~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~ found something new today. A sword, but not like a normal swo~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~She was really sad and lost, kind of like I was, so we decided to~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Things have been going great since~~~~~~~~~~~~~~seems much happier, though I can tell she still misses her home. She’s told me about it a small bit. A place without~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~have to go to town soon. At least I can bring her with me. No one would~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Been awhile. We screwed up. They found out. I thought I was about to~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~came for me. Didn’t care what I was.
I had never had a friend like her before.
“Wow.” Twilight smiled. “I guess Celestia found someone really special. I wonder if she’s talking about Luna.”
* * *
Rarity, in the castle’s throne room, was trying her best to pull a banner off the wall with her magic. “Come on… you old piece of…” she grunted under her breath. She was focusing so hard that she was completely caught off guard when the fabric suddenly bulged outward, slamming into her muzzle and breaking her concentration. “Oh, the nerve. Why, when I get you down off this wall, I’m going to-”
The rest of her rant was quickly interrupted as a sword cut through the fabric, stopping inches away from Rarity’s face. She took a few seconds to register just what had happened before running away screaming. The blade cut a perpendicular slit in the ancient fabric, allowing the silver-haired girl to pass through from a tunnel behind the fabric. She gave the sword a quick look over before a flash of light returned it to a normal hand and forearm.
“Glad to see that still works.” She looked side to side in confusion. “Where was that screaming coming from, though?” She took a few more seconds to investigate before shrugging. “Whatever. Not my problem.”
* * *
~~can’t believe it! There’s another one just like me! Wings and a horn! How that~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~three of us together, nothing could go wrong. Though~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ the other hybrid, can be kind of a downer.
~~~~~reveal her to Luna? Sure, she’s like me, but can we really trust her?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Twilight scratched her head at this. “What? I thought she already met Luna, but it sounds like she just met the first alicorn she’d ever seen besides herself.” A glance at the next entry showed that it was in different handwriting. Where Celestia’s had been curvy and nice looking, this was written straight and simple.
Celestia thought I should wri~~~~~~~~~~~~know why. I have no clue how writing my thoughts is supposed to improve our situ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~food is alright, shelter has been fine despite the cold winter.
I’m not sure what else~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~seems rather protective of that sword of her’s. Must mean~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ slept with it still strapped to her side last night.
Twilight hummed in thought. “That sword has been brought up several times, but I don’t remember Celestia having any sword that was important to her in any written history. I mean, there was her greatsword Oncoming Dawn but that was a magical, golden sword that was supposedly forged by the greatest of smiths. Not something found in the middle of the woods.”
Twilight delved back into reading, determined to decipher the ancient pages while completely ignoring the screams and other sounds of terror that echoed through the halls.
* * *
“R-rarity? Was that you?” Fluttershy called out timidly as she shook like a leaf through the halls of the castle. “Angel. Rarity. Where are you?” She slowly but surely made her way to the next bend before slamming into something as she turned. Once her head was clear, she looked up to see the silver haired, red-eyed girl standing there.
They both stared at each other, though with completely different expressions. Fluttershy’s was one of fear and confusion while the girl’s was just blank and bored. After a long, awkward moment of this, the girl broke the silence with a single wave of her hand.
“Yo.” Fluttershy, who had looked about ready to have a heart attack, fell over—complete with a bleating goat sound. The girl looked at the now unconscious pegasus with a grumble before reaching down and throwing her over her shoulder.
“Damn it Sunny and your conscience. Spent so much time around you it rubbed off on me.” She let out another grunt as she adjusted how Fluttershy was on her shoulder. “This is not the kind of lifting a girl my age should be doing.” Once she was set, the girl continued on through the halls, hoping to find something soon to indicate an exit.
* * *
Twilight continued reading the journal, eventually moving past events known to history such as the uniting of the pony races, the fall of Discord, the loss of the Crystal Empire to Sombra, and Luna becoming Nightmare Moon. She was now reading through the time soon after, when the Everfree Forest was just beginning to form and the castle was being abandoned.
Twenty third of June, 257 AD
Though I hate to say it, we must move to another castle. This place has so many memories. At least we won’t have to worry about any ponies getting caught in the traps here since the quickly spreading forest will soon make travelling to the castle difficult.
I suppose there is one positive to this. After all, she never did like this castle. Too confusing, she would always say. Despite her not being the most active of people, sometimes I would agree.
The remainder of the page was illegible, seeming to have been soaked in water. The next few pages were skipped as they were much in the same state. Finally Twilight came to a page with written words.
I miss them. Both of them. I thought losing one hurt, but now I have no one to share my pain with.
Twilight flipped through the remaining pages to find nothing remaining. She wasn’t sure what she was more: confused or saddened. On one side of her thoughts, she felt she should go find her old mentor and give her a hug or something, but on the other, all she wanted to do was ask who this other friend was that meant so much to her. The book didn’t even mention when this friend was lost, only at the end mentioning how she missed both.
A sudden chorus of screams broke through her thinking trance. “What in the world is that?”
Spike continued to look around scared as he said “Oh, you know. Probably just more strange sounds of this old castle falling apart!”
“No one likes sarcasm, Spike.” She got up, Spike and Fluttershy’s rabbit, Angel, following her out of the room until they reached a balcony. Down below, Rarity, Applejack, and Rainbow were all running around like their butts were on fire, screaming their heads off about shadows and red eyed creatures.
“Alright, everypony, STOP!!!” Everyone in the room stopped what they were doing as Twilight’s shout cut through the chaos.
“Twilight?” Applejack called out.
“What the? Rarity? What’re you doing here?” Rainbow Dash asked.
“Well,” Rarity spoke while she pulled the banner off her head. “I was trying to restore these priceless works, but then one of them nearly killed me.”
“Wait, hold up.” Twilight said as she flew down to their floor, Angel and Spike riding on her back. “A banner almost killed you?”
“She ain’t the only one to run into something scary.” Applejack nodded. “There’s some sort of one eyed creature running about with sharp teeth!”
Twilight deadpanned. “Really? You sure you two didn’t just see something in the dark?”
“I have to agree with Twi here.” Rainbow spoke. “I haven’t seen any creatures.”
“T-t-t-twilight?” Spike pointed to the far entrance of the room. “Look.” All the ponies turned and gasped as they saw the red eyed girl walk in, carrying Fluttershy.
“That’s the monster!” Applejack pointed a hoof. Before anyone else could react, Rainbow flew straight at the girl, slamming into the girl and sending her flying back down the hall as Fluttershy fell to the ground.
“What did you do to Fluttershy?!” She accused as the girl slid along the floor, her head knocking against the far end of the corridor. Despite the blow, she managed to stand up, though she was bent over with a hand holding her stomach.
“The fuck is wrong with you?!” The girl growled as she and Rainbow stared each other down. Rainbow charged again, only she was forced to veer off as the girl’s arm turned into a sword and she swiped. This soon turned into something akin to someone trying to swat a fly as the girl swung at Rainbow, trying to hit her every time she passed.
“Fluttershy! Are you alright?” Rarity ran over to her as Angel tried to slap her muzzle to wake her. Wasn’t long before she slowly blinked her eyes open.
“R… Rarity?” Her eyes focused on the rabbit in front of her before she gasped. “Angel!” She glomped the bunny in a hug that Angel took with a huff of annoyance.
“Fluttershy dear, what did that monster do to you?”
“M-m-monster?!” Fluttershy stuttered. “What do you mean?”
“I’m talking about tha- wait, where did they go?” Rarity pointed down the now empty corridor.
“They went down the hall!” Applejack called as she ran by. “Hurry! We gotta help Rainbow!”
“Wait! Applejack! We don’t know the whole story here!” Twilight chased after her.
* * *
Outside, on a castle balcony, the girl was sent sliding once more across the floor, this time coming to a halt against the railing. “Fucking pegasus! Quit being a pest!” She growled, brandishing her sword arm. She swung and missed once again as Rainbow clipped her side.
“No one messes with my friends!” No longer enclosed by the castle’s halls, the pegasus took to her natural habitat. She sped up, getting in more passing blows on the girl, though she took them all rather well despite some of the bruises she got.
“I thought… you stupid ponies… were done… attacking me… for no reason!” She yelled between sword swings.
“Eat this, you demon!” The girl turned to see Applejack run onto the balcony, spinning around on a dime before throwing her back hooves into the girl’s stomach. She slammed through the railing, getting out a curse or two before she hit the ground and stopped moving. The two ponies high hooved each other just as Twilight finally caught up, gasping at the girl’s body below.
“What did you two do?!” She yelled, getting in the two stubborn ponies faces. “You had no proof… it had done any harm and you knocked it off a balcony?!”
“Is fine. She had no physical wounds whatsoever and there was no sign of some sort of magical affliction.” The two ponies both looked ready to argue something before they closed their mouths, looking around as they tried to think of something to say. And when they found nothing, they looked over the edge of the balcony with horror on their face.
“Oh no! What have we done?” Rainbow flew down on top of the girl. “Come on! Wake up!” She shook the girl, getting no results. She would have continued had it not been for Twilight pulling her back.
“Rainbow! That isn’t helping.” For a moment, Rainbow looked conflicted before she stepped back, allowing Twilight to examine the girl. Twilight’s horn lit up and a faint, purple glow scanned her body from top to bottom.
Twilight sighed with relief. “Well, it’s alive. That’s the good news. It’s also a she based on her reproductive organs. She seemed to have taken the beating you gave her rather well. Only some bruises and a fractured rib I’m guessing from when Applejack kicked her.” Twilight’s magic then covered the girl’s entire body and she levitated off the ground. “I’m going to take her back to my library. You all should head home for now. I’ll tell you when I find anything out.” Rainbow nodded before she teleported away, the pegasus returning to Applejack before finding Fluttershy and Rarity with Pinkie of all people.
“Pinkie? When did you get here?” Rainbow questioned.
“I’ve been here the entire time!” She giggled. “I was down stairs wearing a scary cloak playing the creepy organ that made stuff happen.”
“Wait, that was you?!” Pinkie just giggled some more before bouncing off toward the exit, the rest of the ponies glancing at each other in confusion. They soon followed, though nowhere as energetic.
Twilight was currently in the process of examining the girl in the basement lab of her library, both for medical reasons and to satisfy her curiosity. She was a creature that had never been documented in Equestrian history. Add to that the strange shape shifting abilities she had and Twilight couldn’t wipe the grin from her face.
“Subject has been shown to be bipedal in nature, such as a minotaur. We have determined her to be female, has two eyes that both function the same way despite her covering one with her hair. She is wearing clothing that seems to be made to withstand wear and tear, as well as to cover her lack of fur. Her body seems similar to minotaur’s in many ways, though her legs have notable differences. She has been seen turning her arm into a sword and is rather hardy, having taken a full buck from Applejack off a balcony with little more than a fractured rib.”
As she continued rambling off examinations to Spike, the girl began to wake up. She sat up, holding her head as she groaned and alerting the two to her. Spike cowered behind his paper and quill while Twilight approached the table she was laying on.
“Hello there! I’m Twilight Sparkle and I-” She was cut off as the girl’s arm became a sword pointed at her neck.
“So what? Your buddies beat the shit out of me and now we’re friends? I know you ponies can be kind of nuts sometimes, but you have to be completely mad if you think that’s how it works.”
Twilight, despite the threat of being stabbed, looked at the girl sternly. “I apologize on behalf of my friends. Their actions were uncalled for and I’m sure they regret what they did.” The girl held the sword there for a few more seconds before it returned to being an arm, though she didn’t stop staring at Twilight.
“Who the hell are you?”
Twilight smiled. “My name is Twilight Sparkle. I am one of the four princesses of Equestria. Might I know your name?”
“Soul Eater.” The girl said rather flatly. “Yes, that’s my name, at least the one I go by.”
“O-oh.” Twilight was a bit offput by the name. “Might I know your real name?”
Twilight stood there, almost expecting the girl to be kidding. “Ooooookay then. How are you feeling?”
“Like someone kicked me in the stomach.”
“Well that makes sense. It’s surprising you managed to take a buck from Applejack with so little injury.” It soon returned to awkward silence as Soul just sat there grinding her teeth. “So…. I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what are you?”
“I’m sorry? Your race is called swords?”
“No, my ‘race’ is demon weapons. I, specifically, am a sword. Like the thing you hold and use to stab and slash.”
Twilight gave her a strange look before shaking her head. “That makes no sense! You have legs, and arms, and reproductive organs!”
“Woah, woah, woah! What have you been doing poking around down there?” Soul pulled her legs against her chest, giving Twilight a glare with her uncovered one eye.
“I just used magic to examine your body. It’s standard procedure when doing a medical examination. But don’t change the subject! How are you a weapon used in melee combat?”
Soul sighed in annoyance, though she didn’t move her legs from her chest. “This isn’t my normal body. It’s just a lot easier to walk around when you have legs. It’s why I don’t need to eat or drink anything and also why I don’t age.” She growled the last word.
“Wait, WHAT?!?!?” Suddenly Soul was lifted off the table, despite the curses she spat at Twilight. After a few moments she was dropped unceremoniously on her ass. “You don’t have a stomach! Or intestines! You don’t take in nutrients and you don’t create waste. How are you alive?!”
“I told you. I’m a sword. Technically, I’m not alive.”
“Then how did you become this? You must have been alive at one point.”
“I…” Soul blinked for a second with a face of confusion. “I… can’t really remember actually. I know I wasn’t always this but… after that my memory kind of fails. I know I somehow arrived in Equestria, made friends with a pony named Sunny, and that we lived in the woods.”
“Really? I don’t know any pony by that name. Maybe you hit your head when you fell?”
“Maybe.” Soul muttered, sounding not so sure as she gripped her head.
“Well, to make up for what my friends did to you wrongly, how about I help you regain your memories?”
“Oh, so you’re now a psychiatrist?” Soul said sarcastically.
“Actually, yes. I have multiple spells that I have been certified to use in aiding those with mental issues. It will require multiple sessions depending on the extent of your memory problems, but I’m confident I can help you.”
Soul glared at her for a moment before sighing. “Fine. You can mess with my head. But that’s only because I really don’t have any other choice.” She threw her legs over the side of the table. “Just keep that rainbow fly and the one with the hat away from me.”
Twilight’s ears went flat against her skull. “They are very sorry for what they did. They saw you carrying Fluttershy and thought the worst.”
“Ya, well from what I can remember, that’s what you ponies excel in. Thinking the worst of things you don’t understand.” She got up from the table, flinching slightly at the pain in her ribs before shaking it off and heading toward the stairs.
“Where are you going?”
“I don’t know. I just want out of here. I need to find something I recognize.” As Soul ascended the staircase, Twilight sighed and turned to Spike.
“Did you get all that at least? About her lack of organs and such?”
“Uh… ya. Um, Twilight? Are you sure it’s the best idea the demonic, walking sword should really go outside, where other ponies might see her?”
It took Twilight a few moments to realize just what Spike meant. “Oh no!” She teleported to the front door, getting there just as Soul was reaching for the doorknob. “Stop! You can’t go outside.”
Soul growled. “What, so you’re holding me captive now?”
Twilight shook her head. “No, it’s not that. If my friends reacted so negatively to your looks, how do you think the rest of Ponyville will react?”
“Ponyville? Where the hell is that?”
“Uh… 35.7 degrees east latitude, 66.3 degrees north longitude.”
“I meant relative to other towns.”
“Oh. Right. It’s closest to Canterlot, the capital of Equestria. We’re only about fifty miles out.”
Soul put a hand to her temples. “Hang on. Canterlot, the mountain village full of snobby unicorns, is now the capital of Equestria? Who decided that stupid move?!”
“Hey! I’m from Canterlot, and we aren’t all posh and cruel. Also, Canterlot isn’t a village, it’s a city.” Soul grabbed her head, wobbling slightly and causing Twilight to gasp and leap to her side. “Are you alright?”
Soul was quick to fix herself, pushing away from Twilight. “I’m fine! Just… what year is it?”
“1367 AD. That’s After Discord.”
“Discord… I don’t know why, but that name pisses me off.” She gritted her teeth, shaking slightly and wobbling more. “I… think the last date I can remember is December 3rd, 156 AD.”
“What? That’s-” Twilight cut herself off.
“I… I would tell you, but from what I can tell, you’re mind isn’t reacting well to trying to access all this information. We need to take getting your memories back slowly.”
Soul didn’t look happy at all but couldn’t disagree when she nearly fell again, only to be caught by Twilight’s magic and placed on the nearby couch.
“Can… can we at least start now? Despite what it might seem, having holes in your memory isn’t fun.”
Twilight gave her a soft smile before she pulled a blanket over Soul. “Tomorrow. You should rest now. You can stay here for the night.” Soul looked like she wanted to argue but didn’t, turning away from Twilight before curling up under the blanket.
Twilight’s smile faltered a bit before she looked up to see Spike standing there, hiding behind the door to the basement. She walked over to him and closed the door before speaking. “She’s very defensive. I can’t help but wonder how she became such?”
“Maybe she’s hiding that she’s some sort of soul sucking demon queen from Tartarus!” Spike shivered, biting his nails. Twilight swatted his claws out of his mouth before giving him a glare.
“Spike! Honestly, you are worse than Rainbow. I’m sure she is just worried. Anyone would be in her position. She woke up in the ruins of a castle in the middle of the Everfree and was attacked. She has every right to be wary.” She perked her ears up at a new sound, opening the door a crack to confirm its source. Soul was already snoring away, fast asleep on the couch. Twilight soon caught herself yawning at the sight herself.
“Come on Spike. It’s been a long day. Let’s get to bed.”
* * *
Soul sat in a black chair in the middle of a dimly lit room dressed in a formal black dress with a red trim. The floor was checkered the same colors, the walls covered in red curtains. A record player sat on edge of the room, playing old jazz as the record skipped. Soul sat there, staring off into space until a smooth yet slightly unsettling voice spoke up.
“Well, well, well. Look who’s come back to see me.” Soul turned toward the voice to find a red skinned woman standing in the corner. She had a set of small horns, along with long nails and sharp teeth. All this combined with colorless eyes and a somewhat seductive choice of dress made the woman appear even more unsettling than her voice led to believe. Soul stared at the woman for a few moments before gasping and jumping from her chair, causing it to topple over.
The demonesque woman giggled. “So you do remember me, though I doubt you actually remember my name. You couldn’t even remember it before.” Soul just gritted her teeth and glared at her. “Oh don’t be like that. I thought we were friends.”
“We were never friends succubus!”
“Such rude words, and to the one who saved you and your little friend’s lives.”
Soul took a step back. “What?! I would have never taken your power!”
Succubus smirked before sauntering toward Soul. “Never would have taken the power under unless you needed it. Which you did. After all, what do you think happened to your memories?”
“I…” Soul grabbed her head, shaking it side to side. “No! There’s no way I would have used madness’ power!”
Succubus reached Soul, tilting her head up with the tip of one of her long nails. “‘That is the price of madness’ power.’ Don’t you remember me telling you that?” Soul looked at her for a moment before she shook her hand off, pushing by succubus to head for the door. “A shame. You will remember eventually though. It is only a matter of time with that purple alicorn helping you.”
Soul stopped just before touching the doorknob, causing a grin to come to succubus' face. “Don’t tell me you’re now afraid of what you might remember?” Soul stood still for a few more seconds before ripping the door open and leaving. Succubus bent down and picked up the chair before taking a seat and looking over her nails.
“So, are we ready to begin?” Twilight grinned from her seat next to Soul, who was laying on the couch with her arms behind her head.
“I guess. Sure you don’t wanna go over it a third time?” Soul’s voice was doused with sarcasm, which Twilight either failed to notice or ignored.
“Okay. I will be using a spell which will allow you to relive the memories you lost, causing much less pain on your end since instead of trying to recall them you’ll be making new ones. During this process, you’ll be completely immobile, which is why I had you lie down. I will also be viewing your memories as you live them, but you already said you were fine with me seeing them as long as I didn’t tell anyone anything about them without your permission.”
“Hey, I don’t know what’s in there. If I did some freaky shit in the past, I don’t want it getting out. Though I guess if I had done something like that, you would already know since you scanned my uterus.”
Twilight groaned. “I told you, that was part of the regular medical checkup!”
Soul shrugged. “Whatever you wanna tell yourself. Just remember: I don’t do ponies.” She grinned a bit as Twilight sighed. “Well, start it up already.” Twilight closed her eyes as her horn began to glow, the light forming a halo around Soul’s head. She found it difficult to hold her eyes open and before long she was out like a light.
* * *
I was once something called a human. They look similar to the form I take minus the sharp teeth and red eyes. Also, my hair was brown and I didn’t wear the same clothes but it was all the same for the most part. My world didn’t have any of the magic or other crazy stuff this one has. We had to build everything up on technology.
Anyway, without getting into how an entire world functioned, the day was pretty normal, at least for me. I was at a convention, a sort of get together for those who follow certain media. Not my usual idea of fun but my ‘friends’ decided I needed to get out of the house and forced me to be exposed to the horrible thing that is the sun. At least I managed to get away from them with the excuse that I wanted to check out the store booths. Would buy me at least twenty minutes of time to myself.
So I was just pushing my way through the crowds, not giving a fuck where I went when, for some reason, a stand on the far wall caught my eye. It was incredibly dull for a store booth, just plain black and lacking a sign. The guy selling the stuff was wearing a hoodie that hid his face, which didn’t help make the place seem any more home-y. What he had on display was pretty neat though. Stuff like weapons and trinkets from video games and tv shows made up most of it.
I couldn’t care for most of it though. What my eyes were on was a sword. Now, I had a few odd hobbies and one was I liked to collect weapons, fake and real. This one interested me because of the strange eye-like pattern painted into the hand guard. The more I looked it over, the more I decided “Hey, why not get it? At least this whole thing wouldn’t have been a total waste of time.” So I walk up to the guy running the stand and before he can even get a word out I just ask him “How much for that sword?”
The guy gave me a dry chuckle before picking up the sword in his hands. “This thing? How about… thirty dollars? Make it forty and I can add a bit of a personal touch to it just for you.” Things like that would often go for four times that price easily so I was a bit shocked, and in said shock I told him the one thing I’ve always regret.
“Sure. Forty dollars it is.”
The man chuckled again as I looked down to pull some bills from my pocket. Thing is, when I looked back up I wasn’t standing in front of a stand anymore. Hell, I wasn’t even standing in the convention center. I was in the middle of a set of glowing circles with lit candles dotting it. The man’s clothes had changed from a hoodie to hooded robes, still holding the sword in his hands. Beyond him, everything was darkness and before I could react to what was happening, a set of chains sprang from the ground, wrapping around my wrists before pulling me to my knees.
“What the hell?!” I sputtered, looking back up at the man with fear as he just grinned.
“Oh don’t worry. I’m just adding your… personal touch.” The circles began to glow brighter as I felt short of breath. The pain in my wrists died down, as did all feeling in my body as blackness edged my vision. I tried to scream, to spit at him, to do anything but with each passing moment it became harder. Finally, with what little feeling I had left, my head snapped back and I watched as a small orb of blue fire floated out of my throat before everything went dark.
When I woke up what I assume was moments later, I was floating in some black expanse, my body glowing blue. I turned to find a strange screen in front of me and I gasped at what I saw.
“Wha… what is this?” My body was there, limp and unmoving in the center of the circles. I watched as the man bent down, picking up a keychain that I kept on my belt. He seemed to look at it for a few moments before wrapping his fingers around it, a glow appearing before he opened his hand to reveal it was gone.
“There. That will do.” By this point I was already running my hands along the screen, trying to find a way out. He turned toward my body, that creepy grin always present. “Now let’s deal with this old thing.” With a wave of his hand, the floor opened up beneath my body and it dropped.
“No!” I screamed, slamming against the screen but finding it to be useless. “You bastard! What did you do to me?!” The man just grinned before walking over and… picking me up I guess? It felt like he was grabbing me, but not a part of a body I was familiar with. The screen turned about before coming to a halt in front of the man as he held the sword. It took me a moment to realize that I was looking in a mirror.
I gasped, floating back slightly within my black space. “N...no. You… you…” The man broke out into full laughter, walking away from the mirror as I heard him ponder.
“Hmm… where and when should I send this one? Always the most important decision. After all, you have to pick the opportune time for the most interesting outcome.” I managed to recover from my shock to begin slamming against the screen again.
“Let me out you fucking asshole!” I wailed and wailed with no effect as the man stroked his chin before snapping his fingers.
“Ah, I know.” Suddenly I heard air rushing in as if he had opened the window on the top floor of a skyscraper. Wind whistled as the man’s robes billowed, through it all his hood never moving from his head.
“Let me out! LET ME OUT!!!” I screamed, beating against the screen as the man held me out in front of him with both arms.
“Well this is goodbye. I am interested to see how you turn out. Ta ta~!” And with that I felt his grip on my new form disappear.
“NO!!!” I fell further than the floor had been, the black expanse turning to the color of the sky. The horizon stretched out in front of me, revealing me to be easily a thousand feet above a dense forest. The wind whistled around me as I sped up before with a solid *CHUNK*, I stuck fast in the root of a tree. I hardly noticed though as I was still desperately trying to escape.
“Come back!” I cried. “Get back here and let me out you motherfucker!” I must have been at it for hours, but eventually I tired out. I was still crying to myself though as I curled up in my strange space, my entire life having turned around in such a short time.
* * *
Soul opened her eyes as Twilight’s spell ended. She was just as indifferent as she had been before, but Twilight was sad enough for the both of them. “Soul… I’m so sorry you had to go through such a thing.”
“Don’t be.” She stated flatly. “I got over the whole thing years ago, and got used to it a little after that. Besides, being a sword has got its perks. No need to eat, drink, worry about age. Hell, the only thing I need is sleep and I get plenty of that.”
Twilight was a bit off put by how easily she was taking this. “Well… okay, but if you ever want to talk, I’m here for you.”
“Twilight, I don’t need a therapist. I’m over it. By this point, I’ve been a sword easily one hundred times longer than I’ve been a human. Besides, I’m not doing this to get emotional help. I’m doing it because I need to find Sunny.”
“Don’t worry. I’m sure we can find her.” Twilight glanced at the clock on the wall before jumping up from her seat. “Oh no! That took longer than anticipated. I’m going to be late!” Before Soul could even ask what she was going on about, she ran out the room. Soul watched the door for a few seconds before shrugging and lying back down on the couch.
“Guess I’ll just nap for a bit,” she muttered as she snuggled herself deeper into the couch. Just as she was about to fall asleep, the sound of an air horn going off caused her to jump up, sword arm at the ready. All she found though was a pink pony with cotton candy for hair and a huge smile on her muzzle. “What the hell is your-”
“Hi!” Soul was cut off as the mare suddenly jumped in her face. “I’m Pinkie Pie! I’ve been wanting to meet you since you showed up in the castle yesterday, though I never actually saw you but my tail was twitching so I knew that someone was new so I searched around for a looooooooong time but didn’t find anything. Then today, I was walking by Twilight’s and my twitchy tail came back so I gasped super loud and ran inside to meet you!” It was silence after Pinkie’s rapid fire statement as Soul just looked at Pinkie in confusion while she returned it with a big smile.
“Well,” Soul finally spoke up “You met me. You can go now.” She turned back toward the couch only to find Pinkie standing there.
“But I’ve got to give you a party! Everyone new to Ponyville gets one, even if you aren’t a pony.”
“Holy shit, this girl is more peppy than Sunny,” Soul muttered before speaking up. “Look. Twilight, I assume you know her?” Pinkie nodded. “Figures. She doesn’t want any ponies seeing me and I think I should listen to her.” In all honesty, she could care less about ponies seeing her, but she definitely did not want a party so it was a good excuse.
Pinkie deflated a bit. “But I’ve never not given someone a party. Everyone needs to have a good time when they come to Ponyville! Eve-ry-one!”
Soul shrugged. “Ah well. Guess you’ll just have to do something else.”
Pinkie put a hoof to her chin for a moment before jumping up. "Oh! I know! I'll just postpone your party until Twilight says it's okay and until then we can do other fun stuff to make up for it. We can play board games, make a house of cards, have a sleepover..."
Soul rolled her eyes as Pinkie continued the list with no end in sight. 'She just won't take a hint, will she?'
"... bake cookies, learn yoyo tricks, do pranks-"
"Pranks?" Soul rose an eyebrow. “You do pranks?”
“Yeah! They’re super fun! We could rearrange Twilight’s books, or put invisible ink in her ink pots, or- oh! Oh! I know! We could-”
“Prank someone other than Twilight?” Soul grinned.
Pinkie scratched her head in confusion. “But you said you couldn’t be seen by anypony?”
“Oh don’t worry. I have a few tricks up my sleeve. First things first though. Do you know a pegasus with rainbow hair?”
“That’s Rainbow Dash! She’s super fast and likes to fly around a lot.”
“Yeah, that sounds like her,” Soul dryly chuckled before giving a toothed grin. “How about we prank her?”
“Okay!” Pinkie bounced up. “Did you have a prank in mind?”
* * *
Rainbow was over at Rarity’s, helping her organize her fabrics with her supersonic speed when she heard the bell hanging above the shop’s front door ring.
“Welcome to Carousel Boutique!” She heard Rarity chime in the next room. “I don’t believe we’ve met before.” This piqued Rainbow’s interest, halting her progress on what she was doing so that she could peek out the door into the foyer. Standing at the door in front of Rarity was an earth pony mare with a dull red coat, along with a long white mane that covered half her face. Her cutie mark was one of the stranger ones Rainbow had seen, a red, hexagonal eye-like shape in a red much darker than the rest of her coat. She was also wearing a set of simple saddle bags.
“Oh no, we haven’t met.” The mare spoke in a polite tone. “I’m new in town.”
“Well it’s a pleasure to meet you! Now, how can I help you today?”
“Oh, I was just looking for something simple to wear to a party I was going to.”
“I see. Well let me go grab my notepad and pencil and we can get to work designing a dress for you, hm?” The mare nodded before Rarity walked off. Once gone, Rainbow walked up behind the mare, who had begun looking over a few of the things hanging on the walls.
“So, you new in town huh?”
“Hm? Oh, yes. I actually-” The mare turned to see Rainbow and stopped. “E-excuse me, but are you Rainbow Dash?”
“Uh… ya? Why?” Rainbow said confused.
“Why, I’m a huge fan of yours!” The mare grinned. “I have been watching your stunt career since the Best Young Flyers Competition. Your sonic rainboom was amazing!”
Rainbow’s ego was quick to soak in the attention as she smirked. “Yeah, that was pretty awesome.”
“Say, would you mind if…” The mare shook her head. “No, no, that’s stupid of me to ask.”
“What is it?”
“Well… if you wouldn’t mind…” The mare reached around and pulled a camera out of her saddlebags. “Could I get a picture with you?”
“Of course! Anything for a fan.” Rainbow cockily said as the mare smiled ear to ear. She began fiddling with the camera a bit before frowning.
“Hmm… the light in here isn’t very good. Could we perhaps step outside for a moment?”
“Works for me. I’ve been cooped up in here for a while now.” The mare headed outside, Rainbow following. However, as soon as Rainbow stepped through the door, she was immediately coated in white goop. By the time she had wiped it from her eyes, feathers were falling all around her, sticking to the gunk that covered her head to tail. “What the?!” She looked up to see a snickering Pinkie Pie doing her best to hold back her laughter. When she saw she was caught though, she let it out, falling off the door frame and rolling on the ground along with the mare.
“What’s going on here?!” Rainbow said, confused beyond belief. The mare seemed to ignore her though as she got up and looked at Pinkie, wiping a tear from her eye. Her voice seemed to change from the simple, polite tone it had been to an overconfident, brash tone that sounded familiar.
“Man Pinkie, that worked way better than I expected it to.” Said pink pony managed to stop laughing just long enough to respond.
“Ya! Great prank idea Soul!”
“Sweet Celestia!” Rarity ran up from behind Rainbow, looking over her with worry and a bit of disgust. “Rainbow! You’re filthy!”
“It wasn’t my fault! Pinkie and this mare pranked me! Speaking of, I can get Pinkie pranking me, but why did you?” She pointed at Soul who flashed back a cocky grin full of sharp teeth a pony should not have.
“What? Don’t recognize the girl you knocked off a balcony?” It took a few moments for Rainbow and Rarity to piece together who the mare was before their jaws dropped in unison.
“A pony? Yeah.” Soul glanced over her form for a moment. “You get as old as I am and you learn a few things.” Rainbow and Rarity both seemed to be having issues putting this together in their head, giving Soul plenty of time to get Pinkie together.
“Come on Pink! I’ve got an idea for another prank.” She walked off, a still giggling Pinkie following after her.
“Right behind ya!” The two pranksters left just as a group of three little fillies walked by. Sweetie Belle saw Rainbow and laughed while Scootaloo just gawked at the sight. Applebloom, with a smirk, turned to Scootaloo.
“You know, this just might explain why you’re such a chicken.” This sent her and Sweetie Belle into a fit of laughter as Scootaloo stood there, half confused, half annoyed.
* * *
Applejack had not slept well the previous night. Sure, she was positive that what Twilight had said about the poor girl she had sent flying was true. That the girl was fine and just needed some rest. But that didn’t help Applejack’s nerves. Inside she was beating herself over the entire thing, about how thick headed and quick to judge she had been.
“Hey sis, you alright?” Applejack looked from her work to see Big Mac standing there, a concerned look on his face. She shook her head before giving him a small smile.
“I’m fine. Just finishing up this work is all.”
“Uh… AJ? That tree’s empty.” Applejack looked up at the tree she had been bucking to see what he said was true. With a sigh, the farm mare looked around to find all the trees around her were empty.
“Well I guess I’m a mite distracted, what with everything that happened yesterday.” Before Big Mac could reply though, a bouncing Pinkie Pie came between the two.
“Hey Applejack! I need some help fixing the party cannon! Can you help me pleeeeeeeeeeease?” Pinkie gave Applejack big, pleading eyes which she was quick to give in to with a sigh and a small smile.
“Alright Pinkie. What’s going on with yer party do’hicker?”
Pinkie grinned ear to ear before bouncing up and back down the path she had come. “Come on! I’ll show you.” Applejack followed after her till they came to a small clearing with the party cannon sitting in the center.
“I just need you to climb inside and see if there’s any loose wires.” Now, a well rested Applejack would have questioned why Pinkie didn’t just climb in herself. She might have even questioned why Pinkie took up a position on the opposite side of the cannon. But with how tired she was Applejack just shrugged, sticking the front half of her body into the cannon.
“I don’t see anything!” Applejack’s voice echoed in the barrel of the cannon. The only response she got though was for the cannon to suddenly tilt back, pulling Applejack inside. “What in tarn-”
“Fire in the hole!” Pinkie cheered from outside before Applejack was shot into the air, tossing and turning as she yelled before landing in a vat of something with a loud squish. She paddled to the surface before glancing around, the taste in her mouth telling her she had landed in...
“Applesauce?” She turned as she heard someone laughing to find a strange mare with dull red coat and white mane. Before she could even ask what was going on, the mare fell back from her spot on the edge of the vat, landing on the ground with a thud. In a flash of light, the mare was suddenly replaced with the girl from the Everfree Castle.
“Oh for fuck’s sake!” She groaned, moving off her head and into a seated position. “I never did get that form completely figured out.”
“Wait, you?!” Applejack gaped as she pulled herself out of the tub of applesauce, it sticking to her coat and mane in globs. “You did this?!”
“Yep.” Soul grinned. “Call it a bit of revenge for-”
“Ah’m sorry!” Applejack jumped forward, suddenly in Soul’s face. “Ah wasn’t thinkin’ right and you got hurt ‘cuz of it! Ah didn’t sleep a wink last night ‘cuz of all my worryin’.” Soul was completely put off by what was happening, leaning back both in surprise and so that none of the applesauce sticking to Applejack’s coat would get on her.
“Soul!” The two of them looked to see a rather pissed off purple pony princess heading in their direction. “What did I tell you about going out?! You’re gonna scare all of Ponyville!”
Soul rolled her eyes. “Whatever. No one saw me anyway.”
“Oh sure.” Twilight said sarcastically. “No one noticed a bipedal girl with razor sharp teeth and red eyes. That makes complete sense.”
“It’s true!” Pinkie bounced up, taking a moment to giggle at Applejack. “Soul can turn into a pony, so she didn’t get spot one bit.” As soon as Twilight heard this, a small twitch began to happen in her right eye.
“You could change shape and didn’t say anything?! Why?! I would have let you walk around on your own!”
“Because keeping my pony form, unlike this one, takes actual effort, something that I don’t care to give just to make sure the townsfolk don’t wet themselves. The only reason I did turn into that form was so that no one would recognize me before we pulled the pranks.”
Twilight groaned before her horn lit up, a bit of magic tugging on the back of Soul’s jacket. “Well you better be ready to change again, cause I spent all day running around looking for you and now I’m too tired to teleport us reliably.”
Soul huffed. “Nah, I got my pranks done and my revenge for what happened. I couldn’t give a shit about hiding now.” She leaned back onto the grass with a yawn, only raising the purple princess’ blood pressure higher. Before she could yell some more however, Applejack cut in.
“She can stay here for the night Twi. My family won’t pay no mind to her.” Both Soul and Twilight gave Applejack a surprised look, Pinkie just jumping in the air and shouting “Slumber Party!”
“You sure Applejack?” Twilight questioned. “We don’t know how Granny Smith or Applebloom or even Big Mac might react to seeing her.”
“React ta what?” Right on cue, the tall stallion himself stepped out from between the apple trees. “I heard AJ screamin’ ‘bout somethin and-” He stopped the moment he saw Soul, laid back on the grass.
“Hey.” She simply said. Big Mac seemed to look over her for something before nodding.
“Good day miss.” Twilight wasn’t sure how to take how calm he was acting but resolved to just roll with it.
“Alright, fine. She can stay here. I’m tutoring the crusaders tomorrow, so I’ll come by the day after to get her.” She shot a glare at Soul. “Don’t make a mess, well,” she glanced at the applesauce drenched Applejack. “More of a mess than you already have. We can continue your memory therapy than.” With that, Twilight flew off, leaving Soul yawning on the ground.
“Yeesh. She’s really got a stick up her ass.” Applejack just shook her head at Soul’s comment before heading toward the barn, no doubt to clean the gunk from her fur.
“Woah, what is that?” A scratchy, somewhat high pitched voice spoke.
Soul frowned, holding her eyes shut tighter as she tried to ignore the sound, hoping to get more sleep.
“It looks like a minotaur.” A much higher pitched yet smooth voice replied to its friend.
“No, that’s stupid. It doesn’t have horns.”
Soul groaned, turning away from the sound.
“It doesn’t have a tail!”
“What? Then how does it walk around on two legs?” Yet another high pitched voice spoke, though this one had a bit of a southern drawl to it.
“Maybe it’s some sort of alien come to suck out our brains!” The scratchy voice said.
“That’s silly. Why would ma sister let it sleep in the house than?”
“Because she already has had her brain eaten!” Scratchy gasped. “She’s become a brainless slave to the alien!”
Finally, Soul had enough, sitting up and glaring at the voices that belonged to three little fillies, one of each pony race. “Look kids, you want something?”
“Look out!” The pegasus cried out, confirming the owner of the scratchy voice. “She’s gonna eat our brains!” She tried to run only for the earth pony to grab hold of her tail with her mouth. The unicorn shook her head.
“Scootaloo, you really think this thing could eat your brains?”
Soul growled, baring her teeth. “This ‘thing’ was trying to sleep.” Scootaloo stopped running in place, glancing at her sharp teeth.
“Woah! It’s got teeth like a timberwolf!”
“Does that mean you eat meat?” The earth pony asked, a slight shake in her voice.
Soul yawned, running a hand through her bed head. “No, I don’t eat food.”
“Brains aren’t food.” Scootaloo cut in.
Soul grumbled a bit and opened her mouth to speak but was interrupted by the earth pony stepping up. “Would you keep quiet Scoots? We’re just supposed to be asking her a question.” She turned to Soul. “Ma sister wanted to know if you were ever gonna wake up today.”
“Plus we wanted to see the pony that turned Rainbow into a chicken.” The unicorn giggled.
“Oh ya. That.” Soul yawned again, grinning a bit. “Yep, that was me. Well… Pinkie helped too.” She glanced at the earth pony. “And you can tell your sister no. I don’t care to.”
“What’s wrong with your hair?” The unicorn asked, earning a glare from Soul.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Before any reply could be given, Big Mac walked up behind the foals.
“Now now, you kids quit bothering Ms. Soul and head downstairs. I’ll let AJ know she’s up.” The foals ran off, Big Mac watching them head down the hall. Once they had turned the corner, he looked back into the room only to find that Soul had laid back in bed and already seemed to be asleep.
“Uh… Ms. Soul, aren’t you getting up?”
Big Mac walked over to the window in the room before pulling open the curtains. Soul practically hissed at the sunlight that streamed in. “It’s already ten though. Don’t you wanna get up and do anything?”
“Nope.” She rolled over, turning her back to the light. Big Mac just looked at her, seeming to have a hard time understanding her.
“Didn’t you have some friend to look for?”
“I don’t remember what she looks like and Twilight’s tutoring the crusaders today so she can’t help me get my memories back.”
Big Mac sighed. “Well AJ wanted to show you around town as a sort of apology for knocking you around.”
There was silence for a few more moments before Big Mac spoke again. “Ya sure? AJ’s real sorry ‘bout what happened.”
“She didn’t sleep all too well last night.”
“Really? Cause I was sure I didn’t care.”
“She doesn’t get that worried about just anything, ya know?”
Soul groaned as she sat up, turning to Big Mac with a glare. “Alright! I’ll go with her into town! Just enough of the guilt trip.” He smirked a bit before stepping out of the room, leaving Soul to blearily rub her eyes.
“Mother fucking ponies and their shit. Can’t just let me be without all their bull.” She grumbled. She took a few moments before slowly pulling herself off the bed, grabbing her hair band from the nightstand. She slipped it on as she looked into a mirror hung up on the wall. Her hair was sticking up in strands, making her look prickly.
“Eh. That’ll take care of itself.” She shrugged before stepping out. When she reached the stairs, she could hear the fillies from earlier talking to Applejack and stopped.
“She seems really lazy.” The squeaky unicorn spoke.
“Ya. I ain’t never seen someone who I thought could match Rainbow in napping.” The obvious sister of Applejack spoke.
“Hey!” Scootaloo shouted.
“Well that’s insulting.” Soul muttered. “I could wipe the floor with the flying pest when it comes to sleeping.”
“Now there’s no reason to be saying those things about a guest, Applebloom.” Applejack spoke up. “And that goes for you too Sweetie Belle. I don’t think yer sister would right appreciate what you’re saying.”
“Sorry Applejack.” The two spoke in unison.
“Now, I’ll admit she is a mite bit odd, but she don’t remember what’s going on. I’d bet y’all she’s just defensive ‘cause of that. Now, you three better get off to Twilight’s fer yer lesson.”
“Okay!” All three of them seemed to jump up at the mention of Twilight before the sound of little hooves running across wood echoed out followed by a door slamming shut.
Soul waited a few more moments after that before heading down the stairs, opening up to a living room with a table and chairs. Out the window by the front door, Soul could see the fillies running off to town. “And good riddance. Never could stand kids anyway.” She sighed before turning away from the front door and dragging herself into the next room.
“Well howdy Soul!” Applejack chimed as she entered the kitchen, turning her head away from the sink where she had been cleaning dishes. “Twi mentioned you don’t eat so I didn’t make any breakfast for ya. Hope that’s alright.”
“It’s… fine.” She muttered, a bit put off by her peppiness. “Is your whole family always up this early?”
“Early?” She laughed. “Oh we’ve all been up for a few hours now. That’s farm work fer ya.” Applejack dried her hooves before turning toward Soul. “I’m guessing you ain’t never lived on one.”
“Nope, and I can’t say it sounds like something I would ever bother with.” Soul grumbled. “Now, your brother said something about checking out the town?”
“Yup! Figure since you can change how you look, it might be good fer ya to get a lay of the place.”
“Well ya, I guess.” Soul sighed. “But in case you forgot, the moment I fall over or get distracted, the pony form stops working. That and I don’t care to do that.”
Applejack looked sad for a few moments before she seemed to think of something. “Can’t you turn into anything else?”
“Well ya, a sword. But I can’t exactly walk that way.”
“Well why don’t I just carry you ‘round than?” Applejack smiled. “Ain’t like the ponies of this town are gonna look at me weird for carrying a sword.”
“They wouldn’t?” Soul perked up a bit, seemingly interested. “What the hell would happen in a town like this to make that be the norm?”
“Well, I wouldn’t say the norm, but let’s just say you showing up ain’t the first weird thing to happen ‘round Ponyville, and me, Twi, and the others are often the ones right in the middle of it.”
“Huh… I’ll admit, a town like this doesn’t look like an exciting place.”
Applejack chuckled. “You’d be surprised. Now, you wanna head out?” For a moment, Soul seemed ready to argue against heading out before sighing. Her body was coated in a white light before being engulfed and shooting over to Applejack’s back, reforming as a short sword slid underneath her saddlebag’s straps.
Applejack let out a low whistle as she glanced at her back. “Well, yer certainly a beaut of a sword, I’ll give ya that.”
‘Thanks.’ A cocky voice echoed in her head, causing her to jump.
“Wha?! Soul?! Was that you?”
‘Yes. How else was I going talk to you but through your head? Swords aren’t exactly built with mouths.’
“You got a point. Still nearly gave me a heart attack.” Applejack took a moment to make sure Soul wasn’t going to fall off before heading out the door and on the way to Ponyville.
‘Well usually, when you tell someone that the only way you’re going to speak to them is in their head, they get a bunch of ideas about just what that includes.’
“What do you mean by that?”
‘Well on the top of the list, you don’t need to speak back. I can hear you speak in your head. That fact automatically sets off signals of “I’m reading your thoughts and am intruding on your deepest, darkest secrets.”’
Applejack seemed to go silent for a moment before thinking. ‘So… you’re not reading my thoughts?’
‘Well yes, but thoughts are not an open book. Memories and personal secrets are hidden behind a sort of wall that takes actual effort to reach, and I think by now you can tell I’m not one to do so.’
‘You mean not one to pry into someone else’s dirty laundry?’
‘No, I’m not someone who is willing to put effort toward almost anything not having to do with myself. What weird, possibly horrific things you do in your spare time is none of my concern. I wouldn’t even bother to read your thoughts if projecting mine into your head didn’t open the connection both ways.’
“Huh.” Applejack muttered verbally before the two resolved to silence. It wasn’t till they actually reached the town proper that Applejack spoke again. “So, any place you wanna check out first?”
‘Not particularly. What few looks I gave the town when I was running through it with Pinkie planning pranks didn’t catch my attention. Just looks like Canterlot without the snooty unicorns.’
“Canterlot?” Applejack chuckled. “If you think this place looks like Canterlot, you might need to get your eyes checked.”
Soul hummed for a moment. ‘Sparkle mentioned something like that too. About Canterlot being not only a city, but the capital of Equestria.’ The sword on Applejack’s back seemed to shudder a bit. ‘I was really hoping that was a joke though.’
“Nope. I take it you ain’t too fond of the place?” Applejack spoke as she walked the two of them through the town.
‘Depends. Is the place still full of snot nosed unicorns who think they’re better than everyone else?’
“Well, other than a few exceptions… eeyup.”
‘Than yes, you could say I’m not a fan. Add to the fact the place is now a city and I now have even less reason to want to revisit the place.’
“I feel ya there. Never got what ponies like Rare ever saw in places like that. Other than a few events, I’ve done my best to keep away from those kinds of places.” Applejack stopped for a moment, looking up at the building next to them before smiling. “Hey, how about we stop in at Sugarcube Corner? I bet Pinkie would be happy to see you.”
‘Pinkie works here?’ Soul took a few moments to look over the shop. ‘Well… it’s got quite the stand on the roof.’
“It’s a bakery. I know you don’t eat none, but you and Pinkie seemed to get along fine.”
‘Eh, sure, though I think the place is rather busy right now.’ Applejack took another glance at the front of the shop before turning to the sword, confused.
“Uh… beg yer pardon?”
‘Check inside.’ Applejack’s confusion never left her face but she nodded nonetheless and walked up to the doors. Just as Soul had said, there was a winding line through the bakery, only just stopping by the doors. Pinkie was busy at the register, grabbing sweets for whoever was at the front at the time.
Applejack took a few steps back. “Woowee! How’d you do that?”
‘I don’t exactly “see” like normal people or ponies do. Hell, by the literal definitions of the words, I am both blind and deaf.’
“Well for a girl who both can’t see and hear, you can certainly see and hear.”
‘Someone behind you is trying to get into the store.’
“Huh?” Applejack turned to see a mare standing there, giving her a strange look. Applejack gave her a sheepish grin before standing aside to let her through.
‘You also are basically talking to yourself, just to remind you.’
Applejack opened her mouth to speak only to quickly shut it and reply mentally. ‘R-right. Kinda forgot there. Now, what was this about you not being able to see and hear?’
‘It’s… difficult to explain, especially since it’s rather like trying to tell someone what red looks like.’ Soul went silent as she thought. ‘I could show you how I see things but I don’t know how clear it will come out. Getting on the level I am that you can use it in your everyday life took a long time.’
‘Well I’ll try it once if just to get a feel for it.’ Applejack responded confidently.
“Thing is… this also will open that connection I mentioned earlier between us a bit wider so some bits might start to leak through. It shouldn’t get to the real nasty, core stuff right away but I might start to see your thoughts on other ponies and vice versa.’ Applejack visibly winced upon hearing that. ‘Ya, figured that might be a deal breaker.’ Oddly enough, Soul spat out this last part almost angrily, as if disappointed.
‘N-now hang on! I was just a mite bit surprised is all. I ain’t gonna back out now.’ Soul was silent for long enough that Applejack actually got a bit worried and glanced back. “Er, Soul? Ya there?”
‘Why?’ She stated flatly.
‘I know you knocked me off a building and all, but I than went and threw you in a pool of applesauce before being flat out rude to your sister and her friends. And you even defended me to them. And now you’re willing to let some of your inner thoughts be known to me just so you can see what I see? By everything I know, you should hate me but instead you continue to try and be nice. So, why?’
‘Well…’ Applejack paused, coming up with the right words before continuing. ‘I’ll admit, you have been a pain of sorts, but I doubt many in your place would act much better. I guess I was hopin’ to earn yer trust so maybe you don’t feel so scared.’
‘I am not scared.’ Soul spat.
Applejack just gave a small smile. ‘Right. Not scared. I’ll remember that. Now, you wanna show me this thing or what?’
She could have sworn Soul was about ready to tell her no but after a brief pause she got another reply. ‘Alright then. Sit down. You’re gonna get some major vertigo otherwise.’ Applejack did as she asked, taking a seat on the ground outside Sugarcube Corner. ‘Close your eyes and try to ignore the sounds around you.’ She did so, her face scrunching up a bit as she did her best to pay no attention to the sounds of the market.
‘Now than, what do you see and hear?’
‘Oh really? Don’t open your eyes, but try “looking” at me.’ Applejack did this, turning her head before stopping when she began to see something else. There, on her back, was a bright, glowing orb of blue fire, emanating ripples of light that stopped as if the edges of her sword form had become the sides of a pool.
‘Just… what am I lookin’ at?’
‘My soul and its wavelength. All living creatures have these. I just started you off looking at mine because mine is the strongest one around and is therefore the easiest. Try looking at yourself, but don’t turn your head.’
Applejack did this, her mind’s eye turning to scrutinize herself. She saw her own glowing ball of fire, only her’s was orange. She could even hear a faint sound as she watched the ripples flow through her body. ‘How come mine is orange and yours is blue?’
‘Blue is a sort of default color. Because you lack experience, you can’t pick apart the soul and see all the things that makes that person or pony who they are. Since this is your own soul, you can see it all because it’s you. Soul took a moment to pause before speaking again. 'Anyway, you aren't gonna see much more than that at your level so let's just-'
Applejack gasped, interrupting. ‘By Great Grandpappy’s gold plated rump.’ It took a moment for Soul to realize that Applejack was seeing the shop. Inside the shop was the line of ponies, their souls all floating as Pinkie’s bounced around the place like a firefly. The shop itself however also had ripples moving through it, though without a source these ripples often overlapped each other, making the walls look more messy than the wavelength a pony had.
‘I thought you said living things had those “soul wavelength” do-hickeys. Why’s the building got one too?’
‘Things that die, like the trees and plants that were used to build the building, lose their soul upon death, but the wavelength will continue to resonate through them for long after that. I never figured out how long, but I know it can last for several hundred years. What I want to know is how you are actually seeing it? It took me a year of having nothing better to do to even see souls other than my own.’
I dunno. Maybe I'm just good at it?' The two went silent after that, Applejack seeming to take in her surroundings through this new perspective. ‘Well, I must admit Soul. This is all rather pretty looking.’
She wasn’t sure how, but Applejack could feel Soul smirking as she spoke. ‘If you think it looks nice, hearing it will blow your mind. Unfortunately, learning that just takes time and practice, even with having me around as an amplifier.’
‘Amplifier? Ya mean I can do this without ya? Can all ponies?’
‘Well ya, anything with a soul can sense souls. It’s just rather difficult to train if you either don’t have someone to help you take the first step or you don’t have the motivation of needing to be able to see and hear things at least somewhat normally.’
Applejack was about ready to open her eyes when she saw a floating orb approaching her from behind. She turned and looked with her actual eyes to find it was Rarity. “Well hello there Applejack. I thought you might be taking a nap.”
Applejack took a few moments to stand herself up, somewhat shaken from the experience but smiling. “Nah, Soul was just showing me a trick of hers.”
“Soul? You mean the one who left me to clean glue and feathers off Rainbow Dash for three hours? Pinkie told me the prank was her idea. Where is she?”
Soul was snickering from the moment Rarity mentioned glue, though only Applejack could hear it. “She’s here Rare.” She turned her side to show the sword on her back, causing Rarity to gasp.
“Applejack! Just what are you doing carrying around something so dangerous?!”
“Rare, it’s Soul. She can change shape, remember? This one apparently is a bit easier on her than the pony though.”
“I see…” Rarity glared at the sword with this new information. “Well missy, I hope you’re happy with the mess you made.”
‘Oh you have no idea.~’ Soul chuckled.
“Rare, she can’t speak to you. She got no mouth, like any sword would.”
“She doesn’t need to speak.” Rarity stuck her nose in the air. “I simply wish to confirm that her petty revenge making is done with. It is not very lady like to act in such a garish fashion.”
‘Pffft! Please. Like I could give two shits about being “lady like”. I’d rather let Twilight do more medical examinations on me than let Ms. Pomp and Circumstance here try and put me in a dress.’
‘I’ll have to agree with ya on that one, Soul.’ Applejack replied, smiling slightly but managing to hold back any laughter. “I think she’s done Rarity. Don’t ask me how I know though. Just… trust me.”
Rarity rose an eyebrow at this but accepted it nonetheless. “Very well Applejack. I shall take your word on it. Though if I might say one more thing to her. From what I heard from my sister, she has quite the… ‘unique’ hair style. Should she like to have it changed, I would be more than happy to help.” With that, Rarity turned to leave. “Farewell Applejack.”
‘I’m going to take one guess and say that the unicorn filly from this morning was her sister?’
‘The resemblance is hardly noticeable.’ The two laughed a bit at that.
‘Ya, Rare can be a bit fru fru, but she’s got her heart in the right place. Though if you ain’t a fan of gettin’ yer hair done, I can give you a few of the excuses I use to avoid her.’
‘Ha! Even without an excuse, as if I’d-’ Soul suddenly stopped, causing Applejack to raise an eyebrow.
“Soul? What’s wrong?”
‘I thought I heard something… but I can’t find the source. I can’t imagine what it could have-’ In that moment, Applejack watched as Soul seemed to just wink out of existence.
“Soul!” Applejack turned around, looking about trying to find her. “She’s… she’s gone!”
* * *
Soul however, was right now going through the very dizzying experience of flying through what looked like a tunnel. Moments after she had disappeared, she had changed back into her human-esque form. “What the fuck is going on?!” A few moments later she hit what felt like hard stone, grunting on impact.
“Fucking piece of… just what the hell-” She stopped and quickly turned to look at two notably human girls who were behind her. One girl wore a red hoodie and a pair of jeans with sneakers, the other had on a leather jacket, a t-shirt, and a pair of slightly ripped jeans with combat boots. Both of them were noticeably rumpled and dirty, as if they hadn’t showered in days or weeks.
Natsumi and Haruka backed up, not having expected a girl to just appear out of nowhere. “Who the heck are you?” Natsumi asked, hand hovering over her belt warily.
“Who am I? Who the hell are you?” Soul pointed at the two of them. “And where the hell am I?”
Natsumi coughed and elbowed Haruka in the side, the both of them standing and posing strangely while announcing, “Natsumi and Haruka Miwa! Twin Kamen Rider Sisters and Allies of Justice!” Haruka sat back down as Natsumi continued, shaking some of the dust from her hoodie, “I’m Natsumi, and that’s Haruka… and uh…. you’re in a cave somewhere. We were running from a bunch of hostile ponies earlier and then Haruka found your keychain somewhere in the back of the cave and… yeah.”
“Keychain? What keychain? Lemme see it.” Soul held out her hand.
Haruka tossed over the keychain, groaning and rubbing her back, “Man, I don’t know how we’re gonna get outta this one… the Princesses already hate us enough as it is…” Haruka didn’t however expect for Soul to completely miss the keychain, hitting her in the chest. Soul grumbled for a moment before leaning down and waving her hands along the floor before seeming to find the keychain right in front of her.
“Finally!” She ran her fingers along it as the two sisters looked at this strange behavior with raised eyebrows. “This…” Suddenly her tone of voice got more serious. “Where did you get this?”
Haruka shrugged, “Found it in a pile of sand near the entrance. Why?”
Soul growled for a moment before sighing, relaxing for a moment before throwing the keychain against the wall. “MOTHER FUCKER!!! The piece of shit continues to mess with my fucking life even over a thousand years later!”
Natsumi and Haruka blinked and stared, “.... wut.” Natsumi shook her head, “Anyway, I really hate to ask, but do you have any abilities that might make some way for us to, well, not be attacked on sight?”
“And why should I help you?” Soul glared. “You two drag me out to the middle of god knows where to deal with a bunch of ponies, when I’m not a diplomat or someone who gives a shit about them. I’m more likely to go and scare the shit of them because it would be fun to than make them your friends.” Soul crossed her arms. “What’d you even do to piss them off?”
Haruka blinked, “Uh…. be horrible, hypnotized mass murdering monsters in Discord’s army about some two thousand years ago?”
Natsumi snapped, “Well, we could use that willingness to scare the crap out of them. Kamen Riders are supposed to fight monsters, after all.”
“You want me to go out and scare them so you can attack me and look like the heroes? Do I look like I’m made of metal?” Soul deadpanned before blinking. “Actually, nevermind that question. I just realized how stupid I sounded.” She thought for a moment, glancing around at the cave before grumbling. “Fine, but I better get sent back for my trouble. Now how the hell do we get out of here?”
Haruka sweatdropped at Soul, “.... The entrance is right there….” She pointed to Soul’s left, tilting her head, “What are you, blind?”
Natsumi smacked Haruka, “Don’t just ask people that!”
“Yep. I’m blind.” Soul said rather simply before slowly walking toward the exit, shoving her hands in her pockets.
“.....Oh.” Natsumi and Haruka followed Soul, transforming as they did so.
* * *
Twilight Sparkle, recently crowned Princess of Equestria, led a group of townsponies and her friends around the arid desert wastes, her horn glowing as she searched for the two strange beings that Princess Celestia had warned her about.
“Be careful, everyone,” she called out, “we don’t know what those two beings are capable of and I’d rather not have anyone get hurt.” The ponies continued to walk about the mountains before they heard a sound echoing, metal grinding against stone. It set them on edge, causing them to look around in subtle fright for the source of the noise.
Fluttershy flinched back, slowly backing up towards a rocky outcropping, “O-oh my… w-what was t-that…?” She tried to hide, not noticing the looming shadow behind her.
“Hello~” A growling voice spoke, the sound of metal stopping as the creature that stood over her ceased grinding one of the many blades protruding from its body into the stone wall next to it. Its mouth was open in a sinister grin that dripped with drool and filled with sharp teeth. Long, white hair blocked most of its face except for one red eye that seemed to glow slightly.
Fluttershy yelped in fear, the sound alerting the rest of the ponies, making them whirl around and spot the creature. Twilight reacted immediately, calling, “Watch out Fluttershy!” and firing a pink beam of concussive energy directly at the creature. In response, it rose an arm, a blade reflecting the blast and sending it off at a random angle.
“I’m… hungry… for… SOULS!” The creature growled before swiping at Fluttershy, the little pegasus just ducking before running.
“Oi!” a voice called out dramatically, its source being a familiar green armored figure standing atop a rocky spire. “If you want souls that much, then why don’t you feast on my fighting spirit!” The creature looked up with the ponies to see the two sisters standing there. The ponies were thankfully distracted enough to not notice the deadpanned look the creature gave these two, almost as if to say “you’ve got to be kidding me.”
The armored being was joined by another familiar being, this one in brown before both of them jumped impossibly high into the air, descending upon the blade covered creature with a dual cry of, “RIDER KICK!” Their legs burst into flame as they descended, the twin drop kicks slamming into the sword creature with enough force to send it smashing through another pillar of stone and out of sight.
The green being saluted at Twilight, calling out, “Sorry about running earlier, we weren’t exactly notified of anything being in the general area.” Both beings leapt off in the direction of the creature, the sounds of combat ringing out as a cloud of dust formed, obscuring the view.
In the fight, Soul gave a less monstrous growl at the sisters as she muttered. “For fuck’s sake, you didn’t have to kick me THAT hard. I only got knocked off a building a few days ago.”
Natsumi winced slightly, “Sorry about that- we were trying to hold back as much as we could so you wouldn’t just detonate into a small fireball.” She kept up her kicking, just barely missing Soul with each kick and slamming her feet into the blades jutting from her body rather than Soul herself.
“Right, ‘holding back’.” Soul rolled her eyes, giving another swipe of her arm before tackling Natsumi, only to be thrown off by her sister. “I can’t believe I agreed to this shit.” She grumbled before jumping back to avoid another punch.
Haruka shrugged before reaching down to her waist, “We’ll try to make it up to you later. By the way, you might want to duck these next attacks.” She flipped the legs of the device on her belt, her arm starting to crackle with energy as Natsumi did the same, her leg crackling like Haruka’s arm.
“RIDER PUNCH!” “RIDER KICK!” Soul leapt to the side, an explosion going off as their blows hit the stone where she had been standing two seconds ago. This sent her flying to the edge of a nearby cliff, stopping just short of falling off.
She got up, shaking her head and cursing under her breath. “Fuck… holding back my ass.”
Natsumi held her hand out to Soul, “Yeah, when a single kick is usually capable of destroying a small house, that really is holding back. Sorry about that. But, you might wanna run before the dust clears…. I wonder how we send you back…”
Soul seemed about to say something before making another monster growl and glaring at something behind the sisters. Haruka whirled around and spotted the ponies standing there and shouted, “Get back! It’s still dangerous!”
The ponies stepped back, but kept watching wanting to see how this turned out. Natsumi looked to Soul and muttered a quick, “I am so, so sorry about this,” and kicked Soul off the cliff with a fierce kiai and a dramatic flourish.
Soul, not being able to see the actual cliff, didn’t realize the danger until she had fallen far past where the ground should have been. “Oh that bitch!” She growled, turning into her sword form before striking the ground blade end first. After a few moments she changed back, glaring upward at the two far above her.
“Really? Kicking me off a cliff?!” She sighed. “This is the last time I do a favor for some random people.” She grinned a bit. “Even if scaring the ponies was hilario- Wah!” She suddenly fell backward, flipping around in vertigo.
* * *
“Bye girls! See you again next week!” Twilight waved to the crusaders as they ran off. With their lesson over, Twilight was ready to relax, having saved the rest of the day for some peace and quiet.
“TWI!” She jumped up as Applejack ran into the library, looking like she had done three laps around Ponyville. “I can’t find Soul!”
Twilight jumped again, turning to her friend. “What?! I thought you were watching her!”
“I was! I was showin’ her ‘round town as she sat pretty in her sword form on my back and then suddenly ‘poof’, she’s gone!”
“Well she couldn’t have just-” Suddenly something dropped into her library from… who knows where, making a loud thud against the wood. Both ponies turned to see Soul there, laying face first on the floor. “Soul! Why didn’t you tell me you could teleport?!”
Soul’s response was muffled by the floor. “Because I can’t, princess pain in my ass.”
“Then how do you explain this?” She waved her hoof. “And disappearing when you were with Applejack.”
Soul pried herself off the wood, rubbing her forehead. “Easy, I don’t explain it. You know why? Cause I don’t know shit about what just happened anymore than you do. So fuck off.” Twilight seemed to have more questions but was interrupted by Applejack walking up.
“You alright sugarcube?” Soul muttered a few more curses before sighing.
“Not exactly. The people I met wherever the fuck I ended up needed help getting their ponies off their ass, so they asked me to play the villain without telling me their fists cause explosions. If I broke a few more ribs, I wouldn’t be surprised.” Applejack looked to Twilight, said pony holding up under the look for a few seconds before giving in.
“Fine! I’ll check.” Her horn lit up as a similar light scanned over Soul as she continued to speak. “But I want to know what happened when you went wherever you ended up.”
“I’ll tell ya, I’ll tell ya. I just hope it doesn’t happen again. Had enough of whatever that was to last even my extended lifetime.”
So after taking a thousand foot drop into a forest moments after having my body tossed aside like a piece of trash, I found myself with nothing to do. You’d be surprised how unexciting things were after what happened, but not having legs or arms or anything for that matter made it rather difficult to go anywhere. Add to that my little window into the world disappearing and I couldn’t even see and hear anything.
I spent who knows how long just sitting there, stuck in the root of a tree. So I gave myself something to do once I calmed down a bit. Assuming that there was a reason I could see myself, I figured I could somehow apply that to seeing everything else. Pretty sure that’s the only reason I stayed sane.
Well that and the occasional animal poking my sword and me scaring the shit out of them by screaming in their head. That was a fun way to pass the time.
Anyway, I was there just grinding my ability to see until I was literally covered in moss and rust, which sucks! Imagine being covered in wet cement and letting it dry and you’ll get an idea of what it’s like. By that point, I was able to see what I guessed was about fifty yards while focused and five while not. Not that I had any reason to not focus on it.
It was also around this time that something new showed up in my sight range. I wasn’t good at the time, not nearly the level I am now, but I had spent enough time around plants to tell the difference between something that actually thinks and something that doesn’t. This thing though, unlike all the animals that appeared from time to time, was far more complex. The only thing I could think it could be is a person, but another check of its body shape squashed that idea when it was running on all fours.
‘Wait… it has a horn and wings too? Just what the hell is this thing?’ I noticed it was heading right through the middle of my sight range. Actually… it was heading directly at me! The thing rushed at me, one of its legs hitting my hilt and sending it rolling. For the first time in who knows how long, my ‘body’ moved, now at an angle from where it had before been standing straight up.
‘Damn it! Why wasn’t that thing watching where it was going?!’ I huffed, though the answer to my question quickly followed as something I had named “wire wolves”, named suitably as their bodies look like a ball of wire shaped like a wolf. Or maybe it’s made out of branches, I couldn’t tell. Anyway, the wolves were on the thing's tail and were looking to make lunch out of it. However, as the horned thing got up, something odd happened. Its horn began to emit a faint wavelength similar to its own and I noticed that this matched a wavelength that was wrapped around my hilt right before I was pulled from the root of the tree and floating between the thing and the wolves.
‘Wha-what?! Is it using telekinesis?!’ I was beyond confused, but the thing holding me took no notice as it prepared to fight the wolves. Now, I don’t know if this is what actually happened, but I had scared away enough of those wolves that poke me with their nose that I think what happened was that they saw me and got scared so they shrinked off. I could feel the thing sigh before bringing me closer to it.
“Wow, this thing looks old. How long has this been here?” I heard it speak in what I assumed was a girl’s tone. It seemed that whatever this strange thing it was doing to hold me was also good enough to set off the mental chat function of my new form and I was now hearing her most forefront thoughts. “Well, lucky for me it was here. The timberwolves didn’t seem to like it.”
“Oh, is that what those are called?” I spoke, though I might have been a bit too eager to talk with someone for the first time in I don’t even know how long as she quickly dropped me and jumped back, hiding behind a log. I sighed as I watched her slowly peak above her cover and inch over before poking me with her leg.
“-say anything? Hello?” I guess she was in the middle of trying to talk with me. “Oh, who am I kidding? Swords don’t talk.”
“Uh… actually, this one does.” She flinched back again, still unaware of my method of speech and likely saying a few more things before picking me up with her horn trick again.
“-do you keep going quiet?”
“I can only speak if you touch me or use your horn trick!” I quickly spat out in hopes that she would get the message before dropping me again. Thankfully she didn’t and I felt a sort of “ooooooooooh” go through her head in realization.
“So… you talk. Are you a magic sword?”
“I… don’t know.”
“Okay… do you know how you got here?”
“Some asshole dropped me here a really long time ago.”
“Oh…” She seemed to go silent for a moment before speaking again. “Are you lonely?”
I didn’t speak, not really sure how to respond. On one hand, my usual response would be fuck no. I had always been a person who could live on her own. But after being truly alone for I don’t even know how long, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take the chance that me saying that would end me up with an even longer sentence.
“... yes.” I muttered.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Yes!” I almost screamed causing the supposed girl to nearly drop me.
“Ah! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to drop you!”
“It’s fine.” I sighed. “Yes, I’m lonely. Also, don’t worry about dropping me. It’s not like I can get more gross at this point.”
“Oh, I’m sorry… again... what’s your name?”
I opened my ‘mouth’ to speak before thinking for a moment. Despite how much I really didn’t want to be alone again, I was still worried. This was some creature with a horn, wings, four legs and telekinesis. I had no idea what else it was capable of. For all I know, giving it my name would sell my already misplaced soul to it.
‘Okay… I’m a sword that is able to look at… what I assume is souls.’ I was briefly reminded of the keychain the bastard took and the anime that was where it came from. ‘Soul Eater… ya, that fits.’
“My name is Soul Eater.”
“S-soul Eater?” She sounded scared, so I quickly spoke up.
“I’m not going to eat your soul, don’t worry! It’s just a name, I swear.” She thankfully relaxed, letting out a sigh.
“Oh good. Well hi there! My name’s Sunny. Wanna be my friend?”
I rose a metaphorical eyebrow at this. “You want to be friends with a sword? Aren’t there other winged, horned creatures you could be friends with?”
“Creature? You mean ponies?”
“You’re a pony?!” Now that Sunny had said that, I could see how that fit. But still, why the horn and wings? What is this, some weird little girl’s dream?
“Of course silly!” she giggled. “I’m actually what I like to call a pegicorn, which is a combination of the other three pony races.”
“There are three, no wait, four different races of ponies?”
“Ya. Have you never seen a pony before?”
“Does that mean you don’t think I’m weird for having both horn and wings?”
I chuckled. “I’m more off put by the fact you are a talking horse. The wings and horn are just icing on the cake.”
“Oh. Are you a minotaur or something than? I mean, other than being a sword.”
“I’m, well I was, a human.”
“Human… human… never heard of it. Can you show me a picture?”
“Yes, sure, let me just draw something for ya- oh wait. I can’t. I have no arms.” I spoke as sarcastically as possible.
“Oh, right. Sorry.” Sunny said squeamishly. “So… you never answered my question. Did you want to be friends?”
“... sure. I would like that.”
“Yay!” Sunny wrapped her forehooves around me, hugging an actual sword. I’m sure if I had actually been cleaned and not a piece of crap she would have cut herself. Instead I’m sure she just got a bunch of moss stuck to her.
“Uh… still kind of covered in gunk. Probably not best to hug me.”
“Nah! You needed a hug, and I don’t mind getting messy.” She let go, picking me back up with her telekinesis. “Now, let’s find a river to clean both of us off.”
For the first time in awhile, I was moving. Things in my sight appeared and disappeared. It was disorienting, but I was more happy, as for the first time since my life was ripped away from me by some magical asshole, I was doing something. I was no longer just some piece of junk thrown aside.
“... ya, that’d be nice.” I smiled.
* * *
Soul opened her eyes, getting up and stretching after a lengthy session of lying on Twilight’s couch. Meanwhile, Twilight was putting on her thinking face.
“Hmm… I didn’t anticipate you not being able to show us how Sunny looks. You didn’t even tell me you couldn’t see.”
“Well whatever the fuck that bastard merchant did apparently made it I can only see and hear via souls. Makes living in a city impossible since stone was never alive to begin with.”
“I suppose that makes sense… wait, then how did you walk around the castle without an issue? Sure, there’s some moss and vines, but certainly not enough to let you see.”
“I…” Soul blinked before looking up at the ceiling in thought. “I’m not sure. I just… knew where I was going. Well, not at first. I was rather confused where I was but after awhile I sort of just... found my way.”
Twilight hummed. “Perhaps that’s a part of your old memory kicking in? If so, we might want to check the castle for more on your past.”
Soul shrugged. “I guess.”
“Now,” she pulled a notebook out of somewhere in the library along with a quill. “The next thing I want to go over is what you explained about your ‘experience’. The main thing I was confused about what you said was how my friends and I were there.”
“You were. I might not be able to see, but picking apart two different people is child’s play for me at this point, and those ponies had the exact wavelengths you and the others do.”
Twilight scribbled something before putting the quill to her chin. “What about changelings? They can change their shape, so who’s to say they could change this ‘soul wavelength’?”
“As far as I’ve ever seen, shape changing does not change wavelength.”
“Interesting.” Twilight scribbled again. “And these two girls you met. They were like you?”
“If you mean semi-human, yes. That’s where the similarities ended though. Where I got the ability to be a piece of metal and be blind, these two seemed to get kung fu and explosions.”
“Are you saying your abilities were no match for these two?”
“In direct combat, yes. I can’t beat practically anyone with actual training as I’ve never been taught to fight.” Twilight opened her mouth but Soul interrupted. “But, all I really need to beat someone is physical contact. Once there, their soul is mine.” She grinned, sending a shiver down Twilight’s spine.
“Something tells me I don’t want to know.”
“Suit yourself.” Soul shrugged. “But that’s about how it went. I showed up, figured out they had somehow dragged me there using the keychain I lost to the son of a bitch that made me this way, for some insane reason agreed to get beat up-”
“I believe you said you enjoyed scaring the ponies.”
“Not the point, now don’t interrupt Twilight. It’s rude.” Twilight glared at Soul as she continued unimpeded. “Anyway, I played their little game before getting kicked off a cliff. Thankfully I reacted and changed into my sword form before breaking half my bones. And then a few seconds later I reappeared in your library.”
“Strange… nothing seemed to trigger this?”
“Not if being pissed off is the trigger.”
“Well in that case, you would be setting off the teleport all the time.” Twilight smirked, it being Soul’s turn to give a glare. “Anyway, at some time I would like to take you with me out to the castle. Perhaps tomorrow if you are free.” She lifted her head a bit. “Actually, it might have to be late tomorrow or the next day. I believe the next issue of Daring Do is supposed to come out, though I will have to double check that.”
Soul raised an eyebrow. “Daring Do?”
Twilight smiled, pulling out a book from the shelf before floating it in front of Soul. “Here. This is Daring Do.”
Soul looked at the book, then at Twilight, then at the book, and then back to Twilight again. “I can’t read.”
Twilight’s gasp matched Pinkie levels when she’s told somepony had never had cake. “How can you not know how to read?!”
“Cause I’m blind. Yes, paper is a plant, but so is the ink, and plant wavelengths are incredibly simple so differentiating between the two is impossible. Plus it’s been way too many years since I’ve actually been able to read anything so I just sort of forgot.”
“But they have books for the blind! Are you telling me you never learned braille?”
“Never needed to.” Soul shrugged. “I was a sword. Having someone nearby with working eyes was part of my job. After all, without someone to wield a weapon, then just how effective is one?”
“I… guess that makes sense.” Twilight sat back down. “But you’re not just a weapon. You’re a person too. Doesn’t that mean anything?”
Soul yawned. “Not really. It’s the same reason why I never learned to properly fight. I’d rather be the best at what I’m good at than have a lot of different skills.”
Before Twilight could retort that, there was a knock at the door. Because Soul still refused to hide in pony form for their mental sessions, Twilight had been forced to close the library for the time. She got up to check the door before Soul rose a hand.
“It’s Applejack.” Twilight looked at her confused for a moment before opening the door with her horn. Just as Soul had said, Applejack was standing there.
As she walked through the door, Twilight couldn’t help but say, “That strange sight of yours seems so invasive.”
“Would you prefer if I was blind?”
“No, but the fact you can just see everything within… how far did you say your range was?”
“Uh… how far did I think I could go in that memory?”
“I believe you said fifty yards while focused.”
“Ya, that. That’s totally what my range is.” Soul said with a smirk.
“Soul.” Twilight groaned.
“Oh relax Twi.” Applejack spoke up, now standing next to the couch. “Soul here ain’t one to be airing any ponies’ secrets.”
Soul smirked. “Well, depends on how many buildings I had been knocked off recently.” Twilight glared. “What? I’m kidding.”
Applejack rolled her eyes before walking over to Soul. “Anyway, I was hoping you’d like to go for another walk. Figure since the last one got interrupted I still owe you.”
“You’re damn right.” Soul grinned. “Like I’d let you get off so easily.” In a flash of light, Soul took her spot on Applejack’s side. Twilight was quick to take notes as she watched.
“Fascinating. I thought your transformations might be similar to changelings but it seems that you are capable of moving as light for a brief moment of time as you transform, making it easy for you to land safely. I would love to analyze what material you are made of to determine if it truly is metal or some sort of super hardened flesh made to appear as such.”
Applejack looked at Twilight confused, a similar look coming from a reflection of Soul in the sword, though she couldn’t see her. ‘Uh… Applejack? I don’t think I need a mental connection to tell you I want out of crazy lab time.’
‘Well I can’t just lie to her! That’s against my element.’
‘What’s that supposed to mean?’
‘I’ll try to put the pieces together fer ya later. What do we do now?’
Soul sighed. ‘Fine, let her see me. But no lab stuff! I’m just letting her see the mental chat thing. That should keep her thinking for awhile.’ The two of them looked back at Twilight, noticing the strange look she was giving them. ‘Oh… right, you were just staring off into space there.’
‘Talkin’ with you ain’t never gonna get easy, is it?’ Applejack pulled Soul out from under her saddle straps before holding her out. “Soul says it’s fine fer ya to check it out, but she ain’t a fan of yer experimenting.”
“Check it out? Wait, she was speaking with you mentally?” Twilight’s eyebrow rose more with her curiousity.
“Just grab her Twi.” Twilight took another look at the sword outstretched in front of her before lighting her horn up and grabbing the handle. Once Applejack had lowered her hoof, Twilight watched the blade waiting for… something.
“Uh… I don’t understand. Nothing happened.”
‘That’s what you think.~’ Twilight jumped, her talent in magic being the only thing keeping her telekinetic grip to the now laughing sword.
“H-hey! That’s not funny! Mental intrusion like that is a serious crime!”
‘Oh relax. I can only hear surface thoughts, which is about as useful as normal hearing.’ Twilight could practically feel her grin as she spoke her next words. ‘What? You scared I’ll get a peak at how many people you’ve gone around giving “medical examinations”?’
Twilight practically threw the sword back at Applejack hilt first, stopping right before hitting her as she flinched. “Alright, I can already see this was a mistake. You have fun with her.” Applejack took the sword as Twilight stormed off, surprised by her sudden rage before looking at Soul. The image of her appeared on the blade again as she did.
‘What’d you do?’
‘Nothing~’ She grinned, Applejack letting out a sigh before sliding her beneath her saddlebags and heading out. She seemed to head off in some random direction as she spoke.
‘I get poking fun at Rainbow and me fer knockin’ ya ‘round, but that ain’t too nice picking on Twi like that.’
‘Oh come on! I was just messing around.’
‘Don’t think Twi thought that. You were the one in her head though.’
‘And you know there isn’t much I can do. You saw that yourself yesterday!’
‘It still don’t sit right with me making Twi all fussy like that fer no real reason. Shouldn’t ya be making friends and not enemies? ‘Specially since she’s the one helpin’ ya with yer memories.’
Soul groaned. ‘Alright. Maybe I went a bit far. It’s just way too easy to set her off.’
‘Well would ya mind cuttin’ it out, if not for Twi’s sake just because I asked ya to?’
Soul was silent for awhile before sighing. ‘Alright, alright. Whatever you say Sunny.’
‘Thanks So- wait, Sunny? Who you talkin’ ‘bout?’
‘... did I say Sunny? Woah, these mental sessions must be screwing with me.’
‘Is that the name of that friend of yours?’
‘Ya… though it now seems a lot less likely for us to find her. Kind of forgot the whole “can’t see” thing.’
Applejack’s ears drooped a bit. ‘That mean it’s hopeless?’
‘Well, not hopeless. If she steps in my soul sense range, I’ll know immediately. I’m sure I could pick her out from a crowd with no trouble.’
‘Startin’ to see what Twi was talking about with that sense of yours.’
‘Well now you can do it too, so looks like you’re stuck with me in the “we creep on everyone within a hundred yards” club.’
Applejack chuckled. ‘I don’t got that kind of range.’
‘Hey, you’ll never hear me admit this again, but you’ve got talent for it.’
‘I… I think that’s the first nice thing you’ve said.’ Applejack said in mock shock.
‘Oh shut it!’ Soul whined, pouting. ‘And you piss on me for poking fun at ponies.’ Applejack chuckled as she continued down the path, heading out of the town. ‘Where are we even going anyway?’
“I figured you might want to meet another friend of mine, Fluttershy. She was the one you were carryin’ ‘round in the castle.” With the two of them out of the town proper, Applejack went back to speaking vocally. Whether it was because she thought the thought-speak to be offputting or because it just felt more natural, Soul couldn’t tell. Or really care.
‘Oh ya, the one who fainted literally upon looking at me.’
“That’s Fluttershy alright. She’s a bit…” Applejack took a few moments to find the right word, ”jumpy.”
‘I don’t think there’s ever been more of an understatement in all of Equestrian history, and I’ve probably lived through most of it.’
“Aw, come on now. She ain’t that bad. She’s just gotta get to know ya is all.”
‘Don’t blame me if she has another heart attack.’
“Well you don’t exactly look nice with the red eyes and sharp teeth. Heck, you scared the whole lot of us.”
‘Ya, ya, don’t remind me. It certainly isn’t the first time I’ve been judged based on looks alone.’ As they finished their conversation, they arrived in front of Fluttershy’s shack.
“You wanna get off and stretch yer legs while I grab Fluttershy?” Applejack said, turning to the sword on her back. Wordlessly, Soul leapt off, turning into her human-esque form as she glanced around. Applejack just shot her a smile before walking up to the door and knocking.
“Who is it?” A meek voice responded, just barely audible.
“It’s me Fluttershy! I brought a friend.” After a few moments, the door clicked open and Fluttershy appeared on the other side.
“Oh hello Applejack. Who is this friend you brought?”
She turned and waved her hoof. “Fluttershy, this is-” As she turned herself to look at the girl, she found she was no longer standing where she had been. “What the?”
“Um… Applejack? Is this a joke or something?”
“What? No! Soul was just here a moment ago!”
“Soul?!” Fluttershy eeped, hiding behind the door. “I… I don’t really want to meet her. She looks like she would want to eat my animals with those big teeth of hers.”
“Fluttershy, it ain’t like that. She don’t even eat, at least no food that I know of.” Applejack looked around, walking around the house toward the back. “Now where in the world did she-” She stopped when she was about halfway to a sight she wasn’t expecting.
Soul was just sort of… sitting there, in the middle of a group of animals. All the animals seemed rather calm, some even landing on her shoulders and head. Others got tangled in the mess of her hair where it flattened out. And those too big to do either just sat nearby. Despite all this though, Soul didn’t seem annoyed or anything like you’d imagine. She was just… quiet.
“Fluttershy! I found her. She’s out back with yer animals.”
“Oh no!” Fluttershy darted out, likely expecting a horrid scene only to find just what Applejack had. “Oh… that’s strange.”
“What do ya mean? Yer animals have always been a friendly bunch.”
“Well yes, but I’ve never seen them so… accepting. Normally they can be rather worried at first when meeting new people, but now… it’s almost like they barely see her.”
“Huh… wonder if that has something to do with Soul being a sword and all.” The two of them stood there for a few moments, watching the strange event before Applejack nudged Fluttershy a bit. “Well go on. Talk with her.”
“What? Oh no, I don’t want to interrupt… whatever she is doing. And I think-”
“Come on Fluttershy. She ain’t gonna bite, despite how she might look otherwise. ‘Sides, she seems to like animals like you do. Maybe y’all got something in common.”
“A-alright.” Fluttershy lightly flew over to Soul, stopping in mid air in front of her. “Um… hello?” Soul didn’t seem to move, her gaze just at the ground as she held her legs against her chest. “Ms. Soul are you there?” She waved a hoof in front of her eyes. “Applejack, is something wrong with her?”
“I dunno. I ain’t never seen her get like this.” She walked up, taking it slow so as to not step on any animals. “Hey Soul! Ya there?” She poked her, the physical touch seeming to wake her from her trance.
“Huh?” Soul looked around somewhat frantically before settling her eyes on the two ponies. “Oh, sorry. Were you two saying something?”
“Soul, this is Fluttershy. You remember her, right?”
Soul looked at her, said pegasus flinching slightly as she did. “Ya, I remember. I didn’t know you were an animal pony though.”
“Y-you like animals?”
“In a way.” Soul flicked one of her fingers at a squirrel who had been trying to play with it, though this didn’t discourage it from continuing to try. “Wild animals are a pain in the ass, but tamed ones are nice at times, if not annoying to take care of.”
“What happened to ya there?” Applejack spoke up. “Ya seemed to be sleeping with yer eyes open.”
“Oh. That. Well… remember when I said I could hear souls?” Applejack nodded. “Well, it’s not like your wavelengths are just repeating the sounds you make. As a matter of fact, the changes in your wavelength when you speak are incredibly subtle. Took me ages to piece that particular power together.”
“Then what are you hearing?” Fluttershy asked, seemingly interested.
“Wavelengths tend to sound like chords. The more complex a creature, the more complex the chord. When you have a lot of those chords together, it creates this kind of music only I can hear.” The squirrel that had been wrestling with her finger got a surprise as she picked her hand up, holding the squirrel up as she did. “Because you have so many animals, the sort of soul music I hear now is very… nice. I’d go into more detail, but I’d just be showing my inner music geek than.”
“Music geek? Does that mean you played an instrument?” Fluttershy meekly asked as she landed next to Soul.
“Violin for ten years before I got turned into a sword. After that I… think I picked it back up later. I don’t remember when but it feels like I haven’t gone a couple thousand years without playing.” She turned her hand so the squirrel could sit in her palm, still seemingly confused why the thing he had been playing with had suddenly start moving.
“Well… I’d like to hear you play.”
“Ya Soul!” Applejack agreed. “Why don’t you play for us sometime?”
“I…” She suddenly seemed to get tense, this being noticed by the squirrel in her hand as it leapt off. The other animals suddenly all stopped as well, almost as if she had said something to set them off. “I can’t.”
“It… look, I just can’t. The memory of why isn’t fully there, but I feel it. Playing just sets off alarms in my head.” She took a breath, calming down before lowering her hand back to the grass where it had been. At the same time, all the animals went back to what they were doing.
“If… you don’t mind me asking than…” Fluttershy spoke. “What are you doing with my animals?”
“Oh, that? I’m not doing anything to them. Animals, unlike smarter creatures like you and I, sort of have an innate soul sense. Have you ever heard of pets being able to see ghosts and stuff like that?”
“Well yes, but I thought ghosts were just stories.”
“They are, at least I haven’t met one. I only bring it up because it shows how animals are more intune with their surroundings than we generally are. As such, I suppressed my own wavelength so that they wouldn’t be disturbed.”
“Suppressed? Like ya turned the volume down?” Applejack scratched her head.
“In a way. Because I don’t appear to have a soul, they don’t register me as fully alive, hence why they seem so willing to just mess around near me. But when you mentioned me playing, my wavelength spiked a bit, causing them to suddenly take notice.”
“Oh… doesn’t that mean you’re tricking them though?” Fluttershy said concerned.
“Kind of. Like I said though, I didn’t want to disturb them. I can only imagine how rare it is to have this many animals around after so many years that I figured I should take the chance while I had it and listen to the music.”
“Well… if you want you can come back whenever you like?”
Soul glanced at Fluttershy surprised. “I thought you were afraid of me or something?”
“I was. Sorry, by the way, but… you’re very scary looking.”
Soul snorted. “Ya, I get that a lot.”
“But now you don’t seem so scary. The monster I thought you were wouldn’t just sit there and let the animals play.”
Soul took a moment to look around before putting on a small smile. “Ya, I guess a monster wouldn’t.”
‘Oh, but you would know everything about monsters, wouldn’t you?’ Soul nearly leapt up when she heard the succubus’ voice, disturbing the animals once more.
“Soul? Ya alright?” Applejack asked.
“Y… ya. I’m fine.” She shook her head before looking to Fluttershy. “Anyway Fluttershy, it was nice meeting you when you weren’t unconscious.”
“Oh, sure. Sorry about that, by the way.”
“Eh, water under the bridge.” She yawned. “Yeesh, how long was I in that session with Twilight? It feels like it’s already sundown.”
“That’s cause it is.” Applejack chuckled.
“Oh… damn it. She’s gonna be annoyed when I get back so late.”
“Don’ worry about it Soul. Ya can stay with me again. I know a shortcut to Sweet Apple Acres from here.”
“Alright, guess that beats the picky purple princess.” In a flash of light she leapt onto Applejack’s back, turning back into a sword. Fluttershy ‘eeped’ as this happened.
“O-oh. When Applejack said you were a sword, I didn’t think… well, literally.”
“Yep, this is Soul. ‘Cording to her this is her real body but I can’t really tell the difference.”
‘Well ya, because you aren’t the one switching forms. You try changing into something else and see how off it feels even after a million times.’
Applejack ignored her comment, just shaking her head. “Anyway Fluttershy, I’ll see ya later. You have a good night.” Applejack headed out toward the farm as Fluttershy waved goodbye.
“Good bye Applejack. Good bye Soul.” Applejack headed down the road a bit before stepping off into the grass.
“So… didn’t pick ya fer the animal loving type.”
‘Oh shut it.’
“Or fer a music lover.”
“I said shut it!’ Applejack just chuckled in response, leaving Soul to pout as they continued over the hill.
‘So… remind me why we are doing this?’ Soul asked from Applejack’s back, as she and the other ponies all trekked through a jungle toward who knows where.
‘That new Daring Do book that Rainbow wanted so badly was delayed, so she wants to go see the author to… I guess push her to write some more?’
‘Well… that’s kind of a stupid move.’
‘I won’t disagree with ya there, but I ain’t about to leave a friend high and dry.’
‘Okay, so that’s why you six are going, but why did you bring me?! I don’t give a shit about rainbow ass or this book of hers.’
‘Cause I asked you “Do you want to go do something more interesting than sit ‘round all day?” and you hopped on my back without ‘nother word.’
Soul pouted in the image reflecting off her blade. ‘Well next time you want to interrupt my naps for some stupid adventure, do me a favor and don’t.’ Applejack just smiled and shook her head as Twilight spoke up.
"You see what I mean? Why would she live in this remote part of Equestria except to keep folks from intruding on her privacy? We should respec-”
“I think I spotted the house!” Rainbow suddenly shouted out. “We're super close! This way!”
“Wait!” Twilight called out, chasing after Rainbow before the rest of the group followed suit. When they were close enough to the house they all stopped. What they had been expecting to be a well maintained home looked like a bear had gone through it. “Oh no. What happened?”
“Looks like someone’s been invading her privacy pretty hard already…” Rainbow said as she walked up to the door angled on its side. She knocked a few times only for it to fall over. Everypony took that as the cue to peek in.
“Hoo-wee, someone really trashed the place.” Applejack nodded.
“Hm… maybe…” Pinkie suddenly jumped across the room with a pot on her head. “Or maybe A.K. Yearling is just a terrible, horrible, unbelieveable slob!”
‘No, the place was ransacked.’ Soul said flatly, causing Applejack to turn.
“What da ya mean?”
‘It’s pretty clear. If the place was just messy, it wouldn’t be in this state. It would be in this state and there would be mold, rust, things like that. As it stands, all I’m seeing is ripped up paper and broken wood. Oh, and the pony that is heading for the door right now.’
“Wait, huh?” Applejack turned just in time to see a pony with a large hat, glasses and cloak enter the door frame while the rest of the ponies were oblivious.
“What are you all doing here?” The pony asked, stepping into the light.
“A… K… Yearling?” Rainbow muttered, her excitement very clearly fit to burst.
‘Wait, that’s the writer? It can’t be.’
Twilight started trying to convince A.K. Yearling that they hadn’t been the ones to break in while Applejack took a step back to talk with Soul. ‘Now what are ya going on about?’
‘I told you, the better you are at soul sense, the more you can see about a person’s soul. Right now I’m getting from this pony adventurous, brave, cocky, and doesn’t work well with others. None of that fits a book author… well, except maybe that last part. I could have assumed that just based on how long it took to get here.’ Despite what the other ponies were saying, A.K. Yearling seemed intent on looking for something and after awhile she found it. She pulled a book, out from under Rainbow no less, before turning the symbol on the front of it and revealing a gold ring inside.
‘Applejack. Three other ponies. They’re climbing up to the top floor window. My guess for nothing good.’
‘Wait, wha? What do we do?!’
‘What do you think?! Fight the damn bastards!’ Twilight was currently dragging Rainbow out the door, the other three ponies following. This left Applejack standing awkwardly in the room, looking between the door and the stairs as she bit her lower lip. After a few moments she got up and headed for the stairs, running up them.
‘They’re just getting to the window. You might be able to catch them by surprise.’
‘And then what? I can’t fight three ponies on my own!’
‘You forget you aren’t alone. You have me, and me plus another might as well make an army. Though… I’m going to have to do something new.’
‘Ya don’t think this could wait till later?’
‘Not really, no. After all, have you ever used a sword before?’
‘Well no, but what’s that got to do with it?’ She reached the top floor before quickly finding the window and hiding next to it. Just as she settled in, the first pony jumped inside. It was a dark gray stallion with an orange mane and tail, and a big guy at that.
‘Look, the little link we’ve got that allows us to speak, remember how I opened it up wider so you can see souls? Well I need to do that, only wider still.’
The next pony leapt in, this one light gray with a black mane and shades. Unlike his friend, he was much more slender. ‘Didn’t ya say opening it wider caused memories to leak over?’
‘Yes, but either we don’t do this and you have to swing a sword around, likely getting your ass kicked, or we do this and… well, you’ll see.’
‘I’ll see?!’ Applejack watched the third pony enter the building, this one a brown stallion with a black hat and muscled. She took a look at the three ponies as they glanced around the room before sighing. ‘Alright Soul, whatever you’re gonna do, ya better do it now.’
‘Right. Soul link, active.’ Applejack gasped as suddenly this wave of energy seemed to go through her. For a brief moment she could see all the souls in the area before it faded, the range shrinking to about the room they were in. Her own soul expanded, creating a sphere around her as the energy caused her hair to rise on its own. ‘Soul link steady.’ Soul lit up in a white light before shifting down Applejack’s front right leg, covering it before turning into what looked like a heavy armor piece. Applejack looked at Soul’s new form with curiosity as her ponytail floated back down.
‘Alright, not the form I thought I would take, but then again a lasso would have probably been even more impractical.’
‘Wait, what do you-’
“Hey, who the heck are you?” One of the thug ponies noticed Applejack and turned to face her, attracting the attention of his friends.
‘No time to explain, just fight. Kick em and stuff and I’ll help.’ Applejack nodded, arching her back as she watched the three thugs.
“I’ll take care of this one.” The big, brown one said. “You two head downstairs and get Daring.” The two ponies nodded, though their exit was quickly blocked as Applejack leapt between them and the stairs.
“Sorry, but y’all are gonna have to deal with me before ya get downstairs.”
The three ponies looked at each other before grinning wickedly. “Alright cowgirl, you wanna tussle? Than let’s tussle.” The black one charged at her but to Applejack he seemed to be moving at a snail’s pace. She didn’t take time to question it though as she dug her armored hoof into the ground and pivoted on it, slamming the attacker in the jaw with her back hooves and sending him sailing across the room with a single buck. She spun back around to face the two other ponies, both shocked at how quickly she had just knocked their friend aside.
‘Ha! He calls that a fight? I almost forgot how easy it was to take care of ponies.’ Soul grinned from her reflection in the armored hoof, Applejack nearly matching it.
“You wanna play it tough then, huh?” The slender pony picked up a chair leg sticking out of a nearby box while the other made his way forward, not charging blindly so as to not make the same mistake as his friend. Once close enough he swung a hoof at Applejack.
‘Dodge.’ Applejack bobbed left. Another hoof swing was on the way though. ‘Dodge again.’ And Applejack bobbed right. ‘Jab.’ She lashed out with Soul, hitting the guy square in the chest, though it had nowhere near the power her buck had on the first stallion. It was enough to push him back a step, leaving him open to another attack. Well, that is if his friend didn’t come in swinging the chair leg.
“Step back.’ Applejack craned her neck back, the chair leg barely missing her muzzle as she dodged. ‘Block.’ She rose her metal hoof to meet the next swing, the force causing it to snap in half on impact. Applejack felt no pain on her end though as the two ponies just looked at this in shock.
‘And buck.’ Applejack jammed her hoof into the floor, this time the wood below it snapping a bit as she turned again. With a single buck she sent the two flying back, landing near their friend who had just managed to put his life back together and was ready for round 2.
“Alright cowgirl. No more mister nice pony.” The black stallion leapt at Applejack’s side, forcing her to dodge. From there he tried to buck her, again just barely missing. He then pivoted on his back hooves, striking with his front which she blocked. This dance went on for awhile, the pony attacking while Applejack dodged and blocked his blows while getting in a few of her own. Wasn’t long till the pony made one more desperate lunge. Applejack leaned back this time, landing on her back before driving her back hooves into his stomach and sending him over her head. He landed on his two friends with a massive thud, groans of defeat being heard from all three.
‘Alright, that went surprisingly better than expected.’ Soul commented, her tone relaxed compared to before.
“Hoo-wee! Did we just do that?”
‘For the most part. I had to call a few shots in there and enhance your reaction speed a good deal, but that wasn’t bad for first time soul link. Especially since you never seemed to get fighting training before.’
“Well… I’d be lying if I said I ain’t never fought before.”
‘New pony entering through the front door. Your friends are all out by the house, but I don’t think they can tell what is happening.’ Applejack walked over to the top of the stairs just as a new masculine voice spoke.
“Ah, Daring Do. I believe you have something belonging to me.”
“And just what do you have to take it?”
“Oh of course. Seems my help is a bit slow today. You three! Get down here!”
‘You want to be the one to break the bad news?’ Soul grinned, Applejack’s only agreement being her starting down the stairs. Once the two of them were in sight, the new pony gasped in confusion.
“Well… I must admit, I thought I hired three burly stallions, not one beautiful mare.”
‘Oh gag me with a spoon!’ Soul spat.
“Sorry buddy, but yer friends are a bit tied up at the moment.”
“I see… well than, perhaps you would be interested in-”
“... are you sure? I can certainly make it worth-”
“I said nope. Now git you flea ritten varmit!” Applejack took a step forward, causing the stallion to flinch before regaining his demeanor.
“V-very well.” She turned toward A.K. Yearling. “But this will not be the last you hear of me, Daring Do.” And with that he bolted, that being Soul’s cue to change out of weapon form. She stood next to Applejack, arms crossed as she watched the stallion leave.
“Applejack! Soul!” Twilight and the others ran in. “Where did you two go?”
“And just what in the world are you supposed to be?!” A.K. Yearling glared at Soul, though it didn’t even phase her.
“Soul sensed some bad guys coming in through the window so we went up there and beat ‘em up.” Applejack smiled before turning to Soul.
“That guy needs to find a better place to pick up his henchmen.” She said, picking her ear with her pinkie finger. “Those assholes were jokes.”
“Ehem.” Everyone turned as A.K. Yearling spoke again. “As I just asked, what. Are. You?”
“I’m a weapon, duh.” She rolled her eyes. “No need to be rude anyway, Daring Do or A.K. Yearling or whatever the fuck you are called.”
“Wait, Daring Do? Daring Do is just a fictional character.” Twilight pondered.
“Well if she is, than that guy who just ran out of here with his tail between his legs either is really into roleplay or needs a serious reality check. He kept calling her Daring Do and sounded like some stereotypical movie villain too.” Daring just sighed before pulling off her disguise, though she seemed to be doing it more to get the hot thing off of her than because her secret had been blown. Without another word she headed for the door, though not before Rainbow started fangasming all over the place.
“Oh. My. Gosh. Daring Do, an actual pony?!” She continued to spew oh-my-goshes until Daring finally had enough and spread her wings, flying off with the golden ring. “Oh! Hang on! Wait up!” Dash sped off after her, leaving the other ponies in the messy house.
“Fan girls. Never a good idea.” Soul said, putting her hands on her hips.
“Wait…” Twilight looked at the door in shock. “If that was Daring Do… then all the books are real?! But then that means that the pony that ran out must have been Caballeron.” Twilight started pacing as the rest of them watched with varying degrees of confusion. “Ahuizotl would have sent him here, meaning he’s somehow looking for a way to control the Tenochtitlan Basin, however the basin should now be protected by the Radiant Shield of Razdon. Its only weakness would be the Rings of Scorchero, but they were scattered to the four corners of Tenochtitlan.”
“Uh… Twi?” Applejack spoke up.
“What?” Twilight said with a little too much force.
“I have no idea what yer talkin’ ‘bout, but Daring just left with a ring and I think I heard something ‘bout rings in that mess.”
“But that could mean…” Twilight gasped before glancing around. “What do we do?! What do we do?! That could be the last ring Ahuizotl needs, but we don’t know. What do we do?!”
“Would you calm down?” Soul flicked Twilight’s horn. “Let’s just go after Daring and Rainbow and make sure that nothing happens to them, capiche?”
The ponies all looked at each other before Fluttershy mumbled. “What’s capiche?”
Soul facepalmed. “Nevermind. Let’s just get moving! Standing around here is pointless.” In a flash, she returned to being a sword on Applejack’s back as they all headed out the door.
* * *
The ponies trekked through the jungle long enough for night to fall. Tracking the two pegasi so far had been difficult, but they were sure they were on the right track. As they walked, Applejack took a glance back at Soul, still sitting on her back as a sword.
‘So Soul, what was all that you did back in the house?’
The image of her appeared in the blade, an eyebrow raised. ‘You want to be more specific? I did a lot of things back there.’
‘Well… I guess we can start with the whole “turning into a hoof gauntlet” thing. Coulda sworn you said you could only turn into three things: pony, human, and sword.’
The Soul image nodded. ‘And that’s still true. I can’t make myself turn into anything else, or at least I haven’t bothered trying to teach myself to turn into other things. But when I link souls with another, I… I guess the best word for it would be “adapt”. I turn into the weapon most useful for the meister.’
‘And the most useful weapon fer me is a fancy horseshoe?’
‘Hey, I don’t control it. It just happens. You don’t like your supposed best weapon, it isn’t my fault.’
Applejack huffed. ‘Well what’s a meister than?’
‘Well… it’s technically what you were at the moment. A meister is one who wields a demon weapon. They often train themselves to manipulate their soul wavelength so that they can use it in combination with their weapon to gain great power.’
‘I didn’t feel all powerful back there. Just felt like I was beating a couple of slow ponies up.’
‘That’s because A: We weren’t matching wavelengths, rather I was using my own to help you. If you matched mine, it would cause a whole different effect. And B: They were so slow because I was using my wavelength to enhance your perception of things.’
‘Huh… so if I learn to match yer “wavelength”, what would happen?’
‘Uh… I don’t know. I just know it creates a sort of energy feedback loop. What that energy does… varies.’ The image of her scratched her head, grumbling. ‘Look, I never really looked that into how my powers work the way they do. I just know it works.’
“Oh, where are they?” Twilight said, worried. “It’s getting dark and the jungle can get really dangerous than.”
“Oh! Oh! I know! Maybe Soul can see them with her weird sight thingy!” Pinkie bounced.
‘... how? How did she know?’
‘That’s Pinkie Pie fer ya. She does have a point though.’
Twilight nodded before looking at the sword. “Well Soul? Can you see anything?”
‘Tell them all to hang on! I was already stretching my range pretty far but it’s not easy ignoring all the plants.’
Applejack nodded. “She’s working on it.” Things went silent between the ponies, the only noises being those that echoed through the jungle. After awhile though Applejack perked up, Soul speaking once more.
‘Okay… one pony with a wavelength familiar to rainbow brains, one pony with a wavelength that still screams “I work alone.”, and…’ Applejack was about to ask what else Soul saw before she felt the soul link activate again, Soul becoming a hoof gauntlet. ‘Applejack, eleven o’ clock. Move!’
Applejack broke out into a sprint, bursting through the trees while obeying Soul’s directions. She quickly lost the other ponies, but she kept running. She had never heard Soul’s voice sound so… urgent.
Finally she left the cluttered jungle for an opening to reveal Daring tied up by a variety of jungle cats, Rainbow watching nearby. In the middle of this though was a giant blue monkey creature with a hand on the end of its tail.
‘The big guy. Hit him!’ Applejack quickly listened, charging at the creature before pivoting to buck him with her back hooves. Nothing connected though, and when she swung back around the big monkey was gone.
“Applejack! Ahuizotl’s above you!” Rainbow shouted only just early enough for Applejack to roll to the side. It landed where she once stood, growling at her.
“Another pest? I don’t have time for this.” Ahuizotl quickly charged, grabbing Applejack with a hand and lifting her high into the air. “I should devour your soul for standing in my way!”
‘Devour this!’ Suddenly, Applejack’s gauntlet lit up with electricity, coursing through Ahuizotl. This caused him to drop her as she quickly bounded aside.
“I see now… another soul user. As interesting as this is, I simply do not have the time it would take to defeat you and consume your soul for myself. Perhaps another time.” He snapped his tail hand and the jungle cats all surrounded Applejack, leaving him to pick up the still tied up Daring Do along with the gold ring and disappear into the jungle.
‘No! Don’t let him get away!’ Applejack moved to make good of Soul’s words, but the cats again blocked her path. ‘Damn it! We need to find him!’
“That’s all well and good Soul, but right now we’ve got more important things to deal with.” She stepped back as one of the cats snapped at her, all of them advancing menacingly.
The jungle cats all inched their way toward Applejack, closing the circle they made more and more. Applejack glanced around, not sure which one she should face as Soul growled. ‘Damn it!’
“Soul, I really need ya here.” Applejack muttered. “The blue monkey can wait.”
‘But he’s-’ Soul was interrupted as one of the cats leapt forward, Applejack putting her armored hoof right below its chin. The cat swiped, just barely cutting at Applejack as she held it back.
“Soul!” For a few moments they stood there before the same electricity as before struck out, causing the cat to flinch back.
‘Alright, I get it. We’ll deal with the stupid cats.’ She grumbled. The cats continued to slowly prowl closer before another cat leapt forward. Before it could hit Applejack though, it was slammed aside, the flying object leaving a rainbow trail as it sped past.
“Get away from my friend!” Rainbow spat, circling around for another attack. The cats all turned to watch their friend getting slammed into a nearby tree, giving Applejack an opening. She quickly dashed toward one of them before pivoting on Soul and bucking it into another tree. The cats recovered quickly from the sudden shock of Rainbow’s attack however and were quick to leap at their prey once more.
It was already too late for them unfortunately. Two out of the five of them had been knocked aside and it took no time at all for the two ponies to clean up what was left. As the cats lied on the ground, moaning in pain, Rainbow landed next to the slightly scratched up Applejack.
“You alright? Those cats were nasty.”
Applejack gave her a smirk. “Ain’t nothing we couldn’t handle.”
‘So NOW can we go after the monkey guy?!’ Soul interrupted. Applejack looked down at the armored hoof with a raised eyebrow.
“Sweet Celestia, Soul, you really want to get that guy.”
“Soul?” Rainbow glanced around. “I don’t see her.” Soul sighed before turning back into her human form, giving Rainbow a good flick to the forehead as soon as she was solid again.
“I can turn into weapons. Any more questions? No? Good. Now let’s get after that guy!” Rainbow gave her a glare before snorting.
“Why do you care about Ahuizotl? I thought you couldn’t read stuff.”
“And I can’t. Your Ahui-whatever-the-hell-he-is though is a special case in the soul department, one I’m going to make sure is cleared away before it gets to a point where we can’t stop it.”
Applejack walked around in front of Soul. “What do you mean?”
“Look, remember when I said the regular soul color is blue? That thing’s is red.”
“So… what?” Rainbow cocked her head. “You not a fan of the color red?”
“Red means it’s been eating innocent souls. If it continues to do so, it’ll turn into a monster that can’t be killed.”
“Wait… is Daring going to have her soul eaten than?!” Rainbow leapt into the air. “We need to go find her now!” Before the others could respond, Rainbow was gone, speeding through the jungle.
“Rainbow!” Applejack called out. “Dang it girl, you can’t do this on your own.”
“No shit she can’t.” Soul crossed her arms. “That monkey can’t be killed by normal means. You have to destroy its soul or it’ll just come back.”
“Kill it?!” Applejack seemed disgusted at the idea. “What do you mean kill it?”
“I mean that we need to beat it up and eat its soul.”
“But… you just said eating souls corrupts you!”
“Innocent souls. Demon weapons eat corrupt and witch souls because it’s the only way to get rid of them for good.”
Applejack looked uneasy about it all, glancing between where Rainbow had disappeared and Soul. “That still don’t sound right to me. Ain’t there some sort of cure for this ‘red soul’?”
“Can’t really cure someone of being a monster when they chose to become one.”
“Applejack! Soul!” Both of them turned to see the other ponies walk through the thick foliage. Twilight sighed in relief. “There you two are. Why did you go running off like that?”
“There was a big monkey attacking them so I got Applejack to move as quickly as possible. Isn’t my fault if you can’t keep up.”
“Them? You mean Rainbow and Daring? Where are they?”
Applejack nodded. “Daring got caught by Ahui-whatzits. We tried to stop him but he had some pets that didn’t play too nice with others.” She waved a hoof at the cats littering the floor. “And Rainbow ran off after her once she helped us clear them out.”
Twilight gave a nodded in return. “Then we better get moving. We need to help Rainbow, and quick!” In a flash, Soul leapt onto Applejack’s leg as the ponies all galloped out of the clearing. As they did so, Applejack glanced for a moment at the hoof gauntlet before shaking her head and focusing on what was ahead.
* * *
Thanks to Soul, the ponies were able to find Ahuizotl’s fortress and avoid being spotted as they snuck inside. “And you’re sure Rainbow and Daring are fine?” Twilight asked, glancing at the hoof gauntlet that Applejack now wore.
‘For the hundredth time, yes! Daring was in some room with fish below. My guess some sort of weird, stereotypical villain trap that monkey boy left her in. It looked like the water level started to rise before Rainbow came in and helped her.’
Applejack relayed this all to Twilight, though it left her with another question. “Soul, why don’t you just change back and tell us these things?”
‘I’m not exactly physically strong. Hell, I’m weaker than most ponies. I can’t dodge well and stabs still hurt like a bitch. In this form, I’m a lot stronger, so it’s just safer.’
Applejack nodded before looking to Twilight. “She’s better off as this. Less injury this way.”
The ponies rounded a corner, peeking into a room. There, a dozen or so tribal ponies banged their spears on the ground in unison, all looking toward Ahuizotl as he readied to place the gold ring he stole from Daring on top of a stack of similar rings all on an ornate looking obelisk.
‘I can’t exactly see everything, but I’m assuming this is bad.’ Applejack just gave a nod before the ponies stepped into the room.
“Hey! Drop the ring Ahui… whatever your name is!” With that, the ponies charged, Pinkie swiping the ring before it went into a more dangerous game of keepaway. Applejack for a few moments was focused on said ring before Soul spoke up.
‘Incoming!’ Applejack rolled to the side, Ahuizotl swiping where she had just been.
“I knew I should have just eaten you when I first saw you. Now, feel my wrath!” Ahuizotl lunged at Applejack, not giving her any break as he pressed forward. Despite Soul’s help, he was just too quick for a counterattack.
‘AJ, quick! Get behind something.’ Applejack did as she asked, jumping behind one of the pillars supporting the room. ‘Wait for it… dodge left, pivot, buck!’ As she said this, Ahuizotl smashed through the pillar, barely avoiding the top of Applejack’s hat as she moved to the side. he continued trying to press his advantage only to get kicked back, throwing him off.
‘There we go! Now get that thing!’ Applejack charged, ramming Soul into Ahuizotl’s stomach before turning around and once again bucking him. He hit the ground. ‘Applejack, finish it!’ She brought Soul up and stopped, freezing in place. ‘What are you doing?!’
“I… I can’t.” Ahuizotl saw this and brought his tail around, grabbing one of Applejack’s hind legs with the hand on the end of it. He lifted her into the air as she stood back up himself, grinning.
“Unwilling to deliver the final blow? That will be your downfall.” He slammed Applejack into nearby pillar, smashing it before swinging her around and throwing her across the room. She slid to a halt as Ahuizotl slowly made his way toward them.
‘Damn it Applejack! What are you doing?’
She groaned, getting on her hooves and facing Ahuizotl. “I… I can’t do it. I can’t just kill ‘em. It ain’t right.”
‘It’s the only way we’re going to be stopping this fucker. If you hold back, your soul will be his lunch.’
“And his will be yours if we do things your way.”
‘I don’t eat them because I crave power like him! I eat them because it’s the only way to put them down for good!’ Ahuizotl charged again, swiping at Applejack. This time it seemed faster to her, and she only managed to dodge a few swings before she had been knocked aside again.
‘Fuck! This arguing is screwing with our soul sync. I can barely help you like this.’
“I don’t... want your stinkin’ help. I ain’t killin’ nothin’.” She got up again, backing up as Ahuizotl approached with a grin. After a few moments, Applejack heard Soul sigh.
‘Alright. I guess I can’t expect you to be so willing to follow what I say. You’re hardly a fully trained meister.’ Applejack smiled just in time to dodge another strike from Ahuizotl, getting as far away from him as possible. ‘We’re still going to need to do something more if we’re going to beat this guy. You’re too hurt.’
“What about that thing you mentioned? Matching wavelengths or whatever?” She leapt back, the stone where she had been standing exploding as Ahuizotl brought his fist down.
Soul chuckled. ‘You want to try soul resonance? Don’t get me wrong Applejack, you’re good at this kind of thing, but to be that good naturally...’ The image of her in the metal shook her head with a smirk. ‘Ah, what the hell. Not like we have much to lose anyway.’
“Alright, so… how do I do this?”
‘Just close your eyes and do whatever feels natural. Seems to have worked for you so far.’ Applejack nodded, closing her eyes as Ahuizotl stopped, looking at her confused.
“And just what is it you are doing now? Have you accepted your fate?” Applejack didn’t listen to him though, her mind elsewhere.
‘Holy… you’re actually…’ Soul said shocked before grinning. Applejack rose the hoof covered by Soul and brought it back down, snapping her eyes open.
‘Let’s go! Soul resonance!’
“Let’s go! Soul resonance!”
Suddenly the air around them was filled with energy as Soul’s form glowed orange. The hoof gauntlet began to shift and change, slowly growing larger and stretching up to Applejack’s shoulder. The shoulder area expanded, followed by the armor around her wrist and finally her hoof itself. These heavier areas took on the orange color as the metal underneath it all turned white.
Ahuizotl stood there in shock. “W-what?! What is this power?!” Applejack leaned back with a cocky grin, readying to jump but just as she did she realized something.
That Soul’s new form was a lot heavier compared to the old one.
This threw her jump way off, causing her to miss Ahuizotl completely. She flailed a bit in the air as she screamed. “Dang it!”
Soul sighed. ‘And it was going so well too.’ They hit the ground, the energy from the attack rippling through the stone as it tore it apart and climbed the nearby wall. The pillars and supports for that entire side of the room collapsed from the attack, sending some of the tribal ponies that had been fighting the others flying and barely missing Applejack’s friends.
Everything was quiet after that, all the fighting that had been going on throughout the room halted just to gape at the destruction that had just occurred. What broke the silence was the low rumble of stone collapsing.
“This place is coming down!” Daring called out, having ran in during the fight to help along with Rainbow Dash. “We need to go now!” All the ponies were quick to agree, bolting for the exit. Even the tribal ponies made a break for it, leaving only Ahuizotl to roar in fury.
“No! No! NOOOOO!!!” He cried out, desperately trying to pick up the rings that had been scattered in the fight and pile them on the now broken obelisk. Meanwhile, all the ponies got out just in time for the entire building to collapse, a cloud of dust being kicked up as it did. They all watched for a moment before Daring broke the silence.
“Ahuizotl’s come back from worse. There’s no way he’s just gone.” Soul flashed back to her human form, startling the tribal ponies with her sharp-tooth smirk.
“I wouldn’t say that just yet.” She pointed, getting everyone’s attention as they looked on. A strange, red ball of fire flew out of the rubble, a black shell seeming to coat it partially. Soul reached out toward it as it flew over, landing in her hand.
“Is that…” Applejack asked, Soul nodding in response.
“Yep. Rubble must have dropped on his head and killed the poor bastard.”
“Killed?” Daring laughed. “Nothing kills Ahuizotl. Like I said, he’s come back from worse.”
“He’s come back because no one destroyed this.” She held the soul in her hands up. “He’d eventually reform if you just left this alone.” Before anyone could say much else, she brought it to her mouth and ate the thing in one bite. The ponies around her all watched in varying degrees of disgust as she chewed and swallowed. “There, now he won’t be coming back.”
“Soul!” Applejack growled. “What did I say?!”
“You said you didn’t want to kill him, which you didn’t. The building and his own desperation did that. Besides, if you think about it, I technically killed him by eating his soul, not you.” Applejack seemed to want to argue more but shook her head and stormed off, leaving Soul standing there confused. “What?”
“I don’t get why you’re so mad about this?” Soul laid back in an apple tree as Applejack worked below, collecting apples from the other trees. They had been arguing since the adventure with Daring a day or two ago, both standing firm in their beliefs about what had gone on.
“You know why I’m mad!” Applejack shouted over her shoulder. “I told you I didn’t wanna kill the poor fella.”
“And you didn’t. I did. At least, depending on your definition of killing.”
“We flattened the place on Ahuizotl’s head!”
“He refused to leave when the place was clearly falling apart.”
“You ate his soul!”
“Because otherwise he would have continued to be a problem.”
“Why can’t you just lock ‘em away like other crooks?”
“Because the expense that would have to go into making sure something like that stays locked up is ridiculous.”
“How do you know that?”
“I…” Soul scratched her head. “Dunno. Guess it’s just another one of those lost memories.”
Applejack snorted. “‘Course it is. Well how ‘bout, instead of lazing ‘bout here, you go and get back some of them memories.”
Soul sighed. “Fine. This argument is stupid anyway.” She hopped out of the tree before walking toward Ponyville.
“You better turn into that pony form of yers before you get close to town!” Applejack called out. Soul just waved an arm dismissively in response as Applejack growled. “Fine. You wanna mob of scared ponies attacking ya, that’s fine by me.”
Good thing for Soul, today was not the day the ponies ran her out of town as Twilight had decided to come to her, the two meeting by the gate to the farm. “Oh, Soul. Were you going somewhere?”
“Ya, away from Applejack. Why?”
“I see.” She looked a little saddened by the fact they were still fighting. “Well, now that things have calmed down, I was hoping we could go by the castle in the Everfree and see if we can figure out more about you. Also, after the last memory, I sent a message to Princess Celestia about you and your situation, figuring she might know more about an alicorn named Sunny.”
Soul shrugged. “Sounds like a plan. Lead the way to the castle.” Twilight turned, heading toward the entrance to the forest as Soul trailed behind. “With that dragon of yours being an instant messaging service, how long do you think a reply will take?”
“Unfortunately, she and Princess Luna are both on a diplomatic mission and have asked I not use Spike to send messages unless it is an emergency, so it will take the normal mailing time to get a reply, and that’s assuming the messenger can catch up. They are going to several different countries after all.”
“Whatever you say princess.” She shrugged again. “I guess trying to get my memories back ain’t exactly a national emergency yet.”
“Yet?” Twilight cocked her head confused.
“I try to be ready for whatever might happen. Part of being a good weapon.”
“I see…” Twilight pondered for a few moments. “You do seem to take what you are seriously.”
“Well ya. You take being an alicorn seriously, don’t you?”
“Yes, that’s true. But I chose to become this.” She flapped her wings a bit. “These wings were not forced upon me like… well, like your condition.”
“You don’t need to talk about it like it’s cancer or something Twilight. I’m somewhere between three and four thousand years of being a sword. If I haven’t settled into what I am by now, I’d be more worried about that than offending.”
“But is that really something you are alright with?”
Soul opened her mouth before slowly closing it, blinking. “I… don’t get what you are saying.”
“Should you be so okay with losing what you were and adapting a new life that was forced upon you?”
Soul scratched her head. “Seriously, I don’t get it. Yeah, being not human sucks, but it’s not like I can do anything about it.”
Twilight sighed. “Have you even tried to find a way to turn back?”
“Eh, not really. My body kinda got dumped, remember? It ain’t a matter of turning back, it’s a matter of having nothing to go back to.”
“I see…” Things went quiet between the two for the remainder of the trip into the forest. When they reached the entrance to the Everfree Castle, Twilight stopped.
“So you just knew how to walk around this place despite not being able to really see it?”
“Think you could find a room for me than? As a test.”
“I… guess.” Soul put a hand to her forehead. “Though I’m getting a headache just trying to think of a map.”
“You don’t need to think of a map. Just do what you did before and let it come naturally.”
“So… just start walking?”
“Exactly. Now, let’s see if you can find the library. Remember, don’t think about it much. Just… imagine you’re going to get a book.” Soul deadpanned at Twilight. “Oh… right, can’t see. Sorry.”
Soul sighed, shaking her head before she started walking, wandering the halls of the castle. At the start it was rough as she bumped into a few corners and tripped over a stone or two, but she seemed to get the hang of it by the time they reached the library. “Alright, definitely a big pile of plant wavelengths compressed into small slates. Otherwise known as books.”
“Correct, this is the library. Now find the kitchens.” Soul grumbled before turning out of the room and heading down the hall once more. Along the way though, she suddenly stopped and turned toward the wall.
Twilight watched as Soul walked up to the wall. “Soul, what are you-” She pressed on a brick and the wall swung inward, leaving an entrance to a small, dark hallway. She didn’t stop to let Twilight gawk though as she quickly shifted into her pony form before stepping inside.
Twilight opened her mouth to speak before shaking her head. “No,” she muttered. “This is good. She’s starting to draw on the memories she lost.” She smiled. “Even if it isn’t consciously, it could lead to some conscious realizations.” She followed behind Soul, slipping through just as the secret door began to close.
* * *
Applejack continued kicking tree after tree, trying to work her anger out. Problem was, the more she stewed on it, the more angry she got.
“Stinkin’ no good hunk of rusted metal. What’s she thinkin’, going ‘round acting like she can just end somepony’s life like that?”
“Should go back to being a stick sittin’ in the Everfree Castle. Be better off with her-”
“AJ!” Applejack jumped, turning to see Big Mac standing there. “That tree’s empty… again. Only this time, you hit it any harder and there won’t be a tree.” She turned to look at her work, a set of hoofprints embedded in the trunk.
“Sorry. Guess I got worked up.”
“This about the sword lady again?”
Applejack sighed. “Yes. This time I ain’t worried ‘bout her though. I’m worried what she’s gonna do.”
“You seemed to be rather enjoyin’ yer time with her. What kinda disagreement would ruin that so quickly?”
“Big Mac. She killed someone. And I helped her.” She shook her head, a grimace on her face. “Sure, it was a creep who wanted to roast an entire basin with the sun, but that don’t mean he deserve death, right?”
Big Mac shrugged. “I ain’t ‘bout to try to put together a puzzle that I don’t got all the pieces for. You haven’t tried talking with her?”
“I did. She kept goin’ on about how his soul couldn’t be saved and whatnot.”
“And you weren’t listenin’?”
“Why should I?! She just went and ate someone’s soul like it was an apple! Why should I listen to her?”
“Cause you told me she was some sort of genius when it came to this soul stuff. I know it don’t exactly look good, but if your friends thought you were doing something strange that had to do with apples, don’t ya think they’d at least listen to ya?”
“Well… ah…” She grumbled, looking around as she thought. “Apples don’t hold a candle to murder!”
“Is it murder?”
“What are ya talkin’ about now Big Mac?”
“Are you sure that what you and Soul put down was still really livin’?”
“It talked. It walked. Certainly seemed alive.”
“I don’t mean it like that AJ. I meant, was what y’all took down really still all there? And if not, you think there was somethin’ worth saving in the shell that was left?” Applejack seemed stumped at this, unable to come up with words to respond. “I ain’t saying drop your morals AJ. I am saying get all yer apples in the same basket before you start carryin’ them to the barn.”
Applejack stood there, her mouth clamped shut for a good minute before she sighed and looked up at Big Mac. “I guess yer right. I should… go talk with her. At least try to get what she’s sayin’.” Big Mac nodded with a grin as she turned toward the Everfree and galloping off. “I’ll be back soon Big Mac!”
* * *
In the kitchens of the Everfree Castle, one of the counters along the walls suddenly slid into the floor, revealing a small entryway as two ponies stepped out. Soul shifted back into her normal form before putting a hand to her head. “Are we there? My head kind of hurts again.”
Twilight looked around. “Yep, this is it. You definitely have shown to know your way around the castle despite not remembering it.”
“Great. Are we done than?”
“Yes, though if you don’t mind, I’d like to try one more. If you aren’t up for it though, we can go home.”
Soul shook her head. “Let’s just get it over with. Where am I going now?”
“This one’s a bit more… vague. It also not might work so I really need you to just let your instincts take over for this one.”
“Alright, alright, I get it.” She took a deep breath before closing her eyes.
“Very well… Soul, find your room.”
For awhile, Soul didn’t seem to move. Twilight almost thought she had fallen asleep on her feet before suddenly she started walking out of the kitchen. “Ah!” Twilight rushed after her, keeping up with her oddly quick walking pace as she headed through the castle. They went on and on, going up flights of stairs and taking enough turns that even Twilight lost track after a while until they suddenly reached a dead end.
“Another secret passage?” Twilight muttered, Soul reaching forward to push the wall only for nothing to happen. This shook her from her state, causing her to groan as she gripped her head.
“Ugh… where did we go?” She looked up at the wall as she winced at her headache. “A wall? That’s really helpful.” Twilight walked up next to Soul, looking over the bricks.
“This seems… off somehow. Not like the secret passage though. It’s… newer. A different kind of brick from a later era than the rest of the castle.” Her horn lit up as the mortar between the bricks began to crumble, pulling the wall slowly apart before their eyes. As the dust cleared, a wooden door was revealed. “It was covered up… but why?”
Soul didn’t answer, her eyes locked on the door as she slowly stepped forward with her hand outstretched. Her head pounded as her heartbeat filled her ears, but despite this she pushed forward, opening the door.
Inside was a bedroom, covered in dust but in otherwise perfect condition. Twilight peeked around Soul before stepping inside. “What a strange room. No windows. And simple furnishings. Not what you would expect of a single room in the castle.” After a few moments of silence she turned to look at Soul. “Are you alright?”
Soul stood just inside the door, eyes wide as she seemed to take in the room using her own vision. Her hands trembled but otherwise she was frozen to the spot. “Soul?” She still didn’t respond to Twilight’s concern, her shaking only increasing as something black began to run from her nose until all of a sudden her eyes rolled back and she fell forward.
“Soul!” Twilight rushed over to her side, using her magic to turn her over. “Soul, say something! What’s wrong?!” No response came. “Oh no, what did I do?”
Unknown to Twilight, a malicious voice was giggling in Soul’s subconscious. ‘Oh my dear. You’ve done more than you could ever imagine.’