Over a week later, Acorn made himself feel like home in Ponyville. He accompanied Applejack to her lectures at the School of Friendship. He was impressed that she was a good teacher. During lunch, Acorn was eating the lunch that Applejack had made for him. As he ate, he enjoyed every bit of his apple treats. The Young Six were observing the brown earth pony hearing rumors about him and Applejack being sweet with each other.
"Hasn't any creature noticed to two being really close with each other?" Sandbar asked.
"I've noticed," Silver Stream giggled.
"Me too!" Ocellus added.
The hippogriff and changeling giggled like a couple of school fillies, while Gallus rolled his eyes and Smolder gags.
"Oh brother," Gallus said.
"Yona think that brown pony and apple pony good together," Yona stated. "They like each other very much."
"It has been pretty obvious," Sandbar noted. "It's been like that ever since the head-mare and the professors got back from Canterlot."
"Also we haven't seen much of the head-mare since then either," Smolder pointed out.
"You don't think that something bad is going on do you?" Silver Stream asked her friends.
"How bad?" Ocellus asked.
"Well, I'm talking about something so bad, it could be like when the Storm King came to Mount Aris and tried to take our magic for himself," Silver Stream answered.
"Hopefully it's not that serious," Sandbar said. "It's not my favorite thing to remember."
The rest of the Young Six nodded with agreement hoping that he was right. Elsewhere, Bray has blundered his way into the Dragonlands, unaware of the danger he put himself in.
He was quickly surrounded by teenage dragons. One of them a red dragon with a goldish underbelly and light amber wings picked Bray up by the tail.
"So what kind of pony do you think it is?" the red dragon asked.
"A funny looking one," a fat brown dragon said before he chuckled.
"I'm not a pony!" Bray yelled. "I'm a donkey! Now put me down!"
"Whatever you say," the dragon said before tossing him like a sock.
The red dragon tossed Bray to the white dragon with a pink underbelly. The white dragon tossed Bray to a purple dragon with blonde hair.
"Hey stop it!" Bray yelled.
"Sorry," fhe red dragon said, "can't hear you!"
The dragons kept tossing him around like a beach ball, until they turned to hear the stomping the ground.
The new dragon was a female blue dragon with a light turquoise underbelly.
"WHAT ARE YOU SCALEHEADS THINK YOU'RE DOING?!" the female dragon roared.
"Dragonlord Ember," the dragons said in fear as they stopped what they were doing.
Ember looked at the red dragon, who smiled very nervously as he tried to hide his fears knowing what will happen to him.
"Garble," she called out, "why were you tossing that donkey around?"
"Uh, we were just having fun with him," the dragon called Garble said. "Who dosen't like to be tossed around from time to time?"
"I don't!" Bray exclaimed.
"Shut up," Garble whispered.
"Put the donkey down!" Ember ordered. Garble did as he told, Garble grumbled for a bit, but as soon as the donkey ran towards Ember, the young Dragonlord took one last glare at the dragons. "I'll decide what to do with you geckos later!"
Bray was just confused with what just happened, a dragon just defended a donkey from other dragons. He feared what she could do to him. Could it be possible that she could want him for herself so that she could eat him. Ember looked at the terrified donkey.
"Sorry about those bozos," Ember apologized, "I told them not to mess with ponies, but I should have told them not to mess with donkeys. But why are you here anyway?"
"Oh," Bray stammered as he searched for something to get the dragon to let him go, then he came up with one. "I was just on my way to Equestria, but funny thing is I kinda got lost on the way, so since you helped me out, I thought that you could know a way out of here."
"You should go that way," Ember pointed to one direction. "You should visit Ponyville; I've been there a few times. And before to visit Twilight in her castle when you have the time."
"Who?" Bray raised a brow.
"Twilight Sparkle," Ember answered. "The Princess of Friendship. An alicorn."
Bray couldn't believe what he heard: another alicorn actually exists in Equestria. Bray knew that Grogar would want this new bit of information as soon as possible, but he had to remain on task to bring in a unicorn with a broken horn, or the princess may know her.
"Does Princess Twilight happen to know anything about a unicorn with something like, per say, a broken horn?" Bray asked.
Ember looked at Bray confused. "Not that I would know. Why?"
"Just for an unrelated matter," Bray lied. "And thank you for the help. And I thought dragons don't do helping. After meeting you, makes me glad that I thought wrong. Good day."
Bray took off in the direction that Ember pointed to. Ember shrugged off the thought about a broken horn and flew off to deal with Garble and his chums.
As Bray races out of the Dragonlands, he began laughing, another alicorn princess in Equestria.
"Not only I'm going to get my payback from that unicorn, but another alicorn too!" Bray laughed again. "Lord Grogar is going to be very pleased with me!"
The donkey chuckled before he bumped into a tree. Bray groaned in pain when he started to regret not looking where he was going.
Meanwhile, in the castle of Friendship, the alicorn, unicorns, earth pony, baby dragon, and pug faced hedgehog were going over every book in the library to find the ancient language of the world of old, and so far nothing. They were far from giving up from the search. Spike was skimming the pages when he found what they were looking for.
"Twilight!" Spike called when he flew to her. "I think I found it!"
"Let me see that!" Twilight said as grabbed the book with her magic. Twilight looked at the pages very carefully getting every inch of down. "This is it! We've got to get the others in here! They need to know about this!"
Nearly two hours later, Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Celestia, Luna, Shining Armor, and Cadence all came as soon as they received the news of their discovery.
"What did you find out?" Fluttershy asked.
"As you all know, we have been doing research on the ancient language," Twilight answered.
They all looked at the markings, and not one of them could make out what it means; even Celestia and Luna were stumped.
"This is incredible," Celestia said. "Star Swirl the Bearded never taught us this."
"Indeed," Luna agreed. "I never seen anything like this before."
"I don't think anypony has," Celestia stated.
"I discovered this when I was on my way to Ponyville," Sunburst said. "It was the most amazing thing that I had ever discovered!"
Sunburst clapped his hooves and gave a bug toothy grin.
"Do you think that it is connected to Grogar and Tambelon in some way?" Celestia questioned.
Twilight was about to speak when Rocky spoke for her, "I would say it's most likely."
They all looked at the detective with confusion.
"And how do you think that?" Rainbow Dash asked.
"If I have to guess, Grogar probably has one probably quite so similar," Rocky answered. "As Princess Celestia had already told us, Grogar's specialty is dark magic, so it would take any creature like a unicorn or possibly a changeling like Chrysalis to master such a spell. I believe that it could be a spell of some sort."
Everypony looked at Rocky at worried awe asas they wondered if that's how the disappearances were occurring in the first place.
"Did you know about this, Acorn?" Shining Armor asked.
Acorn shook his head, "No, to tell the truth. I only know that I was caught and brought to Tambelon against my will. And if that's how Grogar's forces kept getting in, then nopony is safe."
"We will have to send an alert to all over Equestria," the solar princess stated.
"Are you sure that's wise, sister?" Luna asked.
"We could have ourselves a panic in our midst," Cadence added. "Also nopony will believe that Grogar is behind this at all."
"We don't have any other choice," Celestia said. "Grogar will not be mentioned, but everypony will have to be vigilant when going alone orbin groups."
Applejack looked at Acorn, worried that her parents are trapped and they have no way to get out. She honestly didn't know what to do. Her best judgment is to let Twilight and the others do what they can to get to Tambelon and back.
In another room, Grubber was busy playing with Flurry Heart, keeping her entertained. Turns out that it wasn't so hard on him since she took a liking to Grubber. Cadence and Tempest came in and saw the fun they were having together.
"It looks like that Flurry likes you, Grubber," Cadence cooed.
Flurry proved her point by giving him a heartfelt hug. Grubber smiled at the alicorn baby as he felt his heart melt.
"I think that he likes the baby too," Tempest pointed out.
Cadence used her magic to grab Flurry and place her in her baby carriage. Grubber went over to the carriage and gave Flurry a tickle on the chin.
"Hope that I get to see you again, kiddo," Grubber said.
Shining Armor and his family left for the Crystal Empire to protect their subjects, as well as the royal pony sisters returned to Canterlot to do the same.
Not too long after, word started to spread out about ponies disappearing without any other explanation and they should be very vigilant at all times; that meant that a curfew is in effect, so nopony is to be out after dark. But, that did not ststop everypony from living their lives like nothing happened.
A few days later, Bray is venturing through the Everfree Forest, and he felt scared since he knew that there are creatures just as scary as dragdragons living there. He felt his spine tingle as he heard a snapping sound nearby.
He slowly turned around, but he saw nothing. He continued his pace but he increased his speed but suddenly he heared breathing behind him. Bray turned again, only to see a manticore right behind him.
"Yikes!" Bray yelled. "A manticore!"
He started to run for his life then the manticore started to chase him. He ran as fast as he could, then he found a pond as he dived in hoping that the scorpion-tailed lion would lose his scent. The manticore looked around and started to sniff only to lose the donkey's smell.
Bray sighed with relief that his troubles were over; but not for long as he felt a rise beneath him, he looked down to see what appears to be a giant crocodile made of stone.
"A cragadile!" Bray yelled as he leaped off before it could snap him up.
Bray started running as fast as he could not wanting to end up behind some creatures dinner. He eventually made it outside of the forest panting so hard tired from the running he made.
"That forest is no place for a donkey, like me," Bray said while he was still panting. "I have to find that unicorn and the alicorn princess and get back to Tambelon."
Bray got up headed into Ponyville. By the next morning, Bray was wondering around Ponyville, looking around the town and amazed to see how much has changed since Tambelon's banishment into the Dark Realm. He knew that we would taken notice if he weren't busy abducting ponies from left and right.
He started to ask around town, hoping that somepony would point him directions to the Castle of Friendship. Luckily he got his answer when he saw the castle, and also what looks like a school of some kind. Curious, Bray entered the schoolgrounschool grounds and he saw not only ponies, but also a dragon, a griffin and a yak reading some books.
"Um.. excuse me," a voice called from behind. He screamed as he jumped into the air. He turned to see Fluttershy right behind him. "Oh, I'm sorry to startle you. You forgive me, right? Please forgive me."
"N-n-notthing to worry about," Bray said. "I just got curious and I wondered in here. I was wondering if I could see Princess Twilight Sparkle, if that's not too much trouble."
"She's in her castle," Fluttershy said. "But she's terribly busy right now."
"With what?" Bray asked the yellow pegasus.
"There have been ponies disappearing without any reason," Fluttershy answered. "So she's looking into a way for us to find and rescue them."
"Rescue them?! That's just ridi-" Bray paused when he realized what he almost blurted out, "I mean, is that right?"
"Oh yes," Fluttershy said. "You shouldn't be out after dark; we don't want anything to happen to you."
"Oh of course not," Bray said. "I'll just head on out and be out of your mane. Ta-ta."
As quick as a whip, Bray darted towards the school gates. Fluttershy just shrugged when she headed to her classroom to set up for her next lesson. Bray didn't waste anytime when he approached the castle doors. Not wanting to make a sound, he slowly opened the door and snuck inside.
Half an hour later, Bray ended up getting lost in the castle as he kept finding one room after another.
"It looked a lot smaller on the outside," Bray said to himself. "I just wanna find those two and get out of here."
Meanwhile in the throne room, Twilight, Starlight, Sunburst, Tempest, Rocky, Spike, Grubber, and Acorn took a break after translating some of the ancient language.
"This is a lot harder than any of us thought it would be," Sunburst said.
"We all knew that wouldn't be easy," Rocky said.
"And of course it's never going to be easy," Spike groaned.
Tempest and I never had it easier back when we were with the Storm King," Grubber said when he was eating a bag of peanuts. Grubber flinched when he saw Tempest glaring at him. "I'll shut up, now."
"We're not going to give up," Twilight said. "If Grogar is anything like Tirek or Chrysalis, we will have each other to help each other out."
The unicorns, earth ponies, dragon, and hedgehog nodded in agreement.
Meanwhile in the hallway, Bray was trying his best to find Twilight, he heard some talking from one of the rooms. It grew louder when he approached one of the many rooms. He saw that the door was slightly open, so it was easy for him to look inside.
His eyes widened when he saw exactly who he was looking for. "It's them!" Bray thought to himself, "the unicorn with the broken horn, and an alicorn! Good fortune smiles on me today!"
So he thought when he tripped over his hooves causing him open the door completely, and expose himself. They all took a look at the newcomer, but only Acorn, Tempest, and Grubber recognized him.
"Oh no," Acorn said in fear," it's Bray!"
"You mean the donkey who works for Grogar that's been keeping you and several other ponies against their will?"
Acorn nodded very slowly, "Yes."
"Looks like this time, he's alone," Tempest pointed out.
"I should have recognized you from before," Bray said as he pointed to Acorn, he set his sights on Tempest, "and I told you that I'll remember what you did to me!"
"Not if we have any say on the matter," Starlight declared. She fired her magic at the intruding donkey, while he ducked out of the way. Bray was really in trouble now, so he began running. Everypony went after him while Acorn, Spike, and Grubber stayed behind.
They chased him all over the place; Bray threw some books at his pursuers hoping that it would slow them down, but Twilight blocked everyone of them and placed them neatly back in the bookshelf. The pursuit continued on, when Pinkie entered the castle, she heard the commotion going on and decided to look into it.
"Is that a game your playing?!" The hyperactive earth pony asked. "I wanna play too!"
Pinkie started to join in on the fun. Not too long, Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy entered the castle also hearing the noises throughout the castle.
"What in the world is that?!" Rarity asked.
"Ah don't know," Applejack answered, "but it dosen't sound good."
The unicorn and pegasi agreed with the earth pony and went off to see what the ruckus was about.
Meanwhile, Bray is still running for his life as the group chased him in the castle. Pinkie Pie just pounced on top of the donkey, knocking him on his back.
"Hi I'm Pinkie Pie," she introduced herself, "are you new in Ponyville, huh, huh, huh?"
"Please get off of me," Bray said. "You're hurting me."
Pinkie was about to when Twilight called to her, "No, stay where you are!"
"Why?" Pinkie asked. "He said please to me; so I should get off him."
"I recognize that donkey," Tempest said. "This is Bray."
Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity all came in as Tempest explained to her that she met him when they attempted to capture her and Grubber.
"Oh," Pinkie finally realized. She leered at the donkey growling like a wolf. "You're that donkey who works for that big horned meanie-pants."
Everpony was shocked to hear that, and especially Applejack; the farm mare figured that Bray would know a way to get into the Dark Realm and into Tambelon. As soon as Pinkie Pie got off him, Applejack lassoed his hooves together just so as he won't escape. She glared at the donkey with fury in her eyes. She wanted him to pay for the role he played for the capture of her parents and for Acorn.
"Y'all have nowhere to run," Applejack scowled, "and ya aren't going to give us any trouble neither!"
"We should report this to Princess Celestia right away," Sunburst said.
"I was just about to suggest that anyway," Twilight agreed.
Bray looked around and knew of the dilemma he was in; if being tossed around by dragons was one thing, then captured by the ponies he was sent for was another, but they did not compare to the wrath he will suffer from Grogar of his failure.
"Uh-oh," Bray said, "I'm REALLY in for it now."
To be continued...