It knocked on the wooden door. No response. Another knock, this time harder and more impatient. Still no answer. "Hello? Anyone in ther'?", came a loud shout from the knocker. After a while the door gave a small long-lasting crack and it finally opened slightly. A purple head of a baby dragon revealed itself, a curious look plastered on his face.
"Yeah?", came the question.
"Oh howdy, Spike.", replied the orange pony Applejack happily. "Ah am jus' takin' a break from harvestin' dem apple trees and wanted to look how Twilight's doin'. Haven't seen her since a while..."
Spike opened the door completely and shook his little head. "Oh, sorry, AJ, but Twilight's been really busy now-"
"Again?", AJ shot back frowned. "Ye know, it's not healthy for her to study all th'time. She hasn't been out for weeks now, she ev'n missed sum of Pinkie Pie's parties."
Spike hold his right arm behind is back and looked down shamefully. "I know, I tried to get her out, but she just doesn't move an inch. Rainbow Dash tried to shove her out several times a few days ago, but she just kept teleporting herself back to her study room. I am onto something, she just says the whole time, yet she doesn't tell me what she is looking for."
AJ raised her head and looked up at the roof of the tree house. All the curtains are closed. The orange pony shook her head and sighed. "Ah, well, guess it can't be helped. But it bothers me really-"
"HEUREKA!", came the very loud shriek from the inside of the house. Both dragon and pony jumped at the high pitch sound and looked into the house. There she was, Twilight Sparkle, running down the stairs in pure excitement. It was as if she has seen Princess Celestia again. "Uh, howdy Twilight?"
"Oh, Applejack! So very very glad to see you now!", the violet pony answered, her face full of happy stars. "Spike, call the others. I have an announcement to make!"
It wasn't long until the middle room of Twilight's house was filled with all her friends, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, AJ and Fluttershy. All were anticipated. "Any idea what she is about to announce?", Dash asked Pinkie Pie, since the pink pony was known for her forecast abilities.
"Only that it's going to be exciting!", she replied in her Pinkie way, hopping around the room. The blue pegasus rolled her eyes. "Whatever, I hope it gets done soon, I was just taking a nap."
"Ye ar' always takin' a ponydamn nap", Applejack shot at her with an annoyed look.
"Ehm, please don't argue", Fluttershy whispered weakly, unsure how to handle the situation.
It was when Twilight Sparkle showed up again, this time less vivid than AJ seen her. She looked really exhausted, huge black bangs under her eyes, her mane full of fuzzes, and she smelled like as if she didn't take a shower for days. "Oh my dear Twilight Sparkle, you look absolutely miserable!", Rarity said shocked and went closer to the violet pony. "We have to make something with your mane, darling."
"I'm fine, really", she just waved her hoof absently and forced a smile on her face to reassure the others. "It's great that you came that fast. I have made a great discovery." She pointed her hoof on the table nearby which was full of opened books and crumbled pieces of papers.
"Yeah, seeing you doing a mess is a real big discovery!", sarcasm dripped from Rainbow Dash's statement. "Not the table, silly", Twilight snickered, unaware of the sarcasm. She went behind the table where a statue of a pony sit on and brought out a schedule with a big paper hanging on it. "A map?", asked AJ unsure? "Is that the discovery?"
Twilight shook her head, a proud smile plastered on her face. "Well, it is on the map. I was ordered by Princess Celestia to decipher old manuscripts found in the library of Canterlot 2 weeks ago. They were many centuries old and written in a really really old language. Took me hell of ride to translate them, but sure was worth it." She shoved the schedule to the center of the room. A pointer has been summoned by Twilight's magic and it's end was tapping on the map. "This, ladies, is the map of Equestria. The old manuscripts tells the saga of a mighty empire which ruled before Princess Celestria and Princess Luna watched over day and night. I am sure you heard of the tales of Andromeda."
"Oh, oh, oh!", Pinkie shot up and raised her right hoof as far as she could and jumped several times. Twilight sighed and looked away. "Yes, Pinkie?"
"Is it the one with many many many years ago where angels ruled over the heaven and then they got greedy and made stars all over the world which made very very big KA-BOOMS and then they were all gone and then -" Pinkie Pie would have continued if she weren't stopped by a Twilight's hoof in her mouth. "Yes, that's the one."
"Wait, isn't that jus' sum fairy tale?", AJ interrupted and looked suspiciously at the map.
"Indeed it is, but it seems there may be a grain of truth", Twilight Sparkle let go of Pinkie's mouth and returned her attention to the map. "The manuscripts were written by Eqestrius Longuus, an ancient traveler who recorded of everything queer he found in Equestria. He mentioned of a temple which he believed was build by the angels. And it should be riiiiiiiight..." the pointer stopped near ponyville. "Within the Everfree Forest!"
"Wait just a minute, Twilight!", AJ interrupted again. "This can't be right. Angels dun' exist, this is just sum dumb filly story."
"Well, that's why I have called all of you. I want to find out if Equestrius Longuus' record is true. The only way to do so is to go there and find the temple!", Twilight encountered, her excitement overtaking her again. "Imagine this, we would be the very first ponies in modern history who found evidence that angels existed! Who's with me?"
"Oh, I love treasure hunting!", the pink pony blurred out and jumped several times in hyperbolic excitement once more. "Take me with you, take me with you!"
"Count me in", Rainbow Dash replied with a smug grin and put a hoof on her breast. "I won't say no to a challenge!"
"Well, seems I have to take the risk. Imagine what will happen if you are all alone in this dark forest and don't have the right make-up.", Rarity sighed and stepped to Twilight side.
Fluttershy gave a nervous look towards the other ponies and looked then to Twilight. "Uhh...do I have to go?"
"Oh course, silly filly, who else could deal with all the monsters in there like yourself?", Pinkie replied with glee and patted on the to thecore shocked Fluttershy's head.
"What about you, AJ?", Twilight Sparkle asked the orange pony. She was the only one left who hasn't agreed yet. But Applejack shook her head concerned. "I don't know Twi, but ah got a bad feeling about this. As ah said, this is just a filly's tale, and ah don't think it's worth to risk our lives in Everfree Forest jus' for this."
Everypony looked disappointed and lowered her heads. "But", she continued, the heads of the ponies rising again. "Ah can't let ye all go alone either. Count me in!"
Twilight Sparkle clapped her hoofs happily. "Alright, let's go then!"
Suddenly a rumble came from her tummy. The lila pony laughed ashamed and blushed. "But...perhaps we should eat first?"
_to be continued_