(The following is a work of fan fiction based on My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic. I am not affiliated with Hasbro and company. This work is intended to be a work of parody that complies with fair use guidelines.)
Lead Proofreader: Alchemy Gold
Part 2 of 3Jump to part 1.
Fireworks of every color and type burst simultaneously over the central plaza of Canterlot, as noticeable in day as they would be in night due to magical intervention. Below, an amassed throng of colorful ponies was collectively oohing and aahing before a stage. The stage was brightly colored and had magical horns blowing fanfare built into the sides. Back stage, machinery hidden behind violet curtains extended rods containing fireworks, mobiles, and other cheesy but effective stage props.
All eyes were on the stage centerpiece, a blue unicorn mare with a slick silver mane. She was wearing a purple ensemble of stars and planets, a matching wizard hat and cloak affixed with a diamond clasp. On her face, the arrogant expression never left her lips as her bright violet eyes regarded the crowd with contempt, gesturing dramatically as she announced her presence.
"Come one, come all, come and witness the amazing magic of the Great and Powerful Trixie!"
Taking it all in, Blueblood felt an annoying inkling in the back of his skull that subtly told him that he had found someone that held themselves in even higher regard than himself. He grit his teeth to smother that feeling from his mind. He signaled his guards to clear a path to the center of the crowd. They complied, attracting more than a few sour looks from the throng as they were shoved aside, but his guards knew what they were doing. Hans and Fritz now flanked the prince as he sat to observe the act.
"Watch in awe," she was saying, "as the Great and Powerful Trixie performs feats beyond your imagination!"
Blueblood harrumphed. If the plebeian ponies surrounding him were watching her any harder, their eyes were likely to fall out and roll under the stage. Nonetheless, he had to admit, he was able to momentarily forget his hunger as the Great and Powerful Trixie's act continued to play out before him.
The unicorn mare's special talent was clearly stage magic with a hint of the real thing. She conjured forth flowery bouquets with a wave of her arms. She pulled all manner of small animals from her hat. She performed elaborate rope tricks. She created great neon patterns in the sky. Each trick was glitzier than the last. After awhile, Prince Blueblood believed she could do just about anything, and that annoying twinge in the back of his skull flared up again.
As a trained performer himself (albeit his stage was the royal court) the prince recognized an interesting pattern to her performance. She had not come to perform for the crowd at all. No, the crowd had come to perform for her, to marvel at how amazing she was for her personal entertainment. Even the prince felt slightly less like he was the center of the universe in her presence.
This just made the very last trick all the more amazing. It was a trick that interested Blueblood more than all the other tricks put together. Where all of her other tricks were all flash without substance, an illusion wholly focused on self-promotion, this one trick had the most important substance of all.
It was the trick where she had convinced most of the ponies in the crowd to throw gold bits up on the stage.
"Guards, I am assigning you your most important mission yet," said Prince Blueblood.
Hans and Fritz stood at attention, glad the prince was being serious for once.
The prince barked his order, "Stand back and stay out of my way." He then turned away from them, trotting towards the middle of the plaza.
The guards facehoofed: looks like it was business as usual after all.
A half an hour ago, the Great and Powerful Trixie's performance had ended. Without a hint of sincerity, the magician congratulated the audience for coming. Then, the stage retracted all its props and folded up neatly into a simple square wagon painted in bright carnival magician decor. Finally, out of the top of the two vertically mounted doors of the back of the wagon, under the sign of her trade, the Great and Powerful Trixie performed a very special bonus performance.
That is to say, she was signing autographs. It would have been a charitable gesture if she was not charging an outrageous sum for the privilege. Perhaps the only reason she did not simply sign a check mark was because she loved to sign her name in huge elegant letters that immortalized her obvious superiority with aplomb.
The last pony in line, a remarkably typical looking earth pony, trotted away with his autograph book in his mouth and a look of uncertainty on his face. Trixie expressed exaggerated relief that she was done dealing with common ponies for the day and retreated into her wagon. Little did she know that she was about to meet a highly uncommon pony.
Prince Blueblood approached the back of the wagon and cleared his throat in a way that bristled with practiced regal hubris.
In response, a sharp voice came from inside the wagon, "The Great and Powerful Trixie is finished for today. Away with you!"
The prince looked at his guards, who had retreated to a safe distance so as to not botch this apparently vital mission. They shrugged.
The prince cleared his throat again, a little more firmly this time.
Trixie's head shot out of the open top door and looked down to glare at whatever intruder would dare to disobey her direct order.
She took in quite a sight. Prince Blueblood was in full romantic ambush, wearing a rakish expression that he just knew would go perfectly with his blackened wild mane. He fixed her a look that had toppled the hearts of a hundred noblemares. He was going all out, his charm turned up to maximum, fully prepared to dominate his way into the ranks of employment at last.
The Great and Powerful Trixie was unmoved.
"Who is so ignorant
as to bother The Great and Powerful Trixie?" she demanded.
"Who, indeed? Perhaps just a humbled stallion looking to marvel at your beauty?" replied Prince Blueblood smoothly with a come-hither flex of an eyebrow.
Beneath that perfect veneer, he was panicking: in all this time, he had forgotten to come up with a fake name.
The bottom half of the double door opened and Trixie stepped down from the wagon. She stood in front of Blueblood, shorter than him, but far more intimidating. Her eyes were slanted with contempt as usual, her voice had the edge of a knife, "Why don't you tell the Great and Powerful Trixie what you really
came here for?"
Blueblood was reading from a memorized script he had once been taught and only embellished upon over the years, "Why, I am here for the pleasure of your company, of course."
"You don't say?" Trixie's self-satisfied grin become slightly impish as she started to walk slowly around Blueblood, a sultry swagger that sent her cloak sashaying distractingly behind her. The back of Blueblood's skull was aching stronger than ever - she had a real pizzazz, that Trixie, he had to admit. He exercised every ounce of his princely grace to turn and face her as she walked. Finally, she stopped opposite of her starting position, Blueblood between her and the wagon, and sat.
"I don't believe you," she said simply.
A classic gambit, thought the prince. His response was immediate, "But Trixie, my dear-."
The mare's eyes hardened instantly.
The next thing he knew, Prince Blueblood was once again hooves up and flat on his back, having been hogtied by Trixie's rope trick in a blink of an eye. That's the nice thing about being a unicorn wearing a wizard hat: it completely hides when your telekinesis is in use.
The stallion regained his senses to see Trixie looking down on him wearing an expression that would befit a school yard bully gloating about tripping someone smaller than them into a mud puddle.
She spoke with all the condescending authority she had used on stage, "Just who
do you think you are addressing?"
Thinking for only a moment, the prince squeaked, "The Great and Powerful Trixie?"
"Yes, what is it?" she replied harshly but receptively.
"Can I be your apprentice?" he begged.
Laughing to herself, Trixie climbed back up into her wagon and slammed the bottom door.
Hans and Fritz exchanged a glance. They knew the prince had told them to butt out while he worked his charms, but they were quite positive that the operation had ended in a complete failure. They trotted over and started to help the prince loose from his bindings.
As they did this, the prince's look of defeat was utter, and he began to whine, "That's it, boys, it's over. I tried, I really
did, you know that, don't you?" Hans pretended to placate the prince reassuringly, as was long his duty. "Lets just go home," the prince cried dejectedly, "for whatever good that will do me, that is. I will subject myself to exile, the family's dirty little secret, cloistered in my room until the end of days." Fritz sighed in relief, glad that this nightmare was nearly over.
"I really don't know how you two do it," sniveled the prince, "I was the greatest of stallions, the most magnificent in Equestria, and look at me now! Bitless, starving, reputation ruined, a shame on my family name-" Hans and Fritz sat back and let the prince go through a long tirade of hysterics. This was not the first time the prince decided to throw a tantrum, and it would not be the last. It rose steadily in volume as Blueblood expressed everything on his mind, until they could tell from past experience that it had reached its climax and was coming to its dramatic conclusion, "-I even ruined my precious mane, and I owe it all to that meddling Twilight Sparkle and her blasted purple wyrm!"
Trixie's head was out the open top door of her wagon so quickly that it rocked on its foundations. She looked shocked, "What
did you say?"
The prince blinked tears from his eyes and rummaged through the last few minutes in his mind and offered, "Greatest of stallions?"
"No, after that."
"Shame on the family name?"
"After that! Long, long after that!"
"Ruined my precious mane?"
"After that! The end!"
"I owe it all to that meddling Twilight Sparkle and her blasted purple wyrm?"
A moment later, her eyes narrowed and her mouth shut. She looked down at the prince's cutie mark, the compass rose currently disguised as a wagon wheel, and asked, "Do you know how to move a wagon?"
Thinking only briefly, the prince replied with hope in his eyes, "Why yes, I do believe I do."
Hans and Fritz sweated as they tugged hard on their yokes, pulling the wagon through the gates of Canterlot and slowly down the path through the mountains. It was not exactly the most efficient wagon but, given a bit of extra effort, the accursed thing moved. They could only imagine it would be even worse when they reached level ground.
Thanks to the intervention of the Great and Powerful Trixie, Prince Blueblood and his guards were fed, but that also meant that his selfish scheme to run away from home was actually working.
The interior of Trixie's wagon was cramped, the greater part of it heavily occupied by the elaborate machinery that made her shows work. Fortunately, the last time she had to rebuild it, she had managed to improve the original design and create a little more space. Thus, she was able to sit inside with Blueblood with enough room between them to comfortably converse.
"Let the Great and Powerful Trixie get this straight," she was saying, eyes somewhat cruel even when she did not intend them to be. "You
, Prince Blueblood, are running away from home."
The stallion nodded miserably, having just been forced by circumstance (and not a little of Trixie's intimidatory tactics) to reveal his secret. Of course, having just finished pouring his heart out in Canterlot outside of her wagon, the only dots left to connect involved stating his actual name.
want to be my
Trixie looked away from the prince in thought, even more vexed than usual. She really did not need to ask the prince how Twilight Sparkle ruined his reputation, as she did read the occasional newspaper during her travels.
Blueblood's curiosity got the better of him, "I must know, Great and Powerful Trixie" (as proud as he was, he had learned that calling her anything less just brought undue pain) "why ever did the mention of that bothersome protege of my aunt's change your mind?"
Trixie's temperament did not improve upon bringing up the subject, and she looked for a moment like she would not answer, but she found a way to relent, "Let us just say that the Great and Powerful Trixie doesn't like
being shown up."
As a stallion who had dedicated a considerable amount of his life towards never being shown up, Blueblood sympathized completely.
Trixie frowned then, and stated haughtily, "The Great and Powerful Trixie does not need
Blueblood looked like he was about to say something, but Trixie waved him away with an idle flick of her hoof and said, "However, the Great and Powerful Trixie may have a vacancy for a beautiful assistant."
"Beautiful assistant?!" Blueblood said incredulously. He knew why she used the word, the "beautiful assistant," was the typical title given to a pony that would accompany the magician on stage and look pretty while they were performing their tricks. However, while he was charming in more ways than he could count, that particular word did a certain injustice to his impeccable masculinity.
"Problem, prince?" asked Trixie primly, mocking him through the corner of her eye with a self-serving, coy smile. That expression made the back of his head hurt again as it informed him that he was trapped and he knew it.
Blueblood snorted contemptuously, "No! No problem at all!"
"Good," said Trixie viciously, "in that case, the Great and Powerful Trixie believes this to be the beginning of a truly terrible relationship."
Blueblood thought that was a tad unnecessary, but he caught what she was suggesting: her wagon, her rules. She was taking a tremendous risk by smuggling the prince out of Canterlot, and she expected him to pay for it every step of the way.
A week later, Prince Blueblood had a surprisingly good rapport with Trixie. That is to say, the scathing way they would address each other when going about their daily tasks had lost an imperceptible amount of bite. True, she still treated him like dirt, but beneath that dirt was a fine trace of mutual respect.
Trixie was pleased to discover that her "beautiful assistant" - or a masculine equivalent thereof - was already an accomplished performer, completely immune to stage-fright and capable of feigning for the audience that he knew exactly what he was doing even when he did not. All she needed to do was explain a few pointers during rehearsal in order to keep his mistakes to a minimum, and her performances went flawlessly.
Better than flawlessly, in fact. They had performed at two little-known towns now, and Trixie was pleased to note that her "beautiful assistant" was actually adding to the quality of her performances, reacting naturally and with surprising grace to her actions on the stage in such a way as to enhance her effect on the audience. It was apparently old hat for Blueblood, and the take of gold bits had been considerably better than she anticipated.
But now, they had reached a complication. The wagon had been following a road that would take them to a great many venues on the side of Equestria farther from Canterlot, but first would have to pass directly through Ponyville. Both Prince Blueblood and the Great and Powerful Trixie had several reasons to avoid the town. To be more precise, they had five smaller reasons, one big reason, and her baby dragon assistant.
So it was that they decided to take a somewhat overgrown detour around the town. Trixie had nervously assured the prince and his guards that it would not be a problem. However, they all knew the truth: traveling through the Everfree Forest was always a problem waiting to happen.
The Everfree Forest was a mysterious place. Though in times of yore the ponies may have lived there, the ponies' magical influence had long since receded from the place, and the result seemed unnatural to them: the plants grew, the animals cared for themselves, and the clouds moved all on their own! Such a thought would cause ponies weak-at-heart to faint right on the spot. At times like that, Princess Celestia wondered if perhaps she had spoiled her little ponies.
Because of its reputation, when even the smallest thing went wrong while traveling the ancient roads through the Everfree Forest, it was a major crisis.
The wagon lurched suddenly and violently to one side, sending Blueblood sprawling on top of Trixie. Acting significantly more annoyed at him than usual (her greatest feat yet) Trixie shoved him to one side and stepped outside to investigate.
Hans and Fritz had unhitched themselves from the wagon and were now looking at the source of the problem. The wagon had fallen into a small depression of the road that had, just for a moment, caused its entire weight to fall on one wheel at a very bad angle. That wheel was now a splintery mess, completely destroyed.
"Blueblood!" barked Trixie in the same tone one would use to condemn a dog that had just soiled the carpet, "bring out a spare wheel!"
Righteous indignation nearly at bursting levels, Prince Blueblood complied, rummaging through the wagon with his telekinesis until he found the wheel and began to levitate it with his horn.
A deafening roar caused him to drop it again. Shaking so hard he could hardly walk, Blueblood managed to topple out of the back of the wagon and see what caused that sound.
A terrifying sight awaited him. Emerging from the overgrowth was a greenish-colored serpentine beast. On two legs, it supported a base that was as large as the wagon by itself, but the truly terrifying thing is what extended out of it. A tremendously long neck, and three more necks just like it, each one topped with a dragon's head. Three of the heads looked smug, one of them was panting excitably.
"A hydra!" shouted Fritz. "Prince, get behind the wagon!"
Fritz need not have bothered. Blueblood, demonstrating his usual level of unquestionable bravery, was already cowering effectively behind the furthest corner of the wagon.
However, the Great and Powerful Trixie, flanked by Hans and Fritz, bravely stood between the wagon and the hydra. Yet, there was a definite note of fear in her voice as she shouted at the beast, "Stay back! You hear me?! You do not want to mess with the Great and Powerful Trixie!"
Three out of four hydra heads regarded Trixie and the two guards hungrily. The other head laughed at her.
The hydra took a step out of the forest and onto the path towards the wagon. Trixie immediately summoned a storm cloud over its head. Blueblood was momentarily awed at her ability. The cloud shot a single bolt of lightning before dissipating, striking the laughing hydra head right in the snout, leaving behind a small singe mark. It sneezed, and the other heads smirked at it. Blueblood had a feeling the three heads did not like that fourth head very much.
The hydra took another step towards the wagon, and Trixie's telekinesis pulled a rope from her wagon and rapidly tied it about all four of the necks and both legs. The rope snapped under the pressure of the beast's incredible musculature almost instantly.
On its next step, Trixie summoned a great magical firework display, dazzling all the ponies in attendance. The hydra was not impressed.
Trixie quailed slightly backwards as the hydra was now in striking range of her. Her magic may have been able to make her look like she could do anything while she was on stage, but they were of unfortunately no use in the face of a real crisis.
The other heads counterbalancing it, one of the hydra's heads dove directly for the failed magician, ready to gobble her up whole.
Hans tackled her out of the way at the last moment.
The head's momentum passed them and struck the wagon square in the middle, shattering it into hundreds of pieces. "No!" cried Trixie. Tiny splinters fell on Blueblood, who had narrowly avoided being flattened by virtue of having cowered behind a corner instead of a wall.
The hydra head retracted, shaking ruined stage props and personal effects from its eyes.
Hans stood up and exchanged a bitter grin with Franz. It was a soldier's grin, an ironic joke shared between a band of brothers when all seemed lost. Franz returned that grin, and nodded.
Hans shouted directly at the prone Trixie next to him, "Run!"
Trixie's bravery had been used up for the day. She immediately bolted past where Blueblood was cowering and galloped into the forest. Blueblood, not wanting to be alone but not wanting to be with the hydra either, immediately followed her.
Hans and Franz stayed behind, facing the hydra with their hooves braced. The guards were unarmored and unprepared. They hated the prince's guts with nearly every fiber of their being. However, they still had a duty to uphold.
They pawed the ground with their fore-hooves. From far above them, three out of four hydra heads acknowledged their combatants (the remaining one just looked at them stupidly) and the beast readied itself.
---Jump to part 3.