An Apple A Day
The day was a beautiful one, some clouds in the sky since a rain was scheduled for later. A slight wind blowing in from the south as the citizens of Ponyville went about their day. Shadow could be seen with the Crusaders, all 4 of them wearing their capes, even Shadow would admit to himself that the cape looked good on him. They were passing by the school as they looked for something to help the girls get their cutie marks. Little did they know that things were about to get rather interesting soon.
"Isn't this just the most lovely shade of green?" a girls voice could be heard, Shadow's ears listening to it.
"Oh my yes, that gem suits you Diamond Tiara" another voice said. Shadow was now curious.
//green gem?// he thought, knowing it wasn't a chaos emerald since he was holding that very one at the moment.
"Thank you. Daddy had to hire someone to break it into pieces since the original gemstone was so huge, but even its pieces shine ever so brightly. Shadow stopped and looked shocked, having an idea of what they were talking about.
"What's up Shadow?" Scootaloo asked, noticing he stopped. The other two girls stopping to see if he was okay after hearing Scootaloo ask that. Shadow turned toward the voice, seeing a filly with a pink coat and light purple hair, a tiara as her cutie mark.
//convenient// he thought, not seeing the gem until she turned and saw the 4 of them. It was then his worst fear was realized. There around her neck, was a shard of the Master Emerald.
"Oh look it's the Lack of a Cutie Mark Crusaders" she taunted at them. "And look they recruited one of the freaks" Shadow kept himself in check. Knowing it'd do more harm than good to just snatch the shard.
"Shadow do you know what that gem is?" Applebloom asked, earning a nod from him as he turned around and led the girls away from there. Diamond Tiara's laughter could be heard as they distanced themselves.
"That was a shard of the Master Emerald on her neck" he said. Applebloom gasped, remembering what Knuckles told her and her family.
"You mean that thing ol' Knuckles is supposed to protect?" she asked. "But wait, I thought you said they were indestructible?"
"Not the Master, it can be shattered and restored. The Chaos Emeralds are the indestructible ones." He said. Earning a group "ooh" from the girls.
"Now listen, I heard her say that her father found it. Meaning
.this could be a problem. Especially if Knuckles finds out. He'll tear through anything to get the shards. You three must promise me not to tell him" he said with a serious tone.
"We promise" they answered happily. Unbeknownst to them, Diamond Tiara decided to follow them and heard every word. Grinning evilly as she thought of plan after plan.
Sweet Apple Acres (later that day)
Applebloom was dropped off by Shadow, who was going around making sure they all made it home safely.
"Heya Applebloom" Knuckles said when she entered the house.
"Well howdy Knuckles." She said happily.
"So how was your day?" he asked.
"No cutie marks yet" she said a little disappointed. "Always tomorrow though"
"Mine was pretty uneventful too. Still no sign of the Master Emerald" he said. Applebloom immediately getting nervous once he said that. The memory of promising Shadow that she wouldn't say a word popping into her head. Knuckles looked over to her and noticed she seemed to be acting a little differently.
"You alright?" he asked.
"What? Yeah ah'm fine, never been better" she said with a toothy smile, hoping he'd buy it. Knuckles just looked at her a little more before shrugging.
"Alright then" he said. Applebloom mentally sighed in relief that he bought that.
"I'll just go up to my room then" she said before going up the stairs to her room. Knuckles was a little confused at the way she was acting but decided not to bother with it and get some sleep.
Though sleep was the last thing that Applebloom got as she tossed and turned, the guilt she felt of not telling Knuckles about the Master Emerald weighing heavy on her. Especially since she and her family promised to tell him at the first sign of its whereabouts. Just as she could feel sleep begin to take her she was jarred back up by the crowing of the rooster. With a groan she got out of bed to face the day ahead.
The next day, you could see Knuckles and Applejack working on harvesting apples. Applebloom was helping her sister while Knuckles worked with Big Macintosh. Applebloom was acting rather fidgety today missing some apples or accidently spilling the basket, or not even reacting at all.
"Applebloom! Look alive!" Applejack called out, jarring her sister out of a small nap that her body had almost forced her into.
"Huh?" she asked before a few apples landed on her head. "Ouch!" she said, rubbing where they hit. Applejack went over to her sister, a look of worry on her face.
"You alright Applebloom? You've been rather out of it today" she said.
"I'm fine sis. Just real tired. I didn't get much sleep last night" she said as a yawn escaped her.
"Now what in tarnation would prevent you from getting sleep?" she asked. Her sister looked over to Knuckles before motioning her sister to lean closer so she could tell her in a whisper.
"I found out where that Master Emerald thingie is. Diamond Tiara's dad found it and broke it into pieces. She was wearing a shard of it on her necklace."
"And why wouldn't ya tell Knuckles? Ya know he's worried to bits about it" Applejack said.
"Ah know sis. But I promised Shadow I wouldn't tell him. Since Shadow told me that Knuckles would practically go bananas to recover them shards" she said. Applejack just sighed, knowing that what Shadow said probably wasn't too far off from what would happen.
"A Wonderbolt huh?" Sonic asked Dash as they walked through the town.
"Yeah. It's always been my dream to become one and fly with them." She said with a smile, already starting to daydream about that day. Sonic just smiled at that.
"Well what about you?" she asked. He just looked up to the sky.
"Never really had anything like that. I just run and handle what comes my way" he said.
"So you just live in the moment?" she asked. He nodded before looking at her and smiling.
"Pretty much yeah" he said. She just smiled back at him, his answer giving her quite the insight into what kind of individual Sonic was.
"So how did you get your cutie mark?" Sonic asked, Dash smiled happily.
"I thought you'd never ask. Or do you just like staring at my flank?" she teased lightly. Sonic laughed with Dash before she began to share the tale of how she got her cutie mark.
Sweet Apple Acres
Knuckles was leaning on the fence, taking a break from working for a good while. Applejack walked up to him. A little nervous, since she had promised Applebloom not to tell him.
"Heya Knuckles" she said standing next to him. He looked at her.
"Hey" he said, turning his gaze back to the horizon. Applejack really wanted to tell him, it went against her element to hide the truth from him.
"Listen sugarcube, ah gotta tell ya something." She said.
"No Applejack. Ah will" Applebloom said as she walked up. Knuckles just arched a brow.
"I promised Shadow I wouldn't
but you deserve to know. I know where the Master Emerald is" Applebloom said before Knuckles picked her up suddenly. A frantic look on his face.
"Where?" he asked, wanting to know desperately. Applebloom couldn't really say anything since she was surprised by his actions.
"She told me. A pony named Filthy Rich has your emerald. He shattered it and his daughter Diamond Tiara has one shard on her necklace" Applejack said. Knuckles set Applebloom down, using his hands to brace himself on the fence before his grip tightened to the point the wood broke and splintered. His teeth gritting together as his rage began to boil.
"Now listen sugarcube" Applejack began before Knuckles began to walk away. She quickly caught up to him.
"Go. I don't need help to get my Emerald back" he said.
"Now that's a buncha phooey" she said. "I used to think I could do anything on my own. But soon I learned that swallowing your pride and letting others help you is key to success" she said. Knuckles stopped when she said that. Remembering when he himself was just like that, thinking back to when he had to ask Sonic to recover the Master Emerald after Eggman double crossed him in the Hidden Palace Zone.
"You're right" he said before turning to her. She smiled at him, glad he listened.
"I can ask Rouge to help get the emerald. I'm sure she's been itching to go thieving" he said. Applejack arched a brow in surprise.
"Pardon me? Did ya'll say that Rouge is a thief?" she asked.
"Technically she's a government spy slash jewel thief" he said. Applejack just blinked at that, completely surprised.
"Well that is interesting" she said.
"This is incredible!" Gilda said as she breezed through Eggmans challenges for her new level of power. She was able to do a lot more than what she could with this power. Satisfied with her training for the day she left the room only to see Metal Sonic standing on the opposite wall to the door.
"Heya Metal. What's up?" she asked, starting to figure out what Metal Sonic was conveying in his silence.
"So, you think that we could beat them with the scheme that Trixie is plotting?" she asked. Earning a small nod from the bot. she then thought for a moment before a small grin appeared on her face. Slowly getting bigger as she kept imagining what it would be like to crush Dash.
and with this new power, there's no way they can win" she said confidently
Eggman was going over the plans with Trixie, noticing she was further into the corruption, more red marks on her body, mane and tail, it even started to appear on her sclera.
Twilight was finishing her letter to the princess, to report how things have been going. Giving the letter to Spike after rolling it up so he could send it. Which he did happily before going downstairs to help Owloysius clean up. She sighed as she relaxed on her bed, her mind wandering to what kind of trouble could brew from the Emeralds. The word Chaos sticking out in her mind, especially after that fight with Discord. The emeralds represented Chaos in a different way than he did. His Chaos literally was disharmony, things that didn't make sense and upset the balance that made harmony. The emeralds represented something different, they could cause disharmony if used incorrectly, but they also had a positive side to them. Their name had to be from the fact they held the Potential to cause Chaos, or from the fact that's how their energy was. Whatever it was, she didn't have a clue.
She then began to think about Shadow, about all he'd been through up to this point. She just smiled as she pictured him, just standing there and looking as cool as he always did. A small blush crept to her face as other thoughts about him soon entered her mind.
"Thinking the day away?" Shadow asked from the balcony, which made her jump in surprise before laughing nervously. He just arched a brow at her reaction.
I guess I was" she said after finally recovering from that. "Say Shadow
do you think you could tell me about the emeralds?" she asked.
"What about them?" he asked.
"How they got their name" he thought for a moment before looking at her.
"They're named after the god that guards them and the master, Chaos" he said. Many civilizations that came across them named them that not just because of Chaos, but because of the chaos they brought to many. They could cause corruption, disharmony, and eventually war and death." He said. Twilight was surprised by the story, but at the same time she wasn't really too surprised since the emeralds were such powerful objects that they had to have a dark history to them.
I guess" she said with a smile.
"That's not all that was on you mind was it?" he asked. Twilight's eyes shot open at that and a blush appeared on her cheeks. A nervous giggle escaping her as Shadow just looked at her with an arched brow. She just smiled at him, trying to shake off her nervousness. Though looking into his eyes made that near impossible. His crimson eyes that shined in the light.
//why am I thinking these thoughts?// she thought, completely flustered by this point.
"Hello? Twilight?" he asked waving a hand in front of her face.
"Huh?" she asked snapping out of it. And realizing he was a little closer.
"Maybe you should get some rest. Instead of thinking" he said. Earning a nervous giggle from her before she nodded and laid down.
"Yeah. I'll do that" she said, closing her eyes. Shadow went to the balcony before jumping down from it. Twilight heard him leave before more thoughts crept up.
what in the world is going on?" she thought out loud before she finally began to drift off to sleep.