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Chasing Shadows (Phil the Time Wizard and Sevofthesands)


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"Have you heard about the monster lurking in the depths of Everfree?" a mare gossiped idly to a nearby friend.

"You're gonna need to be a touch more specific..." the other mare started with a laugh. "Far as I hear that forest is full of nothing but creepy monsters."

The first mare shook her head. "No, this one is different. It's something new. Word is that it's twice as big as an Ursa Minor with the voracious hunger of a timberwolf and cunning nearly on match with a griffon!" she said in a boisterous.

"Yeah right. Nothing like that could be out there. You're just tryin' to scare me," the second mare shouted

"It's true, believe me. Word is that any foolish enough to wander too close to the forest these days gets snatched up by the beast and disappears forever!" the first mare started.

Unbeknownst to the two mares, a short distance behind them, listening in was a young filly. Ardent Fate was her name, and unlike most fillies with homerwork, colts and cutie marks as their primary concern, this little filly had other ambitions. In her head, young Fate was a valiant knight, destined for greatness. She wandered through Equestria, hoping to spread her knightly virtues throughout the land. Usually it didn't go exactly well, but the filly was hopeful that this place would prove different.

"I shall slay this loathsome beast!" Fate announced as she suddenly stepped forward.

"Wha-? Who...?" the first mare started, surprised to see the filly.

"What are you talking about, little filly?" the second spoke, her head tilted.

"The monster. I leave now to claim its fleeting life upon my valiant blade!" Fate shouted out, skipping ahead.

"Wait, that thing isn't real, is it?" the second mare spoke, nodding toward the city. "Hey, kid! I don't know where you found that, but it's not a toy!"

Fate immediately started to run away. She hated it when adults eyed her sword like that. "I shall return once the beast has been slain!" she announced.

"Hey, wait!" the mare called after her, looking worried.

"She's just playing around," her friend said, shrugging. "She'll come back on her own."

"Yeah... I guess..." the other mare started.

Meanwhile, Fate continued forward undeterred, moving in the direction of the Everfree forest. SHe was pretty sure that nopony was following her, but maybe, perhaps she was wrong.

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Meanwhile Gentle Sol was following this weird Filly he had been with his Gram where they also heard the proclamation and His Gram also dismissed her as just playing around. but somehow Gentle Knew Better the filly had looked determined and he saw her leave towards the forest, he knew she would get hurt and if there was one thing a Gentlecolt did not do was let Filly get hurt! now here he was running after some filly he did not know to stop her.

"Miss! Miss Wait! Please stop it's too dangerous for Fillys." that could possibly be the worst thing to say.

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Fate stopped in her tracked, her head cocking back at the sudden call. Too dangerous for fillies? She scoffed. She was no common filly! She was knight of Holy Destrier Order. Or... a knight in training at least. She glared at the presumptuous colt.

"A knight is brave and bold, knowing no fear as he gallantly gallops to the call of justice!" Fate started in a bold voice, stomping her hooves. "Do you really intend to stop me from completing my knightly duty?"

"This monster must be slain, and I shall be the one to do it!" Fate added with a sharp nod before turning to continue ahead.

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Fate stomped her hoof in frustration. This colt just wouldn't let up. Wait, what did he call her? She blushed slightly. She had never been called pretty before.

"Umm.... I-I... er, thanks..." she started with a shy, awkward giggle. "But... um"

As he right senses returned to her, she shook her head rapidly before stomping ahead. "Why do you insist on impeding me?" she shouted, returning to her usual demeanor.

"You wouldn't happen to be on the side of evil?" she questioned. "If so, I won't hesitate to draw my sword!"

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"Peace?" Fate questioned, shaking her head. "Peace can never exist so long as evil is allowed to thrive! That is why we must find and kill this monster while we still can!"

She gave a small huff. "Isn't that reasonable?"

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"Perhaps, but that is not something to presume wildly," Fate started, shaking her head. "I must find the beast to find out for sure!"

"So... um... bye!" With that, Fate began to suddenly gallop away, past the colt. She'd be to the forest before long were there no disruptions. Hopefully the colt wouldn't follow after her.

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Gentle stopped for a moment after She went into the forest he was told never to go into the forest but he thought his Gram will forgive him. he rushed after her calling to her.

"Hey since you are not stopping i am forced to accompany you on this escapade Miss." he said with the slightest bit of fear.

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"Do as you will," Fate said with a huff. "I won't stop you if that's your decision," she said as she continued to move quickly down the path.

Some times passed until eventually they reached the edge of the Everfree forest. Looking up at the ominous forest, Fate was suddenly a little glad to have company. She nodded.

"So..." she started, not sure how to approach conversation with the pony she had so far not agreed with. "What do you call yourself then?" she asked. She supposed the obvious place to start was with introductions.

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Gentle Sol? That wasn't a name that inspired confidence for a dangerous situation. Still, in a small way Fate didn't mind having somepony accompany him for once.

"I am Ardent Fate, aspiring knight of the Holy Destrier Order!" Fate announced proudly in a bold voice. "Someday, everypony will know that name and the totally amazing stories that go along with it!"

Fate giggled girlishly and skipped ahead, finding herself surrounded by forest. Almost immediately she was greeted by the sounds of howling timberwolves in the distance. This stopped her in her tracks momentarily. Maybe this was dangerous? No! She couldn't be afraid! A true knight knows no fear. Deciding that, she stepped ahead, but somewhat more tentatively than before.

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"uh... okay..." Fate said as she looked around, stepping quietly ahead. She realized pretty quickly that she didn't necessarily care for the creepy forest very much. At the same time she was far too proud a young filly to even think about turning back with nothing to show for herself, especially after all she had said to this colt.

"The only problem is that I don't know where this monster is or what it even really looks like..." Fate admitted in a low voice. "So it might be a little hard to find..."

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A pang of anxiety ran over the filly at the colt's words. Yeah, the two of them were in pretty deep now, so lost was a good word.

"It doesn't matter!" Fate said, shaking herself out of her fear. "We just need to wander these woods until we find that monster. I'm sure we'll know it when we see it!"

"And then once we're done we'll worry about getting home," she said with a nod. Sounded perfect to her. There was nothing to be afraid of!

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Fate nodded. "Okay..." she said. She started trotting ahead some more.

The forest was really spooky. The sounds of all sorts of creatures could be heard rummaging around the trees, casting shadows. Fate gulped loudly as she moved ahead. She looked over at the colt. She wasn't sure she liked this colt for trying to stop her, but given how creepy their surroundings were, some active conversation might actually be good.

"Umm... so..." she started as she tried to think up a question for Gentle. "Tell me about yourself," she started, deciding to just go for something general

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Great. This pony just had to not be in a talkative mood. Didn't he know that this forest was totally spooky? Fate didn't want to embarrass herself so she needed to keep her mind off the spookiness. Yet here this pony didn't seem very keen on helping her with that. What use was having unwanted company tag along if they weren't even gonna be useful.

"Um... well... er..." Fate started awkwardly. "I see. Well..."

"This forest sure isn't scary," Fate lied boldly, just to say something. "Yep. It's totally underwhelming. For a brave and valiant knight such as I, tis but a joke."

More eerie howling could be heard in the distance then. "I mean, I've seen far, far scarier forests," Fate kept talking, her anxiety clear. "Like that one that one time. It was totally scarier and stuff."

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Fate let out a loud shriek at the colt's very sudden actions. She galloped ahead recklessly and then tripped over some thick weeds, falling on her face. After a few moments, she realized what had happened and found herself suddenly very embarrassed.

"You-!" she started, turning back to him, her face red. "Why did you do that?!"

She looked away. "Not that I was scared or anything, like that," she said, her eyes averted fully to the dirt.

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Gentle after his foalish prank turned back into the Gentlecolt.

"Im sorry please forgive me but your just as scared as i am so that makes me feel better." he then looked to the side "and your cute when your scared and kinda angry" he said hopeing she did not hear that part.

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"I am not scared!" Fate shouted back, having not heard the colt's quieter comments.

"I am fearless!" she said with a strong nod. "I am boldly unafraid and willing to face any danger, no matter how great! That is my duty as a knight."

Her piece said, Fate gave a huff and turned around. She found herself face to face with an angry looking manticore standing a short distance ahead. It gave a fierce roar. Fate gave another sharp shriek and ran backwards, cowering behind Gentle.

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