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A foal had woken up in the middle of a peaceful green field. He had a deep blood-red coat, a short yellow-orange mane, and shining cyan eyes.

Awaking with a jolt, a string of thoughts raced at him. Where was he, and how did he get here?

For a moment, he wasn't even sure who or what he was. He could remember somebody knocking on his door, and then something appeared behind him and took him away. After that; blackness.

Remembering further back, He also remembered running though some kind of orchard while being followed, and creating some cryptic videos of some... supernatural entity? His memories just didn't add up.

His name was Ryukaki, and now he was a pony.

Lost in thought, he flopped down back into the grass. It was soft and warm. Everything was soft and warm.

Before long, he sensed something approaching him – something that wasn't there before. Hearing footsteps, he climbed to his feet again.

“Hey there, little guy!”

The voice was quiet, but unexpected and coming from right behind him. Turning around quickly, he found that it was Fluttershy.

“How did you get here?” she asked in her cute soft tone.

“Can someone tell me?”, Ryukaki moaned.

“You poor thing. I think you should come with me.”

Fluttershy continued to speak. “I'm Fluttershy. I live just over this hill here. I like to...”

Ryukaki stopped listening at this point – after all, he didn't have anything else to do, other than lie in the grass a bit longer. His head was still spinning from attempting the make sense of this surreal turn of events.

After a short but pleasant walk of about ten minutes in duration, the two of them reached Fluttershy's house. Even from a distance, Ryukaki could tell it was very disorderly – a chaotic mess.

Fluttershy crossed her nice wooden bridge and opened her door. It swung open in silence.

“Hello. I'm back!”, she said to what seemed to be nothing in particular as she pushed Ryukaki inside.

The room he was now in was festooned with cages and birdhouses – like it had always been. He hadn't known what to expect of the place, but this definitely wasn't it.

As soon as he was able to comprehend his surroundings, he spotted another pony in the far corner of the room. He was a pegasus, slightly older than Ryukaki's current form but still very similar – definitely smaller and younger than Fluttershy.

His coat was a sleek bright blue, and his mane was graphite-black. His eyes were precisely the same colour as Ryukaki's.

Fluttershy spoke again in her normal quiet voice. “I found this guy alone in the fields. He said he doesn't remember where he was, so I brought him here. His name's Ryukaki.”

The blue colt stiffened at the mention of the name. He did not immediately reply, other than to mumble something that neither Fluttershy nor Ryukaki could hear properly.

“...I'm leaving you here. I've got to tend to some animals.”, Fluttershy continued after a short moment of silence.

Fluttersxhy exited, carefully shutting the door behind herself. As soon as she did so, the blue pony got up and moved slightly towards Ryukaki.

He finally spoke. “So... You're Ryukaki, right?”

“Uhm, yes”, was the reply.

“Then, congratulations! Isn't it great?”

“Congratulations on what?”

“Your successful ascension, of course!”

“Ascension? Wait, what? Could you please explain all this?”

“Sure. Kelbris caught you and force-ascended you. Then you were dead and now you're a pony.”


Ryukaki shook his head for a moment before continuing. “Anyway, I don't think I caught your name.”

“Oh, yeah. I'm Duskworld. My real name is – or was, to be exact – Spencer Lawman, but that's neither here nor there.”

“I've heard of you I think...!”

A realisation hit Ryukaki.

“You're... one of them?”

“One of what?”

“The Moon Children! Agh!”

“Umm...” Duskworld didn't know what to say. Instead of responding, he changed the subject. “I wonder how long Fluttershy will be out for...”, he said, breaking off at the end.

Fluttershy did not return for quite some time. Ryukaki was using this time to put his thoughts into order; he was understandably bemused by the situation.

An hour elapsed in Fluttershy's absence.

Eventually, Duskworld spoke up. “She sure is taking a long time. Why don't we just leave?”

“But...”, Ryukaki began.

“She won't mind. Besides, there's so much to see. Ryukaki reluctantly pushed the door open, but he wasn't hesitant for long. The shining sunlight, the calm breeze, it all beckoned him outside.

Duskworld was following close behind. He opened his wings for a moment and breathed in the nice air yet again.

Looking around, Ryukaki observed his surroundings, and then spoke again. “So... where were you thinking of going?”

Duskworld hadn't thought that out yet.

“Umm... how about that dense-looking forest?”

The Everfree forest was dark and grim, but to Ryukaki it looked just as inviting as anywhere else.

Duskworld set out, with Ryukaki closely following him. He was feeling overjoyed. Ascension was a lot of fun. He was surrounded by natural wonder.

“I wonder if I'll see Nekko or Ifrit agsin sometime...”, he thought half-to-himself.

Theyw ere now approaching the outer trees. They were dark, but pretty and green, now towering above the pair of young colts.
A shadowy wave of cool air washed over them as they moved into the forest.

He wondered how much Ryukaki really knew.

“People say this place is supposed to be haunted or something... I don't get it. Just a superstition, I'm sure it's perfectly harmless...”

By now, the trees were surrounding him, already after this short distance.
It would've been eerie, if not unsettling, had it not been for the wind evoking a calm rustling sound as it moved through the treetops.

“One thing I still don't understand”, Ryukaki started up, “is what Wayward Horizon has to do with any of this.”

“Wayward Horizon?”, was the reply. “Not going to lie to you. I have no idea.”

“Okay.”, Ryukaki mumbled back, and then fell silent.

Some time passed.

“Another thing?”, he began again.

“What is it?”, Duskworld asked, turning his head to face Ryukaki, who was still behind him.

“You seem to know a lot about me... but you haven't told me anything much about yourself yet.”

“Oh, haven't I? Alright, you deserve to know who I am. Vefore my ascension, I was 14. I ascended by ordinary ritual suicide. I lived in--”

“No.”, Ryukaki said abruptly, interrupting Duckworld's recountings. “That doesn't tell me anything. Not who you were, who you are. How do you spend your time, for instance?”

There was a short but awkward silence.

“Maybe we should turn back?”, Duskworld suggested, changing the subject yet again and gesturing back at the way they came.