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Breakfast in bed sounds nice, but we need to talk to Smoke about what happened, as well as get an accurate account of the battle we missed.
 
You tell Florette that you would rather take it easy for now.
 
Florette: “I hear you. Breakfast in bed, coming right up! I’ll get somepony to bring the rest of your friends in.”
 
You thank Florette, and as she leaves the room, you try using the pillows to prop yourself upright. It takes more effort than you’d like, but fortunately, Moonflower is there to lend a hoof.
 
While you wait, you decide to share some extra nuzzles and cuddles with the young bat pony. You can feel her worry slowly giving way to relief as it becomes clearer to her that you will be fine after all.
 
Smoke: “Uh… hey.”
 
Apple Basket: “Trailblazer! Thank Celestia you’re alright. A cleric just told us you were awake.”
 
You greet your newly arrived friends as they enter. Apple Basket trots up to your bedside next to Moonflower, while Smoke shuffles over to lean against the far wall. You ask the uneasy-looking dragon how she is doing.
 
Smoke: “What? How am I doing? I’m not the one who took a sword to the gut. (sigh) Look, I’m… sorry about that, alright?”
 
You nod, and tell Smoke that you don’t blame her for what happened. As you remember it, she was under a spell at the time.
 
Smoke: “Freaky magic or not, how could you trust me again after something like that? I don’t even know if I can trust myself.”
 
You assure the dragon that you still trust her, and that you are glad to see her unharmed. You tell her that after your experience in the realm of Darkness, you know how all too real these illusions can seem.
 
Smoke: “You can say that again. I could’ve sworn I was fighting nightcrawlers, but then… rgh. I’m just mad I couldn’t make that Empyrius pay for it.”
 
An appetizing aroma fills the room as Florette returns with a tray of food. Smiling at the sight of all your friends, she fits the tray over your bed, where await a warm bowl of carrot ginger soup, a side of fluffy bread to soak it up, and a glass of fresh water.
 
You thank the cleric once more, and before you begin to eat, you ask Smoke if she could recount the events of that night to you.
 
Smoke: “Yeah, sure. You know the knight with the cape — Solar Flare, right? Well, he snapped me out of it somehow. That’s when I saw what I did. I was furious, but he told me to stay back, and get you to safety.
 
I mean, I wanted to stay and fight, but he insisted, and seeing the condition you were in, I just… I knew he was right. So I grabbed you, and flew us out of there.
 
The city looked almost empty by that point. I spotted Basket and Moonflower a way’s away, being escorted into a building by some knights, so I brought you in with them.”
 
Apple Basket: “Good thing you gave me that first aid kit when you did, too. I dunno what we would’a done without it.”
 
Moonflower: “Yuh uh! We gotta thank Healing Spring again next time we see her.”
 
You nod, and say that you are glad to travel with such great friends by your side, which earns you a few bashful smiles. Then, eager to hear the rest, you turn your attention back to Smoke.
 
Smoke: “Right. So, while these two were patching you up, I was guarding the door. The knights figured there was gonna be some sort of nightcrawler invasion, and I thought it was gonna be a bunch of ‘em, like what we saw before in the field.
 
Turns out, it was nothing like that. The sky got dark, and I mean really dark. Then, they started pouring down the castle walls and into the streets like a flood of monsters. There must have been thousands of them, at least.
 
They started scratching through the doors, and we were getting ready for a fight, but then, out of nowhere, there was this… flash of light? The clouds opened up, and what looked like the sun was just floating over the castle. It was weird.”
 
Florette: “It’s true. We felt it all the way down in the Undercity, too. The sky became such a vibrant blue, we thought it suddenly became day for a minute there.”
 
Smoke: “But most importantly, all the nightcrawlers up and vanished right then and there. After that, the light faded, and it was night again.”
 
Apple Basket: “And she means real night this time, without the whole glowin’ sky, or that howlin’ what gave me the creeps.”
 
Florette: “Is that how night always was in Equestria? It’s so… peaceful.”
 
Moonflower: “Ooh! And the Mists are gone, too! We can see the Yggdrasil tree from here, it’s super pretty.”
 
Smoke: “Pretty big, yeah. Anyway, since then, the ponies here have been working together to fix this place up. First time it’s felt alive since I got here, if you ask me.”
 
You finish the last of your meal, feeling the warmth and energy return to your body. As Florette takes the empty tray away, you thank your friends for getting you up to speed, and take a moment think about what to do next.
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