Chapter 107: Soldiers on the hunt

It was morning and the birds chirped among the tree tops. Banner and the soldiers walked through the forest quietly. Their hooves left dirt tracks as they walked, their swords hung at their sides shining in the sunlight. The breeze blew through their coats and hair. As they walked silently hoping to hear the two black ponies they had been following, they began to notice the trees looking taller.
"Banner, the trees are taller in this part of the forest," A yellow soldier with Pink and green hair.
"Looks like this is Sky Wood Forest," a pink soldier with Red, orange and purple hair remarked.
"I heard the Apetons roam these forest," The orange soldier commented with dark and light orange hair.
"We will have to be careful in this forest. Lets get through it before sunset," Banner replied to the soldiers behind him.
They continued walking as the tress got taller and taller, soon they got so tall the soldiers couldn't see the tops of the trees. Banner followed the dirt tracks from the two black ponies that had walked through the forest a few days ago. The bushes looked larger, hugging the trees as the soldiers past them.
The tree trunks were larger than five ponies standing around it. They looked around, hoping they wouldn't see a Moneky. The forest floor was mostly dirt and dust with a few grassy patches scattered around.
They could hear echos of bird high in the trees which seemed rather unusual. They could hear the wind whistling through the forest.
"Lets hope we don't meet one of those Apetons," Banner remarked.
The soldiers continued scanning the forest tree tops but there was nothing except for a few animals but there were no Monkeys.
"Do you think Starfire and Skyview went this way?" a soldier asked Banner.
"Their tracks leads into this forest. Besides they have been heading west since we ran into them," Banner replied.
"Why would Stardust head west?" another soldier asked.
"That's an interesting question," Banner replied.
As they walked and listened to the forest, Banner noticed the forest seemed to be lighter ahead. He hurried to the light curious to know where all the light was coming from.
As he walked closer he noticed the forest trees wasn't looking quite right. He didn't know why till he got closer.
Banner and the Soldiers stopped in the light of a small clearing gasping at what was left of the Apetons Kingdom.
"I don't think we have anything to worry about running into any Apetons," A soldier said as he looked around.
"What happened to this place?" another soldier asked.
"Where did the Apetons go?" another asked.
"Something powerful went through here," Banner replied gasping at the large broken trees and torn pieces of huts, "Which I'm sure those Apetons deserved it. They were an awful bunch."

Skyview and Starfire was a few days ahead of them. They walked through the forest towards the next Kingdom hoping they would have seen Stardust and the Princess.
"I can't get over it," Starfire muttered.
"I know, you've talked about it since we saw the Apeton Kingdom," Skyview replied.
"I wonder if Stardust was there when it happened?" Starfire asked.
"Could be, we'll have to ask him about it when we find him," Skyview replied.
"Do you think those soldiers we ran into a while back are following us?" Starfire asked.
"I wouldn't be surprise, they know we're looking for Stardust and their looking for the Princess," Skyview answered.
"Then they're probably a few days behind us," Starfire guessed.
"Then we better hurry and catch up with Stardust," Skyview said walking faster, "Lets hope the next Kingdom can help us find Stardust and the Princess."
The sun slowly began to set as they walked through the thick forest eating berries every now and then.
"Look at this bush, it barley has any berries on it," Starfire exclaimed as he eat a few berries.
"Probably Stardust and the Princess ate off that bush so we are heading in the right direction," Skyview replied.
"Well I hope they leave enough berries for us," Starfire remarked.
Skyview chuckled, "Well lets finish eating and find a place to sleep before it gets to dark."
"We can always keep going with your horn lighting the way," Starfire suggested.
"We could but I'd be to tired to keep walking," Skyview replied.
As soon as they finished off the berries on the bush, they walked till the sun was barley showing in the horizon. They stopped in a tiny clearing surrounded by bushes and trees.
Skyview laid on the grass with his feet tucked under him and his tail wrapped around him covering his back feet.
Starfire laid down behind Skyview, laying on his side with his head on Skyview's back.
Skyview turned his head and looked at Starfire, "Just what are you doing?"
"Going to sleep," Starfire replied.
Skyview stood up letting Starfire's head drop to the ground.
"Your not using me as a pillow," Skyview exclaimed.
Starfire sat up and looked at Skyview, "Stardust doesn't seem to mind when I use him and you don't mind when he uses you as a pillow."
"That's because he's not an active sleeper like you," Skyview laid down across from Starfire.
"You are such a..." Skyview interrupted him, "Don't even say it!"
"Do you know what your problem is?" Starfire asked, "You're a light sleeper. I don't see how you get any sleep."
They laid glaring at each other till Starfire cracked a smile, "at lest you can't use me as a pillow." Then he began to laugh.
"Chop those feathers off and I probably could," Skyview replied.
"That won't work, they'll grow right back," Starfire laughed.
Skyview had nothing more to say to Starfire, he just gave Starfire an annoying look and then laid his head down over his tail.
Starfire eventually stopped laughing and laid his head down on his tail.
"Don't you have any sense of humor?" Starfire asked.
"No," Skyview flatly answered.
"Figures," Starfire closed his eyes and quietly muttered under his breath, "Grouch."
"I heard that!" Skyview said.
The sun was gone and the sky turned black with Stars twinkling brightly. it wasn't long before the two were sound asleep.