Chapter 51: The last map

It was morning and the birds chirps loudly in the tree tops. Luna had woken up from her sleep as Stardust shook her.
"Get up," Stardust told her.
Luna opened her eyes and yawned. She had her wings covering her side and legs with a blanket over her keeping her extra warm, she didn't want to get up.
"I gathered some berries for you. Once you're done, we have to get going," Stardust added.
Luna moaned at the thought of eating more berries. She opened her eyes and saw a pile of berries in front of her.
"Luna, Come on. Get up!" Stardust exclaimed.
Luna sat up and began eating, the wind was cool, not warm like it was a few weeks ago. When she was done eating she packed her blanket in her bag, hung it around her neck and followed her father with her two uncles next to her.

She walked for hours till the sun had completely left the tree tops. Skyview made a cloud like blanket and flew on it with Stardust. Luna and Starfire flew beside the cloud. The wind was starting to feel cold but the sun continued to warm their coats. Stardust watched the ground fly past them, Skyview concentrated on keeping the cloud up and solid. Starfire enjoyed flying and looking in the distance, spotting a castle or village now and then. Luna thought about Blizzard and how much she missed him. She couldn't wait to see him again. When would she ever find him? It had been so long since they first started their journey, they should had found him by now. Time had flew by as Luna was lost in her thought, she hadn't even noticed her stomach growling till Skyview said something.
"Luna, is that you making that noise?" Skyview asked.
Luna blinked a few times losing her thought. She suddenly felt her stomach rumbling and turning in knots.
"Yes, I guess I'm hungry," Luna replied.
"Well, let land and find some berries," Stardust suggested.
"Berries?" Luna asked.
"We have nothing else left to eat," Stardust told her.
"I miss Jam's apple pie. It was a nice change from berries," Starfire commented.
Luna's stomach growled louder at the though of the hot apple pie.
"Well just imagine berries as apples," Stardust suggested.
"It won't be easy," Luna muttered.
Stardust chuckled.

Skyview landed the cloud in a small clearing. Luna and Starfire landed next to Stardust.
Together, they began walking through the forest searching any bushes they see that might have berries. Starfire was the first to find a berry bush, "There's one." Starfire pointed at the bush.
They hurried to the bush and began eating.
"One apple....two apples...three...," Luna counted as she picked berries off the bush, "they still taste like berries," Luna replied.
"I'm sorry Luna but you'll have to get used to eating them for a while," Stardust told her.
"Stardust, you've been pushing us very hard. Couldn't we rest a day?" Starfire asked.
"No, you don't know how important it is to catch up to Blizzard and get that key back," Stardust replied.
"Why?" Skyview asked, "All I can tell is the key allows someone to go through the gate when ever they want."
"I can't explain why. I just know. Why don't you two try explaining to me how you know where one of us is?" Stardust asked.
His brothers looked at each other and became silent.
Stardust smiled slightly, "That's what I thought."
"Dad, did the key speak to you?" Luna asked.
"No it didn't. I-I suddenly knew. I just can't explain it. It's something that can't be explained," Stardust replied.
"Oh," Luna replied. She was still curious about the key. Why did the key only glow for Stardust and no one else?

They continued eating berries till most of the bush was bare.
"Dad, can we stop at a town? Luna asked, "To supply on food?"
"If we can find a town far from a castle," Stardust answered.
"Why?" Luna asked, "What's wrong with going near a castle?"
"I don't want any trouble what so ever. I don't want anyone recognizing us," Stardust answered.
"But we need food," Luna replied.
Stardust stopped eating and stood quietly before replying.
"And while we are at it, we can get a map," Skyview added.
"Ok, the next town we see, we'll stop and buy some food and a map for Skyview," Stardust replied.
Luna smiled greatly.
"You know Stardust, that pony Jam hadn't even heard of us or seen us before. Maybe the further north we go the less popular we are. There's a chance you can walk into town and not be recognized," Skyview pointed out.
"Yes but being black would attract attention," Stardust replied.
"Well, that's true but at lest you look like a normal earth pony," Skyview replied.
Stardust didn't reply he wanted to spend sometime thinking about it.

Skyview used the cloud and formed a blanket. Stardust and Skyview sat on the cloud and flew higher to the sky. Luna and Starfire followed him.
Stardust wondered if everyone knew about the three black ponies or did they just get lucky to find one pony who didn't know who they were. Stardust figured the Kings and Queens in the north knew who he was but did the rest of ponies in the kingdoms know?
They flew for a few hours till they saw a yellow and white castle in the distance. In front of it was a large town surrounded by thick trees.
"There's a castle and they must have a town," Starfire pointed.
"Lets walk from here. I don't want ponies seeing this floating cloud with two ponies sitting on it," Stardust explained.
They agreed and landed in a small clearing by a pond.

They walked anxiously through the forest while Stardust pondered on what Skyview had said earlier. Could he walk into town? Stardust was curious about what the towns in other kingdoms were like.
As soon as the town was within sight, they stopped and hid behind trees.
"That's pretty big. Much like ours," Skyview observed.
"It certainly is," Stardust agreed, "Luna, I'll go with you but first, lets find out if anyone has ever heard of a black pony."
Luna smiled greatly. Walking through town with her father sounded great, especially if no one knew who they were.
Stardust took out his yellow bag and a pouch full of coins, then he sat his other bag on the ground and hung the empty yellow bag around his neck with the pouch inside, "Lets go. Skyview, Starfire stay here and don't move from this spot."
"Where would we go?" Starfire asked.
Stardust smiled, "Just making sure." Then he turned and began walking towns town with Luna at his side. They walked towards an alley, a less crowed spot where very few ponies walked by.
"Luna, hurry and change. Look like an earth pony," Stardust told her.
Luna's horn began to glow, her white long hair turned purple, then her wings and horn disappeared. Soon she looked like a normal earth pony. It wasn't long till they entered an alley. Stardust stopped and saw quite a few ponies walking the streets.
"Luna, go and ask one of them if they have ever heard of a black pony," Stardust told her.
Luna walked out of the alley and stood waiting for a pony to approach her. Just then a light purple pony with white and bright pink hair with a horn on her head was walking towards Luna. As soon as she came close Luna smiled at her, "Miss. I'm new here and was wondering if you have ever seen or heard of a black pony?"
The unicorn smiled almost wanting to laugh, "Certainly not. There are no black ponies. There's no such thing. I mean sure there's ponies close to black but not black."
"Thanks, That's just what I wanted to know," Stardust said as he left the alley.
The unicorn gasped at his black coat and hair.
Stardust looked at Luna, "Now, shall we go shopping?" he looked at the surprised unicorn, "Where may we buy some food?"
The unicorn pointed towards the castle, "D-down that way."
"Thank you," Stardust replied and left with Luna at his side.
"Dad, are you sure you want to come with me?" Luna asked.
"Yes, Jam and that unicorn obviously don't know who we are so I think it's pretty safe for me to go to town," Stardust answered.
They continued walking as most of the ponies either stared or glanced at him. Luna noticed the castle was big, maybe as big as Dream Castle but she hadn't seen any soldiers.
"Where's the soldiers?" Luna asked.
"Probably at the castle," Stardust replied.
Luna looked around as she past stores. She saw all kinds of stores and wished she could spend the day shopping but she knew her father would never let her.

They walked till they found a store that had all kinds of food. They went into the store and Stardust began putting food in his bag. Luna looked around, there were lots of stuff, cloaks, hats, brooms, soap and more. When Stardust was done, he set his bag on the counter and paid for the food.
"Umm...do you happen to have a map?" Stardust asked.
"No I'm sorry, the last one was just sold," the male white pony replied, "You two look new around here. Are you travelers?"
"Yes we are. How did you know?" Stardust asked hanging the yellow bag around his neck.
"That one who bought the map was also a traveler," the while male pony answered.
Luna gasped, she knew who it was. It had to be him.
"What did he look like?" Luna quickly asked.
"He was a male pony and was light blue with blue and white hair," The male pony answered, "How did you know the pony was a boy?"
"We're looking for him," Stardust answered, "How long ago was he here?"
"Just a few hours ago," The white male pony answered.
"Thank you for your help." Stardust turned and left the store with a very excited daughter at his side.
"Dad, it's him!" Luna exclaimed.
"I know Luna," Stardust replied.
"He was here a few hours ago. Dad, we're so close to him!" Luna exclaimed.
Stardust smiled, "I know Luna. We'll catch up to him soon."