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MY LITTLE PONY:FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC © HASBRO STUDIOS/DHX MEDIA & LAUREN FAUST
MY LITTLE PONY @ PONY:LIFE © HASBRO STUDIOS/BOULDER MEDIA
In Ponyville, the sun was still only halfway up as Team Harmony walked through the streets. Mario, Luigi, Twilight Sparkle, Spike, Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy were on their way to the marketplace. Even as Fluttershy kept worrying about how the animals she sheltered suddenly went missing, her companions assured her that they'd find them. Their only clue was a trail of pawprints and furrows leading into the dark and mysterious Everfree Forest.
It was Team Harmony's first mission outside the safety of Ponyville, so most of them were nervous. Mario, though, had weathered too many adventures to let a forest hike slow him down!
"Okay..." Twilight said to herself. "Now, where would be the best place to buy provisions for this journey?" Sales stalls were abundant in central Ponyville; prices and stock varied widely. There were almost too many stands to choose from!
"Well," Mario politely interjected, "we'd-a best find a place that-a has a wide-a range of items for sale. The quicker we get to-a the forest, the more-a time we have to look-a for Fluttershy's lost-a animals."
A solid point. But... where to start...?
"Ooooooh!" Pinkie Pie cooed. "What about this place? The 'Nova Market?' I remember buying tons and tons of neat knick-knacks there!"
Rarity seemed to agree. "Oh! Yes, of course! The Nova Market always has a wide array of merchandise: from spools of thread, to seeds, to arcane potions. That may be a better place for our mission than any other!"
This place already seemed too intriguing not to investigate. After looking at each other for a few seconds, it was decided.
The new ragtag team followed the signpost to the Nova Market. Mario propped the door open, causing the overhead bell to chime elegantly. Inside, the group saw several aisles of carefully-stocked wares. Potions, exploration gear, accessories... It had it all!
"See you later, Po!" said Thunderlane as he stepped away from the counter. He was carrying a basket full of fruits and vegetables in his mouth. Mario stepped aside to allow the stud past. "Morning," he said as he left the shop, wing-waving at the party.
"Uh... Hello?" Luigi quietly called to the counter as the team walked in.
The shopkeeper was a very beautiful Unicorn mare with ocean-blue eyes, her cutie mark a bottle of potion.
The mare gasped with delight. "Oh... Oh my! Who have we here?" She seemed rather excited at the sight of new customers.
Mario, Twilight, Spike, and Luigi were unsure of what to make of the shopkeeper's greeting. "Uh... Hi? (Psst! Is she so excited about us because we look like we have deep saddlebags, or what?)" was Spike's reply, followed by whispering to Twilight.
The mare, with a voice as rich as chocolate marble, clarified to her visitors. "I heard that Ponyville had gotten new residents... But I never expected that they'd reveal themselves as heroes of Equestria! And it seems that five of our own townsponies are also part of that dashing band! A pleasure, surely!"
"So, uhm... You know about us?" Fluttershy timidly answered.
"Of course!" the mare replied. "You're the group that stopped that awful Nightmare Moon from bringing about eternal night. Also, if what I hear is true, you also stopped our land from becoming a chaotic dystopia!"
"Uh... Yeah. That's-a us..." Mario humbly stated.
Abruptly, Rainbow Dash leaned on the countertop and casually bragged, "Yeah! Oh, you should've seen us. First, that Discord creep was all, 'Oooh, I'm the lord of chaos, and I'm gonna poke you in the head and abandon your friends because I'm jealous about how your friends are more awesome than mine!' But then, when it seems like we can't beat him, Twilight swoops in and uses a spell to remind us of how nopony will ever break us! Then we beat him with a magic rainbow."
"Oh, really?" the mare said playfully.
"Exactly," Rainbow continued. "...But then, some dorky turtle on a broom swiped the Elements of Harmony, so we're supposed to keep an eye out for them on our travels."
The lovely pony seemed interested. "Ohhhh... Sounds dangerous..."
Pinkie Pie was as energetic as ever. "Yep! But as long as we stick together, we can stand up to anything! And we'll be sure to have tons of fun on the way! I just know it!"
The mare laughed merrily. "Oh-ho-ho! Well, I can't just let you charge into the wilds with only your bare hooves! You'll need some provisions if you're going to last out there. Luckily, you've all come to just the right place." The mare stepped to the side for a moment. "My name is Potion Nova, and I've always wanted the chance to sell my wares to travelling heroes! You'll find that all my items are fairly priced, and well cared-for. Be sure to check back frequently, because new gear may come without warning!" Potion Nova stepped close to the group and added, "And... if all of you seem cute or charming enough, I may even give a discount on selected items... Hm-hm-hm-hm."
Applejack seemed just a tad doubtful. "Discounts? Fer lookin' pretty? If you offer that to every customer you ever had, how have you stayed in business? Aren'tcha worried that ponies will take advantage of that?"
"Not at all," Potion Nova confidently stated. "Since I have such a wide variety of things to sell, I'm never short on customers. Specialty shops are generally pricier and more limited. Why not find most of what you need in one place?"
"Wow! This place really is a bona fide one-stop-shop, huh?" said Spike with an enthusiastic grin.
"That's the plan!" Potion cooed. "So, my little heroes... feel free to browse, and come see me when you have everything you need!"
"Well, y'all heard her," cheered Applejack. "Now let's get our things packed so we can go save them critters!"