- Story by Rob Anderson, Art by Jay Fosgitt
Twilight Sparkle, Starlight Glimmer, Spike, and Owlowiscious are working at sorting out the books at the Castle of the Two Sisters. While cleaning a shelf, Spike sneezes fire after inhaling some dust, nearly burning the books. Starlight becomes a bit upset, and while trying to calm her down, Twilight suggests Spike find a less-dusty part of the castle. Starlight and Twilight get into an argument on Twilight's friendship lessons, unaware that vines are starting to grow all around them, oblivious to Owlowiscious' hoots of warning. Spike similarly is unaware of the vines which populate empty suits of armor, and he races back to warn the mares. The vines quickly infect other parts of the castle, turning the stone gremlins seemingly alive and creating a golem of stone and vine that starts to attack them.
Twilight realizes the vines are after a book that Spike had found, and as Starlight holds them at bay, Twilight tries to understand why the book is important. She discovers the vines are feeding off their anger from their arguments, and to at least hold them off, they need to get along; at which point she can cast a spell from the book that will ward off the vines indefinitely. Starlight agrees, and after making up with Twilight, uses a growth spell on her, Spike, and Owlowiscious, allowing them to easily stop the vine-controlled objects long enough for Twilight to cast the spell. The vines quickly disperse away from the castle. Twilight shows Starlight that the book, written by Star Swirled the Bearded, was about all sorts of ferocious plants, and these vines, known as "Squirm-Spores", were part of a hive mind that fed off their anger, something that Star Swirled had figured out long ago after getting into a similar argument with Marvin the Manticore. The two agree to get back to the friendship lessons, and to avoid getting into similar arguments in the future.
Tropes appearing in this issue:
- Call-Back: The book is written by Star Swirl, and includes a similar rhyming spell that Twilight found from "Magical Mystery Cure".
- Continuity Nod:
- Early-Bird Cameo: Marvin the Manticore is mentioned in "The Journal of the Two Sisters" companion book to the series.
- Emotion Eater: The Squirm-Spores feed off of competitive hostility.
- Hate Plague: The Squirm-Spores' dust causes agitation in ponies, making Twilight and Starlight argue with each other.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: While under the influence of the Squirm-Spores, the outer edges of Twilight and Starlight's eyes turn red.