“Princess, I got your letter. You said you needed me to come to Canterlot right away, so here I am. Might I ask what this is about?” Sil asked as he approached Celestia’s throne in her council room.
“Yes. You may. However, I would very much like to speak with you about this later. You may stick around while I finish up my court.” Sil nodded and walked back out the doors. He figured he could take a walk in the Palace garden while he waited for the court sessions to end.
As Sil walked through the gardens, he looked at the different statues. All of ancient warriors and scholars, some of dangerous foes defeated by the Princesses in the past. Sil came to the corner of the garden, where there was a statue of a male unicorn wearing a cloak and looking straight ahead, almost as if he was watching the rest of the statues.
“Hello, Shadow. It’s been a while since I’ve visited you,” Sil said, sitting down next to the statue and staring off into the same direction. “You were the first of our family to perfect the Art of Illusion. You knew everything there was to know about it… even before Luna found you. I have spent years trying to even come close to your skill, but I just couldn’t without a proper teacher…”
“And now, you have one.” Sil looked up and saw Celestia flying down to meet with him.
“It will take some time for Luna to get used to being back, as well as the culture shock between now and 1000 years ago. She still thinks she should use the Royal Canterlot Voice on our subjects, even though I’ve told her I stopped using it 500 years ago. She will be spending a lot of time here on the palace grounds, more specifically in the Library, reading articles and literature to catch her up on the times. It’s how she’s always been, so punctual and proper. However, if you would like, I can ask her if she would like to have a second-in-command again. Don’t get me wrong, you will still do something I have in mind in Ponyville, but you will also be doing work for Luna.”
“That sounds nice,” Sil said, “Although, I would like to know both what I’ll be doing in Ponyville now as well as why Luna looks so much younger than what my family stories have described her as. They said she was close in size to you?”
“Indeed, and I can sense you have questions that only Luna can answer. Follow me, and you shall have a meeting with Luna.”
Sil walked with Celestia back through the gardens, and he saw off in the distance a new stained glass window being installed in Canterlot Tower. As Celestia and Sil arrived at a door to a room that Sil had never been to, Celestia knocked twice. The door opened, and Sil saw Princess Luna sitting behind a desk that had been made some time ago to match her night-themed office.
“This, Luna, is Silent Trail. He is a descendent of the Line of Shadow, your first personal student. He has already learned much Illusion magic, yet I feel that he may have a couple of things to improve under your guidance. Also, with your permission, I would ask that he continue his family’s legacy as your second-in-command in the Intelligence department. I have had him as the head of the Royal Intelligence Department for a couple years now, and he has done much for me. He is the best I’ve seen in a long while. Probably the best of his family since you have trained any. I believe he also has a couple of questions for you,” Celestia said as Luna nodded and turned to Sil.
“GREETINGS, SILENT TRAIL,” Luna started before Celestia cleared her throat at Luna. She quickly shrank back and then started again.
“Greetings, Silent Trail. We have seen much of thine profile already. Seems that thou hast quite the resume in the Academy that We established nearly 2000 years ago. We accept thou as Our second in command and look forward to working with thou. However, Celestia tells Us that thou will be stationed in Ponyville for the most part, so We shall set up a correspondence system for thou. Now, what are thine questions for Us?”
“First, I should like to know how you have seemingly decreased in age.”
“Very well. When We were overcome by the Nightmare, We were in a constant state of hibernation, otherwise We would have been tormented by Our own jealousy. However, it was not without cost. In order for the Nightmare to have power, it needed to sap from Our age. During the course of 1000 years, the Nightmare drained millennium of life from Us, leaving Us with all the memories but none of the acquired power. That is how We still remember thine ancestors. We were able to stop the aging process by occasionally breaking hibernation.”
“I understand. And with that last sentence, part of my assumptions gained some ground. Were you responsible for some of the Nightmare’s actions in the Everfree forest? I noticed that the Nightmare did some things that didn’t really seem like a big hindrance to the company.”
“Indeed, We had some control over the Nightmare’s path. Our first idea that We gave it was the thorn in the Manticore. We knew there was a caretaker among the Six. We knew that the caretaker’s kindness could be brought out were they given the chance. The second was fully ours with the Illusion Magic with the trees, as thou apparently figured out. It was after that trick that the Nightmare felt Our presence and pushed Us back into Our cell. As an added act of insult, the final stage the Nightmare tried to wreck the Element of Loyalty. As thou may have known, Our Elements were Honesty and Loyalty, whilst Celestia’s was Laughter, Generosity, and Kindness. We both embodied the Element of Magic. We were equal in magical abilities before Our banishment. As Celestia was the embodiment of the Majority of the Elements, and since We lost the Element of Loyalty when Jealousy took over, the Elements aided Celestia. However, since Honesty was still part of Us, Celestia could only banish the Nightmare, with Us in its captivity. Celestia knew that the Nightmare would not be safe to be simply banished somewhere else on this planet, but instead she sent it to the one place she knew that We could still survive, the Moon.”
“I… I understand. That is amazing. So you were trying to get the Elements to become aware of each other, and only through the Element of Magic could they be brought out, since that is what originally combined them?” Sil asked. Luna and Celestia nodded.
“Hast thou any other questions?”
“No, Princess. I have no other questions at this point in time.”
“Please, call Us Luna. Thine family served Us for generations before Our banishment. Thou shall be called ‘friend’ to Us,” Luna said. Sil nodded.
“Sil, there is yet another matter to attend to. As you know, Twilight is staying with her friends in Ponyville. I have foreseen many interactions that will not go well, and some of them being more dangerous than the next. Though not all of your days will be following them. Only do so when you see a potentially dangerous stranger come into town. Understood?”
“Understood, Princess. I will continue to disguise myself as Caramel and live in Ponyville to ensure the continued safety of the Elements.”