Escorted by the night guards, the group of former homunculi were led into the most glorious throne room they have laid their eyes on. Greed and Gluttony were visibly impressed as they looked around at the fine scenery. Wrath and Lust were able to keep a calm and composed demeanor while they trotted with everypony else. Sloth and Envy were both ready to drop at any given moment with how tired they were.
They were eventually stopped in their tracks by the guards that led them "Alright, just wait around this area until the princesses show up. They won't be long." One of them said.
Greed turned his attention to the guard that spoke with a grin "In that case, why not leave us alone for a bit? We're all adults here, even that one over there!" He pointed his hoof at Gluttony, who giggled furiously at all of the shiny objects around the throne room.
Another guard glared "We'll do no such thing! You cannot be trusted by yourselves on these grounds! For all we know, you could be treasonous felons!"
Greed rolled his eyes at the guards "Can't blame a guy for trying..."
Wrath narrowed his open eye at Greed "Don't be rude, Greed. We've only gotten so far like this. I will not let you louse this up for us all!"
The avaricious pony held up his hooves in a placating manner "Okay, okay! Gimme a break, will ya? I'm just antsy to meet the princesses is all..." He couldn't help himself a lecherous grin while he was lost in thought 'I'll bet this Celestia chick is hot...'
Lust nodded to Wrath "Knowing Envy's condition, it's one less problem to worry about if we're to act in a civilized manner." She turned to Gluttony "Gluttony, I want you to behave yourself while we're here. Understand?"
The voracious pony looked up and nodded to Lust with a wide smile "Mhmm!"
Envy moaned again while it laid on Sloth's back "My head...Now I know how you feel every day, Sloth. It sucks to be you in so many ways!"
Sloth only looked down as he plopped his haunches on the marble floor. There was a small shake when he sat himself down, and everypony present turned to him "Carrying luggage is a pain..." He lifted his head upwards "...You're heavy, Envy...Get off of me..." This would be considered the first time Sloth was ever sarcastic towards his brethren.
Envy managed a weak glare at the indolent pony "Up yours, Sloth..."
Hoofsteps were heard, and the group turned to the throne room entrance to see two figures enter through the doorway. The guards instantly bowed when they recognized who entered through. The first one was Luna, who held the same serious gaze from when they first met at the castle gates as she trotted forward.
The second one was taller than the Princess of the Night, and was in fact coated in precious ivory. Her horn was taller, Her wings bigger, and though her mane moved in the same nonexistent breeze, it paled in comparison to Luna's in being more bright and colorful. She rubbed her magenta eyes and got a good look at the group of former homunculi as she trotted to her throne. This must be the one called Celestia.
Greed couldn't help but gawk at her figure 'Sheesh, was I right...I wonder if I'll have the luck of getting on her good side!' A slight nudge snapped him out of his train of thought when Wrath gave Greed a stern glance.
Luna couldn't help but gaze at Wrath while she trotted and noticed he maintained a stoic, yet formal expression of his own. Something about that pony compelled the princess to make sure he does not cause any trouble. She felt uneasy ever since she sensed his rage and couldn't shake the feeling away at all.
When the two regal figures reached their respective thrones, they sat down in a polite fashion and focused their attention on the group in front of them while the guards stood by diligently. Wrath and Lust gave a formal bow to the princesses, and Gluttony followed after once he saw the lascivious mare bow. Greed, Envy, and Sloth were the only ones that didn't bow. The avaricious pony instead waved with a cocky smirk "Hello, ladies! How's it going?"
Wrath opened one of his wings and nicked at Greed's left foreleg. The avaricious pony grunted in pain and kneeled on his good leg, then shot a glare towards Wrath "Bastard..." he hissed.
Celestia saw this act and chuckled to herself. She didn't mind much formality towards visitors even if she was a princess. But this particular group of ponies caught her eye and made her wonder as she gradually woke herself up. She turned to Luna "So these are the ones that wish to speak to us, Luna? Who are they exactly?"
Luna looked back at her older sister "These ponies hail from afar and wish to seek guidance from ourselves. We are aware that the elderly pegasus goes by the names of Wrath and King Bradley. We think nary a pleasant thought on the ebony unicorn's manners..."
Greed looked up and gave a light sneer at the Princess of the Night "I can hear you, you know. I happen to be a well-mannered guy once you get to know me..." He paused, and then he spoke again "Aren't there supposed to be three of you??"
Luna looked at Greed with her expression unchanged "If thou art referring to Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, she shall enjoy her rest with her beloved. You shalt have the royal authority of us, our sister, and nothing more!"
The avaricious pony noticed the tone of Luna's voice and scoffed "Was just curious, is all..."
Celestia gave a look at Greed and hummed in thought. The princess couldn't help but wonder there was something special about the avaricious pony despite his appearance. She then turned to the whole group "Would you be so kind as to address yourselves to us, please?"
Greed looked at Celestia and smirked. He stood proud and held up a hoof like he would a fist "The name's Greed!"
Lust gave a short curtsey before she introduced herself "My name is Lust...Pleased to meet you."
Gluttony hopped up and grinned at Celestia "I'm Gluttony!"
Sloth and Envy remained silent while the indolent pony sat in front of the princesses with Envy on his back. Greed cleared his throat "Er, the big guy's Sloth, and the one on his back is Envy..."
Celestia looked at Envy and held a sympathetic expression "Oh my...That pony needs attention."
Wrath rose and nodded "Yes, for some odd reason, Envy seemed to be gradually weakened in our travels from our previous destination. We figured that you would be kind enough to give us the lay of the land and perhaps direct us to a hospitable area around Canterlot..."
The solar princess poked her chin "I see...and where exactly do you hail from?"
Wrath looked down and sighed. Given the current circumstances, there was no point in telling that he and the others hailed from another life. He raised his head and spoke "Believe it or not...we all have emerged from this place known as Tartarus...Have you heard of it perhaps?"
Both princesses and the guards in the room all shared the same look of shock and confusion. Celestia thought she was hearing things since she woke up not too long ago "Forgive my hearing, but...did you just say you and the others emerged from the Gates of Tartarus?"
Wrath gave a curt nod "Yes, and out of reasons unknown, no less. We valiantly fought our way out and found ourselves nearby this city. We were wondering if-"
At the sound of Luna's call, the guards present surrounded the group of former homunculi and pointed their spears as they glared. The surrounded ponies looked around slightly threatened, and Greed turned to Wrath with a deadpan stare "So much for formality..." He looked back at the princesses "What's the big idea, anyway? Is Tartarus THAT bad or something?"
Luna rose from her throne and glared down at the group of convicted ponies "Thou hath claimed that thou emerged from the Gates of Tartarus! Only the most unspeakable evils take refuge in that forbidden place, and nopony could possibly escape without fending off Cerberus!"
Greed raised an eyebrow "Is that the name of that one dog? Cuz we kicked its ass pretty hard!" He grinned "Sloth here managed to finish the job, too!"
Sloth was unphased by the sudden surround by the guards, but he knew that he would have to fight soon enough "What a pain..."
Celestia never thought she would hear all of this from a group of ponies. She wanted to believe that they were lying, but the look on Wrath's face proved otherwise. But then she remembered what he had said before "You claimed that you appeared into Tartarus out of reasons unknown?"
Wrath was able to keep calm despite being surrounded by a group of ponies brandishing weapons "Yes. It may seem like I'm lying, but I speak the truth. If its any consolation, we mean you no harm..."
Greed glared at one of the guards "They aren't gonna listen to us, Wrath! They're either gonna try to kill us or lock us up!"
The furious pony ignored Greed and continued "Please understand, princesses...We have particularly no knowledge of this place and only wish to know how to adapt to your culture."
Celestia focused her attention on Wrath "You make it sound as if all of you weren't born in Equestria..."
Gluttony stared at one of the guards pointing a spear at him. He leaned his head towards the spear's point and sniffed at it, then opened his wide maw to eat the whole blade of the spear. This startled the guard as he bounded away from the voracious pony while he chewed up and swallowed his meal.
Lust turned to Gluttony and sighed "Gluttony, I told you to behave..."
Gluttony kicked at the floor with a foreleg as he hung his head down in shame "I was hungry..."
Celestia was as startled as the guard when she noticed Gluttony eating the end of a spear like a mere snack. This could not be real for a pony to eat an inanimate object. Luna was equally startled "Art thou some kind of monster!?"
Gluttony looked up at Luna and shook his head innocently "No. I'm a homunculus!" He then stuck out his tongue "Thee?" he then looked at his tongue to notice that his Ouroboros tattoo wasn't resting on it "Huh? Wew ith it?" Lust tapped Gluttony on the shoulder and earned his attention. She then pointed to his flank to show that the tattoo was right there. The voracious then smiled to himself "Oh, there it is!"
Celestia was intrigued by this "So you claim to be a homunculus..."
Greed held up a hoof "Not just him, your grace! All of us as well! We're all homunculi!" He then looked at himself and felt a small mixture of anger and embarrassment "Well, we USED to be until we've become ponies..."
The solar princess nodded her head "I see...and you all claim to appear in Tartarus out of unknown circumstance?"
Wrath nodded once more as he spoke "We would gain nothing from lying to you, your majesty. We only escaped so that we may pursue new lives in this world. Could you find it in your heart to set us free?"
She then held a calm expression once more and thought for a moment until she finally came to a conclusion "While your words are true, I'm afraid I cannot allow you all to roam free." Wrath's eye narrowed at this while the princess continued "However, I also cannot give proper judgement so late at night. Therefore, I shall send you all to the dungeon so that I may discuss your sentence the following morning..."
Luna and Greed blurted out in unison "What!?"
Wrath looked up and smiled despite the harsh decision "I'm glad to see that you would be so merciful on us like this...I was beginning to think that you were going to execute us."
Celestia returned Wrath's smile with one of her own "You should be so lucky. I'm actually very tired, so of course I cannot think straight." She held a hoof to her mouth and gave a silent yawn.
Luna turned to Celestia with an incredulous expression "Sister! Surely thou are not serious about this!? These ponies must be sent back from whence they came!!"
Celestia looked at her younger sister with a calm expression "Luna, they've claimed that they mean no harm. We can easily send them back if they prove otherwise..."
Greed felt his heart stop for a moment after he heard Celestia 'Is she serious??' He felt a cold sweat on his forehead while he tried to maintain his composure.
Celestia rose from her throne "If all is done here, I'll retire to my chambers and await your presence in the morning with some 'extra company'..." she added the last words with a serious tone "This audience is over. Good night to you, my little ponies..." She then chuckled "Well, minus Sloth, of course..." The princess then trotted away.
Luna was baffled to think her own sister would grant escapees from Tartarus a chance before actually judging them. If it was her decision, she would have sent them back in a heartbeat. The Princess of the Night turned to the group of former homunculi with a glare "Be warned, homunculi...thou art lucky to have the pardon of our sister for the time being, but know that thou shalt be monitored just in case any of thou wish to cause havoc of any kind!"
Lust stifled a giggle 'Havoc...haven't heard that name in a while...' She then gave a formal bow to the princess "We understand..."
Luna was silent upon Lust's reply, but then waved her hoof to the guards "To the dungeon with them!" The guards then roughly escorted the group out of the throne room.
Greed was still inwardly bothered at Celestia's words from before 'Are they THAT powerful? Can they actually send us back to that place?' He then shook his head 'More importantly, why was she looking at me like that??' The avaricious pony then put on an unamused face 'I dunno what this world is like, but maybe I was wrong about it being cool...' He continued to think to himself while being guided to his new cell. Thankfully, it won't be like the one he woke up in as a pony.