It was a clear and mild afternoon. As agreed by the terms, pegasii of both sides were to clear the area of any kind of weather, lest their side were found without honour. Everything about this day was a test, as if it were some mock exam of each side's right to fight. To any who dare sully the name of their queen would deem their's the guilty party of the war. It was by no means, a means in of itself to stop the war. But as both queens saw it, it would be a nice thing to know that they were indeed on the side of justice when the inevitable victory came. And then perhaps then, they can say to themselves that the deaths of so many ponies was worth the cause after all.
As tradition dictated they met on the field of battle with Canterlot due north of their position. Intruding upon neither's domain the two forces met, with the night coming from the west and the day to the east. In silence they both marched until they both stopped a respectable distance from the border. Once sufficient glaring was done and that both sides were certain no uncalled for hostilities were in order, the traditional parley began. The queens stepped out from their respective throngs to initiate the initial encounter. Luna, or rather Luna in her war-aspect of Nightmare moon, opted to stand with her ponies at the front rank with Trixie by her side. Matching step for step the pair began to walk the few hundred hoofs it took to get to the center of the divide.
At the same time Celestia reclined on a great raised dais-throne carried by six strong backed white stallions. Slowly and reverently they lowered themselves so that their empress could merely step to the ground and begin her walk. Princess Twilight Sparkle awaited her at the front of the army as they parted out of the way to give their empress free passage to meet with her champion. Each rank she passed the royal guard ponies would raise their halberds in salute and then neatly closed ranks behind her. Twilight met Celestia with a curt bow as she passed before her. Only until she was a whole hoof away did the champion finally follow.
Shrouded in the cloaking darkness of eternal night Luna and Trixie moved with solemn purpose, they looked only straight ahead locking eyes with their foe. Celestia took the brunt of their glares as if they dared to literally stare daggers into her. In retaliation Celestia sent out a silent command. Twilight's mighty horn began to glow invisible to but a few who knew how to see it. Trixie having matched her queen step for step was now struggling against an invisible hold, every part of her body felt resistance when the magic took hold. It was as if the gravity around her had drastically increased, forcing the little pony to drag herself across the field in the most undignified way. Despite everypony present knowing something was ahoof, the imperials merely looked on in indifferent pretence. The night side practically wanted to scream out great war cries by this affront to their champion. But as testimony to their discipline, they resisted their baser urges. Putting faith in their Trixie to do the right thing.
Trixie could see through mystified eyes Twilight's telekinesis at work. Seeing the obvious taunt for what it was, she opted to not be the first to attack. Instead Trixie warmed her horn with magic and began to dispel the faux-princess's work. Surrounding herself with her own sky coloured aura she pushed Twilight's lavender-pink aura back as if it were putty in her hoofs. Now free from the old mare's evil magic she began her work to make a mockery of her foe.
Twilight appreciated the feat for what it was, to be able to use telekinesis on a non-physical object was a rare skill. But she was not to be intimidated by a show pony foal's parlour tricks as she applied more power to her spell, pushing her aura more towards Trixie, despite the resistance. She knew the little one wanted to try to steal her spell and reverse the effect back onto her, using both her own power and her enemy's. Indeed a clever trick but by no means unavoidable for the greatest unicorn of several ages. For Trixie to achieve her feat, she would have to first overpower Twilight's spell. However now that Twilight has increased the strength of her magic, it was becoming a little too difficult to attempt with any degree of success.
Now locked in an invisible war of attrition the two champions battled for control for each other. With gritted teeth and locked horns they met. Ready to have it out right then and there. Until, of course, the command to relent came from each of their superiors. Exchanging quick disgruntled whinnies, they sat obediently next to their queen like the ponies of war they were. Trixie was glaring so hard as to will death to come for the tall celestially built purple unicorn. Twilight merely smirked with mirth so dark, the sadistic part of her soul exuded an aura all it's own.
"I see you are still playing with the same old protege, old sister." Luna took a moment to glance contemptuously to the empire's champion. A disgusted grimace forming on her face.
Celestia scoffed at the juvenile jab as she made to dramatically spread out her wings. As if hiding it within the fold of her wings, light flared out from the motion, banishing the darkness Luna wore. With the illusionary image of Nightmare moon removed, nothing was showing but a pitiful little child-mare. The night queen wearing her best war face for what seemed to Celestia as nothing more than a child's pouting face.
"At least my one is closer to a consenting age, filly fiddler." Luna bit her lip at that riposte of a retort. She was right, Trixie was still so young, with a mere fourteen autumns behind her she was the youngest of all before her to reach the title court magician and by extension Queen's champion. A mere child was thrust upon to face death so early in life.
But the power in this one was strong. Her hate and rage building up over the years, holding the grudge of generations on her back, Trixie, with all these things to drive her, had quickly become the greatest warrior in all the republic.
"I guess I learn from the best." Luna began admitting that she only took on the Trixies under her own wing because they rivalled that of Twilight sparkle. But she was not going to let this mimicry come off as mere flattery as she invoked the ancient name. "Molestia."
Celestia's flared with rage at that name. She opened her mouth with a ready retort but finally decided against it.
"Ten miles apart. We will all observe from there. I don't want any of your night fiends complaining foul play for Twilight Sparkle showing her full power." Celestia said simply, looking down on her champion who chuckled at the words. As if nostalgia had befallen both.
"To assure no such cheating occurs. I will also add that if any champion nears the range of any side, the army is free to attack with ranged weaponry. We don't want your puny little unicorns to be eviscerated in the fray of combat now." Luna spoke out, jabbing at the way the empire's military was so pathetic in close quarters compared to the heavily earth pony republic. The night mares shared a sadistic grin as if remembering a particular massacre out of so many others.
"Agreed." Celestia said simply before speaking some parting words to her champion and teleporting away. Luna did likewise but unlike Twilight, Trixie did not give her queen a response as she focused hard on the foe she wanted to face for so many years.
The moment Luna vanished from sight, both unicorns jumped back from each other for distance while they prepared their magic.