• Published 11th Sep 2019
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Twilight's Nightmare - Nightsclaw

Twilight in her most desperate of moments, issues a cry for help. She was not expecting the Nightmare to be her saviour.

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CH 37.2 Evening Fair the Mane Event

The subtle chime of her alarm spell politely demanded Luna's attention. Regretfully she ended her game of fetch with her faithful Tantabus. Rising she left the starlit magnificence of her lonely, fortified, Bastion. The place that once held hundreds or maybe thousands of her friends.

As most of her senses returned to the physical, she slowly opened her eyes. The blessed silence of her Canterlot chambers revealed themselves in the vibrant shades and subtle hues of utter darkness only thestral eyes could appreciate.

Reflexively she reached out for her treasured moon. It still slept peacefully beneath the horizon. It was a few hours earlier than she would usually wake. Not that normal has applied since the Manehatten attack.

Luna forlornly traced a hoof over the empty space beside her. Her bed felt lonely, cold and desolate. It was a vast wasteland, easily large enough for half a dozen ponies. With just herself, it felt nearly as barren as her moon had likely been during her exile.

Her mind carefully backed away from considering the torment of one thousand years of isolation. She couldn't afford the distraction. Not with having to divide her attention between the physical, the dreamers and the dying. She was truly glad she could not remember any of it. That was perhaps the one kindness to come from her mind needing to be purged. Everything that drove her to Nightmare Moon removed.

The same mare that was now with Twilight. No, Cadance has vouched for her under her authority of being the Princess of Love. Nightmare’s heart at least was in the right place.

She sighed heavily, the action silent in her enchanted room. In a way, she was envious of her most recent Chosen. Candice enjoyed more time with both Twilight and Little Star than she did. Luna schooled her expression, also putting aside the other reason for her envy. The fact that both Candice and Twilight had the pleasure of mental companionship.

Luna could only wonder how things were inside Twilight's Bastion. At some point, she was going to have to follow Cadance’s suggestion to request to visit her betrothed’s most sacred of sanctums. You could learn everything about a pony if you spent long enough in their Bastion.

Despite the impulsive decision to elevate Candice to her Chosen the same evening she had sworn herself to the Night, it was proving to bear more than satisfactory results. Both Candice’s and Insight’s training were proceeding well. They were both surpassing expectations, each in their own way. Candice proving a warrior with a most tenacious spirit. Insight demonstrated kindness, generosity and was tremendously resilient.

Closing her eyes again, Luna let her sense drift. Right there at the edge of her mental perception, where her four Chosen. She had promised herself she would craft more of them. Her mind faithfully summoned the images of the best possibilities. All her Nightguard, a few of her dedicated servants as well as some ponies that genuinely appreciated her nights. Each of them had offered everything they were, everything they ever would be, to her.

Perhaps she would hold a tournament and see who was the most worthy? Or mayhaps, she would start with whoever took her fancy first. The idea almost made her cackle with glee just thinking how Celestia would react to her casually elevating random ponies.

Putting that moment of humour aside, she rose from her bed. Hundreds of years of practise and her potent earth pony muscles adding impossible grace to such a simple motion. Her hooves were silent as they settled on the hard floor and would have been even without the magics within her room.

Less than a flicker of her attention was enough to suppress the enchantments that allowed her to sleep. The utter darkness and total silence receded. The glare of what little sunlight that managed to creep through the heavy blackout curtains forced Luna’s slit eyes to narrow. The hustle and bustle of the last few day servants making haste to finish their duties assaulted her ears. Each one was eager to head home to their friends or family. A few were talking about their plans for the night, some romantic, others just seeking enjoyable leisure. A small smile formed on her muzzle. The fact that even some of the day ponies found joy in her night still brought her some pleasure.

Her ethereal mane snaked out, reaching for the bell to summon her body servants. As always, they responded almost immediately. They followed her as she strode towards her personal bath. She had made sure the two thestrals were exceptionally well trained. She let her eyes trail over them as she considered. Perhaps not all her chosen needed to be combatants? To have Night Blossom’s and Moon Flower’s service and companionship for longer would be a delight and a privilege. It would require a change in the law to work if she told anypony.

Luna let them guide her into the expertly prepared bath. The feeling of the water soaked into her coat, she spread her wings relishing the luxurious sensation of the water as it seeped between the feathers. This luxury, while appropriate, could easily make a pony go soft. She held in the chuckle as she considered her sister’s oversized flanks, while many would see them as attractive, they proved Celestia more familiar with reclining with cake rather than personally protecting her realm with her physical abilities.

For now, she could add a Dreamwatch branch to her guard. If how Insight was taking to being her shepherd was any indication, perhaps more ponies could be trusted. Insight could even become the Leader of such a branch. In years to come, she could also add it as a mark of her favour to artists and performers? To think what some of her ponies could create if they have a century or two longer life.

If she did it as a ritual, she could do it more efficiently. She could perhaps bless a dozen at once and be fully recovered within the moon. It was very tempting, who should she pick? For a start, there was Blossom and Flower. She should also pick some of her Nightguard to elevate, two seconds to be assigned under each of her captains should suffice for that.

That would leave her four more places. An image of two mares, a white unicorn and a charcoal grey earthpony came to mind. Both were talented performers whose music she had many times appreciated. Their dedication and mastery of their art did them credit. Moondancer would make an excellent addition as a historian or scholar, and mayhaps she could be taught to dance toot.

That would leave one. Luna pondered for a moment letting her eyes roam around the room. A title on her bookshelf caught her eyes, ‘Daring Do and the Forbidden City of Clouds’. That mare’s adventures were a joy to read. She was an impressive mare. She had ability, determination. With the service she provided to the crown, becoming a chosen would be nothing more than a just reward. Many a time she had stopped artefacts and ancient evil magics getting into the wrong hooves. Would the next book be ‘Daring Do and the Princess’s offer’?

Luna let her eyes fall closed, and her mind drifted in thought, going through everything she knew about the various meetings and investigations that would be taking place tonight. Over half of them were subtle petitions for her to lend Twilight some of the wisdom of her years. She knew their fears. All they really wanted was for her to rein in the younger princess. To think they were coming to her, who they once feared as a monster, because of the few fully justified actions Twilight had taken.

She hummed in consideration after she had completed her mental review of facts. Her servants seemed to be paying extra attention to their task this night. As pleasant as it was, it was unexpected. She reached out to the heavens checking the time. It was six minutes after their duties would have normally been finished. That was unlike them.

Her servants opened yet another bottle of liquid and began applying the contents with expert hooves. The rich and expensive scents of the rarest Night flowers pleasantly reached her. Some of them only bloomed once a century.

“Prey tell, has there been a change in our schedule?” Luna politely enquired. She had every faith in all her ponies. Each was investigated thoroughly before she personally offered them their positions. These two would not waste something so difficult to acquire without due cause. Unless they were impostors, and she highly doubted impostors could have fooled her for this long. They held not the slightest fear of discovery, or of her.

“Sovereign,” the silken voice started. “We have been informed your Nightly itinerary is at Princess Twilight’s pleasure.”

Luna raised an eyebrow. “We wonder what she has planned.” She knew that Twilight was up to something, her Nightgarud had informed her of that much. It would have been so easy to get the answer and spy on the younger Alicorn, but no, she restrained herself. Twilight had asked her not to, and as Cadance said, she would treat Twilight as an equal and tend to more emotional needs first. Violating her trust by peeking at the surprise would not be a good foundation for the eternity she was hoping to share with her.

Just the thought of how sister dearest would react to her faithful student ‘abusing’ her power like this caused an amused smirk.

Luna relaxed in the water again, letting her eyes close as she surrendered fully to her servants’ pleasant ministrations. They clearly had royal orders, even if they were not her own.

Luna could not remember the last time she had looked so resplendent. If there was even a single hair of her coat out of place, she could not find it. Her body servants had even arranged for a high-level spell to maintain their work, she could go flying and dance with tornados, and still, her appearance would be immaculate.

They efficiently guided her to the chariot hanger. Before her stood two lines of her thestrals, each dressed in their parade armour. She smiled, taking in the still fully capable battle gear, unlike that of the Dayguard's dress armour. Everything was polished to perfection. She could not remember seeing them looking so professional. Well if you discounted the pleased fanged smiles and twinkles in their slit eyes. They knew something.

Shadow Lance, her thestral Night Chosen stood holding out a lavender strip of fabric. “Princess Twilight requests you wear this until you arrive at our destination.”

“A surprise?” Luna smiled. It had been a long time since she had willingly denied herself one of her senses. By the enigmatic smiles of her guards, she knew she would like whatever activities Twilight had arranged for her. “Very well, we will play along.”

Perhaps we will not need to pretend to appreciate whatever dear Twilight has arranged.

Flying through the air on her chariot blindfolded was a new experience, not one Luna was finding herself enjoying. She kept her wings slightly spread so she could feel the motion of the wind. A blindfold felt very different than merely having her eyes closed. Even with the rest of her senses, too many things could take advantage of it and attack her.

Her long honed instincts screamed at her. The need to do something, anything, to protect herself rising. Luna controlled herself, not allowing anything to show.

She had a lot of self-mastery thanks to her inability to create fragments. She had to tend to every single dreamer herself. Anything from fighting Eldritch Nightmare abominations, to granting a dying soul’s wish for a final carnal encounter. There were often many dozens of scenes she had to pay attention to, all without showing a single reaction in the physical world or letting the events in one affect how she acted in another. True, many dreams she could just start in the right direction and leave them be, but with how many sentient beings were out there, there was more than enough that required a truly personal touch.

Without her Mask, Celestia could not even come close to Luna’s mastery over herself. Her dearest sister had become far too dependent on her Mask and Warmind. Anytime anything came up she did not wish to deal with she simply passed it off to one of those two. She was weak despite how much power she held.

Luna let her mind drift from thoughts of her sister back to a certain lavender mare. The sour note being replaced with ones far sweeter. Twilight was taking to flexing her royal power. Striking against the corrupted nobles that Celestia would never have touched, issuing royal decreases and freely demonstrating her power for all to see. This was not the slightly timid, easily flustered sun-worshipping meek librarian turned princess she used to be. How much of this was the Nightmare’s doing? How much was simply Twilight taking a stand and refusing to be anypony’s tool or puppet? Either way, it was most appealing.

The air currents shifted around her. The scents of the Everfree carried on the winds, and the changes in air pressure easily announced them drawing closer to their destination. Ponyville, unless Twilight has decided to do something at her old castle.

The blazing surge of unicorn magic they were approaching resonated with Twilight's power. She had to be the most unbalanced Alicorn in history. ‘They’ would not have allowed one like that to finish their ascension. Luna banished the dark thoughts of the past and focused on the emotions in her betrothed’s magic.

Twilight’s magic was eager and almost giddy with anticipation. A strong undercurrent of pride and desire swirled in the younger Alicorn’s magic as it brushed against Luna’s own. Luna smiled as the tingling caress welcomed her.

The first few notes of a familiar tune reached her. Luna’s ears perked up, attentive, focusing in on the sounds. It was full of familiar passion and good cheer. The voices of the different instruments swirled and danced together in the harmony of the performance. It was as unmistakable as it was unexpected.

Luna felt a faint smile on her face, and she did nothing to hide it. Control be damned, she was not going to be some cold stone statue of a mare, not for Twilight’s surprise.

Fond memories started to stir, seeking to take over Luna’s perceptions. Quickly, she set about her more spiritual duties. Things were left so they should survive a few hours without her. A moment's mental effort was all it took to dispatch the Tantabus to Insight, assigning her the task of watching and providing companionship for the few that would never wake again. The first time she was trusting her to such a duty unsupervised, was doing it just now Luna misusing her power? Or was it honestly earned trust and confidence in Insight’s abilities?

This music had more energy and life than anything the tradition-bound nobles of Canterlot would ever listen to, yet did not sound as alien to her as the modern offerings that could make her body want to move. As good as it was, Vinyl’s music was still a little jarring to her senses.

Recollections filled her mind’s eye. Memories of a grand fair, of running around, carefree before her own journey of accession started.

She let herself sway to the rhythm, tail swishing back and forth. The other sounds began crafting a vivid painting in her mind. The sharp ring of metal clanged angst metal. Hooves impacted against the ground, some dancing others moving to a more determined beat. Hundreds of ponies celebrated, played and competed down below. Foals cheered about what prizes they would win with just one more shot. A small argument of whether the cuddly Luna or Twilight was the better trophy broke out.

Luna wanted to be down there now. She needed to see with her own eyes what Twilight had arranged for her. She shifted on her hooves, her wings tensed as they prepared to launch her under her own power. She could have been there in mere seconds. The few minutes left of the flight felt far longer, more like hours, despite her connection to the moon insisting on telling her exactly how long it had been.

She knew it would be trivial to scry and observe what was going on. Even if there would be no chance of Twilight noticing, she would not allow herself even to attempt it. Doing so would violate the implied request she had granted by donning the blindfold. Perhaps it was a test. Twilight did have many a year learning under Celestia after all. No, as tempted as she was, this would be a far better experience if the grand reveal proceeded as her betrothed had planned.

The carriage floor suddenly plummeted, Luna simply increased the strength of her grip-field. She enjoyed the novel sensation of the blind descent under another’s control. Her pegasus instincts wanted her to flair her wings, but she was not going to show any signs that might be seen as fear. She was the Princess of the Night and would at least keep that part of her image intact.

Such a rapid descent could only mean one thing. They were coming in for one of her Nightguard’s typical high speed and apparently reckless landings. A few gasps burst from below, the next instant, the chariot slammed into the ground. The substantial impact shot up her legs, having little effects on her Alicorn body. Her conveyance came to a complete stop in under a second. Not quite the tightest combat landing they could perform, but certainly was impressive feet to achieve without destroying the chariot.

The sounds of the crowd of ponies had quieted somewhat, and even without being able to see, Luna could feel many eyes upon her.

Despite the blindfold, it was impossible not to know exactly where Twilight was. Even discounting the blazing inferno her magic had become, her unique scent and hammering heartbeats were enough to pinpoint her precisely.

“Luna.” Twilight breathed, the mere whisper heavily laced with desires.

Elegantly she dismounted her conveyance and gracefully made her way towards Twilight. Each motion was another chance to show off for her betrothed. She placed her hooves perfectly, each stride a fluid ripple of her Alicorn body. Her earthpony magic effortlessly warned her of any imperfections in the unpaved natural ground. She knew it would seem almost like she was gliding across the ground, a divine being not quite physical like the rest of them.

The many whispers and murmurs from the crowd added to the air of anticipation. Unlike in Canterlot their hushed comments were not doubting or fearing her. Some were worried, yes, but they were mostly troubled over how she would take things, if she would like them. The only fear she could feel from the crowd was that she might have a negative reaction.

“Luna, I'm so glad you decided to accept my invitation,” Twilight said in an attempt at formality.

Luna felt an amused little smile form on her face. “Well, when somepony uses a royal decree to cancel all of my appointments, tis not like we had anything better to do.”

Twilight let out a little giggle, and just like that, her decorum was immediately forgotten. She leaned closer, her breath brushing Luna’s ear. “Well, this will be infinitely more enjoyable than anything else you could have been doing tonight.” The sultry voice that whispered was as much Twilight’s as the Nightmare’s.

“Art thou trying to seduce us, young Twilight?” She whispered back.

“Not yet.” Twilight’s few words seemed to promise so much. Despite not being able to see, Luna just knew Nightmare’s smirk was on that lavender muzzle.

Luna felt Twilight's magic wrap around the blindfold. Its warmth tenderly caressed her face as the fabric was slowly removed. Twilight’s sparkling magenta eyes met hers. An ancient intensity mixed with a much younger passion. Luna recognised the Nightmare and Sweet Dreams if she was not mistaken, both of them fully supporting Twilight. With the three of them staring longingly into her eyes, Luna almost lost herself in those deep windows to the soul.

Twilight let out a near-silent joyful laugh. She moved her wing between them, breaking the moment. The beatific smile stopped any anger Luna might have had for Twilight's action.

Luna chided herself. She had fallen for a basic trick of thestral magic, their enchanting gaze. She was not some school filly ready to fall for any thestral because of erotic fantasies of vamponies.

She had to admit there was a certain novelty in experiencing it from day adapted eyes. And Twilight's eyes were certainly captivating, even without magic. She was unaware such a feat could be performed without manifesting slitted night-aspected pupils.

Twilight's wing continued its graceful movement lightly brushing Luna's face before sweeping out in a familiar grandiose gesture, guiding her gaze to the surroundings. Luna let her eyes follow.

Luna could not readily place where she was. Everything around her was in her own and Twilight’s colours. Banners and flags fluttered in the breeze. She was utterly speechless. If it were not for her long training at proper decorum, her jaw would likely have been hanging open.

If it were not for the fact she recognised some of the ponies belonging in modern times, she would have thought she was losing herself in her memories, like her sister often did.

Luna swept her gaze around in awe. Hundreds of ponies were celebrating. This whole event was dedicated to her and Twilight. Their cutiemarks were everywhere, and there were even little plushie versions of both of them available for prizes at some of the foal’s games.

Luna’s nose twitched, she noticed her head was turning a moment before the enticing scent registered in her brain. Her eyes narrowed, fixed on the impossibility floating before her in Twilight's aura. “How?”

Twilight smiled her enthralling smile. Her voice answering rich with confidence and silken with promised intimacy. “Do you think we would allow anything to prevent us from making this date perfect for you?”

Twilight leaned close, nuzzling and inhaling. A small approving hum emanating from the lavender Alicorn. Suddenly all the extra preparations her body servants had lavished upon her made sense. Twilight turned trailing a wing delightfully along Luna’s side. It took her many years of mastering her self-control not to let her wings embarrass her before everypony.

By the sounds of more feathers cutting the air suddenly, some watching ponies did not have the same control. Apparently, they found the idea of two princesses appealing. Mentally she complimented their good tastes. How many dreams will I be seeing with the pair of us? She thought with amusement.

“Come," Twilight commanded with a purr. "There is so much for you to see.”

Luna turned and followed, half a step behind Twilight taking in everything. Including the sexy little sway to her flanks Twilight displayed for the first few strides. How had she forgotten how much of a tease she could be, and with Nightmare helping Twilight?

For the first time since she arrived, Luna let herself truly look over the whole of Twilight. Her natural beauty was almost completely unadorned. Only the heavy golden necklace with its single gem. The artefact she had casually created to help contain Nova’s power and overwhelming passions.

Even with how appealing the mare before her was, it could not fully hold her attention. Not when competing with the current surroundings. This was like nothing she had seen in the modern age. Everything looked like it had jumped out of the history pages, from the time that she still felt she belonged in.

The star-shaped treat floated closer to her muzzle, demanding her attention. Luna slowly bit into it, the hard surface breaking, yielding its soft core. Flavours she thought she would never experience again exploded across her tongue.

She bit down the moan that wished to escape her as she savoured the experience. She had not had anything that had even come close to this foalhood treat in the many years she had been back. Her dear, sometimes selfish, sister Celestia had only cared to preserve a few of her favoured cake recipes and no other foods from their shared past.

A single tear threatened to escape as her eyes glistened. She did not even consider what she might look like as she took a second sampling as it still floated in her betrothed’s magic.

They walked on, and Luna could start to identify where they were. Behind all the decorations, she would make out the familiar structures of Ponyville. The town had been completely transformed.

Music played as ponies ate, drank, joked, played and competed. Jousting, pegasus aerial contests, earth pony gauntlets of strength and unicorn duels. If only the Grand Galloping Gala could be replaced with a celebration like this.

Refreshingly, none of the competitors stopped, and those who spectated only spared her respectful nods. There was no bowing, no scraping.

This was almost exactly like the tourneys of old. Unlike so many other events she had been to, here, now, she felt liked she belonged. With how the ponies of Ponyville were acting, she felt accepted. It was wondrous. Luna did not even try to hide the joyous grin on her face. “Twilight...”

Luna's words were cut off, silenced by soft lips meeting her own. The kiss tasted just like the star confectionary but somehow far more delicious. Luna felt the breeze catching in her unexpectedly flared wings. She was advertising her interest to everypony in line of sight. She did not care. She leaned into this kiss, seeking, needing to deepen it.

Soft feathers brushed her cheek as Twilight pulled back. With a sly smirk, she mouthed ‘later’. Luna licked her lips, savouring the taste. She would definitely be looking forward to this ‘later’.

Not until your marriage Aunty Cadance’s reproachful voice intruded upon her mind.

Luna did not groan, nor growl or stomp her hoof in irritation. Well, at least that’s what she told herself despite what her senses informed her. Ah, dear Cadance. What are you doing here? Luna responded deliberately keeping the frustration out of mental tone.

Two reasons, the first to keep you and Twilight in check, the second is because where else do you think Twilight would get more ponies experienced with the old ways.

Luna looked around taking in the scene again, yes there was a lot of crystal ponies here. If her quick glance proved representative, there would be over a hundred of them. Most of them seemed to be part of the Cystalgauyrd. So that’s how it is, it seems that there is more at stake in this contest than fun.

“Captain.” Luna paused long enough to make sure she had one of her chosen’s attention “Our guard is to fall out and partake in this tourney. See to it that our guard know we are expecting them to make a good accounting here.”

Striker nodded “Yes, my Sovereign.” Luna could hear the smile in his voice, likely his fangs were showing. She had the utmost faith her guards would both have fun and not disappoint her. It would do well to let the Crystalguard learn they were not the only competent force left.

In mere moments the number of Nightguards enjoying the celebration doubled. Some teleported in. Others merely stepped out from there places of concealment. A few blatantly flowed out of the shadows just to show off.

Now their numbers were at least getting close to matching the number of Crystalguards. She was thinking of holding a tournament to see which of them she would make her Chosen. Now the rivalry between the two guard forces would make the contest far more engaging and meaningful to watch.

In a blur of pink, Pinkie Pie rushed past pulling several large items from nowhere. Slamming them into the ground, she quickly added a second scoreboard to each event, one only for the civilians and the second one included the guard ponies. The scoreboard had Luna’s mark, Twilight’s, Cadance’s, the Wonderbolt’s symbol and most strangely Blueblood’s.

The fact that Twilight did not seem to mind, nor react to Blueblood’s inclusion begged the question when did their relationship improve. Luna dropped that chain of thought. She could always ask another night.

Luna’s eyes followed the party mare as she performed yet another feat that should be impossible for a common earth pony. Almost nopony paid any attention to the antics of the town’s party planner. Well, nopony apart from Luna’s daughter and friends.

Little Star, Applebloom and Sweetie Belle flitted from rooftop to rooftop, making use of spell granted butterfly-like wings. Scootaloo flew with the majestic wings Twilight’s healing had granted and showing the superiority of pegasus wings over any unicorn flight magic.

They took position peering around a chimney, spying on the Element of Laughter. They were making a reasonably successful attempt at stealth. Perhaps the Cutie Mark Crusaders might become her daughter's guards or advisors in the years to come.

The colourful butterfly-like wings flashed in the air as the chase resumed. Luna recalled the friendship report that had been generated from Rarity being a little too enamoured with how beautiful those wings could be. Not that they could even come close to the allure of Twilight’s very real wings.

Another brush of colour darted after them, flying erratically as if new to the air. A wooden owl, wings alight with Little Star’s magenta magic clumsily trailed after its creator through the air.

She would have to get a closer look at that marvellous creation later. Pride swelled in her chest. Her daughter was achieving such feats even as such a young age. Just to think, what she might be able to do in a decade's time.

Luna turned her attention back to the festivities around her. She would have been happy just watching this event. Being in it, walking amongst her ponies, made it so much better. Even if this were the extent of Twilight plans for the evening, she would remember this for years.

She let her gaze find her host again. Having Twilight right here, well that just made things interesting. Now if only she could get rid of Cadance for a few days. Twilight adjusted her tail, and her wings added just enough sway to her motions to subtly enhance how enticing she was.

Since when was Twilight a mare that could or would move like that? Luna thought. Twilight just smiled knowingly as Luna let her eyes sweep over her.

Twilight went back to pretending not to notice the effect her little display was having on Luna and the surroundings ponies both. She guided Luna around the fair showing everything off.

Her eyes trailed along Twilight's body and settled upon the only thing she was wearing. The heavy golden necklace, an item that was there for a purpose, not just as decoration or a symbol. Luna suddenly felt decidedly over adorned.

Without even breaking stride, Luna slipped out of her shoes. At her command, each of them sank though their own shadow and faded from existence. Twilight was to be her equal, her bride, if she wore no crown neither would Luna. Her aura lifted her crown from her head. With a flick, she tossed it to one of her Nightguard leaving only her peytral around her neck.

The feeling of the bare earth beneath her hooves and the guilty pleasure of being without her crown was almost too much. She let her earth pony senses reach out, unhindered by the metal that normally clad her hooves. The impacts of every hoof fall, telling its story combined with each living plant called to her, each singing its own tale.

A foal like feeling, free and excited started to rise. It did not last long. Not for the first time, she thought about what her life could have been, what she might have done without the burden of the crown. Her stride slowed, the weight of her now absent crown dragging at her hooves. Her duty had cost her so much.

A series of taping sounds emanated from Twilight's golden necklace. She rounded on her so fast her tail cracked the air like a whip. Twilight’s eyes hardened. With deliberate slowness, she held up a single feather in her aura like the most deadly of implements. "Dear Luna, you are going to focus on what I have prepared for you or you will face my wrath," Twilight’s mouth spoke with Nightmare’s cold and deadly tones.

A shiver travelled down Luna’s spine. Her mind, her body, readied for battle. Grass tickled her bare hooves as she subtly shifted her stance.

Twilight slowly leaned in close, her eyes narrowing into draconic slits. "And I know each and every ticklish point in your body."

Luna’s agile mind was only stunned for an instant. Relief filled her. The Nightmare was not about to attack her. No war was about to happen. Twilight was still safe, still there. She had not lost her saviour to the same thing that cost her a thousand years.

She started to smile but stopped as another older panic rose within her. Memoirs of her lager sister assaulting her with long white feathers leaving her helpless. "Thou would not dare…"

"I will have you screaming for mercy as you thrash around on the ground in front of everypony." Twilight whisper-spoke under an almost inaudible satisfied croon.

Luna gulped and nodded. Celestia would not let her ever live something like that down.

“That's better,” Twilight purred, sharing a brief nuzzle. Then as if the entire exchange had never happened, she gracefully pivoted back to her original facing. A lavender wing glided across Luna's flank 'accidentally' as Twilight resumed her seductive walk.

They had spent at least an hour watching each contest. For the guards, this was a truly serious battle, the pride of their units and their princess were at stake. For the civilians, it was just fun, but some of them were doing unexpectedly well.

Armour crashed into the ground as yet another pony was sent to the ground. Big Mac was proving his strength being the current reigning champion for the Earth Pony Gauntlet. Not even her guards could do anything against his nearly titanic might. If not for this being a date with Twilight, Luna might have offered to spend the night with him should he remain the champion. It always used to drive stallions to give their utmost.

A white pegasus, his body, made of muscles layered upon more muscles, stepped up. He was to be the next challenger. Luna silently wished him luck. There was no rule saying members of other tribes could not compete, but without the expected tribal magic they were at a severe disadvantage.

The crystal ponies were currently leading the jousting by a wide margin. As it was their national sport, it was only to be expected. The galloping hooves and the crash of impact as the two contestants met happening at regular intervals. It was a little simplistic for Luna’s taste. Real battle never happened in repeated, predictable head-on charges.

A brutish shout burst forth from the Earth Pony Gauntlet. “Yeeeeaaaahh!” Apparently one of the two stallions had won their rather direct contest.

The aerial battle was much more to her liking, one of her Thestral Nightguards was taunting one of the pegasi that Shining Armor had taken with him when he had become the Prince Consort to Cadance. His orange coat and dark blue mane brought back a memory. This was Flash Sentry. One that Cadance had once considered worthy for her Twilight.

The pegasus Crystalguard was faster and had plenty of potential. Unfortunately for him, he had little real experience. The bloody battles Luna was willing to put her guards through in the flesh, let alone the utter horrors they faced in their dream training meant there was almost no comparison. As soon as Meteorite Crash stopped playing, one Flash Sentry would be soundly defeated.

It was not long before Luna was proved right. The final score was Ten to two. As expected, it was Luna’s side of the scoreboard that was marked.

Luna found it odd that the Wonderbolts had nothing on the scoreboard as of yet. This should be the event they excelled at. If Pinkie’s apparent foreknowledge was as accurate as it usually was, there was no doubt they would be here before the festivities ended.

She inhaled deeply. Her breath taking in all the satisfying scents once again. That was all the excuse she needed to sample yet more food.

Luna hummed in satisfaction, happily munching on yet another one of the savoury thestral offerings. Twilight tucked into her own. For a moment, seeming like a wild animal before her table manners suddenly improved.

Luna had to hold back a giggle. Given what she had heard about Twilight's habit of demolishing hayburgers it was clear that Nightmare or Dreams had taken control to prevent the food-related carnage from spreading. The switch was fast if albeit not as gradually as Celestia’s mask could slip in and prevent little scenes like that.

The image one Gabby Gums had published of her sister enjoying a little too much cake came to mind. Luna lost the battle to restrain her merriment.

Twilight's ears turned to Luna before her eyes followed. The sight of the rich sauce covering her muzzle was too much. Luna could not hold back her laughter any longer.

Twilight's ears splayed back a little as she cocked her head slightly to the side. Her face twisted in an adorable mix of confusion and innocence.

Luna leaned in and with an amused smile and delicately licked away at the escaped condiment upon the lavender muzzle. Lune stole the bearest of kisses, her tongue yet again informing her flavours were only enhanced when samples from upon her betrothed’s lips.

Twilight's cheeks darkened, the smaller Alicorn doing her best to fight off a blush.

This was by far already going to be her most treasured memories since her return from the moon, and it has only just started.

A gaggle of enthusiastic voices and stampede of small hooves rampaged towards them. Announcing that what was a small army of foals had caught them in their little moment.

More than a dozen called out Luna's name. A few less, Twilight’s name. Twilight eeped and hid her flaring blush from the world with her wing.

One of the little ones at the back started singing. "Luna and Twilight, sitting in a tree…"

Interrupting, the rest called out. "Can you come and play?" They pleaded. Pinkie standing in the back trying not to be noticed.

With so many adorable eyes looking up at her, Luna could not say no.

Twilight's eyes shifted becoming slitted, anger blazing within them. Her muscles started to tense, and magic started to build in her body.

"I would be honoured to join you in competing for treats and toys." Luna rapidly spoke up in a happy tone.

Fortunately, there were no spikes of fear. The young ones hand not noticed the potential monster behind the younger Alicorn’s eyes. Luna let out a mental sigh of relief. She would not have to battle with nightmare creatures taking the form of her betrothed in the foal’s dreams later tonight.

Her wing reaches out draping over Twilight’s back, embracing her firmly. "Calm your self, Night. Lest I go back to calling you Nightmare," Luna added in whisper-speak.

Twilight flinched as if struck. Her body tensed in dread. She slumped almost imperceptibly as she relaxed against Luna's larger body nestling comfortably under the Night Alicorn’s feathers.

The anger evaporated from Twilight’s features. Her eyes returned to normal. She did not resist when Luna’s wing started to guide her to follow.

"Our apologies Luna. I was envious of there attention of you," Night’s voice started.

Twilight’s voice continued. "And I was irritated that this was not on my planned timeline of events."

"I forgive both of you, just be mindful when you are both in agreement for anything your emotions and responses may be disproportional," Luna said, remembering all the times her fragments had led her astray, one most of all.

Twilight nodded firmly, then sighed happily. Luna turned her attention fully back to the foals, a warm muzzle nuzzled into the fur of her neck.

Luna smirked, addressing the crowd of young ones. "Now, lead on my good ponies."

Many small hooves and weak magic dragged the pair of alicorns off to the foal’s games.

Twilight giggled. The sound tickled Luna's neck. She had to admit it was funny, two of the most powerful beings in the world being dragged around by foals.

Like all the things here, the games were old fashioned. Most were traditional ones back from Luna’s foalhood. The only difference was the foam darts and blades replacing wooden ones. As her body eagerly played with and instructed the foals in the proper techniques needed to master the games, her mind drifted elsewhere.

She reminisced about times long ago. Times she spent watching others play. Spending coins for a chance to win prizes and of course to attract the attention of an Alicorn lord, if they did well enough. For those not chosen, this was their only chance. Luna being groomed to be an artist, her position was secure, or so she thought. So she had no need to compete, and yet she did for the joy of it.

Her mind slipped back to a darker time. A time she hated, a time she craved. Images of blood, death and violence consumed Luna. Her time condemned to the arena materialised around her. Forced to kill or be killed until in the end, she was stuck down. Failing to die she claiming her immortality. That did not stop things. They forced her to kill and kill, again and again until she revelled in the bloodshed.

A cheer arose, her fans were calling her. Luna took a step forward. Her heartbeat increased, muscles tensed. She was ready for action. She gathered her Alicorn magic, shaping it as it strengthened and reinforced her body. How much power would she gain buy devouring the wellsprings, the soul of her opponent this time?

“Good shot,” a cheerful mare called out. “Now, what prize do you want?”

The daydream shattered. What was she thinking? What she could she have done to the ponies around her. She held herself still. Fighting, not allowing those tainted desires that she hated and loved oh so much to rise in her. This was not the place for them. This would never be the place for them.

“I want that one,” a foal shouted.

Desperately she redirected her mind, bringing up another memory. Ponyville once again vanished. The haunted look in the eyes of her sister the faint glow of magic holding her head still and eyes open. Her sister forced to watch the horrific sport. Not being able to take her eyes off unfolding slaughter as Luna surrendered to it.

Luna remembered giving in, becoming their weapon. Merely a tool to be aimed. Nothing but a monster that lusted for but violence and death. Guilt and self-loathing rapidly drowned out the sweet siren call of her bloodlust.

A presence by her side dragged her back to reality. To the present. Twilight’s warm body pressed against her side and her muzzle gently nuzzled Luna before her breath tickled her ear "I know and accept you for everything you are, my Moon."

Luna titled her head to meet Twilight’s eyes. A sympathetic Nightmare looked out of them holding Twilight’s tears at bay.

"Mummies. Mummies." Little Star’s happy voice called out from above

Luna snapped her head upwards just in time for something soft to impact her face. Blinking and pulling her head back, she was greeted by a realistic imitation of Twilight’s lavender coat. It took Luna a few seconds to understand what she was now holding in her aura. Little Star had practically assaulted both her mother's with near life-sized plushies of each other.

Her daughter beamed at both of them with a wide innocent smile. "This way you can still be together when apart."

Luna hugged her new plushy Twilight and gave it an affection nuzzle. A giggle erupted from the real one.

Twilight petted her little Luna and Luna felt the sensation of a hoof running through her mane. Luna's eyes widened at all the implications of such a pair of cursed items. All the horrid things tyrants of the past had done, all the things that had been done to her by her master.

"Oh relax Lulu, we checked her spell work. It only works if we are both touching our plushies and can't send pain."

Luna felt a feather brush against her somewhere Cadance would definitely not approve of. With long practice, she kept a straight face and allowed not a single visible reaction to show. But even so, she had to use magic to hide the changes in her scent.

Twilight's satisfied smirk faded into a frown of confusion.

Luna smiled, a light twinkling in her eyes. "Two can play at that game…"

Twilight’s hoof reached for her golden necklace, working some complex magic on it with desperate haste. She let out a shaky sigh and her horn lit, and both plushies popped out of existence.

Little Star was staring at the pair of them. Her confused look shifting to disappointment. Luna could not have that. She pulled her daughter into a hug, wings enfolding her. "We love thy gift, such superb and unexpected spell work on them."

Doubt turned to pride and joy in the little filly's expression.

"They are a little large to keep with us as we enjoy the fair," Twilight added.

Little Star nodded, clearly appeased at that explanation.

"We shall both have time to fully appreciate them later," Twilight added. Luna was sure that was for her benefit alone.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders came in for a landing. Young Scootaloo as dynamic as Rainbow Dash. Sweet Belle as delicate as a ballerina, landing pirouetting on one hoof before settling down on all fours. Applebloom taking full advantage of her durability to simply stop flying, crash into the ground, and walk it off.

"Come on Star," Scootaloo said. “We got to win more prizes.”

Star’s aura enveloped both Luna and Twilight pulling them into a firm hug.

“Ok,” Little Star called out, teleporting away.

The aura around her vanished. Luna tipped and fell, too close to Twilight and the ground to catch herself. She stumbled, tipped and gravity won, causing the pair of Alicorns to stumble and crash into the ground in a somewhat compromising position.

Candace sent a not-so-polite cough sound mentally. “Of course she saw that,” Luna lamented.

Twilight giggled, as they both untangled from each other.

The sight of Rarity assisted by Prince Blueblood himself running the Unicorn Duel event was something of a shock. All Twilight revealed about the matter was her knowing smile. Was this Cadance’s doing or merely that arrogant waste of space stallion turning over a new leaf because of the shock Twilight had given him?

She shook the thought off, the only thing that mattered here and now was Twilight’s and her own enjoyment of this event. Twilight had clearly spent so much time and effort not only arranging but keeping secret from her. That she did not even get a hint of it from the dreams of the ponies in Ponyville meant Twilight must have used quite a lot of magic to keep it from their dreams.

“When you set your mind to something you don’t disappoint, Twilight.”

Twilight returned her gaze to Luna with a lazy, satisfied smile with just the hint of fangs showing for a moment, “Naturally.”

Luna’s ears twitched seeking any hints the others had seen that little display. Nothing beyond the sounds of the ponies enjoying the fair and the competitions. A gasp made her ears twitch.

“Look, it’s Rainbow!” The voice of young Scootaloo called out.

Luna relaxed, raising her head a prismatic trail dragged Luna’s attention skywards. Rainbow Dash, dressed in her Wonderbolt uniform, was just decelerating, clearly having towed two others of her team here. The expanding rings and the boom of a sonic rainboom declaring how much effort the athletic mare had put into getting herself and her comrades in arms here in a timely fashion.

“Well, at least she knows how to make an entrance, even if it is a little garish.” Rarity commented.

“It is definitely a wonderous display of both power and skill,” Blueblood replied respectfully.

Rainbow quickly scanned the fair and eyes locked on Twilight. A quick motion of her wing and then all three Wonderbolts dived towards them, simultaneously flaring their wings and coming to an immediate stop just before them.

Feathers cracked the air as Rainbow snapped off a crisp salute, the others followed suit. “Wonderbolts reporting for the competition, Princesses.”

“Welcome to the Evening Fair, make Ponyville proud,” Twilight enthused, her voice altered with a hint of a purr “make me, proud.”

The tips of Rainbow’s ears darkened before she regained her composure. Luna took in the mare, the sleek uniform, the well-toned athletic body and the new additions to her outfit. A lethal-looking hoof blade, crimson and magenta enchantments danced over its surface as the light caught it. On her other foreleg was a hastily cut-down plate of armour. With how dedicated Rainbow Dash is to her flying prowess, I would wager that even Twilight would not be able to find a difference in weight between the two.

Luna smiled. “Well, it seems the competition for the aerial events just got a little stiffer.”

“Have fun,” Twilight added, dismissing the Wonderbolts with a sharp flourish of her wing.

The three shot off for the aerial contest, Rainbow diverting unexpectedly to the jousting. Luna let her eyes trail her, “You have chosen a good Knight, Twilight.” Luna looked back to Twilight. “When will you have her assume her duties?”

Twilight smiled warmly. “I am leaving her detached with the Wonderbolts for now, its where she is happiest. And it’s not like I need a knight constantly by my side.” She leaned in closer. “You gave me Candice, remember?”

Final all the results for the contests were in. A hoard of ponies stood between her and the towering scoreboard. Luckily for her being taller than most and her sharp eyesight was more than enough to read it from where she was. Luna finished her snack and regarded the scores.

Unicorn Duel
1st Cystalgaurd / Shining Armour
2nd Nightguard / Moonstone Stalker
3rd Rarity Belle

Luna hummed, she was disappointed that her captain had failed her, but it did make sense. She did not exactly train her Nightguard to play fair. So with such restrictions in place, she could forgive him this. Seeing that Rarity not only took part but claimed third place, now that was unexpected. She was proving to be a mare of many talents.

Earthpony Gauntlet
1st Big Mac
2nd Snowflake
3rd Applejack

The Apples were always renowned for the power of there bloodline, so in a contest of brute strength with little to no skill, what more could be expected than for the Apple Clan to claim two of the top three spots.

1st Wonderbolt / Rainbow Dash
2nd Nightguard / Meteor Crash
3rd Lighting Dust

Luna paused and looked thoughtful, “Twilight, perhaps we have found another candidate for your guard?” She pointed a hoof at the third place name. “She is a little rough around the edges, but you specialise in salvaging ponies and forging them into worthwhile allies.”

“I… would not put it that way.”

“Then what would you call Starlight then?” Luna said before turning her attention back to the rest of the results.

1st Cystalgaurd / Topaz Lancer
2nd Wonderbolt / Rainbow Dash
3rd Nightguard / Evening Mist

Free Match
1st Starlight Glimmer
2nd Nightguard / Shadow Light
3rd Nightguard / Onyx Star

1st Little Star, Grey, Thorn
2nd CMC
3rd Sapphire Heart, Cookie Blanket, Blitz

Luna smiled her eyes lingering on her daughter’s name. Already she was claiming first place in a contest of skill. Yes, it might only be a foals game, but in later years she might be dodging spell blasts and dragon breath not simple balls.

When the ponies that oversaw the event dreamed, she would see if any had a chance to watch and if they would be willing to share the memory of it. She wanted to observe her harmony granted daughter. She wanted to have a painting of that moment even if she never saw it with her own eyes. Asking Starlight to use a time spell seemed a little extreme when Luna had her own ways to watch the dodge ball contest.

Luna noted all of her Nightguard that had placed in the top ten for later consideration and put the placements out of her mind for now. Twilight was guiding her to the largest dome of magic, the centrepiece of the arenas, even tho not a single event had happened within it thus far. The crowd of ponies parted before them. It was as if they were expected.

A magenta aura wrapped around Twilight’s necklace and casually levitated it over to a waiting Candice. The chosen given to Twilight accepted it with a joyous smile, her eyes intense with the fate enforced love she bore for both of them. Luna felt Twilight’s power radiating from her now raw and unrestrained.

Twilight took her hoof and backed through into the arena, the energy trailing over every curve. “Shall we dance?” Twilight asked, her enticing eyes fixed on Luna’s own. That gaze alone would have been enough to draw her after the lavender mare.

Luna’s blue magic lifted her peytral, letting it drop to the ground as she followed. She pushed forward, driving through the membrane. The intense energy of it tingled as it flowed over her. She looked around, her eyes scanning the crowd. It seemed like almost everypony in attendance had their full attention focused on her. What was Twilight’s plan? She smiled like a foal at heartwarming.

Luna’s first hoof sunk into the soft sand as she stepped in the area. She inhaled deeply, The clean scent was almost jarring. Not a single drop of blood had been spilt in here, yet.

As her last hoof and tail crossed the threshold, everything outside the dome vanished from all her magical senses. What could she be planing that needed this level of spellwork to protect the crowd?

Twilight’s unicorn magic flared, her form erupted into sparkling dust. Motes of light reforming her on the other side of the arena. The faces of the crowd shifted, ponies long dead watched their champion. Yet another foe stood before her, was this bout for justice or entertainment?

Luna blinked. Twilight stood before her, tall, regal, powerful. An intense ripple of magic radiated from her, unseen but definitely felt. The dome was the only reason the nearby ponies did not recoil in pain from Twilight’s unrestrained power. Then another and another. Each to a constant beat, the fourth spike feeling more forceful. The lavender mare before her, her soon to be opponent started to circle. Her wellsprings pulsing keeping perfect time.

“You know what you offer?” Luna asked, her magic wanting desperately to fall into time with Twilight’s own. The surrounding flicked. One moment, the past, the next the present.

“I do,” Twilight said, her hoof falls almost exaggeratedly marking the beat that their dance would be had to.


Luna’s ear twitched, as one all the night guards stomped their hooves again, the impacts of armoured hooves pounding the ground perfectly to Twilight’s rhythm.

A few cries of panic reached and threatened to distract her. Jumpy peasants. What? Was this their first time at the pits? She thought.

Crash, Crash, Clang,

Every Forth beat was joined with the sound of metal meeting metal.

Luna felt her heart thudding in her chest, pounding to the beat. A wide grin spread her lips, Luna letting her wellsprings take up the rhythm, agreeing to the challenge. Eyes fixed on Twilight’s, she began circling as well.

The Crystal guards quickly joined in, the ringing of Crystal armour adding a rich resonance to the beat.

“Don’t worry about holding back, only those with Therstral Eyes will be able to see what really happens in here.” Twilight crooned.

Luna took a step. As if at once the pair slowly started circling each other. Each of them gliding over the ground as if they weighed nothing. Twilight moved with an edge of haughty grace, head high and strides long. Luna herself settled in the stalking gait of a hunting predator, horn low and ready to strike.

With each step Luna took, more and more of the world outside the arena faded away. It had been so long, so very long since she had even been able to use a fraction of her power for fear of the collateral damage she would inflict. “The rules?”

“A standard show bout,” Twilight answered.

It had been a long time, she ached to begin, but she had one duty she could never forsake. “And my duty to raise the moon?”

“Merely the sign for us to make things even more spectacular, dear Lulu.” Twilight twitched her wings, offering to take this to the air.

Her obligation satisfied, Luna flared her pegasus magic on the beat accepting. They were both approaching their starting positions again. And that would be that. The contest would commence. Their bloody dance, a show performed to the music of warriors.


A few steps closer, it would not be long.


Almost there,


Wings came down, the ground retreated.

They both took to the air beginning there dance spiralling around each other. Everypony and everything outside the dome ceased to be. The stomping guards drowned out by the deafening thudding rhythm of her heart.

Twilight's horn lit, starting with her strength. Dozens of lethal spikes of magenta surged furth. Each dancing to mathematical patterns, hunting Luna’s flesh. With each heartbeat they jinked

Actual attacks had to land on the beat. Any other others would merely be for show, for spectacle.

Her wings propelled her forward. Her direct charge augmented by a graceful roll in the air here, a spiralling turn there. Her conjured blade deflecting the last two, and she was through. Twilight ignited her horn, but no spell came. Instead, a barrage of physicals attacks assaulted Luna as she closed.

Luna blocked a strike, turning it aside and pulling Twilight towards her, sending her spinning away as if this was nothing more than a courtship dance.

A sharp sting tore across her face. Blood trickled down her cheek. The rich coppery scent invigorated her. Luna licked her lips. Twilight, her saviour, had claimed first blood. Luna laughed, happy and brightly. Her reply, a trio of hungry scythes tearing through the air at her betrothed.

They continued their dance, spells, conjured blades and hoof strikes artistically passed between them. The rhythm of this duel, their heartbeats and the pulsing of their magic, all in time. The lacerations and fractures, burns and the bruises, all were nothing but accents. The pain given and received, only an intoxicating spice to the moment as their shed blood mixed with the sand below.

The sun lowered, the time of twilight was only a brief movement as Celestia set her heavenly body to rest. The two combatants separated. Luna smiled, an idea coming to her. Twilight had said to make things spectacular, so that was precisely what she would do.

At her command, the world darkened. The black void of a starless sky graced the heaves for the first time in over a thousand years. Luna rose into that air on magic alone. Her wings spread wide in a decorative arc, just like when her sister showed off at her Summer Sun Celebrations.

The moon greeted her, her magic, embracing it like a long lost friend with a thousand new and wonderful things to share. Eagerly her charge rushed into the sky taking its place between the curves of her wings.

The moon flashed brightly. A white light spilling from Luna's eyes. On the beat she slammed her hooves together, the titanic impact sounding like a thousand peels of thunder. The stars blazed into existence, all spiralling around the moon like a halo.

The crowd fell silent, awed with the majesty of her display. More importantly, Twilight’s eyes sparkled with amazement even as her muzzle twisted in a smug look of remembered satisfaction.

Backlit by her display, Luna thrust her horn forward. A massive lance of magic larger than she was, erupted forwards. Twilight did not even try to evade. Instead answered the challenge with a defiant smirk. A huge shield formed between them shaped like her element.

The Alicorn level attack crashed into the enormous magenta star and was repelled. It split, a large swath of sand was rendered to molten glass. The barrier dome on the other hoof did not even ripple.

Now the battle can really begin Lunas face twisted into a feral grin.

Blasts that could spill the heavens, blows that could shatter mountains, and spells of a magnitude not seen since the battle of Tirek were traded with abandon. Luna could not remember the last time she had felt so alive.

Luna howled in glee and swung her conjured scythe in a graceful arc, readying her horn to blast Twilight when she appeared from her teleport. This time there was no flash of magic. A lavender foreleg and part of Twilight’s muzzle spiralled down to the sand, trailing blood. If there was a single grain of sand down there not covered with their blood, Luna could not imagen where it was hiding.

Twilight was tiring, she had fought well, and had given as good as she got. The young Alicorn had stood up to Luna’s full might. Yes there were rules to this contest, yes Twilight had to use her Unicron magic to support everything she did to stand a chance, but still, it was amazing. But unfortunately, her foe was slowing, magical and physical exhaustion starting to set in.

Luna absently continued the fight, watching Twilight heal. See kept her attacks more extravagant than effective. Now how to end this? She would not have this end with Twilight simply collapsing.

Twilight’s eyes met her own and her magic flared. Her body blazed brightly. Her mane rippled like magenta fire. This would be as spectacular as it was fruitless. Luna smiled, at least it would make a fitting final-exchange.

A living projectile wrapped in fire and crackling with lightning rocketed towards her. Luna matched it, sheathing her self with armour of conjured ice and shadow. The sound of the collision alone burst Luna’s eardrums. The impact cracked half of Luna’s ribs.

Luna’s limbs shot out ensnaring her now fully depleted opponent. Trapping Twilight’s wings, she let them both fall. It only took a minor adjustment to make sure her foe hit first. Still entangled, they slammed into the arena floor. Glass shattered, and sand erupted into the air.

The near scalding heat of Twilight’s body pressed into her as Luna secured her pin. She deliberately positioned herself to allow Twilight’s broken body to heal correctly. Her aura reached within and like a puzzle repositioned individual fragments of bone to allow quicker healing.

Twilight lay still, her breathing ragged, her magic so depleted she could no longer even resist her flesh’s insistence call for oxygen.

Luna leaned down, placing the tip of her horn to Twilight bare exposed throat. “The match is mine” Luna whispered.

Twilight let her head fall back yielding. It was clearly as much physical effort as she could currently manage.

This mare pinned beneath her had blooded her, had made her earn this victory. Twilight had constructed the whole event for just one purpose. Simply to make this moment as perfect as possible for one temporally displaced mare.

Luna traced her horn light along Twilight’s neck, moving to whisper in her ear. “Thank you. I have not felt this alive for such a long time.”

Twilight’s face shifted to a wary but satisfied smile. Her eyes half-lidded as she stared up at Luna invitingly. Luna claimed her prize. Soft lips welcomed hers as blood-soaked wings embraced her.

This was truly the best night ever.

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