“Lunair,” I heard Tia's voice echoed in the darkness I saw. “Wake up, Lunair,” she continued.
I soon opened my eyes to see her looking over me.
“Don't speak, you needn't say a word,” she said as she put a hoof to my mouth.
I just nod in agreement as she took her hoof away and soon Sol entered the room. When he did, I noticed a dramatic difference between the last memories I have of his appearance and what he looked like now.
He now had scales that looked like plates of armour covering his backside entirely with a few on his chest and barrel, his horns were starting to curve upward and he was taller and longer.
“I began my way here when I sensed her awakening,” he said as he came nearer to Tia.
“Can she talk?” Tia asked him.
“She shouldn't be able to just yet,” he said as he looked downward. “And I'll not be that helpful because our connection is weaker at the moment.”
“Does that mean you won’t yet be able to show her the important events that have occurred while she’s been out?” she asked him.
“Sadly, it does,” he responded.
Spike then entered the room carrying a tray with a bowl of soup and an amethyst on it.
“When Twilight told me Solair said you were awake, I just had to make you something to eat,” he said as he came nearer to the side of the bed. “I mean, you’ve been out for two weeks, I’d be hungry if I were you,” he concluded before realizing Tia and Sol were giving him mean looks. “What did I say?” he asked unaware they didn’t want me to know how long I had been out.
“Can I speak with you outside the room, Spike?” Sol asked in a very tone.
“Right after I give her her soup,” he said as he lifted the spoon out of the bowl. “Here comes the choo-choo!” he said as if I were just a child.
“Spike, she’s millennia old, she probably doesn’t appreciate being treated like a child much more than I do,” Sol said in anger.
“Oh, right, sorry Lunair,” he said before I took the spoonful of soup in my mouth.
“This is good,” I said in a very quiet voice after swallowing. It was the loudest I could speak at the time.
“What did she say?” Spike asked as he looked at Sol.
“I think she said that the soup was good,” he replied. “Her voice is too quiet for me to hear it clearly.”
“Oh, good,” he started, “I thought I added too much thyme.”
“Why did you bring an amethyst?” Tia asked him.
“Twilight told me that they can eat gems and they gain powers by doing so,” he started. “I just thought that that power might help her get better,” he concluded before grabbing the gem.
“Tia, can you shatter the amethyst for us?” Sol asked as he looked at her.
She nod and her horn began to glow. She then took the gem out of Spike’s claws and within seconds the gem was turned from a piece too big to eat to a pile of dust. She then added the dust to the soup.
“Wow, I didn’t know you could do that!” Spike said as he looked at Tia.
“I am capable of turning practically any normal gem to dust using just magic, Spike,” she replied.
Spike then mixed the dust in with the soup and gave me a spoonful. Suddenly, my eyes flashed an amethyst coloured light and my throat felt a bit better.
“Will you tell me what all went on while I was out?” I asked a bit louder than last time but I know it was still barely audible to Sol.
“What’d she say?” Spike asked yet again annoying Sol further.
“I think she wants to know what happened over the last two weeks,” he responded.
“Oh, I can tell her!” Spike said as he raised his claw as if to be called upon.
“Yes, I think you can,” Tia said as she stood and began toward the door.
“No but’s, Sol,” Tia started. “If you disagree with my decision talk to me about it outside.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” he said as he hung his head and followed her out the door. “Spike, start from the day she passed out and work your way to now in chronological order event-wise.”
“Uh… Say what now?” he asked looking at him.
“Gah! Just forget it!” he yelled before slamming the door. The sound of the door slamming hurt my head a little and caused me to wince in pain for a second.
“Okay, then. How about I tell you what happened here at the castle the day after you fainted?” Spike started as he turned to face me. I sighed and lain my head down atop my left foreleg. After doing so he began his story.
“… And then I heroically grabbed Starlight and brought her to what would have been the new timeline. When we got there it was a barren wasteland with the exception of me, Starlight, Twilight, and the Cutie Map,” Spike said. “Then I convinced Starlight to return time back to normal and we came back to this timeline,” he finished. “So wad’d’ya think? Pretty heroic of me, huh?” I just nod in agreement knowing he didn’t really do all that he said he did.
“That was nothin’. Ya should ’a seen what I did in the Crystal Empire a week later,” he started. “So there we were, getting off the train, everypony in the empire was waiting to greet me…”
-“This is when I knew, like the two eras before, he thought highly of himself. It was good to know this because he is exactly like he was in the First Era. Although he had been changed physically and his memories suppressed deep within his mind.”-
-“The first Prysme, whilst in The Origin of Time and Space, saw that Spike was to be one of the few creatures that would only change and not die. he figured that the best way to keep the future secure and safe was to suppress his memories and turn him into what the second era would call a ‘Draconid’.”-
-“A Draconid was basically a dragon the stayed both bipedal and about the same size it’s entire life. In Spike’s case, he was about seven and a half decimeters tall and when he got down on all fours he was about a meter in length. Also, his colour scheme didn’t change, which is more than can be said for most of the creatures that had only been changed.”-
“… And I held the Crystal Heart together while Sunburst brought the shard in, then Twilight and Cadence cast the restoration spell and the heart repaired itself,” he finished. “Even more heroic, huh?” I once again nod in agreement and he then hopped off the bed.
“Oh, and I became the Dragon Lord a few days after that!” he started. “It goes like this…”
“… And then I made Garble hug everyone on his way back and told him not to tell why,” he laughed.
I tried to laugh at this because I found it funny but my throat hurt every time I tried.
“I gave the scepter to Amber so she could prove to her dad that even a smart dragon could pass his test.”
I then looked at the bowl of soup on the nightstand and he followed my gaze. “Oh, I forgot! You still haven’t eaten your soup!” he exclaimed as he went over to the table and felt the bowl. “Good, still warm,” he said before lifting the spoon out of the bowl and holding it to my mouth.
I took the soup into my mouth and he kept giving me more until the bowl was about one third full. After that he started talking again.
“And I still haven’t told you about Chrysalis, Somber, and the rest of their family moving back to their hive,” he said before I perked my ears to show I was interested in that story. “Oh, I see you wanna know about that, huh? Well I was supposed to tell you that first but I kinda wanted you to hear the most heroic things I did over the past two weeks.”
“So, about Chrysalis… She and her family left because she knew her hive couldn’t stay calm for too long without her. They left the day after you passed out”
A tear formed in my eye at the mentioning of this. I knew life around here was going to be different without them.
“Aw, don’t feel sad,” he started. ”Think of this as if the twins’ are just now reaching out toward their true potential. I mean they are Changeling royalty after all.”
I wiped the tear from my eye and lowered my head. “Here, let’s just get you to finish this soup,” he said. “I shouldn’t have told you about them leaving.”
I finished my soup and soon thereafter Twilight, Sol, Starlight, and Tia came to my room. When Starlight saw me a look of discomfort covered her face followed by a false smile.
“So you’re the filly Solair keeps talking about,” Starlight said as she came to the edge of the bed. “Oh, you look so adorable. I just wanna pinch your wittle cheek,” she said as she put her hoof to my cheek.
“You can stop pretending, Starlight, I know you don’t like to make friends this fast,” Twilight said. “All I asked you to do was be nice.”
“I’m just trying to make her feel more comfortable,” she said before she stomped her hooves in anger.
“Starlight, she’s as old as I, there are no reasons to treat her like a filly,” Sol said in my defense.
“Well, she looks younger! I just thought-”
“Yeah, I know what you thought but that doesn't mean she appreciates it,” Sol said before budding heads with the mare.
“You two, calm down!” Celestia boomed while stomping hard on the floor with her forehooves. “Starlight, I'm sure you didn't mean anything by it. And Solair, just leave it be, there’s nothing to get upset about.”
“Yes, Princess Celestia,” Starlight bowed.
“Yes, Tia,” Sol said as he did the same.
“Now, I expect you two to get along with one another and the sooner the better,” Tia said sternly.
“Yes, Princess Celestia,” Starlight repeated emotionlessly as if to say it without meaning.
“Yes, Tia,” Sol sighed.
“Now that that’s over with,” Tia started, “it’s about time we give her a bit of rest.”
“Yes, Princess Celestia,” Starlight, Twilight, and Spike said before they left the room.
“I’ll stay here with her,” Sol said as he looked at Tia.
“As you wish, there’s just one thing do I ask of you,” she replied.
“Insure you don’t keep her awake.”
“As you wish, Tia,” he responded before she closed the door behind her.
Sol then came near to the bed and looked at me with a look I had seen before. I nod then moved to the middle of the bed and curled myself into a ball. He then got on the bed and wrapped his body around mine.
The warmth of his body felt like a heated comforter used to keep warm on the coldest of winter nights. And I suppose, to him, the coolness of my body felt like a shock blanket with cold water on it to treat a full body burn. But I guess we each could have differing opinions about how the other feels to us as we are, after all, two separate beings.
It wasn’t too long after he laid down on the bed that we both fell asleep.
“Contact, my child,” a familiar voice echoed in the darkness around my two halves.
“Yes, Father?” I asked.
“I have come to your dreamscape to tell you a message of great importance,” the voice said. “The Djinns will make you go to the Three Hundred and Sixty Fifth Parallel after half your challenge is complete. I’m warning you now so that you may forge your promise rings.”
“Why do I need promise rings for a trip to the three sixty fifth?” I asked before a moderate pause of silence. “Oh! Yes, that would be a good idea,” I said in an embarrassed tone.
“Anyway, you had better forge them, you have less than five months before you go to that war ravaged dimension,” it said.
“Yes, Father,” I said.
“I’m going to heal your Light Half back to good health before you awaken.”
“Thank you,” I said.
“You’re welcome. And because your two halves love have someone they each love I will make it so you can use your skills at lower physical levels. When you awaken you will know the new skill level requirements.”
“Thank you,” I repeated.
I awoke to see Tia sitting at the table in our room, sipping what appeared to be hot cocoa. I looked out the window to see it was night time.
“Lulu, did you dream it too?” I asked my still half asleep sister.
“I was go-” gasp “-So it did happen!” she said as she sprung awake.
“So he healed you?” Tia asked as she looked at Lulu.
“It appears that way,” she replied before she and I go off the bed.
“Lulu, we should get to work,” I suggested.
“Work? On what?” she asked as she looked at me.
“Our promise rings,” Lulu said while attaining Tia’s attention.
“Oh? Are you two going somewhere?” she asked
“Yes, the Three-Sixty-Fifth Parallel,” I replied. “There we will spend the last six months of our challenge.”
“Well, good luck. I know you’ll need it,” she said before getting up to leave. “From what you’ve told me over the eons, it’s a dangerous place.”
“Do you remember what we told you in the second era about their Hearths Warming story and their name for the season?” I asked as I looked her.
“Yes, their Hearths Warming is known as Hearts Freezing,” she started. “And instead of the Windigo’s feeding off of hate and war and freezing their Equestria they fed off of love and peace and burned it. And the citizens of their Equestria purposefully plunged themselves into chaos that lasts until the end of the era when all is technically reset back to its naturally peaceful state.”
“Exactly, which is why we need the promise rings,” Lulu said. “Not only is violence more prevalent, but adultery and all other acts considered illegal here.”
“Harmony is looked down upon there, we’ve told you this before,” I said.
“Harmony? Looked down upon?! Give me a ticket for that train!” Discord said as he came out from under the bed.
“Too late, Discord, but you’re already living there,” Lulu said as she turned around to face the Draconequus.
“But I live in this dimension not that one,” he replied.
“Your Dimensional Variant is still alive there,” I said as I turned around “And since you’re not of the second, third, fourth, or fifth highest power in the dimension you would cause the world to collapse if you were to meet her.”
“‘Her’? But I’m a guy, surely you jest!” he replied almost maniacally.
“The Three Sixty Fifth is a dimension where practically all governmental laws, all genders, all ponies’ colour schemes, and various other things are the ‘Colour Negative’ of ours,” I said. “Which is why I’m a guy and she’s a girl,” I said whilst pointing to myself and Lulu respectively.
“Oh, whatever! I’m tired of just talking, call me before you leave and I’ll see you off,” he said before disappearing.
“Tia, we must get busy,” I started, “we need our forge from the archives.”
“It will be here at dawn,” she replied before her horn flashed a golden colour. “I expect you need the gems?”
“Well, they are the power source for the forge,” Lulu said.
“They will be here right after breakfast,” she replied before her horn flashed again.
“Thank you, you’ve been so kind to us… Even after what we’ve… I’ve done to you all those eons ago,” I said as I lowered my head.
“It is forgiven and long forgotten,” she said. “Besides, scars mend.”
“Still, I’ll never forgive myself,” I said. “Had it not been for Lulu I would have… … … I can’t bear the thought of that let alone bring myself to say it.”
“Sol, it’s forgotten, let it be,” Lulu said as she placed her claw on my shoulder.
“It’s not forgiven if I can’t forgive myself for it,” I said as I shrugged her claw off. “I’ll not forgive myself until I can make up for what I’ve done and that will be if and when we complete the Djinns’ Challenge.”
“You will,” Tia stated, “I have faith in you… both of you.”
“Thank you,” Lulu said, “at least two of us have faith,” she finished looking at me.
“No, I’m not sure we can finish the challenge,” I said.
“Faith will move the mountain, Sol,” Tia said. “Just make sure you have enough of it.”
“I’ll try Tia, no promises,” I said. “I’ve broken too many to break another.”