There was a large crowd of ponies present to watch this historical moment. For the first time in centuries, there will be new Knights of the Realm on the lands of Equestria. Sunset, Trixie, Twilight and Celestia were on stage, the first three doing only an extremely casual bow, to represent their elevated status as heroines.
On the front of the crowd, the ponies closest to the stage were very significant: Ranger Time and the rest of the town ponies, plus the guards and their families, who were very grateful to the apprentices of Celestia for saving them.
And Speaking of Celestia, she was obviously the one who had the duty of making the speech and officially proclaiming the three as Knights.
"My faithful little ponies... I have watched you grow for the last ten years, and I could see the effort you have made, the tests you have passed and your dedication to the cause of good.
"And yet, I have never been as proud of you as I am now. You have managed to rescue every single pony who had been suffering under the hoof of Sombra, the civillians, the guards and even my own sister.
"Your feats of heroism and magic are some who will be talked about for eras, and I have no doubt that this is only the beginning of a whole series of grand tales, as you protect this realm from threats.
"As such, it is my honor and pleasure to proclaim you three as Knights of the Realm, great heroines of Equestria!"
Celestia floated three silver tiaras into the heads of her three apprentices, and the crowd went wild, as the three waved at them, now officially Knights.
After the noise died down, Celestia began talking again.
"Since the position of Knight means the greatest duty in the world, it also brings with it some privileges.
"First, you may choose any official title to be designated by, so long as it doesn't encroach upon existing titles.
"Second, you will have absolute adminitrative authority anywhere in Equestria while in a mission, in order to make it easier for missions to be completed.
"Third, you are now second only to the alicorn royalty of Equestria in terms of social status. The nobility will have to act respectfully towards you, and not vice-versa.
"There's a few other things, but those are the most important for now. And it falls to me to end this ceremony, and start the celebration!"
The crowd went wild again, and the party started. Celestia looked at her apprentices, the guests of honor, blending in with the partying ponies in their own individual ways (Trixie, by doing another epic recitation of the adventure, Twilight by dancing with dozens of ponies at once via her clones and Sunset by going on stage and singing, showing her skills). She thought that whole thing made the situation of the previous day almost worth it.
1 Day Earlier
Luna approached her sister, with a somewhat awkward expression. Celestia honestly thought it was better than the guilty expression she had been showing often in the past days.
"Sister?" Luna asked.
"Yes?" Celestia said with a smile.
"I have something to ask about your apprentices."
Oh. The solar alicorn had been afraid of that. She thought of how to explain to her sister how things had gone out of control, how she didn't want to smother their personality, how the three seemed to become even more motivated on preserving their view of the world upon encountering difficulties...
But before she could say anything, Luna continued:
"Can I have their autographs?"
Celestia's thoughts ran to a stop like a meteorite hitting a planet. She answered the only way she was able to:
"They were so cool!" Luna exclaimed, with literal stars in her eyes "First there was that illusion, and then they started dancing, and..." And Luna continued with a disorganized but still fairly detailed account of her experiences with the trio, her voice becoming more and more excited.
Oh no... It's just like I feared... Celestia thought. They were only the beginning... The madness is spreading...
Celestia maintained her usual smile in front of Luna's enthusiasm, but inside her own head? She was screaming.
It was the day after the proclamation of the new Knights of the Realm. Luna heard a knock in the door to her room.
"You may enter." Luna said, wondering who it was, it didn't seem to be her sister...
She got her answer when the door opened.
"You are Spike, the dragon companion of Twilight Sparkle, aren't you?" She recognized.
"Yes I am, princess Luna." He said, with a certain stiffness.
"What business do you have you me?" She said kindly.
The small dragon took a deep breath and looked at her in the eyes.
"I could never join Twilight and the others on their trainings." He started "First I was too young, then I was too scared. Celestia taught me a few things so I could serve as an assistant but..."
He extended his hand forward.
"After having to stay here while they went in a dangerous mission, I've decided that I am more afraid of not being able to be there for them, than I am of the trainings and the dangers themselves.
"I asked Celestia if she would train me to become a Knight like them, but she said you would be a better choice to help me. Would you do it?"
Luna looked at the dragon and saw the determination in his eyes. She thought of how her sister had raised those great Knights, and she thought of the possibility of them needing help in a mission.
There was no question of her answer. Luna walked over to Spike and put her horn upon him.
"I hereby accept you, Spike, as my apprentice. Under my training, you will become a true and valorous Knight of the Realm!"
A dragon knight would be really cool, after all.
Sombra Arc End
Next: Apprentices Arc