Vacation to the Crystal Empire
After an hour of rest, Statice woke up and went to repair the doors he busted on his attempt to make a dramatic entry to Twilight’s room. Speaking about Twilight, neither her, Spike, Cadence, or Shining Armor were present in her room. This left Statice wandering around the castle and wondering what to do now.
“Miserable jerk,” Statice groaned in annoyance. Just like when he first entered into the castle, he had nothing to do anymore.
Great, not an hour after graduating Magic Kindergarten, I’m missing school already. I guess my master was right in that I’m too much goal oriented. I always get bored if I’m not doing something new or doing something old too many times.
Boredom was one of his greatest abstract enemies. His only tool to defeat it was routine. Doing the same thing over and over was not something he enjoyed, but it was still effective and practical when he was hiding or on the run from the local authorities. Experimenting with new things was his favorite alternative, except that he rarely got the chance due to being a fugitive of justice in many kingdoms and countries.
It’s kind of ironic that my newest interest is schoolwork. And I’m forced to start from the lowest level. Well, I can always skip grades based on progress…
He fearfully imagined himself graduating from Celestia’s School from Gifted Unicorns as an adult with beard. Celestia and Luna pretty much looked the same as they always did, although they seemed just as disturbed by the beard as the young unicorn that was making the imagination. They even shared a glance as they were giving diplomas to each pony and he was getting closer to them with each name they listed.
As they were about to say his name, Celestia adopted a stone cold frown that Statice recognized very well.
“Statice, your presence is requested on the dining room,” Celestia spoke with the voice of a Royal Guard.
The daydream ended and the green unicorn was now staring at the glaring eyes of a Royal Guard. Statice naturally adopted his rebellious frown and glared at him, ready to show him his thorns.
“Fine,” he moved forward as he bumped him. “Get out of my space, dude. You don’t have to get on my face to give me the news. It’s very creepy.”
Five minutes of walking with a grumpy Royal Guard following him from behind, Statice reached the dining hall. He noticed that there were no lights turned on from the corners of the doors.
They’re preparing a surprise party for me. I’m not falling for that. I’ll open the door and give them a smug look. That’ll show them I’m not easily caught up guard.
He opened the doors with his magic and smirked at the ponies behind them.
He was slack jawed at seeing Pinkie Pie, Late Blossoms, and his companions from Magic Kindergarten waiting for him at the dining hall. At the center of the table, there was a cake that spelled “HAPPY EARLY GRADUATION, STATICE!” in golden buttermilk letters. A green pony made of green buttermilk represented him. There was no sign of any of the royal ponies or Spike.
“Where’s Princess Celestia?” Statice asked in bewilderment. “I thought that she’d be the one who made the party.”
“She was a decoy,” the Royal Guard smiled as he took off his armor and revealed himself to be Shining Armor in disguise. “You really ought to pay more attention to us Royal Guards. We don’t always look alike.”
“But what can you say about Pinkie Pie and this party?” Statice pointed at Pinkie, who didn’t mind being ignored and just happily waved at him.
“That’d be me,” Cadence answered from behind Statice, causing him to turn around and face her abruptly.
“You called Pinkie?” Statice asked out…more out confusion than shock.
Cadence laughed wistfully. “She planned my wedding reception and that was a great party,” she remembered fondly. “Besides, I made it my priority to meet all of Twilight’s friends and Pinkie is my favorite of them all.”
I guess I have to be at my most tolerant with Pinkie then.
“When I heard about today being your graduation test, I knew that you were going to make it, so I had Pinkie plan this meeting in advance,” Cadence explained, putting a reassuring hoof on Statice’s shoulder.
“Hi, Statice!” Pinkie cheerfully waved from the background. Much to his surprise, she didn’t invade his personal space because she was too busy entertaining the foals with her silly antics.
She is the Element of Laughter for a reason. Parties are the only thing she can take seriously because she cares about making every guest happy. Who wouldn’t want to make a foal happier than a grown up?
A small smile spread across his lips at the atmosphere. It was kind of nice. He didn’t ask for the party. It didn’t mean that it wasn’t appreciated though. He kept the smile when he saw Late Blossoms approaching him.
“Want to have your first slice of cake, my best student?” she offered as she gestured at the pastry with the cake.
“Why shouldn’t I?” Statice shrugged as he walked side by side with his teacher. “It’s my cake anyway. Let me just select the best piece before everypony else eats the rest. I don’t think I’ll eat a second slice with Pinkie, Princess Celestia, and many foals in the same room.”
Late Blossoms was bellowing in laugher by the time they reached the cake. Statice decided on just cutting a slice that had a green pony on him. He cut the cake into many slices, counting the number of guests, and adding those who were going to show up any second now.
That’s enough calculations, let’s slice this cake.
Deciding to show up a little, Statice levitated the cake and many plates as he stood up on top of the table and below the cake that was suspended in the air. Maintaining his levitation, Statice concentrated magic to the tip of his horn and sent it in flourishes across the cake left and right and up and down. Thin lines spread across the cake, which Statice used to spread his levitation to slowly separate the cake slices from each other and into the plates, which he slowly descended into the table. The slice that he intended to eat featured the green pony that represented him.
“It’s cake time!” Statice yelled.
To his surprise, the foals cheered, not for the cake that he intended to serve them, but for the way on which he had served it.
“That was amazing! I didn’t know you could use magic like that! Are you a wizard like Star Swirl the Bearded? Can you teach me how to do that?”
Even though none of the foals got on top of the table to touch him, Statice still felt overwhelmed. He wasn’t used to such positive feedback. This wasn’t even the best of his abilities.
Where’s Pinkie when I need her? Can somepony please bring Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, or even Twilight here? I can’t deal with such…admiration.
“I didn’t know that you were an entertainer, Statice?”
Statice sighed as he watched Princess Celestia and Princess Luna enter into the hall with the regal grace expected of the co-rulers of Equestria. Not a few seconds later, Twilight and Spike were joining them…with all the poise of somepony that was trying too hard to imitate somepony else they were admiring.
I swear that whoever said that imitation was the most sincere form of flattery clearly had little to no confidence. Speaking about lack of confidence, thank the stars the Royal Sisters are foal magnets.
As he observed, most of his foal admirers had forgotten about his magic trick to look at Celestia and Luna. The green unicorn took his chance to sit on a chair and start eating his cake slice. The first bite was delicious with a sugary taste and fluffy bread, letting his taste buds savor the reward for all his hard work of study.
If this is my graduation reward, then I’m looking forward to graduating from Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns.
“Did you like it?” Pinkie Pie leered her blue eyes into his face.
Statice yelped as the pink mare invaded his personal space, making him fall off his chair. Much to his annoyance, everypony was too distracted with the Royal Sisters to care about him. The foals were awed at this apparent once in a lifetime choice to see the rulers in Equestria, Late Blossoms was reporting to Celestia, and Twilight was catching up with Shining Armor and Cadence.
That only leaves me with Pinkie Pie. I might as well try to be nice with her. She did make me this party.
“I like it,” he admitted, taking another bite from his cake slice. “The cake is my favorite part.”
“So is mine,” Pinkie Pie grinned, making a squeaky noise as she did so. “Well, normally my favorite part is eating it. This time around you did magic with the cake when you cut it with that spell. You just made it float and you went with all those whooshes and it was in pieces and plates in a few seconds!”
“I just used a combination of levitation and my Slashing Spell,” Statice politely finished his slice of cake. “It was no big deal.”
“I’d hardly call dual casting not a big deal,” Celestia intruded into the conversation as she sat alongside the pair.
“Hi, Princess Celestia,” Pinkie Pie got off from her chair to hug the white alicorn, who returned the gesture with her wing. “I see that you’re done greeting the foals.”
“Not quite,” Celestia laughed demurely. “I just took a little break and let Luna take care of them. She’s needed some attention for a while. Speaking about attention, I couldn’t help but notice your magic trick with that cake?”
“Oh, thanks,” Pinkie blushed as she gave Celestia a random slice. “It’s not really my best work. I wasn’t sure what kind of flavor Statice liked so I selected a standard frosting. I was gonna ask him more about what kind of cake he’ll like more on the next party…”
“I was talking to Statice, Pinkie,” Celestia corrected her gently, yet not making any attempt to get rid of the cake that was given to her.
“Oh,” Pinkie grimaced awkwardly. “Now I feel embarrassed. Should I leave you two alone or you don’t mind me staying here?”
Celestia was about to answer nicely. Unfortunately, Statice beat her to the punch.
“Prepare the party games,” Statice smiled as nicely as possible.
“Okay,” Pinkie perked up before popping out of the chair. Statice sighed at dealing with the situation fine. The moment was ruined when Pinkie’s hoof came out of nowhere to pick up a random slice.
In hindsight, I should have seen that one coming. She didn’t eat any cake in that conversation.
He turned his head to see Celestia staring at him expectantly. It was like she was waiting for him to say something. By Tartarus, he hated starting conversations. It wasn’t his forte.
“Can you please tell me what dual casting is?” he asked with as much decorum as one can ask to another who is royalty and friend.
“Sure,” Celestia smiled.
That was easy.
“Spellcasting is the ability to cast magic from your horn and weave it into a spell through your own will,” Celestia as she levitated a fork in her own magic and used it to eat her cake bite by bite. “All unicorns do spellcasting when they perform even the most basic spells, such as levitation, to the most complex ones, like raising the sun and moon.”
“And I assume this dual casting is a unique branch of spellcasting,” Statice deducted based on the white alicorn’s mood when she entered the hall after his demonstration.
“Yes,” Celestia nodded her head. “Dual casting is the simultaneous casting of two spells at the same time. Normally, casting two spells one at a time causes the magic output released to be the sum of both spells. At worst, an imbalance between the two spells will cause the magic output to be twice that output. However, correctly performing that technique will give in theory half the sum of those two spells.”
Statice dropped his jaw upon hearing that concept. Such a high-risk high-reward technique was at his disposal and he was ignorant of its presence on his arsenal.
“Because of the high difficulty of dual-casting demanding high focus, which varies depending on the spells that are used, and magic control, which is hard to regulate given how much magic you will employ on both spells, the practice was banned. Only the unicorns of the classical era dared to try dual casting and even fewer managed to master it, Star Swirl the Bearded and Clover the Clever being among them.”
Did she just say that all this time I've used some sort of ancient magic skill every time that I tried to use a spell at the same time I was levitating something or I when I tried to mulitask by using two spells in one go? I need to ask more about this stuff now.
“You and Luna are among those in the list, I suppose?” Statice asked, noticing how Celestia didn’t include herself or her sister on the list. While he was aware that Celestia only mentioned unicorns, he wanted to see how much of a hassle dual casting was if even the alicorn sisters were incapable of mastering it.
As if she was ready to prove a point, Celestia calmly finished the cake slice she was eating and lighted her horn on magic as she set a steely glare on the fork. The fork turned red and lifted itself two feet above the plate, creating a fiery afterimage as it moved by the golden aura of Celestia’s magic.
“One of the benefits of dual-casting is that some spells have synergy with each other,” Celestia explained as she relaxed her glare and the fork turned back to silver, surprising Statice as it was still in pristine condition, not even melting from the excessive heat that surrounded it not a few seconds ago. "However, you shouldn't try to resort to this magic skill all the time, Statice. Trying to exploit the magical resonance for two spells is very hard because each of them is unique and different from each other in terms of frequency. Many ponies failed in most of their attempts and exhausted themselves by draining themselves from magic because of those failures."
And now I know why I suddenly had an occasional drop on my performance during my magical training. It's a good thing Digitalis always picked up my slack...or I wouldn't have the skill to show for the trouble it caused me.
“You mean like my levitation in conjunction with my Slashing Spell that I used for the cake?” Statice asked in fascination, trying to forbid about the morbid point that Celestia was trying to teach him. He'd rather not think over how many times his own mistakes could have caused his own destruction, especially those on which he had been unaware of the danger on which he put himself through.
“Or how you used it on the dinner on your first time here?” Celestia winked at him, causing the stallion to stammer. “Luna and I were really sure that despite your lack of magical theory you still had some grasp in magical practice by the way you applied your spellcasting.”
“And yet you still send me to Magic Kindergarten because you forgot to get rid of some outdated document by some pony name Pudding Head?” Statice gave her an annoyed glare.
“Not one of my proudest moments,” Celestia sighed.
“To be fair, I probably would have done the same,” Statice grinned at her. “I’m surprised if that had been your only mistake.”
“Not really,” Celestia shook her head. “After outlawing Pudding Head’s law, I found some old laws that are not really necessary anymore. They’re really outdated and may actually prove harmful for some citizens of Equestria in the long-term if left unchecked. However, I wouldn’t have found them out if it hadn’t been for you.”
Miserable jerk, I was the sacrificial pawn to ensure nopony else has to suffer from the old laws. That’s not different from being the bait when you’re being chased by a monster!
Whatever displeasure about his situation he hid well under a mask of polite amiability. He tried to speak more when Pinkie Pie suddenly summoned Vinyl Scratch from out of nowhere and played some sort of techno music. Apparently, the music was very addictive as all the guests went to dance into the hall with Celestia even abandoning Statice as he was about to say something.
“Thanks a lot, Pinkie,” Statice grumbled sarcastically beneath his teeth.
“You’re welcome!” Pinkie cheered from the speakers as she and Vinyl kept rocking out with the foals.
“Are you enjoying your party, Statice?”
The green unicorn tilted his head to the side to see Late Blossoms stare at him happily. For the mare who tried her best for her students, even the grumpy overgrown one, Statice gave her a small smile.
“Sure,” he offered her a slice of cake, which she gladly accepted. “You got any plans for your future.”
“Well, for the time being only two of my students will go with you to Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns,” she informed Statice while giving him a stern eye. “I won’t tell you who they are, but I will tell you that as their older peer that you have a responsibility to take care of them until you graduate, regardless of how many grades you skip.”
“Don’t worry,” he winked at her. “I’ll smack around any brat that tries to bully my kids around. I promise you that.”
“I’d rather have you being a supportive role model,” Late Blossoms scrunched her nose disapprovingly, probably the only time she’s ever frowned angrily at him.
“I was kidding,” Statice backpedaled, trying to avoid offending her.
Okay, I think I may have said the wrong thing to Late Blossoms if she's mad at me.
“It wasn’t funny,” she remarked. “But I’ll forgive you because you have good intentions behind that comment.”
“Wanna dance?” Statice proposed as he offered a hoof. It was mainly to avoid the awkwardness of the joke rather than to have a good time with her. The intention was missed by his teacher as she was more than happy to accept.
“Of course I do!” she cheered. “Let’s go!”
She took the offered hoof and bodily dragged him along the hall.
“Wow, I didn’t know your teacher had sick moves like that, Statice!”
“You’re definitely right about calling them sick,” Statice ambivalently said as Pinkie Pie hopped beside him.
If by sick you mean pulling dance moves that I’m sure are a decade too old to perform again at a party, then yeah, they are sick!
“Did you have fun?” Pinkie Pie got close to him.
“Sure,” Statice lied with a casual shrug of his shoulders. To be honest, he did enjoy the cake and talking with Celestia, Cadence, and Late Blossoms. The dancing could have been fun if he had been given enough space to move around without foals hindering his movements.
“Cadence told me that you’re gonna go to the Crystal Empire for your vacations,” Pinkie hopped around Statice in a circle somehow pulling the feat without getting in his way. She was practically orbiting around him rather than crashing against him as he or any normal pony would have expected her to do.
Being the Element of Laughter must have its perks in everyday life. It must be nice to defy the laws of physics and not paying the consequences. At least when you break those laws you're not doing anything wrong...
Although not sharing the same excitement, Statice was smiling just like Pinkie Pie, if only for his good fortune. A break would be alright. And the Crystal Empire was the closest thing to checking an ancient civilization in Equestria without having to go too far into the wilderness. It would be like his old life, except that it would only contain the exciting and educational parts rather than the dangerous segments of facing outlaws or animals.
Perhaps I should try studying about the Crystal Empire. The last thing I want is to get it coming on the test.
“So…do you wanna hear some suggestions about which places are the best for the Crystal Empire?” Pinkie Pie leaned close to Statice until their eyes met, stopping both ponies on their tracks.
The green unicorn raised his ears to listen for anypony walking in and moved his eyes to both sides just in case somepony waltzed in. Once he was safe, he took a few steps back from the pink mare and answered safely.
“I’d rather be surprised,” he answered truthfully.
“Ooh,” Pinkie perked up. “You love surprises? I love surprises too! Now I see why you loved my surprise party! I must really make more surprise parties for you the next time we meet.”
Statice’s eyes drooped at the comment. He wasn’t too keen on that kind of surprise nor did he mean his answer to be interpreted like that.
Now I have to surprise Pinkie before she surprises me every single time she tries to throw a party to me. Somepony bring me a scoreboard!
“By the way, how are you getting along with my friends?” Pinkie asked with some sort of curiosity. Her tone was curious, yet there was no denying the interrogative edge in her voice.
“Well, I don’t really dislike you if that’s what you think,” Statice responded in a pondering tone. “My time with Fluttershy and Rarity taught me that they can be very nice ponies when I’m not butting heads with them. We’re still not friends, but that’s because I believe that friendship should slowly develop over time rather than be instantaneous.”
“Oh,” Pinkie pondered, sounding very disappointed with Statice’s answer. “Well, at least I’m glad that you see them in a different light after the Arcanum Ball match. How did you get along with Rainbow Dash?”
The answer she got was a confused frown that turned into a blank stare.
How did I get along with Rainbow Dash? I only remember that I got into a fight with her, got into trouble with Celestia and Luna, and then we agreed that we should have settled our differences with an Arcanum Ball match.
“I’m not really sure,” Statice sheepishly grimaced. “We got into an argument that escalated and turned into a brawl. Celestia and Luna grounded us. And then when I met her and Rarity we agreed that next time we should try to solve our disagreements in a less violent way, like using sports.”
For some reason, Pinkie Pie frowned at that answer. He wasn’t sure if it was because she heard him admit that he got into a fight with her friend or because she was already aware of it and was not satisfied with his side of the story.
Why do I feel like there’s more to the story? Wait, how did Dashie told me her story was again? She and Rarity came back to Ponyville. Rarity was mad with her. Then Dashie told us that Statice went to Magic Kindergarten. She made fun of him and he said mean stuff to her back at him. Then they fought and…wait how did the rest of the story went after that part?
“Sorry,” Pinkie shook her head. “I just didn’t remember the part that Rainbow Dash told me about you and her getting into a fight. I was gonna ask you why did you get into a fight with her, but I can’t get the whole story out of you if I don’t remember her story too.”
“So that’s what it was about,” Statice said to himself before looking at Pinkie reassuringly. “Don’t worry about it. It was a dumb brawl that she and I agreed started over a silly disagreement. We’re gonna have a one-on-one Arcanum Ball match next time we meet again.”
“Are you sure?” Pinkie Pie hopped in after hearing that announcement. She looked more concerned than excited, probably because she didn't like the idea of him and Rainbow Dash getting into another fight.
“Sure,” Statice promised. “It’s better than beating the stuffing out of each other. We’re still competing but without hurting each other.”
"You Pinkie Promise?" she narrowed her eyes at him.
"I don't do Pinkie Promise," Statice gave her a deadpan glare, which was ineffective because of the annoyed twitchy eye he had present on the right side of his face. "However, I made an oath. That's a big deal to an unicorn. Next time I have a problem with Rainbow Dash I'll settle it with an Arcanum Ball match one-on-one rather than a fight."
She didn't give him an answer, only lidded eyes and a hum. Inside Statice's mind, only one thought kept repeating itself in a loop until she had a different reaction.
Please say yes! Please say yes! Please say yes! Please say yes! Please say yes! Please say yes! Please say yes! Please say yes! Please say yes!
“This is so awesome!” Pinkie declared as she hugged the green unicorn. In response, Statice teleported out of her grasp and made her fall to the floor.
“Let’s reserve the hugs for when we’re true friends, Pinkie,” Statice spoke firmly, albeit with a blush on his cheeks.
“Okay,” Pinkie stood up, not even fazed or insulted by the stallion rudely rejecting her hug. She was gonna get him to be her friend one way or another.
“So if I were to find more memory holes inside Statice’s subconscious dreams and perhaps trace a connection to them…then perhaps there is a chance to reawaken his ability to dream.”
“Fascinating,” Twilight remarked as she studied the parchment that Luna had, which contained only dot. “However, I must correct you in the etymology of this study, Princess Luna. The correct term is memory gap.”
Luna’s eyes widened, causing Twilight to shield her face with her wings in fright. In a rare display of good humor for the normally short tempered alicorn, Luna was more intrigued than offended.
“That does sound like a more revolutionary term,” she admitted. “Time does bring more reformative ideas over the years, sister.”
“I am glad you’re having your fun with my student, Luna,” Celestia smiled at her younger sister. Luna rarely got to spend time with other ponies so watching her spend time with either Cadence or Twilight always made Celestia happy because she always had much time raising them to be princesses when they were young and it was her sister’s turn to at least socialize with them a little bit.
“Are you sure that it’s a good idea to send Statice to the Crystal Empire, Princess Celestia?” Shining Armor asked reluctantly, not wanting to offend his superior. “Take into account that he used to practice dark magic before entering Equestria. And unlike Twily, he didn’t have control with it either based on what I was told.”
“I understand your mistrust given how the last time the Crystal Empire dealt with dark magic it disappeared for a thousand years by the powers of King Sombra,” Celestia closed her eyes as she remembered one of her greatest failures in her career. “However, Statice understands the dangers of dark magic and has restrained himself from using them ever again, especially here.”
“Besides, we put a Darkness Beacon Spell and Discord can sense such type of magic if it were ever casted in any place of Equestria,” Luna chimed in as she stopped talking with Twilight for a second. “If Statice had dared to try to use dark magic while he was still inside Canterlot we would have known and done something about it.”
Shining Armor grimaced as Luna’s voice took a sharp edge at the last sentence, heightening her protective edge over the citizens of Canterlot. It wasn’t surprising as Statice was pretty much studying at Magic Kindergarten so using dark magic while surrounded around foals would probably earn him something worse than a one-way ticket to the moon from Luna.
“While I admit that Statice deserves a rest,” Cadence cut in the conversation before Shining Armor had the chance of saying something that could further exacerbate the emotional Luna. “I still must wonder why you asked me to reserve a room for him for the next few weeks.”
“As you know, Luna is working on fixing Statice’s ability to dream,” Celestia pointed at her sister, who was now glaring at the scroll she made, particularly at the point she had drawn at the center of it. Twilight and Spike were by her side, now clearly disturbed by her odd attraction to it.
“Yes,” the married couple responded awkwardly at the same time. It was a quirk that they developed when dealing with the royal sisters.
“However, I anticipated that with Statice’s past that it was going to take me more than a few dream visits to help him out,” Luna decided to finish her sister’s explanation by herself. “This is why I decided to have Statice take a vacation. By putting Statice in a period of relaxation filled with memories of good times, I can better help him with his dreams.”
“So we need to overload him with pleasant memories to help you find the memory gaps that plague his dreams,” Twilight realized as she suddenly took notes on the issue.
“Wait,” Spike raised his claw. “Should we tell Statice about this? He has the right to know about this.”
Upon hearing the drake's statement, Celestia and Luna shared glances. It was a thought that they had discussed about and had not fully concluded yet. Although they were happy that Spike brought the topic up since it showed that he had empathy for the green stallion's predicament and his participation in the plan, they were also secretly glad to have the chance of talking about it with the rest of their family.
“That may be tricky,” Luna frowned in hesitation. “For starters, if Statice is aware that relaxation is the key to the memory gaps that are probably inhibiting his dreams, he would probably try to force himself to relax, which would cause him stress, therefore hindering our progress.”
“Oh,” Spike winced at the complications that Luna listed. “Still, wouldn’t Statice be aware of what are the things that help him relax? Maybe if he knows about relaxation and how it’s related with his dreams and memories, he may help us.”
“There’s also the fact that this may be a hypothesis at best, Spike,” Luna sighed tiredly. “I’ve never seen a case like Statice before. As such, I don’t want to give him false hope when there is not.”
At worst case scenario, if he tries to relax on purpose and ends up stressing himself, only for this whole theory to be false, then his vacations would be ruined!
“There is always a place for hope, dear sister,” Celestia walked in besides Luna. “I had it for Twilight when it came to her learning the Magic of Friendship and I had it for you returning to my side. I’m sure you can help Statice to dream again.”
“Thanks, Celestia,” Luna nuzzled her alabaster sister. “And fret not, I shall continue my studies until I find out what happened to Statice’s memories that disrupted his ability to dream.”
“I know you will,” Celestia smiled, happy that her younger sister was recovering her good cheer with a promise to succeed in her quest.
“And we’d like to aid you as well,” Cadence walked towards Luna with Shining Armor behind her, ready to support his wife in her decision. “I can promise you that Statice will have fun in the Crystal Empire.”
It was the next day when Statice was already standing in front of a crystal train besides Cadence and Shining Armor. He had an expression on his face that spelled disbelief and annoyance at the transportation method they chose.
Now that’s just showing off! Are they even aware of how many bits they’re wasting by using crystal as a vehicle? It’s an open invitation to getting robbed! I think I can list at least a hundred dudes that can use any travel from this train to anywhere as a chance for easy money. Well, at least I'll have something to do on the way to the Crystal Empire besides sleeping.
“Is something wrong, Statice?” Cadence asked with more concern than usual.
“Nothing,” he lied, not wanting those amethyst eyes to gaze at him sadly. “I just woke up tired and with a bad mood. It usually goes in a few minutes.”
A few minutes that are needed to turn into a nap that takes a few hours to finish. I just hope those few hours are all it takes to reach the Crystal Empire.
“There is a good breakfast inside the train,” Shining Armor cut in between them with a forced smile. “We usually bring the best chefs of the Crystal Empire with us in case we have to travel across Equestria for diplomatic meetings.”
“Nice,” Statice forced a tired smile between teeth as he prepared to enter into the train. “I’ll see the rest of you guys in a few weeks.”
He lifted a hoof and flicked it behind him to wave back at Celestia, Luna, Twilight, and Spike. Needless to say, one of them was annoyed with the gesture.
“I can’t believe he didn’t give a proper goodbye,” Twilight stomped a hoof, glaring at the green unicorn entering the train and then looking worryingly at Celestia and Luna, as if expecting them to order their guards to arrest Statice on the spot.
“Well, he was woken up pretty early and you did follow him to Canterlot,” Spike awkwardly added, trying to rationalize why Statice didn’t say goodbye to Twilight.
“That doesn’t excuse him NOT saying goodbye to Princess Celestia and Princess Luna!” Twilight yelled, obviously feeling more slighted at having her mentors disrespected than her.
“Do excuse Statice, Twilight,” Luna placed a hoof on Twilight’s back. “He’s no morning pony, just like me. Besides, the purpose of this trip is to allow him to relax. He needs to do so if there’s a chance for me to help him.”
"She's right," Celestia giggled to Spike. "You should see her in the mornings. She's so tired that she can barely eat any fruit right." The baby dragon snickered in response and his snickers died as soon as he saw the glare of the blue alicorn focused on him.
“I just hope that Shining Armor and Cadence don’t have any problems with him,” Twilight sighed, remembering how much mischief Statice caused in Canterlot the first time she met him.
“I’m pretty sure everything will be alright,” Celestia comforted her with a wing hug. “After all, how much problem can a stallion cause in one vacation.”
Little did she know that same stallion asked himself that same question when he started his retirement not so long ago. And she was still paying the price for all the damage he caused…and much more to come...