So, here I lay. On the ground. Clutching my right arm in pain. I slowly push off of the ground to sit up, my eyes catching the sight of the one that put me down to begin with. My eyebrows furrow as the figure slowly gets closer.
I just growl at him. "That was a cheap shot, dad."
He then stops in his tracks and raises an eyebrow. "There are no cheap shots in the field of combat."
I just sigh, looking off to the side. "I know..."
He then starts walking forward again, offering his claw to me. "Again?"
I just smile, accepting his claw and pulling myself up. "Yeah, I can keep going."
His expression then turns serious. "Keep your focus this time." He then teleports back to the other end of the room.
I simply get into a fighting stance, a determined look clear on my face.
"You can do it, Starburst," a voice calls from the sideline, catching my attention.
I just smile at that. "Thanks, Lieutenant Clear--" In that split second, I realize what I did and instinctively raise a claw up to block my face.
And just in time, as a fireball makes an impact. I then lower my claw to find that he disappeared from his initial position. I quickly whirl my head around, looking for my opponent... but I can't find him anywhere.
"Hey, over here." the voice calls. I turn my head to him, only to realize that he had returned to his earlier position. He then gets into a fighting stance himself. "Focus. Remember?"
I just growl. "Got it..."
"You could at least try to take it easy," another voice scolds. "She's only 13, after all."
He sighs at that. "I know... but I can't help myself sometimes."
I take that moment of distraction as an opportunity to close in on his location, my claw being enveloped in fire, and land a solid punch. Unfortunately, he saw through it as my punch phased right through his after image. I turn quickly and see that he's closing in on me quickly, his own claw enveloped in fire. I raise my right claw to block, but I quickly realize that it's a bad idea as his punch lands, causing me to cry out in pain. I then lose my balance, falling to the ground again... on my right arm. I wince as I clutch my arm again.
He quickly rushes over and bends down. "Are you alright?"
I just groan. "Yeah..."
He looks at me with a serious expression before looking off to the side. "Training's over. You can start again tomorrow."
I stare at him in shock. "What?! But... but I can still fight!"
"Not with your right arm in that condition," he responds, lifting it up to inspect it. I can only wince at that. "Uh-huh. It's bruised. Any more, and it would be broken."
"He's right," a new voice calls out, catching his attention. "You shouldn't push yourself too far. Your father made the same mistake three times before."
He looks at the new unicorn in the room in surprise. "General Reverb. I didn't know you would be coming."
She just nods. "I came to see how training was going." She then approaches me, a bit worried. "You're lucky your father stopped before he did any serious damage."
I just stare at her in awe. "Y-you're... you're the one that my dad always talks about..."
She raises an eyebrow as she looks at my dad. "Skips, have you been spreading rumors about me?"
It's his turn to raise an eyebrow. "What? No! I just... y'know... told her about our history together."
She simply stares at him with a blank expression. "Even... that thing?"
He just puts a claw behind his head, looking down. "I, uh... I haven't... told her that part yet."
I look between the two in confusion. "Wait, what thing?"
That causes him to sigh. "It's probably best to ask your mother about it."
"Wait, hold on... wasn't that supposed to be history between the two of you?" I respond, still confused.
"Yes... and no." Reverb looks directly at her, wearing a slightly somber expression. "Your mother found out before I did."
I just raise an eyebrow, still confused. "Found out what?!"
He then looks down at that. "I believe your chariot is waiting."
Reverb nods. "Indeed." She then turns to leave. "Come along, Starburst."
I just look between the two, still confused, before eventually complying, sighing in frustration. "This is just confusing..."
"It's confusing for everyone," Clear replies. He then looks up in thought. "There's a reason Captain Skips is such an excellent warrior."
I just raise an eyebrow. "Doesn't his dragon nature automatically make him an excellent warrior?"
He just chuckles at that. "I believe that's one for your mother to tell."
I just roll my eyes at that. "Fine." I then start to follow Reverb, but not before turning back. "Just know that one day soon, I'll be able to surpass you."
He just chuckles at that. "Spirited! Just like your dad!"
I then wave at him, falling in step with Reverb.
She can't help but stare at my right arm. "Does it hurt?"
"Hmm?" I look over at Reverb, and I notice immediately what she's referring to. I start to clutch my arm. "Yeah... it's pretty bad."
She looks at it carefully. "Sometimes, your father goes a bit too far..."
I just frown at that. "I know, but... in the long run it'll make me stronger... right?"
Reverb frowns at that. "Not necessarily." She then starts to board the chariot.
I board the chariot alongside her, but I see a pony off in the alleyway. They look... strange. Their coat is a rugged matted brown, as is their mane and tail, and one of his eyes is made of crystal. "Wonder who that is...?"
She looks at me, then over in the direction I'm facing. She then quickly turns to the pegasi carrying the chariot. "We need to go. Now!"
A pony with a midnight blue coat paces back and forth in her room, worried for her daughter's safety. She mumbles and groans as she paces.
This catches the attention of one of the guards outside of her room. "Is everything alright, Princess Luna?" he asks, turning to face the door.
She looks over at the door, sighing. "Everything's fine." She then walks over to the balcony, looking off in the distance. "At least, I hope so..." she mutters.
"Alright, I'll take your word for it." The guard doesn't sound convinced.
Luna just looks out at the moon. "Starburst..."