The night will last forever.
The words rang inside Rarity's head as she saw the figure of Nightmare Moon laughing in front of her. Her shock did briefly give way to irritation though. Sure, being bad and bringing misery to other ponies was fun, but did she didn't have to stand there giggling like a maniac. It was so undignified.
As Nightmare Moon continued to laugh, Rarity was beginning to regret not crushing her throat when she had the chance. She was standing right in front of her; it would have been so easy! Just one little jab, and everypony could go home. Although, now that she thought about it, she wasn't completely sure that it was possible to kill a goddess in that way, or at all.
Well, it seemed at least that The Mayor was going to try to subdue one at least. She motioned to a trio of royal guards who had just been standing there for some reason and pointed at Nightmare Moon. "Seize her! Only she knows where the Princess is!" The three charged Nightmare Moon, prompting Rarity to question whether or not they even had a plan beyond saying 'You are under arrest now tell us where Princess Celestia is.'
As the three charged her, Nightmare Moon's eyes glowed white. "Stand back you foals!" Still laughing, Nightmare Moon shot bolts of lightning at them causing all three to be blown back by her raw power. Seeing how easy it had been for Nightmare Moon to take out three highly trained soldiers, Rarity became glad that she had not attacked. She had no doubt that Nightmare Moon could have erased her from existence with one swift move if she had failed to get an instant kill.
Before anypony could do anything further, Nightmare Moon wrapped her flowing mane around herself and vanished into a cloud of starry smoke which instantly flew out the door of Town Hall.
Seeing the goddess leave, Rarity allowed herself to ease up a bit and she ran down the stairs towards the main crowd of ponies. Rainbow Dash had already flown out to try and catch the wisp of smoke, but Rarity already knew that it was no use. Nightmare Moon was a goddess, after all.
She spotted Applejack in one corner comforting a shaking Fluttershy. Even Pinkie Pie had stopped smiling and was oddly silent. Rarity ran towards them. Applejack was whispering to Fluttershy, her forelegs wrapped around the shaking pegasus' shoulders, and stroking her mane. "It's alright, sugar cube. Nightmare Moon's gone. She won't hurt you."
Fluttershy continued shaking. "B-but what if she comes back? You heard her; she wants the night to last forever! My animal friends can't live in eternal night! I can't live in eternal night!" Fluttershy wailed and wrapped her forelegs around Applejack's waist. "We're doomed! We're all doomed!"
"Now hold on there, sugar cube. We ain't just goin' to let this one go." Applejack pried Fluttershy off of her and looked her in the eye. "Do ya remember Twilight? That mare we had that party for today? Well, if she knew who that pony was then she probably knows how to stop her. Ah think she'll know what we ought to be doin' next."
"Yeah! Twilight will know how to defeat that nasty old meanie!" Pinkie Pie agreed. "I vote that we go and find her!"
"I think that Pinkie is correct." Rarity trotted closer to the group and put her hoof on Pinkie's shoulder. "We really do need to go see Twilight."
Fluttershy nodded weakly but she seemed to have gotten ahold of her nerves better for the moment. Her violent shaking had toned down a little at any rate. With Applejack's help, Fluttershy got to her hooves and followed the other three ponies out the door of the Town Hall.
As soon as the four had exited Rainbow Dash landed in front of them. "Where are you four going?"
"We are on our way to the library," said Rarity as she motioned towards the building in question. "We thought that because Twilight knew so much about who Nightmare Moon was, then maybe she knows how to stop her!"
Rainbow Dash's eyes lit up. "Yeah, it is kind of funny how Twilight knew so much about Nightmare Moon isn't it?" Rainbow Dash took wing. "Let's get some answers out of that pony!"
With that, the five ponies ran towards the library. Rarity inwardly sighed as she remembered her original plans for the evening regarding Twilight and her dragon. She supposed that she would have to put those plans off for now, as filleting the one pony who could get them out of this mess seemed a bit counterproductive at the moment. However, she promised herself that she would have her time.
The library came into view and Rainbow Dash zoomed in ahead of the other four to and burst into the library. Within a few seconds, the other four entered the room just in time to hear Rainbow's accusations. "...and how do you know so much about Nightmare Moon, huh? Are you a spy?!"
Applejack pulled her back by the tail, quick to diffuse Rainbow's anger. "Simmer down there, Sally. She ain't no spy, but she sure knows what's goin' on." Applejack and the other four moved in closer to Twilight. "Don’t ya, Twilight?"
Twilight sighed and began her explanation of the events of that night. She brought up something called the 'Elements of Harmony' and how they could potentially stop Nightmare Moon, if they could even be found that is.
Rarity frowned. Maybe Twilight wouldn't be such a good help after all. They certainly needed something a little more concrete than old pony tales if they were going to defeat night incarnate. Maybe the group would be better off letting the royal guard deal with this situation as opposed to six random ponies betting on old mare's tales.
However, Pinkie Pie's high-pitched voice broke through her train of thought and forced Rarity back to the events happening in the library. "The Elements of Harmony: A Reference Guide."
Twilight immediately knocked her out of the way and found the book that Pinkie had brought up. "How did you find that?!"
Pinkie Pie bounced back towards the group; completely uncaring that she had just been knocked halfway across the room. "It was under 'E'," she responded in a happy, singsong voice.
Twilight's eyes narrowed slightly in bemusement. "Oh." She levitated the book off of the shelf. Pinkie meanwhile had come to rest between Fluttershy and Rarity. "There are six Elements of Harmony," Twilight recited as she flipped through the tome, "but only five are known: Kindness, Laughter, Generosity, Honesty, and Loyalty."
At the mention of the word 'generosity', a feeling awoke inside of Rarity that she couldn't explain. It was almost as if a spirit was lying dormant inside of her, something that was a very part of her soul. It was a pure being that lay inside of her core, beyond the love of fashion, beyond her love for her family, beyond even the need to kill. Whatever it was, it seemed to have been awoken when Twilight mentioned The Element of Generosity. Rarity inwardly frowned. What was that all about? she thought. However, she didn't have much time to think about it as Twilight continued on with the book.
"The sixth is a complete mystery. It is said that the last known location of the five Elements was in the ancient castle of the royal pony sisters. It is located in what is now..." Rarity blinked for a brief second. Suddenly, when she opened them she found herself at the edge of...
"...the Everfree Forest!" gasped all six ponies in unison. This was it. This was the first time in Rarity's life where she would be entering the forest with other ponies and she, theoretically, would not be the only one who came out in the end. She had to admit, the thought was more than a little unsettling. The very thought of going deep into the forest to search for some ancient artifacts that may not even exist... it was a suicide mission is what it was.
As per usual, though, Pinkie Pie immediately went back to her bubbly, happy, 'Pinkie Mode', as Rarity liked to call it. Her trademark smile stretched across her face, and she began walking towards the forest. "Whee! Let's go!"
Twilight shook her head and held out a foreleg, blocking the path of the pink pony. "Not so fast!" she said. Pinkie screeched to a halt and frowned at Twilight. "Look, I appreciate the offer, but I'd really rather do this on my own."
"Suit yourself," Rarity mumbled. However, Applejack laid any thoughts of that nature to rest.
"No can do, sugar cube, we sure as hay ain't lettin' any friend of ours go into that creepy place alone. We're stickin' to you like caramel on a candy apple." Rarity rolled her eyes at the analogy but followed Rainbow into the forest and copied the grunt of agreement that Rainbow and Fluttershy gave all the same.
"Especially if there's candy apples involved!" Pinkie Pie chirped. Twilight shot Pinkie a look of utter disbelief, something that didn't faze Pinkie. "What? Those things are good!"
The beginning of the journey to the castle was largely uneventful. Most of the fear that the group experienced was coming from the atmosphere of the forest as opposed to any tangible dangers that they faced. Rarity had to admit, when you weren't the thing to be afraid of, the forest was pretty scary. It would have likely be dark and dank even if Nightmare Moon hadn't brought eternal night to the lands.
As the group continued to walk towards whatever destination that Twilight was leading them to, she heard Twilight gain the nerve to begin talking about their situation. "So, none of you have ever been in here before?"
Rarity opened her mouth to respond with a 'yes but never this far' but she closed it when she realized that such an admission would lead to awkward questions. She decided to settle for something far less curious. "Heavens no! Just look at it. It's dreadful!" She putting more fear into her reply then she really felt, although she was slightly afraid. She dearly wished that everything had gone to plan and that the Summer Sun Celebration had gone like it did every year. She would be slicing Twilight to ribbons right now instead of following her to some unknown fate.
"And it ain't natural," said Applejack. "Folks say it don't work the same as Equestria."
Twilight shrank back and flattened her ears. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Nooopony knows!" said an ominous voice, which turned out to be Rainbow Dash, flying creepily out of the shadows. "You know why?"
Under normal circumstances, Rarity would have rolled her eyes and ignored Rainbow's obvious attempts to hide her fear. However, given the circumstances her voice did unlock a twinge of fear inside Rarity.
Applejack on the other hoof, would have none of it. "Rainbow, quit it!"
Rainbow moved in close to Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie, still doing her best to scare them. Despite herself, Rarity felt herself lean back a few inches. "Cause everypony who has ever come in has never... come... out!"
Before Rarity could respond, she felt the ground underneath her give way. Rarity found herself and the other three non-pegasi of the group sliding down towards a ledge. It didn't take a genius to guess that a steep drop awaited them at the end of the ledge and she squealed in terror. However, before she slid too far, she felt a tug on her tail and looked back to see herself being hoisted in the air by Fluttershy. Her savior carried her towards the ledge and flew down until they touched the ground. Rarity sighed in relief and hugged Fluttershy. "Oh thank you, darling. I would have been a goner were it not for you!"
Fluttershy only had time to flash Rarity a small smile before she took to the air again. Rainbow Dash had deposited Pinkie next to Rarity before taking wing herself.
"Oh, no, Twilight!" Pinkie cried.
Rarity followed her line of sight and saw Twilight dangling on the edge, in imminent danger of falling to her death at any moment. However, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash had spotted this too and were flying underneath her, ready to catch her in case she did fall. It only took a few seconds for their position under Twilight to show its use as she fell towards the ground with a scream of terror, only to find herself in the capable hooves of the two pegasi. Rarity breathed a sigh of relief as the two carried Twilight down towards where her and Pinkie stood. Applejack followed behind them, jumping down on different protruding ledges.
When the group reconvened where Pinkie and Rarity stood, Twilight ran over to Fluttershy and Rainbow and pulled them into a hug. "Oh, thank you both! I thought I was a goner for a minute there."
Rainbow chuckled and nonchalantly ran a hoof through her mane. "Yeah well, what were we going to do? Just let you fall?"
Twilight exhaled. "I'm glad you didn't." She pulled out of the grasp of her pegasus friends and grabbed Applejack into a hug. "Thanks for helping me through that. I didn't know what was going to happen."
Applejack blushed. "Aw, it ain't nothin', Twilight."
With the safety of the group assured, the six all began walking towards their destination again. True to form, it was only a few seconds before Rainbow was recounting her tale of amazing heroism. Rarity chuckled at herself, but managed to tune Rainbow out as she had learned to do very early on when the pegasus began to get full of herself. She heard Twilight's voice break through the rant and started to pay attention to the conversation again just in time to hear the next piece of bad news.
"A manticore!" Twilight cried. Rarity looked where Twilight was looking and sure enough, a very angry looking manticore was blocking their path. He looked like he was about to charge at any second. Rarity had never seen a manticore this close up. She had only spotted one once when one of them was picking the remains of one of her victims clean. The manticore reared up on its hind legs and gave a mighty roar that shook Rarity to the core. "We've gotta get past him!"
The manticore immediately sprung into full attack mode and pounced at Rarity, swiping his massive paw at her head. Rarity managed to duck just in time to avoid an instantaneous decapitation, and she wheeled around to smash her hind hooves into the manticore's face with as much strength as she could muster. Her hind legs weren't as strong as the hind legs of a pony like Applejack, but they still packed quite a decent punch.
"Take that you ruffian!" she said triumphantly. To her surprise, her kick did little more than anger the manticore, who roared directly in her face. Rarity felt her hair blow back from the force of the roar, and looked up at it to see that the manticore had made it all frizzled and poofy. "My hair!" she wailed before she realized that she had bigger problems at the moment. She looked back to see the growling manticore and with a yelp, she retreated.
She ran behind the group who was still doing their best to deal with the monster. It was better that they dealt with it, as Rarity could obviously do nothing about it right now. Besides, her hair demanded immediate attention. With a quick spell, she managed to curl it back to normal, just in time to see Rainbow flying fast around the manticore in an obvious attempt to make it dizzy. It didn't work as well as she hoped, and Rainbow was sent flying with a flick of the manticore's scorpion-like tail.
Once Rainbow got up, Twilight geared up for a charge. Rarity saw the manticore do the same, but Twilight made the first move and ran towards the manticore. Rarity and the others followed, desperately hoping that Twilight had an actual plan. To her surprise, and the surprise of the group, they were stopped in their tracks by Fluttershy of all ponies. "WAAAAAAIIIT" The group skidded to a halt.
Rarity frowned, curious as to why her friend was stopping the battle, but her jaw dropped when she saw Fluttershy begin walking up towards the manticore. The beast promptly raised a paw, ready to crush Fluttershy with one swift motion. The strength of the beast would leave no doubt of the outcome should he score a hit.
Rarity closed her eyes tightly. She was used to death at this point, but she couldn't bear to watch a friend of hers be swatted away, leaving only a broken and bloody corpse. Rarity braced herself for the sound of a sickening crunch, but none came. She opened her eyes and her jaw dropped when she saw the manticore holding a giggling Fluttershy and licking her mane. "I knew Fluttershy was good with animals but this..." She turned her head to Twilight. "This is beyond what even we knew her to be capable of!"
"Remarkable," said Twilight softly. She shook her head and jerked her head to motion to the others that they should move past the beast.
Rarity followed Applejack and Rainbow Dash past Fluttershy and the happy manticore towards whatever challenge awaited them next. She turned back briefly to see Fluttershy talking briefly to Twilight, her mane sticking up in the most unseemly manner. Fluttershy began following the group, but Rarity held out a hoof to stop her. "Just one second, darling. That creature made an awful mess of your mane."
"He's not an awful creature!" Fluttershy insisted. "He's a manticore, and a perfectly nice one too."
Rarity inwardly snorted while she used her magic to fix Fluttershy's mane, but replied with something more placating. "Oh, yes, sorry, I meant manticore." Rarity examined Fluttershy's mane and smiled when it met her standards. "There, all done darling, you look lovely."
Fluttershy gave Rarity a quick hug. "Thank you, Rarity." She began trotting faster to keep up with the group with Rarity following closely behind her.
As the six continued to walk, Rarity was getting frustrated by the silence that had settled into the group. She felt the ground underneath her get squishier. "My eyes need a rest from all of this icky muck," Rarity complained. Yes, it was a silly complaint and Rarity wasn't even sure what it was supposed to mean. As they continued walking, the moon was obscured by the treetops, and it became so dark that Rarity could hardly see her hoof in front of her face. "Well I didn't mean that literally," she muttered.
"That ancient ruin could be right in front of our faces and we wouldn't even know it!" said Twilight.
"Oh wait, Ah think Ah stepped in somethin'," Applejack murmured, lifting up a dirty hoof caked in mud. Rarity was confused by the shriek of terror from Fluttershy that followed Applejack's revelation and apparently, so was Applejack."It's just mud."
However, Applejack turned to see what Fluttershy was screaming at and her gaze was met with a giant, twisted tree in front of them; a threatening face plastered on its trunk. Now it was the turn of the other ponies to shriek in fear.
A million thoughts ran through Rarity's mind at that moment. The most prevalent one was the voice of reason that was itself panicking. This is it. The deadliest serial killer in Equestrian history is about to be eaten by a giant tree!
Rarity continued to scream, expecting at any moment to feel the twisted branches wrap around her body, bringing her closer to the tree's gaping maw. However, what she heard instead was laughter. Pinkie Pie's laughter to be more specific. She managed to open her eyes and to her surprise, Pinkie Pie was standing in front of a tree, laughing her head off at how silly she thought it looked. Rarity's surprise increased when she noticed that the terrifying tree hadn't gobbled her up.
"Pinkie, what are you doing? Run!" Twilight cried.
Somehow, Pinkie Pie responded to this perfectly reasonable demand with more laughter. "Oh girls, don't you see?" Pinkie promptly began moving to a beat that only she could hear. Naturally, Pinkie began singing one of her famous improvised songs that often accompanied such beats. Rarity had often been present for the moments when Pinkie burst out into rambunctious song. Twilight on the other hoof, had never had such an experience.
"Tell me she isn't," the unicorn deadpanned.
Rarity sighed inwardly. "She is.". If questioned, Rarity would have admitted that she perceived the song to be ill timed as the trees would surely become annoyed at her singing and destroy them all, but Pinkie seemed to be singing about how best to handle the situation.
"She said 'Pinkie, you gotta stand up tall! Learn to face your fears, you'll see that they can't hurt you just laugh to make them disappear." And with that simple shred of wisdom, Pinkie turned towards one of the trees and, with a confidence that Rarity certainly didn't share, she laughed at it. Rarity's eyes widened as the offending face on the tree vanished without a trace.
Soon, all of the ponies were laughing at the trees and to Rarity's surprise, the twisted visages that the trees once held began to pop out of existence. Rarity wasn't sure how it worked, but all she cared about now was the fact that they were no longer in danger. She didn't know how Pinkie had done it, but she had learned a long time ago that explaining Pinkie Pie was impossible.
Once the laughter of the six ponies faded away, they began their journey again, giving Rarity a little more time to reflect on her companions. Somehow, Rarity found herself more at ease around the other five ponies. Certainly more so than she had ever been before. She had always adored Fluttershy, and she had a soft spot for Pinkie Pie as well. She considered Rainbow to be too self-absorbed for her tastes, and she had always felt awkward around Applejack since the day that she had tried to kill her. As for Twilight, well, Rarity had a set of knives waiting to carve Twilight up when they got back.
However, as the group continued onwards, Rarity began to think about Twilight and just what she had done so far. She was a little neurotic, sure, but she seemed like a genuinely nice pony. Rarity briefly imagined ripping Twilight apart and instead of the usual exhilaration that came with planning a kill, she felt empty. It was as if the idea had become far less appealing to her now that she had spent some time with her on this adventure. She bit her lip and looked over at Twilight. I don't suppose... I don't suppose I can kill her now, can I?
As the group continued to walk, they heard the sound of a rushing river draw closer to them. After a few minutes, they reached the source of the noise. Sure enough, the water was rushing too fast for them to even consider trying to cross it on hoof.
"How are we going to cross this?" asked Pinkie Pie.
With the help of the pegasi of course.
As Rarity turned towards Pinkie to suggest this, they all heard a wail come from an area not too far from where they were. The group frowned and went over to the source of the misery.
When they got close, they saw a serpent with half a mustache, absolutely wailing in sorrow, splashing his coils into the water, triggering the splashes that were causing the rapids. "What a world!" it wailed. "What a world!"
Twilight raised an eyebrow. "Excuse me, sir. Why are you crying?"
The serpent stopped his moaning long enough to answer. "Well, I don't know. I was just sitting here, minding my own business, when this tacky cloud of purple smoke whisked past me and tore half of my beloved mustache clean off! And now I look simply horrid!" The serpent, who broke out into a fresh string of wails and thew himself into the river, drenching the entire group.
Rarity ran her hoof through her sopping wet mane. For goodness sakes, did he have to get my mane wet? Rarity's gaze flickered up to the sobbing serpent, and she touched her mane on reflex. Well, I suppose I can sympathize. If half of my mane was severed...
Rainbow Dash was not so sympathetic. "Oh give me a break."
"That's what all the fuss is about?" Applejack scoffed.
Rarity stepped forward and glared at Rainbow. "Why of course it is! How can you be so insensitive?" She turned to the serpent. "Oh, just look at him." She began stroking the serpent's snout. "Such lovely luminescent scales."
The serpent sniffled "I know!" he moaned.
"And your expertly coiffed mane!"
The serpent straightened up and stroked his hair. "Oh I know, I know!"
Rarity widened her smile. "And your fabulous manicure!"
"It's so true!" the serpent squealed.
"All ruined without your beautiful mustache!"
The serpent threw his arms into the air. "It's true, I'm hideous," he wailed.
Rarity narrowed her eyes. "I simply cannot let such a crime against fabulosity go uncorrected!" It would no doubt be difficult, but she knew what she had to do. She leaned in and grasped one of the serpent's scales in her mouth and yanked. It came loose easily and the serpent recoiled in pain. Rarity payed him no heed as she raised the razor sharp scale high.
Twilight frowned at Rarity. "Rarity, what are you...?" Before Twilight could finish, Rarity swung the scale. Instantly she felt the latter three-fourths of her tail sever neatly like a hot knife through butter.
She paid no attention to the gasps of shock from the others as she used her magic to attach her tail to the ruined half of the mustache. The serpent perked up at this and gave a squeal of joy. "My mustache! How wonderful!"
"You look absolutely smashing," Rarity complemented.
"Oh Rarity, your beautiful tail!" Twilight moaned.
Rarity turned to face the others with a half smile, half grimace on her face. "It's quite alright, my dear. Short tails are in this season. Besides, it'll grow back."
Rarity inwardly scoffed at her lie. It almost makes me feel ill to say that. She shook her head and looked over to the serpent who was fawning over his regenerated facial hair. A small smile crossed her face. Though I have to admit, fixing his mustache... Her smile widened. It felt wonderful. Almost like the feeling I get from a kill.
She put on a smile as she crossed the river to the other side, not actually paying attention to her surroundings. Instead, she was deep in thought about this whole experience. Rarity had never actually had any true, deep friends. Yes she had friends like Cheerilee growing up, but the two of them had grown apart as time went on, mainly because Rarity had been focusing more and more on her murders. But now, she was beginning to feel a deep bond forming between her and the other five ponies. She wasn't sure what it was, and it certainly wasn't happening by choice. She still might kill Twilight after all of this was over.
Would I really?
She tuned back in to the real world in time to see Rainbow Dash fluttering her wings at Pinkie Pie and flying across a ravine to tie off a broken rope bridge that was the only thing stopping them from entering the ruins of the castle that had appeared in the distance. Rarity steeled herself. The Rarity who went into the castle and the Rarity who came out at the end would be different ponies. It was possible that even her desire to kill would be eradicated by whatever was in those ruins. She was so engrossed in her thoughts that she hardly noticed that Rainbow Dash was talking to a trio of ponies who looked like the evil twins of the Wonderbolts. She was far more focused on the moments ahead of them: the moments when The Elements of Harmony would be revealed.
After a short time, Rainbow Dash flew back over to the group. Rarity knew that she had defeated the other ponies somehow, but she was still tuned out. A casual onlooker wouldn't be able to tell that she had been lost in thought for a while now.
As they entered the ruins, Rarity saw what the group had been looking for: The Elements of Harmony. Rarity surveyed the ancient stone relics. They really didn't look like much, just circular stones with a symbol carved on the front. However, Rarity knew that just because something looks plain and unassuming does not mean that there is not tremendous strength underneath. It was something that Rarity had suspected of Fluttershy for a while, now that she thought of it. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy flew up and retrieved the Elements from their pedestals and put them down next to Twilight, their wings kicking up a cloud of dust as they flew close to the ground.
Pinkie looked at the Elements and began counting. "One, two, three, four... there's only five!"
Rainbow raised her eyebrow at this revelation. "Where's the sixth?"
Twilight leaned down and examined the stone objects. "The book said, 'when the five are present, a spark will cause the sixth Element to be revealed.'"
"What in the hay does that mean?" asked Applejack.
Twilight looked at the Elements with a determination that only she could pull off. "I'm not sure but I have an idea. Stand back! I don't know what this will do." Her horn began to glow as she started to cast a spell on the Elements. As Rarity stood back, her heart began beating fast. Somehow, being in the presence of the Elements was affecting her in some way. She felt scared, but calm at the same time. Her eyes landed on one of them and she swore that it seemed to almost call out to her.
However, Applejack beckoned the other four out of the room. "Come on now y'all, she needs to concentrate." As much as Rarity hated this and did not want to miss whatever happened, she knew that Applejack was right and that Twilight needed to be on her own for right now. She filed out of the ruins with the rest of them.
It killed her inside to just sit there and wait, but she did not have to wait long. Within a few moments of the five leaving, they heard Twilight's shocked yell and the five rushed inside just in time to see Twilight jump inside a whirling vortex that surrounded the Elements before she vanished without a trace.
Immediately, the five began running around the ruins in a vain attempt to find their new friend. Rarity knew that Twilight was no longer in that particular part of the ruins, and so she looked outside a window and saw a different part of the castle. Its windows were all lit up and Rarity immediately knew that Twilight and the Elements were in there. "Look!" she pointed to the other four.
Applejack took immediate action. "Come on!" she said to the other four and she led the charge towards a hallway, hoping that it would lead them to wherever Twilight was. Luckily for the five friends the hallways of the ruins, what was left of them anyways, were fairly straightforward. Whatever parts of the castle that different turns had led to were long gone, and there was only one staircase in their path that looked like it went somewhere else. Immediately the five climbed it and began calling out for Twilight.
As they reached the top of the stairs, Rarity heard Twilight talking confidently to Nightmare Moon, or at least, that's who Rarity assumed she was talking to. "Quiet!" she hissed to her friends who hushed up and listened to what she was saying. They couldn't make out the words, but as they entered the room, Twilight's speech to Nightmare Moon, who was standing on the opposite side of the room with what appeared to be the destroyed Elements at her feet, became clearer.
"Well you're wrong, because the spirits of the Elements of Harmony are right here!"
The shards at Nightmare Moon's hooves began glowing, and they flew over to each one of Twilight's new friends. Twilight had said that she was the Element of Generosity because she sacrificed her tail. Rarity's stomach twisted into a knot. Yes... I suppose that it was generous of me, wasn't it?
"The spirits of these five ponies got us through every challenge you threw at us!" said Twilight. Rarity glared at the evil being in front of them. It was time for a reckoning for Nightmare Moon.
"You still don't have the sixth Element! The spark didn't work!" Nightmare Moon's eyes shifted around the room as if expecting the sixth element to appear out of nowhere. Rarity allowed herself a smug smile. Nightmare Moon knew that all hope was lost, that she had been defeated and the sun would rise again.
"But it did work! A different kind of spark!" Twilight turned towards each of the five ponies and spoke as if their very beings were now one. "I felt it the very moment I realized how happy I was to hear you, to see you. How much I cared about you. The spark ignited inside me, when I realized you all are my friends!"
As she said those last words, the sixth Element of Harmony appeared above Twilight. Rarity smiled inside. Any thoughts of victory for the fallen goddess were now surely gone. Rarity somehow knew that this was the Element of Magic. It probably had something to do with her spirit being entwined with an Element as well. Just as Twilight confirmed that this was indeed the Element of Magic, Rarity saw that the shards around her formed into a necklace that immediately placed itself around Rarity's neck. A beam of light shot out of each Element which then formed a beam of pure rainbow which enveloped Nightmare Moon. Nightmare Moon's yells of terror faded away as the rainbow beam seemingly obliterated her.
Once the rainbow beam faded away, Rarity felt her hooves touch down on the ground. She felt that she had just used an amazing amount of magic, but she did not feel tired at all. As a matter of fact, she felt better than she had in her entire life. She realized that her tail felt odd for some reason. she looked behind her and to her delight, her tail had grown back! "Oh, why Rarity, it's so lovely!" cooed Fluttershy.
Rarity brought her tail close to her head and nuzzled it. "I know, I'll never part with it again!"
"No, I mean your necklace. It looks just like your cutie mark!"
Rarity looked down and sure enough, on the center of her necklace was a gem, shaped just like her cutie mark. She looked at Fluttershy. "So does yours!" Rarity glanced over at Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie, both of whom had made a similar discovery.
"Gee Twilight, I thought you were just spoutin' a lot of hooey, but I reckon we really do represent the elements of friendship," said Applejack.
At that moment, a powerful, yet serene voice filled the room. "Indeed you do," said the voice. At that precise moment, the sun rose on the horizon and a regal looking alicorn stood in the middle of the room, looking proudly at them all. Rarity gasped inwardly and sunk to her knees. This was Princess Celestia herself. Rarity was in awe of the princess. She had never met her before and she had only seen pictures of her, but Rarity felt that those pictures did not do the raw power of her presence justice.
Rarity was both comforted and frightened at the sight of her ruler as questions raced through her mind. Does she know, Rarity? If she finds out, will she tolerate it because you are now a bearer of an Element of Harmony? Rarity pulled her gaze away from Princess Celestia and glanced over to the remains of Nightmare Moon. She cocked her head at the sight of a small blue alicorn lying on the ground: the remains of Nightmare Moon. Rarity briefly remembered the knives she had in her basement. If she could just... Rarity inwardly scoffed. Don't be ridiculous, Rarity. That would be impossible.
However, before Rarity could react any further, Princess Celestia walked over to the huddled alicorn. "Princess Luna." Luna looked up and when she saw Celestia, she shrank back in fear. "It has been a thousand years since I have seen you like this. Time to put our differences aside. We were meant to rule together little sister." Rarity's jaw dropped in surprise. Nightmare Moon and Princess Celestia were sisters? Well, then it would be awkward for Rarity to kill her, now wouldn't it?
As Rarity looked on, Celestia forgave Luna and Luna accepted Celestia's forgiveness. It was a beautiful moment.
* * * *
The next few hours had passed by in a blur for Rarity. The biggest thing that she remembered was that Twilight would be staying permanently in Ponyville, a notion that pleased her. She had fully accepted Twilight, as well as the others, as her friends now. She had never had that kind of deep connection before, but she knew her friends were beyond mere friends now. They were her family.
A few hours after sunrise, Rarity unlocked the door to her house. Pinkie's party that she had thrown in honor of the return of Princess Luna had worn her, and indeed everypony, out. Rarity had one stop to make before collapsing on her bed.
She played the piano that opened her secret basement. As she entered the basement the gore that lined the walls and floors became slightly repulsive to her now. Rarity's stomach churned at the sight of the bloody pelts adorning her wall. Somehow they were even worse than the dried blood.
She trotted over to her workbench. As she sat down, she stared at her shiny metal tray which held all of the tools that she had meant to use on Twilight. She had wanted to kill Twilight Sparkle. She had set up her private room to kill Twilight Sparkle. Twilight was a mare who was now as much a part of her life as Sweetie Belle, a pony she had promised that she would never hurt under any circumstances.
At the sight of her instruments of death, a great wave of anger consumed Rarity and she knocked over the tray, sending her knives sliding along the floor. She roared and began tearing up her kill room. She ripped the knives in her desk out of their holders and flung them across the room. She tore at the straps on her kill table and ripped them clean off. She used her magic to tear her grim decorations from their spots on the wall and she threw them on the blood stained floor. Rarity tried to gain control of her anger, but she felt it gave way to overwhelming sorrow. She collapsed on the ground, sobbing into her front legs.
She curled up into a ball and continued wailing in self pity. "I'm a monster, Rarity!" she sobbed. "I was going to kill Twilight!"
"Yes. And now..." Rarity pushed herself onto her haunches and poked at her butcher knife. "Now you wield an Element of Harmony." Rarity scoffed and wiped her tears away. "All you've ever done is take pony's lives away from them. Surely you regret that now that you're a champion of Equestria."
Rarity bit the inside of her cheek and grabbed another nearby knife. She lifted up the gleaming blade and examined it. "Well... no, I really don't." She chuckled to herself and tapped the knife against her head. "I feel terrible that I was going to hurt Twilight, but being a serial killer in general? It's just so wonderful. Why would I ever regret something like that?"
Rarity took a deep breath and lowered her knife to the ground. She looked around her basement. Knives were scattered everywhere and the pelts and manes were beginning to become a little bloody. Rarity quickly used her magic to put her manes and pelts back where they belonged, as well as to repair the damage to her table. She pushed herself to her hooves and looked down at herself. "Blood and tears." She allowed herself a smirk. "Not a very flattering combination, is it?"
Rarity ignited her horn and began summoning her scattered knives over to her. She grabbed each one out of the air and lovingly placed them back in their proper spots. "Still, I don't suppose nothing will change. It almost seems wrong to just be a merciless killer and an Element of Harmony."
Rarity clicked her tongue as she put her butcher's knife back in its spot. "I suppose not, Rarity. That doesn't mean you still can't kill. You just have to change your motivations a bit."
Rarity grabbed her skinning knife out of the air and rubbed a speck of blood off of it. "True. Slaughtering anypony who makes eye contact with me seems wrong, but what about protection? Twilight and the others are family to me now. I don't want to see them hurt."
"And they won't be." Rarity placed the last knife inside her workbench and slammed it shut. "Not as long as you're there to help them. You're generously using your skills to protect them, just as you would do for Sweetie Belle." Rarity righted her medical tray. "I think you're on to something here, Rarity."
Content that everything was in order, Rarity walked up the stairs to take a bath. As she reached the top step and closed the door behind her, a maniacal smile stretched over her face.