The Blind Princess

by n3k1dsk1llz

First Encounter

Onyx Sun had heard the legend since he was a foal. He took the story of the Blind Princess to heart every time he heard it. Being the only blind pony he knew of, how could he not?

He had been born in an earth pony village in the far north of Equestria. West of the Crystal Empire, in the foothills bordering Yakyakistan. He had asked his parents once why they lived in an area where it was so hard to grow crops. They gave him some answer about tradition and tundra ponies and Onyx stopped listening. His parents were big on traditions and that was basically their answer for everything.

It made his life really hard. His parents loved him and we're super encouraging, but their obsession with traditions meant that there were no accommodations made. Ever. Though, as a grown pony now, he was quite thankful for that. It drove him to develop his other senses. He even had his own fifth sense that all the ponies around him seemed to lack.

Being an earth pony, he already had an innate connection with the earth. Being a blind earth pony, that connection was developed into how he sensed most of his world.

He could FEEL where the earth was most fertile for planting. He could FEEL other ponies as they approached him. He could even feel the size and shape and load of a wagon just from it driving by. And, most profitable for his entire village, he could feel where precious gems were in the ground.

The town called on him whenever they needed something from the earth. They always called on him to find the best places to build and to plant. It was quite lucrative. But nothing more.

He would help them, take his pay, and promptly be sent on his way. No pony ever wanted to actually spend time with him. And honestly, he didn't want to spend time with them either. He heard whispers as he went through town. Parents telling their goals to stay away. Adolescents snickering as he walked by.

Nope. He would just take their bits and be on his way. He was most comfortable when he was alone. Even his parents weren't that great to be around. His dad always had some comment about trying harder and his mom just constantly gave off a vibe of disappointment. He loved them, but could only stand to be around them for so long.

He would often go for walks along the outskirts of town, alone with his thoughts. It was his only time he was at peace. Even the danger of encountering wild animals was more peaceful than being in town. The thought always made him chuckle.

This particular evening was no different. He had just finished a day of helping the townsfolk find the best places for their crops. Since their springs were so short, the townsfolk wasted no time guessing. They always called on Onyx and his proven skills so that they would have the biggest harvest possible. He was always amazed that they could recognize his skill like that and still shun him as a pony. Like he was nothing but a tool for them to rent.

It was this thought that was rolling through his head when he started to hear singing. Instantly, he realized it was a voice he had never heard before. He also realized that it wasn't coming from the town. It was coming from a cave. A cave he had been in a few times. A cave that he hadn't been to in a long time.

It wasn't that he didn't like caves. He actually loved them. Something that he could explore using all his senses. And something that others would never interrupt, since they would never go in caves. At least not very far. They relied too much on their eyes.

But this cave was different. It wasn't very big. It only had a couple small tunnels the split off, and Onyx could sense that there were no hidden tunnels. But more than just it's size, this particular cave always made his head feel a little woozy. Nothing he couldn't handle, but he would rather choose to avoid it.

But this singing was beautiful. And Onyx quickly decided to go check it out. A little bit of a woozy head was worth meeting a new pony. Maybe one that wouldn't push him away just because he couldn't see.

Maybe it was foolish, but the closer he got to the cave, the more hopeful he was that this new pony could actually be a friend. His walk turned into a trot. His trot turned into a canter. And, for the last few yards, his canter became a full gallop.

He stopped just outside the cave. The distortion of the echos made it so that he couldn't make out her words, but her voice was clearly beautiful. It was a voice that he would happily listen to for the rest of his life. And that thought caused the fear to creep in.

What if this pony rejected him too? What if she was horrified by the fact that he was blind? He decided to squash the fear and entered the cave.

Instantly, the words of her song became clear. They were hopeful, but sung so sadly, Onyx began to choke up just a little.

Giggle at the ghostly
Guffaw at the grossly
Crack up at the creepy
Whoop it up with the weepy
Chortle at the kooky
Snortle at the spooky

She just continued to sing the same chorus over and over. Then he heard the tears. She was still singing, but it was starting to get broken up with light sobs.

Onyx had to do something. Clearly she was very upset. He walked over and laid a hoof on her back. We'll, almost. He first landed on the top of her shoulder. She was a bit taller than the average pony. He also felt a couple feathers. So he guessed she was a Pegasus. Though even Onyx knew that it was very rare for a Pegasus to go in a cave. They often preferred open areas where they could take flight at a moment's notice.

She didn't seem to notice the awkward contact. Or at least, she wasn't responding to it. He gave her back a little rub.

"Hey. What's wrong? Why are you crying? Do you need any help?"

There was a shudder from a sob, but no bodily reaction to his rubbing or his words. It was very confusing for Onyx.

He had had times in the past when people ignored him like this, but there was always something in their body that would shift to indicate they had actually heard him. This mare had no such reaction.

He inhaled deeply to gather his thoughts, but he must have caught some dust. Because his throat closed. And he started coughing.

And coughing.

And coughing.

His coughing fit must have lasted a full minute before he started calming down. It was loud and it rang off every wall in that cave.

As he started regulating his breathing again, he heard the pagasus mare stand up from her seat. He heard her shift around on her hooves a little bit. Clearly she was now nervous.

She then called out, rather loudly, "Is there somepony there?! Can you hear me?!"

Maybe she was just really hard of hearing. Her singing earlier wouldn't have led Onyx to that conclusion, but who was he to judge.

He decided to respond just as loudly, "Hello! My name is Onyx Sun! Do you need help?!"

A giddy giggle escaped her mouth. It was just as beautiful as her singing.

"Yes! Please! It's been so long since I've seen anypony! Please come find me!"

"I've already found you! I'm standing right next to you!"

Instantly the mare froze. He heard a sound he distinctly recognized as someone looking around. Then a smell wafted into his nostrils. Another thing he was quite familiar with. Fear.

She was afraid.

"I don't see you! And if you're right next to me why do you sound so far away?!"

Onyx sat down and rubbed his head a bit. All this yelling was making the wooziness from cave more intense. He was afraid that he might actually vomit.

"I don't know the answer to that! But I swear I'm right here on your right!"

Suddenly a hoof caught Onyx right in the jaw, sending him onto his back.

"Ow! What'd you hit me for?!"

"I didn't hit you! There's nothing here! The only reason I'm even indulging your ridiculous shenanigans is because I haven't talked to anypony in years! But I swear, if you don't explain why you're not actually coming to find me, then I'm gonna leave!"

His mind was racing. Clearly she wasn't sensing that he was standing right next to her. She couldn't see him. She couldn't feel him. But she could hear him yelling. Why?

"I'm blind! But I'm standing right next to you, I swear! I don't know what's going on, but I swear I'm here to help you!"

"Well I'm NOT blind! My horn is lit up and this cave is bright as day! There is NO ONE standing next to me!" Her frustration was starting to boil into anger. "Just help me! PLEASE!"

She broke. Her sobs were louder than before. She collapsed onto the floor of the cave and cried. All Onyx could do was wait for her to calm down.