Twilight's Reign

by James Pwyll

The Reign Begins

" we are," Spike mused.

Twilight smiled to him. " we are." The two had spoken with the same kind of quiet calm one normally did after having been through an ordeal, and the coronation was certainly a memorable time. Yet, after all that, here she was. Twilight Sparkle, now the sole ruler of Equestria. It had been a long road, but that journey had turned her into a mare who was more than worthy of leading her people to a new era. And of course, who could forget her most trusted companion. Spike, now the royal advisor, sitting beside her on his very own throne, though admittedly not as large or ornate as hers. Twilight glanced around, seeing all the royal guards lining the walls of her throne room, but never once looked in her direction. Besides them and Spike, the room was empty, and she sighed. "Guess this is how it starts then."

Spike looked to her, concerned. "You worried?"

Twilight smiled back to him, patting him on the shoulder. "Don't worry, I'm ready. I just..." She looked ahead, to the vast chamber she and Spike now sat in. "...I just wish they'd have been here too."

"Ask, and ye shall receive!" a familiarly-fancy voice called out.

Twilight's ears perked up, and she turned with a wide smile upon her face. Her hearing had not deceived her, for it truly was her friends who now approached, having entered the throne room from one of the side doors just behind where she sat. "You made it!" she said happily.

Cackling, Rainbow zipped ahead of the others, landing right in front of Twilight and giving her a quick hug. "Hehe, you didn't really think we'd miss today of all days, did you?"

"Yeah! We might not be here for every day, but we'll definitely be here for your first," Pinkie added.

"After all, it's scary enough to rule without having all your friends with you," Fluttershy said to her with a smile.

"Besides, we simply have to make sure you look spit and spot for your first day," Rarity announced, walking behind Twilight and making a few quick adjustment to her regal-looking outfit.

Applejack, rolling her eyes to her fashion-loving friend, trotted right in front of Twilight and shook her hoof. "If this is the first day yer rulin', best ta let Equestria know yer doin it with friends."

Twilight smiled to each and every one of them, and after Rarity had finished her work and was joining everypony else, the newly-crowned Twilight exhaled deeply, as if a great weight had been lifted from her. "Thank you. All of you. I didn't know if I was going to be able to do this without you." A quick cough from Spike caused her to giggle as she looked to him. "Of course I'd have still been fine with you here, Spike."

The young dragon gave a firm nod to that, but it was Rainbow who spoke next. " does this work? I'm not really seeing anypony here for you to, you know, rule over."

Then, as if to answer that very conundrum, the great doors of the throne room opened, causing everypony to look in its direction. They could see another of the Guard enter, walking right up to the throne. And when Twilight saw who it was, her eyes widened. The pegasus stallion couldn't have been much older than her, and be bore a distinct yellowy-orange coat of fur. When he reached the foot of the stairs leading to the throne, he bowed deeply to her before speaking in a very formal tone. "Your Majesty. Flash Sentry, reporting for duty."

After a quick moment of hesitation, where Twilight knew full well her friends were smirking at her behind her back, she cleared her throat. "Arise, Sir Flash. I don't recall sending for you."

Flash stood tall once more, nodding to her. "You did not. But the ruler of Equestria requires an announcer to declare the arrival of important visitors, and I was selected for that position for you."

Twilight arched an eyebrow. "You were? By who?"

Flash smiled. "Your royal sister-in-law, Princess Cadance made the recommendation. I'm not entirely sure why, but she seemed very insistent that I be the one in the position."

Twilight's right eye twitched slightly, and she could hear her friends doing their absolute best to hold back the knowing giggles from this unexpected development. But with so much experience of royalty and leadership behind her, Twilight simply resorted to the breathing trick Cadance had taught her so long ago, then smiled to the young guard, speaking softly. "Of course she did. Well, I'll be sure to give my sister-in-law a very special 'thank you' when I next see her."

Flash, totally oblivious to the undertones there, smiled back to her, giving another bow before taking a few steps backwards. "In that case, your Highness, I shall bring in the nobility."

Here, Twilight stumbled. "Um...nobility?"

Flash halted, looking back to her and nodding again. "Yes. It is an ancient tradition Princess Celestia has undertaken throughout most of her reign. The heads of all the noble pony families within Canterlot will arrive and declare their vows of allegiance towards you."

The gathered mares and Spike all looked to one another with understandable confusion, and even Rarity was a bit nonplussed about that. "Begging your pardon, Sir Flash, but I don't recall the Princess ever speaking of such an event."

Flash bowed to her, showing just as much respect for Twilight's fellows as for Twilight herself. "I believe the official word is that she would not have considered the event really worth bringing up in casual conversation."

Rainbow smirked to him. "So she thought it was too boring to talk about?"

Flash paused, but only for a moment. "I would not dare speculate on the reasons behind the Princess' decision." He looked to Rainbow giving a knowing nod to Applejack, then looked again to Twilight. "It is really little more than a formality. Long are the centuries since the days when noble families would serve the Princess as they did in ancient times. In truth the vows now simply act as the ceremony to open the new year of the Princess' reign."

Pinkie giggled to such a notion. "Ha! You silly stallion! It's December! Kinda late to be calling this the start, don't you think?" She paused, then tapped her chin. "Or early, I guess."

Flash nodded. "True, but Princess Celestia decided to would be a good first duty for Princess Twilight. I believe it was her final command to us here in the Guard prior to her and her sister's retirement."

Twilight, hearing all that, smiled. "Perhaps it will be good then. I'll be spending a good deal of time among these ponies in the future, I'm sure. So it'll be good to get introductions out of the way." She cleared her throat again, speaking in the same kind of formal tone she'd heard her beloved mentor speak in for so many years. "In that case, Sir Flash, you may allow them entry."

The stallion again bowed to her, then finally turned around in earnest, making his way back to the doors. Opening them again, he exited the throne room, closing them behind him. And only now did her friends finally let loose their laughter. "Oh wow, you rule Equestria and your old crush is here every day? This'll be fun, eh?" Rainbow chuckled.

Twilight rolled her eyes. "Yes, yes, let's get this over with." She listened to her friends laugh in their own unique ways for about a solid minute, and then, when it was all over, looked to each of them with a totally deadpan expression. "...Done?" When they nodded back to her, she nodded back. "Good. Let's get down to business then." She and her friends stood in a line, with Twilight at the centre of course, and watched as the large doors once more opened wide. This time, with Flash at the head, a group of noble ponies entered, looking as aristocratic as one could imagine a collection like this being. Some faces Twilight recognised, like Fancy Pants, whom she smiled to. But others were less familiar. Still, she told herself, these would be the ones she'd be working with here in the city, so she knew this meeting was necessary.

Once having arrived before her, the nobles bowed, with Flash joining in before doing his job. "Announcing the arrival of the heads of all the great noble families of Canterlot, here to swear their allegiance to Princess Twilight Sparkle, ruler of Equestria and all of ponykind!"

Pinkie leaned in towards Fluttershy, whispering to her. "Hm, he's pretty good at that."

Twilight smirked to her bouncy friend, then took a step forward, looking to all the assembled nobles, who rose from their bows to look at her. Taking a deep breath, Twilight, at long last, began her first duty as her nation's leader. "Welcome to the palace. Know that you are welcome here, as allies and as friends." Her smile widened slightly. "Let us begin."