They made their way over to her favorite restaurant. It was a simple restaurant that had a certain charm to it. It had brick walls with wood columns and it was decorated with lots of plants intertwined with each other and sticking to the walls. It stood out from the other Canterlot buildings.
They entered and most of the eyes in the restaurant turned to see them. Most of them were confused. Why would a princess dine in such a place. Whatever was the case, she wasn’t alone. That was even stranger, the princess never had a royal guard with her. But after a while they continued as if nothing was wrong.
They sat down on a table for two and she lifted the menu with her magic.
"You got nice taste" Astral said, he lifted the menu with his wings. "They have a lot of variety of flowers."
"Y-yes they do.” There was an awkward silence." Are you sure we have time? I don’t want to worry my friends, they’re expecting me-er...us to arrive in an hour."
"I can assure you that we’ll get there in time."
"How exactly? I’m not the fastest flyer"
"But I am, I’m also the strongest so I can carry you"
"Yeah right I’m not that fast but I can still beat you in a race." She looked at him with a determined look as she called the waiter over.
"You’d only beat me using magic to enhance your wing power."
"Astral you’re a GENIUS! Why didn’t I think of that?!-"
"Good day your highness, may I take your order?" The waiter said doing a slight bow. She knew her since she often went to dine there, and was the only pony that got used to seeing her there.
"Oh! Um yes...Well I’ll have the flower salad special, and he’ll have-"
"I’ll have the same as her"
"Ok, I’ll be back shortly with your orders.”
"So..." He started. "You finally came around?"
"Wearing your regalia! You told me you hated it, to be honest you look beautiful with them."
She blushed slightly." T-thank you, b-but I’m only wearing them for today, I forgot my saddle bags in Ponyville and I have to take them with me."
"Such a shame, I really was hoping to keep on seeing you with them.”
"Ok stop that"
"Stop using your 'charm' you do know it wont work on me right?"
"You say that it won’t work yet you blush every time I complement you." He smirked at her.
"I do no such thing!”
"Luna has rubbed off on you.”
"Indeed" she rolled her eyes." Don’t change the topic.”
"Ok, ok jeez. Any hunter, and myself will tell you that it isn’t the hunt but the chase that’s most fun."
"You’re joking right? THAT is the reason?"
"Yes. You’ll see Twi, according to my calculations, by the end of the month you’ll fall head over hooves for me.”
"I don’t think so Astry"
The waiter brought the food and they dug in. The flower salad was delicious, there were daisies, tulips, sun flower petals, and last but not least, Astral had asked the waiter to add a rose to Twilight’s salad.
They started talking about various topics and laughing together, drawing a lot of attention to them. They lost track of time after about 15 minutes into the conversation. They talked about Ponyville, Twilight’s friends, her battle against Tirek, her new castle...
When they finished, Astral decided to pay the bill ignoring Twilight’s protests. They got up and started walking to the exit. He stopped as Twilight asked the waiter what time it was. The waiter told them it had been about an hour and a half.
"Oh, oooh no, no" She looked at him worriedly."We have to hurry!" Then she looked back to the waiter."Thank you so much Salty Brew, everything was great as always”
Then she looked at Astral who was still putting on his armour and saddle bags. She had to admit he looked rather good in armour. But she didn’t have time to think about that, she needed to get to Ponyville before her friends worried too much for her.
They finally got out of the restaurant, she opened up her wings and started to flap them. She got up for about 4 feet before she fell to the ground with a thump and a clink when her regalia too hit the floor.
Astral looked back and helped her to her hooves.
"Who knew it was hard to fly with the weight of the regalia."
They both looked at each other for an answer for the new found problem. Astral hummed as he brought his hoof up to his chin.
"Oh! I know! We could go back to the castle and get one of the smaller royal carriages and I could carry you."
"Are you sure? I heard they’re very heavy plus you have the extra weight of tour saddle bags"
"Then I’m not sure what we can do”
They stood there in silence for a moment thinking. Then with a victorious 'Aha!' Twilight spoke up.
"I could carry your stuff with my magic”
They both nodded before galloping back to the castle. There Twilight made her way to see if princess Celestia or Luna were in their room. Celestia wasn’t but Luna was. She knocked on her door.
"Who is it?"
"Um...Luna? It’s me Twilight"
"Twilight aren’t you supposed to be in Ponyville? Come on in!"
Twilight spoke as she entered the room.
"Well, yes but we missed the train, so we grabbed a bite to eat and lost track of time."
"Y-yes, and we were wondering if we could borrow a...carriage? N-not the big royal ones! But the little ones."
"Forgive me for questioning but why don’t you fly there?"
"W-well, Im not the fastest flyer and I certainly don’t have the endurance to fly all the way there with this extra weight." She pointed at her regalia and foot wear.
"Oh! Of course you can! Why do you need my permission anyways, you ARE a princess too."
"I just felt more comfortable asking first, thank you by the way."
"No problem Twilight now get going, don’t want to worry your friends."
"Bye Luna, have a good rest of the day."
"Fair well Twilight"
With that she descended the stairs and nodded to the stallion who waited for her. They made their way to the where they held the carriages. They entered and talked to the pony in charge of them, Aero Carousel.
“Princess? What brings your highness here?"
"Good day Aero, Princess Luna allowed us to take one of the small carriages to Ponyville."
Aero looked at Astral then to Twilight in a confused way, he took a moment to think before nodding and motioned them to follow.
"Of course follow me."
They followed him trough row upon row of carriages before stopping before one that was medium size. He motioned at some guards to start preparing to depart.
Astral looked at Twilight confused. He was supposed to be taking her, he wasn’t supposed to ride with her. She returned to the look before shrugging and whispering to him.
"The princesses always told me something when I didn’t want to be pampered: Just enjoy it”
He smirked."Wow princess I didn’t know you were like that”
"Oh spare me"
He helped her get on before climbing on himself. Aero finished ordering his men before bowing to the princess and saluting to Astral. Twilight gave him a thankful nod before the guards started to gallop before taking off.
Astral looked at Twilight, she had a big grin, he knew she, as humble as she was, always loved riding on carriages. To the sight Astral smiled.
"You know? This isn’t too bad. I had a great idea”
"Yeah, you did"
Meanwhile in Ponyville.
"Spike you sure she was supposed to arrive in the train?" Applejack asked the worried dragon.
"Yes darling, Twilight would’ve never missed the train." Rarity
"I’m sure! Celestia sent me a letter telling me the time."
"Um...Why would Celestia tell you? Isn’t that abir much?" Rainbow asked crossing her front legs.
"What do you mean Rainbow?"
"I mean that she is always controlling and keeping and eye on whatever Twilight does! Haven’t you noticed?!"
"Well, yes she does kind of knows about everything she does, however I don’t see the problem-"
She was cut of by Spike."Look!" He pointed with one of his claws at the sky.
They watched a canterlot carriage fly on top of the train station, pulled by four members of the royal guard. They galloped of following it to see what the hay was going on.
They arrived just in time to see it land, they were behind it so they couldn’t see the passengers. They couldn’t believe their eyes as a pony from the royal guard got of the carriage and held his hoof in the air to help their friend Twilight off the carriage.
She nodded to the guards who then took off again heading for Canterlot.
They were baffled as she was wearing not just her regalia but her crown! They new she hated wearing them, the crown a bit less but still she disliked wearing it in public.
"Ok, what the hay is goin’ on?" Applejack asked to her friends who shrugged in confusion.
They started walking over to her but were stopped by Rainbow Dash.
"Wait girls, it could very well be a changeling."
"Ok, Dash you’re being ridiculous.”
"Um...Actually..." Fluttershy spoke up with a timid tone. "I agree with Rainbow on this one...I-It isn’t like Twilight to arrive by carriage wearing regalia." At the strange look her friends gave her she hid behind her mane.
Applejack sighed."I don’t like it but fine, guess we’ll just keep our distance."
"OoOooOh like a stealth mission!" Pinkie said and jumped, then she put on a black ninja suit.
They followed Twilight keeping their distance so they wouldn’t be noticed by her nor the guard. They saw how she and him talked and laughed together.
Before the knew it they arrived at the castle. Twilight opened the door with her magic before going in. And closing the door behind them.
"Ok if we’re going to confront them it might as well be now" Applejack suggested
"Already on it!" Rainbow went ahead and broke down the door startling both ponies inside.
"Rainbow? What’s wrong?! Why did break down my do-?"
"Don’t act like her changeling" Rainbow said with venom in her voice.
"Changeling?! Im not a-"
Rainbow suddenly jumped at her. Astral tackled her before she touched Twilight. They both fell to the ground, Astral got up faster than her and adopted a defensive position in front of Twilight.
"Rainbow this is ridiculous! I’m not a changeling!"
By this point, the other mares and dragon had arrived.
"Rainbow calm down, Ah believe that this is the real Twilight"
"If you’re really her, tell me something only she would know."
Twilight took a moment to think." At the beginning I was trying to avoid the castle because it didn’t feel like home and you girls made me a chandelier with the memories we had in the library."
There was an awkward silence, Rainbow realized her mistake and quickly changed her position to a calm one. Astral followed suit.
"What even made you think that?"
"Um...a lot of things!"
Applejack put a hoof to Rainbow’s mouth.
"What she meant was...Sugarcube all of this isn’t like you... I mean, you arrived late and in a carriage no less, with a guard AND wearing regalia."
"Oh, that all has an explanation, let’s go to the throne room I’ll explain everything."