"And that’s what happened." Twilight finished telling them the events of the day and the day before that one. She made sure to avoid anything that may have put Astral in the potential-suitors-for-Twilight list her friends always had.
"So... let’s see if I got it straight, he’s your new guard and old foal hood friend?"
"I don’t see what’s so hard to understand-"
She was interrupted as Starlight entered the throne room. She looked around the room examining everypony’s expression when she locked on to Astral. She turned her head in confusion but decided to ask later.
"Hey girls, Who’s the new friend?"
"Oh, um hey Starlight, this is Astral he’s a foal hood friend and-“
"He’s going to be Twilight’s guard!" Pinkie jumped up from her
"Ooooh, that explains a lot. Although...He’s going to either have a easy job or a hard one." Starlight said containing her laughter.
Astral looked worriedly at Twilight who returned the confused gaze. She turned back to her new pupil.
"What do you mean?" She was searching in the back of her head for the answer but none came to mind.
"Easy because it’s Ponyville and nothing bad ever seems to happen and hard because you can stay up all night reading in the library.” Starlight turned to look at Astral."And I don’t think anypony except for you and maybe Princess Luna-" She turned to look at Twilight."Can stay up three days in a row."
Twilight gave a nervous laugh. Before shooting a glance at Starlight daring her student to keep talking.
"I think I can handle it."
All eyes turned to Astral. That made him nervous and seeing no way out turned to Twilight for help. She cleared her throat.
"Astral is a part of the night guard so he’s pretty used to it."
Astral gave a nod confirming what she just said. The conversation eventually moved onto other things, he didn’t pay much attention, In his mind thoughts were running all over the place. If he was to become Twilight’s special somepony he’d need to impress her somehow.
After a while his mind went back to the conversation. Somehow now they were arguing about the best Wonderbolt trick. They mentioned that Rainbow was a Wonderbolt and that Twilight’s favorite move was the 'Triple Loop Tornado'.
The move consisted in doing three vertical loops high in the air before coming down in a way similar to a tornado and lifting up at the last second.
He could do it with a lot of practice, he was a great flyer, if he hadn’t become a guard he would’ve been a Wonderbolt. But nevertheless he was scared, that was one of the hardest trick to pull off and the most dangerous.
Sweet Celestia Twilight! Why do you have to make it so hard?!
His face showed a little frustration, Twilight noticed the change in his expression and snapped him out of his line of thinking.
"Astral is everything alright?"
"W-wha?..." he took a moment to process what had just happened before answering."Yes Princess. The conversation just...reminded me of something..."
"Care to share?"
Horse dung! What do I say?!
"Um...sure...It reminded me of the times I attempted some of the tricks."
Ok, that should do it, 'detailed' enough to seem real, but vague enough to let me improvise
"You can do tricks?" Rainbow asked as she flew towards him with a defiant expression. He guessed she was still a bit salty about the fight.
"Yes." He puffed up his chest proudly as he returned the expression Rainbow was giving him. Twilight rolled her eyes. She knew they would be going head to head, but not this early in their friendship.
"Show me what you can do. But I’ll warn you I’m the best flyer in all of Equestria so I’m not so easily amazed."
"We’ll see about that."
Astral looked over to Twilight who facehoofed but nodded to him. She also leaned in and whispered in his ear.
"Put her in her place."
Astral looked at the princess with a determined looked and nodded and saluted. The others were a bit taken back, Twilight wasn’t one to enjoy petty competitions. But they shrugged it off seeing how Rainbow was demanding to know what she had told him and the two ponies doing their best not to laugh too much.
They made their way to a hill that overlooked Ponyville on one side and a grassy field on the other. They brought along some judges that when told what was going on quickly jumped to the opportunity. The judges were the Cutie Mark Crusaders and most of the school foals in Ponyville.
Astral took of his armor for the first time in Ponyville. All of Twilight’s friends except Rainbow Dash, and some of the town mares who had decided to watch the competition looked at Twilight with envy. Twilight shrunk under their gaze and laughed nervously trying to avoid the wrath of the mares.
She turned to the school foals.
"Ok judges, tell me what you would like to see."
The school foals looked at each other for a moment. They knew the wanted the same thing.
"A timed obstacle race!"They all said in unison.
Twilight nodded before flying up to the two pegasi that prepared for anything. And explained the race circuit.
They had to do three laps passing through the cloud rings and doing a flip each time, then they would have to fly up and do any trick for bonus points.
They both looked at her and nodded. Astral knew exactly what he wanted to do, but he needed practice.
"I’ll let Rainbow go first, I need to prepare for my trick." He smiled and winked at Twilight with a big smile quickly enough so only she could see.
Twilight flew back to the hill with Astral to the hill. He went to practice behind the hill in slow motion. He flew slightly up, did the three loops and started to dive to the ground spinning like a tornado before opening his wings and lifting off. His hooves almost touched the ground.
Good now I’ll just have to do it faster...easy right?
He went back to sitting next to Twilight to wait for Rainbow.
Twilight started a count down spell and used her Royal Canterlot Voice so that Rainbow would hear.
"Ready, Set, BEGIN"
Rainbow took off in a flash leaving a rainbow trail behind her. She looped around each ring. The three laps were done in about 15 seconds. She then took of to the sky, reaching the cloud line and lazily fell backwards, she turned around to face the ground and gained speed, and doing a fly by the hill. Everyone was amazed, the school foals were in an uproar and the CMCs were about to announce her the winner before Twilight stopped them and nodded to Astral.
She looked at Rainbow with a huge smirk. She knew Astral better than anypony and knew that Rainbow had underestimated him.
"You got too cocky Dash.”
"What do you mean? There’s no way he can best THAT."Applejack protested.
"Yes darling, I’m with Applejack on this one, there is no way."
"I wouldn’t be so sure...He may be a pegasus but since he was a foal he had a way to...'make' the impossible possible."
They all looked at her a bit confused, asking for an explanation. Twilight chuckled a evilly and looked directly at Rainbow, who was more confident in her than anypony present.
"Ready, Set, BEGIN”
Astral took to the sky in a flap, he passed the first ring in a blink of an eye. His loops were closer to the rings, showing of his agility and also taking less time. His laps were done in 12 seconds. Rainbow’s jaw dropped at the sight. He flew up higher, did three vertical loops to get as high as the cloud line before tornado-ing down almost to the ground before ‘standing' on the air and shooting up. He did a victory fly by copying Rainbow before plopping in front of the judges.
Twilight looked at the trick amazed. He knew? Her heart was raising, a light blush appeared on her face and a radiant smile came to her lips. She had never really felt like that before. What is this?
She giggled underneath her breath and got up, walking over to the judges.
"So who will it be?"
“Are you kiddin’?!" Applebloom asked incredulously."Astral obviously won"
“Yes! That was awesome!" Sweetybell added.
"Well I still think Rainbow’s the best. But I guess Astral won..." Scootaloo looked a bit down.
"Well I think that settles it." Twilight turned to look at Rainbow and Astral. Rainbow was still baffled and Twilight could tell she was extremely salty and Astral was trying to stop himself from smirking at Rainbow while putting on his armor.
Everypony stayed there the rest of the afternoon. Astral switched back to guard mode and followed Twilight around.
They stayed there long after everypony had left because Twilight really wanted to watch the sunset. When the sun finally started going down she motioned to him to lay next to her.
"How did you know?" She asked not taking her eyes away from the sun.
"I have my ways."
"You told me when we were little and I confirmed it today listening to your conversation."
They both stayed in silence for a while. Not known to the other one but both of their hearts were beating rapidly inside their chests. Astral broke the silence, he had to know one thing.
"Did I manage to catch my prey or is the chase still going on?"
Twilight’s heart skipped a beat, she was blushing furiously. Where had THAT come from?!
"I-I um...Well...” She took a minute to regain her composure."Almost, but I’m afraid it got away"