I can’t believe I’m going to do this...
Astral entered his room, he had been preparing for the 'heist' he even made the artifact they were going to enchant. It was wooden amulet, Astral had taken a small chunk of the remains of the Golden Oaks Library and had rounded it to look like a pendant. He also made a round hole in the middle, were he was going to put the power source. He made sure to hide it away from Sunfire.
He started preparing his stuff. He didn’t want to be seen with guard armor, that would launch an investigation and Sunfire would probably rat him out. So he took a different approach, his coat was already a dark shade of blue and his mane was a dark purple so he wouldn’t stand out. The only problem were his eyes, they were light blue so they would stand out too much. He hopped that whoever saw him, mistake him for Princess Luna’s secret son or something.
He of course took his sword with him, he didn’t plan on getting caught but it never hurt having something to defend himself with. He took his saddle bags and reluctantly turned to Sunfire.
"I need to run some errands around town. Could you take over Princess duty for me just this night?"
"For how much time?"
Astral hummed. The flight to Canterlot was around 30 minutes long, he would then have to get to the gardens without attracting too much attention so... 13 minutes? Then find the flower without getting caught, 10 minutes and return...45 minutes.
"An hour and a half? Maybe a little bit more. It shouldn’t take me too long.”
"Ugh, fine. Doesn’t give me enough time to woo the princess but I guess that’s fine."
"You know you aren’t allowed to 'woo' anypony during work hours right?"
"Some rules are made to be broken."
Astral just rolled his eyes, oh how he hated him. After that little exchange he and Twilight had in the afternoon, he was almost certain that Sunfire stood no chance today. Then he walked out of the room.
It’s not a heist, I’m just picking flowers from Royal Property that just happen to be the rarest flowers in all of Equestria.
He repeated that to himself to calm down. This time, the castle’s corridors seamed to be smaller. He was at the front door in no time. He gently pushed it open with his front hoof. He started walking out but his legs failed him, they were shaking and they made it horribly hard to move.
He opened his wings and hesitated for a moment. His right ear started twitching, it was a little solution he had when he was too nervous. He stood there for about a minute, his wings opened and his right ear twitching. Then finally with one decisive and strong wing flap he took off.
Flying was a walk in the park for him, he could probably fly from Ponyville to Canterlot five times in a day without getting tired. But now time was of the essence he could risk going as fast as he did in the race and rest i Canterlot for a while before sneaking his way to the gardens.
And so he took off leaving a trail of dark blue behind him. Astral looked around him, he was passing the valleys between Canterlot and Ponyville that he loved so much at tremendous speed. He looked straight ahead, The mountain were Canterlot sat was fast approaching. He decided he didn’t want there be any record of him being there so, instead from entering through the front gate like EVERYPONY was SUPPOSED to, he changed direction so that nopony were to see him approaching through the side of the city.
When he was facing directly the right side of Canterlot city and had just passed the gate he flew up and passed the cloud line. He flew on top of the clouds, ever so often peeping his head between the clouds to make sure he didn’t miss his target.
Once he was right on top of Canterlot he flew down. He was extremely nervous and tired from the flight. He made his way over to a familiar bar that his brother ran.
He sat down on one of the tables and waited. He took a quick glance at the clock... 8:06...He had 19 minutes before the guard change along with the Princess change. Soon a violet pegasus mare with a light yellow mane walked up to his table.
"Good evening sir could I bring you any-...Astral?"
"Hey Twinkle... How’ve you been?"
"I’ve been good thanks big brother...So um...What brings you to Canterlot? I heard you got transferred to Twilight’s castle."
"Well yeah...that’s kind of what brings me here, I’m making her a present and I need some ingredients from Canterlot so I came as soon as I got some free time.”
"You’re still in love with her?"
"N-N-No! It’s not like that! Were did you get that idea..."
"Oh c’mon Astral it’s sooo obvious! You know you can’t lie to me."
"I-It’s just a birthday present!"
"Then why don’t you just buy her something in Ponyville?”
"B-Because...because...I want it to be special, I haven’t been able to give her a proper present ever since...You know what."
A few moments of awkward silence passed.
"A-Anyways you must be tired from that flight! What do you want? Free of charge, promise."
"Hmm...Maybe some tea."
Twinkle Shine looked at her brother worriedly.
"What are you going to do?"
"What do you-?"
"What... ingredients are you looking for?"
"That’s not really important"
"Yes, it is. Tell me Astral you KNOW you’re a horrible lier."
He sighed in defeat, she was right, he had never been able to lie to her. "The Meteorisi flower..."
"You’re sirius..." she leaned closer to him." Are you mad?! You’re going to break into the gardens? Ok you do need the tea, I’ll be right back."
"Wait! Twinkle, don’t tell anypony I was in Canterlot ok?"
"Consider it forgotten"
Astral looked back at the clock...ten more minutes.
After downing his tea and saying goodbye to his sister. Astral made his way to the central plaza, he had about... two minutes left before the guard change. When he arrived, everything was as he would expect, nobles walking with his head held high and some with tuxedos. Actually now that he payed closer attention, you stood out more if you didn’t have your head held high.
If Twilight were here she would kill me.
Astral lifted his head high and walked and elegant as possible while also hurrying. He went up the stairs to the castle front garden. Some guards were stationed there, but as if on cue, the bell announcing the guard change sounded. They let their posture slip up and started walking inside.
Amateurs, they should have stayed at the doors, oh well, makes my job that much easier.
Astral walked in the front door, he acted as if he had permission to be there, and if he had somewhere to go. Soon, two guard ponies from the Lunar guard came galloping.
They passed right by Astral, thinking the other guards had let him trough. Now Astral was inside Canterlot Castle, he walked through the corridors until he saw at the end of the hallway, two guards taking up position.
He hid behind a pillar, since he didn’t see any nobles coming his way, he assumed that court wasn’t in session. If he got caught now, he wouldn’t have Twilight’s present AND he would probably loose his carrier... He needed a distraction. He stood still thinking, until he got a literal brilliant idea. He took out his sword and using some conveniently placed and polished vases, he deflected the moon’s light into one of the guard’s eyes, temporarily blinding him. Then, he did the same with the other one, he use the small window of blindness to fly right by the guards, into the private royal wing.
He avoided patrols by hovering near the high ceiling. And staying in the shadows, his dark coat allowed him to do that, and whenever a guard saw his tail as turned the corner, the probably thought it was Princess Luna, this was after all, the private wing.
He eventually got to the doors that led to the gardens, he used his same moonlight trick to blind the guards guarding the open archway. He the slipped in unnoticed.
The gardens were astounding, they had flowers of all kinds, there were dragon flowers, blue roses, tulips of all kind, bushes, fountains, statues, Princess Luna, tall trees, 'milflores' and wait...
His amazed expression was interrupted as he took in what was right in front of him... Princess Luna with amusement painted all over her as he walked along the gardens taking it all in. His face expression turned from happy to confused and settled in absolute horror. He threw himself to the ground in the lowest bow he could muster.
"Y-Your highness! I-I am so sorry for this intrusion... Please I beg for forgiveness!"
Luna picked him up with her magic so that he looked at her, and motioned with her wings to shut up.
"Shh...Astral, we do not want thou-...you to get caught. We know why you’re here, and we want to help."
"Pardon? I... Don’t... How does your highness know?”
"Oh please it was obvious you had feelings for Twilight when you came to court that day. And we-...I have your back on that matter, I went into your dreams today when you had a nap and discovered your little plan."
"Oh...W-wait so you knew I was coming?"
"Yes, that’s what I just said, now the Meteorisi is that way." She pointed a hidden path that was basically invisible from the entrance, and probably was invisible from the skies. "You do not have much time, for a patrol is coming this way in a few moments you must go, get the flower and return to me."
"Do not question me."
He saluted and galloped off towards the path. It was covered in moss and the bushes around it met together in the middle making it seem like one single bush as well as making an arch way on the inside.
The path continued to go descend until it led to an underground. There was row upon row of Meteorisi flowers, they were beautiful. The flower was white like Starlight said and had a yellow gradient, but different from the drawing, it had small specks of a pinkish tone at the tips of each petal. He grabbed a bunch and quickly tore it with it’s roots. A bit barbaric but, according to Luna, he didn’t have much time.
He placed them in his saddle bags and galloped his way back. He stopped right as he was about to leave, a bat pony guard bowed in front of Luna, his voice raspy and deep.
"Princess Luna, I have received new of an intruder in the castle!"
"An intruder?! Have a search party look everywhere in the castle for this intruder. Do you know who it might be?"
"No princess, the guards were temporarily blinded somehow, he suspect a unicorn with knowledge of blinding spells. And the guards who got a glimpse, could only see the tip his tail."
"Does not matter. Go, find this intruder!"
The bat pony galloped off with an impressive speed. He then disappeared behind the garden’s archways.
After a few moments of waiting Luna motioned for Astral to come out of hiding.
"Princess Luna...What do I do now?"
"Do not worry young Astral, I will teleport you to Twilight’s castle. Anywhere in particular inside the castle where you wish to go?"
"Could your highness teleport me to the library?"
Luna ignited her horn, a light blue aura surrounded Astral and with a flash off light, he was gone. In time for a group of guards to enter the gardens to search for the ‘criminal'
Astral popped into existence in the middle of the castle’s library with a flash of light and light blue sparks. He was going to be sick. Teleportation wasn’t very kind to first-timers. He fell to the ground with a 'thump’.
"Never...again" he mumbled beneath his breath.
He lifted himself off the ground, he placed his saddle bags onto the table and started off-loading the flowers. He found a peculiar flower he did not pick made it’s way into his saddle bag. It was like a blue rose but something was different about it, but he couldn’t put hi hoof on it. With it though was a note.
'When and ONLY when you are in absolute need, eat this flower. It well help you defend those you hold dear. Do NOT tell anypony of this flower. Not the Princesses, not friends, not anypony. Keep this a secret.
Astral stood there a little confused. Should he listen to a random piece of paper that magically appeared on his bag? He decided to put that thought to rest, he wanted to get the spell over with. He pulled out the rest of the flowers and placed the rose and the note at the bottom of his saddle bags.
He went up to his room to leave his saddle bags and take back with him the artifact that he had made. He passed by Spike on his way there, they just greeted each other casually and continued on their way.
He was about to turn the corner to Twilight’s room when he heard arguing. He turned the corner and-
"No! I am NOT kissing a poor excuse of a gentlecolt like YOU" she said as she pushed...wait, Sunfire?!
"Oh c’mon Princess, it’s not like you have a choice." He went to lean in.
"EXCUSE ME!?" She slapped Sunfire right across the face making him fall to the ground.
Sunfire got up and walked up angrily to Twilight. "I descend from a powerful noble family! You will not dishonor ME like this."
Twilight remained unmoving not even flinching as he stood in front of her and was glaring down at her.
Astral couldn’t take it anymore, he started walking up to Sunfire with a murderous gaze. He growled at Sunfire to get his attention.
Both Twilight and Sunfire turned to see Astral. Twilight looked at him with determination and Sunfire looked at him with hatred.
"Get away from her royal highness-" he stomped his front hoof on the castle’s floor, sending a loud noise resonating through the castle. "Now!"
Sunfire scowled, his horn started glowing in a orange aura. Astral didn’t give him the benefit of the doubt and pulled out his sword. Before Sunfire could fire a spell, a lavender beam struck me him, sending him flying towards the wall.
Twilight’s face was of pure anger. She walked up to the stallion on the ground. She glared down on him, with a fury only ten fully grown dragons could match. The stallion shrunk under her gaze.
"Astral, bring me Spike. Now..." She didn’t advert her gaze from Sunfire and in fact she ignited her horn once more.
Astral nodded and turned around. He didn’t need to go get him since both him and Starlight were running over to see what had happened.
"Astral what is-"
"Spike take a letter to Shining Armor.”
Dear Captain of The EUP Shining Armor,
I send you back this guard, Sunfire Claw, that you have sent to guard me. He has brought disrespect to both me, my castle and the crown for having the audacity to force himself to me. I leave his punishment up to you. I would also like to give credit to where it is due, to Lieutenant Astral Shield for doing his service and protecting his princess.
Yours truly, (a very livid) Princess Twilight Sparkle
Then, when Spike finished rolling up the scroll and placing her royal seal, she took it from him using her magic and tied it around Sunfire. Them with a flash of lavender sparkles he was gone, teleported to her big-brother.
Twilight turned back towards her bedroom. Opened the door said 'Good night' with an obviously angered tone and slammed the door behind her. Leaving a very confused Spike, a very terrified Starlight and a very dumbfounded Astral.
After that little fiasco, which he was thankful for, Astral went to get the artifact and then went down with Starlight and Spike to library were they prepared for the spells.