Commander Nocte Wing,
Thestral Army-Camp, Canternhorn Mountain
1 day into Eternal Night
"Commander! We have received confirmation that our Empress Nightmare Moon is back."
A young thestral guard came running into the tent where Commander Nocte was staying. Nocte was skilled in reading ponies or creatures, this young guard only had excitement printed on his face. Nocte’s face lit up with determination and nodded.
"Very well, ready the troops, I want everypony to be available. Make sure to keep the operation a secret as long as possible." Nocte went ahead and put his armor on.
The young guard saluted before taking off to ready everyone for the attack. Nocte was left alone with his thoughts. The Elders had prepared him for the day their Empress returned from her banishment as well as her daughter.
A cold wind breeze battered the tent’s entrance. Nocte looked over in the direction of the entrance, the wind wasn’t supposed to blow in that direction. He went over to part the curtains to see what was going on when purple smoke started seeping in.
A malicious chuckle could be heard as the smoke formed itself into the shape of a pony. Nocte looked in wonder at his Empress, to his knowledge, it was the first time anyone had seen her. He bowed so low his muzzle touched the ground. Nightmare Moon nodded in approval.
"Thou hast done well in serving thy Empress while we hast been away. Now we must inquire. What is thy name?"
"Nocte Wing, at thy service thy majesty!"
"Very well, Nocte Wing. We shalt go now and meet our subjects, we do not want to keep thou waiting for thy well deserved victory."
"Of course not your magesty. Allow me to escort thou to thy victory!"
Nocte Wing got up and allowed Nightmare Moon to lead the way. They made their way to the Army-Camp’s center where Nightmare Moon was to address her new subjects before the battle for Canterlot began.
Star Council’s Head Quarters' Throne Room,
3 hours after the fall of Canterlot,
Twilight massaged her temples, her throne room was an uproar. It was filled with government officials and the highest ranking nobles all arguing about what to do next. Twilight wanted so badly to teleport them back to Canterlot and leave them to the mercy of her mother if only it weren’t for the fact that if she did, Nightmare Moon would trace her magic signature.
To her sides in the other thrones, were sitting her Aunt Celestia and the 'Puppet Princess' Cadence, Captain Shining Armor and General Courageous Lance. In the crowd was Sunset Shimmer, Celestia’s student, accompanied by her friends who were horrified at the news.
Celestia and Twilight were asking questions about the attack, Cadence, true to her tittle kept quiet and Shining Armor as well as Courageous Lance answered as many questions as possible.
“The opponents forces where Thestrals I believe, they used swift disarming tactics and-" before Lance was able to finish, Blueblood interrupted him.
"Yes, that is very true! Even I couldn’t do anything to stop them! They disarmed me and even suppressed my magic before attacking! Oh My Dear Aunt, they were hideous!"
Twilight winced at the comment, something that didn’t go unnoticed by the other Princesses, she then glared at Blueblood who shrunk under her gaze.
"I beg your pardon?! They art NOT hideous! They art ponies just like us! They art-" Twilight was stopped by Celestia raising a hoof to both silence and calm her down.
"I believe what my niece is trying to say is, that Thestrals are just like us daytime ponies, just more adapted to the night." Celestia tried comforting the increasingly tense crowd.
The rest of the emergency meeting went the same way, they ended up wasting hours sitting on those thrones. Twilight was getting increasingly worried at what might happen to her old friends.
In the end, they settled in letting the nobles stay in the Council’s Headquarters until it was safe.
'Don’t want the snobs to get injured in an ‘accident'' Twilight thought
Also that the Princesses would remain hidden as well with Shining Armor an Courageous Lance guarding them at all times. They would also expand the Headquarters to fit the nobles as well as Sunset Shimmer’s friends and families.
Twilight exited the room and walked to her old quarters. She wasn’t surprised to see her phoenix sleeping soundly, Twilight sighed and prepared her saddle-bags for the journey. Basic healing supplies, modern bits, some old bits, food and water all went into her bags. She also strapped her sword coaster around her waist and tied her mane back into a bun. She put on her old chest plate, preserved by several spells, and one of her best cloaks, made by Pisces, one of her old friends that was also maintained by spells.
She went over and nuzzled the sleeping phoenix.
"Sleep well, Do not fret Pyre, We shall return shortly." Twilight said before gulping, hoping she was right
Twilight walked over to the door, determined to save Equestria. She opened it and almost jumped back at the sight of ponies at the door. Instead she kept calm and took a closer look, Sunset Shimmer, her friends and Cadence were all there.
"Cadenza? What brings the Princess of Love to our quarters?" Twilight said with just a bit of sarcasm in her voice. "Or should we call thee...Cousin?"
"Cousin is fine and you can call me Cadence if you want too. Anyways we wanted to talk to you about some things."
"Oh? Well in that case, let’s proceed to our throne room..." Then Twilight growled slightly under her breath "again..."
"Can’t we just talk here?" Applejack asked.
"We are afraid not, Pyre is sleep and we do not wish to awake him."
The group returned to the throne room, no one was there, and they didn’t even leave a sign that they were ever there. Twilight flew over and sat down on her throne and took a sirius face.
"What does thou want to discuss about?" Twilight looked at the group who were still at the bottom of the dais subconsciously telling them to stay down there.
Sunset groaned at the obvious act of supremacy but was polite and tried to hide her disapproval.
"Well...We wanted to ask you if you had any idea of why we couldn’t wield the Elements." Rainbow finally spoke breaking the ice.
"Well, that decision is made by the Elements, when some pony tries to wield them they judge the pony and check to see if they are the best possible wielders." Twilight calmly answered trying to sound as diplomatic as possible, not trying to offend them.
The mares were indeed offended, well only two were offended, Sunset and Rainbow who both had their egos the size of Manehattan.
"Wait, are you trying to tell me...That I’m not worthy of something promised to me ever since I got my cutie mark?!" Sunset raged at Twilight followed by Rainbow Dash.
"What do you mean we aren’t worthy?!"
Twilight hummed. "We believe we made it quite clear, thou may be worthy, but there is some pony, most likely my friends, worthier than thy group."
Sunset was going to protest but her muzzled was closed by Cadence’s magic. Twilight smiled at the scene and nodded very discreetly at Cadence.
"We assume thou still have more questions?"
"Well darling, I simply must know. How are you Princess Celestia’s niece?" The white unicorn in the group asked before anyone could stop her.
"Like we have told thee in the Everfree, we art Princess Luna’s daughter, and so, Princess Celestia’s biological niece." Twilight took the opportunity to extend the word biological to make her point clear and to subconsciously take a jab at Cadence.
"But wait, Princess Celestia doesn’t have a sister! Even if she did, why isn’t she ruling by her side?" Sunset was now genuinely curious.
Twilight winced at the question, Sunset had very kindly opened up a recent wound. Well recent for her at least.
"W-Well..." Twilight paused to organize her thoughts and think on the best way to brake it to them. She cleared her throat to speak. "A little more than a thousand years ago, Princesses Luna and Celestia fought a powerful kirin warlock. They defeated him of course, but before passing, it casted a curse upon the Princesses and their Kingdom."
The room suddenly felt very cold as everyone was now staring and waiting to hear the finale. Sunset, Rainbow Dash and Applejack were all eager to hear the ending, Rarity, Fluttershy and Cadence were worried at what they might hear and Pinky...Well she was oblivious to everything so...yeah she was just being Pinky.
"The curse of course failed, the warlock was in no condition to cast any spell or curse, neither did it have the concentration to do so correctly. The curse, was only able to hit the closest thing to the warlock...Princess Luna."
There was a collective gasp. One that was loud enough to startle Twilight. This time, Sunset’s voice was careful and timid.
"Did it...kill...Princess Luna?"
The group was completely silent staring at Twilight for her to answer the question on everyone’s mind. Twilight could only give a sad smile and shook her head.
"No, it did not." The group let out a breath that they didn’t know they were holding. "But. After they got back to the capital, the curse started to take effect and turned mother into a wicked mare." Twilight took a sharp intake of air before speaking again. "The mare thou have fought today...er- yesterday, Nightmare Moon, is our mother."
The implications took a moment to settle in, and they all became visibly tense, probably forgetting about the curse. Twilight spoke again, trying to change the subject.
"Anything else that we could answer?"
"Um...Yes, well it isn’t really a question, it’s more like we needed you to now. We found this in my room." Cadence revealed a light blue papered scroll. It was had a crescent moon with a six pointed star inside as a seal.
Twilight’s eyes widened, she quickly took the scroll from Cadence unraveling it and reading.
If thou are reading this then thou has probably finally returned. We do not know where thou were sent after the Element’s...Fail but we are glad thou has returned. Me and the others were extremely worried, it has been 67 years since thy departure and we have separated looking for a way to bring thee back and eventually they gave up hope. We decided to stay behind and wait for thy return. We shalt always be waiting and every day, at sunrise and sunset.
We are not in the Headquarters but in a small village to the south called Appleloosa, it is south east of Everfree City through the Everfree Forest.
We hope to see you very soon,
Your Faithful Right Hoof Stallion and Friend, The Hunter Orion