Twilight's Nightmare

by Nightsclaw

CH 29.5 Problems with Being Tardy

Celestia was perturbed, Luna was late. Given her sisters growing relationship with her former student, and all the effort her sister was putting into tracking down those who had attacked Twilight, she was no longer meeting at their usual place to tend to their celestial duties. 

Celestia glanced at the hourglass watching the grains of sand slip from top to bottom. It was such an ingenious invention to tell time. She watched each grain fall one by one. She let her eyes close, listening to the sounds they made rubbing against each other and scraping against the glass.

She sighed, her Mask did not stop her, so there was likely nopony around to see her display of discontentment. It was time, if she left it any longer, ponies would notice and start to panic or think Luna was once more Nightmare Moon and was going to try and bring eternal night. 

She would have to deal with the moon herself. Her golden magic reached out, the moon seemed to struggle. The freezing chill of its magic recoiling from the blazing warmth of Celestia’s. Please, the sooner this is done, the sooner I can see how Luna fairs. She thought.

There was a moment of what felt like indecision from the moon. A moment later it solemnly let itself be lowered. Celestia could feel the moon’s dislike for her, it seemed to loathe the touch of her magic, but for Luna’s sake, it relented. 

Thank you. She mentally sent to the Moon truly glad she did not need to spend the magic to wrestle the moon into submission.

Raising the Sun to its place was simple, the burning orb of light was eager to do her bidding. The warm rays of its light racing over the land. Celestia  let her senses ride with the line of dawn, her view sweeping over all of Equestria and beyond. 

She felt her body let out a relieved sigh, she could happily spend all day warming her body in the rays of her Sun, scrying about as her whims took her. There was an outdoor musical concert scheduled in Trottingham latter she could watch, or maybe she might follow the family of phoenixes flying over there. 

She idly wondered if she should make sure her next student got a phoenix egg, not a dragon’s. Phoenixes never got as large as dragons and so were much easier to keep in the palace. She noticed a group of fillies playing at a lake. Celestia smiled, it was very early for them to be up, but she spent a little of her power to make the sunlight a little warmer, a little more comfortable for them. 

Daybreaker’s not-so-polite mental shove snapped her attention back to her body. Blinking once, she focused on the view from her balcony.

Your sister. Daybreaker cooly sated.

“Yes…” Celestia sighed, yet again, it was just going to be one of those days.

Celestia began her stately stride, long practice at it, meaning her Mask did not even need to adjust a single motion of her body. Stepping into the more public areas of the palace, she could feel her Mask take a grip of her facial features. She must have been frowning, last time her ponies saw her doing that, it caused panic buying of food and a run on the banks.

She wanted to stomp her hoof and snort in anger. Daybreaker’s laugh did not help her mood one single bit. You chose this path, your radiance.

It is what my ponies needed.

Daybreaker scoffed. And what do you need?

Nothing, my duty sustains me. Celestia could feel her Mask exerting more control, stopping her body from slumping and keeping her from dragging her hooves.

Admit it you are jealous of your sister, you know exactly what she has done with that hybrid she claimed.

Be that as it may, I can not let it affect me or my duties. 

One of these days, you will find you have sacrificed everything and the ponies will just demand more.

Celestia ignored Daybreaker’s last comment, shifting her attention to browsing the minds of the ponies around her. Taking in their reactions to her, their idle thoughts, and seeking anything they knew about the current situation with Luna and Twilight.

There was lots of rummers, ideas and crazy theories. A few thought Twilight was manipulating Luna, using her situation as her saviour to seduce her. Others thought that Luna had used her dream magic or some sort of mind control to snare the asexual bookish mare. 

Most were just happy for them, that thought managed to creep the barest of honest smiles past her Mask. She idly wondered what story that one slip of her expression would be spun into by tomorrow.

As she drew nearer to Luna’s section of the palace, she began getting more useful information. Luna’s guards were standing at attention and physically looking the respectful military force, their minds were anything but. Their minds were on last night's events, one Moonstone Striker earned a big payday from his bets as Luna had elevated Candice to one of her blessed.

Celestia would have missed a step if not for her Mask smoothing her gate. The Nightguard knew Luna was currently in bed with her newest Nightchosen. Anger flared in her, her sister had caused her to worry and have to raise the Moon because she wanted yet more carnal pleasure? Outrageous, she was even getting married to her Twilight.

Daybreaker chuckled. 

Tell me what do you find so amusing ‘Warmind’. Celestia’s veiled threat to strip Daybreaker’s personality did not go unnoticed.

My apologies, your radiance. Daybreaker apologised sincerely. I was merely amused that your sister’s nature can still cause such reactions in you. How long have you known her? Do you truly expect her to change? 

Celestia made her way to the doors to Luna’s room, a simple sound barrier was another part of the week’s magic budget spent, but it was necessary. Lifting her hoof Celestia pounded on the door, only it’s magical reinforcements keeping it from shattering or being ripped from its hinges and thrown into the room.

Luna growled from within. Disorganised hoof falls, some cursing in ancient languages and an uneven gate let Celestia know her sister was alive.

“Sister, Whys does thou waken us at such an hour?”

Celestia sighed, “Luna, you overslept and forgot to lower the moon, I had to do your duty for you.”

“Then you have my thanks, dear sister if that is all I shall return to my slumbers.”

Twilight ruptured into existence from a teleport, bristling with weapons and magic.

Celestia’s Mask kept her from flinching. Twilight had just managed to smash all her wards in the area. The alarms from the spells and the potent magical flux the younger Alicorn’s entrance had caused was almost an attack on its own. 

Daybreaker watched from behind Celestia’s eyes noting every spell, every defence. Time and time again, her Warmind raised the threat level and appropriate amount of magic needed to neutralize Twilight as a threat. Daybreaker settled on three options if this turned into a lethal fight, and only one of them would leave the city standing.

Celestia could feel Daybreaker’s appreciation of Twilight raise, carefully regarding her stance, how each part of her body was held. Her Warmind liked what she saw and liked it, unfortunately, a little too much for Celestia’s taste.

“What have you done to Luna?” Twilight demanded, power causing the words to resonate, shaking the world. Twilight's eyes  were glaring and glowing white. 

Be careful, she holds most of the advantages right now. Daybreaker purred, complementing Twilight.

“Luna would you come out here and tell Twilight you simply overslept,” Celestia spoke calmly, only her face and head moving at all.

“Why? I am so enjoying her coming to my rescue. Mayhaps if I callout for help and claimed to be imprisoned she would burst in and save me?” Luna asked as teasingly as a tired voice could sound.

Daybreak laughed in her mind, sensing the imminent conflict fade into non-existence. One way your sister is superior to you, is her sense of humour.

That was not funny. Celestia responded.

Yes it was, and It almost perfectly defused the situation, just look at your faithful student now Daybreaker commanded.

Just like that the displays of her former student’s tremendous arcane might evaporated. There armed mare now looked like they were playing with their parent’s toys. Twilight looked a bit sheepish, regarded her armour and weapons. “Err, sorry, Princess.” She let out a fake laugh. “I seem to have overreacted.”

Celestia let herself smile warmly,  “Quite, now shall we all have some tea before the day starts?”

Luna shadow stepped out of the room. She looked a mess, her mane almost completely flat. A large part of her magic having been depleted. Celestia could feel it regenerating, in two days and six hours she would be fully recovered from blessing her new Nightchosen.

Twilight’s desperate embrace of her sister would have definitely been lethal to anypony that was not an Alicorn.