The ruined castle’s stones found themselves warmed by presences not felt since the great battle of the two sisters. One was smaller and cooler, hunched over as if trying to disappear. The other was warm and bright as it approached the former.
“We were meant to rule together, little sister.”
Luna cringed back from Celestia, wincing and ducking her head. She didn’t think the Elements or Tia would hurt her, of course, but still…
A quick glance around her showed the remains of her armor as the Nightmare. Guilt ate away at her, and the urge to teleport away, no matter how weakened she was at the moment, tempted the blue mare.
She hesitated, an unknown yet familiar voice encouraging her. She didn’t remember who it was, only that they mattered to her a great amount and vice versa.
“One day, you’ll see her again, and she will welcome you. Will you welcome her back?”
Luna- no, the Nightmare had always replied no, a bitter and hissing word accompanied by a stomp or a subsequent tantrum.
She glanced back at her sister, the mare staring at her with a sea of emotions rushing around her.
Luna had sobbed yes, Luna had pleaded with a sister who couldn’t hear her to take her back, that she had changed.
And here she was, asking for Luna to accept her friendship.
With the Nightmare gone, there was nothing stopping Luna from bursting towards her sister, the two of them crying noisily, uncaring of the small audience they had.
Luna felt as though a weight had been lifted, and she closed her eyes, relishing the warmth of her sister, the warmth of the sun seeping through her fur and making her feel whole once more.
And in the deepest caverns of the Mareiana Trench, a pair of bright blue eyes opened.
The Sea was alive, of course it was, it covered the majority of Equus and hosted all sorts of creatures, big and small.
Tonight, it hosted one more for the first time since control of the moon had been given to one not meant for it.
Four large hooves met the floor of the ocean, a single figure standing in the loneliest trench, walking easily forward with no real purpose.
He was tall, bordering on freakish with how long his figure seemed to be. The horn protruding from the tall pony’s head began to glow, the warp and color alike to tropical waters.
Bidding the tiny fish and crabs and other creatures that had gathered close to him farewell with a promise to come back and talk to them again, the pony disappeared in a quick blue splash of magic.
And here are my more talkative friends, the Sea thought as he swam (he wasn’t quite swimming, of course, more hovering as water propelled him forward) leisurely towards a kelp forest, laughing in delight when a few mammals came to sniff and prod at him, nuzzling him quick before bounding away and playing, content knowing their king had come to visit at last.
Granted, none of them had quite lived long enough to have known him before those thousand years where he had become water and the essence of the sea in order to keep it in good health, however they found that their souls sang in his presence, exuberance flooding their veins like strong waves.
The Sea nudged a dolphin back when it spiraled happily around him.
“You’re back! Where have you been, Sovereign?” The high, giggling voice brought a grin to his face as he thought of his reply.
The Sea tilted his head. “I had to become the sea, the moon and I’s dance was… cut short unexpectedly.”
The dolphin wiggled away excitedly, coming back with two more. The Sea grinned and patted their smooth sides affectionately. He hadn’t had the chance to actually touch any of his subjects since before he had-
He wilted momentarily, recalling the panic flooding his veins when the moon suddenly ceased aiding his tides, nearly throwing his kingdom to havoc before he had intervened, losing most of his sense of self.
“You’re quite dashing, Sovereign Seas,” an otter told him bashfully, hiding its face in its paws shyly and bringing him back to reality.
“Sovereign Seas?” The pony repeated, tasting the name on his tongue.
“That’s you, is it not?” Replied the otter before trilling and calling over its brothers and swimming away excitedly.
“I suppose so,” he said, shrugging. Most ponies had names like these, with two parts. If he was going back to his pony body, he might as well have one of his own.
Besides, he liked how it sounded.
The thoughts of other ponies gave him pause. Should he visit them as well? They didn’t fall under his reign, but they tended to meddle with his kingdom with their boats and their explorers. In fact, he recalled that when he had become water and the protections around his castle weakened, those explorers had taken a great curiosity with his treasures, pirates and scientists alike.
As if summoned by the thought, the otters returned, heaving a massive gold and barnacle covered chest to Sovereign and chattering excitedly for him to open it.
“And what’s this?” Laughed the pony as he seized the chest in his magic, the glow enveloping it like water and pulling it closer.
The otters chattered before a distinctive albino one approached, grinning up at the Sea with sharp white teeth. “Pirates! Pirates in the Buckmuda Triangle in your palace taking all of your things! My family stopped them!”
The Sea chuckled, though annoyed with how the ponies tended to meddle. He sighed, remembering that he had never actually met with whoever ruled the Equestrian lands unlike the Griffins and the Zebras, so maybe it was partially his fault that they had interfered. All they saw was a palace, glittering and shining in the heart of the sea. Curiosity was a trait shared by almost all of their kind.
He turned back to the otter with a benevolent smile. The otter beamed back at the attention, fur bristling to the brim with pride at being directly addressed by the king. His friends would be so jealous.
“So how did you stop them?” Sovereign asked kindly, amused at the antics.
“We killed them!”
The Sea sputtered in surprise, suddenly taken aback. “What? You killed a pony?”
“We killed two!” The Sea hid his displeasure. Most of his higher-water subjects were… not as advanced in thinking and morals. To them, it was eat or be eaten most of the time. Deeper, where the serpents and more ancient forms resided, there was a more advanced society, glittering with bioluminescent lights where the cities prospered. He was quite proud of them all, especially since they had managed without his direct influence for so long.
“My elder saw it,” A new voice bubbled up from somewhere nearby. Sovereign turned and grinned. He tried not to play favorites, but squids and octopuses tended to worm themselves into his heart with their wit and sarcasm.
He allowed the elderly octopus with faded splotches on his body to clamber on, raising his hoof and looking the diminutive creature in the eye.
“The ones killed were brothers, Pegasi in fact.” Sovereign couldn’t help but make a face.
“What were they doing in my- why would they be in the water when they could be flying?”
The octopus shrugged, tentacles flicking lazily back and forth, idly toying with the flowing mane of her king. “Grandfather said they had the smallest wings he had ever seen, only good for propelling, not flying.”
Sovereign paused. “I see…” He said, guilt weighing on him. His subject had killed another’s, however reasonable the kill was. He would have to make it up for their descendants, surely.
A clear plan in mind, Sovereign turned back to the chest, opening it and blinking before laughing.
Inside lay the crystal and gold forms of his ancient regalia, looking like seaweed that had transformed into sea glass and gold. He levitated his crown on, latching his necklace and boots as well, guiding his tail into the gold ring that sat at the base.
“How do I look?” He asked a dolphin jokingly, smiling when it tittered and spiralled around him in admiration.
He looked back to the chest, spying a rusted pocket watch, sealed shut by age. However, it had a barely indecipherable scrawl along its edge, presumed to be a name ending in “loo.”
“This belonged to the pegasi, no?” He asked the octopus that had vacated in order for Sovereign to get dressed. She nodded before slinking off as sunlight broke through the waters, the surface above them streaking with pink and gold.
The Sea shook his mane and nodded at his subjects as his horn began to glow, the pocket watch glowing along with it.
Using the water and feeling the faint impressions of the souls of the pegasi brothers long gone, Sovereign felt the tug towards what felt like a city- no, a little town where the last descendant resided.
He would think of another way to pay them- no, her, the impression was distinctly feminine- back once he met her. Hopefully she would allow it.
With that thought in mind, Sovereign Seas disappeared in a surge of magic, reappearing just outside a forest in what looked almost like a splash of glowing water.