“Iz that everything? I would hate for ze Princess to have to send you down again.”
NOPE, THIS IS EVERYTHING SHE ASKED FOR.
The earth pony chef Filet Mignon looked down at the Changeling in front of him, holding up a sign with erasable marker words drawn on it. The royal chef cocked an eyebrow at the little bug, wondering why Princess Cadence would keep such an odd servant. “Very well. Tell ze Princess that if she needs anything else, she should not hesitate to ask me.”
Shape Shift nodded happily, yet sternly, and took the waiter’s tray from Mignon, hoisting it onto his black back. Ensuring the plates’ security on his back, the Changeling rushed out of the kitchen. Darting passed this guard and that servant; Shape Shift turned corners and trotted up flights of stairs until he finally found himself in front of the royal bedchambers of Princess Mi Amore Cadenza. Knocking three times in the way that every single pony learns during preschool, Shape Shift stepped back and waited for his mistress to answer the door.
She wouldn’t keep him waiting for long. The pink Alicorn unlocked the door and popped her head out. Cadence looked at the Changeling with a critical eye. Seeing that he indeed retrieved the food she wanted, she nodded to him. “Come on in Shape Shift.” The Changeling nodded and raced inside, making sure not to spill any of his back tray’s contents.
Locking the door, Cadence returned to her vanity. Picking up a pink brush with magic, the Alicorn ran it’s bristles through her material mane. Letting that go on by itself, she decided to continue what she had been doing before Shape Shift’s return. “Shape Shift, please bring me the food.” The Changeling jumped nervously, realizing he still had the food on his back. Almost tripping over himself on Cadence’s hot pink rug, Shape Shift dashed next to Cadence and placed the tray onto her vanity.
LUNCH IS SERVED, read the Changeling’s sign.
Cadence nodded. “Thank you Shape Shift.” She turned to the food, a simple grilled cheese sandwich with some chips and a milkshake. Grabbing the grilled cheese in magic and taking a bite, Cadence used her magic to lift up the letter she had previously been reading. Skimming to where she was before being interrupted, Cadence started up again.
…and it’s right on the tip of it too! I tried to get rid of it, but every time I touch it puss spews out. Guard Lieutenant Stalwart thinks I should go to a doctor and get it checked out but… you know how that will probably turn out. I wish you were here dear, you’d know what to do.
Anyway, enough about me, how are you doing? I heard about Celestia and Chrysalis becoming a couple, nasty! It’s big news here in the Crystal Empire, all the crystal ponies are happy for their Solar Princess, but that’s probably because they weren’t around during the actual invasion (The fact Changelings can’t survive the harsh winters that surround the Empire probably helps).
I know that you probably don’t want to hear this but please don’t do anything extremely rash Cadence. I’m no fan of Chrysalis but that doesn’t mean you need to go gallivanting around doing Celestia knows what while she’s in the Castle. Give her a chance first before going psycho on her. If she deserves getting punished, our wedding notwithstanding, than give her the worst beating she’s ever had in her entire life. Go full on physical contact with her… in chocolate pudding… and whipped cream… and take pictures!
Anyway, I miss you, and I hope you’ll return to the Empire soon. The castle’s interior designer keeps asking me about what rooms should be which colors and you know I’m terrible at stuff like that!
Hope to see you soon.
Your husband forever in love,
Cadence smiled as she finished the letter, reading messages from Shining Armor always cheered her up. It did annoy her that Shining was mentoring patience in regards to Chrysalis, but she understood his reasons. He’d been under Chrysalis’s spell for the whole time and after his release he barely remembered anything from his time under the bug’s control. Cadence used her magic to grab a piece of paper and a quill and began writing her response to her husband. As she was writing however, Shining’s calmness despite Chrysalis being in the Castle came back to her thoughts. She placed her quill down.
“Poor Shining…” Cadence sighed. “He just doesn’t get that every second I wait that bug breath gets closer and closer to her insidious final goal, whatever it may be.” Cadence rose from her seat, a righteous look in her eyes. “Yes, I must remain vigilant and steadfast! I must move quickly and without mercy as I bring her down! I cannot give her a moment to rest as I…”
A sarcastic chitter cut off Cadence’s epic speech of Chrysalis’s destruction. The Alicorn looked to her side and down to Shape Shift, who was giving her a rather adorable look of disappointment. Cadence cocked an eyebrow at the Changeling. “What? What’s that look for Shape Shift? Do you have to go out again?”
The Changeling took out his little board and scribbled furiously on it with his marker. Finishing his work, the Changeling switched the board over and showed Cadence what he wrote. IT’S BEEN A WHOLE WEEK AND YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE A PLAN TO BREAK UP CELESTIA’S AND THE QUEEN’S RELATIONSHIP.
“What?!” Cadence shouted. “I do too have a plan!”
Scribble, scribble, scribble went Shape Shift’s marker. THEN WHAT IS IT?
Cadence’s eyes went a little wider in shock. The mare pouted her lower lip in a thinking kind of way and she tapped her chin with her hoof. “Ummm… well, I… uh…” Cadence saw the Changeling cock its eyebrow, this angered Cadence slightly. “Well what do you want me to do!? We’re talking about breaking up a royal couple! I need to plan my plan out first before jumping into action!”
BUT IT’S BEEN A WEEK read Shape Shift’s board.
“These things take time Shape Shift!” Cadence shouted. “Besides, this whole week I’ve been slowly planning…”
YOU’VE BEEN LAZING AROUND ALL WEEK EATING BON-BONS.
“I have not!” Retorted Cadence.
Shape Shift’s eyes were half closed in disappointment. His right hoof shot up instantly as he pointed to the seven empty boxes of Bon Bon’s famous Ponyville Bon-Bons from Bon Bon’s Sweet Shop in Ponyville. Cadence blushed slightly, but gave Shape Shift a shooing motion with her hoof. “That doesn’t mean anything.”
The Changeling’s insectoid eyes rolled. He erased the current words on his boards and scribbled new ones. Shape Shift finished and showed his work to Cadence: DON’T YOU THINK IT’S BETTER TO START PLANNING NOW RATHER THAN LATER?
Cadence sighed. “Yeah, yeah, you’re right Shape Shift.” Cadence turned back to her vanity, sadness in her eyes. “The thing is… well… I don’t want to hurt Aunt Celestia too bad. Breaking up her relationship with Chrysalis is the best thing for her but I don’t want her to be completely heartbroken by it. I have to find a plan that does the job, but also let’s Celestia down easily.” Cadence thought for a minute. Suddenly, a thought came to mind. “Wait! That’s it! Shape Shift can you…”
Cadence eyed the singular word on the Changeling’s board. “What? You didn’t even let me finish what I was about to …”
I ALREADY KNEW WHAT YOU WERE GOING TO SAY.
“What? How could you possibly know…”
PINKIE PIE TOLD ME.
It was then that Cadence looked to her left to see the mentioned pink mare standing next to the Changeling. Cadence shook her head in wonder. “What the?! Pinkie Pie? What are you doing here?” And how did you get in my room for that matter?
The pink party mare laughed. “What am I doing here? That’s simple! You see Princess, the Cakes and me are delivering a giant pie here in Canterlot... well, we already delivered it but that's not the point! So we got the pie to the buyer and got everything all filled out and ready to hoof it off. So we got that done and began to leave to return to Ponyville. But then the Cakes saw the Pastries, some friends of their family from what I hear. So they all start talking and I see the Pastries triplets playing with a ball, so I join in cause playing with bouncy balls is super fun! So we’re playing and the Pastries’ youngest, how there can be a youngest when they're triplets is beyond me but what are ya gonna do right? So she goes to kick the ball. Now, let me tell you, she’s got a strong kick! She sent it flying and it hit a pointy statue and popped! So I raced here to get a new ball, because everypony knows I stash balls all over Equestria, in case of a ball emergency. It used to be just Ponyville but then I thought: ball emergencies could be anywhere! So now I stash balls all over Equestria!”
With her tale done, Pinkie Pie turned to Shape Shift. Stepping lightly on the Changeling’s hoof, the mare caused Shape Shift’s mouth to open like a trash can. Taking her hoof and reaching inside his mouth, Pinkie Pie felt around for a minute until her face illuminated with happiness. Tugging a bit to dislodge whatever she was grabbing at, Pinkie Pie tugged once more and out popped a bright red ball out from Shape Shift’s mouth.
Pinkie inspected the ball and, finding it undamaged, shook the Changeling’s hoof. “Thanks Shape Shift, I knew I could trust you to hold my ball for me.” The Changeling chittered happily, nodded its head adorably, yet sternly. Releasing Shape’s hoof, Pinkie Pie turned to Cadence. “Well, see ya Princess Cadence! Have fun with your deranged attempts to break up Princess Celestia and Queen Chrysalis’s relationship despite the advice of everypony else telling you not to do it and thereby only causing more pain and becoming the very thing you hate.” Pinkie suddenly became confused. “Oh wait… is that cliché plot twist number one or nine?” Pinkie suddenly pulled out a bunch of papers and read them over quickly. “Hmmm… that’s not right… or is it?” Pinkie shrugged and stuffed the papers back into whatever abyss she retrieved them from. “Anyway, see ya Cadence!” Pinkie Pie waved once more, then did a vault that took her all the way out the window, past the balcony and out of sight.
Cadence looked at Shape Shift with a wide-eyed, shocked look. The Changeling looked back at her and shrugged, taking his board and scribbling on the words: IT’S PINKIE PIE, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?
“A little warning first.” Cadence admitted.
SO… NOW THAT THAT’S OVER, HOW ABOUT THAT PLAN?
Cadence gave her Changeling servant a look. “Stop it.”
IF I DO NOT PESTER YOU THEN YOU WILL NEVER START.
“I will too!” Cadence retorted. “Just need a little more time to plan.” With that, Cadence returned to facing her vanity, deciding to continue her letter to Shining Armor. As she wrote out each word, she tried very hard to ignore the scribbling of Shape Shift’s marker. The Changeling liked to draw mundane objects for some reason, and whenever he wasn’t serving Cadence he would draw the objects in her room. The sound continued for several minutes before Cadence couldn’t take it any longer. She turned to the Changeling. “Shape Shift! Please, can you not draw right… now… while I’m…” Cadence blinked.
In front of her was Shape Shift’s marker board; filled to the brim with plans Cadence could use to break up Celestia and Chrysalis. There had to be over five hundred plans on the little board (how he was able to get so many plans on his little board was anyone’s guess).
“Shape Shift…” Cadence started. “How did you…” The Changeling pulled out a book and showed it to Cadence. The title read, How to Break Up Anypony and a Changeling in three thousand, eight hundred, and fifty-one steps. Cadence cocked an eyebrow. “That’s a rather specific title.” Shape Shift shrugged.
Cadence smiled deviously as she read the book. “These plans will work, we won’t need all of them, but they’ll certainly work.” Cadence patted the Changeling’s head, he cooed at the soft touch. “Good work Shape Shift. With these we can begin our plans to end Celesalis… uh, Chrystia? Whatever, this will work! We can start right away!” Shape Shift nodded happily at his master’s newfound vigor and purpose. “Tomorrow.”
Shape Shift’s eyes shot out wide and he watched as Cadence went back to her vanity. She used her magic to grab another box of bon-bons and started back on her letter to Shining Armor.
Shape Shift face-hoofed.
Crystal Palace, Crystal Empire
In the grand Crystal Palace situated in the center of the capital city, as well as the only city presumably, of the Crystal Empire, Prince Regent Shining Armor looked between the clothes being presented to him. He was sweating terribly and clenched his teeth, unsure of what to do. It was safe to say he was scared beyond all belief.
“Well, your Highness?” The crystal pony interior designer asked. “Do you prefer the colors aquamarine or sky blue?”
Shining Armor began biting his hoof as he looked between the two pieces of cloth and the interior designer, who was giving quite the criticizing look. Finally, Shining fell to the ground and threw his hooves in the air. “I DON’T KNOW!!! THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME!!!”