In The Company of The Sun

by PlumBuckeredOut

Ch. 11: Limits (v.1)

After tears dried, and slightings were said, each of us agreed to keep passed words between ourselves. She agreed that her bottled fears and pent-up mourning was holding her back, just as I expressed my only desire whilst in Canterlot was to settle matters within the treaty, and sail back home.

She was rather distraught when I told her this, yet I did not know what she expected. I had my own duties to abide by in Parnce. My mind reenacted the moment I chose to leave Parnce. I feared how it fared without my guidance, if it needed me at all. If Parnce did not need me maybe I could stay in Equestria. My mind fancied in these thoughts, blinded from the lavish breakfast I enjoyed with Luna and Celestia.

Parnce wasn't a poor country, third in the world with enough export demands alone to buy ships, and second in the known world to ally with the grand country known as Equestria. I was sure of it then, the exquisities of my fermented honey and "petal paradise" salad had consumed my chiseled rationality. A mix if gaillardia, iris, tiger-lily, and painted daisy coaxed my body into a rested lul of existence. A place of joy and tension, confusion and carelessness. I watched the princesses talk, pausing after eat bite as they enjoyed their "royal" portions.

'Never eat merely to consume, but consume all that you see around you. Sight can be as insatiable as the mind, and the mind can be persuaded by the soul just as well as your gut.' I heard my father's steely voice echo to me scoldingly. 'least that is what my mind knew he would so sagely advise. I knew my needs just as well as any other being could. My clairvoyance could not provide me with the power to feed my hungered body. No magic in the world could.

We may be beings of power and skill. But even the princesses have to chew their food. Celestia is not powered by the sun, just as I can not drift through the dreamscape unhindered. The dreamscape fed off of me, who knows if the sun does the same to Celest'. Food for thought... thoughts on food. This part of my tale is where the Griffon and the other pony emissaries finally introduced themselves to me, and not it the most gracious of ways...

"You plan to feed me flowers and leaves!" One of the Griffons cawed in rage, sliding his plate away with a single swipe. "I am not a parrot or some puny finch! I am Burred-paw of the Ash Mountains and I demand a proper feast!"

"You should conduct yourself accordingly to your host, Burred-paw. Not everyone is given a chance to sit with the Royal Pony Sisters." A Crystal Pony emissary scolded.

"Who are you to command me?" The Griffon uttered coldly under his breathe.

"An honored guest to the Princess of the Sun and Moon. I'm Mora Ninna, Queen of the Crystal Empire." Her head bowed to the princesses. They lightly nodded back. A guard escorted the unsatisfied Griffon to the castle's kitchen.

"If the rest of the Griffons mind the food offered, please speak up." Celestia calmly asked. Yet none of the other Griffons did. Their beaks where small. They probably did eat leaves. Yet this didn't stop my father's voice from chiming a crude Griffon statement that 'the ones with the biggest beaks are always squawk the loudest'. Celestia had reassured her feathered guests in their hospitality for the Griffon's... "accommodations". The other two were dressed rather modern in comparison to Burred-paw's more tribal-esque appearance. As I lingered on these details my eyes had loomed clumsily toward Mora...

Her dress was quite regal, but not as ornate as the crystals weaved throughout her hair. My eyes playfully counted each of the colors; blue, purple, pink, red and orange. The pattern of the colors undoubtedly meant something. Like how pink and blue always were paired together, in fact the pattern was always two colors paired together in each crystal weave. Pink and blue, purple and red... except the orange. Orange was paired with pearls and malachite. A gentle nudge coaxed my conscious awake. Thanks to Luna I was able to notice the growing concern in Mora's eyes.

"This is her first time in Canterlot after her husband's passing..." Luna whispered to me. My eyes widened, yet I remained still. I merely smiled and nodded toward Mora. She nodded back, and as she leaned back and puffed a relaxing sigh my senses flared. I heard her breath roll out like a defensive dragon. I had to excuse myself from the feast hall, though I did so in shame.

If only I could have kept calm enough to pacify my nerves, dull my senses. The feasting hall echoed in swallows, coughs and yawns that spat into my ears like a mad pony holding a bellow. I fled into my guest room, and with the door's latch clicking into place my senses finally quieted. I threw myself to the bed, and floated one of the bathroom towels to blot my sweat away. A fever was boiling within each fiber and sinew.

The voice from the night before chimed within me. "Life is simple when we do not hear the intricacies around us. We do not see the pain that festers within us. What is pain anyway? Is it power? is it weakness? Is it merely a tool of your limits... Not for you. The withering of your flesh is an honor, It dulls you to the plights around you though..."

My mouth opened yet I did not know how to speak to it, even if I did there was nothing I felt I could say. "Embrace your limits... do not let them define you. Let them reflect what you are willing to achieve." the voice added. With a knock at my door my daze fled, and I flung myself to the door. I chuckled at the sight of Luna.

"Are you growing that fond of me Princess?"

She smiled back. "Thy certainty leaves and effect on someone."

My smile widened as I embraced her. Something the voice said to me... It made sense to try. I was trained how to guide my spirit within another, and recently my magic was heightened to her strong emotions. In theory I could fuse these powers. Maybe I could help her? My hold tighten, as did hers. I wondered the last time Luna had hugged her sister, and when Celestia had lowered her crown to do the same. Her body was shaking within my grasp, shuttering within the confides of my room.

"Always in secret... always within your grasp." The voice whispered to me. "Seize her fears... visualize the pain." It commanded. On its words I stepped out of my physical form, and my glance stretched upwards to the shadows that plagued her.

They were void of earthbound shape, yet held features of fauna of the material plane. Their eyes fixated to me, slowing their spiral weave over Luna. "This one looks at us, not through us?" a shade remarked.

"An illusion brother... no one dares to look straight at us." One scoffed.

I clenched my chest. One of the shades flew through me. "Brother you are not mistaken. This one sees with gifted eyes. He is like the crystal one!" she alerted them. My form froze within their essence. It was vile, suffocating and yet... invigoratingly primal.

"Is he a servant to the tree?" the first shade asked. The shade drifted through me again.

"Uncertain. His heart is fertile but his mind is too guarded to see."

"Pity. PerhapsSs with time he can fully use his gift." another shade scoffed.

"Why don't we give him a hoof..." The shades chuckled in unison.

"Why not a claw instead." a smaller phantom quipped.

"Yes! Yes..." The shades merged into one and lunged toward me. I braced myself, gasping as I felt their essence tear through my psychic body.

"By the stars are you alright Norm?!" Luna gasped. My grasp had tightened uncomfortably around her. It seems that I had begun shaking in a fit of tears. My ramblings were scattered in fear and affirmation, and as she continued I only felt my gut sour. When I regained my composure. I pulled myself away, clearing my throat I said.

"Forgive my outbur-"

"Never Norm." Luna sharply quipped. "Tis an honor to console thee, like thy hast. She paused, then resumed."Is this not what you have instructed of me? That I would be stronger if I released my burdens?"

"Yes... Exactly. Luna..." I gasped for air. The energy from the shades still lingered. If I had only noticed her words, only listened to her bitterness. I would have known that I had failed in helping anyone, but the shades within her.

I didn't know my own limits, and what others could do to set them.