The Book of Life: A Shining Armor AU

by AlleyCat124

I Will Wait For You

Another normal day in Ponyville. Ponies walking around, socializing, shopping and just enjoying the peaceful, quiet day the town had to offer……until three of the troublemakers made their appearance.
“You’re gonna have to do better than that if you have any chance of winning!!” Cadence yelled behind her as she ran through the streets of Ponyville. In hot pursuit came Prince Blueblood followed by Shining Armor. It did start out as a friendly race with a finish line, until it became about making sure Cadence didn’t outrace them.
“You’re gonna be beaten by a filly if you don’t hurry up!” she once again called back.
“No fair! You’re using your wings to make you go faster!” Prince Blueblood accused.
“NO EXCUSES!” and with that, she ran faster.
Determined not to be shown up by a filly, Prince Blueblood pushed faster and faster until he was neck and neck with Cadence. So entrapped with their race, they didn’t see that Shining Armor was falling behind. He tripped over his own hoofs earlier in the race and hasn’t been able to catch up since, but he didn’t care. He was having so much fun with his two best friends; so much so, that he didn’t realize where they were headed until the sun disappeared. Looking up, he saw the canopy of trees blocking the sun. He reduced his running to a walk when he took a closer look at his surroundings. Trees and shrubs surrounded him; the forest having an eerie silence that didn’t belong. When he looked forward again, he had to stop short when he realized he was about to step into a field of beautiful blue flowers, but he wasn’t fooled.
“Poison Joke….” He whispered. Everypony knew to stay away from them if you didn’t feel like getting pranked, but that wasn’t what stopped him, for Poison Joke only grew in….
“The Everfree Forest” Shining Armor gasped, as he back pedaled away from the flowers. Fear gripped him when he realized that he lost Cadence and Prince Blueblood. In a complete state of panic, he started running through the forest looking for his friends.
“Cadence! Blueblood! Where are you guys!?” Running and running, he continued looking left and right for his friends. Realizing he was lost, he came to a complete stop. His breath came out in pants as he felt nothing but panic and helplessness. This forest is the deadliest forest in all of Equestria and he and his friends were lost in its deadly clutches. As his panic continued to rise, he heard a soft voice in the back of his mind.
“Shining. It’s ok. I’m here.” The voice comforted him.
Shining’s breathing slowed as he came to recognize his sister’s voice, bringing up a distant memory.

“Shining. It’s ok. I’m here.” Twilight Sparkle said, soothing the crying colt.
“But it was horrible! I was lost, and no pony seemed to see me; like I was invisible. I called for you guys, but you didn’t come.” Shining cried into his sister’s shoulder.
“Ssshh…calm down. Remember what I taught you when you get worked up?” she asked. Looking up at his sister, Twilight put her hoof at the top of her head and brought it down along with a deep breath. Copying his sister, Shining repeated the gesture until he calmed down.
“It sounded like a really bad dream. But I’m going to tell you something and I want you to remember this. We will always protect you.” She assured.
“Of course. We always protect the one’s we love. No matter what. When you call, your family will always come.”

Coming back to reality, Shining Armor sat on his haunches and repeated the gesture his sister taught him. As his heart rate started to slow and his mind cleared, he opened his eyes with a clearer head.
This wasn’t the time to be panicking. He had to find his friends and get away from the Everfree before something found them. Shining Armor’s horn glowed has he levitated the wooden sword from his back and put it in front of him for protection. With a final deep breath, he back tracked to where he came from in hopes of finding his friends.
He never let his guard down. Every sound that was made, he investigated. Every hunch he had, he followed them, but he was getting nowhere. As he came upon the Poison Joke again, he pondered whether to try a different direction, but he didn’t need to as his thoughts were interrupted by a loud…-
Looking toward their direction, he saw Prince Blueblood and Cadence running towards him at full speed. So happy to see his friends, he was surprised when they ran right past him. In a state of confusion, he looked in the direction to where they emerged from. His pupils dilated when his eyes came upon a ferocious manticore, rampaging right towards him.
Shining glanced at his wooden sword then back at the advancing beast. Sword then beast, sword then beast…….nope.
With a scream he’s had pent up since he got here, he ran away from the manticore towards his friends. As he caught up with them, he realized that they couldn’t outrun it.
“Cadence, you need to fly!” Shining Armor yelled.
“I can’t! My wings aren’t strong enough!” she answered.
“You have to try! I have a plan, but you have to fly NOW!”
Filled with nothing but fear, Cadence could only give a firm nod. As they continued to run from the advancing beast, Cadence flapped her wings with all her might; willing them to get her off the ground. As the trio emerged from the forest, Cadence began to lift off the ground. Prince Blueblood gave a whoop of encouragement when he witnessed her advancing towards the sky.
“Get to Ponyville! Get some help!” Shining Armor instructed.
Nodding in understanding, Cadence flew off towards Ponyville to get help.
“THAT’S your plan?!” Prince Blueblood called in disbelief as they continued to run. “What are we supposed to do until they come!?”
“We need to keep it away from Ponyville until help arrives!” Shining Armor answered.
“Um….Shining?” Prince Blueblood called uncertainly.
“Too late.” And with that, the colts came to a complete stop and looked towards Prince Blueblood’s pointed hoof. The manticore spotted Cadence flying away and followed after her towards Ponyville, unbeknownst to the flying filly.
“Uh-oh” Shining Armor cried. And with that ‘uh-oh’ alone, the colt’s trailed after the manticore and the third amigo.

As her wings started to quickly tire out, Cadence landed in the middle of town square and yelled at the top of her tired lungs, “MANTICORE!!!”
Heads turned at the sudden outburst and with that chaos ensued. Ponies were running left and right, stalls were being overturned, doors and windows were being slammed shut, and emerging from the city hall was a tan mare with wavy gray hair, yellow reading glasses covering her blue eyes and the cutie mark of a scroll. Seeing Cadence in the middle of the chaos, she ran towards her.
“Cadence! What is the meaning of this outburst? What manticore?” she questioned.
Before she could explain further, screams erupted from behind her. Looking behind, she saw ponies running from the emerging manticore as it tore through the town.
“It must have followed me!” Cadence cried in horror as she realized she led the beast here.
“Followed you!?” the mare exclaimed.
The manticore turned left and right, deciding where to go when he spotted the filly he followed. With a lick of his tongue, the manticore charged right towards her. The mare stepped in front of Cadence to shield her from the blow. Closing their eyes, waiting for the blow to come, they were both tackled aside just as the beast was about to catch his prey.
Cadence opened her eyes when she didn’t feel the blow of the manticore. Looking around she saw the mare passed out and Blueblood was standing over them.
Prince Bluebloods blood pumped with adrenaline, and yet he felt so calm. Realizing that he acted on instinct when he saw what the manticore was about to do, he let out a deep breath he didn’t know he was holding. Warmth radiated from under his blue bow. Looking down, he gazed upon the green tornado medal that the old stallion gave him.
“As long as you where it, you can never be hurt and gives you strength and wisdom.”
Prince Blueblood’s eye’s widened at the realization. “Whoa.” He breathed out. But his trance was interrupted when Cadence’s scream tore through the air.
Looking up, he saw the manticore fully recovered and was charging right towards them. Not having any time to dodge, Blueblood covered Cadence and the mare as much as he could to block them from the impending blow. The manticore pounced but all he hit was an invisible shield.
In a state of confusion, Prince Blueblood looked for the source and found Shining Armor digging his hoofs in the ground, horn glowing a bright pink.

I have to protect them, I have to protect them, I have to protect them! That’s all Shining Armor repeated to himself as he continued to shield his friends. It was purely adrenaline and his will that was keeping that shield spell up, but it could only do so much. Every punch, scratch, and charge the manticore threw at the shield was like a blow to Shining Armor’s head. His shield started to crack as the pain in his head continued. He knew that he couldn’t keep this up, but he didn’t know what else to do. Once that shield was down, it was all over.
Shining Armor glanced left and right for something, anything to help him when he spotted a red blanket over a broken stall. An idea formed in his mind. Using every ounce of magic he had, he slowly lifted the red blanket away from the stall. When he was sure he had a firm grip on the blanket, Shining Armor tried to get the manticore’s attention.
“Hey! Ugly! Over here!” he yelled at the top of his lungs.
Noticing movement at the corner of his eye, the manticore turned towards the distraction and saw the cape waving left and right. Irritated by the constant movement of the cape, the manticore gave up of the ponies and headed for the cape.
With a sigh of relief, Shining Armor released the shielding spell and got a firmer grip on the cape. Holding his ground until the last possible second, Shining Armor moved the cape out of the way of the charging manticore. Not realizing what just happened, the manitcore was too late to stop and charged head first into the wall that was behind the cape. Collapsing to the ground, he gave one last rawr as the he passed out from the blow.
Shining Armor couldn’t move. So full of adrenaline and fear, he stood still until it was clear the beast wasn’t going to wake up. Releasing the breath he didn’t know he was holding, Shining Armor collapsed to the ground in exhaustion.
Prince Blueblood beamed at his friend. He protected them and defeated the manticore all on his own. He couldn’t have felt more proud to be his friend than he is right now. About to run to his aid to make sure he was all right, he was stopped by a groan behind him. Looking behind, he saw that the groan was coming from the passed out mare waking up. He was so focused on getting them out of the way; he didn’t realize who it was.
“Mayer Mare, are you alright?” he asked sincerely, extending a hoof to help her up.
Taking his extended hoof, Mayer Mare’s eyes fluttered as she collected her thoughts.
“You…..You saved us.” She stammered.
“Yea. But Shining-“ Prince Blueblood stammered.
“We owe you are lives! You’re a hero.” She praised, bringing Prince Blueblood in a tight embrace. He tried to get a word in, but his lungs were being crushed by the embracing mare.
Looking at the destruction that took place, her eyes narrowed as she released Prince Blueblood and looked towards the pink filly by her side.
“Cadence….” Mayer Mare’s voice warned.
“Hey mom…..” Cadence answered sheepishly.
“Exactly how did you get a manticore to follow you in the first place?” she questioned.
Cadence avoided her mother’s face as she answered. “Well…..we were racing…and….we may have accidently ran into the Everfree forest….”
“You were in the Everfree Forest!?” she yelled.
Cadence finally looked at her mother as she tried to defend herself. “It was an accident! We weren’t looking where we were going an-“
“This is the last straw, young lady!” Mayer Mare interrupted. “I could handle the little acts of mischief you and your friends cause now and then, but this behavior has gone on long enough!” her eyes hardened as she came to a decision. “I’m sending you off to Canterlot.”
“What!?” Cadence and Prince Blueblood yelled in unison.
“It is time you started acting like a proper lady. There is a school there that brings up young fillies into full-fledged proper mares. I have a friend that owes me a favor.”
“But mom!” Cadence cried.
“My decision is final. Now go home and wait for me there!” she ordered stomping her hoof down in emphasis.
Cadence eyes started welling up with tears at the unfairness of the sudden decision. Not wanting to be around her anymore, Cadence ran towards home, crying her eyes out.
Prince Blueblood wanted to follow, but was stopped by a hoof on his shoulder.
“I know you had something to do with this as well.” Mayer Mare stated calmly. “And while I am grateful that you’ve saved me and my daughter’s life, I think it’s time to discuss your future as well.”
Mayer Mare turned towards the first stallion she saw. “Gather the townsfolk together. I’ll make some calls to get that manticore out and get some construction ponies to start rebuilding. Until then, clean up what you can.” After giving her orders, she turns back to Prince Blueblood. “Follow me.” And with that, she walks away.
Prince Blueblood turned in the direction of Shining Armor and sees that he was getting up. He smiled; glad that his best friend was ok and followed Mayer Mare.

Shining Armor heard every word. She can’t send Cadence away. She can’t! Shining Armor shakenly stood up but what little strength he had quickly disappeared and started falling to the ground. Falling, he was quickly caught by dark blue magic. It lifted him up and landed him on the back of his father.
“And where did you think you were going?” His father inquired.
All Shining Armor could get out was a weak, “She can’t send Cadence away.”
He nodded his head in understanding. “I’m sorry for your friend, Shining, but parents do what they think are best for their children. Let’s go home and get you into bed.” And with that, he walked toward home.
Striking up conversation along the way, Shining’s father commented, “I wasn’t there for the whole thing, but I saw what you did with that manticore. You’ve made our family proud.”
Shining armor smiled at the thought. All in all, he did do great. He was proud of what he did today and was glad his father was proud as well.
“You know, I didn’t think you had the gift of manticore fighting, but I can see that you are going to be a great one.” His father beamed.
Shining frowned. “But….I don’t want to be a manticore fighter.”
“Nonsense. It’s tradition! Your grandmother was one, I was one, and now my son, it is your turn to continue the tradition.”
“Once you’re all better, we’ll start your training. Besides, it’s tradition to start training once you’ve reached maturity.” He simply stated.
“Maturity?” Shining Armor questioned.
His father smiled and pointed to Shining Armors back. Weakly lifting his head, Shining Armor looked at his back and his face broke out in the widest grin he’s ever had.
For on his flank was his cutie mark of three small blue stars and below that, a dark blue shield with a dark purple star on it.

It was a week before the friends could see each other again. And when they finally did, it was to say goodbye to Cadence.
“I can’t believe your leaving.” Shining Armor sighed.
“Neither can I.” Cadence replied, eyes welling up with tears. “I’m going to miss you guys so much!” with that she flung her arms around her two friends in a group hug.
“My advisors think that this was a wakeup call to start teaching me to run the kingdom. I’m probably going to be in Canterlot sometimes. Maybe I could see you when I visit.” Prince Blueblood replied half-heartedly. Cadence gave a half-hearted nod in return. They both knew that his advisors would keep him busy enough to keep him indoors.
“OH! I almost forgot. We got you a gift!” Shining exclaimed as he levitated a big white box in front of Cadence. Eyes wide in surprise, Cadence started opening the box.
“We got her a gift?” Prince Blueblood whispered to Shining Armor.
“Just go with it.” He answered back.
When Cadence opened the box, her eyes widened in disbelief. Inside was a small purple baby dragon with green scales. He looked up at the new pony with big green eyes and gave a small smile.
“A baby dragon!? How did you get a baby dragon!?” Cadence whispered loudly.
“My sister…..” Shining Armor started sadly, but shook it off. “My sister found an egg a year ago. It hatched right after she died. He’s been hiding in my room all this time, but I think it would be better if he was with you.”
Cadence lifts him out of the box. The dragon, nervous with his new environment, started sucking on his tail.
“He’s…..adorable.” Cadence murmured, rubbing her head against the dragon.
“I named him Spike. We’ve been taking care of him, so we thought that you needed a little part of us to go with you.” Shining Armor explained.
“Thank you……thank you both.” She choked as she continued to rub the dragon.
“You had a dragon? That’s awesome.” Prince Blueblood whispered as he held up his hoof for a hoof-bump.
“Thanks.” He whispered back, answering his hoof-bump.
Their warm moment was interrupted by the blow of the train whistle signaling the trains’ departure. Cadence gave one last look at her best friends, and with a teary goodbye, she ran towards the train with Spike on her back.
“Don’t forget me!” She called as she hopped on the train. As the train started to leave, Prince Blueblood and Shining Armor raced after the train.
“When you came back, I will be the Prince you deserve!” Blueblood called.
“And I will always wait for you!” Shining Armor countered.
Cadence smiled warmly at her friend’s declaration. As she was sticking her head back in, her blue bow fell out of her hair and into the hoofs of Prince Blueblood. Clutching the bow to his breast, Prince Blueblood made a vow to be the best Prince he could ever be. For her.
Shining Armor continued to run until he reached the end of the platform. Gazing at the departed train he whispered, “I will wait for you.”

It would be many years before they ever saw each other again.