Later, Declan, Spike and the girls soon arrived at the castle that Princess Celestia and Luna used to live in a thousand years prior to the great ‘Celestia-Luna Rift’. It stood before them all looking abandoned and dilapidated since much of it was destroyed by Nightmare Moon all those years ago. Declan pushed the two giant, wooden doors open and they all step inside, the creepiness of the place was thorough.
“So… this is Princess Celestia and Luna’s old Castle…” Declan said, looking around the destroyed interior of the castle. “I could live here.”
“Really?” Twilight questioned, surprised as they proceeded forward.
“Yeah, kinda reminds me of that spooky mansion I entered before I got here, had a lot of horses and a lady with red eyes too.” Declan noted.
“Hmm, odd…” Twilight mused.
“What?” The boy inquired.
“I don’t know… I just… feel like that might be Sibrella.” Twilight admitted.
“For real?” Declan asked, surprised.
“But why would a picture of her be in the human world?” Applejack wondered.
“I don’t know… but I have a bad feeling…” Twilight muttered, worried.
Declan narrowed his eyes with a serious look, then glanced around. “Hey, who did the decorating in this place, anyway? Dracula?”
“I… don’t know who that is… but I think the Princess’ designed it themselves.” Twilight guessed.
“I’m guessing Princess Luna did most of it, right?” Declan guessed.
“Hmm… probably.” Twilight assumed as she gazed around.
“Of course…” Declan muttered.
“Also set up most of the booby-traps.” Rainbow added, which made Declan snicker, she frowned when she realized why he was laughing. “Oh grow up…”
The human shrugged and began to walk around and gaze at the cracked up walls and old tapestry’s. He’d seen pictures of castles like it in books but never in real life.
“Careful Declan, this place is still dangerous.” Twilight warned.
“Aw, come on Twilight, how bad could it…” The boy began before his foot needed up kicking a little rock into a column that crumbled into pieces, startling him.
“Told you.” Twilight stated.
“Man… this place sure is crumbly…” Declan remarked. “I’ll bet if I sneezed I’d bring the whole place down…”
“They say it hasn’t been completely fixed since Princess Celestia battled Nightmare Moon a thousand years ago.” Fluttershy said, as they started walking.
“Huh, lazy much?” Declan remarked.
“Most ponies are pretty scared of it.” Spike said. “And the forest in general and with good reason I'll tell you that.”
Declan glanced to his right and saw that one of the pictures on giving him a scary look and startling him.
“Whoa! Seriously, who was Celestia and Luna’s interior decorator? The grim reaper?” Declan questioned. They all gave him confused looks. “Scary folks from my world. Anyway if they were trying to make sure their castle was scary… they sure did succeed.”
“Equestria was very different a thousand years ago.” Twilight explained.
“Indeed, did you know that they even wore bell bottoms? Ugh! What were they thinking?” Rarity questioned.
“Oh I know the answer to that! …nothing.” Declan stated, bluntly
“Hmm, probably.” Rarity admitted with a shrug.
Declan continued to lead them on, his steps illuminated by both of the unicorn’s glowing horns. Then someone with glowing red eyes, runs by them causing the girls to shriek.
“What? What is it?” Declan asked, alarmed.
“The floor! We saw something!” Fluttershy said.
“I didn’t.” Declan stated.
Twilight scanned the room using the light from her horn. “I’m not sensing anything either… guess it really was nothing.” she observed. “Come on, we’d better get moving.”
They soon continued on their way, not notice a dark shadow with red eyes was stalking them the whole time.
A few minutes later, Declan and the gang continued to make their way through the castle, only more cautiously this time . The light shining from Twilight and Rarity’s horns marked their approach from around a corner, and the lead the gang along the passage. Spike brought up the rear and keeps looking back the way they came and every creepy noise they heard made them more and more nervous. The sound of a rock falling made them all jump, much to Declan’s irritation.”
“Come on, you scaredy cats, would you relax? There’s like nothing to be afraid of.” Declan said, before they heard a loud noise behind them, making Declan yelp and jump back. The ponies give him a smirk while he blushed and chuckled nervously. “Uh… so… who wants down the creepy and spooky hallway first? Any takers?”
“Uh… I vote for you.” Spike offered.
“Again; thanks… you're too kind…” Declan muttered, deadpan, as he started to go further ahead, with everypony else following him close behind.
They soon went around the corner and then down a long flight of stairs before arriving at a long hallway full of disembodied pony legs all along the wall, which creeped most of them out greatly.
“The hall of hooves…” Twilight mused as they began to proceed forward.
“Whoa… whose sick idea was this?” Declan remarked, looking at the pony legs with a scared look on his face.
“Maybe Luna’s?” Spike guessed.
“She is pretty interested in the occult…” Applejack noted.
“Not to mention she likes messing with ponies! Don’t forget; this place is full of booby traps!” Rainbow reminded.
“You already said that.” Declan reminded her.
“Regardless, whatever you do… don’t touch anything.” Twilight advised them all. They all nodded and then quickly noticed Declan pulling down one of the pony legs. They yelped.
“DECLAN!” They exclaimed, annoyed. He turned to them, innocently.
“What? I just wanted to know if it worked.” Declan shrugged. After he said this a little hole opened up under the leg he pulled. “Hey, a hole!”
“Ooh! Maybe there’s a prize inside!” Pinkie said, excited.
“Or a trap… so be careful.” Twilight told him.
Declan nodded and slowly put his arm through the hole. After a short pause he suddenly began screaming, like he was in pain, causing everypony else to scream at the top of their lungs before Declan then started to laugh.
“Huh?” They all said, confused.
“I’m sorry, I saw something like this done in a movie and I just couldn’t resist…” he smiled. They all groaned in annoyance. “Yeah, it’s just an empty room.
“Not cool, Declan!” Spike huffed.
“Come on guys, can’t anypony take a joke?” Declan remarked.
“Hey, I know jokes and that wasn’t funny!” Pinkie said with a surprising serious look as she got close to him.
“But wasn’t it just a little bit funny?” Declan requested, looking nervous.
Pinkie thought for a bit. “Hmm…” she said before finally giggling. “Ok, yeah, it was a little bit funny!”
“Thank you!” Declan said, satisfied.
“Unbelievable…” Rainbow muttered as she rolled her eyes.
“Anyways, you’d think the Princess would have come up with a better name for this place…” Declan remarked.
“I do have to admit, the name is a bit on the nose…” Rarity said.
“And it is scary when you really think about it…” Fluttershy added, shivering. “Who knows what could be lurking here?”
Just after she said this a strong but quiet breeze knocks over a vase behind them, startling the girls and Spike greatly but not Declan.
“Cool it, super chickens.” Declan told them in a deadpan tone and with a straight look on his face. “It was just the wind again.”
Rainbow then got annoyed. “Hey! Who are you calling a chicken!?” she demanded. Then she looked towards the scary looking suit of pony armor close by and gulped. “Although now that you mention it…”
“You know, I heard you can learn a lot about old places like this.” Declan voiced.
“That’s right! The past can be a great teacher sometimes.” Princess Twilight agreed.
As she said this Declan stepped on a certain part of the floor and suddenly it lowers down a bit. He has triggered something and as soon as he takes his next step, a large section of the floor lowered and spikes pop out of it.
Declan yelps as he waves his arms around and begins to lean forward on just one leg toward the spikes.
“Declan!” Everypony behind him cried.
The eleven-year old raised his arms to shield himself but the Emperor’s Gem acted quickly and a green aura appeared around his body before making him stop in mid-air. The Mane Six, plus Spike, gasped in shock while the Gem levitated him over the spikes and onto the other side. Once he was their he sighed and turned to the others, freaked out.
“Guys… I think the past is trying to do me in!” Declan said.
“It’s the amazing the lengths that gem will go to protect you…” Twilight remarked.
“Maybe we shouldn’t be here…” Declan observed, worried.
Twilight then concentrated hard and two flashes of purple light she and the others were standing nearby him on the other side.
“Now where’s all that bravado you had earlier?” Twilight teased, smiling. Declan smiled back in amusement while Twilight looked ahead. “Besides… we’re almost there…”
The gang soon stepped through a pair of large doors and entered yet another large room.
Declan gazed around the extremely large room and saw multiple book shelves filled with ancient looking books all over the place, as well as pieces of rubble everywhere plus spiders.
“So this is the castle’s library…” Declan remarked.
“Yep, isn’t it amazing?” Twilight said, excited.
“Only you, Twi…” Rainbow sighed. She then looked around. “Although… if they have some adventure books here…”
“Sorry, they don’t. Checked the last time I was here.” Spike informed her.
“Oh… then I don’t care.” The Pegasus said, nonchalantly.
“Alright, let’s get looking, call out if you find anything.” Princess Twilight told them. They all nodded and spread out before beginning to search like she told them to. “And Declan… don’t touch anything.”
“Hey, I’m eleven, not six, I can ride my bike to the store alone you know.” Declan informed her while walking and looking around. A Star Spider then dropped down in front of his face, making him yelp and scramble around it.
“Just be careful, there are still traps and some of these books are quite old.” Twilight said.
Declan walked over to a book, opened it and blew on it to get the dust off and ended up coughing due to the large amount on it. “No kidding their old… and I thought my room was dusty…”
“Yes, remind us to clean up this place when we’re done.” Rarity stated, turning her nose up at the dirt in disgust.
“Great, now she’s gonna become a clean freak, that’s something to look forward too…” Rainbow remarked.
“You said it.” Applejack agreed. Rarity just scowled at them in annoyance before they all continued searching.
“Find anything?” Twilight spoke up.
“No…” Fluttershy sighed, her ears flattening.
“Zippo!” Pinkie added.
“Us neither.” Rainbow said, while Rarity and Applejack nodded.
“Well it’s gotta be here somewhere, right?” Spike remarked.
“It has to be.” Twilight stated. “It has to!”
Declan then noticed a special book near a pile of rubble and picked it up before opening it. “Hello! Hey guys! I think I found the book Celestia mentioned,” he told them, as they all gathered around him.
“So? What does it say?” Rainbow asked.
“It says that Sibrella was born as a creature of darkness…” Declan began as he read the book.
“Surprise, surprise…” Spike remarked, before Twilight nudged him to be quiet.
“She caused terror wherever she went and for a long while no one could stop her.” Declan continued. “That is… until they used the very item that she used to strengthen her powers against her…”
“The Emperor’s Gem…!” Fluttershy realized. Declan looked at the long green gem around his neck and held it tightly.
“That is the most logical choice…” Twilight reasoned.
Applejack took a gander at the book also. “Says here they used the gem to seal her up underground and inside a metal box with chains to boot!”
“Well, that’s a little bit excessive, don’t you think?” Rarity remarked.
“Please, nopony locks something up that much unless it’s super bad to let out.” Rainbow stated.
“Well, she’s not too locked up now…” Declan mused, seriously.
“But how?” Fluttershy wondered.
“I don’t know, but for some reason she’s able to create earthquakes and call forth monsters even from inside her prison.” Twilight deduced. “Which means that her power must be growing some how and/or the seal may be weakening.”
“Huh, I wonder what could have caused that?” Declan wondered, before he noticed the Emperor’s Gem around his neck glowing as it turned purple, causing them to gasp in shock.
“Maybe that?” Rainbow Dash said, alarmed.
As the gem continued to glow, deep below them the prison that currently held Sibrella began to glow with a dark aura while the demon witch herself began to chuckle evilly and softly, this quickly grew into a loud and evil laugh while she had her arms crossed against her chest.
“Yes… yes! The time has come!” she declared as she suddenly extended both her arms which both suddenly pierce through the metal container. The box began to shake before the metal around the demon scattered, and she was free. “Yes! Free! I’M FREE! Now it’s time for some fun!”
She then shot up towards the surface like a rocket, grinning manically as she did so and like last time her chuckling slowly grew into an evil laugh.
As Sibrella continued to make her way through the ground towards the surface, the dark magic she was emitting as she traveled upward began to make the ground shake above, create a quake similar to the one felt yesterday and it was instantly felt by the Mane Six and the sole males; Declan and Spike.
They all scream, startled and held onto something, and/or each other as the quake continued.
“Whoa! An earthquake!” Declan said, alarmed.
“Another one?” Spike remarked, holding onto Twilight.
“No… this one feels different…” Twilight mused.
“Different? Different how?” Rainbow questioned.
“Let’s get outside and find out.” Twilight declared.
“You don’t have to tell me twice!” Rarity said as she began to gallop out of the library, along with the others.
They all soon ran out of the castle just as the shaking started to get worse and pretty soon afterwards they saw a tower of purple light shoot out of the ground from another location and looked towards it.
“Whoa! What is that?” Declan remarked.
“I don’t know… but it’s coming from the fields! Come on!” Twilight told them, as they began to run in the direction of the light.
“Oh… why do we always have to run towards the danger?” Spike remarked, annoyed, as he began to follow them.
They soon arrived at a grassy field just as the earthquake had reached its peak, making it hard for them to maintain their balance. But it soon stopped when something or someone came flying up through the purple pillar of light, causing them to gaze up.
The being flew higher and higher till it was high above them and that’s when it finally stopped and started floating in mid-air. The purple beam of light vanished once it did. Declan and the others all looked closely and saw that the being was a woman, a woman with chalk white skin and sweeping red hair plus two red eyes with black sclera. She also had delicate facial features, lipstick, nail polish and dark robes with long sleeves. Declan recognized her quickly.
“You! You're that lady from that picture in the mansion I was in!” Declan realized.
“At least we meet, the child who has caused me so much trouble!” Sibrella hissed.