Celestia glanced at Luna, her head clear and her body at ease. She cast her power out, drifting her mind out into space, willing the sun towards her. She felt the first wisp of magic find the sun, and let it establish a firm grip. Sometimes when moving the sun, she felt as though she had thousands of little hooks. Then the hooks would lacth onto the sun pulling it down or pushing it up. Celestia felt the beams of sunlight warm her as the sun sank towards the horizon and out of sight. The moon was now ascending, it's gentle glow illuminating the darker sky. Celestia released her magic, and a new thought seized her. How did the moon glow? That was something to study when she got back home. Celestia's thoughts went darker. If she got home. She tried to think more optimistically. If she did get home, she would have a new assistant to study with.
Sudden worry took hold of Celestia at the word assistant. She remembered Twilight, left at the palace all alone, and coping with the responsibilities of two double booked princesses. Heck, she didn't care how many times that mare saved the world. She was too young to be burdened with this. Ah injustice, so we meet again. Celestia thought. Then she sighed. There was no alternative. Not really. Dear Cadance already had her hooves full. Maintaining the safety of the Crystal Empire was no small feat, and nursing the fatally ill Prince of Yakyakistan while running his kingdom... Celestia shook her head. That Cadance could sure multitake.
Luna released her magic and shot a smile at Celestia. The stars were beautiful tonight, some glittering and sparkling, some flickering dimly. The moon rested in the middle of the sky, like a crowning jewl. A steady breeze had begun to blow across the beach they stood in. The soft clap of waves against the shore was relaxing, and calm. The first night creatures were beginning to appear. A chorus of crickets grew gradually louder, and the occasional hoot of an owl traveled with the wind. The sisters just stood there, enjoying the few moments of sereneness and beauty they would grant themselves. Luna broke the quiet between them.
"The star map leads us here. The question is, is this the place we are looking for? Or do we keep going over ocean?" Luna asked, almost talking to herself. Celestia was about to reply when she was caught off guard for a moment. Luna's flowing mane did not shimmer and sparkle like it did in daylight. During the night, it became even more breathtaking. It glowed a deep blue, constantly shifting shapes. The glow was never steady. Instead it changed and faded, almost making Luna seem no more than a spirit, fading into the night. You think after millenias you would think your own sister's mane would not surprise you. Think again. Though Luna rejected all makeup, hair products, and style, Celestia suspected she was fond of her mane effect. Luna must have put an Astonishment Renewing Spell of some sort. Celestia cleared her head.
"I don't know everything little sis." Celestia shook her head. She reached into her beaded pouch and pulled out the carefully folded star chart. Luna stiffled a giggle.
"What?" Celestia asked, bewildered. Luna was trembling now, trying not to laugh. "What?!" Celestia was now irritated. Luna forced back her giggles.
"You used Goldenhoof's Folding Spell for that, right?" Luna still stiffled. Celestia nodded. "Remember that stupid commercial for it...." Luna burst out laughing so hard she was almost shrieking. Something in Celestia's mind clicked as she remembered. She recalled the jingle sung that Luna was repeating now.
"Goldenhoof's The Great, Sensational Pony! Foldings Spells For Everyone! Use It For Landry, Use It For Napkins! Goldenhoof's The GGGRRREEEEEAAAAAATTTTTT!" Luna shrieked out the last word as a high soprano. "Garunteed To Straiten Out After Folding!" She added in a fake masculine tone. Celestia burst out laughing. Mabey it was tension, mabye the stress explained why they were acting like shcool-fillies. No matter. There was no one out here to hear them and spread this all over the news. Like the cake incident. Celestia inwardly shuddered.
She unfolded the star chart and stared hard at the little dot marking the faint star she had found. Was this the place? Or would they have to travel over ocean and into unknown territory? Celestia drew her wings to her side, still engrossed in thought. She looked down at the mark. To her surprise, it flickered. Celestia dropped the chart. The mark seemed to wink once, and then fade. She stared. Luna's eyes darted around the parchment, as though she expected the mark to appear somewhere else. It did. Glowing a bright, natural gold, the little dot stood out against the yellowing parchment. The dot was surprisingly intense, casting out a small but strong beam of light into the dark night. Instead of its usual spot, the mark was located under the left wing of The Gargoyle Constellation. The sisters said nothing. Then slowly, Luna raised her head and searched the sky.
"Look." She said softly. Under the left wing of The Gargoyle was the faint star. Celestia looked down at the paper and up at the star. The positioning on the chart marked perfectly the location of the real star. Celestia felt understanding dawn on her.
"We have to follow it. It will keep changing position, taking us to where we are needed." Celestia glanced at her sister.
"Where we are needed." Luna repeated slowly. "That makes sense. The star led us here first, to help that family deal with the serpent."
"Exactly." Celestia nodded. She looked at the stretch of beach behind them, wondering where the family was now. Most likely seeking shelter at the nearest village.
"It's like tag." Luna said, faintly amused. "And we are it. We have to cacth the star."
"That's one way of seeing it." Celestia summoned the magic carpet. "Shall we ride through the night?" Luna shook her head.
"Were living beings Tia. We have to sleep sometime you know." Luna snorted.
"The carpet takes commands. We could sleep while it drives." Celestia retorted.
"No." Luna shook her head. "Imagine this: We fall asleep on the carpet, contented. The carpet glides along into the night, taking us closer to our goal. Then all of a sudden, some big cannibal creature pops out of nowhere and attacks us. Oh well. We were sleeping. Result: we get ripped to shreds." Celestia snorted.
"You're very optimistic." She said. "Fine. Tent mode!" The carpet transformed into the two pony tent.
Celestia and Luna settled down in the tent. Celestia took a last look at the faint star. The night was still peaceful. Heather rusteld in the breeze. The cricket chorus sounded more like an orchestra at the moment. The sky was clear. Celestia sighed contently. How long would this peace hold though? She burrowed into her fuzzy cotton blanket, breathing in the soft smell of flowers. Then she was captured by the comforting, hazy world of memories and dreams. She felt a burning certainty that this time, she would learn more.