• Published 18th May 2013
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Phases of the Moon - Jade Ring



Sequel to 'Lost in the Night.' Shining Armor seeks more information about Luna's past lovers and uncovers some shocking truths.

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Chapter 6- Waning

Veritas looked to the giant clock on the archive’s walls and shook his head. “It appears you’ve kept me up all night. The sun will be rising soon.”

Shining Armor looked to the clock and looked away in embarrassment. “Forgive me. I didn’t mean to keep you awake all night.”

Veritas patted the prince’s shoulder and shook his head. “Think nothing of it. I so rarely get company these days. Besides, it’s not every bearer of the Veritas name that gets to meet one of Luna’s lovers.”

Shining Armor started as though he’d been struck by lightning. “How did you…?”

“Please, Shining Armor; how many stallions do you think come looking for the romantic exploits of goddesses?”

Shining Armor sighed in defeat and nodded.

“I take it your wife doesn’t know.”

The young prince shook his head.

Veritas nodded sadly. “I thought as much. That’s the only reason I’m going to show you this.” A heavy book floated from the uppermost shelf and passed into Shining Armor’s magic.

“What is it?”

“One of Princess Luna’s diaries, pre-banishment of course.” Veritas looked uncomfortable for the first time all night. “It’s the last entry that should concern you.”

Confused, but intrigued, Shining opened the book to its final written page.

Veritas watched silence as the stallion read. He watched Shining Armor’s eyes get wider and wider the more he read. When his eyes met the hooded unicorn’s once again, Veritas gestured to the door. “If you hurry, you might catch her before she retires for the day.”

Shining Armor said nothing. He simply passed the book back to Veritas and bolted out of the archives as fast as his hooves would carry him.

Veritas shook his head sadly and went to read the entry for himself once again when a voice all too familiar spoke from above.

Brother Veritas?

She wasn’t in the room with him. She was speaking through the false sun she’d gifted to the first Brother Veritas so many years ago. “Yes, Princess Celestia?”

Have you returned Starswirl’s last spell book to the deeper archives yet?

“No, your majesty.”

Good. I have need of it once again. I believe my student is ready for her final test. Please send the book to Ponyville at first light.

Veritas bowed to the monarch that was not there. “As you wish, your majesty.”

Her presence was gone.

At last alone, Brother Veritas lifted the diary and read its final entry, words that had been written over one thousand years ago.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

I thought losing Esmeralda was the worst pain I could ever feel, but Nevermore’s betrayal…

I feel as though my heart has hardened. It’s beyond pain. I feel… nothing.

Nothing but rage.

This is Celestia’s fault, I know it. I have put up with being the lesser sister for far too long. Perhaps the time has finally come for me to show her just how powerful I really am.

But then… perhaps some of the blame falls to me as well.

Nevermore’s words haunt me so… did I love him? Or Esmeralda? Busara? Highwind? Starswirl? Any of them?

Perhaps I must find a different kind of love. Not the shallow, tawdry love I find in the physical act, but something deeper, something truer.

I see the looks that mothers give their foals. It’s a feeling I myself have never known. Perhaps that is where true happiness, where true love lies.

When I am done with Celestia, when this grisly task is complete, maybe my next lover will simply be a means to an end.

He will show me the path to truly knowing what love is.

He will give me a foal.

But first… Celestia. Oh, my lovely sister…

It is time for your nightmare to begin.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Veritas thought back to earlier when he’d told Shining Armor of the arrival of the princesses. How their arrival had been foretold in a prophecy.

He had neglected to tell him of Clover the Clever’s final prophecy, the one she gave on her deathbed.

’The sons of Armor shall go to war.’” He recited from memory. “’One born of loving light, the other of lusting dark. The Apple is the object of their desire… and over it shall Equestria be plunged into darkness for all time.’” He turned to return to his quarters. “Do the right thing, Shining Armor. For all our sakes… do the right thing.”

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

He found her just as she was about to climb the stairs to her tower. “Luna!”

The princess of the night turned at the sound of his voice and smiled. “Shining Armor! We looked for you earlier. Forgive us, it has been a trying night. We are far too tired to…”

“Is that all I am to you? A means to an end?”

Luna’s raised an eyebrow. “What are you…?”

“I read your diary.”

His words, his tone, made gooseflesh crawl along her back. “Our diary?” She turned her head and peered at him sideways. “You were in the archives.”

Shining Armor nodded.

“And what is the question you want answered?”

“You heard my and Cadance’s announcement?”

Luna laughed mockingly. “We had heard something to that effect. We suppose congratulations are in order.”

“Did you…”

“Did we what?” She cut him off. “Did we intend to use you to father a foal?”

Shaking from the barely controlled storm of emotions inside him, Shining Armor nodded.

“That was our original intention, yes.”

To hear her say it made a cold wave sweep through Shining Armor’s entire being. “And now?”

Luna shrugged. “With you having responsibilities to our niece, we will simply have to find an alternative means.”

Shining Armor cocked his head in confusion. “Does that mean that we… that we’re through?”

Luna offered a wicked smile. “Not if you don’t want us to be. We will simply have to break our one lover policy.”

“But… how could we be so sure that there wouldn’t be a foal?”

Luna stared at him pityingly. “Shining Armor, do you not think that a goddess would know a way to prevent pregnancy if she wished it?”

“I…”

“Of course, if you’d rather we go back to being one big happy extended family, then we’d be fine with that as well. Is that what you want?”

Her words stunned him. Here was his chance at salvation. One word, and his sins would be at an end. He could go back to being simply Cadance’s husband, crown prince of the Crystal Empire. He could be a proud father to the foal that now grew in his wife’s womb. One day, far in the future, he could tell Cadance of his transgressions and proudly tell her that when push came to shove, he gladly chose his family over his lust.

In his heart, he knew the only answer he could give.

“No.”

Luna smiled and crossed the hall-way, joining her lips to his in a slow and loving kiss. “We hoped you might say that.”

“Can you say it to me?”

“Hmmm?”

“You never said it to any of them. Say it to me so that I know that I’m different, not just the next in a long line.”

Luna smiled at him, kissed him again, and leaned in close to his ear. “We loved them all, but we never could say so. You are the first we feel comfortable saying it to. We love you, Shining Armor.”

Her voice melted almost all of his fears. “And you promise there won’t be a foal?”

“We promise. At least… not with you.”

Being so close to her was awakening desire in his heart. Her scent alone was driving him mad. “Are you…tired?”

Luna laughed airily and turned from him. “I could use a nap. Will you be busy around dusk?”

Shining Armor shook his head. “No. Cadance isn’t expecting me back in the empire until tomorrow.”

“Then we will see you at dusk. Get some rest.” She kissed him a final time before mounting the stairs to the tower. “You’ll need it.”

He watched her go. A final nagging doubt tugged at his heart. “No foal? You promise?”

Luna rolled her eyes and called back. “The only foal you need concern yourself with is Cadance’s.”

Shining Armor sighed in relief and turned to head to his own chambers.

The Prince of Sinners trotted down the deserted corridor deep in the castle’s halls, his hoof-falls unwittingly creating a sort of drum roll towards the damnation for which he was surely destined.

And surely deserved.

////////////////////////////////////////////

High in her tower, the princess of the night watched the sun rise. Down below, she watched her lover reach his room and draw the shades closed. She sighed in sadness and drew her own curtains closed.

In the darkness of her sanctum, she brought a hoof to her belly where she could already feel the foal beginning to grow.

“I loved them all, even though I never said it. And I’ve always hated lying to the ones I love.” It was far too early, but she imagined she felt a kick. “Don’t you worry, my little one; I will never lie to you. I’ll never lie to you, never hurt you… and I’ll always be there to protect you.” She lay on her bed, the same bed where she’d lain with a pony she’d promised to protect so many years ago, and felt sleep coming to claim her.

“I’ll always protect you. For forever and a day.”

Comments ( 25 )

I'm having a mix reaction, at one, creepy, the other being unsure.

I don't really see war coming though Luna having lied is one thing, but then I'd really just can't see a problem with Shining having other duties than being a guard.

I'd just wish this has a sequel with a happy ending and acceptance.

Our very favorite image. Princess Luna, with her own foal.

Oh. Shit. Son.

It is on.

“’The sons of Armor shall go to war.’” He recited from memory. “’One born of loving light, the other of lusting dark. The Apple is the object of their desire… and over it shall Equestria be plunged into darkness for all time.’”

now that is intriguing. very much, unbearable so, i have this weird feeling that both sons will fight for the love of one of the Apple mares, blood calling to blood, and maybe, just maybe, a new immortal Alicorn born in the land, born from one of Armor and the Apple, trowing the balance of the world in chaos :pinkiecrazy:

loving the plot :pinkiecrazy:

P.S. nice touch having the longevity of the Apples being the Alicorn blood from the part of Celestia heritage.

2692382 Hahahaha... it's amazing what you can do with a throwaway line like that.

There I was, putting the finishing touches on the chapter when a thought occured to me. "Wasn't Starswirl Clover's teacher?" Faced with a complete crisis, I settled on the only available action.

"But I thought Starswirl taught Clover the Clever."
"Facts are lost over time."
"But..."
"LOST OVER TIME!"

HOLY SHIT! you amazing genius. I knew all of your stories were leading to SOMETHING, but I wasn't sure what. THIS. THIS IS FANTASTIC! :heart:
Can't wait till this all comes to a head

but what does derpy have to do with it, I wonder :derpyderp2:

2740728 It's simple. A storm is coming.

2742150 You vague genius bastard :flutterrage: .... :heart:

2748772 I feel so bad for you... so desperate to know the answers... yet the proverbial storm may yet be a full year away...

2793007 I don't pretend to speak the old tongue fluently. I throw in thous and therefores because I like the way they sound.

By all means, keep reading...

2808340 I love when people ask questions like this. Means I'm doing my job right...

Time Turner left the time-stream because that's his part to play. With him out of the picture, Derpy will have to grow stronger on her own. Only then will she be able to play her role in the storm to come.

The Prince of Sinners trotted down the deserted corridor deep in the castle’s halls, his hoof-falls unwittingly creating a sort of drum roll towards the damnation for which he was surely destined.

drum roll... on a second read at that part all that was in my head was

here comes the drums :pinkiecrazy:

3117887 Google Translate aka Bastardized Swahilhi

Holy foreshadowing Batman. This was quite an interesting look into the history of equestria. Also an intriguing look at how powerful a motivator love/lust can be.

So... both of Shining Armor's children will fall in love with Applejack's/Apple Bloom's/ Big Macintosh's foul, and fight to the death?:derpyderp1:

3338421 The rise of Princess Twilight Sparkle is a sign that the goddess' reign is coming to an end.

Also; who said the Apple is a pony?

It'sprobablyapony.

> Don’t you worry, my little one; I will never lie to you. I’ll never lie to you, never hurt you…
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.

> ...and I’ll always be there to protect you.
Never gonna run around and desert you.

3957611The phrase can be found in my story 'Paternally Yours.' You'll find the significance there.

Dude, you are awesome. It really portrays all the emotional stress of luna in it, and it genuinely surprised me at points. Wait...emerald fire eyes...Sombra is related to...ok, didn't see that coming.

4931532 We saw how emotionally devastated Celestia was when she banished her sister. I imagine a great deal of that was guilt at not recognizing the problem sooner.

As for sending the guards after Nevermore, I imagine that she was seeking somepony, anypony, on which to place the blame so the guilt would no longer feel so crushing.

So, yes, she was selfish. But aren't we all when we're younger?

Also; if it was Luna's jealousy that lead to the birth of Nightmare Moon, doesn't it stand to reason that selfishness was the trigger that lead to Celestia to taking on a more... queenly title? Hint hint, wink wink, nudge nudge...

4971356 Yes, but that will actually be addressed in an upcoming story.

5160181 Yes, this was written before 'Daring Don't,' but thanks to a little creative storytelling on my part (the Overture Chapter of 'the Changelings Have a King') I think I covered it up nicely.

5821622 No, you recall right. Granny Smith had all boys and Eden had Jack. AJ was the first born daughter, hence her powers.

It's been a while since a story really sucked me in like this. Thank you.

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