• Published 17th Jun 2013
  • 4,785 Views, 341 Comments

Longma - JeckParadox



The Longma, the 'dragonponies' or 'batponies' have started returning to Equestria. Now a Princess herself, Twilight goes to Princess Luna to ask about the Longma's origins, but ends up responsible for an empire of monsters.

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4. The Bodyguards

"It's dawn Princess."

"Uh?" She slid out of the bed and shook her mane. With still half-asleep eyes she sighed and looked up at the mess that hid her eyes. "Where's my brush?" She mumbled to spike.

"Here, Princess."

"Thanks." She took it in her magic and trotted over to the vanity, spending a few minutes putting it in place. She coughed slightly. "Wish I had some water."

"Here you are, Princess."

"Thanks." She took the glass in her magic, and the water finally woke her up all the way. She looked at the mirror and saw the eight draconic eyes watching her from behind. She spun around, her heart beating hard and spit out the water. "What are you all doing in my room?!"

"We are your loyal servants!" One of them said with a bow. "It is our duty to prepare you for your daily royal duties."

Twilight looked around at the familiar room. It was even more familiar than the library in Ponyville. It was the room she had spent her childhood in. The room she went to after her lessons all these years. "How did I get here? I... I was at the podium in the square and then..." Her face turned white again. "All that blood."

"Ah yes... you... er... collapsed. The Sun-Princess carried you here."

"Celestia did?" Twilight blushed slightly. "I feel like a filly again."

"We bravely shot forward to protect you, but Princess Nightmare assured us that you were safe with the Sun-Princess."

"Nightm- oh, Luna."

"Ah yes, we need to call her Luna again..."

"Huh... so why are you all in my room?!"

"So that we could watch you while you slept." One of them stated. The two next to him smacked him on both sides of his head.

"He means so that we could protect you while you slept."

Twilight winced. "What would you need to protect me from?! How long were you there?! How did you even get in?!"

"Canterlot is a den of sun-lovers." One of them said gruffly. "We tried to post guards with Princess Night- er...Luna as well, but she insisted she was safe. You might not be aware of this, but for us, up to three weeks ago we were in a brutal war with every unicorn, pegasus, and sun-loving Earth pony. Who knows how many of them might keep their grudges. I wouldn't put assassinating the newly-crowned ruler of the Night Empire above them."

Twilight gaped at him. "I've lived in Canterlot my whole life! There's nowhere safer! There are literally two all-powerful alicorn sisters upstairs!"

"We've been here four hours." The one from earlier said. "And we broke in." The two ponies on his sides hit him again. "What?"

"You broke into my room?!"

"See, now you've upset her." The mare next to him chided. "Really, Princess, we apologize, but we can't allow you to be unprotected at any time, this deep in Equestrian territory."

Twilight put a hoof to her forehead and moved back to the bed, noticing with embarrassment that she had slept with her Princess dress on. "We aren't at war with- wait... I thought you were citizens of Equestria."

"W-we were, for a time... but that changed in the Civil War. The Solar, the Night, and the Crystal Empires separated... and well, you know how it turned out. Our and the Crystal Empires were sealed away for a millenia, and Equestria was completely taken over by Solar Ponies."

"Wait. The Crystal Ponies were part of Equestria?"

"Yes. They just never went to war. The traitors. We needed those gems..." The gruff longma said, stomping his hoof.

"But that is in the past. Once again, we apologize, Princess," The mare bowed. "for breaking into your room."

Twilight looked at the one rubbing his head suspiciously. "Not for watching me sleep all night?"

"No, that's part of our job." He gave a wild smile. "We are your personal bodyguards, appointed by Queen Nightmare Moon for the task!"

"Bodyguards? I don't need bodyguards. Canterlot is the safest place in the world, and Ponyville is even safer."

"Ponyville?" One of them asked another.

"Oh, it's just the village where I'm living."

"Ah, your personal village?"

"No, not my village... well, I just live there, and all my friends live there. I'm the town librarian!" She said proudly.

The Longma began laughing hysterically, and the two longma on both sides shoved his face into the ground. "She's serious." The mare said.

"Oh my gosh she's serious." he whispered. "The Princess of the Night Empire is living in a tiny village as the town librarian."

The gruff longma gave a grunt. "She used to. She's going to come with us to the Night Empire in a few months."

"Wait, I have a few months?"

"It was the Sun-Princess's idea. Queen Nightmare Moon is going first to try and bring the people to terms with our thousand-year gap."

"So... I don't have to leave right away? I can go back and say goodbye to my friends and spend more time with them?"

"Until the next Nightmare Night. You'll have a great celebration and then you'll come with us to the Night Empire to begin your official rule."

"Next Nightmare night..." She did the calculation in her mind. "I have seven months to live with my friends in Ponyville?"

"Yep!"

She sank into the bed. "Oh thank goodness.... I was so scared I wouldn't have the chance to explain anything to them..."

The Longma in the room looked at each other and back to their Princess. Then a figure stepped out of the darkness of the corner and moved over to the door, Twilight to busy being relieved to notice his silent hoofsteps. The Shadhavar nodded to the other Longma and lit his horn, turning to darkness and spiriting under the door.

~~~~

"Ah, Princess Twilight, it is good We had the chance to speak to you before We left!"

"Luna! You're leaving already? But the Longma just got here!"

"I know, friend Twilight. But the Night Empire will be in chaos. It is merely tribute to my former subject's discipline that they have not continued their aggression against Equestria and the Crystal Empire. I must guide my people to the new age."

"I.. understand Princess. Thank you for letting me stay here a while longer."

"Why the sad face, Friend Twilight? It's not like moving to the Night Empire will mean that you can never come to Equestria. Think of your brother and Cadence. You still speak often and keep up a good relationship, despite the fact you are now living in separate countries."

"Yeah but... I know I'll still be friends with all the girls in Ponyville, but it won't be the same. I won't get to see them as often, I won't be part of their day-to-day lives..."

Luna nodded. "I know the feeling, Twilight." Twilight raised an eyebrow, but Luna quickly shook her head and was back to her normal enthusiastic and loud self. "Well, wish me luck Twilight!" Luna levitated a large amount of luggage after her and boarded the gothic airship, filled to the brim with Longma and Shadhavar making the trip back home.

"Luna, wait!"

Luna stopped suddenly and smiled as a tiny colt ran up to her bravely and gave her a quick hug before collapsing into a tiny exhausted pile. "Thank you for seeing me off Pip. Well, goodbye everypony!" Luna shouted to the cheering crowd before closing the airship's doors and flying off.

Twilight got Pipsqueak back to his feet and walked with him back to the castle grounds. "Pipsqueak? What are you doing here?"

"Well, we got the news yesterday about what was happnin' in Canterlot and I heard that Princess Luna was leaving, so I asked my parents if I could go on the train with some trustworthy ponies to say goodbye."

"Trustworthy?"

"Who else, sugarcube?" Applejack said happily, leading the other four mares up to Twilight. Pinkie Pie hopped up to Twilight, quickly overtaking the other mares.

"Twilight!" Pinkie yelled happily, getting onto her forehooves in preparation for a flying jump-hug. A specialty of hers.

"Pinkie wait!-" Twilight started too late, six Longma shot from various hiding spots and charged at the Pink party mare. The three Longma mares and one of the colts tried to grapple her legs, but Pinkie merely pulled them in like a turtle and rolled around Twilight. The gruff Longma stallion attempted to buck Pinkie away, but her legs popped out, sending her bounding high above the Longma warrior. She looked down at the last Longma soldier, one with two notable bruises on his head and a wild smile. He spun in a circle upward like a whirlwind, a flurry of wings and hooves that Twilight couldn't even follow.

He kicked upward with a backleg and Pinkie Pie stepped off of it. She did a cartwheel as he tried to knock her with his wing. They both twirled away, landing on their back hooves and glaring/smiling at each other from ten feet apart. Then they both charged, doing an intricate dance of dodges, feints, and swings. It culminated in a tackle, which became a forward stomp with both hooves. Pinkie's and the Longma's hooves met in mid-air and they stepped off each other's hooves like it was a wall. They continued this, walking off each other's hooves in perfect sync, high into the air. The ponies below merely gaped at the display of physics-defying skill.

Finally Pinkie kicked off the Longma's hooves, landing delicately on one hoof on a lamp-post. The longma soldier merely fluttered in the air, an insane look in his eyes.

The other five Longma bodyguards recovered first and formed a protective wall around Twilight.

"What the hay just happened?" Applejack whispered, eyes shifting from the wall of monsters around Twilight to the two ponies high above, looking at each other.

"That..." Rainbow Dash began. "Was one of the most awesome things I have ever seen. Top ten. Easy."

Spike hurried through the crowd and came up to them, panting. "Twilight! I just heard that all our friends hopped on the train to Canterlot and-" He looked over the four mares standing a few feet away from Twilight. "Oh."

Twilight sighed and pushed her guards out of the way. "These girls are my closest friends in the whole world, they'd never hurt me. And yes, Jaeger, I would stake my life on that."

She stepped past them and hugged her friends one by one.

"Sorry gals, Pinkie you can come down! I'd like you to meet my... bodyguards."

"Darling, why would you ever need bodyguards?"

"That's what I keep asking them." Twilight said with a smile.

"And uh, I don't mean anythin' by it... but what are they?"

Twilight smiled at Applejack and brought her closer with a wing. "Come on, I need to talk to you all in private. I... I have a long story to tell."

~~~~

"Well that wasn't long at all." Pinkie said.

"So let me get this straight..." Applejack began. "You're the new Princess of the Night?"

"And you have your own empire?" Rarity asked with stars in her eyes.

"And you're the heir of Nightmare Moon?" Rainbow Dash asked excitedly.

"And all your subjects are types of ponies we've never seen before?" Fluttershy asked quietly.

"...yep." Twilight said simply. "And as their new Princess they're forcing me to have a team of bodyguards who serve out my every whim."

"That sounds wonderful!" Rarity said excitedly. "Why, I'd give anything to be in your position!" Six longma narrowed their eyes suspiciously at her. "I mean, who wouldn't want to be a Princess? Who wouldn't want a bunch of handsome stallions and elegant mares carrying out their commands?" She finished nervously.

"Stop intimidating my friends." Twilight sighed. "Well, if these guys have their way I suppose you'll all be seeing a lot of each other... so we better start with introductions." She turned to the burly and battle-scarred Longma. "This is Jaeger." The gruff Longma stallion nodded respectively. "He's the boss of the six of them, and apparently a veteran of the civil war... actually they all are, but he's the most like a soldier. No offense to you all, you're all great soldiers I'm sure, but-"

"We get it, Twilight, charmed."

Twilight nodded to her guards for introductions.

"I'm Kalt." The mare that kept hitting the noisy one. She had a slightly lighter coat than the others, and her eyes were a pale blue.

"I'm Den." The stallion that also kept hitting the noisy one. His frills were bent slightly, coming the closest a creature with no mane could get to a bad hair day. His eyes were the traditional gold.

"I'm Sanguine." One of the other mares. Her eyes were slightly more orange, and her coat was a gray-red.

"Crow Moon." The wild-smiled noisy one. He had jade eyes and a black coat, reminiscent of Nightmare Moon.

"I'm Crescent." She had blue eyes and a slicked-back frill.

Each of Twilight's friends gave a similar introduction, but Twilight encouraged them to tell a little more about themselves.

After the introductions and explanations the six friends spent the next few hours talking about how things would be like when they got back.

"We'll have to build an extension to the library for their bedrooms..."

"I'll be happy to help with that." Applejack offered.

"Me too! Me too!" Pinkie Pie said, pronking up and down in place.

"And I'll have to make a more night-princess suitable dress for your grand debut!" Rarity said excitedly. "Saphires and garnets... or perhaps corundum..Lapis Lazuli would be a little too bright..."

"Stop that. It's making me hungry." Crescent said. She frowned as Twilight and each of her friends winced at the sudden order. "I... sorry, continue. I didn't mean to be rude..."

Rarity nodded slightly.

Fluttershy, surprisingly, restarted the conversation. "So, what do we do for your bodyguard's food? If they eat gems I mean..."

Twilight frowned. "That's a good question. Can you guys eat stuff besides gemstones?"

"Sure!" Crow said happily. "But gemstones are best, we can't really fill up on plants."

"What about cupcakes?" Pinkie asked.

"Don't worry dears, I can get you a contact with one of my best gem-procurers." Rarity assured.

"Spike?" Applejack asked, pointing at the dragon.

"No, no... he's just for emergencies, it's terribly inefficient, seeing as I'll never know which gems he'll be digging up. I normally just get regular shipments."

"I'm still here you know." Spike said, somewhat annoyed.

"I know, sorry darling, I meant that the spell was inefficient, not you. You dig faster than anypony I've ever seen."

"So we'll have food covered at least.." Twilight said, thinking.

Jaeger sighed and moved forward slightly. "This library.. it's a private collection, for a college or archive perhaps?"

"Nope, a public library."

Jaeger frowned. "Princess, you let random ponies from the streets into your home? I'm sorry, but that is a horrible system of security."

"I'm the town librarian. All ponies are welcome to come in and learn from the knowledge stored on the shelves."

"I'm afraid that won't do."

"Jaeger, I only have seven more months in my normal lifestyle. If I want to be a librarian in a public library, then that's my decision. Understood? I'm the Princess, your job is to keep me safe as I do my daily business, not keep me safe locked up in a tower somewhere. Okay?"

Jaeger frowned. But he nodded his consent. "Understood." He turned to Crow Moon. "Crow, go alert Oscuridad to not change anything."

Crow nodded and flew out the nearest window, everypony's mane being pulled in that direction by the sudden burst of air.

Rainbow Dash galloped to the window and watched his trail into the sky impossibly fast. Her grin grew into a wide, competitive smile. "Girls, I'm going to go test something, no need to wait up." And with that Rainbow Dash flew off after him.

Jaeger gave a small smile. "She'll never catch him. Crow was called the 'Wind Demon' during the war." Jaeger closed his eyes as he reminisced. "He was actually recruited by Queen Nightmare Moon after he destroyed an entire squad of Wonderbolts himself."

The five mares blinked. Twilight gulped. "There were Wonderbolts back then?"

"Yep, it was still a purely military team back then though, twenty Pegasi specializing in high-speed attacks. They were absolutely terrifying for a while, but then Crow joined the front lines and wiped out every single one of them himself. I'd bet a hundred bits that he's still the fastest flyer in Equestria."

Applejack smirked. "I think that's what Rainbow's trying to test."

Twilight sighed. "Please tell me he doesn't have a habit of crashing into buildings."

Jaeger thought about it a moment. "At least not while he's flying."

Fluttershy whispered something, beginning to shiver.

"What was that dear?" Rarity asked.

"...um... you said he... 'destroyed'... an entire squad..." Jaeger waited patiently for her to finish. She gulped. "W-what do you mean by... destroy..."

Jaeger leveled his eyes with Fluttershy's. "Simple. He killed them all. Just like any one of the six of us would have given the chance. After all, they'd do the same at the time."

Fluttershy shivered and backed away slightly. And each of the 'solar' mares began inching away from the guards, who were beginning to look monstrous again.

Twilight gulped and gave a forced smile. "But it's peacetime right now, and you're citizens of Equestria again. Right?"

"Of course." Jaeger said simply. "I wouldn't dream of harming any of you in the slightest." Applejack visibly let out a breath.

"As long as you never harm Princess Twilight."