• Published 17th Jun 2013
  • 4,797 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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6. The Tower

Twilight frowned, packing her bags. "I don't like the idea that this Oscuridad is alone in the library. I know you all just got here but..."

"It's fine Twilight." Applejack assured, picking up a bag that was already full. "Personally, ah've had enough of Canterlot for a lifetime, the last few times ah've been here the world almost ended or we ended up disappointed."

Twilight smirked. "I suppose I do see a repeating trend..."

Spike walked up with two suitcases. "We have everything Twilight, are you sure you need all this stuff?"

Twilight looked at the now mostly bare walls of her Canterlot room. "...yeah, I forgot about how much some of these things mean to me. I didn't take much to Ponyville you know."

"What do you mean it's fine?" Rarity asked Applejack. "We're at the high point of Equestrian Culture! It's not every day we get to be here..."

Twilight rolled her eyes and finished her packing. "Rarity, you know I could call the Princess whenever I want and ask her to get you tickets, or even to get you a permanent royal pass for the train, it's not that hard, you're friends with most of the Equestrian Royalty after all."

Rarity's eyes sparkled. "Y-you could!?"

Twilight smiled and nodded. "I'll ask Princess Celestia after-" her smile became a little more sly. "Actually... let me try something, it'll just be a minute." Twilight then teleported. Six Longma shot into the room and quickly scanned the entire area.

"Where'd she go?!" Kalt hissed. "Princess!!!"

Jaeger turned to Applejack. "Where'd she go?!"

"Ah-ah don't know! She just said something about trains and the Princess, and then she off and teleported, she said she'd be back in a minute!"

"CROW! Get out there, comb the streets from above, head toward the train station!"

"Yessir!" Crow yelled, smashing through the window to get into the air.

"Sanguine, I need you to contact the Equestrian guard, we may need their assistance." Jaeger shouted to the reddish Longma mare.

"Yes sir!" She half galloped half glided down the hall.

Applejack frowned and stood in front of Jaeger, "now hold on, she said she'd be back in a minute, so-"

"Don't talk to me unless you have information about her whereabouts! We need to be able to protect her at all times! We need to do a flyover of the rest of the town! Den, you do the South streets, Crescent, you do the West, Crow's handling the East, I'll fly north, Kalt stay in case she comes back,go go go!!" The four Longma nodded at once and the three flew out the window, leaving Kalt, AJ and Rarity standing in Twilight's room looking nervous.

"Sugarcube, Twi teleports all the time, she'll be back in a few minutes, ah'm sure of it."

"We are her guards, we must accompany her at all times!!" Kalt responded, not looking at Applejack. She merely watched the window, and glanced repeatedly at the door.

Applejack sighed and turned to Rarity. "Stay here, I'm going to go get the others."

"Why? I thought you said she was going to be back in a few minutes.."

"Ah know, it's just that these fellows are making me nervous, and I'd rather have all of us together."

Applejack galloped down the hall, leaving Rarity to look at the panicking soldier going over every inch of Twilight's room.

"Darling, she'll be perfectly alright. I don't know why you're panicking."

Spike shook his head, "You guys are going to have a lot of trouble if you freak out every time she goes poof."

"We've only been her guards for a few hours, and we already lost her!!" Kalt shouted, bearing her fangs. "If something happens to the Princess... we..." she put her hoof down and steeled her face, all emotion disappearing. "...no. We're going to find her. Her head turned to the door sharply, and a minute later Applejack came back, four mares and a colt in tow.

"What happened?"

"Twilight teleported, her bodyguards panicked" Spike simplified. "She'll be back in a minute."

Kalt watched the window carefully, waiting for some sign from the other Longma. True to her word, Twilight appeared two minutes later, finding her five friends, as well as Pip and Kalt, looking relieved at her appearance.

"What happened?" Twilight asked anxiously, looking at all their faces.

"Princess!" Kalt cried out, jumping toward her. Twilight shifted backward, but there turned out to be no reason for it. Kalt was on her front knees before Twilight, bowing her head. "Thank Nightmare you're back..." she let out a sigh. "I apologize for losing you Princess, it won't happen again!"

"What do you mean losing me-"

Crow burst through the window again, which alerted Twilight to the shattered glass covering her bed. "I saw the Princess by the station, but before I could reach her she teleported again we need to regroup wit-" he noticed Twilight. "-oh, hi Princess! We were worried!"

"I just teleported away for a minute, I wanted to see if I had the right authority yet. Turns out, being a Princess has some perks!" She opened her purse and pulled five golden tickets out. "Permanent train passes to Canterlot!"

"This... is the best possible thing." Rarity said, taking her ticket, her eyes sparkling.

Twilight handed out the rest, before turning back to Crow and Kalt, who were both extremely relieved."So, what happened? Where did the rest of you go?" Twilight asked.

"We lost you! So we alerted the Equestrian guard and were combing the city... but now we just need to wait up for Jaeger and the others to come back after not finding you. And we should probably tell Sanguine you're back before-"

Celestia burst through the wall, "What happened to Twilight?!" She yelled, on fire. Kalt and Crow immediately threw themselves in front of Twilight, glaring at the Princess of the Sun.

"Nothing!" Twilight let out. "I'm perfectly fine, they were just overreacting... I teleported to the train station for a few minutes... apparently they thought I was foal-napped or something..."

"Oh thank goodness..." Celestia said, lying down on the bed. Crow winced as the glass shards made cracking sounds. Celestia didn't seem to notice. "Twilight, you'll have to put down some ground rules with your guard, or things like this will keep happening. I've had to deal with bodyguards for centuries, so I know a few things..."

"oh?"

"First of all, they need to respect you."

"We respect Princess Twilight completely and utterly!" Kalt said, putting a hoof down at the insult.

"No, you don't. You're supposed to protect her, but that doesn't mean you need to oversee everything she does. You're simply added security, not Twilight's dutiful saviours."

Crow winced and laughed. "Ouch..."

"Just remember, you're in charge, and you need to protect your own privacy and lifestyle. If it makes their jobs harder, so be it." Celestia said with finalty. "Now then... I'm sorry for bursting in here. Just remember what I said." Celestia fluttered out of the hole in the wall and repaired it with her magic, flying back to wherever she was. "And don't worry, I'll call off the Equestrian Guard."

~~~~

"Our apologies Princess!" Jaeger said, bowing. "We reacted poorly, we weren't aware of your teleportation abilities and we didn't know where you were heading. It is our duty as your bodyguards to be with you at all times, and protect you from all dangers you may become subject to. We have failed, we lost you, and we panicked. I take responsibility, and will take any punishment you deem fit."

Twilight sighed and thought about what the Princess said. "I... won't punish you, after all, it's pretty much my fault for just going without you and not saying anything... but... the Princess was right. We need to lay down some ground rules."

Jaeger nodded. "Anything you decree, Princess."

"Well... first of all, I don't want to wake up to find out you've been staring at me all night. So from now on, when I'm asleep, you're outside."

Jaeger nodded, blushing slightly.

"Second, don't panic whenever I go off on my own, okay? Teleporting is my go-to form of transport. For my part I'll try to tell you where I'm going and how long I'm going to be gone, and then I expect you to wait until that time or meet up with me. Alright?"

The Longma nodded again.

"Third, stop with that bowing thing. If you're going to be my bodyguards I'd prefer a kind of professional familiarity. And when you're apologizing, just say 'sorry' instead of offering ponies knives!!"

"U-understood."

"So you're all okay with this?"

Six confirmations and then an awkward silence followed. "Alright then... I guess we should go home."

~~~~

The train ride went by rather quickly, they said goodbye to Celestia at the station and got a souvenir for Pip in the form of a pirate's hat, apparently a gift from Luna. The Longma quickly intimidated all the other ponies in the car into the others and at least one Longma was stationed by every door on the car. Rarity whined about how they didn't spend enough time in Canterlot, and Pip chattered excitedly about how he was no longer missing out on the field trip a few months ago (which Celestia assured the populace, did not release Discord).

Twilight wondered about how much damage this Captain did to the library.

They got off the station about an hour later and waited for Rainbow Dash to fly Pip home before making their trek to the Library.

The beginning of Twilight's fear began with the crowd that was growing steadily denser, and it culminated when she saw the huge dark purple crystal tower that was standing where her tree library used to be it reached it's high point. She turned to Crow. "I thought you said he wasn't going to change anything!"

Crow narrowed his eyes. "I'm pretty sure there was a tree here a few hours ago..."

Rainbow nodded. "I was here too, and the library definitely was here... what happened?"

"Ah! Princess!" Came a voice from the top of the tower. "Welcome home your excellency!!" There was a flash of electricity down the side of the tower, and a stairway formed. Captain Oscuridad trotted down, smiling down at the twelve ponies. "I trust you find my work to your liking?"

"To my liking?! To my liking?!!" Twilight began. Rarity stepped in front of her, putting a hoof over Twilight's face.

"It's perfect! A beautiful attraction to the town. Think of how much business will be brought in by having the Castle of a Princess in the town!"

"Wh- he destroyed my tree and put a mound of rock on it!"

"Rock?! That's a beautifully carved giant Amethyst! It's wonderful!" Rarity assured. "Twilight, I don't know why I never thought of it before... Ponyville is going to become famous! We have a Princess living here..." She frowned. "We already had the Elements of Harmony and were right by the Everfree, so we should've be famous..." she grumbled a little about how tourists were idiots "but now... it's guaranteed! Celebrities from all over Equestria are going to come here..."

Twilight rolled her eyes. "Does nopony care that there is a castle on my house?!"

"Whoah!" Pinkie commented. "We're going to need a new housewarming party!"

"No, no housewarming parties, we are going to get this Captain of the whatever to tear this thing down! It's the Ponyville public library! Beside being my house, it's essential to the town."

"No one really used it as a library but you and occasionally Cheerilee." Fluttershy offered. "Though I am worried about your home and that poor tree..."

By that time Oscuridad had finished the staircase and was standing before the twelve. Jaeger gave a short bow. "Captain Oscuridad."

"Elite Jaeger." Oscuridad said, also giving a bow. He turned to Twilight and gave a long bow, putting one forehoof to the side and kneeling on the other one. "Your loyal servant is at your call, Princess Twilight Sparkle. I must tell you Princess, it is an absolute honor to be in your presence. Your beauty outshines even the previous Nightmare Moon."

Twilight blinked, then blushed. "Uh... thank you?" she shook her head. "I thought Crow told you that I didn't want you to change anything!"

Oscuridad raised an eyebrow and came out of his bow, standing a good half a foot over her. "I haven't, Princess, merely preserved it. Excuse your servant for taking your security into his own hooves. I hope that I can show you my work, before you cast judgement."

Twilight frowned. "Alright, but if I even find a book out of place..."

"Everything I have done can be reversed easily with a little effort, do not fear, my liege." He turned around, offering a bow to each of Twilight's friends, before trotting over to the massive gate. His horn lit up and struck a crystal near the top with a bolt of dark magic. It slid open without a sound, but the gasps of their audience was enough. Oscuridad gestured for them to walk in, and as if to assure the Princess that he could be trusted, Jaeger marched in fearlessly.

They looked at the massive room that made up the majority of the tower, it was the library tree, and the yard that surrounded it, perfectly untouched. The gem wall in the room was apparently one-way. How this was possible Twilight wasn't sure, but it probably involved magic. The effect of this however, was that it still felt like they were outside, the sun was clearly visible on the other side of the wall, as well as the entire town. Twilight took a deep breath and marched into the tree home, carefully inspecting the library with a quick spell before moving onto her living space, the private library, her bedroom, the kitchen and the bathroom. Nothing was out of place.

She let out a sigh of relief and walked back out with a smile. This thing hadn't destroyed her home... her yard however, was a different situation. The crystal wall dug into the ground and had stairways and doors marking the walls up and down, higher up it was less visible, the town and the sky making the stairs and doors appear almost invisible, but the ones near the ground were eyesores.

Oscuridad trotted over to one and gestured for Twilight to enter, but once again, one of her guards noticed her uneasy expression and took her place in the front.

"This is the bunker." Oscuridad said as they descended underground on the crystal staircase.

"What would we need a bunker for?" Twilight asked.

"Bombings, thunderstorms, invasions, you could use it as an extra storeroom, protected archives, etc. It's simply a very large, very safe, very protected shelter under the ground. You can ask your Sun-Princess about it, they're absolutely invaluable against an airborne invasion."

Sanguine gave a sort of sad smirk. "Those caves under Canterlot were hell for us, we almost captured Canterlot three times over the course of a two months, but the Sun-Princess always kept herself and tons of reserve guards in the tunnels. We'd be celebrating in the streets and suddenly the sewer covers would burst open and unicorns would be incinerating us."

Twilight flinched at the visual. "Alright... what about the rest of it? Why a tower?"

"To be regal of course!" Oscuridad said with a flick of his mane. "Towers symbolize power, why do you think all Kings and Queens build structures to the sky? To tower above your subjects and your enemies, to be able to observe your country on all sides, and to show your power to other ponies." Oscuridad looked up into the crystal spire proudly.

"But... the entire thing is transparent?" Twilight looked up, seeing the afternoon sky. "Wouldn't that make things hard to see?"

Oscuridad smiled. "Here's the genius of it, follow me, if you would, your Majesty." He trotted up a different stairwell, coming to a door about twenty feet above the tree. He opened it with his magic and walked into a crystal room, differing shades of purple made up the ceiling, walls, and floors. And beside a pentagon on the wall nearby, none of it was transparent.

Twilight narrowed her eyes. "What kind of spell is this? This isn't normal crystal... and how does the transparency work? When did you have the chance to build this?!"

"A perception spell mixed in with a light-bending spell explains the light and the transparency." Oscuridad said with a proud smile. "As for the actual crystal and how I built it. It's all crystal magic. I'm aware of your... inexperience with the lunar races, but for us Shadhavar, making crystal and controlling it's properties are as simple for us as telekinesis is for you." He gave a smirk toward Twilight's friends. "Not all of us can do anything close to this, but this sort of work is my specialty."

Twilight looked down nervously. She was almost sixty feet in the air. "This is all.. just magic...?"

Oscuridad nodded. "Don't worry, it's all very permanent, that is, once I get your permission."

"So... it's not permanent right now?"

"Yes. It'd be a simple matter to get you all on the ground, and then I'd dispel the tower, and un-displace all the dirt."

"Twilight, now, you should think hard about this..." Rarity began. "Imagine how good it would be for Ponyville to have a castle here! And besides, you're a princess now! As much as we love the library, it's hardly regal, is it?"

Twilight frowned. "Rarity... I just wanted to live here like I used to for a few more months... I just wanted to have my own little library. I... I'm not ready to live in a castle yet."

"Didn't you grow up in a castle?" Rainbow Dash asked.

"That's different... it was never my castle." And she gave a deep smile. "And I only really felt completely at home here."

The friends shared looks and came closer to hug Twilight. The guards tensed, but they allowed it. Oscuridad frowned at them. "Princess, it is not my place to tell you what to do... but why not live in it for a little while?" He slowly guided her along the pathways. The curved tunnels, the light crystals arranged in stars and pentagons, the dark and light crystal placed in alternating patterns. "This is what it will be like to live in the Castle in the Night Empire... but here you have your earth pony village right outside, and your friends a short trot away." His eyes met her for a second. "It would be a good chance to get used to it, bit by bit. So that you aren't overloaded when you get to the 'real' Castle. Your tree is still below, in fact, if you so wished, the door could be left open, and I could make the lower wall transparent on both sides, and it could still function as a public library... as long as we lock the doors to the bunker and the higher levels."

Twilight frowned and thought about it. "Rarity is right, it would be good publicity for the town... and it would be useful for me to become accustomed to the Castle... but..."

She watched her friends look around in awe at the designs. Rainbow Dash and Spike raced in and out of rooms, Fluttershy was mildly curious. Applejack was tapping on the 'window' trying to find the border between it and the rest of the non-transparent wall. Rarity was admiring the crystal itself and was mumbling to herself about business. Pinkie Pie was defying physics by entering one room and leaving from the one across the hall from it. Or perhaps there were passages that went up and around. Who knew? Her friends were all accepting of it, and as long as the library wasn't hurt, and her place in the town hadn't changed...

"...Alright. But the minute I say I don't like this thing I want you to get ready taking it down, understood?"

"It'll be more difficult later on, but it can and will be done, my Liege, thank you for accepting my art."

Twilight nodded. "Well. Give us the grand tour."