• Published 2nd Aug 2013
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Rise of the Dragonking - Scarheart



The era for peace is over. Despite the best efforts of the Alicorns, an ancient enemy has returned to resume a war forgotten by even Princess Celestia. A world is plunged into darkness. Old foes must become allies if they are to survive.

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RotDK Chapter 13: The Dragon in His Dreams

"Tia?" Princess Luna called out as she entered her sister's room.

The night was half gone and she knew it was another one where Celestia would find little to no sleep. The past fifteen years had been taxing on both Alicorns, more so on the eldest sister. Celestia was convinced Flamespyre had somehow defeated her attempt at banishing him, using some form of magic unknown to her. There were rumblings of unnatural things happening on the fringes of the known world. Rumors of dark forces gathering trickled back, nothing substantiated.

The Princess of the Sun was beginning to believed she had been played for as a foal.

"Tia?" repeated the Alicorn of the Night a little louder.

Thinking her sister to be out on the balcony, she moved delicately around the piles of books and scrolls set in neat and organized piles around the large and bright room. The elegance of Celestia's quarters was a collection of antique furniture especially made for her long ago to her tastes. There was a simple beauty in the delicate attention to detail in every chair, desk, table, and couch. Everything was arranged just so, everything was comfortable and inviting for a visitor to sit upon or use. These days she received many visitors in her room and had gone out of her way to make sure they felt welcome.

The mountains of books and scrolls had been a more recent and unintended addition to the accommodations. Celestia had stumbled across some ancient passages among some of the more forgotten old texts. Luna was privy to her sister's sudden interest in what she was looking for and she found it disturbing.

"Out here," a familiar voice called out to her from outside, sounding a bit absent.

Carefully working around a teetering stack of scrolls, Luna eventually found an open path to the archway leading outside. Once upon the balcony, she spied her sister lying comfortably on a couch, legs tucked underneath her. A soft blue blanket covered her flanks, up to her wings and over her shoulders. She had a scroll open in front of her and was holding it near a well lit lamp resting on the round table next to her. A cup of tea hovered within easy sipping distance. She was uncharacteristically devoid of her crown as it rested on a cushion set upon the table.

"You should be sleeping," chided Luna gently as she greeted her larger and elder sister with a nuzzle.

"I think I've figured out what Flamespyre was, sister," said Celestia with a small smile of triumph. She actually looked relieved. "It's a breakthrough, Luna! Oh, my manners where are they? Care for some tea?"

"I shall pass on the tea, thank you." Luna was interested to know. "What's this breakthrough of yours?"

"He's the Shadowdragon, a very similar spirit to what turned you into Nightmare Moon." The white Alicorn folded her front legs over each other as she shifted excitedly.

"Are you certain, Tia?"

Celestia bent over, picking over a pile of scrolls scattered in front of her. "Ah!" she crowed in triumph as she selected one. "Here, I found this. Start reading third paragraph down. I think it explains it better than I can."

"I have not seen you this excited in a while," noted the dark Alicorn with some amusement. She accepted the scroll and read the passages prescribed. Her cyan eyes devoured the ancient script. After several moments for considering the ramifications, her gaze found Celestia's.

"Well?" the white Alicorn asked eagerly, almost as if she were an excited filly discovering something very clever.

Luna rolled her tongue against the back of her teeth, her eyes again reading the scroll. "If I'm reading this right, then the comatose dragon we have sleeping in the catacombs was created in the image of the original Shadowdragon, who happens to be Flamespyre." She scanned it again, her eyebrows raised in surprised disbelief. "The changelings were made by him? No creature would willing subject themselves to the rule, so he made his own army by ponynapping Earth ponies, Pegasi, and Unicorns and combining them by magical force with," she paused, squinting as she wondered if she was reading the words correctly. "Black wasps?"

"Black wasps were very large insects believed to have been wiped out during the Great War long ago. They were believed to have been semi-intelligent and had been greatly documented by Starswirl as well as other ponies from that era. Some were even used as mounts by other races. Incredible, isn't it?" Celestia was already plucking another scroll from her pile. "Before you ask - and I know you're going to - here's the proof. It's from Starswirl the Bearded's personal journal."

The dark Alicorn set down the first scroll and accepted the second one. "Oh? Well, let us have a look then! Erm, where should I start?" Luna asked her sister.

"From the beginning. It's rather detailed and there are three pages. I'll make you a cup of tea while you read, if you like." Celestia held up her teapot as a lure. "It has caffeine," she promised.

"No, no, that is quite all right, Tia. No tea for me." Luna laughed. Clearing her throat, she decided to read the passages out loud this time. "It has come to my attention of a disturbing practice in the old days of a certain black dragon with a single blazing eye of ruby fire in the unnatural combination of creatures of intelligence with creatures of instinct during the Age of Darkness. The name of this dragon shall not be spoken, for it is an ill omen to do so. He is the foul incarnation of evil, a relic from a time when spirits of all sorts roamed the land. The First Dragon, this Shadowdragon who would become the doom of countless innocents, not satisfied with the gifts naturally born to dragons sought to create his own children to suit his vision of proper dragonhood. The creations of his foul and twisted magics have disrupted the ley lines of the planet and only now as I put this quill to parchment does there appear to be visible signs of healing a thousand years later. I can only pray power of this nature not be abused again in the future, for the changelings, as they have come to be known, have finally freed themselves from the hive mentality first associated with them as their master has not been seen since the end of the Great War."

Luna paused to take a breath, her throat dry from reading.

"Long winded, isn't he?" noted Celestia dryly. "Even after all these years, he still lectures."

"I believe I will have that tea, sister," chuckled Luna softly.

A teacup was filled and presented to the Princess of the Moon. She thanked her sister and took a sip, taking a moment to let the bitter taste settle pleasantly on her tongue. Luna held her cup aloft and continued reading after lightly clearing her throat.

"I have managed to study these changelings and was even afforded an opportunity to see the lair of their missing master where they were first brought into the light of day and brought to swarm across the land as locusts upon the harvest. It came to my attention the possibility attempts at splicing the complete form of a changeling with that of a dragon's in an effort to create a creature more powerful than the conventional changeling, yet still suseptible to mental influence and manipulation," Luna finished, her voice drifting as shock slowly began to register on her face.

"Dragonlings," supplied Celestia gently as Luna's voice died. "Changelings were just an experiment in the developement of something else. That's what Scarheart is down there. That's why he could cast magic. He's not a dragon, he's a dragonling. But he's a different kind of dragonling. He was the last experiment before Flamespyre went to ground."

Luna drained her tea, her pupils dilating as it too made perfect sense. Changelings could use magic to a certain degree, but only Queens could wield true power.

"What kind of power and magic could you get from crossing a royal bloodline changeling with that of a dragon's?" Celestia pressed insistently, tapping a forehoof for emphasis. "It's mind boggling, Luna."

"It's impossible," said Luna, shaking her head fiercely. "Such knowledge is forgotten now. Even so, it should never have been allowed to happen."

"It's not impossible," countered her sister gently. "There are six such dragonlings out there other than the one we already have. As soon as Flamespyre fell, they awakened from their slumber. I don't know what they're doing. I can only hope they became like Scarheart and lost all mental functions once the Shadowdragon was defeated. Somehow I doubt it."

"But not destroyed," Luna finished for her glumly, beginning to understand. "So you are saying all you did fifteen years ago was buy some time. Buy some time for what?"

Celestia sighed, suddenly feeling very tired. "I don't know," she admitted, trying to shift her body to a more comfortable position. She used her magic to shift her lower body, adjusting nerveless legs into a position to allow the front of her body a more comfortable setting. Her blanket slipped.

Luna teared up, but smiled and fixed the blanket for Celestia. "Oh, Tia," she sighed bitterly. "I wish I had been there with you."

"I asked you to stay, remember?" Celestia reminded her gently. "I have no regrets at what happened. Besides, I needed you here guarding that artifact. It is some sort of storage of magical energy and can only be activated by a means I have yet to discover."

"But if Flamespyre is the Shadowdragon, that would make him a sort of sibling to the same thing that created Nightmare Moon, only he's older," Luna reasoned.

"Nighmare Moon would be a newborn compared to him," agreed her sister. "And the only reason he would go through the trouble of making dragonlings is to act as generals for his armies when he returned."

"The Emerald Kingdom of the Changelings?" Luna guessed. "Now I know why you were eager to accept Chrysalis' request for help. I hardly think of them a threat. They don't have any strategic advantage right now. They're outnumbered, have no allies, and are on the brink of collapse."

"They're a part of the equation, Luna. Don't you see? They're the feint. Once they collapse, we'll see the face of whatever is causing the problems there. I think a dragonling is behind it." Celestia selected another scroll. "This came from Twilight early this afternoon."

Her sister took the letter and read it. "Oh, this cannot be the one Queen Chrysalis adopted," she said after reading it. "Are you sure? This description of him makes me want to pity him. How could someone as cold as her grow a heart for...I don't know what to describe him as." She laid back her ears and smiled awkwardly, not exactly sure how she could convey her confusion. "It's just not like her at all."

Celestia smiled gently, completely understanding her sister's dismay. "I had a hard time understanding myself, but she made it official six months ago when she officially adopted him. I'm glad for her, to be honest. It only confirms my belief anypony can change and be good."

Luna rolled her eyes. "I beg your pardon sister if I disagree with you, but I would hardly call Chrysalis a bastion of goodness."

"I'm not suggesting such a thing!" protested her sister mildly. "I'm just saying she has proven she can love and accept something different. We're getting off topic. There's a reason why I wanted to point him out."

"And why, pray tell is that?"

"Don't you find it rather convenient Chrysalis would openly accept Silent Wing with all this turmoil going on in the Emerald Kingdom? Add to that fact he jumps off the Aurora just as she enters Equestrian airspace?" The white Alicorn arched an eyebrow and allowed for Luna to come to her own conclusion.

Luna nodded. "I read the report. I think I see what you mean."

"Twilight seems to believe Queen Chrysalis had no knowledge of the prince's actions. She thinks they had an argument. I don't know what about, but I am curious to know. More tea?" Celestia brought up the teapot again.

The dark Alicorn noted she had no more tea in her cup. "Yes, please. Do go on."

As the elder Alicorn remedied Luna's tea problem, she continued, "As I was saying, this young colt may or may not be a catalyst to what's been happening, but I am inclined to think not. However," she stated as she set the teapot back. "since he is in Equestrian territory, this is where I need your help."

"Do you want me to go into his dreams and find out what he is up to?" Luna asked.

Celestia nodded. "It may be difficult. I don't think he is a pure pony, so I don't know what you'll find in there. Remember the golden eyes in Twilight's letter. Golden eyes, Luna! Be careful."

The dark Alicorn actually laughed. "Dreams are my domain, sister! Please do not think my abilities to be a trifling skill," she said as she nuzzled her big sister for a second time that evening. "Give me a moment to collect my thoughts and I shall look for him. Should not be difficult."

"How will you know to find Silent Wing's dreams?" Celestia asked curiously. "I've never been able to figure out how you do that wonderful ability of yours."

Luna remembered a quaint term she had heard Rainbow Dash use many times. "I'm that awesome, Tia. I'm that awesome." She grinned mischievously, causing her sister to laugh merrily. Frowning with a touch of worry in her voice, the dark Alicorn asked, "Did I say it right?"

"Oh, my that was perfect, Luna! Simply marvelous!" her sister giggled despite herself. "It's so fresh hearing it come from serious old you."

"Thank you," Luna also giggled, then cleared her throat. She set her face to a less jovial mood, but tingled inside from head to hoof. "Now then, let's see where our young friend is."

She swiveled her cyan eyes to her moon and closed her eyes, breathing in deeply. When she exhaled, a portion of her magic danced out in a small cloud, glittering with tiny stars. It was swirling, dancing, awaiting for direction. Luna opened her eyes and scrutinized the little bundle of her magic, an small extension of her mind. Normally, she would simply let her essence and magic flow into the night and into dreams, but this was a special and specific need. It needed to be able to go undetected, to be able to deal with resistances without doing harm and to protect herself from any possible threat. Though she doubted any dream could harm her, she did not want to assume the dream to be safe. Dark things lurked in the Dream Realm. Dangerous things capable of destroying minds and dragging an unwitting victim into the depths of madness.

Luna knew all the threats and took extra precautions, shielding her mind as she prepared to release her spell to seek out the dreams of Silent Wing. She was as ready as she was going to get, Luna decided. Blowing a soft kiss, she sent her magic into the night and into the Dream Realm.

"Good luck," she heard Celestia whisper encouragingly.


Luna opened her eyes, knowing exactly where she was and where she was going. The landscape below her was dark, a jumble of ruins. Thick fog surrounded her. Massive holes in the earth were scattered everywhere, some craters smoking, others filled with stagnant water. Shattered remnants of trees clawed in silent agony at the sky. Gray clouds blanketed the land like a death shroud. There was nothing alive to be seen. There was no wind and the air stunk heavily of rot and decay.

The Princess of the Moon gave herself a moment to settle, knowing this to be a dream as disturbing as it was. She landed gracefully and took a deep breath. Nothing was real save for what the creator of the dream perceived as real. Luna steeled herself and began to walk, sensing around her a tension.

To her left she heard the sounds of crying. It was the cry of a foal. Picking her way through the ruin, Luna walked, choosing not to fly as to disrupt what she had already perceived to not be a dream, but a memory made into dream. Such things were common as ponies often did dream of memories. Most were pleasant things. Luna's concern was with giving ponies good dreams and showing them how to face their nightmares.

This was different, she felt as she heard the crying grow louder and louder. As she crested a blasted hill, she could see a Pegasus sitting with his back to her, pale ghostly gray coat standing out against the blacked ground. His mane was fiery red, flopping slightly to the right with a single strip of black just behind his bangs. She approached from behind and on his left and realized his legs had holes in them. No cutie mark was on his flank, but fresh stitches covered his body indicating something violent and recent had happened to him. He paid the Alicorn no mind, as Luna intended. So young!

This was how he saw himself. Luna sat down next to him and noted his eyes were indeed golden, like those of a dragon's. They were focused on the sobbing form fifty feet away and lying in the bottom of what was a crater. It was almost an exact replica of the colt, tiny and helpless.

A foal.

"Momma!" the little thing cried. "Momma!" The foal was sitting in a mud puddle and began to wail.

Luna's heart lurched in her chest. She knew this was a memory, but it did not mean the past visions could not keep her from feeling compassion.

A massive form appeared on the opposing side. Luna sensed danger from it. Evil emanated from this thing. It did not emerge from the fog, but a single red eye gleamed from the monster it surely had to be.

"She's dead, my son. She failed me. All have failed me, save for my chosen." The voice rumbled with unexpected gentleness. "She cannot prevent me from altering you now. All I need from you is there, I simply need to give you something...sturdier to have as a vessel."

The foal Silent Wing bawled harder, frightened as a massive claw stretched from the fog, reaching for the tiny little form hungrily.

The memory disappeared.

At first Luna thought Silent Wing had seen her, but he rose to his hooves and began walking, passing right through her incorporeal form. His face was sad, not understanding, even lost. With his head hung low, Silent Wing trundled by Luna, his eyes focused where the hulking form had been. Determination set itself as the jaw set itself firmly, fangs flashing in the gloom. Steeled resolve in anticipation of a conflict.

Luna recognized it as something she had once gone through...and lost.

She followed the colt, hearing the whispers he heard in his dream, voices who called him out, taunted him, teased him. Old voices, young voices. Cruel barbs of prejudism echoed from everywhere.

You don't belong!

Freak.

Pale grub.

Why don't you just stop trying? You are an embarrassment to the Queen!

Each time, he flinched, the tears streaking his cheeks silently. Silent Wing continued on, limping, wounded, but unbroken.

Why? Luna felt her heart going out to him, seeing just a taste of what he had spent most of his young life hearing.

He stopped suddenly, the ghostly image of Queen Chrysalis appearing in front of him, cruel and unforgiving. You will endure, my little morsel. If you cannot learn to ignore mere words, then perhaps you are weaker than I thought. Get out of my sight and do not bother me with such trifles!

She faded, the colt reeling as if he had been physically struck. Silent Wing reached out with a hoof half-heartedly after the fading Chrysalis. The last thing to disappear were the harlequin eyes, blazing with contempt. At the last moment, they flashed regret before the shadows took them.

Luna had seen dreams like this before. These nightmares were a part of the persona where the doubts manifested themselves into nightmares. She had never cared for them, knowing how dangerous they could be. Ponies had broken themselves in this part of their dreams before, lost within themselves. It happened rarely, but when the emotion was strong enough, living nightmares like Nightmare Moon happened.

He seemed about to break, shoulders slumping and wings drooping. The colt curled into a ball, weeping in silence, refusing to cry out.

I'm here, brother! Please don't cry! I need you. Please, Silent, don't be sad.

A smaller changeling appeared next to him, smaller than him and almost a carbon copy of Chrysalis. This one was warm, gentle, loving going to the colt and embracing his head and neck in her little forehooves. She was sad too, weeping for Silent.

Luna was touched. This must be the Crown Princess Atalanta. The little princess was singing to the colt with a soft little voice. You must stay strong, Silent. You can't let the bad monsters win. You have to win!

She faded. The landscape disappeared into darkness. Silent Wing was alone in the darkness. He was no longer weeping, rising to his hooves in ragged defiance. The colt knew what was coming, bracing himself for what was approaching.

The sound of great wings tormenting the air drifted towards Luna's ears. She could see nothing, but felt a terrible presence.

A voice called out from the darkness, beckoning with enticing sweetness, "Another night you defy me, my son. The day of my return is near, child. Don't you want to join your brothers and sisters at my side? Don't you want to be a part of your true family?"

A single red eye blazed open, bathing the colt in its cold glare. "Such a wretched form! Such a weak body! Surrender yourself to me and I will restore you to an avatar befitting the greatest of my offspring!"

Silent glared up at the eye with clenched hate, his voice shuddering. "No."

Luna felt fear in her heart. Oh, the mind behind that eye! So vile! So evil! She shrank from it, terrified the mere presence of this monster she had heard about would consume her in this dream. The Alicorn found courage in the defiant form of the malformed colt who was now flaring his wings.

"No!" he cried, baring his fangs.

"Your sister cannot protect you forever, little foal," the monster jeered. "Once she is dealt with, you will no longer have that string to keep you bound to this notion of love you cling so tightly to.

Luna looked closely at Silent Wing and noticed the danger right away. There was a crack in his armor against this nightmare. He had not noticed it. How could he? The monster saw it, laughed and began to approach.

Silent bristled. "Stay away!"

"Join me or burn with the world. I am almost complete, my body reformed, my magic stronger than ever. My armies will sweep across the land. They move now as we speak." The form emerged from the darkness, everything Celestia had described him, but far more horrible.

Flamespyre was not dead, Luna realized. Her sister had been right.

The dragon stopped as the Alicorn allowed herself to be seen and placed herself squarely between the monster and the colt. "You will not take him, beast!" she declared, her mane and tail dancing with her night blessed anger.

The single eye flickered upon her, surprised. The dragon shifted into a crouch, like some massive cat, his tail moving wildly as if it had a mind of its own. "You must be Luna," greeted the dragon in a deceptively charming voice. "I love your color scheme. I do believe we shared a connection at one time. Tell me. Don't you miss it?" His grin was a crocodile smile.

Luna backed up until she could feel a back hoof touch one of Silent's forehooves. "I do not," she said firmly and without any doubt. "I have nothing in common with you, Flamespyre."

The dragon laughed uproariously, lifting his great scarred head in the darkness. "Oh, but you do! The link is eternal, Alicorn. I am eternal. I am forever. This world will fall and all will bow before me or perish in the purging flames." He hissed malevolent, his eye narrowing to a cruel slit.

A pale winged form suddenly leapt over Luna with a snarling rage, charging at the dragon fearlessly. Silent had enough of the dragon. Driven partially by fear and partially by anger, he went forward to fight.

"Idiot," snapped the dragon, swatting him away with the back of his claw.

Luna bounded over to the colt. His form faded before she could get to him. Skidding to a halt, she spun, realizing Silent had been dismissed from this part of his dream. Flamespyre approached, shifting his wings, nearly invisible in the darkness. Only his eye could be seen clearly, a single beacon of sinister intent.

"He never remembers them, Alicorn," Flamespyre said casually as he stalked her. "These dreams. A failed child of mine who should have been the greatest among them. His power was to be second to mine, beautiful Luna. Instead, he awakens in terror, never knowing what the dreams were. It's become one of the few joys I have while I wait, gather my power, and watch my children work. The moment before he awakens, I erase the dream and leave just the lingering aftermath of terror to keep him company."

"You will be stopped," Luna said defiantly.

The dragon's hidden form shifted again, claws scraping against something metallic. It shrieked and sparks flew, revealing portions of Flamespyre's outline. "I enjoy the Dream World, Luna. It's a wonderful place to watch the lives of petty little creatures as they go about their little hum-drum existences. I can see why you enjoy this part of the job. Of all the Alicorns, I might let you live, if only to reunite you with Nightmare Moon. I used to see you in my dreams in that magnificent form."

"You are confined here, aren't you?" Luna guessed with a sudden smile. She was not falling for the dragon's words nor his attempts to play at her fears. The Princess of the Moon had not expected to encounter him here, of all places, but this was her domain. No dragon was going to cow her here.

Irritated, the dragon hissed. "A bright one, aren't you? Shall we do battle now?" he said with a snort of dragonflame from his nostrils.

Luna laughed at him. "Here? You are mad, aren't you? Here, you are a bug to me, Flamespyre. Here, I rule supreme."

"Let us put that to the test."

The dragon lunged at her, his jaws agape in eager anticipation. The Alicorn easily dodged his attempt, seeing the attempt for it really was. She became a shadow and blended into the dream, leaving the dragon crouching angrily.

Then he, too became a part of the shadows.

"You are going to be a problem, princess," he chuckled darkly, an ominous echo rumbling like distant thunder.

"Is Silent Wing your son?" she asked him, ignoring his taunts.

"After a fashion, you could say so. I was not expecting this form to be so... stubborn. Then again, his soul was always a challenge to break. I blame his mother, actually." There was a disappointed sigh. "So much potential. I may simply have to chalk it up as a loss and destroy him."

The silence was deafening as the two circled each other, seeking out formless targets in a plane of existence where minds dreamed. It might have been hours, days, or years before Flamespyre spoke again.

"Join me, princess," he whispered.

Luna laughed yet again at him. "You can't be serious."

"When the world is mine, I shall need a queen. Your beauty deserves to be recognized. Your power should be feared and respected. Your subjects should appreciate the work you put in night after night after night." The words danced and tickled at her ears.

The princess felt a pit in her stomach, sickened by his proposition. There was no hesitation from her. Screaming angrily, she cried, "Never again!" The Alicorn materialized, her eyes seeking out Flamespyre.

"Found you."

His magic seized her, holding her bound as the shadows formed, becoming a black form of living evil. The dragon's eye appeared before her, gloating. Luna bucked and kicked wildly, knowing a fear she had not felt since she lost herself to Nightmare Moon long ago.

No! She would not go back to those days! It was a lie then and it would be a lie now. She unleashed every once of her magic at the dragon's face. Her fear gave way to fury and she lashed out, again and again. Flamespyre released her, hissing in pain and annoyance. Luna understood her error.

Flamespyre was living in the Dream World. everything of him existed here now, lurking near Silent Wing's dreams for no other reason than to torment the colt. He was waiting for an event to occur. To what end he resided here eluded the Moon Princess. But he could feed off emotions here, if Celestia's research was correct. As he was the one who incorporated the changeling need to feed on emotions, so it made perfect sense to the princess he would gather power here by feeding off the nightmares of others.

The dawning of this made her absolutely loathe the monster he was.

If he was targeting Silent Wing, it had to do more than just the desire to torment the colt. "Begone!" she cried, her aura exploding around her dream form.

Flamespyre crouched from her, hissing furiously. He opened his mouth and roared at her, gathering his own magic.

"So be it, foolish filly!" spat the dragon. He suddenly grinned maliciously, his cruel words searing when he next asked, "How is that dear, sweet sister of yours? Is she back on her feet yet?"

His maniacal laughter faded as he did, leaving Luna stung by those words and alone. She shook herself of her self pity and shifted off into the Dream World, seeking Silent Wing to make sure he was all right.

It did not take long for her to find him, sitting beneath a living tree before a stagnant lake. Around him was a small patch of grass and flowers and butterflies. He had his eyes closed, surrounded by his mother and sister who held him close.

It was a patch of hope.

Luna was immensely relieved, though found the image strange. Perhaps it was the smile of pure contentment on the face of the Changeling Queen or the fact she had her hooves wrapped around both of her children. The Alicorn found it difficult to see Chrysalis had a heart. Perhaps she did indeed was this persona at times. Perhaps her own dreams were like this.

Silent saw her and smiled. His mother and sister did not notice the presence of the princess as they were figments of his current dream. "Thank you," he said gratefully. "I was so afraid."

"You helped yourself more than you know," replied Luna gently. "You are brave, Prince Silent Wing. I had fears of your intentions, but I know them now. I hope you remember this part of your dream this night. It is a lovely dream."

"Will I see you again?" he asked. "What's your name? Luna, is it?"

"It is my name. I think we will meet again soon."

Silent was in awe of her presence. "You're a princess, aren't you?"

"I am," she replied.

He got up, his figments shifting so he could do so and trotted over to Luna. "Since this is a dream," he said as Luna smiled down at him. "I can do this!"

Silent Wing reached up and kissed her full on the lips. He pulled back, looking into her startled eyes with a grin. "I want to remember that!"

Luna woke up.