• 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 21: The Longest Night Part II

Queen Chrysalis watched in silence as her adopted son followed Princess Celestia. He had given her a querying brow when the princess asked him to follow her, to which the queen nodded encouragingly to him. Once he disappeared from the room, she turned her attention upon the mare with whom she wished to have words with. Princess Luna was trying to figure out the motives of the Queen of the Changelings, not at all trusting the dark monarch one bit.

"Is there a place where I may speak privately to you?" she asked Luna as she adjusted the front of her dress. "It concerns the prince."

Luna considered the words, thinking perhaps Chrysalis needed to pick her brain from her perspective. The reasoning was a bit strange as she thought her sister had already given the details thought necessary. On the other hand, Luna surmised, Chrysalis was not exactly inclined to look upon Celestia favorably or without prejudice considering thwarted plans in a past still remarkably fresh on many minds. Perhaps having no dealings with the Princess of the Moon made the queen inclined to believe if she could not trust the white Alicorn with secrets, then perhaps the younger sister might be more trustworthy.

"Very well," she assented with a smile, her blue eyes wary. "Come with me, if you please." Luna had an idea something was up, her instincts suggesting this was not going to be pleasant. Of course her sister could not keep her mouth shut.

Flaring her wings, she simply hopped in the air and flew towards the main door of the ball room, passing over the heads of every pony who had still lingered. Most of the guests had already left and the cleaning crews were already busy cleaning up the mess. The Mane Six and their children had remained, with princess Atalanta playing with her new-found friends. Every pony noted the Alicorn and the changeling right behind her, both with determined grimaces. No pony figured to follow as it was more than likely a private conversation.

Luna led Chrysalis out towards the hedgerow maze where Discord had once tricked Twilight and her friend years ago. Both royals waved off their guards. The orders were unhappily complied, leaving armored forms milling around at the entrance and eyeballing each other suspiciously. It would not have been surprising at all if a pitched battle had started right there between the two parties as the queen's tension had her captain's metaphorical hackles up.

At the center of the maze, Luna landed gracefully and waited for Chrysalis to do likewise. The neatly trimmed bushes forming the core of the maze shape were each over ten feet tall and at least two fee thick. The center of the maze was itself a small square garden roughly twenty feet by twenty feet. A small pebble garden was there, along with a couple of benches beneath immaculately maintained apple and peach trees. Rose bushes in the early stages of summer blooms were planted around the pebbles in a perfect replica of Celestia's cutie mark. The pebbles were themselves arranged in colored arrangement imitating Luna's cutie mark. Next year the garden staff would reverse the arranged marks, rotating them every year for the past six.

"We're to wage war upon each other, then?" she asked politely. "Might I ask what injustice I may have foisted upon thy adopted son?" Inadvertently she lapsed into the Old Highborne Equestrian.

"How about taking advantage of an underage colt?" snarled Chrysalis as her hooves dug into the gravel. "I can see how working your considerable charms and assets would benefit you in turning my son against me."

Luna blinked. "Dost thou spake of but a mere kiss from a dream?" she asked. "I would never do such a thing!" Her accent dropped as she found it to be boorish the more she spoke it.

"I know scheming when I see it and I'm an expert in that field, dearie."

"Dearie?" Luna laughed dryly. "Oh, come now, Chrysalis. You cannot possibly think the few centuries of your life can even compare the the span of mine."

Chrysalis grinned right back at her. "And how old do you think I am?" She prowled slowly, measuring the smaller yet very capable mare with squinting eyes and dipped chin.

"Oh, bother that! Our ages are irrelevant to the issue. You have a problem with me for some reason concerning your adopted son. Speak your grievances, your Majesty!" Luna was bound to be polite even in a hostile environment.

The Queen was less inclined to follow suit. "My son is off limits to you, trollop."

Luna's blue eyes flared, her magic a coiling indigo color twisting about her horn. "Trollop?" she recoiled with indignation. "Trollop! How dare you." The insult! "How dare you!"

"I figured you Equestrians already know Silent's weakness towards fillies, but I never imagined you would personally take a hand in sneaking into his dreams to seduce him." Chrysalis paused as she had a mental image. "Maybe I should be working towards something like that myself," she added to herself, taking a shine to the idea.

"Weakness? You should know I do not work like that!" blurted Luna, still reeling at the accusation. She had no idea Chrysalis would take the whole dream incident and take it out of proportion this way. "That is more Tia's thing," she added mutely.

"Oh, really?" Chrysalis had not heard the last sentence Luna uttered.

Luna decided right then and there to take the verbal gloves off. "I am merely observing an overly stressed nag who perchance is seeking for somepony to pick a fight with!"

Chrysalis fired the first bolt of her sickly green magic. Luna easily dodged it, leaving a little smoking crater in the sod. She fired her own volley, her teeth grinding grimly as a grimace splayed across her lovely face. The queen in turn swerved with little effort, he eyes taking a moment to track the indigo flare as the night sky swallowed it. Both mares dug their hooves into the ground. The Alicorn thought this was all silly and stupid, but could not help but think Chrysalis was taking this very seriously indeed.

"Would it help if I apologized?" she offered, still trying to be diplomatic as she deflected another green bolt from the queen. "I really do not think are you being logical. Silent Wing started the whole thing and from what I can recall rather enjoyed it!"

She gave out a little "meep!" when a very large ball of green magic formed on the tip of Chrysalis' crooked horn.

"Logic?" An insane little laugh bubbled from her throat. Chrysalis screamed, "I'M A MOTHER! LOGIC DOES NOT APPLY!"

"You do not want to use that," Luna warned. "The gardener will be most distressed." She actually smiled, flaring her wings as the stars in her mystical indigo mane and tail twinkled at the challenge.

The Queen unleashed her magic, hurling it has hard as she could as if it were a foal's ball. It heaved back as she reared her head, crackling and glowing in flashes of bright luminescent greens and yellows, filling more and more with her power until she flung her head forward in a wide arch. She used every muscle in her body to throw the ball of death, its intent plainly and painfully obvious.

She fully intended to kill the Alicorn. Or did she? Chrysalis had her own mound of frustrations to deal with. It had to come out. This was the only way she could think of after Princess Celestia told her of the kiss. Princess Luna was the absolute last mare in the world Chrysalis would even think to be on the receiving end of such a happening. The political backlash from the matriarchs at home would be catastrophic!

Luna underestimated its power as it struck against her invisible magic barrier she erected. Indigo met with the force of pulsating green, bending inwards towards the Alicorn. Alarmed by this influx of power, it took Luna a moment to understand the queen's own love for her son was feeding her magic! Exerting her own will and tensing her body, Luna recovered, pushed back and tried to redirect the black monarch's attack up into the sky and harmlessly into air.

It instead hurled down, straight for the heart of the maze. Luna knew this was not going to be a pleasant experience and shielded her eyes away from the blast she knew was coming.

The very foundations of the mountain into which Canterlot was built shook as a blinding flash of light silenced the world for a few horrifying seconds. The concussion from the explosion struck the Alicorn's hasty magic barrier, yet still managed to fling her through the sky as there was nothing to brace herself against. Luna was spinning head over flank backwards, her teeth clenched and eyes squeezed shut as she fought against her momentum.

Glass windows twenty miles away shattered. Buildings not made of stone suffered structural damage within five. Thankfully, the solid construction of the castle itself had contained most of the blast, as it had been reinforced with magic centuries ago as an additional protection from sieges and magic attacks much like what Queen Chrysalis had used. When Luna was finally able to regain control of herself, she cracked open her eyes slowly, looking around to see how far she had been thrown.

Her jaw dropped as the night sky was filled with a billowing mushroom cloud rising past five thousand feet and still roiling upwards ferociously, glowing wicked oranges from the heat. Residual lightning bolts flashed inside the cloud, giving the thing a sinister, evil feel.

"Oh, look. I made a hole," whispered a disjointed voice softly in her ear. "Let's fill it!"

Still a bit disoriented, Luna too late found herself encased in a ball of green, the static making her coat and hair stand on end. She spun, her wings crackling against the barrier as the tips of her feathers brushed against it. Queen Chrysalis stared right back at her, the burning sky from the blast reflecting in her crazed expression. She was heaving heavily from her exertions, her breath laboring, body already covered in sweat. The blast had torn her dress to shreds. It hung in tatters, clinging to her natural armor, dangling from the holes in her legs where the scraps had caught. Again her horn glowed. Chrysalis grinned evilly and blew a kiss at her.

Luna found herself being hurled in the ball, still finding herself wondering exactly what was happening and even how it had come to this. End over end she went, back to where she had been before the world had become a massive flash bulb. Her wits were still about her, and she prepared accordingly for the impact to come.

The second blast was far less world shaking. It could not compare to the impact the first explosion had made (or the impression, for that matter). Queen Chrysalis had very good aim. The sphere containing Luna landed almost dead center of the twenty foot deep crater still smoking. From the angle at which the impact struck, more debris was flung in an oblong arch, sending a few trees and shrubs still standing flinging thousands of feet away. The already standing crater served as something of a container. Gawking ponies who had come to investigate had sticks, leaves, sod, and pebbles raining down on them.

Twilight Sparkle put up a shield as best she could and was able to protect her extended family. Every pony gathered at the mouth of the gaping crater had seen the incoming sphere. It was difficult to miss as it glowed an angry green.

"Are they fighting?" she asked, already knowing the answer. It was the wedding all over again. She expected changelings to be everywhere.

Feidole and Frakas were helping one of the Royal Guard up, visibly shaken as they tottered nervously to the edge of the crater and watched as Luna came hurling in. They went belly first into the ground, dragging the guard they had just picked up with them.

"I signed up for this," grumbled Frakas, jostling his bother. "I'm stupid."

Feidole grinned at him. "I know. Too bad Silent's not here to play."

"So it's a game now? What would you call it?"


"Love the name." Frakas sighed. "I'll be happy if the prize is my life."

"I was hoping for tickets to see that new Marelyn Monroe movie, but staying alive is a good choice."

Rainbow Dash was eyeballing the two changelings before turning to Twilight. "This isn't a changeling attack, is it?" she asked, absolutely confused by the mayhem.

"No, it isn't Dash. This is far worse." Twilight watched as the smoke cleared and Luna slowly picked herself up from the new crater within the bigger one. "Much worse." She was remembering the little gleam in the eyes of a mother hell bent on taking care of a perceived threat to her offspring. "Much, much worse." It had been one of the most disturbing conversations the purple Alicorn would remember.

"She kissed my little morsel, Twilight. Your Princess of the Moon kissed my boy. I intend to do something about it, girl. Just you watch. And do not make the mistake of interfering. This is between Luna and me. Understand?"

Luna sighed. Not hurt (well, maybe a little), she shook herself, more surprised than anything at the display of power and prowess (and creativity) of Queen Chrysalis. Still, it wasn't her fault Silent Wing kissed her. It wasn't her fault he had no idea she wasn not a part of his dream in the sense of what makes a dream. She heard dirt and bits of stone shift behind her. Chrysalis was fast, too. Used her wings, judging from the droning buzz. Probably used the last of her magic in that last blast.

"Are you finished?" she asked calmly, not bothering to turn around. "Or shall this stupidity continue?"

Chrysalis bull rushed her from behind with a snarl, her hooves going around her smaller opponent's heck. Luna was not expecting this and was flung forward under the weight of the bigger mare. Both bodies were a tangle of manes, tails, legs, and wings, kicking up dirt and dust and anything else that might have fallen back into the crater.

A crowd had gathered at the rim. No pony said a word.

Until Applejack decided to say something. "Anypony wanna try and break those two up?"

Pinkie Pie pursed her lips and rubbed her chin as she leaned over the crater as far as she could and observed the combatants carefully. "Tell you what," she said with a bubbly grin. "You go first. I do parties at wakes, too!" A chorus of denials was returned immediately from the gathered friends.


"I want to live!"

"Oh, my, that would be too dangerous!"

"Ain't gonna do it."

"I'm crazy, not stupid."

"Five bits on Luna!"

"Ten on the Queen!"

(Frakas and Feidole were the only ones placing bets.)

"Anypony else turned on seeing this?"

(Frakas and Feidole both raised a hoof.)

All eyes went to Lightning Dash. His mother cuffed him by the ear. "I did not teach him that!" Rainbow Dash declared, daring her friends to argue against that. She was blushing furiously. "I definitely did not teach him that!" Soarin' was probably going to be gelded by daybreak.

Even Captain Myzanum was not stupid enough to put himself between a queen and a princess who could literally squish him like a bug if either felt like it. He grabbed Feidole by the scruff of his neck. "Get the prince, damn you!" he barked into the changeling's face. Spittle went everywhere. "And Princess Celestia while you're at it!"

Crown Princess Atalanta was crying. Seeing her mother fighting for the first time scared her terribly. A consoling hoof went around her. She turned to see Star Journey looking into her eyes with a goofy grin and a blush. Oh, gross!

She cried harder, shoving him away and running to Frakas. He was the only changeling she knew (and trusted) around. Captain Myzanum stared hard at her, glowering.

Chrysalis knew she had almost exhausted all of her magic. Luna was barely winded. Her only recourse was to resort to brute force, keeping the Alicorn off balanced and prevent her from using her horn to cast her spells. At this point, the reason behind the battle was forgotten, all logic cast aside. The overly aggressive maternal instinct within her had kicked in, primal thoughts overriding common sense.

"Don't mind me," she hissed at Luna when there was a pause and the two were snout to snout. "I'm just absolutely livid right now."

"Methinks you are over reacting," replied the battered dark princess.

Chrysalis slugged her in the stomach, blasting the air from the overconfident Alicorn's lungs. Her face contorted, pupils dilating to pinpoints as her mouth hung open as she wheezed (or tried to). The Queen pulled off the Alicorn, seeing perhaps she might have indeed gone too far. Just to make sure, she casually slapped Luna across the face

"Now you listen here," she growled threateningly, her words like icy daggers. "I don't care who you are or how much more powerful you may be. If you EVER dare to take advantage of my little colt again," she waved a hoof menacingly in Luna's face. "I will shove my hoof SO FAR up your darky, tight, magnificently well-toned flank, it won't be just your sister crippled from the waist back! Do you understand me?!"

Luna had recovered her breath and held a hoof to her cheek. "You really think I have a well-toned flank?"

Chrysalis found herself going off tangent. It was obvious now she had barely made a physical impression on the Alicorn. The dawning came on like a weakly fluttering lightbulb in the dark recesses of her mind. She backed off completely from Luna.

"Are you kidding me?" she said, still trying to sound threatening. "Like you don't get told that ever single day! I mean, look at it! You have the most smoking flank I've ever seen! I would kill to be able to have a rump like that. And don't even get me started on your gorgeous, perfect sapphire coat! It's simply to die for! Then there's your mane. I'm so jealous of it, you have no idea."

Somehow, Luna managed to preen herself from her back, blushing furiously. Chrysalis offered a hoof up. The Alicorn gracefully accepted it. There was an awkward moment as the two mares stared each other down. One realizing she was badly overmatched and the other understanding a frustrated mother with a plate larger than she could handle having been placed before her.

"Just one thing," Luna offered quietly, tossing her mane and shaking the dirt from her coat. A blue eye gleamed as moonlight reflected from the dark pool.

Chrysalis stopped smiling.

And found herself being hurled through the air straight up. Within moments, she could no longer feel air around her, as she was surrounded by a dark void. The stars were everywhere. The moon glowered like a great eye overhead. A hoof caught her chin, turning the changeling queen to face the other half of the power of Equestria in her full majesty. This wasn't the Luna mortals saw. This was the dark night lit form of a powerful Alicorn who still had anger issues of her own, but had learned to master them.

"Just let us have one thing understood between the two of us," Luna said in a voice defying her youthful appearance. She was in the armor of Nightmare Moon and was now as large as Chrysalis. Her catlike eyes narrowed, focused, bore into the harlequin orbs with ancient intensity. "You are a bug to me. I could easily crush you and leave you splattered across the world as grasshopper against glass.

"Keep in mind my elder sister is the nice one. I am the other side of the same coin. I will give you this, as you are only looking out for your child; I will not harm him, nor do I have any intentions of harming your Silent Wing. I freely admit to a budding fondness for him. However, forces move against him just as readily as they move against you. Keep that in mind. So long as Silent Wing is in Equestria, I will be able to protect him from his nightmares. Flamespyre lurks there. Did you not know?"

Chrysalis nervously shook her head.

"No, I suppose not. He does not remember the nightmares. Flamespyre has been chipping away at the colt's defenses since the moments dreams began to have meaning to Silent Wing. You have no idea the strength of that will he has. It's the sort of will that could move mountains, if even just one pebble at a time. Flamespyre is very close to breaking his son's will. So long as I am alive, he will not succeed. Understand?"

Chrysalis nodded.

"Good. Now, mare to mare, I will say this to you. Right now, at this very moment, I do not care for you. Even as we speak, if you were to die right now, I would not mourn your passing from this world. You have done so much damage and harmed so many, the list of crimes is long in your wake. However, your kingdom should not suffer for your transgressions. I will not be your reckoning." She let go of the queen.

"But your children are very sweet. They are both good. They are worth fighting for. I will help protect them within my abilities. Do you have an issue with that?"

"N-n-no," stammered Chrysalis. How again did she ever think to take Canterlot? She was beginning to understand why Celestia seemed so at ease in allowing the queen to return to Equestria.

"Excellent! Then let us return to the others. No doubt they worry for us."

Everything faded to darkness, then back to the sky sill filled with the smoke from the explosion. The cloud was beginning to break up, but still lingered ominously. Luna was still in front of the queen, reverting to the form most familiar to ponies. Chrysalis found she was absolutely terrified of her, even more so than Princess Celestia.

"One more thing," Luna offered as she worked a tangle from her mane. "If something happens between Silent Wing and myself, I will let you know. For now, it is to me nothing more than a display of bold innocence. Let him have that. His days of innocence are fast fading. Let him have wonderful memories, even if they are but dreams."

Chrysalis nodded mutely again.

Both mares took wing and drifted down through some clouds and towards the crater. Princess Celestia and Silent Wing were there now. Celestia wore a mysterious little smile and the prince was absolutely confused by what was going on. Atalanta was clinging to him and sobbing, not knowing where her mother was.

Star Journey was also bawling again. He had come to the conclusion Ata hated him and refused to explain his feelings to anypony. Not knowing what else to do, Twilight Sparkle simply held him and tried soothing the colt. Her friends had their own opinions on how to handle him, but kept their mouths shut. Twilight Sparkle was almost a different pony when her son's actions were questioned.

"There they are!" came the cry when Luna and Chrysalis were seen approaching.

As soon as they landed, Atalanta flew into her mother's chest fiercely, refusing to let go. The abashed queen settled on her rump and just hugged her daughter back.

Celestia was observing what was left of her hedgerow maze. "I suppose we should put a pool here," she observed dryly, grinning openly at Chrysalis. The changeling queen blushed furiously and mumbled an apology.

Luna smiled at the Queen of the Changelings, shaking her head as if to dismiss the whole affair as something having just been dealt with and was no longer an issue. As she turned to speak with her sister, there was a brief flash of a final warning in her icy blue eyes for Chrysalis only.

It was almost morning. There was still tendrils of smoke wafting from the hole in the ground. Ponies were everywhere, trying to clean up the mess. Canterlot would be in an uproar for some time. No pony was asleep now. There were shattered windows in every building, cracked foundations and support beams, bits of plaster and dust now in every nook and cranny. There were even reports of injuries. The castle and connecting city were essentially under martial law as emergency crews were overtaxed. Help from Ponyville was immediate in coming, but not enough. The call to other towns went out for assistance in rebuilding.

The Mane Six stayed, put their youngest to bed and took their older children with them to help with the clean up. It was indeed the longest night. Prince Silent Wing and his changeling guards were quick to offer their services, which was readily (if warily) accepted. Queen Chrysalis retreated to her quarters, very much embarrassed at her outburst and resulting power display.

The two Alicorns had a small table set up by the crater where they would oversee the cleanup. They still had not decided what they were going to do with the hole in the ground, though some engineers had made some interesting suggestions. Once they had a moment, Celestia sipped at her lemonade, the ice cubes tinkling together in her glass.

"Well?" she asked her sister. Luna had spent a great deal of time staring mutely at the massive crater Chrysalis had made.

"I had no idea she had grown that powerful," she admitted, her cheeks flushing.

"You almost let her kick your flank, didn't you?"

Her little sister refused to answer that, but her face gave away the truth.

"She put almost all of her magic in her first attack and you nearly wound up eating it," Celestia guessed, leaning over and nuzzling her sister teasingly. "Lulu, you can tell me."

"Yes, Tia, I very nearly did," she gave in, tearing her eyes from the crater. "Chrysalis was seriously trying to kill me with that first blast." Luna quickly recounted the battle.

"When did you get cocky?" Tia asked her with an arched brow when Luna was done. "That is very unlike you, Lulu."

"She irritated me for some reason," replied her sister sourly. "I can understand her being upset about the kiss - which you did not have to tell her about, by the way - but she absolutely went wild." Luna held her mouth open, then narrowed her gaze, knitting her brows together as she leaned towards Celestia. "Why did you tell her? There was no point to that."

"Did you have fun?"

"Well...yes, as a matter in fact, I did."

Celestia sipped her lemonade. "That's why I told her."

Just then a messenger arrived breathlessly in the form of a Pegasus. He was uniformed as a courier from the palace. "Urgent message, Highness!" He held out a scroll bearing the seal from the General Staff.

Celestia quickly took the note and dismissed the messenger, waiting for him to step back respectfully. She broke the seal as Luna came over to peer over her shoulder. Both Alicorns read the message, Tia finishing it first and wordlessly giving it to Luna to finish reading.

"Oh, Creator, it's started."