• Published 11th Sep 2013
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Second Princess of the Night - Senyu



With King Sombra gone, is Equestria truely safe from harm? Or will another foe as old as the Crystal Kingdom itself appear now that the dark unicorn's position of evil is vacant? What new danger will threaten the land and the Elements of Harmony?

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Act I - Chapter 14

Trail brought a hoof behind his head and gave a weak laugh. “Well, seeing that you appear to have been infected, I suppose I should start explaining things now.”

“Twilight, who is it?” Spike called from atop the stairs.

“It’s Trail,” Twilight replied without taking her eyes off of him, still in disbelief that he was actually standing on her doorstep.

“Trail!?” Spike shouted before running down the steps and rushing to her side. “It is! You’re back!”

“Ah, Spike! Good to see you as well,” Trail replied cheerfully.

“You have no idea how happy we are-”

“Where have you been?” Twilight said with a low tone, cutting off Spike.

Her voice caused Trail to stiffen, and he cautiously turned his head towards her. Twilight was expecting some sort of apology, some form of grievance for all the heartache and troubles that had been plaguing her since his absence. But what she got instead, was the carefree smile he always wore.

“Oh, I was just away on some important business.”

Twilight’s eyebrows twitched at what he said. “More... Important... THAN THIS!?” Twilight growled between gritted teeth. “Do you have any idea what I have been going through? What I have been turning into?” With each word that she spat at him, the louder her voice grow, and the closer she moved towards him. “And you have the gall to tell me that whatever it was you were doing, it was more important... than what has been happening to ME!?”

The air became deathly quiet as Twilight stood on the tip of her hooves and staring down at Trail, glaring at him furiously for his reply. A few house lights down the street flickered on, curiosity filling the inhabitants on who was causing such a ruckus. Spike felt like biting the ends of his claws were he not too terrified to move and draw her attention, her unwavering and unblinking attention she held for Trail that drowned out the rest of the world.

Her world however, snapped as she saw Trail give a slow but deliberate nod of his head.

Snarling, she threw a hoof at him, throwing all her strength into the blow. For her at that moment, she was convinced that he was to blame for everything that had happened, convinced that it was all his fault for even daring to have left her alone when he was fully aware of such a creature existing that could do this to her.

Bust as fast as Twilight swung with a strike that would have broken his jaw, Trail moved quicker.

Catching her hoof against his own, he held her forearm mid-strike. The hoof on hoof contact sent a loud echo throughout the night, more than she or Spike could believe be generated by a hoof-five. Twilight looked at him, then their hooves in disbelief, before sanity retook her. The muscles in her leg relaxed immediately as she withdrew her hoof and brought against her chest, staring at it as if she was worried it would move again on its own. Trail however, held his grin throughout the entire event, not flinching in the slightest.

“Woah…” Spike said in awe. Twilight had attacked so quick that everything had been a blur for him. At moment they were standing, then the next were touching their hooves together.

“I… I’m so sorry,” Twilight breathed, taking a few steps back into the library. “I… I was just so angry and… my hoof… it was already moving before I knew it and-”

“Twilight,” Trail interjected. He waited until she tore her gaze from her hoof and looked towards him. “You don’t have to apologize. I was a little hot headed when I had first become a fledgling as well. It’s something that takes time to get used to, and the reason why I made it a habit to always smile like this.”

“Wait… so you’re a fledgling as well?” Her voice was still shaky from the outburst, but she was quickly recollecting herself.

“That’s right. It’s not an easy thing to be either of which, I’m sure you have been figuring out."

Spike brought a claw to his chin. "So if you're a fledgling ... then what about all those times you fell down or bumped into things?"

"A good actor will go to great lengths to not appear as who they are," Trail said with a wink. "Discretion is best for a pony with my condition. If you can’t already tell, I’m fairly far along the process. And from the looks of it, I’d guess that you’re beginning to pull out from the initial stage.” Trail’s carefree smile then for the few times they had known him, drop into sorrowful demeanor. “I’m terribly sorry this has happened to you, Twilight. I never wanted another pony to suffer the same fate as I. It was foalish of me to ask you to watch over my home during my absence. My careless actions have dragged you into a world that you should have never seen…”

“Trail…”

But the sad tone in his voice did not last long, and was quickly replaced with his grin. “But after tonight, you and I will no longer have to worry about it anymore.”

“What do you mean?”

“I found it, Twilight,” he said quietly with excitement. “I found the key to my, and your, salvation.” Turning his head to the saddlebag strapped onto him, the very one Twilight had seen him depart with what felt like months ago, he placed a hoof over a bulge that poked from the bag. “Inside… I found what I have been looking for ever since I arrived in Ponyville.”

“Ponyville?” Twilight asked. “You mean… you moved to Ponyville, to find whatever is in there?”

“That’s right,” Trail he replied. “I’ve been searching for something like this ever since I became infected, it was only thanks to an informant of mine that I found out that it even existed, and was somewhere within the Everfree forest.”

“The Everfree?” Spike asked, hanging onto every word that was being spoken between the two.

“Yes, I managed to find it in an ancient and abandoned tomb. I dare say that I was the first pony to step inside of it for what could have been ages. It might even be from the era when the Royal Sisters ruled together,” he said with a touch of awe. But he paused before continuing, picking up his head instead and glancing about the area, having forgotten they were having such a serious discussion while still on the front steps to the library in the middle of the night. “If you don’t mind, might we take this inside? I wouldn’t want to chance a pair of ears listening to our conversation.”

“You’re not referring to…” Twilight said but found herself unable to finish.

To her relief and dismay, Trail confirmed her suspicions. “Yes. The pony who had attacked you, also happens to be the very one pursuing me.”

“He’s chasing you?” Spike asked eagerly, a sense of adventure filling him.

“Indeed he is,” Trail replied wearily. “He is the one responsible for my transformation as well if you hadn’t already guessed. I’ll explain more once we’re inside if that’s alright.”

“Uh yeah, I mean… yes, of course. Please come in,” Twilight stammered together before stepping aside to make way for him. After he entered she couldn’t help but peer warily out into the darkness, half expecting to see the shifting of a shadow withdraw from her gaze. Despite her suspicions, the streets around her house were utterly empty, seemingly devoid of any movement or life. Even the lights that had turned on had gone out now. But that did not convince her that meant there was nopony around, watching her from some unseen shadow or hiding place. With one last sweep, she closed the door and flipped the lock, then moved to join Trail and Spike who had gathered at the table and around the saddlebag resting atop it.

“Well then, what would you like to discuss first?” Trail asked. Pulling out a chair, he sat himself comfortably for what would be no doubt a long discussion.

“I want to know more about this artifact. What does it do?” Twilight asked immediately.

“Straight to the point eh?” Trail commented with a smirk. “That’s alright. There will be plenty of time to talk about things later. We’ll probably look back at it all like it was a bad dream hopefully.” Placing a hoof near the bag, Trail answered, “This artifact, which was painstakingly difficult to get mind you, is something that can reverse the vampirism inside of us.”

“How in Equestria did you figure that out?” Twilight asked, her eyes drifting over the saddlebag in wonder if it could really do as he said. “I couldn’t find anything in the Corpus Nocte Morsu that said it was reversible.”

You have my book?” Trail replied astonishingly. “I was afraid both of them were taken when I saw the floor boards damaged.”

“The book was actually a little ways from the hole,” Spike chipped in. “I managed to see it when I stuck my head in. I think it was too far for the burglar to see so it got left behind.”

Trails facial expression hesitated for a brief moment before looked downward, a weak smile mixed with relief spreading across his face. “That’s good. I’m glad you were able to find it. Celestia knows what would have happened should my main source of knowledge have been taken.”

Ahem… back to the artifact,” Twilight pressed softly.

“Oh yes, of course. Like I said, this item is capable of sealing away the vampirism inside a pony, returning them to their original state.”

“That’s incredible,” Twilight exclaimed, itching to open grab it from the bag and use it at once.

“Yes, but as good as the sound, there are some issues regarding its use.”

“Such as?” Twilight said, her eyes having not left the saddlebag.

Eying her intent focus, Trail replied, “It requires a strong magician to cast the spell, a pony capable of powerful magic.”

“Check,” Spike said aloud with a smile. “Anything else?”

“Spike, we don’t even know if I could activate it,” Twilight replied, running through possible problems and solutions of using such an item.

“But you’re the most powerful uni- I mean, alicorn out there!” Spike exclaimed.

“No, Princess Celestia and Luna, are the most powerful alicorns. For all we know they need to be the ones to activate it.”

“Normally, Twilight, I would agree,” Trail spoke. “But I believe you are sufficiently powerful enough to use it, and unfortunately, time is of the essence.”

“How so?” she asked, pulling her gaze away from the bag and towards him.

“I fear you are drawing near to the end of the initial stage of your vampirism. Judging from your state from what I can tell, it won’t be long until you proceed into the next stage.”

Twilight gave Trail a questioning look, before she visibly shrunk and widened her eyes. “You don’t mean…” She had hoped there would be more time, that what she had read in the Corpus Nocte Morsu wasn’t true. But a knowing nod from Trail confirmed her fear. Twilight then slumped to the floor, and let her eyes stare ideally at some spot in the floor as if she was looking somewhere distant.

“What happens at after the beginning stage?” Spike asked worriedly, glancing back and forth between the two.

With an audible gulp, Twilight began to explain. “After the initial stage, the fledgling enters the second and longest part of the transformation. The irises will become completely red, just like Trail’s. In addition, increased strength, speed, and various other minor traits will develop, which are most apparent during the night. But what marks the transition between the stages is the… the…” Twilight tried to finish, but found she was unable to.

“The urge to feed,” Trail finished for her calmly.

Spike’s eyes widen as he took in the implication. “You don’t mean…”

“Yes.” He turned towards her, looking pitifully towards her as each word caused her to shiver. “Twilight will begin to crave blood.”

“But you would never do that, Twilight!” Spike said as he rushed towards her. “I don’t think you’re capable of hurting another pony, even if it’s because you’re hungry!” But no matter how he might have smiled reassuringly to her, or gently shook her shoulder, she would not respond.

“Spike,” Trail said softly. “It does not matter if she was the sweetest pony in Equestria. Once the urge begins, she will feed. And she will kill a pony while doing it. She won’t be able to control herself.”

“K-kill?” Spike stuttered, taking his claw off of her in recoil, before tightening it into a fist and moving back to her side. “Twilight, I know you won’t hurt anypony,” he began again pleadingly, trying to get her to look him in the eyes. “If there’s anypony who could resist this, it would be you!”

“There is only one option for Twilight now,” Trail said cutting off Spike, well aware of the few tears beginning to form in his eyes. “You must use the item I found, and rid yourself of this curse before it makes you do something you will regret for the rest of your life.”

Twilight lifted her head up, looking towards Trail with despair in her eyes, completely desperate for the potential promise he was speaking of. “You really think it will work before… I will…”

“Yes,” he said confidently. “I believe it will. I know you are more than capable of using it. And the reason I suggest it is because we do not know how long it would take for either of the Royal Sisters to arrive. Even at their most hasten pace, I fear it may be too late. You could easily have killed a pony before then, or attack them yourself upon their arrival.”

“How do you know?” Spike shouted. “How do you know that Twilight will kill another pony? You can’t! She wouldn’t do it!”

Though he tried to hide it, it was clear how sudden and how hard the severity of Twilight’s condition was finally hitting him. Before it had been an uneasy worry with fun and unexpected moments. Now, it was the real thing, and he cursed himself for treating it differently this entire time.

“You were bit how many days ago, Twilight?” Trail asked.

“... Five…”

“I’m surprised you haven’t done it already then, as it normally begins on the fourth day. Which means we cannot wait a moment longer.” Trail turned to Spike who stared helplessly at Twilight. “Spike, I know how difficult this is for you, but you must be strong right now, for Twilight.” Spike sniffled, then slowly turned his head to Trail who gave him a nod in return.

In understanding, Spike threw his arms around Twilight and held her close. “You’re gonna be okay,” he whispered. “I promise, I won’t let anything bad happen to you.”

A faint smile manage to squirm it’s way onto Twilight’s lips as a tear fell down and collided with Spike’s. “I know you won’t… I know…”

The two of them sat on the floor for some moments, before Spike gave a one last tight hug and then pulled away. Twilight cleared her face with a hoof, breathed outwards, and narrowed her eyes with determination. She stood herself back up and turned to Trail, all hints of hesitation or fear gone from her voice as she spoke, “Let’s do it. Right here, right now.”

Trail gave a small chuckle, before standing up from his chair.

“And on that night,

Of decision most dire,

The princess stood firm,

Challenging the monster’s desire.”

There was a moment of silence at his sudden poetry before Spike asked, “Did you just make that up?”

“Indeed I did,” he replied with a grin.

“Cool.”

“Trail,” Twilight said, grabbing the attention of the two with her stern voice. “Let’s get this over with.”

“As you wish, your highness,” replied sarcastically.

“Please don’t call me that.”

Shrugging his shoulders, Trail turned back to the saddlebag and began fishing their an assortment of journals and papers. It wasn’t long before he found what he was looking for, and he pulled out a golden chained necklace that held a brilliant diamond as the center piece that swung freely.

“That’s it?” Twilight asked breathlessly, the air of confidence around her receding for a moment on sight of the object.

“Indeed it is.”

“How do we do this?”

“First, you must wear the necklace. Then, activate the magic residing within it. In theory, it will pierce into your very being, extracting the vampirism inside and sealing it in the diamond. Supposedly, you will know it’s working when the diamond turns into a brilliant red. Once that is complete, you will be purified of all of its traces, including returning your eyes to their normal color.”

“Okay,” Twilight said. “Which of us will go first?”

“You will.”

“Are you sure?” Twilight asked, pulling her eyes away from the object.

Trail gave a kind smile before replying, “Twilight, I have already been living with this curse for a while now. I’m sure you have already pieced it together now, but I have already done things I have regretted. A few more minutes won’t be the end of me. Right now, it is more important that you do not share my burden.” Trail turned his head downward as he spoke with a forced smile, staring off into the distant past. “Trust me, you do not want the things I have done on your conscience.”

Twilight and Spike stared at him wordlessly, images of what horrible things such a kind hearted stallion might have done. It was a tragic chapter of his life the two of them had never known, and wondered if it was the source for his constant happiness at all things small. “Okay…give it to me first then,” Twilight said.

“I must warn you first. From what little I know, it will be very uncomfortable initially as it pries its way into you. It will not be successful unless you willingly let its magic in, otherwise its magic will end.”

“Don’t fight it, got it,” she replied with another nod.

“And second,” Trail said turning to Spike. “I highly recommend that you, Spike, move to another room.”

“What? Why?” Spike whined.

Trail lifted the amulet as he explained, “This is powerful magic that we do not fully understand. The artifact is supposed to draw out the vampirism and store it inside itself, but we do not know if it will seek another vessel should one be nearby. I am already possessed so I should be safe from harm, but I will take no risks or chances of this curse spreading onto another. The nature of vampirism is a dark and wrathful one. You do not take it lightly or else it will corrupt or destroy you.”

“Says the earth pony,” Spike remarked.

“Hey! Just because I am not a unicorn, does not mean I can’t read and be knowledgeable about magic,” Trail replied in a huffy voice.

“We’re wasting time arguing,” Twilight snapped, interrupting the childish spat. “Spike, please go into the kitchen. I’m sorry but I agree with Trail. I don’t want to risk you becoming infected if there is even a remote chance of it.”

Spike looked to Twilight silently with begging eyes to be able to stay, to which she kept a hard stare at him before sigh and softening her features along with her voice. “Please, Spike, I don’t want to risk you. You can be there for me the moment it’s done okay? But during the process, please stay in the kitchen. I couldn’t live with myself if you somehow became infected.”

Spike opened his mouth to argue further, but decided against after seeing how Twilight looked at him, the plight her eyes all too visible. “Fine…” he said in defeat. “I’ll be in the kitchen. Let me know as soon as you’re done though okay?” Spike said with a claw point as he turned around.

“Of course, and thank you,” Twilight said with a smile, the first one he had seen from her in hours.

He returned it willingly. “Good luck, Twilight.” Walking out of the main room, Spike turned to Trail and asked in worry. “You will take care of her right?”

Trail gave him his usual grin. “I promise, Spike. Twilight will be safe under my care.”

Returning the smile and feeling reassured that Trail would be there, Spike went into the kitchen, closing the door behind him. With a sigh he moved over to the counter and hopped onto a stool, trying to figure out what to do until Twilight and Trail called him back in. He sat there for a few minutes, his ears straining to hear anything from the adjacent room while he waited. He heard them talking for a bit, then Twilight’s familiar twinkle of magic, followed by a gasp and some other indistinguishable noises. As much as he wanted to burst back into the main part of the library, Spike held himself in check atop the stool, promising himself if he did not hear something again in half an hour he would crack open the door and check on them.

Another minute passed as he swung his hanging feet idly, when the sudden urge to burp rose up within him. Expanding his cheeks at the familiar sensation, Spike belched emerald fire that materialized into a scroll. “A letter from Princess Celestia this late?” he asked aloud as he grabbed the falling parchment. Turning it over, he looked over the sealed insignia. “A letter from Princess Luna?

Turning his eyes back to the door, he contemplated using the scroll as an excuse to go back into the room. But he decided otherwise when remembering how Twilight looked at him, and how important it was what they were doing. I don’t want to mess it up, but when did we ever get a letter from Princess Luna?

Turning his eyes back to the scroll, suspense filled him to do something during the tense moment of waiting. Tearing off the seal, he unrolled the scroll and began reading.


Dear Princess Twilight Sparkle,

Thy presence is requested in Canterlot tomorrow regarding concerning news. An old and dangerous artifact has been stolen from the Royal Vault, an item of power that holds only sorrow and false promises, and should ever remain locked away. The theft of such an item is most alarming to myself, and no doubt my sister when she wakes in the morn’. I believe this situation will be good practice for handling state affairs regarding dangerous items and weaponry, as well as benefiting from thine expertise in magic. I hope to see thee in Canterlot soon with swift haste and safe journey. I do apologize for how late in the night this letter arrives, but such is the time I perform my royal duties. May thou find pleasant dreams for the rest of the night.

Princess Luna


Spike looked at the letter with growing concern, wondering how powerful an artifact it must have been for the Princess Luna to have sent a letter, and what kind of pony would be even capable of stealing from Canterlot. However, before he could muse further on the fact, a piercing scream tore throughout the tree house.

Spike jumped at the sound, then stared dumbfounded at the door to the living room, taking a moment to understand what he had just heard. “Twilight?” he asked quietly. After a few heartbeats of silence, Spike shouted, “TWILIGHT!”

Hopping off the stool he ran for the door and swung it open, almost freezing at the sight of her body lying still on the floor. “TWILIGHT!” Running to her side, he began tugging on her shoulders gently. “What happened!? Is she alright? Did the amulet work?”

“She is alright. The amulet performed its purpose,” Trail said calmly.

Spike gave a relieved smile as he wiped his eyes. “I’m so glad! She’s going to be okay. How did it go? Where there any-” Spike asked as he began to turn, but stopped as the necklace caught his eye. Turning back, he saw it was still a brilliant white, not a hint of red inside it at all. Narrowing his eyes in confusion, Spike also thought he saw a flash of movement inside the diamond, then another.

Looking closer, he attempted to peer inside to see what it contained, before Trail spoke his name, much closer than from before. “Unfortunately, Spike, this is where I must take Twilight and part ways with you, and all of Ponyville for good.”

Spike blinked at what Trail was saying, reluctantly pulling his attention from Twilight and the diamond. “What are you saying? What do you-” he said before pausing, taken aback at Trails close proximity to him. Trail’s face was passive and unreadable, and he had his hoofed raised between him and Spike, of which Spike noticed a pile of gold powder resting atop it.

“What I’m saying is goodbye,” Trail simply said, and then blew the powder onto Spike’s face.

“Aaaaagh!” Spike shouted as he tried to wipe the powder off him, coughing at the pieces that managed to get into his mouth and down his throat. “What are yooouuuu… dooo… dooooinnngggg…” was all he was able to say before he fall backwards, blacking out before he even hit the floor.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Spike slowly awoke as the morning light hit his face, rousing him from a very deep sleep that he felt like he could remain in forever. He was having a wonderful dream, full of gems, damsels, Twilight making delicious meals from said gems, it was a life he wished he could remain asleep to relive over and over again. “Hmm… more Topaz Dust please…” he muttered as his mind kicked into gear painfully slow. He lay still for a few seconds more before popping his eyes wide open and jumping onto his feet. “TWILIGHT!”

Standing so quickly left a rush in his head, almost causing him to lose his balance. But he shook aside the grogginess that was more difficult than usual to get rid of. “TWILIGHT!” he called again, a claw on his head to steady himself as he wobbly walked across the room. Blinking the sleep from his eyes, he looked about in a panic, unable to spot where she he had seen her collapsed the night before.

“Oh no, TWILIGHT! Where are you!? Answer me!” Spike began to shout across the house, ignoring the shooting pain in his head at yelling so loudly. Even in a state of panic, he was still having a hard time bringing himself to be fully awake.

*Knock Knock* “Spike?” a country accent called from the other side of the front door. “Is everything alright in there?”

“Applejack! H-help! Twilight’s missing!”

That was all she and the rest of the girls needed to hear before they barged through the door and filled the living room. “SPIKE!” Rarity cried as she saw him nearly fall over. She rushed over and lent him a hoof to lean against. “Are you okay? You’re not hurt are you? Where is Twilight?”

“I don’t know! All I remember was her screaming last night!”

“Screaming!? What the hay happened!?” Rainbow Dash demanded. But before he could answer, she flared her nostrils and took off upstairs, intent on checking every inch of the house. The rest of the girls closed in on Spike to listen as he explained what had happened, giving him a some space breath.

“I got a letter from Princess Luna, something about a robbery in Canterlot. Then I heard Twilight screaming! And ran back into the living room to see what happened. Then I saw her on the floor not moving! And the amulet Trail had found still around her neck and-”

“Trail?” Applejack interrupted. “He was here last night?”

“Y-yeah, he said he found something that would remove the vampirism from him and Twilight. But when I ran up to her, he said something about him taking Twilight away from Ponyville for good! Then he blew some weird dust into my face and then… I don’t remember anything after that!”

Applejack’s anger showed immediately as she gritted her teeth. “I knew there was something off about that stallion! I knew it from the day I first saw him! And he was a vampony to!? That no good rotten…”

Rainbow Dash matched the farm pony’s mood, her nostrils flaring in anger. “So Trail lied to us this whole time? What’s the deal!? And why did he take Twilight!?” Her feathers were bristling with the building rage inside of her, and her wings cut through the air with more force with each stroke. “When I get my hooves on him he is going to pay! No one messes with my friends!”

Applejack whipped around and bolted towards the door, the look of determination plastered on her face. “Ah’m going to look for Twalight at Trail’s house, then the clearing I found him at the other day if she’s not there.”

“I’m going to do a flyby around Ponyville. I’ll spread out wider with each pass,” Rainbow Dash said, following in suite.

Applejack merely nodded her head in response as the two rushed outside to begin the search. “Applejack! Rainbow Dash!” Rarity called after them, but they were either already too far away to have heard, or flat-out ignored her. Rarity’s face scrunched up at the two girls leaving without even discussing a plan of action, having decided to head off without even a word to her or the rest of the girls.

But her scowl gave way at the sinking thought of Twilight was missing hit her again. As much as she wanted to scold them for just running off, she couldn’t blame them for acting so when it was a friend on the line. “What we do…?” she asked aloud. “Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie,” Rarity spoke while turning around. “Do either of you have any ideas for-“she paused in mid sentence at spotting Pinkie Pie sitting on the ground, her mane completely flat, and the faint sound of sniffling emanating from her. “Oh dear, Pinkie,” Rarity said forlornly as she trotted over to the mare. “It’ll be alright. We’ll find Twilight soon, you’ll see. Everything will be okay.”

Pinkie Pie gave a gasp as she tried to speak, something she was finding very difficult to do from the tightness in her chest and being on the verge of bawling, her sniffling growing louder with each moment. “W-why… didn’t I-I…” she tried to speak, catching herself in between words with gasps and sniffing.

“Why didn’t you what, darling?” Rarity cooed as she rested a hoof on her shoulder, trying her calm her down.

“Wh-why didn’t… my Peh-Pinkie Sense… know that… Twa-Twilight… WAS GOING TO BE TA-A-A-KEN!” Pinkie Pie cried loudly, tears flowing freely from her eyes as she latched onto Rarity.

Rarity was initially stunned at her sudden behavior, but returned the gesture by wrapping her hooves around Pinkie Pie, painfully aware of the tears run down her face and soaking into her coat; the second time in two days. “Don’t blame yourself, Pinkie darling, it wasn’t your fault!”

“YE-EH-EH-EH-ESSS IT ISSSSSSSS!” Pinkie Pie wailed dramatically. “MY PINKIE SENSE DIDN’T TELL ME AND I COULDN’T STOP TWILIGHT FROM BEING STOLEN FROM US!” she bawled as loudly as she could. Her distress worse than Rarity had ever seen or believed her capable of being, her breaths completely erratic as she continue to sob and her words becoming indistinguishable from her crying. Rarity wasn’t sure if Pinkie Pie was still talking or if it was just gasps for air in-between her wails.

“There there, it’s not your fault, Pinkie dear, it’s not your fault,” Rarity repeated as she slowly rocked the still clinging pony back and forth, stroking her flat mane with a hoof gently in a motherly fashion. She repeated the action over and over again until Pinkie Pie eventually got the worst of it out, but remained sobbing as she kept her muzzle buried into Rarity’s coat, her shakes and cries still continuing but at a much quieter level. Rarity lifted her head to see what Spike and Fluttershy had been doing during the time it had taken her to calm Pinkie Pie down, hoping one of them were coming up with a plan of action.

Fluttershy was off to the side, her face clearly marked with tear stains; it looked as if she had just finished weeping herself and was now standing solemnly. Spike was on the other side of Rarity, simply staring at the ground where he had last seen Twilight, his scales dropped in a similar manner to Pinkie Pie’s hair and Fluttershy’s wings. Nopony else seemed to be in a position or mood to do anything, to caught up in the despair of the situation. Come on, Rarity, think of something. You need to stand up, for them, for Twilight! Do something! She coerced herself, realizing somepony needed to take command of the situation, to get something done regarding Twilight’s disappearance. As difficult as it was to even do something else besides wanting to become lost in the fact Twilight was missing along with them and share the pain, somepony needed to do something.

“F-Fluttershy,” Rarity stuttered, snapping Fluttershy back to the present from wherever her mind had spiraled down. With a deep breath and exhale, Rarity forced herself to focus on the situation. “Fluttershy, I want you to go to your cottage. Speak to some of your animal friends if they had seen Twilight or Trail since last night.”

“O-okay…” Fluttershy mumbled.

“Spike,” Rarity said without skipping a beat.

“Huh?” he replied, also being brought out from somewhere else.

“Get a quill and parchment, were sending a letter to Celestia this very moment.”

Spike remained motionless, his mind taking a moment to catch up to the fact Rarity had asked him to do something before nodding his head slowly. He shuffled to a nearby drawer and grabbed the items, bringing them to the table; so caught up in everything he hadn’t even realized whatever had been affecting him when he woke up as gone. Once they were laid out he hopped up onto a stool and turned to her. “Wh…what do you want me to write?”

“Fluttershy, please go now while Spike and I write to the princess,” Rarity said.

“Okay…” Fluttershy softly responded. Once Rarity saw her moving towards the door, she cleared her throat and spoke to Spike, her hoof still brushing Pinkie Pie’s mane.


”Dear Princess Celestia,

I write to you now on a matter most urgent and dire. We believe Twilight to have been pony-napped and require your assistance immediately. Her whereabouts are unknown and we fear she might be in danger. We suspect that the pony named Trail who arrived in Ponyville a short time ago is responsible for her disappearance as Spike found Twilight unconscious after wearing an amulet he claimed to have found in the Everfree Forest. A necklace with a large diamond. Spike said that Trail had told him Twilight and him were departing Ponyville. Even more concerning is that we believe this may have something to do with, and mind you it may sound crazy, vamponies. No doubt you have read the report of the burglary at a house here in Ponyville, but what Twilight had for whatever reason failed to mention was that she was attacked that night, pursuing the robber, and becoming bitten by what we believe to have been a vampony. Please respond at once.

Rarity”


“Please… respond… at… once,” Spike repeated as he scribbled the last sentence. “Got it.”

“Send it now,” Rarity said.

Spike had already begun rolling the letter when she asked, bathing it in emerald fire moments later. As they watched the sparkling dust swirl away, Spike turned to Rarity and said with a small grin, a tiny improvement to his sunken features. “You sure know how to take command of something.”

Rarity looked down to Pinkie Pie to hide the bit of blush that grew on her cheeks. “Well, somepony has to do it. If Rainbow Dash or Applejack were here I’m sure they would have written to Princess Celestia sooner and with more detail.”

“The letter was fine, I don’t think anypony would have been more qualified or level headed right now as you are being,” Spike said. Rarity only smiled a little more at the compliment. Seconds later, Spike’s cheeks puffed out before he burped flames, a scroll appearing from the ashes.

“Thank goodness she responded so quickly,” Rarity remarked. “What did she say?”

Spike quickly unfurled the scroll and began speaking its message aloud. “I am dispatching a contingent of guards immediately. They, myself, and Princess Luna will be in Ponyville within the hour. Signed, Princess Celestia,” he finished. Rarity gave a small sigh of relief at the Princess’s hastiness, confident they would do everything within their power to return Twilight as soon as possible. “What do we do now?” Spike asked?

“Now, dear, we simply wait. The Princess’s will know what to do. Twilight will be back before we know it with their help,” she said in a matter of fact tone. But as much as she tried to reassure Spike, Pinkie Pie, and herself, the awful fact of the situation still ate at Rarity deep inside her. She could deny or yell at it in anger all wanted to, but nothing would change the sinking feeling in her gut that threatened to swallow her in despair. The single disturbing fact that Twilight was gone.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Forty Eight minutes later, the princess’s had arrived in Ponyville by flight, a contingent of armored pegasi charioting other Royal Guard Unicorn’s and Earth Ponies. The sight of their mass quickly descending upon Ponyville caused a commotion amongst its residents, gathering a crowd of ponies that only grew with each minute as to what could have possible demand such an unannounced entrance. The moment they had set hoof onto the ground, they were met by the girls and Spike rushing towards them from the library only a stone throws away.

“Explain what has happened,” Celestia spoke, her voice holding a regal and commanding authority, the type of voice she had rarely shown to them.

“We’ve looked everywhere!” Rainbow Dash blurted out immediately. “Twilight is nowhere in Ponyville!”

“It was Trail!” Spike added afterward. “It all happened last night! Trail and Twilight were alone! Then I heard her scream! And when I ran in the room, he said he was taking her away before he blew some weird golden powder onto me! And I don’t remember anything after that, but when I woke up she…she…”

“Was missing,” Rarity finished for him.

Celestia whipped her head towards the guards around her and shouted off orders. “I want a team of unicorns in the library! Find this ‘golden powder’ and analyze it. Send a second team to Trail’s house to uncover anything that may be relevant. Earth Guards! Speak with every resident, if anypony had seen either of them last night, I want to know where and when! Remaining Pegasi! Begin searching Ponyville and expand outwards! If you meet up with the first wave already performing the search that had broken off during our transit, combine your patterns and continue to extend your flight paths outward! I want all the nearby countryside covered and searched by the end of today!”

Each pony gave a shout accompanied by a snapping salute, before dashing off to fulfill their orders. Princess Celestia turned to the girls, speaking with a less demanding tone but still with the same urgency. “I will need one of you to guide the team to Trail’s house.”

“On it!” Applejack replied immediately. Trotting off to the group of unicorns that had remained outside, she called them to follow her, all of them galloping off into the town.

“If you don’t mind, Princess, I want to help with the search by air!” Rainbow Dash requested with a puffed out chest.

Celestia gave a single nod before responding, “Go.”

Rainbow Dash responded with a haphazard salute and shot into the sky, meeting up with the nearest group of pegasi guards. Celestia gave a silent pray to the search parties before turning her gaze to the remaining girls. It was noticeable how hard they were taking Twilight’s disappearance. They looked lost, tired, and even more bothering to the matriarch, hopeless. She had to do a double look at Pinkie Pie to make sure she was the same pony she knew. Knowing what she did of the always energetic outgoing pink mare, it made her worry her even more than she already was at seeings its discouraging effects.

Clearing her throat, she spoke as politely as she could in the distressing situation. “I want you to tell me of everything from Trails arrival in Ponyville to this moment. Do not spare a single detail. But before that, my sister and I must put to rest a grave concern that has grown upon us.” Celestia exchanged a brief glance with Luna, their faces filled with worry as if they were not entirely sure they wanted to hear an answer.

Luna took in a breath as she prepared herself, and then asked as calmly as she could, “What does Trail look like?”

“Trail,” Rarity spoke up, deciding to answer for everypony, “is an earth stallion. His coat is black accompanied by a silver mane. His eyes are red, we believe due to the fact he has vampirism as hard as it may be to believe. And he has the cutie mark of a red, crescent moon with hoof prints beneath it.” She figured that of course the princess’s would want to know the identity of the pony they were searching for, but did not expect to see their faces pale and become filled with dread as she listed his features. They look as if they had seen a ghost escape from Tartarus itself.

“It cannot be…” Luna whispered, her eyes wide in despair, a reaction Rarity had never seen in the Lunar Princess. Seeing the two alicorn’s show fear brought a new and very unnerving feeling to Rarity. “Sister…” Luna said as she turned to Celestia.

Celestia’s mouth was open as she tried to find her breath, but seemed unable to draw one in. Her gaze drifted downwards as the implications of everything Rarity confirming the pony set into her mind. After a few moments she was able to breath once again, exhaling deeply as she replied. “It is as we feared… Sombra… was not the only one to return…” The two princess memories of a darker time were brought back in full, still having difficulty believing the evil of the past had managed to survive into an age of peace that had been worked towards for so long.

Luna softly whispered, thinking they would be words she would never have to utter again. “The Night Walker travels the land once again.”

Author's Note:

Oh my! So many questions as to what has happened! I do apologize though for how long this chapter took to write as life got in the way a bit. But I hope you all enjoy it and are chomping at the bits as to what happened to Twilight and what may come next.

The next chapter will be the end of the first arc or act (whichever you prefer) and will be from Nathans/Twilight's viewpoint during the scenes not shown here. So I will not be repeating dialogue over the moments already covered in this chapter.

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