• Published 11th Sep 2013
  • 15,744 Views, 1,376 Comments

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 2

"Mail's here!" Spike shouted as he shut the front door. He had just returned from collecting from the mailbox and was idly shuffling through the stack of letters. Moving absent mindedly towards the dining table, guessing aloud what each envelope contained while tossing them into a pile on the table. "Lets see... RSVP, bills, coupons, bills, RSVP, bills, magazine subscription offer… "

Ever since Pinkie Pie started mailing invitations instead of performing a song-and-dance number, she was quickly matching the quantity of bills. Why do we still even get bills? Twilight's a princess now. Shouldn't that make it so we’re debt-free? Spike flared his nostrils recalling the arguments he had gotten into with Twilight, stating that she should be taking at least some of the benefits that came with her new status. But thus far, she’d only become even more of a recluse and shunned nearly every perk of being a Princess. She simply wished to remain the librarian who saved the world now and then and, in her spare time, advance the worlds of magic and science.

While Princess Celestia had hinted that further responsibilities would begin to fall under Twilight's wing, Spike felt that she would delay them as long as possible to continuing living the life she had come to love. She could at least make it so we don’t have to pay for groceries.

"Advertisement, bills, RSVP for what looks like Carrot Top's birthday next week. Hmm, maybe I should get her a new gardening trowel. I don't think her roommate has found out where she accidentally delivered it yet. Coupons, newsletter, loan advertisement, and... what's this?"

Spiked leaned closer to read the tiny print of a particularly blank letter. Only when he read the sender's address did he realize what it was. "Pony Park lane 64... TWILIGHT! It's from the hospital!" Spike held the letter sideways as he attempted to discern its contents. "I think it's the test results!"

"Coming!"

It was only a few short moments before her hooves were heard trotting about the house. She entered the main room just as Spike finished separating the letters into messy piles, eliciting a small scowl from Twilight, who wondered how the same dragon who had cleaned the library spotless earlier this week could still be so disorganized. Deciding to let it slide, she focused on the letter he extended towards her. "It's this one right here."

Twilight magically grasped the envelope and yanked it from Spike's grasp. In one swift motion, she ripped it open and unfolded the letter. Her wings instinctively unfurled in anticipation. However, her brow furrowed as she read the paper once, then twice, just to be sure she read it correctly. After a third time, Twilight's wings drooped in disappointment of its contents, followed by a confused expression across her eyes.

"It says they found nothing unusual... I could've sworn it was something medical." Lost in thought, she levitated the letter back to the table before dropping it atop the messy pile that was the rest of the mail, her mind too focused on the news to realize she had added to the disorganized stack. She was concerned they found nothing after a check up she requested the day after experiencing the mysterious lightheadedness earlier in the week.

In the end, she could only guess that her body was just tired after focusing so hard on her recently completed assignment. The only suspicious thing was she hadn't experienced something like that in quite a few years. She thought she’d built a tolerance to the stress her work ethic caused.

"Well that's good then right?" Spike said, pulling her from her thoughts. "Better to have nothing wrong with you than something, that is." The look on Twilight's face, however, refuted his logic. "Isn't it?"

Twilight sighed. "I guess you're right. It just bothers me that I was so out of it for a couple days. I felt like I ruined Miss's Cake's birthday by not feeling so well at the party."

"Relax, Twilight. Everypony was glad you were there, even if you weren’t well enough to join in on some of the games."

"I know, I know," Twilight said, having already undergone this discussion before. "I over worry things. I can't help it. I just... feel like something's off about the whole thing." She headed towards the kitchen with Spike following behind. "It just seems so strange. I wake up to hear Owlowiscious chasing a poor little bat that accidentally snuck through the window I left open, and then I felt so light headed that I was dizzy just from sitting up. And it didn't go away for almost three days!" Twilight grunted in frustration as she opened the fridge to bring out a jar of juice. "Want some?"

Spike hopped onto a tall stool. "Yes please."

As Twilight poured two glasses she continued, "And Owlowiscious is still acting funny. He rarely goes out anymore and just stays near the window. I keep opening it to let him out but he just stays put. I don't understand it."

Spike grabbed the levitating glass floating in his direction. "Maybe he just doesn't want another bat to come in. He might be territorial."

Twilight put everything away before she drank from her glass as well. With a satisfying gulp of the sweet liquid, she exhaled reluctantly. "Possibly. I know some owls are protective of their homes. I just feel bad for the bat that somehow found its way in here and got in a tangle with him. And Owlowiscious acts like he thinks he's going to have another chance again." Twilight, scowled in the direction of the room where the owl slept atop his perch.

Spiked shrugged as he began to drink. As they sipped in silence for some time, a knock came from the front door and interrupted their thoughts. "I'll get it," Spike announced while hopping down from the stool.

Twilight floated Spike's glass to the counter as she took a quick swig of hers, gulping down the sweet juice before setting it down next to his, letting out a happy 'Ah' from the refreshing drink. She tidied up the rest of the kitchen, which was still quite clean from earlier in the week, and no longer held the stacked plates and take out boxes. Giving a small nod at the joy of having a clean house again, she followed Spike to see who knocked on their door. Twilight stepped into the room just as Spike opened the door for their guest.

Their guest however, bounced, rather than walked, into the room.

"Twilight! Spike!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed. "There's a new pony in town! I was just on my way to greet him and thought you two would like to come!"

"A new pony is moving to town?" Twilight watched the still-bouncing mare, her tolerance for the behavior forged from years of experience; Pinkie wouldn’t stop until she met the aforementioned pony, and maybe not even for a few hours afterward. But like many things about Pinkie Pie, it only took time for her odd and annoying habits to work their charm and eventually become pleasantly familiar, and even looked forward to.

"Yes! He bought that house on the edge of the forest. You know, the one on the way to Fluttershy's? I'm so happy he did because I’ve been thinking lately that that house was so sad to look at with nopony living there."

"Wow. He could afford that place?" Spike commented in surprise.

"Wealth aside," Twilight said. "I'm surprised anypony actually moved here. When was the last time that happened?"

"Well there was you and Cranky," Pinkie Pie said, thoughtfully looking up into the ceiling, which either moved closer or further because of her bouncing. "But that was so long ago, and it's been forever since I've thrown a 'Welcome to Ponyville' party. Oh my gosh I'm so excited I can hardly bounce! This almost calls for a pogostick!"

Twilight and Spike found the statement hard to believe, since some of Pinkie’s bounces could still clear Twilight’s head.

"Cranky... Cranky..." Spike mumbled. "Do you mean that old donkey I see now and then?"

"Mmhm!" Pinkie Pie hummed. "He's the old and bald one. But don't tell him I said that. Especially now that he's got a new wig. Why, you can hardly tell he was ever bald to begin with!"

"So, Pinkie," Twilight said. "You said you were going to meet him?"

"Oh thats right!" Pinkie Pie said, dashing to the door, standing on her hind legs, and throwing her forelegs wide. "What are we waiting for! Let’s go welcome him to Ponyville!"

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

Twilight, Spike, and Pinkie Pie stood at the edge of the fenced-in yard, watching large stallions move all assortment of boxes, furniture, and other items up the paved front walk and into the house. There were four jam-packed carriages on the street in front of the property and over a dozen movers working quickly to unload everything.

"Wow, lots of stuff," Spike commented as his eyes followed each object that passed them by.

“I think that one’s a globe,” Pinkie Pie said while motioning to one of the boxes.

“How do you know?” Spike frowned.

“Just a hunch!”

“Hmm, I bet it's a statue. Look how heavy it is. That pony’s having a hard time just trying to get it off the carriage.”

“Nope. It's a globe.”

“Really? Then what about that one?”

“Obviously a lamp!”

“No way! It has to be stool.”

Pinkie Pie and Spike made their guessing into a game as they watched the ponies work.

"Ooh! That's a painting!" Pinkie Pie pointed a hoof eagerly in direction of the newest object. All three of their heads followed the two ponies carrying a rather large oil painting wrapped in clear plastic. It was a picture of a mare in what appeared to be old-fashioned clothing posing on a stool, a feathery fan displayed in front of her as if she meant to hide behind it. The frame was trimmed with gold filigree.

"No fair! That one’s not even wrapped!"

"Yes it is. It has plastic all around it!"

Spike groaned for even attempting to argue with her, while Pinkie Pie merely shrugged with her usual grin, her tongue barely sticking past her lips. Spike dug his chin into his folded arms while he leaned against the fence, wondering like every other pony in Ponyville if Pinkie was truly aware of how silly she was, or if she was just that innocently simple.

Twilight's eyes moved from the ponies to the house that they were bringing everything into, quietly admiring the large residence’s charm. The movers had a good twenty feet of yard-space to walk across every trip, their path leading past a modest garden with a cobbled walk and neatly trimmed hedges. The house itself was larger than most in Ponyville. Nothing compared to Filthy Rich's mansion, she thought. But still, this house could fit a family of eight. Why would one pony ever need this much space?

On the roof were two chimney tops, one for the kitchen and the other for a fireplace she suspected. Without even looking inside, she figured it could easily have at least a dozen rooms. Tall, arched windows decorated the front of the house, revealing thin strips of the furniture already inside. Twilight squinted upwards at what was easily the largest window on the property, trying to see past the sun’s glare, but the edges of a chaise lounge were all she could make out. Beyond the sofa, she could barely see the top of a bookcases, and a pair of hooves setting rows upon rows of books into the empty shelves.

A private study perhaps? Ooh, I hope whoever this pony is holds a passion for reading as well. I would love to see their collection.

The property was located on the edge of town, one of the few buildings on its street that were close to the forest. It wasn’t the Everfree, but there still hadn’t been many inhabitants near its edge. Because of its size and location, nopony had bought it during Twilight’s stay in Ponyville. Thinking back, the grounds were always vacant save for the gardener that came now and then to tend the grounds. He would always say that he was just waiting for some fancy pony from the big city to take notice of his ‘charming abode’ and move in for retirement or a perhaps a summer home. She could only imagine his excitement when a pony had finally taken interest in the property, and could afford his exuberant price, which left Twilight wondering what kind of pony was moving into their town.

Turning to Pinkie Pie, Twilight asked. "So, where is our new neighbor?"

"I don't know. Let’s ask." Pinkie Pie hopped forward a short distance before calling out to one of the nearby movers on his way back to grab more furniture. "Hey mister! Where’s the new pony?"

The mover turned his head towards the small group, wiping a bit of sweat off his brow as he responded in a gruff voice, "You mean the owner?" The enthusiastic nod from her was enough clarification. "I think he's still on his way from Fillydelphia. Said that he would meet us here after finalizing a few things. Though I don't think he'll be here till after dark." The mover pony looked towards the sky, frowning at the declining sun. “Probably around four o'clock now. At this rate we’ll be here til night too if we don't get a hurry. Excuse me, miss." The stallion nodded to Pinkie Pie, and another to Twilight who was still near the fence. It wasn't everyday one got to see royalty. While he wasn't much for formalities or gushing over high class ponies due to how many times he had moved their stuff, he felt it necessary to at least acknowledge her presence.

Pinkie Pie's face turned to a frown as he went to the back of a carriage to unload the next item. "Awww... I was hoping to see him sooner."

"We’ll just have to welcome him tomorrow, I guess," Twilight said, not particularly bothered at the fact. "Spike and I have some stuff to do around the library before dinner anyways."

The two of them were only allowed to leave after they promised Pinkie Pie they would try again tomorrow. With their goodbyes out of the way, Twilight and Spike headed back to the tree house.

"I gotta admit, I'm still wondering who the new guy is,” Spike spoke as they walked back. “I mean, look at the house he bought! That place could have probably fit all our books with room to spare. How come we didn't get that house when we moved here?"

"Because,” Twilight replied, “the treehouse was already Ponyville public property. We're lucky the mayor lets us live there without rent as long as we continue to run the library since nopony else will. There's no way we could have afforded a house like that when we first moved here.”

"Yeah, but Twilight, you're a princess now. Shouldn't you, I don't know, be able to have any house you want? You probably won’t even have to pay rent!"

Twilight shook her head. "Spike, just because I'm a princess doesn't mean I’ll accept free gifts like that. Honestly, I don’t want anyone else treating me different from before. I just want to do what I have been doing ever since we've moved to Ponyville."

"You mean run a library while simultaneously saving all of Equestria now and then?"

"Exactly."

Spike sighed at the fading dream of living in a house that wasn't a tree and had plenty of room to spare for his growing—albeit slowly due to Twilight's monitoring to prevent a repeat of last time—hoard of items.

"Besides,” she continued, “the treehouse has some charm to it. It's kinda grown on me since we've been here. Also, what would it even be if we moved the library? All the shelves are cut into the tree itself."

"I suppose that's true..." Spike admitted reluctantly. "It's been a good home I guess." They walked on for a minute before Spike perked up to try one more attempt at convincing Twilight. "But that doesn't mean we couldn't live nearby and walk to it every day."

"Spike, we're not leaving our home," Twilight said as an end to the discussion.

"Speaking of home," Spike spoke as his attention was drawn ahead. "Who's that outside of ours?"

As Twilight and Spike approached the library, they watched an unfamiliar pony attempting to peer through the windows. His head moved about as he tried to look past the reflective glare in a vain attempt to see the inside. Twilight and Spike shared a curious look before moving towards him.

"Um, may I help you?" Twilight asked as they walked up to the pony.

"Yes, it appears the library is closed even though their sign says it’s open until seven. Honestly what kind of librarian does that? Would you happen to know–" he paused mid sentence as he realized who he was complaining to.

"P-Princess Twilight!" he quickly said before kneeling. Spike smirked at the sudden change of behavior while Twilight rolled her eyes. If there was one thing she was tired of since becoming a princess, it was the way most ponies acted around her. It took forever to get just about everypony in Ponyville to stop bowing.

Twilight sucked in a breath and put on a cheerful disposition in spite of her irritation at the gesture. "Please, you don't have to kneel before me. And you can call me Twilight. I would prefer if you dispensed with the formalities mister...?"

"Trail, Princess Twi–, I mean... Twilight." He lifted his head in a much calmer demeanor than a few seconds prior. Still kneeling, his head continued to rise until he made direct eye contact with her. When Twilight saw into his eyes she froze.

Everything around her faded away. Her whole focus was on his eyes. Eyes that gripped her entire being and caused her chest to quiver within its grasp. It was as if every part of her being ceased to work for that single moment.

It wasn’t a horrible experience, but it wasn’t pleasurable either. If anything, she found it confusing and strange a single glance from a pony caused her to halt so suddenly. It was unnerving to be caught completely off-guard in a way she didn't know was possible. There were no feelings or thoughts to accompany the moment, only the sensation of everything slipping away and leaving only his eyes the moment they had made contact with hers. For that one moment, everything else was irrelevant save for his stare.

After they exchanged looks, he slowly rose to all fours. If time stopped when they had made eye contact, it came to a crawling pace while he stood up. In a heightened state of focus from the sudden sensation of his eyes, she was able to make out each detail of him in the second it actually took for him to stand.

The black coat that defined his form was dark as coal. It lacked the usual sheen brought out by the sunlight. His long silver mane hung elegantly about him, long strands falling down the side of his head in a way that would cause even the highest of fashion-focused ponies to halt at the sight him. His body was lean, without a trace of fat; if anything he seemed a little thin at places, but it didn't compromise his authoritative posture.

Red cuffs adorned his forehooves, an ash-colored tie hanging neatly at his neck, and a pair of reading glasses perched on his nose. The eyes that had stopped the world for an instant were colored a sanguine red.

With his movement, Twilight was able to make out a cutie mark, a crescent moon matching the color of his eyes with small horseshoe prints below it. It looked liked a pony had left a trail of hoofprints underneath a red moon on his flank.

For him, even the simple act of standing up held composure and regality so great, Twilight knew few ponies who could match it. "Midnight Trail, but I prefer that ponies simply call me Trail, your highness."

Author's Note:

For new readers, if you are confused by people mentioning Nathan or Nathanial Moon in the comments, please know that they are talking about Midnight Trail. Once upon I time I stupidly decided on calling him Nathan because I had just started my writing and picked it simply because I thought it was cool even though it wasn't a fitting Equestrian name. I have corrected that mistake.

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