• Published 11th Sep 2013
  • 15,889 Views, 1,377 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 II - Chapter 28

Ruby closed her eyes as the warm water flowed onto her forehead, letting herself become lost from the showers pressure and steam that filled the spacious bathroom. It felt wonderful to inhale the hot steam that had built up in the room, to feel the water trail down her mane, giving it an extra weight that tugged at her scalp, or how it gently tickled every inch of her body with its warm embrace. It was as if an invisible burden was slowly being tugged off of her, draining down the tube of the mosaic tile pieces of the shower. Many of her worries had been settled with Blueblood the previous evening, finally allowing her to have a day’s rest of sleep. And after she had spent a minute just sitting in the stream of water once all her cleaning had been done, to just simply enjoy the sensation, she turned it off, feeling refreshed and weightless.

The first shower she had taken the night they arrived had washed the weight of all the dirt she had accumulated in the cave, and this one had washed away the weight of worry that had been nestled in her chest and mind. For now, she could relax on the concern of her bat ponies safety.

Which only meant that her mind could now allow her to focus on other priorities.

Snapping her eyes open and bearing a determined grin, she gently stepped onto the bathrooms main floor and magically grasped a nearby towel. A happy hum escaped her lips as the feeling of how soft and fluffy the towel was as she walked towards the misted mirror.

Wiping it away with another towel—the bathroom seem to have a never ending supply—she looked at herself thoughtfully while she dried her coat off. She did not know if it was because she had lost her memories, or if she had always done this, but she thought her reflection looked familiar yet strange all the same.

Since she had awoken, she had only known herself to be two things. The first was a vampony, a powerful creature that was strong, intimidating, and freely took the life of others to survive. The second was a princess, a royal authority that had the wellbeing of her subjects always at the forefront of her mind. To ensure they were taken care of, to protect them, and decided the course of their fates on her decisions.

Both of these aspects demanded respect, and by no means were they things that Ruby could take lightly. And if she wanted to add to the list, being an alicorn certainly demanded its own tributes. But when she removed those notions, and simply looked into the mirror, she saw a very different pony.

She was just a mare.

Ruby had unknowingly stopped drying herself some time ago as she stared into her reflection, becoming lost in the silent introspect search of who she was. Because when she removed those defining titles, stripped away everything that had defined her from a time she could not remember, she began to wonder a question that she had not consider before.

Who was Ruby Sparkle?

And after a minute of staring into the unflinching sanguine eyes of the mare in the mirror, she found she could not answer that question.

Sighing, she resumed her drying and drew herself away from the moment of self-questioning. I can figure out more about myself as I go. There is a laundry list of things that still need to be answered and understood that are more important than that. And as she looked upon herself once again with a focused mind, one of those things on her mental list came to mind.

Hey, you.

After a minute of silence, she attempted again.

Hey voice! I’m talking to you!

When it became apparent that she couldn't summon the strange voice at will, Ruby let out a flustered ‘tsk’ and closed her eyes. She was beginning to become more proficient in activating soul sight, finding that on a good day with the right state of mind the process only took a few seconds to complete. But instead of opening her lids again, her eyes flickered beneath in random direction, moving idly as she inwardly focused the ability.

Shortly her soul became visible and clear, a glowing white sphere of elegant but complex structure that was highlighted in many places with a brilliant red. Ruby briefly thought that if such a design such as the soul could be reproduced in the physical world, perhaps as a building or statue, it would no doubt become one of the greatest works of art in the world. There was simply no comparison or aptly description that could match the sight of seeing a soul.

Moving past her fascination of its design lest she lose focus and find herself lost in some section, she turned her attention to the recently formed part of herself that remained strangely outside of her influence. She noted mentally that its structure had subtly changed since she last looked at it, and the beginning of new fibers for connections could be seen. However, they did not appear to stretching to their supposed destinations, instead choosing to remain in place as they built up in length and stability.

As she studied the anomaly in detail, she recalled the many discussions she had with Night Walker regarding the soul. The existence of the bridging fibers were to allow connections within the soul, acting as a highway between thoughts and emotions. The stability and thickness of them reflected how strong of connections the various segments of the soul had amongst each other. A pony that had very thick and numbers bridges from the emotional center that housed anger indicated how quick tempered they may be. And while another pony may have similar thick fibers, they could lead to completely different parts, showcasing that the reason for activation of such a hot emotion would be entirely different.

And like many things in life, the soul was not a stagnant or rigid thing. It can change as the pony themselves change. Some mental or emotional aspects could grow or diminish in size over the years. Kindness could dwindle as despair or hate become more prominent, buoyant energy could become more refined and still with maturity, and reserved peace could give way to a flurry of emotions.

She had even learned that a soul goes through rapid changes when a pony happens to have a mental breakdown. Apparently spontaneous bridges would be formed nearly instantaneously, firing off signals between sections that may have normally been so developed with weak and unstable connections. It was possibly one of the reasons why one may feel so jumbled and various levels of emotions that normally don’t mesh together.

But regardless of how well one could inspect and understand the multitude aspects of the soul, their understanding of a pony would still remain on a crude and basic level. Which is why Ruby felt so lost and frustrated at the section before her now.

Its connections still held the same places as before, giving her some clue as what triggers may activate it even though the sections still remained shrouded in mystery as to their functions. She still had a lot to learn to know the inner workings of the soul as well as Night Walker, but she had deduced so far that it was not prone to violent and fatal actions. And it’s forming but repressed bridges held some concern for her. She did not know if and when they might stretch out to whatever destination inside of her, and having more sections she could not influence only made her worry deepen.

And yet… it also felt familiar at the same time.

The only thing it even seemed remotely similar to was the brief glance she had into Night Walker’s soul. How he had different sections and even separate bridges nestled next to each other, almost as if he had different layers of souls lightly set over each other in different configurations. However, her glance into his soul had been so short and she had been so taken aback from its design that it gave her little information to work off of. It was obvious that this section inside of her was not even remotely close to the vampony lord’s chaotic design. But as unlikely as it seemed, Ruby could not help but feel they were similar in a way.

Unable to discern its capabilities or purpose further, or be able to stir it into conversation, Ruby sighed and ended her soul sight.

She brought a hoof to rub her temples from the soreness that had built around her eyes. Prolonged use of the ability brought extra strain and could often manifest as full blown headaches. Though she had shouldered through the pain during Shade Flare’s operation that had lasted hours, her mind and body were still recovering from the recent ordeals that had plagued her thoughts.

“Speaking off,” Ruby said.

Quickly drying the rest of herself off, she exited the bathroom and her room, and began her search for Mist Hoof throughout the expansive apartment.

She figured he might be in the main living room, a wide space that in some ways reminded her of the cavern were it not for one section being entirely composed to glass. It was an open area that included each floor multi-level house, having them end prematurely with railing and leave nothing but open air. From the bottom floor, the second and third floors were in view and even reachable with flight. It was almost like a section of the house had been removed that was large enough to fit a tree. Except instead of leaves and bark, chandeliers, art pieces, and comfy furniture decorated the place. There was even a bar beneath the overhang of the second floor to the side, a popular hangout place for some of the batponies.

Besides the view of the city, there were normally two things her ponies were actively engaged in while in the large room. One was to her displeasure was drinking, and the other to her infinite joy was reading. Being sheltered in Dusk Town their entire lives had limited their knowledge on the world. And while the princesses had at least been kind enough to give them some literature and basic knowledge of Equestria, they were still frighteningly uneducated about the world. So it was thanks to the many shelves of books Blueblood owned that Ruby could tolerate the drinking some of them had taken to.

When she had arrived, she quickly spotted Mist Hoof amongst the few batponies already in the room. He was sitting atop a chair to himself, idly sipping from a glass that was no doubt from the bar while reading a book.

She had expected to at least wait an hour or so for him to wake up, given that the sun had not yet fully descended from the sky. Its golden glow held a dim reflection on the metallic objects within the room, and would have been glaring bright itself were it not for the dimmed windows that filled the entire outer wall. It served an additional purpose of not revealing to any passing by flier a view of the inside due to its design. She and the batponies would only risk walking outside onto the large balcony on the other side when it was completely night time. Ruby had been concerned of unintroduced visitors landing while they lounged outside, but had been reassured any pony that had business at the penthouse landed on another balcony on the other side of the building. Blueblood’s residence was a well-known spot, and decent pegasus etiquette prevented any nosy guests.

“Good evening," Ruby said as she sat next to Mist Hoof.

“Evening, Ruby,” Mist Hoof replied while closing his book.

“What are you reading?”

“Some mystery novel about a detective named ‘Sky Steel’,” Mist Hoof said. He took a sip of his drink and winced slightly at the burning sensation of the alcohol while Ruby brought a hoof to her chin.

“Is it the one about the mare held by the Trotting Dogs gang?”

“That’s the group who kidnapped her?” Mist Hoof said in with interest.

Ruby lowered her ears in apology. “Oh sorry, I take it you haven’t reached that point yet.”

Mist Hoof let out a small gruff. “Well just don’t tell me how Steel gets her back. However, I’m surprised you’ve already read it. I thought I had the only copy when we first arrived.”

“Actually… that is one of the reasons why I am looking for you,” Ruby admitted. “But there’s something else more important. Have we received a letter from Shade Flare yet?”

“No, I’m afraid not,” Mist Hoof answered with a shake of his head. “I’ve asked Silver Platter to let me know immediately once it arrives, and I’ll let you know as soon as I do.”

“Okay,” Ruby replied sullenly. “I’m just worried about him. His transformation did not go as expected, and I can’t help but wonder if something may be wrong with him.”

“Is that why you are holding off on transformation any of us?” Mist Hoof asked, already figuring that was the reason for her delay.

“Yes,” Ruby sighed. “I just can’t bring myself to do it again until I know what happened. If Night Walker were here I might since he’s much more experienced with everything, but…”

“It’s alright Ruby,” Mist Hoof said. “No one would blame you for your decision to wait.”

Ruby’s head sunk lower. “But I’m supposed to be the one to fix all of you. What if whatever happened to Shade Flare wasn’t a fluke? What if I just can’t fully heal you?”

Mist Hoof didn’t answer right away. Instead, he chooses to think it over for a few moments while taking another sip of his drink. After staring thoughtfully into the glass, he finally answered. “To be honest, if you were never able to cure me, and I just happen to die today, I would still be happy.”

Ruby’s ears perked as she lifted her head. “How can you say that?”

“Because,” Mist Hoof said with a smile, “regardless of what you may not be able to give us, you still brought us a freedom we have never known before.” He swept his foreleg across the expanse of the open room. “I mean, look at this place. Look at the city were in. Look at this drink that burns my throat! All of these are things I never would have seen had it not been for you. Ruby, even if you didn’t give us vampirism, you still gave us the world. You brought back a dream I and many others had given up long ago. A dream that I can truthfully say, would still be happy to die for.”

“Mist Hoof…”

“Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the rest of us,” he finished dryly. “Not everypony is going to live to my age. So I hate to be the bearer of bad news, you are going to have to figure out how to fix us. But… since you don’t know what went wrong, or if something is even wrong… and you just happen to need a test pony…” Mist Hoof ended openly.

“Are you… saying what I think you’re saying?”

“What I’m saying,” Mist Hoof said while crossing his arms, “is that if you need a pony to work out the kinks on, or if things may not go as expected… feel free to use me to iron out wrinkles.”

“Mist Hoof, I can’t ask you to do that,” Ruby said. “I’d much rather wait for word back from Shade Flare than to just put your life in jeopardy as a guinea pig.”

“And what if we don’t hear from him?” Mist Hoof countered. Before Ruby could speak, he continued. “I know you already are aware of this, but this isn’t a game. We split into groups so we could better our chance of remaining hidden. If one gets caught, the other two at least have a chance to keep fighting.”

“That’s not going to happen,” Ruby replied sternly.

“But if it does,” Mist Hoof replied in kind, “we need to prepare for the possibility we may never know what happened to Shade Flare.”

The two of them locked eyes against each other, silently willing the other to accept their side of the argument. And after a long length, Ruby sighed in defeat. “One week. That’s how long were waiting.”

Mist Hoof smiled. “Thanks for accepting an old codgers last request.”

“You’re not an old codger, nor is it your last request,” Ruby said sternly, but the smile that grew on her lips reduced its effect.

“Well given that I manage to be old enough to get some salt onto my coat, I’d say I qualify enough,” Mist Hoof replied. “But back on topic, what was the other thing you wanted to talk about.”

“Actually, it’s two more things,” Ruby said. “The first ties into my memory.”

“Has it come back?” Mist Hoof said eagerly, his eyes wide with hope.

“No. At least, not in the way I’m hoping.”

Mist Hoof settled back into his seat and waited quietly for Ruby to explain.

“Ever since we arrived in Fillydelphia, I’ve been getting weird moments of recollection. I was apparently sealed away for over a thousand years, but I still somehow know what a skyscraper is.”

“You recognized them?” Mist Hoof asked in disbelief.


“I didn’t put much thought into it, but you did seem to handle everything pretty well.” Mist Hoof stroked the bit of scruff on his chin while he thought aloud. “All of us were taken aback from the sights this place has, but at least we were already aware of that they existed. For you to have lived in another time, I figured you were just to speechless to comment on any of it.”

“And that’s not all,” Ruby said. “I haven’t read that book since we’ve been here.” She pointed a hoof to the novel sitting in front of Mist Hoof.

His face was confused at first, but eventually the meaning of the comment dawned onto him, and left his mouth open in disbelief. “Then… how did you know about what happens in the story? There weren’t any books like this back in the cave.”

“That’s the thing… I don’t know.”

“That… is concerning,” Mist Hoof commented. He leaned back against the sofa in deep thought, running over his mind on how it was possible his princess was aware of such things.

As if she already could guess the scenarios he was thinking, Ruby said, “I’ve already spent awhile trying to figure it out. At best I think it may have to do with me being sealed by the princesses.”

“So they let you read books?”

“Who knows,” Ruby replied while shrugging. “I don’t know how I was treated while being their prisoner. But it could be very well the case I could read books depending on my situation. But that doesn’t explain how I knew what a sky scraper was.”

“You could have read about them,” Mist Hoof offered.

“No, I don’t think so,” Ruby replied hesitantly. “I’ve had this feeling now and then, and it only appears when I actually see something. Like your book for example. I only knew what happened in the story when I saw its cover.”

“You don’t remember it that you… remember it, until you see it?”

“At first I have no idea that it exists at all. Then I see it and it’s like, ‘poof!’ There it is!” Ruby’s hooves came to her temples and exploded outward to gesture the effect. “And it’s only until afterwards that I realize that only a moment ago I had no knowledge on whatever it is, but then suddenly find myself knowing everything about it. It’s really weird and raises so many questions.”

“Indeed,” Mist Hoof agreed, finding his the situation even more perplexing than her.

“Which leads me to the final thing I wanted to talk about,” Ruby said. She took a breath in preparation of what she was about to say, then turned to Mist Hoof with a serious expression. “I want to go out into the city. Alone.”

“What!?” Mist Hoof exclaimed.

“I feel like it’s the only way I’m going to figure this out,” Ruby continued over him in attempts to explain. “If I see what I can recognize within the city, maybe I can slowly piece together other memories and understand what happened to me.”

“Princess Ruby!” Mist Hoof said, causing her to flinch at the use of her title. “I cannot condone you to go out into the city and even worse alone!” His worry and anger at her request was very apparent, but he respectively held himself as much as he could. “We cannot risk you being by yourself or being noticed.”

“I was able to be on my own before,” Ruby countered.

“Yes, but I heard what had happened with that lost mare. This isn’t the woods anymore. This is a city full of ponies! And while I know you are very capable of taking care of yourself, there are simply too many ponies. If they found out who you are…” Mist Hoof said, unable to finish the sentence.

“Which is why I am going out in disguise,” Ruby said. “I already mentioned that back while we were preparing to leave the cave before the attack. I’ll just cover up my wings and horn, maybe even wear a wig, and it will be no problem.”

Mist Hoof gave Ruby a very hard look, who also happened to return it in kind. It was another silent battle of willing their side of the argument against each other. But this time, Mist Hoof knew he was not going to win. “At least allow one of us to accompany you,” he said without breaking eye contact.

“No. I won’t risk any batpony, which is the reason I have to go alone.”

“Ebon Wing them. He can hide in the shadows.”

“Not taking the chance. I may go inside buildings or become lost in the crowd. And Ebon Wing can’t maintain his spell if he’s almost moving.”

The two of them remained locked in a staring contest, until Mist Hoof finally yielding and took a swig of his drink. “You are a stubborn princess. But I suppose in the end all you have to do is order me.”

Mist Hoof then felt the gentle touch of Ruby’s hoof against his arm. He looked back to her face and found a sweet and warming expression as she spoke, “You’re more than my subjects. You’re my family. And I’m not pulling the princess card unless I have to. I want to be able to discuss our situations and come to an agreement ourselves. That’s what you do with your kin after all.”

Mist Hoof was taken aback at first, but then too let out a small grin at the kindness of her words. It amazes me at times at how we are somehow related to you, Mist Hoof thought to himself. We couldn’t have asked for a better princess. I just wish you wouldn’t endanger yourself. I don’t know if we could survive another dream being shattered…

“Okay,” Mist Hoof said. “But at least wait until the sun is completely down.”

“Will do,” Ruby replied happily.


“Make sure you stay away from stranger ponies. Always keep the exit in sight. Here, let me look at you from this angle,” Mist Hoof said. He had been fussing over last minute details and whatever thoughts popped into his head while he stood with Ruby by the elevator.

Ruby had been able to acquire some clothing from Silver Platter to mask her alicorn features, and now sported a concealing outfit that was apparently ‘fashionably old enough to remain low key’. She wore a simple turtle neck black shirt that was tight enough to accent every curve of her body, a similar fabric akin to the Yoga pants she had initially considered wearing. But she had given the pants up for a less constricting decorative red saddle piece. It was a common enough article of clothing in the city, and it was wide enough to hide her cutie mark.

A simple wide brim hat covered her horn as she wished her wings to be free lest she require a speedy escape, but was advised against it by Silver Platter who–uncharastically–offered advice that it was not common for unicorns to be able to perform teleportation so well, and that she did not know the layout of the city well enough to risk it. Just when she thought it was odd for him to offer helpful advice like that on his own free will, he even finished saying she looked much better in a unicorn outfit than one fitted for pegasi.

While it made sense in the end, it was only with reluctance that she chose to follow the advise and cover her wings.

With all those items along with a pair of sunglasses and a deep blue wig—that had matching clip-on tail-highlights—her outfit was complete and her true appearance completely covered. She had asked about why they had a wig in the first place, thinking that she might have had to wait for Silver Platter to buy one. But the butler had simply commented it was an item that was stocked in the house for the more ‘eccentric’ parties Prince Blueblood hosted now and then.

With all of that taken care off, she only had Mist Hoof attempting to not sound so worried as he fretted over details.

“Shake your head side to side, I want to see if your glasses or hat will fall off. We may need a smaller size to stay on.”

“Mist Hoof, it’s fine,” Ruby sighed.

Lowering his ears in embarrassment at knowing full well he was acting like a doting mother, he added, “Just make sure you keep this building in sight. I don’t want you losing track of where you are.”

“I’ll be fine,” Ruby said in a much more relaxed tone. “Thank you for worrying. But everything will be okay.”

“I hope so,” Mist Hoof said solemnly.

“Keep an eye on everyone until I get back. And make sure Ebon Wing doesn’t try sneaking into the hard cider again,” Ruby said as she pressed the button for the elevator.

“If you didn’t want him drinking, you should have taken him with you,” Mist Hoof replied.

Ruby only smirked before the doors open, and then proceeded into the space. “See you in a few hours.”

“Good luck, and stay safe,” Mist Hoof called as the doors shut.

Ruby was then at that moment, completely alone.

She exhaled in apprehension at the idea. She felt it was necessary to go out on her own, but it would be the first time she would be completely away from the batponies. The notion that she couldn’t reach them or they her should something come up, was proving to be a more freighting thing than she realized.

I need to do this, she told herself. I need to explore this world so I can better understand it, and perhaps even learn more about myself.

Recalling the number Silver Platter had told her to press, as well as repeating the combination required to return back to the penthouse, she touched the panel and felt the floor shift beneath her as it whisked her down to the lobby.

When she had reached the bottom and the doors opened, she nervously peered out into the main floor. It was just as fanciful as the penthouse from the polished floors to the cut columns. But across the way was a view she had yet to see since her arrival in Fillydelphia; a pair of glass doors that on the other side held a bustling street full of passing ponies.

Suddenly the idea of going out into the crowd by herself seemed much more foalish than before.

Raising a hoof to her chest and exhaling, Ruby picked herself up and began to trot confidently towards the door.

“Have a good evening,” a voice suddenly spoke to her right.

Ruby’s heart nearly leapt from her chest as she swung her head to spy a pony sitting behind a counter; a young mare that merely smiled in her direction.

“O-oh,” Ruby stammered. “Actually… I’m just going for a short walk. I’ll be back later.”

“Very well, have a good walk then,” the pony corrected herself.

“T-thank you,” Ruby said before resuming her path to the doors. It’s alright. She doesn’t know who you are.

Ruby wanted to pause in front of those doors and take a moment to adjust at the fact she was about to go out onto a busy sidewalk, but the following stare of the mare kept her moving forward and she quickly found herself standing outside the tower.

Ruby remained petrified for a few moments, before gingerly stepping out of the way of passing ponies. She looked worryingly to each ones face that passed her by, lowering her ears as if she was about to be caught. But besides receiving a few odd looks, none of them gave her a second glance and simply went on their way. Ruby’s fearful demeanor slowly changed to a one with confidence.

I did it… I went outside and nopony recognizes me. Standing more upright and looking about the new world she had just stepped in, a grin spread across her face. I did it! Haha!

With her false perceptions of persecution out of the way, Ruby walked down the sidewalk and headed to the heart of the city, her eyes looking about with wide fascination at all the sights before her.


Ruby’s experience that night was a mixture of joy and confusion.

She had found many things of interest that she made sure to visit again on her next outing, having decided that this time she would just walk around and sightsee instead of browsing the insides of buildings. And while some things were not immediately recognizable, she chalked them up to being some sort of new product she was not aware of. But everything else that was not decorative and actually held some function, came into her mind like a floodgate of knowledge she previously had no access to. Though she could not remember being in a city, the familiarity of everything was enough to convince her that she had visited one at least once or twice.

Theaters, bars, clubs, restaurants, and more were all things she was confident did not exist a thousand years ago. And the mannerisms and behaviors of ponies were also a strange and familiar memory. It was nighttime in a bustling city, and every type of pony imaginable was roaming the street beneath the bright lights. She had done her best to avoid any conversation with ponies, least she give away some clue to her identity. But when she had boarded a multi-pony trolley she had the unfortunate luck of sitting next to a very chatting pony. The only reason why she had decided to get on because it was one of the very few but interesting transportation options in the city, and suspected it to be one of Blueblood’s inventions given that it was not being pulled by any ponies. So when she sat down on the benches inside the long vehicle, the stallion next to her began to talk.

“First time on a bus?”

“Uh… yeah,” Ruby said as she secured her sunglasses. “Is it that obvious?”

The stallion chuckled. “It is when you keep looking around like the way you did. To be honest, I still catch myself doing the same thing. These things haven’t been out too long but they're starting to grow in popularity. I heard one of the drivers that they were going to manufacture a dozen more for Fillydelphia before they start selling ‘em in other cities.”

“Oh, interesting,” Ruby said. She turned her attention away to hint that she wasn’t to interested in the conversation. Unfortunately the stallion did not pick up on it.

“So you from out of town then?”


“What brings you here?”


“Oh really? What kind?”

“Uhm… with Skyline Tower?”

“Not a bad place to work at. My cousin is one of the janitors there. Where do you work in it?”


Ruby’s salvation came when the bus suddenly lurched to a stop and began to pick up more passengers. “I’m sorry, but this is my stop. I’ve got to get going now.”

“Alright then,” the stallion replied cheerfully. “I wouldn’t want to hold you up. See you around.”

“Hm-hm, have a good night,” Ruby mumbled as she quickly exited the bus. Not waiting for it to pull away to give some distance between her and the chatty pony, Ruby headed off into the throng of ponies. Apparently the stop it had dropped her off at was one of the more bustling part of the city. It was actually becoming to a little overwhelming as she tried to spy anything of interest within the crowd or amongst the multitude of bright lights and signs.

Overall at the end of her short but tiring walk, and as enlightening as the experience was, it only raised more questions as to the details of her thousand year imprisonment. Had the princesses let her out a few times to see the world? Or had she escaped before being recaptured? As wonderful as it was to know the things that rushed to her mind during her walk, none of it was truly helpful in figuring out her problem.

Feeling that she had enough for the night, Ruby turned around and began to make the long trek back to the penthouse, her mind a mile away as she attempted to solve her mysterious puzzle. She however, had become so lost in her thoughts that she failed to take notice the pony in front of her, who in turn, had not been paying attention to their surroundings as well.

With a painful collision, the two of them bumped heads into each other, knocking Ruby’s sunglasses off her face and disheveling her hat and wig.

“Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry,” Ruby apologized as she hurriedly repositioned her disguise, hoping that the other pony had not taken notice of her dark purple mane beneath now poking at the sides. In a fluster, Ruby haphazardly straightened her wig, and bent down to pick up her glasses, only paying half attention to the other pony that was picking themselves back up.

At first, the pony had only given a mumble of annoyance that Ruby was unable to make out, but was turning into something she figured was also an apology. It was a mare by the sound of her voice, pleasant and sweet if anything unlike the accents she had heard in the city. But when the mare said her first few words, her voice rang through Ruby’s mind, causing her to halt in mid reach for the sunglasses.

Ruby’s entire body froze as the world around her became muffled and drowned out, leaving her feeling suddenly very isolated and very odd. With a fleeting thought, Ruby was dimly aware and confused as to why her limbs were refusing to move, why her breath had been caught in her throat, or why her heart began to beat faster.

The mare spoke again, and a sudden tightness came in Ruby’s chest, causing her to feel as if the wind had been knocked out of her. Her body was becoming numb, and the world became quieter and quieter as her mind began to registered the mare’s voice more clearly.

For Ruby, it was as if her body was drifting sideways and standing still at the same time, causing a moment of surreality that sent her mind spinning. The mare spoke again, this time each of her words been heard and understood vividly, causing an intense vertigo as Ruby’s world began to spin.

“Twalight? Is that you?”

Author's Note:

Aaaaaaaaaaaand I'm taking a break.

I've been wanting to hit this point in the story for so long now, but I really need to take a break from it. I am trying to force myself to hold off on it for a bit, take some time to flesh things out, and finally work on the side stories for 2POTN as well as my other stories. I know it's a very frustrating cliff to leave you all on, but I will not lie I take some enjoyment out of it. I think authors have a sick sense of humor to get kicks out of things like this.

So look forward to some side stories and more world building coming your way, as well as updates to stuff such as Lyra's Secret, Gift From the Stars, and possibly even Writer's Block if your following that. Maybe even some rewriting/updating to Unexpected Friends. Additionally, that stallion on the bus while not necessarily a main character, actually has some ties into the story. His random encounter with Ruby might not have actually been so random. Or hold any friendly intention.

One last note, my god was it good to finally write out Twilight's name. I don't know how many times I had to catch myself begining to write Twilight instead of Ruby. Hope you all enjoyed the chapter and don't hate me too much for the break!

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