• 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?

  • ...
51
 1,377
 15,889

PreviousChapters Next
Act II - Chapter 30

“Everypony that was able to attend here? Good, let’s begin,” Mist Hoof announced to the other bat ponies that were gathered around the polished table in the parlor room, a small group of the adults from the refugee groups. “I know that this isn’t how we normally talk about things, so please bear with me on this.”

“Um, excuse me,” one of the bat ponies said. “Is Princess Ruby going to attend?”

“No, she is not,” Mist Hoof answered.

“Is something wrong with her?” another asked.

“I don’t think so. But to get to the point of this meeting, I’ve called you all here because I am worried about our Princess,” Mist Hoof said while giving a stern look about the room. “I’m sure all of you have already heard about her outing last night?” Each pony in the room nodded their head or gave agreeing ‘hmhms’.

“And I’m sure it is just as concerning for you all as it was for me that she insisted to go out on her own. It is each of our jobs to protect the princess, even at the cost of our lives,” Mist Hoof said in a grave tone. “Which means it is unacceptable from now on for her to be outside of our watch. I’m not sure how many of you were aware of the details when she visited the city, but her return was more than worrisome.”

“What happened?” one of them asked.

“Ruby had landed onto the balcony just minutes before sunrise, and there was not a piece of the disguise she wore on her. When I asked her what had happened, she refused to answer any questions and retired to her room.”

“What do you supposed happened while she was gone?” another one asked.

“I haven’t the faintest clue,” Mist Hoof sighed. “It is unlike her to remain so distant. I can’t imagine why she would be holding back what occurred during her outing. But whatever it is, it can’t be good to have put our princess in such a sour and distant mood.”

The room was silent as each pony thought of their own scenarios on what could have happened. “But I did not gather all of you here to discuss what may have occurred last night,” Mist Hoof said, before lowering his head to give a stern glare at them all. “We are here now so we can prevent it from happening again.”

“What do you have in mind?” Lily Wing asked.

“If Ruby choses to go out again, and I have a gut feeling she will,” Mist Hoof answered, “she will most likely demand that none of us follows her like last night. But it will be an order we will not obey.”

“You want her tailed?” she asked.

“Yes, that is exactly what I am saying,” Mist Hoof said while straightening his form. “I know that might be a difficult task in a place like this, and perhaps even harder to keep her unaware of it, but we must do everything we can. We simply cannot risk any harm coming to her.” The bat ponies looked around to see the reaction of the others, unsure of the notion of following their princess against her wishes. “Besides,” Mist Hoof said with a sly grin. “We are bat ponies after all, descendants of the vamponies. It would be disgraceful if we cannot even track a single pony while remaining concealed.”

“Who do you have in mind?” one of the ponies asked.

“For now, only a few stand out as capable for this,” Mist Hoof said. “Myself, Cloud Shadow, Willow Shade, Ember Mane, and of course, Ebon Wing.”

Each pony he named off immediately sat upright in their chairs and put forth determined faces at being selected. The only exception was Ebon Wing who was not present in the room. Mist Hoof had gathered only some of the adults, choosing to keep this task amongst those he felt would not have qualm against disobeying their princess for her safety. “Do you three feel up to it?” Mist Hoof asked.

Cloud Shadow and Willow Shade both smirked at each other from across the table, ready to once again put to the test their stalking abilities against each other. The rest of them had no issues with who Mist Hoof had picked, and knew full well the terror the two mares could cause when they were competing against each other. Ember Mane on the other hoof, a quiet and couth stallion, merely nodded his head.

“Good. The rest of you will join this operation at a later time when your own skills have improved further.”

“Um, excuse me,” a mare spoke up.

“Yes, Star Mane?”

Star Mane had her hooves between her legs and rubbed them anxiously against each other. “It’s just… well… this is starting to sound like something the Royal Guard would be doing…” She timidly looked up to the rest of them. “W-weren’t we doing this so we could live our own lives? Away from something like how we grew up?”

“Star Mane,” Mist Hoof began, “this is so we can live our lives. You know full well what you agreed to when you left Dusk Town. And for now, we should be considered a militia for all intents and purposes, as well as a Royal Guard of our own for Princess Ruby and Lord Night Walker.”

Star Mane lowered her gaze and sunk back in her chair after he had finished. Mist Hoof eyed her for a moment briefly wondering if it had been a good idea to have the easy going mare attend the meeting. He believed in her and her potential, but she oftentimes had trouble keeping her head out of the clouds and talking about the calm life she always wanted. Her will to achieve that kind of life was apparent for having come this far, but she had a knack for questioning things she didn’t agree with, albeit normally in a timid way. I’ll see if I can get Lily Wing to talk to her later, Mist Hoof thought.

It was then that a sudden knock was heard at the door, and the room became deathly quiet. Each pony turned their heads towards the hallway door, then back at Mist Hoof.

Mist Hoof recoiled in surprise, then shot a cold glare at each of them for silently electing him to be the one to answer. With a grunt, he coughed into his hoof to clear his apprehension, before calling out, “Who is it?”

“Silver Platter, sir,” a muffled voice answered. “A letter has arrived for Princess Ruby, and as you requested, I have it here for you.”

“Night Walker!” Mist Hoof exclaimed. “I’ll be right there!”

Hurriedly, Might Hoof trotted to the door and found Silver Platter on the other side, his white colored magic holding an envelope. “Here you are, sir. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“No, this is enough, thank you,” Mist Hoof replied as the envelope was set into his outstretched hoof, after which Silver Platter gave a small bow before departing. Normally having a pony act so subservient to Mist Hoof or any of the other bat ponies caused quite a bit of discomfort considering their upbringing. But holding the letter that he assumed was from Night Walker dashed all thoughts of unease regarding Silver Platter.

“Well, are you going to open it?” one of them asked when Mist Hoof had yet to move after receiving the letter, snapping him from his thoughts.

“No, it is addressed to Ruby,” he said after a moment.

“But what about protecting her?”

“We will continue to watch over her as discussed,” Mist Hoof replied while turning to face them. “But it is not our place to read whatever Night Walker had sent her. I’m sure she will tell us what it says after she has read it. Hopefully it has information on the other two groups.”

The room broke into soft murmurs of what could be included in the letter, and of their thoughts on how the others were doing.

“I’m going to run this over to Ruby,” Mist Hoof announced. “The meeting is adjourned for now; I’ll stop by and inform you as things progress. And somepony find Ebon Wing for me and bring him here so I can fill him in. I’ll be back shortly.”

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

Ruby lay on her bed, her tail hanging freely off the edge, and her muzzle buried into the blankets as she glared at the opposing wall. She had been lying like this ever since she woke up, unable to shake off the dark mood of frustration and confusion.

They had me… and then, they let me go…

Her brow furrowed further as she ran last night over and over again.

They had me… why did they let me go? Don’t they want to capture me? Don’t they want to turn me back in to Celestia and Luna? It made no sense to Ruby. They were the enemy, most likely agents of Celestia by her guess. They had wielded a strange power that overwhelmed her and allowed them to capture her. They told lies and tried to convince her that Night Walker was the pony she couldn’t trust. She didn’t believe a word they said for a second.

And… they called me their friend…

Ruby gripped the sheets with her hoof, and a scowl grew across her face. They dared to say that we were friends!

Ruby snarled at nothing in particular, baring her fangs as if some invisible threat was before her. Of all the most ridiculous things I have ever heard, that by far takes the cake!

Ruby kept her angry demeanor for some moments, before she blinked a few times, and slowly relented as she dug her muzzle back into the blankets. But the voice came back…

Narrowing her brows again as she did when reading a difficult passage in a book, Ruby thought over that last detail of the night before. The voice came back, and said to trust them. The same voice that, from what I’ve gathered, has so far only appeared to warn me against killing ponies. She thought over the strange feeling in her chest that had appeared back during her time at the cave. She had no idea what it was at the time, and had dismissed it with little thought. But in light of recent events, she felt confident that it had been the voice the entire time, slowly growing into a pocket of her soul to sustain itself and whatever agenda it was working towards.

Deciding to investigate further, Ruby closed her eyes and summoned her soul sight, focusing inward. She quickly sorted through the sections of her spherical soul and found the sectioned off portion she was looking for. To her surprise, it had more developed than the last time she had viewed it.

Some of the free hanging sections of fiber from before were now attached to various parts of her soul, mainly her emotions.

Hello? Ruby called out. Are you there?

There was no response.

‘Hmming’ to herself, Ruby began to pay more attention to the fibers themselves, seeing where each connection went, and what might trigger her. Her first impression of the sectioned off soul was that it was primitive, even now only having a few connections. She knew it could speak at times, and it that reflected by the parts of her that it touched. However, it rarely spoke, and appeared to only be activated when certain parts of her emotions were flared. Ruby hardly needed a second thought to imagine what scenarios were required to get it talking. That was, however, not reliable if she wanted to understand it further.

I hope I’m not going to regret this…

Willing her attention forward, Ruby gathered the various fibers that were freely hanging and began to connect them. Like stringing a instrument, Ruby drew them tight to what she instinctively felt were the correct locations, and fastened them.

After triple checking each part was securely attached, she took in a breath of apprehension, and called out. Hello?

Ruby not saw, but felt the section within her flicker.

Hello?

H… hello?

You answered!

I did… oh my gosh, I did!

A wave of excitement suddenly rushed through Ruby, causing her ears and tail to twitch.

I can talk! I can talk! This is so exciting!

Ruby found herself smiling at the joyful sensation flowing through her, unable to help but share in the good feeling. But then shortly caught herself when she realized that it was not her own, and pushed it down as she gathered herself.

Yes, I think I made it so you can speak more freely. You were only able to speak when certain conditions were met before, correct?

Yes, that’s right, it answered.

Then answer me, what are you?

Don’t you remember what I said on the train? I am a part of you.

Likely story, Ruby thought skeptically. For all I know the Royal Sisters put you inside me to-

Wait! I can talk now! the voice suddenly said.

I… uh, yes… you can…

Do you know how long I’ve been waiting to scold you!?

Ruby was quiet for some moments before asking in irritation, Scold me? For what?!

Don’t act like you don’t know, it snapped.

Ruby’s eyes shifted beneath her lids as she ran over her memory at what might have caused it to become angry with her, and had a very likely idea which instances it was referring to.

Stop right there, that’s one of them, it spoke.

Wait, you can read my mind?

Well I am apart of you, it’s only natural isn’t it? You should be able to do the same. But I don’t think you gave me enough access to sort through them myself though. Think you can give me a hoof?

Are you kidding?! You’re lucky I even went this far!

Humpf. Well, now that I can talk freely when you AREN’T about to do something awful, I can finally tell you off for the things you have done.

They were all in self-defense! Would you have rather had Lunar Pearl or Ebon Wing die?

Of course not! it replied back.

Then what would you have done? Ruby snapped.

I... it began, but trailed off. There some moments of silence that caused Ruby to instinctively twitch her ears as if to hear the inner conversation more clearly. I guess… I wouldn’t have done it differently…

That’s right and- Ruby started before nearly opening her eyes in surprise. Wait… what did you say?

I guess… I would have done the same. If there really wasn’t any other way… I would have done it too… it worked out slowly.

Ruby was speechless at the admission from it, especially considering up to this point that it had only appeared to argue against the very things it was now agreeing with. Then in Ruby’s mind, the sound of weeping was heard.

H-hey! What’s wrong?

I… I… it said through sniffles. I don’t know, it’s just everything feels so wrong! I don’t know what’s happening!

Ruby’s ears drooped as she listened to it slowly work itself into a small audible crying session, and felt all her anger before fade away as the sadness poured into her.

Hey, listen… I’m sorry okay, she thought in efforts to console it. I don’t know what’s going on either. I’m just trying to figure things out. And on top of recent events, having something like you is making things-

I’M NOT A THING! the voice screamed.

Ruby reactively flinched at the mental shout, and slowly eased her tense muscles as the crying continued again.

Look, I’m sorry, Ruby said after some time. If you are a part of me, then you should know just how confusing all of this has been.

*sniff*… yeah…

Then how about this, Ruby thought in a cheerful tone to help pick her up. If you can promise me, without a doubt, that the princesses didn’t put you in me, then we can try and work together to figures things out.

… really?

Yes, really.

Ruby’s mind became quiet again save for the odd sensation of mentally hearing a pony take a breath, and exhaling slowly, before eventually she said, The princesses didn’t make me, or put me in you.

As she answered, Ruby paid strict attention to the sectioned off portion of her soul, watching each fiber and feeling her gut on the matter. But after a minute of careful inspection and gut feeling, Ruby felt confident that what she had said was the truth. And despite her concerns and fears that she may regret it someday, Ruby decided to trust in the voice.

Okay, I believe you.

*sniff*… thanks, she thought.

And may I ask something?

Go ahead.

Why did you breathe? I don’t think you need air.

I don’t know, I just did it. I think it’s just an automatic thing to help.

Fair enough… I guess.

A silence passed between them as they both thought of what to say next, vaguely feeling each other out in the new bond Ruby had created for them. Ruby had been taken aback at first from her crying to think deeper about the situation, but the quiet moment gave her time to reflect and come back to her startling discovery just before.

So you really would have done the same thing?

…yes, I believe so, she said. But don’t think I would enjoy it like you would!

Noted, but doesn’t that raise some questions?

Such as?

Well, you only first appeared when it was against killing, something I still haven’t figured out why yet.

Okay, she said while following along.

So why would you be capable of accepting the very thing that allowed you to even communicate lately?

That… is a very good question, she agreed.

Hmmm…

Wait! I think I know!

What is it?

You just gave me more connections to our soul right?

As of now, still my soul, but yes.

Well, based on what I know of souls, which is exactly what you know, maybe I’ve grown into something that is capable of more complexity.

But weren’t you plenty complex enough? I mean, you spoke pretty normal back on the train.

Yes, but I was only able to express myself for one topic. Back then I didn’t care about anything else. It was like it was the only thing I could focus on. Now though…

Ruby felt an odd sensation of a force moving about her, and watched as the sectioned off portion of her soul began to pluck at the various connections it held.

I’m capable of feeling more things now! Oh my gosh! This is so exciting and wonderful!

Hey, calm down there, Ruby thought, feeling somewhat reassured at being able to calm down the areas the voice flickered during her inner search.

There are so many implications to this! I wonder what else we could discover? Maybe Night Walker knows more.

Night Walker… Ruby thought to herself. Wait a minute, I think I know what you are!

Really?

Yeah, you vaguely remind me of something I saw in him, Ruby thought.

Remember it. I don’t know exactly what you are talking about unless you imagine it.

Ruby squinted her eyes as she dug into her memory and willed the imagery into her mind, a strange sensation that she was not entirely sure she was doing correctly. There, can you see it?

Yes, I can, she answered.

The two of them looked over the memory together, feeling each other’s vague thoughts and feelings as they analyzed the mental imagery of Night Walker’s soul, a collection of varying connections that were haphazardly laid out in intricate yet disorderly ways.

So you think I’m…

Yes, a split personality.

Ruby had learned from Night Walker that much of what he had done was self-inflicted, the result of him having to take on new personas during his early days of infiltration. In addition to a few other necessary moments he had been reluctant to reveal at the time, Night Walker was capable of creating a new personality that could feel, believe, and behave in just about any manner possible.

So I’m a split personality… she said slowly.

That’s my guess. Though how you appeared I can’t say.

I don’t really like it, but… I suppose it makes the most sense given the evidence.

At least you seem to be reasonable, Ruby thought with a smirk. Although I have to admit, it’s going to be weird getting used to having another pair of thoughts going on.

The voice was quiet for a moment, before gushing, Oh my gosh, do you know what this means?

What?

We can do everything at twice the speed and efficiency!

You mean…

Double the attention span, double the processing! Think about all the math we could do! I could handle the subtractions during division while you work out the carrying!

Think about how fast we could analyze a situation, Ruby thought, finding herself hopping aboard the notion eagerly.

Keeping track of the time while we cook!

Memorizing a series of numbers while prepping for the next part of a problem!

Reading both pages of a book at once!

Hello twenty-four hundred words per minute reading comprehension, Ruby thought slyly. The very thought of being able to read a book at that speed if they mastered reading both pages at the same time gave them a shiver of excitement and joy.

Okay, I think I can get used to this. It actually sounds like it would be great having you around-

What is it?

I just realized, what do we call you?

I can have a name? she said in disbelief.

Well, sure. Like you said, you’re not a thing. Even though you speak with my voice, we probably should call you something. But what?

Another silent moment passed between them, an occurrence that was quickly becoming odd to Ruby now that she was sharing her thoughts the majority of the time.

Can I pick it? she asked timidly.

Sure, do you have something in mind?

Kinda…

What is it?

… can I be called… Twilight?

Ruby immediately scowled atop the bed. You want to be called that!? Why!?

I don’t know, she said shyly. I think it’s pretty. And I know you aren’t going to use it.

Of course I’m not going to use it. Don’t tell me you actually believe those mares!

I’m not saying I fully trust them.

Apparently enough at the time!

Yeah… but I couldn’t help it. When you saw them, I suddenly felt myself become more active. More… alive.

Wait… wait wait wait, Ruby thought. That’s right. You showed up even when I wasn’t considering killing them!

Ruby felt an odd shuddering sensation that was not physical. Please don’t think about that.

Ignoring her complaint however, Ruby kept her train of thought. In fact when I think about it, that’s probably when you got those connections I saw when I first look at you today.

What do you think it means? she asked, giving Ruby the sensation of a slight haze at the edge of her attention from trying to work out the problem herself.

I don’t know, but I suppose one answer is that they are somehow connected to you. Ruby squinted her eyes as she thought that over. Which only supports my original theory that the princesses have something to do with you.

Until we figure it out then, you’re going to let me stay?

For now. But if I feel like something is wrong, I won’t hesitate cutting off the connections I made for you, Ruby threatened.

I suppose I would do the same in your situation, she agreed reluctantly. Alright, it’s a deal then.

Ruby relaxed her scowl, confident she established her dominance in the strange relationship. As interesting and exciting it was of the prospect of having another mind just as capable of hers to work out problems, the knowledge she could cut her off as easily as she made her was the reassurance needed to even continue.

But back to my name, I would still like to be called Twilight.

Ruby vocally gave a growl at hearing the name again, feeling as if she had heard it more than enough and was not looking forward at hearing it again. Just even thinking about it made her feel as if she was supporting the delusion the mares that had captured had spouted. Thinking about them again also made her realize she still hadn’t decided if she would go back to them or not.

Fine… you can be called Twilight, Ruby eventually gave as she physically sighed.

Yes! Twilight thought.

Ruby couldn’t help herself but allow a slight smirk at the happiness Twilight poured through her over such a simple thing. We really need to go over your connections sometime. I don’t know if I can handle feeling your emotions each time, Ruby teased.

Twilight produced the mental image of their body’s reflection in a mirror sticking a tongue out at the main one, causing Ruby to chuckle to herself.

Okay, I have to admit, that is kinda cool.

In response, Ruby imagined herself making a face at the mirror, which shortly replied with a different kind of face. The two of them giggled for some minutes as they played with their new method of communication in a mental landscape, before a knock at the door interrupted them.

Who do you think it is?

I don’t know. Let’s find out.

Propping herself off the bed, Ruby swayed slightly as she refocused her attention back to her physical body, and proceeded to the door. Opening it, she found Mist Hoof standing in front of her with an envelope on his hoof. “It’s addressed to you, Ruby,” he said. “I think it’s from Night Walker.”

“Really!?” Ruby exclaimed before grabbing the envelope and ripping it open in one swift motion. She quickly unfolded the paper and began scanning its contents, deciding to forgo the opportunity to dual read at the importance of the letter. After some seconds, Ruby let out a small gasp.

“What is it?” Mist Hoof asked worriedly as he leaned forward, wishing to read the letter himself.

“It’s from Night Walker,” Ruby said. “He’s on his way to Vanhoover.” Looking up from the letter, Ruby turned to Mist Hoof with a fearful expression. “Shade Flare’s group is missing.”

Author's Note:

Hope this chapter wasn't boring for some. I know there are mixed feelings about the 'voice' Ruby is stuck with, but hopefully this will give you all something to think about and it's purpose as well as exactly what it might turn into or is.

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
PreviousChapters Next
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!