• 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 8

So I set out into the night by his side,

Learning our secrets the first obstacle,

How little did I know however,

That I would die more times than I thought possible.


Shade Flare breathed heavily where he kneeled, his head lowered from his efforts over the hours he had been spending. Mental exhaustion had already taken a hold of him some time ago, making the already difficult concentration even more tiresome. His body was not too affected, but sweat had already begun to appear on him, feeling cool on coat in the night air. His mind’s focus on the task was slipping more and more easily the longer he had kept at it.

“I… need a moment…” Shade Flare panted.

“We will break when I say so.” Trail replied unempathetic. He towered over Shade Flare, staring down at him with his crimson eyes. “Again,” he said.

Shade Flare cracked open an eye at the stallion, his pupil dilating for a moment as he refocused his vision; picking out Trail from the forest around them. He matched the vampony’s gaze with an eye that was equally red to his.

The two of them held each others glare for a moment, before Shade Flare gave in and closed his eye; lifting his head once more to repeat his efforts he had been spending all night on. After a minute of gathering his thoughts in concentration, he tried again.

The darkness around them shifted, as if a lumbering beast’s heavy footsteps were able to shake the shadows themselves. Gritting his teeth, Shade Flare willed the shadows to move at his command, trying to make them obey with a sense and ability that seemed foreign and familiar at the same time. It was like as if he had been given his wings for the first time, they may have flapped senselessly in the air while he soared, but the sensation of the wind beneath them, the feeling of the air flowing across his coat, it was something that he wondered how he had never noticed or lived without. Those were the types of feelings he had while urging the shadows to come to life, coaxing them to form and construct shapes from his mind. Something he had never had been able to do, but now felt that it should have been there all along.

Slowly the shadows around them began to take shape into long tendrils, their lengths appearing as they coalesced in midair. Shade Flare opened an eye to follow his efforts, daring to give a small smile as a one was completed before him. The moment was short lived as a hoof came smashing through the shadow, dispersing it back into the night air. “Hey!” Shade Flare shouted in frustration, the rest of the tendrils vanishing on his lost focus.

“Again,” Trail simply repeated.

Shade Flare gritted his teeth, wanting to snap angrily at the stallion. His mind was not yet dull enough to know not to argue deeply with Trail, but the hours of relentless work was wearing him and his sound judgment down. But even so, he was growing tired of him and relentless pushing.

“How am I supposed to make them, something that took almost half the night to do, if you keep smashing them?” Despite his efforts to remain as respectful as possible, his voice held an edge of anger.

“How can you expect to hold a pony with these if I can break them so easily?” Trail said in the same tone he had spoken with throughout the entire session; flat, even, and without care.

“Maybe if you let me just make the damn things before I focus on strengthening them, I would actually get somewhere.” Shade Flare hissed.

“You wouldn’t get that chance if this was a real situation." Trail paused for a moment before repeating, "Again.”

Shade Flare stared coldly at him, a growing feeling of resentment building within him. “At least give me another drink… I’m thirsty.”


Shade Flare’s eyes opened wide as his wings flared out. “NO!? I’ve been spending the whole night out here busting my flank on this, something you said would drain my blood, and you won’t even give me some to replenish my strength!?”

Trail’s brows furrowed as he regarded Shade Flare in front of him, shifting his hooves slightly apart. “Do you know who you are speaking to?”

“Yes I do! And right now I don’t give a damn!” Shade Flare almost shouted. “Give me a drink!”

Trail grunted at the request before raising his hoof in the air. Momentarily darkness swirled around his hoof, leaving a small vial of red liquid resting on top as it dispersed. Shade Flare’s eyes widen even further and even sprouted a small smile at the sight of it. Without thinking he moved towards the vial, a small burning sensation beginning to flare in his throat.

His eyes were so focused on the blood that he never saw the other hoof coming, landing a hard blow onto his cheek. Shade Flare was lifted off the ground and thrown back some yards away, skidding across the dirt. In a flash he was on his hooves and facing Trail in a defensive stance, his eyes blazing red as they looked at him in a wild glare. He held a mixture of questioning and anger on his face from the blow. Trail on the other hoof remained rooted and composed, un-revealing to his thoughts as he calmly stared in return.

“Give… me… that... vial!” Shade Flare growled.

“You’re not getting a single drop of this. Not until you do it right,” Trail simply replied.

Shade Flare’s coat felt like it was standing straight as his body began to visibly shake from the growing frustration inside him. His mind held no reason or cooling effect to the fire that built within his chest, anger filling him towards Trail for daring to deny him something he wanted, no… needed. That vial was going to be his and be dammed to Tartarus anything that would be in his way. Reacting on the instinct that was pouring through him, he gave a growl and lunged towards Trail.

Trail nimbly jumped to the side, the vial remaining perched in his raised hoof. Shade Flare spun around after landing and began to chase him after him, pushing him through the woods. Trail remained facing towards Shade Flare as he ducked and dodged his wild swings and kicks.

“GIVE IT TO ME!” Shade Flare yelled, revealing two large fangs now very noticeable in his mouth. With a spread of his wings, he kicked lunge at him with a murderous intent.

Trail replied with another swift hoof, a blow that even looking out for Shade Flare was unable to react towards. Hitting his chin, Trail knocked him back once again, but Shade Flare was relentless. The moment he had hit the ground he was already on his hooves and pursuing him once more, his attacks becoming more furious.

In the darkness of the forest the two danced about like wraiths, only appearing in fleeting blurs in the shadows if a normal pony had been watching the spectacle. Shade Flare flashed his fangs and swiped with his hooves, missing Trail by inches most of the time. As close as he was, the constant distance Trail maintained infuriated Shade Flare, causing him to strike with renewed effort on each failed attempt to land a hit. A hoof kick here, a wing slap there, even an attempted head butt or two all missed his target. Trail held the vial on his still raised hoof, taunting him with, showing how close yet so far he was away from soothing blood his body was demanding.

But as Shade Flare continued to pursue, he began to close the distance of his strikes. Trail’s swifter movements were starting to become more recognizable as they darted around. To Shade Flare’s mind, the once quick paced fight started to become slower and slower to him, his concentration becoming more focused and his attention singular. He was beginning to read Trail’s steps and understand them, noticing tensions in his muscles before followed by the movement. At times, it even felt like the entire fight came to a time still for a fleeting moment during their spar. It almost surprised Shade Flare that he was able to dodge the next blow Trail delivered. He had been able to follow it with his eyes and adjust accordingly without a thought, reacting as one would when an object in the distance was making its way to you quickly but with plenty of time to avoid; a feat that he mind have paid mind to where it not for the burning sensation in his throat and the raging tenacity to claim the vial of blood.

Trail had to step up his pace to stay ahead of Shade Flare who was quickly catching up with his movements. His ferocity in his attacks increased as he struck wildly, yet each one with deadly precision. Regardless of how angry or furious Shade Flare had become, his movements never became sloppy or haphazard. Instead, his skill and aim only became better and more dangerous. A lesser pony would have been killed long ago from Shade Flare's assaults. Even a member of the Royal Guard would have gawked at the strength and speed he was fighting with. But it was a behavior that Trail was very accustomed to, and knew how to handle.

Before Shade Flare could make a grab for him again, Trail thrust the vial out to him. Shade Flare’s focused eyes widen at the sight of it moving towards him, locking onto it and its contents immediately. It was so reactionary that he could not control himself, nor steady his concentration to defending himself when Trail once again struck a blow to him. This time however, had been much harder than his previous hits.

Shade Flare was knocked back into a tree with a force that would have broken a normal pony’s back. But he had given up being a normal pony a short time ago, and even being an average batpony as well. Though Trail had still chosen to call him a batpony, he was more durable than the rest of his kin now. It was because he had given up his old life, that he was able to once again able to stand up onto his hooves, albeit more slowly than he had before. He may not be a normal batpony anymore, but the blow still left him heavily bruised.

Snapping his head up he bared his fangs and glared at Trail with blazing red eyes, they held an intensity that would have frozen a pony on the spot. “YOU WILL GIVE IT TO ME!” The shadows around them visually shook at the sound of his voice, vibrating from their positions as if something disturbed them. Trail eye’s shift about the darkness around him, watching the darker spots between the nooks and crannies within the trees and bushes for the incoming assault he was counting on.

With a roar from Shade Flare tendrils of shadow’s burst all around Trail, latching onto him with unyielding force. They coiled about his body and tightened their grip. So many had appeared, that one could barely distinguish the tendrils from the stallions black coat. Even his silver mane was almost completely hidden beneath them. They varied in size and strength, one was even as large as a pony’s leg. Trail tugged at the tendrils as they wrapped around him, testing their strength and durability. When they did not give to his pulls he finally let slip a suppressed grin.

Shade Flare however didn't notice the vampony’s bemused attitude, his eyes instead locked onto the vial one shadow had delicately secured from the wrapped hoof. It stretched out away from Trail and towards Shade Flare, holding it right side up for him to see. Shade Flare let out a weak laugh as it grew closer, revealing in the fact that he at last finally caught it. At last he would be able to soothe his thirst that burned in his throat; to douse the fire that urged to be drowned with the only thing that would sate it.

The tendril brought the vial right before Shade Flare’s eyes as he stared into the red liquid sloshing around, its color and movements beckoning him to drink it. He was ready to rip off the cork and down its contents in one gulp before Trail’s voice cut through.

“Congratulations, you did it.”

“Huh?” Shade Flare said as he turned towards him. He was confused as to why he said that. The was the only thing that mattered was that he got his drink. Nothing else was important or demanded his attention. So why would he congratulate him? He was an enemy that was holding blood away from him. An opponent that needed to be beaten. But it was when he reflected that line of reasoning that he noticed what else he had done. Before him Trail was wrapped in shadows that he had summoned, and they weren’t being broken. In fact, they were the most solid things he had created all night, one particular one around Trail’s waist was also the biggest he had created. Without realizing, he had done what he had been attempting to do all night. The notion sobered him out of his blood craze, and the shadows fell away.

Shade Flare stumbled back a few steps as he regained control over his mind and emotions, the vial creating a soft thud as it landed on the ground. “I… I…” he struggled to say as everything came back to him in a rush. “I’m so sorry… I didn’t mean to attack you. I was just… so…”


Shade Flare took on a petrified face, his fanged mouth hanging in horror with the fact he had attacked Trail, just to get a drink. A few times, he had even felt the urge to kill him to get the blood. A notion that he was confused for ever having. “I’m so sorry… I don't know what came over me. Please… forgive me,” Shade Flare began to softly say. He was still coming to grips with his actions and how punishable it was that he had just tried to.

“Why should I forgive you?”

Shade Flare looked up with shock and fear, resentment at his unexplained loss of control that led him into the situation. But before he could utter another apology and beg for forgiveness, Trail raised a hoof to indicate he wasn’t finished.

“I already told you, congratulations. You did it.”

Shade Flare’s brows twisted in confusion. “You mean… almost kill you?”

Trail laughed at the absurdity of the statement. “Kill me? You would have to do a lot more than that. No, I’m talking about your shadow manipulation. You managed to create them, and decently sturdy as well.”

Shade Flare had almost forgotten the fact that he did manage to create the tendrils, so caught up was he in the blood craze and feelings of regret that followed. “I… did, didn’t I?”

“Yes, you did.”

“But how? Why now? And why did… I lose control like that? It just came over me and I… I didn’t even realize what I was doing,” Shade Flare exclaimed in awe and fear.

"To put it simply, your survival instincts kicked in.” When Shade Flare brought another questioning look Trail continued. “I already told you, your vampiric powers are dependent on blood. You can avoid using them and be set for a while after feeding. But using them drains them. The more you use, the sooner you need to feed again. What you experienced was the “der Letzte Drang“, the Last Urge. Originally defined in Germane, it is the final strength of a vampony before the remaining blood stored in your body is used.“

Shade Flare plopped onto the ground in a sitting position as he listened to Trail, his mind still reeling somewhat over the ordeal.

“As you experienced, a sudden burst of power fills the vampony when facing extreme thirsts. Just even the sight of blood can cause even the most experienced vamponies lose control depending on how thirsty they are. With that increased strength, comes more powerful abilities as well. It was regarded back in the day actually, that there was nothing more dangerous than a cornered vampire. When a foe has spent your strength and your abilities, attempting to weaken you and tire you out with a long fight, they suddenly find themselves facing an opponent that is often more ferocious than they bargained for. A tip for you should you ever need it, end a fight with a vampony as quickly as you can.“

Trail walked towards the still sitting Shade Flare, whose gaze locked onto the vial on the ground, looking at it as if he was unsure to grab it or throw it away from him. Trail paused just before the vial, given him a few a moments to process the experience. “This is something you needed to experience in a controlled situation. As you can imagine, the damage or consequences you could cause in that state is not something we can afford right now.“

Shade Flare pulled his gaze away and looked to Trail in realization. “That’s why you made me spent the whole night trying to use my powers?“


“You... You needed me spent... So you could control it when I experienced it," Shade Flare reasoned aloud.

“No. I did it so you could learn control it.“

“But, you said-“

“Yes, I did say even experienced vamponies can lose themselves to it. But a warrior does not rise and overcome the occasion when the moment calls for it, they only sink to the level of their training. You must learn to suppress it as much as possible. Reverting fully into it, is only used as a very last resort when all else fails. Because if you spend too much time going wild like that, you will die.“

Shade Flare closed his mouth at that last bit of information.

“But don’t despair over your potential near death experience, it was also an opportunity to draw out your powers. As you saw, you were able to create them.“ Shade Flare looked about the forest, watching the shadows with awe and curiosity with his new-found power. “But,” Trail continued, “don’t rely on it too much. It won’t be until sometime you practice that you will reach that level normally. For now, you still have much to work on. Which brings me to my other point to all of this. You need to be ready and able to use your shadows in five nights.”

“Why five nights?” Shade Flare asked turning his attention to Trail.

“Because, you are going to capture Twilight Sparkle. And turn her into a fledgling.”


“Yes, you.”

“But, why? Shouldn’t you be the one?”

“Do not worry, I will be the one to turn her into a full vampony when the time is right. For now, all I need you to do is turn her into a fledgling.”

“S-sir, with all due respect,” Shade Flare began, finally remembering his courtesies. “I am still too inexperienced for something like this! I’ve only been a vampony for a short time! She’s a Princess! She’s much stronger than me! And what if I revert back to normal before then?” Shade Flare looked down towards his hooves. “I don’t think I have another transformation in me…”

Trail looked at Shade Flare, then let out a sigh and moved towards him, plopping himself down beside him. “I know this has been difficult for you. I can only imagine what it is like passing through the gates of death more than once.” Shade Flare visibly shook. “But it will last long enough. And do not worry so much about Twilight Sparkle. You forget the element of surprise is greater than you think. She may be a Princess, but she is not ready for battle or tasted its experiences. And even if you do not have it either, it runs in your blood. You will know what to do.”

“But she is the Element of Magic, how will I defeat her with the spells she’s able to cast?”

“That is where I come in. I’ve planted a few fail-safe commands into Twilight Sparkle during our sessions. No doubt her magic would destroy any construct of shadow you could create, but the triggers I will give you will make sure it never comes to that.”

Shade Flare looked down at his hooves, still unsure of his newly informed role.

Trail chuckled softly to himself. “Do not fret, I am confident in your ability to handle this. I would be there beside you in the event anything goes wrong, but unfortunately, I have other pressing matters I must attend to. Time is of the essence, and I cannot waste anymore. We will turn Twilight Sparkle into a fledging, and it will be in five days.”

“But…” Shade Flare said trying to find the right words. “Why me?” Lifting his head, he looked into Trail's' eyes for an answer.

In returned, he was met with a gentle gaze as the previously cold and meticulously red eyes now held a softness to them. “Because, “ Trail began. “There is nothing more crucial to a leader, than competent followers. As I keep saying, Shade Flare, you are of my blood, a descendant of ancestors I lived beside a very long time ago. To me, you and every batpony are my family. And family helps one another to become strong.”

Trail gave him a reassuring smile. “You can do this, I believe it to be within your ability. You have proven to be helpful ever since I approached you, loyal and willing to everything I have requested of you, and courageous and brave enough to die the multiple times I have asked you too. In return, I will make you strong, strong enough that I can depend on you, strong enough so that others can depend on you. And for that, I must put you out into the world. You must experience things and learn from them. You must become capable not only for yourself or I, but for the rest of our kin.”

Shade Flare stiffened at his last remark. That’s right, this is bigger than myself. Everypony is whether they know it or not is counting on us pulling this off. We need Princess Twilight Sparkle. If he can trust and believe in me to do this, then I can’t fail him, or everypony else.

“O-okay,” Shade Flare replied. Gritting his teeth, he grunted as he stood onto his hooves once again. Even though his body was starting to become fatigue, and his mind felt more dull than staying awake for two days straight —a side effect of coming down from the Last Urge possibly, he thought briefly— a renewed sense of determination was rekindled within him. “Again,” he said.

Trail gave a nod accompanied by a proud grin. You have lots of potential Shade Flare, he thought. You will be invaluable to your brothers and sisters in the coming nights. Trail took a few steps forward drawing Shade Flare’s attention. “Before we continue…” He reached down for the vial and tossed it towards Shade Flare, causing his tuft ears to flick in surprise. “Have a drink. You’ve earned it.”


Six days later…

Sunlight beamed through the leafy forest, breaking apart cold mist that still clung to the ground. The shrill sound of birds chirping randomly echoed throughout the woods, welcoming another morning to the land. Below the trees, the soft grass and moss held specks of dew from the night prior, creating a fresh scent throughout the earthy smelling undergrowth. Everything was as normal as the forest could be. Save for one purple form lying within a spot of grass and dirt that looked to have been scuffed.

Twilight laid unconscious on the ground, unmoving even to the slight cold that chilled the air. She laid in her position throughout the early morning for hours until the warm sunbeams eventually drifted into an angle that crossed over her body. The warming touch of the sun eased into her coat and muscles, bringing her out of the deep sleep she had been in.

<”You will break into my home on the fifth night from today. Damage up the place, but be careful with some of the furniture, I intend to reclaim them someday. Remember to leave out what she needs to find. Then, wait near the back door until she enters. Bait her into the woods, get her as deep as possible. Whatever you do, don’t let her grab you with her magic. You can avoid it by staying out of sight. Being what you are in addition with your new enhanced traits, guiding her through the dark and staying ahead should be an easy feat.”>

A soft mumbled escaped Twilight’s lips as consciousness returned to her slowly. The first thing she was aware of was how sore her muscles were, and the smell of the forest floor.

<”After you lead her deep through the forest, you will restrain her. I’ll provide you her trigger words when she attempts her escape. Then you will bite her, and do as I showed you.”>

“Nghh…” Twilight mumbled again as she stretched out a hoof weakly in front of her, feeling the dirt as her mind struggled to figure out what was going on and where she was.

<”I understand, sir. But may I ask a question?”>

Her ears flickered at the noise of the forest around her as the rest of her senses began to kick in. Even though her eyes were not open yet, faint memories of where she had gone last night and where she was most likely now trickled in.

<”Why wait to turn her into a full vampony? Why keep her as only a fledgling for now?>

She was beginning to feel an uncomfortable sensation. She couldn’t place a hoof on exactly what it was, for she had never felt something like it before. It was as if her body was becoming too hot, sending tingles across her skin in an agitating manner. She was unsure what was causing it, only that it had appeared when the sun had touched her coat.

<”You know why we need her, and why she would not assist us on her own accord. I must convince her in the only way that will make her help us. But to do that… she needs to be willing. And its much more difficult to affect the soul of something that has died once, than something that is halfway there. You of all ponies should be aware of that.”>

With a groan Twilight eyelids fluttered open, bringing in a hazy view of the forest around her. It took a few moments, but her eyes eventually adjusted and refocused, allowing her to see the greenery around her. She numbly stared out at the approaching day with her purple eyes as she woke up; eyes that held a tinge of red on the edges of her irises.

Author's Note:

Ohana means family, family means, "Nobody gets left behind." -Lilo and Sitch

I hope it wasn't too jarring with the dialouge at the end. Had this been an animation I would have panned from their training into aTwilight slowly awakening on the forest floor. They're voices still speaking as a past event, leading to a build up where she opens her eyes revealing the tinge of red that appeared on the edges. So I hope it wasn't to confusing and I got the desires effect.

Whew, stayed up to midnight trying to get this released. I probably should have gone to bed way earlier but here it is for you all. I apologize it is one of the shorter chapters but more is on the way. Were almost to a checkpoint where even more interesting things happen. Hope you all enjoy!

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