• Published 13th Nov 2013
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A Nocturian Tale - Corvus Eclipse



A King woke up from a coma and realizes that the legacy of his ancestors is threaten. To protect his subjects, and their nation he send a messanger to Equestria... hoping that his pride did not mean the end of Nocturia.

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Prologue

A dampen sigh went through the air followed by a thin coat of vapor, that started to disappear as fast as it came. The sigh became an echo and soon it has been lost within the mighty cavern, which was enveloped by the fine light of the local mushrooms. Insects of all sorts were gathering around them collecting both light and spores they managed to harvest, while the sound of their tiny wings created a soothing orchestra. Life can be found anywhere, as long it will be given a chance to flourish.

This chance has been give long time ago. So long that it seemed impossible to describe it properly with words. And yet he remembered the time of his distant youth, and the very beginning of the oldest plants of the local fauna. They were merely seeds that were filling a bag. Now they were strong, and healthy witnesses of time long passed. The memory brought a smile to his face though it lasted only for a moment. With great care he checked if the breathing mask was properly sitting on the right place, and took few deep breaths.

< By the Elements… so many things have changed.>

The hook of his wing started to rub his temple, while the eyes inspected the richly carved wood of the table that has been placed here by his bidding. Piles of blank papers, scrolls and letters were covering its surface, placed in a simple order. At least this was his opinion. In fact if somepony would gaze upon it the order would quickly be named chaotic.

It was controlled chaos… something he was not doing intentionally. As long his work was not being affected by it, he allowed its existence. A beep cut through the sound of wings, and even the heavy breaths. For a moment the stallion turned his head away from the table looking upon a device his subjects called a machine. It was attached to his side in a way which would allow him to hide it under his wing if it was his desire. As much he was fascinated by the innovations which have been born within the last thousand years, all the cables made walking uncomfortable.

Despite the small problems, deep inside his heart the stallion was thankful for the machine’s effect. Breathing was definitely easier and special ingredients within the artificial air were protecting, or even preventing painful stings in his lungs. But each mentioned object only reminded his troubled mind of the fragility, that has befallen his health and body.

With half open eyes, that seemed to be lost in the distance of the cavern, a very delicate light caught his attention. It was one of the bugs, which has somehow been separated from its swarm. A very odd thing, since it was common knowledge among his kind that the Greenlings never separated from each other. Carefully the stallion lifted his wing, and spoke some words towards the ball of light.

First the Greenling remained in the air, but in the end it landed upon the hook of the lifted wing.

< What brings you to me my little friend? > Thought the stallion curiously, and watched every move of the tiny bug. The Greenling was also inspecting him. Then it flapped its wings a few times, and flew with impressive grace against the winds of the outside world. Surprisingly it landed upon the table and the object, which was in front of the stallion for a couple of hours.

It was an opened scroll that was waiting to be filled with words. The Greenling seemed to wash its antennas, before it faced the giant’s eyes. Once more it flapped its wings, and a slightly noticeable green powder spread upon a small area of the scroll. Then with one might jump it tossed itself into the air and let the wind bring it back to its swarm.

In this part of the world many ponies claimed and believed with all their heart that the gathered light, and spores of the Greenlings brought luck upon the individual who was lucky enough to embrace it’s *blessing*. There was once a time when he believed it, but now he was grown up and old very old. Old enough to realize, that something like luck does not exist in the reality, but in the minds of his subjects.

Yet for the very first time in his life, something like this occurred before his very eyes. Next to the scroll there were no quills what may appear odd to a stranger, but they were not required, or needed. Too weak, and too ill to use magic, he decided to write in a very old and nearly forgotten way.

The right hook of his wing was holding a small bottle of ink, which was still sealed with fresh wax. A chill wind blow went though the natural entrance of the cavern, and caught his mane with its gentle touch. As much as the stallion wished to pull the mask off, he did not take it off and enjoyed the feeling on his sickly body. Then everything around him became silent.

Only the dampen sound of his breath and the beating of his heart was breaking the silence that has befallen the world. The eyes inspected the surroundings with greater suspicion. Everything was moving very, very slow. Mushrooms were being swayed by the wind, the Greenlings, and other types of bugs fought against the influence of nature. His eyes kept looking around.

Now they were focusing upon the walls of the cavern. Here and there, plants of various natures were spreading over the surface. Some were creating impressive looking patterns. Some looked like veins, which could make one think that one was inside of a gigantic creature, while others seemed to be alien and have no purpose. In that very moment he looked upon something, that have been manipulated by skilled hooves, wings and magic. Hidden underneath the veins, moos and other plants his eyes could not recognize, the stallion saw something that seemed familiar.

Though it was a risky move from his side, he decided to move the plants with his magic. Once the energy has been focused and the control has been maintained, an unpleasant pain went through his bones. But something made him continue this rather unnecessary waste of strength. The magical flows embraced the plants, either moving them aside, or ripping them out. Slowly the different forms started to shyly jut out through the green, revealing more and more of its true shape. Once it finally could be recognized, even from this distance, the stallion was barely maintaining the spell. But after realizing what he was looking at, the price he has paid seemed to be a worthy one. The weak eyes were open wide, a surprised gasp went out of him and for a longer while he has stopped to breath.

For what he was looking upon was something far, far older than him. It was a stone image. Carved out with incredible skill, the stone image was representing the sigil of his family and with it the very crest of the kingdom. He did not remember that such remarkable crest has ever been here before, but his memory was failing him already. The stallion cought heavily and inspected the marvelous work. A spell made sure that the time would never affect the sigil in any way. It was a shield, which had a very old, yet still precise map of the kingdom on its surface. Batwings were embracing it like a mother would hold her child.

Pride filled his chest, while his eyes kept inspecting the sigil. Then he felt it. A great disturbance within the everlasting fields of magic itself. His sight has been limited and with it only the sigil was able to be recognized within the dark shroud. Another strong disturbance went through his mind like an echo that seemed to not have an end. The stone image started to tremble right in front of the stallion.

From the center of the shield a small crack started to appear, spreading in every know wind direction. The map has been split in pieces the wings that were embracing the shield let go of it, and started to fight each other in a bloody struggle. Until the moment both struck their hooks into the crack which started everything. With a mighty pull the map ended up being totally ripped apart.

The stallion gasped loudly, and ungentle he fell to his knees. His breath was unnaturally fast. Sweat was being soaked by his attire, while the horn lost its shine and with it the magical connection. Struggling for air he tried to stand up, yet his legs have failed to obey his command. Uncertain of how many time he fell, of how many time has passed till his hooves found a solid hold the stallion looked back at the place where he has witnessed… *something*. But there where he expected plants and the very sigil of his family, he found only a blank wall of the cavern.

< By the Elements… and by everything I hold dear… > He thought and wiped away the sweat from his forehead. Swiftly he followed the instructions of his trusted doctors pressing several buttons on the small device. The result was a stronger dose of the medicine, which helped him to normalize his breath. Everything from within was shacking, while on the outside shivers went through the stallion’s body. Surprisingly the small bottle of ink remained within the grasp of his hook. Its grip tighter and far stronger than before, yet the bottle showed no signs of any affection. Once more he looked upon the content of the bottle and not for the last time he did not dare to open it.

If not for the lack of words, or maybe the lack of courage would not hold him back, the very expensive and rare ink would be already open. The shock was not fading away, while the nets of fear kept ripping into his heart. It took him a lot of courage, to close his eyes for at least a moment. Taking deep breaths the sick one started to lift his free hook in front of him. It may look strange, but thanks to this method the stallion managed to overcome emotions, which have befallen him. Another strong wind blow went through the natural vents helping him to relax even further.

Followed by the sound of the wind, which already started to lose itself within the cavern, another sound filled the air. It was the sound of flapping wings, which was being carried by the cold winds. First he did not pay any attention to it. After all the skies were filled with Pegasi and other species which were able to soar through the air. But the sound came closer and closer with each heartbeat.

It quickly became obvious, that somepony was heading towards him despite the bidding of leaving him alone. Nopony would like to be seen in such miserable state. This is why he tried to somehow correct his attire and of course the mane, wings and hooves. Desperately he also tried to hide the cables, but this was hardly possible considering their shear amount.

Before he could do anything else the sound of shoes echoed only a few steps behind the stallion. A terrible feeling started to spread within his belly, making him believe that he might throw up the small stew he ate before he departed into this secluded place. The uninvited guest started to move towards him. By the sound of it, it could only be a mare. For each step was light and it had a certain grace the most stallions did not posses.

Also he could recognize the difference between high heels and solid leather shoes.

“I did ask to not interrupt me. I hope it is something of great importance.” Throughout the mask his voice did sound not only dampen, but also very different. In fact it made his already weak voice, sound scratchy and even sicklier than it truly was. Finally he turned around, releasing slight clouds of vapor and looked upon the unexpected guest. He has not been mistaken.

In front of him stood a young mare, who has reached maturity and the blossom of marehood. She was wearing a marvelous violet gown, which was tightly hugging her body showing her curves and lines in a perfect way. The silver mane was slightly ruffled by the flight, but it did not take away its beauty. It was reflecting the light of the mushrooms and the moonlight itself in a glorious way.

But he could not see her face for she was shyly looking away, but something was telling him that she could slightly look at him through her hair.

“There is no need of fearing me child. I do not bite.” The stallion fully turned around to the mare moving his free, yet closed wing forward, offering her his hook. Using her own hook the mare moved away the hair out of her face, and with noticeable hesitation she moved towards him. Once he was able to look at her properly, he saw uncertainty written upon the mare’s face. She kept looking at him like he would be a ghost. With this current state, he would not be surprised by it if he looked like one.

Only a few steps were separating them from each other, yet it felt like something was trying to keep them apart. The mare tried to say something, but her mouth kept shutting itself. Once more he inspected her face for out from this distance, he could see definitely better. She looked familiar… and her sight made his heart be filled with happiness. The wing went down against his will followed by the head. The eyes opened wide and his legs gave up against his will. He would have fallen, but the mare jumped towards him and surprisingly managed to hold his weight.

“Father!” The mare cried out, and helped the stallion to sit down on the nearby pile of pillows. While he was breathing heavily, his eyes kept looking into her cat like eyes. He was shaking his head in disbelieve.

“M-Moonwing?” He asked with a very broken voice. She did not have to answer for her smile only confirmed who she was. “Moonwing…My little star.”

Moonwing’s eyes started to tear up, while she nodded happily at him. The answer made things only worse… for the happiness that was filling his heart started to fade away as fast as it came. Was the mare in front of him real? Or was it some kind of cruel joke his own mind have created? But the feeling of her hook holding his felt real, especially after she pressed it carefully against her cheek. One single tear ran down upon it simply continuing its fall like a rain drop sliding down a leaf. Yet it still could not be true… that this grown up mare at the blossom of her marehood could be his small daughter.

“Y-you… i-it… it can’t be true… you were a small filly.” It was hard to talk through the mask and it seemed a higher dose of the medicine was required. Moonwing noticed that her father had problems with breathing. Without any hesitation she pressed the button on the small device and with it releasing more of the medicine. It took its time for it to kick in but gladly his breath normalized. The mare was still holding his hook with hers, and the machine was reacting upon her actions. So it could only mean that she was not a mere illusion of his clouded mind.

Moonwing’s tufted ears went down while her sad eyes gazed upon the stallion.

“Daddy… do you remember what happened to you?”

“I-I… I remember a blinding flash.” Finally he managed to lift his head up and look at his daughter. “Pain in my horn…” A flashback hit his mind and it seemed that he relived the past. “And a voice… which has been burned into my mind.” Their eyes met. He saw his own reflection, yet he did not recognize the stallion who was supposed to be him.

“You screamed after me.” A sting went through his head and he moaned. “Chaos.” Another uncontrolled movement of his head. “Laughter.” The pain made him speak through his clinched teeth. “My wings… they were ripped… you were falling.” He freed his hook of her grasp and pressed it against his temple. “Laughter echoed through the caves.”
Pictures flashed in his mind. Like it would be a puzzle each coming flash brought clarity alongside the pain. Suddenly it stopped as fast as it started. The wind ruffled their manes and continued its way deep into the mountain.

“I remember. I remember everything.” His voice has changed. It did not sound broken, weak or unfamiliar. The true voice of the king echoed through the cavern.

“Only for a moment I was not looking after you. It was enough for a small filly to disappear in these depths. Then I heard you scream. Never in my life was I running so fast…" His voice failed him for a momnet but he continued his story. "Something pounced me out of the darkness and ripped the weave of my wings. I felt how something went violently into my horn. I ignored everything... I simply followed your voice.” The king's vision became blurry but he was not paying any attention to the tears.

“A strange looking creature was holding you. Laughing at my sight it tossed you into an abyss. You were very young and your wings were not strong enough to fight against the winds. I-I jumped after you…” Abruptly he stopped to talk and wiped away his tears. “My memory ends here… I woke up with a terrible pain in my heart. Though I did not know what it meant I knew that I have failed something.”

“I remember how everything went dark.” Moonwing pushed herself against his chest. “I was being tossed by the winds like a toy… until you reached after me. You tried to use your magic but nothing happened.” She was shaking while the words were losing their volume in the cavern. “You tried to slow the fall with your hooks… the terrible sound of stone being ripped apart still haunts me. We kept falling. Many times you hit against the walls… each time you shielded me with yourself. Then we have been tossed out by the winds and the walls of stone turned into a mighty cavern . The bottom came closer and closer… One more time you tried to use magic and in panic you unleashed a magical surge. Before we hit one of the underground wells magic surrounded us… protecting us from certain death.”

She stopped to talk and simply pressed her face against his ample chest. His wing embraced her on its own while he whispered his daughter a silent “Shhhh…”

“I woke up ashore… you lying next to me. I tried to wake you up but nothing worked. If not for the mighty impact in one of the main wells we would have never been found so quickly. You fell into a coma and since then you remained in it for a very long time.”

“H-how long… was I gone?”

She was trying to fight against the tears while she looked into her father’s eyes. Sadness, but even more importantly guilt was written in them. Roughly he could imagine for how long he was gone… for Alicorns do not age as fast as other races.

“How long… please answer me.”

“You were gone for nearly a millennium.”

The stallion was acting like something has petrified him. He was gone for nearly a millennium? His shoulders felt heavy like somepony has placed something upon them. A strange voice went out from him but the mask made it sound even stranger. Considering how Moonwing looked like now, all the new devices, ways of raising constructions… it could be possible that nearly a thousand years have passed.

Sadly it did not make it any easier to comprehend it. The father stood up, while his daughter tried to read something from his facial expression. He helped her to gently stand up and without saying anything he turned around to the table.

“I have lost so many years.” Moonwing took her place besides him while he spoke this words. “I could not watch how you grew into the beautiful mare you are now.” She blushed a little bit but remained in a royal posture. “What is happening to our Kingdom? Nopony wanted to talk to me.”

“You have woken up suddenly father… we all were shocked once the message reached us. The doctors had to wait till your condition would get better… it was also Corvus’s wish to let you regain strength first.”

“Where is your brother? And why did he give an order like that?”

“He… we were afraid that it would badly affect your health. Even now I am not sure if I should talk to you about this matter.”

“Enough of this secrecy my child. Knowing that you might be hiding something of great importance makes me feel only worse… “He was thinking for a moment. “I can’t really explain it but I had a vision. I saw our Kingdom being torn apart.”

His daughter did not say anything. She closed her eyes and touched her heart with the hook. “Since you were gone for so long… the high council declared to Corvus, that he shall take your place during your absent. In that moment the six Lords were against the council’s decision. Openly they declared that they would rather separate themselves from our kingdom...than let a blighted one rule over them.” She lowered her head. “Three hundred years ago Nocturia has been split apart and with it we lost our former glory.”

A very strong wind came through the entrance. The loss scrolls, papers and letters have been blown away, quickly disappearing in the darkness. Only one scroll remained on the table… the very scroll he was held with his free hook.

< I feel that my time is slowly running out… How am I supposed to face my ancestors while knowing what is happening with their legacy… >

“Father please… you need to rest and spare your strength. Come with me I will help you reach your chambers.” The noticeable concern in her eyes and voice deeply touched him, but also filled his heart with sadness. Gently he intended to nuzzle her but quickly stopped because of the mask. This is why he gently touched her cheek with his free hook.

“Smile for me my little star.” Carefully he lifted Moonwing’s head and looked into her yellow eyes. This act rewarded the sickly king with a smile that he has loved since her birth. The problems of the world were pushed aside even if it was only for a moment. Even the pain seemed to have left the old body of his.

“I am so sorry Moonwing.”

“Oh daddy I missed you so much.” Once more she pushed his hook against her cheek. “I should have never left your side back then.”

“You were still a child and we become wiser upon our mistakes. Do not blame yourself for what have happened. If somepony is to blame then it is me. But now we have to push aside our personal feelings.”

“Father?”

“The news you have brought to me fill my heart with grief. The old foundations of our society are threatened by greed and lust for power. I shall honor your wish… but first I will finish something I have sadly not started yet.”

Once more but finally for the last time he looked at the ink bottle. With a swift move the hook removed the wax like butter and opened it like a bottle of champagne. The ink bottle has been placed on the table right next to the one left scroll.

“Father you really need some rest. In your condition you should not…”

“I may not be as healthy as I once used to be, but my mind has not been affected by it.” He cut in a bit too harsh. The father’s ears went down once the realization kicked in. “I am so sorry… but the very same thing was being thrown at me day after day in that cursed isolation room.”

Moonwing seemed to be not affected by his harsh action, but she also did not say anything. The daughter was simply watching his every move trying to find some clues in both the body language, and her father’s sickly eyes. Gladly during all the years of servitude for the subjects he learned to hide his true feelings behind a mask. Only a few individuals were able to see the truth hidden behind it. The mare on his side was one of these individuals. At least he thought so.

“Tell me the truth… how grim is our current situation? How far does our kingdom reach now? How many allies do we have left? Did any acts of war been executed within this realm?”

“Since your coma has befallen you certain ponies saw an opportunity of overtaking our kingdom… but no alliances were forged for there is only place for one on the stalagmite throne. Everypony believed that your reign has come to an end. Our borders reach far beyond the three mighty hills… but the borders of the six lords have grown, since they are expanding deeper into the earth. Gladly there were no open acts of war, only a few struggles Corvus managed to stop with his presence. But what he did not prevent were conflicts between the Diamond Dogs and other races…”

< So this is the price for all my hard work and servitude… > Without intending it the king ripped his free hook into the wood leaving a nasty ‘scar’ on the surface of the table. A cold sweat seemed to run down his back while he struggled to free his hook from the wood. To be honest he was starting to feel sick again. Something that did not go unnoticed.

“Father you need to seek out a doctor.”

“No! Enough time has been taken away from me. The legacy of our ancestors is threatened by the six tribes and their Lords. Ponies I have believed to be my friends disgraced the honor of our house because lust for wealth and power has blinded them. They destroy bounds of friendship between other races and openly break vows of their own ancestors. Everything has fallen to the verge of barbarism!”

His eyes lay upon the blank scroll, while he felt the piercing eyes of his little star upon him.

“There was once a time I believed that I could overcome everything on my own for my beloved subjects. Because of this foolishness Nocturia became a shadow of its former self. In my current state I barely manage to walk properly on my own… but even if this would not be the case this situation is bigger than me.“

Slowly and with noticeable hesitation the stallion pushed his right hook into the ink bottle.

“What do you intend to do father?”

“Do something I should have done long ago.” He looked at her with weak yet serious eyes. “I will require your help. I need the fastest flying courier our kingdom has to offer, and even more importantly I will need tons of books and scrolls.”

“Of course father…” It was obvious that she was a bit surprised for his last bidding.

“It is the duty of the king to serve his subjects. But how am I supposed to be of any use with my lack of knowledge?”

“As long you will gather your knowledge without threatening your health I will provide you with everything.”

< You sound like your mother… she would be very proud of you. > His hook reached the scroll and with great disappointment the king realized that he went out of shape. The hookwriting looked far beyond awful.

“Before you will go…”

Moonwing’s horn started to glow and with closed eyes she casted a spell. The scrolls that have been taken by the wind landed on the table. Some of them were torn but the most were in good shape, and surprisingly in the same order he has placed them on the table.

“Thank you. Go now my little star. We have a lot of work to do.”

The king’s full attention belonged to the scrolls now. It took him a while and a lot of scrolls till his old shape returned, but in the end he managed to overcome this small problem. His message was ready and his seal was magically securing its content. But he was sure that the one who would receive this message would be able to open it on her own.

< I can only hope that my mistakes will not mean the end of Nocturia. >

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The sun was about to hide behind the horizon being barely a small ember of its true glory. Its fading light slowly vanished shrouding the land with a dark coat. Like every living being needs air and water to live the land needed a break from the warmth of the blazing star. Once the last blaze has finally disappeared behind the mighty mountains a small point of light lit up its surroundings with its turquoise color.

A silhouette could be recognized within the cone, creating a very bizarre looking contrast to the night. It seemed like the silhouette was melting with the colors of the night or better said was being one with it. The complete darkness started to be pushed away by a delicate light of the moon, which was taking its rightful place upon the night sky. The great satellite was being followed by countless stars, like sheep that were following its shepherd.

Once unleashed the stars spread all over the sky creating all kind of shapes of the known star constellations, and the ones that were waiting to be discovered by the subjects. The silhouette was following each move of its creation, making sure that everything was in perfect order. Satisfied with the result of the hard work the caster enchanted the night with various colors coming either from comets or other earthly affections. With each move of the head the sky wrapped itself in beauty until the work has been finally done.

Everything was gently lit up by the moon’s light, or better said by its reflection. They symbiotic pact between two astronomical objects was once more playing their roles in the circle of life. Princess Luna embraced the incoming wind with open wings and enjoyed its gentle touch. She allowed herself to let out a relaxed sigh before she turned around, and left the balcony she kept using to start her nights.

Two Unicorn guards were waiting for her at the entrance. Both wearing the darker uniform of the Night Guard they welcomed her by hitting their breastplate with their banded hooves. A very old form of greeting their ruler, but Luna was used to it and only by her bidding the guards were performing it. Each of them took their place on both her side. The oldest among them was called Heinrich and was one of her most trusted Guards. The elder pony quickly gave his princess a slight insight on the upcoming meetings with various ponies and other races.

As much as boring the schedule may sound, Heinrich always managed to make it sound entertaining. Unlike the most guards he kept adding funny comments about obvious facts without insulting anypony. Deep inside her heart Luna wished that every guard would be like him, and not like the most guards who acted like golems. They were walking through one of many hallways, which were decorated with stained glass.

The colors were delicately melting with each other, creating an enchanting light effect that only the colors of the north could beat. While Heinrich kept talking the mare enjoyed the soft light upon her skin. The guard on the left remained silent and it was obvious that he seemed to be stressed. A new recruit who tried to make a good impression on the side of his ruler and teacher alike.

“You do not have to be afraid of me dear Guard.” Said Luna and interrupted Heinrich with a gentle touch of her wing. She could hear his annoyed mumbles under his nose, but after she smiled at him the elder forgave her for interruption. It did not stop his mumbles though.

“Also you are performing well. Heinrich does have a good eye for new recruits.”

“T-Thank you Mylady.” Said the young guard and tried to hide his blush behind his helm. “Ser Heinrich is a very good teacher.”

“The time will show if your words are true boy. If not for the Princess I would have never taken a new pupil under my *wings*.”

This seemed to deeply bother the youngling but he maintained his posture properly.

“Do not worry about your teachers words. He does tend to make things sound negative, hiding their true meaning behind a wall of words.”

“I did not even warm up yet Mylady. If you do not mind... there are still some points that require your full attention.”

“Please continue then.” She looked at the youngling and spoke to him in his mind. <He was praising you each time he send you on a patrol. Heinrich is not easily impressed. Keep up the good work my fellow subject. >

A hint of a smile appeared on his face but he remained professional, and simply kept escorting his Princess. For quite a while her full attention belonged only to Heinrich and his voice, which could easily wrap one with its net. Some claimed that he was a good story teller and often she heard that he was visiting orphans in his free time. Maybe because he knew how hard the life of an orphan could be?

Or maybe because he was all alone in this world? As much as he likes to talk he barely told anything about himself, and his papers were vaguely telling his story. Finally he ended his *short* report only a few steps before the mighty door that was leading into the throne room.

The younger recruit stepped forward and touched the surface of the door with his horn on three different locations. With a loud *clack* one door wing opened and quickly the young stallion went in. His voice echoed through the hall and the throne room.

“Princess Luna! Beauty and incarnation of the Night! Rightful ruler on the side of her marvelous sister Princess Celestia!”

The choice of words surprised her, and even more surprisingly it also caught Heinrich of guard. So far only a few ponies have ever called her incarnation of the night. It filled her heart with joy to be called like that. With a light purple blush on her cheeks the Princess of the Night looked at Heinrich, and nod at him pleased by his fine choice.

“Sometimes I really do not understand this boy… but I know that what is going on in his heart will never fail us.”

“A small seed can grow into a mighty tree if one will tend to it with care and patience. Something tells me that he is a piece of coal that will one day turn into a diamond.”

“I will sadly not live long enough to see that.”

His words filled her heart with grief. For a very long time she have seen ponies live and depart from this world, while she and her sister remained upon this world for the sake of new and future generations. The door has been finally opened fully by the kind help of magic and both ponies entered the great throne room. Like in the hallway the throne room was being enveloped by the colors of the stained glass.

They were following the rich red carpet that was older than the most guards within this room. Upon the throne sat her sister Princess Celestia. Only two Guards of the day remained at the steps of the throne, waiting for their Princess so they could finally bring her back to her quarters. As usual she was being busy with her work, but once she saw her little sister the Alicorn smiled happily at her and with a wink of her wing she quietly called Luna to herself. The Princess of the Night thanked Heinrich for his time and allowed him to return to his many duties. He bowed gracefully and left the room with his faithful pupil.

“Dearest sister you can go rest now. I shall watch over the night as I always did.”

Princess Celestia was still sitting on the throne, finishing signing certain documents that were requiring her attention. Again she smiled at her sister and without any words Celestia pointed at the last ten documents, her secretaries were holding on silver tablets in front of their ruler.

“They seem never to find an end hmm?” Princess Luna giggled and watched how her sister quickly yet properly signed everything. “You do realize that I could take over now dearest sister?”

“Yes I am certain of this but you have enough work on your back already. I do not wish to bother you with my duties.”

< You were performing my duties for over a millennium Celestia… > Thought Luna and sighed in her thoughts, thinking about the mistakes of her past. Suddenly a guard charged into the throne room. It was one of her Night Guards who has already started their duties outside the walls of the castle.

“Princess Celestia! Princess Luna!” The guard was gasping for air after he reached the stairs of their throne.

“What is the meaning of it? Aren’t you one of the guards who I stationed at the gates?” Asked Luna trying not to speak in the old archaic way of time long passed.

“Yes Mylady… I have been ordered to go ahead and inform you about the unexpected visit of a delegate.”

“A delegate? Indeed this is something truly unexpected. Usually we are being informed about such matter… we are not prepared to welcome him or her properly.” Said Celestia and finished to sign the last scroll. “Can it be that our friends from Saddle Arabia moved their meeting with us?”

“This is rather unlikely… we both know how much they like to keep everything in order.” Said Luna and looked back at her Guard. “Who is this delegate and where does he come from?”

“I have to disappoint you Princess Celestia. The Delegate is not from Saddle Arabia. He himself claims that he has been send to Equestria by the King under the Mountain.”

Both Celestia and Luna did not manage to suppress a gasp. Some of the guards lifted their eyes brows, while others remained professional watchers. Or simply golems as she used to call some of them.

“Where is this Delegate?”

“He is on his way Princess… the Commander of the Night Guard decided that it would be better to escort him in the traditional way.”

“A wise decision…” Said Celestia and levitated the scroll with her quill to the nearby secretary. “You may go and rest for a while.”

“Princess Celestia. Princess Luna.” The guard bowed respectfully before his rulers and left the throne room along side with the secretaries, who were trying to not drop the pyramids of scrolls on their tablets.

“We did not receive any messages from the Nocturians for a very long time…” Luna sounded very concerned. “The last time we ever heard from them was in the time their King offered us Friendship by granting some of his soldier to our Night Guard.”

“Soon we shall find out what it is all about.” The sound of a horn went through the air.

It was obvious that this was not an Equestrian horn. The doors have been opened and a formation of Night guards entered the hall. In the middle of the formation stood a batwinged Pegasi. He was wearing clothes that have been webbed out from caught light of the eclipse. An impressive looking saddle was decorating his back in a way, that would let him use his wings without any problems. The Nocturian was looking at the Princesses with his cat like eyes. He seemed to be a little bit tense and probably stressed, but he managed to control it somehow.

“I sincerely welcome you in the magical land of Equestria.” It was Princess Luna who was speaking for she had the right to speak first during the night. “Please forgive us that we could not welcome you properly… but none of us was expecting to welcome a delegate of Nocturia on this very Night.”

“I am honored and very thankful for your Kindness Princesses of Equestria. May your reign be long, and bring fourth happiness, wealth and the most beautiful days and nights to this land and its inhabitants.” The delegate looked at Princess Celestia and bowed gracefully as he did for Luna.

“May your state in this land bring fourth gratitude, happiness, tolerance and friendship for you and every Nocturian.” Said Celestian and nod at the stallion. “You honor us with your presence delegate from beneath the mountains.”

“Equestria is truly a wonderful place Mylady… but I will not have the time to enjoy its beauty. I have been send here on the behalf of King Eridanus, the first of his name, guardian of the Underground, and the rightful ruler of Nocturia” He took a message out of his sadle by using one of his hooks. The Nocturian knelled in front of the two sisters and lifted the message with both his hooks.

“In the name of the Elements and the Magic of Friendship…” Surprisingly he raised his head and looked at the Princesses. Luna and her older sister noticed right away the great sadness within his eyes.

“We the Nocturians ask you… no we beg you for your help.”

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