• Published 27th Oct 2011
  • 2,581 Views, 132 Comments

Lunar Apprehension - Vypor



A mysterious pony attempts to show Luna her work is appreciated, but Celestia sees him as a threat.

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Prologue 2

“You're going to search for your father?” Speil said blankly. “How would you plan to do such a thing? You do not even know which direction to go.”

Tsyreim shrugged. “That is why I'm coming to you. You've been around longer than anyone I know. Which really isn't saying much, but you catch my drift.”

“Perhaps I do. But you have to realize something Tsyreim.” Speil continued. “I cannot guide you forever outside. Only in the vicinity of this cave. If you get lost. Then you are lost, and there is no way to find you.”

Tsyreim sighed. “I know this well enough. But... I feel like I NEED to do this. For mom... That's why I came to you, I need to know if there's a way to cast a guiding spell, or something to mark my way and make a makeshift path so to speak.”

“The closest spell to what you are requesting, would be to leave crystals as you go. With the ability to sense and manipulate the crystals, you would be able to detect them from a reasonable distance without having to see them.”

Tsyreim tilted his head. “So I'd have to learn a spell that manipulates crystals?”

“Not a spell.” Speil corrected him. “It is something you are gifted with as the guardian of this place. More of an exclusive elemental power.”

“Whoa... I wasn't aware of that...” Tsyreim looked down, pondering. “Do I, already have this skill?”

“No.” Speil simply said. “Why do you think you do not yet have your mark? You have not passed the test.”

Tsyreim stood up straight. “Well then, what's the test? Let's have at it.” His determination turned to confusion however as Speil began to chuckle.

“Do you think it is so easy to do?” They told the eager young Unicorn. “It is not a test that can simply be set up and planned out. It happens when it happens, and the outcome depends on how YOU deal with it.”

Tsyreim stared blankly. “...What.”

Speil sighed again. “I cannot plan it for you, or give it to you any time I wish. It is your choice when it comes, you must choose to deal with it. You must overcome it, for you will be the only one who can.”

Tsyreim plopped back on his haunches and sighed. “Well great... Guess I'll just have to wait then huh?”

“At your current state, you would struggle greatly to complete the test even if it came now anyway. You require more training and practice, then, you will be prepared for it.”

Tsyreim stood back up. “Well, fine then.” He started back toward his bed, then stopped and turned again. “But... What if I can't pass the test?”

The reply made him realize something about himself that he didn't even know yet. “Do you have the same resolve that your mother did when all hope was lost, yet still she was determined to save you?”

Speil continued. “If you are so determined that you would go out into the wilderness knowing full-well that you could get lost. But doing it all just to bring one lost dream back to your mother, then I say to you. Yes, you do have the same resolve. And if applied correctly, it will allow you to overcome anything.”

Tsyreim simply stood there thinking, and thinking hard. He looked back up as Speil spoke again. “Now go, get some sleep. You have much to think about, and much training to forego before you are truly ready to undertake such a feat.”

Tsyreim nodded. “Indeed I do. And hey Speil... Thanks, for that. If what you said is true, then I will not stop until I have succeeded. My mother deserves my all, and that is what I will give.” With that, he went back to his bed. And as he lay down, all that Speil said echoed through his mind. There was no doubt about it, he had set his mind to this task. And he would fulfill it, no matter the cost to himself.

The following days, Tsyreim worked steadily on his spells and magic mastery. His determination helped him excel in virtually every one that he set his mind to. Gem was quite surprised at how quickly and diligently he worked at them, taking to magic even faster than he did to the regular physical exercises.

Tsyreim worked with Speil, studying the stars and their positions. He learned how to use them to be able to tell direction, and to utilize them as a limited guide. The more he studied magic, the more Tsyreim began to understand the language of magic, which in turn only made the next spell easier. Till the only thing holding him back for more powerful spells was his physical ability, which he continually trained to make sure he could keep practicing and learning.


- - - - - - -
Three months later
- - - - - - -


“Begin.” Gem said, standing back.

Tsyreim uttered a spell and in the same motion, leaped up, his tail flashing in a green light. He passed up another light floating in the air, which instantly expanded into a spinning arcane circle.

Tsyreim stomped his hooves down upon it and started to leap from it, but it vanished too quickly and he made a rather ungraceful thump back to the the ground. “Dangit, it disappeared too quickly...”

He shook his head and stood again, looking over at Gem as she spoke up. “Remember what Speil said. It take a great amount of energy to hold, so you have to cast it and use it in the time that it is there, otherwise you'll be using up your energy in no time.”

Tsyreim took a breath and looked back up at the branch he was aiming for. “Right... Well then, let's try this again.” Concentrating again, he cast the spell as he jumped, planting his hooves firmly on the circle, he wasted no time jumping from it again. He didn't get a full jump before it vanished once again, but it was well enough to reach his targeted branch. And he landed on it nimbly, balancing and grinning down at his mother.

“I heard leaves rustling, and no thud on the ground.” She smiled. “A success I'll take it.”

“You got that right. But that spell don't wait for anypony, it's gonna take more practice for sure.” Tsyreim hopped off the branch, casting the spell again to land and then slow his fall to the ground again. But he projected wrong and belly-flopped on the circle, which promptly disappeared, making him belly-flop a second time onto the ground.

“Oww....” He groaned as Gem giggled, walking up to him. “I think you should probably take a break from that one, give your bones a rest before you break them.”

Tsyreim wobbled to his hooves again and shook his head. “You got that right... I could go for a break. I'm rather fond of being able to walk.”

He took up his standard position alongside of Gem, making sure to clear the path of any small obstacles she could trip over. Gem smiled as she turned her head slightly to the sound of a small branch dropping into some bushes. “Did I ever mention how handy it is to have you with me when I walk?”

Tsyreim chuckled as he kicked a rock out of the way. “I'm quite sure you don't need to at this point.” He smiled warmly at her next words.

“Well I'll say it anyway. It's wonderful to have you walk with me.” She said softly, walking into a small clearing.

“Allow me to one-up you.” Tsyreim said as he walked next to her. “It's wonderful to have you as a mother.”

Gem didn't bother trying to continue the debate, she knew how competitive her son was. And even though she could have the last word being the mother and all, she chose to let him have his limited victory. She bent down and lay in the grass, taking a deep breath of the fresh air.

Tsyreim lay down beside her and looked upward, watching the clouds slowly drift by. His contemplation of the quiet afternoon slowly drifted back to his plans to find his father. With all his training and mastery of spells, he knew he had to be growing close to this 'test' Speil had spoken of.

Gem however turned her head towards Tsyreim, and even though she couldn't see, she still could sense something was going on with him. “Tsy.” She spoke, breaking him from his stupor. “What is the matter?”

Tsyreim looked around, trying to conjure up some sort of excuse. “Well, just sort of debating how to better master the spell is all.” He grinned unconvincingly, glad that Gem couldn't see it.

She however stared toward him, blinking occasionally. “Is that so.” She stated, turning back to the sky. “You know I don't believe you.”

“Yeeahhh... That was fairly obviously.” Tsyreim sighed, scratching the back of his neck. “But despite that, I would just rather not talk about it.”

Gem sighed and nodded her head. “I hate it when you hide things from me, but usually you have a good reason for doing so.”

Tsyreim paused, then grinned. “...Usually.”

“Yes, usually.” Gem giggled.

They both snickered for a bit till Gem spoke up again. “I'm not even gonna bring the Poison Joke incident up.”

The clearing echoed in laughter as mother and son embraced the afternoon, reliving old stories of Tsyreim's mischief.

Eventually Gem stood up. “Well I suppose we should head back. And might I suggest you practice the spell a bit more?” She winked.

“I'll try to keep all my limbs functioning correctly.” Tsyreim chuckled, nudging her forward. Walking beside her, he looked to the side into the seemingly endless field of trees. Turning back to Gem, he paused, seeing she had stopped several seconds earlier. Her ears twitched slightly as she listened intensely.

“Something else is here...” She whispered. “I hear growls. They're coming from ahead.”

Tsyreim immediately took battle stance. “Which direction?”

“They're large Tsy. I don't think-”

“They are most likely a threat, and they are near to our home.” Tsyreim interrupted her. “What sort of Guardian would I be without protecting that which I was trained to protect? Besides, if we're lucky, I may be able to reason with them.”

“Tsy...” Gem sighed, knowing she was fighting a losing battle this time. “Be careful then.”

“No, YOU be careful.” Tsyreim said, turning to her. “You had best hide in the trees. Stay out of the fight.”

Gem nodded and took off, Tsyreim guiding her to a large branch above. “I'll be back, don't you worry mother.” Tsyreim swallowed, knowing he wasn't nearly as mentally ready as he was portraying.

Trotting off toward the cave, he slowed to a sneak as the growls became more audible. Tsyreim avoiding teleportation spells due to the noise of casting. He dodged behind a tree as he saw a large lion's tail flip into view, telling him all he needed to know about the creature.

“Manticore.” He muttered, glancing around the tree again. “Gonna have to balance hard hits and evasiveness with this one...”

Looking again, he heard another roar, recognizing it as one of Speil's tricks, attempting to fend off the Manticore. Who surprisingly enough didn't seem to give much of a care about the roars. They were probably a juvenile who thought they were tough as bricks.

Tsyreim took stock of the trees, and leapt up into the branches. He paused, then jumped off the tree, teleporting above the Manticore's head as he passed the tree halfway. His momentum carried further, and he steadied his back legs, giving a powerful kick squarely to the Manticore's head.

The Manticore gave a surprised roar which quickly became a pained grunt as their head hit the ground. Tsyreim wasted no time, and teleported back into the trees to avoid a counterattack.

The Manticore stood up dizzily and spun, trying to figure out who their assailant was. And more importantly, where they were so they could clobber them. Tsyreim had other plans however, and teleported back behind them, casting a speed spell. He began dashing at great speed around the Manticore at random directions, disorienting them further.

The Lion-esque creature did not care for this, and slammed their tail down in what they hoped was Tsyreim's next path, attempting to stop him long enough to hit. The guess was lucky enough, and Tsyreim barely had time for a rolling jump just over it. The bare miss only infuriating the Manticore even further, who began to slam their paws and tail down all around them.

Tsyreim took this to his advantage, and teleported away, casting another spell to make false renditions of himself. He then sped them around the Manticore fast enough that they couldn't tell it wasn't actually him. Tsyreim watched them tire themselves out more and more, panting heavily as he made them vanish.

He then walked out calmly onto the top of the hill in plain view, and spoke out loudly so the Manticore would hear him. “You have no right to intrude upon this place. Leave now or you will suffer further.” He spoke, noting how the Manticore didn't give a care about what he said, and instead charged right for him.

“Then so be it.” Tsyreim said nonchalantly, waiting till the Manticore was almost on top of him, then teleporting behind them and kicking their leg, sending them stumbling forward awkwardly. He began teleporting all around them, kicking and punching different spots.

The Manticore however, was already disoriented and weary from the earlier battle, and couldn't keep a bearing on their attacker very well. Tsyreim suddenly teleported onto the Manticore's tail and waited. The Manticore, thinking they had Tsyreim finally, swung their tail, sending him flying.

The Unicorn grinned, hoping this would be the case, as he formed into a kick and teleported below the Manticore's head, his momentum delivering a solid kick to their lower jaw. The force sent the Manticore flipping backwards, thudding to the ground wit ha pained groan and twitch.

Tsyreim hit the ground and stood up quickly, shaking his head and regaining his bearings from the flipping around and teleporting. He slowly grinned as he saw the Manticore laying out unconscious.

Picking up a rock, he threw it at the Manticore, making sure they were unconscious. The rock collided with a dull thud and rolled off onto the ground. They were out cold.

Tsyreim took a deep breath and stood for a few seconds, feeling the adrenaline still rushing through his veins. This was his first REAL battle, and his face erupted into a smile as he realized just how much he actually enjoyed it.

He ran back to Gem and and called up into the trees. “Told ya I'd be back.” He chuckled. “Also, it was just a Manticore.”

“JUST a Manticore?” Gem sputtered as she flew down. “Manticores are large and tough!”

“I have a feeling this one was a young one, didn't know how to fight very well.” Tsyreim said, leading her back. “I knocked him out cold, and now I don't know what to do with him.”

“Well you must carry him out into the forest I believe.” Gem said, “I don't remember exactly, but Speil will know how to correctly do it.”

“Right, well come on, before they wake up again.” Tsyreim said, leading her back into the cave. “Hey, Speil ol buddy. How do I get rid of our houseguest?”

“Impressive battle.” Speil said. “It was a good time for you to show up. But we will talk later. Now, you must take them away from the cave. Leave them in a clearing, and mark the crest next to them so they will see it when they awaken.”

Tsyreim pauses. “Umm, ok. And how on Earth will I know 'the crest'? You've never shown it to me before.”

“I do not need to. You would find it eventually.” Speil simply said. “Perhaps now if you wish to see it, you should check your own flank.”

“What...” Tsyreim spun, looking back at his flanks, eyes lighting up as he saw a mark there. “OH MY GOD!” He shouted. “I got it! I got my mark!”

“Admire it another time, you have work to do.” Speil told him.

“Oh yeah, right! Be right back.” He galloped out of the cave.

Gem smiled. “So, he finally earned his mark.”

“It was that battle, fighting to defend this place.” Speil replied. “He discovered his love to battle, and his skill at it.”

Tsyreim ran up to the Manticore and concentrated, lifting the whole creature into the air, and carrying them off into the woods with him. Finally reaching a small clearing, he set them down in the grass and paused, looking back at his flank. “Ok, now how do I make this thing...?”

He looked around, trying to find some way to mark the area. Then jumped back, telekinetically pulling the grass up in the form of his mark. Every once in awhile he would glance back at it to make sure he got it right. Then he stood back, admiring his work. Though no sooner had he finished, then the Manticore groaned and began to move.

Tsyreim teleported into the trees and almost left, but instead waited to see what the creature would do. The Manticore sat up and looked around, blinking in confusion, then looked down, seeing the peculiar pointed mark in the ground.

Pausing for a bit, they finally stood up and lumbered off into the forest. Tsyreim simply shrugged an headed back to the cave, arriving inside to find a meal already laid out for him. “Wh-What's all this?” He asked, looking over the spread.

“You gained your mark today.” Gem said. “That is one of the most defining times in a pony's life, and it was also your first successful protection of our home.”

Tsyreim shuffled, kicking a stone. “Hey I, I just did what needed to be done.”

“Don't be shy about it, Speil told me you enjoyed event.” Gem grinned. “I fixed you something extra special today to celebrate it.”

Tsyreim walked over to Gem and hugged her. “Thank you mom. I just wish you could actually see my mark.”

Gem just nodded and hugged him back. “I don't have to see it to know that it's perfect for you.” A tear rolled down her face, and she shook her head. “Now eat darnit! The food is going to get cold.”

Tsyreim just sat down where he was and ate beside her, smiling the whole time.

Nighttime came, and Gem kissed Tsyreim goodnight. “Sweet dreams, my little Guardian.”

“Oh please, I'm bigger than you are. But not nearly as dangerous.” Tsyreim chuckled, nudging her. “That Manticore just better be glad that it was I who fought it, and not you. Celestia have mercy on it's soul had that happened.”

“Shush you.” Gem giggled, settling down in her bed.

Tsyreim once again waited till she was asleep, and snuck off int other main room again. Speil however, didn't even give him time to speak. “Up late again master Tsyreim?”

“Cut the master stuff, I'm not much of a master.” Tsyreim rolled his eyes. “I'm here to ask a question.”

“Before you ask it, yes. That was a sufficient test, and you passed with flying colors.” Speil said. “And yes yet again, that also means you can learn the Guardian's spells.”

“Yesssss.” Tsyreim pumped his foreleg. “When can I start?”

“Provided that you have mastered your current spells, then as soon as tomorrow would be possible.”

“Awesome, well I'm pretty sure you know I've mastered my current spells.” Tsyreim said happily, then glaring as Speil spoke again.

“So I have seen, Sir Bellyflop.”

“Was that sarcasm? From Speil?” Tsyreim said, starting to grin.

“No, you were mistaken.” Speil replied.

Tsyreim grinned more. “I dunno, I'm pretty sure it was...”

“Go to bed.” Speil commanded.

“Party pooper.” Tsy snickered, sneaking back off to bed.


- - - - - - -
Several days later
- - - - - - -


Tsyreim trained just as hard as before, learning the new Guardian's spells. They intrigued him, especially the Crystalkinesis. Being able to form, move, control and conjure crystals from the ground proved to be a very unique and useful skill.

Speil explained to him that if he left a small crystal every so often, he would be able to sense it from a distance. And this would allow him to make a path that only he would be able to sense and follow, a literal Guide's sense to different areas.

Gem learned of this as well, but being as she didn't know what Tsyreim planned to do with the skill, she simply found it to be a useful tool to prevent him getting lost if he went adventuring. Tsyreim on the other hand knew exactly what he was going to do, and immediately began practicing on forming and sensing crystals.

At one point during the practice, Gem stepped back inside the cave to get a drink, and Speil addressed Tsyreim. “When are you planning to go off on this grand adventure, sir?”

“As soon as I feel that I've mastered this skill well-enough. Which apparently will be soon. Because it's simple enough so far. Of course you probably have some fine print to tell me about it don't you?”

“Negative sir.” Speil replied. “The forming and guidance spells which you are practicing are indeed simple, and you are mastering them quite easily.”

“Well I guess I'll be leaving soon then.” Tsyreim added. “As a precaution, I'll at least leave the crystals closer together than I need.”

Gem walked back out of the cave, and Tsyreim continued to practice. He hadn't left to search yet, but he already felt pumped for the journey. A mixed combination of excitement, mystery, and danger. He also felt a bit afraid, probably to the possibility of getting lost.

Tsyreim mulled through the rest of the day, awaiting nighttime so he could begin. Gem seemed to pick up on his absentmindedness, but chose not to confront him about it. Going to bed, she hugged him tighter than normal, and as he looked up at her quizzically she spoke. “I love you Tsyreim... Don't ever forget that.”

Tsyreim swallowed back a lump and hugged her back. “Thanks mom, I love you too.” He watched Gem silently as she went over to her bed and lay down. He felt kind of bad for doing this now, he knew she sensed something was up, and the fact he wasn't telling upset her.

Waiting till she was asleep, Tsy snuck out into the main room and sighed. “Leaving so soon?” Speil inquired.

“I don't know.” Tsyreim sat down. “Mom knows I'm hiding something, and it's upsetting her.” He paused, then looked up. “Is what I'm doing right?”

“Who are you doing it for?” Speil asked.

“Well for mom of course, but it feels like it's punishing her, not rewarding her.”

“You haven't even found your father yet.” Speil added. “Ordinarily I would not condone this sort of action. But you have displayed a dedication to your training, and an at least well formed plan of action.”

Tsyreim nodded slowly as Speil continued. “The reward of seeing her husband will be the greatest reward she could receive. Apart from the gift of having a son who cares enough to go to such lengths to bring to reality a dream she thought she would never have.”

“Speil.” Tsyreim looked up. “Thank you. I mean it, thank you. That was my entire plan all along, I guess I kind of lost sight of it here.”

“One more thing however.” Speil said. “I cannot stress how important it is that you take every precaution to avoid becoming lost. If you cannot find your way back, I am afraid Gem may not be able to take that loss.”

“I understand.” Tsyreim sighed. “I have considered that many times. And I refuse to lose my way, I will not fail so easily at this task.”

“Let us pray you are right.” Speil noted.

“Before I begin, I have to ask you something.” Tsyreim continued. “I know you can't tell me precisely which way the settlements are, but can you at least sense a direction to head in?”

“That I can.” Speil affirmed. “From the information your mother has entrusted me with regarding how she became lost, her settlement is somewhere due Northwest of the Everfree forest. I have sensed one in that general direction many times. You however will need to travel Southwest to find it.”

“Then tell me the constellations to follow.” Tsyreim said. “As long as I have those to guide by at night, I can form a path to follow afterwards.”

“Understood.” Speil replied. “Your best bet would be to follow Dria to the Southwest.”

“Got it.” Tsyreim nodded, walking outside. “Anything else I should know?”

“I believe that is all I have for you.” Speil said. “So in that case, Godspeed Tsyreim. Be safe.”

“Thank you.” Tsyreim noted, scouring the skies till he found the Gryphonic constellation Dria. “See you later Speil. Rest assured, I will return.” With that, he trotted off down the hill.

He looked to and fro, forming small crystals beneath the ground frequently, making sure he could correctly sense them in order to find his way back. Looking to the skies, he followed the stars, staying on a path to the Southwest.

As Tsyreim traveled, he began to realize his fear was gone. It was probably due to the fact he had been concentrating so much on keeping a trail to follow and the constellations, that he hadn't even realized he was so far from the home he had never strayed from.

Hours passed, and fortunately he had not happened upon any hostile creature. Most animals were asleep at this hour to his relief. He noted the moon's position, and decided he was going to have to head back to make sure he wouldn't get in after Gem had awoken to find him gone. He would have no excuse not to tell her what he was doing at that point.

Turning, he galloped back toward home, his horn glowing as he began to sense the crystals he had left, following the trail. It was simple, and worked so well that he had to smile to himself. A path only he could sense, and was virtually impossible to miss when he knew how to follow it.

After about an hour, he noticed the familiar landscape, and then the hill where the cave resided. Immediately a voice greeted him. “I see you found your way back. Had you any difficulty?”

“Not a bit.” Tsyreim smiled. “It was easy, and I didn't happen upon any hostile creature. The path was simple to sense, and I left the crystals close enough together that I couldn't lose the trail.”

“Excellent.” Speil replied. “You may want to get in quickly. Gem is still asleep, but may not be for much longer.”

“Understood.” Tsyreim said, hopping down and sneaking back inside, over to his bed. Laying down, he fell asleep quickly. However, only had about forty-five minutes of rest before he awoke to Gem shaking him with her hooves.

“Get up sleepyhead.” She said as he shook his head, getting up and blinking. “Didn't get enough sleep last night?”

“Nah... Was kind of reh-reehhhaaww” He spoke, interrupted by his own yawn. “Agh... Sorry, restless was what I meant to say.”

“Ahh, right. Well don't go falling asleep during practice, I'd hate to have you fall out of a tree.” Gem rolled her eyes. “Breakfast is ready.”

Tsyreim yawned again, stretching. He was gonna have to take a break to get a full night's rest occasionally, or else Gem would really confront him about it.

The rest of the day went normally, training was without problem, and he passed with flying colors as usual. Though fortunately it was practicing a spell he had already known. Dinner came and went, and he once again waited till Gem was asleep, then snuck back out.

“I would advise against doing this more than two days in a row at a time.” Speil told Tsyreim as he climbed the hill.

“My thoughts exactly.” He noted, sensing his path. “Can't risk being too tired now can we?”

“Precisely. I know Gem will not stop till she has pried why you're out so late so often once she's set her mind to it.”

“Well then I guess I'll have to avoid that won't I?” Tsyreim said, trotting down the hill. “Well I'm off, wish me luck.”

“Noted.” Speil said as the unicorn galloped off.

Following the path, Tsyreim eventually reached his stopping point, spying the mark he made on a tree to let himself know where he had stopped. Looking to the sky, he continued his journey, going for several more hours. He began jumping up the trees to get a higher view, and perhaps see lights in the distance. But finally he had to cut the adventure to and end as the moon began to set again.

He barely made it back in time, and rested for only about fifteen minutes before Gem awoke him yet again.

“Tomorrow... I'm sleeping a full night.” Tsyreim thought to himself as he groggily rose from his bed. Routines ensued.


- - - - - - -
Eight days later
- - - - - - -


Tsyreim had abandoned his original trail, and branched off another, till abandoning it as well. He was on his third trail now, and the excitement he had felt the first time was running quite low. No trace of any sort of settlement, and over a week's worth of exploring was leaving him rather drained.

Making a quick reroute to climb a hill for a better view, he looked out over the horizon. Letting out a heavy sigh, he plopped down and took a quick break. “All this forest, and I expect to find a single settlement in it?” He leaned back and groaned. “I'm seriously doubting I'll ever find this place.”

Tsyreim stood up and took another glance over the landscape, suddenly stopping as he thought he saw a flash of light in the distance. “Wait a second...” He paused, leaning forward and squinting, waiting quietly as another small flash lit up in the same spot.

“Could that be...?” He waited till another flash, then immediately galloped down the hill to find the trail again. Whatever that flash was, he had to find it. After sensing his trail, he turned in the direction he saw the flashes and ran off toward them, growing crystals as he ran.

Eventually, he began to see the light even from down in the trees. He was close. His heart pumped faster, and he felt adrenaline pumping through his veins, the excitement growing faster. “Oh please oh please oh please...”

He stopped for a moment as he heard commotion, and listened. “Yes... Voices? Sweet!”

Ge galloped off a bit more, leaving a few more crystals as precaution, then snuck through the bushes. Buildings stood all around just past the woodline, and he gazed them over in curiosity. He had never seen houses before.

As he peeked through the brush, he saw a large festival. Every once in awhile, fire and light would pour from large tubes near some sort of platform, some ponies standing on it with strange devices. Beating on them and raking their hooves across them to make strange but melodious noises.

“Wow, this is weird.” He muttered, looking around. He had to get a better view, to find out what this place was, and if it was the correct town. Casting an invisibility spell, he began to trot around town, making sure not to bump onto anypony. Though some unicorns looked around curiously as he passed by, probably sensing the invisibility spell being used.

He jumped into the bushes again and took it off. As he looked around, he saw a banner between some houses. “Saddleburg annual festival. Yes, yesyesyesyesYES!” He began shaking with excitement, he had finally found the right town. He looked to and fro, trying to see anypony that might be his father.

“What did mom say... Oh yeah, he was a teacher. And teachers work in. Crap, what did she call them again?” He looked around the town and tried to remember what it was his father worked at. Finally choosing to just ask a pony. Nobody would know him, and he'd easily be able to escape if need be.

Walking out, he approached a few ponies awkwardly. “Umm, excuse me.”

They looked over toward him. “Where did you come from?” A grey Pegasus asked.

“Oh, I was just passing through.” Tsy shrugged.

“...At three AM?” An orange pony raised their brow.

“I prefer the night.” He shuffled. “But that aside, I have a question for ya'll. Umm, where is the... What is it, teacher's building?”

They stared him over, and snickered. “Wow, just wow.” One resisted a laugh. “You been living in a cave your whole life?”

Tsyreim's expression turned serious. “Perhaps I'm not as well-educated about society as your pompous selves, but that doesn't give you the right to mock my heritage.”

They all stared at him blankly before the grey one spoke up again. “Wait, so you DO live in a cave?”

“What. Is the building called, and where is it.” Tsyreim growled. “It's a simple question.”

“It's called a school.” The orange on said, pointing to a building. “And it's that one right over there. Also just so you know, cave-dweller, it's not open at three AM.”

“Thanks.” Tsyreim simply said, teleporting away, leaving them looking around to try and see where he went.

He looked down at them from a rooftop, then over at the school. “Well it's not like I had the option to not live in a cave ya rude equestrians.”

He leapt from rooftop to rooftop, thankful that most of the population was distracted by the festivities. After arriving on the schoolhouse, he jumped onto a back balcony, looking around for an entrance.

Seeing none, he decided to teleport inside, but as he tried, a magic force zapped him. “Whoa!” He stepped back, shaking his head. “Oh yeah...” He grumbled, remembering what Gem had told him once about ponies locking their houses with magic, to prevent an easy break in by teleporting unicorns.

Fortunately, all those years of nothing but practicing spells had taught him a few things. And devising a spell of his own, he worked it into the room, deactivating the locking spell. He quickly teleported in and snuck around.

It was rather dark, since the lights were off. He admired the crafting of the room, all the beautiful wooden planks. It was quite beautiful compared to the crude stone floors and cave he had lived in his whole life.

Exiting into a hallway, he went up and down the stairs, looking for clues to the room his father worked in. Stopping as soon as he saw a sign at a doorway.

Magic Kindergarten

Teacher: Cyrus

Tsyreim teleported inside and looked around. His heart beat heavily in his chest. Even though he had never even met his father, he knew this to be the room he would teach in. And the room he too would have learned in had Gem not become lost.

Finding the teacher's desk, he decided it looked important enough to be his father's. He turned and looked out the window at all the ponies. The festive atmosphere seemed to fill him with excitement, and he liked it. He had never seen any ponies besides his mother, and here there were ponies. Ponies everywhere.

He brainstormed several ideas on how to contact his father, knowing going through the crowd would be too hard and long a task. If his father was even in the crowd.

As he looked around the desk however, he saw paper and a pen. Gem had taught him how to speak, but had trouble teaching him to write since she was blind. So she worked with Speil to help guide him in how to write. He wasn't the best at it, but he could make it readable at least.

He took out the paper and pen and began to slowly scrawl a message out to his father.

“Dear teacher, you do not knoww Me. And I do not know you verry well. But I know who you are please I need to meet you soon. Meet me tomorrow niGht outside saddleburg on the east clearing in the woods. I have very importent information for yuo.”

He looked it over, frowning as he knew his father probably wouldn't be pleased with his spelling. But hopefully he got the message across. With that, he put it inside the desk, making it poke out a little so he could see it easily.

As he teleported back out onto the balcony, he looked up at the moon. He still had time, and he wanted to stay. The atmosphere from the big party was intoxicating with all the joy and laughter. But he had to get back, he needed his sleep, because he was coming straight back here tomorrow night.

Heading into the woods, he found his trail again, and marked where to head to the clearing. Then taking one last look at the town, he turned and galloped back off into the forest. His legs seemed filled with a renewed energy he had never felt before.

Finally arriving home, he walked into the cave. Speil's voice greeted him. “Had you any luck this time?”

“You have no idea.” Tsyreim smiled. “I found it. I found Saddleburg.”

After recounting the event to Speil, he headed to bed, arriving a couple hours earlier than he would have normally. That was a couple well-appreciated hours of sleep he wouldn't get. He was too excited to go to sleep immediately, he practically felt like shouting out.

Finally he had fallen asleep, and hadn't gotten much more sleep than usual before Gem began thumping him with her hoof again. “You sure are tired lately, what have you been doing this past week?”

He yawned and got up. “Ughm... Practicing?”

“Right. I'm about to sit you down and talk you over about it right now.” She muttered, turning around and heading for their makeshift table. “I'm sure you're well-aware I know you're up to something.”

“Yeah.” Tsyreim yawned yet again, sitting down at the table. “I assure you, it's for the good of both of us. But I just can't say right now.”

“You're wandering off aren't you?” Gem continued as if he hadn't spoken.

He was silent.

“I know you want to explore, but you need to get rest, do you understand?” She looked up slightly past him.

“Yes, I understand mother. I'm sorry.” Tsyreim nodded.

“Good, now stop going out so frequently. I won't object as long as you stay out of trouble and come back safe and sound. But you can't guarantee a safe trip every single time you know.”

“Also noted.” He grunted, taking a mouthful of food.

The rest of the day was business as usual. Though with more Gem prying at Tsyreim's adventures, and Tsyreim avoiding the said prying. Though finally they settled down to bed, and Tsyreim waited as usual.

He got up and began sneaking out, when suddenly he heard a voice. “Where are you going?”

Gem walked up after him. “Remember what I said?”

“Mother, I respect you more than anyone else.” Tsyreim began. “But I have to go out. Before, it was just adventure. But I really have to go out this time. Please, let me be this time.”

He looked back at her, swallowing as she hung her head. “Tsy... I don't want you jeopardizing everything. I don't know what you're doing, but please don't forget that what we have here must be kept a secret.”

“I understood that from the day I was told mother. Please, don't worry.” Tsyreim walked over, hugging her tightly. “I still haven't forgotten how much you love me. But I will return, rest assured.”

She hugged him right back without a word and walked slowly back to her bed.

Tsyreim watched her, and then headed outside. “I'm off Speil. Wish me luck today, more than ever.”

“Understood. Do be careful.” Speil replied. “The best of luck to you.”

Tsyreim galloped off, following his trail for hours. He soon found he was upon the town but it was much darker, no party, or lights flashing. “That's odd, they don't do that every night?”

He walked over to the clearing and froze. There near the center stood a dark unicorn, he started nodding off, and then looked up again, muttering. “Ugh... Why am I even here? It was probably just some prank.”

Tsyreim held his breath and slowly walked out of the bushes. The unicorn quickly turned and saw him. “You. You're the one who left the note? You do know you broke into a building, and should be reported don't you?”

Tsyreim shook as he opened his mouth. “I guess you don't know me... Of course you wouldn't. But I'm... Oh geez, I can't hardly talk.”

“Or spell either.” The unicorn dropped the note on the ground.

“Yeah I... I was taught by a blind pony.” Tysreim said quietly, Cyrus freezing at his words.

“What? You were taught by a, a BLIND pony?”

“Yeah, and you know her too.” Tsyreim smiled, tears rolling down his face as he looked into Cyrus' eyes.

“How's it goin'... Dad.”