• Published 27th Oct 2011
  • 2,878 Views, 132 Comments

Lunar Apprehension - Vypor

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

  • ...

Chapter 6: Nightmare Returned

Destiny is a funny thing.

Sometimes, it can be clear. 'Sometimes' however, is not always equatable with most-of-the-time. And it certainly isn't in Tsyreim's case, especially on this day, which just so happened to be the one-thousandth year anniversary of Princess Luna's banishment to the moon.

There would be no training for Tsyreim, no practice today. There were more important things at hoof today.

A series of gentle metal taps echoed in the corridors of Tsyreim's library as he stepped back onto the ancient stone slab yet again. Speaking once more, it rose into the air and hovered along the shelves as the now much, much older stallion placed varying scrolls back along the shelves.

As the stone slab slid back into place, he stepped off into the center of the room and looked around at the ancient shelves. Glancing down at the object before him, the two crystal rods sealed together. He began to unfurl them to reveal a canvas of magical energy, imbued with a spell he had spent years to develop.

He sighed and closed his eyes, preparing for this day since he first began to plan it out hundreds of years ago. If all went well, perhaps he could stop Nightmare Moon's wrath, and keep her from being banished once more to the moon for another thousand years.

Picking up the crystal scroll, he slipped it into a sling and fitted it across his side. He rehearsed the event in his mind yet again, trying to look at all the angles. The Summer Sun Celebration would be hosted at a small town this year, and he planned to scope it out first. This was after all, the night when Luna would return. And Tsyreim had every intention of abating her anger however he could.

His thoughts were drawn elsewhere as his mother's voice drifted into his head. “Overthinking things again are we?”

“One cannot overthink such an event, dear mother.” Tsyreim replied. “I made a promise to do whatever I could to dissipate the lunar sister's fury, and I fully intend to do thusly.”

“I cannot stress how important it is that you not make any more rash decisions than you already have... Namely, this entire plan itself.” Gem's voice continued.

“Fret not mother, I am fully prepared.” The stallion rolled his eyes. “Needless to say, I must begin my journey shortly. It may not be my duty to watch over the Elements themselves, but I cannot ignore the reasoning behind making sure they are not harnessed with an evil intent by Nightmare Moon.”

“An unharmonic being, harnessing the Elements of Harmony? It seems quite ironic, son.”

“Irony or no, I still feel accountable to them, and I will be there to assist in any way that I can.” Tsyreim stopped, pulling off his hoofmade metal fetlock-guards. “Now then, which set shall I utilize do you think?”

“Celestia will definitely be there.” Gem added.

“Good point, better choose the swift set. I'd rather not risk another unpleasant encounter with our glorious overseer.” Tsyreim chuckled, pulling out a set of fetlock-guards from the shelves, checking the runes engraved within to make sure it was the right pair.

Fitting them on, he hopped around to make sure they were set well, then walked toward the entrance. “Wish me luck mother, pray that my plan succeeds. For not only my sake, but Luna's as well.”

He paused next to a life-sized crystal sculpture in the likeness of a Pegasus and kissed the cheek, the varied colors that made it up glittered as he did so. “Farewell mother, I shall return.”

“The best of luck to you my son.” Gem's voice called after him. “Again, please be safe.”

Taking a look back at the cave before galloping off, the Unicorn smiled. “Consistent safety is not something my occupation permits so often I'm afraid, but nevertheless, I shall try.” Tsyreim turned back and ran through the forest toward Ponyville.

- - - - - - -
Current Time, Ponyille Library
- - - - - - -

A small purple pony paced uneasily around her temporary room. The setup for the celebration was well under way and right on schedule. And while this would ordinarily greatly please the normally over-organized equine, it was not the celebration that upset her, but rather the event that would overrule anything this town's residents could setup.

A small childlike dragon hopped up the stairs and crossed his arms as he watched her. “Twilight, you have to stop this, how do you even know that this, 'Nightmare Moon' even exists? And why would she come today?”

The Unicorn Twilight ceased her pacing and sighed. “Spike, you KNOW I study more than any other pony in Equestria probably. I have looked in multiple history books, and all point to this.” Walking to the window, she ignores the ponies outside going about their festivities and instead looks to the sky. “...The stars will aid in her escape. Nightmare Moon's return, she'll plunge all of Equestria into eternal night!”

Spike kept his arms crossed and shook his head, still obviously unconvinced. “Yeah I know you study so much, but I think maybe you've been studying TOO much. Why don't you get out and talk to the other ponies. You know, the FRIENDS Princess Celestia told you to meet?”

Twilight grumbled and stomped down the stairs to the door. “I'll just check up on the setup for the event... Celestia willing, I WILL BE crazy about all this and we won't be plunged into eternal darkness. Cause everypony else doesn't seem the slightest bit worried.”

Spike scurried out the door right after her. “I think you just worry too much Twilight. Why don't you just try to relax for once?”

“Yes... Relax... No problem there.” Twilight's thoughts were suddenly interrupted as a rainbow Pegasus zipped by right in front of her face. “Aaiii!” The Unicorn exclaimed, falling back.

Loud laughter soon followed as the Pegasus glided down to the ground. “You should see the look on your face! Priceless!”

Twilight grumbled and headed back toward the town hall. “I'm in no mood for that horseplay, Rainbow Dash.”

Hopping back into the air, the Pegasus, Rainbow Dash flew back over to Twilight. “Aww come on, don't be such a party pooper. I don't even know what you're so mad about.”

Twilight pointed to the sky. “What has me worried, is the return of Nightmare Moon! Nopony seems to care either.”

The two had a short blank staring contest, till Rainbow Dash shrugged. “Right. Nightmare Moon. Got it. I'll keep an eye out for any Nightmare Moon's I see.”

Twilight was going to explain, but decided against it after that, electing instead to just go straight to the town hall. Rainbow Dash on the other hand found Twilight's demeanor 'cramping' her style as it were, and decided to go visit one of her friends instead.

She glided through the air above the colorful houses, cruising down to the ground to stop just in front of Sugarcube Corner, a sweets shop. Trotting in, the Pegasus was immediately greeted by one of the shop owners.

“Good evening Ms. Dash.” A perky blue Earth Pony called from behind the counter.

“Hey Missus Cake, is Pinkie Pie here?” Rainbow Dash waved back.

“Why yes she is, she should be up in her room right now.” Mrs. Cake motioned up the stairs. “Getting ready for the big event tonight?”

“You know it!” Rainbow gleamed. “I love these parties.”

“You and Pinkie alike.” Mrs. Cake shook her head, smiling. “Well drop by again anytime, I may have some samples available.”

“Will do.” The Pegasus Mare trotted up the stairs. Reaching the door at the top, she rapped her hoof on the door a couple times. “Hey Pinkie, it's me.” Pausing, she snickered before speaking a bit softer into the door crack. “I got a great idea for a prank we could pull.”

She stood back and waited, but the door never opened. Putting her ear to the door, she listened, and not even a sound. Furrowing her brow curiously, she pulled in the door handle just to see if it would open, and it did. Cautiously poking her head into Pinkie Pie's room, Dash whispered. “Piiinkiiieeee....”

POW A balloon suddenly exploded next to Dash's face and she shrieked, jumping into the air.

“SURPRISE!” Pinkie Pie jumped out of a pile of plushies next to the door.

Dash stood in the same spot and twitched before shaking her head. “Darn! You got me good that time. What were you doing? Waiting there all night for me?”

“Nah.” Pinkie Pie hopped around Dash. “I just heard you downstairs so I woke up and grabbed a balloon cause I KNEW you were going to come upstairs to see me and I KNEW it was April Foal's day today and I couldn't possibly let you get the first trick sooooooo....” She stopped in front of Dash. “...Were you surprised?”

Dash sighed, glaring at Pinkie. “What do you think? And by the way, it's the Summer Sun Celebration tonight, not April Foals.”

“Oh, it isn't?” Pinkie tapped her chin with her hoof, immediately shrugging. “Oh well, it was a good prank anyway!”

They both stared at each other for several seconds, then Pinkie Pie tugged a string and a bucket of confetti dumped right onto Rainbow Dash. “GOTCHA AGAIN!” Pinkie Pie giggled uncontrollably, leaping out the door and galloping outside, with Rainbow Dash hot on her heels. “OOOHH YOU ARE TOAST PINKIE!”

The two equines fled outside, disrupting a small group of rather posh ponies visiting from Canterlot. Turning their noses up, they continued on toward the town hall, not wanting to bother themselves with the commoners more than they had to already for the event.

Yet even as they watched those around them, a pair of eyes watched everyone from the nearby patch of woods. Tsyreim crouched under a bush, making sure nopony was looking as he rocketed from the trees, zipping into another patch that much closer to town hall.

Looking up to the sky, he took note of the time. Not but maybe an hour remained till dusk would begin, then he could find some better spots to hide. Until then, he took stock of the town, trying to gauge where Nightmare Moon would probably make her return.

Ordinarily, he would have expected her to make her return back at the old palace in the Everfree forest, where she was first banished. But he knew she would rather return back where her sister would be, to make her presence known well, and perhaps take her revenge. Though Tsyreim certainly hoped against the latter option.

Eventually getting closer to the center of the festivities, he watched all the ponies milling about. Tsyreim took a moment from planning out how the event may turn out, to instead just take in the scene. Seeing so many ponies never ceased to perplex him. Most likely due to the fact that he only ever traveled this far to see the event on a yearly basis.

He found himself smiling, watching them all happy, cheering, talking, and just generally having a good time. It was calming really. That is, until he spotted a particular purple Unicorn. She seemed unusually stressed, and kept looking up at the sky, a small baby dragon following her made the duo that much more intriguing.

For some reason, Tsyreim couldn't stop staring. Something about her, it felt familiar. He elected just to watch her and perhaps piece together what it was that had her so worried. Chuckling to himself as the thought that she was expecting the return of Nightmare Moon. “How preposterous.” He chuckled. “Nopony remembers her, or believes that tale anymore.”

The sun eventually set, and Tsyreim had taken up a position on top of a large house, sitting in the shadow of the chimney. The night felt far more ominous this time. He knew why too, staring up at the moon, stars aligned around it unusually. He knew Celestia had not set them that way. She couldn't, those stars were the sign of fate, not even Celestia could alter that.

Tsyreim's eyes shot wide as a rather loud voice came from behind him. “Hey! What are you doing up here?” A light blue Pegasus mare with a strikingly colorful mane and tail landed right beside him. “I thought only Pegasi perched on roofs for a better view.”

Tsyreim stared straight at her, that same strange recognition he got from watching the purple unicorn flooded through his mind at the sudden presence of the Pegasus. Regardless, he had been found, and there was no way he was staying around to chat.

“Resenalr!” He shouted, vanishing in a flash of light. The blue Pegasus shot up from the roof, looking every which way. “Hey! What? Was it something I said? Get back here!”

A bush much further away rustled softly as Tsyreim crouched inside, fervently hoping that she wouldn't go around telling the guards. The last thing he needed was the Princess herself finding out about a mysterious black pony yelling strange words and teleporting around. For all he knew, she thought him dead by now, but he couldn't be too sure.

The festivities carried on throughout the night, and Tsyreim didn't see any guards rushing around looking for anything in particular, so he guessed he was safe for now. Once again looking to the moon, he took note of the time, realizing it was nearly morning. The ponies began to gather around a large central building in the town, and he began sneaking his way toward it.

He groaned, seeing how many Pegasi were flying about. Simply teleporting to the roof would not be the easiest way to sneak it would seem. They seemed fairly distracted however, so he took advantage of it, and teleported to the roof, quickly finding a window and picking a spot out in the darkness of the rafters to hide.

Once he snuck inside to the spot, he looked around, satisfied that nopony seemed to have noticed him. He ran through the events to transpire in his head once more, checking to make sure his spellscroll was still in it's bag.

He couldn't stop it, his heart beat in his chest like a drum, the anticipation and possible fear of what could happen was drilling a hole through his mind. Would Nightmare Moon be reasonable? While on the moon, had she reflected on her mistakes and repented? Or had the wounds only festered, and she become a ruthless tyrant, bent on destroying everything?

He watched as a somewhat important elder pony walked out onto the main balcony, giving a welcoming speech for Celestia. Though his eyes were drawn back down to notice the same purple Unicorn shuffling fearfully near the center of the room. She couldn't possibly be expecting the return could she? She seemed just as anxious as Tsyreim did.

Looking back up to the balcony, the elder pony stood aside and raised her hoof. “Please welcome, Princess Celestia!” The curtains were drawn aside.

No princess. Nothing at all.

The ponies all gasped, looking around, the elder peeking around behind the curtains. Tsyreim's heart stopped for a second as he thought. “Oh my God, I'm at the wrong spot. Or am I too late altogether?”

Suddenly the room began to darken, and he knew all too well that he was indeed in the right place.

The shadows seemed to stretch out to the balcony, and solidified, the form of Tsyreim's dreams and nightmares took physical form once more before him.

Rearing their head back, the fog dissipated, Nightmare Moon's full form revealed. Ponies below began to scramble around in fear, others simply sat stock still, frozen in fear.

Except for the purple unicorn, she stood firm, seemingly brave despite the circumstances. Tsyreim readied his scroll, preparing for the worst.

Nightmare Moon's laugh echoed throughout the room, chilling everypony to the bone, then looking down to them all, she made a most unsettling grin. “Oh, it's my beloved subjects, it's been so long since I've seen your precious little sun-loving faces...”

The same blue Pegasus that spotted Tsyreim charged forward. “What did you do with our Princess?!”

Nightmare Moon gave an eerie chuckle. “What? Am I not royal enough for you?” Turning strikingly serious, she glared. “Don't you know who I am?”

Floating about the room, she began interrogating various ponies in a rather unsettling fashion. Tsyreim tried waiting till she was still and in a good spot before he enacted his plan, he only had one shot.

Nightmare Moon stopped moving, questioning a white Unicorn. “Did you not see the signs?” Tsyreim prepared to jump down just then, when suddenly the purple Unicorn shouted out. “I did. You are the Mare in the Moon, Nightmare Moon.”

Tsyreim blinked. “She... Knows?”

Nightmare Moon seemed somewhat surprised as well. “Well well well, somepony remembers me. Then you must also know why I am here.”

Regardless of her knowledge, the purple pony couldn't bring herself to answer, so Nightmare Moon took the liberty of explaining herself. “From this day forth, the night, shall last, FOREVER!”

The wind suddenly picked up inside the building, and lightning crashed through the roof, scattering ponies everywhere. Tsyreim struggled to hold on to the rafters, cursing his inability to execute his plans sooner.

The elder pony pointed at Nightmare and shouted. “Guards! Seize her! She's done something with the Princess!”

“Fools!” Tsyreim shouted under his breath as the simple guards charged at the shadowy mare, who simply looked at them, a bolt of energy flinging them right back where they came from.

When next Tsyreim looked after he steadied himself, Nightmare Moon had dissipated into a shadowy cloud and was flying right out the door.

“No! Tsyreim you idiot!” He cursed himself for sitting and listening to her, rather than put a stop to her speech right at the start.

Though as he thought about it, Tsyreim began to realize perhaps this was better. If it had come to a confrontation here, there were so many ponies, many could have been injured or worse if circumstances beget a battle.

Fleeing outside as soon as he could, Tsyreim found a spot to hide, and watched the ponies milling about in panic and confusion outside the town hall. First things first, Tsyreim needed to find out where Nightmare Moon was headed. She clearly wasn't aiming for an all-out confrontation at first. Probably planning small strikes to wear out Celestia's defenses before she made her attack.

Fortunately, this would give Tsyreim time to search her out. Though he still couldn't help but wonder why Celestia wasn't even there. He knew the Princess cared a great deal for her subjects, and perhaps she didn't show up because she knew it would have ended up in a messy confrontation, most likely with casualties.

His first guess where Nightmare Moon was headed had to be the abandoned palace in the Everfree forest. It was the only place she would remember most likely.

Tsy wouldn't have to worry about sunrise making it harder to sneak now, though as far as he could see, that was the only perk. Nightmare Moon had to be stopped, this world couldn't survive under a permanent night.

Tsyreim had only gone about a half a mile into the forest, headed toward the palace when he stopped, remembering that purple unicorn. Looking back toward Ponyville, some ideas ran through his mind. Perhaps, that pony had access to more information regarding Nightmare Moon. Tsyreim, being the hermit that he was, didn't have access to the same books that the clearly well-educated purple pony did, and any additional info to aid him was certainly good news to him.

Turning back around, Tsyreim galloped toward Ponyville once more. He wasn't worried about being recognized, nopony there would know him. Besides, even if they were, in all the pandemonium, it was a fair guess that they wouldn't recognize him either.

Arriving in town, he soon realized he didn't know where to look for the unicorn, and thus he would be forced to ask around. Groaning, he walked out of the bushes, still abnormally paranoid in case Celestia had her guards on the lookout for him.

Approaching a somewhat frightened-looking gray Pegasus, Tsyreim hailed them. “Excuse me, I require your assistance with an inquiry.”

The mare turned around and stared at him, her expression quick to smile despite the circumstances. Tsyreim tilted his head slightly, looking into her bizarrely angled eyes. “Oh hello there mister! What did you say?”

Tsyreim cleared his throat. “I said I require assistance with an inquiry.”

The two stared at each other for a few moments, the Pegasus clearly overthinking the question, their eyes almost seemed to slant even more the longer they thought about the question. Tsyreim finally had to speak up. “I mean, I have a question.”

“Oh!” The mare perked up again. “Well what do you need mister?”

“I need to find the residence of the purple Unicorn whom knew the identity of Nightmare Moon.”

Tsy had to blink and shake his head, his eyes almost wanting to do the same thing the Pegasus' were the longer she thought. “Oh that must be Twilight Sparkle!” She hopped up, “She's staying in the Library right over there in the big tree.”

Tsyreim looked where she was pointing and saw part of the tree pokingfrom behind some houses. “Very well then, my gratitude for your assistance miss.” He bowed and then galloped off toward the Library.

The derpy mare blushed and smiled. “Gosh, nopony's ever BOWED to me before.”

Tsyreim arrived at the Library and knocked on the door. “Excuse me, Miss Twilight Sparkle, I require your assistance with this Mare in the Moon business.”

He stood in front of the door, no answer. He suddenly spun in surprise as the Pegasus mare spoke right behind him. “Oh! I forgot to mention, she's not home.”

Tsyreim rubbed his hoof over his face in frustration. “Did you perchance see where it was she has gone to?” Looking back up, he saw the Pegasus was entirely enthralled by his metal fetlock-guards, unfazed by anything he had just said.

“Gee, these are nifty! Where'd you get them mister?” She asked Tsyreim, staring at her reflection in them.

“I crafted them myself.” He replied. “Now again, have you seen which way it was that this, Twilight Sparkle has gone to?”

“Oh she and some of her friends left a little while ago, headed toward the forest over that way.” The mare swung her hoof around to point, Tsyreim ducking so she wouldn't smack him in the face.

“Again, my gratitude mis-WHAT? The forest?” Tsyreim soon realized that Twilight was far more educated regarding Nightmare Moon than he had first believed. Not only that, but Twilight was going to take on Nightmare Moon, with only a small compliment of friends? The idea was simply preposterous to Tsyreim, who believed Twilight wasn't hardly educated in the ways of battle if it were to come to such a thing.

Again, he was torn from his thoughts by the Pegasus. “Please, call me Derpy. Everyone else does.”

“Err, very well then.” He nodded. “I have to go, Twilight may be in danger.” He bowed again and shot off toward the forest.

“Oh goodie, he did it again! Oh and mister! When you get back, could you make me a pair of those thingies? They're so shiny!” Derpy giggled, then suddenly paused for a moment as she thought. “Wait, danger? Where?!” The mention of danger confused her, and she simply took off in a random direction, not considering whether the danger Tsyreim had mentioned was even after her at all.

- - -

Tsyreim ran down the path as fast as he could, he had to stop Twilight before she reached the palace. Both she and her friends had to know what it was they were dealing with here.

Eventually, he skidded to a stop, looking at a large portion of the path that had slid right off the cliff. “Geez Tsyreim, watch where you're going.” He muttered to himself, running around it and continuing down the path, sure that they had done the same. What he hadn't realized however, was that Twilight and her friends had gone down with the landslide, and were already well on their way toward the palace, taking a much shorter route now through the forest.

Tsyreim grew increasingly confused as he traveled. He definitely should have caught up with them by now, but for some reason, they still continued to elude him. He began to think they had gotten lost in the forest, a shortcut was highly unlikely, as he was quite sure nopony really ever dared enter the Everfree Forest by choice. It wasn't an organized friendly place like their towns at all.

He came over a hill and saw the palace in the distance, and as he traveled, he suddenly saw a flash of light inside. “Impossible!” He muttered. “They couldn't already be there could they?” Several more flashes confirmed his hypothesis.

He abandoned the path altogether and shot through the forest, making a beeline for the palace as fast as he could. As he arrived at the old rope bridge, he saw it meagerly repaired, and simply leapt above the gap and teleported to the other side, carrying his velocity and galloping toward the palace.

He began to feel panic once again, if those ponies were slain because he had not arrived in time, then he knew he'd never forgive himself. As he ran through the halls, he saw a multitude of hoofprints, it was difficult to tell how many ponies were in the group, but he knew it couldn't possibly be enough to take on an enraged Alicorn.

Crossing the bridge spanning to the high palace, he saw a flash of all different colors blow out what was left of the windows, and he ran faster. The mere fact that it was multiple colors was certainly odd, the only time he could remember that, was when Celestia had used the Elements of Harmony.

Reaching the top of the stairs, Tsyreim whipped out the Crystal scroll and prepared to use it, stopping dead in his tracks as he stared at the scene before him.

There were six ponies, Twilgith Sparkle, that loudmouth rainbow Pegasus, and four others he didn't recognize, along with... Nightmare Moon? No, she was smaller, and looked almost frightened as a large ball of light floated in through the window, solidifying into Celestia before their eyes.

She began walking toward the pony who Tsyreim could only guess to be Princess Luna, when not overcome by her anger. They exhanged a small conversation, and after a brief pause, Luna leapt up and embraced her older sister. Tsyreim could only make out her words to be “I'm sorry.”

He sat back, the peace of the moment was almost tangible. So many things had transpired. For some reason, he felt an intense presence of the Elements of Harmony in the room, and he realized why. Those feelings he got when he had watched those several ponies back at the Summer Sun Celebration, were the separate parts of the Elements of Harmony themselves. And these six ponies, when united, discovered that they were the new bearers of the elements.

The peace was only temporary however, as soon the loudmouth rainbow Pegasus spotted him out of the corner of her eye. “Hey! What are you doing here?”

All eyes turned to Tsyreim, and he looked back at Celestia. A thousand year-old memory shot to the surface once again as he watched her expression turn from happiness to one that only spelled murder. Oh no, he definitely wasn't going to stick around to ask her why she had a problem with him.

“You... How are you still alive?” She sneered.

“Clearly, this is no time to chat...” Tsyreim stepped back.

He knew what she'd try to do, and immediately shouted out. “Imenr Jiduh Fvuesm!” Gasping as the spell radiated around him, Celestia shouting almost at the same time. “Nluje Visr!” The spell around Tsyreim shattered as he escaped, Celestia reeling back at the recoil of her spell being denied.

“GET HIM!” She yelled, galloping after Tsyreim. The other ponies looking at each other in utter confusion at the complete turnaround of Celestia's demeanor, caused simply by this certain stallion's presence. True to their Princess, they ran after him, but he was well on his way to escape.

Tsyreim jumped into the air, crashing through the window at the end of the hallway, plummeting down. Shouting out a teleport spell, Tsyreim landed on the roof of the first section of the palace, tumbling slightly as he rolled back to his hooves, ever thankful that he chose his speed enchanted fetlock-guards.

He began randomly teleporting all over the place to confuse Celestia, who had just blown out the section of the wall where he leapt out the window. Casting one more spell, Tsyreim teleported to a small ledge underneath the palace, hidden in the darkest shadows. He didn't dare cast any stealth spells, as he knew Celestia would be able to sense him. All he did, was cling to the rock wall, and pray that she didn't find him.

For about a half hour, only Tsyreim's eyes moved, and he watched that confounded rainbow-maned Pegasus shoot by several times, not really putting a ton of effort into actually looking. Not that Tsy was complaining any.

Tsyreim would have begun descending already, but the rock face was not friendly to scaling by pony hooves, so he'd have to use spells, which he was still paranoid about doing. So for now, he waited.

- - -

Celestia finally gave up the search, sure that a pony of Tsyreim's magic skill had already found a way to get far, far away by now. Trotting back into the old palace, she kicked a piece of rubble against the wall so hard it shattered across the floor.

Twilight's voice came from around the corner. “Hey, watch it!”

“Oh... I'm sorry Twilight, just, ugh... Frustrated. He got away AGAIN.” Celestia grumbled in a rather un-Princess-like fashion.

“Sister, who was that?” Luna walked forward as Celestia rounded the corner.

“An old foe...” The sun Princess replied, “Don't you know him?”

Luna raised an eye. “I'm afraid not dear sister, I've never lain eyes on such a pony before. And besides I wasn't aware you had begun teaching the Prequestrian again, he was rather well-versed in it.”

“I haven't.” Celestia bluntly stated.

Their awkward conversation at an impasse, the two sisters stared at each other blankly for a few seconds before Twilight finally spoke up.

“Princess, could you explain this to me?” The Unicorn raised her hoof. “I've never seen a spell of such complexity before. And it seems to be written on solid magic.”

“Oh yes, come look at what that pony left behind.” Luna motioned for Celestia to follow. “Not only can he use Prequestrian spells to a large degree, he is likewise a skilled spellcrafter.”

“What's this 'Prequestrian' Luna keeps mentioning?” Twilight asked, falling back in surprise as Celestia snatched the magic scroll up from her hooves.

“...Something you should not involve yourself with.” Celestia said, looking over the spell. She may have been frustrated, but her expression clearly conveyed surprise as she looked over the scroll. “I'm afraid I'm going to have to confiscate this, Twilight. I'm sorry, but it's too dangerous.”

Twilight looked at Luna as if expecting some answers, but Luna knew when she should stop talking about something, and simply shook her head in reply.

Celestia rolled it up and looked over the ponies gathered. “Well, I'm sure you are all rather tired, so I think we should all go home now.” As they gathered themselves up and traveled out of the palace, Celestia looked back at Twilight and her friends. “Needless to say, I want to know as soon as possible if you ever see that stallion again. He's very dangerous.”

They all nodded, Twilight not so much, since she sensed something was up, but if Celestia commanded it, she would follow. The Sun Princess after all, was her precious mentor.

Further away, headed in the opposite direction, Tsyreim ran through the trees. He still looked back periodically to feed his renewed paranoia, as twice now he had faced what he believed to be death at the hooves of the 'peaceful' sun princess. And yet he still didn't know why she hated him so much.

“Perhaps I was never meant to know...” He thought to himself, headed straight for home.