• 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 8: Shopping Spree

The gentle metal plink of coins falling against the stone tabletop was music to Tsyreim's ears. Setting them aside, he brought over several more lumps of gold ore, placing them in a levitating crystal vat.

He spoke some words, causing the vat to begin heating up, the fiery aura around it grew bright as Tsyreim stood a ways off, telekinetically moving a stirring stick into the vat, stirring the slowly melting metal alloy. Once the metal had all dissolved, he tilted the vat slightly, moving a plate over the top to scrape off any slag and debris.

Once satisfied that the gold had been sufficiently purified, he moved the vat near the molds he had created, and began filling them with the molten metal. He tilted his head as he realized he had too much for he molds. Thinking for a moment, he got an idea, trotting over to one of his ornately carved walls.

“What are you up to now?” Gem spoke to him. “You seem quite busy creating your own currency. But last I checked, all your molds were over near the table.”

“And you would be correct, dear mother.” Tsyreim replied, looking toward the vat as his horn glowed, some of the molten metal seeming to bubble out of the crystal container as if it were weightless. “However, I have too much for my molds, so I'm going to try something I've thought about for awhile.”

Looking back toward the wall, Tsyreim manipulated the floating globs of gold into the fine carved lines and runes engraved within the stone. “This shall make a fine decorative embellishment. Wouldn't you agree?”

“Indeed it shall.” Gem agreed. “If ever you make good with Celestia, you should open your own craftsmanship shop, wherein you design homes and decorate them.”

“Perish the thought.” Tsyreim rolled his eyes. “I wouldn't imagine such civilized equines would ever want such a thing. I'd go so far as to say they would probably think themselves living within a scroll.”

“Oh I'm quite sure there are those whom would find such a thing rather appealing, son.” Gem chuckled.

“I suppose...” Tsyreim muttered absentmindedly, concentrating on filling the cracks precisely.

“However, I have to ask.” Gem continued. “Why is it that you are creating your own currency. As the only reason which I could see requiring such a thing, would be that you intend to purchase something.”

“Again, you are correct.” Tsyreim smiled. “Yesterday, I watched the ponies about their business, and found myself intrigued by their wares and goods they made and peddled. And I saw they would trade using these peculiar golden coins. Well I wished to sample their foods, but I have none of their coin, neither am I a thief.”

“So you thus decided to make your own.” Gem finished his explanation. “Don't you suppose that could be considered illegal?”

Tsyreim frowned. “Illegal? What would prompt such an inquiry? They use coins, they are made of this alloy, and so I made some myself to give in return for goods, rather than simply steal them. I see no harm in this.”

“Were I able to, I would be shaking my head.” Gem stifled a laugh. “But at least you will be giving back, I suppose that is acceptable enough.”

Tsyreim nodded, still only half paying attention to the conversation. Once finally finished with filling in the cracks that he could, he cast a barrier spell over the wall to keep it all in place.

Walking back to the table, he lifted the crystal coin molds up and carried them over to his pool, slowly setting them into the water. A sizzle accompanied each as he sunk them to the bottom. “I must say however, That I do rather enjoy this smelting. It's a peculiar craft, but every time I do it, it feels just as exciting as before.”

“It's because you're dealing with dangerous molten metal. You like danger.” Gem jokingly explained.

“Oh come come mother, this isn't dangerous at all.” Tsyreim grinned. “Weaving on the other hoof...”

“Oh Celestia...” Gem tried to keep from laughing.

“I swear I've hurt myself making and using those needles far more than any other craft I've dealt with.” Tsyreim grumbled.

“And that's why you only have one blanket.”

“That's EXACTLY why I have but one blanket. Accursed needles... How do they function?”

After the coins had cooled off sufficiently in the pool, Tsyreim sat in the water and pried them from their casing, polishing the shiny metal bits in the water with his tail.

Gem couldn't resist. “Dear son, why don't you simply weave yourself a small cloth for polishing, rather than using your tail.”

Tsyreim growled. “Would you so kindly resume your silence, oh treasured mother?”

- - - - - - -
Ponyville Library, 5 hours later
- - - - - - -

Twilight sat up quickly, blathering nonsensical utterings. “Bluh... Wha?!”

Spike jumped back after waking her. “Geez Twilight, have you been sleeping on your desk all this time?”

The confused Unicorn rubbed her head slowly. “Ugh... I guess I did.” Glancing down at the books strewn across her desk, she blinked a few times. “Oh yeah... I was looking for info about that strange stallion.”

“What? The criminal?” Spike tiptoed near the desk to see the books.

“Well I'd assume he's a criminal.” Twilight mumbles, leaning on the desk. “Celestiaaaaghhhmm...” Spike pokes her a couple more times as she yawns.

“Stay with me here Twi.” He laughs. “Princess Celestia sent you a response while you were asleep.”

The sleepy purple pony eyes the scroll scooted before her. “Oh, well ok then. I should probably read it and go to bed...”

Unfurling the parchment, her eyes scroll down the letter.

“Dear Twilight Sparkle,

I apologize for my behavior back in the Everfree Forest, but that certain stallion's reappearance brought back some bad memories. And that is partially why I did not answer your questions.

But that is beside the point. I would not ordinarily disclose this information, but you are my most trusted student. So to put it simply, the Prequestrian is a very, very old language that was banned well over a thousand years ago.

No doubt I needn't tell you that it has strong magical properties, as you witnessed in the old palace. It was banished for the powerful spells that it could cast.

I'm afraid that is all I can tell you.


Princess Celestia

P.S. I know you love knowledge, but I must ask that you not involve yourself anymore with this Prequestrian nonsense. It is ancient and dangerous.”

Twilight sat back and thought for a bit. The letter was much like Luna's, but she did disclose more information than Luna. Twilight's guesses were correct though, the language was tied to magic somehow. No doubt it held many secrets, but if Celestia said it was dangerous, then Twilight knew she shouldn't pry any more than she already had.

She hopped off of her chair and started walking toward the stairs, ready to get some more sleep. But stopped as another idea popped into her mind. Heading back to her desk, Spike stopped her. “Uh, your bed is the other way.”

“I know.” Twilight waved it off, crawling back into her chair. “But I have one more letter to send.”

Pulling out a pen and clean piece of paper, she began scribing out another request.

“Dear Princess Celestia,

Thank you for answering my question, and yes you're probably right. I'll try not to inquire too much about the Prequestrian.

I have one more request for you however. It's probably a much more sensitive subject though, so you don't have to answer if you don't want to.

That stallion. Who is he? And why were you so angry toward him. I couldn't find anything about him in any of my books.

In defense of my question, I want to know who it is I'm dealing with if I ever do see him again.

Your faithful student,

Twilight Sparkle.”

Sitting back, Twilight looked over the letter before sealing it up, wondering if it was a good idea to ask such a personal question of her mentor. She made it reasonable enough, so she decided to take the risk, and handed it to Spike.

Spike ignited the letter as well, sending it to Celestia. Twilight however, went straight to bed, falling asleep not but seconds after pulling the covers over.

- - - - - - -
Several hours earlier
- - - - - - -

A light haze drifted down from the spires of the mountainside city of Canterlot. Chased away by the warm glow of the rising morning sun.

A yawn met the new day as two bright blue eyes slowly opened, the warm sun's glow lighting the room. Tossing the covers aside, a dark blue Alicorn steps lightly upon the floor. She pushes aside two large glass doors and spreads her wings, her striking azure eyes closing slowly as she takes in a deep breath of the fresh air.

Princess Luna may be the caretaker of the night, but she enjoyed the fresh morning's breeze as much as any other pony. Moreso in fact, after being deprived of it for a millennium. taking a few quick steps forward, she dove over the edge of the balcony, her wings rippling in the wind. Spreading them wide, she arced upward, gliding gracefully through the air.

She curved back toward the city, shielding her eyes from the thousand reflections of the sun's rays glinting off of the ornate decorations of the citadel. It had been so long since she enjoyed the simple pleasures of flight in this world.

About to head back to her room, she swung back the opposite direction, voting instead to look over more of the countryside.

A faint shadow ran along the surface, the lone Alicorn gliding along through the sky above. Luna took in the sights once again, the forests blanketed in fog, the lakes glinting in the sunlight, and further in the distance, a small village.

Her smile faded slightly as she saw this. While she did not dislike anypony, she still felt disconnected. Nopony knew her, not like they did with Celestia. Luna was more just the 'other' sister, lesser known.

She turned slowly back toward Canterlot, flapping her large wings a couple more times to keep further aloft. This is most all she had done since returning, other than spend what time she could with her sister.

She knew she could not blame Celestia for what she had done. It was Luna who first gave into her anger, and perhaps that was part of the reason she felt disconnected to all other ponies. She felt as if she had betrayed them.

After a bit, she arrived back at the city, and leaned back, flapping her wings with a gentle touchdown on her balcony. Looking back up, she saw Celestia sitting in on her bed, smiling.

“Did you have a good flight?” Celestia asked, scooting over to make room for her sister.

Luna smiled softly and took her seat. “It was quite refreshing, yes.”

“I know you already know this, but it's so good to have you back finally.” Celestia hugged her younger sister. “Not a day went by that I didn't think about you.”

Luna closed her eyes, a tear running down her face. Memories of the times before banishment rushed back. Both sisters laying on their backs on grassy hills, watching the clouds. Or being in the sky together, flying through the clouds. Back when raising the sun and moon felt more a luxury, and not so much a task.

...Back before Luna began to notice how ponies celebrated Celestia's sunlight more than her own nighttime.

That was all behind her however. Luna would not go back, not after what had transpired as a result of her envy. She was about to speak again when a scroll appeared out of thin air before Celestia.

Lifting it up, Celestia sighs. “It's from Twilight, I'll be right back.”

Luna nods and looks out the window again, waiting till her door shuts. “It would appear some things are not destined to ever change...”

Celestia walks into her room and unrolls the scroll, her smile faded slowly the more she read. With a heavy sigh, she began to write her response.

“My faithful student,

I'm sorry but I cannot tell you. Only know that he utilizes the Prequestrian, and is very well-versed in it.

DO NOT confront him directly.

That is all I will tell you of him.


Princess Celestia

P.S Please stop asking such questions.”

Staring at it silently, her horn glowed and the scroll simply vanished.

- - - - - - -
Current time, Ponyville Library
- - - - - - -

Twilight hadn't got but five minutes of sleep before awoken by Spike belching out Celestia's response. “Ugh... Already?” She groaned as Spike waved it over her face.

“Hey, I have to be your magical-mailbox, so you might as well read it.” Spike rolled his eyes.

Twilight read it, and then again, swallowing uncomfortably. “I think I should probably lay off the personal questions for awhile.”

“Is she mad at you?” Spike raised an eyebrow curiously.

“No no, not like that. But I think I'm just being a little too inquisitive for her.” Twilight replied, looking downstairs as there was a bump at the door.

“Who is that at this time?” The lethargic pony grumbled, rubbing her eyes.

Spike hurried over to open the door. “Oh, special delivery today?”

“What? Oh no! I just came in to tell Twilight something.” A perky voice sounded from downstairs.

Twilight sleepily walked down to see who it was. “Oh hey Derpy. What brings you here?”

The gray Pegasus' eyes rolled over in Twilight's direction, a bit off-skew. Her seemingly permanent smile radiating the equine's ever perky attitude. “Hello Miss Twilight! I didn't see you yesterday, and I just wanted to tell you you had a friend looking for you yesterday.”

Twilight blinked curiously. “Well, all my friends know where I live... Who was it?”

“Oh well I don't think he ever actually met you.” The gray mare's expression suddenly went confused. “...Did he?”

“Derpy?” Twilight waved her hoof.

“Oh right!” Derpy began smiling again. “I dunno who he was. Never seen him before. He looked strong, is he your friend?”

“Uhh... Big Macintosh?” Twilight guessed, sure that that wasn't the correct answer.

“Oh no! He wasn't Big Macintosh, I know Big Macintosh, he's a nice pony. Doesn't say much, except for 'eyup'.” Derpy began trailing off again.

“Derpy, focus please.” Twilight shook her head, unable to resist a small smile at the naivety of the Pegasus Mailmare. “What did he look like?”

“Well, he uhh... Hmm, he was black. Or, gray-ish. Really dark.” Derpy began confusing herself.

Twilight stood up straight, a black pony? There were hardly any black ponies around, except for certain royal guards. “What else can you tell me about him?”

“Well he was a unicorn.” Derpy giggled. “...Like you.”

Twilight's smile faded. “Derpy, seriously now.”

“He had a green horn.” Derpy poked her forehead. “And had these three weird-looking glowy things hanging out of his tail. Aaaand...” Tapping her chin with her hoof, her eyes suddenly lit up. “And these shiny metal hoof-thingies! They were so shiny!”

Twilight stood in shock. All the descriptions Derpy had just entailed described the stallion Celestia had warned her about.

And that very stallion had just been looking for Twilight herself.

Twilight turned very serious. “What did he do? How did he speak? What was his name?”

Derpy's eye twitched slightly at all the questions, but as per usual, she tried her best to answer them all. “He talked real funny. Sorta like old-speak. He bowed to me, which was really nice. And uhh... Well he just wanted to know where you had gone.”

“And what did you tell him?” Twilight stepped forward.

“Well you and your friends had just run off toward the forest, so I told him that's where you went. I figured he was one of your friends.” Derpy smiled, content that she had answered Twilight's questions.

Twilight rubbed her head, mumbling to herself. “He came after me? Why?”

“Oh yeah!” Derpy's wings flapped as they always did when she tried to gain somepony's attention. “Funny thing. He said something about danger before he ran off after you.”

“Wait, what?” Twilight turned back around.

Derpy giggled. “The silly goose. There wasn't any danger after me though, he must have been confused!”

Twilight stopped her. “Derpy... I think he meant danger after me.”

Derpy gasped. “Were you in DANGER?!”

“Well, I was.” Twilight began to explain. “But my friends and I defeated it, and we ended up okay. But that pony you told about me... He was there. Celestia had began chasing him, but he got away.”

Derpy tilted her head awkwardly. “What? Was she playing a game?”

Twilight opened her mouth and looked into Derpy's innocent eyes. Not wanting to confuse her any further, she smiled. “Yes Derpy, she was playing a game with him.”

The mailmare's expression bounced back to a smile. “Oh that sounds fun!”

“Yeah... Fun.” Twilight was still trying to figure out what was going on in her head. It sounded to her like that strange stallion was trying to WARN her of danger. She knew Derpy would never lie to her, so everything the Pegasus said could be trusted. It just needed some... 'Decoding', at times. But Celestia's opinion however, made that same unicorn look like a criminal of sorts.

Both Derpy and Spike looked at Twilight pacing around, then back at each other. “You suuuure you don't know him Twilight?” Derpy asked.

“To be honest. No.” Twilight simply shook her head with a perplexed huff. “I'm not sure I know anything about that pony at all.”

Spike simply shrugged, entirely used to Twilight being completely cryptic. Derpy, not so much.

“Thank you very much for telling me about him, Derpy.” Twilight nodded. “But I have a lot to think aaauughmm...” She yawned, blinking again. “I'm really tired.”

Derpy laughed and turned around. “You're very welcome Miss Twilight.”

Twilight closed the door and headed for the stairs. Spike leaned toward her. “What was that all about?”

“Out of my way.” Twilight grumbled. “I'm REALLY tired, and all these mysteries are making my head hurt.”

“Roger that.” Spike hopped out of the way, crossing his arms as he watched the Unicorn return to her bed. “I swear, that pony gets weirder every day.”

- - -

Tsyreim crept along the outskirts of Ponyville. Early though he may be, he was going to scope out what stands he wanted goods from, and how many coins ponies were giving for the items.

Tsyreim had no idea what most of them were. Apart from the fruits and seasonings of course. He had never experimented much in cooking. He'd find something he'd like, and keep fixing that till he was bored of it, then it was on to a new recipe.

One of the things he really wanted, was cloth. Due to his frustration with knitting, he would rather get something made by others. Unfortunately, he couldn't find a clothing shop. And he certainly didn't know where to look for one.

Over time as he watched, he spotted the white Unicorn from the six element ponies, deducing from the element aura she radiated, that she represented Generosity. Tsyreim began to watch where she went. Such clothes of flagrant colors, his guess is that she would know where to find a clothing shop.

As he followed her, he began to realize that not only was he right, he was right beyond his belief. She OWNED the clothing shop, and it was an entire building, not a simple stand.

He then realized that he would not be able to simply open a latch and leave some coins after taking the product he required. This was her very home he would be breaking into.

After thinking for a bit, Tsyreim came up with an idea that if pulled off correctly, could result in him getting the product without being seen, and still paying her for the goods.

He had no paper, so he instead scurried into the woods, and found a fallen tree. With a simple swipe of a spell, he sliced it cleanly, making a small flat board. Then he began putting his hundreds of years of engraving experience to work, scripting out his message with a hot crystal nearly as fast as a normal pony would write.

“This should suffice.” Tsyreim grinned, admiring his work.

Fortunately, her clothing store was set off a ways from the rest of the town, so he had a better chance to hide. Sneaking to her door, he rapped it a few times, laying the board inscribed with his request right in front.

Casting a spell of invisibility, he leapt into a nearby tree and waited.

- - -

Rarity trotted toward the door. “Coming!” Pulling the lever, she pushed the door open and looked outside. “Hello?” She looked down at the strange plank in front of her door, and then looked around. “Hello?”

After a few seconds, her horn glowed, raising the plank up. “How curious... Wouldn't it have been easier to simply use some paper?” She shook her head, reading it.

“I would like to request an amount of cloth, estimated at nearly one score hooves in length, and half a score in hooves width. Durability takes precedence over elegance. Name the number of coin which you require as payment, verbally preferred.”

The plank lowered, revealing Rarity's utterly perplexed expression. “What in Celestia's name is going on here?”

Taking another look around, she calls out again. “Well I'm sure you're out there, so you might as well come out. Just tell me what yo want.”

- - -

Tsyreim wasn't about to give himself away, so he simply sat silent in the tree.

Eventually Rarity threw her forelegs in the air in frustration. “I must be crazy...” She went back inside, closing the door.

Tsyreim thought for a bit. Unsure of whether she had accepted his request or not. Though he wouldn't personally blame her for rejecting such an awkward means of ordering. Just in case however, he decided to sit in the tree for awhile to wait.

Fortunately however, after about fifteen minutes the door opened again, and the elegant Unicorn walked back outside.

- - -

Rarity looked around again. “Still there? Well I have your order, as peculiar as it is. I've been looking for a way to get rid of this cloth.” She set it down next to the plank. “It's too rough for beauty purposes, so I'll give you a discount I suppose.”

Rarity waited again, but nothing but the wind graced her ears. “I'll let it go for... Seven bits.”

- - -

Tsyreim blinked, sitting in the tree. What was a bit? Is that what they called the coins? How could he tell?

Looking down at his small pouch of coins, he shrugged and counted out seven coins. Better safe than sorry, he could always make more anyway.

- - -

Rarity heard a thump, and looked out toward the trees, squinting her eyes. Hearing the steps grow closer, she stepped back partway inside the door. Jumping back as seven gold coins seemed to tumble from midair, rolling around at her doorstep.

A green aura appeared around the roll of cloth, and it levitated into the air, a voice suddenly speaking. “My gratitude.”

Rarity watched as one more gold coin fell into the midst of the others, the voice speaking yet again. “For your trouble, Element of Generosity.”

Her eyes went wide as she stared into the air. “Who are you...? How do you know that?”

The only response was a few hoofsteps, and the sound of somepony galloping away. Rarity watched the roll of cloth bobbing further into the trees, unsure of what to think.

She simply knew she was going to make sure the door was locked. Bringing the coins inside, she closed the door, opening it seconds later to bring the inscribed plank in as evidence as well. Twilight was going to want to hear about this. But no way Rarity was leaving just then.

- - -

Tsyreim resumed his ordinary spot to hang out in the tree by Ponyville. This time however, he found the roll of cloth made a wonderful hammock if tied correctly. Far more comfortable than perching on a branch the entire time. And with the whole roll, he could afford to spare some in order to leave the hammock in the tree.

Such a luxury cloth was to him. Despite his cave filled with gems, runes and precious metals, cloth was something he lacked a good bit of the time. Laying back in his hammock, Tsyreim sighed, closing his eyes and just generally enjoying the pleasant weather.

Yet while Tsyreim's nap seemed as but only a few minutes, he awoke to find it completely dark. Shaking his head and looking toward the sky, he noted the time was well on it's way to midnight.

Hopping down the branches, he crept toward the shopping district, keeping an eye out for guards of any sort. He easily found the stalls he was most interested in, and made his way to each.

Simple unlock spells were all he needed to get in. Recalling how many coins that the other ponies required to purchase the goods, Tsyreim left the proper amount inside the stalls, closing and carefully locking them again.

It didn't take long before he had finished his 'shopping spree', and gathered up the items he had chosen. And as silently as he had arrived, he disappeared, heading back to his normal tree, where he had left the roll of cloth.

Despite the unusual shenanigans he had got into that day, Tsyreim still felt oddly enough like he had accomplished something as he headed back home.