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cleverpun


A teacher, student, writer, and opinionated reader. Retired from fanfic (mostly), but not writing. Responsible for the cleverpun's Critique Corner review series: http://tinyurl.com/h3ftsm3

Sequels1

T
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This story is a sequel to If You Came to Conquer


Princess Nightmare Moon had tried to keep it secret. She had suppressed her power, feigned ignorance, played the outdated fool at every opportunity. She should have known that something like this would happen. A threat that would reveal her, whether she played dumb or not.

If she had to reveal herself, then at least she could protect Equestria in the process. She nocked the arrow. The bow felt so flimsy, but she could not risk him absorbing a spell. She laced magic across the arrow and the string and the air, enough to make it fly faster and aim smoother. She sighted him easily; Tirek was a large target. Now he only had to turn around. An arrow to the spine would kill him simply and instantly, no matter how much magic he had absorbed.

Once he was dead, the hard part would come: explaining herself to Celestia.


Prereading thanks; Meta Four, Blank!, Yami Vizzini, and especially Craine

Comments contain spoilers.

Chapters (7)
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Comments ( 262 )

Interesting read, I hope you plan to write more stories set in this universe.:twilightsmile:

>Sequel to If You Came to Conquer

HOT DIGGEDY

Will be reading this tomorrow on the commute, I think. Looking forward to it! :D

...No you can't leave it here! Poor Nightmare she's going to be destroyed when she finds out... Self ignorance can only last so long and eventually she'll notice the recoils when she goes to touch Celestia. Or notices their time together decreasing. :fluttercry:

Pretty good follow-up. It was appropriately bleak, and delivered basically what I expected. And I like that it managed to have an open ending without having any confusing elements left over.

Please Celestia.... don't do this.... it might not be how you want it but.... please find it in your heart.... I beg you... :fluttercry::applecry::pinkiesad2:

5895781 if you can't forgive something, then you can't forgive it. Actually rejecting her will do no good. And that's what being honest would be.

Oh wow... that was... ow... medic... I'm feeling out all over my desk.... help.....


*ded

TDR

Quite the deep little fic. I'm curious if you plan to continue this.

(facepalm) Celestia, you have such an obvious tell...

...so, I take it this is going to lead to a story where Nightmare finds out Celestia lied?

Because, let's be real here, in this universe, I only see one way where things will ever be okay again.

And that will be when Celestia sees that Nightmare is dead.

Tirek feels the arrow hit his spine?

"My spine? Seriously? Should have aimed for the brain stem, Loony. Any biologist could have told you spinal injuries don't kill instantly. And with all the magic I have now.. *telekinetically pulls out arrow and regenerates instantly*... ya done f'd up."

Then he brutally slaughters her... because grimdark.

:pinkiecrazy:

Amm

Cue NMM driving herself further and further insane as she senses Celestia's not loving her and tries harder and harder to please her, eventually doing horrible things for her sister's approval.

Enjoyable fic. Though I preferred the more emotionally restrained or emotionally dead NMM in the previous story.

Ha-Ha! Excellent work.

Craine...

Speaking honestly? Screw you Celestia. I don't care if she's not your Luna, she's still a Luna, and that should be more than enough for you. Your Luna was mad, hysterical, off-her-rocker nuts, and all your little plans? They didn't save her, they didn't do shit; in the end she was still possessed by the Nightmare, she still killed you and the entire damn world. And guess what Celestia? That was your fault, that's right, your fault. Oh, sure, it's not just Celestia's fault, but if it wasn't for her fucking up things wouldn't have turned out nearly so badly. So no, you don't get to sit on your high horse and judge her, not after she succeeded where you failed. And need I remind you that instead of making murder her first option she suffered countless reiterations of all her worst mistakes over and over again, endlessly on repeat just for another ultimately futile chance at convincing Luna that what she was doing was wrong?

Nightmare Moon tried, she did her best, and she suffered for it. And if you can't appreciate that then politely fuck off.

Found this story. Noticed that there was a prequel. Read the first one, Gave it a fave by half way through the first chapter. Read this one after finishing the first one. Insta fave.

I have to say, I havent fallen for a story like this since my friend got my into fan fiction by making me read Fallout Equestria.

That taking a life was a justifiable response?

Well, when the choice is between a monster hell bent on destroying every life in the world. And the lives of an entire nation, yeah I think it is. I think Celestia needs to realize that not every threat can be reasoned with/imprisoned. Sometimes, you need a way to make it final.

Besides, they freaking killed Sombra. She ain't chewing out Twilight for doing that.

Is there going to s a sequel to this? :fluttercry: Pleas, pleas, pleas, let it come out soon.

No, NOOOO!!! IT CAN'T END LIKE THIS!!!

Brilliant!

I had to re-read the previous story to remember exactly what had happened (been a while) but this was a great addition to the verse. Would love to see more set in this universe.

Magic swirled across the arrow, ensuring it would fly faster.

Well, that doesn't sound entirely mundane, though I suppose by the time it reaches him, even if he absorbs the magic speed boost, he'll still be dealing with an arrow.

5896472
And if it was just Tirek that died, she'd be reacting a lot differently. She's the one who said Luna having their confrontation in the dungeon was being melodramatic.

But... hearing that her Luna is dead, that's a different matter. Even if she could acknowledge somewhere that it had to be done, it's made a lot harder because it means she's been living with an imposter, Luna's killer, for years without realizing.

Well, that's sad. Hopefully enough time will make that lie true.

Though it might have been better to be (somewhat) honest and claim that she would require more time to get used to the idea.

EDIT: But not full on "you disgust me" honest as revealed in the next chapter. Tact.

5895844
She may be able to forgive her sister in ghe future. The wound is still pretty fresh, but once she's had more time for the feeling of betrayal to fade she may be able to see it from Luna/Moon's perspective.

hi hi

Time travel is a tricky thing. In a sense, Luna/Nightmare Moon committed a tremendous crime, suffered in self-imposed isolation for uncountable years and then further imprisonment in the moon, after punishing herself in the process of setting herself free. Her crimes were indeed great, but so was her sentence. But in spite of how fragile Celestia seemed, I still cannot imagine that a pony as wise as her will not sort things out eventually. Personally, I think she'd have been better off telling Luna/Nightmare Moon what she told Cadence at the very end, but it is no larger a deception that Luna's. I suspect it will come out eventually, and I have some faith that Celestia can make good on her hopes.

Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.

- Salvador Dali

((Discord, on the other hand, needs to learn a few things about how trust works...))

Make it a threequel!

Quite a deep fic here.
Hope that there is going a sequel to let us know how it all end.
In my opinion , Celestia is being unfair , as NMM tried her hardest to do things right , for Celestia and her ponies. Then again , I think that she need more time to process all that. Right now the feeling of betrayal is still to fresh for her to realise how unfair she is being to NMM , who is still her Luna (in some weird way , as she is the much older Luna from the future that originally happened , but still)
I wonder if Celestia would be considered to be the youger sister now...

This is one of the exceptionally few times that I enjoyed reading a sad fic. Nice job. I liked.

This was really deep, and I loved the short crispness of it. Faved.

Considering that Celestia had already made the choice between her sister and the rest of the world, I imagine she would be more accepting of such things.

5896741
I disagree. If one holds the idea that altering the past creates a new timeline (as opposed to "you have already changed the past" timetravel we see in the show), then NMM has been hopping from one timeline to another, failing to change the outcome, and finally murdered some other Luna just to take her place. The fact her original timeline still exists outside the loop (as seen in the ending of the prequel fic "If You Came to Conquer") supports this theory.
So Celestia's reaction is entirely justified. NMM might be thinking she's doing the right thing, but she's only messing things up differently.

Also, why didn't she tried joining the battle on Celestia's side and ensure she wouldn't get killed? Or force Luna to see her memories of a dead world? Or even turn Luna to stone and explain the situation to Celestia?

Moony is one messed up mare here.

"That taking a life was a justifiable response?"

It is for humans. And NMM is very much like a human in this, in her mindset. Any human would agree with what Luna did, it was necessary to kill the evil.

5896978
If we are considering the timelines point of view (as I agree with you that it's the theory chosen by the author here) , NMM could still be considered to be in some way Celestia's Luna , an older version , but still.
I should explain myself I suppose.
If one consider one identity to be the consequences of every decision this person took (Memories) , then consider the fact that the two timeline are (for what we know) completely similar in every ways , then should'nt NMM be effectively considered as being the same mare as the one she murdered , given that she basicaly remplaced her past self with an older version of herself coming from a virtually identical alternate timeline ?(Thus having the same experience , though patern and overall personnality) (Plus , I believe that she checked if things would turn out the same.)
Then again , this lead to some philosophical stuff , as it would lead to considering whether a clone with all your memories would be "you" , and if your brother who left one year ago then came back (thus gaining new memories) was still the same person. If one argued that the body was the key point of someone being who their are (In our case , saying that the Luna who was murdered had the same memories but in her own body , thus being a different being) , then hypothetically speaking changing from one body from another would erase the substance of one being....
Things to ponder I suppose.
Fact is , even if NMM is for all intend and purpose a slightly different clone of this timeline Luna , she doesn't know it and sincerelly believe that she just remplaced herself and is doing the right thing (as you said). For all we know , she might have saved this timeline.

Also, why didn't she tried joining the battle on Celestia's side and ensure she wouldn't get killed? Or force Luna to see her memories of a dead world? Or even turn Luna to stone and explain the situation to Celestia?

Maybe she did all that and it didn't work , or created a future worse than the deception curently taking place.
After all , she did say :

I tried so many things, Celestia. I tore apart the libraries looking for a solution. I tried every time travel spell I could find, tried to convince my past self to change her course. But every time it would fail. I would return to the present with nothing but a new memory. Another delusion among my collection.

It strongly hint that this iteration isn't her first try at fixing everything. It can even be argued that she maybe repeated the whole "cycle" several times, maybe even ending at the point where she asked Discorn to help her several times. (which is kind of horryfying in itself.)

Err , sorry for the long rambling post , I tend to do that.
Hope that I was clear enough , as I tend not to be when I try to explain what I am thinking. :twilightsheepish:

There is still much of this story to tell. Perhaps then next Sequel will answer the most important question. Can Celestia forgive herself for becoming the monster she despises.

It was honestly way too short to be really enjoyable; I feel you could have explored this a lot more, provided you put an average of five thousand—maybe more—words into the story. It felt as if I was playing a simulation game and put it on the second highest speed in the game. It was alright, and wasn't too badly written. However the final piece is that, I think you should consider revising both the first and this story to fit into a longer scheme. I like the concept and plotline of the story a lot, and I feel disappointed that you honestly didn't spend a lot of time or work on this.

She doesn't really love you.

....so sad.

5897132
The question of identity is solved quite simply in our case. As Celestia points out, NMM didn't die with Luna, ergo she is ontologically independent from Luna. Not to mention her mindset differs wildly too - millennia worth of looping did leave a mark on her. So NMM neither is actually Luna nor is identical to her. And for a couple of years she was active in Equestria (both pre and post banishment) she committed two murders.

And her attempts are full of holes: why didn't she ask Discord to send her into earlier moment of time? Say, to the very first time Nightmare's voice spoke to her? So NMM could impersonate herself and guide Luna to a different path.
Yeah, you could say that she tried and failed, but it's a weak argument. There were better ways than to murder herself, potentially creating a paradox.

NMM might be well-intentioned, but all her attempts to fix the situation only bring forth different sort of harm.

Damn! Why FiMF didn't notified me the sequel went up? If not for the story being featured, I would never know it exists.

5896907 Eeyup. OOC bitch, at that.

5896277 Dude, seriously? "pulls out arrow"? That was hypersonic bolt! All the magic he sucked out just prevented the arrow from riping his neck, torso and head to shreds, with the rest scattered in 500 meter radius. All the insides of his neck, spine, muscles is a mush held together by reinforced skin. I bet theres a crater the size of a house, where the arrow hit the ground.

As for the story, fukken saved!
Needs sequel!
quickmeme.com/img/5a/5a594c30c37db765a820796ab96b94d3283cbd143afe0af99ba0480d6ae0f7c8.jpg

5897489

As Celestia points out, NMM didn't die with Luna, ergo she is ontologically independent from Luna.

Yes , but that mostly only serve to further prove that the time travel theory in place here is the one about multiple timelines. NMM would have died with Luna if the theory in place had been the one about the new timeline overwritting the previous one. Concerning her existance , her nature (assuming that's what "ontologically" refers to from web dictionnaries , english is not my native language) well... it does prove that she come from a different timeline (since if it had been the same timeline it would have been the other theory and she would have died) and in consequence is technically an alternate version of some sort ... so yes , you do have a point , she can't actually be Luna (of this timeline anyways).
Now , is she identical ? No , not in the exact sense of the world since she is older and more experienced (and more scared by her ordeal , of course because of the multiple loops). Yet it look like she had the same past and that everything that happened to her also happened to the Luna who was murdered at some point.
She was identical (in memories and personnality) to the Luna that Celestia knew pre-banisment( she could even act accordingly to fool her) ; and since if she is to be believed everything would have happened the same here without her hijacking this timeline , Luna would have eventually become identical to her.

Concerning the two murder , Tirek was justified and since nopony cried when Sombra died , I say that Celestia is just stuck in her moral high horse mode.
Killing herself now , well... I admit that it maybe wasn't the better way. I could effectively say that she tried and failed , but since we don't know much about the world where this story take place it would be moot as we would be both playing with "what if". (Maybe Luna was too powerfull for her to subdue ect...) Just for the sake of it however , concerning Discord :this is still Discord (and not the reformed one) so I doubt that he would agree on an easy and non chaotic solution (then again , it depend here on the author headcannon concerning Discord sadism).
Basically , depending on the author headcannon , it MIGHT have been the better choice. (or at least , from her understanding of the situation)
But yes , I readily admit that her attempt to fix the situation might create more problems along the way or cause a different sort of harm , the way to hell is paved with good intentions after all. It just might have been the lesser of the two evil. Sometimes as a ruler sacrifices need to be made.

5897690
I do agree that NMM saw it as a sacrifice to be made and took no pleasure in the act. And just to clarify, normally I love it when NMM gets a night in limelight in a fic. But still, I'm pretty sure she could've averted the entire ordeal if she went far enough into the past. Like she herself said, "Luna already was under [Past!]Nightmare's influence".
My opinion on that is that this idea honestly did not occur to her. NMM was born from violence, and while she did have time to change her mind, old habits die hard. Especially if it's thinking habits. After all, she didn't have Celestia's millennium of ruling a peacefl kingdom. For her, it was years of resentment, a coup against her sister, several years of trying to hold a dying kingdom together, and then centuries of loneliness. She used them to hone her skills, but she don't seem to change her plan radically, despite multiple iterations. At least I've got the impression she went to the same moment in the past, right before the confrontation.
The end result is that while she did break the time loop (probably), she did it in a very messy and violent way.

On an unrelated note, have this piece of art: https://e621.net/post/show/570593/

calling it now, Celestia somehow does what Luna did and ruins the world similarly

Being very old and very powerful required a lot of self control. Perhaps Celestia had the same problem, to a lesser degree.

Just how old is she? If she was allowed to grow in strength while on the moon she would only have about an extra 40 years since she killed Celestia. Unless NMM somehow absorbed Celestia's and then demented Luna's power.

It mixed with the sound of the bow breaking in half.

How would a bow break after it is fired? It is in a more relaxed state then. Unless, you know, magic...

I am really interested where this power came from.

Yet her armor was absent, her fangs were missing, her eyes and pupils retained their normal color and shape.

If this is the case, the Elements "reforming" her was all theatrics. Probably after being fired, they found nothing amiss to harmonize and thus Nightmare Moon had to transform herself in that time. As well as break her pretty armor...

I was all alone in a dead world for centuries.

Maybe change the number of years Nightmare Moon wants to be sent back in the first story.

And when I got here, Luna was waiting for me. Your Luna.

Looks like she adopted another name change as well. Identifying herself as Luna and not Nightmare Moon despite all she has done. Possibly starting to forgive herself? Or maybe lying to herself in that it was the only way. Thinking back, she has left multiple universes and therefore multiple Discords on desolate worlds.

Oh, this is so sad. I honestly wasn't expecting it to turn out this badly, but Celestia's clearly stuck on the idea of Nightmare Moon being totally separate from her Luna, the one NMM murdered - instead of a Luna that was essentially her Luna right up until the point of her banishment, where NMM has several centuries of new, dead history before returning to that point. I was hoping Celestia would be able to reconcile with her, but after a few chapters in I could tell we weren't going to reach a happy ending. I really do feel like Celestia's not being fair, though. Hearing her sister was murdered is obviously not something she can get over quickly, but she's not even trying to see things from NMM's perspective. Is she in denial of the fact that her Luna would have killed her and proceeded to become this NMM, had she not intervened?

I'm glad to see both Twilight and Cadence are both supportive - or at least accepting - of NMM, though. She'll need it once the lie inevitably surfaces. :x Not going to be pretty.

Discord really hit the nail on the head there.

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