• Published 17th Nov 2014
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Memoirs of a Royal Guard - Anzel

Silent Knight assumed his story would be complete once he achieved his dream of joining the Royal Guard. To his surprise, it was only just the beginning.

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26. Four Sisters

“Silent Knight?” Princess Luna called from her gaming table. I was still using her secretary’s desk during the day. I liked being closer to her and able to keep an eye on my squad in action. Plus, I just flat out didn’t like spending time alone as much anymore.

I set my pencil down and went to her side. “Yes, Princess?”

The princess was levitating a tiny paintbrush and a model pony. It was one of many figures she was painting for a new war game.

“Doth this look like thou?” she asked, floating the figure close enough for me to see.

Never let anypony tell you that Princess Luna isn’t artistic. The tiny figure looked exactly like me, down to the silver eyes and blue wingtips. She had captured my likeness perfectly. Every detail was right: my coat and mane colors, the dark armor, and even the cutie mark.

I admired mini-Silent Knight. “If you did any better, I might question which one of the two of us was real, Princess.”

Happily, she clapped her hooves together and levitated mini-me down to dry. “Huzzah!” she cheered. I nodded and started to head back to my work. “Silent Knight?” she called again.

I turned back to her. “Yes, Princess?”

“Could we speak a few moments? Thou and I?” she asked.

“Of course, Princess,” I replied and looked over to where Solar Flare stood. “Give us the room. Take position just beyond the door.”

Solar Flare nodded and went outside, leaving the two of us alone. Princess Luna walked over to the sitting area and I followed. We settled on two pillows, then she reached over and took my helmet off. My brow went up. How did she know about the helmets?

“How art thou doing, Silent Knight?” she asked softly.

I smiled at her. “I’m doing well, Princess. I’m finally adjusting to being a sergeant, my sister is moving to Canterlot, and I have good friends to look after me.”

She nodded and gently touched her hoof to my heart. “How is this?”

That made me a little uncomfortable. I hadn’t really discussed my feelings with anypony but Winterspear… well, that, and my blabbering confession to Princess Celestia. I swallowed and noticed Princess Luna was waiting.

“I was sad… Now I’m angry, Princess. A lot of the time. I keep it bottled up but it spills out sometimes. In little bursts. Mostly to frustrate the lieutenant,” I admitted, looking down.

“Wherefore art thou angry?” she asked. “Is it the pain of love lost?”

I shook my head and I meant it. “No, Princess… I’ve mostly gotten over that. I guess it was puppy love. I had never been in a relationship before and it was silly to assume ours would be like some fairy tale. Winterspear says that real love isn’t like that.”

With a sigh, I admitted, “Honestly, we didn’t work great as a couple. We had different goals… but now I’m angry because she left. She just up and left me and you and Crystal and Runic. Everypony! She was supposed to be my best friend! It isn’t fair for her to just take that away from me. I’ve never had a best friend before,” I said louder than I meant to and stomped a hoof.

“Sorry,” I hurriedly added, feeling foalish.

“And thou thinkest she is not thy friend anymore?” Princess Luna asked rather pointedly. It gave me pause and forced me to consider the thought.

I shrugged. “She doesn’t write, she doesn’t visit. Her injury and personal leave time has almost run out. I don’t know what is going on…” I sighed and ran a hoof along the edge of the pillow. “I want my friend back. I never had a friend before her.”

Princess Luna smiled at me and softly patted my hoof with her own. “That is something I understand all too well. Have faith then, Silent Knight. If thou canst forgive her, mayhaps that is all it will take to bring her back. To be honest, I have found myself missing her as well. If thou needest to talk, I hope that thou canst consider us as friends. Iridescence may have hoofed the line a little close, but I am confident that thou canst find a balance.” She picked up my helmet and set it back on my head.

I smiled at her and nodded.

“No, I’m sorry. That doesn’t work for me,” Lieutenant Haze said.

“Sir?” I tried not to frown.

He shook his head. “Your leave request. I have some important Canterlot social functions to attend and I can’t miss them to do your job for you.”

That was that, then. Walk away. That is what went through my mind. My mouth, however, said, “I’m sorry, sir, that is not a regulation answer. You can deny leave for a security-related reason. That is within your right. Denying leave because you have some place you’d rather be is against the regs. They’re very clear on that.”

Lieutenant Haze snorted and said, “Allow me to rephrase, then. It is also within my right to assign less than desirable duties to any pony under my command. If I miss my functions due to somepony insisting that they have leave, I’ll know where to assign those duties. Is that clear?”

“Crystal clear, sir,” I said and then pushed the leave form over to him again. “Just sign here and here, sir. I look forwards to receiving my new duties when I get back.”

The lieutenant lifted a hoof as the paper came close. The look in his eye seemed to suggest he was considering taking a swing at me. That would be a mistake on his part. A painful mistake. He looked in my eyes and seemed to come to the same conclusion. Setting his hoof back onto the paper, he picked up a pencil and signed it.

“Thank you, sir,” I said.

“Dismissed,” he almost snarled.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Winterspear asked me.

I nodded. “Without question.”

Winterspear hugged me and said, “Okay… well… go tell her, then.”

I didn’t need any more motivation than that. It was time to get things off my chest and have life return relatively to the way it was before, if possible. I tugged my small satchel tight against my armor and leaped into the air when I got outside the barracks.

Turning to the east, I set course for Manehatten. I spread my wings wide and started to push the limit. Before I left, I had pulled some very important paperwork: Iridescence’s leave forms. She was running out of time and no transfer request had come in. Technically, I was her sergeant. Her name was on my roster and I was going to hold her accountable. That was my job… even if I had used personal leave time to make the trip.

The address on file was listed as outside of Manehatten city proper. I was flying into the countryside blind but I had confidence that I’d be able sort it out. In the worst case, I’d stop into the local mail depot and have them show me how to get there. Mail ponies always helped out the Royal Guard. Our organizations were like sisters.

My flight was largely uneventful. I spent the whole trip keeping calm, cool, and collected. Letting feelings creep into what I had to do wouldn’t work. This was business. I just had to keep it that way.

When I arrived outside of Manehatten, I realized finding the address would be easy. There were only a few dwellings out that far and all of them sat on huge tracts of land. I spotted the right place and came to a perfect, professional landing in case anypony was looking out of a window.

Iridescence’s house, if you could even call it that, was massive. It was the second biggest home I had ever seen next to the palace in Canterlot. The manor was crafted out of hewn grey stone and glass. I guess that explained all the bits she had.

I approached the large, heavy wooden double doors and knocked. It wasn’t long before an older stallion answered. He was dressed in a tuxedo coat with long tails. “Good afternoon. How may I help you?”

“Sergeant Knight, Princess Luna’s House Guard. I am here to speak with Iridescence. Is she here?”

“Miss Iridescence is indeed. May I inquire about the business you have with her?”

From my satchel, I produced the leave papers. “Official business. Her leave is almost over and she is expected to report back for duty. We haven’t had word from her and I’m here to ensure she is not planning on going AWOL.”

“AWOL?” the pony asked.

“Away without leave. It is a crime,” I said plainly.

The pony lifted his nose with indignation. He did step back, however. “Do come in. Welcome to Eminence Manor, Sergeant.”

I did so after carefully wiping my hoof guards off. There was no reason to be a bad guest. The butler led me through the foyer and into a large sitting room just off of it. “Miss Iridescence, a royal guard is calling for you,” he announced.

To be perfectly honest, I had not prepared for this. Iridescence was sitting on a fancy pillow and she wasn’t alone. The room contained three other unicorn mares, two of which were clearly her sisters.

The first had a coat of spun gold and a shimmering silver mane that seemed to radiate light. She looked older than the others but was, without a doubt, what you’d call a classic beauty.

The second was closer in age to Iridescence. Her coat was more pearl colored and she had a mane that was streaked with fiery orange, bright green, and pale blue.

The third was more of a filly than a mare. She was light green in color and had a simple verdant mane. Compared to the other three, she was pretty mundane.

Iridescence rose suddenly, the shock of seeing me clear on her face.

The first mare looked over and asked, “Iridescence, you know this pony?”

She nodded, her expression going blank. “This is Sergeant Silent Knight. He was… is my superior in the Royal Guard.”

The second mare waved a hoof. “Oh, is that what this is about?”

The third chimed, “He looks angry.”

I shook my head and said, “Not angry, miss. We look like this to discourage ponies from mischief.”

Iridescence shifted and said, “Sergeant, allow me to introduce my sisters.” Motioning to the golden mare she said, “Luminescence.” She went on to the second. “Opalescence.” Finally, the last. “And Dot.”

“My pleasure, ladies,” I said and added a light bow.

“Why are you here… Sergeant?” Iridescence asked nervously.

I still had the papers out. I walked over and set them down in front of her before backing off. “Your leave is almost up. You’re expected to be back on duty and I wanted to make sure one of my unit members wasn’t thinking about shirking their duties.”

Luminescence looked over at me. “Is that all this is about?” she asked with a huff. “Do you always hound ponies like this? She can’t be bothered with that.”

I didn’t move. “I’m sorry, ma’am. She made a commitment and signed a contract. If she isn’t bothered by the idea of reneging on her oath I should point out that she can be imprisoned.”

All of the mares other than Iridescence laughed. Opalescence waved a hoof at me. “You are just too much. Our father is the biggest real estate investor in Manehatten. If you think your little contract will stand up to his lawyers, you’re silly.”

She looked over at Iridescence and added, “He sounds like that pony you were telling us about. That one you left. What was his name?”

“Silent Knight,” Iridescence and I said at the same time.

“Oh? The jilted lover?” Luminescence asked, suddenly very interested.

“Scandalous!” Opalescence gasped, a hoof raised to her mouth.

“A stallion?” Dot squeaked, tilting her head.

Opalescence rose from her pillow. “You’re just here because you’re angry. The lawyers will love that. Why don’t you run along? Iridescence is staying here.”

I ignored her and looked at Iridescence. “You know this isn’t personal. Why didn’t you ever put in your transfer paperwork?”

Iridescence’s ears fell and she replied, “I didn’t want to think about it. Now I’m thinking about just asking for a special discharge. My father can make that happen.”

I snorted. “I see. So you’re just going to quit, come back to all of… this, and act like these ponies? Maybe I shouldn’t have come, then. I’m not sure I’d want to work with a pony like that. That isn’t the Iridescence I knew.”

Luminescence humphed and said, “How rude!”

Opalescence walked a circle around me. “Oh, aren’t you feisty? It is cute that you think she’d want to go back with you.”

Dot nodded. “Yeah! We have cookies here.” That wasn’t quite the snide comment I was expecting. Perhaps she was still in training. Hopefully it wouldn’t stick.

I’m not going to lie, though. I thought Dot was adorable trying to act like her older siblings, but I didn’t let it show.

Iridescence just sat there while the other three berated me with various insults about my stallionhood and my station in life. I barely heard them. I just stared at her. She wouldn’t look at me. Finally, I stomped a hoof. It was loud and echoed in the expansive manor. The mares gasped and drew back.

“Enough,” I said with all the authority of a Royal Guard sergeant. I approached Iridescence.

I ducked my head and forced her to look into my eyes. “You made a promise. You swore the oath! Are you the kind of pony whose word is meaningless? If you are, just let me know. I’ll leave and make certain you get that discharge. You won’t even need your father. We wouldn’t want you around anyway.” I stood up and took a few steps back.

Iridescence rose gracefully and lifted her head in defiance.

“Iridescence, surely you’re not listening to this brute?” Luminescence exclaimed.

“You may like to hide behind Daddy but I don’t. I did make a promise and I’ve had my time off. It is time to get back to work,” Iridescence said, her words filling me with pride.

Dot hurried up and over to hug her. “But I’ll miss you!”

“Don’t worry, I’ll come home a little more often,” Iridescence said, looping a hoof around her little sister.

“You’re making a mistake,” Opalescence sighed.

“No… the mistake was running away. Royal guards don’t do that. Do they, Sergeant?” Iridescence asked me.

“Never. I’ll see you back in Canterlot.” I said, bowing slightly before turning to leave.

Iridescence took a step forwards and said, “Sergeant. If it is all the same to you… meet me at the train station. I’ll need you to bring me back up to speed on what I missed. If… If that isn’t an inconvenience.”

“Train station it is.” I nodded, then walked out of the room and left the manor. Why would anypony need a house so large? You’d just end up with spoiled foals. Well… almost all spoiled. There was an exception, it seemed.

“I can’t believe you came for me,” Iridescence said, looking out the window of our train car.

“Why?” I asked, peering at her.

We must have seemed like an odd pair to the others on the train. A royal guard in Princess Luna’s colors and a high society Manehatten unicorn. We were getting some looks, but I didn’t care. I just kept my focus on my friend who was sitting across the row.

She shrugged. “After what I did to you, who would blame you for hating me?” Her voice turned into a mockery of herself as she added, “Oh, thanks for saving my life. By the way, we’re breaking up and I’m leaving. See ya!” It was painful to hear.

“Water under the bridge,” I said flatly.

Iridescence blinked and looked at me. “And it is that easy? You’re over it? Just like that?”

I shook my head. “No. It wasn’t easy. It was actually awful, but thank Celestia I had friends to help me. My heart was broken. I was sad and mopey. Then I was angry. I think I’d rather have a friend than not, though.”

Iridescence shifted uncomfortably. “So… now what?”

“We get back to work,” I said.

“No… what does that even mean? You didn’t just come get me so I could work. There is more to it than that.”

I got up and moved to her side of the car. Plopping down beside her, I said, “You promised me you’d always be my friend. You’re supposed to be my best friend, Iridescence… my first friend. Maybe we thought that also meant we had to be special someponies, and I guess we were wrong. I don’t know and I honestly don’t want to think about it for now. I can’t.

“I can deal without a special somepony. But I need my best friend. So we go back to work and we start to try to be friends again.”

Shifting, I added, “And not to add any guilt, but the others miss you as well. Did you really want to be like your sisters? They’re rude. Other than Dot, I mean. She was adorable.”

Iridescence wiped a hoof across her eyes as tears welled in the corners. “Of course not. They’re awful, mean, and entitled, but I felt like I had burned the bridge.”

“Friendship is stronger than that and royal guards are family,” I replied.

“I guess it is,” she said, levitating a handkerchief to dab her eyes. “So what is going to be different?”

I thought that over and then said, “You’ll be reporting to Sergeant Orchid… and you’ll need to find a new dorm room. Sergeants don’t share rooms with subordinates and I sort of gave your bed to my sister. When we’re off duty we can be friends just like before. Plus, all the others will be waiting for you when we arrive.”

Iridescence frowned. “What do you mean? How could you have known I would come back?”

“You’re my friend and I’m a good judge of character. Let’s just say I had faith,” I said plainly.

We chatted the rest of the way back. It was awkward but it was a start. I told her everything that had happened and she shared what was going on with her. It was like old times and it felt good. The hours flew by and the train was pulling into the Canterlot station before I knew it.

True to my word, everypony was on the platform waiting: Crystal Wishes, Runic Phial, Winterspear, and even Princess Luna with Miley Hooves and Harvest Moon.

When Iridescence stepped out of the car, there was a cheer before she was mobbed. Princess Luna looked past the group of ponies at me and nodded. I nodded back and joined in the happy reunion.

Author's Note:

I'm excited that last week we passed the 25 chapter milestone. I've had a blast writing this story and it has meant so much to me to have so many of you enjoy it! Thank you for joining me on the journey.

The next 25 chapters are going to introduce more long-term story elements, some Q&B canon, and even highlight where I've gone a different direction. Stay tuned for some (hopefully) interesting ideas.

And now some Runic art:

By WildSoulWS

If you are enjoying this story, please consider taking a look at Crystal and my's website QuillnBlade.com for extra content such as mini stories, an Ask Us form to submit questions, responses to said questions, and special rewards for the awesome folks who support our Patreon.

2nd Edition Version

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