• Published 15th Mar 2017
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Of Heaven and Earth - Garuda IV



It's been over a thousand years since Sol was hidden away and sealed in crystal. Now freed by Twilight and her friends, he must readjust to the present while also having to deal with old grudges both from and against him.

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Chapter 5- Awakened

Twilight's eyes remained locked on as she stood over the sleeping kirin. She recalled reading about them in a few books during her time as Celestia's student, but kirins were so rare that nopony had seen any of them for over a thousand years. For all Twilight and everypony else knew, kirins were an extinct race.

No wonder why he was hidden so deep beneath Equestria, Twilight thought with a surprised blink. And it's no wonder why Princess Celestia decided to keep him a secret from everypony.

Her inner musing was interrupted when she heard the sound of hooves approaching and turned just in time to see Daring walking up alongside her with an expression similar to Twilight's.

"This cannot be a coincidence."

"What can't, Daring?"

Reaching into her saddlebag, Daring pulled out an old book and flipped through its pages until she finally came to the page she was looking for. Reading it over and looking between the picture on the page and the kirin, a small, excited smile started to form.

"This book that I found mentioned a kirin in it, along with a picture of him. There are also some... interesting subjects written in it earlier on."

"Can I see it for a second?"

Shrugging, Daring gave the book to Twilight to read. However, after she got done reading the first few paragraphs, she slammed the book shut with a flustered look on her face.

"Daring... these words are written in Princess Celestia's writing. Where did you find it?"

"In the castle."

"I know that, but where in the castle exactly?"

"In a room in the west wing tower. If I had to guess, it looked like it got damaged during the Princess' struggle with Nightmare Moon, and was worn down by exposure to the elements. Why?"

"Because that was Princess Celestia's old bedroom, and this book that you found in there was her old personal diary!"

Daring slowly blinked. "... that would explain a few of the other things that I read in there."

"But if it was there all this time, then why didn't she go back to get it herself?" Rarity wondered.

"If I had to guess, I'd say that she thought that it had been destroyed long ago and wasn't worth recovering at that point."

"Did you know if you would even find something there?" Starlight questioned.

"Nope. Just thought that I'd explore it since I've never done it before."

"And if you didn't find anything?"

"Well it wouldn't be the first time," she shrugged. "Generally the adventures in my books involve me finding the treasure, and those that turn out to not have the treasure usually don't get published into books, but they do make for decent comics."

Rainbow was about to comment on that when a small groan turned their attention to the kirin. Returning the diary to Daring, Twilight leaned down to the kirin's head.

"Are you okay?"

The kirin let out another groan before speaking. "M... mother?"

Blushing, Twilight recoiled back away while Spike, Rainbow, Applejack, and Pinkie snickered from behind her.

"Uh... sorry, but I'm not your mom," Twilight said embarrassingly.

Groaning again, the kirin stirred and cracked open his violet draconic eyes to see what was going on. Upon doing so, he was greeted with the sight of eight mares and a baby dragon. Not knowing who they were or how they got down here, he jolted fully awake and quickly stood up on his hooves and claws, which in turn caused the two mares closest to him to jump back. However, due to how weak his body felt, he fell to his stomach soon afterwards and looked up at the unexpected strangers.

"Who are you?" he suspiciously asked, his voice laced with authority.

Clearing her throat, Twilight took a step back towards him.

"I'm sorry that we startled you like that," she apologized before bringing a hoof up to her chest. "My name is Twilight Sparkle, and these are my friends Spike, Starlight Glimmer, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, and Daring Do."

"I think we may actually be more like acquaintances," Daring corrected with a shrug, "but sure, I'll go with that."

"Anyways, you wouldn't happen to be Sol, would you?"

His eyes narrowed. "How do you know who I am?"

Twilight reached into her saddlebag with her magic and pulled out the book. "Starswirl the Bearded mentioned you in this book of his."

Sol's eyes darted over to the book briefly before returning to Twilight.

"Can I see it for a moment?"

Though hesitant at first, Twilight figured that it wouldn't hurt and handed the book over to Sol, who stat up and promptly began to read it over the bookmarked pages as he held it in his claws. After a few moments of nodding and humming to himself, he closed the book and returned it to Twilight.

"That's definitely Starswirl's writing," he confirmed before frowning at them. "Now, would you care to explain to me how you all got down here? Only a Princess of Equestria, myself, and Starswirl have access to this place."

"But Twilight's a princess," Pinkie piped.

"She's right," Twilight said, spreading her wings to show him. "I'm Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Friendship."

Sol blinked and tilted his head. "... are you Princess Luna's daughter then?"

Twilight's face lit up. "Wh- no!"

"Oh... Princess Celestia's then?"

"No! I used to be a unicorn and had ascended to an alicorn. Why would you assume any of that?!"

Sol bowed his head apologetically. "I'm sorry. Judging by your colors and the fact that you are an alicorn, I had assumed that Princess Luna was your mother, and if not her, then Princess Celestia."

Twilight felt the heat in her cheeks dying down. "It's fine. And I'm sorry for getting so worked up about that. I just wasn't expecting that was all."

Grunting with a bit of effort, Sol stood up. Once he was steady on all fours, he took Twilight's hoof into his claw and placed a kiss on it.

"It's perfectly alright, Princess."

Twilight's face erupted in a massive blush from having this kirin, who she'd known for barely a few minutes, having suddenly kiss her hoof. That, and also from hearing the others behind her gasping from seeing that.

"Um... well... I, ah..."

Sol released Twilight's hoof and cocked his head in confusion. "Is something the matter, Princess?"

"Of course something's the matter!" Rainbow shouted. "You just kissed her!"

He looked between them and Twilight, once again confused. "But it's customary and considered polite and respectful to kiss the hoof of a princess."

Twilight nervously brushed her hooves together. "Well... yes, you're right. It's just that it's not that common anymore."

"Pardon?"

"While what you say is true for your time, it's not very commonly practiced anymore these days."

Sol slowly blinked. "'My time'? Just how long have I been asleep for?"

"I'm not sure. When were you sealed away in the crystal?"

His eyes narrowed into a glare. "I came down here and was sealed away just before Discord started spreading his chaos across Equestria."

"... in that case, you might want to sit down for a moment." She waited for Sol to take a seat before continuing. "This might be hard for you to hear, but that happened over a thousand years ago."

A sense of fear took hold of Sol. "Is Discord still on his rampage?!"

"No. Princess Celestia and Luna defeated him and sealed him in stone."

Sol let out a loud sigh of relief. "Thank goodness," he smiled before a sad frown took its place. "So, I've been sleeping for over a thousand years then."

Twilight gave a small nod. "I'm afraid so. I'm sorry."

Sol nodded back with a small sigh. "And how are the princesses?"

"Last I saw them, they were both doing just fine and staying busy ruling Equestria."

He smiled again before he took on a look of confusion once more.

"Wait, if they're still here, then how did you all get in here?" he asked. "Other than me and Starswirl, only the Bearers of Harmony can unlock the gates to this place, who Starswirl said would be the Princesses. So, how is it that you all got all the way down here, when Princess Celestia and Princess Luna are supposed to be the Element Bearers?"

"Because they're not the Element Bearers anymore. We are."

"Really? But why? Did something happen to them?"

Twilight bit her lip, wondering how Sol would take it that Luna had turned evil and tried to overthrow Celestia. Mentally weighing her options, she decided to go the safer rout for the time being and tell him later on once he'd gotten more adjusted to this time period.

"Something like that," she nervously replied. "Something happened that caused the princesses to lose their connection with the Elements, then a few years ago, my friends and I found them and became the new Bearers."

Sol slowly nodded in understanding. "I see now. Since the princesses were the only ones who were supposed to be the Bearers of Harmony at the time, Starswirl and I had set it up so that besides us, only the Element Bearers could enter this place. I didn't think that the Elements would pick new hosts like this, so it makes sense now as to how you all got in here."

"Excuse me," Rarity spoke with a raised hoof. "If it wouldn't be too much trouble, could we perhaps move this to a more optimal location? I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not very comfortable idly chatting while standing on an island in the middle of a boiling lake of magma."

There were a collective murmur of agreements. With everyone in agreement, they all turned to cross the stone bridge, but stopped when Sol lost his balance and stumbled forward onto the stone floor. Noticing his struggle, Twilight walked back and helped him up.

"Thank you, Princess," he thanked with an apologetic frown. "I'm sorry for this."

Now that I'm seeing him up-close, I think he's almost as tall as Princess Luna. "It's alright. Besides, you look like you could use it. I could only imagine how weak you must feel after being sealed away for over a thousand years."

"But I shouldn't. The crystal was enchanted so that I when I was released, I would retain all of my physical and magical strength. Something must've happened to it when I was asleep."

"You mean like a crack on the crystal?" Rarity asked.

"Yes. That would about do it, Miss... Rarity, right?"

Rarity brought a hoof up to her mouth and giggled. "Yes, that is my name. And I do appreciate you calling me Miss."

"Yeah, but don't expect the rest of us wanting to be called that," Rainbow spoke for the others. "If you want, you can call us by just our names. Besides, being called 'Miss' is too formal for me."

"That," Daring added, "and it makes me feel kinda old."

Hearing words of agreement with Rainbow and Daring from the others, Sol agreed to drop the 'Miss' and address them by just their names. Soon after, they exited the chamber and started walking up the stars when Rarity called back.

"Forgive me for saying this, Sol, but I couldn't help but notice that your speech is rather similar to our modern time Equestrian rather than the old Equestrian like Princess Luna sometimes speaks."

Sol smiled and gave a small chuckle. "That's because Princess Luna didn't think that the new speech would catch on. Looks like she was wrong."

"You seem to know quite a bit about them," Twilight commented. "It almost sounds like you knew them personally."

"... you could say that.

"How so?"

Sol was quiet for a moment before sighing, "Because they took me in."

Twilight blinked. "They did? Why?"

"... could we wait until we have a place to sit and rest?"

Figuring that she wasn't going to like it by the tone he spoke, Twilight nodded and helped Sol along after the others up the stairs. Once they got up out of there and into the throne room, they were about to walk over and push it back, but before they could, the stone dais slid itself back to where it had been before they moved it.

"The hay?" Rainbow irritatedly questioned. "Why'd it move on it's own?"

Sol looked over to her. "You didn't try to move it manually, did you?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Because there's a hidden button on the right armrest of the throne that does it for you."

Walking up to the throne, Sol sat down with a satisfied groan. Feeling comfortable, he reached over with his right claw and flipped the front of the armrest, revealing a hidden red button.

"Oh come on! Do you know how difficult it was to move that thing?!"

"Of course I do. I made it after all," Sol said, smirking when he saw Rainbow's expression. "Now, you had questions for me?"

"Yes," Twilight spoke. "Several in fact if you're willing."

"I am, but depending on what you ask, I may or may not answer them. There are some things that I must be discreet about."

"Fair enough. Now then, what's your connection to Princess Celestia and Princess Luna."

Sol paused for a moment before he took a deep breath and answered her. "I know them because Princess Celestia took me in shortly after I was born."

"Why?" Fluttershy asked, only to feel worried when she saw the look in his eyes.

"Because my mother died shortly after I was born." There were a collection of gasps as he continued. "With my mother having given her life for me to be born, and with me being a kirin, Princess Celestia took me in and raised me. Once I was old enough, she made me her personal student."

While the fact that his mother had died for him did weigh on their minds, another thought came to Twilight.

"If that's true and you've lived with her for so long, then aside from the diary that Daring found, why haven't I read any records or references of a kirin living with her? I mean, I know that your existence was kept a secret, but there should've been at least something."

"Because she gave me an amulet that disguised myself as unicorn to hide the fact that I was a kirin."

"And who was your mom?" Rainbow asked with a small smirk. "After all, you did call Twilight 'mother'."

Sol blushed and looked over to Twilight. "Sorry about that, Princess-"

"Just Twilight is fine," she said with a smile. "I may be a princess, but I'm not one for formalities if I can help it, especially if we're alone among friends."

"Alright then," he smiled back. "Anyway, back to my mother. From what I was told, she was a unicorn named Heavenly Light, and apparently I've taken after her quite a bit, and have inherited her affinity for light magic, coat and eye color, and a variation of her mane colors as well. As for why I spoke of her in my sleep? It was because she was who I last thought about before I fell asleep."

There were a few 'awws' that were heard from how sweet that sounded.

"But how do you know what she looked like if she died shortly after you were born?" Starlight questioned.

"Because Princess Luna saw her a few times when she was alive, and showed me an image of her in my dreams before I was sealed."

"Oh."

"Okay, so we know about your mom, but what about your dad?" Twilight asked. "If you're a kirin, then that means that one of your parents was a dragon, right?"

Sol went silent for a few moments before letting out a sad sigh. "He was. His name was Fissure, and he was a good father to me. He would sneak into the castle to talk with Princess Celestia, and at times he would take me out to play or help me with my draconic half and the earth powers that I've inherited from him."

"He sounds like a good-" Twilight paused when something in her memory clicked. "Wait, did you say Fissure?"

"I did."

"You mean like the name of the statue sitting in the front courtyard with the other dragons?"

Sol's eyes slowly widened. "What statue and other dragons?"

"Just outside of the castle are six statues of dragons, each with a name on a plaque below them. The strange thing about them is that each of them seems to radiate some very powerful magic."

Fearing what he was thinking, Sol jumped down from the throne and bolted as fast as he could out of the throne room to the front castle gates. After stumbling a few times from still being so weak, he managed to exit the castle into the front courtyard. Slowing down to a stop, Sol looked up at the six towering statues with sorrowful eyes. Scanning over them, he saw the statue of Fissure and slowly made his way over to it. Ignoring the sound of galloping hooves coming from behind, Sol closed his eyes and laid his forehead against the statue.

"Sol? Is something wrong?" Twilight cautiously asked.

Holding back his watering eyes, Sol took a shaky breath and looked up. "These aren't just statues."

"What?"

"These statues are actually my father, Fissure, and my aunts and uncles."

Everyone looked with shocked expressions before shouting, "WHAT?!"

"But how?!" Twilight half-shouted.

A quiet sniffle escaped Sol before answering, "Because an ally of theirs betrayed them. He gave Inferno, the Dragon Lord at that time, a unique power that resulted in turning my father and the rest of them into stone. We tried to find a way to free them, but thanks to Starswirl's magic, he found out that they were all being kept just barely alive in there, and that freeing them from their petrified state would kill them."

There was a pause of silence before Daring spoke up.

"So they're trapped then," she concluded. "They're alive if they stay like that, but if they're freed, then they die."

"Yes, but it's not just that," Sol grimly continued. "I'm not really supposed to tell anypony this, but considering that you six are the Bearers of Harmony and friends, and since my golems or gargoyles let you all pass, I'm trusting you to keep this a secret. My father and the others here are what are called Scaleless Dragons. Each of them is the living embodiment a force of nature, and they each keep the balance of whatever element they represent in check. If my father or one of the other Scaleless Dragons were to die, then we would have a worldwide disaster based on their element on our hooves with no possible way to stop it."

Fluttershy sniffled. "But... it just seems so cruel to just leave them there like that."

"I know, and I agree with you, but we can't free them without putting the world in danger. Knowing that, either Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, or Starswirl must've relocated them from were they did battle in the Dragon Lands, and brought them here."

"But how could they've moved them to here?" Rainbow questioned. "That tunnel leading down here is way to small to even try and fit them."

"They probably used a shrinking spell," Starlight figured.

Nodding at her assumption, Sol turned back to his father's stone prison. "I had hoped that somepony would've found a way to safely free them by the time I woke up, but instead... instead I find them..."

Running a claw against the stone surface, a hiccup escaped Sol as he felt his tears swelling. He found himself struggling to hold them in when, much to his surprise, a pair of pink forelegs gently wrapped around him in a hug from behind. Feeling the warmness behind him and seeing the bouncy pink mane above him, he glanced up to see Pinkie resting her head on top of his as she held him.

"What...?"

"You looked like you needed a hug," Pinkie softly said.

"But you barely know me."

Pinkie tightening her hug on him a little more in a sign of assurance. "That doesn't matter to me. I don't like seeing anypony sad, and I find that a hug usually helps make ponies feel better faster."

He couldn't find it in himself to disagree with her. Not at that moment anyway. Finding her action comforting, Sol closed his eyes and let a few tears flow as he surrendered himself to her embrace.

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