• Published 26th Apr 2016
  • 1,375 Views, 14 Comments

Of Fever Dreams and Falling Stars - Ice Star



When Celestia unexpectedly falls sick in the middle of the desert, it's up to a young Luna to somehow obtain medicine for her sister.

  • ...
3
 14
 1,375

Act Three: Lightning Without Rain

We stared at the buffalo gathered around Us, and tried to fold Our wings even more. "What is it you need. W-we might be able to help you... you did ask very nicely."

Lady Sun Dance shooed away all but Corn Stalk and Black Hoof, all three of them stood over Us. "Well, I overheard Hokolesqua - Corn Stalk to you - telling you of our culture."

"Yes, he was telling Us about the Sage."

"Well, did he tell you how the Sage is chosen?"

"No."

"Look up," she commanded and We gazed up at the sun, "It is the sky that chooses our Sage, at other times it is those of the sky, those of magic - those like yourself little prince."

We nodded and kept listening.

"They are not entirely like you, as I feel you are too young to have earned either a horn or wings, you are an Alicorn, not some mortal imitation, a pony bent by the farthest heavens to stand among true Alicorns. You are a god."

We did not recognize the last word.

"Unfortunately, due to the strange aging of your kind, you could be ten and fifty or much older, who knows? I fear you are not old enough to give me the answers of what has been, although perhaps you can still help us learn of what is to be. I am able to read the signs the Sage draws in the fire - the very one you see right there - yet there has been nothing for many sunrises. Never has this happened before. There is only one way to contact the current Sage and it requires a magic we buffalo do not possess - not even Cathecassa's unicorn pony magic is strong enough - although yours, little prince, your magic most definitely is, no matter how underdeveloped."

She paused and looked at the sky for a brief moment, her expression somber. "Will you be willing to take on a quest-"

"YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!" We jumped up and down, smiling wide with glee at the chance of another adventure!

Lady Sun Dance's muzzle crinkled in the faintest smile. "I will see to it that you are given provisions, although it shouldn't be too far for you."

She was no longer looking at me and started walking away. "Cathecassa, you will accompany her, for with a pitch like that this little foal is not a prince but rather a princess, I'm surprised Cathecassa, that being half-pony you did not realize this."

...

"This is it, Lady Luna. The Sage's Gate." Black Hoof said, pointing her cloven hoof to whatever was on the other side of this hill. The both of us had traveled two cycles of the sun and moon away from the camp. She had to keep reminding Us to stay focused and not run off to play with every new thing We found. When we set up camp at night Black Hoof would tell Us the stories she heard around the camp's fire when she was little, like Us.

She showed us how to braid Our mane, even though it was a bit too short compared to hers but it helped keep Us cool.

We told her to please stop calling Us 'princess' because We are an adventurer. "Black Hoof," We said as We trotted up a dusty hill covered in sand and traces of brush, "Please just call us Luna. Lady Luna makes us sound really super old - like a grown up."

"But Lady Luna," Black Hoof said from up ahead, "You are very old, no? Alicorns, they live for so long; they live forever. That makes you very old, m'lady, old and important. That is it how you say it in your language, yes? 'My lady' becomes 'm'lady', no?"

"You are correct, do not worry Black Hoof your Equuish is good."

"Thank you. Now, like I say, we are here."

We reached the top of the hill, and looked where she pointed. In the middle of the sand a small stone building the same color. It looked like a castle turret with a rounded top, but three of its walls were open arches, like a gazebo. When We came closer, sliding down the bowl of loose sand, We could see worn flecks of paint. Black Hoof followed close behind.

"Come inside, Lady Luna."

We sighed, it seems this was a battle We could not yet win. We wanted to spend more time outside but a chance to get out of the hot sun was tempting, so We followed her.

"This is where Lady Sun Dance told me to bring you." Black Hoof was pointing at something again, the wall where there were not any arches. It was shady in the gazebo, and the only colors that stood out in the shadows were Our blue coat and the yellow part of Black Hoof's mane and tail.

A door would have gone here if it was less open. The fourth wall was solid rock, where a mosaic crumbled, the pretty tiles worn and weathered until every single one had a unique texture when We ran Our hoof over it. We liked this much more than if it was shiny and new, because We enjoyed thinking about what the picture could have been based on what was left rather than having it presented to Us. Pictures are a lot like ponies.

Sometimes, all you have to do is look a little bit harder to find the pieces that everypony else says are missing even though they were there all along. Other times, ponies really are missing the picture.

Around the masterpiece was a carved stone frame, there were runes carved so deep We might be able fit our hoof inside, although We are not going to try. We did not know what they said but it must have be very important. Behind us We heard a choked cry from Black Hoof.

"How could it be?"

We continue to trace the runes with our hoof. "What is wrong Black Hoof?"

Black Hoof joined us, running her own hoof over the missing tiles. "Lady Sun Dance said we would need all the tiles to help decipher the magic, well at least for me to, as you do not know the runes of my kind... not to mention you are only a tiny wisp of a filly. I have no idea where you came from, surely it must be around here somewhere as nothing has been heard-"

She stopped and held a hoof to her face, as if she would faint. "None of us have heard anything in generations... the Sage is our only answer and now even they are unreachable. Lady Luna, I am afraid we came here for nothing. Forgive me for this. I will be setting up camp outside. We will be returning to the camp with the next sunrise. You said on your way here that this Tia, your elder sister, had fallen ill and you searched for a cure. Perhaps Lady Sun Dance would know a cure of some kind. I suggest you get a full night's rest, you have a much longer journey than I do."

Black Hoof trudged away with her head hung, her braids hanging in her eyes. As she went We heard her mumbling.

"...was it really such a foolish hope...?"

We turned and watched her go outside where the sun was already setting, even though gathering clouds hid it. She began to levitate the bags of food and other stuff off her back. We sat in the middle of the floor, tracing nonsense patterns in the sand as We stared at the mural in front of us.

There was a sound of thunder behind us.

...

Black Hoof fell asleep a while ago, when We went to get something from our supplies to eat, We saw that she was curled up under a blanket with colorful zigzag patterns. The stars were out but it still felt cold and dark because they did not shine much, although the sand caught their light.

Perhaps many of the stars had fallen out of the sky, and became buried in the sand. That could be why We cannot see them. Plink, plink, plink! That is what stars sound like, when Tia is better will dig in sand and retrieve them. The two of us will gather them like flowers, keeping them safe until we can both fly them up to their home and the stars will shine once more. We will help them find those they lost.

We try not to take too much since nice fillies do not steal food, or at least they do not steal lots of food. We only needed enough to tie up in our former quilt-cape; Black Hoof was nice enough to bring it with her since We would not let go of it. We placed the newly tied sack on Our back and walked into the gazebo, the Sage's Gate. There was thunder rumbling in the sky and dark clouds covering the moon. We wish it would rain.

We continued to stare at the runes. Why were they carved so deeply in the stone? We are not seeing the whole picture here, perhaps We should try to look at the one in front of us. Black Hoof said it was important.

There does not seem to be much left, We thought, all the tiles are broken.

We trace our forehoof back and forth across what remains and notice something. Before, We thought each space had its own feel, but that does not seem right. The tile two spaces ago feels exactly like the one our hoof stopped on right now.

Maybe there are more like these. A few spaces later We find another tile with the same feel to it, like a snowflake. That is three, this cannot be chance.

Four.

We keep going, trying to reach as many as We can with Our hoof. Five. Six. We puff up Our cheeks and stick the tip of Our tongue out as We focus. Seven, eight, nine, ten.

We have to use Our magic to push in six more tiles. Without making a spooky boom noise or any at all the interior of the rune frame - the ruined mosaic - slides away folding itself into tiny squares that disappear into a slot in the frame We could not see before, and create an open window We are tempted to sit in.

There is a very quiet clicking sound, but We are not sure where it comes from. Then We hear a plink-plink noise that is also quiet.

What is it? Are there stars falling? Should We run out to catch-

Wait, it stopped.

The runes start to sparkle, We see brief white glimmers as small as fireflies inside, and with the softest sssss a screen of something that proves to be neither glass nor metal when We touch it slides out, along with thick curls of dark pink and blue mist that makes us feel sleepy until We cover my muzzle with one of Our forehooves and breathe through Our mouth instead.

After a rolling around a bit it vanishes, and We are left all alone again.

We take Our hoof away from our muzzle and poke the smooth surface of the strange window. It ripples with bright window colors like a prism where We touch it. In the rainbow light We see the reflection of a place that is not the desert. It ripples and vanishes.

We found the Sage's Gate! We creep back outside just as a night breeze blows, ruffling Our mane. We shake Black Hoof back and forth trying to keep Our voice in a whisper.

"Black Hoof, We found the gate!"

She does not listen.

"Come on, Black Hoof! We are going to see the Sage now!"

She cannot be that tired, can she?

"We are going to see the Sage! There is a pretty door!"

Please, wake up! We pause and press our ear to her fuzzy chest to try to listen for a heartbeat, Tia told Us to do this because ponies' hearts are important, although We forget why. We hope she is okay...

We listen. She is okay. We hear her heart. That means she must be okay. We head back to the gate now that We know she is just sleepy. Hmm, the mist made me feel sleepy, and We were awake then. Black Hoof did not cover her muzzle and was already asleep... maybe it made her sleepier? It will be okay to leave her here though, she is a scout, after all.

We face forward and scrunch up Our face as We charge my horn with all the magic We can. It is not much yet, but maybe in the future it could be, if We practice really hard.

We try to hold the weird gate-mirror the same way We would a door, hoping to pull it open.

It did not work.

We tried to push it open instead, and Our horn started to shoot sparks.

That also did not work.

We then tried to push one half and pull the other.

"Come on, please open," We whispered.

The door did not say anything. Maybe it did not hear Us?

"Ahem. We asked you to open, please do so."

Humph. We see how it is. It is time to use what Mommy and Daddy call the Royal Voice, it is something that Alicorns can do, where we become, very, very loud.

"WE, LUNA OF THE EVERFREE, WANDERER OF ALL LANDS ORDER YOU TO OPEN YOUR REALM TO US, GATE OF THE SAGE LEST YOU FACE OUR ETERNAL WRATH AND YOUR LEGACY BE WIPED FROM ALL EXISTENCE!"

We stomped Our hoof and Our horn's light flickered, going off for the briefest moment before it re-lit, flaring with energy. For a second Our eyes were blinded by a glow that vanished quickly enough for Us to see a bolt of lightning strike the very door We yelled at. Its clear surface swirled and clouded until it opened, spewing fluffy looking fog and light from somewhere else. We looked inside, there was no longer a desert.

"Thank you," We whispered before stepping into the unknown once again, something We had done countless times each day and night.

...

We may not be able to fly now, but every night We look up at the stars and sometimes We wonder what happened, but there is never an answer. This is what the stars were like though, they are so bright, so alive. Is this the sky? Is this blue-purple land with its tiny white fireflies forming a bridge beneath our hooves what the sky is like?

Are We awake? Are We asleep?

Is this space?

If this is space, why can We walk? Wait - why is everything fading? It is all so blurry now - the colors are running like water with every springy, float-y step We were taking. Deep blues, glow-y soft whites, and blue-purples became greens, silvers, and the black of this strange new night Tia and Us had to get used to. The air was warm and Our legs were shaking a little teeny bit.

We looked around, a bit more curious than We were nervous, and were about to light Our horn up just a little bit so We could see better, when something really cold touched our hooves, and We jumped around, almost spilling Our food.

We looked down.

At the ocean.

Our hooves kicked the soft sand that was outlined in the weak starlight. We are on a beach.

The waves lapped our hooves. 'Hello, Luna,' the ocean said. We giggled really quietly, as quiet as giggling could be; silly Us! There was nothing to be nervous about.

We waved good-bye to the ocean. As much as We wanted to play with it, We had to go. The ocean spits up seaweed anyway, which is yucky, and We secretly do not want to play the ocean that much anyway. We cannot say that though because then it might cry, and the ocean cries these tiny stars - which must hurt - that are an awful lot like salamanders. Once when Our family was whole, Mommy and Daddy took us went to the ocean, they got stuck on Tia and even though it was pretty funny she started shrieking, which was not.

We do not want to think about crying or Tia shrieking! We turn around and walked towards the inner part of the island. It was filled trees! At least, by the looks of it.

Instead of stepping highly and lightly like We did in the firefly land, We drag Our hooves in the sand all the way to the tree line. Even if the ocean has poor manners - that both my sister and Us can agree upon - sand is always super fun, it always tempts Us to build tiny cities or play with crabs. We like crabs.

We look up when We see vivid green grasses and ferns a bit like the ones we had at home but lighter. They are almost as tall as us! We know that hidden somewhere in there are the roots of the trees. They are tall, with rough silver bark that gleams beneath the moon and strong branches on which pointy-edged leaves in dark shades of purple and green, unlike most of the trees at home which were hunched over with brown-green leaves in long strands like a pony's mane.

From within We think We hear singing, the whole air of this place seems to be alive with a melody carried by the night breeze, and so We delve into the garden of shadows.

...

All around us the trees are dense, the leaves of the highest branches tossing the meager starlight back and forth with brief shakes. There did not seem to be any other signs of life beside us and all the fireflies in the air, although We did not feel lonely.

It seems nice here, We thought as We continue to walk through the grass, which makes a shh-shhh noise.

We wonder if anypony else is here? This island after all, even though We do not see any ponies here so far, there could be one somewhere on this island. We have no idea how big it is, and they could be hiding! From the look of the shore, We think it would take a few days and nights of travelling to get across, and since it is an island, it should have a center of some kind. We have never been to an island before today and Tia's never been to one at all, although our parents have told Us about them.

If We reach the center, We could climb a tree so We can see if there are any houses on this island, or anything else We are supposed to search for!

We stop walking for a moment but refuse to lean against a tree, it might tempt Us to nap. We pluck a strand grass and prop it in our mouth, chewing the end in thought. Maybe We should just walk some more until We come across something?

We turn back to look at the grass, freshly trampled by Us. No, that is a terrible idea. It would be too dangerous.

It is always important to know what is ahead and around you when travelling, this was one of the first things Our sister and Us learned. We may look like fillies, even though We are really hundreds of years are old, and have plenty of time for learning.

So, maybe We should not wander around, but We should still climb a tree. We do not know what is ahead of Us, which is bad, and We do not have much of an idea of what is around Us which is even worse! Wandering is a really bad idea so, it is settled: We will climb a tree!

We look up towards the branches of the tree We are leaning against. The branches do not look like they could hold Us.

Hmm We nibble the grass some more. Maybe We should find a different place to climb a tree... and make sure it is a really big tree, too!

We squealed with excitement. This part of our never-ending adventure is going to be longer then We thought!

...

Come on!

We shove a few twigs out of Our way; a few of them get caught in our mane, but that is okay, We can pull them out later.

We just need to get to the end of this branch!

We teleported up here with our magic and somehow managed not to hit any branches - although We did find a bird's nest with a few eggs inside but no mama or papa bird - but now the tree seemed to have other ideas. It had taken quite a bit of walking to find such a nice tree with branches We would be able to stand on. As We walked further into the woods We noticed large stones everywhere, their surfaces were covered with moss, but when We scraped it away We saw that the stone once belonged to a building: it was a large chunk of some now crumbling building We had yet to find. Maybe We would be able to see it from here.

We pushed through the last bit of leaves, they tickled our face as We did, as did a soft breeze. The island really was like a big garden with greens, purples, and dark blues everywhere. We could even see a few clearings with large pink flowers and lily pads floating on distant ponds. Everything was glowing softly and it felt so peaceful. The island was very hilly, covered in the forest like a blanket. We saw more large ruined stone scattered across the island drawing Our eyes to the highest hill.

There was a castle.

A rather small castle that nopony has taken care of, its dark gray stone walls blending in with the sky. Almost every part of the castle was collapsed except for a single tower that stood in front of the moon. It would still be night when We got there.

All was still.

We wonder who lived there, and if they still did. Somepony who lives in that castle must be mysterious, and maybe they liked quiet just like We do.

Or they could be lonely.

Either way, it seems this is where We are supposed to go.

We retreat back into the leaves.

...

"Hello?" We whisper as We step quietly through a hole in the broken wall of the tower. We see a long staircase spiraling upward, a few sad looking papers blew up and down. We trotted forward, gathering them with Our magic.

They are damp and ruined. Strangest of all, it looked like someone burned them on purpose, using a mysterious magic to strip away every last word leaving nothing but horizontal burn marks. We dropped the papers and decided to climb the stairs instead.

Every so often We came to a wooden doors which were quite worn by the sea air and the holes in the castle which let that air in. We opened some of the doors slightly but it became clear that the only things inside were dusty furniture, nothing that We would like to play with it.

We closed the last door and kept going. Soon We saw moonlight streaming through the last door at the top of the stairs, which was slightly ajar. We could feel wind coming through. Pushing the door open, We thought about how dull all these stairs were. Was the pony who lived here boring? We hope not.

Inside the room at the top of the tower, there was a large fire pit of some kind, except it was not lit and the ashes were being blown out the holes in the walls where the building had crumbled.

Just like on the stairs, there were scraps of burned paper everywhere and halves of books, most of them were spilling out of the pit. What few windows that remained where in pieces and We had to be careful to avoid shards of colored glass.

Among these shards of colored glass were long crystal prisms about as big as Our foreleg. Most of them were pastel blues and pinks, but one lying close to Us was a deep purple.

We grabbed it in Our magic and looked at the surface. It was marked with chips and scratches - some of which formed words, a date from a few hundred years ago, sometime after Mommy and Daddy left.

We looked around the room. This was some kind of magical trinket We remember relatives having. You take a special kind of crystal and enchant it, so when it is placed in a machine of some kind it shows you really pretty pictures. We have never used one before.

We poked around the room some more, the crystal placed on Our back with Our small stash of food so We can use what little magic We can control so far to carefully move objects out of Our way. After pushing away large splinters of what must have been a shelf. Behind it We find exactly what We are looking for: a machine about the size of Us with a fair deal of gears and whirly things, now quiet. We may not have used one of these before, but at least We know what it looks like, and that could help Us! We dust off this clear shiny crystal circle miniature window We find before cleaning the rest of the machine's outside.

When We are finished, We see that there is a little door in the side, We pry it open with Our magic. It is very rusty and makes a creaky noise. We frown; there are a few spiders inside, poor things. We make them a new home in the splintered shelf remains, and give them some of Our food - Black Hoof called it prickly pear - before We continue. We levitate the crystal off of Our back and into the machine, before shutting the tiny door.

Next We pull the tiny lever on the side and the gears begin to turn slowly for a moment before stopping.

Maybe it needs magic, too?

We push the lever back into place and hear it click. Then, We pull it down again, this time with our hooves and shoot as much magic as We can manage into the strange object. Everything seems to need magic!

It works, too! It starts to glow pretty turquoise just like our magic! Suddenly, the gears start turning again! They go faster and faster... and faster... and faster?!

One of the whirly gears on the silver and copper colored outside flies off and almost hits Us in the face, but We dodge it just in time, only to hear it smash into one of the last whole windows.

Oops.

The Flying Gear Not-Quite-A-Box started to make a noise that sounded vaguely like a really injured cat or Tia whining, and then there was a weird crunching noise and it started to shoot shards of crystal at Us. We shrieked and run away, able to avoid most of them, although one managed to cut Our cheek a little bit. But, We did not cry because We are such a big filly.

When it stopped, We crept back out making sure to be careful in case it saw us and decided to shoot more purple crystals at Us. We pried open the crystal door thingy again. The neat looking prism, despite the nicks and dents it originally had was now in a much worse state. It looked like a purple corncob after somepony had eaten all the corn off it and then thought the cob might be pretty tasty too.

Double oops.

We removed it carefully and gave it to the spiders as a house warming gift. There was a pink crystal nearby that did not have any scratches on it. We are sure it will have pictures that are just as pretty as the purple one.

We check the date on this one, stumbling over some of the words.

If We are reading this right then this one is the most recent! It is only about a month old - We cannot be sure, since it becomes hard to keep track of how much time passes without Tia. Although, sometimes We count, too.

We repeat the entire process over again, and dash behind some rubble after pulling the lever and shooting the machine with magic. There is a humming noise that did not happen before and We risk a small peek to see what is happening. The Not-Quite-Box machine is glowing the color of Our magic like before, but then it fades to a soft pulsing white. The white aura seems to fade and fills the room like fog, or Our breath of a chilly day.

It forms shapes We do not recognize and We see and bits of color slowly leak back into the magic fog forming some kind of painting on the wall.

We see two purple eyes and an amber and yellow coat. There is a silky white mane, too.

The picture is a mare. We can only see what she looks like from the withers up and faint outlines of a messy room behind her. There are the holes in the walls, and the broken furniture. The pit in the middle blazes with multicolored fire. In the background there are all sorts of bottles, gears, and other charms that look like things We saw at the buffalo camp.

She swallows and We can see tears in her eyes. Her wings are wrapped around her like she is trying to give herself a hug and the bun she pulled her mane into is coming undone. Bits of her forelock hang in her face and her horn is glowing with a magic similar in color to her coat. She looks older then Mommy and Daddy, but her mane is not sparkly or like any other adult Alicorn's at all. We are not sure what to do just sitting and watching this vision that seems to be coming out of the tiny mirror crystal. We float our bag of food over to where We are and begin to nibble some of the contents.

The mare starts to speak. She has a very thick accent so We cannot understand everything she says because it spills over all her words and We have never heard anypony speak like that before! It is so confusing and makes Our head hurt, so We just imagine her pausing a lot so We do not make our head hurt, and that is a good solution. We wish We could understand everything she said, though.

"Well... I suppose it is... test the Equuish out... most common language, after all... for the last time... before I destroy all my research... I am Princess Amira Fire-sight..."

She sniffles a bit and grabs a hanky. We wish We could hug her.

"...my last words... these are the last words of the last demigod, the last Sage of the buffalo."

We smiled. Wait 'till I told Black Hoof that We found the Sage!

"...I have no apprentice, nopony to take my place... the last bit of magic... precious objects... stored inside the chest underneath the floor over towards the left... I cannot say that... I was never the best student, nor was I the worst... I should have gone with the others they needed me more, I think..."

What is she talking about? Gone where? Did her family leave too?

"...this is my 1,100th year... my last few days... I stayed to protect the buffalo, to keep the magic going in hopes that somepony would have made it..."

We paused at the exact same time she did, the vision of Amira burying her face in her hooves. After a moment she has composed herself again, although her eyes were very red. We stretched out a hoof to try to hug her, but the vision only dissolved for a few seconds.

"...If I had gone with them, perhaps even a demigod like me could have made a difference... would not feel this way..."

Is there something We are not getting here? What happened to her family?

"...If anypony... any creature finds this... know that you may be alone in the world..."

That is not true, We have our sister!

"...you are alone in a world of mortals... I had such cowardice... could have made a difference but I stayed..."

What is a 'mortals'? We do not think we had that in Our forest.

"...trust nopony, roaming is dangerous, hide yourself where... cannot get you... I did and I paid dearly for it... and if possible, if there is a hope out there... god that survived... I do not know the entirety of what happened... I have one last thing to say Survivor... once more I beg you do what I could not... make a move! Find something!"

The fog faded and Amira Fire-sight vanished from the room. We were out of food and sunlight was beginning to show through, the crystals everywhere catching it.

We stood up and brushed ourself free of crumbs. It was time to find that chest!

...

It took a while but We was able to pull up the salt-weakened floor boards and found what Amira said was there: a chest. There was the image of a spiraling shooting star with a tail of flame burned onto it and colored with silver, purple, and white.

Thank goodness there was no lock, We do not think there would have been time to search for a key because pretty soon Black Hoof was going to be worried trying to look for us, and lock-breaking spells are very hard!

We were not sure how one fits magic into a chest but it seems Princess Amira knew what she was doing: inside were rows of bottles in different colors and sizes. Each of the lids was labeled with worn letters.

One of the larger bottles was made of plain brown clay, and hid among the glass ones. It was decorated with paint, small pictures of red birds covered the surface. The way they were painted looked a lot like some of the designs on the buffaloes' tents.

We plucked it out of the chest and slipped it into my now-empty food sack. We poked through the chest some more. A lot of the words were a bit too big for us to read but most of them seemed to be medicine of some kind each with a wax seal with the image of a different animal on it.

Bear. Bird. Fish...? Deer. Bovine. Fuzzier Bovine. Breezie. Worm-thing. Pegasus. Big pony with wings that look like a butterfly's wings. A pony with butterfly wings and lots of holes in their legs...?! Earth ponies. Buffalo. Unicorn. Snake. We think this one is a giant parrot. Dragon... rawr! Seapony. Siren.

It goes on and on until We find a bottle with a pony who has both a flowing mane and tail as well as a wing and horn. We do not need to stumble over the labels tied around the lid to know who it is for.

Alicorn.

Tia...

We slip the bottle inside and knot the sack clumsily with Our magic.

"Thank you, Amira," We whisper to the empty room before leaving.

...

Dawn has passed, but the sun has not warmed the sands yet. There are dark clouds in the sky. Black Hoof stares at us, completely speechless. She had just witnessed Us using the Sage's Gate. Or maybe it is what came after that, when We gave her the red bird bottle. Our mane was free of twigs now but the braid had come loose in the process.

We told her what happened as best as We could. It came out longer and more complicated than needed and We think a messed up the part with Princess Amira, so We tried to make up for that by including as much detail as possible about all the other birds' nests We saw when climbing trees.

She did not seem to believe me that much, but accepted the bottle anyway. Her magic had a much easier time keeping it a float. She had told us to go stand away, since she wanted to see what was inside and did not want us to get hurt. We were not sure what could be so dangerous about such a pretty bottle but listened anyway.

Her magic broke the seal with one quick move and there was a bright flash and what could not be anything but thunder. We would not know, We had jumped behind the still open gate until the bright light stopped and We could see again.

"L-L-Luna...? A-are you still there?" Black Hoof nervously called.

We came out from my hiding place shivering all over and here We are now. Black Hoof looks terrified, We do not think her green eyes could have gotten any wider. In one of her hooves she held one of her braids, We were not sure if it was the purple or the yellow one... both her mane and tail had gone pure white. She shivered slightly and We saw yellow sparks come off of her coat.

"Are you alright, Black Hoof?"

It took her a while, but Black Hoof's wide open mouth formed the words, even if her eyes still showed nothing but shock.

"I-it seems that the bottle... was meant as the inheritance of the next Sage... and I... I opened it..."

"Does this mean you are a Sage now?"

She stopped looking so dazed, and shook her head from side to side. "Y-y-yes it seems so... Luna, we must return to Lady Sun Dance and give her this most urgent news!"

We looked down and dragged our hoof in the sand, trying to draw the swirly shooting star We had seen on Princess Amira's potion chest. "We cannot, Black Hoof. Our sister still needs us, more than ever now that We have gotten the medicine that can help her."

Black Hoof nodded, looking downcast. "I see... but there is one thing I must do."

We look up at her and tilt our head. "What is that?"

Black Hoof fixed her gaze on us, kneeling down on her forelegs so she was at our eye level. "You cannot tell anypony about the events that have transpired here, that you have met others. In this time, safety is rare, and the less anyone knows about anyone else, the safer we all are. You do not tell anyone about my tribe, and I do not ask for the location of your sister and where you live. This information is meant for those like me to unravel. You and your sister are worth more than you realize and the world cannot risk something happen to you. The two of you must grow, and deeper magics await you. Luna, this is the beginning of farewell, I have enjoyed my travels with you. Luna you have so much to look forward to, and I hope - which has been renewed thanks to the story you have shared with me - with all my heart that you find the truth."

We try not to cry. "C-can We tell our sister? About you and-"

Black Hoof shakes her head no. We give her a big hug and we both get up and We follow her back to her home.

...

We shift the bag of supplies on Our back, it was a parting gift from the buffalo. It contained more than enough food for Our journey back, which had not taken as long as We thought since We remembered the way well, even if We were unable to use the stars to map Our way since the sky remained overcast for many days and nights.

The reddish cliff where Tia lay ill was already in sight, just over the horizon.

We smiled. It may not be what most would consider home, but Tia was there and that was close enough, sand or snow, rain or shine. Once We get there We pause only to transfer the food We were given to our usual saddlebags, the ones that fit us. We hid the one We had when travelling with Black Hoof under a rock.

We gave Our sister the medicine, which was not exploding light but a syrup mixed with herbs that smiled as strange as Amira's accent sounded, but We carefully gave them to sleepy Tia, whose coat burned like fire and was as chilly as snow as time passed. We put the bottle with Black Hoof's bag and sat outside to wait, getting lost in counting clouds, distantly wondering where We might be able to dispose of the empty bottle where not even Tia will find it.

A while must have passed, it was dawn when We arrived but now it was sunset when We heard any noise at all inside.

"Luna?" A voice whispered from behind us. "We have been having the strangest dreams..."

We turned around and grinned as wide as We could. "Tia!" We shouted jumping up and tackle-hugging her.

Something hit Us on the head, and We could tell by the look on Tia's face that she had felt it too. We both looked up at the sky, it had begun to rain.

We stuck out our tongue to catch drops and Tia laughed, pointing at a white-hot lightning bolt in the distance.

Comments ( 7 )

7216016

Peyote. The main reason this is T. Drugs are bad.

This was a lovely tale. I like how Luna's innocent mind process what's happening around. Perhaps she doesn't understand now bit hopefully in time she will.

9469355
Thanks for reading!

10251748
Big Sister Energy is strongk in smol princess.
10251764
Gotta love unsupervised fun! Absolutely nothing can go wrong.

Absolutely. Nothing.

Very mysterious and exciting. Luna is so charmingly sweet especially wanting to hug what I assume is her kin. Does Princess Amira get a story?

Also, glad you're not pussyfooting and just calling Alicorns Gods.

10254495
Amira is not related to Luna or Celestia. She appears in in Antumbra and is mentioned again in Favorable Alignment. Both of those stories deal with Alicorns and divinity more too, though one is part of a series. I'm really glad you like these so far! Thanks so much for reading and commenting all the way through! It's so nice to have notifications on stories that sometimes go years without them. Even if it was about something someone didn't like, I wouldn't mind.

Login or register to comment