• Published 2nd Mar 2017
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Land of Equines - Daddy Joe

Who would've thought that being at the wrong place at the wrong time would bring something so surreal.

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Departing The Empire

Departing The Empire
May 15th, 2013

As the girls and I rejoiced for defeating King Sombra and restoring the love and unity of the Crystal Empire, Princess Cadance and Prince Shining Armor walked over to the railing of the balcony and looked down at the Crystal Ponies. At that moment, the entire population of Crystal Ponies let out a thunderous applause and cheers that probably could be heard throughout the stars. In response, they both waved in acknowledgment and courtesy. But as I looked closer, I realized the Crystal Ponies were not only cheering because of their new leaders, but also at Spike. He looked behind him, unsure of why they were.

"Why are they cheering for me?" Spike asked.

"Because they love you, Spike! You helped carry the one thing that could power the love and unity throughout the empire down the castle!" Princess Cadance clarified.

"You're a hero, Spike." I said.

Spike looked back at the Crystal Ponies and waved at them, creating another roar of cheering from below.

"Ha! I- I guess I am!" Spike exclaimed with excitement.

"Good on ya', Spike. Not many get to be known as a hero." Applejack congratulated.

"They oughta come up with a dub nickname for you. Like, 'Spike the Great.'" Rainbow suggested.

"Yeah, I would like a name like that!" Spike said.

"Oh, I am so happy for you, Spikey. You never cease to surprise me." Rarity said as she tightly hugged Spike.

"Thanks, Rarity." Spike smiled with a faint blush.

Once the cheering down below had subsided, Princess Cadance gave a short speech to lift the spirits of her subject even more.

"Citizens of the Crystal Empire. As your newfound Princess, I hereby decree that this day marks the beginning of a new era for the Crystal Empire; an era of renewed peace, happiness, love, and unity between each and every individual who lives within. In better words, never again will a force as evil as King Sombra will ever interfere with our way of life again! Welcome back, everypony, and may this day continue with harmony!" Cadance declared, causing a louder volume and intensity of cheers.

My crystal-like state was the first to vanish, returning me back to my normal, fleshy self. Then the girls and Spike were the next to lose their crystal state, followed by Princess Cadance and Shining Armor.

"Oh drat!" Rarity expressed in annoyance.

"Sorry, Rarity. The crystal gradience and hairstyles only lasts on the Crystal Ponies." Cadance said.

"I can see, hence that we're not one of them. Oh well." Rarity said, bummed out.

"Shining Armor! Princess Cadance!" Twilight said from behind us.

"Twilight!" both Shining Armor and Cadance replied, giving her a big hug.

"Well, we managed to unify the empire once again and stopped King Sombra." Twilight said.

"Where did you and Spike find the Crystal Heart at?" I asked.

"It was at the very top of the castle. When I went to retrieve the Crystal Heart, it turned out that it was rigged in a trap created by King Sombra." Twilight said.

"What happened?" Shining asked.

"I was trapped and surrounded by dark crystals, but Spike wasn't. And that's why Spike was all the way up there with the hear and everything played out the way it did." Twilight said.

"Wow. I never would've guessed the Crystal Heart would be up there. Thank you, Twilight." Shining Armor said.

"Don't thank me, thank Spike. He was the one who brought the Crystal Heart down the castle." Twilight said.

"That's right, you did," Shining said as he turned to Spike.

"What can I say?" Spike said.

"Nothing at all. Thanks for your help, little bro." Shining said.

"Yes. Thank you so much for what you did. You sure are brave for one little dragon and it will not be forgotten, that I can assure you." Cadance added.

"No problem. Just doing what I can." Spike said.

"Alright. So, I guess your time here is done." Shining mentioned to Twilight.

"Pretty much. I was only sent here to help you two unify the Crystal Empire." Twilight said.

"In that case, Shining Armor and I would be more than happy to walk you guys back to the train station." Cadance offered.

"What do you say, guys? Ready to go?" Twilight asked.

We all nodded in agreement.

When we exited the castle, all of the Crystal Ponies were socializing with each other as if they had never been gone for one-thousand years, or that today was the next day of yesterday to them. Of course, they all noticed Princess Cadance and Shining Armor once we walked into the streets. A crowd of their loyal subjects ran up to them and bowed before the two.

"Hello there!" Cadance greeted, cheerfully.

"Your highness, we are so happy to actually have rulers once again that show such kindness and respect to us." Elbow Grease said.

"We swear to honor and obey you for as long as we live!" a stallion said.

"Thank you for you respect and praise. We are looking forward to meeting you all personally, but you must excuse us. The ones who used their efforts to restore love and unity need to depart back to Canterlot." Cadance said.

"Oh, yes. Of course, your highness," the stallion abided.

The Crystal Ponies stepped to side both left and right, creating a walkway for us. We continued onwards past the entrance to the empire and entered the frozen north, where the snowstorm had subsided. For fifteen minutes, we trekked across the arctic until we reached the train station.

"So, I'm supposing you two will be ruling over the empire from her on out?" I asked.

"Yeah. With Princess Celestia and Princess Luna ruling over the majority of Equestria, it would make sense that Cadance and I were chosen and appointed to rule over the empire." Shining Armor replied.

"But what about you position and duties as captain of the Royal Guard?" Rarity asked.

"Ha. Well, I'll still be the captain, but I'll sort of switch back and forth as both captain and the co-ruler of the empire. Hope that clears up the question." Shining said.

"I wish you the best of luck on that, big brother." Twilight said.

"Thanks, Twily." he replied.

Rarity then let out a sigh loud enough to get everyone's attention.

"Is somepony missing their sparkly coat and mane?" Cadance joked.

"I do so wish it was permanent. Do you see how my mane just absolutely sparkled?" Rarity said.

"But... good things are better when they're a rarity." Applejack worded cheekily.

"Aww." Rarity said, followed by a short laugh.

"So, is there anything you could possibly need before we go?" Twilight asked.

"Everything's gonna be okay from her on out. And also, you've gotta stop saving my rump like this. First Queen Chrysalis and now the Crystal Empire? It's getting a little embarrassing." Shining Armor kidded around.

"But remember, it wasn't me who saved you this time. It was Spike." Twilight replied, sounding disappointed in herself.

"It's just a test. Maybe Princess Celestia will let you retake it." Shining said.

"Unless she can find another nation that somehow needs help, I don't think she'll give me another test." Twilight replied.

Twilight drooped her head and didn't make eye contact at anyone as she walked into the train car. Everyone looked at her in worriment. Even I was concerned that she may not pass this so called test, and I myself am rather optimistic.

"Tell Twily I wish her the best. Y'know, for extra luck." Shining Armor requested to us.

"Sure thing." I said.

When I turned myself around to get into the train car, I noticed the Land Rover's tire treads in the snow, trailing off back towards the Crystal Empire.

"Oh, no, I forgot the Defender!" I realized.

"Do you want us to wait here while you go back to get it?" Applejack asked.

"No, go on without me. I'll meet you guys back down south." I said.

"But didn't King Sombra destroy it before you came through the protective shield?" Fluttershy asked.

"He didn't destroy it, he just swiped it out of his way. There may be a giant dent in it and some broken windows, but it's still drivable." I said.

"Alright, so you'll drive yourself back?" Applejack asked.

"Yep." I replied.

"Then we'll see ya back in Ponyville. We'll most likely be leaving Canterlot by the time you get there." Applejack said with a wave.

"Okay. See ya." I farewelled before following Cadance and Shining Armor.

Shining Armor illuminated his horn before teleporting us three back to the point where we entered the Crystal Empire. Sure enough, to our right in the distance, was the Land Rover that lied the drivers side again.

"There it is." I pointed out before being teleported over to the Land Rover.

"Here, I'll get it back on it's tires." Shining Armor said.

The entire body of the Defender was encased with Shining Armor's rose colored aura, slowly lifting off the ground. The vehicle creaked and the excess snow from the snow storm was shook off, dropping off like slush. Once he turned it left at ninety degrees, he gently placed it on the ground. Surprisingly, the Defender suffered no major damage at all. Must've been more of a shove instead of a swipe.

"Thanks a lot, Shining Armor." I thanked.

"No problem, Caleb." Shining replied.

I took out the fuse chip and started up the Defender, turning over a few times because of the cold.

"And dear, didn't you want to tell Caleb something before he left?" Shining reminded Cadance.

"I was just getting to that, actually." Cadance said.

"Let me know what?" I asked.

"You should check your mail in about two or so weeks. I'm thinking about contacting your C.A.M.A manager for an expedition assignment that I have in mind. We would do it ourselves, but my husband and I need a good amount of time to build up the empire and make it better for the modern day; a stronger defense organization and making sure to establish connections with other cities, such as Canterlot." Cadance explained.

"Um, sure, I'd be up for it!" I said, willingly.

"That's fantastic! Shining Armor and I will be sure to arrange it at the best given opportunity and you should receive a letter in the mail." Cadance said.

"And be sure to keep it to yourself." Shining heeded.

"I'll find a way to." I said.

"Great. So, I'll see you in about two weeks." Cadance said.

"Sure will." I replied.

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