• Published 4th Apr 2017
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Their Very Own Suns - Blank Page

Desperate to overthrow Nightmare Moon, Twilight Sparkle searches through the ruins of Canterlot in hopes of finding a spell to bring the rightful princess back to power. Although this fabled "Warrior of Sunlight" is not what she expected.

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Chapter 02 - Soulful Meetings

Twilight could hardly contain herself. She was practically skipping down the ruins of her own home city, unfazed by the destruction around her. She had to look back constantly to ensure herself that the Warrior was still there, that she wasn’t just dreaming, and each time she saw him she had to restrain herself from leaping up and embracing him.

Solaire watched the prancing mare with an amused smile beneath his helmet. Twilight’s smile had only broadened since he introduced himself, and it hadn’t wavered since. Even in the middle of the dreary storm where lightning cracked across the sky and thunder rolled ominously, her smile threatened to shine brighter than the moon itself. It warmed his heart. In all his travels, he couldn’t recall another soul so delighted and thrilled to see him.

It was Twilight’s idea to find shelter from the dreadful weather; to which Solaire could only happily oblige. She led him down an all too familiar street in the residential district just off Harmony Lane, and as waves of nostalgic memories washed in, she found that she was hopeful. Perhaps now, with this Warrior of Sunlight, everypony’s longing prayers for the lives they once knew would finally become a reality.

“I just can’t believe you’re actually real!” Twilight called over the rain and winds. “I mean, I had only just read about you not even an hour ago, but it said you were just a myth.”

Solaire answered with a chuckle. “Oh, I assure you, I am as real as the stone beneath your very feet.” His mind trailed for a moment as he hummed in thought, and he quickly boasted another exuberant laugh. “Or your hooves, I should say!”

It won a giggle out of Twilight. She was so happy, she felt she could burst into song.

They came to a stop before a row of ruined buildings. Twilight felt her mood begin to sink. She should have considered herself lucky. With so many other homes razed to the ground, she was amazed there was at least this much left. But as she stood on what was left of her foalhood road, she couldn't help but feel a pang of guilt for what remained of the home she so quickly abandoned so many years ago.

Home sweet home, she thought to herself.

She wasn’t sure how it was still standing. Half of the structure was missing due to the collateral damage from a crater where the neighbors’ house had once been, and the gaping hole exposed its skeletal insides. Surprisingly, the shingled roof was still intact, although it bent as it loomed ominously over the crater.

Twilight paused at the front steps as memories trickled back in. The front door had been broken in, likely from looters long ago. What few rooms were left howled at her as the wind rushed through, blaming her for leaving it in such a state. How could a place so warm and inviting in her memories have turned so cold and hostile?

She wiped her hooves on the rug just inside the door, an old habit she felt obliged to continue. Rainwater was still dripping from her mane and tail. There should have been towels upstairs in the bathroom, if there still was a bathroom.

The living room was as grand as she remembered, she lied to herself. She always loved the high ceiling. Paired with the two towering bookshelves, it almost made her feel like her own personal library; something she always longed for. Bright memories flooded in of late readings by the fireplace on cold winter nights. A smile started to creep up on her. She remembered the smell of her mother’s homemade cooking wafting in from the kitchen, her father reading to her on rainy evenings. She remembered birthdays and Hearthswarmings, happiness and smiles; her mother, her father… her brother.

Twilight blinked, and the mirage disappeared with her smile. The room that had once been her sanctuary had become a hollow shell. The bookshelves were barren, save the few destroyed books left so unceremoniously. The fireplace was still whole, much to her relief. She glanced behind her and found Solaire waiting patiently in the storm.

“Oh! I’m so sorry,” Twilight apologized. “I didn’t mean to keep you waiting. Please, come inside.” She waved him in, and he nodded his head and complied. “Make yourself at home. I think I might know where to find some wood for the fireplace,” she explained.

Twilight trotted to the stairs on the other side of the living room, peeking in the dining room as she passed. She frowned. Most of the dining room, along with all the kitchen by the looks of it, had disappeared with the neighbors. Her eyes shot up, only to confirm her fears. Her and her brother’s rooms were missing as well. Her heart sank at the thought of all of her books. They were probably all destroyed, ruined either by the razing of Canterlot or the weather.

She noticed the hallway was at a tilt when she finally reached upstairs. The whole second floor threatened to drag the rest of the house into the neighboring pit. Ominous light seeped in through what was left of the two nonexistent rooms.

The bathroom was still in one piece, thankfully. She reached out with her magic and summoned two towels. They were tattered, as if moths feasted on them over the years, but they were still whole enough for her to wrap her mane. She draped the second over her back for the Warrior, and continued down the hall.

Her parents room was the next door down. Twilight stared at the handle for a minute, a lump forming in her throat. Something gravitated her towards it, and she wasn’t sure what. She didn’t want to see what was on the other side; what her mother and father’s room had become. The wind howled outside, mocking her to scurry through the door and hide in her parents’ bed until the storm passed, just like when she was a filly. She shook her head and moved on. There were some things in this house she wanted to keep preserved in her memories.

She was never sure why her father bought firewood in the summer. It was always at its cheapest then, he had explained, and he always bought it in bulk. As tinder and logs levitated out of the broom closet at the end of the hall though, she couldn’t have been happier that he did. Few ponies could keep themselves warm when the sun failed to rise and the temperature began to drop so long ago. Almost everypony had become accustomed to the near freezing temperature that blanketed all of Equestria, but nopony would ever turn down the chance to warm up next to a bonfire.

Solaire was inspecting a picture resting above the fireplace when he heard Twilight trot back down the stairs. He recognized the filly in the frame as the mare that summoned him, although it was clear it was taken a long time ago. The three other ponies sitting around her must have been family. It struck him that this was her home, or at least was at some point. The film of dust covering whatever was still whole implied not a soul had lived here for a while. Nevertheless, it was an honor, and rather refreshing. The last time someone invited him into their home… it must have been before he became Undead.

He placed the frame back on the fireplace and turned to Twilight. “Ah, there you are. And here I was worried you had run off again,” he chuckled softly.

She replied with a kind smile and gave him a towel as she passed by. Solaire took the opportunity to clean his armor from water stains as Twilight worked on the fire; after all, a Warrior of Sunlight should reflect the sun’s brilliance, both literally and metaphorically. Twilight smiled contently as the fire crackled in the hearth. She cast another spell to help it ignite faster, a trick taught by her father, and turned in time to find Solaire replace his helmet on his head.

Twilight stared in wonder as he sat cross-legged next to her, pulled out his shield, and started polishing it with the towel. Something about him felt so… unreal, and it fascinated her. What was he? Where was he from? He spoke so gently all the time; was he really a warrior?

She blinked and realized he had stopped cleaning and was staring back at her. Twilight offered an apologetic smile. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to stare,” she explained. “I just have so many questions.”

“First time summoning, I take it?” he asked warmly, his amused smile lost beneath his helmet. She nodded enthusiastically, a hint of pride in her eyes. “Very well. Please, feel free to ask any questions that trouble you. After all, why am I here if not to help?” he asked with a laugh. He hummed in thought and continued before Twilight had a chance to speak. “Although, I must admit, it is rather pleasant to sit with my summoner and talk. In most of my adventures, my hosts throw themselves into their fight almost immediately after summoning me. Not that I mind; I always relish a chance to engage in cooperation with another soul, but a fellow Undead reminded me how nice it is to sit and enjoy conversation every now and then.”

More red flags sprung up in Twilight’s head as he spoke than she cared to count. He only left her with more questions than answers. She took in a breath and focused. After all, there was only one question that truly mattered. “So, you really are a warrior?” she asked carefully. Solaire nodded. “What have you fought?”

“Ah, many strange creatures from a faraway land,” Solaire started. He rested his shield on the floor before him as his mind trailed, and it warmly reflected the fire’s glow. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his legs, seemingly mesmerized by the glint in his shield.

“During my quest, I have encountered many foes, from the old knights that wander Anor Londo to great demons in the fires of Lost Izalith. I have made many companions as well and aided each of them in their journeys. In the spirit of cooperation, we fought ancient powers that ruled the land.” He cut himself off with a chuckle. “I even helped a few souls stand against the dreaded Executioner and Dragonslayer.”

“What about a Tyrant?” Twilight interjected. Solaire looked up to her and found her eyes filled with a cautious hope; a look he was all too familiar with from his summoners. “Could- Could you fight a Tyrant, too?” she asked again, a slight tremor in her voice.

The Warrior nodded. “If that is your quest, I will happily join you.”

Solaire wasn’t sure what sort of response he was expecting, but as Twilight leapt up and tackled him with a tight hug, to say he was caught off guard would have been an understatement.

“Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!” Twilight cried into his shoulder. She could feel it growing damp with her tears, and she hugged him tighter and buried her smile deeper into his green fur. She couldn’t believe it. After so many years, everything was finally going to be okay.

Solaire sat stunned. This was certainly a… unique reaction from a summoner, but he couldn’t help but appreciate the enthusiasm. Her joy was so warm, so radiant, and most of all contagious. He gave a hearty laugh and gave her a few pats on the back.

“I must say, you are giving me quite the impression,” he admitted. “I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish together. This Tyrant will surely be no match for the both of us.”

Twilight’s heart stopped. She pulled back and stared into the dark slits of the Solaire’s helmet, running what he had just said through her mind. Surely, he couldn't be serious. This had to be a joke, right?

“Wh-what do you mean ‘the both of us’?” she asked through a nervous smile.

Solaire had to remind himself that this was her first summoning, but he wouldn’t allow that to discourage the mood. “Of course,” he chuckled. “Did you think I would stand idly as you took on your quest? Oh, what Warrior of the Sun would I be?”

He gave another hearty laugh, but Twilight couldn’t share it. Sweat was beading off her brow as a cold chill raced down her spine. She could already imagine herself standing before Her Highness Nightmare Moon, and she didn’t like how it ended. “Um, c-couldn’t you just… you know, do it for me?” she squeaked hopefully.

The Warrior’s laugh died off as he looked at his summoner. She looked as if she was trying to shrink out of existence. Behind her purple coat, he noticed she was turning pale. She tried to brave a hopeful smile, but her shaking eyes betrayed her. He recognized those eyes far too well; they were from a soul filled with fear.

For the first time since Twilight had met him, Solaire deflated with a sigh. The jolly atmosphere had died, giving way for a darker, solemn one, and Twilight wanted nothing more than to bring it back. The fire crackled, trying vainly to fill the uncomfortable silence.

“I apologize, Twilight, but I cannot complete your quest for you,” Solaire eventually said. Twilight’s eyes shot down to the floor as a wave of nausea struck her. She felt like she was going to be sick as fantasy after paranoid fantasy played over and over in her mind. She couldn’t stand against Nightmare Moon; she couldn’t. The Tyrant would crush her without so much as a thought.

A gentle hand fell on her shoulder, and she looked up with watery eyes. “Do not worry, my friend,” he said in his soft voice. “As your companion, I will not let any harm fall upon you. My sword and shield are yours to command.” Twilight caught a glimpse of his eyes smiling behind his helmet as the fire danced behind her. “I will be by your side the whole time.”

Twilight took in a shaky breath and exhaled. Solaire allowed his hand to fall as she straightened up and wiped away her leftover tears. Her mind was still racing. There was no way she could face Nightmare Moon… at least, not like this; not so unprepared.

She pulled the towel out of her mane and summoned a book from her saddlebags; the same book that helped her summon Solaire. Nightmare Moon’s passage shed some light on her earlier defeat, and if she started digging, Twilight was certain she could find the spell that locked her away. It was going to be a long shot, but with Solaire by her side, she was determined to at least give it a chance.

Solaire watched with pride as courage quickly overtook the fear in Twilight’s eyes. She moved with a purpose, laying the towel next to the fire as a blanket before sitting down with her book. She poured into its contents, only looking up once to Solaire.

“You may want to get some rest; this will take some time,” she advised. Thunder rolled ominously across the sky, warning her of the danger she was committing to. She looked up with pursed lips, undeterred by its threat. “We’ll be on the move once the storm passes,” she added as she looked back into her book.

“Perhaps it would be best if we waited until morning,” Solaire offered. “Traveling in the night may prove difficult.”

Twilight’s ear flicked to the alien word. It had been so long since she had heard it. “Morning?” she echoed, the word tickling her tongue. She looked back up to Solaire, who stared expectantly back at her. He didn’t know… But then again, how could he? She had only just summoned him a few hours ago.

“It’s… actually the middle of the ‘day’,” Twilight said carefully, as if she was talking to a foal. Even that felt odd to say. Time was difficult to tell when the Mare in the Moon sat unmoving in the sky, and most phrases involving the sun had slowly died out over the years. “Equestria hasn’t seen a morning in over five years,” she said softly, letting the weight of the fact settle in.

She noticed Solaire shift, obviously uncomfortable with what he had just heard. “That’s why I summoned you,” Twilight continued. She set down her book and crossed her hooves over it so she could turn to him. “Nightmare Moon has cursed Equestria to never see the light of the sun again. We need to stop her, and hopefully lift this curse so everything can go back to the way it should be.”

Another silence filled the air as Solaire mulled over the information, humming to himself in thought. “So, your quest is to bring back the sun?” he asked.

Twilight hesitated. She wasn’t sure how much she liked seeing the Warrior so serious. He looked up to her, and she realized she still hadn’t answered and nodded.

He felt a smile shape beneath his helmet and quickly broaden. Surely this couldn’t be a coincidence. No, this had to be fate. “Twilight Sparkle,” he started, barely able to contain his own excitement. “I would be honored to help you find your sun.”

Author's Note:

Wow, I didn't expect this to get so much love when I first posted it. Hope you all enjoy the ride. Praise on, Sunbros!