• Published 3rd Nov 2017
  • 868 Views, 7 Comments

The Unfettered Sun - Azriel

Celestia decides her time is ending.

  • ...

No Princess Rules Forever

The Unfettered Sun

It was late, later than Celestia had stayed up in a long time. The cool mountain air on the balcony was remarkably refreshing as she basked in the sensations that would too often go unnoticed by her. The way the breeze ever so gently rolled across her coat and played with her mane. The happy if somewhat respectfully muted whistle of the red eye train beckoning to the commuters who lived in Canterlot, but who’d already started departing the city for the Summer Sun celebration. She watched her nation without any of the proclivities that usually forced her to guide it, and it felt like the first time she was truly seeing it for what it was. It was perfect.

It had only been a few hours since the last guests had left the castle, but she found herself basking in the afterglow of her party. She’d been against the idea at first, but Luna had insisted. She’d thought it absurd to have a party on the eve of her departure. She’d even feared that the whole evening would be cloaked in an oppressive and insufferable melancholy. Instead it’d turned into an impromptu retirement party. She’d danced, drank, laughed, told stories of times long gone, and even swapped a bit of gossip with a few eligible bachelorettes on the prowl, and whenever a pony was in danger of becoming morose, Luna had swooped in to save the day.

It was a silly thing, but when the breeze kicked up she hugged the object she was cradling just a bit tighter to her breast. If anyone had let it slip that she’d get a gift on such an occasion, she’d have thought it was a poor attempt at a joke. Yet, it was the most aptly memorable portion of the evening. A simple scrapbook filled with copies of pictures and portraits over her long reign taken from the Canterlot archives. It was the perfect gift to honor her long service, and when she’d first looked at it in the safety of her room she’d wept happily at the pictures within. Not only for the reminders of a life well lived filled with memorable connections, but as the idea finally dawned on her that the ponies within would soon be in hooves reach again.

Celestia heard the tell tale sign of beating wings before somepony landed and hoof coverings delicately clacked against the balcony left little to her imagination about just who was visiting her.

“I was beginning to wonder whether or not you’d visit me.”

“I’ve never done well with goodbyes,” Luna said.

Sensing the conversation that was about to come, Celestia couldn’t help but take in the newest addition to her sisters night sky before making a show of letting out a low whistle for her sister's benefit.

“Do you like it?” Luna asked. Not for the first time that night Celestia took in the surprising amount of detail in the stellar nova fashioned in the colors of her ethereal mane and shaped like her cutie mark, and at the center of it shining brighter than Celestia had ever seen it, was Luna’s moon. Sparing her sister who’d come to sit beside her a glance, Celestia could see that unlike her moon, Luna herself was anything but shining. Her ears were pinned, she was unusually fidgety as she stroked her foreleg with a hoof, and her gaze was unnervingly fixated on the balconies concrete.

“It’s perfect,” Celestia said as she gently levitated the scrapbook to the ground so she could scoot closer and embrace her sister.

“I would gladly create a thousand such spectacles in the night sky if you’d reconsider.” Celestia simply sighed as she rested her head on her sister’s before whispering gently to her.

“I love you so much Luna. Never forget that.”

“I suppose it was too much to hope, but two centuries doesn’t make up for the millenia we lost, please at least wait til I’m ready to go with you.” Celestia wasn’t surprised that Luna was trying one last time to change her mind. When she’d first told Luna her intentions they’d fought for over a month.

“It’s my time Luna, not yours. Just as you are not ready to join me, likewise, I’m not willing to stay any longer.” To her response Luna leaned harder into her sister before she started to sob.

“You know I don’t think you’re a coward, right?” Luna choked around fitful tears. In one of their more heated fights Luna had hurled the word at her in a fit of anger.

“Of course, hush now and dry those tears. There’s something I’ve wanted to show you.” Careful to grab the scrapbook in her magic Celestia gently removed herself from her sister before heading towards the double doors to her room. As she entered she did a quick survey of how barren it had become in her preparations, before she placed the book on a small coffee table and turned towards her sister. Taking a seat she waited patiently for her sister to meander in and sit next to her.

“I don’t understand. What did you want to show me?” Luna said as she also took in the her sisters uncharacteristically empty room.

“Take my hoof, we’re going on a field trip.” As soon as she did Celestia cast the spell her sister could not, not for lack of any skill in magic, but because her magic wasn’t tailored for it. When the spell had taken hold Luna rubbed her eyes before looking around at the ethereal plane.

“Is this what I think it is?”

“It is where we ascended, and where I found Twilight after she became an Alicorn.” Celestia watched with Luna as her past self met up with Twilight. Time, she’d found, was rather unsteady in this place.

“Come. Let’s not disturb them,” Celestia said as she turned from the apparitions.

Using her knowledge of the place Celestia called up images of the past as a stream of events barreled by, until it slowed to show the moment of her birth followed by Luna’s. The scenes continued from there as the two sisters watched their younger selves wrestling over a flower they’d picked for their mother, and again as the two fought over a crush and when they made up from those fights, and a thousand other rapid fire scenes from their shared past. After taking the stroll down memory lane from their childhood Celestia started showing Luna what they’d come there for. Sunset, moonrise, sunset. Summer, winter, summer. And a thousand ponies birth, crowning achievement, and then departure. She was careful in her selection of the scenes, and she was satisfied that the theme was accurately portrayed from it. That nothing, no matter how resilient, only has it’s moment in the sun for so long before the cycle starts over.

With that message portrayed she started with scenes showing her cycle. A thousand thousand scenes of her in gut busting laughter till they trickled in slowly, and showed clear signs of the span of time between each growing. Then her wailing at the passing of dear friends, until her mourning periods grew shorter to the point that she shed no tears for the departed. The truth she hoped Luna would see was that the sweet nectar of life contained its own form of diabetes. That nothing, not even life, was pleasant in excess, and that moderation truly did apply to all things. She knew Luna hadn’t learned it yet, by all accounts her stasis on the moon made her a thousand years younger.

And when she thought her sister had ample time to digest the information she delivered the piece de resistance, a spell that only worked in this place that she’d carefully guarded from the world. In this place of magic and mysticism she opened the smallest window into the eternal. The effects were immediate and just as profound as the first time she’d done this. Radiating love, feeling, thought, the future, the past, all the beautiful mysteries denied to the living briefly touched on the uncomprehending minds of both sisters before Celestia abruptly shut it off. Both of them sat in silence as they recomposed themselves from the onslaught.

“I… I…” Luna babbled.

“It’s a lot to take in isn’t it?” Celestia said before chuckling.

“That’s putting it mildly, don’t you think?”

“Yes, well I could wax poetically about it if you’d like.” Which elicited the first laugh of the morning from Luna.

“No thank you, your poetry has always made yowling cats sound beautiful, and don’t think I missed that it was you who pranked our school teacher,” Luna said dryly before staring deadpan at Celestia, “she blamed me, and Father gave me a paddling that made it hard to sit for a week straight.” A moment passed before both sisters started laughing uproariously.

Wiping away a stray tear Luna once again turned to her sister, “I’ll miss you dearly sister, but I expect we’ll have one tartarus of a reunion when all is over.”

Smiling Celestia dispelled her magic so that they were once again sitting in her barren room, “that we will Luna, that we will.”

The rest of the morning was spent in casual if not somewhat restrained conversation until Luna summoned a hefty amount of paperwork onto the table in front of Celestia.

“Didn’t I already sign this?” Celestia asked.

“There was some last minute changes that warranted a new draft,” Luna said as she slid Celestia’s new Will towards her.

“Such as?”

“The Twilight Sparkle Institute finally settled out of court for half of your personal library that would have otherwise gone to the local academies, a few other odds and ends, and last, but not least, I decided I wanted your teapot.”

“My tea pot, really? I didn’t think you’d mind it going up for auction since you don’t drink tea.” Celestia said as she read over the changes.

“It reminds me of you…” to which Celestia smiled before she picked up her quill to sign her Last Will and Testament.

“If that’s all, it would appear the sun is ready for me to raise it one last time.”

Absent in regalia and title Celestia climbed the dais to the deafening silence of over a hundred thousand ponies who’d gathered to send her off. Unlike past celebrations there were no decorations or cheering at her arrival. She stopped at the top of it to take in one long shuddering breath to contain her excitement about what the next chapter held in store for her. She’d mock practiced the ritual she was about to perform a thousand times, and this time she’d add something new that she’d never attempted before.

Stretching out ever so gently she made her familiar connection to the sun, before she began to will it to take up its place for the longest day of the year, and as she did it she began to weave in a bit of herself to her life giving friend.

She began to glow with power as her eyes shone white and her coat radiated a brilliant golden light, and the sun like a magnifying glass answered her power with its own as she was submerged in a pillar of light that shot down from the heavens. Through the last part of the ritual as she began to levitate she silently mouthed the words goodbye to Luna before the light enveloped her in a blinding flash.

The crowd spent minutes rubbing their eyes waiting for their corneas to stop protesting before they could see clearly, but when that time had passed they found no sign of their once beloved princess. She was simply gone, and no pony out of the throng knew how to feel about the loss.

Hours passed in silent vigil as slowly but surely the crowd began to disperse. Many waited expecting the horse shoe to drop, and many more crowded around Luna expecting some villain or invasion to happen that would capitalize on their princesses departure. But, none came, and soon out of respect they left Luna to mourn her sister's passing at the dais. It was as if the world itself out of respect for the one who’d carried the burden of bringing life sustaining light to it had prevented any such opportunists from rising.

It wasn’t until some time had passed that Luna took note of the fact that the sun had kept moving in the sky after her sister's departure. Concerned and weary of her new role as the bearer of the sun, she reached out with her magic til she touched upon it and stopped.

There was music, more than that, she heard Celestia’s voice singing.

The sun never failed to rise each morning and set each night, and young foals listened to elders about the mythical Princess of the Sun that watched over them everyday while they played. In a way Celestia never truly left, in death as much as in life Celestia was always there to show ponies the light, and the promise of a brighter tomorrow.

Luna crawled under her covers exhausted from another strenuous day of leading the nation, and as had become her routine she reached out with her magic to touch the sun and let her sister sing her to sleep.

~Hush now Luna, don’t you cry. Your sister’s here to sing you a lullaby. Hush little sister, know I love you. I never left, you can find me in the morning dew. And if that morning dew don’t come, you can still find me in the rays of the dawning sun. And if that sun is overcast, remember too that that will pass. Hush little Luna, don’t say a word. I’m right here in the song of the morning birds. And if the morning birds don’t sing, don’t fret as surely their songs will return in spring. Hush my sister, dry those tears. Despite all your fears I am still right here. If you’re feeling blue, like you’ve lost your way. Remember to look for me in every moment of the crowning day. Hush now Luna, I love you. I never left and I’m so very proud of you.~

Comments ( 7 )

Reading through this whole thing I was waiting for something silly to happen due to the lack of tags, truly a masterpiece though.

This one poked my heartstrings a little bit. I enjoyed this piece.

Ack! Mein herz! That made me really sad, man. I love it!

Very nice. Thank you for sharing it.

Login or register to comment