• Published 1st Jan 2018
  • 3,442 Views, 62 Comments

Conquering is Easy, Being Conquered is Hard - ChibiRenamon



Rarity has conquered Equestria, but she is unsure how to deal with a cult led by Fluttershy and the cult's second-in-command, Twilight Sparkle, who seems to have plans of her own...

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Tea vs. Coffee

Back in the castle, Rarity managed to put on the Dominator Amulet without setting her room on fire, aside from a slight scorch mark on her carpet. You’re getting better at this! she praised herself. The last time she had been subject to this influx of power, every flammable object around her had been reduced to ashes.

The amulet itself granted no power on its own, but it did allow her to force other ponies to obey her commands by making them wear a magically generated copy of it. And as a bonus, once she had taken control over a pony, most of their raw power then immediately became her own. Currently, there were two copies of the amulet in circulation, and each was worn by one of the two sisters who had ruled over Equestria.

She downed her first cup of coffee in one go as she entered her throne room. The two alicorns stood motionless in the middle of it, frozen in time by her - and in a way, their own - powers. Her eyes flicked from one sister to the other. Unlike Celestia, the younger sister had been frozen in mid-rant. Rarity always thought that she looked constipated, but it was just a side effect of her having been frozen in a weird moment. “Let’s see if I can get this done without waking the old hag,” she muttered. Dealing with Celestia was always unpleasant for her - either she was defiant and aloof or condescending and amused. Rarity’s horn lit up, and she sent a tiny spark over to the younger sister, who twitched almost immediately.

“-and your cat in a blender!” Nightmare Moon shrieked, ending a sentence she had started back when she had been frozen. It took her a moment to take in her surroundings. “...ah, you froze me in time again? This will never stop being weird. I mean, I’m never even aware I’m frozen. For me, the entire world changes from one moment to the next. Crazy.”

Rarity let her have this moment. “Terribly sorry to inconvenience you, darling,” she lied.

“It’s fine,” Nightmare Moon lied back and looked down at herself. She smirked when she spotted the amulet wrapped around her neck “Yep, still relying on my power, I see.” Then she glanced to her side. “And you haven’t woken up Celestia, so I presume the kingdom isn’t quite on fire yet.” Another glance at Rarity and the tea set on the cart next to her. “Tea. Two cups, plus your own cup of liquid garbage. You’re keeping your options open, but hope that my answers will be enough.”

Rarity smiled, but it was a mask to hide a slight tremble. Even while forced to obey her orders and without access to her full magic power, Nightmare Moon was clearly dangerous. She has been a politician longer than my entire bloodline has existed. Locking her up in a time prison was the only way to make sure that she wouldn’t directly interfere with my rule. “Tea, dear?”

Nightmare Moon sat down next to her frozen sister and smiled. “Gladly.” She still possessed enough magic to hold the cup and levitated it to her lips. “Mhhhh, you obviously didn’t fire the kitchen staff yet,” she whispered after taking a short sip. Then she frowned and gave her sister another look. “What’s with the gaudy hat?”

Rarity blinked - she had gotten so used to the hat that it didn’t even register as odd anymore. “Never mind that,” she replied airily and removed it, promising to herself to find an even worse item later on. “Anyway... I am facing a small problem.”

“Surprise, surprise!” Nightmare Moon smirked.

Rarity reminded herself that, while she had been reformed shortly after her return from the Moon, this was not the kind Princess Luna she had heard of. Could be worse, of course. After all, being evil-but-reformed apparently just added certain amounts of snark and casual cruelty to Luna’s base personality. It’s certainly a step up from night eternal. “One of my former friends is trying to summon Ugolhotll.”

Nightmare Moon stopped in mid-sip. “The tentacled abomination from beyond the realms of sanity?”

“Indeed, but I can manage that. I know where and when they will do their mass sacrifice, and-”

“Which isn’t how this works, but okay.” The alicorn took another sip of her tea. When she noticed Rarity’s look, she raised an eyebrow. “What, you think it’s that easy to end the world? Just kill a few hundred peasants and ta-da? Please...”

Well, that would explain a few things... the mass sacrifice doesn’t actually summon an Elder God. But then... why kill all those ponies in the first place? Is that a ruse? ...can I risk calling her bluff? Rarity frowned. “A fair point, but like I said, I can manage that. What bothers me is the presence of a unicorn who is assisting the High Priestess.”

“Mh?” Nightmare Moon asked, taking a big sip from her cup.

“Yes. Her name is Twilight Spakle and-”

Nightmare Moon barely managed to turn her head before doing a gigantic spit-take, coating the entire left side of Celestia’s face in tea. “WHAT?”

O...kay... didn’t expect that... Rarity looked from Nightmare Moon to Celestia, who was still sitting perfectly still as tea started to run down her cheek and muzzle. “T-Twilight... Sparkle...? Purple coat, neatly cut mane, mentioned having been here befo-”

“Wake up Celestia,” the alicorn interrupted her.

“Do you think the situation is dire enough to-”

Rarity stopped when she realized that Nightmare Moon was not nervous or shocked - she was grinning ear to ear. “C’mon, this is going to be worth it! Trust me!”

You could just command her to tell you what she’s up to, you know? She took a second to evaluate the potential risk of granting Nightmare Moon’s wish. Well, on the one hoof, it’s always a risk having either of them unfrozen, not to mention both. Then again, if they had some secret power to defeat me, they would have used it long ago. And I have total control and wield their combined magical power. “Fine, I’ll humor you,” she finally decided and flicked a spark of magic over to Celestia.

Unlike Nightmare Moon, the older sister hadn’t been frozen in mid-sentence, so she just sat for a moment and blinked as she processed that her personal time-stop had not just started, but also stopped. “Well, this better be good,“ she said, sounding bitter. Then she frowned. “Why is my left side wet?”

“Hello, sister,” Nightmare Moon greeted her. She had by now managed to hide most traces of her grin.

Celestia raised an eyebrow at her sister, then at Rarity. Without missing a beat, she glanced at the tea set, Nightmare Moon’s floating cup, and finally at the throne room as a whole. “Let me guess; Canterlot is under siege, Equestria is on fire, and you need all the advice you can get?”

“Well, we’re facing the possibility of somepony summoning Ugolhotll, but other than that, she seems to be managing things.” Nightmare Moon immediately held up a hoof. “Not important right now. Guess who’s back in town?”

“Um.” Celestia shot Rarity a quick look before focusing on her sister again. “Is that actually more important than this Elder God thing? Because that sounds somewhat urgent to me...”

“Shhhh, trust me, they’re doing it wrong, anyway.” Nightmare Moon smiled widely. “Oh, but where are my manners? Before I tell you who’s in town, would you like to wet your whistle?”

Celestia hesitated. “Would I...” she touched her wet cheek before giving her sister a curious smile. “Yes, that sounds like a delightful suggestion!” She picked up the remaining cup with the few shreds of magic she had left and poured some tea. “I know I’ve been frozen in time, but I’m still feeling a little parched.”

“Of course! And I’ll tell you once you’ve had a bit to drink.”

“Yes. Just, you tell me who is in town-”

“-once you have taken a sip.”

“Because, you see, I’m a bit thirsty.”

“Right.”

Rarity looked from one sister to the other, her frown deepening. I knew there was another reason why I shouldn’t have unfrozen both of them. They’re playing off each other far too well, and I’m getting the stupid feeling that they’re not taking me all that seriously.

“Okay, so let me just have a drink, and then-”

“-I tell you the name.”

“Which I don’t know yet.”

“Exactly!”

Don’t murder them, Rarity told herself and gritted her teeth. At least not while you still need them.

“Okay, let’s do this, then.” Celestia raised the cup to her mouth and emptied it in one go.

Nightmare Moon didn’t bother to contain her grin. “It’s TWILIGHT SPARK-”

Celestia’s spit take doused the formerly evil alicorn from the tip of her horn all the way down to her hooves, and the younger sister snickered like a foal.

“WHAT?” Celestia gave first her sister, then Rarity a wide-eyed stare. “TWILIGHT?”

“I KNOW, RIGHT!?” Nightmare Moon was enjoying this way too much.

“But I thought... I mean...” Celestia shook her head in disbelief. “Why would she be back in-” She blinked. Then, slowly, she turned to face Rarity. Next to her, Nightmare Moon did the same. Both alicorns slowly started to grin.

“What are-” Rarity stopped herself when she realized that her voice was barely more than a high-pitched squeak. Easy, girl. Don’t let them rattle you. She coughed. “What are you talking about? You’ve had your fun, but unless I get an explanation, you are simply wasting my time here.“

“Twilight Sparkle is in Canterlot!” Celestia said, as if that explained everything.

“Well, yes, I know that, thank you very much. In fact, it was I who told Nightmare Moon about her presence.”

Celestia opened and closed her mouth several times before finally shaking her head, causing her ethereal mane to swish around in the most unmajestic way possible. “We’re going to need more tea. Kibitz?”

The elderly unicorn took a step towards them and bowed. “Very well, Your High-”

“No!” Rarity snapped. You unfreeze them for two minutes, and they immediately go and order your staff around! ...also, doesn’t this guy ever need to sleep? It’s the middle of the night! “You haven’t given me anything of value yet, so why should you deserve more tea?”

For a few moments, Celestia gave her the most terrifying glare Rarity had ever seen. “You dare string your pathetic demands to the Royal Tea Time?” she hissed and leaned down to bring her face closer to Rarity’s. “I have leveled city blocks for less grave reasons, you ungrateful foal! You think you’re so powerful with your stolen magic? It won’t make you live longer! You’re still going to die within the next hundred years or so, while I won’t have visibly aged a single day. Time is on my side, my little pony, and when the location of your burial site has finally become the stuff of ancient legends, I will take the greatest delight in planting a few peppermint plants on your grave. For my tea.

“Easy, easy,” Nightmare Moon gently pulled her sister back, giving both of them a nervous smile. “Kibitz will need a few minutes to get more tea, anyway. Why don’t we send him on his way now, and by the time he comes back, we’ll all be on the same page, okay?”

“...of course, dear!” Rarity said after hesitating just a moment too long. Goodness, she hadn’t been this intense when I yanked the crown from her stupid head. “Though I have to remark that I find it awfully strange that you go around treating tea so reverently and yet waste a full cup on slapstick comedy.”

Celestia huffed and pretended to look at the infinite sky - a gesture that would have been more meaningful if she had been closer to a window or outside. “I do not expect a pony with such limited experience to understand the actions of those who have outlived civilizations.”

“So... you’re just eccentric.”

“I’m just knowledgeable enough to be able to tell you more about Twilight Sparkle,” Celestia pointed out, taking obvious delight in the look of dawning horror on Rarity’s face, “but I suppose it’s not all that important, anyway. I’m just eccentric and reject cooperating with ponies who are denying me my tea, after all.”

ARGH! She lured me into a trap just by making me humor her insane rant! Was that rant about tea even real, or was this a trap from the very beginning? Rarity gritted her teeth. Well, I’m not going to apologize to a mare who tried to play mind games with me. Does she forget who has the upper hoof? “I can simply compel you to tell me all I need to know,” she replied, trying to look at ease.

“Oh, of course! I completely forgot that I am at your mercy! Under your power! Forced to tell you the absolute truth and answer every question you ask!” She pretended to swoon before giving Rarity a smirk. “Because that worked so well the last eight or so times, right?”

Rarity took a deep breath. Why was it easier to conquer this entire kingdom than it is to get this stubborn old mare to talk? She turned to Nightmare Moon. “Let me guess, you’re not going to talk, either?”

“And ruin Celestia’s fun? Tsk, tsk, tsk.” Nightmare Moon shook her head. “She’d never forgive me. In fact, that’s what made her send me to the Moon in the first place.”

“...I thought you threatened to make the night last forever, or something like that?”

“That’s nothing but pro-day propaganda!”

When Rarity just looked from one sister to the other in complete disbelief, both alicorns started to snicker. “Goodness, she’s almost too easy to distract!” Celestia laughed in a rather condescending manner.

“We can probably keep this going until-” Nightmare Moon froze in mid-taunt.

“Why does my country have to be ruled by somepony with such a thin skin...?” Celestia sighed quietly, making a visible effort not to look at her time-frozen sister. Instead, she gave Rarity her usual, scolding look. “You are aware that freezing ponies in time is the last refuge of the incompetent, right?”

“Whatever,” Rarity muttered and cast the time-stop spell a second time, freezing Celestia in almost exactly the same pose as she had been in before. Very good, you just re-freezed-... re-froze... froze again... - WHATEVER - the two ponies who could have told you more about Twilight. Very smart move, Rarity! Handled like a true ruler! “Damn you!” she hissed at the frozen Celestia and tossed one of the cups at the floor in front of her, shattering it in the process. “WHY DO YOU MAKE THIS SO HARD? EVERY SINGLE TIME I UNFREEZE YOU, YOU MOCK ME!” Her own cup hit the far wall. “I’m just so confused by this mare, and you CLEARLY could’ve helped me! Is this the price you make me pay for taking over your kingdom?” Okay, okay, hold it right there. This isn’t how you should act. Focus. She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths, trying to find her center.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Inhale.

A quiet cough behind her made her sigh. “I know I have to unfreeze her first, thank you,” she whispered.

“It’s okay, actually,” a female voice replied, “you can leave them frozen. It’s kinda kinky to have them watch us like this.”

Rarity whirled around and gasped. “You!”

Twilight Sparkle smiled politely. Behind her, the obsidian altar was looming, waiting for its victim. It seemed to have gotten bigger somehow. “I just figured we might have a quick warm-up round before we go through all the formalities tomorrow.”

Rarity’s eyes widened slightly at that. Warm-up round? Does she mean... She bit her tongue to stop herself from babbling, squeaking, or making any other undignified noises. “Y-you mean the formalities of the mass sacrifice?”

The other mare laughed quietly. “You know there won’t be a mass sacrifice.”

“Well, obviously there won’t be one! As Queen Empress, I simply cannot allow you to make thousands of my subjects commit suicide!” Also, I suspect you’re just bluffing, but no need to tell her that.

“Sure, let’s go with that,” Twilight said and rolled her eyes. Then she slowly walked towards Rarity.

“What’s your game?” Rarity stood perfectly still, using a lot of her willpower to fight the urge to back away.

“If you hadn’t let Princess Celestia and Princess Nightmare Moon derail you, you would know that already.” Twilight was now standing right in front of her for the second time within a few hours. She leaned forward just a bit and chuckled when Rarity instinctively did the same. “Tell me you want this.”

I want this. Rarity wasn’t entirely clear what “this” was, but she was certain she wanted whatever this enigmatic mare was offering. She trembled. Just say it! Give in to her! You can ask questions afterwards... Gathering her entire willpower, she pulled back just a little bit. “I want... answers.”

Twilight blinked in surprise, but then smiled again. “You’re not going to get any from me tonight, sorry. I suggest you just entertain your fantasies for now.”

The urge to simply agree was almost overwhelming, but the part of her that didn’t like to be contradicted vetoed it. “Excuse me, darling, but it is not polite to say no to your Queen Empress. So please don’t make this difficult and just tell me what I want to know.”

“I would if I could,” Twilight replied and shrugged helplessly, “but I can’t, so I shan’t.” When she saw Rarity’s confused look, her smile widened. “Oh, please, think about it. It makes no sense that I managed to not only sneak into the throne room, but to also get the altar in here without you noticing, does it?” She suddenly closed the distance and nuzzled Rarity’s cheek, making the supposedly more powerful mare shudder. “It’s almost as if this was just a...”

Rarity woke up with a start and took a quick look around. Twilight was gone, and so was the altar. “Dream,” she whispered, completing Twilight’s last sentence. None of this happened. She wasn’t here. She didn’t- Rarity touched her cheek with a trembling hoof, then took a deep breath. Calm down, get your priorities straight! “Kibitz, when did I fall asleep?”

“After breaking two mugs and ranting at Princess Celestia, but before I could point out that you have to unfreeze her first.”

Right. Fell asleep when I closed my eyes to calm down. “What a night to discover that I apparently developed a heightened caffeine tolerance,” she muttered and gave the coffee pot a quick glare before levitating a new cup over from a nearby room. She filled it and took a big gulp.

“This is decaf,” Kibitz helpfully pointed out, apparently having waited for just the right moment.

The third spit take of the night was almost strong enough to blast the mustache right off his face. “WHAT?”

“Decaffeinated coffee. It tastes virtually the same, but it contains no-”

“I KNOW WHAT DECAF IS!” Rarity pointed angrily at the pot. “WHAT I’D LIKE TO KNOW IS WHO HAD THE GREAT IDEA TO GIVE ME SOME!”

“Ah.” Kibitz looked mildly uncomfortable. “Before I decide whether to tell you which kitchen staff member did this particular deed, can I have your promise that you won’t murder or eviscerate him?”

Rarity considered it.

For several seconds.

“Fine,” she finally hissed. “Actually, don’t bother telling me. Just assign him to... what’s the worst position there is in the palace?”

“Well, normally I would say that the worst task I can think of is cleaning up the Royal Chamber Pot,” the elderly stallion replied after thinking about the question for a moment. “However, you have assured me that your excrements are odorless, so...”

Rarity smirked. “Make it so, then. And tell him to do a good job, or I will make him do it without tools.”

“Very well. Oh, and speaking of sewage, shall I instruct the kitchen to brew a pot of ‘proper’ coffee?”

She tried to answer with a straight face, but even Rarity had her limits, especially after all the snark she had had to endure so far. Her laughing fit lasted almost a full minute, and Kibitz allowed himself a mild chuckle as well while using the opportunity to dry his face a little bit. “Ohhh, that was a good one, and well delivered!” Rarity finally said and wiped a few tears from her eyes. “But yes, I require regular coffee.” She gave the sisters a look. “And a large pot of tea. And new cups. And somepony should probably take care of the broken ones.”

“The works,” Kibitz translated drily and waved for a few servants. “Would you like to take a quick nap while we prepare everything? Preparing tea and coffee should take about fifteen minutes.”

“Yes, that-” Twilight will probably be waiting in your dreams, and this time you won’t be able to resist. She inhaled sharply and sat up straight. “Actually... I’ll just get some fresh air on the balcony, thank you.”

The cool night air helped to clear her head a bit, and Rarity started to go through possible scenarios in her head. By the time Kibitz coughed politely, she had settled on the plan that had the highest possibility of succeeding. “Everything has been prepared, Your Majesty.”

“Thank you, Kibitz,” Rarity whispered and slowly walked back into the throne room. The staff had outdone itself - aside from the two sisters still sitting in a small puddle of tea, there was no evidence left that suggested that cups had been flung around mere minutes ago. After taking a deep breath, Rarity lifted the time-stop spell from both princesses again.

“-sunrise!” Nightmare Moon finished her sentence, then blinked. “Froze me in mid-sentence again?” She took a quick look around in an attempt to puzzle out how much time had passed.

“It’s still the same night, yes,” Rarity said, reminding herself to remain calm no matter what.

“Hmph, you obviously-” Celestia began, but Rarity quickly held up a hoof.

“I want to offer you a deal.” The two sisters exchanged quick glances. She could see that they were amused by this turn of events. They saw this coming. Of course they did. They showed that Twilight Sparkle is important and influential enough to be known to both of them, turning my idle curiosity into a desperate craving for information. “You will tell me what you know about Twilight Sparkle, and I will give you the rest of the night off. You will be restricted to your private quarters, but you can take a bath, eat, gossip, or do whatever else you like, as long as it doesn’t hinder or influence my plans. That’s several hours of relaxation. You will be frozen again tomorrow morning.” She paused. “Also, we got some more tea here, so help yourself.”

Celestia actually raised an eyebrow - clearly, she hadn’t expected such a generous and risky proposal right from the start. But then she smiled knowingly and hovered a cup and the tea pot over to herself. “She has really gotten to you, hasn’t she?” When Rarity gritted her teeth, she quickly made a soothing gesture with one hoof. “I’m not trying to taunt you! It’s just amusing to see that she hasn’t lost her touch.”

“Or her preferences,” Nightmare Moon added. “Very well, you have our cooperation on this.”

“Agreed,” Celestia said and took a quick sip of her tea before floating over the pot to her sister. “I suppose we can do this chronologically, so I’ll start.” She took a moment to sort her thoughts. “Twilight Sparkle is a unicorn about your age, blessed with an affinity for magic itself. She lacks the specialization most unicorns develop and instead embraced the entire spectrum.”

“So she’s a jack of all trades, master of none?”

“In... a... way...” Celestia grimaced. “She indeed could accomplish more in any specialized field of magic if she focused on it. However, she possesses enormous raw potential and can channel more magic than most unicorns I have ever met. And she looks at magic as a science, not as an innate, creative expression of one’s self. She may lack the intuitive grasp to come up with new spells based on a quick feeling, but she can learn and dissect spells in order to cast them herself, even if there is no verbose explanation of all the details.”

“She sounds pretty smart.” Rarity tapped her chin. “That would explain why she seemed to be one step ahead of me the entire time when I met her.”

“Twilight Sparkle loves plans, lists and anything else that’s neatly organized.” Celestia hesitated. “She was my faithful student, and-” She stopped when she saw Rarity silently mouthing those two words. A thin-lipped smile appeared on her face. Next to her, Nightmare Moon laughed quietly. “I suppose I should tackle the more immediately interesting part. Twilight Sparkle has two major weaknesses. The first is a certain... let’s call it a fetish. A hunger. A passion. She is drawn to power. I had been her personal teacher for several years back when my sister had still been banished, so I suppose I’m not entirely blameless when it comes to this. I taught her everything I thought she could handle, and she experienced life at the royal court.”

“Let me guess - she tried to take over?”

Celestia’s smile widened - she had seen the question coming. “Twilight doesn’t want to rule over a nation. She is in this just for the challenge of the finer points that come up at the court and thus prefers the spot as the right hoof mare. The advisor. The faithful star student. And all would have been well... had she not been distracted by her second weakness. She... is a hopeless romantic and was completely convinced that she would find her special somepony at the royal court. You know. Dancing together at the Grand Galloping Gala. Hundreds of roses strewn on the floor. Howls echoing through the halls at night.”

Eighty percent of Rarity’s blood seemed to rush to her head. “H-howls? You mean that ‘The Six Constellations of Enlightenment’ actually exists?”

“I wrote it, so yes.” Celestia gave her a happy smile. “Which I suppose means that I was the one who - without even realizing it - shaped her romantic and sexual expectations. Of course, this meant that it only took her a few years to deduce that my court would not scratch that particular itch, no matter how much she enjoyed being a part of it.”

“It actually would have been fascinating to see her solution to that particular conundrum,” Nightmare Moon chimed in, “but then she found a certain prophecy about the return of Celestia’s poor, misunderstood sister...”

Rarity gave the younger sibling a wide-eyed look. “...she’s the one who reformed you?”

“Indeed,” Nightmare Moon confirmed and took a sip from her tea. “She predicted the date of my return and planned ahead accordingly. Imagine my surprise when I appeared in the throne room and saw this young unicorn instead of my sister.” She gave her sister a smile. “And imagine my surprise when she revealed that she had already mapped out plans to jumpstart the diarchy again.”

Celestia huffed. “She of course didn’t mention that she wanted a ’bad’ mare to create a much more... ‘interesting’ night court. Which is the reason why we only got a reformed Nightmare Moon and not Luna.”

“The difference is negligible, aside from the more badass look and a slightly more assertive streak.”

Celestia merely rolled her eyes. “Twilight is a force of nature when it comes to plotting and shaping entire kingdoms after her own vision,” she summarized. “She is dreaming of meeting her perfect date at a royal court, and if she is back in Canterlot, it means she intends to continue her search in yours.”

“So the important thing now is to determine her master plan,” Nightmare Moon added. “Because she will have one. Then it’s just a matter of deciding whether you can live with it or if you can convince her to find another kingdom.”

“Did she give you any hints so far?” Celestia asked.

“She...” Rarity’s blush somehow deepened. “She might have mentioned chaining me to an altar and... doing... um... things. To me. Howling may or may not have been brought up.”

Celestia and Nightmare Moon were giving her wide-eyed stares. “Oh... my...” Celestia whispered and bit her lower lip. “She not only wants to become your faithful student, but also your special somepony?”

“Ambitious, I like it!” Nightmare Moon agreed.

“We’ll see about that,” Rarity tried to play it cool. “Just because she has played her little power games with two royals doesn’t mean-”

“Three,” Nightmare Moon muttered.

“-that I’ll simply let her seize contr-... three?”

“Why else do you think you hadn’t met her when you barged in here?” The younger sister smiled ruefully. “Twilight quickly grew bored with the diarchy and moved on.”

“Moved on? Whatever do you mean, darling? There isn’t an abundance of kingdoms looking for advisors, I believe. A duchy, possibly, but I can’t imagine Twilight settling for that after life with two alicorn princesses.”

Nightmare Moon gave Celestia a subtle nod. The older mare smiled playfully. “Tell me, young one,” she prompted Rarity, “have you ever wondered why the Crystal Empire never even tried to attack its southern neighbors?”

Again with the random subject changes! Who cares if the Crystal Empire attacked or not! I remember there being a lot of worrying when it appeared out of nowhere, but that situation calmed down fairly quickly. I fail to see what King- Her thoughts screeched to a full stop. “...you’re joking,” she whispered. “Please tell me you’re joking. I’ll even pretend to find it funny.”

Celestia chuckled. “I already told you: Twilight excels at shaping entire kingdoms after her own vision, and she was itching for a proper ‘bad’ pony.”

“KING SOMBRA? Twilight Sparkle not only was involved with you and Nightmare Moon, but also with an actual tyrant? And she reformed him?”

The younger sister raised her hoof, as if asking her teacher for permission to speak. “I would like to point out that I actually was a very powerful tyrant who-”

“You know what? I don’t care!” Rarity shook her head, causing her perfectly coiffed mane to bounce in a somewhat undignified manner. “Twilight Sparkle may be ambitious, but I will not let her take over my kingdom just because she feels that regular dating is beneath her! If she wishes to court me, it will be on my terms!” She tried to ignore the way the two sisters were barely holding back their grins. “I’ve heard enough for now, and I need to prepare a raid for tomorrow night.” She turned to leave and waved a hoof dismissively. “Enjoy your night off, don’t try to murder me or each other, stay inside your rooms until morning, yadda yadda yadda.”

“Sweet dreams!” Nightmare Moon called after her, and the two sisters giggled when Rarity flinched.

Author's Note:

Naming/reference credit:

  • The spit take routine between the two alicorns was deeply inspired by similar exchanges between Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, especially here. (Please, no politics in the comments here, I beg you. Make ponies, not politics.)
  • The "last refuge of the incompetent" quote is paraphrased from Isaac Asimov
  • The "re-freezed" bit comes from the "Equestria Girls: The Friendship Games" blooper reel (spoiler warning for that movie, of course)