• Published 5th Jul 2019
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Changeling Trust - Nightmare Rift

A Changeling has to earn back the trust of the friends that she had. Before she revealed she was a Changeling, she was pretending to be an Alicorn.

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Day 14: Understanding

Styx’s POV:
We land in front of the main doors and we walk inside. I have a feeling that Twilight is going to be in the library, so I head that direction with Mystel close behind. Twilight comes careening around the corner, plowing into me. We go crashing into the wall.

Ouch! You okay?

I’m fine Sombra, thanks for asking.

Twilight and I get up, and I check her over for injuries. Nothing is broken, maybe bruised, but that is it. “What’s the hurry Twilight?”

“I just got news that Ms. Harshwhinny will be going around to different locations and seeing which location is the best fit for the Equestria games. What did you need Styx?”

“I am here to bring one of your students to explain why she has been following me all day. Mystel?” I say, watching her come out from behind a pillar in Twilight’s castle.

“Mystel? The orphaned Changeling? Why have you been following Styx all day?” Twilight asks skeptically.

“I just wanted to know how she lived her life and what she did on a daily basis, but I have a feeling today wasn’t a normal day, was it?”

“Nope, my day has been purely to show you what I do when somepony follows me around all day. Including a rare thing I do on occasion, eating meat. So, now that you figured that out, what do you want with me?”

“I guess I hoped I could learn how to fend for myself, and hoped to convince you to let me stay with you. I don’t want to go back to the orphanage in the hive.” Mystel says meekly.

“That’s it? That’s all you wanted? What was the matter with just asking me?”

“Well, every time I asked something to the headmare at the orphanage I would always get yelled at. So I have refrained from asking questions altogether. I didn’t think you would listen to me since you were busy and have other things on your mind.”

“Well, the second part is true, but the first isn’t. Don’t ever be afraid to ask me anything, I won’t get mad. Actually, don’t be afraid to ask anypony here in Ponyville a question. Now, about the headmare in the orphanage. Was there anything that she did to you or any of the other children that would seem cruel?”

“Well, just before I left to come to Twilight’s school, I saw her grab two young in her magic and hauled them off towards the punishment room. We have heard rumors about that those children often get tied up and beaten.”

“Mystel, could you recognize the two children she carried off?”

“Yes, I was close friends with one of them, the younger one, but I could recognize the other one if I tried.”

“Mystel, how old are you? And in comparison, how old was your friend?”

“Well, I’m 8, she is probably about 3 or 4. I don’t know for sure though.”

“Mystel, you will come with Twilight and I to the orphanage in the hive and we will make sure that the headmare is punished, and we will get your friend out of there.”

“Okay, so how are we getting there?”

“We are going to fly. Ready, Twilight?”

“Ready Styx.”

We run out of Twilight’s castle and take off into the air, flying towards the hive. I lead the way as neither Mystel nor Twilight have ever flown to the hive. As we come up upon the Changeling hive, I fall back to let Mystel lead the way to the orphanage. We touch down outside a large, black stone building that looks the same as the day I left it all those years ago. Twilight and I flank Mystel as we walk in, as I don’t need her getting snatched up before we can talk to the headmare. Inside there are children milling about; some playing ball, some reading, and even some taking care of babies. There is a desk with an adult Changeling behind it. I feel Mystel shake in fear and know that this must be the headmare. She sees Twilight first, Mystel second, and me last. She jumps slightly upon seeing me.

“Are you here to return Mystel for misbehaving in your school? If so, I am sorry that we couldn’t drill manners into her.”

“Actually no, we come looking for one of Mystel’s friends. So we will just take a look around for a few minutes.”

“No worries, I’ll be in the back, just holler if you need me.”

I get the feeling the back means the punishment room. “Mystel, what does your friend look like? Because I am going to follow the headmare.”

“She is orange, with a yellow tummy, and teal wings. I’ve never seen another kid like her, her name is Orla.”

“Okay. You two go see if you can find your friend out here. I am going to follow the headmare.” The two head off to scour the house, and I walk behind the desk to follow the headmare. As I peek my head into the hallway I see the headmare disappear into the last room on the left. I creep slowly towards the door, as not to make the floor squeak. As even though the outside and walls are made of stone, the floor is old wood. As I reach the door, I hear crying. I cautiously open the door just a crack until I can see inside. However, the sight that greets me is not what I wanted.

A small purple Changeling is laying on the floor, blood pooling beneath her. Dead. I knew the headmare would be mean, but I never expected her to resort to killing children. I look towards the headmare as she says, “Orla, you know that this was inevitable, as both you and Violet never listened and always disliked everything I told you to eat or do. Now seeing that Mystel and the Princess of Friendship are here looking for you, I can’t very well tell them the truth. So I have no choice but to kill you and dispose of your body and Violet’s. Now hold still while I tie you up.”

I can’t take it any longer, I barge in and tackle the headmare to the ground. Sinking my teeth into her neck, killing her instantly. Orla has already seen death, but once is enough. So I throw up an unseeable shield, meaning that I can see in, but Orla can’t see out. After I teleport the headmare’s body into a volcano, I remove the shield spell from around Orla.

She sees me and looks scared at first, but once she notices the lack of the headmare she comes running to me. Hugging my leg and doesn’t want to let go. I lift her up in my magic and look at her and ask, “Do you want to hold a funeral for Violet in a very special place?”

“Yes, I do. I want a home.”

“Orla, I’ll take you home. You and Mystel can live together. Do you remember Mystel?”

“Of course, she was like a big sister to me. Is she here?”

“Yes, and we can go see her now if you wish.”

“Yes please, but what about Violet?”

“I will come back for her, and take the three of you for a funeral later tonight. For a proper Changeling funeral.”

I place Orla on my back and walk back out to the front. I see Twilight and Mystel standing on the other side of the desk waiting for my return. As soon as Mystel sees Orla on my back she comes flying over the desk. I gently place Orla down on the ground and walk over to Twilight. Placing a sound-blocking shield around us I say, “Violet, Orla’s friend and the one Mystel said she could recognize is dead. The headmare killed her in front of Orla’s eyes. I had not been there Orla would have shared the same fate. I killed the headmare and teleported her body into a volcano.”

“Good, I sent a letter to Mala, a Changeling excellent with working with fillies, asking if she would like a job as the headmare in the orphanage. I just received a letter back saying she would love it. So I will send another one telling her to come immediately.”

“Sounds good Twilight. While you get that all sorted out, I am going to take Mystel and Orla to hold a funeral for Violet.”

“Could I come?”

“Twilight, as much as I know you want to come to do research on Changeling funerals. The other children need you here to look after them and introduce them to the new headmare. I will tell you about the funeral tomorrow if you wish.”

“Of course, I understand. You will be telling me tomorrow about the traditions of the funerals. I'll see you tomorrow then.”

“See you tomorrow Twilight.”

I turn back towards Orla and Mystel to see them both crying. “Are you two ready to send Violet off to the heavens?”

“Yes,” they reply in unison. I take them back to the room. I clean up Violet’s body and seal her wound back up. Then I teleport us to the one place that I remember enjoying so much, the Crystal Gardens. Never seen by anypony except Sombra, myself, and possibly Cadence and Shining Armor. It was a special place, it was where Sombra took me one day to play with me, two days before he was killed and sent to Limbo. As we appear, the girls are in awe. I walk them towards a patch of grass and say, “Girls, go pick a few crystal flowers for the funeral.” They both scurry off together. As they pick flowers, I conjure up a small coffin made of Changeling stone, along with a piece of color changing fabric. I swathe the coffin in the fabric as the girls return. They plucked one big violet colored rose and a few blue and orange lilies. “Which flowers go on top?”

“The violet one goes on top, and the rest go inside,” says Mystel, looking down at the coffin.

“That is a beautiful coffin, how is the fabric doing that?” asks Orla, staring captive at the fabric.

“It is Changeling fabric, so it changes color until it finds the correct color that the pony wants. Except in the case of a funeral, it will continue to change color, since the pony it belongs to has passed.”

“Cool,” both of the girls say in unison.

I gently place Violet’s body into the coffin, then allowing the girls to place the flowers inside. I close the lid, and lower the coffin into the ground. I take the Violet rose and replant it over the grave. I manifest a small rectangular section of small metal fencing around the grave, and place a small plaque on the outside of it, saying,

Here lies a Changeling of great strength and heart.
A sister, a daughter, unwanted, but still loved.
Rest easy, you are loved by many.

As I finish up the plaque, both girls break down into tears. I hear a small sob from behind me, and whip around, only to find Cadence, standing alone, watching us. I nod as I pull the girls close with my wings comforting them as they say their final goodbyes to their friend, or sister in a way.

Once they are done, I teleport all of us back to my house, and tuck the two of them into my bed. Leaving myself to go sleep on the couch, but it is worth it, as I hear the small snores of the two Changelings not long after.

Author's Note:

Sorry for the violent and sad chapter.

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