• Published 19th Mar 2020
  • 1,174 Views, 30 Comments

Lunar Rosemary - Liquid Truth



Luna journeyed through bizarre worlds to find and bring Twilight back.

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7 - Thankless

Luna blinked owlishly as she woke up to Lachrymose Fjord’s melodious humming, the notes flowing serenely across the winding river and to the riverbank she was laying upon. She stood up, eyes swelled and her torn tagelmust hanging limply on her head, then sang a greeting to the fjord.

The fjord hummed a welcome tune, sympathizing for the debacle she went through with Great Brazen.

Luna sighed. “I just wish it wasn’t so…”

“Selfish?”

“...Guilty.” She turned around, finding atop a raft at the river a nondescript blob of energy carrying a long wooden pole. “I’m sorry, I didn’t notice you’re there.”

“No need to apologize, ma’am.” The blob gestured with his pole. “Care for a ride?”

“Where would you be going?”

“Anywhere you want me to.”

Luna nodded and sighed. “Take me to Evermoor, then.”

The blob moved to the side of the raft, letting Luna sit in the middle, facing away from him. As she stopped shuffling and sat comfortably, he dipped his pole underwater and pushed away from the shore, letting the nonexistent flow of water carry the raft downstream. As they slowly drifted along the glittering motionless water, the blob asked, “Need help with that?”

Luna looked up. “My tagelmust? Yes, please.”

The blob untangled both pieces of clothing from her head and body. Seeing the gruesome damage her robe had taken, the blob dropped it to the water, where it turned into a luminescent cloud and sank into the peaceful abyss. The blob then took the tagelmust and examined the tear in the middle, perpendicular to the scarf’s length.

Luna quirked an eyebrow. “Would it be better as a scarf, now that it’s torn?”

The blob spread the ten-meter piece of indigo cotton wide. “I have no preference, but I can tell you that it’s possible.”

Luna nodded, closing her eyes and enjoying the chilly breeze of the fjord, listening quietly to the background choir and letting the blob tie a loose scarf around her neck.

Her eyes snapped open at the sound of fabric ripped apart. She glared at the blob and the now-two-pieces of cloth he was carrying. “What did you do!?”

“It was too long and the tear would make it fragile anyway.” He finished tying the scarf and handed her over the remaining piece of cloth.

Luna paused as she took the cloth in her hooves. Folded in two, it does look like a new scarf. A beautiful one, too.

“It would look lovely on her.”

The boat rocked violently as Luna jumped. “Twilight! I... I can’t believe I—”

“Forgot about her?”

Luna spun and glared daggers at the blob. “What do you know that I don’t?”

“A lot.”

“The Worldsbridges made me forget, didn’t they!?”

The blob shook his nondescript head. “What are memories but a way to relive the past?” He gestured to the riverbank they came from. “Who needs memories when you are reliving the past?”

“They... what?”

“A story needs a world to exist. Here, outside the worlds, no new stories can be made. You are reliving your past.”

Luna let the intensity behind her eyes dwindle. “My past? I don’t remember any of those adventures.”

“You’re not remembering it. You’re living it.”

Luna stared at the blob. “It’s... like the Dreamscape.”

“The Dreamscape is but an extension of a Worldsbridge.”

Luna turned around, facing where the boat was heading again. She sat down and stared at the nondescript sky high above. “Twilight. Those were not my memories, they were hers. I’ve been living the manifestation of her memories.” She glanced back at the blob. “Not anymore, am I?”

“Welcome to Lachrymose Fjord.” He gestured to the water. “How are you feeling?”

She stared at her reflection on the perfectly flat water. “I... miss her.”

“You’re still wondering why she left.”

She sat on all fours and put her head on her folded legs. She closed her eyes. “It’s all my fault.”

“Everything is always your fault.”

She scowled. “You’re repeating my words.”

“I have no preference. I can only be a mirror.”

Luna peeked over the raft, watching her reflection on the ever-quiet river with the stars above complementing her flowing mane. “You’re Lachrymose.”

“I am Lachrymose, a fjord of reflection.”

“Why are you a mirror?”

“Why are you always at fault?”

“Because I am.”

“There goes my answer.” He pushed the boat with his pole. “Why did the Mathemphetamaticae run away?”

Luna huffed. “How should I know? It told me nothing before disappearing.”

“Why did she leave?”

Luna sighed. “I don’t know… She told me nothing before disappearing.”

“No, no... Why did Luna leave?”

“I never left.”

“You did.”

“I…” Luna choked back a sob. “She’s too perfect. She helped me adjust. She knew my world and the world she’s living in so well, telling me the beauty of the modern world while still appreciating my archaic origins. Then, she gave me the perfect gift… and I turned it down because it was too perfect.” A smile crept on her face. “But that wasn’t true, was it? I was jealous that she was so competent at everything she did. I felt belittled because I kept comparing myself to her. I failed to see that I don’t need to be better than her for her to love me.”

“Why didn’t Occupium want to be followed?”

“Because she’s being silly. She worried too much about me.”

“Why did Luna ask her to never follow her again?”

“The bureaucrats were eating her whole!” she took a deep shuddering breath. “I… I can’t lose her to those bastards.” She let out a long breath. “I was being silly. I got so obsessed with trying to put myself back on my duties that I forgot about the free time I could’ve spent with her. I shouldn’t have put my career above my relationship.” She let out a single laugh. “Or maybe I should, on occasion. Find a balance between the two.”

“Why did the Great Brazen Dunescapes throw you away?”

“It’s…” Luna closed her eyes. “Great Brazen was angry that I helped it recover too much too well.”

“Why did Luna throw her away?”

“It was me all along, wasn’t it?” She opened her eyes, staring at her reflection rippling as she mindlessly dipped a hoof in the water. “She merely noticed what was happening and broke up our relationship so I won’t take the blame for myself. So that I won’t feel even more guilty. I was focusing too much on my guilt and let it develop into jealousy and greed for affection. It made me unable to stop and think that maybe that’s not what a relationship is about. That, maybe, the entire point of friendship and love is not having someone to help me at my times of need but to—” Luna stood up. “...grow together?”

“You were being selfish.”

“I was blaming myself too much that I became narcissistic. I forgot that the entire point of having a loved one is to grow and become whole together, not just to make them a sinkhole to drop in all my past mistakes. That’s just making me fall deeper into guilt and keeping me from going on in life.”

The raft docked on a pier next to a cottage, the flickering lights from within inviting for warmth and the chimney puffing out a homely smell of cooking.

“You should change.”

Luna stepped off the raft and to the dock, thanking the blob deeply with a chant. The blob, in turn, gave Luna a sprig of a plant with green needle-like leaves.

“You should give.”

Luna walked down the short snowy path to the cottage, tightening her wings and tucking the sprig of rosemary and scarf safely underneath them. She paused for a brief second by the door before shaking her head and taking a deep breath. She knocked on the door.

“Who is it?”

Her heart leaped to her throat. “T-Twilight?”

There was a pause before she heard scampering and the metal lock clicking. The door opened, revealing a pair of lavender eyes, shimmering from the golden flickers of the lantern above. Twilight gaped. “Luna?”

Luna took a sharp breath. “I-it’s me, Twilight. I—”

Twilight jumped and hugged her tight. “Luna!”

Luna dropped on her haunches and wrapped her hooves and wings around Twilight. “Twilight! Oh, Twilight, I missed you so much.”

Twilight sobbed. “I-I missed you too, Luna. I’m sorry I left you.”

Luna shook her head. “No, Twilight, don’t apologize. It is I who should thank you for leaving me.”

Twilight stepped back and gave her a look. “What?” She sniffed. “What do you mean?”

Luna smiled and gestured with her wings, saying, “Let’s talk inside. It’s cold out here.” Once inside, she took a deep breath of the pleasantly warm atmosphere. “You’re cooking?”

“Yes. I’m cooking soup.”

“What soup?”

“I don’t know, I put in anything that looked edible. Want some?”

Luna laughed. “Alright, let’s see.”

They sat together in front of the fireplace, the pot slowly boiling above the glittering silver fire. Luna wrapped a wing around Twilight, and Twilight leaned in, sinking herself into the fluffy embrace. “You’re warm,” Twilight said.

“You’re cold.” Luna smiled, taking the extra scarf and handing it to her. “Here, I bought you a gift.” She wrapped it around Twilight’s neck, and Twilight snuggled her muzzle in it.

Twilight took a deep breath of the scarf and frowned. “Alright, care to explain?”

“If you hadn’t left me, I wouldn’t be journeying through the Worldsbridges to reflect on my mistakes.”

Twilight let out a tired sigh. “Luna, it’s not your fault.”

Luna shook her head. “No, Twilight, it is.” She held up a hoof before Twilight could protest. “And I noticed that, yes, my fault was in too much self-blaming. But I’ve learned that now, and so I’m sorry for being too selfish.”

“You’re not selfish for trying to get help.”

“No, but I was selfish for trying to get help while denying any that came. I was too self-centered and I didn’t notice it because the only conventional state of egocentrism we know of was with too much confidence in oneself, not the other way around. I forgot that you—” she lightly touched Twilight’s muzzle “—were also part of the relationship. And for this, I’m again sorry.”

Twilight rubbed her muzzle and giggled. “I… well, thank you, I guess?”

“Don’t guess, taste,” she said as she took the ladle from the pot and sipped. “And I tasted something bland. Did you put nothing but grass in it?”

She shrugged. “The only thing that looked edible.” She floated down a sack from above the fireplace and opened it. “Well, I do have some parsley, some thyme, some sage, some—”

“How about rosemary?”

She heard Twilight’s breath caught in a hitch. “R-rosemary? Well, I—uh, I think do have some, let me—”

Luna gripped her tight under her wing. “Nuh-uh.” She took a sprig of rosemary from under her other wing.

Twilight jumped, helplessly kept under Luna’s wing-grip. “Wait! No, let me use mine!”

“Hush, Twilight. Let me for once.”

“But—”

“I’ve always been a taker. Do you really want me to stay how I was before you left for Evermoor?”

“W-well… no.”

“You want me to change, don’t you?”

“Yes, I do. You were hurting yourself without knowing it.”

“And I was hurting you, as well.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“That’s not what you admitted.”

“I… You’re right. I’m sorry.”

“So let me give.” She put the rosemary in the soup and stirred the ladle.

Twilight took a deep breath of the new smell coming out of the pot. She hummed blissfully. “It smells nice.”

And so they sat and waited until the soup finished cooking. When it did, Luna took a bowl and poured the soup in it. With a single spoon, Luna fed Twilight lovingly between the mouthfuls she took herself.

“Anyway,” Luna interjected, “why are you going to Evermoor?”

Twilight raised an eyebrow. “You know I left for Evermoor but don’t know why?”

She scoffed. “I wasn’t told any of the details; music can only describe so much. It’s pretty hard to even remember what happened back then. I bet you don’t, too.”

“Fair enough.” She took her saddlebag from a corner of the cottage and fished out an invitation card. “And it’s a trading fair. I was invited to Evermoor Fair.”

Luna took the invitation card. “Huh. This card was for the fair over fifty years ago, corresponding to Equestria’s time flow.”

Twilight scrunched her eyebrows. “Wait, how do you know?”

Luna flicked her ears. “Lachrymose told me. Well, sang it to me, really.” Her ears flicked again. “Although it’s still valid. The fair’s still going annually.”

Twilight folded her hooves and glared at the ground. “Really? I can’t hear it.”

Luna laughed and patted Twilight’s head with her wing. “You might have been the one living in the modern world, Twilight, but music is my domain. Listening to silent tunes is something I invented before my banishment.” She paused. “And, well, that’s how I heard the Worldsbridges’ overture in the first place and knew how to find you.”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Getting cocky now, huh?”

Luna floated a sprig of parsley before she could complain. “Eat, and I’ll teach you how to listen.”

Twilight laughed and bit the parsley. “Thank you,” she said, calming down. “So, would you be my plus-one for Evermoor Fair?”

Luna chewed on a sprig of thyme, grinned, and sang, “I’d be delighted to.”