• Published 26th Sep 2021
  • 3,170 Views, 48 Comments

A New Age - James Pwyll



With her adventure over, Sunny and her friends begin their new lives.

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Successor

Being part of the usual meet-and-greets was all part of the responsibilities of the elder princess, but even with so much experiences of going through all of them, Zipp still felt bored out of her skull whenever her mother asked her to join her for it. Haven, by contrast, always managed to look as pleased as punch to be having the various aristocrats and wealthy elites of Zephyr Heights come to her throne room. Maybe it was just joy of having her old position reinstated after the fake flight scandal, but Zipp's mother really was getting into it these days. But, to Zipp's gratitude, there came a time when the last of the visiting ponies left, and as soon as the guards had closed the door of the chambers, the eldest daughter let out a very tired-sounding sigh. "I swear, if I have to hear one more old stallion's story about how unhappy he is with the weather, I'm just gonna fly off out of the window."

Haven, rather than be disappointed with her daughter's attitude, merely smiled. "I understand that this is hardly the highlight of your week, Zipp, but you know as well as I do how important it is to keep an open dialogue with the ponies of the city. We royals simply cannot be the types who lock ourselves in our high towers and never show ourselves." Her look of pride intensified. "We must be examples, there to be seen for ponies to look up to as beacons of respectability and integrity." After seeing her child give her an arched eyebrow, Haven rolled her eyes. "Well, mostly a beacon of integrity, give or take the odd bout of deception for the greater good."

Zipp shook her head, then, looked past Haven to the empty seat on the other side of her. "And you never ask Pipp to be here for this because...?"

Taking a quick moment to pet her beloved dog, Haven maintained her smile. "Well, not to put too fine a point on it my dear, but your sister has never had much difficulty in connecting with the common folk. Why, I daresay no pony in the history of our society has been as popular as her."

Zipp leaned back into her chair in a most un-princess-like way. "Yeah, I actually joined her for one of her videos recently. Getting your face out there for all the city to see? I couldn't imagine doing that as regularly as she does." Then, curiosity came to her as she again regarded her lone parent. "And was there some other reason?"

Haven looked to her daughter firmly this time. "Because you are the heir, Zipp. One day the crown will fall to you, not to Pipp. So it is necessary to prioritise having you be here to learn these formalities."

Zipp stared at her for a time, then frowned. "Mom...you know how I feel about that."

A short nod from the queen. "Naturally. Few things about my daughters escape my notice. I've known since you were a filly that the thought of becoming queen is hardly an appealing prospect to you." Looking to the side, she gave a nod to her guards who, recognising that this was quickly becoming a very private and personal moment between the two, swiftly gave a salute before vacating the throne room. Only once they were all gone did Haven resume eye contact with her heir. "Zipp, believe me when I say that I understand. I recall quite vividly how unhappy I was to have that burden placed on my shoulders." Getting off her throne, she began to walk to one of the nearby windows, looking out to the bustling metropolis that was their home. "Me? Ruling over all those ponies? Being responsible for them and making decisions that would affect thousands of lives? Sometimes the stress would be so much for me that it would honestly make me sick."

Zipp, walking alongside her, looked to her with some concern. "I can't imagine your coronation was a particularly happy day for you then."

Haven shook her head. "You're not wrong. I was dreading it more than anything else. But..." She took a deep breath, then exhaled. "Eventually, I came to accept that this was my responsibility. That it was a duty to my people and that, whatever my own feelings on the matter, ponies needed somepony to watch out for them." She turned to her daughter. "And when I look to you, see all that you have done, I believe that you will be a greater queen than I could ever have been."

Zipp snorted. "You're my Mom. I'm pretty sure it's part if your job to say encouraging things like that."

In response, Haven shook her head. "But I mean every word of it, Zipp. Had I had my way, we pegasi would have remained isolated from the rest of the world. Fear of other ponies with us for the rest of our history. But you? You actually took action to lift us out of that era of blindness. You opened our eyes. My eyes. Because of you, your sister, and all your friends, we are in a far better place now than we've been for generations." She looked away, almost ashamed. "Nothing I have done in my reign has even come close to that kind of good." A smile returned to her. "You've helped our people so much, and all before you gain the crown. If that's not a sign of how well you will rule, I don't know what is."

To say that Zipp was taken aback by her mother's words would have been an understatement, as it was clear that her perspective of the matter had given the younger mare a lot to think about. For right now though, she was sure to let her mother know of her continuing concern. "Don't get me wrong, I'm still not exactly thrilled with the idea of doing what you do every day."

Looking her daughter in the eye, Haven smirked. "Zipp, sweetheart, I'd honestly be more worried about you if you did enjoy boring meetings like this."