• Published 13th Oct 2021
  • 111 Views, 27 Comments

Evening's Waltz - Angel Midnight



After receiving a strange letter Luna sets out on a quest to the famous city of Aurora, the capital of the Crystal Empire set deep in the heart of the Frozen North, with no idea of who or what awaits her arrival there.

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A Royal Invitation

At seven o’clock precisely in the evening Princess Luna walked out onto the balcony, one of many at Everfree Castle, her hard and icy gaze fixed on the eastern horizon, far beyond the vast Everfree Forest’s reach. The warm May breeze sent her wavy, pale blue mane flowing backwards behind her and away from her face. She spread her slightly darker blue wings and allowed a sudden gust of wind to rush through her feathers. At long last, she relaxed and her cyan eyes closed as a smile crept onto her lips.

She took in a few deep breaths of the sweet night air, allowing the fresh oxygen to reach her lungs. After a few minutes, she opened her eyes once again. The spirals of the long unicorn horn protruding from her forehead were surrounded by a pale blue light, which then shot off in the direction of the horizon. She watched as the sky slowly shifted to dark blue and purple; stars began to illuminate the sky and the moon crawled into its place.

Satisfied, Luna trotted back inside the castle. The bat pony guards stationed at equal distances along the corridor, each of them wearing the dark blue, purple and black armour of the Lunar Guards, nodded and saluted as she passed them. She smiled back and wished each of them a good evening.

“Princess Luna?” a voice called, interrupting her.

Her ears pricked upwards and she turned around, searching for the source of the sudden disturbance to the regular calm and quiet of the lavender-filled corridors. It was a light pink bat pony mare with a pastel blue mane and similar coloured eyes. Her fur and mane seemed unnaturally bright against her dark Lunar Guard armour. A sliver magical aura surrounded the tufted tips of her ears, and held a scroll next to her. The letter was written on good-quality parchment, wrapped in a black ribbon and sealed with purple wax. The pony ruffled her leathery purple wings as she looked at the Princess.

“How may We help you?” Luna responded in The Royal We, as she always did in public.

“Your Royal Highness, I have a letter for you,” the bat pony said, passing the scroll to the Princess, who plucked it from the air with her own bright blue magic and removed the seal, that she noticed was in the shape of a bat pony’s or perhaps a dragon’s eye, with a thin slit for a pupil, surrounded by crystals. It was a seal that she didn’t recognise. “I wish I could say whom it was from, Princess, but I don't even know who it is addressed to. I assumed it was for you.”

“If it is meant for somepony else, We shall ensure it reaches them,” Luna promised with a smile. The bat pony nodded, returned the smile and scurried back to her post.

Luna walked down the corridor as she untied the black ribbon, not needing to look where she was going as she had trodden the same path so many times before. The scent of the fresh lavender that she grew and used to decorate the castle each night was just noticeable enough to help her relax a little as she made her way to the throne room.

When she opened the scroll, it had incredibly neat hoofwriting that could almost be considered an art form. The letters were written in blood red ink that swirled and danced across the page. She bit her lip as she read the writing in front of her.

“‘Tis bad news,” she muttered to herself. “But does Tia know?”

She looked around the room, smiling at a pegasus stallion with a blue coat and a snow-white mane. “Nocté?”

The stallion smiled back. “Yes, Your Highness?”

“My sister needs to be informed of a… sudden turn of events regarding Aurora.”

“What has happened?” Nocté asked, his face falling.

“Do not worry yourself. I shall explain in a minute.”

Nocté gave her a nod of recognition, then fetched from a hidden desk at the back of the room a brown quill, a pot of black ink and a slip of paper, laying all three out on the flat surface before taking the lid from the ink pot and picking up the quill in his teeth. He looked up at the princess for further instructions. Luna spent a moment thinking about what to say to her sister before she opened her mouth to speak.

“Dearest sister, an odd letter has arrived at Everfree Castle addressed to the both of us, written in ink that looks like blood and a threatening tone. The author claims the ancient title of ‘the ruler of the Crystal Empire’, but I myself do not believe that it is Princess Amoré’s. As you are aware, I, like thee, have heard no official news from the Aurora Castle in months, and I am reluctant to say that she would do such a thing. Please, in the dream realm, allow me to talk to you, for it is urgent. Sincerely, your sister, Lulu.”

Nocté finished writing and his gaze turned back to Luna, his grey eyes inquisitive and slightly anxious. He wanted more answers - answers that Luna was hesitant to give so easily.

“We doubt it is legitimate,” is all Luna said. “Thank you, Nocté.”

The stallion gave the letter to her, and as her blue magic surrounded it there was a flash of light. The letter disappeared, and a burst of blue flames shot out of the room towards the nearest exit. In time it would reach Canterlot Castle, hopefully before Tia went to bed.

She thanked Nocté one last time before leaving the room and trotting to bed. Her bedroom had dark blue walls and light blue and black furniture. Her bed had a crescent-shaped cyan headboard that curved up into the air and over her head, with turquoise bedding. The room was lit with cool white lamps on black stands on either side of her bed. She got herself ready for bed, and before actually going to sleep she took a moment to look at the miniature portrait of a green bat pony stallion with bluish-purple eyes and a similar mane that sat on the bedside table.

“Wake up, Star. ‘Tis nighttime now. Time for you to brighten the sky.”

She crawled into bed, keeping the letter in her hooves; but didn’t fall asleep for a while, because the thought of the scroll’s contents played on her mind for a while. It wasn’t often that ponies turned to violence, but a letter threatening her, her family and her kingdom was, even by Luna’s standards, worrying and definitely unacceptable. And having turned four hundred and two years old only three weeks before, she had seen quite a lot in her life.

When at last she was able to fall into slumber, she found herself in a green void filled with glowing orbs of light, and surrounded by white doors, the letter on the floor next to her. This was a place she had visited many times now, a place where she felt comfortable. A place that she referred to as the dream realm, as she was, for reasons unknown, able to access the dreams of sleeping ponies and other creatures from here. However, this endless void held more secrets that she had yet to uncover. On occasions when she had nothing else to do, she would carry out experiments to test what she could and couldn't do in this strange place. But unfortunately she wouldn't have a chance tonight,

She picked up the letter, then spread her wings and took off, flying through the makeshift corridors created by the doors, allowing her senses to guide her to the right one. It took her a few minutes, but after a while she managed to deduce where the entrance to Celestia’s dream was in the huge labyrinth.

Within she found Celestia relaxing on a beach covered in tiny grains of pure white sand, lying down on her back with her wings spread out by her sides and her long pink mane and tail trailing across the ground. The sight made Luna smile. She knew that Celestia rarely had any opportunities to wind down in their waking lives, so the fact that she could have some ‘me’ time in the dream realm was a reason to be happy.

“Tia? ‘Tis I.”

Celestia started, and rolled over on the sand. She stood up, having to shake herself like a dog to get some of the sand off of her. Luna shielded her eyes with a hoof, then hugged Celestia.

“Sister!” the latter gasped. “You scared me!”

“Sorry,” Luna apologised, giggling. “Apart from the little jumpscare, how are you?”

“Not terrible, but worried. What is the matter?”

Luna handed over the letter to Celestia, who read it quickly, giving a few grim nods. “I see…”

“Shall we be concerned?”

“Definitely,” Celestia agreed. “This is not Amoré's hoofwriting. She and I are not as close as we once were, but after so long not hearing from her, and the rumours I have heard… Something has happened to Amoré.”

Luna read the letter again, frowning to herself. It was all just so… unnatural. At points, the writer seemed as though they were trying to be nice, and at others they were mocking and attempting to unnerve her and her sister.

Dear Princesses Celestia and Luna of Equestria,

I am writing to update you on the situation in the Crystal Empire and Aurora City, as you have been left in the dark in recent weeks. (Quite ironic, actually, considering that you are the governors of the sun and moon, but never mind that.)

I suppose that I should apologise for the unprecedented silence. The Crystal Empire has been going through some tough times, and I have put all of my focus on dealing with the issues on the streets, no matter how minor some of them are. That has left very few opportunities for me to re-establish contact with you, unfortunately, but no matter - I finally have a chance to change that.

Recently I have found myself in a strange position. The Crystal Empire is more than self-sufficient - even in the southern regions there is ample food and essentials for everypony, produced by crystal ponies for crystal ponies. Unfortunately, this means that I see little to no benefit in continuing with the existing Crystal-Equestrian trade deals. I am quite confident that you will see my point of view: why waste money on something that you already have? Perhaps others before me would have done so just to make the two of you happy, but I am more inclined to be honest, even if it is not the truth you wanted to hear.

And then there is the other issue that I need to inform you of. Both of you owe me something. Something that cannot be easily replaced. You have given me obstacle after obstacle to face, and now that I have succeeded in my task despite your best efforts I expect something back. Now the question is, what will I have to do to convince you to pay your debt?

Needless to say, I will need to speak to one of you, if not both of you. I understand that you have your own responsibilities, and don’t expect both of you to travel all the way to Aurora to leave your kingdom unprotected should some terrible danger descend upon your precious little ponies. However, I would like to talk in person, and it would be most wonderful if you would inform me of your arrival in advance. I, sadly, am unable to travel to Equestria at the present due to my own royal duties, but I shall make sure that the Crystal Empire’s capital is more than prepared for your arrival.

If you are able to, send me a letter in advance of you setting out on your journey here so that we can make some arrangements between us. You should already know the address.

Sincerely,

  • The One and Only Ruler of the Crystal Empire

It seems the author needs to be corrected on the meaning of ‘sincerity’, Luna thought to herself. But there were more important issues.

“Thoughts, sister?” she asked.

“If we go there at all, we shouldn't give any warning,” Celestia advised. “But I don't know how much we can trust this pony.”

“If you think it is safe, I'll go. I'm not as important to Equestria as you are.”

“Luna, that isn't true!”

Luna chuckled, “No offence, Tia, but whilst you can move the moon quite easily without me, I can’t move the sun on my own. If something happens to you, the world will be cooked.”

“Fair point, Lulu. Remind me to teach you how to raise the sun at some point. It could prove to be useful in future.”

“So, shall I go?”

“I'll leave the decision in your court, Luna. But whatever you decide to do, know that I have every bit of faith in you.”

The younger princess took a deep breath; a huge decision weighed on her shoulders. To stay in Equestria, despite the letter and the various tales that both she and Celestia had heard but once dismissed as nothing more than rumours and lies? Already in being so ignorant, ponies could have been harmed, and now that level of harm could spread to Equestria depending on how far this pony would go to settle the ‘debt’ that she and Celestia owed. Eventually she managed to make up her mind.

“I’ll go,” she sighed. “If all is true about the supposed coup d'etat, then I am needed in Aurora.”

“Will you travel direct from Everfree, or are you coming to Canterlot first?”

Luna thought about this for a moment. “Well, as I will already be leaving the castle, I suppose there isn't any harm in paying a quick visit. And of course, it gives us more time to prepare for whatever awaits in the Frozen North.”

“Agreed.”

The sisters embraced and bade each other goodnight, before Luna left Celestia's dream and allowed her sister some peace and quiet. Now began the task of patrolling the dream world, looking after ponies as they slept, and perhaps if she looked in the right places, she would have some answers.

Author's Note:

Hello, everypony! :twilightsmile:

This is a prequel of sorts to a series of stories that I'm working on at the moment. However, it could also work as a standalone story, so you don't have to read my other stories before reading this. Actually, it would probably make more sense if you read this first. :twilightblush:

This has been written in hindsight, really, since the beginning of the first story didn't make sense. So I'm adding a bit extra to the AU, and my own personal headcanon on events in the MLP timeline.

I feel like this was probably a little rushed, but I've tried my best to slow it down somewhat. As always, any and all feedback is appreciated.

~ Angel

Comments ( 27 )

a very interesting start

:3

great job:twilightsmile:

11013943
no prob, keep up the good work Angel *boops*

11013959
ok, buena suerte

This deserves a thumbs up, and a visit to my favourite shelf. And this story will stay in my favorites shelf forever.

11024366
Thank you! I'm having difficulty with the second chapter, but comments like these give me the motivation to be resilient and carry on with stories. :pinkiesmile:

11024368
You're welcome. PS: I'd be happy to help you with the second chapter if you want me to.

11024371
:pinkiegasp: I'd love that. Should we talk about this in PMs?

11025197
Thank you so, so much for this.

Walking to the final boss and getting information about him and other things from NPCs you meet along the way.

11027695
Mayhaps. But who is the final boss? Is there one at all? *raises eyebrows* Don't answer that question here, but... think about it.

11028772
Final boss: The person who knows who let the dogs out.

11028805
To quote the singer Bjork: Possibly, maybe... probably not. :trollestia: :derpytongue2:

11028810
There is a person and he's the only one who was born cool. His name is... Bjorn Kuhl.

11028816
... how did you find that out, or are you just messing with my head?

11028819
Not messing with your head. I got to know from a meme.
edit: here is the link- https://www.reddit.com/r/memes/comments/oknxyz/bjorn_kuhl/

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