• Published 3rd Jul 2022
  • 3,129 Views, 55 Comments

The Countryside Knight - Dark Krystal

Twilight is tasked by Princess Celestia to help the Lunar Captain make some friends.

  • ...

X - Mending the Night

‘ This is fine. ‘

Twilight stares at the events unfolding before her with a strained smile. Princess Luna snarls at the captain as she tries to lunge at him, while Faded Light and Dusk Blade keep holding onto her body, holding their princess back with their combined strength. Ratimir on the other hoof keeps attempting to approach her, but Moonfall’s hold around his waist prevents back from doing so. The sounds filling the room were the guard's grunts being overshadowed by the trading of insults between the two leaders.

“Thou wretched fiend! Thou will regret the foolish words thy have spoketh!” Princess Luna shouts out as she goes for another lunge, only for her body to be pulled back roughly by the two mares.

“Haha!” Ratimir laughs and through his anger manages to make a barbaric grin. “Thou think thee can make me regret my words!? Foolish! Very fitting for an incompetent child…”

“Captain, please stop!” Moonfall cries out.

“Consider thy life forfeit, worm!” Princess Luna shouts. Princess Luna tries to lunge once more, only for the mares to successfully keep her back. Dusk Blade pants, struggling to keep her hold on the princess while Faded Light keeps strong on her hold despite enervation starting to appear on her face. Ratimir Laughs again and narrows his eyes. “I dare thou to try to make me forfeit it!”

‘ So… I guess… this is why Princess Celestia wanted me not to tell Princess Luna about him…’

—Three Minutes Ago—

“W-wait! Cap, I’m—” Were the last few words everypony in the room heard from Great Star as a hand wrapped around the stallion's throat before a tightly balled-up fist collided with his snout; launching the stallion away from the wardrobe. Everypony watches in silence as he slides across the floor until he collides with the side of the bed and collapses onto the floor. Twilight takes a step back, eyes wide open as she looks at the large downed stallion.

‘ H-he took him out in a single hit! W-wait not important! ‘

Twilight looks back at the wardrobe and sees the captain stepping out of it, his face wearing an expression of raw, unmatched fury on him, with some blood on his lips. Wiping the blood off his lips with his sleeve, he stands over the Lunar Princess and glares at her. Princess Luna takes a step back and returns his glare with her own, igniting her horn as she watches him in silence.

His eyes moved off the princess and onto the remaining guards. Clicking his tongue, he throws his arm up in the air and calls out, “You four! Can I not trust you with a simple task of keeping someone out of a room!?”

The guards perk up and quickly look away, a mixture of embarrassment and shame on their faces. Twilight begins to shrink a little under his unpleasant gaze; luckily Princess Luna stomps down onto the floor and draws the captain’s attention back to her. Twilight takes a step back in an attempt to get away from his line of sight.

“Who art thou?” Princess Luna demands.

The captain eyes her horn and scowls. “You better cease using that damn magic, or we’re going to have a problem…” He speaks with strong venom in his voice.

Princess Luna looks at him in surprise for a moment before furrowing her brow and giving an inviting smile. “A problem… thou threatens?” She says darkly while taking a step forward towards him, the magic around her horn glowing brighter than before. Twilight tenses up as she looks between the two, her fur standing up straight as she feels a harsh change in the atmosphere in the room.

She keeps looking between the two, body language clearly reading that they were waiting for the first strike to be made, so they could react and counter it. Twilight closes her eyes and inhales deeply to relax her nerves before quickly walking over and getting between the two.

“W-wait Princess Luna!” The two taller beings' eyes snap downwards towards the unicorn.

“Twilight Sparkle?” The princess tilts her head while carrying her Stoic façade.

“Y-you can’t hurt him, and he can’t hurt you!”

“Huh? You wi—” Twilight quickly jabs his shin with her hind leg, making the man grunt and take a step back.

“H-he’s… He's…” Twilight looks down as the words become trapped in her throat. Awareness of the Lunar Princess’s stare starting to become more pronounced.

‘ Princess Celestia, forgive me… but this is the only way!’

Raising her head, she lets out a sigh and looks at the princess glumly. “He’s… the actual captain of the Lunar Guard, Princess Luna.”

Princess Luna freezes upon hearing that, her eyes widened as she stares at Twilight before a small uncertain smile forms on her face, and she lets out a nervous chuckle. “Hahaha! T-Twilight Sparkle, we see thou has learned the art of using jest to d-deescalate I-issues!” Her eyes wavered, and her voice cracked a small bit.

Twilight slowly shook her head. “I’m not joking. Princess Luna…”

“B-but…!” Princess Luna quickly turns her head around and looks at Faded Light. The mare, wearing a sullen look on her face, clearly told the Princess all she needed; her face showing more distraught. Quickly turning her head to face Twilight again, she raises a hoof and hesitantly asks. “B-but how do you know this!? 'Tis a ploy planned by the two of you to protect this being… r-right!?”

Twilight shakes her head once again. “No… Princess Luna… I… Your… P-Princess Celestia had introduced me to him… and the guard, but t-told me not to tell you about him. I’m sorry.”

Princess Luna took a heavy step backwards, her face looking at the unicorn with more distraught. She opens her mouth to speak but shuts it, snapping her head at the rest of the guard. “Is this true!?”

All the guards were hesitant to answer, eventually all giving the princess a nod before looking at the floors or walls with sheepish looks. Princess Luna slowly turns her head and looks down. “So, this is true… My—O-our sister… hath told thou about this… before me? No, she didn’t even want me—we to even know!?” She snaps her head and looks up at the duo, enraged. “My sister refuses to tell me about my own captain, for MY guard!? That… that… all smiles and sunshine piece of…!”

She bites her tongue before her insult can finish, closing her eyes and rubbing her hoof against the bridge of her snout for a moment, her magic fading away slowly. Opening one eye, she looks at the unicorn. “And you… Twilight Sparkle… Did my—our sister task you with coming with us tonight as well?”

“No, no, no, no! I came out of my own will… though it may have also been influenced by… um… your sister telling me to keep him a secret from you…” Twilight glances away; beads of sweat run down her face. Princess Luna’s open eye twitches, and she slams her hoof on the ground and takes in a deep breath, her body shivering as emotions swirl within her.

“I-I see… I think we need to have a word with that damnable sister of ours…” Princess Luna says with a crack in her voice, happening mid-way through the sentence. Princess Luna clenches her teeth and shakes slightly as the anger starts to dive deeper and deeper into her.

Twilight looks at the Princess and reaches towards her. “Princess Luna, I—”

“Yes, yes, go speak with your sister and get the hell out of my home. I don’t want to hear your childish bickering anymore.” Twilight snaps her head behind and looks at the captain in a mixture of surprise and anger. Princess Luna’s eyes snap open, and her eyes shrink as if something had just dawned on her.


“I DO. NOT. WANT A WORD OUT OF YOU, CUR! MY SISTER NOT HAS ONLY LIED TO ME ABOUT THOU, BUT NOW I AM REMINDED OF THAT LETTER THOU HAD SENT ME CALLING ME A CHILD! SILENCE THY TONGUE OR I WILL SEVER OUT FROM YOUR MOUTH!” Princess Luna releases her anger through the use of the royal Canterlot voice at the duo. Twilight and Ratimir both reel their heads back as the aerial force blows through them.

Twilight blinks, staring at the Lunar Princess and silently taking note of her sharpened pupils and the mixture of sharpened teeth in her mouth.

‘ W-what!? Is Princess Luna t-transforming!? Maybe telling her the truth was the wrong move! ‘

Twilight shakes under the Princess gaze, her eyes glancing over at the guards. She frowns upon noticing the minimal reaction the bat ponies held as they just stared at their princess in surprise. Twilight r

‘ Wait… they have fangs and vertical slitted pupils… ‘

Bringing her attention back to Princess Luna, the unicorn stares at her for a moment before opening her mouth, ready to begin her attempt to calm the princess down the best she can. “Threaten me again like that, and I swear it’ll be your tongue that gets severed first.” The voice of Ratimir cuts off Twilight before she could even get a letter out. Twilight slowly turns her head, and bites her lip, her body shivering no longer from fear but from a rising inferno of anger.


Princess Luna snarls and takes a step forward, glaring up at the captain. “For a supposed captain of mine, I think thou remember to have some MANNERS and RESPECT for their princess…”

“Haah? Why should I respect the little sister of Princess Celestia who comes out of nowhere and makes absurd demands?” He crosses arms and leans over at her, sending a sharp glare down at the princess. Princess Luna bares her teeth at the man, snarling at him as she ignites her horn once again. Twilight watches in alarm as she notices some more parts of the princess’s teeth transform into canines.

Ratimir brings his hand up and jabs the princess’s snout with a finger. “How am I supposed to respect a leader who wanted to bring her entire guard unit to a small town for a holiday and expect it to go well!? Any reasonable person would think that we’re coming to pillage and burn their damn town!”

Princess Luna smacks his hand away from her face. “It was my debut night for the public! We-I've mentioned that in the letter, you fool!”

“Who the hell introduces themselves with an entire guard unit with them!?”

“Royalty, you cur!”

Ratimir pauses, squinting at her for a moment, and then pinches the bridge of the nose. “You’re not wrong… BUT, you’re trying to get them to like you! Not showcase your power and put the noose of submission around their necks!”

“Submission!? Fool! I wanted to give assurance to the public that my guard, and we will protect them! Debuting with them would’ve allowed the public to get to know my guard and me!”

Ratimir stares at her with a dumbfounded expression. “Wha… What!?” He facepalms and groans before dragging his hand down to rest at his side again. He looks at her with narrowed eyes. “That makes no sense! You wanted me, to send a guard with a bad reputation with a dumb as hell princess with also a bad reputation, to a village at night, to ensure you're going to protect them!?” Ratimir looks over at her in silence for a few seconds before laughing.

“Hahaha!” He suddenly brings his head to the princess’s level and looks at her with wide eyes. “You’re a damn lunatic.”

Princess Luna’s face flushes red. “How dare thou! I was simply performing the beginnings of a new era for us!”

Ratimir rolls his eyes and crosses his arms. “Oh yes, I'm sure someone who’s been gone for a long time has a damn good idea on how to improve things that aren't… stuck in the past?” He scoffs and glances at Twilight. “You should be lucky! Twilight Sparkle was here to suggest the plan we went with; otherwise I wouldn’t have entertained your request.”

Princess Luna's eyes widened, her pupils returning to normal as she stood there for a moment to let his sentence sink in before turning her head to look at Twilight. Twilight looks back for a few seconds before reluctantly looking away, her heart unable to bear the look of sadness the princess showed in her eyes.

‘ D-d-d-d-d… D-damn you, Ratimir… why’d you have to bring me into this. I… I should’ve just lied—No. Princess Luna has been lied to enough already… by… me, her sister, and her own guards… This was… the right choice… I hope… ‘

“Well… I…“ Princess Luna looks down, wavering a bit before shaking her head and glaring up at the captain. “Even if I—we made bad choices, you should be able to tell me so without such rudeness! We are your Princess, after all!”

“You’re my overshadow, not a princess. You simply overlook what I do. If we’re using the title of “Princess” for actual importance relating to leadership, then you are the damn bottom line for it! A leader has at least something that makes you respect them! You, on the other hand, have just shown me you are just a kid in an overgrown body!”

Princess Luna flares her wings up. “Stop. Calling. Me. A. Foal! I am far older than everycreature in this room combined!”

“Just because your foolish body is old doesn’t mean what you're thinking isn’t old, you fool. Should I mention how I've been told that you dropped the stuff you were doing in that damned castle just to come over here and prance around where you please? Like a spoiled brat…” He tilts his head up and smirks.

Princess Luna walks up to him, nearly against his chest as she tilts her head up and glares up at him. The captain scowls and looks down at her, the two glaring at each other in eerie silence. Twilight backs away towards the rest of the guards, unable to bear the uneasy tension while between the two. She gives a worried look over to Faded Light, who returns it with her own.

“In my eyes, Princess… you’re nothing more than just the baby sister of Princess Celestia, whom I’m forced to take care of…” He huffs and clicks his tongue. Luna snarls and bares her teeth again, clenching them tightly. Ratimir tilts his head and raises a brow. “What's wrong? You look like you want to say something? Or… do something, you damn doxy?”

Princess Luna pauses, her expression falling to a look of surprise as she lets out a gasp and takes a step back, then transitioning to a look of pure fury. Twilight lets out a gasp and puts a hoof over her mouth. The guards look at Twilight, then to Princess Luna with puzzled looks on their faces.

Faded Light leans over to Twilight and whispers. “What did he just call her?” Twilight leans over and quickly whispers to the mare, pulling away once the mare tenses up with wide eyes and a faint blush over her cheeks.

“Oh.” She squeaks.

“I wanna know too!” Dusk Blade rushes over and presses her muzzle against the lieutenant's face. Faded Light hisses lightly but leans down and whispers into Dusk Blade's ear. The small mare’s face turned into a look of shock with a heavy blush on her face. Moonfall walking over and being motioned down by Dusk Blade to be whispered up to.

“Oh. Oh, wow…” Moonfall blinks and looks at the captain as he receives the answer. Princess Luna's blue face slowly turns to red and raises her right foreleg to slam down into the ground, breaking some boards of wood in a small crater.

“My goddamn floor, you damn child!” Ratimir yells out. Princess Luna looks down, her body quivering and her mystical mane flowing faster with a hint of aggression in its shape.

“Never in my life hast anycreature so… brazenly… face to face, given me an insult that low…” She mutters.

“Really now? I’d say you’d be called that more often, seeing as you’re after all…” He leans his head over hers and grins. “A mistress of the night…~”

The group let out a synchronized gasp. Princess Luna snaps her head up, staring at the man with sharpened pupils and tightly clenched sharpened teeth. “You! Y-you… yoooooou . You damned filthy hedge-born fopdoodle!”

Silence penetrates the room. Twilight and the guards eyes widen upon seeing his expression break, a look of surprise frozen on his face as he looks down at the princess. Slowly he stands back to full height and takes a deep breath, running a hand over his face until it stops at his chin as he looks up to the ceiling. His expression slowly changed into that of anger. The silence lingers a bit longer as he stares at the ceiling before slowly looking back down at the princess.

“Princess… Alicorn, whatever… You picked the wrong words to say to me, doxy.” He says darkly as his hand clenched tightly into a fist.

Princess Luna eyes his fist and gives a small grin as she widens her stance a little bit. “Is that another threat thou make?”

“No, I'm going to put you in your damn place.” Through his anger, a grin comes up as he pops his neck and changes his stance. The guards quickly tensed up and prepared to rush in.

“Oh, really… show me, little boy.” The two leaders charge at each other.

—Present Time—

“Damned cox-comb Loggerhead!” The captain yells as he tries to lash out at her, only for Moonfall to pull him back roughly.

“I will pull thy tongue from your mouth, yaldson! Disgusting churl!” Princess Luna bites at the air as she tries to lunge at the man. Faded Light nearly falls over, but digging her legs into the cracked floor boards, she uses the moment to stand her ground.

“P-princess! Please calm down!” Faded Light begs.

“I AM CALM! Or at least I will be once I remove this… this damned beast from the threads of life!” The princess hisses out as she keeps trying to go at him.

“Hahahha! I’d love to see YOU succeed in killing me, whelp!” Ratimir says as he throws his fist at her but misses due to Moonfall intervention.

“C-captain, please stop! Hurting our princess isn’t going to help you!” Moonfall manages out as he pulls the captain back.

“It’ll help me feel better, and that’s what matters right now!”

Pushing one more time, Faded Light snaps her head over to Twilight and shouts at the frozen mare. “Twilight Sparkle, do SOMETHING!”

Twilight snaps her attention to Faded Light. The reality of everything seeping under her forced stoicism and snapping off, making her anxiety take an upward dive. Her heart starts to rapidly beat against her chest, blood pumping and a sense of panic starting to course through her veins. Taking deep breaths, Twilight pulls the lever for her thought train to full blast.

‘ Okay, okay, okay Twilight! Think, think, think! How can I stop an alicorn princess and a creature known as a “human” who I barely have any information about; he could even have a form of magic I don’t even know about, and I haven’t seen him fight! Or seen how magic affects him! Dang it! How do I stop this? Diversion? No. I don’t have anything to divert their attention, uh… um… uh!? ‘

“Ugh!” A shout from the Lunar Princess brings Twilight out of her deep, panicked thinking. The princess unfurls her wings, knocking both mares off her. Moonfall freezes in place as he watches the two mares thrown off like beetles against the wing with wide eyes; the moment of awestrucken is broken when Ratimir elbows his face. Moonfall lets go of the man and stumbles back while shaking his head violently.

“I’ve had enough of this humiliation!” Princess Luna cries out.

“You don’t deserve the right to be my captain if you’re like this! Your position is stripped and I will grant you the best mercy I can even MUSTER for you and allow you to leave unharmed.” Princess Luna declares, following it up with another stomp into the floor and breaking another couple of floorboards.

Silence filling the room afterward. Faded Light is frozen mid-rise, staring at the Princess with widened eyes and shrunken pupils. Dusk Blade looks up from the floor in alarm, and Moonfall stares dumbfounded as he holds his muzzle. Twilight ears droop as she stares in horror, heart stopping its panicked beating and her breathing slowing down. Minutes pass by as the words of Princess Luna sinks into everycreature in the room.

Eventually the silence breaks with a joyful cackle, everyponies instantly drawn to the source and causing a strange uneasiness to surface. Everypony watched as the normal grumpy or Stoic captain stood there, letting out a joyful chuckle. “Hahahahah!aahah!” He chuckles with a smile on his face for a while before taking in a deep breathing and calming himself down. Eventually putting his annoyed look back on but now baring a small smile.

“Still proving my point! Still an Impulsive child! Ignoring the fact that it was your older sister that put me in this position! I may not know much about this land, but I do know that if there are two ruling parties, then you cannot just overrule the action of another without permission or talking… especially if that party has been around far… far longer than you.” Ratimir says with a strong haughtiness in his voice. Princess Luna almost shouts at him until she processes what he said and clicks her tongue loudly.

“Bah! I will deal with her later! She still has to explain why she decided to deceive me and pull her student, and my guards, into this!”

Turning her head to glare at Faded Light. “You, since you were given a false title. I shall give you the title temporarily until I speak with my sister!”

“W-what! H-h-hold on my P-p-p-princ—”

“Seize and remove this being from here! That is your first order from me, Captain.” Princess Luna glares at the lieutenant, her teeth slightly bared. Dusk Blade and Moonfall slowly moved their heads and looked at Faded Light, a mixture of uncertainty, fear, and worry on their faces. A downcast look appears on Faded Light, her eyes withholding angst and her mouth clenching tightly.

“U-uh…” Moonfall gives an uneasy look to Faded Light. Opening his mouth and closing it three times, and glancing at the ground for a moment. ”Lieu-Captain w-what do we—”

“Do NOT call me that!” Faded Light snaps at Moonfall abruptly. Twilight jumps slightly at the outburst, Moonfall reeling back from the shout, the mare's anger fading away in seconds as she realizes what just came out of her mouth. Turning her head to the princess, she finds the large mare glaring at her with a raised brow.

“'Tis something wrong? You hesitate to do my order and decline the title I bestow upon you?” The alicorn questions.

“My Princess… I… I…” Faded Light eyes move down again and start to dart across the floor as sweat travels down her face. Twilight looks over the guards and concern rises up as she notices all the guards were… disturbed by this turn of events. Confusion starts to well up within Twilight until she glances over at Faded Light.

“He’s annoying… but I wouldn’t want to work for any other captain than him.”

The sentence whispers into the back of Twilight, drawing a realization from her and making her heart sink.

‘ T-that’s right… despite how he is… they care about him, and having their princess tell them to remove him is… its… I have to do something! I can’t let this happen! ‘

Twilight takes a step forward, steeling her nerves as she prepares to step her voice up. However, Twilight stops in her tracks when Ratimir moves across the room and stands between Princess Luna and Faded Light, raising his right hand up quickly and prodding the princess' chin with a finger.

“What's wrong here… is someone who hasn’t been there for them for what is it, you guys call it… moons? Coming around and telling them to get rid of the person who has been!” The captain shouts.

“What!?” Princess Luna jerks away from his finger.

“You abandoned them! Leave them behind! While I've been here for them!” He doesn’t relent and jabs her muzzle with his finger.

“One thing I can at least remember from your sister is that you grew envious over those damned, normal, whiney, little hedge-borns being out and damn about, basking in that damn insufferable magic orb in the sky over your damn magic orb in the sky.” He jabs her muzzle again. “Decided to do an unassisted coup despite having a loyal guard unit, no entire clan or something like that… under you!”

He pulls his hand away and scoffs. Twilight watching in awe-stricken silence at the sudden turn of events. The Lunar Princess no longer had anger fueling her, the words hitting her like magic muscles as confusion, shock, and melancholy started to take over her expression.

“They literally sleep during the day and roam under your damn night! Absolutely loyal to your banner and yet when the time you needed them most to fulfill your idiotic, impulsive, and childish plan… You just do it without telling anyone and… OH, guess what!? The plan failed! You get banished! Leaving the group under your banner, confused, and leaderless!” Ratimir throws his arms up in the air as his fury starts to overwhelm and break down the remainders of the princesses.

Princess Luna takes a step back, her eyes and teeth returning to the norm. She looks up at the man with the same confusion, but now regret starts to pour over into her. Ratimir on the other hand, takes a step forward and towers over her, teeth bared, and his brows furrowed as he continues on. “You abandoned them, without a will or instructions left behind for them! Leaving them to just do the one thing they could, follow in your damn footsteps and do a rebellion that was far too late and far too predictable!”

Princess Luna starts to walk backwards as the captain advances on her. “Getting them imprisoned! Only freed when those damn Solar Whelps couldn’t stand me and made your sister assign me to be their captain! Forcing me to confront and fix all the problems YOU LEFT BEHIND IN THEM!”

“Princess Luna lets out a small yelp as her backside collides with the bed. Ratimir stops his movement upon seeing the princess trapped between him and the bed. “And here I am, having fixed the issues, and you… you come back after all this time, acting high and mighty like you deserve it after all you’ve done! Then try to make my damn guards do a coup on me!? Ignoring everything you’ve done!?”

He leans down slightly to her level. “It’s those reasons… combined with breaking my damn floor that I view you as nothing more than an impulsive, loggerheaded, cox-combed, spoiled brat. I refuse to respect or even acknowledge you as someone above me or even on the same status as me, and I refuse to be looked down upon by someone like you.” He huffs and pulls away from her, turning around and walking over to the fallen Great Star.

“I don’t even feel like fighting you now, just get out of here.” Ratimir says resentfully as he assesses the stallion's state. Princess Luna’s head dropped, shame and regret embedded in her features.

“Princess Luna…?” Twilight manages to find her voice and will again. Slowly approach the princess’s side. The princess only gives the unicorn a glance before raising her head up and igniting her horn. Twilight eyes her horn recognizing the spell for the seconds it lingered before vanishing in a flash of light. Twilight shakes her head and recovers quickly from the spell's aftereffect on her eyes.

The guards' eyes linger on the spot where their princess once was before looking at each other. “What… just happened?” Moonfall breaks the silence as he slowly turns to look up at the captain.

“I told her the truth about what happened…” The captain grunts as he stands up and heads to the door. “All that yelling made my hunger wors-nf!” Ratimir yelps as a small circular aura of raspberry color magic takes hold of the corner of his tunic.

“You! I… I… Why!?” Twilight shouts.

“Why what?” Ratimir glances over his shoulder.

“W-w-why did you do that!?” Twilight stomps her hoof and glares at the captain.

Ratimir looks away, patting his waist for a minute before looking back at the unicorn. “Not sure… After I got kicked, I just lost my head there…”

‘ That was just him being upset at being kicked!? ‘

Twilight lets go of him and lets out a groan. “Ugh! I… I… don’t know what to say right now! I can’t even decide if you are right or wrong in that argument! Uggh… I’m going to see if I can catch up to Princess Luna and if I can bring her back, then you need to apologize to her!” Twilight points a hoof up at him.

“Haaah?” Ratimir glares at her and turns halfway to her. “Apologize for what!? I don’t need to get along with the doxy, nor was I wrong in what I said!”

“She is still coming to terms with what she’s done! You… You only saw the bad parts of her because you just… kept being yourself!” Ratimir raises a brow at Twilight's facehoofing. “Whatever! I need to go after her. I will make you apologize, whether you mean it or not!” He huffs and Twilight turns around and ignites her horn, feeling the room for a moment and taking hold of the faint traces of Princess Luna’s magic that lingered.

‘ Short ranged teleport… and feeling… east! ‘

Twilight routes her location and teleports, leaving the guards and captain behind. The captain grumbles to himself and looks over to the guards. “Get Great Star up and fix him, he’s just knocked out… didn’t hit him too hard. I’m going to eat.”

Dusk Blade and Moonfall hesitantly nod and go over to Great Star. Ratimir heads down the hallway, only for the sound of hooves against wood trotting behind him to get his attention. He stops in his tracks as he sees Faded Light closing the gap between them, her face trying to maintain her Stoic façade but hints of worry cracking through. She stops upon seeing him turn to look at her and opens her mouth, but shuts it, looking to the sides for a moment before sighing.

“Captain… uh…. Mn… I want to......” Faded Light takes deep breaths and exhales. “T-thank you…”

“… For what?” He crosses his arms.

Faded Light turns her head away from him, using her mane to hide her expression “For… cari-stopping her, I guess… I… W-we wouldn’t want somecreature else to replace you. I mean… I don’t want to replace you.”

“I wouldn’t even entertain the possibility of her ordering me to step down from my position. So, if she does it again, don’t worry.”

“Mhmm.” Faded Light mumbles. A moment of silence passes between the two, Faded Light sighing once more and speaking up. “I… do agree that you should apologize to her, sir.”

“Hell no.” Ratimir turns around and walks down the hallway. Faded Light, opening her wings, and taking flight to close the distance, quickly, putting her hoof on his shoulder. “H-hear me out, please… sir!”

Ratimir stops once again. Looking over his shoulder and seeing her worried expression. “That look is not one that belongs to my lieutenant.” He sighs. “I’ll hear you out.”

Faded Light gives a small smile. “T-thank you… sir.” Slowly, she pulls her hoof off his shoulder, letting the captain turn and face her. “Just apologize to her, sir… If not for you or her, then at least for us. What you said may be… true… and some of us do harbor those feelings, but we still wish to stick our princess.”

“Are you sure? Don’t think I didn’t notice you and the others hesitate when she gave the order to seize me.” Ratimir frowns slightly.

Faded Light looks down with a frown on her lips. Letting a minute of silence pass by as hesitation takes her once again. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, she opens her eyes and looks at Ratimir in his eyes. “Because sir… you and our princess in similar in many ways, while being very different… and…” Faded Light fails to maintain eye contact, a faint blush piercing her cheeks.

“You’ve always been with us… guards and our people… I grew up with you, after all…” Faded Light Mutters under her breath.

“B-but she… technically saved our people, so we owe both of you a lot… so, I don’t think we can choose between the two of you… even back home I think our town would split if we had to pick sides…” Returning her gaze to him, she exhales and smiles. “Even if you are… yourself, like she said… I-we can always count on you to have our back, sir… so—”

“I get it. I get it...” Ratimir turns away from her abruptly. Scowling to himself and stares down the hall for a moment before sighing. “I’ll think about it, go help the others.”

“Understood, sir.” Faded Light nods and turns around to fly down the hallway, facehoofing and cursing herself for giving such a mushy speech to the captain. Ratimir stands for a moment longer before shaking his head and sighing.

Twilight eyes snap open as the familiar feeling of grass clinging onto her legs is felt. Quickly looking around, the unicorn finds herself in one of the grassy fields not far from the Lunar Base. She scowls as she sees no sign of Princess Luna in the area.

‘ Did she do a short-range teleport because of the fast start-up speed of the spell? Did she use a long-distance teleport afterward ‘

Igniting her horn, she searches for magical traces left behind by the princess and lets out a sigh of relief when she finds none. Canceling her magic, Twilight begins to roam the moonlit countryside hills, searching for the princess. Eventually, after walking quite a distance, she spots the Lunar Princess on her haunches up on a hill. Retrieving her stolen will from before, Twilight brazenly walks up the hill and to the princess.

“Princess Luna?” Twilight softly calls out as she slowly approaches the princess.

“Begone Twilight Sparkle, we-I… wish to be left alone.” The princess says glumly, keeping her eyes down and refusing to give a glance to the unicorn.

“I’m sorry, Princess Luna, but … I ca-don’t… want to leave you”

Princess Luna clicks her tongue and turns her head slightly. “Tch, You really are my sister's student…”

Twilight slowly takes in a deep breath and continues her approach until she stands by the Princess’s side. Looking over to her and giving a concerned look to the princess upon seeing the sorrowful expression she held on her face.

‘ Should I sta-… No… I broke her trust… I’ll let her open up to me… if she does.’

Nodding to herself, Twilight takes a seat by the Princess. Silence follows between the two, letting the sound of the faint wind move, the blades of grass being their only acknowledged sound. As minutes pass by Twilight decides to take out her notepad from her saddlebags and use this brief moment of peace to jot down notes she has been meaning to do. A faint smile on her face as the task lets her nerves simmer down.

Eventually, a sigh and movement from the princess gains her attention; looking up from her notes, she sees Princess Luna sitting up straighter and staring at the moon. Twilight watches her for a bit before returning to her note writing.

“My sister… my guards… and you deceived me.” Twilight snaps up, her body tensing as the line weaponizes itself into a non-existent dagger and shoves itself into her chest.

“I’m… sor—”

“But after that… talk… I… I believe I understand why…” Twilight looks over to Princess Luna with widened eyes.

Princess Luna's eyes returned to the ground. “I have… learned over the years that the common pony often says things that others want to hear… My sister is no different… and neither are you Twilight Sparkle, nor me. I didn’t think that my return… would make it worse, at least towards me.”

The princess turns her head and looks over to Twilight. “As… you… may have noticed during that argument… the… the elements of harmony stripped my-… Nightmare Moon's power, but they didn’t remove Nightmare Moon from me…” Twilight feels her blood chill as she listens to her, having theorized that if she turned into Nightmare Moon once… she could again.

“As you know, Twilight Sparkle… magic is connected to our emotions… if we’re too angry, our magic can be unstable and dangerous.” Princess Luna lets out a heavy sigh. “Years ago… When I attempted to attack my sister, all of my… anger… bitterness had reached its peak, and like oil to flame, my magic became unstable and took over. The elements have dispelled most of the magic, but that unstable magic still resides within me…”

“So… when you’re angry… that magic comes out?” Twilight questions with worry in her voice.

“Yes… luckily the elements removed most of it… the chances of me turning back into Nightmare Moon are low, at least for the next thousand moons, when my magic is fully returned to me. But still…” Princess Luna looks over to Twilight and gives a bitter smile. 'From the outside, I look scary, don’t I…?’ Twilight gives a slow nod. Princess Luna bitterly chuckles to herself as she turns away.

“He… that creature, he told me things that were true… he fed me the bitter reality that I've been ignoring… It's true. I’ve been… neglectful towards the bat ponies. I haven’t visited them at all since my return, just… focused on being caught up to speed with this era. Even before that I… didn’t tell them how I felt, and just… out of anger, I decided to take my sister down… alone.” Tears began to well up in her eyes.

“I left them leaderless… for a thousand moons… because I wanted to........ feel like I existed. Acknowledged by somepony other than the ones I saved… Made them follow after my… my foolish hoofsteps. I was… always striving to be a noble leader; somepony that the common people look up to, Twilight Sparkle… and I have failed that. He made that clear to me.” Princess Luna wipes a hoof across her cheek to remove the tears that managed to seep through.

Twilight puts her notebook down and reaches over to put a hoof on the princess’s shoulder. “Princess Luna, he was just upset! He didn’t really mean an—”

“Silence, Twilight Sparkle.” The princess snaps her eyes open and glares at the unicorn. Twilight retracting her hoof back and faltering under her gaze. Princess Luna shakes her head and sighs.

“T-this is... exactly what I mean. You say what I want to hear... what will make me feel better, but the truth of this matter is that... he’s right... My sister probably predicted this would happen as well... and wished to delay this meeting to spare my feelings and not risk me returning to my old... bitter self.” Princess Luna wipes her eyes again before standing up.

“My... heart aches... badly but I... I needed that. I need to hear that and feel deceit... reminders that everything isn’t all rainbows and... ugh sunshine after my return. Furthermore, I need to improve myself... for myself, and for my loyal subjects. I want to create a new, better era for those under my banner and to truly take the first step towards that goal, I need to look at myself.” Princess Luna raises her head up and looks at the moon with a determined look on her face despite the tears welled up in her eyes.

Twilight stands with her, a small smile on her face. Twilight, putting her notepad back in her saddle back and letting out a small cough to get the Lunar Princess’s attention. “G-good... but still, Princess, don’t let him get under your skin too much. He’s only heard about you from others perspectives, after all.”

Princess Luna looks down at Twilight and smiles. “ Which gives I-us the chance to fix how he sees us, and perhaps gain his respect!”

‘ Doubtful... He’s almost as stubborn as Applejack or Rainbow Dash... actually, he might even be more stubborn than them both. ‘

Twilight nods. “Mhmm! I don’t agree with what Princess Luna said... I think you’re pretty amazing already, but.... Well... I um... well, I do have to admit... I was there when he read your request, and... Princess Luna, please think about things... Thoroughly before requesting them...?” Twilight gives a nervous smile. Princess Luna frowns at the unicorn and narrows her eyes.

“Uuuuh...” Twilight's smile falters and she starts to sweat. Princess Luna smiles and pats her back. “Tis a jest, young scholar.”

Princess Luna turns around and begins to walk down the hill. “Come, let’s return to them... we... we have apologies to make.” Twilight nods and follows after Princess Luna.

Author's Note:

Was going to publish this on Monday but... side projects.
Edit: /10/5/22