• Published 23rd Nov 2022
  • 1,238 Views, 15 Comments

With Sunset Comes the Night - astrolatryy

The most loyal of Luna's servants goes by the name Sunset Shimmer.

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Lowly In Spirit Among the Humble

"Granny Apple thought Luna's royal servant was a demon?"

"Ridiculous, ain't it?" Applejack says, looking just a touch amused. "That's why I ended up thinkin' the whole thing about a second sister was hogwash, too. I mean, an alicorn of the night who went and turned evil, who had a demon as her servant? Forget about it."

She shrugs. "Then again, Luna's right here in the Crystal Empire with us, ain't she? I dunno. I think her servant bein' a demon is a mite superstitious, but there had to be somethin' to her to get ponies like my Granny believin' in it. She usually has her head screwed on pretty tight."

"I don't know…" Twilight says, rubbing her hoof on the crystalline table. "You're right, it does sound strange. But so does us bearing Elements of Harmony, right? I bet you never expected that before you met me."

Applejack huffs. "Sure didn't. I dunno, Twi… I mean, I don't know much about demons, but ain't they all supposed to be locked up in Tartarus?"

"I guess," Twilight says. "It's not like anypony's ever broken out of Tartarus, anyway. It's supposed to be impossible! But every story has to come from somewhere, you know?"

She sighs. "Ugh… I bet I'd be able to think about this better if I wasn't so tired from the trip."

"It's a mighty long ride from Equestria's capital to the Crystal Empire, ain't it? You should tuck in early, Twi. Get your rest for the summit tomorrow," Applejack says.

"Yeah, I guess you're right," Twilight says, rubbing at her eyes. She can't help but let a yawn slip by her as she closes her eyes. "Thanks for talking with me about Canterlot's history, Applejack, that was really fascinating."

"Anytime, Twi. Now get yourself into bed before I get Spike to drag you there himself," she says, standing.

"Okay, okay, I'm going!"

The thought of Luna's servant swirls at the back of Twilight's mind for a while, but not for long. As fascinating as the topic is, she has so many other things to worry about. Like the crown sitting on her nightstand, its pink jewel glittering so innocently in the little crack of light that shines through her bedroom door.

What is she supposed to do with it? Protecting Equestria is one thing; she can do that. As long as she has her friends by her side, she knows she can keep Equestria safe. But leading within it? Oh, Celestia, she hopes she doesn't have to take too many royal duties on in addition to her usual schedule. Her list is packed enough as is; how is she going to fit things like dress-fitting and ruling over whatever part of Equestria Celestia sees fit for her to give her in with sorting books at the library and going out for tea with Rarity?

Sleep comes uneasily to her. Her wings seem to twist and shift of their own accord, unfamiliar motions. She's studied half a dozen books on pegasus anatomy, but that doesn't tell her anything about alicorn wings, does it? And even then, the sparse knowledge the books give her don't hold a flame to the fact that she has new limbs. On her body. And it is so difficult to tuck them in beneath her sheets—how do the other princesses deal with it?! Cadence was lucky to be born a pegasus. She can't imagine getting used to a horn would be any harder than this.

Sleep comes uneasily to her, but eventually, it comes. She dreams softly of crystals and princessly duties, becoming the ruler of books and trying not to spill any tea on the pages.

Sleep comes uneasily to her, and it is broken with a shout—Spike's shout. She blinks blearily as she shifts upright, wondering what Spike is yelling about that's so important when she was nice and cozy under her warm blankets—

—there is a figure standing in the doorway of her bedroom.

There is a figure standing in the doorway of her bedroom, and it is not anypony she recognizes, a shadow in a cloak. They have a saddlebag at their hip and in that saddlebag is—

—That's her crown!

"Thief!" she shrieks, the word on her mouth before she's even done getting out of bed, horn sparking indignantly.

The cloaked figure bolts down the hallway at rapid speeds, hooves clicking on the stone, and Twilight's right behind, yelling as loudly as she can as she follows them in hot pursuit. Her friends wake at all the racket, double doors creaking open in the hallway, but she barely has eyes for them—all of her attention is singularly on the pony shooting down the halls, her cape billowing in the wind.

The thief turns a corner, but Twilight knows these hallways—knows enough to perform a teleport, air displacing in a crackle and a flash of light as in a moment she's in front of the charging pony.

"Stop!" she shrieks, angling her body to block the hall.

The pony does not stop. If anything, she speeds up. Her cloak shifts strangely and then there are leathery wings—bat wings?!—flaring out from her sides. The dim light of the hallway coalesces between her and the thief, the tiny shadows in the corners creeping wide and dark and solemn.

The batpony motions strangely with her wings with a twist, and Twilight feels an ice-cold chill of unfamiliar magic rush over her coat as where the pony was she is suddenly not there anymore.

Twilight spins, eyes wide.

It's a rare occasion that Twilight gets to see a batpony in the flesh. Usually they're pulling Luna's carriage, or otherwise guarding her; the Night Guard are Luna's chosen, that much she knows, their ranks finally rebuilding after their commander spent so long banished to the moon. They don't tend to live among the other pony tribes, their nocturnal nature and sometimes-odd diets make that difficult for them.

And no batpony she's ever seen has had a coat like that, dried-blood red; no batpony she's ever seen has had a two-toned mane like fire cascading over her head and back; no batpony she's ever seen has had eyes like hers, that vivid, that sharp, with the subtlest fiery glow in the dimly lit halls.

She smells like sulfur and she smiles like the damned, one fang poking out from her mouth before she's racing back down the hall again and Twilight moves frantically to stop her.

Twilight gets within a bit's-length of her and lunges, impacting hard with her; they go tumbling into the room at the end of the hallway with a desperate crash, flinging the double doors open and sending the crown tucked in the thief's saddlebags flying.

The crown bounces sharply off of one of the dusty display cases in the room and goes flying through a mirror set at a plinth at the very end.

The rest of Twilight's friends are right behind her, crowding the entrance to the room, but all Twilight can think about with a sharp gasp is that her crown just went through what is very obviously a portal, and what in Equestria, and—

"What did you do with my crown?!" she exclaims.

If the batpony was strange to look at from afar, she's even stranger up close; when she looks Twilight in the eyes she can see that the cyan glow around their slits was not an illusion, and in fact she can see small flames dancing deep in their irises. She grins wide, putting all her teeth on display, wicked fangs and all.

"Sorry it had to be this way—" the batpony says. Twilight's nose is filled with the smell of something burning and that's all the warning she gets before the batpony quite literally melts into shadow, slipping through her grasp until she's just a dark stain on the floor.

Twilight whips around to see the batpony behind her, standing on the plinth to the portal, her legs bowed half in a sarcastic curtsey. "—princess. But my Lady will rule again."

Left reeling by that statement, Twilight can only watch in stunned silence as the batpony leaps through the mirror and vanishes, with only the faintest gleaming ripple to suggest she was even there.

Author's Note:

If you've gotten this far, thank you for reading through my fic! Please feel free to point out any typos in the comments; as much as I and my beta readers have tried to proofread this, some things just slip through the cracks. :P

Comments ( 12 )

That cliffhanger leaves way too much room for a sequel. I have to see Luna's reaction to Sunset returning.

Sequel!!!!! I need it!!

Why do I have a sick feeling that while there was offer of redemption for a fallen Lady of the Night from the Elements of Harmony, for the demon who give her darnest to become something more than a raging bloodthirsty killing machine they give no chance.
Quite ironic and sad, considering her fierce loyalty and brutal honensty for those who showed her the way to become more wholesome and happy.

This definitely feels like it`s a cliffhanger to another good story, and when it comes to great stories with Sunset Shimmer then i can never get enough off of them. 👍

With the way Sunset disappeared at the time of NMM's banishment, I think she got the Siren treatment and got banished to the human world where her human form is close to her demon form, minus the claws, wings and black sclera if were going by canon Sunset's demon form.
I would wonder if Luna would feel the need to retrieve and dissuade her most loyal servant, or just like in canon, since the offense is against Twilight, it's her problem.
What's interesting here is Sunset's motivations aren't merely self-centered and a lust for power, but out of still steadfast loyalty to Luna.

Uhh any chance for a sequel for this?🙏🥰


That was a good story.

Very interesting. I like the world building going on here. I do wonder where it all goes from here, especially the eventual reunion between Sunset and the Princesses (we all know it has to happen eventually).

Man, I want more. Nice story.

Nice ending what the princesses will think when they find out about it! HAHA

Huh, surprisingly, that was not what I expected. I was anticipating Celestia balming Sunset for corrupting her sister and banishing her back to Tartarus. This would have been the ultimate betrayal and fulfillment of Sunset’s expectations that betrayal was inevitable even for ever patient Celestia. Then, we would cut to after Luna's return and to find that Demon Shimmer was Queen of Hell instead of through the mirror.

Still, I enjoyed this.

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