• Published 28th Jun 2012
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A New Hero - Alex The Lone Wolf



What if there was another pony who joined the pony gang? (Look at longer description...)

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The Night That Never Was: Part Two

Episode 91 – The Night That Never Was: Part Two


I didn't return back to the celebration like I was supposed to. Instead, I just chased after Luna in fear, anxiety, and even panic. It seemed like the only reasonable thing I could think of, even if it was what that stallion most likely wanted. I didn't know what else I was supposed to do, and I didn't have time to think it calmly through.

When I reached Luna, I told her everything. Well, the part where the stallion came up to me explaining how everything that happened was supposed to happen. But most importantly, I told her how everything hinted to Night Terror.

Honestly, she didn't seem as surprised as I thought she would be. I mean, she still reacted a bit terrified, but it wasn't as bad as I had reacted. But…it felt like…she knew she had to be ready for this. Like if she knew this was bound to happen, and now be the time to take action.

The next thing I knew was that I was dressing up inside my house. Fitting myself…in armor. The thought of protecting myself with armor…scared me. I had never actually really worn armor before, but for some reason, Luna stated that it would be highly necessary.

I suppose it wasn't anything too unfamiliar. After all, the Royal Guards wore it all the time on their duty. Speaking of the Royal Guard, Luna wanted Tia to rest after the night she just had. However, to not completely lower her guard about the escaping Nightmares, she let the guards know that if they saw any of the creatures they saw before, they should let Celestia know immediately.

All I could think about was the future as I observed my reflection in the mirror. I looked…so different. It was…eerily disturbing for some reason. I felt afraid about moving on forward to deal with the matter. Alone even. Even though I knew I'd be with my mother.

Luna made sure to let me know that to expect no one else to come with us. Not even our friends this time. The only reason she gave me was that where we were going, the less would be the better. I didn't know what she meant by that, but I was more than sure I would find out.

After I felt I was equipped enough, even still holding Spirit's hoodie and my charm inside, I began making my way through my bedroom and down the stairs. Before I could make my way out the door, somepony came in. At first, I thought it would be Luna, but after a good look, I noticed it was Twilight instead.

"Hey, there you are!" She noticed me and placed on a relieved smile. "I've been wondering where you went!" Twilight walked up to me, instantly noticing the armor I wore. "Hey, what's with what you're wearing?" She asked, looking a bit amused. "Is Pinkie Pie having some weird costume party?" She chuckled a little.

"No…" I didn't have much to answer with. "It's nothing like that…"

"Well, what is it?" She continued. "I don't see why else you'd wear that."

"…I've…got to take care of something." I returned briefly.

Twilight's smile began disappearing. "…'take care of something'…? What do you mean…?"

I knew I couldn't lie myself out of this one, even if I wanted to. There was absolutely nothing else I could think of that would excuse the armor that wasn't downright dangerous. "…Night Terror is back. My mom and I are going to handle it."

Twilight was quietly shocked to hear this news. "Y-Y-you sound like if you're running an errand…!" I shrugged, unsure of how to react since I was already a mess inside. "W-well…then…wait for me! I'm coming with you!"

She began walking past me, as if she was going to do something first upstairs before she joined me. "No." I returned, stopping her walk. "You're not."

"W-what…?" She turned back to me with a confused and searching face.

"You're not going with me." I forced the words out of my mouth with clenched eyes.

"What are you talking about?" She inquired, allowing me to hear the rising fear in her voice. "W-We're a team, right? So I have to go with you!"

"Not tonight." I answered, knowing the more I got into this, the more it would hurt me inside. "Luna and I have to handle this on our own."

Twilight walked over to me where she could see me face-to-face. "Why? Why only the two of you? I should be able to go!" It seemed she was starting to get upset too. Was this because of that talk we had when we apologized to each other after that argument?

"It's too dangerous…" I tried to reason.

"That doesn't matter!" She angrily returned. "So was Tirek, but we made it out fine!"

I shook my head. "This…is different…in ways I can't really explain…"

"I don't care what you have to say." Twilight answered in a stern matter, surprising me and causing me to gasp. "I'm going." She held a very serious face.

Remembering all the times I've already either lost or almost lost somepony, I lowered my head and clenched my teeth as I began feeling very emotional. "…do you realize what you're getting yourself into…?"

"Huh?" She allowed me to continue on.

"I've already…been through so much…" I tried my best to not break down in front of her. "…in ways you haven't seen for yourself. We almost lost Rarity…and I don't dare want to play with losing you. That someone that kidnapped her in the first place didn't just get her for only her. He wanted to toy with our emotions…with my emotions. And you want to know what? He wasn't even trying to take her away from us. In fact, that was his 'plan' all along. So, what if he does something to you if you come along? I can see how Luna was right in suggesting that we go on our own. The less ponies there are, the less opportunities they have to toy with us. We'll be the only ones they have to deal with. And that's how it going to stay."

Oddly, it seemed Twilight was beginning to get into emotional state after she heard me say that. "Do you realize what you're saying?! What if something happens to you?!" She fought back. "How do you think I'm going to feel if something happened to you and I wasn't there to do anything about it?! We're supposed to work things out together! You said it yourself! It's either the two of us or none of us! We aren't supposed to separate like this!" When she paused, I tried to search the words to answer her with, but then she spoke with obvious frustration and sadness in her tone. "This is going to sound selfish, but what if I lose you?! And I wasn't there to protect you!? You know what'll happen? I'll be all on my own with this princess thing! The one reason I was usually able to keep my head strong when worrying about the future was because I knew you were with me! I didn't have to worry so much with you by my side! That's why we just have to do things together no matter what!"

I didn't want to talk about this any further. The more my mental state was broken, the weaker I'd be in every way. And I couldn't have that if I was to face this mysterious stallion and Night Terror. But I also couldn't have Twilight join me, no matter how right she was. I just can't bear the thought of losing somepony else. "Twilight, stop…" I tried to ask.

"No, not until you say that I'm coming with you." She unleashed a level of stubbornness.

"Twilight!" I tried to stop her.

"Say it!" She ordered.

"Enough!" I unexpectedly raised my voice, shocking her and causing her to gasp. "You're staying here and that's that!" She remained silent this time as she stared at me with shaking eyes. "Luna and I are going to handle this. No one else!" Afterwards, I walked past her and headed for the door. From the corner of my eye, I could see Twilight remaining at the same spot in a paralyzed state.

As I walked out the door, I could only apologize inside. But she and I had to know it was for the best…


I reached the entrance to the Everfree Forest, where Luna wanted me to meet her. The whole time, I was staring at the floor regretting how I treated Twilight. But it was how Luna and I wanted… After whatever happens, I'll apologize…and hopefully she'll forgive me.

I picked up my head to notice Luna there, wearing armor as well. The first thing she did to interact with me was to hoof me over a helmet. It wasn't any ordinary helmet. It appeared to actually cover my entire head and face…just kind of like that stallion…

"…you want me to wear this…?" I asked, even knowing it was kind of a stupid question.

"…you are most vulnerable to the darkness when you leave your emotions astray. Night Terror still holds that immense darkness in him. If he knows how to handle it well, he will take advantage of your emotions to hurt you the most. When you are distracted by your emotions, such as sadness, you become weak and unfocused. If he sees this, he will take advantage of it. So, the primary use of this helmet is to not just protect you physically, but hide your emotions from him." She explained.

Definitely finding absolute reason in that, I held no hesitation to put it on. I knew I would be distracted by a lot of things, and it was best to have him be unaware of those distractions. However, I didn't find Luna carry an extra helmet for her, leading me to ask.

"What about you? Where's your helmet?" I inquired.

"Me?" She returned, and then turned her head towards the Everfree Forest. "I shan't be needing it…" She answered with furrowed eyebrows. I supposed she had enough experience with the darkness to know how to face it. "Let us go, Alexander. We must do this as soon as possible. I do not know what Night Terror or that other stallion has in store, but we cannot wait to find out. No matter what, you must stay by me."

"Okay…" I nodded, feeling jittery.

I still never thought I'd be taking on such an important obstacle with such a little group…


I continuously glanced behind me as we made our way to the Castle of the Two Sisters. I hoped Twilight wasn't lurking behind any way, trying to join us even after I told her that she couldn't. This behavior caught my mother's eye, but she probably thought I was scanning for some dangerous creatures like those Nightmares.

Once we reached the doors to the huge castle, we opened them and entered inside after hearing the echoing sound of them creaking aside.

"Be on your guard." Luna cautioned. "We've only just entered but I already feel dark power lingering by…"

I inhaled a deep breath and exhaled it out. "Let's just get this over with already…"

The steps I alone made were loud enough to possibly be heard from the deep parts of the castle. There was definitely no chance going in stealthily. After all, we didn't even know where they were in the first place.

We looked around as thoroughly as we could, making sure nothing would ambush us somehow at all. However, we were startled when we heard the doors suddenly close behind us. As we spun around, we saw that same stallion that warned me previously. Of course he was expecting me… He turned towards us just as we noticed him. He had just finished watching the doors close.

"Don't you know it's impolite to leave the doors open?" He mentioned, even though he wasn't being serious at all.

"We're here." I stated. "Where is he?"

"Whoa, slow down there, kid." He calmly answered. "You two will see him soon enough." He took a moment specifically to analyze us. "Speaking of you two…I figured you'd have a lot more than just this. I mean…at least the annoying princess."

I stomped my hoof on the floor. "How do you and Twilight know each other too?!"

"So, that's her name, huh?" He returned, ignoring the question. "I can't believe I actually felt bad for her…"

"What?!"

"Anyways." He ignored once more. "Yeah. I don't know if I'm going to enjoy taking two ponies on. It seems…too easy."

Figuring he wouldn't answer any of my questions, at least for now, I decided to just give him a taste of his own medicine. "Are you really just surprised because you expected more ponies to show up according to your 'plan'?"

"No." He frankly responded. "It works out either way. I'd be more worried about myself, if I were you."

"Enough blathering." Luna stepped in a bit angrily. "Where is Night Terror?" She seemed to be only really focused on him.

"Why are you so impatient to see him?" He asked Luna. "It's because he's the baby daddy, right?" Luna responded by furrowing her eyebrows and revealing her clenched teeth. "I don't know what the big deal is about 'family' and 'friends'. All they do is just hurt you in the end. Make you weak and squash you like a bug." He looked towards the floor and made the same motion to match his metaphor.

"Real family and friends don't do that." I spoke up, wanting to prove him wrong. "No wonder you're so vulgar if that's the way you think. If you were right, my mother wouldn't even be here with me right now. Plus, family and friends are the reason to pull out from the darkest of times. In fact, they're really the only reason to keep fighting and not give up." I formed a face of confidence to show how true this was to me. "That's why we're here. Not only for us, but to protect the ones dear to us. Even if it hurts…" I closed my eyes and clenched my hoof near my chest, remembering how badly I had hurt Twilight. Feeling frustration once again, I turned my head towards the stallion and remembered all the bad things he had done so far. "What about you?" I asked. "What's the real reason you fight for? Apparently by what you've just said, you have no one to fight for. Maybe that's the reason why you're such a lowlife."

I didn't know if I made any changes in his facial expression, but I did sense he wasn't in his "reckless deviant" mood. He only began sharing with two seriously-sounding words. "You're wrong." He stated, actually surprising me. He turned his head to the side, still giving me an unreadable expression. "I used to have someone…" He remained silent for a moment, giving Luna and me a second to an exchange a slightly confused look with each other. "Great…" He continued, turning his head back towards us. "Now you've ticked me off…"

He immediately charged towards us, causing us to each separate by dodging to the side. However, he disappeared into the darkness, having us lose him for the moment. As we almost frantically tried to search for him, he let out an aggravated yell before he slid in from our blind side. I was hit with what seemed to be the same weapon he had used the last time we met in Fillydelphia. However, fortunately, as I was wearing armor, it didn't seem to be as effective. But it was still staggering with its infused dark power.

Luna rushed to him to prevent him from striking anymore, lighting a powerful beam from her horn. She caught him before he could escape and seemed to actually cause some damage on him as he slipped out a groan of pain. Nonetheless, this seemed to make him angrier, so he spun around with his weapon with another annoyed shout and pushed Luna into the dark side of the castle.

He then turned to me and dashed over to me in a similar way I had previously done with light. Only it was a foggy and smoky sight to me. I reacted by forming a shield in front of me. Nevertheless, he yelled out again and struck me from the side where I was vulnerable at the moment, getting my horn as well. As I tried to regain my focus, he swung his weapon at me and kicked me back. Whoever he was, he was also remarkably fast. No wonder he was toying with me back at that apparent Fillydelphia dream.

He had knocked me against a pillar. I looked up to see him coming straight at me again. I managed to strike up another shield to render him stunned, as he bumped into it. I kicked and fought back as much as I could. When he recovered, he tried slashing at me with his weapon, but I was able to parry it with a slash of my own from my magic. Attacking him a few times more with magic, I turned in flight and kicked him with my back legs.

He growled and began to head straight towards me again. During this time, he must had already forgotten about Luna because I saw her coming up from behind him, and he didn't seem prepared for what she had planned. Preparing to help Luna, I began making a gallop towards him. I knew he was going to dodge my attack, and he did, but this allowed Luna to strike him unexpectedly. He fell and rolled over on the floor. Luna and I surrounded him, the both of us creating a growing glow on our horns.

"No…!" He exclaimed, still holding resentment in his tone. "Not yet…"

Before we could possibly end him, he casted the same "filling the room with darkness" spell. However, Luna countered this with her own spell, able to do what we couldn't previously. As soon as the room was cleared, he was already gone. But Luna knew we weren't giving up.

"He's left a hot trail! Let's follow him, quickly!" She exclaimed and pointed out.


Luna seemed to end our chase once she came to a stop and gasped at what appeared to be a door in our way.

"What? What's wrong?" I asked, quickly turning to her.

"This door…" She began responding slowly. "They…they must…be beyond this door."

"We should get going then." I encouraged.

"Wait." She held a hoof in front of me. "This door has been manipulated by dark power. It…will most likely transport us somewhere else than this castle…"

I stopped and looked at the floor in thought. Remembering about that stallion talking about Night Terror, I suddenly felt an idea form. Night Terror was last sent to the moon… If that stallion just escaped to reconvene with Night Terror…could this door possibly take us…to the moon? "You…you don't think this door leads to the moon…do you?"

Luna thought about it as well. "Now that I hear that…" She closed her eyes and took in a deep and serious breath. Then, her aura formed around her horn. She turned to me and delicately placed her horn on me. From there, she seemed to cast some kind of protection spell on me. She furrowed her eyebrows at the sight of the door. "Let us go…" She hesitantly announced. "We must…end this…"

The way she said that kind of frightened me. I didn't know what she had in mind…but it didn't seem like a happy success. I didn't ask about it, considering she didn't take the time to explain what she did to me. It was possibly because she was in a hurry.

She raised a hoof and placed it on the door. Then, she slowly opened it. Once it was fully open, we could only seem complete darkness on the other end, as if we were about to enter an unlit room. The only difference was that there were these dark wisps around the door. Luna expanded her right wing and placed it around me.

She guided me through the door with her.

As soon as I had passed through, everything…felt different. In fact…it all felt…really cold. As I was given the sight of the landscape we were on, my eyes proceeded to widen in surprise. There was no denying it. We were definitely on the moon.

I looked towards my mother, seeing that she would have the most impacting reaction. However, it didn't seem as bad as it looked, but I couldn't tell what was going on in her head. She only stared at in silence as she seemed to seriously take it all in. Since she didn't say anything, I turned to the direction she was looking at and observed everything.

The moon definitely wasn't as it looked back home. It wasn't flat at all. It held the shapes and figures like mountains as well. However, everything was dusty and bare. I could hardly stand it, and I had only been standing here for just a moment. I couldn't dare think how bad it was with my mother when she was kept imprisoned here. Is it really any better than Tartarus?

Luna lowered her head and closed her eyes, catching my attention. "It's…been so long…" She shared almost tearfully.

I wondered if the apparent duo knew how Luna would react to coming here. It would make sense after all why they would want to settle things here. Either way, I grabbed her hoof and held tightly. "You're free now. You don't have to worry about staying stuck here. After tonight, we shall all rest easy." Wow. At that moment, I almost sounded like her. I looked out at the distance. "We're all going to get the answers we need." I mentioned as I furrowed my eyebrows.

Any more talk between us was cut short. From the silence the moon held, I could hear hooves stepping on the dusty landscape. They weren't even close. That's how quiet and possibly even eerie it was. I focused my sight in front of me. There was a dark figure, having me wonder if it was the stallion coming back for more. Luna must have also heard the hoofsteps, as she looked ahead in alert.

I waited as the figure approached, but I became immediately surprised when I saw another figure appear from the darkness that radiated from the first one. There were now two, and the only thing that came upon my mind was who these two actually were…

I felt now more fearful that I was going to meet him again after everything that had happened from the last time.

"Take heed of your emotions, Alex!" Luna placed a hoof on me and held a grip. "You mustn't let them endanger you!"

As she stated that, I tried holding a breath and straightening myself out as much as I could. They continued walking as we stood in preparation until they suddenly stopped. The moment of silence allowed me to calm down a bit. But then something was thrown our way. It wasn't anything with the intention to hurt…at least not physically. I carefully looked at it to be shocked yet again.

It was…an ice cream stick… Who knew if it was just any ordinary ice cream stick, but for some reason, I gained the absolute certainty that it came from Spirit. The last sight of her replayed in my mind. Seeing as he did indeed have something to do with Spirit, I felt myself enrage. He promised me answers, and I was going to get them.

I pushed away Luna's hoof and ran for it, even though I knew I shouldn't have done it in the back of my mind.

"Alex!" She called out to me, but I was already on my way.

I galloped towards the stallion in anger, practically forgetting about Night Terror. Before I could get a hoof on him, the ground below suddenly broke apart and rose up. It brought me to a paralyzing height as I fell down from losing my balance. When I started to push myself up, the ground that had originally been in front of me rose up past me. I could see a glimpse of the two before they vanished higher up. When I finally stood back on my hooves, I looked up to see that stallion falling my way. He somehow was able to grab ahold of a chunk of moon rock and pummeled me with it. But it seemed more to just toy with me instead of actually hurt me. My armor mostly repelled the damage, but I still felt pain. Nevertheless, as he stood right in front of me unfazed, I glared at him, even though he couldn't see it. "You think that's going to stop me…?"

I could feel the smirk that proceeded after that and he soon disappeared. I looked up, thinking he would be with Night Terror. Following with the mountains that began to form themselves on the barren land, I decided to make my way to finally meet face-to-face with him.


Luna


I desperately tried to find Alex in my sight, but all of the towers of moon rock that were forced up obstructed my entire search. As I made my way around a barrier to hopefully find him, I spotted that mysterious stallion we had been fighting earlier. He came at me and appeared to want to test me with his dark magic. As I galloped, I fought against him with my own magic. However, I only fought enough to defend myself, but I focused the rest of my attention on finding Alex as soon as possible.

Nevertheless, somepony suddenly surprised me when another ray of magic, not of Alex or mine, shot at this stallion. He seemed to not expect this as he managed to dodge it
and look at where it came from. I turned my head as well to find somepony familiar but not completely recognizable at the rate everything was going.

I began to lose my focus as all of us had been running. As I began to recognize this being, I felt myself forget about the current situation for the moment. Just as I was about to call this pony's name, I felt myself being beaten with a plethora of moon rocks. I was thrown to the floor in a harsh manner, and I rolled for a while due to the momentum of my gallop.

From what I could see, she began fiercely fighting the stallion, grabbing a hold of his attention for the meanwhile. It would have been useful had not I been harmed, but I had to take the time to recover. She shot a large beam of magic, which didn't hit its target. Instead, it flew straight towards another mountain of the moon.


Alex


Just as I felt myself becoming closer to Night Terror's presence, I was suddenly thrown off course. Something broke the rock I had been using to break between flights. I lost my balance and began falling straight towards the ground again.

I tried opening my wings to catch myself, but the rocks that were thrown everywhere clipped my wings, rendering them useless for the moment. I felt myself scraping against the mountain of rock, causing me to panic and try to miraculously grab ahold of the rocks to keep myself up and stable.


Luna


When I finally pulled myself together, I picked my head up to see her preoccupied with something else other than the stallion she was fighting. She allowed herself to be distracted with that preoccupation, causing herself to be bashed with rocks too. I quickly galloped to her aid. She wasn't supposed to join us, but since she was already here, hopefully she would be able to help us instead of turning to an advantage for the enemy.

I stopped and almost slid to her side, noticing the small crater that was made below her. She was also wearing armor! It looked like…something Celestia would give her!

"Twilight!" I called out her name, wanting her to respond and let me know she was alright.

Instead of answering, she groaned and struggled to push herself up. As soon as she did the most she could, she forced out a beam of her magic towards something in the short distance. "Alex!" She shouted.

I gasped and looked at the direction she shot the beam. From there, I could see that she had sent a magical shield around Alex's body, protecting him from the many rocks that were chasing after him. As I observed more, these rocks began to look an awfully lot different from moon rocks. Nonetheless, I quickly headed my way to aid Alex so we could hopefully and eventually regroup.


Alex


Strangely, a magical barrier appeared around me, shocking me. It protected me from all these rocks that were out to get me. However, there were too many of them, and it seemed to have broken through barrier. The rest of the rocks charged at me. There was nothing I could think of doing in the heat of the moment, eventually being thrown across another land top.

As I began to try to push myself up, I could see his front hooves in front of me. I began to growl as I knew this was Night Terror. For some reason I definitely couldn't try to understand at the moment, I began to feel resentment against him, even if he was technically my father. I felt like this was somehow all his fault.

I pushed myself up and began running straight at him without thinking. I tried attacking him with magic, but he easily deflected it, later shooting an immense amount of dark magic at me. I was thrown right back where I started before galloping at him. Only this time, I felt plagued. I almost felt like something was eating away inside me and I had nothing to protect me. I couldn't charge at him again. I only glared straight at him as I placed a hoof over my chest.

Suddenly, Luna appeared from behind him, but she didn't try to attack him. He felt her presence and turned around to see her.

"What a pleasant surprise to have you all here with me again." He finally spoke.

As he seemed distracted, I took the initiative to pull myself back up and run straight at him.

"Alex, no!" Luna called out, as if she was warning me not to attack. Nevertheless, I was so close to making contact with him. But then he just grabbed ahold of me without even having to look at me. I felt his dark magic hold me hostage as I tried to struggle free. Luna's eyes immediately became burdened with worry as she stared at me in shock. I could feel the helmet I wore began to crack open… It must have been how strong his dark magic was. "Let him go!" Luna cried out and ran towards us, but then she was suddenly shot off the tower we were on by someone else.

I managed to notice the responsible one, who was actually that stallion that we had been after. He stood calmly and faced our way. As I continued to wriggle free as much as I could, I felt fear intrude deep inside me as I noticed a crowd of rocks make their way where Luna fell.

"Let…me…go…!" I shouted out in fear and anger, but I knew he wouldn't do what I said just because I said it.

"Ooh…" Night Terror smiled deviously. "Looks like you have a friend."

I gasped, desperately hoping he wasn't talking about who I thought he was talking about. He led me to the edge of the cliff and appeared to break open the front of my helmet, allowing me to clearly see who he wanted me to see.

At the bottom, I could see the one I hoped not to end up being here. She and I made eye contact and it was locked on for what felt like hours. My mind whispered her name as I stared in horror and remembered the last confrontation we had, filling my heart with everything negative. Twilight shared the same feelings in her eyes and seemed to only stare at me in helplessness.

I suddenly felt my body lock up, and I couldn't do anything. My mind began to wander off and I felt myself lose conscious as darkness covered my eyesight. Luna was right… I should have controlled my emotions…


Twilight


I cried out his name as I noticed Night Terror just release him from the edge of the cliff. He was falling aimlessly to the ground, and the only thing I could think of doing was going to the spot under him to catch him.

I felt the weight of his body bring me to my knees and soon on the ground. Nevertheless, I quickly grabbed ahold of him with my magic and brought him to my forelegs. I quickly turned his face towards me so I could worriedly analyze him.

He was definitely unconscious and all that came to my head at the time was how I believed I messed everything up for him.

But what about us…? It was what I had thought after he left like that.

Was this what he was trying to prevent? Alex… I'm so sorry… I wanted to help you, but I only did the exact opposite!

Magic suddenly shot straight towards the sky from where Alex had been. All of a sudden, every single one of the stars began being manipulated and pulled away from where they were supposed to be. As I observed this, my eyes widened and dilated greatly. I couldn't believe everything that was happening, and I all just wanted it to be a nightmare.


Luna


I broke through the rocks that had fallen on top of me. Once I was able to stand back up on my hooves, I aggressively turned upwards where he and Alex had been. From there, I felt myself breathing heavily and angrily. I felt my eyes want to dilate and narrow. I could feel her wanting to escape and take control of me once again… I couldn't allow that to happen, nor could I let him win.

I spread my wings and immediately made my way back to the top. As I reached the area, I didn't take the time for a soft landing, I only retracted my wings and dropped roughly to the ground. From there, I took the liberty to scowl at him like no tomorrow. Accompanying him was the stallion that had been with us back at the castle.

"So, how does it feel, Luna?" Night Terror began with a question. "How does it feel to see everything in your life beginning to be taken away from you?"

"My son, Alex." I acknowledged, noticing he was nowhere in sight. "What have you done with him?!" I demanded aggressively.

"He's beyond the edge of this cliff, if you'd like to really know." He easily shared. "My, my. He would have proven to be useful. Unfortunately, we had to come to these lengths to make any progress."

Hearing this, I felt the blood within me begin to boil hotter than I could remember. I growled and the aura in my horn pulsated brightly. "You shall vanish forever!" I shouted and galloped to assault him. As I tried to make contact, he formed a barrier to keep me away. Nevertheless, I fought back and attempted to cross through.

"I'll handle this." He stated as he looked towards his accomplice. "Go do what you came here to do. Keep Alexander alive. Do whatever you wish with the purple one."

"Hmph." The stallion shared, turning and making his way off the mountain as if he couldn't wait to do what he wanted to do. I gasped once realizing the safety of Alex and Twilight had tarnished. I forgot about attacking Night Terror and instead headed where the stallion was going.

He jumped off the cliff. Just as I was about to chase after him, Night Terror became my obstacle I couldn't so easily surpass. At that moment, I knew that I had to take care of him in any way I could, as he wasn't going to let me off without doing so.

"You see how weak you are, Luna?" He mentioned, referring to how easily he stepped in my way. "This is why you need the darkness! Become Nightmare Moon once more, and we shall be granted with everything we ever wished of!"

"No!" I shook my head and exclaimed firmly. "I do not need Nightmare Moon. I can save everypony with my true inner being. The being that only wishes to do well! You will not frighten me! I will fight for everypony dear to me!"

He merely chuckled at my empathetic statement. "If you wish…"


Twilight


I didn't ever think about leaving Alex's side. Not when he was like this. I only remained my place as I kept him in my forelegs. What was I going to do? How could I bring him back? What was I supposed to do? I had so many questions in mind, but the only thing I really cared about was seeing him full and well again.

"Well look at what we have here. Isn't that adorable?" I heard his voice slither in.

From the corner of my eye, I could see him just…looking at us. It bothered me, but I wasn't leaving Alex's side until I needed to. "Stay away from us." I demanded sternly, even though my voice didn't seem as strong as it needed to be.

"You have to admit that that's what you get." He had the nerve to say. "That's what happens when you think 'friendship' can overcome anything. Get real. Look at where the two of you are right now. Here I am, able to finish the both of you off like nothing." I only faced away from him and ignored him. "Hm…who should I pick first?"

"Don't you dare lay a hoof on him!" I shouted out bitterly in anger and frustration.

"Ooh." He mocked. "I'm so scared. You know what? Just because you told me not to, I just think I won't!" Afterwards, he brushed it off. "Hmph. You think that's going intimidate anyone? I don't even remember the last time I've been scared…"

"I don't know who you are…" I proceeded to say. "…or what you even want… To me, you're just some sadistic lunatic. You have no reason to be after us like this!"

"You have no idea…" He left me with a vague answer.

Clearly, he wasn't going to leave, and I was already getting exasperated. I couldn't just sit here and let him bother us like this. It's time I did something for a change. And it starts with him.

I took a gentle look at Alex, not so sure I'll be around to see him wake up again. "This time…I'll protect you…" I whispered softly to him. Afterwards, I planted a tender kiss on his cheek and settled him down lightly and away from us. I stood up and faced this stallion, not caring about what I was getting into. I was giving it my all before in that dream he was in. If it was true, then there was a good chance I probably wouldn't last long. I just hope it's long enough for Alex. But I had to do my best. I had to keep my promise.

"If you want to get to Alex…" I began, lighting the spark in my horn and tensing my legs. "You're going to have to go through me first!" I yelled out and then began galloping straight towards him.

"Gladly…" He mentioned last, appearing rather not at all intimidated.

I began using all I knew ever from studying with Princess Celestia and on my own. I'll be honest, I didn't focus too much on fighting with magic back then, as I never knew I would have to actually use it. Either way, things occurred just as I expected. I wasn't doing much to him besides stalling.

He continuously jumped and dodged around my attacks. I didn't even think he was trying to hurt me in the beginning. However, I knew he was going to get fed up with his current tactic sooner or later.

He chuckled as there was a recess in our battle. I was already running out of breath, and I was clinging on to the fact that I couldn't stop until Alex was safe. "Isn't this at all familiar to you?" He asked, revealing no signs of fatigue.

"…what…?" I questioned in between breaths.

"This right here." He seemed to refer the entire situation. "Only this time…I'm not going to be so lenient as before…"

"Huh?" I returned before he disappeared in sight. As I quickly turned around, I noticed a shadow come up from the ground and form back into him. I gasped as I quickly tried to defend myself with my magic as he began to strike. I grunted and groaned as I felt his power overwhelming mine. I had to perform another maneuver, or he would catch me right then and there.

"You aren't protecting anyone if you can't even protect yourself." He insulted.

Growing upset, I furrowed my eyebrows at him and felt myself huffing in anger instead. I was no longer trying to keep him away. Instead, I was forcing myself through and at him. Releasing a roar of passion as I pierced through his power, his force suddenly broke. He was pushed backwards, but he did not fall.

From there, he continued standing in silence before deciding to speak. "You're really lucky…aren't you…?"

Catching my breath from having let myself lose control of my emotions during that time, I decided to not continue after him and allowed him to speak. "…what are you…talking about…?"

"Hmph." He responded. "Looks like she's lending you a power you shouldn't have. Doesn't matter. That's not going to stop me from getting my way."

I sent him another furrowed look and then began running at him to make sure he knew I wasn't going to let that happen. Nevertheless, he released a devious sound and suddenly vanished from sight. I stopped in my tracks and quickly looked around to see if he was hiding anywhere. However, I didn't see anything suspicious nor did he try to attack me. I hopefully figured he was gone for now. After, I unexpectedly heard a groan come from Alex, causing me to widen my eyes and quickly look his way. "Alex!" I called out.

He began opening his eyes slowly, as if he had just returned from a deep sleep. They roamed around for a moment until they found me. Once they did, they widened immediately in shock and surprise. "Twilight!" He called in alarm, looking past me.

Reading into his warning, I turned around. But the last thing I remembered seeing was the sight of the stallion before everything became black.


Don't worry. Just follow my voice and you'll be fine.


Luna


Night Terror and I stared across each other after our light scuffle. It appeared we had been evenly matched for the majority. By the expression on his face, it all seemed to be entertainment for him.

Breaking the heavily silent moment, I heard a sharp cry from not too far away. It seemed to come from the direction that other stallion was seen heading. I dashed over to the edge of the cliff, but it was difficult to find where it came from.

"What do you expect to accomplish here, Luna?" He asked behind me. "Do you even have a plan? Surely, you didn't see any of this coming."

I coarsely turned to face him with an aggravated look, denying any doubt he tried to place on me. "It is true, I do not know what is of that other stallion that has accompanied you…but one thing is for certain. I have come here to stop you. To free that innocent heart you held captive inside the deepest darkness you hold! Even if I must take drastic measures!"

"And by how do you plan to do that?" He asked with a smug grin. "The Elements of Harmony that ultimately freed you are now casted into the Tree of Harmony. There is no way you can accomplish your goal."

I responded by only narrowing my eyes. Sadly for Alex, the Elements of Harmony were not what I had planned anymore. After having so much time to think not only for myself, but for everyone, I decided to do what was really best. Especially for the one held captive by Night Terror…

"No matter." He chuckled after observing my silent reply. "You don't think I idly sat by here awaiting for you to return to do what you must, do you? I still know the worries you have after having succumbed to Nightmare Moon. In fact, I can see her waiting to unleash in your eyes. All she needs is a little…push."

"Nightmare Moon is past me." I mentioned boldly. "I now have those I care for, and I will not surrender if it causes those whom I love harm!"

"You may believe so, but have you taken a look at your precious night?" He questioned, having me glance upwards and soon become fixated on the sky. The stars had all been held together unwillingly and were no longer liberated as they were supposed to be.

"What have you done?!" I angrily faced him, feeling as if he broke a personal memento.

"I'm helping you overcome your childish ways." He answered. "Remember how the moon and sky reacted in your transformation to Nightmare Moon, along with your escape back to Equestria? I'm giving you the pieces. Now's the time you act on them."

"And what makes you think I have any will to become that horrid nightmare once again?!" I argued.

"No matter how much you try to hide it, I can see how distressed you are about your 'loved ones'. In fact, right now, I know you wish to go aid them, but I am here in your way. Even if you don't feel it, you are clearly panicking inside. You are…perhaps even afraid of the darkness. You are vulnerable, Luna."

"I am not!" I shouted back.

"Then prove it." He smirked in confidence. "See if you can resist the power of Nightmare Moon."

Afterwards, he began focusing the dark magic in his horn. I noticed the alignment of the stars were being shifted once more. Soon enough, they were all forced to appear together, having them look as if there was one big light in the sky. However, Night Terror must had tainted the light they gave with his darkness, as they began releasing a large shadow. Immediately after, at the speed of what used to be light, it began shining down upon me.

Remembering this scene, I gasped and tried to quickly protect myself with my magic. But it resulted with no difference. I was still affected by this haunting shadow, and I could hear the statements I regretted sharing from such a long time ago.

There can only be one princess in Equestria! And that princess... will be me!

No! Stay away from me! I do not need your power! I revolt it!

I couldn't move or cast anything. At that point, I was truly physically vulnerable. Night Terror only watched as I tried to struggle in keeping this darkness away.

He smiled villainously. "I'll leave you to…accept your new being."

As he began walking past me to possibly join the others, I forced myself to repel Nightmare Moon as much as I could. No matter what I did, I could still feel her overcoming my body. I began feeling immense sadness as I was now scared that my willpower was not enough. Tears escaped from my eyes as I struggled to keep control of myself.

I…I can't…not again… This cannot happen. I cannot hurt all of those whom once feared me! I cannot let this happen again!

I raised a hoof and tried to push myself out of it.

Alex… Twilight… My friends…

Had it not been for the dark power that took a hold of me, I most likely would had begun sobbing uncontrollably. But even I was not granted the freedom to do that.

I have to protect you all… I mustn't…give up!

I slowly placed my hoof on my chest and remembered the charms Alex gave to the two of us. Then, I also remembered how warm I felt from receiving mine. I recalled how delighted I was to see that he actually spent the time to make something for me. How far he went to prove how much I meant to him. How would he feel to see his own mother overpowered by the one thing she fights against…?

He would…be so devastated… Everypony would…

Night Terror must have sensed that I had not completely transformed yet, so before he left, he turned to look at me. "Still trying to fight it? You're only wasting your strength. The sooner you allow it to have your heart. The sooner you will not feel the pain."

"…'have my heart'…?" I repeated. At that moment, I revealed my clenched teeth and felt determination to have the opposite. "No…" I managed to say. "I will not…surrender my heart…!" There, I began realizing the reason why I had possibly became Nightmare Moon in the first place. "Nightmare Moon shall not return! Not on my account!" I began pushing myself up, feeling less of the dark power hold me. This gained the attention of Night Terror. "You must have forgotten one thing, Night Terror…" I stated. "You've tried to use my emotions against me…but I have many things that prove I need not to worry!" I opened my eyes to be allowed to glare in confidence at him. "I once succumbed to Nightmare Moon because I felt I had nothing else to abide by! I felt so alone and isolated. Everypony loved my sister as her day, and I felt the opposite when it came to my night and me! However, I know now that I have friends and many ponies who love me for who I am! I cannot allow that to all just vanish! I must protect everypony I'm responsible for!"

"And if these 'friends' betray and rise against you? What then?! Nightmare Moon's power will be yours and yours alone forever!" He argued.

I shook my head. "Clearly you do not understand friendship…" I shared. "And if I was to give up all my magic and power to stay with my loved ones, I would do so in an instant!"

"This is absurd!" He expressed in anger. "If you think that shall save you, you are wrong. If I must stay here for a moment longer to show you that…" He began preparing the dark magic from his horn. "Then so be it!"


Alex


After having been slowly awoken, my eyes caught sight of Twilight. However, she was being welcomed by a highly hostile force.

"Twilight!" I tried to warn her, but as soon as she turned around, she was immediately dealt by the one that slyly approached her from behind. Chills shivered throughout my entire body as I heard her shriek and fall lifelessly to the floor. I released a loud gasp as that stallion stood in front of her. From there on, I attempted to get up as quickly as I could, but whatever Night Terror had shot me with still made it hard to move.

"Rule Number One…" I heard him began saying as I barely managed to turn myself around on the floor. "Don't lose your guard like an idiot." The more I felt that he was going to render Twilight absolutely lifeless, the more I panicked to get up. "Now…you finally get what you deserved for all this time…" Through a series of painful groans, I finally managed to push myself up while still feeling restricted. As soon as I saw him about to shoot a beam at Twilight, I readied up my own and threw his off-course. "Huh?!" He seemed surprised by my interruption. I was growling heavily in anger once he turned to see it. "Well, look at who decided to finally wake up." He said.

"Don't you dare lay a hoof on her!" I ordered fiercely.

He chuckled softly. "That's funny. She said the exact same thing to me before I dropped her to the ground." In a fit of rage, I charged at him. He merely hopped backwards, allowing me to trip and partially fall towards the floor. Nevertheless, it was still a good thing. I was by Twilight's body. "Look at you. You really expect to 'protect' her in the state you're in? You'd be lucky to even land a hoof on me."

"I don't care." I aggressively shared. "As long as I'm alive, I'm making sure you don't get anywhere near her!"

He didn't seem to laugh at this again. Instead, he agreed. "Fine. After all, he just said to keep you alive. Doesn't mean I can't knock you out." After a fierce growl/roar I ran at him again. Head-butting him, I had the both of us fall down along the side of a crater, bringing us to a lower level. As he easily got up, he calmly waited for me to push myself up. "You sure you still want to do this?" He asked mockingly.

Nonetheless, I answered with an aggravated roar as I headed straight towards him.


Luna


I must have placed a well-deserved fight against Night Terror as he was now brought to a panting state.

"I don't understand…" He stated. "You're so weak! Your body demands this power that will fulfill your every desire! Why must you continue to resist?!"

"I don't care what you must babble on about!" I responded. "I don't even care if my body does wish to have this power. All I know is that my heart refuses it! Don't you see? Power alone will not give you true freedom and happiness, rather the opposite! Don't you recall this?!" I began reaching towards the succumbed life beyond inside him. "Remember who you once were, Night Terror!"

My call seemed to be working, as he stumbled and planted a hoof on his head. "Foolish mare… How wrong your 'heart' is! It is no wonder you needed the dark power in the first place!"

I absolutely wished I remembered his true name. If I did, it might have been just enough to free him long enough to do what must be done. Since I didn't have his name to continue my entreat, I galloped towards him to possibly knock some sense into him. However, he ceased my movement with a spell from his magic. As I began working to free myself, I continued throwing words at him. "You will not win his body, Night Terror! He can still gain it back!"

"Your words are useless." He responded. "That's enough. I must return to my plans. Be gone, wench." He proceeded to make his way down below.

"Night Terror!" I called out loudly before I focused on removing his spell on me.


Alex


I think I was struggling with darkness as I fought him. Every now and then, my heart would sting…as if something was trying to reach it. Nevertheless, it was up to my physical being to prevent it while defending Twilight at the same time. It proved all to be the more difficult challenge so far. I only hoped I could keep the strength to endure and fight it.

Instead of it being a "fight-to-win", it was more like a "fight-to-defend". I didn't attack aggressively as I wanted, only having the focus and strength to block or parry his attacks.

At one point, he stopped, allowing me to catch my breath while he didn't need to recover at all. He only looked as I heavily panted. I wondered whether he was thinking he'd be able to defeat me, since I was so exhausted. But whatever state I was, I wouldn't give up as long as I was conscious.

Surprisingly, he didn't go for an attack. Instead, he just continued standing there. "Hmph." He expressed unexcitedly. "This is getting really boring. No way I'm going to end you like this…" After a second of silence, he sighed. He glanced up for another second and then turned back to me. "Okay, fine. You win." He said. "But don't celebrate just yet. There's still more to come…" He mentioned, turned, and formed an area of dark mist to escape through.

I didn't bother going after or even questioning him. Instead, I turned and galloped back up the crater. From there, I was able to see Twilight's body in the same place. I was relieved, but at the same time very worried. Who knows what he did to her…

"Twilight!" I called out her name and raced over to her. I held her up around my forelegs and continued to try to reach out to her. "Twilight… Twilight! Come on! Wake up!"

"Don't waste your effort." I heard nearby, causing me to turn my head. I noticed Night Terror standing not too close by but still at an uncomfortable distance. "Her heart is asleep. She will not wake up."

I furrowed my eyebrows at him. "What do you know about her heart?"

"Plenty." He began to take a step forward, having me tense up. "Much more than you have ever known."

"Yeah, right…" I responded with what I could only really say.

"Tell me…" He began. "Do you recall what happened the day the two of you became prince and princess?"

What was he talking about? Our coronation? Twilight becoming an Alicorn? "What are you getting at?"

He sighed and shook his head in disappointment. "Foolish boy. Allow me to show you." He closed his eyes and began focusing his magic. A dark aura formed around Twilight. Soon enough, my heart began beating immensely as I clenched at my chest. It was acting so uncomfortably, keeping me practically incapacitated.

"W-what are you…?" I inquired.

"Do you need me to spell it out for you?!" He seemed annoyed at my apparent ignorance. "The nightmare I'm sending to Twilight is gaining a reaction from your own heart! Don't you see?! The two of you are connected!"

"W…what…?" I couldn't understand what he meant by "connected". Even so, this reaction I was getting from heart was distracting me from focusing on what he tried to get me to see.

"Still…you understand nothing…" He shook his head again. I lifted up mine to take another look at him and surprisingly he was a different pony. For some reason, he didn't look like the Night Terror I remembered. Instead, it was a pony that somehow looked familiar, but I had no memory of who it was! "I know all that there is to know."

"W-Who are you!?" I demanded almost desperately.

He continued staring at me with a smug grin for a moment before he replied. "It is I, Astro Eclipse, and I will make sure this night will be a night nopony will forget."

As he began making his way towards Twilight and me, somepony else suddenly landed in front of me. "No!" It was Luna. "Stop!" She cried out differently. She began to run straight at him as she pleaded. "Don't get near hi—"

The pony who claimed himself to be "Astro Eclipse" merely threw her to the side with his magic as he continued walking. I couldn't do anything as he approached us. "I will deal with you in a moment. As for now, I will trap this mare's heart in an unending nightmare and use her magic for myself."

"Stop…!" I tried to exclaim, feeling fear invade my heart. I couldn't even tell if it was mine or Twilight's… "Don't…" I held out a hoof towards him.

"And what are you going to do to stop me?" He asked. I couldn't give a straight answer to that. "As I thought." He knocked my hoof away and me to the ground. "It is time things worked my way now. No longer will I be interrupted and opposed by such imprudent beings. And I will begin with this naïve princess! Prepare!" He warned Twilight, as if she was able to hear the things he was saying. "For now I shall render you useless once and for all!"

He began focusing his magic as my heart beat stronger and faster the closer he got Twilight. If it was true that Twilight and I were…connected…then it was either one of us, or perhaps the both us, that were scared for our lives right now. But I couldn't do anything… I…I felt immobilized.

Alex!

I heard someone calling my name, and before I knew it, I was crossing horns with this Astro guy. "Forget it…" I told him as I glared right at his eyes. "You're not hurting my little sister…!" I knocked his horn away, pushing him a few steps back.

"So you still wish to fight…?" He questioned as he scowled right back at me. "If you're looking to receive the same treatment…then so be it!"

He charged right at me again, slamming his horn against mine. This time, he shot a ray of magic into my horn. My horn sparked and sent me a shock of pain. Afterwards, he grabbed me and threw me behind him.

I began picking myself up and then tried to make use of some attacks with magic, but something was definitely off. I couldn't use any magic! It was as if the connection in my horn and my magic was cut off. The only thing I could get out of it were little sparks of magic. Nevertheless, he actually rendered my magic useless!

As he walked intimidatingly to me, he grabbed a giant boulder of moon rock and appeared as if he was going to crush me with it. As soon as he released it with his magic, I had no choice but to move out of the way as quickly as I could, seeing as I couldn't use any magic.

As I tried to gain my balance, he seized me with his magic again and brought me closer to him to meet face-to-face. "Do you still think you can change anything?" He threw me afterwards and began heading to Twilight. "You're useless just as she is!"

"No…!" I pushed myself up and ran towards him, stopping his magic by countering with my horn.

"I will end you!" He growled.

There he began to push towards me, readying his magic for Twilight when I was out of his way so I wouldn't be able to stop him quick enough. I felt myself weakening at his physical strength. He was gaining the lead on my block, and as soon as he would remove me from his sight, it would be all over.

I felt the force of my horn and head begin to dwindle. It was all beginning to shake from loss. He was dangerously close to pushing me away, but I tried with all my might to prevent him. No matter what, my strength was already at the brink of giving out.

I thought about Twilight and not wanting to let her down. I had to protect her because if I lost her, I would never forgive myself. Inside my mind, I was calling out for Twilight for a reason I did not even know. I just so wished for aid. I never wanted to fight without her again!

"Begone!" He exclaimed.

At the edge of falling defeated, I suddenly felt a wave of rejuvenation flow through me. From there, I opened my eyes and stared daggers from them. I began slowly pushing forward. I wasn't exactly winning, but I was keeping him further away from Twilight. However, I still didn't know if I'd be able to keep it up.

But fortunately, I was saved! From behind Astro Eclipse came my mother. With a fierce look on her face, she created a glow on her horn and thrusted it at him. From that, he ceased his force on me and the glow on his horn died out. Nevertheless, he remained staring at me, not even sparing a glance at Luna. "Perhaps I underestimated you…" He said as he began…fading away. "I'll be waiting…"

Afterwards, he disappeared.

"What just happened?" I questioned Luna, a little out of breath. "What did you do?"

"Do not relax yet…" Luna answered frankly. "…I only sent him to the dreamscape…"

"Then what do we do now?" I asked, feeling worry and perhaps even a little panic from the thought of him roaming around there.

Luna turned to Twilight's body that still laid unconscious. "Let us get her to a safer place first."


Without wasting anytime, we took Twilight back to the Castle of the Two Sisters using the same way we left. Luna made sure to remove both the dark magic and portal caused by it. I only restlessly observed Twilight, hoping she would wake up soon. But she didn't. What if he was right…?

"It is best if I get my sister for this matter." Luna approached me, referring to Twilight.

"What about Night Terror?" I reminded, still feeling uneasy for his apparent freedom in the dreamscape.

"We must tend to Twilight before him." Luna answered honestly.

"Then take me to him!" I surprised Luna with my response. "I'll make sure he doesn't escape somehow while you go get Celestia for Twilight!"

"Alex…!" Luna stated with widened and shocked eyes. "It's too dangerous for you to go alone!"

"It probably is…" I returned with a bit of doubt. "…but we can't risk having him escape! I don't want to have to go through this all over again! I just want to stop him already!"

"Alex…" Luna appeared to be frightened at the thought of me going alone. She released a heavy sigh and remained silent for a moment. Then, she began speaking again. "If I send you to him, I'm immediately coming after you when I get Celestia, understand?"

"Yes!" I softly exclaimed, just wanting to get everything over with.

She sent me uneasy eyes. "…are you absolutely sure about this…?"

At that point, I felt two options were given to me. Keeping my word or telling her that I probably needed a few minutes to figure things out. But looking at Twilight, I couldn't risk the latter.

"It's now or never." I stated.

Luna sighed once more but nodded almost hesitantly. "Okay."

She closed her eyes and began focusing her own magic. As I felt her aura around me, I shut my eyes and prepared for my transition to visit Night Terror and hopefully end things once and for all.


I underwent the same transition as I did when I traveled to Sweetie Belle's dream. However, one thing concerned me. Luna told me that she had sent him to the dreamscape…but she wasn't exactly clear on that… Could she have possibly sent him to my dream?

That question left me preoccupied as I attempted to remain focused on the transition. It was as if it began with a recall of tonight's events and it slowly transformed into a different scenario. Clouded skies formed, lightning flash, and thunder roared. I must had been getting closer.

But I really wanted to get this over with. In some way, I honestly didn't want to see his face again. I haven't received answers about Spirit at all, and I was expecting I would finally have them in a short time. I just wanted to clear everything out.

The dream world began looking familiar and clear. I narrowed my eyes and prepared for arrival. This was it. This had to be the end. No more running. No more escaping. Everything was going to finish now.

I had forgotten about my rough landing before and just barely remembered I had to slow down. While I barely passed on yielding, I still came in like a shooting star and approached the ground that had been visible. I didn't seem to hurt myself, but I was out of breath for that moment.

"You never get enough, do you?" I heard his distant and dark voice.

"You…" I pushed myself up, continuing to catch my breath as I noticed the same mysterious stallion before. "…what are…what are you doing here?" I asked, wondering how he was able to be in a dream as well.

"Still clueless as ever…" He shook his head while looking towards the ground. As he did so, it gave me the chance to observe my surroundings. If I remembered correctly…it appeared to be the area I faced off Night Terror for the first time. "Okay." He said. "Let me start off with this. Ever noticed something off about you? You know. Especially when you were trying to get your friend back from the Nightmare she was in?"

As I took in my last panting breaths, I thought about it. What is he talking about? When I was trying to…save Rarity? I closed my eyes and then remembered the one on one encounter with Nightmare Rarity. There was…something that didn't want to happen that would've rescued Rarity easily. "The light…" I began to recall. "…inside me… It was like…it just…disappeared."

"There you go." He encouraged. "And that 'light' is supposedly in your heart right? Well then look into your heart. How does it feel?"

I kept my closed eyes and concentrated. As I now had the time to truly focus on the emotions in my heart…it was all just a bunch of hurt and sadness. It was no wonder why I haven't smiled at all for all this time. "It's…" I began to express. "It's really…aching…so much… At the same time…it feels…empty…"

"Now we're getting somewhere." He continued to react sympathetic-less. "So, now connect the two. Your light…and your heart. Your heart feels empty, so your light is pretty much 'empty'. But there's still one thing missing from this equation. The reason why it feels empty."

"…you…you know…?!" I softly exclaimed in surprise, seeing how this stallion could possibly know so much.

"More than you believe." He responded with. "Now, think about it. When did you really start feeling empty?"

I took a moment before I answered… "…the morning Tirek escaped…" I mostly told myself.

"And what happened right before that morning?" He questioned.

I thought about it and realized something. However, instead of answering, I grew angry at him. "You know what happened?!" I reacted.

"I would be stupid if I didn't." He returned. "But stop getting off-track here. You wanted answers didn't you? Well, I'm actually helping you trying to get them right now. Now recall that night. In the dream. Tell me again what happened."

"I…" It pained me very much inside to remember. "…I…I hurt Spirit…"

"Exactly." He surprised me. "You 'hurt' Spirit and you felt empty afterwards."

Ninety percent of me felt like I knew what he was talking about, but ten percent still demanded clarification. "Wait!" I ceased. "What are you getting at?! What does Spirit have to do with my heart?!"

"This mare you call 'Spirit' plays…quite an important and interesting role." I heard another voice come behind me, having me quickly turn. Night Terror approached the scene. "However, it was a role we couldn't come to admire. We had to instead…diminish it to the best of our abilities."

"Yeah." The stallion agreed. "We're both out for different things, but the one common goal was getting rid of this 'Spirit', so… I guess you can say we kind of…planned things out. I caused some kind of interest when I took her hoodie that you were complaining so much about and you are now ironically wearing." He pointed to me, having me look down to see it. "Returned it back to her and convinced her that if she didn't permanently disappear, you would instead."

"What?!" I heatedly questioned.

"Hmph." He chuckled shortly. "Knowing her, she'd do anything for you. Little did you know, she cares a whole lot more about you than you think." I gasped. "That's why she went as far as to hurt herself so much to save you."

"Why…?" I began to inquire, feeling myself began to boil up and become furious. "Why did you lie to her and tell her to do that?!" I shouted out.

"You're still unable to connect the pieces, huh?" He responded. He sighed, shook his head, and clicked his tongue. "No wonder you've been losing so much. But if I have to really answer it for you…" He paused for a short moment before he finally decided to explain. "Spirit was really inside you all along."

I widened my eyes in shock as I gasped once again. "…what…?"

"You know how she always disappeared from sight every time one of your friends would come around?" He then proceeded to laugh for his next statement. "It was because she didn't want your friends to think you were crazy! What do I mean? Only you were able to see her when you were conscious. I guess she was really crazy about taking risks with you finding out the truth. But anyway, I'm getting off-topic here." He looked past me to Night Terror. "Why don't you explain the whole reason about getting rid of her?"

"Certainly." Night Terror returned and began his part. "We needed to be rid of her because it led us to a wide variety of options. She was the mare that controlled your light. And with her gone, you would not be able to voluntary control it yourself, placing you at a high vulnerability. With your light 'gone' and no mare to use it, you'd no longer be protected against the darkness. We're here to give you two options, both of which you may obviously not prefer. You will choose only the two. One: you leave your friends and family behind, and accept the darkness into your heart. Two: You don't accept the darkness, but either way you'll be leaving your loved ones, as we'd be glad to be rid of you."

"Yep." The stallion began again. "You have no choice because that little filly is all gone. Completely and permanently gone."

"…what…?" I asked, feeling my heart drop immensely. "She's…?" I began feeling their words impact the way I thought, but I couldn't have that. I shook my head, desperately not wanting to believe it. "No… You're wrong…" I remembered the last talk I had with her before leaving her to rest. "She's going to be okay… I know it…"

"Oh, give it up!" The stallion raised his voice, as if he was tired of what he possibly thought was my stubbornness. "She's gone! Really, you could just think of her as a figment of your memory that never really existed now. And you want to know what the funny thing is? You did it. You ended her. And you never really knew how much she cared about you."

"No…!" I felt myself becoming frustrated.

Before I could argue back, Night Terror continued on the conversation. "However…it is a past thing. We will not dwell on it any longer. Right now, you must make your choice. Accept the darkness and lose your loved ones? Or deny it and still lose your loved ones. I personally prefer the first. Who needs others when you have power to obtain anything you want? You can scare a pony into thinking your almighty and be your 'friend' if you wish." He chuckled offensively. I felt every part of my body clench in anger to his thoughts on others. "Hearts are really a fun thing to play around with, especially knowing that all the heart does is really make you weaker with these 'feelings'. Once you learn to throw always those feelings, nothing can stop you." He turned to me. "You're the proof of how intriguing it is to manipulate such 'strong' hearts."

"Just stop it!" I finally shouted out, feeling that I've had enough of both their negative talk. "You think you can treat ponies' hearts like they're things you can just play around with, but they're not!" He raised his eyebrows in amusement, and I continued to speak freely and deeply despite the fact that he may have not been taking me seriously. "None of you may understand how special our hearts are to us, but they're the reason why we fight! These 'feelings' our hearts have give us the courage to face things like you. They're the reason why we don't cower and give up. In fact, mine's the reason why I'm here tonight instead of hiding under my bed… It's the reason…why I know I have the strength to defeat you…"

"Hmph." The stallion interrupted. "You were only 'strong' because of the mare you had inside of you. Other than that, you're really just like anypony else. You're just really lucky enough to be an Alicorn, but even that doesn't matter when you don't have any light to counter the darkness. Don't you see? We're the nice ones here. We're actually offering you darkness so you can feel useful. Isn't that what you always wanted? To have a purpose in life?"

I felt…saddened by that remark. I felt my head lower and my lungs exhaust a breath. This was true…but it definitely wasn't the way I wanted. In fact…I knew I already had a purpose… "I do have a purpose… I don't care about 'power'… The only thing that matters is them…" I closed my eyes and thought about everyone. I didn't think not only about my best and closest friends, but all of my friends. "All of them…" Princess Celestia. Princess Luna. Miss Cadence. Shining Armor. Twilight. Spike. Fluttershy. Applejack. Rarity. Pinkie Pie. Rainbow Dash. Maud. Coco Pommel. Daring Do. Cheese Sandwich. Seabreeze. Applebloom. Sweetie Belle. Scootaloo. Derpy. Vinyl. Octavia. Lyra. Heck, even Discord and Bulk Biceps. Everyone. As I thought about them, I felt them as if they right by me, supporting my choice and thoughts with the warmth of their presence. "They're the reason I keep fighting…even if my heart is empty… To protect all of them… That's my purpose… I don't need darkness… Not when I have all of them. Even if I can't protect myself…they're willing to protect me!" I shouted out in a glare at the stallion. "I don't need these little things you call 'power'. All I need is something to fight for. And I have it! I always will! You want to know what my real power is? Ultimately, my friends are all the power I need!"

After my lengthy response, the stallion only stared at me. I couldn't tell how he was feeling…but I felt…I finally got a good hit on him. Otherwise, he would have gave some kind of dumb and childish answer. After dwelling in a moment of silence, he scoffed. "I'm tired of hearing this." He turned to Night Terror. "You do what you want. I'm out of here." He turned and faded off, leaving me to only face Night Terror.

"So, I assume you won't be accepting the darkness then?" Night Terror asked, appearing to have completely ignored the meaning of my message. "Alright. That isn't stopping me from obtaining what I wish." He horn began being surrounded by a dark, misty, and dreamy aura. "If you do not wish to side with me, I shall have you eradicated. See how well your 'friends' are with saving you from me."

I bended and readied my hooves, planting them on the ground and refusing to run away. "Just try me."

He furrowed his eyebrows and clenched his teeth. As he began preparing the battlefield to attempt to dispose me, I only contained a fixated look directly on him. As I slowly and calmly huffed out deep breaths of anger and vengeance, a few words slipped under my breath with a tear slipping from my right eye.

"This is for you, Spirit..."


Twilight


I raced along the track, trusting the promise she said she'd keep. I had to find Alex to make sure we'd stay together until the end.

As I followed the familiar and recognizable rocky path, I heard loud vibrating sounds coming from the distance. I hurried as quickly as I could until I came to a visible sight. There, I believed to have spotted him, along with Night Terror! However, Night Terror was hurling boulders, possibly even asteroids or meteors at him! Alex didn't look like he was taking any caution. He was just charging straight towards Night Terror while dodging and breaking apart those rocks as much as he could!

I had to go help him! I'm sure the two of us will make a difference! It's time for the prince and princess to protect the good of everypony!

As I dashed my way through, I was just about to arrive to his aid until Night Terror suddenly got a lead. He managed to occupy Alex with one of his large projectiles. As soon as Alex was able to be rid of it, Night Terror immediately surprised him with another one. It crashed right in front of him, and he was knocked back and thrown to the floor as the broken pieces of the rock were hurled at him. Night Terror began sinisterly approaching him as Alex had a hard time getting up. But I wasn't having it!

With my teleportation, I sharply appeared in front of Alex, stopping Night Terror in his tracks.

"Hold it!" I halted. "You want him? You're going to have to go through me first!"


Alex


"Twilight…!" I was amazed at her return. She was alright! But what was she doing in my dream? Who cared? I was just glad to see her again!

"Ah, it is you, princess." Night Terror seemed to take gladly. "Allow me to thank you for coming to his side. I can destroy the both of you at once."

I finally pushed myself up and joined Twilight determined glare at Night Terror. "No, you're not!" I returned confidently. "With the two of us, we can do what you think is the impossible! Like you've mentioned about before, there's a reason why the two of us are connected! It's for situations exactly like this! I should have put away my doubts before…" I shared an apologetic glance with Twilight, who noticed and reacted with a concerned look. "I should have known that…no matter how things look…we always do things together. That's the reason…because the two of us will bring light to this darkness!" I pointed back at Night Terror.

"Foolish ponies!" Night Terror hissed. "Still, after all this time you understand nothing… Your words are useless if you have no real power to withstand the weight of them!"

The ground immediately began shaking. Before we knew it, the ground began breaking apart and falling to the endless abyss that appeared below. It started with Night Terror and us. He removed the ground below us.

Twilight released a shocked yelp, having me grab her hoof before she fell to the abyss. I spread out my wings to keep the both of us afloat. "Twilight…! Come on!" I struggled to say, holding the weight of her with my hoof. "We've got to get to solid ground!"

Twilight began to remove the weight by recovering her wings to fly. "Let's go!" She began flying, expecting me to be right by her side. However, since I had been too focused on her instead of Night Terror, Night Terror surprised me with a direct hit as Twilight began leaving. Twilight took notice just as I began falling. "Alex!" She cried out.

I worked so hard to work my wings again, hoping I wouldn't get sucked into the abyss that I knew nothing about below. However, just as I had begun flying in balance again, I looked up in front of me to see another boulder being hurled at me. I only widened my eyes in shock, unable to react quickly enough.

Based on how close I appeared to be by the abyss, there seemed a pretty good chance that this boulder would end me by rendering my wings totally useless! Honestly, I couldn't move as bravely as I wanted to. The real reaction I returned was a yell and flinching expression.

Just as I was waiting to be hit, something suddenly flashed past me. The boulder didn't hit me, and I felt like it had been suddenly ceased. As I opened my eyes and looked, I was outstandingly surprised when I saw who it was that stopped it!

"Spirit!" I greatly acknowledged her sudden and unexpected arrival.

"Come on, Alex!" She turned to me with furrowed eyebrows. "Let's stop him! He doesn't belong here! Give me your hoof!" She held hers out.

I furrowed my eyebrows and nodded determinedly, feeling all of my worries suddenly vanish. "Okay!" I grabbed her hoof and in practically an instant, I felt my heart reattach itself and become intertwined with another. It was no longer empty!

With a fierce battle yell, the two of us sent the boulder hurling back in the direction Night Terror must have been in. Spirit had held onto the boulder, as it she was going to steer it herself. I returned to the ground with Twilight, who also appeared to be mighty surprised of Spirit's introduction as well. On the other hoof, we got to witness the absolute dismay of Night Terror, whom appeared to be in total denial at Spirit's presence.

"You!" He pointed out. "You're not supposed exist!"

"Oh yeah?!" Spirit answered with eyes that were ready to prove him wrong. "Well, check this then!" She shouted and dove the boulder straight at Night Terror.

Night Terror didn't react in time, as he must have been so overwhelmed with his unchecked reality. He had been wrong about Spirit the entire time. Both of them had! He was struck and sent hurling to the ground by us while Spirit had jumped off the boulder and landed nearby.

He began painfully trying to bring himself back up, holding a hoof to his horn as if he had been severely disabled.

"Alex, Twilight!" Spirit called the two of us. "We have to work together!"

"Huh?" The two of us questioned her.

"The both of you are connected to me!" She explained. "We need to pull the light out and finish him once and for all!"

Already having experience of the light, I grabbed Twilight's hoof and began bringing her over to Night Terror's body while Spirit closely followed. "Twilight! Just focus on not only us, but everypony!" I began instructing her. "Think about how everypony would be happier without this kind of darkness in the world! And use that thought like you would with magic!"

After taking that in for a moment with a slightly confused expressed, she transformed that into a sure one and nodded. "Okay!"

The three of us gathered around Night Terror as he weakly glanced at us all.

"Come on!" Spirit guided. "Let's end this together!"

The three of us followed our instructions and thought of the future we'd have without this burdening darkness. Rays of light seemed to be pulled out from each of us, connecting to one ball of light in the middle and on top of Night Terror.

Finally, he appeared to be stricken with fear as he widened his eyes and stared at the dreaded light. It came straight down at him, defeating and eliminating every particle of his darkness. The strength of the light was so strong, our own eyes were blinded by it.


I felt myself waking up, like if I just had a pretty odd dream. But an exclaiming voice soon snapped me out of it. When I was able to see clearly, I noticed Twilight by my side also seeming to just wake up. I believed I saw Princess Luna and Celestia with a whole lot of others around her, that including the girls.

Nevertheless, Luna noticed something that caught her widened eyes and began running towards it. I turned in the direction she ran to and quickly joined her. She knelt by…somepony that had me awfully curious and concerned. I joined her and soon gasped by who it was.

This pony looked highly familiar… I mean… it was the pony I had seen differently that was apparently labeled as "Astro Eclipse". Only this time, he looked a lot less evil. He seemed to groan as he weakly tried to pull himself together.

"Are you alright?" Luna caringly asked him.

"Luna…" He answered, looking up to notice the sight of her face. With a feeble chuckle, he looked pretty happy to see her. "It's been…so long since I've gotten to truly see your face."

"The feeling is mutual." She returned with a soft smile.

He turned and noticed me. If it wasn't for his frailness, I'm pretty sure he would have given a huge reaction in his surprise for me. Nevertheless, I could still tell he was…astounded. "I'm guessing this is him?"

Luna, looking almost as if she could just cry right then and there nodded with a gleeful smile. "Yes. He's grown so much, hasn't he?"

"Indeed, he has." He stated while continuing to proudly smile at me.

I felt…paralyzed all of a sudden. I knew I should had known it that instant, but…it actually took me a while to realize that this was finally him… While he wasn't exactly my biological father…he was the true father I was supposed to have.

"Is it…really you…?" I asked, dumbfounded.

"Well…I sure hope it is." He joked. While I stood there completely speechless and unable to think of any words, he focused on the others surrounding us. "You all must be his friends, huh?"

"Yes." Twilight responded, looking a bit stunned herself.

"Not to sound rude or anything…" Rainbow began answering. "But…who are you…?"

"I guess…you can say I'm Alex's dad…" He responded a bit sheepishly as if he was unsure himself.

"WHAT?!" Mostly all of them shouted out in surprise.

"It's complicated…" He added.

"It's…it's so nice to finally meet you!" Twilight approached and shook his hoof, even though he kind of had a flimsy grip. "I never thought I would actually get to meet you!" It was pretty funny how just a second ago, she was so aggressive when he was Night Terror, but now… "My name is Twilight Sparkle." She began formally introducing herself. "Your son is just a great friend to have!" I began feeling a bit embarrassed… "We're tighter than the pages of a completely drenched book!" Nice metaphor…

Her "adorkable" behavior seemed to make him laugh. "That's great to hear. What about the rest you?" He requested.

"Name's Rainbow Dash!" Rainbow flew up proudly. "I'm all about speed and bashing clouds!"

"And I'm Applejack. I proudly work at a farm that sells the best darn apples and apple products!" Applejack said next.

"Pinkie Pie!" Pinkie cheerfully and excitedly hopped in. "Gosh! You're new in Ponyville! I have to throw a big welcoming party for you."

"No thanks." He answered a little oddly. "I…won't be staying here too long." That statement seemed to…disturb me. But I didn't try to think too much into it, according to the conversation.

"I am Miss Rarity." Rarity presented herself as she fluffed a piece of her mane. "I must say your son is absolutely quite the smashing stallion." Rarity shared with flirtatious eyes at me. I wonder if she was able to feel free with her feelings ever since the talk before this happened...

"I'm…glad…?" He reacted a bit awkwardly. The way he acted…seemed to be as if he was still pretty young. I guess that's one thing Luna and he had in common…

"Spike here!" Spike walked in. "I'm mostly Twilight's number one assistant, but hanging with Alex is cool too!"

I turned to Fluttershy, whom was still pretty shy to introduce herself, especially to my dad. I waved a hoof at her to come over. She a bit reluctantly did so, but as soon as she was by my side, I wrapped a hoof around hers. "This is Fluttershy." I stated for her.

"Hi…" She timidly shared.

"We're…you know." I tried to hint towards him.

"Ah…!" He seemed to grab the hint. "That must be really nice." After having seen everyone except one more pony, he turned to her. "Princess Celestia…I…I hope you know that what I did…" He cleared his throat. "…all those years ago…" He paused and then sighed greatly. "I hope you can forgive me."

She shook her head and understood. "I understand. I suppose…in a way…it was good. It seemed to have brought us Alex here." She turned and smile warmly at me.

"Yeah…" He nodded. "Yeah…I'm really sorry…and I hate what I uncontrollably did so long ago…but I guess that's one thing to be proud of, huh?" He looked at me a little longer and then held a hoof to his chest, as if something was bothering him. He turned to Luna. "Luna…I think it's time to…"

Luna suddenly frowned and closed her eyes, nodding. This caused me to become alerted in concern.

"Sister…" Luna turned to Celestia.

"Right…" Celestia responded solemnly and then turned to everyone else. "All of you…please come with me."

"Huh?" Rainbow Dash questioned. "What's going on?"

"Just please. Come." Celestia requested in a way that I believe she hadn't before, having the others not question her and follow. Before they completely left, Celestia look over to Astro and nodded. "I must…thank you…and bid you farewell." Then, she left, along with the others that became concerned.

The ones left in the room was Luna, Astro, and me. "Hey…" I began questioning, feeling fear rise up. "…what's going on…?"

Luna and Astro shared a…troubling look with each other.

"I think you better let us talk in private…" Astro told Luna. "I'll…um…you know…"

"Yes…" She nodded. "I've…prepared myself for this." Luna seemed to want to reach out to Astro, but she stopped when she remembered I was here. She gave a lengthy sign, sent another look to Astro, and then finally left.

"Dad…?" I said. "…what's going on? Why are you acting weird?"

She sighed greatly. "I don't know how to say this…" He seemed to be struggling greatly, but at the same time, he didn't have a whole lot of time to think of the right words. "…the best way I can think of is… I can't stay here."

"Huh?" I was pretty confused. "You're talking about Ponyville, right?" I guessed from the answer he gave to Pinkie Pie.

"No…" He hesitantly returned. "I'm talking about…anywhere."

"What…?" I was still puzzled, but in a more disturbed way.

"Listen…" He began getting frank. "You're…big now. So, I'm hoping you'll understand. I'm…not completely free, okay?"

"Free of what?" I needed specific clarification.

"You've known me as Night Terror." He recalled. "Well…it's not like…it's gone."

"…huh?"

"That darkness that made me Night Terror. It's not gone." He took a moment. "And it never will be."

"What are you talking about?" I suddenly began feeling fearfully desperate. "What do you mean it'll never be gone? We can find something to make it go away."

"You can't, Alex. Trust me." He stated seriously.

"W-w-what about the Elements of Harmony?" I offered. "T-that's what Luna and I planned!"

"You returned them to the Tree of Harmony." He said. "Even if you could take them out, it would pose great risk to Equestria again. Plus, I wouldn't think it'd work anyway."

"Why?" I almost demanded.

He sighed. "Well…I've…I've been controlled by this… 'Night Terror' for so long… And there's no doubt he'll come again. That's why…" He seemed to struggle greatly for the next part. "…that's why…you… You need to end it."

My eyes widened as my pupil dilated significantly. "…what are you saying…?"

"You know exactly what I'm saying." He replied frankly. "While I'm weak. You need to do it. And you need to do it real soon. I can already feel myself…being eaten up."

"What?! Why?! I'm-I'm sure we can…find something! Zecora can probably mix something up for you! It'll probably keep you going until we find something to—"

"Alex!" He exclaimed, cutting me off. "Stop. This is the best thing for everybody."

"B-b-but I can't…" I felt myself tearing up. "Not after seeing you…like this…"

"I know…" He understood. "It kind of…makes me wish that you were able to end me right then and there with Night Terror. But you have to do it…no matter what."

"I…I…I just…" I tried to fight.

"Stop it, Alex. The more you wait, the harder it is for you." He mentioned truthfully. "This isn't just for everypony else… It's for me too… I think it's best for me if I leave as well."

"H…how…?" I wanted to know as I felt completely drained.

He sighed with a shaking head. "Even if…I did stay like this…and the darkness inside me posed no threat to anypony else…it'd still be like I…I have this painful illness. I wouldn't be able to live happily with it. But the most important thing is…I shouldn't even be here in the first place." I gasped lightly. "Do you know where all of my family and friends besides you and Luna are, Alex?" He asked, but it seemed more to be a rhetorical question. "Not here." He placed lightly. "They're all gone…and I should have been too a long time ago. But this…stupid curse had me stay and hurt others… You and I can't let that happen anymore."

"…what about, Luna?" I mentioned.

"She knows… I guess she's realized it for a while now." He said.

"I just…" I felt my breathing becoming irregular from the sadness that was building up. "…I don't know if I can…"

"You have to, Alex…" He returned. "You need a life without the danger of me…and I guess…I need my peace." I looked at him, trying to absorb what he was saying. I knew… I hadn't been around as long as he had…but it still bugged me to be ending things like this. "I'm sorry to have to do this, Alex." He included. "But you've been living your whole life without me. I know that sounds like a bad thing to say, but honestly…it's good for this circumstance. Like I said, it's better you do this now. Get things over with." Get things over with…? Huh… That's what I thought too… He suddenly jerked his hoof to his chest and strained his eyes in pain. "You have to hurry…! I don't…know how long I'll be like this." I struggled. I tried to get in position, but I really didn't want to do this. "Come on! Hurry!" He raised his voice, frightening me and pushing me to do it.

I stood in front of him and began working up my magic to fire…but that's really as far as I got. The magic stood in my horn, ready to fatally shoot out…but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. My emotions were getting in the way of my physical push. I felt tears slipping out. Finally, as if I had lost all physical strength, I gave up. "…I…I can't…" I expressed weakly.

"You have to try…" He tried to encourage.

I nodded, knowing deep inside me that…this was really what had to be done… "I know…"

After a few seconds of hesitance, he began groaning in pain. "Hurry…! You don't have much time!"

But like the idiot I was, I only stood there, unable to focus and do the job. Soon enough, some kind of dark power shot from him to me, throwing a piercing sting through my body. From there on, I growled in anger at the fact that there was no turning back now. I pointed my readied horn at him, but I still couldn't push myself to do it.

More dark shots came from him, shocking me and causing me to almost kneel down in pain. My dad saw this happen.

"FOR CELESTIA'S SAKE, DO IT, SON!" He bellowed out loudly, causing me to gasp and suddenly shoot a shot at him, knocking him back, but he still stood up, taking the pain.

What was sad is that I didn't even do it on my own account. It was his frightening scream that terrified me into doing it. Nonetheless, I kept pointing it at him. The insides of me began weeping out like a horrified child that wasn't ready for this at all. I took into account of the extreme pain he was in, suffering from both my attack and the darkness eating him up. Taking note of this, I bit my lower lip immensely and strained my teary eyes. I had to finish this!

I forced myself to shoot another strong beam of fatal magic. This finally knocked him back…but to his knees. This kept the darkness from his at bay until he was able to recover from the pain of that shot. He slowly placed his hooves in front of him in exhaustion and agony. Then…he slowly turned his head towards me. I knew he was telling me it was okay and to take the final shot. I…I even saw it in his eyes… He was waiting… Waiting to finally be free from all of it…

This caused me to start weeping. I closed my eyes forcefully and turned my head away. From there…I did it… I took the final shot. I could hear the sound of his body fall straight to the floor. Even though I probably shouldn't have, I looked back. There, I saw his body lying on the floor completely lifeless.

I was completely silent. I slowly walked to his body as I heard the echo of each step. Standing in front of it, I allowed myself to fall hardly on my knees. There, the tears I had been suppressing so much just fell out like a waterfall. I began sniffling greatly and lowered my head in absolute wretchedness. "I-I…" I tried to say. "I'm s-sorry…" I cried out.

I continued sitting there, knowing I would never be able to forget what just happened here. I heard somepony else walk in and sit by my side. From the calm and expecting reaction, I figured it was Luna. As she stared at the body…possibly and silently expressing her goodbye and respects, she wrapped a wing around me as I just threw out my sorrow.


I stayed on my bed, completely broken unable to remove the scene from my head. I think…everypony learned what I had to do and they were giving me my space. It was one of those moments…where I didn't want to be alone…but I knew I needed it to think things through. However, all I could think about was what I did…

I think it was already morning by the time we had left the Castle of the Two Sisters…which was…surprising. I didn't keep track of the time I wallowed inside my house…but it felt like hours…hours that just flew by.

I believed I also heard a sound of someone walking in and up the stairs…but I didn't pay attention to it. I only continued staring at the wall. In all honestly, it could have been a villainous intruder, and I wouldn't have done anything about it. But fortunately, it was just Twilight as she arrived in my bedroom with a restless and worried face.

"Hey…" She greeted lightly, earning nothing but silence from me. "How are you doing…?" She asked, but I couldn't answer with anything. Understanding, she took a seat next to me and rested her head on my shoulder. "I'm really sorry…" She apologized. "I know…this must be hard for you…but I'm sure he's proud of you for doing it."

I finally felt the need to talk. "…he was my dad, Twilight…" I said with a shaking voice. "…he might have not been a dad I thought he was…but still…he actually cared about me… Or…at least he would have…" I turned to that blanket Luna had given me. I almost hated it as it had given me strong hope for his safe return.

"I know…" She responded. "…but sometimes…we all have to do things we really don't want to do…for the better."

I sighed and buried my head.

"Alex…" I heard another voice, causing me to lift my head back up. Spirit was standing in front of me, catching Twilight's attention too. "…can I please show you something…?"

"…what?" I wondered.

"It's outside…" She said. "It might not…completely make you feel better. But I think it'll really help."

I turned to Twilight and sent her a look. I decided to accept. "I guess I need to get out of the house anyway…"

Spirit led Twilight and me outside of the house, where I surprisingly found the rest of the girls, along with Luna and Celestia. They all seemed to have been waiting by. I wondered if it was in case I did anything crazy or something…

As soon as Applejack noticed me, she completed hopped over to me. "Alex? How are you? Are you alright?"

"I…" I didn't know how to answer that, and it was probably best if I didn't. I turned away to see Spirit isolated away from us. She looked back at me, waiting for me to continue following her. "Come on." I stated, inviting along the rest of them to where Spirit was taking me. She didn't seem to mind.


She ended up taking us through the Everfree Forest, which the others began questioning.

Twilight ended their questions by asking them to wait and see until we stopped.

Finally, we arrived at the Tree of Harmony, which was filling my own head with questions. Spirit continued walking, stood near the box, and turned around to face us.

"Spirit, what's going on?" I asked. "Why'd you bring us here?"

"'Spirit'?" Rainbow Dash questioned.

"Yeah." Twilight nodded. "She's right there." Twilight pointed to Spirit.

Everyone else looked, but they seemed extremely confused.

"I don't know what you're pointin' at, Twi. But I don't see anypony." Applejack answered.

"They can't see me." Spirit explained. "Only you and Alex can."

"What? Why?" Twilight seemed to not know. After all, I was the only one who was apparently given the reason.

"Uh…Twilight?" Rainbow inquired, causing Twilight to shush her.

Spirit observed this and reacted accordingly. "I think I better show you this before your friends start thinking everything that happened has messed with your head…" She walked up to the box and held a hoof on it. She rubbed it slightly and then seemed to hug it a bit…as she was reuniting with it or something. "You guys haven't unlocked the chest yet, right?"

"We did." Twilight returned. "It gave us this kind of power to defeat Tirek, even when our magic was gone."

"But it's still here…just sitting…" Spirit noticed.

"Well…the keys are right there." Twilight pointed to the keys in each keyhole.

"Hm…" Spirit appeared to offer a small smile. "If you want my opinion, it looks like you're still missing something."

"What?" Twilight asked.

Spirit returned a light-hearted giggle and smiled. "Me…" She closed her eyes and suddenly a glow of light flowed from her to the chest. From the chest, it then shot out to the Tree of Harmony. Suddenly, the entire area began shaking, shocking everypony. From the middle of the tree, a rainbow shot straight through the ground above it, leading the chest out as well.

Before we knew it, we were taken somewhere else to see the ground in front of us breaking apart. Out of nowhere rose this gigantic crystal-coated castle! After everything settled, everypony looked absolutely speechless.

"Sweet Celestia!" Rarity shared in awe. "Are you all seeing what I'm seeing?"

From the sight of the castle, I looked down at the entrance and then to the road. There, I noticed somepony lying on the floor. I raced over to her, noticing it was Spirit. "Hey, are you okay?!" I asked, placing a hoof over her.

She groaned and she shakily pushed herself up. Once she was standing on all four hooves, she placed a hoof to her head and then opened her eyes. She then immediately widened them as she looked at the others. They all seemed to be staring at her. Twilight noticed the look on Spirit and then faced back at the others to see what the situation was about.

"Hey…uh…are you okay…?" Rainbow Dash asked first, instead of questioning the pony's identity.

She switched glances to each of them, sitting and covering her mouth with her frightened hooves. "…you…you can see me…?"

"Yes, Sugarcube…"Applejack added, as she spotted the scared innocent look on Spirit's face. "Do you mind tellin' us who you are…?"

Once Spirit made sure she wasn't dreaming, she sighed and decided to answer. "It's me…" She started. "I'm Spirit… The pony Twilight and Alex were talking about…and the pony you couldn't see before."

"Whoa!" Pinkie Pie felt the need to exclaim. "Really?!"

"How come we can see you now?" Rainbow Dash asked, trying to grasp the fact that this seemed true.

"I…" Spirit didn't appear to have an answer. "I honestly don't know…" She returned with shrugged hooves. She sounded absolutely truthful on that.

Twilight walked up to Spirit. "…do you at least know whose castle this is?" She asked, looking up to it.

Before Spirit had a chance to answer, we heard Princess Celestia voice landing nearby.

"I believe it is yours, Prince Alex and Princess Twilight." She announced, standing among Princess Luna, Spike, and Miss Cadence. As I noticed Miss Cadence…I wondered if she was told what happened too… However, someone else popped into the picture and waved with a friendly smile. It was Discord, but I honestly didn't feel the need to maddog him. No. I had been through way too much to care about that. Princess Celestia took notice of Spirit and began walking towards her. When Spirit remembered how everyone else could see her, she widened her eyes again and began looking fearful. "And who might you be, little one?" Celestia asked with a welcoming smile.

"S-Spirit…" She practically stuttered.

"That's a wonderful name." Tia repeated a familiar phrase.

"T-thank you…" She turned shyly away to me.

"I don't mean to interrupt anything…but I think we should check that out!" Rainbow Dash pointed to the mysterious castle.


Inside, we mainly led the way, even for the other princesses. Discord was the last one in line. I wasn't sure if it was to stay with Fluttershy or just to avoid me…kind of like how I expected him to do… Everypony was taking in the sight of the castle in awe.

I noticed Princess Celestia finish her entertained sightseeing and smiled down at us. However, she spoke mainly to Twilight. "Twilight, after everything you two have experienced lately, surely you don't feel like you don't have a purpose?" She recalled Twilight's problem since before Tirek heaved in.

"Oh!" Twilight remembered. "Actually…thinking back on it…" Twilight turned to me. "We…really did do a lot of important stuff." She took lightly. "But I mean…that was only then. I know we all kind of…saved Equestria…but…I honestly still don't really have a consistent duty. I mean…what am I supposed to do here now?"

Tia giggled gently, as if she knew the answer but did not want to spoil it. "Twilight, take a look at Alex." Twilight did so. "Don't you see the very special friendship you hold? It's that exact friendship that brought you victory in these past excruciating challenges. You both have said the two of you were a team after all. Even so, you have the rest of your wonderful friends to guide and help you. As a princess in Equestria, does that not give you a hint on what your purpose is?"

Twilight looked down in thought for a moment before she seemed to realize something. "Being a princess…I am expected to lead by example. If our friendship is the most important thing that got us through everything…then I believe we can spread our example of friendship across Equestria!" She stopped in our walk to turn and face us. "Imagine how better our world would be if everyone had this special magic? Alex and I even wouldn't have had been able to do everything on our own! It took all of us to open that chest! And it took all of us to defeat Tirek and save Rarity! All of you are important to Alex and me." She shared honestly.

"Then it is unlikely you are meant to take on this task alone." Princess Celestia mentioned as she grabbed ahold of the huge double doors in the hallway. She opened to us and revealed an absolutely stunning room. Inside held seven thrones with two of the seven having an extra smaller one beside it. Every one of the girls cried out in excitement and awe. "If I may, you are now Twilight Sparkle, the princess of friendship."

"And Alex?" Twilight asked with a joyous grin.

"To be honest…" I shared. "I don't really care about a title…with all due respect…"

Princess Celestia smile warmly nonetheless. "Even so…I believe it is fitting to be a Prince of Light."

I admitted it sounded a little generic…but hey, I'll take it. I don't really mind.

Remembering the deal with Spirit and how she had accompanied us, I searched around for her and found her observing the thrones in silence. "Spirit…" I called her, startling her a bit.

"Huh?" She turned to me.

"I'm sorry if this sounds cruel…but it's time to come out. What is it you've been hiding this whole time?" I asked, causing a little worry in her face. "It doesn't matter now. I already know the main idea. What I want to know is the full story and why you've been hiding it."

Seeing as she couldn't misdirect her way out of this one, she sighed heavily. "I guess you're right…" She looked away a bit distantly. "I'm not sure it even matters anymore." She paused to take in a heavy breath with closed eyes. "Especially to everyone here…listening right now…you may think this is crazy…but I assure you it's the truth…" She opened her eyes and looked at all of us. "I…I'm… You see…I'm really…well… What you called Alex's Element… I guess you can say…it's really me. I'm the pony, if you can even call me that, that's been inside him the whole time…controlling his light. I practically am it." This surprised everypony, including me, even though I technically already knew the basis. "Before I get any further, I think I want to explain to Alex first why I did what I did. To everyone else…I'm sorry if you don't understand me." She looked towards me. "I…I didn't mean to hurt you…I…"

"It's okay." I interrupted. "I…kind of know that part. Right now…I want to know more about you being the pony responsible for my light kind of thing."

"Well…" She looked to the side with her eyes. "It's…really kind of a long story…but I'll try to sum it up as much as I can. Remember when you found me when I was 'little'? Well... I was actually really lost and scared at that time. I didn't know anything… Even though it seemed like I was some real life filly, I was just really a figment of your heart, I guess. I was only visible to you, just like before this whole castle popped up. So really… I didn't truly exist. Anyway, you had led me to what you call the Castle of the Two Sisters…and…at that time…I felt like it was really home…you know…considering…" She paused herself as if she had trouble explaining. "I'm sorry…there are some things I can't even explain myself…but I'll let you know the stuff I know. Anyways, moving on, that castle was a big part of your heart for some reason…so it kind of…became my home in your dreams. And throughout your journeys after you met your friends…I…I started to grow. Remember Gilda? That flash of light? That was me. I guess…I was kind of trying to protect you from the fear of her attacking you. And the other times your light protected you, it was me learning it mostly because of the want/need to protect you. And…I think I grew from it. You see…I guess since I didn't age normally…I actually aged due to the new mindset you had established. Once again, it's hard to explain…but I guess I won't get too far into it. Anyways…also…I have to apologize one experience."

"Huh?" I questioned.

"Remember the first time you met Discord?" She reminded, glancing over to Discord who looked pretty surprised to be mentioned. "I…" She began rubbing her foreleg in a bit of embarrassment. "The reason you were having such a hard time breathing was because of me too. I was…um…scared of him at first…" She explained. "But not anymore!" She was quick to make clear. "After that whole experience with Discord…the complete change you went through…that's when things lit up for me. I think…that's when I became your age and secretly stood aside you the whole time. Of course, I was still a newbie with a lot of things. Like of course, I couldn't pop out by you like I did days ago. So, of course, I was still completely far from reaching you."

"Sorry to interrupt." I mentioned after having been listening so intently. Things that happened in the past were actually making sense now. "But…were you the one responsible for me becoming an Alicorn all of a sudden too?!"

"Yeah…about that…" She began recalling. "I mean…I guess you could say that…but really it was your love. Which reminds me. Before I get into that…that was one of the main reasons why you were so depressed and at a loss of energy before you met your friends here. You see…you know how your heart is so special? Well…it also kind of relies on love too. And back then, you were so depressed because you had no love. Doesn't it make sense? You and your power has matured over all this time to now because you've gained so much love, including more love from the new friends you made! It's also the very reason you were created!"

"H-hold on!" I halted. "I was created because of love? What?!"

"Um…" She looked like she regretted saying that last statement…as least for now. "I'll get to that…but I should wait at the end…for reasons."

"Okay…" I decided to wait, hoping to keep it from nagging at me while she continued.

"Anyways…let me backtrack a bit. So you started getting love from the others, right? When Discord came along, he took the Elements from the others because they were physical objects. While he technically couldn't take yours he was able to remove that love you subtly felt. Remember? He made all that doubt about the girls actually loving you for who you were, and that's the whole reason why I was afraid." I glanced over to Discord, who seemed to hold his head down in guilt. "It was really bad when Twilight's 'memory' spell backfired. You can remember why… Anyways, I was so glad when you were able to pull yourself together with the gifts the girls gave you." She smiled as she said this part. "You know, you stood up for your friends and things…well…pretty much went up after that whole fiasco. Now, we move on to…" She paused and looked away in grief for some reason. "…Chrysalis…" She proceeded to explain her part there. "When you wouldn't give up because of your love for the girls, that's reason why you didn't lose your life. Like you said. It was ironic that Chrysalis's whole interest was just pure love, because that's exactly what guaranteed your victory against her! All of the love you received was what really allowed you to unlock your true potential and…well…you know…Alicorn time." She giggled a little nervously. "Now that you've pretty much got the gist of stuff involving me…this next part is going to be interesting, especially for you and Twilight." That statement caused Twilight and I exchange a look of wonder between us. "Um…this will explain why no one else couldn't see me but you and Twilight… Remember when the two of you were crowned? Well…a little before that… When Twilight got her wings. Celestia—" She quickly stopped herself, cleared her throat, and appeared to correct herself. "…Princess Celestia…" She felt she had to pronounce her like that. "She…connected the two of you together. When she used both of those pieces she received from inside each of you, she intertwined you two together…which makes more the sense of being a prince and princess together."

"I'm…quite stunned, really." Princess Celestia shared, the look of her eyes proving the surprise she felt. "She's…absolutely right."

"Thank you." Spirit nodded her head and moved on with her story. "You know…then I came in later…but I was being all secretive and stuff… It…It had to deal with…me not wanting others to think you're crazy because they'll think you're talking to yourself. Oh, and well it's also because I didn't want you think I was crazy, you know?"

"Yeah, yeah…" I was starting to get it. "I…I'm getting it now…"

She inhaled and exhaled a great breath before moving on. It must have been because of how long she was talking to explain things for us. "Now…I guess I can move to what I meant about…you being created by love…but…I'm warning you…it might make you think different or upset you…"

I didn't think too much into. I had already gone through so much. What's a little truth going to do? I returned a mere shrug, telling her to just say it.

"Okay…" She received and proceeded. "Let's see…" She thought. "Well…you…you heard from…Princess Luna how you were…born differently…right?" I nodded. "Well…the reason for that…is…well…" She struggled to say it, as if it would hurt my feelings. "…I guess…" She sighed. "I don't want to say that you're not a pony…but…you weren't exactly meant to be a pony…"

"Huh…?!" Most of the crowd, including me, became immediately a little shocked but mostly confused.

"It all started when Princess Luna received that light from the Tree of Harmony when they first discovered the Elements. It was actually…the light that powered all of the main Elements. It wasn't exactly an Element itself. Now…she was banished to the moon…she met him…" I supposed she was talking about…yeah…I don't even want to think the name. "Oh right. They experienced love. That's when it happened. I think the main idea is…the light Princess Luna had couldn't live with the darkness she had. You know, Nightmare Moon? I'm honestly not entirely sure what would have happened had she not experienced love. Who knows? Maybe the light would have died out. I don't know. But it was a good thing she did…because…the love she felt for and from him…it gave the light she had to become a being. I'm not too good with how exactly foals are made…but that's what happened, as impossible as it might seem. I guess…this light was so special that it was able to become something without having…um…help… Of course, the majority of the work still came from Princess Luna's body, but you know… It fed off the strong love she felt… And that was a really good thing…because I'm pretty sure it's already obvious who that light ended up becoming, right?" She looked at me.

"Y-yeah…" I answered a little zoned out. I was still trying to take in about my apparent "true" creation. I mean… with what Luna had told Twilight and me, it did make sense…but I…I found it pretty hard to believe… Does that mean… I was technically living a whole lie my entire life? "W-wait. Hold on." I tried to catch up. "You're saying that…I was made by love? That's why it wasn't… H-huh?!"

"Yeah…" Spirit seemed to feel bad for how I was reacting to her explanation.

"So let me get this straight…" I tried to clear things up. "I'm…I'm not who I thought I was this entire time? I'm technically not even a real pony? I'm just this…'light' that manifested into this being? So what? Does that mean I'm practically a robot or something? Does that mean I don't have real feelings? Is everything about me a lie? My emotions? Everything?" I began feeling upset, but in the depressed kind of way.

"N-no…" She responded a bit gloomily, as if she was sad that what she said made me sad. "It's not like that…"

"Well, then…what is it?" I asked. "Because that's what it sure feels like to me."

"Look, Alex…" She said. "I honestly don't know… I honestly don't have all the answers…"

"How do you even know all this stuff now?" I questioned.

"Well…" She shifted her leg on the floor. "Most of it is from you. And the rest…well… I don't know how to explain it…but I guess it just comes with the job…" She referred to her purpose inside me.

I sighed heavily. "That's just great." I turned to the others. "Sorry, everyone. I guess the 'pony' you all know and love isn't really a pony. Just some 'unknown light being'."

"Alex, darling, stop it." Rarity asked of. "So what if you were…born a little differently." She tried to be gentle about it. "Why should that make you think differently? How does this change you? You're still the same pony to us, even if you technically…" She thought for a moment. "…aren't a pony…?" She shook her head. "See, that's the thing. You can't say that you were not a pony before hearing this. You are a pony, are you not?"

I took a short look at myself. "I guess…"

"So? Then you're a pony to us. And don't think things about you like your feelings are fake. I assure you that are just as genuine as ours." Rarity stated firmly.

"She's totally right." Twilight joined. "Think about it, Alex. Do you really see anything different between us? As in, say, being a pony."

I thought for a second. "I guess not…"

"No!" She firmly modified. "Besides us being females, we're all the same! All of our hugs are warm and loving. All of our emotions can touched and felt. Everything about us, including you, is genuine!"

"Trust me, Alex." Spirit joined in and tried to reassure me with a smile. "It might be…a little weird to think about it now, but nothing about you has changed. You've always and will be the same loving pony to those who accept you for who you are."

Despite what I had apparently just learned about myself, I supposed they were right. It didn't really change anything…did it? I mean…I was mainly doing fine without even knowing about this before… Besides…fretting over this thing alone was the last thing I needed to worry about…

"Forgive me, but I just need to get this off my chest…" Discord walked in and approached me. However, before he continued speaking, he seemed to still hold enough humor to tear off a leech that had been attached on him. "I know you're angry…very angry…" He mentioned. "But I just want to let you know how truly sorry I am. I suppose the thought of such power Tirek slipped into me…seemed like a good idea at the time. No matter what he said, I absolutely know now that friendship is the best of every magic. Besides, with friendship, I'm still able to keep my own magic. I cannot express how very sorry I am…and well…I hope you could at least consider forgiving me…"

I took a moment of silence and then sighed heavily. I looked away with a sort of an emotionless frown. "Forget about it… I guess everypony deserves a second chance…"

"What?!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed. "But it's like his third chance!"

"Whatever." I shrugged, and then proceeded to make myself clear. "But if you ever do something like that again, don't count on getting a lucky break like this again!"

Discord had held his claw and paw up in defense as I made sure he understood clearly. "Assured." He shared and then smiled. Surprisingly, he even lifted me up to hug me, which was something I was absolutely not expecting.

Princess Celestia nodded and smiled cheerfully. "It is so enlightening to see every one of you at peace with your friendship."

Rainbow pointed out to the thrones that stood in a circle around an apparent star. "Hey, we still gotta check those out!"

Everypony agreed and ran over to the ones that belonged to them. Seeing everypony pick their seats, I chose the one that was empty and held another smaller empty seat by it. Spirit took notice of it and decided to sit on it, seeing that it made sense to do so.

"Wait a minute, where's my throne?!" Discord asked, searching as he stood in front of Spirit.

"Don't push it, buster!" Spirit exclaimed, pointing a bit angrily at him. Nevertheless, she still shared a smile with that fierce look.

Discord held his claw and paw up in defense again, chuckling nervously. "Yes, well, I suppose I shouldn't…" However, after having a good look at Spirit, he went on to shout out another realization. "Hey! I remember you! You were that little filly that hit me when I was sick!"

"I'm not denying that." Spirit released a proud grin with crossed forelegs. "That was for getting Alex hurt and for scaring me when I was a kid."

"Hold on." I halted, recognizing something on my own. "I thought nopony but Twilight and me were able to see you?"

"Oh right…" She recalled. "Actually…that's true. But, apparently whenever you were unconscious, I guess I was able to kind of…use your existence in a way to become…'real'?" She attempted to think of the best word to use. "I was able to hit Discord, and he was able to see me because you were asleep at the same time. Same for the other times I saved your butt." She grinned a little boastfully again.

"Oh…" I guess that explained it better…such as the chimera in that dangerous swamp…

"Hey, look!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed, pointing out the window. Looks like everypony wants to welcome us to Ponyville!"

"Huh?" The rest of us joined Pinkie by the window, noticing a large group of ponies heading towards the castle. After all, it just randomly popped out of the ground like nothing. Why wouldn't they want to see what it was?

"Actually…" Twilight began, turning towards us. "Why don't we welcome them to their new castle?"


Twilight opened the doors to the castle, greeting those before her in unreserved happiness.

"Each one of us has something special" Twilight sang, glancing at me and then back to the crowd to invite them all in with her hoof. "That makes us different, that makes us rare"

"We have a light that shines within us" Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash joined us as Fluttershy sang but seemed to direct her words to me. I was starting to get the feeling that they were emphasizing their point to me… That if I really was just this light, that only makes it all the better."That we were always meant to share"

"And when we come together" Every one of them began singing as everypony, including the crowd, joined together in the throne room. "Combine the light that shines within

There is nothing we can't do

There is no battle we can't win" I began seeing those rainbow reflections coming from the each of the girls…the ones who used their gifts to open the box. I looked towards Spirit for answers, but she only continued silently smiling at me.

"When we come together

There'll be a star to guide the way

It's inside us every day

See it now! See it now!" They emphasized not only our group of friends…but every single pony in the room as they all made a difference in their own way.

"Let the rainbow remind you

That together we will always shine

Let the rainbow remind you

That forever this will be our time!"

"Each one of us will sometimes falter" Twilight looked at me and resumed, possibly referring to the long obstacle we had to face last night. "We may stumble, we may fall"

"But we still have a kind of magic" Rarity stepped beside me, facing me with great gratitude.

"One that will see us through it all" The way she expressed those words to me seemed to tell me that she was still extremely thankful for being saved from that horrible Nightmare…

"And when we come together" They all began singing once again as Applejack joined Rarity near me. The two of them stood by my side, placed a hoof on me and appeared to bring me to the center of the thrones.

"Combine the light that shines within" The rest of them joined around me and lightly danced.

"There is nothing we can't do

There is no battle we can't win" As they continued, Spirit seemed to feel the need to join me at the center.

"When we come together

There'll be a star to guide the way!" They pointed at us.

"It's inside us every day!" A glow appeared from within each of them. I turned to Spirit to see her just gazing at me in soft joy. The smile she gave was the smile I had longed to see when she stopped seeing me at the balcony…

"See it now! See it now!" Spirit grabbed my hoof tightly and what happened next further proved to me even more that everything she had tried to explain was true. The two of us became transparent and apparently embedded into a rainbow that formed at the center of the room. As we became interweaved with this rainbow, we were lifted up and shot out from the castle. Just like the speed of light, we began shooting straight all over Equestria!

"Let the rainbow remind you" At Manehattan, I saw Coco Pommel again! She was hard at work while enjoying the job. However, as soon as she noticed the rainbow flash by, she was startled but nevertheless returned an absolute astonished and jubilant expression as she observed it.

"That together we will always shine" We even passed by the Wonderbolts in the middle of their training session.

"Let the rainbow remind you" Then, there was Cheese Sandwich, who took notice and blew his party favor.

"That forever this will be our time" Next were the Breezies in their uncontrollably cute and adorable state. I even managed to see Seabreeze among them. The last one outside of the castle was Silver Shill. He seemed to be leading a better life than last time.

Finally back at the castle, we revolved around Discord and came to a stop where we first ignited. As we became our usual selves again, I noticed Discord hold out a bouquet of flowers towards Tia. I guess he was really milking the apology, huh? At least it helped proved how sorry he was…"

Twilight spotted me and approached me. There, she called out to the others to join her near me. As I noticed all of them, even Spirit, looking in one direction and posing, It took me quite a while to realize we were actually preparing to take another picture. "Let the rainbow remind you…" Twilight prepared to end in a solo."That together we will always shine~" She finalized as the camera snapped the picture.


They were really everything I ever wanted and needed… In fact, I had already started forgetting about that…deed…I had to do. I suppose their amazing friendship was an unbreakable bandage that healed all wounds faster. Heck, I had already forgiven Discord, which led me to weirdly settling things with Bulk Biceps. He didn't even know what the deal was in the first place, and I didn't bother wanting to burden him with it. In the end, I just firmly shook his hoof as soon as I saw him.

The rest of the girls, including the princesses, left with the citizens of Ponyville to possibly explore more of the castle and celebrate. Actually, Twilight and Spirit remained with me. I supposed Twilight was still stuck on the idea of our "team", even for this minor occasion.

Spirit sat on her now claimed throne chair next to mine. I decided to join her while Twilight agreed and sat in hers. As we sat there, finally able to relax for once, I, for one, couldn't stop feeling that warmth all of them gave me. "You know…" I began speaking, catching their attention. "…I think you were all just what I needed." Twilight smiled softly to hear this. "…I can't say that…I'll be able to let go of…you know…what happened…but I think with all of you…I'm sure to make it through."

"Of course." Twilight nodded and said. "We're all here for you, Alex. And we always will be. Besides…" She removed herself from her chair and began approaching me. "Now that we know that we're literally linked…" She began giving me these eyes as if she was about to send me this sort of "I told you" moment. "…that's a guaranteed message that we face any obstacle together! None of this 'you're not coming with me because I don't want you to get hurt' nonsense." She mocked.

"Yeah, yeah…" I chuckled and nodded. "…I promise."

Twilight smiled directly at me until we heard the door to the throne room open. We thought it was one of the girls, so we turned to it. However, who we saw was somepony we were absolutely not expecting.

"Wow…" She expressed as she observed around as well as the ceiling above her. "This is a pretty big place you've got…"

I was afraid that worry and even fear would set in, as the last time I saw her was…an unfortunate one… "H-hey…" I stood up and approached her a little nervously. "…what are you doing here…? I wasn't expecting to see you again after…you know…"

For the first time in my life, I believed she sent me a look she had never sent me before. Starlight. She didn't seem to hold any kind of hate at me. It appeared…to be flushed out of her face. "About that…" She answered. "I…" She sighed. "After you left…I had a lot of time to think. I thought…and thought…and well…I guess I realized…I shouldn't have blamed you at all." She really surprised me, and I had widened eyes to show for it. I truly never expected to hear this from her at all. "Maybe I was just so…angry…because I had held it in for all this time. I mean, sure, I was mad because…you know…the brother thing. But after you left home, I should've grown up and realized what a horrible pony I was. But the fact that I never really just opened up is what brewed up all that anger. I tried to get back at you in all the wrong ways… Even if it wasn't really the way I wanted to do it, I guess it was a good thing that I told you about everything. It was just something really overwhelming that needed to get off my chest. After I did… a lot of the weight just fell off…"

"So…" I softly brought in. "…what you're saying is…?"

"Yeah." She answered. "…I'm sorry." Shocked, yet again. "You shouldn't be the one saying sorry. It wasn't even your fault. You had nothing to do with it… And I was dumb thinking you did."

"That's okay." I immediately accepted. "It's over and done. I'm just glad…to finally have this issue over with. For the whole time, I could never figure out why I was so wound up in settling this, you know? In learning the truth."

"It's understandable." She shared with a small smile. "I think…I'm going to take a break."

"Huh?" I questioned.

"Not from music." She clarified. "It's just…going to be a little vacation. I could probably use it after finally pushing off the weight I had on me." She turned her head away, looking in the direction of the window that uncovered what was outside. "I think this is the first time I've been here. The band hasn't played here…and I wonder why. Is it because it's so…laidback and homey? I don't know…but that's kind of what I felt as I got here this morning. As soon as I stepped off the train…I felt something different. Everypony I saw was pretty much happy. Some of them even stopped and said hi. I guess they didn't really know who I was." She chuckled. "After all, I never stopped here. Then again, maybe I didn't play here because you were here? But whatever. What I'm trying to say is…I was thinking about just…letting myself become serenated here. Honestly, this town seems like a perfect change of scenery, just to relax and not worry about the future."

"It really is…" I added in, remembering how I left behind the lightly more modernized lifestyle back at Fillydelphia and succumbed to the new one here. "Granted, there are some…strange things that happen here time to time, but there are a lot of things you can do. Parties, festivals, spa." I mentioned a few options.

She chuckled a little. "Yeah. I don't suppose you know any hotel or place I can stay while I'm here, do you?"

I thought about it and then suddenly realized something. If this castle now belonged to us, mostly talking about Twilight, Fluttershy, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Spirit, and me, then I think there's actually a pretty good place she could stay… "Actually…I think I do." I said. "You're just in luck. Twilight and I recently just got this castle…so I don't think I'll be needing to stay at my other home."

"Huh…?" She seemed to be lightly confused.

I led her to the window so I could spot out the home I was talking about and pointed it out to her. "I won't be needing to stay there anymore now that I have this castle. If you want, you can crash there for as long as you like."

"Really?" She asked with a stunned look on her face. "…you don't mind…?"

"Go right ahead. As long as there's no hard feelings between us anymore…you can stay as long as you want."

"I don't know what to say…" Starlight looked away, appearing to look like she felt she didn't deserve the treatment I gave her. "'Thanks' doesn't seem enough…"

"The fact that you…well…came here face-to-face with me and admitted your faults, took responsibility, and even asked for forgiveness is more than enough. I'm…glad." I stated.

"That's…um…" She was a bit unprepared for what to say afterwards. "…Thank you. I…I guess I better…make myself at home then if you don't mind." She seemed to return a slightly sheepish grin.

"Go right ahead." I freely allowed. "I'll…see you later?"

"Yeah…" She chuckled a bit nervously. "See you…" She turned and started to walk. But then, she stopped for some reason. She appeared to be trapped in thought for a moment before she turned back to me and approached me again. We both stared at each other for a silent second as I could only wonder what was on her mind. All of sudden, she opened up her forelegs and placed them around me, startling me. "Thanks…" She repeated. Due to the shock of her sudden and unexpected action, the hug felt like several very long minutes. However, when she pulled away, she stretched out her smile a little more at me. She turned her head to spot Twilight. "Oh, and I'm also sorry for how I treated you before… I didn't mean any of it."

"It's okay…" Twilight returned, seemed too distracted and surprised by Starlight's behavior as well.

After clearing up things, Starlight proceeded to walk off in a more confident and peaceful manner.

Twilight had been practically silent the entire time, especially at her embrace.

When Starlight disappeared from our sight, I slowly turned my eyes towards Twilight. "…did that just happen?" I asked, almost believing I was in a dream again.

Twilight answered shortly, appearing to be dazed just as I was. "Uh-huh…"


The rest of the day seemed pretty busy in a quiet kind of way. I supposed it was because of the fact that we were getting used to this new castle. We moved some stuff that we would need, since Twilight and I were to sleep at the castle. I believed we would be moving more things later on. Poor Twilight… I wasn't sure if she was able to recover any of her books…but I really hoped she would be okay after what happened to her old home.

Either way…we ended the day with a familiar sight. Now the three of us, Twilight, Spirit, and I, stood outside on the balcony of the castle to stargaze. That was another great thing about our own castle. We would be able to do this whenever we wanted. The only thing that would probably be missing is the ice cream…

"You think that guy will be back for us?" Twilight asked, referring to the still unknown stallion to this date.

"I'm not sure..." I managed to reply with. I remembered how Luna and I were actually able to apprehend him until he escaped. "If he does...I have a feeling we can take him like nothing." I sent a soft but confident smile to her.

Twilight lightly nodded, repeated the same expression, and then turned back to the stars. We were allowed to continue wandering our eyes among the sky in peace.

"Hey…" Spirit suddenly spoke during the middle of our silence.

"Hm?" I looked at her.

"We never really cleared things up."

"Cleared what up?"

"About what I did…" She formed a saddened look, reminding the both of us what happened then. But it didn't bother me anymore because I was glad she was back for the right reasons. "I really didn't mean any of it…I didn't want to do any of it in the first place! I just wanted to…protect you."

"Don't worry." I assured. "I don't care about what you did. I'm just glad that you're safe and well."

She nodded. "…he told me I would eventually...end your life...and I believed him…"

"Why…?" I wondered greatly. "How could you believe that from him?"

"Like I told you before…" She recalled. "I've made so many mistakes before…and they've pretty much scared me… I may look like just a klutz, but I feel a lot worse than that. I feel like I'm capable of ruining lives."

"Well, don't ever try to lose your life because of me again. That almost ruined my life." I replied honestly. "Besides…that's something that confuses me. You say you've made mistakes before that scared you…but haven't you been inside me this whole time? What kind of mistakes could you have made?"

"It's…really complicated to explain…" She said.

"Well, try not to let it get to you." I suggested. "That may be hard to follow, but maybe you just really need to be yourself and not worry about the future." I turned to Twilight. "Twilight here learned the hard way."

Twilight giggled for a bit. "Yeah." She turned towards Spirit. "You know what? I'm guessing you'll be hanging out with us a lot more, especially now that everypony can see you. Maybe all you need are friends? Considering how you've technically been alone all this time."

"Maybe…" Spirit responded with.

"I think I'm going to get some sleep." Twilight stood up and prepared to walk back inside the castle. "It's been a really long day, and I'm in the mood to sleep in late." She waved as she passed by us. "Night, guys!" A few seconds later, she continued speaking for some reason. "Oh! I almost forgot." She popped her head back out. "This came for you today, Alex." She glided a letter over to me.

"Oh, thanks." I reacted in a surprised kind of way.

"Good night!" She smiled brightly and headed off.

"Ooh." Spirit reclaimed some of her cheer. "A letter. Who's it from?"

"It's from…" I analyzed the writing on the letter and widened my eyes at the name of sender. "…Coco!"

"Coco?" Spirit repeated, as if she was stunned too.

"Let's see…" I opened up the letter and pulled out the contents. I unfolded what was neatly tucked inside and began reading the words on it out loud. "Dear Prince Alex,

Did you see it?! Did you see that amazing rainbow that suddenly came out of nowhere?! It looked like it was shown all over Equestria! It was so beautiful! In fact, it already gave me so many ideas for designs of my own! Maybe I could be just as good as your friend, Rarity? After all, I really want to make it up to her for turning my life around for the better. Maybe I can do just that by not giving up on my work. In a way, I want to make her proud. Sorry. Am I rambling? I hope you're not regretting letting me send you letters. Maybe I should stop talking…or in this case writing… I just want to let you know that I'm doing absolutely fine. I'm also glad that you're letting me write to you… I hope this doesn't sound weird…but I didn't think our friendship should have ended there in Manehattan. Anyways, please tell me how you're doing, and if there's anything I can do to help, please let me know too! Unless your friend Rarity can do it already… Anyways! I should really stop rambling. Hope to hear from you soon!

Lots of hugs, Coco"

"Wow…" Spirit commented. "She sounds like she's really confident now."

"You sound like you know her." I replied.

"Just from you, of course!" Spirit clarified quickly.

"Right…" I said as I continued observing the letter, wondering how I should reply to it.

"You probably should get some sleep." Spirit advised. "I need rest too, you know!"

"Oh, right." I returned. "I guess you can't sleep without me having to, right?"

"Well…" She thought about it. "I don't think I've tried doing that…but you going to sleep lets me know you're fine…"

I smiled lightly. "Isn't that sweet…"

She blushed a bit and giggled in embarrassment.

I took a longer look at her and realized that I hadn't truly expressed to her how horrible and worried I felt when I thought she…took a turn for the worst.

I surprised her by quickly stepping towards her and wrapping my hooves around her. I felt her question my sudden move, but she remained silent. "That's for making me worry…" I told her. "You don't know how scared I was. I actually almost thought you were really gone…"

"Sorry…" She sincerely softly apologized.

I carefully pulled away and held a hoof on her shoulder. "It's okay. Like I said, I'm just glad you're okay."

She smiled lightly at me. "Okay."

I nodded and then turned, bringing the letter with me. "Well…I better get some sleep then. Good night, Spirit."

"Good night…" She expressed, allowing me to walk off before she called for me again. "Wait, Alex?"

"Yeah?" I turned back to her.

She approached me until she was able to grab my hoof and hold on to it. There, she smiled meaningfully, seeming to send me a message that she was just as glad to be with me. I waited to hear for whatever she had to say.

"Don't ever forget. Wherever you go, I'm always with you…"

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