As she stared at the moon amongst the starlight sky, Luna couldn't help but sigh. It has been sometime since her return to being 'Princess Luna' rather then 'Nightmare moon', although she is still having trouble adjusting to her lonely nights. While Celestia does spend some time with Luna, it is more often then not she must use her nights to rest from the tiring everyday duties as Princess of the Sun. Luna walks back into her room from the balcony. It is dimly lit by candle light, but otherwise dark. Looking upon her bed Luna can see an odd box like package with some holes in the sides. Trotting over she levitates a note off the box using her magic and begins reading it.
I've noticed that you have been seemingly more sad and lonely as the nights go on. This upsets me because as much as we both know I'd love to, I can't spend every night with you. As your older sister, I decided that I had to do something for you. A traveling merchant who was in Canterlot yesterday noticed I was looking around for a pet, and when I described to him who the pet was for he offered me the most adorable creature I had ever seen. I hope you enjoy my gift, dear sister. I know he will be a perfect match for you.
P.S You may notice the bag of dog food I put with the box; the merchant said he should be fine with that, but seemed uncertain.
Luna smiles to herself and folds the note before levitating it onto her desk nearby. Looking the box over carefully she wonders what in Equestria could her sister have gotten her. Judging by the holes in the sides, it had to be an animal of some description. Luna carefully opens the top flaps of the cardboard box and gasps with surprise upon seeing the contents of the box. Luna levitates the creature out of the box up to where the moonlight can illuminate it. Held within Luna's magic is a partly awake, pitch black teenage fox which has three tails with ice blue tips. The fox's ears also have ice blue tips. Luna examines the adorable teenage fox while gently placing him on the bed. The fox stretches its legs and yawns like a cat before fully opening its eyes to survey its surroundings, then stops when he locks eyes with Luna.
"Thou art a strange little creature; I've not seen a fox with three tails before." Luna states to the fox who simply cocks his head to the side in response.
Luna lies down on the bed behind the box. Using levitation magic, she levitates the box onto the floor and out of the way, near her dresser. The fox continues to inspect Luna, seemingly unsure of her; Luna can hear the fox's stomach growl with hunger. Luna levitates a bowl and the bag of dry food over to the bed before opening it and pouring some into the bowl for the fox. She then places the bowl by her to try and tempt the fox closer. The fox slowly creeps towards Luna across the bed, seemingly to get more comfortable as he realises she isn't a threat. The fox goes up to the food bowl and begins eating the food with fervour. Luna gently strokes the fox with her hoof a few times so he can get used to her touch.
"Well, thou is very adorable and thou has the most beautiful black fur I've ever seen. I shall have to ask Celestia if the traveling merchant left anything else for you and, of course, to thank her for such a wonderful gift." Luna smiles.
The fox finishes its food before rubbing against Luna, seemingly asking for more. Luna, seeing the fox is clearly very hungry, pours more dry food into the bowl before sealing it up to preserve it.
"I can hardly leave you unnamed... But I wonder what name suits such a gorgeous fox." Luna ponders.
Luna thinks for several minutes staring at the fox before stopping on the ice blue tips of his tails and ears.
"What about Yuuki? I hear it's the term for 'Snow' in the far east reaches of Equestria and seeing as you are from there, it's only fitting." Luna pets Yuuki softly.
Yuuki purrs a little and rubs against Luna after finishing his food. Luna looks at the moon before sighing again, knowing it's not anywhere near time for her to lower it. Sliding off the bed, Luna stands up and motions Yuuki to jump onto her back. Yuuki jumps onto Luna's back and curls up to lie down.
"Seeing as the night is young, why don't we explore the castle?" Luna asks Yuuki with a smile.
Yuuki offers a fox-like 'meow' in terms of reply. Luna smiles as she opens the door to her chambers and exits with Yuuki on her back.
The Canterlot castle garden looks mystical and majestic bathed in the moonlight. Luna is strolling calmly around the garden showing Yuuki its fine display of statues and hedge sculptures. Luna notices Yuuki keeps staring at the moon, which is high in the sky; she stops by a bench to let Yuuki down for a moment.
"Do you like the moon a lot Yuuki?" Luna asks with a clear smile on her face.
Yuuki nods several times with a few happy 'Squeaks'. Luna nuzzle's Yuuki's head gently, happy with his reply. Yuuki purr's softly at Luna's nuzzling. Suddenly a member of Luna's Royal Night Guard gallops over to them before stopping sharply in front of her, looking slightly nervous. The night guard is a greyish-white mare with a dark purple mane and tail, she wears a higher looking ranked armour then Luna's generic night guard.
"L-lady Luna are you okay? It's unusual for you to be walking out amongst the castle grounds late at night." The mare says stuttering slightly, but mostly holding her composure.
"Ivory Moon, it's a beautiful full moon out tonight so I felt the need for a stroll. Also, I wanted to show Yuuki around the castle at night." Luna informs Ivory Moon while looking at Yuuki on her back.
Ivory Moon relaxes a little, but not by much, her posture is still tense. After taking a few breaths Ivory Moon calms down before addressing Luna again.
"Forgive me, my lady.... I'm still roughly new to this position as your Night Guard Captain. It's put more pressure on me since you hoof picked me personally; although I'm beyond grateful for the chance to show what I can do in your service." Ivory Moon bows to show respect.
Luna allows herself a slight smile at Ivory Moon's display before shaking her head and pushing her back into a normal standing posture.
"You need not be so formal when we are alone Ivory, and it makes me happy you are trying hard in your new position. Now before I forget and be rude allow me to introduce Yuuki. Princess Celestia bought him from a travelling merchant in the market this morning and gifted him to me as a companion to keep me company during the nights, my sister is unable to." Luna lovingly nuzzles Yuuki again making him purr.
It's clear to Ivory Moon that Yuuki means a lot to Luna, being a gift from her beloved sister. Also, she is sure Luna enjoys now having company at night, whereas before she spent many night's alone. Luna turned back to Ivory Moon and signalled for her to walk with her. Ivory Moon began to follow Luna as she continued her stroll, showing Yuuki more of the garden.
"I get a strange sense Yuuki loves the night, I hope to find that merchant tomorrow and properly thank him for letting my sister buy him. Also, I'd love to know more about what kind of fox he is and if there is anything else I should know in order to properly take care of him." Luna excitedly explains.
Ivory Moon cracks a slight smile across her mouth, seeing Luna so excited. It was a sight she had not seen in far too long since joining the night guard. The trio continue Luna's tour of Canterlot castle into it's many hallways, the throne room, library wing which seemed to catch Yuuki's interest and the kitchen. After several hours walking, they found themselves back in front of Luna's chambers; Ivory Moon said goodnight to Luna and Yuuki before taking her leave back to her night guard duties. Luna entered her chambers and slid onto the bed letting out a slight groan as she stretched her legs; Yuuki hoped off Luna and quickly curled up by her again closing his eyes, clearly exhausted from the tour.
"I've not had a good moonlit stroll like that for so long. I'm happy I got to show you around, my little adorable Yuuki." Luna nuzzles Yuuki gently making him purr in his fox-like adorable manner.
Luna looks out to the balcony and uses her magic to begin lowering the moon to make way for the slow rising sun. Once the sun is up, Luna closes the balcony curtains with her magic and snuffs out the candles still burning in the room. The curtains are blacked out so the room sits in complete darkness. Luna snuggles up to Yuuki before allowing herself to slip slowly into a peaceful sleep.
The evening air was quite peaceful and relaxing in the main plaza of Canterlot. Many shops and buildings lined the neat, clean streets. Luna is walking among the barely populated market place with Yuuki on her back hoping to find the merchant. Luna spots a pony wearing an old brown dusty cloak, clearing up their market stall for the day. Yuuki hops down off Luna's back, runs over to the pony and begins jumping up and down in front of them.
"I never expected to see you back so soon my little friend. I figured you had settled comfortably into your new castle home. Oh, and I see you have brought none other then Princess Luna to my humble stall; I am honoured Princess of the Night for your visit." The pony talks in a mysterious male voice which has a scholar-like tone to it, wise and knowing.
"Please, the honour is mine. I wanted to find you before you set off to somewhere else as you're a travelling merchant. I would like to thank you for letting my sister buy such a wonderful animal, like Yuuki. He is so beautiful and adorable, I want to know more about him and his kind so I can take better care of him." Luna says with a slight bow of respect.
The pony chuckles to himself before looking at Yuuki's lit up eyes, clearly happy with his new home and owner. The pony sighs before clearing up the rest of his things and taking a seat on a nearby bench. Luna joins him while Yuuki is given a small rubber ball to play with.
"It makes me warm and happy inside to know the little guy was able to find such a loving, caring master so soon. I noted you named him Yuuki, quite fitting given his origin. I will tell you his story and what little I know about his breed of fox in the far east reaches of Equestria..." The pony begins.
Emitting a glow from beneath his hood, the pony creates a sphere of water from the fountain nearby to use in his storytelling.
"Long ago in the far eastern reaches of Equestria there existed a race of multi-tailed foxes which have pitch black silky fur with blue tips for their ears and tails. Living alongside the Unicorns of the far east, the foxes soon began to develop magical abilities using their tails. Because they lived in a very cold climate they developed fire magic in the form of a blue fox flame, which is far hotter then any natural fire as it used magic to enhance itself." The cloaked Unicorn begins.
Images of many three tailed foxes begin to pass and flicker inside the sphere of water, foxes of many different sizes going up to as big as the eastern Unicorns shown in the images. The foxes are shown being able to wield an ice blue flame from the tips of their tails to protect themselves and defend the Unicorns.
"I was informed by the local priestess that they enjoyed a healthy and fruitful relationship with each other and prospered. However, a harsh natural blizzard one winter morning saw their little world brought to an abrupt end..." The Unicorns voice contains a hint of sadness.
Images of a harsh ferocious blizzard fill the sphere, foxes and ponies fighting the storm to try and keep their homes from being snowed in and destroyed, many foxes and ponies alike perishing in the harsh cold. The sphere then shifts to images of a present day eastern Equestria, still a harsh winter land only they have no foxes now, just the Unicorns.
"After that harsh event the foxes numbers dwindled and died out... I found this little guy by the body of a dead female fox, likely exhaustion and fatigue got her. I decided to take him with me and care for him, though this was many years ago when he was naught but a pup.... Now he is a fine teenage fox and I wanted to give him a better home then one a travelling merchant like me could provide, which is why I'm happy he is now with you."
The Unicorn stands up and lets the sphere of water float around him to stop back in front of the bench, Luna looks up at the sky and realises she has to raise the moon. Using her magic Luna raises the moon slowly until it's high in the sky, she then looks at the mysterious Unicorn with confusion as he is now staring at the moon with Yuuki on the stall doing the same.
"It's somewhat ironic, you know? It's said that the tribe of foxes from the east that Yuuki is the last of, worshipped the moon along with the entity who raised and lowered it each night. Seeing how he is now being cared for by that same princess, I've no doubt his ancestors up in the sky are smiling down upon his grand achievement of being able to serve the princess of the night." the Unicorn releases a slight chuckle before sighing softly.
Images of the moon and groups of foxes staring up at it appear in the sphere of water. They stare unwaveringly at the moon in all it's majestic beauty through all kinds of weather, never missing a single night of silent loyal worship. Luna's expression turns to one of sadness at their devotion to a princess they only knew in title, she then looks at Yuuki and smiles slightly knowing she can at least give this little fox the love and care he deserves.
"It might be fate you know, that Yuuki above all the members of his clan survived the harsh land of his birth and was able to be beside the princess of the night. I've no doubt fate has something special planned for your highness and her little Yuuki, though that day may come quicker then either of you desire...." The Unicorns wise voice echoes on the midnight breeze like a ghost in the night.
The sphere of water falls on the floor breaking and laying still like water again. The wind blows through the plaza, cold yet comforting. Luna looks around to see the Unicorn is nowhere to be seen and Yuuki is now in front of her looking up at her in bewilderment.
"Cherish the days you spend together. Fate has a funny way of knocking when you least expect it.... May we meet again princess of the night." The Unicorns voice echoes one last time on the wind before the breeze stops and the night falls still.
Luna looks into Yuuki's eyes seeing nothing but a soft warm love for his new owner, with a smile she tempts him up beside her. Yuuki jumps up onto the bench and curls up next to Luna closing his eyes to embrace her warmth. Luna nuzzles Yuuki gently and lovingly before looking at the moon deep in thought.
"May we meet again, mysterious merchant." Luna sighs before relaxing with Yuuki.
-Seven years later-
Seven years have passed since that fateful day when Luna received her faithful fox, Yuuki, from her sister in order to keep her company during the long nights where she was unable to. During the seven years Yuuki grew from a teenage fox to a proud, majestic and powerful mature fox. The information the mysterious merchant left Luna after they parted ways detailed Yuuki was thirteen years of age, so now he would be twenty. Given the merchant said how Yuuki's tribe used to protect their eastern Unicorn partners using ice blue fox fire magic, Luna decided to try and teach Yuuki how to harness magic using his tails. It took Luna a mere two of the seven years to teach Yuuki how to use and harness his fox fire, although at this point it was a case of directing when and where he should use it, teaching him discipline. After Luna felt he was capable enough she instructed Ivory Moon to train him with the Royal Night Guard in order to better his agility and stamina. In merely three years Yuuki was more then capable to assist the Night Guard on missions and was deemed Luna's official bodyguard, which even Luna could see left a sparkle in his eye that he was so loved and respected by not only his owner but her royal guard as well. During the remaining two years Yuuki spent the majority of the time with Luna. It's as if what the merchant said in his parting farewell weighed heavily on her mind and she was very unwilling to send Yuuki anywhere or let him leave her side.
One very cold winter night began with a simple walk outside the city of Canterlot to the north. Luna was walking happily with Yuuki through the snow coated landscape, a very light veil of snow could be seen everywhere as it gently fell from the cloudy sky. Yuuki is bounding about joyfully, pleased to be spending quality time with his owner which he never seemed to bore of. Luna uses her magic to throw Yuuki's lightly glowing ice blue ball, modified with magic so he can find it even in the dark, for him to play fetch.
"Maybe I'm being too paranoid.... We have spent seven long good years together now and nothing major has happened besides a few things.... But they were not anything to do with your fate, though being trapped in Tarturus away from you made my heart practically beat out of my chest at what could befall my wonderful fox... Still, I was beyond happy to find you unharmed and hiding safe in our room." Luna nuzzles Yuuki's neck gently when he brings the ball back to her before she throws it again.
Luna heaves a soft, gentle sigh staring at Yuuki before looking up at the full moon to ponder her thoughts. Suddenly, the air grows very still and even the snow stops falling, Luna looks around in bewilderment as a horrible eerie feeling begins to fill her stomach making her very nervous. Luna's vision snaps to Yuuki who is now sitting still with his ball in front of him, also looking around in confusion.
"Come on Yuuki, were going home now, okay?" Luna shouts to Yuuki, concern clearly weighing heavily on her voice.
Yuuki picks up his ball and begins running towards Luna, at this point the stillness of the air putting her on edge, not even feeling a single light breeze upon the winter air. Luna feels like she is about to hurl at how much she is worrying about their current situation. The sweat evident on her forehead as her beloved Yuuki draws closer to her, eager to return to her side. What happened next Luna couldn't believe nor take in, as if all the world had stood still and time seemed to stop all for this one tiny moment. A giant beam of pure white light smashed down upon Yuuki engulfing the fox. Luna seemingly blinded by it tried desperately not to look away, even as she struggled to do something against the shear brightness of the beam she couldn't see within and before she knew it, the beam was gone. Luna now able to see, looked to where the beam had hit. Her heart sank and fear enveloped her as all she could see was a smouldering black circle patch where Yuuki had been running towards her not only moments ago. Luna looks around frantically trying to make sense of the situation.
"Yuuki..! Yuuki you can come out now..! Yuuki..! This isn't funny anymore, your princess will get very upset if you don't come out right now... Yuuki!" Luna shouts and pleads to the empty landscape around her, running around frantically in circles looking for her beloved fox.
Luna stops and it dawns on her as her stomach feels ill and her face becomes flush, 'Did Yuuki just die?' this question repeated over and over until it became a rhythm in her head.
"Calm yourself princess, it'll do you no good to work yourself up into an ill frenzy." A mysterious, yet familiar voice calls from above her.
Luna looks up to see the same cloaked mysterious merchant from seven years ago, only this time he has pure white Pegasus wings. The merchant lands by Luna and folds in his wings. Luna stares at him with pleading eyes begging for an explanation to what she just witnessed.
"It would appear fate chose this day in which Yuuki is to begin his destined journey. I understand this is all confusing for you princess, but I can't tell you whether he is alright or not. However, perhaps it's time I told you the truth behind the eastern fox legend I told you seven years ago." The merchant pulls off his cloak to reveal a pure white Alicorn that has a pitch black tail and mane with ice blue highlights, his cutie mark is that of a piece of parchment and a regal looking quill.
Luna's eyes widen at the Alicorn before her, coat as white as fresh snow, mane and tail darker then the blackest night, highlights as ice blue as Yuuki's. The Alicorn clears his throat to begin speaking.
"I know this will be a lot to understand and take in and.... Well, I don't expect you to remember any of this." The Alicorn begins, urging Luna to follow him.
Luna is able to recompose herself enough to follow beside the Alicorn. He leads her through the snow back towards Canterlot, occasionally looking over his shoulder at Luna's shear sorrow upon her face.
"My name is Chrono, 'The Chronicler'. My duty is to record any and all happenings in the world, from the feud between you and your sister to Tirek's uprising recently. My archive also includes legends and tales passed down from the start of Equestria. Among them is the legend of the eastern moon-fox tribe who mystically vanished over a period of seven days." Chrono looks forward and up towards the moon letting Luna think.
"You told me seven years ago that the fox tribe all died in that harsh snow storm." Luna firmly states.
"Yes I did, and I only told you what you were required to know at the time... I apologise for deceiving you Princess Luna, but understand my role requires a level of secrecy. Although your sister, Princess Celestia, is as sharp as ever and quickly knew who I was when she bought Yuuki from me. Princess Luna, I can't tell you exactly what happened to your Yuuki because I myself do not know that information. Just like all those years ago, I know not why the moon-fox tribe suddenly vanished." Chrono states as they stop in front of the path to Canterlot.
"S-so what am I to do now? The Night Guard will ask about him, Ivory Moon will know something is wrong, I myself feel sick right now losing Yuuki..." Luna begins to tear up.
Chrono places a hoof on Luna's shoulder to comfort her before turning away to begin walking east.
"Tell them the truth. Just like the Unicorns of the east you too will slowly forget Yuuki and he will cease to only be a sorrowful feeling within your heart..." Chrono's voice is filled with sadness at these words.
Luna looks down and dries her eyes but when she looks up Chrono is gone, leaving no trail nor clues. Luna begins walking up the path to Canterlot. She stares up at the moon, a feeling of deep loss and sorrow fills her heart and she heaves a heavy, sad sigh as a tear slides down her cheek.