Equestria soon realizes what it means to get on the wrong side of a kingdom run by two powerful mares and a human with no qualms about killing for the ones he loves..
Equestria, a nation that prides itself with one of the strongest militaries in the world, has enjoyed a peaceful existence for the last three-hundred years. When the benevolent princesses of such a land discover that a large port city has been overthrown by not one, but two former villains, the princesses take matters into their own hands to ensure a prosperous existence for the residents. However, as a political approach towards the situation fails to yield desired results, the royal sisters take it upon themselves to forcibly remove the two reluctant queens from their newly acquired throne. That is, until they discover a certain human who isn't too keen on a hostile take over. Soon enough, the Equestrians will learn why one should never threaten a human or the ones he calls family.
This story is rate T for implied sexual situations, strong language, and gore and blood. Story takes place in an alternate universe where Nightmare Moon is alive and the changelings have not been reformed.
Awkward silence filled the spacious area of the conference room as both parties sized up their competition. On one side were the benevolent princesses of Equestria, flanked by ten royal guards adorned in their signature gold and silver armor and ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice. Across the large cedar-crafted table lay their opposition; a smug-looking Nightmare Moon and Changling Queen with a matching set of royal guards of their own. The tension in the room grew as both sides continued their non-verbal evaluation of their opponents.
“We see that our lower self is alive and well, how disappointing,” Luna stated, breaking the silence as the Princess of the Night stared daggers at her former self. Nightmare Moon could hardly contain a boisterous laugh from the comment.
“And it seems that our lower self has yet to learn how to properly respect her superiors, how typical.” Nightmare countered with a toothy grin, forcing the younger Alicorn sister to grind her teeth with a low growl. Celestia’s features hardened at the comment directed at her sister, though the frown she wore remained unchanged.
“Luna, as much as I would like to rid the world of such an evil equine and her pet,” Celestia paused, looking between Nightmare Moon to Chrysalis, “We are here on political business and as such, our emotions should not interfere,” Celestia wisely stated, only to be scowled at by the changling queen.
“If I am her pet, then what does that make you Celestia? If I recall, you lost our last battle. Not to mention you brought your little pet along didn’t you?” The changling brought up with a victorious smile as her eyes shifted towards the newest Alicorn of Equestria. Celestia’s visage faltered for only a moment, anger and annoyance briefly rearing their head before the mare quickly regained her neutral expression.
“We did not come here to dwell on past events, only to focus on the concerns we have for the citizens of this kingdom.” Celestia stated, receiving a nod from both Twilight and her sister to reiterate her point. Nightmare Moon and Chrysalis could only scoff at such a reason for the royalty of Equestria to visit their newly acquired kingdom.
“We understand your concern for the well being of our subjects, though it is unnecessary. Our subjects are happy and prosperous since the removal of their former dictator. And before you ask, the answer is yes. We had quite the fun time disposing of that poor excuse of a queen," Nightmare stated with a smirk. "Though it is rather sad. That unicorn possessed a high level of magical ability, much like your own student Celestia. Too bad she had such a frail body. I might have had a little use for her then,” Nightmare added with bemusement in her tone. Twilight quickly recoiled in disgust at the comparison while Celestia and Luna took a more defensive posture.
“And this is exactly why we are here,” Celestia stated in an authoritative tone. “Equestria cannot trust either of you to fairly govern the citizens of this kingdom with the kindness and respect they deserve. Therefore, I request that you immediately relinquish control of this kingdom, and we will forgo any punishment for the murder of the previous ruler,” Celestia finished. Nightmare Moon and Chrysalis momentarily locked eyes with one another, as if silently conversing over the offer before them. A moment later and the two mares were in stitches, their vociferous laughter filling the entirety of the room.
“And here we thought this was a serious discussion. I suppose we were wrong in assuming so,” Chrysalis commented between her bouts of laughter. Luna had been agitated from the mere presence of her former self and changling queen, though the sheer disrespect the two mares were showing greatly annoyed her. Gritting her teeth, Luna slammed her fists onto the wooden table, gaining the attention of both the laughing mares.
“This is not a joke. We should have you two beheaded for the crimes you have committed against our nation. We are offering you more than you deserve you ungrateful whelps. I suggest you adhere to our demands or we shall take your kingdom by force.” Luna boomed in her Royal Canterlot Voice. The sheer volume and intensity of such an act was enough to silence the two mare’s laughter, though their smug grins never faded.
“Are you suggesting that Equestria is prepared to go to war against our kingdom if we do not comply with your demands?” Nightmare Moon asked. It was Luna’s turn to wear an-oh-so smug grin as she nodded her head.
“We are not merely suggesting, we are promising. If you do not relinquish control of this kingdom to us, then we will take it by force. Our army numbers over a hundred thousand strong as compared to whatever pitiful excuse of an army you could conjure up. So I suggest accepting our generous offer, though I would prefer the opportunity to slay the two of you and end your existence upon this plane.” Luna smugly stated. Celestia and Twilight couldn’t help but smile at the rather bold, but true statement from Luna. If Nightmare Moon and Chrysalis did not give up the kingdom peacefully, then Equestria would have no choice but to take it by force, ensuring a peaceful and prosperous environment for all.
Dwelling upon the offer given to them, a few moments of silence went by as the visitors of Equestria studied the features of their opposition. The once smug smiles of Nightmare Moon and Queen Chrysalis faded as they looked towards one another again. Luna continued to hold the air of superiority over the two rulers, her smugness never shy. Though once again, Luna’s smugness turned to anger and disbelief as the two mares from across the table began to laugh at the idle threat.
“It would seem that they are trying to intimidate us. Equestria hasn’t been to war in over three hundred years. Though even if they had, it wouldn’t matter. Your royal guards couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag, let alone a war.” Chrysalis stated. Her previous experience with infiltrating Equestria had given the changling queen a much-needed insight into the effectiveness of the Equestrian Royal Guard. To say a group of fillies could do a better job would be an understatement. Besides, even if Equestria declared war on their new kingdom, they would lose. If not for the combined magical prowess of both Chrysalis and Nightmare Moon, then for their secret weapon who just so happened to walk through the south entrance door and into the conference room.
The extra addition quickly gathered the attention of everyone in the room, though Chrysalis and Nightmare Moon wore loving smiles as they watched their friend rub the sleep out of his eyes on his way towards the Equestrian side of the table.
It wasn’t long before the human had made it to his destination, a loud yawn residing from the tired man as he soon came face to face with a very irritated looking alicorn who was now out of her seat.
“Hey, I don’t mean to be rude or anything, but my friend and I are trying to sleep a few rooms down. The two of us had a long night, so if you could, please shut up and refrain from yelling anymore. Ok?” The human tiredly asked, sounding a bit more unreformed due to his tiredness. It was in that moment Princess Luna lost it. She could handle the disrespect from her other self, and even the pet changling by her side, but a simple commoner telling her what to do? Within an instant Luna had raised her hand and brought it forcefully across the human’s face, sending the unsuspecting human to the ground. Twilight quickly cupped her hands over her mouth from the shock of the situation, while Celestia let out a heavy sigh. However, Nightmare Moon and Chrysalis rushed to the aid of the human, helping him onto his feet with looks of concern.
“We are Princess Luna, co-ruler of Equestria and deity of the moon. You will not disrespect me commoner,” Luna boomed in her Royal Canterlot Voice. By this time, guards from both sides of the table adorned a more proactive stance, ready to engage one another if their rulers demanded it. Luckily, the situation calmed as the human righted himself before looking towards Luna, Celestia, and Twilight. A small stream of blood drizzled from an open cut the mare had made on the human’s left cheek. Gingerly, the human reached a hand to his cheek before wincing from the burning sensation it had caused. Glaring at the Alicorn in front of him, Derrick made it to his feet before slowly walking away to his chambers without a word.
“Consider these discussions over. You are no longer welcomed within these walls,” a very livid Nightmare Moon stated, her words practically hissed with spite as she locked eyes with Luna. Luna scoffed before lifting her nose high into the air in a typical noble-like fashion.
“You do not have to tell me twice. You best prepare for war. I will enjoy seeing you suffer under the steel heel of my boot.” Luna gave one last smug grin before turning around and walking out of the conference room. Tagging along were a group of her Night-Guard, along with a somewhat embarrassed Twilight and Celestia trailing behind.
“Should we check up on Derrick?” Chrysalis asked, watching as the last equestrian made it out the door. Nightmare Moon shook her head with a long sigh.
“He will be fine. It will probably be best to let him have his rest. I would ask the gods to have mercy on the Equestrian’s souls, but I am rather curious to see what sort of plan he will come up with,” Nightmare responded in a rather giddy tone. She knew good and well the capabilities of the human, as he had helped the two devise the cleverest of plans regarding the removal of the previous dictator. The thought of Luna’s face as her entire army lay decimated caused Nightmare to smile and giggle lightly before regaining her royal composure.
“In any case, war is inevitable. We should begin preparations at once and prepare for a worst case scenario.” Chrysalis agreed with Nightmare, the two mares heading off to make preparations for the upcoming battles.
Derrick continued back to his chambers just a few doors away from the main conference room area. To say he was pissed would have been putting it mildly. Nonetheless, the human entered his room before closing the door, his eyes adjusting to the darkness as he made his way over to his bed. Wasting no time, Derrick threw off his shirt and pants before sliding into bed and closing his eyes. A minute or so went by before the human felt a soft, furry muzzle licking his injured cheek ever so gently. Turning his head to the left, Derrick noticed a set of yellow eyes staring back at him.
“Are you alright?” the mare asked with concern. Her attempts to sooth the injured cheek of the human resulted in a soft sigh of satisfaction.
“Yeah, I'm fine Lumen. One of the Alicorns from Equestria just bitch-slapped the hell out of me when I asked her to be quiet,” Derrick responded. Before he could react, the mare to his left embraced the human in a comforting hug, though a small frown was ever present on her face.
“I think I might have to kill the bitch who dared to lay her hands on you.” Lumen replied, a few thoughts filtering through her mind of how exactly she was going to torture the mare before ending her life. The thoughts brought the mare to giggles, though she focused her attention back to her mate as a pair of arms wrapped themselves around her body.
“Your little schemes of vengeance will have to wait. Despite what just happened, I'm still tired as hell. We can plot our revenge later, but for now,” Derrick paused, kissing the mare lovingly on the snout before continuing. “We need some well deserved rest.” Nodding in agreement, Lumen placed a small kiss on her lover’s lips before pulling him close to her chest and wrapping him securely in her leathery wings.
“Sleep well my human. I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be rather eventful.”
Three weeks had passed since the conference with the Equestrians. Nightmare Moon and Queen Chrysalis had done all that they could to prepare their troops on such short notice. A magical barrier had been erected around the port city, much like that during the Canterlot invasion all those years ago. As the sun rose at the start of the fourth week, a changling scout came barreling through the large double doors of the throne room.
“My queens, we have spotted the Equestrian forces to the East,” the changling relayed with a bow. Both Chrysalis and Night Moon were adorned in their respective sets of armor, knowing full well this day was coming.
“I had hoped they would approach from the North as predicted,” Nightmare Moon stated with a bit apprehension. She was no stranger to combat and had killed many on the battlefield as her former self. Though faced with five to one odds, the battle ahead was looking grim.
As if on cue, the two massive doors to the throne room were soon thrown open again as Derrick calmly walked inside with Lumen by his side.
“I assume you all know the situation outside?” Derrick asked, receiving nods from everyone in the room.
“We have been informed, though their approach is from the East, not from the North like I predicted. The good news is that the scouts estimated only about fifteen thousand soldiers as opposed to the original twenty-five thousand we had anticipated. Either the equestrians are incompetent or they severely underestimated the capacity of our forces,” Chrysalis stated. Derrick just nodded his head with a sigh, allowing the information to sink in before turning his attention towards the scout.
“Tell me, are the Equestrian forces occupying the top of that overlooking hill to the East?” Derrick questioned. The scout quickly nodded her head.
“I have seen it with my eyes. The Equestrians came from the East. They must have used the hill to mask their approach in the dark of night.” Derrick just gave another nod before turning towards Nightmare Moon and Chrysalis.
“I honestly wish it wouldn’t have come to this, though the Equestrians held true about their word for war,” the human stated with a bit of a shrug.
“Oh well. As the saying goes, shit happens,” he added before turning his attention towards Chrysalis and Nightmare Moon.
“If you would be so kind as to ready the troops to meet the Equestrians. This shouldn’t be a difficult battle,” Derrick stated. Both Chrysalis and Nightmare Moon looked baffled at the human’s request.
“You can’t be serious? The Equestrians outnumber us five to one while also holding the high ground. You can’t expect us to charge headlong into something like that. It’s suicide,” Nightmare Moon quipped. Without skipping a beat, Derrick just nodded his head with a smile.
“I am well aware of the tactics and position that we are currently in. Just have faith that I have the situation under control.” Both Nightmare Moon and Chrysalis looked towards one another with a pause of hesitation before nodding their heads.
“Ok Derrick. We trust you.”
“Excellent. Once you are all in position at the base of the hill I will give you the signal to attack, and don’t worry. You’ll know it when you see it.” Once again, Nightmare Moon and Chrysalis nodded their heads in understanding before teleporting away, leaving only the human, Lumen, and an awkward looking scout.
“Well, I guess we should get ready too. Come along Lumen. I know you have been dying to see this.” Taking a few steps towards the door, the human paused before turning around and looking towards the changling scout.
“Do you think we should invite her along with us? I’m sure she must be feeling a bit peckish after flying all the way over here in such a timely manner.” Lumen quickly grew a devious smile on her face before smiling hungrily at the changling scout, who had overheard the previous comment with reddened cheeks.
“I think she does deserve a bit of a reward for all that she has done so far. So come along changling, I promise you won’t regret it.” Before the scout had any chance to offer a rebuttal, Lumen was already dragging the poor mare up the stairs with a chuckling human just a few steps behind.
After reaching the top of the stairs, the party of three soon made their way down the hall and towards a newly renovated part of the castle. The addition had been completed just two weeks prior, though for the human and his mate, it was well worth the wait.
“Alright Lumen. You get her comfortable while I set up everything else. I will join you two in a few minutes,” Derrick said as he ventured his way to the balcony before opening the large double doors and stepping out into a cool-sea breeze. The smell of salt permeated the air as the human reveled in its taste. It was one of the few things that reminded him of home back on Earth, seeing as he grew up in the panhandle of the United States. After a few fond memories of his time at the beach, the human went back inside his room before dragging a large telescope out onto the balcony and positioning it towards the hill.
“Alright you fuckers, let’s see what you are doing?” Derrick mumbled to himself. Using his left hand, the human adjusted to zoom and focus of the telescope just enough so that he was able to have a perfect view of the soldiers occupying the hill. Behind him, Derrick could hear the clatter of the changling’s armor being stripped from her body and thrown onto the floor, along with a few whimpers of what the human assumed was anticipation or worry, from the changling mare.
Finally, after a good twenty minutes of the human glued to the telescope, he was able to make out the signs of friendly forces at the bottom of the hill. Waiting a few moments, the human reached into his pocket before pulling out an oddly shaped- rectangular crystal. After tapping the crystal a few times, the human spoke directly into a slit made near the lower part of the crystal.
“Hey Copper, can you hear me?” There were a few moments of silence before a crystal clear voice responded.
“Roger that buddy. We are in position and are just waiting on the signal,” the stallion responded. Derrick just grew a smile before it turned into a small frown as he pulled out a small remote detonator from his other pocket.
“If I do this, I will be killing thousands of enemy soldiers who are just following orders from their higher-ups. Many of who are parents, children, or lovers. Can I live with a clean conscious knowing that I killed these mares and stallions all to settle a petty squabble because of someone’s ego?” The human continued to deliberate on this questioned he posed to himself, though quickly came to an answer.
“As much as I don't want to, I see no other choice in the matter. So, as the famous words of song once said; let the bodies hit the floor,” He smugly said to himself. As soon as the human clicked the detonator in his left hand, a large bloom of dirt and dust accented the hill the Equestrian army was situated on. The explosion was deafening for the friendly forces on the ground, as the shock-wave threatened to break the formation of the troops. Though Derrick knew they would manage.
After a minute of waiting, the dust began to clear as the human used his telescope to observe the hill, if it could even be called that anymore. The hill itself had shrunk about two-thirds in size, as a massive crater was now the focal point of the landmark.
“Give em hell buddy,” Derrick joyously yelled into the crystal, watching as the friendly soldiers on the ground charged into battle before slaughtering any resistance, which quickly resulted in the capture of any enemy soldiers that remained. The sound of a loud and girlish moan soon brought the human to focus on the other important task at hand. Though by the looks of things, Lumen was rewarding the changling mare with a much-needed appetizer for fulfilling her duties to the kingdom. Wanting to waste no more time, Derrick exited the balcony before throwing his shirt and pants onto the ground as he made his way onto the bed with but a single thought.
Two hours had passed since the conclusion of the quick-fought battle, if Copper could even call it that. The stallion knew the human as a good friend as well as the plan erected in order to stop the Equestrians. After all, he was a critical voice in the entire planning process. Though for some reason, after seeing the carnage of the plan he himself had helped create, the young stallion grew to respect and albeit, minimally fear the human and his destructive capabilities. All in all, the copper coated earth pony with a brown mane was just happy that the human was on their side. He shuddered at the thoughts of what the human could accomplish, given the resources of a larger nation such as Equestria or Gryphonia.
“Sir, we have completed several more scans of the area and have removed almost all of the injured for medical treatment. As for those who surrendered, we have escorted them to the dungeons to await the verdict of our queens,” a young changeling stated, bringing the higher-ranking officer out of his thoughts.
“Very good private. Have we tallied up the total number of captured and injured survivors of the fight?” Copper questioned. The changeling grew silent for a moment as her face showed minimal signs of sorrow.
“As of our count right now, we have over three-hundred prisoners and five-hundred wounded from combat. The rest have either perished in battle or managed to escape into the forest and are heading back to Equestria as we speak.” Copper nodded his head with a few thoughts, though pushed them out of his mind for the moment.
“Understood private. Please see to it that we rescue any other survivors in the area and transport them immediately for medical treatment.” The changeling was quick to salute her superior with a ‘yes sir’ before venturing off to help aid in the rescue mission. With a heavy sigh, Copper was soon lost in his own thoughts again.
“Fucking idiots,” he mumbled under his breath, surveying the crater filled with dead bodies of his fallen enemy. The sight of thousands of multicolored manes and coats caked in dust and debris filled the young officer’s sight. The sight alone would have been enough to make him sick to his stomach, if not for the fact that he had seen worse.
“We never wanted any of this. You all died for a worthless cause and for that, I am sorry.” Lowering his head, the stallion gave a moment of silence for all of those who had lost their lives. Despite the short scuffle with the few remaining enemy soldiers, no friendly soldiers had lost their lives. This was a fact that the young officer was very grateful for. Lifting his head from his moment of silence, the stallion’s eyes soon glared down at a certain alicorn princess that was being pulled from the debris of battle.
Quickly making his way down the steep-slope, Copper all but ran at the unconscious alicorn princess before stopping in front of the three soldiers pulling her battered, but unbroken body from the Earth.
“Is she still alive?” Copper questioned. All of the soldiers could tell the officer was none-too-pleased with whomever they had just rescued.
“Yes sir. She is unconscious but still breathing. We were going to transport her to the medical wing for immediate treatment.
“No you will not. I want you three to transport her to interrogation room two. Tie her down to the chair and put an inhibitor ring on her horn. Is that understood?” Copper was quick to receive a volley of ‘yes sirs’ from his subordinates before they began on the task of transporting the alicorn to the prescribed location. All the while, Copper’s face contorted into a vengeful smile.
“Lumen is going to be very pleased. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for you,” Copper added before venturing off the battlefield and towards the location of a certain grey-coated bat-mare.
Derrick and his newly acquired changling scout were fast asleep on the massive bed. Their bodies were exhausted and entangled with one another from the day’s earlier activities, though ultimately satisfied. Lumen however, was propped up on her side with a soft smile on her face. She used her free hand to gently play with her lover’s short-black mane, all the while smiling over the human and a potential candidate for their herd. The mare knew good and well that if something ever were to happen to her, it would leave Derrick a complete wreck. She knew how much he cared for her and it would be selfish to deny her mate a chance to grieve with someone else he cared for. That of course was a worse case scenario. What the bat-mare was expecting to come out of a situation like this to just be an addition to what she considered her family. Besides, the changeling was rather cute if she had to say so.
“Lumen, I see that you are awake and well,” A soft, male voice spoke from across the room. It was one of the times that the mare enjoyed having enhanced hearing, as to not wake her lover. Leaning down and planting a small kiss upon her human’s cheek, Lumen carefully lifted herself from the bed before making her way outside the room to talk with Copper.
“And it seems that you didn’t bite the dust in that last battle. What a shame,” Lumen playfully chided. Copper could only roll his eyes before smiling deviously at the mare.
“You would like that, wouldn’t you? I’m the only other pony that has such a strong relationship with Derrick. I’m telling you, if I was gay, I would be coming for your human,” Copper playfully retorted. It was Lumen’s turn to roll her eyes as the two started their venture towards the end of the hall.
“You and I both know that Derrick isn’t into masculine stallions. Maybe if you femmed up a bit, he would be more likely to accept your advances. I mean, I do think you would make a rather cute femcolt.” Copper could hardly contain the blush on both of his cheeks before quickly changing the subject.
“There is a reason I came to get you. You will be happy to know that I have a certain present waiting for you in interrogation room two. You told me that if I were to find her alive that you wanted to be the first one to ‘talk’ to her,” Copper reiterated. Lumen soon grew a sinister smile as she threw an arm around her friend.
“You know what Copper, I don’t care what the others say about you. You’re all right in my book,” Lumen added with a smile.
“Heh, thanks... hey!” Before Copper could get in another word, the bat-mare was quickly descending the stairs in a bout of laughter.
It didn’t take the mare long to reach her destination, followed by a slightly annoyed looking stallion behind her.
“And here we are. She has been restrained, though appears to still be unconscious. I had one of our doctors look at her and she seems to be stable, just a bit battered and bruised,” Copper relayed. Lumen nodded her head in understanding before reaching a hand towards the door. Before the mare could turn the handle and make her way inside, Copper placed a firm hand upon her shoulder, thus gaining the stallion her attention.
“Lumen, I know how you work and what she did to Derrick. All that I ask is she remain alive and in one piece.” Lumen frowned for a brief moment before making her way into the room for a little talk.
The room itself was nothing special, just a large concrete square with a small metal table and two metal chairs, one of which was currently occupied by an unresponsive blue alicorn. Lumen immediately went to work in fixing that certain issue. Grabbing an already filled syringe from the metal table, Lumen forcibly stabbed the shot into the mare’s neck as she injected its contents into the bloodstream. Within seconds, the blue alicorn was withering in pain, having been woken up from her unconscious state. Satisfied with waking her victim, Lumen gingerly used a hand to right the mare’s head so the two were eye level.
“Hello princess, do you know who I am?” Lumen politely questioned. The disoriented alicorn could only respond with a groan of pain as she forced her eyes open to stare at the mare.
“Where am I?” Luna weakly questioned. The alicorn was quick to receive a swift fist to the side of the face with a none-too-pleased looking mare frowning at her.
“You will answer my questions and that is all. You will speak only when I give you permission or if I ask a question. Is that understood?” Despite the rough state of the princess, Luna reacted in a typical-like fashion for someone in her position.
“Fuck you,” Luna uttered out as she managed to hack a wad of spit at the unsuspecting Lumen. The mare quickly offered another hit to the restrained princesses’ face before grabbing for a towel and wiping the spit from her face. If she had to be honest with herself, Lumen was rather glad the alicorn was a fighter. She was going to enjoy watching the once and mighty princess break beneath her care, as would be the case with anyone who dare lay a hand on what she rightfully claimed.
“You know princess, I was going to let you off easy. Maybe a few broken bones and a dislocated wing, but perhaps I should approach the situation from a new angle?” Lumen grabbed the second metal chair in the room, spinning it around so that she was propped up against its back and situated across from the alicorn.
“I’m going to tell you a story of what life was like before your so called evil-self and changeling took control of our kingdom. So you best listen well princess; for if I even think you are ignoring my words,” Lumen paused for a moment as she grabbed one of the several blades laid out on the table before her, her eyes scanning the perfectly crafted piece of steel. With a quick motion of the mare’s right hand, the blade sunk deeply into the princesses’ leg, earning the mare a loud shriek of pain from the prisoner.
The vociferous yelling of guards permeated the air as swarms of armor-clad stallions and mares swept through alleyways and houses, with or without the owner’s permission.
“Find them! I want them found this instant!” A burley looking stallion yelled through the streets of the city. Surprisingly, this was actually a normal occurrence that happened about once every week or so. The resistance to the queen’s rule had grown by a significant amount, forcing the queen’s specially picked task force to deal with the threats.
“I think we are safe for now,” the quiet voice of a certain thestral whispered. It was just at that moment several guards ran past their position and into a nearby alleyway out of sight.
“Alright, come on. We need to keep moving,” Lumen stated firmly. Hoisting herself from the cold ground, the mare pushed away a large dumpster before helping a smaller mare to her feet.
“Do you remember what I told you to do if I get caught?” Lumen questioned as the two began to fall in with the normal, everyday crowd in the market area of the city.
“To keep on running and not to stop,” a rather annoyed voice responded. Lumen quickly grew a frown as she tightened her grip on her younger sister’s hand.
“Lily, please take this seriously. If I'm caught don’t even look back. Just keep running until you can’t run anymore.” Lily’s face winced in a slight bout of pain before groaning and nodding her head. Despite the annoyance of her younger sister, Lumen couldn’t really fault the mare for the way she acted. It had been over six months that a group of guards broke into their small house and stole away their parents. They claimed their parents were part of the conspiracy to overthrow the current queen of the city, though lacked evidence when sent to trial. Despite this, the courts found in favor of the queen, as they usually did, and sentenced both parents to death. Things had never been quite the same since then for the two mares.
“Alright, fine. Just stop treating me like a kid, ok? You are going to draw attention to us,” Lily stated as the two began their trek through the market district. So far, the two mares were making rather good time, seeing as how most of the guards were searching houses instead of looking on the street for their ponies of interest.
“So where are we supposed to meet this mare again?” Lily asked.
“In just a block or so. She is a good friend of mine that will help us get out of the city,” Lumen replied. Lily grew quiet again as she got her answer before the two continued onto the rendezvous point. After a quick detour to avoid a few guards, the mares had arrived at their destination.
“Lumen, I don’t see anypony here,” Lily stated, as she looked around the abandoned alleyway. Lumen grew a bit worried as well, hoping that her friend hadn’t been caught up in one of the daily patrols. It was just then that a soft hand found its way on Lumen’s shoulder. The mare quickly spun around, ready to attack, though a sigh of relief soon followed as she saw the smiling face of her friend.
“Lumen, it is so good to see you,” a blue-coated, black-maned thestral stated. Lumen was quick to embrace her friend in a hug before introducing her to her younger sister.
“Moonlight, this is Lily. I don’t think you two have met before,” Lumen said as she stepped aside to let Moonlight get a good view of the other mare. She was much shorter than Lumen, sporting a longer styled mane versus Lumen’s shorter style. However, both thestrals had a dark-grey coat with deep-purple mane that made them distinct from other thestrals.
“She does look a lot like you,” Moonlight teased. Despite the situation at hand, Lumen needed a good laugh, which she promptly did with a roll of her eyes.
“Yeah, yeah. Anyways, I hate to jump to the chase Moon, but what’s it looking like right now?” Lumen’s expression went from hopeful to hesitant as she saw the expression of her friend.
“If you want my honest opinion, I don’t think it is looking good right now. There are more guards patrolling the outer sector of the wall. Your best bet would be to wait until nightfall and make your escape under the cover of darkness, though even then, there will be no guarantees.” Lumen was quick to muse over the slim options given to her. If she were to stay, both her and Lily could be captured and tried for treason. And she knew how they handled prisoners. The safety and well being of the mare’s younger sister was more than enough to brave the treacherous journey to nearest city, over a hundred miles away.
“I think we both know what my answer is. Is there anyplace we can lay low before we leave? I’m afraid to go back to our home,” Lumen asked. She noticed the hesitation on Moon’s face, though grew a smile as the mare nodded her head.
“You know I'm taking a risk, but for you it’s worth it. Follow me. There is a safe house a few blocks away from here. They will have a bit of food and water for you two to wait out until nightfall.” Lumen was quick to throw her arms around her friend once again, even going as far as to gingerly nuzzle the mare’s cheek in a sign of appreciation.
“Come on Lumen, at least buy me dinner first,” Moonlight was quick to quip. Lumen pulled away with a silly smile on her face before following her friend with Lily to the safe house. Upon arrival, the two thestrals hadn't even noticed where the safe-house was. However, hidden behind some old boards was a scraggly metal door Moonlight had to force open.
“Alright, I know it’s not much, but it’s home for the time being. Feel free to make yourselves as comfortable as possible,” Moonlight offered. Lumen and Lily were quick to take the mare up on her offer as they plopped their flanks down on the only piece of furniture in the entire place.
“So you’re living here right now,” Lily questioned. Moonlight just grew a smile on her face with a light shrug.
“I honestly live anywhere I can. It makes it harder for the authorities to catch me.”
“That makes sense I guess, but what would ever happen if you got caught?” The question seemed to sour Moonlight’s mood, as she knew exactly what would happen to her. She just chose not to think about it for the most part since it has yet to happen.
“Things I would not wish upon anypony, except for maybe the queen and her little henchcolts. Aside from that, I tend not to think about it,” Moonlight responded with distaste in her mouth. A small smile grew across Lily’s face at the mention of what would happen to anypony caught threatening the queen or her rule on the city. Before Lumen or Moonlight could question the uneasy smile, the metal door of the safe-house was blown off its hinges as numerous guards poured into the small room, tackling both Lumen and Moonlight to the ground. As both mares struggled to fight off the invading guards, Lily continued to watch as her sister and her sister’s friend were knocked unconscious during the scuffle.
An undisclosed amount had passed by for the two mares now in captivity. It wasn’t until a sharp knife jabbed into Lumen’s leg that the mare was able to wake up from her bout of unconsciousness.
“I am glad to finally see that you are awake. I was beginning to think the guards may have handled you a bit too roughly,” A sadistic, yet familiar voice stated to Lumen. Trying her best to ignore the burning pain in her leg, Lumen managed to force her eyes open to a sight of disbelief. There, sat across from the mare, was her little sister with a devious smile on her face. The sheer shock of the situation found Lumen without words, though her little sister could understand.
“Surprised, aren’t you?” Lily questioned. Lumen could offer no response as the younger mare smiled at her sister’s predicament.
“I suppose you are wondering why you are restrained instead of me? Though I don’t think it is that hard to figure out.” Another moment of silence filled the interrogation room as tears began to swell in Lumen’s eyes.
“Why?” Was all the older mare could say with tears threatening to burst at a moment’s notice.
“Why you ask?” Lily retorted back like she had been insulted.
“You know damn well why I did this, no, why you did this to yourself!” the mare violently screeched. Lumen was quickly taken aback by the hostile nature of her sister, and thus unable to offer a retort.
“It is because of you that mother and father are dead Lumen. You filled their heads with blasphemous lies and deceit and it cost them their lives!” Unable to hold back her anger any longer, Lily raised her hand and brought it across the face of the restrained mare. The mere notion that her sister believed she was the cause of their parents deaths cut deeper than the knife currently imbedded in the mare’s leg.
“Lily, I did no such thing! They came to those conclusions by themselves. All they wanted was for us to have a chance at a better life. To not fear when our next meal would be or the gods forbid, have a chance at a decent education like they never had. But that was never going to happen unless things changed.”
“And who said I wanted anything to change?” Lily yelled back. “If you never would have filled their heads with those lies of treachery, mother and father would still be here. We would still be a family.”
“Lily, we are a family. You are the only family I have left!” Lumen could no longer contain her tears as the poured freely from her eyes. The comment from Lumen however, made Lily backhand her sister again with a look of utter disgust on her face.
“We are no longer family Lumen. When you killed our parents, you forsake that right. Though I do have to thank you for one thing Lumen. You opened my eyes to the reality of the world and life. And I have come to the conclusion that life is not fair. It is a daily struggle that only the strongest will survive.” Lily took this as her moment to stand from the chair and look down upon the sister she once looked up too.
“You are weak and are destined for a life of despair. Goodbye Lumen.” And with those last two words, Lily made her way to the door, all the while Lumen fought desperately against her restraints as she continued to yell out her sister’s name.
“After that, I was thrown into the dungeons. I was beaten, raped, and starved, day after day. And as my will begged me for the sweet release of death, my body willed itself to survive. It wasn’t until about four months later that I was rescued from that hell, my body near the brink of death. And you know who was the one to save me princess?” Lumen questioned, standing up from her chair as a hand brushed over all the pieces of torture tools laid out on the table. Luna could offer no response, though in her state, she had a hard enough time paying attention.
“The human you assaulted, Derrick Ray Winters.” Luna could tell the mare’s tone took a dark turn as hints of anger and rage filled her voice.
“He pulled me from that cell and gave me a second chance at life. Day after day he nursed me back to health, waiting on me hand and foot as well as many others in the same situation as myself. He endured sleepless nights and chaotic days trying to save everyone he could. There were times where he wouldn’t even eat for an entire day in order to make sure everyone had what they needed and was well taken care of. And as the months passed, I began to realize why I had survived that ordeal. Why my body willed itself to survive through all of the abuse.” Lumen paused her rant for a moment before looking down at her captive with a scowl on her face.
“Though I don’t think I need to tell you why I endured. Granted, I doubt you care in the slightest,” Lumen added with a bit of distaste in her mouth.
“What you should be more concerned about is what is going to happen to you. You assaulted one of the only people that has garnered the respect and admiration of the entire city. You threatened us with war and death upon our leaders. But worst of all, you disrespected the one I love princess. And for that, you will pay dearly.” Without any hesitation, Lumen grabbed for the large machete dangling on the side of the metal table, a look of utter vengeance upon her face.
“You know princess, there is a saying I rather like. An eye for an eye, or perhaps in this case, a cheek for a wing.” The sudden realization was too late for the restrained princess. With one strong hack of the machete, the princess of the night let out a blood curling scream that caused many of the castle staff to wince, as well as stirring a certain human from his slumber.
A loud, blood-curling scream filled the castle. As the voice of the princess carried throughout every room, a certain human was stirred from his sleep.
“W-what the hell was that?” Derrick bleakly replied, sitting up from the bed and rubbing the tiredness out of his eyes. Taking a moment to regain his bearings, Derrick noticed a cute, and more importantly, still slumbering changeling by his side. The sight was enough for Derrick to smile down at the potential candidate to his herd. And if her lack of experience in the sack were anything to go by, he knew that Lumen would have a field day exploring all of the sexual possibilities with her. Speaking of which, a certain sexy bat-mare was missing from his bed. He was sure they had all fallen asleep with each other after serving the changeling a seven-course meal. And it wasn't like her to be missing from the bed when he awoke.
“I need to go find her,” Derrick thought to himself. As gingerly as he could, the human slid his way out of the bed, careful as to not disturb the changeling by his side. He knew that she had most likely been patrolling from early morning until she relayed the news of the Equestrian’s approach. It would be rude of him to wake her after a rough day’s activities.
“Alright, underwear, pants...” Derrick paused as he looked down at his tattered shirt. He could vividly recall the situation where Lumen had ripped it off of his body, demonstrating to the changeling that her human did in fact like it a little rough.
“Well, I guess no shirt. Fuck it, I don’t need one anyway. It’s not that cold out.” Seemingly satisfied with his decision, the human made his way out of the bedroom and down the set of stairs at the end of the corridor. It was just then that another blood-curling scream filled the halls of the castle.
“Whoever the hell that is, I wouldn’t want to be them right now,” Derrick mumbled to himself as he took a left turn before entering through a large door leading to the dining area of the castle. He was rather surprised to find that not only was Nightmare Moon and Queen Chrysalis enjoying a victorious meal and beverage, but several of the higher ranking officers were invited as well.
“Our dearest human, please come and celebrate with us,” A happy Nightmare Moon demanded. While the offer was tempting, he had more pressing matters to attend to.
“Sorry everyone, but I’m going to have to pass. I'm actually looking for Lumen. Has anybody seen her?” Derrick was quick to get a response by one of the only officers he personally knew, and claimed as a friend.
“Yeah, she is down in the dungeons right now having a ‘talk’ with a certain blue-alicorn.” Derricked winced at the realization of finding out who that voice belonged too earlier.
“Alright Copper. Thanks for the heads up. I might be back with Lumen in a bit. For now though, enjoy yourself. That goes for everybody here,” Derrick reiterated out loud, receiving a plethora of raised glasses and cheers. Before the human could make his way out of the dining hall, a certain alicorn queen was right behind him.
“How about I walk you there. I am rather curious to see what sort of punishment Lumen has devised for my other self,” Nightmare stated. Her warm breath was infused with the sweet scent of wine, as Derrick couldn’t help but chuckle at the giddiness of his friend.
“You and I both know that she is probably enjoying herself right now, possibly a bit too much actually. It would be best to stop her before she kills one of our biggest bargaining chips, though after those screams I heard, I can’t be sure she is even still alive.”
“We agree. It would be most unwise to kill that poor excuse of an alicorn. After all, I’m sure Celestia is going to love seeing what happens when anypony threatens our fair city with talks of war.” The queen and human let out another quick bout of laughter as they made their way towards the lower chambers of the castle.
Meanwhile, a dusty-brown pegasus stallion burst through the main door of the Canterlot Castle Throne room. His breaths were ragged, as he didn’t even bow when in the presence of the princess.
“Princess, I must speak with you at once,” The stallion demanded, his eyes full of uncertainty and fear as he looked towards the monarch of the sun. Celestia, who was busy with the tail end of day court, noticed the urgent and fearful expression of the messenger guard.
“Please excuse me everypony, but there are matters I must attend too. My lovely assistant will be more than happy to address any concerns or problems you are having,” Celestia gracefully stated, while simultaneously throwing her assistant under the metaphorical bus.
Exiting the room with the messenger guard in tow, Celestia made her way to a private conference room not too far away.
“Alright, we are alone. Now pray tell, what news do you bring of the battle?” Celestia’s voice was a bit hesitant, though nothing could prepare for what she was about to hear.
“They’re all dead princess, everyone is dead or captured,” The guard replied. The haunting images of a bright flash followed by the sight of thousands of dead bodies was more than enough to bring the stallion to his knees in tears. Celestia’s heart quickly dropped as she forced the stallion to lock eyes with her. Only one questioned burned in her mind and she needed to know the answer now.
“What about my sister?” Celestia noticed more tears streaming from the stallion’s eyes as he looked away with shameful guilt.
“I don’t know princess. It all just happened so fast. I was barely able to escape with my life before the enemy captured everyone who wasn’t killed. I’m sorry princess, I have failed you,” The stallion lamented, lowering his head with a sorrowful bow. Princess Celestia wasted no time as she assembled a few of her best guards within a matter of moments.
“Guards, ready an escort. We are headed towards the port city of Iron Cove, now!” Celestia demanded. The guards could sense the urgency in her voice as they quickly assembled an entourage of soldiers before setting off towards their destination while only one thought burned deeply within Celestia’s mind.
“I’m coming Luna. Just please hang on.”
Seeing as how the journey to the lower chambers of the castle was going to take a few minutes, Nightmare Moon took the opportunity to ask a question of the human.
“Derrick, if I might inquire, how did you know that the Equestrians would situate themselves upon the hill to the east?” Upon hearing the question, Derrick could only chuckle in response.
“It’s simple really. I figured Luna was going to be leading the army and from the stories you told me, as well as the information I have gathered from others, she doesn’t really like you,” the human obviously stated. Nightmare Moon deadpanned as the two began to descend a spiral staircase.
“Well of course she doesn’t like us, and the feeling is mutual. Though we don’t know what that has to do with anything.”
“Well, I wouldn’t really say that Luna dislikes you. It’s more along the lines of; she hates you and wishes to destroy you, everyone, and everything you know and care about. To her, you are a constant reminder of her dark past; an obstacle that must be overcome for personal reasons. And to prove that while stroking her ego, she took an extremely difficult route through a dense forest crawling with all sorts of animals that would love nothing more than to feast upon some unsuspecting ponies; all under the cover of darkness, before establishing a base camp and fortifying her position on top of the hill. That's not just dedication, that is flaunting how superior you are for all too see. She wanted to humiliate you any way possible. And what better way than holding the tactical high ground? However, the only thing she managed to prove from that was that she is an egotistical bitch, much like you can be at times,” Derrick happily replied. The human noticed the small frown his friend was giving him though she couldn’t help but admit that he was right to some degree.
“You do realize that if anyone else were to say that to me, I would kill them on the spot?” Nightmare Moon retorted. Derrick continued to beam his joyful smile towards the mare with a nod of his head.
“Yeah, I do. But you love me and wouldn’t think about hurting me, would you... mom?” The word was enough to send the disgruntled mare into a pout, though she couldn’t deny that fact either. After she had found the human injured and afraid in the Everfree forest, it was her that nursed the frightened human back to health. A faint memory of watching over the human as he slept with a head on her lap was enough for the queen to forgo any anger towards the human. It was instead replaced with a bit of nostalgia.
“You were a lot more respectful back then,” the queen jested with a playful smile. “Though I do rather miss our time when you would lay your head on my lap and I would stroke your mane comfortingly as you regaled me of stories your world.” Derrick couldn’t help but fluster at the memories the mare had brought up, though also had to admit that he did miss those nights too. Ever since Lumen had laid claim to him, the two shared a bed every night they could.
“You’re right. How about in the next couple of nights, we do that again? I’m sure you must have a thousand questions still about my planet and people,” Derrick questioned. He received a bright smile from Nightmare Moon, as the mare pulled the human close to her side with a wing.
“We would enjoy that very much. But for now, let us focus on the task ahead of us.” Without missing a beat, the alicorn queen reached for the handle of the interrogation room, only to have it turn by itself as Lumen stepped out with a set of large, blue wings under her arm.
“Is that what I think it is?” Derrick was the first one to ask the mare. The thestral nodded her head with her usual smile as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
“Of course it is. Just like I was telling the princess earlier. An eye for an eye, or in this case, a cheek for a wing.” Silence soon descended upon the trio of company as both Derrick and Nightmare Moon noticed that she had two wings under her arm.
“Why do you have a second wing then?” Nightmare Moon inquired. Lumen gave a light shrug of her shoulders.
“Interest,” was all she responded with.
“Is she at least still alive?”
“Of course she is. As much as I wanted too, I didn’t kill her. Though if she doesn’t get some medical help soon, she might bleed out. I did my best to cauterize the wounds, but a professional should really look at her." Nightmare Moon gave a heavy sigh before shaking her head.
“Very well. I will have a doctor sent down here to check up on her and make sure you didn’t jeopardize our main bargaining chip. Now, if you will excuse us, there are a few issues I wish to discuss with my other half as well.” Without any warning, Nightmare Moon stepped through the door to the interrogation room before closing it shut with a resound lock from behind.
“Huh, I wonder what they are going to talk about,” Derrick pondered. After a few moments of his question, another loud screech of pain filled the hallways of the castle.
“You know what, I don’t really care actually. So Lumen, what are you going to do with those wings?”
“I haven’t really thought of anything yet. Sort of just wanted them because fuck that bitch, she deserved it.”
“Well, why not just mount them on the wall above our bed or something. I’m sure it would be an exceptional piece. Besides, I think our room could use a little more color.” A lustful smile soon found its way to Lumen, with a few thoughts coursing through her mind.
“You’re right. Our room does need a little more color. So answer me this sweetie. What’s black, grey, and white all over?” Before the human could respond, Lumen was already answering the riddle for him.
“Me and that adorable changeling after we wake her sexy ass up and go for another few rounds.” Without wasting a moment longer, Derrick quickly grabbed the mare’s free hand as he bolted up the staircase and towards their room. After all, he had never been to so excited to help ‘decorate’ his bedroom before.
Two full days had passed since the messenger guard had alerted Princess Celestia of the defeat of the Equestrian army. And during that time, the princess had done all in her power to ensure that her emotions would remain in check when finally meeting the ones responsible. Though as most, she found it very difficult.
“And look who we have here, Princess Celestia and, oh. Where is my lesser half this time?” The smug voice and smile of Nightmare Moon caused Celestia to let out a primal, but low growl of aggression that anypony alive had yet to see from the benevolent princess.
“I did not come here to mince words with you. Where is my sister? Tell me where Luna is, now,” Celestia demanded. The act of such aggression caught both Nightmare Moon and Chrysalis off guard, though they couldn’t deny the joy in seeing the once and mighty princess demanding the one thing she couldn’t live without.
“And what makes you assume that we know the whereabouts of your sister?” Nightmare Moon questioned, obviously enjoying the knowledge that the princess lacked. It was in that moment that princess Celestia couldn’t contain her rage. Despite all of the decades of political correctness and keeping her emotions in check, she could not help herself when the life of her sister dangled in the balance. Unsheathing a nearby soldier’s blade, Celestia lunged across the table, as the blade swung in a wide, but practiced ark, stopping only a few millimeters away from Nightmare Moon’s neck.
“You will tell me where my sister is or I will gut you like a fucking whorse!” Celestia bellowed as she slipped into the old, Royal Canterlot Voice. It had been ages since the last time it had happened, though the princess thought it necessary to show how serious she was about her threat.
“You and I both know a mere sword will not kill me princess. However, I find your determination rather refreshing. It has been so long since I have had a chance to test your skills in combat. Perhaps you will humor me a bit. And if you win, I shall give you your sister. Do we have a deal?” Nightmare Moon questioned, waiting to see if the steel of her blade would also taste the blood of the precious sun goddess.
“Unfortunately I am going to have to stop the two of you. As much as I would love to see Equestria’s other princess fall, it would be ill advised. Besides, we have much to discuss and very little time for games,” Derrick added as he walked into the room before taking a seat in one of the free chairs and propping his feet up onto the table.
“Derrick, how many times have I told you not to put your feet on the table? It’s rude, though I am willing to make an exception this time,” Nightmare commented, as she looked at Celestia. Long gone was the utter rage of the alicorn princess, instead replaced with mild confusion, along with several levels of annoyance.
“You, creature, where is my sister?” Celestia addressed, shifting the blade of her sword towards the human in the process. This didn’t sit too well with a certain queen, and before the princess of the sun had time to react, a blackened-steel blade laid against her neck with a scowl from Nightmare.
“You will not point your sword towards him with lethal intention, lest you incur our wrath,” Nightmare growled.
“Now, now, settle down. I'm sure she means me no harm, do you princess?”
“Not unless you withhold information about my sister,” Celestia responded without missing a beat.
“But of course. We have you sister here in the castle. I have already sent for someone to bring her here to you,” Derrick replied casually. The look of shock was clearly evident on the princess’s face, wondering if what this creature had said was true or figment of her imagination. With a simple nod of her head, the princess retreated to her side of the table before handing back the guard’s sword she commandeered a couple minutes prior.
The wait seemed like an eternity for the princess as she fidgeted in her seat as an uncomfortable silence filled the conference room. Derrick, who was now locking eyes with the ceiling as he balanced his chair on two legs, intrigued the princess. She remembered him from the last time she was sitting in the conference room. It was the same creature that her sister had assaulted. The thought alone made the princess mentally wince from how hard she had hit him. Though as the princess continued on with her thoughts, another, and seemingly improbable thought crossed her mind.
“What if Nightmare Moon and Chrysalis are truly reformed, and this is the creature that had done so?” She couldn’t deny that Nightmare Moon was much tamer than when she had first battled her over a thousand years ago. Back then; Celestia could see that she was the embodiment of evil. And Queen Chrysalis, a ruler known for her inability to share power, seemed to be quite willing and accepting of Nightmare Moon as well. The princess’s eyes soon lingered over to the human again in thought.
“And yet this strange creature may have done what I had failed to do. And while his jet-black mane and hazel eyes are common physical traits, he was much shorter than her and,” the door to the conference room was quickly slammed open, pulling the mare from her train of thought as well as startling most of the guards in the room.
“Delivery time! And look what I brought with me today!” The sound of a cheery bat-mare echoed throughout the large room as she threw the package carelessly to the ground. The battered mare let out a loud groan of pain, though with one look from the sun princess, her voice overshadowed Lumen’s.
“LUNA!” Celestia screeched as she tore from the table and over to her sister, or at least who she thought was Luna. The mare on the floor of the conference room was no alicorn, at least to the untrained eye. Long gone were the beautiful wings the mare prided herself with, along with the stubble of a once and mighty horn protruding from her head. Her mane had been shaven clean off her coat along with several branding marks, made noticeable by the lack of clothing the mare was wearing except for a black-electronic collar fastened around the mare’s neck.
“Luna, talk to me, please!” Celestia begged, caring not that everyone in the room, except for the human who was still lost in his own little world, was staring at the two of them. Lumen quickly used this time to make her way over to her human, smiling lovingly as she stood over him.
“Hey Lumen. What took you so long?” He was met with a small smile as the mare leaned her face close to the human’s before pulling his lips into a passionate kiss.
“Just took a detour is all. I'm sure the anticipation was killing her.” Lumen added as she looked over towards the white mare that was enveloping her sister with her wings and arms.
“Luna, are you alright. Please, say something, anything!” Celestia begged with tear stained eyes. Luna was quick break down as she sobbed into her sister’s chest, clinging on for dear life and refusing to let go.”
“She may find it a little difficult to speak at the moment. I would too if I had lost my tongue,” Derrick added from across the room. Everyone from the Equestrian’s side soon recoiled back in shock and disgust as Luna began to sob more violently into her sister.
“Why the fuck did you cut out her tongue you barbaric monsters!” a brave guard shouted. Derrick took this opportunity to shrug his shoulders before pointing to the other side of the table.
“She left us with very little choice. She is a very skilled sorceress after all, and knows several spells that can be invoked by incantations alone,” Nightmare pointed out before crossing her arms with a huff. Meanwhile, Celestia was tuning everyone else out besides her sister. The only thing she cared about right now was getting Luna to safety, though Derrick’s voice soon brought that thought to a halt.
“Alright princess, you have seen you sister. Time for her to go back down into the dungeon.” The sudden statement stirred the princess from her sister as she looked at the human with disbelief and anger.
“If you dare try to take my sister away from me, I will not hesitate to kill you,” the white mare threatened as she brought Luna up to her feet, guarding the younger sister with her body. Derrick brushed off the threat with an idle wave of his hand.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever you say princess. Though I would highly advise against doing anything you might regret. For if you do, well, let’s just say that your sister might lose her head, quite literally,” Derrick replied rather calmly. Celestia let out another primal growl of anger before noticing the steady beeping light of the collar around her sister’s neck.
“So this collar is rigged to do my sister harm. I will destroy it with a quick burst of magic,” Celestia thought as her horn faintly began to glow. Before the human could warn her of the consequences of attempting to remove the collar, Celestia fired a concentrated bolt of magic at the collar in hopes of destroying the device. However, she was greeted with the withering sight and agonizing scream of her sister as the lunar princess dropped to the floor with over a hundred thousand volts of electricity coursing through her body.
“I tried to warn you princess. The collar is magic proof and any attempt to remove it in such a way will result in your sister getting a discomforting jolt of electricity coursing through her body. So it will probably be best if you not try something like that again, for you sister’s sake that is.” Celestia was quick to wrap her fallen sister into a loving embrace as the jolts of electricity ceased their pain upon the younger alicorn. The blue fur around her neck was singed as the smell of burnt flesh and hair filled Celestia’s senses.
“I hope you are willing to listen to my proposal now princess. I am willing to let your sister go, though it will be for a price.” This statement seemed to catch both Nightmare Moon and Queen Chrysalis off guard.
“Derrick, you cannot be serious. She is worth more than anything they could possibly offer us,” Chrysalis was quick to input. Though the words of his friend did nothing to sway his opinion.
“You both said that I was allowed to do with her as I please, and I am willing to bargain for her freedom. Though like I said, it is going to come at a cost,” Derrick reiterated. Nightmare Moon and Chrysalis wore expressions of concern and light annoyance, though conceded to the demands of their demand.
“Fine, you may bargain for her life. Though it better be good.” Derrick just smiled at the upset alicorn before turning his attention back to the princess.
“Now then Celestia, are you willing to hear my one and only demand for the release of your sister?” The princess of the sun could do little to hide her anger, treating her sister as a mere bargaining chip. Though the situation dictated that she would at least control herself for the moment, since her sister’s life was at stake.
“And what sort of demand would that be?” Celestia retorted in a none-to-pleased tone. Derrick could only offer a smile as he reclined back in his chair once again and stared up at the ceiling.
“There is a certain person of interest that I want from you Celestia. Being held in one of your political prisons is an inmate by the name of Terra Skywind, though I am sure you are more than familiar with her.” Celestia’s eyes widened in shock, more so for the fact that the human even knew about this individual and that she was being kept under lock and key. The expression of the princess said it all to the human. He knew that he had her right where he wanted her and given the certain situation, was more than likely going to get his way.
“Yes princess, it seems you know full well who I am talking about. Terra Skywind, or as she is better known as, the daughter of the High King of Gryphonia.”
Several hours had passed by since the negotiations of the two parties came to an end. Both princess Celestia and princess Luna were currently set up in one of the guest rooms of the castle, as the older sister gently held the weeping mare in her grasp before the two drifted off into an uneasy sleep. Down the hall and only a few rooms away, a heated discussion was taking place between one of Celestia’s senior ranking guards and her assistant.
“How the hell did he know about that fucking gryphon?” a masculine mare voice argued. The mare was none to pleased with the situation she was currently facing, since she was losing one of their nation’s most valuable assets. It was true that the daughter of the High King of Gryphonia had been convicted of espionage when visiting Equestria, though the trial was kept out of the public eye for a multitude of reasons. The truth however, was that the princesses feared the overly aggressive patrols and troops near Equestrian borders, only adding to the tension of politics. When war seemed inevitable, both Celestia and Luna made a conscious decision to protect their nation and subjects, by any means necessary. Those means included falsifying evidence against the high king’s daughter, which in turn assured that the gryphons wouldn’t do anything rash until a more permanent agreement could be reached. Though it seems that the human had other plans.
“M-Maybe they had a changeling spy at our installation?” A daintily postured stallion assistant responded. His physical features were polar opposites to that of the physically fit guard mare with unhealthy anger issues. Adding to the statement, the guard mare grumbled in response with a low growl, raising her fist and slamming it against the stone wall before retracting it from the small crater of a hole she had just made from her outburst.
“I want you to compile a list of every employee who has ever worked at that installation since the arrival of that gryphon brat. I don’t care what you have to do or how you do it. I just want that list on my desk first thing as soon as we get back, do you understand?” The mare narrowed her dark green eyes down at the trembling stallion, who could only nod in understanding.
“Good. Now come, I need to blow off a little steam,” she replied aggressively, pulling the helpless stallion along with her. Unable to offer a response, the poor stallion was dragged along the hall and into an adjacent room before his cries of pain and sexual satisfaction were heard a short time later.
On the other side of the castle, near the lower levels, Derrick casually strolled along the familiar stone hallway as he made his way towards a particular destination. Not more than a few minutes passed before the human arrived in front of a door with two guards situated on either side.
“Guards,” Derrick addressed, nodding his head in a greeting as both the guards saluted him. Reaching for the handle, Derrick turned the knob before making his way inside the rather small, but cozy guestroom. His actions were quick to gather the attention of the two occupants of the room, a mare and stallion they had captured alive after the battle a couple of days ago. Both occupants stared at the human with a look of concern, with the mare using one of her wings to hold the stallion close and shield him from the human.
“Relax you two, I mean you no harm,” Derrick stated casually, before grabbing a nearby chair and pulling up to the bed.
“What do you want with us then?” the mare asked, her tone devoid of emotion. Derrick promptly took a seat in the chair with a small smile on his face.
“I just wanted to say that you two are free to go. A deal is a deal after all, and it seems that you were not lying about the gryphon. Though I must add, it would be ill advised for you two to venture back to Equestria. Though I think you were not going to attempt such a thing, were you?” The mare and stallion both took a moment to look at one another again, reassuring each other of their decision.
“We would like to take you up on your offer actually, of staying here,” the stallion replied. Derrick’s smile grew as he clasped his hands together in a cheerful tone.
“Wonderful. I am a man of my word after all. I will have papers drafted for the two of you to become official citizens. Though I have to ask, should I put you two down as a married couple or...?” The mare and stallion once again looked towards one another in thought, though the uneasy expressions they held was an indication that they had yet to really discuss such an issue.
“I think we need more time to decide,” the mare responded.
“That is perfectly alright by me. Take some time to think about it. It will take me at least a couple of weeks to draft all of the necessary documents for you two anyways. So just relax and I will send someone down here in a couple of days to move you to a more permanent residence inside the city. Until then, I bid you two a farewell,” Derrick stated, before getting up from his seat and exiting the room. As soon as the human left, the stallion left out a long sigh he didn’t know he was holding.
“Crimson... did we do the right thing?” the mare was quick to comfort her subordinate with a soft kiss to his forehead.
“Yes we did Streak. I know it will be hard for the first few months, but we will make it through this. We will rebuild our lives together. Besides, as far as anyone knows, we died in that battle. Our families will grieve for us, but they will find others just like we found each other.” Streak quickly nuzzled under his lover’s chin before planting a reassuring kiss upon her lips.
“I love you so much Crimson,” Streak whispered after the kiss. The mare could only smile as she wrapped the stallion in her arms and wings, pulling him into bed with a look of satisfaction.
“I love you too Streak,” Crimson replied, as the two equines shared a passionate moment of lovemaking with one another before falling into a deep sleep.
Meanwhile, only a thousand miles away or so, a lone carriage flew through the sky with a rather confused gryphon in attendance.
“So where are we headed?” the gryphon curiously asked. Her tone was filled with nervousness, though also a hint of excitement. She wasn’t too sure, though she knew something major must have happened if she was pulled from her cell in the middle of the night and stuffed into a flying carriage to parts unknown.
“Come on, I won’t tell anyone. Where are we headed too?” she curiously questioned again, more so for the fact of annoying the guard. The gryphon was met with a glare from the stallion opposite of her, though he offered no comment about the question.
“Fine, don’t tell me. I like surprises anyway,” she added before fluffing her feathers and staring out the window of the carriage. She knew she was headed in the Western direction, thanks to landmarks and her natural instinct of flying. But she couldn’t quite make out what there was in this sort of direction. One thing was for sure though, wherever she was heading, it wasn’t towards her home kingdom of Gryphonia. So with nothing else to do, the Gryphon continued to stare out the window for the ten hours or so before finally arriving at her destination.
The time was rather early in the morning when the carriage arrived. The sun was just peaking over the horizon when the call when out that the carriage had been spotted coming in for a landing. Within minutes, the carriage was on the ground as two soldiers opened the door of the carriage before escorting the gryphon in question up the stairs of the castle and into a large conference room with princess Celestia, Derrick, and Queen Chrysalis. The Gryphon’s quickly fixated on the princess as she gave a glare of contempt, though her focus soon switched the oddity in the room that happened to be rubbing the sleep out of his eyes at the moment.
“Here she is, Terra Skywind,” Celestia said with annoyance. The human took this opportunity to let out a loud yawn before turning towards his friend.
“Hey Chrissy, you don’t need me anymore, so I'm going back to bed.” Before the human could make it two steps, a green aura gripped him by the back of his shirt and pulled him back into position.
“If I have to be up at this ungodly hour, then so do you. Besides, it was you who traded this gryphon for Luna. The least you could do is welcome her here and explain everything that is going on.”
“Or I could let you do all that while I get back into bed with Lumen, who and I quote, ‘I will come hunt you down and have my way with you if you are not back by the time I wake up again.’ And as much as I would love to see where that is going, I’m too tired for this shit.” Chrysalis offered a frown before holding the human in place with her magic still.
“You are not going anywhere. Now let us hurry this along so that we may all go back to sleep, and that bitch can take her sister and leave.”
“Fine, fine. Just hurry up and do your little brain scan thingy,” Derrick said with a wave of his hand. At this point, the Gryphon was at a loss for words. She had no idea what was going on, though she did know about Queen Chrysalis from tabloids after the failed invasion. Suffice to say, she didn’t like the situation she was just put in.
“Ahem. My name is Queen Chrysalis. This will only take a moment of your time, but I need to confirm your identity. I ask that you please don’t move and try to remain as relaxed as possible. This will only take a few minutes.” Before Terra could object to such a thing, Chrysalis’s horn lightly touched the top of the gryphon’s head, sending the gryphon into a state of numbness. She couldn’t move though she could feel everything that was happening within her head. Past memories of her as a child, all the way through the most recent events of being taken from her cell and led into a carriage. Satisfied with the information, Chrysalis released her spell before turning towards her friend.
“This is in fact Terra. I hope she was worth the trade,” Chrysalis stated, walking out of the conference room and presumably back to bed.
“You have your prisoner, now remove Luna’s collar at once,” Celestia demanded. If it were another time of the day, Derrick would have made a smart-ass comment to the mare. Though he was far too tired to really care at the moment.
“I will. The collar will be removed by the time you get back to your room,” Derrick stated, pulling out a small remote control and flipping one of the switches. Celestia quickly left the room without a further word; leaving a confused and even if she didn’t want to admit it, scared gryphon alone with the human.
“Well, that takes care of that,” Derrick added before turning his attention to his new guest.
“I'm sure you have many questions about what is going on right now, and I will answer them all in good time. But right now, I could use a cup of coffee to wake me up a little bit. Are you hungry perchance? I’m sure you haven’t had a decent meal in a while.” Before the gryphon could comment on the subject, her stomach let out a loud growl of acknowledgement, sending the human into a fit of laughter.
“I will take that as a yes. Come along then Terra, we have much to discuss.”
It had been a long and stressful day for the High King of Gryphonia. The exhausted griffon had been up well before the rising sun, tending to his royal duties as the diligent leader he was. Within the span of the last few hours of his day, the king had sat through several meetings, most of which included more pressure from his senior military officials to do something about the growing number of Equestrian troops near the borders of their fair country. And as before, the High King continued his passive stance towards the Equestrians for fear of his daughter’s safety. He knew what sort of game the Equestrians were playing, and at the moment, he had no choice but to follow, or so he thought. It was at that moment a lone guard approached the king with a respectful bow, his spear at the ready and a look of seriousness adorning his face.
“Sir, we have an ambassador from the kingdom of Iron Cove requesting an audience with you,” the guard stated. The High King let out an exasperated sigh before shaking his head.
“I do not feel like dwelling into the realm of politics anymore today. Tell them I am busy and have one of the maids prepare a guest room. I will schedule a meeting with them in the morning.” The guard could only ruffle his feathers a bit in hesitation at his king’s response, a motion most unusual for someone of his occupation. It was only then that the griffon pulled out a small ring in view of his king.
“Sir, the ambassador said for me to give you this. She said you would know what it meant and the reason for her presence.” Shifting his tired eyes towards the small object, the king was quick to gain his second wind as he immediately recognized the ring in the guard’s hand.
“Bring me to the ambassador right now,” the king demanded. The guard was quick to obey the actions of his superior, though also a bit surprised at his sudden change of demeanor.
Before long, the guard and king were standing face-to-face in front of a well-dressed dark-blue unicorn.
“It is a pleasure to meet you High King of Gryphonia. My name is Carnia Iron Ore, ambassador for the kingdom of Iron Cove,” the mare respectfully greeted, followed by a courteous bow of her head.
“The pleasure is mine miss Iron Ore. Though if I might be so brash as to ask, how did you acquire that ring?” The king’s voice was calm and reserved, though also accented with a hint of anxiousness.
“Well, I suppose there could be multiple ways as to how I acquired such a ring, but that is not really your question is it? If I may be so blunt, but I think the correct question would be to ask, where is my daughter and is she safe?” the mare stated with a knowing smile. The king faltered but a moment, his wings anxiously twitching on his back before giving a defeated sigh.
“I have waited many months now for an update on the status of my daughter and those who hold her captive. It is a terrible feeling I would not wish on my worst foe.” The Griffon’s eyes soon locked with that of the ambassador’s, as a look of pleading took over his features. “Please, tell me not as the High King of Gryphonia, but as a worried father. Is my daughter safe?” Silence permeated the air between the two political figures. For her part, Carnia did not expect such an honest answer, though she respected it nonetheless. She had a loving husband and young filly at home, and would do anything within her power to keep them safe.
“I would like to inform you that your daughter is no longer being held as a prisoner in the kingdom of Equestria. She is safely sheltered within our walls and is currently recovering from the whole ordeal,” Carnia relayed with a gentle smile. Within seconds of hearing those wondrous words from the mare, the High King’s knees buckled before having his guard catch him in mid fall.
“Thanks be to the spirits of old for giving me strength during this time of trepidation.” The mare could only smile on at the scene before pulling out a large-red crystal from her satchel.
“I have been instructed by the leader of our fair city to open up a quick access portal so that you may meet with him. I must warn you though that I will not be able to open up the portal again for at least one full day, since I will have to recharge the magic in the crystal. That isn’t going to be a problem, is it?” The king was quick to recover from his earlier bout of surprise before standing upright with a determined nod.
“If it means being reunited with my daughter, then I have no objections to such a constraint.” It was at this time that the guard felt a sense of worry wash over him, not knowing if he could fully trust this so called ambassador.
“My king, I would like to suggest that we wait upon this decision. In no way am I discrediting the validity of the ambassador’s words, but how do we know she is telling the truth?” The mare frowned slightly at the prospect of being called a liar, though knew not to take it personally. The guard was just doing his job, trying to make sure his king was safe.
“We cannot be certain of her words unless I validate them for myself. Though when it comes to the prospect of my daughter, what kind of father would I be if I were to ignore even the slimmest of chances? So rest easy soldier, for if I should not return, then I know for certain that your queen is more than capable of ruling in my stead.” And with those final words, the griffon turned his attention back towards the mare with a single nod.
“Very well. I shall prepare the portal at once.” With a quick burst of activation energy from Carnia’s horn, the red crystal began to glow. Within seconds, a large portal of swirling magic had been opened in the center of the room, though the murky blue energies of the portal prevented anyone from seeing what lay on the other side.
“I would advise you to hurry, High King. The portal won’t stay open longer than thirty seconds,” the mare called out, raising her voice slightly to be heard over the new noise. With a final look from his hesitant guard, the High King fearlessly walked through the portal, only to have it close right after him. For now, all the guard could do was have faith.
After stepping through the portal, the High was quick to exit on the other side. Static from the immense swirling vortex of magic coated the griffon’s fur and feathers in an unpleasant but bearable feeling.
“Good evening to you High King,” A voice soon called out, pulling the griffon from his thoughts. Sitting at the opposite side of a small, rectangular table was what the griffon could only describe as a short, hairless minotaur without any horns. Despite his curiosity, the king gave a quick nod to acknowledge the greeting from the strange creature.
“Good evening as well,” the king awkwardly stated before looking around the small conference room. Picking up on the feelings of the king, Derrick let out a hearty chuckle before motioning towards an opposite seat.
“Yes, you have come to the right place. Please, have a seat. Dinner is about to be served and I’m sure you must be famished.” While hesitant at first, the king once again nodded before cautiously walking towards an empty chair before taking residence upon it. As if on queue, the door to the conference room opened, revealing a cream-colored unicorn pushing a large metal cart with several covered dishes on it.
“Ah, Butter-Cream. It’s about time you got here. I was literally about to start gnawing my arm off I was so hungry,” the human playfully jested. The mare could only roll her eyes as she started to levitate all of the dishes towards their respective spots.
“You know good and well it was your fault for missing lunch this afternoon. If you hadn’t been screwing around with Copper in that workshop of yours, you wouldn’t be attempting to maul yourself for sustenance right now,” the mare chided back with a smile. This only caused the human’s face to turn a light tint of red from the wording the mare used.
“Whoa, you might want to rephrase that Creamy. From the way you said it, it sounds like Copper and I are mixing business with pleasure.” The mare could only roll her eyes from the silly thoughts of the human before turning her attention towards the guest.
“Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Butter-Cream, and I will be taking care of you all this evening.” She added with a bow before turning towards the door to fetch the rest of the entrees. Not even second passed before the mare slapped the human’s hand with a bolt of magic as he tried to sneak a peek under one of the covered dishes.
“Bad human. No peeking or eating until everyone has arrived, understood?” Butter-Cream scolded. Derrick quickly retracted his hand with a pout.
“You’re no fun, it’s just a bite” Derrick added before receiving another slap on the hand.
“What was that?” Butter-Cream questioned. The look on her face told the human everything he needed to know.
“N-Nothing?” Derrick replied while rubbing his hand. Seemingly satisfied with the human’s answer, the mare gave one more bow towards the griffon before dismissing herself from the room.
“I’m sorry about that. She’s usually not that much of a buzz-kill,” Derrick joked with an added chuckle before growing an ever-so serious expression. His posture mirrored his attitude, as he sat fully upright with his hands on the table.
“Now, I know why you are here, and I would rather not beat around the bush. To your first question, the answer is yes. Your daughter is here recovering from her time in Equestria. And for the time being, she is safe. The question I bet you are wondering though, is what it will take to get her back?” The air in the room dropped several degrees as a cold chill ran up the griffon’s spine. He had known this character for less than two minutes, though from his initial assumptions, he seemed like a rather likeable fellow, if a bit silly. However, his opinion changed drastically within the last few seconds.
The High King fidgeted in his chair, his wings twitching ever so slightly as he tried to feel out the situation. He knew he was at a disadvantage, especially when it came to his daughter. Though what really chilled the griffon’s heart was that look of confidence throughout his opposition’s expression. It was the same expression that smug, Equestrian ambassador gave when delivering the terms of princess Celestia and princess Luna’s terms to ensure the safety of his daughter. And just like before, it made him furious.
Gripping the edge of the table with one of his talons, the griffon tried his best to keep his emotions in check. It would pay him no advantage to let his emotional side rile up the logical aspect of his reasoning. So with practiced posture and articulation, the griffon gave his reply.
“Indeed. I rather dislike politics when it comes to certain situations. I would much rather prefer the bluntness of any individual as opposed to skirting around the question. So tell me, what will it take to get my daughter back,” The king stated in a firm and commanding voice. Silence soon descended upon the room again as Derrick lifted a hand to his chin in thought.
“Hmm, it is hard to say really. I mean, I could ask for a multitude of things from you such as your sovereignty, wealth, or perhaps your crown.” The human mused about the question for another minute or so before shaking his head with a smile.
“Though those things would be typical in fashion, I would like your opinion on the matter. If our positions were reversed, what would I have to trade to get my daughter back? And please, answer me honestly. I will know if you are lying.” Without even a second thought, the king gave his response.
“You inquire as to what I would need, for the safe return of your family? If you want my honest opinion, then the answer would be nothing. I have come to know the pain and fear of this situation. To wish upon every fiber of your being to cradle your child, to protect them from the hardships of this world. To apologize for not being there in their greatest time of need, to know you have failed your most sacred of duties as a parent. To show them how much they mean to you and to tell them, if but one last time, that you love them more than any words could describe. I would never wish this upon any foe of mine. And if given the chance, I would lay down my wealth, kingdom, and life to correct this mistake as any good father would.
So don’t you dare sit there with that smug grin on your face and ask such a simple question. My daughter means more to me than life itself. So how dare you fucking bargain with her life like it’s some sort of game!” The king screeched. He hadn’t noticed it at first, but as his true feelings about the whole ordeal surfaced, he couldn’t help but raise his voice with a few tears in his eyes. It was also during this time that the griffon had failed to notice something else entirely.
Using his right hand, Derrick began to twirl his index finger around in a circle with his signature grin plastered on his face. As if finally noticing the extra presences in the room, the king slowly turned his head towards the door as his voice suddenly left them. Standing at the entrance was another griffon, clad in a beautiful, dark-blue sequined dress holding her hands over her beak with watery eyes. The two continued to stare at one another, as if imagining the whole deal. But with seconds, both parties crossed the room before colliding into a loving embrace and tears.
“Dad,” Terra sniffled, trying her best to remain proper, but failing miserably in front of the human. The king was faring no better as his strong-brown wings enveloped the younger griffon with tears of joy. It was also during this time that a certain thestral came sauntering into the room with that all knowing smirk plastered on her face.
“How long were you two waiting outside?” Derrick questioned, only to be met with a gentle, but passionate kiss.
“Long enough,” Lumen replied with a giggle before taking a seat on the human’s lap. Derrick quickly wrapped his arms around the mare’s torso, pulling her close before burying his face into her back with a few kisses.
“So tell me Derrick. Was it worth trading that wretched alicorn for this griffon?” Lumen questioned quietly. All it took was once glance towards the opposite side of the room to reinforce his opinion with a gentle smile.
The soft sounds of muffled whimpers filled the area of princess Celestia’s chambers. Ever since Luna arrived back in Canterlot, Celestia deemed it necessary to spend as much time with her little sister as she could, for both the younger alicorn’s safety and general well being. Her injuries were vast, and as much as Celestia wished it, there was nothing the doctors could do about her wings. Her horn and fur would take a while to grow back, but at least they would.
“Bastards. I will make them all pay dearly for what they have done to my family,” Celestia mumbled under her breath before tightening the embrace of her sister with a gentle stroke of her hand. It was all she could do to comfort the younger princess, though even then it still wasn’t much. It would take years or maybe even decades for Luna to fully recover mentally from the incident, if she would even fully recover at all. And to make matters worse, Celestia still had to deal with the incident about the captured soldiers and soldiers who lost their lives attacking the Kingdom of Iron Cove.
“Princess,” a gentle voice spoke from within the room, gaining the attention of the Solar Diarchy while not disturbing the sleeping alicorn. With one last stroke and gentle kiss of her head, Celestia rose from the bed before making her way outside of the room with the guard.
“Princess, I am sorry to disturb you in such a time but we need your orders on what we should do regarding the situation of our captured soldiers, along with those who are deceased. The few survivors who made it out alive have been ordered to remain silent regarding the matter, though I am afraid ponies will start talking soon,” the voice of a middle-aged stallion spoke. To her credit, Celestia had already been thinking of such things, despite the emotionally draining situation regarding her sister.
“Colonel, I wish for you to ready an address in three days time. That should give me more than enough time to get our affairs in order and to issue a statement of everything that has happened thus far. I fear that our enemy is growing in numbers, so we should be prepared for anything they can throw at us. I will send a letter to Princess Sparkle and inform her of my plans. For now though, I want you to send a contingent of your best guards to secure the Bearers of the Elements and bring them here to the castle. Twilight should be able to assist you in any way, though I must insist on your promptness. We have no time to waste.”
“Yes mam!” the guard bellowed, saluting his princess before venturing off to fulfill her requests. With a small sigh from the older sister, Celestia made her way back into her chambers for what she hoped would be a few peaceful hours of shuteye.
“So, i’m freaking exhausted right? I’d been working for the past twelve hours on some little problem they were having with the energy grid well into the night. And as soon as Lumen and I rest our heads on our pillows, what do we hear? Some stupid alicorn is screaching her head off at Moony and Chrissy just a hundred feet away. Her voice was so loud that it started vibrating the walls of the room. So of course i’m tired and cranky at this point, though I lug myself out of bed anyway. And get this, when I go and tell her to be quiet, she bitch slaps the hell out of me before declaring war,” the human added with a roar of laughter. The table soon joined in as Lumen, Terra, and the High King all began to chuckle as well.
“You’re serious? She just got up out of her seat and hit you? I have never heard of the alicorn behaving in such a manner, though most of my dealings have been through her advisors instead of the rulers themselves,” the High King added before taking a large swig of wine from his mug. To his utter joy, he hadn’t felt this good in years, mainly due to the stress of his daughter in enemy hands. Though with her safely out of harm’s way, the lingering stress that had been piling up over the last couple of years had finally been lifted from his shoulders, much to his pleasure.
“Yeah, and it gets better. You see, Lumen over here didn’t take to kindly to the alicorn assaulting me. So when they came back a few weeks later with an army, we obliterated the majority of them before taking as many prisoners as we could, including one Princess of the Night. But believe me, by the time Lumen was done with her, Luna wasn’t even classified as an alicorn. Though it probably had a lot to do with her two new souvenirs hanging from under her arms. They’re actually framed above our mantle right now, which makes for a great conversation starter and memento.” The king quickly grew silent for a moment, unbelieving what he just heard.
“I apologize if the liquor is affecting my skills of deduction, but when you say two new souvenirs?” The smile from both Lumen and Derrick told him all he needed to know, though just for emphasis, Lumen decided to elaborate.
“Of course I meant her precious little wings. You should have seen how defiant she was though, granted it was short lived after the first wing came off. I never expected a princess to beg like that, though I guess any pony would given her situation. Just goes to show you that I am very protective of my lover,” Lumen reiterated, resting her hand on her lover’s before giving a gentle squeeze and warm smile. Even a blind man could see how much the mare cared for the human, and the feeling was mutual. Derrick would do anything for Lumen and vice-versa, something the High King noticed right away.
“It seems that you two have very strong feelings towards one another. I can see it plain as day in the way you look at each other. It truly is a beautiful quality you both possess,” the High King added before noticing the younger griffon next to him beginning to nod off.
“Terra, why not head back to your room and rest? You seem tired,” The High King’s voice spoke with concern. The younger griffon quickly shook her head as a response.
“I am fine dad, please. It is nothing to worry about,” she said, followed by a loving nuzzle into the crook of his neck. Despite the griffon’s refusal, Lumen stood from her seat before making her way over to the young princess.
“Terra, it is late and you still have not fully recovered. Let us get you to bed. Tomorrow I can take you around the city before sending you back home,” the gentle voice of Lumen stated. At first, the griffon was hesitant to leave her father’s side after being away from him for so long. She wanted nothing more than to live in the moment, for fear of it being just a dream. Though with a loving smile and nod of the King’s head, Terra relented before Lumen helped the griffon out of her seat and to her chambers for some well needed rest.
“You have a lovely daughter,” Derrick was quick to state when the two left the room. A short chuckle resounded from the other side of the table as the High King took another sip of his wine.
“She gets most of her looks and personality from her mother, which I am quite thankful for. Though I am afraid she also got her stubbornness too,” the King added with another chuckle before downing the rest of his mug with a sigh.
“It’s just been so long since I have seen my own daughter. I should have done more to protect her from those vile alicorns. Just the thought of being so powerless to stop them tears at my heart,” he added with a clenched fist.
“You should not dwell on that fact now. Your daughter is safe and that’s all that matters. Tomorrow she will be back within your borders where those alicorns will not be able to touch her. Though I have to ask, what are your plans for them?” the human curiously questioned.
“It should be obvious of course. The Equestrians have been bolstering their forces along our borders and even in a few of our own towns, knowing all too well that I was powerless to stop them. Though with my daughter finally safe, my options for retaliation have grown exponentially.”
“I concur. I think it is about time someone teach those Equestrian’s a lesson, or perhaps, a certain someones,” Derrick added with a hinting tone and wink.
“Are you implying what I think you are?” The High King questioned, his tone laced with hesitance and intrigue.
“Maybe I am or maybe i’m not. That is for you to decide tomorrow when you speak with the ones actually in charge of handling diplomatic situations. Until then, I think it is best for us both to get a good night's sleep. I know we will have a long day ahead of us tomorrow, especially with our new guests,” he mumbled with eerie grin.
The time was well past nine in the evening for the quiet town of Ponyville. Most residents had turned in for the night, leaving the streets relatively empty for the approaching contingent of guards.
“Alright everypony, you have your orders. Regroup at the castle in the middle of town after you have collected your element. And most importantly, be on guard,” the commander ordered before receiving several salutes. With the orders relayed, the commander watched as the guards dispersed throughout the town with each group assigned a specific pony to retrieve. He knew it would be much safer in numbers and hoped that his mission would encounter no obstacles. Unfortunately, he would soon learn that wasn’t the case.