My Little Hunter

by shooting star hunter

First published

When his village is destroyed, Star Hunter returns to it with the hope of finding what was lost.

Star Hunter is a colt from the North mountain Village of Cloudhoof. Every year, young ponies depart from the village to travel Equestria in search of their special something, otherwise known as a cutie mark. It may start as a simple quest, but fate has other things in store for Star Hunter. The lonely pegasus is joined by a young prince who wants adventure and the doctors daughter on the long journey home, but what can he expect whe he gets there? Darkness will fall, but sometimes, that's not such a bad thing.

I would appreciate comments on anything I'm doing wrong(or right(or everything, input is always nice))
Thanks JKaneH for the cover pic as well as proofreading.

The Start of a Journey

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"Dash." I whispered. No response. "Dash!" I said, a little more forcefully. Still no response.

I admit, it was a bit early, even for me, but today was the first day of Summer, which meant the lantern festival was tonight. I was far too excited to sleep. Of course, it wasn't just the festival, well, for me at least. A tradition in Cloudhoof Village is for young pegasi to leave at a young age and only return once they had their cutie mark. Today is my last day in the village before I decided to leave.

Several minutes of silence passed. She hadn't even budged. "Fine, you get to sleep." I told the unconscious filly across the room. A quick look out the window told me it must've been before seven at least. The sun was half over the horizon, which is pretty early when you live high in the mountains. Looking down, there weren't any ponies out on the cobblestone streets yet, at least from what I could hear or see. Closing the window, I hastily left the room. There would be at least one pony in the house that was awake at this hour.

I could hear dishes being moved before I even got into the kitchen. My mother was already awake. Inside the kitchen was a dangerous place to be when she was like this. It was too early in the morning to follow the blue-grey blur that was my mother rushing around the kitchen. Sleep hadn't freed me completely when a loud yawn escaped me.

She stopped and turned to the door. "Star Hunter! I thought you would sleep late today."

I shot her a smile. "Not a chance. I'm gonna make the most of today."

She chuckled "Of course, though it wouldn't hurt to get some more sleep."

"Psh! Sleep is for the weak," pausing for a glance back up the stairs, "and Dash."

"You two may be siblings, but you are absolutely nothing alike." She let herself laugh. "There's cinnamon buns on the table, fresh out of the oven. Help yourself." With that, she was back to rushing around the kitchen.

Mother was right. You would've never known Rainbow Dash and I were related if somebody didn't tell you. Rainbow Dash inherited our father's energetic and mischievous personality along with his multicolored mane. I, on the other hand, got our mother's level head, calm personality, and simple blue mane. The thoughts occupied my mind for several seconds before something else intruded. The delicious smell of warm cinnamon. I love cinnamon.


I was at the table for the better part of an hour before I heard somepony knocking at the front door. Upon opening the it, I found a pink filly with a ginger colored mane staring at me. Just the pony I was hoping for.

"Good morning!" she said, flaring her wings.

"Good morning Airheart. You're sure up early this morning."

"No earlier than you. What was it today? Before Sunrise maybe?"

"I'll have you know I only got up about an hour ago." I gave her a triumphant look.

"You know that's actually earlier than your usual, right?"

She knows me too well. "Alright, you win. So, why are you here?"

She became noticeably brighter at the question. "Can I come in first?"

"No." She raised an eyebrow. "Fine, come on."

I lead her back to the kitchen table where I was sitting minutes before. My mother gave her a brief greeting before rushing back to work.

She didn't hesitate to help herself to a cinnamon roll before talking to me. "You want to know why I'm here?"

"Uh, yeah."

"YOU want to know why I'M here?" she repeated.

I narrowed my eyes at her.

"I thought it would be obvious."

"No, not really." I replied.

"You're the only one that's not busy today! My father is on cloud duty, my mother is busy making food, and I'm BORED." She finished by planting her face on the table.

I smiled at her over-enthusiastic explanation, then finally said "So you want to hang out with me today?"

She nodded.

I feigned contemplating it for a moment. In reality, I was going to have her along anyway. Leaving was a big thing since some ponies never came back, so it was encouraged to say your last goodbyes.

"Fine. If you must." Pouring in a reasonable amount of exasperation.

"Don't kid yourself. There's no way you could say no to this adorable face." She flutter her eyes at me.

I didn't even want to dignify that with a response, so instead I turned towards my mother as we moved in the direction of the hall way and out the front door. "We're going to the square, we'll be back before dark."

"I'll hold you to that," she called back "and stay out of trouble." She added. “Oh!” She said as she peeked her head out of the kitchen. "Stop by Krispy's. He'll want to know you're leaving."

"No problem." I stared at her for a few moments. "Anything else?"

"I don't think so. Have fun." She smiled and went back into he kitchen.

"Shall we depart?" Airheart asked.

"I believe we shall."

The door shut behind us and we were on the path to the village square.

It turned out that it was still a bit early because there were still hardly any other ponies out. The only sounds were our hooves on the uneven cobblestone streets.

The monotonous sound was starting to weigh on me when Airheart broke the silence. "So, do you know where you're going?"

I was puzzled for a moment "To the square. I thought we established that."

"When you leave, feather brain."

"Oh that. I uh- I haven't thought about it much." That was a flat out lie. I had thought about almost non-stop for the past week, but without actually knowing what these places were like, I hadn't the faintest idea of which to pick.

"So you're just going to fly off and hope for the best?" She seemed distressed by the idea.

"Yeah, that's the plan I guess."

She let out a sigh. "You're way too laid back for your own good."

"Not laid back, just calm and collected." We got to the square which, unlike the rest of the village, was a bit more active.

Several of the shops had already opened their doors and a particularly colorful shop easily caught our attention. "Now where to first?" I asked.


It was a rhetorical question, but she answered anyway. We trotted through the open door and found the old stallion carrying a stained glass window to a display case. It was a relatively new one he had been working on for weeks.

"Hi Mr. Krispy!" We said in unison.

"Hey kids, what are you doing here so early?" He said in a gruff voice.

"Thought we would get an early start on the day." I told him.

"You know he's leaving tomorrow." Airheart said.

"Is that so? You know, I never had to leave the village. When I was a foal...." He began to tell the story of how he got his cutie mark. "-and that's how I saved Hearth's Warming Eve. Anyway, I gotta get back to work," he said, beginning to head to the back of the shop, then called to me, as if remembering something. "Hey Star Hunter."


"Stop by here tonight, I've got a little going away gift for ya."

"You got it!" I said.

Both Airheart and I departed the store in much higher spirits than when we came in.

It was before just sunset when I had finally seen all the ponies I wanted to. Turns out I have friends all over the village. The last stop before home was Airheart's house where it was something like a mini going away party from my second family.

I was finally back at my front door when I heard somepony land behind me.

"You finish everything up?" He said before I turned around.

It was exactly who I thought it was. "Yeah dad. Pretty sad though. I won't see a lot of them for a while."

"That is, if you come back at all." He said with a chuckle.

"Don't let mom here you joke like that."

We walked through the front door together and were confronted with the sight of Rainbow Dash with our lanterns and mother with a plate of delicious looking food.

"You two get cleaned up, Dash and I are going to go on ahead and help set up." My mother said, not even giving us time to respond before they were out the door.

"Best do as she says." My father said.

I nodded.

It didn't take long to get prepared. I combed my mane to lie flatter on my head and washed the dirt of my coat. Simple enough. We both met at the front door and were off to the square.

The sun was touching the horizon when we finally arrived and found our spots at one of the long tables, waiting anxiously for the feast to begin.

"Star Hunter!" I heard as two legs wrapped around my neck.

"Hi Dash." I said.

"You didn't wake me up this morning." She said, feigning disappointment. "Thank you."

"It wasn't for lack of trying. You sleep like a brick."

She ignored that last part. "But you know, it would've been nice to spend my last day with you, WITH YOU."

"Ah, that's where this is going."

"I can't believe you skipped out on me to hang out with your Airheart."

"Not my fault you sleep like a brick." I told her.

"You already said that."

"And I'll keep saying it unless that changes." I teased.

"Yeah well I-" She was interrupted when a silence fell over the crowd. Storm Hoof, head of the village, took center stage.

"Mares and gentlecolts. We gather here tonight to celebrate the coming of another wonderful summer season as well as new wings in the sky and hooves on the ground. Of course, it's not just the coming of Summer. I would also like to say farewell to one if our own. My grandson is setting out on his own tomorrow and I couldn't be more proud."

I realized that the moment he said that, the eyes of ever pony in the village turned to me. If my coat wasn't as dark blue as it was, I would've been red as a ruby.

"Star hunter, good luck and may Celestia be your guide." His tone made a quick change, becoming less formal. "Now let's eat!" Thus, the feast began.

It became a mission to slip away from the crowds of ponies wishing me luck on my journeys. As soon as I got away from the table, I made a beeline for Krispy's Bakery. I wasn't in the habit of forgetting things I deemed important and I certainly wasn't going to put it off to the last minute. It didn't help that his store was at the opposite end of the square though, so I had to pass virtually every pony in the village, who, again, kept stopping to talk to me. Finally, I was able to break away from them and make it through his open door.

I found Mr. Krispy at a table with his wife, who upon seeing me said "Well, if it isn't our favorite colt. I can't believe you're leaving tomorrow. It seems like just yesterday that we were babysitting you two."

"You would follow me, wouldn't you?" I said without turning around.

"What? I didn't get the day with you, so I'll stick with you tonight." She said with a magnificent grin. Anyway, I thought you already visited Mr. Krispy."

"He did," Mr. Krispy interrupted. "but I asked him to come back tonight er now er earlier...." He furrowed his brow, mumbling to himself about past, present and future tense. "Bah! I can never get that right! Anyway, I have something for you. Come with me to the back."

He moved to the back room, me following close behind.

I turned when I felt Dash behind me. "Not one for waiting, as usual?"

She nodded.


The first thing I noticed was that the room was emptier than usual. Not just empty, clean too. The floors were shiny and free glass pieces, the shelves were neatly organized with various materials, and the only thing on the main work table was a wooden box. Krispy trotted over to the box and, with an expert flick of his wing, opened it.

"What's in it?" I asked.

"Why don't you come over and see for yourself." It sounded more like an order than a suggestion.

Rainbow Dash moved ahead of me to the table and without hesitation peeked inside the box. I saw a sparkle in her eyes as she looked inside. "Come over here Star Hunter, it's beautiful."

Dash using a word like beautiful? It must be something. I made my way towards the table and looked in the box. What I saw was a pendant. No, it's wasn't just a pendant. What I was looking at was something special. It was a small, golden disc that was hung on an intricate silver chord. The oddest thing was that it seemed to radiate power.

"It's amazing." Was all I could say.

"And I'm giving it to you." he told me. "It's a necklace that has been passed down through my family for generations. It's said that whoever wears it will be granted the power to protect those they love the most. It's a bit corny, but you're the closest thing I'll ever have to a son, so I want you to take it with you on your journeys Star Hunter."

The words took a moment to sink in, but when they did I couldn't believe it. "I can't take something like this. I have no right to-"

"Star Hunter!" Rainbow Dash's interrupted. She was so quiet, I forgot she was there too. "Mom always said that it's rude to refuse the kindness of others. The kindest pony you and I know is offering you something precious and you're turning it down?"

She gave me an intense stare that all but crushed any defense I could've mounted. My decision had been made by for me and I was okay with it. "Mr. Krispy, I'll gladly accept the charm. Thank you."

He just chuckled. "Now if that isn't the sweetest thing I've ever seen, I don't know what is." He slowly pulled the charm out of the box and slid it over my neck. It was heavy. Far heavier than anything that size should have been. "Now you two get outta here and have some fun. I think I'd like to have a little more time with my wife." He guided us back to the door and before he closed it behind us, he looked us both over. "You," He said, looking down at Rainbow Dash, "Stay loyal to your family and friends. It's a good trait to have. You," He looked back at me, "Gold and silver are nice colors on you. Trust them." He gave us one last smile and closed the door.

"Thanks for the fashion advice I guess."

"Come on Star Hunter, it's almost time for the lanterns!"

"I almost forgot!"

We rushed to the outside of town where ponies were already gathering with their lanterns. It didn't take long to find Mom and Dad, who had ours with them.

"There you two are. We thought you were going to miss it." My father said.

He handed us our lanterns, which were already lit and just needed to be let go, and we bolted to the cliffs where all the the other fillies and colts were waiting.

Grandfather began his speech like he did every year. "Everybody, another year and another Lantern Festival. With each of you is a lantern holding your hopes and dreams. When you let them go, they will fly high into the clouds and carried to those great pegasi before you. Stay true to your friends, your family, and most important of all, yourself, and those dreams will become a reality." He smiled at everybody who was at the cliffs edge then said in a loud, booming voice

"Release the lanterns!"

On his command, hundreds of lanterns filled the sky, creating the look of many tiny stars dancing in the sky.

Rainbow Dash turned to me and asked "You'll come back, right?"

"Definitely not." She shot me a piercing glare. "Geez. You and Airheart. Of course I'm coming back. I wouldn't dare leave forever."

"Good." She said, resting her head on me.

We spent the rest of the night laying in the grass talking about the places I was sure to go. Part of me wished that tonight could last forever, but the other part of me knew that could never happen.
Rainbow Dash, Father, Mother, even Airheart joined my walk to the edge of the village. We reached the edge and I turned to look at my family. This was it. Yesterday had come and gone. I had said goodbye to the ponies of Cloudhoof Village, and now it was time to say goodbye to Cloudhoof Village itself. One last look surprised me. Many others had joined them. Ponies form all over the village were here to see me off. That made me feel a bit better about everything I had accomplished. I turned my back to all of them, the rising sun to the east and the rest of Equestria ahead of me. Getting a running start, I threw myself into the air. I was on my first adventure.

A New Friend

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The sun was almost at it's peak when I finally escaped the sea of clouds surrounding one of the tallest mountains in Equestria, or so I've been told. What I found below them took my breath away. A forrest the spanned from the foot of the mountain onward stretched across thee land. I had never seen so many of them. Really, the only trees in Cloudhoof were small and sickly, barely worth the attention of anyone. Here, the trees were huge and seemed to be the only thing for miles, besides another, much smaller mountain in the far off distance.

I continued flying until the sun began to touch the horizon. With small breaks in between, I was able to fly much closer to the mountain I had seen that afternoon. Before I landed, I did catch a glimpse of something that surprised me. Built into the mountain was a large city I hadn't noticed until now. There were tall, colorful towers and what looked like a castle. That's Where I'm going.

It couldn't be more than an hour away by wing, but my wings were already killing me. Putting it off until tomorrow will be my best bet. Of course, putting it off didn't stop me from fantasizing about what I'd find. I let my mind wander for a few minutes until something in the forest made a loud cracking sound and brought me back to reality. An unfamiliar forest with who knows what kind of creatures. No telling what kind of things would eat me while I was sleeping.

A tree sounded like a comfortable place to sleep for the night. No, not really. Trees are lumpy in all the wrong places, an unbelievable difference from a cloud.

“No time to be picky now.”

Verbal encouragement didn't help. I found myself trying to adjust my position on the tree branch continually, but nothing seemed to work.


I looked down at where the tap came from. The golden disc was lying against the branch of the tree. I had forgotten I was wearing it up until now. It seemed to have lost all the weight I felt when I first put it on. Light as a feather. I was still confused as to why Mr. Krispy would give me something like this and how something so simple could protect anypony. Surely there were more effective things. I pondered these questions for who knows how long before my exhaustion got the best of me. The thoughts distracted me long enough that I forgot about the lumpy tree branch and fell into a rather sound slumber.


I found myself in dimly lit room. It was immediately clear that I had been in the room before. Every wall lined with a shelf and at the center of the room, three ponies around a table. They obviously didn't know I was there because they didn't stop their conversation.

“You really think he's the one?” A mare's voice asked.

“I wouldn't have given it to him if I thought otherwise.” A gruff stallion's voice said.

“But he hasn't even found-"

“Trust the old guy. He of all ponies should know what would've happened if he was wrong.” Another stallion. His voice was slower and much more deliberate.

“I've known for a while. It was just a matter of opportunity.” The dark silhouette looked about the room. “Besides, it's already been confirmed. You needn't worry about him.” The first stallion continued.

“What's that supposed to mean?” Distress flooded her voice. She obviously didn't have the faith the other two had.

The stallion let out a chuckle. “You know, it's very rude to eaves drop.” He wasn't talking to the mare or other stallion, more like another pony in the room. “Step into the light. We don't have much-”

He was interrupted when the room lit up red. I found myself staring at the last pony I thought I would see. “Mr. Krispy?” I asked.

“I don't have any time to explain it to you. When you meet them, they'll have the answers." The ground began to shake and sound began to fill the air. "Wake up. NOW.”


My eyes bolted open, just in time to catch myself from falling. It was just like somepony yelling in your ear to wake up, but as far as I could tell, nopony was there. Several more minutes passed and I got a gip of my situation.

“I fell asleep in a tree.” Check. “I had a funny dream.” Check. “I'm on my way to that mountain side town.” Check. “And I made it this far in a single day.”

The sun had filled the forest with light, which meant it was time for me to be on my way. Still, the dream from the night before bugged me. There was no way I actually had a conversation with Mr. Krispy. I mean, he couldn't possibly have talked to me in a dream, right?

“So, are you going to sit up in that tree all day?”

Despite being fully awake, the voice startled me to the point that I lost my balance and fell from the tree. I must have hit my head because the pony I was staring at looked more like a amorphous white blob.

“Hey, are you all right?” Regaining the ability to focus, I found the pony talking to me was a white unicorn with a blonde mane, about my age.

“Yeah, I'm fine. You just startled me, that's all.” Truth be told, I wasn't sure how okay I was.

“You hit your head rather hard, are you sure you're going to be all right?”

“Yeah, I'll be fine, now I have to be on my way.” I turned my back and prepared to take off when pain rushed through my left wing. I folded my wing back in instinctively. The pain receded slightly, but it was clear there was something wrong. He didn't miss it either.

“You're not all right at all. Look at your wing. You're obviously injured. You should come with me. I'll have somepony take care of that.” His insistence was admirable.

“No really, I'm- Argh!” I tried to extend my wing again, but the pain was even worse.

“I will not take no for an answer. Is there anything in your saddlebags that might help?”

“There should be some bandages.”

He pulled my bag of my back and withdrew a roll of bandages. “This should do.” Without a hint of hesitation, he wrapped the bandage around my torso, making sure to secure both my wings tightly to my body. “Sorry, but this is the best way to keep you from hurting your wing any more.” Looking me over, he didn't find any other concerning injuries. “Alright, let's get you to a pony with real medical knowledge.” At this point, I had no choice but to follow. He began to walk away, but stopped. “Oh dear, I guess I should introduce myself. My name is,” he paused for a moment “ah well, you can call me Blue.”

“I'm Star Hunter. It's uh, nice to meet you, I guess.” He gave me a smirk and quickly trotted away.

We began our trek through the forest when I noticed Blue's cutie mark. As far as I could tell, it was a compass. Small talk seemed appropriate at this point. “So, what's your special talent?”

“I'm an explorer, or at least that's what I want to be when I'm older. I always seem to be able to find what I'm looking for, or more often than not, what I'm not looking for.” He chuckled. That last part must have been a joke, but it went over my head. “So, what were you doing in a tree this early in the morning anyway?”

“I slept there."

He stared at me with a look of astonishment mixed with concern. “You slept in a tree? I'm not one to judge, but don't you have a nice comfy bed to sleep in?”

“Well technically yes but-” I stopped when another thought crossed my mind. “Wait, how long were you watching me?”

“I was watching you for a couple minutes before I startled you out of the tree. Having quite a time mumbling to yourself about something. Alright we're almost there.”

The direction we were heading had us going, not only up hill, but towards a white wall. When we reached the wall, he just stopped in front of it.

"So, how are we going to get around this?" I asked him.

"Not around-" He approached the wall and raised his hoof to a particular stone "through." He pressed the stone into the wall, which in turn, caused a small passageway to open up next to us.

Quickly picking up my jaw, I promptly asked him “How did you do that?”

He turned to me a smiled. “I told you, I find things. I found this while exploring the castle garden.”

“Garden? Wait, castle?”

“You'll see in a minute, just follow me.” He disappeared into the passage that appeared. I followed close behind.

Once we were both through the passage way, the opening closed behind us, shrouding us in the darkness. It didn't last long as Blue lit up his horn and walked the the opposite wall. He reached for a stone on the wall but stopped and looked back at me.

“Uhh.... from here on, if anypony stops us, just let me do any talking, alright?”

I nodded in consent. I was tempted to ask why, but it's probably for the best that I don't, right?

He turned around and pressed the button. A piece of the wall disappeared, like the first, flooding the room with light. “Alright hurry up.” We rushed through the opening, which quickly disappeared behind us.

"This must be the garden?" I asked him.

"Yeah. And that," he nodded to something behind me. "is the castle."

I turned and found myself staring at a massive white castle. Topping many spires and towers were the colorful looking constructs that I had seen the night before. “This is amazing!”

“It's okay, I guess. A bit constricting for my taste. Come on, this way.” He quickly began weaving from bush to bush towards the castle.

“Umm, we're not going in there, are we?” I whispered to him.

“Well, where else would we be going? I told you, your wing needs medical attention."

“Yes, but what does the castle have to do with-” before I could finish, a shrill voice filled the air.

“Bluebloooooooood! Where are you?!”

A panicked look crossed Blue's face, but he composed himself just as quickly. “Alright, here's the deal, we need to get inside. Quickly.” With that, he bolted out of cover towards a wooden door.

I found my legs moving on their own, keeping close pace with Blue. It was a matter of seconds before we were through the door, but it wasn't until we were on the far side of the room that we finally stopped running.

I looked at Blue and asked “What was that about?!”

It took him a moment to catch his breath “That would be my mother and I'm supposed to be at a social event with her and father right about now.”

It took me a moment to catch my breath, then I asked him “So your name is Blueblood?” It was more a statement than a question.

“Yes. I am Prince Blueblood. Equestrian royalty of sorts, but please, just Blue.”

“Alright Blue, now what?”

My question seemed to confuse him. “You don't seemed to be phased by what I just said.”

“You're a prince who's name is Blueblood. It can't be that big of a deal. If it makes you feel any better, I'll probably freak out about it later.” That last part wasn't likely to be true, but I didn't see the point in telling him that.

“You're more laid back than most ponies. I like you.” He looked as if he was going to say something more, but he instead said “Onward then. From here, we need to get to the main hall of the castle. It should be on the other side of this door and down the corridor.”

We began our walk down the hallway and he began the small talk. “So, you're not a Canterlot pony, you're lack of accent tells me your not from Trottingham, and there aren't a lot of pegasi in Manehattan. Are you from Las Pegusus?” Blue asked.
The names of these places seemed foreign to me. “Well, I'm actually from Cloudhoof Village. I've never even heard of Las Pegusus or Trottingham. Are we in Canterlot now?”

“Cloudhoof Village? I've never heard of it. And yes, welcome to Canterlot.”

We came to the end of the corridor. “She should be just up these stairs, Star Hunter.”

Thoughts swirled in my mind and dots began to connect. Prince Blueblood. Canterlot. Canterlot Castle. She. “Blue, who are you taking me to?”

“Hold that thought.” He knocked on a door and a voice invited him in. Upon entrance, I noticed at the far side of the room a tall pegasus pony with her face buried in a book. She looked up at us and- oh, she's not a pegasus, she has a horn. Then it hit me.

Blue stopped walking and looked up at her. “Good morning Aunt Celestia, I was hoping you'd be here.” He looked back a forth between her and I. "This is my friend Star Hunter. We need a little help."

A Dark Day and Third Member

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Star Hunter

“P-P-P-princess Celestia.” My thoughts were racing. I was in the presence of Equestrian Royalty-THE EQUESTRIAN ROYALTY. There were several seconds of silence before I realized the appropriate response. With a bow, I continued “It's a pleasure to meet you Princess.”

Blue looked down at me. “You didn't bow for me.” He commented.

I got back up and took a more formal tone. “Would you like me to bow to you too?”

He feigned thought for a moment. “No, I don't think so. Anyway,” He turned the the Princess, “Can you help us, well him?”

She has this silly grin on her face. “It depends on what you need help with. Ah, if you don't mind me asking, when did you two meet?”

“Well I was just walking through the forest this morning-” Blue started.

“And I was sleeping in a tree-” I explained.

“When I might have maybe possibly had a hand in him falling and hurting himself-”

“Which brings us here because apparently, I just made friends with the nephew of Princess Celestia.” I finished.

She looked between the both of us, then let out a chuckle. “I see. So you were hoping I could help fixing a wing?”

“So is there anything you can do?” I asked her.

Taking one look at me, she said “No, there is nothing I can do about your wing. Maybe you can ask your mother.” She said with what could only be described as pure mischief.

A look of pure horror crossed Blue's face. “Y-you don't really mean that, do you?” Blue asked.

“A pony should face their problems head on Blueblood, and you are no exception.” She said sternly.

“This isn't about him,” he said nodding towards me, “is it?”

“I suggest finding her before she brings the entire castle down.” At that, Blue rose to his hooves. The silence was heavy, similar to a funeral procession. I made a move to follow, but the princess stopped me. “Not you. I wouldn't trust that mare with any kind of magic.”

I looked at Blue leaving the room. That's when the theatrics took over. I raised my hoof to my forehead and saluted him. An angry mother is something to fear, and I'm sure royals were no exception.

My motion was not lost on him. Before closing the door, he turned and sent a salute back at me. “Wish me luck.” Blue told me before the door closed.

“No wonder you two became friends. You're very much alike. Star Hunter, right?” Princess Celestia asked.

“Yes Princess. I'm from Cloudhoof Village to the North.” I told her.

“That's quite a ways away for somepony so young to travel on their own. Do you have a dest-” She was interrupted by knocking at the door. “Come in.” She responded.

A grey unicorn pony wearing shining silver armor with gold trim walked into the room and stood at attention in front of the princess. “Princess, It's almost one o' clock. The ambassador will be arriving soon.”

She had an irritated look on her face. “Ah yes. Him. I will be in momentarily.” She headed toward the door and stopped next to the guard. “Captain, would you please escort this colt to Iron Heart?”

“As you wish Princess.” There was a twinge of annoyance in his voice, but if she noticed, it didn't show.

“Thank you very much.” Then she looked back at me. “I'll send Blueblood to you if I see him.” With that, she was out the door.

The pony that I could only assume was a royal guard gave me an intense stare. He let out a deep sigh. “Come on kid.” He led me out the door and to my next destination.

Why am I always following somepony else?


The silence that fell between us was calm. I could tell he was a quiet pony, which suited me just fine. Our walk was short and ended at a door.

“This is your stop kid. I recommend you knock before you enter.” With that, he left me in front of the door.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

On the third knock. I heard several quick hoof steps. The door swung open, revealing a yellow earth pony with a light blue mane that reminded me of the sky.

“You must be Star Hunter. Come in and let me have a look at that wing.” I opened my mouth to ask how he knew, but he didn't stop talking. “The princess told me you were going to swing by and whoa, look at that.” He had pulled the cloth off my wing and was examining it. “Looks broken. You might have to stay off it for a while. Oh! Where are my manners. I'm Doctor Iron Heart, doctor, physician, mane of mystery. You can call me Doctor, or Iron, or Heart, or Iron Heart, or maybe just Heart. Oh! How about Doctor Heart? I like that one!”

That wasn't the last of it. He just kept going on and on. So much of my attention went to tuning him out that I didn't notice another pony had entered the room.

She had a snow white mane and pale blue coat, in addition to some control of sound. “Dad, How many times have I told you: nopony want's to hear about the many different combinations of your name.” She turned to me. “Just call him Heart. It's what everypony calls him.”

As soon as she started talking to me, three things became apparent.

First: Doctor Heart, as I shall now call him, had stopped talking, which was a relief.

Second: My wing was hurting because the bandage keeping it in place was removed.

Third and finally: She was staring at me, entrancing me with her eyes that were the color of some purple flowers I had seen earlier in the morning. I would have to find out their name.

I'm not entirely sure how long she had me, but I did hear Heart's voice, which unfortunately snapped me out of my thoughts at the wrong moment.

“-that's probably what's wrong with your wing. I'll spare you the painful sounding details.”

Wait, painful details?

“Are you ready?” Heart asked.

“Yeah. Wait ready for- Ahhhhhhh!” He took my wing and pulled it so hard that it popped. Tears almost streaming down my face. “Why would you do that?!”

He looked at me confused. “Didn't I say it would hurt? You pegasi with your heads in the clouds. Even so, was that really necessary. I mean really, a little pain never killed anypony.” Doctor Heart said.

She gave me a flat look. “Don't believe that. It's a flat out lie.”

How reassuring.

“The point is that I didn't kill you and you didn't die,” He said while wrapping a bandage around my wing. “but I guess that's technically the same thing.” He paused looking around the room. Anyway, from what I here, you're stuck here while we wait for the little prince. You could stay here and-” He stopped talking and was staring at something on my chest. “Where did you get that pendant?”

I looked down and found I had forgotten the gold disc again. “This? It was given to me as a going away present.”

“Going away from where.” He was getting a little too close.

“I'm from Cloudhoof Village.”

“That's quite a ways away. Uh, I have to get going. I'm sorry, but there is somehting I must attend to. You'll just have to hang around ehre waiting for Blueblood and...” His voice trailed off as he started mumbling to himself.

His train of thought was broken when the filly interrupted “I can take care of him!” In an enthusiastic tone. “It's not like I have anything else to do today.” Again, a little too enthusiastically.

“Oh! Thank you Candent.” He said. I thought there was a slight glint in his eye, but I ignored it. “Try and stay out of trouble.” and with that, he left through a door on the opposite side of the room, leaving me with her.

She turned to me abruptly. “I don't think I've ever seen you around here. When did you come to Canterlot?”

“I- uh- yeah. I just arrived about an hour ago, in fact.” I told her, leaving out the circumstances of my arrival.

“Excellent! I insist on showing you the castle. It's where you'll be staying umm......” she paused as a confused look crossed her face. “What's your name?”

“I'm Star Hunter.”

“Nice to meet you Star Hunter.” She said.

“And you are?” I asked her.

“Oh me oh my. I guess I haven't introduced myself. I am Regalia Candent The First.” she said, making an over dramatic bow. “But that's a mouthful, so most ponies call me Candent. Now we best be on our merry way. There's a lot of castle to see and so little time!” She quickly moved towards the door, and I was soon following.

Regalia Candent The First. That last part seems a little unnecessary.



"I'm sure of it now. She's a witch. Sending me to face that monster. Have you no mercy Aunt Celestia?"

The door closed behind me, leaving my new friend in the company of my Aunt and me to face a threat like no other. Mother.

I was deep in thought when I heard the quick hoof steps and clanking of armor that told me a guard was headed in my direction. Just as I finished the thought, Captain Platinum came trotting around the corner and stopped just before crashing into me.

“Ah, hello there Prince Blueblood.” He said with a bow.

Right. I'm a Prince. “Hello Captain.” I said with little happiness in my voice. “You wouldn't happen to have seen-” I grasped at the word I wanted to say, but couldn't bring myself to it. “ah, seen my mother.” I winced.

He chuckled. “I saw her returning to the garden.”

“I was afraid of that.” Truth be told, I knew exactly where she was, but stalling was always nice.

“Now I've got to get moving. The Princess's meeting with the ambassador. You know how forgetful she is.” He began to move away, but I stopped him.

“There's no chance you can save me?” I asked him.

“Oh, I'm sure you will be fine. Now I really must be going.”

Before I could pursue the subject, he trotted away a bit hastily in the direction of the study.

So much for stalling. Let's get this over with.


Brunch my flank.

After the verbal lashing from mother, the garden party that had been going since late in the morning was finally dwindling down in the late afternoon. As soon as I got the go ahead, I made haste out of the garden.


Star Hunter was at the forefront of my mind the entire time. After meeting him this morning, I became curious about this Cloudhoof Village he told me about. I've seen every map of Equestria that the castle has, but not once have I spotted Cloudhoof Village on any maps.

I was swimming through a maze of questions when a large mass hit me head on and I fell on the ground.

“Ah, Prince Blueblood. Are you alright?” I heard Iron Heart's voice.

“Yes. I'm fine. Just deep in thought.” I said, looking up at the doctor.

“What were you so deep in thought about? You're usually so alert.”

I debated whether I should tell him, but I couldn't imagine he had any input on the subject. Instead, I asked “You wouldn't happen to have a-”

“I left him in the care of Candent. They're wandering the castle right now, probably going to see the princess next.” He leaned a bit closer. “From what I hear, he's going to be sticking around for a while.” He didn't wait for a response, and instead trotted past me. He mumbled something to himself. “Yes, it went perfectly. She'll tell him.”

I was going to ask him what he said, but thought better of it. I had a pegasus to save.

His other bit of information came to the forefront of my mind. I arrived at the throne room, where I was told he would be, but I only found my aunt addressing a group of guards.

“You have your orders. Investigate, search for survivors, and nothing more. If-” She paused for a moment. “If you encounter it, you have my permission to use force. Captain Platinum, will you be accompanying them?”

“Yes my lady.” He responded.

“Then you are all dismissed. Go.”

On that note, they all turned and left passing me.

“What as that about?” I asked her.

She seemed surprised by my presence. “Oh Blueblood! Just a trivial matter. Nothing important.”

She was lying, but I chose not to pursue the subject. Instead I asked “Where is Star Hunter?”

“I sent him to Iron Heart. He should still be there.” She paused. “I assume all went well with your mother and I won't have to assign a guard to you?”

“Yes Aunt Celestia. Just a simple misunderstanding.” I said, giving her my best smile.

“I'm sure. You should get going. I've got some.... matters to attend to.”

I was about to move when I heard her voice.

“And this is the main hall. Through there is the throne room. It's where- Oh! Hello Blueberry!”

I looked up at my aunt. “Please excuse me for a moment. I have somepony to deal with.”



Star Hunter

“And this is the main hall. Through there is the throne room. It's where-” Candent paused, looking in. “Oh! Hello Blueberry!”

“Who's Blueberry?” I asked her. As if to answer my question, Blue trotted out of the throne room and met us. “You're Blueberry?”

He shot her a glare, then looked back at me. “Please don't ever, EVER call me that.”

“Oh, but I thought you loved that nickname.” there wasn't a hint of hostility in her voice, but you could see his irritation.

“You would think so you... you... ARGH!” He turned away from her and looked at me. “Of all the ponies in the castle, you had to find the most infuriating one.”

I couldn't hold back a laugh.

“Yeah, laugh it up feather brain. How's your wing?”

“Painful.” I told him. “And I still can't fly with it. Your mother?”

“Likewise.” A pained expression on his face.

“Hey, I'm still here!” Candent had come to my side. “So, how do you know my favorite fruit?”

“Well, he's the one that brought me to the castle.”

“Hm, this could complicate things.” She said, amused. “I'll have to find a way to thank him for my new friend.”

“Please don't. I really don't need anything from you.” He said in a surprisingly cold manner.

“Oh, no. I must insist.” Candent told him. She looked past him and instantly straightened up. “Princess, good afternoon.”

She was so silent that none of us noticed her. “Good afternoon to you as well.” She looked directly at me. “Star Hunter, may I speak to you?” Without waiting for an answer, she retreated into the throne room. I proceeded to follow and, behind me, Candent and Blue.

Without looking back, she said “Blueblood, Candent, could you please wait outside?”

The two retreated through the door, which shut behind them. I found myself standing before a none to happy looking Princess Celestia.

Oh dear. What did I do to deserve this?

I approached her and bowed in respect. “Hello Princess.”

What I couldn't see on her face before was clearly sadness, which troubled me. Something was very wrong, and it must have something to do with me.

Taking Stock of things again. I've just learned my two new friends hate each other and I was face to face with Princess Celestia looking none too happy. On top of all that, I can't fly!

This day couldn't possibly get any-

“Star Hunter. I'm so, so sorry.” Princess Celestia began.

Wait what?

She had me follow her to a balcony that looked over Canterlot. “There's no easy way to say this. We've received word from the north that a pegasus village was destroyed.”

My mouth had suddenly dried out. I found myself hoping this wouldn't go in that direction. “No.”

She continued, crestfallen. “Star Hunter, there's no easy way to say this. Cloudhoof village is,” she stopped “Cloudhoof village has been-” I didn't give her the chance to finish.

"No. No no nononononononono.” Tears started streaming down my face. "What about Rainbow Dash? Mom? Dad? Airheart?" Names of ponies I knew started flowing through my mind and out my mouth.

"So far, I'm not aware of any survivors.” I looked up to find a glassy eyed Celestia staring down at me. She pulled me close and I just continued had crying. I just left the village. Where do I return to? Is it even worth returning anywhere?

Everything became a blur in my memory after that. At some point, I was brought to a room to stay for the night. The sun had long since set before exhaustion finally took over and I closed my eyes. Then she showed up.

Side Chapter: Monster In The Garden

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My entrance into the garden was nothing short of uncomfortable. The eyes of many “important” ponies were on me, apparently waiting for something. That something happened very quickly. The sky darkened and flames from the pits of Tartarus lept up around me. Everypony but me was unfazed by this, likely because there were no flames.

My veins ran cold and I could feel an even darker shadow loom over me.


“Attention everypony. It seems my son, Prince Blueblood, has finally deemed us worthy of his presence.” Everybody laughed. I, of course, forced a smile. Not doing so would worsen my current predicament.

I decided to keep my mouth shut until she was finished, then came the formalities of everypony that wanted to shake my hoof.

“Hello again~ Yes, of course I remember you~ No, I have not given more consideration to marrying your daughter.” That last one is the most common one I receive. You get used to it when you are the closest thing to being related to Princess Celestia. That's why I hate being me.

Finally the waves of ponies halted and I let out a sigh. Then she cleared her throat and my world crumbled. Again. I turned and faced my mother, who, for all intents and purposes, might as well have been the bringer of eternal night.

“You throw wonderful.... uh.... get togethers mother.” I said, trying to ease the creature before me.

“I do, don't I? I just wish my son would an effort to attend them.” She make glared at me. “I mean really Blueblood. You are nobility, you need to grow up!" Those words echoed through my mind. "That means not 'skipping out' on social duties! Do I really have to assign a guard to you at all times?” She continued talking while I mulled over what she had just said.

The thought of a guard with me at all times was horrifying.

Oh, I really don't want to do this.

“You're right.” I said.

“-and don't think I'll forget-” She stopped talking. “What?”

The hardest thing for me to do is swallowing my pride, and that's what I had to do. “You're....... you're right.” She looked at me expectantly. I made a mental note to hit something later. “I need to take my royal duties more seriously. I apologize for being late and will do my best to fix this.” I searched for the word that would appease her. “Problem.”

Oh Blueblood, that hurts. Shut up, I'm helping you.

Her face turned into a wicked grin. “As long as you understand.” She turned to walk away, then stopped and looked back. “I'm still thinking about putting a guard by your side 24/7, so you're not off the hook yet.”

Close enough.

Rock Bottom and New Resolve

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My mind started racing when the princess dismissed Blueblood and I. It wasn't often I made a new friend. Ponies thinking I'm too odd. Stuck up Canterlot ponies. My only real entertainment was Blueberry here. Of course, he never thought it was funny. I think.

We both sat outside the large door. He had been in there for a while and the silence between the two of us was getting intense. I decided I would break it. “So, what do you think it is?”

“I think it might have to do with-” He cut himself off. “Wait, why would I tell you?”

“Mutual acquaintance?” I responded, hopefully.

“Mutual acquaintance my flank!”

“Blueblood, I would be careful what you say.” My father had appeared behind us without warning. “You wouldn't talk to your mother like that.” He looked over the two of us with a curious look on his face. “What could possibly get you two to sit together without tearing each other's throat out?”

“Star Hunter is in talking to the princess-” I began.

“And we're waiting for him to come out.” Blueblood finished.

It struck me as odd that he finished what I was going to say and I didn't care. I didn't miss the confused look on Blueblood's face either.

“Well, it's nice you two are getting along, but it's time for dinner.” He began walking away, then looked back at me. “Come Candent, we're going to be late.”

“I'll tell you later.” Blueblood said, scrunching his face.

“Huh. Thanks Blueblood.” It clicked as I was walking away from him. Somehow, Star Hunter changed our relationship. The lack of animosity was pleasant. I turned back to him.

“Won't your mother be mad if you're late?” My dad said back to Blueblood.

He glared at the ground. “Yeah, she probably would be. I'm sure we have something special planned tonight anyway.” He dragged himself away from the door and down the hall. It made me a bit sad.

“Don't worry sweet heart, I you'll see him tomorrow.” By the way he said it, I wasn't sure if he was talking about Blueblood or Star Hunter. Either way, he knew something about this and I was going to figure it out.


We began our walk to the dining hall when I looked back at the door one last time. My gaze lingered just long enough to see Star Hunter followed by Celestia. There was definitely something wrong though. He didn't look happy. Even from this far, he looked broken. His head hung low and a blank look on his face.

I hope he's alright.



Awake before sunrise as always.

It's become a habit of mine to wake up before the rest of the castle and sneak out. That's what had happened yesterday when I found Star Hunter.

That stallion. I wouldn't have moved if he hadn't seen me. I missed him.

Sigh. “I guess it wouldn't have done any good to be late for another meeting.”

The sun began to peak over the horizon. Too late to sneak out now. I moved to the window to watch the sunrise. There's something wrong with it. Whenever Aunt Celestia was angry at something, the sunrise was blood red. Whenever she was in a good mood, it was bright and full of color. Today the sky was almost colorless.

Aunt Celestia, what's wrong?


Star Hunter

I found myself in the darkness. My eyes hurt from crying, but that didn't cause the darkness around me.

This all seems too perfect. Perfect. What a word. Maybe it's just a nightmare. Maybe I just need to wake up and I'll be back in the village with Rainbow Dash and Airheart and Mom and Dad. A dream. That's all it would be. Right?

So are you just giving up?

Yes. I'm just giving up.

There was a shimmer of light in front of me. There floated a silver unicorn pony. To be more correct, she was a white unicorn with a shimmering, silver mane.

A broken will. That's just sad. She shimmered away then reappeared inches from my face. Buck up kid. Crying isn't gonna do anything for you.

Nopony asked you!

Oh, so you do have a little fight left.

She drifted past me as she said it.

It's not like I have anything to fight for.

Oh come now. There' plenty left to fight for.

The sound of her voice piqued my interest.

What are you talking about?

I don't think I will tell you. Maybe he will.

With that, she was gone.

I opened my eyes a found myself back in the room I fell asleep in.

Still in Canterlot. It wasn't a dream after all.

My thoughts darkened once again with the feeling of loss. No Rainbow Dash. Mom or Dad. Airheart. Even Mr. Krispy and Grandfather. They're all gone. I'm all alone.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

“Star Hunter, are you awake?”



The sky was never like this. I began the climb to the highest tower in the castle and approached the balcony.

“Aunt Celestia?” I found her standing with her back to the door. Looking out over the land. Just the way she was slumped over said a lot. “Aunt Celestia, are you alright?”

She turned and looked at me. A weak smile crossed her face. “I guess you noticed. I'm fine Blueblood. Just a little...” She let her words trail off. “You know it's scheduled to rain today? It's fitting.”

I trotted up next to her and sat. “What's really wrong?” Then it hit me. “Does it have something to do with Star Hunter?” The elicited a reaction.

Her head slumped a little bit. “The village he's from. Did he tell you about it?”

“Not much. Just that it was North of here in the mountains."

She let out a sigh. “Yesterday afternoon, after the two of you left the library, I received some,” she paused, looking to the sky again, “news. A pegasus from the village had flown here non-stop to request help.”

“What happened?” I asked her.

“His injuries were heavy and he was barely able to speak. He told me that something had attacked the village during the night. It was still there when he escaped, but they needed help from us.”

I didn't like this at all. “Where is he now?”

“He-” she choked up a little bit, “He didn't make the night.”

“It's alright Aunt Celestia.” I said, leaning against her. “There wasn't anything you could've-” I stopped when a thought occurred to me. “Does he know?”

She nodded. “I told him last night.”

“I'm sorry. I wish there was something I could do, but-” I paused to think of the right words. “I have to go.”

“I understand.” She gave me a half-hearted smile, which I returned to the best of my abilities. “Oh, and Blueblood.”

“Yes Aunt Celestia?” I looked back at her.

She looked like she was about to say something important, but stopped. “Thank you.”

I gave her a smile and rushed out the door.

She'll be alright, but she's not who I'm worried about.



Morning again. The sun didn't shine through my window like usual though. The smell of rain filled the air, but that wasn't one of my concerns. There was something else on my mind.

I need to find Star Hunter and find out what happened.

I didn't waste any time leaving the my room. My dad must have already left. I headed directly into the main hall, but I wasn't sure where to go.

That's when I saw him. Blueblood was sneaking around the castle. Not sneaking persay, but it was clear he didn't want to be seen.

He knows where Star Hunter is.

It wasn't easy to follow him, that's for sure. I had to stay out of sight, but he couldn't make it simple.

It never is.

Thankfully, he wasn't the most observant colt I've met. He finally stopped in front of a door in a separate wing of the castle.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

“Star Hunter, are you awake?”

The door opened without a sound and he entered.

Great, he got there first.

I decided I might as well sit and wait. Not like I had anything better to do.

Blueblood voice came from the room first.



Before me was the most depressing sight you could ever see. His coat seemed pale and his posture was sickly. Worst of all was the energy that surrounded him, only added to by his empty eyes. The only sign of light on him was the faint shimmering given off by the disc around his neck. Star Hunter was broken. That's all I knew for sure.

How do you approach a situation like this Blueblood? You should've thought this through.

Here goes something. “Star Hunter. Are you all right?”

Just the abyss stared back at me.

“I heard about what happened. Are you all right.”

Still no response.

I realized there was no use talking to him. Not sure where to go from there, I decided I would wait him out. I trotted over to the window and just sat. He had to talk eventually, and when he would, I'd be here to listen.

Truth is, the silence was nice. In a place as loud as Canterlot, silence was a rarity. So I just sat and watched the rain fall.

Rain was always nice. It was so clean and cool.

“The rain is nice, isn't it.” To my side was Star Hunter. His voice was shallow and sad.

“Yeah, it is.” Now's as good a time as any. “Are you alright?”

The sadness surrounding him deepened.

“Alright?” He gave me a cold stare. “No, I don't think I am, nor will I ever be. I don't have a family. I don't have a home. My entire village was leveled and I'm alone.”

The pain echoed in his voice, but there was one thing. “You're wrong.”


“I said, you're wrong. You aren't alone.” I turned to him and gave the most sincere smile I could muster up. “I've only known you for a day, but I know that I like you. I'm here for you and, while I can't replace what you lost, I can try and make it easier on you.”

“You....” He narrowed his eyes at me. I thought he might get mad, but instead he said “Thanks. I think I needed that.” He gave me something that resembled a smile, but there was no heart behind it.

“It's what friends are for.” That was my que to leave. “If you need anything else, I'll probably find you.”

He nodded and I departed from the room. As the door shut behind me, I found myself face to face with the last pony I thought I would see.


“You know Blueberry, you're not too bad.” She smiled and walked away.

A smile crawled across my face.

Friendship is a bit contagious, isn't it?



That Blueblood.

What Star Hunter and Blueblood said echoed through my mind all day.

His village was destroyed. No survivors. I can't even imagine it.

Somehow, that heartless Prince had made a friend out of him. I couldn't figure it out. He was rude and arrogant and never considered anypony's feelings but his own.

So why are you so nice to him?

I wasn't getting anywhere talking to myself, and I still hadn't seen Star Hunter all day.

It was then that the pony in the garden caught my attention. Apparently being trapped in a room all day was still pain for a pegasus. He sat there in front of a bed of flowers, just staring at them.

“Star Hunter?” I asked.

That must've startled him a little because he flinched ever so slightly. “Hi Candent.”

“I... uhh.... I heard what happened.”

“It seems everypony did. It doesn't help me though.” He looked back down at the flower bed. “Can you tell me the name of this flower?”

I walked up next to him to get a better look. “They're lilacs.”

“Lilacs. I think I like them.”

“You don't have a home now, do you?”

He looked surprised by my forwardness, but I wasn't one for beating around the bush.

“N-no. I don't have a home.”

“That's unfortunate.” I paused, hesitating for once to ask what was on my mind. I decided to go ahead with it anyway. “What were they like? Your family I mean.”

A real smile crossed his face. “They were amazing. Stories I've heard say that some of the best pegasi in Equestria came from Cloudhoof. If you met my mother or father, you would have no choice but to believe it.”

There was a twinkle in his eyes. Talking about his family brought him back to the pony I had met the day before. A new fire in his eyes. His father, the captain of the weather team, was the fastest pegasus in the village. He said that his mane shone with colors of the rainbow, a very rare sight indeed.

“Of course, nopony would believe that there was a pegasus that was faster than him. He always said that's how he met my mother. It was a simple race that she won. I was born first, then-” his smile faded and the twinkle disappeared. “Rainbow Dash.”

“Your sister?” I asked him.

“Yeah. Little sister. She was something. Always had an absurd amount of energy. Except hen she was sleeping. She was always talking about how she would be the greatest flyer in all of Equestria when she grew up.” His eyes glazed over and a tear ran down his cheek. “I'll never see them again.”

“I'm sorry Star Hunter. I'm really sorry.” I told him.

He got up without a word and left the garden.

I think I just made him feel worse. I must be a horrible friend.

I was almost in tears when he turned back to me before leaving.

“Thank you Candent.”

I guess just having somepony listen is enough.


Star Hunter

Darkness had fallen before I returned to the room. Candent and Blueblood. I had only met them yesterday, but they were there.

“Gold and Silver are nice colors on you. Trust them.”

“Not quite gold and silver Krispy, but it'll do.”

Thank you two.

It was easier to get to sleep this time, but the dream that came with it was something. Just something.


I found myself in the darkness again, but it didn't hurt this time. My body felt lighter and I didn't feel all alone.

Why am I here?

The words seemed to echo on forever, until they were answered by hoofsteps. I couldn't see where they were coming from, so I guessed it was that mare from the night before.

I waited for what seemed like an eternity for the light but it never came. Nothing continued to happen. I decided I might as well try to find a way out of here.

I began my walk in no direction in particular. The lack of ground beneath me caused me to feel uneasy and the deathly calm air didn't help.

Another eternity later, my eyes began to pick up a shape. Upon my approach, I found a large stallion. He was just sitting there. I was relieved to find another pony here, but also a bit confused.

Excuse me sir.

He looked down at me. His gold mane covered parts of his face, but I could clearly see his red coat.

Do you know where I am?


Could you tell me?

Ah could.

I stared at him, waiting for him to elaborate.

You aren't going to tell me, are you?


Do you know why I'm here?


You're not going to tell me though.

Now yer catchin' on.

There was something distinctly familiar about this stallion. I don't think I've ever met an earth pony like him before, so what was it that rang a bell.

What's hanging around yer neck?


I looked down at my neck and saw a golden feather pendant hanging there. Something was unnerving about it.

Yeah, what about it?

Do ya know why he gave you that pendant?

It was a going away gift.

It's t' protect those important to ya. He poked my chest with a massive hoof.

His words echoed through my mind “protect those you love.”

A lot of good it's done for me. I've lost everything in a matter of days and there was nothing this pendant could do about it.

Ya sure?

There it was again. That tone of voice. Except this time, I didn't wake up. Beams of light began the illuminate the area. The darkness above began to be replaced by a grey sky. We were surrounded by piles of rubble, the ground was cold, and snow was falling.

Look familiar?

The white unicorn from the night before floated past us.

No. It couldn't be.

The place in which I stood was Cloudhoof Village, or what was left of it.

“Star Hunter?” A voice said behind me.

Before me stood the last pony I thought I would see.


My eyes bolted open. Orange light had filled the room. I looked out at the setting sun. That emant I had slept an entire day. More important than that. Rainbow Dash was alive. She was in the village. And I was going to find her.

Two is Company, but so is Three.

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Star Hunter

The sun was setting and I needed to leave. I wasn't sure what I saw, but I knew what I had to do. I need to get back to the village.

“How do I get back to the village?” I said out loud. The realization hit me hard. “I can't fly.” I looked at my wing, still bandaged from the incident several days before. My saddlebags were laid out on the bed. It would've been enough for the trip if I could fly. Since I would have to walk, it would take even longer. “What do I do?!”

“Why don't ya get some help?”

The voice came out of nowhere and made me jump. “H-hello? Is somepony there?”

“Well you finally noticed us! Fireside, he knows we're here!”

“Show yourself!” I said shakily. And why have you been following me?

“We haven't been following you.”

“What?! How did you know-” I though occurred to me. It was insane. I'm pretty sure I had gone over the edge. “You two-”


I heard the second one sigh.

“The pendant feather brain!”

My gaze drifted down to the thing around my neck. I didn't recognize it though. It wasn't a disc, but a feather, just like in my dream. I flashed back to the two ponies. The silver maned unicorn and the gigantic earth pony. “That's impossible! You two are impossible!”

“That hurts Star Hunter.” She chided. “But that's beside the point. My name is Silver Heart. The talkative one is Fireside.”

“I have two ponies in my brain. I've definitely lost it.”

“Oh no, you're gonna be stuck on that, aren't you?” She sounded irritated by this. “We are real and we aren't in your head-” she paused for a moment, “mostly.”

I was sure of it now. My mind had created these two ponies for some reason.

I'm talking to myself. I'm definitely crazy.

“You're not crazy.” The deep voice said. Fireside. He instantly shut down my racing and panicked thoughts. “We're in the pendant, not your brain.”

I took a moment to process what he had said. “That's absurd. There is absolutely no way you could trap two ponies inside a pendant!”

“So you'd rather be crazy?”

That took be by surprise. “Well I.... that's the only explanation! I mean really, how would you trap two adult ponies in a pendant?!” I was pacing now.

“Long story kid. Maybe some other time.” She sighed. “I guess for now, you're crazy. Now, about you getting back to your village.....”

This didn't seem real. None of it did. There were two ponies living in my head. Two ponies who could read my thoughts and talk to me. Silver Heart the unicorn and Fireside the earth pony.

“No way. You need to tell me now! I don't want my crazy getting in the way of-”

I was interrupted by knocking on the door.

“Hey Star Hunter, are you awake?”

Blue? Wonderful.



It had been more than a day since I last stood in front of this door. Star Hunter had been out cold since last night, but Iron Heart said he would be fine.

I approached his door and found that I wasn't the only one wanting to visit. Sitting with her ear to the door was Candent.

I approached her, although slightly apprehensive. I could her his muffled voice from inside the room, so I had to ask. “Is he talking to himself?”

She looked up at me. “I dunno. Can't make out what he's saying and I only just got here.”

“Well, no point in waiting then.” I knocked on the door a couple times. “Hey Star Hunter, are you awake?”

A couple seconds passed before he peeked out the door. “Candent? Blue? What are you two doing here?” He sounded a little bit uneasy.

I stared at him for a second. He was definitely hiding something. “Well, you haven't been-”

Candent started talking over me. “I haven't seen you since yesterday and I was really worried since I came by earlier and you didn't answer your door, so I stopped by now and here you are and are you feeling a little better?”

“Yes. We were worried about you. A pony doesn’t just get over something like this.”

He let out a sigh. “Come in. I have to tell you something.”

The only thing different form before was the bag on his bed. It looked like the saddle bag he had the day we met. Oh, of course it's the bag from the day we met. Then it hit me.

“Are you leaving?” I asked him.

He nodded. “I can't stay here. I need to go somewhere. I'm not sure where yet.”

Candent turned and looked at him. “You shouldn't lie. We're friends, aren't we?”

He let out a laugh. “It's really odd that I met you of all ponies Blueblood. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have hurt my wing, but I wouldn't know about my village. I would've returned to who knows what months later. It had to be you.”

“So then star Hunter,” I said, looking him in the eyes, “where are you going?”

“I need to return to the village. If, at least for one last goodbye. Before you say anything more, I've made up my mind and you can't really stop me.”

A smile twitched across my face. “Ignoring the fact that I could easily stop you-” I noticed him take a slightly defensive stance. That took me by surprise. “I'm not going to try.”

A look of surprise crossed his face. “Really?”

“Yes, BUT, I can't in my right mind let you do it alone, especially in that condition.” I said, nodding at his wing.

He face changed to slightly confused. “What? Are you going to send somepony with me?”

“Hah! A guard? Absolutely not.” The smile continued to grow. This was a golden opportunity and I wasn't going to pass it up. “Star Hunter, I will accompany you on your trip to the mountains.”

His mouth dropped open. “You?” He asked. “Want to come with me?”

I nodded.

“On a dangerous trip to my destroyed mountain village?”


“Where who knows what dangerous creatures could be?”

“Oh absolutely! I could use a good adventure.”

“Last question. You're going to come no matter what?”

Bingo. “And there's nothing you can do to stop me.” I said to him.

“So, what do we pack for this kind of thing.” I had forgotten that Candent was in the room. Currently, she was on the bed standing over Star Hunter's bag looking at the contents. “You don't seem to have much.”

“Well Candent,” I started, “obviously we need food, medical supplies, and- wait. Did you say we?”

She looked at Star Hunter and I. “Well yeah, I'm coming too. If you don't let me, I'm telling the princess and your mother Blueblood.” Checkmate in one move.

“Well that was settled quickly.” I commented.

“For the best. If you two are coming with me, we need to get moving." I finished. A plan was quickly concocted and we dispersed until sunset.


A couple hours to prepare for this quest. I already had an idea of what we needed, but there was one thing the was more important than all else.

There was one guard on duty. This should be simple. “Excuse me sir, could you open the maps vault for me?” I asked him.

“You got it.”

I followed him down the halls to the gate labeled maps. Just a simple insertion of his horn and the gate was open.

“Thank you.”

“Not a problem at all.” He began to walk away, then turned back to me. “You do have permission to be here, right?”

Oh I really wish he didn't ask that.

I stared at him with my best look of contempt. “Who do you think you are talking to? I am a member of the royal family. What is your name?”

“Dusk Crown, sir.” I could see that he hated being talked down to by me.

“Well Dusk Shift-”

“Dusk Crown.”

“Do not correct me! Now you should know that there is no place in the castle that is 'off limits' to me. Now if you want to keep your job, I think you should leave.”

He continued on his way, a little less pop in his step.

I felt terrible, but I couldn't risk anypony finding out about this. Pushing the thought to the back of my mind, I continued on to find what I was looking for.

Alright, where is it.

I rummaged through the piles of maps to find what I was looking for.

“No.” Tossing a map out of the way. “No.” Another map gone. “N- wait.” I looked over the map that was in front of me.

I traced my hoof across the path that led into the mountains North of Canterlot, stopping when I saw something odd.

“Cloudhoof Temple. That's almost the same name, but isn't it a village?”

I'll know when we get there.

That was the last thing I needed. Stuffing the map in my saddlebags, I rushed out of the library.

“Goodnight sir.” The guard said behind me.

That's when it hit me. I should probably tell somepony where I'm going. I went to Star Hunter's quarters. He was already in the garden, so I figured here would be a good place.

Dear Aunt Celestia........



It was finally happening. I was finally going to get out of the castle. Of course, that was only part of it. Star Hunter and Blueblood make a terrible duo. The depressed pegasus and stuck up unicorn? They would never survive.

It was a good thing I picked up a little medical knowledge from my father's work. We agreed to meet at the side wall of the garden, though for what reason, I wasn't sure.

“Let's see: medical supplies? Check. Food? Check. Rope? Excellent.” There were various other little things that I had packed, but those 3 were the most important. “Now the hard part.” It turned out rather easy to make it out into the castle garden without being seen. At least I think.

My approach to the wall was pretty quiet too, but I stopped when I heard Star Hunter's voice. It sounded like he was talking to somepony. I decided to stay out of sight. Blueblood and I knew there was something he wasn't telling us. Maybe this would give me some clue.

“-trust them.” He paused for a moment. “Of course, because talking to you two isn't crazy.” Another pause. “Silver, would you please stop the taunting?”

Is he talking to himself?

“No, I can't believe you unless you tell me how. They're going to be here soon, and I would rather not be talking to myself when they get here.”

Too late for that.

“Star Hunter?” I heard Blueblood whisper from somewhere.

That stopped his ramblings. “Over here.” He said. “Is Candent with you?”

“ I'm here.” I whispered, emerging from the shadows.

“Alright, that's everypony then.” Blueblood said. “Let's get moving before anypony notices we're missing.”

Star Hunter and I nodded. Through the darkness, I could see he was irritated at something. I was going to bring it up when I realized he had to be talking to somepony.

Did it have something to do with that? I'll have to wait until I know more.

Blueblood raised his hoof to the wall and pressed in one of the bricks. The rock disappeared, revealing a passage way.

“How did you do that?” I asked him.

He just smirked.

That alone made me want to hit him.

Maybe later.


Celestia was beginning to worry. She had raised the sun to the point of coasting across the sky, but she hadn't seen Blueblood all morning. His mother had come to ask her if she had seen him, but to no avail. The idea occurred to her that he was hanging around Star Hunter. The thought of him brought a feeling of sadness.

“They should be returning today with information.” She said to herself. The thought of them and what they meant to her brought even more sadness. “Today isn't going to be a good day.”

She approached the room where Star Hunter was staying. The door had been left open. She peeked into the room. It was as if he was never there, save for a single scroll on the bed. She approached the bed with some degree of caution for no discernible reason.

The scroll was enveloped in a golden aura and levitated to her eye level. It was adorned with the royal seal, so it must have been meant for her. Opening the letter, she began reading.

Dear Aunt Celestia,

If you are reading this, you've probably realized that something has gone amiss. While my absence may be of concern to you, I'm writing this to tell you not to worry(because I'm sure you would mobilize the entire guard to find me, right?). Anyway, I, along with Candent, have made the decision to accompany Star Hunter back to his destroyed village for one last goodbye. I hope you understand and wish you well while I am on leave. Also, there is a guard named Dusk Crown. I would like you to give him my sincerest apologies for me.

With Love

Your Nephew, Prince Blueblood

Princess Celestia just looked over the letter with a smile on her face.

“Oh Blueblood. I wish you would've come to me in the first place. May the elements protect you-” Her eyes fell on the last sentence. “and me.”

P.S. I need you to tell my mother for me. Good luck.