Broken Hearts

by Silver Inkwell

First published

Flurry Heart's life has never been the same since her father passed away, she's been trapped by her own mother and kept away from other ponies and she has been isolated for years until she meets a very special pony that will change her life...

Flurry Heart's life has never been the same since her father passed away, she's been trapped by her own mother and kept away from other ponies and she has been isolated for years until she meets a very special pony that will change her life...

Come along a journey of magic and love as Flurry starts to discover what it means to truly be her as she not only finds a place in her own life, but also to heal her mother's heart.

But, will she be able to do so before the old villains and nightmares of the past return to take away their joy? Is her life doomed to misery, grief, pain, and strife?

Find out if you dare, but beware of the darkness and the eternal nightmare...

The Nightmare. There is no other proper name for it. It is old as time and darkness itself and it feeds on the fears of ponies and it will stop at nothing to take hold of the mind of its host and use the body for its own pleasure and control.

The Nightmare will slowly take hold of the mind of its host through any means possible and it will stop at nothing until it achieves its ultimate goal, complete and utter darkness and control over the entire land and maybe even the world too.

The Nightmare is unstoppable, immortal, and it also cannot be killed, ever.

The Nightmare plants its dark seeds in every single life form since the moment they are born until the moment they die and nopony knows how to stop it.

(from Chapter Nine)

NOTE: Contains scene of gore and mentions acts of sexual activity/ sexually suggestive.
These are minor and underplayed, the tags are a safety measure and nothing more.
This was inspired by the Rememberance series by Ashley H on YouTube, if you have not seen it yet please go check it out in the link below.
Rememberance Episodes

Prologue: A Hero Falls

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Prologue: A Hero Falls

It was an unusually strange week leading up to the event, cloudy dark gray clouds in the skies, creatures roaming about, even the birds stopped singing their little cheerful songs for the ponies, it was almost like the world knew what was coming, almost. The day that Shining Armor was to leave was not as dark gray and cold as it was because there was one tiny little spark or joy within at least one family’s hearts and minds. However, that was to be the last spark of joy for a very long time to come after this single moment. “Don't worry Cadence, I'll only be gone for two weeks, everything will be just fine, it’s just a friendship summit after all, it’s not like anything I going to go wrong, I'll be safe, and even if things do go wrong I'll still probably be safe, you know me, strong, proud, independent, and honest, I never break a promise and I promise to come back to you no matter what it takes, there’s nothing to be worried about my dear.”

“I know Shining, and I know that you always keep your promises, but I’m still worried, what if I don't see you again? Or even worse, what if she is there?”

“Cadence, it has been well over ten years since the last confirmed sighting of Queen Chrysalis, all the other stuff is probably just rumors and myths.”

“But what if it isn't? You’ve heard them too, strange green flashing lights, ponies mysteriously disappearing in the night, if she’s out there she’s planning something, as to what, I don't know, but if she is out there you need to be ready and prepared, you can't handle her by yourself, maybe not even the princesses can, you know how she is, patient, she is willing and ready to wait no matter how long it takes to get revenge, and you know what almost happened to Sunburst! And then after that, what it did to Starlight Glimmer’s mind, she couldn't speak for months and could barely cast a spell without killing somepony or destroying something! She almost went insane even saying that she saw shadows on the walls and strange scuffling noises, she even swore she kept seeing Chrysalis even in the reflection of her mirror, she even tried to cut herself to end the pain! And guess what Chrysalis almost got her full revenge, thankfully she had friends, she recovered, but I don't know if I can recover without you.”

“You have to, I couldn't stand the thought of you living life in pain, you have to move on and find a way to be happy without me IF it comes to that, not that it will, I would never want you to be miserable, there’s already enough strife in Equestria, don't add yours to it, I don't care what you have to do but you need to think about all the good times we had and focus on how you can create more by living in the moment, if you focus on the past too much you’ll never be able to live life, address your problems but don't keep repeating the same old day and routine as always because then life will become nothing, meaningless as dust.”

“Yes, I think I understand what you mean, I just hope I can remember it.”

“I don't think you’ll need to, but if you want to maybe you can give me a kiss and I'll give you something in return to help you remember,” Shining said with a grin.

Cadence rolled her eyes and shook her wings ruffling her feathers giving a ‘Are you serious?’ look at him before smiling, “Well of course my dear, I would love to,” she said leaning in for a kiss just as Flurry Heart opened the door and popped in to see the two of them kissing each other, and she acted in turn.

“Ugh, gross, you two are kissing again!” she cried out wrinkling her face in absolute disgust, and because she was just a child this was completely and a totally natural response from her, but maybe not so much from a child for her own mother and father basically represented the element of love.

Cadence smiled and quickly pulled away from Shining Armor who blushed as she turned around to face her daughter, “One day when you’re in love with a bright young strong stallion you’ll understand my dear and I bet you won't think it’s gross either, probably.”

“Yeah, but he better be a good stallion otherwise I'll beat him so hard he’ll be wishing that he was dead or in Tartarus instead,” Shining said with a grin.

“Dear, don't be so hard on our daughter, she just barely turned ten!”

“Yeah, I know, I just want to make sure you know.”

“Ugh! You guys are so gross, I’m going to go play out in the garden or something, you two are the worst when kissing and you’re not that fun even when you’re not, this is why I hang out with Twilight and Spike more than you two!”

“Come back here right now young lady, your father has to say goodbye to you!”

Flurry turned around and sighed and walked back to them and once she did her father gave her a big great tight hug that almost took the breath out of her.

“Can't… breathe, please let me go!”

“I’m sorry my dear,” Shining said with a big laugh as Cadence giggled a little bit and Shining rubbed his hoof back and forth on Flurry’s hair ruffling it a bit, “It’s just that I’m going to miss you so much and I wanted to give you something to remember me by, anyhow, have fun without me and stay safe!”

“We will, but you make sure to stay safe too!” Cadence said.

“Trust me, I will, see you in two weeks!” he called back grabbing his bags with his magic and leaving the front entrance of the castle which was two large crystal stone doors imbued with very strong magic as he went to the train station and then to Canterlot which was where the summit was being held.

Now then if the reader wants a happy story with rainbows and smiles I would highly suggest that you turn away from this story because there is not much joy to be found within these pages, and very little good things to happen either.

For those of you that wish to stay and continue reading however…

Two weeks later Shining Armor still did not return from his trip.

Three days after that there was still no sign or word from the summit, Canterlot, Ponyville, or the other princess on what had happened to him and both Flurry and Cadence were starting to get worried about what could’ve happened to him.

It was to be yet another three long terrible weeks before they heard anything back, and once they did, it was not very good news at all.

Chrysalis had somehow managed to sneak herself inside the summit where she systematically spread deceit and mistrust killing off the dignitaries and royalty leaving Shining Armor to be last because she wanted him to fear her, it was only toward the end that the princesses realized this, but by then they were too late, Chrysalis had already locked herself inside a room disguised as a maid and tried to seduce him as she had been trying for weeks, but when he refused she took action and revealed her true identity and plan, but Shining Armor even within the grasps of his enemy, even in this trap was still brave, at least he was, until the very end, and then no more. The two of them battled fiercely, even more so than the rest of the dignitaries, Celestia and Luna raced to the rescue to help him out, but by then it was already too late when they opened the door and found him dead laying in a puddle of his own blood with Queen Chrysalis standing over his cold, dead, lifeless body with blood on her mouth, horn, and hooves with a victorious grin, and while she was quickly captured by the two she laughed glad to finally have some sweet revenge. After Cadence received this message she went into shock denying that it could be true, then she asked the princesses if it were true to which they sadly had to respond yes, then after this she became angry at the one who had killed him and she swore revenge on Queen Chrysalis and even tried to kill her more than once within her jail cell, but Celestia insisted that killing Chrysalis would not bring justice according to the law, besides, as she pointed out so clearly if Cadence did kill a prisoner of Canterlot then she would have to face the consequences of the law even if she was a princess and royalty, to with great anger and sorrow in her heart she flew away back to her castle.

After this she started to bargain with herself saying if only this were true and asking what if questions and writing in her journal more and wishing he was back at any price, and then came the depression, she locked herself in her own room barely moving or eating, but she did write a lot, and saw many things, illusions, shadows on the walls, hoof-steps in the corridors even when they were completely silent and empty, and even his voice within her mind too.

But through this all she began to neglect Flurry Heart and her advisors and other royal dignitaries had to step in to take her place as she was taking her leave of absence to get over his death, but the only time she came out of her room was for the funeral which was held days after her message had arrived.

But then the madness began to take hold of her, it was longer than a month after Shining had died but less than three months that she began to recover slightly, she could stand, walk, talk, eat, drink, but she still seemed dead inside, empty, cold, lifeless, even flurry was doing better with her friends and advisors.

But such is fate having a way and will to torture us to its own design and pleasure. Cadence began to fear for the safety of her family and the ones she cared about, but while she could not control or even change the actions of her sister-in-law of Celestia and Luna, there was still some things she could change so long as she had the power and control, and she would use that for her own means. She grounded Flurry Heart to stay within the castle walls and never to leave without her express permission, trips anywhere outside where always with her own mother and at least a dozen guards to keep them safe, needless to say this did not bode well for making any new friends and soon enough all of her old friend left her due to many reasons, one being it felt no fun to have fun if they were being watched, and two, her mother was very suspicious of her friend, new or old, she always through that they could be a changeling in disguise and ordered them to take a test to prove their worth or face jailtime, and she enforced this policy throughout her entire kingdom, she would not have anypony being fooled by a rogue or dark changeling. Fear and mistrust soon spread through the empire and even the good reformed changelings were still treated less than the ponies even though they were ‘friends’ now. It was not a very good time for anypony, especially Flurry. Outside the empire life went on, allies were made, Twilight and her friend still had fun, Starlight went off with Sunburst to ‘study magic’ and Twilight even adopted a new student named Nebula Moon who was very clumsy but had a strong heart, mind and soul and could learn very fast too.

The Elements of Harmony were still used when needed to protect the land and Cadence herself took on the roles of princess and the royal guard trainer too once she was out of her bed and had regained herself in one sort of strange weird way, one that was completely different from anything else that she had ever been.

Everypony in the Empire complained about how strict Cadence was becoming and how they just wished she could go back to her old fun self, many tried to hold and throw parties, but Cadence only ever came to the parties to officiate them, never to celebrate as she saw no reason or point to celebrate and rejoice and wear silly dresses that looked ‘cute’ and eat and drink and talk as well.

She said on many occasions that it was “A waste of time and resources, ponies should be concerned about protecting themselves and others and not waste time playing games and having fun and talking and wearing silly dresses that make you look ‘cute’, it’s all just a bunch of pointless rubbish and nonsense.”

But the ponies could do nothing, and neither could Celestia because as Cadence would so clearly point out that forcing her to do something through any means would be against the law, but still she tried to reason with her, but Cadence never listened to her. But the one who suffered most of all was Flurry Heart herself who as part of her mother’s actions she did not earn her cutie mark which further isolated herself from any potential friends and as her own status claim as a princess, she was one in name only as she did not have the power of one yet unlike her own mother because she had not earned it or proven herself worthy, but at least her mother did try to train her for that and teach her other things too, but that was the limit of what she did for Flurry Heart.

It was a very sad time indeed for Flurry, but our story is not in her past nor will it dwell in it for too long, no, this story begins on the eve of her 18th birthday when she makes a very important choice that will change not only her life, but the future for everypony around her that she could possibly ever meet, even including her own family, now then, enough of that, let us begin our tale…

Chapter One: Isolation/ The Birthday Party

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Chapter One: Isolation/ The Birthday Party

Everypony was moving around to their own wills and mind doing whatever they wanted to listening to their minds and hearts, but not so much their souls.

Cadence listened only to her mind basically as she walked around with a somber expression looking for any signs of danger at this party and not enjoying the festivities, to the side there was a table for gifts that the guests might bring since it was a public party and everypony was invited, but Cadence scanned every item herself with her own magic to make sure that it was safe, she was also very suspicious that the ponies only wanted the favor and affection of Flurry Heart who was now a young pretty blooming flower for a pony and would one day be in power of the kingdom and Cadence tried to warn her of this to no such luck.

Flurry herself was in the middle of the room trying to enjoy herself as this was one of the very few rare occasions that she actually could spend time with other ponies who weren't her own family or best friends of her family either.

Currently she was dancing with a young handsome strong unicorn that was coated black and had a dark gray tail with silver eyes that in a certain light almost looked golden yellow, Cadence scowled and trotted over closer to her daughter who was smiling as she was twirled about back and forth like a toy, and then after the dance number ended Cadence pulled her daughter to the side as more of Vinyl Scratch’s own music started to play in the background.

“Flurry, I know that you want to have fun and I’m trying to respect your wishes…”

“Not hard enough,” Flurry muttered under her breath.

Cadence raised an eyebrow at this, “What was that young lady?”

Flurry sighed and repeated her statement loud enough for her to hear.

“Ah, yes, I see, well anyhow on to more important matters, I am trying my best, but I’m still concerned and worried about you, I know what you want, but I have to make sure that you’re safe in doing so and you should not think about galloping off with a stallion or mare without my approval first, and I’m not going to be a snobby noble and say you only have to marry royalty or nobility, but try to pick someone at least half as smart and good-looking as you.”

“Look mom, I understand, but can we please not talk about here and now?”

“Sure thing, of course, anything for you Flurry,” Cadence said.

“Everything except for my freedom…” Flurry said.

“I would wish you speak of your grievances to me directly rather than muttering them under your breath all the time,” Cadence said.

“Oh, I would, gladly, but not right now or here, after all, celebration isn't a time to be negative and angry and moody, isn't it?” Flurry asked as the tension in the air slowly started to grow and as her tone became more sarcastic.

Cadence raised both eyebrows slowly sighing, teenagers, when would they ever stop rebelling? Probably never. “Are you being sarcastic with me young lady?”

“No, of course not! Why would I ever do that?” Flurry asked sarcastically.

“Cut that tone out right now or else…”

“OR ELSE WHAT? You’ll ground me? I’m already stuck inside the castle and I can't go anywhere without your permission and worst of all I have no cutie mark because of you! How do you think that makes me feel? It makes me look like a fool, everypony else around me laughs at me and mocks me, maybe not directly because they know who my mother is and that I am royalty, but I know what they do! And all I want form my birthday isn't these silly stupid gifts of books and mane conditioner and board games and puzzles, I just want time away from you on my own with no supervision or guars, three months, two, a month, three weeks or two or one, hell, even three days, maybe even just one I'll take what I can get, but no! You would never allow that even if it was my birthday wish because that would mean your precious little father could get lost and crumble away and wither away and die on a dangerous and perilous quest or even on just a simple picnic in the park because you NEVER know where danger might lurk, sure that bush MIGHT be dangerous and whatnot, but I don't really care! I want to live life, not spend it stuck inside a cold stone castle for the rest of my life!

I don't care what dangers might be out there, Chrysalis or not you can't keep me inside these walls forever and you can't stop me when I’m old enough either!”

“Your father’s trip was a miscalculation! And if I knew what was good for me I would have gone with him because maybe then I could have saved him, or at the very least died alongside with him to spare my own pain and suffering!”

“Oh, so it’s YOUR pain and suffering that matters now, does it? Well guess what, I have my own too mom! I just decided to move on rather than stay behind in the past! Did you ever think about what hid death meant to me even just once or were you too busy crying and moping around in your own little safe world? Because guess what, maybe you should have died because then at least I would have the freedom to go wherever I wanted to without you looking over my back!”

“Well if that’s the way you feel…”

“Yes, it is, and you DO NOT have the right to tell me what to do! I can make my own choices now you know, I can go out and see the world and I don't have to listen to you!” Flurry shouted as her horn started to glow a golden yellow.

“Flurry, please, calm down and let’s just talk about this…”

“NO! I’m done talking about this, you listen to me mother, I can get what I want when I want and you’re not going to stop me, do you understand?”

“Yes, I do, but please, if it is your wish to go out and see the world then I suppose that I can make the proper arrangements with some friends…”

“Wait, what did you say?” Flurry asked as her golden glow died down and the ponies that had been cowering in fear of her potential power let out a relieved sigh glad that there was to be no fight or damage done to the castle either.

“You heard me, I could give you some stuff so you can go out on your own, if that is truly what you wish, but you would have to work on controlling your anger first, I don't want you to hurt anypony else or yourself either…”

“Mother, I think I can take care of myself, the real question here is this, do you trust me enough to risk losing your daughter physically, or do you not trust her enough and wish to lose her forever emotionally and otherwise?”

Cadence sighed and considered her options, neither was preferable and neither was what she wanted either, but perhaps Flurry was right, maybe she was being too selfish and protective, she had been focused on her own grief and sorrow rather than that of her own daughter’s happiness, she was a terrible parent…

Tears started to flow down her eyes as she glanced around the room admiring the decorations and remembering how happy everypony looked and then she turned back to her daughter and saw a mix of emotions.

None of them were happy.

“I suppose that I can trust you to take care of yourself, but how will I know that you can and still be safe? What if what I have taught you in magic and history and math and science and well everything isn't enough?”

“I’m sure that if it was your best then it will be enough, but if you are really so concerned about my safety maybe you would feel better if I took a friend that you could trust but somepony that I wouldn't feel was spying on me or trying to be an adult either?” Flurry asked trying to locate such a pony in her mind.

Cadence considered trying to find such a pony in her mind too, “Well I guess if I can find such a pony then your trip would definitely be granted, after you packed enough of course, and after other stuff too, but other than that I think you should be good, but just try to stay safe and don't do anything too dangerous, alright? After all, I don't think I could bear to lose you...”

“Mom, I'll be just fine, don't worry about it,” Flurry said trying to reassure her.

“Please don't repeat what your father said to me, and don't you even dare trying to make a promise either, your father couldn't keep his in the end.”

An awkward silence now filled the room that had started ever since the fight and conversation had begun as everypony was now staring directly at the two of them as they had long since abandoned dancing or eating snacks either, even the music was still and no longer playing anymore.

Cadence sighed as Flurry looked down slightly sad remember her father’s last words that he had spoken to them. “Anyhow, happy birthday, enjoy the rest of the night, I shall try to make peace and not be a bother anymore, I will retire to my room for the night, but I expect the guests to be out of here by midnight, or no later than 3AM please, after all, I do need my rest as everypony here does.”

“Yes, I understood, but thank you so much mom!” Flurry said hugging her mother very tightly, something that she had not done in a very long time.

“You are very welcome my dear,” Cadence said returning the hug but not in nearly a happy manner or tightness as Flurry had given her.

“I can't wait to go out and see the world, I just hope I can meet new friends!”

Cadence remained silent as Flurry rambled on as she slowly walked about but stuck around until Flurry blew out all the candles on her huge enormous cheesecake and then took a bit of the first slice and the rest were evenly divided out among the rest, even Cadence herself took a slice of cake because she needed something to cheer up just a bit by. So, she slowly walked back to her room eating the cake with her magic, devoured it, read a book and more too.

The noise did die down eventually, and when it did she wandered outside her room and made sure that the guards cleaned up the mess.

After that job was done she went back into her own room and closed her eyes and then, ever so slowly she started to fall asleep.

Chapter Two: The Journey Begins

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Chapter Two: The Journey Begins

Three days after Flurry’s birthday party she was mostly packed and ready to go, all for the one notable exception of a few last-minute items, some magical spells and more protection, saying her goodbyes, and also most importantly, a friend.

Flurry and Cadence were stumped on this particular subject, guards were out of the question, Discord couldn't be trusted (not to mention he was a VERY bad influence), Twilight was family and her friends were suitable, but Flurry thought that her mother could still use them to spy on her and would probably try to keep her safe (maybe not to the extent that her mother did, but still, she wanted her freedom), and all of Flurry’s old friends were either busy with work, school, life, or had just moved on from her and the situation seemed completely hopeless until a surprising situation presented itself as the answer to all their problems.

Cadence sighed to herself sitting on her throne room chair when all of a sudden…


These were the dramatic and loud sounds of the spirit of disharmony and chaos entering the scene exploding confetti everywhere with a blue but very familiar party canon. “Well hello there everypony, no wait,” he said looking around the room to see only Cadence and Flurry and just guards, “Ah damn it, did I miss the party? Why does this always seem to happen to me? I mean come on, how hard is it to feature me as the main focus more than just one episode in a season? I mean I know voice actors can be busy, but seriously I am the star of the show, I am great, in fact I think they should cast ME as the main focus and the show should be called Chaos is Disharmony because you know it could never be friendship, right? Even though chaos is technically magic…”

“Discord, what are you rambling on about and who are you speaking to?”

“Why I’m speaking to them of course, the audience that loves and adores me!” Discord said smiling as he put on a fancy suit and black bowtie and top-hat bowing to a wall, “But it’s not like you would understand, after all, it’s not like you have inter-dimensional cosmic powers to bend space and time to your will even being meta to other trans-dimensional being and quantum mechanics and old boring science stuff and whatnot,” he said making his clothes disappear with a snap as he turned towards her making a blue and orange portal appear in the walls sticking his hand in the blue one as it came out the orange one.

And using his other hand he snapped a strange and mysterious looking blue police box up and a brown stallion holding some kind of strange and mysterious device, “Whoops! Wrong universe and crossover cameos, silly me!” he said with a giggle snapping his fingers and making them disappear as he gave a slight yawn and coiled himself around Cadence as she gave a long and tired sigh.

“What’s with the long face? You’re looking a little blue there…” he said smiling as he used his magic to turn her skin blue making his first pun of the day.

“Discord, I do not have the time or patience for your silly little jokes and unless you have something helpful to say or useful to do please just leave us alone.”

“Sorry my dear, I can't, I’m nosy and the plot of this terrible story requires me to mess around with your heads, honestly was the writer even trying to accomplish something funny here by being meta and doing puns? Seriously he should consider just getting a life and leaving me to do my own thing., anyhow, that’s not the point of this story or me being here, I am here to quote, ‘make your life better with a twisted and/or complicated and/or confusing message/lesson’ oh gosh, that mission/purpose sounds terrible already. Anyhow I think I might have a solution to all your problems, and I know your problems because ponies just love being talkative and to gossip and no news escapes the attention of myself.”

“Alright, fine then, what is the solution?” Cadence asked.

“Simple, you either let Flurry Heart do her journey by herself…”

“Not an option,” Cadence said getting slightly upset.

“Or you put a little trust in a pony to be her new friend.”

“That’s also not an option either,” she said now clearly upset.

“Oh, don't be so fast to judge Cadence my dear!”

“Discord, as I said before, leave unless you have a real solution to our problems.”

“But I do! You’re just refusing to listen to me and my silly little advice!”

Cadence sighed, “Alright, fine then, what will it take for you to leave?”

“Getting my way of course!” he proclaimed loudly for the whole entire room.

“And what is your way?” Cadence asked.

“If I told you my way then that would be no fun, you have to guess it!”

“I don't like guessing games…” she sighed.

“I love games! Now then, 20 questions, go!”

“Alright, fine then, do you want me to let Flurry go alone?”

“Maybe,” he said growing 20 fingers and pushing one down, “19 left to go.”

“Do you want me to listen to you?” Cadence asked.

“Well of course, 18 questions left,” he said still smiling at her.

“Do you want me to put trust in somepony else that I don't know?”

“Bingo! You need to trust others more otherwise life is nothing, it becomes boring and meaningless, Fluttershy trusted me and look what happened, I became reformed and I’m good now!” he said summoning angel wings and a halo on his head, “And everypony is better off because of it!”

“That's a very debatable statement,” Cadence retorted.

“Oh, stop being such a killjoy Cadence! Back in the old days at least you were some fun! But it’s so hard to get any kind of reaction from you I sometimes ask myself if you’re even worth it anymore, honestly, it’s like you’ve become a completely different pony,” he said snapping his wings and halo off and away making them disappear to who knew where, “You’re no fun anymore, if this is what everypony is like when they lose something they care about then maybe we should consider giving everypony something to distract their minds off of it.”

Discord smiled and summoned a blue gift box present for Cadence while she sighed to herself yet again, “Discord! I have no time or patience for these silly little games and tricks of yours and I don't want anything you have to offer me!”

“Oh, that’s too bad,” he said watching as she flung the gift away, “Because it was chocolate cheesecake in there, but I suppose if you don't want it,” he said smiling as he ate the entire gift box whole leaving the chocolate cheesecake somehow intact. Flurry blinked in surprise but quickly shrugged it off, it was Discord, he never made any sense and everypony should know that much by now.

“Discord, is there a time where you are never not a complete…”

“Woah! Easy there, there could be kids watching this!” Discord said shoving a bar of soap into Cadence’s mouth, “We want to keep the rating way below mature or Teen! Unless the author wants either or those, but I don't think he does yet!”

“Okay, at this point you still don't make any sense Discord…”

“Of course not, I’m crazy or don't you already know that by now?”

“I do know that, but can you ever for once be clear about what you want?”

“Nope! Not even if the world ends!” he said with a giggle and grin.

“Right, anyhow if you have nothing else to say…” she said.

“Wait, I do have one more thing to say!” he said.

“And what would that be exactly?” she asked clearly annoyed at this point.

“It’s not for you, it’s for your daughter! Good luck on your journey Flurry Heart and have fun, cause a little chaos and stay safe little squirt!” he said rubbing her head down with a great big grin and then he hugged her tightly.

“Anyhow, that’s all for now, I’m going to go invade some other people’s stories, do a few crossovers and cause chaos, the usual stuff, alons-y!”

He smiled and with a snap of his fingers he was gone.

“Well, that was painfully short,” Cadence said once he was gone and away.

“Yes, it was, but about my trip mom…” Flurry said.

“Well unless we can find somepony I don't know if we can do it, but I’m sure that we’ll find a way to work something out, right?”

“As soon as you feel good enough to let me out which will be never,” Flurry said.

“Flurry, I do not wish to fight with you again,” Cadence said.

“You’re going to have to face me and my anger if you keep going against my wishes, you know that, right?” Flurry asked her mother plainly.

“Yes, I suppose that by now I do, I just wish there was a way to solve itself…”

Cadence sighed at the same time with Flurry this time around as they pondered and searched for an answer, but such is fate of having its own strange and mysterious way, we never know when opportunity might knock, literally in this case as a loud and unexpected knocking came from the front castle doors.

“That’s weird, I didn't expect anyone to come here today,” Cadence said walking up to the doors slowly and opening them to see a very familiar face from last night, or at least one for Flurry Heart, the black stallion smiled warmly at Cadence, but even more so to Flurry to whom he gave a slight wink.

“Hello there your majesty, sorry for the unexpected intrusion but I think I may have left something very important and special to me last night, do you mind if I take a look around?” he asked using a hoof to rub back his hair, he seemed slightly nervous, but then again, meeting royalty would do that to some.

“Yes, of course, you can ask my daughter if she saw anything because she was the one to clean up and not myself, or if that fails ask one of the guards, but before you do enter may I have your name please?” Cadence said.

“Yes, of course your majesty, my name is Shadow Moon, you’ve heard of my family, right?” he asked hoping that his family legacy was great enough for such things as he had been told on many occasions before when meeting nobles.

“Yes, of course I have, tell me how is your sister?” Cadence asked him.

“Indigo? She’s doing well at school and she is very healthy and a fast learner.”

“Ah, yes, excellent, well once you are done here please send your parents my regards and tell them that I would like to meet with them for a private talk as soon as it is possible for them, and if they ask what for tell them only this, royal and important matters, that is all, enjoy your stay and stay safe and have fun.”

“Yes, I will your majesty, thank you,” he said with a bow and smile as Cadence gave yet another long sigh as she slowly walked back to her own room again.

“What’s up with your mom? Did something get stuck in her hoof or what?”

“No, she’s been this way for many years, ever since my father died…”

“Ah, yes, I see, yesterday I just thought she didn't like parties.”

“She has not enjoyed anything much lately, most of all parties and celebrations because she sees no reason or point to celebrate and wear silly little dresses that make one cute when one should be spending time protecting themselves and others first and worrying about more important matters like safety and money, her own words, not my own, but thanks for coming again Shadow.”

“Well of course, the dance with you last night was one of my best, other ponies dance good, but I could tell that you seemed to have nothing left to lose, you danced like it could be your last dance ever and that’s something that makes a pony truly special and unique, something that I like, but I hardly had time to get to know you with your mother stopping us short and all, but I did promise you to come visit again and I never break my promises, ever, you can ask anypony if you don't believe me, but anyhow do you mind showing me around the castle a bit? I want to know what your life has been like and what you have done.”

“Yes, I can take you around the castle, but I don't want to do it for every stallion that comes back to me knocking on my doors and begging for a date or attention.”

“Hey, I don't beg unless I really mean or want it, and I didn't beg for a date with you yet, I have only asked for the things that you decided to mention.”

“Oh, sure you have, alright, fine then, stick with that story but that doesn't mean I’m not going to tease you, it’s my job,” she said smiling at him warmly.

“Yes, I know that already, you don't have to keep reminding me,” he said.

“I know, but come on, we have a castle to explore and not all day to see it.”

And with that said Flurry slowly took him around the castle showing him the music room, the art room, the theater, the bathrooms the armory, the training room, the gym, the sports room, and many more rooms too.

“Wow, I never imagined that this place could be so huge, this is amazing!”

“Yes, I guess it is, but it gets boring when you’re trapped every single day in here because then you start to repeat the same stuff over and over again…”

“And it gets dull and boring, repetitive, I completely understand,” he said.

“Wait, you do?” she asked wondering how much they were alike.

“Totally,” he said smiling at her warmly, “But hey, I have an idea.”

“What kind of idea?” she asked him ruffling her feathers in focus.

“The kind that can get us in big trouble if we get caught,” he said.

“I like the sound of that,” she said.

“Well of course you do, after all, you want to be free, right?”

“Yes, of course I do,” she said.

“Well then princess, follow me and I shall show you a whole new world.”

“But what about the guards? We’ll never get past them.”

“Oh, don't you worry about that, just leave that to me…”

“Well, if you say so, I trust you,” Flurry said.

“I like your attitude, let’s just hope that will be to our own advantage.”

“You seem so practical and serious,” Flurry said.

“When I need to be, not always,” he said casually.

“Well, if you say so, but how will you get past the guards?” Flurry asked.

“Simple, I’m going to create a distraction, that’s it for my plan” he said.

“A distraction? But what will it be?” Flurry asked.

“Trust me, you really don't want to know,” he said smiling at her.

Chapter Three: The Dinner and The Talk/ Exploration

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Chapter Three: The Dinner and The Talk/ Exploration

The distraction was simple enough, smoke bombs. “Where the hell did you get these from?” Flurry asked as the guards were coughing after Shadow had walked up to two of them and started to ask for directions to random places that were not in the castle and other various stuff and things as well.

“Oh, I got them from an old friend of a friend of your aunt, her name I believe is Trixie Lulamoon, honestly they’re pretty cheap as they come and go, and you wouldn't believe how helpful they are to get out of any tight spot ever.”

“I’m sure that I could,” Flurry said.

“Yes, maybe someday, but right now we need to run and be free and explore the world, are you ready for the experience of a lifetime?”

“I’ve been ready and waiting for years, so yes, I am.”

“That’s exactly what I like to hear from other ponies.”

“Well what else do you like to hear from ponies?”

“Stuff and things that I will keep private, now then I have a quick errand to run by sending a message to my parents, you can come along if you’d like to.”

“It depends, how good are they at keeping secrets from other ponies?”

“Very good when they need to be, my family does deal in many matters of business you know, it’s not like they are strangers to keeping one.”

“Yeah, I can guess, but yes, I would like to meet your parents,”

“Very well then princess, it shall be as you wish,” he said smiling at her.

“Please, just call me Flurry, after all, we’re friends now, right?”

“Yes, we are, now then, come, it’s time for you to meet my parents.”

Flurry grinned and anxiously followed alongside him ready to meet his parents.

Shadow took her to his home which was a very large and elaborate mansion which oddly enough was being used by other ponies too and not just for storage space as most other rich ponies did. But whatever the case Flurry was still glad to see someplace that was not her castle. “Come on, I bet you’ll love my parents and the ponies that live here, did you know that everypony here is either low income or poor or homeless? My parents help them out until they can get back on their hooves with a job and a house of their own, in fact on many occasions they have been awarded the most generous and kindest pony of the year awards although they always try to humbly deny it, but that’s not to say they don't take pride in their work, it’s just that they don't want to be seen as prideful in the eyes of some, even Celestia respects them, and she generally doesn't respect rich ponies with a true and genuine affection, but some nobles are exceptions like my own family and also Fancy Pants too. But come, I must show you to their room.”

He smiled at her and took her upstairs to the fifth floor where he knocked on some plain white wooden doors and promptly they opened up to reveal a pair of smiling bright happy ponies. “Look honey, our son has a new guest for us! And by the looks of it she seems to be royalty! Oh my! How did you ever manage that son?” a stallion asked them, presumably the father. He had a black coat and hair like his son, silver eyes, and a tail of two shades of orange too.

“Well it is always certainly a pleasure to have a guest, even more so for royalty, but the daughter of the princess? Wow, that is very surprising indeed,” a mare said with almost as much enthusiasm than the father, or maybe more, it was hard to tell, presumably the mother. She had pale blue eyes like ice and white skin like snow with cherry red lips and chocolate brown hair and a black tail.

There was a lot of black in this family, one black close enough to the nighttime sky. “My name is August Moon, this is my wife Winter Moon, formerly she was Winter Harvest, I have many good friends including Crystal Dawn, and also Diamond Pond, and many more, but a good friend of Shadow’s I believe is named Tempest Rose if I am not mistaken and I highly suspect that soon enough you will meet her, but enough of the introductions, it is time for us to talk as I take you on my own personal and free tour guide of this house and our history.”

“Well thank you very much and I’m so glad to meet you!”

“Likewise, and we’re very honored to have you here miss Flurry Heart, but if you don't mind us asking, why is it that nopony ever seems to see you around anywhere?” August asked waving his hoof around in circles.

“Because my mom keeps me locked up, she’s afraid of losing me rather than making me happy,” Flurry replied very despondently.

“Ah, yes, I see, but come, let us not dwell on matters of the past because I find that always makes for a very sour mood and I do not like to have that, yes, it is important to address such matters, but only as the time need be and only as much as it is healthy, and it is certainly not healthy to keep fearing life rather than living in it and learning to enjoy it, we’ve all had our fair share of trials here, even me, but we must all move on with life, and I trust that no matter how long it takes she will come around, the later she does will only be another regret, but sometimes no matter how hard or how much we try we cannot change a ponies mind or force them to be ready sooner than they will be. But come, I don't wish to discuss matters like this with you unless you wish to, after all, I have a tour to conduct and I will always try to make my guests satisfied,” August said smiling as he straightened out his black bow-tie on his white shirt and black collar suit as he trotted along into another room which looked to be like a library.

“This is our library, and in the back here…” he said leading them to a back-room door, “This is our history section filled with all sorts of knowledge, and oh look, here on the wall is a portrait of my younger brother September, and then there is my sister December,” he said pointing to the portraits. September had green eyes and black hair with a nice warm smile but a light in his eyes that made him seem curious and he had a plain brown coat, chocolate brown to be exact with a tail of two shades of orange, black, and a silver streak too, he seemed very odd and strange as he wore glasses and had ruffled hair in the photo too.

December was almost exactly like Winter except she had a duller coat and an orange, red, and yellow streak in her tail as well. “Your family seems very interesting, but is there any particular reason for the names?” Flurry asked.

“My parents named us after the month we were born in, but we’re a small family, I made my life here in the Crystal Empire after moving here from Canterlot where I was respected and valued, but I felt a change of pace was needed. September went to do his own thing in Ponyville and I believe he’s changed his names so many times by now that he’s not entirely sure who he is anymore, but I heard he is getting better, rather than being called Thorn Wood he is now starting to finally accept who he is after some intense care and help and choice words from other ponies. And December is in Manehattan I believe but she occasionally visits here and Canterlot, I believe she works in the fashion and jewelry industries even dipping her hoof in photography. And as for me, I work in many things, but I primarily make money in whatever my heart decides or whatever the season says is right, times change and like the moon things fade in and out of style and strength, and it is best to adapt or fail and struggle along in the strong currents of life. But that’s it for our family, and if you wanted me to I could probably tell you the names of everypony here and what they do and where they come from.”

“Thank you, sir, for this information, but I didn't come here for your life story…”

“Yes, indeed, the princess, I mean Cadence wanted me to give you a message,” Shadow said taking lead for Flurry who seemed nervous and off edge.

“Oh, really? What is it then?” August asked slightly surprised by this.

“She invites you to come at your earliest possible convenience for a meeting that apparently concerns me, that is all that she said,” he said to them.

“Ah, yes, I see, well as it so happens the earliest we can come is tonight at seven, just in time for dinner, but I do hope she won't mind our company.”

“I don't think it would be a trouble at all, but while you’re there can you please do me a huge favor and NOT tell my mom where I am if she asks if you’ve seen me or anything about me? She would get furious if she knew what I was doing and I probably would never be able to leave the castle again.”

August scratched his chin in anger, he did not want to upset the princess, nor did he want to lie to her either, but he also knew that Flurry would one day be the ruler, perhaps; but he could understand where she was coming from in any case and wanted to gain her trust and earn other stuff too, besides, he had a nagging suspicion that she might like his son, for whom his son had a crush on just about every girl, noble and princess there ever was. “Well, I suppose so, but don't expect me to always do this unless you make sure to say please to me, after all, manners are what should make a princess, right?” he asked with a grin.

“I guess they’re one thing that should make a princess, but not one that always does,” Flurry said with a nervous grin to the parents of Shadow.

“Right you are, anyhow enjoy your time outside free in the world, just try not to get into much trouble and try to safe, Celestia knows what would happen to us if you got hurt, anyhow, away you go little young rascals that you are.”

They giggled and grinned and did so running off into the hallways as the two parents let out a small chuckle grinning to themselves, “Children are so adorable, a mess, yes, but they are undeniably cute, that much is a fact.”

“Yes, but do you think they could have a thing for each other?”

“Only time will tell, and if Flurry was telling the truth she could very well fall for the first stallion she sees outside the castle,” August said plainly.

“You wish,” December said now cracking a warm smile at him.

“Don't you dare try to tease me otherwise I'll have to punish you,” he said.

“Well maybe that’s what a big bad old mamma like me wants from you.”

“Perhaps, but not right now, first we must get ready for royalty and maybe even perhaps a dinner too, come, let us away and get prepared for a night of talk.”

“Why do you always have to be so old fashioned?”

“I’m not always old fashioned, I just like using it when I talk, that’s all.”

“Sure thing, right, whatever you say honey,” December replied back to him very sarcastically turning her back on him and trotting back to their room.

“Don't you dare take that tone with me or no desserts for a week!”

“But whatever shall I do without my desserts?” she asked him.

“I don't know, find a way to live on but please stop being such a pest about it!”

“The only pest around here is you, after all, you’re the one that ALWAYS BUGS me and if you’re the disease then I’m the cure,” she said with a sultry grin.

“Really? Were you even trying on that pun?" August asked groaning to himself and doing a hoof-palm directly to his face in frustration.

“Yes, I was, do you have a problem with my puns or jokes?” she asked him.

“No, I just have a problem with you trying to make my life miserable.”

“I am doing nothing of the sort, I am here to make you happy August my dear.”

“Fat load of a good that ever did to me, but can we please agree not to talk or fight for the rest of the night even while we’re getting dressed and ready for this?”

“Sure thing, if you can agree not to be an idiot,” she said.

“I hate you so much right now,” he said with a low growl.

“Same back at you, same back at you…” she said.

And with that said their agreement was struck as they slowly started to get dressed and ready for the night not knowing exactly what was to come of it.


Flurry Heart and Shadow decided to go wherever Flurry wanted to by a list of recommended places to go provided by Shadow himself, and Flurry decided to go to the carnival fair first for some strange and odd mysterious reason that Shadow questioned at first but then he quickly decided to roll with whatever came next no matter what it might be. “So, have you ever been to something like this?” Shadow asked with a big smile while Flurry had to use her hooves to aim a water pistol at a row of targets and failed to hit any of them.

“Once or twice when I was very little and young it was before my dad died…”

“I suppose all your best memories are with him then?” he asked.

“Well, yes, after he died mom wasn't the same and things have been getting gradually worse ever since and now as a result I don't even have a cutie mark which I am surprised that you still haven't mentioned that little detail, it seems like you would’ve noticed something like that being such an observant pony.”

“Well, I’m not always observant, even the best ponies can be completely oblivious to something right in front of their face, but I try my best,”

“Yes, well right now my best can't seem to hit one silly stupid target.”

Shadow grinned at her, “Oh come on! Everypony should know that these kinds of games are always rigged! But if you pay enough attention to details then you can easily overcome their little flaws, and if you ask nicely enough I'll tell you how to win, heck I might even show you how to win every single game here.”

“Very well then, will you please show me how to do it?”

“Yes, of course princess, you see you think you’re aiming straight? Right? Don't answer that, of course you do, but if you look closely enough you can see the stream of water is tilting to the left and downwards so in order to compensate you should go upwards and right just like this,” he said putting a hoof on the noddle gently guiding her hooves into the right position drawing dangerously close to her and for a moment it seemed like they were touching feeling the warm fur pressing against each other as their hearts and breathing seemed to match even if only for a brief moment, but that moment seemed like an eternity to them.

Shadow awkwardly coughed and stepped away from her smiling at her as she was handed a small prize which was a nice big fluffy teddy bear, “There, are you happy yet princess or do you wish for some more tips and advice?”

“I think that some more advice is due,” Flurry said with a smile back at him.

“Very well then, if my lady will follow me I shall show you all the tips and tricks of these silly little games,” he said with a bow to her.

“You can act like such a gentlecolt at times and you seem so silly and random and odd and crazy and eccentric, I love it!” she said.

“Well, I can act however I want whenever I want in whatever quantities I want, after all, the world doesn't mold or shape who I am, only I decide what to be influenced by and also who I can inspire and influence in return, but come, we don't have all day and I have so many wonderful and amazing things to show you, and as they say, so much to do, and so little time in which to do it.”

She smiled and gladly followed alongside him with a huge grin as they went and got some popcorn and cotton candy to add to their cart of ever growing prizes that they would soon collect over the course of their fun little trip.


August and Winter had finished up getting ready for the night and were dressed very well and appropriately as they knocked on the large stone-cold doors which marked the entrance to the elaborate palace, soon enough a guard came to greet them and they told him their names and also their business and he told them to wait while he verified this information and soon enough he came back and told them to follow him, but never once did he ever smile at him. The guard took them to the main throne room where Cadence sat looking completely bored, empty, cold and lifeless as the rest of the room was, even to Winter whom she could stand and even enjoy the cold the room still felt cold and unnatural to her which was very odd and strange, but she couldn't place why she felt that way but she did have many possible reasons as to the why. Cadence sighed and looked up at the two of them with a vacant expression, “You are August and Winter Moon the parents of Shadow Moon, are you not?” she asked them bluntly.

“Yes, we are, but may we ask why we are here in your presence?”

“Yes, you may, but the reason you are here is very simple, to talk, but I suppose that due to the time you two would like some dinner?” she asked them.

“Oh yes, that would be greatly appreciated princess,” they said bowing to her.

“Very well then, it shall be as you wish, guards, tell the cooks to prepare a meal for our guests here, and in the meantime, I shall do my best to talk with them.”

The guards nodded and bowed and quickly left the room while the two parents nervously glanced around. “Now then, while we wait for the meal to be prepared let us talk about more important and serious matters, shall we?”

“Uh, yes, if that is what your majesty so wishes of us to do…”

Cadence rolled her eyes at all the formality but she would rather have that then them calling her Cadence or even worse, a friend, “It is, now then, what can you tell me about your son? What is he good at?”

“Our son? Well he’s currently the same age as your daughter and enrolled at Canterlot High with a GPA of 4.0 and he is doing very well in every field of study that he puts his heart and mind in, or at the very least his will and effort. His cutie mark is very simple, an ace of hearts and a joker and jack of diamonds card on his flank, we have interpreted it to mean a jack of all trades as he seems to be naturally good at anything he tries even if it is his very first time doing it.”

“Yes, very interesting, but what can you tell me about his character?”

“His character?”

“His attitude, his charm, his appeal,” Cadence said with another roll of her eyes, “Is he trustworthy? What has he done with his life? Does he have a job yet?”

“Oh, well that’s easy, he is very trustworthy and has never made a promise that he couldn't keep, that’s a thing with our family, trust runs deep and promises are something you have to know for absolute certain 100% that not only can you do it, but that you will be able to do it and actually do it as you say. And broken promises would never be taken lightly in our family. And no, he does not have a job yet, but if he did I’m sure he would be very good at it.”

“Yes, thank you, is there anything else that you can think of to tell me about him? Anything at all, every little detail will help me to paint a picture of him.”

“Well no, not really, unless you count the fact he is really smart and good at games and being what he wants to be whenever he wants, even we can't always predict what he’s going to do half of the time,” they said.

“I don’t know if I should count that, but if that is all then I suppose I am satisfied, but come, let us go to the dining table, I’m sure that the food will be here soon enough, and if we do have to wait I’m sure that you can entertain me with tales and stories about the rest of your family but in particular about your son.”

“Okay, very well then, as you wish your majesty,” they said with a bow following her as she gave yet another sigh and eye roll, something that was becoming very common for her these days. She took them to the dining room and they waited for the food to come as they talked about Shadow and the rest of their family too.


Flurry and Shadow were not in the top of a Ferris wheel enjoying the view as it currently was stuck unloading and reloading passengers. “Wow, this is amazing, this is incredible, I only wish that I had a camera to take pictures of everything,” she said smiling at him giggling eating the last of the popcorn and cotton candy.

“I can't believe that you devoured the cotton candy and popcorn without even asking me if I wanted some, shame on you, a princess should know better than that, after all, I was the one to but you it,” he said with a smile at her.

“I’m complimenting the view and you’re complaining about me eating food?”

“Yes, I am, but I do agree the view is wonderful and spectacular.”

“How can you talk about the view when you’re the one complaining?”

“Ah, but how can you try to switch the subject?” he asked her.

“You’re the only one doing that,” she said.

“Maybe, but did you see what I did back there?” he asked her.

“Yes, I think so, but can we please just sit back and relax and enjoy the view?”

“Sure thing, and next time I’m sure you will have a camera,”

“If there is ever a next time for stuff like this,” she said.

“Hey, don't think like that, just sit back and relax and enjoy the view, although there is one thing that would make the view at least ten times better.”

“And what would that be?” she asked.

“Some popcorn and cotton candy,” he said with a smile aimed directly at her.

“Shadow! You are such a tease, just stop it already!” she said with a giggle.

“Ah, but you seem to be enjoying this almost as much as I am and I would never want to take something like that away from you because your smile is like a thousand suns warming up my day and my body, my very heart, soul and mind scream for the sweet warm relief of that smile to be seen again, I would never want to see you cry, but if you did I would gladly wipe away your tears, and your hair is like cotton candy, sweet and unique, and stylish too, every part of you is undeniably cute and awesome and amazing and I wish nothing more than to make you happy in any way that you wish no matter how hard it is for me, and I will always try my best to be here for you no matter what happens to us.”

“Shadow, that is literally the sweetest and nicest thing that anypony has ever said to me, thank you, but I honestly don't know if I even deserve the praise…”

“And why not? What have you ever done wrong in your life my dear princess?”

“Plenty of embarrassing things when I was just a little foal.”

“I’m sure that we all have, but even that would still not diminish your glory nor take away how amazing and truly wonderful and incredible you are, and every praise that anypony speaks of you, mine included you deserve, every little bit of it because all of it would be undeniably true forever and ever even after the stars have long gone away and their glory fade yours shall still remain bright as ever.”

“Stop it, you’re making me blush!” she said.

“And that still makes you look even more cute, is there any part of you that can ever not be truly wonderful and incredible and amazing and cute and splendid?”

“Okay you seriously need to stop repeating yourself,” she said.

“Perhaps I will if you ask nicely enough or give me a reason to shut up.”

“Well maybe I will, after all, you never know, right?” she asked.

“Indeed,” he said gazing deep into her eyes lovingly as she gazed back, and almost at the same time they touched hooves and slowly started to lean in and…

“Hey kids, are you going to get off this ride or what?” asked the station guard.

They both blushes intensely not even realizing that the ride was not at the bottom and it was their turn to get off, “Sorry sir, we’ll be right off,”

“You better be, I don't get paid to watch lovers lollygag over each other.” The stallion said muttering and grumbling to himself angrily as they got off.

“Well, that ride certainly was more exciting than I thought it would be.”

“Agreed, but hey, if we’re done here do you want to go grab some popcorn and maybe catch a movie tonight if you’re still free that is?”

“Well, maybe, I would certainly love to, but if I don't get home soon my mom might think something is up and I would never get to leave the castle again or see you again either and I think that would be terrible for both of us.”

“It would, but trust me, I would always find a way to see you again my dear.”

“That seems impossible but also reassuring at the same time too.”

“Don't ever say anything is impossible unless you see it for yourself.”

“Huh, I suppose that’s true, but when can I see you again?”

“How about next Friday at the same time? Will that work out for you?”

“Yes, of course it will, I’m free all week if you ever need me,” she said.

“Well then, that sounds like a plan and a date,” he said.

“Well I suppose it is settled then, see you again soon.”

“Yes, I suppose that is true, but may I ask one more favor of tonight please?”

“And what would that favor be exactly?” she asked him.

“Simple, would you please allow me the honor of escorting you home to make sure that you arrive in good and safe condition as you left the place?”

She smiled at him warmly, “Yes, of course I would, your wish is granted.”

He smiled at her, held out his hoof to her and she smiled and blushed as he gently and slowly guided back to her home which was more like a prison to her, but maybe less so now with the hopes of seeing Shadow again.


“Wow, that dinner was amazing and fantastic and just splendid and wonderful and incredible, I mean just wow, how did you ever manage to get such good cooks your majesty?” August asked after they were done.

“Simple, money, I find it solves many problems of life,” Cadence said.

“Agreed, but not every single problem, right?” August asked.

“Indeed, if that were the case I would hate to imagine what life would be like.”

“I would imagine that it would be very bad for poor ponies.”

“Most likely, and probably a few other things as well, but tell me, do you think it would be wise or even safe for my daughter to be friends or maybe even something more perhaps to your son?” Cadence asked them.

“Yes, of course we do, he’s not the kind of pony to take advantage of another pony, and he would never even dare to try to hurt her much less imagine it.”

“Yes, I see, well, I trust you two, and I suppose that I can trust him, I hope the dinner is good, it is too bad that my daughter is not here to join us but I expect that she will probably be joining me sooner or later, but I have not seen her around the castle as of late for today it seems unusually quiet and I have no idea why, it’s almost as if she is gone, but I know that this simply cannot be the case.”

“Yeah, totally, I’m sure she’s sulking in her own room like a teenager or doing whatever a princess does at a time of day such like this is,” August said nervously trying not to slip up and accidentally give away Flurry Heart and her trust too.

“You seem nervous, is everything alright in your family? Any pressing problems or secrets that you need to get off of your chest?” Cadence asked them.

“Nope, not at all, why would you think that?” August asked her again getting more and more nervous and worried by the second as beads of sweat started to form on his head slowly dripping down his face as he nervously wiped them away from his face with one of the plain white table napkins laying around.

“Alright then, if you say so, but I think I have all that I need to know and my hunger is satisfied, I think that it is time for me to retire and perhaps check up on my daughter to see how well she is doing,” Cadence said getting up.

August internally swore to himself trying to think of an excuse to delay her, “Wait, do you know the names of the cooks that cook this and do you ever bother to personally thank them? And aren't you going to tell us anything about yourself or was this whole entire trip just trying to get to know us and what we are like?”

Cadence slowly turned to them with a sigh, “Yes, I do know the names of every cook that made this lovely meal for us, and on occasion as I see fit I do personally thank them, but they already know my thanks by now, and yes, this was for me to know you, after all, I do not think that I have anything important or relevant to say to you that you cannot already read in the newspapers, now then, if there are no further questions I will retire for the night in peace please.”

August struggled for something else, anything else, but could come up with nothing except for one small thing before Cadence could trot away. “Wait! Surely you can take us on a tour of your castle if that is not too much of a favor to ask from your royal majesty?” he asked with a nervous and strained smile.

Cadence pondered this request thoughtfully before replying, “I do not give personal tour guides to all guests that come through this castle nor do I have the patience for them either and while I do appreciate the work and effort of your family that does not guarantee you a tour from me, not even nobles are granted everything that they wish for, and I will not make exceptions to my own rules, now then goodnight and please, no more requests or interruptions from you.”

August sighed and nodded as Cadence slowly trotted away as a guard escorted them back out to the front doors and slammed the doors roughly in their faces.

“Well, that could have gone much better,” Winter said once they were outside.

“Being with royalty threw me off my game, okay? Besides I’m sure everything will work out in the end, I just hope that Flurry Heart made it back safe and alright and that if she does get caught that she won't get into too much trouble.”

“You ask too much of fate my dear husband,” Winter said.

“Better to ask for more and never receive than not ask enough and never receive,”

“You have a very strange and odd way of thinking,” she said to him.

“Yes, of course I do, I’m always like that,” he said back to her.

“Remind me why I married you again,” she said.

“Because I believe you called me cute handsome and smart I think.”

“And I clearly underestimated your ability to annoy others.”

“Yes, you did, but to be fair everypony does, but come, since we can't stay here any longer we might as well go home and read a bit and wait for Shadow to come back, after all, it’s not like we have anything else important to do today,”

“Agreed,” she said smiling and gently following his lead back home.


Shadow had somehow successfully managed to sneak the both of them past the guards outside and using his powers of levitation he flew up with her to her window and it was only now that Flurry noted that his entire family seemed to be unicorns (although there might be a few specks of Pegasus ancestry in there somewhere, but Flurry couldn't say for sure). “Well, I’m glad we got home safe, but I still can't believe that you got us past the royal guards again.”

“Trust me darling, I doubt I will ever cease to amaze you with wonder,” Shadow said smiling at her as he levitated himself onto the balcony edge and took a quick glance around her room, “Your room seems so empty and clean, but why far there not any pictures of your father on the wall or anywhere for that matter?”

“Oh, that actually has a very simple explanation, you see after my father died my mom couldn't stand to see the sight of anything that reminded her of him so we had to throw out a lot of his old stuff into a storage room, and I couldn't even mention him anymore if I wanted to keep her happy, the only thing I managed to keep was a music box he gave me when I was just five, it’s the only thing that I have left to remember him by anymore,” she said looking down at the ground sadly. Shadow looked like he was more serious than his usual self now.

“What about your own happiness? Doesn't that matter?” he asked her.

“It is irrelevant, I’m trying to make her feel good so she can move on.”

“Flurry, I don't think she’ll be ready to move on unless someone slaps her silly.”

“I guess that could be true, but I just don't know what to do anymore, and I just wish I knew what was the right way to help her out,” she said.

“I don't think anypony knows how to do that, you just have to keep trying.”

“Yeah, well I have tried for many years now, but nothing still seems to ever work no matter how hard I try or how many times I do it or anything else either too.”

“Well, just keep trying then, and if you can't do it then ask a friend.”

“I suppose that could work, but I don't have any friends anymore…”

“That’s not true,” Shadow said smiling at her, “You have me.”

Flurry blushed intensely and looked at him, “Oh, really? How nice.”

“I bet it does feel nice to have a friend after all this time being alone, but I do have a few ideas on how to make it better, I know how to make it even more special and extra wonderful, incredible, and splendid too,” he said.

“And what would they be?” she asked him very curiously.

“Well, I could tell you, but that would ruin the surprise of me showing you.”

“Oh, really? Well then, show me what you will, I’m ready for it.”

“Are you sure because I don't think you’ve ever seen anything like this.”

“Trust me, I can take it, after all, I’m a princess am I not?”

“Fair point,” Shadow said smiling at her as he slowly leaned in as Flurry nervously stood her ground wondering what was coming next as…

“Flurry? Are you in there, I wish to talk with you,” Cadence said knocking at the door blocking their special little moment together. Flurry cursed to herself.

“Another time maybe?” she asked as Shadow slowly started to levitate himself towards the ground as he waved a hoof goodbye still smiling at her.

“Yes, of course, see you soon enough, my dear princess,” he said.

Flurry smiled as he touched down on the ground just as the door opened.

“Oh, glad to see that you’re still here, for a moment I thought you left the castle,”

“No, of course not, I would never,” Flurry said blatantly lying to her.

“Indeed, because that would be a very unwise and poor choice, but anyhow if you have time I would like to have a talk with you about a few important things.”

“Well I suppose since I have nothing better to do, yes, you can talk with me.”

“Well there’s no need to be so cold towards me,” Cadence said trotting closer to her and sitting on the edge of Flurry’s bed still looking at her.

“I could say the exact same thing about you, mother,” Flurry said.

“Please, don't try to act angry or sarcastic towards me during this talk because I do wish to discuss the terms of your trip which will give you the freedom that you wish, that and a few other various important things too.”

“Like what for example?” Flurry asked.

“Stuff usually not talked about until the time is right,” Cadence replied bluntly.

“Very well then, let’s just get this over without a fight, shall we?”

“I couldn't agree more. But here’s the thing, you see a pony as they get older starts to go through changes in their body and mind and other parts too. They start to grow hair in weird and odd strange places and they start to get attracted to other ponies, same sex or not and it’s important to control these urges…”

“Oh my gosh, no, please tell me that you’re not serious, you’re seriously not having ‘the talk’ with me right now and here at this time?” Flurry asked.

“Please, just here me out and listen, I know that you might want to rush into things or they might, but it’s still important to keep your urges under control so that way you don't make a choice that you will regret for the rest of your life.”

“I seriously can't believe you’ve chosen to tell me this now rather than sooner in life or at a different time, seriously what kind of mother are you?”

“The one that is always trying to keep you safe,” Cadence said.

“A bit too hard because I’m still trapped in my own room!”

“Please, I thought we agreed not to fight. Anyhow I don't know if you are attracted to Shadow or not, but if you ever do get attracted to somepony else please don't hesitate to tell me first and I will do my very best to support and help you through it so that way you don't make a mistake that you’ll regret for the rest of your life or an unhealthy one that will poison the both of you and make it toxic.”

“Alright, fine I get it, don't rush into things, ask you for help and advice and all that good stuff, yeah friendship lesson learned can you please just leave now?”

“Wait, I’m not done yet, I still have one more important thing left to say.”

“And what would that be exactly?” Flurry asked furiously.

“It’s very simple, it’s that I love you and I will always try my best to make you happy and safe, I just hope that even if you hate me right now that one day soon you will see that all I have tried has only ever been for your best interests to protect you and keep you safe, you might see me as selfish, but sometimes even the best of ponies acts that way during times of stress or intense grief.”

“Yeah, well thanks for the talk mom, do you mind leaving me alone now.”

“As you wish, just try to remember my words, alright?” she asked.

“I will do my best,” Flurry said flopping onto her bed as Cadence got up and slowly left the room leaving Flurry Heart to her own silly devices.

No matter what those devices might be or what they could become.

Chapter Four: The Discovery

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Chapter Four: The Discovery

It was three days after their last visit that Shadow came over to see Flurry Heart again. And this time they did indeed go to the movies and see one sappy romance movie and even held hooves for a brief moment on the theater and they even blushed for a brief moment before they had to leave the theater (but this time they did share the popcorn together). After the movies, they went over to the lake to enjoy the view and talk a bit and Shadow teased her a bit and in particular for the thing he was about to do last time, and he almost did it but he stopped midway and claimed that he didn't know if the time was right or not and that they would know when the right time would be and the talk went something like this. “So, what did you think about that movie that we just saw?”

“Cheesy, fun, silly, and so cliché and over the top,” Flurry said.

“I couldn't agree anymore, but how about I show you the thing I was about to show you the last time I came over now that we’re free and alone?”

“That sounds nice and simply wonderful and splendid and incredible.”

“Well then, let’s see if this works out, shall we?” he asked with a smile slowly starting to lean in, but then midway he stopped, “Hmm, I don't know, maybe we’re not ready for this, maybe this isn't the time or place, after all, I do want to make sure that your very first time is extra special and one that you remember.”

“Well, if you say so, after all, you’re the expert on this stuff, right?”

“Well, I wouldn't call myself an expert on the subject, but I do know enough about it to be called knowledgeable in the field, if you know what I mean.”

“Maybe I do, maybe I don't, only time will tell,” she said teasing him.

“Indeed, but you are such a tease sometimes I wonder why I put up with you.”

“Because I’m a princess and royalty and you have to follow my commands.”

“Ah yes, that’s probably the most likely reason of them all, isn't it?”

“Indeed, but come on, it’s getting late and I need to get home,” she said.

“Well then, as you wish, my dear princess,” he said kissing her hoof and still smiling at her as she blushed yet again and then he took her home once again.

The pattern of their dates continued and changed over the next few weeks, but as time went on Cadence slowly started to get suspicious and wondered why Flurry wasn't asking to leave as soon as possible as often as she used to, and why she seemed to always be on the balcony every night that she saw her there.

And so, she formulated a plan in her own mind to catch Flurry Heart if she indeed was guilty. And soon enough after the idea came she enacted it.

The date night was the same as always with Shadow greeting her off, except this time Cadence was hiding and luring in the shadows to see it this time.

Flurry did her best to sneak up to her bed, but that was when her mother decided to step out into the light and confront her, “I see that you have decided to ignore my rules and instead choose to sneak off into the night all alone and also unsupervised too, and you were with that boy I bet, even more dangerous considering neither of us know who he really is. Sad really since you would have had your freedom soon, but now I cannot even trust you to keep simple rules anymore and I’m starting to think about cancelling your trip altogether or change the rules of it, and as punishment for leaving you will not be having any desserts for the entire month or maybe ever and yes, the trip is off indefinitely.”

“What? How could you do something like this to me? Don't you care about my happiness? What happened to you and why did it have to happen?” Flurry asked her furiously almost ready to start chucking random objects at her.

“Look, I know you think things have not been well ever since your father died, but I could ask you the very same things especially after you have broken one of my first and most important and simple rules of this castle, and so long as you live here you must follow them, if you have a problem with them then leave.”

Those last words gave Flurry an idea, “Well maybe I will,” she said.

“You could try, but the guards have orders not to let you leave at any cost.”

“Where there is a will there will always be a way,” Flurry said bluntly.

“We shall see, but that is all I have to say other than that I wish you to know I am only doing this in your best interests and that I will always love you and try to keep you safe, good night, and have dreams of a better future,”

“Trust me I will, it’s the only thing I can dream about anymore,” she said.’

With that said Cadence slammed the door behind her as Flurry plopped down on her bed and started to cry to herself furious at her mother for everything that she did to her trapping her inside a castle and taking away her freedom and also her memories and connections to her father and many more things as well, she just wanted the pain and misery and strife to end, and she just wanted to be free, but whatever was to come next wouldn't happen tonight and she was tired and she needed to get some sleep and so she sighed and slowly closed her eyes and soon enough she fell asleep to the powers of the nighttime. ���q���&

Chapter Five: The Dream/ The Escape

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Chapter Five: The Dream/ The Escape

She didn't know it was a dream until Luna came in, however the chocolate covered singing and talking marshmallows, a hand puppet of Discord and a weird animation sequence in a third person view of the fight that she just had with her mother were the first signs and clues of it being a dream, that and the magical enchanted singing and dancing flowers and other stuff too.

Flurry was scared and confused, and she cried out in fear and soon enough a blinding beam of light vaporized every enemy that was on the scene.

Flurry glanced around nervously but then let out a sigh of relief when she saw Princess Luna was there, “So, I suppose that this is just a dream then?”

“Indeed, you catch on faster than most, but I have no idea why, I honestly don't know everything, but I do know this, your fears and hopes are entirely and completely real, but you need to face them before it is too late to change things.”

“Well I’m trying but my mother refuses to listen to reason!”

“I once refused to listen to reason and instead I foolishly believed the lies that the darkness and nightmares fed me, and I made a choice to accept its power, and I became Nightmare Moon, and you know the rest, but every day since then I have regretted my choice and as a result I formed the Tantabus, and Twilight and her friends not only helped me once, but twice, and again many more times. They never ceased to amaze and surprise me, and I could always trust in them to do the right thing when the time came. There is always a struggle between logic and emotion in the mind, too much of either can be unhealthy, one has to learn how to control and balance both which may take time and patience but will be worthwhile, without balance there can be no harmony. I think that right now your mother is acting on the grief of her emotion trying to stay logical and that has made her a bit cold and extreme since she is repressing her thoughts and feelings from others as I once did, and she tells herself and others lies to make the pain easier, but she is so blinded by her own grief and pain that she cannot see the strife that she is causing to others. But I think that when does not listen to logic or reason one needs to snap them back to reality with a different approach, and I find time away from a loved one makes love more intense because absence does very strange and mysterious things to the heart.”

“So, what are you saying then? That I should follow my heart or my mind?”

“I am saying trust whatever you feel is the right thing to do, your instincts, my change to nightmare moon was a very slow process that took years, and it was small choice that I took small steps down towards the darkness, that is how one becomes a monster, not through a big fall, but by tiny steps, the big fall is what others see after much time that they consider before finally turning into a monster, change isn't a thing that takes an instant, it always takes time, it is a series of events rather than one strange and odd event that happened randomly.”

“I still don't get what you’re saying yet,” Flurry said.

“I’m saying that change will come sooner or later to your mother with or without you, but I think that you have to take action to change your life to the way you want it, after all, you can remain a slave for the rest of your life or you can take a risk and maybe have it pay off in the end,” Luna said circling around her as she talked and standing near to Flurry whenever she was done talking to her.

“Wait, so are you saying that I should leave the castle then?”

“I am not suggesting or saying anything that you are not, and I cannot and will not confirm any alleged suggestions or subtle clues and/or hints that I may or may not be giving you right now. All I am saying is listen.”

“Listen to my heart or my mind?” Flurry asked.

Luna smiled at her, “No, listen to your soul, then consult your heart and mind if you must, but your soul cannot lie while your heart and mind both can lie.”

“I don't see how that’s possible, but okay…” Flurry said.

“It’s a metaphor, don't take everything so seriously, not then get some sleep and hopefully by the time morning comes you will have your answer, if not take all the time you need, after all, we wouldn't want you to make a rash choice unless you were completely ready for it, but if you will excuse me I have other dreams to visit and many more ponies to help, but rest well, stay healthy and be safe, I wish you the best of luck for whatever path you decide to go on,” Luna said with a smile flapping her wings as the dream slowly faded out and away to black.

Flurry woke up with a gasp wiping the beads of sweat on her face with one of her blankets taking in the room, well, everything was normal, she should be awake, oh sweet Celestia please don't let this be a dream within a dream, she thought to herself wandering over to the mirror and examining herself, she still had all her teeth, all her hair, and all her normal colors, and still no cutie mark either.

She sighed to herself slightly relieved, well everything still seemed normal, if this was a dream then she hoped it would be a peaceful one.

But this was not a dream, and while things were usually peaceful soon they would not be, but Flurry would not be around to see all that would come to pass.

Flurry needed to escape, but she had no distraction, not even smoke bombs could get past all the guards and it would not stop them, but wait, there was ONE perfect distraction that COULD delay them indefinitely, but no, she couldn't nopony would ever try to do that, not even on a dare for all the gold in the world, they would have to be completely insane, crazy or desperate to do such a thing!

But she didn't see any other choice, and so regretfully she had to say it.

“Discord, I summon thee, from wherever you are I request your help and aid, from the four corners of nowhere to the river of time and the lake of eternity to the pond of nothingness I request that you hear my call and come to me.”

“Did somepony call my name?” Discord said smiling as he randomly popped into the room wearing a black tuxedo and Hawaiian golfing shorts for some strange mysterious reason, and he seemed to be right in the middle of a shot too.

“Yes, I did call you, I need your help,” she said with a sorry sigh.

“Yes, I know, I hate that old spell, personally if I ever did make a spell that summoned myself, not that I would, well I would add a bunch of flare and nonsense, but I suppose it was still a decent try by that old Starswirl of yours.”

“Look, I don't care who made this spell or what you think of it, I need your help!”

“Go on, I’m listening,” he said snapping his fingers making the gold course and his clothes disappear as he laid down on her bed pulling out some nightshades and pulling them over his head as he loudly yawned and looked bored.

“I’m going to try to escape the castle tonight, but I need a distraction…”

“That seems to be such a naughty little idea, not the most original idea but I can still get behind it, but go on, I’m still listening,” he said pulling out a deck of cards and making them fly in random various shapes in the air.

“I was thinking that you could be my distraction,” she said smiling at him

Discord took off his nightshades and slowly smiled at her and then started to laugh, “Oh, that’s such a silly and perfect idea! You’re hilarious, you see I would love to but there’s nothing on earth or Equestria that could convince me to distract the entire royal guard and Cadence from your escape for a few hours much less any longer depending upon how long you want to stay away from this place, besides if I caused too much trouble I could get into big trouble with Celestia and Cadence and Twilight and her friends, and while I don't mind causing trouble, I love it, I certainly DO NOT like the idea of being turned into stone again, or even worse, making Fluttershy angry or disappointed with me, but if that’s all you have to say to me then I suppose I will be going now.”

“No, wait! Please, I'll do anything!” she said and then mentally hoof-slapped herself hard in the face as Discord slowly smiled with evil intent at her.

“Oh really? Anything, including using another old spell to grant me temporary access to all of my old powers while giving you control of me, well somewhat, and did I mention that this spell has the ability to turn me into stone if the one who cast it is disappointed in my results in anyway, and it can only be undone by the one who cast it so that way not even the elements of harmony can affect me?”

“Wait, are you being serious right now?” Flurry asked.

“Yes, of course I am, Starswirl made the spell in an attempt to control me, and I regret to say that the spell does work, he used it on me and ordered me to be kind and nice, he promptly turned me into stone for 100 years while he developed better ways to trap me which he then gave to the princess before releasing me.”

“Wow, that sounds like a really convenient, excellent, wonderful, splendid and…”

“Dues ex Machina spell for the reasons pertaining to get this story moving on, yes, of course it does!” Discord said smiling at her.

“No, I was going to say it’s just what we need,” she said.

“Same difference, but anyhow, use it, but do be specific in your commands otherwise I will find a loophole, heck, I'll probably find one anyways!”

Flurry sighed and started to cast the spell with her words, “Discord, spirit of chaos, bringer of Disharmony and other various random titles, I command you to obey me and listen to my words, I bind you to the air, the earth, the water, and the fire, I bind you to the natural elements of the earth and Equestria, I bind you to the elements of harmony which are laughter, kindness, generosity, magic, honesty, and loyalty. I bind your body, mind, heart and soul to my own will, I bind you to whatever may bind you in this world or another, should you fail my commands then you are subject to whatever penalty I shall exact upon you, and you cannot be released until I speak the magic words to do so, with this I do bind me until such a time that I wish not to and in return you may use your abilities so far in as I wish, and with this I do finish the spell and so now listen to my commands and mark my words wisely or you will suffer the price later on.”

“I never understood why Starswirl had to be so long with his spells, probably because the author thinks olden time ponies spoke that way, what a stupid author, anyhow miss Flurry Heart, what are your commands?”

Flurry considered this question for a few minutes careful not to speak a single word until she was ready even if he did try to distract her. “First of all, you are not to try to distract me in any way or manner while I think or appear to be thinking or when I say I need time to think, secondly you are not to cause any lasting or permanent harm to anypony in this empire, surrounding areas, or Equestria and you are not to kill anypony either, and this also applies even if they try to harm kill or trap you or in any way annoy you. Thirdly when I do return I expect you to return everything back to the way it is so you better make use of the time you have. Fourth, I request that you NOT leave the Crystal empire or this castle, and fifth, I order you to distract the guards and my mother when I do finally decide that I am ready for my escape, and only then may you use your powers as you wish and not any sooner, do you understand?”

“Yes, I understand perfectly, but can I please have an estimate on when that might be?” he asked politely smiling at her.

“No, you may not, now then if you don't mind I need to get a message to a friend and make my plan to escape tonight, so I need peace, got it?”

“Sure thing, too bad you don't have my powers otherwise you could break the fourth wall easily and escape this story into whatever one you wanted, probably even one where your father is still alive, but that’s enough being meta and deep thinking about alternate universes for today,” he said still smiling at her.

“Please try to keep the smiling down to a minimum, it disturbs me.”

“But I love smiling, I always go to work with a smile on my face!”

“Yeah, whatever, I don't care, just shut up and wait for my next command.”

Discord looked like he was about to say something but a spare hand out of nowhere popped up and put a zipper and chain lock over his mouth quickly shutting him up. Discord waited patiently until nightfall bored out of his mind until finally another pony showed up, “Glad you got my message.”

“Me too, glad to see you again, but wait, is that Discord?”

“Yes, it is and get this, he’s under my control, and speaking of that, you can speak now Discord,” she said smiling at him.

Discord unzipped his zipper on his mouth and took a huge breath in, “Finally! I was suffocating in there! It’s very hard to hold one’s breath for so long much less not be my usual self! That was intense even for me!” he said.

“Well soon you will have all the fun you want when I say so.”

“Alright, fine then, just make your escape quick, okay?”

“We will, Discord, feel free to have fun while you’re away.”

“No, you’re doing it wrong! You said that I could have all the fun I want when you say so, not when you say what you just said back there!”

“Uh, okay then, so?” she said unsure if this would work or not

“Thank you! Finally, I can have some fun, I can't wait to turn this castle into chees unlike that time where I couldn't for Celestia’s but as always, I think this is a gouda idea, get it? That’s the first of many cheesy puns I have.”

Shadow smiled at him while Flurry physically hoof-slapped herself, “That pun was REALLY grating on my nerves, if you know what I mean.”

Discord smiled and laughed at him, “Finally a pony that has a sense of humor!

This is such a rare and welcome occasion, what’s your name?””

“My name is Shadow Moon, and it is an honor to meet you sir.”

“Wow, not only do you have a sense of humor but also manners too, I can't believe this, is the world ending, have I finally caused world chaos?”

“No, it’s just that not everypony can always appreciate the talent of a trickster.”

“That much is certainly true, well if I ever see you again I just might teach you a thing or two,” he said smiling at him.

“I would like that very much,” Shadow said.

“Enough! We’re just wasting time sitting here and talking,” Flurry said.

“I couldn't agree anymore,” Discord said with a smile popping off and away as Flurry looked around nervously wondering what he could be up to.

“Come on, we better hurry before he does anything too terrible…”

Too late, there was already a fire alarm and half a dozen other alarms going off.

“Trust me, you do not want to know what he is doing right now,” Shadow said.

“Yeah, I think so too,” Flurry said grabbing Shadow’s hoof as they slowly descended down to the ground as every guard rushed by the two of them towards the source of the alarms too concerned about the castle rather than them.

“Well, what do you know, that actually worked out,” she said.

“I’m almost just as surprised as you are,” Shadow said.

“Indeed, now then, where do you wish to go first?”

Flurry grinned at him, “Wherever my fair stallion says his soul should go to after consulting his heart and mind for some extra advice,”

He laughed at this, “That sounds very confusing, but I accept your craziness and substitute it with my own reality, anyhow, away we go, alons-y!”

And with that said they slowly trotted off the distance as Discord was starting his fun in the castle turning it into a literal block of cheese (the author wishes you to inform you that this was a terrible and stupid idea and any story with Discord is completely pointless, please keep reading), it was a block of cheese that would soon get moldy and rot away if left out long enough, but fate had a way, even if strange and mysterious and Shadow and Flurry would not be back for a very long time, and that is why and how Discord became king of the crystal empire and devourer of cheese until they finally did decide to come back again.

It was also how he made fan shipping dreams come true too.

But that’s a long story for another day, on with this one.

Chapter Six: The Romance Brews/ The Surprise Attack/ Discord's Reign

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Chapter Six: The Romance Brews/ The Surprise Attack/ Discord’s Reign

Furry and Shadow decided to go far away as possible as they could from the Empire, and so that was why they were now on a train headed straight for Canterlot, and then after that to Ponyville, and then Manehattan, Appaloosa and more, and soon enough they would explore every part of Equestria that they could, currently the two of them sat side by side as the train rumbled on slowly towards its destination, but they were very careful not to touch each other in any way at all whatsoever, but soon enough a candy cart came around the train.

At once they both reached for the chocolate and other various sweet treats and as they touched they blushed while the stallion rolling the cart looked at the two of them strangely, “Are you two going to buy something or gawk at each other all day long because I have a job and I don't get paid to stand here and watch you two,” he said grouchily frowning at the two of them as they awkwardly coughed.

They bought a few sweets and munched down on them sitting in an awkward silence until one of them finally decided to speak up, “So, Canterlot, eh?”

“Yep, I have a few old friends and relatives there, seemed like the best place to go,” Flurry said casually responding back to Shadow.

“I see, I also have a friend there too, I expect she’ll be joining us soon enough, I expect you two shall get along very well, but come, is that what you really wanted to talk to me about because I sense that you’re still hiding something from me, I don't know what it is or might be, but it certainly can't be a good thing.”

“What? Me, hiding something? No, never, I wouldn't,” Flurry said bluntly lying.

“You are a horrible liar, did anypony ever try to tell you that?” Shadow asked her frowning at her. Flurry sighed and glanced around folding in her wings tightly.

“Yes, I had a dream last night, it didn't make sense and Luna helped me out to make a choice, but I’m worried about my mother and the empire too.”

“I wouldn't worry about that too much, after all it’s not like too much is going to happen while we’re away, I highly doubt any monsters will pop up randomly, but even if they do something would deal with them within half an hour or so, more or less, but trust me, no matter what happens back there we just have to move and focus on what’s right in front of us, good or bad we can and will get through this, and together I don't think anything could ever stop us from getting what we want, but it will be up to you to decide how to take this entire trip in, not me.”

“You’re right Shadow, thanks for reminding me, I lo- like you a lot,” she said.

“You’re always welcome for my free advice,” he said smiling at her warmly.

“But it looked like you were going to say something else for a moment there.”

“Trust me, I wasn't, can we just enjoy the view and eat the snacks?”

“Sure thing, anything for you my dear princess,” he said still smiling at her.

“You don't have to call me that,” she said blushing.

“But it is my honor to do so and it is always a pleasure and delight to see you blush, after all, did I ever mention how cute you are?” he asked.

“Many, many times, but your praise is not deserved,” she said.

“You shall get whatever others think you deserve, but I think a nap is due, after all, I don't think the train is due for a few more hours, good night princess.”

“Good night Shadow, sweet dreams and I hope that you might fly to the highest places and see the grandest things, and that I am there with you,” she said.

Shadow smiled as he slowly drifted off to sleep and Flurry sighed and glanced out the window, and from the corner of her eye she could swear that she saw a flying moving black dot, but no, she had to be mistaken, but just to be sure she wiped the window clean with her magic, nope, it was still there, and was that her imagination or was it starting to get bigger? Nope, it wasn't, it was very far away but it seemed to be traveling very fast and she didn't know what it could be, it wasn't a dragon and it was becoming too big for any bird much less a single thing, no, wait, she blinked again and pulled out a pair of binoculars and gazed at the dot, except it wasn't a black dot, it was an entire swarm, an entire army of battle ready dark changelings, no way, this couldn't be happening, this was not good news, she just hoped they weren't planning to attack the train, but from the looks of things they were, Flurry swore to herself, of all the days they just had to attack they choose today and right now to attack? Wow, just wow, she couldn't believe this, but it was time to wake up Shadow and warn the passenger and hope that things turned out well, but that was unlikely considering the massive size of the army that was now rapidly approaching them oblivious to any of the passengers on board, she just hoped things were better back home.


Somehow Discord had not only managed to turn the entire castle into cheese, but turned the entire place upside down and sent it spinning, literally, he also did that to many other houses too, but currently he was playing with a sticker book which had every royal guard in it and looked at the statue of Cadence grinning to himself remembering how fast and quickly he had taken over…

“Cadence my dear, it’s so nice to see you, what’s with the long face? Missing your dear old husband? Too bad, I know what can lift your spirits up, chaos can!”

“No, Discord, what right do you think to do whatever you want, whoever gave you permission,” Cadence asked of him while he yawned and turned the guards in the room into various plants, toys, and other artifacts too.

“Your daughter,” he said smiling finding a loophole, after all, she never said he had to protect her identity, “She ordered me to distract you and I am gladly complying, have fun trying to clean up my mess, I doubt you ever will.”

Cadence raised both her eyebrows, “My daughter set you up to this, tell me where she is right now or I swear I will personally send you to Tartarus for a thousand years and turn you into stone for a thousand more years after that!”

“Calm down princess, but sadly I don't know where your daughter is, but even if I did I probably wouldn't tell you just to mess you up, after all, I do love a wild goose chase!” he said turning the guards outside into ducks and geese.”

“Duck, duck, goose, what will I turn you into my dear princess?”

“Discord, stop this right now or I will summon help should my power fail!”

“You have no power over me! Your love spell can't work without Shining and guess what, he’s dead princess, besides, not even the elements of harmony can stop me now, the only one that can stop me is the one who cast the spell and the one that controls me, AKA your daughter, and not even I can change that until she decides to come back and free me from this stupid spell, not my fault she’s so good at magic, but if you want my advice just sit back and relax and enjoy the show.”

“I will do no such thing, and I bet you’re lying because you’re afraid.”

“Wrong, I do love to lie, but not this time, anyhow you annoy me, I think I’m going to turn you into a statue so that way I don't always have you trying to get in the way of my fun and shove a needle up my ass so to speak,” he said snapping his claws and turning her into stone before she could say another word.

“Yes, perfect, just the way I like it, now then, what shall I do next?”

Yes, that was indeed a very quick takeover, probably for the sake of the story and plot, or just for a random joke about how easy it is to overpower the pointless royal guards of any castle, seriously why did they even still have them anymore?

Even he didn't know the reason for that (even though he knew a lot of stuff), but whatever the reason he still had a lot of fun to do, maybe he would turn the streets into gold and then make every bar of soap taste like chocolate and everything but chocolate taste like chocolate, and make chocolate taste like cheese, and the cheese of the castle taste like apple pie, and apple pie…

Discord slapped himself and regained focus on his plans for fun, well, whatever he was to do next probably should be a surprise, even to himself, hmmm…

He didn't have anything, but a shiver down his spine did alert him to a magical upset that was about to happen, that was very odd and strange, and a bit mysterious, but he didn't dwell on that too long, after all, he had chaos to cause, and he couldn't very well just stand around and do nothing all day, could he?

No, that would be crazy even for him!

And so, with that he smiled and went back to causing some more trouble.


Flurry woke Shadow up as he grumbled, “Can't you let a guy rest for five minutes before waking him up to the roughness of your shaking?” he asked.

“Shadow, look outside, there is a changeling army approaching!”

“What? Where? How? What the hell?” Shadow asked grabbing the binoculars and saw what Flurry did and gasped dropping his jaw down.

“Holy shit, we need to tell the passengers!” he said rushing down the carts towards the back as Flurry made her way to the front towards the one running this train, she alerted the passengers who at first disregarded her, but then soon turned to the windows and soon saw what Flurry, and she desperately knocked on the magically reinforced metal door that was locked for the captain’s part of the train (she made a mental not to look up train terminology after all of this was done). A grumble was heard and the door opened up to reveal a grumpy looking stallion, “What is it? This had better be important or an emergency,” he said.

“I believe that it is sir, there is a swarm of dark changelings approaching this train and they’re directly aimed right us and they are very fast approaching!”

The stallion grumbled and growled at her but looked out towards his right and dropped his jaw too, “Holy shit how did I not notice that sooner?”

“Probably because you weren't looking for it, but is there anything you can do?”

He scratched his chin, “No, not really, I can't use any more magic to make this train go faster without wearing myself out, but tell the passengers that do have magic to focus and use it to make this train faster, hopefully we can outrace them, and if not, at least we tried to do something, go princess, go!”

Flurry quickly nodded and ran back telling the ponies this message and soon enough the train was barreling down the tracks at a seemingly impossible speed towards Canterlot, but even at this speed that they were gaining Flurry doubted that they would be able to escape, after all, dark changelings weren't the kind of thing to ever easily give up, but hopefully this would give them something.

Midway down she met Shadow and told him what she had been told.

“Well, that’s very convenient, but do you think we’ll be able to escape them?”

“Maybe, I hope so, and yet at the same time I still somehow doubt it.”

“I feel the exact same way, I guess we just have to pray for the best and expect the worst just like other ponies do,” he said informing the rest of the passengers of the message of speed and magic before going back to their own cabin.

But despite their speed the army still slowly approached them and Flurry sighed, any minute now and their faces would be clear, and then after that it would only be a matter of time before they got close enough to attack the train.

Flurry glanced over to Shadow nervously, “You’ll protect me, right?”

“I will do my very best, but I make no promises,” he said.

“I understand, I just hope whatever happens next that nopony gets hurt.”

“Same thing here, same thing here,” Shadow said also nervously looking at her.

They sat in silence for several minutes until the dark changeling army was close enough to see their faces and battle armor that they wore, Flurry glanced outside her window and saw that the city was soon and fast approaching, but not nearly fast enough. “We’re not going to make it, are we?” Flurry said.

“I don't think so, I guess it’s time to get ready for a battle then, isn't it?”

“Indeed,” she said as the first wave of changelings dived down towards the train at many miles per hour and soon enough they crashed into the windows and landed on the roof snarling their fangs out as they drew out actual real swords, but magic seemed to be absorbed by their armor and Flurry swore to herself, this was made out of the same material that Chrysalis’s throne once was made out of, but how they ever managed to get enough for an entire army she didn't know and couldn't be pressed to bother answering that question right now either.

The changelings swarmed out from their huge flock quickly overpowering and gathering the ponies into tight groups chaining them up as they snarled and looked around furiously for something. “Where is the princess? We demand to know where the princess is! Come on out and we won't hurt the rest of your friends!” they said going through each cabin one by one slowly searching for her.

Flurry gasped and hid herself in their own cabin which luckily enough was right in the middle of the train, “They’re looking for you, what are you going to do?”

“I have no idea, but nopony could possibly know that I am here much less gone this fast, not even if Discord did spill the beans! I just wish I knew what was happening right now, but I don't know what is going to happen and I don’t know what will happen if I do reveal myself and I can't use magic on them either!”

“Well I always find that when faced with a situation to always work backwards from our goal which I suppose is to defeat the changelings, now then in order to do that we need to overpower them, and in order to overpower them we need to somehow either trick them or take off their armor, or we do always have the option of surrendering, and that’s about it I believe,” he said.

“Shadow, you’re a genius!” Flurry said.

“Well of course I am, but I am glad that you’ve finally noticed that little detail.”

“Well come on then, just follow my lead and trust and hope that things will work out in the end,” she said getting up smiling at the dark changelings, “We surrender, please just don't hurt those ponies,” she said walking closer towards them as they hissed and snarled at her raising their weapons to protect themselves and then one changeling that was taller and buffer than the rest stepped forward, this one seemed to be the leader, and Flurry smiled, take out the leader and the rest fall because they have a hind mind connected to one.

“Don't take another step forward unless we tell you so, and even then, do it slowly,” he said barking orders at her scowling at her as Flurry glanced at him and saw that the armor covered every part of the body except the face and eyes, which did give just enough space for a spell to hit if one was careful and precise.

She nodded and pretended to be nervous and scared while in reality she was very confident in this plan (even if she was just a little bit nervous and scared inside) and at his orders she slowly took a step forward, winked at Shadow and before any changeling could react she flared up her horn and hit the lead changeling with a stun spell that sent him collapsing over the edge as she shouted out to the others to aim for their eyes, the other ponies grinned and used their magic to free themselves of their bonds and attacked the changelings casting spells not at their bodies, but instead for their faces, and while most spells missed there always had to be the lucky shot, but now that the leader was out for the count and their connection scrambled everything was simply just perfect for the ponies and soon enough they had regained control over the train and every changeling was knocked out in a pile as Flurry grinned victoriously.

“We did it!” she said giggling and hugging Shadow, “I thought that it might not work, but it did, I saw their weakness and took advantage of it and we won!”

“Which is very surprising, but I can't imagine that the report will look well for whomever might receive it later on,” Shadow said.

“Indeed, but look, we’re at the city now, we’re safe and we have an additional supply of new prisoners for Canterlot city,” Flurry said smiling as the train pulled into its station and everypony got off going on their way as a few remained to carry back the unconscious forms of the changelings to the dungeons.

“Well, while we’re here we might as well go visit my grand aunts AKA princess Celestia and Luna,” she said smiling at Shadow who instantly went into shock.

“Wait, are you serious, THE princess Luna and Celestia?” he asked.

“Yep, you’re not afraid or nervous to meet them, are you?”

“No, of course not, I’m excited to meet them!” he said.

“Very well then, to the castle we go, alons-y!” she said smiling at him.

“Hey! No fair, that’s my phrase that I learned from an old friend of a friend by somepony originally called the Doctor and you have no right to use it!”

“I have every right to use it and you can't stop me from using it either!”

“Come back here or else I will get you!” he said chasing after her.

Flurry giggled and ran away to the castle past the guards who didn't have time to react to them as they burst through the front entrance doors and into the throne room where Celestia sat all alone, but it looked like a few nobles from Manehattan were there and they looked to be talking about something very boring, and once they got in they tried to scoot to a halt and just barely managed to do it ending up on the bottom edge of the stairs that led down from the throne chair where Celestia sat and when she looked down on them with surprise they nervously smiled as Flurry waved a hoof at her, “Well hello there Celestia!”

Celestia blinked and coughed awkwardly and turned to the nobles, “It seems that we have unexpected guests, I apologize, this is the daughter of my niece Cadence, she is Flurry Heart, and her friend here, I do not know who he is.”

“The name is Shadow Moon, and it is a genuine pleasure and honor to meet you,” he said smiling at her nervously hoping that she wouldn't kill him for this intrusion. Celestia sighed and rolled her eyes before going on.

“Yes, I’m sure that it is, but may I ask why you two are here, after all, shouldn't you be locked up in a tower waiting for a prince charming and oh my gosh, I just realized how stupid and cliché that was becoming, but I suppose I can pass it as a joke,” she said smiling at Flurry heart before turning serious again.

“Well yes, I should be locked in a tower as you say, but I certainly don't have a prince charming to rescue me and as you can see I am not in my tower now.”

“Indeed, I can clearly see that, but may I ask why you are here?”

“Because I was tired of being in the tower, and if you try to send me back to my mother I will hate you for the rest of my days, but in other news there was a dark changeling attack on the train we took, expect a few new prisoners to be transported to the dungeons,” she said plainly.

Celestia blinked again with surprise and shock, “I will not try to send you back against your will, I would never try something like that, you may stay here in this castle for as long as you wish, but your news of a changeling attack is very surprising indeed, they have never tried to attack this close to the city before.”

“They were looking for me, and somehow they knew where I was and that I was gone, and I barely had time to leave or decide my plan!” she said.

“This is disturbing news because that means that there is a spy that not even we can see, but I assure you it will be looked into, but in the meantime, nobles from Manehattan, I am sorry but our meeting will have to be put off while I deal with this news and my new guests, but I assure you I will get back to you eventually.”

They grumbled and complained and slowly left and then Celestia turned to Flurry once more, “May I ask what or who gave you the idea to leave?”

“Well, I did have this dream and Luna was there to help me out.”

“Interesting, and tell me how long has your friend here been with you?”

“A few months I suppose, and he’s been with me every step of my journey.”

“Very interesting, is there anything else you have to tell me?”

“No, what about you Shadow, do you have anything to say?”

“Yes, I did write a few letters to my friend Tempest Rose about us Flurry, and I know this looks bad me being with you and a changeling attack soon afterwards, but I swear I am not a spy, yeah, that’s right, I see the two of you looking at me, I might be crazy but I certainly am not stupid, don't try to deny it,” he said.

“Yes, I did have my suspicions, but I think you should stop writing to her until one or both of you are proven innocent or guilty,” Celestia said.

“I don't blame you for thinking that I could be a spy, but you can trust me.”

“Only time will be able to tell, but until then get some rest and I will take the matters of this changeling attack into my own hooves, and I shall also have a talk with my sister when she wakes up, good luck little ones, have fun and stay safe, I must go and interrogate our new guests for any information they might have,” Celestia said getting up and slowly walking out of the room in silence.

“Is it just me or is she creepy and disturbing when she needs to be?”

“Trust me, it’s not just you, but come on, I am feeling rather tired and every room here in the castle is open to us, but if you don't mine me asking would you please sleep with me tonight? I would feel safe with you and if you were a spy, and I’m not saying that you are, I think that you going might wake me up,” she said with a smile booping his nose lightly to indicate a tease.

“Well if I was a spy then you would never know that I did leave you,” he said.

“Fair point, but I am willing to put that to the test,” she said.

“You’re on,” he said with a smile as they went into one of the spare bedrooms, bundled up together and soon felt the warmth of the blankets and closed their eyes slowly and soon enough nighttime took them over once more, but before it did they had a few last final words to say, “Good night Flurry.”

“Good night Shadow, stay safe and have sweet dreams,” she said.

“Same thing back at you my dear princess,” he said with a smile.

And with that said they closed their eyes and drifted off to sleep.

Chapter Seven: The Interrogation

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Chapter Seven: The Interrogation

Celestia walked downstairs to the dark cold dungeons and wondered why they kept it this way, it wasn't for energy purposes since that wasn't a problem with magic, but she supposed it did create an uneasy mood for some, but if she wanted to be honest better lighting would probably make it easier to detect a jailbreak or any visitors that might be sneaking around in the shadows.

But whatever the case she still had a job to do, and she was going to do it no matter what it took, and so she slowly went up to the cell holding what they thought to be the general. “Well hello there changeling scum, as you can see you are in the Canterlot dungeons and I know you do not wish for any comforts that others might, the only thing you want is love and I already know you’re loyal to your queen so I will make this very simple, tell me who informed you of the exact position of Flurry Herat and I will spare you from the pain you are about to feel.”

The changeling smiled at her mockingly pretending not to be afraid, “Now that’s no way to treat a guest of yours, isn't it? Or are you not the perfect princess everypony thinks you are, because if you aren't perfect Chrysalis would love to expose that simple fact that has been hiding in the closet for so many long years, one that you keep hidden because you do not want the ponies you claim to serve and protect to know what you have truly done in the past to let them have their own nation of peace and joy, wiping out and erasing entire nations, excluding any who would not adopt your ways and change, and even causing so much pain, strife, grief and misery, and even killing the ones you need to, if I didn’t know any better I might even call you a monster, I think you’re almost as bad as you claim our queen is, maybe even worse because at least ours does not try to hide her lies and mistakes, she admits that she should listen to us occasionally, but she still claims that the ones that adopt to your ways are traitors, we’re changelings, we’re monsters in your eyes and nothing more and we will have our way, not yours! Death to your kind and any who may support you!

Death to your allies and death to you and your sister, and long may our queen live and may her reign be a great and glorious one, and I pray that one day soon the time of the changelings will come and that the time of the ponies ends!”

“That’s enough brainwashed talk from you, and whatever you’re saying now is just a lie that your queen is feeding you, nothing more,” she said.

“Oh, but there is always plenty more to any story, isn't there? You did those things, we saw with our own eyes, you can lie, but not even a pony great and glorious as you can hide the truth forever, nothing ever can, the truth comes out sooner or later, and when yours comes out our kind will rejoice and we would love to see the ponies you protect shun you and burn you on a stake!”

“And I would love for you to give me the name of your informant now.”

“I would never betray my queen, whatever pain you have planned for me would only be a fraction of what my own queen would give me, you might as well kill me, but you can't do that without being seen as cruel, so instead what will you do? Keep me locked up here until I die or until I escape, oh yes, much more kind to do that than to do me the mercy of killing me now to end my pain.”

“Do not underestimate my power, you have no idea what I can do!”

The changeling smiled at her, “So the rumors we have heard are true, there is a darkness even in you, deep down inside you want power just as much as any of us do, you might try to deny it, but the more you do the more tempting it will become, and the more willing you will be to accept pain and suffering to protect others and the offer of power too. But we were never properly introduced, my name is Grant and it is a genuine pleasure to meet you, princess.”

“I didn't ask for your name and nor do I need it either,” she said.

“Indeed, you don't, but even I have my own general and leaders, but if you have no intentions to torture me for my information which will fail then please leave, I wish to be alone with my thoughts, after all, the dungeon is a perfect place for that, so much time to reflect on what we did wrong, which we won't do, sorry.”

“You have no idea what I have planned for you, but sooner or later I will find your spy and deal with them as need be, after all, the truth does always come out sooner or later, but please do enjoy your stay in the jail, goodbye.”

Grant smiled to himself as she slowly walked away and once she was out of sight and hearing distance he started to choke up a secret communication device and opened it to see the picture of his current leader, “The mission was a failure and we are currently in the Canterlot dungeons, no information has been leaked and our plan still remains intact, how goes our secret plan for the queen? Is the nursery ready? Are the changelings ready to welcome her home yet?”

“Almost, and I am sorry for your loss, but if the queen’s plan works out then soon enough we won't have to worry about that anymore, clearly we underestimated the power of Flurry Heart, but that is a mistake we shall not make again, and I wish to thank you for your royalty on her behalf, and our spy’s identity still remains a secret, and while our queen still may be in prison her plan will work out, soon the age of the changelings will come again and the return of the old villains shall happen yet again, others might think that we’re crazy, but we are only doing what is needed to survive, but still, good work general, I expect to hear a report from you if you do somehow manage to escape from that damp old dark cell, if not then I do wish for you to keep this line open.”

“Understood, but miss Chakra, when will it all come together?”

“Soon, that is all I can say for anything including your freedom, Chakra out.”

With that said he sighed and closed his communication line resigning himself to reside in this cold, damp, dark cell with nothing to do at all whatsoever, shit.


Celestia decided to walk to a different part of the dungeons, a part reserved for the most dangerous of criminals, a place that had more security around it than any other place in Equestria combined, once you were in here there was almost no escape from the inside or out. Currently there was only one resident inside this part of the dungeon, a resident that had been here for many years, a resident that had killed Shining Armor and take revenge on Equestria many times.

The resident was none other than Queen Chrysalis herself who had four very thick chain balls around her legs and a suit-jacket over her body and clipped wings and more than two dozen spells in and around her cell preventing her from transforming and/or escaping, in fact the only way to get out of the cell was with a special key, one that was only granted to princesses and nopony else, not even the friends of Twilight had a key even though Celestia had considered giving them one many times, but she did not wish to compromise her own rules.

There were only three keys in total, she had one, and her sister too, and Cadence had one, Shining Armor had one once, but Cadence gave it back to Celestia and now it was safe deep in the ground, and she made sure that the keys were always safe and she never went anywhere without checking that she still had it first. But as Celestia slowly approached the cell Chrysalis smiled at her.

“Well hello there princess, it sure has been a long time since you’ve come for a visit, it feels like you’ve almost forgotten me, but I know that can't be the case since you never forget a dirty little secret you keep, because if you did then other ponies could find out and that would be very bad for you. But what do you want to talk about, the weather? If so it sounds dreadfully boring and dull.

Maybe we can have some tea and toast while we’re at it.”

“I do not have the time or patience for your silly little games or pointless talk! I demand the name of your spy right now or else I will hurt you!”

“You cannot hurt me more than you already have, not even hurting my children will change anything! But you’re worse than me, I don't hide my faults and lies, but at the same time we are very similar, we each do the things we think are needed in order to keep the ones we rule safe, no matter what the price might be, but tell me who do you think is the real monster here, me or you?”

“Do not try to trick me with your questions!”

“I might seem crazy to you, but I have only done the things I have done for the safety of my children and to feed them, nothing more, nothing less.”

“All I hear from you is lies, and it is clear now that no changeling is stupid enough to change their ways if they’re loyal to you, of all the villains I have ever met you and Sombra were some of the worst I’ve ever had to face.”

“What about your sister, does she not count?”

“No, because she was consumed by grief like you and Sombra are consumed for the thirst of power, and I know now that nothing I can do will ever change that, no matter how hard I might try you will never listen to me,” she said.

“Finally! You see the truth and you accept it, now go away please.”

“As you wish, but I will find your spy, sooner or later, the truth will always find a way, nice talking with you, enjoy the rest of your stay in your jail cell.”

And with that said Celestia wandered off slowly as Chrysalis smiled and pulled out her secret communication device to talk with her spy.

“Tell me, how goes it?”

“Excellent my queen, Flurry Heart does not suspect a thing and I am as a shadow, silent and invisible, undetected, neither of them will know what hit them, I just hope that your plan will come together soon.”

“It will, trust me, but until then keep up the good work, Chrysalis out.”

And with that said she flipped the device shut not needing any more info, after all, she had faith in her children as they did with her, one way or another it would all work out, and when it did nopony would be able to stop her.

And then finally the age of the changelings could begin again, and with that thought in her mind she slowly smiled waiting for the day it would come together.

Chapter Eight: A Slice of Life

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Chapter Eight: A Slice of Life

Canterlot, Flurry Heart and Shadow

Flurry and Shadow decided since they were in the city to explore it (even though Flurry had been here on a few occasions before, but she didn’t really have time to explore it), and so they set off around the town looking at all the sights.

First there was the Canterlot gardens and park, the largest in Equestria, then there was the theater where they enjoyed a nice musical number composed by Octavia Melody, and then there was the candy shop.

Through it all they talked on and on complimenting the beauty of the nature around them to which Shadow would compare Flurry to it making her blush and then teasing her and then they ran to their next destination (and yes, I shall skip all boring parts that are not relevant and instead ‘skip to the end’ as they say).

The last destination of the day (after dinner and dessert of course) was the park yet again, but Flurry had no idea why though, but she supposed that soon enough he would reveal why. He walked her over to a maple tree and gestured to a plaque on the tree that had these words in it. In loving memory for the ponies that built this city, and for the honor of princess Celestia, may everypony remember this always and forever, and never let it fade away into time.

“Okay, I see, but I still don't understand yet,” she said.

“That’s because I haven't explained anything yet,” he said.

“Well okay then, explain,” she said waiting for an explanation.

“Well it’s simple, everypony has a story and a reason for doing things, and it’s important to remember what they did and why they did it too, anything less will distort the truth, so I don't think ponies have a problem with remembering the good or at the very least what they want, but they have a hard time forgetting something bad letting all the good slip away into an old memory,” he said.

“Okay, now I get what you’re saying, but I’m still a bit lost.”

“Don't worry, soon enough you won't be because you’ll always have me to show you the way and guide you into a better tomorrow,” he said.

Flurry blushed again and giggled while he smiled and looked at her, “So, shall we call it a night then or do you have any ideas how to make it extra special?”

“I have a few, but they can wait until tomorrow.”

“You are a naughty little tease, I should have you hanged for this or something.”

“You can try, but you will never succeed, but come, take me to the castle.”

“I shall,” he said smiling and taking her back to the castle slowly.

“But saving you from one would be both and honor, pleasure, and dream come true, it would be just like a fairy tale, or at least so I hope,” he said.

“I find that life is rarely like you ever want it to be much less a fairy tale.”

“Indeed, because if it were that way then it would be boring,” he said.

“I suppose that is true, but you do have an odd way of thinking,” she said.

“Always,” he said still smiling as they got back to the castle and into their room, “Well, goodnight my princess, sweet dreams and stay safe,” he said.

“Same thing back at you my handsome stallion,” she said smiling at him as they both slowly started to close their eyes and drift off to sleep.


I woke up from my terrible dream near the evening time and wiped beads of sweat from my face, this was very strange and odd, mysterious too, but something felt off, the air in the room, it was unnaturally cold.

Oh no, this couldn't be happening to me again, and I knew what was next.

“Oh, little Luna, did you really think that I would ever let you go? Did you ever think that I would set you free, if you did then I’m sad to say this simply cannot be, you will never get away from me no matter how hard you might try.”

I gasped in panic but furiously glanced at my mirror where I saw a reflection of myself as Nightmare Moon, but I knew that this was only an illusion.

“All you are is a face in a mirror, I close my eyes and you disappear!”

“I’m what you face in the mirror and long as you live I will be here.”

“All you are is a dying scream, go away! All you are is a dream!”

“This is no dream, this is the nightmare that goes on!”

“Stop tormenting me! Just go away and please leave me alone!”

“No! Never! I live deep down inside you haunting you forevermore!”

“No! Go away, take all your evil deeds and lies and rot in Tartarus!”

“Sad, you’ve grown up, how disappointing,”

“I can protect myself now and I know you need a willing host so just go away because I will never accept you again!” I said shouting at her.

“Well, you say you can protect yourself, but how will you protect her?”

“Wait, what?” I asked wondering who the ‘her’ could be in this case now.

“Oh, little Luna, you’re still so young and naïve, can't you see that you can't stop me?” it said smiling at her through the mirror taunting her.

“Before you say another word Nightmare listen to me, you will not succeed. I refuse to listen to your lies and I will do everything in my power to put you away!”

“Perhaps, but I cannot make your dreams come true unless you accept me.”

“No, never again! You promised me things that you couldn't deliver!”

“Maybe I couldn't deliver because you couldn't accept me and my power, you became afraid of me, and to think that I was once your best friend, don't you miss having all that power? I know that I certainly miss you, just let me in, please.”

“I said no and I mean it, now go away nightmare!”

“No matter what you might try I will always be right here ready for you, willing to embrace you again, but if you do not accept me then I am afraid I will have to find somepony else more willing, and once I do I hope you join my side,” it said.

“I will never join your side again so long as I live!”

“How sad and disappointing, but oh well, good night, and sweet dreams…”

It laughed at me and then in my anger I shattered my desk mirror with my magic as I went back to my bed and laid down and slowly started to cry to myself.

But luckily this time I had help from my sister.


I heard the sound of a mirror crashing and quickly rushed to my sister’s aid.

“Sister, what is it, what’s wrong?” I asked entering her room to see that she had been crying and at once I felt something off within the room.

“The nightmare, it made a visit to me,” she said.

Ah, that explained why the room felt so off, there was no better way to put it.

“I see, how unfortunate, do you remember what it said?”

“Yes, it tried to make an offer to me, but then it mentioned a her for a pony I had to protect, and I have no idea who she means, is it Cadence?”

“Perhaps, she would be the most likely to target, emotional, vulnerable, and the nightmare will do anything to have a host, right?”

“Indeed, it will stop at nothing, and only those that have encountered it before are familiar with it,” Luna said looking down at her bed with pain, I felt sorry for her, I should have been there for her way back then.

But not even I couldn’t change the past, “I understand, but we should probably take precautions, we wouldn't want it to get into the castle again.”

“Agreed, but I just with the nightmare would go away and leave us alone.”

“I think that these villains will never leave us alone since they like us are immortal, or at least most of them are, the others just seem to have high resolve.”

“Agreed, but would you mind singing that song mother dang to us?”

“The one that made all your worries disappear? Sure thing, anything for you little moonbeam,” I said smiling at her as I recalled the words and began to sing.

Cadence, The Crystal Empire

Somehow for some strange mysterious reason Cadence was freed from her stone prison and now stood over a fairly normal balcony not knowing that far away Celestia was singing to Luna, nor did she know about the Nightmare either.

Sighing she took off her armor and put it on a mannequin and looked at the rising moon, she wished that she had Shining Armor with her right now…

Unnoticed by her eye a shadow slipped down past her and slowly started to take the form of Shining Armor who smiled at her and walked up to her placing a hoof on her shoulder, “Cadence, what’s wrong my dear?”

“Shining? Is that you? No, it can't be, this has to be a dream,” she said.

“This isn't a dream, and I know how real this must feel to you, but let me just say this, I would do anything for you, and even if you can't always see me I will always be here for you,” he said hugging her tightly.

“But how? I don't see how I can be with you,” she said.

“Just listen to me and soon enough all will be made clear.”

“Alright, fine then, I’m listening, I just hope that this is good,”

“Trust me, it will be,” he said smiling at her as he told his story.

Canterlot, Celestia and Luna

Celestia finished up singing to Luna and smiled and yawned a bit, “I feel a bit tired, I hope you feel up to and ready for the tasks of dreams tonight.”

“Trust me, I’ve faced worst, besides I can always wake you up if I need to.”

“Fair point,” Celestia said as Luna kissed her good night and then Celestia nodded and smiled reassured for her safety and went to her own room and got in her bed and slowly closed her eyes and soon drifted off to sleep, and as she did the only dreams that she had were terrible nightmares.

Cadence, The Crystal Empire

Shining Armor smiled at Cadence, “There is a world I see with the both of us, where there is no pain, and one where we are finally reunited as a family, all you need to do it to let me into your heart again, and let me see your mind and let me use your body, I need you, and I can't make your dreams true without you.”

“I don't know if I can do that yet, not right now, dream or not I just don't know…”

“Take your time darling, and when you’re ready just say my name and I will hear and I will come to you, but until then, stay safe and have sweet dreams,” he said smiling at her putting a rose in her hair as he walked out the door and quickly disappeared into the night turning back into his true form ready to hunt and attack his true victim and it could tell that it was very close to having a new and powerful body, one that might even be better than Luna herself.

Chapter Nine: Ponyville

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Chapter Nine: Ponyville

Flurry and Shadow woke up the next morning and took a trip around the rest of the two for the next few days, but soon enough they decided that they had enough exploration of this city and so they decided to go to Ponyville and see what was there and so that was why they were on yet another train headed towards Ponyville (although this one had extra magical protection around in, just in case, after all, you never knew). They got there safely (thankfully) and went to Twilight’s castle (formerly Golden Oaks Library) and entered inside and looked around for a bit, but neither of them had ever really been in the castle before and so they quickly got lost inside wandering the hallways quite hopelessly.

“Wow, this thing is way bigger on the inside than the outside,” he said.

“Tell me about it, I wonder how anypony gets around in here without a map.”

“Mostly through luck and random chance I suspect,” Shadow said.

“Yes, that is true, but no matter how many times others have tried to suggest a map to Twilight she never takes in the suggestions,” a new voice said.

Shadow and Flurry turned around and Shadow smiled at the stranger, “Nebula! I’m so glad to see you! It’s been so long!” he said rushing over to hug her, “How have things been with Twilight? Are you getting enough sleep?”

“Shadow! Please don't try to go over every single little detail! But yes, everything is going just fine and yes, I am getting enough sleep, but can you please stop hugging me? It’s getting kind of hard to breathe in here.”

“Sorry little sister, it’s just so nice to see you again, that’s all!” Shadow said.

“Wait, you two know each other?” Flurry asked with surprise.

“Yes, we do know each other very well, Flurry, this is my sister Nebula, sister, meet Flurry, daughter of princess Cadence,” Shadow said with a smile.

“OH MY GOSH A REAL-LIFE PRINCESS! YOU ARE SO MUCH CUTER THAN WHAT I EVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE!” Nebula said at the top of her lungs almost shouting (but she was just screaming) as she hugged Flurry very tightly.

“Can't… breathe… please let go of me,” she said.

“Sorry! It’s just that I get so excited I sometimes lose myself!”

‘I can understand, but what’s it like to work with Twilight?”

“It’s amazing and splendid and wonderful and incredible and splendid and I think I just about had the same reaction as I did to her as you, except I had actually seen pictures of her, but there’s hardly anything of you anymore!”

“That’s because I have been locked in a castle for the last eight years.”

“Oh, how sad, well come on, if you want to see the library I can show you the way, if you want to see Twilight though you’ll have to wait a bit, she’s currently on an errand, but her other friends are still around town if you want to talk with them, I hear that their fame helped all of them out in one way or another.”

“Oh, I guess we can wait in the library then,” Shadow said smiling.

“That's exactly what I was going to say! But then again you were always the fast thinker in the family versus me, the clumsy one,” Nebula said.

“I’m sure that princess Twilight choose you to be her student even if she hasn't said why yet, but I’m sure that with time you’ll find out why, sooner or later.”

“Yeah, sure thing, but come on, the library is right this way,” Nebula said with a smile still on her face as she took them to the library which was enormous.

“Holy shit! I have never seen so many books before except in Canterlot and the Crystal Empire!” Flurry said gushing over at the sheer size of everything.

“I know! The books are organized alphabetically by subject with new books being towards the front and classics at the back right in front of the biographies but just before the history, science and math books, Twilight says that you can find any book you want within three seconds flat! But I have never really tested that out, but if you can't find something just let me know and I will do my best to find it, but if you want some books that I recommend reading I would highly suggest the Daring Do series, if you want something else though just let me know!”

“Wow, your training with Twilight has really made you more confident!”

“I know! I feel like a whole new mare now,” she said with a slight giggle.

“And let me guess, it’s the best thing that ever happened to you?”

“Right again Shadow! You sure do know what I am going to say a lot.”

“I have a rather annoying talent for it at times, besides, I’m your brother, I should know you the best of all with the exception of mom and dad or friends.”

“Yeah, friends, I wish I had one, but nopony here wants to be mine.”

“I would be yours,” Flurry said.

“Really?” Nebula asked with a huge smile as her ears perked up and she waggled her black tail on her dark blue coated body with celestial purple eyes that had white specks in them that made it look like stars in them and she had silver hair for some strange mysterious reason, but the puppy dog look that she was giving Flurry right now was almost impossible to deny. Flurry sighed.

“Yes, I will be your friend, but please calm down on the tight hugs?”

“Sure thing! Anything for you princess! I can't wait to tell others about this!”

“Yeah, that might not be the best idea since we’re not staying here forever and I really don't want to draw any unwanted attention towards myself.”

“Oh, alright, fine then, I guess that’s okay, it’s still nice to have a friend now though, royal or not, but have fun exploring the library, just make sure to put the books you pull out back unless you intend to check them out!”

“Sure thing, can do,” Flurry said still smiling at Nebula as she stepped out of the room but stayed close by just in case they needed her, but Shadow said he wanted to talk with his sister alone for a few minutes and so Flurry was now alone in the library with nothing to do except read. But the question she had right now was where to start? Perhaps she could see the events around and leading to her father’s death and the aftermath, and that would have to be in the Crystal Empire section which was a still relatively new and developing section (after all it did pop up just about thirty years ago or so). Flurry flapped up along the shelves and saw many books and articles around the date her father died but found nothing new, just the usual stuff, Queen Chrysalis and her surprise attack of him while in Canterlot, the seduction attempts, the blackmail, the lies and secrets, a brief bio of Queen Chrysalis in the paper and an entire death speech for her father (for which she still kept a copy of it) and nothing more.

Well okay, there was nothing there so she put the stuff back, maybe she could do some more research on Ponyville and so she grabbed a few books and one in particular about the elements of harmony caught her eye (and another book on other various random elements too entitled The Dark Elements of Equestria: The Elements that might be,) and she took those books with her.

But as she was flying around gathering books she accidentally knocked down a few books and opened her eyes wide, they were books detailing the lives and history of the villains of Equestria, and for some strange mysterious reason parts of the books were locked, all except for a boring old one which was just entitled The Villains of Equestria: Facts and Fiction, the other books were the name of the villain and then Facts and Fiction after their names. Flurry turned the books around to their back and all sides but saw no name of the author, weird.

She quickly shrugged this off, it wasn't like authors couldn't be eccentric and odd and crazy and strange, which made anything of theirs naturally like them, well mostly, sometimes there could be exceptions. She carefully glanced at the books and saw that the locked section had a keyhole to it, and she tried her magic to open it, but no matter what spell she tried to use it would not open, again strange and weird, very odd, but perhaps the only way to open it was with the key, she would have to ask where that might be from Nebula, but for now she put all the books that she wanted in her bags and looked outside to see that Shadow and Nebula were still gone and she didn't want to wander the castle for fear of getting lost again so instead she went back inside and sat down at a table and pulled out her books and pondered which book to open and read first.

Nothing seemed to call out in particular so she opened the one about Chrysalis and turned to the front page and her eye went up in shock at the author’s name.

Written and enchanted by Starswirl, and fair warning to the reader of this book, the locked section is the future events of the pony or creature that you wish to know about, this means that their time living or playing a part in Equestrian history is not yet done, and while there are keys to open this section I would highly suggest you never open them even in the direst of emergencies, after all, the more one tried to change the future the more we will still somehow cause it.

Flurry couldn't believe this was written by Starswirl, well, that actually did explain a lot, but now she had to see what else might be in there since currently Nebula and Shadow were still away and it wasn't like she had anything else to do, the only thing she could do was to read, and if she did read something she might as well make it something important and well worth her time too.

Queen Chrysalis, ruler of the changelings and leader of the hive, her exact origins are unknown to most ponies, some say she was formed of a black ooze and the strange and mysterious ways of nature, but the truth is so much worse and it is better that they not know. Chrysalis came into this world in a slightly different way than the rest of the changelings since the ones the queen bears are merely just “mindless” male drones. She did come through an egg, but it was by their king that she came to life because it was tradition for the queen to make the first male changeling she bore the king and then to implant her eggs into the king when she is finally ready to have her children and then eventually they pop out.

And while it is not required for a changeling drone to bear her children a host is required to bear them and it is always a male. When the new females emerge they quickly devour the body of their “father” and then one by one they are eliminated until only one is left to take the queen. Rarely will there ever be more than one female in a hive, the only way to survive this process is to win or leave and form a new hive. The birthing process of any drone, female or not, is relatively painless for the queen and she can bear hundreds to thousands of eggs in a single day if she is careful and patient. Other information on the changelings is very scarce but it is common knowledge that they feed on love, but they also have a strange and mysterious substance that can absorb magic that not even I can identify. I have decided to call it Barbarium or rather Obscurium. And finally, there is one more last piece of information that we have and that is this, Chrysalis is the only known queen of the changelings to openly attack Equestria, but this is for many reasons unknown, but she claims to have them, but her real reasons are hidden by a terrible past that only she and princess Celestia know. Whether or not there are more hives outside of Equestria is currently unknown, but we do know of at least one queen. As for her reasons of attack, the first time on Canterlot was to feed her children, then the second time she was careful and claimed the same reason with revenge. But long ago the changelings and ponies did interact and it was a terrible time, and then the alicorns came along and offered a deal for both species, the changelings could get their love if they came with them and left the ponies alone.

The offer was accepted by almost every changeling, except for an ancestor of Chrysalis, and the alicorns warned her to accept or suffer pain, she refused claiming that the love of the ponies would be the best to feed on and anything else would only be a lie. And as a result of her proclamation the alicorns destroyed her.

But they did not know that she had already bore a queen, and she was there to see the destruction of her mother, and ever since then it has been a war of Chrysalis’s family against the ones who stood against them. But they were never so bold as Chrysalis, but they slowly did get bolder each generation, in fact Chrysalis’s own mother almost did an attack on Canterlot but she called it off.

This is all we know of the changelings and anything else has yet to come.

Flurry blinked in surprise at the short entry at the front for the changelings and saw that the rest of the book was just in-depth details of what was already covered, and she took a quick glance through and saw that nopony knew how long a changeling lived, she also discovered that the reformation of Chrysalis’s hive was the very first in Equestria since the other changelings that took the deal of the alicorn were already long reformed. But that was about it for her, and there was still no Shadow and Nebula so she decided to move on to the next one.

King Sombra, ruler of the Crystal Empire and the king of darkness, the cruel tyrant, a pony so powerful he lived on even if only in the shadows.

His past is very mysterious and strange to most ponies, it is shrouded and cloaked in darkness, some say he killed a king to take his place, some say he was a literal child of darkness, some say that he gained his powers from that darkness.

The truth is a bit of everything, yes, he was born of shadows and therefore was never a normal pony even though he did eventually earn a cutie mark. He was plagued with a terrible aching and pain all over his body every year around the same time and it was only due to the help of his one and only friend (and to some his lover) that he got through it. But when he was old enough he wandered outside far away from his home than he had ever been and found his “mother” in a very dark crystal rock formation and she told him his true purpose. He tried to deny this at first, but in his heart and soul he felt something else calling out to him and he hit the books and searched on the subject of magic and power and the laws too, he even tried to find the thing where he came from but didn't have much luck.

When he was finally ready he agreed to the plan given to him and on the day of the crystal fair (for which was when he usually had his terrible pain) he made his way to the throne room and using his powers of magic and deceit he bred mistrust and confusion causing chaos and within a year he had risen to the rank just below a king, but when he found out that the king was due to have an heir soon he advanced his plan and killed the king on the day of the crystal fair starting just a year after he had accepted the plan to become king, and on that day he gained his cutie mark and his kingship, and soon everypony suffered because of it.

There was barely even time for a funeral before he had everypony turned into a slave working in the crystal mines or as one his mind controlled soldiers.

He ruled well over for a decade before Celestia and Luna could stop him and banish him, but he cursed the empire to go along with him, but then over a thousand years later he returned and tried to get revenge but failed to the valiant efforts of Twilight Sparkle and her friends including princess Cadence, Spike the dragon and Shining Armor too. He was destroyed, but the wave of magic sent his horn flying, and while it is unconfirmed if he is truly dead his horn certainly does have traces and remains of his powerful dark magic that in the Whooves of the wrong pony could cause chaos, pain, strife, grief, misery confusion and deceit again. Sombra was always skilled in the dark arts and used lies and illusions to trick his opponents and only decided to fight when he needed to (not that he was a stranger to doing such a thing). He was very skilled in his art and fighting and nopony could stop him (except for the elements of harmony and the princesses).

His reign was a great and terrible one that most wish to forget.

Well, that was the short entry for him, and the rest was just more details.

There were only two books left now, one about Discord and the other on… something else that was darker than King Sombra himself strangely enough.

Curious she took a quick glance at the entry for Discord.

An immortal being of immense power, the spirit of chaos and disharmony, if he does not cause chaos then he will fade away into nothingness. His true exact age is unknown and there is no limit to what he can do. The only thing that can contain him are very powerful spells and the elements of harmony. No correct information on him can be gathered since he would most likely lie about it, after all, he would rather have a multiple option story rather than be plain and boring.

Wow, that was very short, she was surprised by this, but since she still had time she moved on to the very last entry that was left in the list.

The Nightmare. There is no other proper name for it. It is old as time and darkness itself and it feeds on the fears of ponies and it will stop at nothing to take hold of the mind of its host and use the body for its own pleasure and control.

The Nightmare will slowly take hold of the mind of its host through any means possible and it will stop at nothing until it achieves its ultimate goal, complete and utter darkness and control over the entire land and maybe even the world too.

The Nightmare is unstoppable, immortal, and it also cannot be killed, ever.

The Nightmare plants its dark seeds in every single life form since the moment they are born until the moment they die and nopony knows how to stop it.

The only way to be safe from the nightmare is trying to avoid it and protect yourself from it, but even the greatest of spells can fail given time. Even one of our great leaders, princess Luna, fell to the power and lies of the Nightmare, it fed on her emotions and fear turning them against her until she was convinced that the words it spoke were Luna’s own thoughts and ideas, and when she was ready Luna gladly accepted the powers of the Nightmare. But this process took many long years, but the Nightmare is patient and complete control will often take many months or years until its intended target is ready and willing for it, and only then can it take hold of the mind of its host, and that is one and only great weakness, it needs a willing and living host. Without one it is powerless and all its words are lies and all that it gives and shows you is merely just an illusion and shadow.

The Nightmare’s powers no know limits once it has control of a host, the only known thing that can stop it once it does have a host is the elements of harmony.

Some think it is possible that the other villains (mostly Discord) could stop this threat, but this is still unconfirmed. Some say that the Nightmare will die when the universe ends, others say it will fade away, and others say it will always live on in one form or another because there will always be darkness where there is light.

Exact details on this creature or entity of darkness is still not available yet. But the one most familiar with this monster are the ones who have been victims of it.

Holy shit was that deep, she could hardly believe all of this information, the old villains of Equestria were serious business. Maybe she should keep these books just in case, but it would be very helpful if she actually had a key to open the locked sections, after all, knowing the future never hurt anypony, did it?

From the warning in the front of the book that didn't look like the case though.

But still, it might be nice to know. She looked around once again and still saw no Nebula or Shadow. This was going to be a very long wait, wasn't it?

Chapter Ten: Relaxation/ The Hive Mind

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Chapter Ten: Relaxation/ The Hive Mind

It took a while for Shadow and Nebula to come back, but when they finally did Flurry was more than ready and willing to welcome them back. “Well, that took you long enough, what were you two talking about anyways?” she asked.

“Oh, you know, just stuff, catching our lives up, you know, the usual,” Shadow said with a smile walking up to Flurry and taking her hoof in his own.

Nebula seemed very flustered by this and blushed a little bit, “Oh my!”

“Uh, Nebula, is something wrong?” Flurry asked tilting her head sideways at her.

“No! Nothing’s wrong, I just didn't know that you two were a thing, that’s all.”

“What? No! We’re not a thing, sure we like each other but that’s it!”

“If you say so, but try telling that to all your hoof holding,” Nebula said.

They blushed a lot and awkwardly let go and blushed a lot while Nebula giggled at them, “I don't mind, I think you two would make a very lovely and cute couple! And you also have an excellent ship name too Flurry-Shadow or Shadow-Heart or Flurry-Moon!” she said with a huge smile as she rolled around on the floor.

“No! I refuse to be shipped!” Flurry said almost shouting.

“Well it’s not like you can stop anypony from shipping you darling, it’s completely out of control, I mean have you seen how many shipping stories there are? It’s crazy!” Nebula said still giggling and rolling around the floor like crazy.

“Nebula! I demand you calm yourself down right now!” Shadow said.

“Sorry brother,” she said standing up and stopping her fit of laughter.

“Sorry for my sister, she can get a bit over the top at times,” Shadow said.

“I understand, but I wouldn't know since I don't have any siblings.”

“Well they’re a bit rough to handle and tough around the edges and you have to love them no matter what happens because that’s a long-standing rule and tradition in our culture, family first and then my country,” he said.

“Well it’s nice to know where your loyalties lie in, but if we’re done here maybe we can go around and explore town a bit?” Flurry asked with a smile on her face.

“I suppose so, but if you wait a bit longer I think Twilight will be back from her trip,” Nebula said as a door opened up from below.

“Nebula! I’m back! Did you do what I asked while I was gone?”

“Well, what do you know, she’s back early this time,” Nebula said with a smile rushing downstairs as the two of them followed her.

Once they got downstairs Twilight gasped once she saw Flurry, but then they hugged and did a very old and long-standing tradition of the family.

“Sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake, clap your hooves and do a little shake!”

They giggled and grinned and finished up their little dance thing and Twilight sighed relieved, “Flurry Heart, it’s been ages! It’s so nice to finally see you again! Where have you been? You’ve grown up so much! Did your mother finally let you go out of the castle? Who is your friend here, what have you been up to?”

“Easy there, Twilight! You don't need to gush over every single little detail!” Flurry said gently pushing her away, “But if you must know I have been around a few places outside the castle, even had a changeling attack on a train ride here. And no, my mother did not allow me to leave the castle so technically I am here without her permission, and if you tell her I will be eternally upset with you.”

“I wouldn't worry about that too much, you’re safe with me. But is your friend here the brother you always speak about so fondly Nebula?”

“Yes, it is, and apparently he has a…”

“A loving sister! Gosh I would have come a lot sooner if I knew what you said about me sis!” Shadow said putting a hoof to Nebula’s mouth stopping whatever she was going to say and she vainly tried to speak in a muffled voice.

“What was that sister? I can't hear you, try to speak up please.”

“Shadow, don't be cruel to you sister, you can let her speak up,” Twilight said.

“I don't think so, but anyhow how have you been princess?”

“Just fine, everything has been perfect in Ponyville and because of me and my friends its tourism levels have slowly gone up over the years!” she said as Nebula forcefully bit down on Shadow making him yelp and hold his hoof for relief.

“And Shadow apparently has a crush on Flurry!” she finished up saying.

Twilight blinked with surprise and shock, “Oh, what, really?” she said. Shadow slapped himself on the face as Nebula giggled a little bit more.

“Yes, maybe I do have a crush on her but that is none of your concern sister!”

“Oh, but it is, after all, I have to have something to tease you about!”

“I hate you so much right now,” he growled angrily at her.

“I know! But I technically hate you more,” she said

“That’s enough fighting from the two of you,” Twilight said.

“Alright, fine then, we’ll finish this later little sis!” he said.

“I couldn't agree anymore on that!” she said still smiling.

“Okay, now that is over with want to elaborate on your trip Flurry?”

“Sure, I explored Canterlot before here and apparently there is a spy somewhere too but nopony knows who yet, and Shadow has been here with me for a few months now at almost every step of the way and I would trust him with my life.”

“Wow, that is sure a lot, but if you trust him then I guess I can too, welcome to my castle Shadow, I hope you enjoy your stay here, and feel free to look around, and if you do get lost just keep taking right turns until you get somewhere.”

“Thanks princess, but do you think it possible for me to meet your other friends?”

“Yes, I’m sure that we can arrange something for you,” Twilight said with a smile folding her wings in, “Anyhow I'll be around if you need me, or if you just want to talk feel free to do so, I love talking and making new friends!”

“Yeah, great, but I was wondering if I could check out these books,” Flurry said showing Twilight her bag as she raised up her eyes in shock and surprise.

“Are you sure? This isn't exactly subject material for a little filly…”

“Well as you can see I am not a little filly anymore, can I check them out or not?”

“I suppose so, after all they are enchanted for many various random safety reasons, the books can't be destroyed so I trust you with them, just please make sure to return them very soon, after all, they are one of a kind.”

“Yeah, I can see that, but where is Spike?” Flurry asked.

“Oh, he’s right behind me, but lately he’s been spending more time with Rarity.”

“What’s the situation on the two of them anyways?” Flurry asked.

“Well, she knows about his crush now so I would say it is well,” Twilight said.

“Hey Twilight, I’m back!” a loud voice shouted up as a door slammed behind them and a very tall muscular dragon soon entered the library with a huge smile on his face as Flurry gasped with shock and surprise at seeing him again.

“Spike! You’ve grown up! I can still remember when you were just a little dragon that was barely bigger than I was! And I still can't believe you have wings!”

“Me neither, it’s really helped me get around a lot, but I am still technically just a baby in dragon years, but that doesn't mean I can't do other various random pony activities, but yeah, I’ve missed you too Flurry, I hope things have been well for you, they certainly are for me not to brag or anything,” he said.

“Well things have not been so well for me ever since my father died,” she said.

“I’m sorry to hear that, but your friends will always be here for you.”

“I know Spike, I know, I just wish that my mother was here for me.”

“She is, just not in the way you want,” Twilight said.

“You can say that again,” Flurry said.

“Yeah, well have fun and stay safe and I will arrange a meeting with my friends,” Twilight said with a smile as she trotted off and away into the castle as Spike followed her. Flurry went over to Nebula and had an idea of what to do for the rest of the day and a smile slowly crept upon her face as well.

“Hey Nebula, is there a spa in town?” she asked.

“Yes, there is, did you want to go over there and relax?”

“Yes, I would love to, maybe I need some girl time if you know what I mean.”

“Absolutely, we can go right now if you want since I’m free for the rest of the day,” Nebula said smiling at her holding a hoof out for her.

“I would love that,” Flurry said smiling back at her and taking her hoof.

“Spas, ugh, well you girls have fun, I’m going to do my own thing.”

“Alright, you do that,” they said walking out the door as they went to the local spa and had some of the best treatment given to them. “Ah, this feels so good, wonderful and incredible and amazing, it’s simply splendid,” Flurry said.

“I agree, they really do know their thing here and they don't try to profit from any famous ponies that visit here and they do their best to make everypony happy no matter what you might look like unlike some other rich pony places.”

“Yeah, tell me about it, I went to the Canterlot spa and they advertised that I was there by the next day, I don't think I'll be visiting that place again anytime soon.”

“Well that was a big city and they have to be fast, here you can just sit back and relax and take the beauty of nature in, but with our town celebrities things have been a bit more exciting than usual and tourism makes profits go up for all.”

“That’s nice to hear, but do you mind if I ask you a personal question?”

“Sure, go ahead, I don't mind,” Nebula said.

“Okay, what are your parents like?” Flurry asked.

“Sweet, kind, supporting, they always gave me what I needed in life including confidence, they helped me with magic and I didn't get everything that I wanted, but I always had what I needed, and my brother was always the crazy odd random one in the family, he’s sort of like our uncle a bit,” she said.

“That’s nice to hear, that sounds a lot better than my own family,” Flurry said.

“Yeah, I’m sorry for your loss, I wish I could make it easier for you.”

“Trust me, you being here is more than enough for me right now, thank you.”

“No, thank you for talking with me and being my friend,” Nebula said.

“Hey, I would do that for anypony who really needed it,” Flurry said.

“That sounds so sweet and nice, is there a single flaw in you princess?”

“I’m sure you could find a few if we had time, but what is your special talent?”

“Dreams and helping other ponies out, and the nighttime stars too.”

“That sounds very vague, but I accept it, I just wish I had a cutie mark.”

“I’m sure that yours will come when the time is right, it always does.”

“But I am almost a fully-grown mare and still no cutie mark! What do you think that says about me to other ponies? I felt terrible for such a long time. They never openly called me by their harsh names, but I still knew what they said.”

“That sounds horrible, but at least you’re not being called names anymore, right?” Nebula asked with a smile as they were roughly patted down.

“Yes, but that still doesn't change the past, and I wish I could,” Flurry said.

“If everypony got their wishes then life would be empty,” Nebula said.

“Fair point, thanks for the talk Nebula,” Flurry said.

“You’re welcome, I’m here for you anytime that you need it,” she said.

“Same thing right back at you Nebula,” Flurry said with a smile.

And with that said they spent most of the time in the spa in silence and then they went back to the castle and because it was late they decided to turn it in the night and long after they had fallen asleep (despite Flurry’s worry for Shadow) there was a whisper inside and Shadow crept inside into his bed and fell asleep.

His entry was unnoticed and not heard by any, and all were clueless to where he had been, but somewhere else darkness was brewing and revenge was being plotted, after all, when good ponies sleep the terrors of night wake up to talk.


A shadow slowly approached the changeling hive on the edge of Ponyville and smiled, “The mission goes well as ever and I am still undetected, soon we can enact our plan for Flurry Heart and nopony will be the wiser for it.”

“Excellent, but we still must be careful and execute it without a flaw.”

“It shall be done, I cannot wait for the day of glory for the queen.”

“That is the same with all, may the night be with you to guide your way.”

“I need not the night to guide my way, but thank you for your concern.”

“As always, you may go now, you have done well,”

“Thank you general, I will see you again soon enough, goodbye.”

And with that said the shadow left and the general smiled, everything was going according to plan, no unexpected hitches or flaws, at this rate Chrysalis would finally have her perfect day, and the changelings would be able to feed on love forever, and then the age of changelings could finally begin, and once that happened everypony would forever remember it as the greatest thing to happen ever, or at the very least the changelings would, after all, what were they more to the ponies than just faceless and mindless drones and monsters?

Well they were more than that, but if they didn't change their minds then the changelings would give them exactly what they expected, a monster. , where��'��?

Chapter Eleven: The Picnic

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Chapter Eleven: The Picnic

The next day came and everypony woke up slowly one by one and Twilight came barreling downstairs with a scream of delight. “Guess what everypony? My friends and I will be going to the park today and you can come along too!”

“That sounds perfect! I can't wait to meet them!” Shadow said.

“Wow, that was a lot less of your usual gushing,” Flurry said.

“I don't always have to make everything as long as might as you want.”

“I know that, but I have gotten used to your long and random ramblings.”

“Maybe I should mix things up and surprise you,” he said with a smile.

“I would like that, but for now let’s just go meet the main six, shall we?” Flurry said with a smile back at him holding her hoof out for him now.

“Yes, I couldn't agree anymore,” he said with a smile taking her hoof.

They smiled at each other and followed Twilight as they went to the park and set things up for a picnic and then when the time was right every single one of the arrived right on time. “I was here first!” Rainbow Dash said proudly.

“A lady of fashion is always and time, and no you weren't Dash,” Rarity said.

“It would be rude to be late,” Fluttershy said softly barely above a whisper.

“I’m just glad I got here on time with some of my famous apple products.”

“AJ! Enough with the apple stuff!” Rainbow Dash said.

“Wait! We have a new pony here and you know what that means!” Pinkie Pie said smiling wide as she pulled out a party canon and made confetti explode as she started to sing, “Welcome, welcome to Ponyville…!”

Shadow ignored the song and instead tried to focus on the other ponies and stuff.

“Everypony please calm down!” Twilight shouted. They did so and then she sighed, “Everypony meet Shadow Moon, friend of Flurry Heart.”

“Hello there, Shadow,” they all said except for Fluttershy who let out a soft whisper instead, Shadow smiled at the attention and pulled out the food.

“Yes, it’s so nice to meet you, but if you ever need fashion tips I am your pony to go to, and speaking of which what is your fashion sense?” Rarity asked.

“I would say it’s very lacking, but I don't need your help with that.”

“Oh, alright, fine then,” she said taking a bite out of one of the cucumber sandwiches that was in front of them while the others remained silent.

“Have you ever heard of the Wonderbolts?” Dash asked Shadow.

“Yes, of course I have, I love them and so do my parents too!” he said.

“Awesome! Did you know that I am now the captain of the team?”

“No way! Really? When did that happen and how?” he asked.

“Spitfire was starting to get a bit old and tired, and I was young and fresh and a bit more famous than her so she let me took over which was totally amazing!”

“I couldn't agree anymore, but do you mind signing some memorabilia I have?”

“Sure thing, anything for a fan!” she said smiling as she quickly signed a t-shirt, hat, and poster of herself (and then some more too) and then gave a good rough rub to his head and even took a picture with him signing the back of it.

“Do you like animals?” Fluttershy asked with a very soft whisper.

“Yes, I do, I love animals, why?” Shadow asked.

“Because I have a few pets you can adopt if you want,” she said.

“Sounds interesting, I'll consider the offer,” he said.

“Do you like apples?” AJ asked with a smile.

“I do, but not in the way you do,” Shadow said still smiling.

“Girls! Can you please stop asking Shadow questions that pertain to you?”

“Sorry Twilight, we’ll stop now,” they said.

“You better, now then Shadow, how good are you at magic?”

“I would consider myself an expert, maybe better than my sister, but my friend is just as good as me, but I have no idea where she is right now.”

“I trust that soon enough one day soon you will meet her again,” he said.

“I hope so too, but I am glad for what I have right now, and that’s being with you,” he said smiling at the group warmly as he ate some more food.

“You seem very optimistic Shadow,” Twilight said with a smile on her face.

“I am, it’s in my nature and it was how I was raised up, I never give up on anything and I always keep my promises, but I must know that I can and will keep the promise before making one, promises are taken very seriously in my family and I think society would be better off if it took them seriously.”

“I agree with you on that much, as well as honesty, right AJ?”

“Yep, there is a whole lot of things to make society better,” AJ said.

“Fashion for one, right girls?” Rarity asked with a smile on her face still.

“Rarity, please don't always be fashion forward, okay?” Twilight said.

“What? There’s no harm in a bit of advertising is there?” she asked.

“Usually no, but here and now, yes, we’re here to talk and share ideas about life and stuff, not to make a quick bit, do you understand?”

“Yes, I do, sorry Twilight, I'll behave, as I think we all should from now on.”

“Thank you, now then Shadow how many friends do you have?” Twilight asked.

“Including Flurry? Just two or so, unless you want to be my friends.”

“We would love to although the distance might be a problem in the equation and we have to factor in every single detail, and look at me, trying to make friendship all mathematical and scientific,” Twilight said with a slight little laugh.

“Yes, because you will always be our adorable little egghead,” Dash said.

“Yeah, our little bookworm,” Applejack said.

“This ‘insult’ at this point is a fact and I can't say anything to defend myself anymore, but I hope you and your friends have inside jokes and teases too Shadow, we certainly do, but we wish you the best of luck, don't we?”

Everypony nodded still smiling at them as they slowly finished up their food, “Wow, this was a delicious and amazing meal, you girls certainly know your thing, and Rainbow Dah, you were awesome, Pinkie is the life of any party, Fluttershy, your kindness knows no bounds, and Rarity, fabulous, and as for you AJ, I guess you were exactly what I expected, and Twilight, you are all of your friends combined with a spark of something else incredible and wonderful deep down inside, that is all I have to say for you today, thank you for the meal.”

“Well thank you for the compliments!” Twilight said with a slight blush, in fact everypony there had a slight blush to their faces (to Shadow’s delight).

“Is your talent in charming other ponies?” Rarity asked.

“No, I’m a wild card, literally, but I suppose I do have a knack for charm.”

“Interesting, I bet you could get any mare that you wanted to,” Twilight said.

“I probably could, I just haven't found the right one yet in case you were wondering why I don't have a marefriend yet,” Shadow said.

“Well I do hope you find one, me and my friends certainly have come close on occasion, but the closet ones right now are everypony except me and Pinkie.”

“Well that certainly sounds nice, but I'll write to each and every one of you some letters answering any questions that you might have about me and my family, I just wish that this picnic could be longer so I had time to answer your questions, but I certainly do hope for more time with the both of you in the future.”

“We do too, and Flurry, you’re always welcome to join us too,” Twilight said.

“I know, thanks for the meal, but I think I would finish off the day in something special, maybe a party with a race around the clouds and a fashion show would do nicely, and maybe I could visit the zoo and see the animals, maybe even take a tour around the farm to see how things are and nap in the library too.”

“That sounds like a lot for one day, but I’m sure we can manage it!”

“Oh, you bet we will our names aren't our names!” Dash said. Shadow sighed and got up and went to a nearby store and purchased a camera and decided to follow along with them, after all, it wasn't like he had anything better to do (but at least he wouldn't have to wear a dress and that was a relief to him).

They all smiled and Flurry followed after Dash and they did a race around the clouds wo which Rainbow Dash barely managed to outfly Flurry (although in the past she let Flurry win to make her feel good about herself).

Next was the zoo with Fluttershy and she even got to feed and pet some animals that were there (although Fluttershy opted to stay away from the manticore and any other dangerous animals too). After that she played dress up with Rarity (with comments like, “You look simply fabulous in that!” or “Turn to your left, no right, no left, no right…” and “Splendid, simply incredible, just perfect for you darling!), then a party with Pinkie Pie (who was her usual crazy, odd random self), and through it all Shadow was always there to take photos of it.

After that it was late evening and Flurry decided to go back to the castle and take a nap, and so she did so yawning loudly as Shadow joined her putting his camera aside claiming that he would develop the film once their journey was done.

“When all of this is over we are going to have a huge collection of photos and memories and other stuff to remember this trip by, but I hope that no matter what happens afterwards, even if we never see each other again, well I hope that I can still give you something extra special so you will never be able to forget it.”

“I would like to say that, but don't ruin the surprise, okay?”

“Don't worry, I wasn't planning to do that, but good night princess, stay safe and have sweet dreams, I'll see you in the morning,” he said flipping the lights off as he crawled deep into the sheets closing his eyes, but still not yet asleep.

“Good night my handsome stallion, same thing back at you,” Flurry said snuggling up right next to him and waited until she was sure he was asleep before leaning in to whisper her final words to him, “I love you.”

And with that said she smiled and closed her eyes and fell asleep. t-align:��;��5

Chapter Twelve: Leaving Ponyville/ Manehattan/ Reflections

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Chapter Twelve: Leaving Ponyville/ Manehattan/ Reflections

The next day Flurry was the first one to wake up, well, barely, and she loved the sight of Shadow in his sleep and she decided to have a bit of fun with him as she booped his nose and he wrinkled his face, but still he was not yet awake. Then she decided to get a little bit more serious rubbing his chest with one hoof very slowly while booping his nose very fast with her other hoof, and soon enough that did the trick and he blinked his eyes in shock and surprise at her.

“May I ask why you are booping my nose and rubbing my chest?” he said.

“You may, and it’s because I wanted to wake you up so you could see my face again,” she said with a smile giving him one last final boop to his nose.

“I’m going to get you back for that you know,” he said with a smile now at her.

“I would love to see you try, but come on, we can't sit around in bed all day, we have places to go and breakfast to eat,” she said with a smile getting out of bed preening her feathers as Shadow blew out a mouthful of them.

This is why pegasi are annoying, the feathers, not that I mind hers, he thought to himself still smiling as he got up and refreshed himself in the bathroom.

“I was thinking about leaving Ponyville today and going over to Manehattan today and maybe doing some other random various fun things before I head home, and it’s not that I want to go home, but I am worried about my mother,” she said.

“I understand and agree and support you, but I had the strangest dream last night, we were in this park, or maybe a castle, and were looking at the stars and just talking, and then you said you loved me and you leaned in and gave me a kiss, it was very weird and strange, and it felt so real until you woke me up.”

“I’m sorry for waking you up from your dream,” she said.

“It’s okay Flurry, I just wish that the dream could come true is all,” he said.

“Maybe it will, maybe it won't, you never know,” she said.

“I hope so, but anyhow get ready for the day because it’s gonna be a long one, after all, the summer sun celebration is coming up very soon.”

“I know! I can't wait for it,” she said smiling as she finished up getting ready, “Well, are you ready for the day or are you going to leave me behind instead?”

“I am always ready, and I would never leave you behind my dear, come, let us go,” he said with a smile as they went downstairs and ate breakfast in silence and then got on a train for Manehattan as Flurry had time to think to herself.

Last night, what she said, did she really mean it or was it just a random passing thing? She knew that they had been together for a long time now, but she also didn't want to rush into things either. It was a hard choice to make certainly, and she wanted to know for sure before she got home, but she didn't know if she could make a choice like that in the time she had. It wasn't like she knew any other stallions though, those that she did call her friends had long moved on, and it wasn't like she could see other ponies, besides, he was crazy, odd, eccentric and random, and he always had a smile on his face and was very optimistic, she like all of these qualities, she liked him, and not just for his looks, she knew him like she would know a family member, and they had helped each other time and time again, and then she remembered the photos, they spent so much time together and there was hardly a moment they were apart, there was not only no way he could be the spy, but there was no doubt in her mind that he loved her too, and the dream was a definite indicator of things, but maybe she could make that dream come true if the conditions were right enough for it.

But what if something happened to them, or what if it wasn't meant to be?

Oh dear, she almost didn't consider that, if would break her heart, or his, there were so many questions to ask, so much stuff to sort out, but wait, what was that quote she heard so many times, better to have loved once then not?

Well, it went something like that, or so she thought, and it was probably true, she was so ready and willing to love that she would rather have her heart broken if it meant that she could finally be free to do whatever she wanted to.

Meanwhile Shadow was thinking his own thoughts very similar to hers. He knew that he loved her, but did she feel the same way? She seemed to be that way with all her teasing and signs of affection, but he didn't know if he could take the risk until he was ready and certain of it, and who knew when that might be.

And there they were, two ponies, mind alike, both so much the same, and yet ever far apart, neither willing to take the first step forward yet.

The train rattled on to Manehattan as both kept thinking to themselves and soon enough they arrived and took the tour around as Shadow took photos of everything, and the mood seemed unusually awkward and silent that day.

At the end of the day they went to an opera and dinner, but they still did not speak a word, even when they went to the park they still hardly spoke a word until they got to the pond, and then Shadow finally spoke up.

“Do you want to know why I find reflections so fascinating?” he asked.

“Yes, I suppose so,” Flurry said plainly.

“It’s because they can show you so much truth and yet lie at the same time, one can see the best and worst parts of one’s self when they look into it, the whole idea of reflections is scary, after all it is light bouncing off of something giving you a past image of yourself and never the present unless you have many reflections surrounding you. And since we have time let me tell you the legend of the first mirror. Long ago a king of ancient royalty and enormous wealth had a great and prosperous empire, and everypony was happy, yet he still felt that there was something missing in his heart and soul, everypony complimented the looks of him and the queen, but he could not tell if they were lies or not, he knew they spoke the truth about the queen, but what about himself? How could he trust them? Sure, he had lakes and ponds, but they were not a perfect image, they were flawed, and so he ordered every blacksmith in the land to use any metal they could find to fashion a metal so pure to his own desire, and the projects was very secret, but a wizard warned the king that getting what he wanted would not bring him happiness, it would only bring him more grief and misery than he already had, but the king in his pride ignored the old wizard.

Soon enough the metal plates were formed, but many were still underdeveloped and he slowly eliminated each one until he had the work of the best blacksmith in the land. When the project was finally done he killed the blacksmith since he did not want the secret to get out, but the metal plate was so heavy he had to have the help of other ponies to carry it to his castle, but as they did so pieces that were not as refined fell off and turned into glass and sand and dust.

The king did not notice this, and when the metal plate was finally safe and secure in his room it was only then that he took the cover off to see his own image.

What he saw shocked him, he was fat, he was scraggly, sure his face looked good, but the rest of him was a mockery to his own royal status.

The king was furious and he covered up the mirror as his heart turned black and he cursed the blacksmith and the wizard but decided to never look in it again lest he suffer more misery, but in the meantime, he would strengthen his body and mind, and then once he did he just might look into it once more.

Time went by and rumors of this metal plate with a perfect image started to spread, and the king had to reassure them that there was no such thing, but every night when it was dark he looked into the metal plate to see how well he was doing, and he was happy that he was getting better, but still angry because he was not yet how he wanted to be, and so it went for many weeks.

But one day it was discovered that the queen was with child, and the kingdom forgot about the metal plate with a perfect image, even the king did as he had it moved into a secret storage closet so his wife would never see it.

Then many months later on a very special day the child was born and the queen smiled at the king and proudly declared that the baby who was a boy looked just like his father, and the king smiled, but deep down inside he was hurt.

Did she think he was going to be like him, did she think he was going to be fat, would he have to work hard to be a perfect form? His smile turned into a scowl and he took the baby away from her claiming he wished to see his child, but he slowly approached the window and tossed the baby out the window to its death.

If he was going to have a child he wanted it to be perfect, and everypony was shocked and the queen cried, but he declared his reasoning, but the ponies questioned how the king could know that he himself was not perfect, and eventually he gave in and told them the warning, but everypony was so consumed by their own vanity that they swarmed over each other and opened the closet door and everypony screamed as the king had once done.

The queen declared that the king had lied to her about her form, and many other ponies too, chaos and confusion rippled out like a very mighty tidal wave.

They managed to shatter the metal plate, but as a result the pieces flew out everywhere and soon enough everypony had a piece of it and they could replicate it, and soon enough the thing intended for royalty and kings and queens only, and maybe the nobles became commonplace and they lost value, but over time magic tamed the treacherous nature of the mirror, but as a result the images that was see today are flawed ever so slightly so that we may never repeat the same foolish mistakes that the king once did. And that was the tale of the first mirror, I hope you enjoyed it because I certainly did the first time around.”

“I did enjoy it, but I can't believe the king did that just to satisfy his own selfish desires, and to think that it tore an entire nation apart, just wow.”

“Yeah, that was just about my reaction to hearing it the first time around, more or less, but did you enjoy today at all because you seemed very quiet.”

“I did, I was just thinking about something very serious, that’s all,” she said.

“Was it about your mother or the crystal empire?” he asked.

“No, it was about something else that I really don't want to share with you.”

“Oh, well okay then, if that’s what you want I won't force you into anything.”

“Thanks, but tomorrow is another day, tomorrow is the day I go home, this is the last day of our trip so if you have anything to say at all, anything to make it extra special at all, do so now or forever hold out,” she said.

Shadow considered her offer, should he? He really wanted to do it, but he didn’t know if he had the power and strength to do so, he took a deep breath in and stared deep into her eyes and slowly started to lean in towards her.

“I can only think of one thing, but I do not know if this is the time for such a thing,” he said feeling the rapid beating of his heart trying to calm his body and breath down, come on, don't lose your nerve right now.

“Shadow, whatever it is that you plan, I’m sure I can handle it, after all, we’re old enough to make our own choices and forge our own path, and if you’re so afraid of me getting I promise not to do so and I give you permission for what you want to do, just please make it as long as you need to,” Flurry said nervously also trying to calm down her beating heart and breath.

“Alright, fine then, as you wish,” he said as he slowly leaned in and whispered into her ear the words he had wanted to say to her for so long, “I love you.”

Flurry looked like she was about to cry as she smiled back at him, “I thought you were never going to say that because guess what, I love you too.”

“Well then, I guess there is no point to delaying this any longer, is there?”

“No, there isn't,” Flurry said with a smile back at Shadow’s own.

And together they leaned in and slowly kissed each other in the darkness under the full moon near the pond in a park in Manehattan with fairly warm weather, and the kissed seemed to last forever while in reality it must have been just about a minute or so, but it was the most magical and best minute of their entire lives.

After the kiss, they pulled away and gasped, “That was…”

“Shush, there are no words to describe this, but if you want you can try again after I show you some more, if you’re ready for more that is,” he said.

Flurry smiled back at him, “I am always ready for more,”

He smiled back at her and kissed her again as Flurry wrapped her wings around the back of his head also using her hooves to her own pleasure and desire as Shadow did the same, and they slowly made love through the rest of the night unseen by anypony except for a lone single silent shadow that was very nearby. ergleich.d���5

Chapter Thirteen: Returning Home

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Chapter Thirteen: Returning Home

The next day they awoke from their night of romance and the both of them blushed and giggled and grinned a bit realizing that they had spent the entire night at the park, but they were also completely dirty too. “I cannot imagine that your mother would be very happy if she saw you like this,” Shadow said.

“No, I imagine that being covered with dirt, grime, filth and your own cum would not be a welcome stench, not to mention the smell, I just hope we find a way to bathe ourselves off before we get back home,” she said still smiling.

“Well there is the pond, not the best option I know, but it might be the only one we have, but if you wanted me to I could give you some more sweet hot sex.”

Flurry giggled and grinned some more, “Perhaps, but I would like clean water, so how about we go over to the locker rooms of a pool and wash off there?”

“Sounds like a plan, well then, come on princess, it’s time that I corrupt some of your innocence some more if you know what I mean,” he said.

“Oh, I certainly do,” she said with a smile as they looked around for a pool and soon found one and washed off in the locker rooms before going to the train station and headed back home. As they went home Flurry decided to sing a little bit, after all, this was the last time that she would be here.

“I saw the light fade from the sky, from the wind I heard a sigh, I will say this last goodbye, night is now falling so ends this day, the road is now calling and I must away, over hill and under tree, under cloud, beneath the stars, over snow, I turn to pass the way back home, and where the road takes me I do not know.

What can I say except this final goodbye? Night is now falling, so ends this day, the road is now calling, and I must away, over hill, under tree, I must go.

We came all this way, and with your blessing I will go, for now the day has come for me to finally say goodbye, I bid this all a very fond farewell.”

Shadow looked over at her with his jaw wide open, “Wow, that was truly awesome and incredible, you have a wonderful singing voice, that was simply splendid, you should consider joining a band or something like that.”

“Thank you, but no, I never have tried to be in theater, band, or anything else either, I just guess I have a natural talent for singing,” she said.

“Perhaps, but would you mind singing to me some more?” he asked.

“Yes, of course,” she said with a smile returning his own, and on the rest of the way back she sung whatever tune popped into her head to keep themselves entertained, and once they were back Shadow clapped for her.

“Bravo! Bravo! Encore! Encore! On with the show!” he said.

“Thank you, but honestly there’s no need for that,” she said.

“There is every need for it, an artist should get what they’re worth, and I feel you’re worth whatever I give you, and I won't try to hold back anything either.”

“Well then, I would certainly love to see you give it your all in the future then,”

“As you wish,” he said with a smile as Flurry pondered those words.

“Does as you wish secretly mean I love you?” she asked.

“If you want it to,” he said still smiling at her.

“Well maybe I do, maybe I don't, I'll never say,” she said.

“Very well then, be that way, but let’s take you home, shall we?”

“Yes, of course,” she said taking his hoof as they slowly walked back to the castle only to see that everything around them was in complete and total chaos. “Well, Discord probably didn't waste any time having hid fun, but I am glad I am back to stop him, after all, chaos can't always last forever because there must be harmony,” she said looking at the upside-down houses and the castle that was still literally made out of cheese and was now rotting like a dead cat on a street.

“Oh my gosh, that smells so bad, I hope everypony is okay,” she said.

“I trust that they will be,” Shadow said casting a spell to block out the smell. Slowly they went inside the castle and looked around and saw Discord sitting on the throne chair of Cadence with a crown on his head and a Twilight scepter.

He looked slightly bored as he was playing card tricks with the royal guards who were chess pieces, and he took a sip of glass from a glass of chocolate milk and turned a cloud into pink fluffy cotton candy and yawned when he saw Flurry.

“Oh, great, it’s you again, have you come to ruin my fun?” he asked.

“I’ve come to put you in your place and I command you to restore everything back to the way it was,” Flurry said as he yawned and snapped his fingers and did so. “Wow, that was surprisingly easy, why didn't you put up a fight?”

“Because there’s no point of being an ass if somepony can turn you into stone,” he said getting up from the chair and walking towards them.

“Fair point, well, have fun wherever you go now,” Flurry said.

“I'll try, but something strange has been bothering me for weeks now, it’s like an itch at my back except worse, you see I am a spirit of chaos and I have this ability to sense when an upset in magic is going to occur, basically something very important, it was there before Sombra, Nightmare Moon and Chrysalis too.

It has never failed me so far and something big is coming, and I’m only telling you this for Fluttershy’s sake, I know she wouldn't want anypony to be hurt, but whatever is coming I wish you the best of luck and hope you can get through it.”

“Noted, but how do we know that you’re lying to us?” Flurry asked.

“I may be many things Flurry, but I would never lie about this, after all, I don't want another villain coming in and ruining all the fun for me, honestly why make ponies your slaves when you can endlessly torment them my way?”

“Uh, okay, well whatever you do, just please don't come back soon.”

“I won't,” he said snapping his fingers as he vanished away from the room.

“Do you think that he was telling the truth?” Shadow asked.

“I think so, I honestly wish he was lying, but I don't think he was, but it would make me feel safe to know that he was lying, but I suppose that’s not the case, but I do hope his ability is wrong this time around because I am not a pony that holds to the belief of fate, only destiny which we forge ourselves,” she said.

“I couldn't agree anymore,” Shadow said as Flurry looked around the castle for her mother and found her where she expected, in her own room all alone.

“Hello there, mother, I’m back, did you miss me?” Flurry asked.

Cadence turned to her daughter with great fury and anger, “Yes, I did, but you had me worried for weeks on end! I didn't know where you were or what you were doing, and I couldn't send any guards either because of Discord!

And do you want to know what the worst part was? It was the fear that you were dead, or worse! And every piece of news I heard made me worry even more!”

“Mom, relax, nothing happened, well, except for a changeling attack.”

“Wait, what? Ha-ha! See I was right, the world out there is dangerous!”

“But I got through it, if it was so dangerous then how come I am still here?”

“Luck?” Cadence asked.

“No, through my own power and strength,” she said.

“Oh, well you still could have been hurt!” Cadence shouted.

“But I wasn't, I’m still here, but if you can't accept me making my own choices and doing what I want then I don't think you can tell me what to do, besides, I’m an adult now, you can't control me, I moved on from dad, the only question that still remains now is this, can you?” Flurry asked loudly too.

Cadence blinked in shock and surprise, this never had ever really occurred to her before, but now that she had time to think, yes, Flurry was right.

Cadence had been a terrible mother, and she had made so many mistakes, turning away from Flurry her anger faded away as she started to cry.

“I’m so sorry Flurry! I have only tried my best, but I never thought about what it was doing to us, and I didn't know it would hurt us this much and I’m just so sorry for everything I’ve done, I was selfish and tried to keep you safe rather than happy and I wish I was there for you, but it’s too late to change the past anymore, I just hope that we can work together to improve things for the future.”

“It’s okay mother, I trust that no matter what happens next we’ll get through it, but there is something you do need to know first, me and Shadow, we’re in love.”

Cadence blinked with shock and surprise wiping her tears away, “I guess that’s okay, I mean it’s not like I can stop you anymore, but just try not to take things too fast okay? I need time to recover, and time to make things right, this place, it needs something, a spark of life, after all, a celebration is coming up soon, is it not? I think that we need a party planner and a few friends.”

Flurry smiled, “I’m sure that we can arrange something, but until then just rest and relax, and once you do just trust that things will work out in the end.”

“I guess so, thank you Flurry, thank you for showing me the way,”

“You’re welcome, I love you mother,” she said.

“I love you more and the most,” she said with a smile as the three of them hugged not caring about the problems of tomorrow and instead focused on the now.

Chapter Fourteen: Apologies/ Repairs/ Preparations/ Forgiveness

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Chapter Fourteen: Apologies/ Repairs/ Preparations/ Forgiveness

The next few days were spent repairing the castle and quickly decorating if for the incoming celebration, and for the first time in forever there was a spark of hope and life and a certain feeling through the air, everypony was nervous and excited, and everypony was more than ready and willing for this new change, Flurry most of all since she had spent years in the castle all alone with nothing to do, but now for the first time in forever there was actually going to be something in the castle, and this time her mother would be there in a silly dress that made one cute, as Flurry jokingly teased to her mother when they went out to shop for stuff for the party. Cadence smiled at this tease but was willing to endure whatever her daughter had planned for them if it made her happy.

The summer sun celebration was fast approaching them and there was very little time to prepare, but one way or another they would do it, there was barely a month before it came and everypony was doing all that they could for it.

But when there was a moment to spare Cadence took her daughter aside and kept saying that she was sorry, and Flurry said it was okay and that she forgave her, but it got to the point where Flurry asked her to stop because she already knew and now it was just annoying. Cadence gladly complied to her wishes.

Eventually, with a little bit of luck, the preparations were soon done and everything was perfect and Shadow and Flurry were very close now, and it looked like the bridges of the past and the castle too had all been repaired and Flurry couldn't see how things could get better than this, but she also didn't want to jinx her luck by saying something like ‘What could possibly go wrong?’.

Yet as the days slowly started to approach the celebration she felt like there was still something off and wrong in the air and she remembered Discord’s warning and hoped that he was wrong, but if she could feel something was off or at least thought that is was, well, that probably wasn't a good sign of things to come and she wondered if she should tell the others, it probably wouldn't hurt…

“Hey there you two,” she said just a few days before the celebrations would officially begin, to be exact three days before the summer solstice, “I wanted to talk to you about something important and to also ask you a question, have either of you been seeing or hearing things? Do you feel like something is wrong or off in the air? Anything at all? Every single little detail is important.”

“No, why?” Cadence asked with a concerned frown as Shadow shook his head.

“Because Discord gave me a warning and I think there might be something off, and I can even feel it, but I hope we’re wrong, but I wanted to tell you just in case, after all, we have to be prepared for anything that might come our way, and I really do not want to be caught unprepared for anything, understand?”

“Yes, we do, we’ll keep an ear and eye out, but don't worry, nothing will happen, I’m sure of it, besides, even if something did go wrong there is a whole lot of stuff and things and ponies to always keep you safe no matter what the price might be, put your worries aside and just try to relax and have fun, okay?”

“I will, but that is very ironic advice coming from you mother.”

“Hey, I’m a very fast learner,” she said with a smile.

“Well I’m glad for that fact, but you’re right, I should try to relax, and I’m sure that I can and will be able to, but only if I had somepony else to help me…”

“Like me for example?” Shadow asked with a smile at her.

“Yes, like you,” Flurry said planting a kiss right on front of her mother.

“Hey, I thought we agreed that you had to kiss out of my sight!”

“Oh, just shut up and grow up already!” Flurry said with a giggle.

Cadence merely rolled her eyes as she went around to do her duties, this time with more life and vigor even doing things that she had stopped doing ever since Shining’s death (like ceremonial things and judging contests too).

Shadow and Flurry kissed passionately for a very long time as a shadow in the darkness slowly started so slither away and cry to itself as it went back to its master, and the master was angry, but not at it, but soon master would have their way, master would take revenge, master would be victorious.

Shadow and Flurry finished up the kiss and decided to recheck the preparations (since that was about the only thing they had left to do anymore) and went out of the room going around as Flurry smiled remembering past stories.

“I remember when Twilight told me the story of the first time she went to Ponyville and the first time I heard it was just wow, do you want to hear her tale?”

“Sure thing, I could use some good nostalgia right about now,” he said

“Alright, fine then, all Twilight wanted to do was what Celestia had asked, nothing more, she never expected to make a friend much less anything more or less, she had a job to do and she wanted to do it, and she did, but she did so much more, she says she’ll always remember that as one of the best days in her life because it was the day she met her friends, she said that other days were good too, but very few things could compare to that day, one of them was the day she heard about me being born and my mother ready to have a baby. She said that before her friends she was isolated and alone, but of her own free will, she was as her friends call her, an egghead, studious and a perfect student that was always on time and overachieved many things time and time again.

She was never like me, and she said on many occasions that I was like both of my parents, brave, smart, powerful, optimistic, and unwilling to give up anything without a fight first, and I would have to agree with her because I don't know nearly enough yet to say that she is wrong,” Flurry said.

“Interesting, but now I’m sure you can learn more about your past since your mother was willing to take all of that old stuff back out of your father.”

“Indeed, but I wish that she could have realized all of this sooner.”

“We all do, but time lost is only a regret, and regrets keep you from living, that is the sad cycle and trap of life that most fall into, they keep reliving mistakes and keep regretting and forgetting to live forever trapped in misery and pain, their strife never-ending, and I do not wish that for you or anypony else that I care about and love, I will always be by your side, and wherever we go the darkness and shadows cannot touch us, and even if they do together we will be able to conquer anything that might come our way,” he said.

“How inspiring, tell me, do you have a list of inspirational stuff inside your mind?” Flurry asked smiling at him while gently rubbing his body.

“I have a list of whatever you want me to, I am yours, and you are mine, can you not see that now or are you too blinded by our own love?” he asked.

“I might be blinded by love, and I might be a fool for rushing in, but at least I’m not an idiot like you are,” she teased booping his nose gently.

“And at least I am not the wing queen or the princess of teasing either.”

“Fair point, but come on, show me what you’re made of already,” she said.

“As you wish,” Shadow said pushing her back into their own room locking the door as preparations went on outside, but everypony around them was oblivious to what they were doing and they did not hear the sounds of love that they made.

And afterwards the only thing they could manage to do now was to fall asleep.

Chapter Fifteen: The Celebration/ The Betrayal/ The Nightmare Attacks

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Chapter Fifteen: The Celebration/ The Betrayal/ The Nightmare Attacks

The day of the celebrations to start finally came and everypony was happy, well, all except for a few that lurked in darkness around the city edges waiting for their orders to come in, and yet despite their patience there was still nothing yet.

Flurry had the honor of starting off the celebrations off this year as she unfurled the flag of the bright and glorious blazing sun with the moon in the bottom half taking up way less than the half space it was allowed, it was more like a quarter instead, but that fact was ignored by almost everypony that was currently there.

After that was done the celebrations officially began and then chaos broke out.

Flurry and Cadence walked back to the throne room where they saw the other princesses there (since the Crystal Empire was the host city of it this year) and everypony was smiling, but Celestia seemed to have a fake smile on her own face, but Flurry had no idea how or why she could tell this, but the closer she got to the two royal sisters the stronger that her sense of something going wrong got.

Interesting, why did her sense get stronger around them? She had no idea, but she could swear that one of them had two shadows around them and her face paled as she looked up at them and coughed awkwardly for a bit to catch their attention and when she finally did she smiled nervously at them.

“Yes, what is it?” they asked.

“Are you two supposed to have two shadows around you?”

Luna’s face paled in turn as they looked down in horror as a cold cruel laugh echoed about them and the windows of glass blew out a cold chill air blasted into the room making it feel like winter time. And the shadows in the room slowly started to form into a very familiar form to all of them, there stood a perfect image of Nightmare Moon standing directly across from princess Luna herself.

“Everypony get behind me!” Luna shouted as they did so in great fear.

Nightmare grinned, “Well hello there my little ponies, did you miss me? I’ve missed you, and I’ve missed you most of all my poor little Luna, how have things been without me there to guide your way? I bet it feels so lonely deep down inside, you miss all that power, you miss me, don't try to deny it.”

“You have no power here, go away!” Luna screamed.

“True, but my servants do have power here, and they are very real,”

“What servants?” Luna asked.

“There will always be ones willing and ready to serve the darkness,” Nightmare said with a laugh as she smiled and then the doors opened to reveal a pony dressed all in black and once they got close enough they took off the hood to reveal a beautiful mare. “Tempest here has been working with for a very long time now, and I am grateful for her help, but she doesn't want to take me in, but I know that one of you ponies in this room does,” Nightmare said with a smile.

“We will never bow to your power again and your servants and shadows cannot defeat us, your only talent is illusions and lies!” Luna said.

“Ah, but you forget who I am and where I come from, I know every little secret of your hearts and I fed Tempest here the truth, she loved Shadow, but he chose a princess over his own friend, how weak and pathetic and typical of a stallion. And in her pain, she called out to me and I comforted her in my own special way.

I gave her my strength and power and dried her tears away, and I gave her my love, and I gave her something special so that she might destroy you.”

Nightmare smiled as Tempest pulled out a very long dagger and the princesses eyes lit up with shock, “Surely you didn't give her that, no, you couldn't.”

“But I did, go ahead Tempest, show them what you’re really made of.”

“You hurt me Shadow, and now I’m going to hurt you back!” she cried out with fury and anger casting her cloak off teleporting right above Flurry Heart as she dived down ready to plunge the knife into her body. Nopony had time to react, but the plunge was barely blocked by a very well-timed spell from Luna.

“Tempest! You don't need to do this, Nightmare has only ever lied to you!”

“How would you know that?” she asked still trying to kill Flurry as Luna expertly blocked her as Celestia watched from the sidelines unwilling to help.

“Because she lied to me too once way back when, and I was foolish and I made a mistake, I believed her lies, and I paid the price for my crime, don't make the same mistake as I once did, don't believe the lies that she has told you!”

“She never told me any lies, she has shown me the truth!”

“Truth or not there is no need to act out in violence and anger, killing Flurry will not bring you joy, you wanted love and couldn't get it, but if you really want love you have to stop right now and let us help you, don't be a monster!”

Tempest looked torn apart on the inside and pressed her attack hard as she could before she was broken under Luna’s own force as she started to cry.

“You’ve grown up and have become more powerful than I thought Luna, but even you cannot stop what is about to come next, the age of villains to return has come yet again, and we will continue to rise up each and every single time that you make us fall, and no matter how hard you try you will never get rid of us.”

“We may not be able to get rid of you, but we will always try to stop what comes next if it is bad,” Luna said plainly flaring her horn up.

“You cannot fight the darkness in you forever because I live inside of you.”

“Fine, go to Tartarus and rot there forever,” Luna said.

“I'll see you there myself,” Nightmare said with a smile as she vanished.

Once she was gone Luna’s horn died down and she walked over to Tempest to comfort her and everypony had the same question in their minds.

What will they do now, and who was going to be the next villain to attack them? They didn't know, but they did know that they could get through it.

Together they could get through it, and so more repairs were made, Tempest was forgiven and got some love advice from the others, Shadow and Flurry slept together that night, but no sex because they were still afraid.

And as for Luna, she didn't want to sleep for fear of nightmares, and that was the case for Celesta too, and as for Equestria, the ponies remained oblivious of the real case and were only ever handled out details as the need might be.

But in the darkness shadows lurked as they put the final pieces of their plan together ready to strike again very soon only when the time was right for them.’

And when it was, all would suffer and pay the price. �L� �

Epilogue: A New Queen Rises/ Nightmares and Shadows Evermore

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Epilogue: A New Queen Rises/ Nightmares and Shadows Evermore

Far away over hills and valleys on the very edge of Equestria the changelings were all gathered around an unwilling host and they were going to watch and celebrate one of their own very special traditions. Thorax struggled against his chains but knew that there was no escape now, how he got captured he didn't know, but seeing the face of every changeling around him he knew that this was not a good thing, and he remembered their traditions and celebrations and knew what was coming next, but knew that he could not escape, the only thing he could do was to plead for mercy, and he did so, but his please went unheard by the hive, and a changeling designated as a ‘priest’ stepped forward with a very large sack that Thorax already knew what was contained within it.

“No! PLEASE! NOT THIS! Anything but this!” he cried out more in vain.

A changeling shoved a cloth up his mouth to shut him up as the priest began to speak the speech that few changelings had ever heard of before this moment.

“Changelings, children of Chrysalis, we are gathered here today to witness the age of a new era, long we have been commanded by Chrysalis, but she is in prison now and she cannot escape, even we cannot free her with all the forces we have right now. But mark my words, one day our queen will be free, but in the meantime, we must honor and respect her wishes to do this, but here before you now as you can see is the one and only true traitor to our kind, the king known as Thorax!” the priest shouted out very loudly as very changeling hissed at the name of Thorax, but the priest raised his hooves and the roar died down.

“Yes, I know, we all hate him, but today he dies and soon all the traitors will follow after him and take his place!” the priest said as the changelings cheered and he smiled and calmed them down again. “The Queen wanted to make this ceremony extra special which is why she choose him as the new host for our next queen, changelings, witness the live action process for our new queen, who will live and who will die? Only they can decide that,”

He smiled and gestured to the sack and pulled out the eggs, there were hundreds of them, thousands maybe even, but all they needed was just one inside Thorax, the priest took the gag out of his mouth and covered his nose and forced Thorax to swallow the eggs (since they were too hard to even try to chew on).

He gulped nervously and soon enough he screamed out loudly in pain, this was so much worse than anything the queen had given him before, he squirmed around and it was only due to the chains that he remained unmoved.

Inside his belly he could feel his organs split and burst apart and his bones slowly start to crack and break away as he could feel the thing rising up out of him, he groaned and moaned, but he could not stop the monster now.

A few more bones and organs split and he was finding it very hard to breathe, but then he saw a lump on his stomach as the thing slowly started to push its way forward up out him as he groaned and moaned some more still screaming as it popped out of him rupturing his skin gushing blood out of his sides onto the dirt and dark black rock below and on the marble table he was now on.

The female baby thing hissed and screamed and he could already see it take form, changeling births were very fast, but the queens took some time as Thorax estimated that the entire process up until now took about five minutes or so whereas usual births were less than a minute or so. The thing turned to him and screamed and lunged at his neck tearing off the meat as he fainted and passed out as his heart slowly stopped beating and then he died as the changeling swarm cheered, but the birthing process was still not yet done.

The baby changeling ripped the flesh out of his neck and greedily ate it up as its body slowly started to get covered in blood, but baby queens had the unusual ability to suck up every single last part of the host and so the blood slowly started to get drawn inside and sucked up by the baby as its form slowly started to grow larger and larger as it ate more. Next it went for the lungs and then his legs, back first and then the front, then it tore apart his stomach and the rest of his insides eating up his face devouring the eyes and slowly eating his brain, and many long minutes later it finally finished eating the last scraps of meat off the bones of Thorax, and where there had once stood a bloody shapeless blob there now was a full grown female with green eyes and deadly curved fangs and a long black horn, she had skeletal crystal wings and her body was riddled with holes, and she looked almost like her mother, except something seemed off and different, but the changeling swarm did not know what. She panted and sighed and lifted out her head towards the crowd slowly unfolding her wings out fully getting used to her new body and form as she did not try to hide any part of her as her mouth was still wide open, and then ever so slowly she opened her eyes.

And once she did the entire swam cheered and shouted with joy.

The child tilted her head confused since she didn't know what was happening yet since she still had the mind of a child even if she did have the body of a fully-grown mare. But all around her these strange and mysterious creatures were cheering and shouting with glee and joy so she supposed it had to be a good thing, and so she decided to give her best with a smile that came off as evil.

But the one who smiled most was the priest, he did not join in with the shouting of the other because he knew he had to keep his honor and dignity and position too, but he also knew this, changelings were born evil, there was no recorded case of a reformed changeling having children, they were born monsters and they should remain that way, and any changeling that disagreed was a traitor, and that was one of the real reasons why Thorax was a traitor to their kind.

The others were very obvious and didn't need to be stated.

Every changeling smiled and cheered and went on with their celebrations through the whole entire night as they shouted out one thing.

“Long live the queen, long live the queen, long live the queen, long live the queen!”


Celestia sighed to herself as she went to lay down in her bed staring at herself in the mirror from across the room smiling at the legend she had made up for it, the real truth was something else, it was still tragic, but not quite so much as the tale would suggest. She sighed again and wished that the truth could come out, but it couldn't, and she knew the real reasons why, but she always tried to lie to herself, but maybe some sleep would ease her of the pain and guilt.

“Celestia, before you go to sleep do you want to talk to me?”

Celestia blinked in shock and surprise not expecting her guest, she knew this voice all too well, but right now she just wanted her to go away.

“Go away please, I don't need your lies or your help,” she said.

“Oh, but you do, honestly I was surprised that you didn't ascend today.”

“I wasn't ready yet, maybe another day, but go away, you’re just a shadow, an illusion. I don't need you or your help and all you speak is lies.”

“How rude, I bet you would never speak that way to a noble.”

“You are no noble and you are not a welcome guest either, go away, I do not wish you to be here right now and I wish to be left alone,” she said.

“But you do need me, if you didn't I wouldn't be here.

“What do you want?” she asked tired of her guest.

“I want you to accept me and my power, accept the deal and take in the offer, free yourself of your guilt, just blame it on me if you must, after all, what happened to your sister wasn't our fault, she claims it was hers, but I say blame it on me, but if you want to be free from your guilt I can help you, I can free you, I can punish you if you want, I can be whatever you want me to be Celestia.”

“I don't trust you, go away and take your lies with you, go rot away in Tartarus where you belong, go away Nightmare, just go away,” she said.

Nightmare smiled, “As you wish, but I still do love these talks with you, and to think I have been with you for many long months now and you still won't break yet, see you again soon, sweet dreams and stay safe for me, will you?”

Celestia sighed as the Nightmare vanished and went away and she closed her eyes and slowly drifted off to sleep unsure of what the future held for her or anypony else, she just hoped that she would be strong enough to endure it.