Cadance always loved slow days like these: no petitioners and only a few selected scrolls she had to peruse. They included invitations to garden parties, suggestions to change certain laws, and her favourite, letters from foals who wanted to tell her that she was the coolest princess ever. Off to the side of the throne sat her husband who levitated a small plush snail, much to the delight of their daughter, Flurry Heart. The foal was enraptured by the snail soaring above her head, her front hooves futilely reaching up to try and catch it. Their doctor had suggested this activity to develop her wing muscles, since she used them to balance herself. Quite frankly, with wings like hers, she needed all the muscle in them that she could get. To say that Cadance was proud was an understatement.
However, the serenity wasn’t to last. A guard opened the large double doors to the throne room and coughed. “Err, your Highness?”
Cadance, being trained by Princess Celestia herself, plastered on the nicest fake smile she could muster and looked towards the door. “Yes?”
The guard, none other than Flash Sentry, glanced around nervously for a moment before finding his courage. “There is a… disturbance.”
“Oh?” The right eyebrow of the princess rose exactly five millimeters, the smile not faltering.
Flash opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted as shouts came from the hall behind him. The stallion gulped. “Well, not really a disturbance.”
The princess and her consort exchanged glances. In the blink of an eye, the married couple held a conversation that would have taken hours to do the traditional way. Cadance’s muzzle twitched, Shining’s brow furrowed, and he levitated the snail down into the waiting hooves of Flurry Heart. He stood and walked a few steps towards Flash. “Speak clearly, soldier. What’s the situation?”
“Ah… funny story, Sir. You remember the ‘I wish we still had the Elements of Harmony’ protocol that you wanted to install?” Shining nodded. “Well, this would be the kind of situation where it could be used. If, you know, we ever had installed it in the first place.” Flash smiled sheepishly. Shining frowned, and Flash stopped smiling. “Just saying.”
The prince snorted and walked the remaining way towards the guard. He stared Flash in the eyes for a moment, then went past him and stretched his head outside of the door. There was a pause as long as it took a pony to flick his tail from one side to the other before Shining’s head retreated back inside the room. Cadance could see him turning to Flash Sentry again, whispering something in his ear. The stallion nodded and vanished from the room after a quick salute.
Shining then slowly walked back to where he had sat before, grabbed Flurry, who was nibbling at her snail, and conjured a shield around all three of them.
“Shining?” Cadance placed the scroll aside. “Tell me what’s going on.”
Before her husband could even open his mouth to answer, the doors were slammed open violently, thudding into the wall and making the room vibrate. In the doorframe stood a tall creature clad in dark clothing. It stumbled forward, a sword in one hand and a bottle in the other. No, it wasn’t walking, it was staggering. The stench of booze reached Cadance’s nose, along with something even worse. However, that wasn’t why her face contorted in horror. There, in the entrance to her throne room, stood the villain of all villains: Anonymous, the human from beyond the mirror, the gem stealer, the unhuggable, the unmarked, the ruffian, and the party pooper. The only villain they’d never managed to defeat or turn into a friend in a thirty or even sixty minutes’ time frame. And now he was here, after her. After her and her family.
No, she would never allow that. Cadance—no, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza stood and flared her wings. “Thou will do no harm to me or my ponies!” she proclaimed, making a mental note to thank Auntie Luna for her lessons in dramatic flair.
“Ah, shuck a dick, you peacock!” came the slurred response from the human as he took another two steps toward her throne before he nearly fell over. “You can’t do jack shit.”
Cadance head whirled around towards her daughter. To her relief, Shining had managed to save her by holding his hooves over her ears. She turned back towards her enemy, who was in the process of pointing his sword at her. “Thy vile attacks will do no harm today!”
The human took another step. No, wait, he fell forward. It was hard to tell with his kind sometimes. The tip of the blade touched Shining’s shield and was probably the only thing that kept him upright. “It’s ‘your’. Did your mother drop you on the head or something?” Anonymous asked and raised the bottle. He waved the bottle briefly, then he took a swig, though most of the liquid splashed onto his coat and the floor. The bottle clattered onto the ground, bereft of its contents.
Eyes narrowing, Cadance stepped down from her rostrum. “Why are you here, Anonymous?”
The human swayed in the non-existent wind as his face lost almost all signs of life. “I’m done,” he said, the sword joining the empty bottle of booze on the ground. “I can’t do this anymore.”
“What?” came from Cadance and Shining simultaneously. Even Flurry joined in, though it was only babbling.
“I’m lonely, Princess. A man can only be alone for so long. I… I want—no, I need friends. A woman, a girlfriend. I want children.” A tear trickled down the cheek of the human. “Little tykes I can show how fun it is to push over cows while they sleep.”
The alicorn was startled, to say the least. “Err… I’m sure there are a lot of nice… female villains out there?” Even she could hear how halfhearted she sounded.
“One would think so, but there isn’t.” The human stopped, belched, and spat on the ground, causing her to wrinkle her nose. “Well, okay, there is one.” Cadance smiled in satisfaction. As Princess of Love, she knew there had to be a partner for everypony, even for a villain. “Chrysalis.” Or maybe not. “And she’s like the queen bitch of all bitches. I tried. We went on a date and that ended with me being in a cocoon and her trying to lay eggs in my stomach or some shit like that. Man, that girl has issues!” Cadance nodded, then stopped herself. She couldn’t let allow herself to feel pity towards an enemy of the state. “There was this chick that was all about mind rape, but she vanished before I could even ask her.” He reached out with his arms for a moment, then his form crumpled altogether. “So I give up. I can’t take it anymore. I surrender.” And with that, he went on his knees and placed his hands behind his head. “You win.”
There was the sound of numerous hooves on crystal floor, and not even five seconds later, hundreds of guards rushed inside.
“There he is!” one of them cried and tackled the human.
“Get him!” yelled another and also dived at the villain.
“Hold him down!” shouted a third and went for his feet.
“Go for his eyes!”
“I have his nose!”
“I think I have a… hoof?”
“That’s mine, you featherbrain!”
As Cadance watched the pile of guards slowly growing towards the ceiling, Shining dropped his shield and trotted next to her. “So, what do we do?”
Flurry, riding on her father’s back, giggled at the sight before her. “Suck a dick!” she said and threw her snail at her mother’s head.
“I’m going to kill him,” the princess growled.