Last Session: >You and Luna finally have some time to yourselves >The two of you play a game of Hide and Seek >She didn't make it easy so it took you a while to find her >While you searched, Luna gave her thoughts on everything that had happened to you that day, and apologized for getting excited about all that had gone on without taking your feelings into consideration >When you find her, you tell her that despite all the bad that's happened to you, not everyone you've met is like that all the time and "friends forgive each other" >Luna thanks you for the time together and says she'll meet you outside of your tent after she's finished raising the moon
You wake up in your tent and head outside to meet Luna as planned. The stars above are shining bright against a clear night sky. The moon is out, but Luna isn't waiting for you outside your tent as she said she would be. The camp is busy with soldiers packing up tents and making sure everything is ready for the long trip towards the Dragon Empire's capital of Taloran. Tiamat is getting closer to escaping sooner than anticipated so Gold Heart has sent word ahead to have the rest of their forces meet them at an undisclosed location.
While you're waiting for Luna, some of the guards come to dismantle your tent. Luna still hasn't shown up yet and you're getting kind of hungry. You could go and look for her, but if she comes to the tent and you aren't there, it might upset her. If you don't leave soon though, they might have packed up the food and you're not sure how difficult it would be to get an in-flight meal. One of the guards might know where she is. Maybe the two of you could have breakfast together… or dinner?
There's also the matter of Gold Heart and Lucent. After the conversation you had with them, it might be a good idea to check in and see how everyone is doing. Especially now that Baron knows that everyone else knows thanks to the talk Lucent has no doubt had with him.
Current Affection Levels
Luna - Good Friends Lucent - Good Friends Gold Heart - New Friends Celestia - Mid-Low
You decide to go ahead and look for Lucent. Leaving the tent behind, you wander into what remains of the camp site. As you're walking past some of the tents that still remain standing, Lucent walks out of one and bumps into you.
"Sorry about that," she gives you a smile. "What's up?"
Here eyes are a little red and baggy and her mane is a messier than you've ever seen it. Her armor is glimmering with a fresh shine and polish, every buckle and strap neatly tied and clamped into place. Her helmet is cradled underneath one of her forelegs, but she sets it down to talk to you. Looks like she's on her way to start her shift.
>>596892 "Didn't sleep so well?" Ruffle her mane a bit "I wanted to ask you if you have any idea where Princess Luna is. She wanted to meet me at my tent, but didn't show up and I can't stand there - in case she does show up after all - and go around looking for her at the same time."
"Didn't sleep so well?" you ask, ruffling her mane with your hand a bit.
It's much softer than the first time you did this back at the castle and it's still kind of wet from the wash. Lucent beams beneath your touch and lets out a fizzy giggle.
"Yeah," she answers, her voice falling to a whisper as you pull your hand away. "Baron wasn't too happy about you telling me and we sort of got into a fight."
>>596893 "I wanted to ask you if you have any idea where Princess Luna is. She wanted to meet me at my tent, but didn't show up and I can't stand there - in case she does show up after all - and go around looking for her at the same time."
"The princesses have their food brought to them after they raise the sun or the moon," Lucent explains. "She's probably just having breakfast in her tent. I can show you where it is if you don't remember."
"He's hiding it well. I hope he wasn't too rough on you"
"That's just how Baron is," Lucent shrugs. "And he wasn't too rough. If anything, I don't think I was rough enough on him. He's always underestimated me, but now that I've gone all out on him, I don't think I'll have to worry about it anymore."
Lucent turns her head towards you as she walks.
"Thanks, by the way," she says, then turns back to looking where she's going. "If you hadn't told me about Baron's talk with you in the cave, I don't think things would have ever changed between us. I would have just kept letting Baron hang around, doing what he does to 'protect' me. He's still a jerk."
She kicks at the ground as she utters the last word.
"…but at least now he respects me too," she finishes.
It'll be a while before I'll be able to follow what that stallion's thinking, I swear."
Lucent laughs long and loud.
"Not for the fighting, ya goof." Lucent says, wiping away the tears of joy in her eyes. "He respects you for telling me. For giving me the inspiration or motivation or whatever it was I needed to stand up to him and tell him 'I'm going to live my life the way I want, and you can either stand with me or get out of the way'."
Lucent stops again, turns around to face you, and takes you hard and fast into a hug. Her head nuzzling against your stomach.
Lucent waves her goodbye and darts off into the rest of the camp site. You head on into the tent and find Luna and Celestia gathering up a few things for the guards present to take away. Celestia is the first to notice you and gives you a warm "good evening".
Luna hears that you've arrived and perks up her head from a bag of scrolls. She looks around for you and she smiles when she sees you standing in the entrance.
"My dear friend," Luna trots up to you with haste. "You have my deepest apologies for keeping you waiting. There has been much to do and so little time that I-"
In the middle of her speech, a long and aching growl resonates from Luna's stomach. Her face drops for a moment before she laughs, cheeks flushed.
"That I have been left feeling rather famished," she finishes.
>>596915 "Oh, and you think that justifies letting me wait outside in the dark and cold?" Give her a stern look
"Just kidding, I'm starving too."
Do we have the cube with us? Maybe this would be a good chance to show it to Celestia and ask her if she knows anything about it. Although I kinda feel like it might be irrelevant and A.J. just included it to ruse us
>>596918 >>596919 Yeah, lets show it to her then, but not right now. Would be pretty rude to just break off our conversation with Luna, we can wait a bit till we sit down to eat something or before we go elsewhere to pick up some food.
>>596923 Well, right now we have a bunch of comments directed at Luna and we haven't heard her replies yet.. we definitely should wait for her answers instead of turning around right away and moving over to sunbutt
"Oh, and you think that justifies letting me wait outside in the dark and cold?" you glare at her.
Luna takes a step backwards, mouth open as of to make an apology and eyes wide with fright.
"Just kidding, I'm starving too."
"Oh you absolute monster," Luna growls beneath her smile as she stomps a hoof. "But before we go…"
Luna turns to Celestia, takes up a royal pose, and clears her throat.
"Sister," she says in her most proper tone. "Wouldst thou… would you care to join us for our morning meal?"
Celestia takes a look around the tent and you can see her mouthing notes to herself.
"Yes," she says walking towards you. "That would be lovely. Everything should be ready to go. We'll just have to wait until everything is packed and then we can leave."
"Come," Luna says to you as she leaves the tent. "I do not think my stomach will wait much longer."
Celestia walks with you, following Luna out of the tent. As Luna leads the way, trotting along with a smile on her face, you notice that Celestia has been keeping her eyes on her sister the entire time.
"She seems so much happier now," Celestia says. "I suppose I have you to think for that."
>>596927 >Luna takes a step backwards, mouth open as of to make an apology and eyes wide with fright. Oh man, that nearly backfired, guess I have to make the joke more obvious next time. >"I suppose I have you to think for that." "No need to thank me, I quite enjoy spending time with her.
"No need to thank me, I quite enjoy spending time with her. I'm glad she can be this upbeat even with everything that's going on."
There's a short "Hm" of approval from Celestia. The princesses remain silent for most of the walk. When you arrive at the mess tent, all of the guards there immediately rise to attention and the chef is sweating bullets. Another pony shouts at the guards to be "at ease" and Luna goes to speak with the chef. You go to follow her, but are stopped when Celestia taps you on the shoulder with her hoof.
"Luna has told me about everything that you've been up to," Celestia says, leading you towards a large, round table. "I am glad that your stay in Equestria has been eventful, but I would also request that you try not to stir up so much trouble. It would be a shame if something were to happen to you."
>>596931 >"It would be a shame if something were to happen to you." Celestia confirmed for villain.
"Well, its not like I picked those fights on purpose, I could have done without being beaten up by huge dogs. I'll try to be more careful." "Speaking about the dogs, I found this in one of their caves - it looks nothing like anything I've seen before and Luna didn't recognize it either, do you have any idea what it could be?" Show her the cube.
"Well, its not like I picked those fights on purpose, I could have done without being beaten up by huge dogs. I'll try to be more careful."
"You're being trained by Gold Heart," Celestia says as she takes a seat on one of the plush pillows that has been set before the table. "I have no doubt that you'll be able to handle yourself in a fight. But, yes, please try not to get into anymore fights than you have to."
One of the cooks brings Celestia a cup of tea and she takes it with her magic. After being presented with a sugar bowl, she places two lumps into the cup and stirs it slowly.
"My sister's happiness and the safety of Equestria are of the utmost importance to me," Celestia continues. "Disrupt either, and I will remove you from this country."
Her tone has taken a rather dark turn, but you can feel the worry in her eyes as she stares at you. She takes a long sip from her tea and gulps it down harder than she would have liked to.
"There is much that I have to regret in my life," Celestia continues. "Please do not make me regret you."
"Speaking about the dogs, I found this in one of their caves - it looks nothing like anything I've seen before and Luna didn't recognize it either, do you have any idea what it could be?"
You see Celestia's magic fade as her eyes grow wide for a moment. The aura of her magic reappears around the cup, just before it manages to land on the table.
"Where did you-" Celestia starts to say before she sees Luna coming up with three of the cooks behind her.
"I bring you broccoli soup," Luna's smile is brighter than ever as she takes her seat beside Celestia.
Celestia smiles back and thanks Luna for ordering for her. The bowl set before you is probably the biggest bowl of broccoli and cheddar soup you've ever seen. It's much larger than the bowl the two princesses have.
"I was not sure of how much you are capable of eating," Luna chimes from the other side of Celestia. "I thought a gratuitous amount would be reasonable. You may eat your fill and call one of the chefs to remove the bowl when you are finished."
>>596938 "You are too good to me, Luna." That reminds me, we don't even have a nickname for her yet
Look over to Celestia for a second to check if she wants to say anything further about the cube or if she shut up because Luna showed up. If it's the second she might not be too happy if we keep asking right now.
Fantastic. Great stopping point and just in time too, because apparently everyone wants to be early. We'll pause it here and resume again next Saturday or Sunday. I'm really sorry for cutting it short again guys.
Yeah. Again. Really sorry about that, but it was all sprung up on me last night really sudden. This was supposed to be something that was taken care of yesterday and then got pushed over to today. So sorry.
Luna beams, using her magic to pick up a spoon and sip away at her meal.
Before you dig in to your soup, you look at Celestia, waiting for her to continue what she was saying about the cube. There are a few glances towards it, and you, but mostly silence while she eats. Whatever she has to say about the cube, she clearly doesn't want Luna to know about it.
>>598163 >thread didn't update until I wrote my post weeell…
>>598162 I guess if Celestia doesn't want to talk about it yet we will have to wait for another chance, forcing her doesn't seem like a good idea after she already went half-villain on our ass the last time
Aside from the occasional report from a guard or two about the progress of packing up camp, and the kitchen staff making sure everything is okay with your meal, breakfast is quiet.
When the meal is done, Luna informs you that she and Celestia will be taking chariots today and that you may ride with her if you so choose.
Riding with Luna sounds pleasant, but you'd like to finish your chat with Celestia about the cube. There's also the matter of Gold Heart that needs to be addressed. You haven't seen her since last night and it might be good to make sure everything is okay with her before you leave or while you're riding with her on Thorn.
In any case, it's going to be a long flight to the Dragon Empire, so whoever you ride with, you'll be spending all that time together. It would be best to think about things and choose wisely, but you sort of already have an idea of who you want that pony to be. Luna is waiting for your answer.
>>598168 I've had that happen a few times with threads in the past, usually quest threads. Something to do with caching or something like that I assume, but I don't really know. If it hasn't already sorted itself now that you've posted, maybe try a ctrl+f5
>>598167 >Riding with Luna Sounds great, and didn't we effectively promise her last night that we'd be spending the day with her >Celestia As curious as I am about the cube, I don't think I'd want to spend that long with "It would be a shame if something were to happen to you" mafia princess. Plus that'd be a pretty mean thing to do to Luna and might not look good after pulling out the Celestia wings last night. >Gold Heart Kind of worried about her and Thorn, but don't know if they'd appreciate our concern. Looks from the post that we might have time to check in with her before we go though, so that might work so long as we have something more meaningful to say than "hey, you alright?".
>>598167 If we ride with Celestia then Luna's obviously going to wonder why. At best she'll feel curious. At worst, snubbed. And Celestia's already expressed a desire to not involve Luna in whatever's going on with the cube, so if she gets curious about what we talked about, it could get complicated.
I think we should ride with Luna. We'll be able to talk with Celestia later on, hopefully.
>>598176 You'd think Luna would have informed her if it was that important. It'd probably just put her under even more stress. And it's not like we learned anything of critical significance from the meeting.
>>598179 Eh, I don't like assuming. I'd like to at least ask Luna. And keeping big stuff like that from her just so she doesn't have to stress over it seems a bit of a jerk move, to me. I still vote for visiting her, and maybe seeing if Luna can come with us since she'd have perspective on the dream stuff we don't. Maybe she can help Thorn resist Tiamat? It's mind stuff, sorta related to Luna's domain.
>>598179 >>598181 So that's one vote for taking Luna to talk to Goldheart about Tiamat's visit before we leave, and one vote to not tell her. Need one of you other Anons to throw in an opinion to tiebreak.
"I think I'll pick your chariot over being dropped off of Thorn's back this time."
"Splendid," Luna clops her hooves together once before standing herself next to you.
Aside from the joke you pulled on her earlier, she hasn't stopped smiling since you both awoke from the dream. Everything about her just seems so much brighter.
After hearing that you would rather ride with Luna, Celestia does not seem pleased with your response. She's smiling, but there's disappointment in the dim light of her eyes. She has another cup of tea while you finish your conversation with her sister.
"Do you think I still have enough time to check on Gold Heart before we take off and tell her about the dream?"
"Investigating her current state would be a wise decision," Luna nods, "but I see no reason why she would require knowledge of Tiamat's visit. There is nothing we know that she does not."
Celestia sets down her tea cup with enough force that the sound of it catches your and Luna's attention.
"Come Luna," Celestia says as she leaves the tent. "There's still a lot for us to inspect before we can get moving."
"Very well," Luna frowns a bit at her sister's summon before she turns back to you, smiling. "Tell her if you wish, and when you are finished, I will be waiting for you in my chariot where my tent once stood."
>>598192 >After hearing that you would rather ride with Luna, Celestia does not seem pleased with your response. She's smiling, but there's disappointment in the dim light of her eyes. Why do you have to do this to me AJ
Oh hey, I guess we do have something to say to her, can't believe I didn't think of it earlier. >After telling Luna about our adventure the other day, she seems to think we're a magnet for excitement or something and wants us to travel with her today.
You leave the tent and see that the camp has almost completely vanished from sight. There's still pieces here and there being cleaned up, but it looks like your departure time is coming up soon.
Thorn is sitting upright on the edge of camp and Gold Heart has just dismissed a group of soldiers. Despite what happened last night, both her and Thorn look well rested. Thorn has even stopped flinching from whatever pain Tiamat's influence was causing him. The bronze dragon gives you a warm smile as he spots you first, but doesn't say anything to Gold Heart. He just nods and waits while Gold Heart goes over some sort of checklist in her hoof.
>>598202 Breakfast in the literal sense of the word just means the meal you have after having "fasted" overnight while you sleep. Of course, since it usually means the morning meal it's pretty confusing. I keep forgetting what time it's supposed to be, too.
Just quickly read up on what happened the last time we met with Gold Heart - she was obviously worried about Thorn being influenced by Tiamat. She was even more upset when we told her about the Diamond Dog and bitchslapped us across the face when we said it could have probably been avoided. She also forgave us though
"I'll be feeling much better once this is all over," she lets out a sigh. "Thorn is doing well. Tiamat's voice has quieted since last night, but we can't know when it'll cause problems again. We must both all be on guard."
What do you think, should we tell her that Tiamat falling quiet for a while could be linked to her harassing us instead? Luna didn't seem to see much of a reason to tell Gold Heart, but there's also Thorn and maybe he has an idea why Tiamat would show interest in us.
"Maybe she fell quite because she decided to harass me last night - showed up in my dream and started rambling about showing me her true powers."
"What was she doing in your dream?" Gold Heart glares a you. "She's only suppose to be able to communicate with other dragons telepathically. What else did she tell you?"
Gold Heart hops off of Thorn, landing before you and making a steady advance.
"Tell me everything you know," she demands.
Gold Heart looks angry. There's fire in her words and the pressure she's putting on you with her advance isn't make things easy for you. But behind all of that, she's looking at your face intently. She's begging, pleading for an answer.
>>598218 "Not much more than I already told you - she came into my dream, telling me that she will get more powerful the closer she comes to her escape, and that mindgames and invincibility aren't the extent of what she's capable of."
>>598218 >>598219 She spoke a lot, but most of it was just banter and self aggrandizing blather. Luna was in my dream at the time: we were both hostile towards her, and after Luna made a threatening display she just left saying "she knew when she wasn't wanted".
"Not much more than I already told you - she came into my dream, telling me that she will get more powerful the closer she comes to her escape, and that mindgames and invincibility aren't the extent of what she's capable of."
Gold Heart stomps at the dirt as she turns away from you. She growls starts muttering aloud to herself.
"She's toying with us," Gold Heart says, gritting her teeth. "What else is she capable of that we don't know about? The records should have everything. The only thing that's different from before…"
She pauses and turns back to face you.
"Is you," her face drops.
The frustration on her face melts away and her eyes are back to begging and pleading for answers, but to some unknown question she hasn't voiced to you.
>>598224 Not injured or anything, but she let out an ear-splitting laugh at one point that caused some pain, which I didn't think was supposed to happen. Luna was in our dream at the time, which might have been why she chose my dream to invade, and she felt it too. We were hostile to her the time and she eventually left after deciding that "there was no sense in staying where she wasn't wanted" and Luna ordered her out.
"She just kept doing her villainous laugh until it reached a volume where it hurt"
"I have suffered the same torture," Thorn admits.
"Luna was in our dream at the time, which might have been why she chose my dream to invade, and she felt it too. We were hostile to her the whole time and she eventually left after deciding that 'there was no sense in staying where she wasn't wanted' and Luna ordered her out."
Gold Heart seems to calm down after hearing this. Her face is back to holding its determined gaze. She's still searching for answers, but she's not as upset now.
"It still doesn't make any sense that she would be able to contact you through your dreams," Gold Heart shakes her head. "Thank goodness Princess Luna was with you. Who knows what might have happened if you'd had to fight her somehow?"
There's a smile from Thorn and he lowers his head again.
"Come," Gold Heart commands as she hops back onto Thorn. "I'll need to keep a better watch over you now that I know you can communicate with Tiamat as well."
"Uh.. I promised Luna I'd travel with her in her chariot."
Gold Heart raises a brow to this statement and Thorn is giving you an identical look. Since you've gotten here, you've always ridden with Gold Heart on major trips. Even on that one flight to the nearby caves.
"I had no knowledge you were so close to out dear Princess Luna," Gold Heart says. "I have no objections to it, but you will inform her that I want your behavior monitored. I want to know why Tiamat can communicate with you and for what reason. Understood?"
"Good," Gold Heart stomps against Thorn's back and he lifts them both into the air. "We will speak again when we arrive at the capital."
Her attitude shifts again for a moment and her gaze softens once more.
"Be safe," she says your name. "I don't want anything to happen for you before I get my answers."
The moment she finishes her sentence, Thorn is already taking off to the other side of camp. Chariots are lined up and waiting to be filled with the soldiers packing up the rest of the camp. The land around you looks barren once more and the cold night air creeps across your skin. You shiver for a moment and notice one of the soldiers flying towards you.
It's Lucent, and she's wearing the smuggest grin on her face you've ever seen.
"So what's this I hear about you and Princess Luna riding the same chariot together, huh?" she puts her forehooves on her hips as she hovers in front of you. "Gonna try and put the moves on her? Get yourself a little smooch under the moonlight?"
Lucent starts making kissy faces and "mwah mwah mwah" noises.
"He'll be riding in a different chariot," she tells you. "Princess Luna was actually the one who reassigned me to her chariot. Something about how she thought it would make you happy since we're such good buddies."
"If I ever happen to become a Prince, I'll make sure to hire you as the royal mule," you jest.
"That's quite the compliment coming from such a magnificent ass," Lucent shoots back and sticks out her tongue at you. "In all seriousness though, be careful with the mule phrases. I don't know about your world, but stereotypes exist here, too, and not everypony is too keen on them."
>>598258 Take one last look around maybe we manage to catch Celestia before she gets on her chariot and exchange one or two sentences, if the cube is important it could be helpful to know what it is before we need it
You follow Lucent to the chariots and meet up with everyone there. Luna is smiling and waiting for you in her chariot while Lucent is standing proudly at the fore, her wings spread wide. Celestia is sitting in her chariot as well, facing forward but watching over you out of the corner of her eye. Gold Heart is giving you the same treatment, but you don't feel the weight of the world pressing on you with her like you do with Celestia.
You did say you would ride with Luna, but if there was a ever a time to change your mind, it'd be now. Once you're in the air, there won't be any switching seats.
>>598263 Sounds good: ask her if we'd be able to finish our conversation from the morning when we land. That'd be a subtly way to indicate we want to know about the cube. And yeah, there's no way we're not going to ride with Luna, quit second-guessing yourselves ya dummies.
>>598269 "I sure hope it will be the non-deadly kind of perils. Though on the other hand, with a warrior princess like you at my side I should be save."
"Do I have one more minute before we take off?" Maybe someone else has a better idea for this one. I'm not really sure how to handle this, because she will want to know what we talked about with Celestia and Celestia obviously doesn't want her to know.
>>598273 "No." We shake our head. "I just wanted to see if we'd be likely to be able to continue our conversation from the morning after we land. From what I saw, it seemed like it was something important."
"Also, I thought I kept seeing you glance in my direction. There wasn't anything else you wanted to say to me, was there?"
>>598273 "No, I still intend to fly with Luna. But I wanted to use the last minutes before we take off to finish our conversation from earlier." I'm not sure if I can just ask her what's wrong, we haven't really gotten that close to her yet
"No," you say, shaking your head. "I just wanted to see if we'd be likely to be able to continue our conversation from the morning after we land. From what I saw, it seemed like it was something important."
"Also, I thought I kept seeing you glance in my direction. There wasn't anything else you wanted to say to me, was there?"
"I would prefer if it waited until after we landed," she says, "and I apologize for staring, but there is something I would like you to do for me."
Celestia's smile fades into a frown and her gaze pierces into you as she asks, "Please allow me to hold on to the cube until I can properly explain to you what it is?"
Celestia takes the cube with her hoof and tucks it away into a small bag. She places the small bag into the chariot and turns back to you.
"Thank you," Celestia gives you a genuine smile and the brightness returns to her eyes. "I know you don't know how much this means to me, but I will promise you an explanation by the time we are settled into Taloran. Thank you for trusting me."
"I just hope you can come to do the same someday."
The frown returns to Celestia's face faster than you can blink.
"I have placed my sister's emotional well being in your hands," she snaps. "If you think so little of my trust in you, I wonder how much trust you put in others."
"Have a safe flight, Princess."
"And you as well," she nods.
There's a rally call from one of the guards and you rush to take your spot next to Luna. She's pleased to have you back and Lucent winks at you from her spot in front of the chariot.
With another shout, the entire camp is up in the air making your way towards the Dragon Empire's capital, Taloran. Everyone seems to be in good spirits with the exception of Gold Heart. She seems to be letting Thorn do all the flying while her eyes are drawn towards his scales. She scratches at them with her hoof occasionally, her mind lost in thought.
You finally manage to spot Baron among the ranks. He's close to your chariot, but far enough away that he shouldn't be able to hear anything. This is one of the few times he's smiling and he's looking right at Lucent.
Lucent is glowing with pride as she pulls your chariot. She's basking in the moonlight and holding her head high.
Luna looks absolutely radiant as well. Her armor glistens against the moonlight and her hair is flowing along behind her with the passing stars. You notice that if it weren't for it's ethereal outline, it wouldn't look like she had hair further back from her forehead. You wonder about how cute she'd look with shorter hair…much like another pony flying with you.
Luna sees you staring at her and asks,"Is there something wrong?"
>>598289 This is the perfect chance to tell her how her starts are so much brighter!
>"I have placed my sister's emotional well being in your hands," she snaps. "If you think so little of my trust in you, I wonder how much trust you put in others." Welp, that went over as well as I expected.
"I was just musing how you'd look with a short mane - what's it made of anyway?"
We should also probably tell her what Gold Heart said, otherwise that earthpony will just give us another beating when she finds out
>>598289 Well that's some emotional whiplash. Oh boy, it's Baron all over. Not removing the people your sister chooses to associate with isn't a matter of trusting them, it's a matter of respecting her decision. What is a matter of trusting them is not continually watching them and second guessing whether or not they're going to cause harm, which is something she clearly hasn't. >"If you think so little of my trust in you, I wonder how much trust you put in others." What is that even supposed to meaaaan. Literally the only way I can see to interpret it is "I have put a lot of trust in you but you don't think that trust is much at all, so clearly you must consider an even greater level of trust to be the baseline and must be placing a lot more trust in other people than I thought" which clearly isn't the intention
"I was just musing how you'd look with a short mane - what's it made of anyway?"
Luna giggles and answers, "Hair, of course. The unique quality of it comes from the magical power I possess. Most of my current body does. Were I lacking in power, I assure you that my appearance would be vastly different from my current one."
"How do you develop such bizarre conclusions?" Luna laughs. "I may transform my body into energy if I desire, as you have seen me do before when I escaped the rope I was bound in, but I can not change my physical appearance beyond that without dreamwielding or a major shift in my magical power."
>>598298 Try to fish for a strand of her hair. "I told Thorn about Tiamats appearance in my dream earlier and he said the she was able to hurt him, too. Oh, and Gold Heart said I should ask you to 'monitor my behavior' since Tiamat can communicate with me. I probably shouldn't forget to mention that if I don't want to make acquaintance with her hoof again."
"I told Thorn about Tiamat's appearance in my dream earlier and he said the she was able to hurt him, too," you say, reaching over to try and pull a loose strand of hair. "Oh, and Gold Heart said I should ask you to 'monitor my behavior' since Tiamat can communicate with me. I probably shouldn't forget to mention that if I don't want to make acquaintance with her hoof again."
"You have promised to stay by my side," she says holding her head up high. "I do not see that becoming a problem. I will care for you should any misfortune befall you."
There's another cough from the front of the chariot again. Lucent is making another scrunch face, but this one is a little more upset than the last. There's a tinge of blush dusting her cheeks as well.
"What are you doing?" Luna tilts her head aside when she notices you trying to take her hair.
The shout of an approaching dragon jerks your attention to the sky ahead of you. Sure enough, a group of dragons are heading your way. They must have heard the shout as well, because the moment you look at them, bright, burning balls of fire are soaring towards you.
"Celestia!" Luna calls out to her sister.
Both sisters immediately throw up magical barriers to protect who they can, but the guards are not fast enough to fall back into formation. One of the fireballs hits a chariot, causing it to burst into a cloud of flaming splinters. Some of the other ponies are already flying down to rescue those who are falling down to the Forest of Leota below.
"We can not fight them here," Celestia shouts. "Retreat into Discord's territory."
There's a great roar from Thorn as the dragon thrashes about and veers right towards Celestia chariot. Gold Heart is doing her best to hold on to him, but she's struggling to keep control. More fireballs are shooting through the air and some of the guards are attempting to fight back with ice arrows. It takes a cluster of them to turn one fireball into smoking ash, but that won't save you all from the dragon's physical attacks. They're coming in hard and fast. Collision is imminent and Thorn is out of commission.
"Go princess!" Baron shouts to Luna. "We will fight while you escape and regroup with you at the capital."
"But that's stupid," Lucent shouts at him. "You'll die if you fight here. There's too many. Come with-"
Her voice is cut short by another roar from Thorn and a plume of flame billows out of his maw. Fire envelopes Luna and Celestia's chariots just as the dragons collide with the barriers. The force of the collision knocks you out of the sky and out of the chariot.
The world is spinning around you. You see the chariot you were once in go down in flames while Celestia's spins off into the distance away from you. Looking up, Luna and Lucent are both flying towards you.
"Lucent!" you hear Baron's shout and look over to see him falling as well.
She looks to him, back at you, then to Luna. They both nod in agreement and know that one of them will have to save Baron while the other saves you. They're both pretty close to you right now, but Luna is closer to Baron. The ground is coming up fast…
>>598314 >>598315 >"She's toying with us," Gold Heart says, gritting her teeth. "What else is she capable of that we don't know about? The records should have everything. The only thing that's different from before…" >She pauses and turns back to face you. >"Is you," her face drops.
>>598317 Oh, that. Hmm, I hadn't taken it so literally: we could just be a symptom of whatever it is that's allowed her to break free. Thank goodness we managed to allay her fears that we were on her side without having to say it explicitly
You reach out your hands to Lucent and Luna veers off to catch Baron. Lucent speeds towards you as fast as her wings and body will allow. Her teeth are grit in determination to get close to you, but her eyes are wise with fear. You stare deep into her deep, blue eyes and see nothing but despair. You both know what will happen if she fails, which is why she can't.
"I can't!" she shouts, and tackles into your body.
Wrapping her forelegs around your waist and burying her head into your chest, her wings spread out and she makes an attempt to glide over the trees below. You both came down too fast, and you feel the sharp pain of branches and foliage snapping, smacking, and beating against your body. You shut your eyes and can hear Lucent's screaming as she holds onto you as tight as she can.
The more obstacles you hit, the slower your descent, until you finally hit ground. Pain shoots through your body and you struggle to breathe as your conscious slips away. You look down at Lucent who has gone silent against you. Her pink mane littered with branches and leaves and…
But whose blood?
Your vision fades and everything cuts to black. The last thing you hear is the deafening roar of a dragon.