Everypony has something they treasure, something that they will go to great lengths to acquire, improve, and hold on to. Applejack has her farm and family, Rarity has her jewels and connections in the fashion industry, and I have my knowledge. However, nothing is more valuable than friends to a pony who has them. I've covered a lot of ground in the magic of making and maintaining strong friendships, but now I find myself facing a facet of friendship I have never really considered: how to say good bye to ponies who remain your friends but who you have no guarantee of ever seeing again. It has been several days since the Order-naries left to return to their long-lost home-world and I still find it difficult to believe.
Despite their clear desire to leave, it seems that Ash and the others had as difficult a time letting go of Equestria and we did letting them go. They took a couple days settling accounts in Canterlot, such ending the leases on Ash and Gale's apartments, arranging the discharge of Heart and Soul from the Royal Guard, and finding trustworthy "caretakers" for Gale's patents. As something of a farewell gift, Gale actually provided the formulas and blueprints for the Guard to create their own versions of her Gel Launcher and its specialized ammo. They then spent several days in Ponyville helping with reconstruction and, of course, attending the parties Pinkie Pie put on. Finally, however, Mr. Yu-san Maesi put his hoof down, saying he couldn't "stand one more minute of not having thumbs," and so they loaded up into the Lirin with only their medals and the flask containing the Nightmare as souvenirs of their stay here and they flew away through the portal above Fluttershy's house. Heart had preemptively apologized for the noise disturbing Fluttershy's animals, saying there probably wasn't any way of knowing which of the two portals they'd emerge from when they come back to visit.
Rarity was distraught, as I suppose she has a right to be considering her feelings toward Ash. She couldn't even stand to be present when the Lirin took off. Hopefully she'll be ok; I hear that before they separated for the last time Ash made Rarity promise not to dwell on him forever, that if she should meet another stallion worthy of her affections that she should give them freely and without a second thought for Ash.
Visits. We here have to trust that they will return to visit, because there is no other way to stay in touch. Taryn is separated from Equestria by more than just the world of Valden and the connecting portals. A message would have to travel the same way as a pony: over a long time and through many unknown realities where Humans reign and a pony would be changed to fit. That does not sit well with me, but until recently the study of alternate dimensions wasn't even worth considering outside of fiction, and so I have nothing on which to base research into an alternative, faster means of staying in contact with the Order-naries. Not yet anyway.
I better go now. There are still lots of things around town that need repair, and I'm lending all the help I can.
It helps keep my mind off how much I miss them.
Trixie pulled her caravan wagon through the dark silent night, her downcast eyes focused on the road as she walked. The combination mobile home and stage for her troupe had miraculously survived the Diamond Dog attacks, which along with the bits the troupe had earned in recent days stood out as one of the few blessings the showmare could attribute to Ponyville. The sound of wings followed by hooves impacting the ground ahead of her brought her to a stop and she looked up to see the midnight-blue Princess Luna approaching her.
"What are you doing out at this hour, Great and Powerful Trixie?" the Princess asked.
"I am relieving Ponyville of an additional burden Your Highness," Trixie answered, "They will not admit it, but they have little need for an actress who can barely pull her own weight in restoring damaged buildings while eating up their food. I was hoping to slip away under the cover of night to forestall any more arguments on the matter."
"I see," Luna said gravely, "and what of your companions?"
"Asleep in the wagon," Trixie said, "Except for the sister of Pinkie Pie who has been trying to help out with our finances lately. She was among those insisting we stay."
"Yes," Luna said, "it was through her, indirectly actually – she told Pinkie, who relayed the message to Twilight and Spike – that I was informed you'd be heading this way. Are you aware that I extended a royal offer of assistance to all who dwelled in Ponyville?" Trixie nodded. "At the time I made that decree, you were dwelling in Ponyville."
"I understand what you're offering Princess Luna," Trixie said, "but the Great and Powerful Trixie and her Traveling Thespians don't require charity. We have enough money to last us to Hoofington, and from there we should be able to get out hooves more firmly under us."
"I'm not offering charity Trixie," Luna said, "For you, a friend in need, I am offering sponsorship."
Trixie blinked in surprise, barely comprehending. "C-come again?" she said.
"I am willing to take the risk of linking a talented troupe of performers with the royal name," Luna said with a warm smile, "Canterlot will always have a venue and a willing audience for you, and as you travel you may use my name to attract curious seekers of entertainment. You can go wherever your hearts desire, or avoid certain towns at your whim. All I ask in return is that you do not abuse my name and that you stop by Canterlot to visit and perform for me and my sister every once in a while. Do we have a deal?"
Trixie's mouth had dropped open partway through the proposal, and now she struggled to stay calm and not fall to Luna's feet in tearful thanks. Instead, she put on a mask of consideration and said, "I will need to discuss this with my fellow performers Your Highness, but I suspect they will be eager to accept."
"Wonderful!" Luna crowed, flaring her wings triumphantly, "Make for Canterlot when your decision is finalized and I'll see to… sprucing up that wagon of yours to make it more fitting for Royal Performers." She took to the air and flew back toward Canterlot as Trixie unhitched herself and rushed around to wake her friends up with the good news.
It was a truly beautiful summer night, and the moon was full.