A new life,
A new world.
Our grace apparent,
Our Kingdom unfolds.
Love ripped away,
An icy stare,
Keeps her distance without a care.
On our own,
We must learn to thrive,
Best ruler of the realm, is what for I strive.
Luna hid behind Celestia's legs as their father grunted in determination. Standing in a large clearing in the center of the Forever Free Forest, he worked to bring a sunken palace to the surface.
"Mother?" asked Celestia, "What is Daddy doing?" Queen Sunniva didn't glance at the foals cowering behind her, but rather maintained her icy glare at the meadow.
"He's bringing up your new palace. Now that you are princesses, you must live like such. No longer can we live under that willow tree. Today, you begin your training as royalty.
Tower by tower the forgotten palace rose. A scared foal Luna peeped her blue head from behind her sister's sheltering body. "But why mommy? Why is it in the ground?" Celestia smiled at her sister and draped a reassuring wing over the younger foal. Although her wings were puny, they provided the comfort that their mother was not. The Queen stood unswayed by the little one's adorable question, but talked to her like she wasn't a daughter at all.
"Because, Princess Luna. Between while we and our families of the past train our children in the outside, the palace is vacant." Answered the Queen as she finally glanced at the foal who was terrified of the noisy feat her father was managing. The Queen smiled a little, and gestured with her wings for the daughters to come to her. Celestia stood under her right wing, and Luna under the left, basking in the warmth of their mother's radiant white feathers. Luna had a quizzical look on her face after her mother's last statement, and her head was cocked to the side a bit as she continued looking up at her regal mother. "Vacant means empty, dear. And empty means open to animals. You wouldn't like living with the timber wolves, would you?"
"No ma'am," answered the dark blue filly as she shrunk at the mention of wolves. Suddenly her face lit up and she put on a playful smile. "But…" started Luna, causing Celestia to poke her head out from under her mother's wing to better listen to what ridiculous thing Luna was about to say. "Auntie Kat knows the animals, and I wouldn't mind living with her," said the beaming Luna. Queen Sunniva exhaled gruffly, and Celestia answered, not wanting to anger their mother further.
"Youn-… Luna, Auntie Kat IS the animals. She isn't a pony anymore. Unless you want a bear in your room that might contain a shred of Auntie, which I doubt you do, the answer is no. She would not be living with us." Answered Celestia, huffing a few strands of her new pink mane off her nose.
Queen Sunniva nodded at her knowledgeable and articulate daughter and nodded to say thank you for dealing with the young filly. Under her breath she repeated her past sister's name. "Princess Caterina Amalia."
"Nooooo!" retorted the stubborn blue filly. "We're in the Forever Free Forest! No alicorn has been here with their magic before!"
"What? Who… who told you that, sister?" said Celestia dumbfounded by the remark.
"Its true," answered the Queen. Celestia looked at her mother quizzically for an answer. "This palace is the only thing touched by alicorn magic in this forest. The rest is unnatural. Miracles really. Growing without our help. Living without our influence. Remarkable, really."
The ground continued to rumble and crack, and a few times the Queen had to hustle her children back a few meters to avoid having them be swallowed into a quarry. The King had switched to hovering above the ground, so if it unexpectedly crumbled beneath him, he would be safe. The great stone castle was almost finished, enveloped in the King's powerful magical aura. Large towers laced with spiral stairs scraped the sky with their grey stone points. Every part of the castle had remained untouched while underground, probably being kept safe and clean by a long lasting spell.
The King fell to the ground, drained from the immense stress of the castle. But there it was. Standing tall and proud like it had been there for hundreds of years, untouched and undisturbed. Celestia and Luna poked their heads out from Queen Sunniva's wing shelters, and quickly galloped out of the protection to see their new home. Luna giggled profusely, but almost gagged as she felt herself being
tugged back with great force. Her mother's magical aura surrounded her, slamming her backwards while she had been running to see her new life. But then she understood why. She had galloped right to the edge of an immense gaping hole that separated the females of the family from the new palace. Her father laid panting on the other side. Possessing a young filly's mind, Luna wailed, thinking her father was dead. She screamed and thrashed against the magic field of her mother, trying to get to her daddy. Celestia giggled a bit, but Luna did not hear, to preoccupied with her thoughts. She stopped her flailing when she saw a strand of her mother's magic break off from the force that held Luna to morph into something. A blinding light lit up across the gorge separating the filly from her tired father. When the light subsided, a rope bridge was fastened into place, and the Queen lowered her daughter to the ground. As soon as she felt to grass on her hooves, Luna sprinted over to her father who lay on the ground. "Daddy! Daddy wake up!" she shrieked with tears. The King lay still as the stones of the castle, the only movement coming from his mane… and his quivering smile.
Luna jumped on him, and he erupted with a big "Rawr!" in a playful tone, sending the filly flying back in fear.
"Daddy!" she said, jumping into his forelegs.
"Im fine, my beautiful Luna," he reassured, stroking her shimmery mane. She started giggling in her usual tone as his strokes turned to tickles, and the filly was soon flanked by her mother and sister who chuckled good heartedly at the foal's overreaction.
"Can we go inside?" asked an eager Celestia.
"Not just yet," answered the King as he looked and smiled at his wife. His horn began to glow, before the Queen's hoof in his face stopped him.
"You are too weak at the moment dear. Allow me." The Queen's horn glowed with the intensity of a thousand suns. A bright aura enveloped the castle once again before a bright flash occurred and all was silent once again. The two fillies looked at their mother, who responded with "Just adding a few homey touches. Go on. Take a look. The two ponies grinned with glee and galloped into the open door-ed palace that was their new home. No longer would they live under their mother's wing beneath the willow tree. Now, they had a place to call their own.
Celestia and Luna halted as they entered the castle's first room. A gigantic chamber stood before them. Beige tiles shined with polish so fine that Luna could see the sparkle in her reflection's eyes. She put her nose to the floor, feeling the cool stone against her muzzle as she felt its smoothness. 'This will be perfect for sliding races against Daddy,' she thought playfully to herself. The only other time she'd played that game was when they came across a frozen lake one day.
The cold of the stone was a relief to her hot body as well. Summer time was lasting all year now that Auntie Kat wasn't around to help the Queen change the seasons. Celestia told the young one that 'Mama was getting tired because she was giving us her magic so we could grow big and strong like her and Daddy.' Luna didn't know what that meant. Why couldn't Mommy take a nap and come and play?
Nestled perfectly into the back wall was a stained glass windows that depicted Celestia raising the sun on one side and Luna raising the moon on the other. In front of each window was a throne. One was gold, sculpted with swirls of white gold and with a huge fluffy cushion. Words in a language Luna couldn't read yet were carved into the gold of the seat, and Luna really liked it. It was so pretty and shiny. The young Princess of the Night rushed to it and jumped, giving her wings a tiny flap that did absolutely nothing to aid her in her leap. But Luna made it, and snuggled comfortably into the cushion of the gold throne. The Pegasus feathers that filled the soft pillow radiated warmth that made Luna happy inside.
"Luna! That is Celestia's throne. Get up at once," called Queen Sunniva to the little filly.
"Mother, its quite alright. She can stay there if she wants," said Celestia calmly as her little sister nuzzled with the cushion. The Queen spun angrily to face Celestia in a way she never had before. Luna watched the scene with half an eye open so they would think she was sleeping.
"Its is certainly not okay! Thou are princesses' now and therefor must act as such. You shall sit where told, learn what taught, and respect my word. Luna, out!" screeched their mother. Luna pretended to slowly open her eyes as if she had just been woken up from her innocent nap.
"But Momma!" she said with a faux yawn.
"Luna, Celestia help me, you will do as told." Celestia looked at her mother at hearing her name spoken. "You heard me, Celestia get her." Celestia stood stunned for a second at her sweet mother's sudden ferocity, but did as she was told and spread her wings. Luna hopped off the cushion while Celestia landed in front of her and offered a supportive wing.
"Its okay Luna, I like yours better anyway." Luna, distraught by her mother's moodswing, followed her older sister to the throne that stood before Celestia's. Being hoisted up by Celestia's snout, Luna scrambled into her too large throne. "Haha," chuckled Celestia soothingly, "You look great up there. I hope we can grow into these chairs," said the white coated alicorn filly as she looked over Luna's chair. Luna peeped her head over to see around it too. It was a magnificent silver with etchings of ancient sayings from Alicorn generations. The cushion that she rested on was a deep royal blue, surrounded by the towering grey throne. The structure was the same size as Celestia's, and the colorings blended together nicely, but still maintained properties that separated them into day and night. The burning color of the sun, and the mysterious glimmer of the moon.
The King had already retired to his quarters for the impending evening as Celestia and Luna squirmed around in their respective thrones. "Princess Luna, it is time for your first royal duty." Luna hopped down from her throne and scampered over to her elegant alicorn mother, who proceeded in a steady walk down a hallway that swung off from the main room. Tapestries hung along the cold stone walls, depicting images of the sun and moon, rushing streams, diamonds and crystals, and lastly, a fearsome beast.
"Mother, what is that?" asked the blue alicorn, referring to the picture of a large red creature. Scales adorned its body, much like those of the fish she so often splashed with. Dagger like teeth protruded from its snout, and threw its nostrils, smoke twirled. Sharp spines laced its back side, sticking out like alicorns' horns. It possessed wings, large and bat-like. The front two of its four feet were claws like an eagle's, with talons that could slice an apple in a blink. The back legs were much like a pony's, except instead of hooves it had odd appendages that looked like the hands of an orangutan. But lastly, it was the creature's eyes that pierced through Luna. The monster did not have inviting circular holes in its eyes, like Luna did. Instead, slits like cracks in the ground took their place. It was so odd. It was strange. It looked so… powerful.
"Isn't it terrifying?" whispered Celestia behind Luna, causing the youger sister to leap ten feet in the air.
"Tia! When did you get here? You scared me half to death!" squeaked Luna.
"Yes Celestia, when did you get here?" said their mother, eyeing her daughter who shifted her weight nervously.
"I-I, just wanted to see what needed to be done. I am as royal as Luna and therefore believe I deserve the same responsibilities she does," retorted Celestia, forcing her back straight and rigid as she tried to sound professional for her mother.
"Yes, I see," mumbled Queen Sunniva. "Very well then, come along if you wish."
Celestia let out a breath of relief and strode along side her sister. "Why are you scared of that monster?" asked Luna.
Celestia chuckled and smiled at her sister. "How are you not?" she giggled, "Its terrifying. Those wings and those eyes! Goodness gracious they terrify me."
Luna chuckled at her sister's dramatic explanation. She huffed out her chest and replied with "Im not scared of no… of no…" trailed off the filly.
"Dragon," replied Celestia.
"Dragon!" finished Luna. "How did you know that?" questioned the inquisitive nighttime child.
"Daddy told me he slayed one once."
"Ohhhhhh," said Luna as she rolled her eyes, quite acquainted with her father's tall tales. He would tell them to her throughout the night when she would wake up with night terrors. They would walk to the other side of the tree as to not wake up Celestia and Mother, and he would enchant her with stories of impossible things, like constellation bears and Rainbow colored apples. They made her smile and get back to sleep, but she couldn't help smirk at Celestia believing him.
The hallway stopped into a balcony. In an opening in a wall were a set of spiral stairs that wound up into a tower room. But for now the trio stopped at the balcony and stepped out onto it. The sun was sinking, but still hovering above the world. "Actually, Celestia, its good you tagged along. Would you mind lowering the sun. Im so tired." Said the Queen.
"Me? But I've never done that before," squeaked the white filly.
"You've raised the sun before. It only gets easier every time, trust me." Reassured the mother. Celestia walked further out onto the balcony and gulped loudly. Her horn became enveloped in a golden aura. Her eyes glowed a blinding white that Luna had to shield her eyes from. As Celestia grumbled and gruffed in frustration and stress, the sun began to slowly but surely sink beyond the horizon. She pushed its colors along with it, until the sky was a silent black. Nothing graced it. Just darkness. Luna kind of liked it. Dark and mysterious. She could get into that.
She took her sister's place on the balcony, knowing that this was why her mother brought her here. 'Its not fair! She's older and stronger. How am I going to do this?' thought the scared filly. The blue daughter's horned glow with a deep blue as she felt her magic grab hold of the huge object in the world beyond. She grasped it, feeling the reluctant rock struggle against her. Lazy rock. She gasped and fell backwards, the connection broken. She looked at her mother with sorrowful eyes. "Again," said the Queen.
Luna got back to her hooves, and activated her magic yet again. She once again felt the pull of the moon against her, but this time, with the determination she possessed to please her mother, she stepped back a little to tug it up. The moon finally complied with the young pony's magic, and dutifully slid into the nighttime sky. It slowly began its journey, and Luna closed her eyes yet again, pulsing out arrays of stars form her horn. She didn't know how to make patterns yet, but se figured a few stars would be better than none. She breathed heavily from the task as she painted one last star in the nighttime sky, and looked at her mother. "Well done," said the Queen with a smile, and nuzzled her daughter proudly. "My little Luna."
'Finally,' thought Luna to herself. 'Why has mother been acting so strange. Does she not love us anymore? No, no, she probably just has a lot on her mind.'
"Luna," her mother spoke as they turned from the balcony, "here is your room." Luna squealed with delight as she galloped up the winding stairs, tripping once or twice. Celestia stayed on her tail, eager to see her sister's room. The stairs opened up to a large room at the top of the tower. It was a royal purple, with midnight blue curtains for the tall glass windows that opened up into a balcony. The balcony was lined with a brass railing that attached to the same shiny tiles as those in the throne room. Blank maps and a telescope stood on the balcony as well, probably so Luna could map out her constellations as she created the night as she got older. A large bed with multiple cushions took up most of the inner dormitory, but a writing desk complete with paper and quill also graced one wall. On the ceiling was a large painting of Luna's cutiemark, Soft, furry carpet ran with the room, ending at the balcony. An oak wardrobe adorned a wall, and a large mirror occupied the wall space adjacent to it. It was brilliant. Celestia stared awestruck with her sister, until Queen Sunniva called her name. "Celestia come dear. We must show you to your room as well. Luna, you did very well today. Dinner will be in an hour."
Luna 'mmhmmed' as her face buried in her pillows for her first nap in a bed.
An array of grasses and fruits that Luna could only dream of rested before her eyes on an elegant dining table with four chairs. After waking up fro dinner, Luna had made her way down the spiral stairs and through the throne room to another hallway that branched off of it on the other side. This hallway was lit with candles and felt warm and inviting. A huge wood door creaked open to her left as she walked, and she saw her father and mother at a huge dining table, where she happily ran in to join her waiting family.
Timothy, Alfalfa, Oat and Clover hay! Sugar Cubes and daisies and lollipops and apple juice! All of Luna's favorite dishes sat before her. She dug in to the dishes, as did the rest of the family.
As the meal concluded and the King brought the dishes to the kitchen, the Queen stood before her feasting children. "Celestia and Luna. I know we've been rushing you recently with your new royal duties. But you must understand that you will be the generation to create a new era. Our generations have created this world, and now it flourishes and survives without our help. It is time to bring inhabitants to this land."
"So, like, other ponies?" said Celestia with a mouthful of sweets.
"Precisely. Tonight, you two must brain storm the types of ponies you wish to rule."
Celestia chocked right then. "Rule? Us? I don't want to rule other ponies. It seems unnatural."
"No matter your emotions towards the subject, it is your royal responsibility. I am sorry to tell you my daughters that you too will have the hardest task any Alicorn has ever had. But they need a ruler, and until further events, you two are the only Royals left," replied the Queen.
"What about you and Daddy?" asked Celestia.
The Queen looked down at the ground, and a tiny tear hit the tiles. "We will not live forever my dear Celestia."
"What! Mother! Of course you will!" cried Celestia at the sudden news. Luna stared at her plate, not having anything to say. Celestia was better at talking anyways.
"Im afraid not, little one. Our days are numbered as is. We have been pouring our magic into you in Luna so that you shall have the strength to rule eternally. It takes a lot of magic." Said the Queen, holding back her tears.
"Then I don't want to rule. Not without you," cried the daughter.
"Im sorry Celestia. What's done is done. I will leave you and your sister to decide what types of ponies you wish to rule. Your father and have narrowed it to three choices; Pegasi, Unicorns, or Earth Ponies," told Queen Sunniva, and in front of Celestia appeared a paper that illustrated the three types of ponies. "I'll retrieve your decision tomorrow at sunrise" said the Queen as she galloped out of the room, a steady flow of tears running down her cheeks.
The heavy wooden doors closed with a thud, and Celestia and Luna sat speechless in the dining room. A few awkward moments passed until Celestia cleared her throat. "Well then, lets get started." Luna nodded her head slowly.
"So, Earth ponies have no wings or horns. Really? That's so weird! And Pegasi only have wings… and unicorns only have horns," concluded Celestia as she studied the pictures.
"So their like parts of us put on blank ponies!" piped in Luna.
"Very good Luna, I suppose your right," said Celestia. Using her hoof, Luna pawed the picture over to her to study the odd ponies.
"I cant decide," said Luna frustrated, "They all look like fun ponies to rule over."
"Well, lets rate their uses. The Pegasi could change the seasons and stuff so we don't have to and control the weather, another thing we wont have to do. I always hate moving clouds. And the unicorns could create spells and build stuff with their magic. That's very useful. And I'm guessing the Earth Ponies would be able to grow food easily. Ugh! You're right Luna! This is hard," said Celestia with a playful snort that brought a giggle from the younger blue filly. "They would all be so useful."
"Why don't we have them all?" questioned Luna as she poked the picture of a pink unicorn with a white mane.
"Luna! That's brilliant! All the ponies living together in harmony! Oh it would be so delightful! You fantastic wonderful foal Luna!" screamed Celestia as she hugged her sister.
"Umm, okay?" said Luna, feeling uncomfortable with all the hugging.
"I cant wait to tell mother in the morning!" said Celestia, stifling a yawn.
"Sister, you should go to bed. Its late," suggested Luna.
"Ok, ok, I'm going. See you in the morning sister." Said Celestia as she reopened the doors and walked out. Luna sat alone in the dining room, feeling wide-awake after her nap.
The soft pitter-patter of her hooves rang out in the palace as she explored her new home alone in the dead of night. She had exited the dining room and continued down the hallway, now somewhat lost in the maze of the castle. Continuing down the extensive hallway, she came to a large gated door. Behind said gate was stacks and stacks of books. What they contained, she couldn't guess. But she knew this was a library. Her father told her it was a space were various books were held, and every royal had written some books of their own to document the creation this land and their journeys.
Eager to gain some knowledge, she lit up her horn to try and break the lock spell casted on the iron bars. Her horn was cloaked in its blue glow, and sparks flew as she tried to decipher the spell. Her head began to hurt, and she stuck her tongue out in frustration as she tried to unlock the spell that divided her from her books. A large spark cracked, and she flew backwards, unable to crack the spell with her amateur magical ability. She mumbled and rubbed her aching head, and continued walking down the hall.
She passed many paintings of her relatives, showing their role in the world and what they contributed. Many pictures included ferocious dragons that caught Luna's eyes. The one thing that scared Celestia.
The nighttime princess decided unless she wanted to die lost in these hallways, she should return to her room. She felt the pain in her head intensify, but this time it was accompanied by a voice. 'Luna… Luna!' the voice echoed. Luna broke into a gallop back towards her room, afraid of what the voice called for. She made her way back to the dining room and traced her steps back to her room. Skidding around the corner, she saw her mother on the balcony next to her room. "Luna! There you are! Its time to lower the moon," said the Queen as she hustled the filly out onto the balcony.
'Have I really been up all night?' thought Luna to herself. It seemed like fifteen minutes ago since she had raised the moon. But she activated her magic, pushing aside the pain of her headache from trying to pick the lock spell, and pushed the moon down beyond the horizon. It was a strange sensation, pushing it along instead of tugging it up. This task was easier by far than the strenuous tug of the space rock into the sky. It was different though, like pushing a pony to the ground before stomping on them. 'Why would I think that?' thought Luna, but shook off the thought when the moon sank below the horizon for the first time. "Fantastic Luna. You'll have the hang of it in no time," said her mother proudly with a smile as she draped a wing over the filly. "But you must remember to be punctual. The moon cannot wait for you. If you are to rule over your own ponies, they cannot have the moon setting late, for that delays the sun as well. Do you understand?" asked the Queen.
"Yes Mother," replied Luna. She watched as bright oranges painted over her night sky, and the sun shakily rose into its path in the sky. Her nighttime faded into oblivion as Celestia's day took over. "Mother, shouldn't you be helping Celestia raise the sun?"
"No dear, she can handle it. She's very bright," assured the Queen. Luna shrunk a little, hating to be babied because of her age.
'Of course Celestia doesn't need help. She's the eldest,' thought Luna to herself in a nasally tone.
"Come to breakfast, Luna. It will be important," said the Queen. Of course it would. Today Luna and Celestia would propose the types of ponies that would inhabit their kingdom.
The wooden doors swung open as the Queen and Luna entered. The King had not yet arrived, but Celestia was happily munching on some hay. She didn't look up as the door opened noisily and two of her family members sauntered in. Not much food was laid out, being that the King and Queen had been sleeping and had not had time to conjure up more.
Luna scooted into a chair, screeching it backwards audibly. She used her tiny magic to levitate some hay to her plate. She started bringing the hay to her motuh, when her mother's words made her drop it.
"Celestia and Luna. What is your decision?" asked the Queen.
Celestia looked up with a smile, clearly having had waited for her mother to ask the question. She stood up and strode over to Luna with her head held high. As she reached her sister's chair, she spread her wings. Luna looked at her sister and stood in her chair, also spreading her miniscule wings "We have decided, that for the ponies we would like to inhabit our kingdom, should not be exclusive. Luna and I have decided that all three breed of pony shall be created and will be watched over by us. Therefore, all their talents may be utilized and the kingdom can thrive under itself." Celestia ended her spiel and looked at her mother nervously. Luna also looked nervous, not wanting her mother to yell at them.
"Hmm," said the Queen while rubbing her muzzle, "You realize this raises some complications don't you?" Celestia nodded, and Luna mimicked her wiser sister. "Congratulations," smiled the Queen, "You've passed."
The two princesses looked at each other, astonished. Luna squeaked out "What do you mean, Mother?"
"Oh my little ponies, I needed to be sure that you would be fair rulers. I needed to know that you would love all pony kind. And you have proved this. Your love of your subjects will stretch to all breeds, and not be exclusive, just like your kingdom. Although it will be difficult, it was the right decision, and I am very proud of you two for coming to that fair conclusion."
"Thanks Mommy! Its was my idea," boasted Luna with a gleeful smile. Celestia stared her with an evil eye for stealing all the thunder, but Luna was looking at her mother's suddenly sad expression, although the white furred queen still wore a smile.
"Mother, whats wrong?" said Celestia, seeing her mother's face.
"My dearies. I knew you would make the right decision. But that makes this even harder," said the Queen with a sniffle as a single tear ran down her cheek. Celestia levitated a cloth up to the Queen's face and dabbed away the tear. Queen Sunniva smiled at the gesture, which only brought more tears.
"Why are you crying, Mommy?" asked Luna as she ran up to her mother and nuzzled her legs. The young blue alicorn rubbed her mother's soft legs, trying to comfort her.
"Im afraid, with the privilege of ruling a land of diversity, also comes the detriment that these ponies need to know how to live. I was prepared to grace them with knowledge of how to survive and thrive, but now I must triple my magic to suffice," said the Queen solemnly.
"Mother, what do you mean?" questioned Celestia as let tears rain from her eyes, terrified of what may come out of her mother's lips.
"Its time for me to go, my beautiful little ponies," said the Queen, not looking at the young filly nuzzling her legs.
"No mother! Why? You have many more years!" sobbed Celestia. Luna, not knowing what to do, decided to also let a few tears slip out.
"Im afraid not Celestia. My being will go to the minds of the new ponies. I need not anymore become the sunshine from your sun. You will control the warmth of your sun. You do not need me anymore. My magic will help for thousands of generations. Generations you must see over. Father is currently creating the spell to put us into those new ponies. It will be done Celestia. I love you and Luna very dearly. Never forget that. You make me proud and you will make fine rulers."
"Mother no! We need you! Luna's too young. Im too young! We need you and Daddy. Don't leave us!" chocked out Celestia in a fit of tears. She ran into her mother's soft chest, crying and heavily breathing into her mother's warm embrace. "Don't leave us," she whispered, "Don't leave us."