Luna's Death

by Protocol

Chapter 1: 1: Silent Night

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Chapter 1: Silent Night

A cool evening breeze floated in through the windowsill of the royal chambers. Dim candlelight illuminated Princess Celestia's study as piles of paperwork lay stacked in neat bundles. Princess Celestia herself had been finishing up some work still left behind, and it was well into the night before she realized it was time for bed. A soft glow enveloped her quill as she tucked it away in place, gently floating it down beside her nearly empty ink bottle.

Preparing to retire for the night, she slowly started disrobing from her symbolic garments. Sliding off the golden slippers and ornate, bejeweled necklace, the princess levitated them one by one into a nearby drawer, placing them down with soft thuds against the carved wooden boards. Just as she sat down on her bed, removing the tiara from her tired head, she heard a rigid knocking at her door.

"Come in," the princess called out, sliding off the last of her jewellery. Who could have wanted to see her at such a late hour? She wondered. As the doorknob turned with a soft click, the wooden panel opened inward to reveal a sleek, dark armored pony bearing bat wings. Celestia recognized her as captain Artemis of the night guard. Although the two had never really spoken with each other much before, Celestia had caught glimpses of her in the night guard every so often.

"Good evening, Princess Celestia," greeted the soldier, giving a stiff, formal salute.

"At ease, captain," Celestia waved a casual hoof at her. "I do not recall having planned anything with the night guard at this particular hour. Pray tell, what brings you here tonight?"

"Princess Luna wishes to speak to you, your majesty," Artemis relayed simply. "She awaits your arrival in her chambers."

Celestia looked to the large grandfather clock to her side, as she stifled a tired yawn. It read just past midnight. "It is quite late, captain. Couldn't this wait until morning?" she asked.

"My apologies, your majesty, but Princess Luna has made it clear that this is an urgent issue. I suggest that you should go see her now, if at all possible. But of course, the decision rests with you, princess," Artemis subtly advised.

"Hmm, did she tell you what this was all about?" Celestia really didn't want to get up now. It was much too late for her tastes, and she had work to do in the morning.

"I'm afraid not, ma'am," was the captain's only reply. It was clear that tonight, she only played the role of the messenger.

"All right, then," Celestia sighed softly, getting up from the comforts of her soft mattress and linen sheets. "I will be with her shortly. You are dismissed."

The soldier gave another short salute before exiting the room and marching down the halls. Princess Celestia followed shortly after, turning the other direction and making her way down to her sister's bedchambers. Yawning sheepishly, she blinked rapidly a few times to shake her fatigue. Whatever this call was for, she hoped it wouldn't keep her up too long into the night.

At the late hour, Celestia encountered nopony else as she approached the door to Luna's room. She gave a few, curt knocks on the door before entering. Luna's quarters remained as she had remembered for the past couple centuries, ambient atmosphere surrounded by a deep blue colour scheme. The ceiling was lined with a pattern of stars, and the wall at the far side of the room was had been replaced by a large, clear glass window with its curtains drawn. Soft moonlight spilled in, lighting the room just enough for Celestia to see its contents clearly. Shelves of books lined the walls, in quantities only surpassed in libraries and most of Twilight Sparkle's personal rooms. The soft carpet floor brushed against Celestia's hooves as she trotted in, the soothing scent of midnight lilies flowing out from a vase on the desk nearby.

It was so different from her own chambers, Celestia thought to herself, as she scanned her sister's study with tired eyes. Not a single sheet of paperwork lay cluttered on the desk like her own. The only thing that rested on the wooden surface was a small, black book whose cover was decorated with a swirl of stars, neatly folded with a bookmark tucked in. Opening the book to the saved page, the princess was greeted by a picture of an old, familiar painting. Luna and Celestia in their foalhood years, laughing innocently in a field of white flowers. Celestia couldn't help but smile at the flood of warm memories it brought back.

Despite the childhood nostalgia, Celestia didn't forget why she was here in the first place. As nice as the place looked, there was one crucial detail missing from the large room. "Luna?" Celestia called out. "Luna, where are you?"

From the far end of the room, a rustle could be heard coming from the bed. A dark blue alicorn pushed a clump of sheets off herself, sitting upright to reveal her face to the room's newly received recipient. The lunar princess's normally wavy and floating mane had lost its magical properties, turning back into simple, disheveled blue locks that fell over her eyes.

"I apologize for not getting up to say hello, Celestia. I'm afraid I am feeling rather ill at the moment, you see," Luna smiled weakly, brushing her hair out of the way.

"Is that so? Because if I remember correctly, you were in peak physical condition during Tuesday's checkup," Celestia chided, smiling softly as she trotted up to the bed. "I'm sure it's nothing serious to you, Luna. You'll be up and perfectly healthy the first thing tomorrow morning. But… to be honest, you really do look under the weather today," she noted, upon a closer inspection of her sister's features.

Now that Celestia had a clear view of her sister's face, she could see that it looked even more fatigue-ridden than her own. Her skin was positively pale, and the bags underneath her sunken eyes were obviously more than the work of simple insomnia. She touched a hoof to Luna's brow, but felt no excess heat. No fever, then.

"What is it this time Luna? A cold, perhaps? Or was it food poisoning again? You know, you really should at least look at what you shove in your mouth at dinner before you force it down your gullet," she chuckled.

"You're no better yourself, sister, with all your cakes and pastries," Luna replied, returning the lighthearted tease with a smirk of her own. "And besides, It is not… that kind of illness." Her tone took a melancholy dive. "I called you here because I wish to speak to you tonight, sister, if… if you can spare the time."

Noting the urgency in her voice, Celestia walked closer to her sister. "What's wrong? Come on, you can tell me anything. I'm here for you, Luna," she consoled, placing a gentle hoof on Luna's own.

Luna breathed a sigh of relief, relaxing her tense body at Celestia's comforting touch. "Thank you, sister," she breathed softly.

Celestia nodded, remaining patient as her sister took a moment to prepare herself. The deep breathing exercises helped calm Luna down, and she began to speak.

"For a long while now, I have felt weak and weary. My strength is not what it used to be, and I fear it may never return. At first, I believed myself to have been traumatized by the whole ordeal, and I was simply been sapped of strength as a result. Yet, even as Nightmare Moon, I was severely weakened. If you recall, the first time the Elements of Harmony were used on me, it took quite some time for me to be subdued, and I put up more resistance. When Twilight Sparkle and her friends used them on me, however, everything was over before I knew it. Even as Nightmare Moon, my strength and my magic was weakened. Why was that?"

"Hmm… Are you sure that Nightmare Moon was defeated so easily because she was weakened? When I used my own elements against you, I was alone in wielding them. Perhaps the bond of Twilight's friendship with the other ponies was more magical than even we anticipated?" Celestia offered.

"That is quite possible," Luna nodded. "Twilight Sparkle has much undiscovered potential, and what we are able to see in her now may very well be only the tip of the iceberg. I used to believe that it was the only reason for Nightmare Moon's swift defeat, that my own judgement was too clouded by my fear… until I looked at the night sky later that night."

Luna's eyes grew distant, wistful, and almost desperate with sorrow. "The stars have faded. The moon has grown distant from me. Sister, what has happened during the thousand years of my absence? What has happened to my night? The constellations, my creations… the stars are dying. The Ursai are dwindling in number, and the Canis are all but extinct. The sky has been clouded by the pollution in the air. I know it hardly affects your sun's strong radiance, but for a delicate thing such as the serenity of the night, it is enough to taint and blot it out completely."

Celestia remained silently mulling as her sister continued.

"…And yet, nopony has noticed. To the ponies of today, the Ursas and Canis are nothing but dangerous creatures, and the night remains nothing more than a time for slumber, ceasing all life until the next sunrise. Even after a thousand years, nopony loves the night. That is a fact that has remained constant through the pages of history. And yet, I have no one to blame but myself," she mused sullenly.

Celestia pursed her lips in feigned ignorance, but in the silence that hung, she knew her sister's words to be true. Nightmare Moon had been a mistake, sure, but that didn't change the fact that the public feared her. To them, who hadn't known the vibrant, vivacious soul that was Luna, the princess of the night was first made known to them personally when she had tried to bring about eternal darkness, and almost succeeded in her global coup d'état of the sun. Not even she, the ruler of the entire country, had the ability to change the thoughts of individuals without unconventional means of censorship and propaganda, which went against everything she stood for.

"Do you remember, Celestia, back when I was still innocent, still free of the bitter resentment I started harboring towards you over a millennia into the past?" Luna asked.

Celestia gave a warm smile. "It's a long time ago, but yes, I do remember. Those were the good old days, weren't they? We were inseparable; two young, royal sisters governing the land of Equestria together. We had not a care in the world, happy through the cheerful brightness of day and through the peaceful darkness of night."

Luna closed her eyes as she reminisced of her past. "That's right. Back then, when we still held our olden titles. Do you remember, Celestia? The ponies called you the Solar Alicorn, and I was known as… the Night Mare."

Celestia gulped, the smile vanishing from her lips. "I remember."

The dark blue alicorn smiled sadly. "Words have changed over time. New words have been created, old words have been left forgotten and obsolete, and others have changed their meaning altogether. A thousand years ago, a nightmare was a word to be proud of, a tranquil, loving feeling associated with the night. Today, however, it's become nothing more than a hated symbol. A phrase used to express fear, disdain, and rejection. All it is now is a bad dream."

Celestia couldn't bear to look her sister in the eye. "I'm sorry, Luna. I truly am. I tried everything I could to preserve the sanctity of the title, but not even I could have won against the nation's entire collective mind. After you turned to evil, ponies viewed you in a different way. And as for me, I was in no place to order things to stop… I was also hurt deeply by your betrayal, both physically and emotionally. I'm sorry, Luna. I was weak."

Luna shook her head. "I do not blame you, my sister, not in the slightest. You are not a weak mare. In fact, you are the strongest I have ever known. You were able to lead an entire country by yourself for the past thousand years. To overcome all of the struggles and hardships that life had to offer. Instead, it is the world that has changed. It is impossible to deny. A thousand years is a long time to even alicorns such as ourselves. But to the rest of the world, a thousand years may as well have been an eternity. I cannot say that I disapprove of this, for only a fool fears change. But I feel that there is no longer a place in the world for the Night Mare."

"Don't say that, Luna. Ponies still care about you," Celestia offered.

"That may be true, but they no longer need me. Equestria has prospered for a thousand years without the Night Mare, and it shall live on for at least a thousand more, with or without me. Who will mourn if I die, sister? Of course, the general public would weep for the loss of their princess, but who will weep for me? The true me, beyond this paper mask I wear as a political figurehead and an alicorn goddess? I cannot think of even a handful of ponies that have ever known me as I have known myself. Such individuals have existed in the past, with whom I entrusted my greatest secrets, but they are no more, lost in the pages of history and the embrace of time's decay."

Celestia denied her sister's words, almost scolding her for saying such things. "Don't be ridiculous, you still have friends. What about Twilight Sparkle, or the ponies you've met in Ponyville? There was that one pegasus filly that you helped out, too, wasn't there? I believe Scootaloo was her name. What of Scootaloo, Luna? Was she not a friend?" she asked.

"Twilight Sparkle and her friends were lovely, accepting individuals, and Scootaloo holds all the childlike innocence of a saint. They indeed, were wonderful to meet," Luna agreed with a smile. "However, that is all that our relationships consisted of — kindness and formalities. Shallow bonds that cannot last."

"Luna, please stop saying such dreadful things, you're making me upset," Celestia asked of her in a concerned tone. "I love you, Luna. You are my dear sister, and I thought I'd lost you once before. For a thousand years, I wished for nothing more than to see you again, to feel the warmth of your embrace, to gaze upon the joyfulness of your smile. When you were freed from Nightmare Moon by the Elements of Harmony, words could not express the extent of my happiness and relief. You had finally come back to me, after all that time. I cannot bear to lose you a second time."

Luna shook her head in denial. "Let's face it, sister. The Luna that you knew a thousand years ago, the bright, cheerful, young soul, is already dead. She has been dead ever since she gave herself to Nightmare Moon, and her soul snapped in half. It seems that the world was not the only thing that has changed over the course of time. The Luna you once knew is only a memory, Celestia. And your love for her, is but an illusion, a lingering affection of the past that rose back up with unresolved feelings stirring once more."

Luna continued with an expression of confusion and anguish, not giving room for her sister to talk. "It's all just too much, Celestia. It's all just too different. I awoke after a millennia of bitterness, to try and begin life anew, but I cannot. I am not strong, like you are. This world, these ponies, this way of life… they are all so alien to me, sister. I cannot make heads or tails of anything, and it is impossible for me to survive in this new world."

"But, but if it's so different that you cannot stand it, then change it back, Luna!" Celestia cried out, unable to go on listening to her sister act like this. "Make the stars shine again, Draw the moon closer to the skies! I'll help you clean up the night and fill if with your works of art. Please, Luna, you have to at least try," she pleaded.

Luna paused, turning her gaze slowly to her sister. With solemn, blue eyes, she looked at Celestia almost serenely. When she spoke again, her words came out in a soft whisper. "…But I have."

Celestia didn't understand, as she sat still and open-mouthed, as an incomprehensive furrow lined her brows. "I'm… I'm sorry?"

Luna kept patient with her sister, explaining herself calmly to her confused sibling. "One night, about a week after Twilight Sparkle and the Elements of Harmony freed me from Nightmare Moon, I had finished recuperating from the ordeal. Now in a clear state of mind, I looked to the night sky in a way I had not done for a thousand years. I found that it had faded, dulled, and had lost the beauty it once had. Seeing the shadow of what it used to be, it felt so… wrong, so barren. It felt like I was looking through a twisted mirror, to what had become of me as well. I wished to set things right once more."

"No…" Celestia muttered in disbelief, the realization of Luna's words finally dawning upon her.

"I began my work at once. Working tirelessly for dozens of nights, I polished the stars from the lackluster that clouded their light. I smoothed out the surface of the moon from the bumps and craters it had worn with age. I blew the soothing life back into the gentle evening breeze, and quiet serenity was restored to the flowing sounds of the night. And yet… not a soul would notice. Nopony has noticed the work that I have done. Not the ponies I have met in Ponyville, not my guards who are only part of my night in name alone, and… and not even my own sister has seen my constant efforts to this day," Luna sighed.

A finally disillusioned Celestia was now at a loss for words, devastated at just how ignorant she'd been to her own sister. The same sister, for whom she'd wanted to see again for a thousand years. How could she have been so blind? "I, I'm so sorry Luna. I truly am. I've just gotten so caught up in all my work, that I've become ignorant and selfish, and I haven't been paying attention to you at all recently. Please, will you ever forgive me?" Celestia pleaded.

However, Luna only smiled. "There is nothing to forgive, sister dearest. I am not angry with you, nor am I even disappointed. You bear a great responsibility towards all the citizens of Equestria, and you cannot possibly care personally for each and every one of them, as much as you may try. I have no right to bear resentment towards you anymore, not after what has happened the last time."

Luna turned to the side of her bed, looking towards the peaceful sky through her window. Pointing at a constellation of two bright, shining stars, she asked the princess of the sun another question. "Celestia, do you know the name of that constellation, right there, to the north?"

Celestia squinted to see where Luna's hoof pointed. "…Yes, I do. I believe the pair of stars you refer to are called 'The Royal Sisters'?"

"Indeed," Luna nodded. "Look how close they are to each other. They are one of the only constellations in the sky that move apart from the rest of the sky. See how they orbit each other, each complimenting the other's movements in a closely-knit, never-ending stellar waltz."

"They're beautiful," Celestia concluded. "You must have worked so hard to create such majestic sights."

"Yes, making them was a difficult process," said Luna, with a nostalgic smile. "And marvelously fun, too. They are quite certainly my favourite creations, and I feel pride towards them the same way a mother feels pride about her sons and daughters. But what almost nopony but myself knows about the Royal Sisters, is that they aren't what they appear to be."

Celestia raised a curious brow, while Luna continued. "During my first attempt to create them, I failed miserably. Unbeknownst to me until that point, two stars could never orbit each other. They were too powerful and stubborn to let the other be, drawing closer and closer to each other. Tempers flared, arguments erupted, and eventually, the stars destroyed themselves, crashing into each other and collapsing in on themselves with one last spark. The pair of stars you see now are separated by vast expanses of space, one in front of the other. Each dancing their own, coordinated solo acts, appearing to us here as if they were parts of a duet."

Luna turned back to her sister with a smile on her face, but tears in her eyes. "Perhaps… perhaps we too, are like the Royal Sisters in the sky. On the surface, we appear so closely bonded, and it seems that we would never be the same without each other. Yet, in reality, things are so much more complicated and different than they look."

"But…why now, Luna?" Celestia asked. "Why not tomorrow, or yesterday, or any other time than an hour such as this? What made you feel so melancholy today, Luna? Has… has something happened?"

"I'm sorry, Celestia, but I cannot be nearly as strong as you. This is the truth. I am weak, and I cannot live in a world like this, alone and sulking in my memoirs of the past. I hope that one day, you'll be able to forgive me for leaving this world before you, even though I was the younger of us two siblings."

"Luna, you're an alicorn. Alicorns don't die. What are you saying?" Celestia said with a mirthless laugh. "Stop this nonsensical thinking."

"The night, the very thing from which I draw power, has been worn down by the sands of time and the winds of change. My health has nothing to do with it; my time in this world has just… come to an end," Luna stated simply.

"Luna, stop. You're not dying. You're just sick, that's all. It's all in your mind. You're going to be fine. You'll wake up tomorrow morning, and come have breakfast with me after I raise the sun, just like you always do. I'll make you anything you want tomorrow, Luna. Anything! So please, stop this nonsense at once!" Celestia cried desperately, trying to convince herself more than Luna.

"You, cooking? Hmm, that certainly brings back memories… I have not tasted your hoofmade meals in over a thousand years…" Luna trailed off. "You will be fine, even without me, Celestia. You still have Twilight Sparkle, you still have ponies who love you and care for you. So, I can leave this world in peace, knowing that you are not alone like I once was," Luna assured, but it served a futile attempt to appease Celestia.

Celestia refused to accept her sister's words, laughing quietly in disbelief. "I get it now… This is a prank, isn't it? You're trying to get me back for all those times I teased you in the past. All right, Luna, you got me. You can stop now, Luna. I'm scared… Luna. Luna!" she broke down, the last defense of her denial shattering to pieces.

"I am perfectly serious about this. Almost everyone I've ever known has passed on, laid to rest and sung to sleep by Father Time. I can finally hear his whispers now; he tells me that I can finally follow in their footsteps, as well." Luna stayed calm and composed, with the slightest hint of resolute defiance in her words.

Celestia, on the other hand, started to weep. Slowly at first, the small droplets quickly turned into a trickle, then a steady stream of tears. Her breathing grew ragged, lungs unable to function properly under the torrent of emotions.

Luna drew her legs around her sister in an embrace, wiping the wetness off her cheeks. "Shh…" she consoled, gently stroking Celestia's face with her hooves. "As short as my time back here with you was, and as lonely as I was, I still had fun. Nightmare Night, dreamwalking with the children of the new age, raising the moon again, it was all so lovely. I have no qualms or regrets left that I haven't taken care of. I lived my life to the fullest."

"Luna please… don't go. Don't leave me," Celestia sobbed.

Luna's body started to glow, her entire body being covered with thousands of tiny, twinkling stars. "Please do not mourn for me, sister dearest. I would not wish for the last thing I accomplish to be making the mare closest to my heart feel sorrow. We need to stop holding onto things that are no longer. Learn to let go of the past. Only a fool fears change, sister. It's time to move on."

No words came to Celestia's lips as she lay in her sister's warm embrace, weeping a thin trickle of tears onto her soft feathers. "And remember, Celestia, I have always loved you. I have never stopped loving you, even as I became a jealous monster. I still loved you then, and I always will, even in death."

Luna's breaths quietly dimmed, to the point where Celestia was only barely able to hear her final whispers in her ear. "Goodbye, Tia. Goodbye, sister dearest."

Starting from the tip of her hooves, Luna's entire body started to dissolve. Melting away into the soft winds of night, her legs and torso fell apart into tiny stars, much like what her mane had contained. "Luna? Luna! Wait, please, don't go!" Celestia cried, clutching on for dear life to what remained of her sister.

However, nothing she did was of any use, as the rest of Luna's torso, wings, and head eventually disappeared like her legs had. The embrace of Celestia's legs and hooves fell through empty air, as she plummeted through the sparks and onto the bed beneath. The constellation of her sister's frame died out simultaneously, fading quickly before winking out completely.

"Luna…Luna…" Celestia sobbed hysterically, weakly clawing at the air where her sister had just been. She hadn't cried like this in a thousand years. The once regal, majestic princess broke down completely, reduced to a sobbing wreck as her puffy eyes streamed endless tears. "Luna, please, come back…" she panted once more.

The night sky darkened and shuddered, as if it were alive and in pain. As if it could feel the loss of its creator and caretaker. The moon crumbled away piece by piece and fell to nothing, growing smaller and smaller until nothing but a thin, crescent sliver remained hanging in the air. The stars dulled, and some of them even died out completely. Many were not able to stay afloat, as millions of tiny sparks cascaded down together. The shooting stars came together in a beautiful display of tears for their maker's end that would go down in astronomy's history forever.

She saw and heard the sky as it fell apart. Deep down, she knew exactly what was happening. And yet, she still refused to accept it. Wet cheeks flaring, she shouted at the air in front of her. "Damn it, Luna, you can't do this to me! You can't leave me all alone, by myself! We're sisters, aren't we? Didn't you say you loved me, Luna? I love you too! I love you with all my heart! So you can't just go off on your own and leave like that, do you hear me?! Luna! …Please, come back to me! I'll never forget about you ever again. I'll stay by your side every waking moment for the rest of my life. So please, Luna, come back, come back… Luna…" Celestia slumped down onto the bed and cradled her head between her hooves, letting the covers soak up her tears.

When Celestia finally lifted her head and looked outside, the sky had darkened. The regal moon and shining stars were no longer the same, and only a handful of dull, scattered sparks scarcely lit up the night. But there was one constellation that remained unchanged. Two small, tiny stars to the north, shining brightly as they slowly circled each other in a beautiful embrace.

Transfixed by the sight in the sky, for what seemed like hours, Celestia could not pry her eyes off the Royal Sisters.

Then, they too, began to falter. The Royal sisters lost their shine, fading to dullness before her very eyes.

Celestia finally broke out of her trance, snapped sober by what she was seeing. "NO!" she cried out.

The princess' horn shone bright, as she poured her magic into the stars. She would not let Luna's most prized creations die out like this. Through sheer force and willpower, Celestia surged a torrent of magic into the night sky.

Even when Luna had created the stars from scratch, she did it one by one, suspending them in midair with the utmost finesse. Right now, however, Celestia was trying to keep them all alive, all by herself. Even with most of them already faded out, there were still dozens left. The amount of magic being used was taking its toll on the princess, straining both her body and her mind.

After only a few more moments, she was no longer able to hold the spell. The magic of her horn fluctuated without warning, and Celestia was unable to control it in her condition. The arcane snapback surged one last burst of magic, which exploded sharply at the tip of her horn.

"Ahh!" Celestia cried out, being pushed back and tipping over from the blow to her head. She fell on her back on top of the mattress, dazed for a few seconds before opening her eyes. From her position she could see the royal sisters. They were still going strong; two beacons of light in the endless darkness of the night. She'd managed to save them, if only for a little longer. Exhausted from the magic overload and the trauma of recent events, Celestia fell unconscious on the spot, unable to even make another thought.

"Princess Luna?" captain Artemis called out. "Have you seen Princess Celestia around? It's almost time for sunrise, and nopony can seem to find her anywhere!"

Seeing her mistress' door creaked open, Artemis decided to investigate. Pushing the door in softly, she called out once more, cautiously. "Princess Luna?"

Entering the elegantly furnished room, the captain caught sight of the princess standing at the window, but not the one she'd expected. "Oh, there you are, Princess… Celestia?" She raised a curious brow.

The white alicorn princess, usually regal and composed, looked tired this morning. More tired than from simple fatigue or stress, even if Artemis could only see her from the back. Nonetheless, she performed her duties to precision. As the clock ticked on and marked the beginning of sunrise, her horn glowed and raised the flaming orb above the horizon. Celestia remained still, staring out into the sky without a single word.

"Is… everything okay, princess Celestia?" Artemis asked.

There was no reply.

Then, it hit her. She had come into this room expecting someone else. "Your majesty, where is Princess Luna?"

At the simple question, Celestia turned her head, and Artemis finally saw her eyes. Her eyes were the most dulled, tired eyes she'd ever seen, completely different from how the princess of the day usually looked. Today, her eyes were filled with pain and misery. Tired and lonely, worn down from thousands of years of life. When her mouth finally opened, Artemis could never have expected what she would say, even though the signs were clear, written across the princess' face.

"Luna is no more," said Princess Celestia. "The princess of the night is dead."

End of Chapter 1

Author's Notes:

Special thanks to arandompenguin, InquisitorM, Chimpso, and Blagdaross for their feedback on the first chapter.

Next Chapter: 2: Those Left Behind Estimated time remaining: 32 Minutes
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