A Chance Meeting of Two Moons

by Evilhumour

Chapter 10: Chapter eight Artemis

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Chapter Eight - Artemis

Celestia chuckled as she watched the poor stallion stare at another plate being placed in front of him by the grinning earth pony. While Pinkie Pie had started to bake up several fine cupcakes and dishes for the stallion and the little group to enjoy, it had taken Applejack all of a few seconds to notice how thin he was before taking over kitchen duties to make a proper meal to “fill ‘em out proper-like” as she had put it.

He was too polite to refuse the extra servings and hesitantly began to eat his fourth slice of apple pie with the rest of the little group either watching him or busy digging into their own plate.

“Come on sugarcube, ya gotta eat up,” Applejack said, elbowing him in the side, digging into her own plate as she sat down. “Otherwise ya can’t eat them cupcakes and Pinkie Pie here would be crushed to hear that.” She nodded her head to the other mare on his side, who was bouncing in her spot; not too subtly trying to examine him.

“Yup!” She smiled, rubbing a hoof across his wing again and moving a loose feather she’d found from him around her mouth. “Wow, you really do have same wings as Princess Luna!”

“T-thank you Miss Pie,” Artemis whined, pushing his wing into his side and shuffling away from her again. “But I must insist you stop doing that!”

“But you’ve got the coolest wings ever, well second to Dashie, or maybe third after Princess Celestia or-”

A blue magic aura grabbed her and levitated her to the far end of the table, next to Dash who blinked upwards, the borrowed helmet clunking over her face again. Celestia took the chance to move over to the stallion, who had the glares of the mares pointed at him for doing that incredibly rude thing. Celestia moved the plate holding far more sweets than she would ever eat to the far end for Pinkie Pie to go back to eating. She was now eying the helmet that Rainbow Dash had insisted on wearing like Artemis did, but it was clear that one size did not fit all.

“Miss Pie, I do not think Prince Artemis appreciated your inspection.” Celestia smirked softly as she watched him start to relax, clearly not a touchy-feely pony. “If you can restrain yourself in the future, as not all ponies are as comfortable with such close contact with others as you are.”

“Thank you Celestia,” Artemis nodded his head to her. Celestia saw his eyes flick towards the mares around the room who were frowning at him. He then flicked his eye back at her, nodding his head a bit again, indicating he was up to something and was giving her some warning. “Is there a problem, Ms. Twilight?” he called out to her former student, who was still very protective of the alicorn of the sun.

“I cannot believe how rude you are to the Princess!” Twilight snapped at him, a part of her mane springing outwards.

“And?” He smirked at her for obvious reasons and Celestia hoped that Twilight was aware he was goading her…

“And you should stop being rude to her!” She slammed her hooves into the table, proving her wrong. “I cannot understand why Princess Celestia is allowing you to speak to her like that!”

“If I might be so bold, I believe she knows I am trying to teach you something and if I overstep my bounds, I am sure she will stop me.” Celestia nodded to the stallion, seeing exactly where he was going with this little improv lesson. It was something she had been reluctant to teach her former student; a point that Cadance and Luna had been arguing with her about how it was only hurting Twilight in the long run and would be harder to impact the importance of the lesson on the newest princess the more Celestia waited. But she didn’t want to break that innocence that Twilight had… “Good, now let me ask you a question, Twilight: why should I?”

Her former student frowned, getting off her seat and walking over to him. He flashed a frown to Princess Celestia, disappointment clear on his face. She could swear she heard him mutter, “And I thought Solaris was bad with Dusk Shine…”

“Why‽” Twilight pointed a hoof at his chest, her anger of her former teacher being disrespected clearly overriding her thoughts. “Because she’s the princess of Equestria and you should show her respect!”

“That’s a reason why one should show respect. That’s not what I asked you.” He smirked at her, lifting a fork to his mouth.

“Yes it is! You asked me why you should stop being rude to her-”

“No I did not.” He kept his face calm and neutral, infuriating the latest alicorn. “I asked you why I should, to your request, stop being rude. I had hoped you would realize that I am not being rude to her in the first place at all.”

That caught her off guard, and by the sounds of it, the other mares and the young dragon as well.

“The point is that Celestia and I did speak before, and my initial anger,” he paused, blinking for a moment. How interesting Celestia thought to herself. “Er, I mean my conflict with her has been resolved for the time being, and thus we are at a neutral state. The point is that because of what has happened, I have a chance to take a dig at my bro-Celestia and I never pass one up when he bucks up.” He grinned broadly, which Twilight and Applejack understood as the glee of a younger sibling being able to bug an older sibling without any consequences. He got a glare from Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Celestia that only an older sibling could make when a younger sibling did something stupid. It made him swallow and blush, digging into his plate. “Although I will restrain myself, as it is a bit petty and wrong to bring the Stables into this place.”

“The Stables?” Twilight blinked at him, obviously confused.

“It’s what we call the political game between nobles.” He let out a sigh, rubbing his face. Celestia understood; she hated the Grounds, it gave her so many headaches. “It’s full of ponies backstabbing each other in order to get more power in the government, with some doing it in a very repulsive manner and some in a very refreshing manner.” He paused to gather himself, taking a sip of some water as Celestia refused to break out the wine for a lunch despite his and Rainbow Dash’s pleas. “I’m sure you realize how much an important piece you are, right Twilight?”


Artemis sighed and shook his head. “Celestia, you are almost as bad as Solaris, he muttered as he shot her a dirty look. “At least you had the sense to teach her to avoid all strange stallions. Right?” he begged her, Celestia eye’s widening at how irresponsible this Solaris was. Then again, she was hearing a one-sided version from an angry pony, an angry younger brother to boot. Still, she had to nod, which made him sigh. “I had to bring forth a few nightmares to a few…” he paused, trying to find a proper word possibly. “Dumb fuc-”

“A-HEM!” Celestia snapped a glare at him, getting tired of how foul his language was.

“Sorry Celestia, I am much more blunt in my speech than most ponies, and my swearing is something that my older brother has never managed to fix.” He gave her a cocky grin, his arrogance causing her to flick her ear. “I’ll try to curb my tongue, but I’m not going to give you any promises.” He turned his attention back to the wide-mouthed Twilight.

“That’s the kind of piece you are.” He pointed a hoof at her as he caught her off guard. “Impossible to touch due to Celestia, filled with enough clout to do what you wish because of your title as Princess and Element of Magic, and innocent enough not to abuse that power.” He poked her nose with a hoof. “You do not understand how much you could change things around here, and how important it is for you to understand that properly.” He looked around the room, eyeing all the mares. “Each one of you are a very powerful player and protected powerhouse in the Stables, even more so with your connection to Celestia and Twilight here, besides being Elements of Harmony.”

“Miss Apple, you have a royal blessing from Celestia, I’m guessing, that places nearly all of Ponyville under your hooves, and you are a living lie detector. No pony could dare try to use you without it backfiring horribly and letting all the other nobles pounce on their mistake.”

“Miss Rarity, are you not involved with a business partner named Royal Splendor, or whatever her male name is?” He watched her nod her head. “If I am correct, he is a fine, respectable pony in love with a pony named Flavien de Los, again along those lines of whatever his female name is?” Another nod. “He is doing a lot to protect you, probably throwing his weight around to make sure the lesser nobles don’t try anything with you and the upper nobles won’t dare to interfere with his plans.”

“Miss Fluttershy, are you not involved with whatever Eris is called here?” He got a meep and a quick shake of the head, causing him to raise an eyebrow. “The draconequus? Are you not friends with him?” She nodded her head now, causing him to blink again. “Interesting…” He blinked, rubbing his chin with a fetlock. “But in any case, you are an extremely dangerous player as anyone that would wish to touch you would have to deal with him reading that as trying to use you, whatever the case may be, which no pony is stupid enough to attempt, no matter the possible gain.”

“You, Miss Dash and Miss Pie, are too random and too unpredictable to be of any use, and trying to turn ponies like you, if Sir Rainbow Blitz and Sir Bubble Berry are anything to base my knowledge on, will never work without them needing to make very bold moves that one pony like Celestia could easily counter.”

“And then there is you, Twilight. Again, you are the most powerful pony born in a long time, alicorn status aside, have the ear and support of rulers at the tip of your hooves, and you have little to no ties with any of the nobles, which means that no noble can touch you without every other noble going to counter the move, bringing everything down on their heads.” He paused, nodding his head towards Celestia. “Or with her being th-”

There was a slam of the doors that caused everypony and dragon to stare at the stallion flaunting inwards.

“Auuuuuntie, I must speak with you-” Before he could finish or Artemis could start, Celestia coughed in the way that said Shut up, you are not wanted!

“Nephew, if you could please restrain yourself for the moment,” she smiled at him in her usual motherly persona, with slight modifications to show her annoyance. “As you see, I am entertaining a little group of personal friends. If you wish, you may join us and we can talk later.”

The privileged stallion looked at the group of ponies and frowned with a twitching eye; the pink uncultured buffoon, the insufferable annoying braggart and possible fillyfooler, that dumb hick from a most certainly inbred family, some random stallion next to that stupid naive princess, Aunt Celestia, an empty spot where that princess was probably sitting until she got up, that disgusting coward fool that was most certainly bucking that monster Discord, that pipsqueak excuse of a dragon, and her.

Five of those mares were bad enough, but she was a constant pain in his flanks; one that simpleton Fancy Pants had tried to uplift that had caused him so much grief to make sure she was still in her place!

“I’m sorry Auntie, but I have no desire to sit with them, I just wished to talk about-”

“A matter about building a new house near Ponyville that Princess Luna rejected?” Artemis smirked, swirling around his water in his glass. Celestia frowned, wishing to have the stallion stay quiet a bit longer. She did not want Artemis to cause any headaches for her to deal with, and having Artemis speak to Blueblood would only make things worse with how blunt he spoke.

“H-how did you know?” Blueblood looked surprised and a bit panicky now.

“Twilight, consider this part of the lesson,” Artemis took a sip of his glass. “Normally, a noble would wish to make sure that his plans are not known to any unknown third party. A good noble would just brush off the issue until later while a poor one would panic like that.” He pointed a hoof at the unicorn stallion.

“WHO ARE YOU!” Blueblood snapped, pawing at the floor.

“Another fault you must avoid,” he tsked his head, looking at Twilight alone, not bothering to pay the stallion across from him any attention. “You simply cannot allow your emotions to take control of your senses.” He shot a sad look at Blueblood, who was turning red now, ears back as a few of the mares around them were laughing at him.

“He is quite right dear,” Rarity smiled pointedly at him, enjoying a chance to see the lout make a fool of himself. She had never forgiven him for that gala incident all those years ago; Tartarus hath no fury like a mare scorned. “A true lady never lets her temper get the best of herself.”

“Quiet you!” Blueblood snapped, his own hatred of her nearly as fierce as Rarity’s hatred of him. “If I wanted to hear from some bumpkin I would ask-”

“Excuse me!” Artemis snapped his attention towards the stallion. “I do believe that is most inappropriate language to a fair lady like Miss Rarity and I think, nay, demand an apology for her this instant!” He slammed his hoof into the table dramatically, causing the mares around the princess to gasp. Celestia was doing everything within her power not to laugh; this was one of the most basic setups in the Grounds.

“An apology?” he shrieked, pointing a hoof at the mare in question. “To her‽” He stamped his hoof into the floor, horn lowered for a moment, saying I’d rather kill her then ever apologize to her! “Never!”

“Then I challenge you to a fight for her honour!” Artemis goaded the ignorant fool into his trap; oh how she hoped that Twilight was paying attention!

“FINE!” he yelled, eyes twitching with anger. “I accept your foolish challenge!”

“Twilight,” Artemis spoke without breaking eye contact with the stallion. “An important lesson here; always know who you are facing.” His grin grew. “Do you have any idea of who I am?”

“A stupid fool! I am one of the best duelists in all of Equestria!” the spoiled noble shouted, his horn glowing.

“Oh? Can you do this?” Artemis collapsed into smoke, and dove forwards in front of the table. Blueblood’s horn went off like a lightswitch, his eyes growing wide in fear as Artemis reformed himself in front of the table. “Or-” A clone of Artemis appeared, walking up behind Blueblood on his right side. Not many ponies knew it but Blueblood had a bit of a blind spot there due to a cake incident in the past, and it always spooked him when somepony came from that angle. “This?” Another one walked up from his other side, the three stallions all smiling smugly at the panicking unicorn.

“N-n-no but-” the stallion was backing up, seeing what Celestia saw; Artemis had not once lit his horn.

“And this is not even my true form!” The Artemises grinned, showing sharp teeth and flaring their wings which caused the stallion to nearly fall to the floor in fear. “Now, I will be merciful and give you three options: apologize to Lady Rarity, fight me, or run away.” The one that came from the smoke leaned in close. “I won’t think less of you if you choose to run, only because I don’t think much of you to begin with.”

Blueblood’s eyes darted towards Celestia, who gave him a stone face of indifference. You made your bed, you must sleep in it.

“Well?” The Artemis on his right leaned in close, causing the prince to whimper. “What’s your choice?”

The stallion let out a yelp as he backed up and dashed out the doors, stumbling as he hit them. Somepony had closed them and Celestia had a good idea of who.

The Artemises waited until the sound of fleeing hooves had faded before breaking out in laughter, Celestia quickly following suit. Rainbow Dash flew over and gave the real stallion a hearty pat on the back, grinning wildly.

“That was amazing!” She grinned, not paying attention to the disappearing stallions. “Finally, somepony put that jerk in his place!”

“Ah’ll say!” Applejack grinned, brushing off her hat. “You got his tail in a twist!”

“Thank you, dear!” Rarity elegantly walked over to him, smiling gratefully that the prince was gone and probably going to leave her alone now. “I cannot thank you enough for this.”

“‘Twas nothing,” Artemis smiled, leaping over the table and making a small, sharp turn into his spot. “So Twilight, tell me, what did you learn just now?”

“...That your presentation towards other nobles is very crude and quick to the point.” She frowned, unused to seeing such actions from anypony. Celestia sighed, seeing the effect of how sheltered her former student had become under her wings.

“To a degree…” Artemis frowned. “My presentation is one that demands proper respect from all and complete indifference to those who do not show it to me.” His frown deepened, his ear flicking in a tell-tale manner of deep thought. “Was, as I should say. I did fall because of my obsession with gaining the proper respect I felt I deserved,” he sighed, inadvertently revealing a very juicy piece of information. Artemis fell due to his anger because of a lack of respect. It was similar to her sister’s own fall, but it was not the same as being jealous due to the believed lack of proper love and respect from the ponies. Celestia could see the differences in both of the lunar alicorns’ falls and it was very interesting in itself, filing it away for later examination. “My current presentation is much more humble now than it was a thousand years ago, as I’ve started to learn how to relax due to Prince Dusk Shine and his friends’ aid.”

That was humble‽” Dash asked in shock, staring at the stallion. “Remind me never to get you pissed off!”

“Trust me, Miss Dash, my anger is the one thing I can control.” His glare at the pegasus told Celestia that it was a bold-faced lie; he clearly had anger issues that he barely had under control. “This persona I put forth for the nobles is one that I am most comfortable with, as well as the most productive when dealing with them as you just saw. Clearly, you shouldn’t, nor would I ever wish you to, use the same methods I use. I have built up a thousand years of such behaviour, and consequently ponies expect to see me like this, though I am trying to change it. You should not be the same arrogant plothead I once was, nor should you ever try to manipulate your standings like that foal did.” He frowned at his plate, his past faults clearly on his mind. “Trust me on this matter, you will lose your friends in either attempt.”

“You’re not always like this, are you?” Twilight asked, blinking and stepping backwards. “I- I don’t mea-”

“No, thank Faust I’m not,” he sighed, poking the slice of apple pie on his plate. “One final lesson, Twilight. Never play the Stables with your family or friends; always try to be honest and straightforward with them.” He crumpled inwards, his magic grip shattering the fork. “Sweet Faust, don’t ever make the same mistakes I did with Celly. I… never forgave myself for what I did and I’m still not sure I-”

He was cut off when Twilight hugged him, causing the stallion to tense up. He stayed like that for a short while before pulling away, blinking with heavy eyes.

“Th- thank you, Miss Twilight,” he leaned against the table, yawning. “I thi- I think I needed that.” He blinked again, a bit unsteady on his hooves.

Celestia smiled to herself; it seems that Artemis had put himself through a bit too much without taking a bre-


Blinking, Celestia saw that Artemis had fallen over onto Twilight, lightly snoring as he pulled her close to his chest.

Twilight gave a fear filled look, wondering what she should do. Celestia leaned down to pick him off of her when she heard him mutter something that made her heart jump.


Author's Notes:


Next Chapter: Chapter eight Luna Estimated time remaining: 1 Hour, 59 Minutes
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