by Hiver

First published

Sometimes everything goes smoothly. Most of the time there are complications, especially when it comes to royal weddings.

Sometimes everything goes smoothly. Most of the time there are complications, especially when it comes to royal weddings.

Blank Page and Princess Luna's wedding is getting closer and with it comes trouble and it has brought it's friends.

Nothing is ever easy, is it?

Betaing by Fan4tic
Cover art by Sipioc

Chapter 1


Nuzzling closer to the pillow, I scooted backwards a bit further beneath Luna's wing while she slipped her forelegs around me, pulling me tight.

“...’o early…” she mumbled and nuzzled at my ear.

I couldn’t help but agree and I closed my eyes tighter, soon feeling my Luna relax again as she fell back asleep.

I really didn’t want to move. Life honestly didn’t get any better than this. Forcing my eyes finally open just in time, I could see a dark horn, green mane and small pointy ears stick up from behind the edge of the bed.

They slowly rose upwards, barely visible in the thin beam of sunlight shining in through the closer curtain to reveal a pair of bright green eyes.

I sighed softly and opened my eyes fully. Her hoof was raised to rest on the edge of the bed as the changeling peered at me.

Very carefully I started to extract myself out of Luna's grasp before Amber went on to the poking phase of getting me out of bed.

Slowly scooting out from beneath Luna's foreleg, I slid over to the edge of the bed and rolled off it and onto my hooves with a yawn before moving out through the bubble of silence around the bed.

“Morning, Amber,” I said and paused to stretch outside the bubble, spreading my wings wide as I yawned again, “Sleep well?”

“Yes, sir,” she agreed with a smile before following me out of the bedroom before closing the door behind us, “You, sir?”

“Yeah, thanks,” I said and moved over to the small stack of sandwiches and the pot of tea on the table. Mmm, cheese, tomato and daisies, “Anything on the agenda today?”

Amber jumped up to lay across one of the arm chairs as she watched me get breakfast, “Not a lot, sir. Princess Skitter wants to see you, then you have a fitting session with Miss Rarity in four hours. Princess Sparkle also wishes to meet you tonight.”

I nodded, “Which one?”

“Midnight Sparkle, sir.”

Of course, otherwise she would have said Princess Twilight.

The name Mirror Universe Twilight had finally ended up picking. I think she had been in a dark mood at the time, which I honestly couldn’t blame her for.

She was stuck here for the foreseeable future.

Which just sucked. Her friends, her family… all of them in the timeline she couldn’t get back to. All due to Discord.

But I also felt responsible. He did it to fuck with me and then I got in a fight with her when she arrived and attacked Amber.

The resulting fight destroyed the spell focus that brought her here and without that…

...No way back.

Damn, that sucked. It wasn’t even my fault, that was all on Discord, but… I still felt horrible about being involved in getting her stranded here.

“Oh course,” I said and sipped my tea, frowning at the window, “...Did Skitter say what she wanted to talk to me about?”

“No, sir. Simply that it’s Hive business.”

I frowned slightly, “I see,” and sipped my tea again, “Is Queen Chrysalis alright?”

Amber smiled and nodded, “Yes, sir. The Queen is well and is currently in the Hive if you wish to see her.”

“...Can’t say I do,” I admitted, “I don’t like her very much. Sorry.”

Amber just nodded, “I know, sir,” and shifted to lean against the back of the armchair with a small buzz of her wings.

“You had breakfast yet?”

Amber nodded with a smile, “Yes, sir, I had plenty while waiting for you to wake up.”


Chapter 2

I gave the changeling guard a nod as I approached the entrance to the Hive, “Princess Skitter wished to meet with me, Obsidian Scale.”

He nodded, “Yes, sir. Princess Skitter is currently with Queen Chrysalis in the throneroom. Please, follow me to where she wanted you to wait for her.”

“Of course.”

With that, I followed her into the Hive.

This place always gave me the creeps, to be completely honest. The tunnels and what used to be part of a mine beneath the city had been long since adapted by the Changelings to something more comfortable for them.

Dark walls covered with smooth, black resin. Green crystals barely lighting the place enough to see to walk. Organic shapes.

It reminded me of a xenomorph hive in style which admittedly was what was the most disturbing about it. The changelings on the other hoof, those I liked.

Changelings were awesome.

Obsidian Scale lead the way into a chamber and then he nodded, “Please wait here, sir. The Princess will be with you shortly.”

Nodding, I looked around the chamber. It was like all changeling chambers and covered with that dark resin. But it was brighter lit than most and had some furniture in it. Bookcase full of books, table, chairs.

It was a small library.

I didn’t need to wait long. Skitter walked inside, an air of annoyance about her, her wings beating a slow humming buzz on her back, just barely audible.

I bowed to her, “Princess.”

“Sir,” she answered, “Thanks for coming.”

“Anything, you know that,” I said and moved over to her, “What happened? You’re upset.”

She buzzed a bit louder and moved past me, touching her side against mine for a second, “My mother.”

“Ah,” I agreed, “That would do it.”

Skitter gave off an annoyed buzz and nodded, “Indeed, sir.”

Sighing softly, I followed her over to look at the bookshelf, “What did she want?”

Skitter looked down at me for a moment and then shook her head, “The usual. A lesson in how to be a Changeling Queen.”

“I see.”

“But that’s not what I wanted to talk to you about, sir,” she then continued, “It’s about the wedding, sir.”

I smiled at that, “Yes?”

Only a month left now. So much to do, even if I was mostly out of the equation when it came to planning it. For the most part, the castle staff had been handling the wedding planning..

They can have it to be honest.

I just wanted my Luna there and as long as that was true, everything else could be pretty much anything. But I also wanted it to be perfect for her.

“...Are you certain I should be there?” she asked after a second, “Ponies still haven’t accepted changelings. I’m afraid it might…”

“Then being there will do nothing but help,” I countered firmly as I looked up at the taller changeling, putting my hoof on her shoulder, “I want you there, I want the rest of the changelings there and Celestia help me, I even want your mother there.”

If only so I could keep an eye on her while all of the alicorns were gathered in one spot so she couldn't get up to anything.

Skitter buzzed slightly at the mention of Chrysalis before she nodded, “...Okay, sir. I just don’t want to disturb the event.”

I smiled at her, “Don’t worry, you won't. Besides, I suspect it will turn into the changeling buffet of the century. You know how emotions tend to run high in ponies on special occasions like that. You did invade during the last royal wedding for a reason.”

“...Another reason why I’m hesitant to be there…” Skitter said softly, “The last time changelings went to a royal wedding, it… didn’t end well.”

“Perhaps not at the time, but I think it turned out alright eventually,” I said before I smiled, “Difference is that this time you’re invited.”

Chapter 3

Midnight was already sipping her tea by the time I walked out onto the balcony. The sun had started to slowly set in the distance, which meant Luna should be up around now.

Should be able to meet up with Celestia and her for breakfast/dinner/lunch in an hour or so.

Midnight looked different from when she arrived in our Equestria months ago. She had cut her mane shorter than our Twilight and had started to wear it in a ponytail. The change in her mane and her name was mostly to differentiate herself from the other Twilight.

Her spike on the other hand seemed to be going through some kind of teenage thing and called himself ‘Blade’. We mostly humored him.

“Sorry I’m late,” I said as I joined her, “Rarity was taking a lot of measurements.”

Midnight smiled and sipped her tea, “Sounds like Rarity,” she said before she sighed softly, “Some things seem to be the same in all worlds.”

I nodded and poured myself some tea, “You miss them.”

Midnight nodded, “Of course,” she said and frowned, “It’s difficult seeing them here. They are the same ponies, but… they don’t know me. They know her.”

“No luck?”

She shook her head again and looked down at her cup, “No,” she said softly, “No, not really. From everything we have been able to find out, Discord was telling the truth. Without the anchor spell…”


“I’m sorry.”

She shook her head, “I said it before, Page, it’s not your fault. You didn’t know and you were defending your friend. And for all we know, it might as well have been one of my spells that ruined the scroll.”

“Still. Feel bad about it.”

Midnight smiled a bit, “If it helps you feel any better, this is not exactly the worst world I could have gotten stuck in. The worlds where Nightmare Moon or the Changelings had taken over the world would have been much worse,” she said before she sighed and rubbed her forehead with her hoof, “...I’m talking to the wrong pony about that.”

I smiled at her, “Oh come on. I know very well how bad the Changelings could have been. And I might not have been somewhere to see the real Nightmare Moon, but she wasn’t my Luna. Not really.”

She nodded before she flicked her right ear, “...Wait, the real Nightmare Moon? Where would you have seen…” she started to ask before trailing off.

“Weeeellll…” I said with a grin.

Midnight shook her head, “Forget I asked.”

I just chuckled and took a sip from my tea with a grin. Speaking of which, I may have to ask Luna to do that tonight. Was fun last time.

“So, what did you want to talk about?”

“The wedding,” she said before she clarified, “I don’t know if I should go.”

Oh for crying out loud. Her too!?

“Oh. Why not?” I asked with a frown.

Midnight shifted a bit in her seat and frowned down at her cup of tea, “I… I don’t belong here. When I go home, I don’t want to leave friends behind.”

“So you're trying not to make friends,” I said before I sighed, “Midnight, you’re the Princess of Friendship. You need friends.”

She flicked her ears and frowned, “I know. But… “

“But? You don’t want to leave them behind when you leave,” I said, repeating what she said earlier, “Yeah, that would suck. But you’re not happy, Midnight. I can see it in your dreams, they are almost always dark.”

Midnight sighed softly, “...Nightmares,” she admitted after a long moment.

I just nodded, “Understandable. If I were thrown away from my world into a new strange one, I would have them as well.”

Midnight stared at me before she looked down at the table, “...Page, I’m sorry. I didn’t think of that.”

I smiled at her, “It’s fine. This is my home now. I wouldn’t go back if I could,” I said before I refilled her tea as I looked at her in realization, “You are trying not to get friends that you have to leave behind,” I said before I sighed softly, “but consider this… what if you never can? Leave, I mean?”

Midnight swallowed and took a slow deep breath before she nodded, “That’s… very possible.”


She sighed softly and sipped her tea again, “No. No, that’s a fair question. Don’t like thinking about it, it feels like giving up, but…”

I nodded in understanding, “Yeah. But hey, if anypony could figure it out, it would be you and Sparky,” I said before I smiled at her, “If there is one good thing to come of this, it was that you and Sparky finally met somepony able to keep up with you.”

That got a small snort from her and a small smile, “...It has been fun talking to Twilight,” she admitted, “We've been able to get twice as much done when working together.”

“See, not all bad.”

Midnight smiled a bit and shifted her wings before she frowned, “But...”


“...It’s a bit creepy,” she admitted softly, “My friends here. Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy. They’re my friends, but still not. It’s like they all been replaced by clones or podponies or something. I know it’s silly, but it’s still a bit creepy.”

“Now that I get,” I said and stretched my wings, “But nopony said that you need to become friends with them again. You could find new ones.”

Midnight nodded a bit.

“So… friends?” I asked and offered her my hoof.

She looked at it for a second before she smiled and took it, “Friends.”

Chapter 4

I stretched my wings and tapped the pen against the paper in thought before I relaxed again while overlooking the city.

My latest book was to be released in a couple of months and was currently off to the editor for a final check and then to the printers.

What to write next though…

Not that I had a lot of time to write for the next while, but it was nice to have something to do during what downtime I had. It was relaxing.


The sound of hooves against stone made me look away from the city to see a very welcome sight, “Sunny. Back from Ponyville?”

She nodded, “Yep, just got back, Wingboy,” she said and jumped up onto the seat next to me, leaning against my side as I slipped my wing around her back, “What are you writing?”

“Not sure yet,” I said and gave her a quick nuzzle before resting my horn against hers, “How’s Sparky?”

Sunset smiled, “She’s good, but busy like usual,” she said before she frowned, “...That table in her library is bothering her though, she can’t figure it out.”

“Midnight said the same,” I said, “But if anypony could figure it out, it would be those two.”

“Yeah,” Sunset agreed, tapping her horn gently against mine, “So... excited for next month?”

“...Yes and no.”

Sunset shifted back a bit to look at me in question, “How do you mean?”

“Marrying Luna I’m looking forward to,” I said and stroked her back with my wing, “Not only because it makes her happy either.”

“Of course,” Sunset said before she smirked, “It’ll make you a prince!”

I glowered at her, “Don’t make me push you off the couch.”

That got a giggle from her, “It’s kinda funny how much you dislike that.”

I stuck my tongue out at her, “Don’t want the responsibility.”

“Yes, imagine if you had to, say, have your own guard, make rulings at court, meet diplomats and go to other countries to negotiate treati-yeaaaa!” she started to tease before it turned into a squeal as I tickled my feathers along her side.

Sunset squirmed and I grinned, pouncing to pin her down against the couch, tickling along her sides with my wings until she managed to squirm out and down onto the floor.

“Are we going to behave?” I asked as I smiled down at her over the edge of the couch.

She glared up at me as she struggled to get her breath back, “Y-you suck.”

I grinned, “Well, you’re the expert.”

“Wha-” she started to ask before she turned a bit red, “...Shut up.”

I win!

Sunset stuck her tongue out at me and then moved back onto the couch, “...You’re so lucky you’re rich.”

“Yes, I’m sure my money is why you’re with me,” I agreed, “A regular gold digger.”

“Well, as long as it’s clear,” she said and cuddled close, resting her head against my neck, “...So, what were you not looking forward to with the wedding?”

“...The actual wedding part,” I sighed and pulled her tight with my wing, “It’s going to be a massive spectacle and you know how much I enjoy those.”

“Mmmm,” Sunset agreed, “Royal wedding though, not sure if it's avoidable really. Princess Cadence's wedding was and she was barely in the public eye at all before then. This is Luna and you, of course it’s going to be big.”

I nodded, “Yeah, I know,” I admitted and touched my horn tip to hers as she shifted to raise her head, “Not arguing that, unless we sneak away to Las Pegasus under illusion, no way it would happen without turning massive. Doesn't mean I actually like it.”

Sunset mmmed, “Just a month and it’ll be over.”

“Yeah,” I agreed, “Well worth it. Of course, You’ll find out how it is eventually.”

“Oh?” she asked and fluttered her eyelashes at me, “Shouldn’t you finish one wedding before planning the next?”

I tapped my horn softly against hers, “Maybe. But in this instance I was thinking of you and Sparky.”

Her cheeks turned a bit red, “...We haven’t talked about that. Taking it slow.”

“Smart,” I agreed and then I grinned, “and I know what to write now.”


Picking the paper and pen, I started to write down the title, “How to Train Your Unico-!” and then I was rudely interrupted by said unicorn pushing me off the couch.

Chapter 5

The wheels of the train did it’s usual thunk-thunk, thunk-thunk as I looked out the window as it took me towards Ponyville.

My ultimate destination wasn’t anything exciting really, but I wanted to check some stuff with Twilight. Now normally when it came to magic I would have asked Luna, but I wanted this to be a surprise.

What I was looking for specifically was a transformation spell. Something that’ll let me look like a normal unicorn again, without the wings and with other colours without needing to keep the illusion going.

Sunshine knew how to do that, she did that during her vacation and I could have asked her as well, but she was not only ridiculously busy right now, but Clear Skies was visiting and I didn’t want to intrude into what little free time she had.

So I was heading to Ponyville to bother Sparky about it instead. Luna had her own way to hide who she was, but I just had the illusions and I wanted for us to be able to duck away somewhere for a week or two for the honeymoon without being bothered.

Amber was nowhere in sight of course. On the other side of the carriage my other guard was sitting, a pegasus called Blue Dawn.

“So, you drew the short straw for following me around today, huh?” I asked her with a smile.

She smiled, shifting her blue wings, “Not at all, sir. I volunteered.”

“Hmm? time to clean the barracks already?” I teased.

She grinned and shook her head, “Not this time, sir, but there was talk of a field exercise…”

I just chuckled and nodded, “Sensible. Following me around might not be the most exciting, but at least you’ll not be crawling around in the mud.”

“Bodyguard duty is one of those things you really rather not be exciting, sir.”

“Very good point.”

There was a knock on the door and Blue Dawn jumped out of her seat and moved to open the door to reveal a pony with a tray of tea and cookies.


The pink unicorn bowed slightly, “Tea, sir.”

“Thank you,” I said as Blue Dawn took the tray from her, “Just in time.”

She bowed again and slid the door closed, letting Blue Dawn carry the tray over to the table. Picking the teapot into my magic, I looked at Blue Dawn, “Want a cup?”

“Yes please, sir.”

Pouring us a cup each, I then picked mine up and looked out the window as I took a sip. Hmh, green of some sort. Not my favorite, but nice enough.

Didn’t recognize it though.


Turning my head, I looked over to see Blue Dawn collapsed onto the floor, the tea spilled next to her.


Wy is my tongue fel nomb?


The room started to grow around me and then suddenly tilted sideways before darkening to black.



The first thing I realized was that my head was killing me. Groaning, I forced my eyes open. I couldn’t see a thing other than faint lights, I couldn’t focus. What happened?

Groaning, I tried to move only to find I couldn’t. What.

What happened… the tea. Poison?

Blue Dawn! Closing my eyes tight, I then opened them again and blinked and things started to come into focus. Black glistening resin walls, faint blue glow and pillars holding up the ceiling.

Changeling Hive.

Looking to the side as much as I could turn my head, I could just about see Blue Dawn stuck to the same wall like I was.

Why would the changelings…

Movement. I turned my head to see a changeling move out from behind one of the pillars. She was tall with long blue hair, the crown antenna a bit longer than Chrysalis and if anything, she was a bit more gaunt than the more familiar queen.


Oh shit.

As she approached, she smiled, revealing some very sharp fangs, “Welcome into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.”

Chapter 6

“Who are you? Where am I?”

The Queen smiled, “I am Queen Pincer of the Jungle Hive. And you, my prize,” she said and reached up to stroke my cheek, “You will be my key to much, much more.”

I shook my head, “Somebody else already tried that. It will not work.”

“Ah yes, Chrysalis,” she chuckled, “That stupid fool got herself revealed at an crucial part of her assault. And now she’s a pet to those that should be her food. Pathetic.”

“So what’s your plan here, exactly? Take my place?”

“Of course not,” she said and noses at my cheek and I could feel her drink in my emotions, “Just until the wedding.”

“Won’t work.”

“Food don’t get opinions,” she said and stepped back, “Especially not wrong ones. My infiltrators are already in place. The weak pets don’t even sense us, not with our pheromone blockers in place. Especially when we replaced your pet changeling as well.”

“Amber. What did you do to her?”

“Oh, she’s… somewhere. For now,” before she smiled, “Oh, such spicy rage. You’ll feed us nicely.”

With that, she pulled back and headed away, exiting the chamber.

Igniting my horn, I fired a cutting spell towards the closest of the resin keeping me in place. Nothing. It didn’t even leave my horn.

Glancing upwards, I could see it covered with some sort of substance.

Shit. Shit. Shit!

Okay. Okay. Okay. Think. You know changelings, you have powers that don’t require your horn. Looking over towards Blue Dawn, I saw her still out of it.

Think I’m trapped in here with you, Queeny? Yeah, not so much.

Closing my eyes, I made myself slip off into sleep and I stepped out into the dream realm, stretching my wings.

Well then…

Shifting things around, I brought the dreams around to match geological location relative to myself.

Mostly changelings around with a dozen or so ponies spread through the hive. I needed to warn Luna.

If it was still day, then she'd…

Shifting her dream portal to me, I stepped through the silvery portal into a forest clearing that I'd never seen anywhere but Luna's dreams, a place close to where she first grew up.

As I entered, she looked up from where she had been lounging beneath one of the trees in the soft, thick grass. “My Page! What are you doing sleep?”

Sighing, I moved over to nuzzle her. “My Sky,” I said and settled down next to her, “I’m afraid I have some bad news.”

“What do you mean?”

Leaning against her side, I explained what had happened.

Luna surged to her hooves, “I’m mobilizing the guard, we’ll come for you.”


She blinked at me in surprise, “...What?”

“It’d be a bloodbath,” I said and got up to nuzzle her, “There are hundreds of changelings here. It would be tunnel fighting against enemies that could look like the pony next to you. We’d win, but so many ponies would die.”

Luna shook her head, “No. Not with my sister and me coming. We’ll burn that hive to the ground.”

“...No,” I said and gave her a small kiss, “I know Changelings. I’ll find a way to figure things out. You know what’s happening, you’ll have the advantage. Just… play along for now.”

Luna shook her head, “Page, it’s too dangerous! We can’t risk it.”

“Please. I think we can find a better way to do this.”

Luna didn’t look happy at all and shifted her wings, nuzzling at my ears before she sighed and nodded, “...Very well. I trust you, My Page. I hope you know what you’re doing.”

“Me too, Luna. Me too.”

Chapter 7

I watched the changeling before me, it’s horn glowing as it drained emotions from me. I could feel it, I knew that feeling so well.

“Hungry?” I asked as I looked down at the blue drone. It’s funny, I could see differences between this drone and those from Chrysalis' Hive. Just small ones, shape of the horn mostly.

He glanced up at me, “Food don’t talk.”

“This food does,” I said, “What’s your name?”

He ignored me and kept pooling the congealed blue emotion into a resin jar, strands of his magic moving around me.

“Tell me your name and you’ll get some love. Freely given.”

His wings buzzed slightly before he looked up at me, “...Obsidian.”

Closing my eyes, I focused on my Luna, on Sunset. The way the sun shone through Sunset's mane in the morning.

I felt my emotions drain away and I opened my eyes again, looking down at the drone, “How was that?”

Obsidian shifted a bit, “....Good.”

“Good. It's been a while since you had something like that, hasn’t it? Or have you ever? You have only ever ever eaten from the vats, haven’t you?”

He shook his head, “I’m not an infiltrator.”

“Never then. Like it?”


“That other hive gets it all the time,” I said, “Too bad you guys follow Pincer. Say you win… somehow… what then? More of this? More emotion gel.”

“Food don’t talk,” he said and closed the jar, sealing the lid with some spit resin. Putting it down, he then picked up a second bowl, lifting it up to my lips, “Drink.”

Sniffing it revealed nothing but water and I drank deeply. Soon it was replaced by an apple, “Eat.”

I did as he told me to.

As soon as I was done, he gathered his things and left the chamber, leaving me alone with Blue Dawn.

She started to stir awake, slowly blinking as I turned to her before she jerked awake and tugged at the resin keeping her in place as she let out a scream.

“Blue Dawn!” I yelled, “Calm down!”

“Lord Page!” she yelled and tugged at the resin, “Where are we!? What happened?”

“Poison in the tea,” I explained, “We’re in another changeling hive. Another swarm.”


Blue Dawn looked confused, “What are you talking about, how can you be so calm!?”

“Easy,” I continued, “I know changelings. Different hive, still changelings. I’ll get us out of here, I promise.”

She clenched her eyes shut, seemingly trying not to hyperventilate, “This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening…”

“Dawn,” I said, “Deep, slow breaths. You’re fine. We’ll be out of here soon enough. I need you to stay calm and stay alive. Can you do that for me?”

“...Y-yes, sir.”

I nodded, “Good. Please, just keep calm and cooperate with them. Trust me.”

Blue Dawn swallows, “...Yes sir. I can do that. I… I hope you know what you are doing.”

“So do I. So do I…” I agreed, “Try to get some rest, preserve your strength.”

Blue Dawn looked around before she closed her eyes, seeming to shudder, “...I’ll try.”

Nodding, I settled down and relaxed against the resin holding me.

Now I just needed to wait.


“Are you sure of this, My Page?” Luna asked softly, standing next to me in the dream realm, stars sparkling all around.

“No. But I think it’s the best possible option,” I said and moved to touch the tip of my horn against the dream portal of Obsidian.

The trickiest part of this was that I had to do it without entering the dream. As Chrysalis had shown, there was a chance he would be able to sense me if I did.

Dream was… normal changeling. Dreaming of… tunnels. Dark. Comfortable. Safe.

Exactly what I was expecting. No matter the Hive, Changelings gonna Changeling. Okay then. Slowly, slowly.

Gently, more insinuating than forcing, I introduced a feeling of hunger. Hungry. Dark tunnels, no food. Little food.


Obsidian’s dream changed to worse times. I couldn’t see it clearly, not from outside. It was more… feelings than anything else. But he had been hungry. Everyone had been.

Now… Pincer. Pincer. Hungry. Hungry with Pincer. Danger.

Pincer danger ponies. Hungry. Hurt.

The silvery green portal started to quickly ripple and darken as it turned into a nightmare. Pictures of ponies fighting changelings flashed through my mind, Pincer laying broken on the ground, the ponies defeating the changelings.


Putting a bit more force into it this time before it got too far, I shifted his dream. Pony friend. Pony feed Changeling. No fear. No force. No danger. Willing.

The dream shifted.

Obsidian and a pony. Pony he seen once. Pink mane and coat. Hugging him, feeding him love. Safe. No Pincer. Pony friend food, not food.

Pony friend food happy to see Obsidian.

Pulling my horn back, I blinked my eyes and shook my head. Damn, touching a Changeling like that really wasn't good for your head.

I like them, but damn if their thought patterns weren't completely Alien at times.

Stepping back, I watched the portal ripple in silvery green, pink and blue. Okay then, let’s see if this works.

“Did it work?” Luna asked and moved up next to me.

“...Not sure. This is a slow process,” I admitted and leaned against her side, “Honestly, I don’t know if this will work, but… if you try to free me, Changelings and Ponies will die. I don’t want that.”

“How’s Blue Dawn?”

“Holding it together,“ I answered and sighed, “and Amber is in the hive. Unconscious, not sleeping. But alive.”

Luna nodded and held me closer with her wing, “Your impostor arrived in Canterlot today.”

“How are you and Sunset doing?”

“...Princess Skitter has been giving us lessons on how not to give anything away,” Luna admitted and nuzzled at my ears, “But it’s… difficult.”

“I know, My Sky,” I said and looked up at her, “Love you.”

“Love you too.”

Obsidians dream portal blinked out next to us and I gave her a kiss, “Need to go now.”

“I know. Be careful.”

“I promise.”

Opening my eyes, I relaxed against the resin and waited. It was a couple of hours before a Changeling entered with a resin jar and a bowl of fruit.

Not Obsidian. Which made sense, there were hundreds of them in the hive, why would the same done come to harvest our emotions every time?

“Hello, what’s your name?” I asked with a smile.

The Changeling blinked and buzzed her wings in surprise, “...Food does not speak.”

“Isn’t is nicer when I speak instead of the normal begging?” I asked, “Hungry?”

She seemed to hesitate, looking around for a second before she nodded, “Yes.”

“Goody, I have some food for you. My name is Blank Page, this is Blue Dawn. What’s yours?”

The drone seemed really confused as she carefully approached, “...Ambrosia.”

“That’s a beautiful name,” I told her, “Got your jar ready?”

At her nod, I closed my eyes and focused on my Sunny and my Sky. It didn’t take long before I could feel my emotions being drained. It was a feeling I could easily identify.

When it stopped, I opened my eyes and relaxed against the resin holding me, “...How’s that?”

Ambrosia stared down into the jar filled with glowing green gel, “...It’s love. Not mixed or tainted. It’s actual love.”

I nodded, “Yeah. Nice isn’t it when you have somebody that wants you to eat well. Did you get any of that for yourself or does it go into storage?”

“...I got some yesterday.”

“Well, that’s not hardly enough,” I said and closed my eyes and focused on my friends. On the way Sunset looked sleeping next to me.

There was a slight draining feeling and when I opened my eyes again, Ambrosia stared up at me.

“...Why? Food beg and scream, not volunteer.”

“Not all food,” I sighed, “When you have put that into storage, why don’t you go find the Changeling from the other hive, Amber? She could tell you what it’s like not being hungry all the time.”

Chapter 8

Days turned into a week. Several times a day changelings came to drain our emotions. Sometimes the same, sometimes different.

I looked around the dream realm at the portals around me. A new one popped up next to me and I idly popped it again, forcing the owner to wake up again.

Pincer visited a few days ago to gloat again. She seemed a little frazzled though, almost like she had not been sleeping well.

Strange. Wonder why.

Looking out over the portals, I could see the ones I had talked to and reached into the dreams of. I had talked and affected the dreams of nine different changelings.

But there were fifteen different dreams right now before me that had changed and were currently dreaming about friendly ponies.

Come on. Just a little bit more. I know this will work.

As I watched, another silvery portal rippled and shifted and I moved over to it, touching my horn to it. Changeling infiltrator dreaming about a stallion she met on her last mission, a bartender in the bar where she had worked.

I had never talked to her.

The Changeling carrier wave was working. It wasn’t a hivemind, not really. But they were connected in a way ponies weren't.

The Queen was the center of it, but she was not the connection point, just the largest node. They were all interconnected.

Pincers portal popped back up and I zapped it out of existence before I spread my wings and rose above the city, “Come on. Come on guys. You can do it. Come on!”

Pop. Another one changed.

Pop. One more.

Pop. Pop. Pop.

It was spreading. The more of them dreamed about it, the further it spread among them. I couldn’t help but smile as I floated higher, seeing the entire swarm having changed into new dreams, not of safe dark tunnels, but of not being hungry and friendly ponies.

Now, this would be tricky.

Gathering my power, I bent the dream realm around me and let my power flow into them, each and every one of them.

I didn’t dare attach firmly, a single changeling might overwhelm me if I did, their minds were just so alien. But all they needed was a small nudge and…

Nightmares. Nightmares rippling across the entire swarm, nightmares about the Hive starving, the hive being crushed from attacking the ponies, nightmares about Queen Pincer having lost her mind and leading the Hive to it’s doom. Memories. Memories of mistakes she'd made in the past.

Keeping hundreds of dream connections going, even relatively light ones like this made me grit my teeth in effort, I could feel the dreams, all of them. I had to hold them. Just a little longer.

Just a little longer!

The connection snapped and the next thing I knew was me hitting the not-ground gasping for not-air.

My horn burned. It felt like it was glowing red. Bloody hell. I’m not doing that again.


Groaning, I rolled onto my stomach and zapped Pincers dream out of existence once more. I really, really hoped this would work or I would have messed with those Changeling's heads for nothing.

In all honesty, using the dream Realm like this felt wrong. I was meant to guard it, to keep ponies and other creatures safe, not… terrorize them.

But I really did think it would end up better for them in the end if this worked.

Opening my eyes, I looked at the chamber we were still stuck in, “D-dawn, you doing okay?”

“I-I’m fine,” she answered softly, “Just… don’t worry about me. D-don’t know the plan, sir. But… get out of here.”

I looked to her. She really wasn’t looking too good. I had seen that image before… in myself after I kicked Chrysalis out of her ‘oh woe is me’ phase and she ate me. She was close to her limit.

“Dawn, look at me,” I said and she turned to me, “Just hang in there, okay? We’ll get out of here. I promise you that. Just… hang on a little longer.”

“...I’ll try.”

“That’s not what we say. What do we say, Dawn?”

She managed a small grin, “Do. Do or do not.”

“That’s right.”

Chapter 9

Pincer entered the chamber, looking more than a bit frazzled. A trio of drones following behind her as she approached.

“You! You did something to me!” she snarled as soon as she got close.

“Did I?” I asked as I watched her, “Maybe it’s just your age catching up to you. I mean, you do look about Chrysalis' age and she’s positively ancient. Can’t imagine she has more than a couple of years at most. She has a princess now, you know?”

The Queen growled at me, “Do not compare me to that weakling!”

Oh please. Chrysalis would fold you in half. Whatever else she was, she was powerful, smart and very skilled.

I smiled at her, “If you say so. You’re right, there is no comparison.”

Her wings buzzed as she glared at me, “What did you do to me, Pony?”

“Do? What could I possibly do? I’m stuck here with no magic,” I said before I shook my head, “No… but I think I’ll give you a choice instead.”

She sneered, “Choice? What choice?”

“Let us go,” I said with a sigh, “Let everypony go. Let Amber go with us and pull your infiltrators back. We can still have peace between us. Your drones no longer need to go hungry.”

Pincer snorted, “As your pets,like the others. They will pay for their weakness.”

“Or, you can go with the alternative,” I continued like she hadn't spoken, “I’ll bring your rule down around you. So please… don’t do this.”

She laughed at me, “Do your worst, Pony!”

Six words I once heard on TV. This… this seemed fitting.

I looked at her for a long moment before I turned my head to her drones, “Does she looks tired to you?”

Pincer glared at me, “You did! You did this! Enough of this!” she screamed and turned to her drones, “Drain them!!”

The drones looked at us before they looked at her but they didn’t move.

She stared at them for a moment before she spoke up again, “What are you doing? Drain them!”

The closest drone to her looked up at her, “You are bad for the hive,” she said and I recognized Ambrosia's voice.


The next one moved up next to her, “We are hungry.”

Another couple of drones filed into the chamber. Pincer looked between them and then stomped her hoof against the ground, “I am your Queen! Do as I say and you will eat well from the Ponies!”

Ambrosia shook her head, “Only hundred and half as many of us. Even if we win, too many ponies.”

Pincer looked at the growing gathering of drones, shaking her head, “No! We can win! We just need to take down the Princesses and they will fall in line!”

“We are hungry,” a new drone said, “The other hive isn’t hungry. They don’t get hunted.”

“Yes. No predators,” another filled in, “no hurting.”

Pincer shrieked and stomped her hoof, “No! No you will not do this!” and pointed her hoof at me, “It’s him! He’s doing this! I am your Queen! Listen to me!”

“We need new Queen,” Ambrosia said, her wings buzzing, “You are bad for the hive.”

“No! No!” Pincer said and took a step back as the drones started to approach her as more and more flooded into the chamber, “No! I am good for the hive! I have guided you! Kept you safe! I’m your Queen!”

It didn’t seem to convince them and suddenly something rippled through the group and they swarmed over her like ants over a dead lizard. Pincer screamed and I quickly closed my eyes and turned my face away. I didn’t want to see that.

The scream cut off but I kept my eyes closed, trying to ignore the sounds until it was completely quiet.

When I opened my eyes again, there were only three Changelings in the chamber, looking up at me.

“So what now?” I asked Ambrosia as I looked down at her.

“We need a new queen,” she said and buzzed her wings, “We want love.”

“I think I can help you with both of those,” I told her, “What usually happens when one hive conquers another?”

“The new Queen absorb the fallen hive into her own,” Ambrosia explained before she frowned up at me, “...She was right though. You did do this.”

“I did,” I admitted, “But if I hadn’t, Princess Luna and Princess Celestia would have come to save me. They would have burned your hive and all of you to the ground. They know what happened, they know about your infiltrators already.”

They buzzed their wings and looked between themselves for a second before Ambrosia looked up at me again, “...Can you take us to the other hive? We don’t want to be hungry.”

“Of course. But you need to release all the ponies and other creatures you are holding.”

Without answering, she and another drone crawled up and started to gnaw at the resin holding me and Blue Dawn to the wall.

Author's Notes:

Oops. Posted on the wrong story there. That'll teach me not to have similar titles while tired!

Chapter 10

“Dawn? Dawnie?” I asked, carefully propping my pegasus guard up with my shoulder, “You okay?”

“...Fine sir,” she answered quietly, “I just feel… strange.”

“You have been overly drained by the changelings,” I explained gently, “I know how that feels, everything is going to feel muted for a few days, like nothing matters. Just put one hoof before the other and everything will be okay. Can you do that for me?”

“Yes sir.”

Having been stuck to the wall for over a week didn’t help either, if I’m completely honest, and she wasn’t the only pony in a similar state. In all honesty, I was suffering from a milder version and only because I was used to feeding Changelings.

I carefully led her over to the shadow of a tree outside the hive. It was at the edge of a jungle, so that explained the fruit they had been feeding us.

Helping her lay down near the other ponies that had been moved from the hive, I made sure she was comfortable before I looked to Amber.

My usual changeling shadow was buzzingly mad about the entire thing. No, seriously, I'd seen pissed changelings before and she looked about two seconds from peeling somelings exoskeleton off, as she kept glaring at the changelings all around the clearing outside the hive like she could make them bust into flames.

“You okay?” I asked as I moved up next to her, settling my wing across hers to stop the buzzing.

“...I’m fine, sir,'' she said and kept glaring at them, “They did not harm me, just kept me trapped.”


“Don’t you dare!” she snarled at me and I almost took a step back as she descended into hisses and buzzed something at me in Changeling. I think I even caught a couple of words of ancient Changeling in there.

Oh boy. Last time I saw a changeling that angry was Chrysalis.

“...Okay. No feeding, I promise.”

She buzzed beneath my wing but then settled down again.

“Why don’t you go have a seat over there and rest, I’m going to go speak to…”

“I go where you go!”

I nodded and slipped my wing off hers, “Okay. Just… don’t try to antagonize them. I know you don’t like them, but I need this to work well.”

If not, it was all for nothing.

Amber buzzed but nodded, “...Yes, sir.”

Nodding, I made my way over to the group of changelings milling about just outside the hive to smile at Ambrosia, “Thank you for helping everypony outside, the sunshine and fresh air will do everypony good. Princess Skitter and Princess Luna will arrive in a day or so via airship, they’ll be able to bring all of us back to Canterlot.”

Ambrosia looked at me for a second, her wings buzzing softly as she looked around, “I...Yes. We will prepare to leave this hive,” she said, seemingly lost for a second, “...No Queen.”

“It’ll be fine, I promise,” I told her gently, “It won’t be long before you have a new Queen and plenty of food too.”

Tired. So much. So. Tired.

She nodded and looked around again, “...Food for ponies?”

“We could use some fruit,” I agreed, “And perhaps some water? It would help everyone recover.”

“We will get it,” Ambrosia agreed and left with the changelings gathered around her. I looked after them for a second before I turned to go back to check on the dozen ponies laying beneath the tree when the ground suddenly seemed very unsteady beneath my hooves.

Amber ducked down and quickly supported me with her shoulder as I stumbled, “You should rest too, sir,” she said, her horn glowing and I could feel her magic field around my chest as she helped hold me up, “You know how bad overfeeding can be, and you have definitely been overfed on, I can see all the signs.”

I shook my head, “No,” I said to her quietly, “Not until they arrive. I can’t afford to.”

Amber didn’t look happy about that but sighed, “At least lay down, sir.”

“...Yeah. That does sound like a good idea right about now.”

Starting to not really have a choice in the matter anyway, and I’m fairly sure that if I faceplanted it would look even worse.

Chapter 11

“Thank you Obsidian,” I said and took the bowl of fruit from him, “I’d give you some emotion in turn, but I think Amber is going to hit me with a stick if I try.”

Amber made a buzzing sound next to me where she was sitting and glaring at any other Changeling that dared come too close.

She was holding a sharp stick. Almost a spear actually.

He nodded and then took a step back and looked up. Perking my ears, I looked up as well. Changeling hearing must be better than Alicorn because it took me a couple of moments before I could just about make out the sound of propellers.

“Amber, would you mind flying up and guiding them back here?” I asked as I turned to look at my guard.

She glared at me, “Yes, I would mind, Sir. I’m not leaving you unguarded with these Changelings.”

Okay then.

“...Send up a flare instead?” I suggested and shifted my wings. Oh man, Amber didn’t like these guys at all.

I would do it myself, but even after a couple of days of recovering, something that draining may still make me pass out.

Nodding, Amber then raised her head and her horn glowed before sending a bolt of magic flying up in the air through the canopy of the trees to explode like green fireworks.

“Thank you, Amber,” I said and leaned against her, only to have her growl at me and pulled away.

“If you try to feed me, sir, I’ll hit you with the suggested stick. You are not in any state to do so!”

“...Yes, ma’am…”

Even so, I knew that Amber had to be starving. She had not eaten for over a week, apparently refusing any of the gel the other Changelings had offered to her.

I hadn’t asked her how she got captured and she hadn’t told me. I didn’t plan to ask either, if my guess was right it involved being completely overwhelmed by a pile of Changelings.

It took a minute or so before a large shadow moved above the trees. Moments later there was a flash of light leaving behind Luna, Sunset, Skitter and a dozen guards, evenly mixed between my Legion and Luna's Nightguard.

Struggling onto my hooves, I moved up to them, “Welcome to the Jungle. We got fun and ga-Ow!”

Sunset glared at me and lowered her goof from my chest, “Nopony else gets those jokes anyway!” and then she hugged me tight, “Never do that again.”

“Didn’t think it was that bad of a joke,” I murmured against her neck as I hugged her tightly, “I’m fine. I promise.”

Luna put her wing around both of us, giving my ears a quick nuzzle before she looked towards Skitter.

Skitter stepped forward past us, giving Amber a small nuzzle before she buzzed her wings and spoke up, “Your Queen has fallen. The Jungle Hive is no more. I am Princess Skitter of the Canterlot Hive and I claim this swarm for the Hive.”

Ambrosia was the first one to approach her from the group. She looked up at Skitter for a long moment before lowering her head a bit, offering her horn.

Skitter lowered her head and touched the small antenna crown on top of her head against Ambrosia's horn for a moment. Ambrosia blinked and seemed confused and disoriented for a second, stumbling before closing her eyes and sinking down to lay on the ground.

Beyond that, I didn’t pay too much attention as the next changeling moved up to her. The guards were helping the ponies resting on the grass.

Pulling back from the hug, I smiled at both Luna and Sunset, “Seriously, I’m fine. We’re all fine, just tired.”

Luna pulled me close with her wing, “Are you sure, My Page?”

“Yeah. Don’t blame the Changelings, they were just doing what they have always done, they didn’t know a different way,” I said and looked up at her, “It’ll be fine.”

Luna just shook her head and rested her head against the top of mine. Sunset frowned at the Changelings gathering around Skitter.

She then shook her head and moved close, putting her horn against mine, “What is it with you and Changelings?” she sighed softly. Putting my wing around her, I pulled her close before I shook my head,

“Forget that now. Let’s get everypony and ‘ling back onto the ship,” I said and smiled at them, “...Before I fall over again, please.”

Sunset looked like she had something to say about that ‘again’, but instead she nodded, “Let’s move everyone back to the ship. Princ…” she started to say as she looked up at Luna and then changed it to, “...Luna, I’ll bring Page to our cabin.”

Luna nodded, “I will teleport everypony else. Go.”

Chapter 12

Getting a real night's sleep that wasn’t beneath a tree did a world of good. Luna was still deep asleep as I slowly woke up, finding my eyes covered by a star field and her wing across my back.

Everything was right in the world once more.

I might not be able to see, but I could feel Sunset beneath my wing so I pulled her tighter. I could feel her shift and roll over, nuzzling in beneath my chin.

Smiling, I nuzzled at her ear.

“Morning,” I said softly.

“Morning,” she answered, “Feel better?”

“Much,” I whispered, “Move out of bed? Don’t wanna wake Luna.”

Sunset shook her head and cuddled closer.

...A most convincing argument, Lady Shimmer. Pulling her closer, I closed my eyes again. It didn’t take long to drift back to sleep and I didn’t bother with anything to do with the dream realm.

Just restful, dreamless sleep.

Next I became aware, it was… later. I had no idea how much later, but I found something was different than before.

It took me a second to figure out what, but then I realized that it was a lack of somepony beneath my wing.

Sunny was missing.

Shifting to get up, Luna shifted her wing to pull me back down, “Stay.”

Smiling, I rolled over and cuddled close, “What are you doing awake?” I asked as I peeked out from beneath her mane.

“Mmmm,” she agreed and nuzzled in to give me a kiss.

Smiling, I kissed back before I sighed, “What time is it?”

“Almost time to raise the moon,” she said softly, “You slept a long time, My Page.”

“Woke up earlier,” I admitted, “Sunny convinced me to stay in bed.”

“Should listen to her. We have talked a lot while you were away. Smart mare,” Luna agreed and pulled me tighter, “She left a little while ago to find some food for us.”

Nodding, I pulled away and then yawned as I got up, stretching while spreading my wings. My joints and back making a kind of popping sound before I collapsed again, “Oh Luna,” I sighed, “I needed that. Changeling walls is hell on the back.”

I looked at Luna and shook my head, “Don’t frown like that, My Sky. It all went fine, we’re fine. I’m safe, we’re getting married in a couple of weeks.”

Luna rolled onto her stomach, wings raising in annoyance, “It’s not ‘fine’!” she said and shook her head, “It’s not. You were kidnapped by changelings and there was nothing I could do about it. I could have gone and gotten you out but you didn’t want that! What if it hadn’t worked, Page! You would be…”

“Dead,” I said, “Or close enough for it to count,” I said and moved up to give her cheek a nuzzle, “But I’m not and it didn’t. And that is exactly how I felt when you were missing.”

Luna flicked her ears and sighed, “...I know, I have felt it before. But My Page, I… it would be…”

“I know,” I sighed and gave her a small kiss, “Why do you think I was complaining about security so much?”

“...I know,” she admitted softly, “I know.”

“Speaking of security,” Sunset said as she pushed the door open, walking inside with a tray floating in her magic, “Guess who is getting more guards to follow him around?”

I just groaned, “Seriously? I already have two! And how would more guards have helped here? It was drugged tea and a hypnotised waitress..”

“Weeeelll…” Sunset said with a grin.

I pointed my hoof at her, “If you dare suggest we get rid of the tea, you’re walking back to Canterlot.”

That got a laugh from her and she handed the tray with food over to Luna's magic before she jumped onto the bed and settled down next to me, putting her horn against mine, “I wouldn’t dare,” she teased, “the Holy Drink must be protected at all costs.”

“Damn right,” I said with a grin before I frowned, “...you were joking about more guards, right?”

“Not a chance,” Luna said and nuzzled at my ear.

Well, damn.

Chapter 13

“Hey, Amber,” I said as I entered the galley of the airship, surprised to see the Changeling in such a place. Changelings didn’t really care for normal food.

She looked up from the cup of hot chocolate before her, “Feel better, sir? You slept for most of the day.”
“Much, thank you,” I said and started to open and close lockets. Now if I was a ship cook, where would I keep the tea?

Pausing, I looked over towards her, “...What are you doing here?”

“Drink, sir.”

I nodded, “Hot chocolate?”

“Yes, sir.”

Chocolate is one of those foods that Changelings actually enjoyed on some levels. But I had not really seen Amber going for it before.

“...Are you sure you are okay?” I asked as I put the kettle on the magically heated plate.

“I’m fine, sir.”

I frowned and looked at the changeling, her nose almost into the cup on the counter. She really, really didn’t look okay.

“No, you’re not,” I said and moved up to her, “What’s wrong?”

She sighed, “I failed, sir.”

I shook my head, “No, you didn’t fail, Amber. What happened? I’m guessing you got piled on by a dozen ‘lings.”

“...Pretty much, sir,”

“Exactly,” I said, “No ‘ling could be expected to manage that,” before I sighed, “...In all honesty, it wasn’t a fair task for you in the first place.”

Amber blinked at me, “Sir?”

“Guarding an Alicorn,” I clarified and jumped to sit up on the chair next to her, “...Kinda silly, isn’t it? I mean, if there is an Alicorn level threat, what could we possibly expect you to do about it?”

I may be the weakest Alicorn, but the weakest Alicorn was still an Alicorn. Anything that came after me, would be ready to fight an Alicorn. To expect any guard to stand against that was just stupid.

A legion of them, yeah. But one or two? That’s just unreasonable.

“No need to worry about that now, sir,” Amber said and looked down into her hot chocolate, “Princess Skitter has resigned me back to my old tasks.”

I blinked at her in surprise, “What?”

“Didn’t keep you safe, sir,” she said and shook her head, “Should have noticed them, should have warned you.”

“Yeah, that won’t work for me,” I said and shook my head, getting off the chair and taking the now boiling water off the stove. “Not your fault. I’m going to talk to Skitter about it, get you assigned back.”

Amber shook her head, “No, sir. Better that you get a better guard.”

“None of that,” I said as I poured the water into the teapot before adding enough tea to make it technically a solid, “You are very good at your job. Anyone, ‘ling, pony or otherwise can do absolutely everything right and still fail. Not your fault.”

Putting a cup on the table, I returned with the teapot, “Amber, you didn’t fail. Not only did you do your job as well as anyone possibly could, but I’m here and fine. Everypony and everyling is fine.”

She didn’t seem overly convinced by that as she sniffed at her chocolate.

I smiled at her and poked her side with my wing, “Besides, what would I ever do without you with me, Amber? Would I have any idea what meetings I had?”

“...No, sir.”

“And would I have any clue about where? Or even with who?” I asked her with a smile, “Would I have any idea where I put anything? Or how to get anywhere?”

That actually got a small smile from the changeling, “No, sir.”

“See? I couldn’t possible handle things without you,” I said with a smile, “Amber, I don’t want another ‘ling following me around. Princess Skitter picked you to start with for a reason and those reasons still stand. I’ll talk to her… unless you absolutely don’t want to stay? I wouldn’t force you.”

Amber buzzed her wings for a second, “...I’d like to stay, sir.”

“I’ll talk with Princess Skitter then.”

Chapter 14

Finding Skitter was easy, she and the changelings were holed up in the hold of the airship. Biggest obstacle was outside the door, one of the changelings and a member of the Nightguard were standing outside by the door.

“Sorry, Lord Page,” the Nightguard said, “Princess Skitter requested that nopony enter.”

Nodding, I looked towards the drone. He buzzed his wings for a second, “You may enter, sir.”

“Thank you,“ I said and moved to pull the door open with my magic, sliding it open and slipping inside, closing it behind me to a sight I had not seen before.

I couldn’t help but smile as I moved closer to bow, spreading my wings, “Your Highness. I hope I’m not disturbing?”

Skitter looked up at me from her spot surrounded and almost piled over by every new changeling. They were piled over her back and all of them as close to her as they could get, “Good morning, sir.”

Suddenly I had close to two hundred pairs of eyes looking at me.

“You know, I’m starting to think Cuddlebugs would fit better than Changelings,” I said with a smile as I sat down on the floor, looking at the pile.

Skitter smiled a bit, “They'll need to stay close for a day or two for the Joining to work. It'd go faster if I were a Queen, but I'm not one yet.”

I nodded, “Going well?”

“Yes, sir. Feeling better, sir?”

“I am,” I agreed, “Sleeping for sixteen hours straight helped a lot. I want to talk to you about Amber.”

Skitter nodded, “She’s being reassigned, sir. Love collection.”

“I would rather you didn’t,” I told her, “Not her fault and I like her. I want to keep her on.”

Skitter looked down at the deck for a second, “Not sure I can do that, sir.”


She shook her head, “It’s not just that, sir. It’s for the Hive. Ponies are trusting us to guard one of their Royals, and no matter what you think, sir, you are one. Failing looks… bad. Bad for Changelings.”

I nodded, “...Yeah, I can see that. But it wasn’t her fault.”

“Not sure that matters.”

“Maybe,” I agreed and then shook my head, “But from another point of view, not putting her back would look even worse for those that even know she is one of my bodyguards. Like she couldn’t be trusted.”

Skitter shifted beneath the pile of ‘lings, “I don’t know, sir.”


Skitter rubbed her hoof against the deck and frowned before she finally nodded, “...She’ll be assigned back to you.”

Smiling, I bowed to her, spreading my wings, “Thank you, Princess.”

“Are you really alright, sir?” she asked with a frown, “I know what overfeeding can do to a pony.”

“I’m fine, I’m used to feeding you cuddlebugs,” I said, “I’m more worried about the others. It took a heavy toll on Blue Dawn and she was taken with me. The others were already there. Is there anything that can be done to help them?”

Skitter shook her head, “You know what helps you when you've given too much to a changeling. Rest, water, food…”

“And time,” I agreed, “Spending time with ponies you love.”

“Yes. Getting them home would be better than anything else, sir,” Skitter said quietly, “...I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful, sir.”

´”None of that,” I told her and made my way carefully over to her, stepping over changelings on the way to give her a hug, “You’re plenty helpful, like always.”

Skitter hugged back for a second before she frowned at me as she let go, “Sir? What did you do to this swarm?”

“What I needed too. Because we both know what the alternative was and I didn’t want that,” I said as I looked up at her as I dropped my hooves back onto the floor, “...I just… nudged them a bit to see things my way.”

Skitter nodded and gave me a small nuzzle, “I know.”

Chapter 15

Rolling out of bed and landing on my hooves, I stretched my wings and yawned, rubbing my eyes for a second before eyeing Luna.

She was sleeping on the bed, looking absolutely adorable like usual, cuddling a pillow to her chest, a bit curled up.

Smiling, I watched her for a moment. Less than two weeks left until we were married. I may be nervous about it, but I still really looked forward to it. Maybe not the wedding itself, but being married to my Luna.

Shaking my head a bit with a smile, I carefully exited the bubble of silence around the bedroom before pushing the door open and exited, closing it behind me before I stretched again with a groan.

“Good Morning.”

Smiling, I folded my wings again and made my way over to Sunset who was laying on the couch with a book. “Good morning. Getting ready?”

She nodded and gave me a quick nuzzle, “Train leaves in a couple of hours. Don’t exactly have anything to pack,” she said before she shifted to give me room on the couch next to her, “Are you sure I shouldn’t stay until the wedding?”

“I’m sure,” I said with a smile as I jumped up, slipping my wing across her back, “Going to be really busy.”

Sunset frowned at me, “That’s not what I meant. You just came back from being kidnapped by changelings!”

“And I’m fine,” I told her, touching her horn with mine, “Promise. Just a bit tired still, it’ll be gone in another couple of days.”

She sighed and shifted to lean against me, “You're too forgiving with them.”

“The drones weren't at fault,” I told her, “It was all the Queen. You know exactly how difficult it is for them to do anything against her will.”

“But you made them turn on her?”

“Only thing that would make a Changeling turn on her Queen... The safety of their Hive.”

A small sound of wood against stone and Fern stretched and got up from where he had been laying on the balcony, soaking in the sunlight. Making his way inside to us, he let out a "mrlouf" kind of sound and then put his head against my shoulder.

“Good morning to you too,” I said with a grin and reached up to scratch between his branch like ears with my hoof.

“Is it me or has he been growing?” Sunset asked as she looked at the woof spirit across my shoulder.

“Bit,” I agreed and then smiled and rubbed down his neck, “Whooos a good plant monster?”

Fern made a grwlowd sound and leaned into the couch, his slightly luminous green eyes closing before he dropped to lay on the floor, resting his head on his forepaws.

“Seriously, he’s been growing,” Sunset said and flicked one ear, “He’s two hooves taller than you now.”

“Well… adult Timberwolves are several times as large as most ponies, even larger than Celestia. He was bound to hit a growth spurt at some point,” I said and then frowned down at him, “...Though admittedly, I thought it would take longer. Tower might be getting a bit small soon.”

“He’s not the only one,” Sunset states and rolled onto her back to look up at me, “You’re bigger too.”

I blinked down at her, “Huh?”

Sunset smiled, “You are bigger.”

I frowned down at her, “Are you calling me fat?”

That got a snort from her, “No, far from it,” she said with a grin as she leered at me, “You are taller from when we first met.”

“I am?” I asked and looked down at my hoof, “I figured I would have noticed… can’t be by much.”

Sunset shook her head, “Not that much, wingboy. But enough for me to notice, like… maybe half a hoof at most?”

“Huh,” I said and shifted my wings, “I… suppose that make sense. Alicorns tend to be larger than other ponies. Sparks been growing too?”

Sunset nodded, “About as much. She's been measuring herself and noticed faster than I did.”

I couldn’t help but snort, “She would, wouldn’t she,” I said before I frowned, “But she’s been an alicorn longer than I have. Why am I growing faster?”

Sunset shrugged, “Don’t know. Might be because you’re a stallion or because different alicorns grow differently. Like Luna is shorter than Princess Celestia despite being about the same age.”

“I’m going to have to ask somepony about that.”

Chapter 16

“Hey Sunshine,” I said as I entered the sitting room, balcony door opened to the warm sunshine outside.

Celestia looked up from the scroll she had been reading, a tray of tea and sandwiches sitting on a table next to her large pillow. She smiled and got up, “Page, I’m so glad you are safe.”

Smiling, I moved over and hugged her. “I’m fine.”

She hugged back and then looked down at me, “Tired?”

“Bit,” I agreed and settled down across the table from her, “But it’s going away on its own, it usually does.”

Celestia nodded and poured us a couple of cups of tea, “You would know.”

“Worried, Sunshine?” I asked with a smile.

She sighed, “Of course I was, as soon as my sister told me what was going on. You have no idea how difficult it was to talk her out of going to you with the entire Nightguard.”

I nodded, “I did think my argument with her was too easy,” I admitted, “Thank you. A lot of ponies and ‘lings would have gotten hurt or worse.”

Sunshine sighed again, “I know.”

“So thank you for talking to her,” I said and picked up one of the sandwiches, “So… how have you been?”

“I’m fine, Page,” she said and smiled at me, “Just a lot to do.”

I flicked an ear as I watched her. That did not sound like she was fine.

“You sure?” I asked and shifted my wings as I looked up at her, “You don’t sound fine.”

Celestia sighed, “...Most ponies wouldn’t have noticed and if they did, they wouldn’t have asked.”

“Sorry. Don’t need to answer.”

She shook her head, “It’s fine, Page. You would find out soon anyway… my relationship with Clear Skies is over. She broke up with me.”

“Oh. I’m sorry.”

Celestia shook her head and forced a small smile, “It would hardly be the first time, Page.”

I suppose it wouldn’t in the length of her life, “Mind if I ask what happened?”

She shook her head and sipped her tea before silence dragged on for a long moment. It soon became apparent she wouldn’t be continuing.

Well, at least that proved she’d be fine in the end.

“What happened?” I finally asked and shifted my wings.

She shook her head again, “When Luna left with Sunset Shimmer to bring you back, she asked what was going on. I told her. It was just the last drop, I suppose. Being in a relationship with an Alicorn, especially myself, is stressful. I think it just hit home for her that it also put her in danger, and not just from journalists, should our relationship become public.”

“Ah,” I agreed, nodding and sipped my tea, “I always thought she was a smart mare. She did date you after all.”

Celestia smiled a bit and sighed, “Speaking from experience?”

“In dating you? Is that what we’re doing?” I teased and got a small grin in response,

“No! In dating an Alicorn!”

“True,” I agreed before I shrugged my wings, “I suppose it helped not caring at all about journalists or the papers,” before I frowned at her, “Are you sure you are fine?”

Celestia nodded again, “I will be. How’s the wedding plans going?”

I sighed, “Stressful and I’m not even planning the thing. Speaking of things though, I… kind of have a couple of favours to ask of you.”


“First one is… do you know transformation magic?”

“Of course. Not as well as my sister, but well enough. How come?” She asked with an earflick.

“...Honeymoon, I was thinking…” I started to say before she interrupted me,


I glared at her, “Not like that, whatever it was that was going through that brain of yours. I want Luna and me to be able to sneak away for a couple of weeks, not get recognized and I don’t want to keep the illusion up for all of it. I didn't want to ask Luna, I want it to be a surprise.”

She grinned, “We should be able to figure something out. And what was your other favour?”

I shifted a bit, “Well… this one is a bit bigger. For the wedding, would it be possible to get twenty four hours of night?”

Celestia frowned, “...I’d have to think about that one, Page.”

“Of course. I know it’s a big ask,” I said before I smiled, “...but while you are at it, would it be possible for you to shift the sun like… five degrees to the right? It keeps leaking in through the curtains during the morn…”

A sandwich bounced off my chest and I quickly returned fire.

Chapter 17


Flap, flap.

Uhm. Tower. Tower… tower!! Flapflapflap! Instead of walking all the way back and forth across town today, I thought it would instead actually make use of my wings for something other than recreation.

Seeing the stone wall approaching quickly as I caught a crosswind wrong, I was quickly starting to regret that decision.


Charging my horn, I teleported some twenty meters forward, just managing to avoid the stone wall.

Trying to get my heart rate getting back to normal, I looked back towards the wall. Damn. I really should be focusing on what I was doing instead of letting my mind wander.

“Haven’t done that for a while,” a voice called out before adding, “sir.”

I looked to the side just in time to see Thunder Cloud drop down to fly next to me in formation, “Cloud!” I exclaimed with a grin, “Been ages. What’s up?”

“Well, somepony seemed intent to pancake himself on the side of the castle, so I figured I would check it out,” he said with a grin, “See anyone like that around here?”

“Can’t say I have,” I said with a grin and shifted my course, going down to land in one of the castle gardens, “Good luck in finding the rogue.”

“We’ll find him, I’m sure,” he laughed and dropped down next to me, beating his wings to set his hooves down on the path next to me, “Heard you had some excitement.”

I nodded, “Yeah, you can say so,” I agreed, “Everything turned out fine though. How’s things on your side?”

He shrugged his wings before folding them, “Going pretty well,” he admitted, “I… finally sent an application to officer school.”

I grinned at him, “Good job, Cloud!”

“Yeah,” he admitted and shook his head, “No word on getting accepted though, but… I felt like I had to try. That pay increase and other privileges are starting to look rather attractive.”

I nodded, “Don’t worry about it, of course you’ll get in. I mean, Swift could after all, can’t be that difficult.”

Cloud grinned, “Sure sounds like it, sir.”

“Of course, if you manage it, ponies would be calling you sir too.”

His eyes widened and he facehoofed, “Oh damn it.”

I just laughed, “Get used to it. Can’t all be good, you know? Have to take the bad with the good.”

“Of course, your highness.”

I slugged him on the shoulder. Or rather tried, stupid birdbrain was too fast and ducked back with a grin on his face.

“So, nervous?” he asked and reached up to take his helmet off, “Wedding just over a week away now.”

“You could say that,” I agreed, “Looking forward to it, but nervous would be rather accurate. I can only assume the guard is rather busy right now too?”

He nodded, “Oh yes,” he agreed, “Mandatory double shifts for everypony starting four days before the wedding. We have already more than tripled patrols around the city.”

“No changelings this time,” I said.

“Oh, plenty of changelings,” he said with a frown and then flicked his ears, “They’re just on our side this time. Or so they say.”

“Oh come of it, Cloud. They are on our side.”

He flicked his ears before he sighed and then nodded, “...I know you like them, Page, but I can’t get over the fact that I find them a bit… creepy.”

I nodded, “Don’t have to like them, just have to work with them.”

Cloud sighed, “Yeah, I suppose you’re right. Way above my pay scale anyway,” he admitted before changing the subject, “So where are you on your way too?”

“On my way back, was to Rarity for a test fitting for the wedding stuff,” I said and shrugged my wings, “You’d be surprised how much time that takes.”

“Fairly sure I would,” he said and nodded, “Never been much for fancy stuff. What you need is a break. Wanna get together with Swift later and head to the Pathfinder?”

“...I don’t know, I have so much to do.”

“You need a break. Come on, it’s been ages.”

I hesitated and scraped my hoof against the stone path before I nodded, “...Okay, yeah. I guess you’re right. When do you get off?”

“Eh, another couple of hours yet,” he said, “Speaking of which, I should get back on patrol before somepony important spot me slacking off and I get in trouble. I’ll grab Swift when we get off and meet you at the Pathfinder later?”

“Sounds like a plan.”

Chapter 18

“Are you sure this isn’t a cleaning fluid?” I asked and peered into the tiny little shot glass before me, “It smells like it.”

Swift grinned, his own glass floating in his magic before him, “It’s not ‘just’ a cleaning fluid.”

“Fair enough,” I said and picked it up, knocking it back before making a small choking sound, “T-tastes like one!”

Cloud just laughed, “Lightweight,” and downed his own shot.

I just stuck my tongue out, trying to get rid of the taste, “Oh Luna, it won’t go away!”

Swift laughed and poured another shot for each of us, “You, my friend, are way too used to drinking things that cost more than I make in a month. This is what us normal ponies get smashed on.”

“Buck this,” I said and got up, holding my wings tightly against my side beneath the illusion. I looked about like I usually did, just now with the silvery ring cutie mark I used on secret Luna date nights. I didn’t want to stand out this time.

“Barkeep,” I told Steel Bar, the barkeep, as I made my way across the half filled pub, “One bottle of your finest whiskey.”

“Sure thing, if you got the bits,” he said gruffly, not stopping the wiping of the thick oaken surface of the bar.

Reaching with my magic, I counted out a good amount from a money pouch in my satchel, “How’s this looking?”

“Like you’re about to have a good evening,” he agreed and put a bottle of amber liquid on the bar, “This’ll be more than worth it, promise you that.”

“Sounds good,” I said with a grin, taking the bottle and three glasses to the table we'd claimed at the back, “In the future, when we’re going out, I’m buying, you cheap fuckers. Like you planned.”

That got a laugh from Swift, “Damn it, Cloud, he figured it out!”

I just grinned at them and poured them each a glass, “You two are many things, but subtle, you are not.”

“Bright one he is, our Pagey,” Cloud agreed with a smile and picked up his glass, “To smart ponies and getting your princess in the end!”

Swift nodded, “Now that I’ll drink to,” and did the same, “To the mares in our lives.”

“Agreed,” I said and did the same, taking a sip, “Now this is better.”

“...Yeah, really no comparison is there between five bit and… how much was this?”

I frowned at the bottle and then looked at Swift, “Not sure. How much do you make in a day?”

He grinned and shook his head, “Forget I asked,” and sipped it again, “So, married soon. How’s that feeling?”

“Nervous,” I admitted and took another sip, “But worth it. What about you and Minuette?”

Swift shrugged a bit, “Thought about it. Might,” he said, “But there is so much going on right now for both of us.”

“Dude, if we can make the time, so can you,” I said with a snort.

“Got you there,” Cloud said with a grin and motioned towards him with his glass.

“What of you then?” Swift asked him in turn, “About time you find a mare willing to put up with you being… you.”

“Screw you, Swift,” Cloud said and took a drink, “I keep getting posted away from civilization.”

I frowned at him, “...Haven’t you been posted in Canterlot for the last year?”

He grumbled something into his glass before he was interrupted by a loud yell from the door of the pub, “Everyone hooves up! This is a robbery!”


I looked over towards the door along with every other pony in the bar to see a grey unicorn mare standing there, a crossbow floating in her magic and a scarf covering her face from the eyes down, a second one around her head to cover her mane. Her cutie mark was covered by paper taped on thickely.

The Steel Bar leaned against the bar as he peered at her, “Really, miss? Do you know where you are?”

She looked around. The crossed spears and shield on the wall, the colours of the different regiments on the flags hanging from the ceiling.

She glanced around a bit and seemed to swallow as it clearly registered what she walked into.

Steel Bar grinned and reached beneath the bar to toss her a bundle of cloth which she awkwardly caught, “W-what…” she stuttered out.

“Well, I can only assume you’re the new barmaid I have an ad up for,” he told her, “Because the alternative is that you’re stupid enough to try to rob a royal guard pub because you are so desperate for bits. So? Which is it?”

She glanced around a bit as everyone watched with interest before her crossbow came down, “...Applying for the barmaid position...”

Steel Bar nodded, “That’s what I thought. Now, take that ridiculous getup off and put on that apron. Get in the back, we need a new keg pulled out!”

“Yes, sir.”

Grinning, I took a sip from my glass and looked at Cloud, “I didn’t know tonight would come with a show.”

Chapter 19

Two days.

Just two days left. Two days until the wedding and everypony was going nuts about it. The papers were nuts about it, the castle staff were crazy and guests from all across the world had been arriving for days.

Closing my eyes, I took a slow deep breath, just listening to the wind and the birds, letting my wings and the rest of my body just… relax for a moment.

To just forget about everything for a second, to have a chance to breathe. Luna was as busy with things as I was.

Only time I had even seen her this week was when we were sleeping. Which was nice, but it wasn’t the same thing.

Right now, I just kind of wanted this to be over with. I would have been just as happy, happier even if we had just had a small ceremony with our friends. But I knew Luna wanted a big wedding… and not like we really had a choice in the matter anyway. Luna was royalty, it was going to be a royal wedding.

Those are never small.

Hell, look at Cadence's wedding, and she wasn't even one of the two oldest Princesses. At the time, she had not even been that well known.

This would make hers look simple and small.

I just needed a small break from it all before my brain melted. Just a couple of minutes alone to…


Blinking my eyes open, I looked over to see a yellow pegasus with pink hair shy back, “I-I’m sorry. I didn’t know a-anypony was here. I-I’ll go.”

I smiled and shook my head, “It’s fine, Miss Fluttershy. Trying to get away from the general chaos in the castle too?”

Her ears flicked, “I… yes, Lord Page…” she said softly, seemingly hiding behind her mane a bit, “It’s too… many ponies.”

I sighed, “Yeah, I know. That’s why I’m hiding here too.”

There was a rustle in the undergrowth and Fern emerged with a small log in his jaws, branch tail wagging as he spotted Fluttershy.

She gasped and took a step back, “I-I heard you… had a pet Timberwolf.”

“Don’t worry, he’s perfectly safe,” I reassured her, “I promise.”

Fluttershy looked unsure for a moment and I got up, moving up to him to scratch the side of his neck, causing him to lean into it before rolling onto his back.

You big ball of goofy leaves.

“See?” I asked, “He’s harmless.”

Fluttershy slowly approached, “I've never seen a tame timberwolf before,” she said softly, “What does he eat?”

“Mostly water and sunlight,” I said as I watched her get closer, soon getting the double vision I got last time I saw her up close. One was the illusion wrapped around her, that of a yellow pegasus. The other was what she looked like for real. A yellow bat pony with small cute fangs and slightly fuzzy ears.

“But he does need some nutritional supplements from time to time,” I continued, “Mostly fish and he has a bowl of dirt up in our rooms.”

She moved up to me to look up at the somewhat goody looking timberwolf as he tried to lean against me, finding it difficult as I couldn’t really hold him up, “Do you prune him?”

“A little,” I admitted, “but he doesn't need much, really. Just removal of dead leaves and stray branches. I think that and the much better food he’s getting here is why he doesn't smell like the wild ones.”

She smiled up at Fern, “Isn’t nature fascinating?”

“It can be,” I agreed and then pulled an apple out of my satchel by the tree with my magic, “Apple?”

Her eyes locked onto it instantly and she swallowed, “I-if you don’t mind?”

“Of course not,” I said before I sighed, “...Miss Fluttershy, I have to admit that I am aware of your true nature.”

She froze, the apple halfway to her muzzle and her ears going to the sides as her eyes grew wide.

I quickly shook my head, “Relax, the fact that you are a batpony isn’t a bad thing. And not something anypony other than Luna and myself know of.”

“H-how…” she managed to choke out and I sighed,

“It’s part of how I’m an Alicorn. I can see through your disguise,” I explained softly, “I just… felt like it’s only fair that I should let you know. Do you know the history?”

“M-my mother told me,” Fluttershy stuttered, hiding behind her mane again, “I-I… after I… at w-when getting my mark…”

“That must have been scary,” I said and sat down, Fern sinking down to lay next to me, “But I promise neither of us will tell anypony about it. Besides, why do you think the Nightguard pegasus use armour making them look like batponies? Originally it was to create a refuge were real batponies could feel safe.”


I nodded, “So, I just felt like you deserved to know that I knew… and if you want to talk, you can always come to myself or Luna about it.”

Fluttershy nodded a bit and looked between me, Fern and the apple she started to nibble at the fruit, “...Thank you, L-lord Page.”

“Don’t worry about it,” I told her and dug out another apple and cutting it in half with my magic, flipping one half of it to Fern as I took a bite out of my half.

Chapter 20

“Page, relax,” Swift said, “Seriously, last time I saw you this nervous we had a massive magic eating centaur approaching Canterlot.”

Shifting my magic along my cloak, I nodded, “I know. It’s fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. Everything is fine. Stop panicking. It’s fine.”

He grinned, “Page. Deep breath. Then get out there.”

Nodding, I ran my magic through my hair one last time before I nodded again, “Right. Yes. Okay then. Just… walk out there.”

“Just walk out there.”

“...Are my hooves moving?”

“They’re not,” He laughed and gave me a small push, “Go!”

Finally getting my hooves to move, I walked outside, giving the four guards waiting for me a nod, “Okay, let’s go.”

Blue Dawn smiled and nodded, “Lead the way, sir.”

Taking a breath, I moved along the corridor, my guards falling into formation around me. It didn’t take long until we stepped out into the bright sunlight, the clear blue sky empty of any cloud.

No twenty four hours of night. Celestia has finally decided that it would be too disruptive, it wasn’t just affecting Equestria after all.

I suppose it was a bit much of an ask to be completely honest.

Blinking in the bright sunlight, I overlooked the large open area. We weren't actually at the throneroom or even the castle for this. Too small, funnily enough.

Instead we were at a massive square at the edge of the city, overlooking the lands below. The entire area were decorated and absolutely packed with ponies.

Swallowing, I made my way down the ramp. Last time I was before this many ponies, it was to announce that I was an Alicorn.

...No, this was a lot more ponies and foreign dignitaries. Forcing a relaxed smile, I moved along.

Thousands of eyes on me as I approached Celestia slowly where she was standing on the raised floor for everyone to see.

Climbing up the short ramp, I gave Twilight, Midnight and Cadence a smile where they were waiting at the foot of it along with Shining Armour. The rest of the Elements were there as well, in the first row.

Making my way up the ramp to Celestia, I smiled at her as well.

She smiled and then leaned in, “Looking good, Page.”

“Thanks Sunshine,” I answered equally quietly, “I don’t look as terrified as I feel, do I?”

Celestia shook her head a bit, “No. But relax, Page. You’ll do fine. The moment you see my sister, you’ll forget everything else, I promise.”

“...You have done this before, haven’t you?”

“Which part? Marrying two ponies or marrying period?”

“Yes,” I said and kept my eyes firmly at Celestia, trying to ignore the thousands of ponies watching us.

“Both,” She admitted, “Even if the second one is… quite a bit ago,” before she looked behind me and motioned a bit with her muzzle.

Turning to look, I just froze at the sight. Luna was at the other end of the aisle. She looked.. Wow. It was the most amazing sight I'd ever seen.

Luna in that bright white dress, shining in the sunlight, the light glittering in her star filled mane in a way I had never seen before.

She looked like the goddess she was. Every single stallion here and a good portion of the mares must be envious right about now and I really couldn’t blame any of them.


I couldn’t do anything but watch as she slowly approached. Amazing. I was the luckiest pony in the world and all I needed to do was not fuck this up, and then we’re away for a couple of weeks away from everypony else.

My Luna. My Sky.

Suddenly everything became a shade darker and I looked up in surprise as the quickly gathering pitch black clouds covering the sky from behind the mountain.

What in the world… the sky was supposed to be clear. There were no clouds planned for today.

A loud deep horn echoed through the air and a large airship lowered itself out of the clouds, quickly approaching the square.

Looking at Celestia, I met her eyes for a second before I turned to Blue Dawn which were standing by the foot of the ramp up to the stage, “Alert the guard,” I told her over the sound of surprised and nervous ponies, “Be ready to move.”

She quickly saluted and galloped off, taking wing after only a couple of steps.

Turning back to the airship I watched it start to lower I had a bad feeling about this and whoever was in that thing were in for a world of hurt for ruining this for Luna.

Chapter 21

The airship landed, crushing a confection stand, the ponies inside just barely able to escape in time.

Whatever the fuck this is, it wasn’t a late guest.

I looked to Luna and Celestia as a hatch opened and a ramp lowered, “Plan?”

Celestia shook her head, “We should wait and watch, I have not seen an airship like that in the past, we don’t know who they are or what they want.”

Luna nodded, “Agreed, sister,” she said and looked at me, “Be careful, Page.”

Giving her a quick nuzzle, I followed their lead as both sisters took to the air. Spreading my wings, I flew along next to Luna towards the landed ship as a small shape carried a small box down the ramp from the airship.

I didn’t recognize the species. Diamond Dog? No… wrong. But similar in some ways, bipedal with ears, coat and two eyes. Fangs. Carnivorous?


Wrapping myself into illusions and invisibility, I drifted towards the left while leaving a illusionary clone of myself flying next to Luna and coming in for landing.

As we all settled down, the box started to deploy… a speaker cone? Did Equestria have that kind of magitech?

Moving around silently, I rounded away from the princesses and my illusion, all of them having arrived by now, as the little thing started to speak.

“Ponies of Equestria!” it said loudly into it’s microphone, the sound echoing out of the large speaker, “We come on behalf of the fearsome, the powerful, the allmighty STORM KING!”

Okay. We knew three things about this "Storm King". He was not fearsome, not powerful and far from almighty. People who were, didn’t feel the need to announce any of those things.

He was also a bit of an egomaniac from that massive portrait of himself.

His species was also a bit easier to identify. Some sort of primate.

“And now!” he continued and motioned towards the ramp up to the ship, “To deliver the evil, evil message, put your hooves together for Commander Tempest!!”

What in Equestria…

A unicorn emerged from the darkness inside the airship, her purplish coat and dark pink mane standing out against the black and very form fitting armour she was wearing, but what stood out the most was her crackling horn. What remained of it, it had been broken off close to the base.

Despite the sensitivity when casting, unicorn horns were really difficult to break. Whatever happened to her, it had been lucky not to outright kill her.

“Is that a… unicorn?” Twilight asked softly, looking to her left at Midnight.

Midnight just shrugged a bit.

“Tempest, is it?” Celestia asked as she stepped forward. I took that as my cue to move and I started to silently approach the ramp, moving up it until I stood just a couple of meters away from Tempest.

“How may we help you?” Celestia continued, her tone making clear it was more of a threat than an actual request.

Tempest smirked, “Oh, I’m so glad you asked, how about we start with your complete and total surrender?”

I just kind of blinked at her.

What. No, seriously, what kind of pony take a look at a collection of six Alicorns, two changeling princesses and a city full of guards and think, ‘meh, I can take them’?

Twilight moved around Luna and gave Tempest a small wave, “Hi there, Princess of Friendship,” she introduced herself, “Not exactly what is going on, but I know we can talk things out.”

Tempest looked across them, “Oh, goody. All the Alicorns. Here is the deal,” she started to say as she moved towards the bottom of the ramp, getting closer to me, “I need your magic. Give it up nicely, please. Or we make it diff…”

That’s as far as I let her get as I spun around and bucked in the face as hard as I could out of invisibility. Or tried rather, she must have had the reflexes of a mongoose, my invisibility faded just inches from her face and she was still almost able to dodge it, causing my hooves to glance off her armoured shoulder instead, knocking her to the side.

Her horn lit up and she screamed, letting out a shockwave of lightning in all directions. It sent me tumbling off the ramp in the other direction as I tried not to scream from the energy crackling across me as I hit the ground hard.

“So be it!” she yelled as I struggled to get off the ground, Amber instantly at my side, pushing me back onto my hooves, “Difficult it is!”

Loud echoing horns sounded and a dozen airships started to lower out of the dark clouds above.

“Shiny!” Cadence yelled and Shining Armour stepped up, magic building in his horn and a massive pink shield dome covered Canterlot once more.

But it was too late. All but two and a half of the airships were already inside, the last one cut in half and crashed somewhere in the outer ring.

Chapter 22

Masked primate soldiers with spears and armour started to drop from the airships, instantly engaging guard positions around the square as Tempest launched herself into the air, casting some sort of spell and sending a dark and green glowing orb towards the princesses.

“Watch out!” I yelled and Cadence jumped forward, throwing up a shield. I didn’t have time to watch as a second orb was flying in my direction. No time to dodge!

I did the same, throwing up the strongest magic/physical defense shield I knew. The orb impacted with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer against the shield.

But it didn’t dissipate. The orb started to press against the shield, whirling and growing. Shit, shit, shit! It was pulling on my magic, digging through the shield.

If I moved, the shield would drop. If I tried to teleport, the shield would drop. Not fast enough, “Get out of here, Amber!”

Something hit my side hard, sending me sprawling across the marble ground of the square in a tangle of limbs with Amber. Looking over just in time, I could see the orb hit Chrysalis in the chest, causing black crystal like obsidian crawl across her, covering her body, turning her into a statue.

What. Why…. why would she…

“Sir, we need to go!” Amber yelled and pulled me back onto my hooves, “We need to get out of here!”

“Buck that!” I yelled and sent a flare into the air, signalling my Legion to engage, sparing a look towards the princesses.

Cadence was encased in the same material as Chrysalis but the rest of the girls were still active and fighting the soldiers. What Twilight and Midnight lacked in fighting skill, they more than made up for with teamwork.

Another orb flew towards Luna and she turned into blue sparkling mist, the orb passing straight through her to hit the soldier rushing her from behind.

“Amber, help Luna.”

“Not my mission.”

“Fine,” I growled at her as I watched a group of Legion pegasi carrying unicorns attack one of the airships, setting the things canopy on fire, “Keep them away, I’m going to fuck up a unicorn.”

I didn’t have time.

As I flew back onto the ramp, Sunset teleported in and then just generally lit the entire area on fire in a circle around her. To be completely honest, I had never seen her that pissed before. Not even when I brought her back to Equestria.

She tackled Tempest from the air and they both crashed into the ramp, rolling down through the curtain of flames onto the ground beneath.

Ripping my cloak off, I wrapped a charging soldier in it before throwing him off the city, only to instantly be replaced by another one throwing himself at me.

Amber hit him hard from having turned into a small rock, uppercutting him in the mask, causing him to stumble backwards before she pounced, biting at his neck.

“Celestia! Not the time to hold back!”

“Too many ponies around!”

“Not up there!” I yelled and pointed towards the airships still hovering above the city inside the shield before I got too busy by a couple of charging soldiers with spears.

Throwing a shield up, I then dropped it, blasting one of them with kinetic force, causing him to stumble before sending the second one to sleep.

Before the first one could get up, Blue Dawn came in for a landing, kicking him in the face, “Sir!”

“Get the fliers out of the sky!” I yelled to her, “It’s about to become way too hot!”

She saluted quickly and took back to the air. Then I was once again too busy to pay attention to anyone else.

At least until I noticed the shield bubble around the city drop, quickly followed by heat against my back as beams of yellow energy reached into the sky and blasted the airships in half, one by one.

Taking advantage of my opponents distraction, I teleported the spear from his hands and into my magic before I threw it back at him.

He caught it in less than an optimal manner. For him anyway.

Taking to the air for a second, I dodged one of the soldiers and landed next to Luna, “What do we do!?”

“Page!” she exclaimed and spared a look around, “Your sleep spell! Can we put them to sleep?” she asked.

“I can’t sleep this many ponies!”

“You cast the spell! I’ll help you power it!” She exclaimed and blasted one of them off his feet.

Buck it, not like we have many choices.

Nodding, I put my horn against hers and poured all my magic into the spell. I could feel it growing against hers, mixing, flowing before exploding outwards. I could feel her magic flowing into the spell, dwarfing mine. I could feel the spell spread, exploding through the city with our mixed magics.

More. More magic. Closing my eyes tighter, I poured everything I had into it until I felt the ground reaching up to smack me in the face and I just lay there, panting.

Nothing. Nothing could be heard but the sound of wind. Wind and fire.

My horn hurt.

I could feel Luna against me, her head resting against my shoulder for a couple of seconds before she started to slowly stir, giving me a small nuzzle, “Page… Page… need to move…”

“Yes… move…” I managed to answer and forced my eyes back open, looking up at the storm clouds above.

With a groan, I got up with luna and looked around. Everypony was asleep. Ponies, Changelings, the enemy soldiers.

Everypony was out like a light.

“Perhaps we should focus a bit on both our aim,” Luna said softly and moved over to Celestia to wake her up.

“Gee, you think,” I muttered and then looked over towards the now crashed and burning airship before running to find Sunset.

Chapter 23

I found Sunset laying on her side next to Tempest, both of them completely out of it. I quickly rushed up to her and checked her for injuries. Other than bruises and a split lip, I couldn’t see anything.

“Hey… Sunny… time to wake up…” I said and touched my horn gently to hers, channeling a bit of magic.

Her eyes fluttered open and she gasped before blinking, “W-wha… buck!” she cursed and rolled to surge onto her hooves, I just barely managing to pull back to avoid being head butted.

“It’s fine, it’s fine!” I quickly said, “It’s over.”

She looked around with wide eyes, “What… what happened.”

“Cast a sleeping spell with both Luna and me powering it, Well… I cast it, she poured an oiltanker worth of power into it,” I explained and moved close to her again, touching my horn to hers, “turns out, couldn’t really aim it. It hit everypony in town.”

Sunset sighed softly, leaning against me in turn, favoring her left rear leg a bit, “Twi? Luna?”

I forced a small smile and gave her a small kiss, “Both fine. Luna is waking Celestia, Sparky is still asleep.”

That got a nod from her, “Okay, what now?”

“Well, not sure how long it’ll last,” I admitted, “We better wake as many ponies as possible before they start to do so. Get as many enemies in shackles as possible.”

Sunset nodded and rubbed her eyes, “Yeah… normal wake up spell work?”

“Should,” I agreed and sighed, “Twilight and Midnight first? They might have an idea how to speed things up.”

Sunset quickly nodded and looked around, rushing over to wake Twi up as soon as she located her marefriend.

I looked out across the square turned into a battlefield.

Well, on a scale of one to ten, I’d rate the wedding a solid two out of ten, narrowly beating out Cadence and Shining Armor.


Jumping over the still sleeping Tempest, ignoring her for now other than renewing the sleep spell with a more focused one, I put out the ring of fire on the way to check on Cadence. She had not moved from where the spell had hit her, the obsidian statue unhurt by the damage.

“Cadence?” I asked as I got closer, “You in there, Pinky?”

Putting my hoof against her chest, I listened by her muzzle. No breathing.

I took a quick step back as I looked at her before I swallowed and moved up, touching her with my horn as I focused my magic.

...There. I could feel her in there. She wasn’t actually dead. Just turned to stone and held in some sort of… suspended animation.

Alive, but silent. Her minds and dreams stopped where they were when she was hit. Frozen like the rest of her.

Looking to Shining Armor, I debated letting him sleep for a second because if he saw her like this, he might panic. But we needed the shield back up.

So I stepped over and hit him with the wake up spell.

He blinked awake and then quickly rolled onto his hooves, “Page.”

“Your wife is fine,” I said before he could spot her, “She is just trapped, we’ll find a way to release her,” I explained before he could spot her.

He blinked at me before finding her, “Cadence!”

I forcefully pulled his attention back to me by grabbing his horn with my magic and wrenching him back to look at me, “She’s fine. We need the shield back up now if she is to remain like that! Get to it, soldier!”

Shining Armor shook his head free from my magic before he nodded, “...Yes. Yes, of course,” he said and closed his eyes, magic rippling across his horn before he shot a beam up into the air, the shield starting to reform over Canterlot.

As it formed, I left them there, starting towards Skitter, hitting any guard unicorn I could see on my way to her, giving them the briefest explanation I could about what had happened.

As I approached the sleeping Changeling Princess, I glanced over towards her mother trapped in the black stone.

That should have been me. She tackled me out of the way, taking the spell for me. Why would she do that? A Changeling I could buy doing that, trying their best to keep me safe on Skitter's orders, but what could possibly have compelled Chrysalis to do that?

It didn’t make sense.

Chapter 24

The war room was filled with generals, royals and myself. I did my best to stay on my hooves, that spell with Luna seemed to have taken more out of me than I thought at first.

...That, or it might be adrenal fatigue. Even so, I did my absolute best to look un-bothered as I stayed standing next to Luna by the stable overlooking a map over Canterlot, the sites from the crashed airships marked out by small and hastily transformed stones into rough airship shapes.

Think Twilight made those.

Sparks was next to Celestia on the other side of the table, Midnight standing on Celestia's other side. Across from Sparkle was Sunset and if I knew her, despite the way she looked, she was feeling about the same thing I was right now.

Shining Armor was missing. He was in the infirmary, having gotten a hard blow by one of the attackers.

I just wanted to go back to the tower and crawl beneath the blankets with her and Luna. I strongly suspected Sunset wanted the same, but perhaps substitute Luna with Sparks.

“We can not let this attack be unanswered!” General Steel Bow exclaimed, slamming his hoof onto the table, “This Storm King will have to pay for his crimes!”

“And he will,” Celestia agreed, “But we don’t know where they are from. The prisoners are still asleep and have not yet been interrogated.”

The general turned to Luna and myself, “Lord Page, would you be able to gather the information we need from their dreams?”

“Perhaps,” I agreed, “But dream walking is not an exact science,” before I looked up at Luna, “I can try if you want?”

She nodded, “Be careful, Page.”

“Always,” I said with a wink before heading towards the door only to find myself met on the way by Sunset after she gave Sparks a quick nuzzle.

“I’m coming with you,” she said as we exited the chamber, passing the ten guards outside the doors.

“Not sure I can do that,” I admitted, “Bringing someone along into a dream is difficult at the best of times.”

“Not that. But you need somebody to watch your back while you’re asleep.”

I nodded, “...Thanks. But shouldn’t you be in the war room?”

Sunset shook her head, “Twi is worried about Cadence and her brother and I would like to be there for her, but if anyone can figure out how to break the spell, it’s her. Besides, I’m not much use in there other than as moral support. You need somepony to watch your back in case something happens.”

I just nodded again, knowing better than to argue, “Okay.

I didn’t bother heading for the tower, instead moving to one of the sitting rooms overlooking one of the internal courtyards. Jumping onto the couch, I settled down, “See you in a bit?”

Sunset nodded and laid down next to me, her side against mine, “Be careful.”

Smiling a bit at her, I touched my horn gently against hers before I settled down, closing my eyes and drifting into the dream realm.

The sparkling realm of dreams all around me felt comfortable and I took a long moment to simply breathe and relax.

This place was mine. Mine and Luna's. Nopony could touch us here. I really didn’t want to go into the mind of Tempest, today had been fucked enough without trying to wrestle the dreams of a dangerous magic stealing conqueror.

Today was meant to be a good day. Marry Luna and then leave for a bit, just have time for us. But instead… this.

Fuck Tempest, fuck the Storm King, and fucking fuck everything.


Opening my eyes again, I stretched my wings as I got up. Tempest Shadow. The Dream Realm responded to my will and rearranged to reveal the dark and stormy silver of her dream portal.

Nightmare. Not surprising after what happened. Not Nightmares though, even if bad dreams tend to attract them. No, this was just a bad dream, if a rather severe one.

Not surprising at all. But there was something else there.

Without entering the portal, I slowly rounded it. It didn’t feel like it was a new dream, but one worn down into her mind over time. Perhaps triggered by today's events?


Fuck it. Touching my horn against the dream, I stepped into the whirling dark and silvery portal.

Chapter 25

The dream was of a training field. Dusty ground, stone buildings all around, the flag of the Storm King hanging from the biggest one.

As I stepped out into the dream, Tempest Shadow went flying, passing through my dream image to land on the ground, knocking dust into the air.

One of the large yeti/baboon creatures that was with her in the attack, backed away, squeezing his quarterstaff.

She laid there for a moment before struggling up.

She looked… younger than before. Maybe fourteen... fifteen… maybe sixteen? She also looked completely exhausted but what stood out to me was her lack of a cutie mark.

That was really old not to have one.

Gritting her teeth, her broken horn sparkled and she rushed at him again.


Watching her fight against her… trainer? I focused on the deeper layers of her dream. I needed something to free Cadence and Chrysalis.

I needed to…

Hmh. Her name isn’t really Tempest Shadow.

Her name is Fizzlepop Berrytwist.

I suppose I would have picked something else too if I was trying to be intimidating. Difficult to be the dark enforcer of an evil tyrant with a name like that.

Fluffles, the terrible!

Potentially useful, but not what I was looking for. Okay, guide the dream in the right direction. Danger, magic… dark stone?

To subtly guide dreams in the direction you like is more of an artform than a science. It’s all about connections and mental pathways.

I could of course poke her and try to force her to tell me what I wanted to know, but this could potentially be more useful without having her remember that I could do this.

The dream shifted around me and was replaced by three fillies in a forest.

I really doubted this was what I was looking for. Fizzlepop I could recognize from the group, her colouration standing out against their lighter colours, one green, the other blue.

They didn’t seem to be paying much attention to the forest around them as they threw a ball around.

Memory. This was another memory dream, not a fiction.

The surroundings blurred. There was a roar, a flash of remembered pain. Darkness. Stars moving and shimmering in a blue mist. The dream shifted all around.

Sunlight this time.

Fizzlepop were alone this time, her friends playing with other ponies. Her horn broken. She had been crying.

As interesting as seeing the supervillain origin story might be and might make me feel a bit sorry for her, it wasn’t why I was here. Still… to be hurt like that at such a young age…

I shook my head.

I tried again. Focusing, I nudged her dream. Less trauma, more magic. Stone.

The dream shifted, blurring to reveal a tower with books and scrolls. Stepping forward, I looked around slowly. Thick grey stones, a fireplace roaring by one wall.

Outside it was dark and cloudy, the wind howling against the tower.

Despite the fire, the place was chilly.

Fizzlepop were sitting by a desk close to the fire, candles lit, a thick book before her, wearing a cloak. She was older now, looking about the same as she did now.

I moved over, looking over her shoulder. As they tend to do in dreams, the images and text on the images blurred and shifted constantly. To find out anything specific, I would need to solidify the dream. That would reveal for her that I was here.

Turning my head at a shift of the dream, there was a couple of seconds before the door slammed open and a figure stalked inside.

Same primate creature as the ones that attacked, but this one wasn’t as bulky. He was wearing a cloak over a set of dark armour and a crown with black horns, not the face masks of the soldiers.

“Tempest, my dear,” he said without pause, “You promised results by now!”

“And I have them, your highness,” she answered and shifted of her seat to bow before she looked up at him, standing up straight again, “Martalans Petrifying Petrification. The spell is perfect and can be performed beforehoof, even an alicorn won't be able to dispel it on their own.”

“Excellent! Continue like this and I will give you back your horn. As soon as I have the magic of the princesses.”

So that’s was it.

That’s the name of the spell that turned them to stone. But an alicorn won’t be able to dispel it their own. Which meant several might be able to.

Besides, with the name, I bet the Sparkles will be able to find it.

Turning, I walked out of the silvery portal and exited the dream.

Chapter 26

Blinking awake, I then blinked in surprise, finding a pair of bright green eyes staring into my own from maybe a hoof away, “...Amber.”

“Yes sir?” The changeling asked and raised her head from where she had been laying on the couch, staring at me.

“That’s creepy.”

She tilted her head a bit.

Turning my head, I looked to Sunset next to me. She was deep asleep. I wasn’t surprised, I had been in for hours. Dream time is strange.

“...Sir?” Amber asked after a moment, “Did you find anything?”

I nodded, “Got the name of the spell. Sparks and Midnight should be able to find out anything else needed from there,” I told her, “Don’t worry, we’ll get Queen Chrysalis back.”

Amber buzzed her wings a little before she nodded, “Yes sir.”

Brushing my wing across Sunnys back, “Sunny, time to get up.”

She didn’t stir, all I got was an earflick.

Hmmm. I did have some ways I really liked waking her up in, but this was neither the time nor place. I glanced towards Amber. Especially not with someling watching.

...At least not when ‘knowing’ someling was watching.

I pulled Sunny closer, giving her a small shake and a nuzzle, “Sunny, time to wake up.”

She stirred and then blinked awake, “Mrrrr,” she groaned before she opened her eyes and quickly sat up, “Did you get it?”

I nodded and sat up with her, slipping my wing off her, “I think so. I think they used something called ‘Martalans Petrifying Petrification’. Ever heard of it?”

She shook her head and quickly jumped off the couch, “We need to let everypony know.”

“You go,” I told her, “The Sparkles should be able to figure it out. I’m going to go check on Skitter, make sure she is okay.”

She wasn’t in the meeting.

Sunset nodded and shifted, giving me a quick kiss on the cheek before quickly trotting out. I turned back to Amber, “Do you know where she is?”

Amber nodded and buzzed into the air and down onto the floor from the couch, “Yes, sir. I’ll show you.”

It didn’t take long to find her. In retrospect I could have guessed where she was, the answer would have been obvious to anypony really.

She was in the chamber where Chrysalis and Cadence had been moved to. I moved past the royal guard by the door and sat down next to her. She didn’t move.

Cadence looked afraid, her head lowered, her horn forward to block the spell that hit her with a shield. She was frozen like that, turned into dark stone.

Chrysalis didn’t look afraid. She looked pissed, her wings spread, legs for balance, her head turned slightly to the side.

“Skitter?” I asked and she turned her head to blink at me like she didn’t even notice me,


Damn, she was really bothered by this if she called me by name.

“I found the name of the spell used,” I told her softly, “Sunny is giving it to the rest now, they will be able to figure out how to reverse it from there. It’ll be fine.”

She nodded and then turned back to Chrysalis, “...I can’t… I… I don’t hear her.”

“The hivemind thing?” I asked and shifted to put my wing around her.

Skitter nodded again, “We always… we always know where the Queen is. What she is feeling. She’s silent.”

“I can’t see any of them in the dream world either,” I admitted, “But in the dream they talked about an alicorn not being able to reverse it alone. Meaning it is reversible. We’ll get them back, both of them.”

Skitter nodded and leaned against me, “...If…” she answered before she lowered her voice so the guards wouldn’t hear, “Have to be quick, sir. Less than two weeks and the loss of the queen will force me into a cocoon.”

Oh. Oh dear.

“Don’t worry, if anypony can figure it out, it’s Sparky and Midnight.”

Chapter 27

I just felt bone dead tired when I entered the tower, heading up to Luna and I's private rooms. The sun was slowly lowering in the distance, just visible through the windows as I let the door close behind me.

The outer room was empty so I continued on to where I knew Luna was getting ready to raise the moon.

Spotting her on the balcony of the bedroom, I jumped up and laid down on the bed to wait for her. I didn’t want to bother her while she played with her pet rock. Last thing we needed right now was strange tides because I gave her a nuzzle or something.

The sun disappeared beneath the horizon and the moon started to rise as I watched. A few moments later, Luna returned inside. Spotting me, she made her way over and jumped onto the bed, laying down next to me.

I shifted closer, leaning against her side as she slipped her wing over my back.

Resting her head against the top of mine, we just stayed like that for a long time.

I finally spoke up, “...I’m not even sure we can argue we had the worst wedding ever. I mean, neither of us was mind controlled or kidnapped by emotion vampires.”

That got a small snort from her and she held me a bit tighter.

“I just wanted the wedding to be perfect for you,” I said softly, “I guess that didn’t happen.”

“...No, I don’t suppose it did,” Luna admitted and nuzzled softly at my ear, “But right now, I don’t care. I want to be married to you.”

I nodded and then rolled over, looking up at her, “I suppose we can try again later.”

Luna sighed and gave me another nuzzle before she blinked and pulled back to look down at me in thought.

“What?” I asked after a moment.

Instead of answering, Luna jumped off the bed, “That’s it!”

I rolled over again to watch her, “What?”

She turned to point her hoof at me, “We’re trying again. I’m not waiting any longer, we have waited long enough,” she said, putting her hoof down firmly on the stone floor with a clack, “You put your cloak on and go get Sunset Shimmer. I will collect my sister. We’re getting married today and we’re not having any invasion stop it!”

I frowned and jumped off the bed, moving up to her, “Are you sure, My Sky? It’s not how you wanted it.”

Luna shook her head and gave me a quick kiss, “None of that really matters. What matters is that you’re there, My Page,” before she smiled, “Meet us in the throne room? And grab some additional guests on the way.”

I smiled at her and nodded, “Sounds like a plan.”


Finding Sunset was easy. Just locate Sparky and Midnight. And to find those two when there was something to research all you had to do was to find the right library.

“Hey, how’s it going?” I asked as I moved up next to Sunny, “Any luck?”

She nodded and smiled, “Twi found a book with a reference in it. She and Midnight are off in the stacks looking for the book it mentioned.”

Shifting around, she leaned against my side, resting her head against my neck, “What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you and Luna be resting?”

“Yeah, about that,” I said and gave her a quick nuzzle, “We decided not to let a small invasion interrupt your plans.”

She looked at me in surprise, “What?”

“We’re getting married. Now. Came to get you, we want you there, and the Sparkles if we can tear them away from their books for a moment.”

Sunset blinked at me before she smiled, “Really!?”

“Of course I want you there. We both do.”

“Not that! Wedding, now!?”

“Now,” I said, “A small thing with her, Celestia, you and anyone we find on the way to the throneroom to invite.”

Sunset jumped up, “I’ll get Twi and Midnight!” and rushed off. A second later she returned, kissed me before dashing off again.

Chapter 28

For some reason, this go around I was much less nervous about the entire thing. I wasn’t sure if it was the lack of crowds or that the entire invasion things putting things into perspective.

But I felt… good.

Entering the throneroom, I found myself seeing more ponies than I had expected. A bunch of guards, but Skitter was also there, as well as Swift and a tired looking Cloud. The Elements had also gathered.

Amber buzzed down next to me, “Gave a patrolling changeling a message, sir,” she said, “I knew there were some ponies you would like here, sir.”

I smiled at her, “You’re the best, Amber.”

She made a small sound with her wings and then buzzed over to Skitter.

That’s when I spotted Luna as she and Celestia entered. I’m not sure what she had done, she wasn’t wearing anything especially, just her normal regalia, but somehow she looked even more amazing than normal.

It was almost like her colours were sharper or her star filled mane brighter. I couldn’t put my hoof on what it was, but whatever it was, it took my breath away.

Sunset gave my shoulder a small push, “Page!”


She grinned at me and lit her horn, adjusting my cloak, “Go!”


I quickly moved up towards the throne where Luna were waiting with Celestia. Wow. She was… wow…

Luna smiled down at me, shifting her wings a bit, “More ponies than I expected,” she said quietly, “How did you manage that?”

“Changelings,” I whispered back, unable to take my eyes off her, “Amber passed the word and they fixed the rest.”

“Are you two sure of this?” Celestia asked softly, “I know you wanted a large wedding, sister.”

“I had that,” Luna answered, “But what I want more than that is to marry Page. And I’m not letting an invasion stand in our way.”

I just nodded in agreement, “Yeah, buck them. We had plans.”

“But perhaps make things a bit shorter?” Luna continued, giving my ear a small nuzzle, “Ponies are tired. It has been a very long day and tomorrow won't be shorter.”

Celestia nodded and stepped back. Luna and I moved into position before Celestia raised her voice,

“My Ponies, today, despite the earlie-”

“Sister,” Luna said softly, causing Celestia to trail off, “Shorter?”

Celestia smiled a bit and then nodded, “Very well, Luna, if you are sure,” she said before she continued louder again, “My little ponies, we have gathered here tonight to-”

“Sister?” Luna said, giving Celestia a look, “We were all in a battle six hours ago.”

Sunshine sighed softly and shook her head, “Well, excuse me if I want to bring some kind of class to this,” she muttered softly to only we could hear her before she spoke up again, loud enough for everyone to hear, “Very well, sister. We’ll make things simpler,” before she turned to Luna,

“Do you take Lord Blank Page as your husband?”

Luna eyed me and then nodded with a smile, “I do.”

Celestia turned to me, “Lord Blank Page, do you take Princess Luna, titles cut for time,” she said, almost bringing Luna to giggles, “as your wife?”

I smiled and nodded, “I do.”

“I pronounce you wife and husband, Princess Luna and Prince Blank Page!” Celestia said loudly and motioned towards us.”Now kiss.”

That almost sent Luna into giggles again and I grinned, following Celestias command and moved close to kiss Luna, raising my wings to the cheers and hoof stomping from the gathered ponies.

If being called Prince was the price for this, it was well, well worth it.

Chapter 29

I slowly started to drift out of sleep, to my regret. After the wedding, we went to bed and fell asleep almost at once and I just cuddled up beneath Luna's wing. No energy for anything fun.

Not that it meant that the day was over. As soon as we were asleep and in the dream realm, we had shared a quick kiss and then we headed our separate ways and got to work with all the nightmares stirred up by the invasion.

I wasn’t completely sure how long that had taken as dream time wasn’t the same as real space time.

But once we were finally done, slipping of to sleep outside dream space felt like it was about two minutes before waking up.

Suppressing a groan, I nuzzled closer to the pillow. Didn’t want to wake up. Really, really didn’t. Going back to sleep sounded really, really good right now.

But the sun shining in through the blinds had other ideas, shining right at my eyes. Rolling over, I scooted a bit closer to my Luna.

Couldn’t Celestia move that damn thing a bit?

Luna shifted, pulling me closer with her wing and I closed my eyes again as I slowly drifted off back to sleep.

I wasn’t sure how long that lasted. But when I finally woke back up again, it was from a poke to my back. No. Go away. Wanna stay right here.

Poke. Poke.


Shifting, I poked my head out from beneath the star filled field of Luna's mane to see Amber poke her head up from the edge of the bed, her hoof reached halfway to me.

Her slightly glowing eyes blinked twice and she pulled her hoof back. She wanted something and it would be important or she wouldn’t be waking me.

Suppressing a groan, I nodded and carefully extracted myself from beneath Luna's wing, sliding out from beneath her mane. Silently, I rolled off the bed and dropped onto the floor. Stretching, I then folded my wings, following the changeling outside of the bubble of silence, closing the door behind us.

“Good morning, sir,” Amber said, a small buzz in her wings.

“Good morning, Amber. What can I do for you?” I asked, rubbing my eyes with a hoof.

“There is going to be an attempt to reverse the petrification spell, sir,” Amber said, “The Princess Sparkles discovered a cure early this morning and has been preparing. Sunset Shimmer thought you would like to be there.”

Okay, yeah, that’s fair to wake me up for.

Rubbing my eyes, I nodded again, “Yeah, thanks Amber. Lead the way?”

When I next looked, she was floating a cup of strong tea before me in her magic. Amber, you are the best. Marry me.

The idea of marriage made me smile and I took the tea while looking back towards the bedroom. Luna. Wife.

“Thank you, Amber. You’re amazing,” I said as I gave her a quick hug with my wing, “But you better be careful or you’ll end up fat. Or a Princess.”

Amber blinked and then scooted away with a buzzing of her wings, “No thank you, sir. I don’t want that. I deposit most to the Hive.”

“Just teasing, cuddlebug,” I told her with a smile, sipping my tea, “Lead the way, okay?”

Amber buzzed her wings and nodded.

It didn’t take long to make our way across the castle to a scene I didn’t expect to see. Skitter was standing before Celestia, the two Sparkles and Sunset Shimmer, seemingly protecting Queen Chrysalis from them,

“-o! You aren’t doing it!” she yelled as I walked inside with Amber.

Amber instantly buzzed over to stand next to her, facing down the Princesses. I just watched the scene for a moment before I sipped my tea, “I don’t know what all this is about, but whatever it is about, it’s way too fucking early for it,” I said as i moved past the Princesses and Sunset, “Skitter?”

“They are not trying it on Queen Chrysalis!” she exclaimed, “They aren’t!”

“They aren’t doing it to Cadence!!” another voice cut in to see Shining Armour standing before his wife, “Not until we know its safe!”

I looked between them for a moment before I glanced down at my cup, suddenly wishing it contained something stronger.

Much, much stronger.

Chapter 30

I rubbed the base of my horn for a second before I looked between them and sighed. “It doesn’t matter who goes first,” I said before putting my hoof back down, “One’s a Changeling Queen, the other is an Alicorn. There is no guarantee that they will react the same way to it,” I said before I pointed my hoof at Midnight, “Back me up here!”

Midnight shifted her wings, “...Well, that’s true, but…”

“So!” I said and stomped by hoof, “There is literally no reason to argue about who goes first! It’s the same effect. It’s either going to work or not!”

I sipped the tea from the cup floating in my magic as I looked at the alicorns, “I take it you found it then?” I finally added.

Celestia smiled and Twilight nodded with a grin, “We did! The counterspell was hidden in an ancient scroll in the restricted library!”

I looked to Sunset, “Researched through the night?”


“So,” Midnight said, “We’ll start with…”

“The buck you are,” I said and sipped my tea again, “Difficult spell?”

“It’s not the easiest,” Midnight admitted as I got surprised looks from everypony on the room, “But it’s not that-”

“No!” I said and moved between them and Chrysalis, “You’ve all researched through the night, got up early yesterday for the wedding and then there was an invasion and a battle. Go sleep.”

Twilight hesitated, “But-”

I pointed at the door, “Go sleep before you turned them to a pile of slime!” I commanded before I handed the cup of tea to Skitter before spreading my wings, moving towards the group and motioning towards the door, “Shoo!! Out! Go to bed!”

Celestia frowned, “Page, I’m sure that-”

“Would you want that spell cast on you by a sleep deprived alicorn?”

She hesitated for a second and I nodded,

“Yep. Case in point. Go sleep! Come back in twenty-four hours and try again!”

Sunset nodded, “He’s right, girls,” she said and looked between Midnight and Twi, “...I’m beat. Twi, let’s continue this after we get some rest.”

It didn’t take more convincing than a nuzzle at her neck from Sunny to convince Sparky that it was time for bed and they headed off.

Midnight looked after them for a second before she nodded, “...I suppose that’s true. I’m heading to bed,” she said and glanced towards the stone Cadence and Shining Armor for a second, “Sorry BBBFF.”

He nodded, “I rather she gets turned back right than fast,” he answered after a second, “...I’ll walk you to your tower.”

Celestia looked after them, “Well… I do suppose you are right, Page. I should go open the Court, there is a lot of worried Ponies right no-”

“Nope,” I said and took my tea cup back from Skitter, looking up at her, “Go to bed. You have been up as long as everypony else.”

Celestia shook her head, “No, I need-”

“The fuck you do, go to bed. You’re not the only one that can do this anymore. I’ll handle court today.”

She hesitated and frowned down at me before she smiled and then actually giggled. “...Do you have any idea how long it’s been since somepony ordered me around?”

“Last time Clear Skies was visiting?” I asked with a smirk, “Seriously, Sunshine. You’re as beat as Sparky.”

Celestia looked down and I cringed,

“...Shit. I’m sorry, Celestia. I forgot.”

She gave me a small smile and moved up, slipping a wing around me for a quick hug as she gave my left ear a small nuzzle, “It’s fine, Page. It’s not important, not compared to everything else right now. Are you sure it’s okay you handle court today?”

I hugged back before I pulled back and nodded, “Yeah. Not sure if they're ready to handle me though. I’m not exactly in the best of moods to deal with ponies right now.”

After last night, I’m just about out of fucks to give what a bunch of nobles think and if they try to pull something, I’ll nail their ears to the floor.

Celestia nodded and gave me a nuzzle between my ears, “Keep bloodshed to a minimum.”

“Of course.”

Would be rude to the maids not to.

Chapter 31

Sipping my tea, I put the cup on a table in passing as I moved into the throneroom from the rear door. The throne room was almost completely packed with nobles, the guards working to keep order.

As I rounded and moved up to the throne, it only took seconds before I was spotted,

“Lord Page! Lord Page! Where is Princess Celestia!”

Ignoring the voice I very much recognized as Lady Bronzeshine, I walked up to the throne before I jumped onto it and turned to the nobles.

I just watched them idly as they yelled for answers.

It took a couple of minutes before they got with the program and started to quiet down, the ones that kept talking being hushed down by the ponies closest to them.

Once they had settled down, I spoke up,

“Yesterday, Canterlot was attacked. The forces of the Storm King engaged the garrisons at Canterlot landing and disrupted the royal wedding. Meanwhile, further forces attacked the outer districts of the city. While a large number of ponies were hurt in the fighting, some critically so, because of the brave and valorous guard ponies protecting the city fatalities have been keot at a minimum. During the attack, Queen Chrysalis and Princess Cadence were hit with magical spells, temporarily turning them to stone. In the end, the hostile forces were defeated and either driven off or brought into the dungeons. I will now answer questions.”

The throne room erupted into yelling again. I waited until they got the idea again and went quiet before I pointed to a unicorn mare with a white coat and blonde mane.

“Are we going to war, Lord Page?” she asked.

“We were at war the moment those airships entered Equestrian airspace,” I answered her, “the specific answer to their actions is still being decided.”

“Where is Princess Celestia!”

I ignored the yell and just turned to look at him. Lord Bubblewater glared at me before he lifted his hoof and I pointed at him.

“Where is Princess Celestia?” he repeated.

“Princess Celestia along with Princess Luna are currently occupied. If you didn’t notice, there is a war going on. Princesses Sparkle and Sparkle are currently preparing for the spell to turn Princess Cadence and Queen Chrysalis back from stone,” I answered him, “As for the specific details, they are currently classified.”

Lord Bubblewater yelled again, “Who is going to pay for the windows of my mansion!”

That set of an avalanche of yelling from the rest of the collected nobles.

I just looked at them in contempt for a long moment before I took a deep breath and let my magic drift along my horn in a slight spell and spread my wings, the shadows of the throneroom seemingly darkening and gathering, flowing across me, creeping in from the corners, the bright sun outside fading behind the coloured windows as I wrapped the large room in my illusion, letting the shadow of my wings cover the entire back wall of the throneroom as I gathered the golden glow of my magic to my eyes.

Even the canterlot nobles could take that kind of hint.

With me trying hard not to be pushed into the role of royalty, trying to stay out of the limelight more than even Twilight, it was almost like they forgot that I was an Alicorn.

I let the shadows retreat back to nothing before I spoke up again, “Does anypony have anything to say related to the security of Equestria or the safety of its citizens?”

Quiet. You could hear a pin drop.

I nodded, “Good,” and jumped off the throne, “Then I’d say this court gathering is concluded for today. Those with damaged property are welcome to report it to the royal treasury for an impartial assessment for insurance purposes. I wish you all a good night, ladies and gentleponies.”

Exiting the throneroom, I folded my wings around, letting the door close behind me before I sighed and rubbed my forehead beneath my horn.

Damn it.

“...I didn’t know you could do shadow magic, sir,” Thunder Cloud commented as he stared at me.

I smiled at him and picked up my tea cup again before blinking at it. Somepony had refilled it with fresh tea.

I don’t know who you are. But I will find you and I will reward you.

I still cast a spell Luna showed me to reveal most poisons before I sipped at it, “I don’t,” I told him, “It was all a show and just an illusion spell. Well, mostly anyway. Actual shadow magic is more Luna's thing, I only know the very, very basic stuff.”

As in, it was a very advanced field barely tied at all to illusions and not nearly as tightly bound to my Realm as it was to Luna's. I could make shadows flicker if I worked at it. Much easier to just fake it with illusions.

“Where to now, sir?”

“Now, back to the tower,” I said, “About time for Luna to wake up.”

Chapter 32

When I got back to the tower, the sun was already setting and the moon was rising. Luna was awake.

Reaching the bedroom, I looked around, spotting her on the balcony, horn still lit with her power as she worked to raise the moon.

Knowing better than to bother her when she played with her pet rock, I instead jumped onto the bed to wait for her to finish.

I didn’t need to wait long. The light faded from her horn and she lowered her head for a second before returning inside.

Smiling when she spotted me, she made her way over to jump onto the bed next to me, slipping her wing over my back as I leaned against her, giving her a soft nuzzle.

“Good evening, wife.”

“Good evening husband,” she giggled and nuzzle back before she sighed and rested her head against the top of my head, “...How did today go?”

I sighed and told her what had happened.

Luna nodded and nuzzled at my ear, “...I never wish to see war again,” she said softly, “I wish there was a way to avoid it, but the nobles will never accept it. Not when they were personally attacked.”

That made more sense than I liked.

War would be bad. Ponies and those monkey things would be hurt, killed. The ‘lings would be pulled into it too, maybe even the griffons if they wanted to be seen backing us.

We would win, but at what cost?

“...Do you think we could find him?” I asked Luna, “The Storm King, I mean? In the dream realm.”

Luna thought about it for a moment, “Finding somepony who you don’t know, not even their real name is almost impossible.”

“Almost. But if we can reach him, we could convince him to back down,” I suggested, “We should be able to narrow it down.”

Luna looked thoughtful before she nodded, “...Let’s try.”

Leaning against her side, I closed my eyes and slipped into the dream realm. Moments later Luna appeared next to me, looking down at me with a smile, “Any ideas on how to do this, my Page?”

I nodded, “First we need to find the right species.”

“There are some in Canterlot,” Luna said, “We could narrow it down that way… or we could just go there. I recognize the species.”

“Oh. That saves time. Lead the way.”

Luna shifted plane and I quickly followed her to the plane of the ape people. It was less populated than Ponies or Griffins, but still many, many thousands.

A impulse from me sorted them by physical location.

Luna looked around and shifted her wings, “Now is the difficult task of finding the right one.”

I slowly began tapping my hoof against the not ground, half of them shifting away into a grouping to the side, “He is male, that removes half. From when I saw him in Fizzlepop Berrytwist's dream, he was fully adult,” I then added with another tap, “All males below that and the old go with them, leaving us with just under ten thousand.”

Luna slowly nodded before shifting us to the gathering in their realm away from Canterlot, “He was not with the forces in Canterlot, we can disregard them.”

Frowning to myself, I moved over and entered the closest dream, drifting some questions to the owner before exiting again, looking towards Luna, “He lives in a castle towards the south of the Kingdom. It has a small village by the base of it.”

“A southern gathering of them,” Luna said and we shifted around again, “Down to a thousand.”

I nodded and shifted the inhabitants of the village to the side too, “Three hundred.”

Luna looked thoughtful, “He seems like he would have an ego about him. He wouldn’t live in the lower sections.”

“Top tower,” I agreed, looking up towards the highest of the silvery portals before shifting it down to us before I turned to Luna, “...Let’s have a look?”

She nodded once and entered it with me.


The dream seemed almost stereotypical for what you would expect the dream of an evil overlord being.

It was a throneroom. The throneroom in canterlot actually, but not quite. It was like he hadn’t seen it himself, but had it described or painted for him.

It was close, but not quite.

Celestia and Luna were shackled by the base of the dias the throne was setup on along with a purple and pink alicorn, looking very similar to Luna. He had never seen either of them.

The Storm King, or Arganon as was his actual name according to the dream, was sitting in the throne, his hand on a mage staff.

The rest of the throneroom was filled with creatures. Ponies, Griffons, his own people. Other species I had barely even seen before like bird people and diamond dogs. They were all bowing and groveling to him.

“I think we found the right one,” I commented to Luna.

She nodded and then shook her head, “I believe you are right.”

“How would you like to do this?” I asked, scraping my hoof against the marble floor.

Luna gave me a quick kiss, “You take the lead on this. You have a better record in talking down hostile powers than I do.”

“...Really?” I asked as I blinked up at her, “Surely you and Celestia spent a good amount of time negotiating during the formation of Equestria.”

Luna nodded, “Yes, but that was primarily my sister. It was also quite a while ago, your successes have been recent. You turned the Changelings to our allies, something we never managed.”

I looked up at him. He looked unbearable smug sitting there, overlooking all he had conquered.

“...I suppose I better have a talk with him then, ape to ape,” before I tapped my hoof against the ground, solidifying the dream and sweeping everypony else away from the chamber before stepping out of what seemed to him to be a cloud of black smoke.

“Greetings, Arganon,” I said, giving him a small bow.

“What!?” he exclaimed and surged to his feet, looking around.

I smiled and spread my wings, “I am Blank Page, alicorn of stories. I am of the understanding that your forces attacked Canterlot yesterday?”

Arganon grinned, “Come to surrender?”

“They were summarily defeated like a small band of bandits and thrown in the dungeons or killed. Their commander along with them,” I informed him as I folded my wings again, “Surrender yourself and your forces or be crushed underhoof.”

He stared at me for a long moment before he started to laugh.

“Oh, is that so? An invasion of ponies? I tremble in fear!” he laughed with a grin, heading down the stairs with his staff, “Is this why you came here in my dream, pony? To try to trick me?”

I shifted my ear, “No trickery required, I’m afraid,” I told him, “Now, I could continue to threaten you. Remind you of what the Minotaurs call Princess Celestia. Of the command of the weather our pegasi has, the magic of our unicorns. The control of the night of Princess Luna. Or our admittedly tenuous alliance with the Lord of fucking Chaos himself, Discord.”

I slowly moved around him, “I could do that, but I’m fairly sure you already had plans for all that. Though I doubt you really planned for the possibility of pissing off Discord if Fluttershy had gotten hurt. I’m sure he could be unpleasant if he actually got angry about something.”

“So you won’t do anything like that, huh?” He said, turning to follow me, “So why are you here?”

“To prevent a war,” I said, “I don’t want a war. Ponies and even your people would get hurt. I don’t want that. So we’re giving you an official chance to surrender before we get that far, or else.”

“Or else what, pony? We’re in a dream, you can’t hurt me.”

I looked up at him, “Oh really?” I asked, “You invaded my Luna's wedding. I’m not feeling overly harmonious at the moment. One more chance. Surrender.”

“No, pony!” He said and glared down at me, “Enough of this! You are to surrender to my forces or you will regr-”

The stone of the floor reached up and wrapped around his neck as I looked up at him, “Very well then,” I said, “Did you think that just because we’re in a dream, you can’t be hurt?”

He looked surprised down at me as he tugged at the stone around his neck.

“Well, you’re right,” I said as I took a couple of steps back, “A dream can’t hurt you, not really anyways. What I can do is to make sure you wake up screaming for the rest of your life, never getting more than a couple of minutes of sleep.”

I started to warp the dream around us, things moving in the darkness. Shapes shifting as eyes opened in places they had no business being.

Things That Should Not Be from the darkest dreams of Lovecraft himself formed behind me as I let my own form start to fade away into the darkness between them.

“Or never just let you wake up at all. We’ll see,” I said as I locked the dream in place, letting all the things run their course, “We’ll talk again… in say, a week? I recommend eight hours a night. It’s good for your health. Sweet dreams.”

Then I turned and left.

Chapter 34

Sunset stared at me, “You did what?”

I just shrugged my wings a bit, “I’d feel bad about it if he didn’t try to… you know, drain us all of our magic and or kill us all.”

Sunny frowned at me and then she shrugged, “...yeah, I can’t get upset about that. It’s all his own fault.”

“He knows how to make it stop,” I said and shifted my wings before sipping my tea as I looked out over Canterlot.

Other than an airship wreck and some signs of fire, you couldn’t tell that we were invaded just a couple of days ago.

Sunset nodded a bit and then smiled, “I liked the wedding.”

“...Thanks,” I said and earflicked, “Not quite what was planned, I admit, but the second try was much better. Sparks get any sleep?”

Sunset nodded, “That’s part of why I came looking for you. They’re ready to try the spell again, just doing a final revision.”


I quickly got up, “We better hurry then, I want to be there.”

Sunset nodded, “I figured, come on.”

Finishing my tea on the way, barely noticing Swift and Blue Dawn joining up to escort us. I did glance to Blue Dawn though. She looked a lot better than when we left the changeling hive. Noticing me looking, she gave me a small smile.

Nodding back, I then turned back forward and continued past the guards keeping the princess and queen safe.

Inside, I found Twilight, Midnight and Celestia, all of them reviewing a scroll. Skitter was also there along with two other changelings.

Shining Armor were there as well, looking calm and collected. I knew him better than to buy that.

He loved Cadence as much as I did Luna or Sunset. I knew exactly how fucked up it would make me if it had happened to either of them.

Sparks finally nodded and turned to him, “We’re ready.”

He nodded, “Are you sure Cadence should go first?”

Sparks nodded, “The spell was made for a pony. It’s the best chance.”

Staying out of their way, I just gave a small wave as I rounded them and moved over to Skitter while Sunny moved off to the side.

Not wanting to bother the three alicorns, I didn’t say anything to Skitter, I just moved past her two guards, giving the changelings a nod before putting a hoof on her shoulder, pulling her attention away from Chrysalis.

She looked at me and blinked in surprise. I motioned towards the three alicorns and turned to watch as their horns started to glow brightly before a beam shot out from all three, joining into one, the almost blindingly bright beam hitting the petrified Cadence.

I raised my hoof to shield my eyes and there was a bright flash. Next time I dared to look, Cadence collapsed onto the floor.

“Cady!” Shining Armor yelled and rushed up to her, feeling her and casting a spell before he relaxed slightly, “S-she is okay. She’s just unconscious.”

I glanced at Skitter. She nodded a bit, “I can feel her,” she confirmed quietly.

“Chrysalis time now,” I said as I looked at her.

Skitter hesitated and then nodded, “I...yes”, she agreed and moved to the side, her two changeling guards moved along. A pair of doctors meanwhile were rushed inside to tend to Cadence.

It took a couple of minutes for Sparks, Midnight and Celestia to recover from the spell and by the time they were ready again, Cadence were awake, confused, and being hugged by Shining Armor.

She would be okay.

Sparks took the time to give her a tight hug. Midnight hesitated before she was forcibly pulled into the four way hug by Sparks.

That must have been horrible to see her childhood friend and babysitter like that. I didn’t want to think what it felt like.

I didn’t know her anywhere nearly as well and I had been worried too. Fuck, I even worried for Chrysalis.

I turned to look at at the petrified Chrysalis.

That could have been me. Why did she do that? Why did me knock me out of the way?

Celestia, Sparks and Midnight readied the spell and I could feel Skitter shift next to me. I quickly put my wing across her back to keep her from moving.

Interrupting in the middle of the spell would likely be a bad idea. I had no idea what it would do, but I was fairly certain it wouldn’t be anything good.

Holding my hoof up to shield my eyes from the light, I waited for the flash.

As soon as it came, I dropped my hoof and Skitter and the drones darted in to catch Chrysalis as she fell.

They made it just in time to keep her from faceplanting into the marble floor.

It didn’t take long until she started to stir awake. Her eyes slowly blinked open and she looked confused for a second before she spotted everyone in the room.

She instantly started to try to get up.

Instead of stopping her, Skitter moved to help hold her up.

“Wh-” Chrysalis started to ask, her voice a croak before he paused and restarted, “What happened?”

“You were petrified,” I said, “To summarize: Invasion fought off, the attackers in the dungeons, me and Luna married anyway, you unpetrified. It’s been a couple of days. Now stop being an idiot and go lay down before you eat floor.”

She must had been completely fucking exhausted as she actually took my advice and sank down to lay down again.

Sunset looked like she was partly holding a very tired Sparks up and even Celestia looked like it had taken quite a bit out of her to cast those spells.

Moving over to a tired looking Midnight, I held my hoof up for her, “Good job.”

She smiled tiredly and then knocked her hood against mine, “...Thanks, that was a tough one. I think I’m going to go lay down now.”

“Do that. You earned it.”

She smiled and gave me a wink before heading outside, Celestia moving along with her.

It didn’t take long until I was the only pony left in the room with the Changelings. I turned to look at them, “Should we move you to the hive?”

Chrysalis growled slightly, “I’m fine.”

“Yes, I can see that,” I said and settled down across from her on the floor, “Which is why you can barely lift your head. Hungry?”

She shook her head, “...No,” she admitted, “Time seems to have halted for me while petrified,” before she smirked, “You really care, don’t you, my little predator.”

“If I didn’t, I’d feel bad,” I told her, “The spell that hit you were meant for me..”

Chrysalis didn’t look like she appreciated being reminded of that and shifted slightly, giving Skitter a small nuzzle before she looked at me, “Leave us, pony.”

“If you like,” I agreed and got up, shifting my wings, “Queen Chrysalis, Princess Skitter,” I added, bowing to them before I turned and left.

That was about as much compassion as Chrysalis would accept from a pony in any case. Without eating in anycase. She was big on not showing weakness after all.

The fact that she actually laid down when told to, showed exactly how much the entire thing had taken out of her.

Leaving her alone was the best thing I could do now.

...Especially as I had no intention of seeing one of those drones puke up love or whatever the hell they did to make that gel of theirs.

Letting the door close behind me, I looked towards Swift, “Any news?”

He shook his head, “Princess Celestia simply wanted me to let you know that she wishes to see you when you have a moment.”

I nodded, “Where?”

“Royal Armory,” he said, “I’ll take you to her.”

“Thanks,” I sighed and moved along, following him, “...You and Minuette make it through invasion okay?”

Swift nodded, “She did the bright thing and got out of the city as soon as she realized what was happening. That’s what I told her she should do in case of something happening. Run, don’t hide. Don’t go looking for me or wait.”

“And you?”

He frowned a bit, “Joined up with the closest guard squad. Did our best to keep them away from the civilians and getting them evacuated. Worst I got was a couple of bruises.”

Chapter 35

Swift stopped by the door by the pair of guards, giving it a single knock before opening it, letting me inside before closing it behind me.

It didn’t take long for me to the alicorn in the room. She was wearing a set of armour, reminding me of Luna's. Just larger and golden instead of silvery.

“Looking good,” I commented to her, giving Heavy Hammer a nod on the way as he passed me, carrying her helmet.

Celestia smiled slightly, “Five hundred years since I wore it last. Still fits.”

“Now that’s impressive considering the food in the castle,” I commented before I frowned slightly at her, “Do you think you’ll need it?”

She shifted her wings and sighed softly, “I… I hope not. I heard you and my sister managed to make contact with the Storm King?”

I nodded, “We did,” I said as I sat down, looking up towards her, “He was less than receptive. But we’ll check in another week and see how things have changed. I did send a message to the border guards to be extra ready in case he decides to move. That’s the riskiest part.”

Celestia nodded and spread one wing to allow Heavy Hammer to start fitting it with the flexible cover plates along the over side, “If we can avoid war, that would be preferable.”

“Couldn’t agree more,” I said, “But if we can’t, I prefer if we stomp them so hard into the ground nopony would dare try it again.”

Celestia sighed softly and tried folding her wing before extending it again to allow him to make some adjustments, “You sound like my sister once did.”

“Well, considering the fact that nopony else had attacked Equestria in a long time, it seems to have worked,” I said as I watched the armour being fitted. That was a clever way to protect the wing and still make flying possible, if not easy.

“One of the reasons,” Celestia agreed and folded her wing again, allowing Heavy Hammer to work on her left, the earth pony expertly manipulating the straps and such necessary, “but I would prefer if it didn’t come to that.”

“Sometimes the only winning move is not to play,” I said before I shrugged my wings at her look, “A saying from back home. But sadly it only applies when both sides see that it’s true.”

Celestia nodded slowly, “Wars don’t have victors. Only those that lose less.”

“And we’ll do what’s necessary to make sure it’s not Equestria,” I told her, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

She nodded again and folded her other wing before picking her helmet up in her magic, putting it on before she turned to me, “I want you to go talk with Commander Tempest. Anything she can tell you could be useful.”

“Okay,” I agreed, “I can give it a try at least.”

“Thank you, Page,” Celestia said and then took her helmet off, “And thank you, Heavy Hammer. This works nicely. Dismissed.”

He bowed slightly and left the armoury before Celestia turned to me,

“Is there anything from your old world that could help us?


The sky on fire as the clouds rose up to meet space... Liquid fire clinging to beings. Humans dying in the thousands in muddy trenches from gases eating them alive. Soldiers charging into steel rain.

Not here. Never here.

“No, I’m afraid not, Celestia,” I told her, “While humans have some advanced weapons, none would work here from what I have seen. They all need infrastructure that we don’t have any in any case, I don’t have the expertise needed for any of them.”

Celestia nodded and gave me a small nuzzle, “...Perhaps it’s for the best. Go speak to our prisoner.”

I gave her a small nuzzle back before I turned to leave. I really, really didn’t want any of that stuff to come to this world.


There were enough monsters in this world without putting ponies on that list too.

Swift joined up next to me as I walked outside, “So, where to?”

“Dungeons. I'm going to have a talk with Miss Berrytwist,” I told him, “but we’re stopping by the kitchen on the way.”

He frowned, “The kitchen?”

“The kitchen,” I confirmed.

Chapter 36

“Open,” I told the guards as we reached the door to the cellblock of the dungeons, “Remain here.”

Swift nodded and moved to wait as I entered, allowing the heavy door to close behind me. Heading down the stairs, I followed the corridor along the cells.

For once, the cells were full.

I could feel their eyes on me as I moved to the next door, unlocking it with a magic spell and then entering, closing it behind me again.

This chamber were smaller, split in two by heavy bars of iron and steel, heavily enchanted. The other side was a simple cell. Not much in it.

A cot to sleep on. What passed for washroom facilities. And that was pretty much it.

A thin wooden tray was sitting on the floor, a bowl half full of porridge sitting on it and a cup of water, also untouched.

The only one inside was Fizzlepop Berrytwist. Or as she apparently liked to be called, Commander Tempest.

She was wearing an antimagic ring around the base of her ruined horn. It was locked in place with a metal band going around her head.

She glowered at me when I entered but didn’t say anything.

Setting the tray I had been carrying down, I let the door close behind me with a heavy thunk, the cell and outer area only lit by a pair of magic crystals on the wall.

“...Yeah, this week didn’t go as either of us had planned, did it?” I finally asked after a long moment before I held one of the bowls up with my hoof.

Tempest didn’t move, she just looked at me.

Now without her armour, I could see her scars. Along her flanks and back. One right across where her cutiemark would have been normally.

Her flank was otherwise empty.

That said more about her than anything else.

Shrugging my wings, I put it back down before I picked up my own bowl with my hoof, eating it earth pony style, “Oh well, let me know if you change your mind. Know who I am?”


“Blank Page,” I told her, “I’m sure I told you before, but it was a bit of a busy moment. I also know why you are in Canterlot.”

“Why are you here? To gloat?”

“Partly,” I admitted, “You did ruin my Luna's wedding after all. But also to call you an idiot.”


I shrugged my wings and ate some of the chili, “Just telling it like I see it. Did you really think the Storm King could heal your horn?”

“With the powers of the alicorns, he cou-”

“Did you think to ask?” I interrupted her.

Commander Tempest blinked at me when I spoke up before she sneered, “Nopony can heal a broken horn.”

I shifted and then nodded, “...Yeah, you’re probably right. I talked to the doctors about it, they said mostly the same. But if somepony could, it would be one of the princesses. But if even they can’t, what makes you think he would be able to?”

“With the power of the alicorns, he would be able to heal it. He told me so.”

I shook my head, “And you believed him? I suppose I can’t blame you, you were what? Fourteen? Fifteen? When you joined his forces?”

She stared at me, “...How can you possibly know that?”

“Sorry, I missed part of my introduction,” I told her, “Blank Page, Alicorn of Stories,” before I smiled, “What, did you think there was nothing special about alicorns? That Celestia moved the sun with her telekinesis? That Cadence is just a really good shipper? Alicorns aren’t just some sort of super unicorn.”

Tempest stared at me for a long moment, “I…” she said before she trailed off.

“Of course, there isn’t an alicorn of healing,” I said with a shrug of my wings, “So it might actually be impossible for any pony to heal your horn. But why would the Storm King be able to use our magic better than we could? To keep the dreams of ponies safe? To guide the moon and sun?”

Tempest looked away.

Chapter 37

I left her bowl of chili just outside the bars where she would reach it if she changed her mind. Exiting the dungeons, I found Midnight waiting for me, sitting on a bench outside the prison, a book floating before her.

“You waited for me!” I told her with a grin, “Finally released from prison and there is a mare outside waiting for me!”

That got a snort from her which I counted as a win before she smiled and shook her head as she closed her book and put it away in her pack,

“I was looking for you,” she clarified, “Princess Celestia asked me to come find you, she wants to talk to you about something.”


“Oh?” I asked and moved to walk with her as she turned to leave the way, “What’s going on?”

She shrugged her wings, “I don’t know. She just asked if I could go find you, but that it wasn’t urgent.”

That made me relax a little. Not urgent meant no alarm bells ringing. Besides, If she really needed something from me urgently, she would have sent a pegasus to find me. But I just saw her literally an hour and a half ago.

Midnight got off the bench and put her saddle bags back on before joining in next to me to head towards the castle proper.

“So how are you doing?” I asked her as we entered the castle, the two guards by the doors pulling them open for us.

I gave them a quick nod on the way past as Midnight shifted her wings,

“...I’m doing okay. Just worried.”


“My friends back home,” she clarified and sighed softly, “Tirek attacked here too, the changelings did the same. What if the Storm King attack home too and I’m not there to help them!”

I shook my head, “You don’t know that,” I told her, poking her side with my wing, “Seriously. Me being here has set off some Mothra sized butterflies and the changes just keep getting larger. There is no guarantee it’ll happen at all in your world.”

“Mothra?” she asked with a frown.

“...Giant moth monster from a story,” I explained, “It doesn't matter. You get what I’m meaning?”

Midnight sighed softly, “I suppose, but we just don’t know. It makes me worry.”

“Yeah, I get that,” I agreed before I smiled to her, “Besides, even if you’re not there, everypony else is still there. Still no ideas how to get home?”

She shook her head a bit, “No. But I can’t think about that right now with the potential of his attack there. If I do, I’m going to panic and I can’t do that right now.”

I just nodded and then looked at her, “Well, luckily we have about the ultimate distraction going on.”

Midnight frowned and looked at me worried, “Do you really think it will come to actual war?”

“I hope not,” I said and sighed, “Nopony wants a war from this. We just need to convince the Storm King to agree with that.”

Midnight nodded, “Hope that works.”

“Yeah, me too,” I said and then shifted my wings, “But we won’t know for a few days more still. Look, you need to just unwind your brain for a bit. Take an evening and just lay down by a fireplace with a book or something.”

She hesitated for a second so I continued,

“How about this? I’m thinking to have dinner with Luna, Sunset and Twilight tomorrow evening. How about you join us?”

Midnight frowned slightly in thought.

I smiled at her, “Come on. You said we were friends. And you need more. Did you know any of them in your world?”

She nodded, “...Sunset a little. A little Princess Luna. But… not really. We were friends, sure, but we never did become that close.”

“So you didn’t really know either of them that well?” I asked, “The Princess of Friendship need more than one friend, you know. Come on, I only know so many ponies. I mean, I could always introduce you to Swift Spear-”

“Hello!” Swift said from where he trotted along behind us, giving her a small wave before quickly going back to acting like the guard he was at her surprised look.

“-Or Thunder Cloud. I do know I want to introduce you to Silver Leaf at some point,” I continued like he didn’t say anything, “But the point is that you need to get to know more ponies and can’t just be shut away in the library doing research.”

Midnight hesitated and scraped her hoof against the floor for a second before she nodded, “...Okay, I’ll come. If I’m not intruding.”

“You’re not, I promise.”

Chapter 38

“Page, would you happen to know why I have gotten complaints from the nobles that you used dark magic on them during court?” Celestia asked as I closed the door behind myself, entering her chamber. She were sitting by her desk, papers floating in her magic as she shifted through them before putting them down when I walked inside.

“Hello to you too, Sunshine,” I said and then moved to pour myself a cup of her tea, “Likely because I did. If you want to be technical about it.”

She dropped the papers and looked at me in surprise, “What!?”

“I mean, the shadows formed from the illusion were dark and the room did get darker,” I admitted with a smile, “So, technically ‘dark’ magic. But if you’re meaning actual dark magic, then no.”

Celestia sighed and shot me a small glare, “I suspected as much. Did you have to do that?”

“...Well technically no,” I admitted and shifted my wings as I sipped my tea, “But it was really funny.”

She raised her wings quickly, “Page!”

I frowned at my cup, “It was to get them to actually shut up.”

Celestia glared at me for a second before she flicked her ears and folded her wings, shaking her head, “I suddenly understand my sisters tendency to bite your ears.”

I smirked and sipped my tea before I looked to her, “Don’t they understand there is a war on?”

Sighing softly again, Celestia shook her head, “I am afraid that might be my fault,” she said softly.

I looked at her, “Huh?”

Celestia sipped at her cup of tea for a moment before she answered, “Equestria has not seen war in… a long time. Hundreds of years. They don’t know what it’s like. To them war is stories in history books, heroes and ponies in gleaming armor.”

“...Yeah, I suppose can see that,” I said and flicked my ears before I frowned and sipped my tea again, “Maybe I did go a bit overboard with the shadow thing. I just tried to restore some order. I’m sorry.”

“Everypony is under a great deal of stress right now,” she said and moved out from behind the table, walking to look out the window over the garden, her cup floating in her magic next to her.

I moved to stand next to her, “Do you really think it will come to…” I started to say before I sighed, “actual open warfare?”

Celestia hesitated before she shook her head with another small sigh, “I… I just don’t know, Page. We are the closest we have been for a very long time. I think it depends on how… receptive the Storm King is to your application of dream magic.”

Oh great. So no pressure there.

“So what now?” I asked and shifted my wings, sipping my tea, looking out into the sunlight, “Just wait?”

Celestia hesitated for a split before she nodded, “We wait.”


She blinked and looked at me in surprise, “What do you mean, Page?

I flicked my ears, “You hesitated,” I said as I studied the larger alicorn, “when you said we were going to wait.”

Celestia shook her head and turned back towards the garden outside, “You are getting almost uncomfortably good at that.”

“At guessing what you are thinking?” I asked with a smile, “No, I just read minds.”

She looked at me in surprise and then snorted softly in amusement, “Very funny, Page.”

“A little funny at least,” I said with a small smile and shifted my wings again, “Well?”

Celestia sipped her tea again, looking out into the garden before she looked to me again and frowned, “It would be good for the Guard if somepony visited the border facing towards the Storm King's territory along with additional reinforcements.”

“...That does sound like a good idea,” I agreed as I nodded and finished my tea. An alicorn walking among them, raising morale would hardly hurt things, if anything it would help a lot.

“And something you are absolutely not doing,” Celestia said and turned to look at me firmly, her wings rising as she floating her own cup away to set it down on a table, “You are too vulnerable and valuable to put in that kind of danger.”

I looked at her in surprise, “That’s a rather unfashioned view for you to have there, Sunshine,” I said, “Especially for somepony that has an all male guard.”

“...Those views, while barbaric now, were perfectly natural while I grew up,” Celestia said and looked to me firmly, “And they had a real reason then. There were even fewer stallions per mare than there are now because the world was a lot more dangerous and many didn’t make it until adulthood. If too many were lost, the family or maybe even the tribe couldn’t survive among the rest. I pushed to change that along with my sister once we formed Equestria. That was one of the reasons for my Guard! So show that colts could handle themselves and didn’t always need to be protected.”

“I know,” I told her, “I read the history books and heard the real stories from Luna.”

Celestia nodded and then moved closer with a small sigh and giving my right ear a small nuzzle, “...But… we can’t lose you, Page. It has been close several times already. The invasion was just the latest one. You are the only alicorn stallion in the world, Page. We… we can’t lose you, Page. We just can’t risk you like that.”

As much as I disliked it, I had to admit that she had a point. There were only five alicorns… six now if you counted Midnight... and I was the only male. It wasn’t the same as if I had been the last earth pony or something, I wasn’t sure alicorns even worked like that, but…

“Who’s going?” I asked, looking up at the larger alicorn.

“I was thinking to ask Twilight,” Celestia said and smiled a bit down at me, “What do you think?”

I thought about that for a moment, scraping my hoof against the floor in thought before I slowly nodded, “I think Cadence would be better, but she had her own Empire to worry about and she has already gone through a lot,“ I said and flicked my ears, “Twilight would do a good job.”

Celestia nodded and gave my ear a small nuzzle, “Thank you.”

Chapter 39

Sunset was waiting for me when I got back to the tower, laying on her back on the couch, a book floating above her. As I walked inside, she looked up from her book and rolled onto her stomach as she closed her book, floating it over onto the table, “Hey.”

“Hey,” I said and moved over to give her a small nuzzle and a kiss on the cheek and I jumped onto the couch next to her, slipping my wing across her back, “What are you up to?”

“Waiting for you,” she said and leaned against my side, resting her head against the side of my neck, “Did you invite Midnight to our dinner tonight?”

I glanced at her, “...Shouldn’t I have?”

Sunset shook her head, “Not at all,” she said with a smile, “That was very nice of you. But maybe talk to me and Luna about it first? It was meant to be just for us and Twi? You know, kind of a date thing?”

“Oh,” I said and shifted my wings, “Sorry.”

Sunny sighed and raised her head, giving me a quick kiss before she laid back again, “Don’t worry about it. I worried about her too, she's all alone and… she just stay shut away in that tower and trying to figure things out. I know how’s Twi’s like, this kind of thing might make her retreat into her books. It’s good to get her out of there, we four can have an alone night sometime else.”

“And she’s basically Sparky,” I said, looking down at her, “Her twin sister if nothing else.”

“...That too,” Sunset admitted and frowned, flicking her ears, “It’s hard to see somepony that look like Twi in distress and isolated like that.”

“I’m sure you get other thoughts too,” I teased and gave her ear a nuzzle before she smirked up at me,

“Be nice, Page,” she chided me with a smirk, poking me with her hoof, “I think two alicorns is enough for me,” she answered with a small blush.

“Not being greedy or anything,” I said and laid down fully next to her, stroking her back with my wing, ”So what’s you been up to all day?”

Sunset shifted a bit closer to me her side against mine as she touched her horn softly against mine, “The legion has been drilling all day. I helped out as Swift were busy.”

“How’d it go?” I asked and rubbed my hoof over her shoulders, “you’re all tense.”

Closing her eyes, she let her head drop against the couch with a small groan as I started to massage her shoulders, “Hmmmm… went well...they’re good. There’s talk about joint drills with the Nightguard…”

“Not a bad idea,” I agreed as I worked her back with my hooves, “They are whom the Legion are most likely to work in concert with.”

Sunset nodded lazily with a small groan against the couch, “Mmm, the team leaders thought so. We’re going to be working a lot with the other guards, especially the Nightguard. The Legion isn’t really meant for open combat.”

I smirked down at her, “We, huh? Going to sign up?”

She sighed and rolled over onto her back to look up at me, putting her hooves agains my chest , “...No. But that applies to the War Mages too. And we’re the only ones.”

I frowned down at her, “Taking that serious then?”

“Been thinking,” Sunny admitted and frowned up at me, “I… I think they might be needed. We might be needed. Not just us, but the entire thing rebuilt.”

“That is serious,” I told her and settled down with her, resting my head against her chest as she put her hooves around me, “I think you should talk that over with Luna. She’s the one in charge of it all.”

“I plan too,” Sunset said and nuzzled at my ear, stroking my mane with a hoof, “Speaking of Luna… about time for her to get up. We should go wake her.”

I nuzzled up to bump my nose against hers, “We?”

“We,” Sunset agreed, “Luna and I aren’t a thing, not like Twi and I or you and Luna, but I do want to get closer to her. We are friends and family.”

I eyed her for a moment before I smirked, “So… what you’re saying is that you want to sleep with my wife?”

Sunset made an annoyed sound and pushed me off the couch.

I landed with a oumhp but I just laughed and rolled onto my hooves before she jumped over me to land on the floor, trotting into the bedroom. Grinning, I moved to follow her. Walking behind Sunset always was a good view.

The curtains were pulled across the windows room, leaving it in twilight. The bed surrounded by a bubble of silence like usual to keep the sounds of the day from waking the sleeper within. Following Sunset through the bubble of magic, I jumped onto the bed to Lunas left, scooting closer to nuzzle at her neck.

The alicorn slowly stirred and slipped a wing across my back, pulling me close, “Mmm… Page…”

“Morning My Sky,” I said and relaxed next to her, leaning against her. Luna suddenly tensed up slightly in surprise and looked to Sunset on her other side where the unicorn had given her a small nuzzle.

Luna then smiled softly and gave her a small nuzzle back before slipping her other wing across Sunsets back, pulling her into a cuddle as well.

Chapter 40

I poked at the rich chocolate pudding with the spoon held in my magic. It was thick and rich and wobbly and I had no idea how the kitchen did it, but each time I had this, it ended up better than the last.

“...I’d just want to say thanks for inviting me,” Midnight said from across the table as she licked some chocolate of her spoon She was sitting next to Sunset and across from me and Luna, “but I can’t help but feel like I’m intruding.”

“You are not,” Luna told her with a smile, “I think it was a good idea of Page’s to invite you. I think all of us would be interested in hearing more of your world?”

Sunset nodded happily, “That would be interesting. I’m… still in the human world there, wasn’t I?” she asked with a small thoughtful frown.

Midnight shifted her wings slightly and gave Sunset a smile as she nodded, “You are. I made us a set of enchanted journals, what’s written in one appear in the second. We usually write once a week or so. Last I heard of you, you were preparing to play at a school dance.”

Sunset nodded, “So I was doing good?”

Midnight smiled at her, “Seemed to be,” before she grinned, “You did seem annoyed to be back in school after the summer holiday though.”

Sunset groaned and let her head drop a bit, “Oh, you have no idea. That was the worst thing about being thrown into a world full of hairless apes-”

“Hey!” I protested with a grin. Sunset ignored me.

“-, being back to school again. No longer be treated like an adult. And the guys kept staring at my chest which was so strange at first!”

“That would be annoying,” Midnight admitted and shifted her wings, “But there is so much you can learn there. No real magic, they do everything with technology! How awesome is that!”

“You know, you could just head over there again and check it out yourself,” I suggested and had some more of that chocolate, “The portal is opening again in… uhm…”

“A little over half a year,” Luna supplied with a smile, “And I have not forgotten the promise I made to visit with you. Seems interesting.”

“Awesome,” I said with a grin, “I’m taking you out to a steak dinner.”

Besides, Sunset had reminded me of something very important. Boobs. I missed boobs and I bet Luna would have some extra awesome ones.

Luna looked rather uncertain about that, but flicked her ears, “Perhaps not that,” she said before she smiled, “But I am looking forward to seeing a world similar to where you came from.”

I nodded, “Yeah, me too. Last time I was there I didn’t really have time to run around and picking things up,” I admitted before I grinned, “I have a shopping list longer than my wing. What about you, Sunny?”

She quickly nodded, “Me too. No magic or horn sucks, but if there is anything humans do well, it’s making stuff. I miss my phone.”

“Won’t be nearly as useful here without a connection or an internet,” I warned her, “And I’m not sure a touchscreen work with hooves or horn.”

“I could get a stylus,” Sunset decided before she frowned in thought, “...you’re right though. They really need the internet for it to really work well We just have to make our own then.”

“Not sure how well that would work,” I admitted, “but a laptop and some way to charge it is at the top of mine. We’ll have to see how much of that stuff I remember. Wonder what new games has come out?”

“Do you know what they are talking about?” Luna asked as she turned to Midnight. The other alicorn shrugged her wings a bit before answering,

“A little. A phone was human communication device and a laptop is a data storage and processing device,” Midnight explained, “Both could be useful on their own, but without connecting back to the human ‘internet’ which is a planet wide communication network they use, they would be limited in functionality?”

The explanation turned into a question as she looked to me.

“Pretty much,” I agreed, “I used to work with them before I arrived here, you know? Kinda miss them sometimes.”
Mostly when running out of ink for my quill. Oh! Ballpoint pens! So many ballpoint pens! I’m going to need to stock up until the portal opens again! Would a box be enough? Better get two. Oh, a couple of Sparky and Midnight too, they’d love them too.

“But we’re getting off topic,” I said and then looked to Midnight, “What’s your world like?”

She sighed and poked at her chocolate dessert with her spoon in thought, “Different,” she said after a moment, “We weren’t allies with the Changelings for one thing. Tirek didn’t die, he was sent back to Tartarus. My library was destroyed and I opened the chest from the tree. It turned into a castle and a large crystal table slash map.”

Luna slowly nodded and gave my ear a small nuzzle, “And no Page.”

“No Blank Page,” she agreed, looking towards me. For half a second she looked like she was going to say something else before she turned back to her desert.

“My arrival here changed a lot of things,” I said and leaned softly against the larger alicorn, “...If it’s for the better or worse, I don’t know.”

“Better,” Luna said softly, “Definitely better.”

Midnight hesitated for a moment before she looked between us three before she sighed softly as she nodded, “...As much as I miss my home, I have to admit that I think Princess Luna may be right,” she said, “You have done a lot of good here, Page,” she said before she smiled and looked at Sunset and Luna, “more for some ponies than the rest.”

“The Changelings too,” Sunset said and smiled at Midnight, “Brought me home.”

Midnight smiled and then hesitated and looked to Sunset, “...When I get back home, do you want me to bring her back to Equestria? The you from my world, that is? W-was it a mistake to leave you there?”

Sunset looked down for a second, “...Is she happy? Where she is now?”

“I think so. She has friends. She sounds happy when she writes.”

“Then no. If she’s happy, it’s better she stays there,” she said before she smiled at Midnight, “But would you mind if I gave you a letter for her before you go home?”

Midnight shifted her wings with a smile, “Of course not!”

The rest of the evening was filled with less heavy subjects and more board games. Midnight mentioned something called Ogres and Oubliettes which sounded a lot like Dungeons and Dragons. Something to look into.


I looked at the whirling dark portal before Luna and me. Twilight Sparkle were having a rather bad dream.

“You go,” Luna said and gave my ear a quick nuzzle.

I nodded and nuzzled back. When working together, we had a system. I did the adults, she did the little foals. She liked helping them and I didn’t mind the adults. Their dreams tended to be easier anyway, if sometimes darker.

“Be back in a bit,” I agreed and gave her a quick nuzzle before I walked in through the dark and stormy circle, horn first.

The dream formed around me and the first thing that struck me was the haze of haze of smoke and fire drifting across what could only be described as a battlefield. Mostly because it’s what it was. Flashes of spellfire in the distance, the sound of metal against metal, screaming.

Dead ponies on the ground. Dead… not ponies. Changelings, griffons, the Storm-Kings yetis. Who had been fighting who and what had happened was almost impossible to determine, but I could draw my conclusions about what had happened here.

An airship moved overhead, the propeller slowly turning as an explosion rang out through the air, the large craft bursting into flame and going down, crashing a couple of hundred meters away.

That was one thing that was bad about as smart as Sparky were. With great intelligence came great imagination.

And strong, realistic dreams. Based not only what you have experienced or read about, but also things that you could think up yourself.

Sometimes ignorance really is a blessing.

The air suddenly cleared enough for me to spot Twilight. She was in her Princess Regalia, laying on the ground with her hooves on a white shape on the ground.

Even from this angle and with the armour on, I could recognize Shining Armor.

Beyond him was Rainbow Dash, the normally energetic pegasus missing a wing. She didn’t seem to notice though as she hugged a yellow pegasus with pink mane, slowly rocking back and forth.

Sunset were laying on the ground next to Twilight and Shining Armor, not moving.

I walked up next to them and looked down at the sobbing alicorn. She looked like she had gone through hell.

“No,” I said and tapped my hoof against the ash covered ground, “This never happened. Will not happen.”

A ring of reality spread around me like a ripple across the pool. Where the ripple touched, the ash and damage and bodies went away, leaving smooth grass waving in the wind, the smoke above fading away, leaving a blue sky and bright sunlight.

Everything faded away but Twilight.

She remained where she was for a long moment before she shifted her wings and looked around. She had tears in her eyes, breathing heavily.

I sat down next to her, “I see Celestia told you.”

Twilight blinked her eyes, rubbing them with one hoof, “That… that wasn’t real,” she said before continuing to herself, “It wasn't real.”

“No,” I said and hugged her softly with my wing, “And it never will be. I promise you that, Twilight Sparkle. It’ll never happen.”

She swallowed sniffled before she then pushed my wing away with hers as she looked at me sadly, “You can’t promise that.”

“You’re right. I can’t,” I said before I smiled sadly at her, “But I can promise you something, Twilight Sparkle. That’ll everypony will do everything we can to stop it from happening. Me, you, Celestia, Sunset… everypony else.”

“...I guess…”

“This happened when Celestia asked you to go visit the troops at the border?” I asked and settled down on the soft dream grass, idly poking the ground with my hoof, sending small ripples in reality with my will.

Butterflies and bees appeared, flowers poking up among the grass.

“Just… it just hit it home,” Twilight admitted quietly, “that it could really be war. Not just… a monster or something we could fight and defeat. My friends, other ponies, my family… they could die! If this happens, ponies would die. Hundreds… thousands!”

“I know,” I said quietly, “Everypony hopes that it won’t come to that. And I did tell you the truth, we are going to do everything we can to stop that from happening. Won’t we?”

“We will,” Twilight agreed, pressing her lips a bit together, brushing the tears from her eyes with a hoof.

“...Besides,” I then said with a small shrug, “We have a Discord. As much as I dislike the chaotic being personally, he does seem to like Fluttershy. I can’t see him not twisting reality into a pretzel to keep her safe. Alicorn or not, I can’t see her not outliving us all.”


Hmm. Now that was an idea.

Twilight nodded and sank down fully onto the grass next to me.

“So, when are you leaving?” I asked after a long moment.

“Tomorrow… today I guess. When I wake up, we’ll head to the train,” Twilight said and nibbled at a grass straw as it swayed close to her, “Rainbow is coming along.”

“Would have expected Sunset would have volunteered too,” I said with a small frown, “But she didn’t mention anything at dinner.”

“She asked,” Twilight admitted and looked to me, “I said it would be better if she stayed.”

“...You don’t want her there if anything goes wrong,” I said after a second as I looked at her.

Twilight just nodded a little, “Yeah.”

“Can’t say I blame you,” I admitted after another couple of seconds with a small sigh, “...but I also know that if I tried, she’d kick my tail. I know how she feels too. I’m just delighted to be stuck in Canterlot until this is over,” I snarked.

Twilight smiled a bit, “Not fun?”

“Not really,” I said before I sighed, “I think the worst thing is that I can’t really argue it either, I can see the logic behind it though. I just feel like I can help more than I am.”

“Keep Sunset safe for me?”

“Sure thing, Sparks. I’ll keep your Kitten safe.”

I’m not entirely sure where she got a snowball from, but I suspect she might be learning a bit about dream magic on her own.

Chapter 42

I stood with my eyes half closed, listening, feeling with my magic as there was a faint sound of wind as my chakram orbited around my body, faster and faster as I kept shifting the orbits.

Two days since Twilight had left for the border on the train with Rainbow Dash and several regiments of soldiers. Two days of nothing from the Storm-King. I had went by his dreams each night to check. Things were still there.

Every time he falls asleep, the dreams were there, waiting for him.

Was it too much? Not enough?

I didn’t know. Luna didn’t know.

I took a deep breath and sent the spinning metal flying through the air towards the targets. It cut through three wooden bars stuck into the ground before returning in my grip, going back to orbiting.

This was a good way to clear my head a little. It took a lot of focus to do, didn’t really let you think of anything else.

I sent it flying again.

“Lord Page.”

I opened my eyes and turned to look at the pony that spoke up, a pegasus mare, an attendant in the castle, “Yes?” I asked as I swept the chakram around and back to hang by the hook on my side without bothering to look at it.

“Princess Celestia wishes to see you in the throne room. A messenger from the Storm King has arrived via airship.”

“Thank you, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

“Want me to come with?” Sunset asked, looking up from the book she had been reading while lounging in the soft grass beneath one of the trees at the edge of the training grounds.

I shook my head, “No, it’s fine.”

She hesitated and closed her book before getting up and moving up to me. She touched her horn gently against mine as she looked into my eyes, “You got this, Page.”

I smiled slightly, “I don’t, but that doesn't matter if I do because Celestia and Luna does,” and then gave her a small nuzzle before I pulled away and turned, heading to the throneroom.

The walk seemed both long and take just a couple of moments. The bright sunshine and the signing birds were a sharp contrast to my general mood.

Thunder, wind and rain would have felt more fitting right now.

Entering through a side door, I found Luna and Celestia already there on the thrones. Other than them, the only other ponies in the room was guards.

I moved over to stand next to Lunas throne, “I’m early?” I asked her, scraping my hoof against the carpet covered marble floor.

Luna nodded slightly, “She’ll be here any moment, they are escorting her from her ship.”


Luna had barely time to finish speaking before the doors to the throneroom opened to reveal another being of the Storm Kings species, a woman this time.The yeti had a haughty look on her face, wearing a set of armour with a cloak across her shoulders.

She crossed the carpet towards the thrones, “I am Agnelia of the Red Rose. I speak as the emissary of the Powerful Storm King.”

You could hear the capitalizations in her speech. That’s kind of impressive actually. Not many could manage that to be honest. It was harder than some people thought.

Celestia spoke up, giving her a nod, “Welcome to Canterlot, Agnelia of the Red Rose. We understand you had a message for us?”

She reached into her cloak and pulled out a scroll, unrolling it.

“Ponies of Equestria,” she said, “You have one week to surrender and to seize this assault upon my person or the Empire of the Storm will declare war upon you. We will strike down your soldiers and burn your villages. You wil-”

“Rue the day when you blah, blah, blah,” I said and shifted my wings, “Really? You came all the way here for that?” I asked, “Man, that guy got to pay well for anyone to work for him.”

Agnelia looked ready to go apocalyptic at that.

Luna frowned at me, “Page.”

“No, really,” I said and shook my head, ignoring Luna for the first time. I was pissed now, “I know you don’t like the big stick, but I have pretty much had it with this.”

I looked to Celestia. She kept her face carefully blank before she nodded.

I made my way down from the dias towards Agnelia, “Look, here’s the deal. There are two options. One is that you guys stand the fuck down and maybe, maybe I’ll let your King sleep again without driving him insane. Two is that you attack and we burn your pathetic little province to the ground as a warning to anyone that would date attack Equestria and her interests again and I crush your Kings tiny little mind like a walnut.”

“Y-you dare to-”

“Yes, I fucking dare,” I said as I looked up at her, “Equestria has seven alicorns. The Alicorn of the Sun, The Alicorn of the Moon, the Alicorns of Magic, The Alicorn of Love, The Alicorn of...not quite sure yet and the Alicorn of Dreams. I am the weakest. Luna and I put everypony in your pathetic little invasion to sleep with a single spell. If you think there is going to be an actual War involved in putting you down, you are strongly mistaken. You and your Empire exist because Equestria allows it, and if you move forward with this, you will end when we demand it.”

I moved closer and went onto my rear hooves, putting my hoof on her shoulder for support so I could reach to whisper into her ear so the others wouldn’t hear, “You spoke of burning villages? I would burn your minds. Every. Single. One of you.”

I dropped back down to look at her.

She had gone pale. An impressive feat considering she was mostly covered in thick white fur.

Celestia was the next to speak up, “We expect your surrender in six days, Agnelia of the Red Rose,” before she smiled, “And please, do wish your master a good day from us. We’re looking forward to seeing him person at the negotiations for the peace treaty.”

Agnelia did a small shaky nod, “I…” she cleared her throat, “I’ll relay your message, your highness.”

Chapter 43

The doors closed behind her and I felt my wings droop slightly as I relaxed slightly, my ears going to the side..

I should not have said that. Any of that.

“...I’m sorry,” I said as I returned onto the dais of the thrones, “...I should not have done that.”

Celestia shook her head with a frown, “No, you shouldn’t. It’s not...,” she started before she sighed and her ears drooped slightly and she shifted her wings, “But I do think might have needed to be said.”

She didn’t know what I told her with the whisper..

“We have done worse in the past,” Luna agreed and moved off her throne to join me. She moved up next to me and put her wing gently across my back, “That was one of the reasons we both wanted you here for this.”

“Takes a monkey to know a monkey?” I asked, one eyebrow raised.

Luna smiled briefly and gave me a quick nuzzle, “Not quite, but close.”

“Exactly that,” Celestia agreed and then sighed, “Do you really think it’ll work?”

“...I bloody hope so,” I sighed and sat down, leaning against Luna softly, my head just about reaching her neck, “Because a lot of that was a bluff.”

Luna blinked down at me, “Truly?”

“...Well, not the part about you guys,” I admitted, “I’m fairly sure you two and the Sparkles can kick some serious tail when you don’t need to worry about ponies being in the way. Cadance is a lot less direct, but potentially a lot more scary. I’m not any better. Sure, one on one I might be okay, but I’m not going to be much use in an actual battle.”

Celestia shifted her wings and moved off her throne to join us, “I seem to remember differently in the assault on Canterlot.”

“That was Luna,” I said, “I may have cast the spell, but the power behind it belonged to My Sky. I could maybe have put ten of them to sleep without her.”

Luna gave my ear a nuzzle, “Don’t sell yourself short, My Page,” she said softly, “You still cast the spell and there is a lot in a war that don’t involve strength,” before she raised her head and looked to Celestia, “Do you believe it will work?”

“I don’t know,” Celestia admitted and sat down, looking towards the closest glass window of Twilight and the other elements, “It depends on the Storm King, if he takes our warning to heart or not.”

“Should we go to his dreams again?” I asked, looking up at Luna.

She looked thoughtful for a moment before she looked down at me, “Do you think it would help?”

“I don’t know.”

Celestia shook her head, “Leave him. Let him think about things.”

I nodded and leaned against Luna. It was one thing for somebody like that to send you soilders to die for your cause, another when it was your own tail on the line.

“I don’t know about you,” Celestia then added with a small smile, “But I need a drink. Would you two like to join me, sister?”

Luna nodded, “Yes please. Page?”

I hesitated, “...I’d love to get drunk with a pair of beautiful girls, but I think I should check on my guard,” I said and reluctantly pulled back from Lunas warmth, “If there is a risk that we’re at war in a week, then I want them to be as ready as they can possibly be.”

Luna gave me a nuzzle at the ear, “You’re a good colt.”

“Yeah, if I didn’t just draw Equestria into open warfare…” I sighed and leaned into it for a second before I headed towards the side door. It didn’t take long until I left the cool interior of the castle. The sky outside was a clear blue, the sun burning high above.

I glanced up towards it for a second, suddenly feeling somepony moving next to me before I saw them.

“How did it go, sir?” Skitter asked as she joined in next to me.

“You already know how it went,” I said and stretched my rings for a second, “What do you think about this entire thing?”

“The Swarm stand with Equestria, sir,” she said, “I have discussed the matter with Mother.”

“She think Equestria is going to win then?” I asked, looking to her for the first time. Skitter nodded,

“There is no real question about that,” she admitted, “but it will look for for the changelings if we were seen supporting Equestrian troops in a conflict.”

“You may lose changelings.”

Skitter sighed and her wings buzzed for a second, “More than in the long term if we did nothing?”

I shook my head with a frown, “I don’t think you guys are best for a battle anyway,” I admitted, “not unless it’s in a jungle or something. You do what you do best, infiltrate and spy. How long would it take for you to infiltrate the Storm Kings court?”

Skitter just smiled at me a bit, managing to look slightly smug about it.

I looked at her for a long second, “...You already did, didn’t you?”

“With the return of his ambassador, he is going to get some extra guests.”

I slowly nodded and shifted my wings with a small sigh, “Just don’t get caught. That could cause even larger problems.”

She just gave me a look. If she had eyebrows, one of them would have been raised.

“...Yeah, fair enough,” I chuckled and then shook my head, “I’m about to inspect my guard. Would you like to join me, your highness?”

“Of course, sir.”

Chapter 44

The night was cool and dark and I looked out over the town below, putting one hoof on the railing.

The sky was clear above and Luna’s Moon shone across the city. There were still plenty of lights below, but it was late, well after midnight. A soft rustle of wood made me look to the side. Fern was curled up asleep at one end of the balcony. He liked sleeping there when the weather was nice to catch the morning sun.

Luna was holding Nightcourt right now. I had offered to keep her company, but she wanted me to get some rest.

I had thought about heading to bed, but I didn’t feel tired.

I felt… I’m not sure bad was correct either. I threatened somecreature with xenocide. Not exactly something to go with the friendship of harmony. A threat that might have saved thousands of lives.

A sound behind me made me flick my ear but I recognized the hoofsteps so I didn’t bother to turn.

Sunset moved up next to me. Her horn lit up and she took the glass from my magic, floating it over to take a small sip from the amber liquid.

She shuddered less than I did.

That’s so not fair.

“Long day?” I asked with a small smile.

“A bit,” she admitted and sighed, “I spent most of it with the Legion.”

I nodded, “Saw you when I visited,” I admitted, “But you were in the middle of something so I didn’t want to bother you.”

“Was it when I showed the unicorns that firewall?” she asked and at my nod, she smiled, “I thought I saw you through the window to the tower, but I wasn’t sure.”

“Mmm. Was getting a readiness report. What do you think?”

“They’re good,” she said and floated the glass back to me, resting her head against my shoulder, “They did good during the invasion too.”

“The Captain seemed a bit annoyed with me.”

Sunset gave me an amused look, “Wonder why, mister ‘run into danger’. You doesn't exactly make her life any easier.”

I cringed a bit at that, “I mean, what was I meant to do?”

“Not that?”

Fair enough.

I sighed softly and slipped my wing over her back, pulling her close, sipping my drink again after stealing it back from her. It burned a bit and tasted faintly of apples.

“Quiet you,” I told her, “I seem to remember you being there too.”

Sunset shot me a glare, “That’s not the same thing and you know it.”

“...Not you too… I take it you talked to Sparky?”

“Not about that, but I’m not stupid, wingboy. You’re the only male alicorn, you’re too valuable to get into battle,” she said and rolled her eyes, “Not that I expect you to listen.”

Sighing, I gave her a small nuzzle as she stole my drink again, “Not like I like being in danger.”

“You just can’t help yourself when there is something you can do,” she argued and sipped the drink before she touched her horn tip to the base of mine, “...It’s one of the things I like about you.”

“I thought you just had a thing for alicorns and couldn’t resist my pure masculinity,” I asked and nuzzled.

That got a small snort giggle from her, “Sure, that’s why...”

I gave her a wounded look.

Sunset grinned and gave me a small kiss, “Silly colt.”

I smiled at her and pulled her tighter with my wing, slipping one foreleg around her as I dipped her into a kiss, getting another giggle from her.

“Well?” I asked with a smile.

She sighed and put the glass down on the railing of the balcony before shifting to get hooves beneath herself again, “...Well, maybe not completely not unstallionly,” she teased with a small smile, “Tomorrow, training grounds?”

“Sounds good to me. It’s been a while,” I admitted, “I miss it.”

“Me too,” Sunny admitted before she grinned, “I learned a couple of new tricks since last time.”

“Oh really?”

Sunset nodded with a smile, “Twi found a book a couple of weeks ago, I borrowed it from her before the invasion. Didn’t have much time to practice it, but some of the spells seems interesting.”

“Looking forward to it,” I said before I raised my eyebrow at her, “Are you sure you’re not just trying to distract me from everything that’s going on?”

Sunset shook her head, “Not really, just want to get some exercise.” she said before she smirked, “if I wanted to distract you, I would…”

She raised her head to whisper into my ear for a couple of moments before giving me a small nuzzle and turned to walk back inside as she brushed her side against mine, giving my nose tip a flick with the tip of her tail on the way.

I swallowed and looked after her before following.

...Consider me officially distracted…

Chapter 45

I brought the stick around in my magic quickly before letting go, flinging it towards the other end of the small park.

Fern took off after it with a wruff, wooden paws hitting the grassy grounds loudly as he charged after it.

“He’s getting big,” a voice commented and I looked back towards Celestia as she landed close to me, folding her wings.

“Still a puppy,” I said as Fern returned with the small branch. He dropped it a couple of meters back before making his way over to Celestia, sniffing at her coat.

Celestia ignored him and turned to looked to me, “Page, he’s larger than you are.”

“Timberwolves grow to be as large as you are, larger even,” I said with a smile, “That’s in the wild without proper nutrition. I bet he’ll get a bit bigger.”

Celestia gave the walking houseplant a bit of a wary look, “Possibly,” she answered and scraped her hoof against the grass, “But I have never even heard about a tame one before. I just worry about him.”

I whistled and Fern perked up and quickly returned to my side, looking to me.

“Lay down,” I said and he dropped down. I reached over to scratch behind his closest wooden branch ear, “Stay,” I ordered and moved over to Celestia.

“I know you worry, Sunshine,” I told her, “But he’s trained and socialized. He hasn’t as much as growled at a pony. So what’s up?”

She shifted her wings, “A message just arrived from the Storm King,” she explained, “In two days a deligation will be at a position at our closest border to negotiate a peace treaty.”

I snorted and flicked my ears, scraping my hoof against the grass as I raised my wings high, “I have a treaty for them. They surrender and get nothing and then they pay reparations for any damage they did.”

Celestia smiled and nodded, “Which is why my sister and I are going to be handling the negotiations. We do have some experience in the matter. You are good at many things, Page. That’s not one of them.”

Fair enough.

“Could be a trap.”

“Which is why you stay here,” she said with a nod.

I shot her a look at that but she ignored it,

“We also need somepony to remain in Canterlot. Princess Midnight will also be remaining here,” Celestia said and stretched her wings, “I don’t know how long to expect things to take, it greatly differs each time.”

I sighed and shook my head, “I don’t like this, Sunshine. They were after the Alicorns in the first place and now there will be three of them in one predetermined and exposed position.”

Celestia nodded, “Something that occurred to us as well,” she agreed and smiled, leaning in to give my ear a nuzzle, “Which is why we are attending with a full four guard regiments and in full battle armor.”

I flicked my ear and grinned up at her, “Now that does make me feel better.”

Besides, Luna looked so hot in that thing. It may be covering, but it was also form fitting and very ‘Xena, warrior goddess’.

Celestias on the other hand was very ‘Goddess of the Sun’ mixed with wonderwoman.


I looked over towards Fern and picked the stick up in my magic, spinning it around before flinging it towards the other side of the park, “Fetch!”

He tore off after it in a spray of grass.

“So when are you leaving?” I asked as I turned back to Celestia.

“As soon as everything is organized,” she said, “Tonight most likely. I’m going to tell Luna in a little bit.”

“You haven’t told her yet?” I asked with a frown, turning away from Fern to look up at her.

Celestia hesitated for a split second, “I… I wanted to let her sleep for as long as she could. She’s nocturnal, I know how difficult it is for her to keep switching between them, especially this often.”

“Yeah, doing that sucks,” I agreed and took the stick when Fern returned. I held a brief tug of war with my magic with him before I flung the stick away across the park again, “So… how do you think things are going to go?”

“I don’t know,” Celestia admitted as she looked after Fern, “But I do hope everything will end up well. It did with the Minotaurs. It did with the griffins.”

“Some just needed a bigger stick,” I said as I threw it for Fern again.

Celestia looked towards me in question and I smiled at her,

“A saying from earth,” I clarified, “Speak softly and carry a big stick. The meaning is something along the lines of ‘negotiate and talk the best you can, but always be ready to back your words up by being willing to beat the other fucker about the head until he stops being a threat’."

Celestia frowned slightly, “...That explains so much.”

Chapter 46

“I demand to know what’s going on!”

I looked at Prince Blueblood as he stomped his right hoof against the marble floor, “You know as much as I do,” I lied to him, “The Princesses are negotiating with the Storm King and his empire. I am sure we will get some more information soon.”

He stared at me for a long moment before he sighed and shifted his ears, “...I apologize, Lord Page. I’m just worried for my aunts.”

“I know,” I agreed with a nod, “But if there are any ponies that can handle themselves, it’s Celestia and Luna. I’m completely convinced they will outlive us all.”

Blueblood frowned and nodded, “Yes… yes I suppose so,” he admitted, “Still, if you get word, could you let me know?”

I nodded, “I will,” I agreed.

At the same time as everypony else. Prince Blueblood might not be as useless and annoying as he pretended to be to get out of responsibility, but it was a close thing.

He nodded, leaving the office.

Grey Velvet entered through the side door and put a stack of papers next to me, “Would you like some tea, Sir?”

“...Yes, yes please…”

If I wasn’t already married, I would have proposed to her on the spot.

She moved to bring a tray with a kettle and a cup back to the desk as I looked to her.

“So, what’s next on the agenda?” I asked as she moved to pour me a cup.

“Nothing scheduled until the afternoon, when day-court starts,” she said with a smile, not bothering to check her notepad,”Would you like to review the list of applicants, sir?”

I shifted my wings, stretching them for a second with a small groan, “Anything special?

“Nothing that stood out to me, sir, other than a couple that noted their reasons as ‘Invasion related damages’.”

“Awesome,” I sighed and then sipped the tea, “No, I’ll think it’ll be okay, we’ll handle things as they come. If you want to take a break, Velvet, it’s fine. I think I’ll take a walk for a bit.”

Velvet nodded but glanced towards the window with an uncertain look on her face, “Are you sure, sir? It’s scheduled to be raining today.”

“I’m in a rather rainy mood,” I admitted and got up, stretching my wings for a second. I had spent hours doing today's paperwork and barely moved at all.

Grey Velvet bowed slightly and headed out of the room, sorting some papers I had signed during the morning.

I looked after her for a moment before I stretched my wings again, “Amber?”

“Yes, sir?” a voice asked from behind me.

I glanced back to her, “Any word back yet? From the… expeditionary force?”

“Not yet, sir.”

“Let me know, please?”

Amber nodded and her wings buzzed softly against her back for a second, “Of course, sir,” she said, “Are we going outside?”

“Just along the wall,” I said, “Just feel like getting some air. No need to bother anypony in the legion.”

Stupid two guard minimum. After the invasion they had been a lot more humourless about me sneaking out with just one guard.

With that, I left the office. Amber didn’t hide again, instead she moved to walk along next to me. I glanced to her, “Worried about something?” I asked as we reached stairs leading onto the exterior walls and I started up them.

“No, sir.”

I frowned briefly at her before letting it go as I pushed the door open. I gave the pegasus guard standing outside it a nod when he saluted, “As you were,” I said and moved past with Amber. The weather outside was really horrible, it wasn’t windy but it was pouring down heavy rain across the city.

Even with the rain pouring down, I could see ponies moving around with umbrellas and shield bubbles or even just wrapped in raincoats.

Just because it’s raining, dinner isn’t going to buy itself, is it?

I ignited my horn, projecting a weak shield bubble around amber and myself to keep the water away as we walked along the top of the wall, overlooking the city below.

“...It was to stay out of the rain, wasn’t it?”

Amber blinked at me innocently, “I have no idea what you’re talking about, sir,” and brushed what rain had landed on her before I cast the shield off her carapace, with small lines of magic from her horn, as she shifted a bit closer to make sure she stayed firmly inside the bubble of the shield as the rain poured down outside it.

Chapter 47

“And I think that the Crown have to take responsibility for the Guard's lack of ability,” Lady Starfall said, stomping one hoof against the soft carpet covering the marble floor leading up to the throne, “The budget of the Guard is clearly inflated and the Bits should instead be redirected to repair damaged property and lost profits from the invasion, as well as to restore valuable and neglected cultural treasures.”

I just stared at the white unicorn with the yellow mane like she had lost her little mind..

“Excuse me?” I asked after several long moments, “You’re saying that you want to reduce the budget of the Royal Guard? Because we were attacked?”

Lady Starfall nodded, “I and the rest of the Restoration Foundation are dedicated to the restoration of Equestria as it should be. The Guard is one of the single largest expenditures of Equestria and it’s clearly bloated beyond all sense. Did you know that Equestria has more spears than ponies?”

“No, I can’t say I did…” I said before I sighed, “We are at the brink of active war, Lady Starfall. We were just invaded, Equestria has been attacked multiple times the last few years by a number of factions and beings. Decreasing the budget of the Guard is the last thing we should be doing.”

She frowned, “And how useful has the guard been in our defense? About as much as a steel airship. We don’t need the Guard, we have the Elements of Harmony and the Princesses to keep us safe.”

“Indeed,” I said and nodded, getting a look at surprise from her as I agreed with her, “Which is why I am going to talk to Princess Celestia and Princess Luna as well as Princess Cadance to increase the funding for Equestria’s and the Crystal Empire's military forces. Thank you for your opinion, Lady Starfall, but I’m afraid we have to decline your suggestion at this time.”

See, I do diplomacy.

I’m fairly sure Grey Velvet spiked my tea with something.

Lady Starfall stomped her hoof again, brushing her long white mane back with her magic as she looked at me, outraged, “Lord Page, you can not possibly be serious! Princess Celestia would never-”

“And that’s something you would need to take up with her at a later time. Right now you are dealing with me. Next plea-”

I was interrupted by the doors of the throne room banging open and a pegasus galloped inside, the wonderbolt carrying a messenger bag on her side. She came to a halt before the throne, giving me a quick salute before she dug through her satchel,

“Lord Page, message from Princess Celestia.”

Something that couldn’t wait until I met Luna in the dream realm tomorrow. She must have flown hard to get here from the meeting point at the border this quickly.

“Thank you,” I said and took it in my magic, “Go, rest. It was a long flight,” before I looked towards the gathered ponies, “Court is dismissed for today.”

Ignoring their protests and questions, I got off the throne and jumped down onto the floor, leaving through the side door into the sitting room outside before I broke the seal of the scroll, rolling it open.

I read it for a long moment, reading through the short letter three times. It was written in Celestia's neat hornwriting, long sweeping strokes that she somehow managed to also make easily readable.

I suppose a couple of thousands of years of practice helped with that.

“My Lord Blank Page,

I am glad to announce that the negotiations are proceeding well and while the finished terms have not yet been decided on, my sister has released the Storm King from your curse.

One part of the terms all parties agree on at the moment is the release of all prisoners on all sides. As a show of good faith, we are releasing our captured soldiers at once. I trust that you will execute this duty and arrange their escort to the border to the best of your abilities.

With some hope, negotiations should be over soon and we will return home.

Princess Celestia, Princess of the Sun.

PS: On a more personal note, it is nice to spend some time with my sister. It’s not something we do often enough."

I frowned at the wall and slowly rolled the scroll back up. It was the genuine thing, it had not only Celestia's private seal on it, but it had the markers of being written not only by her hoof, but being without duress.

The last sentence of the actual message has a comma in it, for example, was one of the four markings that Luna taught me were always in letters between her and her sister to guarantee that it really was from them and without being forced.

An old code from way before her banishment.

The rest were present as well.

I frowned at the scroll. Things seemed to be going well, but I can’t say I liked the contents of the scroll. Releasing all those soldiers again this early… and even worse, Luna and Celestia talking privately that much during the travel would likely give Celestia more teasing ammunition against me. She really didn’t need that much of advantage, what she had already was quite enough.

Oh well.

Still, if I agreed with it or not, I had gotten my instructions. I looked at the scroll for a moment, starting to get an idea before I looked towards Amber lounging in a chair across the room, “Could you get a message to the Captain of the Solar Guard? We need to get some things organized.”

Not that anypony is getting released before I confirm things tonight.

Amber just nodded.

Chapter 48

The sun was shining above as I exited the tower. It was morning, but the sun was already high and burning bright.

I adjusted my satchel and then headed towards the prison. I moved past groups of still chained up Storm King troops as I moved into the castle courtyard. They would be packed onto trains and taken to the border. Until they arrived there, they wouldn’t be released and would be under heavy guard.

Giving the guards by the door a nod, I moved past them as they unlocked it. One of them joined next to me as I moved along the corridor and down through the prison to a familiar destination.

The guard unlocked the door and then closed it behind me, leaving me outside Commander Tempest's cell.

She looked up from her cot, eyes blinking at me, “...Oh, it’s you again.”

“Indeed,” I said as I sat down on the stone floor, “How are you doing?”

“Stuck in here,” she answered coldly.

“Yeah, that would suck,” I admitted, “I think I’m going to look into the entire prison thing. Could really need less stone walls and a bit more rehabilitation.”

It did seem like one part where Equestria was rather backwards. Rehabilitation really was where it was at.

“...So, here to torment me again?”

I shrugged my wings and lifted a bottle of ice cold cider from my satchel, opening it with my magic before taking a sip.

“Oh, sorry,” I said, “That was impolite of me. Do you want one?”

Fizzlepop blinked at me, “I… uhm… yes please.”

Nodding, I pulled a key from my satchel and unlocked her cell door, trotting inside and taking out another bottle, opening it for her, “Here you go.”

She slowly took it with her hoof, looking between me and the door before she sighed and took a sip.

I sipped at my own cider before I sighed, “Come on, it’s way too nice of a weather to be stuck in here. Besides, I’m hungry,” I told her as I started towards the open door, “I know this great taco stand. Now, I don’t know how you are with spicy food, but they’re pretty great.”

Fizzlepop Berrytwist stared at me like I had grown a second head, “...What?”

I frowned, “...Unless you don’t want to?”

She scooted off her cot and kept her eyes on me, “Why?”

“I’m hungry. I had to skip lunch.”

She still seemed hesitant, but she followed along, carrying her bottle along as I lead her out of the prison through one of the side entrances, avoiding the courtyard and the other prisoners.

“Aren’t you afraid I’ll escape?” Fizzlepop finally asked quietly.

I frowned at her, “Are you planning to?”

Fizzlepop looked away and sipped her cider again before blinking and shielding her eyes with her hoof as we exited into the bright sunlight. It had been planned to rain today too, but I had ordered the weather ponies to make it extra sunny instead.

Sunny it was, birds chirping, bees buzzing in the flowers. A perfect summer day.

I sipped my cider, “Come on. Oh, and I really recommend extra cheese, it makes them stick together a lot easier.

Fizzlepop looked around but followed along slowly, “...There’s no guards…”

“Well, if you’re not going to escape, why would we need guards?” I asked before I looked at her, “...Are you planning on attacking me?”

“...No…” she answered softly.

I nodded and pulled the magic inhibitor from around her broken horn, dropping the ring into my satchel.

She gaped at me and then reached up to touch her broken horn, “But…”

“I hardly think that was needed in the first place,” I told her, “You’re dangerous enough with your hooves that you having magic or not didn’t really matter anyway.”

Fizzlepop stared at me as she felt her broken horn, small sparks playing around it before dying down again as she picked her bottle back up, “...I could escape like this.”

“You could escape with the ring on as well,” I said with a shrug, “If you want, you still can. Leave Equestria, go back to the Storm King. Or somewhere else I suppose. To be completely frank, I wouldn’t stop you.”

She blinked slowly, taking half a step back, “I’m free to go?”

“Well, technically not,” I said and shrugged my wings, “Not until you leave Equestria's borders anyway according to the still forming peace treaty with the Storm King. You can go back to him if you like.”

Fizzlepop looked down at the bottle in her hoof for a long moment so I continued, quieter this time.

“...He could never fix your horn, Miss Berrytwist,” I told her, “I don’t know if anypony can. But I can promise that I will do what I can to find out, if you like me to.”

She didn’t answer, so I continued instead,

“The train leaves for the border in two hours,” I said, “How about we go have those tacos and you can think it over?”

Fizzlepop Berrytwist didn’t answer for a long moment before she nodded and looked to meet my eyes, “Okay.”

“Okay tacos?”

She sighed, “Okay, I’ll stay. Not a fan of tacos.”

I stared at her and then pointed towards the city with my hoof, “Not a fan of tacos!? T-to the train with you! Banishment!”

That actually got a smile from her and she snorted, quickly hiding it with a hoof and looking away.

I grinned, “How’s curry then? I know this great little curry place!”

“...Never had it…”

“Then I insist!”

“...You’re a very strange pony, Lord Page.”

I shifted my wings and rolled my eyes as I started towards the city proper, leaving Fizzlepop to hurry to catch up, “Ponies keep saying that. I can’t figure out why.”

Chapter 49

“So, what do you think?” I asked and sipped my water. We were in a private corner of the little curry restaurant.

“...A bit spicy,” Fizzlepop admitted and poked at her curry and rice with a spoon, “But not bad. Different kind of spicy.”

I nodded, “I like this place. Ran into it a couple of months ago,” and had some curry of my own. It was a stronger dish than I recommended for her. It was not for beginners.

Rarity of all people had recommended this place to me and on my Luna, she was right. The food was amazing!

She nodded and tried some of the bread.

“So, Miss…” I started before I frowned, “I’m sorry. I never did ask which name you prefered, did I? Tempest Shadow or Fizzlepop Berrytwist.”

She frowned in thought for a long moment, “I’m… I’m not sure either fit anymore. But I’m not Berrytwist.”

“Miss Shadow then,” I said, “Any plans?”

Tempest Shadow hesitated and then looked at me, “...I am really free to go? Just like that?”

I sighed and shifted my wings as I poked my rice, “Well...Yes and no.”

She frowned at me so I continued,

“According to the negotiations, all of the Storm King’s forces are to be released across the closest border,” I said and poked my curry with my a piece of bread, letting it soak, “If you were just let go in Equestria, there would be trouble. The nobility would never stand for it, you were the leader of an invasion after all.”

Tempest let out a small breath and looked down towards her bowl, “...I see.”

“But,” I continued, “What you do is still up to you. There are options available.”

“I figured,” she said and then looked to me again, “You wouldn’t be doing this if you were just going to banish me or thrown me back into that dark hole again.”

“I suppose not,” I admitted, “But I don’t want you banished or confined to the prison either. You may have lead the invasion, but I know enough about you to say it wasn’t fully by choice.”

“...You know nothing about me…”

“Don’t I?” I asked and raised an eyebrow at her, “Miss Shadow, I am Blank Page, the Alicorn of Stories. I know some of yours.”

She glared at me, “Prove it!”

“Ursa Minor.”

She jerked slightly in surprise and stared at me with wide eyes before she frowned, “H-how could you possibly…”

I gave her a small smile, “Alicorns aren’t just stronger unicorns with wings, Miss Tempest. Would you like to hear your options?”

Tempest Shadow stared at me for a long moment before she nodded and seemed to shrink down slightly, her ears going to the sides, “...Okay.”

“The first option,” I said, “is to simply go with the rest of the Storm King’s forces and leave Equestria. Be it to go back to him or simply go anywhere you wish as soon as you are across the border.”

I took a sip from my water before I continued while watching her reactions. She had a pretty good poker face but I suspected she wasn’t in favor of option one.

As expected, he did not seem like a guy that was forgiving about mistakes.

“The second option is to go through the courts in Equestria. There would be prison time involved most likely,” I said and sighed, “I would not recommend this one personally. Politics is involved and while they should normally stay out of it, there will be pressure applied and very little we can do about it.”

She nodded slightly as she watched me.

“Then there is the third option,” I told her and smiled, “You join us.”

Tempest frowned at me, “Join you?”

I nodded, “Join Equestria's defensive forces. You are quite skilled and it would benefit Equestria quite a bit to have you on our side against other threats.”

“...You want me to join the guard!?”

I shook my head, “Hardly. You don’t fit the recruiting standards for either Day or Night and my Legion has other preferences. I am second ranking War Mage in Equestria. I want you to join us.”

“Two weeks ago I was leading an invasion force against Equestria and now you want me to join you!?”

“You did quite a good job of it too,” I agreed and poked at my curry with my spoon, “Better than most would. We’re rebuilding the War Mages order just for such matters.”

Tempest Shadow hesitated, “...And if I rather leave?”

“Then the train leaves in a bit over an hour,” I said and had some curry, “I’d more than understand if you are tired of taking orders by now. I’d walk you to the station personally. Even give you some Bits to get you started again somewhere else if you head off somewhere else after crossing the border, but I’m afraid I’m going to need an answer before the last train leaves in three hours.”

She was quiet for a long moment, “And my horn?” she finally asked.

“I gave you my word that I would do whatever is in my power to try to help you. It stands no matter if you stay or go.”

Tempest Shadow watched me for a moment before she nodded and returned to her meal.

Chapter 50

Entering Luna’s and my rooms, I looked around.

They always felt so empty when Luna was away. I sighed softly and moved over to close the balcony doors. A sound made me look over to see Sunset exit the bedroom, “Hey.”

“Hey,” she said and rubbed her eyes a bit, “How did it go?”

I moved over to her, giving her a quick nuzzle, “I think it went well. I think Tempest Shadow is going to join the War Mages, but she wanted a couple of hours to think.”

Sunset looked uncertain at me, her ears shifting, “Are you sure that’s a good idea? I mean… after what she did…”

“You’re one to speak, ‘miss steal the elements’,” I said with a smile, resting my horn tip against hers as I looked into her eyes, “She’s just the kind of mare that we would need to join us. Besides, I have a plan to assure her loyalty.”

Sunset smirked, “Going to seduce her, are you, Wingboy? Because you’re not ‘that’ good.”

I frowned at her, “No! And… what do you mean not that good!?” I asked before I scowled, “I’ll show you ‘that’ good!”

“Later,” Sunset said with a playful grin as she sat down to look at me, “Oh, she just seems your kind.”

I shifted back slightly to look at her, “...What do you mean?”

“Oh, you know, former villain mares.”

I glowered at her and scraped my right hoof at the floor, “That’s totally not… uhm… shut up.”

That got a giggle from the unicorn and she moved in to give me a small kiss, “So what’s your plan?”

I shook my head and then nuzzled back, “Just promise you won’t interfere?”

Sunset frowned at me, “...Page, it’s something stupid, isn’t it?”

“Only if it doesn't work,” I corrected her with a smile, touching her horn with mine again, “If it does, I’m a genius.”

She sighed and gave me a unconvinced look, “So what’s the plan, genius?”

I winked at her and then half turned, “Discord. Discord, get your omnipotent tail out here! I know you can hear me!”

“Why?” The candlestick on the table asked before bursting into flame, Discord forming from the smoke and sinking back down to the floor with an umbrella in his hand.

“Because I want to make a deal,” I said and moved up to him, “I know you and I have had… less than pleasant interactions in the past. But I think it’s time we put those behind us.”

“Oh, now that you need something, you want to be friends?” he asked and leaned forward to look me in the eyes, “Typical monkey.”

I nodded, “You’re right. But it’s not just that,” I said as I sat down, “I haven’t been completely fair to you.”

His eyebrows floated up off his face, “Oh?”

“Not your fault you act like you do,” I said and shrugged my wings, “I can’t blame you for acting chaotic more than I could blame Fern for trying to eat the couch cushions. It’s your nature. I’m sorry. I has been unfair.”

Discord flashed out of existence only to reappear half wrapped around my horn, hanging down in front of my face, “That’s mighty big of you.”

“Not really,” I admitted, “I… I still don’t like you. But I also haven’t been fair to you. I mean… nopony that likes Fluttershy can be all bad, especially not when she like you in return..”

Discord watched me for a moment before he flashed out of existence before reappearing closer to the door behind a desk, wearing a full suit with a pink tie with pictures of a yellow pegasus all over it, “You like to make a deal, eh? That don’t seem very ‘chaotic’.”

“...Hear me out first, okay?” I asked him as I moved to sit on the chair across from him.

Discord snapped his fingers and a cup of tea appeared before me.

I nodded a thanks to him and picked it up with my magic to nibble at the solid tea cup, “Thank you. There is a Unicorn named Tempest Shadow. Her horn was broken when she was little, it’s off just about here,” I said and showed him on my own, “I want you to restore it. Is that something you can do?”

Discord took a bite from his tea and sipped his scone, “...Perhaps. But why should I, it doesn't seem very chaotic at all. Orderly if nothing else. Boring.”

“Because in return, you can prank me all you want for twenty four hours,” I told him, “Go wild.”

“Page!” Sunset exclaimed as she moved up next to me.

I shook my head off her, “Sunset, it’s fine. Please, stay out of this.”

Discord shook his head, “No deal.”

I looked at him in surprise, “What?”

He smirked and leaned forward, “No deal. My dear monkey, I’m not some sort of genie in a lamp you can rub and get a wish from. I’m not a demon you can barter with. I’m the Lord of Chaos.”

Sighing, I nodded, “...Yeah, I suppose you’re right. I’m sorry. I promised I’d help her and quite frankly, you were my only real idea how to do it.”

Discord regarded me for a long moment before he flashed a bit again, this time his suit was less businessman and more ‘The Godfather’, “You wishes this favour of me,” he said in a low raspy voice.

I nodded, “What do you want for doing it?”

He watched me for a moment before refilling my tea, “You wishes a change to somepony else,” he said in the same exaggerated and rather bad impersonation voice, “Then I do one to you.”

That made me hesitant, “...What, permanently?”

“As long as hers last,” Discord continued and the desk and chairs disappeared, his suit turning into a lamp and dropping to the floor before us, “To remind somepony that I’m not a genie in a bottle!”

Sunset shook her head and put her hoof on my shoulder as she stepped forward to glare at him, “No deal.”

I hesitated for a long moment before I shook my head and turned to look at her, “Stay out of this, Sunset.”


“I promised her I’d do anything in my power,” I told her quietly.

Sunset shook her head, “Page! We don’t need her that badly!”

I looked at her and touched my horn to hers, “Sunny… she’s been hurt all her life. Lied to. Used. Outcast and exploited. I promised her and I’m not going to break it and add to all that.”

Sunset stared at me for a long moment before she looked away.

I turned back to Discord, “Deal. But I know your nature, try not to do anything that’d make Fluttershy mad.”

Discord smirked, “Oh, I don’t think she’d mind this one too much,” and snapped his fingers. My vision faded to black and I went off to dreamless sleep.

The last thing I heard before passing out was Sunset yelling my name.

Chapter 51

Everything was nice and soft and made of warmthz. I liked and didn’t want to wake up. I kept my eyes closed and let myself drift because if I opened my eyes, I would be awake and that would be terrible.

I could feel warmth against my side and I could scent Sunset's mane against my nose. I think this may be my favorite way to wake up, the only thing that was missing was My Sky.


My eyes flashed open as the memory entered my head and I instantly closed my eyes tight again. Too bright!

I groaned and nuzzled closer to the pillow as I ignited my horn and pulled the curtains closer together. I had my horn, I was still pony, I was clearly still male and I could feel all six limbs and my tail.

Whatever he did, it couldn’t have been that bad. Maybe he made me pink or something. I can live with pink or yellow or whatever.

I slipped my hooves around Sunset and pulled her tighter, burying my nose in her mane. She smelled of sunshine and flowers and my Sunset.

Sunset stirred and rolled over, nuzzling in beneath my chin, “...Page? Are you okay?”

I forced my eyes open again. Even with the curtains closed it was still a bit bright from the slit between them.

“Mmm… I’m fine,” I said and nuzzled at her mane, “...What happened?”

Sunset tensed up a bit and then shifted back to look at me, “Discord… did something to you and you passed out.”

I frowned at her, “What did he do?”

“...You better look in the mirror.”

“Am I pink? I’m pink, aren't I? Bucking damn it!”

That forced a small snort of amusement from her, “You’re not pink. Just… go look.”

I frowned at her and scooted off the bed to go look in the mirror by the wall.

I froze and just stared at the sight that met me. I was still a pony. I was still an alicorn. But… my coat was a couple of shades darker than before. So was my mane and tail.

My wings.

I spread them and turned to look at my right one. It lacked it’s usual feathers, instead it looked like the wing of a bat. Both of them did. I reached to touch it with my hoof before I turned back to the mirror, reaching up to touch my ear with my hoof. It was different, a little bigger than before and a bit fluffier.

My eyes…

My eyes still had the same colour as before. Yellow, but they were slitted now against the light. I opened my mouth and felt with my tongue.

I had fangs now. My tongue was a bit longer too.


I shifted my wings and looked at myself in the mirror. I still looked mostly the same as I did before, it’s just like he had replaced the… pegasus parts with batpony traits.

“...Huh,” I finally said and slowly sat down, feeling more than a little stunned as I stared at the mirror, “This may be problematic.”

Sunset moved up next to me, watching me nervously, “...Page, are you okay?”

I smiled a bit at her as I shifted my wings and ears, “...I’m fine,” I said and sighed, “I mean, come on. This is like the fourth least strange thing I have been turned into.”

She hesitated, “I mean… Page… you’re a Vampony.”

I frowned and glanced at the mirror, “Actually, I think I’m a… what, Vampicorn? That just sound silly. Batcorn? Alipony? Valicorn?”


Shaking my head, I turned to look at her again, “Sunny… out of all the things he could have done, this was by far not the worst. I mean, I could have been pink! Don’t get me wrong, this is a bit more than I had in mind and I strongly feel like kicking his tail, but… I could have been a lot worse.”

Sunset frowned at me, “It’s not right!” and stomped her hoof.

“It could be a lot worse,” I said again and moved closer to rest my horn against hers to look into her eyes.

She hesitated and then shifted closer.

“What do you know about batponies?” I asked her after a moment.

Sunset shook her head, “...Nothing really,” she admitted, “Just legends. They drink the blood of ponies and hunt during the night.”

I blinked and then shifted back to look at her, “What?”

She hesitated, “...That’s not right?”

“No. No not at all,” I said and then frowned at her, “Wait, you thought that and you still slept next to me?”

Sunny blushed softly, “I was fairly sure you were still you and that you would never eat me that way.”

I pulled her into a quick hug, nuzzling at her neck before I let go and looked at her, “All that is… right and wrong. At the start, yes, but then…” I started to tell her what Luna told me about batponies.

How they were a cursed tribe of pegasi that later became further changed to eat fruit instead of blood in an attempt to cure them. How they still existed but were really rare.

Sunset listened and waited until I finished before she said softly, “Luna is going to be pissed.”

“Oh yeah.”

I was fairly glad to physically be half a country away when that happens to be honest. Because it would be something out of legend.

There were sounds from outside the quarters and I pulled away to exit the bedroom. Somepony was yelling outside the door, “...Mind checking?”

Sunset moved past me and I moved to the side so as not to be in view when it opened. There was some conversation before Sunset backed away, allowing Tempest Shadow inside.

The grape coloured unicorn froze when she spotted me, gaping in surprise. Her horn was intact and sharp looking, you couldn’t even see where it had been damaged.

“L-Lord Page… what…”

I shook my head and smiled a bit at her, “Healing your horn had a price. This was the one I paid.”

Tempest Shadow stared at me for a long moment before she sank down and bowed deeply until her horn touched the floor.

Chapter 52


Luna stared at me across the dream realm and I nodded hesitantly, “It was the only way I could get him to help.”

She slowly let her breath out and moved up to look at me, “We should have turned him to stone when We had the chance. Again.”

She looked furious. Seriously furious. The dream realm seemed to darken around her and her mane moved less like it was in a breeze and more like it was a storm cloud.

I flicked my ears, “...Sorry.”

Luna lowered her head to nuzzle softly before she spoke up again, “How bad?”

Frowning, I shook my head before nuzzling back, “I have no urges to go snacking on pony necks if that’s what you mean,” I told her, “So, that’s good at least. Not sure if he would ever had done that, Fluttershy would have been so mad at him if he did.”

Luna looked thoughtful for a moment, “...I wonder…”


“Is Discord trying to… play matchmaker?”

“If he is, he needs some practice,” I said dryly and shifted my wings, “And some subtlety classes.”

Not that Fluttershy wasn’t attractive. She had been a model for a very good reason after all but she just wasn’t my type.

Even if she was good looking.

Luna sighed and nuzzled softly as she sat down, slipping her wing around me, “My Page… are you okay?”

“...I don’t know,” I admitted after a moment as I laid down. Luna moved to settle down next to me, slipping her wing across my back before I continued as I leaned softly against her, “Like I said to Sunny, this is like the fourth least strange thing I have been turned into. But… I don’t know. It still feels… strange.”

“We will make him undo it.”

I shook my head, “If you do, he’ll return Tempest Shadow’s horn to it’s broken state too. I promised her I would do what I can to find a way to help her.”

“Page, this can’t possibly be what you meant.”

“...No,” I admitted and nuzzled at her neck, “But I promised. She has her horn now and… I couldn’t do that to her. Taking it away again would be so cruel.”

Luna sighed softly against my ear, “Page…”

“...Besides,” I said softly, “She’s going to live… what, half a century, a century at most? I’m an Alicorn. I can wait. This is not that bad.”

“Fifty years is a decently long time even for an alicorn,” Luna said gently, “I promise you that in fifty years you will be so used to it that going back would be even stranger.”

“I guess you’re right,” I admitted and sighed, “How will ponies react?”

If they knew as much about batponies as Sunny had, this would go over about as well as a cast iron airship.

Luna nuzzled, “Are we going to reveal it?”

“The alternative would be hiding beneath illusions again,” I said and nuzzled back, “That didn’t go that well last time and was really tedious.”

“Might be easier this time,” Luna suggested with a small thoughtful frown, “Thestrals have a natural talent for illusions.”

“...Maybe,” I admitted, “I may have to learn how to do that. I’ll hide beneath normal illusions until we figure out what to do. I may have to visit Fluttershy and see if she can teach me.”

Luna was quiet for a long moment, holding me close with her wing, “So…”


“So how does it feel?” she asked after a moment.

I shifted my wings beneath her and flicked my ears, feeling my fangs a bit with my tongue, “...A bit odd,” I admitted, “But a lot less strange than when I woke up as a pony. Or when I gained another set of limbs with my wings. Or even when Discord turned me into a mare for a bit.”


I nodded, “Yeah. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really strange with the wings. They aren’t less sensitive to air or anything than pegasus wings, but they are… quiet. They make a lot less noise when I flap them,” before I sighed and looked to her, “...And I found out that I need to learn how to fly again. As it turns out, feathered wings are a lot different from bat wings in how they work, even if it is mostly magic… and to be completely honest, while the fangs feel a bit odd, I miss having them even if they are way larger than when I was human.”

Luna slowly nodded and gave me a small soft kiss, “I suppose that’s another thing you need to discuss with Lady Fluttershy.”

“Yeah,” I agreed, “I’ll head to Ponyville as soon as you and Sunshine get back,” I said before I smirked as an idea crossed my mind, “Oh, don’t tell her. I want to see how long it'll take before she notices.”

That got a small giggle from her.

Chapter 53

I slowly folded and unfolded my wings. They were covered with an illusion of course, but I could still feel them and the air across them.

They felt a bit strange still. I glanced back at my right one as I spread it wide before folding it against my side again.

At anytime I could tell Discord to go fuck himself, to turn me back… and then Tempest Shadow would lose her horn again.

Taking a deep breath, I folded my wings again, squinting slightly against the bright morning light. It could have been a lot worse. It wasn’t all bad, not at all… my night vision was better for one thing. My hearing too.

But still.

If ponies knew… It was bad enough that I was an alicorn. If they knew this, I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be. I suspected nothing good would come from it.

They already knew alicorns. But batponies, real batponies, was a thing of myth and legends and nothing nice.

Fluttershy was the only real one I knew about. They were Rare with capital R, very rare.

Discord knew exactly how much I liked standing out and drawing attention to myself.

The bastard.

“Are you doing okay, sir?” Skitter asked as she moved up next to me.

I blinked at her in surprise before I smiled a bit and bowed for her, “I’m fine, you’re highness,” I answered, “I assume you know what happened?”

I think we were lucky not to have Amber do a dynamic entry at Discords stupid face when he did his thing.

An annoyed buzz erupted from her wings for a second as an answer and she nodded, “I do, sir.”

Sighing, I spotted the airship in the distance before I turned to look at her, “Do I taste like I’m doing badly?”

Skitter licked her lips a little, “...No,” she finally admitted softly, “not… exactly. But not like usual either.”

I frowned at her, “Oh?”

She shifted a bit, “Not bad. Just slightly different. You taste…. Hungry.”

“...I am a bit hungry,” I admitted, “I could use a sna-”

Skitter was holding an apple before my nose. A big. Juicy. Sweet. Juicy. Apple. The smell hit my brain like a heavy warhammer and before I knew it, I snatched it from her hoof and buried my fangs into it, sucking it dry, the previously red round and juicy apple turning into a shrunken and shriveled husk in my hoof.

“Hungry like a changeling,” Skitter said softly as I blinked before looking down at the shriveled up apple in my hoof.

I quickly glanced around and then tossed it over the edge of the tower, “Nobody saw that.”

The only ponies here were Skitter and myself, if that had happened during a castle dinner or something…

...Everypony would know.

Skitter brushed her wing against mine, “Sir, that’s something you are going to need to learn to control. How to deal with hunger is something all Changelings need to learn to handle. I might be able to help.”

I closed my eyes and took a slow, deep breath, licking my lips and trying to ignore the feeling of the fangs. It could have been worse, I had to keep telling myself. It could have been a lot worse.

It could have been the original curse he gave me.

It could have been ponies, not fruit. I was fairly sure that if Discord had not been ‘good’ now, it likely would have been.

Taking another deep breath, I nodded, “Tomorrow,” I said, “Tomorrow I’m leaving Canterlot for Ponyville. Lady Fluttershy may be able to help… I need to learn how to fly again and maybe she can help with that as well.”

Or yell at Discord until he reversed it but left Tempest her horn.

“I wanted to wait until Luna and Celestia got back along before I leave for Fluttershy,” I continued, “They trusted me to keep everything going until they got back. I couldn’t just leave.”

The airship was getting closer now. I could hear the wohf-wohf-wohf of the large rear propeller turning as it changed course, moving around in a circle to move in to dock with the tower we were standing on.

Skitter was quiet for a moment, “Do you think it’ll help?” she then asked softly, “It’s not an easy thing, dealing with hunger.”

I smiled a bit at her, “I suppose I’ll have to avoid fruit until then.”

Or just eat a lot more of it in private, I suppose. But no, I needed to get that in hoof or it’ll surprise me at a bad time. Now that would be a way to get discovered, by going nuts at the fruit display at some formal dinner.

The changeling princess frowned slightly at me before changing the subject, “After the wedding, you and Princess Luna had planned to leave for a few weeks. Are you still planning to?”

Sighing softly, I shifted my wings, “With everything that’s going on, we haven't actually discussed that yet. But that would be nice. Very nice. Maybe...maybe after I fixed…” I motioned at myself with a hoof, “...This. Or at least gotten it properly in hoof.”

Some time just sleeping on a beach with my nose in Luna's mane right now sounded like a very, very nice idea.

Oh Celestia, I need a vacation so, so badly. I covered for you once, it’s your turn now and I’m taking Luna along with me, maybe Sunset too.

Somewhere away from ponies and everything else, including yeti and lords of bucking chaos.

Chapter 54

The ramp to the airship lowered and was tied down. Only seconds later the hatch of the airship opened and Celestia exited, followed by Luna and Twilight.

I waited until they were back on solid ground before I approached them, “Welcome home.”

“It is good to be home,” Celestia said with a smile. Luna moved past her to give me a small nuzzle. I nuzzled back and then kissed her softly.

Luna kissed back and I ignored the rest of the world as I felt her mane shift across my shoulders. Her wings moved behind my back, pulling me closer, her hoof moving to my shoulder.

I leaned against her. She smelled amazing.

We slowly broke the kiss and I stared up into her eyes as they met mine. She leaned in to nuzzle at my ear before she whispered, “The illusion is only visual?”

“Too much to keep going all the time otherwise,” I whispered back as I nuzzled, “I’ll show you for real tonight.”

Luna nodded and took half a step back, smiling down at me as she refolded her wings, “I missed you, My Page.”

“I didn’t,” I said and smiled back, “I could see you above every night, My Sky. Your beauty never left.”

Luna’s cheeks turned a bit red and I heard laughter from my left before Sunset reached over from where she was hugging Twilight to punch my shoulder,

“Oh come on, that was so cheesy!”

“I missed her, I’m allowed to be cheesy!” I shot back with a grin, “And that wasn’t cheesy, it was smooth!”

“One of the good things of having your husband be a writer,” Luna said and moved close again to nuzzle at my ear, “He’s good with words.”

I leaned against her, “I’m not that kind of writer, I’m not any sort of poet. You just make it easy.”

Luna nuzzled, “Missed you.”

“Missed you too.”


The door closed behind us and I slowly breathed out, shifting my wings before stretching them. Luna brushed her wing across my back as she moved on past me before turning to look at me.

I flicked my ears and let the illusion drop.

Luna looked at me for a long moment as she approached. She reached out with her hoof to touch my chin, sliding it up to my ears as she looked into my eyes, “My Page…”

“...I know,” I answered quietly before I spread my wings, looking up into her eyes.

Her gaze shifted from my eyes to my new wings and then back, “Are you sure of this?” she then asked, her horn touching softly against mine, “Page, if Discord told the truth, you could turn back right now. Just tell him to turn you back.”

I nodded, “Yeah. I could. All it would cost would be someponies life. It would cost somepony her horn. A unicorn who have had a hard life, a hard life of betrayal and suffering. If I did… after she put her trust in me, after I gave her her horn back… It would kill her. Crush her spirit.”

Maybe even literally.

Luna took a slow deep breath, “You shouldn’t have done it.”

“...maybe,” I admitted and folded my wings again, looking up at her, “But would I be the pony you love if I didn’t?”

She sighed softly and moved half a step closer, nosing softly at my ear, “Brave, brave… stupid Page,” she breathed softly, “I’d love you anyway.”

I smiled and put my hoof on her shoulder, nuzzling at her neck, “I know. But I promised I would do anything I can to help.”

Luna shifted and sighed softly as she looked at me before she shook her head, “You’re a good pony, Page,” she said softly and gave me a small soft kiss.

I kissed back softly and then felt her tongue on my fangs.

I smiled a bit and broke the kiss, “You keep seeking those out… do you like them?”

Lunas cheeks turned a little red and she shifted her wings, “I… I…”

I grinned at her and raised my wings wide and high, “You do!”

She glared at me and her wings spread wide, “Page!” she exclaimed, “Are you implying that I’m…” she trailed off as I stepped close and nuzzled in close, nibbling along her neck, “P-page…”


She made a very interesting sound.

Chapter 55

“So why are you heading to Ponyville? I would have thought you would have stayed with Luna,” Twilight asked from across Sunny.

We were on the train to Ponyville and we were sharing one of the benches, Sunset seeming more than happy to be having a pair of alicorns leaning against her.

“Couple of reasons,” I said and shifted my wings.

Twilight flicked her ears, “I just figured you’d want to stay in Canterlot with Princess Luna now when we are back. I mean, wedding, married....”

I sighed and nodded, “I would,” I admitted, “but I have some stuff I need to do. Well… need and need…”


I grinned at her from across Sunset, “May want to talk to Rarity about some special commissions for Luna,” I said softly, “I plan to ‘kidnap’ her for a couple of weeks. Want to see if I can get some things for her first. Figured I could get some other things done too while I’m here too, stop by Fluttershy among others.”


“Yeah, some questions to her about Fern and such along with a couple of other things,” I admitted. It wasn’t even a lie, I did need to ask her about my houseplant. He was growing quickly.

Sunset shifted and leaned against, “Not bringing him?”

“Silver Leaf already volunteered to watch him while we’re gone,” I said with a smile, “Just want to make sure he’ll be okay and if anyone would know, it would be her.”

I had told neither of them why I was really going. To see if Fluttershy could help me… if nothing else to learn to fly and use the natural illusion to hide how I looked now instead of needing to burn my usual magic for it.

I trusted them both with that secret, Sunny already knew it, but if I revealed why I really needed to talk to Fluttershy, then they would know her secret too.

And that one wasn’t mine to tell.

Sunny nodded and then suddenly gasped and turned to look at Twilight, “H-hey!”

Twilight just smiled at her, “What? You, me and Page are the only ones in the carriage, Kitten.”

“Well, there is one pro of royal privilege,” I agreed and brushed my wing along Sunsets side. I would have put it across her back, but then Twilight be able to feel it too and tell it wasn’t covered with feathers anymore, “Private carriage.”

Sunset flicked her ear and looked between us, “...That’s so not fair when you two team up on me.”

I grinned at her, “Now you know how I usually feel,” and Twilight hid a small giggle.

Sunny shot me a small glare and then sighed and shifted to lean against my side instead before reaching to pull Twilight into a cuddle.

I nuzzled at Sunnys ear and leaned against her in turn.

I needed to tell Twilight about what had happened. Making Sunset keep it from her marefriend just wasn’t fair… and I’d be in Ponyville for a day or two and likely spend it living with them.

Besides, she was my friend. I didn’t want to lie to her more than I had to.

“...Twilight?” I said after waiting for them to break their kiss, “There… is something I need to show you.”

“That’s forward of you…” Sunset murmured and glanced back at me with half lidded eyes.

“Quiet, Kitten,” I shot back and then I sighed and looked to Twilight, “You know how I managed to get Tempest Shadow her horn back?”

She nodded, “Yes? I did wonder how did you do that?”

I sighed, “I made a deal with Discord,” I told her, “And he wasn’t happy about it. Not exactly along his nature, you know?”

Twilight blinked at me and raised her wings in distress, “Page!”

“I know, I know,” I said and sighed, “but I promised I would do anything I could and it was the only thing I could think about.”

Sunset shook her head and slipped out from between us, “Just show her.”

I dropped the illusion slowly, letting it start at my horn and slide down across my body and coat, almost like changelings did. The golden line of my magic shifted and where it passed, my coat turned a couple of shades darker, revealing my changed ears, my now almost black bat wings. My slitted eyes and my fangs.

Twilight shifted back in surprise, “Thestral!”

“Still alicorn,” I said with a small sigh, “But with bat pony instead of pegasus.”

“It’s still the same Page,” Sunset said and moved up to look at Twilight, meeting her eyes, “This is what Discord did.”

Twilight swallowed and then nodded firmly, “We’ll make him change you back!”

I shook my head, “Can’t,” I said and then explained why to her.

She stared at me for a long moment before she sighed and rubbed a hoof just beneath her horn, “...Discord…”

“And don’t worry, I don’t eat ponies,” I reassured her, “I just have a bit more of a taste for fruit now than before.”

Twilight slowly nodded before she turned her eyes back to me, “As soon as we get back, we’re going to the lab. I need measurements.”

I looked at her warily, “...Measuring what?”

She met my gaze, steel in her eyes, “Everything.”

I quickly looked to a smirking Sunset before turning back to the other alicorn. She had a kind of fire in her eyes and was grinning at me.

Oh Celestia.

Chapter 56

Having finally escaped the very scientific clutches of Twilight after only five hours, I left the outskirts of Ponyville.

I’d still been in Sparkys lab if Sunny had not distracted her for me so I could escape. I have to remember to thank her properly for that later.

For the moment, it looked like I was alone though. But I knew I wasn’t, not really. While I had been able to talk my way out of having two ponies following me around for this, I knew Amber was lurking somewhere close.

She always was.

But it looked and felt like I was alone. Something that was rare nowadays. The sun burned bright above, stinging my eyes a bit, but I ignored it as I just listened to the sound of the wind and the birds.

The walk to Fluttershy’s cottage wasn’t a long one. Maybe thirty minutes or so if not hurrying. I didn’t, I took my time and just enjoyed the walk.

You know, living like this would… it would be really nice. Away from ponies, griffons… politics. Could maybe even grow your own food?

I could see the appeal.

Fluttershy’s cottage came into view as I rounded a corner in the path. It was nice and cozy looking, the roof overgrown with thick green grass.

I spotted it’s owner almost instantly, the yellow pegasus were outside by her little field of vegetables. She had a basket next to her, half filled with carrots, a head of lettuce and what looked like a couple of onions.

“Hello!” I called out before I got too close.

Even so, Fluttershy twitched and looked up in surprise before she spotted me. If anything, that seemed to make her even more flustered,

“L-Lord Page!” she exclaimed as she surged up, her wings spreading in surprise.

I smiled and stopped just outside the gate, “Evening, Miss Fluttershy. Hope I’m not interrupting?”

She shook her head and picked her basket up with her mouth, “I-it’s fine, Lord Page,” she said, “Is there anything I can h-help you with?”

Taking a deep breath, I nodded, “Actually… yes. Would you mind if we spoke inside?”

Fluttershy blinked at me in surprise before she nodded, “Please. W-would you like some tea?”

“Please, that would be wonderful,” I said and opened the gate before following her to the cottage. She lead me inside the small living room before escaping into the kitchen. As I got closer, I saw straight through her illusion, giving the now familiar double vision. One of a yellow pegasus, one of a slightly darker yellow thestral.

I settled down on the couch and just waited for her to return. There were animals all around. Birds were fluttering by the ceiling between the bookshelves, rabbits and mice I could hear beneath the couch.

Fluttershy was a real life disney princess and that’s all there was to it.

She returned a couple of minutes later, carrying a tray with some cookies, a tea kettle and a pair of tea cups before pouring us a cup each.

“Lord Page-” she then started and I held my hoof up,

“Please, I told you before. Just Page.” I said with a smile.

She flicked her ears and then nodded, “J-just Fluttershy then,” she said and smiled slightly, “W-what can I help you with?”

I took a deep breath and sipped the tea before I told her everything. She didn’t move a feather when I got to Discord. She just watched me, her eyes widening when I told her about the deal.

Fluttershy was quiet for several long moments, looking down at her tea cup before she swallowed, “D-discord did that?”

“...Yes,” I said and then sighed, “But I did agree to his price. I may not have known what it was at the time, but I knew it wouldn’t be something tiny. I was asking a lot from him and we are not exactly on the best of terms. I’m not angry at him about this”

She swallowed, “C-can I see?”

“Would make things tricky if you couldn’t,” I admitted before I nodded and I let the illusion fade away and shifted my wings a little. She dropped her own seemingly out of surprise, her wings spread high and wide as she stared at me.

“...You have never met another thestral before, have you?” I asked her after a second.

Fluttershy shook her head, “Just… just my mother. I-I got it from her.”

I nodded, “I was hoping you could give me a couple of tips, “ I said, “I can’t fly like this and I have to keep the illusion up with my unicorn magic.”

Fluttershy bit her lower lip slightly before she nodded, “I-I’m not a very good flyer.”

“Better than me right now,” I sighed, “I just… kind of flop about when I try.”

She finally nodded again, “I’ll help. A-and I’ll talk with Discord about it. I-it’s not fair what he did.”

“Don’t try to get him to cancel it, not without leaving her horn whole,” I cautioned her, “I made a promise.”

Fluttershy nodded, “I...I promise.”

Chapter 57

As it turns out, learning to fly for a second time was easier than the first time.

The ground came towards me quickly and I flapped my wings hard and fast. Grass! Tree! Bush! BUSH!


Just… you know... not a lot.

Grumbling to myself, I struggled out from the thing branches and tried to brush away the leaves and grass that stuck to my coat.

“Lord Page!” Fluttershy said as she quickly landed next to me, “Are you hurt!?”

“I’m fine, I managed to miss the trees,” I sighed and shook my head, “I almost had it that time. Let’s try again?”

Fluttershy nodded but scraped her hoof against the grass, “P-perhaps stop for today?” she suggested, “It’s getting late and I-I need to feed my animal friends.”

“Yeah, sure,” I agreed, “Anything I can help with?” I then asked.

She smiled and then shook her head, “N-no, it’s fine. Some of them are shy among strangers.”

“Let me walk you back at least?” I said and glanced around, the sun was indeed starting to set in the distance, “The Everfree Forest isn’t the safest place in the world. Even the outskirts.”

“I-if you don’t mind,” she agreed and shifted her wings before she shook her head almost like shaking her mane back and her pegasus illusion settled over her before she looked to me in turn.

I nodded and closed my eyes, focusing before copying her motion. I could feel the illusion rippling across my coat before I opened my eyes again as I felt the illusion settle across me. It was different from the ones I usually used, the ones using unicorn magic. It wasn’t a transformation, but it was solid. You could touch the feathers on my wings. It almost reminded me of Changeling illusions, but nowhere near as good or versatile.

It also didn’t need focus to hold. It would keep going straight through the night if I slept with it on.

“How’s that?”

“Missed your eyes,” Fluttershy said and shifted her wings shyly.

Nodding, I broke the illusion before redoing it again, “Sorry. It’s different from what I usually use,” I admitted, “But a lot better.”

“Took me a lot longer to learn,” Fluttershy admitted softly as she moved up to stand next to me, “B-but you already knew how to do illusions.”

“I suspect that helped,“ I agreed before I looked towards her, “Thank you so much for helping me with this. I owe you a lot.”

She shook her head, “It’s what friends do,” she answered with a small smile before she sighed, “...I-I...I never actually thought I would see another thestral. Y-yet alone a stallion...”

“I’m not a thestral,” I said as we walked along the path, “Not… not any more than Twilight is a pegasus.”

“S-still. We’re… rare.”

I nodded with a small thoughtful frown, “Maybe… maybe not?”

“How do you mean?”

I shifted my wing, showing her the illusion, “While thestrals without a doubt are rare, I’m not completely convinced… we… are as rare as you think. This is a pretty good way of hiding and as long as they don’t go nuts for apples or something, not like anyone will be able to tell.”

Fluttershy licked her lips at the mention of apples before she blushed and nodded, “I-I guess,” she answered quietly, “Would be… nice…”

It suddenly struck me exactly how alone it must have been for her. To hide who she was even from her closest friends, to hide from fear of how ponies would react. All her life, from the first time she found out.

...Exactly like I was going to do.

I hesitated for half a step before I glanced to her, “...You haven’t told your friends,” I said after a second.

Fluttershy did a full body shiver and shifter her wings, quickly shaking her head, “No! I-I couldn’t. Not… I thought about it,” she admitted, “Before… I was hit by a spell once. T-twilight used a spell to drive away bats and it hit me too. It drove me… so hungry. They saw me, like I was. It scared them so much but they thought it was the spell that transformed me!”


Fluttershy swallowed, “When I… when I got to my senses and put the illusion back up, they… they had been so afraid. I could never tell them!”

I paused and put my hoof on her shoulder as I stopped, “Luna, Sunset and Twilight all know about me,” I told her softly, “Amber and Skitter also knows. Fluttershy, they’re your friends. For crying out loud, Twilight is the Princess of Friendship. They aren’t going to stop being your friends.”

She looked away for a long moment before she turned to look at me, “...Y-you don’t know what it’s like. N-not really. To hide s-since I was a filly. Since I first got my mark. To be afraid that somepony would find out.”

I let my hoof fall, “...You’re right. I don’t. I’m sorry.”

“I-it’s fine,” she said quietly and scraped her hoof against the ground before she then looked at me again, “Do you want to c-continue tomorrow?”

“I would like that.”

Chapter 58

My everything started to really ache about when I got halfway back to the treebrary. But even so, I had stopped by Rarity’s store and put in an order.

It had made the white unicorn rather excited in ways that had nothing to do with the… significant chunk of Bit’s I was going to pay her for it.

That gleam in her eyes was one that I recognized anywhere, even if I was much more used to seeing it from the other side. My suggestion of ‘something scandalously sexy for Luna’ almost made the unicorn glow.

I almost thought she’d offer it for free, but she kept sense about her enough to suggest a price for the rush. I think I paid less for my first printing of books.

But fair enough, it was a rush order… and I had no doubt the result would be well worth it.

Pushing the door open to the library, I slowly entered and looked around, “Anypony in here?”

“Over here, Page,” Sunset called back, “About closing time anyway, you can lock the door.”

Nodding, I locked the door behind me and moved off in search of her. I found Sunny and Sparky by the fireplace, a book open before them, “Hey you two. Had a nice day?”

Twilight smiled and nodded, “It was. And I have some thi-”

She was interrupted by Sunny putting her hoof on hers, “Tomorrow. It’s been a long day for everypony and I bet Page is tried too.”

“...Sorry,” Twilight said and gave me a small chagrined look.

I smiled at her, “Never apologize for being excited about something you love doing,” I told her and looked at them, “Mind some company, or do you two want some alone time?”

Sunset smiled and reached up to pull me down next to her and giving me a quick nuzzle before touching her horn to mine, “How did your flying go?”

“So why couldn’t we come help?” Twilight asked, “I’m sure we could have figured something out.”

I rested my horn against Sunny’s before I sighed and looked to Sparky, “Look, this is difficult enough without having to have two attractive mares watching me flail around and ending up in the bushes. There is only so much my ego can take.”

I didn’t even lie. It was bad enough that Fluttershy saw it.

Sunny stuck her tongue out at me as Twilight blushed.

“So how did it go?” Sunny asked.

Letting go of my illusion, I stretched my wings and sighed, “I can get in the air and mostly stay there. Anything else though is an exercise in frustration for tomorrow. Another couple of days away from ponies that can spot me and I’ll be okay, I think.”

Twilight slowly nodded, looking at my wings over Sunsets back, “I would expect it to be very different from regular pegasus wings.”

“They are,” I admitted, “It’s almost…” I said and then frowned, “Sunny, you might know what I mean what I say that it’s almost like swimming for a human. Less like shifting the wings and more like you grab the air and throw it behind you.”

Sunset slowly nodded, “I think so. I never learned how to swim as a human though.”

I blinked at her, “You didn’t?”

She shook her head, “Never had the time,” she admitted and rolled onto her back, looking up at Twilight and myself, her front legs held to her chest, “I… I was always so busy when I was in the human world. Very little of it good.”

“Well, you were a villain,” I said with a smile.

Sunny sighed and looked to Twilight, “Still, I do wish I spent more time exploring and less time plotting.”

“Not overly long until the portal opens again,” Twilight observed and smiled down to her, “We could go through and go exploring.”

“I know I’m taking Luna through,” I said, “It may not be my Earth, but it’s close enough that I want to show her around.”

Twilight nodded with a smile, “We didn’t have a lot of time to look around last time,” she agreed, “I would like to explore a bit. There were so many fascinating things!”

Oh yes. Twilight Sparkle, a laptop and Wikipedia. We’d never get her away from it.

Sunny smiled back to her, “It’s a date,” and then rolled back onto her stomach, leaning against my side and I slipped my wing across her back,

“So what are you two reading?” I asked as Twilight shifted to copy me, scooting a bit closer to Sunset and slipping her wing across her back in turn, “Large tome of hidden magical lore?”

Twilight grinned briefly and lifted it in her magic to show me the cover, “Daring Do and the Crystal Chalice.”

I frowned and nuzzled at Sunny’s ear, “Is that new?”

“Just came out,” Sunny nodded, “We’re only a chapter in,” she then added and looked to Twilight, “Want to restart?”

“Sure Kitten,” Twilight agreed and flipped back to the start.

“You don’t need to do that,” I protested.

“Hush,” Sunny said and touched her horn to mine before she did a small wiggle beneath the wings and got comfortable, “It’s only a dozen pages.”

Twilight gave her a quick nuzzle and then started to read.

I settled down and closed my eyes, letting the tension of the day drain out of me.

Twilight did have a very nice reading voice and it didn’t take long until I drifted off to sleep from the warmth of the fireplace.

Chapter 59

The trip back to Canterlot was a long one. Amber was relaxing on the couch across from me in the small cabin, her eyes locked at the window as she watched the landscape slowly pass by.

We had spent three days in Ponyville and despite having spent each night in the dreamrealm with Luna, I couldn't wait to get back to her. I loved Sunny, but she and Sparky had been apart for longer than Luna and I and I didn't want to be too much in the way for them.

Sadly, going to Ponyville had been necessary... and useful. I could fly again, if not as good as before... and I wasn't exactly a wonderbolt in the first case. But I could get from A to B, the rest was just practice. The special illusion I had managed on like the third try, it wasn't that different from what I usually did, just in a different way and cast without unicorn magic. So going to Ponyville had been useful and likely the right thing to do. Spending time to Sunny and Sparky was always fun, it had been nice to get to know Fluttershy better too. She was a genuinely nice pony. Somepony that ever since her curse manifested when she got her cutiemark, had to hide who she was.

If anypony had ever deserved better than that, it was her.

I just wished it was anything I could do about it.

Despite everything else, the thought of going back to my Luna again made me feel almost giddy. Tonight, I had no more plans than to sweep her off her hooves and hold her close... metaphorically speaking anyway, she was larger than me after all. But then I had plans to make, plots to spin.

After all, I did once threaten to kidnap her to a deserted island somewhere and I planned to make good on that promise. Well, almost. Not quite deserted, we did need somepony to handle the drinks. Celestia know I can't make anything more complicated than adding sodawater.

"Sir?" Amber said and turned to look at me as the train started to climb up around the mountain towards the city.

"Yes?" I asked, looking up from my notebook.

"Princess Skitter wishes to see you as soon as we arrive. A message arrived just before we left Ponyville."

I put down my quill, "Did she say what it was about?"

"The other Changelings."

"As in the ones we... acquired?"

Amber shook her head, "The other Hives. That's all I know, sir."

I looked down at the notebook before I flicked my ears in slight annoyance and nodded, "Okay, we'll go see her as soon as we arrive."

There was always something, wasn't there?


You would think the changeling hive would be more intimidating after dark, but not really. It was all underground and all black resin walls and green lights and filled with beings that looked at ponies as friend shaped food. How much worse could it get anyway?

As I followed Amber into the hive and down through the tunnels, passing changelings on the way I absolutely refused to be intimidated by their style of construction. Not only because after everything I went through, being afraid of walls was silly. But also because they would know it. I like changelings, they can't be blamed for what they are. What's more, these ones were trying their best to work with us and they were our friends.

The tunnel lead all the way down to the throne room/love storage. The two larger than average changelings guarding the door with spears in their hooves, shifted to the side when we got closer.

The throneroom. That meant that...

Chrysalis were lounging on the throne inside like a large chitinous feline, all relaxed and glowing eyes. Well, she would have looked relaxed to most ponies. I could tell she was only mildly furious in the same way that you can tell a hurricane at the horizon likely has a bit of a breeze. At the base of the throne was the source of her ire. Skitter was standing and looking up at her mother, a small smile on her lips. All to the world looking just as relaxed as her mother.

Mother and daughter seemed to be getting along as well as usual.

I spread my wings and gave them a small bow, ignoring the tension between them completely with the ease of practice, "Queen Chrysalis. Princess Skitter. You wished to see me?" I asked with a smile.

Chrysalis flicked her eyes to me for a second before she slipped off the throne before moving over towards me. I expected her to stop, but instead she passed me by towards the exit, her side brushing against mine as she murmured, "Talk some sense into my daughter, my little predator," into my ear on the way past.

Then she was gone.

I blinked in surprise and looked after her for a second before I turned back to Skitter, "That was... stranger than usual," I commented and moved over to her, "I take it you were having some sort of disagreement?"

Skitters wings buzzed in annoyance before she nodded as she turned to me before hissing and chittering something in Changeling I couldn’t understand more than a couple of words of before she switched to Equestrian, "Perhaps you can talk some sense into her!"

"What's going on?"

"After the conflict with the former Jungle Hive," Skitter said as she sat down on the steps leading up to the throne, "I proposed sending envoys to seek out the other remaining Hives. If we don't, this kind of thing is going to happen again. If not with Ponies, then with Griffins or other creatures. We no longer need to kidnap and feed on creatures, they don't either!"

I hesitated, "...How many hives are there?"

"Noling knows," Skitter said and frowned, "Mother only know of three that existed last we heard of them. One was the Jungle hive, one is in Griffin territory and one beyond the Badlands."

"I take it different Changeling Hives don't get along?" I asked and sat down next to her.

"Not enough food," she said softly and looked towards one of the tanks of glowing green... congealed love. Or something. I had very carefully not asked exactly what it was or how it was made. I did not want to know. "Usually, when Hives interact, it is in battle for territory or food. If Queen Pincer didn't think Amber would have been useful somehow, she likely would have been killed on sight."

I looked down at my hooved for a long second, "...Is there enough food now? I mean, even with the Crystal Heart, it's not an infinite amount."

"Not here," Skitter said and looked to me, "But the Canterlot Hive only gather in the city and the closest surrounding villages and towns. If they gathered openly where they were, they wouldn't need to capture creatures."

"That could be a difficult sell," I said and turned to her in turn, "Going public like that is against every instinct you have. Only reason you did it was because we forced you."

"But it worked!"

I nodded, "Yes, but it could be dangerous. Very, very dangerous. And even if all the Hives were found, any messenger sent... they would be in deep trouble."

"Mother doesn't think it would work."

I shifted my wings, "...As much as I dislike agreeing with her about... anything, I'm not sure if she's wrong on this one."

Skitter frowned at me, "You think it's a dumb idea."

"I think it's a dangerous idea," I corrected her, "One that might work, but need some serious planning not to blow up in our faces."


"Like I'd leave you on your own for this," I told her with a smile, "But, we're doing it slow and safe. I'm willing to use the Dreamrealm to find the general location of Changelings. But there is one way and one way only we're doing this."


I looked at her, "If you manage to convince your mother. Without the word of a Queen behind this, none of the other Hives is going to take it seriously. If you can't get her onboard, why would they listen?"

Skitter buzzed her wings loudly in annoyance before she sighed and looked down at the floor, nodding, "...You're right."

"Like I said, this would be a very volatile situation," I said and got up, stretching my wings, "Maybe the best thing would be to just do nothing. To have this Hive thrive, let them see how well things are going."

"Maybe," Skitter agreed and got up as well, "But it could be so much better."

"Sometimes better is not always possible," I sighed, "Especially in politics. Sometimes you have to settle for 'good enough'."

Chapter 60

When I finally got to the tower, I was exhausted. Not only form the hours of flight practice, or the hours traveling(I wish so hard I would someday become as good at teleporting as Sparky), or the trek up from the Hive. Or even the implications of hive politics. More like it was a combination of all above that just made me want nothing more than to crawl into bed and tell Celestia where she could shove that ball of light she liked to show off.

Thunder Cloud came in to land next to me a second before my hoof hit the door to push the outer door open, "Sir," he said with a smile, "Welcome back."

I shot him my best sourly alicorn' look, "...Thanks. Buzz off."

"Tired huh?" he asked, not changing his tone even a little. The bastard. "Sure thing. Just need to give you this first," he said and handed a scroll over."

I glared at the scroll like it would make it burst into flame before I sighed and took it, "Thanks."

He saluted quickly before lowering his hoof again, "Long day?"

I sighed again, "You could say that. You?"

"Just got on, actually. Night shift rotation this week. Woke up like two hours ago."

Dayguard night shift. Bloody hell.

"Welcome to the club," I said and looked at the scroll. If I didn't open it until tomorrow, I didn't need to act at it until tomorrow and I didn't know what it contained. But no... if it wasn't important from somepony important, then it would have arrived with the rest of the mail. Not be delivered by a guard pony, "Don't you have anything better to do than ambush poor ponies with mail? What happened to officer school?"

"Invasion and then Princesses going out of town for a bit," Cloud said and shrugged his wings, "Everything got pushed back for extra patrols."


He shrugged again, "Everything is going back to normal again in a few weeks. Besides, that's directly from Princess Celestia."


Cloud had been a courier for the Day Guard most of his career as he was a natural long distance flier. He was cleared to carry above top secret messages. Even in Canterlot there wasn't that many ponies in the Guard with that kind of rating and most of them having much more important things to do.

"...Which mean that this is likely too important to put off until tomorrow," I sighed and looked down at the scroll.


"Likely, sir," Cloud agreed, "Well, I'll leave you to it before I get in trouble for slacking off or something."

"Next time you get a message for me, tell them to buzz off."

He grinned, "Don't think that would look good on my next performance report," and then he dropped the smile to salute, somehow managing to make it just professional enough not to get in trouble while still making it look like he was taking the piss, "Sir," he said with a nod before taking to the skies.

Likely plenty of practice.

I sighed once more and looked down at the scroll again before unrolling it. Might as well get on with it.

It didn't contain any of the usual official language Celestia used in official communications. Instead it was a simple, 'Page, come see me as soon as you are free, there are some things we need to discuss. Celestia'.

I had gotten notes like that from her in the past.

This one annoyed me though, I wanted to sleep! I wanted to pull Luna into the bed with me for cuddles!

But she didn't send them for nothing. Damn it.

Flicking my ears in annoyance, I turned away and started towards her section of the castle before starting to slowly get an idea.

Well, if she were going to summon me like this today, she deserved to be messed with... and she didn't know of my change. I hesitated... it would delay going home to Luna, but really, how often would I get this kind of opportunity?

At this time she would be in her quarters, having some tea while going over paperwork. Alone.

Spreading my wings, I shifted them before taking to the air. I went slow, focusing on flying steady rather than fast.

I knew that if I tried for fast, I still wobbled and I really didn't feel like meeting a sudden tower.

Circling up around the wall at what was hopefully a safe distance until I reached the right balcony before going in for landing as quietly as I could. I silently snuck up to peak in the window. Yep, right room, Sunshine was right at the desk I expected her to be at.

The door to the balcony was open, giving me an easy way inside. Come on, Sunshine...

Picking the cup up, she turned away from the window to look at a couple of documents floating in her magic. Perfect!

Dropping my illusion, I rounded the corner and screee'd with my wings spread wide. Celestias reaction was not quite what I expected and the next thing I saw was a sun-bright beam of energy flying straight at me.

I scrambled in panic, throwing up a shield as strong and fast as I could. It was the fastest I had ever been able to bring a shield up with that kind of strength.

It was perfect.

I’m pretty sure it being perfect was pretty much all that saved my life, but I might as well held up yesterday's newspaper against an oncoming train.

Everything went very bright, there was a crashing sound, everything hurt there was and a faint sense of movement.

Somepony touched me. I could hear something.

"No. No no! Page... Page, stay with me. don't try to move!"

She sounded worried. That wasn't good. Why couldn't I move? Everything was dark. Everything hurt.

"Guards! Get the-" the sound faded away for a second and everything went silent, dark and a bit colder.


I forced my eyes open just enough to catch a glimpse of flowing rainbow fields.

Celestia. Sunshine.

"No! No! Stay here. I’m so sorry! I-I can't... please!"

She sounded very far away.

"Plea- I can't los- not after thi- I lo-"

Silent darkness.

Chapter 61

Comfy. Warm.

My head felt like it was full of cotton. I groaned and slowly forced my eyes open. Everything was so bright. "Uegh?" I managed to ask.

"Page! You're awake!" Sunset exclaimed and moved into my field of view.

I blinked at her and tried to talk before finding that I couldn't really "...ater..." I managed to croak out. My throat felt like a desert.

Sunset blinked, "Oh! One second!" and she ducked back before returning with a glass and a straw. I drank. It was wonderful.

"What happened?" I managed to ask before relaxing again.

Sunset shifted onto the bed next to me, touching her horn gently to mine, "What do you remember?"

I frowned and thought back. A bright light.

I sighed, "...Me being an idiot, scaring Celestia and getting smacked with the same kind beam she smacked Chrysalis with? How close am i?"

"Fairly," Sunset said softly, "You forgot being flung from the balcony and hitting the tower across the garden. Amber managed to catch you just before you hit the ground... not enough to stop you, but enough to slow you down. She saved your life."


"Thank you, Amber."

"Welcome, sir," a voice said, drifting out from beneath the bed.

I managed a small smile, "Luna's not here?"

"Been taking turns", Sunset said softly, "I took over a couple of hours ago. Celestia was before that, but..."

"Also have to run the country," I agreed and swallowed before I couldn't avoid the subject any longer, "..How bad is it? I can't move."

I did my best to suppress a sudden surge of terror as I asked the question.

"Your spine is fine," Sunny said gently, getting my meaning at once, "It's a combination of the drugs and casts. But you were hurt bad."

I took a deep breath before I nodded, "Hit me."

"Right foreleg was broken at five places. Both rear legs broken. Five broken ribs. Internal bleeding. A punctured lung. A large concussion. Burns on your chest. Both wings broken in multiple places."

I looked up at her and blinked, "Oh. I can’t feel a thing. I'm on the really good drugs, aren't I?"

Sunset forced a small smile and nodded, "The best."

That explained the cotton in my head, "How... how long was I out?"

"Two weeks," she said softly and gave me a small soft nuzzle, "You woke up twice before... do you remember?"


"You seem clearer now," Sunset said gently, "I think you're back."

"Hope so," I answered and looked up at her before giving her a small nuzzle and a small kiss, "I'm such an idiot."

Sunset nuzzled softly back, "If it wouldn't kill you, I'd smack you," she said gently and then sniffled and put her head against my good shoulder, "we thought we lost you."

She was crying. My Sunny was crying and it was my fault and I couldn't even hug her and it was all my fault.

I nuzzled at her ear, "How's Celestia?"

Sunset blinked her tears away and raised her head to look at me, "...Not easy to tell," she admitted, "But I know how I would feel if I had been the one to hurt you."

"Let her know I'm awake? Suns out so Luna's asleep anyway. I wouldn't want to wake her."

Sunset glared down at me, "Luna would be so pissed if I don't go wake her up. But I'll tell Celestia first."

She was right about that.

I nodded, "You're right. I'm sorry."

I would have been so pissed if it had been the reverse.

Sunset shifted close to kiss me on the cheek, "I'll be back in a minute, I'll send a guard with a message."

Note to self: Sneaking up on alicorns is a bad idea.


The doctor had left a couple of minutes earlier and Sunset was back on the bed next to me when the door opened again and Celestia slowly entered. I gave her a small wave with my left hoof, pretty much the only part of myself that I could move like this. Casts and bandages everywhere.

Sunset looked at her and then gave me a small nuzzle before slipping off the bed and moving past the Princess on the way out without acknowledging her any further.

"Hey Sunshine," I said, giving her another small wave with my hoof as Sunset closed the door behind her, "Not to self, don't startle distracted goddesses."

Celestia actually cringed back, "Page... I am so, so sorry."

I shook my head a little, "If it's anyponies fault, it's mine. I'm the idiot that wanted to see how long it would take before you noticed and second, surprised you with it at the stupidest possible time. Besides, the doc says I'm likely to make a complete recovery."

Celestia didn't look any happier at that as she approached me, "I still hurt you. I never wanted that."

"I know," I said and gave her a wry smile, "Honestly, I’m pretty sure it was more the sudden tower in my way and then the fall than your spell. Fairly sure that Luna has hit me almost as hard during practice before. The burn is new though."

"Luna prefer pure force," Celestia said softly and put a hoof on the hospital bed and hesitated for a split second before she continued, "What do you remember?"

"Sneaking up on you and then getting smacked in the face with a sun," I said and then frowned at the ceiling, "...A sense of falling. Then nothing much to be honest. Likely good, I'm fairly sure I don't want to remember how that felt."

Celestia seemed to relax slightly, her wings shifting, "That's good. I am so sorry."

I sighed and looked up at her, "Get down here."

She kind of blinked at me in surprise, "What?"

"Down here."

Celestia frowned and leaned down. I reached with my hoof and tapped it on her nose, "Stop apologizing. It was my own damn stupid fault."

"Page, I blasted you off a tower!"

"...Fine, let's say we both made mistakes," I admitted, "If that's how you want to do it."

She didn't look happy still but she nodded, "Very well."

We were silent for a long moment before I spoke up again, "I take it Luna and Sunset filled you in on the entire thestral thing?"

Celestia nodded and looked at my ears and eyes, moving down to my fangs, "They did. I... I am not going to argue with you about it, Page. You made your choice to help somepony, somepony that has needed it for a very long time. If it's the price you are willing to pay, I am not somepony that can tell you not to."

I smiled slightly at her, "I take it the cat is out of the bag, huh?"

She frowned at me, one ear moving in a slight circle before she answered, "If you mean that everypony know... then yes. There was no hiding it."

Nodding, I let my head drop back down to the pillow with a small sigh, "Well, I likely couldn't have kept it hidden forever anyway. Buck, might even be a good thing for the ponies with the original 'curse'. If it gives them the acceptance not to need to hide... how's everypony taking it? What did we give as a reason to me being blasted across the castle other than 'idiot writer'?"

Celestia smiled slightly, "To answer the second question first, it was spell practice and something went wrong with a magical experiment."

"Sounds like it could work. And the batty thing?"

"I discussed it with Luna. The official story is that it was part of your original ascension," she said and reached to stroke my mane with her hoof, "That as the alicorn of stories you have the ability to look anyway you wish. We did no mention if your thestral features or your pegasus ones were the 'real' ones."

I frowned in thought, "That... that works. Your idea?"

Celestia nodded.

"You know," I said as I looked at her with a smile, "For somepony that's three times anypony else, covered in white, lugging the sun around and with moving rainbow hair, you are surprisingly sneaky."

That got me a small smile in return, "Well, I have ruled for the better part of five thousand years. You tend to pick up a thing or two on the way."

"Heh. You would, wouldn't you?" I admitted and then frowned at her, "...How did you just blast through my shield like that, anyway? I mean, I have shielded blasts like that before from Luna. Not easily, mind you, but they haven't just gone straight through. Yours barely lost power."

"Shield breaker harmonics in the spell. Doesn't work against some, but the usual shields it breaks with enough power behind it," Celestia admitted and flicked her ears slightly, "I can teach you, if you like."

"I would like that."

Next time Sparky and I duel, it would be my turn to kick her tail.

The door opened and Luna entered. Celestia moved out of the way and her sister moved past her to look between us for a second.

I smiled at her, "We're good. I'm an idiot that pretty much got what I deserved."

Celestia frowned at me, her wings shifting, "That's not what we-"

"Hush, sister," Luna said and smiled at her, "I told you My Page would not blame you for the incident. He's stupid like that."

Luna turned to me and leaned in to brush her lips against mine softly before she whispered, "I was so worried."

I met her eyes. They were filled with tears.

Suddenly getting smacked into a tower by an alicorn didn't seem as bad in comparison to hurting Luna by doing it. I reached up to stroke her moving mane softly, "I'm so sorry, My Sky. I didn't think."

She carefully moved onto the bed and rested her head against my undamaged shoulder and I held my Luna gently closer.

"I'm so sorry," I whispered to her, "I love you."

"I love you too."

The door clicked close behind Celestia.

Author's Notes:

And that's it for now, I'm afraid. We will continue with Pages misadventures at a later date. Thank you all for reading and if you are interested in my other writing, you can find it over at spacebattles.com where my next story(not mlp) will start posting on Saturday.

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