Chapter1 – Deciding to go out.
A pure white pony lay on her deep blue duvet, making her stand out and glow, even more than usual. She lay reading a book she was shown at Moonlight Castle. It was about all the different types of ponies from that world, and all the different Kingdoms of the other Ponyland. She still couldn’t believe she was a Princess. It seemed very… fascinating to her. Like in a fairytale. Well… besides the fact she was a one-of-a-kind winged unicorn, which was even not heard of in her world, it was still unbelievable. The book was about Unicorns, Pegasi, Flutter Ponies, and a breed called The Sea Ponies. The young pony shook her head. This can’t be real. She knew deep down it was… she just wasn’t sure if she wanted to believe it…
It was only a few months ago before it was all reviled to her. Lunarstar was the princess of Dream Valley, a kingdom in Ponyland. Her mother was a Pegasus by the name of Queen Royal Heart. As it turns out, twelve years ago, her castle was taken over by so-called ‘King’ Star Cluster. He set out the Three Black Ponies to capture them both. The Queen ran through a special archway, called the Gate, which took them to another world. Lunarstar’s new home. The Queen was scared, and thought it would be safer to leave her at a house to be raised until the castle was recovered. But it didn’t happen. The Three Black Ponies captured Queen Royal Heart, and so a couple in the world where non-magical ponies existed raised Lunarstar.
This was a problem to begin with, and still has its annoyances now. Being a Winged Unicorn in a non-magical world was quite difficult. Luckily she has the ability to change her shape and her appearance. This way she fitted in quite nicely and made friends with other ponies.
“Lunarstar?” Her mother peeked her head around the door. Her pink face lighted and her red mane lit up as she came into Lunarstar’s light.
“Uhuh?” Lunarstar mumbled not taking her eyes off the book.
“Are you going outside tonight?” she asked.
“I... I don’t know. I don’t want to be chased by those black ponies. What if Stardust comes after me again? I’m already pushing it….” Lunarstar squinted her eyes. She couldn’t bump into him again. Especially after he saw her playing with Prism. She was worried he might already know her secret pony identity, and is just waiting for the right time. She wouldn’t have minded… but she was in a mineshaft with him for several days, the only reason he did capture her was because it was the beginning of the month. Now it was the day the gate opened.
“Well… only if you’re sure. Charades said he’s more than willing to take you down,” she said. She was biting her lip while saying. She gets very worried about Lunarstar… but she still wanted her to enjoy herself.
“Is Buster’s leg still bad?” Lunarstar asked.
“Yes. It’s getting better, It’s just that if you got into trouble he can’t run that well,” Rosebud explained.
“Oh. Actually, I would like to go outside. I need a run now you mention it. Is Charades defiantly going to be there?”
“Yes, he is. He’ll look after you, he promised,” Rosebud smiled.
Lunarstar sat up in her bed and stretched, letting her wings rapidly flutter. It was now pitch black outside. It was also a weekend too, this meant she could stay out even longer, which was quite precious seen as the summer was drawing in, meaning less night time.
Lunarstar walked of her bed and fallowed her mother downstairs. Charades was sitting on the sofa in the room waiting for her, and Lunarstar’s glow lit up the room.
“Good Evening Lunarstar,” Charades smiled.
“Hi! Thanks so much for taking me out,” Lunarstar exclaimed.
“No problem, it must be difficult for you, not being let out in your original form for a while, if you get what I mean,” he laughed.
Lunarstar smiled and Charades got up off the sofa. She hugged her mum tightly.
“Be careful, sweetheart,” Rosebud commented.
“She’ll be fine, she can just wink of all else fails,” Charades smiled.
Lunarstar and Charades stood at the door.
“Maybe we should wink to the forest,” Lunarstar guessed.
“Maybe your right.”
Lunarstar and Charades disappeared in a flurry of stars, and appeared somewhere in the forest.
Chapter 2 – The Black Ponies Return.
Through the darkness a black glow reflected off the trees. Three males with large hairy feet walked slowly around the forest.
“I want to go home…” one of the three complained. His large droopy wings hung low, using no effort to keep them up. He was watching the floor as he walked.
“Well we can’t. Not until we find the Princess. Star Cluster’s orders,” The unicorn replied, annoyed. It was obvious he was just as tired as him.
“I want to go to sleep. Can we go back to the shack?” The Pegasus asked.
“No! Get a grip, Starfire,” the unicorn snapped.
“Here’s an idea, why don’t you both just, Shut. Up,” the Earth male warned darkly. He took a great deal of emphasis on the last two words… getting them out loud and clear through his gritted teeth.
“But why do we even have to take orders from Star Cluster?” the Pegasus said quietly... not really expecting an answer.
“Because we do!” shouted the Earthling, “Now I’ve got a splitting headache, and it’s reminding me of Star Cluster If that’s not bad enough…”
“Oooo- someone likes the Pretty Boy,” smirked Starfire, while the unicorn between them sniggered.
“ENOUGH.” Yelled the Earth Pony. His voice echoed through the forest as he reared over the unicorn and pushed Starfire hard with his two front hooves. This knocked him to the ground. Sometimes he under estimated his own strength.
Instead of saying sorry, he merely snorted, and hung his head low, and glared at his surroundings.
“No need to get touchy…” mumbled Starfire as he got up, rubbing his shoulder, and continued with the others.
They had been searching for a while before the silence was broken.
“Stop.” The Unicorn whispered suddenly.
“What is it, Skyview?” the Earth Pony asked.
“Shh. I hear something…” Skyview replied. He held his head high and his ears began to twitch.
“I don’t hear anything…” Starfire snorted, wanting to move.
“Well you wouldn’t, you’re as deaf as a post…” Skyview said in a blank voice, trying to pick up the sound again.
“I probably can’t hear well either, got my headache and I’ve been shouted at so many times by Star Cluster, I’m surprised I can still hear altogether,” the Earth Pony mumbled.
“Yeah, Snap,” Starfire agreed.
“Would you two be quiet?” Skyview snapped, “I can hear giggling. Sorta.”
“The Princess?” Starfire asked hopefully.
“Well, who else could be up at this time?” Skyview smiled in the dark.
“Lead the way, Skyview!” he smiled, his headache felt better already. They ran after each other.
Skyview stopped and hid with hid brothers behind a bush. Luckily their glowing was to dark for them to be much of a giveaway.
They were at the ruins.
Chapter 3 – The Colours of the Rainbow
“Look! I found another! They’re so pretty…” The white winged unicorn giggled as she trotted onto the ruins platform. She placed something on the stone floor, and it landed with a light glass clunk.
Once Lunarstar stepped back, her glow let the piece glow for itself.
It shimmered a deep pure green.
“Do you know what they are?” Lunarstar asked.
“I have never seen them before…” Charades thought out loud.
“Do you think they are part of the gate?” Lunarstar asked Charades.
“I… honestly don’t know… maybe they’re just lying around,” Charades suggested.
“Can we try and find them all? Please?” Lunarstar begged. She would find it just as fun as playing.
“You can try, but I don’t know how many there could be. Hundreds, or even just them three, we don’t know…” Charades said, “and don’t forget I need to get you home before your parents worry.”
“I’ll be fine!” Lunarstar smiled. She picked up the green diamond. It was as long as Lunarstar’s hoof to a bit above her knee, and was think enough that she could only just get her mouth around it. She trotted next to the gate, and placed it on the ground along side two others, by the colours of deep purple and yellow. They seemed to get lighter as they were placed next to each other.
Lunarstar cantered into the forest and scouted the place closely monitored by Charades. Lunarstar seemed to be having a lot of fun. Searching. Charades kept a close eye on her while looking around the forest. Because protecting the princess was his first priority, it didn’t give him much of a chance to explore. Not that he didn’t enjoy watching the princess; she was fun and told him a lot about this world. They had schools… museums… lots of things. It was very interesting.
“I think I see another…” Lunarstar squinted. It made it difficult to see them because they didn’t shine as much as she glowed.
After uncovering some long grass and dock leaves, she reviled a blue diamond. And just next to it, was an even darker one. Indigo? Probably... thought Lunarstar.
“Charades, can you help me? I found two,” She smiled behind her.
Charades cantered up and looked at them.
“They are sure pretty aren’t they?” She smiled at him.
“Yeah, they are,” he chuckled, and picked up the lighter of the two. Lunarstar joined him with the Indigo coloured one.
After placing them both down, the pile shined even more.
“There’s more…” Lunarstar smiled, almost like she was asleep with her eyes open, as they seemed glazed and lost. She looked up at Charades.
He laughed under his breath, “Are you sure?”
“Yep, we have five, now we need to find the other two,” Lunarstar smiled even more.
“How do you know?” Charades asked cautiously.
“I don’t know. I just have… a feeling, you know? I think I know quite a bit about the gates,” Lunarstar shrugged.
She cantered into the forest with Charades close behind her. Before she knew it, she’d found the other one. Red. Lunarstar placed it with the others, and lighter it got. Charades had just gone to collect the last diamond.
Lunarstar turned. To her left was a Pegasus, to her right was a Unicorn and to her front was Stardust. The Earth Pony.
“We’re getting you this time Princess,” Starfire warned.
“No mistakes,” Skyview growled.
Lunarstar lowered her head, and her pearly horn glowed very brightly.
“No use Princess…” Skyview smirked and his horn also glew. A cloud began to form in front of him.
“CHARADES!” Lunarstar squealed.
The cloud formed a new around Lunarstar. Starfire, Skyview and Stardust ran towards Lunarstar to push her into the rippled gate.
Charades leaped onto the ruins ledge and shouted, “Lunarstar!”
The orange diamond from his mouth fell as he shouted. In landed nearby the others and all of the seven diamonds became white. They formed into one huge gem, that shone all colours of the rainbow, and it swiftly rose and placed itself upon the top of the gate. The see-through ripple became a bright milky-white. As the three black males dived into the gate with the white female, the gem above them exploded white and the many colours became scattered, and in a blink of an eye, they were gone…
Chapter 4 – Finding King Star Cluster.
The four ponies fell to the ground with a hard thump as they were spat out of the gate. Lunarstar landed in front of a large bolder, still trapped in the cloud didn’t appear to move. After Stardust examined her, there appeared to be a large lump forming on her forehead. The grey cloud dissolved just as Skyview stirred and began sitting up.
“Have you ever seen the gate do that before?” Skyview asked, rubbing his head and horn with his fluffy hoof.
“Never,” Starfire groaned, just crawling up, “and where are the guards?”
There was a moment’s silence before Stardust decided to answer.
“I don’t know. Let’s get out of here before they come back,” he grunted.
“Are we in our own world?” Starfire asked.
“We have to be, we’re not glowing, and the moon is clearly full, and the gate is still open…” Skyview thought out loud.
“But where’s Charades? Why isn’t he coming after us?” Starfire asked.
“I don’t know, and don’t even care, he’s probably thought the guards are here and ran to get Buster, I don’t know. It’s their loss either way, now lets go before they come…” Starfire shuffled his head underneath Lunarstar and pushed her onto his back. Skyview helped, making sure she didn’t fall off.
“Starfire? What are you waiting for?” Stardust asked, annoyed. His headache became more intense.
“Look,” pointed Starfire. He was pointing at the glowing yellow diamond before them, “It’s like the ones that the Princess found.”
“So, what do you want, a medal?” Stardust growled.
“Well, maybe King Star Cluster might know what they are, and why they made the gate go all funny, or he might just like them, you know, they look pretty valuable…”
“I guess we could take it… no harm in it I guess… your carrying it though,” Skyview said.
Skyview picked the diamond up, and caught up with the other two.
“We’ll have to stay in the trees and avoid the castle if we’re going to make it out,” Stardust warned them.
The other two nodded.
While they plodded on, keeping an eye out where they went the sun began to rise.
“Have any of you guys realized that we have been up all night?” Starfire yawned hours later letting the yellow diamond drop out of his mouth.
“Yes, and we getting close to Dream Valley. Don’t worry, then you can go to sleep, Starfire. The job will be done,” Skyview said, and yawned himself after seeing Starfire.
The morning sun tinted the houses and villages orange and red. No ponies were out. A little farther ahead sat Dream Castle, large, bright and pink.
Stardust, Skyview and Starfire approached the large gates. Stardust looked at the guards above him.
“What is your purpose?” He called. His dark green body silhouetted against the rising sun.
“It’s Stardust, Skyview and Starfire. We have the Princess. We need to take her to King Star Cluster.” Stardust called up to him.
The Green Guard blinked, and looked to another guard to his right mumbling, “what did he say?”
His orange comrade spoke, “What is your purpose?”
“It’s Stardust, Skyview and Starfire. We have brought the Princess to King Star Cluster. You know who we are, let us in, now!” Stardust ordered.
The guards looked to each other again the green one began whispering, “There’s no such…” then called down, “I don’t know who you are, and there is no such ‘King Star Cluster’, and whoever you are carrying does not appear to be the princess. The Princess is not fully white. If she needs medical help, she should be taken to the hospital down the road, not here!”
The Three Black Ponies looked at each other.
“Are they new guards or something?” Starfire muffled behind the yellow diamond.
“Skyview, hold the Princess,” Stardust growled. Skyview’s horn glowed and as Stardust ran, she stayed put, hovering in the air. Her hair fell loosely.
“Let us in NOW!” Stardust yelled, as he plummeted through the large wooden door side on. It broke open. Stardust ran in, straight to the castle doors. Closely fallowed by Starfire and Skyview carrying Lunarstar.
“INTRUDERS!” Yelled a guard at the top of his voice, “IN THE MAIN COURTYARD!”
The air that whipped past helped Lunarstar stir. She moved her head and a lump of her hear got caught beneath Skyview’s hooves. He tripped up, and Lunarstar pushed herself off. Her head was still heavy but she knew it was the time to hide. As guards dived over her and to Skyview she took refuge behind a few water barrels next to a carriage in the corner of the castle walls. She watched in a small gap the fight. There were at least five guards trying to pin Stardust down alone. Some more were onto Skyview, who was already on the ground from when he was tripped up. Starfire was just about to take it by wing, until two guards grabbed a hold of his tail by their mouths.
Soon, Skyview and Starfire were dragged below some steps to the underneath of the castle, through a gate aligned with the castle wall. Stardust was still fighting his corner, with now over seven guards trying to pin him down. The guards that were fighting Starfire and Skyview had returned from below and were helping the Stardust guards. After much struggling they finally knocked Stardust out with a baton and he was dragged to the prison cells.
Who appeared to be the Captain of the guards, walked up the stone steps. His purple and blue coat rippled over his body.
He began talking to three ponies. They were wearing jewellery and crowns. One of them was defiantly younger, but he was at least 17.
He began walking down the steps into Lunarstar’s direction. She began to panic. Did he know she was there? Lunarstar curled up into a ball with her wings over her eyes.
After a few moments she let a gap between one of her feathers and peeked through.
“Hi. A guard said you were hiding down here,” he smiled. He had purple hair and purple eyes. He actually reminded Lunarstar as a male version of herself when she was in her earth pony form.
Lunarstar said nothing.
“What’s your name?” he asked her.
Again, Lunarstar said nothing.
“My name’s Prince Kaiser. Come on, we not gonna hurt you, lets get that bump on your head treated too,” He said.
Lunarstar knew she couldn’t stay behind the barrels forever, so she slowly got up and fallowed him.
Chapter 5 – A Change of Royalty
Lunarstar was in the small infirmary in the Castle. The room was just as white as she was, with cream drapes over the window. A honey coloured unicorn with orange hair with a red stripe was putting some ointment on the bump on Lunarstar’s head. Lunarstar bit her lip, even though the unicorn’s dab was extremely light. She then stopped and wrapped a bandage over Lunarstar’s head, stopping it from getting knocked. She got some other stuff dabbed where she fell of Skyview and any other cuts and bruises she had.
“Do you feel better?” The honey unicorn asked Lunarstar when she was done.
“Yes, thank you,” Lunarstar smiled.
Lunarstar got of her chair, and followed a servant that was told to take her to the King and Queen when she was done.
Lunarstar was quite nervous. She hadn’t really done this sort of thing a lot. Besides the time she saw King Sea Mist and Queen Snowfall. It would help a lot more if she knew where she was.
The large doors opened to the throne room. It was quite large. The floor was tiled and light blue, with a red carpet leading to a white stage, with two golden chairs and two silver. The Golden ones had a red cushion while the Silver had light blue.
White ponies, two males, and two females, wearing gold and silver collars, occupied all four of the chairs.
One on the smaller silver chairs Lunarstar instantly recognized as Kaiser. Prince Kaiser, she thought she should say.
“Good Morning, who might you be?” smiled what looked to be the Queen. She was wearing a light silver crown with small white and light blue diamonds. On the middle of her crown was a larger pink gem. Her body was very white, and she was a unicorn. She also had sleek and short blue hair and a white streak.
“Lunar…” then she paused for a split second. Was it a good idea to use her name? Either way, the three black ponies knew her name, no harm she guessed and sighed, “…star, Lunarstar.”
Lunarstar looked around. The room was defiantly big. Very big, and it made her feel a bit uncomfortable.
“Perhaps we should go into the meeting room,” The King proposed, watching Lunarstar closely. He had what seemed to be pure red eyes and pale red hair. He also had a teal blue streak in his hair. He was wearing a gold collar with pink and red studs engraved on it.
Lunarstar nodded to his proposal and followed the family into the meeting room to her left of the stage. The room was dark to begin with, but once the chandeliers were lit, the room was navy in colour, with brown leather sofa’s and recliners. It was in a circular shape, so Lunarstar guessed it was in one of the turrets. There was a fireplace on the far wall, with three sofa’s making a square in front of it. There was also a bar to her left, and a few stacks of recliners upon her right. Lunarstar took a seat on the sofa looking to the fireplace, while the Prince and Princess took one to her right. The fire wasn’t alight, and the bar was empty.
“Sir, Would you like the fire alight and the bar attended?” asked a voice at the door. It seemed to be a male servant, when Lunarstar looked around; there was also a large bookcase, Sea breeze thought there would have been a library in the castle.
“That’s for when they have meetings with other Kingdoms, incase they have problems and need the law books,” Prince Kaiser whispered to Lunarstar. Lunarstar swiftly looked back at the floor, and smiled weakly. She was still anxious to know what they wanted. She didn’t even know if she was in trouble or not.
“No, thank you, we can manage ourselves,” the Queen smiled.
The door shut.
The King and Queen sat to Lunarstar’s right, and the smiled at her.
“Am I in trouble?” Lunarstar finally asked.
“Is that why you’re so nervous? Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble, we just need to ask you some questions,” Smiled the Queen, “Oh, I forgot to introduce ourselves. My name is Queen Majesty, and this is my husband, King Monarch. We are the rulers of Dream Castle and Dream Valley.”
Lunarstar smiled, but then blinked and looked a bit confused.
“This is our son and daughter, Prince Kaiser, who you already have met and Princess Empress,” the Queen finished. Kaiser smiled, and Empress nodded her head. She was also a white unicorn, and looked a lot like her mother. Her hair was only a few shade’s deeper than the Queen’s, and she had a faint purple streak in her hair. Her eyes were the same colour purple as her brothers. She also had a similar roughness to her hair that her father and brother had. She seemed no older that 15 or 16.
“Umm, Dream Castle? Isn’t that ruled by Star Cluster?” Lunarstar asked.
The King and Queen looked at each other, and King Monarch said, “Those Black Ponies spoke of a King Star Cluster…”
“Who is he?” Princess Empress asked.
“I haven’t met him, but apparently he took over Dream Castle when I was a foal. My mother, Queen Royal Heart put me in a basket and ran through the gate. We were chased by the Black Ponies, yes the same ones in your prison,” Lunarstar quickly added at their looks, “and she left me with some ponies. The Black Ponies captured her and… that’s the last anyone saw of her.
“Anyways, I have been raised in an Earth Pony only environment until a couple of months ago, when two ponies called Buster and Charades found me and took me through the gate. The captain of the soldiers called Banner told me all of this,” Lunarstar finished.
“I think I know where you were raised, but I don’t think it was Dream Castle. And for all the castles, I don’t think any have been taken over since Rose Quartz Castle, and the unicorns got it back. And it happened many years ago…” King Monarch said.
“Ask Starfire, Skyview and Stardust. They’ll tell you. They know more than I do, they work for Star Cluster. I don’t know why, but they were sent by Star Cluster into my world to capture me. That’s how we ended up here. Must have his my head hard on something and blacked out.” Lunarstar was struggling to convince them. She guessed they really were the rulers of Dream Valley, but… could Banner have been lying?
“Okay, so what is name of the place you come from?” The Queen asked.
“Ponyland,” replied Lunarstar.
“Yes, we mean like… town or village, we know your talking about Citrus Valley, but what town within it?” The King asked.
“I…” Lunarstar stuttered, shaking her head, “what’s Citrus Valley? I came from Ponyland. Just Ponyland. Through the gate!”
“Is the gate a stone grey arch? With lots of different ponies engraved in it?” Prince Kaiser asked.
“Yes! You know of them?” Lunarstar smiled excitedly, “They open on the full moon, and it seems to ripple, it takes you to another world. In that world there are no such things as Sea ponies, Unicorns, and Pegasus-“
“-And you don’t get Winged Unicorns born in Dream Valley. It doesn’t happen, you can’t come from here!” The Queen debated.
Lunarstar inhaled deeply, “Look… please can we go and see the Black Ponies, they might know what happened to the gate, please?”
“Yes, all right, but please, I mean no offence, but I think that bump on your head has not done you much good,” King Monarch said as he got up.
Lunarstar followed them. Prince Kaiser was behind her, then walked up level, then whispered in her ear, “I believe you.”
Chapter 6 – The Search Begins
They didn’t need to go outside to the cells; there was a door in the main hall that took them to the cells. It was drafty and dank. There weren’t many ponies in there, compared to the amount of cells they had. The stared at Lunarstar. They’d never seen a Winged Unicorn before. They didn’t think they existed. Just the tales travellers said.
“Ignore them, they are in here for good reason.” Prince Kaiser said.
Lunarstar looked in front of her. She saw the Black Ponies all in one cell. Stardust was still out cold, Starfire was kicking slightly in his sleep, and Skyview was already staring at them.
“Doesn’t miss a thing, that one,” one of the guards said.
“I heard you coming down,” Skyview muttered.
“Well?” the King asked Lunarstar.
Lunarstar paused, and then slowly began asking, “Star Cluster IS ruler of Dream Valley isn’t he?”
“Yes, he took over Dream Castle about ten or twelve years ago,” Skyview answered.
“But… this is Dream Castle,” Lunarstar said. She knew what she was asking seemed to be a bit confusing. Stardust stirred and woke up; he was a bit dazed but soon got over it, and whispered “…Luna?”
“Yes, I know, I don’t understand what has happened,” Skyview continued, “I have only even known the gate to take us to the same point every time we walked through it.”
“I know of the gates. There’s one in the gardens of Platinum Castle, here, and at the base of Ponyland Peak,” Prince Kaiser said.
“I can see you thought him well,” smiled Stardust.
“Actually, we don’t know anything about these gates,” King Monarch said.
“We didn’t come from any of them, we came from the Moony Mountain Gate,” Skyview said.
“There’s no such place as Moony Mountain. All we know of if Ponyland Peak; it’s the highest point of Ponyland. Well, perhaps maybe the Flutter Valley hills, they’re pretty big and for the mountains at the far side of PonyVille, but no one ever goes past them,” Princess Empress said.
“Well, one that we know of has…” Kaiser smiled, “But anyway, every time I’ve been through them it’s always taken my to another world of ponies. I mean, I’ve never had a good look at them because I always glow when I’m on the other side, and it’s night.”
“You go through the gates?” Stardust asked.
“Yes, only sometimes, and I don’t go for long, I wouldn’t want to get trapped on the other side for a month,” The prince said, “I have never known it to take you to a different place before…”
“But…” Lunarstar thought out loud, “Something happened to the gate, didn’t it? It went all funny and we were through the gate before we could stop ourselves.”
“Yeah, it did actually, the portal itself when white, whereas you can usually see the world on the other side, like a window,” Skyview said.
“That’s really strange…” Kaiser thought out loud.
There was a long silence.
“Could it have been those crystals?” asked Skyview.
“What?” Stardust asked.
“Those diamond things that the Princess collected. Could they have triggered it off?” Skyview asked.
“They could have, where’s Starfire?” Stardust looked around for him.
Right where they left him. Curled up in a ball in the corner of the cell. His hears twitched.
Stardust got up slowly, and walked over too him, “Starfire! Get up!” and Stardust kicked him lightly on Starfire’s nose.
“What?” Starfire asked as he squinted.
“Do you still have the diamond? The yellow one?” Stardust asked.
“Uhh, here,” Starfire mumbled; and moved. He was lying on it.
Stardust picked it up and laid it on the cell floor near the bars.
“That’s one of the crystals I found!” Lunarstar smiled, “there are seven more.”
“What did you do with them after?” Stardust asked.
“Nothing, I put them in a pile. Just before we went through the gate, Charades came with the last one. I can’t remember what they did afterwards. They got brighter every time I placed another with them,” Lunarstar explained.
“We’ve seen them before. How did you get Sun Bright’s Diamond?” King Monarch asked.
“Whose Diamond? We found it beside the gate when we fell,” Starfire replied.
“Sun Bright Castle. It’s the name of the Castle in Sun Bright Valley. It’s medium sized Kingdom to the Southeast of here,” Princess Empress said.
“I just found it near the gate when we woke up,” Starfire told her.
“Okay, where are the others?” Lunarstar asked.
“We, as a whole thought they should go with their respective colour. Each of our lands has a colour. Emerald Leaf Valley is green; Flutter Valley is light blue, or Cyan; Platinum Valley is white, and so on and so forth. Either way, their new owners took them as they were of that colour. We did it that way so if we ever needed them for some reason, we’d know where each one is. It also saved an argument. Well, except Platinum Castle. Their princess wanted them all. Psh,” Kaiser explained, then snorted at the end.
“Do you think finding them all will take me home?” Lunarstar asked.
“Maybe, I could look in a book. It’s what made me get interested in the gates. I never really noticed it change when I was little; I just thought it was a random archway,” Prince Kaiser said, “Maybe the book has something about the crystals. All it ever mentioned was some gold pendants or something. The book’s ancient anyway, and I don’t actually think it’s that reliable, but I think I know someone who will...”
There was another silence.
“So… how are we going to go about finding them?” Starfire asked.
“Well… we’re going to have to go to each castle, and try and convince them to give the Diamond up,” Kaiser signed.
“Will that be easy?” Lunarstar asked.
“Nope,” Kaiser said, flat out.
“Well, we need to try, we can’t stay here forever,” Stardust mumbled.
“What? You mean you want to go back to Star Cluster? I have to be honest, Ponyland has been falling apart since he took over…” Starfire growled.
“We just have to go back, okay?” Stardust snapped sternly.
“Kaiser, honey, maybe you should take them, you know more about the gates than any of we do,” Queen Majesty said finally.
“Sure, I just hope they’ll understand,” Kaiser mumbled.
“Don’t worry, I’m sure they will,” Smiled Empress, then she bent close to him and whispered, giggling, “and don’t forget to talk like a Prince!”
Prince Kaiser laughed.
“Okay, right. We’ll give you Black Ponies rooms. Don’t try anything funny though, we know what you want with Lunarstar,” Prince Kaiser warned.
“Guards? Let the Triplets out now, they’re safe,” King Monarch said.
Some soldiers walked up to the barred doors and unlocked them. The Three Black Ponies walked out of them, and began following Kaiser up the steps.
Stardust walked level with Lunarstar and whispered, “It’s not over Princess. We still have our orders…”
Stardust plodded on past her, and continued following Kaiser to the main hall, where they would be shown their rooms.
Chapter 7 – Up at Dawn
Lunarstar was sound asleep in a pink and red room. She fell out of her mental black tomb and sighed. For a moment, she was home. Then she remembered. The white light in the gate, the fight in the courtyard, the talk with a King and Queen, the Black Ponies, Kaiser and Empress… Lunarstar was brought back to reality.
She sighed again.
She began to drift back off into a sleepy daze when there was a knock at her door.
The knock was louder, “Lunarstar! Get up!”
Lunarstar slowly crept out of bed. Through the gap in her curtains, there was a very dull orange sky.
She unlocked, and opened the door.
It was Kaiser. He was wearing a shiny golden collar and a small Prince crown, also golden in colour, with a red diamond in the centre.
Lunarstar, realising how untidy she looked, not even brushed her hair yet, tried keeping most of her body behind the door, and smiled to greet him.
“What time is it?” Lunarstar yawned.
Kaiser chuckled then answered, “6.20.”
“You best get ready, breakfast will be ready at 7 and could you be there in time, I want us and the Black Ponies to be together, so I can tell you what we are doing,” Kaiser explained.
“Sure, where is it?” Lunarstar asked, waking up now.
“Go down to the main hall, and there are some doors on your left. The guards will tell you which one,” Kaiser smiled.
“Okay, see you later!” Lunarstar said, and closed the door as Kaiser turned to leave.
Lunarstar drew back her curtains and put her bed sheets right. She decided to have a quick shower. She dried her hair as quick as she could, but because it was so long, it took some time. After brushing her teeth and hair, she left her room.
She turned to the stairs and trotted down them. She was only on the second floor, so she was quickly on the ground floor. She looked to her left at the bottom of the stairs.
There were indeed two guards hanging by a door. A little further down from them were two double open doors. There were ponies walking in and out of them, and a mixture of smells drifted from it. Lunarstar could smell the food. She was already pretty hungry and trotted down to the doors. The room was quite large, and it had lots of long tables, with ponies eating at them. At the left of the room, there were some chefs behind counters, serving the food, with a queue of ponies waiting eagerly.
Lunarstar was about to enter the room, but she remembered she was still a winged unicorn. She remembered that the Royal Family did not seem to look at her strangely, but everyone else did. She had a few ponies looking at her now.
“Princess…” asked a voice behind her.
Lunarstar turned quickly, and stared at him.
“You’re supposed to be eating in the dining room,” Stardust said.
“Isn’t this it?” Lunarstar asked, looking back into the room.
“No, that’s the Employee’s Mess, that’s where all the ponies that live and work in the castle eat,” Stardust explained.
“Oh…” Lunarstar said.
Stardust lead Lunarstar to the guards, and said their names. After the guards checked their list, they let them in. This room wasn’t half as big as the other, but furnished slightly more. Prince Kaiser was sitting at one end of the long rectangular table talking to Starfire and Skyview, whilst The King, Queen and Princess were at the other end.
“Morning Lunarstar, Stardust,” Kaiser smiled, “One of the Chefs will be coming, they will ask what we want.”
As Lunarstar and Stardust sat down, the chef came.
One by one he asked what the ponies wanted, and when it came to Lunarstar, she asked for pancakes.
“I am going to show you where we will be going to get the Crystals. We’re going to go west to Emerald Leaf Valley first. I know someone who could help us with the crystals, she’s a friend of mine,” Kaiser smiled.
“I don’t think anyone knows everything about the gates…” Skyview muttered.
“You don’t know her,” Kaiser laughed, “and while we’re down there, we can try and recover the Green Crystal from the castle. The castle is a few miles down from where she lives, I’d ask her to wink here, but we haven’t found a way of keeping in contact yet, I can only wait for her to visit.”
“You don’t know where she lives exactly?” Starfire asked.
“I know the name of it, we’ll just have to search a bit… that’s all,” Kaiser said defensively, “Anyway, once we’re sorted there, we’ll try and get indigo crystal from the Merponies-“
“Merponies? They exist?” Skyview asked.
“Of course they do!” Kaiser laughed, “and they have the Indigo Crystal since it’s their castle colour. We’re just going to have to find a way to get underwater…”
“This doesn’t seem to have been planned out very well…” Stardust frowned.
“I know it in my head. Trust me! It’ll be fine!” Kaiser smiled.
“I trust you!” Lunarstar smiled.
“Great! Now, we’ll best start out after breakfast, we want to make sure we have all of them before the next full moon,” proposed Kaiser.
The servants laid the plates upon the table and the ponies began eating.
Chapter 8 – The Guardian of the Forest
After breakfast, Lunarstar waited in the main hall for Prince Kaiser. He was with the black ponies. After some time he walked out with them. He wore a blanket that went over the whole of his back with large pocket bags at the side and straps went across his chest to keep it secure. On his neck he wore a compass and a folded map in a clear wallet. The Three Black Ponies fallowed him, with empty looking rucksacks.
“Here,” Kaiser smiled while passing her a blue rucksack.
“What am I carrying?” Lunarstar asked.
“Nothing yet, I have food and water, some blankets, a torch, brushes and my collar and crown for when I see the royalty in the realms. You and the Black Ponies will be carrying the crystals when we find them. The aim is to keep them separate until you get to the gate,” Prince Kaiser explained.
“Okay, cool, so where are we going first again?” Lunarstar asked, she just wanted to make sure.
“Emerald Valley,” Starfire said, “and do I have to wear these bags? Look at it, it’s crushing my wings and it only has one gem in it…”
“Oh, are we taking the yellow one?” Lunarstar asked.
“Yes,” Stardust said bluntly.
“Okay, let’s be off then,” Prince Kaiser said, and began walking out the doors with The Black Ponies and Lunarstar following them. They heard a clang.
As they turned it was only Starfire. He looked sheepish, “Sorry, but it was really hurting my wings…”
He bent over to return the crystal to his bag.
Lunarstar looked into the sky while Stardust gave him a lecture, about what if it broke. She saw a large bird screech and skimmed the sky. It landed in a tree nearby.
The sun had risen a little higher but was still very low and orange. The ponies fallowed Kaiser as they turned right and fallowed the road to what Lunarstar would guess would be the route to Emerald Valley.
“How long will it take us to get there?” Lunarstar asked.
“Hopefully, keep walking at this pace, three days,” Prince Kaiser said.
“That’s… a long time…” Lunarstar could help but say.
“Yes, but don’t worry, we’ll be there before you know it we taking the most direct route,” Kaiser smiled.
After an hour or so of walking, they were in a large forest. None of the ponies had talked for a while. Lunarstar felt quite odd, walking behind Kaiser with the Three Black Ponies, and even sleeping out with them. She knew she was perfectly safe, with Kaiser looking after her, and it wasn’t as if they could take her to a castle that doesn’t have a king that wanted her.
The sun set. They hid under some bushes, and lay on some blankets, and began to sleep.
In the morning, they left the forest; it was now plenty of fields. Not a lot of wildlife was here, just the odd large bird flying in the sky. Lunarstar was counting the amount of times one flew by to pass the time.
They walked through a pretty little town.
“Where are we?” Skyview asked.
“A place called Nickelwood. Just another day before we’re there now,” Kaiser said.
After a few miles afterwards Lunarstar spotted a large castle, in the distance to her left. It was a sparkling green.
“Is the green gem there?” Stardust asked.
“Yep, but we need to go to Emerald forest first, we’ll pick up the crystal after, on the way to Amethyst Valley.
After another night of sleeping in the cold outdoors, they walked upon a shallow path of a cliff. The sun set behind them with the forest in front, Kaiser stopped. He glared into the forest.
“Is something wrong?” Stardust asked.
“No, but we’re here, let’s go. If you feel different, or notice anything, even small, tell me,” Kaiser told them.
Lunarstar, feeling quite groggy followed him into the forest. Her wings hung low.
Something shimmered behind a hedge. Lunarstar looked up. Nothing was there.
Lunarstar frowned at the place she saw shine, then continued to follow Kaiser.
The forest slowly got darker, and Stardust heard a twig snap. He looked up into the trees. There was a large bird like creature, but very large, bigger than as he was.
“Hey, look at that!” He whispered to Kaiser.
“That’s not what we’re looking for,” he replied.
“I think that about the thirtieth time I’ve seen one of those birds fly past…” Lunarstar thought out loud.
Kaiser stopped dead, “How long have you been seeing them for?”
“I saw them since Dream Valley, just outside the castle actually, when Starfire dropped the-“
“Stop! Starfire dropped nothing. Did he.” Kaiser said, something was wrong…
“Look, we need to get to the other side of the forest, come quietly, Lunarstar, see them again, tell me…” Kaiser warned.
They wandered for hours.
“Prince, I think we should sleep here tonight. It’s been a long day, and we’re getting no where, it’s too dark…” Stardust tried to say. He could see how much Lunarstar was getting tired.
“I haven’t seen any of those birds… to be honest, I don’t even think it was the same one they did seem different…” Lunarstar lied. It was only a bird. What harm could it do, she hadn’t seen one since.
“…Okay… but try not to be too noisy,” Kaiser sighed.
As Kaiser took a blanket out of his large bag, Starfire began taking the gem out of his.
“What do we do with it now?” He asked with it in his hooves.
“PUT IT AWAY!” Kaiser shouted, but it was too late.
Bursting out of the trees was a large bird. Lunarstar jumped and took several steps back. The moonlight peeked through the trees and lit the bird up dimly.
It had sharp claws and stood comfortably on them on a branch. It had large bat reptile wings, with claws on the end and one held it sturdy on a higher branch. It’s slender head looked eagerly towards Starfire. Its mouth was slightly opened; in an almost menacing grin revealing stained shark-like teeth. It’s angry yellow slit eyes didn’t dare to flicker. It had two long curly horns drooping from its head, almost like two solid pigtails. It looked a light brown with a yellow brown belly.
“Stay. Very. Still.” Kaiser whispered slowly not moving his mouth, “When I say, follow me as fast as you can, Starfire, don’t let got of that crystal…”
It screeched loudly.
“NOW!” Kaiser roared, and ran towards an area with densely populated trees.
The reptile followed Starfire.
“Starfire, throw it to me!” Skyview shouted, and got an instant throw.
The reptile went straight for him, and crawled around the trees, hooking it’s self on with it sharp claws. It made a close swipe for Skyview.
Lunarstar was free. Skyview shouted to her. Lunarstar caught the yellow crystal.
Being a very fast runner, she indeed out ran it. She didn’t care where she went, as long as it was away from the beast. It must not have it. The beast found it hard, but Lunarstar accidentally ran into a clearing where there was a large lake. The Beast knocked her over with its mighty wing into the tree line. Lunarstar dropped the yellow crystal, and hugged it was her front legs on the ground.
The Flying Reptile landed and stepped in front of her.
Lunarstar seemed to understand it. Not really clearly, but reasonably well. It wanted the Diamond.
“You’re not having it! I need it!” Lunarstar cried.
‘Fine…’ it seemed to say, and its large hind claw pressed it’s self on Lunarstar’s shoulder. She was pinned onto her side. It looked like the large beast was to make a go for her neck with it’s ravenous teeth.
There was a bright light, and the beast backed away. Something white jumped between Lunarstar and the reptile.
Lunarstar took a moment to adjust to the sudden light. It was a white skinny pony, with cloved grey hooves, and a very long horn. It had a long tail, with a tuft of hair at the end.
It neighed angrily, and jabbed its horn at the beast. It did not move. The light became brighter, and it ran to the reptile. The beast fled.
The white unicorn turned to Lunarstar.
“Are you alright?” it neighed, but it’s horn dimmed blue though every word and was translated so Lunarstar could understand it.
“Yes, I think so,” Lunarstar struggled to say. She was in a bit of shock.
“Come,” the unicorn neighed, “we shall find the others.”
Chapter 9 – Secret of the Treasures
Lunarstar wasn’t too sure what to think. Was this the creature Kaiser was looking for?
“Lunarstar!” Kaiser shouted. The Black Ponies were with him.
“Are you alright?” Stardust asked. Lunarstar was surprised he cared.
“Yeah,” Lunarstar tried to say, but the diamond muffled her speech.
“I see we finally found you,” Kaiser smiled to the unicorn.
“It’s nice to see you again, Kaiser,” The unicorn smiled back.
“Who is she?” Skyview asked.
“This is Sea Breeze, she’s a friend of mine, she the one who I hoped could help us,” Kaiser smiled.
“Help you? More? I thought I’d have done enough already,” the Sea breeze said.
“This is important, Sea Breeze, this is Lunarstar, Stardust, Starfire and Skyview. They are from another world and they need to get back home, I thought you might know how to do it…” Kaiser said, no longer smiling, “You seemed to have lost your sense of humour too...”
“Yeah, it happens, I haven’t spoken to many ponies since I returned to the forest… okay… follow me,” Sea breeze said. As she turned, she glowed white. Her long slender neck became smaller, her head became larger and she shrank a little. She looked like a pony. Lunarstar looked confused. She was quite young, only about Kaiser’s age, Lunarstar was expecting…
“Someone older and wiser, yeah. You’d be surprised…” the unicorn said looking at Lunarstar. Her horn no longer glowed as she spoke. Lunarstar jumped, and tried to keep her thoughts to herself. She looked at the black ponies. They looked a bit surprised too.
The Unicorn took them to a waterfall. Sea Breeze’s horn lit up, and it parted. The ponies followed her in, and they lay on the cave floor.
“I thought you stopped turning into a pony,” Kaiser said.
“I like to change back when I’m with ponies, I feel more fitted in, ya know?” she said.
Lunarstar observed Sea breeze’s body language and speech. She seemed more… normal. Laid back. When she was different she seemed more wise and boring.
“What was that? The Beast that attacked us?” Starfire asked quickly.
“That Beast was a Rapacious Dragon. It has been following you since Dream Valley,” Sea Breeze said. It was like she had been watching over them the whole time.
“And…” Starfire began.
“It waited until now because it did not know what you were travelling for. He noticed the Diamond when Starfire dropped the yellow diamond. He wasn’t sure if it was the same one, he followed you, waiting for a closer look. When she knew that diamond, he attacked. Which is surprising. If they see a target, they stop at nothing to kill them,” Sea breeze explained.
“How do you now all this? And how do you now my brother’s name?” Skyview asked.
"THAT, was a 'she'?!" Starfire gulped, dreading that the males were like.
Sea breeze continued, ignoring Starfire,“I just do, just reading a bit from the top of your minds, and piecing the puzzle together. I also know a bit about Rapacious’. Horrible creatures. Very… angry and greedy character’s and that’s being nice.”
There was a moment’s silence.
“So, these diamonds. I can’t really tell you a lot that you don’t know. There are seven of them, most commonly named the Seven Treasures. One for every colour of the Rainbow. They are linked with the gate,” Sea Breeze said, she didn’t take her eyes of the yellow crystal, and her horn seemed to glow very dimly while she spoke.
“Anything else?” Starfire asked. He didn’t want to walk all this way to be told things he already knew…
Sea Breeze glared at him, “They’re not actual parts of the gate. The keys are, these aren’t. When the gates were created, well, there was a problem. I can’t see what, but all I know is that these diamonds were made my accident, they are a glitch sort off, and when brought together they malfunction the gate.”
“It is reversible isn’t it?” Stardust asked.
“Yes, really, we’re living in what you could call a parallel world. Two worlds living along side each other at exactly the same time, and what could have been at one point exactly the same ponies. I’ll show you what might have happened.”
Sea Breeze made four magical squares, in the darkness. The two at the top had a line joining them, and so did the two at the bottom.
“This is basically what you see. You came through the gate a Ponyland Peak, yeah? Or Moony Mountain as you like to call it, this is what the two squares to your right represent, they are parallel worlds. The two on your left are the other land where you came from, they are parallel too,” Sea breeze said, “now with the power of these crystals, you are able to trigger a crossing. This is there the balance crosses over for a small amount of time. And that’s how you got here.” The squares now joined up with its diagonal partner with a line.
“How do you know? I mean… you look younger than me! You don’t live near a gate, you have no royal blood in you, how do you know so much?” Stardust asked. He was fully aware Skyview asked already, but he wanted to know.
“Because firstly I’m not an average unicorn. I’m a wild unicorn; I can do more than ponies do, like a horse could out-run a pony. Secondly, here in Emerald Valley, we don’t have small abilities like you in Dream Valley do. With a bit of training one pony can do several things, the odd gifted few with powerful abilities. This means if a pony is taught properly, they could even do it,” Sea Breeze said, flat out, “You could think of it like a computer, I’m downloading information from it.”
“…What’s a computer?” Skyview asked.
“Never mind, um, think of it as a box, I’m just looking in to it for bits of information and I’m just picking bits out. It’s a bit… corrupt though… as it’s a glitch…” Sea Breeze said, trying to explain best she could, “But you are right, finding all seven and returning it to the same gate will take you home.”
“Does it have to be that gate? You know I don’t like it at Ponyland Peak on full moons…” Kaiser growled.
“Yeah, because the other gates could take you to another parallel world, then even if you went Ponyland Peak in that world it could take you somewhere else, like a series of doors. It won’t take you to the room you want unless you back up into the right corridor, then back though the right door,” Sea Breeze said.
“Sea Breeze, you do know a lot about this world, could you help us find the rest?” Stardust asked, “I don’t think the Prince’s plan is that reliable, no offence Prince Kaiser…”
“But they should all be in the castles,” Kaiser protested.
“I don’t think so…” Sea breeze mumbled. Again her horn was glowing as she spoke, looking into the depths of the yellow gem.
“What do you mean?” Kaiser asked.
“I don’t know. But the green one isn’t nearby… not at Emerald Leaf Castle…” Sea breeze said, looking up, “These gems are connected to each other, aren’t they? They want to be together, and there are no gems of any colour nearby…”
“We need to get to Emerald Leaf Castle, we must know where it is,” Stardust demanded.
“Not tonight. The Rapacious Dragons are prowling,” Sea Breeze said darkly.
Kaiser began, “But they don’t even live around here, they come from…”
“Below Sun Bright’s Region. They want that yellow gem. They have a soft spot for shiny things. They might think it just belongs to them… I would have thought the Rancour’s would have persuaded them to give it up…” Sea Breeze cut in, “I have a house nearby, you can get cleaned up and be ready for tomorrow. I just hope Butterscotch and Navy don’t hit the roof.”
“You’ve lost me now, about ‘Rankers’ and ‘Rapiticous’ dragons or however you say them, what’s going on there?” Starfire asked stubbornly.
Sea Breeze got up and left the waterfall cave with the others behind her. Her horn lit to light up the area.
“They are both a specie of dragon. Rapacious dragons are the one that attacked you before. They don’t have six limbs like the other dragon types; they just have arms for wings. They are very aggressive and attack and kill if they spot any easy target. I don’t know how the folks of Sun Bright’s Kingdom don’t even know of them yet… it’s only a large forest and some hills separating them. They’re the only dragons that don’t breathe fire. Mainly because they don’t need too anymore, they lost that ability; they use their teeth and flying skills for hunting instead. The Rancour’s are six limbed dragons that do breathe fire. They aren’t very nice either. Hold a lot of grudges. They are allies with the Rapacious dragons, and are actually stronger than they are…” Sea Breeze explained, leading them through the forest.
“Why do they want it? The Crystals I mean,” Lunarstar asked.
“I don’t really know,” Sea breeze admitted, “could even be something as simple as just… wanting them, you know? Rapacious dragons like shiny things…”
Sea Breeze led the ponies to the edge of the forest. There were thin ponies grazing. One was dark blue, and was difficult to see in the back night sky, while the other was white with bits of pink and purple on her.
She trotted up too Sea Breeze while neighing.
To Lunarstar’s surprise, Sea breeze spoke back to her, in plain English, with her glowing horn.
“They’re some ponies, they need help because they’re lost. I’m taking them back to my house,” Sea breeze smiled.
The horse snorted.
“Morning Star, I’d get under shelter or a cluster of trees. There are dragons about; they might be looking for targets. Tell Nightscape too,” Sea breeze warned.
Morning Star twitched her ears. Lunarstar didn’t quite get it, but Sea breeze must have. Probably body language or something.
“There’s a good girl,” Sea breeze smiled, and carried on walking, as Morning Star galloped away, neighing at Nightscape, who galloped after her. They disappeared into the darkness.
“Will your mom and dad mind all of us staying?” Kaiser asked.
“Well, Dad might sort of hit the roof, but when I explain, I’m sure he’ll understand,” Sea Breeze smiled with a cheeky grin.
“And if he doesn’t?” Stardust asked.
“Well, we’ll think about that when the time comes,” Sea Breeze quickly said, turning away with a fading smile.
Chapter 10 – The Thief.
Lunarstar stirred in her quilts. She had a cramp in her right wing after lying on her side on the hard carpet. She sat up off her sleeping bag and tried stretching it to relief it. The room was white and light blue with a dark blue carpet. Next to Lunarstar was a light blue bed, where Sea Breeze slept.
Lunarstar brushed her hair and left the room. She smelt pancakes. She trotted down the steps and looked into the kitchen. She smiled at the golden coloured mother.
“Morning, you must be Lunarstar,” she smiled trying to avoid staring at a real winged unicorn, “ I’m Butterscotch, Sea Breeze’s mother. Kaiser told me you liked pancakes.”
“Yeah!” Lunarstar laughed.
“Well eat up then, Sea breeze tells me your going to Emerald Castle,” She said.
“We might be, all I knew is that we were going to find Sea Breeze…”
Lunarstar heard ponies come down the stairs. It was The Black Ponies, Kaiser and Sea Breeze. Sea Breeze’s eyes were half closed with her head hung low. Her body floppily moved with her legs and her hair was a mess.
Okay, she was good at guessing stuff, but she didn’t look all wise and mystic to her. Just… like an old teenager. Lunarstar blinked, realizing she had no symbol. Strange.
Sea Breeze shook her head and neck while her horn glowed. It brushed it’s self while it swung round her neck.
“Where’s Dad?” Sea Breeze mumbled to her mum as all the ponies sat at the table.
“At work, remember? He starts at seven,” Butterscotch replied.
“Hmm?” Sea breeze looked up with one eye closed, then shook her head, “Oh... yeah, I thought it might have been his day off. I haven’t spoke to him in ages, I was hoping we could talk, ya know?”
“He has missed you Sea Breeze, but he needed an early night, he hasn’t been sleeping well lately, and you were pretty late coming in,” Butterscotch smiled.
“What do you mean? Doesn’t she live here?” Lunarstar asked.
“No, I live in the forest Lunarstar. I’ll… explain on the way to the castle shall I?” Sea Breeze smiled while bending her neck.
The Ponies ate their breakfast and packed and were ready to leave the house.
“Luckily, the most direct route is through trees. If we stick to the heavy trees, we should be safe from the dragons,” Sea Breeze stated. They left from the back of the house, through a small gate that lead to the field, she quickly called back to the house, “Bye mom!”
They walked into the trees.
“Anyway, Lunarstar, I live in the forest… because I’m not a pony like you. I’m a unicorn,” She said.
“And…? I’m a Unicorn. The Princess is a Winged Unicorn, it still means you’re a pony doesn’t it?” Skyview asked.
“Yes, but I’m not a pony unicorn, I’m a wild unicorn. You get horses, will, I’m like a unicorn version of them. About five or six years ago I found out I was a unicorn by a pony called Nectar. She told me that I had to save the others of my kind from the sea in the east. I did, and I just didn’t feel comfortable being a pony no more, so I stayed in the forest with my real mother,” Sea Breeze said, “I prefer to be in my unicorn state when I can help it, but I like to be a pony every now and then. It’s cooler.”
“I sort of noticed your personality change when you switched,” Stardust commented.
“Yeah, that happens. That’s why I like being a pony sometimes. Because I was always a pony till I was a little over 14, I feel like I act myself more, you know? I don’t notice the change when I slip back to a unicorn but I notice it when I go back to pony, if that makes sense,” Sea Breeze explained, “I don’t feel as strong though, my magic isn’t half as good in pony form.”
Lunarstar sort of understood now why Kaiser chose her. She guessed unicorns were smart.
“How long will is take us to get there?” Lunarstar asked.
“We should be there before the end of the day,” Kaiser smiled.
The group walked through all the trees. Sea breeze and Kaiser kept a look out for anything that could have been watching them, while Starfire stayed close to Sea Breeze in case one bursted out making a grab for the crystal.
As the trees began to thin out, it reviled a large light green castle sprouting from the trees. It seemed to have dark green speckles on it, but with closer examination, it reviled to be ivy crawling up the turrets and spreading slightly on the main wall. The shape was a lot like Dream Castle, and Lunarstar had to be honest, it did look prettier.
“This place sure has a lot of trees…” Stardust said, looking around the castle and town.
“Yup, that’s why this section is called Emerald Valley, our realm has the most tree cover and largest forests. Basically the towns weave with the trees, which is why we don’t have as many than other realms, but I prefer it that way. Most of the other forests are boundary lines, like the one in the southeast,” Sea breeze explained.
While they stopped, Kaiser took the time to put his armour on. It was golden in colour, encrusted with red and pink jewels. Sea Breeze brushed his hair to make sure it was even, also remarking that boys were helpless with doing their own hair, and he placed his small golden crown on his head. He wore a red cape.
“Nice armour, they just wear collars at our place,” Stardust remarked, his head going again.
“Yeah, we have collars for indoors, but when we visit other castles, we wear armour for protection. You don’t know when one will turn against you,” Kaiser smiled, “My father nearly died himself when Purple Realm was taken over; they wanted to make a go for Dream Valley too.”
“Who was this?” Skyview asked.
“It wasn’t your Star Cluster. It was someone else, but I don’t know his name. He fled when Queen Silver Song got an army back up. They killed King Star Strike, poor guy. I remember him when I was a kid. I’m best mates with his son, Prince Vortex. He’s gonna be the next king soon, when he’s ready,” Kaiser said as he checked his sword was in his armour, “Okay, let’s go!”
They walked up the castle and waited for the Guards above them to address them.
“It’s Prince Kaiser! I’m here to see King Dusty and Queen Fire Leaf,” He called, “with me is Sea Breeze, Stardust, Starfire, Skyview and Lunarstar!”
Immediately, the gates… fell. It was a drawbridge. It looked quite like a fairytale castle. It has a blue moat, and the second Lunarstar got a chance to look around, it looked. Well. Very green. It was a really pretty castle. It just… fitted in.
After they crossed the drawbridge they got to the courtyard. There were a few horses tied up with carriages.
“We don’t have creatures like that where we live,” Stardust said.
“Some realms don’t. Like the flutters, they don’t have them; they only have the large Pegasus breeds for the earth ponies or whatever so they can get over the hills,” Sea Breeze said.
They were allowed into the main room, and then they went into a large room. Much like the one that Lunarstar met the King and Queen of Ponyland. The tiled floor was a light silver colour, while the walls were different tones of green, like a forest.
Sitting at the end on a stage were two golden chairs, one with a brown earth pony with green hair and eyes. Sitting next to him was a white unicorn with fire red hair, with a yellow streak. There were also three chairs, with three bored looking ponies in. The one nearest the Queen looked the oldest, and looked to be almost the age of Sea Breeze and Kaiser. She was a white unicorn like her mother, and had deep Jade hair like her father. Next to her was a male earth pony. He looked the most bored of all of them. He had a brown body like his father, with lighter brown hair, and a yellow stripe with deep green eyes, and looked about 16 or 17 he stuck his tongue out at Kaiser. The youngest was about 13. She had a light red coat, with red hair and an orange stripe. She didn’t look too bored, she probably was interested at one point in the day, but it seemed to have lost it. She also had green eyes.
“Afternoon,” Kaiser lowered his head fully. The Triplets, Sea breeze and Lunarstar bowed also.
“Prince Kaiser,” Smiled the King.
“Guys…” Kaiser began, then Sea Breeze shot him a look, and Kaiser coughed slightly, “this is King Dusty and Queen Fireleaf. Next to them are Princess Jade, Prince Barkley and Princess Ember.”
The three smiled, but then returned to their dull faces. Lunarstar heard Sea Breeze whisper to Kaiser, “they remind me of when I first met you…”
“Why did you need to see us urgently?” Queen Fireleaf asked.
“Do you remember when we found those crystals? We had a meeting at Dream Valley to discuss what to do with them?” Prince Kaiser said formally. His voice had defiantly become more serious.
“Ah, yes...?” King Dusty said, but he didn’t seem happy about it.
“We… sorry, this will be difficult for you to understand. Stardust, Skyview, Starfire and Lunarstar come from another world. Do you know of the gates?” Kaiser asked.
“Yes, I’ve heard of them,” Queen Fireleaf interrupted before the King could get a word in.
“You do?” King Dusty asked.
“Yes, it is passed down from the heirs to heir…” Queen Fireleaf said. Lunarstar guessed she must have been the original Princess of Emerald Valley.
“That is where they come from. They came from the gate at Ponyland Peak,” Kaiser said.
“Can’t you just wait until the next full moon and walk them back through?” The Queen asked.
“That’s… why we need the crystals. Together they swap the gates over. These ponies live in a parallel world, I think with the crystals again, we can swap them back over, they can go back to their old area, then back through to THEIR Dream Valley,” Kaiser said.
“Hmm, well that explained a bit. You only get earthlings past that gate,” she thought out loud.
“That’s why we need the crystals. We found one; it was next to the gate when the ponies woke up, Sun Bright Valley’s crystal, please can we use it? If it isn’t destroyed or something we will return it,” Kaiser pleaded.
“We’d be more then happy to give it too you… we really would, but… it’s been stolen…” The Queen said sadly.
“When?” Kaiser asked desperately.
“A few weeks ago, we came to the treasury one morning at it was gone, the glass case it was in was shattered. What’s even more surprising is that it left every other treasure and coin untouched! We even double checked!” Queen Fireleaf said.
“That’s what scares us most, the thief got in the castle, undetected and into the treasury and took only one thing, it knew what it was getting,” King Dusty said, “We don’t even know what it was, could have been anything.”
“Do you think it could have been one of them dragon things? I forgot what it’s called…” Lunarstar tried to think what it was.
“A Rapacious Dragon? Could be actually. It would explain why it was following you to Emerald Forest…” Sea Breeze agreed.
“Dragons? What would the dragons want with them?” Princess Jade asked.
Kaiser was silent.
“Kaiser, it could have been them, I mean, Vortex told me that their crystal had been nicked too,” Barkley said. It was obvious he didn’t really care for posh talk. He seemed to be a close friend of Kaiser’s too, “And it had been snuck into the castle, with out anyone spotting it. It proper smashed their case and all he saw was a bird flying away. He thought it was a Pegasus at first, but Pegasus ponies don’t tend to go there…”
“We should go to the other castles and see if their have been stolen too,” Kaiser decided.
“Why don’t we just go to the dragons and get it back?” Lunarstar asked.
“Whoa, I am not going near those things again,” Starfire growled
“Well if they’ve all been stolen that’s what we’re going to have to do,” Skyview argued.
“Hello? Have you SEEN them?” Starfire shouted
“Yes! I was with you wasn’t I!” Skyview shouted back.
“ENOUGH” Stardust yelled, “I’m tired of you two arguing all the time!”
“How about I write a letter to all the castles? That way, you’ll know. It’s will save you having to look around all the castles. How about you sleep here tonight. We should get a reply be morning or even tonight if we send them now,” King Dusty asked.
“That would be great, thank you. I wasn’t looking forward to sleeping on the ground,” Kaiser smiled.
“Good, that’s settled, Fireleaf and myself shall write the letters, Ember, you can go and get the Pegasus, Jade and Barkley, you can go and show them their rooms,” King Dusty said.
As they dispersed, Jade and Barkley showed the ponies their rooms. Once the showed Sea breeze, Kaiser, Starfire and Skyview their rooms, Jade had to go and help find more Pegasus ponies. When Barkley showed Lunarstar his room, he smiled to her. Lunarstar smiled back, but turned a bit red. She still wasn’t that used to ponies seeing her in her winged unicorn form. When she shut the door, Barkley couldn’t help but smile more. He turned a light shade of red too.
“Don’t even think about it,” Stardust growled, “How old are you, 14?”
“15...” Barkley said, “She is pretty though, very white.”
“She’s only 12, she’s too young for you,” Stardust said. He didn’t really know why he was sticking up for her.
“Who do you think you are, her dad or something?” Barkley snapped, “Your room is there,” he pointed and left Stardust with a shooting pain in his head.
Chapter 11 – The Plan for the Remaining Crystals
Lunarstar awoke early that morning. Her room was on the south side of the castle, so when she walked on to her balcony she could see the silhouettes of trees below her. She sighed deeply with the cold morning air. She looked to her right, and could see the tip of the sun touching the horizon. She tried to stretch her eyesight to see the silhouettes of other castle, but before she knew it, she was blinded by the orange gaze of the sun. She wondered if Ponyland in her original world was like here, with the coloured regions and… well, everything. She gave herself a small laugh. If this were a parallel world, wouldn’t there be two of her? Then she guessed not, as Dream Castle was not taken over. And it was Ponyland Peak, not Moony Mountain… She thought Moony Mountain was a nicer name though.
Lunarstar was also surprised how little ponies stared at her. She expected a lot more recognition, well, not that she wanted it. She’s not good with people staring at her, but she still found it surprising. Maybe… Winged Unicorns were normal here? What if… there were more ponies like her? Well, a few ponies stared, but to the royalty, it was like they were used to it. And Starfire and Skyview, they have wings and horn too.
She pushed it out of her mind as she walked back into her room. After brushing her hair, she left her room and made her way downstairs for breakfast.
“You’re up early,” A unicorn said behind her as Lunarstar began stepping down. She smiled to Princess Jade. Her silver collar matched her white and green colours, as well as the tiny emerald gems engraved on it. She also had a silver tiara on. It sat quite comfortably on her hair, but it didn’t seem to match it, since her fringe was quite bushy and even covered her eyes. “Yeah, I thought it would be best if I came downstairs,” Lunarstar replied.
“S’alright, you’re welcome to go where you like here,” She smiled.
“Thanks,” Lunarstar smiled, but before she could help it, she asked, “Can you get Winged Unicorn ponies like me?”
“Well, not around here, we don’t even get male ponies with anything more than a stripe here, just the females, but they don’t tend to get both genes, it’s not in our blood,” Jade explained, “Say the mother was a Pegasus, and she had a male child, the Pegasus gene is lost, so if you bred him with a unicorn, you’d still only get a unicorn or an earth pony, but over in the Purple Realm, you can get male unicorns. But you don’t really get Pegasus there; it’s not in their blood either. In the yellow realm though, you can get all sorts. If you get a flutter and a unicorn together from over there, there have even been reports of Fluttercorns.”
“I’ve never seen a Flutter Pony…” Lunarstar said, confused.
“They’re quite skinny, and have weird wings, all see through and… fluttery. Not quite like butterfly wings, but close to them,” Jade replied smiling.
Lunarstar stayed in silence after that. She wanted to see others like her. Growing up in an All Earth Pony world never made her fit in that well.
Everyone was now eating breakfast. The King was reading out replies to the letters. As it turns out, almost all of them have been taken. The only remaining crystal was from the Azure Skies Castle, and Sapphire Pearl Castle, which were in Flutter Valley and… the sea?
“Where?” Starfire repeated when the King had finished.
“I’d not to good with water either, but we have to get the crystal before the dragons do…” Sea Breeze said, giving him a real glare.
“How? What ponies live in the sea?” Lunarstar asked.
“Sea Ponies do, Lunarstar, they have the heads of ponies with long tails and fins,” Skyview said.
“Actually, they don’t actually live in the sea. They only live in rivers and lakes, despite their name, I don’t know if the ones from where you come from live in the Sea or not,” Kaiser pointed out.
“So whom does the castle belong to then?” Stardust asked.
“The Merponies. They’re like Sea Ponies, but they’re tails are longer and they have hooves. They’re very secretive. They’re not as playful as Sea Ponies and we didn’t even know they existed until a decade or so ago,” Kaiser explained, “I remember seeing one for the first time when I was 8 or something.”
“So where are you going to go first then?” asked Barkley, while munching on his breakfast.
“Well, we’ll go to the Blue Castle first, then we can go straight to Flutter Valley from the southern side, The castle is also closer that end. Then we can visit the dragons just beyond Flutter Hills, the Rapacious Dragons live just the other side of that,” Sea breeze said. She seemed to have resent saying the dragon part, “It’ll take us a few days to get down the south end of the Purple Realm.”
After they agreed to the plan, the group got their things and left Emerald Leaf Castle. Lunarstar gave Barkley a last smile, and followed the rest of her group over the drawbridge and disappeared from sight in the heavy trees.
Chapter 12 – The Merponies
Lunarstar’s head hung low. She was hot and tired. She wasn’t the only one with low spirits either. Sea breeze sighed heavily while walking next to Kaiser, and the mumbles are the Three Arguing Triplets were rambling quietly on in the background. Lunarstar couldn’t feel the odd one out by now. Sea breeze and Kaiser stuck together, since they knew each other best, the Black Ponies were brothers so they’d be together… and they hated Lunarstar. She looked up for the first time in what seemed for hours. Her spirits heightened slightly. The sea was softly swashing closer against the rocky ground. They passed near a town. There were plenty of unicorns. Skyview couldn’t take his eyes off the other unicorns. He and the other black ponies hadn’t seen so many unicorns in one place, let alone male unicorns.
Finally. The crashes of waves could be heard meters away from the tired ponies. Kaiser quickly pulled himself together, putting his armour on and making sure his hair was even and smart.
“Uhh, I just want to know… were you pulling our hooves or something when you meant ‘Merponies’? They don’t actually exist do they?” Stardust asked, breaking the silence.
“Yes, they do. Sapphire Pearl castle and the sea is ruled by King Current and Queen Water Pulse,” Prince Kaiser explained, “Follow me, we won’t be going to the castle, we meet them up.”
“Where?” Skyview asked.
“There?” Lunarstar asked with a guess. She pointed at a large cave. It looked like it had a dark blue sparkle too it.
“That’s the place,” Kaiser smiled at her.
The ponies followed him in. The inside of the cave was really dark. Lunarstar wasn’t the only one that jumped when several blue tinted crystals lit up on the walls, illuminating the dark cavern. In the centre was a pool. Behind were large open pink clams.
Lunarstar jumped again when a pony’s head popped out of the water. He had a slightly dark cyan body with sea blue hair and a pastel purple stripe.
He snorted to get all the water out of his nose, and seemed to be breathing perfectly well on the surface. He smiled at the Ponies.
“Hi Kaiser, how have you been?” he asked. He wasn’t really young, maybe about 18.
“I’m good thanks, Flick, and you?” Kaiser replied.
“Yeah, what brings you al the way over here?” He asked.
Just ask Kaiser was about to reply, another head popped out of the pool. Her blue body was slightly bluer then Flick’s, and she had a pearly pink scruffy, sea beaten mane with the same light purple coloured stripe and eyes as Flick. She snorted like Flick did and began breathing the air.
“Hi Kaiser!” She said enthusiastically, bobbing up and down with the ripples.
Kaiser explained who Lunarstar, Sea Breeze and The Black Ponies, and why they were there.
“Oh, and this is Princess Corral and Prince Flick,” Kaiser quickly added, facing Lunarstar.
“Ohh, so you want our parents? They said you might be stopping by at some point, something about that crystal. Shame you have to take it, I really liked it,” Princess Corral shrugged.
“We’ll go and get them, we should be back in about 5 minutes, the tide is turning out so we should be able to get to them quick, and hopefully it would be coming back in when we are to return,” Flick smiled, “In a bit, Kaiser!”
They snorted and exhaled, and they dived in the water. Their long scaled tails flicked high into the air then were swallowed into the pool.
The cave was left quite silent.
“I really did think you were pulling our legs about Merponies…” Starfire blinked.
“Nope, but only the Royalty’s know about them anyways, a few ponies believe in them but it’s nothing more than a Myth to most ponies,” Kaiser explained.
“I remember once when I was fourteen, after having a bad magic lesson, my friend, Shellswirl wondering if there were Merponies in the lake at school. She and Clover were debating it almost all lunchtime. I always meant to go back to her and tell her that they did exist, but never got round to it. The few times I had seen her I kept forgetting…” Sea Breeze said.
Lunarstar sat on the cold hard floor, fixing her eyes on the pool.
After a few minutes so did the others, except for Kaiser. His head was raised high, and his eyes did not flicker from the pool, awaiting the Merponies arrival.
After for what seemed ages, the pool began to ripple. A pair of deep pure blue ears poked out of the water, following cyan hair, and pale blue eyes. Snorting as his nostrils emerged from the ripples. Once he’d risen, more Merponies followed.
She snorted like Prince Flick and Princess Corral. A new Merpony with a pearl tiara emerged also. She was a light pastel blue, with light purple mane and a pearl stripe.
They turned and hopped out of the water, and turned to the clams. They hopped in them, and sat, with their tails drooped off.
The King nodded, then spoke, “Prince Kaiser.”
“King Current, Queen Water Pulse,” Kaiser nodded too.
“We know of the story,” The king spoke, who didn’t take his eyes of Lunarstar, “We have the crystal.”
His deep long tail dipped into the pool. It surfaced again, wrapped around a deep blue crystal. It unwrapped and was given to Lunarstar. Once it touched her hooves, it gleamed and became brighter.
“It knows its owner…” The King said.
“What do you mean?” Lunarstar asked.
“I don’t think I’m the right creature to tell you…” The King said, “I think our business is done. If you have the chance, it would be nice if the crystal was returned, but if that’s not possible, there is no need.”
“Thank you, King Current,” Kaiser said, bowing.
The Merponies nodded, and dived gracefully into the water, with Prince Flick giving Kaiser a little wink before diving.
“They kept it short…” Skyview observed.
“They would. Very secretive, Merponies are, very intelligent,” Kaiser said, as he turned to leave the cave.
Lunarstar held the crystal, still shining, making her look slightly blue, “What did he mean?”
“No idea, Merponies don’t tend to make much sense, except Flick, since we’re friends an all, he sort of adapted to me, so he and Corral don’t act as bad, but I swear King Current is mad,” Kaiser said at the mouth of the cave.
Lunarstar put the crystal in her bag as followed the ponies out of the cave.
She heard a screeching from the roof of the cave. Lunarstar turned quickly. On top were two large dragons. Rapacious Dragons.
They spread their wings and dived for the party, with fangs wide open. Lunarstar and Starfire jumped and watched them attack the others. Once they were on the ground, they made for them. One dug it’s large claws in Lunarstar’s back, and took flight, with Starfire held by the other dragon, squirming like mad.
Lunarstar screamed loudly as she rose higher and higher in the sky.
“WINK LUNARSTAR!” Bellowed Sea Breeze with every ounce of energy left in her, since there wasn’t enough to pick her up if the ground.
Lunarstar tried, and she was dropped. There were trees and hills zooming closer and closer.
The dragon swooped down and caught her, this time with one claw around her muzzle holding it tight shut. She couldn’t breathe. After a few moments, she passed out, letting herself be taken away. The dragon moved its claw back on her back and caught up with Starfire’s dragon and were taken away from sight.
Chapter 13 – The Alpha’s Second
Lunarstar awoke with a start, and with a gasp for air. When she realized she was safely on green untouched grass she sighed with relief. She’d never been comfortable with heights, even being a Winged Species. Her head was still on the soft grass, until she yanked it up. A reptile like bird jumped in front of her nose. She sat with her front legs stiff in front of her and her head as high as her neck would let her.
She sighed again. In front of her was a baby Rapacious Dragon. It didn’t seem to have those murderous eyes and evil grins that the adults have. Using the claws on its wings for support, it crawled to her legs. It then stood up on its large feet. It slipped and its tiny sharp claws rested on Lunarstar’s furry white legs.
She kicked it back slightly while saying with a quivering voice, “Get off.”
“It won’t hurt you, its been here for hours, she’s just curious now you’re awake,” Starfire smiled.
“Where are we?” Lunarstar asked. She had never seen a place like it. As far as her eyes could see was fresh green grass, small hills and rocky cliffs, small lakes and rivers with a few trees and tiny woodlands. It looked completely untouched, no buildings to be seen… which also meant no other ponies.
“I think… We’re in the Dragon Realms,” Starfire said.
“Where are those dragons?” Lunarstar asked, looking at the sky.
“They’re not far. They wouldn’t let the young one alone with us,” Starfire replied, watching the baby dragon scratch at some grass.
“What are they waiting for?” Lunarstar asked. She had so many questions, though she knew Starfire wouldn’t be able to answer them all…
“I… thought they were waiting for you to wake up,” Starfire said, looking around for any signs of foreign movement.
“Do you think we should go?” Lunarstar asked.
“We could try, let’s go,” Starfire said, beginning to stand up.
As the two ponies got to their feet and Lunarstar stepped over the baby.
As they began walking, not actually knowing where, one of the large dragons that brought them here swooped in front, reviling more shark teeth with it’s menacing grin. It screeched loudly, “STAY!”
“It’s wants us to stay,” Lunarstar cried to Starfire, laying back down onto the ground not taking her eyes of the dragon’s, “Get down, it shows your not putting up a fight this way.”
Starfire looked at Lunarstar blankly. How did she know this? Non-the-less, he sank to the ground with the continuing flaps of the dragon’s hard, clawed wings.
Once they were both on the grass, it screeched with its large talons descending onto the ground.
He growled slightly, still with it’s many sharp fangs on show, and narrow, slitted yellow eyes.
Before long, a strong roar echoed through the lands.
“Not more dragons…” Lunarstar said while cowering at the scream.
A deep emerald being circled them. It didn’t look like a Rapacious Dragon; this one had four legs and wings. Their wings were huge. They seemed to be swooping at the air, and he landed softly on the ground. His green claws digging into the grass. She blew through his nostrils and black smoke seemed to ooze from them when he did. His eyes were a shocking yellow, along with his horns and the sheets of his wings. His spikes were black and so were the plates on his head. The yellow horns that sprouted from the plates were very long, and looked like not a lot would survive a ram from them. He also had another small horn on his nose, and three on his jaw. He was bigger than the Rapacious Dragons, and they seemed to back off when he had landed, picking it’s young up swiftly.
“… You have something of ours…” He said in a deep voice. What surprised Lunarstar and Starfire was that they could understand it.
“Who are you?” Starfire asked.
“Is that any business of yours?” he snarled, “You have two of the remaining crystals, return them, now!”
“We don’t have them!” Lunarstar lied.
“Do not lie, young one. The Rapacious Dragons saw YOU with the blue one, and him with the yellow one, the black one with wings and the white one with wings, that is what they told me…” he said.
“We need them!” Lunarstar said.
“You have no business with them. They belong to the dragons,” he argued.
“No they don’t, they belong to the castles!” Starfire protested.
“What? With the ponies? I think not. The ponies did not create them, so they have no right to have them,” He told them.
“Look, from where we came from, there are no dragons! The crystals were lying around, and we got sucked through the gate and came here, we’re not supposed to be here. We need the crystals to get back!” Lunarstar pleaded.
“That... is not my problem,” The dragon said clearly, “You should not have messed with things that don’t concern you.”
“The gates concern us…” Lunarstar mumbled.
The dragon paused, “Why would they?”
“They just do. I keep thinking I know more about them than I should,” she said.
The dragon didn’t take her eyes off her. He didn’t know why…
“Who are you anyway?” Starfire asked.
“I’m Tyrone. I’m the Alpha’s Second,” he said. He could see in Starfire’s eyes that it must be a strange name to them, “Do you have a problem with my name? And yours is?”
“Starfire. This is Lunarstar,” Starfire replied.
Tyrone sighed, “I’ve heard worse. A lot of ponies, especially flutters give themselves very strange names. Rosedust and Obsidian. They’re the rulers alone.”
“And what’s wrong with their names?” Starfire asked with a hint of disgust.
“You wouldn’t understand. It just differences. Like you think my name is odd. It’s quite common among dragons. Even in other breeds,” he explained then began to move, “Come… You must be hungry…”
Lunarstar followed him, with Starfire behind her. They were hungry.
“What dragon are you?” Starfire asked.
“I’m a Rancour,” He said without any thought.
“Why did you get the Rapacious Dragons to do everything for you? Like… getting the crystals and us?” Starfire asked.
“It’s not like we can’t to it ourselves… if that’s what you mean. We saved their Alpha and his kind over many occasions, and he is in dept to us, and for as long as he lives, they will be at our service.”
“Are you going to kill us?” Lunarstar asked suddenly. It had been on her mind for a while.
“No. I think you’re more valuable to us than I first thought…”
Chapter 14 – The Rayolta’s Decending
Lunarstar and Starfire followed Tyrone the Rancour Dragon for what seemed hours. They were now walking though some trees. The dragon was having difficulty not getting his horns trapped in them.
“Umm, we can fly over the trees if you like?” Lunarstar suggested while Tyrone seemed to be having a battle of his own with a branch.
“No. I’m not going to risk you escaping,” he said stubbornly getting himself into a headlock.
“Uh, well, this isn’t much better, your trapped now, we could run now,” Starfire said, trying to keep a laugh from escaping him.
“Well why aren’t you then,” Tyrone snapped, irritated.
“Because we know better than to run from a dragon, I don’t care if I’m the fastest flyer in Ponyland, I don’t think I could out-fly a dragon…” Starfire said.
“True…” Tyrone mumbled. Without warning, he snapped his head away from the trees and breathed hot fire on it, which turned the branch to cinders. They carried on, it was quite late into the day when they came across a huge blackberry bush.
Lunarstar could feel her stomach rumble.
Tyrone stopped, while looking at her, “You might both want to start picking them. I’m pretty sure you won’t like what we eat…”
Lunarstar almost pounced onto the bush, dodging the nettles. She didn’t really want to know what dragons ate.
Starfire soon joined her, and Tyrone lay on the ground watching them eat.
Lunarstar felt so much better after eating them, they tasted really nice too.
Tyrone was already standing, waiting for them.
“Don’t waste time do you?” Starfire mumbled as he began to follow.
“Unless you want to sleep with the Rapacious Dragons again, we keep going,” He said coldly.
They had just left the forest when a deep red, almost brown dragon landed in front of them. He wasn’t a Rancour, because his face wasn’t as long, and he didn’t have plates that his horns grew from, and his horns were curled like an Ox, and ended at his jaw. He looked like he could be used as a battering ram. Along his neck weren’t spikes like Tyrone’s, but they were yellow spines that folded over to one side all the way to his tail, and his wings looked like spines with small sheets on them. His neck wasn’t as long as Tyrone’s either.
“The Rapacious Dragons gave me interesting news. Why have you brought ponies here?” He asked. His voice wasn’t exactly deep, like Tyrone’s, but cool, and surprisingly friendly.
“They have the last two crystals,” Tyrone replied.
“So? Why are you keeping them? That’s surprising for your kind. I’d have assumed that you killed them,” he said, “Something stopping you, Tyrone?”
Tyrone gritted his sharp teeth, then replied slowly… “Yes... I think they mean more to us. I’m keeping them.”
“Because she’s pure white? So? Her eyes are the wrong colour anyways…” The strange dragon said.
Tyrone walked up to him, so his head was level with his. Lunarstar could just make out the whispers.
“Ryan…She said she came from the gate…” Tyrone said quietly.
“What? She’s from Drakon Island?” he asked, becoming suddenly interested.
“Uhh...” Began Tyrone, but then Starfire cut in.
“We’re not from Drakon Island! We come from Dream Valley in Ponyland! In our world!”
Ryan sighed, and looked at Tyrone, “She’s not her. She died centuries ago, you know that as well as I do.”
“What if she’s come back? These ponies need the crystals to get home, now why would that be? Why would she come here in the first place?” Tyrone said hotly.
“It’s not like we chose to came here!” Lunarstar interrupted, “Me and my friend Charades were collecting the crystals just because they looked nice, then we dropped them in front of the gate and we got sucked in!”
Ryan raised his eyebrows (well, the hump over his eye) to show that they did come here accidentally, and Tyrone’s accusations were meaningless.
Tyrone growled and began walking away, and turned, “You ponies are still coming with me…”
“Why? They are no use to you! It was an accident,” Ryan said.
“Everything happens for a reason,” growled Tyrone, “Unless you want me to kill them, this way they stay alive.”
Ryan signed with smoke blowing from his nostrils, and then he bent down to Lunarstar and Starfire.
“We’re in the north-west if you need us…” he whispered before he took flight and disappeared.
“Who was he?” Asked Starfire.
“Ryan. He’s a Rayolta Dragon. Apparently they are the most friendly of dragons… but that will get them no where in life,” Tyrone said as he looked into the sky.
“How many types of dragon are there?” Lunarstar asked curiously.
“A fair few little colonies here and there. The Dragon Lands are divided into sections where the most common breeds are, Rancour lands for dragons like myself. Rapacious dragon lands, Rayolta Dragons, Snuffler Dragons and… Hyonar dragons,” Tyrone said. His voice seemed quite stiff upon the Hyonar breed , “and the Aquatica Dragons that live in the sea.”
“What’s wrong with the Hyonar Dragons?” asked Starfire.
“We… just don’t get along. A long time ago, their leader did something to ours. We actually don’t know what. It was so long ago, but it’s our instinct to remember, we just… hold grudges, and we’ve been enemies ever since. The Rayolta Dragons don’t get involved, and get along with both of us. They tend to send messages for us. If we go, or they come here it only involves a fight,” he said as they began to approach a cave.
Lunarstar was tired from walking; it was already kind of dark.
“You will sleep here tonight. I’m going to be sleeping at the entrance, you will not pass me unless I give you permission, understand?” Tyrone said with seriousness.
“Okay…” mumbled Starfire and Lunarstar as they sat down into the cave.
Tyrone set himself down, “We will be getting up early tomorrow, and then we will take you to the Alpha…”
Lunarstar and Starfire signed together then they began to sleep in the dark cave.
Chapter 15 – Starfire’s Confession
Lunarstar was asleep on the rocky ground of the cave. I chill blew in from the entrance. Lunarstar wished Tyrone made a fire for them. He was sound asleep in the entrance.
Just as she was drifting off to sleep, she was kicked lightly in the hoof. She looked at Starfire. He was clutching his head with his front to hooves in his sleep, whilst kicking slightly with his rear legs.
“Starfire?” Lunarstar said quietly.
He slowly opened his eyes, let his hooves down from his head and looked up, “yeah?”
“Are you alright?” She asked.
“Yeah… just a headache,” Starfire replied quietly.
“Oh. Is it bad?” Lunarstar asked.
“Kind of, I’ve had worse. I’ve had it since this afternoon. I think it’s a bug or something. Stardust has been having bad headaches since he got trapped in the mines with you,” Starfire explained.
“Oh… I hope it’s not something you’re both getting of me…” Lunarstar smiled weakly, “Do you want some water?”
“Nah, it’ll just get worse,” he smiled back.
There was a moment’s silence when Lunarstar broke it.
”Starfire? Can I ask you something?” She asked.
“Sure,” Smiled Starfire
“Why… why do you and your brother’s hate me so much?” Lunarstar asked.
“We… we don’t hate you… we just…” Starfire wasn’t really sure what to say to it.
“But you seem too, like… you try and catch me, and give me to Star Cluster…” Lunarstar said.
“Yeah, but we only do it because Star Cluster tells us too, it’s not like we want to go searching every night for you. We don’t have anything against you,” Starfire said, trying to smile.
“So… why does Star Cluster hate me then?” Lunarstar asked.
“I don’t really know myself. All I remember is we took over and your mother escaped. When we eventually found her in the other world, you were gone. We got you’re mom and took her to Star Cluster… I think he just wants you because you’re the last hair to the throne, and with you out of the way he’s got it all…” Starfire explained.
“Gee, thanks,” Lunarstar said sarcastically, but then became serious again, “What will he do to me?”
“No idea… and that’s why we have to catch you. We don’t WANT to know. All we do know is once we leave them alone with Star Cluster in the throne room; we never see them again. Never,” Starfire said sadly, “Sorry…”
“Is there anyway I can stop you from catching me?” Lunarstar asked, knowing the answer.
“No. The only thing I can tell you, is that once my brothers and me get back through that gate, we will probibly try and catch you again. So I suggest you wink home the minute you walk through that gate, and stay there, and don’t get in our way. If we can’t find you, that’s not our problem. Yeah, every time we go back to Star Cluster empty handed we will get our ears chewed off but there’s not a lot we can do about it, it’s not our fault…” Starfire explained, “but if we go against him, we will really see how nasty he can get…”
Lunarstar stayed in silence looking at the floor. She thought she might have got to know them well enough for them to leave her be, but they were still loyal to Star Cluster.
“Don’t tell my brothers I told you that though. As far as they’re concerned, they just hand you in and that’s it from Star Cluster. We’re not bad ponies, we just have to take orders. We want to find out about ourselves. We, and neither can anyone else we’ve spoke too know anything about us until we took over Dream Castle,” he said, “You’re not to bad either, personally, I don’t want to hand you over, but… we still have orders is all. Still, that’s not till we get back through the gate.”
Lunarstar smiled, “Yeah, we need to work together don’t we? We can be friends until then I guess…”
They sat in a moment’s silence, until something roared into the sky. Lunarstar and Starfire jolted their heads up to the entrance. Tyrone suddenly stood up. Without warning, he started breathing white-hot fire into the sky. He jumped out the mouth of the cave. Within seconds, he was tackled from the side. Lunarstar hid behind Starfire.
“What’s happening?” she asked, “Where’s he gone?”
Two figured stood silhouetted against the night sky at the entrance of the cave. They didn’t look as tall as Tyrone did.
“Hello? Anyone here?” a female voice said.
The two ponies remained silent.
“He said they were here!” Another said. Male.
The cave lit up orange, as one blew a small flame from his mouth. They looked a lot like the Rayolta Dragons, except their horns were growing upwards. Their noses weren’t as square, but thinner, and they had very blunt spikes from their back. Like the Rancour’s, they had large powerful wings.
A scream roared from behind them.
“Keep him pinned you two, we’ve found them,” the female shouted, and then looked back at the ponies, “Are you alright?”
Lunarstar and Starfire found the courage nod, but were still pinned to the back off the cave.
“I’m Jenny, this is Bruce,” she said, nodding at the male giving flamed from his mouth. The female was a burnt orange, with burnt red horns, wing sheets, spikes and claws. The male was a lighter orange with brown horns etc.
The cave went black when Bruce spoke, “For ponies they don’t talk very much do they?” then the cave lit back up.
“I’m sure they’re just scared, come on,” Jenny said irritably at him, and looked back at them, “Look, we’ve come to help you. Ryan said you were here, we coming to take you somewhere safe.”
“HURRY UP!” shouted a voice from outside.
“Are you going to come with us or not?” Bruce asked quickly, with the cave going dim again.
“What do you think?” Asked Lunarstar.
“Safe sounds better than what Tyrone was going to do…” Starfire said, and began to stand up, Lunarstar close behind him. She wasn’t too happy about going outside with Tyrone fighting.
Outside the cave entrance, slightly below the hill, two others pinned down Tyrone who was trying to burn them with white fire.
Jenny and Bruce lowered their wings. Their backs were only a foot higher than an adult pony’s would be. They were quite a bit smaller than Rancour Dragons.
Lunarstar got on Jenny’s back, while Starfire climbed onto Bruce’s.
“Hold on tight,” Grinned Bruce.
They took off, and flew faster than Lunarstar had ever flown. Her eyes were squinting because of the fast moving wind. They turned sharply with their large, strong wings and rose and dived.
The other two dragons caught up. It was hard to tell their colours as the fast flowing wind made them blurry, and the fire from Tyrone shooting everywhere.
“Take him out!” shouted Jenny to the other two. They turned and both shot fire at him. Tyrone fell though the sky, and landed hard on the ground over 50 feet below. The dragons took their chance to escape and were gone from his sight.
Chapter 16 - The Hyonar Dragons
Lunarstar and Starfire clung onto the dragon’s backs as they swung through the sky. Lunarstar thought they could have been better off with Tyrone, not with these new dragons. She didn’t even know if they were safe…
After what seemed along time, the four dragons began to descend into a cluster of trees. When they landed they walked into the darkness of a cave, entrance concealed by willow trees. A small ember glowed within, and the dragon re-lit it with their hot breath. Lunarstar quickly got of the dragons back, and sat in a corner of the cave. Starfire soon joined her once his dragon entered the cave. He other two close followed.
“So what are your names?” One light blue dragon asked. Her horns were white.
Starfire and Lunarstar remained silent, thinking the other one was talk.
“Well, you know Bruce and Jenny. I’m Bryan, and this is Grace,” Said a deep green on, with grey horns. He actually looked a lot like Tyrone. He nodded to the blue one indicating her to be Grace.
Lunarstar looked at the rocky floor while Starfire couldn’t keep his eyes off them, glaring at them cautiously.
“You’re right, they don’t talk much do they…” Bryan mumbled.
“Shut up, Bryan,” Grace warned him, “They don’t know whose side to be on.”
“Look, we’re here to help you. Ryan told us that the Rancour’s and Rapacious dragons are after you, and you need to get home. Why are you over here?”
Lunarstar gulped silently, took a deep breath and quietly began telling them why they were here.
After she explained her and Starfire’s position, they seemed to be a bit lost for words.
“Well… that’s a problem,” Bryan mumbled.
“Why? You seemed to be stronger than that Tyrone, can’t you just get the crystals too?” Starfire asked.
“Well, to be perfectly honest… There was one of him and four of us, Rancour’s are a lot stronger than we are, and more agile flyers, their built for attacking, we are just built for defence, we can only keep them off our backs, and not really attack them,” Jenny said, almost squinting, “and I’m afraid we can’t get the whole of the Hyonar dragons after them. We’re already on negative terms with them. If we steal their crystals we’re not going to last long.”
“THEIR crystals?” Lunarstar said with disgust in her voice.
“Yes. Their Crystals,” Jenny told her with a ‘matter of fact’ voice, “They, and the gates were created by dragons, and they should stay in their guard.”
“…And that stops you from having them for what reason?” Starfire asked.
“Because… they are stronger than us, there is no denying it. They have the firepower, but we have the brains, that’s the only reason only how we survived against them. Also, they have the Rapacious dragons on their side. Trust me. You don’t want to cross the Rapacious Dragons,” Bruce said.
“We already have,” Starfire scowled.
“Not when their angry,” Bryan said bluntly.
There was a long silence.
Lunarstar began whispering to Starfire, “I wonder how we’ll ever find the others…”
“There are more?” Grace asked.
“Yeah, Stardust, Skyview, my brothers; Sea Breeze and Prince Kaiser,” Starfire said.
“Where did you last see them?” Bryan asked.
“We were heading to Flutter Valley’s castle from the Purple Realm…” Lunarstar said.
“What do they look like?” Jenny asked.
“Two look like Starfire, except one is an Earth Pony and another is a unicorn. There is a female unicorn, which is white like me, and there is a guy called Kaiser. He’s an Earth Pony with purple hair,” Lunarstar said.
“Right. Well, you stay here; we’ll be back for morning. You’re quite safe here,” Bruce said, and turned along with his dragon companions.
They moved through the draping willows and flew out of sight.
Lunarstar was confused by their sudden disappearance, but was extremely tired, so soon fell to sleep alongside Starfire at the very back of the cave curled up by the walk fire.
Chapter 17 – The Ponies Return
Lunarstar’s neck stretched while her wings flapped rapidly. She slowly opened her eyes to look at the sun peeking through the willow leaved entrance of the cave.
She stood up slowly, and walked over to the entrance. She peeked her head through the draping green leaves.
To her right there was a large trunk from where the leaves came from, and there was a cliff behind it, whilst in front lay a large lake.
It wasn’t like any lake she had ever seen before. It was crystal clear, almost too pure, and untouched. She could even see vaguely the fish that swam beneath its glass surface. From the cliff there was a tiny waterfall, and on the other side of the lake was a small Brooke that trickled away into the dense trees that surrounded the area. Fresh long green grass was rippling in the slight breeze that tickled Lunarstar’s hooves.
It was almost like paradise. The dragons really lived here? She always imagined dragons in deep caves or in rocky mountains.
“Morning Lunarstar,” Starfire mumbled as he poked his head through the willows, and spent a moment scanning the area, “I take it they’re not back yet.”
“No,” Lunarstar said.
“Maybe we should go, I don’t really know if they were safe,” Starfire said.
“I think they are, they rescued us from Tyrone…” Lunarstar said looking up at him.
“…True I guess. Maybe we should run for it though. What if they are just as bad as him, and what the crystals too? It sounds like a dragon war to me. We shouldn’t get involved,” Starfire said, walking out of the cave.
“We are involved though. I can feel it. Still, we need to crystals to get home,” Lunarstar tried to say, and was about to follow him to pull him back.
Starfire stopped and looked back.
“What if I don’t want to go home? I’m tired of taking orders from Star Cluster, and my brothers agree with me. There are also others, like Skyview and me. I know I can’t remember anything before we met Star Cluster, but I know me and Skyview used to hate being the odd ones out, now there are realms with our type in them. You have to understand Lunarstar. I don’t know how you are able to hide away without anyone seeing you, but whatever your trick is, I wish I could do it. Yeah, my wings come in handy, but it’s not nice to be gawped at….” Starfire scowled.
“Oh, I know what it’s like,” Lunarstar growled, “At night is the only time I can feel myself, where no one will see me. And it can get really lonely to be fair. Oh, no that’s been taken away from me because you were prowling about!”
“Well, it’s okay now isn’t it, there are Winged Unicorns here too aren’t there, so you can be happy too,” Starfire said, not looking at her.
“I won’t be happy, because I have a family at home, and friends. And I know they’re worried about me,” Lunarstar said.
There was along time’s silence, before it was broken. The four dragons they had met last night had returned… and were not alone.
“Lunarstar! Starfire!” Called Kaiser from the back of Bruce.
“We were so worried,” Sea Breeze said, winking in font of Starfire from Jenny’s back. Skyview and Stardust jumped off Bryan and Grace’s backs.
“We found them just about to climb Flutter Hills,” Bruce said, “Easier flying, lucky we found them.”
“Did you get the Cyan Crystal?” Lunarstar asked.
“No, the Rapacious Dragons got there before we did. Do you still have the yellow one?” Stardust asked.
“Yeah, luckily,” Starfire said.
“How are we going to get the rest then?” Lunarstar asked. She didn’t care what Starfire said. She wanted to go home.
The ponies and dragons looked around sheepishly, avoiding her eyes.
“…It’s not like a cave you can just walk into. It will be guarded. Rancour’s aren’t completely stupid. And we don’t even know where they keep them,” Bryan said finally.
“We’ll find out. I want to go home,” Lunarstar said, frustrated.
“We’ll find a way. Don’t worry,” Starfire smiled weakly. He must have felt sorry for her before…
“Yeah. Come on, lets give it a try, maybe we can reason with them,” Jenny said, “Maybe if I talked to Seb…-“
“What, as in, Rancour-Sebastian-Seb? He’s a Rancour, like the rest of them. He won’t hand the crystals over,” Grace snapped.
“He can help!” Jenny cried.
“Oi, would you too knock it off,” Bruce growled.
“Wait, maybe we could use him,” Bryan said, with his head perking up, “He’s not like other Rancour’s. He isn’t to bothered about the crystals.”
“How do you know?” Grace asked with a glare.
“I do have friends outside of this realm you know. Rancour’s aren’t all bad. It’s just an old rivalry, dragons really should grow up about it,” Bryan said.
“I’ll get him, I know a secret entrance to his cave” Jenny grinned, she looked happier now than she did all morning, and before the others had a chance to reply, she took flight.
A flame flickered from Grace’s nostril as she left, “He’s a Rancour. He won’t help us.”
Chapter 18 – Trusting the Rancour
Lunarstar lay on the grass by the lake, talking quietly to Sea Breeze and Kaiser, while Stardust, Skyview and Starfire lay basking in the sun, letting their black coats absorb the warm sun.
Even after a couple of hours Bryan and Grace were still arguing over trusting Rancours. Bruce by now had gotten bored and flew onto the cliff looking for any sign of Jenny and Sebastian.
“Hello? They hold a grudges against us for stuff they can’t even remember! What does that show you?” Grace shouted for at least the seventh time that hour.
Bryan sighed, “It shows they have bad memory, I don’t know. Look, we all know the reason why we have our boundaries now—“
“Yeah, ‘cause the Alpha’s sis-“
“LET ME FINISH!” Bryan roared. He sighed and carried on, “The present problem has nothing to do with us, just our Alpha. What I mean is, all dragons are unique, and are different, some Hyonars are pure evil, yeah? Some Rancours are good, okay? Seb is one of those. We can trust him.”
“Well with an attitude like yours I’m surprised you’re not half Rancour,” Grace growled.
“Even if I was, that’s no business of yours, and just because you met a rouge doesn’t mean they are all like that!” Bryan retorted.
“Shut up you two! They’re coming!” Bruce shouted as he descended.
Lunarstar’s head jolted up as two dragons dived to the ground. One was Jenny, and the other was just the same build as Tyrone was. He was exactly the same shade of green as Bryan was, and his horns, and wing sheets were deep red. His plates and spikes were dark grey. Almost black. He also had lime green eyes like Bryan.
“This is Sebastian. I told him about the crystals. Actually it’s not the Alpha that wants them. I didn’t think he would anyway. It’s just a load of the high ranking dragons,” Jenny said.
“Oh, that makes it a whole lot easier…” Grace said sarcastically.
“Seb said he’d be more than happy to help. He doesn’t really like the dragons anyway,” Jenny said, ignoring Grace’s remark.
“Yeah, sure, they’re causing arguments anyways,” Sebastian said, then with a mocking voice, he said, “ ‘I want the crystals, I’M a descendent’ They have NO CLUE about the history of those crystals. The Great Dragon didn’t have any decedents. She passed her power on believe it or not, to ponies.”
“Who IS the Great Dragon? I think Tyrone was going on about him,” Lunarstar asked.
“Actually, the dragon was a She. She was a white-feathered dragon. She came from the other world. As ponies were taking over quickly she took us to this world, and he we are now. The real reason Rancours think they deserve the crystals was because they believe The Great Dragon was a Rancour. Which is impossible. It has to be. She only has a similar body shape is all. It was rumoured that she was the last of her kind or the only at least, and dedicated her life to making sure the other breeds could continue… well, we don’t know the full story, I mean, it happened centuries ago. Some reckon she was born at the beginning of time itself,” Seb said. He couldn’t help but smile while tell the story. Lunarstar guessed it was a family story he liked to tell, “Our kind believe that herself or an heir will come back, and protect us from something… Don’t ask me. I don’t really know the details. But it basically means the end of our world, and it has something about the ‘Statues Switching’ but I never got that. I think it’s a load of rubbish, but Tyrone really believes it, and is terrified of it happening. And to be fair, you look a lot like The Great Dragon, in pony form I mean so I can’t really blame my brother thinking you’re her. You know, with the whole descendent thing. That could be why he’s gathering the crystals…”
“Tyrone is you’re brother?!” Lunarstar exclaimed.
“Yup, my older twin. Hatched only an hour before me,” Seb said.
“And what, because I’m white he thinks I’m this Great Dragon?” Lunarstar asked.
“Well, you seem to know a lot about dragons,” Sebastian replied.
Now that Lunarstar really thought about it… she did seem to understand the Rapacious dragons… and know what to do…
“No. I’m just Lunarstar…” Lunarstar said disbelieving.
There seemed to be a long time of silence.
“Look… are we going to sort out a way of getting these crystals or not? You have two yeah? Well, maybe we could use them as bait?” Grace said, getting bored of the story.
Quickly moving off topic, they began planning the recovery of the crystals.
Chapter 19 – The Treasure Cove
After thorough planning, they now believed it would work and it would be an easy feat. The dragons seemed confident enough. Lunarstar still wasn’t sure whether to trust Sebastian the Rancour, but… it wasn’t like they had much of a choice. The sun was just beginning to set and they were about to leave for their territory. They soon realized there were not enough dragons to carry all the ponies, and, as Sebastian had to leave for the treasure cave, that left less. Starfire and Skyview volunteered to fly and glide, as they guess they would be quickest. The dragons took off with Starfire and Skyview. They were pretty surprised with their speed actually. Starfire was indeed fast, and Skyview easily kept up through winking. Lunarstar and the rest clung onto the backs of the dragons. She squinted through the fast moving wind, and looked at the moon. It was nearly full. The crystals must be retrieved tonight… and they had a to trek down to the gate. She didn’t want to wait another month for the moon to be full again…
The sky was pitch black after an hour or so of travelling. The dragons began to descend quietly. They glided slowly into what seemed one of the few woodlands in the Rancour area.
Lunarstar and the other ponies climbed off the dragons and hid in a nearby bush. She, Sea Breeze and Kaiser were rather bright in the night but the triplets weren’t, so they crowded around them slightly.
There were quite a few Rancours guarding the cave. They were roaring to each other. Not in a loud, or even nasty way, but it was kind of soft and peaceful. It was almost as if they were singing at the stars.
“What are they doing?” Lunarstar asked.
“Rancours like to take their feelings out on singing sometimes. It’s also a way to show their affection to each other, so show they’re not an enemy to each other. You’d think they’d fight for each other wouldn’t you,” Jenny said quietly, “It also makes the young ones feel safe, it’s like they’re calling ‘good night’ to them, like a bed time story I guess.”
“I’ll be off, I’ll see you soon,” Bruce said to them, and silently flew off.
There was along time in silence. Lunarstar thought something had happened… but there was the cue. A deafening roar that disturbed the peace of the quiet harmony broke through the night. The Rancours that were around the cave ceased singing, and turned. The roar shouted for help again. All of them took flight and dived for the noise. The remaining dragons and Lunarstar emerged from their hiding positions and went for the cave.
“Are you sure it’s this one?” Grace asked.
“Yeah, positive,” Bryan replied.
As they got near to the foot of the cave, they saw a gold and silver shimmer and glow. Lunarstar peeked her hair around. There was gold and silver and lots of coins littered inside the cave.
“I don’t even think Star Cluster has this much…” mumbled Starfire in awe.
“Only take what we came for,” Bryan warned, finding a green crystal behind a golden goblet.
Lunarstar found the purple and the orange crystal before long. Kaiser declared he found the red one, with the Triplets arguing over who saw the cyan crystal first.
They counted them, and they had five missing crystals. The ponies quickly put them in their bags, and quickly left the cave.
There was a distant roar.
“I hope Bruce is okay…” Jenny said worriedly.
“Don’t worry, he’ll be fine,” Bryan said quickly, looking around, “Okay, ponies, on our backs, now.”
Lunarstar was just crawling onto Jenny’s back when there was a spit of fire in the black sky. Suddenly, she, and Sea Breeze was knocked of their dragons like bowling pins. Dragons pinned each of them down. Tyrone finally descended, glaring at Lunarstar.
“…You again?” he growled.
“Yeah, me again” Lunarstar growled back, sounding braver than she actually was.
He snorted, with puffs of smoke trailing out as he moved to the other dragons.
“Where’s Bruce?!” Jenny shouted.
“What were you doing in our treasure cave?” Tyrone asked them sternly, ignoring Jenny.
“Hey! Where is Bruce?!” Jenny shouted again, even louder.
“Your brother is fine!” roared Tyrone, “But he won’t be until you stop talking, and others tell us why you were in our treasure cave!”
“We weren’t,” Starfire said, obviously know knowing what else to say.
“LIAR!” Roared Tyrone, facing him quickly. Starfire coughed from the smoke trailing from Tyrone’s mouth.
Lunarstar moved her head around, which proved difficult because of the Rancour pinning her neck down with one claw, and the rest of her body with the other.
Seb was keeping a firm grip on Jenny. She was squirming on the floor, but he was too strong for her.
Lunarstar’s heart sank. If anyone was going to help get them out of this, she thought it would have been him…
Jenny was asking for him to let her go, but he refused to even look at her. It he’d never even seen her before in his life.
No one was telling Tyrone the real reason they were in the cave, and Tyrone was getting restless. He had sent dragons into the cave, and they didn’t notice anything was gone to begin with. Tyrone turned, and went into the cave himself.
“THE CRYSTALS!” The roar echoed loudly from the mouth of the cave.
Suddenly, there was a light blue ball shield that surrounded the ponies, making the dragons bounce off them. The shield was very transparent, and seemed to swirl pink also. Lunarstar looked up. She was bounced off along with the dragons, except for Jenny, Bryan and Grace who were inside the force field. Lunarstar used her chance to run into the bushes nearby.
Tyrone jumped from the mouth of the cave, and landed in front of the pink and blue shield. He stood on his hind legs and started scratching and hitting the shield. All his claws did was bounce off. He began breathing fire onto it, but the shield was unharmed.
“Bring him down,” Tyrone growled, trying to keep his patience.
Lunarstar recognized the outline of Bruce. The dragon holding him stopped in mid-flight and held him with his front claws. The Rancour holding him then sped fast into the ground, in front of the bushes Lunarstar was hiding in, slamming Bruce in between.
Bruce roared in pain, as he must have been trying to defend himself while they were in the cave.
One of his wings seemed teared. Two dragons were pinning him down. One spat a fireball at him, and he winced.
“Let him go!” Jenny cried from behind the field. Her voice was slightly muffled but still loud.
“Return the crystals!” Tyrone shouted.
“No! We need them to get home!” Stardust yelled.
There was a moment’s silence.
“Then your dragon friend will be burnt,” Tyrone said. He seemed reluctant to say it, surprisingly, but it didn’t stop the other dragons from doing it.
The two dragons breathed acid hot fire onto Bruce. He screamed and squirmed for escape, but he was helpless.
Lunarstar cried and hid under the bushes more. She couldn’t stand it anymore. She couldn’t believe Seb turned against them, she couldn’t believe they’d do that to Bruce. Her anger took over…
Chapter 20 – The Great Dragon
Bruce was still screaming in pain. He felt like his skin had melted onto his bones. Then… it stopped. He looked up with squinting eyes. The two dragons burning him were both in the claw of a giant white beast. They were thrown to the ground like a couple of toys. Bruce was about to run, until he fell to the ground again. He was in too much pain.
The white beast blew a cool, white, misty substance from its mouth. It swirled its way around Bruce’s burnt body, and cooled the black marks. When the mist had gone, Bruce was his normal colour again, along with his wing being fixed. He looked up at the Beast. It had to be the Great Dragon. She had silver-like scales running from her neck, underneath her body, to the tip of her tail. She had white fur all from her body; with white hair running from her hair down to her back with large feathered wings and sharp green eyes. Her back was higher than a two-story building.
“Kesia… It’s Kesia!” Shouted a one of the dragons, “The Great Dragon! It’s her!”
Kesia took her eyes of Bruce, and looked at the others, with the force field.
“Are you alright?” Kesia asked the ponies.
They nodded in fear more then anything.
“Let them go,” she said to the Rancours.
“But, they tried to steal our crystals!” Cried one of the Rancours.
“YOUR crystals!” another Rancour said.
There was a second’s silence.
“They were not supposed to be made. They were an accident. I was dying. I couldn’t concentrate. They are no treasure. These ponies need them, and you are keeping it from them,” Kesia said. Her voice was surprisingly calm.
“But they belong to us!” Another Rancour cried.
“They belong to ME!” Kesia said, roaring at the last word, “Non of you dragons are my decedents, when I was gone, they belong to no one.”
Again, it was silent.
Kesia looked at the force field, “You can lower it now, Sea Breeze.”
Sea Breeze lowered it straight away, but shifted, as she felt very vulnerable.
“What about…” one Rancour began.
“When the time comes,” Kesia said dismissively.
There was another moments silence. Kesia’s body seemed to flash.
“You’re not going to harm them. Understand me? You will let them go” Kesia warned, looking at the Rancour’s.
The Rancours nodded silently.
Kesia’s eyes suddenly flicked to purple. A white veil surrounded her, and suddenly she sank to the ground, shrinking in size.
Lunarstar lay on the ground, hair covering her eyes, while the Hyonar’s and the other ponies ran to her.
The Rancour’s closed in, some looking menacing.
“You said you wouldn’t hurt us, you promised the Great Dragon!” Kaiser shouted.
Lunarstar slowly stirred and awoke. Her head was aching, but she kept her eyes open.
Tyrone walked in front of them, “Can’t she stay here? We need her.”
“No. I want to go home. Please?” Lunarstar pleaded quietly.
Tyrone sighed silently.
“Take the crystals and leave our land. We shall sort this rivalry another time. It is full moon in two days. We shall finish this when the ponies are gone,” he said.
Tyrone turned, and nodded his head, indicating for them to leave. They took flight to their homes while two dragons went inside the Treasure Cave to guard.
“Lunarstar, what did you do?” Skyview asked.
“I don’t know…” Lunarstar said weakly. She sighed, and fell to sleep.
Jenny slid her head underneath Lunarstar, and pushed her on to her own back.
“Come on, we have two days to reach Ponyland Peak. We’ll make it if we fly,” she said.
Lunarstar’s heavy eyes slowly opened. It was late afternoon. The cool air whipping her hair and rippling her fur.
“Welcome back Lunarstar,” Jenny said in front.
“What happened? How long have I been asleep?” Lunarstar asked.
“You tell me. You turned into the Great Dragon and saved us more or less. You have been out of it for over a day and a half. It will be full moon tonight,” She replied.
“I can’t remember anything. Is Bruce okay? Why did Sebastian lie to us?” Lunarstar asked as they descended. She had so many questions.
“He’s fine, thanks to you actually. You healed him some how, and Seb didn’t. Bruce was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. We pretended to be hurt, but there were more Rancours in the area. He wouldn’t have let him die, he just couldn’t take sides, and he can’t turn on his own kind. Any Hyonar would have done the same I’m afraid. Great thing being a dragon, eh?” Jenny finished as she landed with the others and Starfire.
They were outside the gate.
It would still be a few hours before the sun was going to set, and Lunarstar was still even wondering what would happen the second she walks through the gate. Would she even be home? Would the Triplets ever be nice to her again? Or would they still chase her? Would it even work to begin with…? Lunarstar sighed.
Kaiser looked around wearily.
“What’s up?” Skyview asked.
“I don’t like hanging around here on a full moon,” Kaiser said.
“Werewolves…” Kaiser whispered very quietly. Skyview was sure only he wouldn’t have been able to hear it.
Starfire lay beside her.
“Remember what I said when we return to the Earth Pony World. Wink and go,” he said quietly.
“Still loyal to Star Cluster then…?” Lunarstar asked.
“We are when we go through the gate. Who knows. Things might change after that,” Starfire smiled weakly.
Lunarstar blinked, and looked to the floor sadly, “It was nice being friends with you three though… See you later.”
Lunarstar got up, and followed Kaiser to the gate, which was now rippling like water, reflecting the newly risen moon.
“Thanks for everything Kaiser,” smiled Lunarstar, “And you too Sea breeze.”
“No problem. If I ever work out how to use it properly, we’ll try and visit,” Sea Breeze replied, smiling.
The Triplets walked up behind Lunarstar.
“I wouldn’t bother. They probably would have got be by then,” Lunarstar said, glaring at the Black Ponies. The ponies let the crystals out of their bags, and they joined together, to form another large one. It planted itself onto the top of the gate, and shocks of white milky electricity zapped from the inside of the arch. They were not sucked in like before.
“Bye Kaiser, bye Lunarstar,” Lunarstar smiled, forcing a smile. She could feel her eyes getting heavy.
“Bye everyone,” Sea Breeze and Kaiser replied together.
“Don’t worry,” Sea Breeze said. I bet we’ll see each other very soon,” Sea Breeze smiled. Her horn glew blue, and she turned into a wild unicorn.
Lunarstar ran through the gate, the triplets close behind her, and were out of Kaiser and Sea Breeze’s sight.
Chapter 21 – A Month Forgotten
Lunarstar and the Triplets were spat out of the Gate. The diamond at the top shattered, and the seven treasures were scattered.
Lunarstar looked up. Charades was standing in front of her, glowing. And so was she.
“What happened? Are you alright?”
Lunarstar got up on all fours and looked at him blankly.
“I don’t know.”
The Triplets were just standing up when they looked at her.
“Get the Princess!” Stardust shouted.
Lunarstar felt something prod her at the back of her mind. Wink.
Her horn glowed, and she and Charades were magically in their kitchen.
“Lunarstar, what happened? The gate sucked you in then spat you back out again. I’ve never seen it do that before,” Charades said.
“I did something over there. It wasn’t our home world. It was a different one! I can’t remember any of it though…” Lunarstar said.
“You may have just imagined it. You were in the gate for two seconds at the most, Lunarstar,” Charades said, “Maybe you should go to bed, we’ll talk about it in the morning. Maybe it’s just too dangerous for you to go out at night now. Especially on a full moon.”
Lunarstar looked at him, and returned to her room, and fell onto her bed. She couldn’t understand it. Something really important happened. What was it? Soon enough she fell asleep with her thoughts.
She was dreaming. About a white pony, with fluffy feet and light purple hair… and a white female you looked like Lunarstar without wings… and creatures with large scaly wings…
In the forest the Triplets were heading back to the shack arguing again.
“What really happened back there?” Starfire asked.
“I don’t know,” Starfire said, irritated, his headache starting up again.
“I know how you feel, I’ve got a really bad head ache too,” Starfire said sympathetically to Stardust.
“Yeah, sure you do Starfire,” Stardust growled.
“Anything for attention, Starfire,” Skyview mumbled.
As they approached the shack, they got in, and lay on their beds. Since then, Starfire never mentioned his headaches to anyone, and fell to sleep, dreaming about his brothers and dragons.
Meanwhile, in a parallel world, Kaiser and Sea breeze were talking in one of the fire lit living rooms of Dream Castle.
“Do you think they’ll remember us?” Kaiser asked after a moment’s silence.
“No. I think because it was started in their world it just reset for them. I don’t think they lost even a second of time in their world,” Sea Breeze said thoughtfully.
“What did you mean we’d be seeing them soon too?” Kaiser asked.
Sea Breeze smiled to herself, “It’s just a feeling I have. The Great Dragon will come back eventually…”