Chapter 15: Rule while we're gone

Early in the morning the royal family were in the dinning room having breakfast and talking but this time Stardust wasn't giving out orders or just simply talking.
"Well since we are all going, I'm going to need someone to stay and watch the kingdom for me while we're gone," Stardust announced.
"Ask Banner. He does watch the castle every time you leave it," Skyview told him.
"Banner is coming with us and so is Buster. I want my two best soldiers with me incase something happens on our trip," Stardust replied.
"Honestly Stardust, We're just going to the next kingdom," Royal Heart told him.
"And anything can happen on our way there. I'm not taking any chances," Stardust told her. He looked at Star Cluster, "Since you're not going, could you watch the kingdom for me?"
"Certainly not. Ponies hate me as it is. They won't like the idea of me ruling again. I will not..now or ever rule a kingdom again. I was stupid for doing it in the first place," Star Cluster exclaimed.
"I'm not asking you to rule, only watching the kingdom," Stardust told him.
"Same thing, watch..rule. Either way I will not do it. I'm sorry Stardust but...I don't want to go back to that again," Star Cluster replied.
"I'm sorry Star Cluster, I shouldn't have asked. I still need someone though," Stardust replied.
"Well...ask mom and dad. They'll be thrill to do it for you even if it is just for a week or so," Star Cluster suggested.
"That's a good idea," Stardust exclaimed happily.
Skyview glared at Starfire, "Why didn't you think of that?"
"You shouldn't talk. You didn't think of it either," Starfire replied.
"Skyview, pop over to mom and dad and ask them," Stardust told him.
"Now?" Skyview asked.
"Sooner you ask the sooner you can finish eating. We're leaving early tomorrow, so we'll be busy spending the whole day getting ready for the trip," Stardust answered.
As Skyview winked out, Luna wondered about her hair and crown, "Dad do I have to wear my hair up like this on the trip?"
"No but when we get close to the kingdom I want you to get ready and look like a Princess," Stardust answered, "Remember Luna, we will be on a trip, it will not be the time to play around."
"I know dad," Luna replied.

Skyview returned to the table smiling, "They'll be honored to watch the kingdom while your away and will be here first thing tomorrow morning."
"Wonderful. I want us all to get to bed early. Amaryllis the school will be up to you to take care of while I am gone. As soon as it's built announce the school opening and I want a report from the parents when I get back," Stardust told her.
"Ok," Amaryllis replied.
"Do you think you can do that?" Stardust asked her.
"I think I can, I'll have Star Cluster to help me," Amaryllis answered.
Stardust smiled and continued eating.

The next morning before the sun rose and the sky was still a little dark, the royal family left the castle with an army outside waiting for them. Stardust's parents watched as the army left the castle grounds. Stardust led them out of the castle gates and along the wall towards the forest. Royal Heart was next to him and Luna and Blizzard walked together next to Royal Heart. Skyview and Starfire walked on the other side of Stardust. Every soldier wore armor with a sword at their sides and a rolled up blanket on the other side. One of the soldiers carried the Queen and Princess's crown. Royal Heart had her hair up and Luna had her's hanging down.
"This is a bit too early," Luna commented.
"No it's just the right time. No one is out at this time so no one will have seen us leave," Stardust explained, "besides we have a long walk to King Birming's castle."
"Are we going to be the only ones there?" Luna asked.
"No, there will be other kingdoms and friends. It'll be great to have you and Blizzard visit another kingdoms for a change," Stardust answered.

The sun slowly peaked over the distant mountains casting shadows st soldiers followed Stardust through the forest. Blizzard was quite, most likely still thinking about his parents. Stardust and Royal Heart talked and walked close together. Luna enjoyed being in the forest again. Skyview was looking around the forest as if he was expecting something. Starfire continued to yawn. Luna listened to the soldiers hooves as they walked, it almost sounded like thunder. She looked back and saw Buster walking next to Banner. He smiled and nodded his head. Luna smiled back wishing she could talk to him but she knew she had to stay where she was and he couldn't leave his possession.
As morning past, Royal Heart was getting tired and decided she had to rest. Stardust stopped and all the soldiers stopped as well cracking a few nuts as they sat down.
Royal Heart sat on the cool grass and rested her tired feet. Stardust, his brothers, Luna and Blizzard sat down as well. Starfire just laid down feeling very tired.
"Didn't you sleep last night," Skyview asked him.
"Yup," Starfire yawned and closed his eyes ignoring Skyview.
Royal Heart laughed, "Let him rest for a bit, Skyview."
As they rested in the shade, a squirrel, larger than the usual squirrel was gathering nuts and putting it in her bag. She wore a straw hat on her head, one after another she picked up nuts till she came to Stardust who had a nut under his foot.
"Move!" the squirrel exclaimed.
Stardust and everyone looked, she was obviously not happy about her nut.
"I don't have time for this, get," the squirrel told him.
Stardust stood up and watched as the squirrel picked up a nut and putting it in her bag, then she picked up another one and another while moving Stardust out was the way. Suddenly he stepped on a nut cracking it to pieces.
The squirrel looked at him angrily, "Now look what you done! Leave before you all crack more. Cracked nuts are useless to me."
Luna stood up, "How can you be so...mean. There's so many, plenty for you to get..."
"Get!" The squirrel exclaimed, "You're wasting my time. Winter is almost here and I got to get nuts," Luna backed away from the squirrel.
"Stop! don't step on.." The squirrel began to say but it was too late Luna stepped on a nut and cracked it.
"Ahhh!," The squirrel cried, "Just..just look another cracked nut!" She walked towards Luna when Blizzard suddenly threw an icy dart at her feet.
"Don't take another step towards Luna" Blizzard warned her. He obviously didn't like the squirrel.
"Fine but I want you all to leave. Oh..the time. I'm wasting time. I can't have you all wasting my time and cracking nuts," The squirrel panicked, then she began picking up nuts, "Leave!"
Royal Heart stood up, "Lets go."
"Yes, get out of here and let me go about my business. Winter is close and I got to gather nuts," The squirrel told her.
Stardust looked at the busy squirrel, "Ok we shall leave." Stardust turned and began walking only cracking more nuts, making sure he didn't miss any. The soldiers stood up and began walking and cracking nuts.
"Stop!...my nuts!" the squirrel cried, "Your cracking them all."
Stardust was annoyed by the squirrel and ignored her as he listened to her cry for her broken nuts.
"Ummm. Dad, that...squirrel was talking and it...was rather mean. She could have asked us to leave or something," Luna told him.
"All Squirrels are like that. All they think about is gathering nuts and how close Winter is, never mind the fact it could be spring," Stardust explained.
"Luna," Royal Heart began to say, "There are some animals that can talk and some that can't. You'll meet some one of these days."
"I hope it won't be another squirrel," Luna replied.
Starfire yawned, "Talk about a rude awakening."
Luna and the others laughed as they continued on towards King Birming's Castle.