Chapter 64:  A walk on the road

They had just finished dinner and were waiting for Raindrop and Whisper in big room. It was the day that Raindrop was going to show them around the villages to meet other ponies. Skyview was anxious to find some answers about the Castle from hte villagers. Stardust was anxious to find out what the rest of the valley looked like.
Raindrop walked into the room with Whisper next to her.
"Shall we go on that tour?" Raindrop asked smiling at them.
She led them all out of the house and past several trees following a narrow brick path to a dirt road. There wasn't any ponies on the road, it was disterted as far as they could see. There were clearing and meadows full of flowers on the sides fo the road. Some of the houses were hidden among the trees and forest, others were in large clearing with large crops. Skyview saw a few ponies in the field picking their crops. Other ponies stood outside talking or eating dinner.
As Raindrop and her guests walked by, the ponies stopped what they were doing and stared some even whispered.
Starfire walked behind Stardust with Skyview next to him. He couldn't help but notice that Skyview was watching the ponies as if he was listing to thier every word.
"What are they saying?" Starfire whispered.
"They're amazed that we all look alike. They find it hard to beleive that you and me are males," Skyview paused still listing to the other ponies. "Now they noticed Luna and wonder if her horn is fake. They can't beleive we're all real."
"That's not to surprising," Starfire muttered.
"What did you exspet they would say?" Skyview whispered.
Starfire remained silent, he knew Skyview was right. Everyone in the valley will be whispering about them and wanting to see them.

They walked far from the house, following the winding road and through the crossroads. They soon meet a few ponies on the road who smiled and stared at them as they past. Skyview looked to see if Raindrop and Whisper was looking, non of them even peaked back. Skyview winked in front of the ponies he had past surprising them in their tracks. Skyview smiled at them in a friendly manner.
"Ummm, hello. I'm Skyview. I was wondering if you could tell me about the King and Queen. Me and my brothers are rather anxious to meet them seeing how Raindrop is showing us around.."
"I'm sorry we can't talk about it," the female pony quickly told him.
Skyview looked at them curiously, "Oh? why is that?"
"Look, don't ask us about that place. Don't ask anyone. Now please would you excuse us?" the male pony bluntly told him. Skyview stood and watched as the male pony nuzzled his upset wife. It made Skyview wonder why? What did he say that was so upsetting? Why couldn't they talk about the castle?

Skyview decided he had better return to his brothers before anyone noticed he was gone. He winked back to his brothers just minutes before Raindrop stopped and looked at them as she continued talking about the ponies in the valley and how they live. Stardust was looking around, mostly at the trees and forest.
"Raindrop. There are alot of birds but where are the other animals?" Stardust asked.
"This valley is full of birds but you won't see large animals. There are mostly small animals such as rabbits which are about the biggest animals we have here. Now please lets continue. We have lots to see and tomorrow I can take you all to town." Raindrop told them.
"Mom, do you mind if I go see my friends?" Whisper asked.
"Go right ahead," Raindrop replied.
Whisper left and ran through the forest disspearing in the mist of the bushes and tall grass.

Skyview continued to ask ponies questions about the castle without Raindrop knowing. Every pony he talked to were upset, most cried and left him. Some got mad and tried to chase him away but Skyview noticed non of them wanted to give him an answer. They either couldn't or said they weren't allowed to say. The more Skyview talked to ponies the more he felt something wasn't right about the valley. Raindrop made it seem like everything was wonderful, nice and a peaceful place to live but what was everyone hiding? What was it that Raindrop wasn't telling?

They walked and introduced themselves to other ponies. The road they were on eventully led them closer to the castle. Skyview could see the detail designs on the castle. It was white with silver and gold designs on it. Skyview wondered why they called it Winterfall castle, they should have named it crystal castle for it's cryatal clear look. They walked to a large bridge that sat over a large lake. The water sparkled, not a single ripple moved in the water. It was calm and still like a mirror. They stopped and stood on the white and blue brigde watching the valley. Raindrop refused to glance at the castle although she did admit it was pretty and big.
"Well, It'll be dark soon," Raindrop told them.
"Do you mind if I stayed here?" Skyview asked, "The view is pretty."
Raindrop smiled, "Sure. Just follow this road or ask someone to show you back to the house."
"I'm sure I can find my way back," Skyview replied smiling.

As Raindrop led the group off the bridge, Skyview motioned Stardust back on the bridge.
"What?" Stardust asked curiously.
"I managed to ask the ponies we meet on the road about the castle and the royal family that lived there. Aparently the ponies refused to tell me anything about it. They cried and left or told me they couldn't tell me or wasn't allowed to. Either way I didn't get an answer from anyone," Skyview explained.
Stardust looked concerned, he turned and looked at the castle just beyond the forest and houses.
"Are you sure?" Stardust asked.
"Something in the valley is very wrong," Stardust told him.
"No kidding, I figured that when they left me crying," Skyview told him.
"That castle has been sitting there empty for centories. No Royal Family rules this valley. Someone made a rule about no one allowed near the castle and now ponies in this valley are not allowed to tell us anything," Stardust looked at Skyiew seriously. "Who is giving orders? Someone is still ruling this valley. Why are they hiding and what are the ponies hiding about that castle?"
"I have no idea but Stardust. What about the keys?" Skyview asked. "We came this far for them. Now we find this valley has a serious problem. We can't do both."
Stadust let out a deep breath, "I don't know, Skyview. I want to find out what's wrong in this valley and help set things straight and yet...those keys are very importaint too. I..I don't know what to do."
"Well, we just got here. Lets stay for a while and learn about that Castle. The answeres are in this valley. All we got to do is find it. Then you can decide what to do. Besides, Teriney is in the north, he's hasn't traveled anywhere else. I don't think we'll loose his trail anytime soon," Skyview replied.
Stardust turned from the castle, "Then find out what you can about that castle. Sneak around if you have to. Have Blizzard help you."
"What about Starfire?" Skyview asked, "I mean he likes Raindrop."
"I don't want to say anything to her that'll get us kicked out of her house, at lest not yet," Stardust replied. Then he left the bridge.

Skyview looked at the castle thinking and admaring it's beauty. He was deep in thought and had lost track of time. He wasn't sure how long he was standing there till he noticed a light purple pegasus with long wavy purple, pink and white hair. At the base of her tail was a bright pink bow, around her neck was a pink bag.
She stood and stared surprisingly at Skyview.
"Hi," Skyview called to her.
She smiled and walked on the brigde. She looked at his horn and then his hairy feet as if she wanted to be sure the unicorn was a boy.
"You are a boy...aren't you?" she asked.
Skyview smiled, "Yes. I am. At lest the last time I checked I was."
The pony giggled and smiled at him, "My name is Birdie."
"I'm Skyview."
"So...what are you doing here?" Birdie asked, "I mean on this brigde." She sat her bag down next to him nervously.
"Just watching the castle. It's quite pretty," Skyview answered.
"It curtainly is. The inside is just as pretty. I mean it's obvious, considering it's a castle," Birdie looked at the ground, "I mean why wouldn't it be?"
"You've been inside?" Skyview asked surrisingly.
"Yes I have. I just came from there. I'm the one who clean the place," Birdie answered looking up at him. She blinked and then turned away suddenly, "I'm sorry I...I can't talk about it."
"Why?" skyview asked curouisly.
"Please don't ask," Birdie muttered, she was about to leave when Skyview put his hoof on her shoulder.
"Wait. I'm sorry. Did I say anything that would upset you?" Skyview asked.
Birdie turned and looked up at him, "No you didn't. I...I just...can't talk about it."
"Well do you mind if I ask what's in the bag?" Skyview asked.
Birdie opened her bag and took out a feather duster, "Just a few of my things I use to clean the castle with."
Skyview took the featherduster and looked at it. It was a bit fancy for a village pony. The handle was black with golden design on it.
"So are you...staying here?" Birdie asked, "I mean in this valley."
"For a while," Skyview answered.
"So I'll see you around then, tomorrow or later or."
Skyview smiled at her, "How about soon?"
Birdie smiled, she could feel herself getting hot although she doesn't remember the valley ever getting hot before, "I must be going. I'll see you later...I mean soon." She turned and was about the leave when Skyview called to her, "Aren't you forgetting something?"
Birdie turned and noticed the feather duster he was holding.
"Oh, I almost forgot. I can't clean without it," Birdie explained. She took the featherduster and was about to leave when Skyview clled to her again.
"Birdie," Skyview called to her. She turned and saw the bag he was pointing at.
Birdie felt embarrased, she felt even hotter than she was a minute ago.
"I'm sorry," She picked up her bag and put her feather duster in the bag, "I'm not forgetfull. I'm really not. I...I'll see you later...I mean soon." She turned and ran, wanting to get far as possible from her emmbarassing moment.

Skyivew stood and watched her as he smiled. When the valley was getting dark, he too left the bridge and followed the dirt road to Raindrop's house.