Twilight Sparkle stepped out of the study hall that was part of the library at Canterlot Palace. Ever since she had been specially chosen by Princess Celestia to study advanced unicorn magic, she has literally living the dream of her young life. Her parents looked upon her with a special pride that no one else could. She knew, right then and there, that she had really made them proud.
But, even the brightest students need to take a break from her studies, now and then. This is what she was doing right now. She had been studying extra hard, learning all there was to know about every single magic spell a unicorn like her can cast. Every night, she had to file a report to Princess Celestia recapping what she had learned that day. She made sure she learned every new spell correctly so as not to disappoint her most favourite Princess in all of Equestria. She also wanted to be ready, in case the Princess should ask her for a demonstration.
She cantered up to an open window across the hall, put her hooves up on the windowsill and gazed outside. She sighed contentedly as the warm breeze hit her face and flowed through her mane. It was early spring, and it was unusually warm. Pretty soon, it will be summer, she thought to herself, where I will be able to spend more time outside reading and studying.
She sighed again as she gazed out upon the scene of the Royal Gardens below. Several gardener ponies were milling about, here and there, making sure the gardens were immaculate. Princess Celestia always asked that they be kept in pristine condition.
She was so mesmerized by this scene that she failed to notice the ten foot tall or so bipedal red dragon saunter up to her slowly, with his hands behind his back. She let out a gasp when she finally noticed him. "Ambassador Kark!"
"I didn't mean to intrude!" he said in his deep voice with his hands outstretched, almost begging the filly to stay calm. "I was just passing by. If you want to be alone, I can continue on my way. On the other hand, if you want some company, I can oblige." He smiled brightly.
Twlight thought about it for a moment, then said. "A-actually, I would like some company."
Kark smiled again. "Me, too." He said as he joined her by the window.
Ambassador Kark's actual name was Karkovice Drake, and he hailed from the Dragon Dominion of Draconia. He was stationed at Canterlot Palace as official Ambassador for his people only a few years ago; and as such, participated in all official functions where his presence was required.
He stood ten feet tall, had a wingspan of approximately twenty feet in length, was bright red, and weighed about two tons. Quite light, for a dragon! His plated underbelly was had a little bit lighter red hue, almost pink. He had two horns protruding from the back of his head that were jet black in colour, and slightly curved upward about three quarters of the way to the very tips. He also had equally jet black claws on his hands and feet that he kept filed down in order to keep then dull. Pointy claws can be quite sharp, and the last thing he wanted was to accidentally hurt some pony with a sharp claw. The spines in his batlike wings were also as black as night!
But the most striking feature on him were his brown eyes that were more ponylike than dragonlike, which was a very unusual trait. Twilight Sparkle always wanted to make a point to ask him about that, but kept forgetting. She suspected, however, that he had some distant pony ancestry. Everybody else she knew wondered the exact same thing.
She spent a lot of time with Kark, for he also acted as her tutor in the fields of astronomy, science and languages. He was quite fluent in "Fancy"- a language, he said, he learned from his mother. Twilight, though, thought the language was quite difficult to master; and she rarely spoke it, except when Kark tried to tutor her.
Kark was quite knowledgeable in a lot of things. At nearly four thousand years old, he was close to middle age, for a dragon. He had been around for a very long time! Twilight had come to think of him as a surrogate father, almost.
Pretty soon, though, he would also act as Mentor to the young baby dragon Spike; whom she had helped hatch from his egg only a few short months ago with the help of her unicorn magic. She had grown quite attached to the infant dragon, and he was already helping her carry the many books she had to read, from time to time.
"It's nice today. Very calm." Kark commented after a few moments of silence.
"Mmm hmm." Twilight muttered in response.
"How are your magic studies progressing?" Kark asked.
"Great!" Twilight smiled. "Learning a new spell every day!"
Kark chuckled. "I figured as much. You certainly have the gift for it. I've never seen the like!"
Twlight remained silent, as she continued to gaze out onto the scene of the gardens.
"Have you ever actually been out into the Royal Gardens?" Kark asked, noticing Twlight's gaze.
Twlight shook her head. "Unh unh."
"It's nice out there, during the day. Care for a stroll?" Kark smiled.
Twilight gazed at him and returned the smile.
A few minutes later, they were both walking around in the gardens side by side. Kark was pointing out several things to Twilight as they went, while the gardener ponies were feverishly going about their assigned duties in keeping the gardens in pristine condition.
"I like walking out here during the daytime. I find it relaxes the body, calms the mind." Kark would say.
"Ah!" he then said as he pointed something out. "There's the entrance to the maze! I almost got lost in there once. I actually had to cheat and fly up to see which way was out." He said, unconsciously flapping his wings.
Twilight giggled. "You certainly know a lot of things, Ambassador!"
"Oh, please! Call me 'Kark'. All my friends do." He smiled.
Twilight smiled and nodded. "Ok."
Kark sighed. "It's true that I do know a lot of stuff; but there are still many things in this world that I still don't understand."
"Like what?" Twilight asked.
"See that fountain over there?" Kark asked in return as he pointed it out.
"It's beautiful!" Twilight commented as she admired it.
It was, in fact, a beautiful multi tiered garden fountain made of pure white marble stone that emitted an intricate pattern of water spouts that was actually quite mesmerizing. At night, it was lit with multi coloured spotlights that made it seem almost magical to see.
"It certainly is!" Kark said in response as he smiled. "In fact, that's its purpose: To beautify the gardens. Be a centerpiece! But, I have absolutely no idea how it works; however, I do know the reason for it to work."
Then he turned to face Twilight. "Just like I have absolutely no idea how you're able to do some of the things you do. But I do know that there is a reason for it. You have a singular gift, Twilight! And someday, you'll find out what the purpose of that gift is!"
Twilight sighed. "I certainly hope so."
"Come on." He said softly after a few moments. "We should be getting you back to your studies."
With this, they both strolled back towards the palace.
"Kark?" Twilight began. "There was something I've been meaning to ask you."
"W-why are your eyes like those of a pony?"