A/N: Hey there, readers. Frostbreaker is back with another good chapter for this story. In this update, you are going to see a lot of changes happen, so pay attention and try and keep up. This will set the pace for the rest of the story, so make sure the details are remembered. With that being said, I will simply say do not read too deeply into certain things...not now anyway. You will see what I mean. Anyhow, please R&R and let me know what you think.

To Alya Spruce - Well having a horrible case of ADD doesn't help, but yes...when I first began this story, my writer's block was running rampant. Yes...a wall was running. Tis quite a chore to get them to stay still, as they should.

To zsd brony - Glad you enjoy. Read on, my friend.

To TheUnknown6od - But of course. Read on and enjoy.

To FireBreath5150 - Well I am sure that you will be quite pleased with the way this story will go, so worry not. There will be minimal contact with the Mane Six, and characters are going to be very easy to keep track of. With that said, details will be important, so pay attention, and enjoy yourself. I recommend a nice cup of tea or hot chocolate, with some chocolate biscuits or toast and jam.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters associated with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, nor the original story.

Chapter 2: Cleansing Blade

The first thing I could hear as I awoke was the sound of my own breath, and then a very soft breathing coming from my right. I opened my eyes to see dear Cassie laying beside me on a bed, and while at the moment I was confused as to why I was here, I was glad to know she was unharmed. I leaned to my sister and gave her a soft kiss on the forehead before sitting up in my bed, noticing that night had fallen outside. Suddenly, it was as if the Ponyville Express had hit me as the realization dawned upon me...

The Element of Magic.

She was here, and more importantly, she had already met me...my, what a first impression I had made upon the young girl. Thank the stars that she did not know who I am, or else it could cause a catastrophe.

It had been years since the incident at the Summer Sun Celebration, but I was still confident that learning of my true heritage would cause the young mage to become fiercely defensive. It was no secret that the woman was rather suspicious of newcomers, and was rather impulsive in her tendency to overreact. I was sure if I absolutely needed to, I could defend myself, but at the moment it was not something I even wanted to entertain. It had been years since I had faced the young mage in combat, and I did not wish to do so again.

My wrath was for my enemies, and Twilight Sparkle was not one of them...not anymore.

Still, the young woman was very intelligent, so if I offered even the slightest inkling of who and what I really was, all would be undone before its time. I would not wish to place too much faith in the trust the young woman has for her mentor, as it could put immense strain on the relationship, or even break it...and that was not something I would do.

"Nightblade..." whispered a voice from my left.

I turned to see the princess of the night herself, Luna, facing away from me towards a window. Her presence within my chambers made me nervous for some reason. "Greetings, princess...w-why are you here?"

The princess turned her head to look at me in surprise. "Oh, you are awake."

I rubbed the back of my head a bit, which was somewhat sore. "Yes...I am."

She stared at me for a moment before adding, "To answer your question, Tia asked Us to. She was preoccupied with royal duties, and there was none other to watch over you as you slumbered." She then shot a mild glare my way. "As We have already explained, We do this for our sister...so do not look too deeply into our actions."

I rolled my eyes in frustration and sarcastically remarked, "Right, because I would never be able to see just how much you loathe me otherwise."

The lunar princess' glare hardened. "And what is that supposed to mean?"

Her increasingly hostile attitude caused my attempt at understanding to crumble, as I snarled. "I believe you are intelligent enough to know, princess."

My condescending remark caused her eye to twitch slightly in barely-contained anger. "You would do well to remember who you are speaking to, Nightmare..."

"That is Nightblade now, Luna...and you would do well to remember that." I shot back angrily. "I have tried to be cordial with you, tolerant, and even kind, but it has been nearly four years now, and you still treat me as an enemy...even after your sister has taken me under her wing as her own son." The princess attempted to speak, but I cut her off, not finished yet. "No...I have more to say, and you are going to listen." Her mouth shut in shock of my order, and she waited for me to speak. After a few moments, I continued with a sad sigh as I calmed down a bit. "You are a part of me, Luna...just as much as I am a part of you. Regardless of what you may think of me, that is the truth, and neither of us can escape that. Do you have any idea what it feels like for someone who is literally your other half to hate you? Imagine what it would feel like if Celestia hated you." The princess tried to hold a stern gaze, but I saw her face quiver for just a m\oment as her eyes filled with sadness, and I said, "Exactly...it would break you. Now you have a slight understanding of how I feel when you scorn me."

I could tell that my words had reached her, but her grudge did not abate. "The things you made me do..."

"Were a mistake, Luna." I finished sadly. "The person that did those things was me...but I made a mistake, just as we all do. We know better than anyone else that who or what we are does not matter...we all make mistakes."

"My 'mistake' was your doing..." the night princess responded coldly.

I chuckled darkly as I raised my gaze to meet her eyes again. "If you truly believe that your only mistakes were made because of me, then you have far more to learn than I ever imagined." I stood slowly and placed my hand upon one of the support bars of the bed. "We are all fallible, princess. It is a lesson you would do well to remember, as we live too long for knowledge simple as that to pass us by. My greatest mistake thus far is in letting my jealousy, rage, and greed overtake me, and thus, you. Your greatest flaw is that you truly believe that without me, you are perfect. No one is perfect, Luna...not even us. If you wish to live a truly enlightened life of wisdom, that is something you must keep in mind at all times. Your sister knows this, for if she did not, she would not care for me or you as she does. Do not hold to the standard of perfection that which is imperfect, and cannot be perfect." I sighed and walked over to the princess, standing beside her at the window as we both looked out over the city. "I have lived far longer than you have, princess. Once, many eons ago, I was my own being, much as I am now. It was by the curse of a vengeful unicorn that I was forced to become a disembodied entity, and those thousands of years in solitude and detachment drove me mad." I then turned my face to look at Luna, who was still staring out over the city. "I sensed the weakness within you, wrought by your emotional turmoil...and as any predator would, I pounced. You may believe otherwise, but I was once in fact a priest of the ancient gods of Equis, and bearing ill will towards any living thing was simply not something I was able to feel."

"Then why...?" the princess asked curiously.

I sighed and turned my gaze back to the view outside the window. "Insanity will make us into what we are not, princess. In both form and function, I am a shadow of who I once was...a mere shade of the light and joy I once served. The Elements of Harmony cleansed us both ‒ you of my influence, and me of my mental illnesses. It did not, however, wash away the memories that plague me. The guilt I feel for what I had done to you...it is something I will have to live with for the rest of my days, I fear." I again turned my eyes to the princess and added, "So if you feel the need to place blame on the one responsible for our actions, then place it upon me. True though it may be that your jealousy and hatred allowed me to overtake you, but our actions were not your fault. I chose to rise up against Celestia, I chose to bring forth eternal night." Finally, those twin cyan eyes looked back at my own, and I smiled sadly. "Someday soon I will announce to the populace the truth of who I am, so that their fear may be redirected to its rightful target...me. Though it may be too late to have your forgiveness for the sins I have committed against you, it is something I must do, if only for my own piece of mind."

I then stepped away and picked up my sword, which had been placed along with my belt upon the bedpost, and then turned around and muttered a "farewell" before leaving the room.

I arrived in the throne room some time later to see mother speaking with a few of the palace staff, but upon seeing me she quickly dismissed them and stood. "Good afternoon, Nightblade. Sleep well?"

I chuckled lightly and shrugged. "As well as one could after fainting in shock."

The sun goddess clasped her hand on my shoulder softly before retreating to her throne and eyeing me curiously. "Why were you shocked, exactly?"

"Let it simply be said that I was not planning on meeting my saviors anytime soon." I responded plainly.

Mother raised her eyebrow curiously and asked, "So you recognized her?"

"Her magic is unique." I replied with a sigh. "I would never forget it...it gave me my life back."

The solar princess smiled softly as she added, "And it returned my sister, and gave me a wonderful son. It appears we both owe a debt to Twilight." She then took a serious expression. "And what of Luna...is she still...?"

I nodded with a sigh. "She will tolerate me, but it is quite clear she only does so for your sake. I believe I have given her something to think on, however."

"Oh?" she inquired with a smile.

I shook my head and replied, "It is rather personal for her, so I will not divulge that information without her consent. I am sorry."

Mother considered this for a moment before smiling and nodding. "It is fine, my son. I of all people understand the need for privacy. I will ask her at a later date, when the tension is not so high." She then folded her hands in her lap and asked, "So, would you wish to meet Twilight again?"

I smiled and nodded. "I would. It would be wise to attempt to make up for our first meeting, in which I no doubt made a fool of myself."

The sun goddess placed her palm over her mouth to stifle the giggles that threatened to erupt, but quickly composed herself and nodded. "Yes, I believe it would be best to try the meeting again." She then looked to a guard near the large doors behind me and nodded. He nodded in return before leaving the room.

A few moments of waiting later, the guard returned...along with the Element of Magic. Even from my place of nearly one-hundred paces away, I could feel the powerful magic practically dripping off of her, but this time I was prepared, and so I merely smiled warmly as they both approached.

Mother approached as well from behind me, and stopped to stand by my side. As the young woman stopped a few paces in front of me, mother cleared her throat and smiled.

"Now, for a proper introduction...without the fainting this time." she began with a light chuckle. I glared at the sun princess, but she continued with, "Twilight Sparkle, this is my son, Nightblade. Nightblade, this is my personal protégé, Twilight Sparkle."

I did a slight bow of respect and greeted, "It is a pleasure, Lady Sparkle."

The young mage giggled and nodded. "The pleasure's all mine, Prince Night-"

"Please," I began with a wave of my hand, "no title. You are the famous Twilight Sparkle, who helped cleanse Princess Luna. If anyone is worthy enough to call me by name, it is you, Miss Sparkle. I thank you for your valiant efforts in protecting our world."

"O-oh my..." the young woman muttered, blushing furiously. After a moment of composing herself, she looked up at me with eyes of the most radiant violet. "W-well I appreciate your praise on the matter, but I certainly didn't do it alone. It's thanks to all my friends that I was able to pull it off. I'm just a single player in a much larger game."

The girl had quite a way of expressing things...I liked her already.

"As we all are." I mused softly. I then extended my hand to her, which she took without hesitation, and as was custom in times past, I gently kissed her hand in respect. Without thinking, I then whispered, "Thank you."

"For what?" the young mage asked curiously.

I stepped back and stammered out, "F-for doing such good for Equestria."

The mage eyed me curiously for a moment before smiling and nodding. "Well thank you, Nightblade. I appreciate that."

I composed myself and smiled as well. "It is an honor to meet you, but regrettably, I must be going. Fare thee well, Twilight Sparkle." I then quickly left the room and made my way towards the Royal Gardens.

I had been walking through the rather large hedge maze for hours now, just letting my mind wander. I felt rather horrible for leaving Twilight Sparkle so rudely, but had I not done so, I would have further made a fool of myself.


I feared the young woman for some reason, or at least it felt like I did, and I had no inkling as to why. By rights, I should feel naught but gratitude and respect for the mage, but for the first time in my life, I was actually afraid of someone...and it was a rather disheartening feeling. I thought it rather foolish that I reacted in such a way to her, but then there were many things these days I did not understand.

I pushed the thought of Twilight Sparkle out of my mind and instead focused on something more important: the coming solar eclipse.

Eclipses were nothing new to Equis, but they no longer were something to simply be awed and praised for beauty. After the assimilation of Discord into normal society, an outlet of sorts was needed for his chaos magic, or else it would build to the point of danger. And so, to sustain his need for entropy, on every sixth month, an eclipse would occur. During a lunar eclipse, we would be humans...

But on the day of a solar eclipse, we would become ponies until the next eclipse.

In honesty, it was not a large change. After all, all of us had originally been ponies in any case, but the worldwide change sated Discord's need for chaos. For most, it was no problem whatsoever, and after being explained by their princesses, all the people of Equis understood the need and went on with their lives, adapting to life as a human.

For me, however, it was different.

As a human, none knew who or what I was. I was simply another human, who just so happened to be royalty. As a pony though, I was to be feared. My black coat, cosmic mane and tail, and fangs saw to that.

I was the dreaded Nightmare Moon.

Or at least I was...before being given love understanding by a certain sun goddess. Celestia's infinitely understanding heart allowed her to see me for what I truly was, looking beyond what I had been and what I had done to her sister. She understood exactly what being cursed as I was had done to me, both mind and spirit...and she forgave me.

All the emotions from my past bubbled to the surface at that point, and I wept uncontrollably for days. Rather exaggerated by a normal person's standards, but I had been alone for many millennia before I found Luna, and even then, she was poor company at best. Not that it was her fault of course, but she was wallowing in misery because of the misguided belief that her sister no longer loved her. With all of that having been the case, when I was given a clear mind and a body again, many things washed over me. First was regret...regret for what I had done to Luna. The second was a strong feeling of loss. After all, my entire family and all of my friends were no longer present in this time. Had Celestia not taken it upon herself to watch over and care for me, I would be truly alone in this world.

After all, who would accept me otherwise?

"Six days." whispered a soft, nervous voice from beside me. I did not have to see the face to know who it was, and a moment later, I caught sight of Princess Luna beside me. "Are you nervous?"

A part of me wanted to shout at her for her seemingly nonchalant attitude after our argument earlier, while another side of me relished in the company. Instead of doing anything rash, I simply sighed and nodded. "I am more nervous than I ever have been, princess. Perhaps I should simply banish myself to the moon this time, so that mother will not have to do it."

The princess said nothing, and instead simply looked up at the half moon with me for a few long minutes. Silence reigned, with only the sound of the early evening crickets to break the silence, along with the subtle flowing of the Royal Gardens fountain.

"You were right..." whispered the princess, and as I turned to look at her, I could see the glistening of tears in her eyes. "You were right, about everything." Her bright eyes met with my own, and she drew in a shuddered breath. "I cannot hold you accountable for my own emotions...my own sins. It was not you who had come to hate sister...it was me. It was not you who entered a jealous rage, using your power as an outlet. All of that was my doing...you were simply the facilitator."

I turned my body to face the moon princess, and gently brushed the tears away before smiling and kissing her forehead softly. "Though frustrated I may have been, I never blamed you for your anger. Denial can make us do many things, and can warp reality itself." I gently wrapped my arms around the goddess, and felt as she leaned into the embrace. "As I said, you are my other half...I could never hate you or blame you for my own evils."

Princess Luna then pulled away from me and asked, "Can you forgive me for being so..."

"Prejudice?" I offered with a smirk.

She smiled and nodded. "That is as good a word as any."

I grinned as I released her. "Of course."

"I will stand by you on the day of the solar eclipse." she stated firmly.

"Truly?" I questioned with a surprised smile.

Princess Luna nodded. "If our people are to accept you for what you are, their deities must stand together with you...to show that no matter the storm your visage may bring, we will weather it with you."

I huffed in disappointment. "You make it sound as if I am a liability."

"I believe we both know just how much of a stir your mere image will create among the public." the lunar goddess commented dryly. She then placed her hand on my cheek with a smile. "But you are worth it. You have given sister a wonderful son that she loves, and have given Cassie a brother she can look up to and be proud of. More than anything though, you have shown that what we are does not make who we are. The hatred and fear will come...it is inevitable...but Tia and I will stand by your side the entire time." The princess then smirked. "That is assuming of course that you do not begin referring to me as 'aunt' Luna."

"As long as you do not give me reason to, I will not." I replied with a smirk of my own. "That means no water balloons in my bed, and no 'oatmeal on the door' practical jokes...oh, and no liquid rainbows in my soup."

She gasped at this and asked, "H-how did..?"

I shrugged. "We were together for over a thousand years, Luna. I know you better than I know myself."

She giggled and nodded. "Very well. Come...let us meet with sister for the evening meal."

I extended my arm to the goddess with a polite, "My lady." Luna again giggled before taking my arm and walking with me to the dining hall.

As the two of us entered the dining hall (much to the interest of the palace staff), we were met with the sight of mother eating a slice of cake in a rather voracious manner...and she stopped with her eyes slowly creeping over to us when she realized someone had entered.

The sun princess blushed brightly before wiping her mouth with a napkin and standing. Once she realized the position Luna and I were in, however, she smiled radiantly. "My...I cannot tell the both of you how happy this makes me."

"Nearly as happy as it makes me, mother." I replied with a generous smile. I then pulled out the chair for Luna and seated her, before seating myself beside her. "It was a rather uncomfortable start, but it has worked out beautifully."

"Indeed Tia." Luna added with a smile. "We have come to terms with the past...as well as the future."

The day princess raised her eyebrow with a smile. "So during the eclipse...?"

I nodded. "Luna will stand beside me. I worry no more with the two of you at my side...and I am confident Cassie will as well."

"As am I." Luna confirmed. "We are prepared for the hardship, and will face it together...as a family."

The sentence sent a delightful flutter within me, and I could not help but smile as I lovingly looked to the two women. "Thank you...both of you."

The evening meal was wonderful that night. Never in my life had I felt more accepted, more loved. Even Cassie's appearance to bid us all goodnight was a joy in itself, as her face instantly lit up in happiness at seeing Luna and I happily sitting beside one another.

As the night wiled away, it left Luna and I relaxing on the vaulted roof of the throne room, looking at the stars, hand in hand. Perhaps it was the warmth of her hand, or perhaps it was just the happiness of knowing that Luna had accepted and forgiven me. Whatever the reason, I knew that I wanted to be in contact with her as much as possible. After being separated from her for so long, I did not realize exactly how much I had missed the closeness. There was nothing to be lewd or indecent about the contact on either of our accounts...it was just simply the fact that we were literal kindred spirits that were reunited, and the contact felt as if it grounded us to the world we lived upon.

After an hour or so of silence, Luna scooted over to me and looked up at me questioningly. "Nightblade?"

I turned my face to the princess and smiled. "Yes Luna?"

"I..." she began, only to swallow nervously before continuing, "I wanted to thank you...for showing me my error. It is rather unbecoming of a princess to hold so petty a grudge as I had...even after Tia willingly accepted you."

I shrugged with a smile. "It is of no consequence, Luna. It would be untrue to claim I was not frustrated with the length of time I had been forced to wait for you to realize your mistake, but it is in the past. What is important is now, and the future. Our past may have helped to mold us, but it does not rule us." I nudged her gently with my elbow as I added, "Your loving attitude towards your people is proof of that."

Luna leaned her head against me and sighed happily. "I have Tia to thank for that. I learned such behavior from her. As you well know, such behavior is rather unnatural for me. I love our people, but I find it more comfortable to do so from afar, for fear of making a fool of myself."

I chuckled and placed my free hand behind my head. "Armsmaster Shining Armor has more than enough stories to tell you about my own foolishness, Luna. If ever you are feeling insecure, simply ask him to tell you of my first sparring session with him."

The princess giggled and nodded. "I will keep that in mind should I need cheering up."

"Princess Luna! By the moon, I finally found you!" shouted a young male voice, followed by gust of air as the guard landed. "I feared the worst when...oh." The guard then blushed a bit. "Am I...interrupting something?"

Luna sat up off of the cool roof and shook her head. "Not at all, Trailblazer. The prince and I were simply reconciling our differences in the night air. I apologize for worrying you so."

The youthful lunar guard smiled and shrugged. "It's no problem, your majesties. I simply ask that next time, you let one of the lunar guards know where you will be, even if simply to sate our need to keep your location secure from a distance." The guard then looked to me. "As the prince knows, the world is not completely at peace, and an assassin could ambush you."

I let a smug grin cross my face as I responded, "If an assassin can approach and best me, he deserves to take our lives."

The guard smiled at this and nodded. "I understand, Prince Nightblade. Will the two of you be coming down anytime soon?"

"Actually, it is getting somewhat cold." Luna murmured.

I nodded to the guard. "Yes...we will meet you on the ground, Trailblazer. Thank you for keeping our well being in mind."

"Tis my duty, highness." he replied with a smile. The guard then spread translucent gray wings from under his cloak and took flight.

I stood up on the roof and offered my hand to Luna. The two of us spread our wings ‒ mine of black, and hers of evening blue ‒ and took flight into the sky, heading towards the private quarters of the palace.

For the first time since my return from the moon, I found myself in Luna's room. It was rather spartan in comparison to her elder sister's room, though it held a sort of simplistic charm to it. The walls and ceiling were painted a blue that matched her eyes, and the plush velvety carpet was a soft midnight blue, like the coat of her pony form. There was a single desk, large round bed, a few sitting cushions here and there, and a wardrobe. The only item in her quarters that was not simple, was the bookcase. It was solid oak, and held dozens of books on astronomy, biology, psychology, and even a few novels.

I now understand how Luna spends her free time.

Tonight, however, she spent the progressing night speaking with me about anything and everything. Our pasts, our upbringing, and our hopes and dreams for the future. There were many times that her presence gave me the strength to tell some of the more painful memories of my life, and her comforting aura lulled me into a state of happiness that I had only known when spending time with mother or Cassie.

Now, I had Luna as well.

Contrary to the rumors that circulated around Equestria, Luna did not spend the entire night awake. It was a rumor that we had all allowed to continue, as Celestia believed it would cause quite a stir if our subjects knew that although she did require less sleep than her sister, Luna did sleep through the night, just as everyone else did. A rather foolish instance to be upset about, but our subjects could be rather unpredictable in that sense...so we allowed them to believe what they wished, and the guards were sworn to secrecy.

And so, as Luna slept beside me as I sat against a cushion and read a book, I could not help but imagine what sorts of things our people would fabricate regarding us if they knew of our decidedly "normal" behaviors. We all could tire, we all felt fear and sadness, and we all could be killed, though it was rather difficult to do so. Still, it reminded me of exactly how much like our people we were, and it was one of the many things that allowed me to remain grounded to this world, and the mortals that we oversaw.

As the hours passed by, I was nearly startled by a soft knock at the door, and I instinctively brandished my sword before standing and approaching. I opened the door just a crack to see the sun goddess on the other side, along with a smile on her face.

"Good morning, Nightblade." she greeted. Mother then realized the place I was in and raised her eyebrow in confusion. "Might I ask why you are in Luna's chambers?"

I looked back at the sleeping princess and then turned my attention back to the worried sister. "She asked me to stay, so I stayed. Many times I attempted to leave, but as soon as I would approach the door, she would awake and call for me."

"Nightblade?" Luna called worriedly.

I felt as the night princess brushed against me, and I simply grinned at the elder sister. "See?"

The sun goddess smiled and looked to her younger sibling. "Good morning, Luna. Did you sleep well?"

Luna craned her neck to peek around the frame of the door at her sister. "Yes Tia...wonderfully."

Celestia nodded with a smile and gestured to the two of us. "Both of you groom yourselves and dress in clean clothes, then meet me at the Twin Pedestals. I shall meet the two of you there."

As mother left, I noticed the very curious glance she gave me, but simply it must have been due to the startling speed with which Luna and I forgave each other.

Before my mind could dwell further on the matter, I respectfully excused myself before making my way to my own quarters.

After thoroughly cleansing and grooming myself, I arrived at the Twin Pedestals within the Royal Garden to see Luna and mother already gathered, the two sipping a beverage known as "coffee" and chatting happily.

It was then that the solar goddess noticed my approach, and she sipped her coffee with a smile. "Hello again, Nightblade." She then looked to her sister from across the platform. "Are you ready Luna?"

"I am, dear sister." Luna replied happily.

I watched as the two of them drew their swords ‒ the same two used during Shining Armor's ceremony ‒ and pointed them into the sky. Luna pointed hers towards the moon to the west, while mother pointed her gleaming blade towards the brightening east. I was awed by the sight of two differing magical auras firing off towards the horizons as the princesses held their blades out in front of them, as if pointing to an unseen enemy.

Slowly, the moon set behind the western horizon, and the bright sun rose in the east, casting the first light of day across Equestria.

The two princesses sighed as their auras of magic dropped, and they sheathed their blades before turning to me.

I smiled brightly at the sight of the morning and clapped softly in praise. "Very well done, princesses. A perfect beginning of the day, if ever there was one."

Both of them did an elegant curtsy before smiling. Celestia then approached me and embraced me lovingly before asking, "Would the both of you please join me in the dining hall? We have some things to discuss before I must depart."

I nodded with a smile. "Ah yes, you are to travel to meet with the master shaman of Zebrica, yes?"

The multicolored hair of the sun goddess wafted in the breeze as she smiled. "Yes. I will return before the eclipse, so worry not." She then gazed directly to me and added, "Luna will take over my duties for the next few days, and I ask that you assist her with whatever she needs, Nightblade."

I smiled and nodded. "It would be a pleasure."

The sun princess nodded curtly with a smile. "Good. Then follow me and we will have breakfast together before I must leave."

A short time later, the morning meal had been finished and we were seeing the day princess off, while she explained our duties and what we could expect.

"Now today will be rather calm, save for the fact that Luna will need to attend a few day court cases beginning at noon." she explained as she made sure all of her necessities were being brought. "My personal assistant, Silver Lining, will provide both of you with the schedule of different things you must attend to. Nothing too difficult, I promise, but important nonetheless." She then stood and placed her hands on her hips, nodding in satisfaction before turning to us. "Well then, it appears I am ready. Now, I ask that the two of you watch over Cassie for me."

"That goes without saying, mother. She will be protected and will not be lonely. That I can promise you." I assured gladly.

"Indeed." Luna added with a grin. "Cassiopeia will be well tended to, sister. Worry not."

Mother smiled before giving us a tight embrace and kissing us both on the cheek. "Good. Keep each other safe, and enjoy yourselves. I will return soon, and will bring a souvenir of some sort from our friends in the savannah." The sun princess then climbed into the carriage and closed the door, waving farewell to us both before the two guards that pulled it took to the sky.

As the royal carriage faded off into the distance, Luna turned to me with a concerned expression. "You did not sleep at all last night, did you?"

I shrugged with a grin. "Many times I will go without sleep for two or three days, Luna. It is of no consequ-"

She interrupted me by shaking her head and yanking my arm down the corridor leading to the private quarters of the palace.

My door was opened and then closed, with Luna pointing at the bed after pushing me upon it. "Dress into your pajamas and sleep. I am not taking 'no' for an answer." In a flash, she had removed my sword, belt, and jacket before I pushed her away in embarrassment.

"Luna, I am quite capable of undressing myself, thank you." I grumbled.

The night princess giggled and smiled. "That may be true, but you are apparently not capable of knowing when you must rest. Long-lived though we may be, we still must sleep." She then stepped forward and placed her hand on my chest with a soft grin. "When you wake, come and find me." She then stepped away and began to exit the room, but paused at the door and uttered a soft, "Sweet dreams, Nightblade."

After the princess left, I quickly changed into soft silk pajamas before lowering myself onto the plush bed.

Luckily, only a few thoughts ran through my mind as I allowed myself to begin resting. The most prominent was the complete reversal of Luna's demeanor toward me. Through our reconciliation and forgiveness of each other, a door of sorts had been opened within my heart, and I once again felt whole. The night with her, for example, was simple and yet special. It marked the first rather large step in repairing and furthering a strong positive relationship with each other, which was something I was keen to do. After all, we royals were a part of a grand machine, and if two parts did not work together, the entire machine could destroy itself from malfunction.

As my eyes began to close and I felt the familiar lightheadedness of sleep begin to overtake me, I smiled at the thought of my life becoming infinitely better, and hoped that with time, such a bond would allow for great things in Equestria, and for her people. Finally my eyes closed completely, and the smiling face of Luna was the last image to be seen in my mind's eye.