Shadows and Dragons
Two months had passed. Vanilla was leaning on her bedroom window watching the sun set.
Beside her was an even younger filly, a very light blue unicorn with red and blue mane and a mark in the shape of a dragon 's claw on her right front hoof.
This was Moonlight Shoot, a little dreamy pony who spent her time observing the stars and enjoyed learning things with her mother, no matter what it was, so she was considered quite intelligent for her age. During the day Moonlight was the playful and adventurous kind of pony, who always loved new histories.
She didn't like her magic, saying she not rely on it as trusted concrete things.
"The sun sets, the moon rises, they all look, a few remember. Time passes, is approaching, few believe, nobody cares. But it's written in the stars that is coming, every day is like a minute, every year as an hour, a scary clock that announces the doom. From the tip of the horns of the end of tails and claws, dragons feel the nightmare approaching. Impossible to avoid, the cruel fate leads us to battle, light and darkness, only one will survive, or once and for all will the two fail." Moonlight muttered as they watched the moon rise.
"What are you talking about?" Vanilla turned to her friend, confused.
"An ancient legend of Dragonia, according to which a war between dragons and creatures of nightmare is coming. Only have a few more moons, everypony is getting restless. Mama is getting nervous and I think she would send me to the moon if she could."
"C'mon "Moon", no time to your jokes!" Vanilla protested, moving away from the window.
"It was just a way of saying that she wants to take all cost me and my brother far away from Dragonia." The youngest corrected her comment, without even turning around to face her older friend. "I don't like to believe in prophecies, but all this caution that adults are having is driving me crazy. I barely can get out in the garden without having at least three guards following me, magic protections everywhere, my parents want me learn a lot of things I honestly don't care about, like magic, I hardly see my friends and it's a miracle that my mother let me to come here with her." Moonlight sighed and finally joined Vanilla, who was lying on the carpet in her room, reading a book.
"I know how it is. Looks like what I've lived here almost since the accident. That makes two months, but my dad just doesn't trust me anymore, I hardly see my friends too, no races, no walks out... It's not like if an invasion could happen at any time resulting in a deadly war, but we live pretty much the same things."
"Your father doesn't want to send you away." Moonlight sighed.
"Your mother is only trying to protect you." Vanilla replied.
They were both silent for a while. At bottom both knew that their parents were somewhat certain, but neither wanted to admit.
"Well," Moonlight finally broke the silence, standing "better go down to dinner before they come looking for us."
Vanilla nodded, kept her book and followed her friend to the dining room.
Vanilla couldn't help thinking that she had no luck. It was always late at night, and always when she had visits.
It was around two in the morning when she woke up suddenly. After a few seconds silent, she heard the sound of someone trotting in the hallway.
"Not again." She whispered to herself.
She looked at Moonlight, her younger friend still deeply and peaceful asleep. She wondered about lookin what it was, or staying there. She decided to take a peek without leaving the room. She opened the door a crack and looked for anything suspicious in the hallway.
As before, what she saw was a shadow turning down the hall.
"No, Vanilla. It's none of your business. You'll get into trouble again. Be a good filly and stay in the room." She muttered and closed the door, intending to go back to bed.
'But perhaps you should at least warn your father.' She thought and looked at the door hesitantly. 'It can be dangerous.' Another part of her mind said. 'It can be dangerous if you don't tell him.' She looked slightly at her friend who was still asleep.
"Okay, here I go." She sighed and opened the door.
"Vani" Moonlight called in a whisper.
"Go back to sleep, Moon. I'll only take a glass of water." Vanilla lied.
"There's something strange out there. I felt." The blue unicorn muttered.
Vanilla looked at her and saw a faint silver glow on her sapphire blue eyes, and declined to comment.
"I'll just take a peek down there and tell my father. I'll stay out of trouble this time." The Candy Pegasus guaranteed.
"I'll come with you." Moonlight decided jumping off the bed.
"No. It can be dangerous!"
"Exactly. I'll protect you."
Vanilla couldn't help but laughed at the courage of her friend.
"Moon, you don't think you're a little too young to get out there "protecting" others?"
"I think. But with all this talk of "war", my parents and aunt Blade don't think so. I'm perfectly qualified to work on small-scale. Now if we find what disturbed my sleep, I advise you to run." The younger filly laughed, hopping down the hallway.
With a sigh, Vanilla followed her, she couldn't help noticing the unusual brightness of the mark in her friend's hoof.
The scene at the entrance of the tunnels also seemed to have repeated, Vanilla couldn't understand how it could happen twice in the same way, but then she noticed that Moonlight stopped and sniffed the air cautiously. Then she sneezed.
"It's a kind of sleeping gas." She finally said. "It's too weak to get on us now, but it's pretty powerful, fast acting, dissipates fast, is made with powder of blue lotus' petals, a rare flower of the fire mountains."
Vanilla stared shocked to Moonlight.
"What?" the yougest asked. "My brother is an apprentice of Forest Claws." She pointed, as if that explained everything.
"Whatever." Vanilla nodded, still confused but willing to get out of there ASAP. "We have to warn my father. Come on!"
She had to admit, she was getting scared and it was strange that Moonlight could stay calm and keep a smile on her face, though she probably was not thinking too much about what was happening, she was more the kind of 'enjoy the moment', not tarried much in the past, not much concerned about the future, only when something deeply startled her, but that was rare.
When they finally reached King Candy's room, they found the door open and the room empty.
"Maybe he's gone to see what happened." Vanilla suggested, relieved. "Let's get back to bed."
"Wait!" Moonlight asked, sniffing the air carefully. "I didn't realize it before because of the gas. Come with me!"
"Where are you going?" Vanilla screamed as her friend ran back to where they had come but without an answer, she had no choice but to follow her.
She started to get nervous as they approached the tunnel. Also beginning to feel a bit dizzy, but went on, guided by Moonlight's brilliant horn, the younger filly apparently followed some sort of trail, since she didn't knew the way through the tunnels, since she never has been there before.
"Moon, I think we shouldn't do this." She finally protested.
"Relax, we'll just take a look." Moonlight replied cheerfully.
"That's what I said last time, and you know how that turned out."
Moonlight said nothing. She was curious, she couldn't barely do take a look? In the end, King Candy was there.
The two stopped some distance from the door open, the light that came from it enabled them to see the two shadows, apparently identical, two unicorns fighting. They dared not come closer to find out what was going on, waited until one of the shadows cast a spell, dominating the other, for a moment both shadows disappeared from the view of two little girls, then King Candy walked out the door.
Vanilla sighed in relief and smiled at her father, but Moonlight put herself in attack position and growled low.
"What's wrong with your friend?" King Candy asked, surprised.
"Nothing. She's just a little nervous." Vanilla replied, poking her friend lightly, for her to calm down.
"What are the two doing here at this hour?" He insisted.
Vanilla was to tell the truth, when she noticed a strange neon green glow in his eyes, she swallowed and quickly changed her mind.
"Nothing. Heard noises, we were concerned, came to see what happened. We're already back to bed. Moon, come on!" She called.
Reluctantly, Moonlight followed her friend back to the room, hoping not to have been the only one who noticed that there was something wrong.