Alone in the Storm
"What do we do now?" Asked a worried and agitated Moonlight.
The two had returned to the room, but both were sure they wouldn't be able to sleep more, even the youngest couldn't stop jumping around the corner, a light silvery shining aura around her.
"I don't know. Not sure what happened, but I noticed something suspicious, maybe it's nothing."
"Of course it's something." Moonlight protested, slamming a hoof on the ground. "You don't have the senses and instincts like me, but I felt like he was a completely different pony."
"There were two shadows inside. Two identical shadows." Vanilla recalled. "But that's not possible!"
"Shadows can be distorted. But you're so used to living here that don't even notice, it's all sweet to you. But I have different senses, I can recognize Candy Ponies at distance by its smell, it was what led me there, but certainly that was not your father." Moonlight replied, stopping just in front of the window, startled.
"And who else?"
"I dunno. But I can't help worrying."
She let out a tired yawn and jumped into bed.
"You should go to sleep, it is getting late." Vanilla also yawned, realizing that her little friend was beginning to change somewhat in appearance, earning marks of dragon's wings and horns, things she said she normally didn't have on her transformation form.
"I can't help it. There is a mystery going on and I'm curious and scared at the same time. I lose control when it happens."
She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and tried to calm herself, then returning to normal.
Then they heard a knock on the door, Moonlight jumped in surprise.
"Girls, can I come in?" King Candy asked.
"Just a minute!" Vanilla shouted, then turned to Moonlight. "Moon, the tail."
The tail of Moonlight had turned into a dragon's tail, the girl covered it quickly.
"Come in!" She cried.
King Candy opened the door.
"I just came to apologize for the bit now. Things are a little strange tonight."
"No problem. Goodnight dad." Vanilla muttered.
"Good night girls."
He left, closing the door behind him. Vanilla turned to Moonlight.
"You really think there's something wrong?" She asked.
But her friend was already fast asleep. She herself was beginning to feel sleepy too and within minutes was asleep too.
Vanilla woke up the next day it was late and she felt a terrible headache.
Rubbish night. And that bizarre dream she had had. She had to avoid drinking so much Cinnacolate.
Moonlight was still deeply and peacefully asleep. If she knew her dream...
Vanilla approached her young friend, intending to fix the sheet that covered her, half of which was on the floor when she noticed... Moonlight had a tail. A dragon's tail! That wasn't a dream.
"Moon, wake up!" She called.
"Go away Astre." The younger filly muttered, throwing the pillow on her friend.
Vanilla rolled her eyes, grabbed the pillow, walked to the other side of the wall and threw it back on her friend.
To her surprise, Moonlight started crying. Now desperate, Vanilla ran to her side.
"Oh, come on, it's okay, Moon. Was just a joke, I didn't want to hurt you." She gently stroked the head of the younger filly.
Moonlight wiped her eyes.
"It didn't hurt. Just thought it was an attack."
"Well, isn't the better thing to do in an attack." Vanilla cannot stop commenting.
"Not in a like what mom thinks we're dealing in Dragonia, but the case here is different." Moon muttered. "I think it's not the kind of to little foals being killed."
Well, Vanilla had to admit, they were not dealing with something as serious there, she wasn't even sure if they were even dealing with something real, or only with Moonlight's imagination.
"Girls, time for breakfast!" They heard Princess Crystal, Moonlight's mother, call them from the door. "Moon, pack your things, we're leaving right after breakfast."
"I can't go!" Protested a worried Moonlight. "You'll be okay here?" She turned to her friend.
"Of course." Vanilla guaranteed to calm her friend. "But that's not is?"
"I don't want to go home with all this excitement. I don't believe in prophecies, but they're scaring me."
"Well, you could ask your mother to stay here. Told you that she wanted you and your brother stay away from Dragonia."
"Or, I could try to go back and get help for you. I have a detective friend who can help you."
"No. I don't want anyone else getting involved. If there is something wrong here, I can solve. Perhaps not alone, but I'm sure my friends would help."
"At least you have friends. I just got my brother, my parents and a few adults who care about me."
"You are still young and have a more normal life than mine. You'll make friends when you start studying, I'm sure."
"I don't know if I want to go to school. My mom wants to send me to a magic school in Canterlot, but I wanted to, for once in my life, do something normal."
"Girls!" They heard King Candy call.
"Better go down." Vanilla sighed.
"The first one to get down there get a chocolate!" Moonlight suddenly announced, as to forget the conversation they were having seconds ago, undoing the last vestiges of transformation that still retained since last night and jumping quickly into the hallway.
Vanilla nodded, laughing, and flew behind her friend.
"You think you can beat the best racer of Sweet Island?" She challenged.
Vanilla could be bigger and faster, but Moonlight was more agile. The two arrived together at the dining room, Vanilla did a loop and landed softly, Moonlight stopped skidding on the chocolate floor, narrowly missed colliding with the table.
"Ah, there you are!" King Candy said in an amused tone.
"What took you so long?" Crystal asked.
"I was talking to Vanilla..." Moonlight began. "I don't want to go home. Whether it really so dangerous, why can't I stay here?"
"Here it isn't the safest place for you, dear." Her mother replied sweetly. "Especially you and Vanilla have not so much sense to stay walking the halls at night, looking for treasures in the swamp..."
Vanilla had to admit, she and Moonlight had ventured far beyond what were the few times they met that year. There was no point in favor of them, but it was true. They had never before been in real danger, but that didn't mean anything to the adults.
"We never run in danger here in Sweet Island."Moonlight protested with a look that made Vanilla hold back a laughter.
"But now it's getting dangerous. Guards were attacked twice and Vanilla almost died the first time. This isn't one of your plays, Moon. In Dragonia or here or things are going to the brink of madness. And it's just the beginning, it will not stop until somepony does something, and that somepony will certainly not be two curious fillies." The princess replied, now serious.
"But, Mom..." Moonlight began to protest.
"No buts, young lady. Grab your things, we're going home."
"But what about the breakfast?" The girl still insisted. But before the steady gaze of her mother she preferred not to dwell more. "All right." She sighed.
Ten minutes later the girls were saying goodbye at the gates.
"Be careful."Moonlight muttered to Vanilla, upset about leaving her friend and having to go home.
"Don't worry. This story about war is making you go paranoic. There is nothing wrong. I'll be fine." Vanilla assured.
"I hope you're right. You're the older sister that I'll ever have. I don't want to lose you."
The two embraced.
"You're not going to lose me. You are also the little sister I'll never have a chance to have, so take care and don't get into trouble. I'll see you on your birthday."
Moonlight just smiled before following her mother to the port.
Vanilla still standed there, watching them depart, until she lose sight of them and flied back to the castle.
Vanila landed at the gates of the castle. She couldn't deny that she was a little nervous, not to say scared, even having denied it so many times to her friend.
"Relax, Vanilla." She muttered to herself. "You know how Moon is, always inventing stories. She's younger than you, little more than a baby, what she knows?"
But her confidence was down by water when he entered the castle. Everything seemed strangely dark and gloomy.
"Hello!" She called cautiously, but no answer. She ran through the castle that seemed empty and lonely.
All the color and glow that lit up the place always looked bleak. She advanced further until her father's, she realized the door was slight open, the sunlight coming through the window and exit into the hallway. But she also realized the voices coming from inside.
"No one will suspect anything, everything is going as planned." It was her father's voice, but seemed a little gloomy.
"Excellent." An unfamiliar voice answered. "I must say the new look suits you very well."
She noticed a tone of mockery in that last sentence. Tried to get a little closer to spy without being seen, but stopped to listen to the next sentence.
"But there's a problem. The little princess and her Dragonia's friend, I think they saw me, they're suspicious of everything, specially the dragon-girl." King Candy said.
"Don't tell me you're scared of two little fillies, Turbo." The voice taunted.
"Don't call me that!" He protested furiously. "This was all just a fake, you know. All that is over, and that's why I'm here."
"It was always because of race, Dusky? Are you sure it wasn't because of the power?"
"At the end it became the two things, but it was always a matter of justice. That candy rats should never have left the place they belongs in. They said their powers weaken off here, but nopony should believe everything they say. Then it became a matter of power, it was everything I wanted and look what happened."
"Now it's a matter of revenge." The mysterious pony laughed. "I like that attitude, that's why I gave you that chance."
"And I will not disappoint you. But about the girl... The other got back to Dragonia. If she warns Dragonia's army..."
"Dragon Hunters. They don't belong to this world, their descendants came from distant lands. Our mortal enemies. But don't worry, you don't know the prophecy? They already have their own problems, wouldn't afford to lose their best soldiers because of tales from two fillies. Regarding the other... Get rid of her."
"Absolutely." He replied.
Vanilla stepped back frightened. They were talking about killing her. She had to run, had to warn everypony, had to send a message to Moonlight, a letter to Princess Celestia, to do something.
She backed away, watching the door, until she felt somepony bump into her back.
She turned back quickly, startled, but the maximum that can silence but breathed relieved to realize it was just Bill.
"Bill! Glad you're still here! Gotta help me. Has an impostor in place of my father, he wants to kill me, is plotting something, we have to stop him!"
Gradually she began to realize that Bill was not alone, there were four guards with him, the police of the kingdom. She smiled. So he already knew everything? She should have guessed.
But she realized as the guards approached and began to retreat, frightened.
"Bill, what is it?"
"I'm sorry, princess. Orders are orders." Was all he said.
Vanilla didn't have to think to react, ran as fast as he can, even forgetting that she could fly.
The guards chased her as she ran, until she was trapped when two other guards appeared in front of her.
Dusky, even as King Candy, appeared behind them.
"Look, it seems like we took a pussy." He scoffed. "This battle isn't with you, girl. Give up and nothing bad will happen to you, for now."
"Giving up?" She replied, trying to sound braver than he really felt. "Never!" And with a quick movement she threw herself through the window behind her, immediately gaining her freedom.
Not for long. Soon she heard the baying of the hounds and then saw the guards that still haunted her. She now reached the Candy Cane forest, it was difficult to fly between the trees, but she couldn't stop, she was the only one who knew, the only one who could help.
She looked back again, two pegasi were almost reaching her. When she turned she saw the tree in front and managed to dodge it, not enough, her wing crashed into a branch, causing her to completely lose control.
The forest began to open, a dense fog began to block her view, as she fell toward the Chocolate Rock Canyon, the most dangerous place of all Sweet Island. But there was nothing she could do, and if she was to die, then so be it was better than surrender.
The two pegasus landed on the brink.
"We have to go after her." One said, staring at the fog that blocked the view of the canyon down there.
"We don't." The other replied. "The king wanted her dead, nopony would survive such a fall."
"Poor girl." The first one sighed.
"I know, but orders are orders."
"She would never do anything against us, it was just a filly!"
"Dragon's poison is dangerous. Said I welcome those strangers as friends was dangerous. King Candy just realized it now."
"A little too late."
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