The last solstice
Chapter 5: Those purple eyes
Nocturnal Mirage is startled from his sleep by a sharp clashing sound.
“What?!” the dark blue stallion sits up in his постель, кровати rapidly.
He looks around in the large room. It takes him a few секунды to realize where he is. Oh, that’s right… you’re here again…
he acknowledges. There’s an opened book on his belly. He fell asleep Чтение it.
The sound of breaking glass brings him back to reality completely. Mirage shakes his head and puts the book aside. He hears it again. Glass clashing against marble.
“Gosh darn it! The third night in a row!” the cobalt earth пони complains, rubbing his eyes. Then he hears it: the voice of the Princess...
“NO, NO NO!!!!” she shouts very loudly, almost reaching the regions of the Royal Canterlot Voice.
The sounds of rumbling come through the door. The Princess screams again. This time, her voice is utterly different. So… unearthly… so ambivalent. Mirage can hear the traces of infinite kindness and warmness, but something else is there too. She sounds like a trapped animal…
Mirage trots out to the corridor and places his hooves on Celestia’s door. He presses his whole body against the wood as he listens and tries to reconstruct what’s going on at the other side.
“IT WAS AN ACCIDENT, I DIDN’T KNOW, I DIDN’T KNOW!!!” Celestia yells suddenly foaming with rage and smashes something fragile against the wall.
Her voice comes from so close, that Mirage recoils in shock and quickly takes a few steps back. The noise dies out, menacing silence settles down on the Ivory Tower. The stallion lies down and tries that little gap between the door and the floor again. Somehow he does not surprise when he spots the familiar pair of snow white hooves. They are luminescent in the darkness. Mirage peeks inside through the keyhole.
He somehow knows that Celestia is aware of his presence. In the Далее moment, the blood freezes in the earth pony’s veins, because he looks directly into a pair of purple eyes through the keyhole.
Those purple eyes... they penetrate Mirage's soul with just one glance...
Those purple eyes... they narrow as their owner examines the earth пони from вверх to bottom, on the outside, and
on the inside.
Those purple eyes... nothing can be hidden from them.
Those purple eyes... they become larger and larger until they fill Mirage's entire vision. Nothing else exists as the stallion gazes into them. And Celestia allows him to.
Those purple eyes... a delirious flame dances in them, whirling, spinning, like a raging, fiery tornado.
And yet... those purple eyes... are quite soothing. Friendly warmness radiates from them. Infinite knowledge and wisdom... passion...
Those purple eyes... Mirage cannot endure looking directly into them, but he feels he cannot look away. That mad flame becomes еще and еще overwhelming; the earth пони feels he's witnessing a вулкан eruption. His royal blue пальто bristles up. He can even feel
the heat. But he can't look away.
Those purple eyes... the pupil suddenly shrinks to a size of a pin and the Princess lets the stallion go. She disappears in the inner sections of her suite.
Mirage gets up and backs away into his own suite as quietly as possible. The experience lasted only for a few seconds, yet it felt like ages to him.
Those purple eyes will come back in his dreams to haunt him.
“Nocturnal Mirage, welcome!” The Princess of the Night says warmly and offers the stallion a seat.
“What can Ты tell me?”
“This shift was undoubtedly еще eventful, than as of the Назад weeks. Although she had no special requests, the Princess was screaming three nights in a row. I’ve also heard noises that indicate she’s been tearing up the interior. Last night, beside the… err…” Mirage clears his throat and collects his thoughts together.
“…usual outbursts, she spoke coherently. I was able to pick up the word »no«, and then she shouted, quote: »I didn’t know, it was an accident«. After this I’ve heard a strange sound, galloped to her door and idled there for approximately four minutes. The Princess stopped screaming and rampaging, and I thought she might be hurt, but I’ve heard hoofsteps from the inside. On a personal note, I believe the Princess was aware of my presence. That is all your Majesty.” Mirage finishes the report, leaving out the those purple eyes.
“I see. Good work, Nocturnal Mirage as usual. Keep me updated. Enjoy your week!” Luna replies.
After the stallion leaves, another door opens and a розовый mare trots inside.
“So, what did he say?” the new arrival inquires.
“It seems, Celestia’s weakening. It’s been ten years, but she still blames herself and lives through the disaster over and over again. I fear we haven’t got much time left. Are Ты sure Nocturnal Mirage will get the work done?” the cobalt alicorn asks.
“Trust me. I’m the Princess of Love. I know a lonely soul if I see one. They are very much alike. He’ll break through to her, I’m certain of it. I wouldn’t have suggested to Shining Armor to recruit him otherwise.”
“I hope you’re right Cadence. For the sake all of us... for the sake of Equestria.”
“That’s it, we’re officially screwed…” Mirage murmurs to himself, standing in front of the bookshelf.
For the past few weeks he’s read all of the adventure books, horrors and sci-fi he could find in his own little library. When he was out of pulp fictions as well, he turned to history books, then to astronomy.
At first he was reluctant, but once he got the taste of it, he could not put it down. Now that he finished the Книги off, he realizes he wanted to read more. He was about to call down to the staff via the speaking tube, to rent a few tomes from Canterlot Archives, but a sudden idea made him change his mind.
The royal blue stallion thought about it for an entire day. The memory of those purple eyes still lives vividly in his mind. Hmm… she’s calm nowadays… she doesn’t pace around или scream at night… I bet the Princess has the greatest, rarest tomes in her private library… Ah, what the hay, I’ll risk it. I got nothing to lose…
The solar alicorn lies still. She doesn’t Переместить for hours. She just gazes at the Equestrian landscape. She lets her eyes feast on the sight. Canterlot in motion. This is her legacy. She’s been in the same room for ten years. She will never come out. Nopony can see what she’s become. NOPONY. EVER.
She rubs her right cheek. It burns. Such as her right hoof. The grimace of pain distorts her features. The sun goddess stands up. Even in her misery, Celestia is graceful. Her regal, dainty figure resembles her old self. A respected and loved ruler, a happy mare. But that was before… until that day… that день changed everything.
A careworn sigh escapes her chest, as she moves closer to the window to enjoy the sunlight a little. But, she’s always careful, so nopony could see her. She grabs her long, billowing mane and covers her entire right side with it. Old habit. She can’t help it.
Celestia closes her eyes and spreads her beautiful wings, covered with feathers soft as silk. She stretches out her torpid muscles. A pleasurable tingling takes over her senses. It feels good. She toys with the thought of opening the door to the balcony and bathe in the sunlight… oh, it’s so tempting… NO! Somepony might see me! They can’t see me! They can’t look at me! They’ll think I’m a monster! I’m not a monster! I’M NOT A MONSTER!!!
A sudden burst of anger overwhelms the white alicorn. Shhhh, calm down, everything’s going to be fine…
Celestia exhales for some length. The voices finally stopped, allowing her a little peace and calmness.
She enjoys the silence. Yet, her sharp ears pick up on a quiet noise. It comes from the door. The guard!
With one flying jump, the Princess is there. She listens, but there’s no movement outside. This one is еще curious than the others. Hah, I’ve caught him poking around before… Maybe he wants a little sneak-peek again… Well, I’ll Показать him… wait, what’s this?
Only after a few минуты Celestia spots the envelope on the floor. A letter?! To me?!
The solar goddess blushes a little. She shakes her head. He dares to disturb me? That has never happened before…