Chapter 1 - Royal Decree No. 2,104
Spike ran down the lone path trying to make as little noise as possible while in one claw he grabbed the sack with the precious cargo.
The corridors of the castle were very old and dark, rarely someone would pass by, therefore Spike winced every time he trod on some of those old floorboards. He thought that any squeak would be heard throughout the castle, alerting some of the guards of his position.
But that was the least of his worries, his biggest concern was... HE COULD FEEL IT AGAIN! A sudden chill ran down the spine of Spike.
The little dragon felt someone staring at him from his back.
Gritting his teeth and gulping, he suddenly stopped and looked back very quickly. There, he could only see the huge empty hall, but there was no one there. It was the third time he felt someone was following him and that someone was watching him, but he didn't see anyone. That worried him, especially bothered him a little, because he always thought that as a dragon, he had the best sixth sense than most other creatures, and particularly more than any pony.
After a few seconds, making sure no one was following him, Spike quickly resumed his path, turned a corner and stopped in front of a huge wooden door. He gently touched the knob and opened the door with extreme caution, because he knew what was coming and he didn't want to repeat the disaster that he had caused a few days ago.
The dragon stepped through the portal slowly and even more slowly as he closed the door behind him. Immediately he was surprised to see that the potential disaster had worsened. In front of him there were stacks and stacks of books almost reaching the ceiling. Columns of books so close together to one another that made it almost impossible to pass between them, even less without breaking the delicate balance in which they were, making everything collapsed into one.
No, that won't happen this time.
With movements as slow as a tortoise, but graceful as the fastest Wonderbolt, Spike moved slowly and cautiously among the columns of books. Every touch made the huge columns of books slightly swing from side to side. Step by step, Spike was slowly making his way to the center of the room.
After several minutes, showing great agility and finesse, Spike came to the center, where his brother, Dusk Shine was. Of course the title of brothers didn't mean they were blood brothers, that would have been impossible because Spike was a dragon and Dusk Shine was a colt. But both of them had known each other from very young and both felt their bond was perhaps much stronger than simply being children of the same mother.
Dusk Shine, or just Dusk as Spike called him, was a mess. His mane was very sloppy and had several pen writings on it, plus he had tremendous panda-like eyes having spent almost a week without sleep, and judging by how he smelled, Spike would say that he had not bathed in a long time. The eyes of the pony, as usual, was fixed in a book, totally focused on what he was reading. Dusk hadn't even noticed the presence of Spike in the room.
"Ahem!" Spike coughed, trying to break the trance that Dusk always had when he was reading something interesting.
"AHEM!" Spike coughed stronger when he realized that his brother was still ignoring him.
"What…? Ah, it's you, Spike!" Dusk said finally leaving aside the book and looking at Spike. "I'm sorry I didn't see you there but I was reading something very fascinating! Did you know that there are about 20 ancient magical objects that simply disappeared throughout the history of Equestria and that no one has heard of them? Many had became just legends, but their records are in many history books, it can be verified historically that these objects existed! Can you imagine owning such objects!? It would be amazing! Lately I've focused my attention on the so-called 'Elements of Harmony' and-"
"Ugh! Dusk, please, stop it!" Spike interrupted abruptly to him as he dragged his claws strongly through his cheeks. "I know that you fascinate everything that you read but don't include me in your stories. I can't read more than two pages of your books without falling asleep. Do you remember that time you read about ancient astrology and you were talking just about that for the next two weeks? It would be easier if you read comics or something, our talks would be much more entertaining."
"I don't see what is the goal of reading something so impractical, what good is reading about fantastic stories that never happened?" Dusk said annoyingly.
"Just for fun, I don't know, they awaken your imagination, you imagine that you are the hero, fighting beasts to rescue a damsel in distress, things like that."
"Pfft! Why do you think of fantasy heroes when you have real heroes! Like Starswirl the bearded or-"
Dusk was interrupted by the loud sound of his stomach demanding food.
"When was the last time you ate something?" Spike asked worriedly.
"I don't know, the last time we talked, I guess" Dusk said scratching his head and making writing pens that were in his head fall to the ground.
"Dusk, that was two days ago, look!" Spike said pointing to an identical bag that he had brought earlier. "Here are the sandwiches and fruit that I brought for you last time, you haven't even touched them!"
"That can't be possible, it hasn't been that long... has it?" Dusk said somewhat incredulous.
"I know you, Dusk, when you read, nothing distracts you, you don't eat, don't sleep, don't-"
"But this book is so fascinating and-" Dusk Shine interrupted Spike, showing him a book, before being interrupted by the dragon again.
"But this is not healthy" Spike said pushing down with his claw the book that Dusk showed him. "You know I just want to take care of you, so..." Spike sat opposite to Dusk and opened the bag with the food that he had brought "... now you'll eat, no excuses."
Feeling resigned, Dusk lowered his head and settled down to eat. He knew that Spike was right, and sometimes, in their desire to seek knowledge, he had to let time pass.
They ate in silence for a few minutes before Spike spoke again.
"How long have you been hiding here?"
"I don't know," replied Dusk, crestfallen. "I guess until the princess stops bothering me with nonsense about how I should make friends."
Spike was silent for a few seconds before speaking again, as he knew that this was a sensitive issue.
"You know... I don't think that making friends is a punishment, look at us, we are great friends and we care and help for each other."
"You are more than just a friend, Spike, you know, we're family" Dusk said, smiling and looking up. "And I'm not against friends, just bothers me that the princess wants to force me to make friends, as if that was something of great importance. What does she think? What kind of friendship will save Equestria someday? Oh Please! It is much more productive to study and learn, the knowledge is the real power, not friendship!"
At this point Dusk Shine’s voice had gone up significantly and his face expressed real nuisance. But as quickly as his anger came, his face quickly changed to show deep sadness.
"...Besides" Dusk continued, lowering his voice. "I already tried once to make friends... that's not my thing."
Spike sighed and simply stared. The wisest course was not to pursue the topic.
"Changing the topic" Dusk said suddenly as if he had read the mind of Spike. "No one has followed you here, right?"
"Of course not!", Spike nervously replied. "I was very careful."
"And... the princess keeps asking for me?" Dusk Shine asked shyly.
"Every day, but today for the first time she didn't ask me for you, maybe she already gave up finding you."
"Maybe..." Dusk said with some fear in his voice.
It had been several days since Dusk Shine had hidden himself in that lonely room in the castle. All because Princess Celestia had told him that he should not study any longer and should focus one hundred percent on making friends. This obviously didn't appeal to Dusk, so he sought out this perfect hideaway and transported all the books he could to continue his studies in secret.
If you ask anyone, he'd say it was a pretty childish attitude, Dusk knew it, but this was the only course that he could choose. He definitely didn't want to make friends, and the only way to escape this 'punishment' of Celestia, was to hide from her.
"You're thinking of the 'punishment' that awaits you, right?" Spike said reading the worried face of his brother.
"Haaa.... Yes, something like that" Dusk sighed.
You would think a 'punishment' given by the princess regent of Equestria would be atrocious, and they were, but in a very particular way.
Princess Celestia had practically raised Dusk Shine since he was a young colt. Like a second mother, both had forged a bond much more than just simply a student and his teacher, and it was that closeness that Dusk had with the princess which made Celestia often leave her serious and noble, dignified role of royalty; and she was more of herself, a simple pony who liked to have fun. And one of the things she liked to do as the princess, was playing pranks to the little Dusk Shine, although of course she didn't always do that, only when Dusk Shine deserved it, only when he should be 'punished'.
"Do you remember that time you didn't want to eat your vegetables?" Spike said smiling.
"Of course, she bewitched my vegetables to follow me all day" Dusk smiled at the memory. "You don't know the shame that gave me all day about having an army of eggplants and broccoli following me all around Canterlot, haha! I finally had to eat them in humiliation."
"But at least you had your revenge, didn’t you?" Spike smiled when he looked as the mood of Dusk Shine was increasing. He knew the story was coming, but he loves to hear it.
"That’s right! The next day I put a whoopee cushion in her seat" Dusk said, unable to hold back the laughter while he shared that memory with Spike. "When she sat down and rang a fart sound, the whole court looked surprised hahaha! Of course nopony said anything and she went on as if nothing had happened, but I couldn't stop laughing all day... hahaha! Although... Of course, then came the revenge of the princess...
This time it was Spike’s turn to hold back the laughter, there was no need for Dusk to be reminded of the 'punishment' that the princess had given Dusk at that time. The day after that whoopee cushion incident had happened, the princess had decreed the famous decree 1,524.
"I still have a copy, BERGH ...!" Spike said, throwing a green fire from his mouth which left a scroll. Spike spread it out and read:
"Royal Decree No. 1,524.
Starting today, XXXX of year XXXX, it is forbidden to call the pony known as 'Dusk Shine' by that name. From now and for a week, this pony will be called by all as "Mr. Smarty Pants'.
Communicate and publish it in all Equestria.
Signature, Princess Celestia"
"HAHAHA!" Spike snorted unable to hold back his laughter. "Throughout the week your classmates, teachers, guards and even I had to call you 'Mr. Smarty Pants', hahaha!"
"Yes, haha!" Dusk responded when Spike's laughter infected him. "And the worst thing was that it was a royal decree, these decrees can't be broken, they're law! Can you imagine if she hadn't put a expiration date? Everypony would still be calling me like that! Hahaha! Princess Celestia is truly a headache when she wants! haha! What... what was that nickname you mentioned to me last time? "
"What? Princess Trollestia?"
Both looked at each other without being able to hold back the laughter.
“PRINCESS TROLLESTIA! HAHAHAHA!!” Dusk Shine laughed out loud.
"YEAH! SHE IS TOTALLY A TROLL! HAHAHA!" Spike laughed at the same time.
HAHAHAHA!..…HAHAHA….hah……he…..hehehe… …. Their laughs were slightly decreasing until they aren't heard anymore. It wasn't because of the aches that caused them to stop laughing, the problem was that both of them felt that someone saw them, a very familiar presence.
"GAH!" Spike yelled when he turned around and saw that there was someone else in the room, and not only that, that presence was who they had been making fun of few seconds ago, the only pony able to follow Spike and enter that room without being noticed, the ruler of Equestria and Dusk Shine's teacher, Princess Celestia.
Different was the reaction of Dusk, he simply began to sweat and looked at his teacher totally afraid. He had ignored the order that the princess had given him, he had hidden, and worse, had taunted her.
Celestia smiled as she watched them both. A smile that Dusk Shine knew very well, he knew what was coming.
Both the little dragon and the unicorn were paralyzed. Then, Celestia slowly levitated a scissors and a rope.
"WAAAHHHHH!" Spike and Dusk shouted hugging each other, fearing what would happen.
It was a nice day in Ponyville, Celestia's sun shone with all its glorious glow over the heads of the ponies and it seemed that again would be a nice quiet day in that small town.
There, in Ponyville's train station, the pony station manager, called 'All Aboard' looked at his watch as he always did at that time of day. He probably was the most punctual pony of Equestria, therefore, he was in charge of controlling the times of departure and arrival of much of the trains circulating in Equestria.
"...and in three... two... one..." All Aboard said to himself, looking at his watch and then looking up. "And there it is..."
Exactly at the moment that All Aboard raised his eyes, he could see that the 'Canterlot express' appeared from behind a hill and was approaching Ponyville's station, right on time.
All Aboard kept his watch in his pocket and waited for the train to make its stop.
The train began to stop with its usual sound of brakes without any problems to stop exactly where it was marked to do so. Once the doors opened, passengers began to get off the train: a couple of tourists and a few other ponies who had traveled to Canterlot for work or for pleasure, now returned home. Most passengers remained seated because their destination was a town or city to the south or west of Equestria. As was customary, very few ponies came to stop and visit a town as small as Ponyville.
All Aboard politely greeted each passenger and waited for anyone else to go down. According to his itinerary, there were no passengers to go up on the train at this time from Ponyville, so he was ready to give the order for the train to continue its journey.
"ALL ABOA-!" He couldn't complete his shout as he was interrupted by the train driver.
"Special package from Canterlot" said the driver, as he released a huge sack on the platform of the station.
As he dropped the bag, the driver gave up the machines and the train began its route again, in front of the disbelieved All Aboard.
"A special package from Canterlot? What could it be? "All Aboard thought uneasily. This was a very unorthodox fact, if it is true that the station received packages from other cities daily, they all came with their respective delivery order and each pony received the package that belonged to them in their own station. This was very irregular, as the driver hadn't even told him who is the sender, much less to whom it was addressed, and worse, it was out of the program! This was something that greatly bothered someone as square like All Aboard.
Thinking that perhaps the bag might have some label that delivers more information, All Aboard came to it. He began to inspect the outside, it doesn't have a label, it was just a huge sack tied up tightly with a string. The pony was for a few seconds in silence, pondering about what would be his next step.
It's true that he was a very strict and diligent pony when it comes to work, and the rules said that only the addressee of each package must open it. But here there was a huge package with no sender, no addressee and it was extremely suspicious. So, using that loophole, his curiosity got the better of him and he untied the sack to view its contents.
All Aboard couldn't help but be astonished to see that inside the bag, there was a young unicorn with purple skin, bound and gagged, together with what was even stranger, what appeared to be a baby dragon bound and gagged in the same way . Both of the beings had to look on All Aboard and began trying to speak while their speech was stifled by the band that they had in their mouth.
To All Aboard, who was happy and used to the routine, took several seconds of disbelief in what he saw before returning to himself and react.
The pony train conductor opened the sack more widely for those poor souls who were tied up to escape it. Then he prepared to pull out their tethers and jaws, but a sudden revelation came to his mind. Those characters, both the unicorn and the dragon, came for some reason as captives from Canterlot, Perhaps they would be prisoners of some sort? Thieves? Enemies of Equestria? With these questions circling his head, All Aboard took the decision not to untie them and call a guard.
Unfortunately, to no avail, because while All Aboard still had a flow of ideas in his head, the purple unicorn had used his magic to break the ropes and now he was helping to his flaky accomplice to do the same.
"Yuck!" Spike spat the band in his mouth after Dusk had loosened it. "I think this time the princess was really angry."
"Yes, I guess we had gone overboard..." Dusk Shine continued while he used his magic to loosen the ropes of Spike. "While I believe that Princess Celestia was also exaggerated. Look at that binding and us sleeping in a sack! I don't think it's a funny joke."
"Well, not for us, but for those who sees us."
"Y-You said P-P-Princess Celestia ...?" A voice interrupted beside Dusk Shine, it was All Aboard.
"Ehh... yes, why?" Dusk Shine said.
"...T-Then..." All Aboard said shakily, slowly stepping back. "...You are...the Princess' prisoners...?"
Dusk Shine and Spike looked at each other, then they began to laugh.
"Hahaha! of course not! We are... "Dusk didn't continue talking, because All Aboard had ran away while Dusk and Spike laughed, and he quickly went away from the train station.
"Wow..." said Spike, standing and scratching his head. "Now he believes that we are criminals."
"That's the least of it, look!" Dusk said, turning Spike's head with his front hooves so that he’ll look towards what he was seeing.
In front of them, there were extensive fields with wild flowers, some houses on the sides and beyond were hills, forests and more and more nature.
"Okay... this is definitely not Canterlot..." Spike said slowly.
"Where are we!? Oh, Celestia! What if the princess banished me to the moors where Equestria ends and there are only creatures that live outside the laws of the ponies!?" Dusk Shine begins to hyperventilate as he dragged his front hooves down his cheeks and his imagination went flying. "Oh, big Equestria! How long have we slept!? What if we've slept for centuries and this is a post-apocalyptic scene of Canterlot!? Oh, Celestia! I'm home! All this time... YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!" Dusk Shine screamed tragically as he fell to the ground and hitting it hard with his hooves.
"Well... well... stop being so over-dramatic" said Spike, while Dusk had his ridiculous monologue, Spike had approached a bench in the station and taken a newspaper that was there. "For peace of your mind, the newspaper shows that it’s still the same day, only later, and apparently there’s a village behind the station, and you would have seen it if you paid more attention, it's called Ponyville.
"Ahem! So, Ponyville, eh?" Dusk Shine said standing up, blushing and acting as if nothing had happened. "I think I've heard of it... I think it's a village to the south of Canterlot, actually it should only be a couple of hours from Canterlot, if I'm not mistaken."
"Yes, look!" Spike pointed into the distance.
There, Dusk could glimpse at the distant silhouette of the hills and the castle of Canterlot that loomed between them.
"Great!" exclaimed Dusk who was glad, "then we can just wait for the next train and it'll be the end of this crazy adventure. Now I just want to curl up next to a fireplace in the lounge and finish the book I was reading."
"I guess you're righ-BERGH...!" Spike was interrupted by his own burp, in which his famous green fire was accompanied by a scroll.
"A letter from the princess?" Dusk wondered aloud, taking the scroll.
"Who else?" said Spike annoyingly. "She loves to use me like her personal mail, and the worst is that it makes my stomach grumble when I'm taken by surprise! I know that I voluntarily agreed to be the means of contact between you two, but sometimes she crosses the line. I remember that one time when she sent three scrolls at the same time and I was with indigestion all day, then..."
At this point, Dusk Shine stopped paying attention to Spike, as he knew Spike could blabber all day if he could. The best would be to know what the princess wanted, so he left Spike with his monologue. He unrolled the scroll and read:
"To my dear student, Dusk Shine:
I hope you had a good trip, I'm sorry to have sent you in that way to Ponyville, but knowing that you wouldn't go voluntarily, I decided that it would be the most effective (and funny) way to send you there."
Dusk released air through his nose in frustration. Then he continued reading:
"Since you know me very well, you know that every time you or Spike did something wrong or irresponsible, I give you an exemplary punishment with some of my jokes. But this isn't one of my punishment, at least not in full."
As he reads this, Dusk furrowed his brow, it began to worry him.
"Firstly, the punishment is for Spike who baptized me as 'Trollestia'. I know he's used to getting only scrolls, so I think I'll stir his stomach a bit, I hope he forgives me, after all it's just a joke in revenge"
As Dusk reads this, and with impeccable timing, Spike stopped talking and capped his mouth with his claws. Then he started making an expression as if to vomit, the more he did it, his cheeks swelled more and more, until finally Spike couldn't take it anymore and let out a huge green flare, in which jumped a little book that fell in front of Dusk Shine's hooves. After this, Spike took a couple of turns completely dizzy and fell to the ground.
Dusk wasn't greatly worried about Spike, he knew that Celestia liked to play bad jokes, but she'll never do real harm or damage to either. So he reached down and took the book that Princess Celestia had sent and his faithful companion had spat.
The book was titled 'HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS for dummies'. Dusk puts on an annoyed face before continuing to read the letter from Celestia.
"As you might have guessed, this book is for you, and it’ll be very helpful to meet your special 'punishment'. Although more than a punishment, it is a test that you must overcome, so please open the book."
This confused Dusk, who then leaves the scroll aside and takes the book to open it, it dropped a new scroll, in which Dusk levitated it and read:
"Royal Decree No. 2,104.
Starting today, XXXX of year XXXX, the pony known as 'Dusk Shine', current student of Princess Celestia, will work to make at least one new friend in the next 5 days, the deadline in which the Summer Sun Celebration in Ponyville will be held.
Until then, the aforementioned 'Dusk Shine' will be prohibited to go back to Canterlot.
In addition, if not met the work of friendship indicated above, the aforementioned 'Dusk Shine' will be prohibited from returning to Canterlot to resume his studies.
Communicate and publish it in all Equestria.
Signature, Princess Celestia"
Dusk Shine was pale, his mind blank from what he had just read.
Regaining his composure and praying that it was just a bad joke from the princess, he turned the scroll with the decree looking for more of the message. There was nothing. Then he came over to check the signature to make sure that the decree wasn't false. It was real. Then he grabbed the book and shook it waiting to drop out another scroll. Nothing fell. Finally, when he thought all was lost, Dusk recalled the first scroll and continued reading:
"I regret to have reached this extreme, and I know you're scared now, but trust me, I'm doing this for your own good. Friendship is more important than you think, it's something you can't learn if you lock yourself from the world and others, and I want with all my being that you discover that for yourself.
I trust that you will do it.
We will see you in 5 days.
Atte. your mentor
Dusk was speechless, totally stunned. It was true. It was a royal decree. Dusk Shine was exiled here away from his books, his teacher, his family, and his own home in Canterlot, forced to look for a pony to be his friend, and if he didn't make one in 5 days he would never return home. Dusk Shine was totally in shock.
"Coff! Coff!" Spike coughed, standing up slowly from the ground and then taking his stomach and head. "Princess definitely crossed the line this time, imagine that-"
Spike stopped abruptly when he looks at his brother who was not moving and had his sight totally fixed at the horizon.
"What's wrong?" Spike asked approaching him.
Having no answer, Spike saw the scrolls on the floor and reads them, only then he realized why Dusk was in shock.
"Come on Dusk, this... is not so bad, you'll see" the little dragon comforted the pony. "It'll be good to take a vacation from your studies."
"But... studying is my life..." Dusk replied weakly.
Spike was silent for a few seconds, not knowing what to say. What Dusk had said was true, the young unicorn had spent most of his life studying, now telling him that he couldn't study and couldn't return to his home must be very hard for him.
"But... it'll be just for five days!" Spike said after thinking of a way to encourage his brother. "You'll see that soon we'll be back in our room of Canterlot, you only need to know a pony and become their friend, it can't be that hard, right?"
Dusk finally gave a heavy sigh and looked over to where Spike was.
"I guess you're right" Dusk smiled weakly at his companion.
"That's the spirit!" Spike replied with a big smile of enthusiasm.
With this, Dusk levitated both scrolls as Spike lifted the book, then they both started walking towards the picturesque little town called Ponyville, without knowing all the adventures that awaited them in that place.
"By the way, I like your new mane style."
"My... WHAT HAPPENED TO MY MANE!?"
#End of Chapter 1
I'm sorry by the mistake
First chapter of the story of Dusk Shine.
sorry for the delay, but it takes time for translate as to correct
Thank you so much to PhoenixFlambe for his help with the correction in the translation to English
so if you liked, thank Him to it too