The Three Sisters: Like Fudge

This story is a sequel to The Three Sisters: Extended Family

A story of The Three Sisters Universe

Families are like fudge — mostly sweet with a few nuts. ~ Unknown Author
Chrysalis' daughters are serving their community service in Ponyville. Nothing can go wrong. Right?
Unless they all have their own agenda, and surprises keep piling up, complicating matters further. But anything to broker peace between the Changeling Nation and Equestria... right?

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6. Meanwhile, in the Crystal Empire...

o.0.o

 

Shining Armor was reviewing the third of several stacks of paperwork that had piled up on him since he had decided to take on retraining the Crystal Empire troops in modern warfare.

He had immediately studied their records and history—trying to figure out what type of soldiers and experience he had at his disposal—with an acumen that would have made Twilight proud.

It was not an easy process, since the Empire’s understanding of the powers of different kingdoms was… well, outdated implied it had been correct at some point, but he kept finding evidence that Sombra had severely undermined the capabilities of just about everyone else… he might have been powerful but even with his magic, a full battalion of gryphons descending on his head while minotaurs charged at their gates and Zebras infiltrated the city and planted magical explosives… it wouldn’t have been pretty.

It was a good thing they were at peace, even a shaky one at times, rather than at war. Not every unicorn was as powerful as his sister, Cadance, or Luna or Celestia and while he could cast impressive shields, they wouldn’t last long against a constant barrage of physical and magical attacks.

No. The Crystal Empire wasn’t ready for modern wars, and even worse; they had a history of warring with Changelings, with their last big war before the whole city had disappeared a thousand years ago, had started when they had welcomed one who had apparently pretended to be an envoy of peace.

It was lucky the Crystal Ponies had fixated on Spike as the hero of the battle, allowing them to scrutinize Rarity a lot less than they otherwise would have.

It might have been a thousand years for the rest of the world, but for the Crystal Ponies it was a few months ago that they had rid themselves of the last changeling, just before their mad king had caused their downfall.

Rarity was a good pony. Changeling. Ponyling? But he had been secretly glad when she had left. There was much to do with the crystal ponies before they were ready to understand that not all changelings were evil.

A soft knock on the door to his office dragged him away from his thoughts and made him look up. There, standing in all her beauty, was Cadance, the love of his life.

And she looked a bit worried.

“Is everything alright, love?” Shining asked, slowly standing up and rolling his shoulders to loosen up his stiff muscles.

Cadance took a deep breath. “Twilight Sparkle sent me a letter. She’s planning to visit us in the next couple of days.”

Shining smiled. “Twili’s visiting! That’s awesome!” He paused, noticing that Cadance was not sharing his enthusiasm. “Not… awesome?”

“She’s… not coming alone.”

Oh.

“You mean her friends are coming?” He asked with a nervous chuckle. “I’m sure Rarity will be careful not to—”

“She’s not coming, Shining…”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“She’s bringing one of Chrysalis’ daughters with her,” Cadance said, shaking her head. “She thinks that we need to have peace with the changelings and that it’s the first step to understanding each other.”

Shining Armor blinked. “Well, I don’t know where Twily met her but, peace is preferable to war and—”

“She’s the daughter of Chrysalis, Shining!” Cadance hissed. “That monster that captured me and threw me into the crystal caverns under Canterlot! To this day I cannot be surrounded by crystal and not panic!”

Shining looked around them at the crystal room, then back to his wife. “Oh! So that’s why you have that unusually intense look when you talk to ponies! You’re ignoring the surroundings!”

“Shining…” Cadance growled. “I don’t want any changelings here, even if they’re doing community service!”

Shining Armor looked at Cadance straight in the eyes. “Wait. Community service? I feel like I’m missing something here.”

Cadance sighed, and levitated a thick scroll for him to read. “Better catch up. Apparently Chrysalis’ daughters abducted Twilight an—”

“What!?” Shining was on his hooves, ready for battle. “Those cads! I’ll punish them in the name of the Crystal Empire!”

Cadance shook her head. “That was a few weeks ago, darling. Come on, sit down and read from the beginning. I’ll head downstairs to the cellars.”

Shining nodded absently, already engrossed in reading Twilight’s account of their misadventures in Chrysalis’ Hive.

After a few moments he paused, narrowing his eyes. “That’s a good question… what do changelings eat?”

 

o.0.o

 

He found Cadance in the cellar, surrounded by empty bottles. “Find anything yet?”

“No,” Cadance sighed, “We really went through them the last party. I think we pretty much finished most of this section.”

“I see.” Shining sat down next to his wife. “I have a sudden craving for fruit bat.”

Cadance groaned. “Me too.”

 

o.0.o

 

Hidden Tale stared at the minotaur seated across from him. “I beg your pardon?”

“I said,” the mass of muscles leaned in. “That my assertiveness training will make you 100% more effective! Guaranteed! You will not. Ever. Doubt anything!”

Hidden Tale rolled his eyes.

“Don’t be shy! Look me in the eye!”

Hidden Tale sighed, and locked eyes with the minotaur. “Iron Will. Originally from Ammassalik, where your mother and brothers live, making a living out of a daycare for gryphons and minotaurs alike. You came to Equestria three years ago after completing a Bachelors in Public Relations and attempting to work for a large PR firm in Baltimare, which wouldn't hire you for unspecified reasons and decided to branch out on your own and made a successful career as an assertiveness manager and trainer. Am I correct?”

Iron Will sat back, staring at the strange earth pony in front of him. “Y-yes.”

Hidden Tale nodded.  “Your visa has almost expired and if you don’t renew it you will be escorted to the docks and sent back to Ammassalik. The nearest offices that can deal with your ability to legally remain here are in Canterlot, not Ponyville. The flowers you chose are not Fluttershy’s favorites and finally, you have only two more years before you achieve citizenship. Don’t waste it by not renewing your visa and/or antagonizing an Element of Harmony.”

They both stayed quiet after that, listening to the sound of the train on its steady way to Ponyville. Finally, after a full minute had passed, Iron Will stood up. “If you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll need to purchase a ticket back.”

Hidden Tale nodded and looked out the window, his thoughts going to his daughters before a sigh escaped his lips.

“Was that really necessary?”

Hidden Tale blinked and turned to look at Twilight Sparkle, who had sat down across from him after Iron Will had left.

“It was kinda mean,” she added, raising an eyebrow.

Hidden Tale shrugged. “I did him a favor. He could have ended being deported and lost the chance to be a citizen. For all his faults, he’s been fighting to earn it all this time and just because he has a crush on your friend, doesn’t mean he should ignore all his work.”

Twilight Sparkle snorted. “Fine, I guess in that sense you did, but it was still a mean way to put it.” She paused for a bit, studying him. “Are you okay?”

Hidden shook his head. “No. Ch—my people are not exactly like yours, Twilight. We usually don’t form attachments and when new… babies… are born, fathers don’t tend to stick around. Especially in my case.”

“Were you already…” Twilight cast a glance around. “Working for the princess back then?”

Hidden Tale nodded, looking out the window. “I’ve been working for her since before you were born.”

Twilight’s eyes widened. “Wow, you must have a lot of cool stories to tell!”

Hidden chuckled despite himself. “Not all of them are nice. Maybe one day you can read about them, but I’m afraid I can’t tell.”

Twilight looked at him curiously, tilting her head.

“You don’t have the clearance yet,” Hidden explained and raised a hoof when she was about to object. “But you will. You just have to be patient.”

Twilight pouted, but relented soon after. “I would have thought you would be excited.”

Hidden Tale sighed. “That’s not exactly the word I would choose. But I have a mission.”

“You shouldn't think of it as a mission,” Twilight said, shaking her head and placing a hoof on his shoulder. “Think of it as a chance.”

Hidden Tale looked from her hoof to her eyes before nodding slowly and leaning back on his seat. “A chance. Maybe it is.”

 

o.0.o End Chapter 6 o.0.o  

 

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