The Growing Years

This story is a sequel to A Different Perspective
Both the House of Path and Herd Path enjoy strong growth in the years following their establishment. Like all such things though, they both have their highlights and lowlights. These are vignettes in the lives of the children of Twilight, Path, Free, & Roseclaw, from foals to young adults.
This is a series of stand-alone stories of events that occur after the events of A Different Perspective, which I strongly recommend that you read first.
My collaborator, AlaskaIsCold, has written some of these and I mostly just edited them.

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/296939/the-growing-years

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12. Spring Break - part four

Luna materialized into what looked like a rolling plain sprawling for as far as the eye could see. Some long grass here and there, some short grass, and every now and then there was a tree or two. It was under one of those trees that she saw Blue Streak sitting. She smiled and cantered toward him, only to slow down in surprise as she came closer.

“Blue Streak – what has happened to thee?” Luna gasped as she looked at her nephew.

The earth pony had strikingly different features: two large horns emerged behind his ears, his eyes were slit much like Cinder’s were, and he had a pair of blue scaled wings coming out of his back.

“Oh… these…. I'm not exactly sure, to be honest with you. I've just been sitting here for I don’t know how long, just thinking about things. Have a seat with me, Auntie?” Blue opened up a wing as Luna sat down next to him. He draped his wing around her.

Some runes flickered across his body as Luna’s eyes widened. “Ah, so that’s what transpires. They're using their runic magic to heal thee, and it's causing these changes. I hope they're temporary; I don’t need thy mother reacting how she usually does.” Luna giggled softly before turning to look up at him… Wait! Up at him? “Did you get taller?”

Blue looked at himself before smirking slightly. “I guess I did. Huh! Interesting!”

Luna looked back up at him. “All things considered, art thou doing okay? Thou dost not seem like thou art all there.”

Blue looked up at the vibrant sunset with an odd smile. “Yeah, something seems off. Something is missing. I don’t feel rested when I dream like I normally do….”

# # #

Blue’s head lifted from the floor of the yurt, and he looked around with a low growl. The seer was nowhere to be seen. With a longer growl, he slowly dragged himself out of the yurt and started to walk toward the sound of the greatest commotion.

The males were starting to prepare the meal, and Cinder happened to be watching them idly, listening to their chatter. Then she noticed Blue walk up to them.

“Blue, you’re okay!” She ran up to him and then skidded to a halt as she saw him lean down and start to chew on some raw meat. A few of the males clearly looked confused. Cinder was close enough to not only see his muzzle soaked in goat blood, but also his slit eyes. “Blue? Blue?!” She turned and screeched. “Where is the seer!”

# # #

Blue sighed as he watched the twilight colors form in the sky. On one side he could see the moon starting to rise, and on the other he could see the sun halfway through setting.

“I know I'm not your favorite, but could you stay a while and talk with me, Auntie?” he asked her with a weak smile.

“Oh, Blue Streak, thou knowest I love all of the herd. Of course I'm here to listen.” Luna smiled reassuringly and nuzzled him. “Come on – tell me what's wrong.”

He sighed a bit and let out a soft growl, smoke venting from his nose slightly as he took a few deep breaths and started talking. “What am I in the House, Luna? I'm not one of the founding members like Moms and Dads.” He lay down on his belly as he spoke. “I'm not being groomed for anything special. I mean, look at Lucida – she's already learning languages left and right… understanding international policy… she's four! How does a four-year-old even do that?”

Blue opened his wings as if waving his arms in emphasis, letting Luna free. She stood up and walked in front of him, lying down so that they were eye to eye.

Blue continued to speak, although it was starting to turn into rambling. “And you have Free, Dianthia and Clue training and grooming Pif to be a queen – a freaking queen! She's already learning faster than me, and she's not even an eighth my age! I can't connect to the hive network like she can; how can I compete with that?” He started to whimper as he laid his head on the soft grass. “How can I be a good son when I feel like they barely care if I exist?”

# # #

Everyone stared at Blue Streak, seemingly in shock as he growled at them.

The matriarch whispered to the seer, “Is this a side-effect of using the mana of the world to heal him?” The large dragon crooked an eyebrow and grinned.

The seer whispered back, “I believe that most of him is still asleep, repairing itself, but his instincts, or rather the draconian tinged version of his instincts, is awake, which is why he's running around like that.” The seer coughed a bit.

“And why he has declared my daughter as his?”

“Yes, that too.”

Cinder was staring dumbfounded as Blue stood in front of her, his chest puffing out at a few of the males that were starting to get close to her. Blue only said one word. “Mine!

“Seer – how long is this going to last?” Cinder looked up at her somewhat worried.

“Well, I don’t imagine it would last longer th–”

She was interrupted by one of the younger males, about a year younger than Cinder, who stood up and said, “And what if somebody else wants to take he–”

The teenage dragon didn’t even get to finish his sentence before Blue Streak closed the distance between himself and the aggressor, and with a sickening crack, head-butted the upstart dragon with a staggering amount of force. The dragon crumpled to the ground as Blue walked back to Cinder and then growled at the others. “Mine!

The matriarch leaned over to whisper to the seer, “I like him – he has… pep!”

The seer just blinked before turning to the matriarch. “Be that as it may, I think I am going to restrain him back at the yurt until his mind is whole again.” She looked back to the scene. “Where did Blue and Cinder go?”

# # #

Luna sighed and looked at Blue earnestly. “I think thou art putting too much pressure on thyself. Thou dost want to serve the house that thou dost love, but thou art only considering the roles that others have. Of course Pif is going to be a queen. She was literally born for that purpose. Lucida is going to be the head of the house when Path retires, but that wasn’t always the case. They figured that thee with thy love of speed and fast-paced lifestyle, would absolutely hate going to meetings for hours at a time with the same one person droning on… and on… and on … about the same inane topic, driving it into the ground.” Luna’s eyes glazed over as she went on and on, proving just how bored she was getting just talking about it.

“So what's left for me? I don’t want to be like that Blueblood guy. From what I've heard of him, he hasn't got any real role, and because of that, he's just become this whining pony that annoys Celestia for every little thing… wait! Am I whining now?!” Blue started to panic until Luna started to nuzzle and calm him down.

“Thou art nothing like him; trust me on this. Thou went to war to save a kingdom thou barely even heard of. Thou dost look at every situation with a viewpoint that is the polar opposite to that one. Sister likes to call him a prince, but in reality he's just a noble riding on the coattails of an honorable pony that died years ago. Thou hast no idea how infuriating he can be.” Luna narrowed her eyes for a moment and nearly hissed.

# # #

Cinder panted and groaned as she held onto one of the large support structures of her yurt, her eyes threatening to roll into the back of her head. The strain on the yurt made the normally stable structure creak and sway as if it was in a windstorm.

Blue growled loudly over her. “Mine….”

Cinder panted out. “Y-yes, I'm yours… nngghh… Y-yours!

# # #

Luna and Blue sighed a bit at the same time.

“Blue Streak, who says that thou must take a path that is given to thee? Why dost thou not find thine own way? Use the House’s resources to do some good in the world! Dost thou know that there are lands that the House has no knowledge of yet? Lands that are so far away and so different it can boggle the mind? Maybe one of these days when thou visit me, I’ll tell thee about them.”

Blue was about to reply when a strange red rift started to form in mid-air, a few yards away.

“Oh, this is interesting,” Luna said as they both stood up to stare at the widening rift. “It looks like thou art going to have a second visitor, Blue Streak.”

Soon the seer stepped through the rift and it closed behind her. The Dragoness flapped her wings a few times as her eyes adjusted, and she looked to the alicorn and Blue Streak, raising an eyebrow at his changes.

“Oh, this does explain a lot.” The seer grinned a bit as she sat down in front of them. “While you are here, Queen Nocturne, speaking with Blue’s Ego and Superego, his Id has been running around outside unchecked in his waking body, causing all kinds of chaos for the clan.

Luna’s eyes widened. “What is he doing?”

“Well, he ate a goat raw, head-butted an adolescent dragon that wanted to claim Cinder, made a point to claim Cinder as his own…. Now I think both of them are sleeping it of in the yurt. For what it's worth, the Matriarch really likes you now. The upstart that you head-butted was really starting to get under her skin. However, instead of the Matriarch having to crack down on the drake herself, you did it for her.” The seer sighed a bit as she looked around the dreamscape. “I must say it has been a while since I have ventured into another’s dream. It is nice that I was able to see you once again, Queen Nocturne, it has been far too long.”

Blue looked at the seer and then at Luna. He noticed that the dragoness was looking higher than Luna’s eye level and further away. “Hmm… Luna – does she see you differently than I do?”

Luna just grinned. “Blue Streak, thou just asked a question that no being has asked in a very long time. Without going into details, yes, she sees me differently. Wouldst thou like to see me as she does?”

Blue nodded and her form started to shift and warp. Luna grew in size and shifted from an alicorn to a large queen dragon. Her size dwarfed both of them by a large margin. Her jet black scales shimmered in the twilight, and even though she did not have a mane anymore, her scales mimicked the star pattern. Her eyes were a bright white, much like the full moon.

Blue just blinked a few times. “All of a sudden, the name Queen Nocturne begins to make sense.” He leaned against the scaled goddess. “Does every race see you as something different depending on their cultural beliefs?”

This time it was the seer that spoke. “Do ponies not know that you are the embodiment of aspects? All cultures see you differently from all the others unless you exert your form upon them?”

Luna was about to say something but Blue cut her off. “I guess that makes sense. I mean, all other cultures have different cautionary legends. Ponies have Luna and Celestia. Griffons have the Golden Primary and the Pale Down. Dragons have Queen Nocturne and Diurnal. It would make more sense for it to be the same pair in different cultures than many pairs of the same thing.”

Luna just grinned with her large jaws, showing off all of her teeth. “Blue, thou hast reached a level of understanding that not even Twilight or Path has yet to achieve. That is because that while they immersed themselves in the culture, their preconceptions of Celestia and I have formed a bias as they researched. Thou, on the other hoof, grew up without Equestrian influence, nor hast thou interacted with us in a way that would require us to force your conception of us upon thy psyche. So thou might be one of the few that can see our multiple projections.”

Blue just sat there. “But what are you really?”

The dragoness just looked down at him, her expression turning slightly serious. “Dost thou really want to know?”

The seer chuckled. “This is not for my eyes to behold. I now know that Blue Streak will be fine, so I will depart.” The red rift opened up yet again, and the seer departed.

Blue turned back to the dragoness as she started to change again, growing larger and brighter as his eyes went wide. He was only able to witness it for a split second before his entire dream universe collapsed from such an unrestrained display.

Energy.

Pure. Overwhelming. Endless.

   
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