The Death of Princess Luna

A My Little Pony FanFiction by Giga Bowser

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and all related characters © Lauren Faust & Hasbro

This work of fiction, its setting, characters, and ideas are © Giga Bowser.

Do not use without permission


Chapter 3

Vale Luna

The large, expansive city of Canterlot sat perched upon the face of one of Equestria's tallest mountains. It was a city mostly designed to be vertical, as validated by its location. There were many levels to the city and many of the buildings appeared to be stacked atop of one another in an effort to fit as many buildings into the cramped space as possible. It seemed like a foal's dream, but the result was a magnificent and impossible city perched upon the side of the mountain.

Despite all of this, the lowermost level of the city was quite expansive, spreading out like a platform embedded in the side of the mountain. To the side of this lower level there was a smaller peak of landmass connected to the mountain, upon which this lower level extended. This was where many of the buildings were located, including the school a young Twilight Sparkle once attended.

The plaza sat at the base of the vertical buildings of Canterlot. It extended over the edge of the mountain and was ringed by gardens. Canterlot's iconic waterfalls streamed mostly from this plaza. It was presently packed with ponies. They sat upon buildings' balconies and platforms, and pegasi littered the roofs. The streets were completely packed, ponies filling up any space that would allow them a view of the large, open plaza that occupied the main area of the lower level.

They were all gathered around a point somewhere near the far side. They had come from cities and towns all around just to attend Luna's funeral. They had hired pegasus-drawn chariots, had gotten unicorns to teleport them, had ridden the rails or had simply raced as fast as possible on hoof. They all found a way to make it in time to honour their fallen Princess.

Twilight and her friends sat near the front of the gathering of ponies in the plaza, very close to the centre of the ceremony. In the morning following the news of Luna's death, they had all found special passes in their mailboxes that allowed them to sit as close to the ceremony as possible. These had been given only to the sisters' closest friends, and the group had been honoured to receive such a distinction.

They all gazed forward. A relatively small stage had been constructed, and it was surrounded by poles and a roof of crossed planks of wood. The poles and roof were covered in weaving vines with small white and blue flowers, giving them a natural appearance. Behind the stage sat a large, regal throne that Celestia often used when giving public speeches away from Canterlot. It was nearly identical to the one in the castle's throne room, but was slightly smaller and less ornate. It was a portable throne that could be quickly erected and still look regal. It presently sat empty.

Upon the stage were many important-looking ponies. Twilight and her friends only recognized a few. Among them were Prince Blueblood and two of the four ponies that had administered Twilight's exam. Two royal guards also sat upon the stage. They were not wearing their helmets. One was unremarkable, but the group of friends recognized the other. It was the same one who had delivered the news to Ponyville: Navy Shield.

Finally, resting upon the center of the stage was a raised platform. It had upon it a framework that could only be designed for one thing; a coffin. It was surrounded at the base by flowers of all shapes and sizes, all blue. Many were a muted, darkened blue, identical to Luna's coat. There was also a wreath of blue and white flowers at the center. Perched within the wreath was a picture of Luna, smiling warmly and simply radiating happiness, despite it only being a photograph.

Twilight, her five best friends and Spike had all arrived early in the morning in an official carriage. They had sat and watched as the crowds grew and grew, spilling out of the plaza and into the surrounding areas. Such a turnout was amazing to witness. It brought a small smile to Twilight's face to see just how many ponies had grown to love Luna.

The group of seven had not conversed very much since they had arrived. The mood had been dark, and none of them had felt like talking. A few passing words had been said about the beauty of the display in the center and the astounding amount of guests that had shown up. At one point, Twilight had started to reminisce about her friendship with Luna, but had stopped when Fluttershy had started crying.

Presently, the ceremony was about to begin. Twilight stared ahead, deep in thought, Fluttershy gazed at the ground, depressed, and Rainbow Dash shifted uncomfortably. Pinkie Pie's mane hung suspended, halfway between being completely straight and its usual poofiness.

"Y'all gonna be all right?" Applejack asked the group comfortingly.

Twilight turned to look at her. "I'll be fine."

"I…um…" Fluttershy started to speak, but trailed off, glancing away from the others' gazes.

Applejack nodded and turned back to the front. "Jus' don't be afraid to cry."

Dash furrowed her brow, mildly offended. "What? I'm not gonna cry! I'm-"

She was silenced as Applejack turned and gazed at her. Dash turned and looked away.

"Dash, don't worry," Pinkie said to her friend in a quiet voice, "We won't think you're any less awesome if you cry."

"Look!" Rarity's exclamation interrupted their thoughts as they followed her gaze into the sky. Flying towards the central platform was a procession armoured of pegasi guards, all without their helmets. Twilight came to the conclusion that the absence of the helmets must be a sign of respect.

They were all using their hooves to carry a large, elaborately designed coffin, coloured a deep navy blue. There was an unmistakable depiction of a moon cutie mark on the top. The seven friends immediately found lumps in their throats as they watched the pallbearers make their way to the stage and then gently lower the coffin onto the raised platform. The crowd had grown eerily silent.

A light gasp from Twilight drew their attentions back to the sky. They had all been focused on Luna's coffin and hadn't noticed Princess Celestia flying behind the group. They all found themselves staring at the Princess as she made her way to the throne, head hung low in sorrow.

Her appearance was shocking. Twilight in particular couldn't quite believe what she was seeing. The Princess' thick mane was tainted grey and trailed behind her. It gave Twilight a sick sensation in her stomach. She had never seen Celestia as anything but regal, professional, and with a stunning, rainbow-coloured mane. Her current appearance was jarring.

As the Princess landed and settled into the throne, she brought a hoof up to clear away the mane as it had fallen in front of her face in a fashion similar to Fluttershy's. It appeared to be difficult to tame, falling to the ground as she sat and giving her a decidedly off-putting appearance.

"Celestia…" Twilight breathed, barely audible.

"She looks terrible," Pinkie muttered.

Their attention was then drawn back to the coffin as Navy Shield stepped up to it. The design of the platform had the coffin angled slightly towards the crowd, its top clearly visible. It was coloured very similarly to Luna's colour scheme, with dark and light blues swirling and mixing. The bright white moon in the center was surrounded by a splotch of black in a perfect representation of Luna's cutie mark.

Navy Shield gave a respectful bow of his head, and then moved his hooves up to the lid of the coffin. One of the other guards stepped to the other side to assist him. Twilight held her breath. Having studied Equestrian history extensively, she had known that the ceremony would be open casket. Still, she steadied herself, unsure if she was ready for this.

As the lid slipped away, the various members of the crowd felt desires to gasp or cry, but stilled their emotions and stayed silent out of respect. They all gazed at the peaceful form of Princess Luna.

She lay in the coffin, cleaned of all her wounds. Her gorgeous feathery wings folded at her side, and her long horn resting upon her head. She still wore her royal crown, necklace and horseshoes, and wore upon her face a serene expression of peace. Surrounding her in the coffin were more blue and white flowers, arranged around her like a downy bed.

Fluttershy sobbed quietly. She had been keeping her emotions under control so far, but actually seeing Luna before her in the coffin was threatening to throw her over the edge. Applejack, the one closest to her, put a hoof over her back and embraced her.

"It's all right, sugarcube…" Applejack whispered.

"I…just, couldn't…it's…"

"She looks peaceful, doesn't she?" Rarity whispered, seated to the other side of Fluttershy.

"Yeah…" Applejack responded, "I hadn't wanted ta believe it before, but I guess this cements it…Poor Luna…"

Fluttershy sighed. Many ponies had still been holding onto the false hope that this news was a lie or a hoax. However, Luna's lifeless body sat before all of them in the coffin, undeniably proving to them that this was real.

Pinkie turned to Twilight, who was staring straight ahead. "Twilight?" she said in a caring voice, "Are you okay?"

Twilight only nodded.

Then, they all ceased talking as the other guard walked up to the podium. The ceremony had begun.

 

 

Celestia gazed at the ponies on the stage who were about to give speeches. She viewed the intricate decorations. She saw the seemingly endless sea of ponies that had shown up for the ceremony, and was touched by their sentiments. She looked everywhere, but she did not look at the coffin. The opening faced away from her, so she could not see within it.

She couldn't bring herself to look at her sister's lifeless form. It had been enough of an emotional shock to see her dead body as it lay upon the ground outside of the Everfree Forest. She simply couldn't do it. It would hurt too much.

Her appearance was dreadful, even besides her stark, grey mane. She had rings under her eyes from stress and lost sleep, her fur was rough and unkempt and her royal attire did not shine with its usual brilliance. Her normally radiant and jubilant eyes now seemed empty as she attempted to gaze anywhere except that blue coffin.

Before her, she saw Sunbeam's sister, Moonbeam, step up to the podium. She was to be the first speaker. Moonbeam was a pegasus, just like her brother. The two siblings had held distinguished positions among the royal guard as the personal guards of Celestia and Luna. Sunbeam was Celestia's guard, and also a close personal friend. Moonbeam had been the same, but for Luna instead.

Moonbeam cleared her throat. She began to speak, her voice amplified by an unseen spell. "Ponies of Equestria, thank you all for attending. It means a lot to all of us here in Canterlot. My friends, we are gathered here to mourn the loss of our co-regent and beloved Princess of the Night, Princess Luna. She was taken from us unexpectedly two nights prior in a battle against a wild beast.

"We mourn her loss with heavy hearts. She will be dearly remembered by everypony across the land. From everypony here in Canterlot to the farthest reaches of Equestria, we will all miss her terribly."

Moonbeam then went on to briefly recap the events of Luna's life. Celestia knew of everything that she spoke of, but it was still very interesting to hear Luna's story told by somepony else. She hung her head and listened to Moonbeam's tale. The happy memories made her want to cry tears of joy, and the harsh memories surrounding Nightmare Moon made her want to cry tears of anguish. Celestia spent the entire story trying to hold back tears.

"Her recent years in the castle were filled with much joy and excitement, although she was very shy," Moonbeam continued, "I was her personal guard and I went nearly everywhere that she went. She and I became very closely acquainted with each other. I was glad to call her my friend, and I believe she was glad to call me hers. She brought happiness to a lot of ponies, and I was no exception.

"She was a marvellous friend, and I'll miss her dearly."

There was no applause as Moonbeam stepped back wordlessly to her seat, her speech completed. The next speaker to step up was a short, black earth pony with a dark blue mane. She had a white quill and a dark inkpot for a cutie mark. Her name was Fallen Poet and she had been Luna's royal advisor. She too began to give a heartfelt speech about Luna.

Celestia found herself scanning the crowd. The sheer amount of ponies in the plaza was astounding. The cobblestone ground of the plaza was completely obscured by the scores of colourful manes and coats. Celestia smiled slightly, her broken heart warmed by the sight of such a large crowd.

Fallen Poet finished speaking and stepped back, her speech shorter than Moonbeam's. Bastion Yorsets then stood up, a grey unicorn stallion with a golden wreath cutie mark. The scholarly pony began to give a powerful speech about the successes Luna had achieved in her time as ruler. Celestia frowned, finding his speech to be too professional. She had wanted somepony from her School for Gifted Unicorns to speak about Luna, and he had been chosen along with his colleague, Ingrid. Though Celestia ran and oversaw proceedings at the school, Luna had expressed an interest in it too.

Sighing, Celestia scanned the crowd, looking for a particular group of seven. She found them without much trouble, seeing them near the front of the large crowd. She clearly identified Twilight's friends and holders of the elements of harmony. She saw Applejack and Rarity watching the speaker with respectful attention. She could see clearly the sadness they were experiencing and their struggle to hold it together.

She saw Rainbow Dash, shifting uncomfortably on her hooves. She had come to know the young flier quite well, and understood what she was feeling. She knew that heavy, heartfelt emotions were not something the pegasus preferred to deal with.

Celestia glanced at Pinkie Pie and widened her eyes slightly. She saw Pinkie's mane in a slightly deflated manner and recalled the letter Twilight had written about Pinkie's brief struggle with depression. She glanced at her own mane, holding it slightly aloft with her forehoof. It was gray and lifeless, and it looked depressing. It hurt to see her mane like this, and now Pinkie's was going straight too. Celestia sighed, unable to fight off the bout of sadness that had suddenly overcome her.

Yorsets finished his speech and Ingrid stepped up to take his place. A brown unicorn mare with a thick, darker brown mane, Ingrid was one of two principals at the school, the other being Yorsets. She began to speak of Luna more as a pony than as a political entity.

That's more like it, Celestia thought, returning her gaze to the group near the front. She attempted to find Fluttershy and, for a moment, could not. Eventually she spotted the pegasus, sitting low to the ground and partially hidden behind Pinkie. Celestia had expected her to be the most distraught out of the group, so her behaviour was of no surprise. It was still heartbreaking to see her so upset.

Finally, Celestia's eyes rested upon her prized pupil, Twilight Sparkle, who had Spike perched upon her back. The unicorn simply stared forwards at the coffin containing Luna, a concerned expression in her eyes. She barely moved and simply stared, her expression and body language crystal clear.

Celestia could see that Twilight was heartbroken; she could see how much it hurt to see Luna in that coffin. It looked as if the young unicorn couldn't tear her eyes away from the truth, no matter how much she wanted to. Twilight was some distance away, but Celestia was certain that she saw tears in the young unicorn's eyes.

The Princess shut her eyes and looked away, unable to bear seeing her favourite student in such a state of distress. Everything that this day was throwing at her was beating her down and sapping her strength. It was becoming increasingly difficult to keep from crying.

"I still find it hard to believe that she's gone. I almost don't want to believe it," Ingrid was presently saying, "but, even though the truth hurts, we have to accept it. It is a terribly sad day for everypony, but life goes on, and Luna would've wanted you all to be happy. Thank you."

Ingrid stepped away and the next pony stepped up to speak. The ceremony flowed on through the morning. Words were spoken, kind and sorrowful, and, one by one, the ponies on the stage all stepped up and gave a speech from their hearts. Eventually only two ponies remained to speak; Princess Celestia herself, who would be going last, and the pony that was presently approaching the stand.

Navy Shield cleared his throat and began to speak. "Ponies of Equestria, my name is Navy Shield. This day is especially difficult for me because I was the one who discovered Luna out by the Forest." He paused and regarded the crowd, an expression on his face that belied no emotions. His professionalism was impeccable. The crowd watched him silently.

"It was a terrible tragedy that night. I had called my unit over to assist me, and seeing the looks on their faces was just about too much to bear. It was difficult to have to send somepony back to alert Princess Celestia. Nopony had wanted to perform that duty. It was a difficult day for all of us, but we persevered.

"And that is what I feel we should all be doing right now. This is a difficult obstacle we are all facing, and it is causing us distress, pain and suffering. But we can move on from this tragedy and live happy lives once again. It's not an impossible feat, and it'll make our futures much brighter." He paused, letting a sniffle escape. "I'm sure that's what Princess Luna would've wanted."

Celestia sighed, drinking in the sergeant's words. She recalled seeing him standing outside the Forest on that night, gingerly covering up the body of her sister. She had seen his face; very solemn and saddened. He spoke what was the truth. Luna would've wanted everypony to go on enjoying their lives and would've been distressed if everypony had been consumed with depression. Celestia knew that she would have to try.

But she wasn't sure if she'd be able to.

"We will all miss her dearly," Navy said, with a bow of his head, "and Equestria will never be the same without her. There is a time for grieving, and that is now, but this time should not last forever. Ponies of Equestria, I hope you will all take my words to heart. Live your lives and be happy. It would have made her happy."

With that, Navy Shield stepped back, leaving the stage empty. Celestia took a deep breath, getting to her feet. It was her turn. Steadying herself emotionally, she gently made her way to the front.

She stole a quick glance at Twilight and her friends. They all looked up to her with supportive eyes. Twilight's gaze lingered upon the coffin for a few moments before hers too was locked on the Princess. She took another deep breath and began to speak.

"My little ponies," she said in a low voice. It was still her gorgeous, melodic voice, but it was as if the octave had been lowered and the key had been altered.

"Thank you all for coming here today. It means a lot to me. Everypony, I have lived in this land for more than fifteen hundred years. I have seen many things and endured many hardships. There have been very few times when I have cried. I am not ashamed to admit that the events of yesterday morning were one of those times.

"Over a thousand years ago, when I had been forced to use the Elements of Harmony to seal away a great evil, I had also been forced to seal away my dear sister. It gave me such guilt and sorrow, and so I had promised myself that when she came back we would always be together and I would never let anything happen to her."

She paused, stealing another glance at her mane. "Ponies, this is why you see me like this. I will not lie to you, I have been very distraught. It is a terrible thing to lose a family member, and it is no different for one such as myself.

"But there is truth in what all of the ponies who sit behind me have said, especially Sergeant Navy Shield's words. It is a difficult challenge, but I will try to move on, and be happy once again. I know it's what Luna would've wanted.

She paused again, fighting back tears. Stay strong, Celestia. "Luna was a wonderful sister, and a wonderful pony. Though she was a royal alicorn with both wings and a horn, she was very closely connected with all of the ponies of Equestria; every single one of you. When the land was happy, she was happy.

"I have loved her for as long as I can remember. When the frustrations of ruling the kingdom had ever built up and broken me down, she had always been there to cheer me up. There was only one time she had acted as anything other than sweet and caring, and even then, it wasn't her fault."

She sighed, closing her eyes, a few teardrops barely sneaking past. "I will miss her so very much. It is with great sorrow that I take her duties of raising the moon into my own hooves, as I had done so a millennium ago."

She then looked up, offering a weak smile. "Luna once told me that her time in this modern age had been the best time of her life. I thank you all for your love and support of her. She felt it, and I did too. She always seemed to be smiling, even though she was so shy. She made some fantastic friends. For any of her friends who are presently in attendance, she loved you all very dearly. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing joy to her life."

Celestia could feel the tears building. She turned her head to a collection of pegasus guards dressed in black armour standing off to the side and gave them a nod. Wordlessly, they flew over to Luna's coffin and carefully replaced the lid.

"Goodbye Luna. You brought so much joy to so many ponies, and warmed everypony's heart. We will all miss you."

The black armoured guards carefully hoisted Luna's coffin up and, with silent, powerful beats of their wings, began to lift it into the air. Hidden behind the stage, a small group of musicians began playing a solemn song. It was quiet and sorrowful and yet, somehow, also uplifting and inspiring. As the notes of the powerful song floated through the air, the guards began to airlift the coffin out of the square and towards a place located just below Canterlot Castle; the royal graveyard.

Celestia did not watch the coffin's morbid progress. She simply returned to her throne and sat with her head held low, listening to the music. Despite the melodic sounds, she could hear from the crowd the sound of ponies crying. Many emotional dams had finally burst and a cacophonic mix of wails quietly mixed themselves in with the song. The uplifting quality had vanished. The song was now a morbid hymn of tears. She clenched her eyes shut, forcing her own tears away.

Nearby, a group of seven watched in poignant silence as the coffin and its escorts slowly shrank into the distance. There was a strange feeling of finality the moment that the coffin disappeared from view. That was it. Princess Luna was gone.

And she was never going to return.

 

 

With the ceremony concluded, most of the crowd dispersed and left Canterlot. Eventually, the only ones still in the square were a few crying ponies, unable to move themselves, and their supportive friends.

Fluttershy was one such pony. She was presently curled up on the ground, sobbing silently. Her six friends sat close by, patting her and comforting her.

"That was tough…" Applejack said flatly.

"It certainly was, Applejack," Rarity responded. Fluttershy sniffled beneath them and Rarity turned her attention to the crying pegasus. "Don't worry, darling. Let it all out. We're here for you," she said as she lightly brought her hoof across Fluttershy's back.

"I'm…I'm sorry for…" Fluttershy whimpered.

"Hush, darling," Rarity shushed her, "There's nothing to be sorry about. We all feel the same emotions that you do, so you're not alone. We all just have different ways of dealing with them."

A moment of silence passed, save for Fluttershy's crying, before Applejack spoke up again. "Is everypony feelin' okay?"

"I'll be fine…" Rainbow Dash muttered, staring intently at something interesting on the ground.

"You sure, sugarcube?" Applejack responded in a caring voice.

Dash was silent for a moment. "Those were some…good speeches," she responded, not looking up.

"Yeah…Kinda wish we could've spoken. We were her friends and we saved her with the Elements o' Harmony. But, then again, I think everypony woula wanted ta say somethin'."

Dash sighed. "Some of them were saying that we should just move on. I mean, they're probably right and all, but…I dunno if I can…"

Applejack patted Dash's back and said, "I reckon we can. It'll take time, I won't lie ta ya, but we'll all heal." Applejack then turned her head to look at Twilight. "How 'bout you, Twi?" she asked.

Twilight didn't respond. She was staring at the still-standing stage, deep in thought. Her brow was furrowed and she barely moved.

"Twi? TWI?!"

Twilight gasped as Applejack's hoof suddenly waved in front of her face. "What? Oh, sorry. What did you say?" she stammered.

"I was askin' if y'all were feelin' all right 'cus, by the looks of it, ya ain't." Applejack responded, her concern evident even though her thick accent.

"Oh…I was just…" For a moment she stared off again. Applejack was about to wave her hoof again when Twilight continued. "Sorry, it's just that…I dunno. It's been a long day, I'm sorry."

"Heh, don't'cha worry. We're all feelin' rough. If y'all wanna talk about somethin', then feel free."

"It's just…" Twilight began. She then shook her head and said, "It's nothing. I guess I'm just still really emotional."

Applejack frowned. "Y'all were closer ta her than any of us. You two were like best friends. I'm…I'm really sorry, Twilight. It must be tough."

Twilight sighed. "It hurts. It really does. I was crying all last night. I really don't want her to be gone…"

Applejack stepped over and sat beside her friend, hugging her with a hoof. "S'all right, Twilight. We'll get through this t'gether."

Another moment of silence passed. Twilight opened her mouth to say something, but before she could make a sound, they heard a whine behind them. They turned and saw Pinkie Pie sitting, utterly upset and with her mane completely straight.

"Pinkie…Y'all okay?" Applejack asked.

Pinkie shook her head, her silky mane shrouding her face.

"I know it's sad, Pinkie. Losin' a friend is never easy, but…"

"Didn't you see her mane?!" Pinkie half-shouted, looking up at the four ponies that were looking at her.

They all paused and thought back to Princess Celestia's appearance. Her grey mane had been difficult to miss, and it was a shocking contrast to her regular appearance.

Pinkie sniffled and continued speaking. "I knew she'd be sad, but I didn't think it'd be that bad! I mean, my mane gets all straight like this when I get really, really sad, but I'm just a regular earth pony. Her mane is always sparkly and rainbow-y, and it flows even when there's no wind. It's a magical mane, so you know how sad she must be feeling for that mane to fall down like that…"

"I was so surprised when I saw her mane," Twilight spoke, "In all the years that I've known her, her mane has always been picture perfect. I even saw the pictures in the old books of her when she banished Nightmare Moon. It was only pink, but it was still flowing and bright, even as she sent her own sister to the moon."

Pinkie nodded. "Exactly! This is a whole new level of sad! I don't even know what would happen to my mane if I got that sad. It might just fall out!"

Twilight frowned. Seeing the Princess in such a state of sorrow only added to the pain. She couldn't bear to see Celestia feeling so much sadness that it made her mane lose its magic.

Pinkie sniffled again. "Poor Celestia…"

Fluttershy also sniffled. "Luna…"

Everypony stared at the ground. The negative energy in the air was expanding and it was beginning to swallow them up. Applejack covered her face with her hat again while Rainbow Dash turned so she was facing away from the others.

"I do hope she's all right," Rarity spoke softly, "I hope she got our letter."

"She might not'a been in the mood ta read it," Applejack responded, "but if she didn't, I'm sure she'll read it soon. "

"She has to read the letter. It'll make her feel better!" Pinkie said, glancing up with saddened eyes. "It…has to…"

Movement caught their downcast eyes as Fluttershy sat up. She looked as if she wanted to continue crying, for hours perhaps, but was simply exhausted and out of tears. She stared at the pavement with a pained expression.

"Fluttershy…?" Applejack ventured cautiously.

She shook her head, not wishing to speak. Applejack sighed and returned her gaze to the ground.

They sat in silence for a very long time. Everypony was grief-stricken and staring at the ground except for Twilight, who was again staring off into the distance, as if in a trance.

Finally, the quiet was broken as Spike, who had been silent and nearly invisible until this point, spoke up. "Our ride's here."

They all glanced back, following his gaze to the pegasus-drawn chariot that had landed not far away. The pegasi attached to the front were looking to them expectantly.

"Well, let's get goin', unless any o' you have a reason ta stay," Applejack said, getting to her hooves. She glanced at all her friends, who were standing up and trying to keep from looking at one another.

"Guess not."

Slowly, they began marching to the chariot. To outside observers, it looked like they were headed to a funeral, not leaving one. Applejack gazed gloomily at her four pony friends as they reached the chariot and climbed aboard.

Wait…Four? Somepony was missing.

Turning her head back to where they had been sitting a moment ago she saw Twilight. The unicorn had not moved from her previous position and was still staring ahead, lost in thought.

Applejack sighed, partially in frustration and partially in misery. She trotted back over to the statuesque purple pony and lightly prodded her on the back. "C'mon, it's time to go."

Twilight's glazed eyes again regained confused focus. "What? Oh, I'm sorry," she muttered, turning to the earth pony.

Applejack wore a very concerned expression. "Twilight, are you sure yer gonna be okay?"

"I'm fine, I'm sorry. I'm just thinking…" she muttered, getting to her hooves.

"If y'all say so," Applejack muttered before turning around and returning to the chariot.

Twilight turned to follow her, but before she could, her eyes were drawn to the stage where the ceremony had taken place. Subconsciously, they drifted along the path that the coffin had flown as it had been airlifted by the pegasi. She stared in the general direction of the graveyard.

"What was…Why was…?" she muttered under her breath. For a moment, intense confusion spread across her face. Then she shook her head and turned to follow Applejack to the chariot.

"My emotions must be getting to me…"