“And then, she got all big, and then the master landed on top of her head and vrooom, all these scales got really real,” Skystar said excitedly, sitting in her throne next to her mother. “And she totally didn’t hurt anyone. In fact, she gave a little ride to Rainbow’s filly friends too. It was so cute, Mom.”
Queen Novo nodded. “Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.”
“It was weird,” the princess went on. “I was so scared, but then I’m watching the whole thing, and everything and everyone was fine.”
“That matches what I’ve heard and read about master mevs myself though you’re more likely to experience that at night,” Novo noted.
“Really?” Skystar was surprised at this information.
“They’re vampires, my child. Really,” Novo told her. “Skystar, are you ready? It is time for Master Rainbow Dash to eat from our plans made earlier.”
“Yes, Mom, I am. Everything I saw today was so amazing! I’m happy to do my part in all this,” Skystar said.
“Very well. I’ll be watching from here. You go on.” Novo gestured that Skystar should join Rainbow Dash waiting on the wide open floor.
Skystar obeyed. “So how do we do this?” she asked.
“There’s one extra thing I need to do before we start since your mom’s watching,” Rainbow explained. She tapped a hoof the ground, summoned Blitz, and spoke to her pet. “I’m about to eat. I have given permission to Queen Novo,” the mev nodded in the direction where the queen sat, “to watch. That means that you leave her alone. No matter how scared she or Skystar here get, you just stay where you are. You can watch too.”
Blitz looked over at the queen, to her master, and finally nodded, air-slithering her way toward a corner of the room.
Rainbow switched her eyes from magenta to red and turned in Skystar’s direction. “You just look me in the eyes, and I’ll take care of the rest.”
Skystar did exactly that and felt pulled in by the enchantment.
“Stay exactly where you are,” the master mev ordered. She approached closer, leaned upward, lifted off into a tiny hover, and bit the princess hippogriff’s neck.
Novo leaned forward from her throne but managed to stay in her seat. Blitz raised her head and also stayed. Skystar grew sleepy and felt the pleasurable drain. Rainbow sucked in the magic from her vampire bite. Finally, the young hippogriff body started to fall. It was a gentle, slow collapse guided by the master mev’s strong forelimbs.
Rainbow Dash stared and changed her eyes back to their magenta. She didn’t wipe her mouth, and she didn’t smile. The magic lacked flavor. Such was what she gave up for being watched today. She took a few steps back, sensing what would happen next. Novo rushed down to her daughter’s body and listened close for the beating heart and pulsing blood. “She’ll wake in an hour like we discussed,” Rainbow told her.
“You will wait with me at her bedside until the hour is passed. Then you may you have your piece of the pearl…Master” the queen stated.
“As you wish,” Rainbow replied and bowed politely. She looked over to Blitz with a nod of dismissal. The leviathan dread nodded back and slipped herself back into the void.
“Let me get this straight. None of you have ever even tried?” Rainbow Dash asked.
She and Novo sat at Skystar’s bedside in the princess’ lofty bedroom.
“No,” Novo admitted. “I mean, we spent so much time underwater and before that, of course, the Storm King was who controlled the weather, so we stayed away from the clouds in the sky. Even now, the clouds are nice to see, and certainly some of our fliers have passed through for a bit of a refreshing douse, as it’s been described to me. Simply standing on them hasn’t really occurred to us.”
Rainbow let out a long breath. “Your Majesty, as both a master mev and as a pegasus who literally lives in a cloud house, I really think you should find out as soon as possible. Pegasi and griffins can, so it would be my assumption that hippogriffs can as well. Now that I think about it, I’ve never seen Skystar or Silverstream try in the time I’ve known either of them.”
The queen smiled in amusement. She rang a bell, spoke to an attendant who nodded and walked away. “We’ll find out soon enough then, Rainbow Dash.”
“Oh, thanks. Next question then. Have you ever had any hippogriffs who could not fly?” Rainbow asked.
Novo thought really hard for awhile “No, never,” she admitted.
“Are there any books on hippogriff flight magic?” Rainbow continued her questions.
“No, there’s not really much to say for us,” Novo told her. “The magic just works. It lets us fly. You’d sooner find a book on aerial maneuvers, but there’s no…I don’t know…it sounds like you’re asking about a sort of science of our magic. We don’t have anything like that. Our magic is not like pony magic, you know. We just…fly…or swim with the help of the pearl. We don’t have cutie marks. Perhaps you can learn any science of our magic with it now in your reserve.”
Rainbow Dash nodded and nodded as she followed along.
“Would it be rude of me to ask the master mev why she is so interested in this subject?” Novo openly wondered.
“Not at all,” Rainbow said. “You’ve allowed me to do so much here. I’m trying to help another client, and this sort of thing is important to the job.”
“Interesting,” Novo remarked. “I hope your time here proves fruitful.”
“It already has,” Rainbow assured her with a grateful smile.
Only a few minutes later, Sky Beak himself arrived. “Novo, my goodness, it worked! I could stand on a cloud. Then I sat on it. It was a rather nice sensation. I couldn’t move it around though.”
“Well, that certainly is worthwhile to know, Master Rainbow Dash,” the queen said with a regal smile of her own gratitude in turn.
“Is everything alright with Princess Skystar?” Sky Beak asked worriedly, realizing his niece slept with the two others watching over her.
“She’s just sleeping for now,” Novo told him. “She’s a little sick, yes, but it’s nothing to worry over. She’ll be fully recovered within the week.”
Sky Beak glanced over to Rainbow Dash with mild suspicion.
“I promise you anything that Master Rainbow Dash has done was done with my full knowledge and cooperation. Understood?” Queen Novo said importantly to him. “Skystar’s as well. She did something for our friend here to help her.”
“Oh,” he softened. “Very well, then. And I take it that Master Rainbow Dash is who I have to thank for testing out the clouds.”
“Yes, sir,” Rainbow said with a smile and nod. “One of my talents as a pegasus.”
“Hmm, how very fascinating.” Sky Beak seemed satisfied enough and left.
Once the hour fully passed, Skystar awoke. “Mom…” she blinked. “It wasn’t a dream, right?”
“No, it wasn’t. Rainbow Dash is still here with me to see that you wake safely,” Novo said.
Skystar sat up. She flexed her wings and tried to fly, confirming for both her and her mother that she no longer could. “You know, I forgot to even ask, can I still be a sea pony?”
“That magic is from the pearl, so yes,” Rainbow told her.
“Heh, maybe I should just spend my week in Seaquestria,” she noted with a light smile.
“You know, I think maybe I’ll join you,” the queen remarked. “But whatever we do, I know the master here needs her last part of our agreement.” Novo opened a small chest she had ready at her side and revealed the tiny piece of pearl to Rainbow. It was already strewn on a piece of string for her. “If I may…” she offered.
Rainbow bowed her head lower, ears following suit, allowing the queen of the hippogriffs to ceremoniously bestow the gift of magic pearl upon her neck. “Thanks very much, Your Majesty,”the master mev said with another round of meaningful gratitude. It felt magical to even receive it.
“Why did you want it even if it doesn’t work on you?” Skystar asked.
“My instincts suggested I do so. It’s a token of my visit, a symbol of our connection,” Rainbow explained. “Plus, I felt a charge just now, so it actually probably will work if I’m the one activating the magic. I’ll test it out before I go once I find my friends.”
Skystar smiled in contemplation. “That’s really cool.”
Novo admittedly agreed. After that, the regal pair dismissed Rainbow Dash, so the master mev flew off to find her companions for the trip. The CMC and Twilight Sparkle were enjoying a grand time along the beach where hippogriffs and sea ponies gathered.
Rainbow Dash smiled at the sight and landed in the water to try out the tiny piece of pearl first. To her satisfaction, it worked. The others noticed her activity, and the mev swam to the shore, deactivating the magic to meet up with them.
“They gave you a piece of the pearl?” Sweetie asked, ever so curious and eager about mev business once more.
“How’d you convince them to do that?” Apple Bloom asked.
“That is so cool,” Scootaloo said. “And it works on you, so you can turn into a sea pony whenever you want now!”
“Settle down, girls,” Twilight told them. “Equestria’s master mev can’t tell you every bit of her business, believe it or not. Perhaps she can tell me later though, hmm?” Twilight asked with a smile.
Rainbow gave a silent nod at that.
“You look so, I don’t know, official,” Sweetie remarked. “Like some kind of honorary diplomat?”
“Hmm,” Rainbow thought. “The word doesn’t feel right, but I don’t know the right one either, besides the one I’ve already got.”
“Heh heh, ‘master’,” Sweetie giggled.
Rainbow gave her a slight silent bow of her head in confirmation.
“Is there anything you can tell us?” Apple Bloom hoped.
“My meeting with the queen went well, as you can see,” the mev gestured at her necklace. “And that’s pretty much it for today. How’d your mission go? I see lots of happy hippogriffs and sea ponies, but I saw that before, except maybe Terramar for about five seconds.”
“Haha,” Scootaloo said.
“He was indeed the hippogriff and sea pony we were here to help,” Apple Bloom informed Rainbow.
“Oh? What was his friendship problem?” Rainbow asked.
“I’m not sure it even qualified as a friendship problem,” Sweetie admitted with a hoof up to her chin in contemplation, “but it was kinda suited for what we do. He was having a hard time finding where he belongs. He wanted to be with both the hippogriffs and the sea ponies.”
“He felt like he had to pick,” Scootaloo continued for her. “But it turns out, he doesn’t. Both his parents are totally cool with him splitting his time between them and their places like he already is.”
“And so is he. It’s what makes him happy,” Apple Bloom finished.
“Well hey, way to go Crusaders,” Rainbow told them with a proud smile. She held up a hoof, and the trio put theirs to hers with proud glances at each other for impressing their pegasus friend.
“The sun is starting to set,” Sweetie realized and gave a cautious glance toward Rainbow. “We’re staying overnight, right Twilight?”
“Yes. The last train has already gone for the day. I’ve made arrangements at a hotel, and we’ll all leave in the morning,” Twilight answered.
“But what about…?” Apple Bloom started.
“Let’s head to that room, shall we?” Rainbow suggested before the earth pony filly could finish.
The young trio picked up on the clue and said their farewell for the day to Terramar and others.
“Now can I ask?” Apple Bloom asked. “The three of us know, you know.”
“You don’t even have to ask. I’ll tell you,” Rainbow began. “Like I said, I can use magic when it comes to doing things for my pack or doing things I can’t do as a pegasus. There is no way I could fly to Ponyville in time from here for my flexchange with Pinkie tonight. And she does need her dose of magic tonight more than I need mine. It’s supposed to be done early in the night when possible. So…I’ll be teleporting.”
“You can do that too?” Sweetie was in awe.
“Of course. It’d be hard to see my girls at night if I couldn’t. Granted, I actually do still try the long way when I’m in town. Good exercise and effort to maintain the reserve properly,” Rainbow admitted.
“So, you’re leaving?” Scootaloo’s question hinted at anticipated disappointment.
“Well, I certainly don’t [i]need[/i] to come back. My work here is done,” Rainbow pointed out.
Now all three looked disappointed.
“Aw, you three really know how to make a master mev feel special, I’ll give you that,” Rainbow beamed. “Chin up. It was a great trip, even if we all had our own separate missions. I’ll be around town and check in.”
“We know,” Sweetie told her. “It’s just…I think we were all hoping to hear more about how yours went on the train ride home, and we could tell you about ours too.”
“I’m sorry girls. I really do love regaling you with my master mev stuff, but I cannot tell you everything. I have to think about the creatures I work with and what they need from me. Or what’s best for Team Awesome. Or even myself. I’ll be happy to hear about your mission, but you already saw the gist of what I’d tell you. I can certainly repeat myself,” Rainbow Dash smiled softly at the meager offer.
“You know, I do think we’d be okay with that,” Apple Bloom said, “Everything happened so fast, it’s kind of a blur.”
Sweetie and Scootaloo nodded with tiny hopeful smiles.
Rainbow smiled yet again. “Fair enough. You’ve got yourself a deal. Twilight…” she said.
Twilight watched the entire conversation quietly while being quietly moved at the bond between a master mev and three young ponies. “Yes, Rainbow?”
“Maybe tomorrow, I can wait for the Crusaders at the castle. We can have a chat together in the throne room about our visit here today. What do you think? Provided you’re not too busy, and we don’t disrupt any of your princess duties there,” Rainbow suggested.
“It’s no trouble at all. In fact, if you three don’t mind, Spike and I can log information about your mission for our own archives,” Twilight offered.
“Really?” said a hopeful Apple Bloom. “We don’t mind one bit.”
“Totally,” Scootaloo agreed.
“We’d be happy to ‘regale’ you with our Crusaders stuff,” Sweetie added. The filly trio all giggled together.
“Awesome. I’ll see everypony then. I’m heading back to Ponyville.” Rainbow stood and readied herself, moving a few steps from the others. The crusaders closed in for a quick hug first, so she wrapped her wings around them to return the embrace. They let go when they were ready and took steps back to give the master mev space. Rainbow Dash gave a familiar and friendly salute before disappearing in a flash.