At Twilight’s castle on Sunday early in the afternoon, the Cutie Mark Crusaders met with Rainbow Dash as intended. Twilight Sparkle and Spike sat with them in their own respective thrones, more as transcribers and observers than conversationalists. Rainbow talked about her performance that all but Spike saw, letting Blitz loose to enjoy herself and learn more about their own magic, and that yes, she received a tiny piece of pearl from Queen Novo. She didn’t expect to wear it all the time like Silverstream and other hippogriffs did with theirs, but she brought it and wore it for the occasion of revisiting the story.
The Crusaders meanwhile talked at length about all the wonderful things they saw and experienced. They admitted they actually had a rather tense argument when it turned out Sweetie favored Mount Aris, and Scootaloo favored Seaquestria, each by a large margin, to the point they left Terramar even more frustrated. Everything turned out alright in the end, thanks to a small point from Twilight and realizing how they were acting affected their new friend as it did.
With much of the exchange of stories done, Scootaloo and Apple Bloom departed. Twilight and Spike went off to the library to attend to their archives and Twilight’s princess duties. Sweetie Belle, however, stayed put, sitting in Rarity’s seat as she waved good-bye to everyone, hoping the master mev would stay and happy when she did.
“Don’t you need to head home too?” Rainbow Dash asked.
“I was kind of hoping I could talk to you,” Sweetie told her.
“We just did a whole bunch of talking,” Rainbow pointed out.
“Maybe ask you something without other ponies and dragon around then?” Sweetie offered with a hopeful smile. “Or a couple of somethings that’s kind of a big something in the end.”
Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow, quite intrigued. Neither her mev nor her pegasus senses could pick up on what the unicorn filly wanted. “Alright,” she finally said.
“Is it true you can’t have any more fledglings?” Sweetie started with her first question.
“That’s what the book says, my gut says, and I certainly don’t want or intend to add any,” Rainbow answered. She waited for the next question.
“And even if you could have more, you can’t bite kids, so they can’t be fledglings for you ever, right?” Sweetie moved on.
“That’s right,” Rainbow answered with a confirming nod.
Sweetie Belle looked around to be sure they were still alone and stood onto the table, walking closer so she could face the master mev more closely. She sat down. “Can you have an assistant the way Twilight has Spike? And if so, can I be that assistant?” Sweetie finally asked what she wanted to know.
Rainbow blinked in quiet surprise. “Did you just say what I think you did?”
Rainbow thought about the idea for a moment before explaining, “You know that for a creature like me an assistant would be what I consider a servant, and I already have six bound to me through my pack, right?”
Sweetie solemnly nodded and pointed out, “But you have Blitz too. She assists you, and she’s not a fledgling. Master Rainbow Dash, I’ve seen how you treat your servants. You’re…kinda nice to be honest. You do things to try to make Blitz happy even when she’s already happy to just obey you. I was so scared when you picked up Rarity at your cloud house, but then I heard her laugh, and I could see how much fun she was having in that one brief, silly moment. Even on the train with Twilight…yeah, they’re your mev servants, but they’re also still your friends. I can see that.”
Rainbow blushed, gently rubbing the back of her mane. “I try,” she admitted. She stared in thought, deep in thought. Where to even go with such a proposal? She sighed. “My servants are bound to me,” she explained. “Even if Blitz is not in my pack, she is bound to my mev magic. I can summon and dismiss her at will. She is obedient. If I allow you to be my ‘assistant’, I would require a bond of some kind, even if it’s not the ones I already have through other means. It would go beyond the friendship we have now.”
“Can we do that?” Sweetie sounded hopeful. “Maybe since I’m related by blood to Rarity, who’s one of your fledglings, that could help,” she suggested.
“Oh, you raise a good point,” Rainbow agreed with serious consideration.
“Really?” Sweetie was even more hopeful and proud that her idea had merit.
“Really. But let’s not be too hasty. The main thing I need to understand is that you are willing to form that bond if I accept your offer.” Rainbow looked seriously at Sweetie. “This is real servitude. You know what that means, don’t you?”
The unicorn realized the gravity in the master mev’s facial expression. “Well, I definitely want to…” Sweetie said, “maybe you could give me a chance for a little while…”
“No,” Rainbow stopped her. “There is no trial run with me. You give yourself to me, or you don’t. No half-way points. I will indeed try to be a worthy master to your service and a friend who hopes to make you happy with the work I do. But if you do this, Sweetie Belle, you’re mine. Do you get me? This is super important because you are still young enough that I can’t bite you, but I am hoping you’re old enough to understand what you ask and what I mean. We have been friends for awhile, even if it’s mainly through our other friends. I would not accept your service lightly.”
Sweetie looked at Rainbow and, for awhile, that was all she could do. In a way, it was the meanest Rainbow felt in all the time she’d known her as a master mev. Still, she also knew it was honest, and that Rainbow was a new creature altogether. After all, that fascination at the change was what drew her to even think of asking such a thing. She swallowed. “I get you, Master.”
“Good. So, do you still want this or perhaps you want some time to think it over?” Rainbow wondered.
Sweetie Belle shook her head. “I don’t need more time to think it over. I do want this. Don’t get me wrong, Rainbow Dash, you scare me, especially after everything you just said. Ownership? Yikes. This servitude is intimidating, but I just…when I’m with you, I feel right inside. The world is somehow new and wonderful and even more magical. That’s what it’s like for you, right? Being a vampire in general. I know others say it’s not like in the stories we hear or read about, but some of it is. I’ve read some of the stories. I like vampire novels,” she admitted with a blush in her cheeks. She added with a sincere glance meeting Rainbow’s eyes, “The world is more pretty to you since you transformed, isn’t it?”
Rainbow blinked quietly, then took a small gulp. She looked at the table. It wasn’t a change in her she thought of often, but it was true. She was rather touched Sweetie knew. She wiped at tiny tears forming in her eyes. “Yes,” she answered in a whisper. Then more firmly and confidently with her voice back, meeting Sweetie Belle’s eyes in turn, she said, “Yes, it is.”
“And I just want to be a part of it. I wish I could be one of your fledglings, but I can’t. I can’t grow up to become one. All the slots are full. I don’t want to wait to be older to be your servant when I know what I want now. I’m hoping that I get to know all the extra stuff I can’t be told now. Because I’ll be the pony to help you, somepony you can count on. Your right hoof, if you’ll let me. I mean, maybe it’d be good for you to have an outsider servant to sort of link to them, especially for kids,” Sweetie argued even though Rainbow didn’t need convincing on accepting her servitude. It was still good for each pony to know the young unicorn’s logic.
“Okay,” Rainbow sighed. “More good points. Another question for you then. When you say ‘like Spike,’ you are aware that he lives with Twilight. Is that the kind of thing you hope for with this idea?”
“I know, but it doesn’t have to be exactly like him,” Sweetie pointed out. “I can do what Terramar does. I’ll go with you or Rarity or my parents, whoever feels right. Of course, if you as the master want me there, I’ll be there. That’s the deal we’re making. But like I said, I know you’re nice, so you’d let me be where I want to be if you didn’t need me.”
Rainbow nodded. “Yeah. What would you tell your parents?”
“Whatever you want me to, Master,” the filly replied. “Maybe not everyone’s going to know you’re an actual vampire but with a trip like the one we just took to Mount Aris, it’s not a secret that you’ve got some big job or role in Equestria. I’ll tell them I’m helping you with that to learn about the world and about magic, and that’s totally true. That’s what I want out of this. ” She paused. “And Rainbow Dash, if you take me in like I hope you will, can you tell me…everything?” She saw Rainbow’s hesitance. “Okay maybe that’s not the right word. But the most you’re willing to tell any outsider ever? Can I know what you did yesterday at Mount Aris? The things you wouldn’t tell us. I’d be working for you, so it’s different.”
“You realize you can’t tell the others?” Rainbow pointed out. “The three of you share so much. That’s how I ended up letting Rarity tell you from the start. It’s like there’s a circle around me, and I’m letting you in. They stay out. You are restricted to what you can share, just as I do now.”
Sweetie closed her eyes. Her lips curved downward, not a frown exactly, but a solemn acknowledgment with a tiny nod. “They’ll know that I’m with you. I won’t be able to hide that. But I’ll make sure they know what you told us yesterday. I can’t tell them everything either.”
“Right then,” Rainbow sounded like she was preparing to do it, whatever forming the new bond would entail. She lifted off from her seat and started to hover and mutter. “Let’s see…you will be with me, but you are still outranked by all the other servants.”
Sweetie grinned and nodded.
“Especially Primeva,” Rainbow emphasized in a pointed gesture with her hoof. “Starlight is super special and important to me. She is second in command to the pack. If I’m not around, you will obey her. Am I clear?” the master mev sounded quite stern.
“Yes,” Sweetie agreed, her grin gone at the seriousness with which Rainbow spoke.
“She’s kind of like my right hoof fledgling, and you’d be the right hoof outsider,” Rainbow decided. “We’re going to have to do something about the fact that you can’t be up at night as much as I am.”
“Is that possible?” Sweetie asked, most curious at the prospect.
“Trust me, I’m not thinking anything like the scale of what I live. I just want you to be able to be with me if the work calls for it. I’ve taken a liking to reading and exercising with Blitz’s company at night when I’m not off doing my flexchanges, flying, or master mev business. For you, I think we can use Rarity’s help with your blood relation idea. In fact, we should probably do it to create the bond,” Rainbow’s hoof was at her chin as she was thinking, forming whatever method she was going to use. She descended to stand on the table with Sweetie Belle. “But before all that, you need a title. Since you’re not a fledgling or mev magic already with me, I want to know it ahead of time. That will help in making the bond,” she nodded as if she were learning it from herself. “The answer’s not going to just come to me. ‘Assistant’ will not do at all.”
Sweetie smiled. “Right hoof? Deputy? You like x’s, so how about Auxiliary?”
“Those are okay, but I think we can do better. You want something from one of those and something of you,” Rainbow pointed out. “It needs some flair.”
“Oh, like mix it up with a music word?” Sweetie suggested.
“Now you’re getting it,” Rainbow said with a nod and smile.
Sweetie thought and thought and thought some more. She wanted it to sound like a fledgling name even if she couldn’t be one, so she wanted it to end with an ‘a’. Additionally, she considered putting in one of the letters Rainbow liked though the master mev didn’t list herself as some factor in it. “Rhezenda?” she suggested.
“Oh,” Rainbow’s voice and eyes lit up with interest.
“Yeah, there’s a silent ‘h’, but it starts with R-H for the ‘right hoof’ part. The main base of the word is ‘crescendo.’ It’s a music term for gradually increasing in loudness. I changed the ‘s-c’ to a ‘z’ because you like that letter, and I wanted the ‘a’ at the end for the same reasons you like them and because you like it too, heh. You know, you’re building up your work, and I’m helping with that. Right?” Sweetie looked up thoughtfully.
“My Rhezenda, Sweetie Belle,” the master mev tried it. “Hmm, yes, it is rather pretty. Music to my ears even,” Rainbow said with a wink.
Sweetie swelled with pride.
“A bond then. We need to exchange magic,” Rainbow lifted into a contemplative hover once again.
“We can exchange?” Sweetie asked in shock. “But I thought you couldn’t bite me.”
“Oh, that’s still true,” Rainbow confirmed. “We’ll have to exchange it in a different way. You need some of my mev magic. Remember, you are binding yourself to me in servitude. Right?”
Sweetie nodded and stood, remaining on the table. “So what do we do?”
“Working on it,” Rainbow continued her thoughtful pacing hover. “Mitria,” she called out.
Rarity flashed right into her seat where Sweetie Belle had been earlier. “Oh my. My first summons,” she said with an intrigued smile. “Master, there you are.” She gasped. “Sweetie Belle, what are you doing here? Nothing bad happened between the two of you, I hope. You were both getting along so well.”
“We still are,” Sweetie assured her.
“Sweetie has offered me her servitude, and I have accepted. I need your help in developing a mev bond between us,” Rainbow explained.
Rarity blinked. “Wait, what? Really?” she looked at Sweetie Belle. “Are you sure? This is quite serious you know. Rainbow means business.”
“So do I,” Sweetie told her with a determined expression. “I’m sure.”
Rarity looked at Rainbow Dash, who nodded.
“We have both made our intentions and hopes of this bond very clear to each other,” Rainbow explained. “We talked it over before I summoned you.”
The two repeated much of their discussion moments ago to elaborate.
“Alright then,” Rarity said once sufficiently swayed. “How can I help?”
Rainbow Dash descended to sit on her haunches in front of Rarity as she removed the magic pearl necklace from her neck. She held it up with a hoof. “First, you will eat,” she ordered.
Rarity nodded and opened her mouth. Sweetie watched as a small tendril of white magic channeled from the tiny piece of pearl into Rarity’s mouth. She saw her sister’s vampire fangs for the first time though the task did not require any biting. When Rarity was finished, she closed her mouth. “Done,” she announced.
Rainbow motioned for Sweetie to move closer to the two mares and put the necklace around the younger pony’s neck. “This piece had pearl magic, but it is now dormant of that magic because Rarity has eaten it. We’re borrowing the physical container for what we want to do. We will put the pearl magic back soon. Because the magic was eaten by one of my fledglings, that means the piece as it is now has traces of my mev magic, but that’s not the magic for our exchange. We need to get your magic in here for me to eat before my magic makes its way into you.”
“How do we do that?” Sweetie asked.
“First, you try to channel it straight from your horn into the piece. Nothing fancy or major, just a little. Can you do that?” Rainbow asked.
“I mainly lift things,” Sweetie confessed.
“Not quite the same. Try it first. Don’t worry. I’m sure Rarity can help if you can’t do it alone,” the master mev told her.
Rarity nodded with an encouraging smile.
Sweetie concentrated and while she could muster a spark, it wouldn’t travel beyond her horn.
Rainbow Dash lifted from the table to make space for the two sisters to try together. Rarity lifted Sweetie’s left forehoof, clasping it into her own. She started to channel some energy from her horn while gripping. “Try again,” she instructed her younger sister.
Sweetie closed her eyes to concentrate for another attempt. She started to feel her magic shift and opened one of her eyes to see a trail of her own light green aura slowly winding its way down into the pearl. “It’s there, Master Rainbow Dash,” she said.
“Mitria, you must eat again,” the master mev issued another order.
Sweetie understood and took the necklace off as she’d seen Rainbow do to hold it in a more open air for her sister. Again, Rarity ate the magic. “Done,” said the older unicorn.
Rainbow lifted Sweetie to set her out of the way, close to the center of the table. Sweetie watched with wide quiet shock as the pegasus mev then hovered her way down to Rarity and bit into her older sister’s neck without a word or warning. Sweetie Belle swallowed. This was how Rainbow was going to eat some of Sweetie’s own magic without biting Sweetie directly. How was she going to get to Rainbow’s though?
When Rainbow Dash finished, she fluttered upward before landing by Sweetie Belle on the table. “Hold the necklace up. Give me a nice good look at it.”
Sweetie did as told by and held it up as high as she could with her forehooves while sitting on her haunches on the table. She watched as Rainbow’s head tilted back. The master mev faced upward to the tall, tall ceiling of the map throne room, and Sweetie saw another stream of magic. No, two streams intertwined. One was like hers with the light green aura color, and the other was red. Her mouth hung open in wonder. The stream worked its way into the temporary container she held.
As Rainbow finished, she landed softly near the younger unicorn once more. “Now, you hold hooves with Rarity again, and you take your magic back mixed in with what I left for you from me. Since I left it there with intention, that and the bond with your sister should lead it back to you with your own unicorn magic.”
Sweetie Belle nodded and put the necklace on once more. She positioned herself as before and concentrated. Rarity did as well. At first, the hopeful filly didn’t feel anything, but she realized it was just slow on its return. She felt her own magic and Rainbow’s mev magic together enter her body. It felt wonderful.
Rarity let go.
“Rarity and I must return the magic to the pearl,” Rainbow told Sweetie, so Sweetie took a few steps away from Rarity, closer to the center of the table. She took the necklace off to hold it up in the open air yet again and watched as Rainbow herself sucked magic from it where she hovered and opened her mouth. A solitary red stream flowed from the temporary container back to the master mev.
Rarity opened her mouth and channeled the pearl magic from the reserve back into the piece where it originated. Rainbow flew close to Sweetie and held the tiny piece for a moment as she explained, “Now the tiny piece of pearl is just as it was. I still might want to use it for other work later.” She put the necklace back on. Before Sweetie Belle knew it, the master mev scooped her up in strong forelimbs and nuzzled with her. Rainbow Dash set Sweetie back on the table, standing directly in front of her, meeting her eyes. “Welcome to my circle, Rhezenda,” the master mev said with a smile.
Sweetie Belle smiled back. “Thank you, Master.” Saying the word that already had power felt better than before. Her heart pounded in a flutter of excitement. She hugged Rainbow again and felt the gentle press of a forelimb to her backside. She was here. She was really here, and all the newness and wonder and magic of the mev world was now open to her.