Jedishy

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Arete helped Derpy steady her brother as he cleared his throat and spoke more firmly. 

" No, no Princess Cadence it's not your fault. This was something that would have happened no matter what. It's very rare but if something could cause a mass movement of souls or impact the timeline greatly I get a flash of insight. My mother and father used to be the same way. My father would get the insight my mother could interpret it. We have not learned to do this quite so well yet. The one other time this has happened was right before Sombra attacked.

Arete looked at her brother clearly wanting to press him for answers now, but she knew better. It was clear that he was more tired then he should be. She could feel the shake in his muscles as she supported him. She could see the subtle signs around his eyes and muzzle that he was worn down. She knew he had carried them for a long while before they made the trip here. He had done all the heavy work while she acted as the diplomate where possible. She wondered if she leaned on her brothers inexhaustable energy too often? 

" Thany are you sure you are ok? You are hardly able to keep your hooves under you? I dont need to know the why or how, I just want to know if you can make it through today. "

Thanos closed his eyes and for a moment it seemed like the room grew lighter and the air colder. He seemed almost to whistle for a moment before standing up firmly. The shadows of the hall seemed to be softer and the air went from cold to warm. Thanos had long since learned to draw on the cold and dark to bolster himself until he could find more natural methods of perking up.

" Yes, little sister I will be fine. Maybe a light nap right before the ceremony is a good idea but it will all be ok. "

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"We are relieved to see that caution still has its place among us," Luna interrupted, "We should meet back at the dining room to discuss the tour over lunch."

Luna spoke with authority but was secretly very nervous about Thanos' nap. Though it may have seemed trivial, it was the last thing Luna wanted Thanos to be doing. It's not that Luna didn't want Thanos to rest, but him going to sleep now could be problematic. Luna had shut down the dream realm to limit the influence of that mischievous constellation. How could she explain away the lack of dreams without looking a little suspicious? Even if she were to decide to explain it to him, now would be the worst time; sleep deprivation and a pariah complex don't mix well in her experience.

As she followed this train of thought, it dawned on Luna the gravity of the situation. This situation could very well be the powder-cag of another nightmare moon incident. An underappreciated alicorn with unrealized power. This was beginning to sound all too familiar to Luna.

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Cadence nodded in agreement, about to answer when Arete spoke first.  A swirl of guilt consumed her as pony and princess alike had seemed more anxious about this than anything and she only meant it as a simple question.  Her ears lowered before Thanos started stumbling.  Worry encompassed him as she could see his breath, and eyes kept changing.  He spoke, and Cadences mind reeled with questions that she wanted to ask but was frightened to.  "Of course.  A rest could be what you need." Her mind went back to the odd experiance she and  Luna had with the dream relm.  Would a nap be safe with whatever Luna encountered?!  She wasn't sure.  "But maybe try some decebt food first.  I know when I am low on energy, a bit of food helps." Would that give Luna enough time to close the dream relm?  Cadence could only hope.

 

Derpy bit yer lip, perplexed.   She felt like there was sonwthing that Luna was neglecting to tell them.  She held that look in her eyes.  The same one the Doctor held when he was keeping secrets or lying.  Derpy had learned the subtleties of his lying face over the years they had spent together.  She wondered if Thanos noticed too.  She would have to ask him wheb they had a moment alone again.  "What time is Celestia supposed to address everypony again?"  Sue asked.

  • Brohoof 1

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Luna looked to Cadence in appreciation, impressed that she would not only have the foresight to see a nap as a problem but also had the initiative to interject. It was either that or some dumb luck. Maybe if Luna brought it up later, Cadence could answer that for her, but for now, she had to capitalize. It was too late to back down now. The dream realm was sealed, and Arete was here to make breaking the news to Thanos unthinkable.

"Well Thanos, there is no real replacement for sleep, but if you think you can handle it, then you're more than welcome to attend our lunch."

"Oh, that would be at this evening's ceremony," Luna said as she switched her focus back to Derpy, "Why do you ask?"

 

Meanwhile, in a Canterlot hotel, a mare of pure white woke up to her host: a green coated stallion with an aged face, and a gray mane to match. She had been technically awake before, but she never felt like it. Fatigue and a lazy mind both seemed incurable to the doctors she saw. When this stallion promised a cure of his own, she almost didn't believe him but then he said that two new rulers would emerge much like the new empire.

It seemed equally as outlandish, almost enough for her to throw away the mailing address he gave her, but a day later she saw two new alicorn dreamers dreaming. These grandeur themes were not unheard of, but the very structure of the dream was fundamentally different, completely unlike dreamers of this day and age. There were references to Crystal Empire culture so detailed that it would have been impossible for non-crystal pones to recreate, yet there they were in the dreams of non-crystal ponies. These were no doubt the ponies that Silver Tounge had mentioned. After this revelation, Limbo Dreams had rushed to Canterlot as soon as she could to see this stallion in person.

And on the first day of his treatment, she had already seen results.

"Oh, my," Limbo said with eye she never knew could be so wide, "Silver, it worked. I'm awake!"

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The siblings looked back and forth between the two elder alicorns. They were both sharp despite their comparative youth. Their eyes flickered questioningly for a moment with questions but Arete was the first to be distracted by her concern for her brother. She nudged him out of his own thoughts as he clearly had noted the tensions in the air and was the more likely of the two to push questions. As he felt the nudge he sighed as his stomach let out a mighty rumble. He knew that it was pointless to hide why he was weak and that food was likely the answer. 

" Princesses I can't deny that food is likely the answer here. Earlier Mrs. Derpy Hooves was worried about her friend who seems to be something of an inventor. So I used my magic to walk between what is, what was, and what will be and check on him. At the best of times, this is draining. But something in this castle made it like wading through syrup. I think the energy used needs a high-calorie meal to get me back on my hooves.

The princes head ducked a bit as his younger sister glared at him clearly upset at his flippant nature about his safety. She too well remembered the time he had gotten lost in such a state. It took their father intervention to pull him out and well dad was not around to save him if he made that mistake again. 

  • Brohoof 1

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Luna didn't like Thanos' trend of impulsive power use, but the casualty of his escapades would halt for a time, so Luna was grateful. Beyond this, her gambit of faining preference paid off. A dreamless nap alone might not have raised suspicion, but the combination with the fact that Luna was a notoriously bad lier --evident by her sister's testimony on several occasions-- would have certainly raised some red flags.

At the lunch table (which was really just a dining table that happened to exist at lunchtime), with the company of the rest of her guests, Luna's curiosity peaked in remembrance of what Thanos said about Derpies friend. "Well, now that Thanos' little energy crisis is being addressed, I'm curious about this friend of yours Derpy. Being resistant to an Alicorn's talents requires some extraordinary circumstances. If you don't mind talking about it of course."

'for you, my death resister.' Now that she thought about it, this friend of Derpy's could be a suspect. Resisting Thanos' powers does fall in line with the line Luna heard in the dream, but would that make this Derpy his accomplice. Luna did remember three presences, or was it four? Could Derpy have been one of them? It was awfully convenient that she would visit here around the same time as this incident and something about her did seem a little odd about Derpy. As if she was smarter than she was letting on. With this realization, Luna silently thanked every lucky star in the sky that she decided to keep this incident secret. If it turned out that this Derpy was working against Thanos then Luna wasn't sure how she would break it to him.

Luna would have to investigate, but first, she would need to isolate Derpy so Thanos wouldn't get suspicious. This would be tricky, but not impossible with a little help.

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As soon as the smell of food hit the room Thanos's stomach let out a mighty rumble. As he started to eat the food seemed to vanish almost as soon as it was put in front of him. Even with his decorum and following of standard dinner etiquette, the food was finished and a second plate brought forth in seconds. As he started to feel better Thanos felt his head clear. Taking a deep drink of cider he sighed. The edge was slowly disappearing from his hunger and he could finally felt as if he could stand without his hooves shaking under him. 

" Princess thank you for the meal suggestion. I really have been pushing too hard since we have awoken.I think we might wish to talk plans for the ceremony and get those issues settled and underway. But I must intrude on your hospitality a bit further first. I need a high-calorie content when I use my gifts this extensively so if there is anything that fits that bill that I could have that would be great.

Arete giggled a bit watching her brother down food like a black hole on steroids. She remembered the first time he used his powers he was found passed out in the castle storerooms having downed half the cakes and cheeses in the room. He had a stomach ache for a week and was grounded for twice that. She snorts a bit into her drink as she tries not to make a scene. 

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