Luna joined the zebra again on the floor in my Equestria dreamscape.
There is another matter I wish to discuss with you.”
“Yes, what would that be?” Asked Luna.
Zecora looked deep into Luna’s beautiful jade green eyes. “I am concerned about you Princess. I believe that there are things hidden deep inside you that have not yet been truly addressed but to have to be and the sooner the better. “
Luna sat silently and listened .The zebra continued.
“Princess I wish to perform a ceremony from homeland called the Singer’s Path. It is an ancient technique used to reveal things in the patient’s mind that normal methods cannot discover. It was how I first determined that something was truly amiss with Applebloom.” link
Luna looked slightly indignant but before she could speak Zecora raised a front hoof. “No Princess, I don’t believe you are possessed by a being from that accursed Kingdom. Neither do I fear that Nightmare Moon still lurks within you. But I sense a terrible burden weighing upon you. Since you returned from exile you’ve tried your best to be a proper role model for every pony in Equestria. Still I sense a dark shadow upon you. Will you let me help you by performing the Singer’s Path?”
Luna closed her eyes and for said nothing for several seconds. Then softly she spoke. “Yes.”
Zecora smiled and then gave the princess a brief explanation of how the Singer’s Path worked. The zebra would begin a song and then ask Luna to join in. As song the evolved Zecora would start introducing random words and phrases into the song. Hopefully Luna would slowly fall under the song’s effect and her mind would open up and discuss things that usually it would’ve been unwilling to speak of.
Zecora asked Luna to close her eyes; slowly the zebra began chanting the first verses of the Singer’s Path. After a few minutes she asked the indigo alicorn to join her in the song. The princess joined and as the song evolved Zecora could see Luna begin to relax. Over the next half hour the zebra guided Luna along the path.
Zecora now began weaving questions into the lyrics of the chant. She was in the middle of question when suddenly Luna stiffened. Her eyes remained closed but Zecora could see the muscles in the alicorn’s neck tense. Suddenly Luna spoke in a gasping voice.
“I have brought pain to those I have sworn to serve, from greatest to the smallest I have wrought only despair. The horrors I must now endure are the rewards for my failings.”
“What are these failings you speak of o Princess of the Night?” Asked Zecora. Luna reminded silent.
“Speak!” Commanded the zebra. “What are these wrongs you feel you’re accused of?”
Luna suddenly let out a horrific howl and her eyes snapped open. They were now two glowing white coals. On the ground in front of her a sickly green fire erupted. The flames coalesced into grotesque floating phantom form of a Deception possessed Applebloom.
Zecora jumped to her hoofs and muttered several words from her homeland that were inappropriate for polite company; she’d never seen anything like this before. The Phantom looked around the cottage then it saw the zebra; slowly it spoke in voice that chilled the Zebra heart.
“She did this to me.”
The voice was that of Applebloom’s but it made the hair on Zecora’s coat bristle. It was a voice that dripped with violence and anger.
Zecora challenged the phantom’s claim. “Oh dark stain upon Luna’s heart, why do you accuse her of this crime?”
“By her carelessness and rash behavior she became Nightmare Moon and threaten all who live on this planet!” Growled the phantom. “Her reckless behavior drove one her subjects to engage in a dangerous and desperate magic ritual that unleashed a perilous foe into Equestria.” link
The phantom floated toward Zecora until it was mere inches from of the zebra’s face. The alchemist took several steps back from the apparition.
“That foe abducted several of her subjects, in particular one innocent filly who unwittingly became the host to a deadly servant of this new foe. That filly was I, and because of it I was tortured, tormented and turned into a monster by this servant!” Roared the phantom. link
“Even after its master had fallen this servant planned the demise of this world for its own designs! It craved a power no rational mind should ever seek! To sate its hunger it was willing to break the vaults of heaven and plunge the world as we know it into chaos!” link
The phantom pointed a front hoof at the motionless figure of Luna. “None this would’ve happened if she hadn’t been weak! If she hadn’t been naïve! If she hadn’t been brash and irresponsible! This is her legacy, her inheritance! That is what this so called princess is guilty of! That is why she has this ‘dark stain’ upon her heart!” Howled the phantom.
Zecora was amazed. While on the Singer’s Path there is often a moment of revelation and confession where the thing that has bothered the patient is exposed to the light, but never had Zecora seen such tangible, and lucid manifestation before. Not even Applebloom’s session had produced such dramatic results.
Maybe it was because Luna was an alicorn. Maybe it was the weight of a thousand years weighing on her heart. No matter, Zecora had what she’d been looking for, time to break this spell. She did in the most simple and straightforward way possible.
She hugged Luna.
For several seconds Luna failed to acknowledge Zecora’s embrace, then the glow vanished from her eyes. The phantom slowly faded away and Luna collapsed into the zebra’s embrace and began to cry. For several minutes neither said a word. Then in a soft soothing voice Zecora spoke.
“Oh my, fair princess does your heart truly believe what this phantom said? Do you secretly view yourself with such contempt? Are you truly blind to the tears of joy your sister and others cried upon your safe return? Are you so consumed by this unnecessary doubt that you’re deaf to the cheers of praise raised in your name? ”
Zecora released Luna from her embrace and stared her in the eyes. Zecora looked past the trappings of office, duties and history and stared into a soul that while over a thousand years old was still in many ways was nothing more than that of a young, confused lady.
“Do you really believe that princess?” Asked Zecora.
To be continued.