Chapter 135: Friends in Flutter Valley

Early in the morning Lunarstar woke up after hearing a commotion outside. She sat up and noticed Stardust was still asleep. She stood up, walked pass Stardust and poked her head out of the cave. The morning sun turned the sky yellow and purple with a few clouds drifting by. She turned and looked at Stardust. Lunarstar could hear his soft breathing. She knew she shouldn't leave, but she was curious as to what the noise was.
She stepped out of the cave and walked quietly towards the noise. She walked from the cave through the thick bushes getting the leaves stuck in her coat and feathers. Lunarstar stopped and shook her coat but the leaves wouldn't come off. They were stuck good to the mud on her coat. She flapped her wings but couldn't get the leaves off them either. She folder her wings to her side so she wouldn't get them covered in more leaves. She continued through the forest passing trees and bushes. Lunarstar noticed something on her out of the corner of her eye. She stopped and looked at herself.
She sighed, "Oh well."
Her wings, hair and back legs were covered in leaves and sticks.

The noise was getting louder, and she had to see what it was. She continued walking to a large tree. She poked her head around the tree and was surprised at what she saw. There was a large group of Flutter ponies laying a few large blankets on the ground. On one side of the blankets were girls and were carrying food. On the other side were boys helping with the bowels. They had transparent wings that glittered when they flew. Their bodies were slender, and their legs seems a bit skinny. Two of the ponies was a King and Queen. The Queen was white with green and white hair, the King was light yellow with red, purple, orange hair. They walked to a tall curved stone that stood over their heads.
Lunarstar stared at the stone. She remembered bumping into something hard last night and wondered if that stone was what she ran into.
On top sat a yellow crystal that shined at bright as the sun. Lunarstar stared at the crystal wondering why they would have it on top. Around it stood larger stones, some looked so old that they were falling apart. Grass grew in the cracks of the pavement around the stone.

Lunarstar was busy watching the strange looking ponies that she didn't notice a male Flutter pony had seen her and was flying towards her.
"Who are you?" a voice asked.
Lunarstar felt afraid being so close to the strange pony. She turned around, heading back to the cave. The male Flutter pony followed her. She glanced back and then fell rolling in the grass.
Suddenly, a few more Flutter ponies flew out from the trees and hovered in front of her. The King and Queen had seen her run away and followed her. Lunarstar ducked low to the ground as they continued asking her questions while other Flutter ponies arrived.
"Who are you?" one of them asked.
"What are you doing here?" another asked.
"Why were you spying on our King and Queen?"
Lunarstar was scared. Who were they? Why were they so mad? She was just watching them. She didn't see any harm in that.
The King and Queen arrived and flew close to her.
"Just who are you?" the King asked in a deep serious voice.
The Queen stared at Lunarstar catching a small movement of her wings. It was hard to tell she had wings since they were covered in mud, grass, leaves and twigs. The Queen was surprised.

Stardust ran towards them and jumped over the bushes then making a sudden stop next to Lunarstar. The Flutter ponies gasped and backed away from him. Lunarstar crawled under Stardust and curled in a ball while keeping an eye on the Flutter ponies.
"It's one of the black ponies," they whispered.
"I have a name and it's not Black pony," Stardust remarked.
The Queen landed on the ground and walked around him to get a good look at Lunarstar. Stardust turned and quickly set a foot in front of Lunarstar, blocking her view.
The Queen stepped back in surprised.
"What are you doing?" The King asked, "It's not safe on the ground with...him"
"King Arrow Heart," The Queen called, "Look at her closely."
He flew over to her and looked at Lunarstar. He too caught a movement of her wings as she tried to turn around.
"Are you Queen Royal Heart's Daughter?" the Queen asked.
"Yes," Lunarstar hesitated to say.
King Arrow Heart landed on the ground looked at Stardust sternly, "I will not allow you to take the Princess to Dream Castle."
"I have no intentions of taking her there. I'm taking her back to Moonlight Castle," Stardust replied.
"A trick," the Queen hissed.
"I am serious," Stardust replied.
"Why are you not taking her to Dream Castle?" King Arrow Heart asked.
"She's my friend and I will protect my friend," Stardust answered.
"Even from your two brothers?" the queen asked.
"Yes."
King Arrow heart looked at Lunarstar, "Is he your friend?"
"Yes," Lunarstar hugged Stardust's leg. "Yes, he is."
The King and Queen just looked at each other and then at Lunarstar.
"Princess, would you like to join us for our Flutter Valley picnic?" The Queen asked.
"Yes but can Stardust join too?" Lunarstar asked.
"Yes of course." King Arrow Heart reluctantly answered. He didn't trust Stardust. He would rather not have him at the picnic, but he had no choice since Lunarstar obviously trusted him.
Stardust stepped aside exposing Lunarstar to the Flutter ponies. Lunarstar slowly stood up and looked at Stardust. He too was dirty. Lunarstar assumed it was probably from laying in the cave with a wet coat last night.
King Arrow Heart stepped forward, "Let me introduce myself. I am King Arrow Heart and this is Queen Calla Lilly. Princess, you and Stardust can clean your selves at the waterfall," King Arrow Heart turned and looked at the two Flutter ponies hovering in the air next to him. "These two will show you where it's at."
The two female Flutter ponies flew over Stardust and waited for him. One was purple with white and blue hair, the other was green with pink and purple hair.
"Let's go," Stardust said to Lunarstar.
They turned and followed the Flutter ponies out of the forest and across the meadow.
"Stardust, those are weird looking Pegasus," Lunarstar whispered.
Stardust couldn't help but laugh, "Those are not Pegasus. They're called Flutter ponies. They like to keep to themselves most of the time and spend most of their time in the air. They live here in Flutter Valley but ever since me and my Brothers have caught the Queen they hadn't been back to Flutter Valley."
"You caught her?" Lunarstar asked.
The two Flutter ponies above them were listening as they flew ahead of them, they too were interested in what he was saying.
"Yes, it was Star Cluster's orders. We never got to Dream Castle with her. She was rescue by Banner and his soldiers. We eventually went back to Flutter Valley for her but no one was here," Stardust explained.
"Oh."
The Flutter ponies stopped and looked at Stardust.
"The waterfall is just through that forest," one of them said.
"Lets race!" Lunarstar exclaimed excitedly.
"Race?" Stardust asked, knowing he could easily win.
"Yeah," Lunarstar bolted into a run with Stardust behind her.
They ran across the meadow and into the forest with the Flutter ponies over their heads. Stardust beat Lunarstar to the waterfall but stopped and stood at the edge of the lake.
Lunarstar ran into the water and began swimming around.
"Are you coming in?" Lunarstar asked him.
Stardust smiled, "Yes I am. I was just waiting for you," he backed away from the water and stopped. It took Lunarstar a few minutes to realize what he was going to do. Stardust took off at a run and jumped from the edge, making a big splash as he hit the water.
He swam to the surface and poked his head out of the water. Lunarstar was shaking her head from the water he just splashed on her.
Stardust laughed at her. Lunarstar turned, swam up to him, and then to his surprise, she jumped up from the water and landed on him. The two went under the water then resurfaced again.
"There, paid you back!" Lunarstar cried happily.
"Oh you did?" Stardust asked and suddenly dunked her head in the water. She looked up and shook the water out of her face. She turned to look at Stardust but he wasn't there, she looked around the lake for him but he was no where to be found. Suddenly she was pulled under the water by her tail.
When she surfaced she coughed a bit and then looked at Stardust.
"You scared me to death," Lunarstar exclaimed.
"Now we're even," he smiled, "I think we're clean, so we should be heading back to their picnic," Stardust turned and swam to the edge of the water till he could touch the ground and then he walked out with Lunarstar behind him.
They stood and shook their coats and squeezed the water out of their hair.
"Ready?" Stardust asked.
"Yes."
They walked across the meadow following the two Flutter ponies.

They arrived at the Picnic with all the Flutter ponies sitting down around a couple of large blankets, talking. On the Blankets were baskets of fruits, a couple of cakes, a basket of bread, and a couple of large bowels of punch.
Lunarstar sat down next to Queen Calla Lilly and Stardust sat next to Lunarstar.
"Now that we are all here, lets eat," King Arrow Heart announced.
Lunarstar grabbed a roll from a basket and took a bite out of it.
"My, are you pretty," Queen Calla Lilly commented.
Lunarstar blushed, "Thanks."
"All white. You look much better clean," Queen Calla Lilly added.
"If you don't mind me asking, how did you get so muddy?" King Arrow heart asked.
"It stormed last night and it was muddy outside," Lunarstar answered.
"Oh, yes, the storm," Queen Calla Lilly replied, "It certainly was a bad storm."
Lunarstar looked up at the tall stone, "Why is that crystal on top?"
"That's the Sun Stone," King Arrow Heart answered.
"Sun Stone?" Lunarstar asked.
"Yes," Queen Calla Lilly replied, "It's what makes plants here in Flutter Valley grow. With out it the trees, grass and flowers would all die."
"Oh."
"Stardust, there is something I've been wanting to know," King Arrow Heart said, "What happened to Queen Royal Heart?"
"I don't know. Me and my brothers caught her and took her to Dream Castle, we left her with Star Cluster and that's the last I ever saw her," Stardust answered.
The King and Queen sat quietly for a few minutes looking disappointed.
"So Stardust, where are your brothers?" Queen Calla Lilly asked.
"I don't know."

They spent most of the day talking, eating and laughing. The King and Queen soon learned Stardust was actually nice and not as mean as he often looked. Stardust looked at the sky and noticed the sun was setting.
"We have to leave," Stardust suddenly said.
"Now?" Lunarstar asked with a disappointed look of her face.
"Yes, it'll be dark soon and we have to get back to Moonlight Castle."
"Why don't you two stay for the night?" Queen Calla Lilly asked.
"I'm sorry but I'm sure everyone at Moonlight Castle is worried about her. We have to be going," Stardust replied.
Lunarstar stood up, standing next to Stardust.
"Stardust, I'm sorry for not trusting you," King Arrow Heart apologized, "I see now that you are truly devoted to her."
"No, it's ok. I don't blame you for not trusting me, especially after what me and my brothers did. I feel bad about catching your Queen," Stardust replied.
"What you did?" Lunarstar asked repeating his words.
"Yes, me and my brothers go to other kingdoms and capture what is most precious to them. Most of the time it's the queen, for some it's their..." Stardust paused.
"Their what?" Lunarstar asked.
"Their sons or Daughters," Stardust added, "Like I said, I feel bad about it."
The King and Queen looked at him sadly. They too felt bad for the other Kingdoms.
"What made you change sides?" Queen Calla Lilly asked.
"Sometimes, all it takes is a friend," Stardust looked at Lunarstar and then at the Queen. "We have to be going. Goodbye," Stardust turned and walked away with Lunarstar still standing there. "Lunarstar!"
Lunarstar smiled at them, "Bye," and then ran to his side.

The Flutter ponies sat and watched as he and Lunarstar disappeared from their sight into the forest.
"She's really sweet," Queen Calla Lilly commented.
"Yes, she certainly is. I hope Stardust is able to protect her from his brothers," King Arrow heart replied.

Stardust and Lunarstar walked into the forest past the burnt tree Lunarstar had been under in the storm.
"So, why did you leave the cave?" Stardust asked.
"I heard some noises and was curious, so I left to check it out. I didn't think anyone would see me," Lunarstar replied.
"You are all white, don't forget. It's easy to see you and besides, you should have woken me up."
Lunarstar sighed sadly, "I'm sorry. I was just going to come right back."
"What if it had been my brothers and they saw you?" Stardust asked.
Lunarstar remembered the last time she went to check out a noise and it turned out to be his brothers.
"It's not safe to be curious in this world. Have you forgotten what I told you back at the Geysers?" Stardust asked.
"I'm sorry...I..." Lunarstar paused, she felt bad for leaving the cave.
"You forgot," Stardust continued, "Don't ever get curious. Ask me if you want to know something," Stardust stopped and looked at her, "Lunarstar, don't forget."
"I won't. I promise," Lunarstar replied looking up at him sadly.
Stardust smiled, "Lets go back to Moonlight castle. It'll probably be a good idea if you changed."
"Change?"
"Yes, to an earth pony or anything besides your current look," Stardust replied.
"Oh." Lunarstar's horn began to glow, her hair turned purple while her wings disappeared and then her horn disappeared. "Better?" she asked.
"Yes, much better. You stay like that till we get to Mooney Mountain," Stardust replied.
They walked deep into the forest as the sun was now half showing in the horizon.