Chapter 34: Memories - part 2.

Banner slept most of the day, waking up every now and then from the pain of his ear. He couldn't stop wondering who King Star Cluster was and where he came from.
The sun was going down and the group was beginning to wake up..
"I can't wait to get to Mooney Mountain," Buster commented.
"Just another few days and we should be there," replied Banner, "Charades?"
Charades was laying down and turned looking at Banner.
"Have you heard of a King named Star Cluster?" Banner asked.
"No, I never heard of a King by that name. Why do you ask?"
"I heard the Black ponies mention the name. I think they work for him."
Charades didn't have an answer, he was stumped just like Banner was.

The two Black ponies went to Dream Castle with the Green Pegasus in the Cloud shaped like a ball.
They walked in the Castle and down the long hallway to the throne room. They followed the red carpet pass a large water fountain, to a chair covered in gold. On the throne sat a dark purple pony with blue, green, orange and yellow hair, his eyes were green and on his head he wore a gold crown with diamonds around it. He held a silver staff with golden dragon's hand holding a ball on top. Wrapped around the staff from the Dragon's hand was a gold piece that stretched half way down the staff. He stared at the black ponies as they came closer.
"Well?" he asked.
The light from the Black Unicorn's horn dimmed as the Cloud dissolved, dropping the Green Pegasus on the marble floor.
"King Star Cluster, we hard she was plotting against you," The Black Unicorn stated.
King Star Cluster looked at the Green pony angrily. The Green pony shook from fright, she didn't know what was going to happen to her. As she laid on the floor staring at Star Cluster, she couldn't get over how pretty he was. The colors of his coat and the multi colors of his hair looked so stunning. How can a pretty pony be so bad?
"Skyview, where is Stardust?" King Star Cluster asked.
"He's...um..well, you know him. He likes to be alone every now and then," answered the Unicorn.
"Go find him!" ordered King Star Cluster.
Skyview the black unicorn and Starfire the black Pegasus, left the throne room, leaving the Green pony.
"Now," Star Cluster looked at the green pony as the ball on his staff began to glow, "I'll make sure you never plot against me again."

Skyview and Starfire left the castle and searched the yard but couldn't find Stardust.
"Where could he have gone?" Starfire asked.
"Why are you asking me?" Skyview asked.
"You're the one who always seems to know where he's at."
"Not always."
"Sure you do."
"No I don't!" Skyview yelled, "This is not the time to argue. I'll search the towns and Villages, you search the forest. We'll meet here at the gates."
Skyview and Starfire went their separate ways.

It was early in the morning, the sun began to rise and the birds were chirping. Banner and the group had stopped in the forest laying down among the trees and bushes.
"Charades, I want you to go to town and find out what you can about King Star Cluster but be very carful. Don't tell anyone where you came from," Banner looked at Buster, "I want you to stay here."
"Why?" Buster asked.
"You have a few very noticeable scars on you and Charades doesn't."
Charades stood up and was about to leave when Banner stopped him, "Be back before sun down or we'll leave without you."
Charades knotted and left the group. Buster looked up through the trees at the mountain, they were so close, he could even see the tip of the tower of Moonlight castle.
"We're so close to the mountain," Buster commented.
"Yes, we are and we'll be at Moonlight Castle tomorrow," Banner remarked.

Charades left the forest and walked through the tiny villages. In the distance was a medium size town full of ponies and a few bushwoolies. Some ponies carried bags full of food and other items, some pushed carts. The road was dirt and a few grass steams, the building sat next to the wooden board walks. Ponies continually walked in and out of the stores.
Charades walked on the wooden board walk, carefully avoiding barrels sitting by the stores and ponies walking by. One store had hats which most of the female ponies were in. The next store had books. He crossed the alley and continued looking in the stores, every pony in town was busy. Charades had to talk to someone but he wasn't sure who. He came upon a store when three baby ponies ran out of the store laughing and playing. A yellow female Unicorn yelled at the baby ponies, "This is not the time to play, now come here before you run over someone!"
Charades had walked deep into town and looked at several stores, some had food which made him very hungry. He realized he hadn't eaten a good meal in almost a week. He left the store and was about to cross another alley when he almost bumped into a black pony. Charades took a few steps back, at first he thought the Black ponies was what Banner had been talking to him about but soon realized this Black pony was an earth pony.
"What?" The Black pony asked.
"I'm sorry I...um...you startled me."
"I did?" the Black pony asked suspiciously. The black pony stood on the wooden board walk and came closer to Charades, "I haven't seen you around town before."
"Well, I'm...um...new."
"New?"
"I've been traveling and decided to stop here."
"What's your name?"
"Charades and you?"
"I'm Stardust."
Charades looked at Stardust who was staring at him suspiciously, "I was wondering...I have heard there's a new King."
"You heard right. His name is Star Cluster, he's the new King of Ponyland. Me and my two brothers work for him."
Charades suddenly realized he's in big trouble.
For a split second Stardust thought he saw a surprised and scared look, "That doesn't bother you, does it?"
"No," Charades lied. He was certain he didn't like Stardust. There was something about Stardust that scared him.
"And your traveling from where?" Stardust asked, glaring at him.
"Um...Sky Mountain."
"Isn't that far from here?"
Charades noticed everyone had cleared the board walk and street. Some ponies didn't move but stood and watched.
"Yes."
Stardust looked up and down at him, "You wouldn't happen to be a soldier would you?"
Charades put on a fake smile, "Why would you say that?"
"Your tall and built like a soldier...plus you have a few scars on your legs."
Charades looked at his feet, the scars weren't noticeable, you had to look twice to see them. His scars were just about healed.
Charades didn't have an answer, he slowly backed away with Stardust inching closer to him. Charades noticed a long table full of books, he quickly grabbed the table and knocked it over at Stardust feet. Charades took off down the street running as fast as he could.
Stardust left the board walk and ran after Charades, gaining speed with every step he made.
Charades looked back and couldn't believe how fast Stardust was running, "He's defiantly not a normal pony."
Within minutes Stardust was right on his heals. Charades saw the store where the three baby ponies ran out of, he jumped on the board walk and continued running.
"I've got to do something very soon," thought Charades. He ran into the store and stopped just inside the doorway.
Stardust was sure he got Charades, he ran to the store and suddenly stopped when he saw Charades back feet in the air. Suddenly Stardust flew back off the board walk, landing in the dirt. By the time He stood up Charades was gone. Stardust looked around but didn't see Charades, only a group of ponies staring at him.
Stardust walked in the store, "where is he?"
The ponies pointed to a side door leading to an ally. Stardust walked through the store and into the alley but no sign of Charades. He walked to the back of the building but didn't see him there either.
Just then Starfire flew down to the ground and landed in front of Stardust.
"What are you doing all the way here? I've been searching for you all night and most of the day," exclaimed Starfire.
"I was checking out the towns and ran into a little problem. Why were you searching for me?"
"King Star Cluster wants you."
"Great, I wonder what he wants?" Stardust complained.
"Stardust, you said you ran into a little problem. What problem is that?"
"I think he's s soldier and goes by the name Charades."
"Do you think he's one of the soldiers that escaped Dream Castle?"
"I don't know," Stardust looked up at the sky, "We better be heading back to the Castle."
Stardust and Starfire left the town and walked across the meadow.
Charades had hid in the next build and was standing on his hind legs keeping the door closed. When he heard the two ponies leave, Charades felt relieved and sat down on the floor.
"Are they gone?" the store keeper asked, the pony was red with hairy feet like all the other boy ponies.
"I think so," Charades answered.
"Your, a lucky pony," remarked an orange female pony, "Most don't escape that easily."
"I can see why," Charades replied, still resting on the floor.
"Did I hear them call you soldier?" a pony asked.
"Yes."
"From ponyland?" the store keeper asked.
"Yes."
"You have more soldiers with you?" the female pony asked.
Charades didn't want to answer, he had said to much already. Just then Charades felt hunger pains and heard his stomach making noises.
The storekeeper smiled, "I guess your hungry."
"I sure am."
"And the other soldiers with you are too I suppose," the female pony asked.
Charades stood up and knotted his head.
The storekeeper put a large saddle bag over Charades's back and stuffed it with apples, "These should last you till you guys get where your going."
The bag was heavy on his back, each pocket was full of red shinny apples.
"Are you sure you want to give these away?" Charades asked surprisingly.
"We can always get more. Now you had better leave before Skyview shows up," the store keeper answered.
Charades thanked them and left the store, the sun was going down and he had to hurry back to the group.

It was sun set by the time Charades had reached the group. Banner had woken up from the throbbing in his ear.
"You made it..," Banner noticed the saddle bag on his back, "What's that?"
Charades emptied his saddle bag onto the grass, piling the apples in one spot. The other ponies woke up from the noise.
"Grab an apple!" yelled Charades.
The soldiers hurried and took an apple, even Banner and Buster.
"Were did you get the apples?" Banner asked.
"It's a long story."
As they eat, Charades told him his adventure in town and his meeting with Stardust.
"So there's three Black ponies?" Buster asked.
"Yes."
"So the new King of Ponyland is King Star Cluster...but where did he come from?" Banner wondered out loud.
When night had fallen, Banner and the group hurried up the mountain. The hill was steep and the forest was thick. By the time they got half way up the mountain they were all beginning to feel tired.
"Come on, it's just a little farther, the Castle is just beyond this hill," yelled Banner.
The ponies gathered their strength and walked up the hill. They felt relieved when they saw the tall blue and white castle surrounded by a thick wall. Banner led them along the wall to the tall wooden gates. The soldiers on the wall watched them closely with torches.
"Who are you?" yelled a voice from on the wall.
"I'm Banner Captain of the soldiers from Dream Castle. We wish to speak to the King and Queen!"
The soldier on the wall looked down at the beaten and tired soldiers.
"Ok, come in!" the Solder replied.
The Gates opened and Banner lead the tired ponies inside and was greeted by a white male pony wearing a sword at his side and a shield strapped to his back, "are you Banner?"
"Yes."
"Follow me, the rest can stay here."
Banner followed the soldier while the others sat down and rested their tired feet. The soldier took Banner up the stairs and into the castle down a hallway to the throne room.
"Stay here," the soldier ordered.
Banner stood and waited for a few minutes, then the soldier came out of the throne room, "You can go in."
Banner walked in but the Soldier left heading back to the wall. Banner stood in front of the King and Queen who sat on golden chairs. The King was blue with pink hair, the Queen was ice blue with Pink and yellow hair.
"You must be Banner," the King commented, "I am King Sea Mist and this is my wife, Queen Snowfall. We have heard about Ponyland and we are sorry for your loss."
"Thank you King Sea Mist."
"Why have you come here?" Queen Snowfall asked.
"We ask for your help and would like to stay."
"You are welcome to stay but I don't know what we can do to help you," King Sea Mist replied.
"We want to regain the castle back with your support."
The King and Queen looked at each other.
"What about Queen Royal Heart?" Queen Snowfall asked.
"She and the baby Princess ran through the Gate to the other world and that's all I know."
"Other world?" they asked.
"It's a family secret. In the garden at Dream Castle stands an archway which is called the Gate. At certain times of the month, the Gate opens, allowing anyone to venture into another world."
"And they went through it?" King Sea Mist asked.
"Yes."
"The Baby Princess...I was looking forward to seeing her when she was announced. Can you tell me what she looks like?" Queen Snowfall asked.
"She's a pure white baby Winged Unicorn."
They were shocked and were silent for quite a long time.
"Winged..Unicorn? Are you sure?" Queen Snowfall asked.
"That can't be. Winged Unicorns are simply unheard of, "King Sea Mist exclaimed.
"She's the first of her kind."
The King and Queen were still trying to believe what Banner had told them.
"Your Majesty. I'm extremely tired and so are my soldiers."
"I am sorry. We can talk more tomorrow when your feeling better."
The King and Queen sent for a servant and waited til she came into the throne room.
The pony was a dark pink unicorn with crystal eyes.
"You sent for me your Majesty?" the servant bowed and then stood waiting for a reply.
"Yes. I want you to take Banner and his soldiers to where they may sleep tonight."
Banner followed the servant out of the throne room.

Early the next morning, Stardust had just arrived at Dream Castle and stood before King Star Cluster.
"Where have you been?" King Star Cluster asked angirly, he didn't have his staff but he wore a golden dragon key around his neck.
"I was out searching for the soldiers."
Star Cluster sat quietly for a few minutes, "I want you to find the Baby Princess."
"Baby Princess?" Stardust asked surprisingly.
"Queen Royal heart had a baby girl and I want you to find her and bring her to me."
"The Queen didn't have a baby when we caught her. Where would I look? what does she look like?"
"I don't care where you and your brothers look just find her. I don't care if you bring her back dead or live. I want her found!" Star Cluster yelled angirly.
Stardust was surprised, he never seen Star Cluster so mad. He began wondering what is it was about the Baby Princess that would make him so mad? Why did he want her so bad?
Star Cluster got off his throne and walked up to Stardust, "She's a white Winged Unicorn. She shouldn't be to hard to find."
"A what?" Stardust asked surprisingly.
"You heard me, now leave!"
Stardust left the throne room and joined his two brothers outside.
"Well?" Starfire asked.
"He want's us to find the Baby Princess."
"The Queen didn't have a baby when we caught her," Skyview remarked.
"That's what I told him."
"What does she look like?" Skyview asked.
"She's a white Winged Unicorn."
"A what?!" they asked loudly.
"But that's unheard of," Starfire exclaimed.
"How can that be?" Skyview asked.
"I don't know. I only have my orders and that's to find her and bring her to King Star Cluster."
"So where should we look?" Starfire asked.
"We search this world first. She can't be that hard to find."