Chapter 73: The Crest

Luna and Blizzard hurried through the meadow when they saw Stardust and Skyview on the road just off the path to Raindrop's house, talking.
Luna hurried to her father interrupting him.
"Dad!" Luna shouted.
Stardust turned and looked at them curiously, wondering if something was wrong.
"We went to the castle," Blizzard explained, "We were just sitting there watching it and the soldiers threatened us to leave. I can't get near the castle so I thought I might try and sneak inside."
"Yes, that's a good idea. Do it as soon as possible," Stardust told him.
"Dad, I saw a royal crest. There was a dragon on it," Luna added.
"Oh?" Stardust asked who was suddenly interested in what she said. He had seen and heard about other royal crests but non of them that he could remember had a dragon on it.
"It looked just like the dragon on our crest," Luna replied.
"Are you sure, Luna?" Stardust asked surprisingly.
"Yes," Luna answered hoping she was right about what she saw.
"Well, this is turning out to be quite interesting," Skyview muttered.
"We need to know more about the crest. It could give us clues to who ruled this valley," Stardust said.
"No one is going to talk to us, Stardust. Who can we possibly ask?" Skyview asked.
"Raindrop," Luna answered.
"She won't want to talk about it," Stardust replied.
"Let me try," Luna begged.
"Alright but don't push her, Luna. We are guests in her house and I'd like to stay that way for awhile," Stardust replied.
Luna nodded and ran to the house feeling anxious to learn more about the dragon, wondering is she was right about what she thought of the dragon. Stardust, Skyview and Blizzard walked behind her, heading back to the house.

Luna ran up to the porch and slowed down to a walk. She went up the steps and into the house. She walked down the hall to the kitchen. Luna noticed something cooking in the oven but Raindrop wasn't around. She went outside and saw Raindrop sitting on the porch alone.
"Ummm, Raindrop," Luna began to say taking a deep breath.
Raindrop looked at her and smiled, "Hello Luna. I'm sorry but Whisper isn't back yet."
"I wanted to talk to you actually," Luna told her.
"About what?" Raindrop asked.
"About the royal crest," Luna answered.
Raindrop stood up as her smile faded, "I'm sorry Luna but don't ask me anything about that castle."
"I wasn't I just wanted to know about the dragon..."
"You saw the crest?" Raindrop asked surprisingly, "You went up to the castle? No one is allowed near it."
"I just wanted a close up look at it. While I was there I saw the crest. It is a dragon isn't it?" Luna asked.
Raindrop paused studying her face, "It's a dragon and don't ask me anything else, Luna."
"No, I will not talk about the castle or anything related to it!" Raindrop exclaimed suddenly.
Luna backed away surprised at Raindrop sudden tone of voice, "I'm sorry. I will not ask again." Luna turned and ran off the porch, there was one pony who just might answer her questions. Starfire walked around the corner just in time to see Luna fly away.
"What happened?" Starfire asked.
Raindrop sighed sadly, "Nothing Starfire."
"It involves my niece, please tell me," Starfire demanded.
"She was just asking a few questions and I wouldn't tell her. Don't ask me what it was," Raindrop turned and went into the kitchen to check her oven.

Stardust, Skyview and Blizzard approached the kitchen but didn't see Luna.
"Is everything ok?" Stardust asked.
"Everything is just fine, now please I got to check on my pie," Raindrop answered.
The black ponies looked at each other wanting to talk about what happened with Luna but they knew it would just upset Raindrop.
"So...what kind of pie is it?" Starfire asked.
Raindrop took out the pie holding it with pot holder, "Peach pie."
"Peach pie?" They all asked.
Raindrop sat the pie on a small square table to cool, "yes, I can make good pies."
"Is it good?" Starfire asked curiously glancing at the small table.
Raindrop smiled at him, "Don't tell me you never had peach pie."
"No, non of us has," Stardust answered.
"So what's a peach?" Starfire asked.
"It's a fruit," Raindrop answered. She took a peach from a basket full of fruit on the counter and gave it to Starfire, "That is a peach."
Starfire and his brothers looked at it curiously.
"It's got fur on it," Starfire observed.
Raindrop laughed, "It's called peach fuzz not fur."
"And it's eatable?" Skyview asked.
"Yes, go ahead and try it," Raindrop proposed.
Starfire took a bit, then Stardust and Skyview. Blizzard just gave them suspicious look, "Don't expect me to bite off of that."
Starfire took the peach from Skyview, "This was mine."
Raindrop gave Stardust, Skyview and Blizzard each a peach.
"This is good," Stardust commented.
"We should grow peaches back home," Skyview suggested.
"We just might," Stardust replied smiling.

Luna flew over the trees and house as ponies looked up to watch her. She flew over a small pond to a clearing where Birdie's house sat. Luna could see her on the back porch sitting and reading, much like what Skyview would be doing when Starfire isn't bugging him.
Luna landed on the grass and jump onto the porch.
"Well, hello Luna," Birdie muttered smiling at her.
"Hi, I came to ask you something," Luna replied. She sat down in front of Birdie, "I was wondering about the royal crest, the dragon."
"You could only have seen that if you went to the castle. No one is allow to get near it,"Birdie firmly told her.
"I know. Me and Blizzard was taking a walk and we wanted to get a closer look at the castle," Luna explained, "I'm sorry we were...curious."
Birdie sat her book on the floor, "Your not the only one who is curious. Ponies in this valley miss seeing that castle close up. I'm sorry Luna I can't talk about the castle."
"I didn't come here to talk about that castle I just wanted to know about the dragon on the crest, that's all," Luna told her.
"Why do you want to know? Why do you guy want to know about the castle and the royal family? What is the big deal?" Birdie asked her.
Luna was surprised at her questions, "Because that castle sits there empty. Ponies are hurting because of the questions we ask. They desperately wants to tell us and they're afraid to. Something is very wrong in this valley. We only want to help solve the problem."
Birdie stood up a bit surprised at what Luna had said.
"You don't know just how painful it is not being able to talk about it. I'm sorry I can not help you or talk about the castle."
"Then please tell me about the dragon on the crest," Luna replied.
"It's just a picture of a dragon and nothing more," Birdie answered.
"A crest isn't just made up of pictures. They have meanings and a story behind them. I want to know about the dragon. Was there really a dragon here? Does it have something to do with the crest?" Luna asked.
Birdie was surprised, Luna knew more than she thought.
"Yes, the dragon mean something. It's based on a real dragon. Please I...I can't talk about it," Birdie whispered.
Luna could see she too was starting to worry about something.
"I'm sorry," Luna replied, she winked out leaving Birdie on the porch fighting back tears.

Luna winked to the castle, If she couldn't find out about the dragon she would ask the soldier she had seen it on. A soldier approached her looking at her with a serious face.
"Please leave," the soldier told her.
"What's that?" Luna asked.
"What's what?" the soldier asked curiously.
"The crest on your armor," Luna answered.
The soldier stood on his hind legs looking at his armor, "What about it?"
"That's a dragon right?" Luna asked.
"Yes, so what's the problem with it?" the soldier asked.
"That doesn't look like an ordinary dragon though. Are you sure that's a dragon?" Luna asked hoping to get more information out of him.
"Yes it is a dragon. In fact it's a feathered dragon which is why it looks different," The soldier explained.
"So what's the snowflake under it for?" Luna asked. The crest had a snowflake with a dragon behind it and a dragon sitting on the top with it's wings stretched out looking just like Luna's crest.
"It's snow. This valley is surrounded by snow so that's what the snowflake is for," The soldier replied.
Luna smiled, she realized she had better not ask anymore questions.
"Thanks, that's all I came to ask," Luna replied.
The soldier looked at her suspiously, "That's all you wanted to know?"
"I'm quite interested in royal crests and that was very interesting. Bye," Luna replied, then she winked out.
She appeared by the house and let out a deep breath, she didn't think learning that much so soon would be that easy. She couldn't wait to tell her father about the feathered dragon. He too will find it very interesting.

The soldier went back to the fence and stood with the other soldiers.
"What did she want?" another soldier asked.
"Just asking about the crest."
"And you told her?" another soldier asked.
"I didn't see any harm in her knowing about the snowflake. She also asked about the dragon and how strange it looked. What information can she possibly gain from that? Now really, I know my orders," the soldier replied smiling.
"I don't know about you but I'm getting tired of keeping this...a secret," another soldier said.
"I heard the new guests are trying to find out what it is," another soldier said.
"For the sake of the valley, I hope they do find out," the soldier said.
The other soldiers eventually agreed quietly.