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The Butterfly Affair

by axxuy

Princess Luna had been ponynapped and held prisoner before. It was just a fact of life in the diplomatic role that being a Princess entailed. Though she had never been taken by anypony quite so... tiny before.

She trotted along, a group of black-masked Breezies fluttering around her, barking orders every now and then. She couldn't understand their language as such, but she was pretty sure she had the general point. And so she followed.

Why did these things always happen to her? Celestia had never been ponynapped while she was visiting someplace. But here Luna was, again. When would Celestia learn?

The whole thing did make Luna feel justified in raising an eyebrow at the prospect of an escort of Breezie guards. They'd hardly lasted a few seconds when the ambush came. She hoped they were okay. Somebreezie needed to get word to the Queen Breezie she was supposed to meet.

As to the Draconequus in the room, yes she felt like the whole thing was a joke. She could swat them all down with her bare hooves, let alone her magic. But that would probably only make relations worse. There was nothing to do but wait for the Breezies to sort things out among themselves. Bah, diplomacy. She was sick of it.

The Breezies did not worry about this. If you worry about everything that can hurt you as a Breezie, you'll never get anything done.

They yelled and brandished the twigs that served them as spears. Luna pressed on, following their lead deeper and deeper into the Great Breezie Forest. It was a lovely place, really. The trees gave a pleasantly cool shade.

They came into a clearing in front of a cliff, and that was very nice too. Tiny steps led up to a tiny cave. Ominous figures and dark runes were carved into the rock around it. The Breezies began to chant.

Finally something interesting was happening.

Three more Breezies, also in adorable tiny black masks, issued from the cave. They conferred with the group that had taken her.

"You. Will. Pay!" one of them sneered in halting Ponish when he had heard the report. He flittered up above her head. "Bring her Judge!"

His two companions went back into the cave. Everybreezie else buzzed excitedly.

Luna had seen all this before. Frankly, she wasn't impressed. There was hardly even any dark magic. What she still couldn't figure out was just what in Tartarus was going on. Her impatience grew. Somebreezie needed to explain it to her or doom and dark magic might really come. Oh she really was not cut out for this part of the job.

She thought it was a statue at first. What the Breezies carried out of the cave was still as stone, and as old. But there was some tiny breath in it. He also spoke Ponish, thankfully, and quite a bit better than his compatriot. "I am the Wise Breezie. You have insulted us. This cannot be allowed."

Luna thought thought that surely the Queen of her diplomat would have told her if she'd insulted them so badly, so Luna did not know what he was referring to. But at least she was getting somewhere. "And you have insulted Equestria by seizing us like this. Explain yourselves."

One of the breezies growled and hurled his spear at her. It caught and dangled in her mane. "Control yourself, fool" the Wise Breezie said. Be assured she shall pay the price. He may not have been on her side, but at least he had some sense. Probably.

"Don't pretend not to know. We have heard your speeches. You think us mere butterflies." He spat the last word. Most of the others spat on hearing it too.

Luna had indeed compared them to butterflies in her announcement that she would be visiting them. She thought it was rather obvious why. Luna focused on being patient. Be like Celestia, she thought. She would simply, calmly explain herself. Allow herself blame for the misunderstanding, "I did not mean that you are butterflies. I only wanted a comparison to say what you are like to my subjects."

"We won't be compared to that filth!"

Luna thought butterflies were lovely. Granted she dealt with moths more often, but the point stood. She would have to ask the Queen about the topic. But for the moment she hoped to still talk her way out. "I apologize then. You are clearly not at all like butterflies." She bowed her head. Butterflies would never ponynap her was the biggest difference she could think of, but they did not need to know that.

"Beg, yes. It will not save you. If Equestria wants its Princess back, all my Breezies will have their weight in gold. I have spoken."

"That is a high price, but Equestria shall pay." She should not have simply given in to the demand, she knew this. But Celestia was always going on about magnanimity, and besides she was badly late for her meeting now. She would simply have to deal with the consequences later. She conjured a gold bit from the Royal Treasury. She brandished it before them, and let her magic shave a ribbon of metal off the edge. It looked unchanged by the end.

Cheers went up, and the Wise Breezie gave the order to return her to the village.

Luna resolved never to go on diplomatic missions again. Let Celestia deal with this nonsense.