The room was dark and gloomy as moisture dripped from the cracks in the stone walls. The only warmth came from a single torch outside of the cell that Sweetie Belle lay in. She was alone, just like she had been most of her life. What difference did it make that she hated her sister now. Nothing had changed. Nothing mattered any more or less than it did only a day ago.
But still, everything mattered, and nothing mattered, but she couldn’t decide what was more debilitating. She couldn’t figure out what part of her had caused her whole body to give up. On one hoof, she had lost her freedom for the rest of her young life, so there was no use in trying anymore. On the other hoof, however, her sister was alive and now there was something worth fighting for.
Sweetie Belle cringed at that thought. “No. She isn’t worth it. She caused all this. She messed up my life. She got me caught!” She slumped over on the pile of hay that clumsily tried to disguise itself as a bed, hiding her face from the warmth of the torch. The thought of letting herself die from the cold crept in as she scooted herself as close as she could to the barred window.
Off in the distance, she could hear the clinking of keys and the clops of a guardspony coming down the hallway. She held her breath, hoping that he’d just pass on by and pay her no mind. All she wanted was to be alone. Unwittingly against her wishes, the guard stopped right in front of her cell.
“You know,” he began, fairly calmly considering what he had been through to catch her. “If you can tell us anything about the other ponies involved with the heist, we could probably forget about the running and lessen your sentence.” He sounded like a young pony; probably only a little older than Sweetie Belle. “You have to forgive my Captain. He can be a bit of a hot head at times.”
“He tied up my sister and used her as bait to catch me. Piss off.” She snapped back to the guard without turning around.
“Well you’ve got a point,” he chuckled rather insensitively. “I guess some ponies are harder to forgive than others. I’m sure your sister probably deserves your forgiveness though. It wasn’t her fault.”
“Don’t act like you know me. Everything was her fault.”
“She really cares about you,” he continued, shifting his tone to a more somber one. “ She begged us to take her instead. Even I felt like what we did was wrong and I’m-,”
“Look, why are you here? If you only came to apologize, you can just shove it up your flank.”
The guard turned around and leaned against back, his armor clanking against the gate. “You know, I too had a sister. I cared for her dearly but then one day, I had to go away for a very long time. It wasn’t anypony’s fault, but it had to happen. She had to endure a lot while I was away and when I finally came back, she was really sick. She tried not to show it, but I could tell that she didn’t have long. I tried everything I could to save her. I spent days, weeks, months trying to find a way and the whole time she begged me to give up and just spend more time with her, but I was too stubborn. We started to fight about it, but I always thought that I was so close to finding an answer. In the end though, there was never anything I could do about it, and she passed away. Ever since then, I blamed myself for not making her final year the best it could be.”
Sweetie Belle sighed aggressively, still facing the wall. “Why are you telling me this. Why do you care what happens to me or my sister.”
“Because, Sweetie Belle, I saw it with my own eyes. Your sister deserves a second chance. Take it out on us. Not her and certainly not yourself either. Your sister needs you just as much as you need her. Besides, you promised your mother you’d be strong, remember?”
Sweetie’s ears perked up. “Wait, what?!” She blurted as she quickly turned around to look at the guard, but there was nopony there. She rushed over to the gate and pushed her head against the bars, trying to get a good view of the hallway, but she couldn’t see anypony. “What just happened? Who was he?”
The warmth from the torch felt good on her face.
Rarity and Twilight sat next to each other on the monorail as they headed back to Ponyville. The ancient map was secured in a holder that Twilight borrowed from the archives, slung over her shoulder. It was a cylindrical container often used to transport important or delicate scrolls, so it seemed like the obvious transport vessel for such an important document.
Rarity was having trouble staying upright. She couldn’t remember the last time she had gotten any sleep. The constant travelling and stress had taken its toll on her. Struggling to stay up, she began to to lean against Twilight’s shoulder.
“Rarity, are you okay?” Twilight asked.
“It’s nothing.” Rarity yawned, extending a hoof over her mouth to hide the faces she was making. “I’m just exhausted is all.”
Twilight lightly pushed Rarity off her shoulder before patting at her own lap, inviting Rarity to use it as a pillow.
Rarity happily obliged, positioning herself to where she could lay down on the seats and then gently resting her head on Twilight’s lap. As she closed her eyes, she felt a hoof begin to stroke her mane. It didn’t take long before her eyelids drooped and she fell fast asleep.
The nurses came in to the piercing tone of the monitors. Two of them quickly tended to the fillies’ mother, calling out a time and shutting off the machines while one tried to lead Rarity and Sweetie Belle out of the room. They protested, flailing against the advance of the nurse who was trying to separate them from their mother. As they wailed, suddenly they heard a gasp as the three nurses bowed in respect.
Taking advantage of the sudden display, the two fillies rushed back over to their mother’s side. To their surprise, the nurses didn’t try to restrain them or hold them back. Instead they proceeded to leave the room with their heads held low. Rarity followed them with her eyes to the door, when she immediately noticed the white alicorn standing in the doorway with a pained expression on her face.
“Rarity and Sweetie Belle,” she announced in a regal but somber tone. “I am Princess Celestia-”
Suddenly, Sweetie Belle rushed over to the Princess and began to pound on her golden, armor-clad hooves. “Why did you take my mommy!” she shouted. “Bring her back! Bring my mommy back!”
Rarity rushed over to restrain the distraught filly, struggling to hold her back from attacking again. “I’m so sorry, Princess,” she began before Celestia held a hoof up to let her know it was alright.
Celestia lowered herself down to Sweetie Belle’s level before taking a deep breath and then letting out a deeper sigh. “Sweetie Belle, there are some things in this world that even I have no power over. When a pony’s time is up, all I can do is hope that they have everything in order before they go.”
“But she was MY mommy!” Sweetie Belle cried, falling to her hooves.
Rarity helped Sweetie Belle back up and held her, allowing her to cry into her chest. “Princess, why did you come here?” She asked flatly.
“Girls, your mother prayed to me last night. She asked me to look after you, and to make sure that you girls are safe. Sadly, I cannot take care of you both, for I have many responsibilities and so little time in each day, but that shouldn’t be a problem, so long as you are up for the task, Rarity.”
“Wha... what do I have to do?” Rarity stuttered.
“Do you believe that you can take care of your sister on your own. It is a big responsibility, taking care of a foal.” Celestia informed.
Looking back at her sister and then back up to her mother, she felt a wave of pride and determination fill her senses. She turned back to Princess Celestia, standing firm as she wiped the tears from her eyes. “I am,” she beamed. “I made a promise to my mother that I would, and I intend to keep that promise.”
“Very well.” Princess Celestia nodded as she rose back up on her hooves. “I hereby surrender ownership of this estate from the Bank of Canterlot to you, Rarity. I also decree that your sister, Sweetie Belle, shall be left in your custody and that you be regarded as a legal adult by the laws of Equestria.”
“Thank you,” Rarity said as she bowed before the Princess. “Thank you so much, but what about my mother?”
“I shall see to it that she receives a proper burial,” the alabaster princess confirmed. “Now come with me, we must let the nurses finish their work,” she said as she reached out a hoof to lead the fillies away.
Just before they went with the princess, they both walked over to their mother, saying their last goodbyes and each giving her a kiss on the forehead. With that, they turned to follow Celestia away as the nurses returned. She led them back to their bedroom, taking a moment for them to get situated back on their bed. The antique clock against the wall had stopped ticking, making their breathing the only sound in the room.
Celestia sat at the foot of the bed with Rarity and Sweetie Belle, watching them hold each other with a certain expression on her face like she was yearning for something. She pursed her lips before she began to speak. “Girls. I want you to know a secret about me that not many ponies know.” She began. “Did you girls know that I too, have a sister?” She stated as she waited for a reaction.
Both of the fillies looked at the Princess in surprise. “You... you do?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“Yes, it’s true. She’s my younger sister, just like you are to Rarity, dear. I love her very much.”
“Where is she now?” Rarity inquired.
“She’s in a distant place. You see, a long time ago, she had to go away. I was very sad but I knew one day, she would come back. But even though she’s been gone for so long, I know that she still loves me and misses me too. You see, there is a magic that sisters share, something that never goes away no matter the time or distance. The nature of this magic is very powerful, since my sister is so precious to me, just as you are to each other. I know she can feel my love because I can feel hers, even though she’s so far away.” Princess Celestia looked out towards the moon that was still setting beyond the horizon before turning back to the fillies. “I know that I will see my sister very soon, because I can feel that magic getting stronger. If you should ever find yourselves apart from each other, this magic can help you find your way back.” She turned towards Rarity, gazing deep into her eyes. “Your sister is the most precious part of your life, Rarity. You have a talent for finding precious things.”
The train came to a full stop, jerking slightly and waking Rarity from her slumber. Twilight began to shake her gently as she leaned over to check if she was awake. “Rarity, we’re here.”
Rarity slowly rose, slightly delirious but strangely at peace despite the nature of her dream. Twilight had already gathered up her belongings, waiting for Rarity to get ready before they moved into the crowded aisle. Rarity quickly came to her senses and picked up her stuff and together, they maneuvered their way to the exit.
The outside was more crowded than usual this time around. Twilight found it difficult to maneuver her way through the crowds towards the lobby, but eventually they found the flow of traffic and made it off the platforms.
Directly ahead of them, however, a familiar light-blue unicorn with a wavy dark blue and white streaked mane stopped in her tracks, spotting Twilight instantly.
“Oh... My... Luna!” She gawked as she skipped over to the two unicorns. “Twilight, I can’t believe you’re here! What a funny coincidence,” she sang.
“Yes, I guess it is an interesting coincidence, Nova. Why are you way out in Ponyville?” Twilight questioned, suspicious of this encounter.
“Oh... you know... stuff. For the observatory I mean,” she responded with shifting eyes.
A very vague answer.
“Ponyville has a part I need for the telescope, so I have to go get it,” she continued. A more believable answer, but Twilight was still suspicious that somepony would send a teenage mare out that far, unaccompanied. “So, who’s your friend?” She asked, gesturing towards Rarity.
“That’s quite funny. I was about to ask Twilight the same thing,” she teased, poking Twilight playfully. “My name is Rarity,” she said, extending her hoof to shake Nova’s. “I take it you’re Nova?”
She took Rarity’s hoof and shook it politely. “Yes. Nova Shine. I met Twilight back in Canterlot not too long ago. I must say, I’m pretty lucky to run into my idol twice already.”
Twilight started to get a little impatient with the young mare. “Nova, do your parents always let you out this far from home on your own?” Twilight asked, blatantly insinuating that Nova shouldn’t be here, at least on her own.
“Oh... yeah... About that... See my parents said I could go get the part on my own,” she mumbled, sweating bullets. “Lets just say that they are blissfully unaware of where I had to go to get it.”
“Nova, go home.” Twilight interrupted, much to the shock of Rarity.
Nova stepped back in surprise. “Oh no... Did I say something wrong?” She thought worriedly.
Twilight was suspicious of the mare’s sudden appearance. She knew that Nova was a huge fan of hers, and even though she wasn’t sure of how much had changed in the years, she was almost positive that Ponyville didn’t have any shops that would have stuff that Canterlot wouldn’t. To put it bluntly, she was suspicious that Nova was stalking her. But that wasn’t what bothered her the most. What worried her was that Nova was wandering into territory that even Twilight wasn’t sure of the safety of. This world was dangerous and Twilight had a feeling that things were about to get worse. If Nova kept following them, she could end up getting hurt. Twilight was worried about this young mare, and her fears gave her a feeling of responsibility over Nova.
“Nova, we are about to go somewhere that I don’t know anything about. This place could turn out to be really dangerous, and not just for me, but for all the ponies of Equestria. The truth is, I just don’t know. I can’t allow you follow us there, so I suggest you go home to your family, where it’s safe.”
“Follow?” Nova asked nervously. “But I wasn’t-”
“Nova, please. Can you do this for me?” Twilight pleaded, looking straight into the mare’s aqua eyes. “Can you go home where it’s safe? When this is all over, maybe then we can spend some time to get to know each other better.”
The powder blue mare sighed, looking down at her hooves. “Alright Twilight. I’ll hold you to it.”
“Thank you,” Twilight responded in relief.
As they watched the mare trot off towards the platforms, Rarity nudged Twilight in the ribs to get her attention. “Twilight, what was that all about?” She whispered.
“I don’t know. I’ve just got a bad feeling about all this and I don’t want her to end up getting hurt.” After a moment, Twilight turned to continue back to the Library to prepare for their journey ahead. “C’mon, Rarity. Lets go.”
With a nod, Rarity followed Twilight towards the exit.
Just before they passed the doors, Nova looked back, noticing that they weren’t looking. She quickly changed direction, darting into the crowds.
Twilight looked back one more time, just to make sure that Nova was gone, but even though she didn’t see her anymore, she felt a chill run down her spine.
“So you were right all along!” Spike shouted with glee as he carefully examined the map.
Twilight nodded happily as she continued to load supplies into her saddle bags, checking off things from a list as she did so. “I can’t believe the legends were true. Custos Scientia really was guarding something important. Not only that, if you look at the Northeast corner of the map, you can see that the city has an archive as well. I think that this is the clue I’ve been looking for.”
Spike chuckled as he continued to inspect the map. “Alright, I think I’ve devised a system of coordinates to help you find this place. We know that the only feature left in Everfree is the ancient castle of the royal pony sisters, which is here,” he said poking the map where a grand castle was depicted. “We’ll use the entrance of the castle as coordinate zero, zero. Now the archive is north and west of this structure right here. Thats about .8 minutes of longitude west and .45 minutes of latitude north.” Spike continued to ramble on as Rarity watched intently at his precise calculations.
“Twilight, are you sure that this place is even there anymore?" Rarity asked. "I mean, we’ve flown over and been through this area and we’ve never seen anything.”
Twilight stopped what she was doing for a second to think. “Well,” she began as she tapped a hoof to her chin. “If we can relate anything to archives we have today, the really secure ones are either really high up, or really far underground. Maybe if we are lucky, Princess Celestia chose to put this one underground.” Twilight stopped thinking for a moment, noticing that Rarity wasn’t packing anything. “Rarity, why aren’t you preparing? We might encounter many things and I want to be sure we are prepared for anything.”
“I’m not coming,” she announced.
“But why? Luna gave you the stone that helped you find the map.”
“Twilight, I think that the stone was only supposed to be a clue for me,” Rarity suggested. “Celestia left you the scroll, remember.”
Twilight was still confused. She was worried that she would really need Rarity’s help for this, or that something may go wrong and she would need Rarity’s magic to help them escape.
“Twilight, I had a dream on the train,” Rarity began to recount. “Well, it was more like a memory. It was about my mother. Back when she passed away, Princess Celestia came to us to try and help us out. She told me something that I wish I had remembered from the start. She told me about the bond that sisters share, but more importantly, she told me that Sweetie Belle is precious to me and that I possess a talent for finding precious things.”
Twilight was still confused. She looked over to Spike who had stopped writing and now wore a dumbfounded look on his face. He looked back over to Twilight and shrugged.
“Twilight, I think she meant that my gem finding spell can help me find my sister. After all, she is the most precious thing to me, more precious than any stone could ever be.” Rarity moved over to Twilight and gripped her by her shoulders. “Luna said that the stone would help me, and I think it did. I think it gave me that dream. Will you please allow me to find out if I’m right about this?”
Twilight smiled, nuzzling Rarity’s hoof with her cheek. “Of course Rarity. You don’t need to ask me for permission. Just promise me that you’ll stay safe.”
“Only if you do the same,” Rarity said, giving Twilight a hug.
“Alright, Rarity. I promise,” Twilight agreed.
Turning back to her now full bag, she lifted it up and threw it over her back. “Alright everybody. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!” She announced triumphantly.
Twilight travelled down the path that she and her friends took so many years ago in their quest to discover the elements, or rather, themselves. The path had changed, overgrown and unkempt through the passing of time, but Twilight could still feel the magic that they all shared that still lingered, even after all these years. The memories of the challenges they faced circled in her mind as she walked down the winding path that led to the bottom of the cliff face, cautiously passing a large section that had broken off down into the slope. Twilight peered over the edge, gawking at the height of the slope. She may not have realised it at the time, but if she hadn’t caught that ledge or Applejack hadn’t come down to hold her up, she would have ended up as a permanent indentation on the ground below. With a deep gulp, she pressed onwards, snaking her way down the winding path to the canyon below.
She pressed onwards, coming up to a dark thicket. Twilight pushed her way through the brush only to stop in the center of a clearing. All around her were the same crooked trees that, while she admitted was pretty foalish, had frightened her and her friends. The once burgundy trees were now a grayish brown, having dried out in the long blizzard. However, the area still gave her the creeps. She had her friends to back her up last time they were there, but giggling all by herself didn’t feel as comforting as it did awkward. What she wouldn’t give to hear one of Pinkie’s cheerful songs right about now. “Giggle at the ghostly...” she very quietly and worriedly sang to herself as she crept on.
After crossing a shallow creek she came to a point in the overgrowth where it completely cut off. If it hadn’t been for her cautiousness, she wouldn’t have noticed the edge of the cliff that dropped down to the sharp rocks below. Up ahead she could see a silhouette of the old, broken castle. Unsurprisingly, the rickety rope bridge they had used so long ago was out, but for Twilight, that wouldn’t be an issue. Sitting down in a clear patch of land, she pulled out the map and laid it on a clipboard along with a thin sheet of wax paper with a few markings on it. She carefully laid it on top of the map, aligning the points drawn on the paper with the key points on the map.
“Alright, if I set this point as the center,” she began, taking a mental measurement of the distance between her and the castle entrance. Taking the quill in her mouth she began to carefully mark the point. “I haven’t done this in forever. This is harder than I remember.” Of all the things that Twilight could do, mouthwriting wasn’t her strong suit. This was clear by the clumsy markings left all over the paper. Slightly embarrassed, she quickly rolled up the map and stored it away before continuing on.
Rarity took a moment to calm her frustrations. She had been attempting and performing her gem finding spell since Twilight left, with no luck. Spike took the time to research Equestrian prisons, but there wasn’t much around the library to go on. Rarity plopped down on Spike’s lap, exhausted, but desperate for his sympathy.
He took a handkerchief and dabbed at the sweat around her forehead. “I’m sorry, Rare. I don’t think there’s anything here about prisons,” Spike sighed. “Not many ponies want to write books about the subject.”
“It’s quite alright, Spike,” she cooed. “You tried your best and that is all I could ask for.”
Spike thought for a moment, scratching his chin. “Maybe we’ve been going about this the wrong way,” Spike suggested.
Rarity stood back up, curious of Spike’s new revelation. “What ever do you mean?” she asked.
“Well, maybe you’re just trying too hard. You said that the bond sisters share is a connection that never goes away, right?”
“Then maybe you are already feeling it. It’s just been so constant that you tuned it out.” Spike fished around the pile of books for one that he had found in their previous search. “Aha!” he cheered as he pulled a pastel blue book up, dusting it off before handing it over to Rarity.
Rarity looked inquisitively at the book and then unamused back over at the purple dragon. “Spike... this book is for foals,” she criticized. “What could this book possibly have to help me out?”
“Just read it.”
Rarity lowered the book, instantly recognizing the title from her childhood.
“I have...” she mumbled under her breath.
She opened up the book and cleared her throat in a sarcastic tone as she began to read the book out loud, mockingly. ‘So, are you trying to learn magic? Well then, do we have a few tips for you!” She turned the book around to show Spike the pictures of two fillies struggling to produce tiny sparks from their horns, imitating a preschool teacher reading to her students.
Spike was getting impatient, crossing his arms in contempt.
Rarity continued on. “Sometimes, if you want something hard enough, you have to think really hard about it.” The pages showed a foal with a thought bubble filled with a few cliched desires of children. She turned the page and continued. “Well magic works the same way. If we want something clearly enough, we can make it happen.”
“Let’s try a spell that every unicorn will use every day of their life. Levitation!”
Spike interrupted her for a moment. “Go ahead and try it, but instead think about your gem spell.”
Rarity sighed. ‘Focus on an object, something small like your sister.
Now close your eyes and clear your mind of everything except your sister.’
Rarity pulled out the photograph she found in her sister’s cottage, seeing Sweetie Belle’s beaming smile once again. ‘And think really hard about how much you want your sister back.’ She closed her eyes for a moment, squeezing out a tear and letting it roll down her cheek.
“Now open your eyes.”
Rarity’s eyes fluttered opened to see darkness all around her. Ahead of her appeared a figure, small at first but then it grew to the size of a young mare. She was curled up into a ball, crying. The mare was almost unfamiliar, but she instantly recognized her as Sweetie Belle. Rarity tried to run towards her but, but the vision stayed in its place ahead of her.
Sweetie Belle turned her head to look directly at Rarity. “Don’t cry big sister,” she said in an ethereal voice that echoed throughout the vision. She walked towards Rarity and smiled gently. She came so close that Rarity could swear she could even smell her scent; lilac was always Sweetie’s favorite.
Rarity attempted to reach out and hold her, but right before she could, Sweetie Belle moved to her side and whispered into Rarity’s ear. “I want to show you something.” Sweetie Belle’s horn began to glow before she suddenly shot back into the horizon while the world built itself around her sister, almost as if Rarity had been thrown up into the sky at lightning speed. In no time at all, she could see all of Equestria, and then the whole world, until it shrunk down in the horizon to a single point before disappearing completely. Then once again, Rarity was alone in the black void. She curled up into a ball and began to sob silently.
She suddenly felt a figure grab hold of her and shake her gently. She turned to see Spike shouting something but she could only hear ringing in her ears. With one last shake, the library around her returned and the ringing slowly faded away.
“Rarity! Are you alright?” Spike shouted.
She looked around, identifying the library and then noticing steam rising from her horn before looking back at Spike. She quickly threw herself against the surprised dragon, embracing him tightly. “Thank you! Thank you so much!” She cried with tears flowing freely down her cheeks.
“What happened?!” Spike exclaimed, in shock with the unicorn’s strange behavior.
“I know where she is. I found Sweetie Belle!”
Twilight found herself at a large clearing right around where the map had told her to go. The trees all around grew in an unnatural pattern, stemming from the ground but then rising up and fanning out in all directions, almost completely obscuring the sky. The ground all around was made of some type of stone, laid out like a foundation of sort but entirely coated with moss. It was almost pitch black, save for the single ray of light that poked through the center of the tree ceiling. Small flakes of snow floated down through the hole, refracting the light as they fluttered down gently into a small pile on in the center.
This area was completely quiet. Even her breathing made no sound as she treaded lightly towards the center. The sound of her hooves against the stone floor echoed around the clearing as if she was walking through a grand hallway. Underneath her hooves, she felt strange bumps, like the ground wasn’t entirely even. She began to wipe at the moss on the ground revealing engravings that appeared to be an ancient language, or at least, one that Twilight didn’t recognize. Even though she longed to stop and study the markings, making a catalogue of every engraving she found, she knew that she had something more important to do.
Something seemed to be calling her to the center, almost like a voice. Little did she know, every step she took farther in, the markings that she passed would light up and then fade away. She paused for a moment right before she reached the center, looking up through the small hole in the ceiling and then back to the darkness that she came from. With nowhere left to go, she took one last step.
Almost immediately, the ground directly beneath her hooves sunk an inch with a loud clunking noise. All around her, the markings in the ground began to light up in a brilliant azure light through the moss, spreading along the floor like water through the cracks. The scene was brilliantly frightening, causing Twilight to step back. Once the whole room was illuminated, the lights slowly faded to black before she felt a rumbling beneath the ground. In the center, the pile of snow began to sink down into the ground like sands in an hourglass before the ground around began to sink in semi-cirles around the center about a yard wide, forming steps that led downwards. The noise was deafening, causing Twilight began to pace backwards in fear, cautious that the ground would suddenly cave in and she’d fall into an infinite abyss. Down in the center however, the path created revealed a doorway, lit with the same blue light flowing through etchings in the walls. Once the door was completely revealed, the ground stopped trembling, almost as quickly as it had started.
With extreme caution, Twilight began to wander down the steps into the doorway. The tunnel seemed to stretch on for miles, possibly an illusion created by the pulsing of the lights along the walls. She began to walk, not sure if she was even getting anywhere at all. However, before she started to get second thoughts, the lights suddenly converged into a small ring no bigger than a broom handle or more likely, a horn. “A magical lock?” Twilight thought in disappointment. She wasn’t sure if she could even attempt to use magic to try and break the lock, or if the lock would even break for her. Twilight sat down, defeated. She had come all this way, only to be stopped by this simple device.
“No!” She thought as she looked back up to the hole. “I DID come all this way. I faced every challenge that fate threw at me. I will not be defeated so easily! I am the Element of Magic! I AM TWILIGHT SPARKLE!” Twilight threw her head down and forced her horn into the hole, focusing as hard as she could to come up with any spell she could think of. Almost immediately, she felt the pain return, but still she powered on. Thoughts of her friends swarmed her head. She was concerned for each one of them. Their futures were resting on her shoulders and it was her duty to see this through to the end. With one final push, Twilight felt the spark; the same spark that revealed to her the power of friendship. Twilight’s horn lit up drawing the lights from the hallway into the ring around the hole. Once the last ray of light flowed into the ring, she heard a loud ‘clunk.’
The door opened up, splitting the hole right down the middle and releasing her horn from its constraint. Across the other side of the doorway was pitch blackness. With gusto, she marched forward, holding one hoof in front of her to prevent herself from running into a wall. She looked back to observe her progress in comparison to the light from the tunnel, but almost instantly as she turned her head, the wall closed up with a loud ‘thunk.’
Before Twilight had a moment to panic, the walls and ground lit up with the same markings as before, lighting up the room around her. The walls and floor were made of a material that was utterly alien in nature. It shined like glass, but it was a dark blue in color and only slightly transparent like cloudy water. However, when Twilight took a step, it felt and sounded like metal. The lights seemed to float around the walls and sometimes skipped off of them at random intervals. From this, Twilight could get a good sense of the size of the room, being no bigger than the base of her tree home. More importantly, by the way the lights acted, she could tell that the light was actually free-flowing magic, probably left over from an ancient, unactivated spell.
Knowing this, Twilight scanned the room for a trigger point like a pressure plate or a totem, one that would further activate the enchantment from its paused state. In the center of the room was a short circular platform, inconspicuous in nature, but being the only feature in the room, the most logical place to start her investigation.
She proceeded forward, but right before she reached the platform, the lights flowed from the walls into the floors and then around the platform. It slowly began to rise from the ground revealing a large diamond encased in the center of the tall column. As soon as the column reached the the top of its ascent. The lights began to flow up into the diamond which began to shine as brilliantly as the sun, causing Twilight to avert her eyes and shield herself with her hoof.
As the light slowly receded back into the gem, Twilight slowly looked back to see just what had happened. What she saw next caused her to literally scream out of shock. Standing before her was a cream white being with a long, flowing, pastel colored mane. Her whole body had appeared to be glowing with arcane light. Atop her head was a long horn. The figure took a step forward and flared her wings in the presence of Twilight. However, she didn’t make a single noise whatsoever as she did so, not even from her hooves making contact with the floor.
It took Twilight a moment to regain her composure before she could formulate the words to say. With tears in her eyes, she gazed at the regal alicorn standing before her.