56w, 6dWriting Gold
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"Do you want me to go ahead and write a letter to the Princess?"
"Apologizing in advance for the mess she's going to have to clean up when this goes wrong?"
Twilight groaned. "Why am I suddenly incompetent, Spike?"
The purple dragon peeked over her shoulder as she flipped back and forth between the pages of the ragged book. "It's not like that at all, Twilight! I just think this is too big for you. I've heard stories about stuff like this."
Twilight Sparkle poked her head up. "From who?"
"Ponies." Spike nervously fiddled his thumbs.
"What kind of ponies," Twilight asked, beginning to lose her patience with her assistant's neighsaying.
"Ponies who know things."
"I'm just saying, I don't want to come back and find six little craters in the library!"
"That's not going to happen," Twilight said, returning to the text. She wanted to laugh, but she was genuinely nervous about making the spell work properly, and Spike's apocalyptic scenarios did not help alleviate that anxiety. She was definitely glad that he would be stepping out before she actually tried the spell. None of her friends knew a fraction of what Spike knew about magic from his years working with Twilight, so the pressure would be significantly reduced. She just wished they'd hurry up and get here.
"Hello, darling!" came a familiar voice, as Rarity entered the library with Fluttershy by her side. Spike sighed happily upon seeing the white unicorn, but was quickly scooped up by a typically hyperactive Pinkie Pie.
"How's tricks, Spikey? Are you ready to see some magic?!?"
Spike shook his head emphatically. "Absolutely not. As soon as the rest of you get here, I'm stepping out for a donut."
"Wait a second, sugahcube...so what exactly..." Applejack was cut off as Rainbow Dash burst into the room through a window which Twilight had wisely left open. Her landing was still a little clumsy, but it was still better than one of her destructive tumbles.
"Not too shabby!" Rainbow beamed a smile around the room, then touched the jeweled necklace around her neck. "Sometimes I think I'm even better when I'm wearing this baby!"
Twilight smiled at the confidence the Element of Loyalty inspired in its owner, but Applejack once again took control of the conversation. "That's another thing, Twi. Why did Ah need to wear this thing for a simple magic spell?"
Spike scoffed, prompting the six mares to face the dragon, who was standing by the door. "Simple? Why do you think I'm leaving?" And he was gone in a huff.
"Well, that was weird," snorted Rainbow Dash.
"I'm not so sure," said Rarity. "Twilight...what was Spike talking about?"
The purple unicorn felt herself getting a little embarrassed, and she tapped her front hooves nervously. "Well, the truth of the matter is that this isn't a simple spell at all. I asked you all to come here because I'm planning to harness the full power of the Elements of Harmony."
"To do what exactly?"
"To open a portal to Canterlot." Twilight was greeted with a lot of back and forth murmuring from the other five mares. "What? What's wrong with that?"
"That sounds like some serious magic you're tinkerin' with there," said Applejack. "If something goes wrong, anything could happen."
"Like what?" asked Twilight.
"Like you bringing somepony back from another place."
"Or sending somepony there!" said Rainbow, nervously.
"Or turning all the beavers into gold!" said Pinkie Pie. The other five turned and stared at her. "What? That would be so sad! Lay off the poor beavers, wouldja, Twilight?"
Despite Fluttershy's concern for the imaginary beavers affected by Twilight's imaginary alchemy, she was also more worried about the results of such a powerful spell. "Um...what if...what if we all get...um, turned into colts?" A gasp came from the others.
Rarity took it one step further. "What if we all get turned into fillyfoolers?" There was a palpable silence. Rainbow glanced nervously at Pinkie Pie. Fluttershy lowered her head and looked at a grinning Applejack. Twilight just blushed and looked over towards her Fourth Edition of Magic Potions, which held a picture of a certain blue unicorn. Rarity grumbled. "Really? Just me?"
Twilight shook her head. "Don't worry about anything. I've read through the text again and again, and I know exactly how to do it. The hardest part is just getting all of the Elements together, and we've already done just that. Just think...when this works, we can go between here and Canterlot in an instant!"
Applejack rubbed her chin with her hoof. "Well, that would definitely increase our profits if we could sell to the city without having to make a huge trip every time."
"And when I make it into the Wonderbolts, I could keep my home here and still sleep until just a few minutes before practice!" Rainbow Dash was so excited, she was having trouble keeping her hooves on the ground.
"Well, okay, then...if you're sure there won't be a problem," said Fluttershy, still not entirely convinced, but wanting to do the best by her friends.
Twilight clapped her hooves together happily. "Alright! Now, girls, let's form a circle around the book!" The five other mares formed themselves into a ring looking in at the magical tome. Twilight grabbed the tiara that represented the Element of Magic and placed it on her brow before joining the circle. "Now join hooves!"
As they took each other's hooves, and Twilight began mumbling something in a strange language, the library seemed to grow darker, as if a large cloud had moved in front of the sun. The room would surely have grown darker still, had not the jewels on their pendants begun to glow with a near-blinding white light. The light grew on each of the six ponies, until the power erupted into the center of the circle, where all six paths met over the open book in a glowing white orb.
The ball of magic glowed like a miniature sun, until the intensity shifted from a brilliant white to a pulse of every color on the visible spectrum, from red to violet. The rainbow sphere began to rotate over the book, until the colors blended into a solid mass, which began to flatten as Twilight opened her eyes and an impossibly bright light flooded the entire room and sent beams of light from the windows of the modest tree library into the very outer reaches of space.
All six mares came to just moments later. They quickly stood up and began looking each other over through their slowly returning vision. They appeared to be not just unchanged, but unharmed. Twilight was the first to speak up. "It...didn't work."
The ponies looked over the book. Nothing. Everything was exactly as it had been prior to the spell. The book wasn't even warm. Fluttershy walked over to the disappointed unicorn.
"I'm sorry, Twilight."
Twilight just sighed. "I guess Spike was right. I guess this magic is just a little too much for someone like me." She took the tiara off of her head and placed it back on the shelf.
Rarity spoke up. "Don't beat yourself up too bad, darling. You're still quite young, and you're already more powerful than any unicorn I've ever met, save the Princesses. You have plenty of time to master these complicated spells."
"That's right, Twilight," spoke up the orange pony. "And we'll be there for you when you need our help again. Now, if you'll excuse me, I got to get back to the farm before sundown."
Twilight smiled. "Thanks, Porkchopjack. I really appreciated your help today. Have a good night."
Porkchopjack sauntered lazily onto Sweet Porkchop Acres. She smiled as she wandered through the orchard, gazing at the slabs of meat hanging on the trees. This year had seen an especially good harvest, and she was sure that the money the family brought in this year would help them finally repair the barn. She came across Big T-Bone carrying a load of chops on his back. "Good day today?"
"Eeyup," said the large red stallion. A large bone graced his flank.
"Where's Gravy Boat?"
"Up at the house. Her, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle were running around all day today, so ah think she's about tuckered out by now."
"Did she get her cutie mark today?" asked Porkchopjack.
"One day, big brother. One day."
As T-Bone finished his journey up to the house, Porkchopjack took a deep breath, inhaling the sweet scent of cooked meat. While she was disappointed for Twilight's sake that the spell had failed, and she was really looking forward to selling her famous pork chop sandwiches to Equestria's elite, she was glad that the spell had failed with a whimper, and not a bang. Despite its simplicity, she was pretty fond of the life she had in Ponyville, and she wasn't eager to have it altered by any of that fancy-shmancy magic.
She gave a nearby tree a sharp but relatively soft buck, causing one of the chops to fall into her outstretched hoof. She held it out for a second, appreciating its color and seasoning. Then she wiped the excess grease off on her coat and took a bite. Delicious.
Dear Princess Celestia,
Today I learned an important lesson in humility. Its not always easy to accept your limitations, but its much easier when you have your friends by your side to back you up and remind you that one failure doesn't necessarily mean you'll never get it right. It just means you have to keep trying. And if I try hard enough, I just might see you sooner than you'd expect!
Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle
The Princess of the Sun nodded her head and smiled, as she rolled up the scroll and placed it to the side. She would respond to it later, after she took care of some more...personal business.
She turned around and faced the yellow stallion with a long golden mane lounging in the Royal Bed. "Now, where were we?"
"Well, ah reckon that you were about to delight in the pleasures and wonders that these hooves have to offer yah," he tipped his cowboy hat back. "Ready for round two?"