Dear Princess Celestia,
Luna wanted me to inform you that her mission has been successful; she, along with me and my friends, have secured the three creatures.
Currently 'they' are tightly bound and are not going anywhere. Luna has been keeping an eye on 'them' since we got back from the Old Castle, not leaving them alone for even a second.
But there's something really odd about 'them'...
When we approached them at the Old Castle and afterwards, our Elements didn't react at all like they had done with... Her...
Also, I personally witnessed, along with Applejack, Pinkie, Rainbow and Rarity, how they 'acted' around everypony else and I can tell that they aren't anywhere near to the ones you, Luna and the few books have mentioned about. This could pose to be a serious threat against Equestria!
And then there's the book we found within 'their' possession.
It was... nothing like I had never ever laid my eyes on and so it's hard for me to describe it in great detail without hurting Spike's arm from overwriting. But what I can tell is that it looks awfully similar to the ones in your personal library and according to Luna, it has one of the most complex locks on it.
Not even Luna and I combined were able to open it!
Even Pinkie gave it a shot. Luckily the book came out fine, though still firmly shut.
Currently both of the book and the captives are with Luna downstairs and she has forbidden anypony from interrupting her, very much to Applejack's and Rainbow's dismay, due to safety reasons and because she's the only one who has dealt with 'their' kind in great detail.
Luna has been alone with them for the past half hour or so. When we had to leave her she asked for me to write this to tell about the situation and to ask for any further orders on what to do.
Please answer soon.
Your prized star pupil and friend
P.S: Girls also say hi
P.P.S: Say hi to Philomeena from Fluttershy
"There, that should do it." Twilight finally finished with her long speech and let Spike drop the quill before letting out a tiny breath of relief, which was followed by giggles erupting from all over the main room. Soon though, the purple dragon rolled the scroll shut, tied the normal red tape on it and breathed his green flame over it, making the message disappear in a flash.
An awkward silence fell over the room as everypony continued on with what they had been doing as Spike left for the kitchen.
"Ah am sorry Twi'."
Twilight turned to view the stairs, where the orange cowmare sat down on the steps and her head hung low, eyes hiding under her large hat.
"Ah ought to have listened to you back there. Can you forgive me?" Applejack soberly asked.
Twilight sighed, rose up, and walked up to her friend before sitting beside her.
"It’s okay," the lavender unicorn started and placed a hoof over her shoulder. "And it isn't like you were the only one fooled."
"Yeah AJ, just chill out, like me, and wait until we get our our own hooves on them!"
Everypony could only look at the cyan pegasus, who was laying in the corner and resting her head on a cloud pillow she had taken from outside, with blank expressions.
"What?" Rainbow exclaimed, throwing her front hooves in the air. She got a loud huff from over the centre of the room as a response.
"Is such vague violence really that necessary, Rainbow? In the end, it isn't up to us to punish 'them'." questioned the marshmallow unicorn while she poured more tea for herself.
Rainbow pursed her lips, "You just say that because you've-"
However, she was instantly cut short by a loud snort from Rarity, who saw where Rainbow was heading for.
"Do I need to recall dear, what you yourself told all of us last night."
Now Rainbow fiercely blushed and rolled her back to the rest of the girls. Soon loud, obviously fake, snores followed from under the cyan wings.
"Hmm, yes what is it dear? Do you want more tea?" Rarity asked, but the yellow pegasus shook her head.
"No thanks... It's just that... we haven't given... *gulp* 'them' a chance to explain..."
"But Flutter' dear! You listened to what Princess said; 'their' kind cannot express anything but pure evil!"
Fluttershy meeped and gazed out of the window, her face disappearing under the long pink locks, while Rarity lightly blew into her tea.
Then, a giggle ran throughout the room.
"Oh, what is so funny Pinkie?" Rarity politely inquired after taking a sip, but the pink pony kicked her 'boredom' ball once more, sending it flying over the room and into the kitchen.
"Oops, sorry Spike!" Pinkie apologized to the purple dragon as he came from the kitchen, rubbing his head while carrying the ball, before she began to bounce the ball with her head.
"Pinkie... You didn't answer."
The pink pony looked confused, though still bouncing the ball on top her head.
"Since when have I needed a reason to laugh?" Pinkie sincerely asked the fashionista.
This even Rarity couldn't argue with, and she decided to let it go.
"Say, what time is it? I still have orders to be filled by next week."
"It's... about half past twelve and no Rarity, you cannot leave until the Princess is finished." Twilight responded from behind a large book as she flipped over to a new page.
"By the way Twi', do you know what's happening down there?"
Twilight shrugged and turned her eyes at the bulky basement door.
"Luna only mentioned the word 'cleanse'..."
Suddenly, the front door burst open in a bright light.
There, finally ready...
Cyan eyes gleaming in the shallow mix of artificial light and natural shadows, the dark blue alicorn headed back over to the work desk, fully cleaned of the chemical equipment and mixtures Twilight had stored down here. Her hoof fondled the few crystals, and couple of broken shards, that were left over. Each one was pure purple in colour, bright as midday's ray, and perfectly oval in shape, like they had to be in order for them to function properly.
Tis strange that these are mostly used as a fine jewerly in the ranks of nobility. Even in these times.
One shard accidentally fell down to the floor, instantly breaking down into a fine glowing dust, not leaving a single solid piece left.
Fragile to direct impact, yet very durable on every other field. And nopony could suspect their deadliness...
Her hoof, however, stopped at the mystery book.
And then there is this...
In a blink of an eye, the book rose upwards as it was engulfed in the magical glow, and began to spin in mid-air.
Just what art thou?
The alicorn narrowed her eyes on the floating object, only to see it hadn't changed since the last attempt at unlocking it. In fact, it looked like it had been printed only a couple of hours ago.
The only thing was that they didn't have printing houses back in the Pre-Classical Era.
Her still gleaming eyes traced along the thin silver lines that crossed both of the covers, crossing the path of one another until ending at the rose engraves in the corners. One could easily get lost in simply trying to follow the lines, as Luna now witnessed it. The lines were actually pure silver, not just some paint thrown across to make it look fancy and important.
Yes, it was in fact very interesting; finding a book that dates back to to the pre-classical era and more, under 'that' thing...
And why art thou locked away?
Directly in the middle of the fore edge, connecting to the covers, was an iron block that clenched the book firmly shut. It reflected the rays from the glowing orb above back from its clean surface. It looked remarkably similiar to some kinds of lock systems used in pre-classical times by unicorn scholars.
After all, only they were able to open these.
So it had taken her back by just how resentful it was to magic; not even her alicorn might combined with the Holder of Magic was able to produce any visible effect, and they had bombarded it constantly until finally giving up. Even the more cunning spells, with somewhat questionable backgrounds, were useless.
Ah! Alas, we've let our mind wander.
The book returned back to its place on the table, as the alicorn hastily turned around.
Although she gave the appearance of being completely solemn, on the inside she was relieved. She neared the edge of the light and her vision.
Her dark blue horn glowed briefly and instantly the orb of light hovering near the inner ceiling concentrated its rays in front of her.
She watched as the light revealed the three figures chained together with steel shackles that covered every inch of 'their' lower bodies. 'Their' eyes were covered with a cloth and each had a gag in their mouths, although it didn't matter as none had regained conscious, while the three leaned onto each other's backs. Along with these precautions, the horned one had its magic blocked away just in case.
Filled with hatred, her eyes stared down on the three 'ponies' while her mind was puzzled.
The question not even The Princess of Night and Extinguisher of Nightmares was able to fully answer.
A minute passed by in silence. Finally, her head slowly shook.
It doesn't matter; the Taint is obvious and that's enough for us.
Directly ahead each of them had been placed on a wooden candle stand, stretching upwards above their height. On the top of each, hovering in air was a familiar looking purple crystal, a faint glow beating inside like a dim fire and spinning in place.
Then, Luna's horn began to glow.
Soon, her eyes followed, turning bright light in colour and glowing the same.
Those eyes, they weren't filled with anger or frustration any more.
No, they instead gleamed from joy.
The light inside each of the crystals began to grow out of their stable boundaries.
The joy, from witnessing barehoof 'them' suffer a fate far worse than simple death.
No mercy was to be given nor expected on each side.
Suddenly, a spark left each crystal and connected together, forming a triangle.
'Them', who bow to that who kept her as it's slave for centuries;
trapped inside her own flesh and mind.
Even now, none of the three in middle moved in the slightest.
It wasn't an act of justice...
No, it was pure revenge, driven solely by her on hatred.
Luna smirked. "Alas, it shall end here!"
With that said, Luna channelled more of her magic into the crystals, bringing them to the absolute edge of their capacity and growing the sparks into full force, very much resembling real lighting bolts though bearing far more energy.
Even the light orb above began to flash rapidly as it received tiny amounts of the energy that escaped from the shock triangle beneath it.
And then it fell dark, only leaving tiny sparkles in mid-air where the light had been, slowly starting to descend down.
Luna didn't even flinch and continued to look at the display, feeling immensely satisfied.
The dark Alicorn shot a gaze towards the end of stairs, careful not to interrupt her 'work'.
In the same instant I regained some form of rational though, I was presented with an odd dilemma.
Is it really necessary to feel like this every single time I woke up?
A breath escaped from between my dry lips.
Then again, being forced into unconsciousness might differ from a normal nap...
What I could understand at that point was very limited; I was laying down on my side, curled in some sort of sleeping posture. Some sort of soft substance beneath me made it feel really good, like I was relaxing on the most comfy bed in whole world.
I rolled onto my stomach while my front hooves rubbed against my face.
And why the heck does it always need to cause an immense head ache?
But then it struck me.
I wasn't wearing my glasses.
Odd, how com-
.... Oh no.
I desperately wanted to dart up and see where I was, but my body fiercely fought against this and instead made me calmly rise up to my rump. From there, my eyes fully opened up and again I needed to rub them gently, trying to get the dizziness to vanish and get my vision clearer.
"Ah, at last you're finally awake."
My hooves dropped down.
The same thing happened with my now gaping mouth, inhaling once deep in and out, yet it sounded more a rasp due to a sore throat plus the overall shock of recognising that voice.
The voice of authority, yet bearing also marks of kindness and tenderness, like a mother talking to its baby.
Carefully, I cracked open my eye lids and first thing they did was to turn onto where the voice had spoken from, though by now my mind had already figured who I was to expect.
So I wasn't that surprised, at least in my mind, as my gaze fell onto the large, regal looking white alicorn who looked upon me from her position. She sat on a large red pillow and next to her was a small table, on which was a full tea set ready to be used.
"Don't be afraid, my little unicorn." Celestia reassured me, before pointing beside her where, with a loud puff, appeared a pillow similar to hers.
"Please, sit down."
Gulping once, from the obvious nervousness of being in the same room with the ruler of Equestria and the Goddess of the Sun, I stood up, now noticing the large mattress resembling a cloud below me, and went on to look over the rest of the room.
Definitely in the library, was my initial though when I saw the rows of shelves that had tons of different books in long rows. It wasn't just that alone, the whole appearance of the inner wood build on the walls and the ceilings along with the many different paper notes that painted the room resembled the library.
Those, and the fact there was a small basket directly on the end of-
Well, isn't this awkward. I'm in the bedroom of my favourite pony...
But then I saw my two friends. Both of them laid out on the same mattress as I had, leaning onto one another's back.
"Your friends are just sleeping, like you had been until now."
I sighed in relief and finally headed over to the table, hoping in the depths of my heart that it would go well.
The Princess warmly smiled at me as I sat down onto the pillow. Her horn engulfed in a yellow glow along with the tea pot, which rose up and poured the steaming tea down into the two tea cups.
"Now, Nucleus, do you and your friends know who I am?"
Is she honestly asking that?
"Yes, Your Highness."
Now the tea pot fell back down, the glow vanishing off it, and the Royal Alicorn turned her magenta eyes on mine.
"Please, we aren't in public and this situation calls for some level of informality." Celestia said, while taking a sip from the cup that floated in front of her. I did the same with mine, though I fiddled with my hooves a bit.
However, the alicorn beside me sighed and let her cup land onto the small dish.
"I need you to tell me what exactly happened to you three this morning."
I kept gulping down the warm tea down, savouring the apple taste of it and the fact it helped to clear my sour throat, until finally lowering it down.
"I really don't have a choice, do I?" I joked and the alicorn nodded.
"And these are yours, I assume?" Celestia asked and took out my glasses from her side, leaving them on the table next to the pot. Sadly, I noticed that the right lens had a small fracture on its edge. Thankfully, as I took it to my hooves and put them on, it didn't really hinder my sight.
... In the end, what would it honestly change?
I sighed. "It started this morning, when this voice..."
Everypony in the room had their mouths shut.
By common knowledge of Ponyville's residents, one of the clearest signs of apocalypse was the day when Pinkie Pie would keep quiet without any specific orders from anypony.
Now, that sign had come...
However, the world didn't end itself just yet and instead, due to dramatic perfection, resulted in everypony simultaneously looking to the upstairs bedroom door.
Less than couple of minutes ago they had watched how both of the Princesses had walked out of the basement, neither speaking a word to them. Behind them floated the three stallions, yet they didn't get a proper look at them as they alongside the two alicorns had disappeared upstairs.
Then, one single thought ran through all of them.
They could be dead...
And so I told her about our little trip into the woods; the journey, hazards, close-calls etc., though I left out anything that could give out who we were and especially the re-build archway. On a couple of occasions, like when we were in the dark path, Celestia would cut in and inquire for a more detailed explanation before I could continue on.
And all the while, Celestia had this calculative look on her face, like she was pondering something.
Finally, some twenty minutes later, I got to the part when we lowered into the dungeon and found out that we had been fooled by the voice.
I paused there for a moment, but Celestia raised her long hoof up. "Please continue. What happened after this voice spoke to you?"
That one line caught on, as I realized its meaning.
"Wait, you aren't alone?" I asked in confusion.
Now Alto behind me rustled up and charged ahead of me, stopping at the stone pillar and tilting his head up.
"Answer Goddamnit! Are you alone or not?"
Then, it went dark...
Celestia lowered her head to my level and laid her warm, caring eyes upon me.
"And that's the last you recall, is it?"
I nodded "Positive, nothing else since waking up in here. I assume the Voice most likely knocked us out."
As I finished my second cup of tea, I decided it was time my turn, seeing as Celestia had stayed quiet, yet I wondered what happened behind those magenta eyes as her look gave nothing away, not even for me who was adept at noticing my friend’s lies.
"Now, can you answer how we got in here from there?"
Celestia's head rose back up and she turned her attention elsewhere. Soon, though, she sighed.
"You were found by the Holders of The Elements led personally by my sister..."
Princess Luna! Oh no...
"...who was on a mission herself." Celestia said, still looking away and bearing the best poker face I had ever seen, not giving out any clues.
"And let me guess, that mission was to find the three of us?"
Now she quickly looked back to me, openly bearing a surprised expression. Before she got to speak, I pressed on, somewhat enjoying the fact I had been able to impress a living goddess.
Oh well, if we're going to get discovered, might as well end it with a bang.
"Think about it; it's the only possible reason judging by how she came to Ponyvile in first place and organized a search party for us. And the fact that your own sister would be ready to do that itself means something."
I smirked at the Alicorn, who by now had regained her blank composure, knowing whole heartedly it was kind of inappropriate.
And now for the finishing touch.
"There's something about us that you're interested in."
*Clop, clop, clop*
Confused, I turned around on my pillow and found myself starting at the shadowy end of the room. Then, out of the corner, and much to my excitement, two teal eyes popped open and soon sounds of hoof steps followed.
"We must admit we're impressed of thou." echoed the voice from the shadows, until the dark blue Alicorn revealed herself. She didn't stop there though, instead closing the distance inbetween us, the whole time staring at me.
"Sister, can thou explain?"
Celestia nodded before looking at me while Luna helped herself to some of the tea.
"About six days ago, some extraordinary magical activity happened to pass by on the edge of the Everfree Forest, causing much hassle over at the School for Gifted Unicorns. A research team was immediately sent on the site to seek for any possible signs and to clean the mess it had left behind."
The regal alicorn put on a calculative smile.
"But when the team got there, they were amazed beyond belief; there weren't any natural signs of the magical activity that should have been there when compared to the amounts of energy concentrated on the spot. The only thing there was a single spot of burned wood and ash."
Luna finished off with her tea, while I tried to keep myself timid.
"Yet there was one single decisive clue; three hoof tracks that led away from the site."
Both Luna and Celestia now looked at me, as if indicating it was time for me to confess.
I chuckled, much to their surprise.
Oh shit, we're so screwed...
"Guess I own an explanation?"
Both of them nodded.
"Very well then; yes, those trails were left by us. And before you ask, we also happened to be there six days ago." I told as neutral as possible while my rational thought waged a conflict against the creeping up panic.
Luna and Celestia stared at one another until the older Alicorn spoke;
"Can you tell us what happened on that day?"
I lowered my gaze down and away from theirs.
My life, my friends lives... now they're in my hands.
From the corners, I saw Alto's and Maero's sleeping bodies.
These next words will determine our lives from now on. And that choice, lies on me...
A distressed breath escaped from me.
Choices... I hate them so much.
I felt very uncomfortable, as I swore I could feel the two Alicorn's eyes pierce through me, tearing me apart in search for answers.
I sat quietly and pondered.
Ultimately, in the end I was left with only one plausible choise.
And... it actually fet comfortable to me.
Alea iacta est.
My head rose back up, to meet Celestia's gentle smile while Luna took more of the tea, leaving me to seriously think of breaking down and confessing anything.
"I don't know..."
Luna for a second forgot that tea was for drinking and soon she was coughing the life out of her lungs. Even Celestia looked surprised, yet she kept her look on me and averted both the gaze that Luna gave to her and the tea that had fallen over her pristine coat.
"I don't understand what you mean." Celestia said.
"What I mean is that I don't remember... anything prior to these last six days." I mumbled and shamefully looked away from them, fearing that my expression would give me away to them.
Nopony in the room spoke in the following minute, though I wondered if Luna and Celestia had some sort of mind link between one another to allow them to talk without fear of me hearing them.
But then, I felt something fall over me.
And the next thing I know, I saw Celestia standing beside me, her hoof laying over my head, and gently smiling.
Hold on, did they...
"Nucleus, we both want to help you, so please do tell us more; what kind of amnesia are we talking about here?
... they actually bought that?
"Umm, it's... really weird actually." I started, trying to figure out how to explain it credibly and so that our past behaviour wouldn't endanger it, as I believed the Elements had already told her everything about us.
"It's that... the only thing that I cannot recall is past events of me."
Celestia nodded. "You mean that only common knowledge is intact?"
Hesitantly I shook my head. "Yes... and no; for instance I cannot do magic and my friend there cannot fly."
Now, the two of us set our looks upon the two ponies that continued to sleep away, not aware of the whole situation that unfolded next to them.
"It's a strange thing really..."
"How come?" Celestia inquired.
"When I woke up, I met with them and... Instantly, we had this connection between one another; a deep bond, one could say."
Now Celestia laughed, her voice sounding like a choir of clear bells ringing on a grassy meadow while birds flew by above.
"Friendship at its best is like that..."
The two of us turned back to the table, where Luna seemed to have finally gotten her tongue back.
"My sister, our time is running low, as thou perfectly well know, and there's yet one important thing remaining."
"Ah yes, indeed." Celestia replied and turned back onto me while her horn glowed once more. Then I saw that at the table, a book rose and it flew over to me, stopping only inches from my nostrils.
"This was under your possession when you were found." Celestia explained while I took ahold of it and inspected it.
One word could only describe it.
"It's beautiful..." I mumbled while touching the cover and feeling the leather(?) cover under my hoof.
And to my surprise, Celestia broke into a light laughter and I again savoured the angelic voice, trying to memorize it.
However, I noticed that Luna over at the table wasn't happy in the slightest.
As Celestia calmed down, she put on a serious face.
"Nucleus, I need you and your friends to keep everything you've said here to yourselves. We'll talk to the Elements downstairs and explain the current situation so that they won't question you. And that includes the book, however the Elements know about it already, and Twilight can tell you more."
I bowed to her, and let a smirk rise onto my face.
Holy crap, I actually pulled it off!
"As you wish." I promised to her and laid the encrusted book onto the table
Then, an idea struck me when I recounted the end of her speech and a part about our 'common knowledge'.
Let's roll the dice once more.
"Princess, may I request something?"
Every pair of eyes at the table, that now laid over at the centre of the room, darted to the upstairs ledge from where the voice of lock opening had finally come. Tea cups passed down from hooves and quickly the six mares and the small purple dragon formed a neat row at the end of the steps, finally bowing their heads down when they heard the sound of hoof steps nearing them.
When it came to an end, the seven heads rose to see the two alicorns looking at them.
"We shall await outside. Don't take too long, dear sister."
Having said that, Luna began to walk up towards the front door. Halfway through, her horn began to glow and it engulfed her body fully. All of the onlookers witnessed as she slowly began to disappear from sight, starting from her hooves, the rest of her body following, until finally seemingly vanishing out of view.
The only thing that gave away her invisibility was the large shadow that still loomed below.
Celestia waited until the front door, which opened itself in light blue glow, slammed shut and then turned back to the six mares.
"Now, my little ponies, I need you to listen very carefully to what I'm about to say."
She paused and viewed everypony's face, seeing bits of confusion in each one. But to her surprise, her student stepped forward.
"Are they fine?" Twilight whispered, fearing the worst.
Celestia smiled, "They're well."
All of the mares, including Spike, let loose a breath and looked at one another with relief.
"And what about... you know..."
Celestia shook her head in response to the lavender unicorn. "No, they are normal, healthy ponies."
Now everypony smiled, and Celestia especially noted the ones that Rainbow Dash and Rarity wore. However the alicorn herself dropped hers.
"Nevertheless, there's an obvious Taint in each of them." As she saw the concerned looks on her little ponies, and a dragon's, faces, Celestia looked upstairs. "It's truly a mystery..."
The Alicorn cut in, knowing what her student was trying to say, "Twilight, and the rest of you, do not be worried. I can assure you they're acting according to their own belief and that they're exactly the same ponies as before." She turned back to her audience. "I'd like you all to treat them well."
They all nodded and Celestia knew they would keep those three out of any trouble.
Thinking of trouble...
"Now; Twilight, Rainbow, could you two step forward?"
Rainbow and Twilight followed her order, yet both couldn't help but to think what the Princess had on her mind.
"These next words I'm going to say may shock you, but, for the first time in years, I'm ordering you to not question it. Neither from me or them."
"Oh you mean that Nucleus can't do magic and Alto can't fly? Oops, I think I shouldn't have been the one to say that. Oh well at least I saved us from the long and boring explanation that would be only a waste of words and space..." Pinkie Pie laughed to herself while her friends looked at her oddly for a bit.
Then, slowly, the five mares realized just what Pinkie had said.
Celestia sighed, mentally cursing her luck, and the pink party sheepishly grinned back to her.
"What Pinkie Pie just told you all is true, and that's where you trot in." Celestia's gaze now turned to look at the cyan pegasus, "Rainbow Dash; it goes without saying that you're one of the best pegasi flyers in all of Equestria, even rivalling and perhaps surpassing those ones you so eagerly look upon in your dreams."
Rainbow snickered at the praise she received and her chest pushed forward.
"Now, would you be willing to help Alto Stratus get off the ground and soar the skies?"
Rainbow's ears perked, yet her cocky smirk didn't fade and instead grew wider.
"Heck yeah I'll do it!" she exclaimed and, as Celestia's gaze fell away, Rainbow pumped her hoof in the air, generating a light murmur from the orange cowmare and slight blush from the yellow pegasus.
However, this went unnoticed by Celestia who now gazed at her star-pupil's round eyes.
"Twilight Sparkle; you represent the element of Magic itself and you're one of the most gifted magicians to ever set a hoof over these lands in centuries. So passionate about learning anything there is to know about it and everything else."
Twilight blushed and nervously moved her hoof over the floor.
"From this day on, I shall place Nucleus under your guidance. This is a large responsibility for a mare at your age but you have proven yourself to be more than capable to teach anypony the basics of magic."
Not even a second ticked pass by until the lavender unicorn began to hop around the Alicorn, heavily smiling and repeating the same phrase all over.
"Oh yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes! I get to teach somepony!"
Every eye looked over to the corner, where the marshmallow fashionista stood; she flipped her purple mane away from her head and placed a hoof over her chest.
"Can I participate in this 'teaching'? I might not be the most adept unicorn but I'd like to offer my helping hoof."
Now Twilight stopped with her hopping.
"Rarity..." Twilight growled, but Celestia stepped in between.
"Twilight, I don't see any problem in that."
Rarity showed her tongue to Twilight, who reluctantly nodded to her mentor in acknowledgement and immediately began to memorize many different teaching methods.
"Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Applejack. For you three I don't have anything special other than to possibly look after Maero."
Pinkie and Fluttershy both bowed, but the orange mare stood still and instead tucked her hat deeper.
"And Ah suppose ye expect me to trust 'em?"
"AJ, the hay you talking about?" Rainbow muttered under her breath, however Applejack continued on.
"Those fellows hav' lied to us and you expect me, Element of Honesty, to suddenly come in terms with 'em? No chance of happening..."
"But Applejack, they aren't meanie pants anymore." Pinkie Pie tried to reason with her, who instead withdrew to herself.
But then, Fluttershy leaned over to her and whispered something quietly into her ear before leaning away.
A couple seconds ticked by untill the cowmare grunted.
"Tell this to me, did they have a good reason to lie?" Applejack mumbled from beneath her hat.
Celestia didn't need to think about it for a second. "Yes, dear Applejack, they had a perfect reason for it."
Applejack's head rose to reveal her smirking face. "Ah guess I can give it another shot."
Celestia replied with a nod and finally turned to look upon the six mares as a whole group.
"Now there's only one thing left before I'll have to leave and that is the ordeal of this morning involving Luna."
Everypony turned to look at the top of the stairs, where the door began to open up.
"Don't mention about it to them along with the Taint, no need to worry them over nothing." Celestia whispered and everypony nodded in agreement, while the three stallions walked through the doorframe and came to view.
"Now, I’ll bid you my goodbye. Hopefully we'll meet again soon."
And with that said, Celestia began her walk towards the front door. As soon as her hoof touched the door knob, her body disappeared under the same invisibility spell her sister had used earlier.
At the same time as the door closed, the three stallions had made their way downstairs. At that point Twilight, along with the others, saw that Nucleus was carrying the book Princess Celestia had taken.
However, none of them dared to question it at that point, not after what they had been through this day,
"Hi girls." the silver unicorn greeted them and followed it with a smile.
"Hey!" the blue pegasus followed his friend and waved a hoof to them.
Only Maero kept quiet and stood still, straw hat firmly on his head.
All the girls smiled at them and approached them.
"Heh, nice to see you three back on your hooves." Twilight commented and Alto pursed his lips.
"Bah, believe me when I say I've been through a lot worse."
"But... umm... you're fine now... aren't you?" Fluttershy timidly added from behind her multi-coloured wall, only to hear Alto's laughter that was soon followed by a groan.
"Now now Alto. Don't be rude." Nucleus pointed out to the blue pegasus, who rubbed the back of his head in pain and muttered a couple swears under his breath.
"Wohoo, you know what this means, don't you?" Pinkie exclaimed and disappeared out into the kitchen only for seconds to soon reveal the metal tube that went-
-shooting confetti and glitter in the air and over her friends.
"Thanks, but I think I'm talking for us three when I say no." Nucleus apologized and wiped his lenses clean from the paper scraps.
"Huh, why not?" Pinkie asked in confusion as her cannon seemed to have vanished in thin air.
Nucleus looked upon his two friends, who both lightly nodded in acceptance.
"Let’s just say that this day has been quite stressful and I think we might retire ourselves to our apartment."
What followed after that was an awkward silence, in which the six mares looked away, rubbed the backs of their heads and nervously whistled.
"...There's something you aren't telling us, isn't there?"