The three Knights got out of the flying carriage.
"So, Ponyville." Sunset said "Seems like a quiet place. Just right for a base of operations where we can relax and recover in between missions."
"And it's really close to Canterlot, too." Twilight said "Princess Celestia did well in choosing it."
The three decided on a place to meet up on the next day, since it was already getting late and they should go get their accomodations set. Then they went their separate ways.
Sunset and Twilight left the mayor's office half an hour later, with all the documents necessary to take up habitation on the library. Twilight was somewhat more excited about the idea than Sunset.
"Can you imagine? All those books to organize, and all that time to research!"
"And it will be the perfect place for me to teach the unicorn foals!"
"It's sad that Trixie won't be with us like old times, but she really likes that wagon, and we can call her for a sleepover once in a while!"
"I hope Spike is doing well in his apprenticeship with Princess Luna. Perhaps I should send Teacher a letter asking about it?"
And that continued until they got to the library.
"Okay. First of all, we need to unpack our bags. And then..." Twilight, who had been looking at one of her checklists, paused when she heard snoring.
Sunset was down on the couch, already asleep.
"Or you might go to sleep and leave everything for me to do..." Twilight sighed, then she smirked and repositioned Sunset at the edge of the couch with her telekinesis before going on her way.
A few minutes later, while she was arranging things on the top floors, she heard a "bam!" sound and grinned.
Trixie took only a few minutes to draw the magic circle.
Everyone who knew about magic circles would understand that, while that wasn't particularly exceptional, it was still pretty good, specially considering the level of complexity of that particular circle.
The education of Princess Celestia's students was broad.
After finishing, Trixie took a few moments to relax and return her mind to its best condition. That wasn't actually necessary, but Trixie loved her wagon, and would avoid risking it without reason.
Then, she activated her magic, connecting the magic circle in front of herself with the perfectly equal magic circle that was in Canterlot, under her wagon (already prepared earlier in the day).
It took a few seconds, but the wagon appeared in front of her and Trixie finished the spell, breathing deeply to recover from the exertion before walking inside and closing the door.
The next day, Sunset woke up an hour before the scheduled dawn. She did her usual morning routine before leaving the library and concentrating.
She slowly charged her magic, building it up for thirty seconds before activating her spell.
And she teleported straight to Canterlot.
Specifically, it was one of the few locations in Canterlot castle without any anti-teleportation wards, which was specifically created so that Celestia's students could get to the princess quickly.
She trotted along until she got to Celestia, in the same place where she usually raised the sun. The Alicorn smiled at her, and then the two started charging magic.
As the time for dawn got close, they wove their magic power together, and then raised the sun.
Sunset was always humbled by the experience. The sheer power used to move that star was something awe-inspiring, and she was proud of being able to help, even a little. It was a secret dream of hers being powerful enough one day to move the sun all by herself, allowing Celestia to sleep in.
After the spell was complete, she almost dropped in exhaustion. It was the first time since the mission that she had done her job, and it made the fact she wasn't recovered yet painfully clear.
After recovering, she went with the alicorn princess to have breakfast, before saying her farewells and leaving to return to Ponyville.
Twilight had already reorganized a lot of the library, that had become a little messy over the time it had not had a dedicated librarian when the time came for her to receive her first student in Ponyville.
"Come in!" She said, upon hearing a knock in the door. A gray unicorn filly came in.
"Hello. Dinky, isn't it?" The filly nodded "You have come at exactly the right time. Come here." She brought Dinky to a small desk in front of a blackboard "You can call me Twilight, or just teacher. Before we start, tell me about every spell you have done in the last few weeks."
The small unicorn was awkward at first, but Twilight was experienced, and soon had Dinky doing a very detailed (if hard to parse) account of her experiences with magic. Then, she was doing basic spells like light and telekinesis in some simple but effective exercises, as Twilight examined Dinky with her own magic to obtain a detailed understanding of her proficiency.
It wasn't a long class, and soon Twilight had sent the filly off and was alone at home again. Sunset was still outside, doing her daily exercises.
The unicorn teacher started to plan the next classes, making several annotations about Dinky's skills and hashing out possible self-study routines in case she had to go on a mission unexpetedly.
Then, it would be back to reorganizing.
Trixie set up her stage.
In recent years, she had often foregone the physical stage in favor of creating an illusory one, just to show her skill even more and make the show better. However, it would be better for her not to strain herself at that point, so the stage was a necessity.
Still, she put up an illusory sign with a countdown to the start of the show, designed to build up anticipation. And the show would start at three in the afternoon, the best time she had found for a show in a small town like Ponyville.
As the time went on and the countdown passed, she saw many ponies coming and going, and those ponies would spread news about the show until the time came.
The crowd that gathered as the countdown came closer and closer to the end gave Trixie a smile. This would be her first show as an official Knight, and having it be in a small town with a limited audience gave the show itself an air of exclusiveness that she liked.
Eventually, the countdown reached zero, and the conversations around the public were reduced to almost nothing. Trixie took a step forward and began her show.
"This is a story that began a thousand years ago, with two sisters who ruled over the night and day." She showed illusions representing the two alicorns.
"This is also a story of three fillies who dreamed of defending their land and fighting for good." She showed illusions of three very specific cutie marks spinning around each other.
"And this is a story about a great villain and his schemes over the ages." She showed a menacing silhouette of warlock Sombra.
"Ever since that villain came into being, many heroes rose up to fight against him." Lights appeared in front of Sombra "Most recently, one great heoine managed to rescue the people he had been ruling for generations." One of the lights shined brighter, revealing the cutie mark of a crystal heart.
"But one of his biggest victims was still trapped even after that." And the lights disappeared, giving place to an image of the alicorn of the night, chained in a connection with Sombra. Then, the two disappeared, replaced by an image of the alicorn of the day and the three cutie marks of her apprentices.
"However, her sister had a plan, and she raised those three fillies into becoming something beyond simple heroes. Into inheriting a legacy that had not been seen on Equestria since ancient times."
And the alicorn silhuette disappeared, while the cutie marks turned into the silhuettes of the unicorn mares "The legacy... of the Knights."
She waited for a moment, letting that introduction sink in. Then it was time to start the real show. She charged up a more complex and powerful illusion, and covered the stage and audience in a replica of the dark dome of Sombra's territory.
"Sombra had taken over an entire region of our land, and condemned all the inhabittants to a life of slavery inside a prison of darkness, where there weren't many differences between night and day." Illusions of a guard company, with their features obscured, ran above the crowd of ponies, before being caught in chains of darkness "Even the guards sent to try and save them ended up as prisoners."
Soon, the illusions started getting more elaborate. An image of the castle with Sombra overlooking the region from there, Nightmare Moon flying around in the air, while the guards were moving robotically further down.
"Of course, heroes appeared to oppose Sombra and find ways to free the people." The silhouette of a certain resistance leader appeared, moving behind the guards stealthily "And when the Knight candidates came for their mission, they teamed up with those heroes of circunstance." Then, illusory versions of the three apprentices of Celestia appeared and moved together with everything else.
Trixie proceeded to tell about the battle with the unicorn avatar of Nightmare Moon, and the subsequent trap they fell into "But even after escaping the trap, they were not out of danger, for the mind-controlled alicorn was ready to destroy the intruders. Sunset had to be carried away by Twilight, while the great Trixie distracted the opponent!" As she said that, she started a battle with the illusion of Nightmare Moon, warping the stage herself with magic to present the reality of the alicorn's attacks.
She maintained her illusion and battle while also showing the battle against the second avatar "And it was then that Nightmare Moon discovered she had been fighting an illusion all along!" The Trixie on stage disappeared, elliciting awe from the spectators, as she had seamlessly teleported and replaced herself with an illusion previously.
She reappeared together with the illusions of the other apprentices and proceeded to perform and narrate the battle with the guards and the following attack on the very structure of the castle, as well as the appearance of Sombra himself on the battlefield.
"And Twilight managed to drag Sombra into a chaotic subworld, where he wouldn't be able to interfere with our attempts at saving his last prisoner." She then recreated the battlefield, an entire illusionary castle which was see-through, as well as the silhouettes of Sombra and Twilight, having their own battle in a separate world "And thus began our dance of battle, as we made sure that no part of the castle would survive intact!" The battle proceeded, with the castle illusions being destroyed little by little, and Trixie and the illusions moving everywhere, even among the crowd, including the public in the spectacle.
And once in a while, Trixie and most of the illusions turned into silhouettes, as she showed the battle between Sombra and Twilight with more detail, including how the very space in which they were fighting began to warp.
"And Luna was finally free, but Sombra wouldn't allow us to win so easily, and started gathering all the magic he could while holding her as a hostage." She then showed and narrated the maneuver used to save Luna from his grasp "And to finish him off, we joined our powers together in combination: Trixie's illusion magic circle created a spell, Sunset's enhancement made it stronger, and when the Warlock managed to survive even the sheer power of the Sun of Annihilation, Twilight warped causality itself, to cause the attack to take effect again." She showed a less graphic version of the destruction of Sombra, since there were children present.
"And with Sombra dead, light could finally shine again!" And the grand finale, she unmade the dome of darkness and created an illusion reproducing the monumental change from night to day, before letting the sun go out to reveal it was just an illusion, and the real sun was currently behind a cloud (weather magic).
Trixie was hit by the deafening noise of the applause, and gave her thanks to the audience.
It was good to be back.
Sunset was doing what she would classify as "light exercise". She knew very well that most ponies, and even her fellow Knights would disagree with that assessment, and the only ones who would agree would be some extreme athletes.
She was galloping around the town with weights strapped on her back. Once in a while, she would stop to do a few sets of core exercises, while at the same time practicing her spells and quick-casting. It was a routine created to maintain her body in perfect condition, as her fighting style involved physical combat to a much greater degree than the styles of her partners.
Still, it was much less than what she usually did. It wouldn't do to strain herself before she recovered after all.
Sunset stopped to drink some water and caught a glimpse of a pegasus doing a similar exercise routine in the sky.
She approved of what she saw. It was clear that mare understood about exercise methods, and was dedicated enough to work up to that level.
Sunset took an extra moment to return her breathing to normal and went back to her exercise.
It was lunch time and Twilight decided to eat out. She ended up in a store called Sugarcube Corner.
She went to the counter, which was manned by a pink earth pony mare.
"Hello. Good afternoon." She said "Can I have two strawberry cupcakes?"
"Sure, that'll be ten bits." The pink pony answered, extending her hoof to get the cupcakes on the other side of the store "Oh, you're Twilight, one of the knights, aren't you?"
"Yes." Twilight said, as she paid the bill and went to sit on one of the tables "How did you know?"
"I was on Trixie's show and she made illusions of the others." The earth pony said, her smile broadening on thinking of the show "You were the one who could do all the weird things!"
"Weird things? I guess you could say tha- wait a minute..." Twilight looked straight at the cashier "Did you just warp space to get the cupcakes? Was that chaos magic?"
"Chaos magic? I don't know, I just reached for it?" The pink mare seemed honestly unsure.
Twilight got up and walked back to the counter, the cupcakes held in telekinesis above her head "Oh, that is just amazing! You... I mean, what is your name?" Twilight blushed, having finally remembered her manners.
"I'm Pinkie Pie. Nice to meet you!" She did a little spin and a nod.
"Nice to meet you too." Twilight couldn't help but smile "But back to our conversation. It's the first time I've found somepony else who had chaos magic."
"Really?" Pinkie tilted her head.
"Yes. I had to work out entirely based on old tales and Celestia's recollections of having met others." Twilight put a hoof in her chin "Could you tell me about what you can do?"
And thus the conversation entered high gear. Twilight almost forgot to eat as the two compared their respective abilities, with Twilight being interested on the Pinkie Sense while Pinkie thought being able to make clones would be cool. But soon the unicorn realized there was a lot of untapped potential on the pink earth pony, and her will as a teacher made Twilight unwilling to leave things like that.
"Hey, Pinkie, want to learn something cool?" She said casually.
"What do you mean?"
"Could you try putting your hooves in two places at once to open a path between them like it's a door?" It was still a casual request, even though most ponies probably wouldn't even understand what she was saying.
"You mean... like this?" And as she moved her hooves, a door in space in between two separate points of the store was created "Cool." Pinkie said.
"And the best part is that anyone can go through it." Twilight said, using a spell to close the spatial door "How about you become my apprentice? There's so many things you can learn!"
"Apprentice?" Pinkie blinked "But I'm not a unicorn."
"But you have chaos magic like me. And there's a lot of things you would be able to do with adequate instruction. And I could also learn more about my own powers from teaching you." Twilight outlined her reasons, then looked at Pinkie, leaving the decision in her hooves.
The earth pony thought about it for more than a few seconds, before smiling at Twilight "Okay. That seems like fun."
Twilight smiled as well, and the two grasped their hooves together for a moment, to seal the deal "Then, from now on, we shall learn everything we can. First, we need to set up a schedule..."