Chapter Nine: Ponyville
Flurry and Shadow woke up the next morning and took a trip around the rest of the two for the next few days, but soon enough they decided that they had enough exploration of this city and so they decided to go to Ponyville and see what was there and so that was why they were on yet another train headed towards Ponyville (although this one had extra magical protection around in, just in case, after all, you never knew). They got there safely (thankfully) and went to Twilight’s castle (formerly Golden Oaks Library) and entered inside and looked around for a bit, but neither of them had ever really been in the castle before and so they quickly got lost inside wandering the hallways quite hopelessly.
“Wow, this thing is way bigger on the inside than the outside,” he said.
“Tell me about it, I wonder how anypony gets around in here without a map.”
“Mostly through luck and random chance I suspect,” Shadow said.
“Yes, that is true, but no matter how many times others have tried to suggest a map to Twilight she never takes in the suggestions,” a new voice said.
Shadow and Flurry turned around and Shadow smiled at the stranger, “Nebula! I’m so glad to see you! It’s been so long!” he said rushing over to hug her, “How have things been with Twilight? Are you getting enough sleep?”
“Shadow! Please don't try to go over every single little detail! But yes, everything is going just fine and yes, I am getting enough sleep, but can you please stop hugging me? It’s getting kind of hard to breathe in here.”
“Sorry little sister, it’s just so nice to see you again, that’s all!” Shadow said.
“Wait, you two know each other?” Flurry asked with surprise.
“Yes, we do know each other very well, Flurry, this is my sister Nebula, sister, meet Flurry, daughter of princess Cadence,” Shadow said with a smile.
“OH MY GOSH A REAL-LIFE PRINCESS! YOU ARE SO MUCH CUTER THAN WHAT I EVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE!” Nebula said at the top of her lungs almost shouting (but she was just screaming) as she hugged Flurry very tightly.
“Can't… breathe… please let go of me,” she said.
“Sorry! It’s just that I get so excited I sometimes lose myself!”
‘I can understand, but what’s it like to work with Twilight?”
“It’s amazing and splendid and wonderful and incredible and splendid and I think I just about had the same reaction as I did to her as you, except I had actually seen pictures of her, but there’s hardly anything of you anymore!”
“That’s because I have been locked in a castle for the last eight years.”
“Oh, how sad, well come on, if you want to see the library I can show you the way, if you want to see Twilight though you’ll have to wait a bit, she’s currently on an errand, but her other friends are still around town if you want to talk with them, I hear that their fame helped all of them out in one way or another.”
“Oh, I guess we can wait in the library then,” Shadow said smiling.
“That's exactly what I was going to say! But then again you were always the fast thinker in the family versus me, the clumsy one,” Nebula said.
“I’m sure that princess Twilight choose you to be her student even if she hasn't said why yet, but I’m sure that with time you’ll find out why, sooner or later.”
“Yeah, sure thing, but come on, the library is right this way,” Nebula said with a smile still on her face as she took them to the library which was enormous.
“Holy shit! I have never seen so many books before except in Canterlot and the Crystal Empire!” Flurry said gushing over at the sheer size of everything.
“I know! The books are organized alphabetically by subject with new books being towards the front and classics at the back right in front of the biographies but just before the history, science and math books, Twilight says that you can find any book you want within three seconds flat! But I have never really tested that out, but if you can't find something just let me know and I will do my best to find it, but if you want some books that I recommend reading I would highly suggest the Daring Do series, if you want something else though just let me know!”
“Wow, your training with Twilight has really made you more confident!”
“I know! I feel like a whole new mare now,” she said with a slight giggle.
“And let me guess, it’s the best thing that ever happened to you?”
“Right again Shadow! You sure do know what I am going to say a lot.”
“I have a rather annoying talent for it at times, besides, I’m your brother, I should know you the best of all with the exception of mom and dad or friends.”
“Yeah, friends, I wish I had one, but nopony here wants to be mine.”
“I would be yours,” Flurry said.
“Really?” Nebula asked with a huge smile as her ears perked up and she waggled her black tail on her dark blue coated body with celestial purple eyes that had white specks in them that made it look like stars in them and she had silver hair for some strange mysterious reason, but the puppy dog look that she was giving Flurry right now was almost impossible to deny. Flurry sighed.
“Yes, I will be your friend, but please calm down on the tight hugs?”
“Sure thing! Anything for you princess! I can't wait to tell others about this!”
“Yeah, that might not be the best idea since we’re not staying here forever and I really don't want to draw any unwanted attention towards myself.”
“Oh, alright, fine then, I guess that’s okay, it’s still nice to have a friend now though, royal or not, but have fun exploring the library, just make sure to put the books you pull out back unless you intend to check them out!”
“Sure thing, can do,” Flurry said still smiling at Nebula as she stepped out of the room but stayed close by just in case they needed her, but Shadow said he wanted to talk with his sister alone for a few minutes and so Flurry was now alone in the library with nothing to do except read. But the question she had right now was where to start? Perhaps she could see the events around and leading to her father’s death and the aftermath, and that would have to be in the Crystal Empire section which was a still relatively new and developing section (after all it did pop up just about thirty years ago or so). Flurry flapped up along the shelves and saw many books and articles around the date her father died but found nothing new, just the usual stuff, Queen Chrysalis and her surprise attack of him while in Canterlot, the seduction attempts, the blackmail, the lies and secrets, a brief bio of Queen Chrysalis in the paper and an entire death speech for her father (for which she still kept a copy of it) and nothing more.
Well okay, there was nothing there so she put the stuff back, maybe she could do some more research on Ponyville and so she grabbed a few books and one in particular about the elements of harmony caught her eye (and another book on other various random elements too entitled The Dark Elements of Equestria: The Elements that might be,) and she took those books with her.
But as she was flying around gathering books she accidentally knocked down a few books and opened her eyes wide, they were books detailing the lives and history of the villains of Equestria, and for some strange mysterious reason parts of the books were locked, all except for a boring old one which was just entitled The Villains of Equestria: Facts and Fiction, the other books were the name of the villain and then Facts and Fiction after their names. Flurry turned the books around to their back and all sides but saw no name of the author, weird.
She quickly shrugged this off, it wasn't like authors couldn't be eccentric and odd and crazy and strange, which made anything of theirs naturally like them, well mostly, sometimes there could be exceptions. She carefully glanced at the books and saw that the locked section had a keyhole to it, and she tried her magic to open it, but no matter what spell she tried to use it would not open, again strange and weird, very odd, but perhaps the only way to open it was with the key, she would have to ask where that might be from Nebula, but for now she put all the books that she wanted in her bags and looked outside to see that Shadow and Nebula were still gone and she didn't want to wander the castle for fear of getting lost again so instead she went back inside and sat down at a table and pulled out her books and pondered which book to open and read first.
Nothing seemed to call out in particular so she opened the one about Chrysalis and turned to the front page and her eye went up in shock at the author’s name.
Written and enchanted by Starswirl, and fair warning to the reader of this book, the locked section is the future events of the pony or creature that you wish to know about, this means that their time living or playing a part in Equestrian history is not yet done, and while there are keys to open this section I would highly suggest you never open them even in the direst of emergencies, after all, the more one tried to change the future the more we will still somehow cause it.
Flurry couldn't believe this was written by Starswirl, well, that actually did explain a lot, but now she had to see what else might be in there since currently Nebula and Shadow were still away and it wasn't like she had anything else to do, the only thing she could do was to read, and if she did read something she might as well make it something important and well worth her time too.
Queen Chrysalis, ruler of the changelings and leader of the hive, her exact origins are unknown to most ponies, some say she was formed of a black ooze and the strange and mysterious ways of nature, but the truth is so much worse and it is better that they not know. Chrysalis came into this world in a slightly different way than the rest of the changelings since the ones the queen bears are merely just “mindless” male drones. She did come through an egg, but it was by their king that she came to life because it was tradition for the queen to make the first male changeling she bore the king and then to implant her eggs into the king when she is finally ready to have her children and then eventually they pop out.
And while it is not required for a changeling drone to bear her children a host is required to bear them and it is always a male. When the new females emerge they quickly devour the body of their “father” and then one by one they are eliminated until only one is left to take the queen. Rarely will there ever be more than one female in a hive, the only way to survive this process is to win or leave and form a new hive. The birthing process of any drone, female or not, is relatively painless for the queen and she can bear hundreds to thousands of eggs in a single day if she is careful and patient. Other information on the changelings is very scarce but it is common knowledge that they feed on love, but they also have a strange and mysterious substance that can absorb magic that not even I can identify. I have decided to call it Barbarium or rather Obscurium. And finally, there is one more last piece of information that we have and that is this, Chrysalis is the only known queen of the changelings to openly attack Equestria, but this is for many reasons unknown, but she claims to have them, but her real reasons are hidden by a terrible past that only she and princess Celestia know. Whether or not there are more hives outside of Equestria is currently unknown, but we do know of at least one queen. As for her reasons of attack, the first time on Canterlot was to feed her children, then the second time she was careful and claimed the same reason with revenge. But long ago the changelings and ponies did interact and it was a terrible time, and then the alicorns came along and offered a deal for both species, the changelings could get their love if they came with them and left the ponies alone.
The offer was accepted by almost every changeling, except for an ancestor of Chrysalis, and the alicorns warned her to accept or suffer pain, she refused claiming that the love of the ponies would be the best to feed on and anything else would only be a lie. And as a result of her proclamation the alicorns destroyed her.
But they did not know that she had already bore a queen, and she was there to see the destruction of her mother, and ever since then it has been a war of Chrysalis’s family against the ones who stood against them. But they were never so bold as Chrysalis, but they slowly did get bolder each generation, in fact Chrysalis’s own mother almost did an attack on Canterlot but she called it off.
This is all we know of the changelings and anything else has yet to come.
Flurry blinked in surprise at the short entry at the front for the changelings and saw that the rest of the book was just in-depth details of what was already covered, and she took a quick glance through and saw that nopony knew how long a changeling lived, she also discovered that the reformation of Chrysalis’s hive was the very first in Equestria since the other changelings that took the deal of the alicorn were already long reformed. But that was about it for her, and there was still no Shadow and Nebula so she decided to move on to the next one.
King Sombra, ruler of the Crystal Empire and the king of darkness, the cruel tyrant, a pony so powerful he lived on even if only in the shadows.
His past is very mysterious and strange to most ponies, it is shrouded and cloaked in darkness, some say he killed a king to take his place, some say he was a literal child of darkness, some say that he gained his powers from that darkness.
The truth is a bit of everything, yes, he was born of shadows and therefore was never a normal pony even though he did eventually earn a cutie mark. He was plagued with a terrible aching and pain all over his body every year around the same time and it was only due to the help of his one and only friend (and to some his lover) that he got through it. But when he was old enough he wandered outside far away from his home than he had ever been and found his “mother” in a very dark crystal rock formation and she told him his true purpose. He tried to deny this at first, but in his heart and soul he felt something else calling out to him and he hit the books and searched on the subject of magic and power and the laws too, he even tried to find the thing where he came from but didn't have much luck.
When he was finally ready he agreed to the plan given to him and on the day of the crystal fair (for which was when he usually had his terrible pain) he made his way to the throne room and using his powers of magic and deceit he bred mistrust and confusion causing chaos and within a year he had risen to the rank just below a king, but when he found out that the king was due to have an heir soon he advanced his plan and killed the king on the day of the crystal fair starting just a year after he had accepted the plan to become king, and on that day he gained his cutie mark and his kingship, and soon everypony suffered because of it.
There was barely even time for a funeral before he had everypony turned into a slave working in the crystal mines or as one his mind controlled soldiers.
He ruled well over for a decade before Celestia and Luna could stop him and banish him, but he cursed the empire to go along with him, but then over a thousand years later he returned and tried to get revenge but failed to the valiant efforts of Twilight Sparkle and her friends including princess Cadence, Spike the dragon and Shining Armor too. He was destroyed, but the wave of magic sent his horn flying, and while it is unconfirmed if he is truly dead his horn certainly does have traces and remains of his powerful dark magic that in the Whooves of the wrong pony could cause chaos, pain, strife, grief, misery confusion and deceit again. Sombra was always skilled in the dark arts and used lies and illusions to trick his opponents and only decided to fight when he needed to (not that he was a stranger to doing such a thing). He was very skilled in his art and fighting and nopony could stop him (except for the elements of harmony and the princesses).
His reign was a great and terrible one that most wish to forget.
Well, that was the short entry for him, and the rest was just more details.
There were only two books left now, one about Discord and the other on… something else that was darker than King Sombra himself strangely enough.
Curious she took a quick glance at the entry for Discord.
An immortal being of immense power, the spirit of chaos and disharmony, if he does not cause chaos then he will fade away into nothingness. His true exact age is unknown and there is no limit to what he can do. The only thing that can contain him are very powerful spells and the elements of harmony. No correct information on him can be gathered since he would most likely lie about it, after all, he would rather have a multiple option story rather than be plain and boring.
Wow, that was very short, she was surprised by this, but since she still had time she moved on to the very last entry that was left in the list.
The Nightmare. There is no other proper name for it. It is old as time and darkness itself and it feeds on the fears of ponies and it will stop at nothing to take hold of the mind of its host and use the body for its own pleasure and control.
The Nightmare will slowly take hold of the mind of its host through any means possible and it will stop at nothing until it achieves its ultimate goal, complete and utter darkness and control over the entire land and maybe even the world too.
The Nightmare is unstoppable, immortal, and it also cannot be killed, ever.
The Nightmare plants its dark seeds in every single life form since the moment they are born until the moment they die and nopony knows how to stop it.
The only way to be safe from the nightmare is trying to avoid it and protect yourself from it, but even the greatest of spells can fail given time. Even one of our great leaders, princess Luna, fell to the power and lies of the Nightmare, it fed on her emotions and fear turning them against her until she was convinced that the words it spoke were Luna’s own thoughts and ideas, and when she was ready Luna gladly accepted the powers of the Nightmare. But this process took many long years, but the Nightmare is patient and complete control will often take many months or years until its intended target is ready and willing for it, and only then can it take hold of the mind of its host, and that is one and only great weakness, it needs a willing and living host. Without one it is powerless and all its words are lies and all that it gives and shows you is merely just an illusion and shadow.
The Nightmare’s powers no know limits once it has control of a host, the only known thing that can stop it once it does have a host is the elements of harmony.
Some think it is possible that the other villains (mostly Discord) could stop this threat, but this is still unconfirmed. Some say that the Nightmare will die when the universe ends, others say it will fade away, and others say it will always live on in one form or another because there will always be darkness where there is light.
Exact details on this creature or entity of darkness is still not available yet. But the one most familiar with this monster are the ones who have been victims of it.
Holy shit was that deep, she could hardly believe all of this information, the old villains of Equestria were serious business. Maybe she should keep these books just in case, but it would be very helpful if she actually had a key to open the locked sections, after all, knowing the future never hurt anypony, did it?
From the warning in the front of the book that didn't look like the case though.
But still, it might be nice to know. She looked around once again and still saw no Nebula or Shadow. This was going to be a very long wait, wasn't it?