“So, why do we all talk the same anyway?”
This question was aired by a particular pink pony, most well known for her tendency to party, and affinity for anything sugary. She was lounging in her chair at Princess Twilight’s castle, whom she was besties with, head hanging upside down over one of the hoofrests in a manner most ponies would have found very uncomfortable, as her legs were splayed every which way. The strange question caused several of the other occupants of the room to stop what they were doing, eyebrows raised in thought as they contemplated the meaning of their friend’s question.
“Erm...what exactly do you mean, Pinkie darling?” Rarity, Pinkie’s fashion knowledgeable friend, asked.
“You know!” Pinkie replied, flipping around in her chair and assuming a more normal posture, if one considers it normal for an equine to stand on two legs and flail their forehooves around. “Why does everypony we meet speak the same language as us, Equestrian?”
“Of course we all speak the same language!” a raspy voice replied, the pegasus to whom it belonged rolling her eyes dismissively. “We are in Equestria, Pinkie. Everypony in Equestria speaks the same.”
“But why?” Pinkie shot back at Rainbow, not relenting her questioning so easily.
“Because…!” Rainbow started, but soon closed her mouth as no explanation came forth. “Because…?” She scratched her mane, suddenly finding herself at a loss for an answer.
“Wha’ the heck does it matter anyway? If’n we all speak the same, then it’s only a good thing, ain’t it?” Applejack the apple farmer drawled in her accent, feeling exhausted after all the chores she’d done for the day.
“Isn’t it strange? We have met Griffons, Minotaurs, Yaks, Dragons, Buffalo, Breezies, and Luna knows what else, and not once have I heard them speak any other language!” Pinkie pressed on, still gesturing with her forehooves.
“I-I’m not sure what’s so strange about that,” Fluttershy’s tiny voice came from the other side of the table, barely loud enough to be heard. Her pet bunny, Angel, hopped on to the Table of Harmony (or the Round Table, as Pinkie simply called it) and nodded in agreement.
“Why don’t they have their own languages? Why do Griffins in Griffinstone speak Equestrian, when they are not in Equestria? All of your animal friends have their own way of speaking, but not anypony else?” Pinkie pointed out, getting slightly exasperated with her friends not understanding the seriousness of her inquiry.
“Well, when you put it like that...” The feathered caretaker meekly conceded.
“And Dash!” Pinkie pointed at the blue pegasus, her tirade not finished. “Doesn’t Daring Do have to decipher some strange, old hieroglyphs in one of the books?”
“Huh? Uh, in the ‘Quest For The Crystal Eyes’?” the caught-off-guard pegasus replied. She smiled and continued, “Yeah, there were markings left by ancient minotaurs, and it turned out that-”
“See!” Pinkie interrupted Rainbow before her love of anything Daring Do would make her to recap the entire story. “Ancient Minotaur language! I have never heard or read anything in...in...in Minotaurian! Yet they have something like that in a story book! What gives?”
“I’ve... I’ve never really thought about that,” Rarity pondered, the shawl she had been knitting laying forgotten next to her. “Perhaps they simply forgot about it?” she offered.
“How do you forget your own language? And considering you unicorns still use your fancy spell script thingymajig from before Equestria, I reaaally don’t think that’s the case.”
“Huh,” Rainbow muttered. All the other ponies beside Pinkie silently stared at the table, wracking their brains over the strange quandary they were suddenly facing. A soft creak sounded through the room as one of its many doors was opened.
“Maybe Twilight knows?” Fluttershy said, as the Princess of the castle strolled in to view, numerous stacks of books floating behind her.
“Maybe I know what?” Twilight asked, the purple magister not lifting her head from the book she was intently studying.
“Why we have never heard anypony we have met speak any other language beside Equestrian,” Pinkie repeated her question to Twilight. To Twilight’s credit, the literary pillars that were held aloft by her magic barely wavered as the question caused her to stumble in shock and firmly plant her muzzle in the back of Rarity’s stony chair with a most unpleasant squeak.
“Geez, Twilight. You okay?” Rainbow asked, a pained look crossing her face.
“W-w-what?” Twilight croaked, brushing aside Rainbow’s worried words. “T-there’s nothing strange about us all speaking Equestrian! Completely normal and ordinary...uuh...because we are in Equestria! Yes!” Twilight rattled off in high pitched voice, her words pouring out with the speech speed equivalent of a sonic rainboom.
Several eyebrows were raised.
“I...didn’t say it was strange,” Pinkie replied, despite having meant precisely how strange it was, but Twilight’s behavior was also strange in its own right.
“Good, because it isn’t!”
“Twilight...you wouldn’t happen to be...hiding something?” Pinkie casually questioned, having gotten up from her chair and sauntering towards Twilight, who was doing a rather good impersonation of a sponge that had just been lifted from a water bucket.
“Ahaha, w-what? M-me, hiding something? Pfft, Pinkie! Of course I’m not trying to cover up anything Imeanhideanything!”
“Twiiilight,” Pinkie intoned, her eyebrows knitting themselves in to a suspicious frown.
“Th-... I... I don’t know anything! I don’t know anything about any ancient secrets, or how those nonexistent ancient secrets would have been covered up, or covering up a cover up of a thing that doesn’t even exist! YOU ARE NOT MAKING ANY SENSE, PINKIE!” Twilight’s anxious rambling finally reached critical mass, and one by one strands of hair started to spring out of Twilight’s mane, like a clock ticking down to Pinkie’s doom.
“But Twilight-” Pinkie opened her mouth, before a conjured cupcake lodged itself there to prevent her from speaking further.
“I’mbusygoaway!” Twilight squeaked one final time, before a blinding light deposited the rest of the Element Bearers outside of castle friendship into a comfortable pony pile.
“Well that was something…” Applejack grunted, too tired to try to escape from under the pile.
“Oh goodness,” Fluttershy whispered and hurriedly got up from on top of her friends.
“What’s eating at Twilight now?” Rainbow complained, trying to wiggle herself free from under Rarity and Pinkie. “That was odd, even from her!”
“Buh thalhait whahent htin, ihm th whn htin ha huphage!” Pinkie mumbled past the tasty pastry in her mouth, a happy smile etched on her face.
“Pinkie, get up!” Rainbow pushed Pinkie in vain with her wing.
“She did seem to be rather nervous, didn’t she,” Rarity said, more as a statement rather than a question. She rose from her position and helped Rainbow and Applejack up from under an all too clingy, cupcake munching Pinkie Pie.
“But why?” Fluttershy pondered, tilting her head to glance towards the castle.
“Well whatever it is, I intend to find out!” The party mistress declared with gusto.
“And how exactly do you plan to do that?” Rainbow asked.
“Oh you silly filly,” Pinkie smiled and ruffled Dashie’s mane affectionately, like one would a foal’s. “To find out somepony’s secrets, one needs a secret plan, and if I tell you my plan, then it’s not a secret plan anymore!”
“C-couldn’t you just ask somepony else about it? I’m sure Princess Celestia would know why everypony only talks Equestrian,” Fluttershy suggested.
“Or I could ask Princess Celestia about it. Huh,” the pink pony murmured, blinking owlishly. “Hey, that’s not a bad idea Fluttershy.”
“Oh, um, thanks.”
“Well, I guess I’m off to see Princess Sunnysunsun then,” Pinkie said, turning around, and starting to hop towards the Ponyville train station in her usual, strange gait before anypony could stop her.
“...But...but couldn’t you have just sent a letter…?” Rarity muttered after Pinkie.
After the most phenomenally ordinary journey anypony had possibly ever taken, Pinkie Pinkamena Diane Pie stood outside the golden hued doors, waiting for her turn to converse with the solar diarch of the ponies. After half an hour of waiting, the doors opened with a little creak.
“Next one can come in now,” a dark maned mare with glasses and a brown coat called from the doorway, as a posh looking unicorn noble, presumably not having gotten what he came to ask for, walked out of the throne room with a sour look on his face. Pinkie followed Her Majesty’s personal aide in to the throne room.
“Hello Pinkie Pie, it is pleasant to see you here in Canterlot,” the royal alicorn greeted graciously.
“It’s super duper awesome to see you too, Princess Sunnysunsun,” Pinkie curtsied, causing the already present smile on the ruler’s face to widen a notch.
“What can I do for you today Pinkie Pie? Are you perhaps planning a grandiose party, or is this just a friendly visit?” Celestia inquired, curiosity gripping her. Rarely did the Element Bearers visit her in person when they had something to ask, rather, often relying on Spike to send a dragon fire letter to her. Faster, certainly, if not as pleasant as a personal visit.
“There’s never a day when I’m not planning the next party, and it’s always fun to visit friends, but there’s a question that’s bugging me, and I came to ask you if you’d know the answer,” Pinkie explained, looking up the dais, expectant fire burning in her eyes.
“Oh dear. Then I will do my best to answer whatever question is ailing your mind.”
“Do you know why everypony speaks the same language?”
It was if time had stopped. Everything was perfectly still, and nopony made a sound as a fog of anticipation seemed to seep in to the throne room. Sounds from outside the room made themselves known, and one could hear the noises from ponies hustling and bustling. Hoofsteps on the left, a clank on the right, and the creaking of a door behind them. It was as if everything was in harmony, but in truth, it was only a cruel mockery of the very concept.
Pinkie kept staring at Celestia patiently, who returned the gaze while holding the same smile, even if it looked more and more forced with each passing moment. Celestia’s aide had been frozen too, her ears down and eyes wide. But as the stillness dragged on, her hind legs started to nervously paw the ground, a hesitant and scared look crossing the mare’s face.
“I...beg your pardon?” the solar princess asked after what felt like an eternity. Gone was the motherly tone, instead replaced by a strained and humorless question.
“You know, why is Equestrian the only language that everypony speaks? I mean, even the Yaks and the Griffins in Griffinstone spoke only Equestrian, and they aren’t even ponies or from Equestria. That’s so strange. Isn’t that strange? I think it’s strange.”
Celestia’s smile had become tense and paper thin. With a rigid motion she lifted her head and opened her mouth to speak, but an intent look of unyielding determination from the pink pony caused her to rethink and close her mouth without uttering a word. The smile gradually faded away, leaving the sun diarch to emotionlessly gaze forward.
At this point, the very much nervous mare at the foot of the dais was trying to inconspicuously tiptoe backwards, hoping against hope that nopony would notice that she’d gone.
“Raven,” Celestia’s sharp voice rang from on top of the dais, causing the mare in question to let out a silent scream and fumble with the clipboard she was holding. “Inform everypony waiting outside that day court is postponed for an indefinite amount of time.”
“Y-y-y-yes Princess!” Raven yelped, running as fast as her little legs could carry her to the large doors and exited the throne room with a slam of the door.
“Pinkie, would you like to join me in my study?” Celestia asked, the words being in the form of a question, yet the tone was very much that of a command. The cold words had sapped the last semblance of the once pleasant mood away, leaving Pinkie to wonder just what would happen if she dared say no. “I have some strawberry cake and tea if you’d like,” Celestia added with an empty smile.
“Umm, sure. I’m always up for some cake,” Pinkie replied, uncertain what to make of the sudden shift in mood.
With a whisk of her horn and a crackle of magic, the two ponies were taken from the throne room and deposited in the cozy and warm embrace of Celestia’s private study.
“Wooow,” Pinkie exhaled in wonderment. Rare was the pony that was allowed to see the Princesses’ personal living spaces, and the chamber they were currently in was very impressive. It felt homely and calming, with soft pillows lain around a wooden table, shelves filled with books and several beautiful potted plants placed carefully about the room.
“Have a seat,” the regal alicorn offered, not even looking in Pinkie’s direction as she set to prepare the aforementioned cake and tea.
“Okay!” Pinkie said, plopping down on the nearest, silky soft pillow, eagerly awaiting the treats.
“Here.” Celestia quickly offered her guest a rather large slice of cake, with plenty of whipped cream and strawberries on it, and after a moment a cup of hot jasmine tea along with it.
“Thanks!...So, uhh, about my question…” Pinkie inquired again, a thought crossing her mind that perhaps today was just a bad day for the Princess, and she should come back later.
“Yes...you did come asking,” she begrudgingly muttered, and looked away through an open window and the clouds beyond. A few moments passed as Pinkie munched on the delicious cake, and just as she was about to prompt Celestia with her worry that maybe another day would be better, the solar Princess continued. “This...explanation goes quite far back in Equestrian history. To the early years after the unification.”
A small blue bird found its way onto the windowsill, chirping happily as it peered inside the room.
“As you may or may not know, that was a far more turbulent time than what we have now. Equestria being a fledgling nation, we were constantly besieged by troubles from all sides. Towns needed to be built for the ponies joining under our banner, crops needed to be sown to feed them, land needed to be cultivated and protected.” Celestia’s words conjured images of a classroom in the baker’s mind, as the princess used a lecturing tone, reminiscent to the voice Twilight often slipped into.
Celestia got up from the table, and walked to the window. The bird watched curiously as she got closer, chirping again. Celestia spread one of her wings open towards it, and after looking it over, the bird hopped on to it.
“Those weren’t, of course, our only problems. The other nations around Equestria were a great source of stress for us, and we were constantly walking on edge to keep our relationships friendly. Luna and I were always having to travel for diplomatic meetings, leaving us barely enough time to take care of things back at home, or even to relax.” As Celestia explained, she brought the bird on her wing close to her face, whistling a short note for it. It only replied by tilting its head.
“Wowzers, and I thought Applejack was a hard working pony,” Pinkie idly commented. For the first time after airing her conundrum to the Princess, Pinkie could see some humor return to Celestia’s face.
“Yes, it is a wonder that we managed to keep that up as long as we did,” she murmured, her gaze getting a distant look as she allowed herself to get lost in her memories for a moment. “Back to your question. As I said, we had to be very mindful not to sour our relationship with the other nations, often having to make compromises or taking unfavourable deals. One of the nations we visited more frequently was the Hippogryph nation of High Peak.”
“A Hippo what?”
“Hippogryphs. They were distant cousins to Griffins, bearing numerous similar physiological traits such as beaks and claws, but they also had hooves on their hind legs and more pony like tails. Many theories arose as to where they came from, but that is not important right now. What is important is that they were more...easy going, shall we say, than the Griffins. The Hippogryphs focused more on ‘spiritual enlightenment’, as they put it, rather than the martial traditions their cousins favoured. Many often believed them to have the power of clairvoyance or other mystical abilities not unlike those of unicorns, but quite frankly, I don’t believe they had any such powers.”
“Huh. Hey wait! How come I have never heard of them before?” Pinkie pondered in puzzlement.
“Because none exist on our continent anymore.” The rather morbidly short answer caused the pink pony to raise an eyebrow, but Celestia didn’t elaborate. “I suppose the Hippogryphs viewed themselves as mentors of our new nation, or maybe for me specifically, since they constantly pestered us to have ‘diplomatic meetings’ and to offer ‘advice’ on domestic and foreign affairs,” Celestia explained, her tail twitching restlessly. ”And we couldn’t turn them aside, because we were afraid that it would reflect poorly on us to the other nations. We needed allies and open relationships, so we tolerated their benevolence... Once they even sent for a meeting the very next day after I got back to Canterlot from the previous meeting!” Celestia frustratedly remarked. The increase in volume and an involuntary flap of her wings caused the blue bird to jump in surprise and fly away.
It was rare for the princess of the sun to have any other expression on her face besides a gentle smile or the most amazing poker face any pony had ever faced. But the expression that Pinkie witnessed she would have described as sourer than a box full of lemons. Celestia’s face morphed in to a most poignant frown, as the corners of her mouth curled downwards in a comical fashion.
“And the ‘advice’ those idiotic pillow stuffings gave us was the most useless advice I have ever heard! ‘Remember to always be polite when dealing with others’ ‘The public must never see you frown. Also, it causes wrinkles’ ‘Remember to assign tariffs for imported goods’ ‘Make sure your servants always wear blue on Wednesdays’ ‘Brush your wings with a thistle brush only. It builds character and makes your wings look so much more pristine’ ‘Remember to keep cool and don’t drool. It was so embarrassing when Uncle Pepper did that’. Celestia’s increasingly irritated rant reached its end as the princess smacked her head against the table, letting out a long and tired growl.
“All that does sound very silly,” Pinkie agreed, hiding her amusement from seeing the Princess act all silly like, while offering a reassuring pat on the Princess’s head.
“I have never met more annoying creatures in my life! Not even the parasprites compare to that endless stream of-...nevermind,” the regal mare sat upright, massaging her temples with a hoof.
“I suppose it would get really tiring having to constantly travel. I love to visit my family, but it’s a long trip, even with a train. If I had to take the train every day, I would never have time to play, or to spend with my friends!” Pinkie said, the very thought sending a shiver of horror through her all the way down to her hoovsies.
“These were the early days of Equestria, we did not have trains until centuries later. It took much longer to travel then, even with our best pegasi chariots.”
“Well that’s even more awful then! But I don’t understand what this has to do with my question.”
“Ah...well…” Celestia coughed, stalling for time as she continued to massage her brow, now with both hooves. “Eventually, over the decades, our relationship with the Hippogryphs grew to a blossoming friendship...mostly, at least,” Celestia muttered the last part, grinding her teeth. “They became so enamored with how well our nation had developed under their tutelage, using their ‘methods’ as they kept saying, that they...ehem, that they decided to…” Celestia’s voice gradually lowered to unintelligible grumbling as her face got that sour look again and her cheeks turned a lovely shade of pink.
“Yeees?” Pinkie implored, having to hide her amusement at the Princess’s many facial expressions. Celestia avoided looking at Pinkie, embarrassment becoming more prominent than frustration as her cheeks blazed with crimson. Eventually, she let out a long, defeated sigh.
“One day, they decided to award Luna and I with special titles, to commemorate the bond our two nations had forged, and to honour us for our part in it. This was a very important part of their culture. Only individuals of great importance would be granted these special names, and this was the first time they gave these to non-Hippogryphs.”
“Oh oh oh! Like a nickname? I love nicknames! All my best friends have nicknames, like Applejack is Jackie, and Rarity is Rares, and Twilight is Twi of course,” Pinkie gigglesnorted and smiled widely. “What nickname did they give to you?”
“...” Celestia’s ears fell down as she uncomfortably looked to the side.
“...Splör…” The sun diarch’s tiny voice barely reached Pinkie’s fluffy ears.
“...Huh?” Pinkie tilted her head, sure that she must have heard it wrong. The Princess slowly sighed, before taking a deep breath.
“Her Majestic Radiance Princess Celestia Splör, and her dearest sister, Her Eminence Princess Luna Blerb,” she said with a fake, regal voice, leaving no question as to whether Pinkie had heard her correctly or not.
Celestia offered a nod, her embarrassed expression not conveying any indication that she was trying to pull Pinkie’s leg. “Those were the ‘grand’ titles provided to us by our ‘esteemed’ friends, the Hippogryphs of High Peak. To make all of this more humiliating, it was announced in an important meeting between nations, with the leaders and diplomats of every other nation present. As we sat there, staring at them completely dumbfounded, the Hippogryph high council were quick to assure us, with smiles on their faces, that our new titles were words from the old Hippogryph language, which was more crude in nature, and for us to understand exactly what the words meant would have required us to have a deeper understanding of the language. They gave us a short summary, but honestly, neither of us were listening at that point anymore.”
“But... But that’s not how nicknames work! It’s supposed to have something to do with your name, something short and easy to remember so that you can make friends quicker! Not...uh, not whatever it is they gave you!” Pinkie remarked, the gross misuse of nicknames making her smack her hoof against the table, causing a small spoon to bounce off and hit her on the nose.
“From that day on, that is how the Hippogryph leaders would address us. Princesses Splör and Blerb of Equestria...and as if that wasn’t enough, leaders and diplomats of every nation began to use them too, which eventually allowed the names to reach all of our subjects!” Celestia slumped on the table, hiding her face under her forehooves. “I have never been more embarrassed in my life, than when I arrived at a diplomatic summit in Griffinstone, and the herald announced, ‘Her Majesty, Princess Celestia Splör of Equestria!’ for everypony to hear.”
“Aww, but they only wanted to be nice to you. They really could have used a Princess of Friendship to help them though…” Pinkie pondered, before shrinking back as Celestia slowly rose to her full height, her sharp gaze drilling in to Pinkie’s own with conviction.
“Nice?” Celestia asked, her voice turning bitter as she leaned over the table. “Nice?” the Princess repeated, as Pinkie gulped nervously. “Of course they wanted to be nice. The problem was that nopony else wanted their...niceness!” Celestia spat, slumping back and sighing for the hundredth time. “I can’t hazard a guess as to what went through their minds when they thought that we would be thrilled to have those abominable titles, and I don’t think they could have either. Hippogryphs are the origin for the phrase ‘featherbrain’, and that less than flattering phrase suited them perfectly,” Celestia huffed. “But that is in the past. There are no more Hippogryphs, and we don’t have to subject ourselves to their half-witted methods anymore.”
“Umm… W-what happened to them?” Pinkie asked, immediately regretting her question as the fire in Celestia’s eyes lit anew.
“I happened,” Celestia definitively stated. “We endured this humiliation for nearly a decade, but after Luna and I… After Luna’s banishment, it was a very hard time for me,” she continued, her bitter words shifting to melancholic. “The grief over what happened left me devastated, and I barely took part in anything besides what was necessary. Once I started to get better, and took a more active role in leading again, I was visited by the Hippogryph emissary and... I couldn’t take it anymore, and I snapped.” Celestia’s eyes narrowed dangerously as she got up and paced around the room.
Pinkie suddenly felt her tail starting to twitch, her right foreleg and left hindleg shaking, and her ears flopping. Oh no, my Pinkie sense...but I have never had this combo before… she thought to herself, feeling dread from how Celestia’s tail was restlessly swishing from side to side.
“A t-twig?” she asked hopefully, the imposing Princess answering with a flat look.
“I had had enough of the Hippogryphs. Enough of all of their useless advice, all of the visits to their lands imposed on Luna and I, and most definitely, the tartarus damned ‘title’ the emissary just had to remind me of!” As Celestia explained, she took slow, deliberate steps, circling the table towards Pinkie, causing the smaller mare to scoot back, desperately trying to keep distance. “I would no longer tolerate any of that! I’m a Princess of Equestria, tartarus damn it, and I deserve more respect than to be addressed by that humiliating title! And I made sure that nopony, EVER, would dare to use it again!” Celestia’s mane and tail flickered as they morphed to orange, almost like bursting in to fire! This, combined with the feeling of her back hitting a wall, caused the pink pony let out a panicky yelp. “So I got rid of them,” Celestia’s words sliced through the air like shards of ice. The tone, a sharp contrast to the fire in her mane, made Pinkie grab her tail protectively and pull it to her chest. Celestia’s eyes seemed to be boring a hole into something beyond the Element Bearer cowering before her.
“I don’t want to be gotten rid of! I’m too youhohohoong!” she wailed sorrowfully.
With almost an audible poof, the flames in the sun Princess’s mane went out as she blinked at Pinkie, who held her eyes closed and was trying to hide behind her tail. Confused by her sudden cry of terror, Celestia carefully moved the pink mares tail to the side so that she could see her face.
“Pinkie, what are you talking about? I’m not going to ‘get rid of you’. What’s gotten in to you?” she asked, concern evident in her voice. She almost scooped the fearful mare up in an effort to soothe her, but then she noticed that they were not near the table anymore, and she wasn’t sure when that had happened.
“Y-y-you aren’t?” Pinkie sniffed sadly. “B-b-but then why did you talk with a really mean voice, and your mane caught on fire?”
“I...I did? It did?” Celestia asked uncertainly, pawing at her mane to check it.
“Yes!” Pinkie said loudly, slamming her forehooves on the floor and causing the princess to jump back in surprise. “You were frowning angrily and going all ‘ho ho ho I hate those damn birds so much’ like a Con Mane villain, and I thought you were going to tell me how you kicked them in the flank so hard they flew all the way to the sun!” Pinkie complained, appearing oddly frustrated for somepony who had just seemed to be on the verge of bursting in to tears.
Celestia blinked slowly again, considering what the mare, who was currently frowning at her with all the might of a small filly who was told that she can’t have a cookie before dinner, was talking about. And who is this “Con Mane”, I wonder? Maybe it’s another “pop culture” reference those young guards seem to like so much.
She had to admit, the subject of the Hippogryphs and their... antics was touchy for her, so she tended to get a bit worked up about it. And the few times she was allowed to rant, she tended to go all out. And the whole reason she always tried to appear calm was because whenever she got angry, she had the bad habit of channeling the power of the sun. And sometimes she did it without noticing, and-
“I uhh...I’m very sorry?” Celestia sheepishly offered, tapping the tips of her forehooves together as she gave an apologetic smile.
“...So you aren’t actually some kind of secret, maniacal dictator, and you aren’t going to dispose of me because I came asking too many questions?” Pinkie asked with a flat tone.
“NO! I would never do something like that!”
“Uuurgh!” Pinkie moaned. She picked up her relentless pestering again. “Well...what happened to the Hippogryphs then?”
“I told them to buck off!” Celestia finally confessed with a shrill voice. “I told them to leave and never come back because I couldn’t stand them anymore!”
“...That’s it? You just told them to leave?”
Celestia sighed again, weary and defeated. “After my meeting with the emissary, I travelled to High Peak to tell them to pack their bags and leave for somewhere else. Naturally, they were very confused at first, and thought all of it was an elaborate prank. Even after I angrily repeated my request, they kept thinking that since we were ‘such good friends’, I couldn’t possibly be serious...so I had to find a way to convince them that I most certainly wanted them to leave.”
“And how did you do that?” Pinkie asked. Celestia blushed and coughed awkwardly.
“I may have used the sun to, ah... I might have left it on the sky, on top of their kingdom, and I might have made it shine more intensely...for two weeks straight…”
“...And when they were being slow to leave, I might have made it even more powerful, and to ensure that they wouldn’t come back once they left, I might have intensified it even more...and all of that might have created the Badlands...” the sun diarch sheepishly admitted.
“...” The pink pony stared at the Princess, her gaze seeming to yell ‘are you shitting me?’.
“...” Amidst her blush, Celestia’s eyes seemed to yell back with ‘unfortunately not’.
“...So they just left, then?”
“Yes, then they hastily constructed boats, and sailed off. We have not heard of them since.”
“Huh. But I’m still not sure how that answers my question, which is what I came all the way to Canterlot for!”
“Oh, my apologies,” Celestia nodded, and intoned for them to sit back at the table. “Word spread of what had happened between the Hippogryphs and I, and soon the other leaders called for a meeting. Understandably, they were a bit angry at what I had done.” Celestia paused, a blush spreading across her cheeks again as she twirled her mane and let out a nervous chuckle. “I...might not have been in the best of moods then either...and after a few heated remarks, I might have let my emotions run rampant again.”
“You totally burst into flames,” Pinkie bluntly said, seeing where all this was going.
“...My peytral melted from the heat.”
“...Wow Princess, that’s pretty hardcore.”
“I was younger and brasher then,” Celestia flusteredly harrumphed, her cheeks bulging slightly as she pouted.
“So what happened next?”
“After my...outburst, the other leaders dropped the matter regarding the Hippogryphs, and began to refer to me as Princess Celestia again. Through a little pressure from me, I convinced the other leaders that having a universal language we all would share when discussing important matters would be beneficial for future diplomatic ventures. Whether it was to not incur my wrath again, or that maybe they just agreed with me on the matter, it was decided to have Equestrian as the standard language of international politics, since it was generally the easiest to learn for all the races. This of course made it important for diplomats, which led to it being taught in universities, which in turn eventually led to it being convenient for merchants and for literature. Eventually it became the norm, with a little push or two more from me through the years.”
“Well, what about their own languages? Don’t they use them anymore?”
“They do, but there’s not much use speaking a language that only a few know outside their own nations. So most members of other species simply use Equestrian, since it’s the most commonly known language.”
“Wow, that sure was an explanation and a half!” Pinkie exclaimed, satisfied that she finally had the answer she sought. “Never would have guessed that’s how it all happened.”
“Believe me, miss Pinkie, not all stories have such a...colorful chain of events.”
“Well, thank you for answering my question, Princess. I’m gonna get out of your mane now, and head back to Ponyville. Lots of baking that I still need to do today, and that strawberry cake you had gave me an idea. Bye bye!” Pinkie happily said, waving goodbye to the solar diarch as she trotted to leave the room. The doors in front of her, however, were encased in golden magic, and shut close.
“Unfortunately, I can not let you go yet, Pinkie.” The door let out a loud click as the lock closed itself.
“Huh? What’s up?” Pinkie turned and asked. Celestia eyed Pinkie neutrally, but Pinkie could feel her Pinkie sense activating again, causing dread to pool in her chest.
“I have just revealed to you one of the most embarrassing secrets of my life. A secret I have worked very hard to keep private. I have made sure to get rid of all the documentation regarding my ‘title’, I covered up what happened between me and the Hippogryphs, and I have made sure only a select few even have access to information regarding them.” Celestia got up again, and slowly stalked around Pinkie, who warily stared back at her. “There are only a hoof-full of ponies I have told what I told you, and I would very much like to keep it that way.”
“Uhh, I promise that I won’t tell anypony! Pinkie promise!”
“Sorry miss Pie, but I will not be taking any chances.”
The Princess of ponykind stopped in front of the pink baker, eyeing her like a tasty treat.
“Wha-... what are you gonna do?” Pinkie dreaded the answer.
A wicked smile formed on Celestia’s face, as she powered her horn with magic. Before Pinkie could react, she was lifted in to the air by her hind legs, yelping in surprise. The table, that had housed the snacks and the tea, was cleared of everything in an instant, and the squirming mare was placed there.
“Oh nothing serious, my Pinkie dear,” Celestia said, seeming to enjoy the predicament Pinkie was in. “I’ll just make sure that you’ll never ever even consider repeating what you learned to anypony.”
“Ah... That doesn’t reassure me…” Pinkie said, as fuzzy hoofcuffs suddenly appeared from out of nowhere, fastening her on the table. “C-Celestia? I-I thought you w-weren’t supposed to be a crazy tyrant who gets rid of ponies who get too curious?” Panic was starting to get its grip around the pink mare, as she struggled with the hoofcuffs. They totally match my coat color...wait! Brain, I have other things to worry about!
“I’m not. But sometimes I have to take some, heavyhoofed measures, to ensure that nothing unexpected or undesirable happens.” An electric jolt of magic traveled through Pinkie and the entire room took on a golden hue as Celestia cast a privacy spell over it. “Now nopony will bother us. And more importantly, nopony will hear you.”
“P-P-Princess Sunnysunsun? You are really starting to creep me out.”
“As I should, for you are going to experience one of the most terrible things anypony could ever face, and one I get to indulge in so very rarely,” Celestia said in delight as her horn lit up once more.
Pinkie’s eyes darted around the room as objects encompassed in Celestia’s magic lit up around her. Whenever Pinkie turned to look at one, Celestia moved it out of her field of vision, making it impossible for her to tell what they were. She could tell, however, that they were gradually getting closer.
“T-t-terrible?” she stuttered. If it hadn’t been pinned between her and the table, Pinkie’s tail would have been twitching madly from distress.
“Yes. For you shall face…”
Pinkie was sweating profusely as she went cross-eyed when Celestia brought one of the objects in front of her.
“...” Pinkie stared at the floating feather, eloquent and beautifully blue, then turned her gaze to another that was pristine red colored, then to Celestia who had a mischievous smile on her face. Pinkie let out a relieved sigh. “Princess, you really shouldn’t scare ponies like that. For a minute I thought you were going to do something far worse.”
“Oh Pinkie,” Celestia replied with the tone of someone who knew something the other did not. “I think you will be reassessing your words soon enough.”
At Celestia’s command, at least a dozen feathers circled around Pinkie, one of them dipping down and brushing against Pinkie’s nose.
“Agh! Not my muzzle! Achooo!”
“You see Pinkie, I have to be absolutely sure that you will never, ever, tell any of this to anypony, even by accident.” Another feather found the tips of Pinkie’s ears, causing few giggles to escape from Pinkie as she tried to roll her head away from the feather. “I will be making sure that the very thought of blabbing about this to anypony will stay as far from your pretty little head as possible.” Another two feathers were added to the torture, doing small circles on Pinkie’s cheeks.
“Ahahaha, w-wait! ThIIIIIISss iS NOt fair!” Pinkie wailed, as yet another two feathers found the soft underside of her hooves, and mercilessly attacked them.
“Fair? Who said anything about it being fair?” Celestia giggled in delight, before bringing the rest of the feathers down on Pinkie’s stomach.
That day, a number of reports came to the Royal Guard’s attention of ponies hearing silent screams of ‘nooo’ around the castle. The source of these screams was never confirmed.
It was a late evening in Ponyville. Rainbow was idly doing loopdeloops in the air over the town, feeling too lazy to do any serious “aerial acrobatics” practice. The sun was slowly making its way down to the horizon, and since there wasn’t anything that needed to be done today anymore, she was simply hoping to find something to alleviate her boredom.
Suddenly, she spotted a puff of magic as she flew past the Ponyville train station. Amidst a small cloud of yellowish sparkles stood Pinkie Pie. Must have been Celestia, she concluded, flying towards her friend. Soon, however, she spotted the state her friend was in.
Pinkie’s mane was absolutely frazzled, and considering the usual puffy nature of it, it was a sight to behold. Her coat and mane were heavily matted, as if she had been exercising and sweating a lot. Her whole body was shaking slightly, and she had this look, this haggard yet oddly satisfied smile like she wasn’t sure how she should be feeling. She was silently giggling to herself, taking unsure steps forward and swaying like somepony who had had too much cider to drink.
“Pinkie?” Rainbow cautiously asked as she floated down to her level.
“O-oh, hey Dashie,” Pinkie’s hoarse voice greeted back, followed by another few giggles.
“Are you, okay?” Dash ventured, touching down. “Do you need any help?”
“I-I’m fine,” Pinkie gigglesnorted back. “Everything’s fine.”
“Are you sure? You look a little frazzled.”
“Mmhm,” Pinkie mumbled. “I need a shower, and a nap I think.”
“Okay...if you say so.”
“Mmh…” Pinkie giggled, seemingly trying not to step on grass with her hooves, which was difficult since she was on a field of grass. “Well, I’ll be going then.”
“Wait, what happened in Canterlot? Did you ask the Princess?”
“D-don’t worry about it, it’s all fine,” Pinkie murmured over her shoulder, as she slowly tiptoed her way towards Sugarcube Corner, giggling all the way.
“...What in Equestria happened to her?” Rainbow pondered to herself, turning her gaze towards Canterlot’s high towers.