And so you and Twilight worked on unlocking the secrets of the Cutie Map. She made theories that it was able to determine friendship problems through a magical enchantment OF friendship placed upon it. She didn't exactly have any proof. But she reasoned that since it's most likely connected to the world. It could sense the emotions and feelings of other ponies. That it could figure things out through those feelings to pick the right pony for the job. With that, it could be possible that the map isn't just connected to ponies in general. But connected to their very being, and everything that comes with it.
That seemed a little too spiritual to you. But she meant it as some sort of sentient magic. Could it be like that? You're in a world of magical ponies after all. But....hrnnnn.
"Isn't that a little much Twilight, it almost seems like you're saying the map is alive"
Twilight shook her head "Not alive, just able to work out what a friendship problem is. Your theory holds a lot of water, Anon, and this map came out of nowhere, along with this castle, shortly after we defeated Tirek. It was born of the Rainbow Power we used to defeat him. And the box itself was locked tight and could only be opened with keys that revealed themselves when we learned a valuable lesson in friendship. It's not far fetched to think that since the keys themselves revealed themselves upon solving a friendship problem, that the map could have a power related to it."
Ohhhh shit...you forgot about that fucking box from Season 4...that's right......the keys...
"Woah, I didn't even think of that. I mean er, I knew about the keys and all. But I didn't even think they could be related."
"They COULD be, but it's all conjecture. For all we know, we both are really really wrong. So...if we look over our notes." Twilight holds her notes up, and also begins writing. "Together we have a theory that the map is powered through a sort of friendship magic, a magic that you say connects the map to everything and everypony. Which, it's possible that all of this is the same magic that forged the keys that unlocked the Rainbow Power. But..."
You look to Twilight, she looked a little frustrated all of a sudden
"Twilight? What's up?"
Twilight gently put her notebook down and sighed "We have no way in testing the theory, It's too risky to tamper with the map's magic. It's a good theory...a great one actually. But we have no way to test it. In fact, we may never have the chance..."
You started to think deep. Wasn't there a way to check? You could perhaps wait for a friendship problem to occur for further testing.
.....no, even if a friendship problem occurred. What would you do? what spell could be cast? And she didn't want to tamper with it, so..it was all a no go.
"I...can't figure anything out either. Not without taking it apart in some way or finding some sort of lore on it. But since this map came with the castle, I can't imagine there being any lore on it at all. Are you sure there's nothing we could do? Maybe something we could mess with?"
Twilight shook her head "I'm afraid not...and.." Twilight then smiled at you, a cheerful smile, one of the more cheerier smiles she'd give if she figured something out or was being merry with her friends. "..I'm perfectly fine with that"
huh? "What do you mean? You said we have a fine theory. Shouldn't we at least figure out something? maybe? What is there to be happy about?"
Twilight shook her head "Anon, if we could. I'd love nothing more but to figure it out. But I knew that in the end, we'd never be able to actually test our theory."
"What? But you were just frustrated. If you knew? Then why get flustered?"
"Because, I still wanted to try and succeed. It was a good theory after all. But that's how things are sometimes. I've learned that sometimes things just....are. Pinkie taught me that."
"Then...what are you smiling about then?" Even if things “Are”. There’s still no reason to smile
"Because, in the end. You and me worked together to come up with the best and most possible answer for how the map works. We did it together. And I can tell you this. I had a lot of fun doing it. I was even surprised that you were able to come up with that kind of theory so quickly. This is a moment I'll always remember, because of how great it was. And because of how well we worked together. It doesn't matter if we found the solution or not. It doesn't at all"
....that's it? That's...
she looked so happy to have gotten along with you. hell, it took you a moment to realize you were bonding with her. having a discussion with her as if everything in the past never happened. And, you had to admit to yourself. It was exciting getting that close to solving a big mystery. Maybe it was part of the season ender too?....who knows, you probably vastly changed Equestria's future at this point.
You couldn't hold any ill will towards Twilight now. mostly because you didn't notice any ill will at all when you were teaming up with her. Was that the point of the challenge rules? Well goddamn, it worked. Because it made you smile too.
"Yeah..I gotta admit. I had fun too. I actually liked trying to figure this out. Huh..."
"I'm really glad to hear that Anon. I'm...well...actually..." Twilight calmed down, she didn't want to get ahead of herself either. "I know it shouldn't need to be asked. But...we had fun together, right?" Even as she said it, she seemed down all of a sudden.
You’ve never seen Twilight so unsure. Then again, you remember how she looked after she tried to seal you. You couldn't imagine how many times she played that scene in her head. Her nearly sealing a colt. Even in this world where she was pretty much forgiven for something so heinous, it still must have haunted her mind. Enough that even when following Celestia's advice to spend time with you, still must have troubled her. And given what you just did with her...
You nod "Yeah, we had fun together. You ok, Twilight?"
Twilight tenseness left her as she broke out in a small sweat. “So far so good”, those are the words that now rung in her head. "O-oh, I'm fine. Just fine. So then..." Twilight swiftly switches the topic "What else would you like to study? I know the whole map thing was a challenge. But now that we had fun with that, maybe we could sink our teeth into something we could ACTUALLY solve. Or maybe, I could give you a lecture on something you'd like to know. I don't know if you know, but I love giving lectures!" Twilight was getting back into a cheery mood, getting excited and even anticipating getting closer to you with every activity. If you admitted to having fun with her, then surely she's doing alright.
A lecture? That sounded boring...but. Maybe it could be useful. Twilight was a compendium of knowledge. You could learn something about Equestria that you didn't know through her. At least it'd help you not lose in a silly trivia board game. Hell, let's give it a shot.
"A lecture...actually sounds pretty good. There is a few things i'm a little rusty at, or just kinda don't know about. Do you think you could teach me a little about how unicorns cast different spells?"
"Oh that's easy, are you sure you want to know about that because...well" Twilight tries not be rude "You could read about that in any basic textbook on magic casting. Maybe you'd be in for something a little more advanced?"
Now you felt a little embarrassed for asking. Sheesh, how stupid could you be? Of course that'd be basic. Foals like Sweetie Belle probably already know how it works. But then again, you weren't a unicorn. You were a basic Earth Pony. ergh...at least she didn't make you feel dumb for asking the question despite being it being trivial.
"I'd just like the basics. I know I'm an earth pony, but I actually was never taught how any of the magic works and I've always been interested in unicorn magic. Please? I think I could understand it better if you explained it to me."
Twilight now felt obligated to teach you, she didn't expect you to say please. That orphanage, it didn't seem like a very good one if it wasn't teaching the basics of every pony to each pony. She wondered if you even knew how earth pony magic worked. "Alright, I'd be happy to teach you. and since you already have a pencil and notepad. You could write notes so you won't forget anything. Just tell me when you're ready, and we can start the lecture"
Twilight didn't need any special tools for this. Her horn was enough and the explanation was basic. She'd be done in no time and you'd be a smarter pony for it.
You put the pencil in your mouth and nodded to her, ready to write down anything important she had to say. Finally, you'd at least know how unicorn magic works so you could just throw it off the list of "usual deus ex machina". Unicorns did seem pretty overpowered, only nearly trumped by Pinkie's ability to break the 4th wall.
Twilight cleared her throat, and readied herself "Alright Anon, now listen closely. Because I'm going to explain everything that you need to know. Even things you may already know. Now, let's start with the unicorn horn. Every unicorn has one and that's what we use as a conduit to perform various magic spells. From simple telekinesis to the much more advanced magical art of teleportation"
You actually write this down, then gently spit the pencil out to ask a question. "But how does casting spells work? Like, how do you cast one spell that's different from another?"
"Oh, that's very simple. Let's see..." Twilight's horn begins to glow "Since the horn is a conduit of magic. It is, of course, not only the source of output, but also the source of input. A unicorn actually has many MANY magical components within their being. How one combines these components and one's skill and stamina to cast it determines the kind of spells one can use and how effective that spell happens to be. Think of it as a inner alchemy lab. And of course, some spells are easier than others. For example..." Your pencil rises from the table, covered in a purple glow and spins before being put back down. "Telekinesis requires very little management of one's magical components. And very little skill to use. So basically any unicorn can use it. But then there's something like...." Twilight suddenly poofs away "....teleportation, which requires a very particular and vast mix of internal magical components and a very high skill to be able to manage it effectively. There's actually not many unicorns who are able to do it. I myself took a long time to learn it myself, it's not just something I picked up after becoming an Alicorn. And yet, there are spells even beyond that even I don't know or have trouble mastering. Though, one should take caution." Twilight makes illusions appear as she disappears. These illusions consisting of things like that of the Alicorn Amulet or that cursed book Rarity used that turned her a little...nutty. There was also an illusion of Flutterbat. "There are spells and augmentations one should never use. Or at least not take for granted. Spells that change one's behavior should only be used in the most DIRE of situations, and even then...should never have to be used at all. Some items will augment a unicorn's power...but at a terrible price. There's even some spells that must be documented as words and incantations. These spells tend to hold a mighty power, but if taken lightly. Disaster can happen, Disaster that could end up being irreversible"
huh? where did she....
You look up, she was hanging off the backend of your chair, hovering to keep the chair from falling backward. She gave you a closed eye smile. "Did you get all that Anon? Do I need to slow down?"
no..you got it. just...huh...that explanation actually makes sense..this was actually really cool and informative. "No I got it, do you mind if I ask another question?"
Twilight hopped backwards and walked back around to the front at the other end of the table. "Of course you can, the more questions the better!"
"Alright, so you mix magical components in your horn. That's what causes the glow right?"
Twilight nods "Mhmm, just the act of manipulating them causes luminescence. So I guess you could say generating light is probably the easiest spell to cast in Equestria"
Huh… "So, what would be the point of potions then? To a unicorn I mean. Or...in your case, an Alicorn"
You knew this wasn't THAT good a question to ask. She did need a potion to see into the past after all. But whatever knowledge you could pick up, obvious or not, seemed like the right thing to do. Hell, all of this was just really interesting. You could imagine many a horsefucker wishing to be in your horseshoes right
"Good question, it would seem potions would be useless to us. But think back when I said it's dependent on a unicorn's skill and stamina to cast spells. Well, that's the great thing about potions. A potion's potency depends on the ingredients used to make it. Even an unskilled pony can make a powerful potion if they follow a recipe or have a talent for it. For example. Let's take an aging spell that makes you younger versus a de-aging potion. The spell's potency depends on the skill of the unicorn. And usually...it's not very good. any Unicorn that CAN manage it can only sustain it for a few seconds or sometimes it'll even backfire on them. With a potion, it could make any pony younger depending on ingredients used, how much, and general potency of the potion through it's ingredients in general. Basically, the potion will usually always be better than the spell. Usually anyway" Twilight takes a breath, then looks upon you as she wipes her brow "woo, that was a mouthful."
You finish writing up everything you learned and slip it into your saddle bag. This is something you wanted to keep. Easy to remember, kind of useless, but it was more of a memorabilia type of thing. "Well, I never really knew that's how Unicorn magic worked."
Twilight nods "It's simple, isn't it? And yet so hard to master. Actually Anon, there's a question I'd like to ask you. It's a question that I know i'd never get a straight answer out of your father for." Twilight felt rather comfortable with you right now. Maybe it was the lecture, but she was really in the zone.
And you yourself felt pretty fine with her company. At least for the moment. Something about Twilight seemed...different. Or rather, she was being the same. No..that's not it. She was acting like, as if she was conducting herself in a casual fashion. As if she was speaking to one of her friends while also in a moment to learn something at the same time. It was actually endearing, and you enjoyed her company. At least when she was like this. It was like the Twilight you got to know wasn't here, replaced with a Twilight you actually did know from the show...yet never knew personally.
"Oh...uhm.I don't know if there's anything I could tell you that you already know. Heh, you're pretty smart Twilight."
"Don't sell yourself short, Anon. as I said, you're very smart for a colt you're age. I bet if you were a unicorn, you'd probably have quite a knack for magic. But instead, you seem to have a knack for problem solving. Which is good too! It's actually a little worrying what would have happened if Starlight was left to her own devices, or if those two ponies that attacked you have managed to get their way...though.." Twilight's ears droop "It's a shame what happened to them. Nopony deserves that, not even ponies like them."
"Well er, they were pretty bad guys you know. And...hmm" What were you saying? This was pony land. WHERE EVERYTHING GETS FORGIVEN. You can’t argue this.
"I know what they tried to do was bad Anon, but there was still a chance to help them. To have them see what they were doing was wrong and try to change their ways. Even prison is better than....that" Twilight actually did seem pretty upset about this.Ergh, you could feel guilt creep up on you. This wasn't just about being everyone's friend. She just wanted to change the world for the better. One pony at a time. To make it a friendlier place. Gay as fuck...but a noble cause nonetheless.
"I know Twilight...I guess I just don't wanna think about it too much. It's kinda sad really..erm..what was that question you wanted to ask?" You try to hint that you didn't want to think about it. make it seem like it makes you depressed to think about their fate. Twilight seems to get the hint. Thank god, you just didn't want to hear anymore about it.
"Oh..Oh right right! Well" Twilight composes her thoughts, she takes a moment to get over the loss of the two "villains" and then asks her question "I was actually wondering if you know anything about chaos based magic"
...wut? "Chaos based? Really?" That seemed...odd. To you anyway, you didn't think she'd be interested in chaotic magic. You only knew a little bit about it yourself. from experience and a few things Discord has said and hinted at.
Twilight nods "Yes, it's not fair for me to be the only one teaching." Twilight walks up to her seat, readies her notepad and pencil, and looks at you like an eager student "There's still a lot about magic we don't know about. And chaos magic is a kind of magic nopony in Equestria understands. Not even the other princesses. But you have some experience and knowledge of it. You've even used it...though...." Twilight taps at the table. her expression nor tone of voice was threatening, she just sounded like she was wondering. "Your horn is still limited, right? As in, nothing close to as ridiculous as shifting the solar and lunar phases, correct?"
You nod "Yeah, still limited."
Twilight takes your word at face value. She felt she could trust you. "Good, but just the same. If there's anything you can teach me in that kind of magic. I'd LOVE to hear and learn about it. I am Twilight Sparkle, and I will be YOUR student this time. So teach away...erm...hrm...would you prefer Mr.Anon or Professor Anon?" Twilight looked so damn cheerful and eager to learn.
Well damn, was she expecting you to be an expert or something? eh, sure why the hell not.?this could be pretty adorably fun. You were really getting into this.
"Give me a moment, and I'll answer that"
"Ok!" Twilight just sat there, adjusting her pencil a couple times, looking left and right. Ready for anything.
You pull the horn out of your bag. This was going to be super fun. You couldn't do anything outlandish of course. Had to keep it tame. But what else could you use the thing for today? You were with Twilight.
You slap the Sombra horn onto your forehead once more, it changes to that of a unicorn's horn as usual. Twilight looks at you, confused "Errr..Anon, what are you doing?"
"nothing too much, just setting the mood"
"What?" She looked so adorkably confused and yet interested.
You activate your magic. You didn't know how long it'd last. But if you got it right. It'd end at the end of the lecture.
You are instantly garbed with a black necktie and circled spectacles as a giant blackboard appears behind you. The room turns into a large empty university classroom. And of course, you grow a mustache. Twilight appears in the center as the only student. This spell should hold...yeah..until you were done. "Call me Professor Anon, I...like the sound of that"
Twilight looked around. She was amazed, astounded, and yet...worried. "Anon, I thought you said the horn was limited"
"It is, or are you going to tell me setting up a classroom is dangerous. I thought it'd make you feel more at home."
Twilight couldn't deny that. She did get that old fuzzy feeling of being an eager young student. And it didn't seem like you were going to pull some dirty trick. No, you wouldn't do that. That's what she thought anyway. She slowly eased into it. to the point where she really did look like an eager student. "Ok, I'm ready Professor! Teach away!"
Welp, she was going along with it. thank god.
Now that you had the power of your horn. you should be able to do things, like write, a little more easily.
You magically hold up a piece of chalk and start writing on the board. The first thing you write is your name.
"Good morning class, I am your teacher. Professor Anon"
"Good morning Professor Anon!" Twilight giggles
....ok..that was cute.
Twilight thought she was doing it right. She found that incredibly funny as she still was stifling her laughter.
Well..you were playing a role. "Something funny, Miss Sparkle?"
"Oh um...sorry" But she was still smiling. She found the whole thing amazing. Unlike Discord, she actually felt comfortable about this form of magic being used by you. She was taking everything in as well. Tapping at the long table she sat behind to measure just how real it really was as she paid attention to your every word. Maybe she'd be lucky enough to even get a sample to test on later.
"Right...anyway, today's lesson will be on chaos magic. Chaos magic is actually quite different from a unicorn's magic....as I er....learned just a few moments ago."
You could hear Twilight stifle another giggle.
"Anyway...Chaos magic actually works on the pure will of it's user. In other words, unlike unicorn magic. All one needs to do is imagine what they want to happen and it will happen."
Twilight actually found that a little confusing, so she rose her hoof.She was hoping things played along enough that you'd recognize it as her wanting to ask a question. And thankfully, you did. You did go to school yourself.
"Yes Miss Sparkle, do you have a question?"
"Yes actually" Twilight went into an actual serious mode for this question. For her, the pursuit of knowledge of this magnitude had to be taken seriously. even if the rest itself was just a cute joke. "Are you saying chaos based magic doesn't require any kind of skill or combination of components?"
"That's exactly what I'm saying. But it doesn't mean chaos magic is easy. The magic of chaos is to cause either calamity,a vast change. or make something out of the norm to happen. Or any combination of the three. This classroom and everything in it is caused by chaos magic. Seems normal yes, but a colt as a professor?..."
"So what you're saying is. Chaos magic can't be used to say...fix something? There's no way at all to mend something or repair or even change something back to normal?"
"Actually, chaos magic er..." Shit. you've seen it repair things. But Discord also said it couldn't heal....Well, just go with your observation. "It...can repair things. Though I suppose it's on the basis that nothing should naturally repair itself as if it could heal a wound. Chaos magic doesn't work through logic after all. As for actual healing? No, it can't do that. Not unless it was actually making a limb regrow where it normally wouldn't. Though....one with chaos magic can also easily take back something they had cast. Although...."
Twilight looked on, hanging on your every word and writing notes. "Although?"
"Although chaos magic actually has its own set of dangers. If you get overzealous or make things too literal and exact. You can't just take it back or revert it, the spell has to follow through. Only a true master of that magic...that being my Dad...would have the ability to call it back."
"Why does that happen? Why can't you call it back"
You really didn't have an answer for that. "I actually don't know. It's just apparently a thing about chaos magic."
And the lesson went on the best you could. Though, you hold back from mentioning that chaos magic can't do time travel. You had a feeling Discord lied about that one. Given that if several MLP dimensions exist. Then comic discord, who CAN time travel, does so through chaos magic.
You then finish the lesson stating that while chaos magic is powerful. introducing it to a powerful and harmonious force will cancel it out. You didn't need anyone to tell you this one. It just goes with the fact that the elements of harmony stopped Discord.
After the lesson was over. Everything shifted back, and the horn popped off your head. changing back into the horn of Sombra. You pick it up, and put it back in your bag. and look at Twilight with a self satisfied smile. "Did you understand the lesson, Miss Sparkle?"
Twilight nodded, smiling from the whole experience "Yes, and it was actually very wonderful. It really shows that chaos magic is its own class of magic, totally unique in it's own way. And yet, if utilized properly, could do so many ponies a lot of good. It just depends on how it's used and who uses it. Though....some things do seem a little sketchy"
"Yeah erm...truth is, I don't know everything about chaos magic myself. But I know enough to get by."
Twilight give you a gentle headpat "Well Anon, it was still, in this pony's eyes, an amazing experience. Not only because of what I've learned, but also the fact that now I know your father can do some real good for Equestria. I know he and you solved a friendship problem. But I also know with a little more effort, he could do so much more."