"Say, what's that book," inquires Rarity, pointing out a rather ancient looking tome with faded stars and swirles embossed on the cover along with some ancient language she couldn't make out.
"Oh yes!" exclaims a now excited Twilight, "If it is what I think it is, it's very rare. So rare nopony was even sure it existed!"
"Well, get on with it!" demands Rainbow Dash who normally doesn't find books very interesting unless they're the adventure sort, but was curious as to why this book made Twilight's eyes gleam with excitement like that.
"Well, I've still not verified it, but I just know that this book was written by none other than Starswirl the Bearded!" shouts Twilight, unable to keep it to herself as she planned until she could verify it.
"Who?" said the room at large.
"Starswirl the Beared, only the most famous unicorn of all time?" huffed Twilight in a slightly annoyed tone, "I dressed up as him on Nighmare Night?"
"That guy with the funny beard you mean?" asked Pinkie Pie. "He looked silly."
"Yes yes, 'that guy with the funny beard'," sighed Twilight. "Legend has it that he collected all the spells he personally invented, and put them into a single tome that was only copied a few times for use in various libraries across Equestria, including one in the ancient Canterlot Arch-library."
"What's an arch-library anyway?" asks Rainbow Dash, thinking of Daring Do. "Is it like a dungeon for books?"
"Surprisingly enough, it was a bit like that," responds Twilight, a slightly surprised look on her face. "Well, the library itself wasn't all that big, as it only had a couple of cases of books. The Library was built into the mountain that Canterlot is situated on. The library is in the center, but there were some magical traps set up along the route to it. Fortunately the map that told me where this long forgotten library was also detailed the traps."
"I guess them books were special then?" inquires a curious Applejack.
"Definitely!" exclaims Twilight, "The Arch-Library only housed the rarest of tomes. Aside from Starswirl's own collected spells, there was a book on the origin of Equestria which covers some details that Canterlot historians have been wondering about, plus records on the origins of Nightmare Night, a few books in a language that I believe is Changeling in origin, among others."
"Well, that's mighty interesting." replied Applejack, who was primarily interested in the record about Nightmare Night.
Twilight suddenly came out of her reverie, becaming more subdued, sighing and muttering to herself. Pinkie Pie was now dancing along with a slightly unwilling looking Fluttershy in the background, but that went largely unnoticed.
"Something the matter dear?" asked a concerned Rarity.
"Well..." paused Twilight, "These are amazing finds of course, but unfortunately a good portion of the library was destroyed by the roof collapsing who knows how many years ago."
"I'm sorry to hear that,"
"Yes, these were the only books that managed to escape complete destruction," sighs Twilight. "As it is, most of these books are damaged either by the fallen ceiling, or else by water that dripped down from the hole."
"Well look on the bright side," said Applejack in a soft voice, "At least you were able to recover these books. That is what's important."
"Yeah, that's right!" interjected Rainbow Dash. "Plus you got to go on that adventure! I would have come too, it sounded fun!"
"Yes, yes you're right Applejack. Rainbow Dash," replied Twilight, perking up a little bit. "I really am excited by the Starswirl book in particular. Who knows what amazing magic he discovered but has been lost to the ages?"
"That's the spirit!" chuckled Applejack.
After that exchange, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity drifted off to have some more desserts and dance with Pinkie Pie. Fluttershy was finally given a break from dancing thanks to that. Twilight settled down with the book, not really paying attention to the party. This was not out of deliberate rudeness as she usually did enjoy Pinkie's parties, but because she was so consumed with poring over the ancient tome that she had wanted to see ever since she heard about it as a filly. Although parts of it were a bit water damaged, and the cover was scuffed in places it was still remarkably intact and most of the spells and their descriptions were legible. It was slow going to read the ancient writing, since it required translation and Twilight was out of practice, not having translated ancient runes since she was still at magic school.
"I wonder what this spell does," mutters Twilight distractedly, "It says that it is a spell 'To gain more insight into others, and yourself'. Interesting..."
Thinking that this spell might help her learn something new about friendship to report to the Princess, which she hadn't done in nearly a month she considered trying it out. She knew she could take her time with the Friendship Reports now, but it still made her nervous, not making regular reports. Since the spell seemed harmless enough. Concentrating hard on the elements of magic the spell required, she invoked her considerable magic power and used it to channel the elements, bringing them into being in the form of pure magical forces.
A loud 'Poof!' accompanied by a cloud of thick blue smoke and countless golden swirls of sparks filled the entire room, along with general shouts of surprise from her friends.