Sunrise in the busy little town of Ponyville comes today without explosions, chaos, giant monsters, or any other overwhelming disasters.
See, Ponyville Equestria is a “disaster-prone zone.” To some, living there is a dare since it’s next to one of the most dangerous wild zones in Equestria.
The Everfree forest.
It’s mainly thanks to six powerful ponies known as the elements of harmony and their dragon friend named Spike that the town is even still there.
One particular resident of a certain castle in the town had been on another studying binge. The towns local princess Twilight Sparkle; who is also the brave soul who took on the monstrous centaur Tirek a few months ago thanks to her and her friends a significant problem in Equestria was narrowly averted. However, the peace wasn’t to last...
In fact, you can say our resident Alicorn WAS the newest problem… let’s start at the beginning of the mess…
“Spike! Can you get me Starswirl’s 2nd recorded index of all things from section S please!” Twilight called out to her trusty assistant dragon Spike.
“Yes, ma'am!” Spike said with a salute
“Also, could you get the One-hundred uses for Aether book from section B.”
“Sure!” Spike said trying to gun it to the bookshelves
“Also, could you retrieve Dynamics of the tribes it’ll help with my most recent project.”
“Ok…ummm which section is-” Spike said as he hurried to retrieve the books she asked for him to get.
“Oh! I just remembered could you also retrieve-“ she began before Spike cut her off.
“Perhaps you could just tell me all the books you need at once and their sections instead of every 3 seconds please!” Spike said a little exasperated as he was already halfway up one of the ladders.
Twilight glanced back a chuckled a little. After apologizing to her assistant, she wrote a list for him and teleported it to him.
After reading it off, Spike went off to collect the listed books and bring them to Twilight.
“Here ya go!” Spike grunted as he set the stack of heavy books on the table and sat down to catch his breath.
“Whew, man I can’t wait until I hit my growth spurt….” Spike panted
Twilight chuckled again and thanked Spike before examining the book a little more closely, squinting a little to pull aside any distractions.
“Sooo… can you tell me again what all the hustle and bustle is about? You even had me make the 'special discovery tea' this morning.” Spike asked
“Well, you see, I’ve recently been digging through my new sets of archives that I’ve received after Tirek… well destroyed our previous selection.” Twilight said her expression becoming distant.
Twilight trailed off remembering how much of her original collections had were ruined that day and the abject horror she felt when it happened. Spike snapped his fingers in her face bringing her back to reality.
“Oh! Sorry, um where was I?” Twilight asked
“Tirek destroyed our previous selection…” Spike said bemused
“Oh yes, Um…” Twilights began to drift off again.
“Just! Don’t think about all the books that were destroyed and continue please!” Spike frantically said hoping to avoid another space out.
“Ok! Ok! So when Celestia had the new castle detailed a week after it emerged while we were all out for dinner as a thank you for the efforts of my friends and me.” Twilight chattered with growing excitement trotting over to the other side of the table.
“She added new archives to the bottom floor I didn’t even know about until now! Even more exciting is that it turns out there was a secret section behind one of the unknown sections I discovered last night containing a reference spell book dating back as one of Star Swirls private selections he entrusted to Celestia! In other words, THIS BOOK-!” Twilight grabbed a massive and rather old looking book with her magic and plopped it down on the table and looked at it with sparkles in her eyes. “-IS A TREASURE AMONG ANCIENT SPELLBOOKS! IT IS FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE AND ADVANCE SPELLS NECESSARY TO PUT ONE'S KNOWLEDGE AND DEDICATION TO THE TEST! AND BREAK NEW BOUNDRY’S IN THE REALM OF MAGIC; EVEN CELESTIA DOESN’T KNOW WHAT'S IN IT! SO THAT MEANS I-” Twilight was practically shouting from her excitement.
Spike covered his ears as she began a fan trance outpour. When he tapped her shoulder, and she turned to look at him. She blushed a little bit and calmed herself coughing into her hoof awkwardly.
“S-sorry about that Spike, you understand right? This is one of the most important spell books I’ve gotten the chance to read. I heard it’s got many highly advanced spells in it; So you should understand my eagerness to get started” Twilight said with a grin.
“I suppose… so! Um hey, can I take my break? Pinkies got a new treat for me to try” Spike asked hopefully.
Twilight sighed at Spike's lack of enthusiasm for this project.
“I suppose… just be back in-” Twilight looks to see he’s already gone.
“…Well then… I suppose I should get everything together.” Twilight rolled her eyes and she started setting up all the books, opening them simultaneously and glancing among them at random, flipping a page now and then.
Spike walked out of Sugarcube Corner eating a cinnamon roll with small ruby’s embedded in it.
“Mmmm, am I glad Pinkie came with Rarity and me on our last gem hunt, I’m still a little confused as to why she thought she could eat the gems though… hopefully, she didn’t damage her teeth permanently…” Spike mused
As he walked on munching his treat, a cloud flitted over him. Glancing up he saw Ponyville’s resident weather pony Rainbow Dash. Having finished today’s forecast of overcast and she looked down and noticed Spike, she zipped up to him.
“Hey, Spike!” Rainbow Dash said looking as full of energy as ever
“Hey Dash” Spike casually replied
“What’s up? You seem a little bummed.” Rainbow Dash said landing next to him.
“I’m just a little worried about Twi that’s all,” Spike said as he kept his eyes downcast.
“Another studying binge?” Dash guessed
“Yep…” Spike replied plainly
“She really needs to get out more… so what’s caught her interest this time?” Rainbow said with a tilt of the head.
“She found this super important spellbook that was a personal keepsake of Starswirl. So she's excited as all get out to master it… considering these are advanced spells; I’m a little worried somethings gonna happen to her.” Spike said remembering several incidents where her magic caused problems.
“Well, I guess the best thing you can do is keep her company on this adventure of hers and help out when she needs it most,” Dash said wisely.
Spike just stared with surprise “since when do you give sage advice that doesn’t relate to exercise?”
“Rarity, and I talked, and she said I need to start giving helpful advice if I want to stop being in the background during these helpful chats…” Rainbow Dash said with a shrug
“So you-“ Spike started.
“Quoted rarity? Yes, yes I did” Rainbow said shamelessly.
“I see… so um I guess I'll go do that, see ya Rainbow Dash!” Spike said with a grin as he walked off to the library
“Bye Spike!” Rainbow Dash waved back
Spike got home EVENTUALLY after being slowed down by the CMC for another one of their cutie mark crusades.
The CMC had forced him to try and help them with their antics, but thankfully he managed to get to leave earlier when Rarity saw them trying to get Spike to light some rings for a scooter trick to get their “action stunt cutie marks” or… something like that.
As Spike approached the door and knocked on it expecting Twilight to answer; hopefully in one piece, instead the door creaked open…
“That’s definitely a bad sign…” Spike said with dread evident in his voice
He slowly opened the door to find books on the ground and an overturned chair, glancing about frantically he found Twilight laying on her back staring at the ceiling with an empty-looking expression.
“TWILIGHT!” Spike screamed as he ran over to her, “Umm, ok is your heart beating? Is there a pulse?” Spike said quickly; internally wishing that he had paid more attention in Twilights medical lectures.
He lifted her head and was checking her vacant expression.
“Did you somehow accidentally transfer your soul somewhere else? …again?” Spike said forlornly, mentally cursing himself that he wasn’t here when his older sister figure was treading in uncharted magical terri-
“I’m fine Spike…” Twilight said glumly, cutting off his thoughts
Spike jumped a little bit when he saw her blink. He huffed and dropped her head back down landing with a thump.
“Don’t scare me like that! I thought you were hurt!” Spike exclaimed exasperatedly
“hmm?” Spike quirked a brow
“I can’t do it…” Twilight finally croaked out miserably
“Can’t do it? Twi what are you saying?” Spike said surprise evident in his voice
“These spells are too much…” Twilight said
“T-Twilight what are you saying?! Your talent is magic! Are you just going to give up on a spell? when you were so enthusiastic an hour ago?” Spike almost pleaded with her to tell him what he heard was a sick joke.
Twilight trembled on the ground in what looked like her usual stressed way before pointing at the large book on the table.
“…Take a good look at the spells…” Twilight finally said
“Why?” Spike asked
“Just do it…” Twilight grumbled
Spike walked over to the spellbook to see what’s causing his sister’s neurosis this time, he climbed onto the stool and checked a random page and immediately his expression fell and then became quizzical.
“Huh? What language is this? Why are there only a few sentences in a language I can understand?... Ok, so that IS frustrating considering how eager you were. However, I don’t see the problem that threw you into such a tizzy like this.”
“I used a translation spell found in the start of the book… here, let me get that for you…” Twilight said as a small spark flew off of her horn and hit the book and the words cleared up, and Spike looked again, and his expression became shocked. It only grew when he saw the multiple complex spell orientations, the number of days required for such rune spells even switching pages showed list after list of strange ingredients and specific conditions for the books spells. Not to mention the number of years of life the more advanced spells require of the user.
“Requires the user sacrifices a limb? Sacrifice life years?! Sacrifice your favorite pastry- Wait what?… What kind of magic is this?!” Spike exclaimed, Twilight just nodded bitterly.
“And some of the pages are missing bits and pieces due to wear and tear. I can’t even see some of these…” Spike said now fully understanding Twi’s situation.
“Now you see why…” Twilight droned
“Yeah….” Spike agreed
“I’m not ‘wise’ or ‘ancient’ enough to know how to use such old magic… not to mention there are too many repercussions to cast them. And the spells I can understand are too faded out by age… and here I thought I was going to unlock Starswirls most untappable spells…” Twilight said, the beginning of tears appearing at the corners of her eyes.
Spike went over and patted Twilights back, and she leaned over and began to sob into his shoulder.
“Hey, um… it’s ok Twi, I guess… not every spell is meant to be mastered, I suppose-“ Spike said comfortingly before Twilight tensed suddenly on the last words.
“NOT MASTERED?!” Twilight shouted suddenly startling Spike
“Umm… Twilight?” Spike said backing up slightly as the Alicorn got a somewhat crazed look in her eyes as she stood and approached with a twitchy look in her eye.
‘Here we go again…’ Spike groaned in his head
“That’s just the thing isn’t it? I approached this with such confidence that I could master this magic only to learn I lack the longtime experience or resources to use it.” Twilight began her outpour.
“Twilight-“ Spike tried.
“And I wasted your time! It’s not your fault! You did as I asked of you! I’m the one who got so eager that I would finally complete a work that even Starswirl struggled to complete! I did it once, but I guess that was a fluke after all! Now I know why I can’t do this!!” Twilight cried
“It requires more experience than he had in his lifetime to properly gather the ingredients! To understand the runes and which ones require adjustments for each! He wouldn’t even live long enough to fully gain the experience with how the spells worked because they’re so very complex or they require amputation or some of them are hexes meaning they are dangerous to others!” Twilight shouted
“Twilight! Please calm down!” Spike briefly checked outside to see if anyone was listening in and unfortunately saw a few weird glances at the library through the window.
“I’m supposed to master magic! If I can’t do that then what have I been training for!?... Why did I ascend??... Am I a failure…?” Twilight finished miserably.
Finally collapsed with a look of defeat on her face and tears on her face. After a half-minute of listening to nothing but Twilights sniffling to ensure she doesn’t have anymore rage to vent Spike went up to her and gave her a reassuring hug in hopes it’ll calm her down; she quietly sobbed and hugged Spike back.
One thing Spike knows is that not long after she ascended she has been having a few confidence issues regarding her new powers. He’s been the one to support her through the hard times. Moreover, after she defeated Tirek Twilight has been even more
crazed, obsessed determined to master magic. Thinking she has a ball to keep rolling, that she needs to continue improving or she’ll fall behind her latest achievement.
Her neurosis hasn’t gotten any better as a result.
“You’re not a failure Twilight; you’re the smartest pony I’ve ever known, I’m sure you’ll find a way.” He patted her back
“I hope so…” Twi grimly replied
---later at the carousel boutique---
“Oh dear, that bad?” Rarity asked while working on a vibrant blue dress
“Yeah, she was practically screaming her head off at him, I saw and heard it all from the window, in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Applejack heard it from the Acres.” Rainbow Dash said with a nod while relaxing on a stool next to the door.
“Oh… I hope she didn’t yell too much at poor Spikey-Wikey or I’ll give her a good talking to.” Rarity said without a glance
“Well, she has been a bit… edgy and a little too determined to exceed in magic since she became an Alicorn” Rainbow Dash thought out loud earning a look from Rarity.
"just saying!” Rainbow Dash quickly defended.
“Well, instead of standing here talking about it, perhaps we should prep for a visit to our dear friend in hopes of lifting her spirits” Rarity inquired before both of their eyes widened, and they looked to each other.
“You thinking what I’m thinking?” Dash said with a grin
“Perhaps I am,” Rarity said with a smirk of her own
“She needs-“ they both began.
“-an awesome race between me and her to get her mind off of things!/ -a talk about her problems and how to help her with them over tea.” Both said at the same time before pausing and giving each-other half-lidded looks
“I fail to see why I thought we’d say the same things…” Rarity sighed
“Come on! What she needs is to get out of that old library and away from her books to clear her head! It’ll be like 20% more effective than 'talking about our problems' Right?” Dash reasoned
“Not everyone is as athletic as you Darling, perhaps talking about her problems will better clear her mind.” Rarity scoffed
“Exercise always helped me.” Rainbow Dash said with confidence as if it would win the argument.
“Yes, but we both know your also the fastest Pegasus around. I’m sure a loss will only make her feel worse than she already is.” Rarity said
“While I don’t disagree with the first part I disagree with the second part. I’ll go easy on her!” Dash bit back
“Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! I know what’ll cheer her up!” Pinkie called from inside the unfinished dress
“Not now Pinkie! Now as I was saying I think it would be in our best interest to-“ Rarity pauses and turns towards the dress and was face to face with Pinkie’s head poking out of the neck hole.
“HIYA RARITY!” Pinkie cheered
“GYAH!” Rarity stumbled back a little “Pinkie! What have I told you about sneaking up on me like that!” Rarity snapped
“Sorry there Rares, but my hind-hoofs itched, my right ear flopped around, and my left eye blinked rapidly! It was a sign that somepony was talking about a sad pony!” Pinkie squeed
“Well then… next time just be a little more- WAIT! Get out of that dress Pinkie! It’s not finished! You’ll stretch out the loose areas along the neckline!” Rarity quickly freaked out.
“Hm? Oh! Okie Dokie Loki!” she popped back down through the dress.
“That’s not what I-“Rarity peeked into the dress and didn’t see Pinkie in there.
Rarity sighed dramatically “It’s just Pinkie being Pinkie…” she waited for Pinkie to appear elsewhere and eventually saw her coming down the stairs.
“I’m here! Sorry I took so long I had a few tail twitches and hoof stomps that told me sugarcube corner was getting super duper duper duper busy because I wasn’t there, so I went back to make some of my patent Pinkie chimi-cherry-changas! But then the twins woke up and I could tell because my Pinkie sense flared up again, boy it sure is getting worked overtime today I wonder if I’ll get a cramp because of it Oh! Oh! Mabey ill invent the new Pinkie cramp! It could be a new type of Pinkie Sense! although it sounds unlikely I'll use it much because it sounds painful, also considering-”
Rainbows eye twitched, and she finally snapped “PINKIE ENOUGH WE GET IT!” she shouted.
“Aww, I was getting to the good part…” Pinkie pouted
“Nevertheless, we’d appreciate it if you would please get to the point” Rarity said
“Okie Dokie Loki!” Pinkie said perking up again
“so, what was your suggestion again Pinkie? Dare I ask…” Dash mumbled
“A PARTY!” Pinkie bubbled
“Why am I not surprised…” Rainbow Dash shook her head
“Pinkie dear, I would think unexpected parties would be a tad… counterintuitive for twilight right now…” Rarity said which of course resulted In a Pinkie Pout. Rarity tried to resist, but every time she looked away Pinkie was somehow in front of her giving her the puppy dog eyes.
“Pinkie darling…” Rarity attempted
“Please?” Pinkie said sweetly
“No Pinkie i-“ attempted again.
“Pleeeeease” Pinkie begged again with bigger puppy dog eyes.
“Pinkie-“Rarity tried again.
“Puh-leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese!” Pinkie begged with eyes so huge they began to seem too big for her skull.
“Umm…” Rarity said a little perturbed by the size of her eyes
“Give in while it’s early Rares before she hurts herself…” Rainbow Dash deadpanned
“Oh…. Oh all right” Rarity sighed cursing the fact that nobody can say no to those crocodile tears [or not get annoyed into doing things because she won’t stop until they break]
“YAA-“ Pinkie began but was stopped by a hoof covering her mouth.
“A SMALL little get together group party! That’s it! We could use this chance to converse with Twilight about her problems.” Rarity insisted
“Aww…” Pinke frowned
“Um… hello? Don’t I still have a say in this?” Rainbow dash said peeking over Pinkies shoulder
“I’m afraid that’s two to one Dash we’re going with our plan.” Rarity said with a giggle
“Typical…” Dash said with a huff and a crossing of the arms
“Alrighty! After my long shift, we’ll get started!” Pinkie bounced towards the door
“Long shift-… Pinkie darling aren’t we heading over there now?” Rarity said with a confused look
“Noooope! The story hasn't reached that part yet so the writer had me distract you two so that he'd have more time to finish the next chapter. If he can ever stop procrastinating that is, teehee! See ya later guys!” and with that Pinkie bounced off leaving a very confused Rarity and Rainbow Dash.
“Story… writer… procrastination- what on eqqus was she talking about!? I-" Rarity began to freak out, but Dash put a hoof in front of her to stop her.
“It’s Pinkie being Pinkie… don’t question it…” Rainbow Dash said knowingly
“R-right… indeed…” Rarity nodded