by FlutterSparkle96

Chapter 3: Peculiar Publications

Knowledge isn't what makes us truly happy. Only through relationships do we become joyful.
~Princess Twilight Sparkle

Unlike the regal, elegant towers of the castle, over the century, Canterlot had become a massive city, stretching all the way to the base of the of the mountain. Skyscrapers rose to soaring heights above the ground, some of them reaching as high as the castle. Canterlot had become as large, if not larger than the megalopolis of Manehatten. Even with the crowded streets and busy roadways of the city, Night Spell had spent enough time here to know how to navigate to where she wanted to go. The busy crowded streets didn't bother her, in fact she liked it. No pony bothered her as she went on her way. No pony stopped her to chat or invite her to some event she would blow off. She was left alone, and that was just fine to her.
She passed in and out of Joe's Cafe with only speaking to the cashier. A maple glazed doughnut and a large caramel mochachino were all that she wanted. With breakfast in hoof, she headed to the Royal Library. To her, the perfect day was a day of reading and relaxing... with no one to bother her. The Canterlot Royal Library was the largest library in Equestria by far. Over 40 million books and documents of all kinds were kept within its walls. That's why Night Spell loved it so much. As she entered the large towering doors of the library, her stress began to melt away.
Book after book after book she began to pull off the shelf, reading to her heart's content. Books of all kinds interested her. Novels, science fiction even cheesy romance stories all had a place in her heart. As she would come to the end of one book, she was already beginning her next one. By that afternoon Night Spell had already finished five novels. She didn't even notice when the librarian approached her.
"Excuse me young mare, I hope you intend to put these all back," The librarian scolded in a huff. Night Spell brushed her off but did what she asked and began to return the books to their proper place. As she placed the final book in its slot, something caught her eye. A ragged old history book seemed to leap off the shelf at her.
"Ma'am?" She addressed the librarian, "Which book is that one?" she pointed. The non-amused and seemingly bored librarian pulled the dust ridden book from the shelf to identify it.
"It is the Equestrian Historia the 659th edition," She announced in a monotone voice. Night Spell's jaw dropped.
"That book is over two hundred years old!" She exclaimed.
"Very observant," The librarian replied. The sarcasm in her voice could have filled the entire library. Night Spell took the book and returned to where she had been reading. "I better not find anything in that book ruined, understand?" The grouchy librarian warned. She carefully opened the historic text and began to read. Night Spell's eyes glistened as her mind took her with on a journey through time.
"After the fall of discord," She read out loud to herself, "Equestria was held together by the power of the elements of harmony." Night Spell's mind began to drift away to that time as she did with every book she read. "Each of the elements blessed the land making it even more prosperous for ponies. The element of honesty granted the land fertile soil. Plants and grains flourished on Equestria's open plains. The element of kindness brought creatures big and small to the land creating a diverse ecosystem. The element of laughter brought peace throughout the land. War and fighting ended and the Great Peace in Equestria began. The element of generosity gifted Equestria with precious metals. Gold, silver, diamond and ruby were embedded into the earth among many other beautiful jewels. The element of loyalty gave allies to Equestria. The Griffins to the north, the deer to the south and the zebras across the Quiet Sea all pledged to help Equestria in it's hour of need. The element of magic granted, in turn, magic to all unicorns and wings to all the pegasi. With this the population of Equestria effectively tripled. With these elements Equestria thrived. But without ---- no lasting peace could be kept." Night Spell could barely make out the last few words in the article. "Without what?" she wondered. She read on. "The -------- was the most important of all. ----- eradicated all evil from the land making an eternal peace in Equestria." Now Night Spell was even more confused. "This makes no sense," She exclaimed, "It's as if someone intentionally blurred out those words." She was baffled and shocked that someone would intentionally ruin a book. She turned back to the librarian who had returned with a cart of books to put back. "Ma'am is this the only copy of the Equestrian Historia you have?"
"What you see is what you get." The librarian snapped. Night Spell had had enough of this crabby librarian. There was only one pony Night Spell knew that might be able to give her some more information about this book, and she lived in the castle at the top of the mountain.
"I wish to check this one out if you don't mind." She said in an edgy voice. The librarian sighed, mumbled under her breath and brought Night Spell to the check out desk.
"It's due back here in two weeks. Any later and you'll be fined," the librarian explained as she finished checking out the book, "If I find anything wrong with it when it comes back, there will be consequences. Understood?" Night Spell nodded and took the book. She walked out the doors of the library heading back towards the castle gate. She had questions that needed answering. Night Spell had always known that the elements of harmony had protected and helped the land, but never before had she heard about some other thing that was even more important than the elements. As Night Spell kept thinking about it, more questions filled her head. Her pace quickened as she continued to find more things that needed answers.