• Published 24th May 2015
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My Little Pony Bizarre Adventures - Part 1: Ponyville Central - LateBronyWriter



One Thousand years ago, the saints Celestia and Luna drew upon the power of the Red Stone of Aja to defeat the demon Discord. Now one thousand years later the Stone is destroyed, beginning the tale of six ponies and their quest to redeem the world.

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Chapter 2-Ponivile Central-Take 2

Ponyville Central-Take 2


The goddess of nightmares, a being known as Nightmare Moon stands poised on the stone pedestal in the middle of the room her hooves spread apart as she faces her one time sister, Princess Celestia invictus Solaris, the goddess of light with malefic intent. These two Goddesses one with a coat of pitch black night, it's appearance drawn from the most mind shattering nightmares and one as radiant as the dawn, cloaked in gleaming golden armor, stand in the middle of the stone pedestal like dancers as a cosmic stage. With each glint of their keen eyes the two goddesses size the other up, glare at each other with force enough to sunder mountains as they both prepare for the inevitable clash.

“SHIELDS!” Shining Armor cries out. In a flash, the entire circle is surrounded in a purple barrier that cuts the mortals off from the two gods standing face to face in the circle. And though they are safe from physical harm, the haunting image of the dark pony has engraved fear into their souls.

Without wasting a single breath, the dark mare manifests a dark shadow from behind it. The image she manifests behind her is a shape of utter darkness, a shadow of the darkest night devoid of any features aside from its pony shaped body. Its dark mane of the brightest white is the only colorful feature on its body. The shadow lacks a horn, wings, even eyes, yet it stands suspended in midair, its malice and intent almost palpable as its hoof moves like a bush in the wind.

Suddenly, the dark stand extends its arm like a tentacle straight towards the heart of Celestia, its’ sharpened point ready to skewer her without giving her a chance to defend. However, at the last second, the arm of the creature is sheared clean off by a burst of the brightest sunlight, the remainder of the stump sizzling as the heat from the laser eats away at its arm.

With a look of resolve in her eyes Celestia makes a calculated step to the left, her stand emerging out from her right side in a flash of light. As if a complete contrast to Nightmare Moon’s stand of pure darkness, the stand that Celestia manifests is a creature of pure white sunlight. It’s illuminated body coated in plate mail that extends across its torso, like a thousand tiny vines of purest gold. All its limbs, from its wings to its hooves, are covered in emblazoned golden armor that glimmers with every movement of the mare, refracting every glint of light in the air around it. Its armor is scaled and plated, covering its entire body save its face, belly and mane with armor so fine and luminous, it almost seems transparent. And upon its head is a brilliant war helm, accenting a foot long golden horn and blazing red eyes.

“Hello…. Sister.” Celestia states. “How are you?”

Laughing maniacally, the creature offers up an evil grin as its stand regenerates its entire arm that seconds before was reduced to dust. “Me? You are concerned about me? I suppose that there is a first time for everything Celestia. In the past you cared more about your pathetic mortal subjects than I. Is it only now that I have returned that you feign concern?” The nightmare mocks. “Typical of a weakling such as you to try and take the easy way out of your defeat by attempting to ‘win over’ me like a common filly having a temper tantrum.”

Confronted with an image of absolute evil, Celestia still manages to stand her ground, her voice fair and benevolent. “I’m not trying to deceive you Lulu, and I am not trying to win you over to my side.” Celestia states with a stern look. “I don’t want to be right, I don’t want the power and prestige of an empty crown, I only want my sister back.”

“Humph, then I guess that you are going to be very disappointed now, aren’t you Celestia.” The nightmare grins as it circles around the mare testing her opponent's mental weaknesses and probing her physical defenses. “That pathetic filly Luna is gone now. Nightmare Moon is all that remains of her, and currently Nightmare Moon wants to mount your head on a pike. Now how does that sound?”

Celestia recoils as if struck with a whip, her hooves shaking as she stares into the pits of the monster’s eyes, realizing that the creature before her was at one time a pony she cared about more than any other. Starring her sister straight in the eyes with a sorrowful look that would cause stones to weep, the celestial monarch begins to tear up as she attempts once again to reach the mare before her. “I was wrong Luna, I was so very wrong and it ended up hurting you so badly.” Celestia sheds a sole tear. “I just….. I tried to think of what I could say to……”

“You can say NOTHING! SUN WITCH!” the nightmare screams as the dark mare’s hooves slam into the ground beneath her. Breathing heavily Nightmare Moon stares hatefully at the Princess of the sun, her eyes wide as if realizing a dirty secret “Ahhhhh I see now. You think that this, this rebellion is a bit of teenage angst, some pathetic cry out for attention hummmm? You think that deep down I just want ponies to love me again so you try to tempt me with your sappy sisterly love and acceptance.”

The nightmare takes a step closer to the monarch of the sun “You think that this is about ‘IT’ don’t you? You think that this is about the love of the common ponies that you stole from me. You think that this is about the loneliness and isolation that you filled my every waking moment with. You couldn’t be more wrong.”

Celestia’s face immediately freezes in terror. “What are you talking about Luna?”

The nightmare grins, as it once again begins circling around the princess of the sun. “I realized long ago the greed and selfishness of the common pony Celestia. Yet you always made the mistake of trying to live your life, slaving away for these worthless mortal shells, for these beings that would take everything that we so openly offered to them and give nothing in return. You think yourself their ruler, HA! You are their slave Celestia, a slave to their desires and whims! And I do not desire to be a slave.”

Celestia recoils again. “Luna what do you…..”

“There is only one true way to free this world of their corruptive influence.” The Nightmare continues, her voice gaining momentum and pace with every word she utters with her forked tongue. “And that is to show these pathetic mortals what life would be like without light or mercy. To show them who truly rules over their lives and their destinies. It is time to show them a world without the sun and see how long they hold their haughty heads high as they freeze to death in the darkness!”

Celestia stands straight, lowering her head ever so slightly as she closes her eyes in deep thought “….you would kill any pony who opposed you, Luna? You would literally kill every living creature on the planet simply because you can? You would kill me if I tried to stop you?”

The nightmare grins. “Just the ones that refused to bow down and submit to my will. And as for my poor misguided sister, heh, I would kill you anyways for being such a pathetic waste of existence.” The dark alicorn flares her wings, revealing her terrible majesty. “There is only room for one at the top of the world, Celestia, and it shall be me.”

Celestia raises her eyes at her sister, her own flesh and blood with a ferocity and anger that could put the flames of the sun to shame. “YOU are not my sister. Luna loved the night and all her ponies. She was as generous and loyal to her ponies as if they were her own blood.” Celestia stamps her hoof in her furious rage. “And she would NEVER allow herself to fall so far that she would believe she had to resort to genocide, simply because she had a little power. I don’t know how much of you is left in there Luna, but I will save you, and I will protect my little ponies at the same time.”

The nightmare lets out a bellowing laugh that this “HAHAHAHAHAHA! Such fierce resolve from so weak a pony. Then try it! Go ahead and kill your little sister! Oh that is right, you can’t because you love me! HAHAHAHAHAHA!” The shadow continues to bellow for a few more seconds before she cuts herself off.

“Enough of this Foolery Celestia.” The nightmare glares at her sister. “I can tell from looking at your stand that your connection to ‘it’ is gone. You may have the stone hare but you cannot use ‘IT’S’ Power.” The shadow looks off to the stone at her side as a evil look crosses her muzzle. “You may have thought that your strong desires would have been enough to allow you to harness the true power of the Red Stone of Aja, but you were gravely wrong. And in doing so, you have placed before me the means by which I might make my dream a reality!”

“NO!” Celestia shouts. However, she is too late as she shadow sweeps over the Red stone. The previous princess of the night solidifying again as she comes to a rest atop of the black rock. Raising her head to the night sky above, the nightmare lets out a howl to the moon above, as she basks in her self-proclaimed victory.

Standing on top of the Red stone, the nightmare lets out another mighty laugh. “You are far too late Celestia; the power of Harmony is now MINE!” Looking down at the rock beneath her hooves, the nightmare licks her lips. “Now ,‘stone’, you will obey me and my will! Bask this world in eternal night and make me the ruler of all!”

Celestia, wasting no time, taps her horn to the stone and charges her horn’s magic in an aura of brilliant illumination, causing the entire stone beneath Nightmare Moon’s hooves to glow bright red. “You were right about one thing Luna; I have always been slow and cautious. After all, it took me so long to see how much you were suffering.”

Celestia grins as the Nightmare’s dismay becomes apparent. “However, in your haste you forgot three very important things. One, even if ‘it’ is not a part of me there is more than one way to use an Arcanum, and more than one way to tap into its power. Two, I have spent the last thousand years researching and developing an Arcanum that can remove inner evil, all that is necessary it to make sure that the victim lands inside of the Arcanum for it to work.”

The stone beneath the nightmare glows bright red as the entire Arcanum comes online, it’s previously invisible markings illuminating the night sky. “…And three, I may be too slow, but you were always too easy to fool, and far too eager to jump to conclusions.”

The Nightmare stands stunned, completely surprised as she now finds how ironically the tables have turned on her. Realizing too late that she is now caught her sister’s trap, the Nightmare spreads her wings in a vain attempt to take to the air as the entire sphere is illuminated with the brightest light imaginable. The figures inside the sphere blurs and vanishes under the immense onslaught of magical energy, as those outside the sphere do everything in their power to keep the spell from falling apart.

“URRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH It’s too powerful!” Shining screams as his invincible shield quakes from the intense magical energy. “I can barely hold it all in!”

“Shield guards one through seven Support Captain Armor!” Zecora bellows out. No sooner than she speaks, several concentrated beams of magic converge with Shining’s shield, causing the purple sphere to take on a rainbow hue. “Twilight, how is the Arcanum holding up?!”

“The buildup is a concern Zecora!” Twilight screams out over the din of the advanced magical reaction taking place a few hooves away. “Isn’t the Arcanum and the shield supposed to prevent this kind of backlash?”

“That should be the case little one!” Zecora yells. “The new runes that we added today were supposed to help channel the magic into the participants better so that it would not put a strain on the Arcanum.”

“New Runes? But I didn’t see any new…..” Twilight’s heart stops. “Wait. What do you mean new runes?!”

However Zecora cannot hear Twilight, as the blaring sound coming from inside the circle grows from simply uncomfortable to almost ear splitting in under a second. All the ponies surrounding the Arcanum begin to struggle as waves of magical power and deafening sound course through their very beings. The light from the dome grows brighter and brighter eclipsing even the sun. All the while, what few ponies that are able to stand their ground through the reverberations of the magical reaction, cover their eyes and ears in an attempt to withstand the immense sensory bombardment.

Thinking on her hooves, Twilight pushes even more power into the Arcanum in an attempt to analyze the status of the circle. ‘Let’s see, from what I am reading from my sensory spell, the circle is working perfectly, all seven layers of the Arcanum are fine. So why are we getting this magical feedback?’ Twilight expands her consciousness through the Arcanum. She remembers what Zecora just said. ‘Wait a minute. Zecora said that the rune was added last minute to channel the excess magical energy through the participants. But if that rune was changed that would send all the excess magical buildup straight through……..’

Twilight’s face is consumed with equal parts dawning comprehension and absolute terror as she realises where all the magical energy of two alicorns is being channeled through. Realising she has precious few seconds Twilight raises her voice above the din of the deafening magical reaction taking place in front of her. “HIT THE DECK!” Twilight yells as she breaks free of the Arcanum, running for cover as fast as her little hooves can take her.

Those left in the stadium barely have time to react as all the pent up magical energy explodes outward from the center of the Red Stone of Aja in a catastrophic explosion. Like the sound of a thousand pounds of fine china being blown to bits, the single most priceless artifact in Equestria explodes. The barrier around the stone, unable to withstand its might, instantly crumbles to pieces in a single flash of Crimson light. Every mare and stallion falls to the floor from the sheer force of the blast as hundreds of thousands of shards of the Red stone are sent spiraling far into the atmosphere, their trajectory directed upwards from the Arcanum’s feedback.

Like a rain of shooting stars streaking across the skies, thousands of pounds of magically charged stone begins to rain down all over the land of Equestria. Each shard and fragment glows with an eerie red light that refracts the starlight above as it tumbles through the stratosphere. This single event, an accident of epic proportions, would go on to be known as the night of shooting stars, and, at the time, was celebrated by ponies all across the land as a beautiful accompaniment to the Lunar Eclipse.

Countless ponies would never know that what they thought of as a display of their princess’s power over the stars was a massive catastrophe, that would have such dire and longstanding consequences, that it would change the very shape of their world.

And that night, unknown to the ponies of the land of Equestria, would signal the beginning of all the things that were to come.

……………………..

As the dust begins to settle around her, Twilight coughs out some of the latent magically charged dirt, a lingering effect of the ionized Red Stones, as she slowly rises to her hooves. “Well…. I’m alive I guess….” Looking around at the scene of disarray around her, Twilight makes out the silhouettes of her brother and Zecora, as well as other disoriented members of the Royal guards. “We’re all alive….. We took a point nine magical blast point blank and we’re all right! Wow I guess I have to thank Shining after all, if it wasn’t for that barrier I’m not sure that we would have made it.”

Twilight sighs as she lowers her head in shame. “Good. Now maybe I’ll live long enough for Princess Celestia to banish me to the…… CELESTIA!”

Her own imminent banishment forgotten, Twilight turns around to see the stage behind her to find her mentor lying prone and scorched upon it. Celestia’s body, normally the picture of pristine beauty, is now covered in countless wounds and magical burns as she lies on her side completely still.

“Princess!” Teleporting over to her mentor in the space of a second, Twilight buries her face in her Princess’s chest. Trying to drown out the sound of her own frantic heartbeat, Twilight listens for any signs of life in her mentor. Seconds blur into years as the lavender mare begs any powers that will listen that her princess still lives. Her own life, her fate, her failure is completely inconsequential as she begs fate that life will return to a mare she loves as a mother, to a mare that is truly irreplaceable to her in every sense of the word.

Ba-Dump.

Twilight’s face brightens as hope once again returns to her tumultuous heart.

Ba-dump.

Her smile returns as her fears fade away, banished by a small and simple sound that she had taken for granted her entire life, the sound of a heart beating. Suddenly, the white goddess begins to stir, groaning as if awakened from sleep. Her eyes blink groggily, as she registers the presence of her student by her side. Twilight, unable to endure the emotional tension another second longer, lets loose a cascade of gentle tears, overjoyed that in this merciless world that sometimes things turn out for the best.

“…..Twilight?” the goddess asks.

“Yes, Celestia, I’m here. It’s all over now, you’re going to be fine…” Twilight assures with tears in her eyes.

“…..Lu…… Luna…. Is she…. Is my sister….. Is she…….”

Nightmare moon! Twilight completely forgot about her! Her entire body tense, the mare looks across the stage, spying another prone shape off to the side. Twilight’s body becomes almost frozen in fear, as the thought of a great dark demon rising from the ashes to suck their blood fills the crevices of her mind.

However, to her great surprise, the figure that she sees is not a notorious demon, but a very pony looking creature with a light dark blue coat and light blue mane. All in all, the figure before her looks like any normal pony she could find on the street, save perhaps the fact that she possesses both a horn and wings, as well as the black blot surrounding her cutie mark of a crescent moon, no doubt the residue of left over dark magic. Though the figure’s mark was strikingly similar to the Nightmare’s, her mark seems to represents the beauty and majesty of the night, rather than the terror of the dark that Nightmare Moon represented not too long ago when she descended from the moon seeking revenge and death.

‘But is she still the same’ Twilight muses ‘or is this really……..’

Twilight’s train of thought is cut off suddenly, as the blue mare opens her eyes, staring directly into the unicorn’s soul with frightening powers of perception. The two mares retain contact, as the blue mare rises shakily to her hooves, both mares staring the other down, unwilling to give the other any ground mentally or physically. Eventually the silence is dissipated as Twilight, being the younger of the two, cannot hold her tongue any longer. “Um, Princess Luna? Is… is that really you?”

The blue mare counters with silence.

“You’re not going to go all evil on us again?” Twilight asks.

Again silence.

“Are you hurt? That was some explosion…..”

The blue mare stares into her eyes, judging her with an intensity that can scarcely be understood. Finally she responds “I don’t know….. I feel better than I should, but…..” The blue mare looks to the prone form of her elder sister, her body exhausted and scorched, her golden armor rent and singed from the force of the spells beyond mortal ken.

Suddenly the eyes of the two siblings lock and, after what seems like an eternity Celestia manages to muster enough strength to speak “…..Sister……… you…….. You…….”

The blue mare recoils in terror from her sister, as if she were a ravenous beast. “I need to get away from here!” she declares with no small amount of fear. Without another word the alicorn charges her blue horn with an intensity rivaling that of the brightest star, as she prepares to teleport away from her locale.

Twilight rushes towards her “Wait! Princess Luna! Wai….” However before she can reach the long lost alicorn the princess of the moon vanishes into thin air leaving Twilight falling to her rump in defeat.

“………Luna……..” Celestia moans.

Realizing that she has just left her teacher alone in her hour of weakness, Twilight rushes back over to her Princess, clasping her hoof reassuringly. “Don’t worry princess, I don’t know for sure, but from the look of it, it appears that the Arcanum worked. Nightmare….. Princess Luna…. That is…. Ummmmmmmmm.” The student fumbles with her words as she tries to assure her mentor.

“She probably just needs some time to herself!” Twilight states with faltering certainty. “Yeah that’s it, she probably just needs time to sort all this complicated stuff out, that’s all! And once she comes back it’ll all be fine and everything will be sunshine and rainbows and you can be sisters again….. and …….. and…..” Twilight fumbles as she works at combining as many comforting phrases together as possible in a vain attempt to alleviate the mood of her heart-stricken mentor.

Celestia is as silent as death, as all she can do is stare vacantly at the space that her sister used to occupy.

“Princess Celestia?” Twilight says “I know that I really messed up today….. but you said that you trusted me.” Twilight dons the greatest look of resolve that she can muster. “Then you can trust me on this. Your sister Princess Luna is fine. Everything is going to be fine, I promise.”

After what seems like the longest and most disappointing night of her life a gentle smile crosses Celestia’s tired muzzle. “….she’s …… fine? Good…… as long as she’s fine……. Then……… I am……. Too…………….” The monarch of the sun, exhausted from her day and her near death experience finally drifts off to sleep, cradled in the arms of her most trusted student.

Twilight breathes a sigh of immense relief as she stares down at her mentor. “Well, at least one thing went right tonight…….”

“Twilly!” A familiar voice calls out.

“Twilight dear!” another voice joins in as both Shining armor and Zecora rush up towards the lavender mare and their monarch.

“Shining! Zecora! Thank goodness you’re alright. Is everypony else okay?”

Zecora lowers her head in shame. “There are no casualties here my dear. But the destruction of the stone is a concern almost as great as Nightmare Moon’s escape.”

“Zecora is right. The destruction of the Red stone is nothing short of a national catastrophe! What did you do Twilly?”

“Hunh?” Twilight asks, trying to play as dumb as possible, a difficult feat for a genius with an IQ of 180. “I don’t know what you are talking about big brother! What makes you think that I had anything to do with what happened?”

Zecora stares down Twilight with her piercing gaze, causing her to back up as Zecora’s condemnation grows ever closer. “Twilight Sparkle. This is a matter of national security. This is no time for games. When I mentioned the new runes that we were adding to the circle you seemed ignorant of them and seconds before the blast occurred you told us all to run for cover.” Twilight’s retreat finally fails causing her to fall on her rump. “Now, Twilight, I know that you have only the best intentions but I must ask. What. Did. You. Do?”

Twilight’s normally razor sharp mind stops functioning almost instantly in the wake of Zecora’s accusations. Twilight’s brain freezes over, as the various high magi and military ponies gather around the purple mare in order to hear her ‘valid’ and ‘logical’ explanation for why everything went wrong, her amazingly high IQ producing no ways to escape the hole that she has dug herself into.

“Well Twilight?” Shining Armor chimes in. “Please, tell me Zecora is wrong. Please tell me that you didn’t have anything to do with this!”

Twilight’s brain finally comes back from vacation as her stalled mind begins to think again. ‘Alright, this is no time for stalling now. Come on, think brain! This is the one chance you have to explain yourself before you are banished to the moon for a thousand years. Think of something clever and logical that explains you just wanted to make the circle magic circle more efficient and better able to cleanse Celestia’s blood sister of corruptive magics. Then they will see that it is not your fault that a priceless artifact that is tantamount to the military strength of the nation exploded!’

Twilight, demonstrating amazing resolve in the face of pressure, rises to her hooves with dramatic flair. With social grace befitting the private student of the ruler of the country, she clears her voice in a solemn way, and raises her hoof, her entire body prepared to deliver the most eloquent speech in her life. The speech that her entire life depends upon. Finally her mouth opens and a torrent of words pours out.

“wiuhiuahifuwadhuaifhiuauriwweeygytrewwqasdfvgyyuhkikjnkkolllkjhggfvbnjnnggfdxsxszazszsswefghhuiopopoijukuhrfhguiufvkhdhughufhuuhdshilssdjicslkmsfjkjfdvmdsudgrurungnhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.” And with that brilliant piece of literary genius, Twilight Sparkle falls over, fainting dead away from the waking world.

………… 12 hours later…………..

The same lavender mare who had fainted away in front of a crowd of twenty, stands before the throne in front the highest power in the land of Equestria, none other than princess Celestia. Channeling her inner tapeworm, Twilight crouches as low to the ground as possible, as she stands in judgment at the very hooves of she has spent her entire life trying not to disappoint. The very goddess that raises the sun and the moon, one of the strongest and wisest creatures in the world, a living god in body mind and soul, and Twilight had failed her. Standing before the solar throne in a room devoid of any pony aside from her aide Zecora, the solar monarch stares down upon her apprentice, as Twilight seems to be melting into the floor.

The lavender mare muses on the fact that she could be disintegrated on the spot and no pony would even know. But even more painful to her is the fact that she knows, despite everything, that she deserves it. More crushing than the mare’s disappointment in herself, is her abusing the very faith Celestia had put in her skills and abilities. Celestia trusted her, Twilight Sparkle, to help her save her sister and now Luna is gone to goddess only knows, and the most valuable object in Equestria has been destroyed at her hooves. Banishment to the moon is far too good for ponies like her.

‘Why doesn’t she just say something already?’ The scum known as Twilight Sparkle thinks to herself. ‘Why doesn’t she just banish me to the moon already? I can’t take the pressure anymore! Just say something! Anything!

Finally, after minutes of complete silence, the princess opens her mouth. “Well…..” the princess of the sun begins “…..it seems that we are in a bit of a pickle now aren’t we.”

“A bit of a pickle…….” Twilight stares aghast at her mentor. “A BIT OF A PICKLE!?! Princess Celestia I destroyed one of the most valuable and priceless objects in the entire kingdom with nothing to show for it! A bit of a pickle doesn’t even begin to describe the mess that we are in now!” Twilight lets her frustrations out on a fury of self destructive words. “Now thanks to me the means to obtain powerful magical abilities, to obtain Stand powers, is now scattered across the whole of Equestria!”

“Twilight…”

“I don’t understand why you are not taking this seriously! I deserve to be banished from Equestria!”

“Twilight……”

“…..Or be thrown in a dungeon!”

“Twilight…………”

“Or be banished and be thrown in a dungeon in the place that I’m banished to! I don’t deserve to…”

“ENOUGH TWILIGHT SPARKLE!” Manifesting the full power of the royal canterlot voice, Celestia breaks her student out of her manic rant. “HOLD YOUR TONGUE HENCEFORTH SO THAT WE MIGHT CONVEY WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY TO THOU!”

The purple unicorn cowers on the ground as she prepares to face judgment for her crimes against the kingdom of Equestria, her entire body shivering in fear at the wrath of her mentor.

As suddenly as it appeared, the wrathful visage of the monarch of the sun fades away, leaving behind the mentor Twilight knows and respects. “Forgive me Twilight, but what I what I have to say is something that you need to hear.”

Twilight leans forward gently in order to better hear the princess’s words. ‘This is it! This is the point where the ever so perfect princess banishes the foolish failure of a mage! Goodbye Equestria! Goodbye Shiny! Goodbye Canterlot!’

“What happened to the Red Stone of Aja….” Celestia takes a deep breath. “Was not your fault.”

Never had Twilight been more surprised in her life than she had in this moment. In fact, if one had keen ears, they might be able to hear all the gears in her brain grinding to a complete and sudden stop. As if doubting her own senses, Twilight pulls herself off the floor and cleans the wax out of her ears with the aid of her magic. “That’s funny, my ears appeared to have malfunctioned there for a second, I thought you said that what happened to the Red stone of Aja wasn’t my fault.”

Celestia chuckles. “That Is because it wasn’t your fault Twilight Sparkle.”

“What.” Twilight’s entire mental being breaks down in the wake of an inconceivable possibility.

Celestia smiles gently. “After I recovered from magical exhaustion, I went over the entire Arcanum myself and from what I say your last minute modification actually improved the spell’s effectiveness, just as you predicted.”

“What.”

“What I mean to say…” Celestia resumes “Is that your change to the Arcanum had no effect on the Red Stone of Aja’s destruction. You are completely in the clear my dear student.”

“What.”

“Twilight, do you understand what I am saying to you?”

“What.”

Celestia rolls her eyes. “It seems Twilight’s train of thought has crashed again.”

“Shall we wait for her to regain her senses?” Zecora asks.

“What.”

“No this looks like it’s going to be a long one Zecora, and as it stands now we have precious little time.” A faint glow illuminates from the monarch’s horn, as she spins a storm cloud into existence directly above the stuttering unicorn.

“What.”

“I am sorry, Twilight, but desperate times call for desperate measures.” Igniting her horn with a flash of yellow light, a single bolt of lightning from the cloud shocks the mare to her senses; her body shivering from the brief display of electro-shock therapy.

“Uggggggggggggg” The singed purple mare groans on the floor as she body discharges small arcs of electricity.

“Twilight? Are you okay now?” Celestia asks timidly.

“Uggggggg thanks Princess I really needed that.” Pulling herself off the floor, Twilight stands before the princess again. “Now where was I………….. Oh yes, WHAT?! How could I not be responsible? There wasn’t a problem with the Red Stone and there wasn’t a problem with you, so the problem must have been the Arcanum! And since I was the only one to modify it before the ritual, it must be…...”

“Actually Twilight….” The princess interrupts “….in a way it was my fault that the ritual failed.”

“What.”

Celestia’s voice rumbles like thunder. “Do not start that again Twilight Sparkle.”

Twilight gulps “C-Continue Princess.”

“As I was saying….” the princess continues, her voice tinged with regret, “It seems like I heavily underestimated the strain that two goddess level entities would put on the Red Stone.” Celestia admits. “I had thought that between Shining Armor’s Shield and the Arcanum that any excess magical power would be dealt with. However, our two energies combined were far too much of a strain for the Red Stone to handle. It’s like two professional wrestlers decided to fight on top of a table, no matter how strong it is, even the most stable of objects can fall apart if enough strain is placed upon it.”

Twilight’s mind wheels about as all her previous expectations of banishment and guilt are smashed to pieces. “Sooooo……. You aren’t going to banish me and throw me in a dungeon in the place that I’m banished to?”

Celestia chuckled at this. “Twilight Sparkle, believe me when I tell you this. Even if you were responsible for the destruction of the Red stone, I would never banish my precious student for something that they had no control over.”

Twilight’s eyes begin to tear up “Princess…”

“That being said….” The princess of the sun rises from her throne and begins to walk down the steps in front of her. “I have an important task for you Twilight. One that I only trust you to perform.” Coming to a stop in front of her student, Celestia stares into her eyes. “The question is, do you feel up to it?”

Leaping in the air in excitement and the opportunity to redeem herself, Twilight cries out in joy. “YES! YES, I Would love to help out in any way I can Princess!”

Realizing that leaping around her mentor like a school filly might not be the best way to demonstrate her maturity and readiness to embark upon a dangerous task, Twilight adjusts her intensity level. “I mean, if that is you desire princess.” Twilight says as she breaks into a short bow.

Celestia smiles at the childish display of her student, however she quickly takes on a stern demeanor as she prepares to explain the importance of the task she is to assign her student. “Twilight, do you know what the common ponies are calling the incident that took place last night?”

The unicorn shakes her head ‘no’ as Celestia continues. “They are calling it The Night of Falling Stars. Fortunately, since the summer Sun Celebration was in full swing, the ponies of Equestria thought the thousands of Red stones falling across the sky were an attempt at celebration. They even took the lack of the mare on the moon as an artistic change.” Celestia chuckles. “In fact, I have received several compliments from members of the nobility about the ‘artistic liberties’ that I am taking with the night sky.”

Twilight giggles at the idea of ponies thanking Celestia for something as frivolous as changing the appearance of the moon. However, her mirthful behavior is immediately cut off by her mentor’s serious appearance.

”This is no laughing matter Twilight.” Celestia states. “I spent hundreds of years denying my own sister as a mere legend for fear that when she did return to me, her past crimes would haunt her and drive the ponies whom she loved away from her. As a result few ponies even know the reality of my sister or her return.”

“But….. But she’s not evil any more. Right?” Twilight asks cautiously. “You said yourself the circle worked, and I saw her! She didn’t have any of that evil aura that I felt coming from Nightmare Moon. And you said yourself that the Arcanum worked…. Right?”

Celestia looks at her student with a haunted look in her eyes. “I certainly hope so, Twilight. I certainly hope so.” Her mentor, the goddess that moves the sun and moon, does something that Twilight has never seen her do before, she looks worried. However, realising she is in the presence of her student, Celestia quickly brushes these worries aside. “But that is not your that task that I have assigned to you. I shall handle finding my sister, what I am having you do is a far more immediate concern.”

Gesturing to the window, Celestia leads her student to a view that looks over half of the nation of Equestria. “Twilight, do you know why we gradually expose those in our solar guard to the red stone and subject them to rigorous psychological testing?”

“That’s easy Princess” Twilight chirps, as she is once more immersed in her element of facts and academia. “It’s because manifesting stand power takes a great deal of latent magical power in order to properly manifest, and if the pony who manifests a stand is not of sound mind, they might manifest a dangerous power, or worse yet, be unable to control their own stand.”

“That is correct, so please tell me Twilight.” Celestia, monarch of the sun, turns to face Twilight with a grave look on her face. “What would happen if a pony with insufficient magical power and a week will was exposed to the Red Stone?”

“Well….” The purple unicorn thinks deeply at this question. “There are not many documented cases in the guard since they train so rigorously mentally, spiritually and physically. But if a pony who had insufficient will or magical power was exposed to enough of the Red Stone, it would force their stand to manifest too quickly and…… oh no.”

Celestia’s grave face reveals her inner worry. “I believe you now see the problem Twilight.”

“If-if the user’s magical power isn’t strong enough the stand…” Twilight’s voice cracks as she gulps heavily “…..will drain the user’s vial life-force until they…….. until they die. And even if the user manages to survive, if they are unstable or possess a week will their stand may go berserk or develop a power that actively harms others!”

Celestia nods. “And now that the red stones are scattered over Equestria there is no telling how many ponies might be exposed to its effects.”

Twilight raises her head as she looks out the window, picturing the myriad of horrible possibilities that could be taking place in the kingdom of Equestria. “We have to find the Red Stones as quickly as possible!”

Celestia nods affirmatively. “I have already dispatched most of the solar guard across Equestria, with their stand powers they should be able to locate the Red Stones and deal with any rogue stand users that they encounter, and you must join them.”

“ME?” Twilight asks. “But I… don’t have a stand….”

Sensing her student’s distress, Celestia drapes her large left wing over her student in an comforting gesture. “You will manifest it when the time is right. But now I need as many capable ponies as possible to help protect my subjects and I cannot think of any pony more capable, resourceful, and kind than you Twilight.”

Twilight looks at the ground, thinking over her current situation. On one hoof, she feels utterly unprepared for the task ahead of her; she’s never been outside in the world, everything that she knows is here in Canterlot. And what if she’s not prepared? What if somepony depends upon her to save them and she fails?

Her heart sinks into her stomach as she feels a gentle alabaster hoof raise her head. Celestia raises Twilight’s vision away from the ground so that she is looking straight into her eyes, eyes that could never be disappointed in her student so long as she tries her best.

Suddenly it all becomes clear to her, Celestia trusts her because she knows that the purple unicorn always tries. It is because she refuses to give up that her mentor trusts her so absolutely, and as long as she tries her best she will not be fail.

Raising her hoof to her head, Twilight gives the princess an official salute of the solar guard. “You can count on me Princess! I’ll give it my all, just point me in the right direction!”

Smiling at her student’s newfound confidence, Celestia focuses her magic into her horn, causing a fully packed saddle bag to appear on Twilight’s back. “I have already taken the effort to send you to a small town nearby that according to reports should have a large number of ponies affected by the Red Stones. Knowing that you would most likely want to leave as soon as you heard, I had Zecora pack your bags, so that you could leave the moment you were ready.”

Twilight, opening the bag with her magic finds that it indeed is filled to the brim with everything she could need. “You’ll find the train ticket in your bag that will take you to the town. There you will act as the princess representative there and insure that not only are the towns ponies taken care of, but that you gather the Red Stones and any other dangerous artifacts found as secretly as possible. And should you find any other strange magical forces, you should report them to me immediately.” Raising her head in pride Celestia looks over her student again. “Now that won’t be a problem will it?”

Brimming with enthusiasm, the purple mare looks her mentor in the eyes. “No Princess, it won’t. And don’t worry, I’ll make sure that no pony comes to harm in the town of…… What town am I going to again?”

“Ponyville, my precious student.” Celestia smiles. “You are going to Ponyville.”

“Right, Ponyville.” Twilight turns around awkwardly as she prepares to trot out the door. “Well…… I should be on my way…..”

Raising her hoof demurely, Celestia calls out to her student just as she prepares to leave “Wait Twilight, there is one more thing that I have for you before you leave.”

Twilight cocks her head to the side. “Something else Princess? Is it a book!? Is it the Magical Spell craft and practicalities By Silver text? You know the one that I have been looking forward to getting ever since, well forever. Is it a book?”

Celestia shakes her head. “No, my precious student. It is something far more valuable than a simple book.”

“More valuable than a book? What could possibly be more valuable than a…” Twilight’s words are cut off as the monarch of the sun pulls her student into a deep embrace, hugging her student gently as warmth both physical and spiritual seeps into Twilight’s very core. This is not an embrace of lovers; it is a soft and caring act, an act of familial love and intimacy. The kind of thing that a caring mother would give to a frightened child on a stormy day, to assure them that everything will be all right. Twilight immediately melts in the embrace, all the mistakes of the past, the tension of the present and the fears of the future fading away in the magnanimous intensity of her mentor’s love for her.

Letting her student go, Celestia speaks gently to her. “Be safe, Twilight. Above all, the things you have to do, out of all the troubles that you will have to face, your most important task is to come back safely to me. Do you understand now how important it is for you to come back safely?”

Twilight lets a single joyful tear drip down her mentor’s coat as she begins to realize once again how much she means to her mentor. “Princess……” Wiping the faint remnant of tears from her eyes, she looks again at her mentor. “You’ve got it Princess! Don’t worry about me, I’ll be back soon.”

Now with nothing else holding her down, she bolts out of the throne room door, only stopping once to wave goodbye to her mentor as she leaves behind the only home that she has known for an adventure of enormous proportions. As she leaves, a smile of both faint sorrow and immense pride graces the Monarch’s face as she watches the mare that she thinks of as her own child leaves home for the first time into the world beyond.

“She’ll be fine.” Celestia assures herself “I know her and trained her myself. She is at that age where she has to begin to learn things for herself now, and I know that she will be ready to face whatever comes her way.” With a flick of her magic, Celestia shuts the doors to her throne room, leaving her alone once again.

“Ahem, Princess.”

Well almost alone. “What is it Zecora?” Celestia says as she turns to face her secretary behind her.

“Princess, I am relieved to see that Twilight is doing better.” Zecora clears her throat. “But was lying to her for the best? I do not mean to question your highness but is this some form of test for her? Or did you just seek to spare her feelings?”

Playing coy with her aide, Celestia puts her hoof to her mouth to hide the slight smile that is forming beneath her hoof. “Oh Zecora? Whatever do you mean?”

Zecora shakes her head “As the Shamans of my land say: To tell a lie is sometimes right, but the truth is better not to fight.”

Caught of guard by Zecora’s curt response Celestia blinks, “You mean that telling her that she was responsible for the destruction of the Red Stone would be better than telling her it was my fault?”

With a curt nod Zecora confirms Celestia’s suspicions, causing Celestia to sigh heavily in response.

Looking at the door where her prized student left, Celestia responds. “It is true that she is responsible for this looming catastrophe in the loose sense of the word. However, it is the truth that Twilight is not guilty of the crime of destroying the Red Stone because she lacked the intent behind such an action.” Celestia remarks sagely as she turns back to face Zecora “Without the burden of her actions to weigh her down, I am sure that Twilight will succeed in gathering up the pieces of ‘it’ without any great trouble.”

“And who knows?” Celestia continues “perhaps this is part of some divine plan, and everything will work out for the best.”

Zecora is shocked at this. “Princess! With all due respect, you surely don’t mean that. The loss of a national treasure such as the Red stone and the exposure of countless of our own citizens is anything but a good thing.”

“I do not claim to know the future Zecora.” Celestia admits as she looks out the window over her empire. “Despite all my wisdom and insight, I can only guess what it has in store for us. Perhaps this so called catastrophe will pave the way for a new tomorrow.” Signaling for Zecora to follow her Celestia walks out the door to the throne room “Now come Zecora, we must turn our own attention to a more important task. The task of finding my only sister.”

Author's Note:

Chapter END: Status:
Area Discovered: Canterlot Castle!
Party Status: Main Character Chosen: TWILIGHT SPARKLE
Enemies: Nightmare Moon
Stand: Requiem for a Nightmare
Status: Defeated!
Allies: Princess Celestia
Stand: Walking on Sunshine
Captain of the Royal Guard: Shining Armor
Stand: ??????
Princess Secretary: Zecora
Stand: ??????
Items gained: Train Ticket to Ponyville
Bags filled with Supplies
Items lost: Red stone of AJA:
Destroyed!
MOVE TO NEXT STAGE! →

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