• Published 15th Mar 2017
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Of Heaven and Earth - Garuda IV



It's been over a thousand years since Sol was hidden away and sealed in crystal. Now freed by Twilight and her friends, he must readjust to the present while also having to deal with old grudges both from and against him.

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Chapter 2- The Book

Author's Note:

There's a bit of a time leap between the last chapter and this one, but it won't be a reoccurring thing.

Two years had passed since Twilight's battle with Tirek. Since then, Twilight and her friends have gone on numerous adventures. They've liberated an isolated village from the unicorn, Starlight Glimmer, who had a penchant for stealing cutie marks, and later managed to reform her and is now living with Twilight as her pupil. They visited Shining Armor and Cadence in the Crystal Empire at the news of their daughter, Princess Flurry Heart, being born, and reunited Starlight with her long lost friend, Sunburst, who helped save the Crystal Empire by restoring the shattered Crystal Heart.

Several other major events happened since then, such as when they accompanied Spike to the Dragon Lands, where he befriended the dragoness, Princess Ember, and after winning the Gauntlet of Fire and becoming the new Dragon Lord, passed it off to Ember, believing that she'd make a great ruler instead of him. Other moments included Spike, Twilight, and Starlight traveling to the Crystal Empire where Spike befriended a lone changeling named Thorax, Rainbow becoming a full-fledged Wonderbolt, Starlight befriending Trixie, and many more.

But the biggest of all was Chrysalis, who'd replaced most of Equestria's important ponies in a plot to take over Equestria and harvest the ponies' love. With a suicide squad consisting of Starlight, Trixie, Discord, and Thorax, they traveled to the Changeling Kingdom and infiltrated the Hive. After Discord and Trixie used themselves as bait to give them a chance, Starlight and Thorax confronted Chrysalis and her guards in the throne room, where Chrysalis then proceeded to drain Thorax of his love. Seeing Thorax being drained, Starlight told him to give Chrysalis all of his love, resulting in a blast that knocked her back into her throne before he became wrapped in a magical cocoon. When Thorax emerged in the form of a true changeling, it inspired the rest of the changelings to follow his lead. With their power unleashed all at once, they destroyed Chrysalis' throne and freed her captives. With everypony who'd been captured now free and the changelings reformed, Starlight offered the defeated Chrysalis the same offer of friendship that Twilight offered her. However, instead of accepting it, Chrysalis swore vengeance against Starlight and fled. Since then, Thorax has led the changelings, while the ponies, Spike, and Discord returned to Equestria.

Which brings us to today.

On this day, the anniversary of Tirek's attack, Twilight and Spike stood by the hole in the ground where their library home once stood. Spreading a blanket, the two shared a picnic together as they remembered all of the fun times that they had there. Though it was a little bittersweet at times, it was still something that they looked forward to these last few years.

Looking up at the sun, Twilight figured it to be just past 2p.m., so she and Spike began to pack their picnic up.

"You think that they would've filled this thing in by now," Spike commented. "I mean, who wants a giant hole in the ground in the middle of town?"

"I agree, Spike," Twilight nodded. "I'll schedule a meeting with Mayor Mare and have a talk with her about it. At the very least there should be something around it to keep little foals from accidentally falling into it."

"No kidding."

Packing up their picnic, Twilight and Spike made their way back to their crystal castle and went inside. Putting the picnic supplies away, the two entered the main library where Starlight was seen with her head in a large cardboard box.

"Hey, Starlight," Spike called.

Hearing her name, Starlight poked her head up out of the box. "Oh. Hi, Spike, Twilight."

"Hello," Twilight returned before eyeing the box. "Is that the new shipment of books Princess Celestia said she'd send us?"

"Sure is! You wouldn't believe all the different kinds of books she sent!"

With a gleam of excitement in Twilights' eyes, she and Spike walked over to see what Celestia had sent them. Ruffling through the packing peanuts, they found several spellbooks, a few history books, some novels, one of which Twilight immediately proceeded to hide from Spike with a blush, and one very, very familiar book.

"Hey, Twilight, look at what Princess Celestia sent us," Spike happily said, holding up a book of Predictions and Prophecies.

Twilight smiled at the book that essentially started her journey here and sighed.

"I've missed that book. I'm actually kinda surprised that I haven't requested a copy of it sooner."

"Uh-huh."

Noticing something, Twilight leaned in and squinted at the book. "It looks like it's a little worn with age, so be sure to be extra careful with it, okay, Spike?"

"I promise."

With the last of the books removed from the box, Twilight and Starlight took a few books to sit down and read with, while Spike sat down with Predictions and Prophecies to read through. Flipping past the cover, Spike immediately noticed that the parchment had yellowed slightly over time with age.

Huh, guess it really is old, he thought.

Flipping past the introductory page, Spike looked at the table of contents and smiled as he saw the familiar chapters. However, as he read through them all, he paused and went back to check them all again. Confused, he looked up from his book.

"Hey, Twilight?"

"Yes?"

"How many chapters were in Predictions and Prophecies?"

"One hundred and fifty chapters," she immediately answered.

Glancing back down, Spike then flipped the book around for Twilight to see. "Then why do I count one hundred and fifty-five chapters?"

Twilight quirked an eyebrow. "That can't be right. I distinctly remember there being a hundred and fifty."

"Not according to this one."

Curious, Twilight and Starlight walked over and took a look themselves. Going through the list, the two mares blinked and went through it again.

"He's right," Starlight said in surprise.

"But that's impossible!" Twilight exclaimed. "I've memorized ever chapter in this book, so there's no way that-"

"Hey, what's with these initials?"

Twilight paused and slowly blinked. "... what?"

"Yeah. Somepony left their initials down in the bottom-right corner here."

Twilight's eyes burned with fury. "Who in the name of Celestia would write in a book?!"

Darting her eyes down to the intruding ink marks, Twilight glared at it as she saw two letters.

"S.B.? Who the hoof is S.B.?!"

Looking over the letters, Spike's eyes widened slightly in recognition.

"Hold that thought, Twilight."

Running over to a nearby bookshelf, Spike ran his claw along the books until he found the one he was looking for and brought it back to them. Opening the pages, Spike scanned through it until his claw stopped on a familiar signature. Seeing who it belonged to, Spike took the Predictions and Prophecy book and sat it side-by-side with the other one he'd picked up as he compared the signatures.

"I thought I recognized it," he muttered in surprise.

"Do you know who did this, Spike?" Twilight heatedly asked.

"Yeah, and you're gonna love it."

"How can I possibly love that fact that somepony wrote in a book?!"

Spike stepped to the side, but kept his claw on the name. "Because that signature belongs to none other than Starswirl the Bearded!"

Twilight blinked in surprise before checking it out for herself. Seeing that Spike had gotten the book with Starswirl's signature to compare it to, she then proceeded to compare the two signatures herself with a scrutinizing eye. Several minutes later, Twilight squeed happily and started bouncing around.

"IT'S HIS! THAT'S HIS SIGNITURE! HOW COULD I HAVE MISSED THAT?!"

Recovering from the sudden squeal of joy, Starlight rubbed her ears.

"What are you-"

"This book was personally written by the Starswirl the Bearded!" Twilight beamed. "I'm willing to bet that if I ran the parchment through some age tests that I would find out that it came from his time period!"

It was then that a thought came to Spike's mind. "So if this was personally written by Starswirl, then would that make this book a first edition?"

Twilight's eyes shimmered and she squeed again. "This is the best surprise ever!"

"I'm happy to see that this is making you so happy, Twilight," Starlight began, "but what about the other five chapters that shouldn't be there?"

Twilight paused as she came down from her joyous high. "Oh, right... we should read it now!"

Picking Starlight and Spike up in her magic, Twilight pranced over to a nearby couch where she plopped the two down and sat in between them.

"We could've walked you know?"

"Sorry, Starlight," Twilight blushed in embarrassment. "I just get so excited when I find something like this!"

"Yeah, we've noticed," she smirked.

Eager to start reading it, Twilight was about to turn to the first chapter when Spike stopped her and requested that he'd get them some snacks for while reading. With an exasperated sigh, Twilight agreed and waited for Spike to get back. Five minutes later, he returned with some drinks and a bowl of popcorn.

"Okay, maybe waiting for the snacks was a good idea," Twilight admitted. "Thank you, Spike."

"Sure, no problem."

Not wasting anymore time, Twilight quickly turned to the first chapter. As they read through it, they came upon a few new chapters, one of which caught their attention as it spoke of a hidden kingdom within Equestria. Believing it to refer to the Crystal Empire since it had vanished, they skipped over it and proceeded onward, eventually coming to the familiar illustrations regarding the return of Nightmare Moon, to which Twilight smiled fondly over with the memories that that night held for her.

Moving past, they continued reading it until Celestia's sun set and Luna's moon rose. Taking notice of the lack of sunlight, Starlight looked up to the window and saw it was dark outside.

"Wow. How long have we been here reading this?"

"I have no idea!" Twilight happily chirped.

"Uhh, Twilight? Maybe we should call it a night?" Spike suggested.

"Aww. Come on, Spike. One more?"

Seeing her giving him the puppy dog eyes, Spike crossed his arms with a huff.

"Fine. One more."

Giving him a quick hug, Twilight turned the page which, much to their luck and enjoyment, was one of the five new chapters. However, this one wasn't quite like the others as it struck managed to strike a chord with Twilight.

Behind Harmony's tree, a great secret lies.
Hidden deep away, his chamber resides.

He sleeps peacefully in a crystal of red.
Sealed to return in Equestria's time of dread.

But a warning to those of him you seek.
The son of Heaven and Earth, nopony should speak.

Only Harmony's Champions can open the door.
The key to Sol, and Equestria's hidden lore.

Spike and Starlight blinked at the page.

"Is this supposed to be a prediction, a prophecy, or a riddle?" Spike questioned.

"From what I've heard of Starswirl the Bearded? It's hard to say," Starlight replied. "What about you, Twilight?"

Spike and Starlight faced Twilight, who was staring at the page.

"Twilight? You okay?"

Snapping her attention away from the book, Twilight rubbed her eyes.

"Sorry, Starlight. I was... thinking."

"Looked like it kinda hurt," Spike chuckled, earning him a playful shove from Twilight.

"I'm fine. I was just... remembering something from a while ago."

Starlight and Spike shared a look. "You wanna talk about it?"

"Well..." Twilight paused as she thought about it. "... I'm not really sure, Starlight. I remember bringing it up with Princess Celestia, but she seemed kinda..."

"Happy?"

"Upset?"

"... sad. Kinda like with Princess Luna, only different."

Starlight let out a sleepy yawn. "Well, how about we sleep on it for tonight and we'll talk about it in the morning?"

"Yeah. I think that would be a good idea."

"Me too."

Jumping up from his spot, Spike started putting the books back in their place on the shelves.

"I'll get the snacks if you two wanna head on off to bed."

Though grateful for his offer, Starlight shook her head. "Thanks, Spike, but it wouldn't be right for me to just leave all of this for you to do by yourself."

"Thanks, Starlight."

Happy to help, Starlight used her magic to pick up their snacks and drinks and headed to the kitchen. While Spike and Starlight were busy doing that, Twilight looked over the book again and felt herself being torn between listening to Celestia and stay away from this, and going on an adventure with her friends to find Sol.

I don't want to disappoint the Princess by pursuing this, especially since she asked me not to, she mentally weighed. But things have been kinda quiet and boring lately ever since Thorax took over as the new King of the Changelings.

Letting out a sigh, Twilight closed the book and rubbed her forehead.

I'll think about it later. Right now, Spike's right. Sleep is starting to sound pretty good.

Lifting the book up in her magic, Twilight brought it with her to her bedroom and sat it down on the nightstand. With it sitting nearby and within reach, Twilight crawled into her bed and turned off the lights, falling asleep soon after.


The sun rose and Twilight was already down in the kitchen making herself something to eat. Ever since she'd woken up, she'd been thinking about what Starswirl wrote and whether or not to check it out. As she thought about it, her decision was starting to tilt towards one of the options.

"Morning, Twilight."

Looking behind her, Twilight smiled when she saw Starlight walking in.

"Good morning, Starlight. How was your night?"

Starlight paused for a moment. "Honestly? It was kinda restless."

"Why's that?"

"It's just what Starswirl wrote in that book was all. It's got me thinking about-"

"How much fun it would be to check it out?" Twilight finished.

"Yes." Starlight paused as she eyed her out. "Twilight, are you thinking about...?"

Twilight nodded. "It's been on my mind all morning, and I think I've come to a decision."

"Decision about what?" Spike asked as he walked in.

Twilight took a sip of her coffee. "Spike, after breakfast, I want you to go get Rarity and Pinkie and bring them here. Starlight? You can get Applejack. I'll go get Rainbow and Fluttershy."

"Alright, but what for?" Spike asked again.

Twilight finished off her mug with a satisfied sigh. "Because we're going out on an adventure."

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