• Published 25th Jun 2012
  • 11,613 Views, 1,211 Comments

Ascension - cloudedguardian

Celestia is dying. Or at least it seems so. Afflicted with a curse that is destroying her very nature, she sets a plan in action. The Bearers of the Elements of Harmony will take the throne in her wake... Not that they know that yet...

  • ...

A Lesson With The Professor (Part 1)

A/N: Holy crap. This was not originally going to be a two part chapter, but once I got it going, it didn't want to stop, and it nearly doubled in size.... If not more. So, I've decided to break it up into two parts.

Spike found himself with a dilemma. This was not unusual, in and of itself, really, for as Twilight Sparkle’s number one assistant, he found himself in a lot of dilemmas. The more he thought about it, in fact, the more dilemmas he remembered facing. There were crazy ones, involving breakdowns and panic attacks, there were chaotic ones, usually involving Pinkie Pie, and there were even the sort where you weren’t quite sure what just happened… Those usually involved incredibly complex spells backfiring. This wasn’t any of those sort, however. This particular dilemma was both much more difficult, and far simpler than any of those previous.

Rather simply, he had a letter that he did not want to deliver.

Glaring downwards at the thick tinted parchment in his claws, Spike sighed again. He knew he had to deliver it, the seals and ribbons on it made it clear that it was of great importance, but that did not mean that he wanted to. Confessing his feelings to Rarity had been an easier decision than this… Then again, maybe plummeting to your most-likely death eased the whole “hard decision making” thing.

“You have very bad timing to show up, you know that?” He asked the scroll, furiously, as he gave it the best death glare he could muster. Being an inanimate object, of course, it gave him neither attention nor response.

With a dark sigh, he rolled it over in his claws once more to stare at the ribbons and seals that held the thick parchment shut. A black ribbon that felt like neither silk nor velvet fastened under a emerald seal that smelled strongly of the sea, and was marked with the symbol of a trident. The other ribbon felt like almost nothing at all, and was airy and bright, iridescent in pastel rainbows that tied under a white gold butterfly seal, and left the long tied off ends flowing in the non-existent wind. Rarity would love the pale ribbon, and the mental image of her claiming it with a shout of “MINE!” the moment the scroll was released from its binds brought a small smirk to Spike’s face, and eased the somewhat panicked feeling in his chest.

He didn’t know who this scroll was from, but he had a pretty good hunch, and with everything that had been going on this past week, he was rueing their choice of timing.

Things had not settled down since the girls' first day on the job. Down two advisors, and neither party wanting them back, the castle felt even more short-staffed than it usually did. Through sheer experience, Celestia had kept a surprisingly small crew perfectly functioning, and now everypony was feeling her absence. Twilight was good at organizing, and she had been given the role of Ponyville’s All-Team Winter Wrap Up Organizer for a very good reason. Unfortunately, no amount of checklists could make up the difference between ponies who want to cooperate, and those who most emphatically do not.

The castle staff was just all out reluctant to cooperate. They had been doing things one way for nearly a millennium, and it was quite clear that this was a detail they refused to forget. Spike swore that if he heard the phrase “It simply isn’t done!” one more time, he would show the pony who spoke it the difference between a dragon and an alicorn’s patience. It didn’t seem to matter what subject was at hand, the staff was stubborn, irritable, and overly dramatic. There was usually enough stress in the air by the end of the day that you could cut it with a knife and serve it to Discord for a snack.

As if this wasn’t enough of an issue on its own, Applejack just couldn’t seem to stand being around said staff for longer than an hour at a time. Ten minutes in, and she’d be shifting uncomfortably where she stood, twenty minutes, and her ears would be flat against her head. It only took a total of forty minutes for tears to start to bite at her eyes, and in another twenty she’d be running down the hall to either disappear into her room until dawn with the slam of a door, or bump roughly into one of Celestia’s old guards and be quieted with gentle encouragements, a cup of tea, and the jolly atmosphere of the barrack’s dining hall.

Spike had been present when Applejack had revealed the reason for her strange behaviour. She had, with much hesitation and worry, confessed that she had been hearing voices mocking her ever since their first day as royalty. They only seemed to occur when she was among the staff, and she couldn’t help but feel that she was slowly going mad, if, that was, she hadn’t already lost her mind amongst all the chaos. Although most of the girls had exchanged looks ranging from mild concern to near panic, Twilight had merely thought about it for a moment, and then theorized that as the Element of Honesty, Applejack may have gained the ability to hear ponies’ “true thoughts,” and that was what she had been hearing all this time.

For what was possibly the first time in his life, Spike had found himself both wholly believing in Twilight’s deduction, and desperately hoping she was wrong. It was no doubt a sentiment Twilight shared, for the moment Applejack had heard the theory, and they all acknowledged it as being the most likely, a look of horror and pain had crossed AJ’s face, and she had turned tail and fled. Pinkie had found her the next day back at Sweet Apple Acres, regalia tucked away in her mother’s old chest, and more than ready to flat out quit. Pinkie had managed to convince her to give it one more go by showing her around Ponyville and Canterlot, and letting her hear the warm praise and admiration the citizens held for her. Spike could still remember the watery but determined smile the young alicorns bore when they re-entered the castle, regalia tucked under wing.

His mind returning once more to the present, Spike looked down at the scroll once more. He knew that this single piece of parchment, as small and fancy as it was, would cause more chaos to erupt than Discord’s return. A grim smile crossed his lips as he realized how ironic it was that it would be a scroll smaller than his arm that would cause complete panic, rather than Discord’s now regular presence at the castle. The draconequus, despite all assumptions towards the latter, had done nothing all that chaotic at all. The most he had done, after arriving at the castle three days ago, was create two small clouds of various unusual properties, for him and Pinkie Pie to enjoy. When Spike had observed the two’s growing and unusual friendship, Discord had noticed him with a small grin, and had scooped up a large wad of the blue cotton candy cloud he was lounging on, and handed it to the small dragon. Spike had been quite pleasantly surprised to discover that the cloud was filled with the rich and sweet flavour of cream soda, and, leaving Pinkie to enjoy her swim in her chocolate milk, and the two beings of laughter to their quiet jokes, had gone on about his day with a skip in his step and no ill effects.

“I guess I can’t put it off forever…” With a last sigh, the young dragon pulled himself to his feet, gave the scroll one last glare, and set off down the hall towards the throne room, where Twilight was no doubt waiting.

The construction on the castle was almost finished at this point, and the Solar Court now bore two more thrones alongside Celestia’s old gold seat. Twilight had inherited her mentor’s spot, and Fluttershy and Applejack held court by her side on their own brilliant thrones on the days they had little else to do. Likewise, the Lunar Court had gained two more thrones of shining onyx, and Pinkie held what was no doubt the most cheerful royal court that Equestria had ever known with Rainbow Dash and Rarity at her side.

Spike found himself at those great gold doors perhaps a little too soon. His nervous gulp got him a sympathetic look from the two elder guards that stood on either side of the hall, and they were kind enough to wait till he had gotten his courage back to swing the doors open and grant him Queen Twilight’s complete and undivided attention. Sometimes being the Element of Magic’s number one assistant sucked.

“Oh! Spike! There you are! I was beginning to wonder what you’d gotten up to.”

Despite her warm smile, Spike wasn’t too sure about how warm and fuzzy Twilight was actually feeling. He hadn’t been able to follow everything that had happened in the past few days, but he knew that even for an alicorn, his friend was not getting enough sleep. Giving her a bit of a look, Spike took note of his mare’s frazzled mane and crooked regalia, before finding himself sighing once again.

“Staff still giving you issues?”

Twilight’s groan was all the answer he actually needed, but she continued on to give him a proper one anyway.

“With Grey Scales and what’s her face gone-“

“Cheery Chimes?”

“Mhm. With them gone, the rest of the staff just, I don’t know, it’s like they’re mad at us for firing them. The accounting room is, quite literally, filling up with paperwork and forms, and I’m pretty sure that I’m the only that can even make heads or tails of the majority of it. I contacted Grey Scales's daughter as Celestia suggested, but she’s away on business, and won’t be here till next week. Normally I’d just get Autumn and Fluttershy to help me out with it until then, but Autumn is busy with keeping Earl Gray in check as they try and sort through all the crap the staff are just flat out refusing to do, and Fluttershy’s been having magical outbursts lately, and I just don’t have time to help her, and Pinkie, and Rarity with them! There’s just way too much to do, and there just aren’t enough of me to go around.”

“So, is that the reason why the ivy in the lounge has entirely devoured the sofa in there?” Spike asked, the earlier unusual sight suddenly making much more sense.

“Ugh. Again? Yeah, that’s probably why. Plants just seem to go completely crazy whenever Fluttershy is around and upset…” Twilight sighed, flopping down in her throne just for the want of a chair. Leaning back, she gently knocked her head against the polished gold, letting her eyes slide shut with another frustrated groan.

“This is just ridiculous. Heck, even Discord, of all ponies, err, draconequi, is being more helpful than the actual castle staff!”

“Really?” He knew that Discord had been behaving himself, but he hadn’t realized that he had actually been making himself useful.

“Yeah, he’s been keeping the sky clear from all the storm clouds Rainbow Dash has managed to acquire. Turns out the little storm that followed her outburst a week ago wasn’t a coincidence. It’s just been getting worse lately too. I don’t know if I can do this Spike…” Twilight sighed, before straightening up as an idea seemed to strike her. “Do you think firing the entire staff outside of Bright Shine, Sweet Tea, and the two chefs that we actually like would be on the extreme side?”

“Maaaybe a little,” Spike chuckled, holding up two claws held an inch apart for demonstration.

Twilight chuckled as well, before giving her assistant a wry smile, “So does that mean I should, or shouldn’t?”

“It means you do what you have to,” Spike replied simply, before grimacing slightly as he held up the scroll he had been holding for the past hour.

“Because I think it’s only going to get worse.”

Twilight’s eyes widened as she slowly took the scroll from his hand with a mutter of, “Oh please tell me this isn’t what I think it is.”

“I’m hoping that it isn’t too, but-”

“It is.”

From the Eternal Courts of Sea and Sky,

The Emperor of the Unending Sky, and The Mighty Ocean’s King have declared their intent to join the new Queens of Equestria’s Land in their triennial royal visit to discuss trades and ancient alliances. They have granted their divine seals upon this scroll to prove its authenticity, and will be arriving within three days.

“Oh crap. Oh crap crap crap!” Twilight’s eyes searched the blank bottom of the letter fervently before spinning it around to show Spike with an exasperated flourish, “No signature, no contact information, no nothing?!”

“The Princess always said their messengers were brisk.” Spike muttered as he took the letter from Twilight’s anxious grasp.

“I know she did but this is quite a bit more than brisk! It’s practically rude!” She snapped, quickly taking up pacing in her fervent fussing, “And on top of that, I’ve never met them!”

“Them the messengers or them the rulers?”

“The rulers! Well, both actually, I haven’t met the messengers either, but that isn’t the point! I have no idea what I’m supposed to do! Celestia always said she’d introduce us when I was older, but all this crap happened before she could! We’re doomed, we’re so doomed.”

“Aren’t you being a little dramatic, Twi? I mean, come on, they can’t be nearly as bad as whatever you’re thinking, I know that.”

“How could you know that?!”

“Pretty simply, for two reasons. One, you always think of the worst possible thing. Always. Two, isn’t,” Spike paused to reread the letter so he could quote it in the most sarcastically dramatic way possible, “‘The Mighty Ocean’s King’ Cadence’s dad? He can’t be all that bad. Shining Armor even called him a softie.”

“…I guess you have a point. I’d kinda forgotten that they’d gone back to Cadence’s homeland after their honeymoon. Atlantis, right?”

“Yep. I’d kinda like to visit, actually, it sounds so cool.” Spike grinned, and Twilight slowly returned his smile.

“Well, if I don’t royally screw this visit up, I think the next one will be in Atlantis, so you can come along. If, you know, I don’t-”

“You won’t royally screw it up Twilight,” Spike interrupted with a hint of exasperation, “If you’re that worried about it, why don’t you take a bit of time off and actually take Celestia up on her offer? You know she’s dying to see you.”

Twilight grimaced slightly. If she was honest with herself, she’d have to admit that she’d been dying to go see her old mentor since the day she had gotten her letter… And yet, she hadn’t. Whether it was through fear or some sort of, most likely justified, anger towards the ex-Princess, Twilight wasn’t even sure. All she knew, was that when she thought of going to meet her, her stomach felt like she had swallowed a large rock, and Twilight would immediately turn her attention to some challenging task or another until exhaustion had chased the feelings away, and she could fall asleep under the night sky.

Yet, she knew Spike was right. Even without the arrival of the scroll, she knew that they needed to go talk to Celestia, if not for her sake, then for her friends. They were awakening as alicorns, each and every one of them, and Twilight was not foalish enough to think that she could help them on her own.

“Alright Spike. We’ll go see Celestia.”

Comments ( 95 )

Hmm... does Discord know about Celestia? That she's a mortal pony now, I mean? I can't imagine him not stalking her, trying to turn her back into an Alicorn and what not, yet at the same time it's clear she isn't really Celestia anymore.

He still believes she is dead, as nopony has felt the need to disagree with Rainbow Dash's decision and tell him the truth.

Dang it why did this have to stop. I'm looking forward to your next update.

Oh boy. Incoming royaltie outside the Mane 6.

I have little doubt that that will end well.

~Skeeter The Lurker

Well, I can't wait until that one blows up in their faces :trollestia:

I actually got to see it last weekend :3
It was awesome, and I look forward to buying it when it comes out on DVD.

2833853 I have it on my "watch later" list on YouTube. These days, an hour-and-a-fourth is sometimes kind of a large commitment of time, so I have to snatch it where I can... Thank God for being a night-owl with a pause button! :rainbowlaugh:

It's about time! More please!

What blasphemy is this? Leaving me hanging from a cliff until the release of the next chapter? Of all the things that could happen this is...
But, I understand, and trust the next part will be out soon. Keep up the good work.

“Do you think firing the entire staff outside of Bright Shine, Sweet Tea, and the two chefs that we actually like would be on the extreme side?”


So is Twilight going to see the former princess(es), or are all the alicorns going to learn how to control their new powers?

>Impatiently waiting for the next update.

I love how most chapters keep reinforcing to me that Pinkie is best princess. Granted she would never say so and she needs the others around but Pinkie is awesome.

Im here, just waiting for the universe to explode.

nice job in this chapter btw:twilightsmile:

Spike is the source of all reason and sarcasm, a true Spike if I've seen one. I'm a tad disappointed there was nothing too extensive about Rarity in a Spike centric chapter, but I did enjoy his insight into her taste. Plus, it's hard not to enjoy Spike using logic against Twilight and her impending panic attacks.


I sense utter pandemonium getting ready to release.

Oh boy...

Discord being helpful. Nice:pinkiehappy:

Hmmm well I guess my one complaint here then would be that what you have given disagrees with a given cannon of Cadence having been found as a pegasus in the forest and was then taken in and raised by earth ponies in a small town. This is all found in the small Novel that was released "The Crystal Heart Spell" by G.M. Berrow.

Now you are free of course to wright your own story but it just feels weird to me is all.

The draconequues, despite

I'm pretty sure there's only one e in "draconequus"

2763260 Well... we'll always have Chrysalis. She's the only villain in the show that can actually get shit done, apparently. You know, besides Discord, but he doesn't really give a shit what he gets done, he just wants shit done.

Edit: Oh, context of the story. Right. Never mind.

so if my guesses here are correct, the ruler of the seas is "Posiden" and the Emperor of the sky is "Zeus"?

2836790 Pinkie will control the fourth wall and cartoonish gags XD
Now to be serious, I think Pinkie will have to be ruler of something that breaks the fourth wall completely, or time and space

Pinkie and Rarity will be the true rulers of the night.
Rarity has become the Alicorn of the Stars, and she's in charge of the constellations and the meteor showers and such.
Pinkie on the other hand, gets the realm of dreams along with the moon itself. She will no doubt bring much joy and laughter as she weaves new dream realms for all to enjoy.

2836820 Then what about the other 4

seems like this chapter is mostly reinforcing the fact that the faeces is still constantly hitting the rotational air blowing machine... and that more is coming... well horseapples

Fluttershy is the Alicorn of Spring, and Applejack is the Alicorn of the Harvest, both have an affinity with nature, just in different ways. Fluttershy is closely aligned with the animals of the world, along with flowers and ivy. Applejack is closer aligned to the other plants of the world, especially trees and wheat. She has gained the ability to speak with the spirits of the ancient trees, much as how Fluttershy has had the ability to do so with animals.
Twilight may have inherited the role of the Solar alicorn, although to be more accurate, she is the Alicorn of Dawn. Her domain is primarily over magic and Harmony, along with some other things that I can't reveal here for sake of spoilers.
Rainbow Dash, as you guys have guessed, is the Alicorn of Storms, with domain over the weather.


Yeah this is gonna go horribly wrong :|

Well, one, I have never heard of that story ever. So, it's not part of my headcanon even in relation to the show itself. (Now I'm wondering if it's canon canon, or more like the comics... Which I also haven't been able to read. My city sucks D:)
Second, this is an AU that had begun to be written even before the Season 2 finale had even came out- Cadence had just worked herself in as I wrote.
Third, as even you acknowledged, this is AU, and is going to go in a different direction than canon sometimes. :raritywink:

I'd like to point out to Twilight that if the hired help (the staff) are stubbornly refusing to do their job (take care of the nitty-gritty details of castle upkeep, governmental paperwork, and other administrative minutia) in a way that allows the governors (the Alicorn Six) to focus on their job, they are in violation of the terms of their employment. Any manager would tell you to fire these sticks-in-the-mud and replace them and their staid, cloying, and dusty traditions with a team that's got a bit more sense and a bit less moss in the head.

tl;dr :flutterrage: Out with the mutinous rabble already! I don't care how long and flowery their pedigrees are.

Dat picture.
It's perfect.
Don't know about the music though. XD

Ahhhhhh, there's the Spike we all know and love. :pinkiehappy:

Nice work cloudedguardian and I'm anxious for the next chapter, so I can see how the meet up between Queen Twilight Sparkle and the former Princess Celestia. :trixieshiftright:

~ Super-Brony12

Spike feeling conflicted? Check.
AJ getting upset at the staff because she can hear their thoughts? Check.
Pinkie getting along with Discord, who is now nice? Check
Twilight freaking out because she has no idea what to do for meeting unfamiliar royalty? Double Check.
Other assorted shenanigans as yet unresolved? Check, check, and check...

Yep. We have the recipe for a Twilight Sparkle Breakdown.

Quick question Twilight got the Solar tower and pondered who would get the Lunar tower so who got it? My thinking would be Pinkie but I am not sure.

I love the idea of Pinkie getting the domain of dreams. Pinkie is not just a beacon of laughter and joy but also of hope and what brings more of that than your dreams? After reading a side story of Pinkie in this universe she just keeps showing a blossoming quality of being one of the queens. All of the Main Six are showing their powers but more often Pinkie is showing other qualities that make her an interesting character and ruler (such as her insights into Discord or her use of Pinkamina to help her with the paperwork).

Also I think it is unfair that Twilight did not include Autumn Winds in the list of ponys in the castle they should keep around. He has been helpful and kind and has manged to be competent in helping (even if he is not quite as good as the others). He actually sounds like a good future supervisor as he works well with others and is competent in many areas. He also shows good insight into how things work (shown by his realization of why Celestia has 4 advisers, why he is one of them, and where they had made a mistake) which is a good quality to have. I could see him effectively delegating tasks while insuring are completing and using his jack of all trades nature to be useful in any situation. That sounds like a keeper to me.

Pinkie got the Lunar Tower, yes.
Autumn Winds was not mentioned in Twilight's question due to him being, much like the guards, outside of the main castle staff. He is an advisor. When the narrator, or Twilight for that matter, refers to the castle staff, she is referring purely to the maids, butlers, gardeners, and chefs.
(I think that covers all your questions...)

Yes, you read that right.
It's my head-canon, and is therefore in my story. XD

I think you meant brusque, not brisk.

And so I reach the most current chapter and it makes me sad. ;A; It means I have to wait for the new chapters now. DX Please update ASAP. This is a really good story.

The best story I ever seen abt the ascension of the mane (or is it main?) 6. Keep it up! :twilightsmile: can't wait to see the next update!

2834053 If anything they should be reminded they are very replaceable as in who wouldn't want to work for royalty

3015966 Yeah basically

I'll probably rewrite some of my early early chapters once I've finished Ascension- Then I can FINALLY fix the dang coding. The later chapters (Starting around five, I think?) don't have the wonky spacing as I was used to the tools by then, and I was more confident in what I was doing XD

This was written LONG before Amethyst was established as Dinky's older sister, so no, it's not Dinky, and no, the Mom is not Derpy. The filly I'm talking about in the story would be about the same age as the Cake twins, so Dinky would be far too old anyway.
As for the spacing- early chapter, borked coding, I'll fix it eventually >.>
I'm more concerned with finishing these last three chapters right now- I'll probably start really going through the old chapters and rewriting/recoding them while working off and on Corruption.

Finally got around to reading this, and I'm glad I did. I look forward to the worldbuilding that's sure to ensue, along with the usual chaos and barely-controlled divine magic.

3053793 I thought you were kind of ignoring me, so I stopped commenting!

Scumbag FimFiction wasn't telling me of your responses! :twilightoops:

Ascension was never meant to be sad- it was meant to be a crazy adventure of magic and friends, and maybe a little self discovery on the side.
As for pacing, well, every author has their own pace, and as I tend to have a short attention span myself, my stories tend to move quickly- So I've always had issues with this odd thing people keep calling "pacing"- I'm sad to say I'm not sure I really understand it yet.
Looking back though, I can see myself getting better as an author, so hopefully I'll figure it out sooner or later XD

So, a quick comment to any one of my readers browsing the comments-
No, the story is not on a major hiatus again, I've just had a...less than optimum month that has left writing more than a bit of a challenge. I've been still working on stuff, it's just been mostly minor, or on stories that aren't ready to be published yet, or chapters *cough*(Or sequels)*cough* that will have a while to wait before it's their turn.
Now all I need to do is finish kicking this rotten chest cold to the side of the road so I can get back to writing this silly story. We're in the final stretch guys, just give me the courage and confidence to finish plowing through :3
...And then, excuse the expression, we can get the real shit started~ :pinkiecrazy:

3081225 Yeah, I noticed too late. Scumbag Widow Peak, complains because a fiction is not sad, wen it even lacks the 'Drama' or 'Sad' tags. :twilightsheepish:

I just finished reading Royal Ruktus (Part 4), and sadly...I think I am going to stop reading this story...

I don't like how are you handling centain parts of the narration. I know that last part of the chapter was meant to be confusing, but I just didn't know what was going on. And that phrase of Gray Scales sentenced it for me, sadly.

I am sorry. I kinda like this story, and I have tried to endure all the stuff that bothered me (Such as the princesses completely dissapearing). But I have mostly enjoyed it, so I felt like telling you all this.

I guess the absolute disrespect to the figure of the Princesses was...the last straw.

I apologice for this :fluttershysad:

Well, I have to admit, I'm sad to hear that, I never like losing a reader. I remember how much I struggled and fought with Royal Ruckus- Heck, even I don't like the narration in certain parts.
I know it wasn't really what you were looking for in the first place, so thanks for coming along for the ride up till now.

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