• Published 4th Feb 2016
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Hero Souls: Awakening - SvenFoxx



Twilight always knew she was different. She just never imagined it was her soul that was different.

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6.5. Omake 1: Luna-tic

Author's Note:

This is one of the scenarios that I ran with during my struggles with Chapter Five. I decided to turn it into an Omake to hold you guys over until Chapter Seven.

For those of you who don't read the Blogs tied to this story, (Shame on you) or just don't know what an Omake is, fear not. This is NOT canon... well, most of it isn't canon. The magic lesson is canon.

Enjoy!

Twilight Sparkle stared into her teacup, contemplating the Alicorn across from her. She was seated at a table in one of the courtyards of the castle. If any of the servants looked in on them, it would look like nothing more than two friends, albeit one was one of the rulers, enjoying a lunch date.

Earlier that day Twilight had arrived in Canterlot with the Apple family and Pinkie Pie. To her surprise it was not Princess Celestia that had been there to greet her as she expected, but rather Princess Luna. Not that she was disappointed, she had been looking forward to spending some time with the recently reformed Alicorn, but still. She had assumed Celestia would be taking her to see whoever it was the Princess wanted her to see regarding the memories of Clark Kent.

Instead, Luna had been there and had taken her on a walk around Canterlot after giving Pinkie directions to Snow Cloud’s home. The Princess of the Night had been mostly quiet during this walk, occasionally asking a question about her time in Ponyville, or about Ponyville itself. It was… somewhat awkward. Twilight was beginning to wonder what was going on when Luna finally led her to the castle and to this courtyard, where a tea set had been set up and was awaiting them.

“When am I going to meet whoever it was Celestia wanted me to meet?” Twilight asked finally, breaking the silence that had descended when they had sat down.

Luna frowned slightly. “Sister did not tell you?” She asked. She sighed at Twilight’s confusion. “I am who you are to discuss the memories with. After all, the mind and all of its twisted and convoluted corridors are as familiar to me as Starswirl’s forbidden wing is supposedly familiar to you”

Twilight had to blush at the gentle jab at her tendency to sneak into the Starswirl wing in the Royal Archives when she was young. She couldn’t help it! He was her idol! “I…” She cleared her throat and fought down the blush, ignoring Luna’s small smirk. ‘Great. She’s just as much of a prankster as Princess Celestia is’ She thought to herself. “I see” She mumbled.

“But since I do not know you all that well, regardless of the fact that you saved me from my own darkness, I decided to rectify that first, hence the walk we went on and my… admittedly poor attempt at socializing” Luna grimaced. “I am unfortunately a stranger in a brand new world, one that works very differently than what I remember. I have spent the last few days sequestered within the Archives researching the history I missed” Luna gained a small smile. “I am thankful for something familiar though. That table is like an old friend…”

Twilight smiled, memories of her own late night study sessions within the Archives flashing through her mind. “The oak table in the corner by the window?” She asked.

Luna blinked, surprised. “Well… Yes. How did you know?”

“I’ve spent nearly a decade at that table myself, Princess. It’s out of the way of most traffic the Archives see, well lit, and most of all close to the bathroom”

Luna smiled after a moment. “It pleases me to know my old study table has seen use by others besides myself” She shook her head with a smile. “Tia had that table crafted for me as a birthday gift roughly a century after we liberated Equestria from Discord. It is enchanted with the most powerful of preservation spells we could muster”

“So that’s what that magic I kept feeling at the table was!” Twilight exclaimed in realization, making Luna jump slightly at the sudden declaration.

“…You felt the magic?” Luna asked after a moment. “That’s impressive. It’s hidden under a few layers of muffling sigils, masking the spell signature from all but the most sensitive of Unicorns. This particular matrix is… effective”

Twilight blushed at the praise, rubbing the back of her head and looking away. “Uh… Thanks. It’s not that impressive though. I felt it, but that was it. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. Though now that I know the signature is scrambled by a masking rune, I could probably translate it… given enough time anyways”

Luna raised an eyebrow. “Truly? You believe you could unravel the sigi… I mean, the rune matrix?” She asked.

Twilight nodded. “If I had time I could, yes” She paused. “Why?”

Luna was staring at Twilight now, an unreadable expression on her face. After a moment of uncomfortable silence, Luna stood. “Follow me” She said, turning and making for the arch that was the entrance to the courtyard.

“Princess?” Twilight asked, doing as commanded.

“I wish to see this for myself. I want you to try and undo the muffling sigil and translate the spell” Luna explained.

Twilight tilted her head in confusion. “Well, sure… but why? It’s just a masking and preservation rune matrix. Any Unicorn could probably translate it given enough time”

“Consider it a test, then”

“A test?!?” Twilight shrieked, making Luna stop. “But… but I haven’t prepared! I need… I need to study! I need to gather materials! Oh no… was I supposed to study before coming here?! Was there some clue in the Princess’ letter that I should’ve seen?! Oh no… no no no! I’m not ready!” She was rapidly beginning to hyperventilate.

“Twilight…”

“I should’ve brought Spike! He knows where all of my reference materials are! I should’ve brought my notebook! I don’t even have my quills!” Twilight was jogging in place, trying to figure out what to do first.

“Twilight!”

“I have to go to my room! I need to get scrolls! I need quills! And ink! Oh! I also need Cobalt Matrix’s Book of Runes!”

“Twilight Sparkle!”

Twilight shrieked again, though this time in pain as her hooves slammed over her ears. She remained upright only through her ability to fly, keeping her from landing on her face.

“Oh!” Luna gasped in shock at the sight of blood trickling form Twilight’s ears. “I apologize! I forgot your hearing is far more sensitive than the average pony’s hearing” Luna ignited her horn and bathed Twilight’s head in the cerulean aura of her magic.

After a moment, Twilight gave a sigh of relief as the pain began fading. Soon, it was gone and she let her hooves drop back onto the floor. “Thank you” She said with a smile towards Luna, who cut off her magic. She frowned after a moment though. “What was that? How’d you amplify your voice like that?” She asked.

Luna smiled in relief. “That was the Royal Everfree Voice. Though, sister calls it the Royal Canterlot Voice now. It was the standard method my sister and I used to address our subjects one thousand years ago, before I… before my fall” She shook herself before she could allow her mind to travel down that route. “Again, I apologize for assailing your ears like that, but it was the only way to gain your attention. I am testing you, yes, but there is no punishment for failure. I am merely curious if you can actually translate the matrix as you claim you can” She frowned, remembering something. “And it is no normal matrix, my friend. This is a sigil… I’m sorry” Luna caught herself again. Twilight could see what Luna meant about being a stranger in a new world. She was used to the way things were before her banishment. “It is a rune-form that is greatly outdated, but extremely effective. You will find it incredibly difficult to even perceive, let alone translate”

Twilight nodded slowly, using a great deal of willpower to push down a second panic attack at Luna confirming she was being tested. “…If it’s that great, then why is it considered outdated?” She asked curiously as Luna resumed leading the way to the Archives.

“To be blunt, only my sister and I can cast the blighted thing” Luna grumbled. “Only an Alicorn or the rare magically gifted Unicorn, such as Starswirl or yourself, have the power levels required to successfully invoke the enchantment, and even then it would leave Starswirl in the Recovery Ward from severe magical exhaustion” Luna ignored Twilight’s sputtering denials of being as great as Starswirl. “However… if you successfully translate the matrix, I have no qualms with allowing you to learn how to inscribe and cast it. I imagine you will find it very useful”

Twilight’s eyes lit up like a Hearth Warming tree, and Luna knew she had said the magic words… forgive the pun. “Really?!” Twilight nearly squealed in glee. “I can learn an ancient rune-form nopony else knows about?!”

Luna had to smile. “If you show me you can translate the matrix, then yes”

---

“Here we are” Luna said, approaching the oaken table that was set up in the far end of the Archives, right under a window. The moon was visible in the newly awakened night sky. “I do not expect you to be able to unravel this tonight, Twilight” She said. “You will be here in Canterlot for the next two days, so do not feel as if you must rush this” She took a seat off to the side. “Please, begin whenever you wish”

Twilight approached the table. Just as she was three feet from the apparently ancient wood, she felt it. It was a dull thudding in the back of her head. She had learned long ago that the thudding was her magic picking up on the heartbeat of World Magic at work. Any Unicorn worth their salt could feel that double tap drum when they stood over one of the Leylines.

She had always wondered why World Magic was infused within this table, but now that she knew only an Alicorn could comfortably enchant the rune-form it made sense. She closed her eyes, immersing herself in the feeling of the magic, and casting her mind back.

“What you feel, that gentle beating in the back of your mind, is the feeling of World Magic touching your own magic” Princess Celestia’s voice explained softly. Twilight remembered that she had been engulfed within the Princess’ golden magic at the time, allowing her to feel the World Magic. “As an Alicorn, I am a focus for World Magic. It will gather within me alongside my natural magical reserves, and is the reason why I am so long-lived. Equus itself desires my continued existence, so it extends my life through the influence it exerts with the World Magic within me. If I concentrate hard enough, I can also manipulate the World Magic within me, as I am doing now”

“Could I control World Magic?” Twilight remembered asking.

Celestia had given her patient smile. “One day, perhaps. World Magic is unimaginably potent, and just absorbing it into yourself risks your inner leylines. If not carefully controlled, World Magic can rupture every leyline within your body and remove your ability to cast magic forever. Then there’s the fact that absorbing World Magic is in effect absorbing the magic of another being, Equus in this case. You remember your lessons on controlling the magic of another, don’t you?”

Twilight smiled to herself. “If the pony is willing to let you use their magic, it’s easy. But if they are unwilling, bad things can happen”

“Correct. If you ever want to control World Magic, Equus itself must be willing to allow it first. While it would theoretically be possible to dominate World Magic like you could with another pony… in practice it is all but impossible. After all, as great as the willpower of ponies can be, it is still nothing compared to the unshakeable will of the planet”

“But how would I know if Equus was letting me control its magic?”

Celestia had given her a smile. “You will know”

Twilight shook herself free of the memory and refocused on the task at hand. She stared at the desk, ignoring the thudding in the back of her mind with practiced ease, and debated on how best to begin. ‘This is a preservation rune scheme overlaid with a masking rune scheme, creating a rune matrix that hides and preserves. However, in order for a rune scheme to be bound to another scheme there must be a third rune scheme regulating the interaction between the two forces. Find the regulation scheme, and I should be able to start translating from there’ She nodded to herself. She lit her horn and began a deep scan of the table.

Luna smirked to herself. She knew it would take much more than a magical scan to see the matrix.

Twilight frowned, canceling her magic when the only result she could pick up was the gentle beat of World Magic. She couldn’t even pinpoint its source. ‘I suppose it was too much to ask for this to be easy’ She lit her magic again and closed her eyes. ‘So let’s try brute-forcing this’

Luna quirked an eyebrow when she felt Twilight’s magic begin gathering in large amounts. Then her eyes widened when she felt a familiar feeling crawling over her skin. It was a disruption wave! A big one…

Twilight unleashed the spell, and smiled when the image of the oak table wavered slightly, only to frown when it reasserted itself. ‘Damn… Now what?’ She paused, then face-hoofed. ‘And you’re supposed to be smart, Sparkle. Get your head in the game!’ She focused on the table after that, and activated her X-ray vision. As she had half expected, nothing out of the ordinary appeared. She deactivated the vision power and smiled. ‘Okay, I was able to see through illusions back in the Everfree Forest, so I know my X-Ray vision can do that. The fact that it failed here actually provides more answers than if it had worked’

“You could have told me there was a perception filter in there” Twilight noted to Luna.

Luna quirked an eyebrow. “First, I told you the enchantment was hidden under multiple layers, did I not? I never said they were all the same layer repeated” Twilight conceded the point. “Second, how did you figure that out?”

“I have the power to see through any object I want, except things that absorb radiation such as lead. I learned it worked on illusions in the Everfree Forest during the Eternal Night incident”

Luna nodded after a moment in realization. “The fact that it did not succeed here was an instant giveaway” She finished for the Unicorn. “Since there are very few other methods of hiding things with magic, none of which could apply here without a magic generator of some kind, and those cannot be hidden along with what they hide” She frowned in thought. “Well… not that I know of at any rate. I have not begun studying modern spell-form development yet”

Twilight nodded almost absently, debating to herself how best to break the perception filter. There were a few ways… but they all dealt with damaging the matrix. Luna said the desk was important to her, so she would not do that. She could try draining the magic away, but this thing was powered by World Magic, and she had no desire to risk her magic absorbing something like that, not without dire need anyways.

“Princess…” Twilight began hesitantly. “…You don’t expect me to succeed at all, do you?” She asked.

Luna smirked. “I did not wish to break the excitement you displayed, but no. As far as I know the only way to unravel the masking matrix is by destroying it, and that is something I will not allow”

Twilight’s eyes sharpened. She grinned and glanced at Luna. “Well then, I guess I’m about to have a lot of fun” She levitated the table and began examining its underside.

“Now what are you doing?”.

“I’m looking for the flaw in the perception filter” Twilight answered.

Luna understood. Perception filters were used to alter how the beholder perceived something, but mortals could not actually perfectly alter something only the Creator could work. It could be influenced, but not truly altered. This meant that all perception filters had a flaw in what they made you see. Find the flaw and truly realize that it’s a flaw, and your mind will rebel, throwing the perception filter off of you and allowing you to see what it hid.

Twilight stopped after a moment, screwing up her expression. “…Princess?” She asked.

Luna grinned. Twilight had found it. “Yes?”.

“…Why is there an engraving of a giant eyeball here?”.

Luna valiantly held in the laughter threatening to bubble up. “Tia once called me unbearably paranoid because of my insistence on personally checking my food every meal. I called her fat in retaliation. It degenerated from there, and one of the results was her engraving that eyeball there to unnerve me. It failed, but I gave her credit for creativity”.

“… I… see…” Twilight said slowly, her eyes wide. “…You called Princess Celestia fat!?!” She nearly shrieked.

“She called me paranoid!” Luna returned. “And have you seen her flanks? She obviously enjoys her cake far too much” She huffed.

Twilight’s mouth worked soundlessly for a moment. She eventually regained her ability to speak. “… But… But…”.

Luna grinned at Twilight. “Of course… that’s nothing compared to when she and I argued over stallions in the middle of her Day court” She could almost see smoke billowing from the Unicorn’s ears now. “The nobles were so embarrassed, but too scared to actually try and stop us. It only went further south when the Griffon Ambassador got involved in the argument. The nobles looked like they were about to go into cardiac arrest!” She laughed, then glanced at Twilight, smirking. “Much like you do right now”.

Twilight froze, and everything came rushing into comprehension. “You devious witch!” She screeched at Luna, pointing a hoof at her. “You were having me on!”.

“And?” Luna grinned.

‘The troll’ Crossed Twilight’s mind as she ground her teeth. ‘An urban Earth legend of a monster who lives under a bridge demanding a toll for all who cross it; a person who enjoys winding others up and watching them go crazy; Princess Luna’.

Twilight’s eye started twitching harder, and her hair started to frizz slightly. “You…” She growled. Then she gave a primal scream and lunged for Luna.

Said Alicorn laughed and bound away. “You must do better than leaping at me if you want to catch me!” She called, vanishing around a bookshelf.

“Watch me!” Twilight exclaimed, using her X-Ray vision to find Luna. She spotted the dark Alicorn and blurred into motion. She tried to tackle Luna… but only passed through her. She stopped in mid-air and blinked in confusion.

“Missed!” Luna called right in her ear.

Twilight hissed and spun around, only to see the blurry image of Luna sticking her tongue out at her. Twilight’s jaw dropped. “After images?!” She asked in shock.

“I am the living avatar of Darkness, Twilight Sparkle. Did you think I was slow?” Luna’s voice echoed from all around.

“What’s that got anything to do with you leaving behind after images?” Twilight called.

“Light is fast. Darkness is faster”

Twilight blinked. “Oh… I never looked at it that way”

“I admit, it is a technicality, but still. I have always been the faster between myself and Tia, whereas she was the heavy hitter. After all, with flanks like that, she could double as a wrecking ball”

Twilight shrieked at the further slight against her teacher and sped through the library in search of the culprit. “Quit hiding and let me hit you!”

“Come now, you don’t expect me to actually do that, do you? I have been hit by you before. I am in no hurry to experience the sensation again”

“I don’t care!”

---

The next day, Celestia could only shake her head after Luna and Twilight explained to her why the Royal Archives were currently a pile of rubble.

Luna was sporting a rather impressive busted lip and black eye. She was also grinning like a madmare. Twilight, inversely, was unharmed but curled in on herself in shame at what she had done. So much destroyed knowledge...

‘At least Luna is socializing again…’ Celestia thought to herself.

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