• Published 15th Mar 2016
  • 3,865 Views, 274 Comments

World of Ponies: A Collection of Days - ShadowWalking18

In days of peace, the little moments are what count the most.

  • ...

Two Scholars(1)

"Twilight. Hey, Twilight." Castus called, as he walked through the twisting halls of Castle Friendship. For such a simple castle, it certainly had its own maze. Three times that Casus had thought he had found the right door, he either opened up a closet jam packed with stuff that fell on him, or he opened that one door leading into the bathroom where Spike was standing at the mirror and flexing.

Embarrassing to say the least. But he had at least managed to get directions this time.

Finally reaching the door, Castus walked into what Spike called The Arcanarum. And the scene he came across was something that could only be described as a combination between a tornado hitting the room, or when Discord had offered to help clean the cottage.

Books stacked at least three stories stood about like towering trees in a forest, sometimes so close together that Castus had to suck in his gut and carefully slid through unless he wanted it to fall on him. Papers, scrolls all filled with Equestrian writing and diagrams of arcane and magical symbols lay scattered on his path, and one in particular was a long roll of parchment that seemed to flow further into the Book Forest.

"Twilight?" Castus called, following the scroll as the sound of quill on parchment could be heard.

Reaching a small alcove in the forest of books, Castus found Twilight standing at a desk, writing on the scroll. It seemed she was reaching the end of it, though other scrolls no doubt just as long stood rolled up on her desk. A large chalkboard with runic writing and magical symbology stood beside her desk, and every so often Twilight paused to glance and move her hoof across the lines as if referencing something before returning to her writing.

Cups of drank coffee sat on the desk, or on the floor and Twilight's mane looked frizzy and unkempt. And as Castus got closer, he caught a slight smell. It was obvious Twilight hadn't bathed recently.

'How long as she been here?' Castus thought, approaching slowly. Best not take her by surprise, she could charge.

"Twilight," Castus called. No response.

Castus stepped closer, "Twilight?" He reached over and tapped her shoulder.

No response. Twilight kept up her writing.

Castus blinked and looked over to a well organized stack of books. Castus calmly put his finger on one, and gently pushed it till it fell over.

The book was immediately caught by a magical aura, and Castus looked over to see Twilight looking his way at the book as she set it right back in place.

"Castus? What are you doing here?" Twilight asked, fixing a pair of glasses on her head.

"Well, the girls had told me you were not out of your castle for awhile. I figured I'd come check on you, though they told me that it was probably nothing." Castus said and looked around.

Twilight blinked and also looked around, then blushed as she tried to fix her hair, "S-sorry, I was just working on a theory in magic and I guess I got distracted."

"I figured. I did something similar once." Castus said, walking over to the chalk board to examine it closely.

"You did?" Twilight said, confused.

Castus blinked, then faceplamed, "Oh yeah, sorry. I mean, Karsus...the guy whose memories I have floating in the back of my mind. Remember. It's just easier on my sanity if I just say it was me in a past life."

"Oh yeah. You told me a little on that, but you never did elaborate enough to make any sense. Do you think you could explain further?" Twilight asked, giving a slight tilt of her head in question.

"What do you want to know?" Castus asked, crossing his arms over his chest, turning from the chalkboard to Twilight.

"Well, how can you have another beings memories in your head? I know you said it had to do with a statue from the Canterlot Statue Gardens, but it still doesn't make sense." Twilight said, moving back to her seat and pulling a brush from a drawer and working on her hair to get some of the knots out.

"Well the statue isn't really a statue. More like it is the calcified, or some form of fossilized form of an ancient Valhruan High Lord Magus during the Third Era of the Valhruan Empire." Castus said.

"Yes, yes you told me that. But how did he get like that?" Twilight asked.

"You know how the Empire fell right?" Castus asked, which Twilight responded to with a nod.

"Well," Castus said, continuing, "The magus, known in his time as Karsus, was just one of three High Lord Magi, who acted as the leaders of the Empire in those times. However, the Empire was constantly in a state of semi civil war, and even the High Lords fought for the right to rule the Empire as a new Emperor. But while the fighting occurred, the Empire was also destabilized by other problems. Natural disasters were occurring with more frequency, and the environment and temperatures of the climate were fluctuating. All of these occurrences in nature might seem like nothing, but they were actually the calling signs of a greater catastrophe."

"What sort of catastrophe?" Twilight asked, taking up quill and a scroll as she wrote down notes.

Castus rolled his eyes at Twilight's actions, but kept going anyway, "There was an instability amongst the alignment this universal plane and a number of others. You know anything about Universal planes?"

Twilight nodded her head, "A little. I think I had an encounter with it. Sometime after you were gone, an pony by the name of Starlight Glimmer tried to use a time travel spell to prevent me and my friends from meeting in a desire for revenge."

"I heard about that, at least this Starlight Glimmer pony. Not that part though." Castus said.

"Well her meddling in time caused some sort of distortion that, when me and Spike returned to our time it was a completely different world. A world where Sombra ruled the Crystal Empire. Where Chrysalis ruled Equestria or even Nightmare Moon." Twilight said, recounting the adventure, "In fact, that was what I was trying to decipher. I wondered why just one little change in events could cause such drastic changes in the future."

Castus looked at the chalkboard, then back to Twilight, "Well that is all based on the Multiverse theory. The Multiverse is where there are alternate universes existing separate from our own on alternate planes. Sometimes in small ways, sometimes in very big ways. When you went back to your time, you were actually instead going back to a similar point of time in an alternate reality because by interrupting events in the past you in essence made the world you were from no longer exist. So instead you went somewhere else where you existed in an alternate form, and each time you went back and disrupted your realities time stream you constantly ended up in a different reality because otherwise you as you were would not exist otherwise."

Twilight rubbed her chin in thought, "That does make sense. Though what about the map from the castle. It constantly appeared in each universe I ended up in."

Castus shrugged, "That I don't know. The Tree of Harmony was no doubt behind it since this castle and the map was made by it. Though how it works I can't say for sure. All I can say is, it perhaps was able to sense the distortion and strived to aid you in returning to your reality."

"So what does this have to do with this catastrophe in the past?" Twilight asked.

"Well this theory goes further in that there are worlds that exist on totally different universal spectrums from this and have their own parallel worlds and alternate realities unto themselves. All realties exist separate from each other, in an area normally just called the Immaterium; a sort of plane of existence populated by energies of destruction and construction, and from these energies realties of existence are created and die before being recreated in the Immaterium. Following?"

Twilight nodded.

"Well," Castus continued, "In most cases these realities within the Immaterium exist apart and away from each other, but every so often there are confluxes within the Immaterium that bring the realities of various types closer together and it is in these times where travel between them can occur. During the time of the Empire, a number of different realities were close to this one, and the Valhruan Empire had managed to find a way to travel between them using a complex spell that created a form of tunnel for easy access and travel between worlds. However the times in which these realities stay close enough to travel is limited, and during the time of Karsus life it was weakening and the realities drifting apart."

"But what about the tunnels?" Twilight asked, jotting down more notes.

"That is where the problem lies. Keeping tunnels like that open requires a great deal of energy, and as the realities drifted apart the tunnels became strained. Like the stretching of a cord connecting two entities. The cord can only stretch so far before it snaps and the halves whiplash back on the entities. In this case the energies making the tunnels would have whiplashed back at this world and caused any number of dramatic and devastating damage." Castus explained further.

"I think I understand. So the catastrophe would have been a rebound affect of a broken magical connection?" Twilight asked.

"Yes. Now, even without that there might have been a catastrophe. Realities of existence that come too close do seem to maintain a sort of connection, but it would not have been on a similar scale then what was going to happen if the tunnels of connection the Valhruan mages had made did not exist. In creating the tunnels we actually made the impending catastrophe worse. Karus sought a way to prevent this." Catus said, frowning.

"How?" Twilight asked.

Castus sighed, "He sought to open a sort of breach into the Immaterium and using his vast power, aided by an attempt to draw upon the chaotic energies of universe creation that existence in the Immaterium to not only prevent the separation of the worlds, but to also increase his power by ten folds. In doing so, he would be saving the Empire from a catastrophe that would have more then likely ended its reign once and for all and also set him up as the most powerful mage in the world. Powerful enough to even become emperor."

Castus went quiet a moment and looked up, "or more then that...."

"What do you mean?" Twilight asked.

Castus was silent, "Never mind. Anyway. It failed in the end. The energies that exist in the Immaterium are of a different nature then that of the energies that exist in this reality that work in the construction of worlds and life. They are....alien. Utterly senseless. Karsus managed to keep the worlds steady for a time, but the chaotic nature of the energies he sought to use proved too much. More so when he noticed that they were leaking through the breach he made into the Immaterium and were causing catastrophic damage in their own right. Warping the physical and metal forms of beings and reality itself and remaking them. Karsus then realized that if he did not close the gap, he risked causing greater harm to the world, but because of the sheer force of the energies at play when he released it, it ended up rebounding on him. The realities tore apart, sending the shockwaves of energy across them. The world was torn apart by intense natural disasters, not to mention chaotic energy storms from the combined mixture of the Wind and the chaotic remains of the Immaterium that remained in the world before fading. Karsus himself was torn apart by these energies, his very body fossilized in quick order."

Twilight gulped and seemed to pale a bit. Castus nodded in kind saying, "Yeah. Not a pleasant way to go."

"So," Twilight asked, "How did he transfer his memories to you?"

"Before he died, he used what little time and power he had left to bind his memories into the stone his body was becoming. The spell was also designed to sense when a recipient Wind mage was in proximity and begin sending minor memories and messages to draw the mage to the statue for the final transfer. All I had to do was touch it and," Castus shrugged, "The rest is history."

Twilight looked at Castus, both surprised and impressed, "So you really have the memories of an ancient magus of a lost civilization?"

"Yes. I just told you that." Castus deadpanned.

"I know, but" Twilight stood, the look on her face between excited and perhaps manic, "It's just the sheer odds, the entire scenario itself is almost unthinkable. Yet if it is true, and I am sure you are telling the truth, then this is the chance of a life time!"

Twilight was starting to hyperventilate, as she started grabbing up scrolls, quills and inkpods.

"We need to compile the notes. Maybe do some discussions. Oh you could answer so many questions that have stumped the scholastic community for years!" Twilight gasped, turning to look at Castus with wide, dilated eyes that verged on insanity now.

"Whoa! Slow down Twilight!" Castus said, grabbing the ever frantic growing princess.

"But-but, knowledge! Science!" Twilight gasped, her body shaking now with excitement. A smile so wide that even Pinkie might have gotten freaked out by it on her face.

"Twilight," Castus said, "Calm down. Breathe."

Twilight took a deep breath.

"Okay. Good," Castus said with a nod, "Now look. I'd be glad to answer whatever questions you got but...well maybe you should take a shower first before we get too in depth."

Twilight blinked, and then turned away from Castus to sniff herself and realized that she did have a slight stink.

"Oh, yeah. Heh, I-I guess that would be good. Goodness I must look a mess." Twilight said, her frantic energy forgotten.

"Yeah. Also, when did you last sleep?" Castus asked.

"Uh," Twilight did some calculations in the air, "Uh...yesterday. No wait a week ago yesterday."

Castus shook his head, "Why not try getting some sleep as well."

"Right. I should go into this with a fresh head." Twilight said, before a slight yawn escaped her.

Castus nodded again, "Right. Just get back to me when you have had a break."

"I will. Thank you Castus." Twilight said, giving him a smile.

"No problem." Castus said, giving a smile.

Author's Note:

I ship StarBurst*Starlight Glimmer and Sunburst* Cause best name ever.