• Published 30th Jan 2017
  • 602 Views, 3 Comments

A Foolish Friend - The Real Darkness

Shadow Aura casted a regretable spell that a long gone friend advised against. Now he struggles to remain secluded from other ponies as Equestria advances and his lifestyle is forced to change.

  • ...

An Odd Enragement

I appeared back in Equestria. I walked through the portal with little grace on my hind hooves. I found myself in Twilight's castle and saw huge black and silver furred creatures rummaging through the books in her storage. They all quickly looked to me, brandishing black bidents and spears. They looked to be about Discord's size. Blues eyes gazed down at me with a stern look. I let down onto all fours and took a more battle ready pose.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you. I'm not the unicorn you want to mess with," I took an offensive stance and casted my temporary wings spell.

They began to enclose on me.

"I warned you."

I flew up and began to rain down powerful magic bolts that were reflected off of them by their shields. I continued this for a little longer until I saw the futility in trying this method. Their shields could reflect my magic, this is when I began to plot a devious idea.

I shot and orange beam of magic out of my horn, hovering in the center of the room. I hit the books on the shelves and the storage containers as I moved the beam. Vicious teeth and gangly arms and legs formed out of the furniture, standing tall and attacking the odd creatures. the books began to fly using their covers, sharp teeth all around their edges and pages. The furred beings became occupied trying to deal with the chaos around them they lost focus on me. I commanded my monsters to encircle them and my odd foes left a spot in the center for me to land.

I land and smiled, I was really good at outwitting my opponents and these creatures made it really easy. All of their backs faced me now. I drew upon my magic and shot a large powerful beam out. I spun it around, hitting all of Twilight's other intruders quickly, they fell over, their torsos missing and their skin seared shut from my powerful blast. I sent an orange shield up and back down to return all of my reader nightmares back to their normal forms.

I quickly crossed back through the mirror and saw my seven new friends walking away. I was still on all fours before I slowly stood up and remembered that I was human again.

"Wait! Come back here!" I called out to them and they all came running after a second of confusion.

"Did you really mean ten minutes?" Sunset smiled wide.

"I love you and a good joke, but something has gone terribly bad in Equestria and given you seven are here and can be trusted with the mirror, I need you all to temporarily go and fight off anything that tries to cross into the portal that isn't a pony," I breathed out.

"But would that upset the balance?" Applejack asked.

"As long as you don't stay long or encounter too many of your pony counterparts. I'm sure it won't take Twilight long to fix whatever mess is there if I am helping. I'll make sure of it," Sunset Shimmer was already by my side, fiddling with my fingers.

"I don't know, it seems kinda risky," Fluttershy said, hiding behind her hair.

"Fluttershy is right. we don't know what could happen if we all crossed over," Sunset added.

"Come on, you guys. This is the chance of a lifetime!" Rainbow Dash pumped her hands up in the air.

"Rainbow, while I'd like to see what's on the other side just as much as you, we need to be careful," Twilight added.

"Girls, Shadow Aura, our friend is asking us for help. He needs us and as friends we should be standing with him!" Rarity stated and moved to my right side, crossing her arms.

"You have a point, but we still can't ignore the dangers!" Applejack remained firm.

"Wheeee!" Pinkie bounced over, staring at the mirror. Rainbow Dash walked over too.

"Well, I guess we might as well now," Applejack gave up and came over along with Twilight and Fluttershy.

I entered the portal, pulling Sunset along with me. I heard the others enter with me, yelling except for Pinkie Pie. The pink puffball laughed while she transformed into a pony.

We all came crashing out at the other end. I stood on my four hooves and recasted my wing spell before I galloped to the door.

"You guys just hold down this room. I'll be back to tell you when the coast is clear," I started to charge a teleportation spell and casted my wing spell.

"Can we explore?" Rainbow quickly asked.

"A few at a time would be good so you can clear the castle of any of these weird creature I fought in here. Sunset, guide them," I instructed and she walked to me, pressing her cheek to mine and nuzzling.

"You're a very handsome stallion," I blushed at her words and I could hear the others snickering.

"Is it the horn?" I sighed out.

"Yes, but it's also the mane. And you," she pecked my cheek.

"I'll try to return as fast as I can," I teleported out of my embarassment and to the front of Twilight's castle.

The whole town was overrun by these bipedal creatures as they went about and trashed homes, searching for something. They all turned their attention to me with deep groans. Benches were dropped, spears were grabbed, and shields were raised. They thought they could best me. I stretched my wings.

"I don't have time for you all," I took off flying into the sky and looking down at them before I looked around.

Some kind of brown dust cloud was lingering near Canterlot and it made a low rumbling sound, like the cars from the other world. I began a fast flight there, staring at Canterlot and observing it for any more odd observations. I arrived after what seemed like an eternity of worrying.

It kept going in my mind that my magic could have been abused again.

A large net flew to the right of me when I neared Canterlot. I peered down and saw more of those creatures, and a small one of them that had a visible face and a white chunk of fluff on his head. Around him and in the streets of Canterlot, ponies were held in cages, trapped. Unicorns had a device on their horns that looked rather uncomfortable. I continued my flight, dodging the nets at they came until I noticed a familiar sight.

I saw Twilight in some sort of cage with a magic neutralizer on her horn. This was already bad, but now much worse. It looked like she was being wheeled to the castle. I felt an anger in me.

That is my friend down there they had captured and I couldn't stand for it. They noticed me flying and a red pony amidst all the furry ape creatures stared up at me in amazement, she wasn't caged. I flew down and hovered just above them. I was out of range of the nets they were using as they began to come up short from my distance away.

"A fifth?! I wasn't told about a fifth alicorn, neither was I told he was a stallion," the unicorn spoke in a soft voice, but her face showed the awe she held at the sight of me, my wings, and my horn.

I noticed closer that her horn was missing, it was just a cracked and broken stump that sizzled with some sort of unfocused magic.

"That's no alicorn! That's the strongest unicorn in Equestria! Stronger magic than any Princess!" Twilight shouted at the unicorn.

"Then he'll make a great prize for the Storm King," she smiled wickedly before she took out a black bubble that had some kind of stone and green mist mixing about inside of it.

"Shadow Aura, run!" Twilight called to me. I stared at her for just a moment and in that moment I saw desperation and firmness in her words. She wanted to me be safe, but her eyes called for help.

The unicorn hit the sphere at me with her back hoof and time seemed to slow. I quickly began to charge my horn and all the ape creatures around me held their spears and shields up.

"Nobody hurts my friends and gets away with it..."

I let out a huge blast of my magic in the form of a laser and utterly annihilated the sphere, canceling whatever it was supposed to do. My magic beam then connected with the unicorn and I saw a split moment of shock in her face before she was blasted against Twilight's cage and a small crater was left in the ground.

"Impossible, no such unicorn could have such powerful magic," my mortal enemy slowly rose to her hooves before she shrugged off the hit, "well? What are you all waiting for? Get him!" She barked orders and stuck out her neck while she screamed which made her mohawk of a mane flop a little.

"I advise all of you to stay back unless you want to be hit by that," I could feel their eyes upon me while they closed in, "your choice."

I fired a giant light blue beam of magic into the sky, I rarely used windigo magic because it could leave lingering effects sometimes, but this situation called for it because of their shields. Clouds quickly filled the skies and swirled around. The silhouettes of windigos began to form and come down, leading a fast and heavy snowfall. I shot another large beam and made the environment significantly colder. The snowflakes began to change to ice spikes that came down in progressively larger sizes until they matched the size of a hoof. The ape like creatures were pelted with them and they began to stick into their bodies, some blood coming out until they held up their shields to block the spikes from hitting most of their bodies.

"Impressive, unicorn. I don't know who you are or where you came from, but I will take you down and deliver you to him," she stared up before she shot out a bolt of lightning from her horn to me.

I felt a surge well up inside me, the same kind when I was fighting Sombra. It was the magic of friendship and I was harnessing it again.

I switched to using that magic energy to cast my spells. I charged a quick teleportation spell and appeared behind this unicorn leader without having to focus it long at all. I blasted her in the back with an even larger beam, this one was compromised of a mixture of the entire color spectra. I made a hole in the house of a Canterlot home in the process and the unicorn went flying and hit the wall above the hole quite hard.

"How are you so powerful?" she fell and rose shakily to her hooves.

"Shadow Aura! Help me!" Twilight called out at her cage was being wheeled at a fast pace and she was bumped around in it.

The unicorn shook herself off again, scratches, bruises, and some signs of internal bleeding covered her body. She ran off and began to help take Twilight to the castle. I commanded the windigos to fight their forces and that they did, they came down and flew through and about them, leaving ice chunks on their bodies and freezing them to the bone. They could do little to move or fight them since nopony can physically hit a windigo. The ponies were shivering, but left unharmed and untouched in their cages, mostly because ponies rarely harbored hate in their hearts. The icy wasteland in the plaza was gaining many feet of snow. I blasted out and flew after the cage, keeping my horn charged.

But it was too late.

They moved Twilight into the castle and slammed the doors shut. Many of the creatures stopped me there. I charged my horn and hit their spears and shields with separate bolts of orange colored chaos magic. Their weapons and protection grew wings and flew away and out of their hands, cawing like birds without mouths. I charged again, using this friendship magic to power my spell and I shot a rainbow colored beam that I swayed horizontally, the creatures flew into the gap left in the wall from the beam and slumped against the walls and floors, knocked unconscious. I galloped in and began to follow the sounds of the wagon being carted quickly through the castle. I went up many stairs since I heard the bumping of the wooden wheels.

"Twilight!" I called out.

"Aura! help me!" I heard her call from a corridor on my left and I followed her cry quickly, "heeeeeeelp!" I heard her again and dashed to the right. I heard the doors slam at the end of the hallway and I galloped down them.

"Ahhhhhhh!" I heard Twilight screech in pain while I was halfway to the door. I burst it open and saw another ape like creature, a tall one that was skinny and his face was visible. He had hooves in place of the large feet many of them had. He clutched a staff.

"Tempest! You didn't tell me there was a fifth alicorn," he looked angrily at the red unicorn.

"He's not an alicorn, Twilight verified that," she stated.

"Well, he gets in the way of me testing my new staff," he scowled.

"Master, restore my horn and I promise you I will annihilate him," Tempest smirked at me.


"My horn? You promised," Tempest reminded in a kinder voice.

The creature laughed, "I can't do that and I won't!"

The unicorn had a broken and lost look on her face, many moments passing by in silence.

"What? You haven't figured it out yet?" He walked away to the upper area of the throne room.

"Figured what out?" I decided to see this through until it was all done before I struck.

"I used you! I was never gonna fix your horn, it was all about me!" He laughed and opened the doors to the balcony up.

I galloped over to Twilight and lowered my head to look at her.

"Twilight, are you okay?" she raised up her head with a disheveled mane and tears in her eyes. They threatened to spill over and that would have done my rage in.

"It's over. Equestria is doomed," she was just about to sob. Her lips went bent down and showed her teeth in a wide frown. I had seen Twilight like this through the visions I did, but it was different being so close. She looked broken.

I was silent, we both were for a moment. I stared to chuckle, and the laugh heartily

"I think you taught me something, Twilight, something you forgot," I charged my horn and moved the iron bars apart with my magic, "friends will always be there for you," I stuck out my hoof, "and that's why I'm here now."

She looked up to me before slowly smiling and taking my hoof while she trotted out of the cage.

"But more importantly, you taught me that nothing is over if you still breathe. I watched all your adventures and struggles. I saw every time you were about to give up, but then find another way and win the day. I'm taking that lesson to heart," I smiled wide.

Twilight hugged me tight, crying only a little now. I felt her tears wet my fur.

"I got this one," I bumped her chest lightly when we parted from the hug and I stared at the balcony.

"Or do-," I silenced Sombra once more.

"Also, don't dare go back to your castle until I give the all clear. I have some uh, guests there.," I chuckled again.

"Shadow Aura, what did you-," Twilight began.

"Twilight!" I heard Spike call from the entrance.

The dragon and the other five elements raced over to greet Twilight.

"I got this, you six have saved Equestria enough. I think you all deserve to relax during a crisis," I felt a surge again as the seven were reunited and gave hugs. Twilight had nodded at my words and smiled.

There was that other magic, I think it was beginning to become clear to me. I think I know what the magic of friendship is.

I stood prouder on my hooves and looked at the balcony, seeing Tempest trot out to the balcony. I galloped after her and began charging my horn full of magic.

"But....but," Tempest begged again.

"But nothing! I'm done with you," he shouted before pointing the staff at her and firing a bolt of lightning.

I quickly shot my magic to the floor in front of Tempest and a shield sprouted up, deflecting the bolt.

"Why are you interfering? She's your enemy, isn't she?" He looked at me before laughing, "oh! You ponies are all still friends? How...cute!" He finished and raised the staff to the sky and a very violent tornado began to form.

I heard the haunting howls of my windigos being blown away. I galloped to the edge of the balcony and shot out an icy blue magic beam from my horn in their general area, ceasing them from their temporary existence. I couldn't let them wreak havoc on Equestria's climate elsewhere. I turned back and faced the Storm King.

"Just go away forever!" He yelled at me before he pointed the staff at me. The crystal sparked and crackled loudly.

"No!" Tempest shouted and bit him in his side.

"Ow! When will you learn, you pest?!" He yelled and swung her around before hitting her hard with the staff and sending her over the balcony.

I quickly caught her in a levitation spell and began to pull her back over and out of the harsh wind's grasp. Only a sea of dust was around us as well as pieces of Canterlot and its once glamorous castle.

The storm King pointed the staff at me again and fired a beam of blue lightning.

"I think I realized what Starswirl meant," I said and kept my grip on Tempest while I fired my own beam. I only kept his attack at bay for now.

"He wanted me to find out about the power of friends for myself instead of watching others. He wanted me to LEARN not WATCH," I began to put more of the more powerful magic into my attack and slowly pushed the beam back towards the Storm King who now snarled at my words and power. He shoved the staff forward more in an attempt to blast more of its magic at me, it bore no results, "and he wanted to show me I was meant to harness this magic, not just study it."

"And it is the strongest magic of all just like those six have always said."

I blasted my magic full force at him and the staff withstood it as he and the wall of the castle instantly disintegrated to dust, a loud crack sounding out. My magic beam was composed of a rainbow of colors and cracked the very sound barrier that Rainbow did with her Sonic Rainboom. I slowly let off the beam and brought Tempest fully back to the balcony, setting her down gently. The immense tornado and thunderstorm he had called slowly went away and returned to the normal blue skies.

"What? Why save me?" she asked.

"Because you showed me you are a pony worth saving when you did what you did. We've all made bad decisions, some graver than others," I gave her a reassuring smile and received one in return, "but you chose to do good even if it meant your final moments. Anypony who acts so selflessly deserves to be saved."

A bright white flash came to our left as Starswirl appeared.

"Shadow Aura, that is by far one of the most powerful magic attacks I have ever seen. Bravo!" He stomped his hooves lightly.

"Starswirl!" Twilight's jaw dropped.

"I came because something inside me told me to. It told me to find you, Shadow Aura," he looked to me with a small smile and nodded at my wings, "Twilight Sparkle, bugs can get in your mouth if you leave it open," he chuckled.

I casted my spell and they disappeared, my horn kept a sizzling of magic at its tip after the beam came out and I just now noticed and felt it.

"I still dread this," I sighed out.

"Oooooh, what's happening with Shadow Auraaaaa?" Pinkie bounced around.

"You'll all find out soon, but for now, start to clean up this mess the Storm King made," he cantered over to me slowly.

"No matter what you do, I will still be a part of you!" Sombra spoke up again, this time his voice was real and it rung out.

"Was that...Sombra?" Rarity asked with a fearful expression. Fluttershy was hiding behind her.

"I'll explain later," I looked to the sky," as for you. You'll have yours soon, foal!" I moved closer to Starswirl and we were both enveloped in a white light.

I was floating, but still standing on some kind of invisible ground with Starswirl to my left. I saw visions of my life pass me by, countless scenes of loneliness. My countless research projects, the making of a crystal heart, the wing spell, the day I casted my immortality spell, the moment I crossed over through the mirror, the dance with Sunset, leaving the human world, sitting under the tree with Starswirl, having tea with Dingy Coat and Starswirl.

"My, my, you sure have learned a lot and come quite a ways," Starswirl commented as he walked through these visions that moved slowly around us.

A lot of them highlighted my achievements and my contacts with different races for my research, albeit the communication was short and always severed quickly. Starswirl stopped at the memory that displayed me casting the immortality spell.

"That's my favorite day, you know," Starswirl smiled at me.

"Why? I made such a mistake on that day," I questioned, looking down to the void below.

"I said I forgave you, but I should have said that. You made no mistake," he bumped my chest with his hoof.

"Why do you say that?" I looked back up at him and the memory.

"Because that day defined you. That day was your day of destiny and I am jealous. I have done my part, but your part, your part is forever now. You were meant to be here, nopony escapes fate, not me, not you, not Celestia, not even Discord."

Our tender moment was interrupted by a terrifying screech and a yell of pain that must have been Sombra's, a black mist flooding out of my body and quickly consumed by light. We stood in silence afterwards for a while until we were sure he was gone. We did not see anything visibly of him, but I knew that he was purged from me and his spirit was gone.

"Anyway, check your back, friend." I looked behind me and there were indeed large wings on my back.

I didn't want to be an alicorn. I knew I wasn't ready. I had just begun to learn about harmony and make my return to society official. I sighed.

"Don't be so glum. You have a lot to look forward to now," He hugged me tight with his hooves.

"What now? Are you leaving? Did you bring me here on purpose? Did you purposely make me an alicorn?" I had many questions.

"No, I did not. I just have a bond to Evermore since I live in it. It reached out to you and me, I thought to prepare you a little, and maybe try out a dramatic entrance," he answered, clinging tight to me while he chuckled a little at his poor attempt to lighten the mood he already created.

"What about my other questions?" I asked.

"My job here is done. I most likely will never be back in Equestria physically," I felt something wet on my neck.

I hugged him tight and shared his tears, but I understood why. Equestria didn't need him and his time was long overdue, he knew his destiny was fulfilled and he prepared the world for the future by edging me to cast that spell more in a cruel turn of fate and giving Equestria the elements of Harmony. Starswirl is right, nopony escapes fate. He was always a weird pony, he often faded out when he wasn't needed for something of dire importance, but there would always be a chance I would see him. I know he would be watching, but wouldn't be here anymore.

"Farewell, old friend," I spoke before releasing him.

"Take care, Prince of Magic. And tell Twilight she's no longer the alicorn best at magic," he chuckled again while his eyes showed remorse, "don't worry, Shadow Aura. You've always risen to the position you needed to fill," his tone changed to his serious voice all of a sudden before going back to sadness, "goodbye, friend. The memories are a wonderful parting gift," I saw more tears drop from his cheeks.

With another bright flash I was gone and appeared back in a charred and smoking spot on the ground that marked my initial disappearance. Tears were still falling from my cheeks and I rested onto my stomach, shedding my tears alone. I eventually stood after a few moments, wiping the tears out of my eyes and picking myself up.

"Starswirl...you old foal," I whispered and chuckled. I looked up and out at the clear sky.

"Twilight?" I asked, seeing nopony around but Tempest, who was in awe at my new wings probably and the rise of a new alicorn.

I looked around and saw Canterlot had somehow been repaired, the roof of the throne room was back and the balcony rails were sturdy again. I trotted inside the throne room again and saw all the princesses there along with those seven. They immediately peered at me and I stretched my large wings with a sigh as I slowly made my way down to them. They all had their jaws open.

"It's weird...let alone I'm a stallion," I laughed a little at my own Starswirl humor. He was very good at joking at the wrong or most awkward moments. I soon lost my smile and hung my head a little.

"Shadow Aura, look happier. You're still a fledgling alicorn and you have much to learn. I'm still shocked you were able to become one just after you understood friendship and the importance of harmony," Celestia commented and moved up to me slowly. Luna, Cadence, and Twilight followed after her and stopped at each others' sides.

"Perhaps it is because this place Starswirl told us about knew his body couldn't handle anymore magic in the form it was," Luna voiced and smiled, "you're a truly remarkable uni-alicorn, Shadow Aura," she caught herself.

"Don't worry, ruling takes a while to come up, I doubt you'd be leading anypony in the next ten years," Cadence joined in with her own smile.

"It's not that scary, I can help," Twilight meekly added.

"Hail Prince Shadow Aura," Celestia softly said and the four of them bowed their heads at me. I looked over them and saw the five of Twilight's friends and Spike do the same to me.

"There's no need for that, now if you'll excuse me, I need to go check on the situation I left in Ponyville. The Storm King's forces began to ransack it, so it'll need some cleanup. More importantly, Twilight," I looked to her with a stern gaze.

"Your other friends are here and I think they'd like to see you. That's why I said you couldn't go back there until I said you could," I lightly lit up my horn and casted a teleportation spell with ease.

We reappeared in the magic mirror room and more unconscious ape-like creatures were lying around.

"TWILIGHT!" All six of her other world friends galloped to her and hugged her tight. The other Twilight jsut sat there as a very confused unicorn.

"No, Shadow Aura, you didn't..." Twilight breathed out.

"I know having them all here could upset the balance, that's why they need to go back as quick as they can. They were all very brave and stayed here as I asked them to prevent the Storm King's forces from entering their world," I trotted to Sunset Shimmer and she looked to me and retracted away from Twilight. The others released her and began to share details of what I did over there.

I nudged Sunset Shimmer and pulled her away from the group.

"What is it, Aur?" She quickly questioned.

"Firstly, I apologize for dragging you seven into Equestria's problems. Secondly, I have an offer for you, one I hope you'll accept," I smirked. I was curious about how magic worked in her world and if someone could ever cross the boundaries with true magical ability. I was also hopeful I could have my marefriend here with me. Sunset who had traveled across the worlds would be a good candidate for a student anyway, she could probably find a way to retain it if she tried or had some sort of instrument.

"It's fine, I'm glad to help. What about this offer? You have me very interested," Sunset smiled back, her eyes having a kind of interest and curiosity that only one with a love for knowledge could have, or a love for me.

"You come back and stay here with me. I'm going to follow in the footsteps of the alicorns before me," I decided to be a little cryptic instead of my usual straight-forwardness.

"Wait, what. Are you saying," she caught herself. She had actually thought I flirted for a moment, I never found interest in a pony in that way, "no way. That means I'd be your student and you're a-a alicorn?! And I wouldn't have to say goodbye again!" Sunset stood with her mouth a little ajar.

"Shhhh, that I am and I'm trying to fit into the part. I'm the Prince of Magic now," the other ponies in the room looked over and began to trot over, "you'd be able to visit your friends in the other world periodically and you could learn so much under me," I tried to entice her further. They were getting close, smiles on all their faces.

"Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Always yes. I could never say no to that," Sunset's voice grew in volume and her muzzle sported a huge smile. It seemed being welcomed back in Equestria would be something she desired, or to live with me.

"We heard that~," Rarity sang.

"Congratulations, Shadow Aura. I'm very surprised that you became an alicorn, even if you are terrible at friendship," Applejack chuckled.

"I'm not that bad!" I defended.

"I get to plan a 'congratulations-on-becoming-an-alicorn-and-hiding-it-from-everyone' party now!" Pinkie bounced around the room squeeing in excitement.

"That won't be possible. You guys need to return to your world so balances are interrupted and I'll already be having a coronation and that'll be a nightmare," I sighed out, "but when I visit you can have that party!"

"I don't know what it means to be an alicorn here, but I guess that's cool?" Rainbow cued in.

"You all should get going, like Shadow Aura said. I hate to see you only for a moment and then leave like this, but you must go," Twilight commented, "I'm surprised our worlds are holding up as is right now."

The six made their way to the mirror and began to say their goodbyes, I turned to Sunset Shimmer who was still here and stood at my side.

"Our first duty will be cleaning up Equestria. Then we'll start by advancing your spellcraft," I spoke to her.

"Sunset, you need to leave too, you know that right?" Twilight spoke up.

"Actually, she's staying and now she's my student. She actually stabilizes the balance more given there is a version of her over there that hasn't been found yet," I looked at the six who stared at Sunset with a sad face, "you can say your goodbyes," I turned to Twilight, "please teleport her into my home so she can explore it and make it her home as well when she's done. I need to take care of some things," I quickly teleported back into the throne room of the Canterlot Castle.

I saw Tempest being looked down upon by the three princesses there whose gaze soon shifted to me, Tempest still looking at the marble floor. I already knew she was being judged.

"If I'm a Prince now, that means I have more influence, correct?" I asked as I walked up to them, their eyes all on me now. Tempest seemed to brighten up at my appearance.

"Yes, what is it Shadow Aura? We were deciding on what to do with her and we're deciding on exile and arrest on sight if she's found in Equestria again," Celestia spoke.

"Now, I know anypony can make a mistake and a mistake is still a mistake no matter on what scale. I couldn't imagine being stuck in stone like you were, but I do know she has a good heart," I trotted up to her and nuzzled her neck with my muzzle before I stared back at my now three equals with a firm look.

"He does have a point, but should we really be so lenient?" Cadance asked.

"Tempest has definitely learned from her mistake, I saw it in her eyes when I first shielded her from the Storm King. She apologized with that look," I grinned at Tempest, "she's not the heartless pony she lead everypony on to believe."

"Very well, Shadow Aura, we will acknowledge this. What would you have us do with her then?" Luna asked and the other princesses looked a bit shocked before agreeing.

"Give her a home in Ponyville and let her make a good life for herself. Twilight and her friends can check up on her, I now have some business of my own to attend to. And make my coronation in five days," I wanted to see if I could really stress it so less ponies will show up to the ceremony. The princesses had their mouths open.

I trotted out to the balcony and took flight.

"But that's too soon!" I heard Cadance shout from the balcony.

"Nothing's impossible for you ponies, right?" I chuckled and continued on my way.

I zoned in to the large plaza and feeling a little colder when I landed. My windigo magic has lingered and made it colder than it normally would have been. The ponies were just getting out of their cages and removing them from Canterlot, but all eyes soon fell upon me and heads began to bow.

Of the races, a pegasus's wings can be large, but never came as large as an alicorn's. An alicorn's wings were very soft and smooth regardless of how many flights they've been in and they came with a slight sheen that gave them a lustrous aspect. I knew the ponies found out that I was a true alicorn from the size and shine of my wings, I had researched alicorn anatomy quite thoroughly, form a distance of course.

"I see my windigos have left this place a little colder than usual. It will pass over the coming days," I stated, "and stop bowing to me, you'll have plenty of time at the coronation," I charged my horn for the fraction of a second and I appeared in my library.

"Ahhh!" Sunset Shimmer shrieked and dropped a short stack of books from jumping at my sudden appearance in front of her.

"The library here has every known book in Equestria," I looked to the giant magic crystal chunk in the room, "and that is the crystal hunk that the original Crystal Heart came from. The Crystal Hearts are now broken, but I plan to remake them," I nuzzled my muzzle against Sunset's cheek and received the same in return

I picked up a stack of the unfinished crystal hearts with my magic and went back to my room, setting them into my bag, "I'll be back!" I teleported to the Crystal Empire and set them down on the empty throne room, the guards staring at me in awe.

"There's no need to stare or bow, you can do that in five days," I teleported back out as soon as one of the two guards opened their mouths.

I reappeared in my home and trotted around my library, reflecting on the day a bit before calling parchment, a quill, and an ink pot over. I began to record the events of the day and wrote them as quick as I could while I went about the library and searched for my tome on ancient stones. under the ancient items section of my library. I scanned across the titles before I pulled the book down with my levitation and began to skim through it after I finished recording history. I sent the parchment to its completed pile to be filed away.

"Dragon's Ire, Celestia's Boon, Sombra's Horn, Windigo's Ice, Griffon's Grip..." I spoke aloud to myself.

"What are you doing, Aura?" Sunset came trotting in.

"For my coronation, they'll crown me and if I'm getting a crown I will make it myself. I want something fitting, something that can hold immense amounts of magic for when my own fails me," I looked back to the book, "Equestrian Mist, yes, this will do, last seen with the Hippogriffs," I smirked, I did know exactly where they are and how to reach them thanks to my visions.

"Equestrian Mist? What's so special about the stone? And why are you so eager to go on more journeys?" Sunset asked.

"Before the age of Celestia and Luna, before their teacher's time, before mine, even before Discord's or Sombra's; the Equestrian Mist existed and guided ponies and creatures fated for greatness. It protected them before they could protect themselves and there are records it has magic in it. As for its name, anyone who holds it close to their heart feels an eerie presence like somepony is watching them just like as if something were hiding in a dreary thick fog. I know you've barely had anytime to settle in, but how about you come with me to Hippogriffia? We'll be traveling on hoof so you'll definitely have a chance to try out the spells you found in my tomes here. As for more journeys? A researcher's job is never done," I smiled and nudged her side with mine.

These ponies sure have changed me to be more open and nice instead of firm and reclusive.

"And see the Hippogriffs? Of course! Let me pack!" Sunset was about to run out.

"Sunset, wait!" I stopped her at the archway of the library.

"Wha-oh, right. My stuff is in the other world," she flushed and looked at the ground.

"It doesn't matter, we're going to see how well you can survive off the spells you know. I could teleport us there, but that's no fun," I trotted out of my home without even a map, Sunset behind me.

"Shouldn't we at least take something to prevent us from getting lost?" She asked.

"Nonsense, I know the map of Equestria and other lands like the back of my hoof," I looked back to her with a grin and we were soon on our way.

I began to head to Ponyville first, we would follow the railroad tracks south to where the badlands began an continue making our way through it.


"Yea, Shadow Aura?"

"Thanks for deciding to stay, you're one of my better friends and I'm going to love this challenge I have presented myself with, all thanks to you," I smiled to her.

"No probs, Aur. What challenge are you talking about?"

"Making you one of the most magic adept unicorns in Equestria," I turned my head back around after I saw her smile, "we have a long road to fix up the mess named Sunset Shimmer," I felt her roughly bump into me and I laughed aloud.

"I'll out do you one day, just watch me," she answered.

"Haha!" I stopped in my tracks and turned around to her with my horn charging up, "put up a defensive shield or hit me something of your own."

I released a good sized beam of destructive magic energy at her. She chose to unleash her own light blue beam at me. Her magic was slowly overcoming mine until I pushed harder without using all my effort. Her magic attack was slowly being consumed by mine until she put her heart into her spell and began to beat my magic back again. I wasn't using the magic I was when I had hit Tempest all over the plaza in Canterlot, this was about half of that. I casted a teleportation spell and moved both of us outside the beam. the sudden movement caused Sunset to stop casting with me, the magic neutralizing each other right next to us.

"You have potential and what you just did there, you put some determination behind your spell and some of your belief. Trust in your magic and put all your passion into it an no foe can outdo you," I smirked and began walking again.

"I see...please don't do something that sudden again, that teleportation made me a bit queasy," she stated in a low voice.

Perhaps being an alicorn won't be so bad, except for all the attention. I don't know how I'll handle this newfound power for harnessing the magic of friendship directly from the ponies around me or my magic power in general, that could bring trouble to my home as well. Sunset Shimmer does go well with my straightforward attitude, but I'm not sure if she would agree with my only here for business, but I did want to take on a student just to see where it might lead me and them, it seems it's a running theme with alicorns.

"Sunset, I know I may have given you an upset stomach, but do you know what a speed spell is? You can use any spell for this journey except long distance teleportation. We're currently leaving the supposed 'undiscovered west' and entering Whitetail Woods," I informed as we came to a clearing with a railroad running to our left and right. We stopped for just a moment before continuing and Sunset began to trot with me on my left.

"I don't know if I could cast one, it's been a while and advanced spells are a bit hard," she commented and lit up her horn, likely charging one up. Her eyes were closed shut for a few moments before she opened them again with her horn still lit.

"I suppose I should as well then," I commented and casted my own, taking a lot less time than Sunset had. I looked up at my own large horn that shimmered with my grey aura.

"Take a few steps, Shim."

She trotted forward and her body moved at a much faster pace than her normal speed would be. She was already across the train tracks in four steps.

"Whoa, I guess I never lost any magic ability," she commented while she observed her glowing hooves. She soon began prancing in position, "I never knew how much I missed my horn!"

"I would go nuts without my magic. Come on, now. We still have a long way ahead of us," I took off from my own speed spell.

I could no longer hear the sounds of birds or other life in the woods, only our rapid hooves and the wind flying past my ears. It was only about a minute until we reached Ponyville, where I stopped my speed spell and Sunset did the same after she flew a bit in front of me.

"We still have a journey to make, afterwards you can visit Twilight here as much as you want. We need to make our way to the train station," I commented, "I still need to get a hold of Moonsilver and that requires going to the moon..."

"Moonsilver? What's that?" Sunset questioned.

"Back in my day, there was an occurrence of a pony going to the moon by teleportation. When she returned she talked about veins of metal that looked like silver all over the surface. She soon disappeared from the world as we knew it around the time Luna got banished."

"So, we're going to the moon?! You're crazy!" Sunset commented.

"You won't be, but I am."

Sunset shook her head at me an we continued to the station in silence, ponies gasping and bowing to me, some looking at Sunset with a little distaste.

"Shim, do not worry about the grimacing they give you. They hold no control over you, over any of us," I looked back at her with my classic blank expression.

"It's harder than you think. You've only had ponies admire you," Sunset commented.

"That's not true, I've had countless ponies compare me to my old two friends and I've had the scorn of myself for many millenia," I stopped once I saw the train station in the distance and turned to face her.

I stared at her blankly and she stared back.

My classic blank face wasn't really so classic, I found myself smiling more and more each day.

"What are you doing?"

"Admiring a pony brave enough to come back, leave her closest friends and give Equestria another try under somepony with less experience in friendship than her," I slowly smirked when I saw her smile big and then blush, turning her muzzle away to the ground. I laughed with my mouth closed in three deep tones. I continued my trot, "also because you're such a beautiful mare."

"Sh-shut up!" Shim was clearly embarassed now.

We came up to the train station and I walked to the booth.

"Two tickets to the badlands station, please," I kept my talk to business only.

"That'll be-," a purple coated and red puffy maned pony began to speak but dropped her jaw when she saw me and bowed awkwardly from behind the booth, "I'm sorry, I didn't-."

"At ease, you didn't offend. This whole alicorn thing is annoying. How much did you say?" I questioned.

"Alicorns ride free, including their guests," she answered, smiling big.

"I insist on paying."

"And I insist on no charge, it's by our rulebook. I could get fired," she persuaded.

"Fine," I sighed. I wasn't going to risk somepony's job over what would be about twenty bits. I trotted onto the nearest open train with Sunset following behind me.

I took a seat in the back, only one other pony on board as a passenger. Sunset laid on the one across from me.

"Horsefeathers," I whispered under my breath.

"It can't be that bad. I get the whole bowing thing can be overbearing but a free train ride is a free train ride," Sunset stared at me. I turned my head to face her as the train soon started to leave, heading South to the Badlands.

"Sunset, I am a proud mage! I carry myself in the magic I use to better lives and just because that lead me to a long path of alicornhood I don't deserve any pampering. I don't need these perks of being a Prince," I stamped my hoof on the seat cushion. Air sifted out from the cotton below my hoof, making an odd pwoosh sound.

"Maybe ponies will see that in time," she offered endearing words.

"Now you're making jokes," I took a small silence before speaking up again, "Sunset, you wanna learn some new spells?" I asked with a grin.

"What? On the train? Isn't that dangerous?" She asked and I levitated a potted flower from a corner of the cabin to sit between us.

"Not at all. I'll teach you a spell nopony else knows, but first we need some precursors," I focused my magic and put pressure into a pocket of air to the right of the plant and water began to fall and drip to the floor slowly.

I nodded to Sunset to try.

"Wait, what did you just do? Unicorns can't control the weather!" Sunset got very excited at seeing the supposedly the impossible.

"I didn't. I just exerted my magic in a way that caused higher pressure there so the water vapor in the air could condense. Simple to think of, but hard in practice. It's a combination of levitation and destructive magic, but not too much of the second."

I nodded again and Sunset's horn lit up blue, her tongue stuck out in concentration and a few moments later, two water drops fell from the air.

"Good! Good! That one can be a bit difficult the first time, but it's quick to master," I smiled and Sunset smiled back, "two more spells we need to cover before we can grow a plant."

"Please tell me!" Sunset wiggled in her seat and I laughed audibly.

"Alright, alright, settle down, little filly. You need to be able to levitate the water and force the plant to accept it by forcing osmosis, it requires a very gentle, but firm touch. Next, you need to cast a projection of yourself. I've mastered that spell, but it's really advanced. Starswirl, I, and probably Discord could accomplish it so I won't blame you if it really strains you. Go on, try it," I smiled.

"How do I start?" She asked and lit her horn up, focusing magic.

"When I made my own first attempts, I closed my eyes and then imagined the view I had before I closed my eyes. Got that picture?"

"Yes, I do." Sunset kept her eyes shut lightly.

"Next, I imagined moving my eyes, but only changing what my mental image would show," I stopped to her heard 'mhmm' of affirmation, "then I put my magic into it to see what the real image looked like and moved about Equestria. You will have to use a lot to do this."

"I think, I think I got it!" I heard her become excited a few moments later, her horn shining very bright, blue sparks jumping off it.

"To tie it all together, you need to move inside the plant to view it's processes while making that pressure and levitation spell going to force the plant to intake water also to move nutrients into it faster. The hardest part is taking control of all the cell processes to induce rapid cell building wherever you want it. Try now," I smiled wider, eager to see her work.

One minute...

Two minutes...

Four minutes...

After seven minutes, I saw the plant begin to grow vertically and grow more leaves.

"Sunset, stop," I commanded lightly when I saw adequate change that was completed.

Sunset opened her eyes and crouched down low to the plant, her horn no longer shining, she was prancing her hooves on the floor, a cacophony of clopping hit the floor of the train.

"Are you not tired?"

"My magic? Yes, I am tired there, but this is sooooo coooooool!" She squealed.

"I suppose we both have time for a nap until we reach the Badlands," I laid my head down on the cushion and stretched out. I closed my eyes.

"How can you sleep at a time like this?" Shimmer was still in awe.

"Just like I am now. Don't stay too excited you'll want your magic energy and I surely won't be sparing any."

"I'll be fiiiiine, you worry too much," Sunset joked.

"Me? Worry? Never. I go to sleep now, I advise you do the same," I reaffirmed.

"Alright, enjoy your boring nap," Sunset replied.

A few moments later and I was peacefully asleep to the light swaying of the train.