• Published 17th Feb 2018
  • 2,211 Views, 63 Comments

Compatī - Corejo

Sunset Shimmer lived a perfect life. Nightmare Moon destroyed it. When Luna seeks reconciliation years later, past demons resurface to threaten all that Sunset holds dear. Though she is willing, the question remains: is there a limit to forgiveness?

  • ...

III - Wise Words from a Wise Friend

“You need what now?” Twilight Sparkle stared at me as if I had asked her to fetch Cerberus from his post. She lay sprawled on a pillow in the main reading area of her library, a large green textbook propped comfortably on a pillow beside hers.

“The book,” I said. “The one you use to communicate with Sunset Shimmer.”

She smiled. “Oh! Sure. Is… something wrong?”

"I must speak with her."

She regarded me with a searching gaze, her mouth curled in a little hook-like frown. "Alright."

She left for one of the many bookshelves lining the hall and returned with the book. She held it aloft a moment before handing it over. Myriad were the words on the tip of her tongue.

"If you need anything, just let me know," was all she said, however. She afforded me one last glance before settling back in.

I tucked my nose in to my chest. I had been rather abrupt in my appearance today. ’Twas rude of me to intrude on her affairs two days in a row, especially during what little free time she had. I was thankful she understood, however, and so I retreated to the little corner nook where this journey began.

I laid myself down upon that same purple pillow and crossed my forehooves. I frowned at the book.

It stared back, unassuming. Still it weighed heavy in my grasp, but rather than the weight of knowledge, ’twas one of foreboding.

I opened it to a clean page and drew up a quill and ink. Tip against paper, I hesitated.

What was I to say? How best to navigate these treacherous waters? The prospect of failure chilled the blood in my veins.

Dear Sunset Shimmer,

I stopped there. I had made the leap into the unknown, yet still I knew not the words to use.

It appeared I was idle too long, however, as words inked themselves across the page in tight, intricate cursive.

Hey, Twilight! Cat got your tongue? I was actually hoping for a quick break from all this calc homework. Study hall can be a bore sometimes. How’s it going?

I grimaced. I apologize, Sunset Shimmer, but I am not Twilight Sparkle. My name is Luna.

Princess Luna? Princess Celestia's sister? Wow, to what do I owe the pleasure? How are you? Twilight’s told me so much about you.

I bit my lip. Shame's vice gripped tight about my heart.

She had no knowledge of who I was to her. And she seemed in such a cheerful mood. It pained me to know I was about to shatter it.

Though, ’twas to my advantage. I might yet appeal to her if I maintained discretion.

That is wonderful to hear. She has likewise regaled me in your exploits. I hear you are doing well in this other world.

Yeah, things are pretty good here. I mean, there’s a lot to keep a girl busy, what with all the Equestrian magic that keeps finding its way here and just normal day-to-day stuff, but I do miss Equestria.

Her neat writing took a turn for the messy, as quick as she had written it. Her homesickness was doubtlessly genuine.

Is everything okay? she asked before I could reply. I mean, I do appreciate you writing to me, but this is a bit out of the ordinary. I’ve only ever talked to Twilight in this book. Well, recently anyway.

The quill trembled in my grasp. I knew this confrontation was inevitable, yet it did not lessen my hesitation.

I am afraid not, Sunset Shimmer. I am the guardian of the dreamscape. In my workings, I stumbled upon your dream, and what I found there has earned me no lack of distress.

I wish to help you, I continued. I can dispel these nightmares you experience, but I cannot act across the span that separates our worlds.

You can enter dreams? But— There was a long pause. Her cursive trembled. —there's only one pony who can do that.

My heart thundered in my chest. I replied with similar trepidation. There is much that I have done in the past, Sunset Shimmer, and twice as much to make up for. I wish to right the wrongs I have caused you.

She did not respond immediately. When she did, however, her cursive had regained its tight form, but the loops and strikes had a sharpness to them. Please give the book back to Twilight.

I waited seconds, minutes, for more. Nothing. Sunset Shimmer, plea—

A violent pen slashed across my words and startled me into dropping the quill. Once, twice, thrice. Ink exploded in a long, splattering streak across the page that blacked out my plea and swallowed up half the rest. A moment later, little circles warped the page here and there as if it were being wetted.

I waited with trembling breath, but she wrote nothing more. I swallowed hard and bowed my head. As I had feared, she clung to the past, had failed to see my intentions for what they were. I could not blame her.

I closed the book and returned to Twilight. “She wishes that I return this to you.”

Twilight stared at it, then at me. “Princess, whatever’s going on, please tell me. I’m here to help you.”

I considered her offer. Sister knew Sunset Shimmer the longest, which I must regretfully accept was not the Sunset of today. However, Twilight knew her, the Sunset who had saved the human world from destruction on multiple occasions, the Sunset who made friends and earned her redemption.

Perhaps it was wrong of me to seek Sister’s counsel instead of hers.

“I have done things I am not proud of, Twilight Sparkle. In my exile, I used Sunset Shimmer as a means of foiling Sister’s attempts to gather the Elements against me.” I rubbed a hoof along my foreleg. “I am the reason she fled Sister’s tutelage. I am the reason she tried enslaving a foreign world to destroy Equestria.”

Twilight laid her ears back. She knit her brow and looked longingly at the book in her grasp. She turned those innocent eyes my way. “You should go see her. Tell her how you feel. She’ll understand. Maybe not at first, but she will later.”

I grimaced. “I do not believe you understand just how much I hurt her, Twilight. I did not simply haunt her dreams. I manipulated her mentally and emotionally. I took advantage of her love for Sister and her ambitions of becoming one of Equestria’s greatest unicorns. I tore her apart from the inside while claiming to love her in return.

“And when I finally accomplished my goal, I...”

I knitted my brow, clenched my teeth together. My lip trembled, and I almost couldn’t speak the words. “I broke her, Twilight.”

Twilight lowered her ears and looked away as if searching for something. “There’s an old Zebrican craft I read about once. Whenever a pot is broken, they use gold and epoxy to repair it. Even though it’s not the same as it was, the patterns caused by the broken pieces makes it unique and oftentimes more beautiful than it was before.”

“But she wants nothing to do with me.”

Twilight smiled and placed a reassuring hoof on mine. “And that’s why you should go see her. I’m sure what you did was bad, but look at all the good that’s come of it. She’s in a place where people care for her, and she has a whole group of friends that couldn’t be happier.

“And,” she said, her smile growing just a hair, “she’s reformed, just like you. That’s common ground. You have something to relate to.”

’Twas true. Common ground oft was the foundation for many a treaty. Yet I knew not how to bridge the fact that I was the reason for her need to reform in the first place.

“It’s why you want to help her. Isn’t it.”

A tingling sensation ran up my spine. I saw in Twilight’s eyes the yearning of one who wanted to understand, but knew she couldn’t. When I blinked, I saw Everfree Castle, myself, Sister—that first embrace we shared after my cleansing. I felt the Tantabus within me, dormant, yet ever present.

“Because you know what that’s like,” she said.

I looked away. I could not bear her face.

She was right, however. In my attempt to destroy Sister through Sunset’s manipulation, I created something new. I formed from her a kindred spirit, a victim that, like myself, fell prey to the temptations of ambition.

’Twas my doing that broke her so, yet still I knew her struggle. I felt the pain I inflicted upon her as if it were my own.

Whether it were for her salvation or my own, I would know no other recourse.

I smiled and looked Twilight in the eye. “I… yes. Thank you, Twilight.”

She returned my smile, confident she had done her due diligence. She was not wrong. “No problem, Princess Luna. I’m happy to help. Did… you want to go now? I mean, if not, you’re more than welcome to spend the night here. I’ll have Spike prepare you a room.”

I waved away the notion. “Nay, Twilight. I should go tonight. I cannot bear the thought of her enduring another night of this.”

Twilight nodded. “In that case, I’ll take you to the mirror.”

’Twas in an interior room not far from the library. As one might have expected, shelves full of books lined the walls as if it were merely an extension of the library.

In the middle of the room, she had designed some sort of contraption of hardwood, tubes, pipes, and wires, all centered around a pedestal above the mirror itself.

Twilight placed the book upon the pedestal and touched the contraption with her horn. Like an engine whirring to life, the energies of the portal activated, and the mirror’s once solid surface rippled like that of a lake teased by a light wind. My reflection stared back at me, but beyond the surface lay the faint haze of another world.

“I’ll keep it open as long as you need.” She gave me that endearing smile not even Sister could replicate.

“I cannot thank you enough, Twilight. Are… are you sure you do not wish to accompany me? I could use your expertise, not to mention the assurance you would no doubt instill in her.”

She flitted her wings, and a wistful smile entertained her but a moment. “I want to. I miss my friends at Canterlot High, but I think this is something you have to do yourself.”

She put a reassuring hoof on my chest. “Don’t worry about what to do or say. She’ll understand your intentions.”

I smiled. “I suppose you are the Princess of Friendship. Thank you again, Twilight.”

I stepped up to the mirror and placed a hoof through it.

“Oh, before you go,” Twilight said. She held up a hoof. “Two legs, not four. And don’t freak out about your muzzle.”

“My… muzzle?”

She put her hoof to her mouth and looked up. “Or your hooves. Or your mane or tail… Just, uh, don’t freak out.” She smiled apologetically.

I raised an eyebrow at her. “I will keep that in mind.”

I returned my attention to the portal. A final moment of preparation, a deep breath, and I entered.

Author's Note:

For those of you that have blog posts turned off, I've decided to reorder the beginning chapters of this story in order to better introduce the central conflict earlier on. You can find more details on this change here.

Onward and Upward!