• Published 14th Apr 2018
  • 4,181 Views, 373 Comments

Dear Faithful Student - Muramasa



Celestia has been alive for thousands upon thousands of years, and as a result, has had more than one student who have studied under her. When her long dead students appear in modern day Equestria in their youth, Twilight must discover why.

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CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER THREE:
FIREWORK
PRINCESS TWILIGHT SPARKLE


I didn't know a whole ton about Violet.

My younger self had, of course, once asked Celestia about her former apprentices. It was never something she liked to talk about, but she always gave a few names, and there was one that had truly stuck in my mind.

Violet.

Celestia was never very talkative about the matter. She always said that after Luna was banished, she decided she needed to teach other ponies the power of friendship in the hopeful event that they could fill the void that Luna had left. The only thing I knew was that I was the only apprentice to complete this task (Cadence was a pegasus and never studied magic under Celestia) and that the first apprentice Celestia ever had went by the name of Violet.

That was always about it. I didn't even know who Sunset Shimmer was before she stole my crown, because there came a point in my studies where I stopped asking the question. I never ran into any of Sunset's former belongings (or at least knowingly) and I never read any books that mentioned former apprentices. It just wasn't something she was wont to discuss, and so I really didn't push it. I didn't know what Violet looked like, who she was, where she was born, what happened during her time, or how she died.

And yet, here she was. Or so she claimed to be.

Celestia slowly drifted towards her, her steps shakey yet firm, and stopped just in front of her. She stared for a few seconds, although to Sunset and I, it seemed like an eternity. Violet didn't say anything, but she locked eyes with Celestia, and the two stared and stared until Celestia's horn began to glow.

I looked to Sunset immediately, who nodded with a stern expression. We both knew what this was: an identification spell that can tell a magic user if the pony or being she casts it on is really the person they claim to be. It isn't as useful as it seemed, however, as it was a fairly advanced spell that would only work if you had a strong bond with the person you were casting it on. Thankfully, in this case, Celestia did know Violet, and a wave of her light gold aura began to slowly wash down the unicorn.

"You know it to be I," Violet whispered, with a voice just loud enough to hear. The conviction in her words was so fierce that I already knew the reading Celestia received far before the spell had ended, and the sliver of a gasp from Celestia's lips only confirmed my suspicions.

Once the last of the magic died out, the throne room could have been a painting. Everypony stood still as a stone, waiting for the reaction from the Princess of the Sun, and after what seemed like yet another eternity, they embraced with a resounding thud.

The guards looked at each other, clearly baffled by the sudden turn of events, and, as was their protocol, they turned to the next highest authority figure in the room which, unfortunately, happened to be me. With all eyes burning into my skull, I quickly identified the captain of the guard and spoke to him directly.

"You all are, uhh, dismissed. I think we're good here, but I'll let you know if that changes?" My laughably unconvincing demeanor made them even more confused, but thankfully, Celestia stepped in for me.

"You're dismissed, yes," she said with an emotional chuckle, breaking away from her hug with tears gently flowing from her eyes. Violet looked to be the same boat, and Celestia began to speak with a bit more clarity as the guards began to slowly file out of the room.

"Violet, I never... what are you doing here? This is unbelievable, I remember... " I had a feeling I knew the words that would come next, but thankfully, Violet did as well, and the beaming grin she'd had during the embrace with her former mentor slowly melted away.

"My perishing? Yes, I too recall it well," she began. "'Tis an event I feel only occurred moments ago, it seems. But I came to my senses outside of the city, in the prime of mine own youth no less, and I journeyed here. I had no clue what had become of thee, and so I only hoped thou still held reign o'er the land." Violet leaned slightly to the side to look directly at me, and her eyes began to widen. It took a second, but I finally understood why she was so shocked, and so I awkwardly raised a hoof and waved at the new arrival.

"Oh, you must be confused by the wings! I'm Princess Twilight. I was Celestia's most recent protege." Those words seemed to fill her with an understanding, and she quickly turned to Celestia with an excited whisper.

"She hath created magic?" she asked. Celestia nodded slowly, but I had to raise an eyebrow at those words: for a pony that should be close to one thousand years old, Violet appeared to know a lot, along with numerous things Celestia had never told me until I'd actually happened upon them. I turned to Sunset, who had a similar expression of disbelief on her face.

"You died a millennium ago. You shouldn't be here," she said. Sunset had always been straight to the point in the time I had come to know her, though I admit it was certainly a detail of note. Violet's stern visage she had worn during her introduction returned, and she nodded firmly. Celestia looked back down at her at Sunset's declaration, and there was still a look of disbelief on her face. Equestria's ruler was confused but clearly jubilant, and upon recognizing this, Sunset's glare softened just a bit.

"...but we can figure that out later. I'm Sunset Shimmer. I was also an apprentice of--"

Before she could finish her sentence, we heard some steps behind us, and the faint ghost of a voice that became more and more prominent as the hoofsteps got closer.

"--already resolved? Well, I shall talk to 'Tia at any rate. This seemed like quite the scare."

Luna.

I looked back to Violet, who was now leaning her head towards the doorway to see who was about to enter. Celestia's reaction was far more telling, however, as an immediate mix or worry and horror quickly flooded across her face. With that I understood: Violet knew very well who Nightmare Moon was, and I had a very bad feeling the upcoming meeting would be a major problem.

When the Princess of the Night emerged, she quickly scanned the room, gazing first at Sunset and I before looking over to Celestia and Violet, the latter of which was clearly processing something she simply didn't understand. The color had drained from face entirely, and her bewildered expression began to slowly change to a grimace with every second she stared at Luna.

Luna turned to her sister, who had already stepped in front of Violet in what appeared to be an attempt to diffuse a situation that had yet to even occur.

"Celestia, who is this?" Luna asked, glancing towards the figure that was now obscured by her sister's body. She leaned to the side a bit, likely giving her a full view of Violet's increasingly aggressive demeanor.

"You... " whispered Violet, just loud enough to hear.

Violet appeared to be thinking at the speed of light, processing Luna's arrival with a rapid intensity. It didn't take long for a well of emotions to flood across her face at the sight of Celestia's sister, and a snarl began to slowly creep across her visage. She took a step forward, and Celestia strafed to meet her.

I looked to Sunset, who was already making her way to the scene. I followed her as quickly as I could, and while Sunset attended to Celestia and Violet, I trotted carefully over to an increasingly bewildered Luna.

"Violet, please, there is so much you don't know!" Celestia pleaded, though Sunset and I knew her words fell on empty ears. Violet advanced forward even still, and Luna turned to me as I approached her. Her confused look was gone, and a stern expression quickly asserted itself on her countenance as she addressed me.

"Twilight, what is the meaning of this? Who is this mare?" She asked me. I looked back over to Celestia and Sunset, but I could tell their hold over the returned apprentice was quickly slipping as every second gave way to a better glimpse of her.

"THAT is Celestia's first apprentice and YOU should probably leave," I asserted. I attempted to push her backward, but I merely struggled in vain: Luna stood steadfast, though the color in her face had drained entirely to match Violet's as she gazed upon the mare whose identity was no longer a mystery.

"What?" Luna whispered. She took a slight step back, the clacking of her hoof louder than her words, and her face became flooded with a mix of emotions attempting to comprehend the situation. It was at that moment, however, that Violet broke through Celestia and Sunset's barricade, marching straight to the Lunar Princess.

"Dost thou know how much pain you hath brought to her? To me?" She asked, her words becoming louder and grittier with each passing syllable.

Her horn ignited like a match across cardboard, raw energy bursting from its seems. To call it organized chaos may have been giving it too much credit, as sparks of magic flew from the core of her horn with every passing second. In the simplest of terms, it looked like a black market firework ready to explode at any second.

It was at that point I realized that, without a quick intervention, an unfortunate misunderstanding could become an unraveling. Violet had to have been a deadly cocktail of confused, lost, afraid and angry, and I had a feeling that she could put out some sizeable damage if the situation wasn't defused.

Luna had turned her head at Violet's confrontation, though as the time passed and Violet seemed far from cooling down, the Princess of the Night finally spoke.

"I do," she said simply. "And I will forever live with it. But you need to calm down." Luna's inflection had that soft and hypnotic flair she was always so good with, but her words did nothing to calm the angered Violet. There was a sudden burst from her horn that, while not extraordinarily dangerous, was enough to make Sunset and I jump back a step. Celestia and Luna didn't move a step, however, and Luna's resilience seemed to only make Violet more and more irate.

"Calm down," Violet muttered. "I will not be calm, and especially not by the likes of a nightmare such as thee. How dare thy walk in this castle after thy crimes!" Violet took a step closer, and I knew then that it was enough.

I did the only thing I could think of at the moment. I took a deep breath and, mustering absolutely all the magical energy I could gather, shouted as loud as I could across the throne room.

"VIOLET!"

The ability to amplify noise was a unique one amongst unicorns. Technically, a unicorn's voice could be amplified as loud and long as they wanted so long as they had the energy to do it: because of this, it was often used to scare others or say things in brief, as the louder and longer one wanted to amplify their voice, the more energy it drained at an exponentially quick rate.

I, however, only needed a word, and I was significantly more powerful than most unicorns.

As I hadn't really ever used the spell except for training before I became an alicorn, I entirely forgot this, and the results were nigh catastrophic.

The first thing I heard immediately after the wrathful wave of sound was a shatter of what I assumed to be the pottery and decor surrounding the throne room. It was hundreds of years old, so I could feel my heart palpitate at the very thought of destroying multiple items so valuable, but one quick glance around me reminded myself that pottery wasn't the only thing in the room.

Sunset and Violet were on their knees, clenching their ears with their free hooves. Celestia and Luna, standing proudly a moment before, had reeled back from their respective positions: Luna was clenching her head, while Celestia seemed to be in the middle of an attempt to blink away the sudden shockwave of confusion from her skull.

It seemed as if eternities were passing by before everypony came to, and the only thing I could do was watch helplessly. Sunset was the first to completely recover, slowly rising to her knees and, with a glare that'd murder us all if looks could kill, she spoke directly to me.

"Could you run that by me again, Twi?" she asked, her voice dripping with a scathing facetiousness. "I didn't quite catch that."

My blush was probably visible from space, and when Violet looked up to me with a blistering ire and anger that had come to define her in the five minutes I had known her I knew I had to speak fast.

"Sorry," I said sheepishly, addressing Sunset with an embarrassed grin. She gave a half smile that seemed to indicate she approved the method of getting Violet's attention whilst being simultaneously furious with the execution, so I turned to Celestia's seething former apprentice with my next declaration.

"Violet, I know you have to be scared, and angry, confused, and a whole bunch of other stuff," I began. "I know I would be too if I were in your situation: if it were me, it'd probably be worse. But I'm going to need you to calm down, and I promise we're going to explain everything later to you. We're going to figure out what happened."

Violet, her head still ringing from my spell, took a scan of the throne room again. She was greeted by a sea of uneasy eyes, akin to a group of hyenas surrounding a lion. Violet's longest gaze came to me, and I gave her the most reassuring smile I could muster: I'd dealt with hotheads before, but none that had been displaced from their own time.

After what seemed like a lifetime, Violet gave a deep, resounding sigh. She immediately fell to the floor where she stood, panting and sweating as the magical exhaustion she had built up hit her like a train.

"I apologize," she said meekly. "I... I must lie down."

I felt a pulse of calm shoot through my muscles as I turned to Sunset, who had taken a few steps back from the scene.

"Sunset, can she stay in your room? Until we figure things out? I think it would be good for her to have a roommate." Without hesitation, Sunset nodded, walking to over to where Violet had collapsed. Sunset began to speak to her as she helped lift her from the tile, and while I couldn't make out all of it, it seemed as if Sunset was asking Violet if she was okay after using up such a large portion of her magic pool. Satisfied, I turned to Celestia, who already had a knowing grin upon her face.

"You have a plan," she sang. I couldn't help but return her beam, as it never ceased to amaze me how well my former mentor could read me.

"I do, but Spike isn't here, so I'll need you to take a letter." Celestia's eyebrows rose to the ceiling with those words, her grin twisting slyly.

"That's a bit below my pay grade," she quipped teasingly. With a flash of her horn, a roll of parchment and a fine quill appeared in front of her, gently bobbing in the air.

"To whom?" She asked, the quill turned to the parchment and ready to write. I looked behind me to watch Sunset take Violet towards the stairs, and answered her question without turning back.

"I don't know a whole lot about time travel and time displacement," I began, now turning to face Celestia again.

"But I know a mare who does."


"So run it by me again. The whole thing, one more time."

Starlight Glimmer had studied time travel and all of its intricacies for months after my friends and I had bested her. While I cannot say my experience of her knowledge first hand was remotely pleasant, she had since become my pupil and, most importantly, one of my closest friends. Now, she sat in one of the many castle bedrooms among Violet, Sunset, and I, with her best friend Trixie Lulamoon seated in a chair beside her.

Violet was propped up against the far wall with pillows, lounging on the bed. She looked up to the ceiling as she began to give us what I assumed would be the final retelling of her story before Starlight came to a conclusion.

"I was dying," she began bluntly. "I rested on a bed not too different from this one, I surmise. Celestia was beside me, comforting me, talking to me... and there came a point where I closed my eyes and faded." She nodded her head down to Starlight, who was studying her with a fierce intensity.

"The very next thing I can recall was my awakening in a field not too far from Canterlot. I felt... young. Empowered. I figured I had reached heaven, truthfully." Violet chuckled to herself before continuing. "Until I saw Canterlot in the distance. I started for it, and the rest you witnessed for yourselves."

Starlight took a minute, staring at Violet all the while. Violet appeared a tad uncomfortable when Starlight finally spoke to her again.

"There was no in-between when it comes to your memories?" she asked. "You died, and then you woke up outside of the city?" Violet nodded in the affirmative immediately.

"There is no gap. 'Tis immediate from one recollection to the next." Starlight sighed heavily, and I could feel my eyebrows raising.

"Well?" I asked her. She turned to me with a countenance of pure confusion, the likes of which I don't think I had ever seen on Starlight.

"I'm stumped, Twi," she said. "And here's what's really tripping me up. I think this is absolutely, one hundred percent the real Violet. She's not a fragment, or an apparition, or a copy: this is the absolute real her, and Celestia's spell all but confirms that." Before I could ask where she was going with her thoughts, Sunset interjected: she appeared to be thinking right alongside my former pupil.

"That would indicate that she was ripped from her own time and brought here," Sunset began. "But that simultaneously can't be true, because--"

"--she died," Starlight finished. "Violet isn't missing from any point in the past, she's just here. But because she's dead, it's almost as if she's been revived from death in an entirely different time period. The problem with that is--" This time it was Violet herself that butted into the conversation.

"I am in the prime of my youth," she explained. "I was not when I perished." A light bulb seemed to go off above Starlight's head at those words, and she turned back to Violet.

"How old were you when you died, by the way? Sixty? Seventy?" she asked. Violet recoiled in surprise, her eyes wide and her mouth slightly agape as she shook her head in the negative.

"Forty-eight years of age," she replied. "Do... do ponies live until seventy years of age in these times?"

That certainly got the room silent. As the blanket of uncomfortableness slowly draped itself across the room, with most of use modern day ponies electing to stare at the bright pink wallpaper rather than Violet, it was I who decided to finally break the tension.

"We've come quite a long way, Violet," I began. Deciding that explaining how long ponies lived wasn't the best culture shock to give her right now, I looked to Starlight, who was currently engaged in a staring contest with the ground. When she felt my gaze she jumped with a start and turned to face me.

"I'm sorry, Twi," she said to me. "There's no way to really confirm my suspicions I can think of. I can't really help unless I know what type of displacement this is."

I could immediately see the dejection flow across Violet's face. I was about talk faster than I was thinking in an effort to comfort her, but to my surprise, it was Trixie Lulamoon that spoke next.

"So what we are confused about is whether Violet was ripped from her own time, or revived and placed in her youth via some crazy magic?" she asked. Everypony looked around the room before beginning to nod slowly, confirming Trixie's understandings. With a devilish grin only Trixie could ever manage, she hopped out of her seat with vigor and dramatically turned to the room.

"Come on, my little ponies! Trixie is taking the class on a field trip!" Sunset's face coiled in confusion, and with a tilt of her head, she spoke for the rest of us.

"A field trip? Where?" she asked. Trixie, clearly anticipating the question, turned to Violet.

"Do you know where you're buried?" she asked her. Although my eyes initially widened in shock at the morbid question, an understanding quickly dawned on me: one look around the room showed that everypony else (except for Violet, though that was to be expected) began to catch on as well. The room's eyes switched to Celestia's first apprentice, and she immediately turned red as a tomato as she glanced down to the bed.

"I know not for certain, of course," she began. "But I requested I be laid to rest in my hometown, a hamlet called Hourton. It may cease to exist in these times, for all I know."

Having received the answer, everypony slowly began to rise from their seats: Starlight, however, stayed put, and she spoke out before I could ask her what was bothering her.

"I'm sorry," she began, a bewildered twinkle in her eyes. "Did you say... Hourton?"

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