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Rated Ponystar


"You think you know me..."

T
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The shocking death of Princess Celestia came and all of Equestria mourned. None could explain, either scientific, medical, or magical, could explain the utter failure of her body and her demise. After her passing, Twilight Sparkle finds herself plagued with answers of how and why this happened. In order to find out what happened, and prevent such a thing from happening again, Twilight use the same potion Zecora gave her during the vine incident to step into the past and find the answers she seeks.

Yet the answers are nothing she ever expected, and what she learns will shatter everything she has known about Princess Celetia and her thousand year rule since her sister's banishment.

Co-Written with Black Hailstorm

Edited by Roker12

Chapters (6)
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Comments ( 72 )

Celestia dies in my story too! 😄 By her own sister. XD

But this a cool idea so far. 😊

Alright, you have my interest. Let's see where this one is going.

That evening, Princess Luna set the sun for the first time ever... but with so much pain in her heart.

:fluttershysad:

Alright, you have my attention. Please keep going:pinkiehappy:!

This was a very depressing beginning. But, you have my attention and I hope to see more of this.

I cried along with all of equestria.
poor sunset never even got to say goodbye :(

I wonder what her mission was and why she accepted it?

It’s ponies had been through hardships from plagues to invasions, yet it had always had a united strong front.

Its

Just this chapter gave me the chills. But of course, I knew you were conspiring with aircons all over the world! :pinkiecrazy:

But seriously, it did give me the chills. Any attempt I make now – especially with my limited time – to describe this story will fall short of what it deserves, and what I think it will deserve. So I shan't try.

This is really good, but I'd recommend some proofreading. There are a lot of small grammatical and typographical mistakes here. Not enough to ruin the story, but enough to be somewhat distracting.

Twilight needed that sleep I bet. So Twilight how are you going to have a hoof in Celestia's ultimate demise I wonder?

Jeez Twilight is running herself ragged more than usual:twilightoops:. Thank Faust that Starlight and Spike were there to stop her:fluttershysad:.

Because anyone with common sense could see that even if she wasn’t shedding tears openly. The princess was hurting horribly on the inside.

Shouldn't that period in the middle be a comma?


That being said, I eagerly anticipate where this story goes! Can't wait for the next chapter! :pinkiehappy:

Edit: Just found out that you're the one who wroteThe Assassination of Twilight Sparkle. *looks through your other stories* You sure do like to write them dark stories, don't you? And I can't say anything against that, seeing as they're great.

9058326
Well, to try to stop her.

9057984
An interesting thought, an interesting thought.

Time travel makes everything complicated, doesn't it? But the potion itself shouldn't affect the past, unless... unless Twilight brewed it wrong, but I can't see that happening this early in the story (assuming this isn't short).

"The good news is she'll wake up soon. I'd say in an hour or two," he replied before lowering his head. "The bad news is she that in three days she'll be dead."

Wait, in three days:applejackconfused:?! At the beginning, it took over a thousand years for this dark magic to kill Celestia! How could she have survived this long if it was meant to kill her in three days?!

Also, nice introduction of the first captain of the Solar Royal Guard, and Celestia's advisor:ajsmug:. I'm looking forward to what happens next:twilightsmile:.

Wow how did Celestia prolong her life? I think Celestia is going to make a major sacrifice to make sure everything is ready when Luna returns.

I don't want to be that guy, but in the very last line the first "she" should be deleted. I wouldn't have mentioned it but it did notably detract from my immersion into the tale that you're creating. Still, good story.

Why do I get the feeling that Twilight never met the real Celestia?

Wait, wait, WAIT! If she was supposed to die in 3 days, then how...?!

9131172
9130927
The title is a spoiler — simulacrum is a word that has a meaning :raritywink:

9131672
Simulacrum; imitation, or in this context, homunculus. an artificial being, or golem, created with the memories and essence, or soul, of a specific individual with the intent of forging a near perfect copy, or doppleganger.

Sweet Jesus, This Story Has Made Me Cry. If it does that then it must be good

I'm not crying, your crying:raritycry::raritycry::raritycry::raritycry:

If this Celestia was a clone, I wonder what Luna will think if she finds out that she caused her sister's death.

Wow just wow. I wonder what Luna knew when she got back and how Twilight will be able to prevent this from going public?

One: They found something to stop the rotting of the body and Princess Celestia lived.

Two: They used something to delay it until recently in Twilight’s time.

Three: The doctor was lying.

I think it's the second one:applejackunsure:.

“Thundralot, do you not realize what has just happened?” Nightwish stated before he stood up and glared at her. “One of our Princesses has betrayed us and could be dead while the other one, who was betrayed, is going to die as well. Two ponies who the entire country has loved, adored, and even worshiped as if they were living gods will be no more. They have stood before us and guided us greater than any leader either of our three races have ever known for generations. How will the public react when they learn of what has happened?”

Like how they reacted in the actual timeline....balistic:twilightoops:!

Twilight knew. She had seen first hand what chaos comes when both Princesses are missing or captured. It happened during the chaos vine incident and when Tirek had banished them to Tartarus. After each incident was over she learned of the riots, deaths, chaos, and panic that occured in every city and town. The only reason things hadn’t fallen into utter despair was because she and Cadence were still there.

It had been one of the most trialing times of her life.

Indeed it was:ajsleepy:.

“The reason we agreed to have the Princesses rule us is because they share all three traits of our kind. Earth pony, pegasus, and unicorn. The council worked at first, but it eventually started to form political parties, racial lines, and selfish politicians who were only in it for themselves. We have something very few nations will ever attain. Benevolent ageless monarchs who put their people first and themselves second. If that’s not the closest to having a living god to rule and protect you, I don’t know what is,” Nightwish said, shaking his head. “If they were to be removed, we would have to reform the council again which could take years to do. Meanwhile, other nations we’ve managed to hold off like the Griffins, Dragons, and Diamond Dogs could attack us at any moment. Princess Luna was one of the greatest military generals we had, but she’s gone as well from what I can assume. We also would have to sacrifice unicorns again and again every day and night which will cause the unicorn race to revolt or demand more for their greater contributions just like before.

It would be like before the two Princesses even ruled:rainbowderp:. Only this time...they won't be coming back:twilightoops:.

They will demand more power and privilege for their sacrifice which will lead the other two races to argue and then we’d divide again just like before the Great Endless Winter! There would be conflicts, starvations, abandonment, anarchy! Our nation would collapse in less then ten to twenty years by my estimation!”

So much preparation for the inevitable...so little time:twilightoops:.

Thundralot just stare at the panting Nightwish. “T-then why haven’t we prepared for something like this?”

You haven't...the Princesses have ruled for so long that it's led you to believe you wouldn't have to prepare for this:ajsleepy:.

“What about the Pillars?! Surely if we found them-”

Yeah, I don't think they're gonna be around for this:fluttershyouch:.

First, she had to look at the problem: Princess Celestia was dying. However, unlike in her time, she knew the reason was because of a dark magic spell from Nightmare Moon. A spell that she had neither heard nor seen before, despite having studied dark magic after the Sombra incident in an attempt to better understand it. She even used it once or twice in desperation, but made sure to not let it consume her. Did Princess Luna know of this all along? She said she didn’t remember everything as Nightmare Moon, but... could that have been a lie?

Doubt it:applejackunsure:.

Did Luna know the reason why Princess Celestia died in her time? If they did manage to find a temporary cure, did Celestia tell Luna or did Luna figure it out on her own? Or was she just ignorant as much as Twilight was. She didn’t want to think that Luna knew she had killed her own sister a thousand years ago and neglected to tell her this during the nationwide search to cure Princess Celestia in present time. No, I refuse to believe it, Twilight shook her head to bid away all doubts. Luna was all but half-dead during the funeral. She mourned her sister like she mourned a part of herself. I refuse to think that Luna is that good of an actor to fake tears for her sister’s death, not when she loved her so much.

True that:eeyup:.

“Princess, I fail to see how any of this is your fault when Princess Luna decided to betray you,” Nightwish answered.

It wasn't just that:applejackunsure:.

“That is both true, and not true,” Princess Celestia sighed, lowering her head. “Sombra was desperate for a win, so he created an armor that allowed him to brainwash non-combatant ponies when he’d started running out of troops. They were under his total command; mares and stallions, young and old... some of which were even the age of fillies and colts.” This made all three ponies drop their jaws. “All of them would fight and die in his name so he would preserve his empire. Truely, there was no sicker sight.” Celestia closed her eyes and rubbed her head. “The brainwashed Sombra soldiers tried to ambush them on both sides, but my sister knew that this was the only chance to save the war campaign so she ordered her soldiers to fight on. They were forced to kill them all, by the time we learned what had happened to them, rumors began to spread and Luna was accused of killing innocent civilians which soon spread back home. I figured such rumors would disappear over time as I was more focused on ending the war.”

...

...

...

...

...Wow...:rainbowderp:...that would actually partly explain how Luna became so withdrawn from everypony, and why they feared her:pinkiegasp:!

Taking a deep breath, Celestia continued, “When we returned home in failure, the rumors didn’t stop. I suggested that Luna make less appearances until the whole thing died down and she decided to focus on restoring our military strength while protecting our borders from raiders and monsters. I focused on rebuilding the spirit of our country, but this would result me in becoming... very popular.”

Which was the beginning of the end for the Ruler of the Night...:ajsleepy:.

“Why do you say that this is a bad thing? You are wise, kind, and a great ruler,” Thundralot stated.

True, but she was not the only one who was supposed to rule...why do you think there are two rulers Thundrabolt:duck:? because they're meant to rule together:eeyup:.

“But my sister and I were to rule as equals, not one to favor the other,” Celestia replied. “There is a reason why neither of us took the title of ‘queen’. We agree to rule side by side, equally sharing power, but in the years my sister was away I grew to gain more power and... to my shame I found myself liking the attention.” Twilight sat down next to her weeping mentor who looked at her hooves as if they were stained with blood. “I loved the attention, the cheers, the smiles my ponies saw of me day and night. I became lost to it, and when my sister returned she saw me adored while she was ignored, feared, and even hated.”

For some reason I knew that'd be her response...even the wisest and kindest, and most humble of rulers can get caught up in the fame and glory they get form their subjects:ajsleepy:.

“Surely, you can’t be serious! Princess Luna was just as-”

For a time she was...but ever since the spread those rumors...well, Celestia already told you:applejackunsure:.

“Who... who is this Nightmare Moon?” Nightwish asked, scratching his head. “Is she really Princess Luna? A spirit? Or something more?”

Another version of Luna, only darker...more sinister...:twilightoops:.

“I suspect it is the darker side of my sister’s mind and soul,” Celestia answered. “Alicorn magic is very powerful, but it requires the right mental and spiritual balance to maintain it. Should we slowly lose ourselves to our emotions and fall into darkness we lose control and become... something horrible.”

Like the Dark Queen:rainbowderp:.

“Do you remember the Winter Solstice Celebration? Once called the greatest evening ball of the land? Or Night of Spirits in which my sister would lead the nightly prayers to the spirits of our deceased in the afterlife? Or the Dusking of Desire Dreams where ponies would write to Luna every year for a special dream to have for one special night?” Celestia asked and received no answers in return. “Few came to those days with less and less each year. Even I focused on the more added holidays ponies added in my name or during my day while she was ignored more and more. I could have done something... I should have done something!” The shout made all three jump back while those with wings flapping in panic. “Yet, I was blind to my sister’s pain. I told her to just try working harder. Yet even I didn’t see just how much pain she was in... and how Nightmare Moon came to be.”

And by the time you realized it...it was too late:ajsleepy:.

Princess Celestia was silent before she slowly closed her eyes. “... No, Nightwish. I will lead Equestria, even in death.” This made everypony’s eyes focused on her. “In the forbidden section, there is a book on the top right shelf of section ‘s’ called Simulacrum . Bring it here.”

...the title of the story:pinkiegasp:!

Princess Celestia looked at it for a long time before taking a deep breath. “It is one of the most forbidden alchemy books in the entire world. Created by none-other then Grogar the Cruel.” The shocked looks at her subjects, and Twilight, all but caused her to look down in guilt. “If any other nation, be it ally or enemy, knew we had this book they would come to war with us in a second.”

Wait...Grogar?! The red-eyed ram of Hearth's warming eve:pinkiegasp:?!

“How could you keep such a book of necromancers hidden from us all?! This is the type of magic that nearly destroyed the world!” Nightwish shouted in anger.

Guess Nightwish's ancestors had some pretty unpleasant memories of Grogar:applejackunsure:?

“This is not a book of necromancy... not fully at least,” Celestia answered, shaking her head. “It is a book on alchemy... specifically, the forbidden alchemy of creating a perfect clone of a living being.”

CLONE:pinkiegasp:?!?!?!

Twist-tacular! :twistnerd:

Uhh....whoa.:twilightoops:

Well, there it is. The question is what to do about it. At least in the present they have a few alicorns to spare, so the situation shouldn’t be as bad as Archmage Poet and the Pendulum described, but it will still be rough enough whether or not the secret gets out.

Though it also sounds like things have gone a bit more roughly even before this than I remember from the show- Twilight wasn’t in that much danger in “School Raze”. To say nothing of Cadence.:fluttercry:

And, four chapters in, we have gotten to the title sequence. :P

Let's hope that they don't have to use the spell again, and can fix this version of her. Of course, the book will of course be missing and not have a solution anyway, and Celestia will probably have to accept her faults (I doubt she's forgiven herself, given Luna's little reaction later on) and attempt to move on to survive. Alchemy being all about individual solutions and all that. My guess is that this is something the opposite of a ghost, where you need to fix the lingering issue to live on? She even said that alicorn magic is all about balance...

The characterization is so generic, and yet, I still wept. You are good!

Ouch. I think Twilight is going to take a long time to recover, if ever.

And from overwhelming grief, comes mind shattering madness

Ouch, that must break Twilight's heart. What is she suppose to do after this?

Oh no there is now a chance that Twilight could become corrupted now.

Ayyyy it got posted. I knew I shoulda checked last night. Looking forward to the last one bro!

"The Book of Amassed Creation was created by Rodwell Churns." A brief pained smile of nostalgia flashed over the Princess' muzzle before it was wiped away by a wince of pain. Black veins throbbed and wormed their way upwards in a visible display along her dirt stained coat. "This book is our key to saving Equestria" the voice said with almost a whisper. "It was created from desperation, but served its purpose as it was intended... In Grogar's possession the book was used to give him an advantage. He crafted a means that could grant him the potential to create life from an empty canvas. It's why we struggled so much to face him. Even when he was beaten once another would take his place." Her eyes closed and a moment of pain washed over her features. Whether from memory or from the wound it was difficult to tell.

"Princess..." Twilight watched with tear filled eyes.

Oh Twilight:fluttershysad:!!!

"Princess...why?" Thundralot couldn't help but ask.

“Sombra", was her strained reply. Her horn ignited in a wavering glow, Celestia raised the book and opened it, flipping through the pages. "It was Sombra that opened my eyes. In our battle for the Crystal Empire, I realized that there was a danger of my sister and I not surviving. There were many close calls between the two of us. It was a wake up call to the fact that, despite all our power, we were not invincible. We weren't incapable of fleeing death." she stopped as pages turned. "We could die." Her pale magenta eyes stared into each of her two most trusted as Twilight stared right back into the truth before her eyes.

That...actually makes sense. I mean, he did have them see their greatest fears in Fall of the Crystal Empire, and he did show them that, despite being Alicorns, they're anything but invivcible:applejackunsure:. Even Alicorns have their weaknesses regardless of how long they've been living, and Celestia and Luna are no exception:ajsleepy:.

"If both of us died, Equestria would be defenceless and leaderless. I couldn’t let that happen. I needed an answer to solve this." Celestia stated. "So I searched for one with my most trusted, and found it in the lost ruins. This book, is our answer" her voice said with no shake of belief or denial. Then the Princess closed her eyes and let out a pained sigh.

There's also the fact that Celestia and Luna are the Goddess of the Sun and the Moon, and they move them over their journey through the sky every single day, so if they were to die...Equestria would suffer greatly:twilightoops:.

"With this book, you will be able to make a perfect copy of me upon my passing. It will show you everything that made Grogar such a dangerous sorcerer. How to copy my memories, how to perfect the clone's personality exactly as if I were there, how to mimic my reactions, my tics, my shortcomings, and even my thought process. All of it, here, will allow this simulacrum to act-- become me. It will grow, learn, adapt, change, and take my place," her eyes gained a mirror-like gloss and she blinked the moisture away, "until my Sister's inevitable return. And the hopes of all of us with her." The book closed, levitating in her bubble to Nightwish. The ash grey stallion, somehow even in his daze managed to take the book from his Princess in a brilliant glow of his own aura.

He stared at the book, seemingly dumbfounded by the Princess' proclamation, staring at the worn cover and also looking at the book in shock just as Thundralot and Twilight did in a stunned silence also.

He broke the silence with a "I...", his lips moving and brain kick starting in a valiant gallop to coax words into muzzle that could be coherent, "I-- that-- Princess..." he took a deep breath and looked up at her. "This is impossible."

Even the impossible can be possible:ajsmug:.

The Princess frowned and with a subtle shake of her head, she disagreed. "The ingredients are all there. Everything you need. My heart and brain will be required in perfect condition before this. So...I will need to pass on...before this poison can ruin the only hope we have," the words sent a shiver and whimper through Twilight "along with the dreams of a better future."

"You will perform the ritual", her voice gaining a hint of hardness that stated 'do not argue'. "Hide my body once you have completed it. Ensure it can never be found, and then you will announce my sister dead- if it is not already believed by now. Say her body was too damaged to be viewed in public so it will need to be a closed casket funeral"

Tense, stiff legged, Thundralot nodded silently. Nightwish said nothing. His eyes closing in silent acceptance as his lips pressed into a grim and firm line.

"Announcing Luna's death will absolve her of her crimes, and allow the public to speculate of Nightmare Moon's nature. Will you do this?"

There was stony silence. Pegasus and Unicorn glanced at each other, both with neutral expressions, but clear discomfort. Thundralot nodded, but Nightwish was the one who answered.

"Yes, Princess. We swear by the blood of our Tribes and the allegiance to this nation, we will maintain Princess Luna's name."

Twilight sensed the presence of something magical, the hint of powerful magical energy lingering in the air as Nightwish completed his reply. Then, as soon as he and Thundralot bowed, the energy spiked, flared in a brief glow around the two, then disappeared.

Her eyes widened, A magical oath!

Is that a new kind of oath:rainbowderp:?

Celestia smiled, a familiar smile that tugged at Twilight's heart. One of acceptance, one of joy, one of relief.

"The final thing you must do for this procedure to work," her frown appeared briefly but was gone just as quickly, "is a soul." She continued before the silence and shocked faces.

"You will need a willing soul to sacrifice themself every century to ensure my clone's life will continue. The blood of a willing soul must be touched by her to increase her own lifespan. The only time this ritual ends is when these three conditions have been met."

"The first: Luna's return, meaning Nightmare Moon was successfully defeated. Second:--" she coughed, hacked then suddenly spat out an ink black substance.

"Princess!" The three moved in surrounding. Twilight rushed to comfort her teacher but found when she went to press her side against her for comfort, she passed through, coming out the other side.

Numbly, shock working its way up her eyes, hackles rising in alarm as reality rushed forward, she recalled something important:

This is real but it's not where you belong

"Princess please, rest. Your strength--"

She's not going to last much longer...:fluttercry:.

"Is fading" the Princess replied weakly as a wet cloth was squeezed out over a pan and her lips were dabbed and cleaned of the substance in a glow.

"...Second,'' she breathed deeply, a faint whistle in the inhale, "when the Elements of Harmony return and the founding of their Bearers. They will be required to free my Sister and defend Equestria." She finished then paused to regain her breath. "And the third: a replacement for my clone."

"WHAT?!" Thundralot shouted.

Celestia could only smile weakly. "We cannot have ponies sacrifice themselves for a lie forever Captain. When someone component enough arrives, this lie will end with me. There is a way for a powerful pony, who can create magic, capable of becoming an alicorn. When my clone finds a suitable candidate to replace her, then she or he will become an alicorn as well. After all, the clone can finally die."

Damn...what an advanced spell:twilightoops:.

Tears streamed down Twilight's cheeks, matting the fur as the lines soaked in as the realization came to her. She was the replacement. The Celestia she knew, the one that passed in her time, had allowed herself to die because Twilight was strong enough to replace her.

"W-We shall do as you say your Highness." Nightwish replied, and to those words all the Princess could do was offer a weak but genuine smile.

Soon, the Sun will set on the Solar Queen:ajsleepy:.

"Doctor Ease" Celestia smiled a warm glow that did nothing to ease the frazzled nerves of the stallion, "I..." she opened her eyes to look at the doctor, "I apologize. Truly and wholy apologize for what I ask of you here and now."

The stallion quivered, yet he gave a nod as best he could. "I order you as the authority of the Crown to grant a Merciful Passing. Death by injection."

And the phantom alicorn felt her throat clenched as her mind screamed at the nightmare before her to end this vision and bring her back to the world of the waking present--

"I truly am sorry", Celestia said with a slight crack entering her voice as the first of many held back tears began to flow, "I know you all will not fail. Thank you.” A trembling glow took out a syringe, "My most faithful subjects", the glow steadied; the field flared around the instrument of the inevitable, then it punctured skin and flesh "my precious little ponies...I only wish...I hadn't failed you," more tears flowed, dropping to stain ground, "...I only wish...I hadn't failed you...I...am...s-sorry." Her eyes grew heavy. Just a bit of rest. Just a moment to close then open them "...Luna...I...am...sorry."

She rested her head, the tears still flowed, she breathed quickly, her barrel rising and falling slowly. Celestia smiled, breathed once, twice, three times, then exhaled one last time.

Then she went still.

And thus, the Sun sets on it's Queen...:fluttercry:.

The doctor pulled the syringe out. He stared wide eyed. Looked around the room at the other two staring at Celestia with wide eyes, then with haste and increasing shakiness in his voice he muttered and pushed past Nightwish saying, "Excuse me." Moved past Twilight by the door, then was gone in a few steps as his steady hoofsteps slowed with the heart wrenching sob and those clips carried away into a gallop.

Thundralot moved to Princess Celestia's side, pressed her muzzle into the crook of the Princess' neck, let out a slight gasp.

Shook her head and let the first few tears fell as she buried her face into the still tricolored hued mane.

Nightwish closed his eyes, bowed his head, then said, "She's gone."

The room was silent but it was only silent because no one could hear Twilight's pained wail and then the sorrowful scream.

She flared into a ball of oxygen consuming fire. So hot that she would have burned the very room and ponies in her path had she been there and even able to touch her second mother. She then fell before she could completely make it to the bed as the logical side realized she couldn't touch her. Never would be able to touch her.

Never had touched her. So she wailed and cried, hot tears pouring, chest hurting and aching, throat searing as she let out a heartfelt wail like a foal or child and her sobs echoed along the room. Ignorant of it all were six guards bowed their heads in silence to their lost ruler, a monarch that died before her rule ever truly began.

Farewell Celestia...may you be taken into Faust's embrace and taken to her Holy Kingdom where Eternal Peace awaits:applecry:.

With numbness she followed, detached and watching Nightwish, Thundralot, and the six guards that carried the casket to the private chambers under the castle.

They reached it quickly and things happened in a blur as Twilight's eyes remained fixed on Celestia only to turn away when what she recognized as a surgeon entered.

Ingredients were gathered. Blood bags for blood transfusion, heart, brain, other knick-knacks and necessities.

When it was done Twilight turned back to watch. Unable to watch her Mentor ripped apart by the surgeon, she almost missed the sound of running as somepony else rushed in-- "Captain!"

"Captain!" the voice echoed.

The guards rose and stood tense as Thundralot approached the gasping guard. "The-- He-- The--"

"Spit it out!" snarled Thundralot, baring her teeth. "We waste precious time, what is your message, Private?!"

"He...Doctor Ease...we found him dead in his study per your orders to check on him. He...he threw himself out his window. His body was hanging by the breeze."

WHAT:pinkiegasp:?!?!

Several eyes closed and Nightwish's eyes narrowed.

"We took his body before it could attract attention." The Guard informed, voice, clearly shaken after all that had happened tonight. "What should we do?"

"...bury him. We will tell his family a cover story. You are dismissed."

At the guard's salute, Nightwish said "Let us end this sorrowful night."

"And keep our paths to the Princess."

He must not have been able to handle the guilt:applecry:

Eventually, the work was done and all the ingredients were ready. The blood, the heart, the brain, and more were all in jars or containers centered around a pentagram with ruins. The body of her mentor laid in a glass casket, all signs of any damage gone, and smiling peacefully as if she were asleep. For Twilight, it was like being at the funeral all over again and thus she forced herself to turn away to pain attention to the others.

It was decided to do the ritual underground in a private magic testing area, away from prying eyes. Everyone stood around, unsure what to do next, but Twilight did. The last and most important thing: a willing soul.

"Thundralot", Nightwish called the pegasus to attention. "I've been thinking about the final ingredient to the beginning of this nightmare...." the stallion breathed deeply then exhaled as he opened his eyes and looked into the mare's turquoise blue eyes, a mare he respected so much right now.

"Yes?" the hint of uncertainty in her voice lingered at his silence.

"I will do it."

She blinked.

Her jaw dropped and then her wings flared as life rushed back into them and a scowl formed on her lips as she opened her mouth to shout--

"Do not argue with me on this. It can either be one of us or one of your troops. You heard the Princess. It requires a willing soul.

And thus there is a willing soul:ajsleepy:. (also, missed a quotation mark there at the word soul Rated:raritywink:.)

"Live on and see to it the Princess' needs are met, Captain." The Archmage stated as a blade was pulled free from the red and black underpocket of his robes. "Live on," he said as his silver eyes locked on to the pentagram before them, eyes closing as his determination rose and his courage peaked. "Live on my friend...for Equestria!" the Archmage's final words came out as a triumphant roar that echoed in the chamber and light caught the glint of raised metal as he moved swiftly towards the rune circle that was connected to the other circuits for the homunculus and the necessary ingredients of organs and drained memories in vials.

Nightwish's cry of devotion was followed by several cries of protest as the stallion rushed out like a madman on a determined quest. Moving towards a necessary loss to fulfill an ultimate gain.

Time slowed as Twilight's eyes widened with sheer horror and her wings wrapped around her reflexively, spreading out in surprise as if to shield herself-- Thundralot shouted at her companion to wait, but he wouldn't listen as her wings flared out to gain altitude and catch him, to stop him-- several guards slowly ignited their horns, mana coursing up into their instruments as fields were shaped to trip or grab at the mage but they all fizzled or popped out as his negation spells activated.

"RAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! You will let me fulfill the oath we swore!"

Don't make this any harder than it already is:raritycry:!!!

In what felt like hours, was actually seconds. Nightwish dove as Thundralot missed her grasp, his dagger went under his throat along with the shiv as he pulled it out, as he came to a stop within the ruin circle. Pushing himself forward an inch towards a basin with a grunt he pressed the blades deep. Ignored the ache and sting, fought against the instincts to drop the blade in his magical grasp, drew a line across his neck, then bled. Drawing open a deep cut that poured red life juice out into the basin and circuit as he tried not to thrash but his body wouldn't listen as reflex and muscles took over willpower-- blood oozed and was wiped along runes as the basin overflowed and the body smeared stains along ground.

Twilight shielded her eyes, ears flattened, fell cowering, tried not to listen to the wet sounds that came with Nightwish's final breaths--

Then a sickly green glow illuminated, white light flooded the room as Nightwish's body twitched and the light faded from his eyes as he somehow managed to give a heroic smile before going still. The air crackled with magic- it was under such pressure that even Twilight had to grit her teeth against. A wave of light that enveloped the run, the ingredients, Nightwish's blood and body, before an explosion erupted that knocked everyone back, even Twilight feeling the blast being nothing more than a phantom. Eventually, the light faded and everyone slowly opened their eyes.

Princess Celestia stood there. Her mane flowing on a nonexistent breeze, almost as if she had always been there despite the fact that there was a second one lying dead in a casket. Her eyes were vacant, distant, watching all of them-- for a moment the phantom thought those pale magenta eyes looked in her direction-- then started only at Thundralot.

"Master, what are your commands?" the voice that spoke made the ground rumble, the air sing, the world felt as if it trembled as the distant, cold, emotionless stare bore intoThundralot’s soul.

The captain trembled, struggling to regain her composure. Blinking tears away she looked at the robes that held no body but contained the blades where a pony had once been.

The clone waited patiently, silent, indifferent to everything.

Nightwish spoke her commands.

Princess Celestia smiled, a warm smile as a twinkle disappeared in her eyes. "As you wish, my little pony."

:raritydespair:!!!

Thrashing she awoke, kicking and screaming.

"Twilight!"

"What's wrong with her?"

"I-I don't know!"

"Twilight!"

Forelegs reached out and snared a baby dragon who yelped, Starlight's horn burst into light from instinct, and then let up when Twilight cradled her younger brother, and sobbed against.

Spike confused, scared, worried, wrapped his short arms around his sister figure and squeezed as Twilight sobbed. "Its okay Twilight." He said with a sad voice and combed a claw through her mane as far as his size would allow. "It's okay", and she only wept more.

No...no, it's not:applecry:.

Her friends had visited but she said nothing. When Starlight and Spike had asked for her attention she had teleported away. When Luna had entered her dreams and found Twilight running in search of faceless ponies in robes, howling madly in the night of the woods, she had asked (practically begged) to be left alone.

I need to know her bloodshot eyes stared up into her crystal ceiling. I have to know.

She's going to break when she sees it:applecry:.

Where is it?! She grimaced and sparks flew as her ire rose.

"Where is it?!" she hissed as she passed another hallway, another passage of doors coming up empty, then stopped when a flash of memory brought something familiar into mind. Paused and turned around to three doors behind her as hooves echoed while she made her rounds. She climbed a series of stairs, mind reeling at the possibility and so far away she wasn't aware of the other sounds.

Twilight stared at the room.

The empty medical room where they had all been. Nightwish, Captain Thundralot, Celestia...her.

Tears leaked out and she grit her teeth, turning as she moved back down. The memory become clearer as she made her way down the stairs and recalled where she needed to go and what wall she needed to obliterate to--

"Twilight!" seven hooves called.

She froze.

Uh-oh...:rainbowderp:.

She ran, wings forgotten as she raced for her destinstion. Moving like the wind, she thought, I can't let them know! It can't be true! I'll see it and I'll know it's a lie that even if she's gone it was really her--

A blur of blue zoomed in front of her and Twilight scowled.

"Twilight, tell us what's wrong!" the pegasus called.

"No!" In a burst she was gone and then they heard the sound of walls moving as they gave chase.

Not yet huh:fluttershyouch:?

The distant pounding was long gone and Twilight approached the chamber she recalled in her memories.

She passed through the arched entrance, walked carefully around craters, chips in stone, hooves crunching on debris and marked by dust as she walked or stepped on puddles down the stone bridge.

Twilight found a gate locked. Sensing magic her horn flared with a diagnosis examine spell on the workings and found it weak. She took a minute to break the enchantment and the locks and the door slid when she pushed her horn into the slot and the magic she pushed through flowed.

Entering slowly, Twilight saw no markings, no sign of a casket, nothing to show a body.

She sighed in relief. Ears twitched as she heard the shout of her name as her friends rushed to get her.

Then froze when she turned back to look at the empty room to find it filled.

"No, no no no no" her voice grew quiet as a force moved her body without her knowledge. She moved unwillingly with morbid desire to know, and soon found the voices behind her growing silent.

Twilight stared at the Princess.

Her horn glowed and she found the signature. Nightwish's fading signature.

His invisibility spell.

It was her.

Oh Faust...she's seen it now:fluttershbad:.

It is-- "t-tr-true", she fell as her hindlegs gave out and she stared the tears flowing.

Celestia smiled peacefully back, as tears peppered the glass and the scars where the incisions she knew had been cut were hidden an illusion.

"Twilight..." Spike's voice unsteady as they neared. "What...what is this?"

Her head rose. Her eyes were still wide. The tears still flowed. Her wings nestled tight against her sides. She stared at the mentor she'd never truly had as her mouth was nothing but a small 'o'.

"Twilight?" A worried Fluttershy called gently, the bravest one of them all quietly approached with Spike on her back.

The young alicorn, the successor she knew she was going to be, turned a watery expression to her friends.

Her breathing quickened, her face etched with pain. Twilight Sparkle wept as she said the only words that played like a record in her mind.




"She's dead" she said mutely.

She's slowly breaking...:applecry:. (Big space there in between here:raritywink:)

Carefully, Rarity asked 18th growing fear, "Who is dear?"

"Celestia."

"Twilight..." Applejack frowned. "Twilight... Come over here and let's--"

"--I never really knew her." Came the muted response. "It was all a lie."

She kept crying. Then after those words she started laughing.

"It" she gasped, laughed, heart aching like never before "was", gigglesobbed, gasped for air again as her friends watched her with growing alarm, "all a LIE!"

So many secrets and lies...all revealed in one massive wave:ajsleepy:.

And then she screamed.

Screamed because she knew not how to deal with the pain.

And the Princess of Magic's star dims out...:fluttercry:.

Sunset needs to hear this! What is Luna going

Sunset needs to hear about this! And what is Luna going to think knowing that she killed her sister over a 1,000 years ago?

Well, then....:twilightoops:

We pretty much knew what had happened. The real mystery is where things are going to go for Twilight and friends from here, and just what they will do with this find.

Here's hoping we get clarification on Thundralot's instructions at some point. It's not like "Celestia" has been anypony's puppet for a millennium, after all.

Such as sad ending. I wish the truth had come out as it was in my opinion preferable. I agree with Twilight Equestria was founded upon lies and I am very surprised Discord wasn't in on the truth.

Okay, that ending was a complete depression. Twilight went completely off the deep end. I am not sure I like how it ended. By that I mean no offense to your writing at all, it is great as usual, just not something I personally enjoy myself.

I liked this ending, although I wish there was an alternate one where the truth was revealed.

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