• Published 29th Aug 2018
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Those Forty Years - Spell Writer

After being trapped in the past by politics and new responsibilities, Twilight finds herself as the adopted mother of Luna and Celestia. This story is about those 40 years she took care of them. Sequel to My Faithful Student by me and FadFreaky

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Unity 1 - A (Un)Comfortable Peace

Author's Note:

HERE WE GO! Time for the Unity arc! This arc is chaotic as hell, so be ready for several hops between the two groups. Some political intrigue and, most importantly, a chapter dedicated to Star Swirl and the pillars of Equestria. This arc will span the final couple of years of Twilight's rule, now that Alicorn years have synced with normal years. Most chapters will be split between following Twilight and her family and Unity and her family until the two paths collide at various times. Unity will be gathering her strength, while Twilight and her family will be... Relaxing and having a nice life?! Well. That's different! But hey, I'm not complaining.

Bio for today:

Star Swirl the Bearded:

Title: Pillar of Sorcery

Star Swirl the Bearded is the first and oldest Pillar of Equestria, having stayed out of the limelight in this timeline of the story. The old unicorn knows much more than he lets on and will let on, especially when it comes to Unity. While he may be a bit difficult to interact with, especially for Celestia and Luna, he does have a degree of respect for both of the Princesses. With the Queen, however, he is more fascinated by her abilities and style of magic, which eventually leads to his nigh-infinite amount of incomplete spells that he is known for in the future.

This bio will be updated with the character's opinions when they meet him for the first time.

The destruction of Canterlot and the snuffing of the pacification spell rippled in waves outwards, reaching the farthest ends of Equus and beyond. All races across the planet were irreversibly damaged by Unity's plan. Yet, on this warm day, Twilight, Celestia, and Luna work together to rebuild Equestria, specifically Canterlot Castle! Twilight hums a little as she draws up the blueprints for Canterlot Castle, using her knowledge of how it looks in the future to her advantage. Meanwhile, Celestia and Luna's help in the mix. Throwing in ideas here and there to make the castle more homely! "It's gonna take a few days for the construction of the castle to get started, but after that, it'll only take a week to get the castle built. The city around it will grow naturally from there." Twilight says idly. "It'll go even faster if we chip in and help alongside them, so everypony that got pushed out by the forest should have a place to stay. I still can't believe it took us a month and a half just to get everything settled enough to start rebuilding."

Celestia sighs happily. "Thank Faust that the Apple family was willing to give us some land to build a temporary shelter for the ponies that didn't have anywhere to go. With technology basically being sent back to ancient times, we don't even have major ground transportation anymore." Celestia says with a mumble as the group walks towards a nearby royal chariot. It's a simple chariot made of solid wood and painted gold to make it look regal. The pegasi guards waiting to pull the group to their next destination. With Equestria so damaged, the three royals hardly ever had much time to be with one another, traveling all across Equestria mainly to help link all the isolated cities due to the 'Worst Day in Equestrian History.' Celestia and Luna even turned a good portion of it into a book! The first edition would be coming out soon, according to the publisher. As the trio was flown down to Ponyville, they were greeted by a gruff-looking earth pony walking towards them with a hard hat.

"Hello Princesses." Says Cross Tracks. The yellow earthpony tilted his hard hat up a little bit. "We should have all the old coal engines on the train tracks in a few days. Granted, we wouldn't have gotten this far if everypony didn't chip in so much. We got everypony who's free helping us out at this point! Even some Canterlot ponies are pushing up and through with us, too. Never thought city folk would actually be so useful."

Twilight looks over at the groups of ponies working together. Unicorns work hard at affixing wood to metal to create tracks while earth ponies heave and ho, pulling old, large train engines to the train tracks. Pegasi were flying in shipment after shipment of building materials and coal. It was a beautiful sight of true harmony. "We're lucky that some of the trains we had in museums survived the cataclysm." Twilight sighs, rubbing her own forehead as she speaks. "Although, it's gonna be hard to progress on upgrading them, considering we don't know how they work anymore. Once the government is back up and running properly, we'll have to make sure to fund transportation research again."

Luna nods. "It would be prudent, right now, Equestria is too big for the little bit of influence we have. Pegasi can only fly so far in so much time, and magic theory was regressed quite a bit, too. Considering that you had to teach us something as basic as teleportation again."

Twilight nods. "To be fair, teleportation is considered an advanced spell even in my era. I don't think magic theory will ever get as advanced as it once was." She sighs and deflates a little at that. Magic was her passion, and now she's seen the golden age and the fall of it.

Twilight then sat down and rubbed her head a little, trying to uplift her mood. "I really messed up there, but nothing to do about it. Just gotta keep moving forward." Twilight takes a deep breath, exhaling carefully. "Anyways, you also said something about needing to tell us something else in your letter?"

Cross Tracks nods as he looks up from his clipboard. "Since you all don't got a place to call home yet, someone dropped off a letter for you three at the Ponyville Post office. Cupcake told me about it when she did her delivery rounds since I said I'd see you today."

The trio looks at each other in confusion. "A letter?" Twilight says with an interested inflection in her voice. "Hope it's not from Unity." She says with a sigh. "But thank you anyway, Cross Tracks. Good luck on the train system." Twilight would nod to the two sisters, the group heading towards the post office. They do, however, stop for a few milkshakes from the local cafe first, Twilight happily sipping on her strawberry oat milkshake with a hum. Celestia sips on her chocolate shake while Luna is enjoying a vanilla shake.

As the three royals enter the post office, the ponies around them move out of the way and generally try to be respectful. However, many of them aren't as awestruck as one would expect. Twilight, Celestia, and Luna were familiar sights around the newly named town, even before the chaos of Canterlot's destruction. Now that they were temporary residents of the village, ponies were much more accustomed to the sight of them.

The three happily enjoy chatting as they wait in line, reaching the front as a fairly old mare sees them. "Ah, Princesses! I have your package right here. Give me a moment." She says as she turns around, walking down from the stool and grabbing a box from the shelves behind her. The elderly pegasi lumbers forward, walking and stumbling around without proper balance. It was a wonder she could fly, yet she was one of the best mail ponies in her prime. The pegasi slowly lumbers back onto her stool and puts the box atop the countertop.

"Thank you very much, Dizzy Doo. I hope your family is doing well." Twilight says as she pays for the package. She looked it over and got an excited look on her face. "Is this what I think it is?!" She says quickly before rushing to the door. "Girls, quick, let's get back to the house. Gotta open this as fast as we can!" She then heads out of the post office in a rush.

Celestia and Luna giggle a little. Celestia looked over and waved to the elderly mailpony, trotting out of the building.

The group would head to the end of the block, a small yet humble tree house greeting them. Twilight sighs happily with a broad smile as she heads inside the building. She even has to shrink herself to fit inside! Even then, though, just the fact that the Golden Oaks was alive and well in the past. Well, nothing could replace this Library, even after her short breaks back in the present. Neither castle she lived in, or would live in, would ever feel as much as a home as the Golden Oaks. In fact, she spent a good portion of her time with each of the girls just avoiding her castle in the present time. But, by the time she returned for the 8th visit, they had made it personalized just for her. 'Shame it's going to collect dust for a while longer. I'll have to clean it when I get back. And I have to figure out how many presents to bring. I don't know how long I've been gone, but it's a hundred percent longer than two weeks like originally planned.'

Of course, the Library itself was hardly ever used as such. Even in the current era, she's barely seen more than a single pony or two come in to actually get a book. Twilight trots into the front room, placing the box down with a thud. Unwrapping it while Celestia and Luna enter into their temporary home.

"Aha! I knew it!" Twilight says with a grin. "We finally got a lead forward. Star Swirl the Bearded finally showed his face!" She says excitedly. Twilight is hopping a little in fangirl levels of excitement. "I knew having a few guards keep their eyes out for any of the Pillars of Equestria would pay off eventually! That means they're all gonna be around within these next few years! Even just having one on our side could be helpful."

Celestia sips her milkshake. "That also means that they will handle many of the major threats across Equestria as well. Gives us more time to worry about ruling and preparing for Unity." She says with a sigh. "Shame they'll be a bit too outmatched by her strength, but there isn't much we can do there. In the end, it'll be us versus her."

Luna bops Celestia's head. "Celestia, don't ever write off our friends~. There's a reason why we're rushing to get Equestria in working order. We must mend many relationships before we can properly deal with our opposition in the future!" Luna says excitedly as she sips her drink. Twilight giggles to herself with pride. Luna has grown into a fantastic Element of Harmony bearer.

"You know what?" Twilight says as she puts the box away, the alicorn smiling softly at her daughters. "I've decided not to worry about Unity." She says simply. Causing a specific aspect of herself to scream out in her head. "I just want to enjoy my time with my daughters. The future can wait. Besides, you two have a lot of magic to relearn if you're gonna grow into Princesses that can rule Equestria together~." She says with a little chuckle. "My entire life after I became an Element bearer was just jumping from issue to issue, villain to villain. I didn't even get to enjoy my brother's wedding, for Faust's sake." She continues, Twilight looking over to the fake elements of harmony. Each stone has entirely petrified itself, as their distance from Unity caused them to power down completely. They were useless at the moment, but they were still symbols of the three Alicorns' bonds with each other and other ponies. Twilight doesn't know where the REAL elements of harmony are. After all, the Tree of Harmony wasn't in its cave when she checked.

"So. I'm making the executive decision on this matter. We're gonna be a family. The pillars handled everything when they were around without our involvement the first time around. Aside from getting Star Swirl to teach you two some magic, we'll enjoy our lives. Understand you two?" Twilight says with a bright smile.

Celestia and Luna smile brightly. "So we get to live like normal ponies for a while? That sounds. Fun." Celestia says excitedly, ideas sifting through her head that cause Philomena to worry from her perch in the room. How much Phoenix powder will she have to use to fix Celestia up now that she's released?!

Luna smiles happily. "That does sound pretty fun. But. Well." She mumbles, "I dunno, I just don't want to get caught off guard, is all. We should be strengthening Equestria. Not flying by the whims of our mood."

Twilight sits back on a cushion set out around the table. "I know it's strange, but trust me. Even I had to take breaks after big events and problems. You girls aren't experienced enough to hop face-first into the hero business. Not yet." She waves her hoof. "Take it from somepony that's been doing this for a while now. We all need a nice long break, and at the very least, we know Unity won't be showing up till AFTER the sirens attack in a year or two. So. Let's take this time to rebuild and recover." She says as she stands up. "Or if you two are so excited to fight Unity, you can always spar with Eternal~."

The two alicorns instantly break out in a sweat. Eternal's ruthlessness doesn't stop just because they're sparring. Every fight with Eternal is always a matter of life and death! Well, at least to the two young Alicorns. In reality, Eternal would never hurt the girls TOO much. However, she is more than willing to push them to their limits and beyond. "We're good." Says Celestia, very quickly. Luna just sipped on her drink quietly, nodding in agreement.

Twilight giggles a little. "We will have to have you two spar with Eternal sometime to ensure we stay limber. I doubt Unity will come at us with anything less than her full attention, so we need to RELAX while we have a chance."

'You're having trouble convincing yourself of that, ya know. Your foals are gonna notice. I did teach them how to be very observant~.' Eternal says to Twilight with a spiteful yet somehow playful tone in her voice.

Twilight takes a deep breath. "Even then, I also need to take some time undoing some of the damage Unity and I did to Equestria's laws. The reformatorium was such a terrible decision." She rubs her forehead. "Gotta fix the image ponies have of me, too. But still, I stand by what I said."

Celestia and Luna look at each other. Wordlessly having a conversation just through expression alone. The pair figured the break was for more than just the two of them. No, Twilight needed a break just as much as anypony else. The sun and moon pair almost forgot that their wordless, ever-trucking-along mother was just a tiny aspect of Twilight. Now that their true mother is back, she's no different than a regular pony. She gets tired, angry, and disappointed. "I think we all need a break, actually," Celestia says. "You don't have to put a strong face on for us, Mom. We understand if you need to relax, too."

Twilight smiles a little. "That obvious, huh? You'd think I'd have better control over my poker face than this." Twilight giggles tiredly, laying her head on the wall behind her as she sits fully reclined. "Unity was right about one thing, ya know. I am really homesick." She says as she rolls around the drained power orb on the table. The duo knew that Twilight had already used it to visit her friends in the future, although the limited amount of magic meant she was still stuck. "I thought visiting them would take the edge off, but it just made it worse. So much worse." She mumbles as she holds up a picture that she brought back with her from the present.

Celestia and Luna sigh a little as they look at the group photo. The pair giggled a little as Celestia pointed at Spike. "So that's Uncle Spike?" Celestia says to lighten the mood.

Twilight giggles. "Yeah, Spike would flip if you actually called him that in the future. Although, pretty sure everyone will flip if we let out that I'm your mom." She mumbles to herself as she sits back. "Keeping it a secret is gonna be a massive pain."

Celestia nods, saying, "Not to mention, we need to keep you safe from any unknown variables. Especially in the future." Celestia then grabs a grape from the nearby bowl, tossing it into her mouth and munching on it.

Luna follows up, finishing her milkshake as she stares at it. "Best no one, including your friends, know you're the Eternal Queen when you return." She says quietly. She still doesn't want to let Twilight go, but they have a deal. When Celestia and Luna felt ready to rule, they promised to tell Twilight.

Twilight sighs a little. "I wish we could figure out the powers the spirits gave us. But all I got in the end was small flashes of the future. Just random, short tidbits of what's to come." She grumbles as she rests her head on the table. "I wish we could ask Discord for help, but he's made it very clear that he isn't our friend. I don't even know where he went."

Luna raises her hoof. "I do! He told me where he's at in case we hear anything about Unity." She says with a smile. "He told me that he and I are… Kindred spirits, I think." Luna mumbles a little. Everyone in the group knows precisely why he said that through different means and mediums.

Twilight stands and walks between her two daughters, wings unfolding as she pulls them close in a tight hug. "You two will do just fine. Don't let Discord psyche you two out this early on!~" Twilight says with a giggle. The trio snuggling tight. "Mm… yea, we need a break."

Celestia nods. "Yeah."

Luna quietly nods. "I think a day trip would be nice!"

Twilight tilts her head. "A day trip hm…" She would have preferred to have a week or so to just relax, but a day trip seems like a better use of their time. "That's not a bad idea. It clears all the checkboxes, and we can take a break, relax, and recover. Then afterward, we can see how we feel! If we need more time to relax, then we can take it. If not, then we can get to work."

Celestia rubs her head a little. "Mmng." She looks between Luna and Twilight. If there's one thing she knows about those two, it is that once they get to work, they'll forget to take care of themselves. Heck, even she was a bit of a workaholic. Being on an extended break might make Celestia itch for something to do. "We can try it. But let's add something on top of that."

Luna and Twilight curiously look at Celestia before she smiles and says. She had a happy grin on her face. "Let's always start our days with a big breakfast together! Keep it as a tradition for all of time~!" She nods happily as she boops Luna's nose, who gives Celestia an annoyed stare. "That means you especially! I don't wanna have breakfast alone." She huffs out. Celestia knows that she will be alone for a thousand years in the future, so she wants as many good memories with her family as possible!

Luna smiles. "Alright! Thennn. I call the location!"

Celestia grins. "I call activities!"

Twilight pats the two. "Guess I'll handle food. Celestia, try not to plan only thrilling stuff to do~." She says happily as she grabs a book of places from the Library's shelves. Gently setting it down in front of Luna as the three plan their vacation.

Unbeknownst to them, however. They weren't the only ones planning a vacation this time around.

“I’m boredddddddddddddd.” Unity groans out to no one in particular, leaning out of her emergency 'I almost lost' shack she built with her magic. "I miss having a toy to manipulate." She huffs a little to herself. The alicorn flapped her wings a little as she looked up at the sky outside. "How do ponies fill their days out? Gardening is boring, cooking is whatever." She suddenly flumps forward, grumbling to herself.

As Unity lays her head on the window sill, she feels a little tug at her side. She turns her head lazily and looks down at one of her foals. Which one was it again? Ah, right, Unicorn. "Hey, there, Hearthfire. What's up, kiddo?" She says to her middle foal. He was an energetic one and loved to read books. Unity knew he would be a great mage when he grew up! Hopefully, that'd pass down.

Hearthfire leans into his mom. Staring outside. "When can we go back to Equestria, Mom? It's so empty out here," he mumbles a little, causing Unity to tense up. Regardless of her thoughts, she didn't WANT her kids to suffer out here with her in their exile. That's why she'd teleport them to and from school as needed. After all, the Princesses and the Queen were looking for HER. Not her family. "My friends want me to visit their house and stuff. And it's really awkward telling the teacher where I live when we live out in the middle of nowhere." Hearthfire taps his hooves together as he sits next to his mom.

Unity sighs and mumbles, her muzzle scrunching as she responds to him, "You're not the only one. Your sisters poked me about the exact same thing." She says as she sits up, reinvigorated by her sudden idea.

"Alright! Let's go to Equestria for a few days." She smiles. "I can use some magic to keep eyes off of me for a while. So, as long as we don't run into Twilight or my brother, we can have a nice little vacation! It has been like. A month and a half after all. They'll be utterly swamped with rebuilding Canterlot and making a new castle around this time, so it's the perfect time to go on vacation! You can even invite all your friends. We got plenty of bits, after all." She says confidently! "My plans for Equestria might have failed, but I can plan a vacation better than anypony else! And there's only one place to go!"

Luna and Unity say simultaneously, pointing down to the same book, just in different places. "Rainbow Falls!"

Luna smiles as she holds her hoof on the atlas. "We can make it to the festival there and ride some rides if we leave tomorrow!"

Unity says to her family excitedly, her eyes twinkling with elation. Having gathered her family for the idea. "There's pretty good food there, AND it's far enough away from central Equestria that the royal guards won't be snooping around either. So we can enjoy everything."

Twilight and Unity both say to their respective families. "As a family!"

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