• Published 1st Mar 2019
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Magisight: Thaumaturgical Ocularity - PsychicKid



A series of strange dreams and a new, burgeoning power sends Twilight on an adventure that will change her life forever.

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Chapter 3: The Circadian Bond

The pile of unread books quickly shrank as Twilight made her way through her selections. Some were left open and set aside to reference later, while others with no useful information were stacked high in a constantly-growing pile. It had been some time since Celestia and Luna left her, and she felt confident that she would be able to find something, anything, that led to an answer about her strange dreams.

The light from the fireplace flickered and danced, embers popping and crackling, a relaxing sound that Twilight soon found herself trying to fight off as the hours ticked by. She was tired and desperately needed sleep, but every part of her wanted to keep going. She wanted answers: not only to sate her own curiosity, but to retake her peaceful night’s slumbers.

Under penal code 27.2, section 2, subsection C, any pony who is found in violation of said terms as outlined in section 1, subsection A, will be subject to either 30 days imprisonment, or an image of an inverted tree draped over their cutie mark for 14 days to signify…

Twilight yawned loudly and stretched as she closed the book and shoved it aside. “This one isn’t any help either.” She groaned dejectedly and rested her head on her hooves, leaning into them in exhausted frustration. The “irrelevant” pile continued to grow considerably until she finally found something that caught her attention.

The Crystal Heart and its Links to Equestria…” Twilight read aloud. She rubbed her eyes, unconsciously licking her lips with excitement. “Ooh… This looks promising! But that's strange, there's no author.” She stretched again, standing upright and fully alert as she flipped through the book, her eyes racing across the text. Many of the earlier chapters covered basic information about the Crystal Heart that she was already familiar with, but about halfway through, the book seemed to suddenly take a turn for the poetic.

As the land gives its bounty, so too does ponykind give in turn. The Crystal Heart will reflect desires true, and help bridge the gap between the two, making all laid bare as crystals through and through. With love, hope, and bonds flowing like water, the land will return in kind, bringing beauty and magic to all, body, mind, and spirit alike.

“Kinda flowery for a reference book. Although I guess it is over a thousand years old,” Twilight said with a snort.

Body of earth, mind of aether, spirit of sky. When all three love one another: the land, she loves; when all three are of strife: the land, she mourns. The Crystal Heart will mirror and reflect, and the cycle will sustain eternally.”

“Hmm… It talks about the land giving its bounty, and ponies giving a bounty back. I know the Crystal Heart reflects the state of the Crystal Empire, and that magic can spread all over Equestria. Is that what it means by ponies giving back? Body, mind, and spirit…” Twilight muttered to herself, frantically scribbling notes to compare with the information from home.

“Body of earth, mind of aether, spirit of sky. This has to be referring to the three pony tribes! But why refer to them like this? I mean, I know it was a thousand years ago, but sheesh,” Twilight said as she drew a quick sketch of the pony tribe diagram, pairing each tribe with its matching esoteric description. She capped the sketch off with an image of the Crystal Heart, punctuated with an alicorn and a question mark in the center.

From the alicorn, she drew a new line, pointing off on its own to where she drew an amorphous blob and wrote “Equestria” in the center of it, surrounding the silly sketch with a series of questions marks and lines denoting its importance.

“It’s a start, but it still doesn’t fully explain the tribal links to alicorns. I can’t help but feel like maybe there’s more to that text than just flowery... descrip...tions,” Twilight murmured into a quiet yawn as she jotted down the last of her notes.

She caught herself at the brink of falling into slumber as a scribble at the bottom of the page caught her eye: a tiny pictogram of a quill in a vial of ink. Printed next to it was the text “Crystal Magic: Revision 3” with no other accompanying text.

“That's strange. Normally a citation would also include a page number, author name, and year of publication… Why does nothing from a thousand years ago have an author!” She groaned to herself as she threw her hooves up to her head, tussling her mane about.

She continued to flip through the book, scanning the text more intently. Despite the bizarre nature of its writing, something about it compelled her curiosity. The book became more and more haggard as she dove deeper into its pages, so she had to take great care to avoid damaging it further.

As she reached the final pages of the book, the ink was smeared and smudged beyond all legibility, making it completely unreadable. She let out a tired, disappointed groan. She had been hoping for something else to guide her way: a hint, a clue, a scribble in the margins, anything! She rubbed her weary eyes, straining to keep them focused, her head and ears drooping. She snapped back erect with a jerk, trying to stave off the encroaching sleep.

It was then through her hazy gaze that she noticed something peculiar about the final page. It almost looked like... “Wait a second... This text repeats itself!” she exclaimed. She still couldn't read it, but there was without a doubt: the smudged text formed a pattern, a repeating series of consistent, blobby words. The text was hardly page filling, only ten lines in length, each line only a few words long, but there was no mistaking a theme of similar shapes of repeating words. Each line was more or less identical, were it legible.

She spent some time studying it, then suddenly gasped as the translation hit her. “Three words! Oh my gosh oh my gosh-oh-my-gosh! Sweet Celestia it's the same! Three words! It's just like my dream! Three words!” She let out a girlish squeal and almost floated off the floor, her wings fluttering in excitement. She had finally found her clue!

Her horn lit up and she quickly turned the book over, her face sinking when she saw the blank spaces on the cover. She snorted in frustration. “That's right, the author isn't listed... If I could just find out who wrote this book, maybe I could research their identity, find out more about their personality and what their special talent might have been. If I do that, I could figure out if these three words are the same as mine.”

The gears in her head began to turn, feeling a realization spark inside. She quickly flipped through the book once again, stopping on the page that referenced the Crystal Heart.

“Of course! Crystal Magic: Revision 3! If I can find a copy of that, maybe I can cross-reference a list of authors and sources and find out just who wrote this!” she said while quickly taking notes down next to her pony tribe diagram. “I just don’t think we have that book here in the archives...”

As her research continued, Twilight began to lose track of time. She had no idea how many hours had passed since she started, but her eyelids began to finally grow relentlessly heavy. There was no fighting it any longer, and she knew it. Using the last of her cognitive energy she pushed the books and her notes off to the side so she wouldn’t sleep directly on them and risk muddying the ink.

“So tired… I’m so cloooosee…” she whined softly, trying so desperately to keep going, wanting to see this through to the end before she fell asleep. Her vision of the room around her grew hazier and darker as the soft crackling of the fire lulled her to sleep. With another quiet whine, reality gave way to slumber and she was finally asleep, too exhausted to maintain her study for the night.


“Seek…

...Learn…

...Know…”

Twilight’s eyes flew open with a start, but slowly began to close again, resting halfway in a state of grogginess. She mumbled to herself and groaned, slowly sitting up as her joints popped. She stretched up straight, then slouched back down again with a sigh, nearly tumbling over and losing balance.

“Four nights in a row… But at least it feels like I finally got some sleep,” Twilight muttered, trying to regain her composure. She felt tired, but not nearly as exhausted as the previous night. At least this time she wasn’t drenched with sweat or suffocating. She was relieved that she was able to garner even just a few hours of restful sleep, despite the sudden awakening.

As she wobbled, a drop of incredibly frigid water fell from one of the stalactites above and her hit her squarely on the rump. It was so sudden—and so cold!—that she let out a yelp, her horn flaring to life in response.

Her reflexes kicked in as another spell took shape on instinct, building, assembling, casting, and then falling back into magic particles as it lived for only the briefest flash of a second. Known only to Twilight’s inner consciousness were those shapes that formed a light, violet, grid-like map of the surrounding room and its contents. A dark purple dot to represent the source and a light purple dot marking the destination signified the trajectory of this particular spell.

There was a hiss and crackle of magic as Twilight suddenly vanished. Nearly instantaneously she reappeared on the other side of the room in a sparkling flash, reforming into existence next to the fire place with a clumsy stagger.

Twilight shook her head, her mane flopping about as her vision slowly began to return, catching sight of the leftover aethereal trails that her spell left in its wake. A faint, wispy line of purple flecks of light danced from where she re-appeared, flowing across the room in a low arc from where she had stood in front of the desk. The crumbling remnants of a magic circle lingered there, until they too faded from sight. Twilight shook her head again, the dimming trails of magic having utterly vanished.

“What... What in Equestria was that!?” she cried out. Teleportation was a cinch for Twilight, having mastered its intricate qualities years before she even moved to Ponyville, but never in her life had she seen something like this before!

Twilight continued to stare into the space between her and the desk, mouth hanging open with disbelief. She felt as if in a trance after what she had seen. After a moment of staring at what had been, she pulled herself together and ran back to her workspace. A flurry of paper swirled around as she reorganized her study materials, levitating a freshly inked quill over a blank parchment. She began to take notes at a blinding speed.

“Okay! Okay, okay. First things first. Teleportation.” Her voice was quick and raspy as she recalled her textbook’s definition of the spell’s most basic form. Clenching the quill with her magic she began to write, reading aloud.

“Teleportation is a spell that instantly transports you and willing creatures or objects of your choice within range. The destination you choose must be known to you. Your familiarity with the destination determines whether you arrive there successfully. Consequences of a failed teleportation are more severe the less familiar you are with the target area.”

She stopped writing and stared at her notes. This was teleportation. This was how it worked, how it's always worked, and how it will continue to work. Even with greater mastery and practice, the basics don't change.

“Why is it so different now!?” she yelled out. “What does this mean? Am I sick, am I hallucinating? I know some complicated spells generate lingering magic auras, but never teleportation… not like summoning or conjuration! Why would something like that suddenly leave a magic signature behind?”

Twilight began to pace back and forth, her hoofsteps echoing off the stone floor as she considered the possibilities from lack of sleep to the effects of breathing the dank air for so long.

A creaking sound filled the musty chamber as the large double doors slowly opened, Princess Celestia peeking in with the care and deliberation of a concerned mother checking on her sleeping filly.

Despite Twilight’s frazzled mane and posture, not for a moment did Celestia’s warm and gentle expression waver. “Good morning, Twilight. Did we come at a bad time?” Celestia asked with her usual air of gentle concern as the door came to rest fully open, revealing Luna by her side.

“Celestia, Luna! Oh thank goodness you're both here! I have so much to tell you!” Twilight yelled, a mix of excitement and worry in her voice as the strange after-effects of her teleportation spell lingered on her mind.

“I’m sure you do, Twilight," Celestia said as the pair gracefully entered the room. “We were just about to lower the moon and raise the sun, and we thought maybe if you were awake to view it, it might help ease some of your stress.”

“I… That might not actually be a bad idea. Is there enough time to go over my notes before that?” Twilight asked, her eyes large and practically pleading for succor from such an exhausting night.

“Oh, I suppose we can spare a few extra minutes. In exchange, you have to come watch the sunrise,” Celestia said with a wink, eliciting a giggle from Twilight.

“Of course!” Twilight beamed, already in a much better mood. “For starters, I do have some good news! I was actually able to sleep last night! Or maybe it was this morning? I’m not exactly sure, I lost track of the time. Either way, I’m feeling a lot better!”

“That’s wonderful, Twilight! Although I suspect there’s more to it than that.” Celestia said as she turned to her sister.

“Indeed. We stood ever vigilant in the Dreamscape last night, and while you indeed fell asleep, we saw no trace of you entering into a dream. Do you recall anything from your time asleep?” Luna said, face wrinkled in annoyance. She did not like that her dream world was getting the better of her.

“Well, it’s been the same as the last three nights. It’s the same dream, the same three words.” Twilight said, her voice trailing as she mentioned the source of her sleep deprivation.

Luna huffed. “Of course. This infuriates us to no end!”

“Now Luna, shouldn’t you be a tad more worried about the well-being of your fellow princess?” Celestia asked, almost sounding like a mother playfully scolding her child.

“I—Well—Of course we’re worried! I never said we weren’t!” Luna blustered, blushing in frustration.

“It’s okay, really,” Twilight said with a smile. ”I know deep down you’re worried about me, Luna. I also know you’re proud of your Dreamscape, and it would be great if we could solve this—for both of our sakes.”

“You might say she has her… own, unique way of sharing her affection and concern,” Celestia said with a smug grin as she looked toward her little sister.

Luna pouted, turning her head away.

“Some things never change, it seems,” Celestia said with a giggle. “Just like some things here. I can tell you’ve been hard at work studying. Why don’t you share with us what you’ve learned?”

Twilight grinned with an innocent squeak. “Right! Well, it took all night, but might have finally found a clue about the meaning of these dreams! First, I found a book titled The Crystal Heart and its Links to Equestria,” Twilight said as she began to levitate her notes and diagrams, along with the text of the book.

“It not only had cryptic passages that alluded to the three tribes, but the final page was covered with a repeating, illegible three-word phrase,” Twilight said, motioning over her notes.

“That’s fantastic news, Twilight! Was there anything else you were able to uncover?” Celestia asked, eyes beaming with pride for Twilight.

“Well, there may be another book titled Crystal Magic: Revision 3 that I can use to learn more about the first book’s author, and possibly decipher the message. Unfortunately, we don’t have that book here,” she said, frowning with disappointment.

“It sounds like you’ve made a great deal of progress, but I am sad to say I am not familiar with that particular book series. If it doesn’t exist here in the archives, then based on your description of it, it’s likely in the Crystal Empire,” Celestia said as she stood over the desk, eyes glancing over Twilight’s research.

“I agree. I think my best course of action is to travel there next. I can always return here another time if I need to, but the Crystal Empire is a much longer trip, and I think that’s where I’m going to find some answers!” Twilight said as notes and books flew about with her magic and slid into place in her saddlebag. “Is it okay if I take some of these books with me? I promise I’ll take care of them, given their age!”

“That’s perfectly fine, Twilight. However, we should get going now. If we wait too much longer, ponies will start waking up rather confused,” Celestia said, motioning her head toward the door, never once losing her motherly grace or smile.

“Right. Of course!” Twilight finished packing her notes and reference material, while being sure to find room for the extra book that had finally given her the first clue. As she trotted alongside the older princesses, she thought about how she should best explain the teleportation spell. What she had witnessed defied normal conventions for a teleport spell, and even though it was made under a state of sudden shock and panic, it shouldn’t have misfired in such a way. The only remnants from a teleport spell should be the flash of light and sound at the beginning and end.

Twilight mulled over both the strange spell and the notes she had gleaned, not fully paying attention to her surroundings as she followed the two sisters out of the library through Canterlot and toward the castle. She followed Celestia and Luna onto the highest balcony of Canterlot Castle where they fulfilled their duties each day and night of keeping the slow heartbeat of the world alive. The sky was locked in a purple stasis between sun and moon, bearing her namesake.

The two sisters stood on opposite ends of the balcony, their backs to each other and looking outward toward the land: Luna faced the sinking moon to the west, and Celestia looked on toward the light trying to peek out from over the eastern horizon. They both closed their eyes and began to concentrate, their horns flaring to life.

Even among ancient spells, solar and lunar magic held no equal—in ages past such sorcery was so unwieldy and so potent that it was known to whither a unicorn down to a useless husk. But not these alicorn sisters; for in one, magic of the paradoxically brightest and most blackest night began to weave itself. The magic was thick and dense, worming its way through the void and enshrining over a sphere of light, guiding its slow, yet purposeful motions. So too, did the moon over Equestria began to sequester itself beyond the horizon for its own slumber.

And in the other still, warm trails of orange and white circled and coiled around itself, a feeling of saturated emotion that was built upon a myriad of distinct, yet equal, parts. The radiance transcended the physical nature of the earth ponies, the free-spirited grace of the pegasi, and the contemplative sorcery of the unicorns. The sum of all three swirled and pooled within, growing brighter as balls of light began to dance and twirl into and among themselves, shrinking and growing as if being mathematically manipulated.

The magic was mighty, transcendent as it gripped the star that lay sleeping below the horizon, and slowly the daybreaking sky did become the colors of Celestia’s mane itself. Light shone across the land as the gentle, life-giving sun made itself known to all.

Celestia and Luna opened their eyes and relaxed in unison, having concluded another cycle. The ponies of Equestria ventured forth into another gift of the morning, rested from their nightly sanctuary.

Twilight stared in awe, the two sisters turning toward the balcony entryway as if nothing unusual had occurred. They shared a glance, nervously approaching.

“Twilight? Is everything okay?” Celestia asked with concern.

Tears were streaming down Twilight’s face.

She had seen it all.