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Coyote de La Mancha


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Sequels1

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This story is a sequel to Dream Date


Wandering the Royal Palace, Sunrise stumbles onto Sunset Shimmer’s old room, kept exactly the way she left it so long ago. She communicates this to Sunset.

What follows leads to a reunion between teacher and student, mother and daughter... and perhaps the beginning of true forgiveness for each.

Meanwhile, Sunrise learns one of the most chilling magical lessons in all of Equestrian history: the story behind a spell called Stygian’s Lament.


This continuity continues with The Black Rainbow Concert.

Content note: The ‘suicide / self-harm’ and ‘death’ tags are for the discussion of tragedies in Equestria’s history. No such act is performed by any character in modern time, but a past self-destruction is shown in narration.)

Artwork by Sixes_and_Sevens. Please check out their excellent artwork and stories.

Chronology notes:

1. This story begins a few days after Dream Date. Additionally, while it isn’t necessary to have seen Forgotten Friendships before reading this, that story is referenced.

2. Also, you don’t have to read Twilight Sparkle Was Shot before reading this story, but it is referenced quite heavily. Also, this story contains serious spoilers for that earlier tale.

3. Also also, it is not necessary in any fashion to have read any stories from the Elsequestria continuity to enjoy this tale. However, for those of you who have already read The Secret Apprentice of Princess Celestia, please bear in mind that this timeline is a divergent reality from that one, separated most distinctly by which mirror Sunset fled through. The Sunset Shimmer of this timeline therefore had the exact same childhood as the one shown in that story.


Part of the Sunset Rising continuity.

Chapters (8)
Comments ( 56 )
Ri2

So no marriage in the near future? Awww.

And of COURSE she set the feather on fire.

No, I think we’re pretty much out of prophesies.

"You sure about that?"
"I have a signed contract from Celestia stating that if anything foretold happens in the next two years, she's going to have to walk down the entire main thoroughfare of Canterlot while holding a sign that reads 'I'm a Naughty Filly Who Needs to Work on Her Communication Skills.' So, yes. For the most part."

I really hope Twilight has a source of feathers other than her own wings. Otherwise, she'll likely pluck herself bare before the week is out.

Also, Sciset wedding! At a reasonable timeframe given human maturation! Woo!

Looking forward to seeing where you go with this.

9638506

"I have a signed contract from Celestia stating that if anything foretold happens in the next two years, she's going to have to walk down the entire main thoroughfare of Canterlot while holding a sign that reads 'I'm a Naughty Filly Who Needs to Work on Her Communication Skills.' So, yes. For the most part."

:rainbowderp: Um...

Is this a thing you have or are considering writing someday? Just, you know... someday? Because that is just too cool an image to leave floating about in conceptual nonexistance forever. And if you do write that, I will read the crap out of it.

I can see it now. Celestia, after foretold shenanigans come to fruit, bearing her sentence with Lady Godiva-like dignity and decorum, only occasionally looking to the mare beside her with uncomprehending penance...

:trollestia: “But, Twilight, I swear to you, I thought it was intuitively obvious that...”
:facehoof: “Shaddap and keep walking.”

I think this may be a moral imperative.

Meanwhile: yeah, a secondary source of feathers is definitely called for. Which won’t thrill Sunny much, but she’ll deal, I think...

9638493
No, no marriage per se, not for a while yet. But there are other thresholds waiting to be crossed, whether our heroes think they are ready or not...
:twilightsmile:

9642073
At the very least, I'll see if Silfoe is taking commissions. This kind of princessly shenanigans seems right up their alley.

Heavy stuff handled with uncommon grace.

I don't think I've ever really expressed how much I love the... I guess 'passion' would be the word... that you write with. The emotion bleeds through the page and hits the reader square in the face, and it's beautiful and compelling and marvelous the way you can do that over the complete gamut of the emotional spectrum.

Beautiful examination of all the awkwardness that comes from finding yourself in the life another you lived, including highly specific taste in ice cream. And I always appreciate Sci-Twi talking Sunset down when the latter is having a Queen Bitch moment. Definitely looking forward to whatever comes next.

Huh. Fascinating choices for human Twilight. And that is an outstanding alternative cutie mark for her.

“Let’s don’t judge, angel cake,” she said. “Homunculi are ponies, too.”

:rainbowlaugh: At first, I thought this wasn't Mrs. Cake's first brush with the wider multiverse. This is arguably even better. Especially since she may well have baked her own equunculus.

Heh. Pegasus with TK is hax. Kick her from the server!

Wonderful stuff. I always love seeing analogue shenanigans, and these were some quality ones. Looking forward to more now that the visitors have gotten situated.

9691576

At first, I thought this wasn't Mrs. Cake's first brush with the wider multiverse. This is arguably even better. Especially since she may well have baked her own equunculus.

Heh. Coming soon: Mr. and Mrs. Cake’s Crosstime Bakery. :raritywink:

And also, thank you for catching the error! It should be equunculi, after all. :twilightsmile:

I somehow missed the four sequels added to this series since I last read it. :trixieshiftright:

Ninja credentials aside, this is some good stuff. I like that both Sunsets have their personal demons, and It'll be interesting to see them work together after so long apart.

Oh, wow. So Celestia thought that Luna...and Sunset with Celestia...that's some serious inter-dimensional, quasi-incestual drama-square you got going on there. Really goes to show that Celestia's pattern-reading is far from an exact science.

That's...messed up. In a good way? I mean...wow. :rainbowderp:

9694783
Good thing she actually saw Sunrise' pattern and not Sunset's

Perhaps make “Chronology Notes” a single bold subhead, followed by a bullet list in roman? That would look cleaner and reduce repetition, I think.

Also, I noticed the lonely periods to force indents on opening paragraphs. Flush first paragraphs aren’t a bug in Fimfiction; that is correct protocol for the first paragraph of a chapter or scene. (I know because I design and lay out books professionally.)

“Not if you don’t go forward, no,” Twilight agreed. “You can go on, and face this. Or you can go back, and I’ll never bring it up again.”

"But you'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow—"
"Don't you dare."

She blinked, frowning, than read, “...and Twilight Sparkle.”

"... 'hyphen two,' apparently."
Both Shimmers and the other Twilight turned to the pegasus. "Well, I had to disambiguate myself somehow."

“Thank you,” Celestia said, a little awkwardly. “Yes, I imagine these have been missed in the Royal Canterlot Library.”

"This would certainly explain why the librarians burned you in effigy a few years ago."

The whole exchange about the thing at the place that is else was fantastic.

Heck of a self-fulfilling prophecy. By choosing not to make things squicky, Celestia helped push Sunset to the human world, which would eventually lead to the very Sunrise-Luna relationship that Celestia perceived.

At this point, I'm starting to think that a martyr complex is just part of a solar cutie mark.

In all seriousness, beautiful reconciliation between these two. Forgotten Friendship gave a good one, but this sequence of aired grievances and incredible revelations does so much more for these two. Time for some family bonding.

(Though I do have to wonder where, if anywhere, Princess Twilight fits in in this absurd arrangement.)

9694783

Really goes to show that Celestia's pattern-reading is far from an exact science.

Yeah. A lot of the time, she’s pretty much right on the money. But when she misses the mark... well... :rainbowderp:

...that's some serious inter-dimensional, quasi-incestual drama-square you got going on there.

Well, it all depends on how you slice it. Now, if Pony Sunset and Pony Twilight had gotten together, there might have been ancient princess eyes spinning like pinwheels... :raritywink:

Really goes to show that Celestia's pattern-reading is far from an exact science.
...That's...messed up. In a good way? I mean...wow

True, but at the same time, this could be viewed as a best possible scenario. Things could have gone far worse. (If you haven’t seen it already, here’s an example I’m also rather proud of.) :twilightsmile:

9695001
As a conjunction into Luna’s life pattern? Yeah, that would have certainly been... complicated. Especially considering the difference in timing.

:trixieshiftleft: (Imagines Celestia arranging for Sunset to be frozen until Luna’s return, like a kind of reverse Austin Powers.)

:trixieshiftright: (Imagines an ancient and powerful Princess Sunset facing down Nightmare Moon in a grim battle of magic and might... with both of them simultaneously struggling with their growing realization that what they feel for one another is more than anger and rage...)

:trixieshiftleft: (Imagines hyper-romantic time shenanigans spanning multiple eras and dimensions.)

And instead of any of these, Celestia spent something over a century thinking she had pretty much destroyed everything.

Oops. :facehoof:

9695195
Good suggestions. My thanks. :twilightsmile:

On the periods... yeah, lacking your experience, I relied upon my book collection, and the impression I got is that either is acceptable, since both are practiced. The forced indents are an experiment, and I haven’t completely decided on them yet.

9696730
Many thanks. :twilightsmile:

"But you'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow—"
"Don't you dare."

:rainbowlaugh:...right?

At this point, I'm starting to think that a martyr complex is just part of a solar cutie mark.

Well...

I dunno about martyrs, exactly… but they certainly seem an angsty bunch, don’t they?

Actually, you have kind of touched on something I have been pondering on cutie marks in these stories. Not as in an absolute provable magical “known” or anything, but...

I think that, culturally, there are a lot of expectations ponies have about cutie marks, some of which may be more genuine patterns than others. Diamonds not cracking under pressure but shining brighter, etc.

So there is, I think, a whole unofficial heraldry of cutie mark expectations in pony society… which is fine, so long as the ponies remember that the heraldry to each mark is personalized to the pony bearing that mark. (Cheerilee isn’t a gardener of plant life, after all.) When they forget that, I think we encounter situations like with poor Diamond Tiara, and the way her mom weaponized her mark against her.

DT had the potential to be a true leader. But with her heart turned against itself, she was a tyrant.

With sun cutie marks, meanwhile, I think there is the tendency to bring out the light in others. But at the same time, there is the risk of being burned by their own hearts.

And while ponies might view “celestial” marks in general (suns, moons, stars, etc.) as being among the strongest marks (the way some human cultures might think of a name as being powerful), they also seem the most likely to turn their own strengths against themselves if their hearts are in turmoil. Often with catastrophic results.

Sunset, for example, has her famous yin-yang sun mark. And for the longest time she was a force of division and turmoil, pitting forces against one another… within the lives of others, and within herself. Only recently did she, with the help of her friends, find her “true” potential as a bringer of balance and insight. And, as time has gone on, she has indeed been bringing out the light within others.

I think it a bitter irony that Celestia and Luna, though they are the primary driving forces behind Equestrian culture being one of forgiveness and compassion, are so reluctant to forgive themselves. But with Sunset and Tia having both given each other a dose of “knock that crap off already,” hopefully things will be improving on that score a little.

9694291
Thank you. I’m looking forward to it myself. :twilightsmile:

9655258
9655299
I don’t know what to say aside from thank you. :twilightsmile:

And I always appreciate Sci-Twi talking Sunset down when the latter is having a Queen Bitch moment.

Me, too. I also like that they have a rather honest relationship. At no point did Twilight insist that Sunny wasn’t being (shall we say) unreasonable... she just gave her support and opportunity to see what she was doing, and then amend it. :twilightsmile:

Ri2

Sunset really needs to go home.

Also, Celestia's eyes aren't blue.

Ri2

There's only one train? In the entire world?!

9725956
Well, Sunny hasn’t been much past Ponyville and Canterlot yet, so she’s only seen one thus far. But with the limited need for mechanized travel, there probably aren’t many.

Ri2

9727029
That's a bit odd.

Ah, I see we've reached the titular laments. I have a feeling that, based on what Sunset started on saying, that Sunrise will be getting some more magic in her life soon, accompanied by a more positive outlook.

Global impacts do nicely explain why a society with weather control would allow inclement days.

And a low-fiber diet seems hard to achieve when most of the local cuisine is based on hay.

Of course, the meat of this chapter is Sunrise confronting Equestrian forgiveness and not knowing what to make of it. Hopefully it will become clear tomorrow.

Uh, holy crap. This is WAY better than the show's version of the pillars' end. It's more original and more fitting for the setting, both thematically and as an explanation for how Equestrian society developed.

Jesus fuck, Twilight! Chill! "Yes let's scare the everloving fuck out of my pupil and friend so she completely understands suicide is bad, she'll totally mean it and not just say it because she's terrified almost out of her mind, flawless thinking Twilight."
Just.. What the actual fuck?

This was terrifying and despair-filled and will probably haunt my dreams for weeks.

In other words, I loved it.

9741954

Jesus fuck, Twilight! Chill! ... Just.. What the actual fuck?

Well, yeah. Agreed. On the other hand, she at least said she was sorry.

Celestia, having grown up in a much harder time, never did. She was afraid that if she apologized, her young apprentice might not take the lesson as much to heart.

Fear, even fear for someone else’s sake, does not necessarily lead to good decisions. And unfortunately, not all the lessons Twilight learned from her mentor were good ones. :facehoof:

9742032
Yatta! I am so happy to haunt your dreams with despair and terror...! :raritywink:

9741505
Thank you. It always warms my heart when my bizarre head canons makes sense to someone besides just me. :twilightsmile:

9742248
Hmm, I hope someone will have a talk with them about that. Yes, making it a nearly traumatising experience does help them remember, but that doesn't make it a good idea :applejackunsure:

9725931

Also, Celestia's eyes aren't blue.

Wups! You’re right; thank you for that!

Twilight’s smile became strained as they both continued waving and nodding. “Only in Ponyville,” she replied.

"Unless being unable to get a cab in Manehattan counts."
"If it does," said Celestia, "then I too have maintained a degree of informality."

Princess Twilight poured them all some more tea. “Well, technically, yes. But remember that Stygian wasn’t exactly one of the Pillars.”

I always considered him the Pillar of Logistics. Truly the greatest power of them all.

Oh. Oh. I knew I recognized that spell. Brilliant work in the impact it had on equine society, down to the very etymology of their language. And yeah, reality-warping Eldritch Sparkle, Great New One of Magic was quite the sight to behold.

Here's hoping Sunrise can internalize that lesson in time.

9642073
This kind of reminds me of a story I read yesterday--something about Captain Thunderhoof, the worst Wonderbolt ever--where Twilight actually shows some assertiveness in front of Celestia, 'requesting' a list of all potential enemies, threats, and whatever else, that was sealed away, banished, or otherwise could potentially come back for her to deal with. And she wants it by the end of the week. Celestia's response?

:trollestia: Did you just give me homework?

9749907
:rainbowlaugh:Bwahahahaha! Oh, that sounds marvelous!

Ri2

Judgment day has come, Pinkamena! THE BALLOONS SHALL HAVE THEIR RECKONING!

Twilight as Chernobog... There's a mental image. :twilightoops:

I’d forgotten that her Pinkie’s confetti explodes on contact before.

"To be fair, she can make pretty much anything explode."
"Yeah, but I can't throw a "Sorry-For-The-Solid-Matter party. ... Or can I?"

“It’s the mother balloon!” Pinkie Pie screamed. “She found me! Run!

Wild Drifblim appears!
Seriously, fantastic Pinkie interlude.

And the end montage... Okay, so it's more a summmary than a montage, but I still imagined one. Wonderful stuff all around, especially all of Sunrise's bonding moments.

"Yeah, but I can't throw a "Sorry-For-The-Solid-Matter party. ... Or can I?"

One does not challenge the Pinkie lightly. :rainbowderp:

Okay, so it's more a summmary than a montage, but I still imagined one.

Yeah, me too. I’m cool with calling it one if you are. :twilightsmile:

Glad you’ve enjoyed the ride. Now only the Epilogue remains. :trixieshiftright:

Is this just the girls with guns universe now? Also, I wonder what Fluttershy's username is. UmmI'mSorry?

9782953
No, but a good magician is always prepared.

And Fluttershy’s Eris handle is LessThanThree. She’s had it since before she (or I) heard the song. :yay: :heart:

Appleseed1988: crhist I caint tyope tonight

Huh. After the first few, I figured that was just how she normally typed. Also, if that's meant to be her birth year, then it's apparently 2006 in the human world. Or the Apple siblings share an Eris account.

Because keeping a secret identity in modern day would be almost impossible, even without facial recognition software.

On the one hand, a mask actually screws with those algorithms quite well. On the other, the wider variety of hair and skin colors make the girls a lot more distinctive. Especially Dash.

Dash's melancholy is certainly understandable. It's an uncomfortable question, one I'm honestly not sure how to address myself. What do the girls do post-graduation, especially when there's still rogue magic in the world?

And that ending... Just because Sunrise's issues are increasingly (though not completely) dealt with doesn't mean other trouble might arise, whether new or old. Definitely looking forward to seeing how these new threats develop, and how the Rainbooms plan on defending their world.

9784680
Nope, that’s not her birth year. That’s just her favorite version of that particular anime. :twilightsmile:

Twilight’s knee-jerk response is sometimes to overestimate technology a little bit, perhaps in part because she could tweak it to solve such problems so easily. If she was working for her world’s equivalent of the FBI (by whatever name) probably masks wouldn't be such a problem... even as, ironically, she could side-step the entire issue easily if she were on the supply-side of crime. Or, in this case, vigilantism.

And even as the Rainbooms will continue determining their own place in their world, so will other matters come to light, old and new, both beautiful and terrible.

"a thousand morning ponies" - surely statistically some of the mourning ponies would be evening ponies rather than all morning ponies?

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