• Published 19th May 2019
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Twilight's Life As a Red and Black Alicorn - Mystic Sunrise

Having gone through a phase all alicorns do in time, Twilight must now deal with the annoyances her new outlook brings her.

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Princess Meeting

While Princess Celestia was always happy to come to Ponyville to see her former student, and fellow ruler, Twilight Sparkle, she felt that this was not just a regular visit.

The fact that Twilight had also asked Luna to come as well seemed to suggest something was going on. It was only reinforced when they found out that Cadance had been asked to come down from the Crystal Empire as well.

Celestia took some solace in the fact that Twilight's letter did not indicate anything was wrong in Equestria at the moment, nor had anything been said from the Crystal Empire also helped.

So it was safe to say that all were curious as to why Twilight had called them all here as she had. Cadance was always happy to see her favorite sister in law, but even she felt there was more to it.

As they all took a seat in the Throne Room, Luna's eyes were drawn to the roots above them. "That is new," she remarked. "Taken from Golden Oaks Library?"

Twilight nodded as she looked up at what she liked to call her Memory Roots. "The girls dug it up and filled it with all the memories we've made since we came to Ponyville."

Celestia nodded as she caught a glance of something that wasn't a pleasant memory for her. The so-called Lesson Zero incident. She tried not to think about that one as she smiled. "Your friends did a remarkable job putting it together."

Twilight blushed at the praise. "I'm still getting used to all of this though. But this helps."

Cadance looked around. Spike was nowhere to be found it seemed. "Where is everyone? I'd think at least Spike would be here."

Twilight rolled her eyes. "Getting ready for the Grand Galloping Gala. Rarity is working overtime so our dresses are ready." She smiled slightly. "She had to redesign mine after my color shift."

Luna gave her sister a stink eye, for she knew what Celestia's plans for the Gala were. "And Discord?"

Twilight rolled her eyes. "Fluttershy made him her plus one and a half after he found out she was going with her friend Tree Hugger. We asked him how much he enjoyed being a statue when it looked like he might try and do something."

Luna gave Celestia a knowing look while her sister silently stewed at the idea. But it was not something she could do much about. That didn't mean she had to like it.

Twilight gave the Cutie Map the stink eye. "And Rainbow and Pinkie are in Griffonstone. I don't why, but I feel it might have something to do with the Idol of Boreas."

Celestia perked up a bit at that. It was a name she hadn't heard of in a long time. Not since King Grover's day long ago. She wondered how it would playout for the two of them.

Twilight's smile returned. "And Ponyville is getting ready for Matilda's and Cranky's wedding coming up. They asked me to help plan it so it goes off without a hitch. Pinkie being gone wasn't part of the plan. But I can manage."

Cadance hid a squee. She was always happy to hear about two getting married, and though she didn't know the two Twilight had mentioned, she was happy for them nonetheless.

Princess Celestia meanwhile, while no less happy for the two, wondered back to why they were all here in the first place. "As much as I love hearing about life in Ponyville Twilight, I get the feeling you did not call us all here just for that."

Twilight sighed as her head bowed a little. "No. Do you remember the letter I sent a while back?"

Celestia nodded. "I admit I do not know a pony named Starlight Glimmer, but she sounded interesting from what you described," Luna said.

Celestia nodded. "I admit I have wondered what happened to her. She was one of the top students at the School for Gifted Unicorns at the same time you were Twilight." She smiled at a memory. "If I'd had more time, I might have even made her my student alongside you."

Twilight nodded, not too surprised at this bit of news. "Did she ever talk about herself much?"

Celestia took a moment before she responded. "Not much. She didn't try to make very many friends during her time at the school. Her only one I remember was a childhood friend named Sunburst. But he flunked out not long after she arrived."

Twilight nodded. "I'm not sure how much you will like what she's done in the years since then. From what she told me, it was Sunburst's departure that changed her for, as she saw it, the worst."

"How's that?" Cadance asked.

Twilight's ears fell. "She blamed cutie marks for taking her only friend away." She saw the confused looks she got at that and shrugged. "I know, it sounds stupid, but that's what she told me."

She rolled her eyes. "After that, she swore she would find a way to remove pony's cutie marks. In what she called "Equality for all." She swore that she would remake Equestria the way she viewed the world."

Her fellow princesses shared shocked looks. This kind of magic was unheard of as far as they knew. Only Starswirl's unfinished spell was close to it, and that only switched cutie marks.

"What changed then?" Luna asked.

Twilight smiled. "Somepony knocked the sense back into her. Starlight could never describe who she was, or even what she looked like, but she called this pony her mentor."

Everypony sighed at that, but that still left several questions. "I feel that is not the whole story though. Starlight Glimmer was always known for never giving up on something once she set her mind to it," Celestia said.

Twilight nodded. "Her mentor showed Starlight a better way to redirect her feelings. Her vision could never work as she wanted it, but there was still a way to use it."

"How?" Luna asked, dubious of the thought.

Twilight smiled as she looked back at what Starlight had shown her before they had returned to Ponyville. "She did, in fact, create a spell to remove cutie marks. But it only lasts a day before it wears off and the cutie mark returns to the pony in question."

She gave her fellow princesses a thoughtful look. "A whole village has built up around Starlight's idea. Ponies come and go all the time from Our Town. It's a dumb name I know. But the idea behind it isn't."

Celestia, Luna, and Cadance shared a shocked look. "Where is this village? How come we have never heard of it?" Celestia asked.

"It's north of Manehatten. It's out in the middle of nowhere, so I'm not surprised nopony much knows about it," Twilight responded.

Cadance though had another question. "Why would anypony ever want to remove their cutie mark?"

Twilight gave her a small smile. "Let me ask you all a question first. Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you didn't have what your mark meant hanging over your head? What life could have been had you never got them in the first place?"

That caused Celestia, Luna, and Cadance to pause as they really thought about that. They would be lying if they said the thought had never crossed their minds.

Celestia and Luna especially wondered what their lives could have been had they never made their connections to the sun and moon over a thousand years ago.

Twilight smiled a little as she saw the thought stick. "As for those who do go there? Most don't have homes to go back to for some reason or another. Others hate what their cutie mark means for their lives."

Twilight looked out a nearby window toward the north. "Starlight gives them a chance, however brief, to see what their lives could be in another time and place. Most go home happy and with a new perspective on life. Those who have no other place to go stay."

"And you know this how?" Luna asked though she was afraid she knew the answer already.

Twilight steadied herself before answering. "I and my friends had Starlight use her spell on us. We spent three days there without our cutie marks to see what that other side, to see what life could be without them." Her smile grew. "It did me, no. It did all of us some good I feel. Even Applejack, who was most against it in the beginning, said it helped her in the end."

The others were horrified. The very idea went against everything they knew, everything they believed in. Yet, something in the way Twilight told them the story, told them that there was more to it.

Just for a moment, Celestia thought she felt something beyond their sight shift as if something long in gestation had come to pass. The next it was gone and she shook off the thought as she focused on the here and now.

Her first question would have been what had changed, if anything, about Twilight in the time since this little adventure, but then Celestia looked closer at her former student. Outwardly Twilight seemed fine. But a closer look revealed something had indeed changed since they had last seen her.

Twilight sat straighter in her throne now, more erect, more commanding when she spoke. There was just the right amount of dignity and edge to her words that had not been there before. Her eyes shone in a way they never had before.

In effect, Twilight looked like a princess twenty years older than she actually was. Her age had not changed, but she now carried herself like a ruler sure in herself and her decisions.

Celestia would be lying if she wasn't proud of her former student at this moment. Whatever had happened in Our Town, it seemed to have made quite the impact on Twilight's life, and as she looked at Luna and Cadance, she could see they saw it too.

Cadance finally found her voice. "So what do we do now then?" She asked.

Twilight smile grew if possible. "I've already given Starlight as much support as I can. I can't make anything official, but that doesn't mean I can't do some things for her."

Luna considered this a moment. "What would you have us do Twilight? While I am intrigued by this, we cannot support this officially. Equestria would be in an uproar within the day if we made the announcement."

Celestia nodded. "As much as I too am intrigued by this, Luna is right. Very little can be done at this moment if that is what you wished to hear. Maybe someday in the future that might change. But that day will not be soon."

Twilight nodded. She was not too shocked and surprised by this. She had known it was unlikely to happen as fast as Starlight wished it could be. But that wasn't all she had to say. "There is one thing we can all do right now."

Cadance was confused. "And what would that be?"

Twilight leaned back in her throne. "I promised Starlight that I would visit again. She knows things about magic that I never even considered possible. I'm interested in learning what she knows."

She lowered her hooves to the Cutie Map. "And maybe you could all come with me? I know it's a long trip. But I think it could us all a lot of good to visit. I mean, look at what it did to me," she giggled.

The others chuckled as well. The idea did sound fun, and Celestia and Luna could use a break from Canterlot's hustle and bustle, as could Cadance from the Crystal Empire.

"We will think about it Twilight," Celestia replied, though those who knew her best could already see what her answer would be when the time came.

Author's Note:

Just a little follow up to the Mane 6's adventures in Our Town last chapter. Felt it wouldn't hurt to show Twilight bringing this up to her fellow princesses. I don't think it was ever said in the show.

As for how this changes the rest of the story, quite a bit that was built off of season 5's finale is no longer going to happen. Or happen as we know it did in the Heart World.

Yes, I did change Slice of Life in a big way by removing Celestia, Luna, Cadance, and Shining Armor from ever attending. They had no reason to be there other than Hasbro's screwing over the Mane 6.