• Published 30th Jun 2019
  • 1,491 Views, 25 Comments

The Missing Princess - Bronyxy

Twilight finds an old map and goes off in search of a lost town; a town that holds the best kept secret in all of Equestria. Her discovery puts her on a collision course with Celestia and Luna who have shared a secret since the founding of Equestria.

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2 The Troika

Twilight put down near to the largest of the ruined towers and looked around hopefully for some sign of an entrance. Large stones lay in randomly scattered piles where they had fallen, and a sandy earth was piled up on one side with wild shrubs and creepers around the other. Here and there, barely discernible features showed where stone staircases had once led up or down, odd steps bearing witness to a more prosperous past.

Her horn flashed into life, and Twilight began to levitate fallen stone blocks away from an alcove, eventually revealing a splintered oak door. Its comparatively lightweight construction revealed it to be an inside door rather than a much thicker outside door reinforced to keep out enemy armies, so when the last of the rubble was removed, she reached out her aura to open it.

The latch grated as it lifted reluctantly and rusted metal hinges protested their rude awakening by creaking loudly, amplified by the echoes from a much larger space inside. Twilight tiptoed forward cautiously, her horn now shining brightly as she peered into the centuries old gloom.

“Hello …?” she called as a matter of reflex rather than in expectation of hearing a reply, and moved in. She found herself in a room that was too small to be called a hall, but equally too large to be called a reception. Twilight walked across the floor towards a set of stairs leading upwards, making her way between long tables with wooden seats and staring at pictures on the walls revealing what must have been famous and influential ponies of days long gone by.

The room was a largely intact time capsule, but interesting as it was, she suspected that bigger prizes lay ahead, so she climbed up the stairs leading to the first floor, the light from her horn reflecting back brightly from the stone. The air hung thick with a mustiness that pervaded her mouth and throat, but none of that mattered as she emerged out onto the next floor.

Her heart skipped a beat as her eyes became accustomed and she saw a room containing tall wooden cases strewn with occasional cobwebs hanging like Nightmare Night decorations, but the purpose of those cases was oh so familiar, for they contained books!

Twilight scanned the shelves and immediately recognised some of the old tomes as being exceptionally rare, with perhaps only one or two others being known in existence. Her mouth hung open in astonishment at the rich variety of the oldest texts in all of Equestria and wandered round to get a feel for the sheer quantity of knowledge contained in the room.

When she got to the last bookcase, Twilight peered around and noticed a barred off area. Immediately she began to hyperventilate, recognising that a limited access area within a library full of rare books could mean only one thing: ultra-rare books!

Tentatively, she walked over to examine the solidly fashioned bars that had kept the secrets safe within for centuries. They looked sturdy enough to last for hundreds of years more, but the lock did not appear to be especially complicated for unicorn magic. She reasoned that this must have been due to this area originally having belonged to pegasi or earth ponies where the populace were strong but less magically inclined.

Twilight focused her aura onto the lock and it sprang open without any resistance, hanging limply in its hasp. Her eyes twinkled excitedly as she pulled the door towards her and set hoof inside, her sense of anticipation building by the hoofstep.

There was only one bookcase, and even then only one shelf had anything to offer other than a generous coating of dust counterpointed by neglected spiders’ webs, their owners long since having moved on to more plentiful feeding grounds. She began to survey the contents excitedly and soon appreciated that not only had she not seen any of them before, but she had never even heard of them either.

Magick for growing” she recited, reading the spines in the order they appeared on the shelf, “Earth pony curses; well at least that confirms which tribe was running this library.”
She was a little taken aback at finding bound volumes on earth pony magic. As far as she was aware, earth ponies had a connection to the earth and the changing of the seasons, but not anything that involved high magic. She made a note to come back to these later.
Booke of Truthful Thinges“ she said out loud, noting the ornate gilding on what was clearly an important book, “Oooh, I think I’ll have a look at this one first.”

With that she withdrew it gently from its place on the shelf and summoned a magical dustpan and brush to clean off the only table and chair in the closed off area. She lit a part used candle, that must last have been alight hundreds of years ago and set down on the freshly brushed chair to read. There were sections on the customs, traditions and beliefs of each of the three tribes, drawing parallels in a document that was clearly meant to be read by ponies of all backgrounds so they could appreciate what bound them together rather than what divided them.

It was well into the night now, but inside the darkened library there was no way of telling. This was such an amazing document, Twilight wondered why she had never heard of it before, for clearly this had not been intended as the only copy. She marvelled especially at how much earth pony magic had been apparent at the time of writing, and that so little appeared to have survived to this day.
“If it was common knowledge then, why has the earth pony magic all been forgotten?” she mused out loud.

Then she turned to the next chapter entitled The Three Princesses. She gasped. One word was out of place there, she was sure of it. Studiously she got back to the book, but now with a more critical focus and read:
“Following the great unification, the new land of Equestria shall be ruled by three alicorns, a new and magical breed of immortal pony embodying unicorn, pegasus and earth pony stock in equal measure. One is allocated to represent the specific interests of each of the tribes and each shall have their own Royal responsibilities to attend for the benefit of all, so that Equestria may flourish in harmony:
Princess Corona, The Bright One, Her Majesty The Princess Of The Sun shall represent the earth ponies and will raise and lower the sun.
Princess Luna, The Dark One, Her Majesty The Princess Of The Moon shall represent the unicorns and will raise and lower the moon.
Princess Celestia, The Arbiter, Her Majesty The Princess Of The Twilight shall represent the pegasi and will reconcile the differences between light and dark and keep them in balance.”

Twilight was astounded. Celestia and Luna had a sister? Where was she? If she was immortal then what had happened to erase her from history?

Then Twilight felt an icy chill touch her back that made her gasp in fright. What did Celestia and Luna know about her, or rather what had they done to her? It suddenly became clear why she hadn’t heard of this book before; they must have gone round the kingdom and taken away every copy to remove all reference to their sister!

She began to tremble and suddenly everything that had seemed so intriguing and so full of promise turned to spectres and demons taunting her from the shadows dancing all around her. What would happen to her if she mentioned Princess Corona to Celestia? Would she disappear too?

For once in her life, Twilight found herself regretting something she had learned as she now felt in more danger than she ever had before. Celestia and Luna had never mentioned Princess Corona and therefore whatever they had done to her, they hadn’t wanted to talk about it. If they could do that to their own sister, then what chance did she stand?

Twilight sat back in her chair and breathed deeply, trying to control the panic rising in her body while her mind ran through all the ways she could be compromised by the Royal sisters and the increasingly draconian penalties they could choose to extract for her impertinence. By the time she had started to calm down, she had already come to appreciate that death was by no means the worst outcome.

She couldn’t decide whether it was safer to stay where she was or leave, and if so to where? She didn’t know if she should take the books with her or whether by having them on her would seal her fate. Indecision piled on indecision so she buried her muzzle in her forehooves and screamed; it may not have been the best thing she had done that day, but it certainly wasn’t the worst.

It was probably still night outside, she reasoned. She didn’t want to crash into anything and get injured miles from anywhere, so decided to wait until she felt it should be daytime. But now, with absolutely no chance of sleep, she settled back down into her chair and opened the book again; at least she could spend the time finding out more about earth ponies and the mysterious Princess Corona.

The more she read, the more she came to realise that where Princess Corona had been the champion of the earth ponies, her removal from the ruling troika caused the earth ponies to lose their power, progressively denying them the magic they had historically enjoyed and relegating them to more menial pursuits. The untapped potential these ponies held at their disposal, had they but known it, was incredible, and there were now three ponies who knew about it.

Twilight found engraved pictures of the three Princesses; Celestia and Luna she recognised easily, but Corona was a stunning light gold palomino with flaming mane and tail. On closer examination, she could make out the sun cutie mark on her that Celestia now wore. She flipped back to Celestia and saw a different cutie mark, and gasped; it was a pink six point star with five stars orbiting it …

“No! No! No!” she screamed; this couldn’t get any weirder!

She pushed back her chair and got up, walking in tight circles around the table until she felt dizzy, then propped herself back up on the table as she caught her breath.

Of course; it was all so obvious now she came to consider it. Luna’s mane was the dark blue of the night sky with magical sparkles representing the stars, but Celestia’s mane was the colour of twilight and dusk, not moreover the flaming splendour of the sun. She was an imposter – there was no other way to put it. Her trusted mentor, friend and fellow Princess was an imposter!

She felt sick; the friendship she had believed they shared was based on nothing but deceit, lies and misplaced trust.