• Published 14th Feb 2020
  • 1,418 Views, 117 Comments

Imperial Revision - The Sound of Loneliness

What would you do if you already had everything? Or everything you wanted. Her Majesty Nightmare Moon has recently discovered there is more to life than war, intrigues and edicts. Luna is trying to be helpful. She has no choice.

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An Advice Not Given

Rarity swiftly trotted toward the archives, having just enough dignity to not break into an outright gallop. She prayed to the stars that Twilight would be somewhere else, just this once.
Rarity would have no ways of explaining herself to her friend, for she didn’t have all the evidence yet and Twilight wouldn’t take words, even if they were very qualified words. From this point on, Twilight would just be getting in her way. Not to mention this could prove to be very dangerous… interfering with Her Majesty’s affairs always was always dangerous—very dangerous.

‘Librum De Mistica, page 105,’ the final words of the letter rang in her head. Rarity’s connections might avert the catastrophe yet, at least, if Miss Do was correct in her conclusion. Oh, how glad she was that she had sent this recipe to the explorer for Miss Do to ask around her friends!

Rarity ran up to the archives’ doors, pressing her ear to the wood. The Imperial Guard stationed outside rolled his eyes, but said nothing, long since used to the intrinsics of Rarity’s job.
After standing there for an entire minute, Rarity didn’t hear Twilight’s frustrated groans, which meant that she at least wasn’t at her desk… probably.

The unicorn took a deep breath and slipped inside, closing the door behind her.

She exhaled in relief. Twilight wasn’t there. Oh, by the stars, Moon bless her!

Rarity quickly trotted over to her dear friend’s workspace, taking a quick look. Being no alchemist, she could only discern that Twilight wasn’t quite done with her task, at least not yet. There was still a little time.

She proceeded to search for the archives section she needed. Luckily, Twilight took her time to re-arrange the archives in recent months—much to the dismay of the staff, but to her own (and this time Rarity’s) convenience. From helping Twilight arrange her library back in Ponyville, the white unicorn knew her system.

“Librum... Librum...” Rarity mumbled, running her eyes across the rows of tomes before her.

“What are you searching for, exactly?” Rarity jumped up with a scared whimper. Rainbow giggled,
“Sorry,” she apologized, despite her mirth. Rarity looked to where Rainbow’s voice was coming from, which was directly above her. She found the Pegasus stretched comfortably on the shelf’s top.

“Rainbow!” Rarity exhaled sharply. “I told you to take care of—”

“Silver? Oh, I am taking care of him! He’s right here, see?” Rainbow pushed the foal next to her on the edge. Silver refused to meet Rarity’s eyes, “Safe and sound!”

“You brought him with you?” Rarity cried out in outrage. “Do you have a single idea of how dangerous this is?” Rainbow gave her a surprised look, propping her chin on a hoof.

“Well… I suppose it can be dangerous if you don’t put Twilight’s books back where you got them.” Rainbow produced another giggle, “Damn, she even chased all the archivists out of their own archive! Looks like she’s picking after our precious Empress! The Empress of Libraries she is alright!” the pegasus proceeded to brazenly laugh.

“How were you even allowed in here? I thought you didn’t have the clearance,” Rarity asked, mostly to stop the laughing.

“Duh!” Rainbow pointed at a large window on the ceiling. “Okay, mind answering my questions now?” Rarity covered her eyes and sighed theatrically.

“Rainbow, please, this is important!”

“Hey,” Rainbow hung her head over the edge, looking at Rarity upside down. “Never said it wasn’t! Come on, Rarity, watcha doin’?”

“No, Rainbow! Don’t you want to show Silver the new prototypes you are supposed to be testing?

“Nah, those are just schematics for now, that’s boring.”
The sound of the doors being bashed in came flying across the hall, causing all three ponies to tilt their heads,
“Oh, Twilight’s back,” the pegasus said.

“Hide!” Rarity’s panicked plea came.


“Hide! She can’t see us!” Rarity rushed for cover, forcing Rainbow to drop the question.

Pressing against the wooden side of the shelf, Rarity pricked her ears for any incoming hoofsteps.
None followed. In fact, she heard nothing at all. No steps, no muttered curses, Rarity didn’t even hear the melodic shuffling of the pages and chiming of beakers. Something wasn’t right.
Rarity knew that peeking wasn’t wise, it might jeopardize her entire mission after all, but by the stars, the pressure was unbearable!
Slowly looking around the shelf, Rarity froze where she stood. Twilight wasn’t alone.

“Would you let me get back to work now?” Twilight asked, with a rare bitterness she only reserved for the worst enemies. Princess Celestia returned Twilight with a deathly glare.

Rarity felt her heartbeat increasing, hoof reflexively reaching for her mouth.

“How long do you need still?” the alabaster mare responded, ignoring Twilight’s attitude.

“It’s done,” she said sharply. “I only need to add the last ingredient.”
Twilight levitated the recipe book to the Princess' snout, swiftly flipping through the pages and presenting her findings to the mare. She furrowed her brows, giving Twilight a look Rarity could only interpret as a mixture between indignation and surprise. Rarity could relate.

“I swear,” the Princess spoke slowly and menacingly, making her own standing clear, "if this is some sort of a joke...”

“Like I would waste my breath joking with a thing like you,” Twilight snapped inimically.

Rarity felt a familiar, sticky, cold enveloping her spine. More acutely than ever, she felt the true horror, the fear of being kept in the dark. What is this sudden change? Twilight would never talk to her teacher like this. Unless… unless something was terribly, terribly wrong.

“Oh!” Celestia’s eyes widened, then narrowed into slits. The Princess tilted her head down to Twilight’s level, her huge stature emphasized. Twilight stared right back, with equal poison,
“The student bites back, how quaint!

“Don’t tell me you thought you could play everypony for idiots much longer.”
For a long moment, both mares shared a glare of utter contempt.

“...Clever little insect,” the taller mare finally hissed. Twilight only smirked in response, “Celestia should’ve taught you how to pick enemies, amongst other things, Twilight.”

“She did,” Twilight gnashed deliberately in the Princess’ face.
Suddenly, the larger mare let out a whimper of pain as a tiny needle was embedded in her flank. Almost as soon as it was in, it was removed again, and Twilight promptly collected the small stream of blood. She presented her opponent with a beaker slightly painted crimson at the bottom. The reaction was almost immediate.

“You insolent, little...” The mare shook with rage.

“Ah-ah-ah!” Twilight mockingly waved the beaker in front of the snow-white snout, “I would imagine explaining to Her Majesty how you disrupted her Princess’ brewing would prove hazardous, Your Highness.” She dumped the red liquid into the cauldron, not looking away from the other mare’s face or dropping her smile.

“You are going to regret this.”

“We’ll see about that.”

For a moment the alabaster mare looked like she wanted to say… well, growl something else, but instead simply went for the door, only stopping once to give Twilight another death glare.

Twilight sighed, slowly closing her eyes, grin dissolving. Her tiredness clearly displayed, poor thing.
The young Princess quickly took hold of herself, she still had to concentrate and distill her concoction. Good.
Rarity had a task too, she may as well take Twilight’s example to heart. As terrifying as this revelation was, there still was something she had to do.

Using Twilight’s distraction, Rarity returned quietly to her search.
‘Librum De Mistica, page 105.’
The book found its way to Rarity’s hooves rather quickly, Twilight made sure it was easy to find. Hiding behind the shelf again, Rarity flipped to the required page.

The unicorn suddenly remembered she wasn't alone. She tilted her head upwards and met a concerned look. Not Rainbow’s, thankfully, no. Frankly, a foal would find no ear to pass this to, at least not one that could hurt if it was informed.
Rarity forced herself to peer back at the page.
No… no, no, no! This would be catastrophic! A bastardization of life!

Stop… breathe, this was not the time to panic. If there still was a chance to prevent this horror from stacking pony bodies, it would be surely lost in the panic.
Breath in, breath out. What could she do… Going to Twilight or Her Majesty was an option… but risky. Twilight was almost done, if Rarity was to fail, all remaining time would be lost. No, too risky, far too risky.

Rarity proceeded to carefully tear the page out of the book and tuck it under her collar.

If only she could've known sooner. But no other way now, Rarity couldn’t even say goodbye. Someone had to step in. For once, it may be someone other than Princess Celestia, or Her Majesty, they had already done enough.
For Equestria, her friends, Her Majesty, and, most of all, for Luna—the time had come for her to make sacrifices once more. For the last time, for there would be nothing more left to give away after this was over.
Perhaps on one starry night, all of them could understand why it had to be this way. “Perhaps” was the best she could hope for right now.

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