• Published 17th Nov 2020
  • 8,162 Views, 285 Comments

Six Little Words - SpectralFury



Six little words slowly destroy Twilight’s faith in her mentor, and lead her to a different destiny.

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Suspicion

Lady Twilight Sparkle, Bearer of Magic, Purger of the Nightmare

H.R.H. Princess Luna, Alicorn of the Night, The Everlasting Shadow, Conqueror of Richtas Run, et. al.

Dear Lady Twilight,

It is good to hear from one of the heroines that helped banish the hatred from my heart. I am doing well, relatively speaking. My lessons on modern Ponish dialect are coming along, though I often slip back into the old words, most often with the traditional royal ‘we.’ Celestia often has to remind me that the Royal Canterlot Voice is to be reserved for restoring order or speaking in outdoor conditions.

I am sorry to say that I will not be attending the Grand Galloping Gala this year. I am still acquainting myself with this era, and don’t wish to risk embarrassing my sister with another faux pas. Shortly after I recovered my magic, she had to restrain me from finishing an honor duel the old way when one of the nobles snubbed me. I did not yet know that honor duels no longer ended in vassalage or execution.

In regards to your question, I’m rather hesitant to speak of this matter, especially considering my past as Nightmare Moon, but I would rather relive the pain than do nothing while another nightmare forms.

Yes, Celestia has been known to ‘play chess’ as it were. It is something that all leaders have to do to some extent. They must weigh the benefits of each political decision and move the pieces such that the nation is affected in the most positive manner possible.

It was this detached style of rule, along with her indifference to my concerns, that contributed to my fall. Make no mistake, the choice was ultimately my own, but she did not act against my transformation until it was too late. She believed my feelings to be a lesser matter. She was wrong, of course, and we both paid for it dearly.

Could she be subtly leading you to some unfortunate end? Absolutely not. It is not in her nature. Do I believe that she is quietly leading you towards some ultimate realization or position? I have no evidence, so I can not give you a definite answer. However she has done it before. She speaks highly of you, and I can see the love she has for you when we speak privately. However, again, she expressed her love for me a thousand years ago as well, yet turned her back to my requests for help. I remember seeing the betrayal in her eyes when I confronted her. She truly had no idea what she was doing had affected me so, so my answer is thus:

It is possible, and if she is doing so, it appears that she hasn’t learned from her mistakes.

I will respect your wishes and not mention your concerns to her. So far she hasn’t included me in any plans regarding you, but I will “keep an ear out” as the saying goes these days. Regardless of what I hear, heed my advice. If you feel like you are being used, do not hold it to yourself. Speak to your friends. Speak to me. I will gladly listen to your concerns, and I am sure your friends will as well. Take it from somepony who has been down that path.

The only place staying silent leads to is destruction.

Regards,

H.R.H. Princess Luna

===

Twilight wasn’t sure what happened after the letter. Celestia seemed to have calmed down with her requests of Twilight and her friends. Did Luna go back on her word? Or perhaps she was subtle and inserted herself in Celestia’s plans before politely disagreeing? Twilight sent a letter to Luna about this, but received a response that she had done nothing deliberate.

As far as her friends...she didn’t want to involve them in this. Like Luna, she had no real evidence, and didn’t want to slander the Princess needlessly. As well, such words could break apart their friendship. She decided to maintain this issue with Princess Luna for the most part. From time to time, she would drop hints and gently try to steer conversations towards getting her friends’ opinions, but they always inevitably support the Princess.

Every time her concerns came up, she wondered if she wasn’t simply seeing things where there were none.

===

“Good luck, my little ponies. The fate of Equestria is in your hooves.”

The rest of the girls turned to leave, but Twilight stayed put. A few more minutes of chaos wasn’t going to destroy Equestria, and Discord seemed like a creature that wanted to play with them anyway. Twilight’s scrutinization of everything Celestia said over the past year had developed into a sense of doubt when it came to figures in power, and she used it on Discord’s rather pathetic riddle.

“Twists and turns are my master plan. Then find the Elements back where you began.”

The Elements were back in Ponyville. Probably in the library, as that was where the six of them met together the first time. How Discord knew this, she didn’t know, but she didn’t really care.

“Is there something else, Twilight?” Princess Celestia asked. The other five mares stopped and turned.

“Yes, uh...I don’t suppose we could get some help? I mean you know Discord better than all of us, so you know his tricks, right? Plus, he uses chaos magic, so there’s very little he can’t do. If he decides to just attack us, there’s nothing we can do about it until we retrieve the Elements.”

Behind her, her friends looked at each other uneasily.

“I’m afraid I’m needed here, Twilight,” Celestia said. “Somepony needs to maintain order, or as close to it as possible. If I abandon my post now, even to help save Equestria, it will only incite a panic.”

“Fair enough,” Twilight admitted. “What about Princess Luna?”

“I’ve sent my sister to explain things in the major cities and calm the populace. I’m sure that Discord is intercepting communications, and she’s the only other pony that can get by him.”

“Okay. How about some guards? I know it wouldn’t do much, but safety in numbers?”

Celestia sighed, and smiled serenely. “You are correct. At best they could distract Discord for a few moments. However they are needed here in Canterlot and the cities to keep the peace and prevent riots. I’m sorry, Twilight, but it’s up to you six. Have faith in yourself, and your friendship. I know you can do it.”

I knew you could do it.

===

Lady Twilight Sparkle, Bearer of Magic, Purger of the Nightmare, Bane of Chaos

H.R.H. Princess Luna, Alicorn of the Night, The Serene Midnight, Guardian of Dreams, et. al.

Dear Twilight,

As always, it is good to hear from you. Your correspondence has helped me greatly this last year.

I am not able to properly express my gratitude for you and your friends’ defeat of Discord in mere script. That damned draconequus spent decades torturing sister and I with his antics. As such, I have seen it fit to commemorate his day of reimprisonment as a holiday. I wished to create new constellations for the six of you, appearing on that night, but sister believes you will be too embarrassed. Instead I will celebrate with a meteor shower.

Now, on to your concerns.

I am troubled by Celestia’s decisions. She did have valid points, but they are lacking. Her presence in Canterlot was stabilizing, but only barely. Discord’s chaos is all consuming. When he besieged Equestria before, there was little we could do aside from clean up his changes after he left an area and give somewhat false reassurances to the residents.

I believe that her going with you would have been the better option. Celestia and I are the only ponies left that can hold our own against him. Should she have accompanied you, she could have given you several necessary minutes to complete a critical task.

As for my own absence, Celestia 'sugar coated' it. That’s the saying, yes? I was out explaining the situation to the major cities, but the issue was a bit more personal than that. She believed that had I met Discord directly, I would have started a fight. I was always the more militant sibling, and had I unleashed my power upon Discord, the damage could have been catastrophic should it have taken place with bystanders. She may have been right, so I don’t blame her for sending me away.

She was right about the guards. At best they would have distracted him for mere seconds. At worst he would have turned them against you.

You have my sympathies, on that subject. I have felt Discord’s influence on my mind before, and I do not wish to again. It is just like him to send you all through a gauntlet, breaking your wills just before the prize, so you can’t even use it against him.

That being said, hearing of ‘Tom the Rock’ brings me no end of dark amusement.

But yes, back on topic. That sister gave you no assistance whatsoever disturbs me greatly. It appears that she is testing you for something. With your permission, I will begin trying to insert myself in whatever machinations she has for you. So far I detect nothing malicious. Perhaps she wishes to simply push you to your full potential. It wouldn’t be the first time she has done this.

I would also like to inform you that I will be attending Ponyville’s Nightmare Night festival this year. I plan to reshape the holiday from one of fear to one of celebration. Attached to this letter are my plans. Please advise me of what you think, as I still struggle with modern culture from time to time.

Your Friend,

Luna

===

Over the next year, things slowed down considerably when it came to what Twilight had begun to see as ‘Celestia’s Meddling.’ Requests were few and easy, much more suitable for six civilian mares.

Twilight slowly relaxed, settling in with her friendship lessons. They just seemed so much more benign than whatever grand plan Celestia had, and she had to admit that they were helping her in life. To think that a year ago, she was a complete and utter shut-in.

Shortly after the Discord issue, Twilight ran into a problem. She had a friendship report due, but nothing to satisfy it with. Part of her was screaming that letting this lapse would tarnish her perfect record, but another part wanted to let it go, just to see what would happen. To see if Celestia used this to try and influence her again.

After a considerable amount of stress, she decided to let it go. The day went by with no report. Nothing happened. There was no letter or visit by Celestia to express her disappointment. No assignment back to magic kindergarten. Utter silence until the response to her report on Luna’s visit to Ponyville a week later, expressing her thanks for helping her sister adjust. With Twilight’s help, it had more or less gone off without a hitch. Pinkie caused some trouble, but Twilight shut it down quite quickly.

Perhaps I've been overreacting? She would have surely done something if I tarnished my 'score' with a late report.

Her letters with Luna quickly grew more and more casual, especially after they set up a dragonfire connection directly to her. Luna did confirm that Celestia is up to something, albeit benevolent. Her tests were designed to push her, but the desired result still eluded her. Luna speculated that Celestia wanted Twilight to eventually serve on her advisory council, or some other similar position.

Of course, things couldn’t be so simple. That would be too easy.

Author's Note:

Luna to the rescue, alleviating the worst of Twilight's fears. Obviously Celestia intends for Twilight to ascend, but like I pointed out last time, Celestia took Twilight out of her comfy palace life and keeps sending her on what amount to suicide missions for ponies of the Mane 6's caliber. In real life, soldiers desert when their commanders do that.

Also, having your personality rewritten by chaos magic or a broken heart leaves some heavy scars, as the Pony POV series depicts very well. That Celestia didn't even attempt to aid them against a true reality warper brings up a bunch of red flags for me.

If I were in Twilight's position, that would have been the final straw for me already.