• Published 26th Nov 2012
  • 1,129 Views, 29 Comments

All Good Things - Wheller



Everyone remembers how Twilight Sparkle and her friends defeated Nightmare Moon and restored balance and harmony to Equestria, what everyone does not remember, however, was that this was not the first time that it happened.

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III

Chapter 3

Books, such a simple thing really, if one is to look down at a book and examine it without opening it, they will discover that it's little more than pulped wood, or a limed hide from one of the lower animals that live in the wilds of Equestria, cut thinly into sheets, and bound together to make a book whole. Without opening a book up to see what is inside, it is very easy to misjudge them, very easy to be ignorant of the threatening messages that books have the potential to carry.

This book that I am looking at— one of the few that I am actually afraid to open— is one of those books. I have spent countless hours alone, locked up here in the restricted archives of my own personal library, deep below the regular library at Castle Canterlot looking at this book. Staring at the gold leaf letters printed on the cover, but never daring to open it.

The Earth Pony Way, by Oberlander Cromwell.

This book has not been opened. Since its original printing one thousand years ago, this particular copy of the book has never been opened. The words it carries have never been exposed to the open air. I have made sure of that. I had even gone so far as to loop a belt around the book, holding the cover closed as to dissuade myself from ever opening it.

I know what the book says of course. I was one of the first to read it when it was published. I had to know what dangerous thoughts Cromwell was having run though that sick and twisted head of his and you can rest assured, that the words of this book were most certainly dangerous to my rule.

There was only one option, of course, and that was to round them all up and destroy them. At the time I was proud of such an accomplishment. Only a thousand copies were ever printed before I got to them, and nine hundred and ninety nine were destroyed.

Why did I keep this one? To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure. This book was the last of its kind, a simple thought from me and the heresies contained within it would be gone forever. It would rid me forever of a problem. So why didn't I? Why did I not do what I had originally set out to do?

Guilt, perhaps.

It's not like anyone would miss this book. By the thousandth year of my reign, alone without my sister, everypony in Equestria had long forgotten the famed political agitator, Oberlander Cromwell, Duke of Fillydelphia, scientist, statesman, renaissance pony. They weren't about to start remembering him any time soon. A single thought from me and the book would burst into flame. It would become ash on the floor, a problem, nevermore.

Now that I think about it? I know why I never destroyed that book. I kept it around because it and the other books like it I'd hidden away, never to be read by the eyes of my little ponies had been my only true companions over the last millennium. The only ones I could ever be truly honest with.

I let out a sigh, as I used my telekinesis to place Cromwell's book back on the shelf with all the others. Rising to my hooves, and straightening my crown before turning to leave the secret library for yet another day in the life of Princess Celestia.

The time I spent in the secret library was the only time I ever truly had to myself. The original architects who had designed it for me were long dead. As were the builders who had dug it out of the side of the mountain in which the wonderful city of Canterlot hung from. I was the only one left who was aware of its existence. The secret library was hardly unique in that regard.

There were plenty of places lost to the passing of time. Some of them were rediscovered. Many places still, even in the hundred years since my death have remained hidden from the prying eyes of the modern ponies. Some will remain lost forever. Heh, it's kind of funny really. That had been what I'd wanted. Now? I can't even tell anyone where to look for them. In a way, I guess that means I'd accomplished what I'd set out to do, those one thousand and three years ago.

Yay me.

Trips to the secret library far below Castle Canterlot had been part of my morning routine. I always woke myself an hour before dawn, heading down to the library to stare at the covers of the books I'd hidden away, before eventually wandering back out of the library for sunrise. Over the last thousand years, the ponies of Equestria had said that I raised and lowered the sun each day. In the back of my mind, I'd always wondered just how many of them had continued to believe that was indeed true. There had been many intelligent ponies over the years to claim it wasn't the case. That the sun and moon moved on their own and that they could prove it with mathematics.

Many others who were willing to consider the ‘Self Moving Celestial Bodies theory’ said that if it was working in that manner, that I had purposely designed it that way as a test of their faith in me, only for the first group of mathematicians to call that idea absurd. I, of course, remained silent through the whole affair. I would not be the one to admit that I did not understand the advanced mathematical formulae that the mathematicians and astronomers were presenting.

I didn't want to look bad, and after I failed to make any kind of response, the debates eventually died down. I'm not sure who that says more about, them or me.

I would stare out absent-mindedly into an easterly direction, and before I knew it, the sun would be peaking over the horizon and lighting the day for the little ponies I ruled over. They were free to go about their business, and accomplish what they had set themselves to do for that day, even if it was nothing at all.

Afterwards, I would retreat indoors to my private bath, drawing water until the tub was full, and allowing myself the comforts of the warm water. I bathed multiple times a day, for no other reason than I simply could. There honestly wasn't much for me to do throughout the day. Even though I was the de jure central authority in Equestria, and technically speaking nothing could happen without my expressed approval, in practice, that was just not always the case. The Principality of Equestria was a large nation, with a small population spread over many thousands of square kilometres. The few major metropolitan areas that existed, Manehattan Fillydelphia, and Cloudsdale, were too far away for me to have hoped to rule directly. In practice, the dukes and earls of their respective fiefs could rule their land on their own, doing whatever they would have liked. Some like the Dukes of Manehattan and Cloudsdale, did so. Others chose to refer to me for every important decision that came about as they were technically supposed to, sending pegasi couriers to Canterlot to deliver the request for a decision personally.

It was boring, tedious, and half of me wanted to berate the dukes and earls who ruled in this manner for lacking initiative, but I always stayed silent, stamping a yes or no onto the letters sent to me, and giving them back to their couriers without another word. Several hours of meeting with these couriers later, I would retire to my chambers, have another bath to relax, and afterwards would read a book for enjoyment.

Books. Books were always my companions. The ones I read were always recent literature. There was a twofold purpose, partly for enjoyment, and also to determine if they needed to be destroyed in secret, and have my own copy join the others locked away in the secret library. Books I deemed unacceptable had dwindled in number over the last few decades. By that point, I had not needed to add a book to the secret library in fifty years. Though, I am no longer certain if that had been a good thing or not.

Every now and then, at least once a week, I would receive a letter from Twilight Sparkle, documenting something she had learned in Ponyville. I always enjoyed Twilight's letters. They broke up the monotony of my days.

The letter I had received on that day came not from Twilight, however. Instead it came from my sister. I read over the letter carefully, taking in every word as it documented the encounter between Twilight Sparkle, and her friend Applejack, and the malice that the two had shared for each other.

I understood immediately why Luna had contacted me. Such anger coming from someone as powerful as Twilight was dangerous, and needed to be corrected quickly, lest something terrible happen. I had made up my mind. I would be going to Ponyville to insure that the anger that had built itself inside Twilight would not become a threat.

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