• Published 1st Mar 2013
  • 2,103 Views, 62 Comments

No Regrets - Ficta_Scriptor

After Twilight becomes an alicorn, the notion of immortality dawns on her and she is plagued by doubts. Distressed, she finds solace with the Element of Honesty. To have no regrets would mean the world.

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No Regrets


“Princess Celestia, I need to ask you something important.”

“Go ahead, Twilight.”

“It’s about… being an alicorn.”

The Princess of the Sun kept up her smile, draping a wing around her protégé. “I believe I know what troubles you.”

Twilight looked away, her face growing hot. It had been several weeks since she had officially become a princess. Celestia, Luna and Cadence had all chipped in with their advice on stepping into the shoes of royalty. From posture and poise, to the art of keeping oneself collected in a time of crisis, to detailed information about how the monarchy governs each sector of Equestria, everything had been laid out to her, crystal clear.

Her friends had all helped to make the life-changing event that much more wonderful. Each of them in turn showed their support, showering her with praise and frequently dropping the ‘princess’ title to make her swell with pride. Rainbow Dash was determined to teach her how to fly like a Wonderbolt while Pinkie Pie had designed a whole new brand of princess-themed cakes. Everypony was proud of her. Everypony was happy for her. They were doing everything that they should, except…

Nopony made any mention of the burden that came with her newfound ascension to royalty. They all knew the truth. They all knew how astronomical this change was but like an unspoken rule her immortality was a mandatory taboo. None of them even dared to hint at such things, including Twilight herself. And she wasn’t sure if it was simply paranoia, but there had been several times where one of her friends would stutter, falter, or retract their words. When she thought about it, she realised just how easy it was to notion the inevitability of death in everyday conversation.

“Ah’ll probably be runnin’ this farm ‘til the end of mah days!”

“I’m not gonna waste my life with small fry!”

“I hope that in generations to come…”

The more she looked back, the more she could sense the obvious disparity. She knew that it was because her friends cared about her, but could they also be jealous? Did they wish for eternal life? Did they talk about her in secret, damning their mortal bodies? Did she deserve this? Did they deserve this?

All she had to do was talk to them. All she had to do was bring it out into the open and it would be a relief to them all. No longer would they have to tread on eggshells, hiding their true feelings. But then, what if she didn’t like what they had to say? What if they didn’t like what she had to say? Over and over, every eventuality that her mind could bring forth was spun, twisted and stretched until she couldn’t take it anymore. Perhaps it was better to just ignore the subject and go on as if nothing had ever happened. It wasn’t as if waiting it out was a problem for her…

“It is okay, my child,” Celestia assured, nodding her head sagely. “To tell you the truth, I expected this sooner.”

Twilight forced a smile at her mentor, her heart aching with every moment. “Is it absolute? Am I really going to live forever?”

“Perhaps not forever, but the lifespan of an alicorn far exceeds that of any other living creature.”

Twilight’s head drooped, her smile falling to a look of pure disdain. “So it is true. I always knew it was, but it’s strange to hear about it, knowing what I am.” The lavender pony took a deep breath, trying her best not to let her emotions take over. After all, it was ‘un-princess-like’. “I know it’s for the good of Equestria. Why have a ruler who needs to be replaced when you can have them live on? I knew about all this before I even became a princess, but now that it’s happened and it’s final I feel so…” She looked up into Celestia’s eyes, wishing that she could put every ounce of her inner turmoil into words. “I don’t know what I feel.”

“I understand, Twilight,” the ruler replied warmly. “It is not easy; it never has been. You fear what will happen once your friends grow old, yes?”

A lump formed in the alicorn’s throat as she imagined the graves of her friends laid out in front of her, their coffins being lowered into the dirt from whence they came. “I’m terrified,” she said in a hoarse whisper. “And with all due respect, Princess, some days I wish I could die with them.”

Celestia’s expression grew more concerned, her usual demeanour fading into a look that Twilight had never seen on her idol. “Come with me,” she said firmly, rising to her hooves. “I want to show you something.”

There was a pang of fear in the young mare’s heart as she paced after the princess. For a moment, she was convinced that Celestia was furious with her for admitting her true feelings. After all, what would the ponies of Equestria think if she made them public? Anypony who might wish for their own demise was undoubtedly unfit to be a ruler.

She was led through the winding halls of the Royal Palace until they reached Celestia’s own chambers. “Come inside,” the princess said with a stern look.

Her pulse racing faster than ever, Twilight gulped nervously and obliged. To be called into the sanctity of Celestia’s own room meant that she should be scorned away from the ears and eyes other pony-folk, that she should suffer the full wrath of the most powerful pony on earth!

The white alicorn sighed, pulling on a cord with her magic and filling the room with sunlight despite the fact that there were no windows. The marbled floor was an almost dazzling pearl and the walls were somehow colourless, yet reflected a rainbow of colours across the contents of the room. In the centre was a massive four-poster bed with deep-red silk drapes.

Twilight was led past this, to a row of finely polished mahogany drawers, their edges lined with golden accents. Celestia opened one right at the far corner using her magic and brought out a colossal, leather-bound tome. There was no visible insignia or indentation on the cover, but the well-worn pages and branching creases across the spine made it clear that this book was incredibly old.

Celestia took to Twilight’s side, the young mare now more curious than ever. “This is something that I’ve never shown anyone, not even my sister,” The Princess of the Sun began, slowly opening to the first page. It showed a pencilled picture depicting five of the Elements of Harmony, the familiar symbols replaced with different coloured orbs. The Element of Magic — the crown that stood atop Twilight’s head at that very moment — was curiously absent. “I believe that you are the first who would truly benefit from this book.”

“How do you mean, Princess? If it’s about the Elements of Harmony, I thought that I’d learned all there was to know about them.”

“In a way, you have,” Celestia replied, giving her student a comforting smile. “But there are some things you do not know about their history.”

“I thought they were created to defeat Nightmare Moon.”

“That is not entirely correct, Twilight. Nor were they created to defeat Discord before that. The Elements were created by my mother, Queen Galaxia, as a way of maintaining peace throughout Equestria. She was the original Element of Magic, but that title was eventually passed down to me shortly before her death.

“The other Elements can only show their true power if the bearer shows an affinity for the appropriate trait. This has meant that finding a group of ponies who can represent honesty, kindness, generosity, laughter and loyalty is not always possible. It requires what I like to call a ‘spark’ — a magical tampering of pony-kind’s life-force — to usher in the birth of acceptable bearers. I believe that you have already learned something about this from Rainbow Dash.”

Twilight nodded her head solemnly, glancing over the open pages of the book. This wasn’t the truth that she had expected. “The sonic-rainboom, how we all got our cutie marks. So… this was all planned?”

“All except for one thing. You.”

Twilight gulped nervously. “M—me?”

“That is correct. The ‘spark’ of the other five elements was entirely intentional, but your sudden burst of magical power was not. You showed incredible prowess at such a young age, something that I had never witnessed before. And yet, your powers only grow stronger.”

Twilight furrowed her brow, taken aback by this new revelation. “So… if you never planned for me, how would you have chosen the Element of Magic?”

Celestia paused for a moment, her eyes glimmering in the sunlight which magically filled the room. “Nopony would have been chosen. The previous Element of Magic would have taken your place. Me.”

“You!?” Twilight gasped in surprise, her jaw dropping. “But… I thought...”

“I am aware that it must be a shock, but I have been the Element of Magic countless times over thousands of years. Only with the help of mortal ponies capable of wielding the other Elements have I been able to fend off all manner of foes throughout the ages. After my mother, Galaxia, I would be the second Element of Magic, making you the third.”

Twilight looked away from her mentor for a moment, tears forming in her eyes. Everything that she’d been told about herself — her destiny — was nothing more than a means to an end. Celestia finally found a pony capable of being the Element of Magic and had decided to grant her immortality. For the good of Equestria, if Twilight remembered the Princess’ words.

“But… but why didn’t you just make a ‘spark’ instead?” the young mare questioned, her emotions involuntarily seeping into her words. “Why haven’t there been other bearers?”

“There were two previous attempts to promote a new Element of Magic but both ended in catastrophic failure. Power corrupts, and magical power in particular can corrupt some far beyond even my own reach. You already know of one of them — King Sombra.”

“Sombra was going to be an Element?” Twilight said in awe, thinking back to her triumph over the fiend.

Celestia nodded. “I’m afraid so. His powers drove him mad, eventually compelling him to prolong his lifespan and cast a shroud across the entire Crystal Empire. The other one I mentioned has been stricken from the history books for good reason.” The Princess frowned slightly, her expression growing sterner. “We no longer speak of her.”

“I see,” whispered Twilight, wondering what horrific tragedies this other pony could have caused. Given that Celestia was willing to share facts that no other pony knew of, for this one mare to remain a secret was unnerving. “So, why me? Am I not in danger of being corrupted?”

“Of course not, Twilight. Admittedly, upon first witnessing your magical abilities there was some cause for alarm. However, while teaching you all these years I finally realised that there was no need for worry. I have been there to guide you since your first entrance exam and I have absolute faith in you. Otherwise, I would not have allowed you to become what you are now.”

Twilight blushed. “Thank you, Princess.”

“I am glad that you’re able to take this information on board, Twilight, but this was not the main reason I brought you here.” Celestia opened up the book again and turned a few pages, revealing what Twilight initially mistook for a photograph, but was actually a meticulously drawn picture of five ponies stood together outside the gates of Canterlot. However, it was easy to mistake this as the scenery behind them was vastly different to the Canterlot that she knew. The Royal Complex was missing several spires, the buildings were more sparsely placed and the roads were paved with jade-coloured bricks.

“When was this taken? Or I guess I should ask; when was this drawn?”

“This was Canterlot as it stood just over a thousand years ago, and these were the Elements of Harmony that helped me banish Nightmare Moon.”

“Oh my goodness…”

Celestia turned another page, revealing more pictures. Some of them showed the aforementioned bearers with their husbands and children, their smiles as bright as the sun that shone behind them. Another page was turned, and one final picture showed all six Elements of Harmony together, Celestia stood proudly behind them, not looking a day younger than she was at that very moment. It was difficult for Twilight to fathom that this was a thousand years old. Each of these ponies was now dead, as were their children, and their children’s children, and…

Twilight’s curiosity had now morphed into gut-wrenching sadness. She didn’t know what Celestia was trying to prove, or why she was being shown this in the first place. A lone tear trickled down her cheek.

“I’m sorry, Princess. I don’t think I can look anymore.”

Undeterred, Celestia draped a wing around her student and turned another page with more pictures of the previous Elements. “I am not doing this to hurt you, Twilight. I wish to help you.”

“But all those ponies are dead, just like my friends will be. How… how do you deal with it?”

“I deal with it by keeping my memories close to my heart. Failing that, I keep them here, in this book. I do not wish to be saddened by the passing of my friends. Rather, I wish to remember all the great times we shared and the bonds that we made, things that might truly last forever. I was lucky enough to meet these wonderful ponies and watch them grow, find love, have children of their own and live wholesome, fruitful lives. I keep this book to remind me that these were ponies worth remembering, that the joy I felt from times we shared outweighs any heartache of their passing.” Celestia huddled closer to the distressed alicorn, stroking a hoof through her mane. “So long as you can remember that, dearest Twilight, life doesn’t have to be so bad.”

The former unicorn attempted a smile as Celestia browsed through the rest of the book, telling her stories about ponies like Sugar Rush — a cheery-looking mare with a red and white stripy mane, much like a candy cane — and Tour-De Force — a legendary pegasus stallion with immense strength. She mostly just listened to these tales, only making a few fleeting comments. These ponies looked so happy, so full of life.

Despite the heavy weight still latched onto her heart, Twilight found herself smiling truthfully. Her mentor was right. There was no need to get depressed, especially since all her friends were still alive — still there for her. Why mope around when she could be making sure that her friends led the lives that they deserved? Being upset would accomplish nothing.

“Thank you, Princess,” Twilight said with a respectful bow.

No longer was she filled with sadness. With a new sense of duty she felt that she could take on anything. There was no need to dwell on what would come. For now, she would live for the present.

This new, focused mind-set invigorated her, viciously quashing her doubts and worries.

At least, it used to be this way.