Dear...Princess Celestia?

by Distorted Flare

First published

Thrust into a universe that is not his own Dusk Shine will find that being stuck in a diffrent world is the least of his problems as he clashes with previously banished Queen Chrysalis princess Luna growing attraction and his angry female counterpart

Dusk Shine has dealt with many trails throughout his life. From clashing with Nightterror Nebula to outwitting the mischievous Eris to thwarting King Nymphamos’s invasion, he'd seen it all.

All in all, Dusk Shine would admit that life was hardly easy. And now, Dusk finds that his mentor's self loathing is the least of his problems as he finds himself thrust into a world where he and his friend... are mares?

edited by Saylux and OverlordCornutt

Is this real life?

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Dear...Princess Celestia?

Just breathe. There is nothing to get worked up over. Lord Solaris just wants to see me, it doesn't mean I’m going to have to take an exam on friendship and get sent back to magical kindergarten and nevergettoseemyfriendseveragain!!!!!

No. Just breathe. I know the prince is better than that. He won’t want to tear me away from my friends. Just stay calm.

It was earlier that day that I got a letter from the Prince saying he desired my presence, but as always there was nothing else mentioned in the letter. The Prince had a habit of omitting details in his letters, and sometimes I think he does it on purpose, at my expense. And now I can’t help but freak out because lets face it! I really am going to get sent back to magic kindergarten because I’m not prepared and since I’m not prepared, how can I pass whatever exam Lord Solaris is about to give me. It’s been almost two years, of COURSE he’s going to test me sooner or later. Maybe I should go say bye to my friends now. In case I never see them again.

Come on Dusk! Get a grip. We went over this, I am not going to be sent back to magic kindergarten and the Prince is not planning my demise!


Oh no. There’s the chariot! Maybe if I teleport I can get to all my friends before-

No. It is going to be just fine...chill.

“Hello ma’ams.” The chariot chauffeurs have come to know me quite well over the years. Taking one last deep breath, I climbed aboard the royal chariot and tried to get comfortable. When the ponies attached to the chariot felt I was ready, we took off towards the hanging city.

I always found it enjoyable to fly by chariot. To be able to see Equestria from this high up was alway a sight to behold. And being in a chariot was always much safer than holding on to Rainbow Blitz’s neck for dear life while he tries to break the sound barrier. With me on his back! He can drive me up the wall sometimes with his antics, and other times frighten me into a catatonic state.

Speaking of.

“Hey Dusk. Where ya going?”

I guess it is kind of hard not to notice a gold chariot when you spend most of the day in the sky around the town. And it wasn’t exactly hard to miss Rainbow Blitz either. His cyan coat might blend with the bright sky, but the rainbow mane and contrail he left behind was always a dead give away. I always found it interesting to watch him fly. Even now it looked seemingly effortless for him to fly side by side with the chariot. It was like he wasn’t even trying half the time, while it was clear the chauffeurs were straining somewhat in front of me.

“Rainbow, I told you yesterday,” I swear he has the attention span of a goldfish, “Lord Solaris has requested my presence.”

“Oh yeah. So what, is he gonna test you or something?”

“N-No! I mean, I don’t know! What if he does? If I fail? I’ll never get to see you or the o-” Although it happens quite frequently between us, let me tell you, having a hoof shoved in your mouth is neither comfortable nor tasty. Despite what Berry Bubble says.

“Dusk, I was kidding. Calm down.” When I did, he removed his hoof and I tried to get the taste out of my mouth, but to no avail.

“I-I knew that.”

Did I?

“Sure.” Damn, he’s onto me “Anyway, I’ll see you when you get back.”

If I come back at all....

“Hey, I know that face.” Solaris, he’s good “You’re gonna be fine. You know the prince better than that. Stop worrying alright?”

I just slowly nodded my head. He was right after all. I guess hearing it from someone else besides myself was what I needed to actually calm down. Taking another deep breath, I let my nerves calm and nodded more firmly.

“Good. Catch you later.” He was out of sight almost instantly, only leaving behind a visible rainbow streak back to ponyville.

We were about halfway to Canterlot. I looked out over the chariot's edge. Underneath us was a forest, not nearly as dense as the everfree, but still enough to only be able to see the canopy. A river that intersected the forest was visible now as we made our way. It was formed from the long waterfall that came from the edge of canterlot. I have always wondered if that was a natural formation or if the prince has something to do with it. It was always a wonderful thing to see.

I think I’m going to take close my eyes and enjoy the breeze. Should be harmless enough.

“Hmmm.” Is it raining? A cold drop of water hit my muzzle again, almost the same place. And why aren’t we moving anymore. I opened my eyes and-

Oh no.

“AAAHHH.” I couldn’t move fast enough.

Time seemed to slow as the bucket above my head, filled with water, dumped all over my body.

Cold! why is it so cold? Is that ice!?

I shot out of the chariot quicker than I thought I could ever move, thankful for the warm sun as I was chilled to the bone.

“Hahahaha, You should see the look on your face Dusky.”

“That was not funny Gleaming Shield.”

It was my big sister, best friend forever that just woke me up with what was essentially a flavorless slushy. She was head of the royal guard and was a little more stocky than most mares. Her mane was blue and white and her coat was a clear alabaster. She was also still wearing her gold guard armor with purple trim to match her cutie mark. This lead me to believe that she had purposefully left her duties, just to pour ice cold water on me. Gotta love family.

“Oh yes it was.” She was still snickering and I had the urge to give her the same treatment with some well timed spells, but it is always good to be the better stallion.

“It’s good to see you too sister.” I grumbled clearly annoyed by her antics, so she gave me a bone crushing hug. It WAS good to see her. She was the first to speak after a few moments of embrace.

“I missed you.”

“I missed you too.”

“We should get moving,” she ended the hug and started to walk back towards the castle. I followed. “The prince has sent me down here to retrieve you,” well that debunked my theory of her slacking off, “He’s too busy at the moment with the nobility, you understand.”

I did understand. The nobility. Dear Artemis, I hated the nobility. Not only did they squirm and scam their way into power most of the time, but they had the audacity to, on occasion, challenge the prince. It wasn’t a challenge of the throne per se, that would end badly and they knew it. The prince wasn’t purposefully screwing the nobility either, all of equestria get a similar treatment in a time of rebuilding. They were just too dense to see past their money.

It’s not like we need to fix canterlot after the changeling attack or anything. Idiots.

“Yea. Any idea what he requested me for?”

“I was going to mess with that crazy head of yours and say there was an exam you missed,” just hearing the word put my mane on end, “but I think you’ve had enough suffering for today. He just wants to talk to you, nothing more. I think he is pretty upset with himself. He’s feeling guilty about not trusting you during the wedding fiasco. I know I do.” I could start to see moisture form in the corner of her eyes. “We were so close to each other and you have always been trustworthy. There has never been a time where you have failed me, and yet I failed you. Maybe it was the brainwashing, maybe not, but I should have paid more attention to your concerns. I’m sorry.” She was watching the cobblestone past under our hooves as we continued to walk.

“No Shield, It’s wasn’t your fault. I over reacted, I didn’t think it through. You had EVERY right to be mad with me and I do not hold anything against you. I am not going to forgive you, because you have done nothing wrong. If anything, I should be apologizing to you. I burst into the reception practice and started accusing Prince Tempo of being evil, well he was, but what if he wasn’t? I would have lost all of my friends, you, and Lord Solaris! I was being an idiot.” now was my turn to hold back the overwhelming regret. It was time to change the subject.

“How are you and Prince Tempo doing anyway?”

This brought a grin from her and I couldn’t help but smile, thankful that she took the hint “Oh It’s been amazing! I love him more now than ever. Oh man, the honeymoon was something too.” She seems to look into space, clearly in deep thought about what was no doubt a good time. Visibly shaking out of it, she continued. “’s been going so good that...he wants kids.”

There was no time to get to the bunkers. The bombs fell. Not even the children survived.


“Yep, he wants you to be an uncle.”

“This is too much to take.” It really was.

“Heh, you’re telling me.”

We walked in silence for a moment longer. Just enjoying each other company as we heading for the royal chambers. As we walked, my sister got salutes from the guards stationed in the wide hall we were passing through. I guess being head of the guard AND now royalty will do that. Does that make me royalty? Wasn’t I already considered royalty though? I was basically like Lord Solaris’s son. I would have to ask him.

“We’re here.” the guards stationed at the door saluted. “Stand down soldiers.” They did. Gleaming Shield went to the door and knocked. “Lord Solaris I have brought Dusk Shine at your request.”

“I hope he has studied well, I just finished making up the exam. Bring him in.”

It was a trap. Oh no no no no no.

“As you wish.”

no no no no no no no

“Ah my faithful student, so nice to see you again.”

“-no no no no no no no-”


“-no no no no no-”


“-no no.”

“Dusk Shine!” did I get in here? Where is here? Did I black out? Oh look, it’s Lord Solaris. Oh yeah the exam...dear Artemis not an exam!

“Dusk Shine, I was joking.” Oh thank harmony. Breathe.

I could feel his muzzle on my chest as he nuzzled me. It was a sensation I worked hard for and always cherished.

“It’s good to see you my faithful student.”

“It’s good to see you too, Solaris.”

We stood like that for a couple seconds before he walked to the small cushion beside his coffee table and sat down, pointing to the one across from him, silently asking me to take a seat. I looked behind me, Shield must have left to give us privacy. I took my seat where I have many times before.

“I made us some tea. Your favorite.”

“Thank you.”

“So my student. It has been almost a month since the incident and can likely cause for any post traumatic stress. How are you feeling? Any paranoia?” I could clearly see the worry on his face as he asked me. To be honest, it took me awhile to figure out an answer. I wasn’t sure myself how I felt. That was my answer then.

“I don’t know Solaris,” His worry did not falter, “ I haven’t really thought much about it since it happened.” I shifted nervously on my cushion as I continued, “There was one thing that happened though. My friends and I got in a fight about a week after the wedding.” I swallowed a choke in my throat before continuing, Solaris was rapt. “It started as a joke, about who and who wasn’t a changeling, but then it started to get violent. Before I knew it, we were all screaming and accusing one another. It took awhile for us to apologize to each other, about two days actually. I think that was the longest we have ever been without each other. It was Bubble Berry that got us back together when he threw a Let’s not Fight Anymore Party.” I let out a chuckle at the memory. Looking back up from my hooves, I could see a small smile of my teacher’s muzzle. He admitted that he found Bubble Berry's antics to be humorous and appreciated hearing more stories.

“At one point during the party he disappeared and when he came back, he was wearing a changeling mask. It took everypony else a while to find the humor in it, but leave it to Berry to lighten the mood. He said that even if one of us WAS a changeling that he wouldn’t care. That he would always consider us friends.” Recounting memories of my friends have always put me in good moods, especially when telling them to Lord Solaris. He was now almost grinning at me. I smiled back and took a sip of my tea before continuing.

“So how about you Prince?”

The smile that adorned his face was replaced by a small, sad frown. To my surprise he didn’t answer right away and seemed to be looking for the right answer. It was when I was about to ask if everything was alright that he spoke up.

“Let's go for a walk.”

“Dusk Shine, do you have faith in me?”

“What do you mean Solaris?”

After leaving the castle, we ended up walking along side the castle labyrinth and gardens. The walls of vegetation stood high enough that you couldn't see past them, even for Solaris who stood almost double my own height. We passed statues of old heros and ancient events as we walked. Neither Solaris nor I spoke until we approached to entrance to the labyrinth. Solaris looked grim as he spoke, which only made me more confused.

“I mean just what I said my young student,” He kept a stoic facade that meant he was in deep thought. But I could see he was troubled by those same thoughts. It sent a chill down my spine. “Do you have faith in me?”

“Yes Solaris, I have complete faith in you. You know I think of you more than a mentor. All the time we spent together, all the things I’ve learned under you. You aren't just my teacher, you're like second father to me.” It was easy saying these words. They were true as I spoke them from my heart. But they did not lighten the mood as I expected. Solaris’s eyes only dimmed with sadness.

“Then I have failed you.”


“How? You haven’t failed me prince.What are you talking about? If anything I have failed you-”

“Dusk Shine I do not want another word out of your mouth that may demean or even slightly belittle yourself!” His sudden outburst stopped me in my tracks as his eyes bored into mine. They were filled with anger, but not towards me. I lowered my hind leg to the ground to keep from falling backwards as his overpowering presence caused me to lean severely backwards. I gulped as I tried to squeak out an answer.

“Y-yes sir.” To my relief he backed off and his overall features relaxed. He let out an audible sigh of frustration and closed his eyes again.

“I apologize for that Dusk, but I do not like to watch you tear yourself apart like I have seen you do so many times before.” Letting out another sigh, he began to walk again. I followed close behind.

Why did he say he failed me? What could he even mean by that? I was the one that failed to send my weekly friendship report and caused mass chaos throughout ponyville. I was the one that let Ignatius get stolen by Butterscotch and almost get thrown in a dungeon, or exiled, or thrown in a dungeon in the place I was exiled!

We walked in silence for what felt like hours, but was probably only a couple minutes. My gaze fell to the passing cobblestone that passed underneath me, my mind racing. I realized that I should have been looking where I was going when I my horn bumped into something solid. The pain that shot down my spine caused me to end of on my flanks. I could hear Solaris chuckling softly behind me to my chagrin. Well at least I made him a little happy. Rubbing my horn trying to soothe it, I looked up to see what I had failed to see.

It was the statue of Eris.

Well more like the base of the statute, but that didn’t make my horn hurt any less. I still can’t believe the trouble that little monster was able to cause. The statue was a frozen portrait of her last encounter with the Elements of Harmony. She was almost no taller than myself, even when standing on her hind legs like she did. The draconequus was a mish mash of various creatures. Dragon and pony were easy to point out, but the others were hard to figure out. Maybe that part was goat...It felt like a rock grew in my stomach just from looking at her.

“Are you okay my student?”

His worried, but slightly amused, tone brought me out of my trance and back to rubbing my horn. Dear Harmony that smarts. I was a little peeved that Solaris didn’t warn me.

“Yeah I’m fine. Thanks for asking” I winced at the snarky tone I hadn’t meant to use. But fortunately Solaris only chuckled out an apology. I nodded to show that all was forgiven. As I got to my hooves, silence again fell over us and Solaris became stoic.

“Eris,” Solaris was the first to break the silence, “What a terrible creature” He was talking in almost a whisper. His voice sounded pained, like he was talking about an old friend, gone and lost. He was quiet for a moment before letting his head droop and a frown formed on his face. His eyes were closed and I oddly felt alone.

What do I do?

“Prince?” I started my hoof towards his shoulder so that maybe I could comfort him. I reared back as he violently turned towards me again.

“And I almost let her rip you from your friends!” That same look in his eyes. Is he angry at me? “What kind of pony am I if I can’t even protect the one’s I love?!” The corner of his eyes were glistening with fresh tears. He’s angry with himself.

“But Pri-”

“You are the greatest thing to happen to me Dusk Shine. Not only have you released my brother, stopped Eris’s reign of chaos, and seen through King Nymphamos’s ruse, but you are the closest thing I have ever had to a son. I know I have never admitted that to you, but it’s true, from the moment I meet you I felt something”


“But what did I do? I sat on my flank and didn’t do anything! Not while you stopped Nightterror Nebula, not when you saved ponyville from being warped, and a month ago when you accused Tempo of not being himself, I walked away from you. I saw the devastation on your face, but I just kept walking. You have NEVER proved me wrong Dusk Shine, and yet when you needed me most...I ignored you.” He was no longer angry, but I have never seen him so dismal in my life. He didn’t try to stop the few tears that found their way down his muzzle. It was something I never thought I would see. He was the strongest pony I knew. Physically and emotionally. Not even Applejack or Rainbow Blitz stood on the same level as him.

“What kind of father does that?”

I was in shock. I didn’t even know how to answer him. Honestly, I was a little angry at him about the wedding mishap, but not to this degree. I needed to calm him down, but it became hard to think with the pressure of the situation and his eyes looking into me.


Way to go Dusk Shine. Most intelligent comment ever goes to me!

“I’m sorry you’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting me Dusk Shine.”

My mind was still in shock and, it took me a moment to register what had just happened. Before I knew it, Solaris was already in the air and halfway to his balcony.

“Lord Solaris!”

It was pointless, he didn’t hear me.

Damn it...damn it damn it damn it. Way to go Dusk Shine. Lord Solaris needed you and you couldn’t do anything but stare like an idiot.

I started pacing back and forth in front of Eris’s Statue, mind reeling.

You couldn’t tell him that you didn’t care about those things? That you forgave him already for all those things? That I understood why he did the things he did? No! Instead I blew the chance I had to make it better. Now’s he’s probably killing himself like I am...

“...And it’s all my fault!” A blast of magic struck the base of the statue. I was not thinking straight. I was angry. I was angry at myself and Solaris’s ignorance. My pacing slowed down until I was was staring at the statue again, breathing heavily. A small chunk of the statue’s foundation was now laying on the ground. I realized it must have been my anger fueled magic.

I need to talk to him now. No waiting.

I picked up the small piece of statue and headed for the castle.

I’ll bring this to the repair ponies so they can fix it later. But first I need to talk to Solaris.

I could almost swear I could hear laughter as I walked towards the castle.

The sleek tile below my hooves clacked loudly as I cantered down the long, wide hallway of the canterlot castle. I knew my way around better than most staff. I have been walking these grounds since I was a little colt. It was no trouble for me to find the royal princes’ quarters and even less trouble for me to get past the guards protecting the way. Being the brother of the head of the royal guard and personal student of Lord Solaris had it’s perks. That was until I got to Solaris’s door where the guards blocked the way in at his approach.

“Excuse me?”

They didn’t budge from their post.

“I need to talk to Lord Solaris.”

“Our highness Lord Solaris has forbidden any to enter his quarters!”

Nothing budged an inch on their features. This was starting to get annoying. I was ready to chew them out. It has worked before. The royal guard may have been known for their resolve, but that hasn’t stopped me from making them quiver under my hooves. What stopped me was a rich, deep voice behind me.

“Dusk Shine, tis a grateful sight to see you.”

It was Prince Artemis, brother of Solaris, co-ruler of Equestria, and raiser of the moon. And a very good friend.

“Prince Artemis!” I rushed to his side, giving him a friendly nuzzle. He returned it and after a few seconds he began to speak in a hybrid of old equestrian and modern.

“Yes, It is very good to see thee, but we must ask you to retire to your room for the night. We understand thou wishes to speak to our brother, but he is under great stress at the moment.”

“But it was just a stupid little fight, he needs to understand that I don’t care about the things he said.”

“We know our brother can be quite intolerable at times, but please, he will be out tomorrow to raise his sun and thee will gain the chance to speak to him. Please trust us on this.”

I really wanted to speak to Solaris tonight, get this whole mess behind me, but I had always taken Artemis’s words strongly. He was a wise Stallion. I had to trust his judgment. He has also known Solaris much longer than I ever have. Letting out an audible sigh, I let the logical side of me take over my own personal wants.

“Okay Artemis, I’ll take your word for it.”

“Thank you. Now, would thou like to join us in tonight’s meal?”

As if answering for me, my stomach rumbled loud enough to seemingly echo off the corridor walls. I couldn’t help but let out a girly giggle. I was also thankful for the change in subject.

“Uhhh, yes please.”

“Wonderful, let’s find our way shall we?”

“Following you prince.”

“Uggh, I can’t believe I ate that much.”

Dinner with Prince Artemis was more enjoyable than I expected. It was good to catch up with the other royal brother again after so long. We barely spoke at the wedding, not out of any resentments, just lack of time to do so. I was glad to hear that he has further improved his speech and etiquette to modern expectations. He still had a long ways to go though. I still can’t get the casserole out of my hair. The one he sent flying by the royal canterlot voice. Maybe some shampoo can do the job.

The food was as expected. Way too fancy for my tastes. It looked like I gave the chef a heart attack when I simply asked for a daffodil and daisy sandwich. I guess working your way into the royal kitchen, one doesn’t expect to be making what is essentially commoner food. I never did get that sandwich. Artemis and I had a good laugh though.

I was in my old castle room now. It looked like it hasn’t been touched since I left for Ponyville. It probably never has been. Solaris told me that for as long as I am, this room will always be mine.

The thought of him made my stomach drop, mixing with my already present nauseousness of eating too much, too fast.

I should just listen to Artemis and sleep. Solaris isn’t going anyway and when I wake up, I can fix this whole problem.

A yawn forced its way out and I chuckled out loud to no one.

Yeah, some sleep sounds nice.

I levitated off my saddle bags and placed them on the dresser that stood by my old bed. As I put them on their side, something rolled out, rolled across the dresser top and onto the floor.


Jeez, that probably left a chunk missing in the tile.

It was the piece from Eris’s Statue that did in fact leave a noticeable dent in the marble tile.

Huh...I better keep this out of the bag so I remember to give it to somepony tomorrow. Hopefully before anyone notices the missing piece already.

After levitating it carefully onto the dresser next to saddlebags, I threw myself on the bed and pulled the sheets over me with my magic. It was so much more comfortable than the one at home. Maybe I can ask to take this with me when I leave. It was too comfortable in fact. Before I knew it, I had closed my eyes and slipped off into sleep.

I dreamt of chaos.

Light filtered it’s way through my eyelids, unpleasantly waking me out of deep sleep.

“Spines, close the blinds”

There was no answer.


I opened my eyes, wincing at the bright light that passed through my window and temporarily blinded me. It was when I could finally see that I remembered yesterday and where I was. Looking out the window I judged that it was about ten in the morning.

I was asleep that long?

Normally I am up and about getting the library ready for customers by seven in the morning, even six in some cases. After a quick visit to the stallion’s room, I started putting thing in my saddlebags and quickly fixing any bed mane that i may have accumulated. I made sure to remember the statue chunk and put it at the bottom of my bags. Last thing I need is to chip up even more of the expensive marble. I would attend to that later, but first I needed to talk to Solaris and get our issue out of the way.

My room was relatively close to the brothers’ considering how large the castle was. As I walked, I pondered what I should say.

Should I just say sorry? No, that might make him angry again. What if I just tell him that I forgive all those situations that he got all worked up about. But that might make it sound like I actually was angry him to begin with. UGGH. Ahh, I’m already here...ummm. I’m just going to wing it even though that’s a stupid idea.


“Are you in there? I just want to talk about yesterday. Hello?”

“Come in Shining”

Who was that? Did the prince have a girlfriend!? Was that what all the fuss was all about? Dohoho this was too good to be true.

I pushed open the door with my magic and strolled in like I owned the place, putting on the most smug smile possible.

I’m not going to let him live this down.

“So I see you have a girlfriend eh-uhhhh”

When I opened my eyes, I did not see what I expected at all. That would be Lord Solaris with another mare. Maybe another alicorn that he has been hiding this whole time. Oh the scandal. Now I sound like Elusive. But that was not what I saw.

What I saw was indeed an alicorn that I have never seen before, But what made this all so odd was that she was a striking image of Lord Solaris, Almost Identical apart from a brighter mane and lack of beard. This was obviously a joke. Had to be. Then why did she looked so surprised to see me.

“Who are you?”



Is this just fantasy?

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There are very few instances in my life where I have been shocked into complete silence, but yet here I am staring speechless at a perfect representation of Solaris as a mare. Her coat was very similar to his, albeit the lack of the faint red tint. Her mane waved in the same ethereal wind, but the colors were far brighter and were composed of lighter hues. The cutie mark though...was exactly the same. A simple, regal sun adorned her flank. My mind nearly exploded as I attempted to comprehend what was going on. Maybe I am still dreaming.


Nope. I’m very much awake now. She is staring at me like I have three heads. Well, I did just slap myself.

Okay Dusk, time to push out mass panic as an option and put the thinking cap on. Why is Solaris a mare? Was he transformed? Is it a joke? Alternate universe? Sexual confusion? Maybe he just wants to be a girl for a day. I’m cool with that. Every stallion has thought about it. Yeah...that’s it. I should give him privacy.

“Hey umm...sorry, but I don’t really want any part of this. So...” I started to slowly back out of the room as he (she?) watched me intently, “...I’ll be back, you know, when you aren’t a mare anymore.” Almost there, just a little further...“Umm...see you later, BYE!” Once I was in the doorway, I tried to bolt for anywhere that isn't here.

I was almost free of the awkward situation before I was stopped by my tail. I kept trying to move forward, my hooves sliding uselessly across the smooth tiled floor. After a few moments I stopped, realizing how pointless my attempt was. My tail was encased in an aura of light yellow magic that was keeping me from my salvation. The aura began to envelop my whole body before picking me up and floating me over to it’s source. I was brought eye to eye with the female Solaris as she studied me.

“Hey, I would love to join you in um... whatever it is you’re doing, but I think I really should go and take care of... Spines! Yes, I need to take care of Spines. So if you could let me go, that would be great” I gave the biggest grin I could possibly give, trying to wiggle my way out of her magical grip. Her words came as a surprise to me, as she has been quiet since I walked in.

“What is your name?”

“Please Solaris, I don’t want to roleplay, just let me go.” I tried flailing my legs again, which only served to tire myself out.

“What is your name?” The force behind her tone was enough to stop a train dead in its tracks. I looked into her eyes only to look away in fear. They were orbs of fire and they were pointed at me. Deciding to not anger her any further, I complied.

“Dusk Shine.”

“Okay Dusk Shine, what are you doing here?”

“Ummm...can you put me down?” I didn’t enjoy being levitated, it wasn’t too dissimilar to being mare-handled, and in this case, wasn’t too far off.

“Oh, sorry my little pony.” She slowly lowered me down to floor, putting me back on my own hooves before releasing her magic, her stance never changing. “But you must talk to me or I will hold you up in the air until you answer my questions anyways. How did you get in here? Are you lost? And why did you call me ‘Solaris’? What are you talking about?”

Ok. This takes joking and sexual confusion out of the equation. Solaris would not take a joke this far. Especially after yesterday. That left the possibility of alternative universes. But why and how was I here? I’m going to have to cooperate until I can figure that out. First I need to know for sure if is indeed the mare equivalent of Solaris. So I needed to do a little investigative questioning.

“Your cutie mark, what does it mean?” Her face contorted into confusion at my question. I knew that she might get mad at my circumventing her own question, but I needed to figure this out. She looked at me like I had just asked her what the big glowing ball in the sky was. If she was a female Prince Solaris then it would be odd for a pony to not know who she was, so this was expected. So far the theory of another universe is seeming to prove itself. She took a moment before speaking.

“It represents my special talent of raising and lowering the sun each and every day, as well as watching over the land as its co-ruler.” She seemed to only answer out of her own curiosity.

Okay. So this proves that this is indeed Prince Solaris’ counterpart. Maybe she will recognize me, but what traits does this universe hold? Do I even exist in it? Doesn’t seem like it. She doesn’t seem to know me. Am I even in the same time period? Perhaps it’s a universe full of alicorns. No, I would need further observation before I could come to any conclusions. Lost in my own thoughts, I failed to notice that she was talking to me.

“Oh I’m sorry what was that?” I asked, only catching glimpses of what she was saying. She gave an annoyed snort before repeating herself.

“Please answer my earlier questions, Dusk Shine. I would not like to bring the guards into this.”

“Ummm...” Do I tell the truth? Maybe if I pretend I am confused castle servant, then I could get out of this mess. I could go back to sleep and then wake up and everything would be back to normal. No that wouldn’t work. Pony feathers, I’m just going to go for broke. So what if I might end up in a dungeonforeverandneverseemyfriendsagain. That won’t happen. Calm. Don’t lie Dusk, it will only make things worse.

I gave a loud sigh as I prepared for the awkward situation I was about to create. My stomach was feeling heavy and I was starting to sweat. The full weight of the situation starting to press on me. I could start to feel my collective calm start to slip.

“I...I don’t know,” I let it out with one quick breath. I sat down on my haunches to collect myself before continuing. “I just don’t know what is going on. I woke up this morning and I came to talk to my mentor and instead I get you. You are my mentor, but as a mare. I don’t know why you are a mare, I don’t know how, and I don’t know what to do! Are my friends all mares too!? Are there two of me?! Oh there another Bubble Berry!?!?”

My mind did a backflip trying to comprehend this thought. I could feel the synapses in my brain struggle for coherent thought. The possibility of more than one Bubble Berry... It-it shouldn’t even exist. If it’s true is the universe even still intact? That must prove that it isn’t true.


I jumped when a gilded hoof touched my shoulder. Looking at the hooves owner did little to actually calm me down. She might be compassionate and trying to help, but this was still all wrong! It wasn’t until she spoke, that I was able to calm down.

“Tell me Dusk Shine, what does your cutie mark represent?”

Why is she curious about my cutie mark? Does this mean that maybe she recognizes me? Was the other me a pegasus? An earth pony? Prince? Wait...if there is another me... Don’t want to think about it. Nope. Let’s just go with the flow, play it by ear.

“Uhhh, sure...” I made the motion with my hoof showing that I didn’t quite know her name.

“Princess Celestia, but for now, just call me Celestia.”

“Alright, Pri - err - Celestia.”

I told her the story of how I got my cutie mark. If there is indeed another me, then this should help give me some answers. Instinctively reenacting what happened as I went along. I could see the intense thought in her eyes. Those violet eyes, intent on watching me as I continued my story. Nearing the end of the story, I started to get an old, warm and fuzzy feeling inside. I always loved recounting this story. I just seem to get lost in it...

“Yes, yes, yes, yes ,yes, yes-”


“-yes, yes yes-”


“-yes, yes-”

“Dusk Shine!”

I stopped in mid-air before landing on my hooves. I chuckled nervously and blushed.


“Please follow me. There is much we have to discuss.”

Celestia began to walk out of her chambers and I followed. I have to remember that since this is essentially Solaris, she will most likely be just as wise. I would not be surprised to find that she has already deduced that something was wrong, and that I was the reason behind it. I followed her out of the room and into the hall leading to the main corridor. We walked in silence, giving me time to study everything I saw.

The first thing I noticed was that all of the guards we passed were stallions. This was very unusual. Most of them were still pegasi and unicorns, and their coats either a dark grey or dull white, but they were much larger than the female guards I was used to seeing in the castle. The castle itself wasn’t drastically different. The main difference being the colors of the banners were more representative to the mare in front of me, rather than the mix of reds that I would normally see.

We entered the main hall where most nobles and castle staff passed through. Everypony that saw us bowed down and gave their regards. It was so odd seeing so many mares in one place. In the equestria I know, the stallion to mare ratio was about 4:1. From my observations, it seemed that this Equestria was the exact opposite of mine. On a few occasions, I spotted familiar faces that I recognized from my time studying here. But when they should have been stallions, they were mares and vice versa. I was fairly certain that I was now in a completely different world, and I was coming to find one simple pattern emerge. Anypony that is male in my world, is female in this one.

Since the castle’s layout was similar to what I was used to. I was able to discern that we were heading for the private dinning hall as we passed the royal kitchen. It was always like Solaris to talk over food, so I guess Celestia wouldn’t be much different. The smell of food made it’s way into my nostrils and my stomach once again reminded me that I still haven’t eaten breakfast. I was glad Celestia had decided it was time to eat, because I was famished.

As we made our way towards the massive oak doors to the dining hall, the guards blocking the way bowed and moved aside, never losing their stoic figure. Walking in, I was greeted to a familiar sight. The private dining hall was much smaller than the main one. It had only enough room for the Princes and a couple other guests of honor. The walls were draped with elegant banners displaying the shared symbols of Prince Artemis and Prince Solaris. Different in this case, but they meant the same. Princess Celestia took a seat at the head of the table and pointed a hoof to the one across from her.

“Please, Dusk Shine, take a seat so we may talk.”

I found my way to the cushion she was pointing to and sat down. Without hesitation, Celestia began her questioning. She didn’t even get a word out...

“WHAT ART THOU DOING?!” It was so loud that I couldn’t help but jump. The sound of breaking plates could be heard through the wall. Celestia already had a hoof smacked against her face in embarrassment.

“WE REFUSE.” I could almost feel the ponies on the other side of the wall cowering in fear. “THOU SHALT MAKE IT AGAIN!” For a moment, I thought the barrage of words would continue. With the renewed silence came the ability to think again.

The only other pony that knows the royal canterlot voice has to be...

My chance to think did not last long as a fairly angry alicorn bursted in through the door. The similarities were shocking. I could barely let a whisper out.



“Luna, your voice.” Celestia grumbled into her hoof that was still on her face, trying to hide her embarrassment. Art---Luna...cleared her throat and continued in a much quieter tone.

“We thought that thou talked to the kitchen staff about not using those dreaded hot peppers anymore dear sister. We still have a burning mouth from the last time.”

So this must be Prince Artemis as a mare. She looked like him, seemed to have the same personality, and the same sibling. I could feel my head start to get light. For a moment, I had to grab my head and stop the spinning. This was too weird. I don’t think I could ever get used to this. Seeing a friend, but as the different’s hard to explain. But...she was kinda cute.

Woah, woah, woah, woah. Hang on, what did I just think?! This is my friend. Sorta kinda. I can’t be thinking of hi-her like that.

“Luna please calm down. I had forgot that there would be any in today’s meal. I do not like you scaring my cooks half to death because of a slight oversight.” The look on Celestia’s face told me she was clearly agitated with her sister’s way of fixing things. Her glare made the dark blue princess blush in her own embarrassment.

“Hehe, we guess it was a little over the top.” She put her hoof up to her mouth giggling. I can feel my own cheeks burn and wasn’t sure why. Celestia just rolled her eyes and brought them back to me.

“Dear sister, I would like you to meet our new guest Dusk Shine. Dusk Shine, this is my sister Princess Luna.”

I got up and bowed, putting my elegance training to use. “It is an honor to meet you, your highness.”

“Likewise.” Bringing myself back up, I could see the look of bewilderment in her face. I couldn’t help but cough and rub the back of my neck under her gaze. My cheeks were getting warm again. Why do I keep doing this?

“I trust that you notice something odd about Dusk Shine, Luna. I wish to hear what you think it is.” It was weird to hear her talk to me as if I wasn’t in the room with them, but after my earlier episode, I could not blame her for being so upfront. I could feel Luna’s eyes burning through me as she calculated her response.

“He has an incredible likeness to your student, Twilight Sparkle.” So there was another me. And her name was Twilight Sparkle? odd. She looked to Celestia for a response, only receiving a nod in agreement. She directed her next question at me. “Art thou a relative?”

Sighing loudly, I looked to Celestia for what I should do. She caught on and gave me a nod of her head to tell the truth. Well here it goes...

“No, I am not a relative, though I may be closer to her than you think.” I stopped for a moment to shudder at the thought that there IS another me out there and was most likely a mare. I did not like awkward situations, despite the fact that I am usually the one to cause them. I do not even know if I want to see the other me. Would it cause a rift in time and space? That was something I was going to have to research. Shaking my head, I cleared my thoughts and continued, “I am, from what I could deduce, of another universe. I woke up here this morning not too long ago-” I continued to tell the story of this morning and the related theories that I have come up with. I made sure to describe the one that I believe is true, that this universe swaps the genders of those I know in my universe. She nodded as I went along, never interrupting me. It almost felt as if weight was lifted off of me as I said all the things that plagued my mind since this all started. When I finished, Princess Luna was the first to speak.

“Tell me sister, Dost thou believe this?” Her question sent a cold shiver down my spine. It would be bad if they thought I was an impostor or spy. Last place I wanted to end up was the dungeons...or the moon. To my relief, Celestia nodded.

“I do not believe Dusk Shine is lying to us. I would have seen past any illusion spells and resisted any kind of mind altering magic.” She looked at me and gave a small smile. “And he acts too much like my student to be faking it.”

Giving a sigh of relief, I let myself calm down. Current crisis averted.

“But dost thou think this a good idea to have him here? This may be a very bad idea.” Celestia only smiled.

Why was she so worried about me being here?

As if the world was answering my question, the door behind me opened as the royal guards declared the new guest.

“Introducing, Princess Twilight Sparkle.”

Oh no....

Caught in a landslide.

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Chapter three

“Introducing Princess Twilight Sparkle.”

"Not good," I nervously mumbled. Looking around, I searched for an exit, not wishing to risk a confrontation. “Wait, Princess Twilight Sparkle?” I squinted, scrunching up my nose as I tried to process the fact that my other half was royalty.
The gentle clip of horseshoes against tiles seemed to drown out all other noises. Licking my lips, I noticed just how dry my mouth was. My body was shaking. A bead of sweat ran down my forehead as Celestia gave me a small smile.

“Princess, I am glad I caught you. I have been...” Twilight Sparkle’s words died in her mouth, her eyes wide as she gawked at me. Pausing, the mare observed me silently.

She was like a clone of me, same coat colour and all. Adorned on her flank was the familiar six pointed star. On her back was a stunning pair of wings matching the colour of her coat as I found myself in awe of her. Was this my future? Would I follow the mare’s path, or would it be different?

“Who’s this?” The simple question made me shiver as I looked to the princesses helplessly, hoping they would step in to explain what was happening. With naught but an encouraging nod, I took a hesitant step forward.

“M-my name is Dusk Shine, Former student of Prince Solaris, and I am, well... you!” I finished lamely. My counterpart physically recoiled at my statement, a look of disbelief crossing her face, followed by shock, and then fear. Taking a step back, she looked to Princess Celestia and Princess Luna for confirmation, the two giving stiff nods in response. The two princesses watched the exchange silently, neither wishing to interfere.

Trapped in an awkward silence, I cleared my throat awkwardly and rubbed the back of my neck gingerly, the mare mirroring my action.

Looking at me hesitantly, Twilight Sparkle approached with her head low. Her wings flared up in a defensive display, causing me to nervously bite my lip. Her eyes hesitantly looked from me to Prince Sol- Princess Celestia, unsure of how to process what she was saying. I completely understood her reaction, as I was simultaneously feeling the same fear and uncertainty.

“This can’t be real... This... this is impossible. This has to be some sort of joke... Right, princess?” Twilight questioned, her eyes looking to her mentor for guidance. Celestia gave a small shake. My clone persisted. “No, this can’t be. This is not possible... You... You are not possible!” she hissed. The fur on the back of her neck stood on end while she advanced aggressively. Despite the fact that I was nearly a head taller than her, I still found myself retreating. The small mare reminded me eerily of my sister Gleaming Shield. Their glares sent shivers up my spine.

With her eyes only inches away, she inspected me critically, but I stood stock still. She started circling me while eyeing me from top to bottom. I honestly felt like I was on display; Princess Luna chuckled whilst Princess Celestia tried to stifle her own amusement by holding a hoof over her mouth. “What is Star Swirl’s Fifth Law of Magic?” the mare questioned.

“‘The strength of one’s spell cannot surpass the strength of their magical core’, though this was later corrected in modification ‘892 NTN Banishment,’ as certain magical artifacts and amplifiers can increase the power of a spell, but not the pony’s magical core. Modern technology also allows ponies to amplify magical blasts to be far greater in power than their own magical core could create naturally,” I replied casually. That wasn’t even a tough one, but her eyes still narrowed.

“What abou-”

“Twilight, this stallion speaks the truth,” Princess Celestia spoke up, cutting my other self off. Huffing, she turned her back to me with her tail twitching back and forth in agitation. My eyes wandered downwards for a second too long, and my face immediately blushed. Going beet red, I coughed.

“Interesting. It seems our worlds have more in common than I previously thought,” Twilight stated, gently sipping on her tea. I had just finished my explanation and sat back on my haunches with a final breath. Luna continued to watch me intently, silently frowning. The mare was still suspicious about me, but she at least seemed to believe my story.

“So... will I still be able to live in my- I mean her... treehouse?” I questioned, motioning my forehoof around the library.

“I still don’t believe he’s telling the truth.” Twilight scrutinized me, squinting in suspicion. “Who’s to say you didn’t use a memory replication spell? For all we know, he could still be a changeling!”

“You already used a detection spell! What more do you want?” I chided, shocked that my counterpart would make such a blatant accusation. Her wings flared up in annoyance, and she stomped forward right before Celestia raised a hoof in front of her.

“Twilight, please calm yourself,” Celestia instructed, causing her student to freeze. She lowered her ears and glanced at her mentor apologetically. “Your worries are not unfounded, my little pupil, but both Luna and I have assessed his story thoroughly. We have no reason to believe he is lying.”

“Are you sure?” Twilight questioned, eyeing me dubiously.

“Yes, Twilight Sparkle, I am sure,” Celestia responded with a warm smile.

“Well... if you say so...” Twilight said slowly, her face laden with suspicion.

“I believe that until we can determine how he arrived here, he will remain trapped in this dimension. Princess Twilight Sparkle, I ask that you put your suspicions aside and help our guest in his time of need,” Princess Celestia finished. Her sister nodded in agreement as she huffed but stayed silent.

“Dusk Shine, I understand that you are confused, but I ask that you co-operate with us for the moment. All I ask is that you listen to Twilight and, until we contact you, try and integrate with our little ponies,” Celestia said, giving me a warm smile.
“I will try my best, Princess.” I smiled. The look on her face made it clear that she did not trust me, but I knew that if I were in her shoes, I would be equally suspicious, especially after the recent Changeling invasion.

“OH ho ho ho , so you are Dusk Shine,” a male voice sounded from behind. I turned around to see a towering draconequus stand before me, causing me to yelp and tumble backwards.

“Eris!... Wait... you’re not Eris,” I mumbled. The mismatched creature dwarfed even Prince Solaris.

“Discord, what do you want?” Twilight inquired impatiently. I glared at the chaos maker and lit my horn, preparing to defend myself if necessary.

“Oh, please! Princess, what makes you think I want anything?” Discord questioned, lazily floating in the air. With a snort, he glanced over at me with his multi-colored eyes. Twilight slammed her hoof down onto the tiles, cracking it. I didn’t like this Discord character one bit, so I stood rigid beside Twilight. He chuckled at the two of us.

“If you even think about causing any trouble, I will tell Fluttershy!” The mare threatened the draconequus, pausing in response to glare.

“Me, cause trouble? Twilight, I am shocked by the viciousness of your hurtful words. I’m reformed, after all.” He grinned, his eyes glowing as he gave me a predatory grin. “Besides, it seems that my other self has already caused more than enough trouble.” He grinned wider, my eyes going wide as I stepped forward.

“You mean Eris is behind all this? How?” I asked perplexed.

“How indeed!” Discord smirked.

“Discord, if you know a way to send him home, tell us now!” Twilight hissed. Discord was unaffected by Twilight Sparkle’s shouting.

"Why should I?" he childishly replied. Twilight's eyes twitched as I decided to step in.

“Discord, if you are truly reformed as my other self here says you are, then surely you would lend a hand to help a pony in need, no?” I questioned, hoping that I could appease him as he paused.

“If only it were that simple. All I will say is that I cannot help you. Only the one who sent you here can, and I doubt she is in a helping mood. It seems you are stuck here, Dusk Shine.” He chuckled, snapping his fingers as the purple alicorn lunged at him. The mare froze in mid air, huffing as she struggled to break his spell.

“So rude! If you had let me finish, I would have said that there is a way to get you home. You see, I can travel across and ‘persuade Eris to bring you home’. The problem is that Celestia would have to unseal my full power. The only problem with that is they do not trust me. You will have to somehow convince them that in order to help our guest here, I must be fully unsealed,” Discord finished, floating above us. Paintbrush in hand, he was, to my shock, vandalising a portrait of Princess Celestia. The beautifully painted picture was now replaced by a crude stick pony with a large flank. On the stick pony’s side, the words “Princes of Cake” had been childishly scribbled where her cutie mark should have been.

“You may be reformed, but what makes you think for a second that they would agree to this, Discord? You may match Princess Celestia in power as you are, but do you really think they would risk you going rogue at full power?” Twilight barked, the mare’s body slumped as Discord still held her in mid air.

“That is your problem, not mine. If you do this for me, I will see to it that little Eris returns Dusky here to his own world.” He cackled, snapping his fingers as he vanished. Twilight yelped as the spell that was supporting her suddenly ceased, causing her to land on top of me.

Celestia POV

“I do not like this. If this Eris can send ponies to our world, then can Discord do the same? Could he remove one of the Elements and leave us defenseless?” I questioned. “Luna!” I barked, my sister miles away as she sat upright, blushing as I snorted. “Thinking about our new guest, I assume?” I chuckled.

“T-Tia!” Luna squeaked, her cheeks flushed a bright crimson. I laughed at my sister’s discomfort, gently nuzzling her. I had missed this over her thousand-year banishment: the little sister that I could so easily wind up with my teasing, the shy and awkward mare that hated being the center of attention.

“I missed this,” I chuckled, resting my chin on top of my sister’s head as she giggled, “but back to the matter at hand. I fear that we may have to have a chat with that mischievous draconequus at some point. There's goodness in his heart, and he is generally fond of Fluttershy, but can he be trusted?” I questioned, watching as the sun slowly started to set, courtesy of my magic.

“My fear is that if we return to him his full power, that he will be corrupted by it. With the elements recharging the Tree of Harmony, we cannot afford to use them, for fear that the plunder seeds return and kill it. Despite his promise that they have all been destroyed, I am finding it difficult to believe him,” Luna replied breaking the embrace.

“Sister, if what Dusk Shine and Twilight have told us is true, then the only way we can return him to his home is through Discord. But should we risk our very world for the happiness of a single pony?” Luna asked, her eyes void of any emotion.

“Luna, that is not the attitude to look on this with. If it were Twilight, I would like to think that our counterparts would do the same for her and try and get her safely home. That is, unless you do not wish for him to return.” I smirked, nudging her with my wing as she growled.

“Cease thy crazy talk, sister! He has been here for less than a day; hardly a sufficient amount of time for one to develop a crush,” she huffed, turning to deal with the moon as I stuck my tongue out at her. It was like we were fillies again, able to laugh and play with one another.

“Well, if you are not interested, then maybe I will sample the goods,” I giggled, watching with amusement as the smaller alicorn tensed, shuddering in disgust at the implication at my words.

"Sister, that is known as cradle robbing and was around even before my banishment. He is at most no older than 19! You and I have had falling outs longer than that,” Luna hissed.

“Oh, like that has ever stopped you in the past! If I remember correctly, did you not give a certain young guard a coming of age gift? What was his name... Brave Heart?” I finished, watching with satisfaction as my sister’s cheeks got darker and darker.

“He was a sweetie; you leave him be! I liked him because of his kindness and his raw talent in magic. In fact, had he returned from the war and I had not been banished, I would have taken him on as my student,” Luna growled, gaining a chuckle from me.

“Really, and which part of that merited you rutting him?” I whispered, ducking as Luna fired a weak stunning spell at me.

“He was being sent to fight the gryphons, at seventeen no less! I merely wanted to make sure that he had sampled a mare before he left. I knew he would die, so I thought I would give him something special. For... moral support,” she huffed.

“He came back from the war; you know that. He was devastated to learn of your banishment. In fact, I believe the silly colt had seen your small gift as a sign of affection and had planned to wed you,” I finished, Luna’s face dropping as I gave her a warm smile.

“He eventually accepted that and went on to serve the guards for many years before settling down.” I paused.

“Why are you telling me this?” Luna spat, trying to hold the hurt she felt for her betrayal as I sighed. The mare had, at the time, had feelings for him, and I knew it hurt her to be reminded about it.

“Because, Luna, I thought you would be interested to know that you personally know two of his descendants.” I smiled, her ears perking up curiously. “Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor, sister. They are the descendants of Brave Heart. If I am correct, then Dusk Shine will have the same heritage, so in a way you could gain the right to brag that you rutted not only a very powerful unicorn, but also rutted his parallel self’s decedent,” I finished, snorting at the anger on my sister’s face as she huffed once again.

“I honestly would have thought that these thousand years would have seen you mature, Tia. Sadly, it seems you are every bit the child now as you were back then,” she replied sticking her tongue out as I gave her a small grin.

“Oh, I don’t know about that. The Tia I knew back then did not have quite the generous sized flank she has now. I suppose a thousand years of cake binging and comfort foods to deal with the fact that she exiled her sister to the moon would do that to a pony,” a snarky voice spoke out. The two of us tensed up as a mismatched pair of eyes glowed menacingly from the darkness of the rafters. Despite our age and power, Discord still unnerved my sister and me. Luna growled at the draconequus as he lazily floated down in front of us. His toothy grin was never pleasant as I repressed a shudder. The fun mood now dead, I was forced to wear a mask of indifference and uncaring as he circled the two of us.

“Why are you here, Discord?” I demanded, my ears lying flat against my head as I angrily pawed the ground. Luna looked ready to lash out as he idly checked his claws, not in the least bit threatened by us.

“I was merely checking in on my friends. That is what friends do, don’t they? And after all, we are friends, aren't we?” He chuckled darkly, making me shiver as I bit my lip in concern. “I mean, how ever would I be able to remain a beacon for good, if my friends... were not my friends? Why, I daresay I might even revert to my old ways with how broken my heart would be,” he finished, his lip quivering childishly as I groaned.

“Of course we are friends, Discord, but I ask again, why are you really here?” I asked, already knowing his answer as he grinned like a cheshire manticore.

“I came to see if you have considered the offer I gave to Twilight and her double. I mean, after all, I would hate to see little Dusk Shine trapped here forever, never to see his friends or precious mentor again.” He grinned, hissing out the word “mentor” as Luna shuddered.

“We need a little more time to decide, Discord. All I ask is that in the meantime, you be patient.” I smiled weakly, his amused smile dropping as I tensed.

“Very well, Tia, but waiting is not my strong suit,” he hissed, his tone laced with frustration as I nodded weakly. With a sharp click of his fingers, he vanished. Letting out a sigh of relief, I collapsed onto my rump, gingerly rubbing my head as I felt a headache coming on.

“I only hope that in the end, you do the right thing, Discord...” I whispered.

No escape from reality

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"So... you still live here then?" I questioned, looking at the familiar library. Beside me, my female counterpart glared at me. Not six words out my mouth and already she was upset. "Not that there's... anything wrong with the library. I mean, I'm you, so obviously being close to books is a must," I chucked nervously. Twilight seemed to study me for a moment, her tail gently swishing behind her as I felt sweat trickle down my forehead. Her nostrils flared, exhaling sharply as she turned, a small grin on her lips. Sighing, I wiped my forehead, having dodged an arrow. It was still early in the morning and as the two of us made for the library, I mentally grimaced at my poor choice of words.

I had meant no disrespect by my comment, but with her being a princess, I merely assumed that she would have found accommodations more befitting a princess. But she was me at the end of the day and I would most certainly not want to be treated any differently. One thing that I had noticed was that whilst we were identical in virtually every aspect, my female counterpart was slightly more aggressive and mistrusting.

I honestly had no idea why she was so upset with me. If, like me, she had appeared in my world, obviously my first thought would be changeling or a pony in disguise, but I would also trust my mentor's word. Had something happened between them? Had Celestia upset Twilight, and would the same happen to me? These thoughts plagued my mind as I feared the thought of Prince Solaris and I falling out.

Twilight paused in front of the large oak tree library, a coy smile on her lips. With a small giggle, to my bewilderment, she started counting down.

"3, 2..."

"OOMPH!" I cried as a pink blur slammed into me. My head smacked against the hard ground as I groaned. A heavy weight landed on my chest as I looked up at my attacker.

"Hi! I'm Pinkie Pie; who are you? Wow, you look a lot like Twilight! Are you like a secret brother or something, and…” She suddenly took in a large inhale of air before continuing. “Oh my gosh! You’re new here! You must be because I know every pony and--mmph!" the mare’s rambling was thankfully cut short. Twilight covered the... lively mare’s mouth.

"Pinkie Pie, give the colt some room to breathe," Twilight chuckled, her eyes flashing mischievously as I mentally groaned at being called a colt. Stepping back, Twilight removed her hoof from Pinkie Pie's mouth.

"Pinkie Pie, this is Dusk Shine. He is a... friend who will be staying with me for a while," Twilight replied, the pink mare smiling as she looked me over. Pinkie Pie was a carbon copy of Bubble Berry, even having the same spring in her step. I grimaced; one party pony was more than enough. Thank Solaris that Bubble Berry had not come through.

One question plague me, though. Was there a way home? If the Princesses did not give Discord his full power back, that is assuming that he stays true to his word, I could end up stuck here for the rest of my life.

“Dusk Shine?” Twilight queried, snapping me from my gloomy thoughts. A look of concern crossed her face as I waved her off.

“Its nothing, Twilight. Just lost in thought,” I laughed awkwardly. It would not do me any good to dwell on the negative. I trusted Princess Celestia, and Twilight and had a good feeling that they would help me figure this all out. I would find a way back to my Equestria, no matter the cost.

Only partly listening to their conversation, Pinkie Pie was arguing with Twilight about throwing me a “surprise” party. Pinkie Pie wanted me to fit in and make friends despite having no clue who I am. Twilight felt that it was best if I kept a low profile. her excuse being that I was shy around others.

In the end, Twilight conceded, though on the condition that Pinkie Pie kept it small. I chuckled as the pink blur shot off, giggling excitedly. Twilight snorted, rolling her eyes as she unlocked the library door. The familiar smell of ink and parchment made me smile. Ever since I was a colt, I had loved the smell, finding it helped to relieve stress after a hard day of studying.

“I will get your room set up,” Twilight spoke up, stretching her wings as she trotted upstairs. The soft click of her hooves on wood faded as I took the alone time to explore the shelves, eager to see if this library had any new books.

Books were pulled from their place as I giddily searched for more. Some of them were ancient and covered fascinating subjects like alicorn magic and ancient rulers before even the royal sisters. One book was even written by Starswirl the Bearded, whom I assumed was this reality’s Starswirl the Frizzled. Given that most of her work had been destroyed during the Canterlot fire of 445 NTNB( Night Terror Nebula’s banishment) which saw to the destruction of nearly 60% of the castle, including the library. Finding intact copies of her work was rare.

With four books trapped in my magical grasp, I sat myself down in a comfortable arm chair, sighing as I delved into the first one. Starswirl the Bearded’s Theory of Magical Evolution was a fascinating book that spoke about our earlier ancestors and how they first discovered the power of magic. Huh, Starswirl has some really good theories, I silently mused. He speculated that unicorns would have most likely learned how to use magic around the time our diet changed. Our first were speculated to eat mostly grass and fallen fruits. But as we evolved and grew smarter we learned how to gather and using our magic let us wield weapons to defend ourselves.

“Enjoying yourself?” Twilight questioned from behind. Squawking in surprise, I turned, giving the mare a small smile. “Starswirl the Bearded Theory of Magical Evolution, good choice.” She smiled leaning over as I self-consciously sat up straight. Her eyes scanned the page, a genuine smile on her lips as I decided to take a chance.

“I do disagree with Starswirl on one of his theories though. He claims that magic users works better alone as there are less distractions but I feel that my magic is at its strongest when I have my friends by my side.,“ I spoke up.

“Exactly, according to Princess Celestia that was Starswirl’s downfall. He did not appreciate or understand the true value and joy of friendship,” Twilight agreed. “When I was younger, I thought the same thing. That books were the answer to everything and that my magic came from studying. Princess Celestia helped me to see that magic is not everything and my friends helped me to see that friendship is magic,” She finished as I gave a small nod.

The two of us spent the next few hours discussing magical theory. Twilight, being an alicorn, was now being tutored by both Celestia and Luna. This had given her new and interesting theories and ideas which she shared with me.

“Now how do I show you to my friends?” Twilight questioned, examining me as I gave her an incredulous look.

“You can’t be serious, right,” I chuckled weakly?

“This is a bad idea. What if they think that I’m lying or a changeling?” I questioned, nervously chewing on my lip as Twilight rolled her eyes.

“Look, I plan to tell the rest of them tonight but I need Applejack to vouch for us. As the Element of Honesty, the others will believe her. It also means that we don’t get bombarded by questions and makes it simpler to explain your… unique circumstances for being here in Ponyville. The last thing either of us needs is them getting any funny ideas as to why you’re staying at my library,” Twilight finished hotly, the implication of her words making me blush as I nodded.

The trip was mostly silent after that, I was not exactly the conversational type and I doubted that Twilight was either. ‘Jeez why is it so awkward to talk to her? We are the same pony, we should be having a field day. Yet instead Twilight Sparkle was pissed at me and I was home sick.

“So... Twilight, what is it like having wings?” I questioned hoping to at least make small talk as the mare paused. Turning, she seemed to study me, looking for an ulterior motive as I stood rigid not wanting to upset her.

“Strange at first. It was like learning to walk again. I mean, it took time to learn to even move them properly but Princess Celestia and Rainbow Dash were a great help in teaching me. Another thing was preening. My first attempt was disastrous, and it took Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy an hour to undo the damage I had done.” She paused, giggling, as I gave a weak chuckle. “But as a whole they are nice. Especially when it gets colder,” she finished, smiling as she stretched them out to their full length.

“What about you Dusk Shine? This must be a lot to take in. I mean, from what Princess Celestia and Luna told me, the changeling invasion for you was only a couple of weeks ago. How are you doing?” Twilight asked, concern laced in her words as I gave a brave smile.

“Scared, but I know that the Princesses will figure something out. Then I can get out of your mane,” I chuckled awkwardly, the mare’s smile dropping as she looked away. The rest of the short journey was silent neither of us really knowing what to say. The gentle whack of hooves striking wood could be heard, signaling that we were getting close.

Soon the two of us were walking up the small hill to the entrance of Sweet Apple Acres. This world really was amazing, everything was so similar, the same weather-worn sign and the large red barn sitting in the distance.

The two of us followed the sharp cracks of the apple farmer. Buckets of apples lying full to the brim as in the distance a large red stallion could be seen carrying crates into the barn. I assumed that he was Red Gala’s counterpart.

“Well, howdy there ,Twi. What brings you round these parts?” The apple farmer spoke up, resting her form against a freshly bucked tree. Sweat trickled down her forehead as she smiled. Spotting me, her eyes widened for a brief second before a friendly smile adorned her face. “Who’s yer friend there?” She questioned.

“Applejack, this is Dusk Shine. He is going to be staying with me until further notice,” Twilight replied. Applejack gave her a coy smile, her eyes darting back and forth as her mind tried to put the pieces together.

“So this yer coltfriend then?” The tactless farmer asked. I felt my cheeks burn as Twilight went red, her eyes wide as we looked at each other then back to Applejack. Blushing, we turned away, too embarrassed to make eye contact.

“N-no... of course not,” Twilight spluttered. “ Not with him of all ponies,” she snapped, making me flinched. Talk about harsh, I mentally sighed. Though she had a point, the two of us were the same pony. Dating would not only be impractical, as I was planning to return home, but we had only known each other for a day. Still her words stung as Applejack chortled.

“Quit your hollering, ah was just kidding,” Applejack chuckled, eyeing me as she slowly circled me. “Twi… you mind explaining why this stallion done got the same cutie mark as you? Now that I think bout it, he looks awfully similar to you. Care to explain?” she questioned. Twilight gave a small cough motioning for me to explain myself. Thanks for dropping me right in it princess I mentally growled clearing my throat as Applejack watched me expectantly.

“Well you see—.”


“Y’all aren’t serious... right?” Applejack queried, scratching her head as I gave a small nod. “I would call you crazy for believing this, Twi, but looking at ‘em, I know he ain’t lying, well as far as I can tell,” Applejack finished scratching her head as I sighed in relief.

“Look, I ain’t saying I believe you, but if the princess and Twi trust you then I guess I do to,” she smiled, her eyes narrowing as she wrapped a hoof around me. “But if you do anything to hurt ma friend, I will kick your flank so hard, your grand foals will feel it.” she hissed, pulling away as I gave a weak nod.

“Understood.” I replied shivering as she gave me a small wink.

“Well then Dusk Shine, welcome to Sweet Apple Acres,” she smiled, her eyes flicking over my body as she smirked. “Ah would be careful, Twi. colt that good looking wont stay single for long, if you don’t keep an eye on him,” Applejack chuckled. Trotting away as my cheeks burned in embarrassment

“Today is going to be a long day,” I sighed, following Applejack and Twilight inside. Sitting myself in between the two mares, I smiled as an elderly green mare gently snored in her rocking chair. The giant of a red stallion sat huncher beside me awkwardly, looking at me as the two of us watched Applejack try to rouse her Granny from her sleep.

“So Dusk Shine... was it?” Big Mac spoke up, his voice gentle as I hesitantly nodded. “What brings you round these parts?” he asked gently taking a sip of his water as I scratched the back of my head awkwardly.

“Well—uh— I am Princess Celestia’s new student and she thought that Twilight could help me with my studies,” I blurted out, Twilight tensing as Applejack stifled a snort. The stallion observed me silently, his green eyes looking for a sign that I was lying as I saw Twilight tense across from me.

“Well Dusk Shine, I hope you enjoy your visit. Folks ‘round here are a shy lot but they are friendly once they get to know ya,” he replied, smiling as he got up to help Granny Smith out of her rocking chair.

“So you are single, ain’t ya?” Granny Smith barked, the squat mare eyeing me as I tensed.

“Yes ma’am,” I replied politely licking my rough and dry lips as she nodded.

“Well then. Applejack, why ain’t you bagged this one?” the mare demanded, Applejack spraying orange juice across the table, coughing violently as I felt my cheeks burn . Apple Bloom giggled as Twilight tried to hide her mirth with a hoof.

“Gra-granny, I don’t even know this colt. You can’t just say that,” Applejack spluttered indignantly, her cheeks a rosy hue as I sank in my seat, wishing that the ground would just swallow me and save me from the embarrassment.

“This is why you are still single. You ponies these days... back in my day, if you wanted a stallion, you just told them. I met your grampa that way and the two of us were happy. He’s a strong stallion, I am sure he would be good on the farm,” the old mare continued, my shoulders slumping more and more as Applejack argued furiously with her Granny Smith.

How could things possibly get any worse? I mentally grimaced, slamming my head onto the table.

“What about your Princess friend? She got dibs on him? You could share you know,” Granny Smith added.

I had to jinx it, I groaned, placing my hoofs on my head as I tried to block out the old mare’s horrifying advice and opinions. Today was going to be a long day.

Open your eyes,

View Online

Well, that was... interesting.” I chuckled, rubbing the back of my neck as Twilight silently fumed in front of me. The brief walk back to the library had been awkward, the silence only broken by the repetitive crunching of gravel as we made the short journey.

Twilight's tail angrily flicked back and forth, a sharp snort making me flinch. The mare was livid and for some reason it seemed to be my fault. I had stated my innocence yet the mare refused to speak to me. A rosy blush adorned her face as she occasionally turned to glare at me. ‘Wouldn't be surprised if she thought I was going to assassinate her in the back, the paranoid mule.’ I mentally sneered.

Granny Smith was a kind elderly mare, and had shown great hospitality, but dear Solaris could that mare be blunt. The questions she came away with during lunch left me wishing I could disappear off the face of the earth.

Questions of herding with both Twilight and Applejack had resulted in loud protests from Applejack and left me sputtering like an idiot. The situation had only been made worse by Twilight’s reaction. The mare had been deathly silent, her accusing glare somehow trying to pin me for the embarrassment we were all feeling.

Had it stopped there maybe I could have salvaged the situation. But it had gotten much worse when she had delved into the best techniques in bed and asking when she could expect great grand foals.

Though the look on Twilight's face had nearly been worth the embarrassment. Despite her initial anger I had struggled to hold back my mirth as her anger quickly turned to humiliation.

Luckily for us, Applejack managed to change the conversation about a small infestation of arrow ants causing problems over in the west fields. Twilight volunteered the two of us to at some point this week to help remove them.

Arrow ants were strange creatures. They were incredibly aggressive and had a bite that many had described as being struck by an arrow. They were fast and could decimate an entire orchard if they were not removed. Maybe Butterscotch- I mean Fluttershy could sort the problem out, I mentally pondered. Given the mare’s love for animals it would look bad on our part if we just exterminated them, but magic was one of the only sure fire ways to remove an infestation regardless of size.

Reaching the library,Twilight took the key out of her bag and unlocked the door, stepping inside to carelessly throw the bag away and heading straight for the bookshelves

“I want to see if we can get any information on inter-dimensional travel. Maybe one of these books can help us get you home,” Twilight instructed as I happily pulled a few books from the shelves. Finally, something that I was good at: reading. No having to explain myself, no having to deal with awkward conversations about herding, just some nice easy reading. Nothing would go wrong.


A few hours later


“Where is it?” Twilight growled, snorting as another book was carelessly tossed across the room. Weak rays of light shone through the library window hitting my eyes as I squinted. I gave a small flick of my head, the curtains leaping together as the mare gave a throaty sigh of relief. The sun had been bugging the two of us for the last few minutes yet neither of us had had the energy to shut them till now. I watched the mare sleepily grumble under her breath as another book was thrown aside. Around three o’clock the summer heat had reached a dangerous temperature and many vendors and ponies retreated inside

The two of us had been working for two hours poring through book after book. Two hours was nothing most of the time, but with fanning ourselves doing little to cool us down and the open windows giving no refreshing wind, we were exhausted. Our fur and manes were matted with sweat and, to be honest, it was miserable.

Sluggishly rubbing her eyes Twilight looked up at me sharply as I hastily looked down. The party was still six hours away and already the two of us were drained.

I was honestly tempted to grab some shut eye. I groaned as I pushed the book away, a strong migraine coming on as the words in the book started to blend together.

Twilight gave a defeated sigh trotting over to the couch. Jumping up, she seated herself next to me. Her head slumped onto a book as she sighed.

“Nothing,” she grumbled, her eyes peering up at me as I tilted my head in confusion.

“There is nothing on multiverse or inter-dimensional travel,” Twilight groaned, throwing her hooves over her head as I chuckled softly. Snorting, the mare lightly bit her lip.

“Rarity will be stopping by this evening. So try and behave!" Twilight informed, yawning as she slumped the blistering heat making it hard to work.

With a small snort at the behave jab I turned to rest my head on the armrest closing my eyes as sleep claimed me.


“Ah.” The sound came out as a hiss . My neck stiff and sore as I sleepily yawned. The sharp twinge of pain sparked from my neck, eliciting a groan from me.

Stretching my body I paused, feeling something heavy against me. Sleepily turning my body, taking care not to stretch my neck, I inhaled sharply at the sight.

The mare obliviously continued to snooze next to me, her head buried into my neck as she mumbled unintelligently in her sleep. Her hooves wrapped around me, a small string of drool running down the side of her mouth. ‘She is kind of cute’ I mused, looking over the peaceful mare. Shaking my head at such thoughts, I tried to gently remove her hooves.

Like a snake her hooves only seemed to constrict, pulling me closer to her as her mouth latched onto my ear. A yelp escaped my lips as she gently bit and nibbled on my lobe. ‘This is so wrong,’ I mentally cried, struggling to escape her vice-like grip.

I froze as I felt the mare's body relax, a yawn coming from her as she licked her lips. Twilight’s eyes opened slowly, the mare squinting as she shook her head. Looking at me the mare tilted her head in confusion.

“Dusk Shine what...” Twilight mumbled, her eyes darting down to her hooves wrapped around my body. With a strangled yelp the mare propelled herself away from me, her wings batting me across the face. The blow caused me to lose my balance. Falling onto the floor I grunted in pain, my back and head sore as I sat cradling my spinning head.

“What were you playing at?” Twilight spat her cheeks, a deep crimson as she glowered at me. Affronted by her accusing tone, I jumped to my hooves, my body still sore. I had been innocent here, and for her to instantly assume it was my fault...

“Hey I was not the one getting freaky with my ear,” I growled, a small string of saliva still present to my lobe. If it was possible, the mare seemed to turn a brighter shade of red. Hastily wiping her mouth, she glared at me.

Huffing, she turned tail, stomping off towards her room as I stood confused and angry with the temperamental mare. “Was I that aggressive back home?” I pondered, placing books back on the shelf. ‘Why was Twilight so mean? I try my best to be nice to her but she seems to have to jump on my case for anything.

Did she honestly dislike me being here so much? I had, after the initial shock, looked forward to learning from her and discuss magical theory. But so far, Twilight had been nothing but hostile towards me. I understood that my presence interrupted her life and being a princess she had duties to deal with, but was she not at the very least curious of my being here?

Shaking my head, I finished organising the books, grimacing as I caught a whiff of myself. The summer heat had left me sweaty and matted. Grimacing I decided maybe a shower should be my first priority.


With a small squeak the handle of the shower turned. There was a small pause before the first drop hit my fur, the droplet running down the side of my muzzle. With a gentle rumble, the pipes shook briefly before spraying forth a torrent of hot water. I let the warm water run down my body, the sensation helping to sooth the stress of the day.

My biggest worry was the fate of my friends. How were they dealing with my sudden disappearance? Had Eris broken free of her prison, was Equestria now under her control. I knew that neither Eris nor Discord could be trusted but part of me was honestly tempted by his deal. But at what cost, potentially allowing Discord to plunge this world into chaos?

Grabbing a bottle of shampoo I closed my eyes as I dumped a quarter of the liquid onto my head. Sitting I scrubbed hard making sure to cover as much of my body as I could. The aroma of peach filled the bathroom as I went to work on covering my lower half. Steam cloaking the room in a white mist as I happily hummed.

Satisfied I wrapped a towel around my torso, shivering as the cold air nipped my exposed body. No longer smelling like death and feeling refreshed I decided that getting out of the library may do me some good. If only to stay out of Twilight's mane.


Twilight’s POV


“Uhh! Arrogant, stupid, stallion!” I growled, punctuating each word with a violent slash of my quill. My checklist now torn in places and useless I threw it carelessly aside. What I could not understand, was why Celsetia had insisted that Dusk-shine live with me. Could he not stay with the princesses, heck I would let him live with Chrysalis. I mentally ranted pausing as I imagined his reaction to the manipulative bug queen.

“I was not nibbling on his ear.” I huffed, throwing a dangerous glare Spikes way as the drake tried to hide his laughter. The dragon had been teasing me for the past half hour over my embarrassing predicament. And Dusk Shine that colt had the nerve to claim that it had been me in the wrong, the nerve.

Why did the stallion infuriate me so? The answer was clear but I did not like to admit it. It was because he was me. All the qualities that I dislike about myself on display for me to see. Whilst true there were only a few years between us, I had matured greatly in that short time. With him I saw what I used to act. Freaking out over the smallest things, panic attacks over trivial matters and above the way he idolised his mentor.

‘Surely I had never been that much of a flank kisser’ I pondered, moving a few books aside as I placed the new one down on the oak table. Though the worse part about him was that he came across as an insufferable know it all. Which being honest did not reflect well on me. But despite that I saw in him the same traits that I held dear.

“Maybe I am being too hard on him.” I mused , my magic gently swishing the quill back and forth.

“Boy troubles?” A mocking voice spoke questioned. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end as I searched the room for the source. A low chuckle rang out as my eyes darted back and forth looking for my unwanted visitor.

“What do you want!” I growled in no mood for his antics.

“Why must you Alicorns always insist that I want something? Can’t a draconequus simply pop in to see a dear friend.” The childish voice responded. Turning I flinched as Discord's face appeared on my book, his eyes peering back at me.

With a grunt his arms shot out like a jack in the box, gripping the sides of the book as he pulled himself out.His body twisted and turned as I backed away. Squeezing and turning Discord forced himself out. With a small pop the book was flung across the room as before me stood the last creature I wanted to see. His body was comically white, text zipping back and forth across his body as they spelt out ludicrous words some seeming to be gibberish.

“Because you rarely ‘pop around’ unless you want or need something.” I retorted, smiling smugly as his cheery expression vanished.

“You wound me Twilight.” Discord pouted. “Why must you always be a kill joy?” He finished, the text on his body swirling to form a rather unflattering outline of an alicorn with a six star cutie mark on its oversized flank, the word ‘nag’ writing itself repeatedly across his body as I bit my tongue.

I tried to suppress my anger at the infuriating prankster, not wanting to give him more ammunition to use against me.

“Enough with the games Discord. Why are you here!” Stomping my foot I felt the floor crack slightly beneath it.

“Oh fine, I came to see if I could speak some sense into you. You are close to the princesses. And I know you are less than thrilled with our little friend. So I wanted to see if you would be willing to speak some sense into Fat flank and broody,” Discord finished.

“And what makes you think for one second I would help you with this? You messed us around with the plunder seeds and then had me and Cadance waste time trying to find an imaginary cure for you. Why in Equestria would we restore your full power. How do we know you would not simply revert to causing full scale chaos? What assurance do we have that you would not betray us? We barely managed to stop you when you were still weak from your imprisonment. Only this time we do not have the elements of harmony to stop you.” I retorted not believing the audacity of this creep.

“Well had your precious mentor not seen fit to restrict my power in the first place, then I might have been more cooperative,” Discord retorted snidely.

“The prospect of having friends should have been good enough reason for you not to act out Discord.” I retorted taking a angry step forward.

“Friends? You mean friends that refused to give me the time of day, until Celestia forced dear Fluttershy to be my warden? The same so called friends that have never been pleased to see me.” Discord retorted his playful tone gone as he gave me a cold calculated look.

“And what reason did we have to want to be your friend? After you nearly tore my friends and I apart you should be lucky we gave you a second chance. And so far every time you have appeared you have caused us hassle. Think Discord when was the last time we humiliated you, or tried to make you feel small. Fluttershy may have been blunt with you but she was never malicious or cruel like you are” I finished steaming at his audacity to imply we were bad friends.

To my great surprise Discord seemed to wince rubbing the back of his head. Looking away he muttered something under his breath his hands fidgeting slightly.

“That is neither here nor there.” Discord finally spoke up deflecting my argument as I sighed. “ As I said my deal is absolute and non negotiable. Either break my seal or poor Dusk Shine is stuck here. The only way to send him home is the same spell that sent him here. And to my knowledge there is only one being who can perform it. Can you guess who it is?” Discord questioned a large neon sign spelling out ‘ME’ appearing on his chest as he gave a triumphant smirk.

He had me there. Even Celestia and Luna had shown no knowledge of how to get Dusk Shine home and they, next to Discord were the most powerful being in Equestria. But I could not agree to this not until I was sure of Discord’s “reformation” I prayed that Everfree Castle would have something, anything to prove discord wrong. If there was a way to get Dusk Shine home without Discord then I had to find it.