Moonlit Sparkles Chapter 5
A lightning crack jolted Twilight awake, her eyes bolted open as she sat up and gasped. A film of cold sweat covered her face and back, which sent shivers down her spine. She panted hard, snapping her gaze from one side of the room to the other. It took several deep breaths to calm her down, repeating to herself that it was only a dream.
It was the third nightmare she had that night, and it was getting to the point where she didn't feel like sleeping anymore. She wiped her forehead and focused on the raging storm outside. The unrelenting maelstrom hammered away at Canterlot, rain pattering off the window of Luna's bedchamber.
She glanced down to her left and saw her sole comfort in an otherwise stressful world: Luna, the mare of her dreams
The pony she could always count on to bring a smile to her face. The princess's presence instantly began to relax Twilight's heartbeat down to a more manageable level.
Princess Luna was fast asleep, unchanged by the storm knocking on her window. Twilight's features softened as she watched Luna breath in and out almost soundlessly, slow and rhythmically. The princess's calm breath helped Twilight focus her thoughts and compose herself. Luna stirred under the covers, making small almost inaudible squeaks every few seconds before she nuzzled up closer to Twilight. It was purely instinctive; she was still fast asleep.
Twilight let a small smile find its way onto her lips. She laid back down and wrapped a hoof gently around her girlfriend. She leaned in and gave Luna a soft kiss on her forehead before leaning in and letting her face rest right next to her's.
She stayed there wide-awake in bed for several minutes, going over yesterday night in her head.
The date had been amazing! The pair of ponies had sat and talked for hours about anything that came to their minds. Every time Twilight would make a joke, Luna would light up and giggle in the cutest way. Every now and then Luna would reach out and stroke Twilight's hoof with her own and they'd both blush. The rain did nothing to damper the spirits of the two lovers.
The food tasted great and was simply divine. They started off with a simple lettuce, carrot, and cucumber salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. It left a lasting taste on Twilight's tongue that she knew she'd remember. When she was done, she wondered if Luna's kiss would taste like berries. The thought made her giggle with delight.
The main course was a beautiful bouquet of several different fruits in a masterful display on the centerpiece. While eating, Twilight lifted a piece of sliced apple with magic and floated it towards Luna's mouth. She glanced at it and smiled, then took a slow bite. The gesture made Luna flush, and they shared a laugh afterwards.
Twilight had never felt closer to anypony than she did with the royal alicorn. All thoughts of pre-date nervousness melted away as conversation and delight flowed as easily as the water falling from the sky. It was as if she had known Luna all her life.
The storm finally began to let up as they were finishing their date. It was late; nearly midnight, and the two were getting tired. Luna walked up and nuzzled her as Twilight opened her mouth for a big yawn. "Let's go back to my room." Luna whispered sensually. It was far to alluring for Twilight, and she obeyed without question.
It was when she finally fell asleep that the nightmares began to strike.
Twilight was laying silently in Luna's bed, her foreleg around her girlfriend. She sighed as she began to think of the more unpleasant thoughts that had been racking her brain the past few days. Sure the date was pure harmony, but Twilight was far to engrossed with having a good time that she didn't bring up any of the subjects she wanted to bring out in the open. The Aura Bloom, in all its fantastical glory, would be showing today. The question was still seared in her mind: What would happen after the competition?
Twilight didn't know how many times she'd need to ask herself before she would reach an answer. She hoped that the solution would appear magically to her, and it would work so perfectly that both she and Luna could be happy. She hoped, even begged her mind to come up with such an answer.
Nothing came. With each passing second, the hole in Twilight's heart grew deeper and deeper as she knew there was only one ending to this fairytale.
Silent tears sprung from her eyes as she tried her best to muffle her whimpers of pure sadness. She was already feeling the pain of having to separate from her lover, even though she was lying right next to her. She wondered if the princess knew what was coming, or if she had even thought about it. Did Luna expect her to live in Canterlot once this was all over?
Princess Luna stirred under the blankets, rubbing slightly against Twilight. She mumbled something soft and incoherent. With tears in her eyes, Twilight planted a soft kiss on Luna's lips. "I love you so much." She whispered, feeling her heart tugging in her chest.
The unicorn hoped she would never have to feel this feeling again
The pain of her heart breaking.
Luna knew something was wrong as soon as she woke up.
Her sister's sunshine was flowing through her curtains and brightening up the room, painfully at first, while her eyes were not adjusted. She opened her mouth wide as she let a yawn fill her chest. She felt an odd sensation on her skin, and it was then that she noticed that the sheets where slightly damp near her.
Luna leaned up, propping herself on her elbows and looked around curiously. Twilight was sitting in a chair in the corner of the room, nose deep in one of her books. She hesitantly walked over to Twilight to see what was wrong. Twilight comforted her by stating that nothing was the matter, though her tone said otherwise. Twilight was soon packing up her books to leave, saying she had to prepare for the competition today. Worried, Luna tried to keep the purple mare in her room as long as possible, stalling by trying to talk about the previous night, but it failed her in the end. Defeated, the lunar princess leaned forward, eyes closed, for at least a goodbye kiss.
It never came. When she opened her eyes, Twilight was already out of the room. The crestfallen princess stood anchored to her spot on the floor, unwilling to budge. She eyed the door hopefully, willing Twilight to re-enter the room and reassure her that everything would be ok. Once more, it never came.
She didn't know what to make of the outburst, if it could be referred to as one. Does lack of emotion count as an outburst? Maybe an inburst would be more appropriate. Luna didn't care; all she could think about is what she did wrong. Last night had been wonderful, and now Twilight was acting as depressed as she did was before her love arrived. Did she cross a boundary? Did she try and move things too fast? Maybe it wasn't a good idea to throw such an elegant first date.
STUPID, STUPID, STUPID! How could she be so naive? She was making Twilight feel constricted. She couldn't help herself around Twilight though; she never was especially good with self-restraint. Whenever they were together, it took all her willpower to not hold and kiss her for the entire time. Luna sighed to herself, thinking how bizarre and disturbing it sounded when she said it in her head.
Luna finally shuffled back to bed, her ears had fallen as low as they could go. An unwelcomed guest had returned to her mind. Her old lack of self-confidence beat down on the poor pony, heavy with the thoughts that clouded her concentration. A tear dripped off her cheek and landed on the bed. She felt the damp cloth and knew instantly why the space next to her was wet.
That just sprung up even more questions though. Why had Twilight been crying? Surely if it was the date, it wouldn't cause her to cry. Although the thought of Twilight so sad hurt Luna, it actually perked her up a little bit. At least now she knew it wasn't the date that made Twilight act so strangely.
She shook her head vigorously to clear it. After taking several deep breaths, she walked over and started getting ready for the day. She may not be up for it, but she had a duty as princess to welcome all the contestants of the Aura Bloom. She would soon have to make her way to the stadium where her sister was sure to be waiting. Maybe she could offer some insight on her situation.
With this faint hope, she trotted out of her room accompanied by two royal pegasi who were standing guard outside. The Aura Bloom would start in about three hours, but Luna knew that ponies would already be seated.
Outside the palace, Luna was joined by four other royal guards, three on either side. The streets outside the palace were congested with more ponies than Luna had seen in a long time. She thought that it would take forever to get to the stadium.
She was a bit startled when the head royal guard yelled out, "Make way for the princess" in a booming, resonating voice. Almost instantly, the crowd parted at the mention of the princess. Most of the ponies stopped what they were doing and immediately bowed, while others cheered. Out of the crowd, after a cry of distress from the mother, a young cream-colored unicorn filly with a light blue mane ran from the crowd and right up to Luna.
Luna's guards instantly moved to stop the silly filly before Luna made a motion that stopped them. "Princess Luna! When I grow up I wanna be a princess just like you!" The little filly chimed excitedly.
The filly's mother rushed up and stood next to her. "O-Oh my! I'm so sorry, Princess! My daughter hasn't quite learned her manners yet. Please forgive her intrusion."
Luna's eyebrows inclined as she gave a genuine smile. It was just the thing she needed to improve her mood after this morning. "It's quite alright, miss." Luna smiled at the mother, and then looked down to the filly. The crowd around her was perfectly silent, watching on with interest.
Luna pretended to inspect the filly in several different ways. Finally, after contemplation, she reached down and rustled the filly's mane gently. "I see a bright future ahead of you, young one." Murmurs and smiles of approval from the crowd around her began to spread.
The cream-colored filly lit up like it was the highest compliment she had ever received. "Oh my goodness!! I knew it, I knew it! Thank you princess!"
Luna gave the mother a wink as she fell back in line and her contingent of guards and started walking again. The crowd cheered for Luna after her sign of love towards a commoner. It warmed her heart to know she could impact ponies so much. The warmth in her chest was enough to get her all the way to the stadium.
Walking through the magnificent stadium arches was a humbling experience, each pillar so large it could be a building in and of itself. Her guards led her with purpose, knowing which way the royal box was located. After ascending a few flights of stairs, Luna found herself on the second level of the expansive auditorium.
Finally making it to the royal box, she looked around with a pleased nod. Nothing too fancy; it was rather small but it contained more than enough space for Celestia and her. The royal guards stood by the door has she entered the room.
Luna walked over to the balcony she was on. She overlooking the grand arena; the stage itself was a thrust, with part of the stage stretching out into the audience, like for a fashion show. However, she expected the performers to be mostly proscenial, keeping to the main part of the stage. Below, she saw several thousands of seats that stretched up around the VIP (Very Important Ponies) box seats and continued to a great height.
Luna's box was a perfect distance from the stage; just far enough so she could view it all in one glance, but close enough where she could still make out the faces of the performers. She looked to her right and noticed a judge's table in the box neighboring her's. It seems that the judges were also getting the best view in the house.
While Luna continued staring, a familiar alicorn crept up behind her. "Enjoying yourself, my sister?" Chuckled a friendly voice. Luna whipped around and saw Celestia sitting back on her haunches.
"I should've shown you this sooner. We just haven't had a reason to use this stadium since you've been back."
Luna glanced around the massive stadium, then back to her sister. "It's absolutely stunning!" Though she was taken back, Luna's voice conveyed a different emotion to her sister.
"Something's wrong. What is the matter, little sister?" Celestia inquired. It slightly annoyed Luna that she could see right through her, but let it go because she knew it was out of concern.
" Luna began, pacing slowly. "Complicated
Celestia approached her cautiously. "Does it have anything to do with Twilight?" Luna shot her sister a glare, wondering how she could be right on every point.
I mean she had acted very strange this morning. Almost like she
" Luna stopped as she felt a lump form in her throat. She closed her eyes as her head lowered. She didn't want to say it for fear that it might be true.
"Almost like she didn't want to be with me anymore
" The words stung as she mumbled them out dryly.
Princess Celestia's eyes softened in condolence to her sister. She walked over and, lowering her head, hugged Luna. "My dear sister, you know better than to think everything is your fault. Think for a second; why might Twilight be upset?"
Did Celestia already know the problem? Why couldn't she just flat-out tell her instead of making her jump through all these hoops? Still, Luna needed to concentrate as her sister suggested. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. As the seconds passed by calmly, she began to delve deep in her memory for any sort of clue that might lead her to the correct path. Happiness sprung from her heart, almost bursting out of her chest, as she recollected the first few days with Twilight. She suddenly gasped as a certain memory began to
Would you let me take you on a date?"
The question surprised Luna. She hadn't even considered going on a date, EVER. Besides, what if word got out that one of the princesses was a
The thought clawed at her brain leaving painful remnants. She loved Twilight, but she wasn't exactly ready for all of ponydom to know.
The night-blue mare turned to face Twilight. She blinked slowly, phrasing her next sentence as carefully as she could. "Um
Do you think that's a good idea?" Luna asked innocently.
Twilight stroked Luna's cheek gently. "I want to share a meal with my new girlfriend. Besides, it doesn't need to be anything out in the open. We can have it here in the palace if you want to. It'll also give us some time to talk."
Luna cocked her head slightly. "Talk about what?"
"Our future together."
Our future together.
Our future together.
OUR FUTURE TOGETHER.
The words resounded in Luna's mind like screeching in a cave. "Our future together." Luna whispered aloud. Celestia glanced down at her sister, nodding with knowing sadness. Her face showed nothing but pure condolence, because Celestia knew the conclusion the night-blue alicorn was about to reach.
"What happens after today?" Luna whispered to no one in particular, eyes glazed over staring vacantly forward. Was this the reason Twilight had been so upset? Perhaps the question had come to her before it came to Luna.
"What are we going to do?" She asked herself.
Twilight brightened up as she saw a faint black dot shimmer in the distant sky. She knew it was the carriage that Celestia sent to pick up her friends. The thought of being reuniting with her friends gave her something to be cheerful about. She would put on a brave face for them; she didn't want them thinking anything was wrong. They took the trouble to come see her perform, and she wanted to make sure they enjoyed it.
She was standing just outside the borders of Canterlot, where there was a small runway for chariots and carriages. She was alone besides the few royal guard colts that stood at their posts inside a small structure. It was most likely the command center, holding the schedule for all the daily flights and flight paths.
As the carriage gleamed closer, Twilight got more and more excited. Finally, the carriage landed on the opposite side of the runway. The colts galloped quickly as their hooves made contact with the ground with a loud clack. In unison, the pegasi began to slow their run, from a gallop to a jog, from a jog to a walk, and finally a walk to a full holt.
Without even a single second hesitation, the door flew opened and out bolted Pinkie Pie. Her target: Twilight Sparkle. She crashed into her friend nearly at full speed, making Twilight fall over backwards. Pinkie Pie sat on her friend.
"Oh my gosh, oh my gosh! I missed you soooooo much! Like, you have no idea! The first day you left I was all sad 'cuz I was like 'oh no I won't be able to see Twilight for a week' but then the next day I got a little happier because I would be able to see you in six days! Then five! Then four! Then Waoh!"
Applejack pulled Pinkie Pie off Twilight with a quick jerk. "Sorry 'bout that partner. Ya'know Pinkie Pie can get awfully excited." She helped Twilight up off the ground. Twilight rubbed the back of her head, which hit the ground.
"Twilight, Darling! How ever have you been?" Rarity stepped out of the carriage graciously, prancing over to Twilight and giving her a hug.
Twilight softened as she returned the hug, happy to be in the presence of her friends. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy hovered overhead. "I'm
just fine girls. I guess a little nervous about the competition." Twilight replied, half truthful.
"Don't worry, Twi, we're here to cheer you on!" Rainbow Dash said with her normal cocky attitude.
"Oh yes," Fluttershy smiled, "we can't wait to see you perform."
Rarity broke the embrace from Twilight. "So tell me all about your week sweetie, and don't skimp out on any details!"
Twilight froze and gulped. She told herself she wouldn't lie anymore, but does this situation count? Is this the moment where she's supposed to tell all her friends about Luna? Twilight had a quick mental battle with herself, arguing that she should tell her friends about Luna, but also arguing that Luna and she... might be separated soon. Finally, she spit something out.
"I.. uhh. Well, I've kinda been
" She paused and looked at her friends, a layer of blush forming on her cheeks. "
Time froze as she received shocked expressions from her friends. "Oh my, how lovely! How romantic!" Rarity chirped.
"Nice, Twilight! I always knew you had it in ya!" Dash slapped her on the back. "What's his name?"
Once again, silence. Twilight made up an excuse. "Uhh, listen girls. I can't go into much detail right now. The competition has got me stressed out, and I need to relax beforehand."
"A'course ya need'ta relax! We won't bother ya with any more questions." Applejack, shooting a glare at Rarity as she started to protest. Rarity closed her mouth with a huff, frustrated at Applejack's intrusion.
"Fine darling, but you simply MUST tell me everything after the competition!" Rarity finally chimed.
"Sure thing, Rarity..." Twilight agreed unsteadily.
Twilight led her friends towards the Canterlot Stadium. It was viewable in the distance as a huge, imposing structure that occupied most of the horizon. Everyone was in awe of the structure, except for Fluttershy, who was frightened by such an immense building. "I-Is it s-safe in there, Twilight?" Fluttershy chattered, shaking.
"Of course it is, Fluttershy. You have nothing to be afraid of; promise." Twilight reassured her friend.
The crowds started to condense as they got nearer to the entrance. Twilight, as a contender, was able to bypass the massive line to get in and walk straight to a side door, guarded by two uniformed colts. The group of friends stood outside for a bit, knowing that only Twilight could get past the security. With the short time they had, the girls took turns filling Twilight in on what has been happening in Ponyville.
It turns out Rainbow Dash had beat her own record for cloud clearing. She was able to clear the sky in eight seconds flat, beating her previous record of ten. Fluttershy was said to have cheered the loudest, which made Twilight look at her questionably. "Oh um
I get a little excited when I see Dash perform." She blushed, knowing that being loud was out of her element. Rainbow dash put a foreleg around Fluttershy.
"She's just bein' modest. She's my number one supporter!" Rainbow giggled, making Fluttershy blush even harder.
On top of that, Rarity shared the news that Lyra and BonBon finally announced that they were officially together! "Can you believe it?" Smiled Rarity. "A couple of fillyfollers right in our own Ponyville."
"SO?" Twilight blurted out, more defensively than she meant. She didn't like the edge on Rarity's voice; she couldn't tell if it was a mocking tone or just a thoughtful tone. Rarity shot a questionable look at Twilight.
"Umm... So? I didn't mean anything bad by it. It's just interesting, is all." Rarity replied.
"The show will be starting soon, Miss Sparkle." One of the security personal reported. Twilight gave him a nod and then looked at her friends. "Well, this is it." She laughed nervously.
"Don'tcha be worryin' bout nothin' now, sugarcube. Yur gunna do great!" Applejack assured her worried friend. Twilight half-smiled back at her, still unsure. Each one of her friends took turns giving her a hug, and a small piece of motivation. That is, if you can call Dash saying "Don't screw up" motivation.
With a final wave, her friends walked through the audience entrance. Most of the ponies had already found their seats, so it wasn't very crowded to get in. Twilight took a deep breath and entered the backdoor which led to the backstage and dressing rooms. Twilight had her own room; all of the competitors did. There were 24 ponies in all competing in the Aura Bloom. Twilight didn't even know what she would get if she won, but it didn't matter much to her.
Twilight walked all the way down to her room, a big number "24" on the door. Great, that meant she was going very last. She didn't know how she felt about that. Slightly relieved that she wasn't going anytime soon, but then again slightly alarmed that she was expected to be the final act
the finale of sorts. The thought made her gulp in anxiety.
Once inside her dressing room, a few make-up powers were there to assist her. "Oh there you are!" One of them said. "Here's take this and put it on. It's the outfit Celestia herself picked out for you."
Looking at the outfit, Twilight was actually quite stunned. A deep purple, jewel-incrusted dress was on the dress rack before her. It looked so beautiful she could have sworn a pony like Rarity must have been the designer. The jewels sparkled like stars in the night sky, giving it overall a mystical appearance; perfect for a display of magic.
Once she managed to squeeze the dress one, she found herself being tugged hurriedly to a makeup chair. Two twin earth ponies began applying stage makeup to her. The both worked in perfect unison, obviously professionals. As they continued to apply her makeup, she heard a booming voice coming from the stadium.
Welcome, ladies and gentlecolts, to one of the most spectacular displays of magic you are likely to see in your lifetime. Each pony selected tonight share a certain mastery of the magical arts, and tonight, and tonight only, will you see them battle it out to see who can truly be called, THE GREATEST MAGICIAN IN ALL OF PONYDOM!
The crowd cheered loudly, shaking the floor underneath Twilight's chair.
The voice went on to introduce each judge individually, giving their professions and magic-related history. The crowd was perfect silently while the announcer retold the legend of Madican Twizzle, and the crowd went nuts when he was finally introduced.
Without further ado, my good ponies, I now declare the Aura Bloom
Twilight paced back and forth in her dressing room, shaking from minor anxiety attacks. She didn't know what the other performers were doing, but whatever they were up to, it must have been incredible. Plenty of "Ooooo"'s and "aahhhhh"'s from the beautiful acts, and sometime even gasps of surprise. There was even one act where the crowd gasped in terror, only to be replaced after by thunderous applause. Twilight heard from one of the stagehands that the performer had summoned a live manticore to the stage, to prove that he could tame it with magic; a bold and risky stunt that paid off for him in the end.
Contestant 23 was announced to the stage, and Twilight knew that meant she was next. Twilight was summoned to the wings of the stage, so she would be ready to go on when it was her time.
Twilight watched as a confident mare strutted onto the stage. She observed in awe as the pony focused her energy on two water tanks that had been brought on stage with her. She lifted up the water with magic, its tendrils reminding Twilight of an octopus. The arms of water moved in and around each other, encircling the mare inside until the water formed a perfect swirling sphere around her. Everypony gasped as the mare was lifted off the ground still inside the magic sphere of water.
After a minute of the water swirling faster and faster, almost like it was getting angrier, a blinding light shot out of the unicorn's eyes, causing everyone to avert their gaze. When everyone looked back, the mare was completely incased in a sphere of flawless, magnificent crystal.
Twilight was completely dumbstruck. So was the audience, who all starred in disbelief, before erupting in to thunderous cheers seconds later. The magic pony lower herself to the ground, and as soon as the crystal made contact, it morphed back into water, which she then shot back into the tanks.
The mare gave an elegant bow as ponies stomped their hooves on the ground in applause.
After several seconds, the contestant took her leave off the stage, walking into the opposing wings. When the crowd finally started to die down, the announcer's voice began to speak.
I know everypony has been having a spectacular time at this year's Aura Bloom! But the show isn't over yet folks; oh no. As our final contestant we have a special treat. She has been studying magic all her life, hand selected by Princess Celestia herself to receive her personal attention and commitment. She was the pony that saved us all from the horrible fate of everlasting night. SHE is the physical embodiment of all that is magic in the Elements of Harmony. Ladies and gentlecolts, it is with great pleasure I introduce to you, the one and only TWILIGHT SPARKLE!
Twilight gulped hard at the mention of her name. Why did the announcer have to make her sound so fantastical? She was just a common unicorn! The crowd began to cheer as Twilight stood frozen in her spot. She felt prodding on her back as one of the stagehands was urging her to go on the stage.
Twilight shook her head and stomped her hoof down, her glare snapping into focus. She stood up straight and brave, to show no sign of weakness. Even though every muscle in her body was telling her to run away, she walked out onto the stage.
The audience's cheers got louder at the sight of her. She looked around the audience, forgetting how massive the auditorium really was. Time seemed to stand still as the crowd's cheers died down and Twilight was left standing there. Then, the clock started to go down.
Quickly, Twilight started reaching for the magic, closing her eyes in concentration. It was helpful that the audience was perfectly silent; she could imagine she was doing it just in her room.
Deeper and deeper in her own mind she dove, searching for the spark that would ignite the magic. Ponies looked on in silent contemplation, leaning forward in their seats waiting for something mystical to happen. Twilight began to sweat as the spark kept evading her grasp; she would get close only to have it slip through her hooves.
Several slow, quiet, painful seconds passed without anything happening. In the balcony, Madican Twizzle put down his pencil and leaned forward, narrowing his eyes.
Suddenly, explosively, she caught the spark.
Raw magic erupted from her horn with the force of a volcano. A swirling vortex of black and blue raced towards the ceiling of the arena, sending panicked cries from the ponies that were nearer to it. As it made contact with the ceiling, it began to spread across the surface with a rapid pace.
That's when it happened, something Twilight will never, ever forget
She lost control.
The swirling magic backfired with vicious velocity, retracting from the roof and speeding back towards Twilight at a frightening speed. Twilight tried to back up, but the magic held her in place firmly. She watched on helpless, fearfully, as the raw magic sped closer to her.
She knew it was too late to stop it. She closed her eyes and braced herself.
The magic hit her square on, sending her flying back into the grand drape, which managed to slightly cushion her fall. The curtain itself was ripped from the hinges above, and the whole thing came crashing down. Ponies near the stage began to move back in fear of their safety as the massive curtain unfurled onto the stage.
Twilight's head was spinning, dazed from the landing and confused from the darkness that now surrounded her. She was lying flat on her back, and she was afraid to move because she didn't know if she was hurt. Carefully, she flexed each one of her limps, which still agreed to do what she commanded.
She noticed that the stadium had once again become silent. After a few seconds, Twilight edged her way out from underneath the drapery. She slowly climbed out to realize that all eyes were on here, shocked and fearful.
Twilight's eyes fell to the floor. She had failed. Tears sprung from her eyes as she ran off the stage.
Twilight ran and ran, then ran some more. Her lungs were on fire, begging her to stop, but she didn't care. Nothing she can do will make what happened right. She totally blew her one chance to prove she was a good magician; a chance to make her mentor proud. All of it gone now
How could anyone take her seriously after having such a big mistake? Not only did she fail in a spectacular fashion, she also managed to ruin part of the stage.
Twilight finally fell to her knees, her legs no longer able to support her. Although she hadn't traveled terribly far, her body was still weak from the magic draining her energy. She lay on the pavement, whimpering softly into the hard ground, refusing to move. After about a minute, she wobbled up back to her feet, breathing heavily.
She looked at her surroundings and she found herself in the same public park Luna and her hung out in the first night they were friends. She ambled over to the bench they sat at, and took a seat. Twilight was still crying, though not as severely as before.
She had done exactly what she had set out not to do: make herself look like a foal. She didn't know what she would do now, or who she would talk to. For the first time in a long while, she felt completely alone. All that kept her company was the slow babble of the creek flowing into the pond.
"Beautiful, isn't it?"
Twilight gasped in surprise and nearly stumbled out of the bench, waving her forearms wildly to catch her balance. She finally got back under control and turned to the direction of the voice. Right behind the bench was a sleek,black, elderly unicorn.
"Mind if I take a seat, my dear? These old bones aren't supportin' me like they use'ta." Madican chuckled, as if the previous events of the day hadn't occurred at all.
Twilight didn't know what to say. She eventually gave a dull nod before turning back around to face the pond. She sat there solemnly for a few seconds.
Madican took his time walking around the bench and hoisted himself into a seated position. With a grunt, he settled himself in. "There, so much better." He smiled, casting his gaze over the pond.
Several long minutes passed without either saying a word. Madican seemed content, almost like he was enjoying Twilight's company.
"I messed up today, Mr. Twizzle. I messed up bad in front of everypony." Twilight finally whispered, feeling herself tear up.
"Please, young miss, call me Madican, or Madic as my brothers used to call me." Madican was glancing over towards Twilight, but she didn't return his stare. "And I don't know what you're talking about, my dear. What I saw in there was the rawest magic I've ever seen. Nopony on that stage tonight could compete with the amount of magical talent you can possess."
Twilight finally met his stare his eyes were soft, yet unmoving; kind, yet bold. The compliment actually made Twilight feel somewhat better. "But Mr. Twiz-.. But Madican, I couldn't control it. Who knows how wrong that could have gone in there?" She shuttered at the thought.
Madican leaned back against the bench and returned his stare to the glimmering water. The twilight hours loomed as the sun hit the horizon. "And why do you think that is, my dear? Why do you think you couldn't control it?"
Twilight offered it little thought. "I wasn't strong enough." She said flatly.
Madican tsked at her. "No, young one. You were strong enough; I can sense it."
Twilight looked at him pleadingly. "Then why Madican, why?"
The old unicorn let out a long sigh. It wasn't unhappy in nature; it seemed to be a relaxed gesture. "Tell me, Twilight. Where did you find that spell of yours? Was it possibly in a book with no author, and with gilded pages?"
Twilight whipped her head towards Madican. How could he possibly know that? "Well
Yah, it did. Why?"
"I've lived for a long time, Twilight," Madican said, sounding tired for the first time in the conversation, "far longer than anypony should. I have my magic and your mentor to thank for that. That book was a present I gave Princess Luna over a thousand years ago, when I was about your age." He paused for a second, and took a deep breath. Twilight's curiosity was peaked with the mention of her mentor, but she didn't want to interrupt him.
"You see Twilight, that book contains some of the most powerful magic in all of ponydom, because it taps in to the very core of magic, which I discovered myself. Can you guess what that is?"
This time, Twilight took the time to think his question through. For several seconds she pondered what could be the secret to unlocking some of the most powerful raw magic known to ponydom. "Is it passion? O-Or persistence? Maybe... Oh I don't know
Madican chuckled warmly. "Very good guesses, my dear, but I'm looking for a certain word." He leaned in as if about to divulge a secret. Twilight instinctively leaned in as well.
"Clarity." He stated clearly.
Twilight sat back up. "Clarity? What do you mean?" She was still confused.
"You'd be amazed at what you can accomplish, Twilight, if only you were clear in here," he gestured to her mind," and in here," he slowly gestured to her heart. After a few moments of silence, Madican lifted one of his hooves up, reaching towards the sky.
"Peace can bring us many things: True happiness, true love," he swiped his hoof across the sky, and Twilight gasped as the sky behind his hoof blackened like he was painting a mural of the night sky, "and true magic."
Twilight's jaw dropped as she witnessed it. She couldn't believe what she just saw! The sky was lit up orange, but in the spot where Madican had moved his hoof, it showed a streak of the night sky!
"I've left you enough to think about, young one. It's time I'd better be gettin' on. Besides, I'm sure somepony else would like to speak with you
" Madican's voice hushed down to a whisper.
"Who is it? Madican
?" She looked down from the sky to find that Madican was no longer there. She looked all around her and the only thing that stirred was a few leaves blowing in the wind. She looked back up to the sky and noticed it had returned to normal. She heard clacking noises coming from behind her, which made her head spin.
A night-blue alicorn was approaching from the park main entrance. Twilight stood up off the bench, walking slowly over to Luna.
Luna began to pick up the pace, her eyes starting to tear up. She ran up and the two ponies shared a tight hug, both of them crying quietly. The wind gently blew through their manes as they embraced each other, as if the other could break at any moment.
"I-I was...so...scared...Twilight." Luna gasped unsteadily in between sniffles. Twilight comforted her by running her hoof through Luna's mane, finally resting it on the back of her head.
Twilight though she meant her display of magic. "I didn't mean to cause so much chaos in there
" Twilight whispered.
Luna pulled apart from Twilight for a moment. "Not
that. I thought you
Twilight gazed back into her sparkling eyes. "I'm fine, Luna. The only thing that got hurt was my pride." Luna softened and offered a small smile, before a realization hit her and made it drop from her face.
"I know why you were upset last night." Luna said, composing herself. Twilight looked down at the ground, afraid to meet Luna's gaze.
"Is this the end of us?" Twilight whispered sullenly. At that moment she wanted Luna to grab her and tell her it was going to be all alright, that she had come up with a plan how they could still be together, despite having to part ways. After a few agonizing seconds, Luna gave her short, truthful reply.
"I don't know."
The two stood silent for a few moments, arms-length apart. Neither of them knew what to say.
"Will you love me tomorrow?" Twilight asked quietly, eyes still on the ground. Luna's eyes flashed as she looked towards Twilight and nodded. Twilight saw it on the edge of her vision.
"Will you love me in a week?" She asked a little louder, looking up to meet Luna's gaze. Once again, the teary-eyed princess could only nod in response.
Twilight leaned right into Luna's face, inches from her lips. "Will you love me forever?"
Trembling, Luna slowly nodded.
" Twilight whispered, before suddenly galloping around Luna, catching her completely off guard. Before Luna even knew what was happening, Twilight had already run past the main entrance of the public park.
As night fell, Luna rushed after Twilight, desperate to catch up to her.
Twilight was too far ahead. Before Luna could even get to the gate, the purple unicorn was already sprinting into the distance.
Just as Twilight was almost out of sight, Luna heard something so quiet it could have been the wind.
A soft breeze carried a single message. "I'm sorry