Chapter 1:The Centennial of the Seasons
Over 1000 years later...
Getting letters from the Princess used to be a usual thing. Twilight would wake up, have Spike make breakfast and sit down as Princess Celestia wrote to her about interesting things she had heard. She even got the occasional letter from Luna, who always had interesting stories to tell.
But, since she had grown her wings, the letters lessened. She only got letters occasionally, usually from her brother or friends who live out of town. It was a little depressing, but to be honest, she was busy enough as it is! The library was usually full, due to the new Daring Do book that was out, and she and Spike were swarmed with responsibilities, not to mention the usual crazy happenings that seem constant in Ponyville.
However, today was one of those few days. Spike did his whole overdramatic letter-burp thing, and suddenly, Twilight was sipping on her coffee, reading the beautiful handwriting of Princess Celestia.
Dear Princess Twilight,
I regret to inform you that, due to a sudden and dire situation that requires immediate action, I will have to call you and your friends to Canterlot for a mission of great importance. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but the problem is too urgent to ignore.
Without a second more of waiting, Twilight ran from the library, off to gather her friends.
The trip to Canterlot was quieter than usual. Something definitely seemed ominous about the letter, which Twilight had read all of her friends, and it kinda killed any conversation. Nonetheless, the scenery outside the train was as beautiful as usual.
Big Macintosh was laid down in one of the rows, snoring lightly. Applejack had brought him along to let him see the city. He was so tired from working, he just went to sleep and ignored anything else. Twilight felt like she wanted to also. Turns out she accidentally made decaf coffee this morning. Spike had already fell into a deep sleep.
The obvious exception to the dull, boring train ride was Pinkie. As always, she was hopping around, looking out the window, anxiously trying to be loud, but quiet enough that she didn't wake anypony. Leave it to Pinkie to somehow beat reality in the face enough to be able to do something like that.
The end of the train ride couldn't have come sooner. Twilight was beginning to get a sore butt from those so-called cushions. I mean, seriously, she's a princess. Perhaps a seat that actually had comfort?
The second Twilight left the train, she lost her breath. Of course, Canterlot was always beautiful. Fantastic architecture and beautiful plants were everywhere, making it so that no matter how crowded or busy it seemed, it always felt like home. The sun was always brightest here, and the air was always crisp and fresh. But it wasn't the beauty of the city that took Twilight 's breath away.
It was as if it was three seasons at once. The orange, red and yellow leaves that were normal in the Fall were accompanied by soft green leaves and buds, as well as darker green leaves and blooming flowers. And it wasn't just one of two trees. Every tree in the entire city was like this.
It was like the day when the sun and the moon hung in the sky together. Twilight could feel the tension, as if each season was fighting to take control. She almost instantly got a headache, and nausea touched her stomach. No wonder Celestia needed her.
"Uhhh, Twilight?" Rainbow Dash started, after a long, awed silence. "Am I seeing that same thing you are? I swear I haven't been drinking any cider, but this...this makes me wonder if I have." Twilight nodded, despite the ache in her head.
"This isn't natural. Fluttershy, does this have anything to do with your pet snake?"
Applejack asked bitterly. "This reeks of Discord."
Fluttershy was about to protest, when out of nowhere, the draconequus appeared behind her. Twilight could take sudden appearances from Pinkie, but she never really had gotten used to the God of Chaos popping in without warning.
"Applejack, I'm hurt." Discord said flatly. "After I let those blade-hooved bulls plow your field for free and after I made your drinking water into chocolate milk because you were too busy to sleep."
Before Discord could even start a new sentence, Big Macintosh broke his silence and said: "After you turned my bedsheets into giant flatworms because I had decided to sleep in."
"After you brought my dresses alive and almost had them burn down my house." Rarity added.
"After you cursed every copy of "Little Mares" in the library so that every time somepony read the book, they had the sudden urge to wear lettuce instead of clothes." Twilight added. "Besides, what are you doing here, Discord?"
"I will assume I am here for the same reason you are here." Discord said. "It seems Celestia is having trouble choosing what color she wants the leaves to be. I think a nice Blue is in order." With that he snapped his fingers, and Twilight and all of her friends watched as the trees... did nothing and stayed the same.
Discord's face was priceless. It was a mix between surprise, anger and concern. Twilight could've laughed, if it didn't terrify her. Discord turned and met her eyes, the panic indefinite between them.
"Bu- bu- but-" He was stammering as he kept snapping his fingers over and over and the leaves did nothing to change. "How is this possible?!"
"Maybe Princess Celestia may explain?" Fluttershy asked. "Well, if she wants."
"Well, one can only hope, My dear Shutterfly." Discord answered, and without another word, Discord snapped his fingers, and the scene in the city dissolved into the familiar throne room. Twilight expected to only see Celestia, maybe Luna also, but there were three more ponies, Alicorns, there as well.
The most striking one was a male, brightly colored and clothed in robes of red. His coat was pure orange, like the sunrise, and his mane was red, yellow and orange. He stood tall and regal, but he looked worried, and worse still, he looked physically exhausted.
The second Alicorn was also tired looking, but she looked more like she had just woke up from a crazy night. She levitated a cup of tea beside her, occasionally taking sips. She had a lavender coat, and was clothed in bright pink. But the most distinguishing feature of her was her hair. Never mind, if it was shimmering gold, it was LONG. It was braided, woven with flowers, but it was still too long. She wrapped it around her leg, and there was still slack. Whenever she turned or moved, her hair swung around, about five feet out.
The last one looked like the youngest. She looked perfectly energetic, compared to the others. She was dressed in green and white, with golden birds sown into her robes. Her coat was light brown, and her main was fiery red, with two French braids. On her snout, she had small freckles.
They were all talking to Celestia and Luna, looking concerned. None of them were in the least bit surprised when Twilight and the others teleported in. They just looked up and gave them looks of grave concern and hidden worry.
Celestia, bless her, smiled when she saw her favorite student. "Welcome back, Princess Twilight." She said, with a small bow. Twilight returned the bow, then gave one to Luna and the other Alicorns. They all returned her bow. Niceties aside, Celestia's face turned back to her business face. "I can see you and Discord came as fast as you could. Thank you for that. As you can see, things have become dire. I would like to introduce you to our guests. These are-"
"Ohh! They're the Royal Seasons!" Pinkie Pie cheered, excitedly.
Everypony looked shocked. Finally, Luna broke the silence. "How did you know?" She asked in awe.
"I read the title and the opening chapter." She said simply, further confusing everypony. They stared in complete blank awe at what they heard.
"Well, I'm glad I made you laugh, random reader." Pinkie finally said, with a smile and a squee.
Recovering quickly from the pure strangeness, Twilight finally realized she had no idea who the Royal Seasons were.
"The Royal Seasons?" She asked. "Who are they?"
The stallion Alicorn spoke up. "We are the watchers of the seasons. We are the reasons for Spring, Summer, Fall and... Winter."
He said the last word bitterly.
Celestial spoke up. "I'll keep things short. You only see three seasons? That's because Winter is missing. She has been for quite some time."
"Which is bad. Winter is important to leave the earth to rest, so that Spring, Summer and Fall can be a time of growth and harvesting." The youngest one said. "We need someone to fill the position of the Alicorn of Winter."
"Fast." Luna said, summing it up. "You must find her. The fate of Equestria depends on it." Then, Luna heard a sniff from the left. It came from the light-brown Alicorn.
"Are you alright, little Tulip?" Celestia asked. Tulip looked up.
"It's just..." Tulip gave a sob. "Things weren't the same since she left. She was like a sister to me, and she just... disappears for a thousand years."
"If that's true," Twilight raised a hoof. "then who was managing the Winter?"
"Auntie Celestia, of course." Tulip sobbed.
"She's right." Celestia replied. "I had many tasks since Luna was banished and Elsa was..."
"Elsa?" Rarity trotted forward. "Is that Winter's name?"
"Well, no," answered the purple Alicorn. "Her name is Winter Winds, but we just call her Elsa."
"...since Elsa left Equestria, I had many tasks, like raising the moon for Luna. I had to give up my task for rainbow production when Elsa disappeared."
"Doesn't Cloudsdale manage the rainbows?" Applejack asked.
"Uhh... yeah!" Rainbow Dash gulped. Nopony took notice of the scared look on Rainbow's face.
"Well, I hope Elsa's alright." Tulip looked down.
"My sweet Auntie, have we forgotten our manners?" The stallion trotted down and introduced himself. "My name is Maple Phoenix."
"I'm Sunflower, but I'm relatively known as Rapunzel because of my hair." bowed Sunflower.
"And my name is Tulip Rose, but you may call me Anna." Anna trotted down and held out her hoof to Twilight, but as she was about to take it, Pinkie Pie starts shaking Anna's hoof.
"HimynameisPinkiePieandit'sreallynicetomeetyou!" Pinkie chants. "ItsverynicetomeetyouandI'venevermetaspringPrincessbefore! Doyoureallymakeitallgreenandgrassy?"
"Very well, Pinkie." Anna chuckled. "I've heard of all of you, especially you, Twilight Sparkle." She tries again to shake Twilight's hoof. "Even I can say, it is a great honor to meet you."
"Thank you, Anna." Twilight took the hoof and smiled back. Celestia cleared her throat and all was silenced.
"Shall we get settled in?" She asked. Everypony nodded and headed to the corridor. Discord then, raised a bear claw.
"Oh, Celestia," He asked. "Can you get me a teeny, tiny, glass of water?"