"Your Majesty, Princess Twilight Sparkle has arrived."
"Thank you," Princess Celestia said as she rose from her throne and stepped down to meet with Equestria's newest princess. "Twilight!" she warmly greeted the purple alicorn that stepped through the door. "Thank you for coming on such short notice. I'm sure you've been quite busy."
"Good morning, Princess," Twilight greeted her longtime teacher. "Yes, I've been pretty wrapped up in my studies all week. There's just so much I still need to learn about being a princess!"
"That will all come with time," Celestia assured her faithful student, "but I thought this would be a good time for a different kind of lesson."
"What kind of lesson?" Twilight asked nervously.
"It will be a history lesson," Celestia explained as she beckoned Twilight to follow her. "Although it is really more of a story. One that I hope you will find quite interesting."
"History?" Twilight asked curiously as she nearly trotted to keep up with her mentor's longer strides.
"Yes," Celestia confirmed as she adjusted her pace a bit. "It is still one of your favorite subjects, is it not?"
"Oh yes," Twilight confirmed. "I've always loved reading about ancient ponies like Clover the Clever and Star Swirl the Bearded."
Celestia stopped at the door to her study and ushered for Twilight to enter.
"I don't think I've been here since I was just a filly," Twilight murmured as she entered the simple but elegant room. A hearty blaze was already crackling in the fireplace, lending the room a cozy warmth that hadn't changed a bit over the years.
"Please, have a seat; make yourself comfortable" Celestia offered as she shut the door behind them. "This may take some time."
"So, what part of history are we going to be learning about?" queried Twilight as she took a seat on the edge of the lavish purple cushion that filled the middle of the room. "The Founding Years? The Pre-Classical era?"
"Something a bit more recent than that," Celestia replied as she settled down next to the smaller alicorn. "Though this story does have some roots in the very distant past." The Princess neatly folded her long slender legs and gave her faithful student a smile. "Have you ever wondered why so few ponies before now knew about my sister? Or Discord? Or even the Crystal Empire?"
"Have I?" Twilight exclaimed. "It's always bothered me that we knew more about the days before Equestria was founded than the Post-Classical era. I mean, common sense would dictate that there would be more widespread knowledge of more recent events, but there are all these gaps in the history books where we just don't have that much information. I guess it's somewhat possible that not much happened during those times, but that wouldn't explain the lack of details about huge Equestria-shattering events like Nightmare Moon or an entire empire disappearing. It just doesn't make sense!"
Celestia waited patiently until the younger alicorn was done rambling. "Well, most of those gaps are simply due to a loss of records," she explained. "For example back when my battle with Nightmare Moon destroyed the old palace in the Everfree Forest, we lost many irreplaceable documents. The same thing occurred when Capital City fell, and also during the Great Calamity." Her voice lowered an octave. "However a few of those gaps are my doing."
"You, Princess?" Twilight asked. "But why would you do something like that?"
"For various reasons that seemed good at the time," Celestia bluntly answered. "I couldn't risk some crazy pony trying to revive the likes of King Sombra or Discord, especially after the elements became dormant. So I made sure that certain events were simply… forgotten. Her face grew pensive. " I also didn't want my little sister to be forever remembered as the dreaded Nightmare Moon."
"That certainly makes sense," Twilight replied as she put a comforting hoof on her teacher's shoulder.
"Anyways," Celestia continued more brightly, "You know the basics of some of this, but I think it's high time that I filled you in on a few of these gaps.
Twilight nodded eagerly. "I'm all ears, Princess!"