My Dearest Twilight,
I dare say that it had been quite the shock when you were so suddenly cold to me over a joke, but I understand that perhaps I had taken it a bit too far. I would apologize, and hope that you can understand I meant no harm. It would seem that I am out of practice with practical jokes.
I can understand why you might consider it such Twilight, but do not sell your own self short. You have done much in the time since then, and even before then you were impressing many unicorns that witnessed your feats. As you asked, I considered what her primal aspect might have been, but I cannot say accurately what it is. Just know that the feeling of fear was secondary, and even that speaks volumes of how powerful you were.
It does not seem rude to me, because I can understand the desire to know ones enemies in order to better battle them. I fear that I do not remember much about her mentality, and what I do know shall be published into the novel that you convinced me to write. I will be certain to show it to you as soon as I can.
There is more to being a leader than just a title or status, just that others would follow you speaks greatly of your credentials of being a leader of ponies. Look to your defacto second-in-command, Miss Applejack I believe from your reports, and see how she acts. She does not demand the loyalty of her followers and compatriots, but rather they look to her for guidance out of trust. A leader that is honest with themselves will always know that they would not be who they are without the support of those that they lead. A true leader does feel that way about their supporters.
Your friends are individually strong and talented, however they lack a unifying element, a focus if you will. That is what a leader is; they build upon the strengths of others, to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. Every great hero needs to start somewhere Twilight, and Starswirl the bearded was a 'simple scholar' of the magical arts before becoming famous. I'm certain if you had asked Firefly and Twilight of yore, they would say they aren't even trying to be great... well Firefly might, but that is just her nature.
I wish that many other unicorns would learn that lesson as well, there is much that they could learn from the other races. Be sure to study well under your instructor Applejack, for her spirit of hard work and honesty will benefit you greatly as time goes by. Though I hardly need to remind you, as you have always been diligent in your studies. Though perhaps that 'cheating' of yours needs to be addressed.
More and more, you seem to desire becoming my knight in shining armor it would seem. It touches a part of my heart I had thought long dormant to know that some pony out there would wish to defend my honor in such a manner, and I thank you for that. The warmth of our friendship builds with each passing letter, so that I can hardly wait until our meeting upon the night of the Gala. However, I am very glad that you didn't rush here after reading my letter. It would have ruined a particular surprise I am planning for the Gala, but I shall say no more at this time. Know that with my sister's guidance, and my darling knight's protection the words of others will not attack my heart again.
There is much nobility to you, and I hope one day that you're able to see just how much it shines to others. The title of Duchess is not as honorary as you might think, and your holdings have been monitored by several ponies picked by Celly herself. Most recently it was turned over to me, due to my interest and personal request. It is a rather impressive portfolio, and I hope to build upon what has already been done. I shall have to forward you the details sometime. Perhaps it is like myself, and fear that coming to him as herself might cause an instant transformation to the respectful and distant nature many ponies take in our presence.
You do not have to go out of your way on my account, as I am certain there will be ample time once we are better acquainted with one another. However, if perchance you do happen to remember, please be certain to express my enjoyment, and hope that someday I might do so directly.
I believe that of all ponies, I would trust you most of all in this matter and others. Your knowledge of magic is more than impressive. You have learned from your past experiences, and know better how to keep a secret now. As you do not go out of your way to treat my sister, nor I, any different than any other pony: I fail to see how you are not the best choice. Moreover, given the criteria you set forth, the most logical place to attempt such vacations is Ponyville itself. It will certainly bear much thought.
As for the retelling of the tale, I will defer to your judgement on the matter, however I might suggest you discuss it with the others, for it might serve well as an advisory tale of caution. However, that is just my thoughts, which are possibly influenced by my desire to know more about you in all aspects of your life. Therefore, there is naught to be forgiven.
I fear that my 'cuteness' might have altered since last we met as I have come into more of my power, as well as it is somewhat diminished by the current tales of Nightmare Moon floating about, in particular are the various tales surrounding 'Nightmare Night'. Did you know that in Stalliongrad they actually think I fly in a stone mortar and pestle and steals away baby foals in the night? Pure madness! I have read the treatises in question, and while they are indeed fascinating, I fear I do not see them as requiring all of my attention.
The desire for sisterly affection is a powerful feeling, that is true. However, it is all the harder upon a pony when ones sister fails in meeting expectations, or when you fail in meeting theirs. I know with all my heart that Celly never meant to hurt me, but before the coming of Nightmare Moon, I fear we had drifted rather far apart, enough to make me question if she even cared for me. I could say that Morganna's feelings towards Marelin stuck a chord with me recently.
"That Marelin, how dare she shine so while others strive to even glimmer? Is it not enough that I have fought to earn the magical talent that I have now? Must I perpetually challenge her? Were we born in another time, or perhaps under different circumstances, I would have gladly called her 'sister', but that has been denied to me. Now we must battle, to prove ourselves strongest."
The past may be final dearest Twilight, but the future is a path always open to us to explore. Please do not shy away from what could be, to linger in what might have been.
I would certainly be interested in reading that novel, if you wouldn't mind telling me the title after the Gala sometime, I would greatly appreciate it. I will caution you should you ever incur my wrath, however I feel that the hero that saved me from the dreadful curse of Nightmare Moon could never garner such from me.
Yes, they do have certain wonderful, endearing quality to the names they come up with at times. A particular favorite of mine is the nickname they gave the Starswirl the Bearded wing of the library, 'The Magical Tomb' just makes me laugh at times. Sure they aren't all winners, but it could be worse.
As for the ideas for the pranks that you have suggested, I love them, and I might just have the perfect co-conspirator to join in the fun. The maid that had given the nickname to my abacus actually caught me musing about the little pranks I could add onto the ones that you gave. She started laughing when I mentioned wood oil massages. Her name is Stardust, and she is a wonderful Earth pony that agreed to go visit those nightclub you mentioned. She said her best friend Bubbleswirl would enjoy the chance to get out more often together. I did not fully understand why she became so flustered as I mentioned the desire to learn more about these places, until she found out that I was learning to become more modern and was recommended to me by you.
As for your friends, I suspect if they ever did figure out that it was you, they would be very surprised. I must commend you on doing it not only once, but twice, and with a pegasus no less. It takes a rare and special type of bonding adhesive to adhere to clouds. It would not surprise me in the least, since my sister used to do it to me too. Though it does surprise me that they still use that name, I would have thought after a thousand years, they would have come up with something better.
I would rather not imagine that, thank you. The thought of a clown being a reality bender is downright terrifying to me. Please let us not discuss this again in writing.
Yes, I have sent it anonymously to the address listed listed in official documents, so it is my wish that she will receive it promptly. After that it is as they say, in her hooves, and we can only be there to support her whatever she shall decide. I hope that she chooses correctly, but for now this must remain between us.
I would be honored to be a co-author of such a tome, and hope that you might consider fully publishing it someday. It would mean that we would have quite a lot to discuss and perhaps several late nights of the two of us in closed conference. Several mugs of that wonderful chocolate drink would be delightful for that I should think. It is a marvel what one could do to cocoa beans when mixed with sugar. Yes, this would be highly enjoyable for both of us, and help us get to know each other better.
In regards to Spike, it is dangerous to meddle in the affairs of dragons and love, therefore I would advise against any decisive actions at this time, but rather subtle work in the background may be more beneficial. Also, be certain to reassure your young charge that no matter what path he might take in life, that you shall always remain his family.
Your dream speaks volumes about your mental state in regards to young Spike, and the trust you shared in telling me them speaks volumes of what your thoughts regarding me are. Therefore, I shall tell you a bit of what my experience with dreams is telling me about what you have told me. While you know intellectually that someday that you will have to part with Spike, your heart and emotional center dread the arrival of that day. You feel that it shall come far too soon, and that you shall never be ready to part with him. That you did not mention aging on your own part, it would indicate that you would cause time to stand still if possible. Now I would advise against acting upon these subconscious visions, since they are repressed fears and you are not quite ready to face them properly.
For now, just seek to enjoy the time you share with him to the fullest.
Your stand shows a great deal of care and work put into it for one so young. As attested by these very letters, your writing has improved with time, much like a fine wine. I have passed on your greetings, and she is very happy to hear you have finally earned that friendship badge. She offered to send it along at her earliest convenience. I believe she has a trip planned for her troop to visit Ponyville. She says that she remembers you when you were in her scout troop as little fillies and has often wondered what happened to you.
While it is nice to see such care for my well-being taking place, I fear that I would prefer to not have such occur. I cannot say rightly that I resent it, however it does feel that what she is doing is to assuage her own guilt of my falling to darkness. In turn that makes me feel worse about having been so weak as to fall in the first place. If I could but assure her I'm fine, and that if she is but nearby when I have a concern that I will remain so. I have learned and matured from this experience, and hope to move beyond it. However, I feel that I cannot if my own sister still fears I might return to it.
The way your words paint the picture of my meteor shower causes me great joy, and I hope to someday regain enough of my powers that I shall be able to show you and every pony just what true wonders I might be able to create. I know that I have the inspiration, and have already begun plans to display my full potential. It is not just the three of them, but rather you and your other friends as well remember. And there is no ponies better suited to being role models than the six of you. I can hardly wait for you to perfect the spell, that way you might share not only with me, but also with those very same young fillies, and perhaps others.
I fear that my skills have rusted in my time away, and I can only hope that I shall be able to not only return to my former ability, but surpass it as I have gained much since then. Your reflection on ego has not only pinpointed my problem with those that dismissed my work, but also a flaw in myself that I had not noticed. Yes, it is true that the most important mare in Canterlot saw it, and more than that enjoyed it, but in my anger I fear I forgot myself and my purpose. Nay, apologize not for that Twilight, for you were more right than you could know. They might have been fools, but the ones that I should have been concerned with were those that viewed my display, not those that ignored it. A quiet little librarian in a small town with her telescope pointed to the heavens is worth countless legions of those who choose to ignore my works for their own posturing. Thank you for reminding me.
Silly? No, that is not the proper term for such an idea. It would have been ideal to share such a display with you, my sister, and your friends. I dare say that it would have been a night to remember always, especially if we could have partaken in the delicacies of Applejack's while we enjoyed the view. We would not have to leave immediately, but rather could have stayed for a few hours. Perhaps for the next night, we shall make such plans.
Nay again, do not apologize, since it shows a rather wonderful side of yourself, that it has become my great privilege and pleasure to know. Your visions of such a delightful meal sounds wonderful, and I can only hope that you shall have the opportunity to have such an encounter, though it may not be the first date there is always more to learn about a pony.
I have begun reading the novel series you mentioned, and the alicorn not only seems to be unaware of her powers, but also has a bit of a knack with temporal displacements. It took me a couple chapters to realize that it was not that the pages hadn't been placed out of order, but were written in such a manner for a specific reason. It really does have an interesting hook to it, that makes the series rather difficult to put down.
I have already received a few letters from your friends about activities we might partake in, and have begun to schedule out the night, leaving room for spontaneity. After all, one cannot plan for everything in these matters. The materials have been picked up, and the matters are being arranged as best Stardust and I can arrange. I trust that we shall have to discuss certain matters before we finalize anything, but it should be fair to estimate that the fun shall be at two-hundred percent for the evening. Though could you ask Miss Pie what the frizzy mane wig and socks are for? I fear I do not fully understand that.
As you wish my dearest heroine, when you but ask, I shall tell you what it is that you wish to know. There is a dark and ugly side to me that may frighten you, but there is also light and joy to counter it. It is like the moon, I can shine if given the light to do so, but I also am a creature of darkness. The balance is hard for many to accept, and I can only hope that you shall accept me, the whole me and not just what I might show at any given time. The story of Twilight Sparkle, while far shorter than my own, shall be a tale that I shan't be able to tear myself away from. I can assure you of that right now.
After the Gala shall suit me fine, as long as it does not interfere with your plans and activities. If you wish, I will come to Ponyville itself and sign a copy for every pony there. Just imagine how wonderful that would be for your library to garner new interest from the young ponies. I should rather insist on doing so, but as it is not only a library, but also your home I will defer to your wishes.
As I have informed you of the plan to explore those clubs you have mentioned, I shall instead move on to the matter of your little Crusaders and their misadventures in scouting. I believe that is another of those stories best left to be done personally, as it would be very interesting to see their faces in the retelling.
Your friend Rarity may have accepted that it does not have to be an actual Prince, but rather a prince to her and those around her. To go by the noble spirit within, rather than the blood lineage is a wise decision, and I wish her the best in finding a prince to not only whisk her off her hooves, but to make her every dream a reality.
It is a shame that our royal lineage has fallen to this, and I hope that we might reverse the damage sometime. However, I fear that might just be a task that could take centuries, if not an eternity at this point.
Your friend Applejack's generosity is hidden behind her easy smile and the honest heart of hers. However it is often said that the greatest chefs will not be able to make their best dishes without their friends there to no only inspire, but also test. The free meals you have shared with her, you have probably returned in her eyes, especially if you have helped her with the chores upon the farm. I am reminded of a saying, 'There is nothing known as a free lunch.'
Lyra? Would that be Lyra Heartstrings? And you say that she is in Ponyville?That would be something the students' rumor mill would dearly love to know. As you mentioned, she was quite the musician and idol of the school, and there is great interest in her since she disappears quietly into the night shortly after you left on your own journey. However, I believe as you do that it might be best to leave the matter be, as it would appear to me to be something that she and this 'Bon Bon' would rather keep private. It is their life, and not our place to intrude upon them.
The nature of Ponyville has always been a rather curious blend of contradictions, it is among the safest places in all Equestria, but that is because its citizens are constantly on guard against the chaotic elements of the Everfree Forest. I have heard that while it is a danger to do business in Ponyville, it is often more than worth it for the traders and merchants that risk it.
As mentioned, there is to be a luncheon held before the Gala proper, to wish you and your friends are expected to join, I have arranged seating so that they might be able to slip out to the garden should they wish. There are a few other matters that Flora and Fauna have asked me to arrange that I hope will allow them to introduce Fluttershy to the animals properly.
Curses, you have seen through my ingenious plans, and countered it so masterfully that I have no choice but to perpetually accompany you throughout the night. After all, those embarrassing tales are mine to tell. If you wish to hear them, just ask and I shall tell you.
The doctor has stated that they shall be at your service should you wish to discuss matters with them. They also have ways to arrange that dragons to not escape when they do not wish to have their exams, however if it is possible, I might suggest having secondary means ready to prevent such need.
I took the opportunity to discuss the adventures you and your friends have been having with the hatchlings, and it sounds more like the official reports are getting copied to them than tales were being told. Also, I should note that Au is a wonderful young dragon whom I have taken into my private service. This shall be her first letter, and I have agreed to let her continue on telling the tales of Twilight Sparkle and her friends to the hatchlings. However it is not you that is the celebrity among them, but rather Spike. The young and bold dragon always ready, willing and able to face anything at the side of his friend and hatch-partner.
She asked me to remind Spike that she shall be looking for him at the Gala to fulfill her promise. I fear I know not what she meant, and every time I asked it was met with a blush and strange silence.
Apparently her hatch-partner had washed out of the school, and could not raise her outside of the school. So she decided to leave her at the school, to be raised and nurtured. She visits as often as she could, however it is hard upon them both. I hope that she comes to trust and love me as much as her hatch-partner.
Now, I realize that it is only three days until the Gala, so I do not expect you to send a reply, but we can discuss those matters we cover here when we have time together.
Thank you always,