Today, Twilight has come back to Canterlot to retrieve some new reading material from the Royal Library. She has plans to study extra hard this week, and learn more than she has before; Perhaps it will be more then she can handle, but the bright and brilliant little unicorn never backs down when it comes to studying and learning all she can.
“Are you in need of any assistance, deary?" The Royal Bookkeeper asks the young student of their most beloved ruler of Equestria when she walks by.
“No thanks. I can handle it.” Twilight answers as she stands at the top of a ladder, while using her magical abilities to levitate a few books off the shelf and down onto the floor.
The Bookkeeper smiles and allows Twilight to resume her search for whatever books she wishes to take home with her, and returns to her duty of dusting and re-organizing, "Very well. But if you change your mind and need any help from one who knows where every book is properly placed and categorized, but let me know~"
"I will." The young streaked maned pony promises and returns to browsing the top shelf of the "Ancient Spells and History" section.
After a while of searching and collecting what she wishes to take home with her, Twilight suddenly notices a small book buried deep in the back of the shelf. Curious to why something so small is hidden so far back, the lavender unicorn casts a simple levitation spell and pulls it on out. But once she does, a large collection of dust covering said book spreads into the air around her. “Ah….Ah…AHHHH-CHOOOO!!!” Twilight sneezes hard and falls off the ladder and down onto the floor...where the over a dozen books she collected cushion her fall by just a little.
The bookkeeper hears the sound of the little unicorn cashing onto the floor, and rushes on over as fast as her four legs can carry here. Upon arriving, She now finds Twilight laying on top of the small pile of books in a daze, and tries to help her up, "By Celestia, are you alright, dear?”
Twilight carefully stands back up tries to shake off the dizziness that causes her to see stars...which to her is difficult to see in broad daylight and in the middle of the castle library, "Yes..I’m fine. Sorry about the mess...it's just….it's very dusty up there."
Turning her sights from the mare and the mess of books to the shelves above, the elder mare agrees with the young one with the amount of dust that covers floats around the air above. "Well, I will be sure to have that spot dusted next time. In the meantime, you should probably take what you have at the moment, Twilight. I would hate for another accident to happen and you to be hurt again."
Even thought Twilight Sparkle was hoping to collect more books and other reading material, and the odds of another incident happening again so soon seems unlikely, it does seem best to go ahead and take what she has and return to Ponyville in order to begin her studies right away. "Alright. Well, I should get going now. Thank you for your help, Ma'am."
"It is my pleasure, Ms. Sparkle." The bookkeeper gives a friendly smile as she walks off to collect the duster in order to clean up the dust upon the shelves that appear to have not been cleaned in quite some time.
Twilight collects her books and places them inside her saddlebag, while stacking the rest up in order to carry them out with her magic...since there is no more room left inside. Upon gathering up the eighteen books, plus the small one that caused her recent fall on top, the proud little unicorn trots on out of the library and towards the train station to catch the next ride home to Ponyville.
After an hour or so of riding aboard the train bound for Ponyville, a warm smile comes to the lips of Twilight Sparkle when at last she arrives at her destination. With all her books within her bag or being carried via her magic, the little unicorn steps off and starts making her way back home.
Along the way back to the Golden Oaks Library, that her mentor Princess Celestia gave to her to live in when she first moved to Ponyville, Twilight cannot help but notice everypony out and about…enjoying the beautiful day. The weather is warm and welcoming, while the birds are chirping and singing with such a lovely melody. Even as the sounds of the birds and the warmth of Celestia's sun bring a desire to spend the day outside with her friends, Twilight has too much studying to catch up on and will have to take a rain check...in a matter of speaking.
Arriving at last to the great tree that houses many books and other scientific items that any student needs when studying many advance spells and more, Twilight opens the front door and walks right inside and places all her book down upon the table in the middle of the room. Afterwards she calls out to the little purple and green scaled dragon she shares her home with, ”Spike! I’m Home!”
With the sound of the lavender unicorn's return reaching his little green ears, Twilight’s number one assistant walks down the stairs and greets the unicorn he is happy to call friend, “Welcome home, Twilight. Did you find what you were looking for?”
“Well...More or less,” She replies with a mere shrug as she levitates the over a dozen books and places them neatly in order upon the empty shelf in the wall...which she uses specially for books she borrows from others.
“I’m hoping for less…as in less then what you usually bring home with you, which means less for me to clean up,” The baby dragon chuckles as he stands next to Twilight's side.
The organized mare chuckles as her allows her eyes to give a small rolling in response to her little dragon's humorous words, “Very funny Spike. Anyway, I’m going to do some studying with the books I brought back, so feel free to take a look with the few I picked out for you to read in the meantime."
Spike smiles at the mention of something that Twilight brought home to read, ”Don't mind if I do!” He takes a gander at the books and hopes to find one on gems or possibly one with steps to winning the heart of somepony special; Preferably the beautiful Rarity. As he moves from book to book, Spike notices the smallest one and picks it up to examine it. “Wow This book is…really old and…” He opens it and is really surprised.
“And what?” Twilight asks with curiosity.
“Falling apart..." Spike concludes his sentence while viewing the worn pages and the dust that resides on nearly every page, "I can barely read any of this writing...if at all. The ink is faded.”
Twilight gently takes the book from her number one assistant and takes a look herself, only to find out he is telling the truth, “You’re right, Spike. Still, might be interesting to try and repair. After all the trouble this little book caused me today at the library, might as well see what secrets lie within.”
“Alright...but wait. What do you mean by this book gave you trouble?” Spike's curiosity gets the better of him and finds himself wishing to know what exactly happened at the Canterlot Royal Library today.
Recalling the incident that caused quite a commotion, Twilight's cheeks start turning into a slight red color to match the embarrassing thoughts she wishes not to relive or tell, “It’s not important. Try a different book and I’ll work on this one.”
Even with a slight disappointment at being denied the tale, Spike shrugs it off and goes back to browsing through the books Twilight collected for him. He eventually comes across one on Gems and decides to start with this one. The little dragon takes it over to his favorite spot to read, which happens to be on the stairs themselves.
With her assistant now occupied with his head now stuck in a book that has much information on various gems across Equestria, Twilight takes the mysterious, worn book to her lab table and begins to try and repair it...or at least restore some that can be readable.
After a few hours or mending and inking in what seems to be salvageable, Twilight Sparkle seems to have successfully repaired some pages of the books...while the remaining seem to be beyond any skill or magic...at least for her. Proud of her own accomplishment, The lavender unicorn turns to the first page.
At first, some words are written in the common language while the rest seem to be gibberish; Most likely a language no longer exists. Even more so, this whole book seems more of a journal...since the words seem to be written in such a way. Whoever did write this, it seems to be long before Starswirl the Bearded’s time, since the language and style is nothing Twilight has ever seen inside of any book within Princess Celestia's archives.
But as she skims through the few pages she was able to repair the best she could, Twilight soon comes across a small verse that may hold an answer to what this old journal may tell of...even if only a little:
A monstrous creature, leading what minions he had under his power, marched forth to steal away our freedom.
A pony like no other, who's courage was greater than all of us, stood up to the Darkness, with the Light at his side.
He led us against the forces of evil, and shouted these words:
Already what Twilight reads interests her greatly and makes her anxious to read on...but after this mighty oath written upon these worn and tattered pages, there is nothing further said on this. Most of the other pages are too worn out to read and repair, but twilight is determined to see what comes next. Eventually, she comes across a page she seemed to have missed earlier...and now sees a crude drawing which is without a doubt this champion described in the tale:
"Is that...Courageous of Light?" Twilight asks herself upon seeing this drawing of a winged pony; a pegasus to be more exact. She stares at the drawing and when she looks a bit closer, she notices something atop the Champion’s head... “A horn? Was he...an alicorn...or something?" She questions greatly, which at the same time peeks her interest much.
However, with nothing further to read, the lavender unicorn slumps down into disappointment at not being able to know more about this "Champion" and this great battle he fought alongside others to defeat this "Darkness". Even so, a small smile forms on Twilight's lips as she blushes ever so slightly, “As short as it is, this story and it's hero just sound so amazing and...” She sighs and begins wondering on things she never has before, “I wonder what it would be like if I ever met this stallion....”
“Uhh...Twilight?” A familiar voice speaks up, joined in with light tapping on the head, interrupting the unicorn's daydreaming, "Equestria to Twilight! Are you okay?!"
The little lavender unicorn jumps at the voice yelling at her, and falls to her side. Twilight shakes her head back into reality and sighs at her little baby dragon who had some nerve disturbing her like this, "Spike..."
The nervous little assistant notices the look in his best friend's eyes along with the expression on her face; He can tell she is slightly annoyed at him. “Sorry for yelling, Twilight. It's just that...you were not responding when I was calling you a while back. You seemed to be off in your own little world or something.”
Twilight calms down a little and rubs her head, realizing that she has spent hours not only repairing the dusty old journal, but daydreaming about the story discovered within...as well as the brave stallion. "I'm sorry Spike. I was just…thinking on…stuff.”
“What kind of stuff?”
Twilight looks down at the old journal, and just shakes her head,” It’s not important.” she reassures, denying what she is truly feeling since she does not wish to trouble Spike about it.
Spike wonders what is on his best friend’s mind, especially when he can sense something is out of place. But he does not wish to upset her further by asking...even though he wishes to help her. ”Oh…well…okay. Anyway, it’s already dark so we should probably get to bed early, Twilight.”
Twilight agrees with her little friend and after placing the books back on the table, she makes her way to the stairs...with Spike riding upon her back, ”You’re right Spike. The Grand Galloping Gala is tomorrow. I shouldn’t be up all night studying when-” she suddenly comes to a fast halt and remembers that she has spent all evening working on that book instead of studying. ”Oh no! I never got to my studies! If Princess Celestia finds out I am not taking my new lessons seriously-”
“Twilight!" Spike interrupts and tries to calm his slightly panicking friend down, "I’m sure the princess will understand when we see her tomorrow...” Spike reassures and hopes Twilight will agree with him.
Even though Twilight is known to argue with that notion and believe she will be punished for not studying like her teacher instructs her to, she decides for once to brush it off and calm herself down, "You're right, Spike. I'm sure it is no big deal and things will go okay at the Gala tomorrow.
Spike is surprised to see his best friend agree with him so quick, but he is happy that she does. Now, they can both get a good night sleep and look forward to a wondrous time with all their friends at Equestria biggest event that takes place at the capital of Canterlot each year: The Grand Galloping Gala.
As the hour grows late in the night and everypony around the town of Ponyville sleeps within the beds softer than a haystack, Twilight Sparkle sleeps with not a peek to be heard that can waken her from such a blissful slumber. However, a cool breeze can be felt as the tired unicorn tries to ignore it and cover herself with her comforter more.
Soon after, the muttering chatter of tiny crickets can be heard all around her, and this gets Twilight in a slight frustrated mood since the noise as well as the breeze is making it harder to fall back asleep. Opening her eyes to see where it is all coming from, Twilight Sparkle gasps upon seeing that she is no longer in her bed, or even in her house anymore.
For some unexplained reason, the lavender unicorn finds herself in a grassy field of green, with a moonlit starry sky moving across the skies above. Wherever she is, it is nowhere that can be recalled or described; Twilight is no longer in Ponyville...or even Equestria. “Where am I…?!" She worries to a great degree, "Spike?! Anypony?!” Twilight begins to panic. “Where am I?!!!"
Suddenly, Twilight feels a warm glow illuminating from behind her that for some reason calms her down a little...even though she has yet to see what it is or where it is coming from. The curious and now calm mare turns around and at first covers her eyes with her hoof at the light...but then removes it when for reasons not even she can explain, the bright light does not blind her or anything; it feels so warm...and welcoming.
The glowing light of both yellow and white soon fades away...and now standing before the lavender unicorn mare is a brown stallion who has most of his body and face covered in a grayish black cloak; His horn rests atop his head, which shows that he is a unicorn. Whoever this pony is seems to have Twilight on edge, but she remains where she is and refuses to run. “Who…who are you?!” She asks, powering up her horn with magic in case the mysterious pony tries something.
“Please…do not be afraid..." The stallion speaks softly as she looks at Twilight with his bright, yellow pupils that glow almost as that same light from before, "I am not here to harm you, Twilight Sparkle."
"How...how do you know my name?" Even as surprised as she is that this pony she has never met before knows her for some reason, Twilight quickly changes her question to something more important, "Better yet...where am I? How did I get here? Answer me!“ Twilight demands.
The cloaked stallion holds up his hoof, which at first gets Twilight on edge even more, but he lowers it shortly after, "Where you are now...is nothing more than a dream of yours, Twilight."
Twilight finds that hard to believe, but since his answer is better than no answer at all, she powers down her horn and goes along with this...whether true or not, “What do you want?”
The mysterious pony, who's cape flows a bit when the wind begins to blow gently across the valley, smiles and says, "I...I just wanted...to meet you, Twilight Sparkle."
“Meet…me?” Twilight cannot believe what she has just heard him say, but is surprised that somepony who just appears out of nowhere in her dreams just to meet her. "Why...would you wish to meet me?"
With his hood covering most of his head and some of his face, the mysterious unicorn sits himself down upon the soft grass beneath his hooves and explains why, "Because I just do...and since my time here is short...I may only have enough time to tell you of something very important. So please...hear what I have to say."
Although still unsure about all this, as well as confused, Twilight has many questions in the back of her mind to ask this stallion. However, if what he says is true, then she may have to hear his words first and then decide then if all this is real...or just a dream of hers. "Alright...go ahead. But only if I get to ask you a question after, okay?"
The stallion smiles and agrees with Twilight Sparkle's terms, "Very well." Raising his head to gaze upon the stars above, with his eyes and some of his face showing more, the stallion unicorn speaks, "Twilight...your home, Equestria...is in danger. A great evil, one that was defeated so long ago will soon return...and if he is not stopped, then the entire world will fall into Darkness...as will all those you love and hold close as friends and family."
Twilight gasps and is unsure how to respond, and even with many questions to ask on this, the confused unicorn is unsure what to ask first. But before so much as the first question can pop into her mind, Twilight Sparkle gasps when she sees that same light appear behind the stallion. She points to it and wonders what is going on.
The cloaked unicorn sighs sadly, seeing that his time here has been cut shorter than he thought, "I am sorry, Twilight. But my time is up...and I must go. Please...heed my words and be ready for what is to come."
"What?! No wait!!" Twilight is not ready for this to end when she has so many questions to ask, "What about the Darkness?! I don't understand! I need to know more!!"
The stallion stands up and gives a mere shake of his head, "There is no time, I am afraid. You will learn and understand more when the time comes..." He promises her, "But for now, be ready...and keep your heart strong, Twilight."
As the bright light begins to move closer to the cloaked stallion, returning him to wince he came, Twilight is still unsure of all he has said...but remembers the deal they made. "Please! At least tell me your name! You promised me a question in return!!"
True to his words, the brown unicorn gives Twilight a warm smile and shakes off the back of his cloak a bit...revealing a pair of wings on his side that spread out by his command. From what can be see, this unicorn is no unicorn at all...but something else entirely. "My name...is Courageous."
Now in full surprise and shock to what she is now seeing as well as hearing: This very pony who came Twilight's dreams is the very same she read in the journal she found and restored before all this. How this is possible and how all this can happen...is something Twilight cannot fathom. However, with so much to ask and no time to utter a single word, Twilight Sparkle watches as the light illuminates once again...bringing her out of her dreams and back into the world she knows.