The Quest for Harmony

by Jay David

Chapter 1: Summons

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Across field and rivers, over villages, towns and cities, over hills and even the tallest of mountains, the sun was rising over the land of Equestria. This land of magic had, for many countless ages, been the home of the Equestrians, who stood tall above all others peoples of the world as the most friendly, the most successful and one of the most powerful races in the world. And at the centre of it all, slap-bang in the middle of their great land, was their shining jewel; Canterlot. This ancient city had been a source of pride for the Equestrians for longer than any of them could remember, for it was the largest, most beautiful and most renowned city in the known world, housing the greatest of their magic-users, as well as their leaders, the princesses themselves. With pristine white spires reaching up into the heavens, Canterlot would appear, to the casual observer, to practically grow out of the mountain it was adjacent to, looking down upon the rest of Equestria like a silent guardian. All who lived beyond the borders of the Equestrians' land would simply have to take one look at this city to know how great a people this was, and how much they had accomplished during their long history.

And in the city itself, the townsfolk were waking with the rising of the sun. Earthens, unicorns and pegasi alike were emerging from their homes, ready to greet the dawn and give thanks to it, as they had hundreds of times before. The royal guard, the military pride of the city, would patrol the streets as ever, giving the assurance of security to all who saw them, as they marched in their famous golden armour, which now shone brightly with the sunrise. As the minutes rolled on, everyone within the city was getting to work, or attending to their various duties, and while a city as great as this could hardly ever truly be asleep, in this moment, it was more than awake, as the air filled with a chorus of "good morning" across every street. But, there was one person in this entire metropolis who had not slept at all the previous night, and she was currently in her room in one of the most notable locations in the city; The magic academy. This centuries-old school had, for its entire existence, been the place where the most talented of unicorns came to learn and enhance their craft, learning secrets of arcane lore that few beyond its walls could ever know. If you attended such a place, you were truly special.

In one of the towers on the eastern side of the academy, in one of the highest rooms, there was a lone unicorn woman, lavender in her fur and bearing a shoulder-length dark-purple mane. She was clad, as many of the school’s acolytes were, in simple light-brown robes, which stretched from her shoulders all the way down to her ankles, wherein she was wearing simple brown slippers. In this moment, the young lady was sitting at her desk, a still-smouldering candle beside her, a clear sign of having worked all through the night. The light of the rising sun crept in through her window, which was facing east, and she was focusing hard on an open tome before her on the desk. Though she had not slept, there was no sign of fatigue in her whatsoever, as her eyes trailed form left-to-right in her attempt to study. After a few further moments of this, she let out a sigh, closing the book and then turning to a small wooden bowl on the other side of the table, which was filled with various fruits. Reaching for it, she picked out a bright red apple, looking at it intently before gently placing it closer to her on the table. After staring at it in silence, she spoke softly.

"Okay...let's see if this works."

Slowly, she closed her eyes, and the room stilled to a quiet. There was a long pause as she concentrated, never allowing anything to distract her. She focused hard, calling forth the magic that all unicorns had within them, and within moments, her horn began to glow. The light surrounding it grew brighter and brighter, and soon afterwards, that same aura began to envelop the apple before her. Her breathing was steady during all this, and she thought of nothing more than the apple and what she was going to do with it. The magic surrounding that lone fruit also began to glow far brighter than before, and everything was right on the cusp of what Twilight envisioned for it. That is, until the door of her quarters suddenly burst open.


Immediately, the young lady, Twilight, let out a yelp of surprise, snapping her eyes open as the magic faded around the apple. Her head turned rapidly in the direction of the door, and there, she saw a sight that few in this land would ever know; a young dragon. But this was not one of the massive beasts of legends, so often used by mothers to frighten children into behaving themselves. No, this was still just a child, a few years the lady's junior, looking as bright-eyed and excited as any Equestrian youth. Like Twilight, he too was dressed simply, bearing pale-green cloth shirt and shorts, standing tall enough to be just shy of the height of Twilight's shoulder. And right now, he had a massive grin on his face. But, sadly for him, that smile soon faded when he saw the angry look on Twilight’s face.

"Spike! How many times have I told you to knock before you come in here?!"

The young drake, as one might expect of someone his age, immediately looked saddened by the outburst, poking his index claws together while looking at the ground.

"I'm...I'm sorry. I just..."

Seeing that unhappy look on her friend’s face, Twilight let out a sigh, unable to stay angry for much longer.

"Its fine, Spike. I was just in the middle of something important here. Whatever it is you wanted to say, could it wait for a few moments?"

The sadness faded from Spike as soon as those words were spoken, and he smiled and nodded in response to that, closing the door behind him and making his way to the corner of the room, watching Twilight carefully. Twilight smiled in appreciation over this, and shortly afterwards, got back to looking at the apple. Reaching forward again, she placed her hand on the fruit and put it back where it was before, having accidentally knocked it slightly when Spike had caught her by surprise. With everything now as it was before, Twilight closed her eyes and concentrated yet again. Spike watched with interest as, almost immediately, the apple began to glow again. The aura grew brighter with every passing moment, and soon enough, there was a bright flash. Although Spike had to turn away from that flash for a brief moment, when he looked back to where the apple had been, his eyes widened with shock to discover that it was no longer there. Twilight, after having opened her eyes, gained a similar look, and together, the two youngsters looked around the room for a while. Eventually, they both locked eyes on a nearby bookcase, seeing that the apple had, in fact, re-appeared on one of the shelves. Getting out of her chair, Twilight approached it carefully, raising her hand and gently poking it with a single finger. It wasn't long before she smiled afterwards.

"I...I did it! My teleportation spell actually works!"

Before Spike had a chance to say or do anything, he was taken aback when the young unicorn rushed towards him and embraced him in a tight hug, winding him slightly. Thankfully, he soon recovered, chuckling at the young lady's enthusiasm before returning the hug. Although they stayed like this for some time, in the end, Twilight parted from the drake, still smiling all the way.

"I didn't think I could pull it off, but...I can! Oh, Spike! I can't wait to show my classmates this!"

Spike's smile widened at that before speaking up in a happy tone of voice.

"I'm pleased to hear your spells are going well, Twilight. It was pretty impressive."

A slight blush appeared on the lady's face as she turned from him, moving back over to her desk, picking up the still-closed spell-book and carrying it back over to the bookcase.

"I tell you, little brother, the spells they teach here...I'd have never been this good at magic if I hadn't come to this place."

Spike nodded in agreement at that, a new notion entering his mind as he did so.

"Who knows? Maybe Princess Celestia herself might want to see your magic one day."

But Twilight, looking back to him, merely scoffed at that.

"I thank you for your praise, Spike, but my magic is hardly that good. Besides...the princess has never even spoken to me before, and a trick like this isn't going to catch her interest."

Spike frowned slightly, showing clear disapproval of his sister's lack of self-confidence in this matter. However, he had not the time to speak about it, as she then looked to him with an expression of interest upon her face.

"Now then...what was it that you couldn't wait to tell me about?"

Instantly, Spike's expression became one of surprise, as one who had just remembered something important. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a slightly-torn parchment and handed it to Twilight. Although confused at first, the young woman carefully took it from the drake, unfolding it to discover that it was a newspaper page, freshly-torn out of the main book. There were the usual serious political articles, like "Griffons rioting under treaty terms", as well as a few tabloid stories like "Sailors report seeing trio of beauties out at sea", but Twilight's attention was drawn to a small item in the corner of the page, underlined in black ink by Spike. The article read, "Royal guards closing in on the elusive Radiance". Raising an eyebrow, Twilight looked up to Spike, seeing the enthusiastic look on his face, which compelled her to roll her eyes somewhat.

"Oh, Spike. You're not still going on about that vigilante, are you?"

Yet again, Spike found himself frowning at his sister's words.

"Twilight, you're not the least bit interested in all of this? A masked heroine, righting the wrongs of the corrupt nobility of Canterlot? Facing down those who would take advantage of the poor and defenceless?"

At that, Twilight let out a slight giggle as she placed the parchment to one side.

"Honestly, Spike, you can be so overly-dramatic sometimes. I admit, some of the nobles of this city could stand to be taken down a peg or two. But putting on a mask and prowling around the city at night like a criminal is never going to be the right way to go about it. Besides..."

Raising a hand, she gestured to the parchment.

"...it says right here that they're closer than ever to catching her. Hero or not, she's been operating outside the law for the better part of a year now. It won't be long before this chapter in Canterlot's history is closed. So I'd try and avoid being too invested in her "heroics", as you put it."

Spike opened his mouth to reply, only to be interrupted with a sudden and unexpected knocking at the door. Turning, the two siblings gained looks of confusion as they gazed upon the wooden door. Slowly, Twilight approached it, turning the knob and opening it. When she did, her expression became one of surprise, and then one of joy. For there, standing on the other side, was a member of the royal guard, clad as ever in their bright golden armour. But this man was, to Twilight, far more important than the other rank-and-file soldiers she'd seen about the city. This one, a unicorn, stood a full head taller than her, bearing bright white fur and a distinct blue mane, and rather than seeming stern or authoritative as so many of the rest of the guard, this one smiled warmly to her.

"Good morning, Twily."

The moment those words had been uttered, the young lady rushed forward, flinging her arms around the man and hugging him tightly, far more so than she'd been doing with Spike not so long ago. And speaking of whom, the drake now leaned against the nearest wall with his arms folded, grinning widely at the sight before him, all while the older man at the door rolled his eyes before sighing and returning the hug. In time, Twilight spoke, her voice one filled with love.

"It's so good to see you, Shining!"

A smile grew on the man's face.

"And you, sister. I wish I could visit you more, but..."

As Twilight parted from him, she gave a nod of understanding.

"I know...your duties come first. I won't hold that against you. Tell me, how goes the life of the guard?"

Entering the room, Shining placed his golden helmet on the nearby desk before turning to his sister again.

"It goes well actually. Things have been pretty quiet in the city as of late. The incidents we do get are fairly minor on top of that. I actually wish we could have something serious happen, just so I can have something to do."

A giggle escaped the young lady before she replied to that.

"Be careful what you wish for, brother. I'd much rather have a quiet city than a troubled one any day of the week."

Shining chuckled somewhat and nodded, conceding her point. A silence followed the shared laughter of the siblings, and in that moment, Twilight looked to her brother, seeing something in his eye. It was only there for a moment, but she had nevertheless caught it. Hesitation? Concern? Regardless of what it was, Twilight knew that there was something going on here beyond a simply need for Shining to visit his sister, a fact made all the clearer when the older man began to seem unable to look her in the eye. But, in the end, Shining looked to her, seeing concern upon her own face now, and knew that she had figured out that he had something important to say. Knowing this, he let out a sigh before speaking up again.

"Twilight...I wish it were different...but I'm afraid I'm here on official business."

As one might expect, that caused Twilight to look far more worried than before, taking a step back from her brother.

"Wha...what do you mean? Am I in...?"

But, before she finished, Shining raised a hand, trying to alleviate her fears.

"No! No, you're not in any kind of trouble. It's just...I've been asked to escort you."

Twilight looked to her brother with confusion, as did Spike, who was the next to speak.

"Escort her? Where to?"

Shining looked to the young drake, then to Twilight, looking as if he was quite uncomfortable talking about this. But, in the end, he gave an answer.

"To...the royal palace."

Immediately, Twilight's eyes shrunk to the size of pin-points, for she knew that this summons could only mean one thing. It was a suspicion her brother then confirmed for her after nodding his head slightly.

"You've...been called to meet with the princesses."

Having now been sent into a state of near-shock, Twilight turned her head towards her little brother, Spike, who, after much thought, simply shrugged his shoulders before speaking to her.

"Well...you did always want to meet them...right?"

Next Chapter: Meeting with Royalty Estimated time remaining: 18 Minutes
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