Seeking My Purpose In The World

by The Sleepless Beholder

Chapter 1: Chapter 1: Did I Make the Right Decision?

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Celestia, sole monarch of Equestria, walked through the halls of Canterlot Castle with her pupil, Sunset Shimmer. She had called her today with the hopes of finally teaching her a lesson that had evaded the unicorn since she became her pupil.

“Sunset Shimmer, I have heard that you’re not getting along with the other students. We’ve talked about the fact that personal relationships-”

“You are right, we’ve talked about it a lot,” Sunset interrupted. “And I always tell you that I don’t need anyone else. I’m perfectly capable of achieving my goals by myself. Besides, you are the only one above me in knowledge and power. There’s no other pony that can stand equal to me, or teach me something that I don’t already know.”

Celestia looked at her with an accustomed frustration.

Sunset was indeed quite a bit above the average unicorn in terms of knowledge and power, but that didn’t make her superior. Unfortunately, nothing she said could convince her otherwise.

That’s why she hoped a stronger approach would finally pierce the unicorn’s stubbornness.

“Sunset, you need to realize that you can’t be on your own forever. I tell you time and time again about the importance of friendship and that you need to open yourself up to new relationships. And also, don’t you remember that talk we had about humility?”

“I remember how boring it was.” Sunset gave a heavy sigh. “Princess, you have been ruling by yourself for centuries and Equestria has been in harmony all that time. What makes us different? Why can you rule by yourself but Ineed to use other ponies as a crutch?”

Celestia didn’t respond, since they finally had reached her objective: a large magical mirror, one of the last remaining artifacts of Star Swirl the Bearded.

Celestia wasn’t fully aware of the full capabilities of the mirror, but she knew that one could see different versions of oneself depending on their decisions in life.

She hoped that seeing a glimpse of a future where she had embraced friendship would help Sunset take the right path forward.

“Look into this mirror and tell me what you see,” she asked with a smile.

Sunset got closer, seeing her reflection in the crystalline surface. “I see a beautiful pony full of power and potential,” She answered with a cheeky grin.

Celestia rolled her eyes. “Care to try again, this time with some of the boring humility we talked about?

Sunset looked again, a little annoyed, but suddenly her expression turned to one of worry. “I see… Crying and screaming… pain and sorrow.”

Sunset looked away, and Celestia’s frustration was replaced with concern.

Maybe this wasn’t a good idea. I have to- she thought with a bit of panic.

Sunset looked in the mirror again, face full of determination, or maybe anger?

“I see… A pony that could be great, powerful… somepony that could rule Equestria.” Suddenly, Sunset looked scared. “What is that?!”

Celestia pushed Sunset away from the mirror. “I think we better move on. I see that you are not ready for this yet.” She expected the pony to object, but the unicorn seemed to still be in shock. She never saw her like this, so she decided to get her away from the mirror before she tried to look again. “I want you to reflect on the discussion we’ve just had.”

Sunset said nothing, just nodding her head, and left for her room. Once inside, she sat against the door, trying to recollect her thoughts.

She had seen her reflection, which turned to an image of her crying and in pain, and then she saw herself achieving her dreams, ruling Equestria as the new alicorn of the sun. But the last image… it couldn’t be her.

It simply couldn’t be.

During the following weeks, Sunset became obsessed with the mirror. She would constantly ask Celestia about it, about what she saw in it, questioning where it had come from, but her mentor would always say the same thing: ‘You are not ready for it yet’.

This constant back and forth was slowly but surely digging a breach between the two, fed with anger and frustration.

And all of it would eventually lead to this very night.

Sunset approached the forbidden section of the library of the castle, its big doors closed, but poorly guarded and not even locked.

“You’d think this place would be better guarded. I guess centuries of harmony makes you forget about security,” She commented as she entered the library, seeing the large collection of books that the public was completely unaware of.

She started looking through the books, searching for clues in their titles, trying to figure out which one would contain what she was looking for.

“Infamous Cemeteries of Equestria, Crisis of Infinite Equestrias, The Observers, Evil Origins of Canterlot… Canterlot Castle: a History! This should give me something.” Sunset took the book, put it in her saddlebag, and was about to return to her room, but before she even reached the door, a thought crossed her mind.

This was a point of no return. If she got caught stealing forbidden knowledge, Celestia would undoubtedly expel her from her studies, if not banish her from Canterlot altogether.

Was this really worth losing all of her progress so far?

“No, I have to know if what I saw was real! If I really have a chance to become Equestria’s next ruler, I need to know how I did it.” Then suddenly, the final image in the mirror popped into her head.

If something could turn her into that thing, it would be the forbidden knowledge hidden in this room.

What if this is the path that leads her to that?
Sunset turned back and returned the book to the bookshelf.

“I will reach that point eventually; I just need to keep getting stronger. Celestia will teach me about the mirror once I show her just how capable I am.”

Sunset left the library and returned to her room, planning on getting a good night’s rest so she could start studying early in the morning.

Unbeknownst to her, pink, sad eyes had been watching her from the start.

After that night, Sunset demonstrated a new, more powerful drive in her studies. History, geography, mathematics, laws and economics: every lesson Celestia gave her, she absorbed voraciously, adding them to the ever-increasing pool of knowledge. In her free time, she would indulge in magical studies, learning not only new spells and facts about different magical artifacts, but also the different magical traits of the various races of Equestria.

Unicorn magic, pegasus weather manipulation and cloud walking, earth-ponies’ strength and connection with the land were common knowledge, but she discovered many new things:

Diamond dogs had a similar connection with the earth as earth ponies, which helped them move the soil with ease and make their underground tunnels.
Changeling’s shapeshifting abilities were a trait that they developed years after their appearance in Equestria. According to theories, their appearance was closely related to their self-image.
The nature of the dragons of old, who lived to be far older and more powerful than dragons today, could be aligned with many different elements other than fire. Some were as big as Canterlot Castle itself, their magic so strong it altered the terrain around them without them even trying.
Older races of griffons were not only capable of similar magic to the pegasi, but they were also bigger and able to affect the earth and the temperature of their surroundings.

Besides her studies, Sunset even gave the whole friendship thing a try like Celestia had always insisted, but she found it extremely difficult. Years of sharing her ‘particular’ personality had given her a reputation that didn’t work in her favor.

The questions about the mirror had been long forgotten, and everything seemed to have turned back to normal, but Sunset could feel a difference.

Celestia had slowly distanced herself from her, her lessons had less passion, Sunset’s achievements, once praised, were now just politely acknowledged, and even her insistence on her searching for friends had devolved into just a casual suggestion.

Did she do something wrong? Was the friendship problem bigger than she had considered? Had Celestia just gotten tired of teaching her?

All these questions plagued her mind, corroding her nerves like termites, while she waited for Celestia to come back to the castle. She had gone out to investigate an unusual magical surge in the school, so Sunset had taken the time to gather enough courage to confront her about her lessons, but she didn't seem to have enough.

“I need to keep calm,” she said to herself. “If I throw angry accusations at her she will think I’m impatient. This could all be a misunderstanding. Maybe she just ran out of things to teach me?” she laughed nervously, and almost had a heart attack when the doors banged open.

She turned around and saw Celestia walking in with a smile on her face, so she took it as a good sign and walked towards her.

“You’re back! I was wondering…” the words died in her throat when she saw a little unicorn filly walking besides the monarch. “…who is she?”

Celestia turned to the filly. “Twilight, this here is Sunset Shimmer, my pupil in magical studies.”

The purple unicorn looked at Sunset and slowly walked up to her with a smile. “I’m Twilight Sparkle!”

Sunset smiled and patted the head of the filly a little awkwardly. “You are adopting children off the streets?” she asked Celestia in a joking manner, and was glad when her mentor giggled in response.

“She has a home and parents. I just wanted you to meet her.”

“What for?”

“Twilight will be my new personal student.” Sunset felt a cold spike rise through her chest to her throat, robbing her of words.

“I hope you can help her with her magic studies just like I did with you.”

Sunset felt the spike grow inside her, a rush of emotions fighting in her brain. But she managed to remain composed and responded with a smile. “It will be a new challenge, but I will rise to it.”

“I know you are perfectly capable of it. I’m sure you will make a great teacher.”

A great teacher for my replacement.’

Sunset looked at Twilight. She looked innocent and happy: this was probably the best day of her life.

“I will warn you: I will expect nothing but the best of you.”

Twilight stood firmly and saluted, copying her brother. “I won’t disappoint you!”

Sunset managed to smile, she had no idea what was happening between her and Celestia, and she didn’t deserve to be caught in the crossfire. “We can start tomorrow, if your parents will allow it.” Twilight gave an enthusiastic nod and returned to Celestia’s side. Sunset waved at her and walked to her room, trying not to look back at Celestia.

As she closed the door to her room, Sunset bashed her desk with both hooves, splintering the wood. She wanted to do more, she wanted to tear the whole castle apart, but knew better than to make such a scene. She tried to breathe, count to ten, think of something else, but nothing could calm her rage.

All her efforts, all the knowledge she had acquired, all the power and potential she had demonstrated, only for a little filly to take her place? All her sweat and tears would only result in her ending up as a teacher?

It couldn’t be. She had to be better than that. She deserved better! The mirror had shown her…

‘The mirror,’ Sunset thought. ‘It showed me… pain and sorrow… but it also showed me as a ruler! Maybe I can still reach that destiny.’

She took off towards the library, her steps quick but she still tried to attract as little attention as possible.
She reached the closed doors, and the doubts that had previously prevented her from crossing this line came back. But this wasn’t about skipping steps in her lessons, she needed to know that she could still achieve her dreams.

She pushed the doors, but found them locked. “What? They weren’t locked before. Has there been an increase in security?”

The realization hit her like a train.

She looked around, expecting to see a guard or maybe even Celestia walking out of a corner or some shadow, but there was nothing. Still, it only meant that the eyes watching her were just well hidden.

Sunset hit her head against the door, tears close to falling from her eyes.
She had ruined everything. Celestia’s distance from her, her disappointment, the slowness in her teaching, it all made sense now.

She had failed as Celestia’s pupil, and now a new pupil would take her place, and Celestia would train her to be what she always wanted.

Sunset wiped her eyes and turned return to her room. “Maybe I can prove it to her that it was just a mistake. Maybe this ‘teacher’ thing is a test, she does tests like that sometimes. I just need to be good. A good pupil, a good teacher for Twilight, a good… friend for Twilight. Yeah, that may work.”

She held onto that little hope for years, seeing her replacement grow and achieve great feats of magic. Many of them were thanks to her help, but the unicorn had proven to be quite adept at magic, just like she was.

But what kept her hope going, was that Twilight seemed to be almost as bad at making friends as she was. She had a few ”friends” in the school, especially a unicorn named Moon Dancer, but she could see that it wasn’t the kind of friendship that Celestia was looking for, so she could still surpass Twilight.

She already had the advantage, she just needed friends. But that was easier said than done.

Sunset had already lost contact with most of her fellow students, so she tried to make friends with the castle staff or the guards, and even socializing with the nobles when the Grand Galloping Gala was hosted in the castle. However, none of these brief encounters or shallow acquaintances seemed to fit Celestia’s idea of what ”friendship” should be.
Still, she didn’t stop trying...

...until the night of the Summer Sun Celebration.

Author's Notes:

New player created!

Name: Sunset Shimmer


Strength – 52
Dexterity – 68
Constitution – 60
Intelligence – 100 maxed
Wisdom – 56
Charisma – 48

Magic Power – 100 maxed
Magic Capacity – 100 maxed
Magic Control – 66
Magic Resistance – 74
Magic Ability – 89
Magic Generation - 96

Evocation – 100 maxed
Abjuration – 100 maxed
Divination – 86
Conjuration – 78
Transmutation – 100 maxed
Illusion - 64

Next Chapter: Chapter 2: What Is My Purpose? Estimated time remaining: 10 Hours, 27 Minutes
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