Diary of a Ruler
by Lamia

Entry 1 – Purpose

I received this diary as an anonymous gift out of many offered from the denizens of Canterlot. It grabbed my attention as it seemed to stand out from the rest. Jewelry, art, and sugar delights are fine gifts, but this seemed to give me pause.

I had not considered the use of one of these in all my years. However, I find myself staring at these blank pages, unsure what to document. I am told that the best option is to simply write anything that comes to mind. Go over your day, how you dealt with everything, whatever was notable.

The problem is that very little stands out in my queendom. We have enjoyed a peace that has lasted for many centuries under my rule. I watch the ponies of the land live out their days within that peace, and it comforts me. Though, as of late, I have contemplated over the notion of peace and comfort. Is contentment all that I strive for? Can there be more that I can accomplish in my life?

I attempted to delve into the art of painting; it requires a steady concentration and much patience. As I have both, I developed and mastered my skill at painting within seventy years. My work is framed in houses and galleries across Equestria. Numerous ponies from all over auction the pieces between each other. In another hundred years, however, painting no longer gave me the satisfaction I desired. The hobby was set aside.

In time, I became interested in the study of magic. Ever since the day I was shown how to control the celestial objects, I have been curious as to its workings. Throughout my long life I have studied countless books. I have met with accomplished theorists and magicians, hearing their ideas and comparing them to my own. There are spells that I have created that I share now and again. The world of magic seems endless; there is still much to research even for me, but I simply have lost interest after over two centuries' worth of study. I may return to it, however. Time is something I do have.

Theatre was another activity that I had spent much time on. Acting for the ponies of the land became a passion, and I recall it fondly. To integrate into an identity other than a princess... It was a joy, as being royalty was all I knew. I played as heroes, villains, sidekicks, background characters, even props. However, as I was the princess of Equestria, my choice in acting could not be challenged, and many became interested in seeing only me. I felt a heavy guilt as I realized that fact with the various troupes I worked with. Soon, I abandoned the pastime as I no longer wanted to interfere.

On occasion, even now, I travel the world and see its many places and its occupants. For years at a time I will stay away from my home in Equestria, to see and live in new places. Unfortunately, eventually everything becomes a kind of monotony for me. Though, I can admit, the ponies that I meet can sometimes make my experiences a bit more interesting.

When I look upon all the ponies of the world, they all recognize me, young and old. I never recognize them... I cannot. Within the early years of my life, I connected closely with many individuals, much to my mother's protests. She let me be, however, so that I may learn...

For centuries, I tried and tried once more to discover friends and lovers. As their lives dwindled before my own extensive one, I felt cheated. Why did they deserve to have less time than I did? Why must I stay longer? Is there a further purpose to my life that I have not discovered?

Nevertheless... I swore off love for an individual, after losing so many. I do not make very many close friends after constantly losing them... Despite what the Elements of Harmony have taught me, when those ponies disappear from before my eyes, said elements lose their meaning. Even so, I do know that it lives within all of us, should we decide it. I may act on the opportunity again, someday.

I have carried on quite a bit on this first diary entry. I suppose I may be able to fill the pages after all.

Entry 4 – Peace

I find myself thinking of this diary once more. It seems to be a useful tool for projecting my thoughts and feelings away from my mind. In many years' time, I could reflect back on them, and wonder about the pony I was. Will I view things differently in twenty years? What about fifty, or even a hundred? The idea of looking back at what I wrote in a diary a hundred years from now seems fascinating. I only wished I had thought of it sooner; I would have liked to go through a diary from when I was a filly.

I suppose I should detail points of my day once more. I decided to canter through the Everfree Forest to pass the time, giving thought to my service as a ruler. Wherever I go, creatures of all shapes and sizes acknowledge my appearance, ponies included. Sometimes, I feel that even the plants bow in my presence. It always felt unnerving. I never asked for this position, one of power. It does not feel as it is my purpose, despite what my relatives and advisors have told me.

'Your destiny lies with royalty, ruling Equestria!'

I believe that one's destiny, their fate, lies within the choices they make. In the end, one makes their own future. I admit, despite not actually wanting to at the time, I conceded and made this queendom my future. I suppose even now I wonder if I am still the proper choice for this position... I am sure somepony around will remind me once again if I bring the topic to attention once more. I do wonder if any other rulers think of the same question. Am I the right one to take this charge?

Even so, I believe I have handled being a ruler to the satisfaction of the populace, at the least. I hear all over Canterlot and other locations that I have brought an era of peace and prosperity to the land. Peace is always what one strives for most in life, is it not? Comfort within themselves, among others, or upon the world they live on. It is a state of which there is harmony, freedom, and generally good nature.

I wonder about that, however; what defines all of it? What is peace to one may be prison to another. Peace is just how I said it. It is a state, a state of control. Can there be peace within a community without barriers to restrict those who would disrupt it?

Is it peace when you are forced to succumb to it by law, living your daily life whether knowing or not that you have no real control? Or when there are no restrictions, can there be a trust between its many participants to act accordingly by a set of arbitrary rules? What about within oneself? Can I truly be at peace if I detached myself from the world entirely? How would I know what peace was?

Inner peace is the hardest object to obtain. Even now I find myself at a crossroads, despite how many perceive me. Such feelings are irksome, plaguing my mind from time to time. I believe the only reason that my lands are a wonderful place to live is due to my detachment from them. I cannot feel at peace if somepony I was very close to lived in a life of poverty, suffering daily. Countless ponies do, but whether by a sequence of unfortunate events, or that they deserve it, it is not my duty to save everypony from themselves.

While I may provide a peace and tranquility to those around me, I distance myself from the ponies of the world so that I may not get attached and do them or myself harm. It is necessary for a princess like me.

Entry 21 – Simplicity

Today, the Grand Galloping Gala was upon Canterlot once more. I went through the usual routine. I greeted nobles, artisans, painters of all kinds. They were all delighted to be in my presence. I must confess, however; I do not enjoy the Gala. The majority of my time is spent welcoming the high society, after which is sitting quietly at the feast, listening to the ramblings of those with little empathy.

On occasion there will be a blunder; somepony stumbling, tripping, falling. The pony doing so laughs, and so do the rest. I smile, but with a quick passing over. The others make it the talk of the night. It had such little meaning... At times, I envy that they can be so simple.

I wonder about my complex thought processes. I look at the average individual; they have little to no worries. One wakes in their bed and make plans a day at a time. They go to their work that they enjoy through the day, coming home and resting after a job well done. A delicious meal is shared between the family of that household. No matter what the age, the social status, the wealth, a family is truly what harmony is. It saddens me that I am unable to experience such a thing, now; the pain has been too great in my attempts.

Perhaps all of the pain has had meaning. It taught me about myself, made me think in different ways. The ones I have lost... they and their memories now live with me. I wonder about my fixation on the ponies in the past that have become close to me. Why I continue to try and make friends every few years, despite knowing what happens, is beyond me. I suppose it is something that everypony needs, friendship. I remember every single friend, every relationship, in perfect detail. They touched my heart each time, only to let go so soon after we meet.

When I look upon the simple ponies within the queendom, I grow envious. I want to be able to enjoy entertainment without criticism. I want to laugh when somepony tells a joke not tailored to my taste. I want to be disgusted when somepony does something intolerable to society; even to the most heinous criminal, I can see from their point of view. Am I cursed to have these thought processes, to rarely find enjoyment or emotion in what I see every day?

I want ignorance. The amount of it fluctuates from one to another, but it is ever-apparent. It is a plague of society that vastly affects one's judgement, opinions, and actions. However, ignorance, or possibly innocence, can lead to a happier, more content life. I can know no such luxury, and it bothers me.

Entry 42 – Existence

'I think, therefore I am.'

A philosopher coined this phrase during a luncheon today. I do enjoy the occasional exploration of our existence, why all of us are here. He explained that if you are conscious of yourself, you exist.

I gave it some thought. How would I know I exist? Am I the only one that can be convinced that I, or even the world around me exists? How can anypony know? The possibility of us or everything else not existing can be a tiresome exercise on my mind, but even so, somehow I enjoy it.

Perhaps the ponies in my castle do not exist, or all of Canterlot. The entirety of Equestria, no, the world and the universe of all that I know could be an illusion. We may all be a dream, a constructed piece of fiction. What if everything I knew and saw was a hallucination, a fake image, given to me by some unknown power? All that I can see, what I perceive, is all that I could possibly believe in, and I am sure most ponies would agree.

What if we had no eyesight, or hearing, or touch? What if we had no senses at all, yet had a kind of conscience? How would we know we exist, with nothing to guide us? How would we know that the world exists around us, if there even is a world? We may as well be dead, but even then, such a preconception is still up for debate.

It disturbs me slightly that all life in the existence I know could be as fragile and manipulated as a lit candle in the breeze, including myself. There is little that can be done about existential theories, however. Despite anything that we may be able to learn about its construction or purpose, I doubt that anypony would be able to truly understand it.

I personally find it amusing, the idea that we could all be a fictional vision within the mind of one or more individuals. I have wondered if there is an existence out there where Daring Do is a real pony, despite being created by the author of the novels. An omnipotent being directing our every move, giving us our every thought, creating a personality that we cannot truly call our own. I wonder how they create and interpret our personalities? Though, who is to say somepony's personality is the same from one opinion to another? What makes one interpretation of us different from the next? The amalgamated perception created from the years of life that somepony has lived, of course. I am sure no two ponies see Daring the exact same way.

I can see the moon very clearly tonight. It covers the grounds outside my window with its light, illuminating the land with an opalescence. Sometimes... I regret what happened to my sister. The beauty of the night was never in question. She let all of her emotions control her. Every time I see the moon, even after all of these years, my heart is heavy over the decision I made. When her imprisonment ends, I hope to be there for her.

Entry 71 – Religion

I attended a funeral today, in respect for the death of a widely-known leader of a city in Equestria. The stallion was quite religious, and he had many followers. Many ponies from lands all around came to give prayers and good tidings to him for the wonderful afterlife that they believed he went to.

One matter that bothers me is that during most any funeral, everypony is very sad and disappointed. I can see their thoughts... Why did they have to die? Why did they leave me? How could this happen to her? I know all too well due to my own experience... I understand feeling sad, but I do not understand their reasonings. I relish the joyous memories I had with my passed friends and close ones, and hoped they had enjoyed their time on this world while they lived. I say that now, but for a time afterward, I realize that I, too, become overwhelmed with grief.

Just about any religion there is involves a kind of afterlife where you are led to a much better place, but these ponies seem to be in despair about that fact. Why should they be? Is the afterlife not better than ours that we live in? I came upon the distinct possibility that they must be envious; it may be selfish desire in that they wanted more time with that pony for themselves. Or, deep down inside they do not believe that the deceased went to a better place at all, perhaps nowhere.

Religion is, of course, one of the most infamous subjects of debate among the masses, if you could call it that. To me, I do not believe that any kind of religion is debatable outside of their own religious circles. The main issue is that ponies prefer to interpret their teachings to benefit only themselves and their learned ideals. In doing so, they may only be condemning themselves as a result.

These kinds of mindsets cause wars, societal separation, and most importantly, corruption of the religion itself. All is the result of one's selfishness to press their beliefs and standards onto others. There is much malevolence related to such goals and viewpoints in our lives in general. It is for this reason why most ponies are taken aback by random acts of kindness, and in my opinion, that is not a good state to be in.

As for a god, a creator's existence... I am truly uncertain that there is one. There is much to be said about the lack of solid evidence for such claims. However, I also do not know that there is not one. To me, all of it is faith and belief. Nopony can know for sure.

While I am, I believe the term is agnostic, always open to being part of a religion, I have yet to be converted. Although, I do not believe that religion is a wasteful exercise. I find it invigorating the amount of faith some ponies possess. It warms my heart at times the lengths that ponies go to for letting it affect their lives, and the lives of others, in so many positive ways. In fact, I believe that the possibility of a creator or creators existing is profoundly exciting!

It makes one wonder what that one or multiple creators' purpose was for creating us, or even the universe around us. We will never know for certain, I suppose. At least, not until we discover something essential, or die. That is, if we have an existence after death; not that I have to worry about it.

Entry 72 – Afterlife

I find myself thinking about spirituality again, so soon after putting down my thoughts on religion. It certainly is an interesting topic to give speculation towards. Unfortunate that with my mind I shall never be able to participate in such things. Again, I feel disconcerted and envious over that fact.

I have been giving some thought towards the idea of a 'heaven'. That is, in the context of the afterlife, the place one goes with faith in a deity or deities and their teachings. It is said that one may find eternal bliss there, if it exists. A blissful, immortal existence as a gleeful soul in a place beyond comprehension... It is what most everypony strives for, is it not? Having everything that I could ever want certainly sounds wonderful... At first.

These souls, in that afterlife. They would simply end up all the same. Follow your lords without question, acknowledge them and share their ideals to any who would listen. No doing this or that, or you will suffer; perhaps eternally. Threatening, is it not? No, not at all.

A major issue arises as I think on it. Is ultimate bliss truly what I desire most in life? Everything in the afterlife is said to be perfect, even the souls whom reside within. They have no flaws, no errors. There are no misconceptions, no wrong. I could have anything I wanted, no questions asked, as a reward for following the deity or deities' law on the mortal plane.

However, what can be gained when I have everything I ever wanted, when there is no challenge? There would be no strife, no journeys, no growth, as there is no place to go after I get there. What happens is that I become empty. I eat the fruit from the forbidden tree, as it were. It is of my opinion that there is no greater force in the universe than the curse of the pursuit of knowledge and self-growth.

Additionally, what gives the right to those who maintain the plane of the afterlife to judge those who do not affect them in any way? One could live their entire life knowing only what they were taught, and such teachings could be wrong in the eyes of the judges, condemning the soul to suffer. Is it still right for them to pass judgement on an individual for ignorance? I am sure some zealous types would say that they should have been taught anyway.

As much as I feel guilty to admit the act, I have looked closely upon my subjects and judged them on a personal level. Rather than watch the perfect pony in grace, skill, and speech whittle their days with an empty shell... I observe the ones who are notably, visibly flawed. With the right spell and concentration, I can see anything and anypony through the window of my study, even into their minds.

The nature of ponies... I look at them as they commit heinous acts. I can feel their emotions of hate, of passion, of want. I observe them as they bring out all of their feelings freely without being bound to a deity's will. They walk about day by day, not shackled by promises of wonder and perfection; sometimes they are even aware of the possibility, but choose otherwise. They eat, drink, and be merry. They are truly what it means to be alive.

Entry 114 – Connection

Once more, I feel a sense of longing within me. For many years I have been alone. I desire companionship, but whenever I think of such things, I am only reminded of the suffering that comes at the end. Is the time I spend with loved ones or friends worth the suffering later? My long lifespan makes it difficult to connect with anypony.

I often think back to my mother. She told Luna and I early on that we would live for a long time. We did not understand then, of course. Mother also mentioned that we were the first to come as a pair. I still do not quite understand that statement even now, however. With time, as she has told us, we will come to understand everything, I am sure.

Mother said it was inadvisable to become close to the ponies of the world. Keep distance. We did not listen, of course... I believe she likely predicted it anyway, though let us be free. Did she use reverse psychology, as is typical of parents? It would not be unexpected. Somehow, though, I do think she wanted us to. Making a difference in the lives of our world is a wonderful experience, no matter how short the duration.

Am I making enough of a difference in this world? There are many times when I stop and look at Equestria to see the effect I have had. I have always promoted peace and harmony between everypony in the land. Even so, there are those that disrupt it, whom are dealt with swiftly. My reign has been considered a great privilege to be under. I would not know, of course, seeing as I am the ruler. Someday, however, I shall live amongst the populace anonymously, to see everything from their point of view. It would be an important exercise, but I am unsure how to go about such things.

Perhaps I honestly should consider connecting, getting close to ponies again... Something to give my life meaning. It will brighten my life for several years, even though the pain of losing them will last forever. It will give me some emotion, some feeling and tenderness. Something to make me realize that I am not simply an empty shell of a pony. At the very least, it will give me something to do.

I recently counted the number of entries I have made for my diaries. Over a hundred. Fairly soon I will need a new diary again. Despite that I hear that most ponies write in theirs several times a week, I find myself at a loss to do so. Most of the time, I can only think of something to write once, perhaps twice a year. My uneventful and repetitive life has very little interest to offer even myself.

Even so, I find myself continuing to write. I wonder how long I will be able to keep up in writing these diary entries? I imagine it will not be very long until I kick this habit just like the rest...

Entry 138 – Student

Today, something interesting happened for once. I was out visiting local art galleries as I do every five years or so to check on new works, when I saw a magical rainbow-colored shockwave in the sky. I have not seen one of those in centuries... It could only be caused by the act of a sonic rainboom. I have managed to be able to do the same in my spare time, back when I was a boisterous filly. I smiled and looked on with the rest of the crowd who stared in awe. It was quite a beautiful sight. I wonder who could have accomplished such a feat?

Not a minute later, there was a large crash; I looked up at one of the nearby buildings and saw what had happened. The head of an oversized baby dragon crashed through the roof of the magic academy. I dashed over to the school and went inside.

It was a young filly whose magic was cascading out of control. I could already sense that there were two ponies transformed into plants on the far side of the room, and the instructors on the left were trapped in a levitation bubble. I recognized her after a moment. It was Twilight Sparkle, the newest applicant to the magical institute that I directly sponsor; I remember seeing her picture in the application. I never imagined she would have this much natural magic power.

When I set my hoof on her to give her calm, she looked back at me, eyes ablaze with energy. That time... When she looked back at me, I felt something familiar that I had not in quite some time. The way she looked at me gave me a sense of soothing that made me smile. Perhaps it was because that I have not been so close to a filly for ages... The look of innocence in their faces brings me an unexplainable joy.

She calmed down completely and her sustained magic spells cancelled themselves. I was quite impressed with the amount of untapped potential she possessed. Not very many unicorns have so much magic, even in their prime years. I believe she had the ability to learn more, unlocking her magical talents. What was important, however, is how well she controls and uses it. I made an offer out of the blue, which seemed to surprise everypony in the classroom, including myself: To make her my personal magical student, and teach her myself.

When I mentioned this to my advisors in the palace earlier, they seemed even more shocked than Twilight Sparkle was. They questioned why I would do such a thing when I have more pressing matters to attend to, that I did not have time to deal with a student. I corrected them harshly, to which I apologized afterward. I have all the time in the world, and that as princess, I decided what is important: It is the opportunity to teach a student that I believe has great potential.

Entry 141 – Fillyhood

Twilight Sparkle's first session with me was today. I could see the nervousness in her face as she stepped up to me to say hello. I am always reminded that everypony was always uncomfortable around me. I certainly hope she will warm up to my presence as we work together.

We spent the day introducing each other and simply talking. Instruction can come when I have a better idea of how to teach her; hence, getting to know her first is the best route to take for now. She told me she was inspired to study magic when she watched me raise the sun. The notion gave me a sense of pride. It is wonderful to know that I can still influence and inspire ponies all around.

Since then, Twilight Sparkle delved deeply into books for quite a while, studying magic day and night. She seemed to be very serious about learning it all, exclaiming that she wants to be just like me. Her innocence was quite endearing. I smiled at her which seemed to make her happier. I worry, though. A pony cannot learn by merely looking at books. I mentioned this to her, and she looked confused as she asked how else she was supposed to learn spells. I chuckled back and said that I will show her as time goes on.

As our time ran out and her parents came to escort her back home, she waved to me and said goodbye. I waved back happily as the parents bowed before leaving. I could hear her hopping and chattering cheerfully to her loved ones about me all the way down the empty hallway.

Children really are a blessing. To show them the world, letting them learn and unleash their potential, it always gave me such joy. I have taken many students on in my time as princess; this pony was no different. So full of energy and questions, with a mind ready to fill with knowledge.

They always bring me back to when I was just a filly. Mother was so powerful, so graceful, so wonderful. We wanted to be just like her. My sister and I, we studied the world, innocence fresh in our values. We were like any other children. We played, we learned, we found our likes and dislikes. Mother taught us closely with love and compassion, but also strictness when it was necessary. I am certain that she, too, enjoyed students during her reign. She did mention that Luna and I made her hooves full when we came, and did not take any more students. We always asked her with guilt if she regretted not having any more students, but each time she reminded us that we were more important and loved than any student that she could have.

I miss her. I wonder if I will see her again.

Entry 149 – Baggage

I spent most of the day with Twilight Sparkle, as she told me that her parents' anniversary was today, and she wanted to let them be alone. I gladly made an agreement with them to take care of her as they went off and enjoyed themselves. Miss Sparkle, of course, was overjoyed to spend the day with me, to learn more from her teacher. I wonder if she saw the anniversary as a convenient excuse to visit with me. I cannot help but chuckle at the possibility.

Unfortunately, much of today was occupied with Canterlot business. Many errands to run for the castle and ponies to see for meetings. I explained this to her, but she did not seem to mind; she was excited to come along. I suppose she wanted to see what it was like in the daily life of the princess of Equestria. To amuse her, I knelt down and let her hop onto my back before we went. The look on her face as I did so seemed... It filled me with a slight sense of happiness. I had not felt something like that since...

I went to a meeting about expanding the territory of Equestria, the subject of which was a debate over annexing the nearest towns at the edge of our borders. I felt the condescending eyes of the politicians as I took my seat; Miss Sparkle being on my back was quite an oddity, of course. It did not matter to me what they thought, however.

The meeting itself was over quickly; I could never approve of such a course. I felt irritated at my Canterlot subordinates. Why would they attempt to do such a thing right under me? Do they believe I do not keep watch on everything? When they believed I was out of earshot, one of them mentioned that they should not have invited me. The nerve.

How could this have happened? I have always been one for peace and tranquility... but I suppose even in the brightest shining light lies a speck of dust to blacken it ever so slightly. As I looked down at the meeting table absent-mindedly in thought, Miss Sparkle nudged my side and chimed in her own.

"Princess Celestia, I think you should get rid of them!" is what she said. I looked back at her and smiled. Perhaps it was that simple, if our goals were so different. I need not think so hard. With little Miss Sparkle around, I should not miss any more simplicities. I wonder why it is that I do not realize such things.

The rest of the day involved approving smaller decisions such as construction and school-related issues, along with hearing the requests of a certain number of individuals as is usual this day each week. I kept Miss Sparkle on my back; this time, she was rather surprised when I made a great leap into the sky, spreading my wings to a glide. The window to my study was open. I squeezed through, landing softly on the carpet inside. My student was shaking considerably, gripping my neck in fear for her life. I let her down with a smile, after which she calmed down.

She stayed with me throughout the day, mostly quiet but asked me questions when I had a free moment. It felt nice to teach her about these matters, which she seemed to enjoy learning for learning's sake. This little filly will be quite the knowledgeable one, I am sure. She did receive some odd looks from passersby as she stayed by my side, but she did not seem to take much notice. Nopony said anything either, as they were likely fearful of possibly challenging my authority of having her there in the first place.

As it was nearly time for me to raise the moon, Miss Sparkle's parents came to the castle to take her home. She moaned a word of disapproval, but conceded. Did she really enjoy spending time with me that much? In any case, she ran to me and hugged my foreleg tightly, nuzzling her cheek up to my chest. It was a rare occasion and quite a gift to me that I am ever taken by surprise, but I smiled and rubbed her back for just a moment with my other hoof. In what seemed like a split second, she let go, trotting back to her parents. My student looked back at me one more time with a cheerful wave as she left.

She went out of sight, and I felt a twinge of sorrow.

I am... becoming attached.

Entry 158 – Freedom

Twilight Sparkle and I travelled to the Everfree Forest together today. I wanted to get her away from the bustle of the city and its demanding tasks; I also left my various adornments at home, to help me focus on the important lesson I had in mind. Even though there were errands to run for Canterlot that needed to be completed, I did not tell her so she would not worry or blame herself. I sincerely enjoy her company, and it is worth taking a break from being a princess to spend personal time with my student. Twilight has grown so quickly. It has only been three or so years – nearly the blink of an eye to me...

I explained to her that magic is all around us, if one only stops to look. The way the trees grow from a simple seedling to towering over the land. Animals that make their place in the world by adapting. Plants which glow with their own light. Weather that operates without the guidance of the pegasus ponies. I knew she had not stopped to consider the world around her, her little nose being in the books so often.

On a similar note, I taught her that both pegasus and earth ponies have their own magical abilities, as well. She seemed surprised at that notion, knowing only of unicorn magic, but I responded by reminding her only pegasus ponies could interact with clouds normally. I continued, telling her earth ponies have magic as well to help direct and connect with the plants and animals of the world and more. Although, most do not realize that they have it, or even use it.

There was a large opening in the trees above some soft grass where one could see the sky and its clouds. The late afternoon sun shined beautifully in the clearing, and I laid down on my back in the grass and gazed upward. Twilight looked surprised that I could get down in the dirt. I invited her to lay next to me, which she hesitated to do, but did so after a moment. She fidgeted some in the grass, and I told her to relax with deep breaths. I needed her to simply clear her mind and watch nature unfold.

We watched the clouds above the forest move on their own, forming their own shapes and sizes without pegasus pony intervention. The way the sun shined on them gave them a quality not unlike metallic fluffs of cotton. Twilight also pointed out that some of the clouds seemed to look like animals or everyday things. Rabbit, fox, quill, book, unicorn. I had silently cast a spell to adjust a cloud above to look a bit like her. I wonder if she noticed it?

Eventually, the clouds began to thicken and darken, and the wind picked up. Droplets of rain began to fall into our clearing, dampening our coats. Twilight suggested that we leave due to the rain, but I asked her if she really wanted to go. It took her a moment, but she realized that I wanted her to stay and watch the storm with me.

The frequency of the drops of water quickly increased and thickened, until only the tranquil sound of millions of raindrops falling onto plants could be heard. The storm washed over us, but we did not move, only observing what a true nature's rain was. Thunderbolts began crashing down which spooked Twilight, causing her to move closer to me for protection. I told her there was no need to fear, and she relaxed.

I turned my head to the side and saw her wet face as she looked up with curiosity at the dark clouds above. The opportunity to spend time like this with somepony I care for was a blessing. No responsibilities, no worries, no obligations... Simply enjoying how things are meant to be. I wondered what went through Twilight's mind as she stared upward. I recall noticing that our soaked fur was practically sticking together at that point, but she did not seem to either notice nor mind.

Eventually, the rain slowed and the clouds began to part, the sun shining through them not unlike it does through the trees. I remember the smile of fascination she displayed at the beautiful sight not created by pegasus ponies. It filled me with a joy to see her that way.

As we left the forest cold and dripping wet, Twilight seemed to be thinking quite a bit. Normally she was not so silent. I spoke up and asked her if she learned anything today. To my happiness, she replied that she thought she did. I could not help but smile with pride.

I assumed the position for her to get on my back so that I could fly her home during the sunset, drying ourselves in the sun's warmth and the rushing air. She has been getting better about flying, lately. I happily left her at the doorstep of her and her parents' home, although I heard her sneeze as she walked inside. I suppose it is my fault she has a cold, now.

As I write in my diary this day, I realize that being in the Everfree Forest with Twilight was a liberating experience for me. Just as well, going without my jewelry wear gave me a sense of freedom I had not experienced in a very, very long time. Being with my student in a quiet place without a care in the world... The time I spent today with her made me feel... content. A feeling I rarely experience, and I worry about it.

My door is being knocked on incessantly. I suppose I will tend to my shouting advisors.

Entry 167 – Attraction

Lately, I have been poring over a powerful psychological dilemma; the meanings behind attraction, the instinct of one individual to seek solace with another. The main reason I have been bothered by this is that attraction is an instinct, and it is difficult to deny such needs through will alone. I have fallen into this logical pit.

The more I think on it, the more frustrated I feel. There are many reasons why I should not pursue such trivialities. A princess has to run her country, the emotional attachments may affect my duties. My lifespan is beyond any, and I would have to live with the memories for the rest of my life; I already do. Each time, they live and pass on within such a short period, and I am left alone. There is nopony that can understand.

I have found myself attracted to another... I suppose it is normal to have such feelings now and then, but why do they come about, despite all odds to prevent them? Could it be a personal, driving need to simply have somepony? Am I truly so lonely that I desire not to be? Instinct is something that came to mind as before; an ancient instinct of all creatures to seek another.

I think about them daily, even when I do not see them. Already the thoughts take over my mind and distract me during my duties. However, I do not feel at all guilty over doing so. The thought of them drives me, inspires me, and fills a hole within my heart. Should I let these thoughts continue to swim through my mind, giving me a temporary hope? Or do I let go, and proceed with my usual routine? I do not know if my routine is enough for the rest of my life.

My head aches with it all. To attempt a relationship, and if accepted, at least fifty years of happiness; perhaps, just as many of pain afterward. However, I realized something major... Being together with somepony is not just about me. I have to think about them, as well. For the rest of their life, they would know that I would love them, and after death, never forget them for as long as I exist. That may very well be a long time. Am I able to withstand the after-effect once more for telling my special somepony how I felt about them, providing them solace for the rest of their existence and beyond?

I certainly have never forgotten anypony that I have been with, and I miss them all. Is it wrong to violate an oath of faithfulness to one after their death? No, I remember... Everypony I have been close to told me in their later years that with my long life, I should never be alone. Perhaps I should listen to them... and pursue love once more.

I feel quite foolish at the moment; every time I begin feeling attracted to another pony, I go through all of the same thoughts. The cycle of frustration is neverending, but I suppose there is very little I can do about the matter... It is instinct, and such will to deny it is far beyond my own mental grasp, and likely anypony else's.

I have been reading through my most recent diary entries to see how my feelings have progressed. I cannot help but notice that since meeting them, my entries involving them seem to become increasingly frequent and detailed. I just wish it would not always be the same...

It is something I do not enjoy admitting, but... Anypony that knew me and would be alive long enough would realize that I have become closely attached and attracted to each one of my personal students.

Entry 173 – Luna

Luna has finally been released from the seal within the moon. She is just as beautiful as I remember. If I recall correctly, the spell to seal her was a kind of specialized stasis. Her body did not age; my sister still looks the same as she did when she gave in to her alter ego of bitterness, but she has been aware of how much time has passed.

What an interesting day it was yesterday... Twilight sent me a message about a legend-type of story of Luna returning to cause terror after one-thousand years of imprisonment. I am not so sure it has actually been that long; history can be poorly translated after so much time. Either way, I felt proud of my student for being so knowledgeable. There was nothing to worry about, however, or so I assumed.

Just in case events did not pan out so well, I needed Twilight to find the old magical artifacts, the Elements of Harmony, as I prepared for her return. They should be able to eliminate the vileness inside my sister. However, she could not possibly utilize them by herself with her current level of magic, nor with the lack of knowledge on how to realize the emotions of the pieces. I wrote her back a playful letter for her to make some friends, so that she could learn what true harmony was.

As I was going to be visiting Ponyville, I sent her there so that I could meet her as well, and if possible, assist her. Of course, I knew that with her personality, Twilight would most likely keep trying to convince me of the dangers. It is unfortunate that she was correct.

I was going to greet Luna when she returned, and ask for mutual forgiveness. As the seal's time elapsed, I was taken by surprise by Luna's inner demon, and sealed within the sun. The containment was a bit weak, however, and I was able to easily break it after a short time.

As I had done so, I teleported to where I sensed Luna's presence, at the old ruins in the forest. She was back to her old self again, and Twilight and her new friends were wearing jewelry incarnations of the Elements of Harmony. I felt happy that my student was finally able to make some true friends; I cannot imagine what they have gone through for them to bond so closely.

Twilight seemed to want to stay in Ponyville as a result. I felt a bit disheartened, but I did not show it. For her to learn more about the magic of friendship was a gift in itself, and I was happy to help her on her way. I was reminded of its power when I saw those six, having purified my sister's malevolent spirit. It gave me a feeling of intense pride to see her having grown so much from the innocent little filly I knew. I felt rather sad as well, that she really was growing up. To alleviate some of my worries, I asked her to send me a letter as often as possible about what she learns about friendship, to which she agreed. The magic of friendship constituted values that were important to any and every pony.

Luna and I quickly made up, and she accompanied me back to the castle. I introduced her to all of those that work within the castle, and they welcomed her generously. They assisted me in showing her the changes since her joint reign with me all those years ago. She was quite happy, and her smile made me happy in return. It was wonderful to have her back again. I missed her, and she missed me.

Her smaller size compared to me gave many the impression that she was my little sister, but it was simply the seal having done that; we are the same age. Even so, many continue to assume it, much to her annoyance. Though, it does amuse me when she becomes irritated at being called a little sister by a third party. I am reminded she still seems to be unaware of the volume of her voice.

I admit that she does seem to be much like one, however. Luna had many questions to ask after being away so long, and it was much like teaching a new student. I spent all night after she came back and all day today to help her, and I believe that within a year, Luna will be reintegrated. At the moment, she has not recovered enough magical skill to control the moon, due to the long imprisonment. She will be back to normal fairly soon, I gather.

I find myself thinking of Twilight again. Wanting to stay in Ponyville meant that she would be away from me, along with our personal sessions together. Was it selfish that I wanted her to stay in Canterlot? I suppose it was, for the reason in particular. She has her own close friends now, and I should be happy for her, but... I am at a dilemma. Regardless, I hope she will at least visit from time to time...

Luna came in just now, sensing my conflicting emotions. She wants to spend her first free night sleeping with me to feel a sense of closeness again, as when we were only decades old. I smiled at her and decided to oblige; there is no doubt her time at the moon has been lonely all of these years. I know she is trying to cheer me up, so I will try and keep my mind from wandering.

Luna is my only family. I feel overjoyed at her return, like I have reunited with my missing half.

Entry 179 – Routine

The Grand Galloping Gala has once again passed today. This time, I was actually looking forward to it; Twilight mentioned in a letter that she was hoping to visit with me for the duration. I hoped to catch her interest on recent happenings and research that she may have missed out on... and simply talk, of course.

Preparations were typical. The arrival of the standard performers, the usual feast, visiting with the higher-classed and respected ponies that came to the castle early. It was even more repetitive this gala than the last. Perhaps it was merely my perception influenced by anticipation.

I observed dancers, singers, and musicians carry out last-minute rehearsals this afternoon at one of the concert halls. They were by no means unskilled, but they did not attract my attention. Everything seemed so... static. This celebration truly was no different from the last. It bothered me that I could not enjoy this event any longer. It did not help that my day-to-day life as a princess was essentially the same, as well.

I recall Luna approached and informed me that she was not interested in the gala, having more important matters to contend with. She did not explain what they were, but even so, her presence was not necessary whether or not she wanted to participate. I was rather envious of her position on the matter. To be honest, I was hoping that she would spend some time with me today; though I can understand if she still felt mildly bitter about what I did to her. I believe I deserve some estrangement from my sister.

Eventually, night fell, and the festivities had begun. Ponies from every place imaginable came to Canterlot this year, as with every year. Well-dressed, well-mannered, well-spoken, all of them were the same. Nopony stood out. Do they not tire of being that way? I suppose it seems rather hypocritical of me to comment. I do not believe I have changed considerably over the centuries, myself.

I was then relieved after at least an hour had passed; Twilight appeared at the door, instantly lifting my spirits. She galloped towards me and up the stairs, and I gave her outfit a once-over as she came closer. It was a most beautiful dress that truly brought out her inner passion and personality, and most of all, her eyes... She seemed overjoyed to see and speak with me, and I let her know that I wanted to be with her for the rest of the night. My student gave me a reason to enjoy the gala, for once.

Unfortunately, we had very little time to converse. More and more well-known ponies appeared so that they could greet me, even though I did not want to spend all of the night doing this again. I asked Twilight if we should simply find someplace else to be, though she insisted that it was important to greet them; however, I could see the disappointment in her eyes that we could not make much time together. I supposed that there was always time outside of the gala, but I felt no joy to more or less set her aside.

I wanted so very much to have an opportunity to talk with her privately, to let her know about recent events and to chat about magic again. There was also... I still have never told her that... Told her the truth about how I believe I am feeling. I must act quickly, before I miss my chance. Though, it must be delivered properly. Consideration for the confession must be taken seriously, but making it into a big matter seems a bit unnecessary. I should just come out with it... I shook the frustrating thoughts out of my head.

As I continued with a forced smile to greet the visiting ponies, there were loud crashes and some rumbling coming from the direction of the dining hall. Twilight and I dashed down the corridors to the door and opened it, getting a view of the destruction. Everypony was looking at Twilight's friends; they must have been responsible.

My student noted that it could not get worse. Almost on cue, a stampede of the garden animals burst through the outside door, Twilight's normally soft-spoken friend Fluttershy coming in a moment after and yelling at the top of her lungs. I had no idea she was able to do that. As the animals ran amok and made the mess in the place even worse, I decided it would be a good idea for Twilight and her friends to leave. I leaned down and whispered for her to run; I chuckled to myself afterward at that, watching them gallop away.

I stayed to check the damage, quickly fixing the pillars and the artistic statue with a simple spell, along with guiding the creatures back to the garden. Everypony still here was quite disgruntled, wondering who could have invited such ruffians to this wonderful celebration. If I did not have an image to keep, I would have burst out laughing at the constant comments. I kept my head, however, holding back until I am alone, such as now.

After everything had been taken care of, I decided to look for Twilight. Asking around, I was told they were seen fleeing to the nearby donut bar, so I followed. Entering quietly, I heard them talk about their horrible experience at one of the booths; I then announced my presence to let them know how I thought otherwise about it.

They all seemed quite confused, but they would not understand very well to begin with. Every gala is the same: no variation, no unique qualities, nothing I could say was special. Twilight and her friends made it so, for me. Their little exploits no doubt will cause much talk, and when everypony finds out it was I who invited them, there will be even more unrest. Even now, I find myself giggling slightly. It truly was the best gala I had ever attended.

Sometimes, I believe we need a little chaos in our lives to make things a bit more interesting.

Twilight is with me in my private study as I write, the two of us finally getting the personal time we both desired. I mentioned to her that a diary should be kept by anypony, even a princess. I certainly enjoy the nostalgia when looking back on my life. Hopefully, I have convinced her to keep her own.

Entry 186 – Chaos

Today was... quite different than the norm. Earlier in the morning hours, I felt a great disturbance coming from the courtyard. It was a familiar feeling, one of anxiety and foreboding. I excused myself from the meeting I was in, galloping down the halls to the outside. I was not sure what to expect as I trotted around the garden.

Eventually, I passed Discord's statue. At least, I thought I had. His statue was gone from its pedestal. It was as I feared; Discord's seal must have weakened from this period of disharmony my queendom has gone through as of late. I instinctively looked around the garden. No doubt he was watching me even then. I called out to him.

He answered and appeared before me, animated and quite ecstatic. The spirit of chaos told me that he was delighted to finally get to an itch that was bothering him for several years. I remember holding back the slightest of smiles as I heard that. It was a well-placed joke in its own right.

Discord let me know that he was going to play with the denizens of Equestria again as he did so long ago, back before Luna and I first sealed him. He taunted me to try and seal him again using the same method with her as before, which he now knew how to defend against. However, I knew I had a different way. Twilight and her friends, all of whom embody the Elements of Harmony perfectly. I knew that they would be able to stop him, and he would not have had time to prepare a countermeasure.

He left as quickly as he came. I walked back into the castle casually, not wanting to make a panic, thinking to myself that I needed to contact my dear student and her friends. I wrote a letter to Twilight, summoning her and her friends to the castle so that I might teach them about him. I awaited their arrival anxiously at the lobby, pacing back and forth to think of how I would explain everything.

They arrived, and I began to inform them about our past, taking them through the hall of history. I needed them to take the charge of stopping Discord themselves, as Luna and I were not completely harmonized just yet, unable to stop him on our own without the magical artifacts. They found new owners, regardless; Twilight and her friends were now their wielders. While the excitable pink pony seemed to want to find reasons to keep Discord around, my student came to me and accepted. I felt proud that she was brave enough to stand up and take the responsibility... There was no way for them to be prepared for what they were up against. Even so, I needed to have faith in them.

Unfortunately, the Elements of Harmony were missing. The chest could only be revealed by my own magic, having taken thorough measures to protect it. That meant... Discord had stolen them, no doubt. He made his appearance and began taunting once more.

As I told him off, he commented that I was still just as grim as he remembered, quite boring. It was rather... insulting? I was not sure what to feel about it. Have I not changed through all of these years? I have grown since we last met, but I knew it struck a nerve, as it pains me to admit. I do wonder now if anypony else thinks the same, but unlike Discord, is afraid to speak up. I left Twilight to go after him, giving her my blessing, hoping to myself that nothing happens to her...

Discord was quite a powerful entity, but he does not act without purpose. There was a reason that he mentioned he knew Twilight and her friends, along with the Element of Harmony they were linked with. I realized he could very well use the elements of polar opposites against them. Greed, wrath, pride, envy, et cetera... When it came down to it, I needed to remind them what it meant to have friendship within themselves. I galloped up to my study and opened the safe containing Twilight's letters to me, preparing to send them back through Spike.

After I sent them all, all there was to do now was wait. I walked to the window and looked outside at the chaos that was ensuing. Day became night became day in seconds. He even taunted us with his control over everything, including the cosmic objects. I wonder just how powerful he truly was? He certainly was more powerful than Luna and I put together, so how could he become imprisoned that one time? I suppose he was simply caught by surprise by a magic he had not considered. Could it work again, from a different source? At the time, I wondered if Discord would be forever free.

As I watched time pass outside, or at least believed so, I saw a blinding light come from the direction of Ponyville. I leaned out of my window to get a better view, and saw an enormous rainbow encroach upon the village; it then formed a bubble around the entire area, creating another powerful flash. When I opened my eyes again, everything was back to normal! They succeeded! No doubt all thanks to my most faithful student, Twilight Sparkle...

Later on, I held a ceremony celebrating their victory over saving the land once more. As they stepped up to me, I could not help but give Twilight a broad smile, blushing slightly. I felt quite foolish with such a silly grin. I was so very proud of her. Unveiling the new window behind the curtains of them defeating Discord with the Elements of Harmony, everypony cheered them on as I congratulated them personally.

Now, after going through the memories of my day, I began contemplating something that came to mind. Ever since I was young, I have enjoyed a mostly stable peace and harmony within my lands, but even so... Lately I have tired of it. An epiphany came to me. Could Discord not be truly malevolent? It is almost as if he is playing games with us. He remarked out loud that he knew of the new wielders of the Elements. He directed them and gave hints on where to look. He was never worried about us stopping him, but I could tell that was not out of arrogance.

He provides a kind of whimsical experience to everypony, a significant contrast to the normal stability of everyday life. In a way, he breaks the monotony, the routine. Early on, I found myself wondering if I should simply let him do as he pleases; it certainly could be an enjoyable experience. My sister and I did not entirely understand his incentives all those centuries ago. Perhaps I should at least talk with him someday, to try and compromise with his tendency to go too far.

However, I have a responsibility, do I not? The ponies of Equestria count on me to protect them from extraordinary dangers such as what he is capable of. An issue comes to my realization that nopony other than Luna or I would be able to enjoy or understand Discord's motives. When one is eternal, what more can be done to keep oneself entertained? One may lose their sanity, should they not keep themselves busy.

Nevertheless... I must act on my duty. It was left to my sister and I to watch over the ponies of this world for a reason.

Entry 195 – Idol

I have been preoccupied with thoughts of Twilight Sparkle as per usual. While I realize I feel attracted to her, I wonder if there could possibly be something more that I yearn for. Whether or not I do, I believe that my time of confession will be coming shortly. I have it all planned out; I will invite her to the forest once more, under the guise of another lesson. However, she will find a classical picnic instead. I will try and ease the confession in after feeding her, looking into her sparkling eyes, and hopefully...

No matter. I have more bothersome thoughts to cast away into this diary at this time. It has come to my notice many times that ponies all over the world have an irresistible need for the idolization of another. When one pony looks at those who are well-known, celebrities, do they not wish to be like them? Foals are most notably susceptible, finding their place in the world and earning their cutie marks. They desire the attention, the skill, the mystique.

Although, what can it mean when it is all one does? There are many ponies out there that make it their hobby, their entire life, simply looking upon others and yearning for such lives. Unfortunately, the ponies in question never act on making it a reality, despite their wishes. It becomes a vicious cycle of demotivation, one of envy. Not to say it is not healthy, however. They could provide a kind of goal, or something to surpass for yourself.

I could not hope to understand their plight. As far as I know, other than Discord, I am the most powerful entity in the world. I excel at all manners of magic, performance, hobby, appearance... The list goes on. Just about everypony across the land idolizes me, but as I continue to remind myself, it only makes me more uncomfortable over that fact. As it is all I know, I wish for something more, or simply something different in my life.

I do believe I envy them in return, in a sense. I may have written about it before, but I desire to have lives such as theirs. To see ponies having somepony as an ideal is a sentimental memory of what once was, for me. I no longer have a true, singular idol since Mother left.

I suppose all that I can do is continue on, finding loved ones such as Twilight Sparkle, her personality having so many endearing traits. The beloved and wonderful friends are all I can hope for in the way of respect and those to look up to; or down, in the literal sense for me. I can admit to myself that I feel jealous in her presence. She has so much to learn in her life, while I have very little to look forward to. There is a whole world out there for her to explore, and I will be there with her until...

There is little time to waste. I must toss away my logic and act on my feelings, tomorrow.

Entry 207 – Heart

I am... at a loss for words at this day. My heart is heavy, my soul feeling as though it were torn through by a hot sword, my emotions falling into the darkest, deepest pit in the world. As horrid as I feel at this very moment, I believe it is necessary to impart my experience into this diary, as it provides my mind some solace...

I had finally proceeded with my plan, my arranged picnic in the forest with Twilight Sparkle this afternoon. I flew to Ponyville myself to meet with her, scorning my duties as princess to pursue happiness once more. I strolled casually through the streets, my royal adornments left at home. As expected, I drew much attention, but thankfully none seemed to greet me. All the better that way, as I needed to concentrate on what I was doing at the time.

I reached the library soon after, knocking on Twilight's front door and looked down at her surprised face when she answered. I entered and asked her how her day was. Her morning was uneventful, her group of friends having errands and work to do. Telling her I wanted to spend time with her today, she appeared quite relieved, as this was one of her scheduled 'relaxation' days on her agenda. It was a day, however, which she did not realize her friends were so busy. I smiled and felt glad, as it seemed to have been the perfect opportunity to come out with my feelings.

I flew her to the forest myself, taking her onto my back and soaring through the clear, midday sky. It had been a while since the last time I did so, and she was a bit unnerved as usual from the trip. We took a hike through the outer edge, observing closely the nature around us once more.

The two of us caught up on each other's lives. She told me about her life lessons in detail, recent magical research, and books she had read. I had let her go on by herself in conversation, not having much I believe I could add. I enjoy listening to her. While Twilight seemed relaxed and open about herself, I sensed that there was an inner conflict that she was not sharing with me. I did not ask out of courtesy, however... Although, I regret that I did not do so at the time.

Guiding her through a patch of bushes, we came to the most beautiful clearing I could find. Sunlight shone in countless beams through the broad treetops above us. They illuminated an array of seemingly glowing flowers of cool blues and purples, swaying gently in the breeze. The subtle, slow motion of the forest around us filled me with an ease. I marvelled at my choice of location again. This was perfect.

In the center of the clearing was a classical plaid picnic sheet. On it was a standard basket filled with fruits and vegetables from my own personal garden. I spoke up, telling Twilight that a picnic in the forest would be the perfect activity to relax with. As I turned my head to look at her reaction, she turned away from me and walked ahead, complimenting me highly on my generosity. I had just seen the slightest hint of embarrassment in her cheeks. It was a good sign. I followed her and sat on the picnic sheet as my student fidgeted a bit in front of me, looking uncomfortable. Once more I regret not asking what was bothering her.

I laid the basket's contents over our little area with my magic, carefully organizing it all in a way that Twilight would not be compelled to adjust anything. She smiled at the spread, there being expensive, high-quality flowers and large, juicy fruits all around. Her face was speechless but grateful as she looked up at me happily, and I told her to go ahead and dig in. I did the same.

We chatted for a while longer as we dived into the food, Twilight asking me a bit more about myself. I am still not very able to talk about myself; I find other ponies far more interesting than the monotony of my life, but it did not seem to stop her from being curious.

The early fall sunset came upon us, painting the sky with a warm hue once more. She quipped that it was getting late and asked me hesitantly how long I wanted her to stay with me. I responded suddenly without thinking: 'Forever.' Her eyes widened for a moment, and predictably she asked about what I just said in confusion. I only hung my head in embarrassment, looking down at the picnic sheet.

"I love you, Twilight Sparkle."

That is what I said. I felt my pulse quicken, my breathing almost stopping as I was overcome by anticipation and anxiety. After what seemed like an eternity, I looked up and saw Twilight's face, seemingly frozen in shock, entirely red from embarrassment. I breathed out again and explained my love for her... A caring heart she had, and so headstrong, a loyal and determined pony. Her presence gave me a constant sense of calm and satisfaction. Thus, I believe I realized that I was attracted to her.

Twilight's awestruck expression did not move for quite some time, but I waited patiently for her response with bated breath, trying to keep myself composed as I stared into her eyes. I nearly gasped as she spoke again, hoping with all my heart for the response of requited love as well. She told me that she was very surprised. She did not expect somepony of my standing to fall for such a lowly pony such as her.

...However, it did not matter. With her head hanging low and eyes out of contact, she looked down and apologized, explaining to me what I had most feared: There was a special somepony else in her life. She quickly brushed off my confession and said her goodbye with a shaky kneel. Before I could reply, she began charging magical energy, teleporting herself out of sight with a flash. I was alone.

The delicate wind and rustling leaves in the empty forest became a roar in my ears as I sat in place for hours. I contemplated over what just happened, trying to figure out the lapse in my judgement. Did I wait too long? Had I offended her with my sudden disclosure? Am I not better than her lover? The last question especially eats at my mind. I am more skilled, more beauteous, more loved than anypony out there, as I have seen all over... I suppose that a minor love multiplied by such a large number could not possibly equate to that which can only be seen by those unique pairs. Is it a great arrogance that I want her for myself, that I believe I am the best pony over any other? Why should I deserve such a wonderful pony? I feel I am experiencing the greatest dilemma in life... and it bothers me.

It occurred to me that this had not happened before. In the past, whether in my own or my lover's declaration, neither of us had denied the other. Yet, Twilight seemed to do so. I feel... foolish. There was something I was missing. There had to be. I must work to receive her mutual affections, to be better than her lover, so that she could reciprocate my feelings.

My tears are falling onto the pages. Am I losing myself? I cannot let my emotions fall further; should I desire her, I must be true to myself. I must have faith to make her mine, and I hers, and only so. Either way, I require a respite. I can only hope that we could still continue as we were, despite its apparent impossibility after my mistakes.

Entry 238 – Love

Today, a significant disaster was subverted. The queen of changelings had attempted to take over Canterlot, along with her many minions... There were a surprising amount, given the last time I had checked on them. Despite all preparations and awareness due to the threat posed to us several days before, she broke through our defenses and nearly caused the end of us.

For days she worked under the guise of my niece, Cadance, in plain sight as the day for her marriage came closer. The imitation was flawless, the voice, the appearance... or was it? How could I have not seen what Twilight Sparkle had seen? Could I have noticed if I, for once, had spent time with her, instead of distancing myself at the observatory? Everything had happened just under my nose, literally, and I feel ashamed.

Another regrettable action is that I did not believe Twilight when she brought up Cadance's oddities to everypony. I denied her, and I could see the pain in her eyes as I turned a moment to look back at her before leaving. Yet, despite my student's clear sincerity, I let my vengeful emotions leave her be as a result of the recent day that I confessed to her. I... pray for her forgiveness, although I do not deserve it.

It hurts me deeply, even more, that I was unable to help my subjects this day. With the love leeched from Cadance's groom over several days, the queen used that magic against me, and beat me. My pride has likely taken the most damage out of everything that has happened. The love from one pony to another was more than the love for my subjects, and again, I am ashamed to admit such a possibility.

Furthermore, the two of them combining the love within themselves was enough to create a remarkably powerful spell to free the entire city. It was one of the strongest that I had ever seen in my long life, and I could feel its potential for something far greater, still. I originally thought that only the Elements of Harmony could stop her. How could I have been so detached to overlook the element that binds all six? Could I find the love in myself to protect the ponies of the land?

After all of the events that had transpired, it makes me wonder if I am indifferent, uncaring for all under my rule. I have always detached myself so that I could avoid the pain of losing the ponies I cherish, but how can I cherish them if I do not care? Is avoiding them the only choice to preserve my feelings, instead of connecting with them?

Yet, I come again to thinking of myself... only myself. It is selfish of me to think of everything this way. For ages I have only thought of my own interests, my own sanity. Have I lost myself in the mire of being a princess, gazing down from an untouchable pedestal? When all it takes is a shadow from behind to knock me down, how can I call myself a leader?

At this night, I wonder, in all seriousness, if I truly am fit to rule Equestria.

Entry 254 – Twilight

My emotional struggles continued to give me unrest for the past few weeks. I found myself unable to sleep. I have no physical need to do so, but a mental one, for calm and comfort within my mind, the occasional dream entertaining me. However, due to recent events, I felt that I was at an extraordinarily low point in my self-esteem. The only thing that brings me happiness, a true smile when I see myself in the mirror, is the thought of Twilight Sparkle. She had not come to visit me in some time, worrying me. I realize that I am foolish for thinking of all of this, and to occupy so many of my entries with talk of her... but I simply cannot think of a greater goal.

As such, as it was the only thing on my mind, I had to work hard to win her affections. I succeeded. I am currently filled with an inexplicable warmth and contentment as I write, my dear student sleeping soundly, cradled in my forelegs at this late hour. I must recount the events today in this diary so that, in the future, should I ever fall in love again, I will not make the same mistakes so readily.

It all started with the aforementioned emotional dilemma. I cast away my royal responsibilities with contempt once more, my desire to travel to Ponyville a far greater need. This time, however, I assumed a disguise. With some analysis of the magic of changelings, I was able to shapeshift into an average-sized pony form. I wore a blue cloak to hide my wings and cutie mark as I am not proficient with the spell just yet, and I also modified my mane and tail to display only my green locks. This would make it easier for the plans I had. Before leaving, I knew that it would be difficult to travel this way, so I went to see my sister.

As I walked through the palace, there were no second glances at me. Nopony noticed I was the princess, their ruler of Equestria. It was a bit... liberating. I had never done this before; it gave me an insurmountable feeling of relaxation, the burden of being princess being lifted off my shoulders.

When I came to Luna's room, I surprised her. She did not realize that I was her sister for just a moment, but as our eyes met, she knew. I was questioned about the odd practice, and I explained to her my intentions of passion. My dear sister gave me a reassuring smile and supported my actions of love, hugging me and obliging my request: to take me to Ponyville.

Flying me just to the outskirts of town just inside the Everfree Forest, Luna let me off and I gazed out at the houses from within the trees. My sister wished me luck before flying back to Canterlot, and I took my first steps of my new identity. As I came to the roads around town, several ponies greeted me, but it was not the same as before. They were simple, casual words to a passerby. I waved and returned their greetings happily, never having experienced it before.

I had found myself in front of the treehouse library, where Twilight stays. As much as I wanted to go inside and see her, I needed to do more than simply speak to her. I needed to speak to her closest friends, in order to find out more that I cannot see on the surface of my beloved. First, I had decided to visit the farmlands.

It was fortunate that Applejack was on a lunch break at the time, as I did not want to impose on her work. When she was alone, I walked up to her in front of the barn to greet her. She said her hello, realizing that she had not recognized me before. I introduced myself as an old acquaintance of Twilight Sparkle, and she let me know that any friend of Twilight's was a friend of hers. Applejack is certainly the welcoming type.

Subtly during conversation, I told her that I found out my student was in a relationship, and I wanted to congratulate her. However, the farm pony looked at me in surprise, asking me what I meant. She had not heard of Twilight being with somepony. I asked if she was sure, looking back at her curiously, but she seemed certain. For just a moment I stared downward, feeling the smallest of smiles on my face. However, I was surprised that Applejack was so perceptive from what she said next.

'Why do you ask? You seem kind of familiar, too,' she said, peering at me closely. I responded by telling her straightforwardly that I wanted to be with Twilight, that I loved her. Just after that, she had the look of extreme surprise on her face, not only due to what I said, but that she realized who I was from a careful look into my eyes.

I put a hoof to her mouth preemptively to silence her, as I knew what she was going to ask. I expressed my desire for her not to tell anypony that I was in Ponyville, and she nodded. Applejack is a very understanding pony. It warms my heart that Twilight had found such a great friend. I mentioned to her that I needed to find out more about Twilight so that I may be with her, so I said my goodbyes and went off to find her other friends. What Applejack said did improve my spirits slightly, but I could not be entirely certain about it all. A busypony such as Applejack may not be so attuned to paying attention to such things. Perhaps it was only recently that Twilight found somepony, and had not really come out and told others. Either way, I will find out the truth.

Nearby was the small house of Fluttershy, the most gentle pony I have ever met. As I cantered over, I seemed to gather attention from the animals, the little ones milling around me and showing their respect. It seemed that a simple disguise would not work on them, which amused me.

Soon, Fluttershy noticed my presence due to all of the animals, and she flew over to say hello. Noting she had not seen me before, she seemed surprised that they would take to liking me so quickly. I smiled at her and said I was probably just a nice pony.

As with Applejack, I explained that I was an old friend of Twilight Sparkle, and that I heard she had a special somepony that I wanted to see for myself. She coyly replied that she had not heard of such a thing. I became mildly anxious once again due to the possibility, asking for verification, which she did. I needed to ask more of Twilight's friends about this before I jumped to conclusions. Saying my goodbyes to the shy pony, I walked back towards town to my next destination.

I soon came to the fashion boutique owned by Rarity, the element of generosity within Twilight's circle of friends. Stepping through the open door, I shut it behind me and the bell above the door rang. I looked around the lower level; Rarity was facing away at some shelves, busy grabbing many materials, and told me to wait a moment.

As she turned around to greet me, her face seemed to go into shock as she dropped everything she was carrying with her magic. She bowed and welcomed me with respect, having recognized who I was. I looked around the boutique, worried that somepony would see, but there was nopony else in here. Quickly, I said that I was in disguise for a reason, and she apologized for her supposed insolence, which I dismissed.

Just like the other two, I explained everything I could to Rarity. Like the others, she had not heard of Twilight being with anypony, and that she would be one of the first to find out if it were true. She sympathized with me, having a little attraction to Twilight as well, but knew that my student had a sole, great love for me. Something that I did not know before... She talked about me often, defending and praising me and my actions, almost to the point of worship, as Rarity says. I felt embarrassed, to say the least. I had not realized that Twilight loved me that much. I only assumed she considered me just a teacher, a guardian figure.

Rarity noted that she had never seen me look so happy before. I suppose that I have not had anything to be truly happy about, unlike now. 'Twilight gives me happiness,' I said to her. She gave me her support and quickly pushed me out of her boutique so as to not waste any time, to go and pursue my love. I smiled and thanked her, and asked how she recognized me so quickly. It was purely the style and perfection of my mane and coat, along with my eyes and how I walked and stood. I chuckle to myself in that I underestimate Twilight's friends at times.

Lastly, I needed to speak to Rainbow Dash. I would have gone to talk to Pinkie Pie, but she would have caused such a commotion, attention that I would rather not have. Before going too far, I went back into the boutique to ask for a kind of head covering that would help mask my smaller horn for flying to Rainbow Dash's house, and I was given a large, studded silver circlet free of charge. Exiting once again, I flared my wings from beneath my cloak and took flight.

Soon enough, I reached the cloud house, but she did not answer the knocks on the door. I thought that perhaps she was not home, but looking up in the sky, I saw that she was exercising, flying through the air at high speed. That pony was always keeping in prime fitness.

I asked Rainbow if I could talk to her for a moment from just below her, matching her speed while flying upside-down. I seemed to surprise her, but she pretended to not hear me and flew faster, not wanting to break her concentration. I caught up to her again, talking louder, and she sped up again. Playfully, I continued to match her speed until we both achieved a sonic rainboom, shooting upward and over in the sky. As we flew through the air, she stared at me in disbelief, almost breaking flight, but kept her flying steady before we went to land on her doorstep.

I jokingly asked her if she was available to talk, and she could not believe somepony else could do the rainboom as well. I mentioned that I have been able to for a long time, but dismissed it as it was not important at the moment. I asked her, like the others, about Twilight after introducing myself. I had also inquired about what she thought my student felt about me. Rainbow Dash nonchalantly noted that her friend was essentially in love with the princess, with how often she talked of her. Just as the rest, she, too, said that Twilight was not attracted to anypony, unless books counted; although, she did mention that my student had been cooped up at her house as of late, not being too interested in going out. I smiled happily, confusing the rainbow pony, but she did not ask about it.

After all of the conversations I had with her friends, it had to be true that she did not have a special somepony to call her own. Though, why would she say so, that day? I needed to take some time to think. Saying that it was nice to meet her, I prepared to leave, wanting to find a place to meditate and think of what I was going to say to Twilight. As I took off from the cloud, I knew that my cloak blew up enough for her to see my cutie mark and wings; I heard her gasp as I left, smiling to myself.

I travelled to the Everfree Forest to clear my mind as I usually do, recounting all that I had learned. At the picnic... Twilight claimed to be taken by another, dropping my spirits. Why would she have done that? I must have overwhelmed her with the confession of love, but... Could she not actually be attracted to me in the same way I do to her? Perhaps she truly does only consider me a parental figure. Would it be enough for me, if it were true?

The sunset had begun before I realized it. I can always rely on my sister to take over my duties when I am absent. I need to repay her for my selfish actions someday. Suddenly, I could hear a rustling in the grass. Turning around, I saw a purple pony with a downtrodden expression on her face. It was Twilight Sparkle. There were tears in her eyes. Before I had a chance to speak, she suddenly began galloping closer, and leapt through the air. She collided with me, knocking me onto my back, and stared down at me as she stood over me.

Her tears had fallen onto my cheeks. I gazed up in surprise as she apologized profusely, explaining that she panicked when I confessed to her. She said she loved me, too... My heart was filled with something that I had not felt since I was small. She fell onto me, seemingly exhausted from running this way. Holding her close, I realized quickly that I was still in my disguise.

I asked Twilight how she knew it was me, how she found me here. It was the magic of love that drew her this way. This is the power that I had not felt... She went on to explain that her friends told her that I visited with them, and talked about her. My student thought that I hated her for rejecting me. However, I let her know that her actions that day only made me desire her even more. She continued to outpour her feelings for me, praising me face-to-face. I am kindhearted, I defend those I care for, I work for the betterment of ponies everywhere, and more. I do not really believe a lot of what she said even now, but... I will take her word for it.

Eventually, I interrupted her with a kiss, which surprised her once again, but she calmed down and relaxed as I hugged her. I am not sure how long we stayed there, but Twilight fell asleep as we talked with each other. I know how she is... She likely obsessed over what happened during our picnic ever since, too embarrassed to see or speak to me, or even send me letters. It is a relief that she is finally able to rest... and so can I. For once, I can sleep, and with happiness in my heart.

I have written quite a lot in this entry, the most of any other. I recall one written a little while ago... I noted that the entries related to my student were excessively detailed, and this is no exception.

I look down at her laying in my arms as I finish this entry, never having seen her sleeping face. She is so tranquil, so at peace, that I can feel myself becoming weary as well. Sweet dreams, Twilight Sparkle.

Entry 263 – Fate

Twilight brought up to me an excellent question today regarding the nature of ponies. It was about how a pony obtains their cutie mark, as they realize their potential in life; a very poignant truth about all of our lives. Her question was more than that, however. She wanted to know where they come from, and what they truly mean. I have done much research into them in the past, and while I am unsure on all of the answers, I believe I have a hypothesis.

One's cutie mark, at its core, is a kind of representation of a pony's natural niche in the world, located on the sides of their hips. Mine is a sun, to signify my connection to the one in the sky. From what I can understand, a pony is born with said abilities and the cutie mark related to it, which does not appear until later in life. This brings up a sensitive question about our existence.

If a pony only has an ability that they were born with, what does that say about their future? They do not realize they have it until they try. It makes me wonder if the one who gave such a concept as cutie marks to us finds it all amusing, to watch ponies stumble and struggle through their lives to find themselves. I do not consider it amusing one bit. There are foals all over that try their hardest, full of passion and determination to find what they are meant for, and yet some obtain them with little difficulty. While it is unfair, it is the way of the world.

Many ponies live under the assumption that we are all created equal, but we are not. We are all born with a different set of talents, locked in our minds and flanks. The ones in control of the building blocks of life build us in a specific way. We evolve and develop skills and personalities and appearance based on the result. It is a questionable practice, but is it a fact of life?

A cutie mark appears when one realizes their true talent. They can only materialize when not only you perform what it is that you are naturally skilled in, but also come to accept your talent in your mind; it is then when it uncovers itself in a splash of magical light. It is strange, however, its appearance. What could make such odd shapes on one's coat, especially when the same colors do not appear anywhere else on their body? Although, I do notice that the color of the magical aura in ponies tends to be the same as it.

My own materialized at the same time as my sister when our mother had shown us how to control the motion of the sun and moon in the sky. It felt so natural, so easy for us. We changed the day and night in the blink of an eye. Luna and I played with the sun and moon's motions in the same way any other foals would play with a ball in a garden. It was a wondrous experience, and as we realized our potential as the controllers of the celestial objects, our cutie marks appeared on our sides in a flash.

All that I can understand is that the implications result in a disturbing truth: that we may not have the freedoms in life we expect to. We are all raised to believe that our lives are what we make of them, but alas, I cannot be sure. I can only hope that the alternative is true, that rather than the cutie mark making us, our experiences in life are what do so.

Many ponies also believe that perhaps said experiences are fated as well, including meeting with other ponies in life, connecting with them. Could my attachment to Twilight, or others, be written down someplace, like a story in a book? All that is or was, meant to be experienced at a certain time? The idea of fate is surely an interesting topic, but it is beyond our control. It is far too tiresome an exercise to linger on about.

I live for myself in the now. Right now is the only time there is to experience, and I must make the most of it, with or without somepony like Twilight Sparkle.

Entry 267 – Passion

I have been inattentive to my diary as of late. My time with Twilight has been filled with joy and pleasure, leaving me with little opportunity to write due to how busy I have become. With my newfound, and now refined, shapeshifting spell, I am able to spend time with her in the public eye. Free from worry or responsibility, I live with her in Ponyville, acclimating into day-to-day life here.

My sister, despite all that we have been through, has accepted my choice. I have been away from my home in Canterlot for years, leaving Luna to all of my royal duties. Once, I asked her if I am being too selfish, to abandon my reign to fulfill personal desires. However, she said to me that being a princess is a lifetime of experience; the time with a single pony is far less, and I must do what I can to enjoy it. Being a ruler will always be there, but being with one pony will not. She is right, of course, although her acceptance does not alleviate my guilt. I still control the sun for her, at the least.

My identity remains secret, for now. In Ponyville, only Twilight and her closest friends know that I am Princess Celestia. While at first I had worried about Pinkie Pie telling everypony, she agreed to swear not to. I trust in her word, as she is highly devoted to her friends.

Spending time in this small town has put life in perspective for me. These ponies enjoy such simple pleasures, working and talking of day to day life and each other. Gossip, I believe it is called. I have attempted to do so with ponies I did not know personally, but I cannot seem to find a comfortable way to do it. My mannerisms from living as a princess for so many years make socialization in this way difficult for me; I have admitted to Twilight that I try to stay with her while outside, as it is too difficult to mingle on my own.

All of the simplicity, it fills me with liberation. I wish I could stay here forever, but I know it cannot be done. It is only natural that a pony should desire what they cannot have, to strive for the impossible, but when it is finally attained, there is little more to do. In time, I hesitantly admit to myself that I may become less interested, less truly in love with Twilight. I may even grow to detest the life of an average pony. It is a gloomy, but possible outcome. However, I will enjoy it while it lasts.

My time with her is one of great emotional investment. I can feel my mind and heart free themselves as time continues, as if the mountains of worries and cares on my back were being weathered away. The tranquility keeps me sane, keeps me focused on whom is important in my life. My head is clouded with affection and love, filling the void that it once was. With all of these feelings and newfound identity, I have rediscovered the ways of the arts. What once brought simple enjoyment now brings me great satisfaction.

I have wondered for a time about the interests of anypony, why that, in art and performance, there is a disproportionate scale of effort and attention. Simple portraits I make under my new alias, and I spend a great deal of time perfecting them. However, they do less to satisfy the masses; while appreciative, they are far more interested in something such as a pony in pain. Keeled over in the shadows with sadness and regret, I painted a projection of an earlier time in my life. Everypony was stunned, overcome with amazement at the emotion it exuded.

That is just it, emotion in the arts. Nopony truly wants to see a simple portrait of a face or a landscape, nor do they want to read a story or watch a play of everyday life. It bores them, drives them away, the reminder of monotony in their lives. Deep down, they want to see ponies in pain, in anguish, in sorrow. They want to see them in love, with affection, acting on lust. All is the desire of entertainment. These emotions are what bring the masses to one's artistic vision, to show that the ponies within are truly alive.

To stir the passions are what keeps us so. I realize that now, when I am with my love.

Entry 276 – Disharmony

Recent social unrest these past few months have called me back to attention to my post at Canterlot. There have been hostilities on a large scale between several provinces; groups have formed and they toss foalish insults at each other with weapons ready, prepared to fight. Despite my guilt over leaving Twilight at home in Ponyville, she told me it was more important that I tend to the affairs of keeping Equestria in peace and harmony. Bidding her a regretful farewell, I came back to the castle and firstly met with my sister.

She has given me an update on matters. We are not sure why it is, but there are two different kingdoms that have joined forces with those around them to form armies. They seem intent on destroying each other. Both seem to wish to expand their territory, but why is it necessary for them to have more land to call their own? It is merely dirt and grass, nothing without its ponies: a legal claim of control over those too poor, too uneducated, too downtrodden to find themselves a better place. I have seen the towns under those in power; they are completely dreary, full of pain and suffering as nopony up above would have concern, as they have no reason to. Perhaps that is merely all they want, their control over their life, but their infringement on others' lives is where I draw the line.

I can admit, even within my home here in Canterlot, I notice separation, grouping of like-minded individuals. They form their cliques, their guilds, shunning all who do not agree with their goals rather than greeting them with open hearts. A supposedly peaceful place full of ponies will have tens of little groups, yet, they will all hate each other due to the sole fact that they are not in theirs. Blinded by such nonsense, there is violence in the streets, and innocents having nothing to do with them get hurt. It sickens me.

Luna and I have simultaneously flown to visit the two leaders, to negotiate peace. I was greeted with fake smiles, insincere gestures and more lies, all very apparent to one such as I, but I did not show it. The ruler was courteous as any should be in the presence of a threat to their position, whether of the ponies daring to revolt or the intimidating overseer of Equestria. Insulted by his deceitful words, I calmly took my leave after I was sure I could not get through to him.

My sister arrived here shortly after I had. Her experience seemed to have been the same; they do not wish to understand each other. All they care for are themselves, making their own lives better through greed and sacrificing of others. What makes everything worse for us is that our own politicians are considering taking up arms and joining a side. We voiced our thoughts on the matter in anger, refusing to go along with such foolishness. However, we worry that they will do so without our consent; in fact, we almost guarantee it will happen at this point.

It would seem that despite all of our work to preserve peace, ponies all around prefer their conflict, their self-destruction, in order to make their lives better by stomping onto those underhoof. They do not learn, they do not change; all of the years that Luna and I have lived, we have seen the same. Their actions fill us with sorrow. We are thinking we may be unnecessary to this land.

Entry 315 – Wear

Time marches on for Twilight and I, a relationship that I believe has given my life meaning. I find myself at a loss for words for these entries, however, the monotony creeping upon me as I write at least once a year. While I do love her dearly, I am worried that it will subside, like everything else. My interests wane, so why not love, as well?

Today was a bright day in Ponyville. I attended another one of Mayor Pinkie's parties at the town hall, their intensity increasing as she ages. Twilight and I have been working on our magic studies constantly as of late, so it was a good break for the two of us. All of our close friends were there, and they were sure to address me by the name of my altered self among the many ponies from the rest of town.

As usual, I found myself difficult to mesh with the partygoers, but Twilight was there to cheer me up and help get me up to speed with the rest. We ate, we drank, we danced until the sun went down. Time passed more quickly than ever at these occasions, the shortest spark of distraction in my long life. I am filled with joy and pleasure when my mind is occupied by such revelry, my mental pains being melted away.

After the party, I took Twilight on a flight as usual during the sunset, flying high above the clouds to see the soft, golden glow around the land. It was at this time that I told her of my worries, my fear of tiring of my life here in Ponyville. She merely smiled and said that it was only natural, as not every point in life needs to be a heart-racing adventure. Sometimes, you just need time to relax and take everything in. Her words ring in my ears even now, but my worries are still there.

I do try my best to please her for our sake, whether mentally or... physically. Everything simply seems to wear on me; perhaps she is right that I am overthinking it all. I should learn to accept our stability for years to come, as a relationship does not need to be a hurricane of happenings all of the time. Spending time with Twilight simply for the sake of spending time with her is enough for her, so why can it not be for me, as well? It is something I had not considered.

Still, these thoughts bring me to another waning interest: my responsibility as princess. For years I have been absent, leaving my sister at the mercy of the populace. I ask Luna again and again whether I am overstaying my relocation to Ponyville, free from the work, but she simply says each time that she would tell me if it was a problem. To this day I still feel no less guilty over leaving her, but if it is what she thinks is best for me, I cannot say no. Either way, I do enjoy my time with Twilight here.

The sheer number of entries containing nothing of consequence such as this continue to cause me wonder. Was this what she meant, that I should take everything in, to give meaning to nothing at all?

I will do what I can to enjoy myself a day at a time.

Entry 389 – Nature

Twilight and I foalsat Fluttershy's daughter today, her mother being away for a rare animal migration of sorts. Always the cautious one, she left her daughter here despite protests from the little filly. She is a little ball of energy, she is; even I have trouble keeping up with her. In her freedom from her mother, her previously unseen acrobatics and agility had shown itself to us as she hopped all around the treehouse.

Seeing little ones like her always made me happy: the ponies of the future, eager to find their place in the world and with others. To make everypony's lives more enjoyable was a goal that I have always respected and sought for all, including myself. This energetic filly was no different. She reminded me of when I first met Twilight, her innocent eyes staring up at me with hope for the future.

Throughout all my life, I am called back to the past. Fond memories resurface from sights and sounds, giving me a sense of calm. I get swept away with these thoughts, taking me from where I am to another, better place.

When I was a filly, with my sister, we ran about the courtyard freely every day, frolicking in the colorful flora our mother planted for us. The sky, the grass, the land, everything was new and innocent, including us. There were no other ponies or creatures in all the world, only my family. A quiet serenity covered everything as Mother shaped it all.

Luna and I had flown with her as she did so. The power she had, not just in magic, but in the vision of natural beauty astounds us even now. Mountains, water, trees, everything blended together in perfect harmony, creating a balance to last forever. It is a well-kept secret, the formation of it all, though it is an unimportant one, being in the far past. We must live for today, shaping the future to come.

Unfortunately, I worry for the state of Equestria in present times. Ponies all around desire the destruction of its beauty, selflessness having all but disappeared without assistance from Twilight and my sister. I feel that war is inevitable, the malice that I can sense giving me nausea and a kind of demotivation. Luna and I have worked so very hard to keep the world in line, but our influence wears thin as of late. With more and more leaders and individuals wanting to further their goals like anypony else, there is little interest for us.

I can regrettably hazard a guess what one would think, should somepony influential find out what our simple recollective thoughts are. We would likely lose all following, should they perceive our vision as being against everypony else. Wanting to work for the greater whole instead of for ourselves in our own little section of the land is not what the denizens of Canterlot want, or anywhere else for that matter. It is a vicious train of thought that continues to spread. Twilight and I do our best to allay such nonsense and self-destruction as often as possible to any who would listen, to rekindle the peace that they have forgotten.

It pains me to think that the beauty I once knew in the beginning will never be seen again. Despite all that I try for, the cycle never ceases. I fear the worst is yet to come.

Entry 444 – Lone

This day was like no other. I cry without tears. I mourn without speaking. I move without thinking. My life feels so empty, so damaged, that I can hardly find the strength to write; doing this at all provides me the only comfort I am able to muster, after today. Twilight Sparkle has passed away.

Her final days were active to the end, working as a diplomat aside her magical studies. With her, we preserved peace and tranquility among the masses. She provided everypony out there with stirring words of compassion and will, more than I could ever hope to achieve. The care she possessed for all those under the sky was never matched. Thanks to her, harmony swept across the land, providing all with a better life.

There is still unrest here and there, for those too set in their selfish ideals, and I still worry over their existence. With Twilight gone, they are likely to make themselves more noticed, more heard, but I do not care. I have lost the one pony that has kept me alive for so many years. Thinking back to when I first met her all that time ago, I mentally look upon it as if I were there right now. Despite my usual diminished ability of recalling memories, I find I can remember everything involving her with great clarity.

The day she joined the academy... A tiny filly that wanted to study great magic appeared to me, and I had inspired her. I saw it in her innocent eyes that day, her potential for greatness – and she achieved it. Throughout Equestria, she was known for her studies and achievements in magic and invention. Extraordinary spells that improved our way of life are all over Equestria: There is little hunger, poverty, and hopelessness. Earth and pegasus ponies have learned to tap into their natural magical energies more reliably thanks to her. We even have methods of travel with speeds far exceeding those of any pegasi, making the world appear much smaller. Twilight gave us hope for the future.

When she was not quite grown, she demonstrated extraordinary power in her ability to garner friendship, with my guidance. Despite her struggles at first, she helped to defend the land with that friendship until the day she passed. All who opposed the way of peace, they were overcome by Twilight and her friends, together forever. They inspired everypony out there to work together in harmony, to make the world a better place.

The time she professed love for me was a day that I never stopped reliving. It filled me with such happiness, such resolve to work for her affections, and she gave them to me. We spent uncountable time with each other, flying across the world to see all there was to see: The crystal reefs of Torrentae, the not-so-mythical floating mountains of Platinis, even the library at the hidden city of Occula, which she had enjoyed the most. I showed her everything that the world could offer within her first thirty or so years of life, including what I myself was able to offer: A lover's intimacy.

When she was older, I announced our plans of marriage, surprising many ponies around; by that point, however, it had become a popular rumor that the two of us were in a relationship. We were greeted with acceptance for all of our days, much to our delighted surprise. With her as my wife, I was closer to her physically than I was with any other previous lover. We played, we experimented, we enjoyed each other in ways that nopony else could imagine due to our mastery of magic. In time, we had decided to conceive a foal for ourselves, to enrich our lives and, when older, the lives of others.

However, much to our dismay, neither of us were able to impregnate the other. With all of the magical power at our disposal, nothing had worked. It filled me with a deep depression due to the lack of an explanation why, but Twilight, being my eternal beacon of hope, never stopped making the best of everything. Instead, we created an orphanage for the unfortunate colts and fillies all around, and they are truly our children.

In her later years, she decided to assist me in keeping the peace among the land as one of my politicians. With her influence and position, along with experience speaking to a crowd, she was able to do what I had never, uniting the land in harmony. Even the queen of changelings, ever bitter at the rest of the world, had her heart purified by my lover's powerful words. Thanks to Twilight, Chrysalis and other rulers looked to me and each other with open hearts and open minds.

As her physical health diminished, she became rather annoyed at herself for her body being unable to keep up with her mind. I watched in sorrow as time passed and things became difficult for her as she aged, while I did not. Time and time again she told me that it was something that could not be changed, that if I had an eternal life it had a great purpose, far more important than the lifespan of any little pony such as herself. I believe her with all my heart, now.

Twilight never stopped being my guiding light even in her final days while bedridden. I abandoned my duties to be by her side at all times, caring for her needs despite the occasional protest. Every night before bedtime I told her I loved her before she went to sleep, my hoof with hers. I have never slept since, having kept an eye on her throughout, watching her for the fateful time that the next breath would be her last. It was maddening, but my undying love for her gave me solace.

I was fortunate enough that she did not pass in her sleep, but stayed with me long enough to say goodbye. She told me she loved me, and she was happy for everything she had done for both Equestria and I. Twilight wished for me to live a happy life as well without regret, and not to be so detached from everypony out there. I returned her words of love, and we stared at each other until I saw her close her eyes with a smile. Her hoof became limp in mine, and I knew she had passed, her face finally at rest after a lifetime of hard work. With her dwindling energy, I quickly extracted some magic from her horn to migrate to a magic flask, in order to forever preserve her essence.

The jewel, the Element of Harmony that once belonged to Twilight, sits next to her flask. I can see her in it, its brightness dimming as time passes, disconnecting from her spirit and awaiting its next representative. With her gone, this leaves all six of the Elements without holders. My worry of how this will affect Equestria resides deep within my mind, but I refuse to give up so soon. I will do whatever is necessary to preserve the harmony that Twilight had worked all her life for.

I find myself staring vacantly at the small, glass flask containing her magic. Its luminous, lavender glow shines upon me even now from the desk as I write, filling me with peace and hope. Her memory lives on through me, preserved forever in my mind and my heart, but my sadness cannot be driven away. After I finish writing, I will take the time to draw out my held-back emotions alone. She gave me strength, and brightened my life in a way I never could have dreamed. I must live on for Twilight, accepting that she is gone.

...I miss her.

Entry 451 – Fire

The funeral was closed. Only myself, Luna, and Spike were there to extend our farewells to... her. My tears are still fresh on my cheeks, but I must learn to suppress them. There is nothing I can do, so I have to move on.

With my return to Canterlot due to having no place in Ponyville any longer, I find myself at an inexplicable dilemma. Everything seems so... bleak. My perception has been affected in a way that causes me be not so caring for those around me. Unique events happen all of the time, but I pay them no mind. The days pass by and I do not even notice.

I walk about with my day-to-day responsibilities within the castle automatically, as if the multitude of lifetimes' worth of experience drove my body by itself. Without thinking, I answer questions asked of me. Without consideration, I discuss situations with my politicians. Without deliberation, I make decisions affecting the entirety of the land. All is a monotony to me, more so than any I have ever experienced.

I do try on occasion to visit the Everfree Forest again, to escape from it all. However, all that it results in are painful memories, and a worse feeling. I try to explore the world to ease my mind, but it only gives me an unending sufferage. The only way I seem to be able to deal with my life is to nonchalantly attend to my duties as princess.

My lack of interest for everything has been noticed. It is unlikely that the critical ponies will continue to let the makeshift explanations from my politicians get to them as usual; there is great unrest, causing much loss of faith with my rule. My decades-long absence that I only stopped after marriage has been a common argument to bring up, as well. I do not blame them. This is my charge, and I must deal with it on my own.

I talk to the populace, whose shunning only seems to increase with whatever I say. I feel as though they have forgotten what I have done for them over my long life. They do not realize my position, my responsibility. I worry about the ponies of the land, but at this point, one might say it is misplaced. They do not care or return my affections.

Visiting with other rulers, they seem to notice the most, my change in demeanor. I am unsure if their concern is legitimate, but I play along, as the saying goes. Their actions are still of selfishness, of greed. I want nothing to do with them. I make it apparent that I take their word as sarcasm, and their true faces show. They are repulsive. I can feel their burning hatred and envy as I turn away from them.

A few places have begun to take up arms, resuming their plans from early on. More follow suit as time continues, and it all escalates so quickly. The illusion of peace is one that I seem to have been blinded by. No longer must I wait for action to be taken, results to be seen. I must preserve the harmony that she worked so hard for by any means necessary. There are forbidden magics that all have used as threats and have not acted on, my own repository never having been tapped. Perhaps...

No. What am I thinking? I cannot concentrate. My mind is in a haze. My body feels as if it is being consumed by fire. I believe I need to rest. A nap sounds heavenly; I have not slept in over a year.

I feel that they may be right, that my current state is not so fit for a ruler. I must continue to do all I can, however. I made a promise.

Entry 512 – Sin

Time is still so fruitless to me. The neverending constant in all that can be known... it wears down and destroys all with its power, including myself. My growing, dispassionate feelings for the warring ponies only become worse as they feud, my opinions being meaningless to them. I am a figurehead, a puppet for everypony to use as a method to further their goals.

I begin to notice my worth. The opinion of such a thing is purely subjective, so why will I not get a second opinion? The fear of the reminder of truth from another; it must be a matter of pride. I would rather be spared of being told such things, as I can do without their opinions. However, every time I look away from myself, there are others that have much better lives. I can see them even now, in secluded places far from the destruction. When I look at them, I have such a disturbing feeling.

The envy I feel over ponies whose simplicities give them better lives than my own... It destroys all of my motivation. I should not continue, I should abandon this life. Why should I waste my effort over something that there is no reward for? They do not respect me, my actions and opinions. I may as well do what others have done, to take advantage of my position and make my life better for me, satisfying my needs only so that I can live on easier.

Such satisfaction bothers me; I desire something even more fruitful than that. A hint of greed, perhaps? Am I becoming far too dislocated from my conventions? It is difficult to remember a time when I would not give all of this a second thought. When looking within, I can only see myself in this way: I want to have the attention and recognition of my subjects as I have for so long before. I want to be able to have a voice, for all to listen to what I have to say. I want to have everything that will allow me joy in the world, but I know that is not possible.

I try and try, and receive nothing in return despite my significant efforts. Perhaps I should simply leave this place. I should go and be a simple pony among the others, living a normal life without responsibility. The short time that I had gone into disguise was one of the most wonderful times in my life, when I had nothing to worry about. Being slothful has its merits, as I can attest to personally. I may as well do little, as life does not appear very friendly when I look at the world as a whole.

Every time I look at myself in this way, I can only hate the way that I am. The fact that I have these feelings and thoughts grate at my mind every single day of my life, and I cannot stand it. My frustration over my own emotions and dilemmas causes others to suffer bouts of my wrath. The feelings and thoughts of others are not spared. I become malevolent, almost an entirely different pony, and I look back upon it with a rationalized lack of regret. Other ponies become nothing to me; they would not be able to understand me, so I should forget about such matters.

When I must pass the time, I try to find activities that will satisfy me. There is very little for one such as I to turn to, but there is always the obvious: the joys of lust and gluttony. These feelings of short-lived happiness are then torn down in the face of reality, subverting purpose and emptying my soul. No matter how I continue my life, the day is always bleak. What else can I do but escape from it all by writing in my diary...

Even so, the actions of others become apparent to me as I sit alone in my study. When I think about all that I have accomplished to this point for the ponies to kill and destroy each other, they bother me. It bothers me. I begin to look at myself. I begin to notice my worth.

Entry 526 – Sister

Sister, it is I, Luna. I have uncovered and am now writing in your diary for the sole fact that I cannot seem to seize your attention in any other way. In the months past, you dismiss my questions, my concern, and I will no longer stand for it. I have read your many entries throughout your life, and while it is invading your privacy, I have realized something about you. The way you look upon the world and judge others is selfish, despite your thoughts that they themselves are. I have noticed your change in emotion and mannerisms ever since that day; you have disconnected from the rest ever since Twilight.

For all of the time that you were in love, I made sure not to interfere so that you may enjoy your life. It is unfortunate that it has come to this, but I digress. Times change, and you certainly have. I realize that the state of the world is unflinching, and that at this rate, they will destroy themselves. However, it is no reason for you to give up. The Princess Celestia that I knew a thousand years ago would never have let it get this far.

It is appalling, what you have done, or should I say, the results of the lack of your action. I see you giving no second glance to the downtrodden that appear on our doorstep, dooming them to a life of misery. The number of executions have increased, creating a subtle, but widespread fear amongst the citizens of Canterlot. How can you sit by and do nothing?

Do not think I do not notice your changes. I watch you closely every day, and you are empty. You no longer have the care for ponies that you once had, and everything that you do is affecting the world as a whole. The war continues on, and you do nothing to halt its progress. I realize that you have had depressions before in the past after losing other ponies, but you seem to have broken yourself over her, and everypony else may suffer for it.

Your emptiness is reflected in the ponies under us as you appear before them. The lack of compassion creates hopelessness, undermining the harmony that we once worked hard to achieve. I can no longer cover for your mistakes and inaction, Sister. Do you not remember your promise? Of all things, this is not who you are.

Ever since what happened, you escape into your diary and write about your thoughts, never looking to another for personal discussion. Debauchery under the guise of who you were with Twilight is becoming commonplace, giving you regret. I have watched you gaze blankly at Twilight's flask for hours at a time and attempt to converse with it, as if she were still alive through the last echo of her existence. We do not have such magic, Sister. I cannot stand by and watch as you go mad.

I have noticed your mane and tail losing their color, dulling in the light, and it becomes more and more orange each day. Whenever you are nearby, I sense a bitterness and the fire of envy burning within you, and I know this feeling all too well. You remember, do you not? For one thousand years I had no connection with another, no love or affection. Can you imagine what that will do to your mind?

However, unlike you, I will not simply lock you away so that I do not have to deal with you. Unlike you, I will not be selfish and think for what is best for myself. I will do everything I can to help you and your state of mind, for I will not abandon you. Do you remember what Mother said to us? We were the first to come as a pair. I believe this is the reason why; we need each other.

There is no need to ignore me any longer. I am here for you, Sister. You are not alone.

Entry 527 – Balance

I am foolish. In all my life I have never experienced a mistake so overwhelming as this. It grates at me so, my actions of the past year, the descent into madness. However, my sister has shown me the light. I am truly grateful to have Luna at my side.

For all of the life that we have lived through together, my sister has remained caring for me, forever keeping me in balance. She looks upon me with smiles even now, and I can only be filled with the greatest regret at all I have done. Whenever I was depressed, she gave me cheer. For the times I needed advice, she was there. Everything that she has done for me since the beginning... it passed my notice as if she were just a pony in the background, a meaningless and forgetful existence.

When I read the last entry in this diary, I could feel my heart and mind begin to clear. I turned around and she was there, staring at me with an expression only a sister could have, and uttered those words that only led me to cry.

'I forgive you.'

With tears running down my face, I fell to the floor in front of her, denying my right to have it. Her descent into madness was just like mine, and I did nothing to stop it because I could not deal with the emotion. For millennia before, I ignored her to satiate my own vices, wanting what was best for me alone. Her requests fell on deaf ears in the time leading up to it, the reminder making my heart sink. Even afterward, I cast her aside at the castle as I relished in the opportunity to dismiss my life as princess, going instead for yet another short life of love with a pony.

However, she only smiled and moved to embrace me. Despite all that I have done, my apparent actions of driving her away, she stayed loyal to me. In my fiery emotions that plagued me so, I had even thought with all seriousness that death would have been preferable to this prolonged life without love, my unending lifespan being able to be subverted should I will it enough – but I am blind. Luna has always loved me, her care never ceasing, forever watching me to bring me from the darkness when it is necessary. I cannot fully express my gratitude for her saving me from myself; I do not deserve her forgiveness.

We are similar to two parts of a whole that should never be separated, for all the days of our lives are what must be looked upon together. I realize now what had happened to me... The unbalance between us as the bitter ego of Nightmare Moon emerged began to break this connection, and with the banishment of my other half, my mind became distant. For a thousand years I shifted into a life of misery without love and affection, dismissing the emotions as a tiresome exercise. I know now that I need her more than ever.

While I can never forgive myself for what I have done, Luna looks upon me without regret. With her extended time on the moon, she remarked that her inner self, her true self still thought of me every day, hoping that I was leading a good life. It pains me so, the truth I explained to her.

Still, it matters not. My sister is here for me now, and I her for the rest of our existence, and this time I will not shun her.

Entry 545 – Storm

I have spent a great deal of time with my sister these past few months. Our love strengthens us every day as we talk with each other about our experiences and travel across the world. My life feels much brighter now with the veil of darkness no longer obscuring my vision.

We gaze in objectivity at the war that continues to destroy everything and everypony in its path, our involvement having ceased. It sickens us, the pain and torment for all, how none can see what damage it brings. It will be the end of them, and we are unsure what to do when it is all over, one way or the other. Despite our separation, we continue to control the sun and moon, for it is a responsibility given to us that is greater than any pony conflict should interrupt.

Several attempts have been made to coerce us into returning to Canterlot to fight. It is clearly out of the question, and they attempt with evolving weaponry to attack us when we refuse. The eternal protection of our lives by our mother is far too powerful for anypony to break other than us, their fruitless rage only making us pity them when they are struck down. I greatly regret taking any life, so I subdue them in a way that makes them harmless, but still I have guilt. Luna disagrees with my methods, preferring to make our opinion known by forceful representation, but understands my actions.

It never stops. Even now, on occasion, assassins will appear to destroy us. One by one they come, not knowing of our power, and we passively resist. We sit in place as they fail to kill us, watching them with sorrow and staring into their wrathful faces, not knowing the bottomless pit they have fallen into. After each attempt on our lives, we fly away and find another place to rest.

At the moment, we are in a hidden dragon's hoard, our old friend Spike's cave, specifically. He has grown quite a bit in the past century, though he is still not quite an adult size yet. While he does not say it, I know he is grateful to see us, having been alone for so long. Being alone is, of course, something I am familiar with, and I would not wish it on another. We spend our days talking with each other about better times, hoping for a brighter end in the future and dispensing current events from our minds. The fond memories we have of all whom we have lost are still with us, giving us hope that it may happen again someday.

I still possess the last breath of Twilight in her flask. I wear it as a necklace every day, a reminder of the happiest moments of my long life. I do not know if I will ever open it. Luna has confessed her worry of me keeping the trinket, but so long as my sister is here, I am confident of my mental state.

Even Discord has come to visit us now and then, not as an enemy, but an equal. The being of chaos has been free for some time due to the disharmony that endlessly continues in the outside world, but does nothing to change any of it. He, like us, looks upon it all and feels sorry for them, remarking with a sarcastic but sorrowful comment that it is unfortunate he will not be able to have fun with them any longer.

Discord told us that he knew about what had happened to me, and said he was glad that I had come out of my recent emotional descent. I noted that he had just supported a type of harmony, and he quickly dismissed it. I giggled at that; I knew he had a kind of affection for me. Noticing our indifference to the ponies of the land, he was surprised to learn of it, remembering our intense loyalty to them in the past. Times have changed for the worse, but we still care for our subjects. However, we will no longer clean up the messes they have made for themselves.

After staying with us for a few days, he said he was going to leave. Curious about where he might go, we asked him what sort of place is left in Equestria that would fit him. He only smiled and pointed upwards, noting that there is far more to our existence than just this one world we know. With a snap of his fingers, he disappeared in a flash, never to be seen again.

Luna and I had not considered such an option, but it is because we have a duty to the ponies – or do we? At this point, we have essentially abandoned them due to our opinion of them being a lost cause. We have done all we can, I believe, yet they cannot deny their nature, just as we cannot deny ours.

Every once in a while, we leave the cave to check on the progress of the war, but it only seems to become worse as time goes on. It saddens us, but there must be an end, and we are patient.

As the world we know vanishes, Luna and I find solace with one another. Our minds are as one as we look upon the past with sadness and regret, wondering if we could have done anything different to prevent the atrocities. The option of attempting time magic to try and fix everything came to mind, but it does not work for us for an inexplicable reason; it may be impossible due to our strong magical ties, and furthermore, we were bound to cause far more problems. It was better to leave things as they were, as our mistakes are our own.

Time passes, and we enjoy each other's company in the peace and tranquility of this quiet cave, reveling in intimacies. The passions we have reserved for ourselves being long overdue, I am beginning to feel more level-headed every day, my mind open to more and more. In time, we will return to fix what the ponies have done to themselves, and with any luck, we shall rebuild what they have destroyed.

Entry 606 – Death

Luna and I have been visiting with the rulers of the land one last time to convince them to cease their destruction before they destroy themselves, in an attempt to tell them that we are their only saving grace. Despite all that they have done, our forgiveness and care for all is the only way that we can restore balance to the world. So far, we have been met with hostility; it was to be expected. However, we knew we must at least give them one last chance, a chance which they have squandered. Their downfall is inevitable, now.

We want nothing more to do with the rest of the world. While we realize that not everypony out there is like the selfish rulers, it is our fault as a whole that everything has turned out this way, and it is – was – our responsibility. There is no more we can do except wait for it to be over.

As we wait out the endless war for years in this cave, several refugees occasionally sought shelter on our doorstep. Spike greeted them on guard, but if Luna and I could sense their peaceful hearts, then they were let in. The ones that came were certainly surprised to see their old princesses, and the begging that coincided with each new arrival only served to bring more pain into our hearts.

There were at least a dozen or two ponies that found this cave in total looking for a brighter future, or at least a comfortable present, away from it all. I am disheartened to say that they all had passed away from an unknown sickness in a few weeks' time, but my sister and I tried to make all of their final days worthwhile. We took them with us to explore the wonders of the world, some of which still stood strong, and talked with them as friends rather than rulers. They died peacefully, and our regret was lessened.

It is unfortunate that Spike seems to become more downtrodden each day; we believe he may be afflicted by the sickness as well, but working slower due to his size and species. He has not passed yet, but he has made known his happiness for knowing the two of us. Keeping him company for this decade of war has brought all of us at least some solace, which is more than enough compared to what is still out there. Should he decide to let his life end and forego the misery, we will oblige his request and let him pass on with a peaceful mind.

As we took flight to visit with the rulers, we have noticed the damage to the world. The population is much less, plants wither, and the ponies know not of smiles. Sickness, poverty, and crime run rampant throughout the land. Everything is at a terrible state, and it is difficult to imagine that it could get worse. We notice that even the rulers are feeling the pressure of disharmony, at least, so perhaps it will be over soon.

Earlier today when Spike was foraging for gems in the mountains nearby, he found a tiny filly by herself. He did the right thing by bringing her to us, but she is the worst reminder of how everything has become due to our actions. It is unfair; she was born during war, a sweet mind of innocence and purity, with only devastation and resentment all around her. Despite all that she has been through, she remains complacent and overjoyed to meet with her princesses, giving us a light of hope for the future.

For everything that has happened, I question our existence. Is this all that could have happened, no matter what? What more could we have done to prevent this? I think back to previous thoughts of peace, whether it is or not when it is forced. However, if I did so, I would have subverted all original meaning of self and my goals. I do not want to become them. I must stay true to myself, but if this is the outcome... then I want nothing to do with it. If only it were not too late to change it all.

With this little one that we have adopted on a whim with her happy agreement, she may be the last experience of true comfort that Luna and I will have for a long time. We will do everything we can to bring her and us said comfort.

Entry 622 – Silence

Today was a bright day which heralded the darkness. We sit in stationary flight and watch the world burn away what remains, unsure what our next actions will be. I still recall what happened as if it were only moments ago, but either way, it was over so quickly.

The morning before the events was a difficult time. Despite all our attempts to keep her alive, our newly-adopted daughter was suffering far too much from the sickness that enveloped all others. We had times with her like any mothers would have: travel, playtime, talking. Just her sweet voice was enough to make us smile. I only wish we had more time to spend with her, still being so young, but her ill state demanded otherwise. With her plea to end her continuous pain, Luna and I tucked her to sleep for the last time, hoping she will find peace in death that she did not so much have in life. Our sorrows already too compounded, we no longer cry for these ponies, but have an appreciation for our experiences. No more will we look upon the deaths of those we have lost in regret, but with the happiness they provided us, no matter how short the duration.

Afterward, Spike quickly left the cave to mourn on his own. That was when it had happened; the ground shook deep within this mountain of ours for just a minute, and a moment later a deafening sound reached our ears, stunning us. The ceiling shook and crumbled, replacing the cave completely with giant boulders. I am unsure how long we were underground from having the mountain fall onto us, but we were nevertheless uninjured. We hastily dug out of the mess and found ourselves outside upon the rocks, noticing that there was nothing left of the mountains.

Looking out across the horizon, we saw that dust covered the landscape and the sky, obscuring our vision. Even the sun was unable to be seen with how thick it was. With a simple spell, we blew it apart and were surprised at the sight of destruction before us.

The land was either barren or ablaze with fire. It was very quiet. The only sound was of the wind that blew past our ears, and it was empty. We gazed at the nearby town that used to be at the base of the mountain: trees torn apart, buildings blown away to ruin, everything covered in ash. We flew down to check on everything, to perhaps see if anypony was still alive, but there were none. Spike was nowhere to be found either, despite the fact that he could not have gotten far. He was gone as well. We had no time to think back on our lives with him, just then; I suggested we check other places for survivors.

Unfortunately, every place we travelled to was the same. Great cities such as Manehattan, Las Pegasus, and even Canterlot were ground to dust. Our old home had mostly fallen off the cliff where it resided, leaving little to resemble its once glorious appearance.

Glistening rivers that once flowed freely throughout the land had all but disappeared, the ones left only carrying ash along its thinning routes. Lakes disappeared and the oceans dropped in level. When we flew high above the world, it was easy to notice there were no signs of life along its flattened landscape. No ponies, no animals, no trees. Everything was destroyed.

All evidence points to the forbidden magic that I have known about for some time. I never dreamed any one pony would use it, much less the rest of the world. I suppose one can never predict when such things would happen, but I should have at least foreseen a hint of this atrocity...

For over a year we have searched for any trace of ponies that might have survived, but there were none. All have perished in the magic and contempt of death and destruction. We could not even find bodies. How could it end this way?

It matters not what had happened, but what will happen next. With the entirely grey and lifeless landscape, we wondered what more there was for us. Our purpose seemed out of reach, having appeared we lost it. However, Luna recalled what Discord had said: There was more to our existence than just this. With a short span of time to develop magical flight to work in tandem with our wings, we ascended above and beyond Equestria, to feel the light of the sun once more. The beauty of it being able to be seen with the contrasting darkness all around is astounding. We can see the moon from here as well, untouched by the impurity of our world, and it is just as beautiful.

Everything that happened to us and our subjects seems so insignificant when viewed from so far away. What importance are our ties at this point? Where do we go from here? The questions plague our minds, however, we are still alive. There is more for us out there – somewhere – if we only seek it out.

Just a moment ago, I gazed at the flask of my truest love, still undamaged after all that has happened. I unsealed its contents, and her magic whisked out, moving to shroud my body. For just a moment I felt her presence again, and I knew that there was still hope for me. The memories of her swept through my mind in an instant from when I met her until the end, causing me tears and joy I experienced only once until now. I am... at peace with the loss of Equestria, the ponies within, and Twilight. I discard the necklace by flinging it towards the moon. As I watch it fly away, I share with Luna a genuine smile which she returns, and I feel finally content with moving on.

We gaze upon what once was our home while far from it in this endless calm, knowing now that nothing is left for us there. All that remains of Equestria is our memories, which will last forever. We take flight into the sparkling void without looking back, hoping to find our purpose in this place of mystery.

Entry 4511932 – Life

I can feel my time coming to an end, but I have my drive; no longer do I have worries to stifle my resolve. Attachments that I once had are not only fond memories, but experiences having a great meaning even now, still affecting me and my decisions after so very long. We see the regretful reminder of our mistakes each time we sleep, but my sister and I will not make those mistakes again. While we have failed those in the past, we will do what we can to prevent more of the same, to make up for what happened and ease our minds if only slightly. Observational paralysis and regret are what destroyed me, and in turn destroyed them due to my selfishness, so we must look to the future and make it better the next time by truly acting. We know now that we did not go through with our charges correctly, but we must not dwell on it. Starting anew is all we can do at this point.

The two of us have been occupied for a long time, learning all that we can in the infinite expanse so that our confidence in our ability as princesses would no longer be diminished. It is a gamble, our plans for what is coming, but we must try. Our inaction led us here and we have made the best of it, never forgetting what we have lost, lest we make the same errors in judgement. We have seen remarkable things, and despite my age and poor memory at times, I am able to recall all of such wonders since our departure. Summarizing it all will make everything easy to remember, so that I may relive it to remind myself of what we have learned.

As time became meaningless to Luna and I, we began to explore the vastness of the cosmos. We found that on other worlds, the sun and moon rise and fall by themselves, sometimes even being in the sky together. It was a rather surprising fact to learn after all of the time we spent at our home. Was it even necessary for us to control them, and if not, why were we given such a connection? Could it have been done so that such a tether would keep us and the ponies together? Endless questions plague our minds as we travel, but also give us an intriguing introspection.

Many times, there were worlds that had several moons, even a perpetual darkness due to a weak sun. The combination mystified Luna, who enjoys such features. I, too, saw the beauty of it all. A purple sky with glowing celestial objects of all colors and sizes radiated across our eyes. Violent waves of water with sounds and movements that could only add to the experience teased our ears. Cold scents filled the air that gave a tranquility to our minds and bodies. I had never imagined such amazing lands existed.

Several more worlds we visited were very large and only composed of eternally rushing, spiraling clouds of all colors and forms. The sight of the motion of the perpetually-covered surfaces were mesmerizing; they twist and turn in the winds forever like an immense ocean. We would sometimes frolic in the torrents to amuse ourselves, stirring their contents like a hot cup of tea and watching the unique shapes that unfold.

Large rocks pummeled the side of one world that we passed. We broke our path to investigate, observing the destructive force up close. Explosions pushed away the ground and created mountains, leaving craters so large that we could only see the sky from within the center. Earthquakes uncovered lava that turned everything it touched to ash. An enormous tidal wave flattened landscapes all around. Could this have been possible at our own lands? Were we so fragile?

Suns were littered about as we travelled, specks of light within this vast tapestry of darkness. They came in several different colors: red, orange, blue, even white. There were several that were enormous, and some that were minuscule in comparison. Did these suns also watch over the worlds they illuminated? Could any have had links to its rulers, like us?

There were some places that had suns that were very close together. We stared at them for long periods at a time, watching them spin. It was like a dance between sisters. My own sister, too, saw the familiarity in it. We danced together with a pair for years, basking in their warmth and brightness.

Enormous clouds we could see in deeper regions of the giant sun-disks. They moved much like normal clouds, but on a very different timeframe. On occasion, we would see the center of one collapse into itself, a shining light within. It was very rare to find more clouds that did the same, but when we did, it was a remarkable sight. In time, a newborn sun emerged, ready to give energy to life and brighten the universe with its glow. Is this how they came to be? The birth of a sun?

Once, and only once during our travels, did we come within close proximity of a very large sun. It was so large that when we decided to fly closer, it took years; we thought we might never reach the surface. As we examined its remarkable size, it suddenly disappeared, an enormous flash of light replacing it. We had never dreamed that something so shining and beautiful could be a part of this existence. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, the light faded – and I felt an unknown sensation sweep past me, as if leaving the immediate area. The sun was gone as I opened my eyes. Was this the death of a sun? Was the flash its final moments of giving the universe its last shining glory before leaving this plane? Being able to see the lives of these objects is a unique experience.

For a short span of centuries, we experimented with forbidden magic related to conversion, a normally dangerous undertaking we did not perform at our original home. We had landed on an untouched world and began altering its contents on a different level; using our powerful magic, we were able to focus enough to change the properties of the earth, water, and the air. I could sense a sort of... 'piecing together' while I worked as if the makeup of the elements were a simple jigsaw puzzle. There was quite a lot to discover when it came to creation magic as well, converting pure magic into forms such as the aforementioned and even plants that breathed life. The potential seemed limitless, and we have taken an occasional detour in our travels to experiment further.

The mysteries of existence... All were around us as we looked. Luna and I observed other civilizations at times without their knowledge, in order to prevent disastrous meddling. We watched them as they built and destroyed themselves or each other. We saw them explore, finding truth and invention. We listened to their thoughts of both chaos and harmony. It is surprising how similar every culture is compared to another, even our own. All the while, we became interested in them for a time, but it was not quite satisfying. It never felt right, as though something was missing. We never stayed with the same one for long, most likely due to us having no connection with them.

In an uncountable length of time, Luna and I had seen all there was to be seen, experienced all that we thought we could make for ourselves, and came to an impasse. We had seen everything interesting in the universe, all of the way to the edges of nothingness. What more was there for us? What was the purpose of our life? For a time, we believed that we were cursed. Cursed to experience eternal boredom, having no place in the entirety of existence for all eternity is all we could see. My mind turned back to Discord. Was that our destiny, to create our own chaos to satiate our dwindling sanity amongst the stale and unchanging?

However, Luna came upon an epiphany as we hovered above an occupied world, her thoughts poring through my earliest diary entries. As she shared it with me, we could not help but feel foolish. All our lives, we have stared at it, living through it in the past and gazing at it in the future. My recorded experiences paved the way for us all this time, being right in front of us. I should not have so easily tossed them aside after writing, for they revealed something substantial.

What our true purpose was, our one calling is: guiding life. Watching them grow, observing their progress. Teaching and connecting with them, giving them meaning. Showing them what it meant to be alive, what to aspire to. Seeing them evolve on their own – to overcome strife, conflict, even themselves with their inner will and valor. That is what we needed. To watch the lives among us become something greater than ourselves, to see them do all of those things with their own foals is what we live for.

This reminder and realization struck us deep within our hearts, and uncovered again the pain of our mistakes that we continue to bear, having squandered away our lives with self-important arrogance that ultimately made all others suffer. We were ungrateful, undeserving of our position, but no more will we feel this way; Luna and I must overcome in order to make everything right for us and those waiting for us. We needed our old lives again, the same as before, and we have decided to get back what we can, together. She looks at me silently with a smile as I write. I return it, the both of us knowing what we have to do, already speeding through the cosmos to our final destination.

As we once again pass amongst these seemingly endless amounts of light spheres and worlds, each with their own unique features, we realize our significance. Despite all of the importance placed onto our lives, we truly mean very little in the grand scheme of the one in control, whether an individual or simply nature taking its course. Even Luna and I, with our extraordinary power, are merely two lives out of the infinitesimal, quite meaningless in comparison to how many exist in truth. It all may give one pause, to cause one to question their value, their worth.

However, we make our own value, our own worth. All around us, we see, we touch, we feel as we live out our days either down to earth or within the sky. We are seen, we are touched, we are considered by the individuals around us, acknowledging our existence and affecting our lives in countless ways. Everything amalgamates to one fact: that one's life and meaning is what is around them and how they evolve because of it, whether one is aware of it or not. Actions define us more than anything, whether seeing or doing, and we must not forget.

Our purpose being clear to us now, we have realized that our experiences and guidance throughout our lifetime have made us who we are. We are leaders, the ones who guide others to their paths. I would not want to lead with anypony else but my sister, Luna, my eternal twin. I am truly grateful to have her in my life.

This is my final testament, the last diary entry of many throughout my long life. There is no need to write any more. We finally understand everything there was to learn about our purpose. Luna and I will return to our true home.

Entry 0 – Cycle

This is my diary's first entry. I have not the slightest idea what to transcribe. Mother gave this book to me this morning, along with one to my sister. She said it was important to write about our lives as often as we could, even if there was seemingly nothing to write; earlier insights into my life could change events greatly in the future. I do not particularly understand her reasoning, but I will try and use this as much as I am able. Perhaps I will find I enjoy it. She mentioned that writing an entry just after my sister raises the moon is the best time, so here I am. Albeit, it is past midnight.

Auntie Luna finally told us about what was within the mysterious vault at the back of the castle: It contains Mother's many diaries. She said that I should only open it and read them when the two of us are confronted with an impossible situation that no amount of trying will be able to solve. I wonder now what kind of situation would lead us to desperation for help from Mother in that way, what sort of secrets the diaries hold, but I feel I will not be able to understand unless the time arises. It is best to be patient, I believe.

Today, Sis and I were once again guided through the necessary studies to become proper princesses. I honestly believe we can accomplish running Equestria on our own, now. I suppose we really do not have a choice, at this point... Mother and Auntie Luna left for the sky this afternoon. They shined with a blazing gold and blue respectively before shooting up to the heavens, leaving behind two sonic rainbooms high above the castle. They have done it before, but they said they will not be returning this time... However, they did note they would be watching over us.

I truly miss them already, and I am sure Sis feels the same. They taught us so much in these few centuries of being their daughters, although much of it I am not sure I understand. Mother told me that we will come to understand everything, given enough time... I will have to trust her judgement. She was so wonderful to me, as was Auntie Luna. Of course, they were wonderful to the both of us. I hope to learn as much as possible while I am princess alongside my sister.

Before they left, they gave us a set of jewels that they said represented the essence of love and harmony, a powerful magic beyond any we could know. They currently rest atop my desk in my study, and I can feel a kind of satisfaction emanating from them when I am near. I am unsure whether they are alive or not, but they seem... happy. Even I inexplicably feel more jubilant around them, myself; I hope to keep them that way. Mother said the magic of these jewels may be useful one day, should chaos return, but I do not know when it was here before. We shall see if it happens.

I come to wonder what more is in store for us in the future. Sis and I asked them why everypony around us were not living as long as we were, and they said that we had a purpose far too important to have a lifespan with an end. I tried to ask about what that meant, but they did not tell us, of course. Mother only smiled and said it must be found by ourselves, with the help of each other, or else I would not understand it. Once again, she was being enigmatic as ever. Sometimes it bothered my sister and I, but I knew that she knew best. I suppose we will have to see how everything turns out.

All of the questions itch at me so! I wish they had not left us with so many. There is so much I still want to learn from them, and I know Sis shares the same thoughts. All there is to do is to simply live out our days, now. Before they left, I asked why they had to leave us alone, but they said we will never be alone if Sis and I have each other. I am actually really glad to hear it. She is the best sister I could ever have.

There was an interesting event that I experienced just a few hours ago. I have come to visit the Canterlot Observatory again, in order to gaze at the stars. Astronomy is so fascinating! I just adore seeing what is out there, sparkling in the distance. Although, as I looked around through the telescope, I had seen something odd that did not match the many charts we have. There were two bright new stars in the sky, and they seemed to even be side-by-side. I reported this to some astronomers at the facility, to which they told me they had not seen them there until today. Since I found them first, they thought it was only right to let me name them for any and all future charts. What an honor, it is!

Even now as I write in this diary, I am in front of the telescope at present, making doubly sure I am not going mad by seeing two stars that were not there yesterday. I can see them now as clear as any other, if not more so; they are the brightest in the night sky, close enough that they almost form into one. Normally, ones this close together would disrupt each other in major ways to the point that it is lucky they even exist, so I need time to understand anomalies such as this and others. Oddities and uniqueness like this within our vast universe are why this subject fascinates me so. At least I have one advantage in eternal life – being able to observe the slow evolution of the cosmos – and it is worth the wait to see such wonders.

In any case, I was given time to decide on their names. However, I believe I already have the perfect choice for them...