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The Princess of Friendship (Open- Read Rules at Bottom)


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Watching her library be destroyed by Tirek had stunned Twilight. She had expected a lot of things but he was so far away and the explosion so powerful- it was all gone. Luckily nopony or nocreature was hurt, but it was all gone. She had taken it in for a second before she had charged off to battle and used as fuel for the raging fire within. That wasn't the only whirlwind event of the day, or even that hour, involving what would be her home. The Tree of Harmony produced a castle of her very own, an at times disconcerting piece of crystal arhecticture not fitting in with the Ponyville skyline as it were. It was a sign of not only her new role as Princess, the Princess of Friendship, but her new home and seat of power for the Ponyville area. It was hard for a lot of ponies to grasp, even if the results were bound to be lovely. The Princess of Friendship ruled from Ponyville of all places- who would have thunk it?

Certainky not Twilight. Not in a thousand years could she have imagined her luck, first at having made such great friends with which she had saved Equestria five times and the Crystal Empire once, and now being so lucky as to have her seat of power located within walking distance of them all. It didn't make certain aspects of being a Princess any easier even if she now had castle staff to help out with a lot of the minor matters. Now that she had a castle, she also had to deal with a great deal of foreign relations and visits and her court was rarely without a foreign supplicant praising the newest grand Princess of Equestria for this deed or that. She still had work to do of all sorts, from the high and mighty to low and ignoble. Every department imaginable wanted her signature for this, that, or the other and she often found herself spending as much time giving her signature to law and budgets as talking to ponies!

That was why, as the Princess of Friendship, days like today were important. She couldn't pass along her own knowledge, help out ponies in need, or arbitrate disagreements from behind a quill half as effectively as she could on her throne. Then she could be as sincere as needed or as firm as needed rather than go long-winded in her replies, and her openness allowed for ponies of all sorts to meet and greet her if that was all they wanted to do. It was a more relaxing way of doing things than perhaps Celestia was used to even if that was entirely luck-based. While she had her fair share of nobleponies edging into her court looking for favor, she had far less of a court politics contingent than other Princesses were forced to deal with. No, the majority of her visitors were normal ponies or business ponies, and on those two accounts she was well-qualified.

Of course she wouldn't do it alone. Friendship was collaborative after all and she couldn't imagine doing it without Spike, her number one assistant and close confidant. He sat next to her in his own tiny little throne with a table separating the two with some tea, crackers, and a few nice gems on it. To her left was one of the Twilight Guards who stood watch over the Princess on her rainbow throne, raised several steps above the floor at the end of a red carpet. The carpet started at the entrance of the castle and went through the whole hall to her hooves, the path that ponies could follow to her laid out in a straight lane and flanked by two squads of guards along the route. The sun was already high and she was behind, so Twilight nodded at one of them. He bowed and opened the door to the throne room, outside of which was the main lobby and the entrance to the two sides of the public library.

"The Princess is open for visitors. One at a time, no pushing," the Guard spoke plainly, he and another Guard's crossed spears opening for the first of many ponies to meet Twilight.


Here are the rules for this thread:

1- One character in the thread at any time.

2- You may have up to three characters in this thread. Any more, please PM me for approval.

3- When there are other people in line, please do not take up too much time. If you are the only one then this is different.

4- Have a reason that your character is here to see her in the flesh. Simple things like just checking up with a friend could be done via letter, silly.

5- Any member of the Twilight Guard may stay in this thread long term. Same goes for Spike and Sunrise Beach.

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The first guest came not from outside Ponyville but from within the castle itself. A purple unicorn stallion exited one of the doors of the library, passing by the guards that stood at the main entrance. Even though he had been the librarian for a short while, the experience was nonetheless strange to him. Never in his life did he think that he would be working in a royal library. Then again never in his life did he think something so tragic would happen before. His mind still felt like a tornado of memories, thoughts and emotions and he passed down the long red carpeted way leading to the throne and to a pony that he owed much to. He nodded in recognition to the familiar guards that kept the castle safe, not that Princess Twilight was incapable of defending herself.

At last Lore Weaver reached the glistening rainbow throne where Twilight sat, once again never imagining that the unicorn that lived in the tree library across the street from his house would one day become the Princess of Friendship. He stopped and gave a slight bow to the familiar pony, waiting his turn to speak to her.

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The first guest was somepony she had started to work with closely in the last few weeks as the castle was being set up properly. Lore Weaver was a lover of books and an owner of a local bookstore that had taken severe damage when the Golden Oaks Library had been destroyed. It was a loss even Twilight felt as it seemed a sthough publishers would rather send books to be sold than borrowed, so he often had books that Twilight would only get a hold of weeks later. With his store gone however, what was he to do? It saddened her greatly but cosmic forces alligned properly. She turned two of the large rooms on either side of the entrance into two wings of the same public library, and found the fellow lover of the written word and was able to convince him to join her castle staff. No doubt he had secretly been excited at the proposition! He had proven her fath in him well-founded as the library was operating like a well oiled machine.

She beckoned him to stand.

"Hello, Lore Weaver! How is the library today?" Twilight asked excitement painted on her voice with broad strokes of a thin brush. She couldn't get too excited because decorum demanded a little bit of reservation but she was dying to know. Her own private library was a marvel in and of itself but a lot of the works very serious in tone and in some cases dangerous. The library open to the public contained a lot more of the fare she enjoyed reading on an easy day, but she could rarely visit it. If she did during the day then she ran the risk of creating a logjam there of ponies trying to meet her. Night was the only time she could take any real time down there but even then she was so swamped with activity during the day that she was often unwilling to go down four floors! Her own private library needed more Daring Do.

"What business do you have?" She asked a bit more formally, keeping to the point of this interaction. He could visit her any day of the week any time of the week, but during public meeting hours she had to make sure he had a mission in mind for the sake, safety, and fairness of others. It would seem a bit odd if her first visitor was there just to shoot the breeze, especially if it was a member of the castle staff. But it also made her wonder why he was here. there must have been something wrong with the books. Hopefully the latest shipment had arrived or else she was going to have to write her very own magitech science textbook and it wouldn't include any forewords and that would just be awful for all involved.

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Lore smiled back t the Princess as she greeted him. It was strange that a pony who loved books enough to convert of her castle into a library was rarely seen there, but being a royal figure Lore could only fathom how busy she was with meetings and papers to sign and decisions to be made. Such a task placed on the stallion would pose to great even for one such as him who was organized enough to keep things running smoothly. Not that he'd expect to be royalty as the chances of becoming an Alicorn were more slim than being struck by lightning! Still even in the night with the castle closed to the public Lore kept the doors opened in case the Princess felt the need or want to venture to her library.

"The library is doing excellent," Lore said proudly, "I'd say ninety nine percent of the books have been cataloged and shelved with the last few soon to follow. I think I'm ready to offer study time for any fillies or colts that would be interested, perhaps a story time, and maybe even a class or two on the basics of magic that i can teach, all with your approval of course to work around any meetings you may have."

It was clear that the Princess wished to know why her was in the line of the public visiting her. After all, he was only a few floors down from where she stayed so conversations between the two were fairly easy. But this was something that he felt the need to say.

"I don't have any business for Twilight, nor is anything wrong. Instead I have to say thank you for granting me this opportunity. I know that I've said this before, but you have no idea how much this means to me. Or actually you may as you felt the same loss as I did and even more. But when I was at my lowest, recovering in that hospital after being literally buried under what I treasured so much, I could not see any hope of returning to anything normal in my life. But then you gave me this gift, better than anything I've had, a change to share knowledge with others. So in thanks for your help, I wanted to give you this."

Lore then produced a book from his saddlebag. It was already old looking with its cover faded and dried, now sporting several char marks as a reminder to the recent events. The writing was worn but it still could be clearly read as The History of Equestria's Founding by Golden Era.

"This was the oldest book I had in my bookstore, one that I think was written shortly after Equestria's founding. I want you to have it Twilight as thanks for your support."

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Sunrise Beach raced towards the newest building in the town of Ponyville, Princess Twilight Sparkle’s tree shaped castle. As the young filly galloped franticly she levitated two brown paper bags in front of her determined and frantic face. Sunrise may have yet to really develop her magic, but she had enough in her to focus the all important bags safely in front of her; they were for the princess after all!

As she approached the crystalline building, the turquoise unicorn filly only stopped briefly at the entrance to the castle itself to salute the two guards who straddled each side of the door. Both guards saluted back before returning to their stoic, ever attentive pose, something that they took pride in. Maybe, just maybe, Sunrise thought, she could become a royal guard herself someday; that is if her sports dreams don’t pan out. She was already a page, thanks to Twilight’s generosity. Sure it was just part time, and sure it mostly meant cleaning the guards’ armor and sharpening spears, but it meant she got to stay in Ponyville with her friends, well and for a “stable education” as her mom would tell it.

It didn’t take long for Sunrise to reach the primary throne room; it wasn’t too large or fancy, and she strongly suspected Twilight would make it even more low-key if she felt she could get away with it, but there was no doubt this room was meant to honor royalty. Fortunately she got there before it was busy, with only the royal librarian, Lore Weaver, in attendance, other than the throne guard. “Twilight!! Like, er, I mean your highness! Princess Twilight Sparkle! I brought, like, thee very important...”

Sunrise suddenly tripped in her haste, her magic momentarily disappearing, and with it the aura around the two brown bags. The filly’s eyes widened in panicked fret, and then quickly closed them to concentrate all her magical ability, catching the bags again in a pinkish glow right before they hit the ground. “Like. Pheeewwww. That was really close to being like, a totally bogus moment!”

She stood back up and trotted towards the throne as if it was no big deal and placed the greasy bags on the table next to it. Sunrise gave a proud smile of a job well done for the young page, “like, your royal high lavenderness, I brought thee hay fries from the Hay Burger with extra seasoning just like you, er, thee asked!”

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Study time at the library would be a fantastic way to emphasize her recent push for better education through reading and writing, so Twilight nodded pleasantly along with Lore as he told her that. It always seemed like ponies were just a little behind when it came to understanding or using the written word. That may have been because her expectations had been skewered by both a high class and then royal upbringing, but she believed that mattered very little in the cosmic order of things. Everypony regardless of how or where they lived had the same basic needs and the same basic abilities and she wanted to make sure that ponies across the nation got their chance to shine. Twilight wasn't laboring under the delusion that there was an entire nation of geniuses out there, but she did believe that the future would show that ponies in Canterlot were no better than ponies in Ponyville, and that education and access to superior materials would only ever benefit all of them.

"I would approve of any study time in the library with local foals, colts, and fillies wholeheartedly!" She said excitedly, motioning towards the dual library entrances, "we could even keep the library open and just have the meeting in one-half of it. That would be a lot of fun, I think. As for magic- I am actually in the middle of creating a series of magic camps across Equestria that will serve that exact purpose. I'll keep your name on hoof for faculty, okay?" Twilight offered as a compromise, mindful of that plan. It would be very important to see how it went. If it went as well as she hoped, then the face of Equestrian education would change forever. It was incredibly important to her and she had already poured over thousands of applications for students and faculty on top of her normal schedule. But what was one more to add on? She could always use the extra hooves.

Lore then thanked Twilight again- about the fourth or fifth time, she figured- and gave her a copy of one of the oldest written works in Equestria. The History of Equestria's Founding was one of the seminal works of history ever recorded. Much of it was shrouded in myth and legend but nothing provided as much to that era, not even close, and it helped lay the foundation for Hearth's Warming Eve and all of the other beliefs regarding the Founding. She levitated it close and smiled. She had read it before. The Canterlot Royal Archives had several pristine copies preserved from the elements and time, but outside of the Archives it was beyond exceedingly rare as only three other copies existed. She was actually in discussions with the Archive to get a copy sent to her for part of her library and she would still do that, as this meant more. It came from a friend and from somepony who shared her love of books and the pain they had both felt when her library had been destroyed and his business buried in the rubble wad equalled only by their resolve to do share their passion with others.

"Wow, this is amazing! Thank you, Lore. This means a lot to me! I remember reading this when I was younger, the most definitive if still at times mythical look into the past as we will ever see," she picked Lore up telekinetically and brought him in for a hug before placing him back down, "the copy I sent for from the Archives can go to the library and I'll keep this one," she smiled, "it means more to me with these char marks."

As she finished there, her favorite page arrived with the most crucial of orders. Ever since Twilight had become an alicorn, she had been struck by the most overwhelming cravings possible to be felt. Her hunger was nigh insatiable and remorseless, giving her fits of midnight snacking able to drain an entire region of baked goods in her fevered but relatable nightmares. Hay fries had been a favorite snack of hers and lots of them as during stretched of great study she could scarf down whole family-sized orders of the food in minutes. Hay Burger had the best fries in all of Ponyville and had some of the top seasoning she had ever tasted. She couldn't stop herself from wanting to just buy the establishment but she would just settle for ordering from them once a day. But that wasn't as important to Twilight as the pony who brought them to her.

Sunrise Beach was a very well-intentioned filly who had lived with Twilight for some time as a favor to her mother, a pony who had an eye on greater things for her daughter. Sunrise had many fantastic traits and was a joy to have around, questioning and direct if still kind and thoughtful of others. It was good to have a filly around at times as Twilight always wondered if she would ever have the time to have a family of her own, and helping a pony find herself in this world was one of the real joys of parenting. Of course, Sunrise wasn't here just for Twilight's good will. She needed help- reading was beyond tricky fr her, and Twilight felt pain for her. Reading and understanding was one of the most important pieces of a pony's life and not being able to connect the dots in that manner was a troubling thing indeed. Luckily, she had the aid of a Princess and now a place in a castle. There had been a brief discussion about where Sunrise should have gone after the destruction of Golden Oaks, but Twilight made sure it was brief. As long as she earned her keep as a page and continued her education, Twilight would not turn her back on a filly who lost many wordly possessions in the destruction of Golden Oaks.

"Thank you, Sunrise. Nice to see somepony can attend to my crazy hunger pains now! I'm sorry I took you away from your other duties, but I didn't know who else to trust with such an important task!" Twilight winked while levitating a few fries into her mouth with a hungry expression only momentarily satisfied. She levitated a few Sunrise's way as well, "your reward! What are you doing today?"

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As he waited, Lore heard the galloping of hooves as a turquoise unicorn approached the two carrying bags from the fast food restaurant McMares. The stallion was instantly taken back to going there when the smell of a Hay Burger and hay fries entered his nostrils. Apparently the Princess had a taste for such a place which was surprising considering Lore thinking that of all the food a Princess could want and could be prepared at a moment's notice, Twilight merely desired McMares. Well, it showed that no matter who or what you are there will always be something you like. Still the questioned remained who this filly was in terms of her position in the castle. For all he could tell, she was the errand runner, especially food. The stallion was amazed by the amount of it that was brought for Twilight, chalking it up to some kind of anomaly with Alicorns that their powers came at a price which was having to eat more.

"Oh hello there," Lore said to the filly, "Looks like you got your hooves full. I don't think that we met formally. I'm Lore Weaver, owner of... I mean...head librarian of the Royal Ponyville Library. Twilight mentioned you name is Sunrise, right?"

Yes, there was the little almost slip up in introducing himself, his mind for a moment reverting to the time when he would introduce himself as owner rather than librarian. Old habits died hard, and it would take him time to adjust. Still he couldn't help but feel proud calling himself head librarian.

"I would approve of any study time in the library with local foals, colts, and fillies wholeheartedly!" She said excitedly, motioning towards the dual library entrances, "we could even keep the library open and just have the meeting in one-half of it. That would be a lot of fun, I think. As for magic- I am actually in the middle of creating a series of magic camps across Equestria that will serve that exact purpose. I'll keep your name on hoof for faculty, okay?"

It was a matter of compromise that Lore was presented by Twilight. She appeared very enthusiastic about him offering programs like reading and studying, things that at first glance appeared mundane but were the building blocks for a good education and life. As for the teaching of magic on his own, Twilight offered instead to keep him on the list of faculty for the Magic Camp, something that he once did participate in before.

"This sounds like a good plan," Lore said as Twilight accepted the old book. Immediately the book made the purple Alicorn's eyes light up as if seeing it touch a certain memory in her mind. No doubt that in her lessons with Celestia the book was read. Why before it was destroyed Twilight must have combed through all the books in Golden Oaks at least once!

"Wow, this is amazing! Thank you, Lore. This means a lot to me! I remember reading this when I was younger, the most definitive if still at times mythical look into the past as we will ever see," she picked Lore up telekinetically and brought him in for a hug before placing him back down, "the copy I sent for from the Archives can go to the library and I'll keep this one," she smiled, "it means more to me with these char marks."

Lore now understood the significance of the book brought to her, and not just what it was but what it represented. The char marks were a painful reminder of what they both lost and yet just as the book remained largely intact so too did their lived have a chance to rebuild. By passing on the book it was a clear bond between the two of their love for remembering the past, keeping the present, and looking ahead to the future. Before Lore could speak though the Princess suddenly grabbed him and gave him a big hug. It surprised him that she could do this, lifting a stallion around her age like he was a book, but then the answer came to him in one word: Alicorn. Just when he thought he understood what that meant there was always a surprise around the corner and another mystery to unravel.

"I will certainly add the copy to the library and start some lessons in the library soon. I hope that with this book and our mutual love of knowledge that this will be the start of a great friendship."

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On her way to the castle, Whisper just spotted the aqua little moptop of a foal that ran inside with what looked like two doggy bags of something delicious no doubt - having not lived in Ponyville for all that long, the new castle of Princess Twilight was something she'd easily got used to...even if it was startling to see a large crystalline structured tree suddenly sprouting within the middle of the quaint little town. She could only imagine what it would do for the tourist revenue, or what it would do for the little town as a whole now that it would technically be classified as a 'kingdom'. A small one but a kingdom none the less. But since this castle was also still, thankfully, the public library, it meant she could hopefully venture in without disturbing the heroes of Equestria during anything important....buuut just incase she ended up doing so, she had her cards at the ready. Never wanted to be impolite during a conversation with anyone if she didn't have her cards.

As the white unicorn approached the huge crystal tree, the feeling of being incredibly small was definitely there, but she forced herself into the door and past the guards that glanced at her briefly in bermusement at her initial skittishness....having not visited the library, or even the previous one before its run in with the monster that'd stolen everyone's magic, she was suddenly faced with a very prominent dilemma. She had no idea where she was supposed to head to. So that was another reason to come here, out of truth, it was also to introduce herself to the Princess and possibly lend her aid. With the destruction of Golden Oaks, she could only imagine how much scribing, notes and copies of certain documents must have been decimated in the blast that had been seen half way to Canterlot if you had to guess by the brightness of it. Whisper was assured that her parents, inbetween their own worries, could've seen it. But none the less, she felt as a lover of the written word, it was in her place to at least....offer some help?

Walking down the hallway, she could hear her hooves connecting with the carpet that covered the crystal floor like a gentle sound of snow hitting glass...only much heavier, ofcourse, she was certainly not lighter than snow despite her pelts pigmentless dictation to such. But with every step closer to the heart of this great tree, she felt this sensation of dread, small at first but it was enough to nip at the back of her worries like embers. What if the princess was too busy? Or what if Whisper's offer came of as too rude, the Princess wasn't only the newfound patron of Friendship but her element was Magic itself! She could've easily copied and compiled a thousand replacement documents by now as well as the orders for several hundred new copies of the latest books for the new library's shelves. Compared to that, what was Whisper?

Her worries were immediately met with a mental stone wall as she finally stepped into the main hall of the tree, the carpet that lead up to that huge throne with its myriad of prysmic colours and the guards stationed at either side of the carpet that guided its way from it to the door - well that was helpful for her sense of direction, or lack thereof. Frozen there for a few seconds as she absorbed the scene infront of her, she quickly allowed herself to analyze what exactly was happening, there seemed to be, apart from the guards, three other ponies. A stallion, a foal and the Princess. Oh! That's what that foal was bringing, a snack for the Princess! A small smile tugged at the white unicorn's muzzle at how diligent the little filly was and was thankful that such a gesture was calming enough to let her focus on bringing out her cards pre-emptively. With a subtle glow from her horn, she brought out several tiny cue cards from her saddle bag, watching as one guard peered at her in confusion initially only to be settled back to his place as she quietly flicked through her cards for the right ones to use..now where was it- Ah! Here it was!

Smiling again, she settled the rest into her saddlebag pocket before taking a small and clearing breath.

Here went nothing.

Approaching the throne with a few calm steps, she raised a hoof to silently clear her throat as to politely declare her presence, the lack of voice making it sound more pushed from the lungs than anything which caused the young mare to blush out of embarrassment. Oh great she was going to make them think she had a cold. Sighing silently she gently brought the card over and it read rather simply as she smiled towards the three;

Hello! My name is Whisper. It's lovely to meet you.

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Sunrise Beach felt a wave of immense pride as princess Twilight Sparkle praised her for completing her royal quest, even if that quest was for hay fries from the local restaurant. What was important is that Sunrise was able to again prove her worth as a royal page of the Princess of Friendship, not that she was in any danger of losing her position. There were so many stereotypes about princesses being aloof and distant, not taking a n active interest in those under them; Sunrise had no idea if any of those rumors were true for the other three, but for Twilight, such hearsay were horseapples!

Sunrise Beach saluted with a serious expression before it melted into filly-like glee, especially when Twilight floated some of the hay fries into the turquoise filly’s waiting hooves. “Heeee like thankee! Er, um, like, I mean it was a pleasure to perform my duty in your service, like Your Highness!” Twilight may be the most informal of the princesses, but Sunrise did take her position seriously, and all the guards always referred to the lavender alicorn with that same honorific. She suspected that Twi may actually enjoy the formality from time to time.

As Sunrise munched away the hay fries, the violet colored stallion introduced himself. She had seen him around before, and assumed correctly he also worked in the service of the princess, but until now, didn’t know his name. Of course as a page of the royal guard, she had to put her best face forward, and quickly wiped away the all too many crumbs before she saluted. “Like, I am Sunrise Beach, official royal page of the royal guard for her highness Princess Twilight Sparkle! It is like, a pleasure to make uhh.. the aquaint- acquaintance of the royal librarian, umm.. sir!” She had to practice her proper speech, but she was sure she got it mostly right.

Twilight herself inquired what Sunrise’s plans for the day was. It was so radical to have a princess that cared so much about her! After all she was just a page, the lowest rung on the royal guard hierarchy, just a young assistant who does menial tasks for those who protect the princess part time, but that didn’t matter to the princess, which made Sunrise lover her job all the more even if it was often humdrum work. “Well, like, because it’s Saturday and junk, your highness, I am here all day. The head of the guard like said, I should be here to utend, er attend, to your needs today during your radical meet and greet. Like, it totally beats having to clean helmets and set up jousting dummies all day, so its cool.. Er, I mean it’s a pleasure your highness!”

Speaking of such, a new arrival entered the room, a white unicorn mare that Sunrise never seen before. She quickly turned around and stood at the base of the steps off to the left, tall and proud, well as tall as a pony of her small statue could, for the princess’ latest guest. Instead of saying anything though, the unicorn floated a card in front of the small ensemble. Sunrise wasn’t sure what to do, or say, partially because she had difficulty reading it and just looked to Twilight with a puzzled look on her face.

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Twilight levitated the book next to her, laying it on its cover on the table next to her tea and biscuits. And now hay fries. Ever the hay fries. It would go to her private archive near her chambers in the top floor of the castle with her when she went upstairs for the evening, likely punctuated by some light reading and the possibility of exploring more of the arcane arts. This book wouldn't play a role in the second part for sure as few authors in the ancient world understood the nuances of the arcane, especially historians, but it would make for bedside reading of the caliber worthy a princess. The most important thing to consider for her private chambers was that it held one of two different works and nothing else. Either she held books up there due to the danger they represented as the power they held begged for corruption, beckoning the weak willed but still holding secrets worthy of scrying by a mind prepared and a body capable to receive them. The second were books that had some sort of personal connection to the Princess, and this fell sweetly into the second category.

"Thank you, Lore Weaver. I'll let you know if I need you to join the magic camp and I will get to reading this tonight. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship myself- please do not hesitate to visit me again, Lore. You know where I live!" She said with a laugh, wondering if she just invited him to visit her at all hours of the night. Hopefully not. She was a heavy sleeper and for all intents and purposes she wanted to keep the number of ponies she turned into statues as a defense mechanism down to the low tens in her lifetime. She nodded and one of the guards bowed, standing next to Lore Weaver in preparation to escort the head librarian away, "we've got to keep the line moving...even when there's nopony else here, it seems. Haha. Talk to you later, Lore!" Twilight finished with a wave as her attention turned next to the most pint-sized page with a plus-size attitude.

Sunrise's faux-seriousness faded in time as the gift of hay fries clobbered cholesterol and defenses in short order. She really was a cute little filly, even if she would protest at being called that. Twilight wasn't much of a fan of her speech but that would be corrected in time. She was smarter than she let on and likely smarter than she believed herself to be, as was a common trait she noticed among foals in Ponyville. They could hardly give themselves enough credit to apply for regional contests despite having above average grades and metric! Oh well. Only she had access to some of these higher materials anyway. And she also had access to Sunrise, who held a very special place in both her court and heart. It was odd thinking that despite the fact that Spike was longer-lived that Sunrise was of greater maturity, but that only meant the challenges were different an perhaps harder to solve.

She was also more excited to try and be formal than Twilight had expected, but that was just a nice added bonus. She had most of the little things down and in her castle, informal relations between staff and Princess weren't just allowed, they were expected! She nodded towards her little page. "You did very well, Sunrise. I knew I could trust you to get the super important batch of hay fries! I felt like I was about to start eating ponies. Probably a guard. Sounds like you have a relaxing day ahead of you. I don't expect I'll be needing too much help- I can handle myself well enough. I'm very happy to have you here Sunrise, but wouldn't you rather be playing with your friends?" Twilight asked, hoping she wasn't inadvertently causing the filly to miss out on her life by tending to the Princess. She had to work to earn her keep but she was doing a great job of that. Today was a weekday. She had friends to play with- right? Twilight nearly facehoofed. She was unaware of Sunrise's social life and it unnerved her. Part of any Equestrian upbringing was learning how to make friends and cooperate with others. Sunrise seemed to have that down, but how was Twilight to know? The Princess herself wasn't always perfect at it.

That was why she was the Princess of Friendship, however odd it may seem. Friendship was imperfect with the depth of the ocean and the freedom of the sky. No answer, no matter how well you knew the pony or the situation, could be guaranteed to work. It was emotional and earnest and beautiful and terrifying, without the eternal forces of the moon or sun nor an Empire of Crystal to settle the foundation of your understanding. She could and would live ten thousand years and never completely conquer the concept, but Twilight knew that was unimportant. It was the effort and the love that was shown that made the whole experience worthwhile and it was what separated friendship from general kindness. And today she hoped that as part of her role as Princess she would be able to help ponies understand the same magic she had discovered or find that even in the halls of the Princesses there existed a power and friendliness to solve problems that without would go on ad naseum.

It was with these thoughts that Twilight readied herself for the first stranger of the day, a white unicorn who had hesitated initially before pulling out some sort of notecard set and trotting forward to meet the Princess. Twilight wasn't much for hearing proposals, but there was always the hope and the chance that she was just an extra prepared pony who had decided to write down the details of her dilemma before rushing off to get aid. Yes. That would be it. Perfect!

"Hello, and welcome to Ponyville. I am Princess Twilight Sparkle of Ponyville and Equestria. What can I do to help you today? It is really nice to meet you, Miss...?"

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It was pretty obvious to everypony in the vicinity, but it was pretty hard not to when your about to speak to a Princess, as Fable Weaver was. In fact, it was quite normal to be anxious when you know when you are speaking to someone with a high authority, no matter what they represent and what their high social status counts for. Fable had time to think about it the night before meeting Princess Twilight Sparkle. Princess Celestia and Luna raise the sun and moon respectively, and Princess Cadance is in charge of the Crystal Empire. They have an air of authority to them, having been princesses for quite a long time, while it felt a little more... different with the newly crowned one.

For starters, she never really acted like one based around what he had heard, she seemed more... civil than the average princess. She was also not technically the ruler of anything yet, she was in fact an official expert on friendship after handling the whole Tirek thing, something the Fable didn't like thinking about too much. It felt to Fable like instead of treating her like she was the grand matriarch of Equestria, he should try a simpler, more wholesome approach to his novel pitch to the library section of her new castle in Ponyville.

He had noticed in a previous visit that her library had lacked any of his novels, and not that he was upset about it, he just wanted to hopefully get the word of his mystery novels out there. It was his one and only job, and sales had been slacking slightly. A pony had to eat, right? That's why Fable had prepared a sales pitch with graphs, a collection of his most popular novels, and reasons as to why it would be beneficial to host his books in the royal library of Ponyville.

Fable strolled in through the open doors to the castle, wheeling in a moderate-sized, wooden cart with his books, papers, scripted speech and graphs. Even though he was going to treat Twilight like a normal, everyday pony as she might prefer as a new Princess of Friendship, he was still quite nervous at the prospect of meeting one of the saviors of Equestria many times over, which was why it took Fable so long to get here, checking, and re-checking everything from his appearance to his presentation.

Fable walked through the main hall, eyes glimmering with awe at the walls of crystal and shine, as he got into a surprisingly rather short line of ponies waiting to greet the purple Alicorn with proposals, well-wishes, or other sorts of business. He would have expected more ponies to want to meet the purple Princess...

Seemingly on instinct, on gazing open the Princess as she was greeting a white-furred unicorn mare with what seemed like a series of notecards like what Fable had prepared, he gasped slightly and started to sweat a bit, casting his gaze to his hooves with a blush on his muzzle.

Oh blimey, that pep talk really didn't help much... gosh, just look at her... Fable thought to himself as he straightened his glasses and bow tie while coughing into his arm a bit. Fable had expected a reaction of amazement or something at looking at the newest Princess of Equestria, but he didn't expect this at all! That mane, her spectacular colours, her natural poise...

This was going to be a looooong day...

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"Well it is very nice meeting you Sunrise," Lore said with a smile at the unicorn. She was such an outgoing pony at a young age and very excited helping out even on days that Lore assumed a pony her age would rather be doing things with friends.

"I guess we'll be seeing more of each other then," he added to the filly, "and if you need anything, the library is always open, and so am I to helping."

Lore laughed at the comment of him knowing where Twilight lived and happy that that a new friendship had been forged on this day. For a moment he wondered if he invitation was for off hour times, but Lore wasn't going to push it. The last thing he wanted to do was to surprise the Alicorn and turning into a newt or some other thing. Twilight was a very kind pony, but he could only fathom what defense mechanisms she had when surprised or worse angered. The battle between herself and Tirek was proof enough of that.

Lore then saw a guard approaching and Twilight mentioning keeping the line moving. As much as he liked speaking with her, he knew that there were others who would come, and by the look of things there were already two other ponies waiting to meet the Princess.

"Ah, I see you have others to attend to, so I will return to the library in case anypony should stop by. So long for now Twilight. I'm sure we'll see each other soon."

Lore let out a little laugh at the fact that he essentially worked where she lived. He was about to wave his hoof dismissing the offer to be escorted back to the library. After all, the stallion was used to the order of certain things, including most of the areas he was permitted to go in the castle. But as not to go against the Princess actions and perhaps thinking that it was as much of a way to encourage him to leave as it was to make sure he was safely back Lore accepted the offer and with the guard beside him left the throne room.

Exit Lore Weaver. Thanks for the fun role play!

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Okay! So far, so good. Just had to keep making a....reasonable enough impression! The foal's expression at her cards was enough to make her ears fold back in an apologetic manner as she continued to hold out the card for her and the Princess, once she was assured both had read it and she was actually addressed - her ears flipped back upwards and the card was gently deposited back into the saddle bag with the utmost care. What came next was a tiny notepad and a tiny emerald green pencil that twirled daintily in the air before she settled it into place before the notepad. The last thing she needed was her writing utensils flying everywhere. Once she was prepared, the pencil scrawled across the paper with lickety speed and precision, almost being delicate in its movements despite its quick movements before finally the page that had been scrawled upon was torn from the pad and floated before the two.

It read as such;

Hello, as the card said, my name is Whisper.

I'm sorry if the cards seem impolite, but it's the only way I can communicate, unless I mime.

But I don't think you'd appreciate that.

The unicorn made a small gesture like she was miming with her hoof, a silent chuckle shaking her shoulders despite the fact that no sound or laugh even came from her before, yet again, the pencil worked itself back to life across the paper with a small flick and a glimmer of its owner's horn. Soon, the second piece of paper floated next to its brother with the second message.

Thank you for the welcome, I had moved here just before the Tirek situation happened.

So I never got to visit the library, but I'd heard it was very in depth with its directory and categories.

I can only imagine how much was lost.

I am sorry for your loss, Princess Twilight.

Whisper did look genuinely sad for the Princess, all rumors had told that she was a heavily learned and intelligent pony, a book smart pony and she could put two and two together easily by guessing that the princess was a bookworm at heart. She could relate, even if she was more interested in writing her own. Whilst she stood awaiting for both to read her notes, she watched as the stallion from previous had walked off to do his own work and...the sound of a cart was heard behind her. Wait. A cart? The unicorn blinked in confusion as she glanced, if briefly, over her should towards Fable as he walked in who....looked a little shocked honestly. Which only added to her confusion. Her emerald eyes just stared owlishly at the pony that'd walked in for a moment or two before she turned her attention back to the Princess and her little foal cohort.

Waiting for a verdict....and their reaction.

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The world of Equestria changed very much while Col. Pummel was away on his latest tour of duty. While his unit battled Mother Nature to safeguard an isolated frontier post, the criminal Tirek made a move to suck the magic out of every pony in the realm. Only Princess Twilight Sparkle and her friends had the means to stand up to the centaur and put an end to his evil-making days for good. Ponyville suffered a tremendous cost, but following the battle the town gained a new crystal tree; a castle forever standing as a tribute to the magic of friendship.

Tirek’s rampage meant that more than ever now, the princesses needed to keep apace of the status of the Royal Equestrian Army’s rapid reaction force. That entailed reassigning Col. Pummel, commander or Task Force Suntrot, to Ponyville’s castle. There, he would serve as Princess Twilight’s personal military advisor, and to oversee the successful formation of the Twilight Guard. Pummel didn’t relish being cooped up in an office when he could be leading his troops directly from the field, but Task Force Suntrot was simply too vital to let its commander risk injury during the line of duty.

Oddly enough, Pummel found his new office to be more reminiscent of Talonopolis, or even an intact room in Fort Drogan, than any other REA base he’d ever been in. Army installations all tended to follow inviting, non-hostile architectural styles to suit the tastes of a pacifist society. The whole castle in particular seemed, cold... not that it mattered to Pummel. He could easily get used to these new digs.

All moved into his office, the aged stallion clothed in his full service uniform cantered to the Throne Room, eager to inspect the Twilight Guard doing their job. If Col. Pummel approved of their performance, he dared not show any sign of this as the towering pegasus lurked in the back, maintaining a glowering look upon him. Doubtless he’d be even more intimidating to everypony else hoping for an audience with Princess Twilight.

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It was always very nice when she met new ponies that were able to get around Equestria perfectly well without help even though they suffered from some sort of disability. Whisper's inability to speak didn't hold her back at all as she was perfectly able to communicate and had a great attitude about it, joking about the possibility of miming. That drew a smile from the Princess, who could only imagine what she was forced to mime as a little one before others had been able to read well. Twilight didn't know if she would have been able to have the same jovial attitude about everything like Whisper. But that was why she was a special pony or so it seemed, positive thinking and positive power a pure Equestrian science if there ever was one. She even noted Twilight's recent loss, a touching reminder that more than friends and family knew her losses in life It was good to be Princess for that reason she supposed.

"Thank you for your concern, Whisper. Thankfully a lot of the books that were lost were replaceable-" Twilight didn't mention the many personal journals she and her friends had kept and maintained that were now ash and particles in the air, "-so the library has been able to make a full recovery. The important thing is that nopony was hurt in the blast. Sunrise here and my pet owl Owilicious were very lucky," Twilight spoke seriously, still remembering that split second decision that had saved her owl's life. While many ponies considered everything that had been lost day, Twilight was more mindful of what had been saved and preserved despite the terrible power arrayed against not only her, but by the majority balance of Equestria's raw potential as well. You could replace books and re-write notes but lives and time were things that tore into oblivion with every passing second. It had been a very worthy trade-off.

"I'm very happy to meet you Whisper, but I am sure you came here for a reason. Is there anything I could help you with?" Twilight asked gently as the line grew behind Whisper. A pony drawing a cart to a stop behind Whisper looked a bit befuddled or flummoxed, which was a sight she was getting used to. So many considered the physical and social aspects of her being so intimidating that she at times felt like something akin to a bully who could bleed ponies dry of their self-worth by her species and power. Applejack assured her that it wasn't that- at least not as often as Twilight dared to believe- and instead it was that Twilight was simply very cute. Quite cute. Unbearably cute even. Applejack then usually had a tart shoved in her mouth, a friendly gesture hiding the fact that Twilight considered her appearance plain for her kind and rather frumpy, with little of the elite manecare that went into Celestia's daily routine. She was a simpler mare from simpler stock whose mindset was alien to the concept of her being 'cute'. Behind the cart-user was a stallion of prominence, Colonel Pummel of the REA. A superb leader of Task Force Suntrot and one of the most important ponies in all of Equestria as far as Twilight was concerned, he nonetheless didn't barge in with guards nor ask for her to meet with him in the floors above. Not an emergency then, in which case he would be treated like the others.

"Sunrise, you should see if those two need anything to drink or eat. And if you do end up going to the kitchen, get a lunch for yourself..." Twilight leaned in, blushing from embarrassment as she realized that this whole time she had been methodically tearing away at her stockpile of brand-new hay fries and they were now gone, "and more hay fries. From our own kitchen this time," she smiled and winked, fully aware that more fries for the princess meant more fries for the Page as well. Wealth distribution, fat distribution, none of ot mattered- she just wanted to get some hay fry distribution, destination stomach!

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Sunrise Beach gulped the last of her hay fries when the princess asked if she rather be off with her friends. Was that one of those trick questions? You know, where the 'right' answer wasn't the truthful one? Where she is supposed to say that she rather indeed be working at the princess' side when in reality, yeah, she rather be running around outside with Purple Haze and Marzipan? Yet again, that wasn't like Twilight Sparkle to do that, more likely she really just was curious.

Fortunately for Sunrise, as much as she wanted to play, she had a couple good reasons why she was in the castle serving at the princess' whims instead. "Like, well your total Highness, I was told by the guard captain that I should be here, like, all day every other Saturday as part of my Page duty. Today, like, I was told it be radical if I served your Lavenderness in your awesome throne room, which is cool and all, since otherwise I'd just be shining armor and junk, er stuff." Throne room duty sure did beat spending the day cleaning armor, washing cups, and fixing jousting dummies, plus Twilight was always so nice to her, not that the guards were mean at all, but the princess always made an extra effort. "Also like, Purple Haze has to work on the farm today for one of their carrot harvests, and like Marzipan has art classes, so it all like works out and junk!"

It was a good thing the princess made Whisper feel welcomed. The white unicorn mare appeared worried when Sunrise looked at her card with uncertainty. It wasn't because she was insulted or though Whisper weird, it was that the turquoise filly still struggled with reading and just had a hard time fully understanding what was written. It wasn't something we liked to talk about, not even with Twilight.

The brown stallion on the other hoof was easy to read, at least his mannerisms were. Sunrise left eyebrow rose in mocked suspicion as the stallion checked himself sporting a mild blush. Oh brother, he had a thing for the Princess, and he was soooooooo obvious about it that any filly could see exactly what he was thinking. She had to summon all her inner strength not to giggle at the scene. It would be bad form if she did, especially with Pummel around since he was her boss' boss, or more precisely her commander's commander and was all about 'professionalism'.

As amusing as the young stallion was, there was no time to sit and watch the inevitable fumbling as the princess had new orders for the page. Sunrise quickly turned around and saluted Twilight, "yes yer Royal Highness!" Sunrise trotted down the steps to the throne over to the two guests and gave a large smile, braces and all, "so like, either of you like, want anything to drink, or food? We can make about anything here!" Hopefully there be a yes, yes meant more hay fries for her!

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Entering the brand new sparkling castle of Princess Twilight was a familiar pony to those who lived in Ponyville. As he walked in, his pungent aroma left no doubt as to the identity of this shaggy, unkempt stallion. Entering with him was his pet raccoon Rascal and the many flies that constantly orbited his head.

"Here we are, Rascal, the palace of a Princess, right here in Ponyville! I sure hope I can get her to accept my proposal. After all, my business plan is all thought out and I know I could handle all the details! WHOA! This place is sure big! I wonder where the royal throne room is?"

As Pigpen asked the question, his loyal flies flew upward as a swarm, and then formed a crude 'arrow' in midair, pointing in the direction of the hallway that led there.

"Ah! That's wonderful! Thanks guys! I may need you during my presentation."

Hearing this caused Rascal to chatter loudly and jump up and down.

"And I'll need you too, my friend! We rehearsed this thing together for weeks! I won't forget that!"

Rascal, happy to hear that reply, stopped his jumping and quietly followed Pigpen towards the throne room.

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It was no secret that Fable Weaver was an... eccentric stallion, normally showing his emotions on his metaphorical sleeves. He was also a very socially awkward pony to be around, his wild ways combined with his lack of social recognition made him a pony that needed some patience to be around him. Another point of interest is that Fable Weaver was not that much of a pony to form any sort of relationship with a mare, which made him almost two times as awkward and socially inept whenever he was... impressed upon by a member of the opposite gender. This could have been very easy to tell from a mile away that Fable felt a pang of something he rarely ever felt for another pony, namely a bookish alicorn princess straight in front of him.

Fable could have chalked it up to a stronger feeling of embarrassment or shame when faced with a member of the royal family, or maybe he was being delusional from the lack of sleep he had last night preparing for the very thing he was doing now. Fable could have told himself this over and over, repeating in his head that she was simply another pony thrust into the hustle and bustle of the Princess life, but his heart told him a completely different story.

Fable held his blush, completely at a loss for words or coherent thoughts, stunned by what he had seen and struggling to come to terms with it. What was this feeling when he saw the mare? What made him feel this way after simply glancing at how her mane was styled, or how luscious and soft her coat looked, how cute she looked when she blushed, how adorably sweet her voice sounded, her normal expression being one of understanding, compassion, beauty...

Fable stood right where he was, lost in his rambling thoughts, tuning out the world and simply letting his mind wander to what he saw, how it made him felt, and what Twilight thought about it. He didn't even see the small filly with the turquoise coat walk up to him and another stallion with a very military look to him which he didn't even notice at all considering his life crisis that was happening now. She had a very amused look to her, something Fable couldn't see or care about at the moment, still very much lost in thought.

"so like, either of you like, want anything to drink, or food? We can make about anything here!"

The sudden voice right next to him made Fable yell out in surprise, shocking him out of his stupor, his very masculine shriek resounding upon the walls of the royal throne room, and probably heard by Twilight herself. That notion alone made Fable very adamant about agreeing to the filly's proposal, yet very ashamed at what had transpired the past few minutes. Fable brought himself to his knees, before sinking to the floor, hooves covering his face while he spoke up to the filly through his hooves and misery. He was lost, and just wanted to be out of the spotlight, out of this castle, out of Ponyville, to his home in Fillydelphia to become a recluse forever.

"A-ah, yes, I could go for some f-food right now, in the back of the c-castle, in the d-darkest corner, far away where I will n-never be found again..."

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So far things were going really well! She'd broken the ice, offered a joke and even got a smile from the Princess who seemed more than a little compassionate as she read her notes as if she were literally talking to her. That just really helped her confidence for the moment. Now to get to the point before she really started to waste the princess's time with her silly inquiries, once more her horn sparkled back into action with a light emerald shimmer and the pencil wriggled back to life and scrawled across the paper yet again, briefly watching from her peripheral vision as the tiny aqua foal walked past her to the other guests. This time she turned the note pad to Twilight so the princess could watch as the words were written out instead of waiting for her to simply write it down and rip the note off for her to give it to the lavender alicorn.

Well you see, Princess Twilight,

I actually came here to-------

That yell more than startled then startled the white mare as her pencil spun across the paper in confusion, she blinked over her shoulder at the one with the cart yet again in confusion, had he been day dreaming? The poor thing, she could get like that at times, she inherited it mostly from her father, however remembering the situation she turned back to the scrawled loop she'd left on the paper and offered Twilight an apologetic expression before writing down yet again. It seemed more ponies had come to see the princess and she hardly wanted to take up more of her valuable time than she already was, the unicorn had managed to catch a glimpse of the faces she'd briefly seen whilst turned around. What looked like a stern looking older pegasus in a very professional looking uniform and an....interesting looking stallion that even from here, she could tell harbored a very...offputting fragrance. Oh well to each their own she supposed.

Focusing on the writing she smiled as she finished, the pad of paper floating up between herself and Twilight.

Well you see, Princess Twilight,

I actually came here to offer my help!

Being a lover of the written word, when I heard about your library I wondered if you would need an extra set of hooves for things like scribing or form filling for some extra copies of books that might have been lost to the explosion. Or any other such jobs you might like some help with pertaining to written needs.

I enjoy writing very much so I can have things like that done very quickly to a high quality.

I'm sorry if this comes off as being presumptuous however, as your scholarly methods have been widely praised.

So again I'm sorry if this is a waste of your time.

Whisper you're doing it again! Stop over apologizing! She mentally chided herself as she settled the pencil away from the paper in a slightly flustered manner before she wrote any further apologies, she was obviously very worried about upsetting her. Not only because she was a princess but...well...this was her first time meeting Twilight! And to offer something without even knowing the full situation just seemed rude to begin with, but Whisper felt it was the right thing to do. Watching the lavender alicorn patiently as she stood there, awaiting the verdict.

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"So like, either of you like, want anything to drink, or food? We can make about anything here!"

“Oh, umm?” Col. Pummel did not expect to be greeted by a young filly, so he expressed mild surprise at the coming of Sunrise Beach. Frankly, the old stallion thought Sunrise to be an offbeat choice for the role of Princess Twilight’s page. That position would have logically come to somepony with some service-related cutie mark, instead of one apparently into beach sports. Still though, if Twilight was using foals for pages, that meant she’d have the sense to only assign them work that any child could perform with competence. So maybe it didn’t make a difference really.

Pummel was not all that hungry to be honest, but he figured he might as well order something now, since he would have been eating lunch in a hour. “I’ll have a lettuce sandwich with hay only," he ordered, his 'command voice' non-existent; "No extra bells and whistles. You’d be surprised how junk like mayonnaise manages to make many sandwiches unhealthy to eat.” That was the colonel’s health-nut side coming out of him, which only tended to pop up on rare occasions. “That’d be all, Miss Beach,” the towering pegasus declared with a delicate touch of final authority, not desiring a drink at this time.

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An almond coated pegasus filly with sketchbook under her wing and a paper bag in her mouth approached the crystal castle. She smiled and nodded at the guard by the door, bag clutched tightly between her teeth, and walked in. Marzipan had been sketching au plein air with her art tutor this morning, but the lesson was cut short by a cloud of blackflies. So now she was visiting the castle library with the intent of doing some research. And of course, seeing if Sunrise Beach was available. She figured that the turquoise unicorn would be in the throne room with the princess, so that was the direction she headed in.

Marzipan was not so rude as to show up empty hooved, however. Sunrise had told her about Twilight's seemingly ravenous appetite. So the filly had brought a bag of treats baked by her cousin (and current guardian) Snickerdoodle. Inside were a selection of butter and jam cookies, plus some oatmeal scotchies and chocolate haystacks.

As she approached the throne room doors, Marzipan nearly dropped the bag when a foul odor hit her nose. Managing not to gag, she stopped just outside the doorway, and looked in. There were quite a few ponies standing around. Closest to her was a dirty looking stallion who was clearly the source of the stench assaulting her nostrils. Ahead of him were a stern looking pegasus stallion in military dress, another stallion with a cart who looked like he was trying to meld with the floor, and a white unicorn filly having what looked like a one sided conversation with the princess.

"So like, either of you like, want anything to drink, or food? We can make about anything here!"

Hearing a familiar voice, Marzipan looked to the other side of the line, and saw her friend. She waved a hoof in Sunrise's direction, and then pointed to the bag of treats still clenched in her teeth. Putting the bag down at her feet, she waited for the turquoise filly to come closer before whispering conspiratorily, "My lesson ended early. You hava time to, how they say, 'hang out'?" Waving one hoof over the cookies, she continued, "I bring a bribe for your boss. Biscottini. She like sweets, yes?"

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The adorable filly continued on, here for a reason beyond simply being adorable. Sometimes it was nice to have somepony who didn't have a world of problems that needed to be solved and instead came simply armed and armored in personality rather than a pitch. Queries and concerns came with equal weight as far as Twilight was concerned and she spent considerable mental capital on solving the problems of Equestrian citizens with great swiftness and decisiveness, but fillies and colts came with problems and concerns that were tighter and simpler than she could have dreamed possible from her throne. They were a vacation in rough waters or an oasis in a desert, and no doubt this adorable one would do the same for her spirit as a massage would do for her body. So despite the distraction from the cart-using pony behind Whisper, Twilight was focused on her youngest supplicant thus far.

After she was finished, Twilight gave Whisper's offer some serious thought. Truth be told, she couldn't use her. She needed to vet anypony who she did not know who worked at the castle and there was a long line of highly qualified individuals at every position who were ready to fill in. Sunrise was a unique case as it was a deal she had made more than a year ago, but there was no such luck now. Still, Twilight was not in the business of denying fillies with a passion. Her horn lit up as she searched not this floor, but several floors above them for a certain form and a quill. She quickly signed it and used her magic to stamp it with the royal seal. It would take a minute for it to arrive though as she started it navigating from her own chambers all the way down to the throne room. In the meantime, she nodded and smiled before sighing.

"I really enjoy seeing somepony who shares the same passion for form filling as I do! Underrated way to pass the time while the mind tinkers with greater ideas, correct? Well, I really do thank you for your offer, but I already have many scribes who are very highly qualified. I just don't have space here yet. I am very sorry," she began before her paper arrived. She brightened up, levitating the form to Whisper. It was a letter of Royal Recommendation to any of the Administrative and Scholarly Academies in the East, signed and stamped by Twilight.

"But I may have something to help you. There are several schools which actually specialize in the work that scribes do. It is an important field and it covers a wide range of topics and administrative tasks. This letter will fast track you through parts of admissions. You'll still have to test to get in, but should you pass, you should be set for school. And who knows what may happen then? You could end up working here or with Celestia. There are many possibilities! The best thing is that this does not expire. You may choose to get this education today or a decade from now. The choice is yours, Whisper," Twilight finished jovially, levitating the prize to the filly. Behind her, little Sunrise was doing her best to satisfy the urges of those in line. She would do well, but the line needed to keep moving unless Whisper had something else.

"I really loved meeting you today, Whisper. Please write to me!" She finished with a smile, beckoning the next pony in line while waving goodbye to her newest friend.

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Sunrise Beach just stood there for a moment in front of the brown pegasus and rolled her eyes as she listened to him pretty much humiliate himself out of embarrassment. Her first notion was to say “like, whatever!”, but she was on duty and had to consciously hold back her snark as it would look unprofessional, she was a mature filly in duty of the princess after all! She just stood there for a moment and sighed, “like, I’ll get you some hay and lettuce sandwiches, alright sir?”

Sunrise didn’t walk away without comment though; she leaned in close to Fable and whispered into his ear, “like, get up and act gnarly; mares dig confidence! You like, making yourself look like a lame-o in front of them by being all weird like this.”

Satisfied she helps as best she could without causing a scene, she came by the colonel and took his food order as well. Simple and straightforward, this order certainly not unexpected. She stood with her head up high and gave a salute, “likes, yes sir, like I’ll get on that right away sir!” As far as Sunrise knew, Pummel wasn’t directly her superior. Her immediate superior of course was the local captain of the new royal guard for princess Twilight, and although she knew Pummel outranked them, he wasn’t in the royal guard itself, so she wasn’t sure how he fit into the hierarchy here, just he was high up in the R.E.A. Of course her boss’ boss was Twilight Sparkle herself, who fortunately was very kind and personally interested in the turquoise filly’s well-being.

Sunrise trotted towards the kitchen when she spotted Marzipan, of all ponies, at the other end of the hall. The little page quickly turned and trotted over to her pegasus friend, making a wide as possible circle around the extremely smelly stallion nearby. Why was he here anyway? Trash pickup was in the back! Well whatever the reason, she could ignore him for now and hope Twilight won’t ask her to get too close later.

As happy as Sunrise was to see Marzipan, she did feel a little bad; mainly because despite wanting too, she could really hang out and goof off with her friend, she was on duty, and she needed to prove to the princess that the lavender alicorn’s faith in her was justified. Still, no pony said that Marzipan couldn’t stay and help, or at least chat with Sunrise. “Like, hiya Marzipan! That is pretty racial that you got out of your lessons so early!" Sunrise’s initial enthusiasm dampened a bit with the reality of the situation, “I like, can’t leave though, like I have to serve the princess all day today while she sees ponies, it’s like a once a month thing, I think.” Sunrise thought for a second, “like, I am sure he can stay if you like want and talk and junk. I don’t think she’ll mind, and oh yeah, she soooooooooo loves snacks, can’t get enough of them! That’ll like really help, she like eats as much as a full grown dragon! I can introduce you if you like as soon as I get like, everypony's food order.”

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fable was having a really hard moment of his life, still cowering over his recent antics. He had never really believed in "love at first sight", but the more he pictured the young alicorn princess in his mind, the more he realized what was happening to him. His heart beat wildly out of his chest, his vision swam and his head ached as his emotions washed over him like a tidal wave, both of affection and embarrassment about the whole situation and how everypony was probably staring at him, judging him, making accurate guesses at what might have befallen the bespectacled novelist, even Princess Twilight herself! Even the thought of hay and lettuce sandwiches promised to Fable Weaver, a food item he greatly enjoyed, was not enough to rile him out of his stupor of love. He just continued to bury his head in his legs as he lied there, unable to do much of anything right now than to let his emotions calm down so he could assess the situation. But for now, all he was thinking about was his desire to leave, or face more ridicule at the hooves of the common populace! Oh the humanity (or perhaps ponanity)!

“like, get up and act gnarly; mares dig confidence! You like, making yourself look like a lame-o in front of them by being all weird like this.”

Time stopped immediately as those words reached his ears, pricking them up at the small child's words. The filly, whatever her name was who offered those delectable delicacies, was absolutely right. His memory took him back to the good days of school in Manehatten when he was but a socially awkward colt, barely knowledgeable in the intricacies of life and love. The images of studs and muscle-bound ponies wooing the hearts of many young mares flashed across his vision, driving him further to believe the filly who likely wasn't enough old enough to be an expert at this kind of thing. Nevertheless, Fable had to take action now or risk the lovely princess from viewing him further as said "lame-o".

Fable shook himself out of his terrified, and very in-depth moment of self-discovery, and finally stood up properly from his lying position. He took a leg and swept his slightly messed up mane back, straightened his glasses and his signature bow-tie, unhooked himself from his cart and strode up to Princess Twilight with as much of an air of confidence he could muster, trying very hard not to go weak in the knees and curl up on the floor again as he gazed at her. He strained his brain to remember what the colts at school did to win over the mares, did they say something smooth to start things off, compliment her, or should he tell a joke? Fable didn't know, as he was very much new to this aspect of life, but he had to go with something, and fast.

Fable finally reached Twilight, his chest puffed up his stride OOZING confidence, and with as much courage as he still had, stood right next to the Princess of Friendship and wrapped one of his legs around her shoulders. One part of his mind was screaming in anxiety, and Fable swore he was going to pass out, but the other half urged him on and dared him to be the stallion he surely wasn't. With a striking gaze deep within Twilight's eyes, and with as smooth a voice as he could do, which wasn't much, he spoke up to Twilight with a pick-up line he heard a colt use that would be PERFECT for the Princess, if he read the right books about her.

"Say, I don't have my library card on me, but could I still check you out, Princess?"

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Pigpen finally made his way towards the throne room, only to discover that there were other ponies in line ahead of him. The shaggy, unkempt stallion looked down at his raccoon pet Rascal, who looked very disappointed.

"It's ok, Rascal. We'll just have to wait our turn like everypony else."

As Pigpen's loyal flies continued to orbit his head, flowers in the general vacinity of the smelly pony began to wilt. The longer he stood in one place, the stronger the odor became. As he was waiting, he decided to have a snack. Digging into his shaggy pelt, Pigpen quickly pulled out a sandwich, half green with mold.

"May as well finish this sandwich, it's at least a month old," Pigpen said as he took a bite, earning a disapproving look from Rascal. "Want some, little buddy?"

Rascal shook his head, stuck out his little tongue and turned his head away.

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