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    “Do you dream, North?”

    “Sometimes,” he replied. “When I’ve had too much to eat.”

    “And nightmares?” she asked. “What’s one of the worst you’ve had?”

    “Well,” he began after a moment’s thought, ”I once dreamt that Frost, Tangerine and I were caught by Blood Dagger’s crew during our Silverlake Expedition.” He smiled at her. “What about yourself?”

    She fell silent until she somberly replied, “A day in Trottingham.”

    He laughed. “A day in Trottingham was one of the worst nightmares you’ve ever had?”

    She harrumphed. “It would be yours too if you saw the markups in stores!”

    In the dusk of an otherworldly night, two princesses stared out at a vast lake reflecting the moon and stars that only one of them had recently seen. It felt so real, Twilight thought, and she wondered if that made it better or worse for her friend.

    “What did it feel like?”

    Twilight took in the question, the very first that Princess Luna had asked her since their reunion. The very first in a conversation long, long due.

    What did it feel like?

    A question that could be interpreted in so many ways, mean so many things, and yet was crystal clear to the young alicorn.

    “Overwhelming,” she said, finally, the only word that could actually hope to encompass the explosion of emotions at leaving her prison. “Everything I could feel all at once.”

    Princess Luna said nothing at first.

    “Were you happy?” she asked, her measured tone boldly stating she already knew the answer, therefore lying would be a useless endeavor.

    “I was,” Twilight replied and when she paused, Luna continued.

    “I thought you were always the one to offer complete answers, Twilight Sparkle.”

    It was a fact Twilight remembered from her days back in the castle. She could keep secrets from ponies, from Cadance and even from Celestia herself, but she could never keep them from Princess Luna. She always knew what Twilight hid, no doubt due to years of dream-walking, and more often than not, Twilight did not mind. It was liberating to be able to speak so freely about her inner mental tangles with somepony who would not judge.

    “I was happy,” Twilight reaffirmed, because it wasn’t a lie. She was happy when she was freed, but… “But it’s scary. Everything is so different, and new, and…”

    “And facing oneself is a nightmare that nopony can save us from.”

    Twilight slumped her shoulders, recalling the black-eyed alicorn that plagued her dreams. Facing herself was indeed a long and terrible road, and one that she felt horribly far away from completing.

    She looked towards the horizon, her eyes landing on the pink pony in the middle of the lake, rowing herself around atop an oversized alligator.

    “Do you really not know where you are?” Twilight asked, hoping to divert the conversation away from herself and towards Princess Luna, whose predicament Twilight was far more interested in.

    “A cave deep inside a mountain,” Luna stated helpfully.

    Twilight pursed her lips. “Right. A cave deep inside a mountain.”

    Very helpful.

    Princess Luna stamped her hoof on the ground and summoned a scale model of a very different Equestria than the one Twilight had seen on the modern maps. Deserts from the past were now forests in the present, forests had turned to wastelands, rivers had either moved or dried out, and one of the few things that remained the same were the two mountains on either side of Hollow Shades.

    “It has been a thousand years, and I no longer recall which mountain I hid in,” she said. “Discord blocked the entrance and likely buried me further in.”

    Twilight examined the model, her eyes set on Foal Mountain and Starling Peak. The Princess could be in either one of them, buried beneath who knew how many feet of earth. Considering Starling Peak was a single mountain whereas Foal Mountain was sprawling enough to be called a range, it was pretty clear which one would be the better option.

    What could they do? Dig the Princess out? That in itself would be easier from the inside than from the outside, wouldn’t it? And regardless of the direction, both options would probably take years if not decades or even centuries…

    “And Hollow Shades’ inhabitants are the only ponies under the reach of your dream influence?”

    “Only the foals, but yes,” the Princess clarified, gazing away from the water and towards Pinkie Pie. She stamped her hoof again, and the model changed and transformed into one of Hollow Shades itself. “Though they forget it, this town has been under my protection since the moment it was founded.” There was a split-second pause before she continued. “And now that you are free, the rest of Equestria will soon have their dreams safeguarded as well.”

    Twilight smiled at this, encouraged by the Princess’s positivity. “Yes,” she said. “We’ll definitely find a way to free you, Princess.”

    Princess Luna remained silent in reply, seemingly considering Twilight for a moment before looking around the length of the grand valley.

    “Do you see the dream rift?” she asked.

    Twilight blinked. “The dream rift?” She ran through her thoughts, trying to remember what she could of dream-walking and its various terms. “Er…”

    “Almost every creature has magic within them, drawn from the essence of the land,” said the Princess, her horn crackling to life and levitating three large drops of water, each taking the shape of a unicorn, pegasus or earth pony. “And though our three races complement each other, each of the races draws on the magic in a different way. As long as a race lacks the magic of the other two, they will never be able to see or use the magic essence to its full power. Except…”

    Another crackle of magic, and the three water ponies combined to become the shape of a winged unicorn.

    “Except for alicorns,” she continued.

    “Except for…” Twilight drifted off, eyes growing wide with realization. “Wait. You mean—? Can I…?”

    Luna smiled. “Yes,” she replied. “Any alicorn can dream-walk, including you.”

    Twilight frowned, the previous wonder quickly fading. “What? But—! Dream-walking is your special talent!… Isn’t it?”

    “The night is my talent, Twilight Sparkle,” the Princess clarified. “The night and all it contains, including dream-walking. And yet, even if it is my talent, you too can learn.” She smiled. “Your talent is magic in all forms, is it not? I am most sure you could learn the trade quickly if you show dedication and respect as you always have.”

    Truthfully, Twilight had always been interested in dream-walking and more than that, how dreams worked. Princess Luna had explained once, long ago, and the idea of putting theory to practice was more than compelling.

    “Will you teach me after we’ve freed you?” Twilight asked.

    Luna regarded her for a moment before smiling. “It seems foolish to wait when you could start now.”

    Twilight raised an eyebrow. “Now?”

    Luna again turned towards the horizon. “Look for the dream rift, Twilight Sparkle.”

    Twilight frowned, following Luna’s gaze and scanning the scenery so as to find a… rift? That technically told her nothing! What was a rift in the context of dreams? What if a dream rift was different than a real one?

    “I don’t see anything,” she said, squinting towards the distance. “Everything looks fi… Wait…”

    And then she saw it. Or, rather, felt it.

    In the distance, near the grove on the other side of the lake, something compelled her to stare. A seemingly innocuous collection of trees that felt distinct from the rest, there but not there either. Did that even make sense?

    “Those trees…” she said, and Luna hummed in approval.

    Twilight took a step further, transfixed by these trees that seemed to waver the more she stared, and without her even realizing it, her horn began to glow. Another step followed, and then another, and another, closer and closer and closer still until the distortion shifted and took the shape of a translucent door.

    “Did’ja forget the lake?”

    Startled, Twilight looked down to find Pinkie looking up at her from inside the lake Twilight had been walking on. With a terrified yelp, Twilight plunged down into water, emerging moments later with several gasps and a great deal of confusion.

    “Isn’t it super fun?” Pinkie giggled, paddling around the alicorn. “Only the stuff you see and think about is what’s real inside a dream. Even I wasn’t real when you weren’t looking at me! Or I wouldn’t be if it wasn’t the real me here. Or…” She gasped with horror. “What if I’m not the real me?!” She turned towards the Princess in the distance. “Princess Luna! Am I the real me?!” she asked, and when the Princess replied by rubbing a hoof against her own head in a long-suffering fashion, Pinkie turned back to Twilight with a grin. “I’m the real me!”


    Pinkie looked towards the horizon. “So, what were you looking for?”

    “Looking for?” Twilight turned around and saw the door in the distance. “That door over there.”

    “That door?” Pinkie asked with initial confusion. “What doo—OH! You mean the dream doors! I can only see those when Princess Luna lets me.”

    So it is only alicorns that can dream walk…

    Determined to investigate, Twilight swam forwards, Pinkie right behind her, both eventually reaching land and trotting towards the door. And yet, nothing else happened when they reached their destination. It did not waver again, did not change shape or anything of the sort. It simply stayed there, immaterial and nearly transparent like a ghost, Twilight’s hoof going through it when she tried to, well, do something with it.

    “You truly are skilled in magic, Twilight Sparkle,” Luna said, now standing next to Twilight, Pinkie following along. “Not even my sister could see the rift on her first attempt.”

    “That’s not a rift,” Twilight pointed out, furrowing her brow. “That’s a door! Or. Well. It looks like a door.”

    Luna laughed softly. “It is a magic rift; the pathway between dreams. We understand it by shaping it into the form we most associate with entering and leaving.” She nodded towards the door. “This is the entrance into your dreams.”

    Twilight waved her hoof through the illusory door, trying to ignore how unsettlingly familiar the entire thing was. “But how do I open it?”

    “With time,” said the Princess, “and training.”

    “Ooooooor,” Pinkie interjected with a giggle, “you could just show us now and then we won’t need time or training, silly Lulu!”

    Princess Luna raised an eyebrow, but didn’t reply. Instead, a pulse of magic left her horn, and the door before Twilight finally materialized into a wooden blue door bearing Twilight’s own cutie mark.

    “Come on!” Pinkie said, pushing Twilight towards the door. “Open it! Open it!”

    Twilight did as told, stepping up towards the door, opening it and peering out. On the other side, she found what seemed to be an endless blue expanse, inhabited by nothing else save for white magic orbs floating all around. There was no ground or floor on which to tread either, and yet rather than ask herself how she was supposed to step into this room, another more pressing thought prodded at her mind.

    She had been here once before, on a day that still continued to burn her.

    This was the place where she’d ascended to alicornhood after tricking Discord.

    Her chest compressed at the realization, and she tried to step back, her alicorn wings suddenly feeling heavy and uncomfortable on her sides. “This place…”

    As soon as she’d spoken, however, the orbs pulsed with magic and a white pathway materialized before her, beckoning and reminding her of the terrible emotions she’d felt the last time she was there. Unworthiness, deceit, and the accursed guilt that plagued her over and over again.

    “Princess Twilight?” Pinkie asked, poking the alicorn’s flank. “What’cha waiti—”

    “Twilight,” Princess Luna cut-off, the tone in her voice clearly stating she knew what hissed in Twilight’s mind. “Do not dwell on what has already been.”


    Pushing aside what trepidations remained, Twilight stepped forward onto the pathway, Pinkie and Princess Luna following behind. As soon as they had all crossed, the orbs pulsed again and the pathway grew and grew until the entire expanse had a white floor to walk on.

    “This is the magic realm,” Luna said. “Many races can be connected to this realm, but only we alicorns can alter it.”

    “Not even Discord?” Twilight asked.

    Luna shook her head. “Not even he. I don’t presume to understand his magic, but it is not drawn from here.”

    The door closed behind them; looking around more intently, she could see more of the immaterial doors in the distance, and yet… She was surprised, in fact, by how few there were, until she remembered a very crucial detail.

    “These doors… Are these only Hollow Shades?”

    “The doors are here?!” asked a tiny voice, and Twilight turned around to find a filly Pinkie sitting on Luna’s back, her hoof tapping against the Princess’s body. “I wanna seeeeeeeeeeee!”

    The Princess’s horn glowed, and with the glow came another pulse of magic until not only did the doors in the distance materialize, but the entire realm changed, growing several shades darker. As if to contrast this, the doors turned white, allowing Twilight to distinguish the cutie marks present on some of them.

    “A thousand years ago, I would have been able to show you thousands of doors,” Princess Luna said, guiding Twilight and Pinkie further into the expanse. “But, as I said, Discord’s magic has confined my reach.”

    The gears in Twilight’s mind turned as she took in the sight. There were doors, yes, but far fewer than the number of ponies she’d seen walking among the village.

    “Right. And you can only go into the dreams of foals,” she re-stated, examining a nearby door bearing a cutie mark. “Because all the adults are under the influence of chaos magic.” She moved on to the next door, her mind continuing to spin. “And the influence of chaos magic interferes with a pony’s natural innate magic, which prevents their dreams from connecting with the dream realm.”

    Luna smiled, and it almost reminded Twilight of the way Princess Celestia smiled after she’d passed a hard test.


    Twilight turned back to the door, reaching out and brushing her hoof against it.

    What’s powering the chaos magic? What’s keeping her here?

    Was it really just Hollow Shades and the residents themselves, as was the case with the Everfree Forest? Or… was it the case of the library, where the one powering the magic was…

    Wait a minute.

    “Princess Luna,” Twilight asked, “do you remember the Winter Moon Observance?”

    Immediately, Luna stiffened.

    “…Why are you asking about it?”

    “Well… You know how we managed to get in contact with Princess Celestia? She mentioned that in one of her letters.”

    “Did she?” Princess Luna asked, and a bitter laugh left her lips. “Her first contact in thousands of years, and that is what she chooses to relay? Fitting.” When Twilight continued to look at her, she frowned. “What about it? Why did she mention it?”

    “I was hoping you could tell me that? Is it true you canceled it?”

    The princess sighed. “The Winter Moon Observance was supposed to be equal with Celestia’s Summer Sun Celebration,” she said curtly. “I canceled it when it was clear ponies did not hold it in the same regard as my sister’s celebration. That is all.”

    “Even now, my brightest light is nothing but the remains of yours.”

    Twilight swallowed. Even though it had happened a thousand years ago, she remembered Princess Luna’s… aggrievances towards her sister’s prominence when compared to her. If it was guilt that had kept Twilight trapped for centuries, could… could it be…?


    Twilight turned fully towards the Princess, a rather delicate question waiting on her lips.

    “Princess,” she began, trying to sound as tactful as possible while knowing what she was about to say was anything but, “are you sure you’ve tried getting out of your cave?”

    Princess Luna stared at her, and behind her, a normal-sized Pinkie gestured towards her own neck in a slashing motion.

    Twilight smiled nervously. “That didn’t come out right, did it?”


    “Right. Yes. Okay.” Twilight cleared her throat, finally sympathizing with Rarity’s dilemma when faced with Twilight’s many complex… complexes. “I mean— Well, the thing is— I’m just— Because Discord kinda made me use my guilt to power the barrier?— So I just— Considering what Princess Celestia said… I mean, are you reaaaaaally sur—”

    “I am trapped here, Twilight Sparkle,” said Luna shortly, “because of the chaos magic created by those who do not believe in me. That is the source of my condition, not any jealousy I held towards my sister or anypony else. If ponies want to adore her, that is their right.”


    Though Twilight had her reservations on that, she decided to file those reservations away for a later time where she and Rarity could discuss a better approach.

    For now, she would have to focus on how to lessen the influence of chaos magic on ponies, rather than trying to fight what she suspected was the direct source of it.

    The orbs around her began to glow anew, and she stepped back as Pinkie jumped up in spot.

    “Ooooooh, I wonder who it is!”

    “Who it is?” Twilight asked, turning to her friends. “What do you mean who—”

    A pulse of magic from the orbs interrupted her and a few feet away, a new door began to materialize. She watched with fascination, taking a few steps towards it, and then felt her heart jump when the door took physical form and displayed a triple-diamond cutie mark for them to see.

    “Rarity!” Twilight exclaimed, her voice giddier than a foal opening up a Hearth Warming present. “Is that her dreams?”

    When Luna nodded, Twilight’s eyes practically sparkled with anticipation. Questions filled her mind, driven both by her curiosity at exploring dreams and her desire to understand and know Rarity better than she already did.

    Ignoring Pinkie’s sudden cry, Twilight rushed forward, already composing in her mind a list of at least fifty questions she’d try to answer while inside Rarity’s dream. However, when she reached out to take the doorknob, a little whine of surprise left her mouth when blue magic enveloped her and floated her away.

    “But, Princess Luna—!” she protested when Luna dropped her back where she’d begun.

    “You do not have her permission,” said the Princess.

    Twilight blinked. “Her permission?”

    “Dreams are where the fears and desires of every creature take life, Twilight. Dreams are the most sacred and personal space we have,” said the Princess. “Dreamwalking is not simply being able to travel into dreams. It is also understanding the weight of such an act, even moreso when you are familiar with the dreamer.”

    “The… weight of such an act?”

    “Yeah!” Pinkie added. “Imagine if you were dreaming about a secret you reeeeeeally didn’t want anypony to find out, and then a friend suddenly walks in to watch without even telling you!”

    “Oh,” Twilight said, her ears dropping somewhat.

    “And what if it is a friend who dreams about you?” Princess Luna asked. “What if they are having a nightmare in which you are the nightmare? Are you certain they would be agreeable to you seeing that? Would you be prepared to see that?”

    And now Twilight understood.

    “That is the true danger of dreamwalking,” Luna continued. “We do not enter dreams to stop nightmares, but to help the dreamer understand and overcome their fears, even when perhaps we might be the source of a dear one’s fears.” She looked towards the doors surrounding them. “Dreamwalkers must shed their personal emotions and feelings when we enter this world. We cannot ask permission of every creature in the world, but until a dreamer can leave behind who they are, permission must be sought for entering dreams of those we know.” She turned to Pinkie and frowned. “A rule I was most surprised to see you disregard, Little One.”

    Immediately, Pinkie’s ears sprung up in alarm. “M-Me? I didn’t disre—” Her eyes landed on Twilight and she smiled nervously. “But—! But that was different! Princess Twilight di—”

    “There is never an excuse for lack of consent,” Princess Luna said.

    Finally, Pinkie hung her head. “I know…” She turned to Twilight looking rather meek. “I’m sorry, Princess Twilight. I didn’t mean to enter your dreams without your permission. I mean I did, but because I wanted to be with you, not because I wanted to know your secrets, not that you have secrets, but if you did, I didn’t want to—”

    “It’s all right, Pinkie,” Twilight said rather awkwardly. “Thank you for apologizing.”

    “Twilight,” Princess Luna said suddenly, gesturing towards the distance.

    Twilight followed her gaze all the way up until she noticed a door in the distance was changing colors, flashing back and forth between white and black.

    “What’s wrong with it?” she asked, alarmed.

    “A nightmare,” Princess Luna replied curtly, walking towards it, Twilight and Pinkie following behind.

    When they arrived to their destination, Twilight watched as Luna lifted her hoof, pressing it against the blank wooden door.

    “Whose is it?!” Pinkie asked, practically climbing on top of Princess Luna.

    “A filly by the name of Strawberry Brush,” she replied, and her horn pulsed with magic.

    A moment went by, and before Twilight’s eyes, the door flashed one last time before settling into white once more.

    “She is well now,” the Princess said.

    Twilight blinked. “What? But you didn’t go into her dream?”

    “Not every nightmare requires my full-presence,” she explained. “Especially those brought about by fillies who disobeyed their mothers and ate a most unsettling amount of sweets.”

    Twilight nodded. It made sense, after all. There were so many ponies that personally going into the dreams of each and every one would take more than a few nights.

    “You will learn how to do this,” Princess Luna continued, and her expression turned somber, “when you take over my duties.”

    Twilight turned to her. “Take over your duties?”

    “What?! No!” Pinkie gasped, jumping off the Princess and stamping her hoof against the ground. “Princess Luna! You said you’d stop talking about this! I’m gonna tell Rarity on you!”

    “For a thousand years, the ponies of Equestria have had to endure nightmares,” Princess Luna said severely, ignoring Pinkie’s huffs of discontent. “It is my duty to guide them and keep them safe, even if this means training a successor.”

    The moment’s pause felt eternal as what the Princess just said processed in Twilight’s mind.

    “What?” she said, taking several steps back, a sickening feeling clawing up her body. “No! You don’t need a successor! We’re freeing you, Princess Luna!”

    “My freedom, Twilight Sparkle, is hopeful wishing,” Princess Luna replied. “It is a dream that may or may not come to pass, while ponies suffering from nightmares is a reality.”

    “B-But why me?” Twilight asked, horrified at the prospect of being put in charge of another thing yet again. “I don’t want to take over your duties! You’re trapped in a cave in the first place because I was put in charge of something!”

    “Princess Twilight!” Pinkie gasped again, stamping her hoof on the ground again. “That’s not true! You stop that! I’m telling Rarity on you too!”

    “But it’s true!” Twilight protested. “Princess Luna should be the one dreamwalking, not me!”

    “Twilight Sparkle,” said the Princess, the harsh tone quickly silencing Twilight. “You are correct. It is my duty as a Princess of Equestria to protect my ponies, and so it is your duty as a Princess of Equestria to do so as well.”

    “But I never asked to be a Princess of Equestria!” Twilight snapped, her wings flaring up in reply.

    Silence fell again, and Princess Luna’s expression softened.

    “Prisons,” she said, “are not always physical, are they, Twilight Sparkle?”

    Twilight didn’t know what to say, and that in itself was a telling reply.

    Now more than ever she wished Rarity were there. She would know what to say or do, or at least would be able to bring Twilight some amount of comfort.

    But she wasn’t.

    Longing for her significant other, Twilight looked towards Rarity’s distant dream door, hoping to draw some sort of courage from just the sight of it, but instead she was met with a sight that only worsened her unpleasant emotional state.

    There, in the distance, Rarity’s door was flashing black and white, and Twilight felt oddly responsible, as if her outburst had disturbed Rarity’s peaceful sleep.

    Princess Luna noticed the event in the distance and silently walked towards the door, apparently putting the previous matter aside for now. Twilight and Pinkie followed, but the former’s vague sense of relief at the fact that Rarity’s nightmare would soon be alleviated disappeared the second a new event occured.

    A crack, loud and noticeable, appeared on Rarity’s door.

    “What’s wrong?” Twilight asked urgently. “Why is her door breaking?!”

    “The nightmare has worsened,” Princess Luna replied, her brow furrowing. “‘Tis been a while since Rarity’s door has cracked like this.”

    As with the filly’s door, Princess Luna lifted her hoof and placed it on Rarity’s cutie mark. Twilight and Pinkie watched with bated breaths and waited, and waited, and waited until Luna’s expression hardened.

    “What is it?” Twilight pressed, resisting the urge to barge into the dream. “What’s wrong with her?”

    The Princess’s eyes flickered towards Twilight for a moment before returning to the door.

    “She will be fine,” said the Princess, “but I must help her with this myself.” She stepped back, putting her hoof down on the ground and addressed Twilight. “Will you consider my proposal, Twilight Sparkle? I do not need an answer now, but I ask you consider my request.”

    Pinkie whined. “Princess Luna…”

    But Princess Luna did not react. She waited, Twilight knew, for an answer to her question.

    “Yes,” Twilight said finally, the weight in her heart the same as when Princess Celestia gave her wings. “I’ll think about it.”

    Princess Luna nodded, and with a flicker of magic, Rarity’s door opened. Beyond it, Twilight caught a glimpse of an unfamiliar city filled with ponies, and selfish relief washed over her at the realization that she at least was not a cause of Rarity’s nightmare.

    “I can’t go with you?” she asked even though she knew the answer.

    “No,” Princess Luna replied before smiling, her horn lighting up. “But I am most certain that she will appreciate an embrace.” Her magic pulsed, and in an instant, Twilight saw the world around her fade away, Princess Luna’s voice echoing in the air. “Goodnight, Twilight Sparkle.”

    And so, with a start, Twilight woke up.

    She sat up on a bed, rubbing her eyes and trying to make sense of what had happened. The dream itself was starting to fade, its details blurring away save for Princess Luna’s last request.

    A responsibility she wasn’t certain she wanted to take on.

    A soft groan caught her attention, and when she turned around to find Rarity sleeping beside her, face scrunched up into a frown, she realized that she’d been moved to Rarity’s bedroom at some point during the night.

    Another groan left Rarity’s lips, and Twilight debated what to do. Though her instincts demanded she wake her marefriend up, her fragmented memories of her meeting with Luna compelled to let the princess take care of whatever plagued the unicorn.

    So she lied back down on the bed and decided to wait.

    Hours seemed to pass, made all the more difficult by Rarity’s tossing and turning, but her patience was rewarded when Rarity’s eyes fluttered open.

    “Twilight…?” Rarity asked groggily. “Why are you awake?”

    “You were having a nightmare.”

    A yawn escaped Rarity’s lips. “Oh dear, was I? Did I wake you?”

    Twilight quickly shook her head, instead moving forwards to nuzzle her beloved. Rarity gratefully hummed in reply and cuddled up to Twilight, the latter wrapping her wings around her.

    “What was your nightmare about?” Twilight asked.

    “Incantation and Pinkie accidentally setting the boutique on fire,” Rarity replied.

    “That’s not what it was about,” Twilight said, only catching her slight confession when it was already too late. “Or it might have been. It just feels unrealistic.”

    Rarity laughed. “If you saw how Incantation cooks, you wouldn’t think that, I assure you.” She yawned again. “Regardless, I have the perfect pony to hold and keep me safe from nightmares, hm?”

    Twilight smiled, tightening her embrace around Rarity. They stayed that way for countless minutes, their breathings intermingling as Twilight’s thoughts rushed through her head. Princess Luna’s words still rang in her head, and the inescapable reality that Luna being freed wasn’t a fact but merely a wishful desire.

    “It is my duty as a Princess of Equestria to protect my ponies, and it is your duty as a Princess of Equestria to do so as well.”

    “Rarity?” Twilight asked. “If I could dreamwalk, you would let me into your dreams, wouldn’t you?”

    “Ah… Did Princess Luna ask you to take over for her?” she asked. “What did you say?”

    Twilight nodded. “I… I told her I’d need time to think about it.”

    Rarity yawned a fourth and final time. “Well, darling, at the rate things are going with stopping the chaos magic, time is all we have,” she said, and when she fell asleep moments later Twilight forced herself not to dwell on whether Rarity had avoided answering the question or not.

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    1. A Deer
      May 5, '23 at 5:45 am

      Got into the whole dream thing with Luna’s explanation. The problems Luna will have or has are starting to become clear with her insistence Twilight takes over the dream walking. Twilight also learned that problems concerning mental health are not so straightforward to fix. Sometimes seeing it in someone else gives us insight into ourselves. The dream realm you built in these stories is pretty fascinating. Dreams are some of my favorite parts of stories because they can add a bit to where a character’s mind is at.

      Dreams are fascinating in real-life too. My favorite are the ones I get to visit people in or ones I get to be in a place that brings me great comfort. A lot of times the places are made up and don’t exist but feel 100% familiar at the same time.

      I can understand Rarity’s reluctance to give Twilight permission to enter her dreams. We all need that space that’s just for us. And letting people visit is no small matter. Trust is key. Got to trust the other person and trust myself that it’s the right time.

    2. Zanna Zannolin
      Oct 18, '22 at 9:27 pm

      wait okay i’m so invested in your worldbuilding here. the fact that there’s a realm of magic that ponies draw from and only alicorns can enter it and OHH that’s so cool with that being where/how twilight ascended to alicornhood i’m kind of obsessed. and the fact that discord can’t enter it and his magic doesn’t draw from it? call me twilight sparkle because i feel like taking NOTES right now. mayhaps i am obsessed!

      also there is nothing funnier than twilight being so blunt like “okay but are you SURE you tried leaving” i am in tears laughing TWILIGHT YOU CANT JUST ASK SOMEPONY IF SHES REALLY REALLY *REALLY* TRIED LEAVING HER THOUSAND YEAR IMPRISONMENT….but i think we all know she hasn’t. not in the way she needs to. princess luna….princess luna not all prisons are physical princess luna….princess luna maybe the real enemy is your self-doubt….pr— okay you’ve already read my rant about this last book i’ll cut myself off now.


      finally BIG fan of the dreams + consent bit here. like yeah i never thought about it, but i can see how that’s a BIG deal, letting someone into your dreams like that. especially…ahem…with rarity and twilight’s past and what we know from last chapter…well yeah. yeah that’d be A Thing. BOY i can’t wait for if we ever get to see twilight confronting rarity’s nightmares.

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