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    “Tell me, wandering traveler, what do you seek? A roof over your head or a friend to converse with? We have naught but a few houses and a dozen apple trees, but you are welcome to our homes and our food.”

    “I seek the Princess of Knowledge. I have heard rumors that she has a library around these parts. I bring information on the one she seeks.”

    “The Princess of Knowledge? You are mistaken, wandering traveler. No princess of any kind has set hoof in our town for a very long time.”

    “Oh? Perhaps, this crown might change your mind. It was given to me as a way to prove my good will.”

    “…Her library is under our great oak tree. May you help the princess, wandering traveler, for all our sakes.”

    “Oh, I most certainly will.”


    Journal Entry № 413

    I do not know how long it has been since I have been here.

    Maybe a week or two, but it feels like an eternity. I have not slept since he left, and I have yet to feel any hunger. I wonder if breathing is still a necessity. Am I stuck in a loop between life and death? When I leave, will I go back to normal? Or will I remain in this way? Will I ever find out?

    Not without the map.

    I have been searching for it everywhere. I looked through every book in the first floor, and every book in the second floor. What if Discord was lying when he said the map was hidden here? If I don’t find that map, I may never see Spike again.

    But, if he was lying, then why has Spike not come back? He would never leave me here unless there was a reason he couldn’t come. He would never leave me here alone unless Discord really did…

    None of the villagers have come down either, and the earthquake I felt right after he left leads me to believe there indeed may be a forest around my tree—just like he said there would be. Are the villagers all right? Did they escape in time? Do they hear me when I call out? Does anypony hear me?

    I still cannot get out. I tried the exit again a few hours—or days—ago, but his translucent black barrier stopped me again. I’m afraid of approaching it to examine it. I’m afraid that it might be gone, and I might cross without the map. I wanted to try and see if I could levitate objects across, so as to ascertain whether the barrier blocks only my body, but I’m worried that my magic is included in his warning. If I leave here without the map and it really disappears, then…

    I keep thinking back to the tiara. I was wary when he said it belonged to Princess Luna, but the more I think about it, the more I believe it was really hers. What did he do to her? Was he lying? I find comfort in the knowledge that he will be stopped by Princess Celestia. He cannot defeat her. She will come to find me, won’t she?

    He also took my emerald. The one Spike offered me during my annual celebration. That was the only thing I had of Spike, and he took it from me as “punishment for single-hoofedly being responsible for the downfall of Equestria.”

    It is not my fault. Even if he says it is, none of this is my fault.

    I couldn’t say yes. I couldn’t just give

    It does not matter.

    I have started assembling my books on ciphers and riddles. The map may be hidden in the words of the books, coded into the lines and paragraphs. I need to find the map. I need to find the map. I need to find the map.

    “Obsession can be your own prison.”

    That was what he said, and that must be the clue to the riddle. I need to find the map, and then leave and use it to find Spike. I miss him.

    Forgive me, Spike.

    This is all my fault.

    You can support me on

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    1. Zanna Zannolin
      Aug 22, 22 at 7:54 pm

      Honestly these little interludes are some of my favorite parts of the story. It’s absolutely brilliant how you manage to use them to deepen the mystery while also revealing worldbuilding and bits of the past. We’re literally getting Twilight’s POV and yet we’re only left with more questions and more odd pieces of the puzzle. It’s masterful. I do not hesitate when I say this story is a work of art.