Inside Twilight's castle, in the room that was soon to be Starlight Glimmer's room, Star Twinkle and the pony in the black armor were still standing across each other looking each other in the eyes. A creepy thought considering that they were both the same pair of eyes.
The pony in the black armor turned out to look exactly like Star Twinkle, down to the very last hair. An almost crushing silence was filling the room where Star Twinkle and the pony in the black armor were in. The fact that Star Twinkle was looking at someone who looked exactly like him was way beyond his understanding and he desperately wanted answers to many of his questions.
"Face? My Face? The pony in the black armor, that attacked me back then. Why does this pony look like me?" Those were only a few questions in his mind right now. The silence in this room was much to his dislike, he almost wanted the pony in the black armor to answer them. But at the same time, he didn't. What kind of answers would he get? Would he be able to understand them? This was too much to handle for him. But then he remembered that he already got an answer before. An answer that confused him even more. "You are the one who looks like me." That is what the pony said before. What does that mean? Star Twinkle was supposed to look like the pony in the black armor? Why?
With all these questions circling in Star Twinkle's head, the pony in the black armor spoke again. "I guess it doesn't matter anymore," he said, his voice sounding exactly like Star Twinkle's, which made the stallion feel rather uncomfortable. "It would have been easier on you to know less but I guess that can't be avoided anymore..." the pony in the black armor said in a heavy tone.
Star Twinkle was conflicted to find out more, it was making him feel uncomfortable to even look at the pony in front of him but whatever was happening here could not just be ignored. There was a pony in front of him that looked exactly like him after all. Even if the truth would scare him, he needed to hear it.
The pony in the black armor then continued. "I am Star Twinkle...the real Star Twinkle," is what he said in a serious tone.
Without even listening to any more words coming out of the mouth from the pony in front of him, Star Twinkle quickly replied. "No, you're not! I am Star Twinkle!" He said in a mix of anger, frustration, and confusion.
"Well...you are not entirely wrong..." the pony in the black armor replied. "You are a clone, or rather, another half that was based on me," he added.
"Clone? Another half?" Hearing all those words were starting to make Star Twinkle a little mad. "Yeah, sure! Do you think I fall for something like that?! You are probably a Changeling that transformed into me or something like that!" The stallion concluded. The pony in the black armor kept silent. Talking with Star Twinkle while he was like that seemed pointless after all. "That's right! This Arcana guy and those other five ponies he showed us! They are Changelings too! This all makes a lot more sense than you claiming to be the real Star Twinkle!"
"But I am," the pony in the black armor replied with not a single hint of doubt in his voice.
Seeing this pony this calm and talking so casually started to get on Star Twinkle's nerves. "I am the real Star Twinkle! I don't know who exactly this Arcana is but he obviously is bad news! I would never work together with someone like that!" He exclaimed.
"So you say that you know yourself better than anyone else?" The pony in the black armor asked.
"Of course I do!" Star Twinkle shouted back. "I'm the real Star Twinkle after all!"
The pony in the black armor quickly picked up on that. "Then tell me, when or where you have met Summershine for the first time?"
"I...err..." Star Twinkle replied losing his momentum after hearing those words.
"You do know that you two are friends, right?"
"Yes..." Star Twinkle said before he started thinking. Of course, he didn't know anything besides that. The only reason he knew that, to begin with, was because of some dreams and images that popped into his head here and there. All those images simply gave him the impression that he must know Summershine and was a close friend to him.
"Do you know about the others?" The pony in the black armor then asked. "The ones that Arcana showed us before. Tell me their names," he demanded.
Star Twinkle felt pressured. He felt he shouldn't be, especially since he didn't need to prove anything to this pony that looked exactly like him. That pony was simply someone who looked like him or a Changeling that transformed into him. It could also be a spell of some kind. It had to be.
"Do you remember the fire that happened in Ponyville? Did you remember how it started?" The pony in the black armor asked.
"He even knows about that?" Star Twinkle wondered. He remembered those dreams where he could see an image of a burning Ponyville, it was one of those memories that kept haunting him over and over again.
"Do you remember what happened after Ashgray's attack in the Castle of the Two Sisters?" The pony continued to ask.
"Ashgray?" Star Twinkle replied confused. "Who is that?"
Several images popped into Star Twinkle's head as soon as he heard that name. His head started to hurt and feel as if someone was scratching on a blackboard right next to both of his ears. He grabbed his head in pain and collapsed to the ground while screaming.
Those five ponies...
Castle of the Two Sisters...
It was as if all these weird dreams were played right in front of his eyes over and over again faster than he could keep track. Thankfully, this flash of images went past as fast as it came but not until the stallion was laying on the ground panting heavily. It didn't make sense. All those things the pony in the black armor mentioned, were very specific to the things that Star Twinkle saw in his dreams. All those things that made his head hurt just thinking about them.
Star Twinkle, while still laying on the ground looked up to the stallion with tired eyes. He looked at the same eyes that he used to see in his mirror countless times. "How...do you know all those things?" He asked in a heavy voice.
The pony in the black armor looked right back at the stallion with a serious expression on his face. "Because those are my memories. And judging from your reaction just now, you, a clone of mine, seem to have bits and pieces of them still inside your head." The stallion explained. Then suddenly, magic started to form something on his forehead. A horn. He transformed into a Unicorn just like Star Twinkle, much to his shock. "I'm sorry but...you and I need to become one again. Only then..." a magic glow started to form on the pony's horn, he was ready to fight again. "Only then, things can be how they used to be!" He said before he charged at Star Twinkle which caused the fight to continue once more.
In the meantime, while Star Twinkle had to face the pony in the black armor, Twilight and Summershine were dealing with Arcana. For the moment, the battle came to hold though after Summershine told Twilight who he saw behind the helmet of the pony in the black armor.
"Star Twinkle?" Twilight asked. "The pony in the black armor looks like Star Twinkle?"
"Yes," Summershine replied in a heavy tone. "I saw it with my own eyes," he said before he glared over to Arcana. "And I know you are the one responsible for this!"
The red unicorn shook his head almost proudly in response. "I guess there is no reason to hide anything after coming this far."
"What did you do? Was it a spell?" Twilight asked.
"It was," Arcana proudly replied. "A clone spell," he added.
"A clone?" Twilight replied confused. "The pony in the black armor is a clone of Star Twinkle?" She asked.
Arcana was shaking his head in response "No," he replied. "The pony in the black armor is Star Twinkle. The real Star Twinkle," he explained.
Now it was Summershine's turn to be confused. "What do you mean?" He asked.
Arcana was highly enjoying the confused expressions on Twilight's and Summershine's faces so he felt generous enough to explain the situation further. "The Star Twinkle that lives here in Ponyville along with you princess...is nothing but a clone created by me."
Hearing that confused Twilight. Summershine did tell her that the pony in the black armor looked like Star Twinkle but he didn't know exactly the reason why that was the case. That only made it harder to believe for the mare but one glance over to Summershine caused her to believe what Arcana said to be true. With clenched teeth, Summershine was throwing daggers at Arcana with his eyes. If what Arcana said was true, then the real Star Twinkle was most likely being manipulated by him which gave Summershine even more reason to take care of Arcana.
But before the fight would continue, Twilight still wanted some answers. "I heard about cloning spells, they are not easy to pull off though," she admitted, probably speaking from experience. "But...Star Twinkle...I saw him spending time with us all this time. I saw him exhausted, sleeping, hurt, and much more. A clone that was created with a spell can only last a few minutes at best and even then, they are not stable or don't have much of an own will. Like with the legend of the mirror pool," the mare summarized. As a pony with a huge knowledge about magic she was aware that there would be ways to clone someone but just as she explained, that always would come with some kind of drawback. The first thing that popped into her mind was the incident where Pinkie Pie cloned herself with the mirror pool, which, of course, ended in chaos. "What I'm trying to say is that if Star Twinkle really is a clone, just like you said, then how is it that he lasted this long? That is just impossible," she pointed out.
Arcana was visibly offended hearing the mare speak about this stuff. "Don't even dare compare my clones with the ones made out from a pool. And yes, what you said is true. Cloning magic is difficult to perform, and those who can do it end up creating clones that last only a short amount of time or that can only function in a pretty basic way," the stallion explained. For once, he did not seem to talk down on the mare like he did all this time before. Talking about this topic genuinely must be something that he was pretty knowledgeable about to the point that he was enjoying it. But this only lasted until he began smiling proudly. "It just happens that the pony who created that clone is the one who has mastered it to more than anyone else in Equestria," he said, obviously referring to him. "The clones that I create can last forever, as long as there is still magic inside of them. Which reminds me...there was just recently a time where Star Twinkle's magic was running really low and he was about to disappear," he pointed out.
There more the talk about cloning and a real or clone Star Twinkle continued, the more Twilight looked back at some events in the past. One recent one specifically stood out to her. It was when Starlight Glimmer removed Star Twinkle's Cutie Mark. After Star Twinkle's Cutie Mark was removed he was weakened a lot more than her or the rest of her friends. She began to think that this was due to him being a clone too. But just considering Arcana's words to be true was just too hard to accept. The Star Twinkle that she met in Ponyville was supposed to be a clone that was created by Arcana? What was that supposed to mean? That all the friendships and adventures that happened up until now were not real? This all came out of nowhere and now she just had to accept it as the truth?
Arcana was picking up on the confusion that was spreading inside Twilight's mind. "If you still doubt my words then why don't you ask Summershine? Just looking at his face tells me that he knows what I am saying is true."
Twilight did look over to Summershine who seemed to be in deep thoughts. He didn't want to believe Arcana's words but deep inside, he knew that it was true. The reason for that was because of his previous encounter with the pony in the black armor not too long ago...
It was back then...
One day, Summershine's Cutie Mark appeared on the Cutie Mark map in Twilight's castle much to everyone's surprise. Star Twinkle got curious about that and wanted to investigate it with his friends so they went to the place where the map pointed at; the Forgotten Castle, the place that Fade, Mystic, Tagma, Rosa, and Wildheart used to hide in. Why exactly the map was showing Summershine's Cutie Mark, or why it was pointing at this place, was not clear to anyone but they wanted to check it out anyway. The only pony they stumbled across though, was Mystic, who they were forced to fight against.
Little did they know, that Summershine was actually not too far away, inside the castle, where he met the pony in the black armor. A fight broke out between them, Summershine knew that this pony was working together with Arcana, someone who he knew, meant danger to Equestria. He didn't know who was behind that armor but in the middle of the fight, the helmet of the pony in the Black Armor and its face were revealed to the Unicorn.
"...What?...You?" He said in shock as soon as he saw the pony's face for the first time. A light green coat, a dark green star-shaped mane, and light green eyes...The pony behind the black armor looked exactly like Star Twinkle. "What is going on here?" Summershine asked, demanding an answer from the pony in front of him. "Why are you wearing this? You are wearing this armor to play a prank on me? That one pony who was with Arcana...it was wearing the same armor. But that was not you, right?!" The unicorn asked, hoping that this was not the case in the slightest.
But the answer he got was exactly the one he didn't want to hear. "You mean back then inside that cave, right?" The pony in the black armor replied, proving that it was indeed him back then.
Summershine didn't quite know how to react to this. "But why? For what reason? Does Twilight and the others even know about this?"
"They don't," Star Twinkle replied.
There was still no explanation that Summershine could find about this. "Listen, you don't know Arcana. I don't know what he did or told you but whatever it is, you have to stay away from him! He is dangerous and can't be trusted! Those ponies that are with him...they are-"
"My friends..." Star Twinkle replied in a serious tone. An answer that Summershine did not expect. "Or at least they look like our friends..."
By now Summershine was even more confused. "Wait...you know who they are?" He asked.
"Should I not?" Star Twinkle shot back. "Should I have forgotten them, as you intended it?" He added in a bitter tone.
Again, Summershine was confused to hear those words. The reason for that was simple. The last time Summershine and Star Twinkle met, back in Ponyville during Lord Tirek's attack, he said that he was using a memory erase spell on Star Twinkle. Star Twinkle should not remember those ponies that were with Arcana, nor should he even remember that Summershine was using a spell on him. He guessed that Arcana was telling him those things but he had no idea why.
"You think that I like forgetting my friends? That I would feel better forgetting them because they were gone?" Star Twinkle said with a serious tone in his voice.
"No, that's not why I did that! It was because I wanted to keep you safe! You remembered what happened back then too, right?" Summershine shot back.
But Star Twinkle's serious expression didn't change one bit. "I remember that you are not who you used to be anymore. I don't know if it was by your own intentions or not but I do know that I have to take matters into my hooves to get our friends back," he said determinedly. "If it means that I have to work with someone like Arcana to make that happen, then I'll do it!"
"Why?!" Summershine asked confused. "We are friends! Why do things have to be like this?" The stallion asked helplessly.
It was at this point where Summershine blamed himself for everything. Back then, he erased the memory of Star Twinkle and everyone in Equestria with a spell. He did that to keep everyone safe, or at least he told himself that. But in return, it seemed to have led Star Twinkle down this path now. It was like a huge misunderstanding that led to a more serious problem now. And Summershine had to deal with it in some kind of way.
"Summershine!" A voice then screamed the stallion's name from downstairs. A voice that sounded all too familiar to Summershine.
"Huh?!" Summershine then said in confusion. That voice sounded exactly like Star Twinkle's. But that could not be possible because Star Twinkle was standing right in front of him now, wearing that black armor.
While being distracted by all this, Star Twinkle put on his helmet again. The stallion had a good feeling that some ponies were coming up to complicate things so he decided to escape by jumping out of the window of the castle. Summershine was too slow to react to this in time and the pony in the black armor escaped.
A few seconds later, Star Twinkle, as well as Twilight, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie all stepped into the room in a haste with Star Twinkle in front. Once the stallion arrived inside the room, he took a good look around. There was no one in here anymore, much to his frustration.
"He was here...I know it..." Star Twinkle said as he lowered his head in defeat. He was sure that Summershine was there because of his Cutie Mark appearing on the map in Twilight's castle, which was the only thing that has driven him to come to this place. His friends were quick to comfort him about this but it still felt like a loss.
Unbeknownst to any of them, Summershine was watching the seven ponies in this room from outside. The stallion tried to make sense in all of this. One moment, Star Twinkle was standing right in front of him revealing himself to be the pony in the black armor but one moment later he was entering the room along with his friends. This means that the Star Twinkle behind the armor and the one accompanying Twilight and the others were two different ponies. Obviously, that was enough to be confused. He was able to conclude who was responsible for it. And that made him only more determined to track down this someone.
Silence was filling the throne room in Twilight's castle. The words of Arcana telling everyone that the pony in the black armor was the real Star Twinkle and the one hanging out with Twilight and her friends in Ponyville was a clone, were now accepted as a fact. The armored Pony knew and remembered things that Star Twinkle from Ponyville didn't. As much as Summershine hated to admit it, Arcana was probably telling the truth. The fact that Arcana seemed almost proud about all this was proof enough.
"Okay," Twilight then said in order to break the silence. "Let's all just assume that what you are saying is true," she said, even though, Summershine's facial expression made it look as if he already believed Arcana. "Why did you make a clone of Star Twinkle? For what reason?" She asked, which Summershine had to admit, wanted to know the answer to as well.
Arcana, surprisingly, was willing to answer. "My objective has not changed since the last time I visited Ponyville...I want the Element of Harmony." Summershine was not surprised to hear that. Arcana was immediately trying to get the Elements of Harmony back then as well as soon as he and the rest of his friends found them. Arcana looked over to the stallion with a smile on his face. "I know that the power of the Elements of Harmony was split into two halves, one half being inside Star Twinkle and one being inside Summershine. Once I was aware of that, I decided to get to Star Twinkle so I could get his half since you ran off to who knows where," he explained, referring to Summershine. "There was only one problem though. For some reason, the Elements of Harmony were asleep inside of Star Twinkle so he was useless to me. But luckily, I was able to improvise."
"What did you do?" Summershine immediately asked.
Arcana ignored those words and just continued. "I went back to Ponyville to get my revenge on you and your friends. I returned to the castle of the two sisters first. That is where I found him, laying on the ground unconscious, with a scroll next to him that looked like a warning for Princess Celestia. I assume you were the one who wrote it?" The stallion asked. Summershine clenched his teeth in anger. He did leave that scroll to inform Princess Celestia about Arcana so that she could take care of Star Twinkle. "The scroll said that Star Twinkle was connected to the Elements of Harmony so I got interested in him. But unfortunately, Princess Celestia arrived at the castle shortly after so I had to remain hidden. I followed her as she returned the stallion home with guards keeping a close look on him for a while, which made it hard to keep an eye on him. But I knew that my patience would be rewarded if I decided to stay close."
"Can you get to the point?!" Summershine asked angrily. It was certainly not fun listening to Arcana basically stalking his best friend.
Once again, Arcana continued, he seemed to enjoy telling the stallion all of this stuff. "I managed to get close to Star Twinkle and even shared some knowledge of the Elements of Harmony. It was worth a shot to ask him about them if it meant that I would find out something about him or you. I got rewarded for that risk. I should thank you for not mentioning me to him. It made things quite easier for me," he said with a smug smile on his face. Of course, that was the last thing that Summershine wanted to hear, it only made him feel more responsible for everything that happened. "I don't want to spend all day explaining things to you all so I just get to the point. Star Twinkle, the real Star Twinkle joined up with me to stop you, Summershine," Arcana explained.
"Liar!" Summershine shouted back. "He would never join someone like you!"
A moment later, Twilight put one of her front hooves on the stallion's shoulder to calm him down. "I don't know fully what this is all about but...right now, Star Twinkle and the pony in the black armor are probably fighting somewhere. We need to help him and standing here talking with this pony is only wasting time," she explained. Hearing those words did calm Summershine down a little and made him realize that it is not too late to set things right again. "I suggest we deal with this pony first before we ask further questions." She said in a rush of determination before she stood ready to fight.
There was a stare-down happening between the three ponies. The air in the room got a little bit more serious. That was until Arcana started chuckling. "Looking at your faces makes it almost look as if you think you can even hold a candle to me," the stallion said with not a single hint of concern in his voice. "But by all means...try."
Not too far away, both the armored pony and Star Twinkle continued their fight with the latter one having a lot more problems than before. On top of both of them being equally as strong, Star Twinkle's mind was just a mess. He could not focus on the battle while being fed with all this information at the same time.
"Me? A clone?" Star Twinkle thought before he saw another beam being fired at him, forcing him to dodge clumsily. "I'm not a clone! All these times...what would they all mean if I was a clone?" More and more magic beams were fired at him as those thoughts crossed his mind and each time he felt those attacks getting a little bit closer. He couldn't fight properly with all those things in his mind. And before he knew it, one of the beams connected and Star Twinkle was shot against a wall
The stallion was hurt but he still managed to at least sit up again. He saw the armored pony walking towards him slowly. A serious expression was on his face as he looked down at Star Twinkle. "This doesn't have to go this way. Just give up and everything will be over without any more pain," he offered.
For Star Twinkle this was all still very strange. This pony did not seem evil nor did he enjoy beating up Star Twinkle. This raised the question of why they were fighting in the first place. This is when Star Twinkle remembered. "You said you wanted things to be the way they used to be...what do you mean with that?" He asked.
The armored pony answered with another question. "Do you remember our friends?" He asked but as expected from Star Twinkle and his messed up memory, there came no reply, not that the pony in the black armor expected one in the first place. "The ones that Arcana showed us before. Happytrade, Nightsky, Brilliance, Crash, and Lightbeam. Those five, along with Summershine are the ponies that we grew up with in Ponyville, the ponies that we shared our fondest memories with. After the battle with Ashgray, those five were meeting a rather unfortunate fate..."
"What do you mean with unfortunate fate? You said it was those five ponies from before? The ones that are fighting against my friends?" Star Twinkle asked in his confusion.
The pony in the black armor shook his head. "Those five ponies are merely clones created by Arcana based on some of my memories," he explained. "It was by my demand. I thought that just like you, they would sooner or later remember or at least have their personality returned to them. But unlike you, someone who was created by half of my existence, those five were created by my memory which is not enough. They are just mindless shadows of themselves," he said with regret on his face."I was still okay with that though since I could see them again at least..." Suddenly, anger started forming on his face. "Something that was not that important to Summershine."
Star Twinkle was surprised to hear that. "What does Summershine have to do with that?" He asked.
The pony in the black armor explained. "Did you know that he was the one who used a memory erase spell to remove those five from the memories of everyone? Or that he left Ponyville instead of finding a way to return them to us? He had the Elements of Harmony, And I did too! I'm sure they could have fixed everything! But he ran away after erasing everyone's memories instead of finding a way to save our friends!" The pony in the black armor started clenching its teeth in anger. "That is why I need to get the Elements of Harmony residing inside you and Summershine to get my friends back! And if that means that I have to join up with someone like Arcana then so be it!"
There was clearly more going on than just that. At least that's what Star Twinkle figured was happening here. Whatever the reasons were though, he did not plan on giving up that easily and started getting back on his hooves again. "But before that, you and I need to become one again? Is that what you are saying? Why is that even necessary? I thought you were supposed to be the real Star Twinkle so wouldn't that mean that you would have the Elements of Harmony inside you, instead of me?"
The pony in the black armor stood battle-ready as well. "If I were gone for too long from Ponyville, Princess Celestia would have gotten suspicious and then tried to go after Arcana and me. The only reason for your existence was to make her think that Star Twinkle was still living peacefully in Ponyville. As for the Elements of Harmony, I'm not too sure myself why they manifested inside of you and not me. Maybe it has something to do with you spending time with Twilight and the others. That doesn't matter now because I will get them back!"
Star Twinkle was getting sick of being called a clone and all the other stuff that got thrown at him by now. He decided that the only way to stop all this was to just not lose this battle here so he continued the fight with the pony in the black armor to settle things.
Another pretty stressful and difficult battle was taking place inside the castle. Even though it was two against one, Arcana seemed to have no problem keeping up with both Twilight and Summershine at the same time. At the very moment, Twilight was shooting at the stallion but all he did in response was using a spell that turned the floor in front of him into a wall that absorbed the blast. As Arcana was occupied with that, Summershine teleported behind him to shoot at the stallion, only to miss because Arcana teleported away. Arcana then positioned himself a few meters away from the two only to snicker at their sad attempts to fight him.
"I can't believe we can't get a hit on him!" Twilight said in her frustration. "It's like he knows a counter to all of our spells."
Arcana chuckled in response. "That might be the case actually. But I am sure that ponies like you, who were born with a natural talent for magic, know how to deal with this easily, just like everything else in your life," he said mockingly.
"What do you mean with that?" Summershine replied.
The red-coated unicorn could only shake his head in response. "I'm just saying that you maybe should actually put some effort to archive something," he said before he looked over to Twilight. "I mean getting the title of a princess handed to you is speaking volumes about your efforts right now," he added with a grin on his face.
Needless to say, Twilight was not too happy to hear those words thrown at her. "You think I became a princess without deserving it?" She asked.
"Precisely," Arcana quickly responded.
This is what started to make Twilight angry. "Okay, that's enough!" She then said after clenching her teeth for a moment. Arcana enjoyed the anger in Twilight's voice and smiled smugly. "I don't care what you say or think about me but if you say that my title as a princess is undeserved then you are not offending only me but my friends as well!"
"Why is that?" Arcana smugly asked.
Twilight explained. "It's because it was thanks to them that I even got this far. All this time I helped them as much as they helped me. It all took plenty of hard work and it is thanks to our combined efforts that I was named the Princess of Friendship. So when you say that I don't deserve the title as a princess, you also mock them and their work that eventually led me to this point!" She said as she glared at Arcana with a serious expression on her face. Summershine looked over to Twilight and began smiling, seeing how the mare was not letting herself be discouraged by Arcana's words. It helped him to grab some courage as well.
However, Arcana did not seem impressed at all by that speech. "So you are saying that you becoming a princess, is partly thanks to your friends?" He asked.
"Yes!" Twilight replied.
It felt as if the tension in the room was rising, mainly because Arcana's smug smile was completely gone and threw a very serious expression towards the mare now. "Then let me ask you something..." he started with a serious tone in his voice before he started asking. "Where are their wings?"
Twilight was a little bit taken back by this question. "What?" Was all she asked in response.
"Where are their wings?" Arcana repeated. "Or in some cases, their horns? Where is their transformation into an Alicorn?" He kept asking before he pointed all around himself. "Where is their fancy castle? Or their royal status? As far as I am concerned only you got all of those things," he said while looking directly into her eyes demanding an answer to those questions. But the answer didn't come right away, prompting Arcana to continue. "It is strange that you claim to have earned all those things because of the help of your friends but somehow, only you got rewarded."
Twilight's confidence started to waver a little bit from hearing those words. She couldn't help but accept that it didn't seem fair.
Arcana continued, in fact, he was answering his own questions. "If I'm not mistaken, your destiny, your special talent, is magic, right? And it also happened that you were chosen by the Element of Magic. Oh! And don't let me forget that Princess Celestia herself was the one who further taught you. It was only a matter of time until she would decide to make the "most special pony" into a princess."
"I'm not the most special pony in Equestria!" Twilight replied.
"Please..." Arcana replied with a disgusted tone in his voice. "I hate ponies like you...ponies who don't even have to work for anything that they accomplish because destiny was just lucky for them. You being a prodigy in magic, being chosen by the Element of Magic, becoming the student of Princess Celestia, becoming a princess? All of those things were given to you on a silver plate by destiny. All it took was just some time to unfold."
"That is not..." Twilight replied with a shaking voice before she looked down at the ground with a frown on her face.
But Arcana was not done talking to the mare. "I bet there are ponies out there who would give their left hoof to be blessed with half of the things that you got. But no, there are ponies out there who try to make the best out of the things that they were given by destiny to become special...or something that they strive to be," he said before he looked at his own hoof. "Seeing someone who excels at everything in an instant for what you had to work hard for only makes you feel like a weakling, someone who is wasting his time and energy and ultimately, his life."
Twilight and Summershine could tell that Arcana was talking from experience judging from the anger in his face.
"So what do you do if you are in a position like that?" Arcana then asked. "Easy...you work hard. Harder than everyone else!" He then looked at his Cutie Mark, which was an open book. "My special talent was studying, learning from books, taking in information relatively quickly by just reading. But what I really was interested in was magic and spells. Of course, with my special talent, I managed to teach myself some spells even if the act of actually casting them was still a challenge. I spent every day teaching myself and practicing new spells because my goal was to become a Unicorn who was unmatched in terms of magic!" Arcana's facial expression became angrier just before he was about to continue telling this story. "But...I had a friend with the same goal and unlike me, he was blessed with a talent for magic."
As soon as he said that, his eyes were locked at Twilight and Summershine, who was also gifted with a talent for magic. Just another reason to detest them further.
"Every spell I invented, he already mastered it! Every time I was done mastering a spell after days or weeks of practice, he managed to do it in an instant! All because he was born with a talent for magic and I wasn't! And eventually, he reached his goal and became known for his talents in magic as the great Unicorn Sun Swirl."
Twilight immediately recognized that name. "Sun Swirl? The Sun Swirl?"
Summershine, however, did not know this name. "Who?" He asked confused.
The mare explained. "Sun Swirl was rumored to be a decedent to Star Swirl the Bearded and just like Arcana said, he was known to be one of the most talented Unicorns in Equestria," she said before she looked over to Arcana again, her face starting to look worried and confused. "But...that can't be!"
"What do you mean?" Summershine asked, not seeing what the problem was.
"Well...Sun Swirl lived hundreds of years ago. And Arcana claimed to be a friend of his?" Twilight said confused.
Summershine started to see the problem. Arcana was not looking as if he was joking though. He had a sinister smile on his face to return the confused stares of the two. For Summershine there were only two possibilities, the first one was that Arcana was just lying to them for whatever reason. The second one would indicate that Arcana is much older than he looks.
Arcana formed a grin on his face. He seemed to enjoy the confused looks on their faces. "Allow me to show you how far hard work and dedication can bring you and how it easily can outmatch gifted ponies like you."
A magic aura started to surround Arcana's horn, his face looked a lot more focused than before, indicating that he was a little bit more serious now. Summershine was not looking forward to dealing with a serious Arcana and just looked over to Twilight as if he wanted to warn her. It was already too late though. A magic light emerged from Arcana, his spell was done and Twilight looked in shock at what she saw. In front of Arcana were three more Arcana's, all of them looking exactly like him, perfect clones created from his magic.
"Just like back then..." Summershine commented, who was a little less surprised by this sight but not too excited about it either.
Arcana, however, was grinning. "Let's continue this little "fight" shall we? Let's see if you gifted ponies can keep up." He said confidently before he, and his clones, stood ready to continue the fight.
Both Star Twinkle's continued their fight only a few rooms away. Exhaustion was making its way to Star Twinkle who was having trouble keeping up with the pony in the black armor. On the upside though, the Star Twinkle in the black armor seemed to start panting as well. Star Twinkle started to stop thinking about all this clone talk and just straight out accepted it as truth. Right now, it didn't even matter considering he had to fight against someone of equal strength. He simply didn't have time for it now. But the Star Twinkle in the black armor was not letting up and was bent to go on with his plan to become one again. This begged the question of why they were fighting to begin with.
"Let's assume we become one again for one moment..." Star Twinkle said, hoping to put a hold on this fight, if just for a moment. "What then? You get rid of me and obtain the Elements of Harmony and then?"
"I will go and get the other half as well...the one residing inside Summershine," the pony in the black armor replied before he looked to the left, where the Throne room was most likely located. "But I guess Arcana will be taking care of that, which means I have to deal with him instead..."
"But that is what we are all doing right now!" Star Twinkle exclaimed. "Then why are we fighting against each other if we have the same goals! We should work together with Summershine to defeat Arcana and then figure out something!"
"No!" The pony in the black armor shouted back. "Summershine can not be trusted! Not while he is still inside him!"
"He?" Star Twinkle replied confused.
"He ran away and as it turns out, he does not have an interest in getting our friends back! I have to take things in my hooves! I have to do it alone! I can't trust anyone else!" The pony in the black armor explained.
Hearing words like these only made Star Twinkle feel bad. The worst thing about it was that he could hear himself in this pony, which, ironically was him. Summershine was supposed to be his friend but all he could hear was how this pony in front of him wanted to "take care" of things on his own. Would Star Twinkle have done the same things if he was in this situation? A weird question considering that the pony in the black armor was Star Twinkle. This pony got lost and was confused just like how he used to feel. Being around Arcana probably didn't help out either.
The pony in the black armor was determined to go through with his plan though. "I am the original so once we become one again, I will take control and make sure to set things right," he explained.
Star Twinkle was not happy to hear that. "And what happens to the other?" He asked.
"Gone..." Star Twinkle got as a reply. "We used to be one after all. And becoming one again will be one step to return everything the way it was supposed to be!"
The stakes just got a lot higher. Star Twinkle couldn't help but get scared by the thought of vanishing just like that. He stood ready to continue the fight. Both of them were in their unicorn form but they were also really exhausted already. This battle was not meant to go on any longer and they both knew it. They decided to go for one last charge to end it.
Both of them started running at each other. Time felt as if it was slowing down. Many thoughts were crossing Star Twinkle's mind. "Will I vanish? Why? Is that gonna make everything better? If he...the real Star Twinkle takes control...will things be for the better for everyone? For the friends that I can't remember? Will the friends that I made now be okay with it? Am I even okay with this? Do I even have a chance? I'm a clone after all..." The pony in the black armor was charging at Star Twinkle but if felt as if he was running in slow motion. This pony's eyes were filled with determination while Star Twinkle's were filled with regret, confusion, and sadness. "Would I have done things the same way? Would I have really joined Arcana and then try to do things on my own?" Star Twinkle started feeling sad. Just looking at the pony in the black armor made him realize that he was absolutely serious. "Yes...I would...but not anymore! I know better now. There are things that you can't do on your own no matter how hard you try...and this pony...I...have not realized that yet."
Both Star Twinkle's focused their magic and ran horn first at each other. Once they clashed against each other a magic explosion caught both of them, filling the whole room in a bright light. "I will bring them back. Things are gonna be the way they used to be..." The pony in the black armor said just moments before he was surrounded by the light completely.
Pictures from the past...
The day when Star Twinkle first visited Ponyville all these years back...
A younger Star Twinkle, together with his friends, was looking at the sky with smiles on their faces...
The Running of the Leaves Race that he participated in with Summershine...
The fire in Ponyville...
Some pictures of events that happened in the Castle of the Two Sisters...
Then, the last pictures turned into that time where he met Twilight and faced of against Nightmare Moon...
The night of his first Grand Galloping Galla...
The day everyone was celebrating his birthday and where he got his Cutie Mark...
The moment where he watched how Twilight was crowned as a Princess...
Memories from both Star Twinkle's started to mix up. They started to become one, formed one being again. No clone and no original anymore. Was it for the better or worse though? And what is this one pony gonna do once it was complete again?
As the battle between the two Star Twinkle's concluded. The battle between Twilight, Summershine, and Arcana and his clones was still ongoing. As if fighting one Arcana wasn't bad enough now Twilight and Summershine had to deal with four of them and it felt as if all of them were equally as hard to fight against. Obviously, they were outnumbered Arcana's magic knowledge was also Superior to theirs. Suddenly, Arcana claiming to be a rival of Sun Swirl, one of them greatest Unicorns in history, was no longer that unbelievable. It was also bad news since Twilight and Summershine still had to help Star Twinkle who was fighting right now as well. And it wasn't even as if Twilight or Summershine were doing bad or not good when it came to working together, Arcana was simply overpowering and outnumbering them. One shot of magic was countered by two, one blocked shot meant another attack coming from another side. Eventually, the battle came to a hold with one side being heavily exhausted while another was just grinning and enjoying every second of this "fight".
"So...are continuing this dance or do you just surrender to let us all save some time?"One of the Arcana's said smugly. Summershine was getting really frustrated that he was getting mocked like that but unfortunately, there was nothing he could do to slap that grin away from Arcana's face. "Something does not add up though..." Arcana said as he looked over to the Orange colored Pony. "Is it just me or did you get weaker since the last time we met? Why are you not using this fire magic like before?" He wondered.
Summershine clenched his teeth angrily. Twilight couldn't help but wonder as well why Summershine was holding back on that. In fact, Summershine managed to hold of her and all six of her friends at once back then. He did not use his fire spell once though during this fight.
"I assume you only use this spell if you mean to harm other ponies or plan to destroy stuff?" Arcana said mockingly.
Those words seemed to have struck hard, given how Summershine was looking with a face filled with regret.
But Twilight was not taking it too lightly that Arcana was saying those words. "I don't think you are in the position to say things like that!" She said, in order to defend Summershine.
"Things like what? The truth?" Arcana replied.
Twilight stepped up for the Unicorn next to her. "Even though he attacked Star Twinkle a while back here in Ponyville, I don't think that Summershine is a bad pony. Something inside me is just telling me that! And I have a feeling that there must be some reason why he did those things," she said, again, defending Summershine, something that he appreciated dearly.
"Whether it was willingly or not does not really change what he has done," Arcana countered. "I mean think about it, Star Twinkle, his so called best friend decided to oppose him as well. I remember, the reason why Star Twinkle decided to team up with me was because he saw Summershine attacking a peacefully village, if I remember correctly. It was after that when Star Twinkle decided to do something himself. After all, he could no longer trust his best friend."
For a moment, Twilight thought Arcana was just making up things but one glance over to Summershine was enough to disprove that. Summershine slowly lowered his head in regret. It was as if he was just reminded of some painful memories which he liked to forget. Seeing the Summershine in regret, however, was proof enough that there must have been some reasons for those things to happen, just like his attack on Star Twinkle. It was just the missing context that Twilight lacked so far in order to understand.
"That was...I didn't mean..." Summershine said in a shaking voice.
It was at this moment, where Arcana saw his chance to attack. While Summershine's head was lowered and distracted by the things that Arcana mentioned, and Twilight looking at him in concern, not paying attention, Arcana shot Summershine with a magic beam right on. The orange-coated pony fell backward and landed on his back with a pain-filled expression on his face. Twilight could just watch seeing him knocked away like that. She immediately tried to rush towards him but three Arcana's jumped in front of her to block her path.
While Twilight was blocked off by those three Arcanas, the fourth one, presumable the original one, was walking slowly towards Summershine, who was still laying on the ground in pain. "Now...let me finally take what I came here for," Arcana said before he used his magic to lift up Summershine in the air. As soon as Twilight noticed what was happening, she tried to come to Summershine's rescue but the other three Arcana's were there to prevent exactly that. "Right about now the battle between Star Twinkle and his clone should be over. Which means after taking your half of the elements, all I have to do is take Star Twinkle's half." Arcana said with a grin on his face. His words were a clear proof that he never intended to fully work with Star Twinkle in the first place and planned to betray him. "Should not be too much trouble after I got your half to make myself stronger. And then...I am one step closer to becoming the most powerful Unicorn in Equestria!"
Summershine tried to free himself from Arcana's magic but he was too weak, there was nothing he could do to defend himself while Arcana took the elements inside Summershine away and Arcana enjoyed every second of this moment and smiled victoriously. Twilight desperately tried to go between them but Arcana's clones were watching her closely, there was nothing she could do to save Summershine in time.
But then...slowly, Arcana's expression changed from happy to confused and then angry. The stallion levitated Summershine closer to his face and stared furiously into his eyes.
"Where are they?!" He exclaimed.
But Summershine was not sure why there was such a sudden change in Arcana's mood. "What?" Is all he could reply.
Arcana clenched his teeth angrily. "The elements! There are gone! What have you done with them?!" He shouted into Summershine's face, much to his confusion. Still, Summershine was not sure what this was about.
Then, faintly, steps could be heard. Someone slowly walked towards the throne room. All eyes were on the doorway, to see who was approaching them. Arcana began to smile again and Twilight looked in shock as soon as they saw who it was. Of course, there were only two other ponies in the castle right now and just as Arcana predicted, the battle between both Star Twinkles was done and only one of them was left.
It was Star Twinkle...wearing black armor...
Twilight's jaw dropped in shock. "No..." she said in a shaking voice.
Arcana began to calm down as soon as he remembered how one part of his plan was still working out the way he expected. "Looks like your battle is over...and of course...there was no way that a clone was gonna defeat the original."
Star Twinkle looked over to Summershine who laid on the ground and was still in pain. Shortly after, without hesitation, a horn started appearing on Star Twinkle's head and he began to shoot at Arcana, forcing him to dodge by teleporting out of the way. Arcana had a good guess what was happening here and was not too surprised. "As expected...you are betraying me? Are you?"
Twilight took advantage of this confusion and teleported right next to Summershine to see if he was okay. Moments later though, Star Twinkle was standing in front of the two, looking at them with a hard to judge expression on his face. Twilight could only look at him confused. Star Twinkle looked over to Arcana and then walked in front of Twilight and Summershine, a clear gesture that he was about to fight alongside them.
Arcana tried to comprehend what is happening right now. Why would Star Twinkle, who swore that he would take care of Summershine, attempt to protect him now? He might consider Arcana a bigger threat though and wanted to deal with him first and considering how Twilight and Summershine both had problems dealing with Arcana, Star Twinkle most likely saw a bigger chance to win against Arcana if he teamed up with them.
But then Star Twinkle said something that confused everyone in the room.
"I take care of him alone," he said without a single hint of doubt in his voice.
Naturally, Arcana raised his eyebrows in confusion. "What did you just say?" He said with an offended tone in his voice. He couldn't even begin to understand what Star Twinkle just said.
Twilight immediately disagreed with this idea. "No! We fight him together. Summershine and I could barely keep up with him so there is no way that you..." she said without thinking before stopping in mid-sentence. Of course, she didn't want to talk down on Star Twinkle but he was not stupid and was well aware that Twilight was leagues above him when it came to magic. All the more surprising why Star Twinkle wanted to go alone.
By now, Summershine managed to get up on his hooves again, if only slowly and accompanied with some pain though. "Listen, if we all work together, then maybe we can win this," he said, even though his panting in the middle of the sentence made him not sound too convincing. "There is no way he can keep this up for much-"
"I remember now," Star Twinkle interrupted. Summershine's face was colored in surprise after hearing that and he looked over to Star Twinkle, who didn't turn around as he continued explaining. "I remember my friends...Happytrade, Crash, Brilliance, Nightsky, and Lightbeam. I remember how we all grew up in Ponyville, how we saw the Sonic Rainboom, I remember us getting into a fight in the Running of the Leaves Race," he said with a smile on his face which then turned into a frown shortly after. "I also remember Ashgray, the fire in Ponyville, and I am well aware of what you did Summershine."
For Arcana, this was all interesting to listen to. "You remember now?" He pointed out. " But you knew all these things, to begin with, didn't you? Unless...the one who is in control...is the clone?" He concluded.
Star Twinkle glared at Arcana. "As far as I'm concerned, both of us were real, like two sides of a coin. But now were are one again."
Arcana chuckled in response. "And what now? You plan on taking revenge on me for splitting you into two? If I remember correctly, you came to ask me for help, meaning you are to blame for this whole mess," he said with a grin on his face.
Star Twinkle looked down in regret. "I know," he replied, fully aware of this. "And no, this isn't about revenge," he said before he started taking of his black armor bit by bit. "I'm going up against you because I want to protect my friends and..."
As the last piece of his armor then came off both Twilight and Summershine were stunned by what they saw. "Star Twinkle you're a..."
The stallion then stood ready to fight against Arcana and readied his horn with magic. "...because I am the only one who can defeat you now!" He said before he spread the wings on his back as well, revealing himself to Arcana as an Alicorn.
Arcana was understandably confused by this sight for a moment but it didn't take long until he began laughing again. "Really? I already dealt with one Alicorn and a Unicorn which were both born with a gift for magic," he boasted. "And let's not forget, I still have an advantage when it comes to numbers," he added before the other three Arcana clones appeared behind him as well, all of them having the same evil grin on them.
Summershine couldn't help but think that this was still a bad idea but Star Twinkle looked not one bit worried for some reason. Star Twinkle was also not someone who would take unnecessary risks so for him claiming that he could beat Arcana came as a big shock. Obviously, the wings and horn on Star Twinkle were already a big enough surprise but Summershine's attention was drawn towards his Cutie Mark, which also seemed to have changed from a white star to a star which was filled with the colors of a rainbow (From up to down: red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, and purple).
No one really knew what was going on or why Star Twinkle was so confident all of a sudden but Twilight and Summershine decided to wait and see how things would play out. And for now, that meant waiting for Star Twinkle battling Arcana on his own.
"I hope you realize that you are just making it easier for me to get my hooves on the Elements of Harmony, do you?" Arcana said before he started focusing his magic and grinned as if he already won the battle.
But Star Twinkle wasn't saying anything and kept looking at Arcana with an almost confident determination to win this battle. The stallion spread his wings and focused magic in his horn as well before taking a battle-ready stance. The battle was about to begin and sooner or later everyone would find out if Star Twinkle could back up his words of defeating Arcana alone or not...
To be continued...
Hey, look! Another chapter! Word on the streets is that this can still happen ^^...Sorry :(
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My Little Pony - The Legend of Friendship Season 1 + 2(Chapter 1 - 53)
My Little Pony - The Legend of Friendship - Diary of The Storm Wings
My Little Pony - The Legend of Friendship Season 3(Chapter 54 - 65)
Equestria Girls - The Legend of Friendship
My Little Pony - The Legend of Friendship - Outcasts
My Little Pony - The Legend of Friendship Season 4(Chapter 66 - 91)
Rainbow Rocks - The Legend of Friendship
The Legend of Friendship - Harmony
My Little Pony - The Legend of Friendship Season 5(Chapter 92 - 117)