The ground under her golden shoes sank and clung to them as mud as she walked the unpaved roads of Ponyville, a bit of bounce in the waves of her mane and tail. Princess Cadance walked without her guards towards the Golden Oaks library, the leaves wiggling in the afternoon breeze. Sometimes, guards made sense, but it always struck her has inappropriate for such a sweet little town. Though she didn't have her guards, she was hardly alone. She was not getting mobbed, thank goodness, but about a dozen ponies, most of them mares, started to walk and talk with her.
She didn't mind, of course. Ponyville ponies always had this refreshing brightness, like they had slept in, had a great cup of coffee, and were out in perfect weather, and if she had the time, she'd probably stop and talk to all of them. She spoke with them as best as she was able as she kept her relaxed pace, and thankfully, they could sense that Cadance didn't intend to lead a procession into the library. They bowed, and so did she, and for a moment she was alone with the scent of wet trees and road. She took in a smiling, long breath and knocked on the door.
The Golden Oak Library had a small bell by the door. Whenever the door opened, it would let out a jangle and let Twilight Sparkle know someone was there. The place was her home, but it was also a public library. When it was the operating hours of the library, the armature that the bell hung from was turned to hang over the door. When it wasn't time for the place to be open, the arm was swung away. When Cadence opened the door, a chime rang out. Somewhere upstairs it reached the ears of a Unicorn.
"Just a minute!" a muffled voice called down. There was the sound of a door opening, hooves across a hall, and then Twilight appeared at the top of the stairs. "CADENCE!" she shouted excitedly before she rushed down the stairs. She stumbled and gave a little wobble the last few steps, but was able to nearly gallop to her sister-in-law. Twilight came to an abrupt stop in front of her, lurching a bit forward from her own momentum, before launching into a prance. "Sunshine, sunshine~!"
"-- Ladybugs awake! Clap your hooves and do a little shake!" As if she was just a teenager in a ponytail manecut all over again, on a picnic quilt from long ago, she ducked, hid then revealed her eyes, got up, turned sideways, and gave her flank a wiggle! After that, she let herself giggle freely as she leaned forward and gave her sister-in-law, the pony she was the most proud of, a nuzzle with her cheek. "Twilight, I'm so glad you're here! I hope it's okay if I surprised you?" She wasn't the only surprise she had in store for her sister!
Twilight replied to their ritual in kind, giggling as well. She returned the nuzzle and beamed up at Cadence. "I live here, of course I'd be here." She said matter-of-factly. "And of course it's okay for you to surprise me! I always love it when we visit. Oh, but before we get carried away, you can tell your guards they can come in. They don't need to stand outside, unless you need to talk to me in private about something."
Cadance gave a sheepish smile. "Oh Twilight, I couldn't help myself and I dismissed them for the afternoon. It just seems so strange to be flanked by guards in Ponyville of all places. More than just about anywhere, it's just so nice to relax a bit! Oh! I'll take off my shoes!" She hopped over to the door and stepped out of her muddy shoes, then hopped back over with a smile. "There we go! So ..." Her tail gave a little swish. "... I've got business in Appleloosa, but on my way, I wanted to visit and ... drop off a surprise for you and spend some time catching up!"
"Surprise? What kind of a surprise?" Twilight was instantly curious and leaning from one side to the next to see if her sister-in-law had something stashed under her wings. "Is it a book? Ooooh please tell me it's a book!" she exclaimed with glee. If Cadence had brought her a book from the Empire it could be amazing! Some of them hadn't been read in a millennium. What if it was a new work by a Crystal Pony author? That would be amazing!
"What do you have to do in Appleloosa? Do you need my help? AJ has a cousin that lives there." Twilight searched her brain for reasons as to why Cadence would have to travel that far south for something. No matter the reason though, she was here to visit! She didn't know how long, but she was going to try and make the most of it for sure!
"Oh, the business in Appleloosa is just spending some time with the mayor and the ponies there. I know that seems a little much ... going about one-thousand five-hundred miles of rail just to spend time with ponies ... but I'd like to think that a Princess should be happy to do so, to experience the happiness and/or problems of distant ponies that she shares responsibility for ... and privately, I'm also craving stuffed chiles like crazy lately!" She giggled at her own lighthearted admission. "But, you guessed it, the surprise is a book I found, and I think it's pretty special!" She sang the last word. "I found it in the library, but you might be disappointed at first to discover that the book ... is actually empty, or at least, that's what I thought."
She floated the book in shimmering crystal-texture wrapping with a silken bow over near Twilight. "This is a memory book. When you write in it, it absorbs not just the ink, but everything behind it, like the images or other sensations involved. If you want to find something inside, you write a request, and it reveals it back to you, word for word, sensation for sensation. I wrote about my wedding day, but I wasn't done. Later, the next night, I wrote, 'Now where was I,' and that's when I found out and experimented with it a bit! I'm pretty sure that if anypony can get a lot of good use from something like this, it'd be you, Twilight."
Twilight shared in the giggle. Her sister-in-law had a really big heart, but it was also good to know that the Crystal Empire was stable enough to handle her going away for a little while. There was just one thing amiss about it all. "There's just one prob- I knew it was a book!" she stood on the tips of her hooves in excitement.
The librarian did indeed look a little disappointed to hear it was empty. Empty books weren't that bad a thing though, it just meant she had to fill it! Her eyes widened as Cadence had described the properties of this now very special and unique book! "I've only ever heard of these, but I've never seen one! What kind of experiments did you do? Are there other memories in it?"
"Well, I mostly did experiments to make sure that there were no traps or other sneaky spells applied to it. Wouldn't want to write a lot of stuff in it and find out you were writing to some insane arch-sorcerer inside who wanted to manipulate you, right? Turns out, it's honest, and I think should be a really awesome tool for you or Spike to use since he helps you. And, with this, you'll never have a you-had-to-be-there moment to explain to anypony since you can refer to something, and this will make it possible to experience!" She smiled cheerfully, almost filly-like in her excitement.
"I'd like to think I could handle an arch-sorcerer who was trapped inside of a book, Cadence." she said with just a tiny big of smugness. She had been through a lot and come out on top. She leaned and gave her sister-in-law a nuzzle. "Thank you for looking out for me though." It was a really exciting prospect, and she was sure she was going to cherish this book for a long time.
"Thank you again Cadence. I'll make sure to fill this with a lot of good memories and... not to pry into any you've already but down." Her cheeks tinged a little pink. She didn't know just what she had written down in their, but she had mentioned her wedding. No way did she want to accidentally experience her feelings on her wedding night. Twilight loved her BBBFF Shining Armor, but not in that way.
She blushed a little, though thankfully a blush hardly showed on the cheeks of a pink pony, but she continued her light smile. "You're most welcome, and ... well thank you, though I know I can trust you completely, Twilight. So, been taking on anything in the arch-sorcerer sphere of things? I'd like you to have fun, but book-fun is probably best ... better than villain fun." Sometimes, it was a strange world, even to Cadance, that there was such a thing as evil villains and ... well, everything that she herself had become.
"Nothing that big recently. I had Rainbow Dash over a few days ago. For once we sat down and had this amazing conversation. Don't get me wrong, we've had good talks before, but I think I found her intellectual side!" Twilight beams like a giddy filly. "She can go on at length about the weather, and in detail too. We had some regular girl talk too, but it was amazing. I want to see if she'll let me go up in my balloon and watch for research purposes."
The Fun Has Been Doubled! is a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic moderate-to-advanced forum roleplay. Set after the events of the fifth season, we currently have no overarching plot. Instead, we simply have created the world of Equestria for you as a giant playground to have fun in and to explore the magic of friendship. Canon characters and original characters are available for you to play as, both ponies and non-pony species alike! Just remember that we are account-per-character and we'll be fine!
So why don't you stay for a while, look around, and let us know if we should get a welcome party started for you.