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 Something worth thinking about (open)

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PostSubject: Something worth thinking about (open)   Wed May 15, 2013 4:28 am

If anything, Equestria reminded her of one of the reflections she had the great honour of attending. It was a Reflection on happiness, and whether it was the most important thing in life. She had scribbled many things in her book of Reflections that day, but the quote that stood out in her memory was one made by an elderly priest; "Can not happiness be derived by acts of cruelty? Can not despair be derived by virtue?"

The reason the reflection stood out in her mind was for the simple fact that the Equestrians, as a whole, were happy.

But if one small detail threatened this happiness, they turned. They shut their doors and hid in their homes. They detested strangers, they feared change. She still had a bruise from when a filly threw a rock at her. For Equestria, happiness and kindness only extended to friends. Anything that threatened this harmony was to distrusted and ostracised.

At least, that was what Paradise had experienced of the proud state.

She didn't exactly blend in; her traditional robes made her stand out, an obvious foreigner in a strange land. Her overly careful and cautious attempts at the Equestrian language didn't help. Nor did her relative ignorance of subjects that the Equestrians assumed everypony just knew.

But she perservered in her pilgrimage, talking with anypony that'd listen, carrying nothing but her gohei, writing material, and her book of reflections. Once in a blue moon some kind soul would provide shelter, but mostly she slept under the stars. The land was larger than she expected, far larger than the islands that made up her home, and she had walked far.

By the time she had reached this town, she supposed she looked like a wild mare. If these ponies were frightened by her at her best, she thought grimly, it would not be surprising for them to be terrified at her in this unkempt state. So far, her assumption proved true. Ponies kept their distance, and this distance was rather large. They weren't running, but they were more trying to refuse her existence. The curious stares of the foals were diverted by their parents before the maiden could even smile at them. Stall owners pretended to be busy as she passed them by.

All in all, not rocks-being-thrown-at-you bad, but could be much better.

_________________
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Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Wed May 15, 2013 9:35 pm

Star strolled happily through the town square, waving at everypony she saw. She didn't have any experiments to work, so she went for a walk in town.
She wasn't looking where she was going and accidentally bumped into a pale yellow-ish pony. "Oh jeez, I'm sorry. Didn't mean to run into ya!" she said happily, brushing herself off. "I'm Stargazer, but every pony just calls me Star." she added, offering her hoof for a hoofshake.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Wed May 15, 2013 9:55 pm

Paradise was sure she stood out, so she was surprised that pony could accidentally run into her, almost causing her to stumble and fall over. Recovering, she found the words of the pony in front of her meshed together like most Equstrians talked.

She smiled peacefully. "Goodness and happiness be with you. My name is Paradise Blossom. It is nice to meet you, Star." She looked at the hoof, then held it to her forehead as a sign of respect. "You are the first pony in this place to say hello to me. What is the name of this place?"

Looking at the pony called Star, she shared the same smile that most Equestrians possessed. Will this pony's smile be as fragile as the rest of them?

_________________
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Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Wed May 15, 2013 9:59 pm

"uh.." Star was put off by the odd way Paradise talked, "Well, right now we're in the town square. This," she paused as she showcased the town, "is Ponyville!" she smiled excitedly, "How'd you get here if you have no idea where this place is?" she asked curiously.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Wed May 15, 2013 10:07 pm

Cloud tried to avoid multitudes. Chances were there was a Canterlot pony somewhere in each crowd, and that was always hell for the Prima Ballerina. She scooted along the streets, dainty and graceful as always, though she tried to be a bit more uncoordinated, so as to be less noticeable.

She skirted around a duo of mares only to realize she had been focusing too hard on clumsiness, and she tripped over the hoof of the yellow mare. She almost crashed into the ground, only saving herself with her wings.

That was the most embarrassing thing I've ever done.

She blushed and stood.

"I'm so sorry," she apologized to the two ponies. I'm afraid that was very rude, to do so. Is there any way I may make it up?"

She didn't blame the others at all. It was outside of her nature to do so, and the mare was kind.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Thu May 16, 2013 1:45 am

AN: In some places, Paradise will speak her native tongue, Neighponese. This will be in red.

Paradise smiled serenely at the unicorns enthusiasm. She must take great pride in her home town, she thought. "I am a traveller from far away," she said, "On a...pilgrimage? Pilgrimage. Pilgrimage to find myself and to discover lands across my home's seas. I have been to many places in this land. It is easy to get lost in a country so large. I have walked many kilometres to get here, under the rain, under the sun..."

When yet another pony crashed into her, she was really caught by surprise. "Is clumsiness this town's defining trait?." She blinked, then corrected herself. "It is all right. I am well. There is no harm done." This new pony was a pegasus it seemed.

"Make...it...up?" she questioned, before realising the pegasus' intent, "Oh! I would very much like to have shelter in this Ponyville." She smiled uneasily. "I have not slept on a bed for many nights."

_________________
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Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Thu May 16, 2013 9:55 am

"Its fine." Star said happily to the pegasus who had run into them. "I am perfectly fine."
The pony she had run into said something in another language, leaving Star confused. She didn't linger on it for too long though.
"Oh there's an inn nearby, and of course plenty of apartments and houses." Star beamed. "I could show ya if ya like."
"By the way," Star said to the blue Pegasus, "I'm Stargazer, just call me Star though." again, she offered her hoof.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Fri May 17, 2013 10:23 pm

Cloud Dancer blushed furiously.

"I'm afraid you'll have to listen to Stargazer," Cloud apologized. "I'm visiting the town, as well."

She bowed her head.

"Cloud," she introduced, hiding the rest of her name. "It's quite nice to make your acquaintance."

She took wing as to avoid any further mishaps.

"I may need to join you," Cloud admitted. "I haven't found lodging myself, but I hear there's a mare on Flower Way who may be able to house one more. I was headed that way, but I'd be more than happy to accompany you. I haven't anything better to do, after all."

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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Sat May 18, 2013 1:43 am

"Paradise Blossom," the maiden introduced, pointing at herself, "I am also glad to make acquaintance."

"Now, time for the somewhat difficult bit. I don't have the bits to pay for lodging," Paradise confessed, "Let alone buying or renting a house. Is there a place where I can take shelter without paying for it?"

Truly, that was the main reason that Paradise had not been able to rest in a shelter for the majority of her journey. Sure, there was inns and taverns aplenty, but none were willing to let a strange foreigner stay for free. It was all part of her Faith; relying on the inherent goodness of your fellow pony. Back home, the mere sight of the traditional robes would open doors and provide food in exchange for both an extra set of hooves and the word of the faith. Here, the word meant nothing to those who lived by the values of wealth and greed. Paradise wasn't able to buy food or water either, but the grassy fields and the clear rivers provided enough for her to carry on. It was shelter that was the main problem. She didn't even have a piece of rolled up cloth to lie down on, so she spent most of her sleeping hours upright, ready to run if anything tried to take advantage of her. It truly was a gruelling experience, but Paradise felt that it would be all worth it.

"This looks like a quiet town," Paradise said, making conversation, "Ponies didn't seem to want to talk a lot."

_________________
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Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Sat May 18, 2013 1:50 am

"Nice to meetcha Paradise Blossom. As for the matter of a place to stay without paying, You can stay with me! I have an apartment nearby. It's a tad small, but has three bedrooms. Cloud, you could stay too if ya like." Star said happily, her eyes lighting up. She hadn't had company in a while, and having ponies over would be fun! Right?
She hoped so. Ponies were usually scared off by her eagerness, so she didn't actually have many friends. Perhaps these two wouldn't be put off!
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Sat May 18, 2013 6:59 pm

Cloud smiled at the two.

"Actually, the house on Flower Way belongs to a friend of mine. There's three mares living in the house, but she offered me the last room in exchange for free tickets to- uh, to a show in Canterlot. I bought them for her."

Cloud cursed at herself. Why was she still messing up? Good Faust, couldn't she keep her muzzle shut?

The dancer shook her head.

"You are Neighponese?" she asked the foreigner. "I only recognize it because a friend of mine is one, as well."

This friend was one of Cloud's fellow dancers, a graceful, skinny mare with black mane and a graceful pirouette.

"We could go to Calla's house. There's a couple of mares who are some of the nicer inhabitants of Equestria currently boarding with her, including a Saddle Arabian. Unless, of course, you aren't interested."
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Sun May 19, 2013 11:18 am

If Paradise had noticed Cloud's slip up, she didn't show it. "That is very kind, letting a stranger stay in your home," she smiled, "Many blessings and thanks. I do not want to intrude on this Calla, as it seems that she has already many ponies on her hooves, so I think I will stay at friend Star's home. But I will accompany on your way. I'd like to have ponies to talk to. It is part of the reason why I am on this pilgrimage."

She hummed a little as she walked. "Friend Cloud, you said you had a friend from my home land? Can you tell me about her?" It was always curious to see how the ponies from Neighpon adapted and changed in the rather different environment that was Equestria. She recalled the mercenary that had returned from his home, turned into a pony purely motivated by gold and willing to kill for it. He had started to revert back into a pony of honour and goodness...

But that was the past. Here and now, Paradise could see how one can turn into that sort of pony, but she saw more than ever why one shouldn't. Her Faith had only grown stronger amidst the masses that dismissed it as sentimental doublespeak.

_________________
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Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Sun May 19, 2013 12:42 pm

Star nodded, "I have a friend who lives there, Rosella Petals. You know her Cloud, yes?" she asked, thinking back to Rosie's hasty departure. She felt so bad for her, but Star put on a smile, "I'll walk with you too." she said kindly. "Then I'll show you the way to my place." she added, turning to Paradise.
"Maybe you can tell me about your homelands, I've never been to Neighpon!"
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Sun May 19, 2013 1:24 pm

Cloud sighed at the memory of Rosella.

"I'm living in Rosie's room, now," she explained.

In regards to the Neighpons, she smiled.

"Oh, she's still as Neighponese as ever," Cloud said as they slowly made their way past Sugarcube Corner and the Library. "There are often times when she refuses to speak to us in anything but Neighponese. She refuses to be paid, no matter what her employers try to give her. I think she's just grateful she is able to perform with the dance company she is in."

In the distance, a multitude of ponies gathered around 9 Flower Way, and Cloud immediately started to worry greatly.

"Is it something to do with Rosella?" she asked worriedly. Before anypony could answer, a camera suddenly went off in her face, startling the living daylights out of the poor mare.

"Cloud Dancer!" they called, screaming at her. "Cloud Dancer!!"

"Oh, Faust," she cried, taking wing and trying to evade the crowd. "Please, jut leave me alone.... Leave my friends alone, too! Calla doesn't need all of this in her front yard."

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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Mon May 20, 2013 2:24 am

Paradise tensed, startled at the large crowd of ponies, shouting and flashing their cameras at them with no regard for peace or decorum. She grit her teeth at the directed chaos, but it was difficult, being pushed over and around as the wolves hunted down their desired prey. How base they acted, more similar to beast than pony! It was like they were fighting soldiers, except for the fact that no lives at all were at stake, only...

What exactly did they want with friend Cloud? Paradise drew a deep breath...

"May peace surround me and serenity be my guide. May peace surround me and serenity be my guide. May peace surround me and serenity be my guide. May peace surround me and serenity be my guide..."

It wasn't loud. Volume would only defeat the purpose of the mantra. But it had a firmness and persistency that the loud, obnoxious demands of the crowd did not. For Paradise, the crowd's chaotic noise became more muted, less effective. The steady rhythm of the chant synchronised with her breaths and heartbeat, providing a calming effect.

_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Mon May 20, 2013 2:30 am

Star's eyes opened wide with shock as the crowd of ponies consumed Cloud, calling her Cloud Dancer. Star tilted her head in confusion. She pushed her way through the ponies that had blocked Cloud from view and grabbed a hold of Cloud. She shoved the ponies away and dragged her out of the pony-blob.
"Run!" she called to Paradise as she began cantering in the direction of her house, still holding onto Cloud.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Mon May 20, 2013 6:33 pm

(For this, colors are as shown in signature, but Cloud Dancer will have Dark Blue)

"Woah, woah, woah," Calla protested, opening the door and peering out at the crowd. "Private Property, and harassment. Please go away."

She pushed past them all and grabbed Cloud, yanking the Pegasus and the unicorn back.

"You, too," she said to the earth pony chanting quietly in the midst, dragging the two into her house and slamming the door, locking it with magic.

"Thank you, Calla," Cloud said, gasping for breath.

"I'll leave you alone, then," the unicorn said, nodding her head. "I'll be upstairs if you need me."

The unicorn departed, leaving the three mares alone in the foyer.

"I haven't been completely honest with you," Cloud said glumly. I, um, am pretty famous in Canterlot, but I was trying to avoid, well, that. I'm sorry. Um, Paradise, are you up for sharing any stories while we wait for the crowd to disperse?"
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Mon May 20, 2013 8:37 pm

Paradise yelped as she was suddenly yanked indoors by a mare who should not have possessed that much strength. "Well, that was thoroughly unpleasant."

"Where I come from, famous ponies are treated with respect," Paradise remarked, "But I do not fully understand what they were trying to do, screaming and flashing." She glanced outside at the crowd, still milling about, hoping for something from Cloud.

"Stories? I have a few," the maiden said, "Some are too long, some are too sad, but I think I've got one." She took her Book of Reflections out and turned to one of the earlier pages, titled, 'Faith and Founder'.

"A long time ago, when the history of the ages had only begun to be written down for the future to learn from, the Fantasic Isles that some call Neighpon, but we call home was divided into many tribes, each following a different faith. Some worshipped the sky, others the sea. Some the beasts that preyed on them, others claimed to be of special descent and demanded those around them worshipped them. It was a darker time than now, as each tribe regarded the others at best less than them, at worst a plague to be wiped out.

Then one pony, whose name, gender and species has been lost to the forgotten past, decided to retreat into solitude to reflect on the nature of his life. This first reflection lasted a year, where he ate and drank the bare minimum, rarely went into the sunlight, and never talked to anypony. When he was done, he had discovered what was important in life.

So he went from tribe to tribe, retelling what he had learned, and amazingly, the tribes listened. Even if they didn't agree completely with what the founder said, they could see where he was coming from. Many started conversing with the founder, bouncing ideas back and forth. This culminated in the first dialogue, headed by the founder himself, with participants from every corner of the homeland. This dialogue lasted many weeks, and was to be the Foundation of the Faith.

No longer did the tribes defined themselves by the beliefs that separated them, but one single faith instead. That truth, goodness and beauty both existed and were achievable by pony. Throughout the ages, the Faith has been adjusted and revised by new reflections and dialogues, but the central tenet remains. Goodness exists, and it is reachable."

Paradise closed the book of Reflections. "Of course, the way to achieve goodness, truth and beauty is something that is still being discussed and reflected over."

_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Mon May 20, 2013 8:43 pm

Star listened intently to Paradise's story, wondering what the moral was.
Goodness is achievable? Seems a bit cheesy... she thought, tilting her head.

"that's a very interesting story!" she said excitedly, wondering its origins. Obviously Neighponese, but the primary source? Star had to know.

"I wish I had some stories as good as that. All I have are myths about the stars..."


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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Wed May 22, 2013 10:38 am

"Those sound lovely," Cloud said, beckoning the two to take a seat. "Thank you, Paradise, for your beautiful story. I understand why you follow the faith."

She looked up at the ceiling and sighed.

"We believe in the Creator, our God, but most do not take it seriously. I am one of the few ponies who can remember her time with The Creator before birth, but none are willing to hear my story. The creator is a strange creature, with long, tan-colored limbs and red mane. There are strange appendixes on the end of her limbs, and she only stands on two of them. When I first met her, however, she turned into an Alicorn, one with a quill cutie mark and lovely wings. She said they called her Faust, the little Equestrians, but only those who know her well call her Lauren.

There, she showed me the world. Equestria was like a blooming flower field, with colors of the mixing races filling the ground with beauty and light. I was absolutely dazzled, my shapeless soul, and she knew it.

She told me most souls have their memories erased as they are born on the ground, but she felt like I should keep mine. She said that I would see her again, as would the other good souls of the Equestrians, once we had accomplished life's goal as good mares and stallions. So here I am, left with that beautiful memory, to share it with those who she wishes it told, and when I pray to the Creator, I always thank Lauren for my memories."

Cloud blushed.

"Of course, you probably think I'm spouting nonsense," she muttered. "There are times in which I think so myself."

She turned to Star and nodded.

"I'd like to hear your star myths, if you don't mind," she asked. "We have time to spare, time we don't have, and it is my fault that your time is being wasted inside this cottage. I deeply apologize. We may as well spend the time with friends, right?"
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Wed May 22, 2013 10:57 pm

Paradise raised her brows. "The Faith says nothing about creation stories," she started slowly, "For that is not its purpose. If what you say is true, then you have been extremely blessed indeed. But I do not feel obliged to pray to a creator. I'm grateful for any that might exist, but praying to an external, supernatural being...that is not the way of the Faith."

She opened her book again. "From the original dialogue: About the gods.

'We do not know how the world began, or indeed if it has a beginning at all. This doesn't matter. We do not know if existence is from the pen of a higher script, or if creation was hatched from an astral egg. This doesn't matter. We do not know if there is an end to everything, or if something continues even after death. But even that does not matter. The founder addressed the problem of the many origins and and many afterlives presented to him by a simple claim; that those things we cannot know must not dictate how we live. The Faith only allows one belief: the central tenet. Everything else has to be either derived from the tenet, or else proven by the world itself. And the world has been known to fool the wisest. Following and believing goodness must come before the orders or belief of any god, real or not. If a god orders you to do evil, is the action not still evil? Thus, despite the order, the action should not be taken.'

So be it."

She sheepishly closed the book. "Apologies if I rambled," she said, "But I felt like I needed to justify why I feel that way about creator beings. Personally, I don't believe any creator would be recognised as such by our eyes, but as stated, that doesn't matter as much as goodwill. If the existence of a creator makes us ponies do good actions, then all so much the better."

She also turned to Star. "I would like to hear some of the stories you Equestrians have about the stars, as well. Perhaps we could compare."

_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Thu May 23, 2013 12:03 am

Star grinned and nodded along to Paradise's story.
Paradise and Cloud both wished to hear of her star myths, but Star wasn't sure. But she shrugged and began with the first myth she thought of,
"Well, some say the stars were painted onto the night sky by Faust herself. Of course it's silly, the stars aren't painted on! Paintings don't twinkle. " Star chuckled a bit at the silliness.
"Others say the stars are the souls of the dead, gone to live in the sky. Which is an interesting theory.
I prefer this legend. All the stars in the night sky are pieces of diamonds that broke off of Equestria during its creation. They twirled around in the great unknown before settling down to shine, yet they continue to swirl around in space, creating a wonderful glow." Star finished, smiling at herself.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Thu May 23, 2013 1:01 am

Cloud nodded at Paradise's explanation.

"All ponies are entitled to their opinion," she agreed. "If your faith encourages good results in the game of life, then I do not object, and I doubt Lau- I mean, Faust would herself. Glad to hear about your religion."

Star painted a wonderful tale of the stars, lovely ones about Faust, the creation of Equestria, and souls.

"Who knows?" Cloud said in regards to them. "They could all be interlinked. What if the large, more prominent ones were painted into the sky, the little, unmoving ones spirits, and the twinkling ones fragments?"

She contemplated her own words for a moment.

"I have a tale of the dancers, if you'd like to hear," she said quietly. "The ways we came to learn of the different ballets, the ability to dance. Only, of course, if you're interested."

She glanced out the window.

"I can get us a snack, if you'd like. They're all still standing out there."
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Thu May 23, 2013 7:55 am

Paradise thought about it, looking up at the roof, humming. "It was once asked what would it mean if the stars were other worlds, and what we think of as a big place is simply one of many. It's a little different from your Equestrian theories. Your myths say that the stars were made especially for us, or made from the land we walk on. But who knows? Maybe somepony is on the stars we gaze at, looking back at us and saying Neighpon and Equestria and all of it is just paint on a ceiling. But looking up at the many stars...it would be hard to imagine that many worlds."

It was then that Paradise's stomach rumbled. "Uh...yes. A snack would be very nice. Thank you. And I would like to hear your story about dancing."

She looked out of the window, frowning at the crowd. "What in the name of heaven and earth do they want from you?"

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The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Thu May 23, 2013 9:54 am

"That's an interesting theory." Star said, it was certainly possible, even if a tad ridiculous. the thought of ponies on the stars?
Star laughed a bit as her stomach growled as well.
"I would love a snack, thanks Cloud."
She walked around, observing the wonderful room, and always keeping an eye on the window.
"So Cloud, why would you leave Canterlot?" she asked quietly.
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PostSubject: Re: Something worth thinking about (open)   Today at 1:02 am

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Something worth thinking about (open)
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