Chapter 4: Fights and Fears
The royal gardens of Canterlot - a beautiful place full of flora and fauna. This peaceful place that was usually full of life and noise now stood silent. All the animals that lived there weren’t dead or decided to move elsewhere; they hid as high above them, three beings of power fought in an explosive battle.
Celestia dodged a rouge pink cloud as it flew past before looking back at the sender and sent off a bolt of lightning. The beast dodged the fast moving electricity with a snake like expertise and laughed.
“You missed me again, Celestia,” he taunted before snapping his finger making the pink cloud come zooming back around at her. The white alicorn stopped it in mid-flight with another bolt of lightning, sending puffs of cotton candy floating gently down to the forest.
“Discord,” she replied with a hateful glare, “you will be defeated here once and for all!”
“We will see, Celestia,” Discord replied as he snapped his fingers and disappeared. Reappearing behind her, he readied a ball of energy in his hand. Before he could attack though, a blue blur smashed into his side sending him flying away.
The princess’s savoir flew back around to her side and said, “Pay attention, Tia.”
“Thanks, Luna,” Celestia replied before focusing her attention back to the draconequus who was recovering from the attack. Their horns glowed in preparation of the next attack.
Discord quickly dashed toward at the two princesses as they fired off lightning bolts at him. Ducking around them, Discord approached the two and with a snap of his fingers created a shockwave between the two princesses, blasting them away from each other.
Recovering first, Celestia looked around to see Discord chasing her sister as she tried to recover from free fall. Casting out her magic to Luna, the younger alicorn was teleported to her side.
Discord rotated in midair not stopping his downward decent, and with crossed arms replied, “Ahh, no fun,” with a displeased look he snapped his eagle fingers once more, opening a circle of nothingness behind him as he fell. The portal closed as he fell in, reopening above the sisters. He landed on top of the Sun Princesses with his elbow right between the wings.
The white alicorn, stunned, fell toward the ground while her sister recovered her own flight. But before the dark blue alicorn could react, a dragon tail grasped her neck and pulled her gaze into a pair of mismatched eyes.
Kissing the Moon Princesses on the nose, the fiend of chaos joked, “Hey there, cutie.” With her face turning red from rage rather than blush, she fired off lightning from her horn at point blank range. The lightning missed him as he vanished in a flash of light.
Reappearing on a nearby cloud, the being of disharmony called out, “What’s the matter, Woona? I was trying to giving you a compliment.”
“Your sweet words would never charm me!” Luna snapped back as her horn started to glow brightly. Several clouds around her darken as they charged the draconequus. Discord was about to counter her when Celestia, coming from below, flying past him while leaving small balls of light in her wake.
These balls of light exploded in a volley of blinding energy, forcing him to cover his eyes. When Discord reopened his eyes, he saw the clouds under Luna’s control where in a complete circle around him. Each one sent of a lightning bolt aimed at him. With a quick snap of his fingers, he was once again gone. The lightning bolts smashed into each other causing an explosion of electrical energy to fly out.
Discord reappeared behind Luna, grabbed her by her horn with his eagle claw and with both of his feet, pushed against her spine. They fell at an alarming rate, smashing into the ground at full force.
Leaping out the impact crater first, the draconequus became under heavy fire from the Sun Princess as she dove at him from above. With a snap from his lion paw, he opened a portal in front of Celestia. Unable react, she fell in and reappeared just feet from him with her face implanting into the ground.
He reeled back, exclaiming, “Ooooh, that’s that got hurt.” She started to stand back up when the dirt at her hooves turned into a slippery substance. Falling off her hooves, the princess looked up at her foe as he grinned wickedly.
“Ahh, are you so tired that you can’t stand up?” he taunted before kicking her with his goat foot. She slid down the trail of soap, off the edge of the crater and into her sister as she was standing up.
Looking over the edge of the crater, he laughed wildly as the two sisters pulled themselves off one another. Growling in anger, the Sun Princess started to channel magic into her being chasing a bright, brilliant glow to radiate from her body. Covering for her sister, the blue alicorn took off after the chaotic being as he blinked away from the crater.
She fire lightning bolt after lightning bolt as he laughed at her. As her rounds of lightning missed, she wove her magic into clouds behind. Unaware of massive storm cloud forming behind him, the draconequus chuckled his way right into the heart of the threatening mass of moisture.
Grinning, the Moon Princess shifted her magic to the cloud and forced it the discharge. The surge of energy erupted sending electricity throughout Discord’s body. Luna watch as the dark clouds slowly whiten as lightning bolts peppered his body, grinning the whole time. But the grin turned upside down as the white clouds turn bright pink.
The mass of cotton candy started to swirl around madly, moving apart from one another all the while. From within, the spirit of disharmony’s usual smirk was replaced by a hateful glare. Raising his lion paw, the pink clouds halted in their mad dance before assaulting the princess of the night.
Despite her efforts to flee at the hostile sweeten clouds; they caught her wings, jamming them shut under their sticky embrace. Several more latched onto her before she was nothing more than a large pink blob. Appearing above it, Discord shouted toward her, “That hurt, Luna!” Snapping his fingers, the gravity shifted above the mass of clouds making it plummet to the earth below.
Light appeared behind him as he commented, “Oh, I forgot about you for a moment.” He snapped his fingers and slid into a portal that opened at his feet as the princess of the day unleashed a large outburst of the solar energy she had store in her body. The massive solar shockwave acted like a Sonicrain Boom as it cleared the sky above the Royal Gardens of every cloud in sight.
Breathing heavily, Celestia looked around for her foe only to have him call, “Still standing after that? I’m impressed.” Turning sharply, she launched up at the draconequus, lightning bolts firing. Snaking around each one, he kicked her square in the jaw.
Using his tail, he took her by the neck and tossed her into a portal that opened up behind him. She appeared, disoriented, right in front of Discord as he drove a clenched fist into her face. She was sent into another portal and reappeared above a tree. Crashing into it, she summoned her magic to her once more.
Discord looked down at the tree the Sun Princess fell into impatiently. Tapping his lizard foot on the air, he sighed and looked at his wrist as if it had a watch on it, “What is keeping her so long?” Answering his question, a loud shattering noise exploded from the tree as the solar ruler launched her whole being at him going so fast that it left bright after images in its wake.
He grinned as he ducked around her and the first three of the after images before reeling back a fist. Swinging his lion fist with all his might, he made contact right on the face. Celestia was sent flying from her bright glow with the versions before her evaporated. The ruler of chaos gave pursuit as she approached the ground in free fall. Planting his feet into her side, he gave the final burst of energy for her make an unrecoverable fall to the ground.
She landed with a heavy thud and created a small crater where she landed. Discord landed on the ground with a grin as he watched the princess stand back up. “How?” she asked through labored breath. “How did you know I wasn’t the first one?”
Discord laughed out hard, doubling over in mirth, before replying, “Really? Oh, my dear Celestia, I can’t believe that you forgotten?”
“Forgotten what?” the white alicorn asked casting a glance to her right before returning her stare to the laughing beast. “I never used that spell against you.”
Blinking toward her, he grabbed her horn and ran a finger up her chin as he said with an evil tone, “Oh, but you have my dear. You have.”
Teleporting away from him, the alicorn shouted back, “That’s impossible. You’ve be imprisoned in stone for over a thousand years.”
Snapping his fingers, Discord replied, “But for a thousand of them we been fighting, and each year brought a new spell for me to learn and counter.” Celestia’s eyes shrank at his comment before realizing that four pillars of blue light shot out from the earth around her. Before she could leave, the pillars quickly became a cage, grounding her and leaving her unprotected. Looking back at Discord, the Sun Princess prepared herself for his next attack.
He was about to unleash a spell when a large ball of pink candy smashed into him. Looking back over to her right, she saw her sister approaching her, still removing clumps of cotton candy from her hide.
“Don’t let him get to you, Celestia,” the lunar ruler said once she was by her sister’s side again.
“I’m sorry, Luna,” she replied as the magical cage disappeared. Looking back at Discord who was trying to break free from his prison made from his own chaotic mind, she added, “How about we finish this fiend off for good this time?”
Grinning, the Moon Princess replied, “I couldn’t agree with you more, sister.” She threw her head back and shouted, “Bring forth the elements!”
Out of nowhere, a unicorn guard appeared with a highly designed box held tightly within its magic. “Here you go, your highnesses,” the guard replied with a famine voice despite the male appearance.
“Thank you, Trick Mirror,” the white alicorn said as the box opened to reveal the six differently shaped and colored jewels embedded on five necklaces and a tiara. Both princesses took three apiece in their own magic and face Discord as he was still fighting to break free of the sticking substance.
“Discord,” both spoke in unison with a loud, commanding voice, “For crimes against Equestria and all of pony kind, we sentence you to an eternity of imprisonment in stone.” Magic began to flow toward the two sisters as the elements began to glow brightly. Closing her eyes, Celestia could feel the strands of magical energy flow around both her and her sister.
Discord wormed his body around among the pink compound that prevented him from making an escape. Looking back up to the two alicorns, he shouted, “Even if you do imprison me again, I will break free!” in response the sisters opened their eyes allowing Discord to see only a bright white glow radiate from them. Within seconds of his outburst, a rainbow shot upward from the princesses and came cascading down on the draconequus. Discord cringed in pain as he could feel his body becoming harder by the second.
Faster and faster the petrification spread around his body. Faster and faster Discord could feel his time free to roam was up. But then, he grinned. His grin went around his mouth wickedly as he watched the two princesses as his vision turned into a stony stare.
Recovering from the discharge from the elements and fully renewed, the princesses look at their foe that was now frozen in stone once again. Letting out a sigh, Celestia said, “It seems that we were able to defeat him without Nyx’s help.”
“Indeed,” Luna replied as she return the elements to the box Trick Mirror still had. With a bow, the guard vanished in a burst of light.
Looking back at her sister, Luna continued, “Shall we retire back to the castle, Tia. I heard the kitchen was making Cloud Cake in honor of our victory.”
Celestia took a step back and looked at her sister, “I didn’t order them to… you.” Luna released a slight laugh she had pent up which drove her sister to give a slight kick to her sister’s flank.
Stopping in her mirth, the blue alicorn asked, “So, what did Discord mean by, ‘Fighting for a thousand years?’”
Celestia thought for a bit before she looked back at her foe and replied, “The day you became Nightmare Moon, I could feel the seal that held Discord trapped start to weaken. Even though both of us were still bound to the elements, by my action of sending you to the Moon, the power that ran the seal began to slowly fade away. So for the thousand years you were banished, I was sending a portion of my magic into the seal to renew it and hold Discord at by.”
“But that kind of magic needs a certain ritual to be performed.” Luna interrupted, “How did you-?”
“I used the Summer Sun Celebration as a cover up,” Celestia smiled sheepishly before returning to her story, “But it seems that with each year, the magic I sent into seal took some sort of manifestation inside Discord’s mind. I was constantly learning new spells for the day where I would have to fight him again back in those days and it seems that the manifestations used those same spells against him. I’ve been such a fool.”
“No, you haven’t Tia,” Luna confronted her. Then with a sly grin she added, “Now let’s get inside and have us some cake.”
Celestia sighed as she replied, “Must you always taunt me with cake?”
“But it’s your favorite!” Luna chimed before the sisters started laughing.
But the laughter was cut short as a wave of magic radiated from behind them. Whipping around the princesses starred as cracks crawled like a spider up the statue. “What is happening?” the dark blue alicorn asked as magic leaked out of the splitting stone. With a violent shattering sound, the stone prison around his head flew off to reveal his mad grin widening even more so. Tossing back his now released head, Discord roar out in chaotic laughter as the rest of his petrified body returned to its normal coloring.
He blinked out of the mass of cotton candy clouds that tried to keep him held. Appearing in front of the girls, he double over with tears poured out of his eyes. “You should the looks on your faces,” he laughed.
The Sun Princess couldn’t believe her eyes. In front of her just seconds before, was her greatest foe, trapped in a stone coffin. Now he was free once again from the element’s supreme power. “How…?” she uttered from her mouth.
Wiping a tear from his eye, Discord ended his laughing fit by saying, “It seems that you two aren’t the best of friends you used to be.” With a snap of his fingers, he blinked over to them. Using her back as an armrest, Discord brushed the multi-colored magical mane of the regent of the day with his free claw, “Holding back on the truth lately, my dear.” Snaking around to the regent of the night, he patted her on the head just below the horn, “Still holding some envy to your dear sister’s sun, sweet, sweet Woona?” he blinked away leaving the Moon Princess growling in hate at the draconequus. “It also appears that you’re also missing another element. I wonder who the lucky pony could be.”
Snapping out of her stupor, Celestia focused her eyes on him with hatred oozing from her clenched teeth, “Discord, I don’t know what you’re saying is true or just more of your empty lies, but your fight is with us, right here, right now.”
Discord sighed before turning to the Sun Princess. “Will you stop being such a bore, Tia? I gave your answer without a hint of my silver tongue,” his voice became a bit harsher. “Would you like for me to make it simpler for you to understand? You and your dear sister have lost parts of yourselves that once allowed the elements to work for you long ago. Instead someone else has stepped up and filled the gap you two opened.”
The two princesses looked at each other with worried expressions. The lunar alicorn whispered, “So, it seemed that we really did need her here for this fight.”
Her sister nodded and whispered back, “Then we’ll have to stall for time. I can only hope that Nyx can fly as fast as she calms to be able to.” Looking back at the draconequus, who was charitable enough to allow the two to talk, Celestia brought her horn to a glow.
“If we can’t defeat you through the elements of harmony,” she shouted out to him. “Then we will have to defeat you through the violent method.” A bright magical sword, the size of the regent of the sun’s wing, appeared before her pointing right at him.
“Violence you say, Celestia?” the chaotic being chuckled. “That’s a word I thought I would never hear from you.”
“Then consider this a special day,” Luna retorted as she summon a pair of magical daggers to her sides, “For we will see the end of you once and for all.”
Discord looked at the regent of the moon and replied, “Now violence is a word I know would be in your vocabulary, being Nightmare Moon after all.”
Looking at her hooves, she said, “That time is long behind me.” Diving at him, she added, “AND SO WILL YOU BE!”
The moon blades sang a sweet tune as they slashed out ward at the draconequus who back away. Snapping his fingers, the soil she was about to land became slippery. Losing her footing, she became an easy target for him as he kicked her into the over to the statues.
Getting up from the soapy road, the Moon Princess looked up to see the statues starting to move. Three filly statues hopped down onto ground and approached her like mindless zombies. She was about to fly away when the statue of victory’s flag came flying by her snout. Looking around to see other statues starting to move, she knew was trapped.
Looking away from his work just in time to see the golden sword go for his face, the draconequus teleported away from and chuckled, “Now that we’re in a one on one, bring it.” The Sun Princess brought it as she charged forward with her claymore, screaming at the top of her lungs.
With a snap of his fingers, a sudden explosion sent the alicorn up into the air before she had time to react. He jumped up and grabbed her by a hind leg and tossed her back into the trees. Trying to reorient herself, the princess could feel the tree she was stuck in shudder with an angry buzz. Bolting from the branches, she caught the sight of magically enlarged and enraged hornets following her out of the woods.
Casting her magic out, she calmed the angry swarm and reduced their size back to normal. Turning her head back to look at her foe, she received a right hook across the jaw. The draconequus followed up with an uppercut to the chin sending her up into the air even more.
She righted herself in time to use the flat of her blade to block another punch to the face. Seeing the dragon tail snake around, she sent off a lightning bolt at his face, making him blink back. Having room to finally attack, she swung her blade for his head.
Ducking underneath, Discord grabbed her leg and pulled her downward into a portal that opened up. As it closed, he turned around to see the alicorn coming through another portal and delivered a power punch into her backside. He watch as the alicorn fell to the ground for a bit before giving chase. Upon catching up to her, he dropped his elbow down into her side. Both beings of power impacted the ground in an explosion.
Appearing above the small cloud of dust, he snapped his fingers once more. The earth trembled under the Sun Princess’s body as she looked toward the woods. Out of the tree came a swarm of long legged rabbits looking as if they were under a powerful mind control spell. She tried to move but was unable to as the herd of hares stampeded over her.
Once the rabbits finished trampling her, Discord came crashing down on her side, knock what wind was left in her lungs. “Want to continue, Celestia?” he asked with a wild grin. He was answered with the stone head of a filly statue bouncing right off his head.
Looking over he saw Luna among the remains of the statute army around her. Breathing slightly harder than normally, she shouted. “I would like to go for a round.” Accepting the challenge, the draconequus stepped off the solar ruler and marched over to where the blue alicorn waited.
“Luna… don’t,” the white alicorn tried to warn but her voice was too weak to carry it to her sister.
The lunar ruler made the first move as she magically tossed more rocky remains at the draconequus who shielded himself with his arms. When he lowered his protection, the alicorn was gone. “Where are you Woona?” he called out playfully, “Come out, come out, wherever you are.” Turning around, he reached out to the open air and clenched his claw and grabbed something. Pulling his arm backwards, the invisibility spell that the princess of the night had casted on herself broke, leaving a stunned alicorn with her horn held tightly in the eagle claw.
“Found ya,” Discord grinned at the surprised eyes of his opponent before causing a wave of stones to fly up from the ground at her. Each stone brushed the nightlight hide as they bombarded her in a reverse hail storm.
When the barrage ended, Luna looked up to see the draconequus reeling back for punch to the face. Daggers still within her magic, she slashed at him forcing the chaotic being back, but not without a few feathers and bit of hair from his beard left behind.
Examining his now shorten facial hair, he joked, “I must say, it was about time I got a shave.” The Moon Princess snorted at the comment before attempting to remove more than a beard. He dove into a portal that opened behind him.
Stopping in her tracks, the lunar ruler look about for the exit portal when a lion paw hit her with uppercut and knocking her into the air. Following in the accent, Discord snaked his tail around her neck and tossed her back into the portal that had opened at her feet. Reappearing from the portal he jumped into, she recovered just in time to receive a punishing blow to the backside as the being of chaos elbow dropped her.
Standing up from the painful blow, the Moon princess spat dirt from her mouth before barking at the draconequus, “You *huff* are not *huff* not going to be me.” She started screaming as she drew power to herself before launching a powerful bolt of lightning at him. Opening a portal in the lightning’s path, the master of chaos redirected the attack right at the princess of the night. She took the full blow of the shock as she continued to send the electric energy through the portal.
Discord chuckled at the self-harm the princess was doing to herself. But that smile soon turned to confusion as she started to glow from the continued exposure to lightning. Brighter and brighter the glow continued as the look on the draconequus’s face became even more puzzled.
Without warning, Luna shifted her stream of lightning at him, stunning him temporally. When he recovered, he was looking at the Moon Princess as she was radiating a pale blue glow. Sparks flew from her mane as she slowly walked toward him.
Inspecting the power pouring off her being, Discord commented, “That is quite similar to Celestia’s little solar flare she used a little while ago.” His guess was proven wrong when Luna blinked past him, leaving him clenching his side as the smell of burning fur crawled up his nose.
She repeated the lightning fast ram attack several times, each one leaving another scorch mark on his hide. Once he was finally able to teleport away from the rapid strikes, he quickly became under attack from her as she zooming at him from the ground. Opening a portal, he reached out through it. On the other end he clenched the neck of the glowing alicorn and pulled her through.
“Nice trick,” he complimented as he watch the overpowered alicorn’s glowing form slowly faded away to reveal the lunar regent tried and weak. Smiling he added, “But it’s only a trick.” Tossing the weak alicorn toward the ground, he opened a portal high above his head.
Back on the ground, Celestia watch as her sister impacted the ground softly. “Luna!” she shouted with her voice renew to some degree, “LUNA!” Casting her gaze back up to Discord she saw a large rock fall from the open rift in space down onto the lunar regent.
Trying to stand up she shouted, “LUNA RUN!” She was pushed back down as the draconequus kicked her side.
Kneeling down and grabbing her chin, he said, “Watch closely, Celestia. Watch as your last hope of defeating me is smashed right before your eyes.” Tears poured from her eyes as she continued to cry out to her weak sister. She even tried to use her magic to teleport Luna to her, but her head was smack to the ground before the magic could reach her.
“LUUUUNNNNNNAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” was the last thing the Moon princess heard before her world went black.
“YOU FIEND!” Celestia barked as she summoned her sword and swung at the draconequus from her position on the ground. He walked out of range as the raging alicorn unleashed her furry at the air around her, blinded by tears and rage.
Sighing, Discord kicked her back to the ground and took the magical sword by the hilt. The color of the blade shifted to an evil red “Celestia, you knew that this day would come,” he started his victory speech. “This is the day when nothing in the world matters to you. This is the day when all of your plans are put to an end. But before I send you to your dearly beloved sister, I want to tell you something.” The Sun Princess couldn’t hold her face in front of the draconequus’s evil smile.
“Remember that day you and your sister lock me away all those years ago?” he started swinging the magical sword around to get use to the weight of the blade, “The last thing I saw was you disapproving glare. For countless years, all I had was that hateful gaze of yours as company. I remembered every feature you had that day as if it was burned into my eyes. So while I might not know where you’re going next, Tia, but I hope. Oooohhhh how I hope, that you will remember my face like I did yours.” With that he raised the sword high above his head, and smiled.
Spike stood in front of the statue of Twilight and her friends alone as the sun continue to set on the small town of Ponyville. He was letting his tears flow freely as he brushed his arm across his nose. Gazing up at the six ponies with uncertainty in his heart, he said, “Twi, I need help here. I know what she has to do has to be done but, I- *sigh* I just wish that Nyx could understand my point of view. You remember how she was always gung-ho about learning about new things. I just think she is a little too devoted to her work as she was with learning. What am I saying, she takes after you.
“Speaking of taking after you, it looks like your granddaughter, Starlight, has been sneaking around late at night, not sure why though,” the dragon gave himself a slight slap over the head. “Focus Spike, you came to talk about Nyx. *sigh* Nyx, right now, is on her way to help the princesses fight Discord. Yes, Discord is loose again. I’m worried Twilight. I’m worried that she might not get there in time to save them. I’m worried that she might not be able to stop Discord. I’m worried what could happen if they fail.
“I know I shouldn’t think such thoughts but they just come without warning. It feels like I’m falling into a pattern of over thinking these things. I got into another fight with her just seconds after… after Fluttershy pasted. It seems that I just can’t deal with the fact that she is putting herself in danger every day for everypony.” Spike fell to his knees as more tears continued to run down his face, “I don’t want to lose her, Twilight. I need someone around that I can always remember. I’ve seen too many funerals to date and each one I can barely keep myself from crying all out. But… but if Nyx is the next one in that coffin, I don’t know what I’m going do.”
“Cheer her on,” said a voice behind the crying dragon. Spike looked up to see Nurse Wide Heart walking up to him.
“And encourage to continue to put her life in danger for our sake?” he countered. “I know that she’s an alicorn but that doesn’t mean she’s immortal,” he looked back at the statue. “Nothing is.”
“You want her to understand your point of view,” the nurse pegasus said walking up to him. “But you haven’t fully understood hers.”
“Oh, I know it,” Spike stated with a snort. “She has the power to help protect Equestria and she is using it save others.”
Heart brought the dragon’s face around to look at her, “But have you ever thought where she draws that power from?” The dragon looked off to the side at her question, “She draws her power from us. Knowing that we’re safe helps her focus and put everything she got into stopping whatever wanted us hurt. It’s our cheers and our smiling faces that give Nyx the confidence and strength to do what she must.”
Removing her hold on his head, he stood up and said, “Heart, please listen, Nyx and I will live much longer than you and your daughter and everypony here in Ponyville. And when everypony we know is gone, we will only have each other. We would be the only family either of us would have left, and I don’t want to lose her just because it’s her duty.”
“Then cheer her on,” Heart said giving Spike a determined look. “Show her that you support her and nothing will come to harm her. Give her the strength she needs to defeat anything that is thrown at her.”
Spike was about to object when a loud cry could be heard. Looking up, the dragon and pegasus saw a trail of red fly just above their heads. “Pee Wee!” Spike shouted out to the phoenix. The fire bird replied with another cried before landing on an arm the librarian offered.
“I bet even Pee Wee think we need to cheer her on,” the nurse said. Looking up the bird she added, “So, Pee Wee, do think what I said about cheering Nyx on.” The firebird lifted a wing to its beak as it thought. After a bit he nodded and replied with a sweet chirp.
The dragon looked at his pet, hoping the phoenix had really thought the answer. He slowly reeled back before shrugging with his wings. Sighing, the librarian said, “Nyx sure had spoiled you when you were nothing but a hatchling.” Pee Wee started rubbing his head up against the purple scales of his owners check, cooing in affection.
Using a claw to push his loving pet’s beak away for a minute, Spike looked back up at the statue once again, “Alright, for everypony’s sake, I’ll try. I’ll try to show her my support.”
A burst of lightning out of nowhere came zooming in and shattered the blade has it was still above Discord’s head. First, looking at the now bladeless hilt he now wielded then at the source of the spell. His eyes found himself staring at the cloud where his meteor strike landed on Luna just seconds earlier. The area was still generating black smog, but with a sudden gust of wind, the smoke clear to reveal a black bubble surrounded by the smoking remains of the falling rock.
Both Celestia and Discord looked on in shock as the bubble dispersed to reveal Luna, perfectly unharmed by the meteor strike, and a pure black alicorn with magical shield and lance at her side. Celestia couldn’t help but cry at the safety of her sister.
Looking up from her position on the ground, Luna muttered to her savoir, “Nyx?”
“Nyx,” Celestia said with a harsh voice and tears streaming down her face. “Thank you. Thank you so much.”
“Who in Equestria are you, alicorn?” Discord asked pointing at Nyx with the remainder of the magical blade as it started to fade away.
Nyx brought her head up to address the draconequus in a loud voice, “I find that it is rather tiresome to tell you who I am Discord. But if will amuse you then I will; I am Midnight Nyx, defender of Equestria. And you, draconequus, have threatened the Royal Sister’s lives and therefore I will defeat you.”
Discord bent over in laughter, “AHAHHAHAHAHA! You must be joking. Take a look around you; I’ve defeated both of you princesses by myself. You sure are amusing me. What makes you think you can defeat me?”
The black alicorn snorted, “I rather not get into a wagon pulling contest here.”
“Ahahahaha,” Discord laughed once more. “You truly think you can beat me? Oh you are a riot Nyx!” His mirth ended as he added with a serious tone, “But truthfully, do you think you can stand a chance to defeat me. I have more power than you could muster in my toe. I’ve fought legions of you alicorns and won.”
He toss his hands up into the air, “Whatever, I’ll entertain you, but I’m warning you, I know every alicorn trick in the-” In a blink of an eye, Nyx had crossed the distance to Discord and rammed her shield into his chest. Her momentum kept both of them flying just above the ground until they ran into a tree.
Nyx smiled at the chaotic beast who was trying to catch his breath and said, “Was that in your book?” Recovering, Discord blinked away from the alicorn only to have the broken trunk of the tree he crashed into thrown at him.
The tree crashed mere inches away from him, sending up a spray of broken twigs and splitters forcing him to cover his face. Peeking from his shield, he saw the protector of Equestria charging at him with lance pointed right at his head. Dodging to the side, he reached out to the alicorn and got her by the throat. Nyx grinned at him as her body shifted into her smoky form, whipped around to his blind side and reformed with lance already in a swinging motion.
Blinking away as the lance went for his head; the draconequus reappeared out of swinging range of Nyx’s lance reached for a nearby tree. Picking it up and placing it on his shoulder, he snapped his fingers making huge apples appear on the branches. The alicorn was about the charge him when the apples started to fly off at her.
Taking her lance, she made it spin around in front of her slicing every apple that dared to attack her. Once the hail of fruit ended, the alicorn knight lowered her lance to see the tree Discord had use flying right here. Raising her shield, the black bubble reappeared and engulfed her. The tree trunk exploded on impact in a hail of chaotic smoke and splinters.
Lowering her shield and dismissing the protective bubble, the alicorn charged him once more. He maneuvered off to the side and reached for her hind leg. Once he made contact, she shifted into her cloud form and flew above him. Reappearing, she dropped from the sky with lance point aimed at him.
Backstepping, Discord reel a fist back to counter but his face made contact with a pair of metal boots as the defender bucked. Flying backwards, he recovered on the ground just in time to shift his head to the side as the black lance flew past him. Before he could comment, he leaned back to dodge a bolt of lightning as it soared at him. From his position, he saw the lance make its return from the other direction. Using his tail as a springboard, he jumped over the lance as it flew back to Nyx.
Landing, Discord looked at his foe and taunted, “Is that the best you got, my dear? I bet Cadence has more talent than you.”
Nyx snorted as she replied with a sly grin, “You’re right, I’ve been holding back.” Discord stood and watch in shock as the number of Nyxes increased by two. Each one was a carbon copy of the original with matching weapons and armor.
Before he could say anything, Discord was under attack from three different lances and was forced to flee. He took the skies with the three Nyxes firing off lightning bolts after him. Making a pink cloud in his hand, the chaotic ruler tossed it behind himself. The center alicorn sliced the cotton candy cloud before sending a bolt of lightning after him.
The fierce strike stunned the draconequus chasing him to slow a bit in his flight. The slight decrease in speed was enough for the alicorns to reach him. The flanking alicorns tossed their lances at Discord who barely snaked around them. He was about to counter when the center Nyx rammed him with her shield raised. She pushed her foe upward for a brief second before using her lance to bat him back toward the ground. The draconequus recover mid fall only to find himself under bombardment as the Nyxes sent lightning bolts after him as they gave chase.
Discord soon found himself flanked by two of them as he skimmed above the ground. One brought up her lance and charged him from the side. He flew up slightly to dodge the attack but was hit hard as the other flanker rammed her shield against him. Teleporting behind her before he was forced in the ground, he opened a portal in front of the third alicorn who was hanging in the back of the group. She flared her wings slowing herself as she went into the portal.
The exit portal opened facing the ground, yet nothing appeared from the exit. “Hey, Discord,” he heard the alicorn shout to him. Turning around he was greeted with two steel boots into the face once again. After clearing the stars from his eyes, he looked up to see the two clones standing over him while the third slowly exited the portal. Each one prepared her lance to finish him off but, with a snap of his fingers he blinked away.
“Well, well, well it seems you have talent, Nyx,” He started gathering magic to his claws. He acted tough despite the hint of panic in his voice as he added, “But you're nothing compared to-” Without warning, two strands of magical energy shot up from the ground and ensnared his hands. Looking around, he saw the two sisters, still wearing the brushes of the fight, standing together with horns aglow. Before he could shout an insult, more strands of golden and indigo energy shot out around him. They flew up over his shoulders and landing back into the ground, pinning him to the earth.
Nyx, returning to one being, walked up to the sisters and said, “Are you ready to lock him away for good?”
Watching as the unicorn guard from before reappeared with the box containing the Elements of Harmony, Celestia replied, “Indeed, Nyx, let’s put an end to him once and for all.” The three alicorns took two elements apiece. While Nyx turned and faced the trapped draconequus, the Princesses stood in shock.
“Impossible,” the Moon princess said, “The power is gone from the elements!” The defender whipped around as Discord’s ear’s perked up?
“How can that be? Haven’t you used the elements before?” she asked with worry on her face.
The Sun Princess’s horn glowed brighter, adding more strands to the binding trap that Discord was held in, “We have over the years, but every time we used it, we succeeded in dealing with the problem in the first shot. It seems that the power of all of the elements combined can only be used once a day.”
Nyx sighed before turning back to Discord with magical lance at her side, “Then we’ll just have to finish him the old fashion way.” She walked up to him and raised her lance to behead him, “To ensure nopony is ever harmed by you again, I bid you farewell.” Discord snapped his lion fingers right before Nyx’s lance sliced at his neck and disappeared. He reappeared just feet away from the black alicorn and took her lance before blinking away again.
Hearing a scream, the knight of Equestria turned around to see Discord holding the unicorn guard in his arm with her lance point up to her throat. Nyx tried to dispel her lance, but it fell under the chaotic control too fast.
“Nopony move or she gets it,” He barked stopping all of them dead in their tracks. Grinning at the sudden change of power, the draconequus’s voice returned to a more confident tone, “Give me the Elements of Harmony, now.”
“You would go as low as ponynapping,” the solar regent barked. “You sicken me Discord.”
“Oh, don’t tell me how to play fair, Celestia,” the draconequus barked back. “You’re the one that got back up when you needed it the most. I’m just evening out the playing field. Now, give me the elements.” Holding back from saying anything, the three alicorns gave up the elements each one of them carried until all six where floating behind the spirit of chaos.
Looking at his hostage, he added, “Since you all behaved nicely, I promise that nothing will happen to this sweet little pony.” His gaze returned to the three unicorns, “But I promise this; I will be back when the time is just right. Until then, make sense of my riddle. What do you get when; buffalo tramples apples, fire rains from the clouds, darkness controls the city of lights, claws met ivory, dreams are never reached, and a back stab becomes your best friend?” With another snap of his fingers, Discord vanished completely from Canterlot.
Nyx stomped at the ground in anger, “Horse feathers.”
“Nyx calm down,” Luna said reaching a wing over her fellow alicorn’s shoulder. “We’ll get him.”
Tears fell out of the black alicorn’s eyes as she muttered, “I’m sorry, Fluttershy. I let him get away.”
“I didn’t know you had a pet phoenix, Uncle,” Starlight said looking up at the beautiful firebird. Pee Wee cooed as he hid behind a fiery wing, his yellow beak turning red. Iago puffed his chest up from his seat on her horn.
Chuckling, the dragon commented on the sparrow’s actions, “It seems that someone has his feathers ruffled with our fiery friend here.” He carried his pet over to a perch near the kitchen door where he hopped off, “But yeah, Pee Wee here was of on migration the whole winter.”
“It’s a shame Fluttershy didn’t get to see him come home,” the unicorn said sitting down at the table.
The phoenix place a wing on the dragon’s shoulder as he mumble out, “Yeah, it is.” Pulling himself out his sober mood, he walked over to the shelves, “So what did you want to read again?”
Starlight helped the little sparrow off her head as she replied, “I’m just wondering if there was anypony in the past that had a similar problem like me.”
Thinking hard, the dragon said, “I’m not sure if there was any. But your best bet is this book.” He reached up and pulled down a tome. “Unicorns Master of Unheard Unusual Abilities, not a bad read despite its length.” He tossed the book onto the table letting it slide across its surface. Iago hopped out of the way as it stopped in front of Starlight. “I suggest the section on Star-Swirl the Bearded. He had the biggest amount of unusual magic.”
“Thanks Spike,” the unicorn replied. She opened it and began to read.
Spike, seeing this on his way to the stairs, asked, “What are you doing? It’s 9:30.”
“So?” she replied without looking up. “I want to see if there is any spells in here that I want tryout.”
“Oh, no,” Spike said walking over to her. He picked her up in his arm. “Your mother would have my hide if you stayed up all night.”
“You could lock me in my room and I still wouldn’t fall asleep,” Starlight replied as she tried to break free of the dragon’s hold.
“Well then,” the dragon replied. “Let’s try that-” he dropped Starlight as he doubled over. His cheeks swelled up before belching. From the green flame a trail of smoke swirled up and transformed into a scroll.
Catching the scroll, Spike grinned as he started to unroll it, “How much do you bet that this is Nyx saying that Discord is defeated and the Princesses are holding a party in Canterlot?”
“Let me go get Coco and the gang,” Starlight joked as the dragon’s eyes scanned the paper. The grin slowly flattened out before turning into a full blow frown. Spike lowered the letter and stared off into space before looking over it again.
“What does it say?” Starlight inquired. She was answered by Spike’s claw implanting itself in the nearby shelf. The unicorn mare duck as a book was randomly tossed over the dragon’s shoulder as he ripped books of the shelf. Iago dove into Starlight’s mane as she back stepped past the table while Pee Wee took when for cover through an open window. Hiding behind the table, the unicorn watched as he nearly trashed the first floor of the library by himself before finally taking a seat in his chair.
Brushing his claws through his head spikes, the dragon cried out in frustration, “ARGH! I can’t believe it. That fiend got away. And they were so close, ARGH!” He sat in silence as he let his anger subside within himself before saying anything else.
“Discord,” he started with a claw pressing his temples. “Discord got away. He got away just as the Princesses and Nyx were about to rid Equestria of him once and for all. He took the elements and a hostage too. Not only is he free somewhere where only he knows, he has the one thing that can beat him short of beheading the prick.” Starlight took a step back in shock at her Uncle’s use of words. The phoenix risked re-entering the library.
Spike finally looked at his niece and said, “Sorry about, Starlight. I’m just so… argh!”
The unicorn placed a hoof on his shoulder, “I understand, Spike. I’ve read the book so I kind of know what’s going to happen.” Her hoof was joined by the phoenix’s wing as the dragon’s pet tried to cheer up its master.
Looking back at the purple scaled lizards, she asked, “May I ask though, what did rest of the letter say?” This caused the dragon to look back at the letter still tightly held in his claw.
Brushing over the text once again, he replied, “The princesses will be sending out groups of her guard to each city to conduct a massive search for Discord. Each team will contain two pegasi and a unicorn who will act as a massager to the princesses if anything is found. Nyx will be joining in the search.”
“That means she is going to miss the funeral,” Starlight said reeling back. “She can’t miss that.”
“Nyx is a mare of her word,” Spike interrupted getting up, pushing aside the hoof and making the phoenix to fly off. “She’ll be there or I will give her a piece of my mind.”
“I hope so,” Starlight looking back at the mess. “Do you need help cleaning this mess?”
Forcing a chuckle, the dragon replied, “Yeah, it could use a touch up.” He looked around to see Starlight picking up a book and started to place it on the shelf. Walking over to her, he picked the pony up and carried her over to the staircase, “Oh, no, you’re going to bed.” The sparrow hopped out of her mane on to the dragon’s shoulder.
Starlight sat down on the stairs and crossed her fore hooves as she replied, “Spike, I’m old enough to decide when I’m going to bed. You’re not going to tell me what to do.”
Matching her stare, the dragon replied, “I’ve seen what happens to ponies that haven’t slept in days, Starlight. They lose focus and make huge mistakes. I advise that you get some rest if you ever want to use your magic properly.”
“What has sleeping got to do with me and using my magic properly?” Starlight asked looking at him with frustration.
Spike counter by saying, “I just said that they lose focus and make mistakes. Think what would happen if you tried a spell on an apple but it instead it affected another pony?” Starlight just stared back at the dragon. Without a word but with a disgusted face, the unicorn marched up the stairs and disappeared through the threshold at the top.
Sighing, the dragon looked back at the letter in his hand. Crumpling it up, he tossed it into a nearby basket and picked up a gift-wrapped up book. Looking at Iago who was looking up at him in a questioning manner, he shrugged while asking the sparrow, “What do you think I should do with this?” The bird chirped as it hopped onto an open claw the dragon was offering.
Walking over to the bird’s bed, he replied, “I disagree.” With that he tossed it into the basket with the letter. Pee Wee cried out to him at his action.
“What?” the dragon asked as the sparrow went to bed, “She probably wouldn’t accept it now after this fiasco. Remember what happen during your molting period the first year was with us?” The fire bird glared at his owner in the eye. He took off, grabbed the book from the trash bin and expertly shelved it on an out of reach of the dragon.
“Fine,” he said walking up the stair chase, “We’ll keep it. Though I doubt she’ll ever look at it.”
Starlight pushed the second story window open quietly. Looking about the moonlit town, the unicorn whispered to herself, “If I’m not allowed to study, then I’ll practice.” Stepping out onto the little balcony, the mare checked the ground underneath her. Seeing no pony or a window to the first floor, she jumped.
Landing with a small hrmp, Starlight looked around to see if anypony was coming. Smiling at the silent streets, she bolted down the road to her training hill.
She reach the little knoll outside of town with little problem. Looking around she found a small pile of leaves resting at the base of a tree. Grinning wildly, the unicorn’s horn lit up as one of small leaves floated up, coated in her aura of magic.
“Three, two… one,” she released the leaf only to have it burst into green confetti. Frowning, the unicorn processed to levitate a second leaf; and a third and a fourth and so on. When the pile was mostly reduced to mulch, the sound of rustling drifted into her ears.
Standing up with a look of terror in her eyes, Starlight scanned the area around her. Nothing could be seen, only heard. The rustling sound grew and grew with each passing second as the she started to walk backwards to town. “St-stay back,” she threatened, “my magic is unstable and I don’t want to harm anypony.”
“Starlight?” a voice returned the unicorn’s threat. “What you doing out here so late?” The tension fled as the unicorn sighed at the familiar voice. Nyx appeared from the underbrush, her eyes betrayed a hint of worry and fear for her niece.
“I was…” Starlight started, “Practicing.”
The black alicorn shook her head as she replied, “Now is neither the time nor the place to try that.”
“But this where I’ve been practicing this past week,” Starlight countered stomping the dirt underneath her hoof. The protector of ponies gave her a stare of worry as she thought of her counter argument. But before she replied, her niece looked down at the soil, “You fear Discord might get me, right?”
Her aunt bit her lip, “You were there when Spike got the letter I take it?” She knew the answer but asked anyways.
“Yeah,” the unicorn answered with a roll of her eyes. “And now he won’t let me stay up at night to study that book he offered to me.”
The older mare glared at the unicorn who took a step back, “Are you trying to become your grandmother?”
Sitting down before shrugging, Starlight replied, “Well, it’s kind of hard to sleep when you know that your whole world is still being threatened.” The alicorn sighed before lying down on the hill next to her niece. Using her hoof, she started to rub her aunt’s backside, “So why are you here? I thought you were looking for Discord.”
“I figured that Discord might go to someplace out of the way,” Nyx started looking up at the starry night, “But even if I get the slightest feeling that he may be near, I can’t find him. I mean he gave us this stupid riddle that the princesses think might give the location of where Discord is hiding.”
“That would be dumb of him,” Starlight interrupted getting a glare from her aunt.
Once she was sure the unicorn wouldn’t speak up again, she continued, “Indeed it would. That is why I’m exploring Ponyville and nearby areas this late at night.”
“Then why don’t you spend the night at the library since you’re so close to town?” the grey mare asked standing up.
Looking away, a distance tone leaked out of her mouth, “I’m… not ready to face your Uncle yet. Not after failing this hard.”
Starlight slapped her head with a hoof before sighing, “Okay, I’m the not pony to be saying this but, has anypony ever told you that it’s okay to make mistakes.”
Nyx gave a weak laugh as she responded, “Yes, I’ve had this talk earlier these days.”
She pushed on her aunt’s shoulder, “Then why are you beating yourself over this.”
The black knight closed her eyes before replying, “The last mistake I made of this size nearly cost your grandmother’s life.” The unicorn reeled back at the sudden revelation. “As of right now, more ponies will be caught in the crossfire and so many innocents are going to be hurt and-” Snapping back from the truth, Starlight gave her aunt a slap across the face with her hoof.
“Will you stop being such a Mary-Hoof and realized what your Cutie mark means?” She snapped with unseen resolve. “A shield is a tool to protect the bearer, but it doesn’t protect the bearer from everything. But what it doesn’t block, it reduces. Yes, with Discord is still on the loose, ponies will be hurt. But as long as you are there fighting him every step of the way, protecting the ponies of Equestria, the amount of damage done to them will be at its minimum.”
“You’re a contradiction, you know that,” the alicorn laughed as she stood up. It was a whole hearty and wasn’t forced.
Raising an eyebrow, her niece asked, “Come again?”
“Here you are,” She started as she looked at her niece, “stopping me from beating myself up over a mistake, when you do it to yourself every day,”
“I’m a special case, Nyx,” the unicorn said pointing at her horn. “I have reasons to get mad at myself.”
Chuckling, Nyx started back down the hill toward the town, “Well then Miss Special Case, how about we get you back to the library before Spike checks on your room, hmm?”
Walking alongside her, the unicorn replied, “I can get back up there myself.”
“Trust me when I say,” Nyx started, “The last time you tried to climb back to the second story window, you woke me up. At least teleportation is a lot quieter, right?” Starlight stopped in to tracks before kicking the dirt is frustration.