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This is the moment I've been waiting for for so long. I've done a lot of work on it ever since watching the episode and finally, finally I get to show it to all. I regret nothing at all and I'm glad to get this out of my mind.
The following will appear in this chapter, I apologize if you don't like these:
Seemingly irrelevant battles
Possible overpowering of some characters
Start of a Mane 6/OC shipping
Warning: A bit more censored swearing than usual. And serious use of the D-words.
Disclaimer: I own only the following: My originally designed OCs, and anything that doesn't happen in the show proper.
I was going to go for something a bit more negative, but decided to go with this current title. I think it works well.
"word" - spoken through the other end of Surveillance
Chronicle's Promise (The Return of Harmony, Part 2)
Putting away the shield he used to 'surf' down Discord's impromptu ice course, Chronicle made his first steps into the now-wacky Ponyville. At first glance, anyone would think he was simply wary, but he was also ready to cast a spell at a moment's notice. His 'mission', to find anybody who is not corrupted by Discord, and see if he can amass substitute Bearers of Harmony. Twilight Sparkle was still normal, and so he would look for four other ponies—and they don't have to be ponies—to stand in for the missing ones. Obviously, he himself would be one of the stand-ins as well.
His first encounter came in the form of Pokey Pierce. Expecting anything now that he knew Discord was here, Chronicle drew his "magic horn blade". From what he could see, Pokey wasn't just in a washed-out tone just like his friends, he was without a doubt completely grayscale. And he responded by forming a giant drill-shape around his horn (mysteriously, his aura remained its color), then aimed it at the normal unicorn with full intent to ram him.
"Oh great," Chronicle groaned to himself.
Pokey started off in a full gallop, and if he were to reach his target… well, he would never find out as Chronicle did a sidestep flash-step, then slashed at him as he passed by. The attack inflicted enough pain to cancel his spell and be knocked unconscious without drawing blood.
I'm lucky the corruption didn't keep his mind straight, if he was so to begin with. He promptly cast a barrier around himself—and repelled a kick from behind by both Caramel and Lucky Clover, who were also corrupted. Turning around, he swiftly put them down the same way he did Pokey.
Nopony else attacked him after that (for the time being) as he then dispatched three magical clones to look around. Unfortunately, as they wandered, they saw that nearly everypony was…for lack of a better term, corrupted. Bon Bon and Heartstrings (no wait, it's Lyra Heartstrings now, since she went for an official name change) were in a very heated argument. Golden Harvest was hiding in a corner, looking very timid and scared. Cheerilee was chasing Snips and Snails, ruler in her mouth as if about to smack them. Twist, Silver Spoon, and another unicorn filly were tormenting Diamond Tiara. As for the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Apple Bloom was singing, Scootaloo was making stuff, and Sweetie Belle was dancing.
Chronicle frowned at all this. Hnnh…first things first. I gotta find Mystic Shield. If the Elements of Harmony need to involve friends, there's no other better one than him. At least with me His search was interrupted when he heard sobbing. He turned and noted that it was coming from a house. Derpy Hooves's to be exact. And the door was left ajar. Dinky. Cautiously, he creaked it open, and saw the unicorn filly.
She looked really dejected, but seemed to be normal in the dim light… until he cast a simple illumination spell. She was actually corrupted as well, and in front of her was a simple crayon drawing torn in half. When Chronicle walked up to it and picked up the pieces, he saw that they read "I LOVE YOU MOMMY!" and showed the two of them together.
His first impulse was to promise to deck whoever did this (Discord). His second was to ask her, "Dinky, who did this?"
The unicorn filly let out a sniffle, then answered, "Mommy. She doesn't love me anymore."
These words drove a needle into his heart, which gave him another drive to stop Discord. He'll pay for this. He was about to leave and continue searching, but felt bad in simply leaving the poor filly without a word. "Don't worry, Dinky. I'll get her back." He wished he could've provided better words, but he needed to hurry.
The moment he exited the house, he was relieved to find Berry Punch, who was thankfully normal, if quite panicked. "Berry Punch! I'm relieved to see you're all right!"
However, the earth pony didn't seem to notice him as she ran off. "Ruby! Ruby! Where are you, Ruby?! Ruby Pinch!"
Chronicle followed her in an attempt to reach out to her. "Berry!" He ended up chasing her for a good minute. When she turned a corner however, as he did so too, what he saw caught so much of his attention that he didn't notice her run the other way.
In front of him were Daisy, Lily (but not Rose), the Mayor, Amethyst Star, Twinkle (changed her name to Twinkleshine), Medley, Cloud Kicker, and Raindrops. They were all corrupted by Discord, and they looked like an angry mob.
"Get him!" the Mayor declared.
Not wanting to use up too much of his magic, and having no time to deal with them, Chronicle decided to run…only for that option to be suddenly unavailable as Cherry Berry, Sea Swirl, Shoeshine, Noteworthy, Rainbowshine, and Merry May closed in from the other side. Of Berry Punch there was no sign. Slowly, they began to surround him, even as he drew his "blade".
Long range teleportation was too risky as since Ponyville has been changed, he would have no clue as to whether or not he would end up 'splinching' with something, resulting in a "telefrag". No choice, then. Chronicle prepared himself as the mob made as if to dog-pile him.
After seeing a trio of tutu-clad buffaloes and a googly-eyed mare who was flicking her bottom lip with a hoof while floating by with help from the propeller beanie pass by, another Chronicle made his way to Ponyville's hospital, which had finished construction just two months ago.
He stopped short of the entrance, a dark thought entering his mind. A medical pony is a good thing to have, but if they have been corrupted… Disturbing images of mad doctors and killer nurses flashed before his eyes. Before he could run, a creepy voice came from right behind.
"Prepare for your examination!" Nurse Redheart jammed a giant syringe right onto Chronicle's back…and he instantly vanished.
At a tree a fair distance away from the hospital, Chronicle gave a sigh of relief as he saw the corrupted nurse whip her head around in confusion. "Figured this would happen."
Suddenly, he glimpsed something that was not gray apart from the ballerina buffaloes and the googly-eyed mare he decided to dub as Screwball. Using an enhance vision spell he picked up from Bullseye, he saw that it was a pale turquoise pegasus mare with vanilla hair, carrot orange eyes, and a cutie mark of two lightning bolts. Wind Whistler, also known as Sassaflash.
His hopes lifted for even a bit, he followed where she was going. Unfortunately, upon glancing to his left, he saw that Redheart has spotted him and has rallied a couple more medical staff. ████. I'm glad this isn't Silent Hill. No Field Op sent there ever returned alive. He hurried as the doctors, nurses, and medics began their pursuit. Unfortunately, that was his last act as he saw Parasol—corrupted—slam into his face…dissipating him.
Back with the mob…
Chronicle was panting somewhat heavily, surrounded by all of his defeated foes. None of them were dead or have any lasting crippling injuries, just down on the checkerboard ground unconscious. He was skilled like that, because he knows killing will not only be bad for his image, it would scare his pacifist companions more than his sometimes-violent methods already do. That and he 'set' his "magic horn blade" to "phase through", which does exactly that and leaves his targets feeling as if he really cut through them, but without the wounds and damaged internal organs. The only things affected would be the nerves, which respond to the pain he would inflict.
After getting his bearings, he took a good look at his surroundings. Locating the spa, he made his way there and entered it. Unfortunately, it was very dark inside, just like the Hooves household where he found Dinky. He knew very well that darkness often can conceal danger, so he cast an illumination spell from his horn…then, as he walked forward for a few seconds, put it on full power in an instant, blinding anypony who might've attacked him in the dark.
"I've dealt with plenty of assassins before, even though I'm not usually the target," he decided to call out.
The lights were turned on and he found himself confronted by the Blossom twins, both corrupted, Lotus with a couple of acupuncture needles and round basalt rocks ready to throw, and Aloe wielding a pair of cucumber shaped devices (back massagers) and standing on her back hooves. The 'weapons' were vibrating, ready to make him feel like mush on contact. The two didn't seem to be affected much by the flash he did.
Acupuncture needles? How the hay do earth ponies apply them on their patients?
He didn't have enough time to consider it as both masseurs went in on the attack. He blocked them off with a dome barrier around himself, then blasted them with magic shots, but they were too nimble and easily dodged them, doing flips all the while. He swiftly put an end to this by a four-step plan. First, after making it so that the barrier doesn't follow him, he expanded it and let the twins enter but not exit it. Second, he flash-stepped out of his force field's bounds. Third, he compressed the barrier until it slammed the two together so hard it knocked the wind out of them. And fourth, he knocked them both out with a slash of his "magic horn blade".
With that taken care of, he left the spa, and continued on his way. At that point on, there were no more attacks on him. In a few minutes, he reached Mystic Shield's Self-Defense Academy For Unicorns, which was miraculously not modified in the slightest like the adjacent houses, which were apparently turned into scenery flats like the cardboard cutout ones set up in stages. Still, that could only possibly mean that the inside was changed. Steeling himself, he threw the doors open, thinking he was prepared for what was beyond them.
He was wrong.
The inside of the dojo part were painted in gaudy pastel colors, the tatami mat was turned into a chocolate milk jacuzzi, there were various items strewn all over the edges (all of them dry), and in the far end of the pool was Mystic Shield, completely normal, relaxed, and looking like Chronicle had caught him with his hoof in the cookie jar.
"Um…I can explain," he said to his flabbergasted and understandably furious co-teacher.
"You better have a good one," the blue unicorn replied as he entered and closed the door behind him—just as Twilight Sparkle and company (minus Rainbow Dash) arrived.
A minute later, at the edge of town…
Passing by an upturned TARDIS (which he suspected Doctor Whooves was hiding in for whatever reason instead of perhaps, say, stopping Discord himself) dangling at the tip of a rooftop, Chronicle (this the real one) made his way to the Everfree Forest with the intent to ask for Zecora's help.
Prior to this, after checking out Sweet Apple Acres and seeing a dancing Granny Smith, Big Macintosh digging and acting like a dog, and flying pigs, he had to face off—one by one—against karate black belt Elphaba Trot (who had a higher dan than Rainbow), Wonderbolt Skyla, aikido black belt Ebon Belt, and martial arts master Sensei. All but one proved difficult to throw off and incapacitate.
Elphaba proved swift enough and daring enough to actually successfully swat his "shurikens" but went down in a minute. Skyla showed him that the Wonderbolts weren't just a show team, in spite of their…failure to save Rarity during the Best Young Flyer competition, and took at least a hundred seconds before he finally knocked her out. Ebon, whose martial art did not have any offensive maneuvers, was easier to knock out.
Sensei however, had experience in anti-sword and anti-shot combat, and was not only a master of all martial arts (the ones compatible with ponies anyway), but rather savage in his attacks thanks to Discord's corruption. It was only thanks to a lucky fallen flower pot that he was able to incapacitate the expert, and that was while distracting him with "shurikens" as he charged zig-zag.
To his mild surprise, the "unnatural" forest was unchanged, except for the cotton candy clouds dousing him with chocolate rain, which he took the chance to imbibe with his "rain-drinking" spell. There were a lot more poison joke than usual though, and he had to make a bridge out of panel barriers to cross over them. While he turning into a mare again wasn't much of a problem for him, he learned that poison joke doesn't always give the same 'ailments' every time for each pony.
Finally, he reached Zecora's hut. Unfortunately, it seems to be abandoned, as if the zebra had fled hastily. When he entered the hut, he saw that the cauldron was gone, as were many of her many brews, although a few stuff remained, including the 'hello' and 'welcome' masks, and a note on a table propped against a bottle of ether.
Curious, he picked up the note and read it, amazed that Zecora had learned how to write in their language so quickly.
To whom it may concern,
I have sensed a dangerous force headed this way, so I have decided to leave to find a safe refuge. I shall return once this—as you would call it—"blows over". If it hasn't been taken already, the bottle you see with this note is an ether bottle, which will cure a unicorn of overchanneling. Use it well.
"Huh. I expected Zecora's writing to rhyme just as much as her speaking." Chronicle then saw the ether bottle, and decided to take it, storing it in "hammerspace". I certainly need this. With that, he left the hut and made his way back to Ponyville, a little more desperate than before; he seriously hoped the zebra could help him, but now…
Upon re-entering Ponyville, he saw a familiar pony in the distance. Gray pegasus mare, bubbles cutie mark, it could only be Derpy Hooves. Aww hay, I'll accept even her help. As he ran, a thought suddenly stuck her. Oh no. All corrupted ponies are gray. How will I know if Discord hasn't gotten to her too?
His fears were confirmed when she turned around, malice in her face. And as he got closer, he saw that her mane was completely gray and not chiffon yellow. He's got her. Also, she was headed straight for him, as if to pummel him for whatever reason. Having no time to deal with her, Chronicle primed his "magic horn blade", then executed his one-slash knockout maneuver. Unfortunately, he was able to sense that his attack was a miss and one second later he felt a drop kick from behind, which sent him tumbling forward.
He swiftly got up and faced Derpy, who was on twos and assuming a martial arts stance. "Just great," he groaned. "She knows martial arts too?" Chronicle began to form a barrier around her, but she swiftly swerved to the left, then closed in on him from the side. He flash-stepped out of the way, and turned to fire a magic shot only for her to be on him already. She tackled him and began to take him to the air. He immediately resolved that with a teleport to the ground, making sure not to 'get' her as well since she was too close.
This'll be a bit harder than I thought. If Derpy's defining trait was (mild)incompetence, reversing her into someone efficient is scary.
[A/N: Unimportant, but my version of Doctor Whooves has three companions; Derpy Hooves, Roseluck, and Minuette.]
Meanwhile, inside Mystic Shield's place…
The self-defense teacher, still in the chocolate pool, finished explaining what had happened in Ponyville while Chronicle and his friends were in Canterlot.
Mystic was conducting a class when Discord popped in out of nowhere and—getting through the barriers instantly—struck Lemon hearts, Firecracker Burst, Comet Tail, Ponet, Written Script, and Holly Dash before they could react, turning them into a med-kit, an unlit torch, a hanging solar system model now in the ceiling, a sketchbook, an inkwell, and a giant strawberry respectively.
Bullseye, Greatstone, Chrono Cards, Tricky books, and Mystic Shield himself were quicker and managed to fire shots at him, but Discord proved impervious and instantly turned the First Four into a hay target, a boulder (though much smaller than the one Rarity thought was a diamond), a pack of playing cards, and a tome similar to Tricky's cutie mark respectively.
Having seen this, Mystic was left devastated that not only did he fail to protect his students, he failed them bad. This feeling has been mitigated a bit upon hearing just what Discord was capable of. He was also shocked at Chronicle's "plan" on seeking out "substitute Bearers".
"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Mystic asked. "I mean, the Elements chose them. Even if we and your 'substitutes' can stand-in for honesty, kindness, laughter, generosity, and loyalty, will the resulting 'harmony blast' be strong enough to put a stop to him?"
Chronicle (the last magical clone, it turns out) remained where he was; at the end of the doors. He answered, "I admit that it's not exactly the best well-thought-out plan, but how else can you plan with six magical artifacts we still know so little about? My last-ditch plan is to fight Discord myself, and fight to kill."
"What?! Are you crazy?! Even after seeing what he can do, after trumping Princess Celestia herself, you think you have a chance?"
"No, but I have something nopony else has. For some reason, I have some sort of protective barrier around me that nullifies his magic, protecting my mind and body. Still, anything he conjures can hit me if he moves them to me."
"But if he can practically do anything, what's stopping him from killing with a thought, or crushing you with a mountain or something?"
"His behavior. From what I've seen and from what little I was able to deduce from him, he's extremely playful and does what he does for his own amusement. I'm guessing a swift kill is not amusing for him in the long term. Unless he's capable of bringing back the dead. In perfectly healthy condition unless he wants boring zombies."
"I'm not sure…I mean—" Before he could finish that sentence, Chronicle gasped as he saw something—Discord's lion paw—emerge from the floor behind Mystic.
It was too late as the paw made contact with his head. From there, the gray spread all over his head as his eyes went swirly as if mesmerized. It continued all the way down to his body and presumably ending at his submerged tail and hind legs. As the paw vanished, Mystic flared his horn, but nothing seemed to happen. Then, it turns out the barrier had been made outside the dojo as it closed in fast from behind. The Chronicle clone was dissipated on impact.
The real Chronicle found himself pinned to the ground, Derpy constantly tapping his horn with her hoof to prevent him from casting spells. Despite her lacking hands to hold him down, he couldn't pull free even with one free leg, which he used to block her punches. Luckily, she didn't do any headbutts, which would risk her skull going through his horn if she wasn't careful.
He was distraught that his search was completely fruitless, which he head learned from his dissipated clones. There were barely any uncorrupted ponies left, and the few that weren't were such hopeless cases he can't get them to get a hold of themselves. And now, Discord decided to take a direct approach on his corruption of his closest male friend; Mystic Shield. Is this what he did to my friends? Is this what he did if he didn't pay mind games?
Just then, he sensed a surge of magic before seeing a familiar light shine in the distance. The Elements! He didn't want to do this, but time was of the essence. Collecting up saliva, he spat at Derpy's face, hitting her in the eye. Her subsequent reeling back gave him enough time to teleport away. Once he was upright once again, he immediately ran for the source.
When the light fade after nine seconds however, he began to fear the worst. However, his pondering was interrupted when he felt a drop kick from behind, making him stumble.
"I am not done with you yet!" Derpy said as she landed behind him.
"I am!" he retorted as he cast a barrier around himself. As she charged right for him with full intent to smash through, he swiftly strengthened and expanded it, slamming it into her face and sending her flying. With no more time to waste, he continued heading for where the light was.
However, one more obstacle impeded his run. He tripped over "Screwball", who seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. Already losing time, he shouted a quick apology before moving on. Being so focused on making it to the light source, he didn't notice one pony who bypassed him, although he would've faltered in his step if he did see her.
He saw that it came from the library. Twilight was there, the Element of Magic atop her head, but the corruption was already beginning its work, starting from the tail/hind legs and working forward. "TWILIGHT!!!" he cried out as he instantly teleported to her face, then touched her horn with his and poured his magic in an attempt to fight off Discord's magic. He had no idea what it would do, but he was desperate to try anything.
His magic expanded from the horn and through her head, 'clashing' with the corruption at the neck. However, it was a losing battle, as Twilight's will has already been shattered. "Chronicle…"
"LOOK AT ME TWILIGHT! DON'T YOU GIVE UP ON ME!!" She didn't so much as raise her head as the corruption started to win over Chronicle's magic.
"The Elements didn't work. Discord has won. It's over." Finally it covered her completely and repelled her last friend's magic. Only the jeweled tiara on her head retained its original hue. One tear fell from her closed eye, and it splashed on the ground to form a heart that split in two.
The (perhaps) last free pony in Ponyville raised his head, knowing he has failed to keep her from corruption, and gasped silently in despair as tears began to well up in his eyes.
Eyecatch (picture-type) - Image depicting three indviduals. To the left is a defeated and corrupted Twilight Sparkle facing left. To the right is a torn up and angry Chronicle facing right. In the middle is Discord laughing maniacally. The background is the warped Ponyville. The show's logo is seen in the center between the two ponies.
Some time later…
While Twilight began to dejectedly walk around Ponyville, Chronicle was still a fair distance from the library, doing something he had promised never to do; cry. And he was sobbing a great deal. "Why?" he said to himself. "Why did things turn out so badly? Where did we go wrong?" After ten minutes of self-pity, he finally stopped crying and began to pull himself together.
"No, I can't be like this to myself. There's only one way left I can think of; I will have to fight Discord. But I need to know more." He took out Surveillance, and saw that Discord was not 'hacking' it anymore. "I need answers. I need to confirm my suspicions. See if my guesses behind his powers are well-founded." He Started with Applejack, 'rolling back' the recording to the point they entered the labyrinth.
"When all the truth does…is make your heart ache…sometimes a lie is easier to take."
Chronicle 'lowered' Surveillance, anger evident in his face. "Stupid, stupid, Applejack! I told her from the beginnning not to let anything or anyone make her stray from her path, and what did she do? She let some apples distract her!"
Pinkie Pie was next.
"Oh, poor Pinkie Pie. And here I thought laughter made you happy."
"Happy? I don’t think so."
After watching this, Chronicle smacked himself in the head with the Surveillance "device" six times. "Figures. Can't really count on Pinkie to stick to the plan. While she can do so when serious, she certainly wasn't here. She sure is a wild card, and this time it went against our favor. With such a fragile mind…" he didn't finish the sentence as he proceeded to check out Rarity.
"No! No! I shan’t succumb to such fabulousness! …Must…get to the center…to meet…the others! …MINE!!"
Chronicle gave a sigh as he ended the "video". "So that explains the prolonged headache." He finally found the reason behind his migraines; Discord was influencing their minds but since he was immune to them, his "Harmony sense"—as he decided to call it—apparently decided to give him a headache.
His hoof hovered on Fluttershy's "icon", but stopped short on pressing it. For some reason, dread filled his mind as he suddenly lost the courage to check. So he decided to check Rainbow Dash instead.
"A weighty choice is yours to make—
The right selection, or a big mistake.
If the wrong choice you choose to pursue,
The foundations of home will crumble without you."
"That box contains your wings. You can take them and leave the game, or you can carry on aimlessly wandering this maze. Your choice."
"I honestly can't tell what I would've chosen if I were her. While I am confident in Hadithi's residents, Cloudsdales's I'm not. But it's not fair that he corrupted her before she could decide." Chronicle lowered his head and grumbled to himself.
Giving a sigh, he took a look at Fluttershy's "icon". He was going to have to check and see what Discord did to her in the maze that made her such a "meanie-pants".
Already regretting his decision, but lacking the will to turn away, he tapped the icon and steeled himself for what he would see.
Somewhere in the labyrinth, two very scared blue-green eyes peek out, then their owner leaped out into the path. Fluttershy's nerves have not calmed down one bit since this funhouse began.
"Okay, I can do this." She began to move ahead. I can—"
The sudden appearance of three pink butterflies right in front of her spooked her into a scream and a full-speed retreat. Matching the ones in her cutie mark, they hovered around her rump as she tried to burrow back into the hedge. As soon as she got all the way in, they flitted away and she put her head back out with a smile.
"Oh, wait a minute! Butterflies?" She began to gallop after them. "Wait! Don’t leave me here!"
"Dammit, don't follow them," Chronicle futilely said as he watched her run. The insects continued their flight, but she spotted them from around a corner and hurried to catch up. In short order, she skid to a stop at a juncture of several passages, but no butterflies in sight. Just then, they emerged from one side, and one spoke in a high-pitched version of Discord’s voice.
"Fluttershy…" Upon closer investigation, they had his mismatched antlers, snaggle tooth, and bushy white eyebrows. "…looks like you’ve been left behind by your so-called friends, huh?"
Fluttershy just gave a smile. "Oh, no. I’m certain they’re doing their best to find me."
The lepidoptera began to circle her head. "Well, it must be so upsetting to know how weak and helpless they think you are."
"Not at all. I am weak and helpless, and I appreciate their understanding."
The Butterfly Discord stammered in his normal voice. "Yes, well, surely it burns you up, I mean—" Then he resumed his high voice. "—that they’re always pointing out your flaws, right?"
"Not really. In fact, I think I’m awfully lucky to have friends who want me to be the best I can be."
This seemed to be too much for the trickster, who resumed his normal form and voice, the butterflies disappearing. "Oh, for goodness’ sake!" Instantly, he jabbed a taloned finger into her forehead, hypnotizing her and bleaching out her normal coloration.
Upon seeing this, Chronicle's eyes widened and his irises shrunk at this revelation, his arcanokinetic grip on his Surveillance "device" faltering as he let it drop to the ground. The scene of him corrupting her played itself over and over in his mind.
Time slowed as his mind registered Fluttershy's refusal to be swayed, her strong will…and the fact that Discord had to brute-force corrupt her, resulting in the strong mental attack he felt.
And who knows what she was feeling when this bad side now on the outside took over her?
Why… that… Of all the atrocities Discord did, he felt this was the worst of them all. The most unforgivable. In an instant, all of his anger on the draconequus finally erupted out of him like a volcano. "That's… IT! NOW! IT'S! PERSONAL!" He continued to fume as he 'put away' Surveillance. How dare he do that to her? I might've settled for letting the Elements of Harmony do its work on him, but no, he just had to turn the most kindhearted pony into a heartless █████. No, he's gonna die, I don't care how, or even if I can! He won't get away with this alive if I can help it!
It suddenly turned into nighttime and then a familiar voice came in a no-nonsense tone. "Pack your things, Chronicle. We’re leaving." He looked up and saw that Twilight, still with her crown, was facing and soon about to walk past him. "And don’t ask where we’re going, ’cause…I don’t know yet. Just not here."
Normally, he would've asked, or argued, but with his anger at its peak… "No."
Twilight stopped upon hearing that. "No?"
"No. I'm going to make Discord pay."
Keeping the same tone she argued, "There's no way you can win. Even if you're immune to his magic, there's still a myriad ways he can stop you, or even end you."
"I don't care. I'd rather go down fighting than admit defeat like this. Elements or no Elements, he's going down."
Twilight seemed to sense that he was dead serious, and that there was no stopping him. "I guess this is goodbye, then."
"If I don't make it back, that's probably the case."
"Goodbye, Twilight Sparkle."
And with that he ran off, ready to do what nopony else has ever done as far as he knew; fight Discord, and make him pay for his atrocities.
As he ran across Ponyville, he looked for a suitable place, stopped there, then called at the top of his lungs. "Discord! Show yourself!"
As if on command, the Spirit of Disharmony appeared…right behind him.
"Well, well, well. If it isn't the little immune pony Chronicle. What brings you to call me in exactly the same manner as Celes—"
The unicorn turned around and fired a 'shuriken', which the draconequus effortlessly dodged. "Cut the crap. I'm here to end this!"
"Don't you play dumb with me!" He started to flare his nostrils.
"Seriously, I have no clue as to what you're talking about." But his tone was that of a total liar. He then feigned suddenly getting it. "Oh. This is revenge for Twilight Sparkle, isn't it? Looks like I completely broke her. And I didn't need to do anything to ruin her friendship with you."
Chronicle refuted him. "You're wrong."
Discord seemed to not expect this answer as he showed confusion. "Excuse me?"
The stallion turned his head to glare at the draconequus. "Up to that point, Twilight is my friend. But even now, she is still my friend, as well as everyone else! I may not have shown it, but I still care for them as much as they all have for one another before you tore them apart. Maybe the Elements of Harmony are now unusable, but as long as there's somebody who still stands in your way, you have yet to achieve complete victory!"
Discord gave a mad laugh before saying, "Oh, you think you can defeat me?"
"Well, to be frank, by this point, I could care less if I even make it out of this alive!"
The draconequus seemed to be amused by this answer. "Oh, a death seeker, huh? Come on, you should chill out a bit. Besides, can’t you see that this is all just a game?" He threw his arms out to the side grandiosely. "My own little game of chaos, no rules, no points. Just me and all of you and chaos!" He smirked evilly. "A game that only I can win!"
"We'll see about that!" A blue aura burst around his body and the force of it blew his mane and tail upwards. The unicorn retained his hateful glare at the draconequus. "In the name of whatever deity that has conceived Princesses Luna and Celestia, I shall bring you down! For Equestria! For the worlds beyond! And most importantly, for…my…friends!" Immediately, the aura that covered him completely burst further in an bright and intimidating manner, forcing Discord to avert his gaze for a few seconds.
When he looked back, he saw that Chronicle's mane somehow turned spiky and more yellow. The blue aura was flowing violently, as if it was meant to intimidate.
The stallion then opened his eyes and it turns out that the sclerae and pupils have exchanged their colors; the former was now brown and the latter was now white. For some reason, this gave a chill up Discord's spine.
He fired up another spell and in a flash of light, he now possessed Glimmer Wings. Discord would've guffawed at their ridiculousness were he not fazed by the murderous intent he could see in Chronicle's eyes, not to mention the amount of power he was exuding.
In an instant, he was onto him with a flash-step, delivering a magically-enhanced punch to the face. While the Glimmer Wings weren't streamlined like pegasus wings and catch a lot of wind, they still did their job well; keeping him in the air.
Needless to say, Discord was momentarily shocked when the hit connected, probably from the fact that he got hurt. Chronicle didn't give him a chance to recover as he followed up his punch with a couple more, adding kicks whenever he can, using his wings to keep himself aloft. He managed to land seventeen hits before Discord caught him in his claw and hurled him away, sending him spinning.
However, for all his rage, the unicorn was surprisingly focused as he teleported out of sight. He reemerged from behind the draconequus, and landed another punch, this time on the back, forcing him to bend forward. Chronicle followed up this attack by 'unsheathing' his "magic horn blade", and swinging it on him leftwards. However, as his "blade" wasn't set to "phase through", he ended up pushing himself past the spirit and he quickly balanced himself to land on the ground on all fours.
Damn, looks like his skin is nigh-impenetrable. I put everything I had into that slash. Despite looking like he's lost it, he could still think coherently enough to do things like change tactics.
Chronicle rectified this error and slashed through Discord before he could regain his bearings. The resulting phase-through attack seemed to deal intense pain, but he wasn't going to stop with just that. He was going to inflict as much pain as possible. He only managed two more before Discord decided to teleport away.
His instincts, which turn out to be heightened by his current "form", told him that he was right behind him.
'Sheathing' his "horn blade", Chronicle let forth a giant shuriken of magic from his horn, which Discord playfully avoided by somersaulting to the side — quickly getting over his earlier shock and fear.
"Whoo," he whistled at the leaving shot, "That might've hurt… if it, y'know, hit." He was answered by another three shurikens, which he answered to by coiling his body into a circle, head to tail, imitating a target. "Oh, good shot! Five, ten, twenty points!" He announced as they passed harmlessly through the loop. They were quickly followed by another, which met an equally pointless fate. "Yeah, you own that nothing in particular." And another… "Me. Hit me, not the tree." With a healthy dose of childlike laughter, he proceeded to weave through the onslaught with grace - dancing, spinning, rolling, and teleporting back and forth. And that was why he somehow failed to notice the unicorn 'hurl' an entire wall of shurikens until it slammed right into him, knocking him off his feet but not piercing through.
Chronicle followed this through by 'picking up' some random heavy boulders that "just happened" to be in the area. Normally, he'd experience difficulty 'carrying' them, but with his powers magnified he can 'lift' plenty with ease. Also, he wouldn't normally wreck the environment while fighting, but he didn't care anymore. Nothing but Discord's demise mattered to him now, and by every good deity he could think of apart from Celestia and Luna, he will carry out his promise.
He hurled them right at Discord, who recovered enough to turn them into random stuff before they could reach him. One became a giant gumball, another a fluffy pink cloud. One burst into flames, and another sprouted a top hat and began a song and dance number. One was even turned into a flock of "Angry" birds.
Chronicle changed tactics right that as he charged once again; if Discord's that evasive with shots, then coming up close and personal is the only way. 'Drawing' his "horn blade" he charged at Discord once again, only for him to bring up his tacky umbrella, fold it up, and use it to parry the attack. The draconequus spun and opened it to shield himself from a subsequent shuriken attack, and then turned it inside out, sending a deluge of chocolate milk rushing towards the unicorn, who brought up a barrier in time. Once the barrier faded, Chronicle's "horn blade" began to glow brighter and he rushed once more.
Discord folded up his umbrella, ready to "clash blades" again, but upon swinging it to parry the unicorn's attack, the "horn blade" sliced through it like it was nothing more than paper. Chronicle then diced it into smaller pieces before landing an attack on the spirit and knocking him back.
Discord, wincing a bit, asked, "Fun as this is, don't you think it's my turn?" he settled down on the grass and plucked a massive strand of…pink bubblegum from the air, as thick as a hoof. He twirled it like a lasso, twisting it into various shapes. He hurled it at the pony, who deftly cut it to pieces.
"You got the nerve to call this fun?! Once I'm through with you, you'll be nothing but a memory!" Chronicle flash-stepped close to Discord, then began to create five copies of himself, all "charged up" like he was and with the "magic horn blade" 'unsheathed'. Before the spirit could react, Chronicle and his copies began their assault in earnest. "I am going to kill you, and kill you, and kill you!"
Amidst the agonizing storm of blades, Discord managed to get away yet again, then create a contingent of distorted clones of Chronicle—which instantly dispatched the magical ones—to deal with him. But they were no match for the furious stallion.
"Eat this!" White sparks appeared around Chronicle's body before he released powerful bolts of magical energy all around himself, diverging in all directions, destroying all his distortions and striking Discord once more. The resulting attack seemed to mimic electrocution, if how the draconequus was reacting to it any indication…unless he meant to spasm around like that.
Chronicle decided to take this chance to deal a long "slash combo", which Discord responded to by resummoning his umbrella, good as new, to deflect the attacks. He seems to have reinforced it further so that it wouldn't break again. Discord then teleported right behind the unicorn and was about to spray him with bubblegum when his target teleported as well. But instead of behind, Chronicle emerged from the side opposite the umbrella and launched a ████load of "shurikens" at it and its holder, mercilessly tearing apart the entire area (a couple of empty market stalls) as well as the umbrella.
Immediately after that, he charged and followed up with a sequence of upward slashes, making nine before proceeding with another attack. Not missing a beat or letting Discord recover enough to counterattack, he shortened and lengthened his "magic horn blade" in rapid succession, doing a flurry of skewer attacks on the spirit. He managed to reach forty-two stabs before the last one ended up pushing Discord a fair distance.
He rushed in to close the distance, but Discord was very quick to recover this time and already had his counter-attack set. He managed to grab him and sweep him onto a wild dance. Chronicle brought his head down to slice the draconequus's smug mug, but he teleported away in the last second and a square in the checkerboard ground thrust itself upward, sending the unicorn high like a pinball and through two cotton candy clouds.
It was the draconequus turn to charge, closing in on the unicorn for a sucker punch to the gut, but on impact it dissipated, having turned out to be a clone. The real Chronicle teleported in from behind, his Glimmer Wings dirty with cotton candy, but still workable thanks to him magically reinforcing them.
Before he could attack, a storm of pies assaulted him from the right, hitting his wings enough to render them unusable for flight. Losing the only thing keeping him in the air, he started to fall, only to teleport away. Discord expected him to reemerged from above and summoned a cotton candy cloud to catch and ensnare him. Instead, the unicorn emerged at another nearby cloud at 5 o' clock, his feet not sticking thanks to his water-walking spell, which actually worked on any substance he would normally fall through.
"PERISH!" he cried out as he 'elongated' his "magic horn blade", which was already aimed at Discord's gut. The spirit swimmingly evaded the blow, then gripped it with his talon.
"You have been quite entertaining but it can only last so long," Discord teased, reinforcing his talon with his own magic. Despite Chronicle himself being immune to his spells, his magic was fairer game once it was out of whatever 'shield' he had. Using his paw, the spirit created and hurled a ball of tree sap at the unicorn, which was easily repelled by a barrier.
Chronicle 'shortened' his "blade" to his usual length, and replied "I agree." before flash-stepping out of the cloud and into Discord's face. The spirit prepared to weave out of whatever attack the pony was going to deal, but he didn't count on him teleporting again so quickly, this time from above and behind. He landed on Discord's neck, wrapped himself around it, then 'shocked' him with magical energy, exuding lots of pain.
"For, Luna, Celestia…" He named each pony he was sure Discord had affected while he was free. While he wasn't sure on Luna, the fact that the moon was wrested from her control made it all the more likely. "…the Crusaders, Dinky, Skyla, and Mystic Shield!"
The two slammed through a fountain, which was spouting out chocolate milk and the statue there in Discord's likeness. Amidst the rubble, Chronicle was blasted away by a beam of concentrated magic and slammed down a fair distance away. Discord emerged from the ruins of the fountain, irritated by the unicorn's persistence and perhaps the fact that he had to resort to something simple and boring.
Chronicle quickly got back up and his horn glowed a brilliant blue as he prepared to cast a spell. "I'm ending this! Now!" All of a sudden, a "magic circle" appeared underneath Discord. Unlike the one he used to pin down Nightmare Moon, this was much stronger thanks to his current state. And surprisingly to both of them, the spirit found himself stuck as he attempted to move his legs and tail out to no avail, then saw also that he couldn't teleport out. Next, the "magic circle" acquired a clock pattern, complete with numbers from "1" to "12".
It's not known if this was a coincidence or not, but Chronicle was in line with the "7" and "1" in the circle. He then primed his "magic horn blade", then charged with all his might. As he did, his body became surrounded by a brighter version of his aura and now appeared white and black from an outsider's point of view.
As he began to see Chronicle make his way towards him, Discord realized that while he somehow can't free himself, he could still use his magic outside the circle. Snapping his talon, he created an upwards slope in front of him so that Chronicle will end up running up it and miss him entirely. However, what happened next caught him off guard completely; Chronicle somehow smashed through the slope and created a hole in it, still charging straight for him.
"This is for Applejack!" Chronicle cried out.
He slashed through him, then teleported so that he was a distance away once more and now in line with the "11" and "5" in the circle . Also, the "7" and "1" there now shone.
Discord snapped his talon again and a series of fire walls appeared in between the two, forming a labyrinth. Instead of slowing down and/or navigating around the walls, the unicorn just plowed straight through them. It didn't matter if the fires were real or not; he just conjured a barrier to ward them off.
"This is for Rarity!"
He slashed through him again and he teleported so that he was now in line with the "4" and "10", the "11" and "5" now shining.
Discord's counter this time was a ginormous tsunami of chocolate milk. Milk or not, there's no way a unicorn could breach that wave with a barrier without losing speed or getting pushed back. No ordinary one, anyway; Chronicle once again defied the spirit expectations by plowing through the wave, not losing any momentum as his barrier diverted the liquid with ease.
"This is for Pinkie Pie!"
He repeated the process as he now lined himself with the "9" and "3", the "4" and "10" now shining.
With another snap of his talon, the cotton candy clouds in the sky unleashed green lightning bolts, which sprouted random obstacles—ranging from things like dancing boulders and balloons with dragon scale under them to bubblegum walls and 'mines'—from where they struck, and were effortlessly shrugged off by Chronicle's aura when they hit there. The obstacles were blown out of his path as well like they were nothing.
"This is for Rainbow Dash!"
Again he struck and again he teleported so that he was now in line with the "2" and "8", the "9" and "3" now shining.
Discord's next move was to create a trio of giant tornadoes filled with sugar. Even without the sweetener, this should surely veer him off course. However…
"This is for my dear Fluttershy!" Tears fell from his eyes like a sparkling stream as he said this, jumped, and magically spun like a drill, just to enhance the force of his blow.
As he spun, he plowed through the tornadoes, immediately dissipating them on contact, building up his speed in the process. Taking these to his advantage, by the time he was through the third tornado, he reached Discord and struck him hard. And maintained his position instead of passing through. As a result, his attack continued for longer than usual before he teleported himself farther, now in line with the "6" and "12" (the "2" and "8" now shining), and no longer spinning.
In spite of his tunnel vision induced from this attack, he could see that Discord looked desperate. As if he was unable to think of some creative way to stop the rebellious unicorn, he charged up a beam of chaos energy from his hands, then fired it. Unlike last time, it didn't go straight but went in all different angles before hitting him. Unfortunately, he seemed to forget that Chronicle had some kind of barrier that nullified his magic and seemed to realize it as his beam just dispersed around the invisible barrier.
"And this is for Twilight Sparkle!"
His horn glowed brighter as he picked up speed. Just as he reached the draconequus, he jumped so that his 'magic horn blade' was now aimed at his head. He slashed right through and then landed on the ground behind Discord, his back turned to him.
Now that all 12 numbers shone, the seal began to shine brightly and create a magical dome around the draconequus. Behind him, he could hear the magic power do its explosive work, although he thought he heard Discord snap his fingers as well. A brilliant pillar of light emerged from the circle, completely engulfing Discord and sending a beacon into the sky.
Chronicle maintained his position to give himself a moment's rest as his mane, tail, and eyes finally reverted to normal. As his mind also cleared from all his anger and desire to end Discord's life, he practically felt the resulting light shine as it hopefully decimated the spirit.
The "Time Seal Revenge", he recalled reading it from a book. It allows a unicorn to deal a massive amount of pain to one target. It needed a couple of specific conditions that happened to be met though. One, he needed to have at least three special somethings or someones to dedicate this attack to. (He had six special someones for this.) Two, these have to have been wronged somehow by the intended target. (Discord wronged them, all right, without a doubt.) Three, it had to be activated in a state of sheer rage. (Chronicle couldn't be any angrier than he was when he pummeled the draconequus.)
The rushing part was optional; any attack will do. It's a very complicated spell and with its conditions, it was highly impractical for battle and more suited for vengeance and finishing blows. Never thought I'd end up using it. Or did Moonbow's fortune influence my decision?
As Chronicle calmed down some more, the recent memories of the beatdown he delivered on Discord began to dawn on him. Wow. He was amazed with himself as he recalled just how much pain he inflicted. How was I able to release that much power? And utilize it in battle? I bet I might've gone hoof-to-hoof with Celestia like that. I'm surprised I was still focused enough not to pummel head-on over and over again. He also began to shudder in fear. Hold on. This kind of power… I've seen it before. My father has similar powers, even when not in alicorn form. If I remember correctly, his father hailed from V—
His thoughts were interrupted by a raucous laugh from behind and a slight chill went up Chronicle's spine; in spite of everything he did, Discord had survived the attack!
"O-ho-ho-ho-ho, that was hilarious!" he said. Chronicle didn't turn around. "You…yelling the names of each of your friends as you delivered what you thought would be your finishing blow on me. Oh, it drives me to tears!" After laughing for a while longer, his tone then turned serious. "I'm not about to go down from your kind of brute force, no matter how epic-looking it might be. And while you did say Twilight's name in your final blow, she isn't the most important reason you're attacking me, isn't she?"
Chronicle refused to answer.
Discord then began to talk teasingly, "Oh, I know. It's that bearer of the Element of Kindness. Fluttershy, was it?"
Ignore him. Ignore him. Give yourself time to recover.
"You know, I don't understand why you hate me so much for what I did to her. I mean, compared to what I did to the rest, what I did to her was pretty tame."
"Actually…" Chronicle did his best to keep himself composed, in spite of wanting to lash out on him again. "Of all the things you've did, that was the most atrocious of them all. To turn the sweetest pony I've ever known in my entire life into a cruel and unsympathetic █████ who does bad things just for the ████ of it…" He finally snapped as he turned around to face Discord, once again bursting in an aura of magic, but without the spiky mane or color-reversed eyes. "I'll never ████████████' forgive you for that!!!"
"Ooh, language," teased the draconequus. "Because of your colorful mouth, I'm gonna have to step up my game." Discord then 'conjured' a sizable boulder for him to toss at the one immune rebellious pony.
Chronicle widened his eyes in shock from Discord essentially stating that he didn't fight him at one-hundred of his potential.
"Oh, come now. Did you really think that was my best? That you really had a chance of beating me? Then again, you said you didn't care. And that you would take me down, 'even at the cost of your life'? Well, I don't plan on letting it come to that, so I think I'm gonna settle with making you suffer." Discord made an evil smile as he hurled the boulder at Chronicle, who sliced it in half with his "magic horn blade" before charging at Discord again.
[A/N: Sorry, but I intend to do all the episodes on Season 3 as well, so in spite of all my hate for Discord, which was soon calmed down after one certain episode, Chronicle is not going to win. That would be a touch more unrealistic than it already is.]
Eyecatch (picture-type) - Discord is having the time of his life as he hovers behind Chronicle is utterly determined to defeat the spirit as he turns his head to face him. The show's logo is seen on the upper left.
Ten seconds later…
Chronicle continued to fight, even without whatever form he had assumed at the start of the battle. He has no idea how he entered that state, but it certainly required lots of rage. Unfortunately for him, not only has that rage been long since subsided, Discord's strategy has changed as well.
Right now, he was assaulted with a constant wave of an unknown substance. It stung something fierce, and he instantly cast a barrier around himself. For the second time since befriending the Bearers of Harmony, he found himself dangerously low on magic, the first time being when he transferred magic to Twilight during the Ursa Minor incident. As it was, when he reverted to normal, while he retained the magic he had during his "rage state", it was not much since he used plenty of it upon executing the "Time Seal Revenge".
And he only realized this just as he shielded against the stinging substance. He was running on empty, and he no longer had enough magic to teleport away to safety. In four seconds, he was finally depleted and as his barrier faltered, the liquid struck his body and inflicted serious pain and he fell over as Discord dismissed it.
"Do you feel the Schadenfreude?" Discord asked as he hovered over the unicorn.
"Why don't you just get it over with?" Chronicle spat. "Because if you don't, I will never stop trying to kill you."
"Like you ever had a chance? I'm the spirit of chaos and disharmony. It required both Princesses using the Elements to defeat me. What can one mortal pony do? Ta!" Discord then disappeared, probably to cause more chaos.
Chronicle struggled to get up, but found himself too fatigued. Dammit. Completely empty. I can't even access "hammerspace" to get the ether. Just then, his horn began to spark with magic. Oh no. What's happening to Twilight now… All of a sudden, he felt himself enveloped in a magical aura. From what he could see, it wasn't his own as it was in a magenta hue. And then, the most miraculous thing happened; he felt himself being filled to the brim with magic. Once the aura was gone, he wondered something, 'took out' Surveillance, checked on Twilight, and saw—
He couldn't believe his eyes; her's colors have been restored! But was this because of her? Or did his bond with the Elements of Harmony have something to do with it?
"It’s all so clear!" she was saying as she levitated Spike (who didn't look so good) up for a hug. Can’t you see?" She began to jump, floating him in a circle. "Discord’s trying to distract us from what’s important! He knows how powerful our friendships are and he’s trying to keep us from seeing it! Do you remember what I said the first day we arrived in Ponyville? I told you that the future of Equestria didn’t rest on me making friends. But the opposite is true! The friendships I’ve made since I’ve been here are what saved Equestria from Nightmare Moon." She levitated Spike into his basket. "And now they need to save it from Discord!"
His only response was a barely audible moan.
"You’re right, Spike. I’ve got to fight for my friendships. For them! For me! For Equestria!"
Chronicle decided that now was the time to speak up. "Glad to…see you're…finally back, …Twilight Sparkle."
She started up in surprise, then remembered Surveillance. "Chronicle? Where are you?" It then dawned on her. "…Oh no, don't tell me—"
"Yes. I am."
"Help me by getting the rest of our friends back. We need the Elements of Harmony. They may not be our only hope, but it's the best one we got. Go. Now."
Before she could reply, he put it away and marched forward. If Discord were to find this out, he would be able to stop them, and possibly for good, so Chronicle decided to fight the spirit again. This time, he knew he wouldn't be able to kill Discord, but he could probably stall for time.
Deciding to catch his attention a different way, he launched a "giant shuriken" skywards. It did its job, and Discord returned. "Oh, Chronicle. Ready for round two so soon?"
"You bet," the unicorn replied with a severe expression.
"Before we begin, I'd like to tell you something."
Normally, Chronicle would not stand for small talk with the enemy, but given his new task, he decided to humor him. "Go ahead."
"I have to admit, you're the second mortal pony who's managed to hurt me, and you beat her by a landslide in terms of damage."
The unicorn couldn't help but be impressed. "Oh."
"See this tooth? The other mortal pony who hurt me knocked off the other one by bucking at supersonic speeds."
Okay. Not as cool. Then again, she was a native, and I'm not.
"I did not like the pain and ended her. I guess you can say this is why I'm still cool with you even if you did deal a lot more. But if you insist on going on with this…oh well."
Before Chronicle knew it, his legs were bound by bubblegum. Then they started to pull in four different directions, but not on the verge of tearing him apart. Before the unicorn could cast a spell, Discord lashed out another bubblegum whip and wrapped it around his horn.
"Maybe I can't affect you directly, but there is always another way." The bubblegum that bound the unicorn's legs surfaced like underground ropes being pulled upward, nothing on the other end. "Let's see how much you can take." He snapped his talon and Chronicle was assaulted by what seems to be an invisible boxer hitting him from all directions and at all parts of his body. The legs, the gut, the posterior, the neck, and it only stopped when the unicorn was sure he could feel a bone break.
"Is… this kind of… brutality… your style?" Chronicle asked, still hanging on the bubblegum ropes.
"Not really. But like I said, I can't affect you directly." Discord snapped his talon and the ropes disappeared, letting the unicorn drop to the ground. "Ciao." With that, he vanished once again.
Dammit. I forgot I'm still tired. Chronicle could feel fatigue kicking in, as well as the pain Discord just doled out on him. Even with his magic restored, his stamina was dismally low thanks to his earlier… roaring rampage of revenge, and now his physical condition wasn't good either.
Just then, he felt his legs wobble for a few seconds. Applejack. Then, an orange aura enveloped his entire body. This time, he felt not his stamina being restored, but his physical injuries completely wash away. Once the aura was gone, he checked his 'screen' and saw that Twilight had, to his slight disdain, restored Applejack.
"Wh…what happened?" he heard the farmpony say as she got up, presumably after Twilight knocked her down for some reason. "Twilight! Oh, I saw a vision of us feudin’ and fightin’." The purple unicorn seemed to smile in understanding. "I couldn’t face the truth, so I started tellin’ lies." She removed her hat. "Can you ever forgive me?"
"I already have." Twilight galloped off. "Come on!"
The restored blond pony allowed herself a fierce smile and followed, donning her hat. "That's great, Twilight," Chronicle called through Surveillance. "One down, four to go. And Applejack, either you forgot or ignored my instructions back in the maze, or Discord messed with them and/or your head. Either way, I'm gonna have a very stern talk with you after this."
The farmpony just lowered her head, thoroughly ashamed. "Yer right. I don't know what got into me when I saw those apples."
"Later. I'm about to get my flank kicked by Discord. I'll buy as much time as I can."
Before he could hear her reply, he 'stowed' away Surveillance, and took off once more, feeling almost like new. With that, he launched another "giant shuriken" skywards.
It did its job, and Discord returned, and he was quite surprised to see the unicorn ready to fight again. Chronicle didn't give him enough time to utter a word as he drew his "horn blade" and lunged at Discord again.
Instead of following through, he flash-stepped right behind the draconequus and then followed through. But Discord seemed to be ready and teleported right behind him. He swung his talon, but the unicorn flash-stepped behind the draconequus and swung again, only for him to mimic his actions. This went on for a good while, and not always from behind. Sometimes it came from above, and when it did, it sometimes also came from below.
One of them slipped up, and unfortunately, it was Chronicle. He thought Discord was right behind him and teleported accordingly, but the spirit turned out to be at the side, and instead of another talon slash, Discord brought down a green lightning bolt from a cotton candy cloud above, electrocuting the pony continuously.
"How's this for a taste of your own medicine?" Discord taunted. "Did you know that because of their horns and magic, unicorns are more vulnerable to lightning than other ponies?" He then stopped the lightning, turned away, and pointed at something as the unicorn fell to the ground. "Oh, look. Is that a still-normal pony I see? Let me just twist her mind a bit, and I'll get back to you, okay?" He then teleported away.
I hope that's not Twilight… Chronicle hoped as he felt his heart beating fast. In spite of being effectively as good as new after that orange aura, he felt he was about to have a heart attack any second now thanks to that electrocution. Just as he thought it was coming, he felt his heart beat more rapidly.
This is it. I can't take another step.
Following that however was a pink aura enveloping his entire body. He then felt his heart slow its beating and he felt himself calm down. Once the aura was gone, he checked Surveillance and saw, to his relief, that Fluttershy was restored. She seemed to have been hogtied, probably to restrain her meanie-pants self.
"Thank you, Twilight," he sighed. "Thank you."
"Oh, no! Twilight! Applejack! I just had the worst dream!" the pegasus said.
"I wish it were, Fluttershy. I wish it were. Unfortunately, whatever you thought was a dream was all too real. And I'm gonna make him pay for making you like that!" Before he could hear her reply, he put it away and readied himself.
Discord appeared just a few seconds later. "I'm ba—" He was cut off by a back attack from the unicorn, who impaled him with his "horn blade". 'Turning off' the "phase through" setting, he then 'carried' the spirit and slammed him through a cardboard cutout of a house (which he began to regret), then to the ground on the side.
Since neither of them were standing, the draconequus slammed his lion paw on the ground and some of the checkerboard squares below them launched the unicorn into the air—turning him around as Chronicle crashed into the ground on the other side. He then teleported himself out of the "blade"'s grasp, and then—as he reemerged—summoned distorted versions of the unicorn.
These distortions summoned "magic horn blades" of their own, then charged straight for their lying-down original. Chronicle was quick to get up, flare his own "blade", and charged at his distortions as well. Before they could reach him, he teleported away, emerged behind them, then shot a flurry of "shurikens", destroying them all.
He proceeded to slash at the draconequus again, who brought up his umbrella to parry it. "You haven't learned, huh?" the unicorn taunted. "I can cut through that if I want to!" He increased his power and struck again…only for the umbrella to remain intact. "What?!"
"Oh, I've learned," the draconequus taunted. "I learned that your previous state increased your 'power level'. And that I can use my own magic to modify the properties of anything I make." He summoned two cotton candy clouds above and below the unicorn, then the bottom one began to deluge him with chocolate milk, raining it upwards. The torrent slammed him into the upper cloud, which started to 'fight back' with its own torrent.
Due to the quickness and the strength of the torrent, Chronicle couldn't focus enough to focus the rain-drinking spell at a point away from him to save himself. Before he could drown, the storm stopped and he was then sandwiched in between the clouds. To add insult to injury, Discord hovered over him and summoned a living gummy worm to wrap itself around the unicorn's horn, disabling his magic.
The draconequus began to laugh at the result. "A-ha-ha-ha-ha, looks like I outdid myself this time. I think I'll leave you for later. I got more chaos to spread!" With that, he disappeared and the 'cloud sandwich' fell to the ground, in the midst of a large puddle of chocolate rain.
Chronicle could feel completely constricted and bogged down by the chocolate that has dried up on his coat. Even though it was giving him a little extra energy, which he seriously needed, the combination of dried chocolate and cotton candy was considerably impeding his movements. Just then, he felt his eyes ache for a second. He felt something pull all the food off of his body, and then the cotton candy was violently blown away. The worm was gone too.
When the unicorn landed on the chocolate milk puddle, he saw that not only was a violet aura enveloping his body, he was completely squeaky-clean. Once the aura vanished, he checked Surveillance and saw that Rarity was restored. There came a scream, then he saw the boulder (which he had named Tom, turns out) being shoved out of the boutique.
"Let us never speak of this again," she said.
"You got it, Rarity," he spoke up. "Two more to go, Twilight."
He then terminated the communication, used the rain-drinking spell to suck up all the chocolate milk, not minding that he stepped on it and it was on the ground, and launched another "giant shuriken" skywards. When it didn't "summon" the spirit, he used his pinpointing spell on the area, hoping that Discord's signature was on them. After getting a reading, he cast an enhancing spell on his legs, and proceeded to jump across the rooftops of Ponyville.
Ten seconds of searching later, Chronicle located Discord, who was sitting on a throne atop a hill. He could see long-legged rabbits stampede past a house built of giant playing cards, a house he was hiding in. With a devious grin, in one swift move, he teleported behind the throne and shoved his "magic horn blade" through the backrest and Discord's unsuspecting back.
"Guess who?" he couldn't help taunting. He then sensed the draconequus teleport out of his 'hold' and re-emerged right behind him.
"I know who." He delivered a sweep kick with his right dragon claw, but the unicorn flash-stepped behind him. "And I'll have to say I'm beginning to lose my patience with you."
"What can I say? If you don't put an end to me, I will never stop trying to do the same to you."
"And when will you accept the fact that you can't? The Princesses had a very hard time sealing me. A mere mortal like you can't hope to exceed them."
"Hey. Mere mortals defeated an immortal. I believe you know who." And my father's dealt with any of your ilk that invade our home base and home world.
"Oh, please. Nightmare Moon can't hold a candle to my power. You're barely even a flicker." He lashed out his tail at the unicorn…and realized it was a magical clone.
"Power isn't everything." A lance of energy pierced through Discord's throne and into his…gut. The instant it entered there however, the draconequus teleported right behind him and picked him up.
"And my throne is for me ONLY!" He then drop-kicked the unicorn into the sky with his left hoof. He then 'ordered' some of his clouds to go after him and bog him down again.
Chronicle quickly saw them coming and teleported…once Discord was out of his sights, so as to make him think they got him. Using the momentum from his being thrown, he re-emerged and bucked the draconequus in the chin, then flipped and rolled down the hill it was atop of. He then teleported again and reemerged at the rooftop of the card house, which did not topple from his weight.
Discord appeared in front of him a second later, and 'drew' his umbrella as the unicorn 'drew' his "magic horn blade" in response. "Admit it. Even if we didn't head for the maze, you still would've made one anyway if we actually headed to Ponyville like I intended."
I sometimes go off on my own, but I do what I do for my friends. He didn't say this out loud as he swung his blade again, which was deftly deflected by the umbrella. He twirled his blade around, shortly disarmed the draconequus, then blasted him with "shurikens".
Discord countered this by seamlessly weaving around the attacks, had the roof of the card house open up, throwing off Chronicle's balance as he ended up doing a split, and then had it closed up again before he delivered a side kick with his right dragon claw, sending him flying through some cotton candy clouds before crashing into a random chocolate milk lake.
The unicorn surfaced, feeling a bit discouraged that he has to fight this long. With his "rage state" gone, and with no immediate way to re-entering it, he was beginning to have doubts. Even though defeating Discord was no longer the point now, he could feel himself losing the will to continue.
I can't go on like this. Why am I even still fighting? Shouldn't I just call for Story Crew help right about now? Suddenly, he felt his tail twitch, and then a cyan aura enveloped his body. He just knew that Pinkie Pie was restored, and—somehow—any uncertainty that began to fester was instantly dispelled. No. I can't give up! My friends are counting on me! And I'm not about to let them down!The only time I call on the Story Crew for help is during the bleakest of times, and this is certainly not bleak.
Once the aura disappeared, he checked Surveillance and saw Pinkie Pie, back to normal as he suspected, giggling while on a wheelbarrow pulled by Applejack.
"Oh, and I…I turned gray! Can you believe it?" she was saying.
"All right, Twilight," he called. "All that's left is Rainbow Dash. Please hurry. I don't know how much longer I can last. Make every second I buy you count."
Without waiting for a reply, he put it away again, used his rain-drinking spell to consume some of the lake. Then he took out the ether bottle he got from Zecora's hut and took a swig, feeling his magic return. Before he could take off however, he got a tingling feeling that came with drinking too many fluids.
He had to go relieve himself.
Dammit. Why now of all times?
A quick break later…
Chronicle gave a sigh of relief as he exited from a candy cane bush. "To think I had to resort to this. I'm adding another reason to deck Discord; the chocolate milk is too delicious." Taking a look around, he found that he wasn't that far off from Discord's throne. And the draconequus was busy eating a cotton candy cloud.
This will be my last, he thought. If I know her, Rainbow will be notoriously difficult to catch. And she'll be in the air. I hope Twilight knows a slow spell, or Fluttershy gets the necessary adrenaline rush.
Flaring his horn, he attempted to pull off a spell he saw on a book that he had been about to practice before the chaos began; to render invisible his magic, or at least when it leaves him in the form of a projectile. Concentrating on what little he has memorized of it, he formed the "shuriken" in front of his face. He then concentrated on making it disappear. Slowly, it faded until he couldn't see it save for a faint outline, which the book said was what he should see. Focusing some more, he finally launched the "shuriken" at Discord.
His invisible attack hit the glass of chocolate milk he was drinking…and it went kaboom in his face. Disoriented for a bit, he glared in the presumed direction of the attack…and saw Chronicle giving a smirk as the unicorn readied himself to fight once more. The draconequus swiftly arose from his seat, his expression severe. "You sure are a glutton for punishment, are you, Chronicle?" he said, feeling furious for the second time since his freedom.
"You better believe it!" he retorted as he charged, "magic horn blade" on the ready. Ten seconds however, what seemed to be a "sugar"-storm buffeted him from behind, blowing him forward in a tumble. Discord was already at the bottom of the hill and he had a golf club on the ready.
The unicorn immediately formed a barrier around himself, inadvertently conjuring an orb around himself, which he now began to roll in. The draconequus swung and hit him like one would a golf ball. It smashed through the barrier, but the blow was softened enough so that it wasn't a disorienting one. As Discord followed through, he saw Chronicle fly a good mile before teleporting back to the ground, where he dug his feet into the ground to slow himself down.
Before he could regain his bearings completely, Discord made the ground below him thrust itself up, sending him sailing into the air once more. As he did, he figured that getting a 'status report' was now imperative as he 'took out' Surveillance just enough to get into audio contact.
Meanwhile, Twilight and company finally tracked down Rainbow Dash, who was resting on a cloud, uncaring for the world and thinking the cloud was Cloudsdale. Since it was impossible to get her down as she was too high, they decided to head up to her level, "borrowing" one of the Twinkling Balloon Services hot-air balloons. Miraculously, one has been spared from Discord's magic and was quickly set to work.
On the balloon, they ascended right behind the indolent pegasus, who they saw was asleep on her cloud and snoring mightily. Applejack was riding on top of the balloon, Twilight, Pinkie, and Rarity in the basket, and Fluttershy flying separately and checking to make sure Rainbow was not faking. Seeing she wasn't she then flew up to the balloon, which has stopped a short distance above.
"Okay, Fluttershy," Twilight whispered. "You grab Rainbow Dash and hold her down." A rope end tied in a loop was lowered to her. "Applejack will lower me down from this rope so I can cast the memory spell on her." Above, Applejack waved vigorously while holding the other end of the rope. "Chronicle's buying us time. We better not waste it."
Fluttershy gave a salute— "Got it!" —then dropped into a fast dive and braked to a stop alongside the cloud, her whole body tensed for a pounce onto the sleeper. Just as quickly, she relaxed and prodded Rainbow gently. "Um, I’m just wondering if it’s okay if I hold you down against your will for a little bit?"
Realizing that her friend’s timid nature had come back at the worst possible moment, Twilight groaned and clapped a hoof to her forehead while Rarity rolled her eyes.
The query did, however, bring Rainbow out of her nap in a hurry. She lets off a disdainful little snort. "Nice try! Ponyville’s your problem, not mine." She then, dropped back onto her cloud, wrapping all four legs around it, and zoomed away in a gray/white blur.
Fluttershy was left perplexed as a doubled-up rope was dropped to her. "Come on, Fluttershy!" Twilight called one end tied to each hoof. "We gotta catch her! We can't let Chronicle's efforts be in vain!"
The yellow flyer clamped her teeth around the rope and got her wings going, but it soon became clear that she was trying to fly above her weight class.
"Oh, I wish Chronicle had at least sent a clone or something. He'd be a great help right now," the purple unicorn groaned to herself.
"But he's currently fighting Discord," Rarity pointed out. "And it's because of what happened to us he's doing it in the first place. I don't think he can spare a moment to be distracted."
"Rarity's right," Pinkie said. "He's counting on us to do this."
"Hey, girls." Chronicle's voice came from somewhere, getting looks of confusion from all the mares in the area, including the corrupted pegasus, and then all but Rainbow remembered that he can communicate with them via Surveillance. "How's the search?"
"We found her," Twilight answered. "It's just a matter of catching her."
"What do you mean catching her? She's on the move?" Suddenly, a lightning strike could be heard from his location and a cry of pain followed. A thump followed.
"Chronicle! Are you okay?"
"I've had worse scrapes," he grunted. "Don't lose her!"
"All right." She then snapped the rope reins on Fluttershy. "Hyah!"
Back with Chronicle, he was now defending himself against torrents of chocolate milk coming from all sides with a sphere barrier. For some reason, he was contemplating on why it was always chocolate milk and decided to ask him. "Hey, Discord. Is chocolate milk the only liquid you can make?"
"You're on the verge of defeat, and still you have the audacity to taunt me?!" Discord seethed as he unleashed a bolt of electricity from the clouds above.
Uh oh. The liquid instantly became electrifying, even though the fact that it was not water should've changed something. The electricity began to make cracks in the barrier, but he held it before it suddenly fell apart and he fell to the ground with a thud.
"Pinkie! You were supposed to secure the rope!" the unicorn heard Rarity say.
An "Oops." came in reply from the party pony.
"Don't screw this up now…" he growled.
"Talking to yourself?" Discord asked. "Now that's something even I would find crazy. I'd just make another me to do that." He then unleashed a gout of flames, which took the form of swarming ferrets.
"Rarity, Pinkie, hold on!" Chronicle heard Applejack say as he formed another force field around himself. "Y’all are slowin’ her down!"
"Oh, Fluttershy, would you be a dear and fly faster, please?!" he heard Rarity cry out.
From what he could hear from the yellow pegasus, she was shuddering. "I can’t!"
"If you can’t catch her, Discord wins!" Twilight called. "And everything Chronicle has done for us…will be for nothing!"
Just as said unicorn heard her say that, he failed to notice said draconequus snap his talon…and a small column of earth erupted from underneath, slamming right into his gut.
Losing concentration in the barrier, he was sent flying from the attack, screaming in agony at the top of his lungs as he was plowed through a few "fire ferrets" before crashing into the ground. As he landed and tumbled, he began to pass out from the pain and battle fatigue. Just before losing consciousness, he heard the following words.
And as he then heard the wind pick up from where those words were spoken, he was out like a light with a smirk on his face. He didn't intend to cry out in agony, but it turned out to be the proper incentive. As they had learned back when they went to request Basil to leave, a friend getting hurt was all that was needed for Fluttershy to push herself past her limits.
He didn't know how long he was out. He didn't even dream. But he suddenly felt an aching sensation at where his wings would be were he a pegasus. Then, something washed over his entire body, giving him enough energy to open his eyes. What he saw surprised him a bit, from what he could see from his hooves in front of him, he was surrounded by a red aura.
From what he could deduce in spite of his blurry senses, or most likely just hope, he just knew that they did it; Rainbow Dash was back. Finally. He gave a smile of satisfaction as the aura faded…
"Wh…what happened?" he heard the speedster say. "How’s Ponyville? Where are the Elements? Did we stop Discord?"
Before he could attempt an answer, he could feel himself get picked up by a taloned hand.
"Well, well, well, you proved way too much of a nuisance for my tastes," he could hear Discord say as he was positioned to meet his eyes. "Now that you're absolutely wiped, I'm sure whatever protection you have that is barring me from affecting you is gone."
Chronicle then felt a finger of Discord's lion paw on his forehead and he began to expect the worst. He could feel intense pain as it woke him up and he screamed. He could also hear the panicked cries of his friends as they presumably heard it through Surveillance.
However, it turns out that pain was just from the pressure of Discord's finger on his head. His mind was still the same, and when he weakly raised a hoof, he saw that his hoof was still deep blue. The next thing he knew, he was dropped to the ground. "Oww!"
"Guess I was wrong. You have stopped being amusing. I think I'll just leave you here and revel in your defeated state."
Severely beaten up, Chronicle tilted his head up and saw that he was in front of Discord's throne. The house of cards was to his left. And before he could think of anything else, he was run over by a stampede of long-legged bunnies. Now pain was all that was in his mind. He still had sufficient magic left, but with his objective accomplished, he decided to just rest as much as he could.
It's up to you now, Twilight. Succeed in what I tried and failed to do.
Thankfully, he only had to wait only one hundred sixty seconds before he heard some voices cry out his name.
There were galloping hooves and once they stopped, he saw his charge nudge his head to try and get him to stand up to no avail.
"Are you okay?" asked Twilight.
"If you mean 'okay' as in 'still alive', then yes," he managed to say. He noticed that all of them were now wearing their Elements of Harmony, the two pegasi in the air. "Just go and do your thing. I've done my part. Now it's time for you to do yours."
He turned his head back at Discord, who was filling his glass with chocolate milk from a cotton candy cloud. The action was normal enough, except for the fact that the glass filled from the top down rather than the bottom up. As the cloud moved away. "Chaos is a wonderful, wonderful thing," the draconequus said as he got ready to drink.
Twilight decided now was the perfect time to cut in. "Not as wonderful…as friendship!"
Discord gave a loud groan. "This again?" He drank his glass—literally, leaving the milk, which retained its cylindrical shape. The chunk of milk was then thrown back over his shoulder, exploding after it landed somewhere behind him.
"That’s right!" said Applejack. "You couldn’t break apart our friendship for long!"
Discord lifted a glowing lion-paw digit. "Oh, Applejack, don’t lie to me." His powers dragged her ahead by the necklace she wore and hoisted her up for a face-to-face chat. "I’m the one who made you a liar."
How could he not see it? Am I the only one who can, or has he become arrogant while I was busy hurting?
Lifting his talon forearm, he gave all the others but Twilight a dose of the same to leave her standing alone with the downed Chronicle. "Will you ever learn?"
"No!" the stallion weakly cried out. We've come this far, only to— His thoughts were interrupted when his supremely exasperated charge teleported herself to the center of the midair ring formed by the other five. Her next move caught the unbalanced tyrant completely off guard: a spherical pink force field that enclosed all six of them, breaking his grip, and floated them gently down to ground level.
The field flexed slightly like an inflated rubber ball, and as its lower portion phased through Chronicle, he felt his energy return once again. Again… I just know I'm gonna drop for good sooner or later. The 'bubble' flattened out upon making contact with the ground around him, this patch turning from blue checkerboard to ordinary green grass as the energy dissipates. He heard everypony touch down or hover within its perimeter.
Discord was slightly puzzled, but still amused, from this, even as the stallion got up on his feet.
"I’ll tell you what we’ve learned, Discord," Twilight said as the seven ponies advanced. We’ve learned that friendship isn’t always easy, but there’s no doubt it’s worth fighting for!"
He leaned down to them. "Ooh, gag! Fine, go ahead, try and use your little Elements. 'Friend' me. Just make it quick." A flash took him back to his throne, where flying pigs were passing by. "I’m missing some excellent chaos here."
Chronicle couldn't help but snort a bit at "'Friend' me.", then shook off the thought as he prepared himself, charging his hooves with a spell. He had no idea what the Elements of Harmony planned to do, but he intended to make his mark this time, and earn his place on the stained glass. I know the Story Crew's likely to erase this piece of evidence upon sending it to their client worlds, but it will remain at least in my memory.
"All right, ladies. Let’s show him what friendship can do!" Twilight said.
"Wait, wait, wait!" Pinkie cried out. As it was, she was standing under a raining pink cloud with mouth open to catch the sweet brown stuff. Her happy little gargle drew six confused/embarrassed/fed-up stares, but she quickly joined the squad with a fierce snarl, her face and mane now clean.
Pink light spread outward from Twilight’s tiara to encompass the others, who actually meant business this time, but Discord’s only reaction is a bored yawn. Now, though, the cutie-mark jewels began to throw off their own radiation, followed by beams that flew past Discord’s head and leave him really bewildered.
"Huh. What’s this?" he wondered, then saw more shots fly around. He also saw Chronicle's legs glowing brightly. "No."
Twilight’s eyes blazed white, as do those of the other five as the entire group rose into the air. The stallion remained on the ground, but it was apparent that he was ready to make his move. A multicolored blast wave similar to that from a Sonic Rainboom exploded outward from them. In addition, a broad rainbow shot skyward. A second after that, Chronicle jumped right after it as it reached the peak of its arc. As it began to thunder down toward the incredulous whatever-the-heck-it-is that has turned Ponyville upside down and inside out, it also passed straight through the stallion.
As Discord screamed the rainbow engulfs him and he slowly froze into solid stone, working from the tail up. He then looked up, and saw that Chronicle, his eyes glowing white like the others, was running down the rainbow as he primed his "magic horn blade".
"For Equestria!" He then let out a battle cry as he began to spin like a drill, taking the harmonious energy around him and speeding up until he felt himself collide with (and skewer through) the spirit just before the petrification reached his disbelieving, open-mouthed face.
From one who was seeing all this from the outside, the rainbow split into two copies that folded out and down to either side toward the ground. The hemisphere described by their movement grew in brightness until it had gone pure white.
When the light faded, Ponyville was back to normal. Grass, sky, houses—everything is back as it should be, and the Six bearers descended gently to it. Discord, on the other hand, took a rather faster and less pleasant trip down when his petrified form toppled onto the grass. A panting Chronicle landed a second later next to it.
He turned to the girls, who landed after using the Elements, gave a smile, and said, "We did it."
All of a sudden, the fatigue from his "finishing blow" as well as this entire ordeal crashed onto him once his adrenaline rush had passed and he began to pass out. Before he collapsed to the ground, he heard the six of them crying out his name, and a certain pegasus's worried face as she quickly closed the distance was the last thing he could remember before unconsciousness took over.
1. I seem to have been putting a fair number of Big Lipped Alligator Moments here.
2. If you'd like a time-frame reference, I believe the moment Discord put his lion paw behind his back was when he directly corrupted Mystic Shield.
3. Yes. I've taken a page from Dragon Ball. And I've done a foreshadow of this too. I created the fight scene because I don't think it just takes a few seconds to go through all those letters, especially when Twilight's reading them out loud. Besides, prior to a certain Season 3 episode, I had intense hate for him and reveled in seeing fanart of him suffering. Still do now.
4. If there are inconsistencies with the area, remember that this is Discord we're talking about. While this may be a weak excuse, I personally think that he would like his playthings alive rather than dead.
5. I also took a page from Pokémon, specifically Pikachu, just to reflect my then-hate for him.
6. Originally, I intended the fight as something for Chronicle to do while Twilight read the (presumably) many letters returned. But then I wanted to vent all my Discord-hate and ended up making it like this. From summer to winter, then a couple months more…estimating the number of letters I saw, I realize I might've lengthened the battle too much.
7. Remember that the talon-snap isn't necessary. It's just for show-off.
Wow. I can't believe the insane length of this chapter in comparison to even "Dragonshy". I was hard pressed to find fanfics where Discord actually fought at all, so I apologize if his strategy was OOC.
Here's a secret I'll confide to you, but won't be something that'll be brought up before I reach Season 3; Discord was actually frightened by his close shave with death from the "Time Seal Revenge". A quick-time spell between the circle's "release" and the beam's "annihilation" saved his hide. He also hid his fright and relief from that escape so that it wouldn't renew Chronicle's vigor.
I'm sorry for ending this chapter the way I did, but there will be two more chapters after this before I resume covering Season 2 proper. Hint, I'm not gonna start with "Lesson Zero".
See ya on Third!