The ponies followed the dimly lit passage for hours. "Pinkie," Twilight said, "I think I can walk the rest of the way myself." Pinkie wanted to argue, but respected Twilight's wishes. Pinkie let Twilight down, and she walked the rest of the way. At the end of the passage was a set of stone stairs that led upwards. They briskly climbed up the stairs, and emerged in the castle gardens.
The flowers were in full bloom. Small drops of water glistened off the different colored flora of the garden, making the garden shimmer in the moonlight. The stalwart castle stood tall in the soft light. Lights were flashing from within the white walls. Screams could be heard from within the castle. "Discord must be having some fun," said Twilight. "I hope we aren't too late."
"Yeah," Dash said angrily. "I can't wait to shove my hoof in his face," The others nodded in agreement.
"What's the plan?" Applejack asked.
Twilight analyzed the ominous castle carefully. "Dash, fly up and check the doors and windows," Twilight ordered. Rainbow Dash gave her a salute and silently took off. She pushed on the door, but it wouldn't budge. She checked all the windows that the others could reach. Unfortunately, they were all locked from the inside.
Dash glumly returned to her friends. "They're all locked guys," she said.
"Aw shucks. Now what?" Applejack asked.
Twilight looked intensely at the castle again. She thought long and hard before she spoke. "I've got a plan," she said confidently. "Rainbow Dash, I want you to go find a rope. We're going to use it to climb the walls and enter through one of the balcony windows."
"Sounds like it might work, but why don't you just knock," said Discord. All the ponies jumped at the sound of his voice. They looked around trying to find him, but he wasn't around. "I'm down here," he chuckled. They looked down at a red flower growing just beneath their hooves. It was staring at them with huge eyes, and smiling at them with a toothy grin.
"AAHH! TALKING FLOWER!" Pinkie Pie screamed as she trampled the insult to nature. The others stared at the comical pony with shocked expressions. "What? It was creepy," she said with a cute giggle. The others couldn't help but laugh with her.
"Well," said Crimson Dusk, "It's time to end this." They marched up the staircase without hindrance from the mischievous spirit. Rainbow Dash knocked on the door, causing it to fall to the ground with a loud thud. The corridor in front of them was pitch black. The sconces that usually held beautiful lanterns were replaced by singing hoofballs. They sang extremely off tune, which made the seven ponies cringe.
They galloped through the torturous hallway as fast as they could. They opened a door on the opposite end of the hallway. It led into a room that Discord seemed to have left untouched. "Where are we?" Fluttershy asked innocently. The room was lightly furnished. Purple colored velvet swirled around the room. A dark fireplace that hasn't been used in ages sat in the corner of the room. A dusty tome rested on a black couch in front of the fireplace. Two huge bookcases filled with books faced each other at opposite ends of the room.
"I don't know," replied Twilight. "I've never been in here before. It looks very nice though."
"What are you talking about? This room is horrid," said Rarity. "The couch completely clashes with the velvet, and do not get me started on the lack of decor." The other ponies just shook their heads at what she was saying. Rarity saw their reactions and smiled shyly.
"I'm getting impatient my little ponies," taunted Discord. "Are you lost? Allow me to give you a hoof. I'm eager to see you again." The entire floor opened up underneath the ponies. They fell screaming into a dark abyss. The seven ponies landed on a long tube slide. They rode down the sinister ride screaming. All except Pinkie Pie, who was laughing the entire time.
The slide took them to what appeared to be the throne room. Discord's food army was still comically fighting. This time over a small fort made completely out of chocolate. The guests were no where to be seen. Luna and Celestia were still sitting (still petrified) on opposite sides of a throne made of bubbles.
Discord was on top of the throne amusing himself with life-sized puppets of the Wonderbolts. "Hey!" yelled Rainbow Dash at the sight of her childhood heroes being reduced to ridiculous play things. "Let them go now!" She took flight and charged at the spirit of chaos. He just laughed and snapped his talons. Rainbow Dash looked at him oddly, before an anvil landed on top of her head. She fell down to the ground, and bounced back high in the air.
He laughed obnoxiously. "Trampoline floor and falling anvils," he said between fits of laughter. "This is priceless."
"Leave her alone!" Crimson Dusk screamed. He led the other ponies in a mad charge across the bouncy floor. Dusk quickly grabbed Rainbow Dash off the ground, as they made their attack agianst Discord. He just laughed at the desperate attempt. He waved his hand in the air. The floor turned into chocolate pudding. The seven heroes fell into it, and it quickly hardened. They struggled with all their might, but it was no use. They were now at the mercy of their sadistic captor.
"You ponies are just a scream," he said while taking pleasure in yet another victory. "I mean come on. Did you really think charging at me would stop me?" He began laughing again as his eyes sized up his new toys.
"What have you done with the guests," Rarity asked while trying to free herself.
"Oh, they are a busy playing a little game of castle defense," he answered while gesturing at the fort.
"Where's my brother and Cadence?" Twilight demanded to know.
"Your brister, or sother, got very annoying. I zipped his/her mouth shut and turned him/her invisible, so I wouldn't have to look at it."
"I'm going to plant my hoof in you skull for your crimes," Dusk said angrily.
"Oh, will you now?" Discord replied. He slowly floated down from his throne to look the crimson alicorn in the eyes. "You, I must say, were quite a surprise. I never thought I would see you again." Discord turned to face Rainbow Dash. Her hate filled eyes stared into his cocky ones. "How did you ever find him?"
"I'm not telling you anything you dork," she spat out. Discord playfully twirled Dusk's mane with his talons. Dash felt her anger boiled over. "Leave him alone!" she screamed. Her attempts to free herself intensified.
"There's no need for name calling," Discord replied. Especially since we are in the presence of royalty."
"What are you talking about?" asked Twilight. "You have the princesses encased in stone. They can't even here us."
Discord stared at her with a confused expression. His eyes widened and he laughed maniaclly at them. "You mean you don't...oh, this is just precious. May I introduce to you, the forgotten prince of Canterlot, Prince Crimson Dusk," said Discord as he mockingly bowed to the crimson alicorn.
The others stared at the crimson alicorn in disbelief. "Is he telling us the truth?" asked Rainbow Dash.
Crimson looked into her eyes before bowing his head in shame. "Yeah...it's true," he said. "I am a prince. Celestia and Luna are my sisters. I didn't want anypony to know about my past, especially you." Rainbow Dash looked sympathetically at him. At this point, she just wanted to hold him.
Discord laughed even louder. "This must be shocking news. Considering you two are madly in love, I'm guessing this little charade of his is breaking your young heart," said Discord. "Why wouldn't he tell you who he really was? I don't think he trusts you Dashie. If I were you, I'd probably leave him to wallow in sadness."
Dash looked down at the ground with confusion in her eyes. Dusk watched her intently. While it was true he felt ashamed, he was more afraid of losing Rainbow Dash before their relationship could truly blossom. Dash's expression hardened as he looked directly into the Discord's eyes. "You know what?" she stated confidently. "I don't care that he didn't tell me. I love him more than I've ever loved anything in my life. If he didn't want to tell me, he must have had a good reason for it." A small hum started in Dusk's saddlebag.
"I don't believe this!" Discord yelled. "You all are just UNBEARABLE! I have fractured your friendships twice, yet you always make up in the end. Now, you are saying you believe in somepony that didn't tell you he was a prince?" He summoned a table to his side, and smashed it into pieces. "What gives?" He turned and spoke to Pinkie Pie. "Twilight said you were annoying and childish." He switched his gaze to Applejack and Rarity. "You two are complete opposites." Finally, his attention fell on Fluttershy. "I can't do anything to you. You're just too nice to hate anypony. WHY DON'T YOU ALL JUST START HATING EACH OTHER?!"
Pinkie Pie was the first to speak. "Twilight did think of me that way. It did hurt my feelings, but that doesn't matter. She has always been my friend, and I believe in her. She has never let me down, and I won't let some mean thoughts about me ruin a good friendship." The humming grew louder, and the other elements of harmony began to glow.
Applejack was the next to speak up. "Rarity might be a hoity toity princess, but she is the best friend anypony could ask for."
"And Applejack might be a messy yokel," Rarity added, "but I can always count on her to have my back. We may be different, but it's those differences that strengthen our friendship. We can look past each other's petty differences, and see the true beauty of each other." Applejack blushed at the comment. The humming grew louder. Discord looked feverishly around the room trying to find the its source.
"I'm kind to my friends, because they are the best I could ever have," Fluttershy said assuredly. "My friends were all animals until I met these ponies. They see me for who I am, and I can only do the same for them. They always challenge me to be my best, and I love them for it. I will always have faith in my friends, no matter what troubles befall us."
"You see Discord," Twilight said defiantly, "you can't break our friendship. We care about each other too much to let petty things separate us." Twilight was joined by the other five as they all shouted "We have faith in our friends!"
A bright light flashed from inside Dusk's saddlebag. The stone orb representing the element of faith rose daintily into the air. A feeling of dread overtook Discord. "No! You've tapped into the power of the seventh element!" he shouted as he dived at the orb. It let out a huge shockwave, sending Discord flying across the room.
It hummed and vibrated violently. The element shattered into many pieces of glimmering stone. The stones flew and surrounded the six ponies that represented the spirits of harmony. They gave off a soft light, as they combined with the other glowing elements of harmony. The jewels that the six friends wore shined brighter than ever. Beautiful designs that represented each ponies personality etched their way across the golden jewelry. The ponies felt their bodies tingle all over. It was as if the long lost element woke the a dormant power that slumbered within the elements. They felt like they were alive.
The six ponies rose from the ground, breaking the floor and freeing Dusk in the process. The light the elements gave off was more intense than the sun. The six ponies were suspended in the air. The elements created a unified beam of pure white light, and directed it at Discord. He turned himself into a mirror again, hoping it would stop the attack like last time. The beam, unaffected by Discord's futile attempt to save himself, hit its mark. It swirled around his entire being. It was spinning so fast, that an intense wind formed within the large room.
"No!" screamed Discord. "It can't be! I will not go back into that dreadful stone! I won't lose again!" His screams of terror were drowned out by the loud roar of the tornado of light. It closed in on him, and the screaming stopped. The light expanded across the entire castle. The fighting food fell where they stood, and the colors of the room turned back to normal. The Wonderbolts, the guests, and the princesses turned back to normal as well. Shining Armor and Princess Cadence became visible, and separated into two ponies again.
The ponies were gently lowered back to the ground. "That was intense!" Rainbow Dash said with joy.
Celestia helped Luna to her hooves, and then walked over to the ponies. "I'm so proud of you," she said admiringly. "I can always count on you girls." Her eyes widened and teared up when her gaze fell on the crimson alicron.
"Brother!" Luna said cheerfully as she ran to Dusk. She embraced him. Dusk could feel the tears fall onto his back. "I'm so glad you're back. I never thought I would see you again." Dusk embraced his little sister, but he was still staring at Celestia.
"Luna," Celestia said affectionatly, "Could you get off of him please?" Luna reluctantly let her brother go. Celestia walked over to her long lost brother. "Crimson Dusk," she said. She could no longer hold her composure. She hugged him with tears falling down her graceful cheeks. "I'm so sorry," she said between sobs. "I was young and foolish. Please come back. It hasn't been the same since you left."
Crimson was taken aback by his sister's reaction. She had always been the unfeeling, studious one of the family. That thought didn't stop him from holding his older sister. He cradled her comfortingly as he said, "I forgive you, but I'm not coming back to the castle."
Celestia let him go and stared into his eyes. "Please come home," she pleaded.
Dusk stared back. "I'm not returning to the castle, but I am returning to the kingdom,' he said lovingly. His eyes darted to Rainbow Dash, and quickly returned to his crying sister. "I hear Cloudsdale has a nice view of...everything. I'm considering moving there."
Dash trotted over and cudled with Crimson Dusk. Celestia smiled at the sight. "You always did have a thing for reckless ponies," she said affectionately.
Dusk smiled back. "She's not reckless. She's just spirited in an irresponsible way," he said as he leaned closer to Dash. Dash laughed at the accurate description of herself, and playfully bashed him in the side. He playfully pushed back. They all just laughed at the two lovers.
"Things are all well and good, but who's that?" Applejack said pointing at a large pony laying on the ground. He was pitch black. His shimmering, silver mane was wrapped around a long, black horn. He groaned, but remained where he was.
Celestia's expression hardened as she walked over to the sleeping pony. He opened his eyes, which were a deep purple, and stared maliciously at Celestia. He switched his position from his side to his stomach. This revealed two black wings that were tucked into his sides. He wasn't a pony; he was an alicorn.
"This is Draconus the Spellweaver," said Celestia with a hate no pony ever knew she was capable of feeling. "He was my father's top advisor, and most trusted friend." That was until he ripped apart our family and killed our parents." Dusk and Luna stared hatefully at the weakened that laid on the other side of the room.
"It's heartwarming that you remember me little Tia," he said with a smirk. He tried to stand up, but couldn't move more than a few inches off the ground. The stress of having that chaotic spirit ripped from his body completely drained his strength. He turned his head slightly towards Luna and said, "Lulu, please come give me a hoof."
She said nothing. Celestia beckoned a pair of guards to retrieve Draconus. "For your treason against the crown, I sentence you to life in prison. Starswirl created a special prison just for you in case you returned. It should keep you from regaining your strength, and using your magic." The armored guards picked him up and escorted him out of the throne room.
Celestia noticed a small ruby glimmering on the ground where the evil alicorn was laying. She carefully trotted over to her throne and recovered a small box. She used her magic raise the gem off the ground and placed it inside the box. The lid closed with a click.
"What did you put in that box?" Twilight asked her mentor.
"This was a failed attempt by Draconus to create an element of harmony," she answered. "Instead, he created an element of disharmony. This box was specially made to hold the gem. It's enchanted to never open again once the gem is placed inside."
"Did the gem turn Draconus evil?" Twilight asked curiously.
Celestia smiled at her favorite student. "No, he was always that way," she answered. "He is a very powerful and very evil wizard. He fooled us all a long time ago, but he won't be able to hurt anypony again. He is going to a hidden prison where no pony is allowed to see him. He is going to rot away in prison for the rest of his immortal life." Celestia looked over at the ornate clock on the wall. Her weariness was noticeable to all the ponies. "I think I'll raise the sun in a few hours. I need time to lie down."
The others nodded in agreement. The whole experiance had drained them of all their energy. Celestia offered them rooms in the castle, and they all graciously accepted. There crazy adventure was over. Equestria could sleep in peace once again.