Twilight smiled sheepishly and looked straight ahead as her and Applejack walked down the dirt path back towards Ponyville. She already expected the others to already be there by the time they arrived at the square.
"Oh, well Charcoal had to stay at my place for a few days." Applejack's face grew suspicious
"Well why would Charky stay at yer place if he could come to Apple Acres?" Applejack still had her sight on Twilight, who facehoofed at the misunderstanding. She explained the situation at hand and the orange mare's eyes widened.
"Now who would've thought that sendin' Charky to ya would be a good thing after all?"
"Yeah, I actually sent him home today. Still, I'm a bit shocked that he held on to so much magic and he didn't even know...”
"We can always talk about it later with Charky sugarcube, but right now we need to hurry and meet the others." she gallops ahead, having Twilight to rush behind her. They finally arrive at the square and see a large chariot parked at the center of the square. Six elite Canterlot guards surround the chariot and Princess Celestia stand before the other four elements of harmony. The Princess looks at them with a smile and formally greets them.
"Hello Twilight Sparkle, Applejack. I'm glad all of you could make it." Celestia was calm and collective, but her face was still serious, despite her smile masking her current emotion.
"Hello Princess Celestia. Why did you want us to meet here? Doesn’t that seem a bit... informal?" Twilight tilted her head curiously.
"I know that this meeting is different than what you are usually used to, but it is very important that I spoke to the six of you right away."
"Now what could be the problem Princess Celestia?" Applejack tilted her hat back and the rest of the ponies gathered together so Celestia wouldn't have to yell.
"It seems that Discord has freed himself from his stone imprisonment again and is planning on taking control of Ponyville."
"Him again? That's easy, we'll just use the Elements of Harmony and put him right back him his place!" Rainbow Dash grinned, fanning her wings out with pride.
"That's the problem Rainbow Dash. He has taken a different approach, and he's acting differently that he normally does."
"One can't simply take a different route to find the same result? Or does one have to continue running the same rut until they perish?" An ominous voice said from a distance. Celestia turns around, seeing the chariot destroyed and the six guards brutalized and mangled across the Ponyville square. The other six ponies were on guard, but the scene they saw before them left them all intimidated greatly. This was a new one, even for Discord. No one would expect him to go violent, even if he was the Deity of Chaos.
"Now I know what you're thinking." Discord paused, calmly walking towards the Princess and her subjects "Discord, resorting to violence after all these years? Please, in a world of ponies where love and toleration is abundant, you would assume that the opposite would rule in a different city, or even a different country. After all, Peace and Chaos must go hand in hand if natural balance could exist."
"Where are you getting at Discord?" Twilight built the nerve to ask, her legs still trembling with fear.
"It's quite simple really. I personally think that this whole 'love and tolerate one another has gone on for too long, and I think a small reign of Chaos should balance everything out. Say... 500 years?"
"We'll stop you before that even happens!" Celestia steps forth, her wings spread about, and her horn pointed in his direction.
"Now now Celestia, you know better than to point that thing at anypony. You could poke an eye out." he grins and touches the tip of her horn, and teleports behind her, standing before the others. "Where I rule, magic has no significant effect towards me. I proclaimed it, therefore it shall be. As for the six of you who've thwarted my plans the last time, I shall deal with you accordingly."
The pupils of Discord's eyes begin to pulsate into various colors, giving a hypnotic stare towards Twilight and the others. Averting his gaze was futile, as all of them were caught by his stare. Celestia tries to stop him, but is held still by an invisible force created by his own hand.
"Easy now my dear princess. The act has only just begun!"
"W-what are you doing to my subjects Discord?" she chokes between her words
"I'm only erasing their memories of you, and their place in the elements of harmony. Is that so wrong?" he grins evilly. Discord snaps his finger, in which the other ponies awaken from their trance, looking around in confusion.
"Twilight!" Celestia cries out to her, hoping that she would answer just like she always would.
"Huh? Who are you? I don't know you." Twilight looks around at the others "And I don't know any of you ponies. I need to get back to my studies." she trots off to the train station.
"Oops, it seems like I erased more than I should have" Discord chuckles as the other ponies separate and head back to their homes.
"You're a monster..." Celestia growls, trying to break free.
"Well you made everypony to believe that I was a monster. I'm just trying to live up to my role with a little more gusto." he lifts her a bit into the air and ponders for a moment "Now what should I do with you?.." Celestia was at the mercy of Discord and his new title of power. With the guards dead and the Elements of Harmony now scattered, there was basically no hope in restoring order to Ponyville.
A few days had passed. Charcoal had made his usual rounds, and everything was the same, but something felt different for him. He doesn't know if it was the atmosphere, or just the vibe he was getting, but he knew something was off. He hasn't seen Applejack or the others, and he was surprised that Twilight didn't pester him to come back to the Library for further studies. He looks up at the sky and realizes that it's about to rain, which was odd considering the fact that he hasn't seen any pegasi shape the clouds since yesterday afternoon. He finds Shadow, who was spacing out underneath a tree next to Sugarcube Corner.
"Hey Shadow Blast, you alright?" Charcoal trots up to her seeing her worried expression up close.
"I don't get it... I just don't get it..." she mumbles to herself
"What's wrong?" he sits next to her, taking out a snack from his saddlebag that he had saved from earlier and broke off a piece to give to her.
"It's Pinkie! It's like she completely forgot about me...”
"How? Pinkie never forgets about anything. At least... what I can recall anyway."
"It happened with Rainbow Dash, and even Rarity too! I tried talking to them, but they said they never seen me in their life." This was getting stranger and stranger. Charcoal started to worry too, since he feared this could be the same when he approached them too. The sky grew dark and a loud crackling sound is heard. It began to rain, but it didn't feel cool or pleasing at all. The rain was a murky brown and the air had a hint of... Chocolate? Shadow had a distinct feeling of deja vu.
"Chocolate rain? What the heck did they put in these clouds?" Charcoal's brow furrowed, trying to cover his mane with the saddlebag so it wouldn't get all sticky.
"This... happened before." she looked around, but there was no pony in sight.
"I'm glad that somepony recognizes my work." Discord appears before the two of them "It's good to be known among the pony community."
"What are you doing here? Last time I remember, news spread about that you got turned back into stone!"
"Well as you can clearly see, I am here now. Free from stone and able to freely rule Equestria with chaos." he laughs
"Well it's pretty apparent that the Elements of Harmony are going to stop you like they did last time."
"Oh? And who was it that said that a certain somepony forgot who they were? How can they be the elements if they never remembered becoming one?"
"Oh contraire, I'll give you two ponies a chance to redeem what the others have lost. But I won't go easy on any of you."
Charcoal and Shadow were a bit suspicious about his intentions and looked at each other. Discord catches on and crosses his arms, sighing with a bit of annoyance.
"Don't trust me? I 'Pinkie Promise' that I won't string you along."
"Don't you dare say that! You have no right to Pinkie Promise!" the pegasus snapped
"I can assure you that even though I am the deity of chaos, I play fair if need be."
"There's the trick behind it." Charcoal pointed out "'Need be' is a very vague statement. Who knows if this doesn't count as one of them?"
"A clever one aren't you. Ok fine. I'll give you three days to look for the six elements and bring them here. If you don't, then you're at the mercy of anything that I might do to either of you."
"You're on!" Shadow responded without hesitation. Charcoal didn't even get a chance to put a word in before Discord's face lit up with glee.
"Great! Then I'll start you off with a riddle." he clears his throat and takes a deep breath
"If it's the ponies that you seek, back in time you both must greet. From where you met with formal introduction, if you fail to see will lead to destruction." he puts on some sunglasses and takes a step back. "And with that I'll leave you to your search. Good luck you two!" Discord vanishes within a veil of smoke.