"Diamond Tiara!" Silver Spoon shouted, ignoring Discord completely. She trotted closer, but Diamond once again teleported away before she could reach her.
Twilight raised an eyebrow. "You know, for somepony who's only been able to do unicorn magic for a few months, your teleportation is exceptional."
Apple Bloom rubbed her back, wincing at a remembered pain. "Believe me, she's always been tougher than she looks.”
"When you're stuck in bed recovering from having your chest petrified," said Diamond, as if this sort of thing was nothing noteworthy at all, "you have time to catch up."
Twilight blinked. "Wait a minute… Those missing books! 'Teleportation For Dummies', 'Basics Of Magical Offense', they had gravel on the pages when I finally found them again. That was you, Diamond?"
"Those books were the most boring thing I've read in my life. I'd rather have been stabbed by Chrysalis again."
"You were… wait, what?!"
"Trixie agrees with the Nightfilly."
"Hey!" Twilight snapped.
"Trixie is just being honest."
Discord flipped through one of Twilight's textbooks, making a show of yawning and tossing it over his shoulder. "A bunch of D-rank drivel… but I suppose one has to start somewhere. The spells I taught her were far more interesting." He wiggled his claws mystically. "Pain, darkness, chaos! Hers to bring forth with a mere flick of her horn! I'm such a bad influence, aren't I?"
"How do you even know HOW to teach a unicorn let alone a pony any kind of magic they can use?!" Rarity demanded.
Unexpectedly, Discord snarled at a rock and aimed a giant bazooka from nowhere at it. Then he slipped the bazooka into an even bigger giant sling-shot and launched them both, blowing the rock to dust. "I told you, you're not real! I am NOT falling for the same garbage as Queen-Bug-Butt!"
Discord brushed the soot stains off his arms. "But enough of that. It's time for my best trick. You'll be the first and last to ever lay eyes on upon it."
"And I thought he was crazy before," Spike whispered.
"Now where was I?! Oh yes! Epic battle time! Ahem!" Discord strapped the forehead protector back on. It was now marked with Diamond Tiara's symbol instead of a tornado, and made a whole series of nonsensical hand gestures. "Bunny! Turkey! Rabbit! Tortoise! Gopher! Turtle! Naked Mole Rat! Pony Running While Carrying Scissors!"
Gaia-Fluttershy gasped in horror at the last one.
Twilight brought up the strongest shield spell she knew, and Rarity layered a gem barrier over that. Luna and Celestia activated their own magical defenses. Applejack and Rainbow Dash braced themselves. Pinkie Pie was ready to react to whatever trick Discord pulled before it happened. Spike huddled close to Trixie. Trixie prepared the best barrier spell she'd copied and prayed she wouldn't need to use it too much, her mom's magic used to destroy the replica Trixie had eaten up a lot of mana.
Fluttershy mustered all the divine power still within her. The CMC pulled Silver Spoon back over her protests.
'Fighting our replicas and that endless army of puppets took so much out of us,' Twilight thought. 'We'd better have enough power left to defeat Discord and subdue Diamond Tiara!'
"Now step back my dear Nightfilly... Great Sundering Technique, insert flute noise here!"
Discord exploded twice. Then over a half-dozen more times to boot.
Their massed shields easily deflected the blasts, but with the air full of billowing clouds of multicolored smoke, they could see nothing of what had become of Discord.
Thunder crashed, and stormclouds gathered high overhead. A slight drizzle began falling on all their heads.
"I thought for so long on how to present this," said the voice of Discord, "but sometimes the direct approach is best. That is, unless you really want a riveting flashback to my tragic childhood that lasts longer than the whole battle up until now."
Ominous laughter came from the clouds of smoke. Laughter from unfamiliar voices, none of them Diamond's or Discord's. Then the clouds dissipated, and Twilight's friends stared and the Princesses were left speechless.
= "One-Winged Angel" orchestra version - FINAL FANTASY VII =
Apple Bloom thought, 'If Discord's tryin' to scare us, we're scared.'
They floated, hovered, and stood before the heroes... opaque and solid, most barely able to hold back their psychotic giggles. Behind them, still linked to Diamond Tiara, Discord floated, now dressed up like a circus ringmaster.
He cracked a whip. "Now, let the real show begin!"
"Trixie would like the army of Pinkie Pies back now, please!"
Lightning flashed, showing their silhouettes. Eighteen yellow eyes with red pupils glared at the heroes from sneering faces.
A young adult green dragon stood in the back, yet loomed over the rest of them. He had a long neck, a spiked tail, and leathery wings, with a familiar set of mismatched horns on its head and one fang missing.
Spike gulped. Gaia-Fluttershy shuddered, her mouth dry, Fluttercruel manifested to hug her mother, glaring back at these new foes.
A huge golden lion roared, so great it was almost deafening. It had a chaotic black mane flowing around its head.
Sweetie Belle cringed and covered her ears, but she refused to cower or look away.
A giant purple bat flapped in the air, screeching at the moment.
Princess Luna growled in indignation at it.
A large hybrid of a male lion and an eagle griffon pointed and sniggered down at them. "Oh, the looks on your faces!"
Pinkie Pie felt her mane trying to stand on end, more than usual. "This is new."
"Applejack, be a dear and tell me I'm not seeing what I'm seeing." Rarity said.
"Sorry darlin', they're real."
A tall gray billy goat stood on two legs, bleating menacingly and pawing at the ground. He had a grin that all but split his head in two, with one snaggletoothed fang and two copies of Discord's left horn on his head.
Apple Bloom said, "Uh, nice Discord Goat?"
"No! Not nice!" It continued to grin, stroking its beard.
Apple Bloom gulped.
A handsome light brown deer stag stood tall and proud, looking at all that lay before him with utter contempt. He had two copies of Discord's right horn for antlers. "Hmph!"
Twilight Sparkle had no idea why, but just looking at the deer stag put her on edge.
There was also a long red sea-serpent, effortlessly swimming through the air. It hissed with a forked tongue, one fang missing, and struck a pose. "Oh my!"
Scootaloo's head practically went blank, unsure of what she was seeing or what to say, her body moving almost on instinct as she flew close over her friends' heads.
Silver Spoon, for her part, felt almost relieved at the prospect of a straight-up battle against enemies that weren't immortal. She hoped. "We just need to beat them, and we can focus on saving Tiara, right?"
"The greateth Wholeth Discordeth, sayeth that I shalt destroyeth ye alleth th-th! His wordeth, beeth doneth, th-th!"
Rarity, Trixie, Luna, Celestia, and Twilight cringed with folded ears at the painfully bad Old Lower Equestrian. "This is a mockery even for you, Discord!" Princess Celestia yelled, glaring at the brown-furred serpent with blue-feathered wings who had spoken. It had a long rainbow colored streak down its back.
"The Ogres and Oubliettes Monster Manual distinctly states that Quetzalcoatl are always Lawful Good!" Twilight blushed. "Um, not that I'd know anything about that!"
"Hmph!" Discord crossed his arms and stuck his nose in the air. "I'll have you know that when non-fallen angels in video games go 'we'll destroy you all for uh... um, erm, reasons and stuff,' nopony ever complains about it! So don't you go getting high and mighty now!"
"... He's right," Sweetie Belle admitted sadly.
"Hiiiiiii!" The sea serpent waved his white-furred tail excitedly. "Let's get down to the SHOW, ladies!"
But Rainbow Dash wasn't paying attention to any of those. "Oh you have GOT to be KIDDING ME! There is just no way! Oh COME ON!"
Because the last one... was a female version of Discord, without the beard, and with obvious feminine curves. She giggled. "You can call me Eris."
Discord snapped his fingers, pointing at her. "Lookin' good, beautiful!"
Eris snapped right back at him. "Right back at'cha, handsome!"
Rainbow mimed gagging. Luna could only shake her head. "We always knew Discord was a narcissist but truly this is beyond the pale."
Discord tugged on imaginary lapels. "Ah, but aren't they the most handsome and lovely demons you've ever seen?!"
"And you're all ugly!" said the giant purple bat.
"Allow me to introduce, Goatcord, Griffcord, nya-nya-nya-nya-nya Batcord! Then Quetzalcord, Dragocord, Deercord, Seacord, Lioncord, oh and of course Eris."
"Aren't I the best?" Eris laughed.
"And I'm the gosh-darn Batcord!" said Batcord, in a gravelly voice.
Griffcord mimed drawing a claw across his throat. "Let's slice and dice these losers!"
"Let's make 'em squeal and then paint funny faces on their flanks and make 'em walk upside down wearin' top hats on their tails!" Goatcord said.
Dragocord growled. "Let's take all that pretty gold armor they're wearing first, but not that stupid purple cape and hat."
"YOU WILL NOT INSULT THE LULAMOON FAMILY TRAPPINGS A SECOND TIME, YOU WALKING HAND BAG!" Trixie growled. "No offense Spike."
The lion roared again, claws digging deep furrows in the lawn. "KILL-CRUSH-DESTROY!"
"But first I'll take the pink and yellow ones and make them my Drakainas!"
"NOPONY CARES!" bellowed Fluttercruel. "GIVE IT A BUCKING REST ALREADY!"
"But then afterwards I KILL-CRUSH-DESTROY! KILL-CRUSH-DESTROY!"
"These insects shall fall before the divine might of chaos," Deercord snorted. "It is elementary, dear Eris."
"Ooooooh this is gonna be so cool!" Seacord bopped up and down. "Let's get the cameras set up so we can record every minute of it!"
Quetzalcord had gone to the trouble of magically sculpting the clouds, just so he could have divine sunbeams to pose in. "So sayeth the Whole'th of Discord! Thou doometh ‘tis uponeth ye alleth! As writteneth, somewhere I am sureth!"
"For the love of all that is good and decent, will somepony pleeeeease shut that one up?!" begged Rarity.
"These fiends are known as Detachments, my little ponies!" Princess Celestia warned them. "Each one is an aspect of Discord's whole self, with a portion of his power. Do not underestimate them, they are much stronger than mere Avatars!"
Rainbow Dash pointed a hoof at Eris. "And... what part of Discord's personality did you come from, exactly?"
"Don't ask. Oh, who am I kidding?! Ask away! I wanna share all the squishy details!" said Eris, striking a flaunty pose.
Rainbow recoiled. "Blech, no thanks!"
"To create so many Detachments at once," mused Princess Luna. "The amount of magic must have been incredible, even for you."
"Not telling." Eris stuck her tongue out at Luna.
"How, Discord?" Princess Celestia asked. "How, Dissy? How did you do this?"
"Well, it wasn't easy."
"You've never been able to make one, not with your ego. Not so long ago, Luna was astonished that you'd managed to create even one, and now this? Could it be… you've finally found someone that you value MORE than your own desires?"
"Oh, please! Hello, evil overlord over here!"
"Are you? You didn't even try to isolate my little ponies when you forced them to face their reflections."
"Just an oversight on my part."
"You don't MAKE oversights like that, Discord!"
Discord growled and snorted. "Boys! And girl! Take-them-out!" The Detachments fanned out, surrounding the ponies.
Princess Luna boomed, "They art but aspects of Discord's soul! Destroying their physical forms merely returns them to him! DO NOT HOLD BACK! CUT THEM DOWN!"
"Wasn't planning on it!" Rainbow Dash shouted.
"I'll bet you weren't planning on this either," crowed Discord. "It's time to divide and conquer!"
Diamond Tiara spread her wings and hovered into the air, eyes glowing white. She drew power into a dark vortex, then fired the gathered energy right into the heart of the ponies' formation. Walls of gusting black wind sprang up, flinging everyone back and fencing most of the Detachments in with a single pony each...
= Wonderful 101 vs Prince Vorkken Final Battle =
Lioncord slammed a forepaw down, turning a cobblestone garden path into a crater. "TWILIGHT SPARKLE! I WILL DESTROY YOU!"
Twilight quickly realized that all her friends were walled off from her. "Not good." Her ears were still ringing from the bellowing shouts of the beast alone.
"I ONLY LOST TO YOU STUPID TOYS BEFORE BECAUSE I WAS ARROGANT! BUT THAT ARROGANCE HAS NO PLACE IN THIS PART OF ME! I AM DESTRUCTION AND RAGE!"
Twilight had to bring up a special magic barrier around her ears just to save herself from permanent hearing loss. Standing her ground against the force of his shouting was proving to be another difficulty. "I'll have you know rage is-"
"KILL! CRUSH! DESTROY!" Twilight teleported away from another powerful smash and brought up a barrier… which shattered like candy glass when it was merely brushed by the beam of utter destruction that his tail tuft fired at her.
"I am vengeance! I am the night! I am Batcord!"
"NO! WE art the night! We art dreams and nightmares! We art Princess Luna Nyx Equestria! Tarot of the Moon! And we art insulted Discord thinks a mere shadow of himself can best us!"
"What, are you dense? Are you stupid or something? Your response is exactly as I predicted. Ponies are a superstitious and cowardly lot! It is because I have less power than you that I'm your superior! You've never had to plan or strategize! Just stupidly brute force your way through everything! Fall before true cunning!"
"LUNA! Twilight!" Princess Celestia called.
"Tis quite foolish, ye art doom-eth-ed, as it verily shalt have been written. Discord's word'th be'th doneth! Upon'eth our fang'ths and wing'ths ye art'th shall fall'th at last'th!"
"Chrysalis beat you to it."
"SHUT'TH UP'TH YOUR'TH MOUTH'TH! THE QUEEN OF DUNG BEETLES SHALL NOT BE SPOKEN OF IN DITH HOLITH PLACE'TH!"
"If you think I'm scared of you, you're in for a rude awakening. Do you want to see how terrible the sun is when I don't have to hold back?"
Gaia-Fluttershy shook herself, getting her bearings. That hadn't been pleasant at all. It took her a moment to realize she was alone.
'No you're not, I'm still here,' her daughter's spirit reminded her.
'I'm grateful,' Fluttershy thought back.
"Yo!" Gaia-Fluttershy looked up to see Griffcord hovering over her, talon-scaled arms folded over his feathered chest. "You know, there's a lot of parts of old Discord that couldn't bring themselves to hurt either of you."
Fluttercruel took control for a moment to say, "Screw you."
"Oh yeah?!" exploded Griffcord. "Well, screw you too! Times two!"
"Now, let's all remain calm," said Fluttershy. "I'm glad that Discord can care about others, in spite of all the naughty-"
Griffcord closed the gap between them in a breath and kicked Fluttershy-Gaia in the stomach, sending her flying. "Too bad for you, I'm not any of those parts!"
Pinkie Pie landed squarely on her hooves, her eyes spinning in opposite directions for a moment before she took a firm hold of her head. She expected her Pinkie Sense to warn her of being blindsided, but she didn’t feel its touch. It took her less than a second to see she was cut off from all her friends.
"Howdy-hoo Pinkie Pie!" Seacord waved a fin. "Isn't this grand? A big epic battle with you and all your friends getting their own personal battle against Discord! Isn't this gonna be so cool!?"
"Well... I think everypony was thinking we were gonna rush him all together, covering for each other, and showing how our teamwork and friendship trumped Discord and Diamond Tiara being selfish and mean."
"Oh!" Seacord looped around, scratching his head with his tail sheepishly. "Yeah, that would have been pretty cool."
"Sooo... can we do that instead?"
"Sorry! It's fine with me, but I'm kinda outvoted."
"... You're gonna try to make me never-heard-from-again aren't you?"
"Well, I did wanna make you into a rubber bath toy that goes 'squeak!' But that magic seal kinda ruined that."
"I thought you wanted to marry me," Pinkie Pie said, a stiff upper lip but her eyes brimming.
"Oh, that bit's not me. Discord’s still hung onto that part of himself."
"Shoulda known," pouted Pinkie Pie. Without missing a beat, she bounced out of the way on a rubber ball as Seacord shifted into a firefighter's outfit, shooting a firehose with enough force that the water broke through rock.
Trixie coughed, stumbling to her hooves. "Spike, you still with me? Because if you are, please let go of my cape, can't breathe!"
"Sorry!" Spike let go, holding onto Trixie's neck instead. "I felt like I was gonna be blown to Oz!"
"That's a relief. If anything happened to you, Twilight would kill me."
"Oh, is that all?"
Trixie smirked. "And Trixie would be sad as well."
"Ahhh, I knew you cared!" Spike teased.
"Never said I didn't!" Trixie smiled.
"Stop patting yourselves on the back and get ready!" Applejack shouted, getting to her hooves, no worse for wear. "Those varmints could be anywhere!"
Rarity also stood, her Element of Harmony on her armor glowing. Trixie and Spike realized they had been inside a pale blue bubble, which flickered out as Rarity's element dimmed.
"Is everypony safe and accounted for?" asked Rarity. "I think... LOOK OUT!" Rarity's element glowed again, and another bubble formed around them. Rarity grunted as negative colored lightning struck it. 'This hurts more than it looks.' Rarity thought but kept to herself.
"Ponies!" shouted Deercord, lightning arcing from his horns.
"I'm not a pony!"
"Silence! Your inane mercy and parlor tricks will do you no good AGAINST ME! I am the part of Discord that knows he is better than everyone! I have nothing holding me back! This is your end!"
"Says you!" Spike shouted. "Diamond messed up! We stuck together! Which means we can fight together! You're the one who’s toast!" Spike breathed fire.
Then Dragocord landed behind right behind Deercord, towering behind him like Deercord was a doll and spewing fire in every direction. "Mine!"
"... And my partner," Deercord said formally.
"This... is gonna be a challenge," AJ said.
"Twilight, girls, be safe," Spike said, wide eyed and knees shaking.
"Trixie has total confidence in our victory!" Trixie said, not looking AJ in the eye.
The fillies crash-landed in a pile, legs tangled together like some demented game of Twister. The charter members of the Cutie Mark Crusaders landed on their capes, which negated any force or damage their young fragile bodies would have taken from the impact as if it had never existed, and Silver Spoon landed on her friends.
Silver Spoon couldn't help but think that Diamond Tiara would have found the result only proper. Then she'd have found something to complain about, not because it actually bothered her, but because both heiresses had been taught to not give an air of being satisfied, as it kept the poorer ponies on their tiptoes.
"Nice landing," Silver Spoon let herself quip as the foals began franticly untangling themselves, Apple Bloom pulling her bags of various concoctions free. Somehow, Scootaloo's war paint wasn't smudged.
"Uh, girls," Apple Bloom said, "Ah think we're alone."
"OooOOOOOooooOOh you're FAR from ALL-LONESOME!"
The four foals laid eyes on Goatcord.
"You foals and I, are gonna have SO MUCH FUN!" The two legged goat bleated, his eyes twitching.
"I need an adult," Sweetie Belle whimpered.
"I am an adult!"
"...No yer not!" Apple Bloom shouted, casting a look back at Silver Spoon. "Silver Spoon! Stay close behind us! Scootaloo, stay close above us. Sweetie Belle, flank besides me!"
"Foals wanna play? GOOD! I wanna play too!"
Rainbow Dash rubbed her head. "Oh man, what was that, zombie wind? At least Everfree's wind felt alive! I wasn't feeling any air pressure but- WAIT! SCOOTALOO!" Rainbow Dash rapidly looked around, and saw her adopted filly on the other side of a wall of black wind. "Hold on, squirt!" Rainbow flew in an arc to go over the barrier.
"Nuh-uh-uh!" Eris swung in like a pendulum, knocking the wind out of the pegasus with a kick to the gut, Rainbow righted herself before she could hit the ground. "You're fighting with me, Miss Colorful."
"Screw you! I have Scootaloo to care about!"
"Well too bad! You wanna come to her rescue? Take me on!" Eris snapped her fingers and an incredibly tall ceiling of random checker board patterns closed in around them. "You get the honor of taking on the best of Discord's Detachments! Come on, Rainbow Crash! Show me how good you really are!"
= Clara Dolls - Madoka Rebellion =
'Aw, most of them are feeling lonely fighting by themselves.'
'I envy how much excitement they're gonna have.'
'Get angry and fight already!'
'I hate how long this is taking!'
'I'm hungry. Wanna eat something?'
'I wanna play now!'
'I'm proud we're here for this.'
I promise, all of you will have your playtime with me soon, but Father wants to have his first. It'll be the game to end all games. You'll never have one greater.
= ONE PUNCH MAN Opening =
I teleported about, frantically and randomly, but the monster chaos lion pursued me relentlessly, his slashing claws causing blades of energy to fly out and cut through the space where I had been only a moment before.
'What I wouldn't give for one of those indestructible Crusader capes right now!'
"Too bad Celestia isn't fighting ME instead, Twilight Sparkle! SHE MIGHT HAVE STOOD A CHANCE!"
The golden lion rushed like a freight train and swung at the space where my head had been an instant before, slamming the ground instead. The individual atoms of the ground were obliterated, creating a bowl-shaped crater.
"ALL I NEED IS ONE HIT!"
The problem with randomly teleporting was that while he didn't know where I'd appear next, neither did I. I had a set range so I didn't teleport right where I started, but it was only a matter of time before dumb luck got me killed.
"So that's what this version of you is all about? Sheer brute force?"
The lion beast lunged at me! I managed to half-entomb him in a miniature iceberg I condensed out of the air, stopping the claws inches from my nose. The ice began to quake, and I teleported away again as it exploded, the lion roaring in rage.
"Another you destroyed 49 clones of the pink one! You're pathetic!"
Mistake. Stupid. Should be dead. I let him get to me.
That I could teleport the way other ponies breathed was the only way I was matching him with how fast he was. I teleported away with his claws millimeters from my eyes.
I didn't know the story behind that Pinkie Pie army, and for once I simply didn’t want to know.
= Transformers Devastation - Motormaster Battle Theme =
"Does Twilight Sparkle understand that this is how she is going to DIE?!" That roar again, counter with barrier!
"I don't think about dying! I'm gonna die about a hundred years from now, an old mare, in bed, surrounded by my best friends and favorite books!"
"HA HA HA HA! That destiny is beyond you! Win or lose!"
"You're not fate! And what happened to 'kill crush destroy?'"
"I was distracting you to power up my attack slowly enough that you wouldn't notice."
The ground underneath me exploded! I teleported away, instinctively materializing in the only space clear of flying debris, and Lioncord was already leaping at the spot he'd clearly purposely left open. I twisted out of the way of the laser blades that flew from his claws... it wasn't enough, and I felt like the atoms in my stomach were splitting apart. I landed on my back and looked down to see three glowing hot slash marks on my underbelly's armor. I teleported again just as Lioncord's jaws were about to close around my skull.
"Thank Harmony, if you see her again! That armor is the only reason you're still alive!"
I didn't try to process what he said. I should have known with something as old as Discord, even with everything I've learned, there’s still a mountain of stories yet untold.
"Guess that means Harmony is stronger than you."
"I'LL MELT YOUR FLESH AND THAT PRETTY GOLD ARMOR OF YOURS!"
I don't know why I was surprised when the giant golden lion breathed an inferno of blue flames at me, I really don’t. Thankfully, with the armor I only felt like I was trapped in an oven instead of burning straight to ash.
Sadly, the failsafe spell can't dispel a fireball in midair, or turn ashes back into a tree. I can't change the laws of magic. But I can and do create a closed force field in front of his face. The barrier breaks, but it still backwashes the flames all in his face, setting his own mane ablaze. He stops, drops, and rolls, letting out roars like an animal. Thanks, BBBFF.
I blast away with the strongest, most brutal stun spells I know, the ones meant for disabling rampaging dragons. I lift my stunned opponent with my telekinesis and slam him into the ground again and again, until there's a deep impression of him! I conjure spears and stab them from above into his paws and tail. I pull together all the debris from the battle so far, condense it into a boulder, then raise it up and drop it on him like a meteor.
I didn't think for a minute that finished him, so I wasn't too surprised when the dust hadn't even settled before the boulder, the spears, and the surrounding ground exploded.
Lion-Discord was reaching entirely new levels of towering, incandescent rage. I braced myself as he rose up on his hind legs, his eyes pin pricks. His body crackled with red lightning, and his muscle mass doubled, then doubled again, and he wasn't exactly lanky to begin with!
He was a miniature mountain of golden fur and muscle that a minotaur would weep in envy at. He took one step towards me, his paw cracking the ground just from touching it.
My horn glows, and I send out a magical shockwave that deflates his muscles back to ‘normal’ the moment it touches him. His rage is dowsed with pure bewilderment.
"Failsafe-spell." I smiled. My failsafe didn't work on Discord's chaos, but it worked just fine here!
I ran towards him. Once I'd built up momentum, I teleported to close the distance faster, simultaneously conjuring my brother's horn drill!
My spinning forcefield bored into the exposed chest of my enemy. I'm the one with the lower center of gravity, he's the one reared up and exposed. It felt like I was trying to drill into granite… well, too bad for the granite! Suddenly, I punched through something like a stone shell, cracks of white light spreading from where I was drilling towards his heart!
He slashed a paw down towards me, but I teleported away and the momentum of his swing carried his fist straight into his own face. The shock wave sent dust flying from the ground. His face was bloody and his nose crushed, his missing fangs now matched. His other paw covered the hole I'd made in his chest.
"NO MORE STUPID PONY GAMES!" he roared. The ground began to shake. Had to end this fast! Had to play a trump card I wanted to avoid using!
"Stopza!" I know it's corny, but it's faster than saying 'Time, Be Still!'
Yes, I’m sure there were a hundred times I could have used this before. Believe it or not, when you have a million spells in your head, you tend to overlook a few. Spike jokes that if my mind was a library, the books would be organized by the color of their covers and alphabetized according to the first letter of the first page.
Ugh, the mana drain is making me dizzy. Minuette makes this look easy, with her cutie mark for time spells. It genuinely feels I'm trying to emulate the magic of another tribe rather than a unicorn spell! Or something that isn't even a pony!
I move in to finish what I started, struggling to keep even a small bubble of distorted time in place. It's like I'm wrestling with a living thing. I conjure the drill again! Just a few more seconds!
The white light shining from the cracks and hole in his chest turned red. "Claws off my vessel!"
If I wasn't wearing the golden armor, his backhand would have broken my neck. My spells shattered instantly.
"How could you be moving?!" I demanded.
Lioncord growled at me hatefully. Then I realized, what had back handed me wasn't a lion's paw, it was a tentacle. Lioncord raised his other foreleg... except it was now a gorilla arm. A spiked mace with a long shaft appeared in the gorilla hand.
Wait… Tentacle and gorilla arms... Princess Celestia's account of the war… No, it couldn’t be!
= L'Impeto Oscuro - Dream Drop Distance =
'Lioncord's' eyes glowed red along with his mouth, his rear legs now exclusively bipedal. "Be gone!"
I wasn't fighting any part of Discord anymore.
He swung his mace like it weighed nothing, each motion a killing blow if I didn't keep teleporting, and he had been relentless before. The swing of his mace left a crimson trail behind, and a feeling of a vacuum like the air it swung through was being obliterated.
"Hold on! Time out! Pause the game!" Discord swooped in through the wall of black wind, his spirit still stretching back to Diamond Tiara.
'Lioncord' punched Discord. Discord was a SPIRIT and he punched him! This would have felt more satisfying if the implications weren't terrifying!
"I said CLAWS OFF, runt!"
Discord's eyes widened, and his expression almost softened. "Is that really you…?" He didn't get to finish that thought. Red beams shot of 'Lioncord's' eyes, mouth, and some other openings. Discord shrieked and shrank back, twisting in anatomically impossible ways to dodge, and his ‘body’ still took several hits. Did his attacks just hurt a soul?!
"I deserved that, but shouldn't you first tell your Yokai-"
"Me deal with you later!" Those beams fired again, this time in my direction. I teleported out of the way, only for them to change course at right angles and continue to chase to my new position. I kept teleporting but space was quickly filling up. The beams split up to corner me faster! Think fast, Twilight!
I teleport right onto his back. He roars with dark laughter, seeing the obvious repeat strategy.
I shut my eyes and conjure a light bomb. If I've learned anything, it’s this: if he's in a physical body, he has to obey the rules of one. He instinctively closes his eyes, and screams at his own attack hitting the inside of his eyelids, cutting off two of the beams. Thank you, Twinkle Shine. I rolled off him and the remaining beams continued on their path right into his back, making him scream louder.
"What is this pain!? I AM the fire, I can't burn myself!"
"Except that body isn't made of your magic," the scientist in me says without thinking.
A dove's wing and a lizard's crest burst out of his back. "I am going to ME you!"
It took me a split second to translate what 'Lioncord' meant. The distraction meant the thrust of his spiked mace would have obliterated the front half of my head if I hadn't ducked down at the last possible moment, instead I was left with the worst splitting headache as my ears wouldn't stop ringing, my chanfron having taken the hit instead.
"You know, if you really want that vessel that badly, consider it a birthday present!" said Discord's spirit, which still had burning holes in it.
"Your turn comes AFTER I ME Magic!"
"... Shouldn't you just hate me?"
"After me finish war! Family be proud of me! Like they not proud of you."
That's when the giant pink floating egg timers began to drift down from the sky. Literally, giant pink plastic eggs with the top half ticking so two triangles pointing towards each other would line up.
"Allow me to help!" said Discord brightly, still conjuring bombs. "There's no possible way she can grab these and kick them back towards you just as they're about to explode!"
"I show runt how much I love him, like he loved me!" it snarled at him.
I didn't waste time wondering if this was a trick by Discord, and took the obvious hint, grabbing the egg bombs in my magic and lobbing them at 'Lioncord' just as they went off. The explosions required me to bring up another shield.
"Idiot. Can't ME me." His arms and legs weren't damaged. Then he recoiled, noticing that the cracks in his chest were larger now.
"What an oversight!" Discord swooned theatrically. “Who could have foreseen this!?”
I leapt up as 'Lioncord's' laser breath blasted the remaining egg bombs and any more that Discord tried to summon. I took the chance to telekinetically grab his mace and slam it into the crack in his chest. He gasped out loud, and coughed up blood. The red glow became more intense as my magic was obliterated from just trying to touch the mace again.
"Stop!" I shouted. "The war is over! You don't need to fight! You're free! We're on your side! Please stop!"
"Don't wanna! TOO LONG! HAVE TO RELEASE! YOU GO BOOM!" His mace struck the ground, making the earth all around us collapse into a crater. Again, I think my armor is the only reason the shockwave didn't liquify my internal organs. I only hope Moon Dancer and the others are safe!
My magic can't overpower him, so maybe I shouldn't try to.
If I can't out-’him', him... then let's see if I can out-create him instead!
= Hopes and Dreams (Epic Orchestral Arrangement) - Cloudjumper =
I fling a tiny seed at his body, that he swatted aside without a thought, and so missed the other seed I shot into the ground during his swing. With the charge of magic in the seed, the lemon tree sprouted in seconds, two of the branches becoming arms and bear hugging him while other branches grew along his still lion paws. His arms and wings smolder like they were being pressed against hot coals as they touched the growing plant life. Thank you, Lemon Hearts. His strength ebbed like the tide, and the growing life wrapped more around him, tighter and tighter, becoming a tree to seal him in.
The monster squirmed and wailed like a worm on a hook, branches growing as fast as his laser vision could cut them down. Roots, a trunk, branches, the monster's body becoming hidden behind the lemon tree's forming shape.
"Don't worry, after we beat Discord, we'll help you!" I said. Yes, he had destroyed the Age of Wonders, but from what Celestia told me, his family had never let him have a choice in anything.
Just as the branches closed shut around his eyes, I faintly heard, "Go boom."
The tree exploded in a mass of splinters, I raised an armored hoof to deflect the debris as it ran straight into the walls of black wind that wavered and weakened. I saw Diamond Tiara's Nightmare stumble too, nearly falling over as the explosion hit. She trotted drunkenly for a few moments.
"So much for that hope," Discord said dejectedly.
"Before any creation must come ME!" the monster snarled. His face resembled a bovine skull now, the red light of destruction glowing from within.
The ground around his paws turned to sand. I'd weakened him, but how much?
= Saitama's Theme - One Punch Man =
"Had... enough... of you!" he panted. Fire belched from his chest, eyes, ears, and mouth. He grew taller than he already was. His wings spread out behind his back, a ring within a ring of red light forming behind him. For a moment, it was like I was looking at an cut out in reality, and within was an ever changing view of burned-down forests, ruined cities, shattered moons, and stepped-on flowers.
He levitated a few inches off the ground. "Me doubt even Momma remember your kind me ME'ed with best ME-move!"
I was struck by a vision of an Arctic blue heart of force taking a single beat, its energy spreading through its vein in an infinite darkness. "I'll send everything with four hooves from here to the horizon to Hell!"
The red light took on four giant wings in an x-shape behind him, and the vague shape of four more glowing red arms, each with a different tool in their hands. A glowing third eye split open in his forehead as his shape became more impossible the harder I looked but I couldn't look away!
As he was shouting this, I teleported right in front of him.
The monster closed his eyes and focused on his hearing in preparation for another light grenade. Instead, thank Lyra, I shook him with a high volume musical sound wave, disorienting him.
"I'm sorry," I whispered.
I dove in, conjuring hoof blades made of solid moonlight rather than physical matter. This one's yours, Moon Dancer! I stabbed them into the cracks along the hole I'd made, using all the strength I could muster to force it open wider. His tentacle snaked around my barrel, trying to crush the life out of me. My telekinesis held it back, but my horn felt it was going to shatter!
Huh?! You three are giving me a hug?! NOW?!
(Interviewer's Notes: (Half-Light Dawn): You really really look like you could use one!)
(Interviewer's Notes: (Half-Light Noon): Him being here was unexpected, so were we! You don't mind a little cheat do you?)
(Interviewer's Notes: (Half-Light Dusk): Take what we can give, Twilight.)
But my body’s processing this magic like it’s my own. How are you...
(Interviewer's Notes: (Half-Light Noon): Less analyzing, more saving the day!)
With my new strength I push the monster's limb back behind me, and break the breach wide open, not daring to look into the heart of the light of destruction. I summon a book by an ancient philosopher; a book on how the written word kills knowledge. I throw it in. Having a strange sensation of phantom limbs again on my back, I blast the book, and it turns into a clutch of eggs that instantly hatch into baby chicks.
It's like a magazine of grenades went off inside him. The blast from within knocked me off and onto my back again, but I rolled with it and got back onto my four hooves with one motion.
(Interviewer's Notes: (Half-Light Dawn): I really need a nap.)
(Interviewer's Notes: (Half-Light Moon): I think... I emptied the tank.)
(Interviewer's Notes: (Half-Light Dusk): Don't worry, the chicks are safe at Fluttershy's chicken coop. They say, 'we hope the creator will be okay.' )
I barely noticed my blush. Smoke billowed from the monster's blasted open chest cavity, eyes, ears, and mouth, filling the air above us. His arms hung lifelessly at his sides, his legs buckled and on the ground. His left gorilla hand limply let go of the mace, it dissolved into nothing before it hit the ground. His head pointed up at the sky like a broken puppet. He fell to his knees, causing a slight tremor. The arms and face turned back into those of a lion, even as his body began to turn splotches of random color, crumbling away into sparkles that drifted back to Discord.
"... Unbelievable..." It garbled out as he fell apart.
"It's because of friends I didn't even appreciate I had that I beat you! Even when I wasn't their friend, they were mine!"
Moon Dancer. Twinkle Shine. Minuette. Lemon Hearts. Lyra Heartstrings. None of you are 'failed' Elements of Magic, I choose to believe in you, that if I hadn’t passed my magic exam, you girls could have risen to the challenge to protect Equestria instead!
"Yeeeea! Go T. Sparkle!" Discord waved pompoms around in a cheerleader costume. "I mean! Curses! Foiled again!"
Lioncord's body completely dissolved. The smoke forcefully parted to reveal a draconequus shaped mass of red light glaring down at me, more buff than Discord with a wild, shaggy mane. One arm a tentacle, another a gorilla’s, a feathered wing and a lizard's crest. A monkey's tail. And two hooved legs. And a pair of HUGE horns, one curved to a point above his head, the other pointing outwards.
"You took my vessel... ME TAKE YOURS!" The red energy billowed towards me, and my entire body felt paralyzed.
"No. That's against the rules now," Discord said. One of Discord's arms turned into a noisy machine and sucked up the red energy in a second. Discord’s transformed arm began to punch him in the head repeatedly, but he disconnected the attached bag and swallowed it whole. "You can stay in there a little while longer."
"I hope you're happy,” said Diamond Tiara’s Nightmare, from the other side of the black wind wall. “You just saved Discord's life, idiot.”
"Which is why I helped her, obviously," Discord said quickly.
"You could have created one of your brother's force fields to seal his attack in with just me and Discord, and that would have been the end of your problems," she said coldly.
With my armor dirty, dented, and scratched from having fought a god, I stood straight. "I'm not an executioner."
"Of course you are, that's why you're here. You just found out the most real you obliterated a group of clones for the crime of existing. And didn't you just put him down to save yourself, your friends, the princesses, the three stooges, and everypony in central Equestria?"
"And to save you."
"An unwanted bonus."
"And Silver Spoon."
"Like I care. You've just shown that you have it in you to do what needs to be done."
"He was already a spirit."
"Excusing yourself on a technicality?"
"Twilight Sparkle," Discord interrupted, getting between us. "Thank you for stopping him. What he was about to do... it certainly would have moved him to my zoning for 'most evil Draconequus’... something that couldn't be forgiven, and he could never undo it. Something he'd have to live with forever. I can't go having posers and wannabes stealing my street cred at my grand performance!"
"... You're welcome, Discord," I sighed as the barrier of black wind dissolved.