Harmonic Spectrum

by Lux Klonoa


5. Of the Raging Flames ~Harmony v.s. Chaos~

Who knew? Who knew that all of it could come down to this where she would discover her own true destiny? That she had a deeper connection to the most powerful artifacts ever seen in this world? She could've known a few days before, from the very moment she read that chapter in the book on them. But nay, she dismissed it.

What had happened afterward, however, had proven otherwise, and now she stood here with her head close to the ground like a bull, transformed and rejuvenated by the true power of Harmony.

As her flaming rainbows flared off from her head and tail, and with her white coat emitting off an army of tiny white particles that flowed upward from her, the Flame of Harmony, Rainbow Dash, opened her ruby red eyes to look ahead at the one responsible for the burning, surrounding destruction of this town.

“So, it has to be this way, isn't it?” said Dash, her eyes looking firm. “Alright, then…”

Gritting her teeth, the white pegasus let out a raging growl at the burning unicorn, who had a sly, but wicked smile on her face.

“I guess I have no choice but to do this THE HARD WAY!!!”

With that yell, Dash leapt and flew herself forward at a swift speed with her aura trailing behind her, heading towards the burning unicorn ahead. On the way to the unicorn, the pegasus pulled her hoof back, aiming to land a hard hit on her. Seeing the pegasus coming towards her, grinning a bit, Twilight's horn began to glow bright as she prepared for her.

Like a speeding train, Dash reached the unicorn and swung her hoof at her, only to result in Twilight activating an orange-colored shield around her at the last second. The hoof hit the shield, stopping it in its tracks, and in the split-second afterward, the shield then emitted a strong invisible force that knocked the pegasus back and into the air above.

Dash yelped, having been flung back, up, and away by the sudden force. Before she could go any further, she stopped herself in the air as quick as possible, her wings and hooves stretching out in different diagonal directions as if she was trying to look like the letter, “X.” Regaining herself and lowering her front hooves, she looked down at her opponent without a second to waste, looking angry at her.

“This trick again, huh?” she noticed.

The unicorn let out a wicked chuckle, gazing up at her. “...Hmm, interesting that you can float in the air like that without your wings flapping. Ah, but of course! It's the power of Harmony after all. Well, then, Miss Flame of Harmony...”

The shield around Twilight faded away, and the glow of her horn became even brighter. The pupils of her eyes shrunk to a sudden considerable degree and her grin grew wide, causing her to look insane once again.

“I'm going to enjoy plucking the feathers out of your oversized wings and burn away that ugly white coat off of you!” she exclaimed, her voice sounding utterly crazed. “Hehehehehe! Let's see how long you can resist, shall we?”

Not wasting a single second, the unicorn lifted her head up and swung it down furiously, causing her horn to explode with orange energy. From this small explosion came out a large-sized, orange energy beam that was now fast approaching the pegasus above.

“Whoa!”

Seeing it coming towards her at a swift rate, at the near instant it reached her, Dash swerved herself to her left, dodging the beam and letting it shoot straight to the red sky above as she watched it go with a look of surprise on her face.

The beam shrunk and faded within a second, and the pegasus turned her gaze at the unicorn with a firm expression.

“You're not getting me that easily!” she exclaimed.

Facing her opponent, Dash took off towards her. With it pulled back, as soon as she was close, she swung her hoof at the unicorn again, only to end up as a miss with Twilight jumping a few feet back and dodging the pegasus' attack. As soon as she landed from the jump, with her horn lit up again, the unicorn quickly shot out another large beam of energy at Dash.

Yelping in surprise, the pegasus swerved herself to the right and dodged the beam. As soon as she made the swerve, without a second to waste, she immediately took off towards the unicorn, aiming to land a hit on her while she was open.

Caught a bit off-guard by Dash suddenly coming at her, Twilight smiled with a calm look and chuckled, her eyes enlarging back to normal. Just as Dash came close to her, the burning unicorn disengaged her beam and jumped high into the air above.

“What the?!” Missing her again, the flaming pegasus looked up, flipping herself over to face the unicorn above.

“Nice try, Rainbow Dash!” Twilight grinned. “But even with the power of Harmony, it seems you're too slow to lay a hoof on me!”

Swiftly aiming and jerking her head downward, the unicorn shot out yet another energy beam right at Dash again.

“Yiiiikes!”

Right as the beam was about to hit her, Dash quickly flapped her large wings, propelling herself upward with her head facing the direction toward a part of the surrounding flames that engulfed the town. As she noticed with surprise, she was being propelled far faster than she expected, as if she was being launched from a rubber band.

Twilight's beam reached and hit the ground, causing a medium-sized orange explosion that emitted mild winds from it and shook the ground a bit. The light faded, and smoke now rose from the point of impact. The unicorn landed back on the ground, a few feet away from the smoking crater, while the pegasus slowed herself down and stopped, hovering above the ground and flipping herself over to face the smoke ahead.

Wow, that was ridiculously fast, Dash thought, looking at her large wings that she brought forth. Despite no longer needing them to fly in her Harmonic form, it seemed that she still found a use for them after all: to propel herself at even greater speeds.

Moving the wings back, she looked ahead with a determined expression. Now she knew what to do in order to get an edge here.

The smoke faded from the crater, and there stood a smiling Twilight on the other side.

“I'm surprised that you got away from that one, Rainbow,” she said. “I thought I got you there, really.”

“Well, you thought wrong,” replied Dash. “And thanks to you, now I know how to beat you.”

“Oh, really?” The unicorn chuckled. “I wonder what could it possibly be...? Hmm, you know what, I bet you're really not that stronger than before, even with your new power. Even if I let my guard down, I bet you still can't hurt me!”

Hearing her, Dash brought up and looked at her right hoof. The sensation that she felt earlier, she recalled, of her whole entire body becoming stronger and stronger as she was transforming. She felt it back then, and she was definitely still feeling this new strength now.

With that, Dash swiftly positioned her hoof to her right, as if she was pointing at something, and smiled with the same firm look on her face.

“You really want to bet on that?” she asked.

“Of course! With you being unable to hit me so far, it leads me to doubt that you're stronger than before. You couldn't even break through my shield as well!”

Twilight took a step back with her right hooves and lowered her head a bit. “Come at me, Rainbow Dash! Prove to me that you really are the destined one!”

Hearing the unicorn, Dash proceeded to position herself into a ready stance, moving back a bit and pulling her right hoof back.

“Alright... You asked for it!”

Moving her wings forward, the pegasus swiftly flapped them back, launching herself straight toward Twilight. The unicorn stood there grinning, confident that her bet was not misplaced.

Dash reached her, faster than before, and swung her right hoof at the unicorn. It landed, and this time, like constant waves of the ocean, several ripples were seen through the side of Twilight's face from the point of the hoof's impact. Her head jerked violently to her right, her face began to look like she was being crushed by a falling ceiling, and her eye pupils stood still as she was experiencing great sudden pain to her face.

Not only did the sheer strength of the punch knock her face back, but it also knocked her away as a whole as if she was hit by a speeding train, causing her to fly back.

The unicorn stayed in the air as her body was sent back, but halfway along her flight, she flipped herself over and put her hooves on the ground as quick as possible, trying to stop herself. Her hooves slid and screeched on the ground, until finally, she stopped, with her flaming tail touching the large flames that stood behind her at the edge of the “arena” she was in.

Great pulsing pain coursed through her face, causing her eyes to be shut and her teeth to be clenched. A few seconds later, she opened her eyes and put her hoof on her face, trying to mend it as she looked at the spot.

“Wow, now how did that feel, huh?!” Dash asked, grinning.

Twilight groaned a bit as the pain continued. “…So you did get stronger after all. Quite a miscalculation I’ve made there.”

“Yeah, and it looks like I'm faster as well,” the pegasus said. She looked at her wings. “Even though I can fly without them, I can still use my wings to give myself a boost!”

Dash positioned herself into a stance again and smiled. “I will be the victor here, Twilight. Mark my words! I will win.”

Hearing her, Twilight lowered her hoof and gave off a menacing smile towards the pegasus.

“Don't get too confident, Rainbow Dash,” she said. “It will be me who succeeds, and it will be Discord who will win. Not you and the pathetic Elements of Harmony.”

“Hmph.” Dash frowned. “I could say the same of you, Miss 'I-Don't-Think-You-Can-Hurt-Me.' Come on, then!”

The unicorn chuckled, with her horn glowing brightly. “Time for me to be serious, then. Have at you, Rainbow Dash!”

As Twilight jerked her head upward and pointed her horn straight to the sky, soon afterward, from out of nothing came six large swirling fireballs that floated several feet above her and were twice the size of a pony. Dash immediately saw them, and as soon as she saw them, the unicorn swung her head down. At this, one by one, the fireballs began to fall like burning meteors, heading straight for the pegasus.

“Hmph!”

Facing herself to the right, Dash swiftly flapped her wings, boosting her out of the way and continuing to fly away, dodging each of the fireballs. As the balls impacted and exploded on the ground one by one, still flying, she made a sharp turn towards the unicorn and quickly went for her. Seeing Dash coming for her like a swift bird, Twilight quickly jumped to her right. While in the air, as the pegasus flew to the spot where the unicorn stood, with her horn glowing bright, the unicorn faced her and shot out an energy beam point-blank at Dash.

An explosion of orange energy and smoke erupted at the point of impact, and Dash was flung away from it, yelping in pain. Flying twenty feet from the explosion, Dash stopped herself and floated upright, facing her opponent while her eyes were shut and her teeth were clenched in response to the pain she felt from the explosion.

“Errgh...!”

“Gotcha this time.” Twilight smiled, standing there.

Dash opened her eyes, looking at her with an angry look. “Nice shot. But it’s not enough to bring me down!”

The pegasus flapped her wings, launching herself towards her enemy again. She attempted another swing at her, but the unicorn jumped backwards. With the back of her body nearly facing the ground, she fired another energy beam at Dash from her horn. This time, seeing it coming, Dash flapped her wings down, boosting her upwards to dodge the beam. In the quick second after, she flapped them backwards, propelling her forward while she aimed herself at Twilight.

“Huh?!”

As Twilight disengaged her beam, she saw her up in the air. The unicorn was quickly met with a hoof punch to her body, crashing her back towards the ground. The strong impact of the crash was enough to make her bounce high upward, going past the pegasus. Dash saw her, and she quickly flew up to her. She punched Twilight's lower left hoof, causing her body to face towards Dash with the unicorn’s face having a wide-eyed painful expression.

Dash growled loudly, pulling back her hoof. “Eat this!”

With Twilight facing her in the air, Dash unleashed her attacks in quick succession: she punched her face to the right, then to the left, and then she swung her hoof up her chin, with each hit causing waves of pain to ripple across her face. Spinning around after the last swing, yelling with all of her strength, and with her hoof pulled back, Dash then let loose a strong power punch at Twilight, causing her to be knocked far away.

The unicorn soon fell and crashed to the ground, bouncing up and down, and then rolling back with the front side of her body skidding to a halt. For a few seconds, she laid there with her eyes closed. Then, she opened them and began to push herself up. Looking angry and with her teeth clenched, she pounded her hoof on the ground before she stood back up.

“...Ugh. Didn't see that coming,” she said, shaking her head to ward off the pain. The unicorn looked up at the pegasus above. “You did me good there, Rainbow.”

Twilight smiled, and her horn lit up once again.

“But I believe I can do better! Much better!”

The unicorn jerked her head upward and her horn glowed brighter. Her eye pupils shrunk again and her mouth became wide open whilst looking happy, making her appear even more insane than before.

Suddenly, the same fireballs that the unicorn conjured earlier reappeared, this time surrounding Dash in a circle as she quickly saw.

“What the?! Oh snap!!”

The fireballs quickly closed in on her at a swift speed, but she dodged them by boosting herself upward with an downward flap of her wings. As they exploded below her, Dash immediately focused her attention on her opponent below. But before she could even move, Twilight summoned a large fireball right behind her. It shot itself to her, hitting and exploding right on her back.

“Aagh!”

Dash was knocked forward, with pain radiating from her back. She stopped herself from falling and quickly faced the direction where it came from.

“What? Did she just...?!”

“Mehehehehehe! Better watch out, Rainbow!” Twilight exclaimed, grinning. “It's going to be quite unpredictable from here on out.”

Dash swiftly looked back. “Oh yeah?! Well, I'll show you--- Aaaagh!”

The pegasus was interrupted by another fireball explosion to her left, knocking her to the opposite direction. She regained herself, looked in the direction where it came from, and growled at the unicorn below. The pegasus attempted to make another move, but was again hit by another fireball to her right. Dash regained again, but as soon as she did, yet another one exploded right in her face this time.

Dash was now trapped in the air as the fireball barrage continued against her, juggling her around with the random directions that the fireballs came from. The constant explosions burned and singed her white coat, causing black spots to appear all over her.

Grinning like a mad pony at the sight of this, Twilight chuckled. With the Flame of Harmony stuck in the unicorn's endless attack, it seemed that victory was near for her.

Until she heard a growl coming from the pegasus, and then a loud, furious yell.

“ENOOOOUGH!!!”

In an instant, Dash set herself straight in the air with all four hooves stretched out to the “X” position. Her white aura exploded at the same time, with white energy coming from out of her that negated the surrounding, appearing fireballs as well. Upon touching the energy, the fireballs dissipated, as if they were blown away and put out by a strong gust of wind.

Twilight continued her spell, but the fireballs continued to disappear upon reaching the particles of Dash's aura.

“...Huh?!” The unicorn became surprised at this, her pupils shrinking back to normal. Then, as Dash glanced at her with an angry look, the pegasus took off towards her enemy again.

As she went for her, Twilight's expression went from a surprised look to one of a calm wicked smile. Just as Dash neared her, an orange glow engulfed the unicorn. The pegasus swung her hoof at her, only to hit nothing but a brief orange flash.

“What?!” Looking at the empty spot, Dash then realized the unicorn had teleported away. She looked around to find her, only to hear a voice coming from right behind her.

“I didn't expect you to break out of that.”

Hearing her, Dash quickly turned around to find a unicorn's glowing horn pointed right in her face.

“But can you break out of this?!”

With her horn aimed point-blank at Dash, Twilight let loose orange energy from it, and a large explosion erupted between the two of them. The pegasus was sent into the air, leaving trails of smoke and fire as she flew backward and up. Just as she stopped ascending, however, with a quick flash, Twilight disappeared and reappeared right behind Dash and above her. With a wider smile on the unicorn’s face, she jerked her head down and fired an orange beam straight at the pegasus’ back, exploding on her and catapulting her back the way she came from. Right in the middle of her path back down, though, Twilight teleported again, this time to Dash's left. Grinning now with her pupils still normal, she fired yet another energy beam at her again.

Dash was stuck in a juggling trap again, with this one consisting of the unicorn teleporting all over the place and firing energy beams at her. As the juggling continued, Twilight looked more and more insane each time she fired a beam. Unlike the fireballs before, these beams were more painful to Dash, and she grew weaker and weaker each time she suffered a hit, along with more damage to her body and coat. To her, it felt like she was being tortured with no end in sight.

After suffering a few more hits, with her body flying backwards and a pain-stricken face, Dash weakly opened her eyes to see Twilight teleporting out of sight. Her eyes glanced around, and she found her way up in the red cloudy sky above with her horn glowing at its brightest.

“Hehehehehe! Had enough?! How about one moooooooore?!!”

With her face in its most psychotic expression, Twilight swung her head down and fired her most enormous energy beam yet from her horn, twice the size of her previous beams. The beam was approaching the still-airborne pegasus at a swift rate, and as the orange light of it cast its shade over her, all Dash could do was watch it approach her with the same pain-stricken face.

The beam engulfed and forced her downward with it. Upon reaching the ground, a great burst of light erupted from the point of impact with the accompanying sounds of something exploding on a massive scale. A gigantic sphere of light then appeared, growing larger and larger with smoke and embers erupting from it. A sphere of light that could be seen from the far distances of the land.

The explosion had almost covered the entirety of the fire-surrounding battlefield that the flaming ponies fought in. Soon, it faded with slow speed, leaving behind a large cloud of smoke that blocked any visibility of what was in it. The cloud didn't last long, though, disappearing within a few seconds.

What was once a section of flat ground had now formed into a medium-sized crater, half the size of the explosion that had just occurred. Lying on her front in the dead center of it was the white pegasus, whose eyes were closed and whose body wasn't moving a single inch. Her mane and tail had stopped moving around and emitting embers from them, but they still retained the long spiked shape of a flame. Thanks to the explosion, even more burnt marks as well as various bruises had appeared on her white coat.

Twilight stood on the side of the crater, gazing at the unconscious Dash with a calm and confident smile.

“Hmph. So much for the so-called world-saving Flame of Harmony… At least your power was a worthy test for me, Rainbow, seeing how I succeeded against it. Hehehe.”

Staring at her for a few seconds, the unicorn then turned around.

“Ah well, nice knowing you, Rainbow Dash. Guess that’s another successful experiment wrapped up.”

Having concluded that the battle was over, Twilight began to walk off.

“...U-uh... Ugh...”

“Hmm?”

But as soon as she took a step, she heard some low grunting sounds coming from behind. She looked back and saw her moving a little.

With her entire body in great searing pain, Dash struggled. She moved her upper hoof up a little, then she moved her other upper hoof up. Then, she moved both of her lower hooves up as well. As she gritted her teeth with her eyes shut tight, she proceeded to push herself up.

Twilight smiled at this and faced her. “So you're still alive after all... Heh, but of course. You're not one to let things go that easily. I wonder why...?”

The unicorn's horn glowed bright again, and suddenly, a surrounding orange glow appeared around Dash, feeling that her body was being locked up by an external force with the sense of control gone from her. Against her will, she was now being floated up and out of the crater, stopping in front of Twilight. As the unicorn smiled with a wicked look at the pain-stricken, restless-looking pegasus, she then tossed her to the unicorn's left, throwing her there on her front with a grunt of pain as she hit the ground.

With her eyes still closed, the pegasus tried to get up again, but the unicorn raised and stomped her hoof on Dash's back, forcing her down against the ground. Dash grunted in pain as she felt the stomp. She tried to struggle out of the unicorn's hold, but Twilight forced her hoof down to keep Dash there in the same spot, putting pressure on her.

“I really gotta wonder why Little Miss Rainbow Dash here won't give up so easily as she should,” Twilight said, grinning a bit. “She was like this in the past and she is certainly acting like it now, even in the face of some rather impossible odds... Oh, I know!”

Twilight lowered her head towards the side of Dash's face and gazed directly at her with the wide grin and the shrunken eye pupils.

“Is it because you fear something?!” Twilight asked with a crazed tone to her voice. “Huuuuh?! Is that what keeps you from stopping and running away from danger as you should be doing?! I wonder what it is that you fear so much that it makes you blindly jump into a pit of spikes and ultimately risking your life like that?! ...Rainbow Dash, is it... failure that you're afraid of?!”

Upon hearing the word, “failure,” Dash's eyes shot themselves open to a wide degree, making her look shocked. Seeing Twilight's insane face to her right also caused her to startle as well.

“He8heheheheheeee! So it is, then!” The unicorn moved her head closer to the pegasus' face. “I know you well, Rainbow. After all, you acted like a little 'fraidy cat when Rarity stole your spotlight at the Best Young Flyer's competition in Cloudsdale. You couldn't even do your performance correctly when you finally were out there. You would have failed there, alright, if it wasn't for your Sonic Rainboom that made you won the whole thing. Well, now...”

Putting her head back up, Twilight rose up and stomped her hoof down on Dash's back again, harder this time. Dash yelped in pain, forcing her eyes to shut themselves and feeling that the bones of her back were being crushed by the unicorn.

“You've had the chance of defeating me and Discord. But even with the true power of the Elements of Harmony, even though you fought against the odds all because you're afraid of failing to stop us, it ended in failure anyway! You still blew it, Rainbow! And now, now you're going to see the fruits of your failure! Imagine. Imagine them in your head! You know you want to!”

As if the prior pain wasn't enough, Twilight stomped her hoof again and again and again, causing continuous damage to Dash and making her scream in pain at a constant rate.

“See the chaos as it continues across Equestria! See all that you once knew become the property of Discord!” Twilight exclaimed as she continued to pound her over and over. “I hope they don't prove too scary for you!”

For a moment, there was nothing in Dash's head, as she could feel little else but what felt like a strong metal pole crushing the back bones of her body at a constant rate. Until finally, she started to see things.

Various images flashed into her mind. The first of which was a view of Equestria's once-beautiful hills and grasslands having been turned into checkerboard-textured versions of themselves, with their sizes and shapes being of varying degrees. Floating isles pulled straight from the ground were everywhere, with some of them having ruined buildings on top. The sky was an ominous red color, with pink clouds made out of cotton candy flying everywhere. Throughout this chaotic landscape, various ponies and other creatures were seen doing nonsensical things, having been affected by the Chaos. Some were dancing in pink tights, eating the inner sections of various trees, and barking like mindless dogs. Others were looking like they had their minds lost from them, almost appearing insane with shrunken eye pupils and wide grins. With Twilight's burning form being on the top of her mind, Dash also saw crazed flaming unicorns throughout this imagined image, and they were seen torturing and burning alive anyone who wasn't affected by the Chaos.

Another image then burned into her head, this time of the ruined Ponyville with Canterlot on the floating landmass above and with the same checkered hills and floating isles throughout. In the town itself, more ponies were seen doing chaotic things, amongst them four of her friends who were all grayed out. In a part of the town, Rarity was seen sewing needles onto the side of her own Carousel Boutique building, and in another, Fluttershy was observed feeding several large-sized rats with molded green cheese, even kissing and hugging some of these rats. Applejack was bucking several ponies at random, blurting out, “Nope,” with her eyes shrunk each time she bucked one. Pinkie Pie was nowhere to be found, but amidst the half-standing Sugarcube Corner, horrified, painful-sounding screams could be heard from its interior.

...No... Dash thought, seeing these images in her head. I... I can't...

Yet another image entered her head, this time depicting an orange-coated, dark red-maned filly who seemed to be trapped inside the debris of a ruined building.

Scootaloo…?

Scootaloo was sitting in the corner of the darkened ruins with her back against the wall, sporting a very frightened expression on her face. Her teeth and body shook to their utmost degree, and her shrunken eyes were fixated in the direction straight ahead of her.

“...Rainbow Dash... What did he... do to her...? Ohhh maaaan...”

Tears then began to swell from her frightened eyes. A second later, the ruins began to convulse a little, making her jump and move her back further against the wall, looking more scared than before.

“H-h-heeeelp...!”

Seeing her, Dash wanted to help the filly, but all she could do was watch. Then, ahead of the filly, something crashed out of the wall, blowing a hole in the ruins and letting light into it. Who now stood there before Scootaloo had caused Dash to be shocked.

What... the...?!

Standing there was none other than the rainbow pegasus herself. Surprising her further was that she appeared to be in her Flame of Harmony form, with rainbows flaring off of her head and tail. But instead of a white coat, it was pure black, instead. Her eyes were still red, but they didn't look like a pony's. They resembled a serpent's, with slits in the middle of the pupils. Her wings weren't of the feathered kind, but those of a bat's, instead. The golden appearance of her necklace had turned red, and the bolt-shaped Element gem that it housed had turned into grey-colored stone.

That, that can't be me, can it?!

With her eyes on the frightened filly, the dark Dash smiled with a vicious and wicked look, opening her mouth to reveal her fangs. The look of her scared the filly further, causing her to press her back against the wall behind her.

“No... No...!” Scootaloo sobbed in a loud tone, her body shaking even more.

I... I can't... That... isn't me! Dash exclaimed in her head, feeling just as scared as the filly. No way will I ever hurt Scootaloo! No freaking way!

Meanwhile, outside of her head, Twilight continued to pound the pegasus over and over.

“Are you seeing things yet, Rainbow Dash?” she asked. “If so, accept it! Accept it as reality! Equestria's never going back to the way it was!”

Hearing her, the previous images of the chaotic world flashed back into Dash's mind, this time looping over and over. After each loop, she saw the dark version of herself move closer and closer towards the terrified filly, looking as if she was going to eat her with her tongue sticking out a little.

With these repeating visions, Dash grew more and more distraught and afraid. Yet, she began to feel defiant as well, with rage growing within her the more she saw these visions. Was she going to let it all go, even after becoming the Flame of Harmony? Was she going to accept what she was seeing as her future?

More importantly, was Dash really going to accept failure, the one thing she was most afraid of? The one thing she thought had happened already, until the revelation that she still had a chance after all?

“No...” Dash blurted out aloud. “No...! No...!!”

Hearing her, the unicorn ceased her stomping. She then formed a calm smiling look on her face as she looked down on Dash.

“So that's your answer, huh? You still won't let it go,” Twilight said. She chuckled. “Perhaps Discord will make you see.”

The unicorn raised her hoof once more, raising it as high as she could and aiming for Dash's head this time.

“If you refuse your failure here, then so be it!”

Twilight threw her hoof at the pegasus' head. In that split-second moment, the visions in Dash's head sped up, and they continued to speed up, causing her mind to erupt with great pain. At the very end of it all, she saw the corrupted version of herself making a leap towards the filly that she once called sister.

And at that very moment, the little twig that held her back, like a cage holding a lion, had snapped.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

To her sudden surprise, as if it was the wind at its strongest, a great force had hit Twilight's face and body back, and she found herself being propelled backward and high up into the air above. A great explosion of white particles occurred from where the two of them were, spreading outward into a large radius that covered half of the fire-surrounding battlefield.

Stopping and descending halfway down with her face looking like she was struck by something, Twilight opened her eyes and surveyed her surroundings. Finding herself falling upside down, she flipped herself over and landed on her hooves. She looked up ahead, wondering what had just happened.

“...What?! How in the hay is she...?!”

Ahead of her, Twilight saw that Dash was back up on her hooves, facing the same direction as her. Her mane and tail had resumed their waving rainbow flames with colored embers emitting from them, and her white particle aura was reignited, moving her large wings along.

Standing there, the pegasus began to move at a slow pace, turning around to face the unicorn. As her face came into view, her expression was no longer of a painful and sad one. It was one that was sharp-eyed to the highest degree, with her teeth clenched to the max. It was one of pure anger and rage.

Startled at the sight of seeing her, Twilight then calmed down and smiled. “So you still have some life within you after all... Hm, well, let's see if I can deprive the rest of it out of you, shall we?”

Before the unicorn could use it, however, her horn tingled, causing her smile to fade.

“Hm...?”

She began to sense something coming from the pegasus ahead. It was her Harmonic energy, but unlike before, it was wilder. As the seconds flew by, the energy continued to grow and grow and grow. An inflating balloon of power, it was, with no signs of it ceasing.

“What?!”

As she felt the increasing energy, the look on Dash's face grew more and more angry, with her teeth gritting as hard as they could. She began to growl at her, growling louder and louder.

“...I'm not going to... fail. Grrrrr...! I'm... not going to let it all go... either!”

“Your power... How the hay is it getting stronger?!” Twilight asked, surprised, continuing to sense it.

A few seconds passed by, and Dash shut her eyes with great force. She moved her head about with great fits of rage, and as she did, she began to feel the now-furious Harmonic energy coursing through her in wild waves, causing her to feel even more strength than she had only a few moments before. She also began to feel that her body was becoming lighter overall. Almost as light as a feather, she felt, despite the added strength.

With her growing power, soon, Dash had the feeling of letting go all the rage and anger that was building up inside of her. She wanted to unleash it all on her opponent, as the thought of losing to her as well as the fate of the world was all the pegasus could think about. She couldn't let the visions she saw in her head come true, unlike the vision in her dream earlier.

“You... won't get your way, Twilight! ...Oh, what the hay, you're not even Twilight!” Dash exclaimed. “I know now. The real Twilight would never do all of this in the first place. Nor would she turn on her friends like that! You... you're just a fake who took over her body, that's all you are! And the real Twilight is still in there somewhere!”

The pegasus growled again, and her head stopped and faced ahead. Soon, her body began to shake, being in tune with the rage that was going through her.

“I'm gonna free her from you, then! And no matter what happens, I will not stop! I will not fail! ...If saving the world takes every bit of guts I have left within me... if I have to use every single ounce of energy that this power has... grrrrrrrr...!”

With all that was swirling wildly in her mind, the fury inside of her reached its maximum. Dash's eyes snapped wide open, showing an expression like that of an enraged wolf.

“...then I WIIIIIIIILLLLLLL!!!”

With that scream of anger towards Twilight, Dash's energy exploded out of her, causing a huge gust of wind from her that reached the surrounding flames in the area. Her aura of white particles became bigger and denser, and her rainbow flames grew larger, raging faster than before as well. Then, with a flap of her wings, Dash blasted off towards the unicorn, and as Twilight saw, her speed had increased to a dramatic degree, zipping across with the velocity of a single bullet.

“What the---?!”

Caught off guard by her speed and before she could do anything, Twilight was met with an immediate swinging hoof to the face. With Dash's hoof digging into the side of her face, she felt that it was much stronger than before, going so far to damage the insides of her head. As she was feeling the effects of the pegasus' punch, her head was being forced back, with ripples going across her cheek.

The end of the punch sent the unicorn flying back to a violent degree, looking as if the beak of a flying supersonic jet had just hit her. With her opponent flying away, in the middle of it, Dash took off again, speeding off to her and landing another super punch on her that catapulted her to Dash's left. With a face full of rage and fury, the pegasus launched herself once more, following the flying unicorn with the intent of never letting her fight back.

With a pain-stricken expression on her, Twilight opened her eyes and saw the incoming, speeding Dash from below. Quickly, she flipped herself over, tilted her head up, and swung it down, firing an energy beam from her horn. Seeing the beam, Dash pivoted herself upward, letting the beam go under her while she closed the distance between her and Twilight.

Nearing her, Dash punched her downward as she did before. The increased strength of it, however, caused Twilight to bounce back upward even higher than before, flinging her straight into the sky above. The pegasus quickly followed her up, with the unicorn seeing her below in the corner of her eye.

Not wasting any time, Dash reached her again. Without hitting her to set her upright this time, the pegasus flew above her, faced her, and swung her hooves at her multiple times in quick succession, doing a combo on the unicorn and dealing heavier damage to her face and body. Then, Dash pulled her hoof back, screamed in anger to focus all of her strength into it, and swung it, pounding Twilight hard and causing her to rocket back to the ground as swift as a falling meteor.

The unicorn crashed down to the ground, causing a small explosion of dust and smoke that came from the point of impact. The cloud of dust soon dissipated, and she laid there on her side in a crater that was twice her size, paling in comparison to the larger crater near her.

Landing on the ground with all four hooves, Dash looked onward in a bull-like stance, with her head tilted downward, her eyes at their sharpest, and with a firm frown on her.

With great pain traversing through her, the unicorn opened her eyes and, tilting her head down, saw what she was lying in as well as the various bruises on her. Seeing them, she growled with a tone of frustration. With her horn glowing bright, the unicorn disappeared in a flash, reappearing out of the crater and standing there with Dash ahead of her by a few feet.

“Agh! ...Ugh...” Twilight groaned, gritting her teeth as she felt a wave of pain through her, making her stumble a bit. As she used her upper right hoof to hold the left one in place, after looking at it and breathing heavily, the unicorn then glanced at Dash.

“...R-Rainbow... How...? How are you so powerful all of a sudden?!” she asked. “Your attacks were strong before, but now they're suddenly a lot stronger. And you... you're faster as well! Just, just... How?! I thought I had you pinned down for good!”

“Isn't it obvious?” Dash said, still frowning. “You pushed me too far, making me see what would happen if I did fail. Just as you wanted me to see, right? Only, instead of convincing me to give up like you wished, it made me refuse to give up. It caused me to try harder than before, as hard as I possibly can. But... that's not the reason why I got a power boost. Not the only reason, actually.”

“What? What do you mean, 'not the only reason?'” asked the unicorn.

“It was my strong willpower that boosted it... It's one of the requirements for becoming the Flame of Harmony, isn't it? The will to do stuff? The will to achieve? The will to stand up against bad guys and save the world from people like you?!”

“...Of... of course!” Twilight exclaimed, realizing what Dash had just said.

“Yeah! Like I said, what you tried to do to me only served to boost that willpower. My strong willpower is what's really powering the Harmonic energy inside of me, and as long I have the will to do it, the will to keep going even after your stupid little mind tricks, I will never be defeated... Do you honestly think I'm going to fail here, when the world is at stake? I'll admit that I'm afraid of failure, and yeah, I wasn't so confident back then. But that was different. Now that I know about this power, I am confident that I will succeed!”

Dash took a step back, ready to move on her enemy. “How about you? Will you give up? 'Cause it’s better for the world if you did. Nopony else wants the same destruction and chaos that had happened here already.”

Twilight stared at her. “Me...? Give up...?”

A few seconds passed by, and the unicorn shut her eyes and gritted her teeth, putting her right hoof on the ground. Like the pegasus before, she moved her head around and began growling, throwing fits of rage here and there.

“Never...! Never never never never never never NEVER!” screamed Twilight, beginning to pound all of her hooves on the ground, throwing a tantrum like a child. “I shall win! Discord shall reign! We will NEVER bow down to the likes of Harmony! NEVERRRRR!!!”

“Huh, look who's talking now,” Dash said, watching her throw a fit. “Guess you know how I feel when it comes to losing!”

Twilight growled again, louder and more furious this time. Then, she tilted her head upward and let loose a mighty, angry scream to the red sky above, reaching to the surrounding hills and landscapes outside of the burning town. With that scream, a great explosion of wind emitted from her into the surrounding directions. The flames that were flaring off from her head and tail increased in size, waving and moving faster than before.

The unicorn faced her head towards the pegasus, and she opened her eyes of rage. The black part of her pupils became red, blending in with her irises to form fully red eyes.

“Grrrargh, time to get serious! Face me with all your might, Rainbow Dash! 'Cause no matter how strong your willpower is, I will never give in to the likes of you!”

“Hmph! We'll see about that, Miss Fake Twilight!” Dash exclaimed, still in her low stance.

Growling and making a raging yell, the unicorn lifted her head upward and her horn began to glow again. High above her, various flames appeared from out of nowhere, swirling into a central point in the air. With haste, the flames grew and formed into a large fiery sphere that was large as the width of Ponyville's town hall tower. It soon appeared to Dash that a giant fireball was heading her way.

Twilight growled. “Take this!”

The unicorn forced her head down, and the giant fireball followed that motion, descending at a swift rate towards the pegasus. Seeing it coming, Dash growled and let loose a loud angry yell. She flew to her left, moving as fast as she could and allowing the falling fireball to crash down on the spot where she stood. A major explosion of fire and smoke erupted, causing huge winds to blow from it and making the area quake hard in its wake. So hard, it could be felt all over the town itself.

Unfazed by the explosion, however, as soon as Dash made the dodge and as the fires from the explosion went past her face and body from her right, she made a sharp turn and flapped her wings back, propelling her forward with her aura trailing from behind.

With her speed at its maximum, she went towards the unicorn and threw her hoof at her, punching and knocking her way back before Twilight could even react. As she flew back, the unicorn snarled again. With her horn bright, she disappeared in an instant, teleporting before she could go any further.

In the split-second after she teleported, though, Dash felt something. A tingling in her head, it was, and it pointed towards the spot where Twilight had just teleported. As it then grew weaker, suddenly, the pegasus then felt a rush of wind going past her. This was no ordinary wind. To her, it had the feeling of wild energy coursing past her. It was the energy of Chaos.

As soon as the wind rushed by, Dash's mind tingled again, this time behind her. She looked, and just as she turned around, something flashed in right in front of her, and she recognized the flash.

“Oh shoot, gotta MOVE!”

Twilight rematerialized, and she shot another large energy beam at Dash. But just as she fired, the pegasus dodged it by propelling herself upward.

“What?!” Twilight was surprised at her miss, still firing it.

“You missed!”

“Huh--- Oof!”

Just as the unicorn stopped firing, Dash spun herself downward and, at the end of her spin, pounded the top of Twilight's head with the ankle of her lower left hoof. The sudden pound caused her opponent to bounce up from the ground once again, leaving her open with her body facing towards Dash. From there, the rainbow one unleashed a fast and powerful combination of punches and kicks on her enemy, damaging her as hard and swift as she could. As she threw these hits at a fast pace, it looked like she had grown a large number of hooves from her, with all of them giving Twilight a hard lesson.

Finishing the barrage off, the pegasus let loose another strong punch, knocking the unicorn back again, flying all the way to the edge of the “arena.” Shaking her head, Twilight forced all of her hooves down towards the ground, screeching to a halt with her flaming tail touching the larger flames that raged behind. A second later, her body twitched, causing her to groan as great pain shot across her again.

“How did you dodge that...? HOW DID YOU DODGE THAT??!!” she screamed.

“I felt you rushing past me that time!” exclaimed Dash. “I don't know how that happened, but I'm guessing it’s because I've powered up now. Enough to sense your magic!”

Twilight growled in desperation. “No... No no no no no no no NOOOOOOOO!!!”

With that furious scream, her burning flames flared up again. Her horn glowed bright in the midst of her scream, and a second later, Dash could hear something, making her look around. It sounded like a building that was crumbling nearby.

Then, she saw it ahead of her, floating right above Twilight.

“Huh?!”

Hovering above Twilight in a horizontal position and being enveloped in her magic orange glow was the Carousel Boutique building, having been pulled from its roots as evident by the bottom of it and with dirt falling off of it. Earlier, despite what Rarity had thought, when Dash arrived, she saw that the Boutique was still standing in one piece and that the flames hadn't gotten to it yet, with a group of ponies escaping it at the last minute. Now it seemed that the burning unicorn was intending to throw it right at her.

“Twilight, stop! Put that down!” yelled Dash with an angry look.

Twilight snarled. “I never liked Rarity's idiotic fashion sense. I ought to destroy her place, and what better way to do it than to throw it at the one who's clinging desperately to Harmony and its stupid virtues?! Perish!!”

The unicorn threw her head down and the building mimicked her motion, throwing itself straight at the pegasus at a swift speed.

What to do? Dash thought as the building was coming towards her. Should she save it or dodge out of the way, letting it crash? She could dodge it with ease, but then, what if somepony was inside of it? What if Ponyville's construction workers could never rebuild it if she let it crash? What would Rarity do, then?

With those thoughts in mind, she could never let it crash. But could she save it, then? With her strong hooves, there was only one way to find out.

Focusing on the building and gritting her teeth, Dash flapped her wings back, launching herself towards it. With her hooves out in front, she reached the building and pushed her hooves against it. While it slowed down in the air, the building forced her hooves back and was pushing against her overall. Dash struggled against it, utilizing her super strength. After a bit, the building came to a complete halt, and the force of it dwindled down to the point where it began to fall straight down.

“Huh? Uh oh!”

Seeing it fall, Dash flew herself downward and under it at a quick speed. She put her hooves upward, and the building landed on top of them. It pushed down against her, squeezing her hooves for a bit and making her look like she was struggling with her eyes forced shut, until it stopped pushing all of a sudden.

Dash opened her eyes and looked up. There was no force of its weight upon her now, yet she still held it. She pushed her hooves up, and to her surprise, she lifted it up with ease. It now felt rather lightweight to her, as light as a feather, despite the fact that the pegasus was holding a multi-story building on top of her.

“What the...? Wow... I'm that strong now?!”

From below, Twilight was also surprised, looking onward with wide open eyes. “WHAT?! How are... you...?!”

Wondering if she could still hold it with one hoof, the pegasus lowered one of her hooves down at a slow pace. The very moment she released her touch on it, not a single increase in weight was brought down upon her. With one hoof holding it above her, it still felt as light as a dog's strand of hair.

“Holy cow, I'm literally a super pony! Didn't think I'd be strong enough to lift a building of all things!” Dash exclaimed. She then smiled. “Guess Pinkie Pie wasn't that far off when she called me Super Rainbow Dash... Huh!”

The pegasus then looked down at the unicorn with a frown on her face.

“Nice try! But even a building won't stop me here. And how could you even throw a building like this without thinking there might be somepony inside?! The Twilight I know would never do this!”

Looking around, Dash searched for the spot where the Boutique's resting place was. Finding it, she then looked at the unicorn again.

“Why don't you stay put? I'm gonna put this place back where it belongs.”

With her sights set towards the hole in the ground that was the Boutique's location, Dash flew herself over to it, flying out of the flame-surrounded area. Staring ahead with her head halfway lowered, Twilight was looking furious again.

“Grrrrrr....! Oh yes, I'm definitely staying put. Right here,” she muttered to herself, with her right eye twitching a lot with her face full of rage. “Where you'll be destroyed for good... along with the rest of this place.”

Reaching the spot, with both hooves, the white pegasus brought and turned the building down from above her as slow and as careful as she could, placing the Boutique down into its spot as steady as she could as well. Feeling it touching the ground, she slowly let go, hoping that the building was placed without error. A few seconds passed, and the Boutique showed no signs of moving or falling.

“Whew! Back in one piece,” said Dash, looking relieved. “Hope nopony was in it before... Huh?”

Suddenly, her mind tingled again, pointing her back to the flame-surrounded area. She looked back and to her surprise, there was no one there anymore.

“Hey! Where did she...?!”

Alarmed by Twilight's sudden disappearance, Dash flew back to the area. Reaching it, she then landed in the spot where the unicorn stood before. She looked around for her, only to find her nowhere.

“Where in the hay did she run off to?! ...Huh?!”

Her mind tingled once again, this time pointing upwards. Then, she heard her.

“Looking for somepony?”

Dash glanced up, and she found the unicorn high in the sky above and beneath the red clouds. Twilight was standing on a small round platform made completely out of burning fire, having been conjured into her place by her magic.

“I have grown tired of this, Rainbow Dash,” said the unicorn, looking firm with a frown on her face. “This fight has gone on far too long for my liking, and now it is time to end it. For real, this time! You may be stronger and faster than me physically, and you may have outlasted most of my magic. But I have one last spell to use, and with this, not only will I obliterate you from the face of Equestria, but I will annihilate this entire town along with the surrounding landscape as well! And I will take every last one of the town's survivors with it!”

“What?! No way will I let you do that!” Dash exclaimed.

“Oh, of course you won't. Whether you survive or not, however, is another matter... The time is now, Rainbow Dash!”

Lowering her head and with her body shaking with rage, Twilight then jerked her head upward and growled loud to the sky above. A furious, flame-like glow had burst from her horn, with electricity crackling around it this time.

A few seconds later, various line-shaped streams of purple energy were seen swirling into her horn from its surroundings. The horn continued to absorb more and more energy until the horn's glow increased in size and changed its color from orange to bright purple, with more electricity crackling around it.

Seeing her prepare the final spell, Dash's expression changed into a determined one. She stepped back a bit and lowered herself into the bull-like stance again while keeping her sight on the unicorn above.

“Bring everything you've got, then!” she exclaimed.

The streams of energy stopped swirling into the unicorn's horn, and she focused her attention on her target below, looking desperate as ever with her teeth gritting as hard as they could.

“Grrrr, you're finished!”

Putting all of her might into her spell, Twilight jumped off of the fire platform, with it dissipating into nothing as she jumped off.

“Take THIIIIIIIIS!!!”

With her in the air, Twilight forced her head downward as hard and as swift as she could, and in an instant, her horn fired off a gigantic, purple-colored energy beam from it. The beam was the biggest she had yet fired to this point, being twice the size of the town hall tower.

“Wh-WHAT?!” Dash was caught off-guard by the size of the beam, causing her eyes to widen in shock. The great light of the beam soon enveloped the entire town in its radiance, with the brightest point being the area that the pegasus stood in.

The great beam reached its halfway point. With her face twitching a lot at the sight of it, Dash then pulled herself together and formed an angry teeth-gritting look as the beam continued its course towards her.

Knowing that everything was depending on her, she knew she couldn't stop here. She didn't stop when the unicorn had pinned her down, and she certainly wasn't about to be engulfed by this gigantic beam of doom either.

“Ergh, if I can lift an entire building with one hoof... Grrrrr! THEN I CAN GET THROUGH THIS AS WELL!!!”

With that scream and with her summoning all of her strength that she could gather, Dash flapped her wings back as hard as she could, propelling her towards the direction of the incoming beam with her hooves out in front, flying as fast as she could.

Both the beam and the pegasus were closing the distance between them. Soon, Dash reached it, putting herself upright so that her entire body was facing it, and stretched out her upper hooves towards it.

Like two warriors rushing at each other with the intent of landing a hit on their target, Dash and the beam clashed into one another, with the pegasus stopping the beam with her hooves. A massive explosion of strong winds occurred from the clash, blowing out towards the surrounding directions and reaching as far as the town's outskirts with the grass and trees swaying away in its wake. The winds also blew out some of the flames in the town, though it wasn't enough to clear them all out.

Dash struggled against the beam, her body shaking to a violent degree. The very warm touch of the beam was what she was feeling on her hooves as she pushed against it, as well as what felt like small constant bolts of electricity that jolted through her hooves from the beam.

The force of Dash's super strength went through the beam to its source, and now Twilight was seen struggling as well, her head convulsing to a wild degree.

“Errrggh!! Why you little...!”

The unicorn made a raging yell, summoning more of her energy into her beam. The force of it increased at Dash's end, and now she felt that it was pushing her back the way she came, as she noticed by looking around.

“Ugh! No...!”

“Begone, Rainbow Dash! Begone!!” yelled the unicorn.

As the beam continued moving her back, suddenly, Dash's vision had flashed white, no longer seeing the purple beam in front of her. The flash then faded, and she began to see the same images that she saw before. Images of Discord's land of Chaos, its wild denizens, and of her corrupted friends again. All of them were looping in her head much faster than before. She forced her eyes shut once more, but it didn't stop them from burning in her mind over and over.

“No! St-stop...!”

Soon, Dash saw it again: the image of her dark corrupted self making a leap towards the frightened Scootaloo. And at that point, just like before, her mind snapped once again.

“...I must do this... I have to!”

Her eyes snapped wide open. The irises of her pupils weren't red anymore. They were swirling the colors of the rainbow. The white particles that her aura was giving off became colorful as well, becoming an aura of rainbow.

“I WIIIIILLLLLL!!!”

As her great scream of defiance echoed throughout the town and landscape, a small circular-shaped explosion of rainbow colors erupted out of her, and from that explosion, the pegasus was launched and had cut through the beam itself, going into the very innards of it and letting it engulf her in whole. As the circular rainbow spread outward, the silhouette of a flying pegasus with a flaming mane and tail was seen making the way across the beam to its source, unaffected by the energy that was fighting against her.

“Wh-WHAT?!” screamed Twilight, having been caught off-guard by what she saw in her beam.

As Dash traveled closer and closer, the size of the beam began to shrink, becoming smaller as she made her way through. The unicorn had sensed that Dash's strong Harmonious energy was negating her own Chaotic energy, causing her attack to fade.

The pegasus soon reached her and the beam was no more. Upon closing in on her, Dash swung her hoof upward, crushing Twilight's chin and knocking her up and over. Then, with her eyes and her aura still having the rainbow glow, the pegasus grabbed the unicorn with both hooves and brought her close, squeezing her in a tight bear-hug.

“Time to wake up, Twilight,” said Dash. She shut her eyes and clenched her teeth. “Once and for all!”

With a flap of her wings, she flew upward as high as she could, taking Twilight along. Stopping her ascent, she turned upside down and flew herself straight downward, spinning and spinning as if she was an airplane that had lost control. As both of them fell, the aura that surrounded Dash grew to include Twilight within it as well, and now they looked as if a rainbow-colored comet had fallen from space and was now on the verge of impact.

Soon, the “comet” impacted the ground in the middle of the area, and there erupted a massive, gigantic explosion of rainbow fire and smoke, with the radius of it being twice the size of the area that the ponies fought in. As the explosion spread outward with massive winds coming from it, the flames that were burning throughout the town were blown away and were reduced to nothing. The winds also blew some buildings away from the town, with most of the other buildings standing their own against them and with small debris being chipped away from them.

The rainbow smoke from the explosion grew in size, resembling a mushroom with its shape. The red skies above it faded away, for the winds also reached them, reverting back to their midnight-blue. star-filled skies of the night.

Soon, it all calmed down. The light dimmed, the ground ceased its quaking, and the smoke dissipated after a while. A gigantic crater was now there in the explosion’s place, the largest one thus far. Standing there at the outer edge of the crater was the battle-weary white pegasus on her hooves.

With her aura gone, her eyes back to red, and her flames back to their small-but-calm state, Dash was breathing at a heavy rate, having taken a lot of her strength and willpower to reach this point.

“...I did it... Finally...”

After a while, she stopped breathing and stood up straight. She looked around to see that the flames and the red sky were gone. Then, she looked onward to the center of the crater where the unicorn was.

Lying unconscious on her side, Twilight was no longer the burning pony she was. She had reverted back to her normal purple self with her mane and tail being their normal streaked forms as well. Several bruises were seen all over her, thanks to her fight with Dash.

Seeing her, the pegasus floated up and flew down to her. With her hooves, she picked her up and flew out, carrying her along. Stopping several feet away from the crater, she hovered there, looking at the unicorn she carried.

“Geez... I had to do all this to her,” said Dash, glancing at her bruises. “Man... Discord's so gonna pay for this.”

“...Uh... Ah...”

“Huh? Twilight?”

Groaning and stirring in Dash's hooves, the unicorn was slowly opening her eyes. Gaining focus, she glanced around.

“Wha...? Where... where am I?”

“Twilight, is that you for real?” Dash asked.

The unicorn then looked at her. At first, she didn't recognize who the flaming white pegasus was, but then she saw the Element necklace and recognized her voice.

“Rainbow Dash...? You look... different somehow.”

“Yeah, it’s me! Oh, man, please tell me it’s you for real this time...”

“I... am myself here... Gosh, what the hay just happened? And why am I...? Ergh!”

The moment Twilight felt that her body was sore and tried to move around, great pain shot through her, causing her to twitch and yelp.

“Hey, calm down. Try not to move around so much,” Dash said. “Here, I'll lie you down.”

The pegasus lowered herself and her hooves as careful as she could, lying the battered unicorn on the ground and letting go.

“Ergh, agh... why am I in so much pain?” groaned Twilight, lying on her back. “Seriously, what happened?”

“Huh? You don't remember anything?” asked Dash, floating near her.

“N-no... The last thing I could remember was that my magic was going out of control. I-it consumed me. It took over my mind and then, I just... blacked out like that. As if somepony had just knocked me out! ...And then, I wake up to... this.”

She glanced around at the ruined town. “Why is Ponyville suddenly in ruins? Did I... do all this?”

Hearing her, Dash smiled with a look of relief. The unicorn she knew was back, not showing a single sign of her former persona.

“Uh, well, um... it’s a long story, Twilight,” she replied. “But first... about that historical record in the book...”

“Yeah? What about... Wait a minute.”

Looking at Dash, the unicorn then re-noticed her rainbow flames, white coat, and Element necklace. Seeing them struck a chord in her mind, widening her eyes.

“Uh...! So it’s true! The Flame of Harmony. It’s a real thing after all!”

The pegasus chuckled and nodded. “Yep! You were right about me, Twilight. About me having a strong willpower. One of the things needed to transform into it... Man, you absolutely wouldn't believe what just happened over the past few minutes or so.”

Twilight chuckled and smiled. “Yeah, I guess I knew it all along, then... Tell me what happened, Rainbow. 'Cause I'd really like to know how I ended up here.”

“Sure! Though, you probably won't like what I'm about to tell you, Twilight.”

Before she could, though, she heard a voice coming from somewhere.

Conceal your soul... Call upon it when you require it again.

“Huh? Conceal my soul...?”

Dash looked down at her necklace, realizing that the voice was coming from it. Just as the voice had said, she felt an urge to return to her normal self, feeling that she didn't need the Harmonic form right now.

“Huh? What's wrong, Rainbow?” asked Twilight.

“Oh, nothing... Hm, it looks like I can store this power away for now. Let me see here...”

Dash set her head straight and closed her eyes. Relaxing herself, she willed the calm Harmonic energy back inside of herself, and as she did, she felt that the strength and the lightness of the form was leaving her body. Her mane and tail ceased their flames with her mane reverting back to its normal style. Her wings shrunk in size, and her white coat faded back to blue with the storm cloud of her cutie mark going white again.

With her form back to normal, she dropped to the ground and landed on her hooves, opening her now-rose eyes afterward.

“Wow, I'm back to normal again,” she said, looking at herself all over. “Yet, I can still feel the power inside of me. Just in a small place now.”

“I guess that's because the threat is not over yet,” said Twilight. “Discord is still out here, isn't he?”

“Yeah, he definitely is. Now, about what happened...”

---

Over the next few minutes, the two ponies had exchanged for a bit, with Dash recounting the events from the moment when Twilight's chaotic magic had taken her over. The unicorn was startled to hear that she had become a flaming pony much like the pegasus was, only that she was on the side of Chaos with Discord's magic powering up her further, and that she was the one who had unknowingly destroyed the town. Twilight was also surprised to hear that becoming the Flame of Harmony was Dash's true destiny all along, and that she had a dream that foretold all of this.

“And, well, that's how it all happened,” Dash finished, sitting on the ground with her hooves down.

“I see... Hm.”

Still lying on her back, Twilight looked up at the sky above, staring at the underside of the floating island of Canterlot which was blocking half of the night sky from her view point.

“So I became a crazy flaming pony who was basically the antithesis of me, and I destroyed Ponyville without remorse,” she said. “Wow.”

“Yep,” Dash nodded. “I knew you weren't yourself from the way you kept pounding me over and over while trying to scare me at the same time. You wouldn't really do that to me, would you?”

“Definitely not!” Twilight blinked her eyes a few times in surprise. She then glanced at her. “You're my friend, Rainbow, and friends never hurt each other, right?”

“Right. But I had to fight you anyway, Twilight. Just to wake you up and all.”

“I know.”

The unicorn stared at the sky again, sighing. “Well, I don't like the fact that you had to fight me, but... you did what you had to do. Thanks... for knocking some sense back into me, I guess.”

Dash smiled. “No problem, Twilight.”

Looking up at the floating island above, the pegasus stood up, frowning at the hovering mass of earth.

“Well, I'm certainly in no position to do anything here,” said Twilight. “So it’s all up to you, Rainbow Dash. You are the Flame of Harmony now, so get up there and save the world. For all of us.”

A smile of confidence appeared on Dash's face. “Heh, I will. You can count on that.”

Before she could take off for the island, however, the pegasus was reminded of something.

“Oh, I almost forgot! Scootaloo and the others were with the crowd that was at the outskirts,” she said, looking at Twilight. “Whew, and I thought that they got trapped in the flames at first. Uh, when they get back here, could you tell Scootaloo that I'm glad she's safe from what happened?”

“Sure, Rainbow,” replied Twilight. “I'll tell everypony what happened.”

Dash nodded. “Thanks, Twilight.”

Glancing up and unfolding her wings, Dash lowered herself and jumped upward, flapping her wings to launch herself into the air at the same time. She then took off for the floating island, using her wings to fly up there as fast as she could.