• Published 17th May 2014
  • 14,647 Views, 252 Comments

Even As... - cloudedguardian



"Even as they lied to me, Even as I broke- Even as the world crumbled, Even as it died, Even then you searched for me, And tried to reach my side." Twilight Velvet is going to find her daughter. No matter what it takes.

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They lied to me

Twilight felt cold. She was shivering, even now that her tears had ceased and her choking sobs fallen silent to hiccupped breathing. The pain hadn’t faded at all. It was still there, a lead chain that kept her anchored to the sea of despair she had been cast into. If anything, the pain had only grown, for even after all this time, no-one had come back to see if she was alright.

She understood. They didn’t care anymore. She didn’t matter to them anymore. Which meant that, in a way, nothing really mattered at all anymore.

Twilight lifted her head an inch from the stair it had been resting on to look out the window. She didn’t even remember walking to this spot, or collapsing on to the stairs to cry, but she had clearly done it, for that was where she had laid for the last twenty minutes. It had felt like an eternity longer than that, but she knew the palace clocks didn’t lie... Not like her “friends.”

Hadn’t they promised once, that they’d listen to her? That no matter how stupid or insignificant her worries were, that they, as her pony pals forever, would make them matter to them as much as they mattered to her? Celestia had told her that she had nothing to fear from being tardy, but she hadn’t known that, had needed comfort and help from her friends. They had failed. They had promised to do better, said that they’d failed because it had seemed so petty.

This wasn’t petty. Even through the numb despair, the thought remained. This wasn’t petty, or insignificant, or minor. It didn’t matter now, if she had been right or wrong about Cadence. What did it matter if the bride was evil? What did the wedding matter if it was going to ruin her brother’s life? Let him spend the next century miserable, she didn’t care anymore. She had only wanted her friends, or at least one of them, to stand beside her and hold her head above water as she lost a brother. That was all, nothing more.

But they didn’t.

They’d turned their backs. Gone after the crying Cadence, and abandoned the drowning Twilight. That was it, nothing more; the end, goodbye, that was all she wrote. They’d chosen the Princess over her.

Even Spike...

Twilight would have cried again, if she could. The memory of him walking past her, a look of disappointment on his face, along with something else she didn’t want to think about, flashed before her eyes and left her reeling from what felt like a blow to the stomach. It was just another drop of pain in an already overflowing ocean, but it was making her feel sick. She would cry again, if she could, but there were no more tears left. She was hollow. There was nothing left inside her but the pain, and the fading, almost mocking voices of her friends and enemies.

Somehow, Twilight found a way to rise her hooves. It was so hard to move. Everything felt so heavy. Still, she managed to stagger forward, so as to stand in front of the west window. The sunlight was dimmed, shining through her brother’s-

Twilight lifted a hoof and placed it against the glass. The glass held for a moment, before turning like liquid, and allowing her hoof to slide through, and settle on the carved stone ledge on the other side. The sun was so dim, hidden behind clouds and filtered through the barrier created by the Captain of the Royal Guard. It left everything inside a horrible cheerful pink. She’d hate it, if she could only bring herself to care.

With a rock forward, Twilight staggered out on to the ledge. The magic she’d subconsciously cast told her that her tail was still caught in the glass, but she ignored it. If she severed the spell, her tail would get a rather erratic trim. So what? It didn’t matter. Nothing really mattered.

It didn’t matter that the ledge was, really, far too small to hold her weight. It didn’t matter that it had echoed out a warning crack as soon as she stepped onto it. It didn’t even matter that it was already degrading under her weight; a considerable chunk off of the corner had already broken off to smash on the cobblestones a hundred feet below, probably from when she'd lost her balance and her back hoof had landed awkwardly on it in her turn.

Twilight couldn’t remember why she’d stepped out here now. There was no breeze to enjoy, and the already clouded over sun was disappearing even further as the barrier was recast. The weather ponies would clear the clouds for the actual wedding, but in the meantime they had better things to do, so it was only natural that a cloudy day would precede what would no doubt be a lovely, star-filled night. Perhaps she’d stepped out here to leave the voices behind. They were quieter now. She couldn’t make out what they were saying. Every familiar inflection, accent, or laugh was distorted, as if she was far under-water and they were playing happily far above her on land.

Twilight looked down, and wondered briefly what it would be like to fall.

“Don’t turn away.”

Twilight’s ear flicked, her head lifting an inch. A gentle voice had called out to her. It was pleading, sorrowful. It had been distorted as well, but in a different way. It was as if someone was down here with her.

She lifted her head a little more, and looked around. There was no-one here. Even the room behind her was as empty as it had been twenty minutes ago, when Celestia had ushered the guards out with her, so as to leave Twilight alone. And she was alone, too. There was nothing left. She had absolutely nothing.

I bet my friends will be happier with Cadence. She’s so perfect after all. Rarity finally has true Canterlot royalty to schmooze up to. Pinkie and her will get along great once the wedding’s over. They’ll throw lots and lots of parties. The one for Valentine’s Day would be amazing, I bet. Cadence is amazing with animals too, so I know Fluttershy’ll be happy. Dash finally gets her flying buddy too. And Applejack-

The numbness faded for a second for a sharp stab of pain to rocket through her chest. A dull sob was choked out, and she shivered again. Maybe she had come out here in a dull attempt to get warm again. She couldn’t remember. It wouldn’t have worked anyway, the sun was long gone after all... It probably didn’t matter.

Why... I know you’ve already chosen and nothing I can do will change that- So it doesn’t matter, not really, but... Why AJ? I thought...

Twilight was shaking. She couldn’t help it.

I thought we were friends.

Twilight’s eyes struggled to focus again as she looked down. Her sight was blurred, but it couldn’t be with tears. She was almost sure she had no more left to shed. The stone underneath her hooves gave another ear-splitting crack. She couldn’t remember why she should care. It wasn’t as if it would matter if it broke. It wasn’t as if she would be missed, if it broke. It wasn’t as if her friends would care if it broke.

“I’ll miss you.”

Twilight barely acknowledged the voice, not knowing if it was her own crying a goodbye, or someone else’s calling out. Perhaps, just perhaps, it was both.

She smiled slightly, even as she found herself shifting forward. She couldn’t help but think that it would be nice, if it was both. If this mattered to someone, then maybe she could feel just a little bit of happiness in that.

Far off and yet within her, something stirred. It was a tiny movement, but it was quick, almost sudden, as if desperately grasping out to catch something precious that was about to fall out of reach; A feeling much like grasping at straws.

“Did you miss me, Celestia? I missed you.”

Twilight abruptly rocked backwards at the sound of Discord’s voice. Heart pounding, she staggered back, off of the ledge and through the window again, landing heavily onto her side. Her spell severed itself suddenly, and the window returned to solid glass.

Her breath was shaking as she rolled onto her stomach and blinked, her ears swiveling as she tried to figure out where Discord’s voice had come from. It had been so loud. Her eyes locked onto the window again, and she quietly noted that her tail had gotten caught after all, and was now three inches shorter in an odd diagonal cut. It was fine though. She didn’t really care what her tail looked like at the moment anyway. She was more curious as to the sudden appearance of that memory.

“It’s quite lonely being imprisoned in stone, but you wouldn’t know that, would you?”

“Discord,” Twilight breathed, her eyes widening as the memory played. She hadn’t thought much of it at the time, as she had been more concerned with what he had done with the Elements, but now...

There had been no deceit in his voice, then. None of the twisting trickery in his tone then, like there had been in what had followed. Discord truly had missed Celestia. He had wanted her to be there in that long millennia of cold imprisonment. He had been... lonely.

The thought struck her with an almost ringing resonance. Without knowing why, or even caring much for the answer, Twilight let the resonance fill her. It was giving her numbed mind and heart motion again, and for the moment, she would embrace it without question.

Somehow, when she stood this time, it was easier. It was as if a bit of the weight that had been pressing down on her had lifted. It was still heavy, it was still painful, but as she stepped forward, felt her magic rise to her bidding to throw the doors almost violently open, it was bearable.

Twilight stepped over the dazed guards, paying little attention to them as she wove her way down the hall. She turned sharply left at the second doorway, and found her pace quickening as she continued down it. She knew the way. Down this hall, turn right at the third, down the stairs, then left, and left again, the gate to the statue garden would be just ahead then.

Had they been friends once, too? Celestia had clearly never missed Discord for a second during that millennia, was furious to feel even the slightest drop of his magic again... But did that really mean that they had never, once, been friends? Celestia had said they were old foes. Discord had made it sound as if the two had been enjoying a delightful game together, until she had to go and ruin it by turning him into stone. Twilight suddenly wondered if he had meant any harm by it at all. Celestia had claimed that the ponies were miserable under his rule, but it wasn’t as if there were any ponies still alive to affirm that claim.

He would make a terrible King though. Twilight noted to herself with a cold smirk. He’s too impulsive and selfish. Discord wouldn’t be able to make anypony happy as a ruler. To rule a country correctly you need proper order and planning.

Did that make Discord himself evil though? Was chaos itself bad? Pinkie had loved the chaos Discord had brought. The chocolate rain and the cotton candy clouds were the greatest thing ever in her opinion, and she hadn’t been the only one. A lot of ponies had enjoyed certain parts of his magic. If Discord had only shown restraint, perhaps they wouldn’t have had to been enemies at all. Another question came to mind, one stronger than the other before.

Did the fact that he had ruled with chaos and whim, mark him as the villain, or the fool? On the day they had first met, everypony around her had pointed and called him evil. That he was going to ruin all their lives unless stopped.

“Because you’re evil! Evil! And if I don’t stop you, you’re going to ruin my brother’s life!”

“What are you talking about Twilight? Cadence is an absolute gem!”

Perhaps, Twilight thought, as she looked up at the terrified grimace that Discord’s statue held, perhaps it’s all a matter of perspective.

After her encounter with the cockatrice in the Everfree forest, Twilight had been determined to never fall to such a horrid fate again. She had been exceedingly lucky that Fluttershy had been able to rescue her. Now, more than ever, she was glad she had found a way to be self-sufficient if a similar incident ever occurred again. A month after her encounter, she had discovered what was known as a stone reversal spell. It was incredibly complicated, but nothing above her level. It had taken her four days to learn, but nearly five months to perfect. The spell’s main focus was on awakening a pony’s, or for that matter, any living creature’s inner magic, and then using that to breathe life into the petrified flesh once more. As Twilight had been determined to reach a level where she would be able to cast the spell even when petrified herself, it had taken her far longer to learn it than it normally would have. She had been forced to completely rewrite certain parts of the spell altogether, and then adjust the unchanged parts of the spell into perfect synchronization with little to no room for error. By many ponies’ definitions, it had been an impossible task.

There was a reason why her special talent was in magic itself.

After five months of constant revisions, quirks, nearly a full crate of temporary stone-skin potions, and far too many magic hangovers from deliberately overdosing on said potions, she had done it. She had brought the already complicated spell to a new level, and then mastered it there. A small, irritated voice, that sounded suspiciously like a male Rainbow Dash, told her rather bluntly that there was no way that the spell would work on Discord. His petrification had been caused by the Elements of Harmony, the voice stressed, not some lame little cockatrice. There was no way it could work!

“It’ll work.”

Twilight smiled, feeling a tiny surge of pride at the two simple words. She was right, Twilight was sure of it. This was a spell she had poured all of her time, determination, and studies into. It would work. They were sure of it.

Twilight took a step back, and a deep breath. She looked up at Discord’s terrified visage once more, before closing her eyes and letting everything but the threads of magic around them fall to silence. It was surprisingly easy. The hollowed out numbness that filled her was almost like a blanket that she could pull over her head, blocking out everything that wasn’t wanted. Twilight smirked slightly at the thought. Even pain could be helpful.

The spell wove itself together in her mind. One string after another, quickly binding together into a web of thousands that could leave many a mind reeling. It called upon her inner magic, deep as it was, and then deeper still, until she felt as if her whole body was humming with magic. The spell wasn’t for her though, this time, and as the humming came to a vibrant crescendo, she directed it on with a mental flourish towards Discord. The effect was immediate, and a loud crack echoed out in response. A peal of laughter reached her ears a moment later, and she began to feel Discord answering the spell’s call for his magic as well with undeniable glee. The spell required great amounts of concentration and magic, however, and Twilight could feel hers beginning to waver. The voice had had a point. This wasn’t a cockatrice’s spell, but one crafted by the Elements of Harmony. She had been tired to begin with, but now exhaustion was starting to creep into her limbs. For a split-second, she thought about giving up. The thought was banished as she realized how close Discord was now to freedom; to take that away at this point would be the cruelest thing one could do. She had to at least try.

Twilight poured the last of her magic into a final burst through the spell. In the split second before the spell tore apart and vanished, she felt Discord answering in kind. Even then, it was only when she heard Discord’s gleeful whoop as he shot up into the sky that she knew she had succeeded.

A small, sad smile crossed her face as she watched the draconequues wind his way up into the sky. She could take pride in her accomplishment... But what was left past this? The resonance had dulled into silence. She had found a purpose, if only for a moment... A reason to keep moving forward. She had righted something she had felt was wrong. There was no way to know if it had been the right decision, but it was one she had made herself for no other reason than... Than because... because why? Was it because they had lied to her? Because she had been left in a despair she knew she never wanted anyone else to have to suffer in... Yes, that was it. There were others to rule above Discord. His chaos couldn’t bring any kind of misery even close to what that black ocean could. If there was anything left past this, that mattered even a little, it was that she couldn’t help but wonder what Discord thought of this grand mess.

“Well, speak of the devil.”

She raised an eyebrow as she lifted her gaze from the cobblestone path to look up at the draconequues instead. He was looking at her with a mixture of bemused curiosity and complete fascination. There was something searching in that mismatched gaze as well, and she held his curious stare with one of her own. She was realizing a reason behind the resonance, and for a moment, she stopped to study him.

The mismatched limbs, along with the draconic tail and serpentine body, truly did give Discord a look that simply screamed “villain.” It was no secret that ponies feared what they didn’t understand. The general reaction to the “unnatural” Everfree Forest was a perfect example of that.

So, which was it then? A villain assigned by appearance, or choice? Twilight’s lips twitched as an answer came to mind, one that seemed fitting. Perhaps it had been both, an assigned role that had been completely embraced.

Even if he was an enemy, last time the lines had been drawn before they had even began. The teams had been chosen from the start. They had given him no more a choice as to his role that time than whatever had happened in the past- A past, admittedly, that she was merely guessing at. This time however, he was as free to choose his role as she was to walk away from the entire game. Which was exactly what she intended to do.

Twilight dropped her gaze from the curious figure before her, turned, and walked away. She had done what she had come to do. That was it. Everything past this point didn’t matter. The numbness had come back with the exhaustion of her magic, and she found herself too tired to care what happened now. Celestia would no doubt soon find out what she had done, and Twilight mused coldly that if she had still been the Princess’s student, she might have been able to care what Celestia’s first move would be. This time, she wouldn’t have the Elements to call upon. Not right away, at least... She would be replaced, soon enough.

“You know that isn’t very polite, Twilight Sparkle. Appearing out of nowhere and waking me up without so much as a good morning? Really. I thought your manners were better than that!”

Twilight came to a stop at the sound of Discord’s voice. She hadn’t expected him to call after her. His words were mocking as always, a part of her deadpanned, nothing new there. It took a moment, or perhaps more, for her to think past through the tired, numb fog that filled her to realize that there was something new. There was something very new and different indeed. He wasn’t mocking her. There wasn’t a hint of malice in his tone, or even bored irritation. Quite the opposite, now that she was thinking about it. He sounded rather...Happy. Benevolent wouldn’t be a stretch. Even the exasperation in his tone was a false one crafted from huffed amusement. Discord wasn’t mocking her at all. He was... teasing. As if they were old friends meeting for breakfast and she’d arrived too early and woke him up. The thought hurt, as it was far too close to now bitter memories, painful wounds that had yet to have chance to heal... And yet, somehow, it made her smile, for in a way, it was oddly amusing as well.

She turned slowly, finding that much of the weight from before had returned, although whether it was because of exhaustion or simply because her purpose had come to a close, she didn’t know. It probably didn’t matter. As she looked over her shoulder at her old enemy, the odd smile didn’t slip, and when she spoke, it was with a quiet serenity she doubted she’d ever truly feel again.

“Good morning, Discord.”

The tiny part of her that had sparked in amusement at the thought of tea, did so again at the look of confusion that replaced just a little bit of his cocky smile. It was worth turning around just for that, it said, and Twilight somehow found herself inclined to agree, if only a little.

“Hmm,” Discord hummed as he slowly stretched himself out in the dim afternoon sun, his joints crackling like popcorn, “perhaps morning is a bit of a stretch...”

Twilight shook her head as she began walking again at the draconequues’s pun, knowing full well that only more would follow.

“...And perhaps it being good as well.”

Had their conversation ended at that, Twilight wouldn’t have paid the oddly quiet finish to Discord’s reply any attention at all. In hindsight, she would realize that her expecting Discord to simply leave such an interesting prospect alone had been rather foolish. It really should have come to no surprise to her when he flew over to gently glide beside her. As it was, however, it did surprise her, and she raised a questioning eyebrow at the spirit, as it was quite clear that he had no intention of flying off somewhere else any time soon.

“Do you need something?” Twilight asked, curious as to what more the draconequues could want from her.

Discord’s attempt at curious indifference nearly made her laugh. It was such an utterly unfitting expression for the spirit.

“Oh, just pondering what could possibly possess the lovely Miss Sparkle to make her free the Dreaded Draconequues of Chaos,” he replied breezily, waving a paw for effect.

Twilight smiled sadly. She wondered if he realized how deep that question ran.

“I realized it wasn’t right for you to be locked up like that,” she said simply. She could think of no crime great enough to warrant a punishment like that...

“Oh I see, I see,” Discord hummed, nodding sagely at her answer, “it wasn’t ri-” The spirit stopped both flying and nodding abruptly, his face freezing in a look of complete confusion and surprise.

“Wait, what?”

On any other day, his reaction would have made her laugh. It’s not often that one manages to catch the spirit of chaos and disharmony by surprise after all. Today, however, his reaction was ignored in favor of his question, and Twilight’s sad smile slipped a little as she tried to reach for the only explanation she had.

“You and Celestia were friends once, right?” She asked softly, refusing to stop walking lest she lose the little control she had.

“Well, yes,” Discord spluttered, his composure temporarily broken, “but that was a very long time ago-” The draconequues suddenly grinned, his voice regaining its normal, almost irritatingly chipper tone, “We were barely your age! Why-”

So she had been right. The realization stopped her in her tracks. The quiet resonation hummed again, and she found herself forcing back tears she didn’t know she had left to shed as she cut Discord off before he could even begin his story. He had wanted to know why, and now she had his answer.

“It’s lonely, isn’t it?” Twilight could barely hold her voice steady; but as long as she could, as long as she could hold it as if this was nothing but another blasted lesson, then she would.

Discord’s confusion only seemed to grow. “What?”

“In the statue like that,” Twilight explained, “It’s lonely, right? Lonely, and cold? Without anyone being there to hear you, or for you to speak to? Just you and your own blasted dark thoughts about what went wrong, or what happened…” She could feel her control slipping, could feel her shoulders shaking, could feel the lump gathering in throat, making it harder to speak; And yet it was if a dam had been opened, and now the words wouldn’t stop pouring out- “Or why the one person you trusted the most, who you always thought would be there for you, wasn’t?” – Even as her voice began to crack, making her suddenly realize that she didn’t know if she was talking about Discord or herself. “O-or about how the ponies you thought would always understand you,

“Turned out never to have understood you at all.”

Twilight nearly tripped over her own hooves as she struggled to spin around to look at Discord. His voice had joined hers in perfect understanding on that final line. His mismatched eyes held that same perfect understanding, and he was looking at her as if he was reappraising her.

A surprisingly bitter smile crossed the draconequues’s features. It looked odd, as normally the spirit was so blatantly, gratingly cocky. For today however, it was perfectly fitting.

“Yes, that’s quite it exactly, Miss Sparkle…” Discord replied softly, his eyes settling on the ancient cobblestones beneath them. With an almost dark chuckle he lifted his gaze to fly forward and glide beside her once again, and she rewarded him with a quietly bitter smile of her own as he sighed, the two moving forward once more. “That’s quite it exactly.”

The two walked together in almost peaceful silence along the palace paths that Twilight knew so well. How many times had her hooves crossed these old stones? Her eyes traced each smoothed stone’s edge, how each cobblestone piece seemed to fit perfectly into the next, a winding puzzle that fit together into a pathway that wound around the gardens, courtyards, and castle. There were so many colors hidden in each stone as well; Faint reds, and blues, shades of silver and slate that she had never noticed before. She’d walked this path countless times, but not once had she noticed what care had been put into what she had carelessly paced over. She had always been looking up, back then, up at her beautiful white teacher, so perfect, wise, and beloved... Now the thought nearly made her laugh. Or possibly choke. It was hard to tell.

“So what happened between you and your friends?”

Discord’s rather unwanted question broke her abruptly from her reverie, and her eyes flicked upward with an anger that she didn’t quite understand herself. Rather suddenly, she wanted the spirit that had been quietly walking alongside her to go away. The moment of peaceful companionship was broken and gone. A mixture of emotions suddenly swelled up through the numbness, anger, grief, pain, betrayal, but it was all brushed aside as abruptly as they had bubbled up as Discord barely suppressed a burst of laughter.

“Oh come now, Twilight,” He chided gently, his voice filled with benevolent amusement, “it’s quite obvious that something happened- You can’t blame this old coot for simply dying to know what it was, can you?”

Nothing but simple and honest curiosity. The little bit of anger she had held momentarily faded back into numbness as her eyes dropped back to the cobblestones. The pain and betrayal held for a moment longer, and the sudden wish for him to go away was replaced with a stronger plead for the moment of peaceful companionship to return. It was lonely, wasn’t it...? Whether literal stone or metaphorical ocean, it hurt being imprisoned in those depths. What happened? Twilight loved having the answers to everything, and she wanted to answer his question- But she didn’t have an answer to begin with. She didn’t understand what went wrong, no matter how many times the damned moment looped in her mind. All she knew, was that for some reason, the ponies that had once been her friends simply didn’t care anymore, that she didn’t matter to them anymore... Which meant, really, that...

“…It doesn’t matter. At least, not anymore.”

Discord hummed quietly, noting her answer without a word. For a moment, the silence held between them once more. Twilight’s eyes drifted back to the draconequues’s distant gaze, and a bitter smile crossed her lips as she broke him from his reverie with a question of her own.

“What happened between you and Celestia?”

The spirit blinked, surprise showing on his face for only a second, before slipping away into a look of quiet understanding. They both already knew the answer.

“It doesn’t matter anymore, now does it?” Discord asked softly, a bitter smile matching her own appearing as she nodded.

“No, it doesn’t.”

For a while, it was peaceful again, and Twilight walked on, along the abandoned paths, just watching and observing the world as it silently wound past her. Discord seemed oddly content to just glide alongside her, and although she probably knew it no more than she would want to admit it, she enjoyed having him there. It wouldn’t be much longer before their sheltered path would come to an end, however. Twilight knew that around the next corner were the outer palace gates, and that was where the cobblestones would cease, and the busy streets of Canterlot would begin.

Twilight slowed to a stop, a mossy corner of the castle the only thing blocking her from seeing the guard posts on either side of the gates. Already she could see the bright ivy that grew along the ivory walls. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do now. Then again, now that she was thinking about it, Twilight realized she hadn’t really known what to do ever since she had collapsed crying on the stairs. Everything up until now had been almost... Instinctual. Resonance, whim, gut, however she put it, it came down to the same thing- She had no plan. She hadn’t had one all morning, rather frankly. Even her attempt at confronting Princess Mi Amore Cadenza had been unplanned- It was something she had just done, with no thought other than protecting her idiot brother. She had stepped out of the glass because she had no reason not to, had rescued Discord because she had felt it was right, and had walked along the old paths for no other reason than because they were bare and welcoming. Now, it was quiet. She could hear the guards ahead, talking and joking with each other, but it meant nothing to her. Everything felt as hollowed-out and silent as she did. So, now what?

The sound of Discord snapping his claws jolted Twilight out of her loop of thoughts. She blinked twice, before swivelling her head to look and see what the draconequues was doing now- Except, well, he wasn’t a draconequues anymore.

Discord took a couple smooth steps ahead, adjusting a fine black dinner jacket around his shoulders as he did so. He swiped a hoof along the left sleeve, smoothing out a wrinkle or two before sliding his gaze sideways to smirk at Twilight’s stunned expression. He had taken the form of a tall, slender, unicorn stallion, coat a dusty velvet brown, and his mane a swept-back black except for the white bangs that hung in front of his eyes. His eyes were still a bright, mischievous red, but they were now even, with none of the yellow remaining. If Twilight didn’t know better, she would have thought the spirit a normal pony. Discord’s smirk grew a little bigger as her eyes continued to search his new form, trying to find a mistake in his shape-shifting. It took her longer to notice than she would have liked, but the only thing off was that his stallion form was lacking a cutie mark. It had been hard to tell, as his jacket was long enough to cover the area without looking suspicious.

“Huh. That’s really impressive....” Twilight muttered, a tiny part of her reluctantly admitting that the spirit was rather talented when it came to magic.

Discord chuckled, taking another step forward before looking back at Twilight and holding a hoof out.

“Well, shall we go?”