• Published 10th May 2014
  • 2,582 Views, 58 Comments

The Beast Within - Arreis Of Avalon



Discord, after Tirek has gone back to his prison, has trouble dealing with his own inner demons. He knows what he did. He knows what he did was wrong. Unable to cope, he does the unthinkable.

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Loneliness And Secret Meetings, Part Two

Rarity sat, slack jawed. "What in the name of all things good is HE doing here?!" Everypony winced as the shrillness of her voice reached whole new octaves. Luna simply smirked.

Blueblood took a step back as she shouted. "M-madam, please calm down!"

"CALM DOWN?!" Rarity stood quickly, the white fur of her face beginning to shift to a light scarlet in her fury. "How do you expect me to calm down after that AWFUL experience you put me through?! That was absolutely atrocious!"

Blueblood huffed out a sigh. "I'm... terribly sorry, Madam. I should not have treated you as such."

"An apology now is worth nothing," she spat out, turning her back.

He rolled his eyes with a soft huff, taking his place at the table. His horn sparked to life and his saddle bag opened; out came a scroll. "Then let's just get down to business." Rarity gasped and was about to say something, but he quickly spread open the scroll with a flourish. "I brought the map, Auntie."

Rarity huffed lightly, sitting back at the table. Twilight looked closely at the scroll; the writing was archaic, and the parchment even more so. On it was printed a detailed yet faded sketch of Equestria and the lands beyond. She squinted at it. "What does this say?"

"It says much, Twilight." Luna trotted up next to Blueblood, taking in the scroll. Her previous joviality had all but disappeared, replaced with a serious air. "This is a map of the lands surrounding this kingdom. Generally, each kingdom is comprised of mainly one species; Equestria has ponies, whilst the Outer Lands have changelings." She nodded to Blueblood, sitting.

The prince's horn lit, a speck of light glowing in the parchment. "This is the home of the Draconequui." Twilight looked closely at the name of the kingdom. "Don't bother trying to read it. The Draconequui have a very peculiar language. Or, I should say, had."

"Had?" Applejack tapped her chin lightly, taking in the map. "Does that mean that this here Dracon place is basically gone?"

"Not gone, Fair Applejack," Luna said. "Forgotten." She gently lit her horn, bathing the map in a blue light. It formed another map, one showing much more recent landmarks and places. "A current map of Equestria reveals an unsurprising truth."

Twilight's eyes widened. The home of the Draconequui was gone. In fact, the entire part of that map appeared uncharted - no rivers, no mountains, not even a small village here or there. This was unsurprising?

"As you all can see, this area is now shrouded in mystery." Blueblood brushed away part of his aunt's spell. The Dracon home underneath on the old map was still very plain, though had more markings than the future installment. "This is where Discord originally came from."

"And why is this of interest to us," Rarity said, her voice still bitter. "We, obviously, aren't Draconequui."

Blueblood shook his head. "You might not be, but realize this - Discord could wreak havoc on Equestria with his powers. He can shape whole worlds and dimensions, simply for his own pleasure. And with all he can do, the one thing he did... was erase some maps."

Twilight gnawed on the inside of her cheek, thinking. “But why would a near all powerful God waste his time on some maps? What could be so important that he would erase his home from them? And why not the older ones as well? Surely that’s within his powers!”

“Your questions are sound, Princess,” Blueblood said, “but we can only speculate on the answers.” He pointed at the few markings on the ancient map. “Now, this shows one main settlement. Our information about the Draconequui is limited, but it seems they used to be nomadic in nature. The settlement is one of the only permanent structures of their race.”

Rarity rose an eyebrow, having calmed down visibly by this time. “You keep referring to them in past tense. Just because a few maps are erased does not mean the entire race disappeared. What else do you know?”

Luna smiled softly. “Thine attention to detail is impeccable, Fair Rarity.” She stood, looking at all of them in turn. “As all well know, Discord is extremely powerful. We fear this God is playing us as fools.” She glanced at Rarity. “Thine eyes spotted one discrepancy, I believe.”

Rarity blushed as everypony glanced at her. “Well… I find that when I stand in a sunny room, my eyes are a bit strained. I try to stand in somepony’s shadow usually, just to keep the sun out of my eyes. While I was looking for the closest one, I happened to notice that Discord… well… didn’t have one.”

Twilight frowned. “No shadow?” She tapped her chin, thinking. “That might not be anything bad. Knowing him, he probably thought it was weighing him down and told it to go home.”

Luna chuckled but shook her head. “We are afraid not, Twilight. Shadows are powerful things. Dost thou remember, by chance, Sombra’s malicious powers?”

“How could I forget?” She shivered, remembering that door.

“Discord’s shadow could use much the same powers. Shadow magic is intensely powerful, but notoriously difficult to control.” She cleared her throat, almost a bit nervously. “We have surveyed each shadow user in Equestria thus far. Our findings have led to many preemptive strikes against darkness.”

Twilight gulped - she had never known about shadow magic, really. She thought it was all just ‘dark magic’. Were there different parts to it all? Applejack coughed lightly. “Pard’n the interruption, Princess, but does that mean Discord’s got chaos magic and shadow magic?”

“We’re afraid so, Fair Applejack.” She sighed. “Even if his story today rings with any truth, we fear his shadow self - the ‘evil half’ - will still retain his powers.” She frowned. “It is altogether possible that the story was a lie, yet even if it is not a fabrication, we must be wary. We fear the reason these maps have faded is due to the fact that Discord has put an end to his people. Perhaps we are mistaken, but we fear we are not. Tell me - has anypony considered the possibility that the Discord who spoke with us today is, in truth, the evil half?”

Twilight sighed and nodded. “I thought of it… I… I just really hope he was telling the truth. I want to believe him, really. After the fight with Tirek, he seemed so sincere, if a bit aloof.”

“Yet hope can only get us so far, Twilight Sparkle.” Luna glanced at Applejack. “What say thou?”

“Huh?” Applejack’s eyes widened. “Why me?”

“Thou art the element of honesty, Applejack.”

Applejack blushed lightly and looked down, somewhat embarrassed. “Er… Ah don’ really know how much that affects all this. Ah’ve never been able to read him real well.”

“Think back, Applejack,” Twilight said, putting her hoof on Applejack’s shoulder.

Her friend sighed, taking off her hat. “Let’s see here… He was bein’ honest when he said how nice it was t’have caring friends. Ah don’ think that’s a hard thing t’lie about, though. His story about splitting apart sounded true, but Ah feel like he was bending the truth a little. Ah don’t think the evil part wanted to just cause a lotta havoc. Ah think he wanted something else.”

Luna was smiling brightly. “Even better than we expected. We knew we had gathered the right ponies.” She sighed softly. “We have brought thee here for a very specific purpose. Something in the Draconequui homeland has scared Discord, it seems. Perhaps, something in his past - or future - has frightened this evil part of him that we expect still runs free inside his body. We fear the Draconequui may have died in Discord's fright. We are giving you a hard task, my little ponies. Go to Dracon home and investigate.”

Twilight’s eyes widened, as did Applejack’s. Rarity gasped and instantly began her spiel. “T-travel to the chaos center of the world? Princess Luna, surely you don’t expect us to go that far? It’s such a long way, with untold dangers - who knows what sort of horrible monsters we could meet on the way! W-what I mean to say is, a-are we really the ponies you want for this job?”

Luna nodded. “Yes. We chose each here specifically.” She nodded toward Rarity. “Thine attention to detail shall help pinpoint key factors needed to learn more about this elusive kingdom.” She turned to Applejack. “Should thou encounter foes or tricksters in thine path, honest eyes will help reveal all.” She turned to Twilight. “Lastly, the Princess of not only Friendship, but Magic, will be by thine side. We trust, Twilight, that thou wilst protect thy friends to the bitter end?”

Twilight gulped. “Of course, princess.”

Blueblood cleared his throat. “Very well. We will set out in one week’s time.”

“We?” Rarity’s face, although white, seemed to pale slightly. “You don’t mean…”

“Wasn’t that obvious, Fair Rarity?” Luna smirked. “Blueblood will escort thy group safely there. We put all faith in him.”

“HIM!?”

“Why, what on earth is the matter? Prince Blueblood is very skilled in travel. It is why he is oft beyond the limits of Canterlot, truth be told. He has done thousands of missions for us, and we would trust him with all.”

Rarity gulped. She seemed to be shaken. “Very well. We will be ready. Will you, Prince,” she said scathingly.

“Miss Rarity, I was born ready to travel.” He turned to all those gathered. “I will remind you to pack light. This settlement is far off, and even with magic on our side, it will take a few days to travel there. Heavy baggage will bog you down and will just make the journey last longer than it should.” He smiled softly. “One week from now, we need to be ready. I suggest you all prepare yourselves - it’ll be quite the adventure, I believe.”

Author's Note:

Finally, another chapter! So now I get to use that adventure tag~

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