• Published 15th Dec 2014
  • 9,810 Views, 575 Comments

This Cruel and Random World - Bluegrass Brooke

It was a simple bet. Spend one month as a pony, and prove to Celestia that he had been right all along. Discord never thought he would actually enjoy it. As the days pass, he finds himself desperate to keep up the façade a little longer.

  • ...

This Could Be Fun

What a repulsively perfect day. Discord grimaced, trying to ignore the sunshine streaming directly into his eyes and reflecting off his glasses. Though it was early in the morning, everypony seemed to be walking around the street in sickeningly high spirits. This is going to be a very long walk.

With the air of somepony going to a funeral, Discord made his way towards the library. Every few feet, ponies would stop to say good morning and he would be obligated to greet them in turn. It was infuriatingly slow progress. As soon as he could, he veered off down a side street to avoid any more well-wishers.

Now that he was finally alone, he began to relax. At each house he passed, he was careful to mess up one little detail. An overturned flowerpot here, a loose brick there. It was a pathetic substitute for his usual tricks, but it would have to do. He was about to move away from bending a mailbox when a loud thunderclap sounded right into his ears. Naturally he jumped like a rabbit and it was only by a miracle of self restraint that he did not blast the perpetrator with a strong dose of chaos magic.

High pitched laughter preceded the arrival of Rainbow Dash. She flew down, giggling like a school yard filly the whole way. "The look on your face, Entropy. Priceless."

Discord was fairly certain the only look on his face was one of purest irritation, but he was not about to argue the point. He cleared his throat, adjusting his glasses. "I suppose you think that was amusing, Rainbow Dash."

"Well duh! That was perfect!" Her sniggering was starting to get on Discord's nerves. She wiped the tears of glee from her eyes. "That prank never gets old."

Amateur. I could do better in my sleep. Hmmm. Yes, I could do better, couldn't I? Discord raised an eyebrow, sauntering over to her, "So you think that was good, eh?"

"Yeah." The over confident expression on her face faltered ever so slightly.

Discord continued his mock appraising look, then broke into one of his booming laughs. "It was. Well played Rainbow Dash."

"Well yeah, I'm the best prankster in Ponyville. Well, apart from Pinkie." Rainbow relaxed, folding her wings and stood next to Discord. "So, you going to do more egghead stuff?"

"Oh yes, I promised Twilight another lesson later today so I wanted to get there early." He shrugged, leaning against the nearest light post.

Her ears perked up, "Lesson? Say, what do you teach?"

Discord examined his hooves, continuing in a would-be-casual voice, "Quantum physics mostly, though I dabble in chaos theory."

"Sounds boring!" Rainbow eyed him cautiously as though egghead were a contagious disease.

They walked down the street together, though Discord was careful to walk ever so slightly to the side, forcing Rainbow to walk along close to the houses. He counted each of her steps until she reached just the right spot. "Hold on, Rainbow Dash."

She stopped cold, looking expectantly up at him. "What?"

He stroked his goatee thoughtfully. "I've always wondered. How do you get a thundercloud to release lightning?"

"Oh that's easy. You jump." She began to hop on the ground.

Discord heard the distinct pop of a wooden stopper being pulled. With a loud crash, the flowerbed beside Rainbow Dash tipped over, spilling its contents all over the pegasus. He burst into laughter at the look of dumbfound amazement on her face. Priceless. Simply priceless. "You should see the look on your face!"

"How? How did you?" Rainbow looked back at the overturned flowerbed then down at the ground. Her hoof cuffed the grass to reveal a pressure trigger hidden in the dirt. She turned to Discord, "When did you –"

"Oh, the other day when I had to clean up my little mess." He rolled his eyes, "It was terribly dull doing everything the earth pony way so I thought I'd spice things up a bit."

"That was amazing!" Rainbow flew into the air, knocking off the dirt and flowers as she went. She came back, landing beside him. "I've never seen a prank like that before. So simple, so brilliant!"

"Yes, well, I am rather known for it back home." Try notorious for it. Discord chuckled, motioning for Rainbow to follow him. "I just couldn't let your amateur act stand without a proper challenge."

Rainbow nodded approval, "Well guess you win this round, but only this round. Tomorrow I'll have some really good stuff."

"We'll see." A wonderful thought occurred to him then. Why not have even more fun? He raised a cautious eyebrow, "Though, it might be interesting to prank a few townsponies. What do you say?"

"YES!" She did a loop de loop, eyes sparkling with excitement. "I've got some great stuff I wanted to try." Discord listened to her rudimentary list of pranks with mild interest. For a being with no magic and little creativity, she really was rather good at planning pranks. Though, under the same circumstances, he could easily top her and he would.

As they walked, he had to suffer through a play by play of her latest and greatest pranks. It was more ego stroking than he could stomach, and that was saying a lot coming from him. By the time they arrived at the library, he was ready to be rid of her. "Goodbye, Rainbow Dash."

"See you, Entropy. And hey, let me know if you think of any good pranks."

"Oh I will." Right after I use them on you. Discord strode into the library, slamming the door open. Twilight wheeled around from her cushion, looking as though he had fired off a blast of magic. Maybe that was a touch too loud. Chuckling, he closed the door softly. "Sorry, Twilight."

"That's fine, Entropy." She lept up, trotting over to him. "You're here early." Discord watched her prance around him like an overexcited dog welcoming its owner. She ceased her dance to stare intently into his eyes. "So, ready to get started?"

"Yes." He tried to avoid the alicorn's gaze, keenly aware of how close her muzzle was to his. "Twilight, you're a little close."

"Oh . . ." Her face turned a violent shade of red, and she backed away. "Sorry."

"It's fine." Discord watched her trot around the library, apparently setting up whatever lesson she had planned for the day. It was best to leave her be. He looked around for Spike, but thankfully he did not appear to be at home. The dragon's suspicious nature was starting to get on his nerves. If he was not careful, his ruse would be up before it even got started.

"All set!"

Discord turned to see Twilight holding up a strange apparatus. It looked like an upturned colander with wires and lights sticking out. Kill me now. Grimacing, he walked over to where she had connected the piece to some kind of read out machine. "So, what's this?"

"A magic readout detector." Twilight stroked the machine lovingly. "It can detect the strength of a unicorn's magic. But, it's not so good with earth pony magic."

"I see." Discord sat on the floor, allowing Twilight to strap the device on his head. Though she appeared confident, Discord knew better. He had read her little correspondence letters with Celestia. Twilight Sparkle was an accident waiting to happen.

A loud beeping noise started up, echoing around the room. Twilight sat across from him, levitating up a small ball. "All right, Entropy. Levitate this for a bit. I want to see what happens when your magic goes haywire."

Oh no you don't. Gritting his teeth, he began to levitate the ball. It went well for a bit, but soon the orb began to twist and squeak. After a few seconds, it exploded. Still watching the readout, Twilight caught the pieces in her own magic, then gave him another ball to try.

It went on like this for close to half an hour. He would attempt to hold the ball in the air and it would either explode or warp itself until it deflated. Either way, it was frustrating. With each new set of data, Twilight's smile widened.

The last ball he was trying to focus on kept twisting as though he were wringing it out. He was so distracted that he did not even notice Twilight had turned off the machine.

"Entropy?" Twilight's face came right up next to his, causing him to lose concentration and drop the ball.

"Yes?" Twilight's eyes bored into his own. For the life of him, Discord could not see what so fascinating. "What?"

She placed her hoof on his cheek, "Your eyes, they change color."

"What? They're gold the way they've always been." What is she going on about?

"I never noticed it until now. I was too focused on the magic itself." Twilight's warm breath fogged up the glass of his spectacles. "When you use magic, your pupils turn red."

Oh no. Discord had not even considered that a possibility, but it made perfect sense. Harmony magic sought to return things to order. A draconequus disguised as a unicorn was far from orderly. It was trying to reveal the truth. Well, he could not have that. Not yet anyway. Think, Discord, think. "I uh . . . it does that. I never understood why. My teachers always thought it had to do with my lack of control."

"Hmmm." Twilight leaned in even closer, examining his eyes. "That doesn't make any sense."

Twilight had pushed his back to the ground and was now standing over him. It was more than a little awkward, even for himself. "Twilight. Uh, could you get off of me now?"

"What?" She looked down, realizing what she was doing for the first time. In a smooth motion a cat would be proud of, she leapt back off of him. "Oh my Celestia! I'm so sorry, Entropy. I don't know what came over me." Her face was the color of Applejack's apples by this point. "I'm really sorry. I was curious about the eye color thing."

Discord listened to her long winded apology in amazement. Why in Equestria is she so worked up? Then it hit him like a ton of bricks. She fancies me. Discord you old fox, how did you miss that! The thought of Princess Twilight Sparkle bearer of harmony being attracted to him, the spirit of chaos himself was beyond comedic.

This is perfect. Here in front of him was the very opportunity he had been hoping for. A chance not only to get back at the insufferable mare, but to pull off the most elaborate prank of his life. He would make Twilight Sparkle fall in love with him, then reveal the truth. It was so simple, so brilliant that he wanted to kick himself for not thinking of it earlier. Oh Discord, you've really outdone yourself this time.

If Twilight had been a superstitious pony she would have said that the day was going too well for something not to go wrong. But, she was more rational than that. Just like the past few months, events were simply falling where they needed to. Nothing suspicious there.

After their little test, she had sheets upon sheets of data to sort through. But that could wait and it would. Teaching Entropy was her first priority after all. After a few more attempted spells, she decided their energy would be better spent doing research. So they had begun researching just about every possible cause for a unicorn to lose control of their magic. It was slow going, tedious work, but Entropy did not seem to mind. Twilight could not help but admire his determination.

Entropy looked up from his book, a rather cumbersome tome on light spells. "Twilight?"

"Yes?" Her heart skipped a beat at the sound of his voice. "Find something?"

"Well, yes and no." He gave a sheepish grin, pointing at the page. "I'm afraid I don't quite understand this passage but I think it might be helpful."

"Hmmm. Let me see." She got up from her cushion and lay down beside him. The book was open to a chapter on healing magic. Brilliant! I didn't think to look into healing magic. She raised an eyebrow at her pupil. Entropy always had a way of thinking outside the box. "What part were you wondering about?"

"This one here." His smooth, baritone voice was enough to send shivers up her spine. The stallion's hoof tapped the passage in question. "It says something about magic being blocked. Do you think that might be what's causing my problem?"

Twilight began to read, nodding as she went. The entire time, she could feel Entropy's side pressed against her own. It was warm, but not uncomfortable. Twilight found herself purposely taking longer than necessary to read the passage. She looked up into Entropy's eyes, "It's an excellent theory, but I don't think it quite fits. Dr. Nemane says that this sort of thing comes as a result of psychological trauma or physical injury. Your problem's been around as long as you can remember."

"True. But, perhaps this blocking could be expanded." Entropy leaned in so close she could feel his hot breath against her face. "After all, the author's a doctor. He might not think to look beyond the medical field."

Twilight nearly jumped when she felt his tail resting on hers. Judging from his intent focus on the text, he had not noticed. She tried to return her attention to their conversation. "So, if . . . if that's the case, then maybe magic could be blocked by other paths."

Entropy stroked his goatee thoughtfully, "Hmmm. I think that's a logical leap. Why not test the theory out?"

"Yes." Her heart began to race at the stallion's proximity. He can't be that oblivious. It was more than likely payback for her earlier, she would not blame him. But why did he have to be so good at it?

A loud creaking of the door announced Spike's return. Twilight looked up to see the dragon staring open mouthed at them, arms folded around a shopping bag. Her voice was a little more high pitched than normal, "Spike, you're back early."

"What are you doing?" Spike's cheeks were a little red, and he stammered something incoherent.

Entropy raised his head, smiling broadly at Spike. "Research. Twilight was running through a theory with me."

Twilight twitched as his tail wrapped around hers again. Ok, he has to know what he's doing. She gave a loud cough, pulling away from Entropy and standing. "Thanks for picking up those supplies, Spike."

"Yeah, no problem." Spike walked over to her, eyeing Entropy the whole time. "So, how's magic training going?"

Entropy gave a heavy sigh. "None too well I'm afraid."

Spike gave a clear I didn't ask you expression. He looked back at Twilight, "Fluttershy was in town. She was wondering if you needed her animals for magic practice."

"Oh . . ." Her eyes darted to Entropy whose focus had returned to the book. "I don't think we're quite ready for animals yet."

"Indeed not."

Entropy's reply made her jump. Apparently he had been listening after all. Twilight chuckled, turning back to her own cushion. "We'll just be researching today. Tomorrow we'll have some more practical lessons."

"Okay, I guess." Spike dropped the bag of parchment on the floor, walking towards the kitchen. "But, it's a nice day and Rainbow said the weather team's making it rain all day tomorrow."

Twilight turned back to her pupil. "Entropy? What do you say, want to do a practical lesson today?"

"Well, we'll research for now, then after lunch I'll give you a practical lesson." The stallion's gaze did not leave the book, "There's more than one way to teach physics. A change of pace might be fun."

"It's settled then. We'll go to the park after lunch." Twilight returned to the task at hand. Though it was a fascinating book, she could not help but pause every so often to look up at Entropy. An entire afternoon to be the student and forget her worries for a bit. She could not help but feel giddy at what Entropy had in store for their lesson. Whatever it was, as long as she was with him, it was bound to be fun.


"Seriously." Entropy's eyes sparkled with excitement as he held up a rope in his mouth and a saw in his hoof.

The other ponies in the park eyed him suspiciously as they passed by. After the last few days, they had learned to stay well clear of the pair while they were training. Thankfully for Ponyville, it was a simple physics lesson. At least that's what Twilight thought it was. "So, you want me to build a pulley system to lift that crate," She nodded to the crate of bricks by Entropy's hooves, "from the ground to that branch?"

Entropy gave a wicked grin, "Precisely."

"But it's so simple! Foals' play." Twilight hated to be the whiny student, but this was downright degrading. "We were studying quantum physics yesterday and now we're messing around with pulley systems!"

"True. But, sometimes you just have to take a step back." He threw the rope unceremoniously to the ground. "If it's so easy, it shouldn't take too much time." He spoke the words in an almost mocking tone.

There were a host of comebacks to that, but for the life of her, Twilight could not think of any. Instead, she gave a loud snort, scooping up the rope in her magic. I'll show you a pulley system. The sun beat down as she worked, allowing the heat to be absorbed in her dark coat. Urgh, so hot! Why's it so hot? To add insult to injury, the system was proving more difficult to build than she first thought and she was constantly having to tear down and reevaluate.

After about half an hour of work, she was finally comfortable trying it out. Cautiously, she began to hoist the crate up with the rope. The tension immediately went slack as the rope snapped in two, sending the crate crashing to the ground. "Urgh!"

Entropy's booming laugh just behind her made her wheel around. His eyes were twinkling with amusement. "Having trouble, Twilight?"

Twilight felt her face grow hot. "I uh . . ." Her hoof cuffed the grass nervously. "Yes." She practically whispered.

"Well, do you want the solution?" He walked over to survey her mess with a perfectly neutral expression.

Twilight felt like crawling in a hole. "Yeah, I'd like that."

Entropy picked up the rope, examining the mid section that had snapped. "It's simple really." A broad grin stretched across his face as he turned back to her. "It's impossible."

"WHAT? But pulley systems work." She was not going to be fooled. She spat the next words like a curse, "I know it can work."

"Well, of course it can work. But not with what I gave you." Entropy gestured to the split rope. "I made some calculations so that the rope did not have the tensile strength to hold up that crate of bricks. Brilliant, huh?"

It was brilliant. The entire exercise had been constructed to test her in the most unexpected way possible. Of course it was common sense to evaluate the tensile strength before starting. But, in her desire to get the task over with, she had completely forgotten that crucial detail. Twilight stared at him with newfound respect. "Brilliant, Professor State. Simply brilliant."

"I try." He ruffled her forelock playfully, sending a shiver up her spine. "Well now, shall we continue to the next lesson?"

"Of course!" Twilight levitated the remaining supplies into a pile and followed Entropy down the path. "So, what are we doing next?"

"Hmmm. I wonder." He tapped a hoof against his chin.

The smug expression on Entropy's face was driving her crazy. "WHAT?"

He stopped, leaning over to her so close that their muzzles almost touched. "It's . . . a . . . surprise."

"Urgh! No fair!" She bumped his side playfully, snagging his glasses in her magic.

"Hey now, that's a cheap shot." Even Twilight was surprised how Entropy looked without his glasses. Now that she could see his chiseled features in detail, she could not help but admire them. Despite being a little older, he really was one of the most handsome stallions she had ever met. She felt her face heating up as they stared off.

Entropy tapped his hoof against the ground, holding a slightly irritated expression. "Going to give them back?"

"Hmmm." Twilight spun the glasses in the air, contemplating. "Nope." With that, she took off down the field at a dead gallop. "Catch me if you can!"

"If you insist." Entropy lurched forward, following Twilight. At first, she imagined she would win, but Entropy had a lot longer legs than her. It only took a few minutes for him to come neck to neck with her. "Going to give up?"

"Nope." Twilight took a hard left turn, sending Entropy sliding into the grass. It took him a moment to get oriented, then he was off again. Their little game kept on that way for a long time. Soon her coat was entirely lathered in sweat, but for once she could not have cared less. She was having the time of her life and, judging from Entropy's laughter, so was he. One wrong turn to the right sealed her loss and she slid hard into the grass. "Ooof." Just as quick, she felt Entropy's hoof pressing her back to the ground.

"Got . . . you." Entropy was panting so hard he looked like he might collapse. Apparently physical training was not standard for Canterlot professors. His entire coat was drenched in sweat and his normally orderly mane was sticking up in odd places. "Gods, you run fast."

"Yeah I guess." Gods? That's so old fashioned. Who says that? She looked up at his hoof which was shaking a little. "Tired?"

"You have no idea." Entropy leaned down, looking her square in the eyes. "I'm afraid I'm going to have to put you on probation, Miss Sparkle."

Twilight was half certain her face might catch fire. Though he smelled like sweat, she did not mind him being so close. The droplets trickling down his face and the triumphant grin he was sporting made him look ten years younger. She found herself wanting to stay like this for hours. Her giggle elicited a bigger smile from Entropy. "You win."

A loud cough sounded from behind them. They looked over to see the Cutie Mark Crusaders staring open mouthed at them. Apple Bloom stepped forward cautiously, "What are you doin'?"

Entropy chuckled, lifting his hoof off of Twilight and straightening. His eyes glanced down at Twilight. "Adult stuff, you wouldn't understand."

"So you're making out?" Sweetie Belle looked a little revolted, "Ewwe."

Twilight scrambled to her hooves, "No, no, fillies. He didn't mean it like that. Right Entropy?"

He looked away in a would-be-casual fashion, "Well, I wouldn't say making out exactly."

Her hooves waved dismissively, as she stammered, "Don't listen to him. He's joking." Why am I explaining myself to them? She rubbed her temple, "We were just running around being goofy and I tripped. Entropy caught up and tried to get his glasses back. That's it." Her eyes focused menacingly on the stallion, "Right, Entropy?"

He jerked a nod, "Correct."

The crusaders seemed to take this as a cue to move on, and they shuffled along quickly. Twilight rounded on him like an angry timberwolf. "What were you doing putting those kind of ideas in their heads?"

"Relax, it was a joke. Though," He leaned close, whispering in her ear. "I wouldn't have said no to a little more." With a flick of his tail, he walked off, scooping his glasses up on the way. "See you tomorrow, princess!"

Twilight had a million more things to say to him, but stopped herself. Instead, she could only wave, a small smile stretching across her face. "Bye." Today had been fun, but maybe too fun. There was something dangerously attractive about Entropy. If she was not careful, she might make a decision she would soon regret. Focus Twilight, focus. He's your student, nothing more.

Walking back to the library proved an interesting trip to say the least. Ponies kept stopping her and asking if she was all right. Apparently their danger barometer went through the roof when bookworm Twilight Sparkle actually exerted herself. After reassuring no less than fifteen ponies, she arrived back at the library. "I'm back, Spike."

"Hey, Twilight. How was—" He stopped short, staring at the dried sweat coating her entire body. "What happened to you?"

Her eyes rolled clean over, "A game of chase. Apparently Entropy's got more endurance than I give him credit for." Twilight sighed, "I'm going to take a bath."

Spike walked after her. "Chase? But I thought you were doing physics."

"We were. Then I stole Entropy's glasses to see what he would do." She could not help but laugh when thinking back on it. "And then, I ran off with them. He chased me around for a good half hour."

"Really? But you hate running!" Spike looked as though she had lost her marbles.

"Oh, Spike. I can enjoy running too." Judging from his dubious expression, that explanation was not flying. Snorting, she turned to face him, "Okay, I know I don't like running. But, I thought I'd try something different today. Is that such a crime?"

He cuffed his foot against the wood, avoiding her gaze. "No, I guess not."

"There. It's settled then." As she stood there, the stale smell of dried sweat reached her nostrils.The earthy smell was not terrible, but it made her feel like a farm pony instead of a librarian. "I'm going to get a bath." Just as she was about to head for the tub, the door flung open and Rainbow Dash came charging in.

"Twilight! Hey, give me some books!"

Twilight fought back the urge to throw something at her. "Would it kill you to say please?"

"Oh, uh . . . please?"

Rainbow's sheepish grin set Twilight giggling. There really was no helping the boisterous pegasus. "All right, what do you need?"

Instead of responding, Rainbow Dash stared transfixed at Twilight's sweat matted coat. "What happened to you?"

"Oh, I uh . . ." She tried to think of a term that did not sound childish, "I was racing with Entropy in the park."

"You were racing?" Rainbow was looking at her with a kind of reverent awe. "Entropy deserves a medal for getting you to run! And I thought he was only good with pranks."

"Pranks?" Twilight watched as Rainbow pulled some books from the shelves.

"Yeah, he's going to be helping me pull off some amazing ones!" Her eyes were still focused on the shelves. "He pulled one this morning to me and it was awesome!" She flew down with a hooffull of action novels, laying them in front of Twilight. "I mean, for an egghead, he's totally cool."

"For an egghead?" For some reason, their little conversation was starting to get on her nerves. Her voice was a little harsher than she intended it to be, "What's wrong with being an egghead?"

"Nothing, just, it's boring that's all." Rainbow leaned casually against the podium, watching Twilight check out the books. "But Entropy's different. He's funny and kinda mischievous like me! You know, I think I'm going to get along great with him. Can't wait to spend some more time with the guy."

Twilight slammed the last book closed so hard that both Rainbow and Spike jumped. Her magic levitated the books into Rainbow's hooves. Though she tried to remain calm, she found an irrational anger surging through her. "Entropy's my student, not yours! So you can just keep your hooves off of him, Rainbow Dash!"

There was a period of silence that seemed to stretch for ages. Then, slowly, Rainbow Dash made her way to the door. Eyes still on Twilight, she fumbled for the latch and missing a few times. Her voice was unusually subdued, "Okay then. See you later, Twilight." With that, she managed to escape the library.

Spike jerked his head to the door. "That was kinda harsh."

Twilight rounded on Spike, setting him cringing. "Nopony asked you!" Before she could get any more irritated, she stormed off down the hallway. A cold realization swept over her as she started up the bath. She had just screamed at one of her best friends for no reason. All because she was talking about having fun with her student. And that was what Entropy was. So why was she so worked up about it? Urgh! What's wrong with me?

Discord never did like cats. Now, he was certain he hated them. After coming back coated in dried sweat, Mrs. Plumsworth had insisted he take a long bath. Once that torture was over, she fed him some very smelly kind of casserole and made him sit on the couch and talk to her. They spent two hours chatting about all her cats. She had five. What was worse, the little beasts all snuggled around him as though he released catnip pheromones. Normally, animals avoided him like the plague, but they seemed to be attracted to him in this form. Why me?

Eight o'clock rolled around and he was released from his feline captors by the elderly mare's early bedtime. Climbing the stairs to his room, he collapsed on the bed. Now that he was alone and lying still, he began to notice the aches. At first they started as a trickle, then became a full-on wave of agony. All his joints felt stiff and it hurt to so much as twitch his legs. Arthritis. He forgot completely about that fun little detail of pony life.

With more effort than he would have cared to admit, he reached over and grabbed the liniment from the endtable. Its strong minty smell was pleasant enough, and it had an immediate effect on the throbbing joints. He used to wonder at all the little medicines, salves, and herbal remedies ponies came up with, thinking they could not possibly need all of them. Now he was starting to appreciate their significance. Ponies really were fragile beings.

Discord looked out the window, focusing on the darkening streets below. It had been a productive day after all. Not only had he had a good laugh or two, he had managed to find the perfect method of getting even with Twilight. And that little trick was turning out to be far easier than he anticipated. A few charming words here, a little touch of the tail there, and he had her right in his paw or in this case hoof. He laughed to himself, savoring the thought of the perfect little princess fawning over him. She would never live this one down. The game was afoot, and there was no way he could lose.

Author's Note:

Oh, Discord you sly old fox you. After a few centuries of living, I think he'd have just the knowhow to charm the ladies. Poor Spike's going to have a hernia from all the stress. In case you were wondering about the "oh my gods" thing . . . Twilight is taken aback because it's a very archaic term that fell out of use once Princess Celestia became revered as a god to the ponies (more than a thousand years ago). The fact that Discord uses "oh my gods" shows his age. He refuses to use "oh my Celestia" because he doesn't see her as anything but a pony.

This was a fun chapter to write! As someone who rides and works with horses all the time, I have to say horse sweat is one of my favorite smells. Yeah, I'm probably a little nutty. :pinkiecrazy: Linement is really useful for sore joins and sprains. We put it on the horses occasionally. Now that is honestly a good smell! It's like Christmas, peppermints, and candy rainbows in one super concentrated package.

I digress. . . Next chapter's the last I had pre-written before posting, so updates will slow a bit. I'll try and publish one a week though. Thanks for reading!