• Published 14th Apr 2015
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Chrysalis Wins - Arkolo



Chrysalis's invasion is successful. The challenge of ruling begins...

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Ch.61 "Finish Round 2, Begin Rou- ... Technical Difficulties"

Chrysalis Wins

Ch.61 "Finish Round 2, Begin Rou- ... Technical Difficulties"

Discord had five cards face down in his lion paw, they shiftily weaved back and forth in an absentminded shuffle. The remaining participants eyed one another wearily. One complete round had sent five equines to the chilly depths below the platform.

Down amongst the freezing water and small ice bergs Armor and Monarch were trying to drown each other. Luna and Shining huddle on a block of ice they managed to clamber on, and Sombra tread water with a very disturbed glower, completely absorbed in his own thoughts.

Crone and Chrysalis shared a knowing look with each other, as they sat beside other on the bench. Specter stared at the ground, seemingly disappointed with himself. Celestia tried to look anywhere but at Discord, anger clearly fumed around her flared nostrils and narrowed eyes, but bridled with countless years of discipline and restraint. Meanwhile More was the only one that looked comfortable where she sat, a small smile danced at the corners of her mouth, and her tail had an uppity flick to it.

Eventually the tall draconequus grumbled unintelligibly to himself and pulled out two cards. The catapults in the center stage of the platform lowered and readied themselves for another bout in the tournament of venomous words.

When the spirit of chaos looked at the took cards he had chosen he let out a small chuckle.

"hehehoho. This one ought to be particularly gooood."

Then his voice boomed as he announced the next pair to occupy the pair of metallic munition bowls.

"Our next two competitors will be Queens Chrysalis and Crone!"

Crone closed her eyes and let out a deep sigh, while Chrysalis took a sharp breath and glanced nervously towards her taller copy. Of all the possible match ups, Chrysalis wanted this the least, and by Crone's sulky posture that was mutual feeling.


---

The pair of twins we're levitated out of their transparent barriers and placed on the catapults. Crone's place was over the green trigger and Chrysalis's was over the red. In mimicry both of them took a deep breath and sighed. Then remained silent, simply looking at each other. Both showed signs of struggling what to say first, as they'd take turns motioning to say something, followed by emptiness proceeding out of their mouths. What would they say to their mirror?

"Well... get on with it. This isn't a game of chess."

Discord impatiently gestured with his eagle talons, and flicked his tail irritably. Both of the changeling queens grit their teeth into a snarl and shot the draconequus a contemptuous glance. Chrysalis was the first to actually say something.

"I..."

But what she was thinking of died in her throat, and a deeply conflicted strain came over her features. Everything was tense, from the straightness in her neck and back to the dilation of her pupils.

Meanwhile Crone's ears flicked to rigid attention, she held a fierce expression. The wide eyes and deep scowl appeared almost as if she wanted Chrysalis to say something, as if her very glare was a challenge, a dare to state the obvious. It was a look as welcoming as a trap-door spider. Complete with fangs...

If anything Chrysalis's resolve became weaker, the rigidness of her posture relaxed and her gaze actually fell away from her clone. This was all too personal, all the words she had thought of a moment ago could just as easy be redirected against her. So they fell into another bout of silence, this one even longer. Discord's patience began to wear especially thin.

"If both of you are just going to remain quite, you will both lose!"

He whipped out the ejection remote and raised his lion paw threateningly over both buttons. Before he began to lower the limb with finality Crone snapped out.

"Your initial example was enough to show how this would go. Why don't we have another round of you debating with yourself Discord... it would be the same thing as making Chrysalis and I go at it."

Discord raised a white tufty eyebrow, and scratched at his chin.

"Whatever do you mean? Yes you two look alike but-"

"Fine, you wanted this to get personal right? You wanted us to spill our ugly truths infront of everypony and changeling right? You want raw emotions and easily manipulated minds... FINE!"

Crone had stood up in her bowl and turned to face Chrysalis, she raised an accusatory hoof and pointed with vehemence.

"The truth is I'm a horrible, selfish, jealous, and lonely braggart. I enjoy belittling others, because the world was always against me one way or another. I love hurting my enemies and smothering it in their faces, because they would never bother to try understand me anyway. I despise my dependence on ponies for the power that is rightfully mine in the first place. I've resorted to many pathetic and petty things, because I'm vindictive, and lonely. I've avoided responsibilities at times because I'm lazy and like to pamper myself, Shade and Colony shouldn't be doing half the things I'm having them do. I've been cruel and didn't need to be, I've been neglectful where I shouldn't have, and I think too highly of myself to actually care about any of it. Though to be fair that's probably in defense of my fragile ego and the whimpering pathetic creature I really am on the inside. Oh I may have flaunted what I thought was my besting acting when I fooled everypony at Canterlot and defeated what I perceived as the greatest hurdle at the time. But really, if I'm honest, the best acting I've done is pretending that things don't get to me. That I'm the stiff powerful queen, but when I'm by myself, I cry about how unfair it all is. I'm nervous, I'm scared, frankly I'm terrified and have been for a while. More often than not I manifest it as anger, and express it poisonously."

Crone paused to take a breath. Over the course of the shrill and sharp string of words Chrysalis had clearly become more, and more upset. These are things she would never say in public... The thoughtful and conflicted expression she wore earlier had soured.

"Crone-"

"Don't even get started! What are you even going to say? huh? I already know you're going to win this. You're already the better changeling by default. Fully functional at least... I know everything you could say already and none of it would matter, because in the end, you're the only one that can come out on top. Its the only reason I've really been allowed to live as long as I have anyway. I'm just lucky trial #2 that managed to stick around, because I could convenience you, and you knew I wouldn't be any kind of a threat... well news, I AM YOU!"

At this point Discord raised his other eyebrow in curiosity, he seated himself in a floating lawn chair to enjoy the tirade and
nonsensicalness it had become. The other competitors on the bench all looked confused as well, but they weren't deriving the same pleasure from it as the spirit of chaos was.

"Oh, and when I said I, I meant Chrysalis. I am basically her, just a useless dollish version... She made me when she felt particularly mopey, and happened to come a cross a strange gimmicky pool."

By now tears began to droll out of Crone's eyes in regular dollops, a deep scowl had embedded itself on her face and she glanced briefly at the draconequus before she turned to fix her hateful eyes on Chrysalis. Her voice began to slow its pace, and crack irregularly.

"Of all the equines here, D-Discord, you've taken the least from me. I-I c-couldn't use m-magic anyway..."

The clone finally bottled up and din't say more, her face fell and looked at the ground hopelessly. Her posture went rigid as if she expected to be hit at any moment. No harsh strike came her way though, and she didn't feel the spring of the catapult either.

The silence stewed the internal pain, and Crone eventually looked see Chrysalis and Discord just staring at her. She opened her mouth, but was too choked up to utter words. Chrysalis was finally ready to speak, and her words were strangely calm. Her intonation implied she was trying to comfort the changeling across from her.

"Sister... I... I know I have done wrong. But..."

Chrysalis still struggled for what words she wanted to say exactly. As she fumbled about with her words Crone seemed to have found her voice again, and her visage became more foul than ever.

"Don't call me Sister! Besides, I know we're terrible at apologies. Call me what I am! Your p-pathetic s-shadow! Y-You g-gave me no f-future! I'm a l-lost cause!"

In the next moment Crone flopped herself out of the catapult bowl onto the ground. Her sudden motion triggered the device and it launched with out its occupant. Tears freely flowed down the morose changelings face, as the dignity was thoroughly sapped from her crestfallen form. She moaned up towards the draconequus, who's lawn chair since disappeared, with broken words.

"J-just e-end m-me. P-please."

Discord curled a claw through his goatee and looked displeased at the display. Meanwhile Chrysalis appeared to have found her confidence again. She clutched nervously to the edge of her catapult bowl.

"Get back into your catapult Crone! The only thing that's pathetic is your attitude right now! You unappreciative welp!"

The distressed queen ignored her counterpart, and held out both of her front hooves in pleading submission toward the chaotic overlord.

"I-I don't know why I-I h-haven't p-popped already... but It's g-going to happen s-sooner or later. Just do me the favor and zap me now. Please."

With a snap, Discord silenced Chrysalis's angry bark and Crone's moans. No magic had actually been done, but both changelings flinched as if something was going to happen. The draconequus landed next to the defeated creature before him, and started to chuckle.

"I must say, that was indeed quite an unflattering display. You've definitely got me curious about what exactly happened between you two, but the point of this event is not a background check."

He put is lion paw under Crone's chin and tilted her head up so they were n direct eye contact.

"As a matter of fact, I noticed your little 'condition' when I plucked you off of that grimy wall before the games. It's really quite amusing actually, if it weren't driving you to ask for assisted suicide..."

Crone croaked out a sob at that and she closed her eyes in resignation to whatever ill fate would befall her.

"But what's more laughable is the condition is alterable!"

The changeling quickly opened her eyes in shock when she felt her mouth pried open and felt Discord's arm go down her throat. It was all momentary before he withdrew his lion paw with a glowing something held in it.

Crone put her hooves to her throat as she wretched and gagged from the surprise oral invasion. Her despair was replaced with anger as she growled, and tried to recover. Discord meanwhile examined the matter in his paw. It was ghostly, and appeared to be a miniaturized equine that constantly bubbled with uneven surface tension.

"Unstable stuff this is, it's been a very long time since I've seen it too, and you had it all throughout your blood poor dear. No wonder you felt left in the shadow of your magically capable sister!"

One snap later and Crone had her wings and horn back. She gave an involuntary twitch and her wings buzzed, the way her hair hung on her head changed two, and she lifted a hoof to feel the bony appendage return. She gave another shocked look at the draconequus, this one was full of suspicion though.

"Wha, what did you do? And what is that?"

A large chitinous hoof pointed at the watery object that pranced about on Discord's paw. The draconequus chuckled as he let the small bubbly thing jump between his lion paw and eagle talons.

"I took away the allergenic component in your body darling. Go ahead and try a bit of magic."

Crone could hardly believe what she heard, she couldn't believe it. It was too far away a hope for her to even think about it. So she sat there, inert. The chaotic chimera hadn't noticed the changeling's lack of activity and continued his explanations. Chrysalis sat in her catapult meanwhile, also stunned by this occurrence.

"I haven't seen this particular substance in use for a very long time. Mostly because intelligent creatures have plenty of ethical qualms with it. The power to give formerly inanimate matter life and soul is quite a deal you see... for some reason. The main problem however was this substance proved quite unstable, most beings created out of this would inevitably stumble across concentrated magic and go POOF! There were plenty of experiments to try and make it less volatile, but most simply gave up on the idea. I suppose they didn't like the idea of being responsible for so many deaths. Laughably, none of them had the talent to handle this substance like I do... Hey, are you going to try some magic or not Crony?"

Shaken to her senses... literaly, Discord picked her up and shook like a ragdoll, she reflexively let out a blast of magic from her horn. Jade green energy exploded like a fantastic fire work high above, and many looked upward in awe. There was some appreciative cheers from Chrysalis's changeling swarm up in the crowds.

Set back on the ground, Crone quickly put her hooves up to her face to check for any swelling. There was none... a giddy joyful laugh escaped her lips, and more tears fell from her eyes. Not tears of sadness however, but tears of happiness.

"Oh, Oh! Thank yo-"

Discord put a paw up to her lips to interrupt her, his long neck bent as he lowered his face close to hers once more.

"Don't be so hasty my dear. As I said, I don't do favors. You did an aweful lot of whining earlier, and I don't like whining, unless I'm the one that orchestrated it. So, if you actually want your allergy problem fixed, you'll have to figure it out yourself..."

In a quick flurry of movement, he opened crones mouth wide again, shoved the small watery entity down her throat, then snapped his digits to make her wings and horn go away once more. Crone screamed out as she gagged, and coughed.

"NONONONOOOOO!"

Mad cackles of mirth escaped the chimera, the changeling's hope bubble was popped, metaphorically speaking, to say the least. Chrysalis just sat and watched the whole thing, one of her eyes began to twitch quite badly.

The panel of judgement, with its bright red and green buttons, was pulled out and held high by Discord. He pointed at each of the changeling sisters in turn. With a claw directed at Chrysalis he spoke with an accusatory tone.

"Apparently this is all your fault Chryssie, and you made your poor sissy feel so sad and neglected, and made her go on an excessively long rant to describe you. You lose..."

He pushed the red button and Chrysalis was bodily flung over the edge while she screamed obscenities. Then the draconequus turned his accusatory claw towards Crone.

"And you asked me to kill you... you lose too."

He pressed the green button, but Crone wasn't on the catapult, so a random springbroad appeared underneath her, and promptly launched her over the edge as well. Her choice of words was surprisingly similar to Chrysalis's as she hurtled towards the icy water.


---


Discord held aloft three cards for the three remaining contestants. Celestia, More, and Specter.

"With only three Contestants left, I feel like doing something a little different for our last matches."

He walked slowly, upright on his hind legs infront of the last three contestants. Manically strumming his fingers together while his neck in a hunched sneaky posture. Celestia wore an angry and uncharacteristcally impatient expression as she stared at the draconequus with contempt. Specter sighed and held his head in resignation, while More was actually peaked with interest, though she kept her posture rather reserved.

"For the last two matches there is a new rule. Five words only, no more, no less. Choose carefully as it will determine if you win or lose. I will be the only judge."

Two chosen cards were held aloft in the lion paw, which bore the marks of Celestia and Specter. The usual hum drum of the set up occured, Specter was set over the red tagged catapult and Celestia the green. Discord gave one last reminder before he let them begin.

"Five words... and why don't you start us off, Celestia."

The chimera wore a smug smile as he whipped out a little tea table with magic, and served himself herbal aroma from a steaming pot. A large sumptuous cake was also conjured, and proceeded to slice itself into individual pieces. The whole set up caused Celestia to throw a dirty look Discord's way, and when her stomach made an audible gurgle it caused chimera to laugh. The alicorn hadn't eaten a thing in weeks after all.

"Better hurry up with the match. You may be able to grab some if you hurry. HAHAHA!"

With a determined strain she pulled her eyes away from the chaotic spirit and stared hard at her opponent. As she stared hard into his violet eyes, trying to get a read, she was thrown off by what she saw. The fierce, bitter, and resentful demeanors she saw in the other changeling faces weren't present here. It also didn't help that she knew nothing about him, other than his name... Specter. But the point of this little word joust was to be demeaning. She thought back to what he has said to Shining Armor, and she came up with her words.

"Self-righteous, arrogant, withdrawn, unaccountable, irresponsible."

Specter closed his eyes and he actually looked hurt at Celestia's choice of words, and for some reason, the older wizened alicorn felt a little guilt for using them, she didn't really know if that was an accurate description of his character. Within a short moment the changeling king collected himself and spoke his five words back.

"Nebow, Koba, Sunbeam, Bridger, Zorro..."

The changeling had spoken each name, for they were names, with a unique voice. Celestia's eyes grew wider as she recongnized each one. Her mouth hung open as her surprise was thoroughly unveiled.

Discord looked between both of them and grunted in annoyance.

"I feel like I'm missing something... oh wait, I missed a lot of things while I was in stone... So what? Was this changeling a secret honey bunny to you Celestia and you didn't know? HA, don't elaborate, I don't care. You're both disqualified!"

Both Celestia and Specter turned towards the chimera and uttered a loud "What?" in unison. With a mocking tone Discord held a few talons and counted them down.

"Puh - lease, Celestia, Self-righteous is definitely two words, and that put you up to six, and good ol' specter here used sun-beam, which is two words too... And I thought I was suppose to be the one that doesn't care for math at all. How can either of you be expected to be leaders if you can't even count! Sheesh!"

With a devilish flourish Discord whipped out his ejection panel and slammed both buttons down. The changeling and alicorn with thrown off the platform... which left only one contestant behind.

"By default, the winner is queen More!"

With baffled surprise the short changeling queen suddenly found herself elavated, and rested on Discord's shoulder, a large golden ticket shoved in her mouth labled "free pass". She thought about saying something, but then decided against it, she didn't want to mess with her good fortune.

The only honest cheers in the crowd came from a small swarm of changelings and a few manehattanites. There were also a loud mixture of boos though, along with some catcalls and jeers.

After he was bored with the little Celebration, which was very quickly, Discord uncermoniously dropped More on her flanks, then clapped his paws together.


---

"Our next round will emphasize teamwork believe it or not! With a very simple test, and something a little weightier on the line..."

The clap Discord made caused a ripple of magic to fill the stadium. Suddenly it was nighttime, and large glaring bleacher lights filled the area with powerful artificial light. It quite a fantastic, though obviously more disorganized, impression of a sporting field.

The frozen water was now gone, and the wet shivering royalty were dumped onto a rainbow hued turf field. Large uneven goal posts erected themselves on either side of the length, and team jerseys appeared around the various contestants bodies. The jerseys came in two varieties, blue with orange polka dots, and yellow with red x's.

A quick look at the jerseys identified the teams to be these...

Team One (blue/dots)
Cadance
Crone
Sombra
Armor
Celestia

Team Two (Yellow/x's)
Shining Armor
Chrysalis
Specter
Monarch
Luna

The draconequus hovered over the middle of the field, dressed in his referee get up again. A wide smile spread across his crooked face as he raised a ball in his eagle talons.

"Tonight's the night! We're going to have great game of hoofball! Also to ensure some proper motivation, I'm going to do something I don't usually do. I'll grant one player on the winning team a favor! I know, I know what I said earlier, but I change rules all the time if you haven't gotten my drift yet. Anyway, the favor can be anything, so long as I personally don't find it too stupid, annoying, irritating, orderly, or otherwise something I just won't due. But don't be worried, I think you'll find my overall tolerance quite expansive"

Of all the equines on the field, Crone picked up the most desperate twinkle in her eye. She stared at the ball as if it held everything she ever wanted in life. Discord laughed all the harder, and he waved the ball around tauntingly.

"Incase the idea of a magnificent reward doesn't incetivize you enough, know that the loosing team will get to spend a period of time stuck in a (singular) hamster ball, and played with for the next round."

A small pink plastic hamster ball appeared on the sidelines of the field... never had a hamster ball seemed so threatening before, atleast to equines who never feared such an object. Except for perhaps Chrysalis, who winced at the idea, as she remembered a particularly awful dream, that involved tennis and the two alicorn sisters...

"Without further adeu, I assume you all know how to play hoof ball. If you don't, then its time to learn!"

Discord dropped the ball and blew the whistle. Both teams hesitated for a moment, many mutinous thoughts sprang up as teammates looked at each other, and the opposing team.

Luna and Celestia shared a look, they both wore opposing Jerseys, as did Shining and Cadance. Both of them wore pained expressions, and regarded their teammates with general disgust.

Sombra sported a devious grin as he surveyed the field with a calculated look, his previous ponderings forgotten.

King Armor Laughed boisterously and pointed a giant hoof at the enemy team.

"Ya prench wuss! I've suspected ye meddled with the interrrnational games beforrre Monarrrch. Now's the chance to prrrove talnet prrroperrr, and hoof it!"

But the two fastest players to react were Chrysalis and Crone. The foremer dived at the ball, a phobic fear of the hamster ball driving her to reckless speeds, and latter sprinted for everything she was worth, because to her, everything she was worth was on the line.

The burst of movement brought the two teams to attention, and there was a general lumber towards the middle of the field.

Discord laughed and clapped his paws together in approval, the range of emotions playing along the field were such a delightful and incongruent variety. Disgust, hate, desperation, fear, worry, spite, offense, fury, deviousness. All played along different players faces.

Right before Crone actually managed to lay the first hoof on the ball, a tremendous explosion erupted from above. Such a concussive shock wave rippled through the air that many members of the audience were blown off their hooves. The pink clouds in the sky were blown away and a light like the sun filled the expanse of the night. The chaotic vibe in the very air was being disrupted.

Even Discord himself shielded his face, as he had not been expecting this in the slightest...

Author's Note:

So I figure I owe you guys and explanation of why my production rate has sucked.

...

I blame it on my new job. :derpytongue2:

Basically I'm a pretty introverted person, and I got a customer serivce / sales job. I need money, and they hired me. Not much to it, but learning everything I needed to in the last 3 months made it really difficult to focus on anything else. Now that I'm over the new guy jitters I'll prolly be able to write more frequently again.

I do plan on doing a special for this story on the 14th at least. Heck, it'll be the first year anniversary of this story! Imma go cry now,:raritycry: hope you guys enjoyed the newest chapter.

p.s.

How do you guys like the illustrations and youtube links posted throughout the chapter instead of clumped at the end? Let me know what you think! And thanks for reading!

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