• Published 1st Aug 2015
  • 2,458 Views, 166 Comments

An Interesting Arrival - Moongaze14

Retirement in Equestria is harder than expected. Even in such a peaceful land, Statice finds that his new life can be just as stressful as his old one, especially after getting in the bad side of a certain purple alicorn princess and her friends.

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Getting Answers

Getting Answers

“What in Tartarus are you girls doing here?” Statice demanded as he stared down at the Elements of Harmony. “How the heck did you even find me?”

He was very irritated now. He spent the entire morning planning for this trap and now those seven had to go and ruin it. First he used his Sensory Strands Spell to send tiny threads of magic around the perimeter. Once Piercing Gaze stepped on the threads, his weight was going to send a tension around them back to Statice’s horn to alert him of his presence. In order to avoid a fight on which he may get severely injured, Statice decided to create a trap rather than directly confront him like last time. To accomplish this deed, he used the Trigger Spell to set up his trap.

The Trigger Spell was designed to delay the activation of anything, regardless of whether it was another spell or a mechanical function. Statice only used this spell to set up traps or for safety reasons. In this case, the Trigger Spell delayed the activation of the Quicksand Spell and the Earth Compression Spell and it was only activated unless the magic threads of the Sensory Strand Spell were stepped on. The drawback of the Trigger Spell was that it required lots of magic when it was used to delay the activation of spells. In this case, it was three spells, two that were being delayed and one who acted as the support structure.

It’s going to be worth it. Once Piercing Gaze steps into the threads, he is going to fall for the trap. He’ll be beaten before the fight even starts. It’s no use to waste your magic defending yourself in a fight. Remember to fight smart, fight to win.

Those thoughts were the only thing that reassured him about wasting so much magic making the trap. Granted, he could have saved it for a fight, but it was better than getting hurt repeatedly until he ran out of magic. Besides, chances were that Piercing Gaze was going to be stronger than before when he faced him again. No professional was going to be easily bested in a second fight, especially one that was going to be as motivated as that griffin. All of those precautions were in vain now that the trap was activated by seven unexpected and meddling visitors.

“Hey, I’m with them!” Spike shouted indignantly. As much as he hated being planted in the ground like a vegetable, he hated being ignored even more.

“Sorry, Spike,” Statice rapidly turned his head to apologize before he focused it again on the girls. “But I’m pretty sure that you tagged along rather than go to apprehend me. Which brings me to my previous question, what are you girls doing here?”

“We want answers, Statice!” Twilight glared at the green unicorn. “We want to know about what you’ve been up to these last months as well as your story with Piercing Gaze. We deserve to know after the way you lied to us.”

Statice didn’t answer. He needed to play his cards safe first before replying. He closed his eyes and channeled magic in his horn. He opened Hammerspace and retrieved a small box from the dimension.

I might as well since I owe this girl something for their kindness. I just hope they believe the words that will come out of my mouth.

“What’s inside that box?” Pinkie Pie asked excitedly. “Is it a surprise? I love surprises! It must be a surprise since I don’t know what it is! Ooh, doesn’t that make every gift a surprise? Now that I think about it, this may be why you bring gifts to a party, to make an even greater surprise.”

The stallion didn’t answer. He needed concentration in this special box. He sent a small part of his magic into the base to carefully levitate the box as he lifted it above Twilight’s head. Once it was at the appropriate height, the stallion opened the lid and flipped the content of the box on top of Twilight’s horn. The purple alicorn yelped in surprise as she felt something cold wrap around her horn. As the box left Twilight’s head, its content was revealed as a ring around Twilight’s horn.

It was an unusual ring. Based on the sensation in her horn, the material of the ring was metallic in nature and yet it felt smooth, almost like pearl. It was a plain ring that had a brilliant green sheen on it. It had no jewels, but its brightness was good enough to not need them anyway. From the look of Rarity’s face, the ring seemed to be very valuable as the fashionista was looking at Twilight’s new ring with sparkling eyes.

“That is one beautiful ring!” Rarity gushed over Twilight’s new accessory. “Just look at that green shine on it. What kind of material does it have to have such allure?”

“I’m not sure,” Twilight answered uneasily. “My knowledge in metals is not high, but I don’t think that there are any metals like the one in the ring.”

“Ooh, Statice proposed marriage to Twilight!” Pinkie Pie bobbed her head excitedly. “I should totally prepare an engagement party for when this is over!”

“WHAT?!” Twilight and Statice asked in unison. Both of them were sporting crimson blushes on their faces. The purple alicorn looked alarm and embarrassed while the green unicorn looked frustrated and annoyed.

“It’s not an engagement ring, Pinkie!” Statice replied angrily, his blush still present on his face. “This is an Orichalcum ring!”

“Did you say that it was an Orichalcum ring?” Twilight asked in shock. Next to her, Rarity’s gushing over the ring stopped upon hearing about it.

“What’s an Orichalcum ring?” Rainbow Dash stared at Twilight. As an athlete, Rainbow Dash was not much into academics. That’s why she always relied on Twilight to explain things to her that were out of her normal understanding.

“Orichalcum is a rare ore, Rainbow Dash!” Rarity answered immediately, stunning Twilight, who was about to respond. “It is so rare that it is considered a myth. Nopony knows anything about it apart from its beautiful appearance.”

Oh, I can just imagine the dresses that could match that ring. Maybe if Twilight does find a way to settle things peacefully with Statice, I can convince him to give me some Orichalcum for creative purposes.

Statice smirked, glad to see that somepony was well informed, regardless of how little they had. “Correct,” he nodded his head at the fashionista. “But your knowledge of Orichalcum is incomplete. There is more to this material than what you learn in the books of Equestria.”

Twilight groaned. Had she had a scroll and a quill, she would have gladly written what Statice was about to say. Unfortunately, he was an enemy, and he was probably going to keep the secrets of Orichalcum to himself.

“Well what do you know about Orichalcum, Statice?” Rarity challenged, not liking to be corrected by a criminal, yet still feeling the wonder and excitement of learning about the ore she always wanted to find.

“Orichalcum is a magical ore, Rarity,” Statice answered as he looked at the fashionista with interest. “But it is almost impossible to find in Equestria. Outside of it…it’s pretty much common. I am no expert with it, and even I know more than any scientist who ever tried to learn about the material.”

“How about ya stop braggin’ and tell us what it is?” Applejack demanded, not liking the tone Statice was taking with her friend.

"Yeah," Rainbow Dash dared him. "That sounds like something you'd get out of a Daring Do story. How about you tell us more about that fancy ring of yours?"

“I’m not bragging,” Statice glared at Applejack and Rainbow Dash, particularly at the former. “And you don’t even know what bragging is since you barely get any spotlight, background pony!”

“What did ya call me?” Applejack fumed. She didn’t know what he meant by the “background pony” insult, but she was the Element of Honesty and there was no way that she was going to allow him to speak to her with such disrespect.

Statice smiled at Applejack’s reaction. Ever since Discord showed him those movies about the Elements of Harmony, Statice made sure to keep specific attention to each of the bearers. A particular detail that he noted with Applejack was that she was the least focused on the movies. It was as if every time a memory was focused on her, she had to share the spotlight with somepony else. Granted, he knew that in real life that she was very popular and that messing with her was going to get him hurt, but he was not going to let her talk back to him as if she was in charge of the situation.

Who would have thought such a petty insult was going to get her so worked up? I might as well save it rather than wear it out. Something tells me that this insult will get old very quickly.

“Hey, take that back!” Pinkie Pie replied indignantly, defending her friend and probably-distantly-related cousin. “Applejack is an amazing pony. You just don’t get to know her that well because you don’t give her the chance.”

Statice flinched at the pink mare’s outburst. This was the first time Pinkie Pie had yelled at him. He couldn’t blame her though. She was good friends with Applejack and possibly related to her if Twilight’s findings about her family tree were true. Rather than yell back at her, he decided to return to answering Rarity’s question about Orichalcum.

It’s better to change the topic of a conversation than keep one that will dissolve into a pointless argument. I’m not gonna waste time arguing with Pinkie Pie of all ponies. I don’t think I’ll detect Piercing Gaze’s presence if I can’t even hear my own thoughts.

“To return to the topic at hoof, Orichalcum is very rare. But it is much known for a particular fact. It is invulnerable to magic, the same way rubber is resistant to electricity.”

“What?” Twilight and Rarity exclaimed in shock.

“It is true,” Statice reaffirmed as he stared at them. “Why did you think that I put the ring in your horn by levitating it inside a box rather than directly put it there with my magic, Twilight? If you don’t believe me, try to take it off.”

Twilight closed her eyes, trying to gather magic around her horn. There was nothing at all. She didn’t feel that familiar sensation of mystical energy surrounding her horn. She felt neither the warmth nor the light pressure on top of her head. She gritted her teeth in effort as she redoubled her attempts. The only thing that she felt was a headache, a feeling of pain that she had not felt since she was a filly learning to use magic. She opened her eyes to look at her friends, who were all giving her concerned stares. The purple alicorn lifted her gaze to see that the ring was still in her horn.

“I can’t do it!” Twilight remarked in shock. “I can’t take it off! I focus and gather as much magic as I can…but I can’t lift it.”

“Then I will try to take it for you, Twilight!” Rarity declared dramatically as she gathered her own magic to levitate the ring.

Statice rolled his eyes at the white unicorn’s futile attempts to remove the horn. He opened Hammerspace once again to retrieve a second box, similar to the first one that contained another Orichalcum ring. He levitated it above Rarity’s head and waited until she was finished trying, wanting to give her the courtesy of trying to help her friend.

“I can do this,” Rarity gritted her teeth as her magic surrounded Twilight’s ring. “I can see the ring around my magic! All I need to do is take it off!”

The white unicorn’s blue aura surrounded Twilight’s ring. It appeared as if it was going to lift the ring at any second, but the aura remained there. As Rarity concentrated more, she stopped when she saw that her magic was entering inside the ring, as if it were being eaten.

“It cannot be,” Rarity said, canceling her magic. “I can’t take the ring off.”

Before she said anything else, Rarity let out a lady yelp as she felt something fall on top of her horn. She lifted her eyes to see that Statice had now given her an Orichalcum ring for herself.

“Of course it didn’t work,” Statice gave Rarity an annoyed look. “Orichalcum is a magic insulator. It doesn’t matter if you use magic on the inside or the outside, it won’t work no matter how strong or hard you try.”

Were any of these mares paying attention to anything I said?

“Take these rings off, Statice!” Twilight irately demanded. Magic was very important to her. It was the most important part of being a unicorn, it was her special talent and cutie mark, and it was also her Element of Harmony. Having her magic sealed away without her consent awoke a fury inside of her unlike anything that she’s ever felt in her life.

“Forget it,” Statice stared at her “Your magic levels are off the charts. If I let you in control of your magic, chances are that you are gonna use it to capture me.”

“And why did you seal Rarity’s magic?” Twilight glared at Statice. Taking her magic was something, but taking her friend’s magic was something that she was not going to tolerate.

“Rarity’s magic may not be as powerful or as skilled in comparison to you,” Statice casted a look at the fashionista. “But she has proven capable of defending herself with her hooves in moment of danger. What makes you think that she is not capable of using her own magic to defend herself at the most critical time? I’m going to play safe just in case. I don’t like nasty surprises when I have the upper hoof.”

“Wow, he really covered up all his bases,” Spike winced, remembering how King Sombra was the last villain who had done so and how close he had come to victory had he not come along with Twilight to the Crystal Empire.

“I think that we already wasted enough time here,” Statice glared at his seven intruders. “Tell me what are you doing here and how did you find me.”

“That’s none of your business!” Rainbow Dash glared defiantly at him.

“I am the interrogator over here,” Statice pointed a hoof at himself. “As long as I am asking the questions, you will show me respect.”

“Why should we show you respect?” Twilight glared at him. “The last time you were interrogated, you called Shining Armor names.”

“As if being respectful was going to do me any favors anyway,” Statice snorted, remembering how unpleasant their banter had been. “However, unlike your brother, I am willing to get the information through more...direct means.”

Those last two words made the prisoners’ blood freeze. They didn’t like the way he phrased it. What was he going to do to them now that they were defenseless? Tense seconds passed before Rainbow Dash recovered her courage.

“I’m not afraid of you, punk!” she challenged. “I’ve faced scarier threats than you and always came up on top with my friends by my side.”

“Yeah, you’re really tough when you have six pieces of jewelry of unlimited magic that use you six as living batteries to win your fights for you,” Statice sarcastically praised her.

“Hey, we won those fights!” Rainbow Dash protested.

“No, you didn’t,” Statice frowned at them. “I’ve been doing some research about you six before I came to Ponyville. You only won because some magical object always gave you victory and the villains are always standing there and laughing at you rather than doing something.”

“No, we didn’t!” Rainbow Dash glared at him angrily.

“Tell me your major victories and I will tell you how you won by luck,” Statice narrowed his eyes at Rainbow Dash, ready to burst her ego.

“We beat Nightmare Moon,” Rainbow Dash proudly lifted her head, remembering the first time she saved Equestria with her friends.

“She underestimated you,” Statice looked at her. “The mare nearly destroyed Celestia when she fought her. The only reason she chose to send obstacles to you girls rather than outright destroy you was probably that she didn’t think that you were worthy prey.”

“Hey!” Rainbow Dash yelled at him, followed by the indignant cries of her fellow Elements of Harmony. The stallion seemed unfazed by their anger.

“We beat Discord!” Pinkie Pie chimed in. “Until we came in, only Princess Celestia and Princess Luna were the only ponies who defeated him.”

“Standing around to point and laugh at your opponent is not the most ideal way to fight them,” Statice snorted, more in annoyance than Discord than Pinkie Pie. “Besides, if memory doesn’t fail me, he corrupted you six and you only won because Celestia sent Spike all those Friendship Lessons to help Twilight remember who she was. Had that not happened, I’d be having a conversation with a bunch of jerks rather than you six.”

The girls shuddered. Being corrupted was one of the worst things that ever happened to them. It was one of the main reasons on why they didn’t want to reform Discord when Celestia suggested it. What made it worse was how Statice was right and how they had come close to a horrible fate had Discord not underestimated their friendship with each other. Spike, on the other hoof, shuddered as he remembered the pain of having to send all of those letters in one day.

Why did Twilight have to send so many letters? Why Princess Celestia couldn’t come herself and told her about them? My stomach was killing me that day!

“We stopped the Changelings when they invaded Canterlot,” Applejack challenged, not liking how arrogant Statice was acting.

“You allowed the invasion to happen in the first place,” Statice sharply glared at the orange mare. “Had you actually paid attention to Twilight, the only pony who knew Cadence at the time, the invasion would not have happened. And that’s not taking into account that you were beaten at the end. You are lucky that the Changeling Queen was so busy bragging about her victory long enough for Cadence and Shining Armor to use their love to defeat her. The way I see it, the only ones worth praising at that wedding were the bride and the mare of honor.”

Twilight gasped upon hearing those words. This was the first time that Statice had praised her since she met him. Although it had been years since the wedding, nopony defended her like that. The fact that it was Statice -somepony with whom she has quite a troublesome relationship- that defended her left her in shock.

Similarly, her friends reacted with hurt. Turning their backs on Twilight was, in their shared opinion, the worst thing that they ever did in their entire life, to the point on which they all promised not to talk about the Changeling Invasion so as to avoid remembering that moment. The closest thing to a scolding that they received was when the Changeling Queen bragged about her upcoming victory, and even then the purpose was more to mock them rather than to lecture them about their betrayal. Even with the incident in the past, it still hurt to remember it and much more to be called out on it.

“Spike saved the Crystal Empire!” Rarity answered hurryingly, not wanting to deal with the guilt of the wedding fiasco or its possible consequences had the circumstances been different.

“Only because you all cared more about a stupid test than the Crystal Empire,” Statice glared at Twilight with disgust. “Hundreds of ponies disappeared for a millennium and are on the brink of being conquered by the tyrant who made them disappear in the first place, your brother and your sister-in-law are in danger, and yet the only thing that matters to you is a stupid test? I mean, seriously, your worst fear was Celestia disowning you as her student? That’s pathetic.”

“It’s not pathetic!” Twilight snarled back at him. “Princess Celestia is like a second mother to me! She spent years teaching me everything I know about magic so that I can achieve my full potential.”

“She didn’t apologize to you for the wedding incident,” Statice recalled. “And shortly after that she risked a kingdom just to teach you about self-sacrifice. Does that sound like a good teacher to you?”

Silence was the only thing that he got in response. Despite her fervent defense, Twilight could not bring herself to answer the question. Deciding to take action, Statice continued.

“You’re right about something. Spike is indeed the true hero of the Crystal Empire. Unlike you, he had a logical and horrifying fear, something that snapped you out of yours upon hearing his suffering. It’s ironic, isn’t it? The one friend who you always leave in the sidelines was the one who saved the Crystal Heart when not even you could handle Sombra’s traps. It’s a good thing that for once you brought him with you.”

Now it was turn for Spike to get surprised. As much as it angered him to hear Statice talk down to his friends, it was shocking for him to get praised like a hero. Only the ponies of the Crystal Empire gave him that much respect. For all of Statice’s behavior, it was impossible to find out if he was being nice or if he was being mean.

“We saved Princess Celestia and Princess Luna from the Everfree Forest by returning the Elements of Harmony,” Fluttershy chimed in.

“Twilight did,” Statice deadpanned. “She is the one who found out what you were supposed to be doing and she is the one who returned the Elements of Harmony to the Tree of Harmony. You five had the brilliant idea to ask her to go away in order to lead Equestria while you girls did the job.”

“We thought it was a good idea at the time,” Applejack glared at Statice.

“How was that a good idea if you were going to fix the problem right away?” Statice gave her an annoyed look. “It took you about a few minutes to reach the Tree of Harmony. Don’t you think that Equestria can handle itself without their Princesses for a few minutes?”

“We figured that out when we reached the Tree of Harmony!” Rainbow Dash angrily blushed. She didn’t like to remember how their idea to send Twilight back to Canterlot to keep the ponies under control was a waste of time once they figured out that they needed Twilight with them at that moment.

“We stopped Tirek,” Pinkie Pie added.

“That was indeed a good triumph,” Statice praised. “Your connection to the Elements of Harmony led to you standing up to their principles and that led to you six unlocking the power that you needed to defeat Tirek. Granted, you still relied on them, but at least you have the excuse of your opponent being a magic-stealing jerk.”

“What in tarnation is wrong with ya?” Applejack asked Statice in frustration. “Ya spend the whole talk bein’ mean to us and now you’re praisin’ us? That doesn’t make a lick of sense.”

“I’m complicated,” Statice shrugged his shoulders.

“That’s what ponies say about me!” Pinkie Pie beamed, feeling glad to meet somepony who had a unique perspective.

“Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that without the Elements of Harmony you are nothing more than six punks who like to play at being heroes,” Statice concluded as he looked down at his victims. His last comment earned infuriated responses from the mares and the baby dragon.

“You’re the punk, punk!” Rainbow Dash snarled as she attempted to fly at her captor and give him a piece of her mind.

“Then prove it,” Statice gave them a challenging look. “Tell me of an instance in which you girls defeated a major threat of Equestria without the Elements of Harmony or any other equivalent.”

Upon hearing the question, the seven victims stammered. The problem was not that they were weak, but it was more of them having faced too few villains that were that threatening to Equestria as a whole.

“We stopped Starlight Glimmer from stealing cutie marks with her magic,” Pinkie Pie grinned at Statice. “It was our first mission together shortly after Twilight got her new castle!”

“Cutie marks can be stolen?” Statice asked in surprise.

“Heck yeah they can!” Rainbow Dash glared at Statice, more out of anger at their former situation rather than her dislike for him. “My cutie mark got stolen and I became slow as a turtle!”

“Sounds like an interesting story,” Statice admitted sincerely.

“Would you like me to tell you all about it?” Pinkie Pie smiled at Statice.

“I’ll pass,” Statice shook his head politely. “What else have you been doing since you got your new castle?”

“We stopped a Bugbear that literally came out of Tartarus from attacking Ponyville!” Rainbow Dash bragged. “And we didn’t need to use the Elements of Harmony to stop it! We fought that thing for an entire day! That was all 100% us!”

“But we did miss Cranky and Matilda’s wedding,” Fluttershy lowered her head, still feeling bad about having to watch it from the windows.

“I guess that you’re more than entitled posers,” Statice acknowledged the six with a smile. “Not everypony can defeat a monster from Tartarus.”

“In your face,” Rainbow Dash stuck her tongue out at him.

“Still, we have detoured from the interrogation,” Statice shook his head as he replaced his smile with a neutral frown. “How did you find me?”

“I’m not telling,” Rainbow Dash turned her head away from him.

“As you wish,” Statice narrowed his eyes at the prismatic mare as his horn lighted in magic. He already had his first plan to get information from her.

Rainbow Dash yelped as the earth around her body shifted her position. Her head was still sticking out of the ground but now all four of her hooves were facing the sky. A confident smile spread across Rainbow Dash’s face as she saw her limbs again.

“You’re in trouble now, jerk!”

Putting all of her strength in her legs, the rainbow pegasus attempted to get out of her prison. Much to her dismay, her legs were moving, but they were only wiggling uselessly above the earth. It was as if she were wearing stocks on all four of her legs.

“I compressed the earth around your legs so that you cannot move them as you will,” Statice smiled evilly as he got closer to Rainbow Dash. “Now tell me, how much do you know of Pegasopolis?”

“I know a lot,” Rainbow Dash snorted. “I even played Commander Hurricane in a play for Heart’s Warming Eve. All pegasi in Equestria get history lessons about it in flight camp.”

“Did you know that Commander Hurricane had a special training regimen for soldiers?” Statice asked Rainbow Dash as he got closer to her. “Since pegasi spent most of their time in the clouds, they had very sensible hooves that were unsuitable for ground combat.”

Sensible hooves…

Rainbow Dash’s eyes widened upon hearing about the hoof part. She tried to maintain her tough girl appearance, but the sweating indicated to the witnesses that she was about to lose it. Statice’s impromptu lesson was only making things worse.

“To deal with hoof sensitivity, Commander Hurricane had the soldiers take a storm cloud and release small amounts of electricity upon their hooves in order to train their resistance to stimulus. I’m not sure about the results since this is a myth at best. But I am open for experimentation.”

Rainbow Dash let out a scared gasp that turned into a girlish scream when Statice placed his horn on all four of her hooves. Small arcs of lightning danced across the sensitive flesh under her hooves. Needless to say, the poor mare had no chance.

It had been five minutes since the Hurricane Hoof, the name that Statice chose for the session, began and Rainbow Dash was on the breaking point. She was laughing and begging for mercy in less than five seconds. Statice had suspected the flier of having sensitive hooves when he saw that Gabby Gums article in Discord’s movies, but it was more of a second guess at Rainbow Dash not wanting to ruin her image.

“That guy is a butcher!” Pinkie Pie cried out as she turned her head away, unable to see laughter being used as a torture on her friend.

“No wonder why Rainbow Dash doesn’t like to get a hooficure,” Rarity winced sympathetically upon seeing the speedster laughing like crazy.

“Oh my,” Fluttershy trembled. Images of Statice subjecting her and the rest of her friends to the treatment were creeping inside her head.

“How did you find me?” Statice increased the voltage, making Rainbow Dash laugh harder than before.

“N-no more,” Rainbow Dash gasped, tears coming out of her eyes as she kept a goofy expression on her face. “I-I don’t want t-to d-d-do this anymore!”

“I guess a little more energy into your hooves will…” Statice prepared to add more voltage into her hooves when Rainbow Dash’s head perked up and yelled at his face.


With her screaming rant done, Rainbow Dash laughed hysterically. After having her sensitive hooves so thoroughly stimulated, nothing else was necessary to keep her laughing as she was doing now.

“That was fast,” Pinkie Pie winced sympathetically at her friend. It was as if Dashie was no longer able to stop laughing.

“If it makes Rainbow feel any better, Ah probably would have told the truth before the ticklin’ even started,” Applejack started sympathetically.

“Girls,” Spike grimaced as he got their attention. “I don’t think that Statice is okay with the news. He doesn’t seem to have taken it very well.”

True enough, Statice was standing there with an empty expression in his face. His mouth was a neutral line.

“Is he okay?” Fluttershy asked. She never saw such reaction from anypony. It was as if his mind had turned blank.

“Get over here, Discord,” Statice whispered.

His claim was followed by the sound of fingers snapping.

“Hello, Statice!’ Discord cheerfully called. “It’s so nice to see…you,” his enthusiasm disappeared when he saw the girls and Spike buried and Statice looking at him like that.

“You opened your mouth, Applejack, didn’t you?” Discord deadpanned as he stared at the orange mare accusingly.

“Ah did not!” Applejack yelled indignantly. “Rainbow Dash did it!”

“G-give me a b-break,” Rainbow Dash was giggling. “I’ve b-b-been tickle t-tortured for minutes. It was-wasn’t a-awe-awesome.”

“Why did you do it, Discord?” Statice looked at him, his disappointment evident in his face. “Why did you tell them where I was?”

Discord opened his mouth, ready to give an excuse. He remembered his conversation with the Princesses and sighed.

“I wanted to be friends with everypony,” Discord sighed. “I was friend-greedy, okay? I like being friends with you, but I also like being friends with the rest of the ponies. I already betrayed them for Tirek and I think I overstepped my limits when I gave you those videos of them.”

“You gave them videos of us?” Rarity shouted scandalously.

“Only the best moments in your life,” Discord raised his hands to placate the white unicorn and anypony else. “I didn’t show anything private. Anyway, by the end of the day, I ended up helping you more than I helped anypony else that is friends with me. And that is not fair for them.”

“I guess it makes sense,” Statice sighed. “But this changes perspective for us, Discord. I’m afraid I can no longer be friends with you.”

Discord looked hurt at those words, but he also appeared solemn and understanding, as if he had expected that those words were going to be spoken. The reactions of the girls were more shocked and outraged.

“Take that back, Statice!” Pinkie Pie shouted. “Discord is a good friend.”

“He betrayed me for my enemies,” Statice countered. “I don’t think I can trust him anymore. Betrayal is a very unforgivable crime to me.”

“So what?” Rainbow Dash asked, her outrage allowing her to surpass the tickling sensations in her hooves. “This guy betrayed us for the greatest villain of Equestria and we still forgave him. He also did it again when he covered up for you when you were pretending to be Aster. Who the heck do you think you are to ditch him for so little?”

“I can’t be friends with somepony who is friends with my enemy,” Statice turned his head to look at the girls.

“That’s horse apples!” Applejack bobbed her head as she could no longer stomp the ground with her hoof. “If that were the case, we wouldn’t be friends with Fluttershy after she chose to reform Discord.”

“She is right about that, Statice,” Rarity eyed him with disapproval. “You don’t have to be so narrow-minded to somepony who cares about your friendship.”

“I can’t compete with you, girls,” Statice rubbed his temples, trying to end this discussion once and for all.

“Friendship is not a competition, Statice!” Fluttershy admonished him. “This is just like when Discord was trying to send my friend Tree Hugger to another dimension because he was jealous. You can be friends with more than one pony!”

“Easy for you to say,” Statice growled. “How am I supposed to compete with the cute sack of butterflies who redeemed him and made him see how important friendship was to him?”

“Meep!” Fluttershy blushed after hearing that comment. It was very rare for ponies to praise her beauty like that.

“Discord risked his friendship with us to be friends with you, Statice,” Twilight admonished the green stallion. “The least you could do is to give him a try. If you want to be upset with somepony, do with me. I'm the one who asked him your whereabouts. I'm the one who asked him to bring us here. And I'm the one who even tried to have him convince you to come wiht us. Don't take it out on him!”

Statice took a deep breath. He was not the type to forgive anypony. But then again, he owed Discord more than what Discord owed him. He was in Equestria to have a second life. Mercilessness was not a virtue to live normally now that he was in a land of peace.

“Fine,” Statice walked up to the draconequus and offered his hoof. “I forgive you, Discord. You can remain friends with me.”

“Thank you, Statice,” Discord smiled, grateful to still be friends with him.

“Don’t thank me,” Statice shook his head. “Thank them for convincing me to give you a second chance.”

“Thank you, girls,” Discord turned his head around to sincerely shows his gratitude to them. “You were right about telling him the truth.”

“You’re welcome, Discord,” Pinkie Pie beamed at him.

“Can’t ya get us out of the dirt, please?” Applejack asked frustratingly. “Ah don’t like the feelin’ of bein' buried.”

“Do you promise not to interfere or get in my way until after I defeat Piercing Gaze?” Statice asked cautiously. “I am going to give you a chance to ask me questions, but only until after this ordeal is done. Afterwards, we decide how to settle this vendetta we have with each other.”

“We promise,” Twilight agreed cordially.

“You also have to promise that you won’t try to attack me or remove the Orichalcum rings until this is over,” Statice looked at them cautiously.

“Hey!” Twilight protested angrily.

“I’m not trusting you to walk around with your magic, or to have Pinkie shoot me with her cannon, or Applejack kick me with her legs, or to Rainbow Dash try to pummel me for tickling her hooves,” Statice narrowed his eyes at her. “I am being merciful, not dumb, your Majesty.”

“Fine,” Twilight sighed, knowing that she had no other choice.

With Twilight’s consent, Statice cancelled the spell and removed all seven of his victims out of the ground. He turned his head around and whispered something into Discord’s ear.

The draconequus smiled and snapped his fingers. Winsome Falls now had a camp built on top of it. The Elements of Harmony were dressed with white shirts and rainbow skirts. Statice and Spike had a rainbow polo shirt and sweatshirt. Discord was now dressed with the same uniform as Statice and Spike, but with a sash that contained lots of badges only.

The draconequus lifted a megaphone and spoke for everypony to hear.

“Today only, we open Winsome Falls Camp! Enjoy these few days of camping experience because this is a very rare once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Boys stand on one side and girls stand in the other one!”

With another snap of his fingers, Discord created a wall of magic that separated the mares from the stallion and the baby dragon. With the deed done, Twilight gasped and rushed after Spike.

“Spike!” she banged on the wall with her hoof. Much to her shock, it was stronger than Shining Armor’s shields.

“Twilight!” Spike banged on the wall as well, wanting to reunite with her.

“Relax you two,” Discord snorted. “Spike is safe and sound. He only has Statice as company. That’s all!”

“How is that being safe and sound?” Twilight protested.

“Statice doesn’t harm kids,” Discord shrugged his shoulders.

“He buried him with us,” Twilight casted an accusing hoof at Statice.

“That could have happened to anypony,” Discord patted Twilight’s shoulder reassuringly. “Listen, I know that you are worried, but Spike will be fine. I am going to look out for him just to make sure.”

“Why would you separate us like that?” Twilight asked angrily, feeling confused on why the separation was necessary.

“Statice wanted to keep you close enough to look out for you but far enough to prevent you from interfering,” Discord explained. “This gave me an idea. Why not do camping? Some camps separate boys from girls in one territory so that they are close enough to talk to each other but far enough to respect their privacy.”

“He’s right about that, Twilight,” Rainbow Dash was flying next to her, refusing to let her hooves touch the ground after what happened to them. “Fluttershy and I were only allowed to stay with the girls in our bunkers. The colts were put on the other site of the camp.”

“I can relate to that,” Twilight looked at them uneasily. “But I’m not comfortable enough with Spike being at Statice’s care.”

“Hey, I needed to separate the groups into genders,” Discord huffed in annoyance as he put his hands on his hips. “It’s not my fault that Spike is the only boy among you. Then again, Spike is in touch with his feminine side. I can always use some magic to get him to the girl side.”

“I want to stay in the boy side!” Spike yelled in panic when he noticed that Discord was about to snap his fingers. He overheard what they were talking about and as much as he wanted to be with his friends he was not going to be turned into a girl.

“Fair enough,” Discord wiped his hands. “For security, I will give Spike his own personal cabin and place a field of magic to prevent Statice from entering.”

As promised, a cabin materialized in front of Spike with a green force field surrounding it. The purple dragon walked into the force field and was surprised to see that he could phase through it. The green unicorn touched the portal, only to get burned.

“Ouch,” Statice yelped, glaring angrily at Discord as he licked his singed hoof.

“Are you feeling better now?” Discord asked Twilight.

“I think that I am fine,” Twilight smiled, happy to see that Spike was safe from either Statice or Piercing Gaze.

“Okay,” Discord looked at the girls. “Anypony has a question about this camp?”

“Ah don’t have any,” Applejack shook her head. “I went campin’ with mah friends and the Crusaders here before.”

“Can we return to Ponyville to get some provisions first?” Rarity timidly raised her hoof. “I don’t feel comfortable out in the wild under these conditions.”

“Sure,” Discord smiled. “Anypony would like a quick trip to Ponyville to get some provisions.”

“I wanna go!” Pinkie Pie hopped happily. “I have lots of emergency camping party supplies just for the occasion.”

“Anypony else want to come or is going to need anything else?” Discord asked loud enough for the mares to hear.

“I’m good,” Rainbow Dash yawned. “All I need is a cloud on which to sleep.”

“Get some supplies for me,” Applejack looked at Discord. “Some sleeping bags would be nice for us.”

“I would like Camping 101,” Twilight smiled loud enough to make a squeaky sound. “It is a book that was written by the same pony who wrote Slumber 101!”

“I wanna come to Ponyville,” Fluttershy smiled at Discord. “I needto let Angel and my animals that I'm going to be out for a few days.”

“Good enough,” Discord snapped his fingers, disappearing in the act. Much to Twilight’s surprise, Fluttershy, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie had also disappeared with him.

“What are we going to do now?” Twilight looked at Rainbow Dash and Applejack, not sure on what was going to be their next move.

“You girls enjoy your time at the camp,” Statice looked at them sternly. “I’ll prepare for the arrival of our new guest at the boy camp.”

Twilight glared at Statice, walking to him as she glowered at him threateningly. “If you hurt Spike I will…”

“I don’t hurt kids, Twilight,” Statice gave her a disgusted look. “Now back off.”

“You back off!” Rainbow Dash bucked the wall, only to burst into giggles as soon as her hooves felt its surface.

“Wow,” Applejack looked at Rainbow Dash awkwardly. “That ticklin’ is still kickin’ at Rainbow’s hooves.”

While the orange mare made sure to help the laughing pegasus, trying to make sure to avoid touching her hooves, the purple alicorn was exchanging glares with the green unicorn.

“This conversation isn’t over,” Twilight dangerously promised.

“Why don’t you go and write a letter to Princess Celestia, teacher’s pet,” Statice scowled at her. “Or are you too lazy to write your dumb letters without having Spike write them for you.”

Twilight attempted to focus her magic in an attempt to blast the infuriating unicorn, growling as she remembered that the Orichalcum ring was cancelling her magic. Having no other thing to do, Twilight did that breathing exercise that Cadence taught her to calm herself down. Once her anger was gone, the purple alicorn turned around and left without saying another word.

Statice stood there, watching the three remaining mares. Twilight had turned her back on him and was now focused on helping Rainbow Dash to get through the laughing trauma that she was enduring. Seeing that there was nothing else to do, he decided to walk on his side of the camp.

Spike doesn’t want to talk to me. Discord is gone. The girls are either scared of me, mistrust me, or hate my guts. It looks like nopony likes me in either side of Winsome Falls. Ugh, this is just like camping.

“I’m going to take a nap,” Statice told himself as he decided to rest. Today was a long afternoon and it was probably going to be a horrible night as well.

Author's Note:

It looks like Statice and the Mane Six have finally reached an impasse as they made a compromise regarding the situation with Piercing Gaze for the time being. Meanwhile, Discord came clean on his moral dilemma and manages to keep all of his friends while they are free to rip each other to shreds as he enjoys the espectacle...for now. In the meantime, the group will wait for the upcoming fight with some unexpected, and forced, bonding through a camping experince. Just what kind of bonding will Statice and the Mane Six will have with Discord as their supervisor? Will Spike be safe with Statice as a fellow camper? And what's taking Piercing Gaze so long to reach Winsome Falls? Find out in the next chapter!

Trigger Spell: A long-term spell that delays the activation of mechanisms and other spells. It's perfect for traps and safety locks. However, a specific requirement must be done to activate the trigger that will activate the locked spells or mechanims, meaning that if the requirement is not fulfilled the spell will be nothing more than wasted magic.

Sensory Strands Spell: A construct type spell that makes threads of magic connected to the horn of the user that will be felt when pressure is applied by them, almost like a fishing pole. This spell is used for detecting enemies from afar. The amount of magic used for the spell depends on the length, number, and thickness of the strands.