• Published 1st Aug 2015
  • 2,461 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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Winsome Falls Camp Stories

Winsome Falls Camp Stories

Despite the tense atmosphere between him and the Elements of Harmony, Statice was unable to ignore the beauty of Winsome Falls at night. Normally, it was impossible to see rainbows at night, at least in his experience. Even under the dark nocturnal sky, the rainbow waterfalls kept falling and shining beautifully. In fact, it appeared as if the darkness of the night complemented the ethereal colors of the rainbow, which sparkled better than during the day.

It’s amazing how much beauty you can see when you take your time to admire it. I didn’t get to enjoy my first visit here, nor did I get to enjoy this second one because of Piercing Gaze being on my mind. I just hope that I can change that on this night.

Discord had returned with the rest of the mares a few hours ago. He brought sleeping tents, sleeping bags, firewood, marshmallows, and the book that Twilight asked him to bring. Pinkie Pie brought crackers and chocolate bars to melt over the fire, Rarity brought unnecessary baggage that Discord had to carry, and Fluttershy just brought a portrait of Angel with her. It appeared that the girls were going to spend the night having fun rather than question Statice, a course of action that greatly pleased him.

I guess Discord came up with a good idea when he made this camp. He and the girls have fun, I get some tranquility, and he enjoys a good fight on the final day. It’s a win-win-win for all of us.

“What are we going to have for supper, Discord?” Spike asked as he approached the draconequus with a growling stomach.

“It’s Camp Counselor Discord,” the draconequus firmly but gently corrected him. “I have not planned a menu for the campers, but I can ask Pinkie Pie to give me some chocolate bars, marshmallows, and crackers to make you smores.”

“Do you have any gems to go along with it?” Spike asked with bright eyes. “A few sapphires make treats taste better.”

“Did you bring any gems, Rarity?” Discord asked uneasily as he looked at Spike. “I have a baby dragon that needs his gem smores stat.”

“I’m sorry, Spikey Wikey,” Rarity apologized, not even bothering to reply to Discord. “I didn’t think that you were going to ask for gems.”

“It’s okay, Rarity,” Spike made a placating gesture with his hands to avoid making the mare that he loved feel guilty. “I didn’t really want gems in the first place.”

As Spike turned around, he gasped when he saw Statice standing in front of him. He had his horn filled with magic and was levitating a big emerald in front of him. “Here you go,” he politely said as he placed the gem in his hands.

“Thanks,” Spike reluctantly accepted the gift.

“Don’t you eat it, Spike!” Twilight called out from the other side.

“Why shouldn’t he eat it?” Statice glared at Twilight.

“I don’t like the looks of that gem you gave him,” Twilight narrowed her eyes at the emerald and pointed her hoof at it.

Spike looked down at the emerald. At first sight, it was no different from any previous emerald that he ate. A closer inspection showed that it had a stronger inner glow than any gem that he ever saw. It made it look magnificent in comparison, almost like a queen of all emeralds.

So beautiful...so shiny...I don't think I've seen a gem so perfect after that Fire Ruby I gave Rarity.

“Don’t you think that you’re exaggerating, darling,” Rarity gently lectured her alicorn friend. “It does look like an exquisite gem if I do say so myself.”

“I guess you’re right,” Twilight sighed. “Maybe I’m just blowing this out of proportion. Go ahead, Spike. You can eat it.”

“Thanks, Twilight!” Spike licked his lips in anticipation. He couldn’t wait to see how good this emerald tasted. He was going to savor its texture and flavor, make every second count…

Forget this! Bottoms up!

Without further thinking, Spike shoved the entire emerald into his mouth. Twilight and Rarity cringed upon seeing how abnormally big the baby dragon’s head turned up upon eating the emerald. He wasn’t as good at eating large meals in one bite like Pinkie Pie did, so watching him struggle did got them scared them as they watch the spectacle. The little dragon spent almost a minute chewing on the emerald, breaking it with his sharp little teeth so that it was small enough to slide down his esophagus and into his stomach. With the chewing done, Spike swallowed the triturated emerald and moaned in delight.

“This is the best emerald I ever tasted!” Spike licked his lips.

“It was?” Twilight and Rarity asked in unison.

"And you thought he shouldn't eat it," Statice smirked, half of it was in triumph that he proved Twilight wrong and half of it was in joy that Spike enjoyed the gift he gave him.

“Yes!” Spike beamed at the pair. “I’ve never tasted such a gem. I feel more alive than ever. It feels as if…as if…”

The baby dragon didn’t get to finish as his eyes became slits. He thrust his head up and released a burst of flames. Everypony gasped, even Statice and Discord, upon seeing how much flames Spike released. They were about the same size as the flames that he used to melt the giant ice back at the Equestria Games. No, it was more powerful than that! The sheer force of the flames was pushing Spike down, actually making a hole under his feet as he kept breathing fire for a full minute. Once Spike was done exploding, Twilight began exploding.

“WHAT IN EQUESTRIA IS WRONG WITH YOU?” Twilight yelled at Statice.

“There is nothing wrong with me!” Statice defended himself. Although Statice was yelling with as much anger as Twilight, the anger was mainly directed at himself for nearly hurting Spike and not knowing how to apologize to him. The only thing he could do with that anger was to use it to give excuses that were making him angrier at himself with each sentence.

“Yes, you are!” Twilight pointed a hoof at him. “Look at Spike! He shot a geyser of flames AFTER eating YOUR emerald!”

“I didn’t know that this was gonna happen!” Statice indignantly stomped his hoof at the accusation. “It’s my first time feeding a dragon!”

“What was in that emerald, Statice?” Twilight seethed. If it weren’t for her magic being restrained by her Orichalcum ring, she probably would have found a way to circumvent Discord’s magic to attack him.

“It was my magic,” Statice sighed. “I sometimes store my magic inside gems so that I can recharge it, like rations for a later day.”

“You fed Spike with your magic?” Twilight slammed her horn at the wall. “How could you do something so reckless?”

“Give me a break!” Statice grunted as he stared at Spike. “I didn’t think that my magic was going to react with his magic. How was I supposed to know that feeding him a magical emerald was gonna give me an explosive result?”

Twilight was so angry that steam was coming out of her ears. Her eyes were turning red from the accumulated rage. She was pawing the ground with her front hoof. From the worried faces of her friends, it was clear that she was going to batter him with her hooves if the wall was not separating him from her.

“I…” Spike spoke slowly, calming Twilight down. Everypony turned their head around to hear what the baby dragon had to say. It was a big shock to them when he sported a huge excited smile and looked at Statice expectantly.

“I want another one!”

The rest of the night was as peaceful as possible. Spike had been given his own bowl of gems, but he was disappointed that they had not been charged with magic. To him, being fed normal gems after that emerald was the same thing as being only allowed to eat bread at a party after being given a slice of the best cake in the world. Despite this, the experience allowed him to feel more secure around Statice.

I guess he's not such a bad pony after all. Nopony can be evil if he gives me an emerald. He was even worried when he thought I was hurt by those flames I shot.

The opposite case happened between Statice and the Elements of Harmony. The incident with Spike had done nothing more than increase the fear and suspicion that the girls had for the stallion. Similarly, Statice was not pleased to have the girls constantly remind him that Spike could have been hurt for his mistake so he made sure to ignore them as much as possible.

I guess any chance of me making peace with them after settling the score with Piercing Gaze has officially gone down the toilet. It looks like I still need to grow up after all if I can't even own up for my mistakes. I gotta make it up to Spike someway or another.

The girls were busy cooking and making smores for themselves. After they were done eating their part, they cooked smores for Spike and put them in a bag so that he could eat them. As an extra precaution, Twilight made sure to ask Discord to enchant the smores so that Statice could not eat them, feeling that he didn’t deserve them after the incident with the enchanted emerald.

Reluctantly, Discord enchanted the smores so that they may vanish every time that they got on Statice’s hooves, magic, or his mouth. With the same reluctance, Spike ate his smores. As an excuse to avoid looking at the stallion, he broke the gems that he received from him and sprinkled them in the smores so that he wouldn’t feel guilty for eating them in front of Statice.

The stallion didn’t seem bothered. He was just content with eating grass, a fact that was noticed by the mares. Although ponies had an herbivore diet, they mostly made it more delicious with the inclusion of drinks, candies, breads, fruits, and vegetables. It was very rare to see a pony eating grass without anything else.

“Are you just gonna eat grass?” Pinkie Pie broke the silence between her friends and Statice. Her question earned looks from everypony at the camp.

“Yes,” Statice looked at Pinkie before focusing on eating his grass.

“That’s it?” Pinkie frowned.


“You’re not going to eat anything else?” she asked with a deeper frown.


“Did you eat anything else before the grass?” she pushed on, feeling that she was going to be satisfied if he had eaten a snack before eating the grass.


“Really?” Pinkie Pie asked, her mind being blown out with the last answer.

“Really,” Statice deadpanned. “What’s with the sudden interest in my diet? We are ponies! We eat grass all the time!”

“Since when do we eat only grass, dude?” Rainbow Dash asked him with a raised eyebrow. “We don’t live with dinosaurs anymore. We learned how to farm and cook ages ago.”

“What does that have to do with this?” Statice asked, feeling annoyed at their criticism for his eating choices.

“We don’t just eat plain grass when we’re hungry,” Pinkie Pie looked at him, feeling taken aback by his simplistic diet.

“Of course we don’t just eat grass,” Statice snorted. “I eat flowers every once in a while when I want something else.”

“That’s still quite a humble selection,” Rarity frowned a little bit. “Don’t you eat any fruits or vegetables?”

“I eat them when I want them,” Statice stopped eating. “I mostly eat anything the land has to offer me. I only buy those things if I have the bits to pay them and a shop to buy them. What exactly do you girls eat?”

“Cupcakes, muffins, cakes, pies, rock candy,” Pinkie Pie started counting with her hooves all of the delicacies that she enjoyed. Knowing that she was going to take a long time to say what she wanted, Statice focused his attention on the other mares.

“Ah mostly eat apples, but we also eat hay, oatmeal, and anything that our crops can give us,” Applejack listed proudly the products that her family's farm could make. “It’s very easy to eat anything you want when ya have yer own farm.”

“I mostly eat oatmeal and anything that gives me energy,” Rainbow Dash said as she was back on the ground, her hooves no longer tickling her after her encounter with Statice.

“I occasionally eat a quiche and other exquisite dishes in rare occasions,” Rarity inspected her hoof vainly, happy to share her tastes with her friends, and a forced acquaintance.

“I don’t mind eating a salad,” Fluttershy timidly added.

“I like hay burgers,” Twilight added.

“I saw that,” Statice shuddered. “You may have become a princess, but you eat like a pig when you’re in front of a hay burger.”

If I ever have nightmares, being a burger in front of Twilight would be number one in my top ten list.

“I do not!” Twilight Sparkle blushed as her eyes darted back and forth in consternation. “And how would you even know about that? Did Discord show you that?”

Since Discord had come clean to the girls, Statice no longer had any necessity to be ambiguous. He looked at Discord, who silently nodded and showed them a memory. It showed Twilight happily chomping on a hay burger during Twilight Time with the Crusaders, her muzzle covered in ketchup. The alicorn blushed as she realized what horrible table manners she possessed. She was so enthralled in enjoying her burger that she didn’t notice.

“Oh darling, how could you?” Rarity closed her eyes and turned her head to the side, as if she was watching a horrible crime being committed in front of her.

Fluttershy didn’t say anything, except looking uneasy at the memory. Rainbow Dash and Applejack were laughing, appreciating the irony that a princess had table manners that were as bad if not worse than them. Only Pinkie Pie didn’t seem to find the situation funny or disgusting.

“It’s okay, Twilight,” Pinkie Pie reassured her purple friend. “Those hay burgers are that good that you can’t help but dig in. I should know!”

Pinkie’s words appeared to have touched Twilight, as the alicorn hugged the pink mare immediately after that. After breaking the hug, Twilight stared at Statice angrily.

“How much do you know about us?” she asked him threateningly. “I know that Discord showed you his memories of us.”

“He only showed me the most important moments of your lives,” Statice shrugged his shoulders. “Don’t worry about it. He didn’t show me anything that I shouldn’t see. He still has enough decency to keep your private matters to yourselves.”

“He better had,” Rarity gave Discord a venomous glare, causing the draconequus to create a halo of light above his head to feign innocence.

If he so much as showed that ruffian anything he shouldn't have seen...not even Fluttershy would save him from a one year stone time-out

“I think that you should tell us something about you,” Twilight glared at him. “You owe us after invading our privacy like that.”

Darn it. Well, I guess I should share something with them. It’s the least I could do after peeking through their past. Good thing I can control how much I can show them.

“Very well,” Statice used his magic to write something on the wall, the letters being bright enough to be readable. “I will write all of my personal information in the wall so that you can know me better.”

The girls and Spike walked closer to the wall to see what Statice was writing. As he finished writing the information, Twilight gave Statice an annoyed look.

“Excuse me, but you wrote the information wrong.”

“How did I write it wrong?” Statice gave Twilight an annoyed look. “I wrote them as good as anypony writes in something.”

“You do realize that when you write something in one side it is read in the opposite way in the other side?” Rarity gave Statice a crossed look.

Statice slapped his fore hoof on his forehead and slid it down his face. “Just read it from right to left,” he scowled at them, more out of embarrassment for forgetting that detail rather than anger at being corrected.

For the next few minutes, the girls and Spike were reading the information that Statice wrote about himself. Some of the details were unexpected, such as his birth date.

“You’re younger than us?” Pinkie Pie questioned. She couldn’t believe that a complicated pony like Statice was a year younger than her.

“Oh my,” Fluttershy placed a hoof to her mouth at the implications. As the oldest of the group by a year, this made her older than Statice by two years. She had always been a shy pony all of her life, even at her bravest moments, and yet he somehow managed to endure a hard life than not even she would dare to live.

He's around the same age as my younger brother Zephyr. I can't believe he's been through so much at such a young age.

“You don’t look younger than us?” Rainbow Dash gave him a questioning glance.

“Stress makes you look older than what you already are,” Statice replied, not content with elaborating.

“There is no information about Piercing Gaze here,” Twilight observed, feeling dissatisfied with what little data she got.

“That’s of no concern to you,” Statice crossed his forelegs to glare at the Princess of Friendship. “You’re not the one fighting him.”

“I know that you blinded him,” Twilight narrowed her eyes at Statice. “And you watched memories of us, so I think that we deserve a memory of you. Discord told me how your conflict with him started, but he never showed me the memory.”

Statice’s eyes widened upon hearing those words. Discord really gave them all of that information about him.

They’re going to find out sooner or later. I might as well show them the memory. I’ll improvise if they try anything.

“Fair enough,” Statice closed his eyes as he materialized a memory. “You will see a memory of how I met Piercing Gaze. But I’m warning you that is not going to be pretty.”

Statice was running across town, a camping establishment to be more specific. He was a foal back then, about the same age as the Cutie Mark Crusaders. He already had his cutie mark. Tears were falling out of his eyes as the expression of his face showed primal fear. A lion’s roar echoed behind him, making him run faster than before. The shadow of a griffin loomed above him, ready to descend at any moment.

“Where are you, Master?” Statice cried as he kept running. “The mean griffin is going to hurt me! Are you there, Digitalis? Can anypony help me?”

His cries of help were stopped when a griffin stood up in front of him. It was Piercing Gaze, but he looked different. He was younger and he was not wearing the shades he wore in the present. He had sharp red eyes, the same ones owned by a predator about to finish a hunt.

“Where do you think you’re going, prey?” Piercing Gaze stalked forward, smiling maliciously at the colt.

“Why are you doing this to me?” Statice sniffled as he backed away. “I didn’t do anything to you! Leave me alone!”

“Sorry, cub,” Piercing Gaze followed him. “But your master’s got a juicy reward, one big enough for me to retire. The problem is that he is too tough of a prey to take head on. This is why I need some leverage over him…you.”

With his intentions revealed, Piercing Gaze swiped a talon at Statice. The colt ducked under the swipe and ran underneath the griffin’s body. He didn’t get to advance that much before he was grabbed by the hind leg.

“I got you,” Piercing Gaze bragged as he held Statice over his head.

The colt disappeared in a burst of magic as he teleported away. The memory became unstable. Statice was shown nearly being captured in many occasions. The griffin stoodin front of him, so Statice had to throw dirt into his eyes. The colt got cornered into a wall, so he was forced to levitate many objects and barricade the corner. As the memories continued, Statice had small scratches and his coat was dirty from so many close calls with the griffin.

At this point, he was crying desperately. He was hiding under the small space of a cabin, one too small for an adult griffin to fit in. The griffin was so frustrated with each failed attempt that he was turning violent. He roared and swiped at the colt with each new attack.

“Celestia help me,” Statice started begging at the sky. “I don’t know if you’re real or a myth, but I really want to get out here. Please help me.”

She won’t help you.

“Who’s there?” Statice asked in frantic fear, scared that another mean griffin or pony was going to try to hurt him.

I am. I am inside you to be exact.

“Who are you?” Statice spoke in a low whisper, almost inaudible.

I am you, the part of you that you’ve been trying to avoid.

“What part of me?” Statice asked, forgetting his fear.

I’m all that you want to forget. I’m all that you don’t want to let out. You hate this, don’t you? You hate being the victim here? You resent this situation, right?

Statice meekly nodded his head.

You don’t have Mommy and Daddy to kiss your booboos away. You don’t have your Master to give you the answer to your problems. You don’t have Digitalis here to save you from that griffin. You are all alone.

Statice began crying, covering his mouth with one hoof and wiping the tears in his eyes with the other hoof.

You’re a crybaby. You are going to let everything get out of control like always. Stop being a coward! That griffin wants to hurt you? Then hurt him first! You just need to be angry!

The voice’s rant stopped when a talon burst through the floor to grab the colt by the tail. Statice screamed in fright as he realized that he was captured.

“I got you now, you troublesome cub!”

Yelling in fright, Statice concentrated all of his magic to teleport as far away as possible. He disappeared in a green flash and materialized somewhere else. Much to his horror, he was still back in the camp, just at the opposite side of it. He closed his eyes to gather more magic for another teleportation, gasping in pain as he tried it again.

“I’m out of magic,” Statice’s tears returned to his eyes.

He didn’t have a chance to cry before the frustrated Piercing Gaze burst out of the previous cabin’s roof into the sky. He stared at his surroundings until he caught up to his prey. Giving a loud roar, he charged at the colt. Time seemed to slow down as Statice’s thoughts moved faster into his head.

He’s going to hurt me! I’m never seeing Mom and Dad again! I’m never seeing Meadow Tails again! I hate this! I hate this! I hate this! I hate him! I hate him for hurting me! Why am I the only one who has to suffer? Why can’t he be the one who has to suffer for a change? I want to hurt him! I want to hurt him right now!

Statice’s tears kept falling, but his expression changed. It was a mask of fury. He bared his teeth, grinding them in frustration and resentment. His innocent eyes were sharper and fiercer than before. His eyes were now crimson orbs with no iris or pupils. His magic gathered into his horn as it took a red color with a black hue around it.

“HOW IS THIS FOR A PREY?” Statice shouted as he fired the blast.

Piercing Gaze’s mood changed from unbridled fury to shocking surprise as the blast hit him square in the face. Out of reflex, he brought the palms of his talons to his eyes once he felt the pain of the attack. The reaction destabilized his flight course and caused him to crash into a cabin. The collision was strong enough to break the cabin’s foundations, making it fall on top of the griffin.

Without missing a beat, Statice walked to the cabin.

I am not done! I am not done yet!

He started using his magic to remove the rubble out of the cabin, trying to find Piercing Gaze to hurt him some more. After enough excavation, he found the griffin buried under a mountain of logs. Only the upper half was available, but it was fine as it was the half that he wanted to hurt.

Piercing Gaze stared in horror as the colt stood in front of him. This wasn’t the prey that he had hunted the whole day. This was a monster beyond anything he’s ever faced in his career. Statice focused his magic on his horn, ready to blast him, only to stop as he saw something in Piercing Gaze’s eyes.

There was a little bit of black in the white parts of his eyes. As he stared at them, he noticed that the black was spreading across the eyes. Soon enough, the black darkness spread across both eyeballs, obscuring the red eyes that had been following him the entire day. What followed afterwards was a scream, not from Statice but from the griffin.


Statice flinched at the outburst. A few seconds ago, Piercing Gaze was defenseless and now he was ready to fight him again. As the colt took a step back, his hind hoof stepped on a log that made him fall on his rump. He sat up, noticing a mirror next to him and looking into it. When he saw his reflection, he was shocked to the core.

This isn’t me!

But here he was. He had sharp red eyes and a cruel uncaring frown on his face. The griffin’s curses were running through his ears.

This isn’t me! Those are not my eyes! I’m not supposed to do this!

“This isn’t…me,” Statice said as a tear slid off his eye and fell on the mirror. He closed his eyes and opened them again to see that he was back to normal.

“It was all a dream,” Statice placed a hoof on his chest.

Are you sure that it was a dream? How about you take a look at your surroundings and see what you caused once you unleashed your inner self?

Statice gasped as he heard that voice again. He turned his head around and noticed the destroyed cabin. He took another look and saw Piercing Gaze, whose eyeballs were now pitch black, swearing revenge on him.

“No,” Statice shook his head. “I didn’t do this.”

Then who else did it? You and I are one and the same so you cannot put the blame on me. There is nopony else here. And Piercing Gaze sure as Tartarus thinks that you’re the one who blinded him.

Unable to take it anymore, Statice screamed as hard as he could and ran away to the camp, back to the port. The ship was there. All he needed to do was to get out of the island and return to Hobuck to forget this nightmare…

By the time the nightmare was over, the girls were horrified out of their wits. They had never seen such brutality in their entire lives. To think that the stallion managed to blind Piercing Gaze as a colt was an unnerving thought. What made it more horrible is how scary the situation had been for Statice. He had been chased by a griffin in an attempted foalnap and then he was forced to use dark magic to protect himself.

Fluttershy was on the verge of tears, unable to fathom such horrible things to be done to and by a colt. Pinkie’s mane deflated, which was a sign that her happiness was gone and replaced with sadness. Rainbow Dash and Applejack avoided looking at Statice, staring at him with a mixture of fear and pity. Rarity was wiping her tears and her ruined makeup with napkins that she brought from Carousel Boutique. Spike was terrified and backing away from Statice, as if he were afraid of getting blinded next.

“I told you that he went through a lot, Twilight,” Discord spoke with a tone that showed understanding and sympathy. “Coming from a Spirit of Disharmony who delights in the suffering of others, that is something.”

Twilight looked at Statice in a different light. He wasn’t like any of the other villains that she and her friends faced. Most of them were power-hungry monsters that delighted in the suffering of others. But he was an exception. He was more of a tragic victim of circumstances. He wasn’t born as a bad pony. He just grew in an environment with no friends or family to support him.

Is he who I could have been if I had grown up outside of Equestria? Is he what I could have become had I been surrounded by enemies instead of friends?

She didn’t have many friends for most of her life, but she still had ponies that cared about her. She had her parents, her brother, Celestia, Cadence, Spike, and her old but unappreciated friends in Canterlot. Statice was mostly alone and surrounded by enemies while she grew up in a land on which ponies were at least polite to her and tried to befriend her.

“And that’s why Piercing Gaze is after me,” Statice finished as he stored the memory back in his horn.

“What kind of spell was that?” Twilight asked.

“It was the Sight of Darkness Spell,” Statice informed her, sounding more ashamed than proud at the spell. “It replaces your sense of sight with pure darkness, rendering you blind.”

“That’s the most horrible use of black magic that I’ve ever seen,” Twilight stepped back. “Why would you create such a spell?”

“You just saw me using the spell for the first and only time,” Statice bitterly pointed, not happy to be judged. “I got carried away by fear, despair, and anger. I reacted to all of those negative feelings and that’s it.”

“No wonder Piercing Gaze is after you,” Rainbow Dash spoke a little warily. “The sense of sight is very important for fliers and gryphons.”

“But how the hay did he found ya?” Applejack asked cautiously. “He’s as blind as a fruit bat before apple season.”

“Maybe he’s got super senses to compensate for his blindness,” Pinkie Pie proposed, her mane recovering a little bit of her puffy appearance.

“I second that,” Spike raised his claw supportively. “Take that Mare Devil comic where the superhero gets blind, but gets super senses to make up for her disability.”

“That would only be the sense of hearing, Pinkie, and I don’t think the comic supports the theory, Spike,” Twilight shook her head in disapproval at her friends’ hypothesis. “I read that gryphons don’t have a good sense of smell. The only way that he could track him was with his sense of hearing and even that sounds ridiculous.”

“It is his sense of smell,” Statice corrected Twilight. “He claimed that he could smell me based on my magic. I assume that my magic increased his sense of smell beyond griffin standards or his sense of smell is linked to my magic due to getting a blast full of it in the face.”

“What are we gonna do now?” Spike asked.

“Let me take care of him,” Statice proposed. “I’ll fight him and then give it to you to put on a cell once I beat him.”

“That doesn’t sound like a good plan, Statice,” Twilight frowned disapprovingly. “I think that we should try a more peaceful approach. How about you try to remove the curse from his eyes?”

“Oh sure, maybe he’ll forget the trauma of being blind for years and agree to make peace with me,” Statice sarcastically smiled and clapped at Twilight, his sardonic comment making the purple alicorn glare at him.

“I’m glad that we got into a compromise,” Pinkie Pie smiled, recovering her normal appearance.

“That was sarcasm, Sugarcube,” Applejack corrected her.

“I’m just trying to help,” Twilight stomped her hoof angrily. “Maybe I can try to find a way to remove the curse.”

“Not gonna work,” Statice shook his head. “You can try, but you won’t get any result whatsoever.”

“I am the Element of Magic,” Twilight confidently glared at him. “I think that I can figure out your spell.”

“My spell was powered by emotions, Twilight,” Statice gave her an unconvinced look. “I’m no traditional magic expert, but you cannot replicate emotion-oriented spells if you don’t feel anything when you cast them.

Twilight frowned. He was right. If she wanted to replicate such a spell, she needed to feel the same negative emotions that Statice felt at the time. Although it was possible for her to try to replicate it anyway, it was not going to be a perfect copy. It was just like that dark spell that Celestia taught her when they first talked about the Crystal Empire. Although Twilight managed to replicate the spell, it was barely a passing replica instead of a perfect reproduction.

According to Celestia, to cancel a spell done by somepony else, two factors were needed. The first factor was to know how to cast the spell in order to understand the mechanic in detail and create a way to counter it. This was the main reason on why Celestia and Luna were incapable of recovering the Crystal Empire after Sombra made it disappear, as they did not have an idea on how his last spell worked despite having enough power to revert it. The second factor was to have enough skill and power in magic to be able to create the counter spell. This was troubling for Twilight as creating counter spells that required them to reverse the negative effects of another spell was quite challenging, as she had learned when Rarity got reality warping powers and she was forced to clean up all of that dark magic with the help of Luna and Cadence.

I suppose I could ask Celestia and Luna. They have more experience dealing with black magic to know what we should do.

“I’m going to sleep,” Statice announced. “I have to prepare for tomorrow. If Piercing Gaze arrives tonight, call me so that I can put an end to this.”

“Are you going to hurt him again?” Fluttershy asked with concern. “Are you going to use dark magic on him again?”

“Does it matter?” Statice asked. “I’m pretty sure that you girls and Discord can take me on if I get out of control.”

“How can you say that?” Fluttershy raised her voice in alarm. “Aren’t you afraid of what may happen to you if your magic corrupts you? What will happen if you were to hurt somepony other than Piercing Gaze?”

“I have the Elements of Harmony and the Spirit of Disharmony to keep me in check,” Statice yawned, not caring what Fluttershy had to say.

“Aren’t you even scared at all?” Fluttershy asked, feeling frustrated by the lack of concern for his own safety.

“Less so than you, spineless omniphobia patient,” Statice glared at her, not liking the tone that she was taking with him.

“What did you call her, jerk?” Rainbow Dash banged on the wall with her hoof. She didn’t care what happened between him and Piercing Gaze, she was not going to stand idle and let him insult her best friend.

“Let me put it in terms that you can understand,” Statice switched glances from Fluttershy to Rainbow Dash. “I called her a coward who is afraid of everything.”

Fluttershy flinched. She had always been teased by her shyness and her phobias, which only made her more insecure about herself and reinforced those traits more in a vicious cycle.

“You don’t have any right to call Fluttershy a coward,” Rainbow Dash was now beating on the wall, trying to break it to hurt Statice.

“Oh please,” Statice snorted disdainfully. If she thought he was wrong, then she was going to get an argument out of her. He glared at Rainbow Dash as he pointed an accusing hoof at Fluttershy.

“She is afraid of her own shadow, confrontations, heights in spite of being a pegasus with the ability to fly, crowds, meeting new ponies, and too many things to list. She is the oldest of the group and yet she is scared of everything in spite of growing in the most peaceful land in the world. Here is a newsflash for you, girls! I grew up outside of Equestria, in lands that were filled with jerks that were trying to hurt me or monsters that were trying to eat me. I did this back when I was the Crusaders’ age. In base of those experiences, she don’t have the right to be scared of anything, much less my own safety.”

He cast an angry look at Fluttershy before turning away.

“You’re right.”

Statice stopped and turned around. Much to his surprise, it was Fluttershy who had spoken to him. She was having that shy look on her face, but he could see the confidence of a fighter in her eyes.

“Compared to what you’ve been through, I don’t have a right to complain about my experiences. But still, I can’t help but being shy or scared because that is how I was born and how I am happy with myself. You may think that only your fears are justified, and in a way they are, but that doesn’t mean that my fears are not justified. Not everypony is born scared. Some ponies like me grow scared because of bad things that influenced on that fear. I know that I have fears, but I am working my best to get rid of them. I still fight alongside my friends when they are defending Equestria despite how much it scares me. I try to confront my fears despite taking baby steps. But you know what, that is okay because I am trying to get over my fears, like watching a pony get hurt and being powerless to do anything about it. You can call me an omniphobia patient, but I will not let you call me spineless!”

After giving her speech, Fluttershy was panting, taking deep breaths from speaking so passionately. She looked at her friends and saw that they were all staring at her with open jaws. Spike was also staring at her with the same slack jaw as his friends. Statice had a surprised look on his friend, not really expecting Fluttershy’s rant. The only one who seemed to be expecting that reaction was Discord, who was now wearing a foam finger in his eagle claw while hollering with his lion paw.

“And here we have the Element of Kindness putting the criminal right on his place! Can somepony give Fluttershy a round of applause for winning the debate of the night? Come on, girls! I don’t hear you!”

At Discord’s cheer, Pinkie Pie brightened up and started cheering.

“Hooray for Fluttershy!” she chanted as she bounced happily.

Soon enough, the rest of her friends were cheering after her. The yellow mare blushed at the praise that she received. She didn’t really like to yell at Statice or to give such a long speech. She just felt the need to correct him. As she looked back at the stallion, she noticed him leaving. She was about to call him when she noticed that he slightly turned his head towards her. For a brief second, he gave her a smile before turning his head back and leaving her to celebrate her speech.

She stood up to me. I guess that she is more of a fighter than I expected.

“Are you here to lick your wounds after Fluttershy schooled you?” Discord’s teasing question caused him to stop walking.

“I decided to sleep early,” Statice looked at Discord. “Shouldn’t you be with Fluttershy in her moment of glory?”

“She’s got better friends to cheer her on,” Discord leaned his head on his lion paw to look at Statice. “She wasn’t bad enough to be a spineless omniphobia patient, right?”

“To be honest I am surprised that you didn’t go after me,” Statice smiled at Discord, honestly surprised at how lenient he was after hearing him insult and demean Fluttershy in his presence.

“I was thinking about it,” Discord lowered his voice as he smiled at the unicorn, terrifying him with his idea of retribution. “Fortunately for you, Fluttershy stood up to you before I did.”

“Never thought that she had her in her,” Statice muttered in praise.

“She stared down a dragon and a cockatrice, Statice,” Discord gave Statice a noogie that messed up his mane. “She also redeemed your friendly and chaotic neighbor Discord when nopony else thought possible. For somepony with many fears, that is more than just being spineless.”

“First time somepony actually counters my arguments,” Statice looked at the sky, remembering how many of his enemies tried to get on his brain with speeches of how he was weak or unworthy, or any negative quality that they tried to brand on him.

“She has strong convictions, Statice,” Discord smiled. “Her shy and peaceful nature just doesn’t show it too often. Did you know that she stood up to me when I tried to send her friend Tree Hugger to another dimension?”

“Wow,” Statice grimaced at the incident. He didn’t think that Discord had the power or the evil that condemn a pony to such grim fate. He was surprised that Fluttershy actually stood up to him despite such display of power.

“That’s the power of friendship, Statice,” Discord gave Statice a malicious smirk. “You are just as brave or strong as your friends. Try to think about that the next time you talk back to Fluttershy.”

Statice’s eyes widened as he listened to the tone in Discord’s words. There was a dark but promising tone in them. It was as if he was swearing to hurt him if he ever hurt Fluttershy. He gulped when he turned his head and saw that Discord was gone. He had tried to end his friendship with Discord earlier that day and he only conserved it because the girls convinced him to keep it. Even then, he still earned a subtle threat for insulting Fluttershy in front of him. He gulped as he realized what could have happened had he broken his friendship with Discord and gotten into that argument with Fluttershy.

Well, I guess I have something more terrifying than Piercing Gaze to worry about now. It’s a good thing that I’m his friend.

Author's Note:

And the first night in Winsome Falls Camp is a complete success as Statice finally explains to the Mane Six the true story between him and Piercing Gaze. How will Statice and the Mane Six fare for the rest of the camp? How long will it take Piercing Gaze to reach Winsome Falls to have his showdown with Statice? Only the next chapter will show it.

Sight of Darkness Spell: A dark magic spell that induces blindness in the victim by coating the eyes in black magic until they are pitch black. As a side effect, the victim will have an ability to smell dark magic, more specifically that of the caster.