• Published 1st Aug 2015
  • 2,463 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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The Game Is On

The Game Is On!

“And Statice starts the game by spinning the ball around him in some sort of elliptic orbit, probably to put some sort of spin into his throw!” Discord started his comment by observing the way on which the green unicorn levitated the ball around him, changing its course for every revolution it spun around him.

“I bet it must be some sort of super shot with a whole lot of spin,” Spike added, trying to sound helpful. He didn’t know much of this game. However, he did get some expertise in ball games by hanging out with Shining Armor and Big Macintosh which taught him that some impossible shots were made by adding a little bit of spin into a ball when it was thrown or kicked. As much as he didn’t know about magic, he was sure that the ball worked on the same principles as other ball sports he had seen around his short life as a dragon and sports fanatic.

Statice walked around his zones with the ball orbiting around him. In reality, it was an illusion. There was no trick shot. He was making a strategy as he prepared for the first move. His eyes wandered to the six opposing players, remembering his master’s advice when it came to fighting.

Listen up, Statice. Always aim for the weak spot. That’s the easiest way to damage your enemies and defeat them. You’ll know it when they get desperate to defend themselves from your attacks.

Statice frowned. He already knew that Fluttershy was the weak point in the team long before the game started. She didn’t have the competitive or mean streak to fully immerse herself into the game. Her trembling and scared gaze confirmed his point.

Unfortunately for him, this was a battle against a team, so she was heavily guarded by her more physically and magically capable friends. It was impossible for Statice to exploit the team’s weak spot. Luckily for him, he was knowledgeable about weak spots and how to best exploit them.

If the weak spot is too well-protected, I suggest you aim for the area around it. That way, the area of the weak spot will increase in size. Once you have a large size target, it will be impossible for you to miss.

He frowned in confusion. Which of the remaining Elements of Harmony would be the weak spot barring Fluttershy? It couldn’t be Twilight giving what she was capable of doing with her magic, much less so given that she was an alicorn princess. Rainbow Dash was the fastest pegasus he’d ever seen fly and probably the best flyer in the world. He had already seen what a buck from Applejack was capable of doing.

That left him with only Pinkie Pie and Rarity. He paced around, thinking of his probabilities.

Both of them are athletic in their own ways. Rarity more or less could have won that Sisterhood event with Sweetie Belle if it weren’t for that tripping accident. And Pinkie Pie could actually keep up with a flying Rainbow Dash and outrace a running Applejack at times. Then again, Rarity had magic, and he didn’t think that Pinkie could use whatever powers she had to her full extent in restricted spaces.

In that case, the second weakest point was Pinkie Pie. She had neither the athletic skill that Rainbow Dash and Applejack possessed, nor did she have access to magic like Twilight and Rarity did. Despite this, her Pinkie Sense had the potential of defending Fluttershy from his throws if he somehow managed to slip through the first four opposing zones. Barring that physics defying ability she had, Pinkie was definitely the second weakest point.

Let’s just hope I’m right. Otherwise I definitely cursed myself.

Her skills were going to be a bother, but the benefits of getting Pinkie out of the game were important. With her gone, Fluttershy was going to be at her weakest, having nopony to protect her once the ball bypassed her remaining friends. All that he needed to do was to throw the ball through her four friends and aim at the wall behind her to conquer her zone. Once that was done, he was going to be free to pass the ball through Rarity’s wall to conquer her zone and then repeat the process to conquer the remaining zones.

Okay. My strategy is done. Now I’m going to test these mares.

Statice settled in the third zone, close enough to keep watch on his rivals, yet far enough to have enough space for good shots. He bent his neck to the side, the ball following behind him.

“Statice is about to make the first move!” Discord announced as he leaned forward.

“I think that he’s going to throw a curve ball or something!” Spike imitated the draconequus as he also leaned forward.

Statice swung his neck forward, throwing the ball up and straight into Rainbow Dash’s zone. The rainbow mare flew into the air and kicked it with a hind leg to Statice’s second zone.

“Quick as lightning, Rainbow Dash’s caught up to Statice’s ball and is giving it a kick of seven colors!”

Statice ran to the second zone, leaping into it with both forelegs extended and cupped into each other, hitting the rainbow ball and sending it flying into the air and back into Rainbow’s zone.

“What do you think of this?” Rainbow Dash challenged as she cupped her forelegs above her head and gave the ball a hammer blow into the fourth zone. Statice wasted no effort in teleporting in a biped position to deliver a side kick with the length of his hind leg to throw it into the opposite side.

“Rainbow Dash spikes the ball into Statice’s fourth zone, but the stallion is stubborn enough to teleport right into it to deliver a standing spin kick with his hind leg!”

“Look, Discord! The ball passed Rainbow Dash’s zone!”

Just as Spike announced, the ball was returned so fast that Rainbow Dash had no time to catch it. It only passed the first zone as Applejack intercepted it in the second zone with a mighty buck.

“Here’s how it’s done, vermin!” Applejack cheered as her hind hooves smacked the ball into a straight shot. The aura around her hooves spread into the ball, accelerating its progress as it entered Statice’s side of the field.

This is bad! Statice stood on his hind legs and bended his upper body forward, ready to intercept the orange ball. He swung his forelegs up in skyward hammer blow.

By the stars, this is heavy! Statice grunted, giving a bellow of effort as he swung the ball upward, its aura changing to green to indicate that it was a successful blow. He attempted to regain his equilibrium, failing miserably as he lost it after making such swing on a heavy ball. He fell on his back, watching as the ball landed on the fifth zone.

“And the ball was returned by one of Applejack’s trusty bucks! Not to be outdone, Statice retaliated! Sadly, in spite of returning the ball, it landed on his fifth zone. Team Harmony is in the lead!”

Discord’s announcement caused the ponies in Canterlot to cheer. They all stomped hooves in celebration as the team that consisted of the six ponies that always saved their lives when Equestria was in danger was now in the lead.

“I’m best friends with those mares!”

Team Harmony was having a blast after Spike’s comment. The mares were hollering happily at their small victory. Rainbow Dash and Applejack in particular were hugging and celebrating.

“Nice shot, Applejack!”

“Ah can say the same thing about ya, Rainbow!”

Statice’s fifth zone was glowing with the same magenta and light blue colors that Twilight and Rarity infused into the ball before the game began. It was a visual aid to remind everypony that those girls had a point in their favor.

Statice gritted his teeth as he levitated the ball.

“As per the game’s rules, the next serve will be done by the player whose zone was conquered in the previous round. Statice is going to be serving again.”

“The way I see it, Statice will probably be the only pony serving, Discord. There is nothing those mares cannot do.”

We shall see about that, Spike.

Statice narrowed his eyes as he came up with an idea. It was a strategy that he and Digitalis constantly used when they played one on one with each other. He once again stood up in the third zone, this time bouncing the ball repeatedly before shooting it upward in an arc.

“It appears that Statice is trying a basketball approach. Remember kids, the left hoof is for support when shooting.”

“But he’s not using his hooves, Discord!”

“Doesn’t mean he can’t use them later, Spike! Open up your mind!”

Ignoring their bantering, Statice watched as the ball passed to the second zone. Now was the moment for him to strike. He popped into the second zone when the ball was at its apex and then delivered a downward crescent kick. The ball was thrown with the speed of cannon, bypassing the first two zones entirely.

“Wow! It appears that Statice threw the ball from the third zone to the second zone, only to teleport there as well to spike it into Team Harmony’s field!”

“Is that move even legal, Discord? It looked awesome, but I can’t help feeling that this was illegal.”

“It was awesome and not illegal, Spike. The ball can only be hit once one zone at a time, meaning that is possible for him to hit the ball more than once provided that he hits it in different zones.”

“By Celestia, Statice thought of everything when making this game!”

To be honest, Digi was the one who came up with that rule.

The ball easily bypassed Rainbow Dash with its speed and Applejack due to the attack coming from above. Luckily enough, Twilight’s magic caught the ball before it had the chance to leave her zone. The catch was a difficult one as she grunted her teeth with effort, finding the momentum of the ball to be the equivalent to catching a large rock being thrown at her by surprise.

“And Twilight catches the ball right away! You can see that she’s Celestia’s student from such talent!”

“Well she’s beaten an Ursa Minor on her own, Discord! There is nopony that can actually beat Twilight at magic.”

Twilight levitated the ball carefully under her magical grasp. Bending her neck forward, she threw it as hard as her magic allowed her. The ball soared through the first zone, but Statice was not going to let her surpass his second zone.

“Here we go again!” Statice yelled as he countered the ball the same way that he did with Applejack, except that this time he bucked his hind legs into the ball rather than intercepting it with his forelegs.

“Statice has learned his lesson from his previous bout with Applejack. He’s using his stronger hind legs to return Twilight’s shot rather than his forelegs.”

“I don’t think that Statice’s buck can do much of a difference for him, Discord. It may have made a difference if the shot had been made by Applejack like earlier, but right now he’s doomed since it’s Twilight who made the shot. You just can’t compare the force of Applejack’s hind legs to the power of Twilight’s magic.”

It was just like they had suggested. The buck managed to send the ball soaring into the air. Statice fell on his chest from the strain, turning his head around to see that the ball was about to fall into his first zone. Forcing himself to stand up, Statice once again used his teleportation to return to the air, grunting with effort as he delivered a scissor kick to the ball.

“And now Statice is trying to replay his previous strategy, except that this time he’s trying it from the first zone! Will he be capable of standing up to Twilight in this occasion?”

Just like before, the ball shot through the first two zones. Twilight gasped as she realized that she accidentally used too much spin and force on her throw, which made the ball go backwards and aided Statice into invading her team’s zones when he kicked it. Not willing to let the ball catch her by surprise, Twilight reflexively used her levitation skill to mend her mistake. Her timing was a little off and the ball slowly rolled out of her grasp. She gasped in surprise when the ball got out of her zone.

“Oh no!” Twilight cried out as the ball entered into the fourth zone. Much to her delight, Rarity caught the ball in her blue aura before it landed in the ground.

“Are you okay, darling?” Rarity asked as she levitated the ball close herself.

“I’m fine,” Twilight stood up and immediately went to apologize to her unicorn friend for nearly getting her eliminated. “I’m sorry if I didn’t stop the ball, Rarity. I put too much spin into the ball and that helped Statice pass Rainbow and Applejack’s zones when he kicked it. I missed the timing to catch it and…”

“Nonsense,” Rarity dismissively waved a dainty hoof at her purple friend. “We all make mistakes in our first time playing games. I don’t have a trouble helping you the same way you help me, darling. Now then, let me answer to this ruffian the way I am supposed to retaliate.”
Throwing the ball up, Rarity waited a few seconds before she punted it. She stood up on her hind legs, cocked one of them behind, and then kicked it with all of her might in an upward arc.

“Statice’s strategy worked as the ball slipped through Twilight’s magic. Thankfully, Rarity’s magic grabbed the ball and is more than happy to return it to Statice’s field. I gotta say that I never thought Rarity would use such a masculine punt like that.”

“She still looks graceful and beautiful punting a ball.”

“Stop covering the microphones with your lovesick drool, Spike!”

Statice gritted his teeth in frustration. Rarity had caught his shot immediately after he accomplished the feat of passing through Twilight. To make matters worse, she punted the ball to his side, right after he had landed on his first zone. He casted his teleportation spell to his sixth zone to prevent Rarity from scoring a goal.

“And it looks like Statice is once again in the defensive. Will he manage to prevent Rarity from scoring that ball? Or will he fall down to the hidden power that the Element of Generosity holds within her graceful exterior?”

Statice caught the ball in a volley ball hammer blow. Unlike the balls thrown by her previous three friends, Rarity’s ball was not as heavy. He managed to deflect the ball into the air, this time maintaining his balance in all four legs.

“And Statice catches the ball! Now what will his game plan be now?”

“You think that he may try that strategy that he used before, Discord?”

“We shall see, Spike! We shall see.”

Unknown to them, their comments gave Statice another idea. It was the same as the previous two. The difference was that this time he was going to hit the ball in each zone to gather strength and momentum. Using carefully timed teleportation spells, Statice hit the ball again in the fifth zone, then the fourth zone, then the third zone, and the second zone, elevating the ball higher and higher with each hit. By the time he reached the first zone, he delivered a hammer blow from his forelegs that shot the ball like a cannonball.

“I guess he used that same plan.”

“The shot looks stronger than the previous ones, Discord.”

“I’ve seen better, Spike.”

The ball traveled faster than before. It was faster than Rainbow Dash, it was still in the air and out of Applejack’s reach when it passed on the second zone, it bypassed the third zone even when Twilight flew upward to increase her magical range into the ball, and it still had enough magic and altitude to be out of Rarity’s reach. Statice smiled, feeling that the mares in either the fifth or sixth zone were going to be out of the game by the time his ball landed.

BOOM!

His smile vanished when he heard the sound of a cannon being fired.

“WHEEEEEEEE!”

That high pitched voice was easy to recognize. Pinkie Pie was soaring into the air, ready to meet the ball head on. She didn’t seem to be afraid of it, cheerfully laughing as she approached the potential projectile.

That mare is insane!

As soon as she got close to the ball, Pinkie Pie somehow floated into the air just in front of it. She raised her hoof and slapped the ball back as hard as possible.

Okay, maybe I’m the insane one.

The ball traveled all the way across Team Harmony’s field and back into Statice’s field. The stallion gasped in surprise when he heard the sound of the ball landing on something by the time he landed back in the first zone. He was stunned to see that his second zone had been conquered by Pinkie Pie’s return.

His stunned silence was broken by the cheers of the audience and Team Harmony as they celebrated their second conquered.

“And Pinkie Pie conquers Statice’s second zone…right in the second zone!”

“Ha, I knew they could do it. Team Harmony is in the lead with two conquered zones to zero! I said it once and I’ll say it again! Is there anything these mares can’t do?”

“Quick thinking, improvisation, and a little Pinkie randomness stopped a ball that not even Princess Twilight was capable of stopping. I feel bad that Statice has to fight such odds in this game.”

"Isn't it illegal that Pinkie uses her cannon, though?"

"It's only illegal if she shoots the ball, Spike. There's no rule forbidding the use of objects to help the players reach the ball. I don't see our green friend complaining. Well, he is, but I can see that's envy."

Statice gritted his teeth. They had conquered another zone from him. This was his game. He wasn’t supposed to be beaten at it by newcomers. He took many deep breaths to reclaim his composure. Anger was going to seal his defeat if he let it take control of his actions. He was going to take another step in his strategy.

You brought this on yourself. You underestimated that pony shaped incarnation of chaos and paid the price for it. It serves you right for not expecting her for exploiting a loophole whether on purpose or by accident. Calm down and think how to fix this.

Obviously Pinkie Pie was going to be a problem. Going after her was a slightly better problem than Fluttershy. It was still an almost impossible challenge to conquer her zone as much as it was with the yellow mare. If he was to recover, he needed a different target this time. He was going to have to resort to another lesson from his teacher if he wanted to prevail.

Getting close to the weak point of an opponent can be a hassle if he is too powerful for you to take on. My suggestion is that you attack the spot that links the strong point to the weak point. Break that connection and your opponent won’t be capable of using his strongest weapons to defend himself.

From his observations, it was clear that Rarity was the beginning of where the difference in strengths between the six mares started. She wasn’t the magical or physical fighter that Twilight, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack were. Her abilities were mostly out of support and a little dull from inactivity, yet still dependable to have when push came to shove, much more so than Pinkie or Fluttershy since she was the most serious of the three weaker ponies.

Still, there were complications for going after her. The first one was that, with the second zone conquered, it was impossible for him to run into the first zone or out of it. He was going to have to teleport more frequently if he was to defend it or attack from it, meaning that he was going to waste magic in the process. To make matters worse, he had to find a way to send his ball out of the second zone and into the first to smash it, as there was no other way to bypass Twilight’s strong defenses.

“I have to step up my game,” Statice muttered as he teleported back into the third zone. He brought the ball close to him as he once again started the process of walking between the third and the fourth zones.

“And now Statice is once again doing that orbiting walk thing he did at the beginning of the match.”

“I’d say that he’s losing it, Discord! He wasn’t that impressive when he started the game. It was more of a disappointing throw.”

Statice stood up in the third zone and threw the ball upward into the fourth zone.

“Statice just threw the ball into the fourth zone. He’s throwing it backwards. Is he trying to conquer his own zones?”

“I’d say that the thought of losing is messing up his game. I think that he would rather eliminate himself from the game than let the girls do it for him.”

Ignoring the remarks on his sanity, Statice sent the ball flying from the fourth zone into the sixth zone. A quick teleportation later, Statice spiked the ball into Team Harmony’s field. Rainbow Dash intercepted the ball with a downward buck in an attempt to throw it into Statice’s first zone.

“Statice has reattempted his tactic by using the limited space that he has left, but Rainbow Dash was quick to the draw!”

“Look, Discord! Statice is at the first zone!”

Just as Spike pointed out, Statice had his hind leg shoved back ready to punt the ball that Rainbow Dash sent to him. Despite the heaviness of the ball, the punt sent the ball flying into a straight line. Applejack wasted no time in bucking the ball upward, attempting to catapult it into the goal of Statice’s sixth zone.

“Here comes an applebucking delivery!” Applejack hollered as she sent the ball flying into the air, ready to fall into the sixth zone or cross the goal at the end of it.

“I think you got the wrong address!” Statice declared as he teleported high into the air, holding his forelegs above his head and spiking the ball back into Team Harmony’s field.

The momentum of the ball with the high altitude sent it accelerating into the ground at increasing speeds. Rainbow Dash and Applejack were unable to catch it. Twilight gritted her teeth as she attempted to use her magic to catch the ball. Her efforts were futile due to the amount of spin and momentum that were on it. She only managed to decelerate it a little bit.

It crossed into the fourth zone to be caught by Rarity. The fashionista caught the ball in her magic, crying out as her neck was forced down by an invisible force. The ball still had downward rotation that was slowly bringing it close to the ground. Rarity growled with effort as she attempted to keep her head high. Her friends needed her. She couldn’t let the ball touch the ground. Giving a warrior’s shout, Rarity felt the weight disappear inside her magic aura, lifting her head in an epic flourish with her eyes closed. She slowly opened her eyes, hoping to see the ball traveling to the other side of the field, only to see a clear sky and no signs of the ball being in there. It wasn’t in the air.

The ball was at her zone. It was releasing the same green light as Statice’s magical aura. It had been captured by him.

A tense silence spread across the courtyard before it exploded with the roaring excitement of the crowd.

“And Statice finally manages to conquer his first zone. Team Harmony’s fourth zone has been conquered, leaving Rarity out of the game!”

“I’d love to add that Rarity played amazingly for a first time.”

“Don’t let your feelings get in the way of your comments, sport. It’s not very professional from your part.”

“You’re drinking chocolate milk as we speak!”

Ignoring the bickering of the commentators, Rarity looked downcast. She stared at her friends, all of which looked very disappointed.

“I’m sorry for not holding up to the ball,” Rarity apologized.

“No, Rarity,” Twilight shook her head. “I should have kept the ball from reaching your zone. You shouldn’t blame yourself for this.”

“How about we play the game rather than point hooves at each other?” Rainbow Dash interrupted both magic users before they started a pity party. “We still have an advantage against Statice. I say we avenge Rarity and beat this jerk.”

“Ah agree with Rainbow Dash,” Applejack grimly nodded. “It ain’t this team’s fault that Rarity was eliminated. The one responsible is standin’ right here in front of us.”

“Which one of you ladies is ready to serve?” Statice challenged as he assumed a fighting pose.

The question got the mares in Team Harmony to frown.

“Show him some manners, darling,” Rarity asked Twilight venomously before stepping out of the playfield.

“Gladly,” Twilight darkly promised as she levitated the ball next to her.

“And Team Harmony sends Twilight Sparkle to make the throw. Since this is the first time a zone of the team has been captured, it will be the first time one member of the team does any throwing.”

“Twilight looks mad! I can’t promise you that Statice is going to lose one of his zones anytime soon.”

Focusing her magic into the ball, Twilight gave a battle cry to throw the ball into a straight line. The throw was done with such power that the ball was literally turned into a missile. Statice didn’t even react as the ball passed to his side and pierced into the goal of his field. The ball’s trajectory continued until it hit the wall of the castle, leaving it covered in fissures.

Statice stared in shock as the ground of his sixth zone was now glowing magenta and light blue, indicating its capture. The spectators were staring in shock at what Twilight had accomplished with raw magic and anger.

“And you were right, Spike. Twilight did conquer the third of Statice’s zones immediately after she made her throw.”

“And she threw the ball into the goal, officially conquering Statice’s sixth zone. I can see that Team Harmony has conquered half of Statice’s field.”

“That’s not all, Spikey! With the sixth zone conquered, the goal moves to the closest activated zone. Since the fifth zone has already been conquered, Statice’s goal is now in his fourth zone!”

The news got the ponies of Canterlot to cheer up, snapping out of their fear when they heard that their heroes had a greater shot at winning the game than they expected. The same thing was felt in Team Harmony as the mares started cheering with each other. As a special reward for conquering half of Statice’s field, a time break was given to both sides to regain their breath. The magical barriers that separated the mares temporarily disappeared to let them regroup.


“Nice shot, Twilight!” Rainbow Dash hugged her alicorn friend with one foreleg.

“We’re halfway there, Sugarcube!” Applejack reared on her hind legs to cycle her forelegs in the air.

“Thanks, girls,” Twilight blushed at the compliment. “I don’t know what got into me. I just wanted to get payback for Rarity so I threw the ball as hard as possible.”

“Well keep them coming, Twilight,” Rainbow Dash smiled enthusiastically. “We can beat this jerk if you keep throwing shots like that.”

“I guess I can take Statice’s fourth zone with my next shots,” Twilight thought of a strategy to ensure her team’s victory.

“Let Applejack and I take care of his first zone,” Rainbow Dash arrogantly pounded her chest with a hoof. “He won’t be able to make his super shots if he doesn’t get to use his zones to accumulate hits to charge the ball with power.”

“Does that mean that I get to conquer the third zone?” Pinkie Pie bounced in place, wanting to participate in the game and the conversation.

“Sure,” Rainbow Dash shrugged her shoulders. “Just make sure that the ball won’t hit your zone when it reaches you, Pinkie.”

“Of course, Dashie!” Pinkie Pie bounced happily as she prepared for the game.

“We must not let our guard down, girls,” Twilight warned them. “Statice is quite crafty. He’ll come up with a new strategy. I just know it.”


“Darn it!” Statice stomped the ground, his Enhancement Spell causing the floor to shatter with the increased force of his hoof. “I’m losing the match!”

He had gotten Rarity out of the game only to immediately lose one of his zones to a vengeful Twilight. He was still at a disadvantage as he only conquered one zone in comparison to the mares of Team Harmony conquering three of his.

“Calm down,” Statice lectured himself to keep focus. “What other advice should I do now? Shall I try to target Pinkie Pie again or try another approach?”

With Rarity gone, chances were that the morale of the team decreased a little bit or they may use the desire of revenge to fuel them just like Twilight did when she scored that goal. Now that Rarity’s magic was not assisting Twilight, he had more chances of capturing Pinkie’s zone. However, that did not eliminate Pinkie’s worth as a player or how dangerous the three mares in front of her were.

“Another advice from my master may be helpful right now,” Statice thought of any memory on which his master gave him advice. He focused on that of the weak points and the strong points, smiling as he got something that sounded promising.

Sometimes the strong point is just too strong for you to approach the weak point. In that case, just find the weak point in the strong point. Once you start hitting it, your enemies will lose their strongest weapons.

“The weakest of the strong,” Statice muttered. The strong point was the three zones that were occupied by Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Twilight Sparkle. But which one of them was the weakest link in the game?

Twilight had superior magical range to restrain the ball. With his limited zone range, it was going to be a draining effort to score past her. Rainbow Dash was too much of a hassle for him as well. She was responsible for him having to use complicated maneuvers to shoot the ball past her zone. Applejack was the least problematic of the three as she only hit the ball when it was within her limited range as she had no magic or flight to extend her hitting range besides bucking.

The timeout was over. It was time to resume the game. Statice did not mind as he already made his decision on his next target.

“Applejack it is,” Statice decided as he started in the third zone. He threw the ball and had Rainbow Dash return it.

“And the game resumes with quite a simple throw from Statice. Rainbow Dash is returning the ball and so is Statice.”

“We are now looking at a mutual ball exchange between Statice and Rainbow Dash, Discord! I think that the timeout did not give Statice enough time to cool off. I don’t think that he’s thought of a strategy during the break.”

Foolish drake, I made up my plan already.

Statice smiled inwardly as he kept volleying the ball back and forth between him and Rainbow Dash. He was building a sense of security within the arrogant mare. He was using an illusion of desperation and lethargic movements to make her think that he was running out of stamina. It was paying off as Rainbow Dash was slowing her reaction times and responses to taunt him a little bit.

“Is that your best shot, Statice?” she taunted as she kicked the ball with one hind leg, not even bothering to look at him.

“Now is my chance,” Statice smiled as he punted the ball a little too seriously.

Rainbow Dash gasped as the ball soared past her zone. The ball didn’t go past the second zone before Applejack bucked it back to Statice.

“Don’t let yer guard down, Rainbow Dash!” Applejack chastised the cyan mare as Statice struggled to return the ball.

“I’m not!” Rainbow Dash yelled defensively as she returned the ball with a reverse hit from her front hoof.

“And the volleying has evolved! Applejack joins Rainbow Dash in returning the ball to Statice! Facing off with the best athletes in Ponyville is going to be a battle for Statice.”

“It may be, but they’re off, Discord! Applejack and Rainbow Dash are competitive but they can get carried away with it. They bicker a lot and that affects their performances. Their arguing caused them to get last place during the Running of the Leaves despite being the ponies most likely to win.”

“It doesn’t look like they will need much cooperation to take on Statice.”

“I hope they don’t need it, Discord.”

The volleying was getting worse. Applejack’s bickering with Rainbow Dash was messing up the timing of her bucks. They were still heavy, even with the load becoming more bearable. As their concentration shifted, so did their attention to him.

“Let’s put a spin in the situation,” Statice smiled as he hit the ball with a roundhouse kick. The ball was propelled forward, skipping through Rainbow Dash’s zone.

“You won’t get away from me!” Applejack swore as she got close to the barrier that separated her zone from Twilight’s. She readied her hind legs to buck the ball back, shooting them as soon as the ball was within their extended length.

She didn’t feel anything. She didn’t feel the familiar weight of the ball in her hooves nor did she hear the thwacking sound that she always heard after a successful buck. She turned her head around to see that somehow the ball had landed in her zone.

“What in tarnation happened here?” she found herself asking.

“And Statice conquers Team Harmony’s second zone right in the second zone, just like the team did earlier in the game. Now that’s poetic justice!”

“What the heck happened, Discord? The ball just spun around Applejack’s hooves and then fell down! Isn’t that illegal?”

“That was no magic, Spike. I would have felt it if that had been the case. What you saw was a slider ball. It is a type of thrown ball that moves to the side as it falls down. You have seen baseball games before, right?”

“I did. I just didn’t imagine that it could be done with balls that were suited for kicking rather than throwing.”

“You always learn something new, Spike.”

“Ah’m sorry girls,” Applejack apologized as she got out of her zone, now marked with Statice’s magic. “Ah didn’t think that the ball was gonna curve like that.”

“It’s more of my fault, Applejack,” Rainbow Dash looked at the ground, ashamed that her mistake caused her friend to get expelled from the game. “I got overconfident and let him manipulate me into lowering my guard.”

“It’s okay, Sugarcube,” Applejack smiled at her to show that she had no resentment or regrets about her defeat. “We’re still in the lead.”

“We’ll make it up to you, Applejack,” Twilight swore as she levitated the ball.

“Ooh, it is Twilight’s turn to serve again!” Pinkie Pie announced excitedly, remembering how Twilight easily conquered a zone the first time she made a serve.

Statice braced himself. He had a spell reserved for this occasion. He wasn’t sure if he was going to get success or failure. It was still worth a shot.

Just like before, Twilight threw the ball with immense power. As the ball got within his proximity, Statice created a force field.

“And it looks like Statice created a force field to defend himself against Twilight’s shot! Those are some quick reflexes!”

“Wait! The ball is moving around the force field!”

It was just like Spike had said. The ball was moving around the force field. This was because he was using the Force Redirection Spell. Rather than creating a regular force field with stationary magic, Statice combined the principles of his Warp Spell with those of a force field to redirect projectiles rather than receive them. It was usually reserved against attacks that were too strong for his force field to withstand. The ball orbited insanely before being catapulted into the air.

“I’m not sure on what just happened. All that I can tell you is that it was epic!”

“What happened with the ball, Discord?”

“I’m not sure. We’ll find out eventually Spike. What goes up will eventually go down. If the ball went out of the courtyard, then that means that it must have crossed Fluttershy’s goal and that her zone has been captured.”

“I don’t see anything different with Fluttershy’s zone.”

“Then she is safe…for now.”

An awkward silence passed between the opposing players and the spectators. Statice even blushed in embarrassment at having sent the ball out of everypony’s field of vision. It was going to be impossible to find out where it was going to land.

“Twitchy tail, I got a twitchy tail, girls!”

Never mind, Pinkie Pie was going to find out. All of the players braced themselves just in case the ball was going to land in their zones. However, Pinkie Pie had other plans as she jumped and fell head first into the ground, somehow drilling through it with her forelock.
As the girls were going to ask her what she was thinking, they got their answer when the ball landed in Pinkie’s zone, causing a crater. Pinkie Pie got out of the hole that she had made, looking very relieved.

“That was a close one! Thank Celestia that I lived in a rock farm!”

The crowd cheered as both sides now had three zones conquered each. With the marker equal, Discord and Spike did not hesitate in remarking on the situation.

“And Statice used some spell to redirect Twilight’s shot. Whether or not he meant it, I can’t do more than praise the stallion for such risky move.”

“I’ll admit it. Whether he meant it or not, that was still awesome!”

Back in Team Harmony’s field, Pinkie Pie was bouncing out of the field.

“I’m sorry, Pinkie Pie,” Twilight apologized with her head held low and downcast eyes. “I wanted to avenge Applejack…I got you eliminated instead.”

“It’s no biggie, Twilight,” Pinkie Pie hugged her friend. “I guess the game is going to be a closer one now that both sides have the same number of zones. I can’t wait to see how you’re gonna play in the next round.”

“I’ll take care of it,” Rainbow Dash pounded her hooves together as Pinkie Pie gave her the ball. “I’m giving this jerk a ball he won’t forget!”
Satisfied with Rainbow’s promise, Pinkie Pie got out of the field. The cyan mare glared at Statice menacingly before she flew skywards at increasing speeds.

“Are my eyes deceiving me? Rainbow Dash is flying out of the field!”

“Maybe she’s going to attack from above. That’s something that Rainbow Dash loves to do in…anything.”

“Whatever it is, I’m sure that Dashie has a surprise for all of us!”

“Get out of the table, Pinkie!”

“But I want to partake in the comments section!”

“Let her stay, Discord!”

“Okay…”

Rainbow Dash accelerated until she felt the wind wrap around her. It was that familiar sensation that told her that she was ready to perform her trademark move. The Sonic Rainboom sent her as high as possible, reaching the apex of her flight course in just a few seconds.

“Let’s see how you like my Sonic Rainbow Bomb!” Rainbow Dash declared as she threw the ball the same way she dunked a basketball.
The ball turned into a rainbow missile. It wasn’t just rainbow aura that was surrounding it. A sphere of rainbow fire was surrounding it as well. The move was only witnessed at its truest form by three spectators as Discord summoned three pairs of binoculars for himself, Spike, and Pinkie.

“Aha, Rainbow is going all out with this move!”

“I told you so, Discord!”

“Ooh, I wonder what happens when you throw a ball at the same time you do a Sonic Rainboom. Maybe it’s going to be a huge rainbow.”
“For security issues, I am going to put a force field in the zone that is going to land as well as around the courtyard and the coliseum to prevent the excess force from doing any collateral damage.”

“Please do, Discord!”

Statice gasped, understanding Rainbow’s intentions. There was no way that he was going to be able to return such ball. Hay, he was confident that not even Twilight’s shots were as powerful as this one.

That rainbow mare wants to kill me.

The unicorn focused his magic until he made two glass-like ovals that resembled his eyes. He made another replica of the pair that was slightly smaller than its predecessor. The process repeated itself until Statice had many eye-shaped magic barriers in front of him. He widened his eyes so that the smallest pair entered into his eyes, followed by the next one until the original pair positioned itself into his eyes. Statice blinked his eyes a couple of times before raising his head into the sky.

The Scope Spell was a visual aid spell on which he created magical lenses to improve his vision. With this spell, he was capable of seeing objects that were too far away or too small to be seen with the naked eye. Right now, he chose the binoculars model to see the ball.

“She wants to kill me alright,” Statice gulped as he saw that the ball turned into a rainbow fireball. He looked at the ball for a few seconds before guessing its trajectory. It was going to land in the first zone.

“I think I’ll settle for letting her conquer this zone,” Statice wisely replied to himself as he dismissed the spell.

The ball finally hit the ground, creating a rainbow pillar that stretched across the whole zone. It made the whole field vibrate as well as the whole coliseum. If it weren’t for Discord’s rapid finger-snap magic, the whole courtyard and the coliseum would have been destroyed by now.
The smoke settled to reveal that the first zone was heavily fissured and the ball was deeply incrusted into a crater. It was a miracle that the ball managed to survive such impact after being shot at supersonic speeds.

“And Rainbow Dash conquers Statice’s first zone. Team Harmony returns to the lead by conquering its fourth zone.”

The citizens of Canterlot started cheering for the team, causing Statice to look at them with surprise, given how scared they must have been when they saw the shot. How was it that ponies manage to switch their emotions at the drop of hat?

I’ll never understand Equestria.

“How’d you like that, Statice!” Rainbow Dash bragged. “Two zones more and you’re out!”

Statice chose to ignore her incessant bragging. He had to evaluate the situation at the moment. Fluttershy was still the weak point while Twilight and Rainbow Dash still remained the strong point. It was going to be impossible for him to go directly after Fluttershy thanks to Rainbow’s speed and Twilight’s magic. He was stuck between those two aggressive mares. Another lesson was brought back from his memories.

There will be times when the weak spot is heavily guarded and the strong point is just too dangerous. In those moments, forget about the points and attack anything that’s in between them.

Easier said than done, it was hard to apply that lesson in the case. Fluttershy’s part of the team as the weak point was crystal clear. However, it was impossible to determine who was the strong point between Twilight and Rainbow Dash.

Twilight was an alicorn and had vast reserves of magic. It was unthinkable to get past her now that he was limited to two zones. Rainbow Dash was a moving impenetrable defense wall as her speed was going to cause her to catch the ball. That Sonic Rainboom-infused ball that she dropped earlier was proof enough that she was also a threat.

Twilight hasn’t used her magic that much in the game. She’s still got some juice in her. Rainbow Dash is an athlete with more stamina than hers. However, she must have depleted a significant part with that Sonic Rainboom.

“Hey, Statice!” Rainbow Dash brought her hooves to the sides of her muzzles to increase her volume. “Anytime will be nice, loser! At this rate I’ll be bored to snores!”

I made my choice. That prismatic witch goes first!

His decision was made, yet there was still the issue on how he was going to conquer her zone. Using low attacks was going to force her on the ground, but she was still fast enough to catch them. He tried to think of a strategy. When that didn’t work, he remembered past games with Digitalis. He remembered a particular one where his first zone was the last one to defend. Digitalis had read a sports magazine before the match and came up with a technique that he read from the article.

“Play ball,” Statice muttered as he went to the fourth zone.

“Ooh, Statice is trying a new approach! He always throws from the third zone and yet he is now focusing in the fourth zone!”

“I guess Rainbow Dash was too much of a challenge for him, Pinkie. By the way, you got some nice observation skills! I’m surprised you noticed.”

“Who doesn’t pay attention to details in a game, Spike? That’s what makes it minutely fun for everypony!”

“I think that he’s going for a baseball pitch, you two!”

True to form, Statice was standing on his hind legs, holding the ball in his hooves as if he were holding a baseball. Due to the ball’s larger size, Statice was going to throw it with both hooves.

“I hope Statice knows what he’s doing. Otherwise, he’s going to make a fool of himself.”

“I don’t think he can work it out with a ball that big, Discord. He’s definitely going to make a fool of himself.”

“We can try to see what happens, boys. Maybe Statice will find a way to surprise us as he makes the pitch.”

I better get this right. I don’t wanna prove Spike and Discord right by looking like a fool out there. At least somepony in this match believes in me...even if she was an enemy just a while ago.

Feeling more motivated by Pinkie’s praise, Statice bent his back as far as possible, to the point in which a contortionist would be proud. Once the tingle of his back advised him that he reached the limit, Statice snapped his body back in position and threw the ball, as if his body were a catapult. He made sure to slide his wrists downward and to turn his hooves sideways at the moment of throwing to give it the desired spin.

“And Statice throws a fastball!”

“That’s nothing!” Rainbow Dash flared her wings aggressively. She had played baseball in flight camp when she was a filly. She had seen fastballs faster than the one that Statice threw at her. A ball that big was slower and it gave her more area to hit. She raised her hind legs and tensed her muscles, ready to give a buck that would send the ball into the fourth zone’s goal. After that, all she needed to do was to conquer the last zone to win the game.

Her confidence disappeared when she noticed something wrong with the ball. As a flier, she had trained her eyes to see moving objects with pinpoint precision. The ball was no exception as she perceived something. The ball had a topspin that she noticed through the rotation of the ball. That fastball was slow. It wasn’t just the size of the ball that made it go slower. It was the topspin in it that made it sink lower.

“It’s a sinker!” Rainbow Dash shouted as she spun her hindquarters around, glad that she didn’t kick out her hind legs in her moment of arrogance. She ran towards the ball and dived with outstretched forelegs, attempting to catch it. The mare slid on the ground, her displacement being stopped by the barrier that separated her team’s field with Statice’s field. The ball sunk until it was barely crossing the line to the first zone, landing on Rainbow Dash’s hooves. It bounced away from her hooves and landed on top of her head, rolling sideways and falling to the ground.

“Statice has just conquered the fourth zone, right in Team Harmony’s first zone. By coincidence or on purpose, both fourth zones that were conquered by both teams were each other’s first zones.”

“That’s one sharp observation, Discord!”

“From the way things are, the game is up to Twilight and Fluttershy now that Rainbow Dash is out of commission. You did a great job, Dashie! Even if the ball fell off your hooves, it was still awesome for you to catch it!”

“Darn it!” Rainbow Dash bucked the air in frustration. She gave Twilight and Fluttershy a sincere look of regret.

“I’m sorry, girls!” she avoided looking at her friends in shame. “I messed up. I got overconfident and didn’t pay attention to him. If I had, I would have realized that he was going to throw a sinker ball at me.”

“It’s okay, Rainbow Dash,” Twilight hugged her friend. “I promise to take care of Statice. I don’t think that he can hold on for much longer.”

“Hold on, Fluttershy!” Rainbow Dash cheered her friend to invigorate her. “It’s just two more zones. You can do it!”

Statice smiled inwardly, never feeling gladder to have played with Digitalis so many times. His wits and intelligence had always been a source of survival for Statice. And now they had gotten him out of another tight spot.

I guess that whole “friendship is magic” mojo is not entirely exclusive to them.

Still, there was no time for celebration. There were two zones to be conquered and two enemies left. Twilight was once again giving him one of her enraged glares as she prepared to throw the ball at him. She reared her head back and threw the ball with all of her strength in hopes of avenging Rainbow Dash.

Knowing that there was no other choice, Statice once again used his Force Redirection Spell to protect himself from Twilight’s assault. The ball struck the field and started orbiting around Statice. But it was slower and heavier. He gritted his teeth as he struggled to control the ball’s orbit.

Darn it! Twilight must have put a lot of magic into the ball…or maybe I am getting weaker. I have to get rid of her. I can take on Fluttershy at any moment, but Twilight is impossible to defeat on the long term. I have to eliminate her.

Statice roared in exertion, ready to throw the ball. Much to his surprise, the ball was propelled skywards at a straight angle. It was going to fall on top of him.

“Statice has caught Twilight’s ball once again. He’s using that weird spell that he used to eliminate Pinkie from the game.”

“As long as it’s not as bad as what Rainbow Dash did, I’m fine with it.”

“Ooh, I think Statice should get out of the fourth zone right now.”

You don’t need to tell me twice, Pinkie! Statice cried out as he jumped to the third zone, watching as the ball landed in the fourth zone. A small quake and a crater was the result of the ball’s fall, although it wasn’t as potent as the one that Rainbow Dash made earlier in the game.

“Princess Twilight Sparkle has done it! She’s conquered Statice’s fourth zone. With this, Team Harmony has conquered five zones in Statice’s field. One more zone is all that separates these wonderful mares from victory.”

“Two zones conquered in one game!”

“That’s the spirit, Twilight! We shall make a party for you after this.”

Statice gritted his teeth in frustration. He was one zone away from defeat. His magic reserves were lower than before. If he didn’t eliminate Twilight right now, his chances of defeat were going to increase. He tried to remember anything else about his master’s teachings.

A strong point will always be strong and a weak point will always be weak as long as they are on their own. That’s why they are separated from one another. A weak point will turn stronger when it is protected by the strong point, but the strong point will turn weaker when it’s using all of its strength to protect the weak point.

“I got a plan,” Statice levitated the ball. “It’s going to be all-or-nothing. I just hope I still have something for the other one though.”
Statice reared his head back as he threw the ball straight to Twilight.

“Ouch, that serve was weak!”

“He’s in his last legs, Discord! Twilight’s got this entire match in the bag.”

“But she didn’t bring any bags with her, Spike!”

“I wasn’t being literal, Pinkie.”

Not one to be caught with her guard down, Twilight caught the ball and used the momentum she gathered from it to throw it with her own magical force. The ball was just as strong as her serve was. If her calculations were right, Statice did not possess enough magical strength to return the ball. The only thing left to do was wait and see how Statice was going to retaliate.

Statice performed his spell again. The ball was heavier than before. By the stars, he was tired. Defeat was not an option though. He had to win this. He accelerated the ball’s rotation as he spun it around his body. Taking careful aim, he fired a curving shot.
The alicorn gasped upon seeing the shot. It had the combined force of her magic and Statice’s plus an unnatural spin to boost its destructive power. The worst part was when it entered her zone and Twilight managed to calculate its trajectory. It was going at the sixth zone: Fluttershy’s zone!

Automatically, her horn lit up with magic as a tendril connected itself to the ball as Twilight reared on her hind legs and pulled her head back. To the eyes of the spectator, it looked like she was fishing for the ball, trying to prevent it from leaving her zone. The ball kept rotating, slowly getting out of her zone despite Twilight’s pulling it. Several worst case scenarios played in Twilight’s mind, all of which showed Fluttershy getting hurt or traumatized in detail.

I’m not letting you get hurt!

Twilight extended her wings and flew, hoping that her lift was going to help her pull the ball towards her. Much to her dismay, the ball was heavy enough to pull her slightly for every two flaps she gave with her wings to ascend. She kept pulling, not giving up until she was sure that Fluttershy was safe from the ball. Eventually, she was capable of freely flapping her wings. She lowered her head to see how the ball was doing, gasping when she saw why she was feeling light. The ball had dropped from her magic.

The audience cheered madly with the events.

“Statice once again gets the score even! He’s conquered Team Harmony’s third zone. This is the fifth zone he conquers, my little ponies!”

“Man, it looks like the final zone that Statice has to conquer is Fluttershy’s zone.”

“Don’t worry guys! I’m sure that Fluttershy is feeling well!”

“Meep!” Fluttershy was trembling. Twilight’s zone had been captured. All of her friends had been eliminated of the game. Now it was just her and Statice.

“Are you okay, Fluttershy?” Twilight approached her looking exhausted but relieved to see her safe.

“I’m fine,” Fluttershy asked her, feeling more concerned about Twilight’s safety than her own. “Are you feeling well?”

“I’m just a little tired,” Twilight rubbed the back of her head apologetically. “It all depends on you now, Fluttershy. You’re the last member of the team standing.”

“I don’t think that I can do this, Twilight,” Fluttershy admitted.

“You can,” Twilight gave her a firm but understanding glare. “Look at Statice. Tell me what you see.”

The yellow mare looked at the green unicorn. He was panting and breathing heavily, looking like he was barely capable of standing.

“He’s tired,” Fluttershy remarked, feeling sympathy for the stallion.

“Exactly,” Twilight nodded her head. “He’s exhausted. You, on the other hoof, are not. You spent the whole game not doing anything at all while he has faced me and the rest of our friends on his own. You can play against him while you are at the best of your abilities, Fluttershy.”

“Okay,” Fluttershy meekly nodded her head.

Twilight gave her an approving smile as she gave her the ball.

“Try to use your wings, Fluttershy,” Twilight advised her. “You can try to score a goal by hitting the ball while you’re in the air. I don’t think that he has enough magic to teleport so much now.”

“Okay,” Fluttershy nodded her head again.

The yellow pegasus flew into the air, pulling her hooves back and throwing it to the wall of the third zone. She was not confident in her sports skills…but Twilight’s advice was never wrong. She believed in her when that dragon was blowing smoke in Ponyville and she believed in her in other occasions.

Statice teleported next to the ball and hit it when it entered his zone. He spiked it downwards in an attempt to exploit Fluttershy’s poor flying skills. Much to his surprise, Fluttershy dived in with an outstretched hoof and managed to hit the ball.

“Fluttershy is on fire today, folks! She goes to the air and goes for a frontal attack!”

“But Statice counters it by teleporting it and spiking it back!”

“And now Fluttershy has caught up to the ball and returned it. There is more to this shy mare than meets the eye, everypony!”

Statice gritted his teeth. He didn’t have enough magic power to teleport. Luckily for him, he still had enough for a useful spell that still gave him enough freedom of movement at a cheap price.

He concentrated his magic until a sheet of magic big enough to hold his entire body weight was underneath his hooves. The magic of the sheet mixed with the magic that was already surrounding his hooves, keeping him firmly planted to the sheet.

The Platform Spell was designed so that Statice would always find foothold at any location, regardless of whether it was on air or water. The platforms that he created with the spell varied in density with the current one he was using being hard and steady. When he used the spell in the air, Statice was capable of fighting in a stationary position, unlike the Air Walking Spell that required him to be perpetually moving around with winds.

He returned Fluttershy’s ball by cupping his front hooves together and swinging them like a baseball bat. The yellow pegasus retaliated by bucking the ball, albeit a little out of course as Statice immediately spiked it back to her.

“Statice has created some sort of platform and is using it to fly around his zone. I am afraid to say that Fluttershy has lost her flight advantage against Statice.”

“That Statice is quite the opposite of a one-trick pony.”

“I’m not afraid for Fluttershy. She participated in the Equestria Games after all.”

“But that was months ago, Pinkie!”

“I know, Spike! But Fluttershy’s flying skills have improved thanks to her training for the Equestria Games. Even though the Equestria Games won’t take place in a long time, she still has some of her improved flying tricks.”

“No kidding there,” Statice delivered a hammer blow to the ball.

He had made the mistake of underestimating Fluttershy. Hidden inside her timid behavior, there was the potential to be a competent rival. He thought that her best physical skills only arrived when it meant helping somepony. Her shyness more often than not inhibited her physical performances. Yet here she was, volleying with him the same way he and Rainbow Dash did earlier.

“And the ball exchange continues! I never thought that Fluttershy was going to last that long! I am so happy that she proved me wrong!”

“From the way I’m looking at things, I’d say that Fluttershy is about to win the match. Just look at how she is faring now.”

It was the truth. When the volleying started between them, Fluttershy was barely able to catch up with him. As the session intensified, Statice’s hits were growing weaker, slower, and sloppier. Meanwhile, Fluttershy was capable of countering and reacting to Statice’s shots with more strength, speed, and precision. Her confidence was surprisingly increasing as well, looking more determined than when she had started participating at the beginning.

By the stars, I can’t keep up with her! I’m gonna lose at this pace! I need to stop her! She is no longer a weak point at this moment. But what I can do to beat her.

The volleying continued. It was taking a lot for Statice’s physical, mental, and magical capacities to hold on much longer. He had to win this now. He thought of what kind of advice his master told him that was going to work in a situation like this.

Listen, Statice! If your enemies don’t have any visible weak points, then make one for them. Turn their greatest strength and use it against them.

That was hard at the moment. What was Fluttershy’s greatest strength now? Was it her loyalty to her friends? Not really, she would have lost if Statice had been a little bit stronger. Was it her latent flying skill that was awakened in this match? Partially, but it was nothing compared to Rainbow Dash. What could be the greatest strength that he could exploit from the Element of Kindness?

“Kindness,” Statice muttered. His mind was formulating a plan. He was going to need time for it though. He kept the volleying going until it was completed. It was a gamble. He hated relying on those, but experience had taught him that there were moments in which luck was the only thing that mattered.

Statice delivered an upward hammer blow that sent the ball high into the sky. He smiled as Fluttershy flew to the ball and spiked it towards the ground. Calculating the ball’s descent, Statice was satisfied that his bet was going to pay off. It was time to act.
His platform faced downward as it dived with Statice firmly attached into it. His course of action elicited gasps from the audience.

“Oh no, Statice is going to fall into the ground!”

“Don’t worry, Pinkie. Look at Statice. He is glued to that platform! There is no way that he’s going to get hurt.”

I hope not. Statice used his Magic Reclaiming Spell to absorb the platform’s magic back into his horn. He was now falling without any sort of protection to save him from the fall.

Fluttershy gasped, putting her hooves to her mouth. This wasn’t how she wanted to win. This wasn’t how her friends wanted to win. This wasn’t how anypony wanted to win at all. She had to save him. She flew straight to Statice, only for the force field that separated her zone from the rest of the field to stop her.

“Statice is falling!”

Ignoring Pinkie and Spike’s simultaneous scream, Statice focused on the ball. He reached it just before it hit the ground. Wasting no time, he curled his body around to deliver an uppercut with all of his strength. The ball was propelled as fast as possible, passing through his side of the field, crossing Team Harmony’s side of the field…and then going through Fluttershy’s goal. The floor beneath Fluttershy being covered in green light was a signal that Statice had conquered the zone…he had won the game.

His triumph was short lived as he saw that he was approaching the ground at full speed with no signs of stopping.

This is gonna hurt.

The stallion collided with the floor with enough force to make a small crater, causing dust to kick in. Fluttershy gasped with horror, covering her mouth with her hooves once again. The rest of her friends gasped in shock. Spike, Discord, the princesses, and everypony in Canterlot were silenced by the horror of what they had just witnessed.

At this point, the force fields that made up the playfield disappeared. Having no magic obstructing her path, Fluttershy was quick to fly to the site on which Statice crashed, desperately calling for him.

“Statice! Answer me! Are you okay?”

“Ouch…”

“Statice…is that…?” Fluttershy turned her head and gasped at what she saw.

At first sight, Statice looked okay. His horn was glowing naturally, but the magic aura around it was blinking once or twice every couple of seconds. Random strands of magic were oozing from around his body, particularly his right side. He was sitting on his hindquarters, pushing his left hoof into his right whiter. She winced as she saw him push the hoof into the whiter to hear a snapping sound. It was clear that he had dislocated his foreleg in the fall. Statice stood up, trembling as the magic that he was liberating dissipated into the air. The only injury that he still retained was a partially healed wound on his right temple.

“Good thing I can heal,” Statice wobbled. “I believe I won the game, Fluttershy. I gotta say that you did a good job. It’s been so long since I had a match like that. I wish Digitalis was here to see…me.”

He didn’t get to finish his sentence. His eyes closed as he collapsed from exhaustion. He had pushed the limits of his magic and his body. He was wrong about them being like Digitalis. They were better.

I hate those girls.

Author's Note:

And so the Arcanum Ball match ends. Now that Statice has won the game, what will await him after he wakes up from his injury? What kind of life will he have in the castle now that he won the match? The answers will be revealed in the next chapter.

Scope Spell: A visual aid spell on which Statice uses magic to create many lenses that he can put over his eyes to increase his visual prowess. The spell can work like binoculars, telescope, and even a microscope depending on the type of lens that Statice uses on the spell.

Force Redirection Spell: A spell that Statice created back when he attempted to learn shield spells. Using the principles of the Warp Spell, Statice uses dynamic magic to redirect the force around the shield when it gets hit, causing anything that hits the shield to orbit around it and be shot at any desired angle and speed. The disadvantage is that it releases too much magic in comparison to a normal shield spell and the shots are hard to make when hit by something hard. It works better for redirection than defense.

Platform Spell: A spell that allows Statice to create platforms by solidifying the magic located around the air or water for proper foothold. He mostly levitates just one platform at a time and makes it float around for displacement in order to transport himself around in the air or underwater.