• Published 30th Apr 2016
  • 9,302 Views, 976 Comments

My Little Pony: Friendship is Numerous - Monty Eggman



Based on the Equestria Girls movies and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, this series tells the story of Sunset Shimmer in her quest to locate a series of dangerous cards that corrupt those who find them. It's time to Duel!

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RANK 25: Head Games, Part 1:

Author's Note:

1948 - 2018

The stores may be going away, but for most of us here, we shall always and forever be Toys "R" Us kids... :raritydespair:

Enjoy the episode.

RANK 25: Head Games, Part 1:
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THE STORY SO FAR...:
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In Canterlot High School, every student is wild over the world's most popular trading card game: Duel Monsters! Every day, players of the card game, known as "Duelists", go head-to-head to see who among them is the best around. Among the Duelists in attendance at CHS, one of the best is a young teenager named Sunset Shimmer, a girl from another world...

The dangers involved with the battle for the Number cards began to escalate when Sunset and her friends came into contact with several strange people. These individuals came from Skyes Academy, an abandoned and dilapidated school located in the troubled town of Cirrus City. These troublemakers have seen fit to cause constant problems for Sunset and her friends, such as using blank Numbers to possess their classmates. One of them - a cold, cruel woman named Windmistress, attempted to do just that before she was caught by Sunset, who was aided by the school's Hall Monitor, Sweetie Drops (a.k.a. Bon Bon by others).

In a last-ditch effort to get away from them, Windmistress challenged Bon Bon to a Duel. During the match, the intruder's cruelty towards her own cards was made clear, as she had openly stated to Sunset and Bon Bon that she treated them as nothing more than tools and slaves. Bon Bon, who had a very deep connection with her cards, disagreed with Windmistress and was determined to prove that the only way to get respect from their monsters was to give them respect back. This is what allowed her to win her Duel with Windmistress, despite the fact that the intruder had Summoned a Number to fight her with.

Windmistress managed to escape, and even though she had torn the Number card up, Sunset's key necklace, along with the sympathetic feelings that she and Bon Bon had towards it, restored the card. Even though a victory was achieved that day, their battles are taking their toll on her and the others. Luckily, Spring Break is just around the corner for the students of Canterlot High...

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It was the end of the school day for the students of Canterlot High School. Once the final bell had rang, everyone rushed to get their things and run right out the front door. There was good reason for this level of excitement among the students...

"Aw YEAH!!! Spring Break at last!!" Rainbow Dash cheered loudly, stretching her arms. "I thought it'd never get here!"

Right behind her were her friends, also excited for the week-long vacation from school. "Woohooo!!" Pinkie Pie shouted with enthusiasm. "This Spring Break is gonna be great! Even better than the last year!! I don't know how yet, but I'll find a way for it to be better, no problem!!"

Sunset, Twilight (with Spike in her backpack), and Rarity emerged from the front doors next. "In any case," Rarity began to say, "it'll be nice to have a week to unwind and not have to stress about anything and everything..."

"You can say that again, Rarity." Sunset told her. "After what happened recently, I could use the break."

"I still can't believe it, even after what you told us." Twilight began to say to her inter-dimensional friend. "You actually managed to confront one of people that have been planting those blank Number cards on people here at the school..."

"Not t' mention that Bon Bon went n' dueled the chick and even managed t' beat her Number card as well!" said Applejack as she and Fluttershy walked outside to join the others. "Ah never knew Bon Bon was that good at duelin', but then again, Ah ain't never seen her duel before..."

"Are you sure it's okay for you to tell us all of this, Sunset...?" asked Fluttershy. "After all, the Principals told you that Bon Bon's secret had to stay...well, secret..."

"It's fine, girls." the red-and-yellow teen informed them all. "After Bon Bon and I told Celestia and Luna about what happened, the four of us decided that it was best for me to tell all of you about everything, including Bon Bon's job at school. I guess it's because since these Numbers are involved in all of this, that she came to this decision."

"I guess that makes sense, especially since I'm also collecting Numbers as well." Twilight remarked.

"So, uh...I guess that means Bon Bon's gonna tell her friend Lyra 'bout the whole thing too?" asked Rainbow Dash

"...She said she'd try, but she isn't sure how she's going to react to the news." Sunset answered her. "She's afraid that Lyra would get mad at her about it. But I told Bon Bon that if Lyra's as good a friend to her as she says she is, then she'll understand."

"I'm sure they will be just fine." Rarity assured her. "It'll take quite a lot to break those two up, believe me."

"I guess so." the jacket-clad girl replied. "Anyway, now's not the time to worry about stuff like that. We've got a whole week off from school, and we don't want to waste it worrying about the Number cards, or intruders, or any of that."

"Sunset's right." agreed Applejack. "We oughtta be focusin' on havin' fun, but most of all, relaxin'!" She then asked Sunset, "So, what're y'all thinkin' of doin' for the week?"

"Glad you asked." the red and yellow girl replied. "There's this small tournament that'll be going on over at the card shop during the week, and I'm thinking of entering it. Just because I want to take my mind off of the Number cards doesn't mean I should stop trying to improve my skills, not to mention have some fun. And besides, I heard the prize is a pretty big one, so that just gives me one more reason to get into it."

"Sounds cool, Sunset." said Rainbow Dash. "As for me, my folks n' I are goin' to Cheese Sandwich's Fun Center sometime next week. I heard they recently fixed up the Go-Kart track after they had a slight accident a few months ago. A good thing, too; it's my favorite thing to do there! Next to the Laser Tag of course..." She then glanced over at Fluttershy and said to her, "You should come with us, Flutters! I'd bet you could tear up that track, no problem!"

Gasping a little, the shy girl replied, saying, "Oh nonononono...th-that's okay, Rainbow Dash. I'd much rather do something that's...a little calmer. Besides, my parents were thinking of taking my brother and I camping for the week."

"That sounds more like something you'd be into, Fluttershy." Rarity stated. "I mean really, Rainbow dear... You know Fluttershy isn't as enthusiastic about things like go-karts or laser tag as you are..."

"Just wanted to include her, that's all..." the cyan girl rebutted. "There's nothing wrong with that, is there?"

"I'm happy that you thought of me, Rainbow..." Fluttershy told her, "but I think I'll enjoy the camping trip a little more... As long as my brother doesn't try to go bear-watching again; He has some...difficulties regarding knowing what his limits are, and that almost got us running out of the campground..."

"Well, I hope you have a wonderful time there, darling." Rarity told her. "As for me, Sweetie Belle and I are taking a trip to Manehatten for their annual Spring Fashion show! Oh, how I've dreamt of being there in the audience, watching the models display such MARVELOUS outfits by the most skilled designers in the country and even the world!" Turning over to Pinkie Pie, she said to her, "Pinkie dear, I cannot thank you enough for getting those tickets for the three of us!"

"Aw, it was no biggie, Rarity!" the pink-colored girl told her. "I know how much you like that sorta stuff, so there was no way I wasn't gonna invite ya! Of course, I'm going there for the buffet; more specifically, the dessert smorgasbord!" Pinkie's lips were already salivating at the thought of chowing down on all of those sweet treats that would be served during the show.

"What about you, Applejack?" asked Twilight. "What are you going to do during your week off?"

"Even need t' ask, Twi?" inquired the farm girl as if the answer is obvious. "The same thing Ah always do, school day or not: And that's workin' on the farm!"

"You're just gonna work the whole week?" asked Rainbow Dash, a bit confused. "You ain't gonna relax and take it easy like the rest of us are?"

"Workin' on the farm IS how Ah relax n' take it easy!" Applejack informed her. "Besides, once school's over for the year, the county fair'll be just around the corner, and we'll need t' be ready if we wanna win the Outstanding Farm Family Award this year. That honor only goes to the most successful, most dedicated, and most hard-workin' farm family in these parts, and we can't afford t' slack off and let someone else pass us by!"

"Well, as long as you're doing something you like to do, I suppose that's okay with all of us." Sunset replied. "You give it your all out there, AJ."

"You know Ah will." Applejack then turned over to Twilight and asked her, "So, what about you, Twi? What're y'all gonna do durin' the break?"

"Um...me?" asked the young Princess. "I...never really gave it much thought, to be honest."

"Well, I suppose you'll think of something soon enough." Rarity told her. "Just don't go and spend too long thinking about it, or the week will slip right by before you even notice!"

"Yeah, sure. Thanks..." Twilight replied, still not sure about what her plans would be.

Later on, as Sunset and Twilight returned to their apartment, Spike immediately hopped out of the backpack and began stretching his legs. "Aw yeah..." he said to himself, "after being cooped up in that bag all day, it sure feels good to get out and stretch a bit."

"I guess it would." Twilight replied. "I'm sorry that you have to sit in there all day while I'm at school, but you know I can't let you come out all the time when we're there."

"I know, I know..." the dragon-turned-puppy said to her. "Who cares right now anyway? All that matters is that we've got a whole week to just sit around at home and enjoy ourselves!"

"...Sit around at home..." the purple girl said to herself. She then strolled into the bedroom and looked around at all of the things around her. The first thing she saw was the picture that Sunset had hung up on the wall, which showed her and Princess Celestia at an amusement park. Then she glanced down at the writing desk below the picture, where Sunset's magic journal was sitting. Twilight let out a deep sigh to herself after looking around.

"Something on your mind?" asked Sunset, walking into the bedroom.

"...Nothing much." Twilight replied. "Just...feeling a little homesick, that's all."

"...I thought so." the red and yellow girl replied. "After all, this is the longest amount of time you've stayed in this world. You've been here for a few months, so I can imagine that you'd be missing your home by now."

"I do, Sunset..." the Princess of Friendship told her. "I knew deep down, that I'd be here for a while until this whole Number card business was sorted out, but still...it doesn't make it any easier for me whenever I think about it." She then let out another sad-sounding sigh after saying all of that.

Sunset patted her friend on the shoulder, feeling sorry for her. She then glanced over at her journal on the desk, staring at it for a while. Putting on a serious look, she then said to the young Princess, "Twilight, I think I might have an idea of what you could do during Spring Break."

"You do...?" asked the purple girl.

Nodding and smiling, she then told her, "I think you should go spend it back home...in Equestria."

"Huh??" Twilight said, not expecting to hear Sunset suggest that. "You really think I should?" she then asked.

"I do." Sunset told her. "It's obvious that you miss being there, having been away for so long helping me and my friends out. After all, I've been away from Equestria for several years... And deep down, I miss my old home, too. That's how I could tell that you were feeling so homesick...and it's for that reason that I think going back there for a while might do you some good."

Thinking about it for a while, Twilight then admitted, "I guess you're right: I can't just keep all of those feelings bottled up inside me, or they may affect me when I'm trying to help you and the others out. Up until now, I've been trying my best to push them aside so that I could focus on my job here, but I suppose it isn't healthy for me to keep doing that forever... And besides, my friends back home probably miss me just as much as I miss them, so it would be a good thing for them as well if I paid them a quick visit."

Nodding and smiling, Sunset told her friend, "I was thinking the same thing: You've got friends back in Equestria that would love to see you again, even if it's just for a week. You'd be doing them and yourself a favor by going to see them."

"Then it's decided:" Twilight stated. "I'm spending my Spring Break with my friends in Equestria!" Having made that decision, she turned over towards Spike - who was sitting on the sofa and watching TV, and shouted to him, "Spike! We're going back home for the week!"

Upon hearing the news, the puppy gagged a bit as he had a mouthful of pretzels in his mouth at the time. Once he stopped he asked her, "We're doing WHAT?!? We're goin' back home already?!"

"Just for the week." the Princess of Friendship reminded him. "So that we can see our friends again and tell them about everything that's happened so far."

"Oh, I see..." Spike replied, understanding. "Well, I'm cool with it if you are, Twilight!"

The purple girl nodded yes to say that she was. Turning back over to Sunset, she then said to her, "Sunset...thanks for making that suggestion. I was considering it, but I wasn't sure if I should go through with it or not. So again, thank you."

"My pleasure, Twilight." the red and yellow girl told her. "Just focus on having a good time with your friends and refreshing your spirit. That's all I ask of you."

"I will." Twilight replied. She then gave her a friendly hug to show how much she appreciated her help. Sunset blushed a bit, not expecting the hug, but smiled and returned the favor.

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Later that night, Sunset and Twilight were already fast asleep in their bed, while Spike remained on the couch, his snoring sounding almost like a saw slowly cutting into a log. Luckily, Sunset and Twilight were pretty heavy sleepers (that and their door was closed), so they hardly noticed him...but that also meant that they didn't hear the sounds of clicking near the door to the apartment. After a while, the clicking stopped and the door opened. On the other side was a figure cloaked in the darkness of the room around him.

The figure was none other than Lucky, one of the two people that had appeared at the Apple Family Farm a while ago. Back then, he - along with Ms. Skyblaze, a disgraced CHS teacher, were trying to steal a Duel Monsters Deck that belonged to Babs Seed, but were forced to flee. Now, he had made his way into Sunset's apartment, having picked open the lock to her door.

Looking around the dark room as best he could, the young man thought to himself, (Tch...what a waste of my time... Having to track down this Sunset chick...) Looking over at the closed door leading into the bedroom, he then said to himself, at a low volume, "She's probably in there, but if I try and open the door, she might hear me... And since she already knows what I look like, she'll know that I'm up t' somethin'..." Huffing a little, he then added, "No big deal... I'm here for a different reason anyway, so I might as well let sleeping dogs lie." After he had made that comment, he then heard Spike's snoring, causing him to glance over at the puppy. Huffing once more, he walked away from the sofa.

Lucky made his way over to the large table in the living room area, where Sunset and Twilight had left their backpacks, one brown and one blue. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a Duel Monsters card and slipped it into the front pocket of the blue bag. After doing this, he then quietly left the apartment, closing and locking the door behind him. Sighing a bit to himself, he then asked in his mind, (So what was up with that? What's this beef Chrysalis has with that Sunset chick?) He then thought back a bit, to an event that occurred over a week ago...

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Skyes Academy; Cirrus City
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Walking into one of the trashed classrooms in the abandoned Skyes Academy school, the woman known as Windmistress, donning a long cloak, said to the people inside, "Lucky, Pumpkin Pie... Mistress Chrysalis wishes to see us all. Come into the Teacher's Lounge immediately. I have already informed the others as well." After making that order, Windmistress left the room.

"Pfft...what does she want this time?" asked Lucky, not really caring that much.

"Whatever it is, it must be important if she's going to tell us all herself, rather than have Windy do all the talking for her." Pumpkin responded. "In any case, we'd better go and see what she wants. After all, it's not like you're doing anything important right now anyway."

"Rrgh...fine, whatever." the young man responded in a slightly annoyed tone. "Let's get this overwith..." The two of them left the ruined classroom and walked down the debris-filled hallway. As they did, they saw someone else walking alongside them. "So..." Lucky asked the other person, "whad'ya think this meeting's about, Skyblaze?"

"Not sure." the light blue-skinned woman stated. "Windmistress didn't say a thing about it, which likely means that Chrysalis didn't tell HER what it was about."

"Tch...why's that lady gotta be so secretive about everything?!" said the voice of a fourth person that joined up with them. It was none other than Chet, the Duelist that Soarin had defeated in the Turbo Duel Tournament some time ago. "If she's got somethin' to say, why doesn't she just tell us?!"

"You had best hold your tongue, Chet..." said Windmistress, walking ahead of them. "Mistress Chrysalis has her reasons, and it is not your business to question them! So be patient and you'll see soon enough why she asked us to meet with her." The jock grumbled, but did as she told him to.

Eventually, the five of them had made their way into the Teacher's Lounge where Chrysalis was waiting for them. In addition, two other figures were in the room as well, preferring to sit in a dark corner of them room; as a result, their faces and everything else were mostly hidden from view. After looking around the room to make sure that everyone was accounted for, Chrysalis spoke to the group, saying, "Now that all of you have arrived, there are a few matters to discuss... As you all know, I have gathered you all here because we all share one goal in mind: To take revenge on all those who wronged us. I have personally searched each and every one of you out in order to ensure that we all get what we desire most. After all, if that wretched world out there won't give us any respect, then we'll TAKE it!"

The others nodded to say that they understood her words.

"And now, after so long, we finally have the power we need to carry out our goals!" Chrysalis continued, showing them four Duel Monsters cards, with the backsides facing the other people in the room. "To you, they may appear to be ordinary cards..." the sinister woman told them, "but they are anything BUT that: They carry a power that is not of this world. When I first encountered these four cards and held them in my hands, I received that power myself. Now these cards - the Numbers, are fully under my control! And that even goes for the ones that have yet to awaken."

"Yet to awaken?" asked Pumpkin Pie. "And what do you mean by that?"

"Allow me to show you." Chrysalis told her, pulling a few more cards out of a binder she had next to her. This time, she showed the front of one of those cards to them, revealing that it was almost completely blank. "This is a Number card in its purest form; a literal blank slate. When a person comes into contact with one, that person's desires and feelings shape it into a new form. In the most simplest of terms, these Numbers have near-unlimited potential! They are the ultimate weapons for Duelists!"

"Ultimate weapons?" asked Chet. "Heh...I like the sound of that."

"Of course," Chrysalis continued, putting the blank cards aside for the moment, "not everyone can handle their power, it seems... If their willpower is not strong enough, then they are the ones that fall under control. But I have no doubt that at least a few of you here have the willpower to handle one. For now, the power that I have gained will suppress their power, so much that even blank Number cards cannot take form unless the spell is broken. Right now, only Windmistress and I have the power to do so."

"Then what use are we to you?" asked Lucky, in his usual uncaring attitude.

"Not to worry..." Chrysalis told him, wagging her pointer finger. "Now that I know that my power to hold back the Numbers' power works, we can now move on to the next part of the plan. But first, I must give the six of you the same power that Windmistress and I have, so that you can do your part..." Holding her four already-awakened Numbers in her left hand, Chrysalis put out her right hand towards the rest of the people in the room. Then, a shadowy cloud flowed from out of her palm and split itself into six smaller pieces, each of which flowed into the foreheads of everyone other than Windmistress.

"There...now you each have the ability to break the seals I placed on the blank Numbers that I've collected. With that power, you will be able to plant them on the individuals that I want and allow the Numbers to overtake their mind and soul, and put them under my control. With them, we will collect all the remaining Number cards and gain the power we need to punish this despicable world for the crimes that it committed against us!"

"Seems a bit elaborate, if you don't mind me saying." Ms. Skyeblaze stated, a bit skeptical about the plan. "Are you sure this will work?"

"Of course it will work!" Windmistress snapped. "You dare to doubt Mistress Chrysalis? If she says it will work, it will!"

"Calm down, Windmistress..." said the jet-black woman. "I must admit, I'm not surprised she would be concerned... But rest assured, I am quite confident that we shall get what we wish for in the end. I've done all the hard work already; the rest is simply up to you to place these blank cards on whomever I tell you to. Do that, and there's nothing to worry about." Pausing for a moment and walking over to a mirror in the back of the room, she then said, "Now that that's out of the way, I have others matters I wish to discuss: Chet, did you accomplish what I asked of you at the tournament in Cloudsdale Stadium?"

"Peh heh...I sure did, Chrysalis." the red-colored jock replied. "I may not've been able to beat that jerk, Soarin...but I got all the info I needed about him and the Turbo Duel team he's on." He then pulled out a stack of papers from out of his sports jacket and presented them to Chrysalis.

Looking at the papers, the sinister woman chuckled and said, "Yes...not bad, I must admit. You performed better than I thought you would have... Any one of the Wonderbolts would make for a good candidate for one of my blank Numbers..." She then put the papers away and walked over to Windmistress. "Next..." she told her, "I have an assignment for you that I want you to carry out within the next few days..."

"What is it you wish for me to do, Mistress Chrysalis?" asked the dark-grey woman.

Holding a blank card and handing it to her, Chrysalis instructed, "You are to go to Canterlot High School and plant this Number card on a certain target. I've decided that one of the Gym Teachers - the one named Iron Will, should prove to be a suitable host for it."

"Understood." Windmistress replied with a bow. "Your wish is my command."

"Just make sure that this time, you place this card on the correct person." Chrysalis urged her. "I will not accept any mistakes this time around." She then moved onto Lucky and said to him, "Finally, there's a matter with you that needs to be addressed right now..."

"Oh really?" the young man asked. "What?"

"Out of everyone here," the woman told him, "you are the only one that isn't a Duelist... But that ends today." She then walked over to a cabinet on the right-hand wall and opened it up. Inside was a Duel Pad with a Deck loaded into it, along with a Duel Gazer. Taking the D-Pad and walking back over to him, she told Lucky, "Take these...you will use this Deck on my behalf. I have constructed it for you so that you call start pulling your weight around here."

Grumbling a little, Lucky then asked, "Seriously...? Do I have to?"

"I know you desire revenge on the world as much as all of us here..." Chrysalis reminded him. "Until now, I've put up with your unwillingness to co-operate with the others, but no more: You will carry out my orders from this point forward, whether you like it or not... Otherwise, you'll never get what you want."

"Tch...fine..." Lucky scowled, taking the Duel Pad and Gazer. He wasn't happy about it, but he didn't feel like arguing about it.

Satisfied, Chrysalis then told her underlings, "That is all for this meeting. For now, you are all dismissed." The seven of them nodded and left the room. Chrysalis remained in the Teacher's Lounge, looking at herself in the mirror that hung over a desk set up in the back. Sitting on the desk were numerous cosmetic products...

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After recalling the events of that meeting in his mind, Lucky sighed to himself and thought, (Not long after that, Chrysalis ordered me to take one of the blank Number cards and plant it here in that Sunset chick's apartment... I still ain't sure what the deal is, but that lady's fixated on Sunset for some reason... Whatever, it ain't anything I need t' keep thinkin' about. In any case, my job's done, so I'm outta here...) Lucky then left the apartment building as quickly and as quietly as he entered it.

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The next morning, Sunset, Twilight, and Spike all had a quick meal for breakfast so that they could spend as much time as they needed to get their things together. The young Princess was getting ready to take a trip back home to Equestria during Spring Break Week. Yesterday, using Sunset's magic journal, Twilight had written a message to her friends that she would be paying them a visit, and to let the Princesses know about it. This morning, they found a reply back, saying that everything was in order, and that everypony back home would be there to greet her.

After putting away everything she planned on bringing with her inside of her blue backpack, Twilight smiled and said, "I think that just about does it. I promised my friends back home that I'd bring back some souvenirs from this world."

"That sounds like a good idea to me." Sunset told her friend. "After all, we both know that inanimate objects usually stay the same even when crossing through different dimensions." She then asked, "So, is everypony expecting you to arrive?"

"That's what Rarity wrote in your journal to tell me." the purple girl answered. "She said that everypony will be there to see me once I come out of the portal."

"That's good to know." the red-and-yellow teen replied. "Whatever the case, it sounds like they're really excited to see you again."

"They are." Twilight told her. "And I'm excited to see them too, and I can't wait to tell them all about what's happened so far!"

"In that case, we'd better get to the portal right away." Sunset responded after putting on her black jacket. "No sense in sitting around here and wasting any more time, right?"

"Yeah, let's get goin'!" cheered Spike, hoping up onto Twilight's shoulder. "I can't wait another second!"

Giggling a little, the Princess of Friendship nodded and said, "Let's go, everyone!" And with that, the three of them left the apartment building together.

Reaching the front entrance of the school, the trio walked over to the large horse statue that housed the portal between this world and Equestria. Looking around, Twilight then asked, "Where's everyone else?"

"Probably still working on their own Spring Break plans, I guess." Sunset told her. "Rarity told me that she, her sister, and Pinkie Pie, had to get up real early to catch the bus to Manehatten on time. When Fluttershy called me, she and her family were already on the road to the campgrounds. I wasn't able to get a hold of Rainbow or AJ, so I guess they're both busy too... But they all know what's going on, and they told me to tell you to have a good time."

"I see..." Twilight replied. "Then tell them that I will, and I hope that all of them have a good Spring Break, too."

"I'll let them know." the jacket-wearing girl said with a nod. Rubbing the back of her head she then asked her, "So...uh, I guess I'll see you later, huh?"

"I guess so..." the young Princess replied.

The two just stood there, not moving or saying a word. Even though Twilight was just leaving for the week, it seemed as though the two weren't ready to say goodbye just yet. "Huh...I gotta say, it'll be weird not seeing you for a while after having you live with me in the apartment for a long time..." Sunset told her friend.

"I know...my brain's saying 'go', but my legs don't seem to be listening..." Twilight said with a slight chuckle.

"Well, you can't just stand here forever, ya know?" Spike reminded her. "Everypony back home's expecting us to show up, and we don't wanna disappoint them, right?"

"Yeah, you're right." the purple-skinned girl agreed. Giving her otherworldly friend a goodbye hug, she told her, "Good luck in your tournament, Sunset."

"Thanks." the red-and-yellow girl responded. "You have a good time back in Equestria, Twilight." The young Princess nodded to say that she would. Sunset then asked her, "Also...i-if it's not too much trouble, Twilight... Could...could you tell Princess Celestia about...about that thing I asked you about back on your first night here? About wanting to see her one day to apologize to her...?"

Twilight wasn't expecting her friend to ask that of her so soon, but understood her reasons for asking that now. "Sure, I'll pass the message along..." she told her. "...And I'm pretty sure you don't have to worry about her not accepting your request."

Sunset chuckled a bit, telling her, "Yeah, I guess really shouldn't worry about something like that... I guess now all I'm hoping is that my visit back doesn't have anything to do with some sort of new crisis or something... Though, knowing our luck by this point, that's probably what will happen."

Twilight giggled a bit herself. She then stepped back away from her friend and said, "Well, goodbye Sunset... I'll see you next week. And I'll be rooting for you in spirit to win that tournament."

"Thanks. See you, Twilight." the jacket-wearing girl told her. "You have fun on your Spring Break." The young Princess nodded and slowly stepped through the portal leading back to her home world. After she disappeared, Sunset sighed a bit sad to see her friend leave even for a little while. But she looked at the Duel Pad on her arm and smiled, knowing that even though they were worlds apart, they would still be there to support each other. "You watch me, Twilight..." she said to herself, "I'll win this tournament for the both of us." She then left the school grounds, ready to take on her next challenge...

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Ponyville, Equestria: Time 9:27 a.m.
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In the meeting hall of Twilight's castle in Ponyville, five ponies were standing or sitting in front of the large mirror that served as a gateway between this world, and the world that Sunset Shimmer lived in. They were, of course, Twilight's friends in Equestria and the four-legged counterparts of Sunset's friends: Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie. The five of them were waiting for the return of their purple Alicorn friend after she had told them that she would be visiting for the week.

Looking away from the magazine that she was reading and glancing at a nearby grandfather clock, Rarity said to the others, "Twilight should be arriving any moment now... According to the entry she wrote in the journal, she should be here by around 9:30 or so."

"I'm just glad that I'll get a break from house-sitting for Twilight for a coupla days..." Rainbow Dash stated. "It gets so boring after a while and I can only re-read the entire Daring Do series before I start losing interest... Granted, that hasn't happened YET, but still...y'know?"

"I just hope Twilight comes back okay through the portal..." Fluttershy told them all. "I'd hate to think what would happen if something went wrong on her way over here..."

"Yeah, I know..." Pinkie Pie responded. "I mean, just think: She could come out the portal with two heads! Or she'd come out as a tiny little spider! Or-or-or MAYBE she'd come out and she would become a stallion! Or a lizard! Or perhaps-"

"Pinkie! Cut that out!" Applejack shouted. "You're scarin' Fluttershy with all o' that stuff you're sayin'!" Pointing over with her hoof, she showed her that the yellow Pegasus was trembling with worry after hearing about all of the ways that Twilight's trip could go wrong.

Realizing that she had unintentionally frightened her friend, the pink pony then told her, "Um...sorry about that Fluttershy... I'm SURE Twilight'll come back safe and sound!"

"You really think so?" asked the timid mare.

"Undoubtedly, indisputably, and undeniably!"

"Pinkie, darling...have you been reading Twilight's thesaurus again?" Rarity asked her.

Rubbing the back of her head, the silly pony answered, saying, "Well.. I have to agree with Dashie that it DOES get kinda dull around here watching the castle, so..."

But her sentence was interrupted when the giant mirror began to glow brightly. Knowing what that meant, the five ponies in the room stopped what they were doing and stood in front of the mirror to see what would happen. Their faces lit up with glee when they saw Twilight Sparkle emerging from the portal, standing on her hind legs. "Alright! We made it back!" said the young Princess. She looked over at the clock in the room, which displayed a time of 9:30 a.m. "And right on time, too."

"That's good." said Spike, popping out of one of Twilight's saddlebags. Now that they were back home, he had returned to his dragon form. Noticing something peculiar, he then asked his friend, "Um, Twilight?"

"What is it?" asked the purple Alicorn. "Is everything okay?" Getting a little worried, she then inquired him, "Don't tell me something weird happened during our trip back home? There's nothing growing on the side of my body is there??"

"...I was just going to tell you that you're still standing on just your back legs." Spike informed her.

"My back legs...?" Looking at herself, she then realized that she was still standing like a human would. "...Oh. Right." she responded, blushing a bit. Giggling a little out of embarrassment, she promptly got down on all fours. "Thanks, Spike... I guess I just got used to that after so long."

"Welcome back, Twilight!" Pinkie Pie said in an excited tone. "It's so good to see you again after so long!!" As she said that, she gave her Princess friend a super-strong bear hug. "Oh, you have no IDEA how much we've missed you! When I heard that you were coming back, I couldn't wait another SECOND to meet you again!!"

Struggling to breathe a little from the hug that her pink friend was giving her, Twilight said in a strained voice, "P...Pinkie...! Can you...urrgh...can you ease up a bit...? I...can't breathe...!"

Hearing her friend's voice, Pinkie Pie immediately released her grip, allowing Twilight to catch her breath. "Oops...sorry, Twilight...!" the pink pony apologized. "I just missed you so much, I guess I couldn't control myself!"

Fully recovering from her silly friend's sign of affection, the Princess of Friendship simply chuckled a little and said, "It's okay, Pinkie... I know how much you and the others must have missed me since I left for Sunset's world." Looking over at the rest of her Ponyville friends, she said to them, "It's so great to see you all again, too. I can't wait to tell you about everything that's happened so far!"

"Then let's STOP waitin' and get over t' the meetin' table so you can tell us!" suggested Applejack.

"Yeah, AJ's right!" Rainbow Dash agreed. "I wanna know about everything!"

"Now, now...don't rush Twilight, girls." Rarity told them. "The poor girl must be tired after her trip back here... I can't imagine how harrowing a trip from one universe to another can be..."

"Oh, don't worry about me, Rarity." Twilight assured her. "As intense as it is, you get used to it after a while. Though Spike DID nearly throw up when I went there to help Sunset with the Dazzlings."

"I did not!" argued the little dragon, getting a little embarrassed. "A-anyway, let's just go and tell the others about what's been going on so far, okay?" he recommended, blushing and pouting a little.

"Alright, alright..." the young Princess replied. "C'mon, everypony. Let's go sit at the meeting table and I'll tell you about everything." The others nodded and left for the table together.

For the next few minutes, Twilight Sparkle had told her pony friends about the battles she had faced, and the foes that she confronted in her mission to help Sunset Shimmer collect the scattered Number cards. She had also told them about how powerful their human counterparts were when it came to playing Duel Monsters, and how they had helped her learn how to duel so that she could combat the Numbers and defeat them.

"Woah..." said an impressed Rainbow Dash. "I never thought that a card game could get as intense as you described it... The only time I remember really getting pumped up while playing cards was when Pinkie n' I had that game of War last week."

"I heard you talking about that..." Fluttershy noted. "Who won?"

"You don't 'win' at War, Fluttershy..." Pinkie said in an eerily serious voice. "...You survive."

"...But...who actually won?" asked Applejack next.

"Oh, I did!" the pink Earth Pony answered, dropping the serious voice instantly.

"Big deal...you lucked out and got all of the Aces in your deck." the rainbow-maned Pegasus told her, a bit annoyed that she had lost a game to her, but trying her best to be civil about it.

Clearing her throat, Rarity then asked Twilight, "Um...getting back on subject, could you possibly show us some of these cards that you were talking about? I'm curious to see what they look like."

"Well, all of you DID see what they typically look like after I showed you Utopia's card on the day I left, but sure!" Twilight replied, using her magic to pull out her deck box. She then opened it and showed her friends all of the cards that she had gotten; both from Sunset as well as the ones that she had collected herself.

"So these are the cards y'all were talkin' about?" asked Applejack. "Ah must say, they've got some...interestin' artwork."

"Yes...quite interesting indeed." Rarity chimed in, blushing a little as she stared at a copy of Gagaga Magician. Spike noticed this and huffed a little after looking at the card himself.

"I kinda like that big stone guy here." Rainbow Dash commented, referring to the card Gogogo Golem. "He looks like he's really tough!"

"Yeah, I'll betcha Maud'll get a kick out of seeing it, too!" Pinkie Pie added. "She'll be so super-excited, I just know it!"

Staring at the cards for a while, Fluttershy hummed a bit and began to say, "They do seem a bit...unusual..."

"That's what I thought too the first time I saw them." Twilight told her shy Pegasus friend. "The artwork on these cards is pretty bizarre, but after a while, it does start to grow on you."

"Well, um...yes, I suppose that's true..." Fluttershy responded, "but I actually meant that...well, they don't seem like the kinds of cards I would have expected you to use... N-not to go against your choices of course! I'm sure you had a good reason for picking them!"

"Yeah, she does kinda have a point, Twi..." Rainbow Dash commented next. "From what I know about trading cards like these, I would've expected your deck t' be somethin' like, I dunno...magicians or...some kind of...smarty...stuff or somethin'... Somethin' that represents your personality more, y'know?"

"...And how would YOU know 'bout stuff like that, Dash?" asked Applejack slyly. "Last Ah heard, you said that playin' tradin' card games were for 'eggheady nerds' n' stuff."

"I-I-I never said I played them!" the cyan Pegasus rebutted. "I...I've just seen OTHER ponies playin' them, that's all!"

Giggling a little at Dash's awkward moment, Twilight spoke up and told them all, "I do admit; the cards I chose for this Deck don't seem like what somepony would expect me to choose... But there's a very good reason why I picked these cards out of the hundreds and hundreds that Sunset had."

"Oooh! Oooh! Is there some super-deep meaning behind why you picked these cards?" asked Pinkie Pie. "A deep meaning that will probably double as some kinda major life lesson at the end?"

Giggling again, the purple Alicorn told her, "Well, actually it's quite simple: I picked these cards out because...I liked them."

The other five ponies sat there silently for a while; like Pinkie, they were expecting more of an explanation than that. "That's it?" asked Rainbow Dash. "I thought there'd be more to it than that..."

"There really isn't, to be honest." Twilight replied. "When Sunset was helping me pick out my cards, she told me that the most important thing for me when building my Deck was to choose the cards that I liked the most. Of course, good balance with your cards was important too, but she told me that it was even more important to play the Deck that I'll enjoy playing with the most. That way, no matter what, I'll always have fun in a Duel!"

The five ponies looked at each other, again not expecting such an answer. But after a while, they smiled at each other, understanding where Twilight was coming from. "That was very well said, Twilight dear." Rarity told her Princess friend. "And you're absolutely right. Whether or not someone feels as though your Deck - or anything else for that matter, fits your personality best or not, as long as you enjoy using it, that should be all that matters."

"Thanks." Twilight told the white Unicorn. "I feel the same way about it, as well."

"Um...I'm sorry if I sounded insensitive, Twilight..." Fluttershy spoke meekly. "I was just curious, that's all..."

"It's alright, Fluttershy." the young Princess replied. "Believe me, there's nothing wrong with being curious and asking a question about something. So don't feel bad about it." She then said to the others, "And besides, if I'm playing the cards that I like the most, then my Deck must fit my personality the best after all!"

"That's a good way t' think about it." Applejack stated. "The most important part about playin' a game is to enjoy yourself."

"And winning." Rainbow Dash added. "Ya can't forget that... But yeah, it's important t' have fun too."

Twilight was happy to hear that her friends understood why she chose the cards for her Deck. Looking at her cards again, she then added, "Still, I can tell that you were hoping for a deeper meaning as to why I made my choices... And I guess there might be a reason for it that I wasn't aware of at the time, but one that just might have influenced my decisions..." The Princess of Friendship then rearranged her cards so that ones that partially shared names with each other were placed together. "As you can see, my cards are split into four smaller groups, which Sunset and other Duelists call, 'archetypes': Gagaga cards, Gogogo cards, Dododo cards, and Zubaba cards."

"Hmmm...I see. But what does it mean?" asked Rarity.

"Well, on the surface, these archetypes seem like they're separate from each other..." Twilight pointed out. "But if you look a little bit closer at them, you realize that they have more in common with one another than somepony would think. While they have their own smaller strategies and support of their own, in the end, they all know that they're working towards the same goal, and because of that, they are more than willing to support each other in battle...as allies, and more importantly, as friends."

"Ooooohhhhh...NOW I get it...!" Pinkie Pie said. "You picked these cards out because - somehow, you knew that they were like best friends, and they would help each other, even though you never SAW the cards before!"

"Well, that don't surprise me none." Applejack chimed in. "After all, Twi IS the Princess of Friendship for a reason. She can sense things like that even when nopony else can, almost like a psychic."

"Well, I don't know about that, AJ..." Twilight replied, remaining humble about such things, "but I guess that's one way you could see it." While using her magic to put her Deck back together and shuffle it, she added, "In the end though, I'm happy with the choices I made for my Deck, and I don't regret them."

"So...what about those Number card things?" asked Rainbow Dash. "Those cards that the big, golden armor guy was talkin' about before you left?"

Humming in thought for a while, Twilight then responded, saying, "I guess I can show them to you...but don't touch them: I'm not sure what these cards could do to you, if anything..." She then used her magic to pull out five black cards that were in her Extra Deck: Four were the Number cards that she had obtained so far: Number 11: Big Eye, Number 12: Crimson Shadow Armor Ninja, Number 59: Crooked Cook, and of course, her first Number card, Number 39: Utopia. The fifth card was of Utopia's more powerful form: Number C39: Utopia Ray, which she had gotten with the help of Discord.

"So these are the Number cards..." said Fluttershy. "Some of them look really scary...except for Utopia, of course."

"They were." agreed Twilight. "As well as the people who used them. Those Number cards made them act more malicious, using their deepest wishes as fuel for their power. All except for Utopia for some reason. Not once has he ever tried to control me like the others; in fact, he's been my biggest help in my battles against them. He treats me as an equal and I treat him the same way."

"It sure seems that the two of you trust each other a lot..." Rarity stated. "And a good thing too, if what you say about these Numbers is true. After all, they certainly look quite beastly, these other three..."

"Not to mention they've all got that weirdo text written on 'em..." Rainbow Dash informed them. "That stuff's creepy enough to begin with. And you can read that stuff like it's nothing, Twi?"

"Yeah, I still don't seem to know why, either." the purple Alicorn told her. "I've read about all kinds of different languages with Princess Celestia while I was her student, and I've never seen writing like this before... But the weirdest part about it is that...despite all of that, it looks...familiar somehow."

"Familiar how?" asked Applejack.

"I don't know yet, but right now it isn't important." Twilight told her while putting the cards away in her deck box. "Right now, I'm not going to think about stuff like the Number cards or when the next one will show up. All I care about right now is enjoying my Spring Break Week with my friends, and that's what I'm doing!"

"I couldn't agree more!!" shouted Pinkie Pie, enthusiastic about having fun with her friends. "So let's stop sitting around like bumps on a log and have some fun!!"

"Yeah, let's go already!" Rainbow Dash chimed in, flying into the air and doing some small loop-de-loops; one could tell that she was ready to enjoy the week with Twilight and the others.

"So, what do you have planned first, Twilight...?" asked Fluttershy.

"Well, that's the thing... I decided that, for once, a planned schedule of things to do wouldn't be best for this occasion." the normally-super-organized Alicorn told them. "I think our week together will be a lot more fun if we just made our plan as we go!"

"So we just do whatever we feel like?" asked Applejack. "Never would've expected t' hear that from ya, Twi... But Ah like it!"

"I suppose that idea sounds good to me, too." Rarity said, agreeing with them.

"Yeah! I'm all for it, too!" Spike added, liking the "no plan" plan as well. The others nodded to say that they did, too.

"Well, if we're all in agreement, let's go and find something fun to do!" Twilight announced with a smile. The others cheered in response, ready to make the most of the their day together.

The six-strong group of ponies - plus one dragon, left Twilight's castle and strolled around Ponyville and its surroundings. It wasn't long before they happened across the large swimming lake not far from town. Since the weather was nice and there was nopony there, the seven of them decided to make that their first stop. They raced over to the lake and began having fun there in their own ways. Rainbow Dash and Applejack had a little diving competition with each other to see who could make the best and biggest splash. They both jumped in at the same time, each of them creating quite an impressive splash. They eventually rose up to the water surface, each one declaring themselves the winner, even though neither of them actually knew who did the best dive.

But they didn't have much time to argue about it before both ponies were struck by a pair of brightly-colored water balloons. Dash and AJ looked over to see that the pony behind the water balloon attack was none other than Pinkie Pie, who had a whole bucket full of them beside her (apparently, the pink pony had them set up all around Ponyville for just this sort of occasion, according to her). The orange and cyan ponies smirked at each other and decided to play Pinkie's game, and the three of them were all engaged in an epic water balloon war.

Fluttershy, of course, was staying quite far away from all of that excitement. Instead, she had dove underwater in search of the aquatic animals that lived there. It wasn't long before several small schools of fish swam towards the yellow Pegasus. The fish made several bubbling noises underwater, which Fluttershy seemed to be able to understand. She made some bubbling noises herself, talking to them for a short time before needing to resurface for air.

Rarity, in the meantime, was taking it easy, lying down on one of the beach chairs that were set up around the lake, in the shade of a large umbrella. Spike was also there, ready and willing to get whatever the beautiful white Unicorn needed, like a drink or her favorite hoof-held fan to cool herself off. Twilight, as always, had brought along some reading material to entertain herself while also relaxing on a beach chair, right next to Rarity.

After spending a few hours at the lake, the six ponies and dragon wandered over to Sugarcube Corner. Today, the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Cake had announced that they had some new treats for sale, and as a result, the shop was quite busy (but it was nothing they couldn't handle). Twilight and the others decided that taking a little dessert break would be a fun thing for them to do. They walked into the store and stared at all of the delicious baked goods on display. Pinkie Pie then saw that her favorite pie flavor was available, and since she had an employee discount, she did not hesitate to buy it. She then offered to share the pie with Rainbow Dash, but the Pegasus politely refused, telling the pink Earth Pony that she had already ate some pie yesterday (though in actuality, she did not; Rainbow Dash did not care for pie, but felt uneasy telling that to Pinkie). Instead, the cyan pony got some jelly-filled donuts with rainbow sprinkles for herself. After everypony (and dragon) got what they wanted, they sat down at a table inside and enjoyed their treats together.

Later that afternoon, after returning home to freshen up, the group reunited at the Ponyville Movie Theater to see a film together. After paying for their tickets, the seven of them walked over to their seats, each one carrying some snacks and drinks from the concession stand. The movie that played was a very popular one, involving a school for training superheroes, in which one of its students was a young freckled colt with a messy dark-green mane who - at first glance, didn't seem to have any superpowers. The movie had a nice mixture of action-adventure and comedy, as well as several interesting characters, including a young, brown-maned filly who could make things float in mid-air (her bubbly and cheerful personality immediately made Pinkie Pie a fan of her), as well as a mare with a sea-green mane tied up in a bow at the end with a large mouth and eyes that looked almost frog-like (with a very long tongue to match).

After the movie was over, Twilight and her friends talked with each other about how much they enjoyed their day, and were looking forward to having some more fun tomorrow. The group split up with each of them returning home...except for Applejack and Rarity, who instead left with Twilight and Spike back to her castle. They had decided to have a sleepover together, similar to the one that they had a long time ago in Twilight's original home. The four of them, with the help of Twilight's book, "Slumber 101", put together an enjoyable get-together for the night, this time without AJ and Rarity arguing with each other like last time. The four of them played games, had snacks, and of course, told each other ghost stories, just as the book suggested.

By the time it was completely dark out, the three ponies and dragon were ready to get some much-needed rest. Yawning loudly and stretching her front legs, Applejack said to the others, "Ah gotta admit, Twi...this day's been the most fun Ah've had in a long time! And Ah was almost startin' t' think that nothin' would ever beat the day that Ah rounded up all of our pigs when they escaped from their pen! I gotta tell ya, nothing puts hair on your chest better than chasin' down those li'l curly-tailed devils!"

"Ummmm...I'll just take your word for it, Applejack dear." said Rarity, not wanting to think about that. "But she is right: This day together has been the most enjoyable I've ever had! There's practically nothing that I could possibly think of that could spoil such a WONDERFUL day as this one!"

"I'm glad you and the others had so much fun today." Twilight thanked her. "And we've still got six more days of fun ahead of us! So we'd better get all the sleep that we can so that we'll have all the energy we need to enjoy our day tomorrow!"

"Couldn't agree with ya, more, Twi." said Applejack, climbing into the second bed that Twilight had previously set up for her and Rarity. After getting under the covers, she yawned and said, "G'night, Rare."

"Good night, Applejack..." the white Unicorn replied. "Good night, Spike..."

"Good night, my lo- er, I mean...! Good night, Rarity!" the little dragon said, nearly blurting something else out entirely. After collecting his thoughts, he then said to Twilight, "Good night, Twi..."

"Good night, Spike..." the purple Alicorn said. "Good night everypony..." She then used her magic to put out all of the lights in the bedroom so that the four of them could have a nice, restful night...

But back in the castle meeting hall, a dark shadow was forming around a compartment in Twilight's saddlebags. Then, all of a sudden, the latch on the compartment opened up, and out of it floated a blank Duel Monsters card. After it emerged from the bag, it began floating down the halls, seeking something...or someone. The card eventually stopped in front of the door leading into Twilight's bedroom...

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Minutes later, In a large barren area, Twilight walked around, seemingly confused about where she was. "Where...am I...?" she asked her self, her voice echoing around her. She then called out, "Hello?! Is anypony there?!?" But all she heard was the sound of her own voice as the sound reverberated.

(What's going on...?) she asked in her mind. (Is...is this a dream...? If so, then this is the weirdest dream I've ever had... Usually, I dream about things like my book-filled swimming pool... But there doesn't seem to be anything here...)

Then, as she looked ahead, she saw a large, shadowy cloud off in the distance. "Spoke too soon..." she stated. "There's something here alright...but what?" But as she began approaching the strange fog, the young Princess gasped when she saw the could coming towards her rather quickly. "It's...it's coming for me??" she asked herself. Getting a sense of worry, the purple Alicorn instinctively made a run for it, trying to keep her distance from the shadowy fog behind her. She didn't know what was going on, but she did know that she wasn't going to let this thing - whatever it was, catch her...

Elsewhere...

"And then after we went swimming, we all went over to get a treat over at Sugarcube Corner!" said Fluttershy, who was talking to someone about how she had spent the day with Twilight and the rest of her friends back in her humble cottage home. "Then we went to see a movie together! I wish you could have come with us, Discord."

Sipping some tea from a cup that he was holding, Discord, the chaos-creating draconequus, humbly told her, "I'll admit, it would have been great to spend the day with you. But you know how important my annual meeting with all of the other inter-dimensional versions of me is." Sipping his teacup a little more (with the tea in the cup draining from the bottom up instead), he then added, "Oh by the way, the Discord from Universe #2364 says that Screwball's doing fine, since you wanted to know."

"Oh that's good to hear." the yellow Pegasus replied. "Thanks for telling me." She then took a sip from her cup after saying that.

Looking up from his cup at his friend, Discord then asked her, "Um, Fluttershy...? Do you think it's weird that, in that universe...you...and I...well, the you and I in THAT universe, of course...you know...and they have a-?"

"You don't have to worry about that, Discord." Fluttershy told him. "It doesn't bother me at all. Just because they have...well, deeper feelings for each other in their world, doesn't mean that we have to change our relationship in any way. I'm content with the way things are, and for once, I don't feel awkward even after hearing about all of that."

Humming a bit, the draconequus smiled and said, "I feel just the same way, Fluttershy. One of the other me's told me that I didn't have to worry myself over how you felt about the whole thing with Screwball and them, and I guess he was right. Right now, I'm happy with how things are going, and that's all I need to concern myself with."

"That's good..." Fluttershy told him. "And thanks for helping Twilight out with her mission... She told us about that Duel you helped her win."

"Oh, think nothing of it, Fluttershy!" the draconequus told her half-smugly. "ANYTHING to help out a friend, especially the friend of ANOTHER friend!"

"Did you learn anything else about the Number cards, too?" asked the Pegasus. "Twilight showed us the ones that she had and it reminded me about when you and Princess Celestia had that discussion a few days ago..."

"Well, I found out a few things," he told her, "but I gotta admit: This little researching mission might not be as easy as I thought it would be... So far, I've got more questions to this Number riddle than answers... But even so, I think I'll dig up some results soon."

Setting down their teacups onto the tray, Fluttershy stretched her legs and said, "After I wash these, I think I'll go to bed. Otherwise, I'll be too sleepy to have fun with the others tomorrow. And maybe I can convince them to let you come along as well, Discord. I'm sure you could come up with something neat for us to do."

Snapping his claws and making a small notepad appear in his hands, the draconequus told her, "Well, I DID have a few ideas that have been floating around in my mind since I heard Twily was coming by to visit..." He then flipped through the pages, stopping at a list that read, "Fun Ideas to Try With Friends". Underneath it was a bulleted list consisting of...activities such as, "blow up the D. Star" (with a small footnote that read, "size of womp rat lol"), "defeat the giant monkeyman and save the 9th dimension", and "tennis".

Just then, a strange feeling came over Discord. "Huh...?!" he gasped. "My chaos-sense is tingling...!" He then held onto his head (half of which was covered by a red-colored face mask). Noticing this, Discord simply pulled off the half-mask and threw it aside before returning to his thoughts. (Something feels wrong...but what could it be...?) Concentrating on that feeling as much as he could, the draconequus gasped again and said, "...Twilight...!" Quickly, he asked Fluttershy, "Where did you say Twilight was right now?"

"Um...she's at her castle." the Pegasus answered. "She's having a sleepover with Applejack and Rarity. Why do you ask?"

"...We have to go see her, now." Discord told her in a serious-sounding voice.

"Why?" asked Fluttershy. "Is something wrong? You never talk like that unless something is bothering you..."

"I'm not sure to be honest, but I can just feel that something isn't quite right..." the draconequus told her. "In any case, we had better move, and fast!" He then stretched his arm into Fluttershy's kitchen, scooping her up before unzipping a inter-dimensional portal in front of them. Before going into it, Discord smirked and said, "Would you look at that: First Spider-Man, then Mr. Fantastic! TWO Marvel references in a row! Impressive, don't you think, Fluttershy?"

"Um...maybe..." she replied. "But shouldn't we hurry...?

"Hurry? ...Oh, right! Twilight! Yes, of course!" the draconequus responded before he hopping into the portal he created, carrying the yellow Pegasus with him.

Back in Twilight's dream (or possibly nightmare), the purple Alicorn was running as fast as she could to escape the dark cloud that was pursuing her. "St-stay back!!" she screamed. "I don't know what you are, but for once, I'd rather NOT know!!" She was still ahead of the fog by several feet, but it was taking all of her strength to stay ahead of it, and she was starting to get tired. So far, her fear of being swallowed up by the shadows was helping her ignore her oncoming fatigue, but she knew she couldn't get away from it forever.

Then all of a sudden, while looking at the cloud behind her, Twilight failed to see a large wall that was directly in front of her. By the time she turned around and saw it, it was too late. She collided with the barrier and fell down on her flank. Rubbing her sore head, she looked up and saw that the dark clouds were right there in front of her. She looked around, but there was nowhere left for her to run. "N-n-no...!" she cried out. "St-stay away!! Don't come near me!!" But the fog didn't listen as it inched it was towards the young Princess. Twilight closed her eyes, wondering if this was the end for her...

Then, she heard a strange, loud sound coming from above. It sort of sounded like something was sucking in air. When she looked up, Twilight saw what appeared to be a giant vacuum cleaner. "Wh-what's that...?" she asked, still a bit groggy from her running earlier. "A vacuum...?" She then saw that the vacuum's hose was sucking in all of the shadowy clouds, pulling them away from Twilight. Eventually, the machine succeeded in removing the fog completely.

Still at a loss for words, Twilight could only stare at the humongous vacuum that had saved her life. Finally working up the effort to speak, she then asked herself, "Where did this come from?? Did I...imagine it here? ...No, I was so flustered from being chased by that fog, I couldn't think straight; therefore, I couldn't have made it appear... So how did it get here??"

Just then, out from behind the vacuum, a pony appeared. It was none other than Fluttershy. "Um...hi, Twilight..." she meekly said. "I...hope we're not interrupting anything..."

"Huh?! Fluttershy??" Twilight exclaimed. "How did you get in here?" Of course, for a smart mare like Twilight, it didn't take her long to put two and two together. "Wait a second...did Discord bring you here?"

"I most certainly did!" the draconequus announced, speaking in loud, British accent and wearing a blue, button-down shirt with the logo, "CHAOS-I CLEAN" sewn onto the left side. "And with help from the all-new Inhali-Dust all-purpose vacuum cleaner! It will clean up anything from cake crumbs, spilled cider, and evil shadowy fog in mere seconds! And it can all be yours for FOUR easy payments of 20 Bits!! Act within the next five minutes and we'll throw in a SECOND Inhali-Dust absolutely free!"

Twilight just stood there, not sure how to respond to Discord's pitch man persona. Finally, she asked him, "What's going on here? Why are both of you in my dreams? And what was with that dark cloud that was chasing me?"

Taking off the shirt and putting it aside, the chaos-creating draconequus answered her, saying, "First off, I believe you owe Fluttershy and I a 'thank-you' for pretty much saving your life."

"Huh? Oh! Sorry..." Twilight responded, realizing that he had a point. "Thanks, both of you..."

"Good, now that that's out of the way..." Discord began to say, "We're here because I could sense that something was amiss concerning your well-being, and as it turns out, my hunch was right on the dot." Rubbing the beard on his chin, he added, "The only question is...who or what was that? And why did it appear in Twilight's mind?"

"Whatever it was..." Fluttershy said with a slight tremble, "it looked so cold...and scary... Just looking at it was frightening enough."

"Try being chased by it..." stated Twilight, wiping some sweat from her forehead. "At least now it's gone..."

But their relief came to an abrupt end when the vacuum suddenly began to tremble...and then began to shake violently. Afterwards, it burst apart, and the shadowy cloud was now sitting there in its place. "EEEEEEEK!" shrieked Fluttershy. "It got out!! Now what are going to do?!?"

But Twilight, trying her best to hide her fear, stood in front of the cloud with her horn flared up, ready to defend herself. Discord stood next to her, wearing a karate uniform, and displayed some fancy kung-fu maneuvers. "Alright, enough of this!" shouted Twilight. "Who are you?! And how did you get inside of my mind?!"

"Meheheheh..." the cloud chuckled. "How did I get in here...? I've ALWAYS been in here, Twilight Sparkle...since the day you were born!"

"Huh? What are you talking about??" asked the Alicorn, not understand what it meant by that. "Who or what are you?!"

Just then, the clouds began to swirl and compress itself into a new shape. The others recognized it as a young Alicorn pony...and it looked just like Twilight, except that her purple coat and mane were much darker in color, and her eyes were glowing a light blue. In addition, a sinister smirk was all over her face, showing cruel intent.

"T...T...TWO Twilights?!" exclaimed Fluttershy. "What's going on??"

"Well...at the risk of giving this episode a rather cliché plotline," Discord began to explain, "based on the fact that this pony looks like our little Princess friend here, albeit more sinister-looking...I'd have to guess that she's Twilight's dark side."

"Dark side...?" asked the yellow Pegasus. "I didn't know Twilight HAD a dark side..."

"Me either..." spoke the young Princess.

"...Hmph. You mean you REALLY don't know me, Twily?" asked the darker Twilight. "Well, no surprise there...after all, you NEVER let me have any fun!"

"What do you mean?" asked the young Princess.

"Don't play dumb, Twily..." the dark pony said to her light counterpart. "Your little 'goody-four-hooves' act and your constant prattling about the 'Magic of Friendship' and all that other junk keeps me from coming out and doing anything useful! You keep performing all these so-called acts of good will and what am I doing? Sitting there and having to watch you do it! And it's starting to get on my nerves!!"

Not impressed by her dark side's ranting, Twilight simply told her, "Well, I'm sorry if you don't like what I'm doing, but I'm not going to change the way I do things just because you don't like it. Especially since I'm sure what you find fun is something nopony else would call fun."

"Is that what you think?" asked the dark pony. "Well, it doesn't matter anyway. Because I finally have the chance to displace you forever!"

"Displace me?" asked Twilight. "What do you mean?"

Chuckling wickedly, the darker Twilight used her magic to reveal something that shocked her light self. "Take a look at this, Twily... I'm sure you can recognize it!"

"It can't be...!" gasped the young Princess. "A Number card?! But how?!"

"To be honest, I'm not sure myself... After all, I AM a part of you, so whatever you know or don't know, the same applies to me." stated the dark pony. "But it seems this card managed to follow you all the way from your friend Sunset's world, if I could harbor a guess..."

"Followed me??" asked Twilight. She then thought to herself, (Was it one of those people from Skyes Academy that did this...?)

"So what exactly do you plan on doing with that card?" Discord asked Twilight's dark side.

"What I've always desired since the day I came to be:" she answered him. "I want control of Twilight's mind and body!"

"You want to control me?!" exclaimed Twilight in shock. "But why?!"

"Because I'm sick and tired of having to watch you wasting my time and yours helping everypony when we COULD be doing so much more with them!" the dark Twilight answered. "Once I gain enough power to overwhelm you completely, I'll be in control! And your beloved subjects will answer only to me! With my power, I'll have total dominance over them, and there won't be a thing they - and especially not you, can do to stop me!!"

"Oh...my...!!" gasped Fluttershy, too scared to move or even faint.

"And once my empire in Ponyville is complete," the dark pony continued, "I'll spread my influence over the rest of Equestria as well!! I'll overthrow Celestia, Luna, and Cadance and take over their kingdoms!! And in anticipation of my soon-to-be total conquest, I'll give myself a name worthy of my power! Something like...Midnight Sparkle... Yes, it has a sort of wicked ring to it, doesn't it?"

"Grrr...you're sick!" shouted Twilight. "There's no WAY I'd let you do this!"

"Oh really?" asked the dark Twilight, now going by the moniker Midnight Sparkle. "And just why do you think I have this desire to conquer all of Equestria? I'm your dark side; the pure embodiment of your most evil desires... Don't deny that this was something you've actually thought of doing! Just admit it!"

"...Thinking of doing something and actually doing it are two very different things." Twilight told her. "I'll admit, the thought of doing something like that DID cross my mind...for about a second." Glaring at her dark side, she then told her, "But I knew that wasn't something that I really wanted! So you can forget about acting upon it while I'm here!"

Midnight chuckled and told her good self, "You're right, I can't act upon my - or should I say OUR - evil wishes while you're around... Which is exactly why I've decided to confront you. I'll defeat you with my own four hooves right here and now, and then YOU'LL be the one stuck in the deepest corners of our mind, helpless and unable to do anything!"

"And how, exactly do you plan on defeating me?" asked Twilight. "If you couldn't take over my mind before, what makes you think you can do it now?"

"Hmm...I'm so glad you asked, my good self." the darker Alicorn replied. "Before, I may have been too weak to rebel against you... But with the power of this Number card on my side, I have what I need to eradicate you forever!"

"E-e-eradicate...?" squeaked a trembling Fluttershy.

"I see what's going on now..." Discord spoke up. Turning over to Twilight, he told her, "If I'm not mistaken, I believe she wants to duel you."

"Duel me?" asked the young Princess.

"Think about it:" the draconequus began to explain. "She was able to gain enough power to attack you in your own mind because she got her hooves on that Number card... So what do you think will happen should she manage to claim the ones that you have?"

Twilight gasped, realizing what Discord meant. "I see...she wants to use the power of MY Numbers to permanently take control of me. That's why she's confronting me! Because she can only take my Numbers from me in a Duel!" Facing her dark side once more, she added, "Well, I'm not going to let her win! I'll defeat her and make sure she can't use me to hurt anypony!"

"So you figured it out, have you?" asked Midnight Sparkle. "Then I suppose that saves me the trouble of explaining things any further... So let's begin our little game so that I can go down in history as Equestria's most ruthless tyrant!!"

"You won't make it into the history books, Midnight!" shouted Twilight. "Not even as a footnote! Now let's duel!!"

"Hold on, Twilight!" Discord interrupted. "Before you start, I think a little...alteration is in order." He then raised his claws and snapped them. This caused a swirling cloud to surround Twilight. The Alicorn wasn't sure what was going on as she looked around the clouds spinning around her.

Then suddenly, the cloud exploded, sends bits of fluff all over the area. And when the dust settled, Twilight noticed something was...different, yet also familiar. When she got a look at herself, she gasped when saw that she was in her human form; the form she took on in Sunset's world. She was even wearing her Duel Pad and Gazer. "Wha...what happened?" she asked. "Why do I look like this??"

"Discord...? What did you do??" Fluttershy asked her bizzare friend.

"Well, I figured that, if Twily's going to play a card game, opposable thumbs could be a bit helpful." the draconequus answered her. "I even went and got her Deck and Duel Pad so that she can better fight her dark half. No thanks are necessary."

Chuckling some more, Midnight then decided to change her appearance to mimic Twilight's, transforming herself into a human as well. Holding out her left arm, she then made a D-Pad and Deck appear on it. "So...are you ready for your last Duel, Twily?" asked Midnight as a bright blue crest appeared around her left eye.

"The only thing I'm ready for is defeating you for good!" the Princess of Friendship announced. "For the sake of myself, my friends, and all of Equestria...I WILL stop you!" (Twilight Sparkle: LP 4,000) (Midnight Sparkle: LP 4,000)

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As Twilight began to Duel her dark side, Discord and Fluttershy looked on, hoping for the best for their Princess friend. "Do you think Twilight will be okay...?" asked the meek Pegasus. "That other Twilight looks and sounds so mean... I still can't believe that she even had something like that in her this whole time...!"

"Unfortunately, that's a hard fact, Fluttershy..." Discord told her. "Truth be told, everypony has a dark side in them... Even you do."

"M-m-me...?" asked the yellow pony. Thinking about it some more, she then admitted, "Well, now you say that, I guess it is true... After all, I remember how horrible I was when I yelled at Rarity and Pinkie after I got all of that bad advice from Iron Will..."

"Yes, I remember you telling me about that." the draconequus stated. "And as you most certainly remember, I had a few demons in me at one time... But thanks to each other, and our friends, we were able to overcome those demons... Now we'll see if Twilight can do the same..." Humming a bit, he then smirked and said, "That actually gives me an idea..." He then snapped his claws once more, triggering his reality-bending powers.

In that instant, he and Fluttershy were joined by several more familiar faces: Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Spike had now all appeared in Twilight's mind along with them. Looking around frantically, Applejack then asked, "Huh?? Where am I?? How'd Ah get here??"

"And just when I was getting to the end of my awesome dream, too!" complained Rainbow. "I was right in the middle of fighting alongside the Wonderbolts against this evil wizard in his volcano lair... Also he had like, twenty pet sharks to guard him!"

"I had that same dream too, Dashie!" Pinkie chimed in. "Only, instead of a volcano, it was a 20-foot seven layer cake, and instead of a wizard, it was a large ice cream soda! Oh, and the sharks were those little red gummi fish, but bigger!"

"I don't understand what's going on here..." Rarity said to the others. "Are we still having a dream? Because something is telling me that we aren't..."

"Look! Over there!" Spike shouted, pointing ahead of them. "It's Discord! And Fluttershy's with him! I'll bet he brought us here!"

"Hey, what's the big idea, Discord?!" Applejack shouted, a tad bit annoyed at their predicament. "Why'd ya pull us all the way over here?!"

"I apologize if I temporarily interrupted your beauty sleep," the draconequus told the new arrivals, "but I can assure you, it was quite necessary. After all, we have a friend here that could use our help." He then pointed over to the two figures ahead of them.

Staring at the closest of the two individuals in front of them, Rarity asked, "Who is she...? There's something familiar about her, but I don't remember befriending a creature that looks like that..."

"Yeah, me too..." Applejack agreed. "It feels like Ah should know her from somewhere..."

"You guys, don't you see it??" asked Spike. "That's Twilight!"

"Wait...THAT'S Twilight?!?" asked a shocked Rainbow Dash. "I don't believe it!"

"Wait, yeah...that IS her!!" exclaimed Pinkie Pie. "Don't you remember?? Twilight showed us pictures of herself that she took while in that other world!"

The others gasped, now remembering that. "Of course! How could we have forgotten about that?" asked Rarity, feeling a bit embarrassed for not seeing it sooner. "That's what she looks like from that other universe!"

"Well, that's one mystery solved..." Applejack commented. "But what's with that other thing that looks like her...? Care t' explain it for us?"

"Well, Discord thinks that the other Twilight is actually her dark side..." Fluttershy told them. "She called herself...um... Oh, what was it...? Oh! 'Midnight Sparkle'...or something like that..."

"Midnight Sparkle??" asked Spike. "That sounds weird and creepy..."

"You have to admit, though...it's pretty clever, using that name from the third movie to call her by." stated Pinkie, humming a little. Of course, nopony knew what she was talking about, but decided it wasn't the most important thing right now.

"So, what's happening now?" Rainbow Dash asked Discord. "Are they gonna fight or something?"

"Precisely." answered the draconequus. "And that's the reason I brought you all here...get it?"

"Ah think Ah get it now..." Applejack replied. "You gathered us all up so that we can give Twi some moral support, right?" Discord nodded yes to say that she was correct.

"Then let us give her all the support that we can!" Rarity suggested. She then shouted, "You can do this, Twilight dear! Give that counterfeit copy more than she can handle!!"

Hearing her friend's voice, Twilight turned around and saw that all of her friends were there to give her strength. "My friends..." she muttered to herself. Smiling and giving a nod, she said to them, "Don't worry, everypony! I'll beat her and we'll come home safe and sound!"

"Pah! The only thing your friends will be doing is watching your final moments!" Midnight taunted. "And that's fine with me... Because now I can show you AND your pathetic friends just what they're dealing with!"

"You won't be showing anypony anything!" Twilight shouted to her dark side. "And my cards will make sure of that!" The two of them then drew their opening hands, ready to begin their Duel.

(Twilight...) spoke Utopia's voice. (This battle will be your most difficult so far... I suspect that your dark half will try anything in order to defeat you... Be careful.)

(I will, Utopia...) the young Princess told him. (I'll keep my eyes on her, and in the end, I'll make sure we all get out of here safely!) She then faced her dark side and told her, "I'll go first!" Taking a card from her hand, she then placed it on her Duel Pad and announced, "I Summon Gogogo Ghost in Attack Mode!"

After playing the card, a pile of red and dark-blue armor appeared on the field, along with a large sword. Then, a ghost-like fog wrapped around it and possessed the armor, making it come alive. The spirit-possessed armor then picked up the sword and raised it into the air (Gogogo Ghost: Level 4 / ATK 1900 / DEF 0).

"I've made my move, Midnight... So go ahead and make yours!" Twilight shouted to her.

"If that's what you desire..." the darker girl responded, drawing a card. (Now it's time to play a few more head games with her...) she thought, grinning wickedly. "I'll Summon a monster too!" she said, playing a card from her hand. "I play...MY Gogogo Ghost!!"

"What?!" exclaimed Twilight as another Gogogo Ghost appeared on the field of her doppelganger, also in Attack Mode.

"Woah...I'm seein' double..." Rainbow Dash remarked. "What's goin' on here??"

"Hm? Oh yes, I almost forgot...we don't have Duel Monsters here in this world." Discord realized. He then snapped his fingers, causing a small booklet to appear in front of everyone else. "Here, this little rulebook should help give you an idea of how the game works... After all, we did all the rule explanations in the first few chapters already; no sense in doing it all over again."

Twilight, however, was trying to figure out what was going on in her Duel right now. (She...Summoned the exact same monster as I did...) she thought. (Could it be...?)

"Now! Gogogo Ghost, attack now!!" Midnight shouted. The ghostly armor then raised its sword, as did the other one. Both their swords struck each other, causing them both to be destroyed.

"They both blew up!" Spike pointed out.

"Yes, because they had the same attack points as each other." Discord noted. "But the question is why she did that... She should have known that they would take each other out, and by doing so, she's now wide open to an attack by Twilight..." The draconequus hummed a bit, thinking about what Midnight could be planning.

Trying her best to look brave, the young Princess then asked, "Is that all you're doing this turn?"

"Hmph...hold your horses, Twily. I'm just about done..." Midnight casually replied. "I'll end with two cards face-down. Now let's see if you can land a hit on me next turn."

"I intend to do just that!" Twilight told her. "I draw!" After drawing her next card, she then thought to herself, (I have a slight hunch about what's going on... And there's only one way to see if I'm right...) Taking the card she just drew on her turn, the Princess of Friendship shouted, "Now I Summon Gogogo Giant from my hand in Attack Mode!" At that moment, her brown and blue-colored rock giant appeared on the field (Gogogo Giant: Level 4 / ATK 2000 / DEF 0). "Next," Twilight continued, "I use his effect! This allows me to Special Summon Gogogo Ghost from my Graveyard and switch them both to Defense Mode!" After saying that, her previous monster re-emerged onto the field, giving her two monsters to use against her foe.

"Now what's gonna happen?" asked Applejack.

"Well, according to this rulebook," Pinkie began to say, "Twilight can now do this thing called X-Y-Z Summon."

"Actually, you're supposed to say it as one word, Pinkie: Xyz." Discord corrected her.

"Oh...I see." the pink Earth Pony replied. "Meh, honest mistake."

Looking at her enemy's side of the field, Midnight then said to herself, (I know what you're planning, my lighter half... So go on and do it!) She then gave a smirk, as if she had a plan of her own in the works.

"I now overlay my Level 4 Gogogo Giant and Gogogo Ghost to build the Overlay Network!" Twilight shouted as her two monsters turned into a pair of small lights (one orange and one purple) and flew into a galaxy-like portal in the center of the field. "Appear, Number 39! My battle starts here! I entrust my wishes upon your white wings!" the young Princess chanted. "Xyz Summon! Messenger of light! Rank 4! Utopia!!"

At that moment, the portal exploded, leaving behind a red 39 mark on the ground. Shortly afterwards, Utopia appeared in his sealed form and quickly transformed into the familiar white-and-gold warrior (Number 39: Utopia: Rank 4 / ATK 2500 / DEF 2000 / OLU 2).

"It's him...!" said Rarity in astonishment. "The armored creature that we saw on the day that Twilight left...!"

"Only now, we'll get t' see 'im in action!" Applejack commented.

"Yeah! Go kick her flank, Twilight!" cheered Rainbow Dash with extreme enthusiasm.

Looking over at her opponent, Twilight then thought, (Alright...let's see if my hunch was correct.) She then shouted, "Utopia! Attack her directly!! Rising Sun Slash!!" The mighty Number card then flew towards Midnight Sparkle, unsheathing his sword to strike her.

But Twilight's dark side cackled loudly and said, "You fool! You should have known I wouldn't let you hit me so easily! I activate the Trap Card, Pinpoint Guard!!" After saying that, one of her two face-down cards flipped over, causing a dark-purple portal to emerge in front of it. "With this card, I can revive any of my Level 4 or lower monsters from my Graveyard! And I choose to bring back my Gogogo Ghost!" As she had stated, Midnight's monster in the Graveyard emerged from the portal and back onto the field in Defense Position. After that, a large hand came out of the ground in front of Gogogo Ghost. "And as an added bonus," the evil girl continued, "the monster Summoned with this Trap Card can't be destroyed by your attacks or card effects this turn! So you won't be able to get rid of it right now!"

"Oh no...that doesn't sound good..." said Fluttershy, getting worried.

"Well, it isn't." Discord told her. "It means that, next turn, she can use that monster for whatever she wants, including an Xyz Summon of her own..."

"I sure hope Twi has some sort of backup plan cooked up, like she always does." commented Rainbow Dash. "Or we'll all be toast..."

Right now, though, Twilight had something else on her mind; something that put a small smirk on her face. "I had a feeling this would happen." she stated, remaining calm. "That attack I made last turn helped me prove it."

"Prove what, may I ask?" questioned Midnight.

"Something that I suspected right after your last turn." the young Princess continued to explain. "I had Utopia attack to test my theory, and now I know it for sure..." Looking at the cards that she was holding, Twilight then told her opponent, "The cards in our hands... They're exactly the same, aren't they?"

Midnight gasped a little after hearing that bold statement. She then chuckled and replied, saying, "Well, so you figured it out... I should've known that you would." Twilight then glanced at her hand again, looking at the copy of Pinpoint Guard that she had drawn at the very start of the Duel.

"What's going on?" asked Rarity. "What are they saying?"

"Well, Rarity...something most unusual has taken place in this Duel." Discord told her. "Apparently according to them, they drew the same cards as each other at the start of their game."

"Wait, the EXACT same cards?" asked Applejack. "That's crazy! What're the odds of that happenin'?!"

"But...if that's true, then...does that mean they have similar Decks to each other, too?" asked Fluttershy.

"Most likely." the draconequus answered. "Back in Sunset's world, they would call such a phenomenon a 'mirror match', because you're essentially fighting yourself. Only in Twily's case, it's also happening in the literal sense as well."

"That...doesn't sound good..." Spike commented. "How's Twilight supposed to beat...well, herself??"

"She'll find a way, Spike!" Pinkie told him. "No matter how hard or how tough it is, she'll always pull through!"

"I sure hope so..." Rairty chimed in; she too, was worried for her friend.

Chuckling some more, Midnight Sparkle then asked her light side, "So you figured out that we've been drawing the same cards as each other? Very clever, Twily...I've gotta 'hand' it to you... Hmhmhmhmmm..."

"Don't get too cocky, you fake. After all, I know what's in your hand because of that fact." Twilight said to her.

"Indeed... You might know everything I'm going to do," Midnight began to tell her foe, "but that's not going to help you, since I know everything you're going to do! Strange, isn't it?"

"Really...?" asked Pinkie Pie with an unimpressed look on her face, "You actually went ahead and quoted THAT movie, of all things? The last thing we need is to give the author a reason to put in cheesy lines like that!"

Looking over her hand, Twilight then stated, "I suppose that is a concern...with both of us knowing what the other is drawing." Taking a card from her hand and placing it in her Duel Pad, she then told her opponent, "So I guess I'll need to do something about that! I activate the Spell Card, Onomatopaira!"

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Onomatopaira:
(Normal Spell Card)

You can only activate 1 "Onomatopaira" per turn. Send 1 card from your hand to the GY; add up to 2 of these monsters from your Deck to your hand (you cannot add 2 from the same category).
* 1 "Zubaba" monster
* 1 "Gagaga" monster
* 1 "Gogogo" monster
* 1 "Dododo" monster

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After sending her Gagagaguard Trap Card to the Graveyard, she used her card's effect to take both Gagaga Head and Dododo Witch from her Deck. "Now that I've searched my Deck, I must then shuffle it according to the rules." Twilight stated, as her D-Pad automatically mixed up her cards.

"Oh...Ah get it now..." Applejack began to say. "By shufflin' her Deck, she made it so that they're no longer drawin' the same cards as each other!"

"That means that neither of them will know what the other is holding!" Rarity added.

"That's our Twilight! Smart as a cookie!" Pinkie Pie cheered. "Even though I have no idea how smart cookies really are."

"Yeah! Go for it Twilight! Keep it up!" Spike cheered on.

But Midnight didn't seem too fazed by her light counterpart's move. "Impressive... You found a way to prevent me from predicting your moves. Of course, I knew you'd eventually do just that."

"Maybe so, but the point of the matter is that you won't be able to know what I'm planning anymore!" Twilight reminded her.

"Wrong. You only stopped me from knowing what cards you were holding." the darker half informed her foe. "But I know your strategy like the back of my hand... Did you already forget that I'm a part of you, Twily?"

"Enough with your taunting already." the young Princess told her. "Are you going to make a move or not?"

"Yes, I shall." Midnight replied. After drawing her card and looking at it, the evil girl smirked and added, "And now it's about time that I stopped playing around with you... After all, I'll have all the fun I could ever want AFTER I take control of your body..." Taking a card from her hand, she then announced, "I Summon Gogogo Giant in Attack Mode!!" After placing the card on her D-Pad, the monster that Twilight had Summoned during her last turn now appeared on Midnight's field.

"This isn't good..." Discord commented. "Now that fake Twilight has two same-leveled monsters on the field... No doubt she's about to Xyz Summon too..."

"Yeah, but the million-bit question is...WHAT is she gonna bring out?" Applejack asked.

"I've got a feeling that we'll know soon, whether we like it or not..." Rarity responded. Everypony (and dragon) stood silently, waiting to see what sinister ideas Midnight had in store for their Princess friend.

Laughing evilly, Midnight then gave Twilight a sinister look and told her, "Prepare to be swallowed by a darkness that no light can pierce, of which hope no longer exists!!" The young Princess readied herself, doing her best to prepare for anything. "I now overlay my Level 4 Gogogo Ghost and Gogogo Golem to build the Overlay Network!!" Once more, both monsters turned in a pair of purple and orange lights, each of which flew into a galaxy-like portal that opened up in front of them.

"Brace yourselves, everypony!" Discord warned the others. "I don't like the look of that vortex!" The seven of them shielded themselves as best they could as a ray of black light shot out of the summoning portal.

"Emerge, Number 98!" Midnight chanted in a wicked tone. "From the pits of darkness and despair... Destroy my enemies and their hopes along with them!! Xyz Summon!" At that moment, the portal exploded in a mass of darkness, leaving behind a red-colored mark resembling the number 98. Afterwards, everyone watched in awe and terror as an object as black as night began to rise from out of the ground where the 98 was imprinted. It looked similar to the sealed form of Utopia, only it was colored black and silver, and it was turned upside-down in comparison. "Messenger of darkness! Rank 4! Antitopian!!" Midnight shouted, finishing her summoning chant.

At that moment, the object began to unfold itself, just like when Utopia emerged from his own sealed form. Eventually, the monster's true form was revealed, appearing as a darker, more evil version of Utopia. He was coated with black and silver armor, wore a tattered cape, and his number symbol was on his right shoulder pad as opposed to Utopia, who had his on his left.

"What...what is that thing...?" asked Rainbow Dash, sweating a little upon seeing the scary-looking monster that was just Summoned.

"Whatever it is..." Spike replied, shaking, "it's not good for Twilight..."

-- To Be Continued...

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