• Published 24th Jun 2016
  • 2,217 Views, 59 Comments

Ascending and Transcending, Inch by Inch - AkumaKami64



Twilight discovers she is an old soul, having lived many times yet getting further and improving the world each time. Now an alicorn, she has new options to explore: including remembering, but at a cost. Luckily, Discord is there to help her.

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The Last Day, The First Step

Discord was completely unphased by the explosion that scorched the replica of the Canterlot Garden, a certain Alicorn now vacant from the epicenter.

Voit, meanwhile, was pulling himself out of a bush, "Well, we saw that coming," Voit said with a sigh, pulling twigs out of his wings before looking around in confusion, "Did...she teleport out?" He asked in shock, that being yet another thing Twilight hadn't been able to do in the past.

Discord sat in his lounge chair with his tanning mirror replaced by a newspaper, "Hmm? Oh, no. I just teleported her back to her throne room. Mare needs some time to think," He assured offhandedly, "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to find the funnies. Chaotic Times has them spread all over the place," Discord mused dismissively.

Voit just sighed as he sat down on the other lounge chair...which promptly snapped shut, sandwiching him, "...I hate you," He said to the smirking Discord.

Meanwhile

Twilight was hyperventilating and pacing while teleporting. Telepacing or Hyperpacing? She was starting to think like Discord. That wasn't a good sign. Speaking of him, he apparently gave her spider-hooves, since she somehow ended up walking on the ceiling. She wasn't complaining, more space to pace. She was starting to rhyme too. Less of a bad sign, but still bad.

What was she getting worked up about again? She was very sure her mind just shut down and rebooted. Mostly because she was now in the kitchen. And there was a glass right in front of her muzzle.

"One Appleloosa Sweet Apple Cider, mixed with sliced cheery bits from the Crystal Empire and dashed with carrot shavings fresh from Golden Harvest's stand," Spike described with a smirk at her confused look, "You had the mile long "Just walked into a quesadilla party" stare in your eyes," He joked lightly as he went to the fridge to find a snack of his own.

"Thank you, Spike," Twilight said with a sigh of relief as she drank the delicious mixture, the combo flavor soothing her nerves...for all of five seconds, before she realized that Spike was unfrozen, "S-spike!? What are you doing here?" She asked in surprise.

"Eh, Rarity is busy taking care of Sweetie Belle's cold, so she didn't need any help. Big Mac's train back got delayed or something and I'm currently waiting on Starlight to wake up to tease her about last night," Spike said with a sly smirk.

"What happened last night?" Twilight asked curiously, "I know Pinkie threw a party..."

"And Starlight made a new friend," Spike said mischievously.

"...Bulk Biceps?" Twilight guessed off the top of her head.

"Better: Berry Punch," Spike said with a grin.

"...I never warned-" Twilight started, Spike finishing it as she did.

"-warned her about Berry's special punch," Spike confirmed.

Twilight hissed sharply, both in annoyance and in amusement, "How bad was it?" She dared to ask.

"She, briefly, dethroned Pinkie Pie before passing out," Spike informed her idly.

"What does that even mean?" Twilight asked blankly.

"You don't want to know," Spike said with a smirk, checking his claw lazily, "Speaking of which, Pinkie sent a lot of letters this morning."

Twilight rubbed her forehead with a sigh at that, "Okkkkay, Pinkie has a crush on my student. A bit weird, but that doesn't sound too bad."

"Oh, and somehow, she ended up counseling couples: Turns out her spell for taking cutie marks can also put them on others, like that incomplete spell did but without messing with their true selves, apparently- and that seems to help some ponies do the whole "walk a mile in their shoe" thing," Spike informed smugly.

"WHAT?!" Twilight asked in shock.

"Don't worry, she switched them all back. Though she, or her Punched-Out brain at least, wants to test two things: If switching identical cutie marks would have any effect on ponies and also if it is even possible to put a mark on sideways," He explained.

"You...you're enjoying this way too much," Twilight said with a blank glare.

Spike shrugged, "Not my fault I'm immune to it. I kept chugging a bowl to see what the big deal was. I thought Berry was going to kiss my feet before we realized it didn't affect me at all," Spike reminded, muttering the last bit to himself.

"Yes, I remember: that was the last time I left you alone with Pinkie Pie until after we defeated Discord," Twilight muttered herself.

"So...want to talk about it?" Spike offered, leaning with his elbow against the countertop.

Twilight gulped down her drink quickly before sighing, putting the glass in the sink, "Not really," She answered bluntly though without malice or annoyance.

"Still in the processing state then," Spike mused with a small chuckle, knowing that state of Twilight's mind well by now, "Well, when you get the words right, you have plenty of friends willing to listen," He reminded.

Twilight smiled softly at that, "Thank you, Spike. Now why don't you go check on Starlight- and don't tease her TOO badly," She suggested with a smile.

Spike knew very well this was both changing the subject and getting some alone time, but nodded nonetheless, "Sounds like a plan to me," He said, heading on out with his claws behind his head.

"...And I'm considering erasing him and all of this?" Twilight muttered to herself, head low.

"Technically, he'll be erased either way. And in both cases, you'll be able to get him back eventually," Her shadow pointed out calmly.

"But it could be several life times in one case," Twilight retorted with a glare at her shade.

"Yes, but if you take the ascension, you won't remember this anyway," Shadow-Twilight reminded.

"And all the lives that will be ruined because of this?" She rebutted.

"You will have them rebuilt after enough cycles. Besides, Voit implied things are still coming, things that will only get exponentially stronger. At least if we can keep our memories we'll be able to improve our chances in the long run," Her umbral half reasoned.

"I hate that you're right," Twilight murmured.

"Of course I'm right, I'm you!" Shadow-Twilight said with an unnoticeable grin.

"Speaking of which, am I crazy or this Discord?" Twilight asked curiously, tilting her head.

"Both statements can be true, but to be specific? Discord animated me so that you can discuss both sides with yourself," Shadelight answered with a giggle.

"Did you really?" Twilight asked over her shoulder.

"Oh, you knew I was here?" Discord asked curiously, turning around to reveal his back was disguised with crystals matching the walls of her castle.

"You may be an insensitive flankhole at times, but I think you know I'd rather not be completely alone right now," She said with a smile.

"Still don't trust Voit?" Discord asked with a head tilt.

"More like I'm extra paranoid right now that one of those "other things" are about to show up," Twilight said with a sigh, "...Do they outclass you?" She asked curiously.

"That's a relative question," Discord answered with a smirk, "After all, it depends upon the me in question."

"...You know a bit more about this, don't you?" Twilight asked with a scowl.

"Nothing major, just that I have a good inkling of how your advancements and changes have influenced my own life, directly and indirectly," Discord said coyly, "Most for the better, this time around at least. It would have taken me a lot longer to get this powerful."

"And you're okay with me taking that all away?" Twilight asked curiously, raising an eyebrow.

"Twilight, do you hate me?" Discord asked bluntly.

"...No, Discord, I don't," She said firmly.

Discord smiled, "Good. If you did, I might be worried you'd try to make me impotent. Or, less potent anyway."

"So...we might be enemies again?" Twilight asked somberly.

"Probably, in every few cycles at least. But, knowing you? You'll find a way to knock down the evilest Discord and make him change his wicked ways...or, if you're feeling particularly frisky, make him your pet," Discord suggested with a lewd look.

Twilight gaped and blushed for a moment before looking thoughtful, "Hmm, I have to admit, even a downgraded version of you would be very useful in a servile fashion," She admitted.

"...Holy bucking applesauce, we're actually considering this," Shadow-Twilight said in surprise.

"Oh? I was beginning to think you were into mares, Twilight," Discord teased with a grin.

"There's an exception to every rule," Twilight answered with a poker face worthy of Celestia.

Discord glanced to the shadow, who started waving her hooves, "Don't look at me! A mare has to have some secrets," She defended.

The chimera of chaos chuckled to himself as he floated down to her eye level, "Well, there is one thing I can tell you to put your mind at ease, I think," He said with a grin.

"Oh? Please, please, do tell," Twilight all but begged with a weak smile.

"This offer isn't some once in eternity event," Discord said with a grin as he held out his hand, a line of miniature, unicorn Twilights appeared. All walking in place...and scrolling by rapidly, almost like a slide show. Discord held up a talon, causing a screeching halt, his claw tip pointed at the first in a line of Alicorn Twilights, "Every you after this will have the same choice until one decides to transcend."

"...But you want me to transcend this cycle, don't you?" Twilight asked with a knowing, soft smile.

Discord and the line of Twilights, grinned sheepishly and rubbed the back of their heads, "Am I that transparent?" Discord asked, his body turning see-through.

Twilight shook her head, "No, it's just...you wouldn't have made a big deal out of it and the benefits if you didn't have a reason," Twilight mused.

"Hmm...oh, fine," Discord said with an annoyed sigh, his body becoming solid as he did, "The truth, Twilight? I want this you to go back because you're my friend," He answered with a smile.

"...You're worried the next time I ascend, we might not be friends?" Twilight asked in concern.

Discord nodded, flopping back onto the couch from Fluttershy's cabin, "Call it selfish, but as the last cycle you go through before transcending will undoubtedly leave an impression on your transcendent adventures, well...I'd like to know it's a Twilight that remembers me as a friend and not some evil force she has to put down every time," He confessed sheepishly.

He blinked as he found her nuzzling his paw briefly, "Don't worry, Discord. No matter how well I remember this cycle, when I transcend, I'm going to find you and figure out a way to make you my friend, every time," She assured with a smile.

Discord blinked before smiling as well, rubbing her on the head, "Well, I won't hold you to that, for various reasons, but thanks for the sentiment," Discord said with smile as he flexed his paw and claw together, his digits making a creaking sound as he did, "Well, I best be off, Fluttershy is still expecting me for tea and sandwiches," Discord informed with a grin, "You going to be okay now, Sparkles?" He asked, almost knowingly.

"Y-yeah, I'll be fine. You...you sure nothing could get me at the moment?" She asked in concern.

Discord rolled his eyes playfully at that, "Twilight, I assure you, "I" am the most powerful being you have to worry about right now. Nonetheless, I will have a metaphoric eye on you," He assured, poofing away with a snap of his tail...leaving a mushroom cloud of, for a change, blue cotton candy.

Twilight stared at it for a moment before sighing at the situation. With a small "buck it", she summoned a cone and placed a torn off chunk of the candy into it. She also left a note for Spike and Starlight that said, "Discord did it. Eat as much as you want, just don't get sick."

Twilight nibbled at the confection as she went out to the balcony, looking out over her home…looking over Ponyville. How the light gently poured over the hills and roofs, bringing a soft brightness that contrasted nicely with the dark and gloom of the Everfree. She saw the ponies walking about, going about their day with peace and happiness in their hearts.

"How hard will it be to get back here...?" Twilight muttered softly to herself.

"Probably the hardest thing we've ever done," Shadow Twilight answered with a sigh of her own.

"You're still here?" Twilight asked in surprise.

"I was always here: I'm you! But to answer your question, I am still animated," Shadelight answered with an open-mouth smile forming on her.

"And you think it'll be that hard?" Twilight asked with a scowl.

"The first time, definitely. We'll have nothing but our memories and the world will be in the worst initial state possible," Shadelight pointed out.

"Buuuuuut?" Twilight asked knowingly.

"You're me, but what?" Shadelight countered encouragingly.

Twilight sighed at that with an eye roll, "But if Discord's words hold true, it will be exponentially easier the ascensions following that," She reasoned, knowing that already, but needing to hear it- even from herself, "It took us dozens, maybe hundreds of times to get here..."

"And now, we might be back home in two dozen cycles or less," Shadelight said hopefully, "And then we can make it even better!"

"...Or make them worse," Twilight mused as she looked out the side to stare at Canterlot castle, hanging from its mountain, "There might not even be a Celestia and Luna..."

"Yes, but you know what that would mean?" Shadelight cut in, getting a raised eyebrow, "If there are no Celestia and Luna, as we know them at least, then that means we had a hoof in them as well!"

Twilight blinked with wide eyes at that, "...How deep could this really go?" She asked in wonder.

"Only one way to find out...and to remember," Shadelight said softly, placing her hoof over Twilight's.

"...Thanks," Twilight said with a smile, eyes glistening.

"No problem! You are me after all!" Shadow reminded happily as she became unanimated.

Twilight looked back over Ponyville with a shuddering breath, "...I can't do it. Not just yet. I need...just...just a little bit more time..."

Timeskip

"Deary, are you sure you're alright?'

Twilight smiled as she whipped the unshed tears from her eyes, "Sorry, just some pollen or something in my eyes. Despite common assumptions, Alicorns are not immune to common aliments...or at least I'm not," She joked half-heartedly as they all set up a picnic.

"Oh? I hope you aren't catching whatever Sweetie Belle had, even if it passed quickly," Rarity said in concern.

"SweeBe's a little trooper, like the rest of them. She just needs a little down time to shake it off," Rainbow commented with a grin, making Twilight bite back a laugh as Rarity rolled her eyes in annoyance at that nickname for her sister.

Twilight smiled at that thought. Sweetie Belle suddenly got better on the same day Pinkie was having a slow day at the Cakes' Store and Rainbow was having a day off while Applejack had her chores all done and Discord SUDDENLY rescheduled his afternoon tea with Fluttershy to a late night tea party.

Discord made her want to pull her horn off sometimes, but there were others when she could just kiss him with those little things he did (usually)without a word.

"Oh no, nothing like that. Just irritated eyes," Twilight assured as she helped Fluttershy and Applejack set the plates, "Where's Pinkie, I thought the Cakes let her leave early?" She asked curiously.

"She said she had ta finish something up," Applejack answered, licking her lips as she sliced the apple pie into five more slices, having left Rarity a slice already, "But she'll be here in a jiffy, in her own words."

"I'm sure she's just finishing up an order quick," Fluttershy said with a smile, "Still, it was a nice idea to have a picnic, Twilight. Just like when you first came to town."

First came to town...how many times had she "first" come to Ponyville? How many cycles had it even existed? How long would it take for this little piece of heaven to be possible?

"W-well, we've been busy a lot lately, so I figured it'd be nice to get back to our roots a bit," Twilight said with a smile.

"It is, though, we should try a cloud picnic one of these days, with that spell Twilight used so the rest of you could walk in Cloudsdale," Rainbow mused, flying and hovering on her back.

Cloud picnic…that was definitely going on the list of things to do eventually.

"Perhaps we should try a ZG picnic with Discord," Fluttershy suggested with a smile.

"ZG? What's that, Sugarcube?" Applejack asked in confusion.

"It means Zero Gravity," Fluttershy answered sheepishly, "It's, um, when Discord makes it so everything floats freely. It's...a bit messy, but it's a bit fun, like swimming for food," Fluttershy said with a blush.

"...Darling, you and Discord have interesting times together," Rarity teased lightly, "Still, I can't help thinking that might make some of us...queasy."

"Yeah, real vomit is a real mood killer for fun. Not fake vomit though, that stuff's hilarious!" Pinkie Pie commented.

Everypony blinked as they looked to the party pony who had, apparently, silently took a seat next to Twilight, "Pinkie? How long you been here?" Rainbow asked in confusion.

"Oh, since just a moment ago. I was going to say something, but I wanted to know what a ZG picnic was. It still sounds like fun though!" She said with a smile, "Oh, and sorry, I was busy with Twilight's cake!" She declared as brought out a plate with a metal dome covering it.

"Cake? What's the occasion?" Twilight asked curiously.

"It's your going away cake, silly!" Pinkie cheered with a smile that was just a touch subdued.

Twilight's world came to a standstill as the girls looked confused.

"Going away?" Applejack asked in surprise, "Whatcha meaning, Pinkie? Twilight didn't say anything about that?"

"Oh, I know, but my Pinkie sense went off this morning and it said I wouldn't be seeing a friend of mine for a while. It was stronger than most, which usually means Twilight- maybe because she's got all that magic?- so I figured she has to go off and do some princessly duties or training for a while on her own without us," Pinkie Pie explained in her usual, rapid manner.

Twilight didn't take her wide eyes off Pinkie Pie for a long moment before finally blinking and turning to the rest, who were looking at her in concern, "That true, Twi?" Rainbow asked with a furrowed brow.

Twilight took a long sigh, "Y-yeah, something like that. I just got the message earlier, and...to be honest, I don't want to talk about it yet. I just want to spend a day with my best friends. I'll tell you in the morning," She assured with a smile.

She hated to lie to them, but the truth was too complicated, too bizarre, and too...just too much to explain. She just wanted...needed this moment.

Thankfully, while they were all concerned, they all gave her comforting smiles and dropped the subject...

The day went too fast. Oh how she wanted to reach out and hold Celestia's sun in place a bit longer, but it soon gave way to Luna's moonless night- New moon, how fitting. Ultimately, they all had to go home. Rainbow flew Fluttershy home out of concern and habit, Applejack headed off with Rarity, as their homes were on the same path from there.

"Sorry, I almost ruined the picnic, Twilight," Pinkie said with a sheepish grin, "I thought you would have told the others."

"It's okay, I was going to, just...not right away," Twilight comforted, patting her on the back.

"...Thanks for everything, Twilight," Pinkie Pie said with a smile, a true and soft one.

Twilight blinked, almost losing herself at that, "F-for what, Pinkie Pie?" She asked in confusion and a bit of worry. Did Pinkie know? Could she know?

"A lot of things, but..." Pinkie Pie looked up at the twinkling stars for a moment, "I always had friends, Twilight, but I didn't know what having a best friend was like...until you brought us all together," She said as she looked back down at Twilight, who stared at her with wide eyes.

Pinkie's mane wasn't puffy...or straight. It was...kind of both, the ends turning into curls. Her smile was soft and her eyes were less bright, but still friendly, "You...Are you?" Twilight asked, not even sure what to say.

"I'm your friend, Twilight. Pinkie, Pinkamena, PP, Big P, Surprise, or even Ponka Po. You've done so much for all of us," The pink pony said with a smile as she gently rubbed Twilight's cheek, "And I know you'd do it all again if you had to," She said encouragingly.

That did it; Twilight grasped Pinkie into a desperate hug as she cried and cried her tears, "Pinkie, I'm...I'm so scared! I...I don't even know what's right anymore!" She wept as the party pony embraced her gently, stroking her withers.

"Shh, shh, it's okay, Twilight," She assured softly, "Everything is going to be just fine. It might take you a few tries, but you'll work it out eventually. And you have all the time in the world to keep trying! So don't be afraid, Twilight. We can wait. Just like Princess Celestia had to wait for Luna, or Discord for somepony to show him how to be a friend, or me on cake," She said encouragingly.

"But...but...it'll..." Twilight stuttered, almost afraid to say it.

"You know something funny? Even though I make the same cakes a lot and throw the same party every year for holidays?...I still love making the next one. Because even though I tried making the same cake, or it's the same day with the same ponies, it's still new. And sometimes even better than before," The chaotic pony mused softly.

"...Pinkie, do...do you...?" Twilight started to ask as the mare pulled away, back to her cheerful self.

"Sorry, Twi! I got to go make sure the Twins are tucked in! And maybe give Gummy a bath!" She called as she headed off.

"...Thank you, my chaotic friends," Twilight whispered softly.

"Well, keeping that little show private wasn't much work, really," Discord assured, standing right behind her, smiling as he watched Pinkie go.

"Does she know? Will she remember?" Twilight asked with tearful eyes up at him.

Discord shook his head, "She won't remember. Her pinkie sense and everything else are a result of your cycles and progress," He informed solemnly.

"You already knew what I was going to pick, didn't you?" Twilight asked softly, resignedly.

"You said when, not if earlier," Discord reminded with a small smirk.

"...Discord, be honest with me? How hard is this going to be?" Twilight asked, needing to know as she looked down.

"...The first time will be the hardest thing you've ever done, even with your memories," Discord said as he kneeled down to cup her chin and looked her in the eye, "Twilight, you are going to hate it. You are going to hate me, Voit, and yourself for going along with this. You're going to see the world as a dark and cruel place and it is going to need you like a fish needs water. But you're going to fail, eventually. I can almost promise you that something will kill you before Voit shows up again," He explained as she sniffled and stared into him, "...But after that, it's going to get so much easier. Neo-Cycle One is going to be the mother of all growing pains for you, but it will give back in spades. You will surpass your unicorn self before you ever reach your teen cycles. And the world will seem much brighter by the fourth or fifth Neo-Cycle, at most."

Twilight smiled, "...Thank you, Discord...Can you promise that-?" She started, only for him to nod.

"Even if I'm not an ally, I will always be there, Twilight. You won't find the others right away, but you'll find them in time. Just promise me one thing, Twilight?" He asked with a sad frown.

"Yes?" Twilight asked with wide eyes, wondering what the Master of Chaos would ask of her for the next lives to come.

Discord grasped her by the withers and placed his head against hers, "Live, Twilight. Don't just stay alive, Live," He all but ordered her as she stared into his red eyes, confused, "IF...if you ever find a way to bring my memories back, I don't want to "come back" and see some jaded and old-spirited mare who has turned this whole thing into a curse by making it a duty. Live your lives, Twilight. Live them all with adventure, tragedy, heartbreak, joy and love...but don't just live for the world, Twilight. Live in it. In them. Because...because I don't want to come back and find my friend gone with just her body staring at me," He rambled on as Twilight stared at him with wide, teary eyes.

"Discord...," Twilight whispered as she embraced him around the neck, "I'll live! I'll live and I'll find you! I don't care how bad you are, I'll always find you and...and this time, I'll make sure you have a chance at friendship, right from the start…every single time. And if there's a way, I'll get you to remember all of this with me. A-and then I'll get to tell you everything you missed...," She vowed, or prayed practically.

"There you go, making promises again that you don't have to keep," Discord said as he gently pulled her off him, grinning his usual way as he stood up and floated, "Now, if you'll excuse me, I do still have plans with Fluttershy! Tea awaits!" He said, giving a stage bow as he pulled one of his horns, opening a trap door in the ground below him, which he fell through before it closed itself with a click.

Twilight smiled one last time at that. Even in the face of the World's Ending, Discord didn't change.

Her face formed into a firm scowl. She had to do this now. She'd talk herself out of it if she went home to hear stories from Spike and Starlight.

"VOOOOOOOOOOOIT!" She yelled, long and loud, her voice thundering throughout the dark and silent Ponyville.

*creak*

Twilight raised an eyebrow as a series of cracks formed in midair. She was able to school her shock as the scenery collapsed like a shattered mirror, the fragments dissolving away to reveal the colorless version of the Canterlot Garden…

And the winged, green diamond dog staring at her some twenty feet away, "Made a decision, I assume?" He asked neutrally, glad she ignored the broken lawn chair nearby.

"I'm going back," Twilight answered as she paced up to him slowly, "With my memories," She clarified steely.

"You sure? There's no undo button on this," Voit warned with a raised eyebrow.

"I built this world up, apparently, against all kind of dangers and threats," Twilight said with a sigh before looking at him determinedly, almost making him flinch, "But now the only way I can move myself and it forward, through more enemies, is to build it up from scratch again," She said in finality.

Voit nodded in acceptance, moving out of her way and pointing to the hedge maze, "As this is your first transcendence, it will automatically happen the moment you step foot in that maze. Once you do, just keep walking- all the paths lead to the Eldritch," He assured.

"...One step and the world ends," Twilight joked dryly to herself as she began the greatest and most important stroll in...probably all of creation.

Every step felt like a mile, the doubts in her stomach trying to weigh her down, make her stop, turn her around. But she wouldn't be dissuaded from her chosen path.

As she walked, she saw the statues she passed without really seeing them. How many times had she sat before all of them, debating if she wanted to spend so many souls for a life she wouldn't even remember? How much did they ultimately impact her world and her life? In more ideal settings, she would have sat down at every one of them and made mental notes of which to prioritize. As it was, she couldn't afford to do that. If she did, if she took the time to see what these spirits did, she would only be planting more and more seeds of doubt that would try to ensnare her.

She stopped just short of the maze, just a hoof step from the entrance. It was terrifyingly simple. One step forward and her entire world would be gone.

She closed her eyes and willed one of her legs to raise itself forward. The impact of putting it down echoed in her ear...

She could see it. Feel it. Hear it. The entire world she knew fading away as time began to reset itself.

Spike and Starlight laughing in the castle, Rarity tucking in Sweetie Belle, Applejack carrying home a tuckered out Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Rainbow having a late night soar to tire themselves out, Luna and Celestia laughing and chatting in Canterlot Castle as they prepared to pass the torch for the evening, her mother and father having a romantic dinner, Cadence and Shining Armor looking lovingly down at a sleeping Flurry Heart and Pinkie Pie smiling comfortingly out the window with the Cake Twins sleeping soundly behind her.

The Crystal Heart melting like ice, The Tree of Harmony crumbling into abyss, The Fires of Friendship fizzling out into nothing...

But most prominently, she saw Discord having a tea party with Fluttershy and Angel Bunny. They laughed at something she didn't catch...than Discord looked at "her". Not at the window, not into space. Right. At. Her.

And he grinned...with a thumb up and a wink.

Then even he faded away.

Twilight gasped as she fell to her knees, the total loss of everything hitting her at once. She shivered, taking deep and calming breathes to steady herself. She had cried enough already. No more tears, no more waiting.

No turning back.

She didn't really look where she was going as she walked through the maze, staring vacantly at the floor. She blinked and brought her eyes back into focus as she registered something. The base of the hedge walls had been visible from the corner of one or both of her eyes the entire walk. Now they weren't.

She raised her head and swallowed a scream.

She was in a circular opening in the garden maze. Surround her were statues...in a loose term.

They were on stone podiums with their names and descriptions engraved in unholy white letters.

But that wasn't the terrifying thing. Unlike the rest of this world, these statues were not greyed out. They were colored. And they were not made of stone.

They were made of flesh; horrid, alien, monstrous, flesh.

Tentacles, eyes, many claws, tongues with more mouths and more tongues.

All moving, all alive, all...hungry

They were almost painful to look at.

Strike the almost.

Did she mention that all the Eldritch with eyes were looking at her?

Author's Note:

Beta: Dragon_Wizard91
Well, there's the new chapter! Twilight has pressed the hard reset button and is off to claim her prize for doing so.

I've already planned out all the Eldritch she pays for, but there will be room for a few more next time Twilight visits them after more ascensions.

And yes, Discord was very comforting in all of this, supporting Twilight in little and big ways while she found her resolve. Now Discord as she knew him is gone, for now and possibly forever, along with the rest of Twilight's world. But she'll able to rebuild it in time. how long until she gets Discord back is anypony's guess.

Fair warning, next chapter will get very....freaky? Disturbing? It'll earn some ofthese tags, lets put it like that.

Hope you all enjoyed this.

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