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On the Sliding Scale Of Cynicism Vs. Idealism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon, Ko-Fi.)



Discord has one friend. One. A single tie binding him to Equestria, a lone strand of pink tail hair keeping him in some sort of line. His interest in the world's welfare may exactly equal that of his friend's lifespan -- unless there's a next generation for him to adore. And so in the name of the realm's survival, Fluttershy is going to start dating, with Equestria's greatest expert in attracting ponies as her very reluctant prison-sentenced advisor. All Fleur has to do if she ever wants to come home again is get the world's most socially hesitant pony happily married off and pregnant, while constantly keeping Discord in the dark about what's truly happening.

What could possibly go wrong?

Now with author Patreon and Ko-Fi pages. TVTropes entry can be found here.

Chapters (50)
Comments ( 2501 )

Artificial insemination.

Problem solved.

Oh my. I see how you needed to tweak Celestia to make this story work, but it's still going to be very interesting. Definitely looking forward to seeing what's in store. Just seeing what Fleur makes of Ponyville and vice versa will be most entertaining. And those mystery nobles have me deeply intrigued.

Eagerly looking forward to more. Especially when Discord catches wind of the attempts to find Fluttershy some romantic companionship.

Oh... this promises to be interesting and so so so wrong at the same time.



That was pretty brutal, Celestia. Then again, blackmail. But brutal still.

Now, Fluttershy, take your time, but please, don't die in childbirth, it would be just too much irony for this poor cruel world.

And finally, is this tryptich continuum? Because you mentioned things like Most Special Spell and lots of feel, but I thought Fleur was more an apprentice to Fancypants. I guess, it's just your lore but in non-canon then?

Man, it's really easy to feel sorry for Fleur here :-\

7491666 the nobles in town are pretty easy to deduce. Mane 6 plus the rest of AJs family.


Of course, this is not going to go the way anybody expects.

This is gonna be good. I can't wait to see the mayhem.

Celestia mentions how having a significant other will be an essential part of the process. Fluttershy's spread thin enough as it is with her animals.

I don't think so. The six mentioned are Twilight, the local branch of the Apple family, and Rachette. That leaves three slots and four Bearers.

7491661 Yeah, you go suggest that to her. I'll just be in this bunker over here, with earplugs.

"... Oh, I couldn't get that many ponies to talk, even when I gave them a chance to compare notes...." Yes, but... What you don't tell Princess Celestia during a conversation can be far more informative than anything you do tell her. Just because a puzzle piece is missing from the puzzle does not mean the shape of the resulting hole is somehow disguised.

Welp, nice to see this has begun. Thanks for writing this.

I'm assuming this is not in your main continuity?

I think you have one other way out, Fleur. We know in canon that Discord eventually makes friends with the rest of the Bearers, it's unlikely that none of them will ever have children, and Spike has a long lifespan anyway. If you can get enough evidence that he's made friends with them, you can prove you're no longer needed.

The Apples are nobles? :twilightoops: :rainbowlaugh: That makes an amusing amount of sense.

7491705 I think the remaining three are the Rich family. Hence "nasty surprise". Could be wrong though, I think Filthy is decent.

Oh, it's coming! This is a rather... different Fleur from the ones I've seen so far. Interesting!

Pretty brutal on Celestia's part... but when you're dealing with someone so slimy...


And finally, is this tryptich continuum? Because you mentioned things like Most Special Spell and lots of feel, but I thought Fleur was more an apprentice to Fancypants. I guess, it's just your lore but in non-canon then?

No, it's independent of the main 'verse, which is why I left the usual blurb off the bottom. I kept vocabulary and most backgrounds consistent, but in this variant, Fancypants never made the offer: Fleur was just a little too far gone, and he didn't realize what she was in time. (For those who haven't seen her first mainline appearance in Trav(ap)est(r)y, for the central 'verse, she's a retired escort, and Fancypants is trying to teach her about the more subtle forms of directing the herd.)


I don't think so. The six mentioned are Twilight, the local branch of the Apple family, and Rachette. That leaves three slots and four Bearers.

Correct on those six. Which actually does get into a bit of 'verse operations: in Mechanical Aptitude, Ratchette says that anypony who held territory early in a settlement phase can qualify for the nobility -- and the Apples were the first ones in. So yes, in the mainline, they are nobles. (I've been waiting for someone to catch onto that one for a small forever.) They just don't care. Apple Bloom may not even realize she has a title. It might be interesting to see her find out...


In addition to what FOME said, not available at Equestria's level of medical understanding.

That would very easily probably make Diamond Tiara shut up... or have her beg her parents to use their money to take it away as Apple Bloom shouldn't be more important than her.

Wow. Just how stupid is Fleur not to realize what she did to deserve this happening?

Ooh, I can think of about a million ways this can go wrong.

And I bet what actually happens is worse.

Edit: oh God, that chapter title.

Seems interesting I'll have to read it later. When I have time.


Oh, wow... When you do Tyrant-lestia, you don't hold back, do you?

I'm braced for the next chapter...

7491734 "Cutie-Mark crusader noble..."

"Um, what do nobles actually do?"

"Danged if I know."


Well, at least you didn't have Celestia order Fluttershy to have children. That would have been way too creepy.

...well. Wow. Poor Fleur.

Poor Fluttershy.

Well, this shows that Estee thinks that Fleur is cunning, but not smart. If she was smart, the conversation would have gone something like this at some point-

"Oh, so you need a nakōdo for the Elements of Harmony. Very well then, I accept the assignment and will present you with my bill forthcoming."
"Just for Fluttershy, not the rest of the Elements."
"But, if I am there for just Fluttershy, Discord will get suspicious and that ruins your plan. After all, the Elements are so busy with so many tasks keeping Equestria safe from harm, and you want nothing but the best for your most important student. Of course, you would send me there to make sure that they receive nothing but the best, and if it just so happens that Fluttershy finds her special somepony and there are foals..."

This will be an interesting read. Followed and watched.

What is Fleur's Talent, precisely?

Cept I think Filthy has one too - remember his granddad was one of the first to settle where Ponyville eventually is made. Though the Apples are probably a more senior title and thus higher ranked in the scheme of things. Admittedly, they are a young noble family.

Edit2: I'm calling that its Fleur herself but that's too contrived. Still, I'm still putting that contrived silliness out there for consideration.

Getting definite flashes of the Patrician and Moist von Lipwig here, yes.

7491715 "...and Spike has a long lifespan anyway..." Hm, Fluttershy loved Spike from day one, so how do you think she and Discord would be with adopting a little (or not-so-little after a while) purple bundle of joy?

7491734 "...Ratchette says that anypony who held territory early in a settlement phase can qualify for the nobility ..." Oh, God. Filthy Rich's ancestor Stinking Rich was right there with the Apple Family from Day One with the Zap Apple Jam trading that established Ponyville. That means Diamond Tiara's little silver crown is... no, the concept is far too terrifying to be... Duchess Diamond Tiara?

Well, according to Celestia there are only 9 and we know it is the Apple Family, Twilight, and whatshername from the other fics if she is there. That leaves only 3, but I highly doubt it is Filthy Rich and his family


Missed the part where her intention is not to just breed her.


I see how you needed to tweak Celestia to make this story work, but it's still going to be very interesting.

I'm not so sure about that, I think this is the first time we see her dealing with a subject she outright dislikes in this setting. Also there used to be a lot of references of Celestia's anger typically resulting in some form of exile for regular ponies early in the show, though I'm not sure how much Estee is basing the story on that.

Spike is really too old to adopt and this is not a universe where Fluttercord is a reasonable possibility, according to comments Estee has made in the past and Discord's general depiction when he shows up. Also, this version of Discord would be an immensely horrible father.

That being said, if there was another dragon egg around and if dragons don't imprint on the creature who hatched them (Twilight doesn't need another dragon baby), presenting Fluttershy with a dragon egg and having Twilight hatch it for her could work. Caring for a baby dragon would probably fit right in with Fluttershy's busy schedule of caring for absolutely every other animal she meets, and Discord might be even more inclined to bond with a baby who breathes fire (think of the chaos!) and who he knows will live a ridiculously long time.

But since that wasn't presented as an option, I'm presuming Celestia doesn't have a spare dragon egg.

It's probably going to go there eventually, because yes, Discord will get suspicious about why Fluttershy specifically has been assigned a social coach/matchmaker. Fleur can always claim she was sent to assist all the Bearers, but she's concentrating on Fluttershy first because Fluttershy's the least likely to find a partner on her own.

7491956 But since that wasn't presented as an option, I'm presuming Celestia doesn't have a spare dragon egg.

Dear Dragonlord Ember,
I have a rather sensitive request of the greatest importance. Come at once. Bring Spike.


That was deliberate on my end. I tend to write a truly angry and manipulation-minded Celestia as Princess Havehock.

7492042 Justifiable Righteous Indignation. Sure, she may have bent and twisted much of the nobility, which have a long history of bending and twisting each other, but she hurt Fancypants, one of the few and far between true friends of Celestia. For that reason, every single i must be dotted and every t crossed so that Fleur knows without a doubt that this is the least painful consequence of her actions, and although she's being tapped with a rather large hammer, a far larger hammer lies in wait to knock her back in line should she waver from her assigned task.

After all, a Princess must rule justly, and in the end, all parties will benefit by this arrangement. Fleur will become a better pony by being rubbed up against Fluttershy (figuratively), Discord will become a better... whatever he is by having a little foal to adore, and Fluttershy will usher in a second generation of heartbreaking cuteness destined to melt even the hardest hearts of stone.

Bow to your newest cute overlord of adorableness.

Between what Celestia said and Fleur's internal POV, it appears that her talent is something to the effect of"reading" ponies; not just their moods, or personalities, but their secrets, especially things which could prove dangerous or at least extremely embarrassing to the Pony in question. She appears to interpret or conceptualize this information as pieces in a puzzle, which she normally can fully assemble/understand within minutes. In Celestia's case, the puzzle was much more complex and difficult to grasp, enough so that she simply hadn't the time to figure it out. Of course, Celestia knew just what Fleur's talent was, and that may have helped to protect against it (and/or just being an ancient Alicorn or just that damned experienced in hiding her own secrets, take your pick).

Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing what insights Fleur can gain regarding the Bearers, as there's almost certainly going to be something that we would never have guessed. (Even if this isn't strictly a Triptych continuum story, I hope that some of those insights might carry over to the Continuum, or at least help to inform about how Estee views the Mane 6 in her writing.)

I see Trollestia is in perfect form... And that was a very appreciable form of justice. I can't wait to see the rest.

Comment posted by cowbrony93 deleted Aug 18th, 2016

Your actions brought you here before my throne
Each step you took was watched by hopeful eyes
Until they heard the truths you can't disown
And how they covered up your selfish lies

I strive to keep the world in balanced peace
At times quite lauded; others, quite despised
I love Equestria, the masterpiece
I've built of friendship, strength, and compromise

But this time, there shall be no brokered deal
You've made the bed in which you've often lain
I know you well: your will is made of steel
Now temper it with love, and not disdain

Go now, both weight and blessing on your path
And turn your heart to love to stay his wrath

I really like how you've portrayed Celestia here. Some might see her choice and approach to this matter as tyrannical, but I do not: rather, it seems to be to be terribly practical, with all the gray-hued approach to morality that entails. This is something that needs to be done, and the challenge is neither trivial nor simple. For all his apparent silliness at times, Discord is actually intelligent and (when he wants to be) insightful, especially about anything - or anypony - he actually gives a darn about... and these are few and far between.

Fleur has her work handed to and cut out for her. Let's hope she is able to see the pieces of this new puzzle well enough, and that she can bring about a new path for everypony - every being - involved that is at least somewhat satisfactory to them all.

Most especially to herself. Time to learn and grow, Fleur, whether you were ready or not. Life's like that. Good luck.

Light and laughter,

Hold up, I just realised something...

"And from what you were saying, it's not one of those ironic names."

So, on some level there are ponies that are aware of how names can be intertwined with potential and destiny? It's a wonder there isn't a whole slew of ponies being named "Awesome McAwesomeface" or something...

You, good Sir or Miss, have just reminded me how very much I adore sonnets, & to a lesser extent clever poetry in general. Have a happy Luna!


I love your Celestia! This is a benevolent dictator defending the best interests of her subjects without compromise, and one who does so with the perspective of the ageless immortal, I.e. with preternaturally ruthless regard for achieving the optimal happiness of her little ponies.

7491684 No, no it's not. You should never feel sorry for someone who dug their own grave because they thought it would give them more power/wealth/ect, especially when they did it by not caring about anyone else.

> "A single tie binding him to Equestria, a lone strand of pink tail tail keeping him in some sort of line."

You duplicated the word "tail".

Oh, I like this. Celestia is definitely harsh, but she's not really the focus of the story. It's too bad this isn't Tryptych, Twilight could helpfully offer to assist Fleur with her scientifically sound insta-dating methods!


Ratchette says that anypony who held territory early in a settlement phase can qualify for the nobility -- and the Apples were the first ones in. So yes, in the mainline, they are nobles.

Of course, the second family are the Riches, so it would explain a lot about Diamond always wearing that tiara...

7491956 I'm not willing to rule out Fluttercord myself simply because of how hilariously horribly it would make the plan backfire. Imagine a whole family of Discords that have no remaining connection to ponykind once Fluttershy dies.

I don't understand why some are saying Celestia is being harsh or mean or whatever.

She's giving Fleur a chance to make up for her misdeeds while at the same time removing one problem from society and trying to slove a second one potentially decades before it happens.

Well... this is an interesting interpretation of Fleur.
Not one that I'd go with, but given that she's only had one line in the series so far, it works.

As for who Fluttershy ends up with as a romantic partner, I hope it's NOT one of the following:
a. Big Macintosh, since I prefer CheeriMac.
b. Discord, since I prefer DisLestia.
c. Any of the other members of the mane 6 (with the exception of Applejack, who I'll be more okay with). Mostly because I ship FlashLight, SoarinDash, RariSpike, and CheesePie.

Those are just my personal picks for Flutterships (has anyone actually USED that yet? I haven't come across anyone who has yet) that I don't support.

However, I think it would be hilarious if Fluttershy's romantic partner somehow ends up being Fleur herself. It's VERY unlikely, but it would be fun to see.

Why, thank you kindly! A happy Luna is one of my favorite things in the world :heart: I'm glad you liked it!

I write sonnets as comments when a story particularly affects me. This one is less emotionally wrenching than some that have inspired poetry from me, but as the sonnet indicates it certainly got my attention. Good characterization and an interesting storyline for the win!

Light and laughter,

WOW! ... That's some plan! And then :applecry: :unsuresweetie: :scootangel: ... :rainbowlaugh:

Hmm... How she treats the Crusaders will affect how their 'sisters' react to her... I wonder if she won't screw it all up?

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