• Published 4th Feb 2018
  • 1,414 Views, 34 Comments

My Little Mages: An Apprentice’s Holiday - Foxhelm

As the Fall nights become equal with the day, a foe long forgotten has made her move and now its up to Starlight Glimmer to show what she has learned as Twilight's student. A My Little Mages retelling of Where and Back Again

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Into The Mound

As the four looked at the mound, Discord scratched his chin and bread, "Hmh, even for me this is strange, I was trying to get us to be there, but we're here. You'd think that me being Chaos incarnate and normally able to play with reality like a rag doll, I could do whatever I want." Discord continued to pace, literally walking on air as he was perplexed by the recent development.

Trixie turned to Starlight and leaned in to whisper in her ear, "Except dodge the Elements of Harmony twice," Trixie then giggled, Starlight could only roll her eyes. To her now wasn't the time to make jokes.

Just then, Discord stepped back to the ground and looked at the mound as he took the stance of the 'pondered'. It was then that Thorax stepped forward, "I can expl—" Thorax started only to have Discord placed his finger on his lips like a parent that was on the phone and needed their child to not speak for a second or two.

"That's very nice and all," Discord then prepared to snap the fingers of his left hand again, "But as Fluttershy told me 'if at first, you don't succeed...'" Before he could snap his fingers, he saw his left-hand encompassed in turquoise magic. He turned to see Starlight's left hand and focus gem were also glowing. "Last I checked you couldn't do that?"

"The band which prevented me from using my magic to its fullest potential fell off two days ago," Starlight explained in a deadpan, "Forgive me for not forwarding the memo to you." Her face then softened, "But before we try, try again, perhaps we develop a plan?" she asked in an attempt to solve the situation before making it worse.

Discord blew the magic around his hand away like it was a candle, "A what?" he asked as he shook his hand.

Trixie then stepped forward as she spoke, as she elected to answer Discord's question and take a jab at him, "You know, something that's figured out in order to do something else, before you actually do the latter," Trixie stressed and rolled her eyes as she said 'before'.

Discord started to laugh at that Trixie's answer which caused her to scowl and Thorax and Starlight to turn to each other and shrugged their shoulders. Once Discord finished his laugh he patted Trixie on her head, forcing her hat to go down on her head, "Oh, that's adorable, Trixie my dear. " He then pulled his left arm of his body and used it to scratch his back, "But you see, unlike you, I am the avatar of Chaos, the very embodiment of it in this world, I don't need one, for I can do whatever I want." He finished as he snapped the fingers of his left hand and was back in the form he was in when he met the three.

"Uh, actually—" Thorax started only to be silenced in much the same way as before.

"Thank you, Thorax, my boy," Discord said more or less dismissing Thorax's concern. "But really this is a waste of time. We have me. And what else could we possibly need?" Discord asked as he stood tall and hand a closed-eye smirk, summoning three smaller forms of himself and passing them to the others.

Trixie rolled her eyes as she threw the small-Discord into the air over her shoulder, "An erisadies with magic and half a brain."

Discord snaked to float right in front of her, "Why are you here again?" he asked as he looked at, the rest of the group, "Thorax knows his ways around the hive, Starlight is an extremely power binder from what I've been told and she doesn't have the wristband blocking her power, as for me, well I got us here with a snap of my talon." Discord then took off Trixie's hat and began to dig into it, "I mean, it's not like you're going to stop the changelings by pulling a rabbit out of a hat." He then pulled another copy of Trixie's head from the hat, "At least my magic can do something," as Discord emphasized 'my' both Trixie's narrowed their eyes at him and scowled as Discord returned the hat.

"The thing—" Thorax tried to speak up again, and again was ignored by Discord.

"Like this!" Discord shouted as he snapped his talon, vanishing in a white to reappear differently. Discord was in heavy armor, on a fully armored flying winged pig, with a lance as long as thrice his height, Discord rode his flying pig in front of the three, "I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart in me. A day may come when our courage fails and we lose all bonds of fellowship, and darkness takes over. But it is not this day! This day we fight!" He turned his mount to face the mound. "For Fluttershy!" He called like and the winged pig charged towards the edge of the where they were only for it to dissolve into nothing, as well as Discord's armor. "Yaaah!" Discord cried as he narrowly saved himself by grabbing onto the ledge. After he was helped back up by Starlight and Thorax. "Strange," he muttered and snapped his talon again, summoning another flying pig and directed it to fly forward only for it to dissolve like the last one.

"This is what I've been trying to tell you all!" Thorax shouted, no longer being interrupted. "No form of magic, other than the magic we changelings have, work here." Thorax then pointed to the mount, and while it was hard to tell for certain where exactly he was pointing, it was inferred that he was pointing at the throne room which was located in the top. "Chrysalis' throne is carved from an ancient piece of black orichalcum with traces of adamantine and mithril that dates back before she became queen, heck before we even arrived at the mound. That stone soaks up outside magic like how we changelings soak up love. It's how she and all the previous monarchs have kept us safe in our lands." Thorax finished. Starlight thought back to the projection of Chrysalis when the changelings reported to her as she walked to the ledge and looked past it. She took a second to contemplate casting a spell just to see if Thorax was right, third time's the charm after all, but elected not to as she recalled what Discord intended to.

Trixie walked up and spoke to Starlight alone, "So, uh, what's the plan?"

Starlight looked away from the ledge and sighed as she tried to think of something, she wanted to get input from the others, but Discord's plan was to snap them there and rescue Twilight and the others. Trixie was asking her, so odds were Trixie had little to offer. She turned to Thorax, "This throne – if we get in and destroy it, can we get our magic back?" Thorax nodded in response.

"Well, that's a terrible plan," Discord commented with an eye-roll, "How are we supposed to get there?" Discord said as he pointed to Caer Sith.

Thorax walked over to large rock and slide it, revealing a staircase going down, "We walk through the tunnel here." Thorax then started to go down into the tunnel, with Starlight and Trixie following him.

Discord looked at the entrance and then Caer Sith and back. He took hold of his lower eyelids and pulled them down about a meter and groaned, "I haven't walked that far in millennia!" He complained as he started down the tunnel after the others. All of whom groaned as they continued to travel. The tunnel was about three meters high and wide it was dark but Thorax's shawl gave something for the others to see and follow. Thorax, however, could see perfectly well and traveled ahead of the others. About two or three hours into their trek, not that they could tell the time, save for Thorax who grew up to see in the dark, Discord spoke up, "How do you all manage not being able to disappear." He clutched his paw shut and then opened his talon, "and reappear whenever you want!"

Trixie looked over her shoulder and shouted back at Discord, "Well, I definitely miss you being able to disappear!"

Starlight stepped between the two before Discord could respond, "Now Trixie, let's not be too harsh on Discord.” Starlight continued as she looked at herself, Trixie and Discord, the three unable to use magic. "None of us knew we weren't going to be able to use magic here."

Thorax turned from leading them and pointed out, "I did and I tried to tell you all."

Starlight sighed while Trixie gave a 'humph' and Discord grunted, Starlight then looked to everyone and recalled the advice Luna gave he and noticed that they might get separate and that a changeling would capitalize on that and would try to get the others captured, "Hold on everyone," Starlight said and everyone stopped, "If we get separated, we should have a way to make sure we know who each other is."

"Oh!" Discord said as he cheered mockingly, "like a secret code phrase!" Discord then started to walk up and down that path of the tunnel the four were in, "How about if I say 'we are' and you say 'doomed'?", Starlight and Trixie looked at each other slightly annoyed at him, "Or you say 'rescue' and I say..." as he walked he tripped over a rock and flailed in an attempt to regain balance, but he was caught by Thorax.

Trixie had a little giggle at the near fall Discord experienced, "How about if we say 'klutzy' and you say 'erisadies'?" Trixie suggested earning a scowl from the Erisadies.

Starlight thought for a second about what Trixie said, while she knew it was meant as a jab at Discord, but it was something that the four would remember and it was something few would ever guess, "'Klutzy Erisadies,' that works for me."

"I'll remember that," Thorax said and went back to the front of the group and renewed leading them. Discord's scowl shifted to a deadpan as the three followed Thorax farther down the tunnel.

About an hour or so later, the four reached the end of the tunnel and were in the mound, once inside the saw that the interior was much like an old termite or ant or beehive. But all over the place the openings opened and closed in a seemingly random fashion. This shocked Trixie, Starlight, and Discord. Trixie turned to Thorax, "I am definitely glad you came. I don't think we'd be able to find our way without you."

Thorax turned and pointed to the opening of the tunnel into the mound, "you definitely wouldn't."

The other three turned and saw the opening to the tunnel close shut. Discord's mouth dropped and would have hit the floor if he wasn't in the proximity of the throne, Starlight froze in shock and Trixie started to shake as she turned back to Thorax, "Um, where's the way out?"

Thorax waited for another opening to appear and started walking towards it, "Caer Sith has been the hive for us changelings for longer than the nation of Mystica existed, as such it has taken on some of our traits as we have taken on its." Thorax started as the rest followed him through the same opening, "As such, it shifts and changes like we do, and in turn, we are high resistance to most forms of magic, and even immune to some."

"Wait is that how they were able to capture everyone?" Starlight asked as she thought about how Luna was captured and Luna's statement of Celestia being captured, when she and Trixie overheard the changelings inform Chrysalis of Twilight et al being captured and then Thorax's report of Cadance, Shining and Flurry being captured too.

"You forget we changelings can also take the forms of objects and animals, that's how I meet Spike," Thorax informed.

"I think Spike told Big Mac and me that story. If I recall correctly you were hiding as a rock and he tripped over you." Discord commented as he followed.

"Yeah," Thorax confirmed as the three others finished going through the opening, "but back to the topic at hand, we changelings are the only ones who can navigate Caer Sith. It's total chaos to non-changelings."

As the opening closed after Discord went through, he looked back and gave what he saw and what Thorax said some thought, "Well, it's decent chaos." He said as he waved his hands, "I don't know if I'd call it 'total'." He commented as the four began their trek within the mound to reach the throne room. About half an hour into their trek, having not seen another changeling, Discord spoke up, “Are you sure that I'll get my magic back when we destroy the throne?” he asked to the rest, not sure who would answer.

“If Thorax is right, then yes.” Starlight answered as the four reached a staircase.

"Well, that's reassuring." Discord replied, the sarcasm in his tone was unmistakable and not lost on Trixie or Starlight. Thorax, however, had climbed up the stairs ahead of them as the three stopped.

“And how are we supposed to destroy the throne when we find it?” Trixie asked, noting that before they could get access to their magic back, at least in theory, they had to actually destroy the throne.

Starlight looked around for a second, "I... ", she started and then trailed off as she tried to form the next step of the plan, but she realized she really didn't have an idea what to do after they got to the throne, "don't know." Starlight dipped her head in defeat.

“That's reassuring,” Trixie replied with her own sarcastic tone and eye roll. She then heard the backpack she had on being opened and someone going through it.

Trixie turned to look over her left shoulder to see Discord going through the bag and throwing things aside, there were juggling pins, trick rings, rubber wands, a deck of cards, some cups, a few small balls, “I don't suppose you brought any throne-destroying tools along with these useless sideshow props.”

Trixie took a step to her left away from Discord and turned to face him,“Asks the Lord of Chaos who can't go for a walk without whining non stop!” she all up shouted as she pointed her right index finger into Discord’s chest.

Discord smirked as he took a step back,“Yes,” he all but dismissed Trixie’s criticisms with a wave of his paw and closed eyes. He then opened his eyes and clutched his paw as if in victory, “but when the throne is destroyed, I'll be able to rip the very fabric of reality to save our friends, while you'll” he then leaned down to be eye-to-eye with Trixie and began his own criticisms of Trixie. He thrust his talon at Trixie’s chest, “still be a self-absorbed, below-average” he then took the brim of Trixie’s hat and pulled it down over her face, “illusionist!”

Trixie pushed her hat back and all but shouted “Self-absorbed?!” as her anger started to boil, “Why, you...!”

“Cut. It. Out!” Starlight ordered as she literally stepped between the two and forced them apart, “I'm just barely keeping it together,” She chastised the two looking at Trixie first, then turning to look at Discord, and then back to Trixie and back to Discord as she spoke, “and it would be wonderful if you two could actually try to help instead of bickering like children!” Starlight then started up the staircase after Thorax.

Discord and Trixie looked to the ground, like scolded children before they replied in a defeated, “Okay. How can we help?” The asked as they began their own ascent.

“Don't ask me!” Starlight answered as she tried to “I couldn't give advice at the Sunset Festival, and I had magic then!”

“The what?” Discord asked as he was not familiar with the term.

“The village she founded has a weeklong celebration at the Fall Equinox,” Trixie explained.

“Oh… is there one for the Spring Equinox?” Discord asked. Trixie shrugged her shoulders in a nonverbal way of saying ‘I don’t know’.

Starlight took a breath and continues, “Sadly, the three of us are as good as useless as long as that throne exist! At least Thorax knows where we're go…ing.” Starlight trailed off as she saw Thorax at the top of the staircase and looking around. "Thorax, why did you stop?" She asked as she, Trixie and Discord joined Thorax at the top of the stairs, which turned out to be a dead end.

Thorax slowly turned to face the others, "I have no memory of this place."

“Oh, great. We're lost.” Trixie complained as she took off her backpack and tossed it to the side, “We might as well just sit here and wait for the changelings to soak up all of our love or whatever gross thing it is that they do.” She said as hugged herself with a shiver of disgust. She then turned to Thorax, “How often do you all get hungry?”

Thorax was about to answer but paused as he gave the question some thought, “Normally we changelings are always hungry. Because we can never get enough love. But after I met Spike, and made a few other friends I haven't been hungry as changelings normally are.”

Trixie rolled her eyes, “Well, that's just super—"

Starlight thought about what Thorax said and was not fully following,“But you aren't hungry at all now?” she asked for clarification. Thorax shook his head in response. Starlight then looked at Thorax’s shawl and thought about what he said and Thorax’ appearance, “Is that about the same time your shawl in this form and wings in your combat form changed?” Thorax nodded in response.

Discord yawned at first and stretched, “While I would love to sit around chit-chatting about feeding and not feeding,” he started to complain about their current situation. He then shouted, “I have a Fluttershy to save!” Discord’s shout then echoed throughout the mound and more or less alerted the Changelings to their presence if they weren’t already aware.

Trixie raised her voice in a slightly hushed tone, “Hey Discord you want to shout louder? I am sure there's a cubic millimeter of the hive you haven't informed!" Trixie scowled at the Erisadies.

Discord gave a dismissive huff, “We have yet to come across a changeling since we entered their hive,” Discord then turned to Thorax, “Present company excluded. But seriously where is their security, and people give KK and the Royal Guard of Chantalot a hard time.”

They all then heard the hum of insect-like wings was heard echoing, “W-What's that?” Trixie asked nervously as she started to look around to find the source of what she heard.

“A guard patrol!" Thorax shouted in a panic and started to hyperventilate in control what seemed to be his oncoming panic attack.

Discord then started to look around as he was also shocked and actually for the first time in his life felt fear, “This seems like one of those moments where we need a plan.”

“What kind of plan?!” Trixie shouted still very much in her own panic, “We have no magic,” she said as she pointed to her, Discord and then Starlight, “Thorax is outnumbered,” she said as she pointed to Thorax, “and it's not like my illusions are gonna save us!” she finished as she started to empty her backpack.

Starlight took a second to think as she looked at what Trixie had in the bag, well to be just what Discord put together with a snap of his talon, and recalled how she and Trixie were able to get out of her village, “Do you have any of your smoke bombs?”

Trixie smirked as she took out a few smoke bombs, “Are you kidding?” Trixie asked rhetorically.

A small squad of changelings, a couple were in their true humanoid form and the rest in an insectoid-like combat form. They then heard Trixie from a ledge above them, “Looking for someone?” The changelings screeched as they charged Trixie. Trixie threw a smoke bomb in front of her and when they passed through the smoke they failed to find Trixie. The started to look around for Trixie. “Is that the best you've got?!” Trixie asked and they charged her again only for Trixie to throw another smoke bomb and was gone. Trixie’s laugh was heard as they continued to look for her.

Watching the scene unfold from an opening in a ceiling above the area that the changelings were searching for Trixie, were Starlight and Discord. Discord looked to Starlight as two broke off from the rest and went down another path, he then spoke with a shrug of his shoulders, “Not exactly great and powerful,” he commented but he had to acknowledge that it did the job, ”but effective.”

Trixie then walked up to the two and shrugged her shoulders with a grin, “Hm. I'll take it.” She had to know that it was the closest thing to a compliment on the matter that she would get from Discord.

The three then turned to see another Trixie standing in front of them. Not sure if this was Thorax who played his part of the plan or not Starlight gave the first part of the code phrase, “Klutzy…”

The second Trixie’s body then erupted in blue flame showing Thorax in his true form as he said the other part of the phrase, “...Erisadies!” Discord groaned at that phrase, clearly unhappy about the phrase. Everyone rolled their eyes for a second. Thorax then turned to Starlight, “That was a pretty good plan, Starlight.”

Trixie then looked to Starlight as she pointed out that they were still more or less lost, “But we still don't know where we're going.”

Starlight turned back to the opening that she and Discord watch the changelings that were looking for Thorax and saw that the opening that the two who broke from the others went down. Starlight then waved her hand for the other three to look at the same spot “Actually, we might.” She then jumped down and was followed by the other three, “Two of the changelings didn't go with the rest and went down this path.”

Thorax facepalmed himself as he recalled the standard operating procedures of Caer Sith, “Of course! With a confirmed intruder in Caer Sith, some went to protect the queen!” He then started down the path, “Good thinking, Starlight!” He exclaimed as he led the others down the path. Starlight was the last to go down the path and gave an embarrassed and nervous laugh.

About have an hour later managed to get much closer to the throne room, in fact, they were about five minutes from it and would reach it easily. However, they arrived at one of the last doors they saw a group of changelings, among them, were thirteen changelings that were much more unique. Those three were in the insectoid-like combat form and were about noticeably taller than all the other changelings and dressed in blue colored armor much like the golden armor of ESM but the armor looked much more insectoid than other changelings. One of the changelings was much more muscular, his eyes were violet as opposed to the blue the others and his helmet had a fin that was deep crimson and he seemed to be the one issuing commands. The four rescuers bucked behind a small wall. Trixie spoke up in a whisper, “Now what?”

Starlight looked over the wall and then back to the group, “We…” she trailed off a bit, “go in.”

Thorax was sitting on the ground and started to shake in panic, “Even if I wanted to, there's no way past those guards, and those thirteen in the blue armor are the Drones, the Elites! We’ll be spotted for sure!”

“What makes them so different than the rest, aside from their size?” Trixie asked in an attempt to understand why Thorax was so afraid.

“Aside from being the best combatants in Caer Sith, They are the mates of Chrysalis!” The three looked at Thorax confused, “You know like a beehive!” He exclaimed and continued to shake in fear.

Starlight took a moment to think but she really only had no plains, “We need some kind of... distraction,” it was the best thing she could think of.

Trixie looked through her backpack, “I'm fresh out of smoke bombs.” Trixie pointed out, “Thorax and I used the ones in my pack the last time.”

Discord stroke his chin in thought, “Normally, I'm the most distracting thing I can think of,” he said as he pointed to himself, “but without my magic…” he said as he looked at the floor.

Starlight saw one of the props that Trixie had and saw a portable stage microphone, like those used by stand-up comedians, she then picked it up and handed it to Discord with a smirk on her face, “You shouldn't underestimate yourself.”

The door behind the changelings closed as a few of the Drones left, among them the one with the violet eyes. Discord then stepped forward and tapped the microphone to get the changelings attention, "Hello, changelings and changelettes!" he cheered. The changelings all turned to look at him, “I was just as surprised as you are that I'm here!” He said as he walked up to one of the ones in blue armor. “When I heard that I'd be playing for a bunch of changelings, I was beside myself!” He said as he rested his arm on the head of the changeling he stood next to. “Then I realized, it was just one of you.” He said as he tapped on the helmet making it sound like a rimshot. All the changelings snarled at this, which prompted Discord to take a few steps back and give a nervous laugh. “But, seriously, this isn't the toughest crowd I've ever been in front of. But it's definitely the easiest to bug!” Discord tried to joke, all the changelings looked to each other baffled by the joke, “To bug?” he asked. He then looked at the microphone again as he took a few steps back, with the changelings stepping forward, “Is this thing on?” he then tapped on the microphone which prompted the changelings to snarl at him. While the changelings were focused on the Erisadies, Starlight, Trixie, and Thorax slipped past the guards and reached the door. Discord then threw the microphone at the guards, “Well, if you think that you can do any better, be my guest!” He then started to run and the changelings followed him. Some flying, others on foot.

As Discord and the changelings left the sight of three, Trixie turned to Starlight, “It is absolutely ridiculous that that worked.”

Starlight rolled her eyes at that, “Discord complimented you, you can at least try to do the same.”

Discord ran ahead and managed to duck behind a pillar and the changelings past the pillar and seemed to not notice him. Discord stepped out from his hiding spot and rubbed his hands together with a smirk on his face. He then started along the path back to the door, “It is certainly a pleasure to have such dedicated fans.” He said as he commented on the reactions of the changelings. He closed his eyes, “I'll have to come back with some new material after I rescue Fluttershy.” He walked happily.

It was then that he heard Fluttershy’s voice rescuers, “Please, help!” followed by whimpers.

Discord shouted “Fluttershy!” as he turned to see Fluttershy trapped with her leg in between two rocks.

“Discord! I'm stuck!” Fluttershy shouted in cheer and gave a massive smile at the sight of Discord.

Discord walked up to Fluttershy and looked at rocks that Fluttershy’s leg was trapped between, “You certainly are.” He then walked around to find a spot where he could get her out of the trap, “And I should probably help you get free. But…” Discord stopped and recalled when he shouted, ‘I have a Fluttershy to save’ odds were they realized that this would be a trap, something he expressed with a laugh, “Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho…”

“But what?” Fluttershy asked confused at the change of the situation, Discord was going to help her but now he wasn’t going to help her.

Discord stopped his laugh and scowled at Fluttershy, “You’re obviously not Fluttershy!” He said as he crossed his arms and turned away.

“Oh.” Fluttershy pouted and looked at the ground with a tear forming in her eyes.

Discord paced back and forth in front of the imposter, “I mean, I'm separated from the others and just happen to come across the one person I care most about?” He then turned his back from the fake, “I can smell this setup a mile away.”

The fake Fluttershy sniffed and started to cry, “No. You're right.” she said as she covered her face, “There's no way you should trust me. Just go find the others.” She then started to wail with tears not unlike waterfalls, “I understand!"

Discord rolled his eyes as he turned back to face the fake, "Oh, come on!" he said as he crossed his arms.

Discord then heard another Fluttershy crying. That prompted him to look around and saw an army of trapped Fluttershys in various traps and states of crying. The one that he first came across took on an evil smirk as she looked at the situation, "We're probably all changelings. You shouldn't rescue any of us. Unless, you think, maybe one of us might be the real Fluttershy. Oh, that certainly would be a nasty changeling trick, wouldn't it?” Discord froze as he heard more of the Fluttershys cry. Several of them each claiming to be the Fluttershy. Discord dropped to his knees as the first fake Fluttershy engulfed herself in a lime-green fire. His mouth hung open as he saw the one who so easily mocked him. He started to growl but was swiftly tackled to the ground by all the other Fluttershys. "Hello there, Discord.” Discord growled again. “One down, three to go.” the voice of Chrysalis was heard before she gave a triumphant laugh evil that shifted into a rather dorky one.

As Discord was captured, Thorax looked around the area and not seeing Discord coming, “We can't wait any longer.” Thorax whispered then started to head farther into their trek to the throne. “Between the sightings of Discord and Trixie, Caer Sith’s guards are on high alert!”

Starlight took Thorax by his shoulder, in an attempt to stop him from leaving the area and Discord behind, and whispered as well, “But if we do manage to destroy the throne, we'll need him. He can take on the entire swarm with a sneeze.”

“Not necessarily,” Thorax pointed out again in whispers, “without the throne, you can use your magic to empower me and with that, I can be challenged Chrysalis to a comhrac,” As Trixie and Starlight looked at him confused, “it’s a duel for leadership, it’s an old practice, usually used by those that seek to rise through the ranks to become Drones but one can go all the way to monarch.”

"Okay, that would have been nice to know beforehand," Trixie whispered with an eye roll not fully believing Thorax, she then turned to Starlight, "But I agree with Thorax we can't stay here because Discord's probably already been captured!"

It was then that they saw Discord come from the path that he led the changelings down. He looked around for Starlight and the rest, "Hello? Fellow rescuers?" he called which prompted them to step out of their hiding spot.

"We can't stay here. We gotta get to the throne." Thorax stated and began to lead them to the throne room again.

"Ooh! I heard some of the changelings who were chasing me say that they know where it is!" Discord said and started to walk ahead of Thorax.

"Klutzy..." Trixie asked giving the first part of their agreed-upon code phrase and waited for Discord to groan.

Discord shacked his head for a second, "Hmm? Oh. Yeah." he said as he looked back at the delay in his return and chuckled. This prompted Thorax to stop, "I-I can be klutzy." Discord said and started forward, "Now, follow me."

Starlight turned to Thorax and Trixie and whispered to them, "That's not Discord," Thorax and Trixie nodded as they followed the fake Discord to a set of two tunnels.

The fake Discord then started towards the one on the left, "This way! We're almost there!" He said as he waved over his shoulder. Starlight and Trixie almost started down the path.

Thorax grabbed the two and stopped them, "I know this trick. He's leading us to ambush." Starlight looked at the ground and tried to think of a plan. They could go down the right path, but that would trip the changeling off if they all went.

While Starlight was still thinking, Trixie sighed as she stepped forward into the tunnel that the fake Discord led them down, "Okay, I'll handle it." She turned to the other two and nodded before going down the tunnel, "You two just get ready to run into the other tunnel."

"Wait, what?! Trixie, you can't!" Starlight said as she took Trixie's hand in a slight panic, "I don't know what to do!" Starlight let go of Trixie's hand and seemed to panic, "We've already lost Discord; I can't lose you too!" Without magic, I—"

Trixie placed her right hand on Starlight's shoulder, "You got us this far with just my illusions and Discord's annoying personality." she said and silenced Starlight of her doubt, "You don't need magic to figure out what to do next." Trixie looked down the path the fake Discord went then back to Starlight, "I know you're afraid to be in charge, but you are really good at it! Listen to your best friend.” Trixie then released her hold and turned back to the tunnel and called to the imposter, "Hey, Discord!" the changeling turned and walked back, confused as to what Trixie wanted, "Want to see the new trick I've been working on?" the pretender didn't get a chance to answer as Trixie took his right hand with hers and waved a handkerchief over it and revealed that a chain of handkerchiefs was tied to his wrist and Trixie's. "I call it the 'Changeling Catcher!'" The changeling snarled as it tried to free itself. Trixie turned and shouted to Thorax and Starlight, "Run!" The fake Discord then changed into a form like Thorax's and ran to catch the other intruders only to be stopped by leech made of handkerchiefs that went from his wrist to Trixie's. As Trixie struggled to pull him back towards her, the other changelings in the trap made themselves apparent as they hissed and opened their eyes. Trixie looked all around her and gave a nervous laugh as she said, "Ta-da..." only to be followed by the changelings screeching as they swarmed over her.

"So much for the Great and Powerful Trixie. Two down, two to go," The voice of Chrysalis was heard before she gave another triumphant laugh evil that shifted into a rather dorky one.