• Published 21st May 2017
  • 11,711 Views, 228 Comments

Discord the Archduke - AkumaKami64

Discord turned down Tirek's offer. As a reward, Celestia grants him the Archduchy of the Everfree. Naturally, no pony expects him to take being a noble seriously and just use the Everfree as his playground. Poor fools. As if he can't do a bit of both

  • ...

Discord and Celestia's Magical Surgery

Celestia halted in mid-step through the castle halls, taking a stroll along the one that opened to the garden, as she heard a very distinct and familiar sound of a certain draconequus teleporting. Unsure what to expect from such a visit, she turned to face him.

She had to admit, she wasn't really surprised that Discord had turned the weapons and armor on her guards to be very heavy and thick stone replicas, making them strain and kneel under the weight, "You'd think they'd learned not to attack me when I pop in," he mused teasingly as he strolled past the two stallions.

"While unneeded, I appreciate their protectiveness even against overwhelming odds such as yourself," Celestia answered, allowing herself to smile with a meaningful glance at her soldiers.

Discord hummed and snapped his tail, turning the stone back into metal, "It must be nice, having ponies willing to live, serve and die beneath your hooves."

Despite the light hearted tone, there was neither mockery nor scorn accompanying that statement…but his eyes did glance at the garden with a small scowl.

"Flankhole," one of the guards muttered under his breath, glaring at the male immortal's backside.

Celestia chose that moment to change tracks, "I trust your task is going well?" she asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Done, actually," Discord corrected with what he felt was an appropriate amount of smugness.

Celestia blinked at that, "Done? As in, you already found Tirek?" she questioned in surprise.

"I mean he's back in Tartarus. You really should get a new guard dog. Cerberus is a big softy," Discord suggested with a grin as he tossed a tennis ball up and down in his talons.

Celestia had been a bit wary of sending Discord, but she knew he could find the Tartarus escapee faster than anypony else. That didn't mean she expected him to be so efficient in completing the task. Her surprise melted into a proud, pleased smile, "That's wonderful, Discord. I was worried you'd have some trouble with such a foe," Celestia complimented openly, leaving out that she also expected him to drag his hooves, just a little bit.

Discord frowned in annoyance. "With the centaur, no, but his magic is another story," he responded as he snapped his fingers, making the tennis ball warp and grow into a glowing orange-red sphere, the size of a beach ball.

"What is that?" One of the guards asked in suspicion.

"This would be the amalgamation of about two dozen average unicorns worth of magic all clumped together. Or, in other words, enough to make pre-wing Twilight work for it," Discord answered, tossing it up to balance it with his tail while holding it between him and the princess, "I ripped it out of him rather easily but separating it into the right pieces to return to the unicorns? That's a bit trickier," he admitted with begrudging respect; for the magic or Tirek, it was hard to tell.

"I thought he could just snap his talons and do anything?" The other guard murmured to himself.

"Oh, I can," Discord acknowledged, smirking over his shoulder at the flinching guard before returning his eyes to the Alicorn, "But if I did, I can't guarantee everypony would get magic that is completely their own. Or I might even damage somepony's magic by forcing the wrong one into somepony else. And as amusing as some of the side effects could be, I decided to prove to you- if no pony else- that I can be considerate," Discord elaborated with an eye roll.

Celestia had spent most of the time studying the orb in front of her, but had listened to every word Discord said all the same, "I appreciate that Discord, I truly do," she acknowledged as she glared at the magical mixture, "Can you undo this?"

"You free? I could use a study partner and a bit of Alicorn magic might work better than chaos magic in this exact instance," he inquired with a head tilt.

"...Do you really want help or do you just want to mess with me?" Celestia asked dryly. Two columns suddenly form at either side of Discord. To his right was a golden one with a large A at the top. To his left was a similar construct, but made of fruit with a "B" made of bananas. Despite herself, Celestia smiled in amusement, "Very well then. I'd be more than happy to assist you on this," she consented as she turned around and began walking again, Discord joining at her side.

"So, how badly did the nobles annoy you today?" Discord asked in an idle, knowing tone.

"I wouldn't know what you mean," Celestia denied with a polite, political mask of disinterest.

Discord stared at her flatly, as if to say 'We're really doing this?' He glanced back at the guards and despite their stoicism and dislike for him, he could see it in their exasperated eyes: On this at least, they agreed with him.

"Princess Celestia," Celestia paused at the extra posh and snooty tone Discord put in his words. "I simply must have that loan to add the next floor to my mansion. I'm sure you trust that I and my family are good for it." She looked at him with a raised eyebrow as he continued in an indignant and self-assured voice. "Princess Celestia, I assure you that my tenant is lying, I never received any payment. Hmm? No, I don't recall buying my wife that new saddlebag." Her eye twitched as he went on with diplomatic-then-confused tones, "Princess Celestia, please understand, the Buffalo are simply unreasonable- what do you mean Twilight Sparkle and the Elements took care of it?" Now her guards were trying not to snicker, with decent success. "Auntie, please save me! A wild purple lizard is trying to eat me!" Discord finished in a convincing impression of a cowardly Blueblood.

Celestia stared at the smirking chaos lord for a long moment, glancing at her definitely-snickering guards, before letting out a sigh with a tired smile, "Moderately. They've been better ever since Luna officially started up the Night Court again. She has much less tolerance for their nonsense than I do," Celestia answered as she relaxed and continued walking.

"Please, their nonsense is amateur to my own," Discord said proudly, claw to his chest, "Speaking of our favorite Lunatic, how is she?"

"Sleeping. She prefers to start her evening before sundown and end it at sunrise," Celestia answered fondly.

"Not what I meant~," Discord corrected teasingly, getting a curious look in his amusement, "Come now, Celestia, if I listen to your Day Court drone on and on while playing the part of a gravestone, what makes you think I would dare turn a deaf ear to Luna's tutoring as she fumbles through and overreacts to all the new intricacies of this modern world?"

Celestia suddenly felt very sorry for her sister. She had listened to all of Luna's frustrations and personal issues with how the world had changed with patience and love, but she could only imagine how much material it was for Discord himself.

"...Oh come on, Celestia, don't look so grim about it," Discord complained with a grumpy frown, "It's not like I'd throw her into a strip club or something. You, maybe, but you do need to loosen up."

The guards seemed to choke on that one a bit as Celestia allowed her frown to fade for an amused look of her own, "We're here, Discord."

The serpentine entity did a double take on where they had stopped, allowing the topic to drop or forgetting it all together. "Your room? How daring," he teased with a half-lidded gaze as the guards at the door saluted Celestia and nodded to their brother-in-forelegs that had been accompanying them.

Celestia rolled her eyes at that, "It's more out of the way and private for what might become a very involved and hooves-on magical research," she pointed out as she opened the door, "After you?"

"Ahh, what a gentlemare," he quipped as he walked in, waiting until the door was closed as they both threw up their own sound-proofing spells, "So, what didn't you want to ask in front of your stooges?" he asked, tossing the magic ball to her carelessly.

Her eyes went wide as she quickly grasped it with her magic, scowling at him, "Shouldn't you be a bit more careful with this?" she scolded questioningly.

"Don't get your gilded shoes bent. It's immune to all physical damage," he retorted with a snort, moving to sit on a couch opposite the fireplace, "So, you know, don't go blasting it with that wand growing on your head."

Celestia rolled her eyes as she examined it, "Tirek, or whoever invented this magic, certainly made it hard to unbind the magics from one another. They're almost...stitched together."

"Maybe Doctor Frankenstallion created it," Discord suggested, stitches forming over his now-green body while giant bolts formed on his neck, little sparkles jumping off them.

"What exactly did happen with Tirek?" Celestia asked evenly as she passed the orb back to him.

Discord spun it on a talon like a basketball, "Right to business, eh? Well, I tracked him down to a little town near the east coast, Hollow Shades. Lovely place, seems like a place Luna would like," he started, the magic ball spiraling down his eagle limb before jumping into his lion paw, "I captured him right as he was finishing one last unicorn, put him in shackles and then put him back in his cage."

"That's all?" Celestia asked as Discord put his ear to the sphere for some reason.

"Good news, these definitely are still each of those ponies' magic. Be rather troublesome if they were all actually converted into a new magic," Discord pointed out with the smile of a being out to solve a puzzle, "And no, that's not all. Ignoring some banter on my part, he tried to attack me with what magic he had. The beam, may I say, was laughable. Anyway, before I shoved him back downstairs, he offered to help me take over Equestria and let me return to my chaotic roots rather than put up with this new prison called friendship," he informed far, far too casually.

"..." Celestia stared at him for a moment, as if reappraising his threat level, refusing to let her facial muscles react.

Discord said not a word, letting Celestia sort herself out.

"Thank you," Celestia finally stated with a solemn look, "I...had worries about you since the Elements had to be returned to the Tree."

"Especially since that was a result of my Plunderseeds, making it seem like I neutralized the one threat to me," he commented, smirking as he took a sniff of the collection of magic and tossed it back to her, "Admit it, you thought I masterminded that?"

Celestia sighed as she reexamined the orb before heading over to a book shelf, "I'll admit it did cross my mind. Despite pretending to be a fool sometimes, I know better than anypony how dangerous your mind is," she said while pulling out a thick old tome.

"Then allow me to put your mind at ease: I legitimately had no idea those weeds were still around," Discord admitted, examining his lion claws.

"Then why didn't you get rid of them?" Celestia countered with a raised eyebrow.

"It was Twilight's first emergency since becoming a princess. I thought that it would be a good kick in the flanks, trial-by-fire type experience for her to have," Discord explained with a shrug, "Better that than something truly serious, eh?"

Celestia scowled before turning back to the book, "I hate that I agree with that on some level."

"What are you reading?" he asked with a raised eyebrow, peaking over the top of the book in a miniature form.

"Brushing off my knowledge of magical surgery techniques, see if that doesn't help," she answered, unphased and mostly not distracted by his tiny form.

"Ah, science. Mortals working to make sense of reality as they try to label and quantify everything. I'd hate the concept if it wasn't so fun to watch them try," Discord mused whimsically as he lay leisurely along the top of the book.

"Says the god with all the answers," Celestia retorted with an eye roll, glancing at him finally, "Ponies used to worship you, you know? Most races did until you decided to test out being a tyrant."

"Don't pretend like you were all innocent back then, Celly," Discord retorted evenly, completely unimpressed by the jab, "As chaotic as I made Equestria when I took over, we both know it was still a lot safer here than most other places while the Dark Ages hosted the contest for Ultimate Jackflankery."

Celestia didn't argue that point. The number of ponies that died as a result of Discord's mechanics was very low, especially compared to the likes of Sombra, "A contest most from the old days are still trying to win, it seems," she noted tiredly.

"Yes, well, that's the downside of mercy and forgiveness: repeat offenders," Discord mused with a shrug.

"And yet, here you are," Celestia retorted wryly, "You missed it, didn't you? The days when mortals respected you."

"You ever find it ironic that hospitality caught on was because you never knew when a stranger might be one of immortals?" Discord asked randomly, examining his talons idly.

Celestia shook her head in amusement as she closed the book, the tiny Discord floating away to re-enlarge himself in midair, "Now, let's see if this makes any headway," Celestia commented to herself as her golden magic turned silvery with green lines of magic forming over the orb of magic.

"If that thing explodes, I expect you to compensate me for whatever limb I'll have to replace after saving that pretty face of yours," Discord drawled with a wary smirk as he hovered near her.

Celestia raised an eyebrow at the statement, but kept her concentration on the task at hoof, "Discord, can you freeze time?" she asked curiously.

The draconequus opened his mouth than closed it as the question hit him, "Ten points for randomness, Celly," he praised with a curious, expectant look on his face.

"I believe that whatever cuts I am making between the magics are...re-stitching themselves faster than I can cut," she explained with a touch of annoyance.

"Sadly, the timestream is one of the few things that rail against my control. Otherwise, the girls would have never got me the second time," Discord elaborated with a scowl, looking up thoughtfully, "That said, it's not so feisty to mind me slowing its effects on a small localized area."

"How small?" Celestia inquired in curiosity.

"Pay me and I might let you and Luna take a day off in your bedrooms," Discord answered playfully.

"We just might," Celestia answered, letting some of her tiredness show, "If you would?"

Discord said nothing as his eyes turned light blue for a moment. The Alicorn briefly felt some strange magic wash over her before wrapping around the orb. She wasn't sure what had changed, but something looked different. Was it tinted with a bit of grey or blue now? Did its appearance shimmer like a mirage? It was hard to pinpoint.

"Pardon my wondering, but what would you have tried on this by yourself?" Celestia asked as she adjusted her surgical magic to the sensation of moving in an area of a temporal disturbance. It somehow took more effort to move and yet more concentration to stop at the right times.

"Drowning it in my magic," Discord answered bluntly.

Celestia breathed in sharply before exhaling in forced calm, "That explosion would have been on you," she stated flatly.

"Chaos is the parent and offspring of creation and destruction, Celestia. It breaks down itself to make things and breaks down things into itself," Discord stated, his jovial tone lost as his eyes continued to glow, "Since it only effects what I want it to effect, completely enveloping this beach ball of magic in my chaos allows me to seep into all the cracks and flaws in it. Ideally, I could have just eroded away the bonds between the magic without issue, but they are made from the pony magic AND Tirek's own, to the point of one fading into another," he explained, tapping his cheek in annoyance. "I could do it still, but it would erode away on the magics as well, leaving the ponies much weaker. Especially the poor saps at the center of this thing."

"You should try showing this side to Twilight sometimes," Celestia said with a smile as she began to cut into the time-altered mass of magic.

"Already tried that," Discord muttered with an eye roll.

"Hmm?" Celestia glanced at him momentarily, quickly going back to her work.

Discord didn't acknowledge her inquiry as he narrowed his gaze at their project. "Stop!" he exclaimed, making her flinch from the proximity. His tail shot forward and the hairs of the furry tip extended out to grasp the chunk that Celestia had cut out. The white strands grasping it from all sides and pulling it out of the temporal bubble, making the time distortion ripple as the slice of magic skid across the floor.

"Really?" Celestia questioned in a monotone.

"I'm not going to be physically careful with something that's impervious to nonmagical damage," Discord reminded thoughtfully as he hovered over to the separated piece...which looked so much like an orange, it wasn't even funny. Okay, it was, but he was in what Twilight would call a scientist mode. He didn't run across new magic like this often and it had peaked his curiosity.

Both of them watched in interest as the orb fragment started to let off a red steam while it began to dissolve into three smaller orbs of magic: one green, another blue with red stripes, and the last white with a purple halo.

"...Are you doing that or is that how they're supposed to look?" Celestia asked in bewilderment, having never seen magic present itself like that.

"Not naturally, but I've seen it happen. This little vamperic bit of magic must have been based on an old collection spell used for gathering samples of or even the entirety of one's magic, to make them easier to identify," Discord explained, levitating the balls over to him, take a sniff out of the blue and red one.

"Why would anypony do that- and do you have to lick them?!" Celestia asked in disbelief as Discord's long tongue washed over the stripped piece of magic.

"Hmm, I'll have to look that mare up," Discord mused with a toothy grin, looking sideways at the blushing Princess, "What? Jealous that I didn't lick your magic instead?" he teased, chortling at her increased blush, "Oh, my dear sunny flanks, you simply must get use to flirting. The newer generations due it quite openly and...graphically."

"Changing The Subject!" Celestia declared, turning around to the still-large sphere of magic, floating on its own. Well, technically, it was falling at an abysmally slow pace in the time distortion.

Discord shook his head in amusement as he watched her work, skillfully and elegantly cutting into the strands of magic holding the amalgamation together. If not for her wings and regalia, somepony might have mistaken her for a tall doctor. A thousand years was a long time to learn and master many things…a thousand years was a long time indeed.

He didn't frown, but he didn't smile.

"So, how long were you going to leave me in stone anyway?" Discord asked evenly.

Celestia's magic stopped as the room went silent.

"I get that the elements were turned to stone after Luna's little episode, but still...would it have even crossed your mind if you hadn't had to banish your own sister?" Discord asked with a surprising amount of patience.

"...I won't apologize for turning you to stone," Celestia said after a moment before letting out a long, tired sigh, "But I am sorry that we left you in there so long."

"Apology accepted," Discord acknowledged with a small smile.

Celestia stiffened at that, turning to look at him in disbelief, "...Just like that?"

"Just like that," Discord assured with a nod, enjoying her surprise.

"...Thank you," Celestia accepted with a grateful smile, "Shall we finish this up?"

"Yes, let's. I have to get ready for an appointment tomorrow with some cucumber sandwiches," Discord agreed waving her to return to her work.

Celestia paused only momentarily as his words registered, but opted not to dig deeper into Discord's madness with a shake of her head. The duo fell into a surprisingly comfortable silence as they worked, the Alicorn princess separating chunks of magic and the chimeric god pulling them out with his tail, the hairs acting like precision instruments.

Well, it was a peaceful silence to Celestia. Discord kept his idling mind interested with "listening" to the magics of these unicorns. It wasn't something most could detect, but these little orbs were creating a pleasant cacophony of wildly different tunes to his ears, growing louder and stranger with each newly freed chunk of magic. The original beach ball of stolen magic just gave off a unchanging hum, like a poorly imitated bee buzzing. It was the little things like this that kept him entertained and not turning the sky into a kaleidoscope.

"And...we...are...done!" Discord said in triumph as Celestia separated the last two chunks, removed to evaporate into their original forms, "Well, that was the most mentally challenging thing I've done in a while."

"Ohh...," Celestia groaned, rubbing her horn, "I think my magic nodes were going numb from using that spell for so long."

"You'll be fine after some ice cream...or, you know, lowering the sun. That should give you a pick me up," Discord mused with a shrug.

"Most ponies forget that the sun does revitalize me," Celestia commented in amusement, looking around at the twenty-some orbs of floating unicorn magics, all differing in colors and schemes, "I trust that you can return these to the afflicted ponies?" she asked curiously.

"Nope," Discord answered bluntly.

"...Wait, what?" Celestia asked in surprise.

"Princess, I'm not a mind reader. Well, not an active one. I have no idea where you kept those ponies," Discord reminded in amusement.

"Ah, yes, of course," Celestia acknowledged with slight embarrassment. She was too used to Discord knowing everything, "They're in the palace medical wing, on the second floor."

Discord grinned as he produced a burlap sack from up his talons' nonexistent sleeves, the orbs whooshing into it, "Now I get to play SantaCord," he said mischievously.

"Discord," Celestia spoke up pointedly, getting a curious hum as he halted his teleport, "...How are things going, for you in Ponyville?"

Discord stared at her for a moment before dropping his bag of magic and sitting on it, "Weekly tea parties with Fluttershy, dropping in on a whim, trying to play nice with the others, counting how many times they overreact. I get two groans, a glare and an eye roll on average. Sometimes fake-gagging," Discord explained with a strangely unamused smirk.

"...In fairness, you haven't given them much reason to trust you," Celestia pointed out cautiously.

"Celestia, if I wanted to, I could have just deposited those six on different uninhabited islands across the world the moment you all tried to reform me," Discord reminded evenly with his arms crossed, "Do you know why I went about that little fiasco of pretending to make Fluttershy choose between her friends and me? As fun as screwing with those five is, that mare had me won over by the end of the first day. No, I did all of that because they would have never accepted the Big Bad Discord could actually just be giving anything like friendship a chance without being up to something," Discord ranted lightly.

"I know," Celestia acknowledged with a sigh, getting Discord to look at her uncomprehendingly, "Believe me, Discord, if I didn't think Twilight would come to believe that you brainwashed me, I would have been much more involved in that incident."

Discord blinked, twisting one of his horns, "Okay, my mind is on right. You just admitted your ponies aren't innocent little snowballs," he said, looking impressed.

Celestia rolled her eyes at that before taking n an optimistic tone, "Hopefully, your aid with Tirek will have them warming up to you."

"I'm more interested in the other thing I did," Discord said with a smirk.

"...Other thing?" Celestia asked warily, raising an eyebrow at him.

"Well, before I went off to deal with Tirek, I thought to myself: You know, Twilight is taking an awfully long time to figure out what and where those keys are, maybe I should give them a little hint?" Discord answered smugly.

"I'm not surprised you knew how to unlock that chest, if I'm honest," Celestia commented with a head shake, "So, what was the hint?"

"Oh, I may have taken the girls to the Tree of Harmony while musing about Twilight's issues about not finding her place as a Princess yet, bringing up the Chest in the process. Then I brought up her friendship journal and strongly suggested she should relook at the "interesting" pages I had bookmarked," Discord explained rather offclawedly.

"..." Celestia stared for a moment before she facehoofed, "How...how thick did you lay it down?" she asked, wanting to groan.

"If I had been any thicker, I would have left a sticky note saying: The important items from these five stories will turn into the keys," Discord answered flatly before shrugging, "But even if they don't get it or realize what I did, I did a favor for you and Harmony. Not that I want anything, but it's nice to know it means something to someone," he added on dismissively.

"Wait...five keys?" Celestia repeated curiously, "What about the sixth?

"It doesn't exist yet," Discord answered, shrugging helplessly, "Twilight needs to perform a nigh-ultimate act of friendship for it to appear."

"...Like sacrificing herself to save her friends?" Celestia asked with dread.

"No," he said, chuckling in her throat over her sigh of relief, "Dying for something is easy. You don't have to worry about the aftermath. No, Twilight would have to do something a bit more profound that she'd have to deal with long term. Like, say, forgive a friend for betraying her and Equestria after he is seemingly betrayed and subdued by the ones he sided with," Discord answered pointedly.

"..." Celestia stared, blinking and shaking her head as she made sense of his words, "Wait...you're saying that you...?"

"I'm saying I'm not the nicest friend in the world," Discord answered evasively, "To her, you, or Harmony. She'll just have to wait for some other friend to turn evil and forgive them."

"..." Celestia stared for a moment before slowly smiling, "You are absolutely terrifying, you know that Discord?"

He gained a wry look at that, "I have no idea what you mean, Princess. I am but a mischievous Chaos God trying to unravel this mysterious thing called friendship."

"Of course," Celestia agreed in amusement, "Well, If nothing else, I'm sure those ponies will be thankful to you for getting their magic back."

"Hm, maybe I'll test Cadence's domain and try dating that mare I licked," he mused, stroking his beard with a toothy grin.

Discord dating…the words painted very weird images in Celestia's mind that she didn't want to think too deeply on. Refocusing on Discord, she caught him in time to see that he entered the bag himself, his tail vanishing inside before the sack swallowed itself out of existence.

She stared fondly at the now vacant spot. Despite some initial doubts, she was sure now that she could trust Discord. Not absolutely, but a great deal more than others did.

Her eyes wandered over to her study desk as she hummed. This hadn't just been a test of how much she should trust Discord, but also to see if it was the right time to give him a certain something. Something of an appeasement, something to give him some breathing room...and something that, admittedly, would amuse herself greatly...

The following day, the front page of every Equestrian newspaper would show a black-and-white picture with one half showing an imprisoned Tirek behind bars with a shocked expression, the other of a grinning Discord in a medical room, putting a ball of magic back into a unicorn mare. However, the headline was the true eye catcher;

"Former Tyrant Stops Tartarus Escapee!
Awarded Archduchy of the Everfree?"

Author's Note:

Beta: Dragon_Wizard91

Yello friends! I hope you enjoyed this little opener. I often thought about where Discord would fit in if he was formally part of the Equestria Government. Than I found the title Archduke, aka the highest noble title one can have under the actual ruler. Not an often used thing, but that's why its perfect for Discord. And if Discord is given any territory, its going to be the Everfree.

Now, yes, this story incorporates some of my head canon that Discord was obviously helping them find the keys at in the season four finale, and that the thing with Tirek might have been his way of getting the last. Under this assumption, Discord decides to not stick his neck out for Twilight's castle. Having proved himself somewhat trustworthy and knowing that he needs some space to himself, Celestia formally gives him the Everfree.

I can't wait for the mane six to read that in the paper, I'm not even going to lie. XP Same with Discord.

Now, there will be a good deal of comedy in this with Discord having fun with his new lands, but he'll have his serious moments, for his own reasons, which leads to various bits of political drama and such.

And while there isn't a romance tag, that doesn't mean it might not come up later on. So, for now, that opening scene is Dislestia Friendshipping, not Loveshipping.

Well, hope you enjoyed this all.