• Published 20th Jul 2012
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The Conquering of Love - Littlecolt

Twilight finds she and her friends are trapped in their own minds and must escape.

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Intermezzo 1

The Conquering of Love

Chapter Nineteen - Intermezzo 1

“She’s passed out.”

“Well, wake her up. The queen will notice soon.”

Distant voices... who are they? where am I?

Cadence slowly lifted her heavy eyelids, glancing up and to the right. A doorway at the end of the hall was cracked, and a dark face with glints of gold lining it stared back at her. A faint purple glow cast a strand of light into the hallway towards her. She tried to push herself forward onto her hooves and felt resistance. She blinked and remembered where she was.

Training her eyes upward, she saw her horn. It was encased in a dark crystalline substance that glowed with dark power and coursed with streaks of deep blue magic all around it. Her forelegs were shackled and pulled back against a wall, restraining most movement except for swaying. Even if she wanted to break free, she didn’t have the strength to make the attempt.

She glanced back down the hallway towards the creature which she now recognized as a changeling and remembered others like it chaining her to this wall and forming the crystal onto her horn. They were different from the changelings that had initially attacked and captured her. Those changelings had been no match for her until the queen stepped in. These were more powerful, though-- closer to the kind of strength their queen possessed. Their faces were lined with veins of gold, and their horns all had brightly colored gems set into their base. Indeed, they were as powerful as any adept unicorn, and not to be taken lightly.

She could sense the changeling’s aura as it came closer to her, staring coldly into her eyes, its face empty of any emotion. She stared back, delving as deeply as she could into its icy blue eyes, trying to size it up as best she could. It wore a caped mantle with circular patches of deep blue atop black cloth, with lines of white interspersed throughout. The hood of the mantle rested in a bunch on its shoulders, which were broad and angular. This changeling not only had magic, but physical strength as well. It carried itself fluidly, each hoofstep placed carefully and quietly as it made its way into the chamber and towards Cadence.

“So you woke up. Good thing, too,” the changeling calmly said as it stopped in front of Cadence. It placed a hoof against her chin, tilting her head to the side. “I know you must be really angry right now. I would be, too. But then again, I wouldn’t be in your position. You were cursed the moment you developed your rather, well, useful style of magic.”

Cadence pulled her face away and glared down at the changeling, who managed to smirk back up at her in response. The sound of a door opening at the other end of the chamber drew both their attentions, and they turned their heads to look.

The door at the front of the chamber swung open slowly, and Chrysalis stepped in, moving a bit slowly and swaying as she stepped. She wore a look of slight inebriation, her eyes half-closed and a smile on her face. She steadied herself with a flap of her wings and strided less-than-gracefully to Cadence and the changeling, the latter of whom was now standing at attention.

“My queen, apologies, but she passed out from the stress,” the changeling stated seriously.

Chrysalis chuckled and patted the changeling on the head. “Oh, Mulci, you’re so serious. Of course she did,” the queen said, her voice full of near-euphoric bliss. She swung her face towards Cadence’s, practically pressing their noses together. “We’ve been working her like a mule!” Her vocal tone dropped at the end, and she stared into Cadence’s eyes, managing to open her own fully.

“You’ll pay,” Cadence growled into the changeling queen’s face.

“Won’t we all,” Chrysalis mused, swinging her head back to the other changeling. “Speaking of which, you need to go back and attend to the other beast of burden down here.” She tapped him on the snout and then pointed back towards the open door at the opposite end, which had swung open more widely, revealing more of the dark purple glow, which was pulsing from a barely visible cocoon in the back of the room. Several other changelings stood beneath it, their horns glowing with magic, projecting a green aura around the cocoon. One of the changelings had her head turned, looking back at the queen and the others.

“I’ll handle this. She looks like she’s got more in her, for sure-- not that it matters,” Chrysalis said with a smirk, glancing back at Cadence. “You just go and make sure that one doesn’t try anything. We already had a problem upstairs from a certain unicorn, so we don’t need any more little surprises, understood?”

The changeling gulped and nodded his head, turning back towards the far chamber door and galloping through it. The door slammed behind him, and Chrysalis turned her attention back to Cadence again.

“Oh, good, we’re alone again,” Chrysalis chuckled. She pushed her face in closer to Cadence’s and rubbed her snout against Cadence’s cheek. “Do you have any idea how absolutely intoxicating your love magic is?”

“Get away from me!” Cadence shouted, pulling her head back as best as she could.

Chrysalis smiled and pushed her face ever closer, bringing her lips up to Cadence’s left ear.

“That’s not what Shining Armor said last night,” she whispered breathily. “He wanted me so... very... close.”

Cadence’s eyes shot wide open and she pulled against the chains that held her up as hard as she could manage. The chains pulled tightly, making a loud clanging sound. “Where is he!?” she screamed. “You stay away from him!”

Chrysalis pulled away from Cadence and laughed, hovering in the air in front of her. “That’s it! That’s the passion we need! Pour it all out!” she shouted, and the crystal on Cadence’s horn began to sizzle with magic, blue bolts of energy shooting up and down it. Cadence’s horn began to glow brightly beneath the crystal casing, and a burst of love magic poured out into the air all around, filling the room with a pink aura. Cadence screamed and her entire body tensed up, shaking as the magic was forcefully drawn out of her.

A rift across the room began to pull the magic from the air as quickly as it had filled it, funneling it towards the barely visible field of cocoons on the other side.

Chrysalis took a deep breath and landed, the pink aura filling her nostrils. her eyes rolled back and her eyelids shut as she became weak in the knees and stumbled forward before regaining her hoofing.

Cadence fell forward, breathing heavily, sweat dripping from her brow. A moment later, she felt the changeling queen’s face pressing against hers once again, and felt her hot breath against her ear. Chrysalis whispered into Cadence’s ear once more.

“Help me...” Chrysalis whispered. “You have to stop her.”

Cadence opened her eyes and blinked once before glancing towards Chrysalis. Her face was pressed close, and her eyes were closed. “What?” Cadence asked. “I don’t understand... stop who?”

“She’s waking up again. I can’t stop her alone. Find a way. I don’t know any other way, so...” Chrysalis breathed into Cadence’s ear.

“So?” Cadence asked, then swallowed, still catching her breath.

Chrysalis’ eyes shot open and she pulled her face back. Her eyes were glazed over with a magical aura and tears were streaming down her cheeks.

“Kill me,” she said, and then fell to the ground.

Cadence stared at the changeling, contemplating what had just happened. A moment later, Chrysalis opened her eyes and stood back up. She shook her head briefly and then smiled widely up at Cadence, her fangs dripping with saliva.

“Yes, just like that,” she said. “Don’t think you’ll be able to take a break anytime soon. You’re just a magic battery, princess.” She flitted her wings and made her way back to the front of the chamber. As she passed through the door, she glanced back at Cadence one more time.

“I have to get back to the throne room,” she said. “Remember what I said, though. Let it burn inside you. Do well, and who knows? Maybe I’ll let you see him again.” She slammed the door and her laughter faded as she walked away.

Cadence stared at the floor, images of Shining Armor clouding her vision, and the queen’s words echoing in her mind.

“Kill me...” she whispered and shook her head in confusion just before she felt another involuntary surge of magic beginning to build inside of her. She clenched her teeth and prepared herself, knowing she would have to bear the pain for now.

Across the chamber and down the short hall, the changeling who had been called Mulci reentered the room and pushed his way into the circle of changelings surrounding a cocoon hanging from the ceiling. He looked up at the pony held within, narrowing his eyes as the gem at the base of his horn began to glow with energy.

“Resist all you want, you’re our tool now,” he muttered, then closed his eyes and joined in with the others around him, pushing against the magic that was leaking from the cocoon and converting it into a green magical aura that filled the air.

“The queen mentioned having a problem with a certain unicorn in the throne room,” Mulci said, tilting his head towards the changeling that stood next to him. “Do you suppose that’s connected to Vitra falling unconcious? She said she sensed a surge of magic and went into the stream, but came back only briefly before falling asleep.”

“I guess. Who cares?” the other changeling responded. “You worry too much, brother, much like Vitra. She’ll have a report when she wakes up in about an hour or so. She’s just affected by the time transition.”

“Mulcibar, Linnai, Concentrate,” a changeling with a long gray beard hanging from its chin grumbled from across the circle. The other two nodded and focused their magic again.

Mulcibar looked back up at the pony inside the cocoon once more. “What sort of rage must you feel inside your prison?” he said with a grin. “How much must it burn to be captive again, Princess?”

Almost as if in response, a surge of purple and dark red magic pulsed outward, straight at Mulci, but was quickly suppressed and converted into the green ambient energy.

Princess Luna hung silently, her eyes closed tightly within her pulsing green cell.

Author's Note:

Prepare for Book Three. It's coming. In the meantime, I hope that this intermezzo can cleanse your palate and get you ready for what's coming.

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