• Published 16th Feb 2019
  • 1,626 Views, 140 Comments

Equestria Girls: Duel Monsters - Night-Quill



Twilight Sparkle's crown, the Element of Magic, has been stolen. She must now pursue the wayward Sunset Shimmer into a new world. A world where a dark magic lurks beneath the notice of its inhabitants, within a most peculiar game unlike any other...

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Duel #0: Pursue the Thief: Into the Mirror Portal!

Twilight Sparkle lunged forward, throwing her forelegs around the body of the amber, fiery-maned unicorn trying to make off with Twilight’s crown and Element of Magic in an attempt at stopping her where her magic had failed. On impact with the thief, the two of them were sent rolling forward, tumbling through the door leading to an unspecified chamber of the Crystal Palace with the grace of a wing-clipped pegasus.

Upon coming to an abrupt stop, Twilight’s eyes caught how the crown shot out of the mystery mare’s saddlebag and ricocheted off various objects set around the room until it went darting towards a large crystalline mirror atop a round stone pedestal. Instead of the expected results of broken glass and, if one were into superstition, bad luck, the crown sunk through the surface, ripples of magical energy permeating through it like on disturbed water. Twilight and her friends gasped in almost perfect unison upon witnessing the crown vanish.

“What did you do with my crown?!” she called demandingly towards the mystery unicorn.

The mystery unicorn cast a sideward sneer, “Sorry it had to be this way.”

Her horn glowed an unsettling green before vanishing with a burst of magical sparks, only to reappear before the mirror, that same, venomous grin staring back at Twilight.

“Princess,” she bid with a mocking salute of her forehoof before rushing through the mirror herself, vanishing just as the crown had through its shimmering façade.

All that transpired in those few moments elicited a second dumfounded gasp among the six friends, Pinkie Pie’s being the sharpest and most emphasized.

“Who was that?” called Fluttershy as Twilight continued to stare dumbstruck towards the mirror.

Their trip to the newly returned Crystal Empire for her first official summit as a princess of Equestria until now had gone off as uneventful, which was just how Twilight liked it. No changeling infiltrations, nor re-emergences of ancient evils from the distant past. In contrast to the peace of the night earlier, Twilight felt unable to comprehend what to think or feel at that moment. Her crown, not just a trinket belying her status as newly ascended royalty, but one of the six most powerful and crucial magical artifacts of their world and a key defense to their realm was now gone. The realization of the severity of the predicament had Twilight frozen in place when the weight of it all came crashing down on her mind.

Where was it gone? And who was that unicorn? How did she know about the Elements of Harmony? What did she plan to do with it? In the midst of her internal inquiry, Twilight spotted something on the crystalline floor a few hooves away. It looked like a small rectangular white box of some kind. Under regular circumstances it might have appeared highly insignificant and easily overlooked, but as of now, it was the first and only clue she had as to what was going on.

She wrapped the box in her telekinetic aura and floated it to her. On closer inspection she could have sworn it looked like something Shining Armor and his friends back in high school would have used to store their Hocus Pocus: The Get-together trading cards. She idly opened up the overlapping latch, held closed with a magnet, and lifted the contents within. It was indeed a deck of cards. She may not have cared much for such past-times as a filly, but her sharp memory for detail told her immediately that she’d never seen ones such as this.

On one side the cards were of a bookish brown with a discernible swirl or spiraling pattern leading to a black oval at the center with lighter brown, if not outright orange borders. On the other side most of the card was largely occupied by a portrait of a creature Twilight had never seen or heard of before, even in the most obscure book she’d remembered reading. It looked bipedal, covered mostly in white, flowy clothing decorated with amulets, most notably a pair of what looked like socks going up its forelimbs. A pink mane flowed down its rather small head from underneath a most intricate headwear not seen since the time of Star Swirl the Bearded. “High Priestess of Prophecy” was emblazoned at the top, with seven golden orange stars underneath that more to the right.

“What ‘cha got there, Twilight?” asked Pinkie Pie before she could finish analyzing the stack, popping up somehow from behind Twilight’s head in true Pinkie fashion.

Rainbow Dash hovered over, “Twilight; really don’t think this is a good time to be indulging in Hocus-Pocus...” she remarked flatly, looking over to see Rarity prod at the mirror, only to recoil back when the surface rippled at the slightest contact with her hoof.

Twilight rolled her eyes, far from the mood for witty banter, “We need to alert Princess Celestia right away,” she declared, hovering Spike onto her beck, “Spike, you hold onto this,” she set the box containing the cards into the infant dragon’s hands before galloping out of the chamber.

-

“Sunset Shimmer…” said Princess Celestia following a momentary pause, the alicorn’s eyes belying a hint of what Twilight discerned as sadness.

“A former student of mine. She began her studies with me, not long before Twilight,” all six listened intently. “But when she could not get what she desired, she turned down a path of darkness,” Celestia’s head lowered in regret. “I tried to help her, but during our last encounter, she fled in anger through the very mirror you spoke of.”

Spike walked up, presenting the replica crown to Princess Celestia, “She tried replacing Twilight’s crown with this,” which in the better lighting showed the clear lack of intricacies, such as the lack of facets on the star-shaped gem and the filigree was noticeably more angular compared to the genuine one’s more curved.

Celestia looked over crown, “I suppose Sunset thought you wouldn’t notice at the time this wasn’t yours,” she began to walk down the grand crystal throne room’s length towards the door, Twilight immediately following suit. “And by the time you did, it would have been too late to go after your crown, and Element of Harmony…”

“But I don’t understand,” Twilight shook her head, the newfound information of finding out about her mentor having had a previous student not long, and how said student had specifically come after something she’d always thought ponies having dismissed since the banishment of Nightmare Moon. “Where did she go? Where did she take my crown?!”

Celestia looked back at Twilight with a sideward glance, “You will soon know more about this place than even I…”

-

Everypony had gathered inside the gallery room housing the crystal mirror. Princess Luna stood before it, her night-blue reflection casting off the pristine surface.

“This is no ordinary mirror,” she stated. “It is a gateway to another world. One of few ever to be created during the time of Star Swirl the Bearded. This one in particular opens once every thirty moons…”

“Sparkly!” chirped Pinkie, prodding a hoof at the mirror’s surface, sparking to life once more with ripples of magical energy, a motion Luna found most unamusing, to which she slowly skidded the pink party pony away with her telekinesis.

“It has always been kept in the throne room of Canterlot Castle,” the Princess of the Moon, continued. “But once Princess Cadence took over the Crystal Empire we sent it here for her to watch over.”

A sigh escaped from her lips as Princess Celestia approached the mirror, “I had always hoped that Sunset Shimmer would someday and use it to return to Equestria and seek my guidance…” a disappointed furrow formed on the usually composed alicorn’s brow. “But it would seem she’s still bound by her thirst for power.”

“Twilight,” Cadence stepped up beside Luna, “you must go to this other world and retrieve your crown: Without it the other Elements of Harmony are powerless and Equestria is left without one of its most vital defenses.”

Luna looked over at Twilight with a grave expression, “Your crown does not belong in the place Sunset Shimmer now calls home. From what we have gleamed of this other world; there is a power much different from the magic of Equestria. Bringing magic not endemic to another plane can have dire consequences not only on their inhabitants, but could threaten the very borders of reality in between.”

“Multiversal disharmonic theorem,” Twilight nodded. “I’m familiar with its mechanics. Is there anything else you know about this power you spoke of?”

Luna’s expression turned grim. “All we know is that whatever magic exists in this world; it’s unpredictable and elusive. Unlike our magic and its inherent bond to all things in this world; out there, it’s a power independent of wielders with its own sentience and will,” the tone in the younger celestial princess’ voice felt like it was casting a shadow over her. “You must be cautious, Twilight.”

Rainbow Dash immediately zoomed next to the right of Twilight, “Well she won’t have to face whatever it is on her own!” she emphasized with a determined pump of a hoof.

“That’s right!” concurred Applejack as she trotted up to Twilight’s left, a look of assuredness. “Where Twilight’s goin’, then darn tootin’ we’re right there with her!”

The rest of her friends stepped up to stand beside Twilight. The newly ascended alicorn princess could not help but smile, being blessed with five ponies eager and willing to help her tackle even the prospect of inter-dimensional travel.

“Oooh! I’m so nervou-cited!” screamed Pinkie, a smile that should be all but impossible given how wide it came about.

“… You do realize that’s not even a real word, right?” asked Applejack, looking flatly at the over-enthusiastic pink earth pony.

“I’m afraid we can’t let the rest of you follow,” Celestia declared, stepping beside the gathered six friends.

Twilight and her friends froze in disbelief, looking over at Celestia with varying expressions of incredulity. True to her headstrong nature, it was Rainbow Dash who was the first to come out with a boisterous protest;

“Why not?!” the rainbow-maned pegasus shouted, wings flared in a mix of frustration and disappointment.

“It’s just as Twilight said,” Luna chimed in, as Cadence took the liberty to telekinetically float a pair of saddlebags onto Twilight’s back. “Multiversal disharmonic theorem is but one of the dangers when it comes to travel between worlds. Even one outsider alone can potentially harm the balance between the two.”

Twilight’s ear’s drooped in tandem with the discontentedness of her friends as they remained gathered around her.

“I’m sorry, everypony,” Celestia placed a comforting hoof beside Fluttershy, “but this is a trial that Twilight must overcome on her own, not just for the sake of Equestria, but for the sake of two worlds. I hope you understand the severity of this predicament.”

Twilight watched as her friends reluctantly stepped aside, each among them offering a physical gesture of affection and wishing her luck.

“And do not forget,” came the voice of Princess Luna, “you only have three days to recover your crown and to return. Otherwise you will not be able to return until another thirty moons have passed!”

Twilight’s throat felt like it was being constricted at the Princess’ warnings, exchanging worried looks between her and her friends. Swallowing hard, Twilight looked back at her mentor one more time, before her hooves slowly, and very unsurely carried her towards the portal.

“And whatever you do,” called Pinkie, “don’t look directly into the stream!”

“Wait, wha-?!” Twilight tried looking back when her left forehoof had submerged into the portal, only for a force from within pulling her in.

In an instant Twilight found herself helplessly adrift weightlessly in a blinding sea of spiraling colors. Her body felt itself twist and bend in ways her understanding of physiology would deem impossible, screaming throughout the dimensional dive as she went spiraling towards a light at the center of everything…


-

I just can't complete, the pages of this magazine
I picked it to read, the cover looked interesting

I just can't complete, my games in the corner
Will there be a point if I leave them there forever

You stand at the table across from me
I speak out to get you to talk to me
But your eyes they're frozen without a change
They won't even turn here for me
Though it's just me, why can't we be, the way we used to be

I just want to be
Back to you and me
With our feelings carefree
Won't you look at me
Don't you care to see
How much you mean to me ♪

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