• Published 16th Feb 2019
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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 #9: Desperate Overlay: Twilight vs. Fluttershy

Author's Note:

This one was delayed due to writing myself into a corner, oddly enough, due to Supply Squad, but I made it work.

Without further ado, enjoy your card games on a soccer field. :derpytongue2:

An incredulous silence fell over the audience, possibly well before Vinyl Scratch toned down the music. Twilight looked over at the students looking down upon her and Rarity, a regular cornucopia of shock of disbelief aimed at her, or Rarity, or both. The first breaking of the silence was someone, whom Twilight could have sworn was the one vocally doubting her earlier, thus depriving him of his free cupcake, shouting in denial to an almost pathetic degree.

“You go, new girl!” came the shout from, to Twilight’s surprise, the girl who looked like Lyra Heartstrings.

Pinkie slid out from behind Lyra, once more demonstrating her latent ability of defying reality like her pony counterpart, slinging one arm around and over the green girl’s shoulder in a chummy manner, “You heard it here, folks! Twilight Sparkle, the new girl underdog takes her first win in this epic boss rush to the sheer bamboozlement of everyone among us. But this girl? This girl, knows where it’s at!”

And with that, Pinkie handed Lyra a cupcake before disappearing behind her very form. Only to pop up further up the bleachers, standing over the railing behind Vinyl Scratch, able to maintain perfect balance despite the rounded surface of the metal structure.

“So how about it? Everyone ready for some more dueling?!” she asked the crowd with great enthusiasm.

“It could have been a fluke…”

“Okay, you need to chill!” Pinkie called out the incessant naysayer in the audience, in stark irony to her demands.

“Bring out the next challenger!” called out, to everyone’s surprise, Flash Sentry, having stood up from his seat along the bottom row.

Pinkie then popped out from behind Flash and side-hugged him, “Now we’re talking! A word of encouragement from the rival slash possible love interest himself!” The remark left Flash blushing hot red, all the while Pinkie, with a smug grin, took Flash’s hand to place a cupcake into it.


“Well, that’s your cue Fluttershy,” said Applejack. After a moment’s pause with no response, she looked over to the pink-haired yellow girl, “Fluttershy?”

“Oh! S-sorry!” peeped Fluttershy, a stray card falling to the ground from beside her, which she picked up upon folding in her fanned-out deck which she fastened into her pink and teal duel disk.

Applejack watched as Fluttershy and Rarity crossed paths between the bleachers and the field, the two of then exchanging the wishing of luck. As Rarity Approached, Apple Bloom, whom had taken a spot next to Applejack, politely switched sides from her sister’ left to her right so as to let Rarity sit between Applejack and Sweetie Belle. Upon sitting down, Applejack put a loving arm around her reunited girlfriend.

“Not gonna lie, sugar cube; she really had you on the ropes,” Applejack remarked.

“Indeed, she did,” said Rarity. “Quite the coincidence that she just so happened to have such a specific card against my deck…” she went on, casting a sideward glance at Sweetie Belle, who began to pat at the surface of the bench as if trying to appear idle. Applejack watched as Rarity simply smiled and put an arm around her little sister, with no words spoken.

That’s when Applejack realized that despite all the good that had come about that day, there was still a space next to Scootaloo that remained empty. The orange cerise-haired girl remained unaware of Applejack, whom could discern the subtle sadness in her.

Ah know, Scoot. Rainbow should be here with the rest of us, just like before…

“How do you think she’ll fare?” asked Rarity, interrupting Applejack’s thoughts.

Applejack looked up to the field, Fluttershy’s duel disk’s light pink tray having folded out, her own duel disk’s spectator function showing the proceeding coin flip.

“Which one are ya referrin’ to?”

“Who do you think?”


“Twilight.” Fluttershy spoke over the duel disk communicators. “I just want you to know that if you beat me, n-not that I’m saying you can’t, but seeing as we agreed to not hold back… That is to say, I wish no hard feelings whoever wins or loses.”

“Of course, Fluttershy. Regardless of outcome, you will always have me as a friend,” replied Twilight. Of course, if I do lose, it means this plan is a bust and I’m back to square one on how to get close to the crown. The thought of having to steal it back, even if it is mine, the prospect sounds so unwelcoming…

Twilight watched as the virtual coin flipped on its red side. Vinyl Scratch proceeded to start up on a new track, this one playing a much softer tune, possibly as more befitting of the comparatively meek and timid Fluttershy. It seemed to work, as knowing her new friend’s counterpart from Ponyville, Fluttershy was not the kind of put herself out before a crowd so readily. For all she knew she was urging herself to the fullest to focus on the duel instead of the multiple pairs of eyes beholding her in a duel.

Duel Start!

Fluttershy Life Points: 4000

Twilight Sparkle Life Points: 4000

Turn 1: Fluttershy (Hand: 5)

Fluttershy stood still in her spot at the opposite end of the soccer field, the duel disk communicator belying her humming softly to the tune, her eyes closed, almost as if she were meditating. When the music began to slightly embolden in the addition of a beat. She opened her eyes, taking the five cards extended out from the top of her deck. As Twilight watched Fluttershy fan her hand out, she noticed that her quick, hasty manner of movement had changed to that of a more deliberate, defined series of motion.

“Right,” Fluttershy took a card from her hand, “I start off with the continuous spell ‘Spiritual Forest.’” The image of said card arose onto her field. “Then summon ‘Chain Dog’ in defense mode.”

On Fluttershy’s field emerged, as per the name, a white dog rather reminiscent of certain breeds of short-haired terrier. Its pointed ears were a dark grey color, along with the tip of its tail. Around its body hung a very loosely coiled golden chain, complete with a golden padlock at its neck, with a matching skeleton key grasped in its mouth. (Level 4 1600/1100)

I end my turn.”

(Hand: 3)

Turn 2: Twilight Sparkle (Hand: 5)

Twilight drew her first card of the duel. Right, Fluttershy uses synchro monsters, meaning her monsters’ levels need to coincide for a specific monster in order to summon it using a tuner. “I summon ‘Amores of Prophecy’ in defense mode.”

The blue-garbed, blindfolded arcane archer emerged onto the field, taking a knee with his bow. (Level 3, 600/2000)

“Amores of Prophecy’s effect: Once per turn I can reveal one ‘Spellbook’ from my hand to special summon one level four or lower spellcaster from my hand…” she flashed ‘Spellbook of Knowledge’ from her hand. “I summon ‘Temperance of Prophecy’ in attack mode.”

Amores stood up and launched a magical arrow into the ground, the spot opening into a portal. From within it the brown robed female spellcaster with her connected twin chalices emerged beside her comrade. (Level 3, 1000/1000).

Twilight took the revealed spell and inserted it into her disk, “I then activate ‘Spellbook of Knowledge’. I discard Spellbook Star Hall from my hand and draw two cards. And because I activated a Spellbook, I can trigger Temperance’s effect.”

Temperance’s chalices expelled the white and dark smoke, swirling around her form to become completely obscured.

“By sacrificing Temperance, I can special summon one level 5 or above light or dark spellcaster from my deck.” Her deck shuffled before her chosen card slid out, “Come forth, ‘High Priestess of Prophecy’!”

Priestess unveiled herself from the swirl of smoke, clapping her emerald tome shut in one hand and nestling it under an arm as she stood defiantly on her long, slender legs. (Level 7, 2500/2100)

“Once per turn, Priestess can remove one ‘Spellbook’ from my graveyard to destroy one card on the field. By removing Spellbook Star Hall, I destroy your Chain Dog!

As in her previous display, Priestess’ projection skimmed through her emerald tome, finding the correct spell within the seemingly infinite pages, and proceeded to chant with her hands held in a specific gesture. Fluttershy’s Chain Dog erupted in a green light, howling in pain before burning to nothing in the emerald flash.

Fluttershy Life Points: 4000 – 1000 = 3000

Fluttershy’s life points instantly dropped by a thousand on the duel disk screen. The glowing outline of a hulking creature emerged onto the field. The glow faded, revealing a large anthropoid creature in armor seemingly made of thick burl, a green head with a black mane surrounding it, thick ape-like arms and contrastingly thin legs. Resting against the ground it gripped a massive, crude wooden club. (Level 7, 2600/1800)

“When a beast-type monster is destroyed, I can pay a thousand life points to special summon ‘Green Baboon, Defender of the Forest’, from my hand,” she stated in a rather nettled tone.

The aptly named Green Baboon roared as if reflecting some inherent rage for the demise of its comrade, thumping its great club against the ground in a display of power.

Twilight looked at her hand, seeing she still had some means of hampering Fluttershy, “I play ‘Spellbook of Power’, increasing Priestess’ attack power by a thousand. And when she destroys a monster in battle, I add a 'Spellbook' card to my hand.”

Priestess’ tome spun in place, its emerald shine turning radiant orange before flinging its cover open from the centrifugal force. Priestess reaching out with both hands to draw in crackling bolts of power from it, coalescing into the crackling fiery orb between her palms as in the duel with Rarity. (ATK 2500 -> 3500)

“I attack Green Baboon with High Priestess!” Twilight declared, designating the hulking ape.

Priestess (ATK: 3500) launched the crackling orb at Green Baboon (ATK: 2600). When the attack was about to strike home, a bright green aura, for the lack of a better description, shattered from around Green Baboon on contact, not exploding or dispersing as a monster normally would. Though Fluttershy still took damage.

Fluttershy Life Points: 3000 – 900 = 2100

“Spiritual Forest prevents one beast, beast-warrior or plant-type monster from being destroyed by the first attack in a battle phase, so Green Baboon is not destroyed,” Fluttershy explained.

Twilight looked over her hand, “I place one card facedown and end my turn.”

(Hand: 2)

Turn 3: Fluttershy (Hand: 2)

Fluttershy drew her first card of the duel. Sliding the card into her hand, she reached for a different one, “I summon the tuner monster ‘Key Mouse’ in attack mode.”

On Fluttershy’s field emerged a white mouse with blue tipped ears, a slightly jagged blue tail with a tuft at the end from which jutted, of all things, the teeth end of a golden key. Around the rodent’s neck was a heavy collar, from which a small golden padlock and a key ring with an appropriately sized key hung off it. (Level 1 100/100)

Just then a golden chain with a padlock landed on the field beside Key Mouse. A golden skeleton key lowered itself into said lock and turned. In a burst of golden light, Chain Dog remerged onto the field, wagging its tail as it caught the key from the air in its teeth. (Level 4 1600/1100)

“When I have two beast-type monsters on my side of the field, Chain Dog can special summon itself from the graveyard, but is banished should it leave the field,” Fluttershy divulged. “I shall now tune to my level one Key Mouse to my level four Chain Dog.”

Here it comes…

Key Mouse’s form faded into a glowing outline. The outline erupted into a single green ring, which positioned over Chain Dog, whose form also faded into four orbs of light the positioned themselves into a vertical line within the ring, which began to revolve. (1 + 4 = 5)

“Little critters need not fear, for their inner courage will light the way for the coming of a valiant protector in their hour of need.”

The orbs of erupted into a blinding pillar of light.

“Synchro Summon! Level 5 steed of lightning: ‘Thunder Unicorn’!”

Twilight watched on in apprehension as what seemed to qualify as Fluttershy’s blue-coated, golden-maned ace monster galloped from within the light, trotting in an arch around the midst of the soccer field, its hooves sparking with every step that sent erratic jolts coursing through the ground. It reared in a circling motion, a thundering neigh emanating from its mouth before its forehooves touched back to the ground. (Level 5, 2200/1800)

Even through the music, given its softer tone, Twilight could hear what constituted as Fluttershy’s clique (the ‘eco-kids’ if she recalled right) cheering for their representative. Though a few others seemed to have completely given into the spirit of the event, emboldened by Pinkie’s bombastic antics as she appeared to have stuck a suction cup dart to her head whilst flaying pink pom-poms.

“And now, I attack Amores of Prophecy with Thunder Unicorn.”

She’s not using its effect to thin out my rows! Twilight realized as Thunder Unicorn’s horn began to surge with power.

Thunder Unicorn’s (ATK: 2200) electric projectile struck the kneeling Amores (DEF: 2000), the blindfolded archer convulsing violently before exploding into bits.

“And then Green Baboon attacks High Priestess!” Fluttershy declared, pointing out her monster’s target.

Green Baboon (ATK: 2600) hefted its large club and performed an impossible leap towards Priestess (ATK: 2500), bringing up its wooden club to strike. Priestess cringed and reeled back as the weapon came down upon her, her form dispersing before the club impacted to the ground with a resounding boom.

Twilight Sparkle Life Points: 4000 – 100 = 3900

I’m so sorry!” Twilight cried out in her mental commune with the spirit.

Don’t be, Princess. My form here is but a shell, a mere imitation. Just focus on defeating Fluttershy,” Priestess’ echo reverberated into her mind, her astral image, unseen by anyone else, continuing to stand by her side.

“I place on card facedown. I end my turn,” Fluttershy declared, two powerful beasts standing before her akin to protective guardians.

(Hand: 1)

Turn 4: Twilight Sparkle (Hand: 2)

Twilight drew her next card. Perfect! “I summon ‘Spellbook Magician of Prophecy’ in defense mode.”

The white and blue robed bookkeeper spellcaster emerged kneeling onto the field, ever dutifully clutching his blue tome under an arm. (Level 2, 500/400)

“Spellbook Magician lets me add a ‘Spellbook’ to my hand from my deck,” her chosen card was ejected, “I chose ‘Spellbook of Secrets’, which I will then activate. This lets me add another ‘Spellbook’ from my deck to my hand, as long as it’s not of the same name. My choice is a second Spellbook of Knowledge. To activate it I will sacrifice Spellbook Magician from my field to draw two cards.”

Twilight give the image of the young spellcaster an apologetic look, even though knowing they were merely projections of light. Though in a short moment before fading from the field, Twilight thought she saw Spellbook Magician nod towards her. She drew another two cards.

“I then activate the equip spell ‘Spellbook of Life’. By revealing a ‘Spellbook’ from my hand,” she flashed ‘Spellbook of Eternity’ “and banishing a spellcaster from my graveyard,” Amores of Prophecy’s card was removed from her graveyard, “I can special summon a spellcaster monster from my graveyard and equip it with this card. Be revived, High Priestess of Prophecy!”

A glowing violet tome sprung up, spinning onto Twilight’s field, which opened its covers from the centrifugal force. The tome’s ethereal pages let fort a soothing light, ejecting a growing shape that grew into Priestess. Her hologram seemed to be reading her emerald tome before snapping it shut and tucking it under one arm to stand at the ready. The tome representing Spellbook of Life closed and went to hover over her. (Level 7 -> 10, 2500/2100)

“And now I banish Spellbook of Knowledge from my graveyard to destroy Green Baboon! Lexicon Designator!”

Priestess positioned her hands into the previous gesture from earlier, chanting something in her ethereal voice, when suddenly Green Baboon’s entire form erupted in green light, disintegrating the fearsome creature into nothing.

“Now, High Priestess attacks Thunder Unicorn!”

Priestess revved her free arm in a circular motion, a glowing sphere of energy coalescing into her hand.

“I play my trap card; ‘Barrier Wave!’” Fluttershy retorted, unveiling her facedown. “When you attack, I can sacrifice one synchro monster on my field. Forgive me, Thunder Unicorn.”

Thunder Unicorn raised its head proudly, its horn expelling a golden rippling wave.

“This switches all your monsters into defense mode, and you take damage equal to their defense points.”

The ripples washed over Priestess forcing her to kneel. Twilight’s segmented forcefield became visible as the waves fell over her, feeling her duel disk quiver on her arm from the feedback.

Twilight Sparkle Life Points: 3900 – 2100 = 1800

And just like that, Twilight had most of her life points shaved off with one single card she was too foolish to take into consideration, Fluttershy still able to top her by 300.

Not good! I should have used Priestess to destroy that instead and then use my facedown… However, Barrier Wave forced Fluttershy to sacrifice Thunder Unicorn, leaving her field empty, and leaving Priestess still on Twilight’s field in defense, so even if Fluttershy could bring Thunder Unicorn back as she had in the duel with Snips and Snails, I might still be able to recover as she can’t inflict battle damage.

“There’s nothing more I can do but end my turn…” Twilight declared with a hint of trepidation.

(Hand: 3)

Turn 5: Fluttershy (Hand: 1)

Fluttershy drew her next card, having a rather miniscule hand of two. She sighed reluctantly as she took one of the two cards and placed it on her tray, “I summon ‘Playful Possum’ in defense mode.”

A highly unassuming brown opossum emerged onto Fluttershy’s field in a hunched-over pose atop a sideward card. (Level 2 800/0)

“Then I activate the continuous spell ‘Supply Squad’. Once per turn, should a monster on my field be destroyed, I can draw one card,” she looked to her monster with a hint of sadness. “Playful Possum, as long as my opponent controls a monster with more attack points, can destroy itself.”

The opossum’s form erupted into bits, followed by the image of Supply Squad flashing, prompting Fluttershy to draw a card. With a small smile, she seemed to softly tap the card against her lips before inserting it into her disk.

“I place one card facedown and end my turn.”

(Hand: 0)

There was something Twilight was genuinely not surprised about in terms of Fluttershy’s demeanor. Despite her knowing so far that this was merely a game with a highly advanced form of immersion with whatever technology the duel disk utilized, Fluttershy appeared to show genuine concern, if not outright sadness seeing her critter-based monsters being sacrificed or destroyed.

It pains me to not be able to tell her that her cards are actually a lot more real than she can fathom…

Turn 6: Twilight Sparkle (Hand: 3)

Twilight drew her card. This time I need to be more careful with her facedown. Luckily, I have plenty of fodder to use for Priestess’ ability.

“I summon ‘Stoic of Prophecy’ in attack mode.”

Onto the field emerged a human male with spiked up orange hair, clad in a purple spauldered tunic and burgundy pants, a wide, splayed out collar around his head, whilst two long cloth talismans crossed from his shoulders around his chest. In both hands he wielded staffs with top-heavy gold facets with diamond tips. (Level 1 300/300)

“Then I play ‘Spellbook of Eternity’. This lets me add one banished Spellbook to my hand,” Twilight’s banished slot ejected Spellbook of Knowledge. “I then play Spellbook of Knowledge once more. By sacrificing Stoic on my field, I draw two cards.”

Stoic’s phantasmal image lingered on the field, the tips of his staffs shining in a brilliant flare.

“And when Stoic is sent to the graveyard, I can add one level three or below spellcaster from my deck to my hand.” Her deck once more shuffled before ejecting her chosen card, flashing it to confirm it as Fool of Prophecy.

“I will now banish Spellbook of Knowledge once more to destroy your facedown card with Priestess.” Twilight declared, Priestess’ hands taking to the appropriate gesture, when…

“I activate said facedown card,” Fluttershy replied, “‘Scapegoat’!”

A quick-play spell unveiled on Fluttershy’s field, to which four small, puffy creatures that looked like small cartoonish sheep with tiny curved horns on the sides of their bodies (due to lack of a distinctive head) with peaceful, smiling expressions on their faces. Blue, yellow, pink and orange. (4x Level 1 0/0)

“Scapegoat summons four ‘Sheep Tokens’ to my side in defense mode.”

Realizing she had now wasted Priestess effect, and because of Fluttershy’s Spiritual Forest, attacking these beast-type Sheep Tokens would be pointless since Priestess was her only monster on the field. But on the other hand, Twilight recognized the danger that having four potential fodder could lead to a potential revival of Thunder Unicorn as she had witnesses during Fluttershy and Pinkie’s duel with Snips and Snails. And she still had the one facedown she couldn’t use earlier.

“I switch High Priestess to attack mode,” Twilight turned Priestess card right side up on her tray, her projection rising to her feet from the ground. “I will then attack one of your Sheep Tokens with High Priestess!”

Priestess repeated her display from last turn, revving her arm in gathering power, when Twilight’s facedown arose from its placement, revealing a trap card.

“When a spellcaster attacks I can activate the trap ‘Magician’s Circle’. Magician’s Circle let’s me special summon one spellcaster from my deck with 2000 or less attack points. As such, I summon ‘Reaper of Prophecy’ in attack mode.”

On Twilight’s field a glowing circle formed to the ground. A trail continued to form within said circle, shaping into a five-pronged star, forming a perfect pentacle shape onto the ground. The light of the magical symbol intensified, to which a humanoid shape began to rise at the very center, melding through the ground itself.

Brandishing their vicious scythe, the gender ambiguous black, purple and silver garbed spellcaster stood poised on Twilight’s field. (Level 5 2000/1600)

“Reaper of Prophecy’s effects are determined based on the number of ‘Spellbooks’ in my graveyard when summoned. I have one Spellbook of Knowledge, Spellbook of Power, Spellbook of Secrets and Spellbook of Eternity, adding up to four. This lets Reaper gain 600 additional attack points, and also adds one Spellbook to my hand from my deck.” Another card ejected from her deck, revealing it as a second Spellbook of Power.

Priestess launched the gathering energy from her hand, arcane bolt striking the blue Sheep Token, when the green aura of Spiritual Forest shattered around its unassuming form, saving it from destruction.

“I will then attack the same token with Reaper of Prophecy!”

On command, Reaper swung forth their fearsome scythe, sending a blade of pale energy cleaving through the token. At first looking like it wasn’t affected, the token exploded in a smoky puff. In response, the image of Fluttershy’s Supply Squad lit up, prompting her to add a card.

“I end my turn,” Twilight said, looking over the cards accrued in her hand. Due to using Stoic of Prophecy, she could not normal summon further monsters that turn, but come next turn, she would be free to utilize the likes of Fool and potentially power through Fluttershy by destroying Spiritual forest with Priestess.

(Hand: 6)

Turn 7: Fluttershy (Hand: 1)

Upon drawing her card, Playful Possum emerged back onto the field.

“If destroyed by his own effect, Playful Possum special summons itself to my field during my stand-by phase. I will then destroy it again, (So sorry!) to use Supply Squad.” as Fluttershy regrettably had to destroy her own monster, she seemed comforted by whatever it was she drew from her deck. “I summon ‘Lock Cat’ in attack mode.”

A white, rather average looking feline emerged, sitting in an almost sultry manner on the field. The tips of its ears, as well as the base and end of its tail were a bright red, and around its neck was a thick golden collar with a large padlock at the front. (Level 3, 1200/1000)

“Lock Cat lets me special summon one level 1 beast-type monster from my graveyard in defense mode, so I’ll return Key Mouse to the field, but its effects are negated.”

A tiny golden lock appeared beside Lock Cat, to which an adequately sized key inserted itself into it and turned. In a magical chime, Key Mouse took its place on the field, huddled into a white and blue ball. (Level 1, 100/100)

“I now tune my level one Key Mouse to my level three Lock Cat, and my three level 1 Sheep Tokens!” (1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 3 = 7)

As before, Key Mouse faded into light which expanded into a single green ring. Lock Cat and the three sheep tokens lined up in the air, their forms fading, Lock Cat unleashing three orbs of light and the three Sheep Tokens one each. The six orbs lined perfectly in the center of the ring.

“Little critters need not fear, for their call shall beckon the heavenly guardian of roaring thunder in their hour of need.”

“Synchro Summon! Level 7, heavenly steed: ‘Voltic Bicorn’!”

A new equine beast emerged from the pillar of light. A neigh, accented with the roar of thunderbolts, emanated through the grounds, belonging to a large, ebony horse with golden lightning bolt marking running along its body. A thick crackling golden crest adhered to its chest, with a matching golden arced tail of electricity. Down its neck ran a wild teal mane, with two slim, bolt-like horns protruding by its ears. (Level 7, 2500/2000)

I should have known Thunder Unicorn wasn’t Fluttershy’s only synchro monster. It’s even stronger too. And with Spiritual Forest it can take out Priestess without destroying itself.

“One more card,” Fluttershy inserted one into her disk, “the spell ‘Ayers Rock Sunrise’!”


“This card lets me summon one beast-type monster from my graveyard. And then, for each beast, plant and winged-beast monster in my graveyard, all the opponent’s monsters lose 200 attack points!”


“Return to us; Thunder Unicorn!”

The simulation covered the entirety of the soccer field, seeming to transport Twilight and Fluttershy into the eponymous Ayers Rock. A gorgeous red sunrise arose in the fabricated, though spectacularly rendered horizon. A neigh emanated from all around them, followed by the sounds of sparking hooves. Obscured by the beams of sunlight, a smaller equine silhouette seemed to gallop from the sky on top of the rock, rearing in triumph before leaping down from it to stand before Fluttershy. (Level 5, 2200/1600).

The simulation soon faded back to the soccer field, when ghostly spheres containing the forms of Key Mouse, Lock Cat and Playful Possum appeared on Twilight’s field. Priestess (ATK: 2500 -> 1900) and Reaper’s (ATK: 2600 -> 2000) postures seemed to weaken until the apparitions faded.

Not good…

“Thunder Unicorn, attack High Priestess of Prophecy!” Fluttershy ordered, sending the blue and golden maned equine forth.

Thunder Unicorn (ATK: 2200) charged up and launched its crackling projectile at High Priestess (ATK: 1900). Priestess’ form convulsed and screamed in pain before her form broke apart.

Twilight Sparkle Life Points: 1800 – 300 = 1500

“And Voltic Bicorn, attack Reaper of Prophecy!”

On command, Voltic Bicorn (ATK: 2500) galloped across the field towards Reaper (ATK: 2000). In one fluid motion, the two-horned equine planted its forehooves into the ground, spinning its bulk around on them and delivering a vicious double buck against the scythe wielding spellcaster. An audible thunderclap erupted on impact, knocking Reaper away until disappearing from the projection altogether.

Twilight Sparkle Life Points: 1500 – 500 = 1000

Twilight, you need to stop holding back!” came Priestess’ mental echoes.

Priestess, what are you-?

Trust me, I have seen these very cards in use much longer than you. You must stop risking these duels for the sake of secrecy!

Of course, Twilight knew what Priestess was referring to, placing an emphasizing hand atop the back of her borrowed duel disk, “But that’s just it; this is a public display. For all we know Sunset Shimmer could be observing us even now. I thought if I kept up at least a bit of a charade that this might just be slightly different from her original deck-

Twilight: Regardless if she knows your deck, she doesn’t know you. How you wield these cards is what matters, not if she knows what they are. You already showed with the aid of the one named Sweetie Belle that you are not the same duelist as her. Fluttershy is most truly a formidable duelist, despite her demure nature. I realize you like to plan things beforehand, a most commendable trait, but now you must release yourself from these restraints, and unleash the full strength of the Prophecies!

Twilight wasn’t going to deny it. Her deck was Sunset’s original before her further fall from grace and abandonment of Priestess and her comrades, so it stood to reason that Sunset would recognize it if she were to observe. However, now with an increasingly difficult chain of duels against her friends’ counterparts, having just managed to defeat Rarity with the use of Double Spell combined with Rarity’s Graceful Charity, Twilight began to see the reasoning behind Priestess’ warning.

“I end my turn,” Fluttershy declared over the duel disks’ communicators, looking uncharacteristically menacing between Thunder Unicorn and the new Voltic Bicorn.

(Hand: 1)

Turn 8: Twilight Sparkle (Hand: 6)

So much for that plan, thought Twilight, drawing her next card. Now with her field empty, she would be unable to do what Priestess was imploring of her.

On the plus side, she did have a full hand of seven cards. Going carefully over her current arsenal, Vinyl’s music continuing to do its job of muting any potential interruptions. An empty field; no monsters, no facedowns, no spells or traps and a full hand of seven, with only a thousand life points. Against Fluttershy’s two powerful monsters, two continuous spells, one that protected the first target of attack, one that gave her a free draw with that Playful Possum of hers reviving itself constantly, and one card in her hand, plus her 2100 life points.

Now what could she do with her hand to turn things around?

What couldn’t I do? she asked herself, seeing the card she drew. “I activate ‘Magical Stone Excavation’. With this card I can bring one spell card from my graveyard to my hand by discarding two cards.” I hope I make the right decision…

Twilight slid Fool of Prophecy and Spellbook Library of the Heliosphere to her graveyard. In exchange, the graveyard slot spat out one of her earlier cards. She presented it as one of her two Spellbooks of Knowledge.

“I then activate Spellbook of Knowledge once more. By discarding a second Spellbook of Power, I draw twice.”


“She’s doin’ it!” Apple Bloom said with great enthusiasm.

Applejack gave a playful nudge against Apple Bloom’s shoulder, “Ya sure trained her well, didn’t ya?”

“Ah suppose. Ah mean the first few times she was kinda hopeless,” the youngest Apple sibling snickered. “She started turnin’ things around when she was dueling Scootaloo since, well, Scoots wasn’t usin’ her actual deck.”

Applejack looked at her sister, “Say what now? Why’s that? Fer fairness’ sake?”

“No…” Scootaloo muttered, one hand pressed over her deck in its placement on her duel disk, looking forlorn. “I swore that, until things went back the way they were, I would not use my true deck.”


Twilight looked at what she’d drawn. One was a monster card depicting a male sorcerer with a great white head of hair and beard. Perusing the monster’s effects, she’d realized she’d drawn exactly what she would need to turn this duel to her favor.

“Now, I summon ‘Hermit of Prophecy’ in attack mode,” she declared, slapping the first of the two freshly drawn cards onto her disk.

Onto Twilight’s field emerged said bearded sorcerer, wielding a short, broad-headed scepter emblazoned with the Prophecies’ crest. His wiry frame was covered by a loose, flowy purple robe with silver filigrees and blue gems studded into silvery inlays on his biceps belt, hat and waist. As his comrades, white cloth talismans hung from his clothing, on the sides of his waist. While the color of his robe and cloak were not the same as whom this figure reminded her of, plus his hat, purple with a triangular frame, was much too small and lacked bells, he was almost a perfect human image of one of her idols in the history of magic. (Level 3, 1200/700)

“Next, I activate ‘Spellbook of Fate:’ I banish one-to-three ‘Spellbooks’ from my graveyard,” she went over her graveyard, her choice; ‘Spellbook of Eternity’ being ejected from her graveyard. “By banishing one, I can add a spell or trap card to my hand.” In response, another card was ejected from the graveyard which the presented to her adversary, “I choose Spellbook of Life, which I shall then activate.”

The purple tome appeared spinning in the air once more. Twilight flashed another spell, Spellbook of the Master from her hand, to which the tome opened itself, shining light onto the field, within which a humanoid form began to materialize.


“Is she summoning Priestess again?” Rarity inquired, inadvertently gripping at the folds of her skirt watching the spectacle.

Applejack squinted her eyes, seeing the much less imposing figure arise from the ground, “No, it’s…”


Temperance of Prophecy’s form was unveiled from the tome’s violet shine, holding aloft her connected chalices as the tome closed and hovered over her. (Level 3 -> 5, 1000/1000)

Hermit then held aloft his scepter, the Prophecy crest at its head letting forth a blue light. (Level 3 -> 5, 1500/700).

“When on the field, if a Spellbook is activated, Hermit of Prophecy gains 300 attack points and increases his level by two.” Twilight then indicated the newly arisen Temperance, “With Spellbook of Life, I banished Spellbook Magician from my graveyard as part of the cost, increasing Temperance’s level by two.


Applejack looked through her duel disk’s screen. Two monsters whose levels had been altered to five. Twilight’s sudden change in style almost matched perfectly with…


“With my level five Hermit and level five Temperance, I Overlay them!”

Temperance and Hermit’s forms devolved into swirling lights that coalesced into one over the field, forming a swirling nebula of power.

“Power of the cosmos and fate intertwined, the arcane wisdom and force of the universe; bring forth the mother of life and energy, that the world may witness her bountiful radiance.”

“Xyz summon! Rank 5: Fertility goddess, ‘Empress of Prophecy’!”

From the nebula emerged a tall feminine figure, her curvaceous form clad in a glistening white and verdant green robe with golden filigrees. A tall, fanned out collar surrounding her slender neck, an elegant, most intricate crown encompassing her head, her hair as white as the first snow of winter that shone in the afternoon sun. Seven talismans hung off her form, two from her collar, two from her slender waist and two from the crest atop the staff in her left and one from a brooch hung below her chest, over her exposed belly. In her right hand she bore a broad, white and gold shield emblazoned with the crest of the Prophecies. (Rank 5, 2000 -> 2600/1700)


“Wait, she can Xyz summon?” Apple Bloom asked aloud.

“Ya mean she didn’t last night?” asked Applejack.

“Nuh-uh. Weird, she’d had all those opportunities too,” Apple Bloom remarked. “So why hold off on it until now?”

“Maybe she was holding off to surprise everyone?” Sweetie Belle offered in suggestion. “I mean, that could be the reason, right?”


Fluttershy looked upon the towering feminine figure, two spheres of blue light revolving around her in a perfect pattern, “You can Xyz summon too?”

Twilight stood defiantly behind the protection of her newest unveiled monster. Despite her previous trepidations about unveiling too much about the truth of her deck, she could feel like a great weight had been lifted off her shoulders. Perhaps Priestess was right; even if Sunset Shimmer may have been witnessing this duel right now, maybe even uncovering that Twilight was wielding the very deck she’d tossed aside, Sunset did not know Twilight, and what lay in her soul.

“Such is the nature of the Games of Darkness…”

Twilight smiled in invigorated confidence, “I was always able to. I just didn’t have the confidence, until now. I realized I can’t be at my best if I don’t give it everything I have, not if I want to make the change we want. Fluttershy; thank you.”

Fluttershy looked at her with uncertainty, “What for?”

“For helping me realize. All this time I’ve thought I could hold my own by just relying on my intuition and intellect; a trap I’ve fallen in time and time again until reality reminds me that there’s more to it than just my smarts.” Twilight sighed the last hints of mental tension, “Fluttershy, being such an amazing opponent is what helped me realize that I need to embrace dueling to the fullest. Seriously; thank you.”

Fluttershy stood somewhat confounded by Twilight’s speech. When she felt the inclination of having sounded nonsensical, possibly crazy, the normally shy and demure girl reciprocated the smile, “You’re most welcome. So, what will you do now at your fullest?” Fluttershy cast a most daring half-lidded smile towards Twilight.

Twilight met Fluttershy’s smile with her own, “Empress of Prophecy gains 300 attack points for each Overlay unit attached. However, by removing one Overlay unit, I can excavate the top five cards of my deck.”

Her duel disk’s inner workings analyzed the top five cards of her deck, a sliver of yellow light just barely peeking in between each, projections appearing over Twilight’s field representing each scanned card. From left to right, her excavated cards were revealed as ‘Dark Renewal,’ ‘Hidden Spellbook’, ‘Charioteer of Prophecy’, ‘Wheel of Prophecy’ and ‘Spellbook Organization’.

“For each ‘Spellbook’ excavated, I can destroy that many monsters on your side of the field. I uncovered ‘Hidden Spellbook’ and ‘Spellbook Organization’. Therefore I will destroy your Thunder Unicorn and Voltic Bicorn!”

Empress of Prophecy (ATK: 2600 -> 2300) held aloft her scepter, the images of the uncovered Spellbooks disintegrating into a cluster of arcane letters that swarmed around her. Pointing her scepter forward, the arcane letters began to pelt the two equine monsters in a vicious flurry, both their forms dissipating from the field as if torn apart.

“Voltic Bicorn’s effect activates!” Fluttershy responded. “When destroyed by my opponent, he forces both of us to send seven cards from the top of our decks to the graveyard.”

In compliance, Twilight’s duel disk ejected the top seven cards of her deck, Fluttershy’s doing the exact same across the soccer field, both contenders placing the stacks at the mouths of their graveyard slots, which systematically slid each card in one at a time. Supply Squad’s image flared, prompting Fluttershy to draw a card since she had a monster be destroyed.

“Next, I activate the effect of Green Baboon in my graveyard…”

Fluttershy Life Points: 2100 – 1000 = 1100

The earth ruptured on Fluttershy’s side of the field with a verdant green light. With a bestial howl, Green Baboon from earlier leapt from within the light, its thick wooden club smashing against the ground in its wake, the great beast thumping its armored chest in furious bravado. (Level 7, 2600/1800).

Suddenly another equally large monster materialized itself onto the field. Like Green Baboon, it stood as tall as an Equestrian minotaur, its body yellow muscly, covered mostly in stone-like armor, its feral face surrounded by a splayed out blackish grey mane, while in its hand it wielded an oversized longbow with an arrow the length of a royal guard’s lance. (Level 7, 2600/1800)

“When a beast-type monster on my side of the field is destroyed, by paying another one thousand life points, Green Baboon can special summon itself from the graveyard. And by banishing two beast-type monsters from my graveyard, I can special summon ‘Yellow Baboon, Archer of the Forest’ from my hand.”

Though her move was once again counteracted by Fluttershy’s uncanny ability to seemingly rebound when she least expected it, Twilight could not deny that she was beginning to feel a most exhilarating sensation in her chest. Novice she may have been, but with witnessing and partaking more and more in Duel Monsters, and with the constant teetering between victory and defeat, Twilight was actually beginning to derive an amazing sense of enjoyment from the spectacle.

“And just like that, you turn things around again,” Twilight remarked, unaware of the positively eager smile on her face. “You really are amazing, Fluttershy!”

Fluttershy, in a rather awkward display given the intensity in the air with Vinyl’s music, the hollers and woops managing to break over the volume and the notion of two vicious anthropoid apes standing before her, sheepishly tapped her foot against the ground, fiddling her hair around a finger.

“Oh, I don’t know,” she murmured, “I mainly just to what my mentor taught me.”

“Mentor?” Twilight asked, now very interested in whomever it was who helped make Fluttershy as talented as she’d shown today.

“Rainbow Dash…” said Fluttershy with a whiff of nostalgia. “She always told me to be more assertive, but, as you can tell, I’m not the most forward person around.”

Twilight had no argument over that.

“It may come off as a little silly, but when she got me hooked in Duel Monsters, I wasn’t really all that good. But Rainbow, she taught me that to have the most out of it, should I win or lose, was to take chances, that I should not hesitate, and be aggressive, for lack of a better term. I find that, through dueling and getting used to this level of forwardness in a safe, non-hurtful way, I believe it helped me, at least a little, to be more confident.”

“So then, when the five of you fell out of favor?” Twilight asked, trying to come off as mindful as she could.

“After Rainbow and Applejack started fighting, I just didn’t know what to do since I still wanted to be friends with both, but seeing them argue and fight all the time was too painful to watch. I guess you could say I just fell to the wayside.” Fluttershy looked resentfully down at the ground, “And then there was of course Sunset Shimmer…”

Typical; the divide and conquer method, thought Twilight. “Well, luckily you don’t need to be alone anymore.”

Fluttershy nodded, “And we have you to thank for that.”

“Not entirely: I couldn’t have done it without you,” Twilight replied.

“Me? But I’ve hardly done anything,” Fluttershy said, shaking her head dismissively.

“You were the first person to talk to me; a complete stranger and her dog,” she indicated Spike beside her feet, who wagged his tail and barked in agreement. “And you were willing to help me so readily despite having only met me. And let alone what I was planning. I mean, even I think some of my plans may come off as borderline insane deep down, and I count that as being one of those plans!”

“But to be fair; I think you posed a very valid argument with all the problems at CHS.” Fluttershy beamed at a sudden realization, “You should definitely run for the student council once officially enrolled! Because, if you permit me, you’d make a great representative.”

Twilight felt herself flush from the flattery, “You really think that?”

Fluttershy grinned playfully, “I’d vote for you.”

If only that were possible, Twilight thought, knowing her time in this fascinating world was growing shorter by the minute. Her thoughts were waylaid when Vinyl’s current track faded and a familiar voice in the crowd voiced his discontent.

“Get on with it!”

“Alright, you’re on thin ice, mister!” came Pinkie’s retort. “Inch. Thin.”

The two shared an awkward laugh. “You should probably conclude your turn soon…” Fluttershy remarked sheepishly.

Twilight’s soft expression hardened to determination as she presented her hand, “That I should; for I still have three cards in my hand.” Twilight picked her next card and with more practiced, fluid motions inserted it into her disk, “I play the equip spell ‘Wonder Wand’ on Empress of Prophecy.”

A simple black shafted wand with a gleaming ground malachite-like stone embedded to its tip in a gold fitting emerged from a portal my Empress. Casting her shield aside, which evaporated into shimmering sparks, the grasped the new weapon in her right hand, the head alighting with power. (ATK: 2300 -> 2800)

“Wonder Wand increases the equipped monster’s attack points by five hundred. And for my final play, I activate ‘Spellbook of the Master’.”

A dark purple tome with glowing arcane runes surrounding a blue spherically grounded gem in its middle appeared before Empress.

“Spellbook of the Master can only activate if I control a spellcaster monster, as well as revealing a Spellbook from my hand,” she flashed the final card, ‘Spellbook of Judgement’ in her hand in confirmation. “This card lets me target one normal spell type ‘Spellbook’ in my graveyard, and this card’s effect becomes that of the one I choose. My choice is the power-boosting Spellbook of Power.”

The dark purple tome began to flicker with a hint of orange, like its cover was a stained glass over a flickering flame. In a bright flash, the tome took on the radiant orange hue of the specified Spellbook, opening itself before the Empress. Empress held her two scepters forth, drawing power into a sphere held aloft by their tips. (ATK: 2800 -> 3800)

“3800 attack points?” Fluttershy gasped. “But that means even if either of my baboons survives…”

“I’m sorry, Fluttershy,” Twilight looked towards her friend somberly.

Fluttershy looked Twilight straight in the eyes, and as the equivalent to the embodiment of kindness across the endless void, only smiled sweetly. “You win some, you lose some. And I’d rather you’d won this one.”

Twilight nodded in empathy. She motioned towards Empress, continuing to hold aloft the crackling sphere of energy. “Empress will attack Green Baboon, for game.”

Empress (ATK: 3800) swung both staffs outwardly, leaving behind arcs of energy as the projectile propelled towards Green Baboon (2600). On impact, the fearsome beast bellowed in a blend of rage and pain as the green aura from Spiritual Forest continued to protect it from destruction. Alas, all for naught. Twilight could see Fluttershy grip at her duel disk bearing arm from a pang of feedback, but otherwise, she looked back at her contentedly, continuing to smile in approval as her remaining life points were subtracted.

Fluttershy Life Points: 1100 – 1200 = -100

Twilight Sparkle Victory!

The crowd fell silent as the images of Empress and Yellow Baboon faded from the field. Twilight looked over the gathered students, her lips pursing in confusion whilst she gathered her cards from her tray and slid them back into her deck. She looked over to Fluttershy, who reciprocated her sentiments with a bob of her shoulders.

“Oh, em, gee…” muttered Pinkie Pie in an uncharacteristically restrained manner. “That was incredible! With a an uber specific seven-card flush of a combo, Twilight Sparkle wins!” And there was the boisterous party girl in all her vocal glory.

Twilight was surprised when a multitude of students began to actively applaud for her, some going as far as doing a standing ovation. She could distinctly hear Lyra Hearstrings from earlier holler out in an enthusiastic whoop.

“You go, new girl!”

“Bring on the next one!”

“Were you faking it the first time or what?!”

The sudden validation and downright adoration swelled inside Twilight’s chest as the students applauded her. Just yesterday she stood before some of these same people as an unskilled, unimpressive novice way out of her league. On one hand, she did question the moral qualms about putting this much worth on a simple past time like the things her brother used to do for fun with his friends, although it also meant her and her new friends’ plan was actually working. Now if she could pull off two more victories, perhaps, just perhaps, she might be one step closer to getting back her crown before time ran out.

“I’d say you’re coming off increasingly convincing,” Fluttershy remarked over the communicators.

“So it seems,” Twilight replied with a shared smile.

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