• 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 #10: Honest Saplings: The Green Arbiter

“So then: Is everyone ready for the next bout in our new pally Twilight’s epic boss rush?!” A chorus of enthused students sounded from the bleachers from Pinkie’s question.

With her second victory against the school’s top brass, while still a mere novice by all presentable standards, Twilight was beginning to reconsider the efficacy of this plan conceived by Pinkie, who’d managed to distribute all the cupcakes, save the one left all alone on one of the serving wagons. (The green frosting and small slice of lime belying its flavor.)

Having managed to defeat Rarity and Fluttershy so far, both instances having cut it close. Especially with Fluttershy’s uncharacteristic ferocity she did not expect from someone she’d known, mostly in regards to her dimensional counterpart, as delicate, mostly unconfrontational and well-meaning. Perhaps the fixation people seemed to put into a game, much ponies back home put on events like the upcoming Equestria games, had caused a small, but major divergence between the human and pony Fluttershy.

One thing’s for sure; all the things I’ll have to tell everypony… If I make it back on time.

“Somethin’ wrong, sugarcube?” came Applejack’s term of endearment through Twilight’s duel disk.

Twilight snapped out of her thoughts with a start, seeing Applejack having taken Fluttershy’s place on the opposite end of the field, her rich red duel disk having deployed its verdant green tray.

“Oh, n-no! I’m fine!” Twilight insisted, enabling her duel disk’s shuffle function, “Just amazed.”

“‘Bout what?” asked Applejack.

“That I’m actually doing this- That is; winning this- I mean how far I’ve come!” said Twilight with an awkward two-part correction. She did not notice as Spike shook his head amusedly.

Applejack chuckled, “Don’t sell yerself short, Twi. An’ hey; you had good teachers.” She indicated at Apple Bloom sitting in the bleachers with Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo along with the defeated contenders, waving enthusiastically at Twilight, with Scootaloo giving her two V signs with her hands. “Ah’ve said it once before; but it bears repeatn’: You’re some kinda miracle on legs. Rebuldin’ friendships, and relations, an’ now you just stomped two of the best CHS has to offer!”

“It’s a shame Rainbow isn’t here with us…” Twilight said in a moment of absence that these people were not the same as the five back home.

“Ya sound almost as if ya knew Rainbow already,” remarked Applejack with an awkward smile.

It was only at that moment Twilight realized the slip, “Oh… Oh! I… I didn’t…”

“Trust me, Twi; even before all a’ this came about, Rainbow could be a real pain in the ass even on the best a’ days,” said Applejack with a wry smile.

“Oh- Oh! Of course, if you say so!” Twilight responded, giggling awkwardly. I wish I knew the connotation of ‘ass’ in this context, because I know for a fact donkeys would be very insulted…

Pinkie’s ever chipper soprano of enthusiasm reverberated across the field from her megaphone, “Alright, our wonderful audience; it looks like our very own strong girl Applejack is ready and rearing to get her game on!”

An immediate silence, for whatever reason fell over the audience. Even Vinyl’s sound system seemed to have timed out in response to whatever joke was meant to be conveyed that went over Twilight’s head by figurative miles. She could even spot an ash-skinned, bowler hat wearing student visibly retch.

“I don’t know why, but there was something terribly wrong with that…” remarked a grey skinned girl with slightly unkept blonde hair whose eyes seemed to be slightly unfocused.

Pinkie rolled her eyes, looking ever so miffed at the negativity. She raised the megaphone to her mouth, “Three-two-one, go!”

With reciprocated chuckles, Twilight and Applejack activated duel mode in almost perfect synch, “Opponent detected. Streaming data.” The ensuing coin flip went in Twilight’s favor.

Duel start!

Twilight Sparkle Life Points: 4000

Applejack Life Points: 4000

“I’ll admit, it feels good to not hold back anymore,” remarked Twilight.

“Boy, Ah’ll say. Ya kept it secret you can do Xyz summoning all this time and even won against Rarity without ‘em.” A daring smile curved onto Applejack’s face, “So Ah guess this mean Ah’ll have to be double the serious.”

That’s the problem, thought Twilight. With each consecutive duel I’m forced to reveal more and more about me, and therefore each opponent afterwards will be harder. Rarity was entirely unprepared and was more reckless with power. Having Sweetie Belle’s Cursed Seal helped a lot in that regard, yet still it went dangerously close.

Turn 1: Twilight Sparkle (Hand: 5)

Twilight’s hand came chockfull of Spellbooks; Knowledge, Power and Star Hall. Applejack’s deck seemed highly power reliant during her duel with Rarity. So far, most I need to watch out for is that Sagequoia of hers…


A large tree arose, a face composed of squinted eyes, pouted lips with that looked like little spectacles at the top of a low stretching nose. Its leaf-heavy branches looked to almost form a puffy head of hair at its very boughs, sides and back, with three lengths of braided grass forming a beard underneath its lips. Four root-like tendrils snaked at the bottom of its trunk body.

“When ‘Sylvan Sagequoia’ is sent to my graveyard from my hand, Ah can Special Summon him.”


“I reveal three ‘Spellbook’ spells from my hand,” Twilight proclaimed, setting the cards face-down against her screen, the device reading them to reveal their identities through projections. “Knowledge, Power and Star Hall. Doing so lets me special summon ‘High Priestess of Prophecy’ in attack mode.”

Priestess’ form emerged onto the field, seeming to feign sitting in the air before grasping her emerald tome under one arm and standing up straight on her long, slender legs. (Level 7, 2500/2100)

“I then activate I activate the continuous spell ‘Spellbook Star Hall’.”

The image of the card arose onto her field.

“Next I normal summon ‘Spellbook Magician of Prophecy,’ also in attack mode.”

The young blue and white clad archivist magician emerged beside Priestess, levitating his clear blue tome over one hand whilst his other hand had two of its foremost fingers to his forehead. (Level 2, 500/400)

“When normal summoned, Spellbook Magician lets me add one ‘Spellbook’ spellcard to my hand,” her choice was ejected from her deck following a brief shuffle. “I then activate that card; ‘Spellbook of Judgement’. At the end phase of the turn this card is activated, I can add Spellbooks to my hand equal to the number of spell cards activated this turn.

The image of Star Hall shone in a faint white aura, which seemed to transfer onto Priestess. A glowing sphere then appeared over Star Hall’s image; pitch black, with a golden yellow upside-down triangle composed of three smaller triangles within it. A white flame enveloped the sphere shortly after.

“At this point the effect of Star Hall activates. Each time a ‘Spellbook’ spell card is activated, Star Hall gains a Spell Counter. For each counter, my spellcasters’ attack points increase by a hundred. (Spell Counters: x1) Next I activate ‘Spellbook of Knowledge;’ by sacrificing Spellbook Magician, I draw twice.”

Spellbook Magician snatched his tome in his hand and tucked it under and arm whilst gesturing farewell with his free hand as he vanished. Twilight’s duel disk pinged with sign of approval, urging her to draw twice. A second Spell Counter appeared over Star Hall’s image (Spell Counters: x2).

“Then I activate, ‘Spellbook of Secrets’. This lets me add a ‘Spellbook’ other than itself from my deck to my hand,” another card slid out of her deck, which she flashed as ‘Spellbook Library of the Heliosphere’ (Star Hall Spell Counters: x3). “And lastly, the spell ‘Foolish Burial’. This card lets me send one monster card from my deck to my graveyard,” her chosen card was ejected into her hand, which promptly went into the graveyard.

“I end my turn. At this point the effect of Spellbook of Judgement activates: I activated four spell cards after Judgement; so I add that many Spellbooks to my hand.” After scrolling through her choices, four cards were ejected one by one from her deck, putting her hand count at a comforting 6. “In addition, I can special summon a spellcaster-type monster from my deck whose level is equal or less to the number of cards added to my hand by this effect: I choose ‘Fool of Prophecy’, in attack mode.”

The yellow clad magician with the twig in his mouth emerged beside Priestess, lazily leaning his scepter against his shoulder with one hand in a pocket. (Level 4, 1600 + 300 = 1900/600 (due to Star Hall with x3 Spell Counters))

(Hand: 6)

Turn 2: Applejack (Hand: 5)

Applejack drew her first card, “Eight cards in one turn and ya ended with a hand bigger than what ya started with,” she remarked looking most impressed.

“You said it yourself; I have good teachers,” Twilight replied.

“Ah’ll say,” she smirked, fanning out her hand. “Let’s put that to test, shall we?” she slid a card from her hand and inserted it into the disk. “Ah activate the field spell ‘Mount Sylvania’.”

A rippling wave of light emanated from around Applejack, the ground changing in its wake. The plain grass soccer field became suffocated by a veritable forest, forming a circular arena of a glade around them. Over the trees in a simulated horizon, Twilight thought she could see a towering mountain in the distance. The glade was accented with a canyon wall opposite the bleachers that still remained due to the sheer number of people interfering with the projection, from which a tranquil water fall babbled into a pond that took up half the space.

“Here in Mount Sylvania, once per turn Ah can send one plant-type monster from my hand or field to the graveyard, in order to place one plant-type monster from my deck to the top of it.” She held up a card from her hand, “Ah discard ‘Sylvan Snapdrassinagon’ to activate Mount Sylvania’s effect.”

The moment Applejack slid the card into her graveyard, a faded image of a creature best described as an anthropomorphic snapdragon flower with little arms and legs wearing a purple cloth over what must have been a shrouded face, as hinted by the single eye peering from over it. A comically thick leather belt was slung diagonally on its body, holding a triple assortment of knives.

“When Snapdrassinagon is sent to the graveyard, it lets me excavate the card on the top of my deck,” Applejack explained, to which she flipped the top card of her deck over. “It’s ‘Sylvan Cherubsprout’, so as a monster it goes to my graveyard. When Cherubsprout is sent from the graveyard like this, it lets me special summon one level one plant monster from my deck.” A card was ejected from Applejack’s deck which found its way onto her tray, “So Ah special summon my second Cherubsprout in defense mode.”

Twilight recognized this monster from Applejack and Rarity’s duel from earlier. The small green unassuming, almost helpless looking creature with a body made of folded leaves, the ears of clovers, small white horn-like protrusions on its head and a larger leaf serving as its tail. It promptly folded the leaf around itself in an almost cowering manner. (Level 1, 100/100).

“When Cherubsprout is special summoned, Ah can choose one or two, then Ah excavate that many cards from the top of my deck. Ah choose two.” As such, the flipped over her first card, “Sylvan Bladefender, so it goes to my graveyard. However, if he’s sent there from being excavated,” the moment she discarded the card, it immediately slid back out of the graveyard slot, “he gets added to my hand instead.” She flipped the second card, “Hmm, Mistake…”

“Mistake?” Twilight raised a brow. “Did you do something wrong or-?”

“Nah, it’s the card ‘Mistake’, so it goes to the bottom of my deck,” Applejack corrected. “Then Ah take and put ‘Sylvan Marshalleaf’ on top of my deck as per Mount Sylvania’s effect,” her deck was shuffled and she placed the card on top.

Applejack’s deck works like an uncontrolled chemical reaction it feels like. Her cards force her to excavate cards from the top of her deck, then based on their type they’re sent to the graveyard for some form of effect. But just from Mount Sylvania alone, she’s already summoned a monster, reinforced her hand, and on top of it; knows her next draw…

“Ah then summon ‘Sylvan Peaskeeper’ in defense mode.”

A trio of small green orbs with spindly little arms and tiny stumps atop their head appeared on the field atop the sideways card defense position monsters were positioned on. It didn’t take long to realize that they were anthropomorphized peas. They had perfectly round white eyes with black pupils lacking distinct irises and tiny mouths. They looked towards Twilight in obvious terror as they huddled together in a severely lacking defensive pose. (Level 1, 400/100)

“When Peaskeeper is summoned, Ah can excavate the top card of my deck once more,” she slid the aforementioned ‘Marshalleaf’ into the graveyard. “When ‘Sylvan Marshalleaf’ is sent to the graveyard by being excavated, Ah can destroy one monster on the field.”

In a spiraling flurry of leaves, a small green humanoid similar to Snapdrassinagon wearing a leaf as a mask, appeared on the field. Around its neck was a simple brown cord, off which hung a single leaf and two oversized bluebell flowers on either side of that. In its tiny hands it held what looked to be daggers made of bluebell buds. In the blink of an eye, the tiny being flung one of its daggers at Priestess, her and Twilight both looking taken aback from the lack of a visible wound. Priestess’ form suddenly erupted into bits.


“An’ now, Ah use Cherubsprout and Peaskeeper to construct the Overlay Network,” Applejack declared, the forms of her monsters fading into energy as a spiraling nebula emerged behind them. Her monsters went spiraling into the nebula, eliciting a pillar of light to emerge from within.

“Under the life-giving sun, the surge of life erupts, bringing forth the one who tends to the sacred tree.”

“Xyz Summon! Rank 1: ‘Sylvan Princessprite!’”

The green kimono clad maiden from Applejack’s previous duel emerged onto the field, grasping a cherry blossom branch in one hand, the projection of Mount Sylvania a most perfect backdrop for this monster. Her Overlay Unit spheres revolved around her form. (Rank 1, 1800/100)

That’s the one that allows Applejack to summon plant-type monsters freely from her graveyard by sacrificing a plant monster. Though because of Star Hall, The Fool outpowers her by a hundred.

“Ah play the spell card ‘A Feather of the Phoenix’. By discardin’ a card, Ah can place one card from my graveyard to the top of my deck,” a card slid from her graveyard slot that found itself back on Applejack’s deck. “Ah then activate Princessprite’s effect: By removin’ one overlay unit, Ah can excavate the top card of my deck, and if that card is a spell or trap, it’s added to my hand,” as one of Princessprite’s spheres melded into her form, Applejack flipped the topmost card over and revealed it, “It’s Sylvan Marshalleaf, an’ Ah’ll use him to destroy yer Fool.”

In a repeated of earlier, Marshalleaf emerged onto the field in a flurry of leaves, to which it tossed one of its makeshift blades at The Fool. In a similar delayed reaction, the Fool’s form erupted into bits, leaving Twilight’s field deprived of monsters.

“An’ now, Ah attack ya directly with Princessprite!”

Princessprite swung her hand bearing the cherry blossom branch, sending forth a veritable gust laden in dozens of their petals. They wafted into Twilight’s forcefield, erupting like small, blinding firecrackers against it.

Twilight Sparke Life Points: 4000 – 1800 = 2200

And with that, Twilight’s life points were almost down to half in one turn.

“Ah place one card facedown. That’s all she wrote.”

(Hand: 1)

“You really seem to have a penchant for direct attacks it seems…” Twilight remarked in regards to her predicament.

“Ah like bein’ thorough,” said Applejack. “Hmm, kinda like you, eh? Like yesterday with the books an’ all.”

Turn 3: Twilight Sparkle (Hand: 6)

Twilight drew her next card, putting her at the maximum of seven. Even so; I have a more than enough to turn things around.

“Admirable indeed, my friend,” Twilight stated with more than a hint of confidence. “However, from what I’ve learned in these past few days; it’s not always the field or life points that matter; it’s the cards you hold.”

“Awright,” Applejack thumped her chest in a reciprocating smirk, “show me!”

“I activate the equip spell ‘Spellbook of Life’,” Twilight slid one of the Spellbooks she’d acquire via Spellbook of Judgement into her disk, the card’s image arising onto the field. “By banishing-”

“Hold yer horses there! Ah activate the continuous trap ‘Imperial Iron Wall’!” Applejack responded with a push of her touch screen, unveiling her facedown.

“What does that-?”

“With Imperial Iron Wall up, neither player can banish cards,” Applejack proceeded to elaborate. “Field, hand, graveyard; sorry sugarcube, but you’re not gettin’ at me with that old trick.”

Twilight was barely able to restrain the gasp building up in her throat. So that means my Spellbook of Life won’t work since it requires me to banish a monster from my graveyard… Disheartened, she was forced to slide the card into her graveyard port. “Still, as the card was activated, Star Hall gains another Spell Counter (x4).”

Hampered as Twilight now was from utilizing a select few cards in her deck, as well as Priestess’ ability to destroy cards, if her past experiences had taught her anything; it was that she could always find an alternate way. “I activate a second Spellbook of Knowledge. By discarding Spellbook of Fate from my hand, I draw twice again.” Two of her added Spellbooks were now rendered useless, but she would ensure they would not be wasted.

“I summon Justice of Prophecy, in attack mode,” Twilight declared, slapping a new card onto her tray.

Out emerged a sorceress garbed in a very dark, bordering on black, green robe indicated only by a slight iridescence of the afternoon sun (which further signified the wonders of this technology where it was able to correlate almost seamlessly with the immediate surroundings), with white trimmings and inlays. A wide poncho covered her chest and shoulders with a white crest of the prophecy emblazoned on it with black pearls, similarly to the small semi-conical hat she wore over her light brown hair. Two cloth talismans hung from her waist, and in her left hand she wielded a heavyset scepter or mace made of gold and a purple, thorny dagger in the right. (Level 3, 1600 + 400 = 2000/800)

Twilight looked at her hand, to which she picked one out and slid it into her disk, “I activate ‘Spellbook of Power’ to increase Justice’s attack by a thousand.”

Upon activation, Star Hall gained a fifth Spell Counter. The orange tome twirled before Justice, opening its cover, to which a surge of power began to coalesce onto her dagger, the weapon glowing like hot iron with arcs of energy racing across its length. (ATK: 3100)

“I will then attack Princessprite with Justice of Prophecy!”

Justice pointed her surging dagger towards Princessprite (ATK: 1800), the familiar orb of energy being launched from the blade. Princessprite, whose form splintered on impact. Twilight added a card to her hand per Spellbook of power’s effect.

Applejack Life Points: 4000 – 1800 = 2200

Now we’re even! “I place two cards facedown and end my turn,” Twilight declared, setting the newly added card, eyes focused warily on the mystery that was Applejack’s facedown.

(Hand: 2)

“At this point, Mount Sylvania’s second effect activates; during my opponent’s end phase, Ah can excavate one card from the top of my deck,” Applejack interjected, to which she flipped her topmost card over. The card was transferred to her graveyard slot, indicating a monster. No effect seemed to trigger this time around.

Turn 4: Applejack (Hand: 1)

“Not bad, Twi,” said Applejack as she drew her card, “Ah activate ‘Sylvan Charity’. This card lets me draw three times, then Ah need to reveal two cards from my hand with one needin’ to be a ‘Sylvan’ monster…” She did as directed, drawing three cards. Going over her hand, she pressed two against her duel disk screen, revealing them in projection form as ‘Sylvan Hermitree’ and a spell, ‘Miracle Fertilizer’. “These two here then go on top of my deck in any order Ah like. Next, Ah activate Mount Sylvania’s effect…”

Applejack slid a card she’d already know was a Sylvan type monster. In a sudden repeat of earlier on the roof of CHS, a gaggle of roots punched their way through the ground, followed by a towering tree with branches in the formation of a toupee running up and down the sides of its trunk, a pair of squinted eyes and kneaded grass forming a goatee and moustache over a pouting pair of lips. Sylvan Sagequoia. (Level 7, 2600/2100)

“Since Ah discarded Bladefender to the graveyard, ‘Sylvan Sagequoia’ can be special summoned from my hand. And then Ah resume Mount Sylvania’s effect, and, well; look at that; ‘Hermitree’. So it goes to my graveyard.”

An astral image of a great tree, towering over all in the glade, including Sagequoia, and outdoing them similarly in girth, appeared behind Applejack, its broadly spread out canopy bearing a thick head of leaves filled with massive patches of red.

“When ‘Sylvan Hermitree’ is excavated and sent to the graveyard, Ah look at the top three cards of my deck, and rearrange them.”

Twilight watched as Applejack took the top three cards of her deck and perused through them. The first one was obvious; this Miracle Fertilizer spell. Applejack proceeded to take the third card, and placed it over Miracle Fertilizer’s before sliding the three back atop her deck.

“An’ then Ah activate Sagequoia’s effect. He lets me excavate one card from the top of my deck, which is, of course, ‘Sylvan Princessprout’, so she goes to the graveyard,” but before her duel disk could even begin to slide it in half-way, it was promptly spat back out, “to which Ah can special summon her in defense mode!”

The small kimono wearing sprite emerged onto the field, huddled in a kneeling position with her hands clasped together. Noticing the horns atop the creature’s head, Twilight made a connection that Princessprout was meant to be a precursor of Princessprite, while also a more matured Cherubsprout, as evidenced by all three possessing the white horns atop their heads. Much like a sprout growing into a tree. (Level 1 100/100)

“When Princessprout is special summoned this way, Ah can pick a level between one an’ eight, and she becomes that level. So Ah choose level seven.”

Seven… And Sagequoia is level seven…

“Ah use my level seven Sagequoia and Princessprout to construct the Overlay Network!”

The Overlay nebula emerged onto the field once more, the forms of Sagequoia and Princessprout deforming into energy and spiraling into the nebula.

“Under the life-giving sun, the surge of life erupts: Great Goddess of Tranquility aloft on verdant wings; take to the skies and shade the sacred grove.”

“Xyz Summon! Take flight! Rank 7: ‘Orea, the Sylvan High Arbiter!”

Emerging into the very sky was possibly one of the largest monsters Twilight had seen so far. Barring the intimidating size, this creature was arguably one of the most beautiful ones she’d seen thus far. It was a giant bird with very pale green plumage covering its graceful body, with great wings or with tri-colored wings starting green, turning bright orange and ending in bright red tips like a flower’s petals. Large, red flowers circles around its neck over thicker, grass green neck plumage, its tail looking to be composed of great leaves splayed out much like a peacock’s, and atop its head a crown or red-budded stems extended, as well as a series of long red tassels that swept behind its form. A pair of strangely soft, almost serene eyes stared down at Twilight past a short beak. The great avian let loose a melodious call, flapping its enormous wings over the simulated glade. As before, orbs of light revolved around it as any other Xyz monster. (Rank 7, 2800/2500)

The audience vocalized their amazement at the giant avian suspended over the field.

“Pretty~!” came Pinkie’s voice over the megaphone.

“An’ ain’t she as pretty as an orchard on a spring day…” said Applejack, looking upon her own monster in adoration. “Orea, she lets me send one plant-type monster from my hand or field to the graveyard,” she flashed her choice, “in this case the level 5 ‘Sylvan Lotuswain’. Doin’ so lets me look at cards from atop my deck equal to the discarded monster’s level.”

Twilight watched as Applejack took the top five cards of her deck and splayed them out, going over them contemplatively.

So this is Applejack’s deck’s true strength. It lets her observe and rearrange her entire deck, slimming down having to relegate her draws on chance…

After a moment of rearranging, which, considering it was Applejack, gave Twilight a strange impression of Applejack’s, or rather the one from Equestria’s, very specific method of work where she’d often observed the middle Apple following a very specific pattern, the five cards were placed back atop the deck.

“An’ now, by removing one overlay unit from Orea,” Applejack declared, one of the spheres of light melding into Orea’s form with a soft ripple, “Ah excavate three cards from top of my deck. And for each plant monster Ah excavate and send to the graveyard, Ah return a card on the field to the hand.”

Twilight internally cringed. So because she knows the next five cards she’s going to excavate, she can end up clearing my entire field and leave me open!

Applejack flipped over the first card, “First; ‘Sylvan Peaskeeper’, graveyard,” she slid the card into the graveyard.

Before Applejack on the field came a spectral projection of the three terrified looking anthropomorphized peas, “When a Peaskeeper is sent to the graveyard this way, Ah can special summon one level four or below plant-type monster from my graveyard. So Ah’ll special summon ‘Sylvan Bladefender’ in attack mode.”

The green clothed swordsman Twilight had witnessed earlier emerged onto the field, gripping the sheath of the longer of his two swords in a sideward stance. (Level 4, 1900/700)

“Second; ‘Sylvan Mikorange’, graveyard.”

Another spectral image; this one a small sprite-like being in an orange and yellow kimono and a round orange head framed by leaves and berries, positioned in the likeness of hair and a headdress, holding its tiny hands together in a pose akin to prayer.

“When Mikorange is sent to the graveyard like this, it increases the attack of all plant-type monsters by 300." (Orea, Sylvan High Arbiter ATK: 2800 -> 3100, Sylvan Bladefender ATK: 1900 -> 2200)

“Third; ‘Sylvan Waterfall’. As a trap card, it goes to the bottom of my deck. Fourth: 'Mark of the Rose'; bottom. Fifth, 'Super Solar Nutrient'; bottom. Since Ah sent two plant-type monsters into the graveyard, Orea returns two cards on the field to the hand, an’ Ah choose yer two facedown cards.”

As if on an unspoken command, Orea spread her wings wide and buffeted them down with enough force to generate a gale.

“Activate facedown cards!” Twilight retorted, “‘Spellbook Organization’ and ‘Mystical Space Typhoon’!”

Applejack eyed the field in befuddlement “What are you-?”

“First; Spellbook Organization lets me look at the top three cards of my deck; and I can reorganize them. And it adds one additional Spell Counter to Star Hall.”

Twilight looked at the top three cards of her deck, similarly to Applejack, before after a switch between the top- and bottom-most, they were returned to the deck. Star Hall generated a sixth Spell Counter.

“I will then use Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy my Spellbook Star Hall!” Twilight continued. “Doing so deprives your effect of its targets.”

As Orea’s gale storm abated, a second tornado erupted from underneath the projection of Star Hall’s card, the image splintering, but the five accrued Spell Counters remained. The five counters formed into a circle and began to spin, their speed increasing until all that could be made out was a white glowing halo.

“When Star Hall is destroyed, I can special summon one spellcaster-type monster whose level is equal or less to the number of Spell Counters that were on it from my hand or deck. I summon the level six ‘Reaper of Prophecy’ from my deck, in attack mode!”

The darkly dressed gender ambiguous scythe wielding spellcaster emerged onto the field. Strangely, as soon as they had arisen, a foreboding red glow emanated from underneath the dark purple cowl, and the great scythe’s blade seemed to also take on an icy blue glow. (Level 6, 2000/1600)

“What the-?” Applejack wondered aloud.

“When Reaper of Prophecy is summoned, their effect is determined by the number of ‘Spellbooks’ in my graveyard. I have eight in total, so I can activate all three of Reaper’s effects. First; they gain 600 attack points (ATK: 2600). Second; I can add one Spellbook to my hand.” A card was ejected from Twilight’s deck, revealing it as Spellbook of the Master. “Third: I special summon a level five or above dark spellcaster from my deck. I choose ‘Prophecy Destroyer’.”

Reaper swung his scythe to the side, the blade seemingly sinking into the air itself, before yanking a literal rip into space, a dark gash spilling out. Two clawed hands reached out from within around the ‘edges’ of the tear, and tore it apart further. A thorny pair of leathery wings unfurled from inside the tear, unveiling a much different monster from what Twilight had used so far.

It was not visually reminiscent of the other Prophecy monsters. It stood taller and wider than the others, its body grey and muscly, with its legs covered in black and silver rimmed armored leggings and greaves whilst a long tail with a spiked tip snaked behind it. A demonic helmet with flaming eyes and a mouth was affixed to its head, whilst in one of its burly arms it grasped a flaming double-edged longsword appropriated to its size. (Level 6, 2500/1200)

A cheer of adoration erupted from the crowd at Twilight’s display.

“Whoa! Is it just me or did it look like it was almost the end to Twilight’s winning streak?!” asked Pinkie through the megaphone. As if in response, Vinyl abruptly cut the latest track and began to play some form of symphonic metal track to further hype up the cheering crowd.

“Well Ah’ll be,” said Applejack in astonishment. “Ya used Mystical to destroy yer own card to protect yerself from my attack. How did you know not to use it on my Iron Wall?”

“I only drew Mystical Space Typhoon thanks to ‘Spellbook of Power’. I wasn’t certain what you were planning with your free attack, so I decided to hold onto it just in case,” Twilight responded with a pleased look on her face.

Applejack grinned eagerly, “You just keep surprisin’ me over an’ over again, Twilight. Now this is how ya duel fer real!” She pointed at Reaper, “Ah attack Reaper with Orea!”

Orea (ATK: 3100), in a similar display from before, buffeted her great wings, sending a concentrated gale force trailing along the ground towards Reaper of Prophecy (ATK: 2600). On reaching the grim spellcaster, the ground erupted underneath, their form being obliterated from the force.

Twilight Sparkle Life Points: 2200 – 500 = 1700

“Then Ah attack Justice of Prophecy with Bladefender.”

Bladefender (ATK: 2200) crouched forward steadily, gripping at the hilt of his sword with his right hand whilst still gripping the sheath with the left. In the blink of an eye, Bladefender spooked Twilight by having seemingly appeared on her side of the field, his sword drawn with his arm held out to the side. Justice of Prophecy (ATK: 1600) suddenly collapsed on to her knees before her form shattered.

Twilight Sparkle Life Points: 1700 – 600 = 1100

“When Bladefender destroys a monster in battle, Ah can excavate a card. But in this case Ah choose not to and simply end my turn.”

(Hand: 0)

Turn 5: Twilight Sparkle (Hand: 3)

Twilight drew her card. I just barely managed to fend off Applejack’s attack there. With that powered up Orea, and how she can ostensibly reorganize large swathes of her deck, I need to get rid of it quickly before she leaves me open again.

“Alright; first I play ‘Spellbook of the Master’,” Twilight slid the card into her disk, “By revealing another ‘Spellbook’ from my hand,” she pressed said card onto the duel disk’s screen, revealing ‘Spellbook of Wisdom’. “This lets me choose one normal Spellbook spell from my graveyard and this one’s effect becomes that card’s. I choose ‘Spellbook of Knowledge.’ By sacrificing Prophecy Destroyer, I can draw twice.”

Applejack looked at Twilight in suspicion as she sacrificed her last remaining monster.

“Then I activate ‘Spellbook Library of the Heliosphere’. This card can only be played when I have five or more Spellbooks in the graveyard; it lets me exacavate the top two cards of my deck, and any Spellbooks revealed are added to my hand. Anything else gets shuffled back in.”

Twilight looked at the top two cards she was not aware of, seeing how the last two cards she had were confirmed by Spellbook Organization. The first card was not a Spellbook, or a spell card at all; ‘Dark Renewal’, while the other revealed itself as ‘Spellbook of Eternity’. Adding that to her hand, her deck shuffled.

“Now I activate ‘Magical Stone Excavation’; this lets me add a spell card from my graveyard to my hand, at the cost of discarding two cards to the graveyard,” Twilight slid two cards into the graveyard slot, in return the disk spat out another card for her to take. “The card I chose is Mystical Space Typhoon; which I will now use to destroy your Imperial Iron Wall!”

The image of Applejack’s card erupted in the same gust of wind as before, the gale shredding it into bits.

“Cards can now once again be banished from the graveyards. So I now banish ‘Spellbook of the Master’, ‘Spellbook of Life’ and ‘Spellbook of Power’ to special summon Prophecy Destroyer from my graveyard.”

From out of nowhere, a familiar flaming sword dropped from the sky and embedded into the ground. A rush of flames raced down from the crossguard and spread out in a distinct star-like pattern around it. An erupting gout of fire burst from the pattern, unveiling a pair of leathery, thorny wings from within. When the flames died down, Prophecy Destroyer stood where the pattern once was, brandishing his reclaimed sword. (Level 5, 2500/1200)

“Then I activate ‘Spellbook of Eternity’ to take one of my banished Spellbooks back into my hand. I choose ‘Spellbook of Life’, which I will then activate. By revealing a different Spellbook again,” Twilight unveiled Spellbook of Knowledge once more, “and by banishing a spellcaster-type monster from my graveyard, I special summon another spellcaster from my graveyard and equip it with this card, and its level is increased by that of the banished spellcaster. Revive; High Priestess of Prophecy!”

The violet tome that was the Spellbook of Life twirled onto Twilight’s field, opening its pages to let loose its reviving light which coalesced into the form of Priestess. (Level 7 -> 2, 2500/2100) The tome took its place hovering above her as she opened her emerald tome whilst staring up at Orea in defiance.

“Aw crap…” muttered Applejack in anticipation.

“By banishing one Spellbook from the graveyard,” Twilight ejected Spellbook of Eternity to be placed in the banished slot, “I use Priestess to destroy Orea. Lexicon Designator!”

Priestess held her hand in their specific gesture, chanting in the arcane language. Orea, in an admittedly sorrowful display, let forth an agonizing cry as she started to slowly descend to the ground, only to never reach as the emerald energy of Priestess’ magic seared her to nothing in an instant.

“Now Prophecy Destroyer; attack Bladefender!” Twilight ordered, her demonic spellcaster’s sword alighting in flames in preparation. With a hellish roar, Destroyer (ATK: 2500) sent a wave of fire from a single swipe that seared away Bladefender (ATK: 2100) to ashes.

Applejack Life Points: 2200 – 400 = 1800

“And final attack: I attack you directly with Priestess!”

Priestess revved her arm in a circular motion, gathering power into her palm which she then launched at Applejack. The arcane bolt struck square on revealed segmented forcefield in front of Applejack, her left arm jerking back from the 2500 attack point strike. Priestess then proceeded to wag her finger towards Applejack.

Applejack Life Points: 2200 – 2500 = - 300

Twilight Sparkle Victory!

Dayum girl!” Applejack exclaimed in surprise. “Ah’ dunno what Apple Bloom an’ the girls put you through, but you’re killin’ it out here!”


“An’ now, Ah’ activate the equip spell ‘Mark of the Rose’!” declared Apple Bloom, inserting a spell into her red and green duel disk. “This lets me take control of the monster it’s equipped to, an’ Ah’ choose your Reaper!”

Reaper appeared to cringe as an intricate marking of a rose began to seemingly peel onto Reaper’s cheek, the grim spellcaster gritting their teeth, feeling the unsightly carving form onto him.

“Quick-play Spell: ‘Spellbook of Wisdom’, to make Reaper resistant to spell cards!” Twilight hastily responded by sliding her spell into Scootaloo’s borrowed disk.

“Sorry, but ah activate Naturia Beast’s effect; by sendin’ two cards from the top of my deck to the graveyard, Ah’ negate your spell card.”

The green spherical barrier forming around Reaper shattered, the rose mark finishing its formation followed by Reaper vanishing in a gout of black smoke, only to remerge on Apple Bloom’s field, brandishing their scythe for the keeper of the mark, alongside the verdant green tiger-like Naturia Beast (Level 5, 2200/1700).

“Now Ah’ attack directly with Reaper for game!”

“Trap card activate: ‘Magician’s Circle’!”


“She is a tough opponent,” Twilight replied, casting a glance at the youngest Apple sibling seated among the audience.

“She sure is. After all; she is an Apple. When we do somethin’, we do it right and to the end.”

“Apt description; I never defeated her. Not once,” said Twilight in emphasis. “Even now I’m very trepidatious about whether or not I stand a chance. Every duel so far has cut so close I’m just amazed that I managed to luck into winning thrice!”

“Ah’ dunno about that,” Applejack said with a chuckle as she, began to gather her cards back in defeat. “Ah’ mean, way Ah’ look at it; Ah’ might have just gone maybe a little too gung-ho just then. If’n ya ask me; your smarts and intuition just beat my gutsiness.”


“You know; there was a little something someone told me when I was first starting out: In dueling it’s just as important to use your heart and your instincts than just your head. You need to be in rhythm with your deck. Kinda like when I play my guitar.”


“You’re a great duelist, Twi. An’ Ah’ mean it,” she emphasized with the human gesture of extending her thumb from a closed fist. “Ya just keep impressin’ me an’ everyone else it seems.”

A wash of warm familiarity came over Twilight, hearing no truer words spoken by the counterpart to the Element of Honesty. Twilight watched and listened as the students applauded over her record five-turn victory. On the bottom row she could see the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ cheer with enthusiasm, as well as Scootaloo giving her two V-signs with her hands, complete with a toothy smile.


Applejack deactivated her duel disk as she walked back to her spot on the bench. As happy as she was for the impressive display by her new miracle of a friend, a nagging sense of disappointment over her display gnawed at the back of her mind. As she sat down in contemplation, a slender white hand came upon her left shoulder.

“Are you alright, darling?” asked Rarity, still as observant as ever how she was able to read her like an open book.

“Yea, Ah’m fine,” Applejack shrugged. “Just feel like Ah’ performed pretty poorly by comparison just now.” She looked down at her deck, pursing her lips in contemplation. “Say, Rare; do ya reckon’ maybe ya might wanna help with a do-over sometime? Ya know, if you’re not too busy.”

“Oh Applejack,” cooed Rarity, her hand moving across Applejack’s back to her right shoulder, “You know I’ll always make time for you whenever you need.”

Applejack felt her cheeks redden, a sensation she’d come to miss so much during the time of their manipulated break-up. Applejack reciprocated by putting an arm around Rarity’s waist and gave her a soft peck on the cheek.

“Thanks, hun,” she said, “An’ if ya want, Ah’ll still be a mannequin for ya…”

Rarity chuckled deviously, “Ohhh, did you ever imagine getting out of that~?”

Applejack rolled her eyes, the two of them softly laughing with each other.

Author's Note:

Not gonna lie; not too happy about this one. I'd say mostly since Sylvans are really hard to write for due to the extensive hand, deck and graveyard cycling. Hence for future chapters I'm gonna retool AJ's deck to make it flow better.

That's three down, one to go! :pinkiehappy:

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