• Published 1st Aug 2021
  • 1,309 Views, 40 Comments

A Sweet and Seemly Thing - Freglz



An ancient enemy seeks redemption. Or so she claims.

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Victory in Defeat

The dungeons smelled old, their ambient emotion dry and stale like desert sand – a sure sign they’d barely been used in centuries. Not even a clichéd rat scurried amongst their largely abandoned caverns. But this was as much as she deserved: a cell to herself, and nothing but an endless hollow for company.

Chrysalis sat in the corner she deemed furthest from the bars, a silver platter bearing her breakfast left untouched in the centre of the cool, perfectly smooth floor. She was hungry, close to starving, but she couldn’t bring herself to eat after what she’d done, and almost convinced herself to do.

An echo resounded throughout the chasm, and the clop of hooves followed. It wasn’t long before she caught the scent of expensive perfume, along with the sterile aroma of sombre acceptance. She didn’t need to see who it was, and even as the figure stopped by her cell, illuminating the way and casting long shadows with a golden glow, Chrysalis refused to look at her.

“Don’t.”

Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, having opened her mouth to speak, gradually closed it.

“I know what you’ve come here to say,” Chrysalis murmured and shook her head. “Don’t. I’m not worthy of absolution.”

“That’s not for you to decide.”

“Why shouldn’t it be?” she countered, deigning to briefly peer at Cadance from the corner of her eye. “You were right. From the moment I arrived, you always were. You were right to distrust me, to try and separate me from Flurry. You saw through my lies as if they were crystal clear, and I took pride in trying to deceive you.”

There was a pause. “You don’t anymore.”

“But I shouldn’t have been like that in the first place. None of this should’ve happened. And it was my pride, my… petty need for vengeance… that nearly stole your daughter away from you – the only one who believed in me.”

Another pause, longer this time. “I’d be lying if I said I’m not bitter about it,” Cadance admitted, followed by a drawn-out sigh. “I still am. I’ve had nightmares of you threatening her, pressing that crystal to her throat. But I’m not here to tell you about them. I’m here because I don’t want to be mad at you anymore.”

A speech, Chrysalis had expected. That little titbit, however, she hadn’t, and she turned her head ever so slightly toward her. “Is Flurry?”

“No.” The princess faintly, but not unnervingly, smiled. “And I envy her for that. She knew who you were before you came to us, what you could do while you were here, and even when you showed your true colours… or what you and I thought your true colours were… she still had faith in you. Because she saw something I never wanted to: a mother.”

Chrysalis felt a pang within her. She wasn’t sure how to react, but her instinct to be ashamed didn’t feel right. Every emotion brighter than melancholy would only get her in more trouble – invite suspicion, further distrust, and then exile or worse.

“I love Flurry Heart,” Cadance continued, her tone dragging its heels back into a cheerless timbre. “I’d do anything for her. What that includes, I hope I’ll never find out. But maybe, looking at us through that same lens… we aren’t as different as I first thought.”

She could monologue all she liked, but Chrysalis wouldn’t let herself be convinced. She’d lied before, and Flurry had turned away because of it. “I told her love can be a dangerous thing.”

“It certainly can,” the princess soberly agreed, much to Chrysalis’ surprise. “I don’t know what your life was like before Canterlot, but it’s clear to me now that… you relied on your children to keep you going. And their absence hurt you. So from one mother to another—”

“Don’t.” Chrysalis shook her head once more, looking to Cadance with upturned brows and straining to keep the wetness from her eyes. “Please. Just don’t.”

Cadance stared back, caught somewhat off-guard, but eventually closed her mouth again and gulped. “Then how can we make this better between us?”

It took a while for Chrysalis to come up with a response, and then another moment before she summoned the courage for it. “Let me see her again,” she said, her volume nearing a whisper’s pitch, her tone almost pleading. “Let me apologise. It… might be too soon… but if I could just see her one last time…”

The princess was silent, betraying nothing but a contemplative, pensive air. “When she’s ready.”

And then after a beat, perhaps to gather her wits, she turned and began walking back the way she had come, heading for a staircase far out of sight.

“Cadance…”

Her hoofsteps halted.

Chrysalis cautiously shimmied toward her cell’s entrance, as if approaching too fast might trigger some form of trap, even though she knew full well that both their vindictive days were over. “Have you heard anything from Thorax?” she queried, pressing her forehead against the bars, gazing into the gloom and clinging to an empty hope. “Does he know I’m here? Are my children upset with me?”

Yet another pause, before the tension eased. “I never said a word to them.”

Chrysalis let an anxious, tattered breath go and allowed the warmth of relief to fill her chitinous shell. “Thank you,” she said, squeezing her eyes shut so that a tear fell freely. “Thank you.”

The princess resumed her ascent and closed the dungeons’ entrance behind her, and all was still and quiet in their depths. But Chrysalis didn’t mind so much anymore, because she was grinning from ear to ear.

Comments ( 16 )

. . . . That was Gooooood. That was seriously good. I can't wait to see what comes next from this!

I love the duo Flurry Heart and Chrysalis. their interaction is interesting to observe. It is a pity that there are very few stories with this duo in the lead role.

Myrkin #3 · Aug 2nd, 2021 · · 1 ·

I wonder. Did Chrysalis grin because she had planned her apparent defeat or because that information about Thorax started her on scheming another revenge plot?

Freglz #4 · Aug 2nd, 2021 · · 1 ·

10923266
I'll leave that to the readers' interpretation.

please,PLEASE make a sequel I want to see how the rest of chrysalis’s story plays out

Alondro #6 · Aug 2nd, 2021 · · 10 ·

All the cleverness of scheming villains would be utterly undone with the proper application of explosions.

This is why Deadpool is best.

Villain, "Blah blah! If you kill me, you are just like me! You can't kill me because the kiddies will be shock-" *BLAM!!*

Deadpool, "Sorry! Couldn't hear your BS over the sound of my gun!"

:pinkiecrazy:

I'm really not sure how I feel about that ending.

One the one hoof, Cadance and Chrissy appear to have found a bit of common ground. On the other hoof, I think Chrissy did (more or less) exactly what Cadance and Shining expected her to do, so that cell is definitely gonna be her new home. There's there's the third hoof, Flurry was very welcoming of Chrissy, more than any sane individual should have been in the first place; but on the last hoof, she was raised by Mama Love and Aunty Friendship (along with too many other aunts to count) who colored her world to be that open in the first place.

And let's just add the fact that Chrissy is happy that the rainbow buggy bunch doesn't know about her current predicament; but we all know eventually they will, so, then what? Is she happy they will eventually know? That they don't know yet? That they will be shocked what happened when they find out? Or does she have some evil plan to weave before they do find out.

I'm really not sure if I wont to yell at Cadance for being a nasty nag (with good reason) or if I want to congratulate Chrissy for growing as an individual (which I'm still not sure she's actually done, tbh. She's a really good liar and even lies to her self rather well.)

Overall, this was a really well written piece and I enjoyed reading it.

I still wanna smack a few characters tho.

Really great, very well written. You really managed to write a Chrysalis in away that stays true to her character.

That ending... on one hand, I'm shocked, and sad, that things wouldn't change for her. On the other, your writing that lead to this end, only to be presented with a moment that was maybe expectable, but wished wasn't true, was just impacting.

Now I interrupt this fan fiction to bring you a special message from the Princess of Friendship's voice actress herself!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzqmvInMsVU

10924527
Yes, you got the order right, and interpreted Shining's reaction correctly.
Dialogue in third person between two actors of the same sex is a pet peeve of mine, but I wanted to keep Chrys's intentions here not as obvious as they could be to the reader, which is why we aren't directly "in her head" as first person.

10925242
That's the essence and appeal of tragedy, in the literal sense: despite knowing how it ends, we wish it can be avoided.

To be clear, this isn't strictly a tragedy, because it ends with the betterment (or the promise of betterment) of its central character rather than her total downfall, but I never intended to surprise the audience. If you saw where this was going, predicted how it would end, and still wanted to read, then my job is done.

I find this conclusion...unsatisfying.

This was a drama between Chrysalis and Flurry Heart. The last few paragraphs of the story focusing on the other changelings feels like bait and switch. Like flirting with one girl for all of New Year's Eve, and then kissing another at midnight. As a reader, I didn't care about the other changelings. They're not even in the story. I wanted to see resolution between Chrysalis and Flurry. But this ending gives no resolution at all. It might almost have been better to have ended with the previous chapter, showing their embace and having Chrysalis die having been unable to follow through with her threat. At least then we'd know what was and wasn't genuine.

There are many ways this might have ended. The ending I expected was for her to succesfully depart with Flurry Heart, whether through guile or persuasion, but then willingly release her with the realization that it held no future for her. No future for Flurry Heart, with Chrysalis choosing to let her go. Being first and foremost a mother she would want what is best for her child, surogate though she be.

Ending this with Flurry and Chrysalis separated seems like the least suitable outcome. This isn't a redemption fic. And its not a villain fic. It's about a mother's love. This story should have ended with these two having an unbreakable bond, unintended by either of them and understood by nopony else, but undeniably real. Instead, you have Flurry "see the truth" in the previous chapter, then seperate them in the next, with Cadence stating that Flurry isn't ready, and then Chrysalis target-switches to the changelings instead.

It is unsatisfying.

Great story, wonderful ending :)

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