• Published 28th Aug 2020
  • 328 Views, 6 Comments

My Little Pony: Eternal Harmony - LightOfTriumph

Luster Dawn moves to Ponyville on her Mentor's instructions, and comes into contact with a threat even Twilight never faced.

  • ...

Chapter 3: Ponyville, Born and Raised

Mercury Breeze had reverted back to her Kirin form when they left the faculty housing. She had calmed down significantly.

They had decided to accompany Pound Cake back to his home, which was apparently the premier bakery in Ponyville. Pound Cake, for his part, seemed like a very personable pony. He and Mercury had been chatting since they left Luster's apartment. Pound Cake had apologized several times, to the point where Mercury was feeling a little guilty for losing her temper.

"Again Breeze, sorry," Pound said once again. "Just needed to take the shortcut. I know how much you hate it when I do that."

"And I'm sorry I lost my temper," Breeze sighed. "My objection is to you doing that at night and waking me up. Normally--"

"You're out of the apartment by that time, I know," Pound cake nodded. "That's why I felt like I could probably get away with it this time. I didn't realize you'd be back home. Again, sorry."

"It's alright," Mercury said. "Anyway! It gave you a chance to meet Luster Dawn, so there's a bonus!"

"Yeah, once again, its nice to meet you!" Pound smiled, turning back to Luster and waving. "Happy to show you the town."

"I appreciate it, thank you," Luster said nervously.

"No need to thank me just being neighborly," Pound Cake turned back to face the street. "Well. I should probably start the guided tour. This is main street and that... Is a prior commitment. Excuse me for a moment. Lyra!"

An older mare at the end of the street turned around and smiled at Pound Cake.

"I talked to Octavia," Pound said, running up to her. "We had a heart to heart, and she will be able to perform next week. The caviat is that she needs to pick most of the playlist, but they will perform the main song you wanted. I hope you haven't made other plans."

The older mare seemed as if she was caught off guard by Pound's words. "No," she said, shaking her head. "I was just thinking of other solutions and coming up dry. I thought she needed to practice for the grand galloping gala."

"She will be," Pound nodded. "Along with the song you requested she will be playing a selection of others. She also said that you should have told her that this was the event you needed her for, and I'm inclined to agree."

"She's always so busy, I didn't want to bother her," Lyra said. "But... Pound Cake, I don't know how to thank you. It means so much to me. To both of us."

"Don't mention it," Pound Cake smiled. "You and Bon Bon have a fabulous time. And happy anniversary."

Lyra smiled and walked off down the street, and Pound turned back to Mercury and Luster. "Sorry about that," Pound said. "Just needed to make sure that worked out alright."

"How did you get Octavia to break a schedule?" Mercury asked. "I can't get to talking to that Mare for the graduation ceremony without an appointment."

"First of all, I grew up around here," Pound shrugged. "She's bought the same double chocolate ice cream cake for Vinyl's birthday since before I was born. And I just told her that the best thing that she could do in the situation would be to practice while she was helping out Lyra and Bon Bon at the same time. Nice and practical. Now where..?"

Luster had noticed something about Pound Cake that she didn't know how to talk about, luckily it seems that Mercury Breeze had noticed as well. "Dude, your head has been on a swivel all day, what's up?"

"I need to talk to Briar and Maud," Pound said, scanning the street. "If you see them, holler."

"Briar and Maud?" Luster asked.

"Aunt Pinkie's sister and brother in law," Pound explained.

Luster would have to ask about that "Aunt Pinkie" thing at a later time. In the meantime, there was a more important thing to ask for the moment at hand. "Wait a minute, Maud Pie?" she asked, flabbergasted. "As in Ten Time Institute of Rockology Award Winner Maud Pie?"

"That's her," Pound nodded, still scanning the street.

"I've been reading her research on magical stones since I was a foal!" Luster said, allowing herself to get excited. "She inspired me to start my first rock collection!"

Pound shot Luster an amused look. "Oh, she's gonna love you," Pound laughed. "Anyway, just look for the two most dead eyed ponies you've ever seen in your life, but if you're like everyone else in town, you won't think it's weird."

"Six o'clock, Pound," Mercury pointed out. "If you want to go talk to them I'd get it done now."

Pound looked behind him to confirm what Mercury saw. "Thanks," he said quickly to Mercury. "Hey, Maud! Can I talk to you for a minute!"

Luster wasn't going to miss the chance to meet one of her favorite scholars, so she rushed with Mercury to meet up with the older couple that Pound was walking up to.

"Have you seen aunt Pinkie?" Pound asked. "She was supposed to be back from the council meeting by now, she said she was going to talk with you guys when she got home."

The two older ponies shared a significant look. "Technically," the Stallion said in a superior tone. "We haven't seen Pinkie Pie since she left for Canterlot."

"That's... odd," Pound said cautiously. "And not like Aunt Pinkie at all."

"Maybe her train just got delayed," the mare said in a dull monotone. "Or she missed the train. My sister hasn't always been the best timekeeper."

Pound started to look worried. "Maybe you're right," he said, taking a look around the street. "Listen, I left Pumpkin alone with Cheese Pie. I need someone to relieve her of duty before she completely loses her mind."

"What about Cheese Sandwich?" Mudbriar asked. "Technically, shouldn't he be watching his own son?"

"He's checking in on the gag factory," Pound said. "Won't be back until tomorrow. September is always like this."

"I'll take any chance to see my Nephew," Maud said. "I just wonder what's taking Pinkie so long to get back."

"Yeah. Yeah, me too," Pound sighed. "We'll head on back to the bakery. I'll pick Pumpkin up there. And seriously, thanks again."

Pound turned back to Mercury and Luster. "Change of plans?" Mercury asked.

"Minor detour," Pound nodded. "We're heading back to Sugarcube Corner. We're gonna pick up my sister."

"Oh good," Mercury smiled. "It will be good to have someone around who knows you so I can commiserate with them."

"I'm sure she'd be happy to," Pound said, still looking around the street now looking very noticeably nervous.

Mercury had noticed it too. "Alright, for real this time," she said, stopping Pound's walk back to the bakery. "What's eating you, Pound?"

Pound seemed reluctant to talk, but he quickly came around. "Aunt Pinkie has never been this late back from a council meeting before," Pound sighed. "She's never been on time, but we're pushing three hours late. This isn't like her."

"Maybe Maud is right," Luster offered. "It's entirely possible the train is delayed. It wouldn't be the first time..."

"You know that would make sense," Pound said, using his wing to scratch his Mane. "Why do I have a feeling that's not what's going on?"

"Because you're crazy and now its finally coming to the forefront?" Mercury offered.

"There's something in the air today," Pound said, still swiveling his head around the street. "I can't describe it. It feels like everything around me, the entire world just got worse around me. There's more... I dunno... Bad around me than there was yesterday. Something is just... Off."

Luster suddenly remembered the cold chill that had crept up her spine when she was standing outside Starlight Glimmer's office. She realized that it still hadn't gone away. Maybe it was more than just nerves that were getting to her. Either that or the same nerves had taken pound, and by the spooked look on her face, also Mercury Breeze.

"You too, huh?" Mercury asked. "I thought it was just me."

"So did I," Luster said, speaking up for the first time.

Pound and Mercury turned back to look at Luster Dawn. Then back to each other.

"Let's pick up Pumpkin," Pound said after an awkward silence. "Whatever this is, its probably all in our heads."

Even Discord wasn't used to the sound of his own realm shrieking in terror.

Discord's home didn't frighten easily. As a creature of chaos he lived in an improbability. Thousands of strange objects floating in space, with his modest little house nestled in the center of the insanity. He had done his best to make this tiny, extradimensional pocket of madness feel like home.

And now every single object, and indeed the other it was floating in, was screaming in pure, abject terror.

Discord looked around. Hoping to find the source of this fear. It wasn't long before it found him.

Discord turned to meet his black, soulless eyes. The evil smile that nearly cut off the top of his head. He understood finally why everything here was so afraid.

"Hello, son," Scratch said in a smug tone. "Been keeping yourself busy?

"'Son?' How droll," he said. "Honestly, Scratch, just because you sewed me together doesn't make you my father. It also certainly doesn't make you welcome here. As you can plainly see..." He gestured to the screaming dimension. "You're causing a bit of a racket."

"I know!" Scratch said, looking at his surroundings. "You sure know how to make a guy feel wanted, Discord. Sheesh."

"Why are you here?" Discord asked. "Not to put too fine a point on it, but I don't think this is a social visit."

"It could be," Scratch said, shrugging. "Can't a guy drop in to see family every so often?"

"Don't try to get under my skin, Scratch," Discord said, rolling his eyes. "That may work on the other ponies you tempt but it won't work on me. Truth be told, you don't know where my soft targets are. Now what do you want?"

Scratch gave a little laugh. "Simple," he said. "I'm playing a little game. This game involves some friends of yours, and also the fate of this little planet. If I get my way the entire thing will be destroyed, and then remade under my guidance. There is one little caveat however. You... Aren't allowed to play."

"Aren't allowed to play?" Discord asked, with mock disappointment. "With a proposal like that, how could I possibly stay out of this! I just love games!"

Scratch gave a little laugh. "Do you really want to do this Discord?" he said, his tone now deadly serious. "Do you really want to get into a magical throwdown with me? I don't think it will turn out the way you expect."

"Please," Discord said dismissively. "Since your imprisonment you posses a mere fraction of your former power. A brawl with you wouldn't last two seconds."

"I can neutralize you with one spell," Scratch said flatly.

"That would be a sight to see," Discord smiled."

"One. Spell." Scratch said calmly.

Discord smiled and took one step forward. Hoping to put a quick end to all this nonsense.

It was at that point that Scratch spun on his heels and waved his hoof. A large rectangular window opened up in the space behind him. What Discord saw through the window stopped him dead.

Fluttershy was frozen in a wall of crystal. The wall was suspended over a raging fire. Scratch kept his hoof raised, as if ready to give the signal to drop her into the flames.

Discord stood silent. More angry then he had been in his entire, ageless existence.

"And fight over!" Scratch laughed. "That didn't take long! I'm sorry, what was it you were saying about 'soft targets?'"

"Let her go," Discord growled.

"Come on, Discord," Scratch said with mock disappointment. "You know you need to phrase it better than that."

Discord's eyes flared.

"She's a cutie," Scratch said casually. "Never expected you to settle down. Anyway, about this. I would like to leave her unharmed. I don't need to have her unharmed, it's just that I've got some things going and I'll need her if things go wrong. Though I gotta tell you, I got one prospect that's very promising."

Discord growled.

"No interference," Scratch said. "No tricks. No guidance. You stay far out of my way. Otherwise I might just drop..." He waved his hoof and the crystal wall lurched toward the fire. "... My backup plan. Clear?"

Discord simply looked through the portal and fumed.

"Good," Scratch said, closing the portal. "Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some preparations to make. Keep yourself occupied! Make a nice dinner for Flutters for if she gets home! After all..." The smile split across his face again. "I wouldn't want you to get bored."

A casual laughter heralded Scratch's exit from Discord's pocket dimension.

Discord took three deep breaths, letting his rage subside into mere fury. "If you honestly expect for me to sit this little game out, now," he growled under his breath. "Then you don't know me at all."

Author's Note:

I am expecting to get some flack for punking out Discord like this... Just wait.

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