• Published 1st Aug 2020
  • 2,082 Views, 61 Comments

Crimson Heart - Starkeeper_Ponyfic



Discord's battle with the Elements pulls a certain determined human into Equestria. Shenanigans ensue.

  • ...
5
 61
 2,082

Arc 1, Part 6B: Love's Undying Power

The next few days passed surprisingly uneventfully on the Princess Cadance mystery front, invasion front, and the wedding planning front. Princess Cadance continued being a bridezilla, demanding perfection in everything her planners did and changing things on a whim, but only Twilight and Frisk were worried or suspicious at first. Twilight was constantly kept busy with planning and supervising and Frisk took regular walks with Shining Armor to patrol the defenses and attempt to determine suspicious activity. After witnessing some of their interactions, Twilight mentioned to Frisk that Shining Armor seemed more clearheaded anytime he was around them and Frisk agreed once they saw him talking with Princess Cadance. Three days before the wedding, Fluttershy came to Twilight with worries about Princess Cadance's attitude after the princess yelled at one of Fluttershy's birds for being just a hair too low on one note of the song and Twilight revealed her and Frisk's worries and suspicions. The evidence placed Fluttershy firmly on Twilight's side in the matter and she began probing her memories of every interaction she'd had with Princess Cadance for anything that stuck out. Rainbow Dash was the next to grow wary that evening when she witnessed Princess Cadance being really snippy with Pinkie Pie over her choice of streamer colors.

As Twilight noted each encounter, she eventually gathered enough evidence to present a decent case to Princess Celestia, but she felt that she needed a clincher to remove any doubt that something was horribly wrong with Princess Cadance. Frisk suggested following up on the contents of their train dream and Twilight agreed that would be sensible. Rainbow and Fluttershy were instructed to present the evidence to Spike, Rarity, Applejack, and Pinkie while Twilight and Frisk searched for the caves. Frisk used their raw determination to probe the area around Canterlot for save points, an ability they'd picked up late in their journey through the Underground and actually managed to find a few they hadn't known about before. Two were at the doorways to shops they hadn't visited before, one was located at the highest floor of the castle, and all but one of the others were improbable locations for the entrance to any kind of cave system. The only one they thought might be a candidate for a cave entrance was located at the closest point to the mountain Canterlot was built on and they hopped on Twilight's back so she could gallop over. They guided her to the point, which they'd half-truthed a description of being made of a type of magic they recognized from their world. It rested beside a small cut in the mountain. Twilight sent an orb of light inside and confirmed there absolutely was a cave within, so she and Frisk entered cautiously.

❤︎

The alicorn wept through the grime and blisters as her latest attempt at a teleportation spell failed her. The shapeshifter who had stolen her place and fiancee was smart, as she'd sent the alicorn to one of the few teleportation dead zones in Equestria. The alicorn had read about such zones, but this was her first up-close experience with one. It would've been fascinating if she'd had a choice in entering and a way to leave. Suddenly, a faint feminine voice tickled the alicorn's ears as well as a voice of an accent she didn't recognize. She called out in desperation, praying to every deity she could think of that these voices belonged to friendly beings. The noise of a gallop echoed through the caverns, slowly growing louder until it was on the other side of a wall to the alicorn's right.

"Is somepony there?" the alicorn pleaded.

"...Cadance?" the feminine voice gasped. "Is that really you?"

"Twilight?" Cadance replied in equal shock. "It's me! I'm trapped in here!"

"Step back from the wall, I'm gonna try blasting it open!" Twilight warned. Cadance stumbled back as a pink glow coated the wall in the direction Twilight's voice had come from. The glow grew brighter until the wall was radiant with magenta energy before it exploded, dust falling over the area. As the dust cleared, Cadance could make out the purple form of Twilight with a bipedal, lanky form astride her back. "Cadance? I... Are you alright?" Twilight asked, concern filling her eyes.

"Yeah, I... er... how do... how do I know you're really you?" Cadance frowned.

Twilight pondered a question before gesturing for the bipedal creature to get off. She began some very familiar motions and began reciting a familiar rhyme. "Sunshine, sunshine, ladybug's awake..."

Cadance joined in elation. "...Clap your hooves and do a little shake!"

"It really is you!" Twilight cried happily. "Then... who's pretending to be you up in Canterlot?"

"A shapeshifter," Cadance replied bitterly. "I... didn't catch her name."

"Maybe it's that 'queen' that Swan Song pony talked about, or one of her underlings," Twilight's companion guessed.

"Probably. Uh, but... who are you, exactly?" Cadance asked.

"Oh, Cadance, this is Frisk!" Twilight introduced.

"The human Shining Armor told me about before I was abducted?" Cadance remembered. "It's very nice to meet you."

"It's nice to... actually meet you," Frisk chuckled. "She's definitely the real one, Twilight. Her LOVE is at only two and that's very reasonable."

"Good. I'll explain what that means later," Twilight promised, "but first we need to get out of here. I assume teleportation spells aren't working?"

"This is one of the rare teleportation deadzones," Cadance confirmed. "It's almost interesting, but..."

"You've been trapped here," Frisk finished. "Making it a lot less interesting."

"Yes," Cadance sighed. "How did you find me?"

"Frisk has an ability to sense collected strains of magic of a type from their world and one of them was near the entrance," Twilight explained. "From there it was just a matter of searching the caves until we heard your call."

"Well, if there's an actual exit to the outside, then I guess we should head there," Cadance sighed.

"Hold- wait, that might be... no, I've heard Applejack use it, I think..." Frisk momentarily debated. "Hold your horses, Princess, you're wounded. Eat this," they instructed, pulling a cinnamon bun from thin air that the half-starved Cadance began salivating over. She gobbled it greedily, throwing all sense of manners to the wind, and felt the blisters and scrapes begin receding.

"Wow, that was great!" she beamed. "What was it?"

"It was a cinnamon bun that I think was infused with some kind of healing magic," Frisk replied. "I got them all the time from a shopkeeper back home."

"Thank you, Frisk," Cadance said. "Now, I think that we've got a shapeshifter to bust!"

"Agreed!" Frisk cheered. "Now, you kept track of the route to the exit, right, Twilight?" they asked.

"Um... Was I supposed to do that?" Twilight asked sheepishly.

"Nah, I memorized the route," Frisk giggled. "I just wanted to tease you."

Frisk led the ponies through the caverns, over a small stream, and through a narrow pass until the light of the outside world broke through. Cadance had to take a moment to let her eyes recover from the light difference, but she was ready to explain her case after only a minute or two. Twilight cast a quick spell to find Princess Celestia and teleported to the hallway outside the throne room where the princess sat.

She quickly rapped at the door and a guard opened cautiously. At the sight of the slightly frazzled Twilight and Frisk and the mud-coated Cadance, the guard decided to open all the way and let Princess Celestia deal with the situation. Celestia gazed pleasantly at Twilight before she saw Cadance stumble through.

"...Cadance? What happened to you?" Celestia asked.

"It's a long story," Frisk sighed. "The summary is that Cadance was replaced by a shapeshifter who trapped her in the caves beneath Canterlot and took her place. Twilight and I were suspicious when the 'Princess of Love' was a stuck-up brat so we've been collecting evidence of every time she was out of character to prove her guilt to you."

Celestia cleared her throat and sighed. "Well... that is certainly... interesting. Do you have said evidence?" she asked. Twilight responded by levitating a notepad up to Celestia. The princess flipped through it, a look of concern and shock spreading across her face with every new word she read. "This is very convincing, Twilight... but the pony who... I suppose who has at least been claiming to be Cadance deserves a chance to plead her case."

"I suppose so," Twilight nodded. "Do you know where she is?"

"AUNT CELESTIA!" a shrill voice demanded as Cadance's replacement stormed into the throne room. "I-"

"Ah, there she is!" Frisk announced.

Cadance narrowed her eyes at the shapeshifter. "Aunt Tia and Twilight know what you've done. Who are you?" she demanded, her horn flaring.

Her replacement choked and shot a pleading look at Celestia. "Aunt Celestia, she's obviously the fake! Her magic is blue, not green!"

"Her magic was... always blue?" Twilight replied in confusion.

"Congrats, you've just played yourself," Frisk muttered.

Cadance's replacement gained an enraged eye twitch. "I have had it with your sassy quips, you little brat!" she screamed, her voice distorting. "You want me to reveal myself? FINE!" she cackled at Cadance, emerald light surrounding her body and transforming her into a black, buglike pony with insectoid wings, a dark teal mane and tail, and a crooked horn.

"That was... unexpected," Twilight piped up. "It's usually a lot harder than that in all the books I've read."

Celestia allowed herself a small chuckle before studying the shapeshifter. Suddenly her eyes widened. "I know you!" she realized.

"It's... good to see you after so long, Celestia," the shapeshifter cackled. "How is our dear old mentor?"

"Aunt Tia? What's she talking about?" Cadance asked worriedly.

Celestia sighed. "Twilight, Frisk, Cadance... this is Queen Chrysalis. She and I... have a lot of history together. We, as well as Luna, were students under Starswirl the Bearded."

"What?" Frisk gawked. "That's... not what I expected."

"It's, ah... been a very long time since we last met," Celestia explained somberly.

"A long time since your dear little Celestia left me to die," Chrysalis retorted. "If... my master had not found me..."

"Chrys, what are you-" Celestia began asking before Chrysalis cut her off.

"Do not call me that, Celestia," she warned. "You forfeited the right to call me that long ago. Now... MY CHANGELINGS! BEGIN THE ATTACK!"

"The what?" Celestia demanded, only to be drowned out by the screeches of a thousand entities.

Frisk gazed outside to see a wall of darkness fade into visibility over the defensive spell. They darted out to find Shining Armor, leaving Celestia, Twilight, and Cadance to deal with Chrysalis.

❤︎

"Chrysalis, why are you attacking Equestria?" Celestia pleaded. "It's been centuries since I last saw you!"

Chrysalis guffawed. "My master has been using those centuries to teach me. To train me. My subjects... my dear little Changelings... they must feed on the love of others to survive, and Equestria is chock full of it. It's got more than any other realm I've encountered," she explained. "Once we take Equestria, my subjects will never go hungry again, and my master has promised me freedom from my curse..."

"Curse?" Twilight wondered. "What curse?"

"That is not for you to know, foal," Chrysalis spat. "The invasion has begun already... and there's nothing you can do to stop it."

At the other side of Canterlot, Frisk rushed through the streets until she found Rainbow Dash directing the terrified civilians into a nearby restaurant with the help of a few guards.

"Rainbow! Have you seen Shining Armor?" Frisk asked while helping unstick a pair of fillies from a pothole.

"Not since this morning. Where have you been?" Rainbow asked.

"Finding the real Cadance," Frisk explained briefly. "She's actually pretty nice."

"Huh. So the Princess Cadance we knew was... what, a shapeshifter?" Rainbow guessed during a quick glance at the shield above.

"Spot on," Frisk confirmed.

"Wait, really?" Rainbow asked in awe. "I was just tossing out an answer I thought was cool!"

"Well, guess the universe wanted the cool answer to be the right one," Frisk shrugged.

"That almost never happens," Rainbow sighed dreamily. "I can't believe it!"

"You'd better," Frisk cried, pointing at the skies, "Cause we're about to have to deal with a whole bunch of 'em!"

The shield over Canterlot splintered into myriad pieces as the wave of attackers gave a coordinated strike and began buzzing down into the streets. Frisk cringed as the nearby guards met them with spears and Rainbow covered their eyes with a wing.

"How many of these things are there!?" she exclaimed.

"Too many!" one of the guards cried. "They're too concentrated for us to defend in any meaningful way. We need something to split them up!"

Rainbow gasped. "I've got an idea! Keep Frisk and the civilians safe, and I'll be down in a second!" she ordered before tearing off into the sky. Her mane left a stunning rainbow trail that pursued her course from the ground to cloud level and then with a sharp turn, back down again. A trail of vapor began to mark the front end of the trail that grew its own rainbow as Rainbow continued falling... falling... falling...

The skies exploded with color as a sonic boom rocketed through Canterlot's airspace and Rainbow Dash curved through the air. The resulting shockwave blew anything that wasn't inside or connected to the ground all around and Frisk had to simultaneously cling to a windowsill and dodge flying debris until it finally passed. Rainbow's vibrant trail zipped through Canterlot, sending fallen Changelings flying through the air. She eventually came to a skidding halt by Frisk and shook her mane out.

"So, how was that?" she chuckled.

"Well, you successfully separated them," Frisk decided. "And, uh... a bunch of other stuff."

"Details," Rainbow dismissed.

A nearby guard saluted Rainbow and she returned the gesture with a mildly startled expression. "Thank you, miss. We'll be able to make a lot more headway in our defensive measures now. And, uh... well, if you ever want a spot in the Pegasus Regiment, I'm sure with a display of that kind of aerial skill, they'd welcome you in with open hooves."

Rainbow chuckled a bit as the guard left. "Huh... me... a member of the Pegasus Regiment? That's, like... almost as cool as the Wonderbolts..." she murmured.

"Career dreams later, Skittles," Frisk reminded. "We've gotta find Shining Armor and make sure he's okay."

"What's a Skittles?" Rainbow asked as she let Frisk onto her back.

"They're a rainbow candy from my world," Frisk explained. "Sorta fruity, sorta tangy... but mostly they're just rainbow."

"Sounds tasty," Rainbow mused as she took off through the skies.

"They are," Frisk agreed. "Only better candy in my opinion is M&Ms, which are rainbow candy-covered chocolate bits."

"Well, now I'm hungry," Rainbow pouted. "Stop talking about food."

"Okie," Frisk giggled. "Now, I figure we should check the barracks first?"

"Good idea," Rainbow nodded before veering off to the right to dodge a magic burst from a Changeling.

The pair scoured first the barracks, then the castle's north wing, until their only potential place to find him was his own bedroom. They approached the door to find it locked and Rainbow bucked it off the hinges.

Shining Armor stood motionless within his room, his eyes glazed green and his posture rigid.

"Shining Armor?" Frisk asked hesitantly. "Captain?" they repeated. But nobody answered. "...It's me, it's Frisk," they offered, nudging him slightly.

"Watch is going well, Princess Celestia..." Shining Armor murmured. "Nothing to report..."

"That shapeshifter must have him under some kind of spell," Rainbow muttered. "How are we supposed to break him out?"

Frisk thought a moment until their narrator provided a helpful suggestion.

*This isn't too different than something we've seen before, is it?

Frisk smiled and stuck their hand out. Their gleaming red SOUL flickered at their chest and a rainbow button appeared under their hand.

*You know you can SAVE Shining Armor. You're both DETERMINED to protect your friends and loved ones. You've proved you have the BRAVERY to stand against the most fearsome foes. You wish to exact JUSTICE for and upon all who need it. You're not afraid and always willing to show KINDNESS to anyone who asks for it. Your PATIENCE is always ready to be utilized. You both try to show INTEGRITY when it counts the most. You will PERSEVERE through any hardship.

*Deep within Shining Armor's SOUL, something's resonating...!

The unicorn shuddered and peered up at Frisk's gentle smile. "F...Frisk? What happened?" he groaned, rubbing his temples with a shaking hoof. The green had cleared from his eyes.

"'Cadance' put you under a spell," Frisk explained. "Except it wasn't actually Cadance, it was a shapeshifter called Queen Chrysalis who'd taken her place."

"We came here because your shield broke and we wanted to make sure you were okay," Rainbow added. "I guess we were kind of wrong."

"Oh, sweet mother of- Is the real Cadance okay?" Shining Armor asked quickly.

"She was standing and conscious last time I saw her, but that was a little while ago," Frisk admitted. "I think she's in the throne room with Twilight, Celestia, and, uh... Chrysalis too."

"I've gotta go- gh..." Shining Armor stumbled and clutched his head. "Agh, it hurts. I need to make sure Cadance is alright, but... I don't know if I've got the strength."

"Rainbow and I will check on her," Frisk volunteered. "You should take a nap."

"No, I'm coming with you," Shining Armor insisted. "I'll just need to... walk a bit more slowly than I want."

Frisk sighed. "There's probably not going to be a way to talk you out of this, so... c'mon. Lean on me or Rainbow if you need to."

The pair, now trio, made their way at an agonizingly slow pace through the castle, pausing briefly but frequently to let Shining Armor rest. Suddenly, they came upon a very nervous Changeling pacing in the hallway. It noticed the three and yelped, cowering in fear. Rainbow moved to strike, but Frisk made her pause.

They approached the Changeling with a friendly smile and open hands.

*...Frisk, what are you doing? their narrator asked.

What I do best. Making friends with my enemy, they retorted before looking at the Changeling. "Hey, I'm Frisk. What's your name?"

The Changeling peeked up at Frisk, still trembling. "P-Please don't hurt me, I didn't want to attack the ponies! B-B-But the queen ordered almost all the Changelings t-t-to!"

"Hey, it's okay, I'm not gonna attack you. I just want to know your name," Frisk promised. "Like I said, I'm Frisk."

The Changeling whimpered before squeaking out, "I-I'm Th-Thor-Thorax..."

"You said you didn't want to attack the ponies?" Frisk asked kindly.

"Y-yeah..." Thorax murmured. "The only thing I've ever w-wanted is a f... is a friend..."

*Frisk no-

FRISK. YES. AND YOU CAN'T STOP ME.

"I'll be your friend, if you like," Frisk offered.

"Really?" Thorax asked excitedly.

"Absolutely!" Frisk laughed. "But first... I kinda gotta make sure Queen Chrysalis hasn't committed, like, regicide on Princess Celestia or Princess Cadance."

Thorax sighed. "I'll come with you," he insisted. "I'm tired of being forced to do stuff by the queen."

"Frisk, are you sure this is a good idea?" Rainbow called.

"Nah, but not knowing is what makes it fun," Frisk replied to the dismay of both the Element of Loyalty and their narrator.

After another fifteen or so minutes, the four finally approached the throne room to hear the sounds of struggle. Frisk quickly stormed in to find Twilight unconscious and Cadance and Celestia in a vicious battle with Chrysalis, who was managing to hold her own until she saw Thorax.

"Drone, have you captured these three?" Chrysalis asked with an impressed tone. "Aid me in defeating Celestia and you will find yourself higher than even your brother."

"I... I..." Thorax cringed, looking severely uncomfortable.

"Speak your mind, drone!" Chrysalis ordered.

"I- I didn't capture them!" Thorax yelled. "And I'm not going to help you anymore! Because Frisk offered me friendship, which... it's the only thing I've ever wanted! And the only thing I can't really get in the hive or working for you!"

Twilight gasped from her place on the floor. Shining Armor staggered over to her to make sure she wasn't severely injured and Rainbow went to support her.

Chrysalis's face contorted in rage and she took advantage of Celestia and Cadance's distraction to coat them in green slime. They struggled fiercely, but to no avail. Chrysalis then blasted Thorax and wrapped the largely Frisk in her magic, drawing them close. Frisk's SOUL erupted from their chest until, suddenly, it exploded in pain as a light red aura trickled from their exposed SOUL into Chrysalis’s open mouth. Her eyes bugged out and her forked tongue slipped out of her mouth.

My, my, you’re so very full... So much love in your heart, and it’s so rich and personal... the best kind,” Chrysalis mumbled as the red aura trickled down her throat despite Frisk’s frantic struggling to escape. "Who is it you love, I wonder?" Chrysalis asked, closing her eyes to concentrate. “Your adoptive parents, sure... other friends, that little purple dragon, those little ponies called the Elements of Harmony, of course... but who’s this?" Chrysalis suddenly asked. Her horn flared green and she drew more strongly. Frisk whimpered as they continued struggling. "Asriel? What might bring you to love this one so secretly and yet deeply?"

This remark sent Frisk’s narrator into a panic. *No. Nonononononononononono-

Ah. This ‘Asriel’ you love so much is a pathetic child. I would not expect much more from one so small,” Chrysalis chuckled.

Frisk heard the sound of something shattering as their attempts to struggle suddenly proved unfruitful and control of their body was suddenly no longer theirs. Their blue and purple sweater flickered green and yellow and the red of their soul darkened a little. Frisk mouth began speaking words without their input.

“You’ve done a lot of terrible things,” their voice said. Frisk vaguely recognized the tone as their narrator’s and stopped trying to regain control, curious to see what was happening. “You’ve... you’ve invaded Canterlot, kidnapped and replaced Princess Cadence, made everypony doubt Twilight, and maybe... maybe Frisk and I could’ve forgiven all that. But then... you called Asriel ‘pathetic.’” Frisk felt their face twist into an expression of hatred and fury. “You called my brother pathetic.”

Excuse me, WHAT- Frisk demanded. Suddenly their fist was enveloped into a red glow and sent a punch flying into Chrysalis’s jaw, breaking her hold and the stream of red. Frisk’s body staggered to the ground before glaring daggers at Chrysalis, who actually looked afraid.

“Do you know what EXP is, Chrysalis?” their voice asked. Chrysalis shook her head in response. “I didn’t think you would. EXP... it’s an acronym. It stands for ‘execution points.’ It’s... a way of measuring the pain that you've inflicted on others. When you choose to hurt someone, your EXP increases. When you gain enough EXP, your LV... or your LOVE increases. LOVE is another acronym. It stands for... Level of Violence. A way of measuring someone's capacity to hurt. The more you hurt... or kill, the easier it becomes to distance yourself, and the more you distance yourself, the less you will hurt. The more easily you can bring yourself to continue the cycle of pain,” Frisk’s narrator paraphrased. “And you... well, I doubt Sans would be able to explain how much you probably have,” they chuckled ruefully. The Worn Dagger materialized in their hand and they stepped forward. “I failed Asriel once,” they admitted, “and it lead to his death...”

Chara, Frisk suddenly realized.

Chara nodded softly, and Frisk’s soul grew into a source of light for beyond their chest. “I don’t intend to make that mistake again,” they growled, with a sudden burst of power filling the room and knocking out a few of the guards getting close. The other changelings present took it as a sign to flee.

Chara held the dagger out with a bitter expression and music began to stir. Frisk somewhat recognized the tune as Sans's favorite song “Stronger Than You." Then Chara began singing as they started attacking.

“Ready or not,
I’m coming through.
With the only thing I’ve ever learned from humankind
How to pick a fight,
But at least this time I’m right.
I never wanted Asriel to die,
But now there’s no way back, no matter what I try
So I’ll take my stand,
At least I can protect this land.”

“So come hit me if you really think that you can,
But your power’s ineffective against humans.
Doesn’t matter what you do to me in the end,
Because I’ve already lost my best friend.
And I refuse to let you stain his name,
I will have you know you’ve lost the game
My DETERMINATION’s stronger than your will,
But something’s holding me back even still.”
“But now I must use
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
LO-O-O-O-OVE.”

“Once upon a time,
I fell to the Underground.
At first I was so scared, but
Asriel brought me around.
All I wanted was to help them,
And so I gave up my SOUL,
But my plan was all a failure
And now I’ve lost all control.”

“You’ll never hit us even with your best shot,
Cause I’m giving this fight everything that I’ve got.
I’ll never let you win, don’t you understand?
Your defeat will soon be due to my hand.
You insulted my brother, now you’ll pay the price,
I don’t think that I need to tell you twice.
Wasn’t nice to meet you,
Your ego’s so see-through
Now what are you gonna do?”

“You’ll fall to my
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
And I might atone for my sin.
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
Maybe I don’t have to win
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
I’ve got the friend I’m within
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
LO-O-O-O-OVE,
LO-O-O-O-OVE...”

❤︎

Discord shuddered as an energy spike overwhelmed his senses. He was momentarily terrified of its power, as something that powerful could destroy the planet, but quickly figured out that it was two connected bursts, which was a much less threatening situation. He searched for the sources. He discerned that one in the very far north had already vanished, though near its source was also a tug on the ambient magic of Equestria as something was drawing on it to survive. The other, however, remained, though not quite as powerful as its initial spike, within Canterlot. He frowned, since Fluttershy had told him about a wedding she was helping with, and wanted to check it out just to be sure. He snapped away to view what was happening and found Frisk fighting with Queen Chrysalis in one of the halls. Twilight was mostly unconscious and being tended to by her brother and Rainbow Dash while Celestia and a pink alicorn were trapped in green slime. There were a few changes he noticed about Frisk. Their shirt was green and yellow and their hair seemed redder than he was used to. They and Chrysalis fought fiercely as Discord watched, but Chrysalis got in a lucky hit and Frisk fell back with a cry. Discord narrowed his eyes and snapped in to block Chrysalis’s next attack. The queen recoiled in fear and disgust.

“What are you doing here?” she demanded.

“Protecting my friend, of course!” Discord retorted.

"Protecting your what?" Chrysalis choked out

“Why, of course, dear little Chryssi! You perhaps need to get your hearing checked,” Discord chuckled. “But, yes, Frisk... is my friend. I will protect them, because they made sure I could be happy and keep my nature. And that’s important to me. Now, have at you, changeling!” Discord declared dramatically, pointing his claw at Chrysalis before pausing.

“This situation is an exception to that agreement,” green sweater Frisk confirmed.

“Perfect! Let’s do battle!” Discord guffawed, slinging bolts of magic at a frantically dodging Chrysalis. Eventually he got in a hit and she was suddenly trapped in an incredibly fluffy light pink ball. Her entire body was covered except for her horn, wings, and face. Then, his magic pulsed and every living, conscious Changeling in the city immediately stuffed the end of the hall in a massive pile, and Discord exclaimed, “My finest work yet! I call it the Fluffle Queen and the Buggy Wall!”

“Fantastic work, Discord,” Frisk approved, their sweater slowly changing back to the blue and purple he was used to. Discord noticed, and raised an eyebrow. Frisk shrugged.

“I’ll, uh... explain later,” they sighed. “Let’s get them free,” Frisk suggested, jerking their head at the imprisoned alicorns.

“Yes, please,” the pink alicorn chuckled. Suddenly, Luna came barreling in through the balcony and blasted Celestia’s cocoon open.

“Tia!” Luna cried. “We are so very sorry, art thou alright? I returned as soon as we noticed the shield had been shattered, but I could not seem to teleport in...”

“Luna, I’m fine. Sticky and a bit gross, but otherwise fine. Discord, thank you for aiding us, as well as you, Frisk,” Celestia said, shaking the slime off.

Frisk sighed. “I didn’t really do anything. The whole song and actually fighting Chrysalis thing was all Chara.”

“Who’s Chara?” Twilight asked as she wiped the slime from her hooves.

“Shining Armor, do you remember when I told you about the voice in my head who occasionally gave me helpful advice?” Frisk asked.

“Vaguely,” he nodded, holding a hoof up to his head as the hangover from Chrysalis’s spell over him gave one last touch of mental stress. “Though Chrysalis did not help my memory.”

"Their name is Chara..." Frisk explained. "The shortest version of their story is they fell into the Underground a long time before me and died trying to free the monsters."

"I see," Princess Celestia replied hesitantly. "So how did they, ah... control you, I suppose?"

"Best theory I've got is that when they died a shard of their SOUL remained and attached to mine when I fell," Frisk said. "Then they were filled with enough DETERMINATION to take over my SOUL when the bug pony started dissing their adoptive brother."

"Well, if you're alright with Chara being there, I suppose there's no reason to try... removing them..." Celestia sighed. "Now, what to do abo-"

Chrysalis cut her off by suddenly breaking from Discord's spell and freeing most of the Changelings.

"I swear by the Goddess herself," Chrysalis cackled, "that you will all see me again! And you, little Frisk... Oh, you will feel the worst of my wrath!"

Before anyone could do anything, the Changelings vanished and the remaining Element bearers galloped in. Fluttershy's expression turned to delight once she saw Discord and Frisk gave them all a summary of the events of the day before they went to rest so they could plan the actual wedding.

❤︎

The wedding of the real Cadance and Shining Armor went smoothly as could be. Rainbow managed to orchestrate a clear day and a brilliant Rainboom for the proceedings, Applejack baked the perfect wedding cake, Rarity created appropriate clothing tailored to everyone's needs and interests, Fluttershy's bird choir was in perfect sync and tune, and Pinkie's reception was a blast. Frisk took plenty of pictures to send their friends and family back home, and Frisk, Spike, and the Element bearers returned to Ponyville on the train utterly content.

Author's Note:

Did you expect a retelling of A Canterlot Wedding without at least one musical number? Because if you did... you came to the wrong place. Go read, like, A new chance at one HP if you want that I guess

Also yeah a lot of my restructuring of the Changeling invasion was directly inspired by that story, like the weird Check with higher LV than Cadance should've had (though technically in the other story that was a Judge performed by Sans) but I mean I've read that fic like ten times already, and since the premises are so similar something was bound to slip over into mine...

pls emeraldleafeon no ban i love your story

i really hope you liked the chapter i worked so hard on those lyrics :fluttercry: