• Member Since 3rd Aug, 2019
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Raven-Flight


Just another Fluttercord shipper, I'm afraid!

T

This story is a sequel to Kindness and the Seed of Shadow


The final chapter of the trilogy: Sombra must be released. If they're going to reform him, Fluttershy and Discord need to stand together—but they've each been keeping secrets. And when those secrets come out, the world turns upside down.

And Twilight has an aneurysm.

(Sex tag for occasional implications. Gore tag for the penultimate chapter only.)

Chapters (24)
Comments ( 52 )

Wonderful start. I love all the playful little ways Discord refers to the twins and the adorably chaotic dynamic they all have together. I just love seing Discord be such a wonderful father figure.

And it's such a small tiny detail in this, but I like that you included how Sombra affected her still. How even though it was a small fleeting thought from her about her wings, it's there. It's real. Though she seems to have overcome that time, and has been happy since, that's something that doesn't just get pushed to the side till her and Sombra cross paths again. Its subtle and small but it adds to the story. Wonderful job.

I agree with Marina. It was a great way to open it, and it's also a really good way to show just how much Discord's and Fluttershy's relationship has grown. And they way you have Discord as a father is just how I see him as a father! I can hear it and see it perfectly.

I'm excited for this final installment of this series from you!

Fio and Corey. My heart.

This entire family. My heart!

You also have the essence of being a child down pat. Of being fixated on these tiny moments that their parents don't want them fixated on at all, and incorporating it into everything they do. And how Discord and Fluttershy explain everything to them so everything they say is the truth, but not in a way that scares them. I work with kids all the time, and you just portray kids in general so well!

And again, I love your characterizations and just... everything!

And now, the part where Sombra is introduced...

Oh dear.

So many things unsaid in a simple "okay".

A great short chapter that packed a huge emotional punch. I got a little emotional myself when Fio and Corey learned they were "sick"...

But that means that this is some dang good storytelling.

10964990
Ah, thank you! I don't normally deal with children in real life, so I'm glad my guesses at characterization were convincing. Imagining a family dynamic for this quirky group has been awfully satisfying, even if I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing!

10965445
It's okay. If there's one thing I know in this life, it's that no one knows what they're doing, ever. So, we just do the best we can with what we have.

And holy moly, friendo. Yet another twist! And again, it's a twist that is, in theory, deeply romantic, but with dire consequences.

Hoo boy. But, it does give the story a chance to focus on something between Fluttershy and Discord alone. Something Sombra has nothing to do with, or any other character. It gives them a place to grow so their romance doesn't become stagnant when the story isn't over. So I'm actually quite excited with this new conflict. But I'm curious to see how this will tie in with all the other issues going on.

But I feel like you've thought much of this through, so I'm expecting that in the end, it will all come together.

10966151
Reading through your thoughts here MAY have given me a minor fit of evil laughter. It also struck me with an insight that's going to make the climax so much worse. Sorry, not sorry! 🙃

Getting to the good stuff, I see. Can't wait to see where Sombra’s madness leads him. But with that act I know our little Flutterbutter is going to have to be so careful. They all are.

Oh boy. Oh boy. This chapter is certainly anxiety-inducing.

I loved the scene with Discord's fury. I hope it comes back. Honestly I want them to fight brutally and for Discord to be the victor.

Discord is best husbando and best daddy and Sombra deserves nothing.

But man, the last part from Sombra's perspective. It was intense.

I'm excited and this story deserves so much more recognition!

"Very well, very well. Oh, this is so exciting!” Discord levitated up and spun around in the air. “I won’t even tell Fluttershy! Two ponies so different in character! Love can be so unpredictable, can’t it? What a gloriously chaotic thing! The farm pony took a fancy to the fancy pony, and the fancy pony fawns over the farm pony. It’s perfectly harmonious, and yet utterly chaotic! You know, I never imagined it would be through love that chaos and harmony might reach a gyrating sort of balance, yet here we are! I can’t tell you how happy I am for you two!” Discord landed back on the floor and enthusiastically shook the mares’ hooves.

This is one of the reasons I love your work. Discord being a chaos geek, ranting about how something so harmonious is actually quite chaotic and also just relishing in the gossip of it all!

You write such an excellent Discord!

I also just love how all-encompassing you are with the stories. That there is still that strong theme of friendship, that romance is not the only kind of relationship that is strong at play.

Oh, by the way, the precious chapter and the smelling salts? Hilarious, can't believe I forgot to mention that in my previous review. A stroke of genius. That was so legitimate I'm surprised it never happened on the show, haha!

10972874
I just found your comments after emerging from a long writing session, and I must thank you. I was already feeling pretty good, but now I'm downright delighted! Your kind words are very motivating. I hope I can continue to deliver the quality you apparently believe me to possess!

10972941
I think you will continue to do so. You've done so for this long, after all. :twilightsmile:

... uh oh.
I get the feeling Sombra's intense moments of focus were him doing what he could to mess with her head, to get her to despise Discord and return to him instead. Because, while she's been frustrated before it hasn't been like this.

10974605
The unspoken dark side of the soulmate concept is it robs you of options, which is a terribly overwhelming thing if you have even the smallest doubt about the relationship. In other words, poor Fluttershy is facing an absolute typhoon of pressure.

(I kinda feel bad for stressing Fluttershy out all the time. One of these days she'll catch a break, I promise!)

He sighed and sat down. “You must know I mean you no harm, Fluttershy. Not this time. I’m trying to improve myself now, so I don’t ever hurt you again.”

Please. Save it for the choir, monster. You're saying all the right things in three sentences after, what, a week? YOU LIE.

“No, thank you.” She shrugged off the garment. “I was actually thinking I would take the foals on a nature walk and teach them some more about plants and animals, and frankly, I think we could do without your distractions. Why don’t you go to the spa instead?"

Oof, Fluttershy. What? He didn't even do anything, and normally you'd just be giggling at his innocent antics! Someone get her away from Sombra, who thought leaving her alone with him was a good idea???

Discord’s ears flattened, and he made himself small. “Oh, o-of course. I know I can be a little much sometimes. I’ll just get out of your mane, then, and maybe… you could tell me how it went later tonight?”

Oh, ow. The poor guy is being so sweet and he has done nothing wrong, but the scariest part is that Fluttershy doesn't even react to her own unfair comments. Normally she'd have gasped at herself and instantly apologized.

Instead she's feeling bad but still letting him leave and just shrugging it off, deciding to deal with it later. She might feel bad about it, but she's not trying to make things right immediately. That's not the Fluttershy I know and love...

I wanna go back to the adorableness of Cheese and Pinkie yelling 'I love you' in helium! :fluttercry:

This was a great chapter that made me Google a whole lotta plants, and I hope Sombra burns in H-E-double-hockey-stick.

10975194
Dark magic is one heckuva drug. Much as I love Fluttershy, she's no Mary-Sue, and we can't have character development without conflict, unfortunately. But it definitely hurts to write her this way!

10975996
Nobody wants a Mary Sue! But yes, it is important for everyone to have character development and make mistakes...

What I do like about it? Discord didn't do anything wrong. This time it's Fluttershy. You don't see that often. Even I tend to make Discord as "The One Who Doth Screweth Up".

“Alright, now come at me from about 26.2 degrees northwest of zenith. I need you to steady at 98m/s and don’t divert for anything. I’ll come up from below and skim just over your airstream. The opposing friction should launch us both into clean, mirrored loops. Give it a little bit more thrust just as I’m passing since your loop’s got more gravity to overcome. Roger?”

I have no idea what I just read! :derpytongue2:

Also, I WOULD quote some other parts for my reaction, but Rainbow summarized it best...

“I just saw him yesterday, and he’s been really weirding me out. Like, not in the normal Sombra-weirdness way. I can’t stop thinking about it.”

“What’s he done this time?”

“I dunno, he’s just… too enthusiastic, I guess. I’m glad if he really wants to be reformed and all, but his 180 in attitude was as fast as any of my aerial 180s. He’s gotta be up to something.”

EXACTLY. Fluttershy is smarter than this. She can't truly think he's doing this so well, ESPECIALLY after reforming Discord. I really need to know how the magic he has instilled into her is affecting her judgment, because there is something about the way she's acting around him. We already agreed she's not a Mary Sue, and it's true her compassion can get the best of her sometimes, but she's not stupid, either. How is this magic affecting how she's actually seeing this guy? Or is it perhaps stemming from something more psychological?

I need answers, Raven-Flight! I neeeeeeeeeeed iiiiiiiiit..

I really enjoyed the interaction between Applejack and Sombra. But ohhh, I feel AJ. He is SAYING all the right things, but as you pointed out... It's the truth, but is it the honest truth? Applejack is basically doing the grilling that Rainbow suggested that Discord do in the previous chapter.

Difference between her and Discord is that she's able to do it and still do the task she's been assigned to do. Discord would probably just want to find a reason to get rid of him. And who can blame him?

“Applejack, you give me no credit. I know Fluttershy wants to see me reformed, and I’ll do anything to win her friendship.”

Define anything, you overdone heart of darkness. Anything like... manipulation? Lying through your teeth? Putting on the lamest act of 'Look at me, I'm so gooooooooood now, lemme out' that I've ever seen?

Also, I'm terrible. I can't remember, why is Chrysalis a teenager again?

10977596
The fate of the others from the original league of villains was given about one paragraph toward the end of "Kindness and the Heart" (which I just had to go look up again myself!). Grogar was the only villain actually destroyed by the friendship lasers, while the others were simply de-powered. For Chrysalis, she was reverted back into a changeling egg, and she and the others were then locked away in their own individual pocket dimensions. So Chrysalis is a teenager now because she hatched and has been growing up again since then. Also, time in pocket dimensions isn't necessarily one-to-one with time in the real world, which is why she can be a teenager when only a little more than five years has passed in the real world. (Yeah, that sounds good, let's go with that. :twilightsheepish:)

10977653
Thank you for both answering my question and assuaging my guilt as a fan of your writings.

Answers a third of the way into the story? That would be too easy on you! Thursday's chapter might give you some clues, though...

The light of the day can be garish. Cold. Unfeeling

At first I thought this would be a passing reference, but loved how it seemed to inspire this chapter. Music of the Night is such a gorgeous song (and so is Chaos of the Night, I'm pretty sure were all fluttercord fans, we've all seen it at least once) As a Musical Theater nerd I found this delightful, and certainly got chills.

But oh it hurts to see Fluttershy lost and confused. You are an evil writer, and I love that.

Music of the Night was 100% the inspiration for this chapter. It's a beautiful song but also quite sinister (Chaos of the Night has all the beauty and none of the sinister, of course!), which I thought was perfect for Sombra in this situation. In my head, I had Sombra actually singing Music of the Night to Fluttershy, but that would have been a little awkward in a story world where ponies don't regularly break out into show tunes about their feelings...

This entire chapter was painful and confusing, confusing and painful, and I am so angry at Fluttershy, angry angry angry.

But Discord is also needy needy needy, stifling stifling stifling. But that is naturally a part of relationships, and while I can see how the soulmate thing isn't helping Fluttershy's situation... Most of what Discord has done has seemed normal for a relationship.

But, am I supposed to still be confused as to how Sombra is manipulating her via magic? Clearly he isn't just using honeyed words and gestures and feigned compassion and understanding here. There's something else going on because Fluttershy having some shadow pony characteristics seems to be changing how she thinks and acts. But I'm still a bit confused as to how. Am I supposed to be though? Are there answers I still haven't gotten yet? Or am I missing something?

I'm so confused, but I think I'm supposed to be.

Also DANGIT SOMBRA GET YOUR FILTHY MANIPULATIVE MOUTH OFF OF HER I SWEAR TO--

... You're really good at making me hate a character to a passionate degree.

10979758
I haven't been specific about what, exactly, dark magic can do, in this situation and otherwise. Unfortunately, confusion and obliviousness are major plot drivers at the moment. I've got a number explanatory-lectures-disguised-as-dialogue ahead, and dark magic will be one of them. You've just got to wait until the end for it. Thank you for your trust in the process!

(Also I am very sorry for this disgusting chapter and my disgusting villain)

10979845
I'm just glad I'm supposed to not fully understand what's going on yet. I was afraid it was just going over my head when every other reader understood it!

And don't be sorry. If Sombra wasn't being disgusting, then Fluttershy would be 100% a total cheater who doesn't appreciate Discord at all anymore and just finds him annoying and if that were true it would destroy me.

Not that I'm saying Fluttershy can never be unappreciative or upset about everything going on. But her behavior isn't very Fluttershy-ish right now and she's not even feeling as bad about her actions as she was earlier in the story. A small part of her still realizes it, but it's not nearly as prominent anymore.

And she's starting to lose her instincts with Sombra...

What's up with this book of his...?

Also, I think I'm starting to see...

In the first book, Fluttershy explained that Sombra displaced the love she had for Discord and placed it onto himself. And that's how it looks right now. Fluttershy seems to be mentally switching the two now. Right now, she sees Discord as a master manipulator who only cares about having power over her. (Which is what he used to be, which may be making it even easier for the dark magic to give that illusion.)

And right now, she sees Sombra as a stallion who has done terrible, terrible things but is working hard to reform and in turn, teaching Fluttershy a different way to see the world.

The roles have been reversed. If I'm right, he's manipulating her again the way he did before. The only thing is, dark magic is obviously at play here, too, because mere words wouldn't be enough to make Fluttershy act the way she is now. That's the only part missing.

Also, I think it's really interesting that you are also taking this as an opportunity to highlight the fact that Discord is so new to romantic experiences, that he can't even tell what's going on. He's still in that mindset of "what did I do wrong?" He has no idea how to deal with this and this is probably one of the few times where he truly hasn't done ANYTHING wrong.

Well played, author. Well played.

Wow. A chapter with all of the feels, huh?

The friendship element in it was extremely heartwarming, though. You know I love it when writers give Discord honest, sweet moments with the others that show he's able to truly have some friends close to him that aren't Fluttershy, without compromising his character!

I'm wondering if Fluttershy will take it too far to the point where the others notice it more, too. Back Discord up a little. Or are they going to give them space out of respect, and therefore not see it? Fluttershy's mood ONLY darkens around Discord. That's it.

Maybe Applejack will break Sombra's neck for us all. That would be nice.♡

10983367
Ooh, this comment is ironic given the scene I just finished writing. I won't tell you why, though. ;)

Irony aside, I think friendships are really important to a good romance, even a soulmate one. Ponies and draconequui and people need trustworthy outside eyes to help them look more honestly at their own romantic relationships. It's kind of unfair to burden a single individual, soulmate or no, with the entirety of one's emotional needs, and that's where good friends come in handy. Discord needs to have other people to turn to (and so does Fluttershy, but try telling her that right now). This is a point I've been working to emphasize, even if my main focus is on Discord and Fluttershy themselves.

10983965

Ooh, this comment is ironic given the scene I just finished writing. I won't tell you why, though. ;)

Oh dear.
Please have mercy on us all...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

YES DISCORD

Y E S

STARTLE HIM INDEED!

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

THAT LAST PART WAS THE BEST THING EVER

BRAVO, AUTHOR, BRAVO!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHACACKLECACKLECACKLE

I think I found the part where you said my comment was ironic.

And ironic indeed! But I think I can ascertain as to why you chose Angel Bunny for this. He's not a fan of Discord, and never has been. So if he thinks that Fluttershy is being unfair to him, then you know something is very, very wrong.

And then you gave me pretty much everything I was hoping for and, yes, cue the sigh of relief here.

So she's felt the pull of 'badness', as you say. And it wasn't so clean-cut because she told him he enjoyed it. The tone changed a lot all throughout their interaction. I'm still a little lost as to how exactly the soulmate magic affects Discord. So it even gives him a physical reaction when he feels his relationship is threatened, and not necessarily when she isn't nearby for a long period of time? Interesting.

But this was, all in all, a lovely chapter where we finally got our Fluttershy back, and she gets a metaphorical slap in the face that shows her she is not solving her issues the way she normally would. And I'm hoping that despite the hurt and confusion, despite the dark magic and the fact that AJ really needs to kick Sombra's face in so hard that he dies, that Discord and Fluttershy are now stronger than ever!

Such a wonderful chapter. It was a great way to end my evening yesterday, which is when I read it, but didn't write a review until today!

Seriously, why aren't you getting more reviews???? I tried spreading the word...

I gotta be more like Rainbow.

10988346
Not to out Rainbow since she probably hasn't even realized it herself yet, but she's my little bit of aromantic/asexual representation. Not wanting or needing a romantic partner is valid! So is wanting one, but not having one and feeling complete and content anyway!

(The "Rainbow Dash is ace" idea may have been absolutely was stolen from the great DF herself!)

10988329

I think I found the part where you said my comment was ironic.

No, you didn't. :ajsmug:

This was one of the founding scenes for the whole story. Discord charming Fluttershy into letting down her guard so they can have a conversation that changes the way they see each other. I think this imagery was floating around in my head before I even started the first story in the trilogy. I know one issue people take with the Fluttercord ship is a perceived power imbalance, but I've always thought it seemed a little imbalanced in Fluttershy's favor, rather than Discord's. He may have all the magic, but he's also the one who has to reign in his demons and grapple with the shadow of past sins. Fluttershy's too sweet and innocent to be able to understand that struggle, so that's a burden from which Discord wouldn't find much relief in his relationship with her. I wanted a way for Discord and Fluttershy to land on more equal moral footing, and this scene was the result.

I tried spreading the word...

Aww, thank you! I figure a Fluttercord story featuring betrayal, a manipulative and abusive villain, and a deluge of headcanons just isn't most readers' cup of tea, and I'm okay with that. Your comments certainly mean a lot to me, though! :heart:

And now, I finally, finally have my answers.

Thank you.

That was beautiful. Not just the ceremony itself, but the very romanticism of it. The symbolism that's emphasized by the feelings shared between the couple, that backs up the fact that while yes, they're technically soulmates, it wasn't as if there weren't choices at all here. They didn't have to do this...

But despite the fear, the pain, and the past, the joy and love they share overpassed all of it by a landslide.

Queue a long, swooning sigh here.

This chapter is also a wonderful testament to your imagination. In my opinion, the best stories with Discord involve big imagination. After all, Cordy has an infinite amount of it. A writer needs that to make a good story that involves him. And this, my friend, is a fantastic story. Cheers to you and to the wonderful fantasy that exists in your mind!

This was a really nice break from all the conflict these characters are facing. Again, I love that it's about all these great characters, even if Fluttershy and Discord are the center of the plot.

The Twilight experiment with Pinkie was especially a fun moment I enjoyed. It made me smile. :twilightsmile:

Though I can definitely relate to Twilight and Rarity here. While no couple is perfect, and we know it deep inside, still. We all see that couple that seems wonderful in a social context... and we wonder if we will ever be in the same kind of situation.

I certainly know some of those and hope for the same for me, even though I know in my heart it's not as easy as they make it look. That there's more to what I see.

I don't want this to end either! The sweetness of these last few chapters! But we still have one big obstacle to overcome, which we all know isn't just truly one obstacle...

Gosh, your romantic scenes are just far too sweet and pure! Like honey, like thornless roses, like sunsets and sunrises in clear skies with nary a cloud in sight!

... Like a little ecosystem in a necklace that sustains itself and never ends, with an owner that loves her mate forever.

Thank you for a wonderful story and trilogy. This story really does tie in the other two stories quite well. The characters were true to their nature and the interplay between Discord, Fluttershy, Fio and Corey was a joy to read.

I liked how you expanded the magic of Equestria; with Generosity, Loyalty, Laughter, Honesty and Kindness, each having their own magic separate to the Magic of Friendship, and how Chaos and Dark Magic fit into it.

How the conflict was handled. From the beginning, Fluttershy telling the team that Sombra was going to die and that they couldn't let that happen, to the conclusion having Fluttershy help Sombra decide its time for him to go was not something I had thought.

And the epilogue was less a final but an invitation for the reader to continue the characters story. Is Fluttershy becoming a draconequus? will Discord get his miracle? as Twilight said "Only time will tell"

11001379
Thank you for this kind review! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story! And yes, that was exactly my intention with the epilogue—there's space for you to come to your own conclusions. The future, whatever it may prove to be for Discord and Fluttershy, is an adventure they are fully equipped to face and enjoy together.

I'm sorry I did not review the other chapters, but I assure you it wasn't from lack of quality or disappointment of any sort. Each chapter has me begging for more by the finish, I assure you. The website doesn't notify me of new chapters as fast, I actually have to click notifications to check and I'll find out faster and I will tell you that the last few months I always check to see if there are updates for this story.

And this chapter in particular. It was like my eyes weren't reading fast enough. It's the final countdown and Discord's fury alone is already written beautifully. But now the connection is making the dark magic get to him as well, and oh man. The pacing here was great. I gotta get to the next one. See you there!

But before I do...

"I was—I… Sweet chaos, not my friend!” Discord dove forward and snatched Twilight into a tight hug. “Not my friend...”

*So sweet and genuine...!* :pinkiesad2:

And so, the battle is over.

And you actually got me to pity Sombra.

That was a whirlwind of emotions. It's like my heart is a puppet and you the puppeteer.

This really is one of my all-time favorite MLP series. It's just so wonderfully told. The gore was still tasteful. I didn't wince.

And just the *feelings*, and the magic lore, and how all these bonds weave together and interact, and how darkness can consume you, but it can also empower you to overcome it...

How this chapter was a clear foil to how Fluttershy dealt with Sombra's manipulation the first time... Now I see another reason why it was so necessary. Experience always makes one a better fighter. If you don't have the experience, then you don't know how to fight it. Even if those chapters were *so* hard to read, oh, how worth it it was...

I am going to miss this story when it's over.

A beautiful ending to one of the best series on this entire website. It really highlights what makes fluttercord such a great pair and why with Discord, friendship AND chaos can both work to be magical.

And of course, love conquers all!

As for the open interpretation, hmm... I will have to think on how I'd want it it go.

I agree with dark-pony: I love how you further expanded the magic of the elements and it isn't just Fluttershy who has an extra skill from hers. And they all make sense, too! It would have been great in canon! Because it *works* with canon.

And the last scene had me swooning. It always has me swooning.

Thanks for writing this. It was a highlight of many of my days. I will most likely reread all three one day.

I hope you continue to write and create! You have a talent for it, and a wonderful imagination to boot!

11002901
Thank you so much for sticking with me through this whole series! Writing, as I'm sure you know, often comes with so much self-doubt, but it's amazing how fulfilling and motivating the thoughtful words of even one person can be. The primary goal behind this entire creative undertaking was just to scratch my own itch for Fluttercord content, but I am both delighted and humbled to think that my writing might have brought satisfaction to others, too.

This was also my first experience sharing my creative writing publicly. I don't know if I'll ever start another fanfiction project (not ruling it out, but there are currently no plans), but I fully intend to continue writing, and it's an incredible confidence boost to know that there are people out there who might appreciate the stories I weave. So thank you again for the part you've played in my creative journey. Your reviews and commentary throughout have meant so much to me.

11004117
I'm humbled and honored at the same time from this. I'm so glad that I could be that reader that stuck with you at the beginning as you wrote and finished it. You deserve a lot more of those than just me, in my opinion. I mean, this entire story was so well-constructed, with unique elements that made it stand out, such as the Mane Six having specific magic based on their element, and the shadow magic, and the Draconequus lore! It had so many layers, but they all interconnected and it didn't get too complicated, and I could just go on and on...

But in short, it was my pleasure entirely. This is one of my top all-time favorites.

Also, I'm surprised this was your first online work. It certainly doesn't read that way. I wish my first one had had this kind of quality. Heck, I don't think any of mine had this kind of quality! That's amazing.

Be proud, my friend. Be proud.

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