• Published 12th Nov 2011
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Envy and Arrogance - Mindblower



The Elements are critical to world stability. Twilight and her friends find this out the hard way.

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Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Sixteen

*******

Arrogance, lying casually across her throne, flipped through a small book. She was using telekinesis to levitate a quill and ink in midair beside her. She scribbled something inside the pages. Dear diary...

Envy walked into the throne room. “Sister,” she called.

Arrogance hurriedly tossed the diary to the side. “Y-Yes, Envy?”

“What was that?” Envy asked.

“Um, nothing,” Arrogance said quickly. “Your report?”

“Um...” Envy said warily. “Saphira, Lorey, and Trixie have betrayed us, Lyvia is dead, and the Elements of Harmony are on our doorstep. We finally have worthy opponents, for the first time in centuries. If we follow the plan, we will have set the stage for Deception.”

“Ugh, I hate losing,” Arrogance rubbed her eyes.

“Everything must go according to Deception’s plan, sister. You know that,” Envy said sternly. “I believe I need another body, though, in order to carry out this task.”

“That Trixie girl should do just fine; she never was much of an asset to us anyways,” Arrogance sighed, resting her head on her front legs.

“What’s wrong, sister?” Envy asked.

“Why can’t I be in charge?” Arrogance sighed. “I’m perfectly capable. Justice may have her ideas of a perfect world, but my Dreamscape is an absolute Utopia!

Envy laughed. “You know the rules! Besides, Deception has never been wrong before. Harmony within Discord, remember? The world is at our mercy as long as we follow her lead.”

“Yes, Envy, but why do we have to give it mercy?” Arrogance complained.

“Because our leader commands us to,” Envy explained. “And besides, you know the golden rule of Discord: We’re always winning if we’re having fun.”

“Bleh, that’s such a lame rule,” Arrogance sneered. “Why couldn’t it be something more dark and sinister?”

“You would have named it the ‘Nightmarish Rule of Consequential Discord—’ yadda, yadda, yadda,” Envy said. “I’m still a bit peeved at you for calling me Nightmare Moon. I know I lost the bet, but sheesh.”

“It’s a perfectly applicable name!” Arrogance defended.

“What is this, a children’s cartoon?” Envy sneered. “You’re more suited to creative writing than to ruling an empire.”

Arrogance hmph’d. “Well, that’s one more thing I have that you don’t.”

“I wouldn’t suppose that includes a brain,” Envy muttered under her breath. “They’ll be here in a few minutes; you might want to prepare yourself.”

“A goddess such as I doesn’t need to prepare herself,” Arrogance said.

Envy glanced at her before leaving the room to prepare. I wish I had your self-confidence... but then again, I don’t.

=====================================================================

*******

The Elements of Harmony and company made their way up to their final destination, but their resolve was shaken. Like most new soldiers that get into their first real battle, they were startled by the conclusion, which is always death.

I knew I would have to end some lives, Dash thought to herself. I didn’t like it, but I knew. But now that I’ve actually helped kill somepony... I feel empty.

There was no friendly banter as they made their way up to the throne room, now only a few minutes walk away.

We should be planning our strategy, Twilight thought absently. We should at least be a little nervous. But why aren’t we? Why do I just feel so guilty? Lyvia deserved to die, didn’t she? She was a heartless monster! So why do I feel so ashamed? Why do I feel like I’m the evil villain? Am I still the hero after what I just helped accomplish?

Twilight looked up to see a blue unicorn clanging toward them with shackles around her legs.

“Trixie!” Twilight yelled, adopting a battle stance. “Stay back!”

“No, Twilight, I’m in control now!” Trixie yelled before they could start attacking her. “Please, there isn’t much time, I need you to break me out of these bonds before they come alive again!”

“Careful, it might be a trick,” Luna warned.

Twilight squinted, her horn glowing with magical energy as she felt out the magic in Trixie’s chains. It was faint, but the malicious magic was still there. It feels like the magic is asleep, somehow, Twilight thought.

“No, this is the real Trixie,” Twilight said. “I can tell because her chains are the same.”

“Well, what are we waiting for?” Pinkie said. “C’mon, help her out!”

“It’s not that simple,” Luna said. “This is a Lock-and-Key spell; only one pony can get her out, and that’s the one with the key.”

“Well, can’t you pick the lock?” Olly suggested.

Twilight sighed. “It would take time.”

“Time that we do not have to spare!” Luna persisted.

“Luna, Trixie’s chains are probably more dangerous than Lyvia’ll ever be,” Applejack said. “She hogtied all a us and presented us to Envy like pumpkins in front of a judgin’ table.”

“She’d be much more helpful as a friend,” Fluttershy pointed out. “Trixie really wants to help us.”

Trixie nodded vigorously. “You’re the one that sent me, Princess! Please help me out, I’ll do anything!”

Luna sighed. “Twilight, you help me break Trixie out. The rest of you stand back in case she attacks.”

Twilight and Luna gradually began to feel out the magic. They slowly wrapped their minds around the twists and turns of the lock, looking for the keyhole, or the tumblers, or some part of the metaphorical mechanism. After a few minutes of silent concentration, they found what they were looking for.

The shackles clicked open, and fell at Trixie’s hooves. She stepped out of them, and rubbed her bruised legs.

“Th-Thank you,” Trixie said earnestly. “I won’t forget this.”

“You did all you could, but I’m afraid I have to ask you to aid us a little longer,” Luna said.

“Are you kidding?” Trixie laughed. “The Great and Powerful Trixie has been looking for an excuse to beat those senseless barbarians ever since they dared to imprison her!”

Pinkie smiled. “Glad to see you’re excited!”

“Aren’t you?” Trixie looked at Pinkie. “We finally get the opportunity to get back what we’ve lost! Finally, I can feel the magic coursing through my blood again!”

Trixie’s horn lit up, and a bright flash of light escaped from it, brightening the room. A warm glow spread over the Elements.

“Losing isn’t an option,” Trixie snarled. “I’m getting my revenge on that nasty Daymare, and don’t try to stop me!”

I remember why I’m here! Applejack growled to herself. There are ponies that need my help!

“Who will have the honor of helping the Great and Powerful Trixie?” Trixie asked, beginning to lead the way toward the throne room.

Dash’s red eyes lit up with excitement. “Right behind you!” she said.

=====================================================================

*******

They made it to the throne room. This was it. This was the sum of their entire journey, their entire livelihoods. They were confronting the Daymare.

But it didn’t quite go as expected.

The Daymare sat on her throne looking down upon the Elements with Envy by her side, not saying anything for a long while. An chill spread through the group’s spines with the antagonist’s glare, silencing even Trixie and Dash. Then, after five minutes that seemed like five hours, she asked, “Are you proud of yourselves?”

“Huh?” Pinkie asked.

The Daymare stepped down from her throne. “Look, I’m immortal. With or without this pathetic body of your overrated sun goddess. Really, I’m the one you should be bowing down to, because unlike your Celestia here, I’m not only immortal, I’m eternal. Even more than the soil that you use to grow your wheat. There will always be Arrogance. Forever. And ever.

“So why do you even care?” she continued. “Even if you defeat me, I’ll be back in a month, and what’s more, the lives that I take will never come back. Discord will always exist, no matter how much you want to pinch yourselves and wish it was just a nightmare. ‘Cause it is a nightmare, my little Elements of Harmony,” the Daymare sneered, placing extra emphasis on those last words.

“Do you even realize how little you mean to me? You’re merely a speed bump. A crack in a sidewalk. I could wait until you die of old age and then kill every single pony on the planet. But where’s the fun in that? No, I have to make you fear me, just so that I have a tiny little bit more fun than usual,” the Daymare said. “Ask Luna; if it weren’t for Deception, the mastermind, the spy, and our leader, the world would have ended long ago.”

Twilight glanced up at Luna, astounded, but the goddess just hung her head in shame.

The Daymare laughed harshly. “You really have no idea, do you? Jeez, they don’t tell you anything over there, do they? You’ve been watched. Cataloged. Filed. All throughout your lives, no less. You’ve been watched by different sides of the same conflict. Or at least you would have been, if your leaders were competent.”

“Is that true?” Dash asked in shock.

Luna nodded sadly. “The forces of Discord were in complete control of your lives, from beginning to end. But…” She looked up. “Just because you think the Elements of Harmony are useless doesn’t mean that we won’t keep fighting! It is our sole purpose to protect Equestria. Futility is irrelevant; if we don’t fight for those who can’t fight for themselves, who will?”

“You expect us to just sit here and do nothing?!” Trixie asked in indignant shock. “The nerve! After everything you’ve done to me, you think I’ll go down without a struggle? Never!”

Envy looked at her. “I suppose that’s one way to put it, but our real question is, why bother? You’ll only end up dead in the end. Why not just… give up?”

Dash stepped forward, her red eyes ablaze with determination. “I fight for honor. I fight so that I can help those around me, I fight so that can I help my friends through their pains, I win battles that others can’t. I represent the will of a nation, the strength of an army, and the principles that have governed our world since the beginning of time. I am Loyalty, and I will never give up to evil when my country needs me, and it is my duty to dispose of all threats to peace.”

Pinkie nodded and stepped forward, her blue eyes shining with passion. “I fight so that ponies all across the globe can have those little moments… the moments when you can throw back your head and laugh. In a world ruled by Discord, ponies live under constant fear. I fight so that they can enjoy what life they have! Because you only get one, and giving up is a waste of a life! I am Humor, and as long as a pony is still sad or lonely, then my job isn’t completed.”

Rarity stepped forward. “I fight so that ponies learn to forgive and forget. I keep ponies from simply caring about themselves and their own survival; I spread love so that ponies will help the weak and the sick survive. I will never, ever, allow ponies to give up on each other, and I will never, ever give up on my friends. I will give my life to save the world, and as Generosity, I want everypony in Equestria to be able to do that.”

Applejack stepped forward. “Ah fight so that ponies will learn ta be honest, and never ta keep harmful secrets or turn on each other. Ah can’t let ponies live in fear a bein’ lied to or betrayed, and as long as there’re still ponies out there that can’t be perfectly honest with everypony around them, then mah job isn’t done. Not yet. Ah’m Honesty, and ta be perfectly truthful, Ah don’t even know what ‘givin’ up’ means,” she added with a wry smile.

Fluttershy stepped forward. “I, like Dash, fight so that I can protect the weak. But I also protect the innocent; I will never allow a life to be wasted if I have something to say about it. I will never give up on somepony who needs me. At the end of the day, if everypony is kind to each other, then I have fulfilled my duty. If not, as Kindness, I still have a job to do. And like your job, Arrogance, my duty is eternal. I will never allow that task of mine to fall into disrepair.”

Twilight finally stepped forward, ahead of everypony else in the line. “I fight for my friends. As long as that inseparable bond can exist between two ponies, as long as two ponies can become friends, best friends, even lovers, then I will come into battle with the fury of a hurricane to protect the sacred ties that exist between ponies, the bonds that I have to make sure exist between all of us. I am Friendship, and giving up will never be an option for me, never again. I will push forward as long as there is something to fight for, and I will endure the harshest of conditions in order to protect Equestria.”

They did not prepare these speeches, but to those watching, it felt like they had rehearsed them for days on end until it was so heartfelt that it brought tears to some of the others’ eyes.

“I suppose that about sums it up,” the Daymare said, unimpressed. “A very nice little speech you’ve dredged up out of the depths of that junk you call a heart.”

“Sister,” Envy began, “I do believe it’s time to end this little group of pests. But I will need a new body to do so.”

“Medium or well done?” the Daymare grinned evilly.

“Medium well,” Envy said, glaring into the center of the group.

“So be it,” the Daymare said.

The Daymare’s eyes flared with bright energy. There was a flash, a crack of lightning, and a scream. Then silence.

Twilight got up; the force of the blast had knocked her over. But what she saw in the center made her heart turn to stone.

It was Trixie.

The blue mare was lying in the center of the blast; everypony else had been knocked aside. She was limply lying there, like she was only sleeping. Smoke drifted from the corner of her mouth. Trixie was dead, and she didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye.

“No…” Fluttershy said, tears brimming in her eyes. She looked up at the Daymare, struggling not to cry. “How could you?!”

Envy ignored the weeping pegasus. “I said medium well, not well done!” she snapped at the Daymare.

“It will have to do, brother,” the Daymare said calmly.

Envy mumbled something, but prepared for her transformation. She opened her mouth far wider than it ever should have been able to, and a black mist similar to the pattern on Nightmare Moon’s mane drifted up from her lungs.

It must be her soul... Twilight gaped as Lyra’s body fell to the ground limply. Please, Lyra, please be alive! she hoped, but it was a feeble wish. Lyra was still.

The group watched in horror as the mist quickly inserted itself into Trixie. The Elements of Harmony watched, motionless, powerless to stop Envy from invading the body of their friend that was alive less than a minute before.

The transformation began. Trixie’s pelt turned a dark purple color, almost maroon, her pale blue mane and tail becoming a light purple to complement it. Getting up, she shed her wizard’s hat and cloak. Her cutie mark turned into a fiendish sickle that encased a dark flame. But what completed the transformation were her slitted magenta eyes.

Trixie, or rather Envy, laughed. “What happened to the fire all of you had just a minute ago? Don’t tell me just one lighting bolt took that away from you.”

“It doesn’t really matter in the end,” the Daymare said, watching as the Elements and company prepared for battle. “They die, end of story.”

The battle began.

*******

The Daymare spread her wings and smiled as black energy started to swirl around the throne room. Dark blue lightning struck just outside the chamber as the stained glass windows began to crack and shatter. The Daymare’s slitted eyes glowed with white-hot energy.

Envy stepped back, her eyes wide. “Huh?”

“Are you surprised, brother?” the Daymare smirked, bowing her head low as her shadow started to twist and bend.

“To be honest, yes, quite,” Envy gaped.

Applejack stepped back, unnerved. Envy ain’t lying. Whatever stores of power the Daymare has in her, it’s a lot more than even he reckoned.

The floor of the throne room started to crack and eventually split down the middle, sending the heroes down into a deep darkness. They sunk through a thick, black syrup-like substance before being expunged into the middle of a wasteland. Cracked desert sands surrounded the small island of dirt they stood on. The small world the Daymare had created abruptly ended in an almost smothering darkness. A cloudy fog fell over the chunk of rock, slightly obscuring vision.

A single light shone through the fog, the Daymare’s fiery glow. Nearly silent whispers, deathly howls, and eerie groans echoed throughout the Daymare’s own nil dimension.

Fluttershy whimpered slightly to herself and shrunk back behind Dash. This is the Void...

“I wish you could fathom just how doomed you are,” the Daymare grinned, landing in front of the group. Her darkness slowly enclosed the area, preventing any escape by air.

“Enough,” Luna growled. “Your flashy darkness will do you no good against the powers of Harmony.”

“Well,” the Daymare smiled deviously. “Might as well make absolutely sure, right?”

Envy’s horn glowed as she used her now intense magical powers to spread flames all along the rim of the dirt island, which was only thirty meters in diameter. The heat of the white flames quickly dispersed the fog and the bright light almost blinded the group.

Envy leapt at Applejack, but instead of hitting her, she grabbed the orange mare and forced dark energy into her skull. Applejack limply hit the ground.

“One down, a few more to go,” the Daymare smirked, eyeing the group.

Twilight broke away from her fear and leapt at the Daymare, trying to stab the white alicorn in the neck with her horn. However, she simply tossed the purple mare aside and threw her into Rarity. Swooping overhead and plowing toward the center of the group, the Daymare launched Olly to the side of the arena. He narrowly missed the flames as he tumbled to the dirt. Saphira fared little better when she tried to disable the Daymare. With a swift kick, the Daymare clipped Saphira’s jaw, and she fell to the ground, the taste of blood in her mouth.

The Daymare snickered at their feeble attempts. “Jeez. I hope you’re just warming up, because that’s all I’ve been doing.”

Envy reappeared and took a swipe at Dash. The blue warrior leapt toward Envy and swiped at her with her hoof, but Envy simply kicked Dash in the jaw, flipping the pegasus onto her back before pounding repeatedly on her abdomen. Fluttershy, who was trying to bat off attacks from the Daymare, ran over and tackled Envy, knocking her aside. The Daymare flew over and bit down hard on Fluttershy’s mane and tossed her aside like a rag doll.

Envy was locked in a fierce battle with Rarity. Rarity tried to uppercut Envy with her hoof, but Envy merely stepped to the side, spinning under the blow and using the extra momentum to smack Rarity aside with her hoof. The white unicorn, using the momentum from the blow, rolled to her hooves as quickly as she could, yet despite her swiftest efforts to evade Envy, she was simply slammed into the ground once more.

“You think you’d be a little, I dunno, tougher?” the Daymare scoffed. Pinkie attempted to body-slam the white alicorn, but the Daymare simply swatted her into the dirt. Scootaloo flew above her adversary and landed hard on the Daymare’s snout. Dodging another blow, Scootaloo zipped under the Daymare and kicked her legs out from under her.

“What?” the Daymare yelped, getting up only to have Scootaloo kick her in the back of the head. Utilizing long coils of darkness, she grasped Scootaloo by the neck and strangled her into submission.

She threw Scootaloo aside, wiped blood off her nose, and cracked her neck as she prepared for battle once more. “Guess I stand corrected. Ah, well, can’t always have a perfect run.”

Luna shot a bolt of darkness at the Daymare, which her adversary dodged effortlessly, swooping overhead and preparing to crush the moon goddess. However, Luna managed to teleport above the Daymare. She quickly kicked the Daymare’s neck, and the immortal went flying into the flames.

“Ack!” the Daymare choked, hurriedly putting out her wings. She glared at Luna. “You’ll pay for that one.”

Luna grinned in triumph, but it was short-lived. True to her word, the Daymare manipulated the dark mini-dimension she had created, warping a spear of dark matter toward the moon goddess, who narrowly dodged. Instead, the shaft of the twisted black spear smacked her into the ground. She tried to get back up, but was too disoriented to do so.

The Daymare spit. “Psh. They don’t make goddesses like they used to, huh?”

“I tire of these games, sister,” Envy sighed, eyeing those that were still standing: Pinkie, Fluttershy, Twilight, Saphira, and the cowering Sweetie Belle.

The Daymare nodded, and a tiny bead of light appeared on her horn. “Lets see them dodge this.”

There’s no way we’ll survive another attack! Saphira gaped. Her mind blanked for a moment, but she quickly recovered herself and rushed behind Envy. She hastily kicked precise spots on Envy’s back legs just before being smacked aside by the Daymare. Envy grunted as she suddenly found herself unable to move properly.

“That’s for my dad!” Saphira yelled before being silenced with a blast of negative energy.

Twilight stumbled over to Applejack while the Daymare and Envy were distracted and used warm magic to revive the orange mare. Her eyes opening slowly, Applejack attempted to stagger to her feet, but fell, still too weak to properly fight. Twilight’s crown began to glow as she eyed Envy.

“On the count of three, Applejack,” Twilight muttered to the orange mare.

“Huh?” Applejack asked, slightly dazed. Her necklace began to glow.

“One, two...” Twilight murmured. Pinkie and Fluttershy’s necklaces had started to glow as well. “Three!”

Magical energy quickly flowed from Pinkie, Applejack, and Fluttershy’s necklaces before being directed into Twilight’s crown. Twilight carefully directed the unstable magic toward the collapsed Envy, and it shot toward her with the force of a freight train. The Daymare shrieked as rainbow-colored energy plowed its way into Envy and drove her brother’s soul out of Trixie’s body.

Trixie’s body fell limply to the floor.

The Daymare murderously glared at Twilight and the few that were still standing. “Idiots,” she sneered.

Twilight smiled a bit. We may be in more trouble than we were before, she thought to herself.

The Daymare’s anger made the small area unstable, and bits and pieces of the island started to float about in the air. Pinkie yelped as a sharp rock poked her in the side.

Twilight ducked as the Daymare swiftly swatted where her head would have been. Pinkie leapt up and bit the Daymare’s mane, tugging her backward. Applejack followed up with a kick to the Daymare’s abdomen, but the orange mare was still weakened by her near-suffocation. Twilight instead leapt up and latched onto the Daymare’s muzzle, smothering her.

While the Daymare was distracted with Twilight, Fluttershy briskly tripped the villain while Saphira pounded on the Daymare’s back. She was being attacked from all sides.

Applejack once again leapt up and bucked the Daymare square in the flank. “That’s fer Trixie!” she yelled.

Ugh... the Daymare thought, the pain almost overwhelming her. She summoned all of her willpower and wrapped herself in flames, forcing them all back. “Amateurs!” she screamed. A high-pitched tone was heard as the Daymare’s already unstable energy nearly went out of control. The flames that were still surrounding the arena grew in intensity and brightened to a blinding white, superheating the entire area.

At this rate, we’ll burn to death! Twilight gasped, desperately trying to stay out of the scorching flames. I need to end this!

“I. Have. Had it!” the Daymare screeched, powering up once more and preparing to torch everypony inside the chamber.

Twilight charged up a superpowerful lightning bolt. I can’t miss this one! Purple energy crackled around her horn. When she fired, tendrils of bright magenta electricity shot their way from her horn into and through the Daymare’s chest, exiting the other side. Before they struck the edge of the chamber, however, Twilight turned her head sharply to the side. The lightning bent around and struck the Daymare again in the jaw before dissipating.

Her energy gone, the Daymare spat blood and tried to shake the dizziness out of her head. Time for plan B, she muttered to herself, glancing at her charred pelt and the cauterized hole in her chest. She spread her wings, and a gate opened up behind her, a brilliant golden gate. It silently glimmered in midair and didn’t look completely solid, as if it was unsure whether it was a solid or a liquid. The Daymare spoke a few quick incantations and leapt through.

The dimension collapsed. The darkness surrounding the heroes slowly morphed back into the Canterlot throne room. The golden gate remained.

*******

“What a mangy mutt,” Applejack muttered.

“She’s gone?!” Saphira asked. “But… b-but…”

“I almost had her, if I only had a little more time!” Twilight muttered in frustration.

“I-Is everypony alright?” Sweetie Belle asked. There was nothing left of the throne room except the craggy floor. The walls, windows, and tapestries had been destroyed, and the thrones were all but melted from the intensity of the battle.

Everypony was alive, besides Trixie and Lyra. With Sweetie Belle’s song, they were all healed rather quickly. They stood looking at the two bodies of their friends, standing in front of the open gateway to the Daymare’s stronghold.

“So many lives lost…” Luna muttered. “I’ve never seen anything like it before, not from Discord. Killing without morals, destruction without care, and no true desire to win at all. Deception must have finally lost her mind, and is trying to end the world.”

“Oh, poor Trixie,” Fluttershy cried. “She was just freed only to be killed by the same pony that imprisoned her. What an awful way to go.”

“Is there a good way to go?” Dash sighed. “That goes for Lyra, too. We have no idea how she was possessed, or where she was. And I personally don’t think we should spend the time worrying about it when we still have a job to do. It’ll just make us sad.”

Twilight nodded. “Yes, we should leave now, and have their funerals after we’ve won. The Daymare is still just as dangerous as ever.”

They made their way toward the gateway, toward their destiny. Small slivers of golden energy started to warp the room as curtains and stained glass windows started to fall apart like warm caramel. The gateway the Daymare had left behind seemed to lead into a syrupy mess of colors and sound, incomprehensible to anypony on the outside.

We’re going to save Equestria, Dash thought. The Daymare’s going down. One by one, they all hopped through into a world unknown.

Scootaloo nudged Saphira before she went through the portal. “That was some nice battling out there. You’re a real warrior.”

Saphira blushed. “Well, I guess,” she said modestly. “You f-fought really well, too.”

Scootaloo was almost through the gateway when Saphira stopped her.

“Scootaloo?” the blue earth pony asked.

“Yeah, Saphira?” Scootaloo asked.

“C-Can you protect me from her?” Saphira asked. “The Daymare?”

Scootaloo ran up and gave Saphira a big hug, startling the blue earth pony. “I won’t let you get hurt, Saphira. You’re... you’re like a sister.”

Saphira blushed, but she hugged back, her eyes watering. “Thanks, S-Scootaloo. I’ll try my hardest t-to keep you safe, too.”

The sisterly pair walked uncertainly through the portal.

=====================================================================

[Note]: I do not own anything in this story that already belongs to someone else.
This entire storyline takes place BEFORE season two, but AFTER season one.