• Published 12th Nov 2011
  • 13,548 Views, 320 Comments

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 Seventeen

Chapter Seventeen

*******

Saphira slowly walked up to Scootaloo and brushed up against her side. The young earth pony’s eyes were wide. “Scootaloo?”

Scootaloo’s eyes were distant. “Yeah, Saphira?”

“I-I’m scared,” Saphira stammered.

Twilight and the others stood on the top of a large tower, overlooking a large city on yellow clouds. It was beautifully designed, and it even made Rarity gape in awe. The streets were paved with marble, and the buildings were lined with gold and platinum. The streetlamps looked all to be hoof-carved, and the sidewalks were made of soft grass. The entire city was resting on a cloud layer, and above it shone a brilliant yellow sun.

The ponies in this magnificent city of about a million and a half were all looking at one central point in the center of the city. Their expressions were blank, their eyes motionless and unblinking. A huge number of ponies looking toward one alicorn who was shouting commands in an unintelligible tongue, an ancient one.

Twilight looked on in horror. These ponies have been brainwashed! Dragged from their homes by this tyrant! They’ve all lost their sense of direction, their sense of self. Sent to this... this place.

Luna stared. I’ve heard of magic so powerful it can warp space and turn our very consciousness into virtual paste. This must be the most powerful of all of them, the ancient Dreamscape.

“This can’t stand,” Rarity growled. “I won’t let it.”

“Me neither,” Applejack said, gritting her teeth. “We’ve been gone way too long ta allow this ta keep happenin’. We’re goin’ head ta head with the Daymare; who’s with us?”

“You bet I am,” Olly said excitedly. “Let’s go.”

Dash nodded. “We have to protect Equestria, life or death.”

“We have to redeem ourselves,” Saphira said.

“And we have to fight for the good of everypony,” Twilight said.

The group watched as the commands were completed. The final fight had begun. Twilight, the leader, looked up at the Daymare, who was standing on the highest tower. All of the ponies in the city were staring at her and her friends.

“This ends now,” Twilight growled.

Twilight leapt off the building, the low gravity helping slow her descent. Dash, Fluttershy, and Scootaloo took to the air. Applejack skidded down the skyscraper, and Olly bounced between the walls. Saphira grabbed the side of the structure and skidded down while Pinkie and Rarity leapt across the canopy of the city.

“Lend me your strength,” Dash said softly, though it was so quiet in the city that they could hear each other from kilometers away.

The group began to glow with a warm red light, and they drifted into a central circle of consciousness. The key bond that they all shared began to link their minds and souls.

“Lend me your energy,” Pinkie said. The glow around all of them turned from red to purple. They all felt more invigorated than they ever had before in their life. Energy spread through their veins and heightened their senses.

Dash prepared for battle, igniting her wings and mane as her red eyes glowed with fury. Twilight drew upon her new reserves of strength, her horn glowing with power. Pinkie’s blue eyes shone and Luna prepared a magical shield as each of them descended.

However, the expected attack never began. The seemingly mindless ponies stepped aside. They were not armed; they weren’t wearing armor or brandishing weapons. They simply formed an honor guard and allowed the group to traverse the city streets unharmed.

“Twi, Ah’m a lil’ worried,” Applejack said, warily eyeing the ponies on either side of her. They blankly stared back.

“Why are all these ponies so zoned out?” Scootaloo asked.

“I don’t know,” Twilight admitted, picking up her already hurried pace to a sprint. The stares sent shivers down her spine. This is surreal.

The group made their way up the spire. It had a spiral staircase that went along the outside. Before long, they were face-to-face with their one adversary, their one nemesis, the single white alicorn that had started this entire catastrophe and killed so many ponies.

The Daymare.

“What have you done to these ponies, Daymare?” Luna asked.

The Daymare shrugged.“Look, I’m not going to waste much time on you. Win or lose, it will all go according to plan. And for the record, I could take you all on by myself.”

“What plan?” Twilight asked.

The Daymare raised a hoof to her lips. “Shh. It’s a secret. But there’s one hint I can give you.”

“What’s that?” Dash asked.

The Daymare smiled. “There’s no way we can lose,” she cackled. “Because I am the best!

The Daymare began with a large series of blasts that blew some members of their group skyward. Dash recovered, but Olly flew onto the roof of a building and fell unconscious.

Twilight leapt up, charging up her horn, and it collided with the horn of her possessed mentor. They remained in contact, the Daymare crushing Twilight down to the ground while the young mare fought for her life.

Fluttershy tried to knock the Daymare aside, but the Daymare smacked her with such force that it broke the gentle pegasus’s wing.

I’m not holding back this time!” The Daymare yelled as Fluttershy drifted downward from the spire. The Daymare pulled away from Twilight’s energy before almost overpowering her with a burst of sky-colored magic.

Dash charged up her front hoof, and it glowed with a crackling red energy. “Take this!” she screamed as her hoof collided with the Daymare’s face with enough force to knock down a building.

The Daymare simply shrugged it off. Dash flew back in shock; her hoof had made a visible dent in the Daymare’s face.

You think you know what pain is,” the Daymare practically whispered. “Go ahead. Kill this body. I’ll thank you for it later!”

Pinkie tried to kick the Daymare’s legs out from under her, but the mighty leader simply reared up and crushed the earth pony’s chest, then kicked her off the side of the glass disc. Scootaloo had to swerve to catch the bleeding earth pony, but Pinkie was too heavy for her to keep aloft for long, and she was forced to deposit her at the base of the spire. Saphira attempted to disable the villain’s legs, but the Daymare simply warped to the other side of the platform.

“This isn’t possible,” Dash breathed. “You’re not supposed to be this strong!” she yelled, attempting to kick the Daymare. A powerful force field blocked her attack, though, and held her in place.

Golden blood flowed from the Daymare’s face. She puckered her lips at Dash, mocking her. “My sweet wittle Wainbow Dash… I was holding back. And I’m still holding back. Look, I’m in the world I created, you think I wouldn’t stack the odds in my favor?”

The Daymare used telekinesis to drag Dash under her, and then crushed the pegasus’s leg with one hoof. Dash screamed in unimaginable pain.

“Don’t hurt her!” Sweetie Belle yelled, running up toward the Daymare.

The Daymare glanced at her, and then kicked her aside. “You think you can tell me what to do? I’m in the body of the most powerful mortal on the planet!”

Luna dragged Dash aside and, in combination with Twilight, launched a beam of magic at the Daymare. It connected, but the Daymare didn’t even flinch.

“That can’t be possible!” Twilight gasped.

“Good, now you know what you’re up against,” the Daymare grinned, slowly approaching the group. Her eyes were murderous. “Let’s have some fun!

Twilight blinked back tears. I won’t fail! She charged up a beam of friendship, calling on her friends to aid her, but the Elements of Harmony were too weak. When she fired, her eyes didn’t glow, and the Daymare simply dodged.

Luna ran up and tried to attack the adversary, but it wasn’t enough. The Daymare manipulated the blue alicorn’s hooves and pinned her down.

The Daymare smiled sinisterly, her ichor dripping onto Luna’s face and down the moon goddess’s cheek.“Sweet dreams,” the Daymare giggled before snapping Luna’s neck. She collapsed limply to the surface of the blood-stained glass, unconscious but alive.

Applejack tried attacking the Daymare, but her attempts were futile. With a quick swipe and a stab, the Daymare skewered Applejack’s midsection with her horn and tossed her aside.

“Honesty. Completely worthless,” the Daymare said with a sneer while deflecting an attack from Rarity. “Why be honest when you control an empire? You can make those idiots under you believe anything you want!”

Applejack tried to get up, but yelled in pain. Blood was dripping from the corner of her mouth. “It’s over, Twi, Ah… Ah can’t go on.”

Scootaloo tried the same tactic she had used in the previous battle, sliding under the Daymare in an attempt to trip her, but the Daymare wasn’t one to fall for the same trick twice. She blocked Scootaloo’s path with her hoof, and when Scootaloo tried to dodge, she struck her with a blast of air, almost knocking her off the tower.

As she saw her friend blasted up into the air, Sweetie Belle started to sing in desperation, but the Daymare was upon her before she had even finished the first verse.

“You won’t be able to sing without a mouth!” the Daymare yelled as she kicked Sweetie Belle in the jaw. “Demon spawn!

No!” Rarity yelled, rage once again overtaking her system. Her necklace pulsed a bit, but it faded quickly. “Monster!

The Daymare quickly turned around and smacked Rarity into the spire. “What a waste. You might have made a good body for me if Generosity hadn’t gotten to you first. It’s kind of a shame; you’re really beautiful. A body to be envious of, for sure. And certainly one to be proud of,” she licked her lips. “Yes, once I kill you, you’ll make a fine body.”

Rarity blinked back tears. I’m sorry, Sweetie Belle, I couldn’t protect you.

Twilight slowly got up. “Th-This isn’t through!”

The Daymare laughed. “Oh, no it isn’t. There’s actually a real specific way this battle has to end. But you’re not really making it easy for me, now are you?”

“What…?” Twilight breathed. “You’re trying to lose?!”

“W-Why?” Fluttershy asked.

“Well, if I win, whoop-de-do, but you’re supposed to be stronger than this,” the Daymare sighed. “Might as well end your lives right now and wait for somepony more fun. Sadly, that’s against the rules.”

Twilight threw a lightning bolt at the leader, who didn’t even try to dodge. Not that she needed to. Scootaloo feebly attacked the Daymare, but the leader simply sidestepped and kicked the orange pegasus aside.

This can’t be happening!” Twilight screamed.

The Daymare looked at her and smirked. “Isn’t that my line?” She ambled up to Twilight. “Kind of sad, really. I came in here with the expectation of losing, but now it looks like I’m going to have to make you win.”

Twilight glowered up at the ruler. “Who are you working for?” she demanded.

Discord,” the Daymare said, thrusting her head to the sky and outstretching her wings. The sun’s rays penetrated the misty yellow haven and made the Dreamscape city gleam. “The ultimate power! The end to justify all means! And you, my sweet, are just begging to fulfill our purpose. Unfortunately, that’s against the rules, too.” The Daymare kicked Twilight a few meters ahead of her.

“Your... Your purpose?” Twilight coughed up blood.

“A perfect and stable world, rid of all imperfections,” the Daymare stated. “The Dreamscape was our prototype. Now that we know it works, we can plunge the entire world into absolute perfection.” She grinned, liking the thought. “A world worthy of ruling. And, sorry, but the Elements of Harmony don’t quite fit the bill. You’re going down with all the other pathetic waste your world’s dredged up. Nice knowing you.”

Everypony was down. Twilight had a broken leg and her magic was spent, Rarity was lying limply on the surface of the spire, Applejack was bleeding to death, Dash had a broken wing and a broken snout, Fluttershy was unconscious, and Pinkie had collapsed at the base of the tower. Luna was incapacitated as well as Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, Saphira, and Olly.

They had been defeated.

“Sadly, this is where it ends,” the Daymare said. “I wish you had been more fun. It’s hard to find a challenge these days, being as powerful as I am.”

Twilight’s horn glowed as she stood up, her crown pulsing with energy. She tried to avoid putting weight on her broken hind leg. “I’m not done yet.”

“Of course you’re not,” the Daymare sighed, once again pushing Twilight to the ground.

Twilight’s crown glowed with a bright light. Applejack’s chest wound started to seal up, but the Daymare didn’t notice.

Twilight tried to get up again. “I’m not going to let you hurt my friends!” she said determinedly.

“A little late for that,” the Daymare laughed. She put a hoof on Twilight’s head, shoved her to the ground, and started to crush her. Twilight yelled in pain. “You just don’t get it,” the Daymare said. “I’m not even the one you really have to worry about. That’s my brothers and sisters, minus Envy. I even heard Deception is among your ranks now. That’s the very definition of pathetic,” she laughed.

Twilight’s crown started to pulse faster.

“There’s no way out of this,” the Daymare continued. “I told you, I am the best. I managed to destroy every single thing you care about.”

Twilight began to glow with a purple energy. Rarity woke up.

“It began with Stalliongrad, but that was just a test run of this body,” the Daymare said, pushing harder on Twilight’s head. “It’s actually pretty nice. It reminds me of my days as a young adult. Alicorns are pretty rare, you know. And very powerful. Oh, so powerful.”

Dash, who was lying behind the Daymare, felt some of her bones click into place.

“Then Ponyville. I took a lot of ponies, you know, to be used as hosts. Lyra was one my brother particularly liked, so I was happy to oblige. I also took a brawny red stallion and a dumb yellow pegasus. They were the only ones with the nerve to fight back, besides Trixie. The others just ran away or got taken with Luna, but we did get a lot. You would be surprised,” the Daymare continued. “You’ll probably see a couple later. But, y’know, they’ll be dead.”

Applejack blinked her eyes open, but shut them tight. Her wound was healing, but very slowly, and Twilight’s screams weren’t helping. I feel like my skull is about to shatter! she thought through her screams. Make it stop!

“Canterlot was a sitting duck, so I captured it next. Then I went through just about every single city, taking ponies and killing the rest,” the Daymare smiled, putting more weight on Twilight’s cracking frame. “I’ve never been this successful, you know, except in the Dark Times, but back then I had to self-edit so there’d be enough ponies to repopulate. I’m so powerful, though, that sometimes it’s hard to control myself. You know how it is, right?”

Pinkie, who was at the base of the tower, had already started to climb it. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle were almost fully recovered.

Twilight’s power built up until it was almost impossible to contain. The pain in her fractured skull vanished as the bone repaired itself, and her crown glowed white-hot as she charged up her energy, opening her eyes. With a powerful burst, she teleported to the center of the battlefield. Her crown was glowing a bright purple, as were her eyes. “I’ve heard enough, Daymare.”

The Daymare stepped back, though her smug smile was ever-present. Twilight started to float off of the ground.

“Aww, already? I had a pretty good rant going there,” the Daymare chuckled. “I guess you’re right, though; this has to end. You’ve already wasted enough of your time on me.”

Twilight’s glow stopped. She fell back on all fours. “What?”

“You heard me,” the Daymare grinned. “Deception has already completed her task by now; in fact she could have completed it four times over. Goodbye, Twilight. We’ll meet again.”

The Daymare turned to leave, but Dash blocked her path. “You’re not getting away that easily!”

The Daymare sighed. “I guess not.” She smacked Dash to the ground, knocking her out with one hit. “You never learn, huh? That’s so like you.”

The Daymare looked back for the last time. Blue smoke was starting to drift up from her mouth. “Heh. Good luck trying to beat the rest of Discord. You gave me a pretty good run, there. I’ll be watching you with great interest. Ta-ta for now.”

Princess Celestia slumped to the ground, Arrogance having departed her body.

********

Then she began to change. Her hair turned from a blue, green, and pink color scheme to fiery and vibrant red, yellow, and orange. Her coat turned an even brighter white than before, and her eyes turned to an amber orange color. She also shrank a bit and was now closer to Luna’s height. She had transformed into the original Celestia.

The captivated ponies began to regain their senses now that Arrogance’s magic had left their minds. They glanced around, slightly dazed.

Celestia stood up. “Finally…”

“C-Celestia?” Twilight asked.

Celestia nodded. “Thanks, Twilight, for freeing me.” Her voice was lighthearted despite the events that had just occurred.

Twilight looked away. “Thank Arrogance. I failed, Princess.”

Celestia walked toward the now reunited group, her formal and dominant aura gone. “No, you didn’t. Not to me. Arrogance left because you were about to realize your Potential. You would’ve been too dangerous if you had.”

Dash’s eyes lit up. “So then... we won?!

“But that doesn’t make any sense,” Twilight said. “She didn’t looked defeated at all; she just left! She looked like she had some kind of plan.”

“Like Deception completin’ some sorta task,” Applejack said.

“Meaningless,” Celestia said firmly. “I felt Arrogance’s pain, and she was close to breaking. Whatever task Deception could have done won’t matter once we finally lay Discord to ruin. After all these years, I’m finally free to lead the Elements of Harmony again. I owe you all my lives, and so does the rest of Equestria.”

Rarity nodded. “At least we’re safe.”

Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo walked toward the front of the group, dragging Saphira. “We all helped!”

Celestia grinned. “You went out there all on your own, didn’t you? Well, let me tell you now that you were over-qualified for the job,” she said, nudging the blushing Sweetie Belle and the beaming Scootaloo. She adressed Saphira. “Ah, Saphira. I’m sorry for doing all those awful things to you, and hope you can forgive me.”

Saphira was starstuck. “P-P-Princess, I-I… I h-hope you c-can forgive me f-for helping the e-evil s-side,” she managed to stammer.

“A royal pardon!” Celestia laughed, and pulled the young earth pony into a hug. “You did well, and fought like a warrior. Your mother would be proud.”

Saphira turned a bright shade of red. “Th-Thank you.”

Celestia looked at the group, and spread her wings. “You have saved Equestria from the influence of Discord. You all are national heroes. The Return of Harmony will once again save the world, like it has before, and before that. I know that we’ll be able to sort out this mess and finally return Equestria to a state of peace.”

The entire group, minus Olly, who was lost in the crowd, had wide grins across their faces. They were so proud of their actions; nothing could ruin this moment.

The formerly brainwashed ponies had started to gather around the spire, recognizing that the battle was over and that the Elements of Harmony had freed them. They all were cheering; millions of voices. The group relished in the applause.

“Excuse me…” a blue-green unicorn who had walked up the spire began.

Twilight stepped back. “Careful! He’s one of them!”

“I know,” Celestia said. “What do you want, Lorey? Have you been watching this entire time?”

“I have been waiting for the end of the conflict,” Lorey explained. “I know that I have committed immeasurable sins and horrible deeds in the name of Discord,” Lorey started, looking away. “But I am so ashamed. All I can ask of you is to leave me in peace. I will not cause any more trouble. And Saphira, I wish you the best.”

“Granted,” Celestia looked warily at the unicorn. “Get out of my sight.”

*******

Lorey turned to leave, but Applejack felt something burst inside her. She felt a flare of anger more than anything she ever had in her life. They’re... They’re just going to let him get away?

“Thank you kindly,” Lorey said, turning to leave.

“Hold on just a moment,” Applejack said. Lorey stopped and turned around. She turned to her cohorts. “Yer seriously just gonna let him git away?”

“Live and let live, Applejack,” Luna said. “We have more pressing things on our minds.”

Applejack turned and glared at Lorey. Ain’t no way, no how, am I going to let him get away without a good beating. She pawed her front hoof on the ground.

“Applejack?” Twilight asked. “Are you alright?”

He... he killed Apple Bloom! He doesn’t deserve to live! Applejack’s fury flared. Saphira’s eyes widened as Applejack’s rage swelled. Filthy varmint!

“Is something wrong?” Lorey asked.

Yer gonna pay fer what you’ve done!” Applejack screamed, rushing toward Lorey with murder in her eyes. Saphira gasped and ran toward the skirmish. Lorey closed his eyes and looked away; he knew he deserved this.

There was a leap, a snap, and a dull thump.

Saphira fell to the ground.

Applejack stepped back in shock. She had been aiming for Lorey, but her hooves had connected with Saphira’s neck. The young mare had leapt in front of the attack. Lorey rushed to her side, as did Scootaloo.

Lorey felt for a pulse. “She’s dead,” Lorey finally said. He bent over the body, grief flooding his system.

“No,” Scootaloo breathed. She looked back with unbridled fury at Applejack. “MURDERER!” she screamed with all her might.

A cold wind washed over the entirety of the Dreamscape. Pinkie was almost crippled by the negative energy flowing through the air, but it was only present for a brief moment before dissipating. The massive burst of negative energy from an unknown source even silenced the crowd. Scootaloo was overwhelmed with sorrow and started to sob over the body of her friend.

Saphira was dead, within a second’s time. Even Celestia was in shock at the turn of events, and they were all crying in some form or another.

“Ah… Ah didn’t mean…” Applejack stumbled backward and fell down, in utter disbelief of her action. “No… i-it can’t be…”

“Why?” Fluttershy cried. “Why did she jump in front? Why?” she bawled, tears flowing down her face. “I don’t understand!

“I knew this would happen,” Lorey murmured, gazing fondly at Saphira. “Your mother and I have never had the best of luck. I should have known we’d pass it on to you.”

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[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.