Deathwing in Equestria

by SoaringCoal

First published

On Azeroth, the dragon Aspects fought Deathwing. They could not defeat him, so they banished him to another world to save their own. Now Neltharion, free of his madness, struggles to get home from this new world, but thats harder than it sounds.

In the land of Azeroth, the dragon aspects fought their former brother, Deathwing. The mortals failed them and they were unable to defeat him. In a desperate attempt to save their own world, they sent Deathwing to another world in hope that he would land somewhere unpopulated or simply die. Neltharion/Deathwing lands in Equestria, free from his own corruption he seeks to redeem himself and find his way home to his family.
Meanwhile Princess Celestia have a vision of Neltharion destroying Equestria and she sends Discord to find him before that happens.
Friendships will be made and be broken. Love will blossom and anger rekindled. But in the end, will Equestria survive? Or will it all be consumed in Fire?

Takes place after S4 finale but does not include S5 canon

World of warcraft crossover

There will be some shipping in this story and it will have somehwhat of an impact on the plot simply because I think it's too good of an opportunity to miss.

27/04/2015 UPDATE: All chapters have been corrected of most grammar related mistakes. Correction and editing was done by Exaxxion

This is my first fanfic, just so you know. Critique would be highly appreciated, since Im trying to get better at writing. Hope you enjoy the story.

Cover picture is by the amazing and talented Hussii. I have not asked permission to use his art as he, unfortunately, has been offline for over six months. If he by any chance stumbles across this fic and is not okay with me using his art, please message me and I will remove it.

Prologue - The fall of Death, The earth reborn

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Fire was all Neltharion saw through his rage. He'd just awakened from what felt like ten-thousand years asleep. He looked around trying to register what was happening, but it was difficult. Darkness washed over his sight, blurring it, and the sounds in his ears felt distant and distorted, yet he could make out where he was. He was in the middle of a vast sea with rock formations and platforms around him. There were several mortals on one of these platforms panting, desperately trying to fight some sort of fiery elementals with metallic armor, many of them succumbing to their injuries before Neltharion’s eyes.

He felt a sudden rush of pain as a magical blast hit him in the shoulder. Looking up to find the ones responsible, his eyes widened and the blurriness dissipated. Four dragons were soaring above. His mood beamed as he recognized three of them. He tried calling out but his mouth wouldn't respond, neither would the rest of his body. He let out a screech as another blast hit him this time in the chest.

He had known Alexstrazsa, Ysera and Nozdormu for as long as he could remember, why were they attacking him? And where was Malygos? Neltharion watched as Ysera was attacked by some sort of fiery tentacles wrapping around her tail pulling her into the sea. NO! Neltharion thought as he desperately tried to make his body and magic respond, but he was chained. Chained up in his own mind, each of his limbs and his neck. He could only watch as Ysera's body was dragged deeper and deeper into the sea.

How is this happening? And why do I feel so angry? he thought to himself as sadness replaced his rage for only a millisecond.

"YOUR EFFORTS ARE PATHETIC, YOUR MAGIC EVEN MORE SO!" a deep menacing voice bellowed.

Neltharion looked around to try and find the owner of the voice only to realize it came from his own mouth. NO! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?! He tried to break the chains that kept him in place, but they were too strong. He could only to watch the events around him unfurl.

A sudden white and yellow glow came from the middle of all this chaos from an orc holding a golden disk. The dragon soul? But what is it doing here? Neltharion could not make sense of this. The last thing he remembered was actually creating the damn thing.

The white and golden glow turned into a beam that hit Neltharion right in the chest, but he didn't feel anything from the blast, if anything he felt that his the chains that held his mind weakening.


Neltharion felt utterly sick after hearing his voice a second time. It was so twisted so...corrupted.

"H-hes too powerful!" Alexstrazsa yelled with wide eyes and fear in her voice. "He cannot be destroyed!"

Destroyed? why would they want to destroy him? Unless it was him that was responsible for all of this death and chaos around him, but even that wouldn't justify killing him. Neltharion was shocked, why would he do this? what did he do to deserve dying by his own childhood companions claw?

Ysera emerged flying out of the water and took glances at the other dragons before turning to the blue one. "Kalec, is it possible to banish him to another realm?" Ysera asked the blue dragon that was much smaller than herself.

"It is possible, but not wise" He replied. "If we send him to another realm he could possibly do even more damage. No...we need to send him to another dimension and just hope he will be caught in the gravity of a sun or crash into an unpopulated world," Kalecgos finished before being assaulted by fiery armored elementals forcing him into the sea.

"KALEC!" Alexstrazsa yelled after the blue dragon.

The bronze dragon, Nozdormu, used his time magic on the elementals turning them to dust. He turned to the rest of the dragons "I agree with Kalecgos, but we must do it, now!" he yelled in his usual old scratchy voice.

"Shaman do it now!" Ysera yelled at the orc holding the dragon soul. A white light came from it but this time each of the four dragons joined it with a beam of magic of their own, turning the beam into a sort of rainbow light.

Neltharion watched in horror as the rainbow beam approached. Using all of his might to try and break the chains, the one around his neck broke and he could feel his body's head respond and opened his mouth to speak. "NO WAI-" was all he managed to say before the beam hit him and and he disappeared in a white light.

The four dragon aspects looked in shock at the Maelstrom where Deathwing had been, not sure they believed their own ears at the sound of Deathwing's former voice. A voice they hadn't heard for over ten-thousand years.

Arrivals and Nightmares

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Celestia opened her eyes and stood up. she couldn't see anything. She was in complete and utter darkness, she couldn't even see her own hoof as she raised it to her face. It was unnaturally dark. She heard a rumble behind her and turned to see that she was now at the entrance of a cave, a massive cave. The cave entrance was big enough to easily house a fully grown dragon. Looking outside she could see her the evening sun over Equestria, the everfree forest, ponyville, Cloudsdale and even canterlot in the distance. Celestia smiled at the sight.

She heard another rumble and turned towards the inside of the cave again. A giant shadow began advancing towards her. She tried to walk away but was frozen in place, not by fear but by the feeling of a magical presence. It was massive. Greater than any presence she had ever been near before.

Hearing a sudden growl from above, Celestia looked up. She almost fainted at the sight. It was a enormous black dragon. Easily the biggest dragon she had ever seen. It had plating like armor around it's body and many scars in between them. Between its scales were a molten liquid flowing around, it looked like lava. The dragon also had two gigantic wings furled on it's back. Celestia turned around to see the head of the reptile. It's jaw had been replaced with a metal one. Six horns sprouting from the back of it's head, one of them cracked in half. But it's eyes were the worst. They were as fiery and glowing as the liquid flowing in its body but they screamed of rage and death. How in Equestria could she have missed a beast this size and appearance just above her? She was about to drift into her thoughts when she heard a voice so loud and downright evil, and metallic that made her want to hide under the nearest rock and stay there till the end of time.


Celestia felt the earth beneath her shake from the power and malice of the voice. She looked around trying to identify the source but couldn't find it. She spotted a molten liquid dropping on the ground beside her, but dismissed it.


the voice came again she looked around the cave entrance "where is it coming from?" she thought, as she was starting to panic. "The only ones here are me and the dra..." her eyes widened at her conclusion. She looked to the dragon, only to see it gone.

"My hatred burns through the cavernous deeps..."

Celestia saw fire erupting from the inside of the cave. She felt the ground shake beneath her. Looking out onto Equestria Celestia watched in horror as an earthquake erupted through her kingdom tearing cities and landscapes apart, even lava erupting from the ground in some regions.

"Your world heaves with my torment..."

Celestia watched with tears in her eyes as her home, her world was being torn apart by this voice and it's magic.

"Your wretched kingdoms quake, beneath my rage..."

Celestia felt her eyes drawn towards Cloudsdale. In the distance, she could see Cloudsdale, erupting in flames. She could almost hear the screams of her precious subjects. She caught a terrifying thought from what the voice said. Turning her head towards Canterlot, Celestia saw a shadow standing standing on Canterlot mountain. It was the dragon from before. An ear shattering roar filled the sky coming from the dragon, as it leaped from Canterlot mountain, spreading it's massive wings.

"And at last your precious world will break..."

The dragon flew towards Celestia with frightening speed, leaving a trail of ever growing fire from it's wings leaving the sky, Canterlot, Everfree forest, Ponyville and everything in between in flames. "NO!" Celestia screamed at the sight of her world burning, tears now streaming down her face.

"And all will burn, beneath the shadows OF MY WINGS!"

The dragon landed in front of the cave Celestia stood in. It was staring into her eyes, it's own full of rage. Celestia's ears were splayed back. She felt herself visibly shrink beneath the reptile as she trying to replace her fear with anger but to no avail.

"W-what a-are you?" She said trembling with fear. She gained a little more courage and stood up at her full height. "Who are you?" she turned from looking like a terrified puppy to a defiant and angry look that a certain princess of the moon would have been terrified of.

The dragon, amused by her question and sudden change of posture, huffed and grinned menacingly before answering without opening it's mouth. It's words would haunt Celestia for the rest of her life.

"I am Death Incarnate, I am The Destroyer, The Unmaker of Worlds. I. AM. DEATHWING!"

The dragon roared and it erupted a shockwave destroying everything for miles around the cave. Celestia could feel cave starting to collapse, but before she could move, the dragon leaped towards her mouth agape, intent on devouring her. She could only watch as her fear kept her in place as the maw of fire and death made contact with the ground she was standing on.

Celestia woke up screaming like a little filly, covered in her own sweat and tears. She could feel herself shaking. She knew this wasn't a normal dream or nightmare. It was a vision. A vision of things to come if she didn't change it somehow. At times, she and her sister got visions when bad things were about to happen, but normally she would only see the start of the bad, like when Tirek came back, her and Luna's vision consisted of a few pictures of Tirek draining a pony's magic and not the end of Equestria.

"Your highness!" three guards burst into her room with raised spears. "Are you alright?"

Celestia composed herself. She needed to seem calm and collected in the presence of her subjects. She knew that if she panicked, Equestria would panic with her. Celestia cleared her throat "Yes captain Steel Aegis i'm alright. You may leave," Celestia smiled at the guards. They saluted and reluctantly walked out the door and closed it behind them.

Turning her head, Celestia's eyes fixed on the nightstand next to her. On it was a picture of Celestia, Luna, Twilight, Cadence smiling and in the background hovering above them was Discord making a silly face. She hadn't invited Discord into the picture, but the draconequus had a tendency to photobomb most of her photos. Celestia didn't mind, since she had grown quite fond of the draconequus and his silly antics.

She shifted her eyes to the alarm clock on the nightstand beside the picture to check the time. "4.30 A.M" she muttered before she jumped out of her queen sized bed, put on her regalia and bolted out the door to find her sister, and send a letter to her former student. Celestia was going to need them if she were to prevent her vision from becoming reality

Neltharion woke up in a desert, his back up against a mountain. He broke the rest of the mental chains that bound his will and body. Now being able to control his form for the first time in thousands of years, he tried to get up but winced in pain as he couldn't use his left foreleg. There were long fresh wounds on it. He used his hind legs to press himself up against the mountain and looked down his body to inspect it for damage. Much of his elementium plating across his legs and chest had protected him from harm, but were cracked. His plating was not there to protect him, instead it was there to keep his body from falling apart. He had many physical and now also mental scars that would never heal, but all he could do now was move forward. First he had to find out how all of this had happened to him. Why did his body look like this? Last time he had looked at himself, he was a great black and purple dragon with white horns but now... He looked down at his body and his face darkened. His scales were black as the deepest grave. Strangely he also felt...Bigger and stronger than he remembered which he found odd but shrugged off.

Lying down and closing his eyes Neltharion, looked throughout his mind, looking for his lost memories. He laid there for hours trying to find them as he roamed through his ancient mind. He came across them gradually. At first they came in a small but steady stream of pictures and that stream turned into a waterfall, overwhelming Neltharion.

"Neltharion what have you done?" Ysera's voice rang.

"Brother stop this madness. we can fix this!" Malygos' said in a distressed voice.


"But you already have power and a family! please don't do this Neltharion!" Alexstrasza pleaded.


The great dragon opened his eyes in shock only to close them again. He had just witnessed the moment he was consumed by his corruption and madness. Pictures kept flowing until there was nothing more to show. His anger towards the mortal races recklessness and stupidity had blinded him from his own corruption, and made him the very thing he and his brothers and sisters were given the power to fight against. Now here he was in an unknown world, with his family gone, and him stuck in this...abomination of a body that was only a shadow of what he once was.

No...No he was not going to succumb to his own emotions once again. He would find a way home to his family, and he would beg for their forgiveness. It sickened him to his core even thinking of doing something so pathetic and downright mortal as to beg, but he would gladly take the blow to his pride if he could just see his old companions again, even though he knew deep in his mind that they would never forgive him for all he had done.

He made a plan. First he was going to conjure some elementium from the earth, a perk of being the aspect of the earth was being able to manipulate the earth and it's materials into any material and shape he wanted, and rebuild his armor. Next he was going to search for intelligent life and see if they had any magic. If there was intelligent life, he would make them help him get back. And last he was going to try and return his body to it's previous state, which would be difficult to say the least. Neltharion wasn't very experienced in healing magic. Healing wounds and regrowing flesh and bone, that was more Alexstrazsa's talent.

Neltharion smiled at the thought of him returning home to his brothers and sisters. No matter what is takes I will return to them, and I will redeem myself he thought to himself. He turned to the mountain and started to use his magic to manipulate the mountain stone into metal, unaware of the dark presence laughing deep in his mind.

"Princess Celestia! We came as fast as we could, what was it that was so urgent?" Princess Twilight shouted as she ran through the throne room door with five mares and a panting baby dragon following. They stopped a few feet from the princess's throne. When Twilight saw Celestia, her eyes widened. Celestia had bags under her eyes and her left hoof was shaking uncontrollably. She'd never seen Celestia like this before.

Celestia was sitting on her throne with Luna beside her, she had a worried look on her face. Smiling at the sight of her former student and friends, Celestia spoke. "Thank you all for coming." She said, trying to keep a calm voice, even though she couldn't forget her vision and the fear it instilled in her. "I have asked you to come here for a matter of great importance" she walked over to her student and friends followed by Luna. "Last night I had a vision of a creature coming to Equestria..." Celestia looked away trying to compose herself to tell the mares what she had seen happening to Equestria.

"Is that it? just another Tirek-like guy coming?" Rainbow dash asked. She started flying out of habit in the air for no reason. "Pfft.. big deal. We'll just swoop in and kick his flank before he even gets here!" Rainbow dash said with a smirk while punching the air.

"Yeah! were gonna kick this meanie and then were gonna HAVE A PARTY!!" Pinkie pie yelled while pulling her trusty party cannon out of nowhere.

"My little ponies, calm down and listen. You do not understand the gravity of this situation" Celestia said in a loud voice, successfully silencing Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie.

"Princess, What do you mean?" Twilight sparkle asked, confused at her former mentors reaction to her friends normal behaviour.

Celestia steeled herself for the question bombardement and panic that would come from the ponies when she told them the rest. "In my vision, I saw a dragon..." Spike's ears perked at this. Celestia started over trying to say this the mildest possible way. "I saw a dragon the size of a city b-burning Equestria to the ground leaving nothing but ashes in it's wake..."

There was complete silence. Everypony and dragon stood mouth agape trying to comprehend what Celestia had just said about what would happen to Equestria.

Luna was the first one to speak. "S-sister, are you sure? A-are you sure this was a vision and not just a nightmare?"

Celestia was caught off guard by this question as it was the last question she would expect her sister to ask. Not even once, since her return, had Luna questioned her judgement. She took a second to answer. "Im certain, Luna. Although I am puzzled by where this dragon could have come from. Not even the queen of the dragons we met last time we were in Draconia were close to this beast's size".

That was troubling news in Luna's mind as she had been terrified of the dragon queen when they had visited. The dragon queen of Draconia was known as the oldest and biggest dragon to ever live on their world. To imagine something even bigger was hard enough. "Then we must make a search for this beast! Gather our alliances in and outside of Equestria! Dragons, gryphons, diamond dogs, trolls, ALL OF THEM!" Luna yelled pacing back and forth, a panicked expression on her face.

"Luna, calm down!" Celestia yelled at her sister, successfully calming her sister if just a little. She was about to continue when Twilight spoke up.

"But princess... Luna's right, we have to do something." She said looking pleadingly into her mentor's eyes. "If anything we need to find it and try and find a peaceful solution before what you saw comes true!" Twilight couldn't believe what she was hearing from the princess, trying to be calm at a moment like this? with a dragon like that coming to Equestria?

"You're right, Twilight. We need to find it, before it finds us," Celestia began, keeping a straight face. "But we need to be careful, and we need to be subtle about this information, or there will be mass panic in Equestria."

"Don't worry princess my friends and I-"

"I will not allow you to go, Twilight" Celestia interrupted her. She started pacing back and forth thinking about how to approach this. She stopped as she came to a conclusion. "I will send Discord to find the dragon."

"U-um princess?" Celestia turned to the butter colored pegasus. "Won't it be dangerous even for Discord to wander around outside of Equestria looking for a gigantic-firebreathing-destructive-menacing dragon?" Fluttershy asked the princess.

"Yeah! And besides, can we trust him to not go joining the dragon in destroying Equestria? Rainbow dash said before Celestia could reply.

"RAINBOW!" Fluttershy yelled at rainbow dash, who flinched at the sudden yelling from her usually shy and quiet friend.

"What?" Rainbow retaliated "Everyone was thinking it." She said as she crossed her hoofs and looking away from Fluttershy's angry gaze.

"Discord is our best option at locating the dragon because of his magic" Celestia paused looking at Fluttershy with a gentle smile and put a hoof on her shoulder. "And he's probably the only one powerful enough to escape from it without major injuries if it attacks" Celestia assured her. This didn't make Fluttershy feel any better, if anything it made her more worried.

Celestia turned to Twilight and gestured for Luna to come closer. "I will need your help with the summoning spell. For all we know he could be in the Griffin nations right now".

"Wait, he isn't here?" Twilight asked confused. "I thought he lived here, in the castle," she said slightly worried about her friendly antagonist for a moment. Twilight hadn't seen Discord in over three months, since the Tirek incident.

"He does," Luna replied. "But we sent him on a timeout two weeks ago after he turned me into a cow, and left me to run from the guards that were trying to milk me on Discord's request for four hours straight..." Luna's blood began to boil at the memory of her running through the castle as a cow desperately mooing for help, while being chased by four guards with Discord cackling maniacally in the background.

Celestia snickered at the memory, sure she had found it cruel at first but she later started to see the funny part of it. Luna even got a new nickname by Discord. "Let us begin," Celestia almost commanded Luna and Twilight.

Their horn began glowing and they each shot a beam that connected with each others. There were a bright flash and all in the room had to cover their eyes from it. when it subsided the mares could hear music. They opened their eyes and saw a weird sight. Discord was standing in front of them, eyes closed in a sort of white suit and a black wig with him holding a microphone in his eagle claw. He was singing.

"Your kisses lift me higher~!" Discord started floating, still singing.

"Like the sweet song of a choir~!"

"You light my morning skyy~!" Discord lifted his lion paw and the sun began shining brighter, even though he didn't notice.

"Burning love!" a giant flaming heart appeared around him, again without him noticing.

Discord stood in a pose expecting applause, but instead he heard snickering and laughing. He opened his eyes and the music stopped as he did. He recognised the six mares snickering at his display. Beside them were the celestial princesses one rolling on the floor trying to keep keep herself from laughing, failing miserably. The other staring in wide eyed shock, her face as red as a tomato. Discord found this kind of awkward.

"Uhhh... Hi?"

Snakes and Dragon Hunters

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Neltharion had with great effort remade his broken elementium armor. The task had taken him hours because of his enormous and clumsy size and lack of experience in the area of metallurgy.

To a degree, he had accepted his memories and his past mistakes. He knew as a being tens of thousands of years old that he could not change the past, only accept it and the guilt it gave him. Until he came back to his family, he would keep his past and guilt as deeply buried as he could.

Neltharion shook his head trying to throw away his tiredness, he had acquired quite the fatigue from his relentless filtering of his memories. He would need to find a place to rest. Preferably a cave. Normally, fully grown dragons can be awake for days and even months at a time if they had rested for long enough beforehand, and if they conserved their magic and energy in doses, but he had used most of his strength before arriving at this new world, and even more creating new armor to keep his body from falling apart.

Groaning, Neltharion moved his front legs to test them. He was satisfied with his work. The new plating didn't fall off and he didn't feel the pain from his wounds anymore. He got up, spreading his mighty wings and feeling his joints crack as he hadn't used them for hours.

With a mighty thrust of his wings he shot into the air, feeling it on his face he allowed a smile, impressed with what his old tainted body still could do after so long. He stopped a few miles in the air, and looked around him to get a look on the world he was in. He was still in the desert but he could spot a forest in the distance and a small village.

So there is intelligent life here, Good Neltharion thought while wondering how to approach the unsuspecting mortals. He could just fly in demanding to speak with their leader. Naah, to cliche he thought, also thinking he would probably be scaring the villagers out of their skin, if he went in like that.

Hmmm...he could fly from one end of this world to another, stopping at the most advanced city and then repeat his first option. That is almost the same as my first option.. He groaned in annoyance of his own simple thoughts. Then an idea shot through him I could disguise myself as one of the inhabitants and then befriend them and then get them to give me information. Neltharion grinned triumphant at his plan. It would work of that he was sure. There was only one flaw in his plan. He had no idea what the inhabitants looked like. His face fell in annoyance at the obvious error in the plan, but he decided to go with it anyway.

Neltharion flew as close to the ground as his wings would allow him, to avoid as much attention as possible. He felt ridiculous. A dragon his size trying to be stealthy? The idea was more than laughable but he had no other choice.

When he was a few miles from the forest he landed on the sand now turned ground. The earth trembled beneath him and his body. Beings for miles around had probably heard him land so much for stealthy... he thought. He needed a disguise and he needed it fast if he was going to approach these mortal sentient beings. Looking into the forest using foresight magic and his strong eyes, Neltharion saw a snake...A cobra resting on a tree branch. It was a little primitive, but it would have to do for now.

Neltharion closed his eyes and focused his magic feeling it reshape him. Smoke and fire consumed his body leaving a over 30 feet cobra with black and fiery scales and metal pieces all over it's body in it's place. He inspected his new form. For some reason his metal jaw had been replaced by a flesh and bone one. He didn't mind this, as it felt good to taste something else than metal in his mouth. His tail had remained the same. It was still the same spiky metal covered spear tip it was before. Neltharion smiled at his accomplishment and slithered towards the forest.


"Wait, wait, wait..." Discord said after hearing the explanation to summoning him the second time. The first time he hadn't really listened only heard Celestia say a few words like "end of the world".. "you're our only hope" blahblahblah and some other cheesy nonsense. Discord had been slightly embarrassed at the moment he was summoned as he was in the middle of singing. The nerve of these ponies... This was the second time he had been summoned without a heads up. "You want me to do what now?" he asked, slight confusion still in his voice.

The ponies and recently awakened Spike groaned in annoyance at the Draconequus.

Discord chuckled at their annoyance. He would never get tired at annoying these ponies. Floating over to them, Discord landed in front of them with his classic grin plastered on his face. Fluttershy unsurprisingly smiled at him while the rest of them unsurprisingly looked at him in annoyance. To Discords surprise Celestia had a little smile on her face as well. Well that's new Discord thought.

"I'm just teasing, Twilight sparkle," Discord said lifting her up and giving her a noogie before dropping her on the floor much to her, and everybody elses annoyance. "But why should I do it, is the question I ask you?" Discord said with a smug grin on his face.

The mares were slightly taken aback by this question, expecting Discord to do it without question.

"U-um what if we say please?" Fluttershy carefully offered, smiling sheepishly as she wasn't expecting it to work.

Discord laughed at Fluttershy's display "Oh my dear Fluttershy, you are absolutely adorable," he lifted her up and pinched her cheeks. He held her like somebody would hold a teddy bear.

Discord turned to the rest of the mares, a frown now occupying his face. "From what you've told me, there's a massive magic using dragon flying around with destructive power great enough to destroy Equestria in a heartbeat," How he said it so casually the mares would never know. "and you want me TO FIND IT?!" Discord yelled angrily at the mares that visibly shrunk at the tone of his voice. "YOU want MOI to risk my immortal handsome being just for the sake of Equestria and friendship?" Discord was starting to get angry. Although he was happy to have found friendship, he was not going to risk his life for it. He felt like he was being toyed with by the princesses, asking him to risk his life just for Equestria. Discord set down Fluttershy gently on the ground. "Pffft...fat chance" Discord snorted, starting to walk away from them.

"Thou treatorous wretch!" Luna yelled after him. "Thou would still walk away after thine betrayal to us for Tirek!?"

Discord flinched at the name of the demon centaur. That hit a nerve. Discord was suddenly right in Luna's face causing her to jump at his sudden movement. "I regret that i betrayed you to join Tirek everyday, Moonah," He said in a sad tone. "But that doesn't mean I will risk my life for you." Discord turned to the rest of the ponies "as far as i’m concerned I only betrayed Fluttershy that day".

The ponies and dragon were silent so Discord continued.

"You offered me friendship and acceptance and freedom in return for me helping you, and giving up the very reason of my existence, causing chaos. Only one of you held up your part of that deal."

All of the mares suddenly found their hoofs very interesting as they realised just how unfair the deal had been to Discord. They couldn't look up into the eyes of the now angry draconequus. This only seemed to infuriate him more.

"Did you expect me to hold up my part of the deal, when you couldn't even keep your part?!" Discord yelled at them. He felt a smile creep up on his face as he saw them shrink physically. "Only one of you actually gave me any respect, acceptance and friendship. The rest of you couldn't even stand looking at me!"

Discord felt his magic go haywire as his emotions made it do sometimes, but he didn't care, even after he saw the clouds outside the window turn into cotton candy. "I owe most of you nothing. I owe only Fluttershy and Twilight for the kindness they have shown me, and I'll gladly protect them if it comes to it." He turned away from the mares and dragon starting to walk away again.

"You can find someone else to do your dirty work," he yelled back at the mares who just stood there, three in shock, three in doubt of their previous actions and two who looked at the draconequus in sadness.

He was about to snap his claws to teleport away when he felt a hoof on his back. Discord turned around to swat the hoof away expecting it to be Fluttershy, but stopped when he saw who it was. It was Celestia. She was staring pleadingly into his eyes, her beautiful magenta eyes piercing his entire being. Discord gulped and tried to look away but her eyes kept him in place urrgh.. why does she have to be so darn beautiful... Discord thought slightly annoyed.

"Discord Please, You're the only one who can find him," Celestia said still holding his eyes into her own.

Discord rolled his eyes as much as could while not breaking his sight from her eyes. Him? Discord thought. This was the first time she had given any information about their foe. He finally broke her gaze and swatted her hoof away. Discord sighed deeply, and crossed his arms. "Fine..." Discord muttered.

The mares and dragon gave a relieved sigh. Celestia smiled at him and her eyes were giving him a silent thank you. "But I'll need information, at least a description," Discord said, keeping his frown.

"Yes of course, Discord," Celestia smiled at him, glad that he had accepted the quest.

"And I will want something in return," Discord said smugly, his words catching her off guard. "I don't know what, yet. All I know is that when i ask for it you will provide, Do we have a deal Celestia?" a sly grin now occupying his face.

Celestia hesitated. She had no idea of what Discord would ask of her but she was sure of one thing it wasn't going to be good "I-I..." Celestia began, she didn't want to, but she felt like she had to. She hadn't been lying when she said Discord was the one best suited for the job. Celestia cleared her throat. "Very well Discord, I will grant you whatever you wish when you find this dragon."

Discord threw his arms triumphant in the air "YES!" finally he had the chance to actually do wha- his thought process was interrupted by Celestia's angelic voice.

"But nothing involving chaos across Equestria," she said with a smile that turned into a giggle when Discord's face fell and so did his arm.

"Fine oh-Celestia princess of party pooping" he said while turning away, his eagle claw waving at her dismissively. "Now about that that information so i can get started," he said with as much boredom in his voice as he could muster.

"I'll show you the vision I had, but be warned. It's stuff that might aswell have been a terrible nightmare,"

"Aah no need to worry, sunbutt. The last 1000 years have been a worse nightmare than you can imagine, I think I can handle a little vision about 'big, scary dragon.'"

Celestia nodded and walked over to Discord, who had sat down. She laid her horn on his forehead and white light began to shine in Discord's eyes.

The mares and dragon around the room just stared at Discord, as he was experiencing the vision. No one said anything for around 5 minutes.

"So... Anyone read any good books lately?" Said Spike breaking the silence. The attention was shifted to Spike who just smiled sheepishly. Twilight shot him a hard glare and prepared to scold and lecture him about timing for small talk.

"Hey look!" Rainbow shouted while pointing at Discord. They all looked back at Discord who had a tear falling from his eye. The mares were slightly baffled by this as they had never seen Discord cry. They realised just how horrible the vision must be, if it could bring the earlier lord of misery and disharmony to tears.

The other mares were about to comment when Discord shook his head violently and blinked several times. The mares and spike hadn't noticed until now, but his face was completely drained of color.

Discord cleared his throat "well that was fun," he said with a hoarse voice, tone full of sarcasm. He stood up. "Yeaaa... Celestia, you probably shouldn't show the rest of them that. Might give them trauma or nightmares, and as much as I love trauma filled ponies, I don't wish this one on anypony," Discord said surprisingly serious.

Celestia nodded in agreement. The rest of the mares turned to Celestia.

"Sister, if were going to find it we need as well to know what it looks like," Luna said, slightly offended by the words of Discord, and even more offended by her sister agreeing with him.

Celestia opened her mouth to reply but was interrupted.

"Ohh trust me Luna," Discord began with a toothy grin "You'll know it when you see it. Id like to see you try missing a black dragon with a wingspan over 1200 feet."

Twillight and Luna's jaws dropped at the words. Nothing in Equestria had ever had a wingspan that big.

"Besides it doesn't look like a normal Equestrian dragon it's less..." Discord waved his eagle claw glancing at Spike, searching for the word. "Goofy looking".

"HEY!" Spike protested.

"Okay, okay. It looks more realistic then..." he said crossing his arms. He began walking towards the door. "You should probably head home. I'll report if I find anything," he said snapping his claw and disappearing.

The former elements and Spike bid the princesses farewell and walked out. The royal sisters walked out on the balcony. It was mid afternoon and the sun was high in the sky.

Luna looked worriedly at her sister "Celestia, do you think Discord will find it?"

Celestia looked at her sister with a gentle smile. She sighed "We can only hope he will, Luna." Celestia looked towards everfree forest, at the spot she had been standing in her dream “We can only hope.”


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"Ponies, Ssseriously?" Neltharion muttered as he facetailed himself, still in the guise of a snake. He had slithered through the forest for hours and on his journey he had encountered an old castle, a peculiar tree made of crystal, and scared a various number of mythical creatures. He found nothing odd of the forest at first, but that was until he encountered a zebra. Neltharion had prepared to pounce the zebra and eat it at first, but was rudely interrupted by it seeing him, screaming, and running off while yelling nonsense in rhymes.

Now, Neltharion was very old and had seen many strange things, but he had never seen a zebra screaming like a human and running off rhyming. First he had dismissed it thinking he was still recovering from his former insanity. Then he came across a cottage with a butter colored pegasus with a pink mane talking to...animals?

Urrgh... so apparently ponies of all creatures seem to be the dominant species on this world. Could I be hallucinating? Neltharion started arguing with himself in his mind whether he was going insane again, but was put back into reality when he heard a shriek. It turned out the pegasus had spotted him and had run into her cottage, followed by all the animals.

Neltharion rolled his eyes at the display and was about to advance towards the town, but then he realised that the other inhabitants would probably have the same reaction. He knew what he had to do, he just didn't want to.

"Of all the placess I could have been sent to, I just had to be sent to the most embarrassing one. A world of ponies... I sswear, when I get back i'm gonna have a ssseriouss conversation with my ssiblings about this," Neltharion said annoyed, still as a snake while looking at the sky like it was its fault.

He moved out of eyesight and focused his magic again and transformed into... A pony.

Neltharion felt utterly disgusted by his new form as he trotted into the small village. He had transformed into an orange earth pony with a black mane and blood red eyes. Metal pieces were sticking out from his flesh, all over his torso and sides. It looked like shrapnel from a large explosion. He also had the same kind of metal around his legs and neck but there it was bolted and burned to his flesh just like in his dragon form.

Neltharion was unamused by the sights of the town. It looked like a normal village, just slightly more colorful. The buildings around him were in all types of colors with all types of pastel ponies trotting around them. Pretty, but not overwhelming in any way. Neltharion also noted that the ponies had marks on their flanks, each one different. He was slightly intrigued by this, but shrugged it off as being tattoos of a sort.

Seeing something glinting in the distance, Neltharion looked towards it, and caught eye of a castle made of crystal. A crystal castle? Neltharion thought with a raised eyebrow well... that's new. He kept on walking and not seeing where he was going he bumped into someone who gave a "oof" and fell on her rump.

Neltharion looked at the one he had bumped into with a raised eyebrow. It was another pony. Orange, dragging a carriage full of apples, blonde mane, wearing a stetson hat and obviously female.

"Hey, watch where ya go-" Applejack looked up at the stallion that had bumped into her and gulped loudly. It was the most frightening looking stallion she had ever seen. He was taller than Big mac. His mane was black as night, he was the same coat color as applejack. He looked like he was stitched together with metal instead of bandages and thread. His eyes were red as blood.

"My apologies" Neltharion said with a deep and smooth voice that sent shivers up Applejacks spine both with fear and calming her at the same. "I was caught in my own thoughts, and did not watch where I was going. Allow me to assist you." He raised a hoof for her to take.

Reluctant, Applejack took it and was pulled up. The stallion had a stern look on his face. It made her feel uncomfortable. "Eh, it's okay ah' guess I coulda watched where a' was goin as well". Applejack began to stare at the stallions face with interest. New ponies in Ponyville were rare, but ponies looking like this? She had never seen anything like him.

"Applejack dear, are you alright?" A white unicorn appeared with a voice full of concern. Right behind her were a purple reptile walking with the hands full of sewing supplies. “I saw you get knocked into that dirty mud and thought that I might be--” She stopped abruptly as she saw the stallion and gave a shriek. "A-a-and who might you be?" Rarity said as she looked over the stallion, while visibly shaking at the sight of him. The reptile had dropped the supplies to see what was going on and was staring at the stallion with wide eyes.

Neltharion rolled his eyes at the white unicorn as she shook beneath him. He started walking over to the unicorn with a frown on his face. This seemed to make the unicorn shake even more. He stopped a few feet away when the purple reptile from before stepped in front of the unicorn.

"I'll save you Rarity!" Spike yelled as he ran over and began punching the mysterious stallion anywhere he could.

Neltharion raised an eyebrow. What does it think it's doing? he thought. *Clonk* He heard a yelp from the reptile, and a crack from it hand as it hit one of the metal plates on his legs. The reptile fell to it's knees and screamed in pain as it tried to move its hand. Neltharion was now slightly amused.

"SPIKE!" The unicorn identified as Rarity cried as she ran over to Spike.

"Are ya alright?" the orange pony identified as Applejack ran over to them as well. Spike's hand appeared to look fine, but she could faintly see the visible bone in spike's hand was bend out of shape. She looked up in anger at the orange stallion, who was looking at them with a raised eyebrow.

"What is it? He attacked me and hurt himself." Neltharion defended himself casually.

"HOW DARE YOU ACT SO CASUAL ABOUT THIS YOU MINDLESS BRUTE! YOU FRACTURED SPIKE'S HAND!!" The angry fashionista yelled as she walked with fury in her steps up to the stallion, stopping right in front of his face. "WHO ARE YOU ANYWAY?!"

Neltharion was getting annoyed by this. All this yelling and accusing were starting to get on his nerves. In his mind he was deciding if he should burn them alive for their insolence, but decided against it. He would however give them a small lesson in knowing their place. "My name is Lord Neltharious Prestor." he announced bowing before looking at Rarity with fire in his eyes. “And you will treat me with respect.” He said sharply at the Rarity whose apparent anger was replaced by fear at his sharp tone.

Walking past the fear struck mare, Neltharion sat beside Spike who was laying on the ground crying. Applejack scowled at him, but Neltharion ignored it. He inspected Spike's hand with his strong eyes. It was clearly fractured. Neltharion put a hoof to his chin in thought. Dumb whelp must have hit my plating on a bad place, but it is nothing a little basic healing magic can't fix. "Besides." Neltharion turned to Rarity. "The bone is not fractured, it's just out of place." He lied. Turning back to Spike, Neltharion rose a brow as he saw the drake was trying to crawl away from him. "Now i'm not gonna lie whelp, this is going to hurt." Applejack looked at Neltharion in confusion before she realised what he was gonna do, but too late.

Neltharion moved like lightning over to Spike and stepped on his tail to keep him in place. He took Spike’s hand in his hooves faster than Spike could react. In an instant, Neltharion focused his magic and with a disgusting crack and a yelp from Spike, Neltharion healed the fractured bone. Healing something with magic is a very painful process if you haven't mastered it, and Neltharion had never bothered, but he knew the basics. Healing bone was whelps play. Regrowing bone, now that's hard.

Rising from the, unconscious from the pain Spike, Neltharion turned back to the two mares. Rarity and Applejack just stood dumbfounded by his Neltharion's actions. A few bypassers had stopped, and had hooves over their mouths at the display. "He will need rest for now," Neltharion said in a calm tone as he swung the unconscious baby dragon onto his back. "Show me where he lives, and I shall take him there," he said to the shocked mares.

Rarity took a step back while Applejack adjusted her hat and took a fighting stance in case she needed to, but they didn’t speak.

Neltharion rolled his eyes and turned to a nearby bystander. "You!" A brown stallion pointed at himself and looked nervously to some others near him who started to back away. The stallion gulped as Neltharion walked closer. "Where does this one live?" Neltharion asked, nodding at the unconscious dragon on his back. The stallion pointed at the crystal castle in the distance. Neltharion smiled to himself Perfect and began trotting towards the castle.

Rarity and Applejack shared a look of slight confusion and then ran after the stallion.

Twilight was in her new castle library. She had just finished reading her 28th book on Dracology, trying to find out something about the dragon that was coming, and she was getting increasingly frustrated. The dragon that princess Celestia had described was nothing like any Equestrian dragon. It was just too big and too different in appearance. Even in Equestria black dragons were a rare sight. They, as the only of their kind, hunted at night and was much smaller than normal Equestrian and Draconian dragons. Twilight was missing something and she knew it, but she could not put her hoof on it. She had studied for hours and had found nothing of even a similar being to this monster, Discord was out hunting for. She picked up the next book and began reading.

It knocked on her door. "Come in," She said, still keeping focus on the books. A guard stuck his head in.

A month after the Tirek incident, Celestia had assigned guards for Twilight to keep her, and her new castle safe. Twilight didn't mind, but sometimes she got really tired of all that royalty stuff. She just wanted to be treated like a normal pony, a wish that seemed to be harder and harder to have by the day.

The guard spoke. "Your highness, there's a weird looking stallion here. Accompanying him are Spike, lady Rarity and lady Applej--"

"Ah' Ain't no darn lady!" A familiar southern accent voiced pony interrupted him.

Twilight smiled widely and laid down book Nr. 29. "You may send them in," she said, now excited. She hadn't seen her friends that much the previous weeks, other than the depressing visit to canterlot that had happened the same day, and their monthly friendship meeting. She had a lot of work to do and so had they, but that didn't make her miss them less. They need to visit me more often she thought, smiling as she stood up.

The Crystal doors opened and in came Rarity, Applejack and a weird looking stallion with Spike on his back. Twilight's blood froze as she looked over the stallion. He looked like he had been in the middle of an explosion, and had used metal to stitch himself together. Other than that he was actually quite handsome and muscular, but his appearance took that away fairly quickly.

She noticed the unconscious Spike on the stallions back. He was wet across his face from crying. Twilight's eyes widened and she sprinted over to him. "What happened?" She asked bewildered.

The stallion put down Spike on the floor and spoke. "He's fine. I am Lord Neltharious Prestor and I will explain, but you should probably find him a better place to rest first."

Twilight levitated the baby dragon into his room that he had gotten with the castle and into Spike's basket putting a blanket over him. "Explain." She said sharply at the stallion while narrowing her eyes. Normally if she said anything like that to a pony, it would flinch and look away, but this stallion simply rolled his eyes.

"This reptile-" he started.

"His name is Spike and he's a dragon" Twilight said sharply, cutting him off.

The stallion raised his eyebrow, shook his head and spoke. "Spike attacked me, or well he tried," Neltharion said smiling at the memory. "He hit my plating and hurt his hand." he said casually.

Twilight was listening intently.

"Your friends, as they call themselves, started yelling at me for no reason. I gave them the courtesy of not yelling back and silenced them both and relocated the bone in Spike's hand. He passed out from the pain."

"YOU WHAT!?!" Twilight screamed at the stallion.

"I did what I found necessary at the time," Neltharion said scowling at the princess. First now had he noticed that she had both wings and a horn. He could feel a strong magic presence emanating from her. It nowhere near his level, but it was strong. Neltharion had cast a spell on himself shielding others from finding out just how powerful he was. The mages of kirin tor on Azeroth had before discovered him by detecting his magical presence, he was not going to make the same mistake again. "Be glad I relocated it."

"I am. But that doesn't excuse you from the pain you've caused him." Twilight said with an angry look on her face.

Neltharion was getting tired of this. "You make it sound as if I should care about such petty things.”

Twilight was practically fuming at his words. She had met many different personalities in her life, but never one with so little respect for others. “You should. I don’t know who you think you are, and where you are from, but here in Ponyville we treat each other with respect and kindness.”

Neltharion raised an eyebrow. Ponyville? How original. This purple winged and horned pony was annoying to say the least. She had a castle and guards, but that could just mean she was wealthy for all he knew. What interested him was that she had both wings and a horn. Hadn’t he seen that before somewhere? “You speak as if you have some kind of authority here.” Neltharion said.

Applejack stepped forward "She's da' princess of friendship and ya better treat her with respect." She said scowling at Neltharion.

The more Twilight thought things over, the more she had to admit that the stallion had done her a favor. She should be grateful that he actually bothered putting Spike's hand back into place, although she had never heard of such a thing as relocating bones in a dragon’s hand. Dragon’s bones were much more dense and harder to break than pony’s. As far she knew, it was practically impossible to dislocate anything on a dragon. It was far more likely to break than dislocate. Perhaps she should take another look on dragon anatomy? As Twilight thought it over it seemed like a better and better idea. But first she had to resolve this current matter. "Applejack, that's enough. He's right." Twilight said looking less angry. "Thank you for relocating Spike's hand. Is there anything I can do for you while you're here?"

Neltharion was a little surprised to win the argument so easily, but it seemed as if the pony had others things to be concerned about. "Yes, I need a place to rest for a few days. I'm not from around here, but i’m guessing you had already figured that out."

"Oh? You're from outside of Equestria?" Twilight was now interested. She had never seen a pony from outside Equestria before, other than the emissaries from Maretonia, but they were much different, both in appearance and in way of speaking.

"Equestria? So that's where I am?" Neltharion asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Yes, yes you are. Where are you from?" Twilight asked. All of her anger was gone and had been replaced with excitement and interest.

"I'll tell you some other time, now where will I be residing?"

"Oh...Uhh, you could stay here?" Twilight smiled sheepishly. She normally didn't let anyone stay in the castle, but a pony from outside of Equestria? She couldn't pass up this chance at learning about a culture from the other side.

"Twilight, dear? Are you sure it's a good idea?" Rarity whispered to Twilight, glancing at Neltharion. "We don't know him."

"Yea' and besides, he put Spike through all that pain without any hesitation. Ah' don't like this Twilight. Ah' think he's dangerous," Applejack joined in.

"That may be, but we owe him the benefit of the doubt," Twilight whispered back while smiling at her friends. "Besides, he's not powerful enough to overpower me even if he tried," Twilight winked at her friends as she walked over to Neltharion.

"Follow me, I'll show you where you will be staying," Twilight said smiling to Neltharion as she began trotting down the hall, with him following close behind.

Fear the frying pan, and your Memories

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Neltharion opened his eyes with a groan. "where am I?" He asked no one. He looked around, he couldn't see anything. There was only darkness around him.

"Hello?" He called out to see if there was anyone. He heard a faint laugh in the distance. It was coming from all around him. "Where are you?" The laugh got louder and louder until it was so loud that he couldn't even hear his own thoughts. "Stop it! MAKE IT STOP!" and it stopped just as suddenly as it had come.

Neltharion regained his composure and stood up. He now realised he was in his pony form. He tried to change form but his magic wouldn't respond. Why wasn't it working? Neltharion started to panic as he heard the laugh again.

"What's the matter, Neltharion? Scared of being alone?"

Neltharion froze. He knew that voice.

"Aaah yes. You remember me. How could you ever forget."

It was his voice from when he was Deathwing. He could never forget that voice. The voice of his own insanity. The voice that drove him mad.

"What are you doing here?" Neltharion sneered at the voice. The voice laughed.

"Why would I ever be gone? I'm as much a part of you as the wings and fire of a dragon."

"No you're not. You are my corruption. You are what made me become a monster!"

"Are you sure you weren't one already? Seeing as you are accepting everything you did with not much remorse. We are the same, I was just the push you needed to get started in your little rampage."

"NO! That wasn't me! I know it was you! You and those fiends beneath Azeroth! I was happy before you came. I had everything! Family! Friends! Immortality! and you turned it all against me!" Neltharion felt his anger rising at this conversation. The voice snorted.

"Are you really gonna lie to yourself? How PATHETIC! I thought we were better than this. We both know you were unhappy. How angry you were at the titans for leaving you with all this power only to serve the mortal races, and while your brothers and sisters were off to do what they wanted, you were stuck pleasing those weak mortals."

Neltharion felt the words sink in. He was right. He had been unhappy and he had been angry at the titans and the mortals for doing this to him. Him, the mighty black dragon. The wise Neltharion. He felt his rage and doubt as the words sunk deep. Then he remembered his brothers and sisters, and the happy times they once had together. He would have those times again, even if it killed him.

"I don't care! I will get back to them, I will redeem myself in their eyes, and I will let nothing stand in my way. Not even you."

"You really think you can be redeemed? You have seen what you have done, and we both know you enjoyed every second of it! The sooner you realise this, the sooner you will see the truth. You are weak, and you always have been. Without me, you would be nothing but dirt in the eyes of your siblings. Without me, greatness would never have been achieved. Without me, you would still be that weakling that bowed at the titans every thought.

"And I will do whatever it takes to become that dragon again, even if it kills me"

"Tsk. Good luck, little pony. I have always there for you. I never denied you anything. I gave you everything, And when everyone is gone, when everyone sees you, denies you, and rejects you for the monster you really are, I will still be here to pick up the pieces, and you will come back to me, Neltharion. We are the same. After all, it takes more than mere influence and power to create what we are. Deathwing wasn't created, my old friend. He was always there."

The darkness around Neltharion erupted in flames, and in it were pictures. Memories of Deathwing's greatest achievements. His greatest atrocities.

The laugh resumed with even more force than before and Neltharion passed out.

Neltharion woke up with a gasp. He was in a small guest room in Twilight's crystal castle. It was early morning. He looked around the small room. To the right of his bed were a window that allowed sunlight to slip in. The light was reflected across the crystal room and the walls glinted with all kinds of colors. Neltharion took a moment to admire it before jumping out of his bed, effectively ripping the bedsheets to shreds because of the sharp corners on his plating. He facehoofed at what he had accidentally done. He would have to get used to that.

Neltharion trotted out of his room and down the hallway, looking for Princess Twilight. He felt good after finally getting some rest. Normally after so much strain on body and magic, a dragon would need to rest for weeks if not months, even for an aspect. The benefit of taking a mortal form was that it needed much less rest. It would make him recover his physical strength faster, but his magic would regenerate slower, but Neltharion was okay with it.

He trotted through the halls, finding the occasional guard who were either half asleep, or too tired to register Neltharion walking by. He tried asking one for direction, but as he didn't receive an answer, he decided to let the guard and his colleagues rest as they had been up for a long time. He kept going until he heard someone humming a random tune, and he decided to walk towards it. His nostrils were overwhelmed with the smell of delicious food, as he came closer.

He stopped at the entrance of an open door. Inside were Princess twilight in an apron washing a frying pan with her magic. Spike was in the other end of the room, holding a tall stack of plates and trying to put them into small closets cabinets with little success. In the middle of the room were a table with four chairs. There were decked for three ponies.

Neltharion walked inside, unnoticed. He had been told the day before, by Princess Twilight, to meet them in the kitchen when he woke up. He stopped a few feet behind Twilight, and smiled at the good mood she and her assistant was in.

"Good morning" He said loudly just to be sure that they heard him. If they couldn't hear him on the way in, with all his plating clinking, how was he gonna know he would get the following reaction?

"AAH!" Twilight jumped at the unexpected deep and powerful voice, and by reflex her magic swung the frying pan around and hit Neltharion square in the face.


The sound of the frying pan hitting something, caused Spike to jump in surprise. sending all the plates he was holding into the air, and crashing on the floor. He desperately tried to catch them mid air, but stumbled over the now unconscious plated stallion and crashed into Twilight.

Spike looked up at the dazed Twilight who shook her head to clear it, and she shot Spike a glare. "Hehe.. whoops" was all Spike could say, as he looked around the less than two minutes ago, orderly kitchen.

The kitchen now looked like something Discord would do to it, if he was stuck in the kitchen for more than 10 minutes without someone to annoy. There was Ceramic shards everywhere, and a frying pan lying on the floor with the shape of a ponies face imbedded in it.

The look Twilight was giving Spike had now turned into an angry scowl. Spike looked innocently back at Twilight. "Don't look at me like that. You hit the new guy with a frying pan!" Spike said while pointing at the unconscious orange pony. He had already forgiven the pony for what happened the day before even, but he couldn't help but grin a little at the sight.

Twilight's eyes widened at what Spike said, and she got up and she ran over to the unconscious stallion with a face full of concern. "Oh my gosh! Are you okay Mr. Prestor?" She gently nudged the unconscious pony with her hoof. No response. She started thinking of spells that could help her wake him, but she couldn't come up with any. What is he was dead? What if he-

"Just slap him. That should wake him up" Spike said, rolling his eyes.

"How do you know that? What if it doesn't? What if he's dead? What if Celestia finds out? Then she will have me be in magic kindergarten for the rest of my immortal life! NO I can't go back! Im going packing Spike, maybe I can hide south of Equestria? Yes, they will never find me! and then I will-"

Spike dragged his claw down his face in annoyance at Twilight's unnecessary ranting. He had seen it so many times before. He sought this as an excellent opportunity to prove just how effective a good slap can be.

"Twilight..." he started, but she continued ranting "Well then, you give me no other choice" Spike grinned and pulled his tiny arm back.


Twillight was dazed by the sudden pain on her cheek, quickly interrupting her rant. She shook her head violently to get the less-than-sane thoughts out. She looked down at her assistant, who was looking at her with a sly grin. "You enjoyed that a bit too much" She said grinning at him while holding a hoof to her sore cheek. "But thank you, Spike."

"It was a pleasure" he said bowing. "Now slap him" he pointed at the still unconscious stallion that was starting to drool on the floor.

Twilight reluctantly got up, and moved over to the unconscious stallion. She lifted up his face with her right hoof and prepared to slap him.

"Are you sure this will work?" Twilight asked Spike who just waved a claw at her dismissively.

"Sure it will. It worked on you, and you're the most thick headed pony I know"

"Thanks.. I guess" Twilight replied. She raised her hoof.


"Twillight, you have to do it harder" Spike said while holding up a hand to his forehead in embarrassment at her weak slapping skills.


"Harder Twilight!"





"Uuuh... Twilight?"


"TWILIGHT!" Spike yelled at the mare that had been mercilessly slapping the poor unconscious stallion.

Twilight's head turned to Spike who was scowling at her tapping his foot on the ground disapprovingly.

"I told you to slap him awake, not slap him into next week" Spike said sighing while shaking his head.

"But Alexstrasza, I don't wanna dance, I hate dancing..." the orange stallion whined as he started to wake up.

Twilight and Spike looked in disbelief as the stallion sat up groggily with a hoof to his head. Despite getting a frying pan full speed in the face, and multiple slaps from one of Equestria's most powerful beings, he looked unharmed, not even a bruise on his face.

Twilight pulled Spike close as they stared at the Stallion muttering some nonsense about titans and a Ysera.

"How did you know slapping him would work?" Twilight asked Spike who just shrugged.

"It always works in my comics. If someone get's knocked out the main character just slaps him awake" Spike replied. Twilight gave him a hard glare and he just stared confused at her reaction. "What?"

Neltharion sat on a chair in the kitchen with an ice pack on his sore face. Twilight was sitting at the opposite side of the table staring at him in confusion. Spike was brooming up all the broken plate pieces.

After he had woken up, he had been dizzy for a few seconds and had then been bombarded with questions from Princess Twilight. Questions like 'who's Ysera? What are the titans? Why don't you have any bruises from me hurting you?' Neltharion had found the last question a little weird but decided to ignore it.

"So.. Uhh.. Are you alright?" Twilight asked with a sheepish smile on her face.

Neltharion felt fine if not a little sore. Even in another form he was still protected by his magic and innate dragon strength. As an aspect, his power was so great that no matter what form he took, it would always shine through in some way. In this case he was stronger, faster, and could survive things no mortal pony could, and this was when he suppressed his magic as much as possible. He couldn't let the ponies know what he could do.. Not yet anyway.

"Im fine, Princess Twilight" Neltharion replied, bowing his head slightly to show respect.

"Oh please" she said waving a hoof at him dismissively "just call me Twilight."

Neltharion raised an eyebrow at this. He hadn't met a royal in a long time that didn't use her title to the fullest. This either meant she was recently made royal and/or she didn't like it. "Very well, Twilight."

They looked at eachother for a while studying each other. Twilight realised she was staring and looked away in embarrassment. Neltharion simply kept studying her.

"So uh... Mr. Prestor" Twilight began, but were interrupted.

"It's Lord Prestor" Neltharion said sternly.

"Right, Lord Prestor. Would you mind answering some questions? I'm very curious about where you’re from" Twilight carefully asked.

Neltharion thought about it for a second. He needed information about pony society and this seemed like just the opportunity to get it. He smiled and replied "Sure, we can take turns. I myself am curious about your country."

Twilight jumped in her chair excited and conjured up a quill and paper. "Yes of course!" She practically yelled before she covered her mouth with her hoof and blushed with embarrassment "hehe... Sorry."

Neltharion merely kept smiling and waved a hoof at her dismissively at her little outburst. Her thirst for knowledge reminded him of his brother Malygos. He also got so excited in their young years when he learned something new and would do almost anything to learn something.

Twilight continued. "So..Where are you from?"

Neltharion thought about this for a second. He could tell the truth, but that would just make the princess come up with more questions, so he decided to tell her an altered version fit for ponies. "Im from a place called Azeroth. It's large island with all sorts of climate, and many different sorts of ponies" He answered.

Twilight scribbled it down. "And where is this island?" Twilight asked with interest while looking at Neltharion.

"I have no idea.." Neltharion muttered, trying to avoid further questions on location.

"What do you mean by yo-"

"Now princess, I thought I would get to ask some questions as well" he interrupted her, with a smirk.

"Oh, sorry. I'm just excited" Twilight smiled sheepishly.

"So i've noticed" Neltharion shook his head in annoyance and amusement at her eagerness. "Why is the weather not changing?" he asked curiously. He had thought about it since he arrived. The clouds stood still and there were no random wind currents like on Azeroth or any indication on change of weather.

Twilight looked confused at him for a moment "you mean, you didn't have pegasi on Azeroth to regulate the weather?" This ‘Azeroth’ started to sound similar to the everfree forest, only stoking Twilight's curiosity.

Uhh... No?" Neltharion said slightly baffled by that. The ponies regulated the weather as well? What the heck is this world?

Twilight took a breath about to continue when interrupted.

"Don't tell me some ponies are moving the sun and moon as well" Neltharion joked rolling his eyes, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

"Well, yeah there is" Twilight smiled, not having picked up on the sarcasm.

"Wait, what?" Neltharion asked wide eyed, his voice full of doubt. There were ponies powerful enough to move the celestial bodies? This was getting ridiculous.

"Princess Celestia and Princess Luna move the sun and moon everyday and has done so for the last 1000 years or well, Luna just came back from being banished to the moon for a 1000 years but other than that she and Celestia controls the sun and moon."

"Interesting" was all Neltharion could mutter. He would have to get some more information on these princesses. "So I can guess you are a princess because of you having both wings and a horn? I noticed some paintings in an old castle in the forest depicting two ponies, with both wings and a horn."

"Yes, im an alicorn and those paintings you saw were of princess Celestia and Luna" Twilight answered casually before picking up on what he had said. Her eyes widened "you went through Everfree forest alone? Do you have any idea how dangerous that is!" Twilight practically shouted, her words having no physical effect on Neltharion.

"Anyways, back to the topic" said Neltharion, not wanting to tell of his slithering through the everfree.

Twilight nodded in response. She could deal with the Everfree conversation some other time. It didn't seem like the stallion cared for her concern or authority anyway, which both annoyed Twilight and made her a little happy inside. It had been a while since anyone had ignored the fact that she was a princess.

Twilight took a moment to think of a question and found a question that had been nagging her ever since she saw the stallion for the first time. "If you don't mind me asking Lord Prestor.." She started, slightly afraid that the stallion would get offended by her question "why do you have those... Plates around your body?"

Neltharion wasn't surprised at her question. He looked down in disgust at his hoof and the plating on it. "I was... In a war" he started, still looking at the plating. "A long war" he looked up at Twilight with sorrow in his eyes. She returned it. "In the war I was injured so badly that the only way to keep my body together was to bolt these plates onto my flesh and bone..."

In truth Neltharion had created a weapon called The Dragon Soul on Azeroth to use in his war against the rest of Azeroth, but the destructive power inside it had destroyed Neltharion's body just by him being close to it. This left him to have goblins bolt his plating onto him to keep his body from falling apart and keeping him alive.

"How long was it?" It was all Twilight could think off at the moment still trying to wrap her head around the fact that he had been in a war, and the extreme measures that were taken to keep him alive.

Neltharion pondered upon this question for a moment. Truthfully the war he had started against the rest of Azeroth had lasted over 10.000 years, but he couldn't tell her that, and he didn't know a ponies lifespan, so it was hard to determine how long an average war were in Equestria. He remembered the rulers had been there for over 1000 years so he took a wild guess.

"About 50 years give or take" he said casually.

"50 YEARS?!" Twilight's jaw dropped, and she stared at him shocked. The only great war there had been in Equestria's history was the war of the crystal empire, and it had lasted 9 years. It had been a massacre on both sides. "B-but how? You don't look much older than me. How old are you?"

Neltharion could figure from her reaction that he had guessed very wrong, and he silently cursed himself. He shrugged knowing he had to make it seem somewhat realistic, but it would still seem as if he was a whole other species in Twilight's eyes. Neltharion decided to roll with it. The damage had been done, so there was no point in trying to fix it without seeming suspicious.

"I’m around 340 years old" he said, shrugging. "But i’m not much about talking about my age. Ask me one last question, then I'll ask mine and then we can discuss things some other time."

Twilight was about to protest when she saw the slight anger in the stallions eyes and decided to let it go. One last question. What should it be? I have so many I want to ask Twilight thought to herself. This stallion was fascinating. It almost seemed like he was from another world entirely. I have to think about the others first in case he's a threat. Who knows what he could do if he feels driven to it? Twilight concluded.

"Why are you here? Why have you come to Equestria?" Twilight asked, taking a regal posture. She was afraid of the Neltharion. There was something not pony about him in her eyes.

Neltharion looked down on the table reminiscing memories of his arrival. "I was... Banished here..." was all he could say. The memory of it stung more than Twilight could ever imagine. His betrayal, him almost destroying his home, his madness..

"Banished? Why?" Twilight questioned with a raised eyebrow, slightly confused.

Neltharion looked back into Twilight's eyes, his own full of sadness. "Because I started that war..." He said in a low voice "and I regret it everyday" he added before getting up from his chair.

Twilight simply gaped at him. Why would he start a war with his own people? How could he be an earth-pony and still be so old? Did he kill his own people? Why didn't he know where his home was? There were so many questions she wanted answers too, but she knew she couldn't get them. Lord prestor was clearly pained from the memories, and she could almost feel the guilt radiating off him. He reminded her of Discord and Luna in a way. Maybe she should introduce them?

Neltharion began walking towards the door. He needed some air. He stopped at the door entrance, and looked back at Twilight with a small smile "Do not consider me your enemy, Twilight Sparkle. I only wish to befriend you, and I hope you let me be your friend. I have no intention of hurting anyone in Equestria". He walked out the door "Not yet anyway.." He didn't notice his voice becoming distorted and darker as he muttered those words.

The Blur, the Crusaders, and the Bookworm

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Neltharion had been wandering ponyville for a while. He had gotten some odd looks to say the least, but he ignored them. The sun was high in the sky and there were no clouds. He still hadn't eaten any breakfast. In the room between him passing out, and his conversation with Twilight, Neltharion had lost his appetite from reminiscing the memories of his past.

Neltharion's nostrils picked up a sweet scent, and he let his nose take him towards it. He got eyes on a large pink and purple house with a roof that looked like.. chokolate? It also had a cupcake sign hanging, so he assumed it was some kind of bakery. Neltharion shook his head "These ponies were getting weirder and weirder by the day" he muttered. He thought nothing could surprise him now, after all the weird things he had seen around these ponies. He didn't know just how wrong he was in that assumption.

A bell rang as he stepped inside the bakery's door. It was a simple house with mahogany walls, a green carpet, some red and white swirly things around the room to signify the shop had something to do with sweets, and a staircase that lead up. There was also a simple glass counter with cupcakes and other sweets beneath. Just looking at them made Neltharion's stomach growl.

"Coming!" a female sounded from the room behind the counter which Neltharion could only assume led to the kitchen of the bakery.

Neltharion could hear sound coming from upstairs. It was the sound of a baby crying, and a male voice trying to calm the one crying with song and hushes. The male was failing miserably as the crying only got louder, and another one joined in on the crying.

A female pony emerged from the kitchen door behind the desk counter. Her mane were a mix of purple and pink swirling around like ice cream. Her coat were turquoise in color. "Sorry for the waiting de-" when she saw Neltharion she skidded to a halt, and inspected him with mouth agape and wide eyes. She stood like that until Neltharion cleared his throat, snapping her back to reality. She smiled sheepishly at him "Sorry, I just haven't seen you around here before." She clamped a hoof on her mouth as if she had insulted him.

Neltharion just looked at her in confusion at her display, until he heard a loud and long gasp coming from behind the kitchen door.


Neltharion' eyes were reduced to dots as he heard a female voice shouting with more power than he thought possible. He started darting for the exit as he didn't want anything to do with the owner of the voice. He looked over his shoulder, and saw a pink blur moving with the speed of lightning towards him. Realising he couldn't escape, Neltharion stopped, preparing to face the blurr. He was hit, and thrown out the bakery's door with the blur.

They were thrown on the ground. Neltharion landed on his back and was slightly disorientated from the hit. On top of him were a pink pony with bouncy pink hair, giving him a ridiculously large smile. It made Neltharion feel extremely uncomfortable.

"Ohmagoshohmagoshohmagosh! I have never seen you before! Im Pinkie Pie! Welcome to ponyville! Who are you? We should have a PARTY! Oh, and why do you look like that?" Pinkie pie said while wildly bouncing up and down above Neltharion.


"Eh, that doesn't matter. I'll find out later. Here, have a cupcake on the house!" Pinkie pie handed him a cupcake she had pulled out of nowhere.

Neltharion reluctantly took it. "Uhh.. Thank you?" was all Neltharion could say, still trying to process all that had happened the last minute.

"Pinkie!" the other female shouted from inside the bakery in an angry tone.

"Oh! I have to go back to work! It was nice meeting.. Uh.. Whoever you are" Pinkie said smiling as she walked back inside.

Neltharion just watched her walk away with mouth agape "What just happened?"

"UUUGH" Discord growled at the air. "I HAVE SEARCHED FOR TWO DAYS NOW, AND I STILL HAVE DON'T A SINGLE CLUE!" he shouted angrily while pacing back and forth. He had just arrived back at Canterlot after his second day searching, and he was frustrated to say the least.

"Discord calm down" Celestia said calmly, sitting on her throne. "You running around and shouting isn't solving anything".

Discord took a long breath to calm down "I have searched all of Equestria, and I still haven't found anything, so excuse me if i’m a little frustrated, Celestia" He said snarling at her.

"Have you checked Cloudsdale?"


"Saddle Arabia?"


"The badlands?"

"YES! I have checked everywhere, Celestia!" Discord shouted, now annoyed at the princess. "How hard can it be to find a dragon the size of Canterlot in Equestria?! I should have have found it in the first hour, but I haven't found anything.." Discord sat down, hands over his eyes. He turned to Celestia, having realised something. "Have you gotten word from the Griffin nation?"

Celestia nodded "Yes. No sight of it there" Celestia replied, levitating a letter with a griffin crest to Discord.

"What about Draconia?" He asked while reading the letter.

The dragons have searched their land with no sight of Deathwing" Celestia levitated another letter to Discord. He read it right away. "They want to know when we find it. This beast is a threat to them as well."

Discord shook his head "This doesn't make any sense, and that's coming from me!" Discord shouted frustrated throwing the letters away. There must be something he had missed, something obvious. Then it hit him. It was so obvious. "Ofcourse!"

"What?" Celestia looked at him confused.

"Tell me, Celestia. How can a dragon that size not be found anywhere?" Discord asked with a smug grin.

Celestia continued looking at him confused.

"What if this beast can do more than we realise?" Discord started pacing back and forth. "Dragon magic is completely unheard of in Equestria, so we have nothing to compare it to. All we know is that this dragon has destructive capabilities beyond anything we've seen before, but that doesn't mean destroying is the only thing it can do. It is just all we assumed it could do. What if it can do more?" Discord stepped close to Celestia, almost letting their muzzles touch. "What if it can shapeshift?"

Celestia's eyes widened at Discord's words "of course.." she muttered. It had been so obvious. Just because this dragon could use magic did it not mean it was limited to one type of magic. They had no idea of what it was capable of. "Discord, you're a genious!" she smiled at him.

"I know!" Discord smiled back. Celestia smiling to him made him feel warm and fuzzy inside.

"So if we assume it can use that type of magic, it would mean that it has a unique magical signature" Celestia stated, pacing back and forth, happy to actually have some progress. "And that would mean if we see him, or as much as go to a place he has been, we should be able to track his magical signature no matter how faint it may be, and no matter what form he may take. Now we just have to organise where to look" Celestia pulled out a map of Equestria.

Discord cringed at the word 'organise'. It was completely against his nature. No way he was gonna do something organised. Being stripped of spreading chaos was hard enough as it was. He decided to meet on the middle.

"Tell you what, Celestia. I'll look through the southern part of Equestria, and you look through the northern. If any of us find a clue, we will contact each other and Luna, and meet at the place we found it."

"But that can take weeks! And I have royal duties to attend."

"Don't care, Make Luna take your duties or something. This is first priority. You have the rest of eternity to hear complaints from the 'nobles'" Discord turned around and levitated to a window "Besides" he looked back to Celestia. "If you teleport from place to place, then it should only take a couple of days at most."

Celestia knew Discord was right and it annoyed the hay out of her. "But if I do that, then I won't have enough magic to raise the sun."

Discord gave her a mischievous grin "let me worry about that. I will continue my search now, tata" he snapped his fingers and fireworks appeared on his back. Another snap and they ignited sending him flying out the window.

Celestia allowed herself a smile as she shook her head at the display.

Neltharion decided to walk back to Twilight's castle a couple hours after the event, of the pink blur he now knew as Pinkie Pie. He saw many ponies giving him the usual odd looks on the way, but they looked away when he shot them a quick glare. He noticed all of the different marks on their flanks. What were these marks? The tattoo assumption had been thrown out the window when he had looked them closely. They were too detailed, and were marked even through their fur. This didn't make any sense to Neltharion. Why would they all have these marks and pictures on their flanks?

In his absent mind he didn't notice the three fillies running towards him. The fillies were focusing on something different aswell, so naturally they crashed into him.

Neltharion looked down at the fillies with a cocked eyebrow. The impact hadn't as much as moved him. The fillies laid on the ground. An orange pegasus on her back, a white unicorn were sitting on her rump rubbing her head and a yellow earth-pony laid splayed out on the ground like a slab cookie. The orange one rolled onto her stomach rubbing her head.

"Aah, did we hit a wall again?" It groaned.

"Ah' don't think so" the yellow one replied.

"It's good we decided to keep our cutiemark racing challenge for later" the white unicorn said, smiling to her friends.

Her friends returned the smile, and were about to continue talking when they heard someone clearing their throat above them. They looked up and were greeted with the annoyed and angry look from the orange pony they had hit. The fillies eyes were reduced to pinpoints as they looked at the stallion. He looked like something that could have come out of a Frankenhoof's monster movie.

The fillies screamed, turned around, and began running away only to realise they weren't getting anywhere. The orange stallion had somehow gotten all three of their tails under his hoof.

"Let us go!" the orange pegasus screamed, desperately trying to get away.

"I am sick and tired of ponies running into me, hitting me, commenting, screaming and or staring at my appearance and then running away!" Neltharion stated in an annoyed but loud tone. He was honestly annoyed by all the ponies around the town looking at him like he was some sort of freak. "Explain yourselves!

The fillies stopped running, as they realised they weren't going anywhere.

"Uh.. ah'm sorry Mr. you just look real scary, that's all.." the yellow one said, not looking at the stallion as she feared his gaze.

Neltharion sighed and released their tails much to their surprise. "It's alright young one. I let my temper and annoyance get the better of me" he said allowing a small smile. They were young. In time they would learn not to judge anyone out of appearance, heck he might even be that lesson, although Neltharion knew that sometimes it was best to judge someone from their appearance.

"Who are you three? I would like to know the names of those who tried to put me in the dirt" he asked.

The fillies seemed to perk up at this, as if they were just told they could have all the cake they could eat.

"Ah'm Applebloom!" The yellow earth pony with red mane said with a smile.

"Im Sweetie belle!" The white unicorn with tricolored mane said, looking away.

"And i’m Scootaloo!" The orange pegasus with purple mane said, pointing a hoof to herself and smirking.

"And we are the CUTIEMARK CRUSADERS!!" they yelled in unison at Neltharion, who jumped in surprise at their sudden outburst.

Neltharion took a moment to compose himself after the outburst, and looked at the three fillies who looked triumphantly like they had done the most awesome thing in the world since someone invented cake.

"My name is Neltharious Prestor, but you can call me Neltharious or Lord Prestor if you may" he said proudly, while bowing.

"Naah I'll just call Nel" Scootaloo said waving at him dismissively.

Neltharion cringed at that nickname. Few had called him that before. Not even his siblings had dared calling him that more than once, because he thought it to be most undignifying nickname of all time. He downright hated it. The few that had actually called him that, not being his siblings, had enjoyed the rest of their existence as an ash pile. "Take it easy Neltharion, they are young" he said to himself and took a deep breath.

"Anyways" Neltharion began as he remembered something they had said. "What is a cutiemark crusader?" He had heard of many crusades and crusaders on Azeroth like the scarlet crusade, but he had never heard of anything sound as silly as a cutiemark crusader.

The fillies to jumped at this, more than happy to explain.

"We are on a crusade to get our cutiemarks" Scootaloo explained.

"And what is a cutiemark exactly?" Neltharion questioned, now slightly intrigued even though it sounded ridiculous.

The fillies stared at Neltharion with wide eyes, almost as if he had turned into a giant chicken or something.

"Ya don't know' what a cutiemark is?" Applebloom asked, slightly confused.

Neltharion simply shook his head at her. What was the big deal about these cutiemarks?

"A cutiemark is the mark on your flank that represents your special talent, and your purpose in life" Sweetie belle explained.

Scootaloo took over, her ears having drooped at what she was about to say. "And we don't have one... We haven't found our talents yet" she said showing her blank flank.

Neltharion raised an eyebrow, slightly surprised at this revelation. A magic mark that represented your purpose in life? The idea itself was preposterous to Neltharion and it raised a lot of questions in his head, mostly about this pony magic, and it's capabilities.

"So.. Mr. Prestor?" Sweetie belle began "What's your special talent?" she asked glancing at his flank.

Neltharion's eyes shot up, and he turned his head to look at his flank, the fillies joined him. On his flank was an ash colored sphere with molten cracks across it. Neltharion's eyes widened at the mark. He knew exactly what it meant. The sphere depicted a planet, the color, and cracks depicted what would have happened to Azeroth or any other world for that matter if he let the corruption take over again. His talent and purpose in life, according to his pony form, was bringing death and destruction. "Uhh.. I’m not sure" he lied.

"Cooool" Scootaloo said in awe of the cutiemark. The other two fillies followed in staring at his cutiemark.

Neltharion sighed in relief. It seemed they had no idea what it meant. Good, thought this was about to get complicated he thought to himself. The cutiemark did unease him, but he hoped it just depicted his talent in his corrupted state, and not when he hopefully came out of it.

He bid the fillies farewell and went on his way towards the crystal castle. The fillies tried to bombard him with questions about how he got his cutiemark, but Neltharion ignored them. He had questions he himself needed answers for. Specifically about these ponies magic, and it's limits.

Twillight had been in her library all day, researching. Trying to find out something about the dragon that was gonna invade Equestria, and this strange new stallion that had appeared out of nowhere. There was something about the stallion, she just couldn't place it. When Neltharious first got here she couldn't detect anything unusual about him, but now.. Just thinking about him filled her with a sense of dread, and she didn't know why. Magically there was nothing special about the stallion. From what she could detect, he had the same magical presence as a normal earth-pony. She assumed it was because of what the stallion had told her, but there was more to it, she just didn't know what.

She had gone through books with over 1200 years worth of equestrian history to find information about this place the stallion had claimed he was from, and to her frustration she had found Nothing. Nothing at all, but how would that be possible? She had looked over maps of Equestria, Draconia and the Griffin nations to find an island similar to what the stallion had described. An island of war.

Twilight sighed deeply in frustration and closed history book Nr. 39. How am I not finding anything? she thought to herself, rubbing her templates. She groaned in annoyance, and rose from the cushion she had sat on. Her joints cracked as she stretched her limbs, and she heard her stomach rumble, so she decided to walk towards the kitchen. Guards saluted her on her way, but she was to tired and annoyed to notice, and care to be honest.

Inside the kitchen was Spike humming a joyful tune while cooking something. He noticed Twilight come in and smiled at her.

"Hi Twilight!" he exclaimed. He hadn't seen her all day.

Twilight mumbled something incoherent, and sat down on a chair at the edge of the dining table. She closed her eyes, and let her head fall on the table with a loud thud.

"Rough day?" Spike asked, not even bothering to turn around and look at her. It was normal for Twilight to do something like that when she was really frustrated, which wasn't rare.

Twilight glanced up at a nearby watch 7.23 P.M. She had been researching for over 10 hours straight with no results. To say she was frustrated was an understatement.

"You have no idea.." She muttered. "So.. Spike what have you been doing today?" She asked, trying to get her mind of her own frustration.

Spike turned to her with a smile "I've been helping Rarity with some orders, visited Pinkie, cleaned up the throne room and read the new issue of Power Ponies" He said, very enthusiastic about his day, and started to ramble on about the latest issue of his favorite comic, and how good it was.

Twilight however, was completely oblivious to Spike's rambling. She was deep in thought about the recent days events.

"Twilight? TWILIGHT!" Spike shouted, ripping her from her thinking. "Is something wrong?" he asked her, slightly worried.

Twilight sat up, looking at Spike with a worried expression. "Im sorry Spike, im just stuck on what to do. I can't seem to find anything regarding anything about our visitor, or this mysterious dragon Celestia says is coming" she said in a low voice.

Spike simply gave her a small smile, and went over to her putting his claw on her shoulder. "You worry too much Twilight. You gotta have faith in the princesses... And Discord. When they find it, we will swoop in and blast it with, I don't know, your rainbow power?" Spike put his claw to his chin, trying to come up with a better name for it. He shook his head and got back to topic. "Anyway, It will be alright Twilight, don't worry." Twilight seemed to perk up a little at her assistants words and smiled back at him. Spike walked back to what he was doing before, and suddenly flipped a frying pan, sending a pancake right onto Twilight's plate.

"Pancakes for dinner Spike? Really?" Twilight asked while shaking her head lightly.

Spike turned to Twilight with a smug grin "Hey, you didn't tell me if you even wanted any dinner, so don't complain."

They both heard familiar hoofsteps coming from somewhere in the crystal castle. Familiar metallic hoofsteps. Before Twilight, and Spike could say anything. Neltharion stuck his head inside the door, a flat expression on his face.

Twilight smiled at him, hoping he was in the mood to answer more questions. Spike had a skeptical look, he may have forgiven the stallion, but that didn't mean he trusted him.

"Lord Prestor, im glad you could join us" Twilight said.

Neltharion kept his flat look and replied in a bored, and tired tone "unfortunately I won't stay long, Twilight. I’m tired after spending all day in your village."

Twilight was a little saddened by him not being in the mood to answer the questions she craved answers for, but didn't let it show. "Of course. I know ponyville can be tiring, but it's a nice place, once you get to know it."

"That may be so, but for now I bid you goodnight Princess Twilight, Spike" Neltharion bowed before Twilight and nodded to Spike and was about to leave when he heard Twilight's voice.

"Oh Neltharious, I just remembered. Tomorrow my friends will come for a visit, hope you don't mind" Twillight heard Neltharious grumble something incoherent, possibly in another language, before he replied.

"Not at all princess. I am but a guest in your home, and I shouldn't have to tell you that you can do what you wish in your own home, with, or without the consent of your guests" he said before he walked down the hall with his iconic metallic clinking from his hooves.

Twilight and Spike spent the rest of the evening in silence. Twilight went back to her books and notes before she went to bed. She took her notes with her so she would know where she had left of in the morning. Spike went to sleep in his room early, after reading some comics.

Twillight had a nightmare that night. A nightmare where she watched her friends burn to ashes in a fire that consumed all of ponyville, and in the middle of it all the fire was the stallion she had let into her home, laughing maniacally at her friends burning.


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Twilight awoke with the feeling of hot air blowing in her face. She assumed it was just some hot air coming from outside or something and turned in her bead. The hot air followed her and it came in doses as if someone was... Breathing on her?

"Goodmorning, Twilight sparkle" a masculine and familiar voice said.

"GAH!" Twilight shrieked. She jumped out of her bed and landed on the crystal floor with a painful *thud*. She sat up looking in the direction of the voice with an angry scowl. On her bed was a familiar Draconequus laying on it like it was his, a mischievous smirk on his face.

"Discord!" she shouted, standing up. "What are you doing here it's-" her eyes looked at her nightstand clock "11:30 in the afternoon." Her friends would be arriving at 12:00.

"Why Twilight, I am hurt by your reaction. Can't a friend just drop by to say hello?" Discord said, acting hurt with a dramatic lion paw on his chest. "Can't I just say hello to my-" Discord held up his eagle talon and opened his fingers one by one, faking he was counting while looking deep in thought. "Second best friend in all of Equestria? Well I am hurt. I will leave you alone then" Discord walked to Twilight's bedroom door slowly.

Twillight simply looked at him with a bored tired and expression as he slowly walked towards the door.

"All alone" Discord said dramatically, walking ever so slowly towards the door. "Alone in this cold dark room with no one but yourself, and your thoughts" he continued.

Twilight tiredness had turned into annoyance. From Twilight's point of view, it looked as if Discord wasn't getting closer to the door even though he was walking towards it.

"All alo-"

"Alright, Alright, I get it!" Twilight interrupted him. She sighed deeply "Sorry, Discord, i’m just tired. I studied most of yesterday and the day before trying to find out something about the dragon from Celestia's vision."

Discord turned around and looked at her smug grin on his face "And I take it you didn't find anything?"

"Yes, how did you-"

"Really, Twilight sparkle? I thought you were smarter than this." Discord shook his head in disappointment before continuing. "From what Celestia described, it is a MAGIC using dragon."

"Yeah. So?" Twilight was slightly confused and annoyed at Discord's words. Why was Discord was telling her something she already knew?

"And that suggests that this dragon probably isn't from our world. It may not even be from our dimension." Discord said casually like he just announced that the sky was blue as always.

Twilight's eyes widened and she opened her mouth to speak, but stopped herself and thought the things Discord said over. She regained her posture, and raised an eyebrow at Discord "Isn't that a little far fetched? I know that this dragon is different in every way from our normal dragons, but that doesn't really mean that it is interdimensional. It could just be a very rare species."

Discord rolled his eyes at her. Apparently he had to do this the long and boring way. "Twilight, how many dragons do you know that can use magic?" Discord asked flatly.

"Well, Spike can use magic. He can send letters with his fire br-"

"That's not dragon magic." Discord interrupted her. "Dragons don't have magic, but they are very resilient to it" He explained. "Spike can send letters via his fire breath because it was an ability Celestia granted him with her magic a few days after he hatched. Why do you think Spike can only send letters to Celestia, and not others?"

Twilight had never thought about that. For as long as Twilight had known Spike, he had been able to send letters, so she had never questioned it.

"I also saw Celestia's vision, and believe me when I tell you it wasn't a Equestrian nor Draconian dragon. In my long life I have seen many things, but never anything quite like that one" Discord stated, with a frown.

"B-but that means... All my research was for nothing!" Twilight exclaimed with wide eyes. She had wasted all that time yesterday and the day before trying to find information when she should have been focusing on getting better at her combat magic, or learning about her and her friends newfound 'rainbow power'.

Discord facepalmed at her words. Seriously? Leave it to Twilight Sparkle to get information about an interdimensional creature, and then flip about her research. Sometimes Discord marveled over the fact that Twilight wasn't a nervous wreck living in a dumpster with her books. "Yes-yes but that doesn't matter, Twilight" Discord began, annoyed at Twilight. "I had a discussion with Celestia yesterday and came up with a plan, but I will need you to organise guards searching the borders between the middle and outer regions of Equestria. This may be vital in finding it."

Twilight shuddered at the idea of Discord, the lord and master of Chaos having a plan, but it was the only plan they had so she rolled with it. "Okay Discord, I'll wake up Spike and then we'll start" Twilight said while walking towards the door, but was stopped by Discord holding her tail. She turned to see a mischievous grin on his face.

"Way ahead of you" Discord said, snapping his talon.

For two seconds there was silence and then the sound of an Air Horn and a baby dragon shrieking in the room across Twilight's.

Twilight glared daggers at Discord who just whistled innocently. She was about to scold him when a yell came from down the hall.

"WHAT WAS THAT ENFEEBLING NOISE!" a masculine voice, Discord didn't recognise, yelled from down the hall. The voice had become darker, and stronger at the last word, almost as if another person had taken over where the other left off.

"Oh, no" Twilight almost whispered, putting a hoof to her forehead. What she really didn't need right now was a stallion with a temper problem about to meet the lord of chaos, but she hoped she could save the situation.

"Uhh... Who's that?" Discord asked, confused at the sudden sound of another male yelling.

"Hehe... You see, two days ago a stallion came to visit ponyville. He said he was from a small island from somewhere on our world, and that he was banished here for something he did." Twilight answered, not wanting to tell Discord that the stallion was over 300 years old, and a war criminal. "I offered him to stay here, and it seems you woke him up. Oh and he has a slight temper problem" Twilight said grinning sheepishly.

Discord and Twilight heard iron hoofsteps, and a low growl coming from the hallway outside Twilight's room.

"Sorry about that Neltharious", Twilight yelled out the room while walking towards her rooms doorway. She heard a low grumble coming from the incoming stallion.

"It's all right Princess. I didn't enjoy sleeping anyway" Neltharious said in a rising voice, dripping with sarcasm as he came closer to Twilight's bedroom.

"A friend of mine came to visit, and I want you to meet him." Twilight said, smiling as the stallion appeared in the doorway.

Neltharious walked inside and eyed the mysterious creature in front of him, but seemed unfazed.

"Neltharious I would like you to meet Discord, the spirit of chaos." Twilight presented, while suggesting Neltharious to come closer to Discord.

Discord looked at the stallion in front of him with wide eyes at his appearance. He inspected Neltharious' body until.. Discord could feel himself go pale when he felt Neltharious' magical presence, it was His presence.

The stallion stepped forward and gave Discord a polite nod "pleased to meet you."

This day had started out horribly for Neltharion. First he is rudely awoken from his sleep. He was even having a pleasant dream, a rare thing for him these days. Secondly he was forced to meet one of Twilight's friends. A menacing looking creature, that looked like an odd version of a chimera. And thirdly, same said creature had thrown him threw a wall made out of solid crystal. Neltharion was now laying on the ground outside the castle, a little disorientated from the sudden magical push through the wall.

"DISCORD! What are you doing?!" Neltharion heard Twilight screaming at the draconequus.

"Twilight, send a letter to Celestia, tell her I've found him!" Discord shouted at Twilight in a slightly panicked tone.

"Who? Who have you found? Discord, explain!" Twilight shouted back at him.

"It's HIM Twilight!" Discord pointed at Neltharion, who just raised an eyebrow in confusion.

Twilight's eyes went wide as she realised the meaning of Discord's words "b-but how?"

"I'll explain later. Get the princesses, NOW!" Discord jumped out of the hole in the wall, and landed a good distance from Neltharion.

Twilight panicked and ran to find Spike.

Neltharion felt his anger starting to fill him, and with it his metal plates began having a fiery hue. He growled "explain this, creature! Why did you attack me?" as Neltharion spoke he could feel his anger starting to affect his physical form, slowly turning him back into a dragon. His teeth became sharper and longer, and he could feel horns starting to grow from the back of his head. He could not let that happen. His sheer size alone would destroy Ponyville. He didn't care much for the village, but it wouldn't look good for him when he asked the ponies for help getting home if he had just destroyed an entire village, and killed its inhabitants by crushing them under his weight.

Discord narrowed his eyes at him "I know what you are, and I will not let you destroy my home!" Discord growled at him. He stretched out his eagle talon and a red bolt of magic shot from it towards Neltharion.

Neltharion rolled to the side avoiding the bolt, but as it hit the ground it exploded, sending Neltharion flying across the ground. He grunted in pain at the blast mark that was now covering the left side of his pony form. He could not hold it back, his rage was too strong. He mumbled a few words in Draconic and used a spell on himself. His pain resided. The spell would keep him in this form for the time being, but it would not hold forever. He had to end this fight quickly.

Discord ignited two more bolts in his hands ready to send them out "I will not allow you to hurt my friends, Deathwing!" He threw the bolts towards Neltharion.

Neltharion's eyes widened at what he said. How could Discord know? Neltharion had blocked his own magic to make sure this didn't happen. How?

Neltharion heard the laugh from his dreams erupting in his head as the bolts approached, and it made his head pound with pain. It became louder and louder until Neltharion felt everything going black around him. He closed his eyes. All he could feel was his own rage.

Applejack had been working for most of the morning, and was now heading towards Twilight's castle for their monthly friendship meeting. She heard a loud explosion in the distance.

"What in tarnation?" she exclaimed before starting to gallop towards the sound.

On her way she met the rest of her friends, also on their way to Twilight's castle.

"Applejack, darling are you alright?" Rarity asked her, slightly panicked after hearing the loud explosion.

"Yea, ah'm fine, Rarity. Do y'all know where dat explosion came from?"

They all nodded in response.

"It's coming from Twilight's castle! I hope that egghead isn't blowing up her own castle" Rainbow said with a frown.

"Then we better hurry. Twilight may he hurt, or worse!" Fluttershy said in an unusually loud voice for her standard.

They were about to gallop when they hear a squeal from Pinkie. They turned to see Pinkie pie lying on her back, hooves in the air with her eyes reduced to dots. She started shaking violently.

"Pinkie, what's wrong?" Rainbow asked, concerned as she had never seen Pinkie like this before.

"S-s-s-something r-r-really b-b-bad is about to happen!" Pinkie shouted, her mane and tail now deflating and inflating every few seconds.

Before they could ask for more they heard a even louder explosion than before. It felt as if Ponyville was having an earthquake. A dark and malicious voice laughed in the distance, sending shivers up the ponies spines.


"Let's GO!" Applejack yelled at the other ponies, going into gallop.

As Discord's bolts of magic hit their target they exploded on impact leaving a crater. Those bolts would have left a normal pony gravely wounded. The explosion left an awful lot of smoke.

"Well, that was easy" Discord said smirking, satisfied with his accomplishment. He would come to regret those words. He heard a laugh, dark and full of malicious intent. it sent shivers up his spine.

"Did you really think it would be that easy?"

Discord took a step back in fright. The smoke cleared and revealed an unharmed stallion with a menacing smile on his face. How can he be unharmed? Nopony, not even the princesses could take that hit and be unharmed. The stallion started walking towards Discord, his hoofs leaving a firetrail. The stallion growled.

"You claim to know who I am, yet still you dare attack me!? Your foolishness will be paid with your life!"

The stallion charged towards Discord with frightening speed. Discord was prepared, and sent two more bolts at the stallion. They exploded on impact, but revealed the stallion unharmed. Discord's mind went blank, he didn't know what to do. He stood there frozen in fear and shock.

The stallion crashed Discord right into the ground, and now stood on top of him. Discord desperately tried to get away but was held down by an invisible force. The stallion snorted.

"Your magic is pathetic!"

He stomped on Discord's lion paw, crushing the bone. Discord screamed in pain and tried his best to escape, but it was no use.

"So... Fragile. A pity, you could have been useful."

He stepped on Discord's tail this time, and a loud crack followed. Discord screamed. He was unable to stop his assailant, he couldn't even use his magic. Discord heard voices in his head. Dark voices telling him to give up, but he wouldn't. He wiggled his body, trying to escape the invisible forces grasp. He just needed a little bit of room. He got it.

"You'll regret those words" Discord said with a smirk as he snapped his talon, erupting an explosion in the space between himself and the stallion.

When the smoke dispersed, the stallion stood on top of Discord, completely unfazed by the blast. Discord however, had knocked himself unconscious and had large burn marks all over his body.

The stallion was about to end him permanently when a purple beam hit him in the face. He stumbled back as the beam had blinded him.

"Stay away from my friend!" Twilight yelled as she lept out of the hole in her castle wall, and dove towards the stallion below. She charged her horn creating a barrier around herself, thus making herself into a living magical meteor. She hit the stallion square in the chest, sending him flying into the dirt. She stood in front of Discord, glaring at the stallion in the dirt. She looked back at Discord. He looked awful. Burn marks were all over his body and blood was spilling from some places. His paw was completely crushed and his tail crooked. Twilight felt like having a panic attack at the sight of her friend in that condition, but she composed herself. The fight was not over.

The stallion in the dirt rose without a scratch. He gave her an angry growl before pulling his head back and opening his mouth wide, revealing the razor sharp teeth. He roared. It was a roar that sent shivers up Twilight's spine. It sounded unearthly, unnatural and above all, it filled her body with dread.

Twilight's eyes went wide with fear as the stallion started to change appearance in front of her. His coat became darker, almost completely black. Cracks began to appear around his plating, revealing a fiery liquid. His eyes became reptile like slits and the white in his eyes turned fiery red. The stallion started walking towards Twilight, growling with murderous intent in his eyes. Twilight took a defensive stance, ready to defend her unconscious friend at any cost. She shot a paralysis spell at the stallion and he took it without flinching. It had no effect. She shot another and another, but to Twilight's horror, her magic had no effect.

As the stallion got closer. Twilight's ears splayed back, and she fell lower and lower in her stance as he came closer. The stallion stopped right in front of her. Twilight was shivering in fear and couldn't move. Her mind went blank. She didn't know what to do. Fear had taken her. Twillight could only watch as the stallion in front of her made his next move. The stallion raised a hoof and hit her so hard with the side of it that it sent her flying into the ground. Twilight landed hard in the dirt, fallen unconscious from the powerful hit. The stallion snorted in disgust.


He advanced over to the unconscious Discord and resumed his previous position. He raised his hoof, ready to stomp on Discord's neck thus ending him. The stallion stopped himself. What was he doing? Wasn't this what he was trying to avoid becoming again? How did this happen?

Neltharion's pupils dilated, he was once again in control. "Nonono NO!" He yelled, shaking his head violently. He began reverting to his original pony form. "GET OUT OF MY HEAD!" He stepped away from Discord and laid down in the crater Discord's second bolts had left. "I will not become a monster.. Not again" Neltharion muttered, still hearing the dark laugh in his head. He fell unconscious.


View Online

Princess Celestia had just arrived at the crystal empire, when a letter materialized in front of her, wearing the crest of princess Twilight. Celestia looked curiously at the letter for a moment. Twilight's next report wasn't due to in another three days, so there was no reason for her to write.

Celestia opened the letter and read it.

Dear Princess Celestia

Something terrible is going on here in Ponyville. Discord just assaulted another pony, throwing him through my castle wall. I'm hearing explosions outside as i’m making Spike write this letter.

I’m sending this letter at the request of Discord. He told me to get you here. He told me that he had found HIM, but that doesn't make any sense. Were looking for a dragon not a pony?

You should get here quick! Im not sure what's happening, but I can hear Discord screaming! Im going to go help him. Please, hurry!

Your former student: Twilight Sparkle

Celestia's eyes widened and her heart pumped faster as she finished the letter. He was in Ponyville the ENTIRE time? How could she not have known?

"Auntie Celestia!" A pink alicorn yelled as she ran towards the alabaster mare.

Celestia barely noticed Cadence, as she summoned a quill and paper and began writing before sending the newly finished letter off in yellow smoke. "Im sorry, Cadence. We will have to do this some other time. Something has occurred" Celestia said with a serious tone, making Cadence very confused.

"But-" was all Cadence could say in protest before her aunt disappeared in a yellow flash.

Celestia appeared at the base of Twilight's castle. Everything was silent. Not a single sound. Was the battle already over? She looked over the castle and noticed black smoke rising behind it. She spread her wings and quickly flew behind the castle.

Celestia's eyes were reduced to dots at the sight. On the lawn before her were four craters, one smoking, one on fire and one containing the lifeless form of a familiar draconequus. there was crystal rubble everywhere. A few feet from Discord, a familiar purple alicorn was laying unconscious.

She swiftly landed beside Twilight. Celestia noticed a very large bulge and black scorch mark on Twilight's cheek, as if she had been hit by a fiery rock. A slow rising was coming from her chest, indicating she was still breathing. Twillight was hurt, but not in any life threatening danger. Celestia then remembered her other hurt friend, and she turned around to look at Discord.

As Celestia looked over the lifeless form of the draconequus, her heart began to race. She ran over in the crater where he lied. She noticed the crushed paw, the crooked tail, the blast marks and dried blood that were covering most his body. His eyes were closed.

"Discord! Discord, wake up!" She yelled at him while shaking him with her hooves, starting to tear up, not bothering to check his heartbeat.

There was no response. Discord just lied there with his broken body. Celestia's yelling woke up the purple alicorn closeby.

"P-princess..." Twilight groggily sat up, pain rushing through her cheek. She got up, much to her body's dismay. Her mood beamed as she got eyes on her mentor and it fell even faster when Twilight saw what Celestia was doing.

"I swear, Discord, if this is another one of your pranks I'll..." Celestia cried. She was now sobbing as she was shaking the draconequus.

Twilight put a hoof on her former teachers shoulder, making Celestia stop. Twilight was starting to tear up herself as she realised what was happening.

Five more mares appeared behind them and gasped at the scene. Fluttershy darted towards the princesses and draconequus with tears in her eyes, but was stopped by Applejack and Rainbow Dash holding her back. Fluttershy protested and yelled wildly, but it was no use. The other mares started tearing up as well.

Celestia's lower lip was quivering. She picked Discord up in her hooves and held him in a tight hug, letting her tears sink into his warm fur. She noticed a midnight blue alicorn appear beside her as well with a sad expression on her face. Celestia, in her grief, felt slightly awkward and out of place. She had never been so close to Discord, never even thinking of hugging him, and yet here she was, hugging and crying on her former worst enemy. She didn't know why, but it just felt right. Celestia's eyes flung up as she felt a slow, but steady beating coming from the being in her hooves.

"Uhh... Seriously. What's with all the yelling?" a groggy Discord said, as he rubbed his head with his talon.

Everypony just stared mouth agape at him, completely silent before erupting in cheer of sheer relief. Celestia blushed, let go of Discord and looked away. Discord landed in the scorched ground with a hard thud. He sat up, wincing in pain as he tried to use his lion paw. He didn't sit long as he was tackled to the ground again by a yellow blur.

"Don't you dare do something like that again mister! I was so worried" Fluttershy scolded the damaged draconequus with a tear ridden face, before taking him in a bone crushing hug.

"DAARHH.. RIBS..RIBS!" Discord wheezed in pain. Fluttershy let go of him. "Ah, much better" Discord sighed in relief before realising something as he looked around at the mares that had tear ridden faces. "Wait, have you ladies been crying?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Of course we have, silly. We thought you were dead" pinkie pie answered while happily bouncing up and down.

Discord was taken back by this. He didn't expect that they cared so much about him. He only thought Fluttershy and Twilight cared about him, but it seemed he was wrong. "I... I didn't know you all cared so much about me..." He muttered. His lower lip quivering.

"Of course we do, Discord. You are our friend" Twilight responded with a smile, the rest of the mares, including the princesses nodded.

Discord looked around to each of the mares he could call his friends with a smile. Each of them returning his look with the same.

Celestia returned the look with a wide smile, mist covering her eyes. Her heart leapt at his sincere and grateful eyes, but she quickly looked away. She was blushing again.

Discord found this odd, but dismissed it. His thoughts wandered to his awakening sight of her holding him in a tight hug, her mane smelling like roses, and her beautiful violet eyes. His heart leapt at the memory that had only occurred a few minutes earlier. Red flashed across his face at the thought.

"We hate to interrupt this touching moment" Luna started, getting everyone's attention. "But we have to get back to the task at hand. I got your letter, sister." She held out a letter with a sun crest logo on it. "Where has our enemy gone? We must smite him before he does anymore damage!" Luna shouted, lightning crackling behind her, making Fluttershy hide behind Discord.

"Moohna, not so loud please!" Discord shouted back, holding his talon over his ear. "Besides, he's over there" Discord pointed to the burning crater revealing the guise of a stallion in the middle of it.

Luna and Celestia looked at eachother before slowly walking over to the burning crater with narrowed eyes.

Neltharion awoke with an earsplitting headache. He rubbed his head with his hoof, trying to get the headache to dissipate, but to no effect. He could vaguely recall what had happened. He had fought Discord, almost killed him, hit Twilight, gotten back his control, and blacked out in a crater outside Twilight's castle. He could hear vague voices, the voices of Twilight, another two females and the whining sound of the draconequus he had just fought with. He tried to move his legs, they barely responded. Neltharion slowly opened his eyes to a peculiar sight.

He was bound in the middle of a room that appeared to be inside a castle. The room was made of white stone with different decorations and stained glass windows on it's walls. At the end of the room were three thrones. One golden, one pink and one midnight blue. The chains that bound him looked to be made out of energy, bound to four white pillars at each corner of the room. Each pillar had a different color chain binding him. One golden, one yellow, one purple and one blue. Before him were Twilight Sparkle with a bandage on her cheek and she appeared to be in a heated argument with two taller alicorns. One with a white coat and a flowing mane in the colors of a rainbow, and another one a little smaller dark blue with a mane flowing with stars and the color of the night sky. From their appearance alone Neltharion could guess these were the two other princesses Twilight had told him about. Behind them were five other mares and the draconequus from before. The mares was watching the argument with interest, while Discord looked bored out of his mind. He recognised three of the mares as those he met while he was in ponyville.

Neltharion felt weaker. He couldn't quite explain it, but it felt as if something had been stripped from him or suppressed severely. He glanced down at his body and discovered what appeared to be red runes glowing on most of his plating. Just by looking at them Neltharion could guess they were some kind of magic suppressors.

"Hey, he's awake!" Pinkie pie shouted happily while pointing at Neltharion, shifting everypony’s, and draconequus eyes to him.

"Uhh.. Hi?" Neltharion said with a raised eyebrow as the princesses started to scowl at him.

"So.. Thou arst this dragon whom wants to destroy Equestria" Luna began eyeing Neltharion with an angry look "we had expected more."

"Wait, what?" Neltharion began, now confused and slightly insulted. Why would they get the idea that he wanted to destroy Equestria? He stood up, making the princesses uneasy and they took a step back. They would not take any chances. "What gave you that idea? Im not here to destroy your world. Im here to ask for help" he said with a grim expression.

The three princesses exchanged looks and shot some looks to Discord who just held his talon up defensively meaning 'don't look at me. I’m not a ruler of Equestria'.

Luna stepped forward "Thou are not fooling us, fiend! Our sister had a vision about you burning Equestria to the ground and we will not allow thee to do so, Deathwi-"

"Don't you DARE call me THAT!" Neltharion interrupted her angrily, his eyes flaring fiery red as they did in his true form.

Luna's wings flared in fright and she took a step back from the display, nudging her sister to take over.

Neltharion continued. "I am not that monster... Not anymore anyways." he muttered with lowered head, his eyes full of sadness and anger.

"What do you want us to call you then?" Celestia asked with a tilted head. He reminded her of Luna. Luna had the same expression in her eyes for months after she returned from being nightmare moon, but the anger in his eyes was stronger.

Neltharion regained his composure and stood at his full height in pride. "On my world, I was known as Neltharion the earth-warder. Dragon aspect responsible for the material well being of the mortals of my world." He looked to the ground in anger almost, as if expecting it to burst into flames at his next sentence. "Deathwing... Was the name I gave myself when I fell to the corruption from beings imprisoned inside the earth of my world, it made me wage a war against all living beings on my world that lasted over ten-thousand years."

The mares and draconequus stood with eyes wide at his tale. Discord and Luna could relate to him a little, but not in the same degree. The rest of the mares tried to process what a ten-thousand year war must have been like, even living that long was hard for them to comprehend.

"But i’m not that monster anymore, or well, I try to keep that side of me locked away, but that's easier said than done, but I swear to you I mean you no harm. I was actually going to ask you for help, getting me home" Neltharion said, hoping they would believe him.

"How did you get here? How did you get to Equestria?" Celestia asked with a serious expression.

"As i've already partially told Twilight" he nodded to Twilight making everyone look at her as she smiled sheepishly. "I was banished here as my siblings found out they couldn't destroy me, only transport me away from my world so I couldn't destroy it." Neltharion explained, while frowning.

"Also, I have a question" Twilight started with her hoof in the air as if she was in school. "When we tried to transport you here we couldn't. Why can't we teleport you?" She asked. It had bugged her ever since the princesses had picked up the unconscious stallion, and she tried to teleport him to canterlot, but that only resulted in Twilight blacking out from the pressure of trying to teleport him, as if she was trying to teleport the moon and replace it with a new sun.

Neltharion put a hoof to his chin, thinking for a moment before responding "I suspect it's something from my world that stuck with me on transport. On my world powerful beings can't simply long distance teleport from one place to another without major exhaustion."

The magical users in the room looked at Neltharion with a raised eyebrow, confused. For them the more powerful you were meant that it was easier to teleport, was it the exact opposite on Neltharion’s world?

Noting the confusion on the ponies and draconequus faces he explained further. "I can't teleport from place to place because it requires that I not only move my mind and body from one place to another, but also all the magic i possess. Imagine it as you have to move through a doorway with a massive boulder on your back, the boulder resembling the power you possess, the more powerful you are, the bigger the boulder. Now you have to force that boulder through that doorway, and you can only do so by making the doorway bigger, or making the boulder smaller, each one having a positive and a negative effect. Do you understand?" he asked everyone in the room who nodded slowly.

"So you're only here to ask for help? Why didn't you just come to us in the first place? Why disguise yourself as a pony? Twilight questioned him.

Neltharion grinned and shook his head in disappointment at the question. "Would you have believed me if I came to your castle in my true form and asked for help after your princess had a vision of me destroying your country?"

Twilight blushed in embarrassment at the obvious answer and looked at her hooves "I guess not..."

Celestia exchanged glances at the other alicorns and Discord who just looked at her funny. "I am not sure we can trust you, Neltharion. My sister and I's visions have never been wrong so were going to have to take a few precautions. Im sure you understand.

Neltharion narrowed his eyes at the white princess before he looked down in defeat and nodded.

“We have restrained your magic with runes and you will be under surveillance and escort day and night. Im sorry, but we can't let you run wildly with all that destructive power inside you. It is too much of a risk for us.” Celestia stated, narrowing her eyes at Neltharion who just gave a sly smirk back. Celestia turned away and walked towards the thrones. "You will be staying at Twilight while my sister and I find out how we are going to help you."

No chains can hold me princess. If I need to, I will break your pathetic runes, and then I shall show you what true power is Neltharion thought darkly before shaking his head free of those thoughts. "Very well. I understand" He said with a smirk. He looked to Discord who were scowling at Neltharion. "And do not worry, Discord. What happened in our battle will not be repeated. I won't let it" Neltharion's face turned grim. He didn't know if this was true or not. He didn't know just how strong the corruption was and he didn't know if it was stronger than him, or that if he could even fight it. The only thing Neltharion knew was that he'd be damned before he would let it take over without a fight.

After everypony had left, Discord stood in the throne room with Celestia, and he was not happy. Discord had felt humiliated by this 'Neltharion'. He had been outsmarted, outclassed and downright humiliated himself by his self blasting. To say that Discord was angry, was the understatement of the century. When Discord had looked over the being talking with his friends and the princesses he could feel nothing but spite at this newcomer. Discord was also worried. Despite the runes that were edged into the plating of this dragon in disguise, Discord could still feel his rage and the magic it fueled and it made him feel uneasy. The princesses had their concern with the runes as they weren't intended to be edged into a being with so much destructive magic. Originally, as the princesses had told him, the runes were meant for Discord in case the reformation hadn't worked, but even then, they weren't sure the runes could contain Discord's magic. After all, Discord is one of the, if not the most powerful singular being in Equestria, but the mere thought of having his magic taken away made Discord shudder. His magic was all he was, without it... He would be nothing.

"Celestia, are you insane?" Discord asked very seriously.

Celestia sighed "What would you have me do, Discord? Throw him in the dungeon? You know that it wouldn't be able to contain him."

"It would still be better than letting him stay with Equestria's best defence against forces like him!" Discord shouted.

Celestia stepped down from her throne and walked over to Discord. "I know it's a risk, Discord. But I think there's good in Neltharion, just as I saw good in you. I think this is an opportunity for us to learn from him and for him to learn from us. If we can teach him the value of friendship, then maybe he can tell us things we can learn from. And maybe we can avoid disaster."

Discord rolled his eyes "Is friendship really the only plan you have or do you just like using it?"

Celestia was about to answer when Discord interrupted her.

"Besides. He's over Ten-THOUSAND YEARS old, I'll be surprised if he hasn't learned the value of friendship" Discord said keeping the serious expression.

"It took you over three-thousand years, didn't it."

Discord blushed in embarrassment. "Yeah... Well... That's not the point!" Discord shook his head.

Celestia gave him a smug grin before beginning to snicker.

Discord became as red as a tomato "Hey! That's not fun-" He pointed at her with his lion paw before wincing and collapsing from the sudden searing pain that traveled up his broken paw.

"Discord, are you okay?" Celestia asked with a concerned look.

"I-Im okay" He stood up. "My body still hasn't healed completely, but it should be gone by tomorrow" he smiled at her.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes-yes, don't worry. I'll be fine." Discord glanced down at the blast marks on his body.

Celestia nodded at Discord's words. She glanced outside a window. Luna was raising the moon. Celestia yawned. "I think it's time I turn in then."

Discord yawned as well. "Yes, it has been quite an eventful day hasn't it?" He suddenly remembered something. "Oh, I wanted to ask, am i allowed back in the castle?"

"Sure. As long as you don't prank Luna for a while. She's still pretty mad about your last prank."

Discord snickered. "And who can blame her. I was a little mean. I should probably apologize... at some point."

Celestia nodded. She began walking towards the door. "Goodnight, Discord."

Discord watched her as she gracefully walked towards the entrance. Watching her made his heart pump a little faster, but he didn't notice. He then remembered something and a mischievous smirk appeared on his face.

"Oh, and Celestia" She turned her head head towards Discord's "About my reward"

Seeds of Doubt

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Neltharion opened his eyes and saw he was back in the complete darkness. He snorted. "Back here, again..." A low rumble came from behind him. He turned around and stared into two big red reptilian eyes.

"Indeed you are." The dark voice replied.

"I thought I told you to leave me be" Neltharion scowled. He was not in the mood for this.

"Nothing is ever that simple. You of all people should know that."

"What do you want?"

The voice took a moment to reply. "I want to know why you let yourself get treated this way by that pathetic race of ponies. Wouldn't it just be easier to incinerate them all and be done with it?"

Neltharion replied without hesitation. "We both know they are our only way back to Azeroth. They are our only hope of getting home."

"But do you really want to go home? We could take over this world so easily. Think of the possibilities! We could even make them help us get back after we make this world ours, and then we could rule two worlds instead of one!"

Even though Neltharion hated to admit it, his corruption was right. It would be so easy and it was tempting. So very tempting to just give in and make this world his own. He then remembered his siblings and what they would think if did it. If he gave in, his siblings would never forgive him. "No..."


"It wouldn't be right..."

The reptilian eyes narrowed in disapproval. "Hmmm... I see. You are still afraid."

Neltharion gritted his teeth in anger. "I am not afraid!"

The dark voice gave a dry laugh. "You are afraid, Neltharion. Afraid of being alone, afraid of your siblings disapproval and afraid of yourself. You deserve to be great. You deserve the same respect our siblings had. You don't deserve to end up like Malygos."

Neltharion's eyes widened. "W-what do you mean? What happened to Malygos?"

The red eyes rolled and a annoyed sigh escaped the dark voice. "Didn't you get the memo? Malygos is dead."

Neltharion's jaw dropped and stared at the eyes in disbelief. "Y-you're lying!"

"Didn't you pay attention when your memories flowed back? Malygos is dead. Killed by our siblings because he took away the mortals ability to use magic. He did so because he thought the mortals abused the gift that had been bestowed upon them. The gift of magic. And you know what? He was right."

Neltharion's world felt as if it was collapsing around him. His best friend and brother was dead. Now it all made sense. Now he understood why there had been another blue dragon in Malygos' place at the time of his banishment, but Neltharion refused to believe it. He stepped back in disbelief. "T-that can't be true."

"Oh, but it is. Our siblings turned on him and killed him. If you can know someone, and call them family for over sixty-thousand years and they still turn on you the second you do something wrong, then it just proves just how little family truly means. There is no such thing as family and friendship, our siblings proved that. They will kill you without hesitation if you ever get back to them, so why even try?

Neltharion was frozen. Had his siblings really done all of that? Was the voice right? Why was he feeling so betrayed? He felt angry and sad. He didn't know what to reply. Perhaps it was all meaningless. He didn't get to think it over any further as he heard a knocking.

Neltharion awoke with a massive headache. He sat up and rubbed his head with a hoof.

Another nightmare. Another conversation with his corrupted part. More information and more sorrow. Neltharion felt like he had just lost a part of himself. A part he would never get back. This time the voice didn't speak with malice and that many insults. It had sounded curious and sad. His corruption's words still resonated within his head 'There is no such thing as family and friendship, our siblings proved that. They will kill you without hesitation if you ever get back to them, so why even try?' A loud knocking on his door ripped him from his thoughts

*Knock* *Knock*

What now? He turned his head towards the door. "What is it?"

A orange coated pegasus guard with blue mane opened Neltharion's guest room door and stepped inside, a stern look on his face. "Princess Twilight requests your presence, Lord Prestor."

Neltharion smiled when the guard named him with proper title. He took off his bed sheets and carefully stepped out of his bed, making sure he didn't shred it. "Very well" he said, keeping a noble posture. "Tell the princess I'll be out in a minute." He turned towards the window in his room and was about to walk towards it when the guards voice stopped him.


Neltharion gritted his teeth. Just who did this guard think he was, trying to commanding a being with power beyond his wildest imagination? He turned towards the guard and noted the guards narrowed eyes. Neltharion felt his anger flaring. He was really not in the mood for this. The runes on his plating began glowing white and a low whistling came from the runes as his magic reacted to his emotions.

The guard was not moved by this and was about to call reinforcements when he heard Neltharion snort. The glow and whistling stopped. Neltharion walked past the guard, out of the guest room. "Very well" Neltharion muttered.

When Neltharion stepped out of his room, five guards were waiting for him. He shifted his eyes around to each of them. They were all armed with spears. One of them motioned him to go down the hallway and he did so.

Twilight was sitting in her throne room with her friends on their respective thrones. The morning had been slow for Twilight. Waking up, changing her cheek bandage, eating breakfast, researching about her and her friends 'rainbow power' and inviting her friends to join her in the throne room.

"Again, im glad you could join me today, girls." Twilight smiled at her friends. "As you all know, we have something important to discuss."

Rainbow Dash yawned. "What was it, again? I kinda spaced out when you explained it."

Twilight sighed in annoyance and shot a disapproving glare at Rainbow Dash. She took a regal posture. "As I've already explained, I called you here to discuss how we should handle the fact that Neltharion will be staying here for an uncertain amount of time, and what we should do."

"Oh yeah." Rainbow's eyes narrowed. "I think we should kick his flank to the other side of Equestria for hurting you!" Fluttershy shot her a glare "uh...and also for hurting Discord!"

"Rainbow, as much as ah' want to agree with ya, we can't just kick his flank" Applejack began. "Ah'm not even sure if we could if we wanted to. He faced two of the most powerful beings Equestria has ta offer and he got away without a scratch." Applejack looked down at her hooves. "Ah' don't know about y'all, but he scares me."

"I agree with Applejack." Rarity nodded at her southern accented friend and gave her a comforting smile. "We must be civilised even if evidence shows that he is a brute."

"But what can we do?" Fluttershy asked in an unusually loud voice. "Even if we could, we shouldn't try and force him to do things he doesn't want to. A-as much as I don't want to, I still think we should give him the benefit of the doubt, even though he hurt Twilight and Discord. We don't know what he has been through in the past and as Neltharion said, he cannot control this corruption of his."

"He could be lying" Rainbow said with crossed arms.

"I don't think so, Rainbow." Twilight started, putting a hoof to her chin in thought. "He doesn't have any reason to lie about his corruption."

"Oh come on, Twilight." Rainbow retorted, shaking her arms wildly in the air. "He has already lied to you before, why would this be any different?"

Twilight looked down. She remembered the furious red reptilian eyes of Neltharion's, during their battle, and the fear they had instilled in her at the time. At the time she was sure she was going to die. When she had looked into those eyes she could almost see the various ways Neltharion was thinking of brutally and painfully taking her life away. "If he had lied about it, there would have been no reason for him to stop himself in our battle."

"What do ya mean, sugarcube?" Applejack asked curiously, the others following her curious look.

"What im saying is... If he was lying, Discord and I would probably be dead right now."

Silence followed Twilight's words as everyone was processing wide-eyed what she had just said. Rarity was the first one to speak.

"So... You believe in what he claims? That he has some kind of corruption inside of him?"

"I do."

"B-but then how do we help him?" Fluttershy asked.

"Im not sure we can, Fluttershy." Twilight replied, sadly.

Pinkie pie interrupted the sad mood in the room. "We could throw him a party! Parties always help with everything!" Pinkie Pie yelled with a big smile.

Applejack groaned in annoyance. "Now is not da time for ya crazy party talk, Pinkie."

Pinkie pie's mane deflated slightly and her smile was replaced with a sad frown.

Twilight beamed as she realised something. "Actually I think you're onto something, Pinkie." Instantly Pinkie pie's smile came back.

"And just how is throwing a party going to help Neltharion?" Rainbow asked in a curious tone.

"Well, I didn't mean we should actually throw him a party... Not to start with anyway." Twilight thought of something. "Now that I think about it, his story is alot similar to Luna and Nightmare moons."

"And how does that help us, exactly?" Rainbow asked in a lazy tone.

"Luna's corruption came from her jealousy and was cured with the elements of harmony and the power of friendship." Twilight smiled at her friends. "Maybe we can help him the same way we helped Luna after she came back."

"Oh! I'll get my chicken costume!" Pinkie Pie squealed and jumped off her throne.

"Wait, what?" Twilight asked before realising what was about to happen. "Oh no, you don't!" She said and grabbed Pinkie pie with her magic and put her back on her throne before she could run off. Twilight sighed. "I didn't mean like that. I mean we could befriend him and hope it will keep his corruption away."

"Uhh, sugarcube" Applejack began. "Ah' hate ta be the rotten apple in da bucket, but we all know that Luna's situation were different. Plus, we had the elements back then."

"Well, currently it's our only option and we will just have to roll with it" Twilight finished, as she gave her friends a small smile.

They heard the door to the throne room creak open and turned their heads towards it. In walked Neltharion followed by six armed guards. Neltharion did not look happy.

"Ahh, Neltharion. Im glad you could join us" Twilight smiled at him.

Neltharion snorted. He muttered something beneath his breath with downcast eyes.

Twilight turned her attention towards the six guards. "Thank you for bringing him here, gentlecolts. You may leave." She waved her hoof towards the door.

Five of the guards saluted in classic military fashion and turned to leave. The sixth guard, a familiar orange coated blue maned pegasus, bowed clumsily before Twilight. "Your highness, with all due respect. Are you sure you want us to leave you and your friends with this criminal, alone?"

Twilight heard a low growl coming from Neltharion. Calling him a criminal probably wasn't the best idea, but she understood the guards concern. Luckily, only the guards that had been stationed at Neltharion actually had an idea of what he had done, but word traveled fast and guards were known to gossip. Twilight had made sure her friends kept quiet around what Neltharion really was as the news would freak everypony out and probably make the guards attack him. What frightened Twilight was the thought of what Neltharion would do if he was attacked. Twilight smiled at the guard. "We will be alright, Flash. No need to worry."

Flash sentry nodded and reluctantly walked out of the throne room, joining the other guards, but not before he shot Neltharion a nasty glare, which Neltharion returned.

Twilight cleared her throat. "So... Neltharion, did you sleep well?" she smiled sheepishly at him.

Neltharion held an unamused frown on his face. "Im not in the mood for meaningless small talk" his voice was calm, but clearly not happy. " It's hard enough that I have to walk around with six imbeciles at all times if I want to go anywhere. Voice your concerns and let me leave."

Twilight was slightly taken back by Neltharion's harsh words. He had been in a bad mood before, but this was new. "Oh... Uh... Okay, sorry. I was just trying to lift the air." she said, looking down at her hoofs

Neltharion raised an eyebrow for a moment, he then let out a deep annoyed sigh. "My apologies, Twilight. I didn't mean for it to sound so harsh. This morning has been less than good from my point of view." his voice was sincere and tired.

The rest of the friendship council eyed him curiously, but kept silent.

"It's okay, Neltharion" Twilight smiled at him. "I called you here because we want to talk to you about how we can help you."

"Help me with what, exactly?"

"Help you with getting rid of your corruption" Twilight began. "We think we can help you. Princess Luna had a similar problem. She was corrupted by her own jealousy one-thousand years ago. When she came back from her banishment we were able to help her, with items called the elements of harmony and us offering her our friendship."

Neltharion rolled his eyes "I’m afraid my situation is not as simple as it were with your princess."

Twilight raised an eyebrow. She was not sure what he meant by that. Luna's situation certainly had not been simple. "What do you mean?"

Neltharion frowned. "Twilight. You have to understand that I am much older than any of you and your princesses. Luna may have been corrupted for little over a thousand years, but have been carrying my corruption for most of my immortal life and I succombed to it a little over ten-thousand years ago. I have lived for over sixty-thousand years and as far as I can remember, my corruption has always been there." Neltharion lowered his head. "As much as I want to believe you can help me, I have to face the reality of things. My corruption is a part of me, and im afraid it can never truly leave me." his voice was pained and sad.

Twilight had a pained and surprised expression and some of her friends shared it. Sixty-thousand years? Dear Celestia that is a long time Twilight thought. Just thinking of how much knowledge he held was hard for Twilight. Her mentor,princess Celestia, had been Twilight's epitome of wisdom and guidance and she was twenty times younger than Neltharion. What secrets could he teach Twilight? What morals did he have? What would he have done if he didn't need their help? Twilight stepped off of her throne and placed a hoof on Neltharion's shoulder. He looked up in response. "When you first came here, I was afraid of you. At the time you assured me you didn't mean me or my friends any harm and that you only wished to befriend me, and I believed you. Since then you have hurt me and a friend of mine" Twilight saw Neltharion cringe at her words. She continued. "And to be honest, I am still afraid of you, Neltharion." Twilight smiled at him. "And yet... I am still willing to take you up on that your offer, if you want it. And i’m sure my friends will do the same, if you let them."

Neltharion had a baffled expression on his face. He slowly turned his head towards each of the former elements of harmony. They all nodded, some more reluctant than others, at Twilight's words. He turned his head back to Twilight and gave her a sad smile.

Twilight returned his smile. "All I ask is that you let us help you."

Neltharion waited a moment and then gave a low lighthearted chuckle. "I think I can accept those conditions, princess."

Outside of Ponyville, a lonely guard had just entered the White Tail Woods. Home of some of the most cold hearted beings in Equestria. The Changelings. The guard stopped as he heard the bushes nearby rustle. Out of them jumped four changelings, hissing, intend on capturing the guard, and feed on his love towards his loved ones. The guard was not moved by the four changelings as they closed their distance and surrounded him, before coming at him one by one.

The guard kicked one of them in stomach, rolled and proceeded to headbutt another, knocking them out cold, before the rest could react. He turned towards the two last changelings. He growled "It's me, you morons." Green fire engulfed the guard and revealed, a slightly taller than average, changeling with blue armor and green eyes.

The two remaining changelings normally blue hollow eyes took a frightened turn. They both saluted by putting a black hoof to their chest and bowing their head. "Forgive us, Captain Bloodfang. We didn't recognise you, sir."

Bloodfang snorted. "That is the point with a disguise, you imbeciles!" The changelings cringed at his words and cowered beneath him. "Where is our queen? I need to report to her, now."

"Why I am right behind you, Captain." A female voice sounded behind him.

Bloodfang's eyes widened and he darted around and bowed without looking up. "Forgive me, my queen. I didn't know you would be out this close to the border of the woods."

Queen Chrysalis bared her fangs and smiled at Bloodfang. "There is nothing to forgive, Bloodfang. I just wanted to hear your report as soon as possible, so I decided to station myself here for the day." Chrysalis took Bloodfang's chin in her hoof and pulled it up, making him stare at her face. "Now, report."

"Of course, my queen." Bloodfang got up and saluted to Chrysalis the same way the other changelings had saluted to him. "There are eighteen guards stationed in Ponyville at all times. eight more on day shift and six on the night shift from Canterlot. Record time from Canterlot to Ponyville is fourteen minutes via pegasus flight. With armor weighing them down, organising movements and flight time, I have estimated it will take a minimum time of twentysix minutes for reinforcements from Canterlot to arrive at Ponyville. And those are just the pegasi."

Chrysalis gave an evil chuckle. "Excellent. Finally I can get my revenge on Celestia's student and her meddlesome friends. This time, there won't be any disguising or trickery. This time I will rid them of this world, for good. Report back to the castle, Bloodfang. Assemble the troops, we attack Ponyville in two days." She turned and started walking out of the forest

Bloodfang saluted again. "My queen, how many troops do you want me to bring?"

Chrysalis stopped and turned her head to Bloodfang revealing her evil smile. "All of them."

Honest Work and annoying Guards

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"Do I have to, Twilight?" Neltharion groaned. After their deep emotional talk in the throne room, Twilight's friends had dispersed and he had gone to get some more sleep. He was awoken in the afternoon by Twilight who had said she had an idea of how to help him befriend her friends. He and Twilight were now walking through Ponyville towards Applejack's home, Sweet apple acres. According to Twilight, Neltharion had to interact with these ponies he had agreed to befriend. She said it would be good for his social skills and could give him an idea of what some ponies did for a living. Neltharion didn't give a crap about what ponies did for a living.

Twilight turned her head towards him, revealing her big smile. "Yes you do, although I think you are being a little unfair, Neltharion. After all, I did get the guards off of you, if just for the next couple of hours."

How Twilight had gotten the six guards appointed to Neltharion off of him, he had no idea, but she was right, he should enjoy not getting treated like a criminal while he could. Neltharion sighed. "I suppose you're right."

As they kept walking, Twilight began to notice all the ponies staring at them whenever they walked by. "Do you find it uncomfortable?"


"All of them staring at you, i mean." Twilight let her eyes fall on each of the ponies staring before she looked back at Neltharion with compassionate eyes. He had a lazy expression on his face.

Neltharion saw what she meant, but he had gotten glances and stares since he had arrived so he simply didn't care anymore. "Not really. I've gotten stares and glances since I arrived. You get used to it. Im sure, what did you call him again, Discord? Yes, Discord probably gets even more stares or worse than I." Neltharion could see, from Twilight's changed expression, that she had never thought of that before.

They kept walking and soon there were only houses in the distance behind them and, a barn, a chicken house and a small house in front of them. There were countless amounts of different vegetables growing around the the area Neltharion could identify as Sweet Apple acres. There were hills and fields filled with apple trees in the distance with the juiciest red apples he had ever seen. Neltharion had to admit it was impressive. Normally, he wasn't much for eating apples, but he wouldn't mind having to eat one of those.

A yellow filly came running towards them and stopped right in front of them. "Hiya, Twilight and... Wait, you're that creepy stallion the girls and ah' ran into!" Apple bloom said.

Neltharion facehoofed. Great, now i’m 'that creepy stallion'? Twilight looked to him, a confused and surprised look on her face. He rolled his eyes. Might as well explain. "I met Apple Bloom two days ago when I was out for walk. Her and her friends crashed into me and explained to me what cutiemarks are."

Twilight kept her surprised look and it slowly softened into thoughtful one. "That explains why you haven't asked me about my and everypony elses cutiemarks."

"That, and though I may not know much about pony anatomy and society, I still think it would be highly inappropriate to ask you about the mark on your flank."

Twilight blushed in embarrassment. "Oh... Yeah."

"What are ya guys talkin about?" Applebloom asked as she was now confused about the topic.

Neltharion raised an eyebrow. "We were talking about the appropriateness of me staring at Twilight's fla... MMMPHH" his explanation was cut short by Twilight sticking her hoof in his mouth.

She stuck her face close to Neltharion's, a panicked expression on her face. "Shut it!" She whispered, before turning to Apple Bloom with a sheepish smile. "Nothing, Apple bloom. We were talking about adult stuff. Can you go and fetch Applejack? I need to speak with her."

Apple bloom kept her confused look before nodding. "Uhh... Sure." She turned and ran back to the barn.

Twilight sighed in relief and turned her attention back to Neltharion, an angry frown occupying her face. She whacked Neltharion hard in the back of his head with her hoof.

"OUW!" Neltharion rubbed the back of his head with his hoof. He was confused to say the least. "What did you do that for?"

"WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?!" Twilight yelled at his face.

"Come again?"

"You can't just tell a filly about stuff like that!"

Neltharion raised and eyebrow. "Uhhh... Why not?"

"Because... You and... Me... Flank... URRRGHH!" Twilight groaned. One of her eyes were twitching. "Don't you dragons know when it is appropriate to talk about those things?

"I don't follow. My kind gets told about how to reproduce a few months after birth. What are you so upset about?"

"Wait, you tell your kind those things that quick?"


Twilight didn't understand how Neltharion could be so clueless. She thought of something. "Neltharion. How long does it take for a newborn dragon to learn how to speak?" The question would help her determine how long it takes for a dragon to mentally mature.

Neltharion put a hoof to his chin in thought. Twilight was acting weird in his eyes. "Hmmm... Maybe a week, two weeks tops."

Twilight's jaw dropped and she stared at Neltharion in disbelief. "A WEEK!?" she yelled, causing Neltharion to jump in surprise. She noticed the wide-eyed confusion and surprise in Neltharion's face. She took a deep breath to calm down. She spoke in a more calm tone. "Neltharion. We ponies take at least a year to learn how to say our first word. We learn about our re-reproduction--" her face turned red "when we are about 12-14 years old." Neltharion raised an eyebrow. "Just keep the talking of that kind of topic to a minimum, okay?"

Neltharion rolled his eyes and held an annoyed frown on his face. "Very well, Twilight." he said in a deadpan tone. What is the big deal with all of this? She almost seemed embarrassed to talk about it. His thought process didn't get any further as a familiar orange pony with a stetson hat trotted out of the barn and over to Twilight and Neltharion.

"Howdy, you two." Applejack smiled at Twilight and Neltharion.

"Hey, Applejack." Twilight smiled back.

"Hi." Neltharion said with a lazy voice.

"So... What brings you two here?"

Twilight looked expectantly at Neltharion. He snorted in response. Twilight rolled her eyes in annoyance. "Well, Applejack. I thought it would be a good opportunity for Neltharion to get to know you better if he could help you here at the farm." Twilight smiled sheepishly.

Silence followed as Neltharion Applejack stared at Twilight. It only lasted about eight seconds before both Applejack and Neltharion responded.

"Ahh, can ya repeat that? ah' thought ya said ah' should let a firebreathing dragon in on ma farm." Applejack responded, putting her hoof in her ear and then pulling it out, making sure she didn't hear wrong.

"Helping a farmer doing her work is beneath me" Neltharion angrily responded. He had agreed to come, not to do physical labour in a body he wasn't one-hundred percent sure how worked.

"Oh, is that so?" Applejack turned to Neltharion with gritted teeth and walked up to him, stopping inches from his muzzle. If there was one thing she hated it was when someone didn't appreciate her, and her family's, hard work. "Just because you're an immortal dragon in disguise, it makes hard honest labour beneath ya?"

"Uhm, Guys?" Twilight started. She picked her next words carefully as she didn't know what would happen if she said the wrong thing. "Can you please calm d--" Neltharion put up a hoof and it silenced Twilight.

"Yes, that is exactly why, Applejack." Neltharion replied. His face had turned into a scowl, and he was staring directly into Applejack's eyes.

"Oh, ah' see. You ain't got the guts to be a farmer and you are afraid we 'lowly ponies' are better at it than you." Applejack smirked in triumph as she saw Neltharion's eye twitch and heard him growl.

Twilight tried to pull Applejack away from Neltharion by pulling her tail. "Uhhh, Applejack--" Twilight could swear she heard a low whistling coming from Neltharion.

Neltharion's eyes narrowed. "You think you're better than me at something as simple as farming?! I have risen mountains, reshaped continents, created deserts and made lands more fertile than your simple mind can fathom!" Neltharion yelled. The insolence of this pony seemed to have no limits and he would have none of it. "Even without my magic, I could do more work in one day than you could do in a week!"

Applejack kept her smirk. "Prove it."

At that Neltharion walked past her and into Sweet Apple acres. Applejack followed leaving, a sweating from the tension, Twilight sitting on her rump in confusion. "Well... That went better than expected."

"You know, Discord. If you wanted to have lunch with me, you could have just asked." Celestia smiled at her former worst enemy. She and Discord had just sat down on respective chairs between a big white table in the Canterlot dining room.

Discord gave her a classic devious grin. "You should know me better than that, Celestia. I never do things the traditional way, it is simply too dull." He waved his eagle claw over the white table between them.

Celestia stared in awe as food of all sorts materialised before her very eyes. Apples cooked in various different ways, four different kinds of cakes, all kinds of different vegetables and fruit in mismatched colors, a basket full of hayburgers and of course small cotton candy clouds that flew around the table filling up their glasses with chocolate milk whenever they ran out.

Discord noticed her awe inspired look and chuckled. "You should see the look on your face right now, it's priceless."

Celestia tore her head from the table and gave Discord a warm smile. "Sorry, Discord. I'll just never stop being surprised at the things you can do with so little effort."

"Ah, well. When you're the devilishly handsome spirit of chaos, you get used to those kinds of reactions." Discord's expression changed to a mischievous grin while he wiggled his eyebrows.

Celestia laughed at his silly reply. They both began eating. There was an awkward silence and they both wanted to break it, but they didn't know what to say. After what felt like hours, Celestia thought of something to say. "So... How is your paw? Is it still hurt?"

Discord looked up from his dinner plate. "Oh, no it's fully healed." he lifted his paw and flexed it to demonstrate.

"Well that's good." Celestia smiled again.

The awkward silence returned. This time Discord was the one to break it.

"So have you heard from Twilight? About our guest?"

Celestia didn't expect that question. "Yes, i've gotten a report from Twilight. Apparently she did just as I expected, she and her friends will try and befriend him to the best of their ability. It said in her report that she would take Neltharion to Sweet Apple acres to get him to learn more about what some ponies do for a living and strengthen his relationship with Twilight's friends."

Discord had just taken a sip of chocolate milk and were forced to spit it out as he began laughing uncontrollably. "Pffft-AHAHAHA." Discord wiped a tear from his eye. "Oh, I would love to see Applejack's face when Twilight tells her 'oh I just brought the most dangerous creature in Equestria's history to your farm to let you befriend him' oh Applejack is going to be furious HAHA!"

Celestia frowned. "Discord this is serious."

"I know my dear, and that is what makes this so much more laughable."

Celestia shook her head, but kept a sly grin. She would never get Discord to be serious unless he himself wanted to be and she knew it.

Discord remembered something. "By the way, have you informed Draconia and the gryffin nations that we found him?"

Celestia shook her head once more. "No. And I don't think we should."

Discord raised an eyebrow. "Why not?"

"Because the relations between the dragons and griffins have taken a less than friendly turn since the last diplomatic summit." Celestia began, while rubbing her templates. The whole subject were just one big diplomatic headache. "They have banned each other from their kingdoms."

Discord sent her a sympathetic look. "Well... at least think of it this way, It could be worse. They haven't gone to war or anything of the sort."

Celestia sighed. "Not yet." Discord gave her a confused look. Celestia noticed and continued. "It only got worse when I sent each kingdom a letter about my vision. It took some convincing just to get them to search in the first place, because now the gryffins suspect the dragons to have made Neltharion, as a sort of ultimate weapon to use against them, and are threatening the dragons with war, if they don't hand him over to the gryffins. The dragons think this idea is preposterous and demand an apology for the accusations made or they will go to war themselves. " Celestia's face turned deadly serious. "If they go to war, Equestria will have to choose a side, or be caught in the crossfire and I want neither to happen. So, I think it is best if we just keep the information about Neltharion being here, for now. Atleast till the heat between the griffins and dragons are gone. I have arranged for some diplomats to arrive the day after tomorrow. Hopefully, I will be able to sort things out between them before things get out of hoof."

Discord gave her a confident smile. "Im sure you can, my dear."

From there on, the conversation turned to more silly topics that varied greatly. From present days politics, even though it seemed to bore Discord half to death hearing about and arguing about, to memory sharing from before Discord were turned to stone, old pranks etc. It stopped when Celestia looked out the window and saw the position of the sun. It had just started it's descending, which meant Celestia had to go back to work.

"Im sorry, Discord, but I have to go back to work, I have been here for over two hours." She rose from her chair and noticed a short sad frown on Discord's face before it turned into his classic grin. Celestia gave Discord a warm smile. "But I enjoyed having lunch with you. We should do it again some time." She turned and began walking towards the door leading to the hallway. Discord's voice stopped her.

"Celestia, I almost forgot the reason I asked my reward to be a simple lunch. I wanted to ask you something."

Celestia turned back to Discord and raised an eyebrow at his appearance. His arms were folded on his back, his tail were twitching uncontrollably from side to side and he avoided her eyes.

"D-do you want to go on a picnic with me tomorrow?" he sounded hopeful.

Discord might be the spirit of chaos, but this was the last thing Celestia expected. She didn't know what to answer. She did want to go on that picnic with him, but her public image could suffer from it. Before she could even think about it, her mouth had already opened and answered. "Of couse I do, Discord. I enjoy spending time with you." She gave him her most sincere smile. "But this time, let me bring the food."

The moment Celestia replied, Discord's expression changed into a triumphant smile. "Okay, see you tomorrow." He waved his lion paw before snapped his talon and disappeared in a white flash. The remaining food on the table disappeared with him.

Discord appeared in his own room in Canterlot. He stuck his head outside the door to his room to make sure there no one outside. There were no one outside of it. He went back in and let his bottled-up excitement out. He pumped his arms in a triumphant manner. "YESS!!"

Back at Sweet Apple acres, Neltharion had just finished loading apple wagon number eighty-six for transport to the storage. He and Applejack had been at it for hours without slowing down and it was almost sunset now. They each wanted to prove that they were better at farming than the other. At first Neltharion had found some of these 'mortal farming methods' quite difficult to learn. For example apple bucking. When he bucked his first apple tree, he had done it so hard that the tree broke on the middle and nearly fell down over him. Applejack had screamed at him for that. At his second try, Neltharion had bucked a new apple tree with less force, which resulted in all of apples, leaves and loose branches to fall of the tree. Applejack had not been happy about that either. After a couple of tries, and a large number of swears in draconic, Neltharion had mastered the art of apple bucking. He had then been taken in by Applejack to meet the rest of her family. Apple bloom he already knew. Big Mac was the kind of guy Neltharion liked, a guy that didn't talk more than necessary. And then he met granny smith... Words could not describe how much Neltharion disliked that mare. Her constant bickering about how 'back in her day' things were harder or better, and for the life of him she would not STOP TALKING.

Applejack stood beside him. She had just loaded her eighty-sixth wagon as well. She was sweating and her legs were wobbling, threatening to give in. Her breath was heavy and fast, as if she had just run a marathon. She collapsed on the ground.

Neltharion leaned up against his wagon in a casual manner. He smirked mockingly. "Getting tired, Applejack?" He was very tired as well, but he would not let it show.

She looked up at him with furious eyes. She tried to get up, her limbs barely responding. "A-a-ah'm f-fine." Her voice was ragged and dry. She managed to almost get up before her limbs gave in and she collapsed once more.

Neltharion snickered. It's remarkable that she made it this far, i'm surprised she didn't collapse hours ago. He laid down beside her. "I can see that."

"Ah don't want ya help." Applejack sneered. She had gained a newfound respect for Neltharion because his tireless effort to beat her, but he was still annoying as hay with his 'i'm a dragon, i'm a better than you' attitude.

Neltharion rolled his eyes. "Theres a difference between wanting and needing, Applejack. And you seem--"

"Hey! What the hay are you-" She tried to protest as Neltharion scooped her up on his back, careful to not lay her over his sharp plating.

"-- To be one that needs it right now." Neltharion finished. He laid her down on his wagon. He dragged the wagon over to the barn and tipped it up, making Applejack and the apples roll down from the wagon. He scooped her up again, despite her protests, and walked inside the barn house and laid her down on a nearby couch. He was about to walk out when Applejack's voice stopped him.


Neltharion turned his head towards her and smiled. "No need to thank me. Despite how I thought it would be, I enjoyed spending the day here. So it was the least I could do." He walked out of the house and looked at the beautiful sunset and the many colors it shone across Sweet Apple acres. His mood turned sour when he saw six familiar guards standing at the entrance. He walked over to them. "Guess it's time to go home?" He smirked as he noted the guards serious and disapproving eyes. "Something wrong?"

Flash Sentry stepped forth and poked Neltharion threateningly in the chest. "Yes, you." The other guards surrounded Neltharion. "We don't want you being around our princess. You are a criminal and you deserve to be locked up. Why princess Twilight even bothers with you I don't get, but mark my words, Neltharion. If you EVER hurt our princess or her friends, we will make you regret the day you were ever born." The other guards nodded at Flash sentry's words.

Neltharion didn't even flinch. He scowled at Flash. "Im getting tired of your insolence, guard." He walked out of the circle the guards had made.

"My name is Fla--"

Neltharion turned his head back to Flash. "I don't give a damn about your name!" He yelled, his runes glowed white briefly. "Now, let's go. I tire of these meaningless threats you and your pathetic colleagues give." He began walking in a determined manner. The guards followed from a small distance. Neltharion could hear them mutter things. He assumed they were about him, but he didn't care. He took a deep breath as he walked. Calm down, Neltharion. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully then, these guards will keep their mouths shut. He smiled as a thought of him burning them alive entered his mind. He kept walking towards the sunset and the crystal castle he could, for the time being, call home.

Touched by Harmony

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Neltharion woke up with a gasp. He was sweating. Neltharion had just had a nightmare about granny Smith trapping him in wine cellar, wearing some sort of bathing suit, and then proceeding to get drunk and start talking until Neltharion was nothing but a pile of bones. He shivered. Well, that was disturbing. He would rather have a lengthy conversation with his corruption than having that dream again.

He carefully got out of bed and looked out the window. The sun had just risen over the horizon. He was up early. Neltharion stuck his head out of his room door, looking for his appointed guards. Neltharion smirked. They were nowhere to be seen. He trotted to the kitchen where Twilight was sitting at the dining table with a enormous leather-covered book in front of her. She was writing in it with a quill. It was purple with small gems on it's cover. It also had some text on the cover he couldn't decipher. Neltharion was a master of many languages and very skilled at writing in said languages, but he didn't understand head or tail of the equestrian alphabet. The text was just to smudgy, but that's what you could expect from a race that use their mouth as a writing tool.

Neltharion walked over to her. She hadn't noticed him yet. He looked around for any nearby heavy objects that could be thrown in his face before asking quietly. "What are you writing?"

Twilight looked up from the book. She had bags under her eyes and her lids were only half open. It was obvious she hadn't slept. She yawned and gave Neltharion a tired smile. "It's me and the girls' friendship journal." She urged for Neltharion to come closer and he did so. He pulled out a chair and sat beside her. "In this book, we write down our experiences that make us learn something about friendship." She used her magic to go a entry from Applejack. "But also the hard choices we have to make to do the right thing. To stay true to who we are. Here Applejack had to make a hard choice to tell the truth even though it made her granny very sad to hear it, but Applejack knew it was the right thing to do." She went to another page with an entry from Fluttershy. "Here Fluttershy had to stay true to her element despite what she wanted. She wanted some creatures called the breezies to stay with her even though she knew they had to go home. In the end she had to force them to go home, but by doing so she were showing them kindness." She went to a number of different entries with the rest of her friends. "We've all had to go through a tough experience."

Neltharion smiled sympathetically. It was amazing how different this world was from his own. The daily issues of his world seemed to be unheard of in this utopia of love and friendship. Hunger, need of resources, war, they all seemed so meaningless in this pony society. Neltharion couldn't decide it was admirable or ignorant of them to live in this protected shell and ignore such things. A question rose to his head. "You keep talking of these elements. What are they?"

Twilight's eyes lit up as she was more than happy to explain. "Do you remember when I told you about the elements of harmony that helped princess Luna?" Neltharion nodded. Twilight continued. "The elements of harmony are gems that were made by the tree of harmony. They each represent an element of friendship, but for somepony to use the elements, they must also embody these element within themselves. My friends and I are the living embodiments of the elements of harmony. Applejack is honesty, Pinkie, Laughter, Rainbow, Loyalty, Fluttershy, kindness and Rarity embody's generosity. Those five elements forms the sixth, which I embody. Magic."

Neltharion was baffled. Such a common thing as friendship is actually a source of power in this world? He was getting more and more impressed by the day. It also explained why they wanted to befriend him. Friendship and this 'harmony' was apparently the source of all good in this world from what he could tell. He chuckled.

Twilight looked questioning at him. "What?"

Neltharion gave her a sly grin. "It's nothing, princess. Who do you want me to 'befriend' today?"

Twilight yawned again. "Not many of the girls are up at this hour." She glanced to a nearby watch. it said 6:20. "Applejack began her chores twenty minutes ago. Other than that I think Rarity might be up. Spike told me he was going to help her today. She always gets up extremely early when she has a client or a dress order. You can help her too." Twilight smirked mischievously. "Im sure you have great expertise in the field of dressmaking." She said with sarcasm dripping from her voice.

Neltharion shot her an annoyed look. She simply chuckled. "Very funny, Twilight. Now, where does Rarity live?"

"She lives about ten minutes from here. She has a store called the carousel boutique." Neltharion gave her a deadpan look. She could tell that what she had told didn't help much. "It's an octagonal building with alot of decorations and a second floor." Neltharion gave her a confused look. Twilight rolled her eyes. "Trust me, you can't miss it."

Neltharion nodded. "Very well. I just have one question before I leave."

"What is it?"

Neltharion gave her a confused look. "Why aren't you in your bed? Why are you sitting out here writing, when you should be sleeping?"

Twilight looked at the ground. She couldn't snake around his question. She was simply too tired and didn't have the energy. She sighed. "I've been having these nightmares, and they keep me up all night. No matter what I do, they won't go away."

"What are they about?"

"I-I can't tell you..."

Neltharion raised an eyebrow in confusion before shaking his head. "And you don't need to." He started walking towards the kitchen entrance. He turned his head back to Twilight. "Remember, they are only dreams, Twilight. They can't hurt you."

"I know..."

Neltharion smiled at her. "Also. One final request?" Twilight looked questioning at him. He took it as a sign to keep talking. "Can you keep my guards away from me today as well? At least until late afternoon?"

Twilight gave him a sheepish smile. "I can try, but they really don't like it when I tell them to take the day off."

"Trying is all that I ask you do. Thank you, Twilight. Now, go get some sleep. You look horrible." Neltharion smirked and walked out the kitchen door.

"I'll try!" Twilight yelled after him. She would never tell him, that she couldn't sleep because the nightmare she kept having was a much more bloody version of her fight with Neltharion, and everytime she closed her eyes, it was always the same. Those red reptilian eyes staring into her soul and Twilight knew it was a fight she would never forget. She would never forget the fear, her helplessness and the ancient rage of the dragon aspect.

As Neltharion walked through the empty streets of Ponyville in the glimmer of the morning sun, he could not help but sigh in relief. The streets were completely empty. He was the only being around. He glanced around the different houses and back at the crystal castle he had just left. It was beautiful how the castle itself reflected all of the suns light in all kinds of colors around Ponyville. It made the town shine. He made a reminder to himself that he would soar over Ponyville at least once before being sent home.

He heard the sound of wind getting slashed through by something fast and looked up. Above him were a cyan blur, leaving a short rainbow trail, flying over Ponyville. The blur seemed to be targeting nearby clouds and soon disappeared from sight. Neltharion could not help but envy the, what he assumed had been a, pegasus above him. He had only been a pony for a short five days, but that didn't stop him from missing being a dragon. He missed the power his form in itself possessed, but also the fear and admiration so many other creatures had towards him. Most of all, he missed flying. Flying is something all dragons on Azeroth can do almost directly from birth and having taken that away was painful to think about. Neltharion stopped walking and glanced to his sides and looked just beneath the shoulder blades. He could probably change his form so it had wings and maybe give it a horn as well, but that would reveal he could still use his magic and the ponies would panic if they knew he could, so he dismissed the idea. I've only been in this form for five days, it won't hurt to be in it a little longer. He started walking again.

A sound of bushes being rustled stopped Neltharion. He looked to some bushes behind him. There was nothing in the bushes from what he could see. He shrugged and started walking again. After less than a minute he heard the same sound from nearby bushes. He stopped and turned his head. In a bush right behind him, he could faintly see rainbow colored tail fur at the edge of the bush. Neltharion rolled his eyes. "You can come out, Rainbow dash. I know you're following me." He said in a annoyed tone. He could see something in the bush flinch as he called out the name.

Rainbow Dash flew out of the bush and stopped inches from Neltharion's face. Her eyes were narrowed and she had an angry frown. "I don't trust you, pal. I know you're up to something. Something bad."

Neltharion raised an eyebrow but other than that he kept an emotionless expression. "And what would that be?"

Rainbow clearly hadn't thought this through as she looked taken back by Neltharion's casual response. "I... Well... I don't know!" she yelled, frustrated with herself. "I just know that you hurt Twilight and for all I know, you are planning to do that again!"

Neltharion could not help but facehoof at her words. Thick headed pony. "Tell me, Rainbow dash. Don't you think I would have hurt Twilight already if that was my plan?"

"You already did!" Rainbow pointed at him accusingly.

Neltharion rolled his eyes. "Yes, yes I know. Thank you for reminding me. But what do you think my motivation would be to hurt Twilight again?"

Rainbow landed and put a hoof to her chin in thought. "Well... I don't know..." Her head hung in defeat and she avoided eye contact.

Neltharion held a deadpan look. He had expected that answer. He could relate to her wanting to protect her friends, as he wanted to protect his family. The difference was that she had most likely done a much better job at it than him from what he could tell. "I can understand you want to protect your friends, but it was never my intention to hurt Twilight and Discord. What happened the other day was... Unfortunate. I regret it, but there is nothing I can do other than apologize and move on. You know as I do that if I wanted them hurt again, they already would be." He turned away and kept walking.

Rainbow glared at him for a moment before she rolled her eyes. "Pfft... Right, as if you could without your magic." She said.

Her mocking words stopped Neltharion on the spot. He considered for a short moment if he should put her in the dirt, but decided against it. Things were already tense between him and the ponies. "Do not mistake this petty excuse of a body and my lack of magic for weakness, Rainbow Dash. I am still stronger and faster than you and any other pony." Neltharion put a hoof to his chin in thought. "Now that I think about it, im surprised your race has lived this long, seeing as you are all a bunch of weaklings." He started walking again. A victorious smirk appeared on his face when he heard powerful wing thrusts come towards him.

Rainbow Dash landed in front on him with clenched teeth and angry glare pointing in Neltharion's direction. "THAT'S IT!" She yelled and went on her hind legs while punching the air in a threatening manner. "Alright dragon guy, put 'em up. Let's do this!"

Neltharion raised his eyebrow. If Rainbow Dash were trying to be intimidating, then she was failing miserably. What is it with these ponies and their senseless violent behaviour? "Im not going to fight you, Rainbow."

"What do you mean by-- Hey! Don't walk away when i'm speaking to you!"

Neltharion picked up his tempo and started running. As much as he wanted to fight that pegasus, he didn't want another incident like the one with Spike. Plus he didn't have the patience to simply tell her off as that would take too long. From their short encounter Neltharion had gathered that Rainbow was very loyal to her friends but also incredibly stubborn. This meant she probably wouldn't leave him be until he put her in the dirt, after his insulting yet satisfying remark.

He ran as fast as he could around buildings and other obstacles to shake Rainbow off. He stopped behind a building he didn't recognise. Neltharion smirked. "Looks like I shook her off."

"Fat chance, dragon guy."

Neltharion's eyes widened and he turned. Behind him, Rainbow was flapping her wings in the air, a victorious smirk on her face. Neltharion facehoofed. Right... I forgot she can fly.

Rainbow landed in front of him. She spread her wings and put a hoof to her chest. "You think you can outrun me? I’m the fastest flyer in Equestria." She announced proudly. "Even if you had wings, you couldn't get away from me. And you know why?" She got closer and put her hoof on the base of Neltharion's neck, just above his shrapnel plating. "Because im just. That. Awesome." She poked him for each syllable.

Neltharion rolled his eyes in annoyance. "Whatever you say, Rainbow." He moved her hoof to his jaw.

Rainbow raised an eyebrow. "What are you doing?"

"You wanted a fight, I'll give you one. I'll even let you have the first hit for free." Neltharion's tone was dead serious.

Rainbow smirked. "Hah, Okay. You might want to make an appointment with the nearest doctor. You're gonna need it." She pulled back her hoof and swung it with all her might towards Neltharion's jaw.

"WHOA! What The--" Rainbow yelled as Neltharion sidestepped, gripped her hoof with his own two and flung her into a few nearby bushes before her hoof made contact with his jaw. He knew it would take Rainbow at least a couple of seconds to get back up.

Neltharion bolted away from there, but not before yelling back at her. "See you around, Rainbow Crash!"

As Neltharion ran away, he could faintly hear Rainbow yelling back at him. "Coward! Come back here and fight me like a mare!"

He continued running until he saw a octagonal building with a second floor. It could only be the one Twilight had described to him, so without a second thought, he ran towards it.

A doorbell rang as Neltharion ran inside the door, panting from all the running.

"Coming~!" A familiar voice rang somewhere in the boutique.

Neltharion quickly Recollected himself and looked around the boutique. Nearly everything in the interior was either purple or pink with the same color ribbons decorating many places inside the boutique. White pony sized mannequins were all around the boutique in many shapes and sizes. Most of them were wearing different outfits. Mostly dresses. There were also at least ten mirrors from what Neltharion could see, a small stage, dresses hanging on coat hangers in long lines, needles and other accessories used for sewing and a shelf with many kinds of different fabric in all kinds of colors. The amount of detail and effort that had been made into this little boutique was breathtaking. Neltharion kept walking around the store until a familiar unicorn appeared from another room with red oval glasses on her snout.

Rarity stopped when she saw who she had entered her store. Her eyes went wide with confusion before shaking her head and plastering a big smile on her face. "Hello, Neltharion." Her voice was cheerful, but strained. "What brings you to my boutique?"

Neltharion could tell her smile was forced and he could see a droplet of sweat coming down her face. She was scared of him. Neltharion sighed. Let's try and change that. Neltharion returned her smile with his own. "Well, Twilight told me you might be up so I saw this as an opportunity to come by for a visit." He glanced around the boutique. "And must say, this shop is impressive. I've never seen such masterful attention to detail." He glanced to a nearby pale blue dress with perfectly cut small sapphires and diamonds forming snowflakes on the sides.

Instantly Rarity perked up and her smile went sincere. "Why thank you, Neltharion. I didn't know dragons had an appreciation for such things."

"Most of my kin don't, but i’m not like them." Neltharion replied. "I was always different like that."

"May I ask why?"

Neltharion did not expect that kind of question. "Well... As I've told you, I am the Earth-warder. My duty was to reshape the lands of my world and protect them, so they would stay habitable and fertile in such a way that no living creature would ever need anything." He looked dreamingly out of a nearby window. "Sometimes I would shake things up. You know, just to keep things interesting. I would make an entire continent fertile and green and then one or two places across the lands with completely different weather patterns. I remember this one place I made encircled by mountains and made the inside cold and filled with snow and ice. Outside I made it to be swamps and green hills as long as the eye could see, with some mountain in between, of course." He turned back to Rarity with a warm smile. "I enjoyed my work and I made little details myself into the different lands, to make them unique."

He spoke with such enthusiasm about his work that Rarity couldn't help but relate it to her own passion in fashion. They were a lot alike in that field. She smiled sympathetically at him. Although what he said raised a lot of questions in Rarity's head. "Then why did you stop doing it?" The instant the words left Rarity's words left her mouth, Neltharion's face darkened. She could see hints of sadness and anger in his facial expression. Rarity wished she had kept her mouth shut.

Neltharion looked to the ground. "I... Well you see..." He shook his head and looked back up at Rarity, his smile returned. "That's a tale for another time." He looked around at many different clearly unfinished projects. "So, anywhere I can be of assistance?"

Rarity beamed. "Why of course! I have been getting a lot of orders and I could use an extra hoof." She walked over to an unfinished suit urging Neltharion to follow and he did so. Rarity remembered something. "Oh, before we start I have something I want to give you." She trotted over to a nearby table filled with fabric. Neltharion eyed her curiously while as she went over the different fabrics and even throwing some on the floor. She pulled up a black silken fabric and levitated it over to Neltharion. "I made this for you." Rarity smiled sheepishly.

Neltharion grabbed the fabric and folded it out. He raised an eyebrow. "It's a cape?"

"Why, yes it is." Rarity replied. "I talked to Twilight yesterday and she gave me the idea." She trotted over to him and held it up with her magic.

It was a silken black cape with a hood. A marquise shaped ruby was at the base at the neck of it. Neltharion was flattered. The fact that Rarity had taken her time to make this for him even though she didn't know him, made him happy and very confused.

Rarity folded it back together and gave it to Neltharion, who were eyeing it curiously. "It's okay if you don't like it." Rarity looked away I just thought it would nice for you to have it so that everypony won't stare at you whenever you walk by."

Neltharion kept staring at the folded cape in his hoof. Why would Rarity make this to him? He had done nothing to deserve getting anything from Twilight or her friends. Even when Neltharion was disguised as a human on Azeroth, this had never happened before. No one had ever just given him something because it seemed like he needed it. People always wanted something in return. That is what Neltharion had learned from the mortal races on Azeroth. Nothing is ever given for free, there is always an ulterior motive. What did Rarity want in return?

"D-do you like it?" Rarity carefully asked.

"Hmmm?" Neltharion shook his head free of his current thought process. "Yes, Rarity, I like it." Her concerns for him liking her gift only seemed to confuse Neltharion even more. He took on the cape. It fit him like a glove. Even his platings sharp corners didn't even seem to bother it.

"I also enchanted the silk, so it won't shred against your plating." Rarity said as she saw Neltharion looking across his plating and testing the cape by stretching it.


Rarity raised an eyebrow in confusion. "Well, I didn't want you shredding your new--"

"Why did you make this cape for me?" Neltharion interrupted her. "I have done nothing to deserve such a gift." He glared back at Rarity with raised a raised eyebrow. "What is your motive? What is it you want in return?" He asked, tone completely serious.

"What do you mean?" Neltharion's features hardened further into an angry scowl that caused Rarity to flinch and hide behind a nearby ponyquin. "I-I just wanted to be nice. Im sorry, I didn't mean to offend you." Rarity peeped from behind the ponyquin.

Neltharion kept a confused, but angry look. As afraid as she is of me, she should have revealed her motive by now, if there were any he concluded. His features softened. "My apologies, Rarity."

Rarity peeked out from behind the ponyquin as she heard her own name.

Neltharion snickered at her frightened look. "On my world, gifts aren’t really a thing. Im sorry for frightening you."

Rarity stepped out from her hiding place. She held a curious look. "I-it's okay." She replied. "I should have maybe thought about, you being from another culture, may have other customs than we do."

Neltharion waved a hoof at her dismissively. "It's actually not that different. It's just that for mortals on my world, gifts are just tools for favors. There is almost always an ulterior motive."

Rarity felt like speaking up on how barbaric, dishonest and greedy his world sounded, but decided against it. She didn't want to offend Neltharion's home.

"Anyways, shall we get some work done?" Neltharion asked.

"Hmmm? Uh, yes." Rarity replied. A smile occupying her face once more. "We have lots of work to do. Let's get started." She went over to the cloth filled table, Neltharion following close behind.

Summer dresses and Chocolatey Dreams

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"How in the titans did she talk me into this?" Neltharion muttered to himself. He was standing on a podium in a green summer dress. To say he felt humiliated was the understatement of the millenium. "Why am I doing this again?" He almost snarled at Rarity.

"Why, because you're the only one I can test this dress on." Rarity cheerfully replied. "Now stand still, I don't want your plating to shred my dress."

"Why couldn't you just test it on yourself?"

"Because the mare i’m making this for is a friend of Bulk Biceps." Rarity casually replied while picking up some fabric with her magic. "She is very tall and muscular. Frankly, I think you're the only one around here that could fit in it other than big Mac."

Neltharion growled unamused in reply, but Rarity didn't even flinch. Over the last eight hours of sewing, gem polishing and cleaning, Rarity had become more relaxed around Neltharion. She felt comfortable around him. He was nice, civilised and had a certain understanding for her work. An understanding her friends didn't share. Even though he was still doing the occasional growling and giving negative remarks when she forced him to do something he disliked. Which were apparently A LOT of things. He didn't like sewing and he certainly wasn't good at it and he didn't like cleaning or discussing fashion and color patterns. And those were only the fashion related stuff.

"That doesn't make this any less humiliating!" Neltharion retorted while moving uncomfortably in his dress.

Rarity rolled her eyes in annoyance of his whining. "Oh pish posh, Neltharion. I'm the only one around and I promise you, I won't tell anypony about this." Her words seemed to calm Neltharion a little as he stopped moving.

Neltharion sighed. "Very well. Just hurry up and finish this damn dress so I can get out of it!" He yelled, unamused by the whole situation.

Rarity snickered at his reply and went over to him with her selected fabric piece, a scissor and a needle. "Yelling at me won't make this go any faster~!" She sang calmly while keeping a mischievous grin. "Just calm down, relax and this will be over sooner than you realize." She began sewing and cutting the new fabric.


"Rarity?" A familiar voice asked from the other side of the front door.

"Spike?" Rarity left Neltharion's side and trotted cheerfully over to her front door. She unlocked it and took the handle. She was about to open the door when she heard Neltharion clear his throat behind her. She turned her head and saw Neltharion giving her a warning glare meaning: 'Don't you dare open that door while I look like this.' Rarity took the hint. She opened the door slowly, only enough so it revealed her head through the opening. On the other side stood a confused Spike. "Hello, Spike. What brings you here?" She asked.

"Hi Rarity." Spike began with a big smile before settling back on the confused look. "Uh... Why is your boutique closed? It's wednesday. I thought you wanted my help today."

"Oh... Yes..." Rarity replied. She had completely forgotten Spike was coming to help her today. "I... Decided to... Take a day off?" She glanced back at Neltharion before putting her focus back on Spike. "Yes, that is what I did." She nodded hastily while smiling sheepishly.

Spike's expression just got more confused and slightly curious. "You never take a day off. Is something wrong, Rarity?"

Rarity took a quick glance back at Neltharion who were staring at her curiously. "No, Spike. It's nothing. Well... See you later." She began closing the door, but spike put a foot in the opening.

Spike didn't buy it. "Come on, Rarity. You can tell me." He began forcing the door open.

Rarity went on her hind legs and tried to push back but she tripped over a ball of yarn that belonged to her cat, Opal, in the process and fell on her back while Spike pushed the door open.

Spike's jaw dropped when he saw Neltharion standing on a podium in a grass green dress with yellow flowers on the sides. It took a moment for his mind to process what was happening before he fell to the ground, laughing uncontrollably at the sight. "Pffft, BUAHAHAHA! That is the funniest thing I've seen in my life!" He managed to get out between laughs.

Neltharion could feel his face heat up in embarrassment and made no effort to try and stop it. Instead he desperately tried to get the cause of his embarrassment off by any means necessary. He fell down from the podium, his plating shredding through his dress like a knife through hot butter, and knocked over three ponyquins, shredded a wedding dress, the blue dress from before and a suit with his sharp plating, making giant holes and even ripped some fabric off the different outfits.

"MY FASHION!" Rarity screamed as she witnessed over a week hard work getting shredded before her very eyes. Spike stood beside her in awe of the destructive display happening before him.

Neltharion finally got the dress off and tossed the shredded piece of fabric on the floor. He stared angrily at the former dress that had brought him such embarrassment. He looked around the room and realized what he had done. The former, somewhat, orderly room was now a complete mess with fabric pieces from different dresses lying around the place. He facehoofed. Great, now look at what you've done you idiot. He looked to the two witnesses of his unintentional yet destructive rampage through the room. Spike just stood with mouth agape in shock. When Neltharion looked at Rarity's face, he could feel his blood run slightly colder. Suddenly his former hateful stare at the shredded dress seemed like a cheerful smile compared to the face Rarity was holding.



"Sister, I know we have discussed this, but please reconsider." Luna pleaded as she walked beside Celestia through a hallway, within Canterlot castle.

"No, Luna. We are not going to banish Neltharion from Equestria." Celestia replied in a annoyed tone. "We have to think of the consequences."

Luna groaned in annoyance. "His magic is restrained, what could he do?"

Celestia stopped and turned her full attention to Luna. "We don't know how long the runes will hold." Her tone was dead serious. "But one thing I know for sure is that they will break eventually. And from what I've understood, he has proven quite a threat even without his magic."

Luna raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean, Tia?"

Celestia's face turned grim. "Before the girls took Neltharion back to Ponyville, I asked Twilight to send a report on the details of their battle."


Celestia sighed. "I recieved it yesterday." She replied. "And what is says troubles me. In the report Twilight describes no use of magic whatsoever from Neltharion."

Luna's eyes widened. "WHAT?" She yelled at her sisters face. "But how is that possible? How could he best both Discord and Twilight without use of magic?

"Im not sure." Celestia replied. "Twilight described in her report that his body withstood heavy hits from Discord and herself. Paralyzing spells had no effect on him and when they finally knocked him off his hoofs, he didn't stay down for more than seconds at a time. He also never showed any signs of exhaustion. But magic began to revert him to his true form because of what Twilight describes as sheer emotional pressure, but he himself never used any. This leads me to believe that his body in itself can take much more physical and magical punishment than normal ponies, maybe more than we can, Luna." Celestia shook her head. "Even without his magic, Neltharion is a threat." She finished.

"Then can't we just hand him over to the griffins or something?"

"NO!" Celestia yelled with wings flared, causing her sister to flinch. "I... I’m sorry, Luna, but we can't. If we give him to the griffins it could start a war and I want none of that."

Luna kept silent for a moment then nodded. "Very well, Tia. I trust your judgement."

Celestia smiled and nodded back at her sister. She remembered something. "By the way, have you found anything on how we can send Neltharion home?" She asked.

Luna shook her head. "Unfortunately, no. Other than the mirror, we have no way of contacting or transporting to other worlds." She replied. "I will go to Starswirl's library tonight to see if I can find some information on other world traveling spells."

Celestia kept her smile. "Good. But now, go get some sleep Luna. You have a long night ahead of you."

Luna nodded again. "Very well. See you at sundown, dear sister." She began walking the opposite way down the hall.

Celestia watched as her sister walked down the hall before turning back to the task at hand. "Now to get ready for that picnic." She muttered to herself while walking towards the royal kitchen.

Discord was sitting patiently in the Canterlot gardens, waiting for Celestia. It was a beautiful garden. All types of flowers in all kinds of colors, birds flying around while singing and many different plants Discord didn't recognise. It was only made more beautiful by Celestia's sun shining down into a nearby pond, reflecting the sunlight out into the garden. Discord couldn't think of a time he had seen a more boring place. It was all so orderly and so... Perfect. No chaos of any sort. Nothing out of place or anything. He wanted to turn it upside down, maybe turn some of the flowers carnivorous, make the birds spew confetti whenever they sang and maybe turn the grass blue and make it so it would change color and properties whenever somebody took a step on it, so it would also turn liquid or rock solid. He decided against it as he wanted to make a good impression.

Bushes rustled nearby and Discord turned his head. Out of them came Celestia, radiant as ever, levitating a picnic basket beside her and a warm smile occupying her face. "Hello, Discord." She said cheerfully.

"Hi" He responded while keeping a smile of own.

Celestia sat down beside him and levitated out two plates, two glass cups, a bottle of red wine and a array of different delicious foods out of the basket. Sandwiches with many different contents, mostly salad, flowers and tomatoes, two pieces of chocolate cake and some fruit.

Discord looked hungrily at the delicious foods as Celestia poured up a glass of wine for them and handing him a potato sandwich. "Very nice, Celestia. This is really fancy." He gave her a toothy grin.

"Why thank you, Discord." Celestia replied. "I hope it is not to boring or ordinary for your taste."

"Not at all, my dear. This looks delicious."

They both began eating and taking some sips of wine while making the usual small talk. after which an awkward silence settled between them. They didn't know what to say to each other.

Well this is awkward. Discord thought to himself. Maybe I should spice things up a bit? Yes, that could work. Now I just have to figure out what I should do. Discord put his lion paw to his chin in thought. He got an idea. "Say, Celestia."


"What would you say I take us on a little adventure?" He asked with a smug grin.

Celestia looked questioning at him. "I don't know, Discord. I’m not sure it is such a good idea. I have to be back at my royal duties in an hour."

Discord rolled his eyes. Looks like this is going to take some convincing. "Oh come now, Celestia. Loosen up. Be adventurous." He urged while poking her in the side with his elbow. "I'll show you places ponies never knew existed, teach you things you didn't know could taught." He announced while getting closer. "I'll even give you the lost recipe on Chocolate dream." He whispered seductively in her ear while playing with her mane.

Celestia's whole body tingled. She wasn't sure if it was because of his touch or because of his words. The lost chocolate dream recipe? He must be trying to trick me. Celestia had only tasted the Baltimarian chocolate dream once, over two-thousand years ago. It had been the best chocolate cake she had ever tasted but, unfortunately, Discord burned down the royal bakery it was from, shortly after he came to power. To make matters even worse, the maker of the Chocolate dream had, at the time, a rumor for having a very short term memory, so he had always written down his recipes before he forgot them and all of those recipes had perished in the fire. Or so everypony thought. Celestia had thought she would never get to taste that magnificent cake ever again. Until now.

"Celestia, are you okay?"

"Huh?" She shook her head free of her current thought process. Celestia realised she was drooling and quickly dried it off with her hoof. She smiled sheepishly at Discord. "Yes, Discord, I am okay. Were you joking about the thing about the Chocolate dream?" She asked curiously. Discord straightened up and looked downright offended by Celestia's words as he took his eagle talon dramatically to his chest.

"Here I am, offering our great benevolent ruler a chance to see things nopony has ever seen before, and all she can think about is a two-thousand year old cake." He smirked as Celestia's cheeks turned red from embarrassment and she avoided his gaze. He started to snicker and that snicker turned into a deep roaring laughter that knocked Discord of his hoof and claw. He began rolling on the ground while laughing.

Celestia's face was now as red as a tomato and she scowled, unamused, at Discord. "It's not funny!"

Discord stopped laughing, wiped a tear from his eye and got up. "Sure it is, my dear." He replied. "That is what I like about you, Celestia. You are the representation of order and authority in Equestria, and yet you never cease to amuse me with your little chaotic habits." He stretched out his lion paw, urging for her to take it. "And no, I wasn't joking about the recipe."

Celestia looked reluctantly at his lion paw and considered whether to take it.

"Just one little adventure, and then you can have the recipe." Discord said in a low voice. He was sure he could impress her with some of the places he was planning on taking her.

Celestia shook her head and smiled to Discord. She put her hoof in his paw. "Okay, Discord. But you have to get us back within the hour, I still have royal duties to attend."

Discord returned her smile. "That shouldn't be too hard." He snapped his eagle claw and they disappeared in a white light.

"YOU FOUL UNCIVILISED BRUTE!" Rarity screamed after Neltharion while throwing sewing equipment after him, mostly consisting of needles and scissors.

"Rarity, calm down!" Neltharion yelled back at her as he barely got behind a flipped table dodging the enraged fashionistas weapons of choice. He didn't get to talk more as Rarity levitated him out from his hiding spot, and threw him out of the front door.

"GET OUT YOU, YOU FIREBREATHING DRESS KILLER!" She yelled after him as he face planted the dirt, his new cape landing on top of him, and the front door to the boutique shut behind him.

Ow, that actually hurt. Neltharion rubbed his head and got up. He felt groggy. Neltharion saw a couple of bystanders staring at him as if he just dropped out of the sky. He rolled his eyes, brushed the dirt of his cape, put it on and gave the bystanders a mean look, causing them to scatter. He looked back at the boutique and shook his head. I'll sort things out with that crazy mare later. He looked out onto the, now buzzing with ponies, town and saw the glimmering rainbow light from his temporary home far in the distance. He decided to go back as he had nothing better to do.

On the way he came across the, what seemed to be, center of Ponyville. There were ponies everywhere conversing, buying from nearby stores and some were even singing with other ponies joining in as they singers got nearby. Neltharion raised an eyebrow at this and eventually rolled his eyes in annoyance. Urrgh, this place seems more and more like some sort of fairytale land. He thought to himself in annoyance at the sight of the perfect little town. He noticed Pinkie Pie were the leading them in the melody. Oh no. He thought as they noticed they were coming towards him. He took on his cape's hood and strolled as casually as he could threw the growing crowd of dancing and singing ponies, hoping that Pinkie or someone else didn't notice him. Just as he got to the other side of the street, all of the other ponies in the street had begun singing in chorus and dancing in a peculiar way. Neltharion shivered uncomfortably. "Creepy. Im glad I got out in time" He said to himself as he continued out towards the crystal castle.

Neltharion had been walking for at least fifteen minutes and this confused him. Why weren't he at the castle yet? He looked around and saw he had come to a street he didn't recognize. Neltharion facehoofed. He had somehow gotten lost and was near the edge of Ponyville, close to the Everfree forest. "How in the world did I end up here?" He asked no one in particular. The street he was walking on was completely empty, probably because all the city residents were in the main street, singing and dancing. Neltharion trotted around, looking for a familiar glow from the crystal castle. He found it bouncing around several building, giving no sign of where it was coming from.


The sound of multiple voices screaming made Neltharion turn around. About a hundred feet from him, he could see three familiar fillies running away from something that was following them and seemed to be made of... Wood? At a closer look, Neltharion could see it was a wolf... Made of wood. "What the?" He didn't get any further as he noticed the fillies running towards an earth-pony mare with raspberry colored mane, pale yellow coat and a rose adorning her flank. She were first noticing the fillies and the wolf now. "Come On, move." He muttered in the direction of the ponies and wolf. He could see that even if the mare started moving now, it would be too late. Neltharion sighed. "Damn it." He muttered before going into gallop towards the ponies and wolf.

It had been a very relaxing day for Roseluck. She had picked some flowers, gone back to her flowers shop, eaten lunch and were now enjoying a relaxing walk through some of the less crowded streets in Ponyville. In fact, she was the only one there. She had heard, from her friend Daisy, that there were some singing and dancing going on in the center of Ponyville arranged by Pinkie Pie. She could hear from the volume of them singing in the distance that most of the town was probably there. Roseluck didn't mind though. Today was her day off and she wanted to be alone.

She heard faint screaming coming from nearby, but she dismissed it as she recognised the screams being the in the voices of the Cutiemark Crusaders. Roseluck shook her head in annoyance. She knew the CMC had a knack for getting into trouble, and that they started screaming almost over nothing. She heard them scream again, closer this time. She also heard some words like 'leave us alone ya rotting bundle of sticks' and some other wood related stuff. This confused her. Roseluck turned around with a raised eyebrow.

The sight froze her on the spot. Coming towards her were the CMC and a large Timberwolf. Rose didn't know what to do. Soon enough the CMC ran past her, all three yelling at the same time. "Run, Rose!" But it was too late.

The Timbewolf lunged at Rose as she was an easy target. Rose fell on her back and closed her eyes, waiting for the inevitable claws and jaws of the wooden beast, but they never came.

Rose heard the wolf whimper as something hard slammed against it's wooden torso, knocking it into the dirt. She carefully opened her eyes and they fully widened when she saw what was standing in front of her.

It was a big orange coated stallion with a black as night colored tail. He was wearing a black silk hood and cape. He stood facing in the direction of the downed Timberwolf. He turned his head towards Rose, revealing his face and features. He had eyes red as blood and a black mane similar to his tail. He was wearing a serious frown on his face. Rose felt her heart almost skip a beat as she scanned his face features. He was the most handsome stallion Rose had ever seen. He reminded her of Big Mac, but this stallion was more intimidating and he was bigger, probably stronger to.

Rose heard the Timberwolf growl and she saw it lunge towards the stallion. "LOOK OUT!"

The stallion reacted quick. He stepped forward and uppercutted the Timberwolf in the jaw before it's claws could make contact. It sent the Timberwolf flying into the dirt again, but this time the stallion didn't wait around for it to attack. He ran to the Timberwolf, who had just gotten up from the uppercut, and kicked it in the face with his hind legs, knocking it into a nearby house wall, unconscious. He snorted and walked back to Rose who was staring at him in a mix of awe and fear.

"Are you alright, miss?" He asked in a cool and serious voice as he stuck out a hoof to help her up.

Roseluck's whole body tingled at the sound of his deep smooth voice. She looked at his offering hoof and noticed some kind of grey black metal seared to the upper half of his hoof, but she dismissed it. "I... Uh, yes. Im okay." She answered. The stallion was still keeping the serious frown on his face when Roseluck gave him her hoof and he dragged her up. Looking into his eyes and touching his hoof Roseluck could feel her heart beat faster. In her mind she imagined their life together. Their first date, them moving into her flower shop, them traveling to Manehatten and Baltimare, their wedding, the kids they would have and them both sitting, in their old years, under a tree during a sunset leaning on each other. It all seemed so perfect in her mind. "Our bridesmaids will wear lavender." She dreamily muttered to herself. The stallion broke the stare by rolling his eyes.

"Good." The stallion finally said and turned as his eyes caught something in the distance. "Be more careful next--"

He didn't get to finish his sentence as they both heard the Timberwolf waking up, growling. Both Roseluck and the stallion turned towards the Timberwolf once more. It got up, but it looked dizzy. Understandable as it had taken multiple hits to it's face. It didn't stop it though from going in an all out run towards them. Roseluck hid behind the stallion, pushing her side against his, she could feel something cold and pointy underneath his cape. The stallion looked down at her, a confused look on his face before turning his attention back to the oncoming Timberwolf. Something underneath his cape started glowing white and Rose heard a loud whistling. The Timberwolf got closer. Nine feet. Six feet. Three. It pounced towards them, and then Roseluck heard something weird, it sounded like a growl, but more reptilian like a crocodiles.

"Valignat." The stallion said in a low, but much darker voice. As the words left the stallions mouth, the Timberwolf burst into flames. The Timberwolf howled in pain as it burst into ashes mid-leap, showering the stallions cape with it's remains. The whistling and glowing from the stallion ceased. He snorted and Rose could swear she heard him mutter. "Annoying piece of firewood." He turned his head to Roseluck was still clinging to his side, looking up at him, dumbfounded at what she had just witnessed. He stepped away from her and gave a polite nod. "As I said, be more careful in the future." He said and started walking down the street, leaving a jaw dropped Roseluck looking after him.

She shook her head free of her amazement of what she had just witnessed. In her head, this stallion was downright amazing. He had saved her life, easily defeated a Timberwolf, swept her off her hoofs AND he was devilishly good looking. The stallion also intrigued Roseluck. He seemed so mysterious from his appearance alone. Rose grinned maniacally. Oh, there is NO way i’m going to let you get away from me so easily, handsome. Im going to make you mine. She started to follow in hot pursuit of the mysterious stallion. "All mine." She whispered to herself while creepily grinning as she gained in on the stallion.

What is Love? Troublesome and Crazy

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"Excuse me, sir!"

Neltharion turned around to see the pony from before running towards him. He raised an eyebrow in confusion. What does she want? She stopped in front of him and gave Neltharion a look he couldn't decipher. "Yes?"

She stepped closer but looked away from his eyes. "I-I never got to thank you. You know, for saving me."

Oh, it's just that? Neltharion rolled his eyes. Sure, he had saved her, but he would have preferred to not intervene at all. But after the first attack punch from Neltharion hadn't caused the Timberwolf to stay down or run away, Neltharion had been forced to take further action, which had slightly irritated him, some may even say it had made him mad. So much in fact that he had invoked his magic through his magic restraining runes and literally told the Timberwolf to burn in Azerothian Draconic. It was weird that the runes hadn't burst or disappeared, but Neltharion dismissed it as him being lucky. He would have been getting a complicated conversation with Twilight if he showed up at the castle with the runes gone from his plating.

"Don't mention it." He replied and went back to his walking. The pony mare trotted up beside him.

"U-uh, what's your name?" She asked nervously.

Neltharion kept a serious frown. "Why do you care?"

"W-well, I would like to know the name of the handsome stallion that saved my life."

Her reasoning was logical to Neltharion, so he answered. "If you must know, my name is Neltharion." He kept his current tempo as he spoke, then a thought came into his head and he slowed down. Wait, did she just call me handsome? He could clearly remember the last time he had been called handsome and the word was still weird to him. Last time, he had been in human form, manipulating mortals into going against each other in his corrupted state. He had been called it several times, mostly by females who thought he couldn't hear them talking. He shook his head. No, I must have heard her wrong.

"What an interesting name. I’m Roseluck, but my friends call me Rose." Roseluck said, trying to keep the conversation going.

They had just entered a slightly more crowded area and ponies were staring at them, especially at Roseluck who were looking dreamily at Neltharion and he who was completely oblivious to her looking at him in such a way.

"So... I haven't seen you around before." Roseluck said while keeping a close eye on Neltharion, who were now lazily looking at the road ahead. "Have you just moved here, or are you on vacation?" To Roseluck's surprise, Neltharion stopped walking. His face looked a little sadder than before.

"I... Well... I guess you can call it a forced vacation." Neltharion shook head free of his oncoming depressing thoughts and got back to walking.

"Okay..." Roseluck said, assuming it was a sensitive topic, and walked closer to him. "Would you mind if I asked you a personal question?"

Ugh, what is it this time, another plating question? Or maybe she's interested in my age? Neltharion groaned in annoyance. These ponies and all of their questions. His thoughts was mostly referring to Twilight. That pony could ask him questions till his ears fell off. "Sure, ask away."

"Are you married?"

Roseluck's question stopped Neltharion on the spot. "What?" He had not expected her to ask about something like that.

"Are you married?" She repeated.

Why would she ask such a silly question? The idea of marriage was not unheard of to Neltharion. He had almost gotten himself married once himself, to a mortal, but that was to increase his political status. The idea of him being married was, to him, downright ridiculous. Dragons don't get married, they get a mate. When that mate dies, they find another. Of Course they care about their mates, but loving and caring for them like they are the only things that matter is just not what dragons do. Dragons don't love like mortals do. "Uhh, no?" he answered with a raised eyebrow, looking back at Roseluck.

Roseluck seemed to beam a little at his words, but then it looked like she remembered something. "What about a special somepony?"

Now Neltharion was getting confused. "What is a special somepony?"

Roseluck looked confused back at him. "You know, a marefriend, or coltfriend if you're into that sort of thing."

Neltharion understood her meaning and looked almost disgusted at her. "What? No, I don't have a marefriend, or coltfriend for that matter." This conversation was getting uncomfortable.

Roseluck beamed at his words and wore a ridiculously big smile. "Great!" She moved uncomfortably close to Neltharion, pressing her side against his.

Neltharion was confused to say the least. Why did this mare think it was 'great' that he didn't have 'partner'? He moved away when Roseluck's side touched his. "Miss Roseluck, what are you doing?"

She seemed to blush slightly at his question. "Oh, I just... Want to get to know you better and since you don't have a marefriend, we don't have to worry about any complications about me spending some close time with you."

What does she mean by 'close'? Neltharion thought to himself. This mare was creeping him out. They had only just met and she was already getting uncomfortably close him. Maybe this is just a way ponies befriend each other? Neltharion was completely clueless and even doubting his own hypothesis. "What do you mean by 'close'?"

Roseluck's face turned into a look Neltharion didn't recognise. Her lids were half open and she wore a small smirk. "Oh, you know what I mean." She replied in a seductive tone.

Neltharion shivered at her tone and started to sweat. What is happening? He felt embarrassed and he didn't know why. It hit him like a ton of bricks to the head. It had been ridiculously obvious. She wants to... I have to get out of here. He thought, slightly panicking. Females had shown him attention before, but never in such a... ahem, Open manner. "Ugh, it was nice to meet you, Roseluck." He said, backing away slowly. "But I have to go now." He looked to the sky and saw the sun was on it's way down. "I have to be home before the moon rises."

Roseluck looked a little saddened by his words, but her smile came back almost instantly. "It's alright, I'll just go with you, I would love to see where you are staying. Then I can also visit you in the near future." She walked closer to him, again.

Oh brother. He backed away. "I don't think it is such a good idea, Roseluck." She walked closer, He backed off, they continued this dance until Neltharion had backed himself against a wall. Out of sheer panic, Neltharion started to run away, Roseluck following close behind. "Leave me alone!" He yelled behind him, getting all nearby ponies to stare in confusion at the unknown stallion running away from a pretty mare.

Roseluck came closer and closer. "Oh, but I can't, handsome! I need to be with you!"

Meanwhile in the Canterlot gardens.

"AAAGH!" Discord screamed as he dodged another beam of alicorn magic. "Celestia, don't hurt me!"

"YOU FOUL IMMATURE FOAL!" Celestia yelled back at Discord while chasing him, shooting the occasional magic beam after him. "GET BACK HERE AND RECIEVE YOUR PUNISHMENT!"

Five minutes earlier

They had both just come back from their 'adventure' three hours too late. First Discord had teleported them to the ancient underwater ruins of Marelantis where they got attacked by a kraken. After that fiasco, Discord teleported them two-thousand eight-hundred years into the past for Celestia to experience Marelantis before it was sunk, but, of course, Discord had forgot to mention that he was the one who sunk Marelantis after he was banned from the city for doing... Chaotic things over a long period of time. So naturally they got chased of the island before they could experience anything. Then they went to Anugypt five-thousand years into the past, where they got arrested by the jackals. After each trip, Celestia got in a more and more sour mood.

When they finally got back from their little adventure, Celestia was tired and slightly mad, but she was willing to forgive Discord, even though they had a horrible trip and had returned three hours too late. Celestia had politely thanked for the eventful, if not stressful, trip. Then Discord made a joke about the jackals while Celestia patiently waited for her 'reward' for going on the trip. Eventually Discord had started rambling and it had made Celestia annoyed. So much that she had interrupted Discord's rant by saying firmly "I demand my reward, Discord." To which Discord had replied with a shrug and granted Celestia her reward. It just wasn't the reward she expected.

He summoned a piece of paper and Celestia snatched it from him before he could even grab it himself. The note contained nine infuriating words.

Just think of chocolate before you go to sleep. It also contained a picture of Discord giving thumbs up.

Celestia stared at the piece of paper in disbelief. "This isn't the recipe for chocolate dream..." She muttered while staring at the paper.

Discord grinned mischievously. "Sure it is. I promised you the recipe for having a chocolate dream and here you have it." Discord could literally feel the temperature around Celestia rise. He saw the paper she held burst into flames. Oh, horse apples. Celestia looked up at Discord with fury in her eyes.


"Crap, crap, crap, crap, CRAP!" Discord yelled as he continued running away as fast as legs could carry him. Most of his fur was singed off from Celestia's high temperature magical attacks. He snapped up anything he could think of to slow Celestia down in her hunt for roasted Draconequus. Jell-O walls, gum balls to make her trip, oversized lamps shaped as himself to block line of sight. He finally managed to hide behind a hedge.

"SHOW YOURSELF, YOU LOUSY TRICKSTER!" Discord heard Celestia yell angrily as she looked around.

Think, Discord, THINK! What can I do to escape? He thought to himself. I can conjure up a fog! but she can just evaporate it... He heard Celestia groan angrily and he saw a nearby hedge get incinerated. He gulped. Okay, I don't have much time. Maybe some chocolate rain could calm her down! The hedge right beside his got incinerated. He began to sweat. Maybe not... What can I--. He realised something and facepalmed. Unfortunately he did it so loudly that a nearby enraged alicorn heard it. I can teleport... Why didn't I think of that before I got most of my fur burned of? I can just teleport to Pony--

"THERE YOU ARE, YOU FIEND!" Celestia shouted from the other side of Discord's hedge.

Discord jumped at the sound of her voice. Better do it now! He snapped his talon and disappeared just as his hedge got incinerated.

Neltharion the earth-warder. The great and wise dragon that fell to become one of the most monstrous beings to ever walk Azeroth. Deathwing. Even the name sowed terror in the hearts of everyone who heard the name of the great dragon. He who had almost destroyed Azeroth many times over. Him and his dragonflight being responsible to some of the most horrific things ever committed in Azeroth's history. Oh, how the mighty fall.

Neltharion peeked out from his hiding spot. No sign of her, good. Neltharion didn't know how long that crazy mare had been chasing him, but the sun was almost down so it must have been a long time. He was about to crawl out of his hiding spot, being a oversized trash can, when he heard the sugar sweet voice of the mare chasing him and instantly dove back into it.

"Nelly~!" Roseluck sang, looking for said stallion. "You can't hide forever~!"

Neltharion resisted his urge to yell at the mare. He sighed. As if 'Nel' wasn't undignifying enough. Neltharion peeked up again. Roseluck was scanning some nearby bushes. He could try and sneak away, but she would hear him exiting the can, as his plating would scrape against the cans metal. No, he needed a way out. He needed a distraction. Neltharion heard a *pop* coming from nearby and looked in the direction of the sound. The sight surprised him to say the least.

It was Discord with smoke arising from his back and his tail end was on fire. Discord noticed the tail and looked panicked as he shook the tail and patted it to put the fire out. It looked as if all the fur on his back had been burned off.

Neltharion didn't want to admit it, but he needed help. Urgh, let's get this over with. "Discord." He called in a hushed voice to avoid attention from Roseluck. Discord looked around with a raised eyebrow, searching for the voice. "Discord!" the voice called again. Discord directed his attention towards a oversized trash can, a hoof sticking out from the lid urging him to come over.

Discord began to walk, nearby ponies looked at him in fear and confusion at his appearance as he walked over to the trashcan. Discord's expression became even more confused when he saw who had called him over. "You?" Discord asked. "Why are you in a trashcan?"

Neltharion looked at Discord with a serious expression. "That is not important right now. I need your help getting away from here."

"Why should I help you?"

Neltharion had not thought this through. Of Course it wouldn't be easy to convince Discord of all people to help him, Neltharion had almost killed the guy.

"Nelly~!" Roseluck called again.

Her call sent shivers up Neltharion's spine and for a second his face shifted to one slightly panicked. Unfortunately, Discord noticed. "Look, I just need you to help me. We can discuss my previous actions and whatever you want after you get me away from here."

Discord put his lion paw to his chin in thought and slowly his face twisted into a smug grin as he came to a conclusion. "Alright, I'll help you."

Neltharion sighed in relief. Thank the titans. "Great, I just need you to--"

"But first you have to tell me why you are hiding." Discord interrupted him.


Discord kept his smug grin. "Tell me why you are hiding." He repeated

You have got to be kidding me. Neltharion had hoped he could have gotten out of this with his pride intact, but it seemed that Discord had no intention of letting him. "Fine." He growled. "I am hiding from that pony over there." He pointed in the direction of Roseluck who were now asking nearby bystanders about Neltharion's location.


"Because... Because she has been chasing me around Ponyville for, I don't know, how long! Apparently in her eyes i'm 'handsome' and she wants to be my 'marefriend' from what I can understand."

Discord's eyes widened a little. He began to snicker and then he fell to the ground laughing while holding his stomach.

Neltharion's face flushed red in embarrassment and his expression quickly turned into a furious scowl. He took a deep breath and cleared his throat. "Hahaha, yes it is very funny. Now get me out of here!"

Discord's laughter slowly died out and he got up on his legs again. "Sure thing." He snapped his eagle talon and the trashcan Neltharion was occupying started to float in the air. "Where to?"

Neltharion noticed Roseluck was starting to pay attention to Discord and the trashcan he was talking to. "Anywhere but here!" He yelled from within the can. Discord nodded and started to float himself and Neltharion into the air and away from Roseluck.

Neltharion peeked up from his floating trashcan. They were over the Everfree forest, seventy feet in the air. "Wait, what are we doing here?"

Beside Neltharion's trashcan floated Discord, relaxed, on his back. He yawned. "I thought this would be a good opportunity to take you up on what you said earlier. You know, about 'discussing' things."

Neltharion raised an eyebrow. What did Discord want to talk about and more importantly did he want a rematch? There was something about Discord that reminded Neltharion of himself. It was something in his eyes but he couldn't place it.

"And also I found this a good opportunity to get some payback." Discord added and snapped his talon.

"What do you mean by thaaAAAGH!" Neltharion didn't get to finish his sentence as his trashcan flipped upside-down, making him fall towards the ground. He could feel the air beating into his face, the same way it did when he was flying. It would have made him feel relaxed, that is if he wasn't falling towards the ground. As Neltharion fell, he noticed he was falling towards the ruins of a castle. The same castle he had run into on his way to Ponyville. Unfortunately it being a castle also meant that instead of falling into the ground, he was falling towards hard stone floor. He tried thinking of something to get him out of his situation but he didn't have enough time. He estimated he would survive the fall, but not without injuries. Neltharion curled into a ball, closed his eyes and clenched his teeth. This is going to hurt.

Everything seemed to slow down and eventually stop for Neltharion. What the? He hadn't hit the ground. He opened his eyes only to discover himself incased in a big purple Jell-o cube two feet above ground in the throne room of the old castle. He could hear Discord laughing behind him.

"Oh, now that was fun!" Discord landed beside Neltharion's Jell-o cube with a mischievous smirk on his face. "I had expected a little more panic from you, maybe some pleas or some swearing, but it's nice to see that not everypony is that predictable."

Neltharion scowled at Discord. "Your sense of humor is distasteful." He muttered through the Jell-o. "Now, dispel this disgusting pastry. You wanted to talk then let us."

Discord rolled his eyes in annoyance. "Spoilsport." He snapped his talon and Neltharion's Jello prison disappeared in a white flash, making Neltharion fall the last two feet and landing with a thud.

Neltharion got up, displeased with the whole situation. This world was really testing his boundaries. If he didn't need help getting home, he would probably have burned a lot of these ponies to cinders already. Especially his appointed guards. Even thinking about their lack of respect and sense of superiority gave Neltharion the urge to violently dismember them just for the sake of it. Discord were trying his patience as well. But Neltharion let slide. The better relations he got with these ponies, the more trustworthy they would be of him and that would probably increase his chances of getting home, but did he really want to go home?

"Okay then." Discord snapped up his throne and a chair for Neltharion. "First off, I want to let you know that if you hurt my friends, i’m going to turn you into a chocolate bunny and feed you to Fluttershy's animals." Discord's tone had never been more serious. "Am I making myself clear?"

Neltharion rolled his eyes. "Yes."

"Great!" Discord was about to continue when Neltharion interrupted him.

"Before you continue, I have a question."

Discord raised an eyebrow. "Okay, shoot."

"Why does your back look like it has been roasted over a fireplace?"

Discord's eyes widened and he shrugged. "Well... I might have ticked off Celestia after which she chased me around Canterlot gardens, wanting to barbecue me." He waved his talon dismissively. " But that's not important."

Neltharion snickered. "Glad i’m not the only one getting physically abused by these ponies. I find it astounding how violent this race of colorful equines can be."

Discord put his paw to his chin in thought. "Hmm... Now that I think about it, im pretty sure they have always been like this."


"Yes. In fact I think they have gotten less violent over the past few millennia. I remember them being much worse when I ruled Equestria."

Neltharion raised an eyebrow in confusion. "You? Ruling Equestria?"

Discord smiled smugly. "Why yes. In the words of dear princess Sunbutt 'I ruled Equestria in an eternal state of unrest and unhappiness.'"

"Sounds somewhat similar to what I did on my world."

"Interesting." Discord replied in a dull tone and snapped up a glass of chocolate milk. "Im actually curious. You mentioned your ten-thousand year war, but you never gave us any details. Did you ever come close to winning?"

Neltharion nodded with a grim expression. "A couple of times, yes."

"Do you regret going to war?"

Neltharion froze. Do I? It was a difficult question. On one hand he regretted everything that had happened and wished that he, at the time, had had the strength to resist the corruption growing within him. On the other hand, he regretted nothing and wished he had done more damage. "I-Im not sure."

Discord stepped down from his throne. "And why is that?"

Neltharion had caused so much pain and misery in his time as Deathwing and yet, the more he thought about his actions the less regret he felt. The guilt and regret inside him was starting to turn into anger. If his siblings had joined him, he wouldn't be where he was now. If they had joined him, they could have forced the mortals to stop their destructive actions instead of forcing Neltharion to eradicate them. But they hadn't and Neltharion had become a monster. "Let me answer your question with one of my own." Neltharion replied. "Do you regret your previous action?"

Discord's eyes became wide and he took a step back. "Well, I've never really--"

"Do you regret causing unhappiness and making ponies miserable?" He asked angrily. Neltharion's eyes flashed fiery for a second, his runes began to glow white and the earth beneath them shook slightly. "Don't you miss the satisfaction, your sense of superiority and watching them squirm beneath you in fear?" Discord looked away, completely oblivious to Neltharion's magic acting up. The glowing from Neltharion died out.

"Y-yes I do." Discord replied, still looking at the ground. "Sometimes I do miss it, but that doesn't make the things I did right." Discord snapped up a picture with him and the mane six in it. "If I were to begin doing those things again, I would lose my friends." He stroked the picture affectionately.

Neltharion snorted. "Friendship and family... Those things are nice to have, but nothing lasts forever." He looked grimly at Discord. "You are immortal, yes?"

"Indeed I am." Discord replied. "But what has that to do with anything?"

"You are going to outlive your friends. They will die while you live and then all you have given up for friendship will be for nothing." Neltharion looked around the ruined castle. "Look at this castle. I reckon it was once the place most ponies wanted to be, yet now it has crumbled. It's time of greatness is over, never to return." He turned his eyes back to Discord who had been following Neltharion's gaze around the castle. "And now I ask you, Discord. Is it worth it? To go through the pain of loss that will follow you for the rest of eternity in trade for companionship that won't last more than a few drops of sand in the desert that is your immortal life? To make yourself prisoner to your painful emotions and those precious memories of a time long past?

Discord held a painful expression. "I-I don't know..."

Neltharion sighed. "I have lived for a long time, Discord. I have lost countless friends, sons, daughters and now i’m most likely the last black dragon there is left." Neltharion's face shifted to a painful expression as well. "And what I have learned from all of this is that getting attached is like getting chained."

Discord shifted to a curious expression. "What about your so called 'siblings'?"

"Until now, I thought they cared about me, about us, but I have recently learned that they could have turned on me at any moment. Even if I had not been corrupted."

Silence followed Neltharion's words. Discord shifted uncomfortably.

"I must say, I had hoped for this conversation to be a bit more cheerful." Discord said.

"We both have dark pasts, what did you expect?"

Discord stroked his beard. "I’m honestly not sure. I had just hoped this conversation wouldn't remind me so much about my conversation with Tirek."

"And who is Tirek?"

Discord shrugged. "A centaur that manipulated me into betraying my friends and then betrayed me."

"How did he manipulate you?"

"He told me Friendship is just an alternative form of imprisonment, that true freedom is achieved by having no emotional ties."

Neltharion walked up to Discord, who were looking at Neltharion cautiously. "Just because Tirek betrayed you does it not make him any less right." Neltharion looked at the hole in the ceiling above. The moon was high in the sky.

Discord seemed to ponder Neltharion's words. Perhaps he needed to rethink some things. He yawned. "Well, as fun as this has been, I have to go back to Canterlot. Hopefully Sunbutt has calmed down." He held out his lion paw. "I actually enjoyed this conversation, believe it or not, even though it was..." Discord waved around his eagle talon, searching for the right word. "Depressing."

Neltharion snickered. "Yes, I guess it was." He shook Discord's lion paw with his hoof.

Discord gave Neltharion a grin. "I will see you soon, Neltharion." Discord snapped his talon and disappeared in a white light.

Neltharion was momentarily blinded from the light. When the white dots stopped dancing in front of his eyes, he saw there was a big green present where Discord had stood. Neltharion raised an eyebrow. "What is this?" The second he touched it, the package opened up and out came a cotton candy cloud swarming around Neltharion. "What the?" It kept swarming around him until all of his body was covered in cotton candy. The cloud stopped in front of him and spit out a postcard into Neltharion''s face. He groaned in anger and picked the sticky postcard of his face with great difficulty.

The postcard contained a picture with Discord smirking into the picture. He was in some deserty land, wearing a hawaii shirt and sunglasses running away, from what looked to be, bisons in ballet skirts. The card also contained the words. I couldn't resist.

Neltharion looked furiously at the cloud in front of him. He groaned and in that moment he heard something break, like glass shattering on the ground. The cloud and the cotton candy on Neltharion burst into fire without warning, leaving only ashes. Weirdly enough, his cape was unscathed by the fire. Neltharion realised what had happened and pushed away his cape, revealing his plating. It had a red hue. The rune on his left side plating was gone. Oh no. His runes were breaking. He sighed Looks like im going to have that conversation with Twilight after all.

He began walking towards Ponyville. It was in the middle of the night in a dangerous forest, but Neltharion didn't care. He cared more about his conversation with Discord and the possible consequences of Neltharion's words if Discord decided to tell anypony about their conversation.

Neltharion could hear the trees rustling and a faint sound of insect-like buzzing. He heard a crash. Something's wrong. He could see flashes of green through the woods in Ponyville's direction and hear faint yelling and hissing. Neltharion began to run as fast as he could towards Ponyville.

He came through the woods and gazed, mouth agape, at the mayhem in the village. Neltharion could see many insect-like black creatures crashing into the village from high in the sky like meteors surrounded in green magical auras. There were hundreds of them. Ponies in the village darted around, trying to avoid the creatures.


The Changeling Attack

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Twilight jerked awake as she heard another loud crash that felt like it shook her castle. "What is going on?!" She had fallen asleep at the dinner table after her talk with Neltharion. Surprisingly, she didn't have a nightmare. She heard another crash and got out of her chair. What should I do? What is going on? She pondered for a moment as she heard another crash. I need to find Spike. She concluded and started running, searching for her assistant. She searched his room, the library, a lot of other rooms and even the kitchen another time just to be sure. She eventually concluded that he wasn't in the castle.

Another crash rang through the castle and first now did Twilight notice the small buzzing that was coming from outside. She realised something. "The guards!" She hadn't thought about looking for her guards and asking them what was going on, but her idea was quickly shot down as she couldn't find any. Twilight couldn't take it. She had to know what was going on. She ran to the entrance of her castle and was about to open the door when it rushed open, slamming into her nose.

"TWILIGHT!" Spike rushed inside the door, not noticing the slight resistance in the door as he slammed it open. He looked around, confused. "Twilight?"

"Ow..." Twilight moaned from behind the door. She was laying on her back, clutching her nose.

Spike beamed as he heard her and swung the door away. "There you are, Twilight!" Spike exclaimed as he saw her. He raised an eyebrow as he looked over her appearance. "Something wrong with your nose?"

"No, not at all. I’m just lying here because I like it when people open the door in my face." She answered, voice dripping with sarcasm.

Spike didn't pick up on the sarcasm. "Well, you can do that later. Right now Ponyville needs it's princess! Haven't you heard the crashes?"

"Yes I have. What is it that's crashing down in Ponyville?" Twilight got on her legs, scrunching her nose.

The door was pushed open behind Spike. He turned to face it. "It's the change... Change..."

"Change what?"

"I believe he is talking about us, 'princess' Twilight."

Twilight's blood froze as she heard the female sinister voice. No, it can't be. She turned and stood face to face with the changeling queen, Chrysalis, eight guards accompanying her.

"Get her.

Neltharion growled in annoyance as he kicked another changeling, two more approaching. In the time of him returning to Ponyville, he had got into a number of fights against them. Neltharion saw them as nothing more than insects. So weak, so reliant on their numbers to compensate for their lack of brute force. They disgusted him.

He looked around, scanning his surroundings. The entire village had erupted into utter chaos. Mares and stallions were fighting for their lives against the overwhelming number of changelings while same said changelings were crashing into and destroying houses, cottages, stands and much more.

The two changelings charged him, but he was prepared. He sidestepped and were about to kick them when a familiar voice rang in his head.

Disgusting insects…

Neltharion suddenly felt very angry and instead of kicking the changelings, he swatted them aside with incredible force, through a nearby house wall. He shook his head in anger and annoyance. "What are you doing here?" He asked seemingly no one.

Im always here, no matter how much you try to bury me. I will always feel what you feel even if you just don’t know it yet. Most of all I feel your anger, your rage. You are trying to contain it. Why?

Neltharion spotted some nearby struggling ponies and started running towards them. "Because if I let it loose, let you loose, then I won't be able to help them." He slammed into a changeling and headbutted another. The ponies looked at him in awe and confusement as, from their view, it looked like he was talking to himself.

So? You admitted yourself that they are weak, you admitted you don't want nor need their 'friendship', you admitted that you are better off without it. They are weak. They should be bowing to you, begging for you to save them and you should be burning all of these pitiful ponies and insects alike to cinders for treating you like a lowly criminal.

Neltharion's heart began to pound harder and he could feel his body changing without his command, but instead of trying to stop it, he let it happen and embraced the suppressed feelings within him. Why should he hide from what he is? "I don't need their acceptance or their friendship, but I will save them nonetheless." Neltharion spotted some familiar ponies fighting a large squad of changelings. It was his appointed guards and they looked like they were losing. "I owe them that much." Horns grew from the back of his head and a metallic flavour filled his mouth. "They deserve that much." His plating started to grow, covering more of his body and his coat became darker in color.

Yes, you are finally letting it out, letting us... What are you doing?

"Something I should have done a long time ago" Neltharion's eyes ignited and became fiery pits instead of their normal red.

No! You cannot do this! I am you, we are…

Neltharion choked the dark voice in his head, a feat he didn't know he could until he did it. He grinned angrily and marched towards his appointed guards.

"Captain Sentry, get down!"

Flash Sentry ducked as another changeling charged him. A fellow guard interrupted the changeling and put it in the ground. "Thanks, Silver." Silver shield nodded in reply. Flash panted heavily. His lungs were burning and he felt dizzy. He and his fellow guards had done everything they could to protect Ponyville's civilians. It felt as if he and his companions had been fighting for hours and no matter how many changelings they knocked in the dirt, they were reinforced by twice as many. They must have been using the night's sky as cover. Flash silently cursed himself. How could he not have seen this coming? Why hadn't he transferred more guards from Canterlot? These questions tormented flash in his mind. It was his duty to protect Ponyville and the princess of Friendship. A feat he was failing miserably at.

Flash saw another changeling come charging and hissing towards Silver shield and intercepted it by kicking it away with all the force he could muster and fell on his haunches after the kick connected He was so tired. Flash looked back at his comrades. They looked in worse shape than he felt. Most of them were wobbling from side to side and the rest had collapsed from their wounds and sheer exhaustion. Flash could see the growing fear in their eyes. They knew they wouldn't make it out alive. He heard hissing and turned his head. Another squad of changelings had surrounded them. There's too many. Despite his body's protests, he got up. But I will not give up, never. For the princess. He glanced back at his comrades with a defiant look. "If we are going to die today, it will be for the princess, for Ponyville--" The guard's fear was replaced with resolve and they made a circular defensive position. The changelings charged, some on wings, others on hoofs, shooting green magical beams. "FOR EQUESTRIA!"

The two forces clashed and chaos erupted. The guards did everything they could. Hitting, kicking, biting and despite their oncoming wounds and tired limbs, they kept going. They fought with a burning passion for their country and took out many of the oncoming foes, but it was not enough. One by one they fell to the them. In the end, they were all laying battered and broken, unconscious on the ground, all except Flash Sentry who was still standing, barely.

The changelings made way and revealed a slightly taller changeling, wearing purple armor and had green eyes, blood dripping from one of his fangs. It looked over Flash Sentry in disgust. "I admire your spirit, pony, but you have lost." He started sniffing in the air as if he was looking for a scent. "I sense little love in your companions. They are not fit for harvesting." Bloodfang looked to be thinking, the rest of the changelings awaiting his command. "Surrender yourselfs and we will let you live, we have not come for you nor your companions."

Flash's limbs were wobbling and his body would give in at any moment. He felt his vision blurring. "N-never..." He managed to get out. The sound around him became harder to understand. It seemed muffled and distant. He knew it was only a matter of seconds before he would pass out.

Bloodfang rolled his eyes. "Very well." He turned and started walking away. "End them." He said as he spread his insect wings and took flight.

The moment the words left Bloodfang's mouth, the three closest changelings pounced Flash. He closed his eyes, awaiting the inevitable, but instead of being knocked to the ground and getting beaten to a pulp as he expected, he heard a muffled scream and hisses. He opened his eyes, but all he could see were colored blurs. Flash could see something red and black he couldn't identify the unusually large jaw clamped around the nearest changeling's neck and throwing it with incredible force into another small pack of changelings. He could feel an unusual heat coming from the black and blur. His eyelids felt heavier. Flash could see the blur now having some weird sharp appendages ripping through the changelings in quick and yet precise slashes. Every changeling the blur touched fell to the ground. Flash couldn't see if what exactly happened to the changelings. His vision darkened and sound seemed to be the only thing he was capable of registering. All he heard was muffled and felt distant almost if it was a bad dream. He heard hisses, growls, but most of all screams of terror and of pain.

“Come On, Twilight, faster!”

“I'm running as fast as I can!”

Twilight, with Spike on her back, had been running around the castle, trying to avoid the increasing number of changelings swarming inside of it, like ants to honey. Fortunately, they knew the big castle much better than the changelings and had been able to find a safe spot to hide in the library. That is until Spike’s nose caught some dust and he sneezed. Unfortunately, that also meant alot of fire came out with the sneeze. He might as well have lit a flare in the night as an entire bookshelf caught on fire from Spike’s sneeze, forcing him and Twilight out of hiding,they had been running ever since.

Twilight stopped around a corner, trying to catch her breath. She wasn’t used to running this much.

Spike got off her back and peeked around the corner. Three changelings had just run down another corridor that led away from them. Spike sighed in relief. “We can rest for a bit, the other changelings just ran towards the second floor… I think.” He heard several hissing creatures approaching. “I’ll keep a lookout.”

Twilight fell on her haunches, breathing heavily. She felt like her lungs were burning and she felt dizzy. She had used a lot of magic, trying to repel the changelings when they had met Chrysalis, but there were simply too many. She had never thought Chrysalis could look to angry. It worried Twilight to say the least. That hateful and maniacal smile she wore reminded her a little of how Neltharion had looked at her during their battle. It was a miracle in itself that they hadn’t already been found. She wanted to teleport herself and Spike away from Ponyville, but she couldn’t focus her thoughts on it. So many things were going on and she couldn’t think straight.

Twilight sat up against the nearest wall, trying to collect her thoughts. Why was Chrysalis here? Why was she attacking Ponyville? And more importantly, what was happening outside her castle? Where were Twilight’s friends? Twilight’s thoughts were interrupted as she noticed she could hear noises through the wall. She noticed it an outer wall of her castle. She put her ear to the wall and could feel the sound reverberating through her wall. Twilight heard screams, battle cries, destruction, hisses and very faintly she could hear a familiar voice. It was Rainbow Dash. Twilight couldn’t hear Rainbow’s words, but she sounded cocky as usual. Twilight smiled. It was good to know that her friends and all of Ponyville were fighting and not giving up. Maybe reinforcements from canterlot had arrived? That assumption was quickly shot down as Twilight heard Rainbow’s muffled scream through her wall. She felt tears pressuring to come out and she hit the wall, angrily. “NO!”

Spike looked scared at Twilight and slowly went over to her. “T-Twilight, what’s wrong?”

Tears were now streaming down Twilight’s face. She looked at him with fear in her eyes. “I can hear them, fighting, losing!” She cried. She stepped away from the wall, she couldn’t bare to hear anymore.

Spike wrapped his arms around her, she tried to back away at first, but eventually leaned in and let her tears flow freely. “It’s okay, Twilight. Im sure backup from canterlot will arrive any minute now.”

“Im not sure we have time to wait for them, Spike.” Twilight broke the hug and stared into Spike’s eyes. “I don’t think Chrysalis is here for to take prisoners. I think she wants revenge and she will let all of Ponyville suffer just to get back at me.” She dried her eyes looked at the corner with steely and resolute eyes and walked past Spike. “I know what I have to do.”

Twilight was about to step out of the corner when she felt something around her hind leg. She looked back and her steely gaze melted.

“I won’t let you leave, Twilight!” Spike cried, tears now streaming down his face as he held onto her leg, never intending on letting go. Twilight kneeled down and Spike burrowed his face in her chest. She could feel her heart breaking under the little dragons tears, but she had to go, she had to stop Chrysalis. “Please don’t leave me.”

Twilight could feel the tears pressuring once more. She gave him a comforting hug. “I won’t leave you, Spike. I’ll keep you safe.” Spike tightened his grip. Twilight didn’t like what she was about to do, but she saw no other way to keep him safe. She lit her horn and bathed Spike in a discreet purple aura.

Spike felt tired and wanted most of all to curl up into a ball and fall asleep. He remembered his and Twilight’s evenings in the golden oak library where she would read out loud to him to help him fall asleep. Those were the days where they didn’t have a care in the world, the days where just each others and their friend’s friendship where the only things that mattered instead of the constant evil threats and things felt worse than ever, but as those depressing thoughts tried to sweep over Spike, another memory took it’s place. It was Rarity. No specific memory, it was just the memory of Rarity. Her beautiful mane that was never out of place, her pristine white coat, her eyes, who could make Spike’s whole body tingle with just one look, and her smile. That smile that could make any trouble go away, it always gave Spike a sense of security and overall happiness and he would do anything to keep that smile on her lips.

Twilight sighed as a small tear ran down her cheek on the, now asleep, baby dragon. Her spell had done the job. “Im sorry, Spike, but this is something I have to do.” She levitated him down the hall. At the end of it, there was a small triangular space beneath a window. There was no reason for the changelings to go there. Twilight levitated him into the triangular space and found a relatively big blanket and put it over him. Then she cast a sound suppression spell on the space and a camouflage spell on the blanket so no one could see him. Spike would be safe and that was all Twilight cared about. She was about to walk around the corner and find the changelings when she felt an urge to look back at the triangular space. She smiled as she cast, maybe, the last look she would give Spike. “Be safe, my number one assistant.” She walked around the corner.

Chrysalis sniffed in the air and sighed in satisfaction as she stood in the doorway of Twilight’s castle gazing upon the utter destruction her hive had done to Ponyville. It had been a pretty good day for Chrysalis. Her hive had captured most of the ponies in Ponyville with strong love and drained them completely and encased in cocoons for future draining while the rest were still desperately trying to stay free. Chrysalis knew the ponies couldn’t hold on much longer, but time was also running out. To make matters even better, there were still no sign of reinforcements coming from Canterlot and their attack had lasted ten minutes longer than it should have. She was a bit annoyed though that princess Twilight had gotten away and even knocked out over thirty of her soldiers on the way. One way or another, reinforcements would arrive soon enough, but she wanted to savor her revenge and she would take her sweet time once her soldiers have retrieved Twilight.

A familiar changeling walked up to her. “Have you retrieved her friends?” Chrysalis didn’t even give her captain a look.

Captain Bloodfang gave a bow. “We have retrieved the two pegasi, we had to break one of thems wing to stop her from beating our soldiers. We also have the unicorn, and the pink earth-pony which we captured with great struggle.”

“What about the other earth-pony?”

“I’ve just received word that she has captured and is being brought here as we speak.”

Chrysalis grinned. “Excellent, now we just need the princess.”

“Im right here, Chrysalis.”

Her eyes widened and she turned on the spot. Less than three feet away stood Twilight, a lot of unconscious changeling guards behind her. “Well, well, well, there we have the princess of ‘friendship’. Took you long enough.” Bloodfang tried to go in front of his queen to protect her but Chrysalis held him back.

Twilight stood defiantly with gritted teeth and an angry frown. “I want you and your kin to leave Ponyville, if you don’t, I will make you wish you never left your castle.”

Chrysalis raised an eyebrow and laughed evilly. “What an adorable threat, ‘princess’, but what makes you think that you can defeat me? Look around, all it takes is a look in the right direction and your precious subjects will get executed.” Chrysalis could see sweat appearing on Twilight’s forehead and gave another cruel laugh. “You are not fit to be a princess, you are too soft and weak.”

Each insult only made Twilight angrier. She couldn’t take it. She would make Chrysalis regret ever meeting her. She screamed in anger and flew forward only to be intercepted by a squad of changelings that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. She started blasting them with every spell she could think off. Paralysis, stun, incapacitation, temporary freeze spells. Anything and when she ran out of spells, she started firing pure concentrated magic at them, but more kept coming.

Chrysalis looked at Twilight’s magical skills in a mix awe and annoyance. She turned to her captain. “Go fetch our bargaining chips.” Bloodfang grinned, nodded and flew over to another pack of nearby changelings, who were busy keeping track of cocooned towns ponies. Chrysalis heard a loud boom and saw her soldiers flying past her coming from Twilight’s direction and looked back at her. Chrysalis’ jaw dropped. There Twilight was standing on a pile of unconscious changelings, panting, glaring angrily at Chrysalis. Somehow, she had managed to beat all the soldiers that Chrysalis had sent on her.

Twilight panted heavily as blood dripped from her cheek. A few changelings had managed to get hits in, resulting in a few cuts and a bleeding bite mark on her hind leg. She could feel the deep marks in her flesh and the pain it cause. It only worsened as she tried to put weight on her hind leg. “Leave P-P-Ponyville or I will show why I am the element of m-magic.”

It might have been more intimidating if Twilight wasn’t about to fall over from the pain in her leg, yet Chrysalis was slightly intimidated. But that didn’t stop her from rolling her eyes and snarling at Twilight. “You think you can command me around like one of your lowly subjects!? I am a queen and I will not be bossed around like a filthy pony!” A poisonous green magical beam shot from her crooked horn towards Twilight and she threw herself to the crystal floor, barely avoiding the beam, but also landing badly on her hind leg. A loud crack sounded from Twilight’s hind leg and she screamed. Chrysalis walked over to her smiled maliciously. “I am going to take away everything you care about, Twilight, and I will make you watch as I do so.” She stomped on Twilight’s wing. A disgusting crack echoed through the halls followed by Twilight letting out another agonizing scream. “You are nothing to me, an insect I should have squashed when I first met you.” Chrysalis kicked Twilight in the stomach and proceeded to call some guards over.

The guards took the unconscious body of Twilight to the foot of the castle, and encased most of her body in a green magical goo.

A familiar captain flew down next to Chrysalis and bowed. “As you requested, my queen.” as the words left his mouth, a squad of 20 changelings landed in front of Chrysalis, with the former elements completely encased in sickly green cocoons. “Your 'bargaining' chips.”

“Excellent.” Chrysalis had waited so long for this moment, but simple revenge wasn’t enough for her. No, she wanted them humiliated as well. “Go round up as many villagers you can and bring them here. I want to see the hope die in their eyes.” Bloodfang saluted and went to round up the villagers.

It didn’t take long for Chrysalis’ army to round up most of the villagers, who were scared out of their minds of the incredible might of the changeling army. Most of them were clutching each other, foals were crying, some of the villagers were also hurt badly. Broken limbs, gashes and other wounds. Cherilee were trying to keep her students calm while some others were trying to keep the others hopes up. The Cutie mark Crusaders stood defiantly and threatened the changeling soldiers surrounding them, while big Mac and Granny Smith tried to keep them calm. In the middle of it all were Roseluck near her wits end. She had never been more scared in her life. What were the changelings going to do with them?

Chrysalis walked up in front of the forced crowd with a joyful smile. “Welcome, ponies. I am sure you all have questions regarding our presence he--”

“The hay we don’t!” Applebloom interrupted Chrysalis. “Y’all just here for our--”

“SILENCE, PONY!” Bloodfang bellowed at the filly who had dared interrupting his queen. “The next pony to interrupt our queen will be executed on the spot!”

Chrysalis grinned as Applebloom visibly shrunk and hid behind Big Mac. The rest of the crowd kept their mouths shut. “As I was saying. I am sure you all have questions regarding our presence here and I it is a very simple answer.”

Bloodfang was pulled aside by another changeling and it began whispering in his ear. His eyes widened as the changeling gave report.

“We are here for revenge.” Chrysalis finished and her grin only grew as some of the crowd started to shake. “But don’t worry, it is not you I want revenge on.” Chrysalis was about to move out of the way revealing the encased and beaten princess and her friends. “It is--”

Bloodfang went up to Chrysalis and began whispering. “Forgive my interruption, my queen, but we have a situation.”

Chrysalis snarled angrily at Bloodfang. “Is it about reinforcements from Canterlot?”

“W-well, no, but--”

“THEN IT WILL HAVE TO WAIT!” Chrysalis yelled at Bloodfang sending him scurrying away as he tried to avoid the wrath of his queen. Chrysalis got back up and put on her previous grin. “Now, where was I? Ah, yes, it is these six we will enact our revenge upon!” She yelled and moved aside, revealing the battered and broken princess and her friends.

The whole crowd gasped and began muttering, some began crying and others began yelling in defiance, but were quickly silenced by the surrounding changelings. They simply couldn’t believe what was right in front of their eyes. Their heroines, beaten and captured.

Chrysalis laughed triumphantly, but it quickly died out and she gave the crowd a hateful glare. “Let what’s about to happen be a lesson to all of you who dares to doubt the might of the changelings!” She turned and nodded at the guards stationed at Twilight and her friends and they broke the cocoons. Chrysalis was about to command her soldiers to execute them when a deep, metallic voice sounded.

Let them go.”

Chrysalis turned in the voice’s direction and saw, behind the crowd surrounded by her changelings, a single stallion with black coat and fiery cracks running up his barely shown hoofs, a cape completely hiding his features. But there was something off about him, just looking at him made Chrysalis’ skin crawl and she hadn’t even seen his face yet. “And who are you supposed to be?” The stallion began walking forward, the grass beneath his hoofs searing away at their touch. the changelings made way for him.

“Leave this town, or face my wrath.”

Chrysalis felt her heart pound harder and she felt an urge to run, but she wouldn’t let herself. She had come to far to be scared away by some nopony stallion. Chrysalis grinned evilly. “You dare threaten the changelings all by yourself? I shall make an example of you.” She waved her holed hoof and three changelings charged the stallion. The stallion snorted and grabbed one of the changelings, impaling another one on it’s sharp horn. He then grabbed another by the neck and a disgusting crack sounded as it fell to the ground, lifeless. He walked through the crowd of ponies who were staring in fear and awe of the stallion. He walked past the crowd and stood defiantly 30 feet away from Chrysalis.

“I will give you one more chance. Leave now or I will reduce your pitiful kin to cinders.”

Chrysalis actually considered leaving for a second, but her anger kept her from doing so. This stallion had just killed three of her soldiers and made her kin look weak compared to ponies. This could not be tolerated. She turned to her captain. “Get the rest of the army here, I will take no chances.” Bloodfang nodded and flew over the crowd, gathering up the rest of the army. Chrysalis nodded to a nearby changeling. It hissed and as it did, all of the changeling surrounding the crowd of ponies, attacked the stallion.

At Least a hundred of them swarmed the stallion, who violently executed them on the spot as they closed in with feats that shouldn’t be possible for a pony. He literally ripped the oncoming changelings apart as they came close, with his bare hoofs, and then used those dismembered changelings as weapons by throwing them into other foes. As the fight went on, his cowl came down, revealing a horrific sight that slowed the changelings down as they became more reluctant to fight the pony. His face was filled with scars, six horns sprouting from the back of his head, black plating with a fiery liquid running down his neck, a metal jaw having replaced his own flesh one, but the eyes were the worst. They were fiery pits of malice and death, filling the oncoming changelings with fear in their hearts.

As the cowl came down, the stallion became much more violent. He began clamping his jaws around changelings and throwing them into others. A few changelings could swear they saw tentacles sometimes averting their attacks. The few that actually got hits or bites in, collapsed on the ground, screaming and hissing with red cracks and skin burned off with the limbs they had used.

All of the noise managed to wake Twilight, even though she was still in a lot of pain. She looked around, her ears ringing and gazed wobbly. She spotted her friends lying beside her, unconscious. Then the ringing stopped as a ear shattering roar filled the air. She recognised the roar and began to sweat and shake. It was the same roar she had heard the day she fought Neltharion. She looked in it’s direction and her blood froze. In front of her stood Chrysalis with a nervous frown. In front of her Twilight could see dismembered and bloody changelings bodies lying in piles and more living ones swarming around a single spot. Twilight could faintly see a stallion in the middle of the battling changelings and then she spotted the eyes. Those eyes that made her want to lie down and cry. Then she spotted the rest of the stallion. The jaw, the horns, the plating and the blackened coat. “C-Chrysalis!” She yelled as loud as her lungs could let her. “You have to stop and leave, something really bad is about to happen!”

Chrysalis turned around and marched angrily over to Twilight and gripped her by the neck. “The only thing that is about to happen is that I will kill that stallion, leave your village in ruins and then tear you and your friends apart!” She threw Twilight against the crystal castle’s wall.

Despite the pain and dizziness going through her head, Twilight managed to speak. “P-please, he w-will k-k-kill us all if you d-don’t s-stop.”


The earth trembled as the stallions voice rang through the village and a fiery shockwave erupted, knocking all of the changeling away from the stallion.


“I-it’s too late…” Twilight managed to say before she was sucked into unconsciousness once more.

Chrysalis began to shake and her jaw dropped, in fear, as the stallion caught on fire that spread into a pillar that towered over Twilight’s castle. As this happened Bloodfang returned with the remainder of the changelings, them being in the air looking in awe at the massive pillar of fire, as he landed beside his queen.

“M-my queen, what is that?” He asked.

Chrysalis shook her head in disbelief as something inside the fire gave an earsplitting roar. “I-I don’t know.”

A gigantic dragon claw emerged from the pillar and swatted away part of the changeling army, scattering the rest. Massive wings burst out of the pillar and the fire died down, revealing the black dragon, his size rivaled by no one, it’s destructive capabilities the stuff of legend, and his rage unlimited.


“Your untimely arrival really is unnecessary.” Celestia said to the griffin and dragon in front of her, as she sat on her throne, Luna beside her.

“Our queen had wanted to make sure you weren’t hiding anything, so she sent me earlier than first intended.” A relatively big blue dragon, that almost reached the ceiling, replied to Celestia’s words. His name was Razorscale and he was a respected dignitary of Draconia even if his methods were sometimes… Different. “But I have no idea why he is here.” Razorscale nodded to the small griffin beside him.

The griffin glared at the dragon that towered over him. “Our emperor had the same idea.” The griffins name was Ironbeak. Former senior general of the griffin air force recently made dignitary as he had been involved in a scandal.

Both dignitaries had arrived too early and it had slightly annoyed Celestia. After an evening of hunting a certain draconequus, all she wanted to do was to hit the hay. The meeting had been short and hopefully it could be over soon. The dignitaries started talking about recent events, the mysterious dragon they were looking for and eventually they started bickering like an old married couple. Celestia didn’t pay attention however to their words. She was too tired. She did pay attention however to a certain draconequus that kept skating outside the entrance to the throne room, the floor beneath him having been turned to soap. He gave her the occasional wink and wave and Celestia was practically fuming with anger. She was still mad at Discord and if it had been any other meeting, she would have excused herself and continue her hunt for roasted chaos spirit.

“Princess Celestia, are you even listening?”

“Huh?” She turned her attention back to the dragon that were addressing her. “Well, I, um…”

“We apologize for our sister.” Luna saved her. “Tis been a stressful day for her and the time of this meeting isn’t helping.”

Ironbeak nodded understandingly. “Of course. We understand completely.” He gave Razorscale a glare and he too nodded. “But you must understand the importance--” A sudden bright light coming from the nearby balcony grabbed his attention. “What is that?”

Razorscale and the princesses attention were also drawn to the light. “I have no idea.” Razorscale answered as he began walking towards the balcony, the princesses following. “What could be causing such a--” He didn’t get to finish his sentence as loud roar shook the castle.

Celestia’s eyes widened and she heard Discord crash into a wall outside the throne room. They both recognised that roar. From the vision. She ran past the dignitaries and out on the balcony, Luna following shortly behind.

The dignitaries also followed out and when they all saw the sight in Ponyville they all, but Celestia, gasped.

“What in Tartarus’ name is that?” Razorscale asked mouth wide eyes and jaw dropped. He had never seen such a dragon in his life.

Ironbeak kept silent. His heart was pounding hard with fear. If this dragon was a weapon of Draconia then his home was doomed.

Luna shook slightly at the sight of the massive dragon in Ponyville. “Sister, is that…?”

Celestia could feel herself starting to sweat. “Yes, Luna. That is Deathwing.”


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Twilight breathed slowly and shallowly. Her limbs felt numb, her eyelids were heavy and she had a constant ringing for her ears. She could feel the ground shake beneath her. She felt the blood pounding through and out of her pained broken leg and with every beat the pain felt stronger. Her mind was scrambled, she couldn’t focus. What was happening? Why was she here? She wanted to open her eyes, but they wouldn’t respond. The ringing for her ears slowly dampened and she could hear muffled screams and crashes. Twilight wanted to stay down, let her tired and beaten body rest, but she felt like she had something to do. Almost as if she had forgotten something. A ear shattering roar pierced through the ringing in her ears and out of shock, Twilight rose her head and her eyes instantly opened.

The sight before her juggled her memory and her thoughts became clear. 20 feet away from her, laid her friends, unconscious atop of the stairs to her castle. In front of them stood Chrysalis and her captain with terror in their eyes at what they were looking at. Twilight turned her head to the sight and her blood froze. There he was, Deathwing. Twilight could see what Discord had meant with that he wasn’t like any equestrian dragon. His long body was black with his scales and his dark plating that covered most of it. Fiery liquid coursing through him in between the plating, some of it dropping on the ground, turning the ground it hit black. Two black and red wings adorned his back. Each of them easily the size of himself. On his tail was a long spear tip made of the same metal that covered most of his body. He was swatting away changelings and sometimes swept his tail through the air, crushing the changelings it hit.

Twilight watched in horror as his tail also ran through several houses in Ponyville and scraped the upper side of her castle. First now did she focus on the screams. They weren’t coming from the changelings. She looked behind Deathwing and saw Ponyville’s villagers running from their lives while screaming. The earth was cracking beneath them as Deathwing’s tail violently hit the ground. At least they were out of range of his rampage.

“M-my queen, what do you want us to do?” Twilight turned her head back and saw it was Bloodfang who had asked while looking panicked at his queen.

Chrysalis merely looked back in shock and fear at her captain. She didn’t know what to do. How had the ponies gotten such a terrifying ally? She caught the first thought that came to mind. “W-we have to retreat!” She didn’t want to retreat, but it was either that or having her kin go extinct by a dragon. Bloodfang merely nodded in response and began calling for the changelings to retreat. They complied the second they heard the words and began flying out of Ponyville. Chrysalis turned her head back to Twilight and to her dismay she was awake. She snarled. “We will meet again, Twilight!” She then took flight with her captain out of Ponyville. They didn’t get far.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

Twilight watched in awe as Deathwing slammed his claw into the ground and the ground followed his command. Spikes emerged from the ground, impaling any nearby changelings, but they kept flying as fast as their wings could take them. Twilight’s awe turned into fear as Deathwing spread his mighty wings and took flight in pursuit of the changelings. black clouds spawning in a trail behind his wings. She had to follow, she had to stop him before things turned from bad to cataclysmically worse.

Chrysalis and her changeling eventually stopped in front of a tall mountain that was about three times the size of Deathwing. She was sweating and her blood felt colder as she heard massive wing beats behind them. “Fly around it!” Chrysalis commanded and the changelings followed her command. Chrysalis heard crashing rocks and began flying herself when all of her changelings had passed, but she didn’t get far as a dragon claw caught her.”ARGGH!” Chrysalis screamed as she felt the scorching hot scales and claws of the dragon searing her skin. Deathwing had landed on the mountain side and caught Chrysalis in his claws. Her kin looked in shock at their queen being captured by Deathwing. He began climbing the mountain and sat on the top with spread wings.

The changelings didn’t know what to do. They simply stared in fear of the beast that slowly tightened its grip around their queen. Bloodfang flew forward. “L-let our queen go!” Deathwing merely tightened his grip further causing Chrysalis to scream. He ignored the captain and rose Chrysalis to his head so she could stare into his eyes.

“Tell me, queen, what do you fear most in this world?”

Chrysalis merely stared into his eyes in absolute fear. Her mind was completely blank as his eyes bored through her very being. She managed to glance to her kin who were looking with worry for their queen. Chrysalis tried to speak, but her mouth wouldn’t let her as her eyes were drawn back into the fiery pits of the dragon that held her.

“Aah, I see. You fear what any ruler fear. You fear for your subjects.”

Chrysalis gulped as Deathwing hit the nail on the head. She did fear for her subjects. They were all she cared about. She cared for their safety and their well being. If only she could have forgotten about the ponies, then none of this would have happened.

“RELEASE OUR QUEEN!” Bloodfang yelled with newfound courage as he looked at the beast that held his queen. His fellow changelings gathered around him, hissing and growling at Deathwing in an attempt to intimidate him. They were failing miserably. Bloodfang’s courage disappeared in an instant as Deathwing turned his head to him and growled.

“Make me.”

“Princess Celestia wait!” Razorscale called as Celestia and Luna leaped off the balcony towards Ponyville, The griffin and dragon following.

Celestia stopped midair and turned to her sister. “Luna, assemble the royal guard and get them to Ponyville.” She looked down at Ponyville and saw Deathwing now taking flight in pursuit of some black flying dots she couldn’t identify.

Luna nodded as she also looked at the colossal dragon in Ponyville. “But what about you, sister?” She turned her head and saw the look of determination on Celestia’s face.

“I’ll go on ahead and help the potential injured.”

Razorscale and Ironbeak caught up to them. “Then we’re coming with you.” Razorscale stated and Ironbeak nodded. A pop sounded behind them and a sudden voice made them jump.

“So am I.” Discord stated as he floated over to Celestia who were giving him an angry glare. He noticed and rolled his eyes. “You can burn me to a crisp later, but we need to get to Ponyville, now!” And so Discord flew past Celestia and towards Ponyville. Celestia followed and so did the two dignitaries.

Celestia flew up on the side of Discord and gave him a thankful smile. “Thank you, Discord.”

Discord gave her a sly grin. “Hey, somebody gotta play the hero, might as well me be me.” He started floating on his back in the same speed as before. “And who knows, maybe this is my ticket to becoming a princess myself.” Celestia rolled her eyes at his words and he noticed. “Eh, worth a shot.”

He snapped his claws and a meteor appeared beneath him with a lasso around it. He grabbed the lasso and snapped his claws once again. In his claws appeared a live chicken with his claws around its leg. It looked utterly confused and looked around in panic while beating its wings. “Bawk?”

“LEEROOY JENKINS!” Discord yelled as the meteor suddenly picked up in speed and hurled itself towards Ponyville.

“BGAAAWK!” The chicken screamed as it was pulled with Discord down as he swung it around.

The dignitaries behind them looked at the display in a mix of awe and shock. They looked at eachother for a moment before turning their attention back to the meteor. “Did I really just see what I think I did?” Razorscale asked as he looked at the meteor who just flew faster and faster.

Ironbeak shook his head. He had heard many stories in his childhood about the chaos spirit. Some stories included how it could drive any creature mad just with its presence alone. He shook his head. “Not even going to question it.” He said as he began flying faster towards the ravaged village of Ponyville.

“ARRRGH!” Twilight screamed as she tried to stand on her hind leg for the fifth time. She had managed to drag herself inside her castle, get her hind leg and wing bandaged and stabilize the broken bones. She had now dragged herself to the entrance, with her friends still unconscious, once more to try and go after Neltharion.

She looked out onto the ruined city of Ponyville. Many of the buildings had been ruined by the changelings and more by Neltharion. She could see ponies streaming towards her castle. It was almost the only building intact so it made sense they would come here seeking help, but as much Twilight wanted to help, she couldn’t stay. She had a dragon to find. Twilight took a deep breath and once again tried to put weight on her back leg when another loud dragon roar shook the ground of Ponyville and caused her to fall over once more. She looked up and her eyes widened as she saw black wings and a long dragon tail on a mountain in the distance outside Ponyville and tiny black spots swarming around them.


Twilight jumped, as much as she could without hurting herself, at the sudden voice and the sound of something coming crashing down. She didn’t get to see much as something large hit the ground 20 feet in front of her, creating a cloud of dust. Twilight could feel tears pressing in her eyes from all the dust and she went into a coughing fit. Eventually the dust thinned out, revealing a crater with a big rock in it. Twilight looked curiously at the rock as she coughed the last of the dust out of her lungs.

A lion paw rose dramatically in the air and yanked something up by the neck. It was Discord covered in dirt and a chicken on his head in front of his eyes, holding on for dear life. It was shaking and had wide eyes. Discord stretched. “Not my best landing, but i’ve had worse.” He said as he began dusting the dirt off of him. Without warming the chicken jumped off of Discord's head and ran into the castle.

Twilight’s mood beamed as she saw her friendly antagonist friend rise from the ground. “Discord!” She called as she limped towards him.

Discord turned to Twilight and his eyes widened as he saw her condition. “Twilight, what in Equestria happened here? Who did this to you?” He asked as he floated over to her, meeting her midway, and started inspecting her for injuries. “Two broken ribs, broken wing and who used your leg as a chew toy?”

Twilight’s breath was ragged and her limbs were aching from the small effort of limping over to Discord. She was so tired and all she wanted was her comfortable, if way too big, queen sized bed. “I-it was Chrysalis. She attacked--” Twilight’s mood became even brighter when she saw Celestia landing beside her and the two dignitaries landing a bit away. Celestia hugged her tightly and smiled. Twilight could feel tears pressing in her eyes. She had never been happier to see princess Celestia and she hugged her back tightly before breaking the hug and smiling at her former mentor, and Celestia smiled comfortingly back.

The sappy moment was ruined by a loud crash taking everyone’s attention. It was Deathwing, or Neltharion if you will, who had smashed his tail against the mountain side, causing it to crack and large chunks of rock fell to the ground. A loud roar followed and fire erupted behind the mountain, the light almost blinding them even from that distance, and several black dots disappearing or falling to the ground. The group could see hills in the distance catching on fire as well.

Twilight and the dignitaries gulped at the sight. Even if they couldn’t see what was going on directly, it didn’t make it less terrifying to watch. The sheer power being let loose at that mountain. Celestia and Discord shared a quick glance before turning back to Twilight.

“Go on, Twilight.” Celestia encouraged.

Twilight’s mind was racing. They didn’t have time for this, they had to stop him before he literally tore their world apart. But what could she do? They didn’t have the elements, she didn’t know how to use this new ‘Rainbow power’ and more importantly, her friends were out cold. Twilight took a deep breath. “ChrysalisandherchangelingsattackedPonyvillebecauseshewantedrevenge “ Twilight recieved some odd looks from her new companions. “AndthenNeltharionshoweduplookingallweirdandChrysalissentherchangelingsathimbutheslaughteredthem.” She pointed to a bloody pile of changeling limbs that had been spread out across the field around her castle. She was about to continue when Discord snapped his talon and Twilight’s mouth literally melted off and landed on the ground. She put a hoof to the place where her mouth used to be and started mumbling.

Discord looked to the rest of the people there. He received a disapproving glare from Celestia. “Did any of you understand anything of what she said?”

Razorscale scratched his chin with his blue claw. “Something about the changelings attacking Ponyville because they wanted revenge and something about a guy named Neltharion showing up and slaughtering them.”

“Okay then.” Replied Discord and snapped his talon, returning the mouth to Twilight who gave Discord an angry glare which he dismissed. “So, what do we do now?”

“We should wait for the guards and then take the fight to that dragon!” Ironbeak yelled. He didn’t want that dragon near his home and Equestria had the strongest magic known in the world. If anyone could beat that dragon, it was the ponies of Equestria.

Razorscale turned to Ironbeak with wide eyes. “Are you out of your mind?!” He yelled. “You’ve seen the size of it, we are going to have a lot more casualties if we try and fight him. No, we should try and reason with him, maybe get him to calm down."

Celestia cut in between them and spoke with a sharp and serious voice. “We will wait for Luna to arrive with the royal guard, attend to the villagers of Ponyville and then we will discuss what we do about Neltharion.” She was sweating and she was forcing herself to not panicking. Everything that could have gone wrong had gone wrong and she honestly didn’t know what to do. They couldn’t fight Neltharion, it would only result in a pointless battle that they were unlikely to win and maybe a much worse fate for Equestria. Maybe waiting for Luna was the best solution? In any case they should try and help the injured and scared villagers of Ponyville.

Discord was standing on the side, contemplating their options as the three started argueing. He agreed they should help the villagers but that didn’t solve the problem of a gigantic dragon potentially about to on a rampage when he had finished the changelings. He also looked, concerned, to the rest of Twilight’s friends, but mostly to Fluttershy. They had all sustained quite a few injuries. Rainbow Dash and Applejack had it worst, but they both paled compared to Twilight’s condition. Rainbow Dash had a broken wing, a large bulge at her eye and she had sprained her left foreleg. Applejack had a broken fore and hind leg, but other than that, she was unharmed. Pinkie Pie had three broken ribs and several cuts across her legs and sides. She had probably been beaten with something or thrown through a window. Rarity had no physical injuries, but her mane was colored green with changeling goo and she had probably fainted when it happened. Fluttershy had a cut and a sprained foreleg, but that was about it. It didn’t make Discord any less angry. Nopony hurts his friends even if he thought some of them slightly deserved it, but not Fluttershy or Twilight. His angry thoughts were interrupted by Twilight, yelling.

“We don’t have time for this!” She cried. “If we don’t stop him now, there’s no telling of what will happen to Equestria so stop arguing!” Her yelling stopped them from bickering and she looked angrily at them.

Discord shot her a smirk. “I agree with princess Twilight.” He patted her on her back. “So what do you want us to do, princess?”

Twilight looked over across the ruins of her precious Ponyville, then to the oncoming villagers and then to the mountain where she could still see the tail, wings and sometimes a claw whisking around the top of mountain. “You two!” She pointed to the dignitaries. “You’ll both stay here and guide the everypony inside the castle.” Twilight then looked to Discord and Celestia. “And we three go and try to reason with Neltharion. I know it’s a long shot, but we have to try before things get worse.”

“But, Twilight.” Celestia began. “You’re injured. You can stay and rest, let us take care of--”

“NO!” Twilight interrupted, much to everyone’s surprise. “I know him better than any of you do--”

“You do?” Both dignitaries asked between her talking and shot a questioning glare at Celestia.

Twilight continued. “He will listen to me, so please princess.” She looked pleadingly at Celestia.

Celestia herself was first shocked by her words, then proud of Twilight. She had come so far since she first became a princess with so many questions and doubts. Celestia had always known Twilight was a born leader and this only proved her right. She gave Twilight an approving nod and a smile and looked at Discord who was scratching his chin in thought.

“Hmmm… Very well then. But you can’t fly in your condition.” He snapped his talon and a cotton candy cloud appeared beneath her with a rope attached to it. Discord took the rope. “We all know our assignments, now lets go and try not to get the world blown up for that’s one mess I don’t want to clean up.” He then began floating and started pulling the rope, attached to Twilight on a cloud, with him.

Celestia began to flap her wings and looked to the dignitaries. “When my sister gets here, inform her of where we are. She should be arriving in a few minutes.” She then flew after Discord and Twilight.

Razorscale and Ironbeak looked at each other awkwardly. Ironbeak was about to speak up when Razorscale interrupted him. “No, We are not going to follow them. We are going to do what the princess said and help the villagers.”

Ironbeak shot him an annoyed glare. “You dragons are so thickheaded. Isn’t it concerning you that the princess knew he was here and didn’t tell us?”

“Of course it does.” Razorscale answered. “But these ponies need our help for now.”

Ironbeak sighed. “I suppose you’re right.” He put a claw to his chin in thought. “Although…”


“We could just wake up those five--” He pointed to nearby unconscious previous elements of harmony. “And make them direct the ponies inside instead.”

Razorscale grinned, revealing his sharp teeth. “I like your way of thinking, but how do we wake them up?”

Ironbeak chuckled and pulled out a small brown bottle and opened it, savouring the strong smell of liquor that burned in his nostrils. “I got just the thing.”

Chrysalis watched in horror from Deathwing’s grasp as he swatted more of her army out of the air. They had started attacking him after he wouldn’t give them back their queen and it wasn’t exactly going well. He had been swatting them away with his free claw but had also tried to swat them with the claw he held Chrysalis in. Her skin was completely burnt from being in Deathwing’s claw for this long and it hurt. Her nerves were screaming at her to get out of his grasp, but she couldn’t, he held her tightly in his grasp with no intention of letting go.

Chrysalis’ eyes widened as she heard him take a deep breath. She turned her attention to her army. “Leave me! Get away from here!” She cried, but her army wouldn’t leave their queen in Deathwing’s grasp and ignored her command.

A mix of a roar and growl sounded from Deathwing as he opened his metal jaw wide and a massive stream of fire and lava erupted from his mouth towards the changeling army, enlightening the mountain side and nearby hills making it seem like daytime. Most of them avoided the stream of fire and lava, but some got caught in it. Those who were caught in the center were completely reduced to dust and the rest, even if only barely hit, fell towards the ground as burnt carcasses. His molten breath also hit the ground and some hills, engulfing both in fire and molten rock.

Chrysalis could only watch as her kin was obliterated in front of her eyes. It was horrifying and she could feel tears pressing in her eyes. She kept pleading for them to leave her, but they wouldn’t listen. She could also feel Deathwing getting angrier as he had been ever so slowly tightening his grip on her and breathing faster. As a changeling Chrysalis was able to sense all of the swirling emotions that were circling around her, and Deathwing’s rage was overwhelming. It was like a maelstrom of negative emotion that sucked everything in, leaving nothing but empty husks of the one it was directed at. It was hard to believe that anything could be this powerful and have so much hate inside of it.

Despite her changelings relentless attacks, both magical and physical, it caused no damage to Deathwing’s skin or armor, It looked almost impenetrable. Physical attacks had only resulted in changelings getting their skin, wings and even sometimes limbs burned off and magical attacks didn’t even graze him.

Deathwing spread his wings massive in a threatening manner, blocking out the moonlight and making the fire in the distance the only light source. If he had been any other dragon, he would have looked quite majestic in that pose on the mountain, but because of his appearance and the darkness, it only made him look even more terrifying. Chrysalis could see the veins and the molten liquid running through them. She saw a beginning fire starting at his bony appendages and spreading onto the tattered and thin skin that was his wings. The fire had completely engulfed his wings. The mountain itself rumbled as he spoke.

“This ends, NOW!”

And with that he flapped his wings once towards the swarm of changelings in front of him, creating the wind of a hurricane, sending them towards the ground, but that wasn’t it. The fire that had engulfed his wings fell of with the flap, sending a torrent of fire towards the spiraling and disoriented changelings. Chrysalis could only watch in horror as her army, her people, crashed into the ground of a nearby hill and they watched with wide eyes as the torrent of fire washed over them.

Deathwing huffed and beat his mighty wings once more, extinguishing the fire and revealing the battered and seared changelings. They were completely pinned to the ground, their burned skin and intense pain not allowing them to use their sore bodies. He raised an eyebrow. He was surprised they hadn’t been reduced to bones, but they were more durable than he thought. He huffed again and raised his free front claw and the ground obeyed his command, detaching itself from the earth. He raised every single changeling up to eye level, but a reasonable distance away. Every single changeling tried to move, but they couldn’t, their nerves were screaming in protest whenever they tried to move their burnt carapace. The ground around them was burying them into the dirt with violent force through the holes in their legs and into their seared skin, worsening their pain. Deathwing looked down at Chrysalis who was fearfully looking back at him.

“Is this your mighty army? Is this the might of the changelings? They are pathetic.”

“P-please just let us go.” Chrysalis pleaded the giant dragon. “W-we won’t harm anypony ever again.” She really hoped he would just let them go. She meant what she said. If she was let go, she would use this opportunity to forget about the ponies and just keep her hive safe. After all, ponies didn’t kill and if this dragon was a friend of the ponies, he wouldn’t kill them, though Chrysalis wasn’t so sure. Deathwing tightened his grip on Chrysalis and she felt a rib or two break underneath the pressure. She gasped from the pain as her lungs didn’t have room to let out a scream.

“Do you think I care about your empty promises? Your kind is weak, fragile and undeserving of life. It is a gift that has been wasted on your pitiful kin and now I will take that gift away.”

He opened his free claw completely, pointing it towards the broken changelings and a screech of grinding metal sounded. Small pieces of Elementium started breaking off his plating and began gathering in front of him, creating a spread wall of thousands of sharp metal pieces pointed towards the incapacitated changelings.

Chrysalis knew what he was going to do and she watched in horror as the elementium shards split into even smaller pieces and sharpened in front of her eyes. “B-but aren’t you friends w-with those ponies? What will they say if you kill them? They will never forgive you and you will lose their friendship!” Chrysalis started to feel even smaller in comparison to the dragon that was holding her as he brought his claw up to his face. Chrysalis could feel his searing hot breath and, watching closely, she could see spikes on his metal jaw.

“Do you think I care about their precious friendship?”

He started flexing his outstretched claw and the wall of elementium started gaining a hot red color going as far as becoming glowing white at the tips.

“They are nothing to me. Setbacks, distractions. They are insignificant! They know nothing of me, they are bugs trying to tame a volcano. Their approval means nothing!

Chrysalis was getting desperate. She needed to do something, anything that could save her hive, but her mind was completely blank.


A sudden voice drew the attention of both Chrysalis and Deathwing. In front of the wall of fiery metal spikes floated Celestia, majestic as ever, wanting to protect the helpless changelings. Deathwing also noticed Discord floating at the side, out of harm’s way. Beside him was Twilight on a pink cloud. Discord waved awkwardly.

“STOP THIS MADNESS, NELTHARION!” Celestia yelled at the dragon in question, who simply rolled his eyes in annoyance and growled.

“Get out of the way.”

Celestia felt slightly compelled to comply, but she didn’t move. She would protect those changelings if it was the last thing she’d ever do. “N-no!”

Discord and Twilight kept silent. Discord was mostly interested in the outcome of this. He didn’t care if the changelings were all killed, but he was interested in what was going to happen to Celestia. Twilight sat on the cloud, trying to come up with a strategy as to how she could stop Neltharion. She thought of bringing up their friendship, but she knew it wasn’t solid enough to stop him. The tiredness running through her head and body plus the pain from her injuries didn’t help though, it made it hard for her to think. She needed more time.

“C-Celestia!” Chrysalis began, seeing an opportunity to save her changelings. “You have to stop him, he said that he’d… ARRGH!” Her upcoming lie was cut short by Neltharion, or Deathwing if you will, tightening his grip on her.


Deathwing turned his attention back to Celestia.

“These pathetic creatures do not deserve to live.”

Celestia stood strong, or floated if you will. She needed to persuade him to let them go. “Every creature deserves to live. Even the ones that has done terrible things in the past.” She shot Chrysalis a comforting smile. She saw potential in the changelings and their queen. Potential for good.

“If you truly believe that, then your kingdom is doomed. One day you will come across something that you either kill or it will slaughter everything you have ever cared about. To some, I was that something and I will not make your mistakes!”

Deathwing clenched his claw together and the shards started flying towards the changelings. Celestia lit her horn and put up a gigantic golden shield that protected all of the changelings and herself. But it didn’t do anything. Celestia’s eyes widened as she saw the metal shards pass through her shield like a knife through hot butter.

“CELESTIA!” Twilight and Discord screamed as they saw the shards go through. Celestia closed her eyes and awaited the shards to pierce through her skin, but they never came.

“NOOOO!” Chrysalis managed to scream through her pain as she watched the shards go through each of her subjects with deadly precision, either going through their head, throats or chests. She couldn’t bare to watch it. Her body went into shock and she passed out. Deathwing felt the changeling queen had ceased struggling and laid her onto the mountain side. She had been beaten, humiliated and broken. She was not a threat anymore.

Celestia opened her eyes and saw herself unharmed. The shards had gone around her and only hit the changelings behind her. She turned with a look of sadness at the dead carcasses of the changeling army. Why did she think she could stop it? She knew that Neltharion was ancient compared to her and probably knew things her mind couldn’t even comprehend. If only she had been quicker, if only she had seen the commotion happening in Ponyville then none of this would have happened. Celestia looked on as the earthy islands the dead changelings were laying on caught on fire, soon there was nothing left but ash in their place.

Twilight sat on the cloud, mouth agape, at what had happened. She couldn’t believe Neltharion would do this. This wasn’t the Neltharion that had been living with her for almost a week. This was that thing she had fought and yet… He seemed to be in control. Had he let it take over?

Discord stood, stroking his beard. He was surprised at how much control Neltharion had over his powers. Redirecting hundreds of projectiles around a single target must have taken a lot of concentration. He didn’t care for the changelings and was actually glad they were gone. He understood what Neltharion had done was, to some people, horrific, but the changelings needed to go. They were not good for anything and were just evil in nature. He heard two pairs of wings flap behind him, one pair much bigger than the other. “About time you two showed up.” Discord said smugly to the two dignitaries behind him.

“H-how could you!” Celestia screamed furiously at Neltharion as the ash, that used to be changelings, began swirling through the air around her. “You’ve just killed hundreds and for what?!” Neltharion raised an eyebrow and then shook his head lightly.

“My reasons are my own. But through my life I have killed thousands upon thousands of different creatures. I don’t care about a few hundred more.”

Celestia screamed and flew up into Neltharion’s face, but Discord teleported up in front of her, stopping her on the spot. “Now there, Celestia. Calm down.” Discord said while waving his arms in a soothing manner. “There’s no need to go into a hissy fit.”

“Calm down? CALM DOWN?! You saw what he did to them and you want me to calm down?!” Celestia fumed, her mane starting to turn into one made of fire, but Discord, to her surprise, didn’t even flinch.

“Yes calm down, there’s no need to repeat it.” Discord rolled his eyes. “Although it might not have been pretty or particularly merciful, I agree with Neltharion’s actions.” Both dignitaries and princesses jaws dropped at Discord’s words.

“WHAT!?” Discord heard Twilight scream from her cloud. Hoboy, you’ve done it now, Discord. He thought to himself. But don’t back down. What is it Fluttershy says? Stand for what you believe in? No that’s not it, eh who cares, i’m probably going to get a long lecture after this anyway.

“Uh.” Ironbeak began, looking to Twilight, who was trying her best to be mad despite her tired and pained limbs. “What did we miss and where are the changelings?” He asked as a wave of ash washed over him, throwing him into a coughing fit.

Twilight gave him an annoyed look, her left eye twitching, and pointed to some ash on her cloud. “That’s what’s left of them…”

Razorscale and Ironbeak’s eyes widened and Ironbeak gagged in disgust. They both cast their attention to Discord.

“How can agree with what he’s done?!” Razorscale yelled at Discord who paid no attention whatsoever to him. “He’s reduced them to ash!”

Ironbeak also started yelling at Discord, him paying just as little attention. “That monster just killed hundreds and you’re supporting his actions?!”

Celestia could only stare at Discord in disbelief at his words. How could he be okay with this? She thought he cared about every creature's survival. She thought that was why he had never killed anypony. Her heart was beating faster and she became angry. She was about to scream at Discord when he spoke.

“Think about it, Celestia.” He began, with a surprisingly serious facial expression. “The changelings have only caused Equestria pain. They FEED off of love and they are some pretty bad mannered, foul looking, and also smelly, creatures that would only cause Equestria more trouble in the future. I say--” He floated over and patted Neltharion on the shoulder, gaining a raised eyebrow from Neltharion. Discord retracted his hand quickly as he realised just how hot Neltharion’s skin is. “JAUW!” He began shaking it and snapped up a icecube around his burnt hand, which quickly melted. “Where was I? Ah, yes. I say he did us a favor.”

As much as Twilight and Celestia wanted to defy that logic, they knew he was right. The changelings had shown no sign of remorse towards their actions before they had come back to bite them in the flank.

Celestia retaliated. “It is still an awful crime and I will not tolerate it. He must be punished for his--” Celestia was interrupted by a growl from Neltharion and she gulped. She knew she couldn’t force him to do anything he didn’t want.

Discord felt a shiver go down his spine as he heard the growl as well. “Yeah, I don’t think you could punish him even if you wanted to.”

Celestia spoke once more. “Then I will refuse him the help to get home.” A low rumble sounded through the mountain and ground as Neltharion spoke.

“Is that a threat?”

Celestia began to sweat nervously as a low growl followed Neltharion’s words. “N-no. But you need to be taught that there are consequences f-for your actions.”

“I could make you to help me.”

Neltharion’s cold and menacing tone was a sign for Discord to step in. “Calm down, you two. There’s no need for threats.”

“Her empty threats doesn’t touch me. I don’t need this.”

Neltharion began to spread his wings and looked to be taking off to who knows where, but his action was stopped by Twilight’s voice. “Neltharion, wait!” She had managed to use her magic to force the cloud over to Discord and Celestia. “You don’t need to leave. Just… Come back to Ponyville with us and we will sort this out.” She looked pleadingly at Neltharion. So much had gone wrong already, she at least wanted her newest friend to come back to his temporary home. Twilight was scared of him and, in a way, she understood his reasons for killing the changelings, but the very concept of killing another creature was weird and foreign to her. It was so barbaric to her and ponies never killed, but she didn’t know Neltharion’s culture or the world he was from, only a few bits and pieces. Neltharion sighed deeply. It sounded more like a crocodile growl than a sigh, but she could hear it was a sigh despite it.

“Very well, Twilight.”

He then spread his wings and flew towards Ponyville. Twilight found it kinda majestic in a way that something so big could take off with such grace. Discord appeared beside her on the cloud and shot her a mischievous smile. “Wouldn’t it have been a good idea to ask him to change back into a pony before going back to Ponyville? I don’t think the villagers will approve of the dragon that destroyed most of their village coming back.”

Twilight realised her mistake and grew pale in color. “Oh, no.”

Discord put his talon to his chin in thought. “Hmmm… If I were them, I would think he was coming back to eat me.” His smile brightened even more. “Oh, I can’t miss this!” He flew past all of them in pursuit of Neltharion before realising something and teleporting back to Celestia, who was standing slightly uneasy by the whole situation. “You’ll need this.” He snapped his talon and a rope connected to Twilight’s cloud appeared around Celestia’s neck. Discord waved and gave her a quick smile. “See you back in Ponyville, Tata!” He then snapped his talon and disappeared.


View Online

Fluttershy was rushing through the crystal castle, carrying medical supplies. Since she and the girls had been woken up by a dragon and griffin, who had then taken off to somewhere, the castle had been made into a makeshift hospital, as the Ponyville hospital itself had been one of the changelings first targets to attack, and Fluttershy had been fluttering around, trying to help everypony ever since.

All Fluttershy really remembered from before waking up at the entrance of Twilight’s crystal castle was that a bunch changelings had barged into her house and attacked her and her animal friends. They had put up a good fight but had eventually been forced to run away. The next thing Fluttershy remembered was waking up on the cold crystal floor at the entrance of Twilight’s castle, her mouth feeling like it was on fire from something the griffin had given her. The griffin had called the drink he had given her his Beak Burner Beverage. The rest of friends had it even worse. But mostly Pinkie Pie who had, despite her injuries, crawled down to the grass field around the castle and began licking the dirt to get the bad taste out of her mouth. Applejack and Rainbow Dash kept the bad taste in their mouths, and didn’t complain and Rarity… Well, she stayed unconscious for some odd reason. They had all been relocated to the throne room, directing the many ponies around while Fluttershy, nurse Redheart and a couple of other ponies were trying to help everypony else with their injuries.

Fluttershy had just gone back to the entrance to check for more refugees when the door burst open, revealing Luna and the entire pegasus department of the royal guard. “FEAR NOT, MINE LITTLE PONIES, THINE PRINCESS HAST COME TO AID THEE!” She shouted in the royal canterlot voice, effectively sending Fluttershy squirming into a corner

“Eeep!” Fluttershy squealed as she covered her eyes with her wings and hooves.

The guards began streaming inside, intent on helping anypony that needed it, a few squads starting flying around the ruins of Ponyville searching for potentially trapped citizens and then eight guards stationed themselves at the entrance, while Luna went over to Fluttershy. “Element of kindness, Fluttershy, where are the other elements and my sister?”

Fluttershy peeked out from beneath her hooves and wings. “U-uhm, the dragon and griffin that woke us up told us to direct you towards that mountain.” She pointed out behind Luna out the entrance where she could see a tall mountain in the distance with cracks and large holes in it.

Luna looked onto the mountain, she could see something rising above it and then coming back down and a tail curled around the side of it. She looked back to Fluttershy. “Thank thee, Fluttershy. I shall go assist my sister, you stay here and--” A rumbling interrupted her and she heard something big rising into the air. She darted around and became pale at the sight. Deathwing had spread his enormous wings and was now flying back towards Ponyville, black smoke appearing behind his wings, but Luna was more concerned about her sister. Where was Celestia?

All the commotion from slightly panicking ponies slowly died out as the sound of enormous wing beats began resonating through the crystal castle and it slowly caught their attention. Everypony froze and listened carefully as the sound came closer and closer. Slowly, the ponies that were able, began walking towards the entrance, almost hypnotized by the steadily rising sound of wing beats. They didn’t even pay attention to Luna at first. Luna and her guards also stared in fear of the oncoming beast. The ground and castle shook as he landed just outside of Ponyville and the castle descended into panic. Ponies darting around the castle screaming and desperately trying to come up with a plan or finding a hiding spot. The guards tried to keep everypony calm and was failing miserably. Some came back to Luna, asking for orders. Eventually Luna had enough.

“SILENCE!” Luna yelled, her canterlot voice reverberating through the castle and the ponies inside stopped on the spot. “You four!” She pointed at the five guards surrounding her and four of them saluted while the last kept its gaze on Luna. ”Assemble all guards that can fight and get the elements out here. If we’re going to die today, then we will go out in a blaze of glory!” The guards saluted once more and started running deeper inside the castle. “And you!” She looked at the remaining guard. “Keep on a lookout for the remaining reinforcements from canterlot. They should be arriving at any minute and they will need a briefing.” The guard saluted and ran out of the castle. Luna turned to Fluttershy who had gone back to her previous position. Luna rolled her eyes and walked over to her. “Fluttershy?”

Fluttershy winced at the sound of her name and peeked up from behind her wings and hooves. “Y-yes, princess Luna?”

“I want you to stay in here and wait for the guards to return with the rest of your friends.”

Fluttershy sighed in relief. She thought the princess was going to give her some super difficult or dangerous task, but she luckily didn’t. Behind Luna, a stallion came limping. It was Flash Sentry who had bandages across his head, two of his legs and his sides. It looked painful for him to walk but he did it anyway. “P-princess Luna…” He called and successfully caught her attention.

She turned and gave him an odd look as she inspected his injuries. “Go back and get some rest, captain Sentry.” But he didn’t move. He looked out and his eyes widened as he saw the dragon who had landed outside of Ponyville that was looking around.

“W-where… Where is princess Twilight?” He asked, trying to keep himself standing. He hadn’t gotten the worst of injuries. A few broken ribs, some blows to the head, excessive punches and kicks that had been averted by his armor, but still gave him a lot of bruises and a sprained foreleg. Surprisingly, his wings were completely unharmed.

Luna sighed and remorsefully shook her head. “I do not know. All I know is that my sister, Twilight, Discord and some dignitaries went after Deathwing and they haven’t returned.”

Flash’s eyes widened at her words and he became slightly paler. He fell on his haunches. “Y-you mean h-he, it?” He could feel guilt crushing down on him. He felt as if it was his fault. He hadn’t protected his princess. He had been beaten by changelings and now princess Twilight, his responsibility, was probably gone.

“I do not know, Flash, but we might find out soon.” As those words left Luna’s mouth, the earth began to tremble as Deathwing began walking through the ruins of the village, surprisingly careful not to step on anything, towards the castle. Each step shaking the ground and castle.



Several ponies came to the entrance and stared in a mix of awe and fear as the giant came closer.


More ponies came to the entrance and all the guards came flying up past them and sat down the elements on the way, next to Fluttershy. The guards flew outside and formed a wall at the entrance, staring defiantly at the beast as it slowly approached.


The pegasus division were now joined by the rest of the guards as they came streaming into Ponyville forming a battle formation. A half circle around the castle, the pegasi rose into the air, the earth ponies standing at the front and the unicorns standing behind them, going to act like artillery. They all stayed calm and awaited orders from princess Luna, but she herself was waiting. She didn’t know for what but she waited anyway.


The ground shook more and more as Deathwing closed in on the castle. Ponies from inside had now come out as they had accepted their fate, some even welcomed it. Luna joined her guards in the ranks, standing in the middle of the earth ponies. Even Flash had managed to get out and now stood beside Luna, preparing for the worst.


Sweat dripped down Luna’s snout. The tension was killing her. Why was she waiting? What was she waiting for? She looked to the guards around her and noticed the uneasy looks they shared. They were afraid and with good reason.


The dragon stopped in front of them and raised an eyebrow at their appearance. How cute. He thought. It was absolutely pathetic and pointless for them to try and stand their ground. Neltharion had seen armies melt beneath his gaze and then flee in terror. Yet the ponies held their ground as he glared at them in a intimidating way, mostly due to his stature.

Molten blood dripped from Neltharion’s chest and hit the grass beneath him, creating a small crater as the ground seethed beneath the liquid. Several guards gulped at the sight and imagined that soon the grasses fate would become theirs. Melting in the remains of Ponyville as it turned to ashes. Their knees suddenly felt wobbly.

“S-stand down, b-beast!” Luna yelled with as much courage as she could muster. She was trying her best to be brave, mostly for her subjects, but it wasn’t exactly easy. As she gazed into Neltharion’s eyes, her courage turned into fear, but she kept standing strong. The swirling inferno that was Neltharion’s eyes bored through her mind and froze her on the spot. Luna had never felt more scared. Those eyes, the eyes of death itself, showed her her own worst fears, her greatest failures and drained her of all hope. She wanted to just sit down and cry, but she refused. Her subjects needed her now more than ever.

Neltharion simply glared and huffed in annoyance. The guards were stone still, waiting for their princesses command, intending on doing anything in their power to slay the dragon before them. They waited and waited, the air full of tension, their hearts beating harder and harder, the adrenaline coursing through their blood, all ready to--

“BWAHAHAHA!” A sound laughed at the side, drawing everypony, and dragon’s, attention. It was Discord, sitting in his usual throne with two bowls of popcorn, a giant glass of chocolate milk, with straw, and giant foam finger on his hand, it reading: Discord #1. “Oh, oh this is just so hilarious!” He yelled as he fell off of his throne in a laughing fit. “D-don’t mind me!” He managed to get out. “I’m just enjoying the pointless tension and the fact that those so called fearless-guards of Equestria are about to call for their mommy and run home crying!” Several guards scowled at Discord but he didn't seem to notice or care for that matter.

Neltharion shot him a deadpan look. How in the world this childish trickster one of the most relatable people to himself he had ever met was beyond his understanding.

Luna was practically fuming at Discord’s laughing. “DISCORD!” The draconequus in question stopped laughing when he saw Luna’s facial expression. She looked just like her sister when she had been chasing him around in the canterlot gardens. “What is the meaning of this?! How can thou sit and laugh whilst we are about to go into glorious battle?!”

Discord sat back on his throne and began twiddling his fingers with a pouting expression. Somepony always had to ruin his fun. He shot her his best innocent smirk. “Because i’m a pacifist?” He said and a halo appeared over his head. Discord noticed and pricked it with his talon and it popped like a balloon.

Neltharion was just standing there, enjoying the conversation while shooting the guards a quick glare, to which some flinched.

Luna groaned and looked briefly at Neltharion and then back at Discord. Maybe this was the moment she had been waiting for. A distraction. But a question was also aching her mind and she had to ask. “And where is my sister and princess Twilight?”

Discord looked towards the mountain they had been at a few minutes before and scratched his head. “I have no idea, but they should be arriving sooner or later. He did put on quite a show, you should have seen it.”

Without warning Flash Sentry flew up, stopping just in front of Neltharion’s face, blinded by his own anger. “What did you do to the princesses?!” He yelled at Neltharion. To some, that would be a foolish move, to others it was downright insane, but for most beings, that was a death sentence. Charging up in front of the face of death itself and almost accusing him of doing something horrible was in retrospect for Flash not a good idea, but it seemed to be at the time.

He didn’t get to stay up there long as Discord snapped his talon and Flash, once again, appeared on the ground, beside Luna, without wings and mouth. Discord also teleported in between Luna and Flash and began to whisper. “Control yourself, Flashing dentist. I don’t know if you both noticed, but our friendly neighbourhood dragon isn’t exactly in the best of moods at the moment. Let’s wait for Celestia and Twilight to come, then we can sort things out.” Discord saw the mares in question flying over Neltharion towards them and smirked. “Speak of the sun-” Celestia landed in front of them with Twilight’s cloud in tow. “-And she shall appear.”

Twilight carefully stepped off the cloud, assisted by a couple of guards who had regained their postures and tried their best to ignore the dragon in front of them. The two dignitaries also landed behind the crowd, joining Twilight’s friends at the entrance. Everyone was silent, but not for long as Luna broke it.

“Sister, what happened at the mountain? where are the changelings? And why are… Uh, Celestia?” Luna noticed her sister wasn’t paying any attention to her whatsoever. She was staring at Neltharion with hate in her eyes and he was lazily staring back.

“He killed them…” Celestia muttered in reply to her sister. But Luna didn’t hear her.

“I’m sorry, sister, but can you please talk a little--”

“He slaughtered them all!” Celestia yelled as she continued to stare into the eyes of the destroyer. Her will was slowly breaking under their gaze but she would not back down so easily.
Luna’s eyes widened at her sister's words and she became slightly pale. “A-and what about Chrysalis?”

“We left her up there. It didn’t seem like the best time to try and befriend her.” Twilight replied regretfully. They had left Chrysalis in a pitiful state. Tears running down her face and she was curled into a ball as the ashes of her people fell from the sky. “But there’s nothing we can do about it now.” The villagers had now all come out to witness what was happening and they were all watching with shock at the words that had been said.

Neltharion snorted in disgust. These ponies pity and care for the changelings disgusted him. Could they not see that this was for the best? His sister, Alexstrasza had been given the gift of compassion and love by the titan Eonar. To love even the most unlovable and care for every living creature and yet she had understood that sometimes life is not worth preserving for the greater good. These ponies flawed logic angered him. The ground rumbled and a lot of ponies cowered as Neltharion’s deep voice sounded through the ruined village.

“Your pity and care for those creatures amuses me. You remind me of my sister.”

“And what would your sister think if she knew of all of this?” Celestia asked, with a hateful scowl. “That you killed so many without blinking an eye!”

“My sister understood that sometimes, life is not worth prevailing. Unlike you who are so blindingly arrogant in your own abilities to see how much of a danger you are to your people with your weakness and refusal to take life.”

Twilight was about to defend her mentor when Discord ported in front of her and held up a hand, wanting her to listen to what Neltharion had to say.

“Your actions may have cost us a powerful future ally!” Celestia yelled. She had really believed in the changelings or at least In their potential. After All, if Discord could change, why couldn’t they?

“And may have saved all of these villagers lives. You weren’t here. Don’t pretend to know things you have understanding off. Did Twilight tell you what was happening when I decided to step in? Did she tell you they were about to execute her and her friends in front of the eyes of their families and the other villagers?”

Celestia was shocked at this revelation. She hadn’t thought about that. She had been so caught up in the whole business with Neltharion that she hadn’t had time to question what had happened in details. Neltharion stomped his foreleg into the ground and red cracks emerged at the point of impact.

“Your ponies aren’t alive because they can fight! They are not alive because of their courage, their bravery or their will. They are alive because of me! Because of what I did to save them!”

Lava emerged from the red cracks in the earth and the cracks across Neltharion’s body started to glow brighter. Such arrogance of Celestia, such stupidity and so ungrateful. Neltharion was not happy.

Discord teleported up in front of Neltharion’s face and snapped his fingers, creating some pony sized ice cubes atop of the lava and on Neltharion’s back. “Why has it become my job to calm down people? It was usually me who started the trouble, but nooo, now I have to prevent the trouble from getting worse.” The lava died out, hardening into regular rock and the glowing ceased. “I just want to point out that I am on your side in this. I’m glad you wiped out the changelings.”

“WHAT?!” Luna and Twilight’s friends yelled in confusion at his words. Luna continued alone. “How can thee support that? Sure, we agree that they should have gotten punished, but killing them is not how we do things here in Equestria!”

Discord smirked. “Good thing that Nelly here--” Neltharion’s one eye twitched and he looked angrily at Discord. “-Isn’t from Equestria.” He didn’t get to say more as Neltharion swatted him into the ground with his claw, earning a gasp from everypony. Discord was flat as a pancake, but he took. his flat thumb to his mouth and blew in it, as if he was a balloon, and he instantly got back his normal self, mostly unscathed. “Worth it. And also, Twilight here agrees with me.” He suddenly pulled out Twilight from behind his back. Some ponies looked confused to the place where she had been before and discovered a giant Twilight plushie. Flash would never admit it, but he felt slightly compelled to hug it.

Twilight had no idea how she had ended up there with Discord and more importantly, how was Discord able to hold her without hurting her? Twilight shook her head free of those thoughts. Sometimes, Discord made even less sense than Pinkie. She looked onto the crowd and saw their looks of dumbfoundment and disbelief at Discord’s words. But what got most of her attention was the look of her friends. They looked horrified and Applejack shook her head in disbelief. Applejack simply couldn’t believe it and neither could the rest of them. Discord shifted his grip on her and positioned her underneath his arm, holding her the same way he usually held Fluttershy, like some sort of teddy bear. Surprisingly, it didn’t hurt even though he was making contact with her injured wing.

“Is this true, Twilight Sparkle?” Luna asked in disbelief. Twilight was a very peaceful pony and a good friend in her eyes so for her it was also very hard to believe.

Twilight looked around and saw everypony was looking at her. She wanted to hide away from the attention and avoid the question entirely since her answer would probably cause a lot of commotion. She looked up at Discord and saw he was smirking confidently at her. A sign for her to just speak the truth whether or not she agreed with him. she took a deep breath. “W-well… I guess I do agree with Neltharion’s actions.”

All of Ponyville, the royal guard, princesses and pretty much everyone other than Discord and Neltharion stared dumbfounded at their newest princess words. Her friends kept silent as they tried to process her words through their minds.

Twilight saw the looks of disbelief and decided to explain further. “I mean I understand his reasoning, Chrysalis was destroying Ponyville and there’s no telling what she would have done after she was done with me.”

“Princess.” Flash stepped forward. “You can’t be serious, that ‘thing’--” He pointed at Neltharion. “From what I’ve heard, he practically destroyed more of Ponyville than all of the changelings combined efforts in minutes!” He started angrily to flap his wings and started to rise in altitude. “He traumatized every villager here, think of what the children saw!” He pointed to a pile of dismembered changelings beside Neltharion.

“Flash.” Princess Celestia tried to get his attention, but he ignored her.

“You.” Flash was now in eyeheight of Neltharion. Flash narrowed his eyes and scowled hatefully at Neltharion. “Ever since you came here, you have brought nothing but trouble. I bet you’re the one who somehow lured the changelings here in the first place!”

Neltharion kept a steady and annoyed gaze on the pony that had invaded his airspace, but kept silent.

“Flash, stop it!” Twilight yelled from Discord’s grasp, worried at what might happen if he angered the great dragon.

“Look what you did to this village.” Flash looked onto the ruined village and then back at Neltharion who had not moved his eyes from Flash the entire time. “Look at all of the destruction, all of the chaos you have caused, look at the--” He didn’t get to talk any further as Neltharion lifted his claw and flicked him away as if Flash was an annoying fly, sending him flying through the air and eventually into the ground behind Twilight’s castle, also earning a gasp from almost everypony around.

“FLASH!” Twilight yelled as she saw him crash into the ground. Several guards flew over to check on him and Twilight shifted her attention back to Neltharion with slight fear in her eyes.

Neltharion reveled in the satisfaction that one little action gave him and suddenly he felt more relaxed.

“Annoying pest.”

“HOW DARE THEE!” Luna yelled and she rose into the air, lightning flashing behind her. “Thou has attacked our subjects and destroyed their village, and after we proceed to converse with thee instead of retaliating in kind, thou attack another one of our subjects!” She then started to stare at Neltharion so intensely that they didn’t notice the guards returning with Flash Sentry and laying him out in front of Twilight, in a fetal position.

“Flash, are you okay?” She asked. First now did she notice that somehow Flash had gotten ahold of the plushie of her from before.

Flash only clutched the plushie tighter. “Who's a gorgeous mare?” He held up the plushie and now everypony could see the scratches and blood dripping from his head. His wing was also crooked, but he didn’t seem to notice. “You are!” And he began clutching the plushie. his disillusion display of the doll supplied those who watched his creepy actions deep protruding blushes, twilight face turned deep crimson at some of the aforementioned phrases, his creepy whispers echoing to those present. Luckily he quickly passed out and was carried inside the castle to her relief.

Twilight heard snickering and turned to see Discord who was barely able to contain his laughter . A quick scowl silenced him and she turned her attention back to Neltharion who was having the most intense staring contest of the century with Luna.

Neltharion’s gaze hardened further and Luna slowly descended to the ground once more, realising that she should be careful around Neltharion. There was no telling what he might do. He already seemed on edge. Neltharion turned his attention back to Twilight.

“You wanted to sort this out, then do so.”

Twilight gulped instinctively under Neltharion’s gaze. “Right…” She had to come up with something. She had to come up with something to make him see her and her fellow ponies side of things. No, she had to talk to his logic, he would understand that, right? Twilight got her eyes on some of the ruined buildings behind Neltharion and knew what to say. She cleared her throat. “Neltharion, turn around and look at what's left of Ponyville.” Neltharion’s gaze hardened a little.

“Are you going to try and scold me as your little soldier did? I did what I had--”

“Please just do as I say.” Twilight interrupted him. She looked sadly behind him at the sorry remains of Ponyville. The shattered homes, the bloodstained earth and the priceless memories that were lost in those homes. The villagers look followed Twilight’s and some eventually began to sob at the realisation that their homes were gone. Eventually Neltharion’s gaze followed theirs. “Look at what you and Chrysalis did to Ponyville.”

Neltharion looked as well as he could onto the ruined homes. A light wind swept through the air, ash and dust alike swirled into the air. His eyes followed it and let his eyes towards the mountain and the scorched hills on the other side it. What is her point? It's just a ruined village. Nothing that can't be fixed

Now that Neltharion looked beyond the destruction, he found the scenery beautiful. Tall hills stretching as far as his eyes could see. Their lush green grass, flowers and tree’s bending slightly to the soft wind. He could also see a long clear lake stretching throughout the outskirts of Ponyville, it water reflecting the light and colors out and almost blinding Neltharion. At a closer look he could also see fish traveling through the lake. His ears picked up the sound of rock falling of the mountain and hitting the ground beneath it. Neltharion’s nostrils picked up the smell in the air. It was fresh, like new lawned grass and flowers. He would have smiled if his metal jaw allowed him. The fresh smell was all too quickly replaced with the smell of ash and smoke. He came to a realisation and his eyes widened. How long has it been since I stopped and enjoyed the world around me? I used to love watching the world as it went by, my world, my wonders ever remaining with me as everything else withered. What happened?

Of course Neltharion knew what had happened and he could never forget it. Yet it was still shocking and saddening him just how much the corruption had changed him. How much it had destroyed and still was destroying.

“Have you ever had a home, Neltharion?” Twilight continued. “A place where you could do anything you wanted. A place for the memories most precious to you?” Twilight watched as the everburning fire in Neltharion’s eyes dimmed and were replaced with sadness.

“No, I have never had such a place. I had my kin, my siblings and my world and now... I have nothing.”

Twilight was saddened by his reply. Neltharion’s situation was becoming more clear to her. She couldn’t imagine how he was feeling. To be in a foreign place with no face he knew and with no certainty of ever returning home. “Nevertheless, i’m sure you can understand how these ponies feel. They have lost their homes and items that were very precious to them. Do you understand?”


A rumble sounded as Neltharion dug his claws deep into the earth beneath him and the earth around the village started to grind together and replace itself with new earth from deeper beneath the surface, taking away the dried blood around the village, unearthing further remains of buildings, and making it all seem like there never had been any sign of battle other than the ruined buildings. Neltharion breathed out slowly and as he did, the life around and inside the village returned. New grass grew in a matter of seconds and ruined husks of trees regrew and appeared as if they nothing had ever happened. Neltharion felt dizzy after using his magic in such a way. Every part of his body had curled with discomfort when he had used that magic.

The villagers, princesses and diplomats watched in awe at the display. It was as if time itself had been sped up.


The draconequus in names ears perked at the sound of his name being called and he flew up to Neltharion. “Yes?”

“I have seen you have a unique form of magic. Do you think you can restore these homes?”

Discord smirked and cracked his knuckles. “It shouldn’t be to difficult.” He snapped his talon and in a flash, all of the ruined buildings had been restored to before the changeling attack.

The villagers started mumbling amongst themselves, most cried of pure joy as they spotted their respective homes now restored.

Discord slowly descended and Twilight managed to limp up all of the way up to him. “Thank you, Discord.” She gave him a warm smile.

Discord returned the smile with one of his own and patted her on her head. “What are friends for.”

Celestia and Luna joined them aswell, them both smiling at the joyful moment. Luna broke it. “We still need to discuss what we will do now. Neltharion still assaulted Flash Sentry and we also need to find a way to show Neltharion the consequences of his actions.” The rest of them gave Luna a skeptical look.

“We can't, Luna.” Celestia said with a frown. “He has shown no care or concern for our laws. Everything that has happened tonight has proven one thing to me. Neltharion can do whatever he wants and there is nothing we can do to stop him...”

“But he has just shown that he has a certain desire to stay on good terms with us, or at least princess Twilight.” Luna retaliated. “Perhaps we can use this to our advantage. Or maybe we can get the elements back from the tree of harmony?”

Twilight kept looking at the great dragon who was still looking out into the night. He looked so sad. He hadn’t as much as moved an inch since he had spoken to Discord. “I think I might have a suggestion.” The remaining princesses and Discord turned their attention to her. “Let him continue his stay with me. There is still so much we can learn from him and I have a feeling he can learn much from us as well.”

“Twilight, are you sure?” Celestia asked.

“Yes.” Twilight replied. “I believe in Neltharion.” Celestia stared at her but eventually nodded in approval. Twilight turned her attention back to Neltharion. “Neltharion!” She called, he didn’t respond. “Neltharion!” She called again, this time he responded and turned his head in Twilight’s direction.

“Yes, Twilight?”

“Could you please turn back into pony form?”

Neltharion didn’t like what Twilight was asking of him. Why should he return to such an inferior and disgusting form? He obviously knew why. It wasn’t exactly convenient for a dragon his size to be in a small village such as Ponyville. Heck, Neltharion despised his form as it was. Everytime he looked at the plating, everytime he felt the taste of metal in his mouth, it reminded him of his failure. But Neltharion had to accept that this was who he was now, this was what he looked like and nothing could change it. It would even follow him into whatever form he would choose to take. He could try and suppress his corrupted traits, such as his plating.

A thought struck Neltharion and he almost felt compelled to smile even though his jaw wouldn’t allow him. Why should I hide from what I am? He would make sure the ponies would never forget just who he really was.

“Very well.”

Twilight smiled at his reply. She had been slightly worried that he wouldn’t want to turn back into a pony, but it seemed he thought it a good idea as well.

The pressure in the air dropped and fire ignited across his frame, it soon started spreading around Neltharion’s body, quickly engulfing it completely. The onlooking citizens and guards looked in awe at the display. After a few seconds, the previous form of the great dragon seemed to be shrinking and ash started to fall underneath where the great dragon had stood, and soon the fire died out, leaving a shape no one could see clearly, they could only see the guise of a pony through the wall of ash and dust that had started flying through the air.

Twilight looked at the shape enwrapped in ash and knew that Neltharion had turned back into a pony. She almost longed to see the tall orange stallion with dark plating, it was certainly better than having a dragon in your backyard that could make beings like Tirek run home crying for their mommy. But there was something wrong with the transformation. Twilight couldn’t place it, but the shape just didn’t look right. Her suspicion was confirmed when appendages on the sides of the shape flared, they looked like wings?

The veil of ash dispersed and everyone there gasped at the sight. Where Neltharion had stood was now a pony stallion. His mane, coat and tail were black as night. Six black horns had grown from the back of his head, dark grey plating was covering his entire body, except the hooves and a long crack going down from the start of his neck to the bottom of his chest with the same molten liquid coursing through, but it wasn’t dripping down. Two tattered dragon wings were on his sides where a normal pegasus would have its wings and a crooked horn had sprouted from his forehead with small cracks across it.

The stallion seemed to be struggling in opening in his eyes, but he eventually did and Twilight’s heart almost went up her throat. It was those same fiery eyes.

Conversing with the Moon

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Inside the castle of princess Twilight, a black alicorn stallion with dark grey armor and molten cracks across his body laid sleeping in his guest room. His bed having been replaced with one made out of pure crystal and heatproof sheets, but the intense energy released from his body was still slowly burning through them.

If one had come inside, one would have thought that there was a statue made of coal and iron lying in the bed. The only indication that he was alive was a slow rising from his chest. Else he laid perfectly still under the sheets. Several shreds and holes were in the sheets, made by the sharp plating that unnaturally was melted onto his flesh. It was as much a part of him as his very body. His tattered wings laid splayed out and were the main cause of the shredding on his mattress.

Neltharion awoke and slowly opened his eyes. His head was empty of thoughts as if his head had been purged of previous doubts and guilt. He slowly sat up on the bed, not caring for the shreds and holes it held, and stretched his back and neck. He then spread his wings and a few cracks were heard as he stretched his joints. He glanced out a nearby window. The moon was on its way down. There was maybe a few hours till dawn would break out.

A week has passed since the events of the changeling’s attack and things hadn’t exactly been peaceful in Equestria.

In Ponyville, everything had gone back to normal. Or, well as normal as things can be with a dragon in alicorn disguise living with the resident princess. To say the least, the public of Ponyville wasn’t happy and has taken further distance from Neltharion and even princess Twilight for keeping him in her castle. Not out of spite or dislike, but of fear.

The news of what had happened in Ponyville had spread like wildfire and after only three days, all of Equestria knew what had happened that night in Ponyville. Although in some places, ponies had gotten the idea that the princesses had encouraged, or even commanded, Neltharion into killing the changelings.

But the worst was happening in Canterlot. Both Luna and Celestia had been pestered by the press and frightened citizens. They had both tried to assure the ponies of Equestria that Neltharion meant them no harm, but had kept further information to themselves. The day after the events of the changelings, both diplomats had begun their journey home to report to their respective rulers and update them on the current events. But Neltharion didn’t particularly care for such things.

Neltharion got out of his bed, wondering what might happen this day, and walked over to the guestroom door.

Nothing had really happened for Neltharion in the week. He mostly spent time in his room and when he wasn’t doing that, he was with Twilight or Spike. It had taken some days for them to adapt to Neltharion’s new form. And after some requests from Twilight, Neltharion had agreed to return his eyes to their previous color with a slight alteration being that Neltharion’s pupils maintained their fiery glow.

He opened the door, expecting guards waiting for him, but to his surprise there were none. Since that day a week ago, princess Celestia and Luna had tripled the amount of guards stationed in Ponyville, most of them eyeing and following Neltharion when they thought he didn’t know. Neltharion didn’t care if they followed him. He was feared among the populace. But fear is also a kind of respect and Neltharion was willing to live with it for now.

Neltharion walked out of his room, closing the door behind him, and began venturing through the dark crystal castle. The halls only lit up by his bright molten blood and glowing hole in his chest. The castle was quiet. Unusually quiet despite it being supposed to be filled with guards.

He thought this might be as good a time as any to start the day even if the day hadn’t technically begun yet.

Soon Neltharion was at the gate to the castle, with still no sign of any guards. Perhaps they had taken a day off? He opened the gate and walked outside and was met with a cold breeze. The night looked like itself. It reminded him of that day with the changelings. As he gazed upon the sleeping village of Ponyville he couldn’t help but be a little surprised. It still felt like only hours ago he had left the village in ruins. He could remember exactly how it had looked when he had returned. Mutilated changeling corpses, houses and cottages that might as well have been hit by giant boulders, the bloodstained ground and the smell of ash and blood in the air. And now it was all gone, returned to its former state.

Neltharion was stuck on what to do. He had nothing to do this early in the morning. Then he remembered something. He remembered how it was to be back in his true form. It might be twisted, corrupted and an abomination compared to what it once was, but it was still his. Then he remembered a feeling. A feeling of freedom and peace. He hadn’t really paid attention to it the last time he had it under the changeling attack. But now it was coming back to him. The feeling he had been missing and then taken for granted when he had finally gotten to experience it. Flying.

Neltharion spread his tattered and leathery wings and looked curiously at them. In truth he had never tried flying in another form. He wasn’t even sure he could fly with those wings, they seemed too small in proportion to his body. He should probably have made them bigger. Nevertheless Neltharion tried slowly flapping his wings.

He could feel the his footing getting lighter as he flapped his wings. Neltharion raised an eyebrow. This shouldn’t be possible? He thought. By all logic, he shouldn’t be able to fly with such little wings. Curious he started flapping them harder and faster and he soon found himself a foot in the air.

“How curious.” He said outloud to himself. He started flapping them faster and he found himself rising in altitude. But he could also feel himself struggling with keeping his balance in the air. Having a pony body was still very new to him.

Neltharion could feel himself starting to lose balance as more and more weight came onto his left wing. He eventually found himself strafing to the left and eventually the weight on his left got so bad that he flew onto his side. Oh, no. Was all Neltharion got to think before his right wing instinctively stopped flapping and he face planted into the crystal floor and started rolling down the stairs.

Neltharion could have sworn he heard someone laughing as he hit the bottom of the stairs. He felt his head pounding with pain from his trip down the stairs, but other than that, he wasn’t hurt. Neltharion grunted and stood up. He looked angrily to his left side. That was my most pathetic display in over fifty-thousand years. Neltharion’s eyes widened and he straightened up and looked around, scanning the area for potential bystanders. He sighed in relief as his eyes found none. At least no one saw it.

He turned his attention back to his wings. Neltharion wasn’t much for giving things a second try, but decided to give it another shot. He slowly spread them once more and began flapping them slowly. Then faster and faster and he suddenly found himself in the air once more, but this time he didn’t feel unbalanced. Neltharion smirked victoriously, adjusted his wings and began flying up into the air. He soon found himself far above Ponyville and he could see it all. The small village in all its glory, the crystal castle that reflected the moon’s light out onto the sleeping village. He could also see Everfree and Canterlot, but what caught his attention the most was the moon. It was a full moon and it was huge, just above Canterlot mountain it was slowly making its descend down towards the horizon. It was a beautiful sight that brought a smile to Neltharion’s lips. One could say many things about Equestria, but one could never say the country wasn’t beautiful.

Neltharion looked down once more to the Everfree forest and spotted the ruined castle that resided within. He had already been there once, but he hadn’t explored much of it in his brief time slithering through it, but he was actually curious about the castle. Why had it been abandoned? With curiosity getting the better of him, Neltharion decided to take another look at the ruined castle. With a powerful flap of his wings, he set off towards the castle.

Neltharion landed outside the ruined castle. It looked just like he remembered it, ruined beyond repair. He briefly remembered the conversation he had with Discord inside and sighed. Nothing had changed since that day. Nothing but him growing more impatient. He liked Equestria, but he didn’t plan on spending the next thousand years here. Who knows what was happening on Azeroth.

Neltharion sighed and walked through the gate into the ruin and quickly found himself in the castle’s throneroom. There were two thrones at the end of the room and several hallways on each side on the way down to the thrones. There was several holes in the walls, all windows were shattered, and there was a large hole in the ceiling. Both thrones were different. They were the same design but different colors. The one on the left was a dark blue in color with a tattered banner above adorned with crescent moon and stars. The throne on the right was golden in color. Above it was another tattered banner, but this one was golden in color and was adorned with a sun. It was very obvious who had once sat on each throne.

Neltharion continued, unimpressed, deeper inside the castle until he came across a library. The library was easily bigger than the throne room and it contained several floors. Across the room and floors were shelves with an uncountable amount of books.

Curious, Neltharion walked over and took out a random grey book from a random shelf. He tried to inspect the book for a title, but it was too dusty. He took a deep breath and blew the dust away, but Neltharion blew a bit harder than he initially intended, successfully blowing the dust off of the rest of the books on the shelf he had picked the book off from, the dust was so dense that it threw him into a coughing fit so severe that he dropped the book he was holding. Small yellow flames came out of his mouth as he coughed and eventually got all of the dust out of his lungs.

A small soot spot was left on the ground next to the book he had dropped. Neltharion regained his posture and looked down to the book and to his surprise there was not a grey book anymore, instead lied a brown leather covered book in its place. Neltharion picked up the book once more and got his eyes on small golden letters on the frontside of the cover. It was not easy to read Equestrian. The text was smudgy and to any other creature than a pony it would be deemed unreadable. But over the last week, Neltharion had picked up some basics in how to read the Equestrian. After some flipping and intense staring at the book, Neltharion eventually made out the words: Unicorn magic 101 on the book.

Even more curious Neltharion opened the book and tried starting to read it the first page. To his frustration, it took very long to decipher each word and he eventually gave up and threw the book with all his might into the shelf he had picked it up from, successfully knocking the shelf over causing it to fall into another shelf and making that fall into another shelf. This cycle continued until all of the shelves in the line were knocked over. A loud *bang* was heard for ever shelf that hit the ground.

Neltharion facehoofed at the sight. There were books, broken shelves and dust everywhere where there used to be a an orderly line of dusty shelves.

Without further thinking, Neltharion left the room. If it was out of embarrassment or sheer annoyance of the whole situation, he wasn’t sure, but he just didn’t want to be in that room any longer. On the way out he heard the laughter again. The same laughter he heard when he crashed outside of Twilight’s castle. This time he was sure it wasn’t his imagination, but nevertheless he continued out the room in the same pace to not seem suspicious.

Now Neltharion also noticed a shadow that was following him in the corner of his eye. No, not a shadow. It was a dark blue cloud that imitated a shadow and was slowly following him as he advanced through the rooms.

He kept leading the blue cloud through the castle to test how close it was willing to get to him. Under his observations of the blue clouds willingness of proximity, Neltharion also began to notice a weak smell coming from the cloud. It smelled like perfume. Like tulips and moonglow flowers. It was familiar. He had smelled that perfume before, but he couldn’t remember where and when. The smell was soothing. It made Neltharion feel relaxed and at peace. He kept feeling relaxed by the smell and lost all train of thought and he eventually found himself back in the throneroom. That’s when he remembered where he had smelled the perfume before and scowled.

“I know you’re here, princess Luna.” He said angrily.

The moment those words left his mouth, the blue cloud seemingly flinched. Neltharion could also swear he heard a gulping sound. Before Neltharion even managed to blink, the cloud appeared in front of him and quickly took the shape of a familiar alicorn princess.

“How didst thou know that we… I were following thee?” She asked, genuinely curious, with a raised eyebrow.

Neltharion walked past her and snorted. “Your unnecessary laughing at my misfortune and that intoxicating smell of yours gave you away.”

Luna shot him a weird look. “Excuse me?”

Neltharion looked back at her, noticing her face having turned a deep red color. “Your perfume.”


Neltharion rolled his eyes, shifted his attention towards the nearby exit and continued towards it. He could hear metallic hoofsteps behind him, an indication that Luna had decided to follow. In Neltharion’s new pony form, he was about a head taller than her. Neltharion noticed Luna had now walked up beside him and was shooting him the occasional glance. “Why are you following me?” He asked without even looking at her.

Luna also kept her eyes on the road ahead when she answered. “We…I thought this might be as good a time as any to ‘converse’ with thee, seeing as you have been rather quiet this past week.”

“And so you thought to take out all of the guards in Twilight’s castle to get me out.”

Luna froze for a second and then continued walking beside the dragon in disguise. “How did you know?”

Neltharion and Luna had now reached the exit and walked outside. Neltharion took a deep breath, inhaling the clean air instead of the dust filled atmosphere there was inside the ruined castle. He stopped walking and turned to face Luna. “You and your sister have sent over fifty of your royal guards to Ponyville. Most of them are stationed at the castle while the rest patrol and have different shifts. Did you really think I wouldn’t notice the absolute lack of guards both in Ponyville and the castle?”

Luna kept her eyes away from his fiery gaze and didn’t answer.

“How many guards did you bring with you?”

Luna looked up at Neltharion with a questioning look. “What do you mean? Its just you and me out here.”

“Good, then you wouldn’t mind we took this conversation into the air would you?” Neltharion spread his tattered wings as he finished the question.

“Of course not.” Luna answered quickly. She spread her own wings and began flapping them.

Neltharion also started flapping his wings and they both took off into the air, quickly rising far above the forest.

Inside the bushes near the castle, some gold cladded ponies had been sitting at the ready. The leader among them sighed and lit his horn. “Target is suspicious, Blue cloud is airborne and so is target, abort operation.”

Several other bushes started rustling and gold cladded shadows could be seen jumping off the ruined castle’s roof.

“Oh come on!”

“Damn it!”

“I was hoping this would actually get exciting.”

“Can’t believe I canceled a date for this!”

Many other ponies continued to whine until the leader of them had enough. “QUIET!” He yelled, then shook his head and sighed. “Better luck next time I guess.”

Luna flew just beside Neltharion at a reasonable speed. They had just passed over Ponyville. There were sparks, small flames, a small trail of smoke, and the sound of something sizzling coming from Neltharion’s wings. He kept his legs bent and close to his body, just like when he flew in his true form.

Neltharion looked to her. “So, why not just confront me in the middle of the day with bystanders instead of following me through the night?”

Luna smirked mischieviously. “Well, we thought about that, but decided to do it in the night to make it more personal. To be perfectly honest, we were about to make a grand entrance but then discovered thou weren’t in your room. We then found you at the staircase outside the castle, rolling down the stairs and decided to follow you. We never would have thought it would be so amusing to follow thee.”

Neltharion shot her a glare. “Next time reveal yourself before letting me make a fool out of myself.”

Luna chuckled. “No promises.”

Neltharion couldn't help but smile at her response. Then he remembered something. “There is also something I have been meaning to ask.”

Luna gave him a questioning look.

“Have you made any progress with finding me a way home?”

Luna shifted her attention back to sights ahead. Luna had been searching for the entirety of canterlot castle trying to find anything on other world transport. In the past week she had been searching through Starswirl the bearded’s personal library for something, since she wanted him gone as fast as possible, but had only found a single book that contained theories, but not concrete methods of otherworld traveling. “Unfortunately, no.”

Neltharion’s ears drooped as he heard those words, but he shook his head free of any depressing thoughts. “What did you want to talk to me about?”

Luna flew a little ahead and gazed down at the city of Canterlot not far from them. “You might not be a citizen of Equestria and you might have done things I wouldn’t agree with, but it is my duty to take care of Equestria’s citizens and guests. That is one of my reasons for being here. The other is that princess Twilight told me that we have similar pasts.

Neltharion nodded. “Twilight told me about your banishment and about your recent return. And we are very similar in a way, but also very different.

“How so?”

Neltharion flew even higher into the air, Luna followed. “The body count for one thing.”

Luna turned slightly pale at his words. “Do you know how many you’ve…”

Not enough. Said a voice in the back of Neltharion’s head, but he dismissed it. “Too many.” he simply answered.

They continued to fly in silence for a little while. Luna broke it.

“I just want my country and my subjects to be safe. No matter the cost.”

Neltharion smiled at her words. “Understandable. It is a beautiful country you have here.” He stopped midair and looked down onto Equestria once more. “I can see your need to protect it. I miss my world, more than you can ever imagine and I know that you miss the world as you used to see it.”

Luna stopped in front of him looked down and sighed regretfully. “Yes, everyday I wish I could go back and change everything that happened.” She looked up at Neltharion, her blue eyes locking with his fiery. “But I know that I will never fall again. For this time, I have friends.”

Neltharion snorted. “I still don’t understand your kinds need for friendship and harmony. Why is it so important to you?”

Luna was slightly taken back by his question. It was probably the last question she thought that she would ever hear. “Well… Friendship connects all creatures in a bond that will stay there for the rest of their lives. Some friendships even develop into love. And all of it ties into harmony. Harmony is the concept that there is a balance. A balance between good and evil, light and dark.”

“And you believe you uphold harmony with your actions?”

Luna gave him an odd look. “Of course. We’ve had peace and prosperity in Equestria for thousands of years with a few exception.”

“Then your harmony contradicts itself.”

“What do you mean?”

“If there was to be harmony, there would be happening just as much bad as good. From what you tell me, there is a lack of 'evil' in your country, but the concept of something being evil also isn't simple. Evil is a matter of perspective. Most creatures are only evil because some view them as so. When your dark side took a hold of you, you didn’t think that you were on the wrong end. I’ll bet Discord didn’t see himself as evil when he came to Equestria and I didn’t become evil because my corruption forced me. It tempted me, made me see things from its point of view and eventually I gave in. And then I fell asleep for ten-thousand years with no knowledge of my actions.”

Luna was miffed by his words. She had never thought of things that way before. Why hadn’t she?

“But that is not my point.” Neltharion continued. “I want you to look down onto Equestria and tell me what you see.”

Luna looked down onto her sleeping country. “I see peace. I see a country built on friendship. I see happy ponies dreaming of wonders, friends and love.”

“Do you see any evil?”

Luna looked to the Everfree forest. “Yes, inside of the--”

“The creatures of Everfree are not evil. They live on instinct. If they’re hungry they feed, if they’re tired they sleep, their emotions don’t control them like they control you and I, they see the world differently. They are not evil.”

“And what about the changelings? Were they not evil then?”

Neltharion looked down onto Ponyville, reminiscing the fight that happened a week before. “They feed off of love, It is their way of surviving. In a way, yes they are evil, but it is not enough to be this balance you claim you have in Equestria. I have lived in true harmony with my brothers and sisters, and what I see here is not harmony. On my world there is true harmony. On my world there happens as much bad as good, maybe even a bit more of the bad. Your harmony is flawed, an excuse to do whatever that pleases you, with not even considering the possible consequences.”

“That is not true…” Luna replied in a low voice. She was starting to feel conflicted.

Neltharion raised his voice. “Evil is something that is almost nonexistent in your country, and the little evil there is isn’t enough to outweigh the good anyway. And that is why new evils keep popping up in your country. It is only a matter of time before something comes that you can’t win against. After All--” Neltharion got close to Luna. “--If there is one thing my long life has taught me, it is this.”

Time seemed to slow down for Luna as Neltharion flew even closer. Close enough to whisper in her ear. She could feel the heat coming off of his body and see the smallest of fiery cracks across his wings.

“Nothing lasts forever.” He flew away after he whispered those words and looked towards the horizon. The moon was still on its way down, but it was a lot further down than when he left the castle. “It was a pleasure to talk with you, princess Luna. We should do it again sometime.” Neltharion then did a backwards loop and flew down towards Ponyville, leaving Luna in the air with her thoughts.

Surges and meetings

View Online

Twilight yawned with the grace of a hippo as she woke up. Her first thoughts were to get out of bed, but her body protested with extremely lazy and tired limbs at that idea. The past week hadn't been great for her with all of the tension that was in Ponyville and Equestria in general. Papers had spread what had happened during the changelings attack on Ponyville and she had received some blame for the attack, and some other rumors that had spread during the week. In short, Twilight felt sad and as if she had done something wrong. Whenever she would walk into Ponyville the citizens would shoot her glances and start to whisper about her and probably Neltharion as well.

She also missed her friends. She felt like she needed them now more than ever, having almost been made an enemy of the public. And they had even taken a little distance from her, trying to comprehend what had happened that day. Thoughts had also been running wild in Twilight’s mind, searching for a solution and maybe a map or a checklist on what to do next. She just wanted everything to go back to the way they were before. She blamed Neltharion for ever having come to Ponyville and making everypony turn against her, but at the same time she knew that wasn’t fair. It was never Neltharion’s choice to have been sent to Equestria in the first place.

Twilight turned in her bed and looked around her enormous room. There were lavender banners with her own cutiemark over her bed and on each side of her window. There was a lavender rug that covered most of the floor, also with her cutiemark, a large mirror with golden frame in the other end of the room, a bed counter beside her with several pictures of herself with her friends, her brother and Cadance and one of Twilight and Celestia.

Twilight sighed in sadness and slowly got out of her bed. Looking out of her window, she could see the sun was starting to rise over the horizon. She could have stayed in bed for as long as she wanted, but she needed something to occupy her thoughts other than the events of the past week.

Walking out her room, she noticed just how quiet the crystal castle was. The only thing she could hear was a barely noticeable snoring coming from the room opposite of hers. It was Spike’s room. Peeking inside, she saw the baby dragon snoring in his very own bed. He laid curled up on the middle of it like a cat that had successfully conquered the bed for his own. His snoring brought a smile to Twilight’s face even though Spike hadn’t been very happy with her the past week either. Under the attack she had left him despite his protests and even used magic to make him fall asleep and to protect him from harm. When he had finally been awoken, he hadn’t exactly been happy as he knew exactly what Twilight had done to him. Spike had been very mad at her the first two days but was now starting to warm up to her.

She closed the door and began walking through the castle. As her hooves sounded against the crystal floor, Twilight began to realise just how alone she was. The castle was seemingly abandoned, which it shouldn’t be. Where were all of the guards? In search of an answer Twilight began checking around the castle to try and find anypony, but there was no one besides herself and Spike in the castle. Suddenly she heard something. It sounded like wing beats coming from outside of the castle. Curious, Twilight walked towards the entrance and was met with a familiar pony having just entered through the doors.


The pony in question turned his head and a small smile picked up on his black coated mouth as he saw who had called out his name. “Ah, good morning Twilight.” He greeted, his deep voice reverberating through the walls of the crystal castle and causing a slight temperature rise in the room.

Twilight instinctively almost gulped as his eyes met hers. Her nightmares had stopped, but every time she looked at Neltharion, all she could see was the dragon despite his current form. “Good morning.” She greeted back, looking Neltharion over. He was breathing faster than usual, his mane and tail was ruffled and at the same time slick as if it had been exposed to high speed. “Were you out?” She questioned.

“Yes, I couldn’t sleep so i tested out these wings.” He spread his black leathery wings and looked over them proudly. “By all logic I shouldn’t have been able to fly because of the wings size proportioned to my body and yet I could. Though it still puzzles me how.” He said and put a hoof to his chin, his plating scraping against itself as he did so.

“Pegasi are able to fly because of the magic that courses through them.” Twilight supplied with information. “But you’re not originally a pony so you shouldn’t…” A thought caught Twilight and she instinctively stepped closer. She began inspecting Neltharion’s body. His wings, horn, hooves--

“Ugh, Twilight, what are you doing?” Neltharion asked while looking oddly at her. Normally she would stay at a reasonable distance from him, but this was new.

“I have a theory, now hold still!” She commanded and began stretching out his wings with her hooves, spotting the fiery liquid running through the veins of the thin leather in his wings. Then she went on to his horn and yanked him so hard that he almost fell over in the process. She heard an annoyed grunt escape Neltharion’s mouth, but ignored it and continued her inspection.

“What part of your theory includes you having to yanking me like i’m a ragdoll?” Neltharion asked, his face pointing towards the ground.

“All of it, now hush.” Twilight simply answered and began running her hoof over Neltharion’s crooked horn and even putting her own horn against his.

“Hush?” Neltharion asked, almost offended, with the whole situation as more blood was starting to go to his head. “You’re telling Neltharion the dragon aspect of the earth, the former titled ‘Destroyer’ to hush?”

“Yes, now be quiet.” Twilight simply answered, let go of his horn and started inspecting his hooves instead.

Neltharion grumbled something under his breath, but other than that he let Twilight do whatever she had to do.

Twilight’s eyes widened as she made a discovery. What? But how? She backed away from Neltharion and inspected his body in its entirety. “Try focusing on your horn.” She said.

“Ugh, why?” Neltharion asked with a raised eyebrow. Her request was weird. There was no reason for him to do such a thing. He had a faint suspicion, but there was no way it was possible.

“Just do it.” Twilight replied, slightly annoyed at his continuing lack of wanting to corporate.

Neltharion stood up straight, closed his eyes and started concentrating on his horn. Behind Neltharion’s eyelids there was darkness, but as he kept concentrating, painful memories began to resurface in the darkness. Neltharion could feel a growing heat in his horn. The memories didn’t just bring pain with them, but also anger, rage, a seething hatred that had been sparked from beings so evil and twisted that their very names and language was maddening. Neltharion’s heart began beating faster in his chest. The heat kept getting stronger and stronger in Neltharion’s horn, but he didn’t notice, all he could hear was a voice of rage and ruin. His own voice.

With a yell, Neltharion let out the emotions inside him and he fell to the floor, panting from the emotional pressure. His heart felt like it was about to jump up and out of his throat. He heard nothing but a ringing for his ears, the dark emotions had completely suffocated his senses and threatened to take away his control over his destructive magic.

Groggily Neltharion struggled to sit up, but he felt so dizzy and couldn’t make his body do as he commanded. He opened his eyes and immediately closed them again as his vision was so blurry and wobbly that he felt his stomach churn. He could he hear a muffled voice calling his name. It was familiar, female. He felt someone poke him.

“Neltharion! Neltharion are you okay?”

Neltharion once again opened his eyes and were met with a purple blurry mass talking to him. And as he kept staring at the mass, his vision focused, his dizziness disappeared and the ringing for his ears died out. He was now staring at a worried Twilight Sparkle’s face.

“Twilight?” He asked, his throat feeling dry and voice overused. “What… What happened?”

“Well…” Twilight looked up and around the room. “I think you had a magical surge. I had one similar to your’s when I was a filly, but mine wasn’t as… Destructive.”

Neltharion sat up. “Why, what happened?” He then looked behind Twilight and his eyes widened.

The entire upper side of the crystal room and doors where black with a giant blast mark. There were cracks in the floor where he had stood.

“How could this have happened?” Neltharion asked bewildered. Such a thing had never happened to him before. He had always had complete control over his magic, it was first when he let his emotions take control that a thing such as this could happen.

Twilight took a hoof to her chin. “Regular unicorns only experience surges under extreme emotional pressure or stress. What happened when you closed your eyes?”

“Well…” Neltharion thought back to when he closed his eyes. “I… I saw memories and then…” He remembered the rage. Above everything he remembered his overwhelming hatred. “I woke up on the floor.” He lied. There was no way he could tell her about it without her getting worried or suspicious.

“Hmmm… That is strange…” Twilight began pacing around Neltharion while staring intently on the floor in thought. “There have been rare cases of unicorn fillies and colts having surges because of a lack of control over their magic, so maybe…” Twilight stopped and looked to Neltharion once more. “Have you ever had issues controlling your magic?”

Neltharion felt almost offended by her question. “No, I’ve always had complete control.” He simply replied as he stood up once more.

Twilight began pacing again while mumbling a lot of words Neltharion didn’t understand. She stopped again. “Then there is only one remaining possibility. Your dragon magic and pony magic must be separate from each other.”

“But why do I even have pony magic to begin with?”

“I’m not sure.” Twilight replied. “But it seems you have no control over that magic.”

“So? I’m not going to use it anyway.”

“But it might trigger randomly if you don’t learn to control it. And as you can see here--” Twilight gestured around the blast marked room. “I don’t think we can afford to risk it.”

“Is that so?” Neltharion asked. “Then what do you propose we do?”

Twilight smirked. It was the kind of smirk that made Neltharion feel uncomfortable. Especially since it widened into a smile that very much resembled that of Pinkie Pie’s. “I’ll teach you how.”

“Thank ya kindly for coming everypony.” Applejack said. She having gathered up all of her friends beside Twilight in the Sugarcube corner.She was still bandaged on her for and back leg. She and her friends, missing Pinkie and Twilight, was sitting around a table each on their own chair.

“Yeah, yeah.” Rainbow Dash yawned from a chair, careful not to press her bandaged wing against the chair back. “This better be important, its freaking 5:30 in the morning!”

“Oh come on, Rainbow darling, it's good for you to get up a bit early you have been getting awfully lazy as of late.” Rarity said, having brought a mirror and checking her make up. She grimaced, having noticed there was still a faint shade of green in her mane.

“I have not!” Rainbow Dash protested.

“Girls, now is not tha time to discuss such things.” Applejack said while rubbing her head in annoyance.

She was promptly ignored.

“Like you haven’t been slacking off yourself, Rarity! I saw you send customers away yesterday!”

Rarity was slightly taken back by hearing that Rainbow knew about that. “Yes, well, a lady has her right to take some much needed personal time. And besides, it is not like i’m doing nothing but sleeping on clouds all day and night!”

“Uhm… Girls?” Fluttershy tried to join the conversation.

“Alright you two, stop it!” Applejack yelled.

“Or what AJ? I heard you have been slacking off as well falling asleep in the middle of working!” Rainbow Dash taunted.

Applejack felt her face heat up, but didn’t reply.

“Oh come on you guys!” Pinkie said, entering from the kitchen with a tray containing a dozen cupcakes and started handing them out and put the remaining on the table. “Turn those frowns upside down!” She grabbed Rainbow Dash’s face and pulled on her face until she wore a smile so big it could rival Pinkie’s own. “There, do like Dashie!”

As soon as Pinkie let go of Rainbow Dash’s face, it fell back into a frown. The rest of the friends except Fluttershy looked at Pinkie with a deadpan look.

Applejack shook her head. “Anyhow, I gathered y’all here so we can talk about--”

“Ooh, Ooooh!” Pinkie interrupted. “I know! We’re here to talk about the next grand galloping galla!”

Applejack shot her an odd look and was about to speak when Pinkie appeared in her face.

“No! Don’t tell me, I wanna guess!” Pinkie began pacing and then she abruptly stopped and once again appeared in Applejack’s face with a ridiculously large and expecting smile “Is it about Nelly’s ‘Welcome and thank you for saving, even if you kinda destroyed, ponyville party’?!”

Applejack was about to answer when Rainbow Dash interrupted her.

“Wow, wow, wow. You actually want to hold a party for that monster?”

Pinkie simply smiled at her pegasus friend. “Of course, silly, he is a new resident here in Ponyville and they all deserve a special Pinkie Pie PARTY!” Confetti flew from behind her as she finished.

“Rainbow does have a point, Pinkie.” Rarity nodded. “Can’t you make an exception this time, besides I doubt many will come to a party celebrating that monster.”

“He did also save us, Rarity.” Applejack said.

“And he destroyed Ponyville!” Rainbow Dash protested.

“But him and Discord also fixed Ponyville afterwards…” Fluttershy muttered.

“Yeah… Well…” Rainbow Dash had run out of ammunition.

“Besides, this brings us ta why I brought y’all here today.” Applejack announced. “I wanted ta discuss that day last week with y’all.”

“Oh don’t remind me.” Rarity shivered. “My mane is still green from the goo I got in it that day.”

The rest of the friends looked at her oddly. To them she had her normal purple stylish mane she couldn’t help but touching every other minute as usual.

“I wanted to talk about Twilight.” Applejack finished.

The whole room seemed more gloomy after Applejack finished that sentence. Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Rarity had all shifted their attention to the floor while Pinkie Pie was shifting her eyes between them with sad eyes although her mane remained poofy and big.

“Oh, come on, y’all!” Applejack yelled, slightly frustrated. “Ah know most of ya don’t wanna, but we need to ta talk ‘bout it.”

“What is there to talk about?” Rainbow Dash yelled and looked Applejack right in the eye. “Twilight is supporting that homicidal maniac and protecting him!”

“Now Rainbow, we don’t know the details.”

“And we don’t need them!” Rainbow Dash replied angrily. “She still allows him to live with her, that should be evidence enough!”

“Rainbow does have a point. Why would Twilight allow him to live with her if she didn’t support his actions?” Rarity questioned. “The truth of the matter is that we just don’t know why Twilight would allow Neltharion to stay with her after what happened with the changelings.”

“Maybe she was scared?” Fluttershy almost whispered, but the rest of the girls still heard her.

“Fluttershy, darling, why do you think she was scared?” Rarity asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Yeah, Shy, what do you mean?” Rainbow asked, more than eager to hear her oldest friend’s view on the whole affair.

Fluttershy hid her face behind her mane, not wanting any attention. She was half tempted to dive into the corner the room or maybe hide behind the glass counter filled with delicious treats. She gulped. “W-well, uhm, maybe she was scared of Neltharion, he is a big and scary dragon, and was afraid of what he might do?”

“We had the ENTIRE equestrian royal guard, princess Celestia and Luna, Discord and Twilight herself there.” Rainbow Dash stated. “I don’t care how magical that flying lizard is, there is NO WAY he could take all of them on!”

“Rainbow, have you forgotten what princess Celestia told us happened in her vision?” Applejack asked with a scowl.

“Of course not!”

“Then what happened in it?”

“Well she…” Rainbow Dash fell silent as she remembered princess Celestia’s words. “She said that he burned Equestria to the ground…”

“And with that information, what do ya think would have happened if they started to fight him?”

Rarity gulped as she contemplated Applejack’s question. “It could have meant the end of Equestria…”

The room went silent with Rarity’s words. To think that just a week ago, Equestria as they knew it could have ended. It was a terrifying thought to them all.

“Girls, I don’t think we’re asking the right questions.” Fluttershy said, breaking the silence.

“Yeah, This conversation is making me sad.” Pinkie Pie said, her eyes catching on to the tray with the remaining cupcakes.

“What do ya mean, Fluttershy?” Applejack asked, a sad expression on her face.

“I mean--”


Everypony’s attention was drawn to the pink cupcake monster now occupying the middle of the table, frosting and crumbs being all that remained of the poor defenseless cupcakes. None of them were spared.

“Ahh, all better now!” Pinkie smiled, rubbing her now oversized belly.

Her friends couldn’t help but giggle at Pinkie’s behaviour.

“So you were saying, Fluttershy?” Rarity asked, shying away from the table and the disturbing amounts crumbs and frosting that were on it.

“Oh, right… Isn’t Twilight still our friend?”

Her friend, minus Pinkie, stared at Fluttershy almost in shock.

“Of course she is!” Rainbow Dash yelled.

“She’ll always be our friend.” Applejack said.

“Why would you even ask such a thing?” Rarity asked.

“Because shouldn’t we trust her?”

The room went silent once more.

“She has always been there for us, no matter what, she has always wanted to help.” Fluttershy continued. “Don’t we owe her the same?”

Draconia. The land of the dragons. It is an enormous desert wasteland filled with mountains and rock formations. But the land itself is filled with gems of all kinds so no one starves. Not many ponies have dared to cross the threshold into Draconia. Wild dragons are known as cruel, greedy beasts that only care about their hoard, but in Draconia all dragons serve their queen one way or another. And no dragon wants to disappoint their queen.

Razorscale flew over the wasteland, spotting a few creatures venturing through the scorching hot sand. But he did not care about them. He had a goal, a destination he had to reach and he was already several days late.

As he continued flying over the wasteland, the desert thinned out and left only rock in its place. All around him were mountains filled with caves which harbored dragons of all kind. The rocks started to become more jagged and sharp on the ground as he continued. And then he saw it in the distance. His destination.

It was an enormous sand colored mountain that stretched far into the sky. There were caves all around it, tactically laid out where many dragons laid, guarding the mountain. Several dragons kept entering and exiting through the caves, some flying to the other side of Draconia. At the bottom was a ring of jagged rocks around the mountain and a enormous gem filled gate.

Razorscale landed before the gate.

“You’re late.”

Razorscale looked over trying to the find the owner of the voice. “I was delayed.” He simply replied, noticing a giant boulder his own size beside the gate.

The sand colored boulder began to stir. It lost its sand color and returned to a dark green. A giant lizard rose and several cracks sounded as the dragon unfurled its body from its previous position. Before Razorscale stood a wingless dragon a little bigger than himself. What made the dragon scarier was that it was a lot more bulky than Razorscale.

“Too bad. I heard some pretty interesting things happened in Equestria while you were there. Wanna tell me what happened?”

Razorscale smirked. “Not now, old friend. Our queen is awaiting me, we can talk later.”

“Hmmm… Okay.” The dragon walked over and banged his tail against the gate three times. “Just be careful Razor, you know how impatient she can be, and you being this late ain’t exactly helping.”

Razorscale sighed. “Oh believe me, I know.” The gate opened and Razorscale walked inside.

Inside were several dragons stationed on each side, them having opened the gate. They were wearing ruby red armors and helmets. The hall was enormous with no particular interior, but it was filled with dragons, discussing, trading, and arguing with each other to which some was escorted out by a few guards. The only source of light being the holes in the mountain that made way for the sunlight which reflected onto many gems which further lit up the mountain.

Razorscale decisively kept walking through the mountain, encountering a few dragons on the way. Eventually he came to another gate. This one was just as big as the last, but it was made of a dark metal, obsidian and filled with rubies. There were also several guards stationed at this gate.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t dignitary Razorscale.” One of the guards began. “How was the trip to pony land?”

“I’m sure you already know.” Razorscale replied with a deadpan look.

“Maybe, but it is always better to hear from the one draconian dragon that was actually there.”

“You can read about it in my report later, but now I believe you know why i’m here.”

The guard’s expression hardened. “Yes.” He signaled the guards behind him and the gate behind opened. “ The queen hasn’t been in the best of moods lately, so be careful.”

Razorscale nodded and walked inside. The gate closed behind him. He began walking through the dimly lit room and stopped when a voice resonated through the room.

“Ah, my faithful dignitary returns although five days late.”

It was a playful and powerful female voice. Razorscale bowed deeply and kept his head down. “Im sorry, my queen. But i’m sure you have heard about what happened while I was there.”

Razorscale heard something rumble and turn, but he kept his head down.

“Yes I have. I’m sure you can imagine my surprise when I found out those ponies had been lying to us. But it still doesn’t explain why you are so late to return.”

Razorscale kept his voice calm as he spoke. “With the recent events I found it appropriate to get some intel on our possible adversary, so I stayed behind and found out as much as I could without the Equestrians even knowing of me still residing in Equestria.” Razorscale felt the female voice come closer.

“I would expect nothing less from you, Razorscale. What did you find out?”

“Our adversary has resided in Equestria for almost a week prior to the incident and he still resides there now in a town called Ponyville in the newest princess’ castle. They only recently found out about him themselves. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any further details. The princesses keep what they know very close to heart and I didn’t get a chance to speak with our adversary at any times.”

“I see.” There was a hint of disappointment in her voice, but it was quickly replaced by interest and curiosity. “Now tell me about him, Razorscale, tell me about the beast you saw that night.

Razorscale was slightly confused at his queen’s choice of tone. For her to be so interested was rare. He thought back to that night. “Words cannot describe the terror that beast filled me with when I looked at it...” He began. “His eyes were a neverending inferno of rage, his body black and held together by some sort of metal and he was enormous. The size of Canterlot. And he commands some sort of magic...”

“What is his name?”

“He was called two names by the ponies. Neltharion and…”


“Deathwing…” Razorscale felt his chin get pulled up and saw it was an enormous ruby red arm with golden claws. He saw glinting white teeth in the dim light and giant yellow eyes

The queen chuckled. “Deathwing.” She repeated. “What an interesting name.” The ground shook as the queen rose and walked over Razorscale with ease.

Razorscale gulped and looked after her with confused eyes as she reached the door. “My queen, what are you going to do?”

The dragon queen smirked. “I think i’ll go pay this ‘Deathwing’ a visit.”

Pony Magic 101

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“And as you can see, by focusing the matrix inside of our horns we can--”

What did I do to deserve this? Neltharion thought, only to remember how he ended up in Equestria in the first place. Oh, right. He had been stuck in a chair for eight hours inside Twilight’s library listening to her ramble on about pony magic in an attempt to ‘teach’ him about it. Needless to say, he was bored out of his mind.

It had actually been almost interesting to hear the theory around unicorn and alicorn magic, for about fifteen minutes. When Twilight had gone into extensive detail about formula’s and how they could help ponies on calculating how they would be able levitate an apple the most efficient way and the history of magic, which consisted a collection mostly of theories from Starswirl the bearded, Neltharion’s mind had abandoned ship. For the lack of a better word, it was agonisingly boring.

At one point, Twilight had even gotten Neltharion to try and levitate an apple, which only resulted in apple juice all over the library, sticky book pages, a purple dragon getting the pleasure of slowly going through every single book hit and make sure their pages hadn’t become attached to one another, and then Twilight had continued the lecture, while carefully inputting a few select words that were intended to scold Neltharion.

Then to make the eight torturous hours even more infuriating, Twilight had even had the nerve to give Neltharion a scroll with twenty questions, a pen, and twenty minutes to answer them all. Neltharion only managed to answer one, as he could barely read what Twilight had written.

Neltharion’s thoughts drifted between the past few days events and the words of the night princess he had met earlier the same morning. No progress on their efforts in returning me home, i’m starting to doubt if they’re even trying. Perhaps I should start my own investigation on the matter? I could probably find a faster solution myself.

“But if we take in account Eisenmane’s magic relation theory, we can deduce-”

Neltharion had completely zoned out on Twilight’s lecture and into his own thoughts, but from her view Neltharion was staring very intently at the blackboard behind her.

Maybe they aren’t trying after all? Neltharion thought. Perhaps they are only trying to stall me with their meaningless games and trying to find out how to get rid of me? Neltharion’s eyes narrowed. It would make sense, but perhaps i’m not thinking deep enough? For all I know, they are trying to find a way to contain my magic once more, or maybe even steal it. The air seemed to be getting hotter as Neltharion’s thoughts roamed his mind and made him grit his teeth. Can I really trust these ponies or their allies? I wouldn’t if I were in their position. Yet it still angers me. Only two on this pathetic world has shown me the respect I deserve. I could annihilate these ponies without resistance if the mood struck me, yet I haven’t, and it still puzzles me why. I don’t want to be the monster that was feared, hated and despised, yet it seems to be my only path no matter my actions. The temperature in the room dropped to normal once more.

“And this concludes my thoughts on the history of basic levitation magic.” Twilight turned away from the blackboard and smiled, satisfied with her presentation, only to have her mouth drop when her eyes fixed on her only attendee.

Neltharion shook his head free of his thoughts as he felt eyes on him. He looked to Twilight and raised an eyebrow, “What?”

First then did Neltharion notice the smell of something burning and looked down at his chair which was turning black in color, smoke rising from it and the wood was starting to creak beneath him.

Neltharion stepped off the chair which collapsed as soon as his weight disappeared from it.

“Uhhh, perhaps that’s enough theory for now,” Said Twilight, while smiling nervously.

“Agreed,” Neltharion replied.

“How about we put some of those theories into practise?” Twilight suggested with a smile.

Neltharion resisted the urge to groan and nodded with half lidded eyes. “Fine.”

Twilight walked over to a nearby wooden table and placed a rock on it. She then walked away, lit her horn and placed a purple barrier around Neltharion and the table, keeping herself at a safe distance. “Okay, just like before, try and levitate the rock, gently.”

Her tone didn’t amuse Neltharion. Levitating something as simple as a rock with unfamiliar magic, while having no idea how much of said magic he actually held while at the same time trying his best not to use his own much more powerful Aspect magic in the process, is difficult to say the least.

Neltharion began to concentrate on his crooked horn and on the rock on the table. He felt a rising heat in his horn and he could spot fiery orange light just above his eyes, an indication that he was actually using his pony magic. A faint orange aura enveloped the rock on the table and it began to tremble.

Spike appeared in the doorway to the library. “This can only end badly…” He said, shaking his head and walked away.

“Yes, that’s it! Now just float it above the table!” Twilight cheered on Neltharion from outside the bubble.

The fiery glow above Neltharion’s eyes got brighter as he concentrated even more on the rock and it responded in kind by trembling even more. The rock’s aura got brighter as well, and Neltharion gritted his teeth. Why is this so difficult?! He thought angrily as he stared frustrated at the rock that still hadn’t begun floating.

A low cracking sound was heard as Neltharion kept focusing, and with every second that went by, the more frustrated and irritated he became. The fact that he, Neltharion, one who had been called the Earth-warder, having shaped mountains and continents, some even going so far and calling him the destroyer of worlds, couldn’t lift a simple rock, continued to strike at his enormous ego and pride.

Twilight’s eyes widened as she knew what was about to happen and poured more magic into her barrier, fearing that what might happen would just barrel through it like paper.

Neltharion gritted his teeth harder as his frustration only got greater and he eventually dropped focus and the fiery aura began to spread to the wooden table beneath. The cracking sound of the rock got louder and the table it stood on started to smoke and fiery cracks appeared across it.

A loud boom sounded as the rock exploded into a million pieces that stopped flat in their tracks as soon as they hit the purple barrier and Neltharion who didn’t even flinch.

Twilight dropped the barrier and rock pieces fell to the crystal floor. She stared at the ashen remains of the wooden table with sadness and then turned to Neltharion whose horn had stopped glowing and he was once more standing straight, an annoyed frown on occupying his features.

Neltharion snorted. “That was even worse than the last time we tried.” He stated.

Twilight smiled sheepishly, “Well, you have to start somewhere,” She smiled, even if there were a small trace of nervosity to be found in it. “We just have to keep on trying.”

Some days just seem to occupy one's mind with strange thoughts. No matter what one does, one cannot sway from those strange thoughts. Thoughts that are just nagging and keep drilling into one’s mind with no intention of stopping before they are given voice. To Discord, this was one of those days.

He was on his way to the throne room inside Canterlot castle, it just having gotten some special visitors from up north.

For the last week, Discord hadn’t done much. In fact, he had been unusually quiet and used most of his time in his room, contemplating the events of the strange two weeks. And finally he had had enough.

Strangely, both Celestia and Luna had ignored his previous requests for a meeting during the week. He didn’t understand why, but he thought that a meeting was long overdue.

As Discord spotted the golden gate to the throne room, he snapped his talon and disappeared in a white light.

He appeared inside close to the ceiling, looking down at the ponies beneath.

The room was occupied by Celestia, Luna, Cadance and Shining Armor.

“So as you can see, the last few weeks have been very…Hectic to say the least.” Luna said from her throne.

“Yes, we understand it must’ve been difficult,” Cadance said, standing beside her husband, both of them wearing serious frowns. “But what I don’t understand is why you didn’t tell us earlier, we could have helped.”

“Cadance is right, your majesties,” Shining continued from his wife. “We could have provided vital support from the empire, and then last week’s events could maybe have been averted entirely.”

Discord felt like snorting at Shining.

“No, it wouldn’t, Shining Armor.” Celestia replied from her own throne, shaking her head.

“You can’t know that for sure,” Shining retaliated.

“Yes, I can.” Celestia replied, her regal posture not wavering. There was not the slightest sign of a smile on her features. She kept a serious frown. “You were not there under the affair and that was entirely my choice. Involving you would only make you worry about Twilight’s and everypony else's safety. Right now we are at a crossroads on what our next action should be.”

“Also, Discord’s siding with Deathwing is quite worrisome.” Luna inputted.

Celestia, Cadance, and Shining nodded in agreement.

Discord scowled down at the ponies for their mistrust in him.

Without waiting any further, Discord snapped his talon and both Cadance and Shining Armor disappeared from the throne room. Discord snapped his talon once more and appeared before Celestia and Luna with crossed arms, a scowl on his face.

“Discord, what did you do to our niece and her husband?” Luna yelled, scowling herself.

“They’re fine, I just transported them into the garden” He scoffed. “They can play bunny rabbits there while we have a long overdue chat.”

Celestia sighed. “Discord, I don’t know how much you heard, but we can have this discussion lat-”


Celestia raised an eyebrow. “Excuse me?”

“I have been very patient with you two for the last week,” Discord stated and began hovering back and forth like an impatient flying lion. “I gave you the time to think of a plan or even sort out the recent rumors that has been damaging both of you’s public image. But now, i’ve tired of waiting and want answers,” He stopped in front of both princesses. “We need to discuss that day.”

“What is there to discuss?” Celestia asked angrily, her ears splayed back. “You sided with a homicidal maniac that could destroy us all over your own friends.”

“What he did was necessary!” Discord yelled. “When will you see that the changelings were not going to change?!”

“When you were given the chance, you changed in less than two days!” Celestia retaliated. “So why couldn’t they?!”

She had him there, but Discord was not willing to submit this fight. “And what were you going to do to convince them? Give them the choice to be good little changelings or get blasted by the rainbow canon like you did to me?!”

The instant those words left his mouth, Celestia’s furious expression was gone with the nonexistent wind and had been replaced with one of doubt and sadness, biting her lower lip as she wasn’t sure how to retaliate. Luckily, Luna came to her rescue.

“Enough, Discord!” Luna yelled. “You are not being fair to my sister.”

Discord snorted, “I’ve never played fair, my dear Moona.”

Luna’s eye twitched at the nickname.

“And besides,” Discord continued. “The most recent events involving a certain centaur from Tartarus proved that it took much more for me to change. It took so much more than simply a few days being threatened with the friendship cannon. And the lesson I learned that day cannot be taught, only experienced.”

“But back to the topic at hand. For diarchs of order, harmony and friendship, you are being very judgemental towards our resident interdimensional volcano on legs.” Discord smirked as both princesses’ expressions changed into ones of shock at his words.

“Judgemental?” Celestia muttered, her expression turned into one of confusion and then anger. “Are you serious?”


“That thing can destroy everything!” Luna yelled, her expression having turned into one of anger as well.

“I fail to see your point.”

“Discord, we’ve been over this,” Celestia said, taking a deep breath to calm herself. “We are just being cautious and trying to find out of his intentions. That’s why Luna went to spy on him last night.”

“And how did that go?”

Luna shrugged, “Well… We...I followed him around, had guards standing ready in case things got out of hoof and he eventually discovered that I was following him.”

Discord felt an urge to roll his eyes and groan at the mention of Luna bringing guards.

Celestia raised an eyebrow, “Wait, he discovered you, how?”

Luna’s face flushed red in embarrassment and she looked away. She was not about to tell her sister that she had been discovered on a stealth mission because she couldn’t stop snickering at her target’s clumsiness. “Uh, I don’t know.” She answered with a sheepish smile.

Celestia sighed and shook her head. “What happened after he discovered you?”

“We talked…”


Luna shivered at the memory of the conversation. It was not something she wanted to put too much thought into right now. She could think about it later. “Strange things, sister, things that makes one think…”

Discord snickered. It seemed Neltharion had had a heart to heart with her as well.

Celestia shot Discord a strange look. “What are you laughing about?”

Discord smirked mischievously. “Nothing, my dear.” Discord remembered why he had come to the throne room in the first place. “But this does raise an interesting question that might provide you two some peace. Luna, did Neltharion seem hostile towards you during your little ‘talk’”?

“Not really, but what has that to with anything?”

Discord smirked deviously. “Let me answer that question with a question of my own. If Neltharion had any intentions of ‘hurting’ us or reducing Equestria to an oversized mud hole, wouldn’t he then have done so already? I know we have talked about this, but think about it.”

“He could just be manipulating us.” Celestia replied.

Discord’s smirk only widened at her response. “Ahh, but Celestia, as Luna so appropriately explained before, if he wanted to, he could destroy everything, yet he hasn’t. A creature of his immense power has no purpose in manipulating us. The only thing he has asked for since he arrived was help getting home to his own world. If he wanted to, could he destroy Equestria? Probably. If he wanted to enslave the entire pony population to his will, could he do so? Most likely. Could he have forced us to help him getting home? Certainly. Yet, he has done none of these things, and there is only one possible explanation.”

Luna and Celestia gave Discord skeptical looks.

Discord stepped closer. “Neltharion is telling the truth. There is no other explanation.”

Discord snapped his talon and three pictures appeared behind him. One of Neltharion as an orange earth pony, another of him being half transformed getting attacked by changelings and the last of him in his true form with him and Discord restoring Ponyville after the battle. “Since he arrived, a lot of things have changed. The weirdest one being that since his arrival, I have been the logical one around here!” Discord yelled with a look of frustration.

The princesses gave him a confused look.

“I mean seriously, the lord of chaos using logic more than once a year isn’t healthy. Look at my scales!” Discord wiggled his tail in front of the princesses. “They have become so pale and dull.” He stroke his red dragon tail affectionately. “But seriously though, this situation isn’t much different from when I first returned, and you two weren’t this protective then.”

“This situation differs greatly from the events of your return.” Luna said, scowling.

Discord raised an eyebrow. “Really? How so?”

“You never wanted to destroy Equestria, just play with it and its inhabitants.” Celestia answered.

“I thought we just concluded that Neltharion doesn’t actually want to destroy Equestria, or did I miss something?”

Discord was promptly ignored.

“And we actually had the means to stop you.” Luna took over. “We expected that your recklessness would be your downfall, just like the first time.”

Discord was taken aback by the princesses’ words. And more than anything, those words annoyed him, angered him. Do they really think this little of me? “So, let me get this straight, you are only treating this situation differently because I was predictable?”

The princesses realised what they had said might have been hurtful towards the chaos lord. They both opened their mouth to interrupt him and save the situation, but then they both realised they had no idea how to actually save the situation they had put themselves in.

Their lack of response only made Discord grit his teeth as he felt anger starting to cloud his other emotions and judgement, but he made the best effort not to let it show. Instead he took a deep breath and plastered his usual mischievous smirk on his face. “So i’m assuming my betrayal and team up with Tirek was planned as well?”

“Well, uhh…” Luna tried to mutter out some coherent sentences that would help them, but fell short once again.

Discord laughed. “So I am right?” He laughed even louder and even had to wipe a tear from his eye. Then stopped abruptly. “What wonderful friends I have.” He scowled, his voice laced with venom.

Both princesses shivered at Discord ice cold tone. Celestia spoke. “No, Discord, we didn’t--”

“Do you two have any idea how hard it is to fit into a society where everypony hates you?!” Discord interrupted her, shouting as he couldn’t keep the emotions bottled up any longer.

Both princesses faces fell as those words rang through their heads.

Luna looked up at Discord with a sad frown, “We d--”

“Oh, spare me your self pity, Moona!” Discord interrupted, effectively making Luna flinch. “What you’ve endured since your return is nothing compared to what I have been through! Heck even your punishment was a thousand times more merciful than mine! You were put to sleep inside your precious moon for a thousand years, and I was put into a rock, unable to feel, to sleep, and used as every bird’s personal bathroom!”

Discord floated close to Luna and gave her a face she would remember for many nights after. He had gritted teeth, a beginning twitch in his left eye and both of his usual round pupils had turned into red predatory slits. “To even considering comparing yourself to what i’ve been through is an insult of cataclysmic proportions! You were feared, Luna. Never hated, never despised, never what everypony would consider an eyesore and a black stain upon today’s society. I am all of those things and more!” He turned to Celestia. “Even those so called friends I have can’t even look at me without doubt and underlying resentment!” His furious gaze faded and was replaced by one of sadness. “Even Fluttershy…”Discord grew quiet as and realised something. Perhaps Neltharion is right? Maybe friends isn’t worth it in the end?

Celestia and Luna were torn at Discord’s emotional words. It was rare for him to expose himself like this. Celestia bit her lip as she looked at the crestfallen draconequus and spoke. “Discord, we’re--”

“And that is why I want you to reconsider things with Neltharion,” Discord interrupted, his face now void of all emotion. “If you aren’t careful, he will be driven over the edge, and there’s no telling what will happen then.”

With those parting words, Discord snapped his talon and disappeared in a white light, leaving the princesses with the echoes of the conversation roaming through their minds.




“One more time, I know you can do it!”


Countless tries. All failures. This was what Neltharion had endured for the last hour. Twilight giving him a simply magical task, and him failing horribly. ‘Levitate this, move that, see if this helps, you can do it, it was just a slip up, I know you can do it.’ Those words were all that Neltharion had heard from Twilight. Each time she spoke with enthusiasm while Neltharion himself got into a darker and darker mood due to the frustration these simple tasks were giving him. He didn’t understand why it was so difficult, and he didn’t understand why he was even trying in the first place.

Twilight walked up to Neltharion, him staring intently at a black soot mark on the crystal floor with rubble of stone, wood and boiling liquids in front of him. She could feel the rising heat coming from him and felt tempted to back away, yet walked closer up to the side of him and gave him a reassuring smile. “Don’t worry, you’ll get it. We just have to keep trying.”

Neltharion turned to Twilight with a look dismay and frustration. “No,” He answered. “I am sick of trying to learn this enfeeble magic.” He gritted his teeth. “It has no use for me other than to pass time.”

Twilight was saddened and slightly offended by his words. “That’s not true, unless exploring your full potential is a waste of time.” She mocked.

Neltharion snorted. “This magic will not increase my already sizeable armory or knowledge of magic. What you have seen is very little of what I can do with my magic. My magic can so much more than just destroy and manipulate the land.”

Neltharion blinked and the room went dark.

Twilight looked around in the darkness, unsure of what was happening. She tried to light her horn, she could feel the heat in it, but there was no light. She felt a presence and heard a voice in her head.

“I offer you the earth. The soil, the ground, the deep places. But know that the earth is the basis of all things. It is where we are rooted. Where you must come from, if you are to go to. Here is whence true strength comes. From deep places...within the world, and within oneself.” This was the gift the titan Khaz’goroth gave to me. My gift and my curse.

Twilight was frozen on the spot in the darkness. Listening carefully to the voice of Neltharion in her head.

I am the earth.

Twilight felt the crystal floor disappear under her and get replaced with something softer. A smell of dirt filled her nostrils.

The elements bend to my will.

Twilight felt water running between her hoofs.


The feeling of water stopped and was replaced by a strong wind that almost knocked her over.


The wind stopped and a light appeared in the darkness. It was a small flame that quickly spread in a circle around her.


With them I can create or destroy.

Around Twilight the fire spread in four lines out each to a corner of the room. Then everything seemed to stop.

And just as suddenly as it was gone, the light had returned to the room. Twilight’s eyes took a moment to adjust to the sudden light and when her sight cleared up, she gasped at the sight.

The room had been split up into four cells, all divided by fire lines. Each cell was in a different climate. One was filled with sand and Twilight could see the heated air bounce over it. Another had a small rock that resembled a mountain sprouted from the crystal floor, snow falling from the ceiling. On the third was a giant rock formation that resembled a volcano with lava running down the sides. The fourth one was a giant bowl of earth filled with water, an island in the middle. It had a large mountain with sand beaches, grass and small plants starting to grow in a ring around the mountain. To Twilight’s delight, all of the cells were a safe distance from her precious bookshelves.

Twilight gawked at what had seemingly appeared out of thin air. It was incredible.

These are my gifts.

The second Twilight heard Neltharion’s voice finish that sentence, the room went dark.

Not more than a second went by before the light returned. Now Neltharion was standing beside of her once more, but the four cells had been removed completely. His face was completely void of emotion.

“What you just saw was merely a fraction of what I can do. Learning pony magic is unnecessary. It is inferior and weak compared to my own magic.” Neltharion said and began to walk out of the library. “Now, if you'll excuse me, I will go back to my room to get some much needed sleep. Goodnight princess Twilight Sparkle.”

Twilight managed to wave as Neltharion walked out of the door and down the hall towards his room.

Golden Rubies and Fiery Smoke

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Silence. Everything was still. The sun was beginning its cycle, risen by Celestia, and was ascending up from the horizon while the moon was on its way down, descended by Luna. Morning dew laid spread across every plant and surface, the morning light reflected across the cold drops, making it look like small stars everywhere on the ground. The animals of Equestria were all gently asleep, the ones who embraced the day and its light laid silent, resting while cuddling close to the kin they held dear, while the ones who roamed the night had just settled in to rest until the darkness once more fell. This moment of the cycle was one of perfect silence. A moment where everyone and everything was at peace before the creatures of the day began their activities.


But something is not at rest at this peaceful hour.


A great shadow glided over the silent landscapes, passing over deserts, forests and mountains in mere minutes. A process that would take days for a pony.


The previously peaceful dew was spread, thrown away from its former position as a powerful wind current appeared out of nowhere.


Golden and ruby light was reflected across everywhere the shadow went, like a warning.


Something is approaching.

In Ponyville there is a familiar castle. The morning light reflected across its crystal surface and made a particular friendship princess sigh as she watched the dormant town from her window.

Twilight hadn’t been able to sleep the night before. There was so many things she didn’t understand, so many things she needed answers to, yet she could not get answers. It had kept her up, thinking. Her thoughts had drifted towards her friends several times during that night. It had been eight days since she had seen them, and she had a feeling that her friends weren’t happy with her after the events of the changeling attack. After Neltharion had turned into a new pony form, she had tried to talk with them, but they had either excused themselves, been nowhere to be found, or had gone home right after the attack to tend to their traumatised families and friends. Twilight felt sorry for them, but most of all the foals and colts of Ponyville. The horrors they had seen that day must have and still give Luna overtime helping them with their nightmares.

Thinking back to what had happened in the last few weeks, Twilight felt a sting in both her cheek, leg and wing. So much had happened in just those two weeks. So much pain had been brought to Equestria since Neltharion had arrived. Over the last week, she had come to understand just how it truly felt to be alone and had only come to respect Neltharion, Discord and Luna more for it. When everypony has their backs turned against you, and all they can do is talk of you with resentment or doubt. That is when you’re truly alone.

From her window, Twilight noticed five familiar shapes approaching her castle. Without further thinking she walked out of her room and downstairs to greet the ponies that were approaching. On her way, Twilight noticed that her guards had returned to the castle, many of them standing upright with closed eyes and others barely keeping themselves awake.

Arriving at the hall, Twilight noticed Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy had already entered, entry being granted by a tired guard. Silence fell on the room and it got awkward quickly. The guard sensed it, so he gave a quick bow and left the six friends to themselves.

Applejack opened her mouth to speak but Twilight interrupted her.

“No, first I just want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything that’s happened over the last couple of weeks and that I haven’t explained myself properly.” Twilight felt her throat close up as she looked over her friends. She had missed them more than she had even realised. “I-I just wanted to…”

“Sugarcube, ya don’t have ta explain anything.” Applejack stepped close and gave Twilight a hug, the rest of the friends joining in one by one.

“Indeed. You must know that we will always support you, Twilight.” Rarity said.

“We’ll always be your friend, Twilight.” Fluttershy supplied with a smile as she joined the hug.

“Yeah! Some stupid overgrown lizard ain’t gonna change that!” Rainbow Dash agreed, hugging her alicorn friend tightly.

Pinkie Pie also bounced over and joined the five friends in the hug.

Twilight could feel tears starting to sting in her eyes. She hadn’t realised just how much she had missed her friends. There they sat, hugging, for a minute in complete silence, just being happy to finally having moved on when a sound, almost inaudible, was heard from outside of the crystal castle. The hug broke as they all heard the strange sound.


“Uhh, girls, do you hear that?” Fluttershy asked, having noticed the sound of something flapping.

The entire room went silent as the flapping slowly got louder.


“What in tarnation is that sound?” Applejack asked as the sound continued to get louder.

“It sounds like...wings?” Twilight concluded. Sweat started to form on Twilight’s forehead as the flapping became louder and louder. But the wings would have to be humongous to be heard from such a distance? Her thoughts only alarmed her more.

Fluttershy’s eyes widened as she picked up a sound. “D-do you girls hear that?”

The five other mares started to listen closely and soon they started to hear it. Low screams started to be heard from the town outside. As if something was attacking.

From out of nowhere, the guards that stood watch inside the crystal castle started yelling and running into and out through the hall the six friends were standing in.

“Battle positions!” One of the guards that had stopped in the hall yelled, commanding the other guards outside. “Protect the town at all costs!” He stopped one of the running guards. “You! Contact Canterlot and get reinforcements. We’re gonna need them,” the apparent leader commanded.

The guard saluted and ran outside as well.

Twilight recognised the guard giving orders as Silver Shield, one of her first guards. “Lieutenant Silver Shield, what is going on?” She yelled.

The lieutenant turned to his princess and held a determined look on his face. But there was sweat visible on his forehead, dripping down. He was nervous, scared. “It’s another dragon.”

Twilight’s eyes went wide. “WHAT?!” Her mind began to race. Why would a dragon come to Equestria and what kind could it be to get this reaction from her guards? All Twilight knew was that it had to be huge.


The creature outside had gotten painfully close, just outside of Ponyville guessed Twilight.

Silver Shield gulped at the sound of the flapping and then turned back to his princess. “Don’t worry, princess Twilight. Stay inside with your friends, we’ll handle this.” Everypony in the room picked up the nervousness in the stallion’s voice even though he tried to conceal it. With a shaky sigh Silver Shield ran out of the gate to join the rest of the guards.

As they ran out, a frantic Spike arrived into the room. “Twilight, what’s going on?!”

“I-I’m not sure,” Twilight shakily replied.

Feeling her heart beat faster, Twilight tried to think of what to do. Should she go and find Neltharion? He could probably come to terms with this dragon one way or another. Twilight felt a hoof on her shoulder and looked to it. It was Applejack and the rest of her friends looking at her with support. Twilight felt herself become more calm as she looked at her friends smiling faces.

With a nod of confidence, Twilight and her friends exited the castle, ready to face whatever horror that had arrived.

“Hey guys, wait for me!” Spike yelled as he ran after his friends.


A loud noise was heard through the darkness, echoing into the ears of a particular being as he laid there on the cold nonexistent floor. He barely registered it at first, but it still made him react. A tug in his cheek, a fast squeeze of his eyes, a limb twitching uncontrollably. The sound was familiar.


It was the sound of blood pumping through a body.


And every time it sounded it got louder.


Neltharion twitched once more at the sound and rose from his position in the darkness, looking through it. He recognised it. But there was something different. It was empty. Looking down at himself he saw that he was still in his current pony form. And it was still confusing him.


“Hello?” Neltharion called into the darkness, his only answer being his own echo ringing throughout the darkness. “I know you’re here,” Neltharion stated, scowling at the darkness.


But nothing answered him, but the sound of the beating heart. “Strange,” Neltharion noted. He began walking through the darkness. There was no sound.


Other than the beating heart. His own footsteps didn’t even leave sound. As he walked he noticed a flicker of light in the distance and went in its direction.


As he approached, he raised an eyebrow. He could see a dark red shape with molten lines across it suspended in mid air.


His eyes went wide as the shape lit up like, fire being set to oil, and twitched, the sound coming from it. It was a heart. A heart bigger than Neltharion himself and recognised it for what it was instantly. It was his own heart. A sizzling came from it as molten blood ran around the it.

“So you do recognise it.”

Neltharion’s ears splayed back as he recognised the dark voice. He hadn’t heard that voice for over a week. He had hoped it was gone for good, but that didn’t seem to be the case. “Why is that here?” Neltharion asked, looking to the burning heart.

Just as he asked, the heart’s beating stopped completely.

“It is a reminder.”

“Of what?”

“To make sure you don’t forget what you are.”

At the voice’s reply, Neltharion could feel his own chest pump once, a great heat spreading into his body. Neltharion snorted, “I know perfectly well what I am. I get reminded every day by these ponies.”

“And are you ashamed?”

“Yes,” Neltharion quickly answered. But he wasn’t sure. “No...I don’t know!” He bowed his head in defeat. “Why are you even here?” Neltharion snarled.

“Did you really think you could keep me away?”

The voice laughed heartily.

“How naive. You will never be rid of me, Neltharion. And soon I will be all you have left in this world. All I have predicted will come to pass.”

Gritting his teeth in anger, Neltharion scowled at the suspended heart, but didn’t say anything. For he knew the voice was right.

“You feel it, don’t you? The anger and hatred in your veins. The destructive power that wants to be unleashed.”

Neltharion wanted to deny it, but kept silent. The voice grew dry and unamused.

“You know that these ponies will turn on you. It is just a matter of when.”


“But perhaps it won’t even come to that. Perhaps they will meet their demise beforehand.”

Neltharion’s head shot up. “What do you mean?”

“Don’t you hear it? The flapping of wings so large they could belong to one of our siblings?”

Neltharion gasped awake, feeling sweat on his forehead and him noting that his bed was on fire. The first sound he heard was his own heart beating and with every beat he could feel a warmth going through his body. A reminder... He lingered on what the voice had said for a second and then closed his eyes and listened. He could hear wingbeats. Enormous wingbeats followed by a loud female voice. “Oh no…” Neltharion rushed out of his bed and began running towards the exit.

Running out of the castle, Twilight and her friends was met with a blinding golden and red light.

“Argh! Ah can’t see a thing!” Applejack complained, holding a hoof over her eyes but it didn’t help much.

“Me neither!” Rarity looked away to spare her delicate eyes.

Defiantly Spike tried to look into the golden light only to retract with a yelp. “It’s burning my eyes!”

Holding a hood over her eyes to shield herself from the light, Twilight looked around, noting the steady sound of wingbeats sounding through the air, to her guards who were also standing in a formation, but they couldn’t see anything either. The wingbeats kept sounding, the wings themselves pulsating with golden and ruby light as they flapped with surprising grace. Looking past her guards, Twilight could see some ponies in Ponyville shielding themselves from the light, other hiding or cowering beneath or inside anything that they could find.

“You seem to have a problem seeing, little ponies,” a deep female voice chuckled throughout the air, its tone playful and almost coy. “Let me help you with that.”

A powerful wing beat almost knocked Twilight back as the enormous glowing beast above flew over her castle and gracefully landed behind it, making surprisingly little sound as it landed. As the dragon folded its wings onto her back the blinding light dissipated.

As everypony turned towards the beast, the jaws of them and one small dragon in particular dropped in awe.

Behind Twilight’s castle they could see an enormous dragon body easily as big as her castle, its head hidden behind the castle but unlike other dragons this one body wasn’t bulky and vicious like looking. No this dragon's body was sleek and elegant. Her scales ruby red and gently giving off a weak light that made her look like she was glowing. Her wings were massive in size, both red like the rest of her body with the thin skin in between golden in color. Her long tail grazed the crystal castle gently as it almost laid curled around it. It was then she playfully stuck her head out from behind the castle, her poison yellow eyes looking at the ponies the same way a cat would look at a mouse. Her head was just as elegant as her body with two long golden horns sprouting from the back of it with a spinous golden fin starting at the start of her neck and ending at the start of her tail. Her underside skin was also golden like the skin in her wings and so was the claws that sprouted from the end of her limbs.

The dragon looked serene, almost godlike in the presence of the ponies who just looked in awe and terror of the dragon.

A white toothy grin appeared on the dragon’s face and she giggled softly at the ponies. “Did that help, little ponies? Can you see now?”

A shiver went down everypony’s spines at the dragon’s choice of tone. Again it was coy and playful. It seemed completely unnatural for a dragon and adding to the fact that this dragon was so big only made it all the more confusing.

“W-who are you?” Twilight asked the dragon with a yell, it merely cocked its head as it looked at the little pony princess.

Its eyes widened a little and her smile grin grew into a warm smile as she got eyes on a small reptile behind Twilight staring wide eyed at the dragon. “Hello, little whelp,” she said.

Spike cowered behind Twilight as he looked into the yellow eyes of the dragon.

“Don’t be afraid, little one,” She said, keeping her warm smile. “I won’t bite.”

Shakily, Spike went out of his cover, noticing Twilight having turned to him and shaking her head and wanting him to keep down, but he wouldn’t.

“Ahh there he is, and what a handsome little one you are.” She cooed.

Spike blushed heavily but couldn’t help but smile at the compliment.

Behind him a certain fashionista huffed at the whole ordeal.

“For the sake of being polite, I’ll ask again. Who are you and what are you doing here?!” Twilight yelled in frustration at the dragon.

Raising an eyebrow at the pony princess the dragon extended her head towards Twilight. “I’m surprised your princesses haven’t told you about me, princess Twilight Sparkle.” She said with a smirk as Twilight’s eyes widened at the dragon pronouncing her name and title. “Hmmm… How rude of me, I know everything about you, but you know nothing of me.” The dragon stood up straight, almost taking a regal posture, and lost the smirk. “So allow me to introduce myself,” she said, her voice growing stern and serious, louder and more vicious. “I am Valissa the golden, third queen of Draconia, and oldest dragon in this worlds history.”

The ball seemed to drop and Twilight gulped in nervosity. The dragon queen...the dragon QUEEN?! This is bad, this is really bad!

Everypony else also started mumbling amongst themselves, the guards unsure of what exactly to do. Attacking the dragon queen could be a political disaster and what would be worse was that Draconia would most likely declare war against Equestria if they did.

“And I am looking for the one you call Neltharion, or does he prefer Deathwing?” Valissa continued, taking a claw to her chin in thought before settling back in a smug smile. “No matter, I wish to meet him.”

Twilight was about to deny Neltharion’s existence entirely when she heard faint fast iron hoofsteps from inside of her castle and her eyes turned to pinpoints at the sound.

Jumping out of a window, the black alicorn spread his torn leathery wings, black smoke and fire appearing him in a trail. He ascended into the air and turned towards the red dragon who was looking at him with curious eyes, his own having been consumed by a red raging inferno. The air crackled as electricity and fire began to consume the black stallion and he beat his wings towards the dragon queen, black smoke emanating from him and growing around him.

The dragon queen merely watched in confusion as the stallion approached, to her he was nothing more than a pebble. That is when she got a feeling. A feeling of something ominous as the stallion was consumed by the black smoke, and fire that quickly spread to a much larger shape.

Valissa’s jaw dropped and her eyes were reduced to pinpoints as a dragon much larger than herself slammed her onto her back with a roar.

The first thing she noticed was the dark metal jaw, his twisted scarred face and a primal growl sounding from his mouth that made her skin crawl. She felt her forelimbs being held down tight by the beast and noticed all of the metal spread across his enormous body, but the worst were the eyes that were staring into her own and keeping her in place. What her dignitary had told her had been true about them. They were a maelstrom of fire and rage.

Strange, Luscious, Red

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Red had filled the great dragon’s view as he stared into the face of the creature he held beneath with his anger having been let loose. He could see nothing but a blur of colors. Red, gold, yellow and even a little white. His heart was pounding in his chest, the corrupted pump pushing around the molten blood in his body, fueling his anger. He wasn’t even sure why he was angry. It had all been flashes to him. Him running, jumping out the window, appearing mid-air flying towards the beast that had come to his temporary home and then him appearing on top of the beast, his black enormous claws wrapped tightly around the arms of the dragon beneath him, tail thrashing around, destroying the ground behind him and even scratched the crystal castle with the spear tip of his tail.

Neltharion blinked in confusion, What am I doing? He stopped his tail’s rampage and looked behind him to the ponies who were staring towards the direction of him. Neltharion blinked again and his eyes began to focus. The ponies, guards, former elements, Twilight and even Spike were looking towards them, fear in their eyes, but it wasn’t only because of Neltharion. Their eyes were fixed on the scenario him and the dragon was in, not only him and his horrifying form. He saw Twilight pick up her jaw and gulp. I don’t understand...why are they looking so… It was first then that he realised something. The dragon beneath him wasn’t struggling to get free from his grip, it wasn’t even moving. From his position on top of the other dragon, he could feel it being relaxed in its arms and tensed up in its body, but not from fear or fright. It that had been the case it would have attempted to throw him off, but there was no such reaction.

Perplexed, Neltharion turned towards the head of the beast he was upon, his eyes widening as he saw its face, her face. The soft lines of the face, the full ruby scales…


The murmur escaped Neltharion, not louder than a whisper to him, but still loud enough to be heard by the ponies that were standing closeby.

Staring back with a look Neltharion didn’t recognise, the dragon beneath him didn’t react. She just kept staring with wide eyes, her jaw having dropped open.

Neltharion blinked once more in shock, and lightly shook his head before looking over the dragon. The golden horns and claws, the almost glowing ruby red scales and the features of her face. A soft sigh of disappointment and, at the same time, relief escaped his mouth, no...not Alexstrasza. The dragon beneath him was much different than his sibling, the dragon beneath him horns were much closer to the skull, her face features were sharper, but were just as slender and gave a certain grace to her face, her scales were also different. Instead of the rich, deep red of his sibling’s scales, this dragon’s scales were almost glowing like embers in the sunlight, her eyes were yellow instead of Alexstrasza’s glowing orange, and of course there was the extreme lack of jewelry compared to Alexstrasza, not that the dragon beneath him would have any use for it anyway. For a lack of a better word, the dragon beneath him was stunningly beautiful, but with a form and presence that was yet intimidating to everyone but the black monstrosity of lava, metal and smoke now standing beside of it.

Neltharion shook his head once more, shaking off the disappointment he felt. For a moment he had truly thought that his sister had somehow come to this world, maybe to help him, to take him home? But that was not the case. An angry snort escaped the black dragon and a low growl erupted in his throat as he narrowed his eyes at the ruby dragon and closed the distance between their faces.

“Who are you? Why have you come to this place?”


The dragon in question turned his head towards the pony princess that had called his name.

Twilight was swiftly flying towards Neltharion and stopped a reasonable distance from his face as she began to feel the strong heat emanating from his body.

“Yes, Twilight?”

Gulping as she looked in the direction of the dragon queen, Twilight shifted her gaze back to Neltharion and gave an almost nervous whisper, “That is the dragon queen of Draconia, Valissa the Golden, and she says she is here to meet you.”

Raising a scarred eyebrow, Neltharion stepped off the downed dragon and shifted his full attention to the flying alicorn in unamused confusion.

“And you didn’t think of simply telling this ‘queen’ that I didn’t exist? I thought we were trying to keep my existence a secret.”

Twilight’s face turned red with fury at his words and she stared right into his eyes with gritted teeth. “I was about to deny your existence when you came jumping out the window and assaulted her! Besides you kind off ruined the whole ‘keeping you a secret’ with your rampage last week in front of her personal dignitary!”

The dragon became silent for a few seconds, and eventually looked away from the tiny pony in front of him in defeat for less than two seconds before looking back at the small pony with an emotionless, which was extremely hard for him to pull off, expression. His gaze shifted quickly to the dragon queen who was starting to get up, still looking at him with a dumbfounded expression, before looking back at Twilight.

“Why does she want to meet me?”

Twilight kept an upset expression and didn’t even shift her gaze to the dragon queen who had now gotten onto her legs. “I have no idea, why don’t you go ask her yourself?”

Snorting in annoyance, Neltharion narrowed his eyes at the princess.

“I have no interest in making acquaintances with the dragons of your world.”

A smirk appeared on Twilight’s face as she processed the words of the black dragon in front of her. “Well it sure didn’t look like that, given how you jumped her the first chance you got.”

A low growl escaped the great dragon as he was getting increasingly annoyed with the alicorn princess.

“I thought my assistance was required, but I was apparently mistaken.”

Twilight’s upset expression was replaced with a warm smile at his words.

Neltharion didn’t know why the pony was suddenly smiling and he didn’t really care. He just wanted to return to his chambers and hopefully have a nice long nap without his corruption paying him a visit.


Both pony and dragon turned their attention towards the dragon queen who had gotten onto her legs and was approaching Neltharion, glee in her eyes.

Twilight carefully pulled away from Neltharion as the dragon queen began circling him like a shark does its prey, inspecting each part of him carefully.

Awkward moments were a rare thing for Neltharion, but a dragon inspecting him as if he was the most interesting thing she had ever laid eyes upon could certainly qualify as an awkward moment for him, especially because of the way she looked at him, it made his scales crawl. In his time as a human, Neltharion had heard the quote ‘undressing someone with their eyes’ a few times, first now understanding what that quote really meant, or so he thought.

The dragon queen casually stroked Neltharion’s scales with her golden claws, looking over his black scales and armor with interest. “Extraordinary…” She mumbled.

A surprising chill went down Neltharion’s spine at her gentle touch against his scales and armor. He grabbed her claw with his own and squeezed, feeling the creaking of her bones as he put more and more pressure on the elegant red scales, but to Neltharion’s surprise, she didn’t wince, or even attempt to get out of his grasp, she simply gave him a toothy grin with half closed eyes, giving him a look he didn’t recognise. A growl escaped Neltharion’s throat.

“No touching.”

His menacing tone would have sent most creatures in existence packing to another planet and even made the ponies behind him shiver and back away, even though it wasn’t directed at them.

A single drop of sweat went down Twilight’s forehead as she tried to figure out if she could do anything or perhaps stop Neltharion from doing anything rash that could end up in Equestria going to war with dragons. If anything, she had to contact the princesses and inform them of what had happened. With a plan forming in her mind, Twilight turned and flew back to the crowd of ponies, leaving the two enormous beasts to themselves.

Instead of being frightful of Neltharion’s tone or grasp on her claw, the dragon queen simply giggled at him. “I was told you were an impressive sight, but my dignitary’s words don’t do you justice,” she gave him a toothy grin as Neltharion released his grasp and stared at her with dumbfoundment.


“Yes…” Valissa replied, resuming her position of gracing Neltharion’s scales gently, once again making a shiver go down his spine.

Another growl escaped Neltharion as he whipped her claw away with his tail, earning a gasp from the crowd of ponies behind them.

The dragon queen simply looked at him, unamused, before shifting back into a smile, only confusing Neltharion even more than before.

“Why did you want to meet me?”

Valissa almost looked confused at his question, before settling in front of him with a playful expression. “I am the dragon queen. All dragons, no matter where from, are under my protection and guidance.”

Neltharion was not pleased with that answer. He needed no protection nor guidance for that matter.

“Plus, I have heard of some incredible feats of yours,” Valissa continued. “And so I wanted to invite you to come visit my nation.”

A snort escaped Neltharion.

“Don’t you have messengers for that? Why did you come in person?”

“Because I believe you are special, Deathwi-”

Valissa didn’t get to finish the sentence as Neltharion grabbed her by the neck and forced her onto her back legs as he drew her face close to his own.

“Don’t. Ever. Call me that.”

For a moment there was fear in the dragon queen’s eyes, but it quickly died down as Neltharion let go of her throat. She looked at him with surprising glee and a little confusion at his reaction. “Very well, then Neltharion it is,” she said as she rubbed her neck with her claws.

For some reason, Neltharion couldn’t help but look at her beautiful red neck and the golden underbelly scales that went all the way up to the start of her neck. He caught himself in the act and shook his head.

Unbeknownst to him, the queen caught him looking and she walked close to him, very uncomfortably close. “So, what is your answer?” She asked, staring into the burning inferno of his eyes and feeling a shiver going down her own spine.

Neltharion didn’t budge at her close proximity, he knew it was exactly what she wanted.


With that one word, Neltharion turned away from the queen and walked past the castle and the miniscule ponies, who made sure to stay out of his way, in the process.

The queen looked after him as he walked, slack jawed at his response. “Why not?” She yelled after him.

Neltharion turned his head back towards the queen.

“I am not interested.”

Valissa looked after him with annoyance as Neltharion was about to spread his wings and fly away from her when a sudden light came from above, making everypony and dragons turn towards the bright light.

Descending down into the air was Celestia, Luna and Discord.

Valissa gave a toothy grin at the newest arrivals. “Ahh, Princess Celestia and Luna, how nice it is to see you,” she greeted.

“Valissa, what are you doing in Equestria?” Celestia asked, not even bothering to greet the dragon queen. “You are supposed to announce your arrival minimum two weeks in advance so we can make way and avoid mass panic. Those were the conditions of our treaty.”

Smiling devilishly, Valissa scratched her chin. “It seems I must have forgotten. Oops.”

Both Luna and Celestia’s gazes hardened at the queen. Meanwhile, Discord had casually floated over to Neltharion, who was also focusing on the conversation that was about to unfold.

“So, what did we miss?” Discord asked with a yawn.

Neltharion looked at him with his usual fiery gaze.

“The dragon queen came and asked me to come with her to ‘visit’ her nation.”

Sitting up straight, Discord studied the ruby red and golden dragon who was talking with the two princesses. “That’s the dragon queen?”

Neltharion followed Discord’s gaze to the enormous golden and ruby dragon.


The chaos spirit sat there in the air, observing the almost divine and monstrous being, deciding to rub his eyes to check if what he was seeing was real. “Wow,” he concluded, still observing her sleek ruby form.

A scarred eyebrow rose itself on Neltharion’s forehead.

“What do you mean by ‘wow’?”

Smiling teasingly, Discord came closer to the black dragon, not being much larger than an ant in his presence. “Nothing, nothing,” Discord chuckled. “And you said she came here to invite you to her nation?”


A taunting and humored laugh escaped the chaos spirit as he understood what Neltharion did not.

Narrowing his burning eyes, a low growl escaped Neltharion as he closed the distance further between himself and Discord, letting his scorching hot breath touch the chaos spirit.

“What is so funny?”

It took a moment for Discord to realise his position. An enormous dragon that could easily be mistaken for a flying volcano was staring him down, so closely that he could get impaled on the foot long spikes that were sticking out from the massive metal jaw of the dragon in front of him.

But like so much else, this didn’t phase the chaos spirit. Disappearing in a flash of light, the spirit appeared beside the head of the black dragon.

“Ah, Neltharion ol’ buddy ol’ pal, it really is quite simple,” Discord taunted.

Neltharion straightened up and glanced to the chaos spirit while almost unconsciously his eyes began shifting to the dragon queen, who was also glancing back at him with a wry smile. Shaking his head lightly, Neltharion shifted his attention back towards the chaos spirit.

“Think about it, Nelly--”

It took all of Neltharion’s willpower not to put the taunting spirit in the dirt.

“--Why would the queen of all dragons come to Equestria, an act she has never done before by the way, and invite you to visit her nation?”

The answer was obvious, and Neltharion didn’t like it. Valissa was seeing him as a potential mate. It was the only explanation.

Brief haunting memories rose from beneath the surface in Neltharion’s mind, but as they began to take shape, he forced them away.

A rare feeling filled Neltharion’s very being and made him want to hide under his massive wings. Embarrassment. Why he was feeling it he had no idea, but thinking of how Valissa looked at him made his scorching hot scales feel all the warmer. Of course it didn’t help that Discord was looking at him with a taunting smile while wiggling his eyebrows.

The feeling made a low growl escape Neltharion’s throat and one of his claws found its way to his face. It made him angry that he felt such a thing. Embarrassment was something not fit of an immortal. It was beneath him in every sense of the word. Without further thinking, he let his black claws run down his face, the contact between his claws, scales and metal making a sound that was similar to a fusion between a metal grinder and nails on a chalkboard. Letting his claw once again down on the ground, Neltharion shook off the feelings of embarrassment and began walking over to the princesses and dragon queen, Discord floating right beside him as he walked.

It was a strange situation to say the least and honestly, it was one Celestia hoped she would never have to face. The dragon queen, Valissa the golden as she was titled, was standing before her, unannounced in Equestria. There was no way this could end well.

Through the past millennia, Valissa had made quite a name for herself around the world. The Golden was a title she was given by her own kin as her rule has been nothing but a golden age for Draconia. Before Valissa, civil wars and strife were common in Draconia as dragons are greedy and selfish, but that all changed when she rose as the last of an otherwise extinct race of dragons known as the Regius Fatalis, or the Fateful Royals. Named after a legend telling that their coming is a sign of great change. To ponies, griffins and any other non-dragon beings, Valissa was also known as the bringer of the red dawn.

This was a political nightmare to say the least, and one Celestia was whipping herself mentally for not expecting. Staring at the monstrous and serene beast before her, Celestia readied herself. She cleared her throat. “Valissa, you have broken section 36 of our treaty. But we are willing to let this go by if you leave Equestria and return to your country immediately.”

Instead of even acknowledging Celestia’s words, Valissa was simply inspecting her golden claws and brushing them against her belly as if she was trying to clean them, a sly smile appearing on her lips.

“Dragon queen, listen to our sister,” Luna yelled at the ruby giant. “We have no quarrels with thee. Surely you can understand you must leave.”

Valissa shifted her eyes to the princess's, them showing no emotion although she kept the smile. “Aah, but what if I have quarrels with you?”

Hoping the dragon queen wasn’t implying what Celestia thought she did, the white alicorn pressed on with her attack. “Valissa, violating our treaty could be reason for us to start a war,” Celestia said sternly at the dragon queen who simply looked back with a tired expression. “Both parts made it to uphold an otherwise fragile peace between Equestria and Draconia and our treaty has done just that for over four-hundred years. We do our utmost to uphold terms and keep our side of the treaty fulfilled, even going so far as allowing your kin to travel through the outskirts of Equestria, although it isn’t part of the treaty. Yet time and time again, your kin has broken your conditions of the treaty and until now we have let it slide, but this is too much, Valissa. Surely you must realise this as well. Dropping by like this, without warning, is unacceptable.” Celestia paused to observe the dragon queen. She was simply staring back at her and her sister. It had changed. No longer a tired look, but serious, almost angry. Celestia sighed, “we do not seek war, but you and your kin can’t simply go do what you--”

The loud laughter of the dragon queen interrupted Celestia. A cocky smile occupied her face, but there was a sense of viciousness beneath it, like an animal waiting to pounce at its target. “Me and my kin?” She whispered while eyeing the two flying pony princesses in front of her. It would be easy for Valissa to squash them like bugs. “You dare lecture me on my kins breaks in your treaty?” Narrowing her eyes at the princesses, Valissa looked down on them like the insolent insects they were to her. “Have you forgotten what your kind has done while we’ve had our ‘treaty’?”

With shaky eyes, Luna looked to her sister with confusion. “Sister, what is she talking about?”

Celestia didn’t answer her sister. Her mind was racing through the different things she had seen over the years. Reports of ponies getting killed in Draconia and the public outcries that had been avoided by keeping this information a secret. Various precious items having appeared on black markets all over Equestria and despite Celestia’s best intentions and attempts, she was still unable to stop the marketing of draconian items, which shouldn’t be in Equestria.

It was at this point that Neltharion and Discord closed in beside them, observing the conversation with slight confusion as it unfolded, but Valissa’s interest in Neltharion seemed to have disappeared for the moment as she kept staring down the two flying pony princesses.

The dragon queen tsked and lightly shook her head at Luna’s confusion. “You never told your own sister? You surprise me, Celestia,” Valissa giggled. “But I guess it was to be expected.” The dragon queen turned her head and her eyes focused on the small baby dragon, standing amongst the many ponies who were observing the situation before turning back to the princesses with a neutral expression. “Although it doesn’t make me any less furious!” Her words came out with a snarl and bared teeth. “This ‘treaty’ has been more beneficial to you than it has to my people in more ways than one. Out of respect for you, I have let this go by in the past, but now you dare lecture me on what my kin does on your side of the border?!” Valissa’s ruby scales began to glow as if they were on fire. “Your ponies dare trespass into my country despite the rules of our treaty, they dare explore, harvest our gems for the sake of profit, and commit heinous crimes with a punishment that leaves death being too good for them.” She turned to Neltharion with a sympathetic look. “Egg Stealing.”

Neltharion, Discord and Luna’s eyes widened at Valissa’s words. To dragons, egg stealing was the most despicable crime that existed. To steal someone’s unborn child was a crime punishable by death in Draconia, without exception.

Memories once again surged inside Neltharion and it made him want to bow his head in shame, but he kept his surprised look and forced the memories away before it came to that.

Turning her attention back to the flying pony princesses, Valissa once again kept a neutral expression. “Nevertheless I have done my utmost to keep ponies from entering Draconia and kept quiet, hoping to make the egg market stop entirely with the cooperation of your government, but it seems I was expecting too much from you and your little ponies, Celestia.” The dragon queen grinned hatefully at the princesses and a short manic laugh escaped her mouth. “And to make it all worse, I was willing to forgive your kind for the atrocities they have committed.” Once again, Valissa swiftly looked to the masses of ponies, including Twilight who had just landed amongst them and the baby dragon that was staying very close to her, before looking back to the two royal sisters with an angry frown. “That is...until I saw the drake at your newest princess’ side.”

Celestia’s eyes widened at Valissa’s words.

“He is one of the stolen eggs, there is no other explanation,” Valissa concluded. “Hatched by the magic of one of your unicorns I presume. You mock my kin and our treaty with his presence among your ponies,” Valissa growled, her tail starting to whip around. “Hatching a stolen egg that should have been returned the second you found it,” Valissa huffed in dissatisfaction. “How you continue to find more ways to mock me and my proud race astounds me, Celestia.”

Celestia gulped and composed herself. “Valissa, Spike’s egg-”

“So Spike is his name?” Valissa snorted. “How original.”

Ignoring Valissa’s interruption, Celestia continued. “Valissa, Spike’s egg had been marketed around Equestria for over a hundred-twenty years before we caught the ones who were selling it. If we had returned him and his parents hadn’t accepted him or they were nowhere to be found, your kind would have destroyed his egg! Letting his egg stay in Equestria ensured he would live, instead of never getting to experience--”

“Silence!” The dragon queen boomed, her enormous wings flaring into the air, momentarily blocking out the morning sun before retracting them back onto her back. “Despite your noble intentions, none of this was ever your decision to make!”

Celestia wanted to protest, but although she didn’t want to admit it, she knew the queen was right. According to their treaty, any items of Draconian origin had to be returned as soon as they were found, but when Celestia had first seen Spike’s egg, thinking of what might have happened to it if she handed it over, she just couldn’t get herself to do it.

“Despite all of your good will, you fail to see when something is your decision to make,” Valissa concluded. “Thus undermining my authority and the will of Draconia itself! It is as if you have no other intention than to mock my kin and their existence!” A furious growl escaped Valissa’s throat as she had closed the distance between herself and the two princesses with every sentence. It took everything for Valissa to keep herself in place and from swatting the white alicorn like a fly. She had pent up all of this anger for centuries and every fiber of her body told her to maul the princess for her insolence and lack of respect towards her and her kin.

“That is enough.”

The powerful dark voice shattered the rising tension and Valissa’s anger like a hammer on thin glass. All attention was put towards the black winged behemoth as he stood taller than Valissa, glaring down at all of them.

Beside the black dragon’s head, above his shoulder, was Discord who was sitting in the air with crossed arms and a bored frown. “Neltharion is right. This discussion ends now, you can banter all you want at the next diplomatic summit, now shut it, both of you, before you do something you’ll both regret.”

Neltharion nodded in agreement to the chaos spirit beside him, confirming his thoughts on Discord’s words.

“You are right, chaos spirit,” Valissa said, looking towards the royal sisters, her former fury seemingly gone with the wind. A cocky and superior smile appeared on her scaly lips. “We shall discuss this matter another time, and know that I am already very much looking forward to it.” She turned towards Neltharion who himself had turned and sat down to look at the mass of ponies close to the crystal castle, most of them talking, probably about what she and Celestia had been discussing although they probably couldn’t have heard what had been said.

Valissa walked up beside the black dragon and joined him in his observing of the crowd of ponies. She couldn’t help but smile at his curious look. “What will you do?”

Not even bothering to turn his head, Neltharion spoke, his voice neutral with an undertone of annoyance.

“I already told you I won’t come to your country.”

A snort escaped Valissa’s throat. “You’d prefer to stay among ponies who fear you, hate you over your own kind?”

“You are not my kind.”

His words offended Valissa more than he could ever realise, but it also sparked interest inside of her. If she and her dragons wasn’t of his kind, then who was?

“That didn’t answer my question,” Valissa sang.

A snort sounded from Neltharion, but he kept his eyes on the crowd of ponies.

“They have more than enough reason to fear us, but personally I don’t care.”

Valissa stepped in front of him and looked over him up and down before settling on his face. A short laugh escaped her throat. “Liar,” she whispered. Once again she turned her head towards the ponies, letting her side and wings rest against Neltharion’s forelegs. “These ponies will never accept us. To them we are nothing more than vicious animals which they think they can do anything to without consequences.” Valissa could see the fear in their eyes as she looked down upon the crowd of ponies and it angered her, disgusted her. “They are taught throughout their lives to fear us, to avoid us and think appearances higher than the personalities behind them.” A short taunting laugh escaped her throat. “They even do this amongst themselves. It is not uncommon for unicorns to shun other races simply because they think intelligence makes them worth more than others. The same goes for the pegasi. They believe athletic accomplishments surpasses all else and that if you do nothing, then your life is worth nothing. And lastly we have the earth ponies who believe that hard work is the only way to live, shunning all other ways of living. The only reasons these ponies are even under one flag is because of their precious princesses. Before them, they fought over basic things like food, water and even sunlight. It’s pathetic.”

Neltharion kept silent as Valissa spoke.

Turning her head back to face Neltharion, Valissa stared into his eyes, her own half-lid. She took the pressure of his legs and stroked his black neck with her serene golden claw, feeling the scorching heat coming off of his black scales, Neltharion’s expression remaining neutral as he looked back into her eyes. “Let me show you a paradise. A place where everyone is welcome as long as they have scales. Who knows, you might just enjoy it.”

Gears were grinding inside of Neltharion’s head. He was unsure of how to respond. He had never met a dragon quite like the one standing before him.

“Oh just kiss already!” Someone yelled behind them.

Neltharion felt something run through his very being again. Embarrassment. Again he didn’t understand why and again it made him angry. He turned his head and was not that surprised to see Discord floating in the air, a lion paw over his eyes as if he couldn’t watch. Beside him was Celestia who was scowling at Discord.

Sinking the lion paw, Discord looked apologetically to Celestia while smiling sheepishly. “Come On, everyone was thinking it.”

That comment only made him receive a scowl from Neltharion as well, Valissa stifling a giggle.

“At least go with her to Draconia, come on, Neltharion ol’ buddy,” Discord prompted, even going so far as to summon a fireproof suit and prodding Neltharion with his elbow. “Explore the world, we don’t know for how long you’ll be here afterall.”

Neltharion was annoyed with the draconequus to say the least, but he had to admit that the irritating mismatch of zoo animals was right. He might as well do some exploring while he was there. Maybe get some ideas for when he got home...if he ever got home.

“Very well, I’ll go.”

Discord couldn’t help but smile devilishly and knowingly at Neltharion’s response.

“But I expect you will do your utmost to find me a solution to my ‘temporary home’ problem in my absence.”

“Welp, you heard the lizard, Celestia,” Discord said, grinning while looking at the white alicorn behind him. “Looks like your librarians will their work cut out for them.” Discord yawned and scratched his lower back as he began to float away from the scene. “Meanwhile, I think I could do with a nice long nap, I haven’t had one of those since--”

“I was talking to you, Discord.”

The chaos spirit’s every movement stopped. His head slowly turned 180 degrees to face Neltharion once more, the rest of his body unmoving. “Come again?”

“Since I will be away, I would expect nothing less of you than to search for a solution in my place.”

Discord was stunned. He never would have expected work orders from a dragon. “B-but wouldn’t it be easier to have somepony else do it? And why does it have to be me? Maybe Twilight could--”

Neltharion felt tempted to laugh at the spirit but refrained from doing so.

“I’m sure you will do your utmost to find a way.”

The rest of Discord’s body slowly turned to be in the direction of his head. “I don’t believe I signed up not sign up for this,” he said, scowling at the black dragon with crossed arms.

A humored giggle came from Celestia beside him, although she did her best to suppress it. It of course earned her an unamused look from Discord. “Don’t worry, I’ll help.”

“As will I,” Luna announced, ascending down beside them from above.

“Excellent,” Valissa laughed. Stepping forward and slowly spreading her golden and ruby wings before turning her head back towards Neltharion. “Shall we?”

He hesitated a little, but after a few seconds Neltharion stepped forward, slowly spreading his enormous tattered wings, the burning blood within them clearly visible in the veins running through them.

“Lead the way.”

Valissa smiled at his response and began beating her beautiful wings.

Neltharion followed suit and began beating his black tattered wings, smoke appearing behind them in a trail as he flapped them.

Winds that resembled that of hurricanes went over the ground beneath, making everypony take cover behind the crystal castle as they watched the two beasts ascend higher and higher into the air.

With a final cheeky smile, the dragon queen flew over the castle, the morning sun's light bouncing off her scales, making the ground shine in a blinding golden glow every time the skin between her wings were hit and otherwise enveloping the ground in a sharp red light that made the ground look as if it was on fire.

Neltharion followed close behind, the burning smoke from his wings blocking out the sunlight and making the sky seem as if it was on fire.

And so they flew, the skies has never having been darker during the day as the giants blocked out the sun with their shadows alone.

Into the Unknown

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“When you said you had literally piles of papers that maybe had some information on interdimensional travel, I thought you were lying,” Discord said as he observed the metric ton of dusty papers, notes, books and whatever else in front of him. “And I was right. This is a mountain…” He concluded with his ears drooping as he realised he might not see the outside for weeks to come.

“Thine words speak truth, Discord,” the blue alicorn beside him said, looking over the pile in dread at what she had gotten herself into. “It will take us months to search through it all.”

A loud groan was heard from the white alicorn who was also there as she stepped in front of them and gave them a big reassuring smile. “Oh come on, you two.” Celestia said in her most enthusiastic voice. “While Neltharion and Valissa solve their... differences,” she nearly cringed as unpleasant thoughts entered her mind. “We can get this over with in an orderly fashion.” She turned to the pile behind her that towered over her in the same way a bear would a bunny. From her angle it almost looked intimidating. Like it was glowering her for entering its domain and was about to open its enormous papery jaws and eat her.

They had all just arrived at the castle of the royal sisters. Somehow most of the bookshelves had been knocked over and had left books everywhere. This of course also meant that the two giant bookshelves who used to cover most of the walls had also been knocked down and had left it all in a big pile of paper, books and smashed old wood. Over five centuries of literature was in that room, and all of it in that pile.

Celestia cleared her throat as many organising thoughts entered her mind. “First we’ll divide the different papers after form, make groups of papers, notes, books, notebooks, spellbooks, lexicons, broken wood pieces and whatever else there is. Then we’ll sort them by age, material, paper type--” She stopped as a thought struck her. There were no groans, sighs, or flying chaos chickens popping out of the blue. Something was amiss.

Curious and suspicious, the sun princess turned around and was met with an odd sight. In front of her was a glowing ball that had enveloped the place where her companions used to stand, shifted colors by the second as if to some kind of beat. It also had a striking resemblance to a disco ball. Another thing was that she couldn’t see through it. Cautiously she moved forward and stuck a hoof into the disco ball. To her surprise it went right through as if her hoof was hitting nothing but air. So, naturally, she stepped through it. The first thing she noticed was the blinding colors bombarding her sight, but to her surprise there was no sound in the bubble, other than the voices of the dark alicorn and draconequus in front of her of course.

“Great now we narrowed it down to a noose,” Discord held up a short noose made of rope in his talon, “and hydra venom,” he held up a green bottle with a skull emblazoned on it. “Now, what do I pick, Moona?”

The moon princess looked at Discord with what could only be described as pure confusion. “How in Equestria did we get to this area of conversation?”

“Don’t know, don’t particularly care,” the chaos spirit replied. “Also how do you like my anti-sound bubble? Very stylish, don’t you think? i’m sure Rarity would approve.”

“This is your version of a soundproof barrier? Not very discreet, even for you.”

Discord waved the potentially lethal items in front of him dismissively. “Did no one ever tell you, discreet is boring? Sometimes you need flair, finesse, some-other-fancy-word-I-don’t-know -what-means, and colors so people know where I put my bubble.”

“The correct term for this specific type of magic is an soundproof barrier…”

“You have your way, I have mine, miss princess of the giant cheese wheel in the sky.”

“My moon is not a cheesewheel!”

“Sure it is,” Discord smirked mischievously, “at least it will be tonight,” he whispered to himself. “Anyways, back to the topic at hand. Hydra venom or noose?”

“None of those would have the supposedly desired effect you seek, although I could think of a couple of ways that might. Besides, isn’t this a little dark for your taste?”

Scratching his chin with his tail, Discord looked at the items in his respective limbs. “Hmm, you’re probably right. It seems a little out of character.” The items phased out of existence. “Wouldn’t want the readers to think I’ve turned a depressive leaf. I do wonder though if your sister is still on her rant.”


It only took that single word from the sun princess to stop the lord and master of chaos and freeze him on the spot.

Nervously, Discord slowly turned towards the sun princess and gave his best fake grin, hoping to avoid whatever judgement and/or punishment that was awaiting him. “Celestia, how radiant you look today! And that mane of yours! Are you by any chance using a new shampoo?” His demeanor crumpled as the stone cold expression of Celestia’s burned itself into his mind.


Discord glanced towards the moon princess for support, but of course, she was nowhere to be found. He turned his attention back to Celestia and gulped. “Uhhh, hehe, how much did you hear of it?”

“Oh I heard all of it,” she replied calmly.

“Uhhh, it was just a joke?” He said sheepishly.

Celestia’s look didn’t change.

“This is not going to end well for me is it?”

Sand and rocks whirled through the air as the two giants among mice landed in the warm and barren land of dragons. Jagged, sharp rocks and sand covered the ground, making the ground itself impassable to any non dragon who would dare to soil the ground with their presence. The air was hot and unwelcoming. Nothing should be able to live there, yet the sands, cliffs and the enormous mountain in front of them housed countless reptiles that were known to the world as some of the most frightening and vicious beasts that had ever existed.

Valissa took it all in as she looked upon her land in all its glory and a smile drew itself on her lips as she observed her people buzzing around the mountain, going by their daily routines. They were all tiny in comparison to her, the biggest only reaching roughly a third her own size. The glinting sands of her tall home reflected the sharp sunlight outwards, glinting like diamonds and shining like a beacon to all dragons near and far as a symbol of home.

The ruby dragon herself was glinting in the sunlight, letting the red light from her scales shine upon all of those she saw before her. Her people were going by their day as if she didn’t even exist. Such a sight gave her both a strange sense of relief and a small tug of fear, although she knew the reason. Some of her citizens were also glinting in the sunlight, not as brightly as Valissa herself, but enough to envelope the dull sandy landscape in a surprising array of colors that glinted onto the mountain. To Valissa, this place was the most beautiful place in existence. She had lived here for many thousand years and she never tired of looking at it, yet it also tugged on her heart strings in a sad way.

Looking towards her companion, Valissa’s eyes widened in pure confusion. Neltharion stood next to her, head tilted with a disbelieving look on his face as he watched ruby queen’s kingdom go by, but that wasn’t what drew Valissa’s attention. It was his scales and the armor. Unlike Valissa and all of her dragons, no light was reflected off of Neltharion. Not even the metal reflected light. All of it was absorbed by his scales and armor as if there was no sun to touch it at all. From his back smoke rose from his folded wings. A strange shiver went down her spine looking at him like that. He was unnatural, surrealistic, and powerful. His very existence seemed forced, as if someone had somehow mixed oil and water and created something new that shouldn’t exist.

Letting a toothy grin occupy her face Valissa spoke. “Is something the matter?”

Neltharion merely kept looking at the sight before him.

“They’re so...ignorant of our presence.”

Although he wasn’t making an effort to be loud, Neltharion’s voice still rang over the landscape before them and Valissa could swear she saw a few of her dragons flinch, others very discreetly making distance from the black dragon.

None of this made Valissa loose her face. She simply chuckled. “Nonsense. They’re merely busy. My people are dragons, ruthless and fearless creatures that fight for what they want.”

Although Valissa didn’t want it to be so, it was a lie. On her way from leaving Draconia she had instructed Razorscale to prepare her people as she would likely bring back a visitor. And it seemed that Razorscale had done what he could. The dragons that were normally swarming her everytime she left the mountain wasn’t there, and the sentries around Draconia had not intercepted them on their way there like they normally should. It was strange, but a necessity. If Valissa had arrived with Neltharion without any warning, there was no telling what kind of panic, chaos or confusion it could cause.

Valissa began to walk towards the mountain, cracking the jagged stone beneath her claws with no effort, making sure to sway her backside and tail in an alluring manner. Noticing Neltharion wasn’t following, Valissa turned her head, grinning. “Are you coming?”

A snort was heard from Neltharion as he reluctantly began to follow the ruby queen.

A thump sounded as another pile of papers and other things rumbled down the book and shelf mountain like a small avalanche. Looking each over carefully, Luna lit her horn and picked up the many items before beginning to sort the rubble from the paper, the broken pieces of wood and unreadable notes going into a large pile behind her while she read the readable pieces.

50 shades of Blue - by Cameron the Clerk


How to make gunpowder - by Belle the sweet.


Being your own Spell-weaver - by Clover the clever.


A groan escaped Luna as she threw the books over her shoulder and into the pile. Faintly she could hear yelling coming from outside. The voices were annoyingly familiar. Her sister and Discord had engaged in a very verbal and not very adult fight ever since the moon princess had decided to leave Discord alone to face Celestia’s wrath. That was over an hour ago. Frankly Luna was surprised none of them had backed down yet. But they were both incredibly stubborn. Even from inside Luna could make out some of the conversation. Some of it was deep and a little emotional, then it became political with focus on Neltharion, and now it had reached a stage of name calling and then criticising each other. In the process Luna had simply decided to get some work done on the book mountain and she had barely even made a dent.

Their bickering reminded Luna a little of her conversation with Neltharion. Although the conversation barely resembled anything the two outside were having, it was something that she had been thinking about ever since she’d talked with the black dragon. Putting things in perspective and making it all less black and white.

Picking up another pile with her magic, Luna sorted the rubble from the notes and books once more.

How to make a mare fall in love with you.


108 monsters and where to find them.


A Nexus in the making - by Asogar Dins

Luna’s brow rose at the name of the last author, but dismissed it and threw into the pile to join the rest.

We’re never going to anything at this rate. Her attention was drawn to the increasingly rising voices of her sister and Discord. At the end of the hall outside a window she could see the shadow of Discord’s flailing mismatched arms.

A groan escaped her as the annoyance of her being the only one involuntarily working on a presumably lost cause. Unfolding her wings, Luna flew over the intimidating book and wood mountain that covered most of the library and over to the end of the room where a conveniently placed door was. Cautiously she opened it as the bickering of her sibling got even louder and slammed the door behind her.

As Luna found out this was not smart decision as dust rained from above and into her fur and mane. Eye twitching, Luna shook herself like a wet dog which barely did anything. Ironically, the bickering outside had also completely seized. Just my luck...

The dust eventually settled and Luna found herself in a compact room, containing a bed, a table filled with loose withered paper and a few books. It didn’t take long for Luna to recognise the room. This used to be Starswirl’s room. Long ago.

Sadness forced itself on Luna as a few memories did the same. Memories of laughter and mischief mostly.

Walking to the table, a smile found its way onto Luna’s face as she recognised the cover of one of the few books that laid on it.

A Brief history of Magic - by Starswirl the Bearded.

It was Starswirl’s first ever published book and the one he had always bragged about writing. As far as she was aware the only other remaining copies were at the Canterlot royal library.

Nostalgia filled the moon princess as she picked up the book in her magical grip and she opened it. But strangely, it was not what she once remembered reading. The book was filled with personal notes about almost every project Starswirl ever started.

Luna went through it page by page, until her eyes fell on a specific page filled with strange markings and pictures. She grabbed the book and ran out of the room, leaving everything as it had been left so many years ago with the exception of the book the old mage had treasured.

Hinges of metal and stone whined as the massive gates to the dragon capital opened in all of its glory. Noise berated the two companions as they looked onward inside. Murmurs, yells, growls and roaring fire as the vast amount of dragons inside went by their day. Yet all of it fell silent as a ruby light shone inside, captivating them all. Guards stationed inside stood tall as their queen entered, her very presence clearing a path straight through the countless numbers of reptiles that occupied the enormous hallway, it only dimly lit by sunlight shining through cracks in the walls of the mountain, reflecting onto large well placed gems that spread the colored light.

Murmurs stirred in the mountain once more as Neltharion bend his head down to not scrape against the gate ceiling, and stepped foot inside. All attention of the citizens were shifted onto him. The hall echoed with each step he took and he could silently feel the endless slitted eyes judging him, for better or worse he didn’t know, nor care for that matter.

The interior of the mountain reminded him of a crude version of a castle. Long large pillars stood tall towards the ceiling in six rows, carefully carved out of the mountain with markings and rubies, sapphires and fire opals that shone in the dark, each pillar a different length to accommodate the varying ceiling height. Above were holes in the ceiling, leading to separate floors of the mountain where Neltharion could see other dragons looking down at him with contempt. In the middle of the hall between the pillars marking his way, Neltharion could see two dragon statues, each respectively carved from blue and red marble.

Neltharion stopped in the middle of the hall, shifting his gaze between the two statues that stood perfectly on each side of him like two judging guardians, both almost as big as himself.
His eyes caught a glimpse of the dragon queen turning her head to look at the blue one with a sad frown before continuing through the hall.

“Is that the creature that is supposed to become our queen’s mate?”

“That thing will bring ruin to our kingdom!”

“Mommy, what is that thing?”

His ears in particular was drawn to a little red drake with oversized teeth protruding from the upper side of his jaw, standing with two drakes of the same age.

“Hey, who’s the weirdo?”

That word ‘weirdo,’ that was new, milder than the others but definitely just as offensive.

The drake’s friends smugly laughed, clearly not realising what was had walked past them. Laughing was new and not in a good way. It was disrespectful in every sense of the word. It was probably just to ‘show off’ to his friends or something ridiculous like that, but that was offensive enough. They had no respect for the monster that had walked past them.

As Neltharion walked through another walkway, he turned his head slightly, just enough to see the drakes and make eye contact with them. Through something even so insignificant as eye contact Neltharion had the power to turn their mind against them, make them insane enough to claw out their own eyes or simply crumble their sanity to dust, but he didn’t. They would have to live the rest of their miserable lives, knowing what they had gazed upon yet never understand. But that wasn’t enough, not to Neltharion. Ever so slightly, his enormous power flared within him and into the red drake’s eyes. Even though the red drake didn’t know it, he already feared Neltharion more than anything else he would ever meet in his life, Neltharion’s spell would make sure of that.

The noise was cut off from Neltharion’s ears as another gate shut behind him. He stood in a large room, completely black with no outside noise available, yet he could smell oil. Shuffling was heard as Valissa laid down on some form of metal that clinked as she made herself comfortable. Fire blew from her nostrils that ignited large bonfires beside her that rapidly spread to both sides. Neltharion got a clear view as his eyes adjusted to the light. Valissa was laying on a bed of gold and silver that was surrounded by a ring of stone. Behind her was three massive paintings carved into the walls that used gems for color. The left painting contained a massive dragon colored in a dark red and long curved horns that stood in a storm of fire surrounded by dragons, griffin’s, and some kind of sea creatures. The right painting contained a dark blue dragon with a kind smile, shielding ponies with its wings in a beside a frozen empire, itself surrounded by frost and ice, three icy shadows showering it from above. The third contained the blue and red dragons snuggling each other as a small golden egg sat beneath them, the trio surrounded by a united dragon people.

“So what do you think so far?” Valissa asked with a confident grin.

“Your kingdom is a wasteland.”

“But it is my wasteland. Isolated from beings of a non draconic origin, with little to no cover and clear defendable and unclimbable vantage points for my people. It is the best defence against those who would dare to invade my land. No one enters or leaves this land without me knowing about it.”

“Then I can assume you don’t get a lot guests”

“Uninvited guests to be exact,” Valissa corrected. “But why would we need guests? We have everything we need here. More land than we could ever inhabit and more gems than we could ever eat.”

Valissa noticed Neltharion’s face change slightly at the mention of gems, although she wasn’t sure if it because of that or simply one of the many scars in his face that was somehow bothering him. “Don’t you like gems?”

“Food is something that rarely enters my mind. But no, I don’t eat gems.”

“Why not? Don’t you like the taste?”

“My kind doesn’t eat gems.”

“Then what does your kind eat?” Valissa asked, not appreciating Neltharion’s almost condescending tone.

“Meat, fish and things similar.”

The answer was a little surprising for Valissa. At the dawn of her race they had also resorted to hunting, but because of their size and the amount they would need to consume daily it quickly became inefficient and almost endangering to hunt the ‘lesser’ races. Luckily her ancestors found gems as a good replacement. Imagining Neltharion hunt on a daily basis gave her a good picture of what his world was like, but also rose more questions. “I see. Do you enjoy hunting?”

“I don’t hunt.”

Raising a brow, Valissa’s mind went into overdrive. This answer could mean many things, though the most likely was that someone else did it for him. “So you have others gathering food for you?”


Those short responses were starting to slightly irritate Valissa. Trying to be a good hostess was apparently harder than first thought, especially when the guest seemed to have little interest in being there. “Then how do you eat?”

“I don’t.”

Now Valissa was just confused. Very confused. All living things needed some form of sustenance. Especially something as big as Neltharion. “What do you mean?”

“I have little interest in answering every question you have about me. Tell me why you invited me here so I can leave.”

Taken aback by Neltharion’s bluntness, Valissa decided she had to change tactic, drastically and fast. Smiling as if his words had not affected her at all. “Very well,” she said. “Would you like to try some?”

It wasn’t as much a question as it was almost a command.

Turning She laid her open claw upon the middle painting and gently pushed. Cracking rocks and stone gave way as a door opened behind her nest, splitting the painting in half. A rush of air hit her as her eyes set upon the dark and narrow corridor revealed behind the paintings. Valissa motioned with her head for Neltharion to follow her and then she walked into into the darkness.

73, 74, 75,

The count went on as Discord went through the massive pile of literature. Most of the books were completely useless but even if he stumbled across something useful, he would never know because simply read the title and threw it in a pile.

It had been a few minutes since their ‘fight’ was over, and they had gone back inside in silence. Discord was slightly annoyed about the whole thing. He had just made one innocent little, perhaps dark, joke. Okay maybe a little bit too dark...okay maybe not the most thought out joke ever, but how was he supposed to know that she was standing right beside him and listening, it’s not like he could...just have moved his head and stopped talking…

Discord paused in his counting and deadpanned.

Alright maybe he should have factored in the oversensitive princes that’s might have been watching, but it was still unreasonable for her to start a fight with him. Of course he could have just teleported himself and Luna away from there and avoided this situation entirely, but noo, he couldn’t think that far. What were they, an old married couple? It was all just a long silly conversation about feelings, some words of scolding and even her mentioning that she cared about him and that making such a joke was cruel. He of course had found her ridiculous, right up until Celestia had put Fluttershy in the picture. Damn sun princess hadn’t fought fair. She had asked Discord to imagine if Fluttershy had heard him make that joke instead of her, and some of the deep and dark implication it could, but it in no way didn’t, have. Discord had already known the outcome of that conversation the moment Celestia had brought it up. If it had been Fluttershy, it would have followed a very predictable series of steps. First she would have been her bawling her eyes out and then it would end up with Discord having to comfort her instead of initial intention of doing the same to him. Then scolding, then hugs and him feeling guilty for weeks. Even though Fluttershy probably had no idea about it, she was very manipulative, and that was another thing Discord had thought about recently. Since he had been let out of stone, they had manipulated him probably just as much as he had them.

Shaking his head, Discord focused back on reading titles and counting.

827, 369, 420,

Okay maybe not completely focused.

He couldn’t help but sneak a glance at Celestia from moment to moment as she was trying to find books in her own way, although he wasn’t sure why. She was annoying in every sense of the word, even as she was just doing her process of picking up a book, scanning the insides for useable info before carefully putting it into a reassembled shelf. She also couldn’t take a joke, he had burns to prove it. Yet he couldn’t help but agree with some of the things she said, which only made his following actions all the more frustrating and made him want to gag.

Ever so slowly, he floated over to the sun princess and landed on the floor beside, waiting for her to notice him.

She simply continued the process.

“Ahem,” Discord coughed in an effort to get her attention.

Nothing happened.

Of course, why couldn’t anything just be easy.

Discord coughed again. No response.

Oh, for the love of…

Having had enough, Discord floated on top of the pile of which Celestia was collecting her books, finally making her stop and notice him.

Her face was hollow of emotions as she looked at him like a brick that had gotten in her way. “Discord,” she simply greeted before starting to pick out books from under Discord and continuing her process.

“Celestia, “ Discord greeted back before deadpanning again. “Do you want me to help you, or?”

“Do whatever you want.”

Ouch. If anything was an indicator that Discord had done goofed that would probably be his biggest pointer. A voice inside Discord told him to do as she said and simply leave because that is what he wanted to do. But would it be the right thing to do, was the more important question. Damn Fluttershy, reforming him and making him feel this way... He could feel guilt gnawing on his insides and the funny thing was that he didn’t know why! Why the heck should he apologise or be helpful for that matter? He didn’t agree to this least not voluntarily.

A sigh escaped him. This was not going to be easy. He had to make careful steps.

A snap of talons sounded and suddenly Celestia was floating suspended in the air in front of Discord. “Look, Lady sunprint, I’m not good with passive aggressive attitudes so cut the crap and tell me what you want.”

Celestia kept silent and simply stared at him with a disapproving glare.

“I mean what is it you want me to do exactly? Apologise? You should know me better than that.”

She kept the glare.

“I suppose that what I did was a bit insensitive, but you weren’t supposed to hear that! I was just trying out a new form of jokes. Even if it was as bad as you made it sound, I don’t see you going around badgering Pinkie Pie every other minute when she tries something new and physically harmful!” He was not getting through. “Alright, okay, I admit my joke was insensitive and that I shouldn’t have said it even if you hadn’t heard, but it still a poor reason to behave like this, Celestia. You are not a teenage filly!”

Still no reaction…

“Although that hasn’t stopped me from behaving like a child in the past, but that is part of my charm, you can’t blame me for that.” A sigh escaped him again. “Will you just say something, please?”

A brow rose on the sun princess’ face.

“Pretty, pretty please, with sugar on top?” He said with wide puppy dog eyes, but unfortunately for Discord it had no effect. His eye was beginning twitch not being used to this kind of lack of reaction. Her lack of reaction had more effect on him than he realised. Never before in all of his years had he been ignored and been this annoyed by it. In the past, no one could ignore him, for if they did, he would turn them into rabids and punt them towards the nearest desert. But he couldn’t do that anymore, noo, he was a good guy now, no matter how much it annoyed him. Discord’s face reddened in anger. “What do you want from me, woman?!” He yelled flailing his arms. “Is it an apology you want? There, I apologise for being an insensitive jerk and I will never make such ‘foul’ jokes again! Now say something before I do stuff that will make Fluttershy put me in the doghouse for the next millennia!”

A smug smile suddenly appeared on the sun princess’ lips. “That,” she simply replied.

Discord’s frustration and anger was completely wiped from the face of the world and replaced by just as much confusion. “Huh?” He blurted out and let his magical grip on the princess waver, letting her slowly land on the ground.

A giggle escaped Celestia at the look of Discord’s utter look of confusion. “That was all I wanted.”

“But, what the, huh?” More random words blurted from Discord’s mouth.

The conversation didn’t get any further as suddenly Luna burst into the room flying to them with a book in her blue aura floating around her.

“Celestia, Discord, we have found--” Luna stopped running towards them as she saw the looks on their faces. Discord sitting with disbelief and mouth agape upon a pile of books while continuously changing expression as if trying to understand something, while Celestia was standing in front of him with a smug smile that reminded reminded Luna of Discord’s signature grin. “Uhh, what has transpired in our absence?” Luna asked as she approached.

“Nothing much, Luna,” Celestia smiled at her sister.

“I think your sister just out me’d me,” Discord blurted out.

“Out me’d you?” Luna shook her head. “Tis not important, we have found something of use!”

“I think I need to lie down,” Discord said, taking his paw to his head.

“Thou can do that when we get back to Canterlot...”


View Online

The cracking of rocks and other things filled Valissa’s ears as she walked through the blackness. She could hear the black giant walking closely behind her, but she wanted him closer, and their location might just do the trick.

Ahead of her, Valissa could see the faintest of light’s and she knew they had arrived. Especially because the sound beneath her claws became one that reminisced walking on metal and glass. She could feel herself sink in the contents of their location, and the feeling brought forth sweet memories of her youth. The air also changed around her, becoming lighter and fresher. Behind her, Neltharion entered the new cave as well and she heard him stop for a moment, probably to examine what he was walking on exactly.

Flames came from Valissa’s nose so she could get a good look at her location. She was exactly where she thought she’d be. Looking up, Valissa let a stream of flames exit her mouth and onto the ceiling. Rocks started to fall down, clinking as they hit the contents of the cave and letting in the sharp evening sun.

For a moment, her sight was completely blinded by the vast arrays of different light that suddenly lit up the cave, then her sight adjusted, and her heart grew warm at the sight.

She was standing upon tens of thousands of gems, all in different colors and sizes. It was like a small ocean inside the massive cave that was revealed to be at least as big as the inside of the dragon capital itself. She walked to one side of the cave where a giant boulder was covering the entrance and pushed it away with her head, letting even more sunlight inside.

Valissa grew a smirk when she turned and noticed the utter surprise on Neltharion’s face. His jaw had even managed to drop open at the sight. That reaction was worth dragging him to Draconia alone.

This was her treasury.

A giggle escaped the queen that echoed through the cave and out through the many holes in the ceiling. “Are you okay, Neltharion? You seem a bit baffled.” Her mirth only increased as the black giant composed himself and snorted.


“Talking about me or the gems?”

Neltharion responded to that with a flat face, which wasn’t technically an answer. Valissa responded with a giggle.

“Your treasury I assume?”

“Indeed, Neltharion. My kind has amassed this treasure for millennia in case of a food crisis.” Valissa picked a chunk of gems in her claw, which seemed like pebbles compared to her. “Another good quality of gems, other than being a food source is that they are exceptionally pretty. Here in Draconia, their beauty is without equal, especially to other countries. The amount of times my sentries have caught ponies and griffins…” Valissa sighed and shook her head.

“Is this your reasoning for keeping all other races out?”

“Among other things,” Valissa frowned for a moment, before her smile back. “But enough of that. Why don’t you try some gems? They are quite delicious if I should say so myself.”

She could see Neltharion was about to decline, but something, perhaps curiosity, had kept his mouth shut.

Watching with inner excitement, Valissa’s eyes fixed on the great dragon as he leaned down and took some gems into his maw. There was no doubt in her mind he would love the gems. All dragons did.

Neltharion chewed and sank the gems down his throat and into his stomach.

“I might as well have been chewing rocks.”

Valissa was unsure what to make of that answer. It didn’t sound like a good thing, but then again, she hadn’t seen Neltharion being impressed with anything other than the cave itself. “So, do you like it?”

A deadpan appeared on Neltharion’s face.


Awkward moments were rare for Valissa, but this one definitely took the cake. Questions rose in her head on why and how. For a moment, she even got offended and even angry, but those thoughts quickly evaporated. Getting angry might not be the best idea considering what she was trying to do. And although it might not seem like it, she might be getting through to him. This thought was reinforced when she saw the inkling of a smile on Neltharion’s face, probably because of her own shifting expression. Eventually she settled on a smile, thinking she was getting closer.

“What’s wrong, Twilight?” Spike asked, watching his pseudo big sister groaning into a pillow.

“Everything,” Twilight groaned in response.

“That really cleared things up,” Spike rolled his eyes. Approaching, Spike jumped up onto her bed. “What’s wrong?”

“Have you ever felt useless?”

“Pretty much every time we and the girls go on a adventure,” Spike answered with a smile.

Twilight lifted her head and looked back at him. “Sorry.”

“Nah, it’s okay Twilight. I’m just meant to be a sidekick, and strangely, I’m okay with that now. Tell me what’s wrong.”

“Okay,” Twilight replied, sitting up on her bed. “Since Neltharion’s ‘incident’ in the hall, I’ve secretly tried to uncover why he has pony magic.”

“Wait, why have you kept that a secret?”

“Because I’m pretty sure Neltharion would rather swann dive into a volcano than let me do more experiments on him.”

Spike laughed. “Can’t say I blame him.”

Twilight frowned.

“What?” Spike asked. “Don’t tell me you don’t remember when you did the same thing to me.”

“I was just a filly back then.”

“That didn’t stop you from electrocuting me.”

“You’re never gonna let that go, are you?”

Spike shook his head, “nope.”

Twilight shook her head, smiling, in response.

“But now that I’m here anyway, let’s see if your number one assistant can help.” Spike jumped down from Twilight’s bed, went over to her worktable, grabbed a scroll and quill, and stood ready in front of Twilight.

Twilight merely laughed at the dragon’s posture, he looked so proud.

“You begin talking and I’ll write it down. So what data have you gathered?”

A sigh escaped Twilight. “None.”

Spike rose an eyebrow. “Okay? Do you have any theories?”


“Do you have a plan to get either?”

“No…” Twilight buried her head in the pillow again.

“Okaaay,” Spike blinked. “How about we start with some base questions then?”

“Spike I’ve already done all of this, but I still don’t have any ideas.”

“Yeah, but back then you didn’t have me here, so just answer the question.”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Fine. We know he's a very big disfigured magic using dragon.”

Spike wrote it down. “Good, good. Any special properties of his magic?”

“I don’t know, Spike. He’s a magic using dragon. That in itself is unheard of in Equestria.”

“Well what does his magic do?”

“It controls the earth and elements.”

Spike looked up from the scroll with a questioning look. “Really?”

“Yes,” Twilight nodded. A question rose in her mind. “Wait, what did you think his magic did?”

Spike shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe control fire? It seems very dragon-magicky.”

“Well fire is one of the elements, the earth and he also has access to some...other magic”

“What do you mean by ‘other?’”

“Well he kinda sorta all of a sudden spoke to me inside my head.”

“Cool!” Spike gleamed. “You think he can teach me to do that?”


“Oh, right…” Spike seemed to deflate like a balloon at that. He coughed to break the tension. “Okay, what about in his pony form, did his magic change then?”

Twilight took a hoof to her chin. “Not that I can think of. He still had full access to his magic in his pony form.

“Can you think of any connection between his dragon magic and pony magic?”

“No not real…” Twilight went silent as a stray thought hit her.

“Twilight?” Spike rose a brow.

Twilight’s eyes widened, “I might have a theory.”

Standing in the mountains of gems, Neltharion felt weird as Valissa looked at him. She was smiling, but not a cocky smile or a playful smile, but a genially warm smile. Something within him tingled for a moment, and it felt strangely nice. Somehow it also awoke genuine interest in Neltharion. About her, about her duty as a ruler. But also an actual question as to why he was here would be nice. He had his own suspicions on why he was there, but he wanted her to say it.

“You never answered why you wanted me to come to Draconia.”

A soft giggle escaped Valissa. “And it isn’t something I should have to answer. You know why.”

“No, I don’t.”

An eyebrow rose on Valissa’s face and her smile disappeared. “Very well. You and I are alike, Neltharion.”

“You don’t know anything about me.”

“And I don’t need to,” she answered. “I can see it in your eyes, like I can see in a mirror of my own. Loneliness.”

“Our situations are hardly comparable. You have an entire kingdom. Why should you be lonely?”

“The same reason why you are despite being around princess Twilight and other ponies.” Valissa turned away from Neltharion, but her voice sounded clear because of the cave echoing. “No one understands true loneliness until they have an entire world that admires and fears them, but no one to be with. No friends to laugh with. No partners to share their life and love with. No family to care for or to embrace.”

That last part stung inside Neltharion.

“And nothing good comes out of those things anyway.”

He meant every word, but despite it, there was a bit of doubt within him.

“You’re wrong,” Valissa said. “And I should know because I’ve felt like you have,” she looked back at Neltharion, but her expression was heartbreakingly sad. “At first, I felt like you, but time went by. Hundreds of years, thousands of years seeing parents and children find each other and be a family. Then I started to realise that I would never have that for myself, and that thought was devastating.”

“You speak of these things as if life itself has no meaning without them. You only want those things because you’ve never felt the pain of losing any of those things.”

The words left Neltharion’s mouth with a growl. He could feel his blood run hot at the thought of everything that had led him to where he was now, and practically nothing of it was good.

“But you have,” a smile appeared on Valissa’s face. “I have also lost things, despite what you might believe, Neltharion.

The smile threw Neltharion off. Again it was a soft smile, a warm and welcoming smile. Again a tingle in his chest.

Suddenly, her smile faded as she looked over the more grotesquely parts of him. His jaw, the metal pieces and the constant running of blood. “Does it hurt?”

Neltharion was taken aback by her question, but the answer was easy. He lifted his left claw and flexed it a few times, each time a sharp pain shot through his claw, but he ignored it. It was something he was used to.


That word lingered in the air for what felt like minutes to the both of them.

Suddenly all of Neltharion’s past feelings were gone and instead he was focused on the constant pain that ran through his body. It felt as if his scales were boiling and his blood was acid. In the moment, only the pain mattered. With it came anger, rage and memories.

Seemingly understanding the sudden change of mood in Neltharion, Valissa changed topic. “You know I have to ask,” she said with her more usual smile. “What is it that compels you to stay with the ponies, and not here?”

“They have been kind to me, and so I shall return the favor.”

“But isn’t it cruel to stay with them?”

“What do you mean?”

“I saw how mere words from you made them shy away. I saw their looks, and the fear in their eyes. Your presence scares them. Their very nature tell them to run when they see you. Wouldn’t it be kinder to leave them?”

Her words resounded in Neltharion’s head. She was right, it would be kinder to leave them, in theory. He could already imagine the rumors of his leave. The mass panic, and perhaps even riots. Despite what Valissa might think, it would be kinder to let the ponies have their eyes on him, more for their sake than his own.


He never saw it coming. Why should he? It shouldn’t have happened. The very thought of it happening would have been preposterous five minutes ago. But suddenly, he was lying on his back, Valissa on top of him with a sly smile. He heard her laugh, and for a moment, he wanted to join her. He wanted to have fun, to laugh, and to at least try and genuinely smile. All of those thoughts disappeared as quickly as they had appeared though, sucked back down into the void inside of him, and was replaced with memories. These images gnawed at his mind and psyche. Neltharion’s eyes went wide as his mind was filled images of a known dragon’s face. Sinestra. Scars. So many scars. Everything he did to her to bring Onyxia and Nefarian into the world. It was too much.

With a roar, Neltharion slammed his tail into Valissa’s, knocking her off of him, and stood up with anger in his eyes.

Valissa was sent through the thousands of gems and looked up at Neltharion with genuine fear in her eyes.

“I am not yours to be toyed with Valissa!”

His voice rumbled the cave, and Valissa’s eyes widened.

“Your sweet words and faulty promises will not sway me. I would rather burn this entire kingdom than join it!”

At that Neltharion spread his wings, sending gems flying everywhere as he burst through the holed cave ceiling. He looked down at Valissa, and not once did regret touch him. If there was any, it had been drowned in his primal rage.

Despite it all he heard angry voices from the cave beneath and almost felt the eyes of the dragon queen watching him as he disappeared into the sky.

His wings were blazing, literally. And he felt free, but also empty inside. There was nothing but anger and rage. So little happiness or sadness. Just anger.

Why did everything have to be so difficult? Why couldn’t he be happy. He was in a paradise with a choice of having a fresh start, but there was nothing but emptiness, anger and regret.

He passed over deserts, jungles and forests. Time seemed to have disappeared in his thoughts. Nothing mattered but the rage. Why was he so angry.

Clamping his jaw shut, Neltharion could feel the bolts hurting jaw bones. He could feel the elementium grinding against his teeth, but it all only frustrated him more and fueled his anger.

Behind him, the fire from his wings grew hotter as he flew over the landscape below, the glow from the fires like a small sun as his blood began to boil hotter and hotter.

Muscles tensing, Neltharion noticed the fiery blood dripping down his legs. His entire body hurt. It always did, but this time it hurt especially.

Why did he hurt so much?

As if awoken from a trance, Neltharion shook his head as he recognised the landscape beneath. He was almost back. Almost ‘home.’ The word made him grimace.

This wasn’t home. This would never be home.

Nevertheless he channeled his magic and as in a second, his dragon form turned to smoke and his dark pony image emerged.

He landed in the quiet village. First now did he notice the moon had risen. How long had he been gone? Couldn’t have been more than a day, at most.

As he made his way towards the crystal castle, he noticed something strange. Eyes were following him from the windows of the houses around him. Everytime he looked up towards them, the onlookers apparently hid. They must have heard him coming. Not really surprising. The ponies could probably hear him from miles away when he was flying. But their reaction was a little overkill. At the moment though, he didn’t care, not even as his hooves burned through the grass beneath him and left a scorched mark on the ground every time he took a step. All he wanted to do was sleep and wake up sometime next century. Fate, and the ponies surely wouldn’t let him though. He was so tired.

Finally he had made it to the castle, and sure enough, a guard was waiting for him. Neltharion cursed beneath his breath. He only got moodier when he recognised the pony that was waiting for him. Flash Sentry. But something was off about him.

Flash Sentry looked completely focused on Neltharion, his gaze never wavering, but there was no fear in his eyes. Only hatred.

Another odd thing was his peculiar lack of injuries. He shouldn’t have been able to recover from Neltharion’s flicking so quickly. Something was definitely wrong. This thought was reinforced when he started to charge at Neltharion, screaming as he did, but it wasn’t Flash Sentry’s voice.

As he jumped and braced himself to crash into Neltharion, Flash Sentry erupted in green fire, and suddenly queen Chrysalis was in Sentry’s place.

Neltharion did nothing to prevent Chrysalis from hitting him. Quite the contrary, Neltharion jumped to meet her.

As they approached each other, the rage in Chrysalis’ eyes faded and turned into fear, yet she kept going with gritted teeth. Neltharion’s expression never changed. Not even as he barely avoided Chrysalis’ horn from going through his eye. After that, they clashed and rolled onto the ground, Chrysalis hitting and biting him whenever she got the chance, but Neltharion never hit her back. Eventually they ended up with Chrysalis standing on top of him, her breath heaving and teeth clenched. Her body was covered in burns from having come into contact with Neltharion’s searing hot skin.

“Fight back!” She hissed.

“No,” Neltharion merely answered.

“Why not? You take everything from me, and you won’t even do me the satisfaction of an honorable death?!” Chrysalis screamed as she continued to pummel him with her hooves, she let one final cry escape her before falling over due to her injuries.

Neltharion stood up and glared down at her, his form radiating with heat. “You don’t deserve such a thing. I should end you, laying there on the ground, writhing in your own misery, but I won’t.” The searing heat completely disappeared from Neltharion's body and he walked over to her. “Come on.” He gestured towards the castle as he suddenly picked Chrysalis up and threw her over his shoulder. She didn’t protest. Instead only weeping could be heard through the dark halls of the castle.

Return of the Pan

View Online

“You’re gonna burn it!”

“I’m not going to burn it.”

“I’m pretty sure you’ve burned it.”

“No, I didn’t!”

“I’m also pretty sure hay bacon isn’t supposed to be black.”

“How would you know? You’re a dragon, you don’t even eat hay bacon!”

This banter had been going on for a while. Morning had risen and with it, the two permanent residents had as well. Twilight and Spike had come to make breakfast, and in the event that Neltharion had returned home, at least it was either that or a minor earthquake, Twilight had wanted to try and impress him with some equine cuisine as soon as he would wake up. And all the guys loved haybacon, so why shouldn’t he? Only problem being that Twilight had never made haybacon before.

Coughing, Spike turned away from the stove with tears in his eyes. The whole kitchen was starting to be full of smoke. “Can’t you at least magic away the smoke or something?”

“Don’t be silly, Spike. The smell of hay bacon is what will lure Neltharion here. If the smoke goes, so does the smell.”

“But at least we won’t choke!”

“Don’t be so melodramatic, Spike,” Twilight smiled.

Twilight had heard of Applejack cooking hay bacon before and how Big Mac would ‘magically’ appear seconds later to eat it.

Spike continued to cough. “I can’t take this. Every dragon for themselves!” He yelled and ran out of the kitchen.

Twilight rolled her eyes, but she had to admit, even her own eyes was starting to water. It didn’t outweigh her excitement to serve the frying pan full of Haybacon to Neltharion though, so it didn’t matter. She could hear Spike in the hall.

“Oh, hey Neltharion. Hey Flash. Twilight’s in the kitchen.”

A moment of confusion let itself dawn on Twilight. Flash? She was sure he was still at the hospital. Perhaps he had gotten released early? Nevertheless a smile drew itself on Twilight’s lips as the excitement bubbled close to the surface as she heard the metallic clinks of Neltharion’s steps, but she remained calm in front of the stove, fiddling with the frying pan.

Although he had only been gone for a day, a shiver went up her spine when he spoke.

“It smells like you’re trying to burn down your castle,” Neltharion said.

Twilight turned her head and there he was, terrifying as ever in his alicorn pony dragon-ish form, standing against the door frame with what she thought was an inkling of a smile. It was hard to tell because of the giant metal jaw, but Twilight had no doubt he was giving her a sly smile. She rolled her eyes. “You make it sound even worse than Spike.”

“That’s because I mean it.”

Grabbing the frying pan in her magical grip, she turned and smiled at Neltharion. “Come and sit down, Neltharion. I made this especially for you.” For a moment, Twilight thought she saw hesitation on Neltharion’s face. Then she heard someone whisper on the other side of the door frame.

Neltharion turned from his position and looked out on the other side of the frame. “It’s okay,” he said to the other person.

Confusion hit Twilight again at those words. What was okay? If it was Flash Sentry, it would be very weird for Neltharion to say that to him, especially in such a reassuring tone.

In walked Flash Sentry next to Neltharion, close, as if he was scared of Twilight. There were bags under his eyes and he looked like he’d cried all night.

Twilight’s mouth fell open at his expression. It was heartbreaking. “Flash, what’s--” she never got to finish the sentence before Flash Sentry erupted in green flames and Chrysalis stood in his place.

This time, Twilight’s jaw dropped completely and a barrage of emotions hit her. First a train of confusion, followed by a mountain of anger and hate that made her pick up her jaw and clench her teeth. Just looking at her made it ache in Twilight’s leg. She remembered everything. No thought went into her next action, it was guided by her emotions alone.

With a thought, the boiling hot frying pan, with hay bacon, flew towards Chrysalis with monstrous speed.

As if she anticipated it, Chrysalis ducked beneath the frying pan.


Her former emotions having gone with the wind, Twilight took a hoof to her mouth in shock at what she’d done.

The frying pan was stuck to the left side of Neltharion’s face, it being occupied by a very unamused expression.

Silence filled the room as the changeling and alicorn princess stared and awaited the dragon’s next move.

Neltharion responded with scrunching his nose. “Let’s not make this a habit.”

“Sorry, Neltharion,” Twilight said, hurrying over to him and grabbing the frying pan with her magical grip, trying to get it off. “Now your breakfast is all ruined!”

“Breakfast?!” Chrysalis exclaimed. “You tried to hit me with a frying pan!”

Twilight turned to Chrysalis. “Can you blame me after the last time we met?!”

“Ladies, if you could both just---”

“Shut up!”
“Shut up!”

Neltharion’s wings flared at their sudden reaction.

“How dare you come here after you did to Ponyville!?”

“How dare I come here!? How dare you adress me this way after you broke into my home and made me a prisoner there!?

“That was because you ponynapped my friends little sisters!”

“I only did that because you humiliated me at your brother’s wedding!”

“You were trying to take over Equestria!”

“That is besides the point!”


The voice of Neltharion shook the castle and their bickering seized. They both focused their attention on Neltharion.

“I’m not in the mood to hear you two bickering. Now get this frying pan off of my face!”

Twilight focused her magic around the frying pan. The metal protested as she tried to wrestle it off of Neltharion’s face. It took some effort, but with a pop, it came off.

“Thank you,” Neltharion said, the left side of his face was completely soaked in oil, and it seemed to be boiling on his face from the sheer heat starting to emanate from him. Neltharion took a deep breath and the heat disappeared from him, although that didn't stop the oil from dripping off of the left part of his face. His eyes fixed on a small piece of burnt black coal looking substance on the floor. With hesitation he dipped his head and took it into his mouth. It crunched in his mouth as he bit down on it, and his face contorted into one of shocked disgust shortly, before going back to his unamused face. He turned to Chrysalis. “You, go back to bed and stay there. I’ll get you later.”

At that, Twilight’s eyes widened as she shifted her gaze between Neltharion and Chrysalis continuously.

A little hesitant, Chrysalis nodded and walked out of the kitchen in the direction of Neltharion’s room.

“You… and, and her?” Twilight stammered, as her face turned red at disturbing thoughts entering her mind. “How? When?”

Raising one of his scarred eyebrows, Neltharion looked at Twilight in confusion. “Last night. She tried to ambush me, I calmed her down and let her stay in my room.”

Twilight’s brain was close to a meltdown. None of this made sense. “But it’s Chrysalis! She tried to kill me and my friends!”

“And because of it, she has lost everything. She is no longer a threat,” Neltharion calmly replied. “She is in a pit of despair, unsure of what to do with herself. Leave her be.”

“I-I can’t do that,” Twilight said, shaking her head, her eyes filling up with anger. “She has to pay.”

“She already has. As far as she knows, Chrysalis is one of the few changelings left, and there is a very real chance she won’t find solace amongst her own kin ever again. If you were thinking of punishment, I have given her one that will haunt her to the end of her days,” Neltharion said, looking almost through Twilight.

Silence sat in the room like the cloud of smoke in the ceiling, crushing any words that could be said before they even left Twilight’s throat. There was nothing more to be said, at least not about the changeling queen.

Neltharion turned around to leave, to let everything else unsaid linger in the room to whenever they could talk again, but Twilight wasn’t willing to let it be done there. He felt distant and unfocused. Something had happened while he was in Draconia. Something he clearly didn’t want to talk about.

“I think I’ve figured out why you have pony magic.”

The crystal beneath Neltharion protested as his armor scraped against its surface as he moved his hooves. It was hard to lie on, but it was better than lying on a pillow and shredding it.

Sitting beside him sat Twilight Sparkle, looking through a multitude of books as she shifted between them, the rest of them hanging in the air.

She had lead him to the library within the crystal castle and had started to pull down several books from different bookcases trying to find one in particular.

Neltharion was tired, very tired. All he wanted was to go back to sleep. Since Chrysalis had been sleeping in his bed, Neltharion had opted for a corner on the floor. Surprisingly, he’d slept better there than he ever had in his bed. Although he was interested in Twilight’s new discovery, the last few days had been taxing. And he wanted to sleep it away. It was easier.

“Here,” Twilight suddenly said and levitated a book in front of Neltharion. It was filled with infuriating pony writing, but there was a picture that made it a little easier to understand. On the picture was one pony of each race and energy entering their respective bodies, focusing on horn, wings and legs.

“What is this?”

“It is a depiction of where ponies get their magic from. Earth-ponies get it from the earth beneath them and it centers on increasing their strength and durability. Pegasi get their magic from the air, and it centers around their wings. It is because of it that pegasi can even fly. To a lesser degree it also increases their leg strength and dexterity. Then we have unicorns. They get their magic from both the air and the earth, but it doesn’t increase their physical nature, instead it empowers their minds and lets them project the magic into the world through their horns.”

“And what about alicorns?”

“They have everything enhanced. Strength, dexterity, flight and can project magic differently than unicorns, and can channel much more than any unicorn ever could.” Twilight gave Neltharion a questioning look. “And somehow, you are able to absorb the magic like any other pony. I bet that was why you have a cutiemark.”

Neltharion looked at her in confusion. “I don’t have a cutiemark anymore, not after I changed to this pony form.”

“I didn’t think so either, until I saw you this morning. Yes, you do,” Twilight replied, moving her gaze to Neltharion’s flank. “It’s just not as easy to see.”

Turning his head, Neltharion looked to his flank, and in the cracks between the plating there, he could see it. The same black sphere with molten cracks, almost completely hidden away by his plating. “”

“I’m not sure,” Twilight said, “but I have a theory. You have a strong connection to the earth because of your inherent magic. It isn’t hard to believe that you have a connection to this world’s earth as well. Yet there is a chance it can present some issues.”


“Well, I think that the longer you stay in your pony form, the more magic it absorbs. Unlike normal unicorns and alicorns, I don’t think your body will stop absorbing magic. It explains why it exploded from your horn when I asked you to use your pony magic the first time.”

“What are you implying?”

“Uhh, well, eventually you might absorb too much magic and…boom.”



“I will explode?”


“Well that’s reassuring.”

“Don’t get me wrong. Eventually the magic will have to discharge from your body and it could choose many different ways of doing so. It could also be triggered by a lot of things. There’s no telling what it could do. When I was a foal, sheer surprise made me accidentally hatch Spike and turn him into a fully grown dragon.”

“So what do you want me to do?”

“I’m not sure. You’ve only remained in pony form for a few weeks at a time at most. It could take months, maybe years for your body to accumulate enough magic to force a discharge. I don’t even know if that magic disappears when you turn back into a dragon, or if your plating slows the process, but I recommend you don’t stay a pony for too long at a time, so you don’t accidentally blow up Ponyville.”

Great, more to think about. Neltharion rolled his eyes in annoyance at the whole situation. As if things couldn’t get any worse.

Neltharion barely got to finish that thought before a guard stuck his head inside the library.

“Princess Twilight?”


“You have guests.”


The guard stood up straight, looking down the other end of the hall with a stoic face. “Announcing: Princess Celestia, princess Luna,”

In behind the two princesses walked Discord.

“And the spirit of chaos, Discord. May he fall in a pit somewhere,” the last part came in a low mutter.

“I heard that,” Discord said, giving the guard a stink eye before continuing past him, his tail whipping the guards snout.

“Princess Celestia, Luna, Discord? What are you doing here?”

“We heard Neltharion had returned from Draconia and wanted to welcome him back,” princess Celestia smiled.

It was easy to see that it was forced. Maybe not to Twilight but it was easy for Neltharion to see.

“But that is not the only reason,” Luna said.

“Is that so?” Neltharion asked, looking over the princesses with suspicious eyes, noting Discord standing in the background with crossed arms, ears splayed back, and keeping his eyes on the ground, a strange frown occupying his features.

“Quite,” Luna replied, keeping her expression stoic and serious. “As you know, we have been doing an awful lot of research on your predicament while you were absent.”

At that, Neltharion’s ears perked.

“We managed to look through all of the books in our old castle, and even those in Canterlot library, and the closed wing,” Celestia said.

“And?” The word blurted out from Neltharion’s mouth, hazy and almost a whisper. First then did he realise how hopeful, and almost pleading, he sounded.

Celestia avoided his gaze. “I’m sorry, Neltharion, but we have found nothing. We can’t help you get home.”


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A cold breeze went and graced his face, touching each feature gently. First his mane and horns, quickly flowing to his wings and tail. He tried enjoying it as much as he could, even as booming thunder sounded above and rain slowly started to fall, seething as it evaporated the moment it touched his body.

Today was not a good day.

From his position on the hill, Neltharion could see all of Ponyville, and the mountain the village stood beneath. He could see the inhabitants hurry inside as the wind and rain got rougher. Relaxed was how he felt, empty. Nothing mattered in this moment. Mind scattered, he let his sight go out of focus to the point where he might as well have watched nothing, but merely heard the screeching wind, the booming thunder and the rain as it battered against his plates, clinking. Everything had come down to the news he had received only hours ago. Now what was he to do?

Taking a deep breath, Neltharion focused and forced the natural heat of his body to diminish.

And then it came.

He almost flinched as the raindrops touched his body, wetted his mane and seeped into the cracks in his armor. Seething could be heard around him as it made contact with his molten blood. Drops of it could be seen dripping down on the grass, turning it withered and lifeless.

A sudden thought caught Neltharion at the thought of it reaching the ground. He could almost hear her.

Nothing will grow for ten-thousand years.

“Alexstrasza.” The name escaped his jaws as a whisper. He suddenly felt an urge to move away from the grass, and escape to somewhere else. But where could he go? His corruption would follow and more blood would spill. There was always more of it. Where was his place now?

A new feeling caught him. One he hadn’t felt before. There was a stinging behind his eyes. Where was it coming from? What had triggered it?

He knew this feeling, the feeling that was grasping his insides and knotting itself in his stomach, sadness. He’d felt it many times before in his time on Equestria, but this time it was different.

Somehow his thoughts were drawn back to Valissa and her offer. Now more than ever it seemed so tempting, but inside, Neltharion knew it was not what he wanted, not really. The thought of power was no longer appealing. How could so much change in so little time?

Lying down, Neltharion thought of the events that had brought him to Equestria, and the events that had followed since his arrival. There was so much bad, and today only seemed to solidify that thought. Although he felt the good things touching his insides as well, it was not nearly enough to outweigh the bad. What did he have? He had Twilight, maybe Discord, and…

His mind went blank. There was no one else. Again, his mind was drawn back to Valissa, but he pushed her image away. It was a false image.

He felt the stinging in his eyes again, and this time, something formed at the corner of his eye. It streamed down his chin and brought up a hoof, taking it away before it hit his metal jaw. It was a tear. A clear pure tear.

A scarred brow rose on Neltharion as he stared at the tear. Amidst the storm and rain, nothing seemed to matter. The tear sat alone, quiet, isolated.

Then he realised it.

The thought of never seeing his siblings again was overwhelming. Now that hope was gone, what could he do? What was he supposed to do?

Neltharion suddenly felt angry, and with it came his natural heat back in full force, forming a small bubble around him where the rain couldn’t enter, and evaporating the tear from his hoof. Putting his hoof back down he watched as the grass around him withered and caught on fire within his hot bubble. And he didn’t care. At least he didn’t want to admit that he did. Everything had gone silent within his bubble. Neither wind nor rain could enter. Closing his eyes, he tried to think of the good times, only to be disappointed to find out that he could hardly remember anything pleasant from back then. In the back of his mind, he could feel his corruption lurking around, slithering its way through his head, accessing his thoughts. He could almost feel its satisfaction, and yet, there was a certain sadness to it as well.

Suddenly, an increasing buzzing filled his ears and he opened his eyes just in time to see Chrysalis land in front of him, drenched in rain, and an unamused frown on her face. Attempting to approach, Chrysalis was hit with the wall of intense heat and was forced away.

Taking a deep breath, Neltharion decreased the heat, and Chrysalis stepped inside, her eyes barely open as she went inside the hot air. As she drew closer, Neltharion adjusted his heat further until the rain just managed to reach him before evaporating.

Sitting down beside him, Chrysalis looked stared on to Ponyville that they still had a clear view of.

“Why are you here?” Neltharion asked, looking at her.

“You didn’t exactly come and get me like you said, so I had to take the initiative,” Chrysalis answered looking at Ponyville.

“I see.”

Chrysalis looked at him. “What happened?”

“A lot.”



“Serves you right.”

Neltharion was caught off guard by that, but he didn’t protest.

“Words cannot describe how much I hate you. If I could, I would expose you to every possible pain known and make you watch as I tore Equestria apart.”

“I know.”

“But after what you did, I’m not sure I want that anymore.” Chrysalis looked down. “I’m not a queen, not without my hive. Without it, what am I?”

Neltharion watched as tears fell from Chrysalis’ eyes, just as they had done the past night. Yet despite it, he felt no remorse.

“What am I going to do now?”

Neltharion shook his head. “I don’t know where you should go, but I know where you can start.”

Looking up at Neltharion, Chrysalis wiped away the most recent tears. “Let go of your hate towards Twilight, her friends, and Equestria. It will get you nowhere.”

Chrysalis laughed. “Like you’re one to talk about letting go of hate.”

“This is not about me.”

“Oh I know that perfectly well. The fact that you are so arrogant to lecture me about overcoming hate says a lot about you!” Chrysalis spat. “Why are you telling me this nonsense if you can’t let go of your own hate?”

“Because this is not about me. I’m telling you this so that you can do better.” Neltharion looked down. “Hatred will get you nowhere but pull you further down your own personal pit and slowly rip to pieces until you don’t even recognise yourself.”

“Speaking from experience, are we?”


The clouds were starting to disperse and the rain was stopping its fall. No howling wind or outside noise. They sat there quietly, contemplating each other’s words.

“Are you the last changeling?” Neltharion suddenly asked. “Or are there more out there somewhere?”

“A bold question,” Chrysalis snorted. “I don’t know. There might.”

“What do you mean?” Neltharion looked back at her.

“Sometimes there have been...deviants, failures that has disappeared out of nowhere. Soft cowards who could not carry out their queen’s command, so they opted to flee the hive instead. Other than You took everyone.”

“Then why aren’t you out looking for these deviants?”

“Haven’t you been listening? They would not obey my command--”


Chrysalis froze. “What?”

“I saw how you commanded your troops. They followed you blindly and I figure that has been your way of sorting the ‘weak’ from the ‘strong.’ Are you so afraid of them not following you that you would rather cast them away?”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Chrysalis snarled. “You don’t know what it means to lead an entire race! Sometimes you have to cut away the weak to preserve the strong.”

Neltharion could only deadpan at that, but decided not to comment on it. Nevermind he was the leader of his entire black dragonflight. Or at least, he used to be. “Well now you don’t have the luxury of picking them apart. Rally them.”

“But I don’t know where to look.”

“Then ask the princesses for help.”

Chrysalis’ eyes widened. “What? I can’t do that!”

“Of course you can. I’m sure the princesses would be more than happy to help you locate other changelings, as long as you don’t turn on them.”

“If you think I’m going to be ‘friends’ with those pathetic insolent little ponies, you are sorely mistaken.”

“I’m not asking you to befriend the ponies. I’m asking you to live alongside them.”

“I can’t do that. The ponies wouldn’t forgive me anyway. Just look at what Twilight almost did to me this morning.”

“She was angry. In time, she will lose the hate. They call her the princess of friendship for a reason. But you have to take the first step.”

Chrysalis gulped. “I don’t know if I can do that.”

“I don’t know if you can either.”

They looked at each other for some time. Neltharion could see the looks of doubt on Chrysalis’ face. Her journey wasn’t going to be easy, but if she could accomplish it, she could become better, become more. More than he ever was. More than he can ever be.

Neltharion stood up. “Strive to become better. Be the leader that your kind deserves. Not a tyrant. Not a dictator, but a leader. Take advice from the princesses if you have to, or don’t. But when you finally find your path, stick to it. Let those so-called deviants inspire you to become a better leader instead of terrorising your own subjects. Pull yourself up from the pit. And in time you could give them an ideal for every changeling to strive towards. They will race behind you, whatever flaws you think they have. In your journey you may stumble, and fall, but in time, you will find your place in the sun.” At those final words, Neltharion moved forward, spread his wings and took a deep breath. “Take the time you need. I’ll see you later.” Flapping his wings, Neltharion rose into the sky, leaving Chrysalis back on the hill looking after him as he flew back towards Ponyville.

Today got a little better.


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From her window, Twilight had watched Neltharion from the moment he left to the point of him sitting alone in the rain. She could barely imagine how devastating the news must have been. In the back of her mind, Twilight had imagined anger, rage, and perhaps even Neltharion attacking princess Celestia and Luna, but no. There had been no anger, no rumbling earth, or eye watering intense heat from Neltharion. Instead there had been a look in his eyes that Twilight was sure she wouldn’t forget. A look she had seen before. On Luna when she was freed by the elements from Nightmare Moon, and on Discord when he was betrayed by Tirek. Despair. Heart shattering, and all consuming despair. The kind that leaves you out of words, and paralysed because all action, all thought, reason, and drive henced on what had now been taken away.

The room had gone silent after Celestia had uttered her words, and Neltharion had muttered some words, acknowledging what had been said, before leaving without a word. Memory fresh, Twilight reminisced the questions she had asked her former teacher and her sister. Questions of how and why, but they had not answered, at least not given a straight one. All the while, Discord had sat in a corner, strangely silent and avoiding Twilight’s eyes. Unusual, but considering the circumstances, maybe not.

Turning away from the window, Twilight saw the next few days ahead of her. Neltharion would return to the castle, and disappear into his room, brooding in his thoughts, like he had done before. Not that Twilight could blame him. It would be strange if there had been any other reaction. She and the rest of the world now stood at a crossroads. They would all have to come to terms with the reality of things. Neltharion was staying, forever. The thought was equally exciting as it was terrifying. On one hoof, Neltharion could be an incredible source of knowledge, and perhaps even the end to all war in the world. Those thoughts were comforting, yet brief. Despite how Twilight wanted to see him, there was a reality she had to face.

Neltharion was a weapon.

At least, that is what the world saw him as. On the other hoof, Neltharion could be the cause of every war, from now, to when the time he would die, if that day would ever come. The one who controlled Neltharion, or had him on their side, could never lose. It was bound to end one way. A state of constant hostility between dragons, griffins and ponies. All eagerly awaiting the day where the black dragon would no longer draw breath and an all out war could commence.

Twilight shook her head as a chill went down her spine at the thought. It was nothing less than terrifying.

One reality remained. She wanted no part in it. If it was possible, Twilight would go back in time, and stop Discord from ever finding out who that yellow stallion with shrapnel over his body was. Or better yet, stop princess Celestia from ever having her vision about him. The world would have been better off not knowing Neltharion existed. But that was all too late now. Thoughts of how the world could be were a dangerous place to dabble.

How had it all come to this? Everything was going to be different now. Smiling, Twilight came to a conclusion with her thoughts. Neltharion was her friend, and she would always treat him as such. Not a weapon, not a monster, and not alone, not anymore. Friends help each other, and Twilight was intending to do just that. But Neltharion was going to need more than just her.

A stray thought caught her, and a devious smile formed itself on her lips. Walking to her desk, she picked up a pen and three unused scrolls. Then she began to write.

Dear Cadance.

Today princess Celestia and princess Luna delivered some very sad news to Neltharion and if I don’t do something, I think he's going to get seriously depressed or worse, maybe he’ll explode or something.

I have an idea that might help him, but I will need your help as well. A lot of preparations must be made before I carry this idea into life. Honestly, I’m not even sure it’s possible.

Write back soon.

Your sister in law, Twilight Sparkle.

Rolling the scroll up, Twilight switched her focus to the remaining two. The next few days were going to be long.

Neltharion landed in Ponyville, close to Twilight’s crystal castle. It was glinting in the distance, like a beacon leading him home. Home. He would have to get used to that now.

Life was starting to reemerge in the village, following the short thunder and rain. Yet as many saw who was walking through their village, they either turned away, or simply walked back inside. Fillies and colts were following a purple mare in a line, and multiple looked to him, pointed and began to speak to the older mare. As the mare made eye contact with Neltharion, she turned the children in another direction.

Even from a distance, Neltharion could see the disdain in the mare’s eyes. Some of the children had the same look in their eyes, but to Neltharion’s surprise, many were filled with curiosity as well.

Shaking his head, Neltharion looked away from the children and upped his pace. It was the same as always. Yet now, it was somehow different. He had always expected that he would have to say goodbye at some point. That he would never see those faces again, and be happy when it happened. Now it seemed a change of plans was in order. Neltharion sighed at the thought of what he would have to do to get in the good graces of the ponies. Of course, there was always the option of simply leaving. Although it didn’t seem any better now than it did before.

The castle was getting closer. He could see the guards standing along the entrance, staring him down with their usual stoic expressions, yet it was easy to see their eyes hardening as they recognised who was approaching. Feeling tempted to roll his eyes, looked away from them and their gazes.

There were options, of course. With the power he wielded, Neltharion could go out to do good.
Faintly, he remembered the desert he first appeared in, and the barren rock filled plains of Draconia. All of it could change, if he wanted it to. He could make a land just for himself. Make one rise from the depths of the oceans, and he could sleep, watching as everything but him wasted away, and one day awaken to the barren landscapes that every world is destined to become someday. Perhaps then make it better, so that new life could grow, and then once again sleep, or maybe just keep on sleeping until his immortal life would somehow waste away. Those thoughts seemed strangely tempting. This wasn’t his world. This wasn’t where he belonged.

A strange sight suddenly caught his attention.

There was a pony, waiting for him. He recognised her instantly. Pale yellow coat, red mane.

“Hi handsome,” Roseluck smiled.

“Hello,” Neltharion greeted back, stopping in front of her.

“It has been a while.”

“It has.”

“With you, transforming into a dragon, destroying an army of changelings, and…” She gestured to his body. “Your new uh, get up,” she smiled sheepishly.

Neltharion rolled his eyes.

“Oh don’t get me wrong, I actually like how you look now.”

Neltharion’s face changed into a deadpan. He didn’t believe a word of it. “I’m starting to get tired of you females constantly encroaching on my personal space and insisting on conversing. Tell me what you want, so I can leave.”

Roseluck looked taken aback from Neltharion’s words, but didn’t seem affected by it. “Okay. I wanted to say: thank you.”

Raising an eyebrow, Neltharion looked at her in disbelief. “What?”

“There aren’t a lot of creatures that like you, Neltharion. Everypony is scared of you. Of what you can do, and what you potentially would do, if driven to it.”

“Your--” Neltharion paused as Roseluck held up a hoof.

“Let me finish,” she said. “Princess Twilight doesn’t know this. I’m not sure any of the princesses, or the other elements know, but there’s a lot of controversy towards you being in Equestria. I have a cousin in Manehatten, and she has told me that there are protest groups forming. Some wanting your arrest, while others are having more...extreme opinions.”

The good news just keep piling on.

“But, there are also some who think you can do a lot of good. I am one of those. I don’t look at you and see a mindless beast. Although I may not know you that well, I know that you are something more than others say.”

Neltharion looked at her with utter disbelief. She didn’t know him, yet said all of these kind things. “What if it was your family that was saying these things. If the entirety of Equestria said those things.”

“Then to Tartarus with them,” Roseluck spat. “None of them were here when the changelings came and destroyed Ponyville. None of them were here to witness princess Twilight and her friends nearly get executed! You were here,” Roseluck smiled. “You saved us, and that is good enough for me.”

Neltharion’s jaw had fallen open, looking at her. He closed his mouth, then opened it again, then looked away, and started walking past her.

“Thank you.”

Her words made him stop in his tracks before shaking his head as he started to walk again, leaving Roseluck there, looking after him as he entered the castle.

Tyrant of the skies

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Sounds of marching and battle cries could be heard as Ironbeak walked entered the enormous courtyard.

Hundreds upon hundreds of griffins occupied it, some in the sky, others on the ground, but all having one thing in common. Preparing.

Clashing spears, swords, and shields. Higher ranked officers screaming their lungs out at the lower ranked troops who just stood there and took it without even moving a muscle.

On a normal day all of this would have been the sweetest of music in Ironbeak’s ears, but today it sounded more like an annoying buzzing that tried to distract him.

Griffins clad in silver and steel armor saluted him as he passed, but he paid them no mind. A lot was at stake here. Too much, yet no one seemed to realize just how much. Preparing for eventual or potential conflict was an almost daily thing for the griffins. Usually it wasn’t serious. Just a result of paranoid generals and new intel. Today, however, was different.

Spreading his wings, Ironbeak took to the skies and flew inside the grand stone citadel in front of him. Eleven towers stood tall in a half circle, overseeing the courtyard each stretching hundreds of feet into the air. In the middle stood the largest and widest, many patrols of armed guards circling it like vultures.

Ironbeak landed on a balcony, two black clad guards with silvery metal on their talons standing on each side of the open entrance inside. They didn’t even blink as he passed.

A shiver went up Ironbeak’s spine as he passed the guards. They stood like stone and gave no indication that they were actually alive. It was unnerving.

Inside sat four griffins in different armors, decorated with all sorts of medals, around a large rectangular silver table, two seats remaining untaken, one at each end of the table. They sat in silence even as Ironbeak entered, most of them staring at the table or into the air in front of them. The only sound that could be heard was Ironbeak’s talons as they clinked against the stone floor with every step. He sat down on the closest remaining chair and joined the rest of the griffins in their silence.

“You’re late,” the griffin on Ironbeak’s right said, still not taking his eyes off the air.

“I was busy,” Ironbeak replied.

“Too busy to attend this meeting?” The griffin on the left of Ironbeak asked.

“No. I was looking over the most recent intel. In these times, it is important to know every player on the board, Corvos.”

“You have no business looking over intel, Ironbeak. You are no longer a part of this country’s military.”

“Yet the job remains mine as long as the rest of you sit on your fat furry behinds doing nothing but telling our troops to fly in circles!” Ironbeak retaliated in the direction of Corvos.

The griffin grimaced as he shied away from Ironbeak, sniffing. “Have you been drinking?”

“Damnit, Ironbeak.” The griffin on the right said. “Of all the days you had to choose this one...”

“And so what if he drinks?” The griffin next to Corvos said. “Both of you drink from time to time as well. Today is not the time to discuss drinking habits.”

“Well said, general Derros,” a new voice said.

All five griffins around the table froze and instinctively got up from their seats, now all of them looking down at the floor. Talons tapping in a rhythm across the floor could be heard as the new figure entered and sat down on his, the rest of the griffins following suit shortly after.

Looking up, Ironbeak got a good look at the newly arrived. Relaxing in his chair sat the one griffin that all griffins eventually would have to answer to. Emperor Tyros. Clad in a golden chestplate, jeweled gold and silvery rings on his talons, a predatory grin and eerily red eyes, he gave the attendees a good look each.

“Forgive us, your excellence. We were merely--”

“Save it for someone who cares, Derros,” Tyros said, waving his talons at Derros dismissively. “We have bigger fish to gut.” He turned his attention to the whole of the table. “You all know why I’ve called this council,” he said in an almost bored tone. “What to do with the ponies and their newest ally.”

The table went quiet.

Again, Tyros cast his eyes across the attendees before rolling his eyes. “Well, do not hold back on your no doubt excellent ideas. You are my war council. You should have plenty.”

“We need more intel before resorting to action,” Corvos blurted out. “It will be crucial in the months to come. What we may or may not know now may very well have an effect on the next hundred battles. The ponies ally returned only days ago from the dragon capital.”

“What are you saying, Corvos?” Derros asked with crossed arms.

“That their ally might make an alliance between the dragons and ponies possible. Taking on the dragons themselves is an enormous task, but against the ponies and their magic…”

“Are you saying we would lose?” Tyros asked, looking at his general with a raised eyebrow.

Corvos looked back down at the table. “N-no, emperor, but winning would be significantly more difficult.”

“So what do you want to do, Corvos?” Ironbeak asked.

“I want an outpost established near the border between Equestria and Draconia. I want to recruit spies, both pony and dragons so we can get this intel.”

“There’s no way in Tartarus that we such a feat can be accomplished,” Derros commented, looking at Corvos with a stoic expression.

“Are you saying that we are not strong enough to--”

“No, I am saying that we cannot bribe dragons, or recruit them for that matter. Some ponies we might be able to, but not the dragons. All dragons are loyal to their queen without question. Establishing an outpost between the most well guarded country in the world and fearful equines? You’re out of your mind if you think that it is going to work. The mere resources it would take to get a force there are more than we can spare, especially when the risk of our troops getting caught is so high. You might as well be asking to assault the dragon capital with an army of pigeons.”

“So what do you expect us to do then, Derros? Roll over and wait for the dragon queen to come to us?”

“I expect us to think before we act recklessly,” Derros replied. “Intel is important yes, but what is stopping the dragon queen and her kin to come by the sea route and simply burn us to ash in the dark of night? We need a contingency in case everything goes wrong. When it comes down to it, the most important thing is our capital. It falls and chaos will run rampant in our ranks, and what can we do to stop it?”

“We have outposts surrounding the border both from sea and land, patrols during both night and day. We would see them coming.”

“To a very little extent. The dragons fly many times faster than we do, the dragon queen herself being the fastest of them all. Let’s say that our patrols do spot the dragon army as it approaches. How will our patrols get back to the capital and warn us before the dragons have already arrived? It would be a massacre. We need better defences, and should spend our resources on improving the ones we already have.”

“And become sitting ducks, completely isolated from the rest of the world?”

“If that is what is takes to survive an oncoming assault, yes.”

Once again, the room became silent. Derros and Corvos were staring each other down while Ironbeak was contemplating the situation, his emperor looking on the conversation with lazy eyes.

“If I may, your majesty,” the griffin on Ironbeak’s right suddenly said, standing up from his seat.

Tyros nodded, “You may, general Karek.”

Nodding, Karek continued. “Perhaps we should halt our conflict against the dragons and ponies entirely. As it stands our losses would become perhaps too great in an all out assault, and tension also already stands between the ponies and dragons. Perhaps we should simply observe the ponies and act accordingly to how the situation changes.”

“So you’re saying we do nothing?” Corvos asked.

“No, I’m saying we save our resources to when we actually need them. Use whatever spies and scouts we already have out and focus on what we should do with the information we have and receive. We could even send Ironbeak back to Equestria and give us intel from Canterlot itself.”

“What a glorious waste of time that would be,” Derros commented, rolling his eyes at Karek.

“General Vass, do you have anything to add?” Tyros suddenly said, gesturing to the remaining general, and disrupting the conversation.

“No,” the last griffin said, keeping his eyes closed as if he was sleeping but somehow still looking very aware of everything going on around him.

“Then it seems you three are at a crossroads. I am willing to give my blessing to any plan conceived at this table, but as usual, you have to agree with each other,” emperor Tyros said, inspecting his talons.

Ironbeak knew what the emperor really meant and he was pretty sure everybody else at the table knew too. Only a plan the emperor would agree with would leave the room alive.while the rest would remain shot into the ground.

“Then I suggest we focus on intel,” Corvos said.

“That is a pointless endeavor. We need to prepare for the worst,” Deross

“Doing either will accomplish nothing,” Karek said.

“Neither will your idea!”

“You are all missing a crucial point,” Ironbeak said, disrupting the argument. “None of these options will matter if you keep remarking the new glaring issue like it is nothing more than another eventual thorn in your side.”

“Ironbeak, you are just here as a courtesy as you are officially no longer a part of this council. Your opinion means very little here.” Karek said.

“Let him speak,” emperor Tyros said, eyeing Karek.

Ironbeak nodded towards his emperor. “Thank you, your excellence.” He turned his attention to the whole of the table, each general, including Vass looking at him in anticipation and confusion. “I don’t think the lot of you really understands the threat that the black dragon poses. I saw its onslaught firsthand and it was something to behold indeed. In one fell swoop it took out almost every changeling. Hundreds burned to ashes in moments.”

“Your point being?” Karek asked. “The dragon queen could accomplish the same feat easily.”

“Yet this black dragon should still be considered a threat. A united Draconia with another dragon the size of Valissa could prove a great obstacle to us,” Derros commented.

“Which is all the more reason why we need all the intel we can get!” Corvos yelled.

“You’re still not getting it!” Ironbeak slammed his talons into the table, silencing the rest of them. “Do any of you know why Celestia wanted all three nations to search for the black dragon?”

The generals remained quiet while the emperor stared with a focused gaze at Ironbeak.

“The sun princess had a vision of the black dragon destroying the entirety of Equestria, burning it all to ash.”

Everything went quiet in the room. Shocked expressions sat on every now informed person in the room except Vass, and of course the emperor who had cocked his head in interest at this new information.

“How have you obtained this information?” Vass suddenly asked.

“I have contacts within the royal guard and bribes get a long way,” Ironbeak smiled.

“What great news,” Tyros smiled. “An enemy that can lay waste to our enemies.”

“If he doesn’t destroy us too,” Derros said.

“What proof do we have of such power?” Corvos asked. “An old scared fool and the ashes of changelings. No being is powerful enough to annihilate the entire world alone. Your information must be--”

“Quiet Corvos!” Tyros yelled, slamming his jeweled talons into the table. “Ironbeak, what do you suggest we do about this creature?”

“In all due respect, emperor, I don’t think there’s anything we can do…”

“Does it not have any weaknesses?” Vass asked.

“I don’t have any verifiable information on that, but my best guess would be its current form.”

“It parades as a pony yes?”

Ironbeak nodded. “Yes. Although it can change to its much more fearsome form I suspect it has the normal weakpoints of a normal pony in that state, but like I said, I can’t be sure.”

At that it seemed as if Vass focused on the table in thought.

Fixing his eyes on his emperor, Ironbeak felt a chill go up his spine. Tyros was smiling weirdly enough.

“Then it seems we have concluded our meeting,” Tyros suddenly said, everyone looking at him in slight confusion. “We will follow Karek’s suggestion.”

“But, your excellence, in the event of an attack we will be--”

“Annihilated, Derros?” Widening his smile, Tyros tabbed his talons against the table, staring intently at Derros. “Didn’t you listen? There’s nothing we can do. It seems that Death will reign.”

Ironbeak’s eyes widened at that last phrase and it seemed every other general followed suit in his stare. Could he mean? No, it’s not possible.

“Your excellence, you can’t surely be referring to--”

“This meeting is adjourned. Leave.” Tyros’ voice was stern and adamant. The meeting was over.

Slowly everyone got up from their seats and began to walk towards the balcony.

“Not you, Ironbeak.”

He froze on the spot as the rest passed him. Instinctively, he gulped.

As soon as the councilmembers had left, Ironbeak turned, bowing his head, sweat forming on his forehead.

“Yes, my emperor?”

“Is this beast really as fearsome as you say?”

Raising an eyebrow in confusion, Ironbeak kept his gaze at the stone floor. “Y-yes…”

“Excellent,” Tyros said.

The word alone made another chill go up Ironbeak’s spine. He remained a little confused but suppressed it. Taking a moment of courage, Ironbeak stood up. “Your highness, forgive me for what I’m about to say, but do you really believe that the hour is coming?” Ironbeak asked, looking at his emperor with troubled eyes.“Your doubt is warranted Ironbeak, yet misplaced,” Tyros replied, looking to the skies as the sun moved down its way beneath the horizon and as the stars began to materialize as if from out of nowhere and began to form discrete images. “I’m not the one you should doubt. Take the generals, my advisors, even my own father looked down on me for sharing these beliefs, but I believe in them nonetheless.” Tyros turned back and looked at Ironbeak with a wide grin. “I can feel it in my bones, in the depths of my very soul. Our time is coming, and no one will be able to halt our ascension. No one.”

Gulping again, Ironbeak did a bow before his emperor, avoiding his gaze. “And we shall follow you to the end of the world itself if we have to.”

“I know you will, Ironbeak. All of you will.” At that the emperor walked away, his sharp talons scratching against the stone floor, almost gently dancing across, let everyone nearby know of his presence.

Standing up straight, Ironbeak took one last look at the now empty room. Hopefully it won’t come to that. With that thought, he spread his wings and soared off into the sky, trying hopelessly to forget the maniacal expression his emperor had wielded, and the doubt that began to fester.

Now it all seemed so simple. So...pointless and tiring.

A cold breeze eased its way into Neltharion’s room only to be crushed by the much hotter air already inside.

Wings sprawled out and without expression, Neltharion laid there on the floor, staring into the crystal ceiling, his mind filled with no thoughts.

Two days had passed since the unfortunate news. Somehow it all still seemed surreal. How was it not possible? The burning legion had knowledge of interdimensional travel, so had the humans back on his world to a certain degree, so why not here?

An answer sprung forth in Neltharion’s mind like thunder from a clear sky.

Why? Because the ponies were primitive, at least compared to the mages on Azeroth. Perhaps he could find a way himself? It would take many, many years, but he had the time, so why not?

The thought simply seized as it was concluded. He felt so empty and without energy to do anything.

His eyes were slowly went out of focus as he slowly blinked with a sudden tiredness, still staring at the purple crystal ceiling.

Light, thought and emotion seemed to ebb away as Neltharion kept staring into the ceiling, his eyes looking deeper and deeper.

So tired.

An endless void seemed to fill his mind.

Darkness encroached on his vision until he could see nothing but the purple ceiling, and then he saw it.

Two hooded figures sitting across one another, a table between them.

Neltharion could see small figures on some sort of wooden board. He recognised it. Mages in the floating city of Dalaran had been playing it when he was there. What was it they called it? Chess?

The two hooded figures simply sat there slumping in their wooden seats, all being visible of them being their hands. One figure had a black metal gauntlet on his hand, while the other figure’s hand was bony and impossibly old.

Yet, the scene seemed odd to Neltharion. Both of the figures were unmoving. He looked closer onto the board.

The gauntlet wearing figure was playing as black, while the old man was playing as white, but the scene was odd. A lot of white pieces had been removed, only the king remaining, while the black was sitting with almost a full board of pieces. Strangest of all, both kings had been knocked over.

*Knock* *Knock*


He recognised the voice and it was enough to pull him away from the scene and back into reality, now simply staring at the ceiling once more.

Rolling over onto his stomach, his armor scratched across the crystal surface, creating a very unpleasant screeching sound that made his ears sprawl back with uncomfort.

His bedroom door opened and in looked a familiar face.

“Goodmorning, Twilight,” he greeted.

The princess rose an eyebrow. “Morning? It’s sundown,” she pointed to the open window, and sure enough, the sun was on its way down.


“So...what have you been up to?”

Neltharion deadpanned. “Very little.”

“Are you busy?”

He felt tempted to say yes. “No.”

“Good, then I have brought someone who would like to talk with you,” she said, smiling.

Talk with me? He internally groaned. “Fine.” Getting up, Neltharion followed Twilight out of the door.

It didn’t take long for them to reach the throne room, and to Neltharion’s surprise he recognised the pony sitting on what usually was Spike’s throne. Pink pony princess with an unsettlingly large smile.

“Hello Neltharion, how are you today?” She greeted, getting up from her seat and walking to meet him.

Neltharion found her demeanor strange. Her smile was so wide it reminded him hauntingly much of Pinkie Pie’s, and she was practically bursting with excitement. He had no idea why though, which was unsettling in itself.

“I’m alright, princess Cadance.”

“Good, good,” she said, never breaking eye contact. “I’m sure you have some questions.”

“Indeed, I do.”

“So let us start with the big one. I’m here to talk with you about something Twilight suggested to me. At first I must admit I was a little skeptical, but now I see what a great opportunity it is.”

“I'll be the judge of that.”

Twilight looked at Neltharion with a sheepish smile. “There’s something we want you to do.”