Duels of Dark Descent

by FelixTheBrony

First published

Duel Monsters has been introduced to Equestria via Discord. But an evil sets about using it for their own gain. MLP/YuGiOh Crossover.

Crossover with Yugioh (Only the cards are in this fic, none of the Yugioh Characters)

Discord, over the last few years, introduced the game of Duel Monsters to the Pony populace and it became a huge hit. It introduced new businesses, got ponies to play and make new friends and let off some steam once and a while...

...and, of course, it introduced a new threat to Equestria as well!

Other Characters: Button Mash, Featherweight, Rumble, Silver Spoon, Big Mac, Discord, Snips, Snails and Cheerilee.

Light Shippings:

The World of Duelling (Sweetie Belle vs Snails)

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The World of Duelling

It was just your average day in Ponyville, the sun was shining, the town’s ponies were selling, trading and going about their days, either working or relaxing, and for the schoolhouse, this was no exception.

The bell above the school house rung and Cheerilee smiled to the ponies who sat at their desks, waiting to be dismissed. Three years, it had taken for them to learn to leave on her word, not the bell’s. “Okay everypony, have a good weekend and I’ll see you all on Monday.”

They all cheered on those last words, especially since she hadn’t set any homework, and had all rushed out into the playground. They were all of the age where they didn’t need their parents to come pick them up, being a good thirteen in the trusting community of Ponyville, so they could go home at their leisure.

However, since the new card game that Discord created had been introduced, the school kids decided that they’d make the playground their own little duelling community.

Duel Monsters was a game all about the fun of fighting each other without actually fighting, to utilise the cards in one’s possession in any way they see fit, which was as chaotic as it sounded, which is why Discord was so thrilled when it took off. He was so delighted that he actually used most of his time creating new cards over the years and allowing the ponies to create businesses around the game.

In a way, you could say that Discord had become something of a role-model, though he still has the tendency to ‘prank’ ponies and tease them, but these days they learned to treat him as one of their own.

Today, with no homework, the school ponies knew there was no rush to go home and could spend a good majority of the Friday afternoon here.

Sweetie Belle was one of these ponies. However, rather than taking part herself, she decided to watch the unfolding of her friend Button Mash’s duel.

(Button Mash lp.900 Hand: 2 deck: 27)
(Snips lp.300 Hand: 0 deck: 23)

Button looked at the card he just drew and grinned, looking to his face-down and the Elemental HERO Bubbleman on his field, while also glancing at the White Dragon Ninja on Snips’s. (Elemental HERO Bubbleman lv.4 atk: 800 def: 1200) (White Dragon Ninja lv.7 atk: 2700 def: 1200)

“Alright Snips, now you’re in trouble!” Button declared, placing one card down onto his duel plank, designed and infused with Discord’s chaotic magic to make illusions of the cards he created. “I play Polymerization to fuse my Bubbleman with Avian!” He announce, a green feathered human man appearing next to the armoured blue one, before they were absorbed into a spiralling purple vortex.

Snips flinched back, already knowing how bad fusions were, especially in Button’s deck. But, when he looked to his human ninja, with a spirit of a white, serpentine dragon around him, he calmed down. “Bring it on!”

“Oh it’s already brought, since now I can summon my Elemental HERO Mariner!” Button declared before, out of the vortex, appeared an aqua coloured man with two chained anchors attached to his arms. (Elemental HERO Mariner lv.5 atk: 1400 def: 1000)

Snips sighed a little, chuckling. “Alright, you got me. I thought that monster would be way stronger!”

Button just grinned, pointing to his face-down. “He doesn’t need to be Snips, so long as I have a face-down out in my spell and trap card zones, he can hit directly!”

“What?!” Snips cried out as the man jumped ten feet into the air, towards him.

“You heard right, so Mariner attack! Anchor away!” Button announced, causing the man to grin, throw his left arm out causing the anchor to fire, hitting Snips dead centre in his chest.

Though, since they were just illusions, Snips didn’t actually get hurt.

(Button Mash lp.900 Hand: 0 deck: 27)WIN
(Snips lp.0 Hand: 0 deck: 23)LOSE

Snips sighed as his monster faded, while Button winked and declared. “That’s game!”

“Yeah, you win again Button. But I got way closer this time,” Snips said, causing Button to laugh and nod.

“You bet you did, just a little more and you may get me next time!” Button replied, shaking his hoof. “Same time next week?”

“Always!” Snips nodded, trotting off towards a pink filly with a tiara on her head holding a pen in her mouth with a yellow coated, bow adorned pony next to her.

Button turned to Sweetie Belle and smiled. “Hey Sweetie, how’s it going?”

Sweetie Belle smiled in reply, nodding in greeting. “Pretty well, I see you won again.”

“Yup, my heroes and I are certainly working up a winning streak!” He answered, before asking. “So how about you? How’re your duels going?”

“Huh?” She responded, looking at her duel plank, which Discord made to go around somepony’s neck like a necklace when not in use. “Oh…well uh, they’re going…okay…”

“Okay?” Button mimicked, tilting his head to one side. “You sound like you’re not too sure.”

“Well…uh…” Sweetie continued, before faking shock and pointing over his shoulder. “Hey look! A distraction!”

“Where?!” Button exclaimed, excitedly looking around to look for it while Sweetie Belle made her escape.

After a few seconds, Button raised his eyebrow and turned round, responding as he did so. “I can’t find the distraction Sweetie Belle,” He then noticed that she wasn’t there and sighed. “Foiled again.”

“So you’re saying you’re 13th place,” Diamond asked, looking over the list to see that Sweetie Belle was, indeed, in the thirteenth position on the table.

Applebloom rose an eyebrow. “And ya care, why exactly?”

Sweetie Belle sighed and slumped to the ground. “Because Button’s in 6th place! I’m seven places below him! How could I say that without embarrassing myself?!”

The rich filly and farm filly looked at each other and shook their heads. “Sweetie Belle, Button’s one of the nicest ponies I know, he’s not going to care where you are on the leader boards,” Diamond tried to console her, but Sweetie Belle shook her head adamantly.

“No, I need to get higher in the leader boards!” She responded, as if that were the only answer to her problems.

“Uh, we ain’t gonna change ya score for ya, you know?” Applebloom said, before the thought even crossed the white Unicorn’s mind. She, in turn, huffed.

“I know that! I’ll just challenge the stronger duellists! Like you Diamond!” She announced. Diamond looked down to the list again, then looked up with a deadpan look.

“I can’t duel today, Sweetie Belle, Applebloom and I are on list duty,” She answered, holding the piece of paper up. The school foals thought it’d be unfair to have two ponies hold the list at all times, so they cycled who’d keep an eye on it each day.

Sweetie Belle groaned and smacked her face with her hoof. “Then who am I supposed to face?! Everypony else is busy!”

“How about Snails?” Applebloom asked, pointing over to the lanky, yellow Unicorn colt, looking around. “Ah think he’s lookin’ fer a game.”

“But…Isn’t he, like, 12th?” Sweetie asked, getting a nod out of Diamond.

“Yeah, but it doesn’t matter who you face, you just need some wins under your belt,” She responded, before grinning. “Besides, you really think you can beat duellist number one?”

“Um…Hey Snails! Want a game?!” Sweetie Belle yelled, avoiding the subject completely.

As she left, Applebloom rolled her eyes at the pink filly. “Sometimes Ah wonder why we’re friends.”

Diamond just grinned and hugged her. “Because you love me!” She teased.

“Okay, I’ll make the first move, if you don’t mind of course?” Snails asked, looking over his cards.

“I’m okay with that,” Sweetie Belle answered, drawing her own after her duel plank had unfolded in front of her. Since both players were a good distance apart, this meant a duellist could just place their cards in front of them and not tire their hooves out.

“Okay, let’s do this!” He declared as a counter of the sides of their duel planks went up to eight thousand.

(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000 Hand: 5 Deck: 35)
(Snails LP: 8000 Hand: 5 Deck: 35)

“And I’ll start with my Pinch Hopper in attack mode!” As Snails said this a large, green grasshopper emerged onto the field. (Pinch Hopper lv.4 ATK: 1000 DEF: 1200)

Once she saw the monster, Sweetie Belle flinched back and gave a shock squeal. “BUG!”

Button, who was on the side lines, blinked in confusion turning to Scootaloo, who had come over to join him. “Uh, explanation?”

The orange Pegasus sighed and explained. “It happened when we were trying to get spelunking cutie marks. A spider had nested in her mane and now she freezes up if you even say the word bug.”

Snails shook off the weirdness and played another card. “I now activate Multiplication of Ants. This lets me tribute my Pinch Hopper, to summon two Army Ant Tokens in defence mode.”

Suddenly, Pinch Hopper started to turn brown and decay before, out of the carcass, appeared two black ants that squatted down in front of him. 2x (Army Ant Token lv.4 ATK: 500 DEF: 1200)

Then Pinch Hopper burst open wider and a giant, metal coated beetle crawled onto the field. “And when Pinch Hopper is sent to the graveyard, I can special summon an Insect-Type monster in my hand, like Metal Armored Bug!” (Metal Armored Bug lv.8 ATK: 2800 DEF: 1500)

“I’ll end my turn there,” Snails said, not noticing Sweetie Belle gazing at the monster looming over her and the Ants in horror.

After a couple of seconds, Snails rose an eyebrow. “Um…It’s your move Sweetie Belle.”

The white Unicorn shook her head and nodded, drawing silently.

(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000 Hand: 6 Deck: 34)
(Snails LP: 8000 Hand: 2 Deck: 35)

“Alright, first I’ll activate the field spell, Sanctuary in the Sky!” She announced as the field around them suddenly turned into open skies, clouds passing them every so often and a large castle right behind them.

Scootaloo grinned and looked over at one of the clouds. “I love this field spell. It’s really peaceful.”

“Yeah, and now she won’t take damage in battles involving her Fairy-Type monsters!” Button cheered.

Sweetie then played another spell. “I now activate Valhalla, Hall of the Fallen!” Just behind her, a throne surrounded by red curtains appeared. “Now, if I have no monsters in play, I can special summon a Fairy-Type monster in my hand like Aria the Melodious Diva!”

Sat on the throne, a women with purple hair, pink skin and orange/dark purple clothing appeared, a harp shaped wing on her back. (Aria the Melodious Diva lv.4 ATK: 1600 DEF: 1200)

“And now she’ll destroy an Ant Token with soothing lullaby!” Aria smiled and started to sing a calming tune, causing the Ant to fall asleep, falling through the clouds and to its doom.

Button flinched as he watched the display. “What a way to go.”

“I end my turn with that.”

(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000 Hand: 3 Deck: 34)
(Snails LP: 8000 Hand: 3 Deck: 34)

Snails drew his card and played it down. “I summon Bee List Soldier!” From beside him, a bee holding a trident with a red bandanna appeared. (Bee List Soldier lv.1 ATK: 500 DEF: 400)

“Now he’ll carry himself and my Army Ant Token out of the game, sending both to the grave, to draw two cards,” He explained, in his usual laid back way, as the bee grabbed the ant and carried them away.

“Now I activate Verdant Sanctuary,” Suddenly, from below, a large tree sprouted up, showing an abundance of nests and crevices for insects and the like to hide. It covered about half of the field, much to Scootaloo’s annoyance.

“And now Metal Armored Bug will attack and destroy Aria!” Snails announced as the beetle swiped at the fairy. However, Aria sung a calming tune, causing the bug to stop. “Uh…What’s going on?”

“That’s Aria’s ability!” Sweetie Belle replied, excitedly. “See, if Aria is special summoned, all my Melodious monsters can’t be destroyed by battle and can’t be targeted by card affects!”

“Oh, okay,” Snails replied, motioning with his hoof for Sweetie Belle to make her move. Sweetie Belle blinked.

“Huh, I was expecting more of a reaction than that. Draw,” She said, picking up her card and lying it down.

(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000 Hand: 4 Deck: 33)
(Snails LP: 8000 Hand: 2 Deck: 32)

“I summon Solo the Melodious Songstress!” Next to Aria, appeared another women who was seen wearing a red and blue outfit with golden highlights. (Solo the Melodious Songstress lv.4 ATK: 1600 DEF: 1000)

“And now she’ll attack your overgrown pest!” She declared as the Songstress started to dance and sing, the musical notes flowing towards the bug.

“Um…Sweetie Belle? My monster has more attack points,” Snails pointed out, looking up at his 2800 attack point monster. Before realizing another fairy on top of it.

Sweetie Belle grinned, allowing her confidence to grow a little when she picked up the card with her magic to show him. “That’s why I used the effect of Score the Melodious Diva. If I discard her, your bug’s points drop to zero!”

“Whoa! That’s an OP card right there!” Scootaloo yelled as the blue haired, pink clothed girl giggled, singing a light tune causing the bug to wince in confusion from the two songs going on at once. (Metal Armored Bug lv.8 ATK: 2800-0 DEF: 1500)

He then fell out of the tree and hit another branch, painfully, causing him to shatter on impact.

(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000 Hand: 2 Deck: 33)
(Snails LP: 8000-6400 Hand: 2 Deck: 32)

Though after he was shattered, a shadow suddenly crawled out of one of the crevices of the tree and rested next to snails, much to Sweetie Belle’s horror. “When you destroy an Insect monster in battle, I can add another Insect to my hand, so long as he has the same level. I choose to add Doom Dozer to my hand.”

“Fine, but Aria is going to attack you directly! Soothing lullaby!” Sweetie declared, Aria doing as she was told and singing her tune to Snails, causing him to smile stupidly at the sound.

(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000 Hand: 2 Deck: 33)
(Snails LP: 6400-4800 Hand: 3 Deck: 31)

“And I’ll end my turn!” Sweetie announced. As she did, Snails snapped out of his stupor long enough to use his face-down.

“I activate the trap card DNA Surgery!”

“Ah jeez, this is bad!” Button said, causing Scootaloo to raise her eyebrow at him. “DNA Surgery turns all monsters on the field into whatever type of monsters Snails chooses.”

“Uh oh,” Was all Scootaloo could say before Snails announced his choice of typing.

“I choose Insect Type!”

Suddenly, Solo and Aria cried out in pain/terror as they suddenly grew antennae and transparent, insect like wings. Their eyes turning into that of a fly’s, causing Sweetie Belle to jump back and hide behind her hooves in fright.

(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000 Hand: 2 Deck: 33)
(Snails LP: 4800 Hand: 4 Deck: 30)

“I now activate Insect Barrier! Now your Insect Type monster can’t attack!”

“What?! But all of my monsters become Insects!” Sweetie Belle cried out as a large, yellow laser shield appeared.

“Exactly. Now I can banish my Bee List Soldier and Metal Armored Bug to summon Doom Dozer!” A loud crash suddenly echoed and, from behind Snails, branches and debris from the tree crashed down as large, red centipede like monster appeared. (Doom Dozer lv.8 ATK 2800 DEF: 2600)

“Now he’ll attack Aria!”

“Aria still can’t be destroyed in battle!” Sweetie Belle responded, sighing in relief. That relief was short lived, however, when Doom Dozer shoved Aria right back into her, causing her to trip over.

“No, but since Aria is an Insect now, your Sanctuary in the Sky won’t protect you from damage anymore. And when Doom Dozer deals damage, you’re forced to discard the top card of your deck to the graveyard.”

Sweetie got back to her hooves and grunted as she did as instructed.

(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000-6800 Hand: 2 Deck: 32)
(Snails LP: 4800 Hand: 2 Deck: 30)

“I now set a monster in defence mode and end my turn.”

“This is looking really bad! Sweetie going to need a tough monster to take out Doom Dozer now that she lost her stalling card,” Button commented. Scootaloo took no notice and called out.

“Don’t worry Sweetie, you can do it!”

(Sweetie Belle LP: 6800 Hand: 3 Deck: 31)
(Snails LP: 4800 Hand: 1 Deck: 30)

“I can special summon Sonata the Melodious Diva in the presence of another Melodious monster!” As she said this, another mutated fairy appeared, this one green and blue. (Sonata the Melodious Diva lv.3 ATK: 1200 DEF: 1000)

“You don’t need to worry too much about her though,” She mentioned, causing Snails to raise an eyebrow.

“Why not?”

“Because I can now tribute her and Solo to summon Mozarta the Melodious Maestra!” Two of the mutated fairies became multi-coloured portals that allowed another, much larger, mutated fairy in play. This one, however, had large, butterfly wings instead of transparent ones and only had antennae. (Mozarta the Melodious Maestra lv.8 ATK: 2600 DEF: 2000)

“Hey Button, isn’t that the card you gave her?” Scootaloo asked, curiously. Button grinned.

“Yup! Thought she’d like it and she does have a really sweet ability!”

“Once per turn I can special summon a Light-Attribute, Fairy-Type monster from my hand. The only down side, if you can call it that, is that I can’t use anything but Light monster’s effects,” She continued to grin as she picked up a card. “And your DNA Surgery only affects the card on the field, not in my hand, so I can still summon Shopina the Melodious Maestra!”

Then, beside Mozarta, appeared another fairy turned insect. This one shared the butterfly wings, but still had the same eyes and antennae. (Shopina the Melodious Maestra lv.7 ATK 2300 DEF: 1700)

“And her ability lets me return Score the Melodious Diva to my hand!” Sweetie finished, nodding for Snails to make his move.

(Sweetie Belle LP: 6800 Hand: 1 Deck: 31)
(Snails LP: 4800 Hand: 2 Deck: 29)

“I flip summon Needle Worm!” Snails announced as a small, purple caterpillar like monster revealed itself before firing five sharp thorns at Sweetie Belle’s deck, forcing them into the graveyard. (Needle Worm lv.2 ATK: 750 DEF:600)

“I get it, Snails is milling her out of her cards so that she has less to deal with his big monsters!” Scootaloo said, looking at the worm.

“Yeah, when Needle Worm is flipped face-up, he takes out the top five cards of Sweetie Belle’s deck,” Button answered, casting a worried glance over at Sweetie Belle. “And Doom Dozer isn’t helping, either.”

“Now I summon my second copy of Bee List Soldier!” He announced as it appeared, before carrying off Needle Worm. “And I’m sure you know the drill by now. So now I can banish Needle Worm and Bee List Soldier to summon two copies of Aztekipede, the Worm Warrior!”

Out of the forest crashed two green centipedes that stood next to the larger, red one. 2x (Aztekipede, the Worm Warrior lv.4 ATK: 1900 DEF: 400)

“Now I’ll have all three attack your Aria the Melodious Diva!”

“Huh? Why would you…” Sweetie Belle mumbled before she realised something important. “I forgot to switch her into defence mode!”

Button and Scootaloo both face-hoofed as Aria and Sweetie were struck three times.

“Oh and Aztekipede also forces you to discard a card from the top of your deck when he deals damage,” Sweetie groaned as three more cards joined her pride in the graveyard.

(Sweetie Belle LP: 6800-6500-6200-5000 Hand: 1 Deck: 23)
(Snails LP: 4800 Hand: 1 Deck: 27)

“I’ll now set a card face-down and end my turn!”

“My turn then…Darn it!” She exclaimed when she spied Score in her hand. She shook out of it and drew.

(Sweetie Belle LP: 5000 Hand: 2 Deck: 22)
(Snails LP: 4800 Hand: 1 Deck: 27)

“Okay, first I’ll switch Aria into defence mode…”

“Too bad she won’t stay that way. I activate Final Attack Orders!” Snails declared, the trap in question flipping up. “Now all of our face-up monsters are forced into attack mode!”

To Sweetie’s shock, as soon as she had ducked a little, she had stood right back up. Sweetie sighed and set a card face-down. “I end.”

(Sweetie Belle LP: 5000 Hand: 1 Deck: 22)
(Snails LP: 4800 Hand: 2 Deck: 26)

“I summon Arsenal Bug in attack mode!” A strange, flying yellow bug with a shield and sword flew beside one of the Aztekipedes. (Arsenal Bug lv.3 ATK: 2000 DEF: 2000)

“That’s pretty strong for a level three monster, don’t you think?” Button asked, confused by how powerful it was.

“Yeah, but if there isn’t another Insect Type monster around, he’ll only have one thousand attack points,” Scootaloo answered.

“Now I’ll have them all attack Aria!”

As they all hit, Score appeared over Doom Dozer. “Score reduces Doom Dozer’s points to zero! Not getting me again that easy!”

The two songs drained the power of Doom Dozer (Doom Dozer lv.8 ATK 2800-0 DEF: 2600) before he fell and crashed through the tree line, being destroyed. A shadow appeared, however.

“I can now add another Doom Dozer to my hand.

(Sweetie Belle LP: 5000-4600-4300-4000 Hand: 0 Deck: 20)
(Snails LP: 4800-3200 Hand: 2 Deck: 25)

“I’ll end my turn by playing this card face-down,” Snails concluded, a card appearing behind his three bugs.

“Alright, now Sweetie Belle has control!”

“I don’t think so, Button, she still can’t attack,” Scootaloo replied, looking over the field.

(Sweetie Belle LP: 4000 Hand: 1 Deck: 19)
(Snails LP: 3200 Hand: 2 Deck: 25)

“I activate Light of Intervention! This forces all set monsters face-up!” Snails declared, grinning. “Which means you can’t play defensively at all!”

“Fine, but I still have a move to make. And first I’ll tribute Aria to advance summon Elegy the Melodious Diva!” Aria turned into the portal and a green hair, purple dressed woman took her place. (Elegy the Melodious Diva lv.5 ATK: 2000 DEF: 1200)

Snails rose an eyebrow. “Uh, now I can beat your monsters in battle.”

“True, if you can get past Score, because Shopina adds her back to my hand again,” She grinned, her face-down now flipping up. “Now I’ll activate Melodious Illusion. See, while Aria was in play I couldn’t use this card. But now I can, so first I target one Melodious monster on my field, like Mozarta!”

Suddenly, Mozarta’s wings became their usual, green and yellow and her antennae disappeared. And behind her, another copy of her stood, but transparent. “Now thanks to Illusion, she’s unaffected by your spell and trap cards this turn, so she’s no longer an Insect!”

“Uh oh,” Snails said, looking over his cards.

“Uh oh is right, since she can now take out one of your Aztekipedes!” She said as Mozarta sung a long, low note before suddenly rising it to a fever pitched, high note, shattering the monster.

(Sweetie Belle LP: 4000 Hand: 1 Deck: 19)
(Snails LP: 3200-2500 Hand: 2 Deck: 26)

“And Illusion has one more effect!”

“What effect?” Snails asked, curiously.

Sweetie Belle grinned as the transparent image of Mozarta charged the other Aztekipede. “It allows Mozarta to attack twice! So now she’ll attack Aztekipede number two!” She then placed Score back into the graveyard. “And by discarding Score, your monster’s points drop to zero!”

Score sung her usual tune, causing Aztekipede to start to fall asleep. (Aztekipede, the Worm Warrior lv.4 ATK: 1900-0 DEF: 400)

Then Mozarta sung her low to high not song, causing Aztekipede to cry out and shatter.

(Sweetie Belle LP: 4000 Hand: 0 Deck: 19) WIN
(Snails LP: 2500-0 Hand: 2 Deck: 26) LOSE

“Alright Sweetie Belle!” Scootaloo cheered, rushing her and hugging her side, causing the Unicorn to give a startled yelp.

“Scootaloo!” Sweetie Belle cried out, trying to get out of the hug. “I thought you didn’t like being mushy!”

Scootaloo, now realising what she’s doing, let go and brushed herself down. “I don’t, I just tripped!”

Button rolled his eyes and hugged Sweetie Belle from the other side, causing her face to light up. “You did great!”

“What am I, some sort of teddy bear?” She responded, smiling over at Snails. “Good game but next time, no more bugs please.”

Snails smiled, lazily, and trotted towards Diamond and Applebloom.

Meanwhile, in the oldest part of the Everfree Forest, seven ponies wearing large, black robes obscuring their features were seen, surrounding an altar, chanting a strange, olden saying.

“Greatest power from deep within,
Let our strength rest with him,
Tangle our fates for his power,
And release him in their darkest hour!”

On and on they chanted before the item on the artefact exploded with a small amount of dark magic, showing the item as a dark red horn.

“He still does not have enough power!” A voice cried out in anger. “Even with the strength of the old ones, he still hasn’t the power!”

“Perhaps, then, we should harvest some?” Another, more feminine voice replied. “The old ones may require some power from other, good natured beings.”

“Okay, but somewhere close please! I don’t feel like taking another trek through the freezing wastes again!”

“Don’t worry, there’s a place nearby…” She replied with a grin, unfolding a map and pointing to a town…

…a town named Ponyville.

Plans Initiated (Applebloom vs. Stranger)

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Plans Initiated

Applebloom was walking home after getting her grandmother’s medication from Doctor Stable in the hospital. Back cream, painkillers and the like all carefully filled her saddle bags.

The Apple matriarch was coming along in years, being a good 119 years old. It was a miracle she’s lasted this long but she had said she wanted to be around for at least one of her grand-children to have foals so she could see them. All in all, it’s so far so good.

Ah wonder if she’d live forever if none of us had foals? Applebloom wondered to herself, chuckling a little. It’d be unlikely but, then again, this was her grandmother. So anything’s possible.

She continued along her path out of Ponyville, not noticing someone watching her.

Target acquired, The pony thought to herself as she spotted the yellow filly, following her from a distance. Best use the Identity spell!

She allowed a blue glow to cover her horn, sending a transparent energy towards the filly. It hit her, but it didn’t faze Applebloom in the slightest, allowing her to continue on her way.

The spell did work, however, as the stranger suddenly felt all of Applebloom’s memories suddenly appear in her mind. The spell allowing her to read the pony as if she were reading a book.

Name: Ambrosia Bloom Apple “Applebloom”
Gender: Female
Age: 13 and 11 months
Born: 18th August, 992 ANM (After Nightmare Moon)
Birth-place: Ponyville General
Family/Guardians: Granny Smith, Macintosh Apple, Jacqueline Apple “Applejack”
Grades: Averages at A’s and B’s
Deck: Mostly Warrior, Beast and Beast-Warrior monsters, with luck based spell and trap cards.
Ace Monster: The strongest monster she has is Gilford the Lightning
Energy: High

Luck based huh? The mare thought to herself. Then I should be able to take her out and get that energy without too much of a problem. She then teleported out of hiding spot towards the orchard.

Applebloom turned a corner into her homestead, but felt a strange tickle in the back of her neck. In alarm, she turned, but found nothing but the trees and the dirt path behind her.

Huh? That’s weird, She thought to herself, turning back to continue her way back home. I coulda sworn Ah was bein’ followed.

Once she turned back, however, she was face-to-face with a grey mare with a pale blue mane and eyes. Her tail and mane cut short and a pile of rusted metal for a cutie mark.

Applebloom, not expecting this, jumped back and crouched down, as if ready to fight. “Who are you?! Don’t come any closer! Ah know karate!”

The mare’s eyes widened and she waved a hoof in front of her. “Oh no, I’m not here to hurt you,” She said, convincing Applebloom enough to rise up to her hooves again, but not enough to lower her guard.

“Okay? Then why were ya followin’ me?” She asked, curiously. The mare let out a little sigh and explained.

“Well, I couldn’t help but notice that you had a duel plank. I was wondering if you’d like a game?” She asked, using her magic to levitate her own out from her saddlebags.

Applebloom sighed with relief and shook her head. “Ah’m sorry miss, but Ah’m a little busy right now. Maybe some other time?”

She was about to get back to walking home, but the mare blocked her path. “Oh please? Just a quick duel. I promise it’ll take no time at all!”

Applebloom grumbled and shook her head again. “Ah have somethin’ else ta do right now. Ah can’t, Ah’m sorry,” She answered, ducking out from under her hoof, and continued on her way.

“Okay Ambrosia maybe some other time,” The mare replied, causing Applebloom to stop in her tracks, turning to face the mare with a fury in her eyes that the mare hadn’t ever seen before.

“What did you just call me?!” She screamed, dragging her hoof into the ground as if she were going to start charging. The mare blinked, before she found her bargaining chip.

“Well that’s your name, isn’t it?”

“No! Mah name’s Applebloom!” The mare grinned and laid down her duel plank.

“Well it seems Ambrosia is your birth name, is it not?” Applebloom growled in response, causing the mare to giggle. “And I must insist that you duel me. Or we could wait and I could ask a few of the ponies around town about you?”

“You wouldn’t dare!” Applebloom shouted, getting her own duel plank out, placing her saddlebags a good distance away from her.

“Do you want to risk it?” She asked, causing Applebloom to let out an annoyed sigh and unfold her plank, her deck auto-shuffling for her. “There’s the spirit!”

“Oh bite me!” Applebloom replied. “So what do I call you, anyway? You know, other than pushy?”

“Oh you can just call me Stranger. It doesn’t matter too much,” Applebloom rose an eyebrow at this, but decided not to question her. Just win and win quickly.

(Applebloom lp.8000 hand: 5 deck: 35)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand: 5 deck: 35)

“I set one monster in defence mode and one card face-down. Your move Ambrosia,” Stranger called, causing Applebloom to growl and draw a card.

“Quit calling me that!”

(Applebloom lp.8000 hand: 6 deck: 34)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand: 3 deck: 35)

“Or better yet, let me get Axe Raider to shut you up for me!” Applebloom announced as a muscle human warrior with red and gold armouring and purple rags appeared, brandishing a large, golden axe. (Axe Raider lv.4 ATK: 1700 DEF: 1150)

“And now he’ll cleave your monster in half! Go battle axe smash!” The warrior gave out a war cry and charged at the face-down monster, axe high in the air.

“Unfortunately for your warrior, I have a trap card out,” Stranger replied, her face-down popping up. “I activate Gravity Bind! This trap card stops all monsters level 4 and above from attacking!”

“What?!” Applebloom cried out as a large barrier appeared, stopping Axe Raider’s axe in its place. “Fine, I’ll end mah turn with a face-down.”

(Applebloom lp.8000 hand: 4 deck: 34)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand: 4 deck: 34)

“Now first, I’m a little bored of this hand,” Stranger stated before she flipped her monster up.

“I flip summon Morphing Jar!” The face-down monster flipped over and a blue jar with a purple, one eyed slime like monster appeared. (Morphing Jar lv.2 ATK: 700 DEF: 600)

“Now, when this guy is flipped up, we both have to discard our whole hand and draw five cards,” She continued as the purple monster shot forward and snatched Applebloom’s cards out of her hand and spat them into her discard pile. Applebloom flinched and drew her new cards.

Once Stranger had done the same, she put three of them down. “I think I’ll end by playing one monster in defence mode and two cards face-down.”

“Mah move then!” Applebloom declared, drawing her card and laying it out in front of her, grinning.

(Applebloom lp.8000 hand: 6 deck: 28)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand: 2 deck: 29)

“An’ now Ah summon mah Marauding Captain!” As she said this, a battle scarred, silver armoured human appeared, brandishing two swords. (Marauding Captain lv.3 ATK: 1200 DEF: 400) And beside him, a cartoonish looking swordsman with brown leather armour and a shield appeared. “And when he’s summoned, I can summon another level 4 or lower monster, like mah Swordsman of Landstar!” (Swordsman of Landstar lv.3 ATK: 500 DEF: 1200)

“Now, since Marauding Captain is level 3, he can pass through your Gravity Bind and take out ya Morphing Jar!” She declared as the Captain did just that, rushing right through the barrier…

…and smack bang into another one.

“What?” Applebloom asked, before she looked at stranger’s field and noticed another revealed face-down.

“Oh that!” Stranger said almost as if she had only just noticed. “That’s the Wall of Revealing Light. And, by paying 2000 life points, monsters on your field with 2000 or less attack points can’t attack.”

(Applebloom lp.8000 hand: 4 deck: 28)
(Stranger lp.8000-6000 hand: 2 deck: 28)

“Oh you’ve gotta be kiddin’ me!” Applebloom screamed out in frustration. “Ah thought ya said this’d be quick! What kind of stall decks are quick?!”

The kind that draw out as much of your energy as possible, Stranger thought to herself, drawing her next card.

(Applebloom lp.8000 hand: 4 deck: 28)
(Stranger lp.6000 hand: 3 deck: 28)

“Now I flip summon my Needle Worm!” A familiar, purple caterpillar like monster appeared, firing needles at Applebloom’s deck, send 5 of them to the graveyard. (Needle Worm lv.2 ATK: 750 DEF:600) “And he takes out 5 of your cards.”

“Ah know what Needle Worm does,” Applebloom replied, narrowing her eyes. “Don’t ya have anything other than flip effect monsters?”

“Well, now that you mention it, I do have this,” She replied as both her monsters turning into multi-hued vortexes. “By tributing my Needle Worm and Morphing Jar, I can advance summon Emes the Infinity!”

Then, before Applebloom, stood a massive, golden armoured monster with several arms holding a sword, shield and staff appeared, glaring down at her. (Emes the Infinity lv.7 ATK: 2500 DEF: 2000)

“Well he’s strong an’ all,” Applebloom grinned, pointing at Gravity Bind. “But with that in play, he’s a little stuck!”

“Which is why I’ll use the spell card Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy it,” Stranger replied, calmly, a storm of wind blowing away the trap and the barrier, allowing Emes to charge through and swipe at Marauding Captain.

(Applebloom lp.8000-6700 hand: 4 deck: 23)
(Stranger lp.6000 hand: 1 deck: 28)

“Huh? I was aiming for the Swordsman,” Stranger replied as Applebloom shook off a strange feeling of dread.

“Well Marauding Captain is the only warrior yer allowed ta attack,” Applebloom replied. Stranger nodded.

“Very well. However, when Emes destroys a monster in battle, he gains 700 attack points,” she grinned as Emes picked up one of the Captain’s swords. (Emes the Infinity lv.7 atk: 2500-3200 def: 2000)

Applebloom cursed in her head. That makes him stronger than any monster in mah whole deck!

“I’ll end my turn there,” Stranger replied, nodding over to her.

“Alright then. Ah go!” Applebloom replied, drawing her card.

(Applebloom lp.6700 hand: 5 deck: 22)
(Stranger lp.6000 hand: 1 deck: 28)

Applebloom grinned, deviously. “Alright Ah got a Question fer ya!”

Stranger blinked. “Um…Okay, go ahead.”

Applebloom laughed at that and played the card. “Alright here it is! Ah activate, Question!” She declared, pointing over to her. “An’ tha question is, what’s tha bottom monster in mah graveyard?”

“Huh?” Stranger asked, confused.

“Guess Ah better explain,” Applebloom replied. “Ya see, Question forces ya to call tha name of tha first monster found at tha bottom of mah graveyard. If ya guess right, tha monster is banished. But if ya guess wrong, it’s summoned to the field!”

Well this is a no brainer, Stranger thought to herself. It’s obviously Marauding Cap…

Her eyes then widened with realization. Wait! Morphing Jar sent 4 cards to her graveyard before that! And Needle Worm sent another 5 after that! I didn’t check those ones! I have no idea what her bottom monster is!

Applebloom grinned at her. “Ya seem ta be struggling, so Ah’ll give ya a hint. Ya sent him there with ya Morphing Jar!”

“Pass…” Stranger replied as a blue armoured, petite monster with little wings on his back appeared.

“Sorry, but pass was not tha answer we were lookin’ for,” She grinned, motioning to her monster. “Meet Little Wing-Guard!” (Little Wing-Guard lv.4 ATK: 1400 DEF: 1800)

Well that’s not very threatening, Stranger thought before all three of her monsters turned into multihued vortexes and her eyes widened in panic. “Uh oh.”

“Uh oh is right! Cause, by tributing all three of mah monsters, Ah can summon Gilford the Lightning!” As she said this, a crash of thunder struck the centre of the field and up, stood a muscle bound human in silver and orange armour with orange clothing covering him. (Gilford the Lightning lv.8 ATK: 2800 DEF: 1400)

“An’ before ya say anything about mah monster being weaker, he has a really nifty special effect!” She declared as he charged his blade with electricity. “He takes out all of ya monsters if Ah summoned him with three sacrifices!”

“What?!” The mare replied, shocked by the revelation as Gilford swiped his blade across Emes and caused the large monster to explode.

“An’ tha best thing about that is, since that was his special effect, he can still hit you with his regular attack! Go Gilford! Lightning blade!” Gilford bellowed a war cry and charged forward to swipe at Stranger’s life points.

“I activate Burst Rebirth!” Stranger declared once she regained her cool. “This lets me get rid of 2000 life points to summon back my Morphing Jar!” She declared as it returned, only to get cleaved in half by Gilford. The slime monster, however, still swiped up Applebloom’s cards and spat them into the graveyard.

(Applebloom lp.6700 hand: 5 deck: 17)
(Stranger lp.6000-4000 hand: 5 deck: 23)

“Fine, Ah end mah turn with that!” Applebloom replied, getting very aggravated by all of the stall cards and flip effects.

Stranger grinned and drew her card.

(Applebloom lp.6700 hand: 5 deck: 17)
(Stranger lp.4000 hand: 6 deck: 22)

“I now activate Messenger of Peace,” Stranger said, smiling smugly. “Now monsters with 1500 or more points can’t attack.”

“Oh c’mon!” Applebloom cried out, about ready to start tearing her mane out. “Are you just too scared to attack or something?! I’ve never seen anypony play so cowardly before!”

That got Stranger’s attention. “What do you mean cowardly? This is a perfectly legitimate duelling strategy. One that, I guess, parted your mane as it sailed right over your head.”

“Legitimate? Yeah. Brave? No! Yer sittin’ behind a bunch o’ spells an’ traps ta mill out mah deck! A real duellist goes fer tha life points and doesn’t duel like a big baby!”

“Oh you want an attack!” Stranger growled, accidently letting out a small bit of dark magic into her next card. “I summon Leghul!” Then, out of the ground, came a purple and brown worm with two large, purple pincers. (Leghul lv.1 ATK: 300 DEF: 350)

“And this slippery little guy can slip right by Gilford and into your life points!” She declared as Leghul rushed right under Gilford and buried it’s pincers right into Applebloom’s foreleg.

(Applebloom lp.6700-6400 hand: 5 deck: 17)
(Stranger lp.4000 hand: 4 deck: 22)

“Yeowch!” She screamed as the monster felt…a little too real. “W-what?! Ah…Ah felt that!”

Stranger’s eyes widened as she tried to play it off. “What? You’re crazy, that’s not possible.”

Leghul let go and, to Applebloom’s horror, she felt a small amount of blood rush down her hoof.

“Well how do ya explain that?!” Applebloom yelled, untying her bow to wrap around her foreleg as a makeshift bandage.

“You must have…tripped,” Stranger replied, motioning to her after she placed a face-down card. “It’s your move.”

Tripped mah flank! Something’s wrong here! She thought to herself as she picked up her card.

(Applebloom lp.6400 hand: 6 deck: 16)
(Stranger lp.4000 hand: 3 deck: 22)

“I tribute Gilford to summon Jinzo!” Applebloom declared as Gilford became a multihued portal and was replaced by a green, cyborg like monster with his brain revealed. (Jinzo lv.6 ATK: 2400 DEF: 1500) “An’ while he’s in play, trap cards like yer Wall are useless!”

Where did this kid get a Jinzo?! Stranger thought to herself, shocked at the appearance of such a rare card.

“An’ Ah’ll just end here,” She replied, looking over her hand. Monster Reborn may help later, but Baby Dragon, Battle Warrior, Shield and Sword and Salamandra are kinda useless right now.

(Applebloom lp.6400 hand: 5 deck: 16)
(Stranger lp.4000-3900 hand: 4 deck: 21)

“I pay 100 life points to keep Messenger of Peace in play and summon Raging Flame Sprite!” A small, pixie like monster in a brown hat and a fire torch appeared on the field. (Raging Flame Sprite lv. 3 ATK: 100 DEF: 200)

“And now I’ll have both monsters hit you directly!”

Once again, Leghul bit Applebloom, but this time on her left hind leg, it leaving a cut on the base of her flank and causing a small amount of blood to ooze out. However, the Raging Flame Sprite did no lasting damage as he bathed her in fire.

(Applebloom lp.6400-6100-6000 hand: 5 deck: 16)
(Stranger lp.3900 hand: 3 deck: 21)

“And Raging Flame Sprite gains 1000 attack points whenever he deals damage to a player,” She explained as Applebloom held onto the wound on her butt. (Raging Flame Sprite lv. 3 ATK: 100-1100 DEF: 200)

“Good-bye dignity, Ah knew thee well,” Applebloom muttered to herself as she glared, hatefully at Leghul.

“I now activate Magic Planter,” Stranger said, Wall of Revealing Light disappearing. “This allows me to send a continuous trap card to the graveyard and draw two cards.”

She drew her cards. “Now first I’ll activate Toll! This spell forces you to pay 500 life points to attack. Then Vengeful Bog Spirit, now a monster has to wait a turn after being summoned to attack. And finally Chain Energy! This card forces each of us to pay 500 life points to play a card from our hands!”

“What?! So Ah gotta pay life points to do anything!” Applebloom replied, shocked at the existence of such a card.

“Yup, so I hope you didn’t have any plans unless you wanted to surrender?”

“To tha likes of you? Fat chance!” She replied, drawing.

(Applebloom lp.6000 hand: 6 deck: 15)
(Stranger lp.3900 hand: 1 deck: 21)

She looked at the card and started smiling widely. “Yes!”


“Ah just drew tha one card Ah needed ta beat you!” Applebloom grinned, playing down the card. “Go Giant Trunade! Sure, it’ll cost me some life points due to Chain Energy, but now all of our spell and trap cards go back to our hands!”

Stranger looked in horror as a massive storm picked up her cards, as well as the one on Applebloom’s field, and sent them to her hand. “No…”

(Applebloom lp.6000-5500 hand: 6 deck: 15)
(Stranger lp.3900 hand: 6 deck: 21)

“What’s wrong? Did ya whole duelling strategy just go down tha drain?” Applebloom grinned, slapping another card down. “Don’t ya threat, you can kiss tha Baby!”

As she said this a small, yellow and pink, wide-eyed dragon appeared. “Baby Dragon that is!” (Baby Dragon lv.3 ATK: 1200 DEF: 700)

“Now Ah’ll activate Monster Reborn! As tha name suggests, Ah can now bring a monster back from tha graveyard! Like Gilford the Lightning!” As she said this, Gilford rose out of the ground and brandished his blade one more time. (Gilford the Lightning lv.8 ATK: 2800 DEF: 1400)

“Now Ah’ll have Gilford wreck your Leghul!” She declared as Leghul was sliced in half.

(Applebloom lp.5500 hand: 4 deck: 15)
(Stranger lp.3900-1400 hand: 6 deck: 21)

“And now Jinzo will take out your Raging Flame Sprite!” She said as Jinzo shot pink beams of energy at the pixie from his eyes, who shattered on impact.

(Applebloom lp.5500 hand: 4 deck: 15)
(Stranger lp.1400-100 hand: 6 deck: 21)

“Now Baby Dragon will finish you off with burst breath!” Applebloom declared as Baby Dragon giggled and hit Stranger directly.

(Applebloom lp.5500 hand: 4 deck: 15)WIN
(Stranger lp.100-0 hand: 6 deck: 21)LOSE

“Ah win…” Applebloom announced, before she wobbled and clutched her wound, hissing.
As if it suddenly got a lot more painful.

Stranger nodded, taking a card out of her saddlebag and giving it to Applebloom, much to her shock. “That you did, congratulations. I’m sorry about everything, though, please take this as an apology.”

Applebloom rose an eyebrow and looked down at the, she assumed, useless card before hers eyes widened in shock. Red Eyes Black Dragon?!

Lying there in front of her was a legendary card that some say was one of the first cards Discord ever created, but never reproduced. It was a nightmare to get a hold of, nevermind just give away, so to say Applebloom was suspicious was like saying a Mouse was suspicious of a cheese tasting party being hosted by a hungry cat.

“Yer…Just giving me this?” She asked, confused and above all else, tired. Stranger nodded.

“I shouldn’t have threatened to spread around your personal information and something must have gone wrong with my duel plank to get you hurt. It’s the least I can do,” Stranger replied, smiling sincerely.

And it was sincere. Her job was to drain her of her energy, not to physically harm the poor filly. The end goal, she kept telling herself, will justify the means. But that doesn’t mean she has to just let the means go.

Applebloom shook the weirdness from her head and took a closer look at the card. She seemed genuine and the card itself was accepted by the duel plank, meaning the card was the real deal.

“Um…Thanks uh…” Applebloom paused, looking up again, this time though her eyelids were threatening to shut heavily. “Ah’m sorry, Ah never really got yer name.”

Stranger shuffled in place, not really sure how to go about this. She was here to collect energy, not make a friend. But…she also needed to make sure to not seem suspicious.

“My name…It’s Poverty,” She replied, nodding to her saddlebags. “Now weren’t you taking some groceries home?”

“Groceries?” The filly asked, turning to her saddlebags. Then her eyes shot open in realization. “Granny’s medicine!” She cried out, scooping up her duel plank and saddlebags, clumsily, and shooting off towards the farm house at a break neck pace, leaving a concerned and horrified mare behind.


“There ya are Applebloom!” Applejack said as the filly burst in and dropped her saddelbags, carefully, on the table. “Where in tarnation…were…you…?”

Her words soon died in her throat when she got a good look at the yellow filly…or usually yellow. She was so drained of colour you could almost swear she was Sweetie Belle were it not for her red mane.

But it was her eyes that seem the most haunting as they could barely stay open, sweat pouring heavily all around her and she was taking huge breaths of air as if she had run a marathon…despite being a two minute jog at most.

Applebloom smiled at her sister and she could sweat she heard the orange mare scream as she passed out.

Sleepover Black-Out (Scootaloo vs Rainbow)

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Sleepover Black-Out

Scootaloo was sitting on Rainbow’s back, her little wings buzzing in excitement. The two of them were having a sleepover since the latter was going to spend the next week in Fillydelphia for some team building exercise for the Wonderbolts.

She had brought everything she may need. Her toothbrush, her pyjamas, (which may, or may not resemble the pony she was sitting on) a hoof-ball to throw around and her duel-plank and deck.

Okay, the latter two items were more for her than Rainbow. She was quite attached to things since, well, Discord made them especially for her. It was a present when Discord found her alone, lamenting on the fact that she still couldn’t fly.

Scootaloo sat on a small hill, overlooking the playground, watching as Featherweight and Rumble played air tag, zipping along left and right trying to catch the other.

‘It was just another one of those days,’ they would say in less and less concern each time. ‘Just Scootaloo worrying about flying like a silly filly.’

And they’d be right. She was still worried. She was thirteen years old and yet she could barely get off of the ground! Heck, she was quite short for her age and her wings still looked minuscule by her sides.

She shook her head and looked up higher, keeping an ear out for the school bell, not noticing a certain, misshapen creature slide in besides her with a sketch book. “You look like you could use some cheering up!”

She yelped and spun around to face the Dracoeques himself, Discord. He was in their school today to teach them about…well his own dethroning from dictatorship. Which he agreed to, so long as he could hang around afterwards. To help inspire him with his art, apparently, but most would say he wanted to see everyone trade cards and have fun with the game he created…

…nothing to inflate his ego at all!

She quickly rubbed a hoof against her eyes, just in case she was tearing up, and glared up at him defiantly. Sure, he was reformed, but he was still Discord. “I’m fine, thanks.”

He rose an inquisitive eyebrow, then looked up at the sky. “There aren’t any clouds.”

“What?” She asked, confused. What did that even mean?

“Well you couldn’t be looking at the clouds if there aren’t any,” He explained, stroking his goatee. “Then you must just be looking to the sky.”

“Or maybe you’re seeing things,” She shot back, turning away from him, only to face a second one of him, wearing a smug grin.

“I know what this is about!” He explained, pointing up at the sky. “You don’t like the colour blue, do you? And I agree, we see blue skies all the time. But the one time I make it green with orange polka dots, suddenly I’ve ‘gone too far’, some ponies, you know?”

She blinked, before glaring at him again. “This has nothing to do with the sky’s colour!”

“That’s what they all say!” He challenged, grinning.

“And were they lying?”

“No, but I know you are!” Discord smirked, poking her in the chest. But then paused. “Well, about being fine. Not the sky thing.”

“Just leave me alone, Discord, everyone else does!”

“And since when do I do something because ‘everyone else does’?” He asked, folding his arms, causing Scootaloo to pause and think about it. “Look, just tell old Uncle Discord what’s wrong. Boy troubles?”

Scootaloo shook her head, giving him the stink eye. “You think I’d be thinking this hard about some colt?”

“…Girl troubles?” Scootaloo recoiled a bit, causing Discord to smile, supportively. “Hey, I don’t judge. I tried to marry Prench toast before, but she left me for the syrup. I swear, you give someone four weeks of your life and this is what you get.”

“No, it’s not that either!” She growled, blushing in embarrassment. “Look if you’re here to humiliate me, can you kindly go and do something to yourself which starts with a ‘b’ and rhymes with ‘tuck’?”

“Why does everyone I talk to say that?” He mumbled to himself, before he put a talon on her shoulder. “C’mon, we’re friends aren’t we?”

“I don’t think we’ve ever had an extended conversation before.”

“Technicalities,” Discord waved off. He then clicked his lion paw and was now sat in an arm chair, wearing a pair of comically oversized glasses, making his eyes appear as if they were popping out of his head. “So c’mon, I just want to help!”

Scootaloo sighed, knowing that if she waited for the bell, Discord would just tell Cheerilee about this and she’d have to deal with the teacher prying into her thoughts anyway. “Fine, but you better keep this to yourself or so help me, you’ll be wishing to be turned to stone again!”

Discord waved his talon in a dismissive motion. “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard them all before. Now this problem?”

She shook her head and just decided to let it out. “I’m worried that…I’m never going to fly. Like, ever. Now go ahead and tell me that I’ll get there in time! That I’ll just grow my wings out, get taller and be flying like a champ in no time!” She suddenly yelled, not loud enough for her class to hear, but enough for Discord to poke a talon into his ear.

“Yikes, you got quite the set of lungs on you,” He muttered, before raising an eyebrow. “And why would I say that?”

“…What?” Scootaloo asked, kind of shocked.

“Well, for all I know, you could have stunted growth. Some Pegasi, if they have Earth Ponies in their blood lines, can inherit heavier bones. For all I know, you could never fly!” Discord went on, unaware of how bad he was making the filly in front of him feel. “And even if that’s not the case, some Pegasi just aren’t strong flyers. My dear friend, Fluttershy can’t sustain strong flight for very long, so settles for the weaker, dainty flaps. They work fine, of course, but it’s not going to make Wonderbolt material any time soon. Some ponies just don’t have what it takes…uh I’m making things worse, aren’t I?”

Finally finished with his rant, he noticed that Scootaloo’s eyes were now brimming with tears, knowing her father was an Earth Pony! And she did feel a connection to the ground below her. She had thought that that was gravity! But was it because…

…she was more Earth Pony than Pegasus?

“Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!” Discord yelped, now noticing her tears hit the ground below her. He, thinking quickly, wrapped his bear paw around her in as comforting a hug he could muster. “Um…There, there. Was it something I said?”

“W-what do you think?” Scootaloo hissed, but fell onto his surprisingly soft shoulder anyway.

“I think I should learn how to keep my mouth shut,” He grinned, rocking her back and forth, noticing a flower sprout out of the ground her tear had hit. “Hey look, you made a flower!” He said, pointing it out.

“…I…I AM AN EARTH PONY!” She wailed, burying her face into his chest now, causing him to curse his stupid mouth again.

“Um…Well, uh…At least you’re a good Earth Pony?” He offered, feebly. Fortunately she didn’t hear him and just kept crying. It was certainly a good thing that nopony else was around, it’d certainly look weird, that was for sure.

Discord looked over at the designs in his notebook and sighed, knowing that he was really going to have to pull out all the stops to cheer up the fragile filly in his arms. So, with a click of his talon, the note book transformed and shot into his hand.

“Hey,” Discord said, pulling her back once she calmed down a bit, and dried her tears with a handkerchief that he produced. “As I said, I can’t possibly promise that you’ll fly. And I certainly can’t tell you that you’ll be the best of them all.”

“Are you going somewhere with this?” Scootaloo asked, still giving him the stink eye.

He smiled, genuinely this time, and handed over the transformed sketchbook, which now resembled a pile of Duel Monster cards. “But I can promise you this. That you’ll be a star in your own right. We may not talk, but I know that you’re a little like me. You like to stand out, you like to be different. The crowd goes one way, but you say ‘screw that, this way looks cooler!’”

Scootaloo blinked as she took the cards. She didn’t think being compared with Discord would make her sound…cool.

That’s when she looked at the front card of the deck. It was a dragon monster that appeared to be made out of some sort of plasma that twinkled like stars. It was unlike any card she had seen around the playground.

“Those are some of the new cards I was designing, but as for mass production. Well, I won’t tell if you don’t,” He winked, producing a Duel Plank and clicking his talon to manipulate it, which would affect them all, and motioned her to insert them.

She did so and the device accepted them, her name flashing on the life point meter. “A little individuality. A little bit of you, a star shining in your own way. Not just brighter, certainly not dimmer and, most importantly…” He grinned, attaching the Duel Plank around her neck.

“The way you want to shine.”

Scootaloo looked down at the device around her neck, then back up to Discord, before trapping him in a massive hug, shedding a few more tears, small flowers sprouting from below them in their wake. “Um…Did I say something wrong again?”

“No…” She said, smiling brightly. “You said exactly what I needed to hear.”

She smiled fondly at the memory. She had made very little alterations to the deck, if any at all, and true to his word, Discord didn’t release a single duplicate of the cards he gave her.

“Bit for your thoughts?” Rainbow asked from below her, causing her to look down at her idol.

“Just excited for our sleepover! It’s going to rock!” She answered, which Rainbow accepted, grinning.

“You better believe it will! Junk food, video games and, with Tank round Fluttershy’s, nothing else to worry about!”

“Okay, well this is something to worry about,” Rainbow sighed, all the lights were out around her home, as well as every electronic.

She, luckily, had a phone that wasn’t connected to the house’s power, but had been informed about a sudden power-cut in her area. They were, hopefully, going to get it back on soon, but it may be a while.

“So…You want to go out and throw the ball around?” Scootaloo asked, holding said hoofball out with her wing.

“Nah, shouldn’t leave the house until the power’s back on. I don’t know what I left on and I don’t feel like having a huge electric bill!” Rainbow answered, flopping down on the cloud couch next to her little sister.

“…Well, guess we’re sitting in the dark then,” Scootaloo sighed, putting the ball back into her saddlebags.

That’s when Rainbow noticed the Duel Plank poking out of them. “Say, you have your cards?” She asked, causing Scootaloo to nod.

“Yeah, I never go anywhere without them. Why?” Scootaloo asked as the older pony rushed out of the room and returned with her own Duel Plank, grinning.

“Well, I heard that you had some pretty awesome cards. So, rather than just asking to look through them, I figure we could have a game!” She mentioned, placing the plank down a good distance away from the filly. “Besides, I’ve never had the chance to play before, so this could be interesting.”

Scootaloo blinked, before she smiled, taking her cards out. “Sure! I never get tired of this game!” She then rushed to the other side of the room and placed her own Plank down.

Once both their life point metres reached eight-thousand, they both declared: “Let’s duel!”

(Scootaloo lp.8000 Hand: 5 Deck: 35)
(Rainbow Dash lp.8000 Hand: 5 Deck: 35)

“I’ll start this off!” Scoots declared, slapping a card down. “And I’ll start with good old, Photon Crusher!”

As she said this, a green armoured warrior, wielding a large dual-ended mace like weapon appeared. (Photon Crusher lv.4 ATK: 2000 DEF: 0)

Rainbow blinked and stepped back a bit. “Okay, that’s a lot of attack points!”

Scootaloo grinned and explained. “Well, that’s because when he attacks he switches to defence mode and, well, his defence points are kinda on the low side. Anyway, I’ll end with a face-down card.”

Rainbow shook out of her thoughts and maintained her composure. “Alright then, my turn!”

(Scootaloo lp.8000 Hand: 3 Deck: 35)
(Rainbow Dash lp.8000 Hand: 6 Deck: 34)

“Now I’ll start with my Crystal Tree, continuous spell card,” Rainbow announced as a tree made of crystal sprouted up behind her.

Scootaloo rose an eyebrow. “Okay, so what does it do?”

“You’ll see. But first, I summon Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger!” She grinned as a white tiger with black stripes and a large spike protruding from the top of his head appeared. (Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger lv.4 ATK: 1600 DEF: 1000)

“And when he attacks, he gains four hundred points. So go and hit Photon Crusher!”

“Huh?” Scootaloo questioned as the tiger pounced on Crusher (Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger lv.4 ATK: 1600-2000 DEF: 1000) as said warrior smashed it’s side with his mace, causing the beast to swipe its claws across his chest, both monsters exploding. “Okay, so that destroyed both of our monsters and left you wide open.”

Rainbow grinned as the smoke cleared, revealing a large yellow topaz on her field, much to Scootaloo’s confusion. “Guess I should explain, see when a Crystal Beast is destroyed, it stays in the spell and trap card zones as a precious jewel instead of the graveyard.”

“Oh!” The orange filly replied, looking over the gem-stone. “That’s pretty cool.”

“Yeah, and what’s cooler is that every time that happens, my Crystal Tree bears a crystal fruit!” She explained as the tree behind her grew a green gemstone. “And now by sacrificing the tree, I can place a Crystal Beast from my deck, into my spell and trap card zones for each fruit it had and I choose, Crystal Beast Emerald Turtle!”

Suddenly, the tree behind her vanished and, in its place, a large green Emerald appeared. “Now I’ll activate Crystal Beacon, which lets me special summon a Crystal Beast from my deck if I have two or more Crystal Beasts in my spell and trap card zones, like Ruby Carbuncle!”

As she said this, a small purple cat like monster with a large, red sphere on the end of it’s tail appeared and crouched down in front of her. (Crystal Beast Ruby Carbuncle lv.3 ATK: 300 DEF: 300) “And when she’s special summoned, she special summons all of the Crystal Beasts in my spell and trap card zones!”

“She what?!” Scootaloo answered in shock as red light burst out from Ruby’s tail, causing the large gemstones to burst open and Topaz Tiger reappeared with a large, greenish blue tortoise with large green emeralds across it’s shell. (Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger lv.4 ATK: 1600 DEF: 1000) (Crystal Beast Emerald Turtle lv.3 ATK: 600 DEF: 2000)

“I think I’ll end up there, so your move Squirt,” Rainbow finished, Scootaloo looking at her in admiration

She just got three monsters in one turn! That’s so cool! She thought as she drew her card.

(Scootaloo lp.8000 Hand: 4 Deck: 34)
(Rainbow Dash lp.8000 Hand: 3 Deck: 33)

“Well since you have a monster and I don’t, I can special summon my Photon Thrasher!” She explained as a blue, armoured warrior with an ethereal glow and a large sword held in one hand appeared. (Photon Thrasher lv.4 ATK: 2100 DEF: 0)

“Okay, seriously, I knocked out one really strong monster and you just replaced him in a second,” Rainbow complained, to which Scootaloo shrugged.

“To be fair, he can only be special summon and doesn’t have any defence points, but he’s going to strike Topaz and, hopefully, keep him at bay this time!” She declared as Thrasher rushed passed Topaz Tiger, slicing him in half in the process.

(Scootaloo lp.8000 Hand: 2 Deck: 34)
(Rainbow Dash lp.8000-7500 Hand: 3 Deck: 33)

“And I’ll end my turn with one monster in defence mode!” She finished, allowing Rainbow to draw with the yellow jewel appearing once more.

(Scootaloo lp.8000 Hand: 2 Deck: 34)
(Rainbow Dash lp.7500 Hand: 4 Deck: 32)

“I summon Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus!” Rainbow announced as a large, white pony with huge wings and horn galloped onto the field. (Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus lv.4 ATK: 1800 DEF: 1200)

Scootaloo titled her head to the side in confusion. “Isn’t he an Alicorn?” She asked, motioning to the horn. Rainbow chuckled.

“Yeah, I guess Discord didn’t think it all the way through,” She replied, before a large, orange gemstone appeared. “But that doesn’t matter, what does is that, when he’s summoned, he brings a Crystal Beast out of my deck with him, into the spell and trap card zones. And I choose Amber Mammoth!”

Now I could attack her defence monster, Rainbow thought to herself, before glancing at the card in Scootaloo’s spell and trap card zones. But I don’t trust that card.

“I’ll play a card face-down and end my go,” Rainbow finished as a brown back card was placed down.

Huh? This bluff card sure is working, Scootaloo thought, looking at the face-down Photon Veil, drawing her card.

(Scootaloo lp.8000 Hand: 3 Deck: 33)
(Rainbow Dash lp.7500 Hand: 2 Deck: 31)

“I flip summon my Photon Sabre Tiger!” Scootaloo declared, as her face-down monster revealed itself to be a tiger made up of pure, blue energy. (Photon Sabre Tiger lv.3 ATK: 2000-1200 DEF: 300)

“Okay, not that I’m complaining, but why did his points go down?” Rainbow asked, causing Scootaloo to smirk as a card was spat out of her deck.

“Well, if I don’t have another Sabre Tiger, he loses eight-hundred points,” She answered, before she slapped down the card. “However, if he’s normal or flipped summoned, I can add another one to my hand, so I can now normal summon my second one!” She finished as a second tiger appeared, their energies entwining with the other’s. 2x(Photon Sabre Tiger lv.3 ATK: 1200-2000 DEF: 300)

“Now first, I’ll have Thrasher take out your Turtle!” She declared as Thrasher charged forward and sliced Emerald in half, a large Emerald taking it’s place.

“Then I’ll have Sabre Tiger take out Ruby!” The large beast pounce and crushed the little cat under it’s paw, causing Ruby’s tail to flail, uselessly, before it fell limp and it shattered, hitting the graveyard, much to Scootaloo’s surprise.

Sensing this, Rainbow grimaced. “I can choose whether or not my Crystal Beasts hit the grave, and I can’t afford to clog my spell and trap card zones.”

Scootaloo accepted this and pointed at Sapphire. “Okay, then I’ll have my last Sabre Tiger take down your Pegasus!”

“Not so fast, Squirt!” Rainbow announced, her face-down flipping up. “Cause I’m playing Beast Soul Swap! Now I can return Sapphire to my hand, and play him again! This time in defence mode!” Sapphire flickered, now he was crouched down, covering his head with his wings. “And with him, I’m bringing Cobalt Eagle!” And behind the Pegasus, appeared a dark blue gemstone.

“…Okay, attack Pegasus!” Scootaloo declared, shaking the strangeness of the move away as Sapphire’s neck was crushed in the jaws of Sabre Tiger. “And I’ll end there!”

(Scootaloo lp.8000 Hand: 3 Deck: 32)
(Rainbow Dash lp.7500 Hand: 3 Deck: 29)

Rainbow grinned as she her next card. “Sorry Squirt, but I think it’s time I turned this duel around!”

“What do you mean?” Scootaloo asked as Rainbow slapped a card down.

“I mean it’s time for the most powerful spell card in my deck to be played! Go Crystal Abundance!” She declared as the four crystals around her started to shake and shatter in blinding light. “Now if there are four Crystal Beasts in my spell and trap card zones, I can send them to the grave and send every other card on the field there with them!”

Before Scootaloo had the time to react, her face-down and monsters were all engulfed in a bright light, before shooting into her graveyard. “Oh no!”

“It gets worse, Scoots, when that happens, I can special summon a Crystal Beast from my graveyard for every card of yours that went away. So welcome out, Sapphire Pegasus, Topaz Tiger, Amber Mammoth and Emerald Turtle!”

Scootaloo looked up in wonder as three familiar monsters and one, large grey elephant like monster with an orange Amber in it’s forehead appeared before her. (Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus lv.4 ATK: 1800 DEF: 1200) (Crystal Beast Amber Mammoth lv.4 ATK: 1700 DEF: 1600) (Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger lv.4 ATK: 1600 DEF: 1000) (Crystal Beast Emerald Turtle lv.3 ATK: 600 DEF: 2000)

“And when I summon Sapphire, I can get my Amethyst Cat and put it in my spell and trap card zones!” Rainbow continued as a large, purple gemstone appeared before them.

“You know, it's a good thing Spike isn't here. He'd probably be trying to eat the illusions!” Scootaloo joked, causing the two to laugh a little.

“Good one Squirt, but that's not gonna get you outta this one. Everyone, crystal charge!” The four monsters gave off a loud battle cry as they charge, Sapphire shooting a blast of light blue energy out of his horn, Topaz swiping at her with his claws, Emerald retracting into his shell and shooting out green, energy blades and Amber charging forward and head-butting her.

(Scootaloo lp.8000-6200-4600-4000-2300 Hand: 3 Deck: 32)
(Rainbow Dash lp.7500 Hand: 2 Deck: 28)

“I’ll now activate Emerald’s ability. See, now I can switch the battle mode of one of the monster I attacked with, so he’ll switch himself to defence mode, and I’ll end my turn.” She said as Emerald, once again, ducked into his shell.

Scootaloo picked herself up, shaking off the devastating attack, and drew her card.

(Scootaloo lp.2300 Hand: 4 Deck: 31)
(Rainbow Dash lp.7500 Hand: 2 Deck: 28)

“Oh yeah!” Scootaloo cheered when she saw her card. Rainbow, quite understandably, was confused.

“Mind sharing, Squirt?” She asked, amused. Scootaloo just grinned, slapping a card down.

“Course I don’t, cause I’m gonna introduce you to my ace monster!” She continued. “But before that, I activate Photon Sanctuary! This card summons two Photon Tokens in defence mode. Only down-side is that I can only summon Light Attribute monsters for the turn.
Though my whole deck has nothing but so, eh.”

As she explained this, two orbs of starlight bust onto her field. 2x(Photon Tokens lv.4 ATK: 2000 DEF: 0)

Rainbow blinked, before letting out an annoyed breath. “Of course, even your tokens have really high attack points!”

Scootaloo shrugged. “Well, yeah, but they can’t attack and they’re summoned in defence so they don’t really last long. Because they’re only here as tributes!” She said as both Photon Tokens shot into the sky. “See, I can special summon my ace monster if I tribute two monsters with two thousand or more attack points!”

The two orbs burst into a flash of light that illuminated the room before a dragon, at least four times as tall as Scootaloo appeared, his whole body composed of starlight except the dark purple body armour and bright red chest guard, tail tip and wing tips.

“Meet my ace monster, Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon!” The orange filly announced as the dragon behind her roared with pride. (Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon lv.8 ATK: 3000 DEF: 2500)

Rainbow stared up at the fearsome monster, stepping back a little to marvel at the great dragon, before she shook out of it and put on a brave face. “Bring it on!”

“Careful what you wish for, Dash! Galaxy-Eyes, hit Sapphire Pegasus with galaxy photon stream!” Just as she finished saying this, Galaxy-Eyes threw his head back, gathering a light blue energy in it's maw, before firing it and vaporizing the horse, leaving the light blue jewel in it's wake.

(Scootaloo lp.2300 Hand: 2 Deck: 31)
(Rainbow Dash lp.7500-6300 Hand: 2 Deck: 28)

“I'll end there, your move Rainbow!” Scootaloo finished, her dragon landing behind her, curling around the filly, protectively.

Jeez, Discord sure did put in a lot of effort for these cards! That one actually looks like it's trying to shield her! Rainbow thought, impressed, as she drew her card.

(Scootaloo lp.2300 Hand: 2 Deck: 31)
(Rainbow Dash lp.6300 Hand: 3 Deck: 27)

“Okay Squirt, the first thing I'm gonna do is switch my guys to defence mode,” Rainbow grumbled, hating the fact that she was already back on the defensive. She then looked over her hand, trying to find something she can do.

Scootaloo rose her eyebrow as she noticed Rainbow quickly reading over the cards in her hand. “Uh...You okay there, sis?”

“Yeah, yeah! I'm fine...Aha!” Rainbow announced, slapping a card down. “I activate Crystal Promise! Now I can special summon my Amethyst Cat from my spell and trap card zones!”

Suddenly, a pink cat with a golden chest guard with a violet crystal in the centre. (Crystal Beast Amethyst Cat lv.3 ATK: 1200 DEF: 400)

“Okay? So what can she do against my dragon?” Scootaloo asked, confused by Rainbow's choice. Rainbow just grinned as the cat jumped high into the air.

“Nothing, but she can cut her damage in half and bypass your monsters, right into your life points!” She grinned as the pink cat jumped off of Galaxy-Eyes's head and sliced into Scootaloo’s side.

(Scootaloo lp.2300-1700 Hand: 2 Deck: 31)
(Rainbow Dash lp.6300 Hand: 2 Deck: 27)

“Oh well, at least you left your monster in attack mode for Galaxy-Eyes to take out,” Scootaloo grumbled, before she saw Rainbow's grin.

“Not so fast there Squirt, Emerald can switch the battle mode of any of my Crystal Beasts that attacked, remember? So I can switch Amethyst to defence mode!” She announced as Amethyst Cat crouched down. “I'll end there!”

(Scootaloo lp.1700 Hand: 3 Deck: 30)
(Rainbow Dash lp.6300 Hand: 2 Deck: 27)

“Alright, I don't want to get hit in the face again so Galaxy-Eyes, take care of that kitty!” Scootaloo commanded as tha dragon blasted the pink cat...

...only for Amber Mammoth to stand in it's way.

As Amber was reduced to his orange gemstone, Rainbow explained. “Amber Mammoth can redirect an attack against one of my Crystal Beasts to him.”

“Oh great!” Scootaloo groaned, before setting a card and motioning for Rainbow to make a move.

(Scootaloo lp.1700 Hand: 2 Deck: 30)
(Rainbow Dash lp.6300 Hand: 3 Deck: 26)

“Okay, nothing interesting there, so I'm just going to switch Amethyst to attack mode and hit your life points!” Rainbow declared as Amethyst, once again, struck out. This time swiping at Scoot's chest.

(Scootaloo lp.1700-1100 Hand: 2 Deck: 30)
(Rainbow Dash lp.6300 Hand: 3 Deck: 26)

“And I'll have Emerald switch her to defence again, your go Squirt,” Rainbow finished as the cat crouched again. Scootaloo scowled at the feline.

“That cat is really starting to get on my nerves!” She announce as she picked up her card.

(Scootaloo lp.1100 Hand: 3 Deck: 29)
(Rainbow Dash lp.6300 Hand: 3 Deck: 26)

"So I'll first summon up my Galaxy Wizard!” She declared as a white dressed mage, with a large blue cape and a cane appeared. (Galaxy Wizard lv.4 ATK: 0 DEF: 1800)

“Scoots, you summoned a monster with zero points?” Rainbow stated, confused, before the monster vanished.

“Yeah, and I can tribute him to get my Galaxy Expedition from my deck, so he didn't stick around long enough for you to do anything about it!” Scootaloo replied, slapping said spell into her plank. “And now I can use Galaxy Expedition to summon a level five or higher Galaxy monster from my deck since I control one, so meet Galaxy Soldier!”

In Wizard's place, a green and white armoured humanoid monster crouched down. (Galaxy Soldier lv.5 ATK: 2000 DEF: 0)

“And his effect lets me grab my Galaxy Knight from my deck, to my hand!” Scootaloo said, causing Rainbow to raise her eyebrow.

“All that effort just to grab a card?”

“Sometimes, one card is all you need to turn a whole duel around, which is why Galaxy-Eyes will take care of the one that's been helping you so much! Go galaxy photon stream!” The dragon fired his beam of light, this time shattering the cat, leaving nothing but a purple crystal in it's wake.

“I'll end up there,” Scoots finished, causing Rainbow to curse under her breath.

“Drat, I thought I could win with that,” She muttered, before picking up her next card and grinned, widely.

(Scootaloo lp.1100 Hand: 3 Deck: 29)
(Rainbow Dash lp.6300 Hand: 4 Deck: 25)

“Alright Scoots, you showed me your ace monster, so it's only fair I show ya mine!” Rainbow announced, images of all seven of her Crystal Beast's jewels appearing before her. “Tell me, Squirt, did you notice anything about my Crystal Beasts?”

Scootaloo blinked, before placing a hoof to her chin. Well, there were seven in total, mostly beasts...All turned to different coloured gems...Wait a second!

“Red for Ruby, orange for Amber, yellow for Topaz, green for Emerald, cyan for Sapphire, indigo for Cobalt and violet for Amethyst...They're the colours-”

“Of the rainbow!” Dash announced, grinning as she played a card. “Or, my Rainbow Dragon!”

The seven jewels appeared in the order Scootaloo announced, before a silhouette of a large, snake like dragon before the pure white beast appeared, the gemstones adorning it's side, two large, blue feathered wings at it's side. (Rainbow Dragon lv.10 atk: 4000 def: 0)

Scootaloo stared up at Rainbow's equally great dragon while Galaxy-Eyes growled at it, extending his wing over the orange filly. “Oh man...”

“I now switch both Emerald Turtle and Topaz Tiger to attack mode, and have my Rainbow Dragon attack your Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon! Time to see who's ace is stronger!” Rainbow announced, grinning confidently as her dragon fired a rainbow coloured beam of energy from his mouth.

Galaxy-Eyes roared back, surrounding himself in stardust before diving right into the energy beam...

...and shot right through it, grabbing Rainbow Dragon by the wings near his ears.

Rainbow blink as both dragons vanished in a shower of stardust. “What the-?”

“Like it?” Scootaloo interupted, grinning deviously. “That's Galaxy-Eyes's special effect! Whenever he battles a monster, I can banish both of our monsters until the end of the battle phase!”

Rainbow shook out of it and was about to continue before Scootaloo sent a card from her hand to the graveyard. “And while I'm talking about effects, how about I use another one,” She grinned as a humanoid sprite-spaceman monster appeared behind her.

“This is Dimension Wanderer. And when I use Galaxy-Eyes effect, he can be discarded to deal three thousand points of damage right to your life points!”

“What?!” Rainbow yelled before her voice distorted around her, flinching as the Wanderer himself swiped at her.

(Scootaloo lp.1100 Hand: 2 Deck: 29)
(Rainbow Dash lp.6300-3300 Hand: 3 Deck: 25)

Rainbow grit her teeth and stamped a hoof on the ground. “And just like that, you hit me for almost half my life points! That doesn't strike you as a little OP?”

Scootaloo gave her the stink eye. “This coming from Miss Crystal Abundance over here?”

The two stared each other down for a few seconds before Rainbow sighed. “Point taken. Alright Emerald, destroy Soldier!” Emerald Turtle retreated into his shell and fired off several green energy beams at the white monster, causing it to explode.

“And now Topaz will finish you off with topaz incisor shred!” Rainbow declared as the white tiger extended his claws and jumped after the orange filly.

Before a red boxing glove on the end of a spring punch it between the eyes, causing it's claws to lightly swipe Scootaloo’s shoulder.

(Scootaloo lp.1100-300 Hand: 2 Deck: 29)
(Rainbow Dash lp.3300 Hand: 3 Deck: 25)

Rainbow blinked, before groaning at the trap on Scootaloo’s field. “I hate that card...”

“You're only saying that because it was used against you, but Damage Diet halving your damage really saved my skin!” Scootaloo grinned, depositing the card into her graveyard.

Rainbow rolled her eyes. “Yeah okay, I use Emerald's effect to switch him to defence mode and end-”

“Well before that, our dragons come back,” Scootaloo grinned as said dragons reappeared in a shower of stardust and Galaxy-Eyes got back into a guarded position in front of Scootaloo.

(Scootaloo lp.300 Hand: 3 Deck: 28)
(Rainbow Dash lp.3300 Hand: 3 Deck: 25)

“I'll just set a card down and have Galaxy-Eyes attack Topaz! Galaxy photon stream!” She declared as the dragon fired it's signiture move at the tiger, who was reduced to nothing, indicating that it was sent to the grave.

(Scootaloo lp.300 Hand: 2 Deck: 28)
(Rainbow Dash lp.3300-1900 Hand: 3 Deck: 25)

“I'll end there,” Scootaloo finished, motioning for Rainbow to make her move.

“Sorry squirt, but I'm winning this turn! You really should've played a monster!” Rainbow boasted, drawing a card.

(Scootaloo lp.300 Hand: 2 Deck: 28)
(Rainbow Dash lp.1900 Hand: 4 Deck: 24)

“First I'll switch Emerald back into attack mode and have Rainbow attack Galaxy-Eyes!” As she said this, both Galaxy-Eyes and Rainbow Dragon vanished in the same shower of stardust as before.

Rainbow grinned as she spied no monsters on Scootaloo’s field. “Now Emerald Turtle will finish you off!” Emerald retracting back into his shell.

“Yeah, too bad Rainbow, but I'm gonna take your advice and summon a monster!” Before Rainbow could inquire as to what the filly meant by that, Scootaloo’s face-down popped up. “Go Call of the Haunted! This card lets me bring back a monster from the graveyard in attack mode, and Galaxy Soldier has a bone to pick with Emerald!”

The white monster returned, it's one eye glaring at the Turtle. (Galaxy Soldier lv.5 ATK: 2000 DEF: 0)

“Fine I-” Rainbow started, about to end her turn, before a sudden realisation came over her. If I end my battle phase, I can't change the battle mode of Turtle since he hasn't attacked and Galaxy-Eyes will wreck him and out the rest of my life points!

Scootaloo tilted her head to the side as Rainbow checked her life point meter and drew imaginary numbers in the air. “Uh, you okay?”

Rainbow shook her head and pointed at Galaxy Soldier. “I'm fine! Go Turtle, continue your attack!”

Scootaloo blinked as Turtle charged forward, only to be punched into pieces by the white monster.

(Scootaloo lp.300 Hand: 2 Deck: 28)
(Rainbow Dash lp.1700-500 Hand: 4 Deck: 24)

“Okay...Why did you do that?”

“Don't play dumb, Squirt,” Rainbow said, pointing a hoof at her graveyard.

“If I left Emerald in attack mode, Galaxy-Eyes would take him out and give you the win. I can't change his battle mode if he doesn't attack. I'll end with one face-down,” She explained, laying a card between her four crystals of indigo, cyan, violet and orange.

Jeez, that was actually really smart, Scootaloo thought to herself as their monsters returned.

(Scootaloo lp.300 Hand: 3 Deck: 29)
(Rainbow Dash lp.500 Hand: 3 Deck: 24)

“Now to do this!” Rainbow grinned, her face-down popping up. “I use Crystal Rageki! Now I can send a Crystal Beast in my spell and trap card zones to the graveyard and take out a card on your field. So I'll send Cobalt Eagle to the grave to destroy your Galaxy-Eyes!”

As she said this, the cobalt jewel shattered and a streak of lightning burst forth and strike Scootaloo’s dragon, causing it to shatter on impact.

Scootaloo cursed and looked over the card she just drew. Galaxy Queen's Light. Well, I can't really use this now so...

Her eyes suddenly shot wide open as she remembered the card she had added to her hand earlier and smiled, just as widely. “Hey Rainbow, you remember what I said when I used my Galaxy Soldier's ability?”

Rainbow blinked, before putting a hoof on her chin in contemplation.

“And his effect lets me grab my Galaxy Knight from my deck, to my hand!” Scootaloo said, causing Rainbow to raise her eyebrow.

“All that effort just to grab a card?”

“Sometimes, one card is all you need to turn a whole duel around...”

“You...” Rainbow started, before she trailed off, looking up at her Rainbow Dragon. “You can get past four thousand attack points?”

“That's right!” Scootaloo answered, slapping down a monster. “If there's a Galaxy monster on my field, I can summon my Galaxy Knight without a tribute, but his points drop by a thousand.”

As she explained this, a larger and leaner version of Galaxy Soldier appeared, brandishing a large sword. (Galaxy Knight lv.8 atk:2800-1800 def: 2600)

“And when he comes in, he brings back Galaxy-Eyes in defence mode!” Scootaloo explained before Rainbow could ask, said monster returning in a sparkle of stardust, glaring at the cyan mare, menacingly. (Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon lv.8 ATK: 3000 DEF: 2500)

“O-okay,” Rainbow said, slightly unnerved by the dragon's glare. “But you can't get Rainbow Dragon off the board if it's in defence mode-”

“I was just getting to that!” Scootaloo grinned, using her newly drawn spell. “I activate Galaxy Queen's Light! This makes all monsters on my field the same level as one of my level seven or higher ones, like Galaxy-Eyes!”

Galaxy-Eyes roared as Galaxy Soldier grew in size to match Galaxy Knight. (Galaxy Soldier lv.5-8 ATK: 2000 DEF: 0)

“Now I can overlay my three monsters!” Scootaloo announced as the three monsters became a cluster of stardust, much to Rainbow's surprise.

“Now I can summon up one of the most powerful monsters in my deck-”

“Hang on! I thought Galaxy-Eyes was your best card!” Rainbow stated, looking up at Rainbow Dragon again. “He's my best monster and there's no real way of making him better, especially if I'd have to get rid of him.”

“Oh sis, there's a difference between an ace card and a strongest card,” Scootaloo clarified, grinning. “My ace card is Galaxy-Eyes because he's often on the field, taking out my opponents and just being my star player...”

She then spread her hooves out as a large, three headed dragon with heads of red, armour of purple and it stood at, at least, eight times Scootaloo’s height. “But a strongest card is for when my ace just doesn't have enough fire power, so let me introduce you to Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon!”

The three heads all howled to the sky as it's glowing red wings shot out to either sides. (Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon RNK:8 atk: 4500 def: 3800 O.U. 3)

“Now when he's summoned, all face-up card effects are negated,” Scootaloo grinned at Rainbow's surprised face. “So I hope Rainbow Dragon didn't have any abilities that could have saved your skin, cause they're useless now.”

Rainbow's eyes turned to pinpricks, looking over her hand to see if she had anything to help her...

...she didn't.

“Now attack! Neo photon stream!” Scootaloo announced as the three heads all fired a blast of red energy, frying poor Rainbow Dragon before he was destroyed, disappearing with the rest of Rainbow's life points.

(Scootaloo lp.300 Hand: 1 Deck: 29)WIN
(Rainbow Dash lp.500-0 Hand: 3 Deck: 24)LOSE

Rainbow stood motionless for a few moments, causing Scootaloo to worry for a bit, before the power suddenly came back on.

Rainbow jumped a bit, now noticing the lights were shining and the TV had switch on to the blue screen, waiting for an input to be switched on too. “Huh? Guess the power's back.”

“Oddly convenient,” Scootaloo added, trotting to Rainbow and nudging her shoulder. “Are you okay?”

“Huh?” Rainbow let out, looking down at her honorary sister, before chuckling dismissively. “Oh yeah, I'm cool. Just...you know, didn't expect to lose and all.”

“To be fair-” Scootaloo grinned, punching Rainbow in the shoulder. “-you didn't make it easy.”

“Nothing worth having ever is, Squirt!” The mare laughed, wrapping a wing around the orange filly.

Before Scootaloo could reply, the phone rang again. Rainbow shot into the kitchen, accidently dragging Scootaloo with her in the process, and grabbed the phone.

“Hello?...Oh hey AJ...Whoa okay! Calm down!...What happened?...Ah jeez is she okay?...Yeah, course, we'll be there in ten seconds flat!...See ya there, bye!” After Rainbow hung up, she flipped Scootaloo onto her back, hurriedly turned all of her electronics off, and rushed out of the door with the filly in tow.

“Where are we going, Dash?” Scootaloo asked, only just now getting her bearings straight.

Rainbow turned back and explained. “We're going to the hospital! Applejack said Applebloom got real sick and passed out, she couldn't get a hold of us since the power was out and the only working phone was only linked to Cloudsdale.”

Scootaloo absorbed the information for a few seconds, before her face soon morphed into pure worry. “Well what are you waiting for, pick up the pace!”

Slight Frustrations (Spike vs Stranger)

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Mild Frustrations

“Oh no, that’s horrible!” Twilight exclaimed, causing Spike to fall over and drop the pile of books he was carrying. “Did she say anything before she passed out?”

“No, she just smiled at me and zonked out right there and then,” Applejack’s static-y voiced replied over the phone. “Ah don’t know what coulda happened! She was as white as sheet and as sweaty as me after a big apple harvest!”

Twilight, wisely, chose to ignore the colourful image that Applejack painted, instead opting to use her magic to collect her saddlebags from her hat stand. “I’ll be there as soon as I can!”

“Thanks Twi, that means a lot,” Were Applejack’s last words before she hung up, Twilight rushing to the door.

She stopped, however, when she noticed all the books lying everywhere. “Spike!”

“Yeah,” He replied, already in the process of picking the pile up.

“How did you manage to…you know what, it doesn’t matter. I need to head to the hospital, so you finish cleaning up and meet me there, alright? Thanks!” She said, hurriedly, running towards the door.

“Wait! Why are you going to the hospital?!” Spike asked, putting the books down for a second. Twilight paused at the door, sighing.

“Applebloom apparently passed out earlier, so I have to go and support Applejack and make sure she’s okay.”

“Applebloom’s hurt?” Spike asked, concern staining his voice. “Well if you give me a couple…”

“No time, I’ll meet you there!” She interrupted, teleporting out of the castle, much to Spike’s shock.

“…What?!” He exclaimed, clenching his jaw and fists. “So I have to stay here and clean up while someone I care about is seriously hurt, while she gets to go just to comfort Applejack!”

He started piling up the books, much more aggressively, and stomped over to the ‘P’ section. “Oh sure, that sounds really fair! What’s her deal these days, anyway?!” He continued, placing all the books that belonged there in their rightful places.

“Give a mare a pair of wings and suddenly she can’t do anything wrong or something, sheesh!”

Outside of the library, a brown Unicorn stallion with a black cloak grinned when he saw the little dragon step out of his home. Excellent.
From his horn, a dark green aura shot out and hit the un-phased dragon, but his information was laid bare to the mysterious pony.

Name: Spike Sparkle
Gender: Male
Age: 13 and 6 months
Born: 7th January, 992 ANM (After Nightmare Moon)
Birth-place: Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns
Family/Guardians: Twilight Sparkle
Grades: Does not attend school
Deck: Mostly Spellcaster and Warrior monsters. Most cards tied into each-other for combos
Ace Monster: Dark Magician
Energy: Medium

Hm…This one does not have much in terms of energy, so I need to make sure to let some of his attacks through... The pony thought to himself as he approached the dragon.

“And why does she feel that she needs to go any more than I do! Applebloom’s my friend! She doesn’t even know her favourite colour! How would she feel if I said she had to stay back and read a book while I went and comforted Scootaloo because Rainbow Dash was in a crash!”

“Boy you sure do like to complain, don’t you Spike?” Spike jumped at the sound of his name and turned to the cloaked Unicorn. “I mean, seriously, is it that big a deal?”

“Of course it is!” Spike exclaimed, not caring who this pony was or why he was here. “My friend is hurt and she needs to know I’m there to help her!”

He heard the pony start to snicker and growled, menacingly at him. “What?”

“Aw, concerned for your little girlfriend, are you?” He mocked.

Spike blinked, almost not registering what the stranger said until his face flushed and he snarled. “Is there a reason you’re talking me?!”

“Well I was hoping for a game-” He said, using his magic to grab a duel plank from behind him. “-So prepare to duel!”

Spike turned and started to walk away. “Yeah, no. Sorry but I have better things to-” He started, before he smacked into an invisible barrier, causing him to fall back and clutch his nose in pain.

He turned to the pony, whose magical aura dissipated from his horn. “Um...Ow!”

“Sorry, but I must insist,” He continued, Spike’s duel plank unfolding from his neck of its own accord, much to Spike’s shock. “After all, I’m not going to be here long and I need this.”

“Okay, what the heck is going on here?!” Spike yelled while his deck auto-shuffled.

“Well, I need energy, and I plan on taking yours,” He explained, briefly, not caring if his plans are shared. After all, what would it matter when he and his colleagues can force duels anyway?

Spike paused for a few seconds, thinking about what he overheard on the phone earlier. Applejack said something about zonking out right there…Then that could mean…

“You’re the one that hurt Applebloom, aren’t you?!” Spike accused, drawing five cards, wanting to make this pony pay for what he did.

“I can assure you, that was not me personally. It was just one of my associates,” The pony shrugged, drawing his five. “But that is neither here, nor there. Because it’s time to duel!”
(Spike lp.8000 hand:5 deck:35)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand:5 deck:35)
“Hope you don’t mind if I make the first move,” Spike announced, not even waiting for a reply as he slapped a card down. “Because I’m summoning Charging Gaia, the Fierce Knight!”

As he announced this an armoured warrior riding on top of a purple horse with an armoured mask galloped onto the field. (Charging Gaia the Fierce Knight lv.7 atk:2300-1900 def:2100)

“Why did his points go down?” The stallion asked, causing Spike to grin.

“Well the answer is his level, see Charging Gaia would usually require two tributes to summon, but I can summon him for free so long as I drop his points to 1900. I’ll end my turn with one card face-down,” He finished, motioning his hand towards the pony, who drew silently.
(Spike lp.8000 hand:3 deck:35)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand:6 deck:34)
“First I’ll set one monster in defence mode-”

Spike rolled his eyes. “Jeez, don’t be too exciting or anything.”

“Oh you want exciting, then how about I activate two little spell cards, the first one being Toll,” He grinned, playing said spell as a large barrier appeared between the two player’s fields. “Now both of us have to pay 500 life points in order to launch an attack.”

“Riveting,” Spike replied, rolling his eyes. “Stall cards, any other ones?”

“Why yes, Chain Energy!” The stranger answered, as bands of yellow energy wrapped around both of their wrists. “Now the two of us have to pay 500 life points to normal or special summon, set or activate cards in our hands!”

“What?!” Spike exclaimed, looking over his hand. “So I have to pay life points to do anything!”

“Funny, I’m pretty sure that was your girlfriend’s response too,” He grinned as Spike’s cheeks flushed again.

“Are you done?” Spike growled.

“You’re hardly denying it,” The stallion teased, waving a hoof towards him.

“Just shut up!” Spike replied, drawing.
(Spike lp.8000 hand:4 deck:34)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand:3 deck:34)
“I’ll pay 500 life points to summon my Queen’s Knight!” Spike said, the bands around his wrists glowing as a women wearing red armour appeared before them. (Queen's Knight lv.4 atk:1500 def:1600)

He then pointed towards the barrier as it shifted. “And I’ll pay another 500 for Gaia to attack your defence monster with spiral spear strike!”
Gaia gave off a loud battle cry as he struck the defence monster…

…only for his lance to bounce off a large, machine with spikes pointing in several different directions.

The stallion grinned as he explained. “Sorry, but Gear Golem the Moving Fortress has 2200 defence points, so you’ll be take 300 points of reflect damage.” (Gear Golem the Moving Fortress lv.4 atk:800 def:2200)
(Spike lp.7000-6700 hand:3 deck:34)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand:3 deck:34)
“You know, maybe throwing your monsters at face-down ones, haphazardly isn’t the best duelling strategy?” He grinned, causing Spike to growl in frustration.

“I end my turn,” Spike finished, the stranger drawing his card.
(Spike lp.6700 hand:3 deck:34)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand:4 deck:33)
“I’ll just pay 500 life points to set a monster, your go.”

Spike grinned. “Ha, not so fun now, is it?!”

The stallion shrugged. “It’s not so much a bother for me, since I don’t have to play much.”

“We’ll see about that, my turn!” Spike announced, grinning at the card he just drew. Perfect!
(Spike lp.6700 hand:4 deck:33)
(Stranger lp.7500 hand:3 deck:33)
“First I’m going to pay 500 life point to summon King’s Knight!” Spike declared, a male warrior with orange armour standing up and brandishing his blade. (King's Knight lv.4 atk:1600 def:1400)

“And when King’s Knight is summoned in the presence of Queen’s Knight, I can automatically summon my Jack’s Knight to the field from my deck, so it won’t cost me any points!” He grinned as a fourth warrior appeared, this one bearing blue armour. (Jack's Knight lv.5 atk:1900 def:1000)

“You’re still a little short in attack points there, Spike,” The stranger grinned, before Spike smirked back.

“Well then, let’s fix that! By paying 500 life points, I can activate an old favourite. Polymerization!” Spike declared as a purple vortex appeared behind the three poker knights. “Now I can fuse all three of my knights together in order to summon…”

As he said this, his three weaker monsters started to distorted and meld together, before a larger knight, one in black, white and gold armour stood on the field. “…Arcana Knight Joker!” (Arcana Knight Joker lv.9 atk:3800 def:2500)

The stranger flinched back at the sight of such a powerful monster, who charged at Gear Golem. “Now I’ll pay 500 life points to have Arcana hit Gear Golem with royal flush!”

The knight roared as he swung his sword down, cleaving the unfortunate machine in half.

“And while I’m at it, how about I pay 500 more to have Gaia take out your face-down monster with spiral spear strike!” The warrior on the mount charge and impaled a one-eyed monster in a pot.

“That was Morphing Jar,” The stallion explained, once he shook off his uneasiness. “Now we both have to discard all the cards in our hands and draw five new ones!”

As he explained this, the monster streamed out and snatched the cards out of Spike’s claw, spitting them into the graveyard. Spike cringed and looked over his new cards.

“I’ll end here.”
(Spike lp.4700 hand:5 deck:28)
(Stranger lp.7500 hand:6 deck:27)
“Well to start I’m going to equip your monster with a little present,” Before Spike could inquire to what this present might be, the un-named pony played a card. “I activate Darkworld Shackles! This spell drops your Knight’s attack and defence points to 100 and you’ll take 500 points of damage during my standby phase-”

Just as the chains started to wrap themselves around Arcana’s legs, Spike discarded a card. “I activate Arcana’s special effect. See, I can discard a card that matches the type of card you play to negate it. So I discard my Mystic Box spell card to negate and destroy your spell card! Go matching set!”

As Spike said this, an image of said spell faded into the knight’s sword as he sliced the chains to pieces. The stranger grimaced, but still played another card.

“Well that was unfortunate, but let’s try that again regardless,” He said as the same chains appeared around Arcana’s legs again.
Spike cursed to himself as the chains connected and the knight knelt down in pain. (Arcana Knight Joker lv.9 atk:3800-100 def:2500-100)

“Ah ha, so no more spells in your hand? That’s too bad,” Spike growled at his comment, not noticing the bands of energy on his wrists glow brighter.

“Are you done yet?”

“I’ll pay 500 life points to set this monster. Your turn,” The stallion finished, motioning towards the dragon with his hoof.
(Spike lp.4700 hand:5 deck:27)
(Stranger lp.6000 hand:3 deck:27)
“Grr…I hate to do it, but I’ve got no choice, I pay 500 life points to tribute Arcana to advance summon Berformet!” Spike groaned, his powerful fusion monster turning into a multi-hued vortex before a four armed, winged daemon monster appeared in his place. (Berformet lv.5 atk:1400 def:1800)

“And when he’s summoned, I can add Gazelle the King of Mythical Beasts to my hand.”

“Spike!” He heard someone call to him. In surprise, both he and his opponent turned to find two white Unicorns, one smaller than the other, looking back at them in a mix of shock and anger. “What are you doing messing around like this?! Applebloom’s in the hospital!”

“It’s not my fault, Sweetie Belle! This jerk forced me to duel him!” Spike argued to the smaller one. The larger one turned to the cloak wearing pony, raising an eyebrow.

“Have you explained the situation to him then, Dear?” Rarity asked, to which the stranger replied.

“He has, but it doesn’t matter. I need his energy-”

“And you can have it! I pay 500 life points for Gaia to attack!” Spike announced as Gaia charged forward, only for his lance to bounce off of a large brick made monster.

“This is Stone Statue of the Aztecs, with 2000 defence points!” He explained. (Stone Statue of the Aztecs lv.4 atk:300 def:2000)
(Spike lp.3700-3500 hand:5 deck:27)
(Stranger lp.6000 hand:3 deck:27)
“Hey wait a minute, Spike only should have lost 100 life points. Why did he lose 200?” Sweetie Belle asked, confused.

“That’s Stone Statue’s special effect, Sweetie Belle,” Rarity explained, having a personal affinity towards rock-type monsters. “If it deals reflect damage, that damage is doubled.”

“I end my turn,” Spike said, reluctantly.
(Spike lp.3500 hand:5 deck:27)
(Stranger lp.6000 hand:4 deck:26)
“I’ll just pay 1000 of my life points to set a monster and a face-down,” The stranger grinned, two face-down cards appearing before him.

“You girls see this; he’s just been stalling this entire game!” Spike said, pointing to the spell cards. “If I hadn’t been attacking, those spells would’ve been the only thing that’s been costing me life points,” He continued, drawing his card.
(Spike lp.3500 hand:6 deck:26)
(Stranger lp.5000 hand:2 deck:26)
“Fine, you want damage. How’s this?!” The stallion declared, his face-down flipping up. “I activate Ceasefire! This trap card first flips all monsters on the field face-up!”

As he said this, his face-down monster revealed itself to be another Stone Statue. (Stone Statue of the Aztecs lv.4 atk:300 def:2000)

“And now, for every effect monster, it deals 500 points of damage to you, so that’s 2000 points of damage!” He grinned as the ground in front of Spike exploded, causing him to fall back in surprise.
(Spike lp.3500-1500 hand:6 deck:26)
(Stranger lp.5000 hand:2 deck:26)
“Spike!”Sweetie Belle and Rarity exclaimed, worried about his well-being while he picked himself up, glaring at the pony in front of him.

“If I wasn’t so happy about the card I drew...” He threatened, meekly, as both his monsters were replaced by multi-hued vortexes. “I pay 500 life points so I can advance summon my ace monster!”

Suddenly, in a cloud of purple smoke, appeared a mage in purple robes, grinning smugly. “Meet the master of magic, Dark Magician!” (Dark Magician lv.7 atk:2500 def:2100)

“So you can either attack, or you can activate one more card,” Stranger grinned, looking at Spike’s life points, which now only stand at 1000.

“Maybe, but then again-” Spike grinned back, playing a spell card. “-Maybe not! I active Dark Magic Attack!”

“Alright!” Sweetie Belle cheered, remembering said card. “That card destroys all of the opponent’s spell and trap cards if Spike has Dark Magician in play!”

“It what?!” The stranger asked in surprise as the magician gathered up an orb of green energy at the end of his stuff.

“You heard her! Go Dark Magician!” Spike ordered, the mage nodding and firing off the orb, causing Toll and Chain Energy to shatter. The yellow energy bands on Spike’s wrists fading.

The stranger started to sweat a bit, now at a bit of a disadvantage. Damn it! That was supposed to stop him playing anymore cards…

He shook out of it after a while, remembering something. Spike grimaced as he saw the stallion smirk, evilly. I don’t like that look. Maybe I should wait before I attack, just in case.

“I end my go there,” He said, much to the two Unicorn mare’s confusion.

“Why didn’t Spike attack? His monsters are in the open!” Sweetie Belle asked, confused.

“Perhaps he was afraid of a card in this guy’s hand. Some cards, such as Stronghold Guardian, would prove to be Spike’s undoing at this point,” She explained as the stranger drew his card.
(Spike lp.500 hand:1 deck:26)
(Stranger lp.5000 hand:3 deck:25)
“Well, since I don’t have to worry about Chain energy anymore, I’ll just set a monster and two face-downs,” Spike cursed as he saw his opponent’s back row get set up.

Great! What else can I look forward to?! He thought as he drew his card.
(Spike lp.500 hand:2 deck:25)
(Stranger lp.5000 hand:0 deck:25)
Almost as if to answer his question, one of the stallion’s face-down’s popped up. “I activate Two-Pronged Attack! This trap lets me tribute my two Stone Statues to destroy Dark Magician!”

Spike cursed as the two brick monsters shattered in a burst of thunder, striking down his best card, who shrieked in overwhelming pain. “I summon Gazelle the King of Mythical Beasts!” He announced as a brown lion like monster with a horn on his forehead appeared. (Gazelle the King of Mythical Beasts lv.4 atk:1500 def:1200)

“This is bad!” Sweetie Belle voiced, causing her sister to look at her. “Considering how many defence points this guy’s monsters have, Spike can’t safely attack with Gazelle.”

“Well, as Applebloom would say, it’s a risk worth taking-” Spike was interrupted by the stallion making kissy faces at him, chuckling. “Would you shut up about that!”

“I’ve still yet to hear you deny it,” The stallion teased, not noticing Gazelle leap towards his monster until it was flipped up as a satellite like monster with a big, grinning face. “And unfortunately for you, you’ve attacked my Cyber Jar!” (Cyber Jar lv.3 atk:900 def:900)

“So what? It only has 900 defence points,” Spike said, before Cyber Jar’s face transformed into a black void, sucking Gazelle into it before shattering. “What the-”

“Like it?” The stallion asked, grinning. “It’s Cyber Jar’s special ability. When he’s flipped face-up, he destroys all monsters on the field. Then we both draw five cards and either set, or summon all level 4 or lower monsters. You go first.”

Spike drew his cards and looked them over. Darn, Kuriboh and Mystical Elf. Guess I’ll play these in… He thought until he remembered the trap card he played near the start of the duel. Grinning he said. “I summon Kuriboh and Mystical Elf in attack mode!”

As he said this, a furry, brown ball with green paws and huge eyes, as well as a blue humanoid female wearing a green dress with flowing blonde hair stood up on the field. (Kuriboh lv.1 atk:300 def:200) (Mystical Elf lv.4 atk:800 def:2000)

“Why would Spike do that?” Rarity muttered to herself, watching as the stallion drew his five cards. “Neither of those monsters have many attack points.”

“Fine, if we’re going for stupidity, I might as well summon my Necro Gardna in attack mode,” He shrugged, summoning the red armoured, white haired warrior. (Necro Gardna lv.3 atk:600 def:1300)

At that point, Spike laughed as his face-down flipped up. “Caught ya; hook, line and sinker! Go Dark Renewal!”

Suddenly, between the two duellists, appeared a coffin. “See if you summon a monster while I control a Spellcaster-type monster, then I can tribute your Necro Gardna and my Mystical Elf to summon a Dark attribute Spellcaster from my deck or graveyard!”

As he said this, black smoke appeared as the two declared monsters vanished inside it. “Welcome back, Dark Magician!” He announced as the familiar mage appeared again, wagging his finger at the stunned stranger. (Dark Magician lv.7 atk:2500 def:2100)

“I see; Spike was baiting him!” Rarity stated while Sweetie Belle cheered.

Spike smirked at his opponent’s stunned look. “A good magician always has a trick under his hat! Now attack with dark magic attack!”

The Spellcaster charged at the stranger, but he recovers and a ghostly spirit of Necro Gardna appeared. “By banishing Necro Gardna from my graveyard, I can negate your attack!” He explained as the mage shattered the ghost to pieces.

Spike grimaced. “I end there.”
(Spike lp.500 hand:4 deck:20)
(Stranger lp.5000 hand:5 deck:19)
“I’ll set a monster and three cards face-down! Your move,” He declared, smirking. Of course, with Negate Attack, Dimensional Prison, Intercept and Trap Hole face-down, I hope you weren’t planning much of one.
(Spike lp.500 hand:5 deck:19)
(Stranger lp.5000 hand:1 deck:19)
Spike cringed when he saw the face-downs on the stallion’s field, but his eyes lit up when he saw his card. “I activate Magical Stone Excavation! This lets me discard two cards, like my Magical Hats and Ancient Rules, to get back a spell card from my graveyard. And I choose Dark Magic Attack!”

“Yes!” The ponies on the side-lines cheered, jumping in happiness.

“No!” The stranger exclaimed, conversely, as Spike played the card.

“Afraid so, so now all your spell and trap cards are destroyed!” Spike announced as all of the stranger’s back row was destroyed.

“But that’s not all. I now activate Bond Between Teacher and Student, which lets me summon Dark Magician Girl while Dark Magician is in play.” He grinned as a female in a blue armour and pink miniskirt appeared, winking as she did so. (Dark Magician Girl lv.6 atk:2000 def:1700)

“Oh great, I was hoping it wouldn’t be too easy to summon your monsters now!” Stranger complained, while Spike just shrugged.

“What can I say? Every magician has an apprentice, and now she’s going to show you why she was picked for the role! Go dark burning attack!” Spike declared as the female mage fired pink magic towards a familiar purple insect. (Needle Worm lv.2 atk:750 def:600)

“When Needle Worm is flipped face-up you lose the top five cards of your deck,” The stranger explained as a series of needles were fired into Spike’s deck.

“Well that’s not great, but now you’re finally wide open for an attack! Go dark magic attack!” Spike declared as the male mage fired green magic at the stallion, who flinched backwards.
(Spike lp.500 hand:1 deck:14)
(Stranger lp.5000-2500 hand:1 deck:19)
“And now Kuriboh will attack directly too!” Spike announced, much to the group’s shock as the ball of fuzz sprang up and bit down on the Unicorn’s head.
(Spike lp.500 hand:1 deck:14)
(Stranger lp.2500-2200 hand:1 deck:19)
“AH! Get off!” He exclaimed, shaking the fluff ball off and rubbing his head. “Ugh, need to get my shots when I get back tonight.”

“I’ll end with one card face-down,” Spike said, the card appearing.
(Spike lp.500 hand:0 deck:14)
(Stranger lp.2200 hand:2 deck:18)
The stranger laughed in triumph. “Sorry little dragon, but you really should’ve switched your rat into defence mode,” Kuriboh growled as the stranger slapped a monster down. “Since you have, at least, two more monsters than me I can special summon the Fiend Mega Cyber!”

A large, golden armoured warrior with a purple robe appeared, brandishing two claws. (Fiend Mega Cyber lv.6 atk:2200 def:1200)

“Now I’ll have him attack your fuzz ball and wipe out the rest of your life points!” The warrior charged at Kuriboh as Spike and Kuriboh started to laugh. “What the-”

“You know, for a guy that had so many traps set up, you certainly suck at seeing an obvious one right in front of you!” He said as his final card popped up. “I activate Switch! This card lets me change the target of your attack. So Dark Magician, counter attack!”

Just as it looked like the warrior would strike Kuriboh, a staff intercepted the blow. In shock, the monster looked up and saw Dark Magician smirk and shake his head as he threw the staff up, building green energy in his free hand, and punching Fiend Mega Cyber, causing him to shatter.
(Spike lp.500 hand:0 deck:13)
(Stranger lp.2200-1900 hand:1 deck:18)

“Oh come on!” Spike announced, still somewhat laughing as Kuriboh landed on his shoulder. “As much as I love Kuriboh, who in their right mind would just leave him on the field in attack mode!”

The stranger looked at his final card. Axe of Despair…Had I equipped this I would’ve…

He shook out of it and bowed his head, ending his turn.

“Finally! My Turn!” Spike announced, the end well enough in sight.
(Spike lp.500 hand:1 deck:12)
(Stranger lp.1900 hand:1 deck:18)
“And what he started, she’ll finish! Dark Magician Girl, dark burning attack!” The female mage nodded to Spike and flew up, gathering a pink magic in her staff.

Once she had enough stored, she fired the energy towards the stranger, causing him to stumble backwards as Sweetie Belle and Rarity cheered.
(Spike lp.500 hand:1 deck:13) WIN
(Stranger lp.1900-0 hand:1 deck:18) LOSE
“And that’s all she wrote,” Spike said, before he flinched and fell to one knee, panting slightly. The two female Unicorns noticed and rushed to his side.

“For now, yes-” The mysterious pony replied, grinning. “-But we are hardly done here.”

“Who are you?!” Rarity demanded, levitating the little dragon onto her back so he can rest.

“My name is of no importance, just my goal,” He stated, before his horn lit up and he disappeared in a wall of black smoke.

The three just stood there for a few seconds, unsure of what to do, until Spike poked Rarity in the back of her neck. “Not to be rude or anything, but weren’t we going to the hospital to see Applebloom?”

“Hm…” She mumbled before her eyes flicked up. “Oh yes, come along Sweetie Belle!”

“Okay!” She replied, noticing Spike yawn and clutch his own wrists. “Maybe you should try and get some sleep, Spike.”

“No way! I worked way too hard in that duel to see her, to just zonk out right after,” Sweetie Belle giggled a bit, causing Spike to glare. “What?!”

“Spike and Applebloom, sitting in a tree-”

“Please shut up about that!”

Rarity giggled at their antics until a sudden thought occurred to her. Well…Spike’s hardly denying it.

“Hey guys, what took ya!” Rainbow asked as Rarity, Sweetie Belle and Spike made their way through the hospital door. She was in the process of trying to calm down an anxious Fluttershy, while Pinkie and Twilight were comforting Applejack. Big Mac had to stay at the farm to keep an eye on Granny Smith.

“Spike had a run-in with some hoodlum and we decided to help him out,” Rarity explained as the little dragon hopped off of her back, stumbling a little before Sweetie Belle helped him gain his balance.

“Thanks,” He said to Sweetie Belle, before walking to Scootaloo, who was standing alone by the door. “How is she?”

“She’s fine, Loverboy,” Spike’s eyes widened as Scootaloo. “And before you deny it, I saw you guys in the orchard last week. You were acting very chummy, what with your arm around her and all.”

“…Why were you there?” He asked, rubbing his arm in embarrassment. After all, none of them were supposed to find out he and Applebloom were, technically, dating until it was official. Scootaloo rolled her eyes.

“I was supposed to meet up with her to go to dance class,” She explained, grinning. “Not that I minded, of course, since I got to see the two of you tripping over each other all day. It was hilarious.”

“…shut up.”

“Great comeback,” Scootaloo shot back, rolling her eyes, before motioning towards the door. “Doc came by earlier and said it was okay to see her. Figured you’d want to go, the rest of us already did. She’ll be good to go home in an hour.”

Spike blinked, then smiled gratefully. “Thanks Scoots,” He said, making his way through the door.

Scootaloo nodded and waited for a couple of seconds before Spike poked his head back. “Um…You haven’t…you know, told anyone have you?”

“Just Featherweight, so he doesn’t print you in the newspaper,” She grinned as that scenario suddenly ran through his head. “Relax, secret’s safe with me.”

Spike sighed in relief, smiling gratefully. “You’re a great friend Scoots.”

“Of course I am, I’m Scootaloo,” She smirked at his retreating form.

“Hey Spike,” Applebloom smiled as she saw the dragon hop into the seat by her bed.

He smiled and laid a claw over her hoof. “Hey Bloom, you okay?”

“Eeyup,” She answered, grinning. “Just had ta get a little shut eye, is all. Not that big a deal.”

“I think it is,” He answered, squeezing her hoof, reassuringly. “I heard some guy duelled you and took your energy.”

“Well, yer half right,” She said, before his words caught up with her. “Wait, Ah hadn’t told anyone Ah duelled today, nor that…”

She trailed off as Spike noticed the bandages on her hoof and flank. “What happened?”

“Well…While Ah was duelling this mare, Poverty, one of her monsters hit mah life points a couple times…And it actually hurt me,” She smiled at his worried looking face. “It’s fine, Spike, it was only a Leghul, could’ve been worse.”

“I guess…” He said. “And I knew you duelled because I faced some guy who said he was trying to take my energy.”

He noticed her return his worried face from earlier and grinned, proudly. “Don’t worry, I kicked his butt!”

“Didn’t doubt ya fer a second, but Ah won mah duel and look at the state of me,” She said, before he lifted a claw to stroke the side of her face.

“What state, you’re just as pretty as ever,” He grinned as her face lit up redder than her brother and she ducked her head to try and hide it.

“Aw shucks, thanks Spike. But seriously, how are you not tired?”

“Who said I wasn’t?” Spike replied, shaking his head a bit. “But I needed to see you and I wasn’t going to let something like sleep stop that from happening.”

Applebloom smiled, fondly, at the dragon’s loyalty and kissed his cheek, causing his cheeks to flare up. “That’s really sweet of you Spike, it means a lot to me. But you go get some sleep, okay? Ah don’t want you sleepin’ in and missin’ yer game day with Button and Rumble.”

Spike smiled and nuzzled his cheek into hers. “Worth it.”