Revelations in the Labyrinth- The Generous Forgotten
Rarity’s path was dark as can be. Even the light from her horn was barely enough for her to see over obstacles on the ground and in front of her. Regardless of the poor vision, she walked frantically, for she wished to get as far away from the place as she could.
“Keep it together, Rarity. Keep yourself together! Just… Hurry up and find the others. The moment we find the princesses, it’ll be over! Oh, I’ll be able to go back home, to a warm, relaxing bath, maybe a refreshing facial, a pony-pedi, a massage, and then to cuddle with Opal! That will be divine… B-but first I have to be smart and get out of here.”
She walked further while encouraging herself and staying out of the plants’ reach. “I shan’t allow myself to fall prey to this evil and morbid labyrinth! Not again, not ever!” She touched her forehead dramatically, then walked faster. “That’s right. The sooner I get to the end… The sooner we’ll all be--”
Her progress was interrupted when she noticed than none other than Miseria had appeared a short distance before her. “What?! Ahh!” She was startled by the sudden apparition, and had to dig her hooves into the ground to keep herself from crashing against the mismatched alicorn.
“Whew! About time you made it. I’ve been waiting for a while, you know. I was just about to snack on these… I was so bored.” Miseria let a small yawn, then lifted a box full of beautiful jewels. She smiled and winked at Rarity, then licked her lips.
Rarity let out a shocked gasp. “Y-you were going… to eat… those?!” She pointed at the jewels with her hoof and stared at them with disbelief. I must have heard wrong, of course. She wouldn’t be so… “Th-they’re beautiful! And there’s so many of them, too… Oh, you simply could--would not--commit such an atrocity!”
Miseria smirked and gave her a smug look. “Why not? They’re just rocks. Nothing compared to my beauty. In fact, I should be insulted--you pay more attention to these rocks than you do to me.” She made a dramatic gesture with her hoof, then looked down upon Rarity again.
The white unicorn opened her eyes wide and nearly screamed when Miseria began to crunch down on one of the precious gemstones. They had such a beautiful shine, and were so lovely that she would have cherished them greatly! All the wonderful dresses that she could have made with those adornments…
“Wh-what… What… What do you think you’re doing?! If you don’t care for them, you could at least… Oh, I don’t know, just…!” She let out an irritated sigh and turned around. “Forget it. That I worry myself over your jewels, how ridiculous! Perish the thought!”
She frowned indignantly with her eyes closed, then tried to walk past Miseria. “I really do hope those jewels suit you well. Bon appetit. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must get going.”
Miseria sighed. “These things are really just junk, Rarity. Why do you bother with them? Why do you care for them?” She tossed the box of jewels over her shoulder, then approached Rarity again. “You know what else is junk? You. All of you. You’re not even worth my time. Maybe I should just move on to Discord…”
Rarity nodded. “Yes, perhaps you should. After all, if I’m worth so little, there should be no need for the lady to waste time here! Right? Do go on to worthier opponents. I’ll just stay here and be on my way, wallowing in my unworthiness.”
“None of you are worth this game...”
Rarity lost her patience and glared at her to protest. “Why do you make us go through this, then?! Just leave us alone and pester someone else! Discord would put up such a fine match with you!”
Miseria giggled. “Discord?! Don’t be silly…”
Rarity tried to move away from her, without much success. “Why do you pick on us like this? We have done absolutely nothing to you! Get out of my way, you’re just trying to annoy me!”
“Because it’s fun! Do I need another reason? I’m bored and want to find something to do before I destroy everything and everypony that you ever knew. It’s actually a very fun game… To break you all into little pieces. I should have thought of it sooner, but that would have ruined everything…”
“You… You’re just using us for your games…”
“Duh! That’s all ponies should be used for! You’re all such a joke.”
Rarity took a deep breath, suppressing an angry hiss. She stepped forward and tried to contain her anger and frustration. She wanted to get her hooves on that little mocking creature so badly…
Easy, Rarity. That’s all she wants, and you won’t give her that satisfaction. I am a lady, and I will behave as such. She won’t get the best of me… Keep your composure, girl. There’s more important things to do. She sighed and looked at Miseria again. Honestly, she also was afraid of even putting one of her hooves on that… thing, whatever it was.
“Not much of a difference, is there? ‘Using’, ‘playing’... Whatever… Oh, and then there’s destruction, too! Heh, you all will make great subjects for that. In fact, I’d say you’ll be among the first to go.”
“Ooh, you are certainly the most selfish, arrogant, mean… thing! That I have ever--”
Miseria glared at Rarity and threw her back with the force of her magic. “I’m not a ‘thing’, for your information. I have a name; it’s Miseria!” She folded her legs and continued to float in the air. “The only reason I am like this… With this attitude that you call ‘selfish’ and ‘arrogant’... is because, unlike you, I am beautiful enough to be so and get away with it. Besides, it’s not even selfishness! I think of myself and make myself happy… so that I can make others happy!”
“Make others happy?! Why don’t you stop talking nonsense?!”
“YES--MAKE THEM HAPPY!” Miseria snapped and glared at Rarity, then forced her back up roughly. “Ever thought about how I felt when my brother turned his ugly, traitorous back on me?! No, you didn’t, did you?!”
She slammed her against the ground once again. “You don’t know anything, like always! Except how pretty your mane is. None of you ever think about the ‘bad’ one! Only about yourselves, and you call me selfish! Who do you think you are?! You don’t have that right! I helped him as much as I could--I made him feel good about himself, no matter how he was or what he did! I worked so hard to prepare that surprise to him… And… I worked even harder to lower my powers so that they could match his! It was so difficult to keep myself at his level so I wouldn’t hurt or destroy him…”
Rarity pulled away from the vines that held her, then scooted away from Miseria.
“He would have been happy being just the way he truly is, without any changes, if he had chosen me. But no! He had to go and fall for the pretty spoiled princess, didn’t he?! He had to become her pathetic toy and… and even be willing to fight me because of her! He’s such an idiot! So stupid! And if there’s anybody to blame for manipulation, it’s her! She always ruins everything--she took him away from me!”
Rarity stared at her with shock and caution. Though she was still mad, she tried to understand what Miseria was talking about. “You… You care for Discord? You actually…”
Miseria glared at her again and hid a small blush. “No! Of course I don’t! Why would I care for that lying, worthless, spineless failure?! I gave him a chance and he blew it--tough for him! I already moved on, to have my fun with you little ponies. It’s so entertaining to play around with creatures as stupid and naive as you. Not to mention ugly… Heh. Ironic, isn’t it? That a beauty like me stoops down to your wretched level.”
“Oh, please don’t make me laugh. You could never even hope to be beautiful.”
“Of course I am! The most beautiful creature that ever was and will be in Equestria, if I may say so myself. You could never rival me. That is why I act like this. Because I deserve it.”
She laid down on a floating pillow of expensive feathers that appeared beneath her. Levitating golden fans also fanned her while she stretched.
“Ooh, it’s lunch time.” She clapped her hooves to appear a pile of new gemstones in front of her. They happened to be the organized, prepared collection that Rarity kept in her supply drawers.
“Hey! Stop it--put those down! They’re mine!”
“Not anymore.” Miseria put the gemstones in a cup and shook it a little. When the jewels turned into a colorful, sparkling liquid, she drank it, then ate the glass. She also appeared some of Rarity’s dresses to use as napkins. “Besides… Aren’t you supposed to be the Element of Generosity? So be generous and share some of your tacky things with your queen. She’ll give them better use."
“You don’t deserve to be granted any generosity! You’re a terrible monster! A-a--”
Miseria rolled her eyes and sighed when Rarity started off her rant. She couldn’t care less what the glamorous unicorn had to say. She kept blowing off steam like a whistling teapot!
Finally, she had enough. “Listen, to me. I may be a monster, but guess who’s the queen here now? Me! I can do whatever I please! Generosity is for those that have nothing else to do, nothing else to keep to their name, nothing to be remembered by but their so-called ‘humble heart’!”
Rarity stepped back when Miseria almost struck her with her magic. She was about to protest again, but stayed quiet when she saw a threatening glare in the ‘queen’s’ eyes.
“Even though you may not have a hair of humility, nopony will ever remember you for anything else except your Element. But even that fake fame will wear off after a while, and you’ll be old, alone, and unknown. You know why? Because you were too busy giving and doing silly things for others that you never bothered to care for the only pony that really mattered: you.”
Rarity scoffed and turned away from while shifting in her hooves. “Don’t be ridiculous. I know I am important, and I do display that. I do it through my work, and even through my friends! They help me feel the most importance with the good things that they have to offer. Being important and brilliantly fashion-cultured--as I know that I am--does not make anypony around me less worthy of consideration and good treatment! Unlike you, I respect them because they see me with respect and the same considerate thoughts.”
“Hmm… Funny, ‘cause that’s not what others seem to think.” Miseria grinned, then snickered.
Rarity was quite exasperated and irritated by then. “Listen, Selfish Queen, you’re not going to make me doubt on what I am and what I define as generous to offer, thank you very much. So you can take your--”
Miseria smirked and tapped her hoof to make both of them appear in Canterlot.
It was a beautiful day, and everypony wore fabulous clothes from astonishing and very well-known designers. Rarity could recognize almost all of them, and her jaw almost fell open when she spotted all the celebrities that had contributed to such an event, also wearing the best and most popular of attires.
“These… These are so good! When did we… When did these…?” Rarity couldn’t even complete her sentences while she admired all the different styles of designs. She recognized some, and admired the glory and beauty of others for the first time.
Everypony looked radiant in those designs, but none seemed familiar, in the sense of any design being her own work. “That’s… Well, a bit odd…”
Miseria floated down by Rarity’s side while she looked at one of the gala style gowns. “Look at that… Hoity Toity promoted them all! He has great designer acquaintances that he gave huge boosts to.”
“Y-you don’t say…”
Miseria giggled and held the dress up with her magic once she stood on the ground. Then she looked up at Rarity and nodded. “Yup! Everypony that knows him now displays their very best work at the most remarked stores. Nopony talks of anything else--these new fashion lines are everything!”
She walked back to another store and tried on a light pink scarf. “I do have to say so myself, look at this! Simply fabulous, isn’t it?”
She had moved on to a glittering, dark-green gown that complimented the beauty of her upper body. She let out a sigh once she looked at herself in the mirror.
Rarity’s eyes widened with glee while she smiled. “Hoity Toity really… Did he really do that? That’s… Oh, my, that’s… I can’t believe it, the honor… I mean, just imagine…”
Miseria blinked and looked back at Rarity. “Oh, yeah! I think I should mention a little something…” She put her hooves together, then smiled a little. “See, good, old Hoity Toity did promote every designer… Every designer except for you.”
Rarity gasped and quickly turned to look at Miseria. She had heard wrong--again. She said that Hoity Toity promoted everypony… Everypony that he knows. He knows me! I worked so hard for him… “B-but… But…”
Miseria put a hoof around Rarity’s shoulders. “You were too busy being generous to your friends, Rarity. You let the most important due date of a designer’s lifetime pass you by.” She modeled in front of a mirror while she spoke to the shocked white unicorn behind her. “Hey, do you think this would go well with a hat? I do prefer dark colors that contrast my light coat…”
Rarity shook her head, taking deep breaths to compose herself. “What… Wh-what are you talking about?!”
Miseria rolled her eyes. “Well, duh! C’mon, I’m not Celestia. Why would I want to look so flashy and overdone when I’m already so beautiful that I sparkle!” She lifted in the air to show off her beautiful attire. Her coat took on the shimmer of diamonds just as a fluffy fur scarf appeared around her neck. “Ooh, lovely~”
“You know very well that’s not what I meant!” Rarity stomped her hoof on the ground again and glared at Miseria quite intensely while the mismatched alicorn continued to ignore her.
“Oh. The friends thing. Geez, you’re so boring! For a pony interested in fashion you really are hopeless and utterly insipid.” Miseria waved her hoof aside and disappeared both the mirror and the outfit that she had worn. “Why am I wasting my time here…?”
“Get on with your senseless games already! We don’t have any time to lose! You really are ending my patience. It’s about time somepony puts you in your place! Get on with it!”
Miseria giggled and tapped her hoof in the air. “Alright, posh lady. As you wish…” She smirked and floated back beside Rarity to look at the anticipated show that awaited the unicorn.
Rarity gasped when she saw the scenes of all the times that she put so much effort into making good quality outfits for her friends. “What’s the meaning of this? I--”
“My goodness, look at all that wasted time! Oh, that simply wouldn’t do at all…” Miseria shook her head and let out a disappointed sigh while she watched.
Rainbow Dash quickly approached Rarity at her shop. “Rarity! I’ve got an emergency! Listen, there’s going to be this dance thing at the Wonderbolts Academy. I usually wouldn’t worry about it and just go and be cool and have fun and whatever, but--but this time, it’s different! Everypony’s gonna be there, all the Wonderbolts are gonna be right with us! They’re--they’re gonna be at the dance! I don’t know what to wear that doesn’t make me look lame or cheesy. I want it to be cool enough for the Wonderbolts, for the party and the dance! There’s that dress that you made--”
“Oh, but darling, that is so last season! You’ve come to the right pony for this. I’ll get you something good to wear in no time.” Rarity smiled at her friend, then blinked when she saw a strange envelope in her mail. It looked like an important notification. “Hm? What is this, now?”
Twilight walked into the shop with a smile. “I was wondering if you could help me, Rarity. I hope I’m not intruding, but you see… I’m having a very important audience with the princesses and the Royal Council in the afternoon. It really will mean a lot if you could help me… You’ve always--”
“Twilight dear, I assure you you’ll look your very best! It’s the least I’ve got to do for a good friend! I’m going to dress you in such a way that your magic won’t be the only thing that impresses them!” As she turned around to choose the fabric, Rarity was surprised by another addition to her correspondence. “Oh! A designer’s summon? That’s so strange!”
“Ehh, funny how you y’all talk about impressin’ there, Rarity. There’s this, uh, Apple family reunion that we’re doin’ in Fillydelphia, see. Granny Smith wants me to meet this, uh, relative three or four times removed or somethin’.” Applejack blushed a bit, feeling a bit uncomfortable. “She insisted for some reason that Ah dress to impress. But, you know, y’all don’t have to work so hard if--”
“Oh, Applejack, don’t worry. You’ll leave that gentlecolt begging to get a chance to come here to Ponyville himself, just to see you!” Rarity gave her a reassuring nod while her horn glowed with her magic, and she pulled out fabric colors that suited Applejack. “Just you wait, my friend!”
Applejack tapped her hoof on the floor awkwardly as she blushed again. “Aw, shucks. Thanks, Rarity, you’re mighty kind as always.”
“A-And, speaking of kindness, Rarity…? I’m sorry, but... Could you please make something nice for Angel to wear? I-If you’re not too busy, of course. I wouldn’t want to disturb you.” Fluttershy nudged Angel in front of her, then looked up at Rarity. “See, he’s going to visit some bunny friends, and I wouldn’t want him to feel uncomfortable with first impressions. I know that wearing something that a friend made for him will give him much confidence. And I couldn’t think of a better pony to do it. Please? I-If you’re not, well, if you’re free...”
“Oh, you’ve got it, Fluttershy! I just need to reply to this notification and--” Rarity lifted her mail with her magic. However, she grunted and fell down a few seconds later, tackled by her perky, pink earth pony friend.
“Rarity! Tell me what to wear, please! You gotta help me!” Pinkie Pie said, standing over Rarity for a few seconds before the white mare pushed her off.
“D-do you need a dress?”
“I already have a dress, I just need you. I really, really need you to help me pick what to wear!”
“Pinkie! But-- if you already have a nice--”
“Come and tell me, tell me, tell me! I can’t choose on my own! The Cakes are finally taking me to one of their deliveries! I wanna look all nice and everything!” Pinkie Pie pressed Rarity quite eagerly, and literally cornered her against the wall.
“But Pinkie, you can choose a dress yourself, I’m in the middle of--”
“You’ve helped everypony else, I’m just asking you for a teensy little bit of a favor!”
Rarity sighed with quite some annoyance. “Alright, I’ll do it...” She glanced aside and scooted away when Pinkie Pie burst out in happiness and thanked her quickly.
Miseria watched as the scenes of Rarity busting her back for all of her friends played around the both of them, followed by those of the important due dates of Rarity’s own interest passing by, completely unnoticed. “Ohh…”
Rarity gave her a look. “What? What is it?!”
“All that time passed… And you never attended any of those important conferences. Such a shame. Maybe you would have at least gotten to the top twenty. Tsk, tsk, tsk, what a disappointment...”
One of the ponies in Canterlot approached another. Even though they were standing almost right beside Rarity and Miseria, they did not notice them. “Hey, you ever heard of that Rarity designer in Ponyville?”
“I don’t know, I heard about that awhile ago. Made me curious about her and her works...”
“There’s a designer in Ponyville?” Another pony asked while approaching the two. “Now that’s something you don’t hear of every day…”
“Heh, heh. Nah. Oh, please. It’s probably a town tale or something.”
Rarity gasped, frozen with horror. “To.. Town… ‘Town tale’?! No! I’m real! I’m Rarity! This can’t be! It couldn’t! There’s no way I’m that unpopular! No!” She started crying as the ponies passed by her, leaving her completely unnoticed. “I can’t be ruined, I can’t! This can’t be happening to me!”
She looked up at the ponies with tears in her eyes, but noticed that they only looked at her with disgust and moved away from the dresses of her making that laid now scattered across the ground.
They turned their face upwards and trampled them down into the dirt and mud, using them to wipe their hooves while they laughed, chatted, and went about their day.
“N-no, please be careful with that, it’s one of--ooh, please watch it! No! Sir, I beg you, please do reconsider! This will make a wonderful matching suit for your madame’s gala dress!” Rarity panted and looked at the ponies desperately. She burst into tears and held her dresses close to her. “Please! I didn’t do anything wrong, leave me alone!!”
Miseria giggled and made her shiver and flinch. “You are alone, idiot. Alone and destitute. Forgotten. Completely out of your place. It’s where all this ‘generosity’ gets you. You gave them all.” She smirked and watched Rarity break down once she was through with the illusions.
She twirled her element necklace in her hoof. “That was too entertaining. Heh, heh! It felt great to put that pretty wannabe in her place!” She nodded and then swallowed the Element, making a bit of a face. “Doesn’t taste much different than those gemstones…”
Discord now had Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Fluttershy, all limp and fast asleep under his arms. “This is unbelievable...” He blinked when he found Rarity, trapped in the same broken-down state as the others.
“Rarity?” He passed his tail over her horror-struck face and saw no response. “Rarity. Can you hear me?”
Rarity gasped and buried her face in her hooves, whimpering. “My life’s work… It’s over… I just wanted… I just wanted to… I thought I was doing everything right… Why didn’t they tell me anything?!”
Discord blinked and stepped back so that Rarity wouldn’t pounce on him. “C-calm down!”
“Those traitors! They cost me my beloved work! No! Where are they to help me now?!”
“Ugh… Miseria, she… She’s really going too far!” He floated over Rarity and snapped the end of his tail before her face, to make her fall unconscious. He caught her and rolled her up in his tail, holding her close to Fluttershy.
“Didn’t even give them time to get to the end, didn’t even give them a chance to fight back before she took their elements. I know I’m no saint to talk, Miseria, but this level of manipulation is just too much!”
He moved his head to glance at the ponies worriedly and checked them to make sure they still were undisturbed. Good, they’re still sleeping soundly. Hadn’t it been for my spell, they would’ve lost their minds...
“Alright, girls. Enjoy a nice, calming nap while I get that cheating trickster down to the place where she belongs. Oh, won’t be long, now. She’s starting to get it. How cornered she is… At least I can give her that much credit.”
He smirked, then vanished into light again to move on, for there were two more ponies to rescue.