Chaos Brought Together
Miseria’s cheeks tinted with a light blush when he leaned down to whisper in her ear. “What--”
"You know, I think this night was not so bad after all.”
She gave him a delighted smile and cuddled a bit closer with him. “Oh, I’m so glad!”
“Heh, heh. Are you, now?”
“Of course! I want it to be the best it can be, brother. I’ve been waiting for a long time to meet you, so I want to make sure that you’re comfortable. It makes me so happy to know that you like it!”
Discord chuckled again as he patted her head. “Makes me happy too, to have such an understanding little one to talk to.”
“Right? Oh, am I glad you get it!” She jumped into the air and danced around, no longer hiding any of her features. “Do you like how I dance, brother?”
“Oh, it looks lovely, darling.” Discord smile as he kept his eyes fixed on her while she laughed and moved in the air.
She giggled and stepped closer to him. “Okay. Since we're having our own little get-together here..." She tapped her hoof in the air. It sounded as though her hoof had tapped a solid surface.
Discord blinked and looked at Miseria as she tapped her hoof. “Miseria? What are you--” His ear twitched a bit as music surrounded the area, and he saw self-playing instruments float around them.
The music was exquisite, much better than that of the ball in the palace.
Miseria appeared beside him. She wore a glittering silver dress, her mane was tied up at the back of her head. She also wore diamond earrings and a necklace to match her gown.
Discord was nearly breathless as he stared at her. I don’t know what she went on about earlier, she looks absolutely...
Discord sighed and smiled again as Miseria floated in the air before him. Gorgeous... “Hmm...?”
She smiled and stretched out her hoof toward him as he blinked again. "How about a dance?"
He smiled at her temptative outfit and stance once she lowered back on the ground. "Ohohoh." An elegant black tuxedo appear on him at the snap of his fingers.
The colored floor turned into solid-painted wood that shined with a polished finish under the moonlight.
He took Miseria by her hoof, and bowed a bit before he stepped closer to her. "It would be my pleasure, dearest."
She held a giggle in with her other hoof, then leaned closer to him. “Brother...”
And so their dance began.
The guards and Modest looked upwards as their ears sensed the faint sound.
Modest frowned as he looked around with a puzzled expression. "Is... Is that... music?”
Twilight quickly looked at the forest. Music?
Rarity nodded. “Oh, it definitely is. I would know that piece anywhere--”
Applejack scratched her head. “What in tarnation is music doin’ over there? Ya know, in a dark, scary forest that’s surrounded by painful magic and all?”
Luna shook her head. “It’s far into the forest... We won’t be able to at least see what’s going on inside. The barrier covers all of this area, it’s just, unbelievable...”
Twilight sat down and tapped her head with her hoof as she thought. First the barrier, then the earthquake, now mus--wait. Discord was the one who did an earthquake before he left the palace... His powers got out of control because he was upset... Then the barrier... Discord’s magic grows even greater with his anger or upset emotions... Then an earthquake again, and now random stuff...
She sighed and frowned as she looked at the others. Seems like an awful lot of Discordism to me...
Discord transformed the floor again as they took a small break. That time, it changed colors brightly.
Miseria giggled as she looked at the floor. “Ooh, lovely. I’ve always liked a bit of colorful flash...”
He appeared cider cups over them, and they poured the sweet liquid like sprinkled rain.
Miseria laughed as Discord twirled her under the cider rain and continued to dance with her. “Brother, stop! Oh, you are spoiling me.”
“Don’t you just love that, my dear? I think you certainly deserve it.”
Miseria blushed as she leaned back on Discord’s arms. She smiled and nodded. “Yes. I do love it.” She turned and let him hold her back, then move on to the next music piece. “Let’s see more of it, brother!”
Celestia seemed a bit confused. "Just what is happening in there...?" She tried in vain to make sense of what was happening in the forest, far out of their reach.
From that long and mysterious distance, the smell and colors could be detected, and they only confused them all a lot more than they already were. Everything seemed as though a party or event was hosted deep inside the forest, so hidden that even the pegasi couldn’t find anything when they searched over the air. But, if it was a simple party... Why the powerful barrier? Why the earthquake that nearly hurt her guards?
Celestia frowned and touched the area where the spell was cast with her hoof. She grunted when she was pushed back, though that time she was able to remain on her hooves, albeit in plenty of pain.
"...Somehow the spell just got stronger. We won’t even push through it anymore."
"Sister, I really have a feeling that Discord is in there. He's nowhere else, perhaps..." Luna’s tone grew a bit quieter. “Maybe he is involved in this after all... He suddenly disappeared from the palace, without telling anypony...” She glanced aside. Though that might have been because...
Celestia walked past Luna and looked down at the ground as she thought. He might be inside the forest, yes... But what would he be doing there...? That earthquake at the palace... It was him, wasn't it? There’s no doubt... Him being involved in all of this... I don’t want to believe that... I really don’t believe that he would be capable of this spell, even if he does have the power of Chaos. Nor would he be responsible for the underground explosion, but...
She sighed and shook her head. I just can’t be so naive anymore... I have to face the facts for what they are... For what they unfortunately might be.
She looked up at the barrier. “Well, we’ll just continue to search around the forest, be alert and watch out for anything that appears within it. We’ll also take several turns casting spells at this barrier. It might not break it, but it probably will make it weaker.”
Luna looked at her. “Well, we definitely will grow weaker.”
“We’ll take it easy and rest while others take over. There is not much else that we can try. While we’re at it, we also need to make sure that things don’t go out of hoof back with the citizens. Luna, I’ll stay here for a few more hours. You go to the council and supervise their dealing with this situation. Please make sure that there is no panic or drastic measures.”
“You got it.” Luna opened her wings and flew away, towards the palace.
Celestia turned back to the guard and continued to give instructions along with Modest.
One of the cadets glanced around before paying attention to the music. "It's... It's got a good tune..."
Twilight gave the guard a glance as she raised an eyebrow. Seriously?
Pinkie Pie smiled and stepped forward as she tried to hear the music better. "Ooh! Yes! It’s great for dancing together with somepony! And that smell, it's--it's like--"
"Yeah, cider, Pinkie, we get it." Rainbow Dash rubbed her wing, which had been hurt after her third attempt to fly over the forest. "What’s the deal with this barrier anyway? What's it keeping in, or away?"
Celestia sighed as the powerful barrier spell glowed for just a few seconds before it turned invisible again. "...My only guess is Discord himself..."
Twilight looked at the Princess. "Discord?" I was starting to think that, too...
She watched as her friends talked among themselves after the Princess left to speak to the unicorn guards.
He... He did seem quite upset when he saw the Princess dancing with Prince Modest... But... Chaotic as he was, I never actually saw him hurt anypony... Is he even capable of doing anything to hurt after all this time? This barrier seems downright mean, not to mention dangerous... That’s not what Chaos is about anymore... Is it?
Rainbow Dash winced as she accidentally flapped her wings in anger. "Ow! Ohhh... I knew that no-good Discord was behind this! He's tricking us again, isn't he?!"
Fluttershy sniffed and shook her head. She looked up at her pegasus friend. "N-Now, now, let's not be so quick to judge. P-Perhaps he just needs some time, I told you it was probably too soon for him to--"
Rarity stepped forward as she looked at the rainbow-maned pegasus. "Rainbow, don't jump to conclusions, dear. Fluttershy did an excellent work in reforming Discord, we must have no doubt of that. There's no way he'd trick us again, especially not Fluttershy.”
Rainbow Dash gave her a look. “But--”
“Now, darling. He’s probably just taking a bit of the night to himself. It's only been a few days, after all. He was bound to need a breather sooner or later.”
"E-Exactly. Besides, this is all too sudden for him, all this proximity--”
Applejack walked closer to the others. "He just got a mite scared, is all. Everypony bein' so close to him all of a sudden must've gotten to ‘im, y’know.”
Twilight rolled her eyes and glanced aside with her brow furrowed. Along with other things...
Fluttershy lifted one of her front hooves as she looked at Applejack. "Y-Yeah, Applejack’s right. Also, we don't know if the spell is actually--"
Pinkie Pie looked up at the forest. “Well, isn’t he the only one that can make strong magic appear just like that, all of a sudden?”
Twilight stepped forward as she looked at the others. "Well, we're still not certain if this spell is actually his to begin with. Or, if he's actually there. We can’t pin the spell on him just because it’s powerful and sudden.
“Th-Thank you, Twilight--”
Twilight smiled a little as she looked up at the dark, tall trees that were blocked from their reach. “If we can't get through it anytime soon, we'll just have to wait for the appropriate time to get our answers.”
Fluttershy nodded in quiet agreement.
Celestia gave everypony a kind smile. “Exactly, Twilight. Everypony, let’s just finish this for the night, there are other matters to attend to. Thank you for your efforts and your time. You are all dismissed, only the assigned guards may stay out here and continue to work until your shift is over.”
She sighed as she watched the dismissed ponies leave. She then turned to give the forest a worried look. I hope you haven’t gotten into something bad, Discord. Not... Not again.
Miseria chuckled as she looked at Discord when the smell of cider and fresh flowers covered them.
He had appeared flowers of all glowing materials around them, and they smelled wonderfully, regardless of what they were made of.
"Oh, you mischievous spirit, you.” She smiled with satisfaction as he held her again and lowered her down on her back, close to the floor.
"Heh. Well, hardly my fault, dear. You just seem to bring out the chaos inside me." He turned their coats into a dim diamond tone. He smiled when he saw the delight in Miseria’s face as the lights glistened and reflected off them.
"I'll take that as a compliment. For I, too, wish to be the embodiment of Chaos and Disharmony, big brother.” She chuckled again when Discord twirled her. "For a chaotic spirit, you are an excellent dancer."
Discord laughed at the compliment that was no longer new for him. “I don't remember having so much fun since...!" He suddenly stopped dancing as his smile faded, and his body slumped with the pain of the memories.
His lighted floor turned back to grass, the cider disappeared, and their coats turned back to normal.
He stepped back as his head suddenly pounded, and his chest felt crushed again. He was once more plagued with unwelcome, but familiar sensations that he had known since before he was turned to stone... either of the two times.
"Ugh, why won’t she come out of my head...?!" He closed his eyes and held his head as he sat down.
Miseria looked around as the chaotic magic vanished. She sighed and looked at him. Brother... She stood up and walked to him just as she vanished her dress and accessories, letting her mane fall freely at her sides again. “Oh, my poor, poor big brother...”
She stood in front of him as he continued to hold his head and mutter to himself. "So she's the reason you were so sad before... I feel really bad for you."
Discord looked at her as she leaned closer to him and supported her front hooves on his lizard leg. She looked so small once again, so beautiful as always, so loving... He could not bare look at her when his mind was filled with wretched thoughts. “Miseria, just...”
She patted his leg with her hoof as she looked down. "Discord, brother, I wish I could help you better..."
He did not see her frown as he continued to wallow in those unhappy thoughts that haunted him.
As she watched him, Miseria began to feel great dislike towards the Princess of the Sun, even if she had only caught a few glimpses of her. Some good princess she is...
She continued to try to comfort Discord. “There, there... Just don’t think about her anymore, you’ll be okay...”
“Heh. You sound just like Fluttershy, dear. Quite comforting...”
Miseria blinked. “Just like who?” She frowned just slightly and held his face. “Brother, no. I’m...”
She noticed that the sky had changed out of its dark color as morning set in. ...Daytime. Great...
He sighed and patted Miseria’s head, paying no mind as she tried to comfort him. “Now--”
“Discord, wait.” She surprised him as she turned into her adolescent alicorn form, still holding her face in her hooves. “Let me speak, okay, dear?”
He smiled as she patted his face. “Sure, my dear... You go ahead and say anything you want.”
“Good. Thank you.” She nuzzled against him as he sighed. Her face turned a bit determined as she faced the ground while she nuzzled him. "...I will do everything in my power to help you, big brother. Anything."
She kissed his cheek and giggled at his flustered reaction again. "I think it is time for you to go now, unfortunately.” She fluttered her wings slightly and held his paw with her hooves. “Will I see you here some other night?"
He blushed and stuttered as he continued to stare at her, into her hopeful eyes. "I-I..." He cleared his throat and chuckled. "Of course, Miseria. We’ll meet every night, for as long as you wish." He gave her a reassuring smile, then blinked as he suddenly held a much younger mare that immediately sprang out of his arms.
“Yes!! Eeeek! Yes, I’m so glad! Oh, I’m so glad, you’re gonna come back, brother’s gonna come again to play!! I’m so happy, so happy, this is great!!!” She squealed and jumped in the air for a few times before she flew back to him and hugged him tightly.
“Ngh, Miseria, I said I’d come, but--”
“Good, then! I can’t wait to see you tomorrow night! I’ll have plenty of things to entertain you with. I’ll be practicing, I promise! Oh, brother, it’ll be so much fun!” She stepped back when she finally let him go. “Don’t be late.”
He sighed and patted her head. “I won't, dear. You’ll see, we’ll have lots of fun when I come back. I’m so happy to have found you, Miseria.”
She nudged him forward after she rubbed herself against him. “It was meant to be, brother. We’re Chaos brought together! Now you gotta go, before anypony starts wondering about you.” She waved at him as he floated up in the air.
He then flew away with his wings, passing through the barrier with ease. He decided to rest on the castle's rooftops without any interruptions from anypony, wanting to use the lone time to ponder about Miseria.
Celestia walked back to the palace, still thinking hard about what had happened.
The spell wouldn’t go down anytime soon, but everything else seemed normal. She even had to prepare herself to raise the sun as was her duty.
But, even with all the routine intact... She couldn’t stop thinking about Discord, and the reason why he would have run off into the forest. If he had indeed responsible for the barrier, why would he have cast such a spell to keep everypony out? Again, if he was responsible.
She held her head and sighed as exhaustion threatened to take her over. The damage that she had taken from that spell and the stress was taking its toll as well.
A white stallion with a gray mane and beard stood in front of the princess’ room. "Your Grace? It is me, Wiser." The princess' personal counselor knocked on the door again. His voice was weary but firm.
Celestia lifted her head from the pillows and groaned. Now this, too... She got up from the bed and walked to her desk to make herself presentable.
“Are you alright in there, princess?”
“Yes, I’m fine. Do come in, Wiser...” She levitated the letters of the day and placed them on her desk.
He entered the room and knelt as he spoke. "Your Grace, I am here to report some recent incidents regarding our visitor... And the influence that he has spread around the subjects of the realm."
Celestia frowned, then looked at him. “What? What are you talking about?” Even before he thoroughly explained, she already knew he was talking about Discord.
Wiser stood up once Celestia nodded her approval. "The high-class lords already rumor that the earthquake was caused by Discord's magic. This is placing doubt amongst the citizens. They’re starting to question if we are in fact prepared to live in true harmony with the draconequus.”
“Some have suggested a solution, to which, if I may say, I concur... As methods of extra precaution for an unprecedented event, such as that of last night."
She raised an eyebrow and spoke with a slightly hesitant tone. “And that solution is?”
"We should 'house' Prince Modest, as a royal guest. We must allow him to be a part of Canterlot's social events. The charm of his presence calms the citizens’ tense mood, which would be highly benefiting for us, if we want to avoid unnecessary problems and protests.”
“Princess Celestia, the council and I have agreed that the draconequus, I'm afraid, is still not suited to become a part of the social integration without proper supervision. It was much too early, with all due respect. Now we have more problems to deal with, and if we continue to ignore them..."
Celestia nodded as she looked out the window. “Yes... I agree that it may have been too early for Discord to come to something like this.”
Wiser looked at her as she turned her attention to him again.
“Very well, Wiser. Your idea seems appropriate. I will suggest it to the prince after breakfast today. Tell me, how is everything now? I sensed earlier that the spell disappeared in the forest.”
"Our troops outside the forest scouted the area as soon as the spell vanished. They found nothing. No trace of cider, nor sources of the light beams. Not even a single instrument. The one responsible for the spell was long gone. Should something of odd occurrence have happened, no trace was left behind.”
“As I thought...” And expected.
“We tried to find Discord for interrogation, but he is nowhere in sight. And with all due respect, Your Grace, his attitude towards soldiers and authority figures is still rather mocking to say the least.”
“Oh...” She rubbed her eyes as she tried to pay attention to Wiser as he spoke. This all sounds just like Dust Tail and the others... That thought suddenly snapped her into full awareness, for she remembered that Dust Tail and the others had been right about Discord after all.
“He refuses to even acknowledge their authority standing. It seems he has no respect for anypony but Fluttershy and yourself, princess."
Celestia quickly stifled a yawn and nodded in understanding. Luna’s so lucky, she gets to rest for... well, as many hours that she needs to rest... "That's Discord, alright... It's always been like that, even when he was Wilder. There was nothing any of us could do to change that. I doubt there’ll be anything... to do now..."
Wiser raised an eyebrow as she looked at the weary princess. “Your Highness?”
She cleared her throat, surprised and hurt at the mention of that name. She shook her head. Why did I even mention that...? I must be more tired than I thought... "Don’t worry. I’ll try to speak to Discord about it when I have the chance, or have Luna help me with it. She was the one who convinced me to send his invitation along with Fluttershy's, so she might as well help handle this. Is that all, Wiser?"
"I believe so, your grace. The servants should have breakfast ready for you soon. You'd best make haste on preparing yourself to deliver the news to Prince Modest." With a slight bow, he turned on his hooves and left the princess' chambers.
Celestia sighed and watched him leave with a blank look. “Fine... Well, that shouldn’t be too hard. The prince seemed friendly enough, I’m sure he’ll comply well... Wiser, we’ll be happy to have...” Before she knew it, she was slumped on her desk, breathing evenly as she drifted off into a tired sleep, forgetting all about the worries and events during the sleepless night, and the reports that followed.