Plan for A Princess’ Heart
Discord woke up after an hour of sleep. He yawned and stretched himself as he opened his eyes, then said nothing as he spotted Twilight Sparkle in the room.
...Why is she here? Hmm... Whatever, no matter what she wants or what she says... Fluttershy’s the only one I can more or less trust, I gotta remember that... But really, what does Twilight Sparkle want with... me, most likely? She should be sucking up to Celestia, shouldn't she?
Twilight sighed as she nearly finished the overly romantic novel.
Discord gave the unicorn a dull look as she continued to read without acknowledging his existence. Talk about an egghead. He stretched again, then stood up on the bed.
His tail accidentally tapped the lamp on the bedside table, making the smallest noise when it nudged it back a few centimeters.
Twilight grimaced and rubbed her ears. “Ahh.” She looked aside at him. “Good, you’re awake. Don’t do that, you’ll wake somepony.” She stood up from the pillow where she laid to read and put the book back on the shelf. Talk about an overrated work...
“You’re already done with that?”
“Eh, I’ll finish it later.” Not that I look forward to it, really. “Discord, I have to talk to you. About something... important, most definitely.”
He blinked and looked down at Fluttershy, who was still fast asleep. He carefully slipped away from her. "Well, let's talk outside. I don't wish to wake Fluttershy up.”
“Alright, let’s get going. I’ve already waited long enough.”
Discord sighed and followed her out. He started to feel a bit concerned and anxious about what Twilight might bring up to him. What on earth does she want now...? Didn’t she screw up enough last night?
Twilight remained silent as they walked down the hall. She stared ahead the whole time, never giving him so much as a glance, even though she knew that attitude only made him even more nervous.
She sighed when they finally got to her own room, which looked more like a study room--a lot like the library in Ponyville. “Okay, we’re here--”
“What do you want, Twilight Sparkle? I really don’t feel like being in a library... I don’t know what you like about them.” Discord folded his arms. “What did you want to talk about?”
“It’s about you and Princess Celestia. To recap, I learned all about what happened in the past, and I understand what’s going on now. Look, I know I may not be the best adviser for these things--”
Discord raised an eyebrow as he looked at her again. “Oh, REALLY? I wonder what brought on that knowledge. Perhaps the horrible fiasco that last night turned out to be?”
She grimaced, then glared at him. “Discord, you have no right to judge me when all I did was try my best with what I was offered in such a short time. You’re the one who came to me begging for help in the first place!”
Discord looked aghast after he gasped and backed away from her. “B-Begging?! I was NOT... begging! I would never beg to a nerd like you, Twilight Sparkle! I simply asked a favor of you, in a completely calm and reasonable manner. I was absolutely rational back then--”
“Oh, then that must be why my library nearly went upside-down that day.”
“Yes. You see, I’m still not very experienced with rational--that’s not the point! The point is you completely failed when you were supposed to help me! Yes! FAILED! F-A-I--”
Twilight rubbed her ears after she growled a little. “Stop it! It’s not my fault! I told you it wouldn't be as easy as controlling everything with chaos magic, the princess was bound to be angry at you! And how was I supposed to know that the guest would be a prince and they’d end up dancing together?!”
Discord glared at her, then sighed and turned away. “I don’t care about this.”
“Wait!” She took a deep breath to compose herself. Calm down. You have to be calm for this, Twilight. You know that. Stay cool and do what you’re supposed to do for him.
Even if he’s an ungrateful brute that won’t appreciate it... You’re also doing this for the Princess. She will certainly appreciate your efforts. You can write her a letter about this later. ‘Helping others will not always be easy... But if one tries hard enough--when one knows that it is right to do so, one will always succeed for the better’. Yeah, something like that would be wonderful! Now focus.
“Listen, Discord. I... I really am sorry about that. I really am honest it when I say I didn’t mean for things to turn out like they did last night... I-I thought it would be a good chance to show Princess Celestia that you were ready to--”
Discord rolled his eyes as she continued her apology/explanation. He impatiently tapped his eagle claw fingers on his arm without putting much consideration to the unicorn’s sincere words of repentance. “Twilight, can you just get to it already?”
She sighed and continued with a calm attitude. “I feel I just... I just have to say something. I could never leave things in a situation like this when I know I can help. And I can, really. You just have to give me another chance, like I will with you.”
“Oh, no, no, no--I don’t need another chance from--”
“Just stop being so proud, Discord! It won’t take you anywhere, and I HAVE to help you!”
“No, you don’t, I don’t want your help anymore! I asked for it, I received it because I asked for it, there. It’s done. You don’t need to get involved and screw up more than you did.” He looked away from her again.
“I can’t just step away from this when I haven’t done anything that will be enough, Discord. I do need to get involved with this again, because you’re right. I admit it.”
She lowered her head in shame and guilt. “I... I failed to help you last night. I really am very sorry that it made you upset, because... I did want to help you. I wanted it to work out... I know how much it meant to you that she gave you--”
“Just let it go already! It’s no big deal! Once again you’re blowing things out of proportion.”
Twilight frowned a bit. “If it hadn’t been such a big deal, you wouldn’t have stormed off in the first place, Discord. You’re not going to lie to me.”
Discord blinked, a bit surprised when she stepped closer to him with clear determination. “Ohh... Why won’t you just let it go...?!”
“Because I would never, ever give up or turn my back on anypony who needs me--even if that ‘anypony’ is now you. You should know that. It was one of the things that helped me defeat you.”
She felt very weird, beyond explanation. The situation was nuts! Discord, the one and only Lord of Chaos now needed her help. Regardless of how odd, suspicious, and hopeless that sounded... She just couldn’t quit on him. She could see that he was in actual need, that the Princess really was very important to him still.
That all had to amount for something helpful. She felt glad that he still had those feelings for Princess Celestia. It means there really must be some kind of good inside him after all, not just for friendship. That’s definitely a good start.
He frowned and summoned one of Twilight’s ink bottles. He inspected it for a few seconds as he held it in his claw, then drank from it.
"You know, this thing, that you just started... It’s going to make it very awkward for the both of us.” He slurped the thick, black liquid to drown her words. Ugh. She definitely needs to improve her conversation-making skills, and pronto...
“Hey! Discord, I’m trying to--” She stepped back and trailed off when he leaned closer to her.
"Well, Twilight. What do you really hope to achieve here?" He raised an eyebrow and looked at the ink bottle again, turning the ink into rainbow colors.
"C’mon... I already told you. I want to talk about you and Princess Celestia. I want us to try again.”
“Oh, no way. I’d rather just declare it a failed project.”
Twilight blushed a little, then shook her head when Discord stamped the word ‘FAILED’ onto her forehead, with the rainbow ink on the stamper. Luckily for her, the ink actually faded as soon as she moved her head.
“Just listen to me! I think I could...” She approached the subject a bit more carefully. “You know... Give you some advice to approach her in the correct way. But, it would be something better, I promise.”
“Somehow I find that hard to--”
She stopped him by raising a quieting hoof on the air. Then she cleared her throat to remind him that it was her turn to speak. “Trust me. I’ve thought about... Well... The possible... troubling situation. I’ve approached it from several angles, and am glad to say that I successfully included it in my new, revised plan."
‘Possible troubling situation’?! Ugh, that just sounds so... Discord glared aside, feeling utterly annoyed and irritated. He knew she was referring to that goody-two horseshoes prince, the one Celestia had danced with.
Lord Royal What’s-His-Pony-Name of Whatever-the-Fancy-Lands-Are that he did not give care about at all.
He stared at her for a seconds, then chuckled and waved his paw dismissively. "Oh, Twilight, your sense of humor is simply naive."
“Well, I actually--”
He teleported behind her. "If Celestia does not care, why would you assume that I care? It’s a thing of the past now. The way I acted in your library earlier, it happened and can be forgotten, left behind. I will ask you to simply dismiss that. Forget it ever happened, leave it alone; out of your mind, where it belongs." He spoke with false apathy as he tried to lead her away from the touchy subject.
Twilight sighed and gave him an annoyed look. Really, Discord? You’re actually doing this? Oh, I can’t believe it... She shook her head and started to think of her next moves, her strategies.
He’d donned his attitude again. That annoying ‘I don’t care, it’s petty, I’m not thinking about it’ mixed with ‘hey! Let’s pretend it never happened!’ A thoroughly intolerable combination that would annihilate just about anypony’s nerves to their very ends.
And here I thought we were actually making progress... She raised her head and gave him a ‘duh’ look.
"Because of how upset you got when you saw her dancing with Prince Modest last night?" She turned around when he tried to stammer out a response to her comment. "Look. I'm no Fluttershy, Wilder--no offense to her. But, she’s just not in on the things that I am, the way that I am.”
Oh, blast that Celestia to her little heavens. Now this unicorn brainiac thinks she’s smart enough to lecture me. How patronizing.
“I know what happened, and am nearly certain of what is still happening now.”
“I know that 'stage fright' thing you talked to Fluttershy about at the beginning of the gala was because you were afraid that Princess Celestia would reject you in public.”
“Not that, it--”
“I could see it the moment I returned to Fluttershy’s home with the princess’ reply.”
“But what did--”
She gave him a dull look again. “And it didn’t take Starswirl the Bearded to figure out you were just terrified of going. What tipped everypony off was when you hid under Fluttershy’s cottage.”
Discord blushed slightly, though he tried to hide it as he muttered an excuse. “I wasn’t hiding, I was meditating.”
“Oh, really? A pretty interesting way to ‘meditate’ if you ask me.”
“It was a stressful event that I had to get out of my system! It’s been more than a thousand years since I went to a party like that--until last night. As you saw, Twilight Sparkle, it didn’t end well.”
“Well, but that doesn’t take away the fact that--”
Discord scoffed and leaned back in the air. “So who says I was ‘hiding’? Who says it was because I’m scared of her, or whatever? Please, you’ve really begun to underestimate me.”
“I’m not dumb, Discord. I can’t be. Not with all that I know.”
Annoying, bothersome little pony pest... I really should have turned her into glitter--not scissors--when I had the chance. She would’ve looked and sounded much better blown all over Fluttershy’s pond.
She sat down and stared right at him, even when he mentally regretted not using his magic on her. She took a deep breath to keep her voice firm. You know what they say... 'Knowledge is power'. Well, time to wield this humongous 'power' that the Princess has bestowed on me for good!
Discord raised an eyebrow. “What? Listen, we’re done here. I don’t want to talk about this anymore, it’s doing horrible things to my patience.”
“I could stay here for a little while longer, you know. I still have a bit more patience left...”
“Are you kidding? Fine, I’m--”
Twilight smiled a little as she turned around. "Buuut, if you're not interested in how I can help you get back with the Princess, then I guess I best be going, huh. You consider it a ‘failed project’. Maybe you’re right. Maybe there is nothing to do for it, like you say. I’m just here being silly, getting my hopes up, wasting your time. It’s not even worth it.”
“Now, wait, that’s not what I--”
“I should busy myself with something better, something that won’t waste any more time! Plenty of stuff in Canterlot for me to do. I’m sure you’ll also find something that will really be worthwhile. I mean, really, what’s in a relationship, right? With Princess Celestia, who cares? See ya later, Wilder." She grinned a bit as she glanced back without turning her head.
"Wilder..." Discord looked down, suddenly feeling nostalgic. "It’s been so long since she called me that..." He frowned as he noticed what was happening. Now she’s trying to manipulate me. Again. Well, that pony’s got another thing coming--who does she think I am? He folded his arms and gave her a glare.
Twilight looked up innocently as she grabbed the doorknob with her hoof. “Okay, then, I’m going~”
"Ugh, FINE!” He appeared in front of her to block her way. “How are you NOT going to fail like you did last night?! It better be good, Twilight!”
“Well, that wasn’t really my fault to begin with--”
“How do you plan to fix a long-forgotten bond that's been shattered for hundreds of years?!" He snapped, holding his claw and paw at his hips as he floated above her once she turned around to face her bookshelf.
She smiled and held in a giggle, proud of the result of her little reverse psychology display. Yes! I knew that would work! Even on Discord, this is great...
She turned to face him and spoke with complete ease. “With subtle approach. Not to mention you’ll have to be extremely humble--completely aware of your wrongdoings, and repentant of them. I’m sure Princess Luna will tell you the same thing when she advises you. You know... Once you make up with her, and manage to get her friendship as it was all that time ago. THAT won’t be easy, either.”
Discord sighed and scratched his head. "Hmm. Well, this all sounds like rubbish to me. But... I suppose an egghead pony like you could know a thing or two about this after all. If you really put your mind to it, now." He gave Twilight a noogie and messed up her mane.
Twilight tried to pull away from him. “I’m not an egghead! You keep this up, Discord, and Applejack will know exactly how to deal with you!” She sighed and shook her head. “You have to learn to be honest, first off all.”
“Of course the egghead would say to be honest.”
“Discord, I’m NOT an egghead!”
He rolled his eyes and smirked. "That’s what they all say.” He floated to the door, still carrying Twilight in his arms. “I suppose we’re going off to see Applejack, then?”
“That’s right. She’s just about the most honest pony that you and I both know. She’ll teach you more than a thing or two on the subject.”
“Ugh... I can’t wait to not get started with all of this... Or at the very least be over it. Seriously, it’s already annoying, and we haven’t even started it.”
Twilight shook her head at his impatience. Then she blinked when a curious thought crossed her mind. “By the way, what WERE you doing last night? You were in the Everfree Forest last night... Weren’t you?”
"Oh... Just had a... private, party. You know." He put on a lying expression by pressing his lips together while looking up.
She sighed and slapped her forehead with her hoof. “Urgh. This isn’t going to work. I’m not buying it. Discord, I said honest!” If he can’t answer a little question truthfully, then...
"But I'm not lying, Twilight Sparkle." He jumped on her bed after he dropped her.
“What? Hey! We--”
"I was at a private party last night, in the forest, if you must know. A good party with plenty of dancing, cider, and music. And of course, the company..." He chuckled again, unable to help himself.
‘Company’? Okay, that might just bring about some other suspect... She watched him jump around with a confused expression. “But... With whom?”
Discord gave her a grin after he stopped his jumping to answer her. "Twilight, it's rude to intrude in somepony else’s privacy. Didn't they ever teach you that? I’m baffled." He continued to bounce on the bed after he laughed joyously.
Twilight rolled her eyes and groaned. “Fine... Let’s go, then, Mr. Happiness. You’ve got a princess to try to win back.” She looked back at him after she walked towards the door again.
After seeing the draconequus anxiously step down from the bed to follow her, Twilight couldn’t help smiling a little. He really does care, I knew it. One step, plenty more down the staircase to go...
Modest returned to the palace after he dismissed his troops and gave them instructions for his own kingdom. As he walked back to his room, he turned a corner without paying much mind, and bumped noses with a dark blue mare that also turned the same way, in the opposite direction.
Luna blinked, then gasped once she noticed it was the prince she had bumped into. “I-I’m sorry, Prince Modest! Pl-Please forgive me, I didn’t see where I was going--” She spoke quickly from the nerves, taking quite a few steps back as she did.
He smiled as he looked at her. "Oh, my... Princess Luna... I didn't see you there." He let out a short laugh. "Sorry about that, I should have been more careful."
She quickly looked away from his smile and shook her head to try to compose herself. “I-It’s fine. It’s no problem, Prince, I’m alright. It was my bad.” She looked down at the floor and tried to walk past him.
He also tried to move out of her way but kept stepping into her direction by accident.
She blushed slightly once the third attempt failed. “I-I’m sorry.”
Modest stepped aside to let the Princess pass. He was still smiling, though blushing a bit as well. “Heh. Do go on, princess. I’m sorry about this, must be the clumsiness of the morning.”
Luna nodded. “Th-Thank you.” She walked down the hallway without looking back at him.
Celestia chuckled a bit as she approached Modest. “You’ll have to excuse her. She is rather... shy.”
Modest watched Luna leave for a bit longer before he turned back to the Sun Princess. "I understand, Your Highness. I do not wish to disturb Princess Luna, if that makes her feel better."
“Oh, you’re very kind. I’m sure she’ll warm up to you a bit more during your stay here, Prince. After all, you seem like a really nice fellow. I knew it the moment I saw you.”
“Really, I am honored.”
“In fact, I’m sure you are a very good gentlecolt. The Western Kingdom is lucky to have you as a ruler. Now we are lucky to have you as a guest.” She walked with him, heading to the throne room. “You’ll find there are very interesting and fun things to do here in Equestria. Everywhere, not just in the city of Canterlot. It would be my pleasure to recommend you to Ponyville, where the Elements of Harmony live.”
“Yes, Pinkie Pie already mentioned the town. It sounds lovely.”
“Are you sure your guards will be alright on the way back home?”
“They sure will. Please don’t worry about them.” He smiled at Celestia and bowed his head slightly. “I want to thank you for spending this time with me, Princess. It sure means a lot to be able to talk more about your kingdom. I can’t wait to go out there and explore further.”
She chuckled. “Really?”
“However... I fear that something is being kept from me. The invitation is mostly gratified, I assure you... Yet it came so suddenly. I was only supposed to attend the gala, but now, as you see...”
“Are you still worried, Prince Modest? Perhaps I didn’t make it very clear earlier--”
“Oh, Princess, don’t worry, I know you do not wish to just use me. Thank you for your courteous gift, really, but... What exactly is it that’s lurking about your lands?”
“You don’t have to answer, Princess...”
Celestia sighed and glanced aside as she spoke. “Truth be told... I don’t know myself. We are still investigating as well as we can. But we haven’t found anything so far. I don’t want to alarm anypony, since nothing harmful has occurred yet, but I don’t want to wait until something bad happens, either. Prince Modest, I am getting prepared for something bad. After all, this kingdom has gotten quite some excitement as of late. I hope you understand.”
“Of course I do. Your welcome and invitation were much appreciated, I do plan to return the great favor that you did for me.”
“That’s very good. In that case, we’ll be able to get further. I was thinking...” She looked up and smiled as he walked closer to her. “Do you already have some ideas?”
“If you’ll permit me, I plan to send some of the Royal Guard to ask to the guests, at least some of them. I understand that we can’t draw too much attention, but we need to get information, right? Maybe some of the guests that remained outside during the gala noticed something strange around the forest, before the spell was cast. Don’t worry, I would not press them too much.”
“That seems like a good idea. I’m sure they will be glad to cooperate. I have to meet with the Royal Council, deal with more measures to handle all of this. Rumor is spreading quick.”
“Yes, I’ve already heard. Do you mind if I accompany you?”
“Of course not, it would be my pleasure. I do plan to let you learn all of Equestria’s ways, you know. Political meetings will be the least excluded, now that we’re facing a possible hardship.”
Modest smiled as they turned around another corner, once they reached the throne room. “Very well. I promise that you and your kingdom can count on my assistance at any time. I’ll help you investigate, too.”
“You’ll be as helpful as you will be liked in Equestria, Prince Modest, I assure you.” She smiled at him and chuckled as they continued to walk through the palace together, engaging in a good conversation on their way to the meeting room.