Discord waited patiently as the Mane Six went their separate ways through the labyrinth in the palace grounds. He chuckled as he watched them walk through the confusing place, which he had purposely expanded and blown to ridiculous and illogical proportions.
He spotted the first of his victims and quickly schemed his next move. “This is going to be so nice... Let’s have it, then.” He snapped his fingers and with that laid the bait for the light gamboge-coated earth pony.
"What in tarnation?!" Applejack followed three rolling apples that appeared on the ground out of nowhere. She followed them quickly as they rolled down through the maze. She ran after them until she got to the orchard. "What is this place?" She walked forward and cautiously observed the orchard.
Luna stopped over the labyrinth and quickly looked around at the scattered young mares. "No!" She flew closer to try to reach them. They art already separated... We must hurry! She grunted a bit as she reached one of the first sections that seemed out of place in the labyrinth; the orchard. She frowned when she saw that Applejack was already being broken by Discord’s cunning tricks. No. Do not believe him. Ignore whatever he says! It ist just an illusion, Applejack! Just like--
Applejack seemed quite distressed as she stepped away from the pond that had showed her the ‘truth’ about her friendship. She had seen that she and her friends drifted apart from one another in the end. She took her hat off as she spoke sadly. “That just can’t be the truth. It just can’t!”
“When all the truth does is make your heart ache...” Discord transferred his mind into one of the Keepers to speak through it as it slid in front of Applejack. "...Sometimes a lie is easier to take."
Luna flew closer and glared at Discord. "Discord, leaveth her alone at once!" Of course, she was ignored, and could only watch as Applejack was hypnotized into becoming dishonest. “Oh, no... She wast...!”
Twilight was seen approaching her corrupted friend. She had tried to talk to Applejack, but she quickly evaded Twilight’s questions with lies and walked away.
Luna smiled a bit as she spotted her sister’s faithful student. "Oh, Twilight Sparkle! Wait! There ist something that We must tell thee--" She was blocked off by a thick wall of shrubbery before she could approach Twilight. "Ngh! This...!" She glared at Discord once he showed himself to her. “Thou art--”
Discord chuckled while he shook his head at Luna. "Oh, I don’t think you’ll interfere this time, little Luna." He grinned as he put his arms behind his back. "Fate is a funny thing, isn't it? No more than a year ago, you were trying to destroy these same ponies. Now you act as if you actually intend to save them.”
“We do! And We wilt save them, Discord! We shalt save them from thee, no matter how much further We must venture into this labyrinth! We know just what thou meanest to do. This hast nothing to do with thine actual plan. It ist just--”
Discord laughed and waved his paw at her dismissively after he interrupted her. “And here I thought you had no sense of humor, dear Luna! You’ve surprised me quite a bit."
Luna narrowed her eyes. "Dost thou intendeth to manipulate them, Discord?! Wilt thou collapse with mirth when thou seest them suffer? Wilt it be like that time, when thou shamelessly rejoiced with the manipulation of our sister?!”
Discord laughed even harder when she raised her voice. He did not give her any other type of answer.
Luna let out an angry breath. She glared daggers at Discord as she spoke icily. “Thou becometh more predictable as the years go by.”
“And you become more and more annoying. I can’t believe anyone can put up with you. Maybe that’s why you were sent to the moon? For your annoyance and your jealousy. You should’ve gone to your precious moon to stay, Luna.”
“Thou wisheth, Discord.”
“Face it, Luna. You will NEVER measure up. You don’t have what it takes to match my power! None of you do. Even the Elements of Harmony were so easy to whisk away...”
“It doth not take too much to break manipulating magic like thine. Even if it ist of chaos--" She looked aside as she heard Pinkie Pie happily hop around the maze. She bit her lip, then quickly flew off to the side, deciding to not waste any more time with him.
Discord smirked and calmly watched her leave. “Hohoh. See you later, then, Luna!” He waved at her as the path stretched endlessly before her. He raised an eyebrow as Luna became frustrated, but did not give up and kept flying by the path, regardless of its increasing length. “Hm. Of course she’s still as stubborn as ever. Perhaps even more so now. How truly annoying. Ah, well...” He snapped his fingers and disappeared, just as Pinkie Pie talked back to the laughing balloons that had tripped her.
After a short while, Discord could already be heard conversing with the broken, mare that usually lived for ever present joy and laughter.
"Oh, poor Pinkie Pie. And here I thought laughter made you... happy."
"Happy?" A gray, bitter Pinkie Pie hissed. She stood up with a frown on her face. "I don't think so!"
Luna shook her head as she saw the transformed Pinkie Pie glare ahead with a horrible mood. "No. We art not moving right. Not fast enough! We must get to Twilight Sparkle, there ist no time!" She flew over another path of the labyrinth, and used her magic to steadily move through the obstacle bushes and hedges, even the walls.
She stopped when she spotted Rarity. “Ah, Rarity, there she ist!” She looked ahead at the rock wall that awaited Rarity and frowned suspiciously. “What ist Discord up to now? No matter, We must warn her...”
The fashion-driven, glamorous pony walked around with all property through the maze, all the while complaining to herself.
Luna did her best to reach her despite the delaying traps and tricks that tried to hold her off. "Rarity!" We art almost there...! "Do not go further! It ist a trap!"
Rarity still could not hear her. She was a good distance away from the Night Princess, and continued to walk further away. "I was expecting an audience with the Princess, not outdoor sports." She screamed with in surprise and pain when she slammed face-first against a wall of stone.
Luna shook her head desperately. "No. Rarity, thou must wait!" She tried to fly faster to approach her, but she was continuously slowed down by wrapping vines that she was forced to blast away.
"What? Oh, my..." Rarity muttered as she looked at the rock wall ahead of her. The nearly blinding shine of the three gemstones embedded on the wall stole all her attention. She soon was fascinated by the beauty of the gems as a face appeared in the reflective surface.
Discord spoke to Rarity from the three gemstones’ reflection after he chuckled. "Welcome to your lucky day, Rarity. You found the one thing in Equestria that could rival my face for sheer beauty."
He summoned more vines against Luna to keep her busy. While he did that, the white unicorn mare dug through the stone wall. She had already ‘succumbed to such fabulousness’ and become greedy and selfish as she desperately dug through the rock wall with her bare hooves.
He grinned from the other side and appeared a boulder for Rarity to find and cherish as an invaluable diamond. "Heheheh." He looked at Luna and lifted three fingers of his claw to mock her.
Luna glared at him as Discord laughed. This wast the perfect place for him to do this. We really should have known better! She pulled herself free from the vines. "What art We going to do...? How art We going to get to them?!" She blasted the vines away again and winced as they tried to grab onto her wings.
Rarity muttered to herself once she finished digging. She was thoroughly covered in dirt, but happily embracing the large boulder, which, under her illusion, was a giant, glittering diamond. "Well, Rarity. It took forever, but it was worth it. Who knew three little gemstones would turn out to be this handsome hunk of a diamond?!” She spoke tenderly to the boulder as she got ready to haul it away. “Now to get you home~"
Luna gave Rarity a deadpan look as she watched her haul the boulder away. "This hast got to be a joke..."
She sighed wearily and turned to the side. “Oh, no...” She jumped a bit as the wall that had trapped Rarity collapsed to reveal the violet unicorn and the two earth ponies behind it. She smiled with relief and happiness again. "Twilight Sparkle! We have something to tell thee, it ist very important!" She flew over to her and the others, but grunted when she crashed against what appeared to be glass.
"Ngh!" She looked up and found that she was surrounded by glass. Suddenly, there was a snowy environment around her, inside the glass container that held her.
"What..." She noticed that everything outside of the glass field was bigger, and that there was no way out of the space that seemed to be snowing, but had all the snow stop falling once it all landed on the ground. It was just like a snow globe that held her in like a prison.
She narrowed her eyes and growled a bit with exasperation. It wasn't the first time that she found herself trapped inside something. Discord must really be growing impatient. But at least this trap ist not quite deadly. She looked up in front of the globe again. "Twilight Sparkle!" She pounded on the glass to try to break out or to get Twilight’s attention, but she figured it would be futile to try.
Discord picked the globe up in his lion paw and snickered. “My. What a cute little scenery I gave you to spend your time in, wouldn’t you say, Luna?” He shook it to get the snow going again, and to daze Luna. "Heh, heh... Well, so long, Night Princess." He threw the globe like a frisbee, then chuckled with satisfaction when the small object fell into the pond at the palace.
He transformed himself into three butterflies, then grinned as he went after the final two Elements.
Fluttershy walked timidly through the labyrinth. "Okay, I can do this. I can..." There was the moving of bushes that made her scream and immediately hide. She then blinked as butterflies flew past the hedge where she was hiding.
"Oh, wait a minute." She popped out of the bushes and looked at the butterflies.
"Butterflies? Wait! Don't leave me here!" She chased after them and ended up in another empty, closed part of the labyrinth.
The butterflies flew above her while she stood in front of her. They spoke to her with Discord’s voice, though he tried to speak with a higher pitch. "Fluttershy? Looks like you've been left behind by your so-called ‘friends’, huh?"
Fluttershy smiled at the butterflies behind her and spoke to them kindly. "Oh, no. I'm certain they're doing their best to find me."
They circled around her. "Well, it must be so upsetting to know how weak and helpless they think you are." They flew back up.
"Not at all. I am weak and helpless, and I appreciate their understanding" Fluttershy said in a surprisingly confident manner, for her.
The butterflies became irritated, but remained controlled. "Yes, well, surely it just burns you up, I mean, that they're always pointing out your flaws, right?"
Fluttershy shook her head slightly. "Not really. In fact, I think I'm awfully lucky to have friends who want me to be the best I can be." She looked up at the butterflies with a small, proud smile.
Discord lost his patience. Not even the princesses had given him that much trouble before. He transformed back, he seemed infuriated. "OH, FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE!" He tapped his finger over Fluttershy as he ranted while walking around her. "You've been kind for far too long, my dear. Time to be cruel! Arrivederci!" With that, he vanished.
Fluttershy stumbled a bit as he did, but recovered just in time for her friends to catch up to her, and witness her new, transformed nature.
Rainbow Dash was running around as she searched for the Elements of Harmony diligently. She stopped when she spotted a cloud with a lightning bolt on it. She smirked as the lightning bolt cloud drifted away. "I've got you now, element!" She followed the cloud until she got to Discord, who was leisurely resting on one cloud tied like a hammock to two trees while wearing his large, green sunglasses over his eyes.
He cracked his back as he awoke from his nap. "I can see why you like these clouds so much. Very plush." He smiled and caressed the clouds.
Rainbow Dash quickly hopped around on her back legs. "Get off there and put 'em up! Come on! Let's go!" She raised her front hooves and hopped around on her hind legs, her sight set on him as she urged him on to fight.
Discord sat up on the bed of clouds and gestured his claw and paw in a calm, peaceful manner. "Hey, I'm here to deliver a message."
"I've got a message, for you, too!" She threw a hoof at the air in front of her as she hopped back.
He removed his sunglasses and gained a serious tone. "Listen closely, this is important.” He moved around Rainbow Dash as he taunted her with another riddle. “A weighty choice is yours to make. The right selection, or a big mistake. If a wrong choice you choose to pursue, the foundations of home will crumble without you." He revealed an image of Cloudsdale collapsing by using the thundering cloud that he snapped into spinning quickly before him.
Rainbow Dash gasped as she watched the illusion that the spinning cloud brought forth. "Cloudsdale... crumble... Without me?!" She shook her head, agitated, as her eyes gained the colors of Discord's spell. "NO!"
A colored box appeared before the two.
Discord pointed to the box and looked at Rainbow Dash as he appeared beside her. "That box contains your wings. You can take them and leave the game, or you can carry on aimlessly wandering this maze. Your choice.” He slithered his finger down Rainbow Dash's head, then left her in her dazed state as he moved on to find the corrupted group that was now gathered around Twilight Sparkle.
Twilight pushed Rarity's diamond rock through the rock. While she performed the tiresome task, she constantly motivated herself with positive thoughts about Rainbow Dash. "Must... find... Rainbow Dash. As a team... we're unstoppable. Rainbow Dash... won't let us down!"
Applejack looked up and raised an eyebrow as she saw a light blue, rainbow-maned pegasus fly off in the opposite direction. "Well, lookie there. Rainbow Dash is flying away. She's abandonin' us!"
Twilight sighed. "Now I know that's a lie." She looked up, then gasped as she saw Rainbow Dash flying over them and the maze. "How can it be?!"
Discord disappeared the whole maze and appeared smiling before the ponies. "Well, well, well. Somepony broke the ‘no wings, no magic’ rule." He snapped his fingers and returned them all to normal. "Game's over, my little ponies! You didn't find your precious elements.” He appeared a pink umbrella and turned it the opposite way. “Looks like we might be due for a big, old storm of chaos!” He laughed evilly as lightning and thunder crashed down behind him.
Twilight sighed as she watched her strange-behaving friends move about and teased one another. “We need to stick together!”
Fluttershy teased Pinkie Pie with mocking laughter again. “Ha-hah.”
Discord laughed as he sat on a blue theater seat. “It’s just too entertaining.” He ate from his box of popcorn as he watched them.
Twilight gave him a look. “Stop it, Discord. You’re not playing fair.”
Discord looked at her with a bemused expression. “I'm not playing fair? Perhaps we haven't met.” He walked up to her. “I'm Discord, spirit of chaos and disharmony...” He leaned closer to her. “Hello?”
Twilight still glared at him. “How are we supposed to find the Elements of Harmony when you took away the labyrinth before we could get to the end?!”
Discord blinked as the violet unicorn snapped at him. “Oh, wait, did you...?” He laughed again. “How funny! You thought the Elements were in the labyrinth?” He snapped his fingers, and in a second he and Twilight Sparkle appeared back at the castle. Discord was using the same spell that he had used to show Celestia and Luna the flashback of Luna’s birth.
They watched as the Discord in the flashback greeted the Mane Six and Celestia through the windowpanes in the castle. He and Twilight were sort of transparent and glowing blue in the flashback.
“Twists and turns are my master plan. Then find the Elements back where you began.”
He smirked as he looked down at the confused unicorn while his flashback self spoke. He then snapped his fingers and got them back to the present. He immediately gave Twilight with a smug grin. “I never said they were in the labyrinth.”
“But... But...” Twilight stammered as Discord walked away from her. He mocked her with his teasing voice and exaggerated gestures.
“Keep trying, Twilight Sparkle. Maybe the magic of friendship can help you.” He lifted his arms in a grandiose pose. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some chaos to wreak.” He disappeared in a flash of light, leaving the sky above the ponies completely covered in huge clouds of pink cotton candy, which soon rained chocolate milk over them.