Dear Proscenium Arch,
It is with reluctance and a heavy heart that I must inform you in this manner that I am leaving Manehatten. I am in dire need of new scenery and the excitement of the life of a traveling performer. I hope to find other ponies who share my passions and to form a troupe of actors and performers, and the best way to do so is to travel to where they are. I may return in the future, but it will not be to resume our current, or should I say former? – relationship. I will always be grateful for your patronage, and I hope you do not think too badly of me for breaking our contract. I must do this though.
If you desire to contact me, I will be heading to Hoofington for a few weeks before beginning my journey in earnest.
Twilight Sparkle, my faithful student,
I am relieved to hear that you and your friends have survived your encounter with Discord and his unknown assistant. Neither Luna nor I have been able to discern the identity of the mystery pony; the only magic we have sensed around Discord's prison belong to Ashen Blaze and Soul Mage, who I assigned to gauge the new seal's strength. They'd previously reported that the seal seemed to have a minor imperfection, but that there was no danger of it growing weaker. For now I have ordered a regular watch over the statue to make sure there is no repetition of what happened to you in Manehatten.
I am concerned that there is a pony, or some other intelligent creature, who is able to help Discord's power circumvent the seal, and, worse, that he or she is willing to do so. Until their identity and location is discovered, I advise you to keep your guard up and your friends close. I will be sure to inform you of any new developments, and I may need to call upon the Elements of Harmony to re-set Discord's seal in the near future.
Be safe my beloved student.
I hope this letter finds you, and that you are well.
Do not worry yourself over your decision to leave the Silver Halter. I remember when I first met you, out on the streets performing slight-of-hoof parlor tricks for spare change. The light in your eyes was nearly gone, and I could tell you were continuing with nothing but sheer willpower and stubbornness driving your actions. I saw your potential though and gave you the chance to prove yourself on a real stage. You did not disappoint, and my fellows quickly grew envious that I had been the one to discover you. Recently though, I've seen that same lack of light in your eyes, which only returned when you spoke of your off-season travels and the friendships you forged in Ponyville.
So, not only will I not condemn you for breach of contract, I will provide you what assistance I can. Along with this letter, please find a list of theaters and performance centers operated by friends of mine across Equestria. Mention me to them and they should be willing to accommodate your shows. They may even have leads on performers who might be willing to make your acquaintance.
If you're ever in Manehatten again, the Silver Halter would be honored to have you grace its stage.
I should have known better. I mean, making a deal with a trickster spirit of that caliber, I must be insane!
Nonetheless, it seems to have worked out. My intention was to keep Discord's attention occupied while I tested a temporary patch to the imperfection in the stone seal. I have a suspicion about why the Harmony spell that sealed Discord in stone has that flaw, but I won't go pointing hooves, not even in my private notes. Those girls have enough problems without doubting the integrity of one of their own. Then again, if it is who I think… Not the point!
I fed Discord the idea of using the Element Bearers to obtain the ingredients because his thoughts were already, and predictably, leaning towards vengeance upon those girls. It was too easy to convince him to let me channel his power toward fusing them into pairs and managing the reality shifts to keep them inside the city and to prevent certain purchases. He was so focused on seeing the results of the excuse I gave that he didn't realize I'd talked him into using all the power that could leak out of the seal.
What I didn't realize what that letting that power flow out would widen the crack even after I applied the temporary patch. He got to Trixie before I could lock his mind away completely, using that attack as an excuse to "disqualify" him from the game. That chimeric nightmare may be the embodiment of chaos, but he's got a strong affinity to rules and consequences. Break the rules, and you're out, even if you're a dragonequus.
My tracks are covered, the seal should hold as long as nobody else tries to do anything with it (besides hitting it with the Elements of course), and, should my formula work, I've got the means to undo a tragic loss to the multiverse. There will be stinim!
A/N - Thanks for reading and commenting on this story. I'm sure you're all itching to learn the identity of Discord's verbal sparring partner from the start and end of each chapter, if you haven't figured it out already (if you have, shhh... don't spoil it :3), and I intend to answer that in future fics.
For now though I intend to take a break from My Little Pony fanfictions. I'll keep writing, but in other universes. I need some variety in my output, time to digest more of FiM Season 2, and probably some brainstorming so I can keep my quality up to its present standard, or above.