What Destruction Truly Seeks

Discord was still in shock as he faced the damaged princesses, his back to the Mane Six. He saw that Miseria had greatly injured them, and his healing spell could barely negate the harmful power of her magic. "I can't leave them alone... I have to save them... This is what we came for... All along..."

He stood away from the Mane Six, staring ahead, lost in thought.

"Discord! Please help us! Get over here now!" Fluttershy screamed at Discord as the fight became more intense, and tipped farther from their favor.

Discord blinked and looked at the ponies again, his focus on them. It seemed like Fluttershy's urgent and rare scream had gotten through to him.

Twilight grunted as she struggled to keep the Elements of Harmony in order, and strong against Miseria's blast of magic. She shut her eyes closed and steadily pushed her friends' and her own Element magic to the limit. Can't… I can't keep this up much longer…

"Fools! That won't amount to anything! I've surpassed him long ago! Discord won't help you turn this around!" Miseria screamed, then shot a dark blast of energy to strengthen her previous attack.

Discord appeared behind Miseria and raised his claw above her. "Won't I?" He fired a yellow blast in her direction, while she was distracted by the Mane Six, and confused by his sudden appearance.

Miseria stared at the new attack, but quickly composed herself. "Hah! Not so fast!" She unleashed more of her power and blocked his blast. "See? You're hardly an addition to their team!"

To her surprise, however, Discord's attack reappeared out of nowhere, from a different direction. It combined with the Harmony magic and soon matched Miseria's power, but not only that; the combined force began to push Miseria's attacks back, nearly extinguishing them.

"What?! Wait a second-what are you doing?! How…" She stepped back while she stared at her failing attacks. She kept her front hoof raised, petrified in a combination of fear, anger and shock, while the massive energy began to get out of her control. "No! Th-this isn't… Why is this happening to me?!"

She desperately tried to regain control, but it was useless. The more she tried, the more dangerous the energy got. I had it all prepared… Why would it fail now?! There's no way I'll let them get away with everything they did… I won't let them win! But…

Discord smirked as he watched the backlashing energy with satisfaction. "It's all downhill now~"

Miseria winced and cried out when some of the energy blew up on her, before she could even call it back. "Ow! It wasn't supposed to be like this! This shouldn't be happening! Not to me! C'mon, get a grip! NO!"

She screamed as all the attacks hit her and created a massive explosion that once again shook everything and everyone up. It lasted for quite some seconds before it began to fade.


Everything was thrown into chaos around her. She didn't enjoy it one bit, though. It all felt as though it was breaking and crumbling away…

She screamed and held her head, shutting her eyes closed. "Stop it!"

With a grunt, she landed on hard ground of stone. Pushing herself up took a bit of effort. "What…"

She could faint voices in the distance. It sounded like they were arguing. She tried to made her way around the unknown place, but found that her magic was very restricted. "What is going on…?"

"No, I think I found it, never mind. Let me show it to you. You're going to love it."

Miseria raised an eyebrow. Who is that? Before she could think anything else, the ground shifted, nearly making her lose her balance, and a horizontal ray of light appeared above her, blinding her a bit. "Ngh…"

She recognized Discord's face after the light got bigger. He was standing above her, much larger than she was. "Hey… Discord? What's going on? Where are we?"

Discord smiled and reached into the empty space for her. "See? I found it. The best I've got so far."

Miseria grunted when he grabbed her. "D-Discord!" 'It'? What is he talking about?

She winced, then gasped when Discord opened his claw and paw to reveal that she was a miniature, sparkling in the light, as he showed her off to an unidentified pony or… whatever, in front of him.

"See? My best trophy yet. She's quite a cutie, isn't she?"

"What?! Discord, what do you think you're-let me go!"

"I won her after I outsmarted a couple of poor fools. It was barely a challenge. And it was worth it. Now I can do whatever I want with her along… I can keep her for as long as I wish. She can do everything to my liking."

"No! Don't be ridiculous, it doesn't work like that! Let me go!" She gasped when Discord put her on a table, but she just couldn't move. "No…"

"I think I'll have her sit there for a while. Don't you dare touch her, she's mine. I won her fair and square." Discord smiled and leaned forward. "Didn't I?"

"What did you ever do?! You wouldn't-"

He started to polish her. "I'm going to keep you to myself… We're going to have such fun together, you and me! Just the two of us. Because you're mine… I'm so glad I won you."

"Stop! I'm not an object!" She coughed after he dusted her.

"Now, don't talk back like that." Discord put his claw and paw on his hips. "Not after all I did to get you. Aren't you happy? This is how you wanted things to be, isn't it? You wanted me all to yourself, there you have it. Why is it different? Why are you complaining now?"

"Because… I… I never said I wanted…" Miseria shut her eyes closed. "I never said I was going to be imprisoned like this! Let me go! I never said that! I wanted you, but not like-"

"Ohh, I see. Tell me, what makes you so different? What makes you better than me? Of course, you wouldn't go through any of that… But why do I have to do it? Why must everything be like you please, simply because you say so? Give me a reason; tell me what makes you so important over others."

"No, it's… It's not like that! Will you stop talking to me like this?! You don't understand a thing!" Miseria whimpered and looked around. "I don't want to be like this… I don't want to be a-"

"Rather cold, isn't it? This is what it feels like, when you are used by others. When you are simply hoarded like an object, just because they can have you on a whim. You feel like this when you have no other value to them… And eventually, you feel like this after you notice all that you would be willing to do… All of those that you would be to harm just to get what you want…"

Miseria shook her head. "You're wrong. How can I make you understand?! It was never like that! I… I…!"

She blinked with surprise and looked around as everything vanished around them. "D-Discord? What's going on? What's happening?" She looked at him, but frowned when he didn't answer. "Discord!"

"You've been nothing but an illusion all this time, haven't you? This should look familiar."

"Discord, answer me! What's happening?!"

"All illusions fall apart, Miseria. Including yours. They all have their time."

"I didn't do this! Don't pin it on me, I didn't trap us here!"

"Oh, but you did. This was all you…" He grabbed her in his paw and brought her up to his eyes, making him whimper. "It's about time you faced up to your actions and their consequences. We're going to vanish; everything will go down, and it will be because of you. But it doesn't end here. It is far from over."

"Leave me alone!"

"Oh, I don't think so."

"NO!"


The blinding light finally died down and gradually disappeared from the area. Everyone that had been shaken up by the clash of the massive magic blasts started to pull themselves together. To their surprise, the environment around them also began to improve.

Everything started to return to normal; even the surrounding cities that were destroyed began to regenerate themselves. It was as if every area harmed by destruction was being healed, along with some of their inhabitants. Those that were in better condition helped the less fortunate get to safety and help.

The forest seemed to be growing again, as though it had been ravaged by a massive fire. It grew to its ominous, yet fascinating glory in no time, restoring every life within it.

Luna's statue began to glow. The stone appeared to fade and get thinner, until finally, it burst into a flash of light, and she was struggling to remain on her hooves, returned to flesh and bone.

She nearly fell on the ground as she tried to steady herself. "Ahh! Ngh, what… Oh! Wh-where is she?! This is not over!" She looked around quickly, her mind still occupied with the earlier task of fighting Miseria.

She blinked in confusion once she realized that she was in a completely different place. "Wh-what…? What happened…? How did we all… Oh. That..." She suddenly gasped and turned to her sister. "Celestia! Oh, are you alright?! What… Celestia! Don't worry, I'm here now! It'll be okay!" She nuzzled her sister after Celestia groaned a bit, but then gave the others a worried look.

Twilight and her friends fell on the ground after the magic of the Elements of Harmony vanished. They pushed themselves up and staggered, still breathing hard, exhausted from the effort of the battle.

"Well… That was exhausting…" Twilight winced and held her head, but then smiled at her friends. "But… We did it, girls… I think it's all over!"

She watched them cheer, then laughed when they hugged her, and hugged them back. "Yeah! Everything is going to be alright now! I'm so glad… You're all okay, right?"

Celestia winced slightly while Luna and Discord helped her up. She was still pale and quite weak, but still looked much better, since the influence of Miseria's negative aura had been completely dispelled. "What… What happened…? Oh, I… I thought everypony was going to… Ngh, just… I'm sorry… So sorry, I..."

Discord helped her sit down after he saw that she was steady enough. "Take it easy. I told you things would be better when you woke up, didn't I? See? It was hardly any problem."

Celestia shook her head and looked at him with concern again. "No… Discord… I… I had a terrible dream… N-no, wait. It… It wasn't a dream. No, I wasn't dreaming. It was… real! Discord, we were fighting… Oh, it was just like back then… Like all those years ago… I even injured you! I can't believe it happened again-"

Discord smiled a little and touched her mouth with his lion paw to silence her. "Oh, don't be silly. You? Injure me with one of those filly-class blasts of yours? I can't believe you actually think that was real, Tia."

"But-"

"Oh, please! Like that would ever happen. Stop worrying so much! It was just a silly dream, I tell you."

"But… Miseria's spell… I-I think I…"

"All you did under Miseria's spell was act silly, dear. It was just like that little bratty thing wanted you to behave. Sure, she did try to make us bicker with one another… But we all showed her up right before she did. Oh, you and your terrible imagination, Celestia. You kill me, you do."

Celestia frowned and looked him over again. "Are… Are you sure I didn't hurt you?" His body does feel warmer than usual… Maybe he's just bluffing…

Was that a mark on his side that she saw? It looked like a scar; a burn scar. Maybe he got that from-

He chuckled and stood up before she could think any more of it. "I'm positive, dear. But, you know, we'll have to talk about your weird dreams later. There's still a lot to do. Luna, watch over her. I'll be right back.

He started to walk away after Luna stood beside Celestia.

Celestia sighed and looked at her younger sister. "Luna…"

"I know what you're thinking… And you're right. We can't let him go alone. But sister, you're not-"

"I'll be fine. I have you, don't I?" Celestia smiled a little. "We can't be any more absent in this than we already were, Luna. It's our duty to oversee the solution to this problem. Now, let's go. I'll take it easy."

Luna sighed. "Okay, you're right…"

~~~

Miseria laid on the ground, beaten and unable to get up. Her form was now a long-legged, slightly older filly, in between her aging abilities. She shivered a bit, then coughed and winced.No… I… I can't lose… I can't lose! There's just… no way that I… What went wrong… What did I do wrong?! I planned everything so well… I did everything like I was supposed to! It's not fair… How could it not…?

She gasped a little when she heard the Mane Six gathering around her, though they still kept their distance.

Rainbow Dash glared at Miseria with gritted teeth while she flew above her friends. "You've got to be kidding me… I can't believe she's still around! After everything we did…"

Applejack frowned and immediately stood on guard in front of her friends. "That's gotta be a real, tootin' patch of bad luck right there. Ah'm sure we all did everythin' we could to beat her! Twi, don't them Elements work anymore or somethin'?"

Twilight looked up at her crown, then squinted at Pinkie Pie's necklace. "Of course they are, Applejack. They're just fine, despite everything…"

Rarity waved at her. "No, Twilight, think about it. Maybe Discord's magic made them unstable. There's no other way; we'll have to try our best again! Twilight, c'mon! Let's get in formation, girls! Hurry!"

Celestia shook her head a bit and calmly spoke to the girls to settle them down. "Easy now, my little ponies. Our enemy has been beaten; there's no doubt about it. I am certain that she will do no more damage to us. There is no point in using up more of our energy, and that of the Elements', to abuse a fallen opponent, even if it is a dangerous enemy."

Twilight looked at Celestia worriedly. "Princess, you said it yourself. She's dangerous! How can somepony like her suddenly stop being a threat to us all just because we beat her? I thought it was all over…"

Celestia patted her shoulder. "It is. Please, just listen. We will take the proper measures, and…"

Luna supported her when she swayed a bit. "Sister, forgive me, but you are much too weak to handle this right now. You can't do it, at least not on your own."

"Luna, I-"

"I will give the verdict upon her, if you allow me to do so. I am a princess as well, and I rule Equestria right beside you. I have as much right to do this as you do." Luna looked at Celestia determinedly. "Be certain that I will not let you down. Alright?"

Celestia sighed when Luna glared down at Miseria. "Oh, Luna… Very well… Go ahead…"

Miseria scowled at the ground, refusing to look up at them. She kept muttering and whispering, berating herself for her defeat. "It wasn't supposed to be like this… I thought we'd be able to stay to-"

Luna stepped forward and interrupted her. She looked down at her with a cold, stern expression. "Miseria. I see that the Elements of Harmony did not end you, as we thought they would. That shall soon be solved, though. For endangering the lives of every citizen in Canterlot, and our own, you are no longer welcome anywhere in Equestria, as of this moment. You never were, to begin with…"

She kept glaring down at the young, mismatched alicorn, and showed no sympathy despite watching Miseria occasionally shiver from her harsh words. She raised her head a bit higher when Twilight and the other five gathered around her. "...Not even in stone."

Miseria's ears flattened back against her head while she watched the glow of all the Elements. They would unleash a blast of their magic upon her again, and she knew it would be quite soon.

No way around it. Time to stop blabbering excuses and whatnot… Looks like I downright failed. I did; nothing I planned came out right. Nothing at all. Those pesky things won again… I was the clown, in the end. Wonder what they're gonna do to me now…

She was almost blinded by the combined glow of the Harmony magic. Her eyes filled with tears. I guess Discord was right. In the end… I did lose everything...

Luna raised her front hoof a bit while she spoke the sentence out loud. "You shall go back to the land from whence you came, and remain there forever!"

Miseria shut her eyes closed again and lowered her head. All I ever wanted was to be like him. I just wanted to do what Brother couldn't do...!

Discord walked past the Mane Six and Luna to get to Miseria. He stopped a few feet away from her and stared at her while he raised his lion paw to signal the others to stop.

Luna blinked and watched him walk while the others gave him stares of disapproval, confusion, and objection. "Discord? Wait-what are you doing?"

Miseria lifted her face from her hooves to look up. Some of her bangs covered one of her tearful honey-brown eyes while she stared at Discord quietly. Great, now he's going to pity me… Or… Oh, he's going to say more things to me! H-he's going to tell me all about how he feels about me now…

She shook her head a bit and bit her lip. No! I don't want his pity! I don't want to hear him! Not him! Let the Elements do whatever they will, but just let me go now!

Discord glanced over his shoulder at the others, with an annoyed look, but not intended at them. "Oh, it's quite alright. I can take care of it on my own now. Anything she tries, I'll handle it just fine." He looked back down at Miseria, who braced herself for the worst. "Miseria…"

"No! I don't wanna hear it! Shut up! Just let them do whatever they're gonna-"

"Miseria!" He whipped his tail on the ground to make her jump a bit and look up at him. "Stop your tantrum and listen. You're in no position to demand anything."

She looked aside and reluctantly did as told. "What is it...?"

"Tell me, Miseria... What do you want? What is it you really want?" Discord raised an eyebrow, his expression still annoyed. "Just so you know, I am done trying to guess, and I'm done with games, too. That's a first." He shook his head, then looked back at Miseria. "I want to hear something serious for once."

Miseria remained quiet while he spoke. She knew he wasn't done yet. I don't know if I can do this… I… I'd have to tell him everything… He wouldn't believe me now…

"I want to know if you learned something from earlier. I know that ruling the kingdom once you destroyed it was the Dark One's idea, not yours. So answer truthfully. Lie, even once, and I will let them banish you into the waste that is the Dark Land." He kept his voice even, calm, and very firm, and folded his arms to wait patiently while she tried to pull herself together.

Miseria whimpered and debated with herself for a few minutes, which made Discord put a bit more pressure.

"I want no lies, Miseria. And you better start talking soon, because we have all of your mess to clean up."

Miseria took a deep breath before she spoke in a whisper. "I… I wanted… I just wanted…"

Discord blinked when he saw that she was shaking, trying to hold back some sobs.

She buried her face in her hooves and started to cry. "I wanted to be just like you so that we'd… So that we would… I wanted to be with you! I… I just wanted to be with you! I loved everything that you were, and everything that you did, from the moment I heard I saw you from the Dark Land… You don't get it; He showed and told me all about you ever since I was created! I didn't care that I was made to replace you; I really didn't want to do it, or even cared to do it!"

Discord sighed and kept quiet while she ranted. He rubbed his eyes with his lion paw and gently shook his head. Of all things, this really had to happen to me...

"*Sniff* I… I wanted to learn everything I could, but not to best you… I wanted to be just like you! I-it was so much fun, what you started, you know… I wanted us to finish it together, so that we could be like that forever! We'd have fun, and enjoy everything that you started, and we finished…"

She sobbed again and tried to wipe the tears from her eyes. "But… But she had to ruin it! She always did! Celestia always made your life impossible! She never liked anything you did, but she still… She still…! Why didn't you see all I tried to do for you?!" She sniffled and broke down in sobs again.

He kept staring at her, and his frown softened just a bit after some seconds. So… In that case, she...

"You were sealed away because she didn't like what you did and what you were. You changed because she wanted you to. You left me because you wanted to be with her, not with me! Ohh… You were always so sad because of her… And… I didn't want you to leave me… for Celestia, like you… Like you did that night!"

Discord blinked and frowned slightly. "What? But, wait a minute, you're…" He trailed off when he watched Miseria as she cried again. I guess you didn't understand after all…

"It… It hurt so much, Discord… I never wanted that…"

"Are you sure, Miseria?"

"Of course I am, you idiot! Why would I?! Why would anyone?! I… I worked so hard… I tried so hard… I did my best, so that you'd stay with me… I did everything I could and more! I-I never wanted to replace you, silly. I'd never do that, and I thought you'd know that… I wanted us to rule together!"

"...Rule together, huh? Well, isn't that an ambitious thought right there…" Discord shook his head again.

"...I realized a couple things from the first moment I saw Celestia in person. They hurt like nothing ever had before, but I couldn't ignore them… I… I knew I'd never be as good as her… in your eyes… I'd never be as beautiful as she was to you… I saw it coming, you know. From the beginning, I knew you'd leave me for her, and that frightened me… so, so much… I knew all along that you'd always leave me for her, no matter what I did…" She shook her head and sighed while she fidgeted with her hooves.

Her ears lowered again while she tried to wipe more of her tears, but only started to cry again. "I was only thinking of you… I couldn't be happy… I couldn't be happy if I let her live! Not her! Not somepony that changed the one I loved the most in this entire world! She changed you so much, she was so awful to you… You were perfect the way you were! I could never, ever forgive her, so I… I thought I was doing something good for the both of us… I thought you would eventually accept it and thank me…"

Discord's ears quickly lowered and he let out a quick breath of exasperation, while he gave her an annoyed look. "So you did, hm…?" Selfish as ever, just as I thought. But what can you do about it…?

Luna stepped back and stared at Miseria with surprise while she continued to rant and cry. The Mane Six around her were as speechless as she was, shocked at the revelation of conflicted, misunderstood feelings that Miseria had been holding all along, not known by them or even by herself.

Celestia stared down at Miseria with a quiet, but calm expression. She didn't seem surprised, like the others; there was sadness in her eyes, but there was also sympathy for the defeated girl.

Discord calmed down again by the time Miseria finished crying out her feelings. He still did not show much emotion in his face, but he knelt down in front of her nonetheless.

Celestia turned to look at Discord when he glanced at them over his shoulder. She nodded, already understanding his request. Hopefully things will go well after all…

"Leave us," Discord said to them. He dismissed their confused stares and protests, then gave them a small smile before he looked back at Miseria. "...My little sister and I need to talk."

Miseria blinked and glanced up at Discord again. Did he really say…?

The other girls looked at him with clear uncertainty, but decided that it was best to obey and give them some space and time to themselves. They cautiously started to make their way through the forest.

Twilight let her friends go ahead. She looked at Discord. "Be careful, okay? I know I probably don't need to tell you, but still. Just be. Things just barely got better."

"I know, I know. Twilight, just get going."

Fluttershy smiled at Discord after she patted his shoulder and nuzzled him. "I'm sure everything will be okay now. We'll be waiting for you. Be back soon… Um, if you can. Okay?"

Discord smiled back at her. "Don't worry, I will be there before you even know." He pushed her forward a bit, then watched her leave with the others. He stared after them without saying much else.

When Miseria's eyes met Discord's serious gaze, her ears flattened against her head again, and she couldn't speak. 'Little sister'... He's just teasing me, isn't he…? He wants to make me pay… She looked away and sniffed when her eyes filled with tears again.

"Now, then…"

"N-no… I know… I know what you're going to do." She continued to look away from him, then let out a sad sigh. "You're going to tell me that you never want to see me again. You'll make me leave on my own. I'll be banished, and be left on my own, like I deserve. I'll have nowhere left to go but back to the Dark Land. Right? That's just what you're about to tell me."

Discord shook his head and decided to interrupt her before she could go on any further. "Don't put words in my mouth, sister. That's quite a mistake, especially when it comes to me."

Miseria glared aside. "I don't care. It's what you want me to do, anyway."

He let out a long sigh and then helped her stand up. "Miseria… Listen, I never wanted you to go away."

"...What...? How... How dare you tell me that?! I heard you clearly-"

"Then you heard wrong."

"But-"

"You should have taken a moment to think about what I tried to tell you. I admit, I probably should have made myself clear, too. But at that moment, I was too upset. And it's more than understandable."

Miseria sighed and looked down without saying anything again.

"That time… When I found out about your trickery… I was very upset, to say the least. You deliberately manipulated me, Miseria. And what's worse, you nearly made me let Celestia die. You tricked me. I don't care what cute name you want to call your 'efforts', they all amount to trickery and manipulation from you to me. You lied not only to the Elements of Harmony and the princesses… You also lied to me."

He sighed and held his claw over his head while he tried to keep his composure. "I was very confused and hurt… I was losing my mind. On top of that, I kept reminding myself of my angry belief, that all we had done together was a lie… A means to an end for you, to get me under your hoof. I did feel plenty of anger towards you… I will admit that I am still upset. I know I said hurtful things…"

Miseria closed her eyes and waited for him to continue, to break her heart further.

"...But I never actually wanted you to leave."

"H-huh? What…?" She looked at him again, and watched him nod.

"Yes, that's right. There was no need for you to manipulate anything. I was never going to leave your side in the first place, even for Celestia. She wouldn't have come between us, you know. Siblings remain bonded, even when they meet a significant other. I thought you'd learn that from watching Shining Armor and Twilight Sparkle. Of course, our relationship would have been different. Not over, not less important, not insignificant, just different, you see. It was very simple, I would have explained… If you had asked."

Miseria frowned, but then shook her head. "I don't get it…"

"I know you don't, but you'll learn sometime… And you better learn, because it will be the best for all of us. I want you to understand that I never planned to change or leave you, just like Celestia never intend to change me in that way. I don't want to rule over everything, either. Listen, she didn't change me; I chose the change myself. It's actually not that bad at all…"

Miseria sniffed and gave him a sad expression. "How can you say that? We're the only ones left, brother… Think of all we could do… Think of all the things we saw while we…"

Discord patted her head. "Shh. I know. But listen… I am still allowed to have fun and use my magic, see? All I have to do is not overdo it. I know that I am giving up a lot of freedom and power… But it's worth it, in the end. And it's better this way. In return, I have found friends… and I have others that now recognize me as someone meaningful to them… They have helped me be free of loneliness. I prefer that over any kind of power and rule I may have wrongly chased after in the beginning."

She looked at him, then down again. "But... Now you're always going to be with Celestia... What I did... wasn't right. Was it? None of you liked it... They're never gonna let me come around here anymore... I'm going to be alone… It's just like you said… I lost everything and everyone..."

He smiled a little and patted her head. "It's just like with me… You really are, aren't you… Just like I was when I was young like this… I was confused, too. I got carried away easily, and didn't see things as they were, as was right… I lost control of myself, and paid for it deeply. But, in the end… I was lucky, because they gave me a chance. I think they'll give you one too."

"You… You think? It sounds too good to be true…"

"Oh, yes. It will take time, but I'm sure you will manage to change. By the way… Don't think that Celestia and I will be together at the hip, day in and day out. She's a princess, the eldest, so she has plenty of things to do. I'll have a lot of time to spend with you. You just have to learn how to behave, alright? You have to work hard on that." He held Miseria's face with his eagle claw.

Miseria smiled a little while she cried. She whimpered and hugged him quickly, making him blink with surprise.

"Oh, I'm so sorry, big brother! Please forgive me, I didn't mean to hurt you! I'm sorry! Brother, please don't let them send me away. Don't let them change me. I wanna be just like you. I don't care if they don't accept me, I want to be like you, brother! They can't ever change that! I don't wanna go!"

Discord stared at her quietly. He hadn't expected her to turn around so quickly… After all, it had taken him quite a while to do so, and honestly, he had not been nearly as evil and destructive as Miseria had been.

He chuckled while she whimpered and hugged him tighter. "It's alright, Miseria. We won't change you, it's not as bad as you think. We will not leave you, either. Ever." He hugged her back and nodded. "Like I said, you just have to learn a few things, like I did."

She smiled a little and kissed his cheek, then nestled into his arms. "...What are you going to do now, brother?" She sighed while she looked at Canterlot.

He looked at the city as well. He felt tired, burdened, and just overwhelmed in general, but decided that showing it would be of no help, especially to her. "Eh, I'll do what I can. Plenty to fix, plenty to explain… They won't be in a marvelous mood, but then again I'm used to chaos. I can handle whatever it is they snap with." He patted her head again, then set her down on the grass.

"...I should help…"

"Yes, you really should. However, you're going to stay here for now. That will be better. Let this forest be your home for the time being, while things cool off over there. You'll take it one step at a time."

"Okay… Guess I really have to, huh?"

"Of course you do." He turned around and stretched. "Okay… I have to go back to the others, and convince them that it's safe to give you a chance now. We'll meet tomorrow. Also, try and refrain from using your magic as much as you can, because it will save us all a lot of trouble."

She nodded and smiled brightly at him. "I'll wait for you, then, brother. And… I'll also try to to be… Um… I'll try to be good! Won't cause any more trouble!" She giggled and waved at him while she watched him leave, then quietly walked around in the forest.

She lowered her head while she made her way through. I can't believe it… He actually… He forgave me… My brother forgave me! Now I just have to do what he says… I can do it. I'll do whatever he does from now on. I'm sure he won't have any problem, as long as I try my best…

She sat down on the dark grass and looked around the clearing with a small smile. "...As long as Discord wants me around, I can manage whatever he asks me to do. Heh, I guess now I really do know what he feels… Being sort of… good, for the sake and happiness of someone else…"

The wind swept the clearing, blowing the grass aside, making her shiver a little. Before long, the cries and noises of the nightly creatures of the forest surrounded her. Most of them did not sound very welcoming, but the owners of such sounds remained well away from her.

Miseria did not stay in the clearing for long. Discord had said that the Everfree Forest would be her home for the time being, so she decided to explore it. As she did, she found some parts that were interesting, and others that simply did not please her at all. Overall, she decided that she could have stayed in a better place for the nights that she needed to, if not the palace.

There were so many thoughts in her mind, so many debates. She still tried hard to understand what had just happened earlier… What had gone wrong… Everything that Discord had said to her… She wanted to know what would happen from then on, but nothing provided an answer.

"It feels so wrong, to do this… To just… wait like this… I don't even feel sure about it… I mean… Being good! What if I'm bad at being good? All I'm gonna have to learn… It feels nice, to care for someone's sake… But… Well, their happiness depends on this… But it's gonna be hard…"

She held her head, then sighed and shook it. She smiled a little at her reflection in the river. "...Ahh… I'm sure it'll be worth it in the end… It's for my brother, after all…"

With that, Miseria closed her eyes, and continued to listen to the quietude, and at the same time, all the fuss that the Everfree Forest was famous for. After a few minutes, she could even hear a bit from the cities and towns that neighbored it.

If it all goes well… Maybe I will live there after all… Maybe not rule, but… Ruling is so overrated… I'll just… Brother will just give me a place to stay. I can hear all of it… They're already working so hard… It's as if I'd never pulled them apart in the first place…

The wind continued to sweep through the forest, blowing out the sound and scent of all the different things that inhabited it. Miseria's senses sharpened to their best, so that she could see, hear, and smell all that she could, and learn while she waited.

Things sounded just the slightest bit promising, and, from the promises that Discord made, it seemed like she wouldn't have to bend over backwards for those ponies. It pleased and relieved her more than ever to know that. After all… She already had a few things prepared for her possible new home.


...Plenty of feely music while I was finishing this up. Most certainly… 'No Way Out', from Brother Bear. It so does fit, doesn't it? At least, to me it does… And there's more, but eh, you guys could also imagine background music for this.

Discord's alone talk with Miseria kind of reminded me of Mufasa's talk with young Simba that night, after he rescued him, Nala, and Zazu from the hyenas in the Elephant Graveyard. Again… Eh, kind of made sense, the connection.

I liked this chapter, of course. It was good to work on it, but… I don't know… I feel like Miseria got off too easily… I'm sure some of you will feel the same way, and I hope you don't hate Miseria or anyone else for that… But that instead you give good suggestions. Um, but I really wanted her to change her mind, and see her mistakes. Of course, I won't deny that it may have all seen too easy and cheesy… Overdone, even.

But… In the end, I'm so glad and relieved that they managed to get through to her a little… But the ending… I feel it was… way too corny… I mean, she went practically insane and sadistic! Should things have ended like this?

Not to mention I kept remembering when Luna was returned to normal from being Nightmare Moon… But you know what? I still loved it all, and am glad that Miseria finally came to terms with things… a little. Whole lot of potential for more of the story to come! Annnnd…

GUESS WHAT?! I do believe this might just as well be the end to this second part of the series, to Chaos Competition! Ooh, gotta start thinking up a title for the third part… I'm so, so happy! Thank you again for those who have supported me through it all, I know it's a long way that is yet to be over…

Seriously, you guys. Those that have kept up with all of the fifty-seven chapters… You are amazing. I can't even start… I never imagined that I would have you guys here. I'm so lucky…

And those who haven't read the whole Chaos series? Just Chaos Competition or a few random chapters? You are amazing. I appreciate every kind of support, regardless of what it is.

Hope you have all enjoyed it as much as I have.