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Opalus Symphony [Invite]

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@IceStorm @SteelEagle

 

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Magic was -- a lot like music. If Octavia was let to explain the experience she had behind the cello it was hauntingly reminiscent of how a wizard felt when threading around existence with his control over the aether. Each experience was unique and different, but one thing all those could tell you that was always the same: is that there was nothing in the world like it. Power was an illusion and one had to measure up to constantly growing forces of opposition. That was why one always had to practice their song. To sustain a harmony in one's some meant abandoning all idea that you were superior. To play music meant you had to succumb to the force that was the melody. And just like music, magic had to be played with the heart, or risk creating cacophony.

 

How contradicting.

 

Perhaps that what had drawn the spirit near, or the coincidence of his friend in Canterlot. Whatever had drawn him he had become enraptured with the new toy in the ice mare’s possession. He floated around her, moving to attempt the object and levitate it over the palm.of his paw. The chimeric snake tittered as he pressed his face close, the stone's facets distorting his reflection. Sliding his tongue out playfully he smooshed his face against its surface only to be bit by a surge of magic. He snorted and shook his head, releasing the object as his paw and claw came to cover his snout, his mane puffed out in an afro from the static shock.

 

“Honestly, Squall has the most curious things.” He held out his claws, manifesting a comb to tug back his mane.

 

With a sproing the do returned to it's short and stiff standing. He tucked the comb into his feathers and floated down to the ground until he was on his haunches. While Canterlot was the center of Equestria’s magical education, he was still impressed by the unique things to come to pass through. He turned his gaze to Icy and grinned widely.

 

“Oh come now. What use do you have of something so impractical? I'll trade you a bar of chocolate for it.” He held out a small bar in foil. “And if that's not enough, how about more?!” He held out his paws only for the tiny bar to poof into a jumbo size twice the size of the mare. He peeked over it, smirking.

 

But if Discord wanted fit must have some merit in terms of magic and power.

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Ice Storm could tell that this was already going to be an interesting day. Still trying to get a hoof on these new magical artifacts, Ice Storm had called the two ponies that she knew of that would likely know the most about the type of magic these harnessed. One of them, was the princess of magic herself, in Princess Twilight, and the other was the god of chaos magic, although he technically wasn't a pony. He had a pony hoof and a pegasus wing, but that was the only thing pony about him. IF anypony would have information about this artifiact, she knew it would be one of those to. She doubted Princess Celestia would know much about them. The sun and Celestial aspect usually dealt with fire, so she figured this would be something that was out of her Element, so she figured her knowledge on it would be limited. Luna might know about them, but depending on when the original artifacts were made that these were based off of, she might not have actually been in Equestria when they were made, so she may not even know of them at all. Both options were equally as possible.

 

She thought back to them though, and then back to Twilight. Not too long ago, EPIC had suffered the worst, most embarrassing loss to the hooves of Tempest Shadow, and there wasn't even a fight. Some how she had managed to get by every defense they had, and managed in capturing all four of the princesses. She wanted to know how.... How did everypony happen to get assigned missions that had them out of the country, or no where near Canterlot to help with the invasion. What could they have done if they were there? The magic and weapons that they used were like nothing they had seen. These thoughts dwelled on her as she walked into the heavily fortified practice lab of the magic guild. As many masterful spell casters that were here in this location, this practice bunker had to be built essentially to with stand explosions that if not contained could level a city if they were to backfire. So far it's been able to contain everything quite well.

 

Her trance was broken though as she felt something disrupt one of the orbs. The orbit was thrown astray and she looked up to see Discord grab it, causing her to wince a bit. The slight disruption sent a very brief sting of pain behind her eye before she caught a glimpse of the orb emitting a shocking burst of electricity making Discord recoil a bit and his mane afro up. This puzzled her. Swift Squall had told her that these were formed with her aether, and were manifested and harnessed ice based spellpower. How did they shock him? She supposed that maybe it was a bit of his magic that it had absorbed briefly. She could definitely feel that it was a bit irritated though and it orbited a bit faster than the others.

 

When he made her an offer for them, she simply shook her head. "Even if I wanted to accept that offer, I couldn't. These are bound to my very mind and my aether. That brief moment when you stopped it actually hurt," she admitted. That would be a problem... if anypony with ill intentions figured that out, they could go after the orbs. Squall said they were durable, but when presented with an onslaught, just how durable. What happens if one shattered while it was linked to her? If simply stopping it hurt, what would be left of her? Still the fact that Discord wanted them spoke volumes about them. She wasn't sure exactly what she had, but she could easily presume now that they were important. Now all they had to do was wait for Twilight to get here so that she could try to start making sense of them, and what the consequences of these items entail, and more importantly, how to control them. She already knew that they were linked to her emotions. She found that out on her last trek through the wilderness when she carved a line of ice through a forest by accident.

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Twilight had been busier than normal but that wasn't a bad thing, not after all the recent events. It was rare for a series of events to cascade as they had and give her such cause to stand back and re-evaluate the procedures that she operated by with such an exciting and prosperous future as the prize. Personal issues and setbacks had fallen by the wayside as the torrent of possibilities and circumstances breathed new life into old topics and re-arranged the order of things. That wasn't say to that it had all been a joy to experience in the flesh in a moment to moment way. It had been terrifying and awful but after you've endured crisis after crisis you've learned to look at the bright side of life. Otherwise, existence could be pretty dreary. If all things went the way she wanted to now then all of the heartache would be worth it and she was confident that it could happen.

Much of that came from the invasion of the Storm King and Tempest Shadow. Equestria's defenses were bypassed entirely. Their early warning detection systems in the northeast were good, but centuries of what could only be described as laziness had taken their toll. What few messages were sent out by the system were smothered by agents Tempest had placed in Equestrian civil service in the area. The armada moved through underpopulated regions and a forest and through the mountains, striking when the capital was undefended. What REA units were in the area were primarily concerned with rumors of Changelings in the mountains. When they responded to the attack the Princesses had already been captured. Faced with threats upon the Princesses, REA forces in the local area had been forced to give up their arms.

But Friendship had won in the end. Twilight now had free reign to design Equestria's newest early warning systems as well as work with her brother for new deployment patterns. They had defeated a tyrant and gained a new and powerful friend and asset in Tempest Shadow. Relations with Klugetown and the Areas Outside had improved, while the Hippogriffs were a friendly player on the world stage. The defeat of the Storm King had gigantic global impact of course, and much of it was positive. Meanwhile, EPIC had been dispersed and away from the action, meaning some of Equestria's best and finest assets weren't threatened. Should the situation have gone south, they ere the exact ponies she would want leading any sort of counter-charge. The Keepers weren't suited for such tasks- unless the fabric of reality and arcane existence relied upon it, they were to keep to their task.

Speaking of EPIC, one of its agents had contacted her, desiring help in the identification and understanding of a gift she had been given. Ice Storm was a powerful and talented unicorn whose abilities and control of the elemental forces of ice were considerable. Twilight always loved helping out and that went doubly so for an agent of EPIC, and Ice was a mare whose interests and abilities were of note enough to make the occasion definitely interesting. When she heard that Discord would be there her curiosity was piqued even further. For all of his banality Discord was a creature of nearly unfathomable strength and ability. His insight, when focused, was always great.

She approached the magic hall alone, having sent off her guards to help others in the slight rebuilding of Canterlot needed after the attack. She caught the tail end- literally- of Discord as they entered. She trotted behind, catching only the tail end- this time was a metaphor- of the conversation. “I hope it isn't tied too directly. That isn't healthy for you or for the magic you use...” that brief moment of sobriety over, she trotted closer and tried to give Ice a hug. “Ice Storm! I'm so happy to see you. Discord, Fluttershy sent me a list of things you might tr getting in Canterlot for your next tea party at her place?” She asked quizzically, hoofing over a note before turning back to Ice and trotting deeper in.

“So! This is the gift?”

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If you wanted an expert in magical objects you found a being like Discord who have been around longer than whatever it has has been forged. It is hard to say what abouts the spirit’s age was, but it rightly did not matter as he has been actively about many kingdoms as they came and went and his exposure to these objects came at an expectation. He has seen them at their limit and the full extend of damage they could do. But if you wanted somepony who could logically present the item in a controllable medium on regards to a present-day standard you would call in someone like Twilight. Of course both entities had their danger. While one had first-hoof knowledge of the object, the other had none and with the curiosity of discovery a threat the unbridled amusement of the unexpected led both figures to be wildly irresponsible.

 

There were reasons why artifacts of great power were often lost to history. Be it laid to rest by heroes or forgotten by the greed of villains. There was something intrinsically enthralling about objects of power. Those who sought solace in light and dark would brave the deepest dungeons only to look upon such objects and yet here Icy wielded them with the casual regard one would hold a spoon. He could, overall, blame the inquisitive nature of Squall. Things like this should not be in the possession of ponies or any such being. The spirit seemed to enjoy the object's energy, but when Icy insisted that the energy was her own and id did her pain for him to fiddle with them so.Perking up the spirit would slowly place the object back into Icy’s aura field before crossing his legs where he float, a paw and claw to each respective knee.

 

The spirit blined and looked to the orb in his paw and claw. Is that what that spike was? “Oh, pardon me…” he chuckled nervously. “No harm done.” He assured, having not meant to hurt Icy in his teasing.


 

He sat behind the little mare and moved to braid her mane as Twilight joined the soon to not be party. His ears folded back as a teasing grin painted itself on his features, those mismatched digits twirling the blue-maned mare’s style until it was a ribbon bound mess of braids! While he did not dislike Twilight sometimes her habit of observing a situation could suck all the fun out of it. He floofed up at the mention of a list which would vanish from Twilight’s hoof, the spirit reappearing on her shoulder, completely shrunk to but 1/16th of his size, with a pair of bifocals. He read over the list before adjusting the lenses before taking them off.

 

“From Squall, no less.” His high pitched voice pointed out. “You know he could be a bit of an eccentric case. Oh I do love his sleepovers. He always knows how to party.” And to think Discord praised him…

 

Well actually that wasn't a surprise.

 

They were both, more often than not, the wild card in the bunch. It was far less surprising that Squall found it, or Discord praising home, than the unicorn actually giving it to Icy as opposed to keeping it to play with himself. Returning to his full size the spirit pressed his snout close to the orb, this time avoiding sparking himself and he mare in question. Oh he knew just what these were. He actually thought they'd never be found again. Ponies always did seem to surprise him.

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Ice Storm was overjoyed when Twilight was able to make it. she didn't doubt that she would miss something like this, but at the same time, like herself Twilight was a very busy mare, and sometimes when you're a very busy mare, things pop up at the last minute and you don't always get a chance to RSVP about it. This was something that Ice Storm knew herself quite well. She heard her comment about her hoping that it wasn't attached too directly, as that would be unhealthy for her and the magic that she used. She was then met with a hug, which she eagerly returned to the mare, the orbs widening their orbit to make room for the other pony, sensing happiness and speeding up ever so slightly from it. She also had a note for Discord from Fluttershy about what to get for the next tea party before asking if these were the gifts. Discord chimed in from his miniature form that was now looking over Twilight's shoulder stating that they were from Squall no less, and added how she knew that he could be a bit of an eccentric case. "That's an understatement if I ever heard one. He means well, but he doesn't always think things through very well and the possible consequences his actions can have on both the missions and Equestria as a whole," she added.

 

"That being said. Yes, these are the gifts that he presented to me at Hearth's Warming. From what I've seen from them so far, they are highly potent, and I'll be honest, I barely have control over them at the moment. I suppose that is to be expected until I learn how to use them to their fullest potential and understand how to harness what they provide. I can tell three things about them right off the get go, I know for a fact that they are connected to my emotions. I can feel the air temperature around me fluctuate as my mood changes. Unfortunately I can also say that they are in fact directly tied to my magic because Swift said that he they were made using aether from my aura. I don't think it's possible for them to be any more connected to me, and just the brief moment that Discord disrupted one stung," she admitted. "It is because of the potency that I can feel from them, the power that is within these, that I must learn how to control these. Otherwise well... I went on an expedition recently and without even trying I carved a path of frozen death as I walked and contemplated things. The air temperature had gotten so cold around me that I was freezing things as soon as it came within a few feet of me," she confessed turning to Twilight and Discord. "I really, really need your help... because if I can't control these... they will destroy me, because these aren't something I can just take off now."

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Discord was right to call Squall an eccentric one. He could at times be remarkably self-centered and dramatic and always thought himself the best equipped for any scenario. That he often wasn't the best suited for everything under the sun only rarely seemed to occur to him and the litany of times he got himself into trouble and needed the help spoke to that. For all of those honest complaints she had about him however he was a competent pony in many areas who, in his own strange way, was a great aid to Equestria. Of he could just be maybe ten, twenty percent less self-centered he'd be just about perfect as an upstanding and outstanding Equestrian citizen and hero. “He does have many...unusual ideas. Hopefully this one won't prove to be foolhardy as well,” she said to Discord, whose size and braiding activities had managed to elicit a giggle from the Princess.

A giggle she couldn't have soon after Ice was through speaking. This was not a good thing, not at all. Over the long history of Equestria ponies had found or created somewhat similar devices. They enhanced power but tied themselves too close. What was designed as a support mechanism became a magical crutch, one that the pony using it was unaware of until it broke. And when it broke, you became all too acutely aware that you had atrophied your ability to use magic independently and were now as weak, if not weaker, than a filly casting the most basic of magic. It was one of the reasons why such devices were, at best, insanely regulated and rare. She doubted Squall had truly thought of safety and instead had been focusing on helping her grow powerful. You couldn't really do both. The thought made Twilight rub her forehead in monumental frustration.

“Swift Squall you little...uuugh,” she sighed in frustrated, looking back at the orb. “So, the bad news. If this amplifying your powers t such an extent then it has a much better chance of breaking. And in every recorded case of a device like this breaking, once broken, your magical ability will be severely crippled. Tying something directly to one's aura is never a good long-term strategy. And in an uncontrolled state, the lifetime of such a device is drastically reduced. So getting it under control will likely reduce overall power output while allowing for longer use, but like all things of its ilk, it will eventually break and you will be hurt by that. So while we are going to try and learn to control it, we also need to ensure we create safeguards for you. When it does break you will likely need a bit of magical re-training and re-strengthening.

Luckily, I think we can kill two proverbial birds with one proverbial rock. But in order to do that, we have to go above and beyond in making sure we start the process with you in an emotionally neutral state. Any worry, fear, joy, excitement- it can ruin the process. We need to get you to a neutral state and then see where the triggers are on an aetheric basis for the device. We will then re-fortify these atheric points with certain magical effects intended to keep such pathways strong and restrictive at the same time. We will then work with you to help you access the device of your own volition and under your own control, and learn how to meter its effects. Any idea on how we can accomplish that starting point?
” She asked somewhat rhetorically, knowing that if Ice Storm allowed it, Discord could actually take care of that easily.

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Though the spirit's eyes were upon the mares when they looked to him: the moment their gaze was averted his ears rose up and swiveled forward so they were focused on the swirling stones that wholly twisted between Icy’s natural aether currents. He was genuinely surprised the spheres did not parasite upon the sapphire mare. Most artefacts of olde had habit of draining their host. Untempered in their creation, the limitations put on more modern aetheric tools existed naught in the past. What did one gain by limiting his or her ability? And so was the folly of pony and kin unlike to forge such trinkets, one meant to out so the last, leaving scattered scarce remains of ancient civilizations and entire lands devoid of magic. He could see now that they were fastened in a way one would put a prosthetic on to a limb. It was so wholly part of her that any drastic removal would do her a shock! It did him one!

 

It wasn't a shock in the same sense of electricity. These were orbs of ice. It was in the more critical regard was that they had gave him a magical shock that was like a book booby trapped by a static induced zap! It was a chilling prospect really. The orbs appeared to already be acting negatively towards removal, and he was playing with them within the mare’s proximity! Discord had removed it. He did not simply touch or pick it up. With his action he removed the problem, if only for a split second. And yet it reacted as if they had been part of Icy for much longer. He didn't seem to stomach the idea of Icy getting destroyed by these things. But he also was not sure if he should rob the ponies of this most vital lesson in forbidden artefacts. Perhaps Icy and Twilight were the last ponies he'd need to warn if such things (and Twilight the first he needed to warn of her overtly inquisitive lines of scientific methods). Sometimes surprises were so much better!

 

Discord looked to Icy and rolled his eyes as Twilight went on one of her rants. “You'd think half of this was scripted.” He held out his paw, a hoof thick script occupying it. Upon it was the title: “Twi’s Rant”.

 

When Twilight presented her question, specifically directing her gaze at Discord his expression tightened in a smile that showed he was caught red-hoofed. He quickly disposed of the script by cutting it up and pulling out the accordion fold to reveal a chain of Twilight and Icy cutouts holding hoof to hoof. Snapping the collection of paper into a cube he would manifest yoga mats beneath Icy, Twilight and himself. He wore a bright tie dye shirt with a pair of purple, circular, sunglasses at the end of his muzzle. His hind legs were crossed as he touched his claw and paw thumb to their respective middle fingers.

 

“To get to a neutral state you have to find your center. That sweet, gooey nougat filled center that is surrounded by crispy, cremey chocolate.” His forked tongue slithered from his muzzle and reached up to remove the glasses.

 

He would stare at Icy as he spoke, this hypnotic gaze working along his calming spell words. Icy would still, certainly, be in charge of her mind and if she could will it so: she would be able to break entirely from his grip, but that was the point, bow wasn't it? Centering her mind to a state of pure neutrality would allow her to perfectly center her magic. While he was doing this to help Icy out, there wasn't to say he had a smug sense of satisfaction that his spellwords were helping ponies. And with all their complaints in the past! Psssh! Were Icy to indeed give consent Discord would reach out to poke her forehead as he would attempt to seal up focal points of her roaming emotions.

 

Completely relax her.

 

Nothing outside existed.

 

Nothing inside ended.

 

It was infinity.

 

And Discord did have a flair for the dramatics, as was the case.

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The more that Ice Storm listened to Twilight and what she ha d to say about the orbs, the more concerned she grew about them. She knew that Swift had said that he had them made extremely durable and had subjected them to some heavy extremes, but the knowledge that they could, and probably still would break at some point worried her. Twilight brought up the fact that she would be hurt from the event. Ice Storm immediately shook her head in response. "It's not me that I'm worried about Twilight. I've basically accepted at this point that these things very well could kill me if they broke. My concern is everypony else. My magical energy, my aether, is ice. The Aether that flows through these devices, it's all ice. If these things break, and they are enhancing my levels to that extent, all of that Aether has to go somewhere..." Ice said pausing. "If these ever get to the state where breaking is a possibilty. I will have to leave Equestria Entirely... I fear that if they do break, they will do so explosively. and I fear that if I'm anywhere in Equestria when that happens, many will be caught in the blast radius... I can't have that many lives on my hooves when this happens."

 

It was true that she had very little knowledge of how these things worked at the moment, and it was possible that when they broke, that they would just simply stopped working, and broke in this context wasn't meaning the literal context of the word. Perhaps it was though as something that is broke does not operate as intended. There were many avenues that could take and hopefully all of them were a long time off yet. She did listen intently though when she heard Twilight say that they could potentially kill two proverbial birds with one proverbial stone. She talked about altering her state of mind, or rather, puttering herself in a state of pure neutrality because any emotions could skew the locations or make it harder to do what was needed. Through this, Twilight said that she could possibly refortify these Aether connections, letting them be both stronger and restrictive at the same time.

 

She then listened to Discord as he started talking to her. She started by rolling her eyes a bit as he commented on Twilight's comments with a small book labled "Twi's Rant". In Twilight's defense here, this was a good thing to rant about. She herself knew that these things were just as dangerous as they were powerful.  She looked into his eyes as he was speaking to her and she could feel herself beginning to relax more and more as he spoke to her. He told her that she had to find the center of herself. The center of the gooey nougat that was in the middle of the crispy creamy chocolate. She wasn't completely sure what he was meaning by that, but she was sure that she was really wanting some nougat filled chocolate right now. When discord held a finger out and was seemingly awaiting her permission for something, Ice nodded. She needed to be able to control these. If not for her own sake, then everypony else's.

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Twilight understood how dangerous this was. It was why they were going to such extremes. Discord started it up, Ice Storm obliged them, and now it was Twilight's turn. Meditation and therapy would play their parts but when dealing with a magical artifact, one needed some...drastic measures to ensure that you controlled it. Magic could easily bypass mental barriers. You needed to be in control, not hiding. Twilight walked behind Ice Storm silently, Discord's magic doing its part. She would soon start to speak, but it was subliminally and small, in her deepest mind behind the consciousness that was dealing with Discord. Twilight's eyes and horns flashed a dull white and she whispered.

“We are safe here. Ice, what do you see when you see yourself?” she whispered. She could not control what Ice saw or how she was experiencing all this. That was different every time. But her work with the Keepers had told her of an effective method of helping them control the artifacts they found.
“You are ice and you are cold, but like all ponies you burn with aetheric energy. Find yourself in the miasma of your confusion, of words, of feelings, thoughts, and magic,” she would whisper again.
“You are whole. You are you. There is nothing but you, me, Discord, and your aether. You are the master and the commander of your fate, your magic, your aether, your soul. You must center yourself upon this understanding, and allow no other interpretation to take hold. You are the master of yourself,” she whispered again, her magic lightly pulsing.
 

“Centered, look around your own mind. Find the many facets of your emotions. See now the tether between your emotions and the orbs? Isolate it in your mind,” she gave what directions she could. The truth of this spell was what she said and what Ice heard were different. Ice would hear what she needed to hear to ensure that the deed was done. Twilight just has to ensure she did her job the proper way.
“Now that it is isolated, imagine the emotions it is tied to being momentarily neutralized. You are calm. You are in control. You are safe. You are the master and commander of your fate and you will not be ruled by your emotions,” she said, her magic pulsing once more.

Twilight took a deep breath, feeling something stirring. Something exciting. They were about to move forward, she felt. Only one way to know. Her horn pulsed.
“Now pluck that vibrating string, that tether to the artifact. See what it does. No matter what, you are the master and commander. You control your emotions. You control the artifact. You are the master of your fate. Nothing else matters. What does it do?”

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Theatrics aside the spirit seemed to know what he was doing. It was never that he didn't know what his antics brought about. If nothing else the chaos spirit was frighteningly aware of his idiosyncrasies and how they looked to others.the whole purpose of chaos was to bring confusion and disorder to the masses. It allows the monotony of the average, everyday life to be broken and give one a chance to reevaluate their thoughts and actions. It was like a break in the beat allowing instruments to interchange. Strings, brass, percussion working together in a cacophonous arrangement to create a semblance of Melody was not unlike how magic worked. Ponies were skilled with one or another class of magic giving them the wherewithal to create spells that, apart, seemed utter madness to allow a mash of pastel ponies to produce, but together they seemed to manage a whole society with relative ease.

 

While not without its bumps, Discord was quite impressed by their overall progress.

 

But sometimes complicated contraptions such as this came into existence to ease a pony's handicap with a particular skill. Amplifiers as he called them, were often unnatural artefacts that created new channels for magic to flow through or increased magic while failing to supplement these paths. While more natural methods we're no less safe, they at least did to grow with a host without a parasitic side effect. Not always, but it was safe to say these stones Squall had found were made. They already displayed their magicsucking intentions. By what he saw the stones gave Icy a means to increase her natural affinity to ice and would likely increase it tenfold, but at the rate it was atunning Icy's body had yet to catch up.

 

It was all about growth and this thing was growing too fast, simply met.

 

The spirit perked his ears and looked over to Twilight, snaking through the air until he was behind the mare of magic. “I would think the potential Doom matters.” He cooed into her purple ear before he vanished and appeared behind them, his paw and claw grabbing on to his talon and hoof, respectively. “But if you really want to go out with a fizzle rather than a bang…!” He held out a sparkler before letting it erupt into a soft Cascade of confetti. “I'd suggest looking at just how they're hanging onto the little mare. After all a pony's aether isn't just spilling out for any old artefact to cling to them so easily!” What was he suggesting?

 

That perhaps there were more than one chord linking the stones to Icy?

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Magic.... Aether... Emotions... Memories... All of this was under the control of a ponies subconscious. How a pony dealt with these was different for everypony, but the fact of the matter was that for those who had the power to read it. the ponies mind was an open book to read. Very few pony had enough mental fortitude to be able to withstand somepony seeping into their mind and picking it apart for whatever information they were trying to attain. Most of the time when a pony exercised these types of mind altering affects, they were usually ill intented... after information on hideouts, strong points, secrets that would be able to destroy a pony if they got into the eyes of the public. Ice Storm was one of these such ponies that was able to develop and maintain safeguards against her mind. Being a mage in the EPIC force, it was required that they be able to block their own mind from mental attacks so that they couldn't be taken over by another magical force and used against their comrades.

 

Today though, all of those barriers were gone. Ice Storm was in the practice hall with the embodiment of chaos himself and the Princess of Friendship and one of the most powerful Magic users that Equestria has ever seen. As the aethers between Twilight, Dicord, and herself connected. Her eyes opened, however they were completely saturated with color as the brightness of the aether that was now within her and the stones was in full force. In fact a pony that came in to the practice all could very well be blinded by the force and the intensity of the light that the aether was giving off. As it did though she could feel Twilight enter her mind, instruncting her to find the center of herself. She heard her said that she had to center herself within her magic, within her aether, within her soul. As she did this though, she would flood through the memories that she had, many of which harboring hidden emotions that on the surface she was not aware of nor was ever displayed but were harbored to this day.

 

Twilight would come across the first major memory that held either hidden emotions of rage, and lots of rage. It stemmed from the events of the Crystal Faire and the invasion of the Red Jarl. At the hieght of the memory, it would confirm that there is an emotional tie to the stones as well as aether, as the orbit of the stones intensified and the surrounding air temperature dropped. The thought of the spire collapsing... the thought of so many that were lost in that attack alone... and the fact that he remains at large bothers her greatly. She knew that he wasn't the primary point of the attack but... he took out the spire which easily had the most defenseless ponies in it. He made the decision to support Sombra in that attack, and was the cause for the most loss of pony life in any recent Equestrian invasion.

 

Soon that memory passed though, however rage had definitely built. However that wasn't the point of this. Ice needed focus as she shifted through as more and more memories of her past showed up. Memories from when her foalhood, how she had to raise herself, how she spent the first few months in Canterlot living in the Central park before finding somepony willing to help take her in. The memories of her struggles in Canterlot when she first got there and first opened her store, then the events that changed her life heading in the positive direction. The night with Princess Luna on the hil. The same night she met her wife, the same night that she became one of Luna's personal Stewardesses. She had full access to the palas observatory. The night she opened her second store, back in Canterlot. Then her third, her fourth, her fifth. Soon she had made her way past her memories, past her emotions all the way down to the veins of the aether that flowed through her. Then even further down to her magical heart.

 

The connections that were pouring from the heart were many. the magic in her spread throughout her entire body, not just in a confined path from the aether to her horn. Confirming that the magic that she had was having physical affects on her body, and was likely the cause of many of the irregularities that she had, including her well below average body temperature, her immunity to cold, and her overnight issues. However from her body came several tendrils that were operating in retrospect to the Opalus Spheres that were orbiding her. With the emotionless state, Twilight would now be able to see that there were four tendrils of magic tying them to the aether core, as well as two that seem to connect elsewhere in her mind, and the most importantly, one tying them directly to her life force. In this state, Icy couldn't move, she couldn't thing, she couldn't do anything. For all intents and purposes, she was in a magically induced coma. Completely at the bidding of Twilight and Discord.

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The first stage had been a success. As Discord had predicted, there were multiple lines connecting her to each orb; four links to each. That was somewhat unusual. Well, not somewhat. Very. Each and every time she had studied similar artifacts there was generally just a single tether point. They would pull from all emotion. It allowed for more efficient means of control. The fact there were more lines meant it would be harder for her to control since it could mean that they attached to specific emotions or swings in them.
That was an issue. Twilight was a far-away passenger to Ice Storm's passage of time and memory, and felt the emotions only at a distance. She was the back-seat passenger in the carriage of Ice's emotional creation not the driver. Her words carried intense weight and her suggestions and commands could lead Ice about, but the work had to be done by Ice Storm. And that meant she would have to overcome these obstacles through her own efforts. Since the multiple tether points created such issues however, they'd have to go deeper.

“...Isolate one tether, the connectivity between you and the orb. You are the master and commander of your emotions. Find one tether. Follow that tether into your soul. You are master and commander of your soul. Follow that tether, and see what it connects to. What emotion it pulls from, what memory makes it ignite. You are the master and commander of your destiny. Isolate it. This memory and this emotion, indulge in it for a brief moment. You are in command. You are the master of yourself. You are you.

Now, stop indulging in it. It is expended for now. See the tethered line of aether, how it vibrates with your emotional power. Hold it in your mind and repeat after me: सार्धम् एताः गिर्इच्छामि निषेध,”
Twilight said, her voice and horn growing darker as she spoke. Ancient words of power and magic only briefly considered functional, such a spell if done correctly allowed very minor alterations in the aetheric makeup of a certain area. It worked in a metaphysical sense rather than in the material world, and would allow Ice Storm to have success shaping her control. The downside was that...it hurt Twilight to cast. She wouldn't allow the nosebleeds in real life to distract her from her work, however. Besides, she had Discord to keep watch in case anything went entirely wrong. He was always good to have around.

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It wasn’t every day that a pony had a private audience with a princess and a prince! Friendship and madness went together like lightning and gold! Brilliant, sparkling, but very, very frightening! It truly was a venture to sing to the ages, but this bardic tale was no ordinary melody of exaggerated truths. The notes were harsh, discordant and the strings binding the orbs to Icy's heart were without tone. Striking one could resonate with such force that it risked snapping. Any dealing with the chords would have to be done with care. Following a measured scale would only do once Icy had everything tuned, and thus was Twilight's worry. If they played to fast it was assured the song would rush out like alphabet soup. Too slow and it may gum up the works.

 

The spirited draconequus pricked his ears as the whisper of the purple mare’s spell words carried to his ears. At first the incantation seemed benign, mere murmurs of an unsung song to keep the azure mare at peace. No, the more she repeated the lines the quicker Discord came to realize their power. Grey brows arched as he clapped his paw and claw together. His head raised, only to cant to the side. A wide grin painted on his face as he would soon come to realize just what her spell threaded. How amusing! Pulling out all the stops. Twilight sought to open doors and lay out paths for the little mare. A dangerous game she played.

 

“A foolish song you sing Twilight.” He mused, reaching up to rub his beard in a manner one would abide a super villain. “Is this really who you're looking for?” He cocked his head and added to the purple mare’s spell words.

 

“प्रत्येक पद अर्कोसँग गाई दिनुहोस्.” It seemed the spirit knew the game as well and helped Twilight's words to resonate and echo within each sphere. The goal was to get them to sing back in a manner Icy could control, alter… “And for good measure.” He held out his paw.

 

Sitting upon the open pad was a metronome that counted a tempo of 60 beats. It was the same measure of the ticking seconds of a clock… His tail reaches around to wipe the alicorn’s muzzle with a hankey, though were

 she to open her eyes it was her own wing he used to dry her snout. The metronome was meant to help time flow at a constant, for within one's mind the seconds could turn to days and weeks, but the steady pressure of a tempo would keep time.

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The Subconscious... That is where everypony was at now. Trying to locate the tethers that bound these artifacts to the magical aura of the blue unicorn that stood in the middle of The Princess of Friendship and The God of Chaos respectively. Both of them were working simultaneously with her in order to make sure she could control the devices that were not permanently attached to her barring a cataclysmic removal. It appeared though that they would have to go even deeper than they thought. The connections with the orbs and herself were much stronger than they had anticipated and they had to try to isolate different points to strengthen them. Ice had to completely clear her mind from anything other than controlling the access points. Although that was proving to be a bit easier than done. The emotions of past and buried memories kept pulling her back towards the memories and it took her a good minute or two to distance herself from each memory enough to where they no longer had an affect on her.

 

However, as she tried to distance herself from them thinking that was what she needed to do at first, She heard Twilight instruct her to indulge them, embrace them until they could find exactly what emotion the tendrils were connected to. The first memory that she started to embrace was the one of the Red Jarl, and almost instantly the emotion of rage could be felt and there was a substantial drop in temperature around her. Anypony looking in from the outside would see the orbs accelerating faster and faster. to the point to where they were almost a constant blur from the fact that there were four of them following the same trajectory. However, this produced the desired affect and she found the tendril that was focused on her rage. Twilight then told her to cut all emotion which, now given the circumstances were much easier said than done. Considering that she had just been embracing them. When Twilight told her to repeat after her and she did so, but she the words weren't without weight.

 

There was a cadence to everything. She could feel something in her... something pulsing, something that felt like a tick.... tick... tick.... it was a natural response to a ponies body for the heart to start beating at the pace of life, and would naturally attune itself to the beat of any music that was present, or any beat in general, in this case, she heard Discord add to what she was supposed to be saying and she began to speak the entire phrase in the cadence that her body was now set in. As she spoke and sang... a slight ring in her subconscious could be heard echoing throughout her mind. As it did, she felt an impulse to raise her hoof. Blind to the world around her at the moment, she had no idea that Discord had extended his paw, but the sheer amount of magic in the room directed her hoof towards him and rest it in his. The ringing in her mind grew. It started off very faint at first but slowly started getting stronger and stronger. Only time would tell how strong it would get before it would set the final connection.

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Twilight allowed the blinding headache to subside. They were doing well here. She was a little concerned with how Discord was acting, but she knew he was here to help in the same manner she was. Her spell-words were precise and she worried that additions would cause problems for all of them. Luckily, Discord knew what he was doing and his addition did nothing to bring harm. Indeed, he was only helping. Ice Storm would benefit from all of this. The work being put in for her was legendary; too bad nopony else would ever know of it.

She looked at Ice Storm, her eyes still lit up and a nose bleed- thankfully cleared up by Discord for a second- starting once more. She took a deep breath and continued. “You are doing well. Only you can do this. You are master of Ice Storm. You are the master of your aether. You are the master of your emotions. You are the master of these orbs. They obey you. You do not obey them. Now, know this and take it to heart: "उपोन थिस् क्नोव्लेद्गे योउ दोमिनते योउर्सेल्फ़्. थेरे अरे नो स्त्रिङ्ग्स ओन् योउ. य़ोउ अरे इचे स्तोर्म. मिस्त्रेस्स ओफ़् योउर् ओव्न् एमोतिओन्स्. मिस्त्रेस्स ओफ़् योउर् अएथेर्. रागे. हते. ळोवे. Fऍर्. Fरिएन्द्शिप्. ववेस ओफ़् एमोतिओन्. ववेस ओफ़् लिफ़े. छृअशिङ्ग् उपोन योउ लिके थे रोच्क्स ओफ़् थे एतेर्णल् शोरे! अ प्रिसोनेर ओफ़् थेसे ओब्जेच्त्स् नो मोरे! ई रेलेअसे योउ फ़्रोम् थिस् स्पेल्ल्!" Twilight said, her voice and cadence becoming distorted and deep as she finished.

With a blinding and screaming flash of black and white they snapped out of wherever they had been and back into reality. The area around them lay scorched and distorted at odd angles and what was once solid had become as liquid, leading to them falling fetlocks high into a strange goopy mess that had been the floor. Twilight struggled a second and then pulled herself out of it. As she did so the mess fell off of her entirely, leaving her dry and unmarked even as it fell back down into its matter-soup with a plop. Once everypony had made their way out of it the ground started to resolidify and became solid once more, though considering how twisted and gnarled it looked, one would be forgiven for thinking it had been melted into such a position.

Twilight threw up in that moment.
Uggh...well, that was an experience!” she chirped back up, “How is everypony feeling?'

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For the spirit wandering the vast scape of a pony’s mind was limiting, like being locked in a repeating verse that hardly changed from pony to pony, but he looked on from infinity which made it difficult to spot the layers upon layers that made a mortal so interesting. The decisions they made and the songs they wrote with their heart drew the attention of a god like him who,for a moment, thought he had them dancing to the beat of his drum. No it was the other way around. The beat of a pony’s heart followed a pre-marked sheet that had an introduction, refrain, the bridge and outro. There were times where they had special notes within their section and there were other times they needed the help of other players, as Ice Storm did now.  Where they saw the boundaries of their mortality and morality the chaos spirit could see on into infinity. . There was only so far a pony was ever willing to go because they may hurt themselves or another or they cannot bring themselves to hurt another as they have been hurt.

 

In this case it would seem Icy had a deep seeded rage, cacophonous in its nature, kept uplifted by the soft tube she sought to bury beneath. But as her song became louder to hush the tenor that rang from the hidden feeling the harder it was to hide. Discord had found the whole thing fascinating. Ponies worked so hard to sing to a different tune, to follow in the hoofbeats of their fellows. Even Twilight seemed to be putting in her all to help this pony. There were not, by any account, closer than the magically proficient princess’ pals. Icy was just another agent out on the field. Another pony who has bitten off more than they could chew. And yet still so much went to help this one pony.

 

How selfless.

 

Well Discord was not one to be outdone! Once the mare of sleet could locate her rage and her hoof met his paw the spirit became an additional best in her step. His perfectly timed metronome would mimic Icy's heart, drumming faster and faster. Twilight's words of magic filled the air and more of the chaotic energy began to swirl until white filled the all that was around them. It was in this split second in time that Discord would walk through the field.

 

“Don't worry about it Icy. I'll put everything in here.” He held out a jar and seemed to capture the light all around. The spirit would manifest a chest and drop the jar inside if it. “It's all right here, so don't worry about losing it.” Was that a dream? A vision?

 

No it was real, but it happened so fast that…

 

Twilight's voice broke the dissonance and Discord found himself blossoming, horns covered in springtime flowers and his antlers budding fruit. “Well that was a ride!” He pressed himself up with a pop and spun about. “I must say I wouldn't want another ride!” Discord showed off his Twilight paraphernalia: a tee shirt, a flag, a Twilight hat and a tiara mimicking her own crown.

 

Oooof course.

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So far everything was going about as smoothly as anypony could have hoped for. Ice Storm had a small setback of her own. The brief laps of her rage hindered progress a little bit, but once she was able to get everything straightened out and back on the right path, it didn't take long for Twilight to figure out where she needed to focus and apply her magic. The power that was behind Twilight's spell words could easily be felt behind them. It underscored just how powerful Twilight actually was. She was dominating herself. No strings, Master and Mistress of her own emotions. Rage, hate, love, friendship.... everything was an endless sea. A sea who's waves crashed and churned to the orchestral beat of a drum that was the steady tick of each flow. Ever crash began to cease, every wave to a ripple before soon, the once raging ocean inside of her had been calmed. The roar of the winds have softened, and the fires of the brass had died down. She was in control... The process spread.... from one emotion to the next. From one tether.... to the next.... Soon she could feel.... resonance.... the resonating frequency of the orbs that surrounded her had meshed with that of her own. They were now completely, under her control.

 

Before she knew it, the spell had ended. However, it took a moment for the magic to leave her, as her eyes remained white for a few moments well after the spell had been concluded. After those moments though, the magic flickered inside of her and her eyes readjusting back into the Aquamarine blue that they were before the spell. The orbs still orbited her but at a much, much slower pace. She came to as Discord talked about that being a ride, but one that he wouldn't want to go on again. "Thanks.... I guess? I can't say my mind is the safest of places for anypony. She was quick though to notice the smell of bile though and managed to look over to Twilight. Apparently she had vomited before she had completely came to. She did catch one other thing. In the exiting phases of the magic, she barely caught Discord saying that everything is right here, so don't worry about losing it. What was all there? Did she need to ask? She supposed she would find out soon enough.

 

At that point she heard Twilight ask how everypony was feeling. "Fuzzy, but.... better than I have in a while.... I feel..... energized..... Way more aetherical energy than I had before...." She said as she took a moment to test her control on one of the test dummies in the room. As soon as she started to activated one of her spells, everything became clear. The aura of magic was no longer just around her horn, but beams of aether formed straight from the orbs and connected to her horn in almost a blink of an eye, and just afterwards a beam of ice shot and caused the dummy to not just freeze, but freeze so rapidly that it shattered from the sudden stop down to a molecular level. "Woah... that was much faster than before. I'm gonna have to tone it down when I make ice cream.... talk about a killer brain freeze," she joked a bit before looking back to Twilight. She also noticed that as soon as the spell was cast and resolved the orbs returned to the new normal pace that they had established. So far it was working. "That said... I apologize for some of setbacks while we were doing that. I... am not without my own fair share of issues..." she commented looking between the both of them.

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Twilight allowed herself a brief moment of excitement at her success. They had went pretty deep there. She had always wanted to use some of those words and spells and was pleased to have been able to pull them out in service of helping a friend. It didn't come without a price, however. Ancient words of power never did. Like a tab taken out at a saloon the price always needed to be paid and it would be an unpleasant method at best. Still, now was not the time and place to dwell on what would come later. Her primary concern was ensuring that ice Storm was doing well. They could always continue the work if she needed it, though she desperately hoped that what they had done had worked. As willing as she was to commit to further action she wasn't a masochist or a spirit who had a sub-realm to escape to.

The first signs were promising as far as Ice's health was concerned. She seemed to have much better control of the aetheric connections. A pleasant side effect was a strengthening of her own aether, as was seen when she went to utilize her magic and it was super-powered. She would need to learn how to modulate herself once again. No different from earlier in life, with a higher capability for success thanks to the guild being such a wonderful resource. Considering the history of ponies trying to handle such matters on their own was riddled with sorrowful tales. Thank Celestia she had access to all the resources that the guild had! It seemed that Ice was aware of the issue, too. That was good. They would all need to take stock of capabilities after this. And get something to eat. Ancient words of power left her feeling empty.

Twilight nodded as Ice Storm spoke. “We all have issues we must contend with. Most of us don't have magical artifacts linked so acutely to them of course, but that is neither here nor there. I didn't go into this expecting it to be easy, and I wouldn't have balked has I known what I was to encounter. I am only happy I could help you. That WE could help you,” she said in correction, patting Discord on the back. On the tail. On the...what did he have again? It was hard to tell. She made sure that as she patted him though to knock some of the Twilight merchandise off very accidentally. “So...yes, something to eat, right?”

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It was always the refrain that was hardest. Looking at a music sheet one could always predict the end coming. It was staged, scripted and went on for a measured number of chorus. It was, for some ponies, a relatable comparison to life. The way it ended. Life did not end abruptly. You always knew when your time had come to play the final note. But not for a being like Discord. Music had a discordant structure reserved for the chaos of existence. Instruments that, alone, would never be able to hold the tune are accompanied by others in a cacophonic parade that created a tune pleasurable to the ears.

 

To think one could make noise so appealing.

 

Discord had sealed away what he would and would come back upon the quivering sounds of spellwords that escaped the mare's lips. His ears danced about to the best as the sir crackled with movement and the sound of silence hot like a hammer upon a cracked bell. Everything distorted and, for a moment, tastes of purple. Numbers shaped in the sound as the air became deeply flavored. Chaos and music often went hoof and hoof but when one was given to such a euphoria that they would claim instances of synesthesia it had reached the peak of its performability. And perform the young alicorn mare did as she crumpled from her casting.

 

The wailing snap of her spell ended his trip through the harmonics of a dizzying escapade. The call of her hoof on his back dropped him back to reality. He sputtered as spaghetti fell from his pockets, the baggy jeans he was suddenly ready seemed barely able to fit his lanky, discombobulated form let alone hold up to gravity. His eyes narrowed at Twilight as he used his claw to scoop the globs of pasta into his pockets with his paw holding, what seemed to be, a small universe contained in his pantaloons.

 

“Or having such objects thrust upon you.” After all with was Squall’s hootnanning that created a hullabaloo! The spirit was nearly impressed. “I’m all for lunch.” He'd respond in a pause as the splort of the pasta audibly squelched when he wiggled his toes. “No spaghetti.” He pressed. “This is for Bluey Blue a few months ago.” Wait for him a few months ago…?

 

But as the pasta vanished into the pocket and did the pants it was a comment better left unquestioned. He looked around. It seemed reality didn't collapse on itself. He was impressed. Those had been some huge chorus’ Twilight sang. The spirit floated off the ground, his snaking body shifting as he pushed to observe Ice Storm’s orbs. They seem to have found a link. He scratched his beard, claws raking through as a delighted grin pained his muzzle with s wall of sharp teeth.

 

The apple offering snake laughed as he nodded, bibs appearing around the mare’s necks. “Perhaps an all you can eat place? After that I am feeling a bit peckish.” He pulled a dandelion from his dark coat of feathers before it became clear it was a string of bibs all with different print. Icy had a lobster on hers and Twilight a club sandwich. “What do you say?” He seemed to have trouble tugging out the last bit of rope until yoink! The two mares would likely find themselves pulled through, if they didn't resist, dangling from the rope like kites in a tree.

 

He would grin sheepishly and set them down.

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The events of the day so far for Ice Storm could be considered a success. There was a lot that she would still have to do to hone everything down and make sure that she could control this new level of magic. A level that, just a week ago she would have never thought possible for her to obtain. It's amazing how much can be accomplished with... just a simple gift. She could only hope that she would be able to use this gift well and put it to good use. Such power should not be wasted when it can be used to help protect. She knew where she needed to start. That would be for a later time though as she heard Twilight mentioning food. She said that everypony had issues that they have to deal with at some point. She wasn't expecting this to be easy and she wouldn't have backed out if she had known beforehoof either. She was just happy that they were able to help her. "Thank you. That means a lot."

 

Discord then spoke something about spaghetti, and then about how the artifacts were kinda just dropped on her a few months ago. It came to her as odd that he was now wearing jeans... that were way too big, and had spaghetti flowing everywhere while he was trying to put it back into his pockets. Then again it was Discord, and they were just using a form of ancient magic. Celestia only knows what some of the effects were. He was however, suggesting an all you can eat place. Before she knew it, herself and Twilight was wearing a bib, and Discord seemed to be pulling more from his cloak. As he did, something tugged and they were lurched through the cloak portal, whatever it was that Discord was pulling these through, and were now suspended from a tree, like a kite who's string had looped around one too many branches, just waiting for the wind to cease before plummeting back down to the ground. Concentrating on the ground, with a flick of her horn, she was on it, though well off target, as a small bit of powdered snow fell from the sky from where she was. "Looks like I'm gonna have to learn how to reaim that..." she said to herself. "All you can eat sounds good to me. I'll need some.... actually... I'm not even feeling the least bit drained from that, even though it wasn't accurate at all. I missed by a good four pony lengths," she responded to Discord.

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Discord started doing what he did best, which would normally have taken Twilight's attention but there was an important topic that was being missed here. One she was reticent to bring up. For all of the success they had here it was because of some deep and powerful magic that Twilight was always worried to use. There were always risks associated with the use of such magic and ponies could rarely be certain that they had it fully under control, even when they had all the safety measures in play. And that was on top of the relic itself being less than safe. This whole thing went against the bounds of good magical science. If it were a magical experiment she would have waited until she did it. Put more safeguards up. But when you were doing something of such import for a friend, risks needed to be taken. She only hoped that long-term, Ice would be fine and the magic they were playing with didn't come back to hurt her in ways mostly hidden.

By the time Twilight came out of her small daze, she had a bib on. Discussions of all you can eat, pockets of spaghetti, terrible fashion choices abound. It was Discord being maximum Discord, which meant quite a lot of Discord. She shook her head and smiled, trying to clear it all up. “Oh, yes. All you can eat sounds great. Good idea,” she said, honestly excited to eat something. Alicorns had a decidedly vicious appetite and as a young alicorn her appetite was even more extravagant. Food was needed. Speaking of- an errant blast of magic had interesting results. She didn't seem to have lost much if any stamina from it, but the accuracy was off. She was more accurate before. Hmm. Well, that could be rectified. “Not a real shock. A new magnitude of power is often accompanied by a lack of precision. It will take significant time to get it anywhere near as precise as before. No biggie! The guild is here for you. Speaking of being here for you...food time!”

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Discord was not the sort to act in a straightforward manner about his thoughts and the things he saw. He could see to the end of the universe and back. For him time was an inconvenience that he handled like any other: he would outright ignore it. Why be pinned down by such a concept when you could take advantage of it? He looked at the world ponies lived in from the outside, holding them like a snowglobe. In fact he presented the mares with one! Floating about he gave the globe a little shake in his paw and claw as he held it out to them, the snow fluttering about and turning to flower petals before raining upon the tiny figure inside which sat upon a lonely hill with Canterlot in the background. He appeared beside them holding the or as the scene inside seemed to play. A hum if music rang from the miniature landscape. The playing of instruments seemed to create a solemn feeling. The tiny concert played as the spirit grinned. His snake-like movements laced him between the mares. With his tail moving to attempt and rest over Twilight’s shoulder and his right claw on Ice’s he smirked.

 

“It takes a lifetime to write a symphony, but I can admire you only had an hour to do so.” He offered Ice, reaching up with his paw to pinch her cheek.

 

His visual wordplays made it a touch easier to understand where he was going. The snowglobe itself would be given to the blue mare. Its background was a familiar background to Ice, somewhere in Canterlot, but a more specific locale that triggered memories for her. Somewhere in her past that was difficult to revisit. Maybe it was just the mare, but the figurine sitting on the sculptured hill with the tree looked a bit like-- His ears pricked up at Icy’s response. He chuckled and appeared above them with an empty plate in paw, their plates appearing in front of them!

 

“Well I would say it was better this way? At least it would seem!” His attention turned to Twilight who seemed quite excited by the prospect of food. Well they could go all out. “Well dig in!”

 

But there was something Discord withheld, as to be expected of him. After all what fun was there if life was a predictable one? He set the mares loose on the buffet and floated there a moment to scratch his beard. Hmm. Well no matter! Tiem to eat! He filled his plate up, with delight!

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"Yes, most definitely food time. Then I can work on trying to hone my abilities once more. My guage of power is quite askew now with the extra control and the extra aether that I have. I can't imagine any of this will be easy and I shudder to think of the effects of not only myself, but everypony around me should something bad happen to these. This doesn't seem something that would just... fizzle when it breaks. It seems something more that would explode. Hopefully we never have to find that out," she said as she heard Discord chime in. he mentioned how it took a lifetime usually to write a symphony, but she had managed to do so in little over an hour. At first she didn't really understand what he meant by it.When he handed her the snowglobe though, she began to.... somewhat understand where he was going.

 

She hadn't quite gotten used to thinking like him yet, but she was fairly certain that the mare sitting on the hill in the snowgloble was her. It was a reminder of where she was before. The low point, and the stark contrast of where she was now. She had come so far and she made some great friends along the way, but they were all opportunities that she had gotten by taking initiative and doing things her own way. Other times, it did seem that fortune favored her. After all, it was a blizzardly night, just like the one in the snow globe, that she got to first meet the Princess of the Night, and gained the title as her Stewardess and gained access to the observatory.

 

"I think.... I would too, honestly," she replied to Discord's statement of this way being better.  "It's like having to re-identify with yourself. Relearning your abilities all over again. Sure it might be a bit tedious but... the possibilities that open up from the new growth of power can be... very beneficial. I'll just have to make sure I remember to allocate time so that I can continue honing. There is never such thing as too much precision," she said, a statement she was sure Twilight would be giddy over. Although when her plates appears Ice looked around. She saw a large buffet with... quite a bit that was on it. She quickly moved through slathering green beans, peppers, rice, corn and all other sorts of yummy stuff onto her plate before taking a seat and awaiting Twilight to make her plate and rejoin them before digging into hers.

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