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Celestia stood completely still, staring out at her ruined land as she shook her head in disbelief. The sight was quite strange, especially due to the fact that she was looking at it through a castle wall, or rather, the open air where an ivory wall once had been. Every few seconds, the gap closed once again as the mass of white material returned to its place in the wall before sliding back out along the outside of the castle in random, looping patterns. The alicorn's mouth hung open, and her brows furrowed in confusion as she watched the errant stonework continue to fly in and out of her vision. With a shake of her head, she found that she had no words for the situation, save one: chaos.

They… failed. Twilight Sparkle, my most Faithful Student… was unable to stop him. It rains chocolate, the clouds are cotton candy, bison ballerinas dance in the streets, and my entire palace staff has been transformed into stone sculptures of themselves. How did it come to this… were the Elements of Harmony not enough? Did Twilight even manage to find them at all?

The alicorn Princess hung her head in defeat, and closed her eyes. Why… how could I have allowed this to happen… I should have kept the Elements more secure, I should have gone with Twilight instead of remaining here and making speeches to calm the people, I should have seen this coming! Now… now I don't know what's become of Twilight and her friends, I don't know if this can ever be reversed, I don't even know where Luna is! Twilight didn't fail… I did. This is… this is my fault…

She felt like crying, but no tears came. She felt like screaming, but her voice was lost. She felt like jumping through the gap in the wall and flying off, abandoning her duties and giving up on Equestria, but her legs would not obey her. It would be so much easier to run, to cover up her defeat, to pretend that her track record was perfect and that she was still the infallible monarch that her people believed her to be, but she could not.

Her light magenta eyes opened, and she turned away from the wall, taking in the hall before her. The ground was split unevenly, the ornate carpet rested over spiky protrusions in the ground, and the tapestries all moved with their pictures swirling of their own accord. Her private quarters had slid out into the hall, connecting to the passageway and sending her desk, her books, and her bed to lie scattered around the massive conglomerate of rooms that had replaced the upstairs corridor that once connected the bedchambers to the astronomy tower. Nothing made sense, no structural integrity remained, and by all means, the entire castle should have fallen by that point. But still, it remained standing.

I cannot believe that he has won. I cannot accept that he has won. I must do something… I fear that I am the only one capable of doing something, now. But… what?

The Sun Goddess began a worried canter, moving down the hall toward a destination unknown. She knew not where she was going, or even where she could go at that point, but details no longer mattered. The time for careful planning was over. She needed to act. Standing around and staring at the situation before her would do nothing to help her people, and her inaction had already cost her, and her country, greatly.

"Going somewhere, my lovely?"

Him.

…shit.

Celestia closed her eyes, once again. She never swore, even in her own mind, but the draconequus was very capable of making the impossible happen. Such situations of unpredictability were becoming increasingly common since his return, and though Celestia was not surprised that he had decided to come and gloat to her, she was still greatly disturbed by his appearance.

"What do you want? Don't tell me you just came here to declare victory. This isn't over."

The draconequus laughed his mirthful, condescending laugh, letting the cacophonous melody carry through the confines of Celestia's mind. She hadn't heard it in a while before that day, but the sound was easily among her least favorites in all of existence.

"Over? Of course not. It's o-"

"Only just beginning," the princess replied with a snort. "Save me the platitudes, Discord. I have to say them enough as a ruler just so that my people can take comfort in cliché, I do not need to hear them myself."

The pony sighed, and slowly turned toward her enemy while opening her eyes. The sight of the beast before her caused bile to rise in her throat, but she choked it back and narrowed her eyes while glaring at the smirking male.

"I will only ask you once again, before I throw caution to the wind and lose control. There is nopony around to watch, Discord, they are all now stone, as you once were. I am not afraid to show you how I really feel about your little stints of madness, so choose your words carefully, lest you incite me to rage." With a final, ragged sigh, Celestia flared her wings and bared her teeth as she dropped into a low stance. "What. Do. You. Want?"

Discord clapped as he walked toward her, bouncing from foot to foot in a mocking gesture. "Bravo, my elephantine pony. Breaking new ground, today, are we? It's nice to see you open your mind a bit, Tia."

"Do. Not. Call. Me. That." Her teeth clenched, and she lowered her horn toward the approaching chimera. He had just set a record for the amount of time it took to get her to reach her wit's end, and the snarling pony found herself in no mood to indulge his playful side. Too much was at stake. Too many lives could be ruined by his carelessness. Too much had already been undone…

"Oh, did I hit a nerve? Is that name for Little Luna alone?" He stopped hopping and clapping, and instead opted to float lazily in front of the fuming alicorn. "Where is she, anyway? You'd think that the Wonder Twins would be working together to combat my little… renovations, but it looks like the family ties are made of mere string." He brought two talons up from his eagle's claw, and closed them together in a motion mimicking that of closing scissors. "Snip."

Discord's red and yellow eyes widened, and he slithered through the air as quickly as he could, barely managing to avoid the bolt of flame that erupted from Celestia's horn.

"WHERE IS SHE? WHAT DID YOU DO? I SWEAR I'LL KILL YOU HERE AND NOW IF YOU SO MUCH AS LAID A TALON ON HER!"

Celestia ground her teeth against each other, her chest heaving with effort as her lungs burned. Too much energy had gone into the magical blast without proper preparation, and her vision became laced with black around the edges. She willed herself back from the brink of unconsciousness, running on fury alone. He will not win. I will get Luna back, I will FIX THIS. It is my responsibility, and I refuse to fail again!

Discord wagged a talon and smirked, doing his absolute best to contain a full smile. "Temper, temper, Little One. No wonder Luna isn't around, I'm almost scared of you right now. She always was a little skittish, if you ask me."

Celestia snorted and charged with unnatural speed, planning to gore the creature with her horn. Violence was something that she avoided if at all possible, but the infernal trickster before he had angered her one too many times. One way or another, it ended here.

"Face me! Stop running, Discord! You claim ignorance, you claim that your way is right, you claim that chaos trumps order, but you do nothing but run! If you feel so strongly, stand in front of me and state your case! I have no respect for those who fight from the sidelines!"

The quick snap jarred Celestia from her wandering glare, and her eyes widened and her head jerked back as he appeared right in front of her, his face inches from her own. The male rested a talon under his chin and began to stroke his goatee, considering the princess with thoughtful eyes as her furious breaths tickled his face.

"Hmm… you know, even chaos can become predictable, sometimes. Perhaps I should try things your way. Alright, you want me to tell you why I do what I do? Very well. You may not respect me, but I respect you." He blew her a mocking kiss, and she brought up a hoof to strike him across the face as he disappeared and reappeared mere feet from her.

"…it's fun."

Celestia blinked, waiting for him to continue. He stared at her. She stared at him. A winged sheep flew past the gap in the wall, and neither moved.

"It's fun? That's what excuses you? That's your justification for this… this… THIS!" She waved a hoof, sweeping it out in front of her, meaning to draw attention to the madness at large. A decretory vase hopped off of its pedestal, shattering against the ground before reassembling itself and returning to its point of origin, drawing a chuckle from the draconequus.

"Hmm… yes. Yes it is."

Celestia advanced on him, shaking with anger. She wanted to ready a spell, but found that she could not. She wanted to begin screaming, but she had other ideas. The pony raised a hoof to her head, and cast her crown aside with as much force as she could muster. Discord flinched as it clattered against the marble floor with an unpleasant noise. Celestia paused, and shuffled upon her hooves before stepping out of her golden shoes and bringing a hoof up to unclasp her jeweled necklace before discarding it upon the floor, completely uninterested in where it ended up.

The silent alicorn walked slowly, deliberately, up to Discord, her face completely unreadable. He looked almost nervous at her approach, and he watched as she pushed her mane back, revealing both of her expressionless magenta eyes to him. She spoke.

"There. I am not a Royal in this moment. I am merely Celestia. You watched me grow into what I am, you were once a dear friend to my family, you know me more than I know myself, based on some conversations… or mental invasions we've had. Discord," she said, as she brought a hoof up to the side of his face, "tell me what you're thinking. What you hope to accomplish. Abandon our past and our present. Speak to me. I want to understand. I think you are lost, and I wish to help you. No anger. No sarcasm. Just… be."

It was Discord's turn to blink. No one had ever approached him so directly, but then again, no one else would dare. He loved fun, he loved chaos, he loved abandoning sense and taking life in stride. A twisted smile broke out upon his face, and he moved himself closer to her ear, whispering words only for her.

"But I am just 'being', Celestia. You claim to have the answers, and you cannot accept anything but total control. I am your opposite, and I am your equal. I have watched you cry at night, over Luna, over the kingdom, over stress, and over what is expected of you. I have seen how you berate yourself for your lack of foresight, how you hate the past that you can hide, but not run from. You need to just let go. You need help, not me. Come, and rule this shattered land at my side. Give in. I only bother because I am deeply concerned."

He traced a talon under her chin, lifting her head and watching as she raised her beautiful, searching eyes to meet his mismatched, manipulative ones.

"When was the last time you had a little fun, Tia?"

And with a simple sentence, he had won.

…Father… forgive me.

She moved forward, catching him off guard. He pulled back, expecting her to lash out against his usual games and mocking approach in an attack with her horn that would be fatal at such range. Instead, he found her lips against his, her eyes closing, and her body shaking with what he could only assume to be a mixture of emotions.

Celestia pressed herself further into the kiss, closing her eyes and tilting her head sideways. Her heart was pounding furiously, and she brought a hoof up around his neck to draw him in further.

This… this is so wrong… what am I doing… why do I… why do I want it so badly…

Finally, Celestia pulled back, blinking rapidly and seeing his shocked expression. She backed away a few steps, and looked at him with worried eyes.

"…well. That was certainly a… nice surprise. I'm sure you'll regret it momentarily. Haven't you learned anything about what happens when you rush into things you do not understand?"

"Shut up. Shut up, and get over here."

She galloped at Discord and knocked him out of the air, pinning him to the floor with another kiss. The shivering pony ran her tongue over his snaggletooth, and let a hoof trail down his chest as she closed her eyes and let her instincts take control. She leaned into him even more, completely lost and consumed by lust as he returned the gesture, bringing their bodies closer together. Her mind shut down, and all morals went straight out the window. Discord claimed to understand her, and the comfort that his words had brought caused her to melt at his touch as he ran his talons through her mane.

Celestia moaned softly into his mouth, and began to cry tears of shame as she shuddered, still pressing her chest into his. She had lost. He had won. Chaos had indeed trumped order, and she was giving in to him. She could not believe how weak she had become, but nothing else mattered anymore other than her personal pleasure. Equestria as it was had been tainted and destroyed by his foul touch, and she found that it was a touch she couldn't get enough of.

Discord wriggled out from the press of her lips, and coiled himself around her body, squeezing her tightly enough to feel her heartbeat against his skin. She looked back at him in longing, and immediately her front legs buckled as she saw what he was doing. His serpentine tongue was pressed against her cutie mark, tracing it and causing Celestia to quake in ecstasy. Though it was a mystery as to how he knew her weakness, Celestia found that she was not at all surprised. She focused only upon how good it felt to have him pressed against the sensitive area, and let herself nearly black out, the side of her face pressed against the cold stone floor.

"E-enough. S-s-stop toying with m-me... please… just end it… just… please…"

Discord chuckled, snaking his body further around her and reorienting himself behind her. He understood her request perfectly, and was all too happy to oblige. Though he had never expected this moment to come, he could not say he wasn't pleased. After all, he had not been lying all of those times that he said she was attractive, and controlling her in such a way was one of his darkest personal fantasies. A fantasy that had just become a reality.

This is sick... This is wrong…

...and I no longer care.

It had been centuries since she had given herself to anyone, and it was a sensation that she sorely missed. Celestia had always tried to be moral. She had tried to play the role of wise, pure mentor, but in a world where everything else had been disrupted, she gave in to the last thing she had: herself. On some level, she knew that she had always wanted this, to feel his touch, to feel him, her opposite, the one thing she could never understand, becoming one with her. It had finally happened, and so she bent her front hooves, propping her upper body at a downward angle, breathing sharply and looking back as he moved into her.

His upper body was coiled around her as his lower body continued to work, and she found his face was right in front of her own again, wearing that satisfied and twisted smirk. The distraught princess brought her head forward to kiss him again, moving to his rhythm as they committed a sin that both had secretly longed for since as long as both could remember. Equestria could fall, for all that she cared. After this, she would be happy to rule as his second.

No… no, I'm not happy… my body is on fire, but I feel so hollow… Twilight… Luna... Father… everypony, I am so sorry…

The moment came, and her breathing quickened. She heard his panting match her own, and lowered her face in both involuntary pleasure and absolute shame. The release of his poison matched her climax in perfect sync, and as he finished his work, she began to shake involuntarily, from sickness or ecstasy, she did not know. It was done. There was no going back. She had made love to her greatest enemy, willingly approaching him and failing everything she had ever stood for. It was over, and she was but a weak, hollow shell of what the world thought her to be.

Celestia sobbed, her face against the floor and her eyes closed. She felt Discord leave her without a word, and quivered at the sensation of the cold floor against her warm body. Though she felt filled by him, her soul was empty, and the massive hole was one that she was not convinced could ever be repaired.

What have I become…

Celestia suddenly felt as though she was weightless, floating against the wind, a husk lacking all substance and purpose. Her eyes slowly opened, and she was surprised to find that she was indeed floating, out above the Royal Gardens, where the statue of her enemy had stood before he had escaped. Discord was nowhere to be seen, and with a sharp gasp, Celestia found that she was suspended in the air against her will, her wings and legs refusing to acquiesce to her panicking mind.

The same twisted laugh resonated from somewhere in the sky, and she heard a snap echo from his clawed hand. Her wings and horn disappeared, and Celestia looked up in horror, only to see him floating above her. He held three crosspieces of wood in his claws and tail with strings dangling from them, strings that were attached to her hooves, head, and neck.

Celestia wasn't looking up at him after all. He was making her look up at him.

"You said so long ago that you didn't need me, Little Tia. Let us see how you fare on your own…"

The strings vanished, and she fell, her long, multicolor mane rippling around her as she screamed and flailed, fighting futility against the certain death that awaited her upon impacting the ground. Her body twisted in air as she turned herself around, only to see the cobblestone path of the garden rising rapidly to meet her.

Celestia hit the ground, and her body broke with a thunderous series of sickening cracks.


The sweating alicorn awoke with a gasp, and she rolled to the side, straight out of her bed and onto the floor with a heavy thud. She immediately began crying, and lay on the ground in the darkness, shivering. With a frantic flailing of hooves, Celestia shuffled the blankets tangled around her off as quickly as she could, as the sensation of anything wrapped around her body was something she didn't want to feel for a long, long time. A wave of nausea flowed through her, and she sobbed quietly, feeling sick and shivering, her mind racing to replay her dream against her will.

A cold, deep laughter echoed in her head. There was no escaping him, and the sound caused her to sob even harder as she buried her face into her hooves, wanting nothing more than to disappear.

Enjoy yourself, Little Tia? I certainly know I did…

Celestia didn't respond, and instead whimpered, bringing her hooves up to cover her face even more. She felt so alone, so… violated. Even though it wasn't real, even if he had been manipulating her dreams, she couldn't deny that… she had loved it while it was going on. She didn't know who she was anymore, and wanted nothing more than to run. To run and never look back. To run away from him.

The sound of her door creaking open caused her to pause. Her back was to the door, and she refused to look up and meet his gaze. Discord was back, somehow she just knew that he had broken free once again. Twilight may have sealed him back in stone earlier in the week, but there truly was no escape. Celestia drew her limbs closer under herself, trying desperately to make herself smaller in a futile attempt to hide from his looming form in the doorway.

"…Tia? Tia, are you okay? I… I heard a noise…"

Soft hooffalls echoed against the marble, and Celestia buried herself deeper into her hooves, shifting her mane in front of her face as she cried. If it was a lie… if it wasn't really her sister and he was playing with her again… she had no idea what she might do…

"Tia? Please, you're… you're scaring me. I… I just want to help."

Celestia felt a hoof breach her mane and move under her chin, lifting her head. She wailed and gasped, pulling back as she met the concerned face of her sister Luna. The Moon Princess' eyes were swimming with worry, and Celestia shot herself forward to hug her around the neck, her body still pressed against the cold floor.

"Oh, Luna! It's… it's horrible! I… I-I just… I can't! I don't know what to do anymore! He… he won't leave me alone, even in sleep! P-please… PLEASE… you have to help me…"

Luna hugged her sister back fiercely, and felt blazing anger rise in her chest as she watched her sister break down in front of her. She knew it was him. Celestia hadn't been the same since he had returned, and the change was beginning to deeply disturb her. Something had to be done. She had never seen Celestia in such a state before, and it honestly scared her to watch the usually unshakeable alicorn crumble so easily. The smaller mare felt Celestia's tears against her midnight blue fur, and hugged her tighter, stroking her older sister's mane.

"Don't worry, Celestia. I'm here now. H-he... he can't hurt you..."

Luna bit her lower lip as she cried into Celestia's mane, wishing she was anywhere near as confident as she was trying to sound.

Something has to be done. I won't let him get away with this.

Scented Venom Chapter 3.

Credits go to Cadenceofrain.

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