24 Elements of Insanity - Chapter 18 The Quest of Chaos

A few more years had passed since that day. Midnight was now a teenage mare, still roaming Ponyville, which was still ruled by the Elements of Insanity. Each year, the sky seems to be getting more and more red, and Equestria itself seemed more and more dark. The citizens of Equestria wondered day by day when things were gonna change and get better like they used to, but it only felt worse and worse.

Midnight changed a lot over the years. Her personality went from curious and open-minded to serious and quiet. She had a scar across one eye in which she covered with her hair, forming it into a bang. She was still a blank flank, though, hoping that might change soon. She didn't understand what it meant to be a 'Special Helper' but somehow managed to earn bits anyway as income, meaning her job was still being done. Does that mean by just living she was doing her job and earning bits? That didn't quite make sense to the mare, but she hoped it didn't mean something bad.

As she walked down the mostly deserted street of Ponyville one day, she soon came along with her friends as planned, meeting up near Ponyville Park. Not much had changed about them other then a bit of their physical appearance and maturing, but unlike Midnight, they seemed the same as when they were children.

"Hi Midnight!" Lucky said..

"What's up?" Creamy Cookies said.

Midnight looked around, making sure the coast was clear.

"Come with me. I gotta show you something." Midnight whispered.

They nodded, confused and curious, then followed Midnight towards a tree, hiding behind it. Midnight took a few more glances around to make sure the three mares were alone, then she pulled out a box. Lucky Hoof and Creamy Cookies examined the box.

"What's in it?" Lucky asked.

Midnight gave one more glance around the area before opening the box. In the box was a crown, also known as the Element of Magic, one of the accessories to the Elements of Harmony. Cookies and Lucky awed at this. 

"Wow, where did you get this?" Cookie asked.

"I found it in the old library that...Brutalight used to live in." Midnight answered.

"What were you doing there?" Lucky asked.

"Well since it was abandoned, I decided to explore it, and maybe, well...find some answers."

"Answers?" Cookie asked. 

"Look, it's too long of an explanation. Right now, I need to know if you girls are willing to help me find the rest of these Elements of Harmony." Midnight said.

"Elements of what?" Lucky asked. "You mean Elements of Insanity?"

"No. Harmony. There's five necklaces that are included with this crown. But we have to find it…"

"And how are we gonna do that?" Cookie asked.

"I think I know the way." 

Midnight levitated a book out of her bag.

"I've read tons of books about the history of Equestria. It includes some things about the history of the Elements of Insanity. Each one of them lived in a separate place. I found the Elements of Magic in Brutalight's old home. Maybe the rest are in her friends' homes…" Midnight explains. 

Lucky and Cookie glanced at each other, then back at Midnight.

"You know we could get in a lot of trouble for this…" Lucky said.

Cookie sighed. 

"I agree with Lucky. If the Elements of Insanity find out about this, we'd be in a hell of a lot of trouble…" Cookie said.

Midnight sighed.

"Girls, please. I can't do this alone. Aren't you both tired of living in this hell hole?" Midnight said.

Midnight then pointed a hoof at Cookie.

"Cookie, aren't you tired of being a castle janitor? Don't you want to be more than that? To become a royal guard like you dreamed of doing and protecting others?" Midnight said. 

Cookie thought, looking down at her hooves. She couldn't deny that Midnight was right. And after a second of contemplation, she looked up at Midnight with a look of determination.

"You're right. Let's do this." Cookie said. 

Midnight smiled. Lucky gasped.

"B-But girls…" Lucky said.

"Come on, Lucky, we can do this! Would you rather live a coward or die a hero?" Cookie said.

Lucky thought about it. Cookie frustratingly sighed.

"Lucky." Midnight said, catching her attention. "You know how cruel the Elements of Insanity are. Even if we don't do this, one of them - or all of them - could end up killing us anyway. Don't you want to at least take the chance of ending this?"

"..."

Lucky closed her eyes, whimpering, then reopened her eyes.

"We're crazy." She said.

Midnight smiled. Lucky gasped.

"B-But girls…" Lucky said.

"Come on, Lucky, we can do this! Would you rather live a coward or die a hero?" Cookie said.

Lucky thought about it. Cookie frustratingly sighed. 

"Lucky." Midnight said, catching her attention. "You know how cruel the Elements of Insanity are. Even if we don't do this, one of them - or all of them - could end up killing us anyway. Don't you want to at least take the chance of ending this?" 

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"..."

Lucky closed her eyes, whimpered, then reopened her eyes.

"We're crazy." She said.

Midnight smiled.

"No, they are. And that's why we're gonna stop them. Together." Midnight said. 

The trio of mares smiled and all hoof bumped each other. Unbeknownst of them, an all too familiar pony had been watching them. She stared at them with her glowing red eyes, studying them, then soon walked off.

***

The three mares walked their way through each building from Sugarcube Corner, Rarity's Boutique, Sweet Apple Acres, Fluttershy's Cottage and lastly to Cloudsdale. However, the Elements of Harmony weren't there. But they did learn some things from each place they went to. Some of the Elements of Insanity's family members were still living in each home. They weren't like they used to be, though, and couldn't do much to help. Each had been mentally damaged, and the three mares feel like they couldn't help but feel empathy for them. 

    After coming back from Cloudsdale, the three mares sighed in defeat. It was getting dark and late outside and they knew it wasn't a good idea to be roaming the streets after daytime.

"Come on, Midnight, let's just go home…" Lucky said.

"But we can't. Those elements are out there somewhere, I just know it!" Midnight said.

"Midnight, you know the curfew. If the Elements of Insanity catch us out here during nighttime, we'll be next on their list of sick 'activities.'" Cookie said.

Midnight sighed, looking down in defeat, then thought of an idea. 

"Wait...we didn't search Brutalight's old tree house, did we?" Midnight said.

"No, but didn't you already search it when you found the crown of the Elements of Harmony?" Lucky asked.

"Well, yes, and, no. I sort of just saw it sitting on a table; I wasn't really searching…"

"Well that's...weird. Why would it just be sitting there?" Cookie asked.

"I don't know, but the rest of the Elements of Harmony must be there. Let's just give it a quick search then we can go home, okay?" Midnight said.

Lucky and Cookie looked at each other, thinking, then looked at Midnight and nodded.

"Okay, fine." Cookie said. "Under one condition."

Midnight listened closely.

"If we find these elements...you have to promise that we kick the Elements of Insanity's ass together." He said with a determined look. 

Midnight smiled and nodded.

"Well what are we waiting for? Let's do this!" Lucky said with a giggle.

And with that, the trio raced to Brutalight's old treehouse.

***

When the trio got there, Midnight carefully opened the door. They looked around, making sure no one was there. Everything looked dusty, old and abandoned, including the tons of books on the shelves; however, the books still strangely looked organized...Midnight motioned for Lucky and Cookie to follow her as she entered the house. Lucky and Cookie walked inside, examining the house. 

"So this is where Brutalight used to live?" Cookie asked.

"Apparently so…" Midnight said.

Lucky sneezed softly. 

"It's so dusty in here!" Lucky said.

Then a mouse scampered across the floor, making Lucky screech in surprise and back into the bookshelf, hitting it hard. The books fell onto Lucky, burying her in the pile. 

"We have to be more careful, Lucky." Midnight said as she and Cookie helped her out the pile. "We don't know how dangerous this place could be."

"Clearly you don't." A strange voice said from behind. 

They gasped and turned around to see a small purple dragon with green spikes, holding what appeared to be a pistol at the three mares. They backed away slightly, confused and shocked at whoever this stranger was. But after collecting her thoughts, she realized something. She remembered reading about what Brutalight used to be, and how she had a small dragon assistant that helped her thought out her friendship adventures.

"W-Who are you?" Lucky asked.

Midnight knew his name, it was at the tip of her tongue. 

"I could ask the same thing." The small dragon said, frowning.

She just couldn't put her hoof on it.

"What's your name?" Cookie asked.

What was it? What was this little assistant's name?

"The name's Spike." The dragon answered. "Now tell me who you are and what you're doing here, or I swear I'll put a bullet in your head." 

A chill ran up Midnight's spine. She remembered reading about Spike now, but this didn't sound like something he'd say, based on what she read. There had also been a small photo of the dragon in the book, but Spike looked slightly different now. He had green hair, strangely, that almost looked like spiky quills, made into a bang and covering one eye like a goth. He also looked more mean and aggressive, a few cuts across his wrists. What had this young creature become?

Midnight's normal serious facial expression came back as she took one step forward. This made the dragon shake a bit as he held the gun more firmly, pointing it at Midnight. 

"I'm warning you!" He said in his slightly deeper voice. 

"Spike," Midnight said, looking down at him. "Put the gun down. We're not here to hurt you."

"Oh yeah? Then what are you here for? To steal my stuff?" He said.

"No, Spike, we're just here for the Elements of Harmony. Do you know where you are?"

The young dragon was caught off guard. It was silent for a second as he processed what she just said, then he snorted at her. 

"Why do you want to know? How do you even know about the Elements of Harmony?" Spike asked.

"Listen buddy, do you know where they are or do you not? It's getting too dark outside to be lolly-gagging!" Cookie said.

Spike rolled his eyes. 

"They're not here. Now leave." He said.

"How do we know you're not lying?" Lucky said.

Spike growled and pointed the gun at them again.

"How do I know you're not here to kill me?" Spike said.

"We didn't even know you lived here, Spike!" Midnight said. "Stop acting like this and just tell us where they are!"

"You talk as if you know me…"

Spike studied Midnight, examining her. She frowned.

"No Spike, I don't know you. Or at least, not personally. But I do know the Elements of Insanity and how evil they are, and if we don't find the Elements of Harmony, we're done for!" Midnight said.

"..."

Spike sighed and put his gun away.

"You really want to stop the Elements of Insanity?" He asked.

"Yes, Spike...we do." Midnight answered.

He examined them one more time then looked at Midnight.

"Alright, listen. I don't know where the Elements of Harmony are, but I know how you can find out." Spike said.

The mares exchanged confused looks then looked back at Spike.

"Now listen carefully. If anyone knows where the Elements of Harmony are, it's the Elements of Insanity themselves. There's two ways you can find the elements. One, you can talk the information out of the Elements of Insanity." Spike explained.

"What? That's impossible! They'd kill us just for mentioning the Elements of Harmony to them!" Cookie said. 

"I know. Luckily, there's a second option." Spike said.

"Which is?" Lucky asked.

"The Elements are most likely located somewhere in the castle. You could search the castle while the Elements of Insanity are distracted and possibly find them." Spike said.

"And how would we be able to distract them without somepony getting hurt?" Cookie asked.

"Well, the Elements of Insanity seemed to be attracted to chaos. If someone were to cause huge trouble somewhere that wasn't caused by them, they'd probably go see what's going on and investigate."

"And who'd be brave enough to cause chaos somewhere, and distract the Elements of Insanity while we search for the Elements of Harmony in the castle?" Midnight asked.

Spike moved closer to them so that his tone was in a whisper. 

"Have you ever heard of somepony named Discord…?"

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