The battle was long and treacherous for the forces of Marentina. Their armies were small and their enemies many, and had dug in strong in these lands. But they held strong and prevailed, whipping out the horde of Bitzil defenders in their homela-
"For the love of all things awesome! Twilight! Stop, WINNING!" Rainbow roared in frustration as she leaned over the board, practically seething at the unfairness of it all.
"Darn, Dash, it's just a game," Applejack reprimanded with a raised eyebrow.
"I thought you were enjoying this, Dear?" Rarity asked with an unamused look, glancing down at the board.
As to be expected, Discord had animated the board so that the pieces would form into troops and do battle dependent on the roll of the dice. The fighting was quite detailed and occasionally humorous.
"I was, until Twilight's three dice somehow curb-stomped my twenty-four stack army and broke my bonus!" Rainbow lamented, scowling as she watched Twilight's troops march over the corpses of her soldiers, giving the unicorn all of South Amareica. "Discord, your magic rigged the game!"
"Hey, hey, don't look at me! You saw what Pinkie did to my massive invasion force!" Discord reminded, glaring down at the area of Equusia like it was a plague upon his house.
"Sorry Discord, but your armies stood no chance against the Schwerer Party Canon!" Pinkie Pie declared diabolically before deflating sadly, "And then Twilight steamrolled us."
"I'm sorry! I don't know any dice tricks, I swear!" Twilight apologized profusely, part amused and part confused by her illogical success.
Rarity rolled her eyes, "Well, I suppose I and Applejack might as well as forfeit," she mused, having only a few armies in Saddle Arabia.
"Yeah, I can see the writing on the wall, and this game was getting a bit old," Applejack agreed with a yawn as she stood to stretch.
"Still, that was...fun," Spike said with a small grin, having played a few rounds as well to fill in for the mostly non-combative Fluttershy, "Can you do stuff like that with other games?"
"Little drakeling, this is the least I can do to enhance gaming. Literally the least," Discord answered with a smirk as he snapped his fingers, dispelling the game's enchantments and returning the pieces to normal, "Might even make my own gaming business one of these days."
"...I can't see you going through the legal paper work," Twilight said after a moment of thought. "In any case, while it was a nice experience, I kind of wish there was more strategy to it than luck and mass piling your troops," she commented idly.
"Oh?" Discord asked with a wicked grin forming on his face, "You mean like chess?"
"...I can tell that you don't mean contemporary chess," Rarity commented as most of them gave him wary looks.
"Oh don't worry, I'm not going to be making up any rules or anything," He assured wickedly, rubbing his paw and talons together as he made a new board appeared. It looked like a standard chess board, except the cubes were all grey and brown, and all the pieces was wedge-shaped pieces of wood with small writing on them.
"What the hay?" Rainbow asked in confusion as they gathered around it.
"I know this," Twilight said with a smirk, expecting a bit more. "Shogi? Neighpanese Chess?"
"Oh, good! I was afraid I'd have to cram the basics into your skull," Discord exclaimed with merriment, applauding her with some honest sincerity. "Now, keep up Twilight Sparkle. Do you know this?" he inquired challenging as the board expanded.
"Chu Shogi, or Middle Chess, the twelve by twelve variation with each player having forty-six pieces of twenty-one different types," Twilight recognized effortlessly.
"Twenty-!? How the buck do you remember that many moves?!" Rainbow asked in disbelief.
"It took me forever to stop getting the bishops and the knights mixed up," Applejack agreed with wide eyes.
"My, you did a good job with this one, Celestia. Well cultured and everything," Discord praised, glancing to the Alicorn sitting quietly off to the side of the room, watching the goings-on with amusement and curiosity.
"She always was one for a challenge, and she caught on quickly," Celestia praised with a fond, nostalgic chuckle, "Then the staff stopped playing with her."
"Well it's not like they'll get any better if they don't try," Twilight muttered to herself with a pout.
"Well, try these horseshoes on for size," Discord challenged as the board expanded even more, making the ponies move away from the sides and stand on Twilight's end of things..
"Oh come on! You can't tell me somepony made a chess game this big!" Rainbow cried out.
"You know Maka Dai Dai Shogi?" Twilight asked with a small grin, her eyes lighting up in glee.
"I remember this...," Spike said with a gulp, "Ultra-Huge Chess. Nineteen by nineteen board with over ninety pieces to both players with fifty different moves to memorize. Ugh, buck! I suppressed my memories of trying to learn this."
"Wow, someponies really loved this game," Pinkie Pie commented in amazement. "I mean, I love games as much as the next pony, but this would be a super-duper long game."
"It was also extremely relaxing for me, the few times I could play it," Twilight said with a fond smile, "But I only know three ponies that can play this game, including my brother and Princess Celestia. So I didn't get to play it often."
"You can add me to that list now. Along with Chrysalis, believe it or not. And you've seen nothing yet, Pinkie," Discord said as the board expanded even more.
Now Twilight looked uncomfortable, "Tai Shogi, Grand Chess, the biggest one at twenty-five by twenty-five squares. The only one I didn't have time to learn, I'm afraid. One-hundred seventy-seven pieces was just a bit too much for me."
"...By the sun, that's a lot of pieces," Rarity whispered with a open, drying mouth.
"Its okay, Sugarcube, most of us would have gone comatose just thinking about this," Applejack commented, looking at the board ominously.
"Hehe...hahaha," Discord chuckled to himself. Unseen by the others, Celestia giggled as well.
"Whats so funny, big guy?" Rainbow asked suspiciously.
"Oh, it's nothing, just that...this is NOT the biggest game of chess, Twilight," Discord informed with an almost twisted grin.
"It's...not?" Twilight asked in confusion, somewhere between dread and wonder in her voice.
Discord smirked as the board now got absurdly long, the girls going wide eyed as even Twilight took a step back from the overwhelming size of the board, now almost as long as all of them standing side by side.
"Oh my...," Fluttershy whimpered as her eyes looked over the horde of squares and pieces, like they might swallow them all up.
"That's...that's no chess game," Rainbow stuttered with wide eyes. "It's more like a bucking war map!"
"A...a game like this could takes weeks or even months to play," Twilight commented numbly.
Across the many hundreds of pieces and tiles, Discord's smirk was almost predatory, "May I introduce, Taikyoku Shogi. The Ultimate Chess-"
"Thirty-six by thirty-six with four-hundred and two pieces of two-hundred and nine variations with a total of two-hundred and fifty-three moves to remember."
All eyes turned to Celestia as she walked up to the board, Twilight silently moving aside as she watched her teacher with a renewed sense of amazement. The solar Alicorn smiled her poker smile as she looked over the large board, the literal army of pieces.
"The biggest, most complicated version of chess known to have existed with no recorded matches of it ever being played," Celestia mused as she held up a piece in her magic. A piece labeled Ryume. "May I have this match, Old One?"
Discord crossed his arms and rose to be staring down at the princess. "It would be my pleasure, Little Sun," he accepted, holding a piece sticking out between his talons: Temma.
As the two immortals stared each other down with competitive yet not unfriendly gazes, the six mares and one drake stared on with wide eyes.
For Applejack and Rarity it was just marveling over how anypony could play such a large and convoluted game. So many pieces and spaces to keep track of, so many moves and rules to remember.
Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie was just trying to tell if Discord and Celestia were having fun or if they were about to vent old grudges. Because while both could be good for the immortal pair, it would be best to...steer clear of the Lord of Chaos and Alicorn of the Sun if their emotions were about to run wild.
But it was a bit different for Twilight, Rainbow, and Spike. Those three all stared on with Spike swallowing nervously. It was like staring at a the back of a great Equine Queen with her divine army, looking over a field as they prepared to do battle with the Chimeric King and his hybrid horde.
It was a rather imposing scene on their imaginations. One Twilight herself couldn't help wondering if that scene had been true, once upon a time.
She decided she probably didn't want to know.
"But another time," Discord said mirthfully, dispelling the atmosphere as the entire game vanished. "After all, we don't want to bore these younglings with two old farts playing some ancient game," he mused playfully.
Celestia laughed as well, "But of course, Discord. I'm sure I can work in an hour or so every day. Besides, this time is meant for you to learn to get along with the everyday ponies of Equestria."
"...Celly, you're the Pony of EVERY day," Discord reminded wryly.
Celestia mock grimaced, "I trotted into that one."
"Yes, you did. Now that the M.O.M. is over...I'm at a bit of a loss on what to suggest," Discord commented. Truthfully that was a lie, but he figured it was a bit better to let these girls propose things that would be more acceptable to mortal standards. That and he was saving movie night for a special occasion.
"M.O.M?" Twilight asked curiously.
"Mortal Overreaction Moment," Celestia answered with a playful smile.
"...Huh?" was the universal response.
"It's what we immortals call it when you with finite lifespans read too much into what we do," Discord explained with a smirk. "Like the whole smiting thing. You have any idea how often that's usually just a misfire? Wrong place, wrong time? It's like hitting someone with a baseball to us."
"Or when they started thinking the eclipse was a sign of me having an incestuous love affair with my sister," Celestia muttered with a scowl.
"I think that was more wishful thinking on the part of malekind," Discord remarked, wiggling his eyebrows before his own annoyance emerged. "That's still not nearly as bad as the time I was accused of eating little fillies for breakfast: I cursed one village back into infancy, ONE!"
"And don't get me started on the kinky stuff," Celestia says, shaking her head in sympathy. "Griffal and his mate mutually enjoyed him tying her up, suddenly mortals think every relationship he had was abusive or rape."
"I swear that those are because some mortals refuse to believe that their respective "pure" goddesses could A, be into something kinky, or B, would willing to be with a god their worshipers didn't like," Discord contemplated dryly. "Not to mention when some ponies think that us playing a game somehow equates to a war," Discord elaborated with a chuckle as the mortals looked either uncomfortable or confused.
"...Huh, I guess all those old ponytales are just slander and, what's that term, Twilight? Propanda?" Applejack asked curiously.
"Propaganda," Twilight answered automatically, never blinking. "So...you two aren't about to settle ancient grudges with some kind of magic shogi game?"
"..." The two immortals stared at her for a moment before looking towards each other. "Her whole family is just a bucking herd of nerds, aren't they?" Discord guessed flatly, a smirk on the edge of his mouth.
"Heeeeey!" Twilight called with a glare that was almost a pout.
"Discord, I can say this honestly: You have NO idea," Celestia answered with a giggle of amusement.
"Prinnnncessss," Twilight whined at the small betrayal.
The childish outburst from the normally serious Twilight proved too much for her friends, who all started to snicker and laugh. Except for one.
"I hate how much me and him have in common," Rainbow grumbled with an eye twitch and crossed front hooves, refusing to laugh no matter how much she wanted to.
"We-well, if ya'll are done with board games, and we already rustled up some ice cream, maybe we should do something outside, like a sport maybe?" Applejack suggested.
"Unless any of you want to go adventuring, I'm in," Discord agreed with a shrug.
"Wait, seriously?" Rainbow asked in surprise.
"I believe it's a bit too early in this endeavor, and late in the day, for adventures," Celestia retorted, amused all the same.
"No offense, but are you even that...physically capable without magic, Discord?" Rarity asked with a raised eyebrow.
Discord gave her a very level stare, making her regret her words instantly. "Okay, that's it, we're playing Dodgeball," Discord declared with a clap of his forelimbs.
The group of nine suddenly found themselves on a field outside of Ponyville, where the floor of a gym inexplicable was. All of them were wearing orange and blue jerseys, even Celestia. Discord even had on blue shorts while Celestia's wavy mane was held back in a headband.
"Must we?" Rarity asked flatly.
"It's going to be two against All, so, yes," Discord answered with a grin before holding up Spike from nowhere, who looked very confused as he was plopped down into a referee chair. "Except you, Spike, you get to be the referee."
"...Wait, so I get to watch you all clobber each other with dodge balls?" Spike asked, suddenly finding a bag of popcorn and a cup of soda in his claws. "Sweeet," he said with a grin.
"This is going to be a bit unfair, even without a Chaos Lord involved," Rainbow commented.
"Yeah, have you seen how many apples Twilight can get off at once?" Pinkie Pie asked with a grin. Everyone stared at Pinkie Pie, while Twilight and Applejack blushed in mortification. "What, what'd I say?" Pinkie inquired in supposed confusion.
"...Shelving that for later discussion," Discord decided with a smirk. "Okay, but yes, I'll level us all a bit: There are magic walls so we don't have to worry about the balls getting thrown out. No teleporting. We winged may still fly, but no higher than my height. Magic can only hold two balls at a time."
"But you said two against all," Spike commented curiously. "Who's your teammate?"
"That's the fun part: The rest of you get to pick between Celestia...and Pinkie Pie," Discord answered with a smirk.
"Oh my," Fluttershy said in worry.
"Now this will be interesting," Celestia mused with a mischievous smile.
"So, Team Ancient or Team Chaos," Rainbow summarized blankly.
"In other words, we're just voting the kind of bucking we'll be receiving," Applejack stated.
"Well, not the kind Twilight has been giving you," Discord teased, spinning a dodgeball on his talons.
Applejack was about to retort but wisely chose to say nothing, Pinkie Pie patting her on the withers. "You kind of trotted into that one, Jacky," Pinkie comforted with a sympathetic smile.
Ellllo, people! Been a while since I posted to this, but I've had that made out for a long time now. Felt like a good time to come back to this, my old "my version of Discord's Reformation" fic.
To any that are curious, yes, those are all real versions of Shogi, even the last one. Fun fact? The pieces being held by Discord and Celestia translate to Heavenly Horse and Dragon-Horse respectively. Yes, they were holding each other's pieces. XP
Hope you all enjoyed this little endeavor.
PS To any that are willing and able, please consider tipping to my pat-reon. Fics and updates are not held hostage or anything, I'm just advertising it here.