From atop his mountain, Discord lazed upon the peak, peering out upon the world dispassionately. The skies had been as grey as the fur of his head, and the ground whiter than his goatee. Now, for the first time in years, the blue sky was clear for the rays of the sun, drenching the ground as snow melted.

"That takes care of the windigos," he mused, gazing up at the pink heart of spectral flames. They, like him, would soon be invisible to the eyes of the mortals that had created it. Effortlessly defying gravity, he floated among the ponies, rulers and advisors alike. "A union of the ponies," he commented, looking them over as his eyes literally pierced their souls. His gaze came to rest upon the rulers with a scowl. "How troublesome you'll all be…civil wars, deunification attempts, and generally unable to mix cultures well. I'll have to keep chaos down just to make sure you three don't fumble this right out the gate," he said in annoyance before shifting towards the advisors. "You three, I can work with. Might even have to whip up a unified coup against the current governments to form a new, unified one. Probably need a republic or polyarchy if that old pony wizard doesn't take in those Alicorn brats," he rambled a bit before teleporting out of the cave to appear above the mountain.

He paused to glance up at the Fire of Friendship, studying it idly. "You'll probably be sapient in a few generations," he noted, summoning a glass of chocolate milk to calm his nerves. "Now let's see, what else do I need to set up? If no other creature does it, Sombra will get taken out by the Alicorn of Love, whenever she decides to be born. Assuming those two Alicorns shape up properly, I can let them take over the Sun and Moon. If not, I'll probably have to do it myself. Bleh!" Discord contemplated, sounding utterly bored with the situation. "Then I'll have to figure out a way to curb the dragons. The Pegasi have at least one literal shield against them, so that'll be something to work with. The Griffons are already on a crumbling spiral to ruin, they just don't know it. But even if the Alicorns sisters turn out alright, one of them is going traitor and tyrant eventually," he concluded with an eye roll, flopping onto his back.

Discord wanted nothing more than to teleport back over to his little Chaos capital of the world, unwind and let loose. Sadly, ruling over chaos didn't just mean causing it, it also meant keeping these mortals from plunging themselves off the deep end. Oh, what he wouldn't give for another Tyrant of Order to show up and give him a chance to cut loose. Maybe Sombra, if he actually got beyond the Crystal Empire. Or the Alicorns when they grew up, they were very order aligned. There was also...whatever was going to emerge out of that magic pool: current predictions said some kind of bug-pony.

"Could just take over and rule someplace myself again," Discord muttered to himself, considering that immensely. "Stabilize at least one mortal region for a while, advance a few fields of magic and technology, but..." he trailed off, not even needing to voice the issue aloud to himself. At this point, it was nothing special if it was him doing it. It had more impact if a mortal accomplished something grand and inspiring, or at least a lesser immortal than himself. "Relying on me completely is the last thing I need them to do."

He dragged a paw over his face, feeling the ages in a way time alone could never make him feel. "Turning things around on my own is so slow as is, but I can't really trust...any...," he trailed off, staring up at the clear sky...and blinked. "Where did the Fires of Friendship go?" he asked out loud, sitting up to look around...only to find said flaming heart floating right across from him.

They sat there for a moment, neither entity doing much of anything until the fires shrank and morphed into another form; that of a translucent, purple Alicorn. Her eyes opened to reveal amethyst eyes that shined bright with a warm, welcoming light. "Hello," she greeted with an enigmatic smile.

"..." Discord stared for a moment, getting another glass of chocolate milk to toss at his face. "Okay, now this is happening," he stated curiously as the dripped off his furr. "You're a bit of an early bloomer, Friendship."

"Friendship?" the flames-turned-pony repeated with a head tilt, looking thoughtful. "No, I don't think that is my name."

Discord raised an eyebrow. "I got up for the end of Winter today. I wasn't expecting this," he mused, stroking his chin. "Who are you then?"

"You mean who I will, be, I think?" the Alicorn stated with an uncertain look. "As the fire, I am Friendship, yes, but in this form, I am...Twilight Sparkle? No, I am..." she guessed with a scowl before smiling knowingly as her eyes flashed. "Harmony."

Discord narrowed his eyes as he studied her. "A power in waiting. It's been a while since I met a being so powerful that the mere potential for her existence allowed them to appear before being born," he deduced, smiling despite his suspicions.

In terms of powerful, there was a small handful of beings who were so powerful that could not be removed or altered from reality, even with timetravel. He was one of them. This was something of a similar nature: an entity that was so powerful that the mere potential for their existence gave them a chance to secure their own creation. He hadn't seen one since before Grogar's second reign.

Harmony giggled endearingly. "I am happy to bring some entertainment to you, Discord."

Discord said absolutely nothing as he sat there, contemplating what this being was, or rather, could be. "If you're here, then this is your moment."

"The moment that decides if I shall exist, yes," Harmony acknowledged with a nod turning solemn. "Or, rather, the moment you decide to allow my existence."

"I'm tempted by this meeting alone," Discord admitted with a shrug as he reclined on his throne, appearing from nowhere as he lounged in it sideways. "So, what are you bringing to the table, Harmony?"

"Do you not already know?" Harmony asked curiously with a head tilt.

Discord gave her a bland look. "I often allow myself to be surprised if it's not the literal end of the world at stake."

Harmony hummed at that. "In this moment, a spark created Friendship. From this spark, I wish its rays to nurture seed. A seed of Harmony, of peace," she promised.

Discord snorted, appearing to lose interest in her. "Don't mistake peace for quiet, Little One," he cautioned, broodingly.

"I am not," Harmony countered firmly, poofing out her metaphorical chest. "I am perfectly aware of the difference, Lord of Chaos."

Discord glanced at her before turning over in his throne, as if to take a nap...before snapping his talons. "Prove it, God of Ponies," he challenged, still not looking at her.

Harmony gasped in shock, suddenly feeling the need to breath despite being a spirit. Or, she was supposed to be, but now she was but a breath away from having a true body of divine flesh. "I...I am...," she stuttered in awe as she felt it: The power coursing through her veins, the knowledge entering her mind, the permanence of her entire being. All the power of reality at her command, able to be transformed into her image, into her utopia! "I am..." she started as her eyes gained a bright, prismatic light. She could do it all. Unite the tribes, tame the Everfree, pacify the other races, stop the bloodshed, and heal the world. She could be...

Discord blinked as he shot up in his throne, stunned as he peered at Harmony. She stood before him, once more the mere potential of a being in waiting. She held out her hoof, holding a ball of yellow magic that was pulsing with supreme power. "I am not the God of Ponies," she stated firmly, almost as if it was a vow as she stared into his eyes. "And I desire Peace, not Silence."

Discord kept his attention on her an instant longer, the fragment of his power returning to himself. "You are the first one in a long time to not fail that test," Discord noted curiously, his eyes gazing at some far away point for an instant before smirking in approval. "Congrats. The ponies really will have peace."

"Peace, our peace, is not something I desire to be exclusionary," she opined with a scowl.

"Our peace, Harmony?" Discord inquired in amusement.

Harmony looked confused. "Should I have said your peace instead?"

Discord shook his head in fond joviality. "No, it's just been too long since I shared anything, Harmony."

"You are a greedy god, I know," Harmony retorted without acussation, nodding softly. "Will you permit my existence, Discord?"

"I've already permitted it," Discord answered flippantly, as if he just decided on what to have for lunch.

Harmony gave a breath she did not need to hold. "Thank you."

"The bigger question, do I encourage it?" Discord added on mischievously, tapping his throne.

"Encourage, Lord?" Harmony asked with a scrunched brow before her eyes widened. "...This is why you will do it."

"Why I may," Discord corrected with a shrug, coming off his throne before knocking it away with a casual flick of the tail, sending it off like a Frisbee. "How much of your future are you aware of?"

"The general," Harmony answered as she watched him hover past her. "I will form as a tree of crystals, with my aspects channeled through five gems."

"Six," Discord corrected, gazing off to the south with a scheming look. "Or are you not counting Sparkle and Magic?"

"I'm not sure if I should? It is...confusing to think about," Harmony answered, shaking her head to wave off a potential headache.

"That's a common issue for something in your state," Discord assured with a shrug. "But how long will that take?"

"A thousand years, more or less," Harmony answered, eyeing him oddly. "You already knew that."

"You can only see your current path to existence, the one if I just permit you, and no one destroys you too soon," Discord elaborated, his grin widening. "I know the other paths."

"...May I ask you something, Discord?" Harmony inquired, peering at him incredulously.

"You obviously just did, but I'm in a good mood, so why not another," Discord answered, waving her off, his eyes alight as they danced over possibilities only he could see.

"Why have you tied yourself to chaos?" she worded carefully, even as Discord went stock still. "You could have been anything in the cosmos, yet you picked what seems most counterproductive to your goal. It makes no sense."

"And what fun is there in making sense?" Discord commented with an eerie chuckle that echoed in down the timestream. "I picked it exactly because of that, Harmony."

"I...don't understand," the unborn entity admitted reluctantly.

"By taking up Chaos, I remove its vacant position from anything else that could claim it." Discord stated with a solemn smile at her. "Sometimes, to do some good, you need to be the bad guy."

Harmony shuddered as she felt some primordial understanding to his statement. "I believe I know what you mean. Still, why aid me when there were many others that came before me?"

"..." Discord paused, looking at some far away events to come. "You'll know in time," he stated, snapping his fingers.

Harmony blinked as she felt something stir in the world. "What did you just do?" she asked in concern.

"Just took a digit or two off your due date," Discord explained vaguely as he looked towards her. "And it seems your moment has passed."

Harmony blinked, looking down to find she was beginning to disappear at the hooves. "And so it has. I suppose this is goodbye, Discord," she said with a sad, yet hopeful smile. "I hope to see you again soon."

"Sooner than you might imagine, My Little Redeemer," Discord answered with a chuckle. "Just don't expect to be too happy with me next we meet."

"I'll try to manage that, God of This World," she retorted in kind before fading away in an empty space and a potential time, leaving only the Fires of Friendship in the skies once more.

Discord rolled his eyes at the casual drop of his true title as he turned his gaze north. "With the Sirens out, I just need to find the right pony to gather up the right heroes. Might even be able to nix that Pony of Shadows issue in the bud. Then I'll just use the Fire of Friendship to the seed," he mused, tilting his head towards the west. "Hm, so many lovely role models will put the odds in favor of the sisters working out. And no matter which goes traitor, the other shall become the Teacher for Sparkle. I'll have to settle on which one once I'm nuturing the seed with Chaos," he continued before chuckling. "You're going to owe me a few favors by the end of all this, Harmony," he stated into the aether as he gazed upon the future fondly. A future of peace, of hope, and potential.

And himself in stone.

"Gives me a chance to set up a few things and clean up some loose ends in the chaos leading up to that, connect Celestia and Luna to Harmony for a while, and ultimately lead to the endgame I've been looking for. What's a thousand-some years compared to saving the world? Or better yet, teaching it to save itself?" he concluded with a resigned, tired smile. If it meant speeding things up by that much, he could take a backseat for a while. Make a world where he didn't have to manipulate how every disaster began and ended, lest the mortals go off the deep end; where he didn't need to plan out the downfall of corrupt nations to give rise to fresh ones, lest corruption and tyranny take hold. Where he...Where he...

Where he didn't need to pretend to be the bad guy all the time.

He was about to turn away when...time began to change again, but without his interference. "Hm?"

He turned back with a scrunched brow, wondering just who or what was altering fate this time. But his confusion only grew as he saw the timeline settle into the same result, except...

Discord blinked owlishly as he saw it…perceived it. A moment in time, ages from now, where he was in a shared embrace with six mares. He knew who they were, or who they could be rather. And as he saw the beaming face of Twilight Sparkle, he got the message: A world where he could, if just for a while, walk among mortals as a friend: Not a god or a tyrant, just another creature. It was...a nice idea. "I guess I'll have to work on my acting a bit," he said, softly smiling before glancing northward, arms crossed thoughtfully. "Now I just need to figure out what to do with the whole Alicorn of Love thing. She's going to be delayed by a thousand years if the sisters banish Sombra, but is that a bad thing now or not...? Eh, I'll figure it out later. For now, I have a front row seat to an exploding leaf warmer symphony with my name on it!"

With that, the draconequus departed with a grin and a poof of coconuts. After all, he had to enjoy the next few centuries before his stone-cation. And what was the point of being the God of This World if he couldn't enjoy himself in between disasters?

End of Chapter

Hello! Just a little oneshot I made for the Imposing Soveriegns II contest. This'll eventually tie into other fics, but it works as a stand alone. Hope you all enjoyed this idea of Discord masterminding everything as the God of This World.

And yes, if it wasn't obvious, Discord's Reign of Chaos in this scenario is what allowed the Tree of Harmony to grow more quickly. The Fires of Friendship are like the sun and the Reign of Chaos is...well, the RAIN of Chaos. XP

Probably won't win this contest, but I like throwing my hat into the ring. Until next time!