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@Blitz Boom

AURORA LIGHTS

"T-Touch me?" Aurora questioned in a shocked tone. She was woefully unprepared for that reaction. Fear? Yes. Confuusion? Absolutely. Asking to be touched? That was far from her mind as it could get. She shifted her stance slightly in worry and a bit of fear before gulping and taking a breath. "Y-Yeah ... you can touch. As long as you're um, careful.. O-Okay?"

@Blitz Boom

TWILIGHT SPARKLE

"What's a Manetid?" Twilight questioned out of curiosity more than anything else. It was something new she hadn't heard of. Her ears had pricked up at the name and couldn't recall ever reading about them. She nodded her head at hearing the possible destruction and gained a thoughtful expression. "I've read a lot of books on monsters in the Everfree and around Equestria as a whole, including the ones I've come up against personally."

@Blitz Boom

KARMIC FATE

"That doesn't sound normal," Karmic commented before hopping onto Enzo's paw. She didn't sound too concerned about the roar but she was mildly interested in it. "At the very least we should check it out. It could be the reason both the dragons and Changelings abandoned this place after all."

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((OOC http://mlpforums.com/topic/110032-casual-stroll-an-introductionary-roleplay-around-ponyville-open-for-all/#entry3092621))   The crisp morning air went through the town of Ponyville as the day

@Shineling @EQ_Theta "Take your p-pet. It might h-help you through." It was all Clayton said before he went back to try and keep his friends from breaking down too much. But how could he underst

@The Resident Brony "We would have handled them ourselves. Or have you forgotten how we only put you as a front figure for the sake of the public? You did not control the guards, we did. What happen

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@Blitz Boom

Seeing the harpoon in the wall the unicorn was indeed curious, finding the pressure plate his mechanical balll zot gave a warning note floating over it. 

"good catch, looks like one of the diggers got lucky, make sure to capture that spear in a good pic. might be lost magic or tech"

The metel ball nodded chirping again its eyes focusing on the spear intently. 

Red leaf would carfully get to the path of least resestence looking at his opctions. "i could possibly melt the sheet but, id rather not change damigeing the door if it has a warning or somthing on it...."

A chirp again from zot floting by him.

"no, thier arnt any known maps, best stick natural paths to avoid more poiting problems" he nooded to the spear. 

a few more chirps sounded from the metal ball indicating the spear. 

"on our way out we will, if its the only one we find handeling it may be diffrent from other ones we know about good idea tho" 

An disapointed note came from the ball of metel and magic following the green unicron down the left path  unobscured path. 

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@Blitz Boom

The outstretched hoof towards Sen was a little unexpected, at least from him. It is common enough for ponies to introduce themselves this way to everyone new they meet if they didn’t simply say hello. Might be right to return the gesture. 

“Greetings. I’m Sen and you’re right, I’m with Rosa.” The longma took the stallion’s hoof and shook it while bowing his head as he would normally do when meeting someone new. “This is quite the harvest you have. Not sure about what you meant by ‘getting a golden stamp in your ledger.’”

Admittedly, Sen isn’t well-adjusted to the kind of speech that some ponies like to use. Referring to things that are cryptically relevant to the conversation would fly right past his ears and leave him wondering what it meant. It wouldn’t be the kind of thing that would have the longma overanalyzing and keeping him up at night but just enough to paralyze him in thought for a while. He honestly felt a little bit like Omen if too many things were filling up her head. 

Edited by EQ_Theta
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@Blitz Boom Harmony comes out with a tray on her back, she puts a plate on the table with several pears, before walking over and placing two plates next to Serenade and Fah'lina. "Don't mind them, Serenade is like a cat...once she finds the perfect napping spot, it's like wrestling a dragon over it's horde." She smiles, "Don't worry, I'm sure you'll get snuggled soon." She winks.

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@Blitz Boom

Ruby was relatively fast eater, so she was pretty much done when Spicy stopped going through the drinks, and to her usual manner, she just nodded, trying to look interested when Spicy explained about the drink "I see, shall we try it out then?"  she then asked, making her way to Spicy.
(I need some kind of indication how strong it is exactly so that I can figure out it's possible effect on Ruby.)

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Nada tilted her head at Lyriel's mention of her 'tormented people', but decided to not ask about it, at least not directly, both because she didn't want to pressure Lyriel to talk about something she possibly didn't want to talk about, and because she wasn't sure if she was ready to hear about yet another evil, though she wouldn't stop Lyriel if she would decide to talk about it. "I actually don't have anything specific to say, like I said, I just wanted to see how you were doing." "I haven't even done anything worth telling about as I have just been with Berry and read some history I have missed on." "Though I have to mention regarding that I feel a bit insulted how ponies write about my kind in their books, 'dangerous creatures wanting to take over Equestria.' those three really did ruin our kind's reputation didn't they." "But speaking of kind, I'm sorry if I you have told this already, I have had lot to remember lately, but is there others like you here In Equestria?"

 

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@Critical-Hit

The lieutenant just watched as Thunder went about preparing the machine and getting it started, blinking a few times in confusion before just taking a hoof to his forehead and rubbing his temples.

"Did you forget to start the machine, sir?"

"...Yes."

Not a high point for him, though in fairness, he hadn't had his coffee. Give a stallion a break, instead of focusing on how he hadn't realized that he hadn't set in a new filter, grounds, or started the thing to begin with. He would've gotten there... Eventually.

Whilst waiting for it to be done, he'd turn his attention to Thunder, who seemed to have gotten a uniform on? Guess the general recruited him properly then, but what was all this about Twilight and the pegasus capitol?

"Excuse me? Could you explain to me what you're talking about? Did something happen to the princess in Cloudsdale?"

It sounded a little like he said the princess was a guy, but surely that weren't it. He must just be misunderstanding things.

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@Sekel

The nymph were like most foals or other young beings: Curious about their surroundings. Fearful before as she had been alone, yes, but with Happy providing her with a sense of protection and comfort, the curious side had more room to be explored, and it wasn't like Aurora were all that scary. She were still a changeling, just stranger looking than what the nymph were used to.

Inching closer, the little one would reach forward and slowly, tentatively poke Aurora with the tip of her hoof, then run it down her exoskeleton. The feeling between them were essentially the same, barring the holes that Aurora had, butt he nymph weren't touching one of those. Simply a small part of her exoskeleton, whilst looking at the stark difference between her own, brightly colored hoof, and the dark exterior of the larger female changeling.

"Feehlz laik twe owers"

"That's 'cause she's still a changeling, sugar. Just one of the old ones. Your parents and King Thorax used to look like that too. Well, most of 'em had less hair, but y'know, close enough."

Happy's ears vibrated a little as he picked up on some chatter somewhere not too far from them, up front. The words were low, but it weren't any bear, he were sure on that front.

"And speaking of that, it sounds like we might be running into 'em soon. If you ain't happy facing 'em like this, I'd suggest you reverted quickly, Aurora. Try looking friendly when we run into 'em though, aight? We don't want 'em to think we're bad news, when we're carrying one of their nymphs."

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@Sekel

"Our temple's up north, in a pretty inhospitable area, that's not easy to get to. Only ones that usually get there are marauders, criminals on the run, or exiles.

Manetids aren't among those. They're an infestation we've been dealing with for generations. Nasty looking things, about twice the height of a pony, with claw-like legs and big scythes above their sharp little hands, tough hides and big, buzzing wings you can hear like a half a mile away. They got some soft spots we can use against them, and they're fairly stupid, if their commander ain't keeping them in line, so we've been able to keep them from stealing what Princess Luna asked us to guard, but there's been a lot of casualties. More for them than us, but thy're reproducing faster.

I dunno how widespread they are, or what their goal were with trying to get to our quarry, but you better hope you never meet them. And if you do, don't show them mercy. The mindless brutes won't show you, or anypony else, any. Just strike them down and harvest them for parts."

"P-Parts? I think that's going too far."

"We didn't have metal to spare, so whatever reinforcements we could work with, we would. Didn't matter if it were exiles, criminals, or tough hides and blades from freaks like that. Only thing that mattered, were our duty to her highness. How we got it done weren't important."

They had done unsavory things, even in her lifetime, to complete this duty, but it were all in the name of the throne of night, and you wouldn't find her apologizing for that. Showing some regret to a few things... Yes, she would admit that were something she had, as some choices were not pleasant to her, even if she understood it had to be done. Still, they had prevailed until her majesty had returned to them, just as she had asked them to, and that were all that mattered to them.

Such had always been the role of the Shrine Maidens. Always doing what had to be done, no matter how unsavory or reprehensible, to ensure the will of Princess Luna got carried out.

Perhaps it made them fanatics, but they didn't care. Their unquestionable loyalty were why Princess Luna had assembled them in the first place, and until the bitter end, they would fulfill their duty. Even now, split up and given to other duties, she knew that most would answer the call, if Luna called on them to do what had to be done for the kingdom. Long as it did not conflict with her duties to Princess Twilight, Last too would answer, but that would be a bridge to cross if that time ever came.

"My sister works with some that still carries parts of the manetids with them, your majesty. If you want to see, I can try and send her a letter in Canterlot, and ask her to deliver some of them."

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@Sekel

Enzo lifted the small pony to his neck, and waited for her to jump on there so that she could be in safety. Sure something may still try to attack from above, but he'd be more nimble in defense if he didn't have to worry about stomping her.

...Perhaps he really did think of her as his friend, when he were this concerned about her well being?

Why was he thinking about this now? Something might be lurking further inside that were far more important to keep focus on, rather than his own, confused mental state.

"Perhaps it's nothing. But I hold no belief in being overly trustful."

He'd start to move inwards, keeping his senses on high alert and prepared for something to lounge out at him at any given time. After a while, he were starting to wonder if they had just heard something like air going through a strange rock formation, when he started to feel something. A peculiar feeling, as if he were being watched, and he halted on his path forward.

Whilst he looked around, trying to find out where this sensation came from - or if he were just being paranoid - Karmic should be able to tell where this were from. After all, the two, pale eyes with the yellow slit pupil, were looking directly at her from the darkness of the ceiling.

They weren't much bigger than her own, yet nothing else were shown or heard, as the owner of these eyes just stared at her unblinkingly. The most movement it made were whenever the flame of the torch flickered and it moved around to ensure it stayed in the deep shadows, clearly not wanting to be spotted. This may end up being an ambush of some kind, and though the eyes did not show any particular emotion behind them, Karmic may still feel like she were being scouted out as prey. She'd be easier to haul off than an adult sphinx after all.

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@cwhip9

They picked a good path out of the three options to take. Y'know, if the intention were to be trapped, as soon as they passed, a thick slab of stone would slam down from behind them, sealing the door shut. A minor trap to ensure that they'd have less entering or escaping without issue perhaps, or just a faulty door, that chose now of all times to suddenly thaw enough to just fall down. In either case, they should be thankful they only felt the cold air displaced and blown towards them by this sudden action, rather than the stone hammering down on them. one were uncomfortable and potentially scaring, the other would have left a nice, pony-smelling splatter on the floor.

As there were only one way left, now they might want to just focus on that, and then think of perhaps finding another way out later. There had been three paths after all, so chances were that there'd be other exits, or if not, that one could be made.

Said path so far would be unremarkable, though to their luck, ice had gone down this path too, and shown to gather around some stones that were barely raised, but were more obvious with the ice gathering thicker on top of and around them. It would save them from accidentally activating some traps. That is, provided that they had some way of adding light, as there weren't any natural light going in here. Especially not with the entrance to this hall now blocked.

This particular path would go on for about a quarter of a mile, and be laid in a curve inwards, showing this to be a rather large temple likely, but also having a potentially centralized main chamber that all paths would lead towards. They'd see in due time, though speaking seeing: After the current path were done, they'd end at an open entrance, leading into a major hall that had natural light emanating from a large, crystalline sphere hanging from the ceiling. It were well frozen over, but the dim light that traveled down into the sphere from the outside, would still be able to light things fine enough.

Nothing of much note were sadly to be seen though, as the room were mostly barren, except for the large statues that were placed in the spherical room in a way that made it seem as if the towering figures were holding up the ceiling and walls.

A pony were one. Bat pony by the looks of the wings, along with a dragon, a griffon, and a zebra. It gave a sort of intimidating look to it, as the towering figured loomed above, and the gap between where their heads almost met were where the pale, frozen over line the sphere hung on came down, but there were no indicators that they were going to move or anything like that.

As for paths, they'd find seven in this room, with three (among which they had just entered from) on this end, and then one below each of the statues, leading to who knew where. If there were something of value to find, it would likely be down those paths, though each of them had a small layer of ice and snow that needed to be cleared to go through.

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@EQ_Theta

"It's just an expression. My ledger's for keeping track of the harvests, and a golden stamp means everything's just right."

Golden let go of Sen after a few shakes and turned the clipboard to show the ledger for the current product, which were corn. It had counts of the rough space it took up, the time for harvesting, how long it'd likely last, notes about potential critters trying to go in and nibble from it, etc. In his breast pocket, were three stamps that he used for marking whatever or not things were good, perfect, or right horrible, with the colors being green, black, and golden, respectively. There were also a pen of course, as stamps were bad for notes, but that hadn't been part of Sen's question.

"And your own product?"

"Number's looking good right now, but we still got a lot to pluck. Had to help the neighbors first though, before the corn grew stale. Folks round here need their bread after all."

"So you borrowed them a silo?"

"Rented. Don't worry, I still remember the savvy lil' tricks you gave back then. I just make sure to keep it at a low cost, and make sure that it's lower if they help us harvest our own. One hoof washes the other."

"And yet you're still coming out on top. You've grown well it sounds like."

"Yeah, things been great, ever since... Well, y'know that yourself, no need to yapper on about that. Though I'm wondering what brings you here, and without any weird disguise of those silly clothes. With a friend no less. I never figured you'd come here unless it were more... Y'know, official."

"I've defected, and current events have caused my outfit to be rendered unusable. It's a long story I think is better explained at another time, but let it be said that yes, I am here for the reasons you are thinking, but you no longer have to worry about whatever or not my motivation for doing so will negatively affect others. I have found far more constructive usages for what I left behind."

Golden seemed well surprised at this, but still, didn't get the smile off his face. Frankly seemed like it just increased a little after he had a few seconds to think it over.

"Heh, sounds like a hassle, but long as the outcome's kinder than I feared, that's all I could ask for.

You two must be famished though. We just got done eating, but there's still some apple bread and pie left if you're interested? I may or may not have stashed some cider away before it all got taken too. Just in case we got visitors."

He looked a bit sheepish as he said this, and Rosa gave him a look that told clearly that he were well aware that wasn't the reason for this personal stash, so to speak. More a case of somepony wanting to make sure they could enjoy themselves too, but knowing full well that keeping everything on the table would've gotten it all drunk earlier. Rationing it wouldn't be a big issue later, once they had done a full harvest, but right now, he had to be smart about it, no matter how much the others gave him the stink eye for it. He knew they'd be thankful later.

Meanwhile, back at the cave, Shrimp looked up at Lin with his small, narrowed, golden eyes.

"Lihm!"

He'd reach as high as he could, ans sway a little from side to side in a happy little dance of sorts, whilst chirping joyfully at the longma. However, this would be a short gesture, as soon enough, the smell of food wafted around his nostrils again, and he lowered himself down to near ground level again.

He'd sniff the air for a few times before slithering through the air, a few inches off the ground as usual, towards the left side of Lin. Once there, he'd stop up and hit he ground again, whilst looking for the scent of his stored breakfast again. He gave a short glance towards Lin as he failed to find it at first, and it looked like he were going to try and say something. Instead, he ended up looking away again, and stubbornly sniff the air again, slithering around the longma a few times as he did this, determined to find his food on his own, rather than beg for her to just give it to him. He wanted to prove that he were a big, tough refraction, to try and make Lin and the others proud of him, and for, that he had to show that he could hunt his own food.

At least that were what his limited mindset more or less boiled it down to, just in more crude terms. It were more of an instinctual thing than a thought process, like with any small animal wanting to get praise from their parent or caretaker.

It slowed things down, but he seemed to be getting closer and closer to the saddlebags, and once he got there, he'd slither his head and upper body in and check one of the bags first, thinking that perhaps it were hiding in there. The box itself had sat in a blind angle to where he had approached, so it hadn't been immediately obvious to him where this were.

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@Moonlit

"I'm not afraid of snuggling Serenade. The issue's this little thing."

Ziggy points towards the mimic, who lays there all innocent and sweet, like a cuddly little pet who'd never hurt anypony Lies. All lies!

"Deal or no deal, if I wake her up, she's gonna get cranky, and cranky means I get bitten, or she pranks me when I sleep. I don't wanna wake up with my legs wrapped up, or tied to a tree... Again."

The mimic had proven more versatile than she had any right to be, and really messed with her with a few picked out things. The legs were using her own bandages, but after figuring out that she needed those clean, the mimic had taken to using other things like string, vines, etc. Or to just do other things, like putting a bucket on Ziggy's head and then fetching a wooden spoon of some kind.

"Better to just let her sleep, and then try later. Bet it won't be long soon as she smells food though. She got a metabolism that's just outta this world.

Have she always slept this much, by the way? Trying to figure out stuff about her so I can help her the best I can, in case she gets sick or something, and how tired one gets can means loads. All sorts of diseases that can mess with your activity level, so having a baseline might be important."

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@Catpone Cerberus

"We sure will."

The drink were rather flavorful, going through a lot of tastes to blend into something of a caramelized, fruity concoction, with a roasted aftertaste. It also wouldn't feel like it hit all that strong, so a second sip were gonna be taken pretty quickly afterwards more than likely.

This were the first mistake of a *Bad Choices*.The hit from the alcohol were like a properly swung strike at an arcade boxing game. First it wouldn't look like much, but that was because your hoof were stretched out behind you, ready to swing in with momentum for the strongest hit you could get through. This drink would act much the same, and after about ten seconds the strike would come in and hit you right in the stomach, confirming that this had an alcohol level bordering on being an actual, official safety hazard.

Two sips in, and Spicy were already starting to look affected, and this weren't exactly her first taste. Yet all the same, she now stood with an increasingly goofy look going over her mellowed out face, just losing herself in the bliss already. Seemed like she weren't as sturdy as she had thought she'd be at this point.

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@Catpone Cerberus

"It took three to damage your kinds reputation, but perhaps, it will take only one to restore it."

Lyriel smiled kindly to Nada. The siren had not an easy task ahead of her, to change the view the ponies had on her kind, but the dryad felt positive that with effort, and the support of those around her, she would find that she could open their hearts to her, and to the idea that not all of her kind were bad. It would take a lot, yet nothing this difficult would be easy, and with the bagage the three sisters had put on the sirens as a whole, the difficult level were sadly, rather high on this matter. Hopefully she could in some way help Nada through these trying times, though it sounded as if Berry did so far more efficiently.

Far be it from Lyriel to judge others, but the pony seemed... Special. Perhaps that helped her be more open to other inputs, though regardless of her own thoughts on the mare, she she seemed to be helping Nada with history, companionship, and likely giving a reasonably good example of not all ponies being bad either. A peculiar, yet closely knit pair of friends those two, at least from Lyriel's perspective.

"As for your question... I believe so, but I am not certain.

The animals have spoken to me about another they had seen, whom is born of nature and praises the earth mother as I do, yet he traverses the lands and does not interfere with how the forest runs. Perhaps he is of my kind, yet have freed himself from his duties, though so far, I cannot tell for sure. I await his return so that I may approach him and ask myself.

Beyond that, some ponies in town have mentioned the name of my kind, even though I have not spoken it out a lot so far, so maybe there is some knowledge of dryads, which comes from Equestrians meeting them? I know not yet, but when they have come to accept me more, I pray that they will share what they know with me, and that it speaks of others of my kind. Much as the animals keep me company, and helping them gives me purpose, I do long to rejoin a bustling grove again.

After my own people drank of the sacred waters, which none were to touch, they fell too far for me to wander with them, without exposing myself to the same madness they had foolishly infested themselves with.

Even though I have seen them do several atrocities since, and avoided them until the ponies and Nerzhei allowed me to wander away with them, as to not end up as a convert, or..."

A severely sad expression went over her gaze as she recalled what she had seen her people do against others who refused to drink the sacred waters. A mood which affected the flowers growing on her too, as they began to look deflated for a time, until the memory passed.

"They do not understand their transgressions, though if they are to be freed upon entering this forest, as the sphinx swore would happen, they will have much to atone for. Sadly, not all of them will be able to cope with the reality of what happened... But if even a few can be saved, and learn to forgive themselves for their blindness, it would be worth the effort."

Edited by Blitz Boom
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@Blitz Boom

Thunder blinks and then looks to him "O-oh no, nothing has happened to her, at least I don't think so. It's just I am going to be going home to Cloudsdale to tell my parents I had successfully joined the guard, and Shell wanted to come along" He'd say to him, "I was saying we ought to get to Twilight so she can help Shell get to Cloudsdale, and well me, as ya know.." he'd motion to his broken wing with his head "Can't exactly fly right now"

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@Blitz Boom

TWILIGHT SPARKLE

Twilight had her ears pinned back and simply let Last explain. When she had finished, the Alicorn had an unreadable expression on her face but that soon gave way to calm when she breathed in and out a few times. "That sounds horrible, Last. You and the other shrine maidens going through that? I ... I can't even imagine what it must have been like," she told the mare and looked at Last with a concerned expression. "While horrible to, well for lack of a better word, harvest these Manetids for parts, I'm sure you had a very good reason ... right?"

@Blitz Boom

KARMIC FATE

Karmic felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up and she turned around, being careful not to fall off of Enzo. She narrowed her eyes and the cloudiness in them gave way to more normal-looking pupils, even if the white sclera surrounding them had more green than white. "Who's there!?" Karmic called out despite not seeing anything within the shadows.

@Blitz Boom

AURORA LIGHTS

Aurora shivered at feeling the nymph travel her hoof over her exoskeleton. It was an odd feeling and something she hasn't felt before. "I .. uh ... oh," Aurora breathed out to try and reassert her attention but once Happy mentioned something about voices up ahead, she coughed to clear her throat. "I'll um, let's see what happens," she mumbled in a small voice, obviously scared and made sure to go back and walk behind the cart properly.

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@Blitz Boom

Sensible from Golden’s perspective. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense on Sen’s side since he wasn’t aware how having a ledger worked and why it is needed but if it works for Golden Delicious, then the longma wasn’t in a position to refute. He did get a look at the content and, while he still didn’t get it, it seemed to be work-related. A fair enough assessment and one that the longma is more than willing to leave then and there. 

But as it is, Golden and Rosa shared some history going a while back and with the way they spoke, it seemed like the latter did a lot more interacting rather than keeping to himself. It is nice to see them getting along and given how open Rosa responded about his current situation, it suggested he might have been a little more open about himself than what Sen imagined. 

“Thank you for the offer, Golden Delicious, but we’d prefer not take advantage of your hospitality. We’re just here for a quick errand and we’ll be on our way unless Rosa would like to stay for a bit. Rosa?”

As for Lin, she watched in eager anticipation to see what Shrimp would do. Of course, she couldn't help but put on a big smile as the little creature greeted her before eventually following along to see where the refraction's sense would take him. He is on the right direction, and it hinted at his sense being honed. Or rather, they are sharp to begin with but with time, they will be tempered and made even sharper and more precise. This was usually Sen's area of focus, having a better grasp at the nuances of hunting out in the field but he passed down a thing or two during his impromptu lessons when they were children. 

Shrimp got close to the box but it seemed his nose found its way into a saddlebag instead. Lin would sneak her claw around and ever so slightly nudge the box outwards to where Shrimp could see just a portion of the box's top corner poking out. She couldn't help getting a sly grin out but that was about the only amount of assistance she could give to the little creature before continuing her observation. No way she was going to spoil him, especially the next time this would happen, but there is something else she could do.

"You're getting close, Shrimp!" The longma jovially said, almost in a sing-song manner. "Just look around a little more."

Edited by EQ_Theta
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@Blitz Boom "Yes, we found out very quickly that not only is Serenade nocturnal, she naps alot to conserve energy....and she eats a mountain of food. Growing up, we had to get fish deliveries from Pegasi fishers. There is a term for it, but I'm not sure." Harmony mindlessly flicks through the letters. "But yeah, Mimics can be...difficult to work with. Like cats, but not." She hums, and reads one letter. "Oh, finally retiring I see." She clicks her tongue.

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On 10/31/2019 at 8:00 AM, Blitz Boom said:

"My apologies, Velvet. I am used to having to make my point to some degree, and forgot myself in the moment. I do hope you can forgive me for this transgression."

An unfortunate situation, but alas, nothing he could do against that now, except trying not to do so again towards Velvet. Even if it were merely a demonstration.

The first step to move past this, were likely to get out of here and be on their way. As such. Briar would lead the team out, briefly stopping to tell the clerk that they had vacated the room before time - and getting barely any recognition for the comment - before moving outside.

"Ah, lovely fresh air. Would you be so kind as to lead the way, Velvet?"

Velvet nodded and led the pair down the street, pointing out shops in the area that might be useful to the pair for various adventuring gear or supplies, whether it be food, rope or camping equipment for the road. Though, since he wasn't an adventurer, he didn't quite know what they needed, so he was pointing out anything that seemed adventure-y. Along the way, he paused and pointed out a small ice cream parlour.

"This place is one of my favorites. They have this very nice chocolate fudge sauce that they drizzle over the scoops of ice cream served in a cup. Would you and Brittle like some? I can personally say it's really good." He said, wanting to ensure they left on their journey with a positive impression and perhaps a desire to return one day.

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@Blitz Boom
Ruby didn't really care for the taste, but she didn't show it, as she figured it could offend Spicy.

After two sips there wasn't really any effect on Ruby, she had noticed Spicy seemed to be already effected by that amount, so she did put up an act and acted like it had been just as effective. She reached the point that Spicy had reached with two sips for real when she took her sixth sip, and though it made her a bit less cold and hostile, she knew if she went too far it would became opposite as after certain point her instinctual side would take over her drunk intelligent side, and that wouldn't be good, thus she would limit her drinking to the point where, she would be clearly drunk, but she still had some brain left to keep herself in control.

(3x bigger, 3x more needed for effect)

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Nada listened carefully for Lyriel's response, and though she understood the general idea, she didn't understand all the details, but she felt that maybe it was better, because as much as she wanted to be there to support Lyriel, she had to be a bit selfish for now and get the grip on her own situation before getting mixed with others' business. "I'll tell you if I find any mentions of your kind in the books I'll be reading in near future." "And I wish you success with helping your kind, I'd offer my help on that but currently I don't think there's much I can do." 

 

 

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@Blitz Boom

Thinking that all of this would have a happy ending would be naive of the detective.  His incursion into Harrowmark to tend to a dark wizard that had been attacking Manehatten had caused ripples.  Such things could not happen without the affect of a power vacuum.  There is always a new threat, some new villain waiting to take the place of the previous.  Sometimes not even a villain, but a new power of some form.  Other dark creatures could move in, the goddess of light, even the Queen of Harrowmark.  Somepony will fill the hole.  All because some outsider came in to defend his own country.  Were his actions right, or wrong?  In the words of his father, "Only time will tell."  

The pixie it appears was more important than originally thought, but what little interaction he had with it made it hard to tell.  But it does explain that mystery box Sickle had talked about that Lily had given Twisted as some sort of peace offering in order to become his apprentice.  Rising saw no magic come from the pixie, maybe the dark wizard failed, or the method he used wasn't magical in nature.  When dealing with a dark god's power, it would be hard to tell.  Even the magic Thistle used from the goddess was of course different than the average arcane magic he was used to sensing.  It could have been so subtle that it blended into the background of all the dark magic in the clearing.

Rising had a similar conclusion, Zon'vir and Thistle were rather similar in regards to their standings with the battling gods.  He could only guess the power Thistle could wield once more power of the goddess takes hold in Harrowmark.  The power Thistle used that Rising needed to counter was most impressive even without a full charge.  Whether she was just a puppet remained to be seen, but really when dealing with such beings, who wasn't? 

"Thistle was freed among the first group of trapped souls I released in Twisted's workshop," Rising confirmed with a tired nod of his head.  Only able to guess what Lily meant by treading carefully, a caution Rising would have to heed based on her reaction to his light tainted wisp.  "I cannot say for certain what you'll have to answer for upon your return home.  But based on talking with Ms. Sickle, Ms. Wisp and Thistle, they appeared to understand and forgive.  I know not of your crimes in Harrowmark, if any.  Here, well, your crime is only that you violated the Misuse of Magic, Statute: Alpha 0026," he admitted.  Needing the length of a blink or two to realize Lily likely had no idea of their laws.  "Peeping," he explained simply, referring to her scry spell on the O.M.I. Granted it was also in part that she could easily have been a Trojan Horse for Twisted and he'd rather not her or anypony else be harmed until the problem with Twisted could be solved.  Sadly they don't have a statute for that, yet.

 

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@Critical-Hit

"Oh, that's easy enough."

A short flash of the lieutenants horn, and a few strands of silvery light would speed across the two of them for a few seconds.

"That should last you for a few days."

"Thank you sir."

"That's uhm... Fine, recruit."

The lieutenant rubbed his forehead a little and sniffed in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Just a little longer, and he'd be able to get the first cup of this batch at least.

"Lieutenant Frizzle? General Tidal Wave asked if you'd help Thunder here get back to Cloudsdale, and put a marker on him so he could return when we're ready for the new recruits. And well... Like he asked, I'd like to accompany him, at least for a little while. Just to make sure his family will know it's legit and everything."

Frizzle looked like he were thinking on this for a while, though in actuality, he were just stalling a bit so he could get a cup of coffee. Getting that first swig of a nice cup of joe, with a few drops of soy milk and a tea spoon of honey, really helped his get a bit of pep back in his step.

"Well, technically you should be on patrol, yes? But then... I guess the doctor would be happier if you had a little time away? That uhm..."

"And the general would probably want to know what happened too, right sir?"

Frizzle shook his head a little from side to side, looking like he had just been told off. The guy didn't act much like a commanding officer, but at the same time, he had never aimed to be either. It were just what had happened, and he didn't like to be confrontational and say no when he were asked. Honestly, the responsibility tended to make him a little nervous.

"She would, yes. The general likes her stories, and she did ask me tog et him here in the first place, so I guess everything makes sense. Just uhm... Say when you're ready, and I'll teleport you to the library in Cloudsdale."

His horn would flash before that again, though nothing seemingly happened to either of the others. The markers he used tended to be rather subtle like that. Made tracking potential trouble makers easier, among other things.

Soon as Thunder said it, they'd both be transported, and were fully able to travel in the cloud city.

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@Sekel

"Lack of materials. Without regular access to metal or anything else but rocks, we had to adapt, and make use of what we could find. We had to scavenge the battlefields a lot too. Couldn't waste good armor or weapons just because somepony didn't make it."

Last's sword were one of the original pieces, yet that had been left in the realm the shadow they had guarded had commanded, along with a remnant of her ancestor. At least that's what she figured where the whole deal with that. It had been a rather weird turn of events, though regardless, it had ended in her gaining a strong sword, with family ties to it, so there were something good there.

Her sister had most of the metal they had gained and reforged a lot throughout the generations, as she were the better fighter of the two, and needed it more. It were probably for the best to make contact with her, and exchange stories on how things went one of these days, even if Princess Twilight wouldn't require some manetid parts.

"It might sound harsh, your majesty, but the Shrine Maidens were formed only of the most devoted to the throne. There were nothing our ancestors would not go through if the kingdom needed it, and we have not forgotten our legacy. All of us will still do whatever it takes. And yes, that includes living in a hostile environment for generations, just to protect something we don't even know what is, all because we were asked to do so.

I doubt your history books remembers us though. We respected Princess Celestia, even after she banished Princess Luna, but she did not care much for us. She didn't understand the necessity of our kind."

A bit of an understatement maybe, but she were sure. Their own history books had not spoken of this much, and after returning to Equestrian society, Celestia had not really done anything for or against them, so it were hard to say how things stood now. All Last knew were that according to their own tales, Celestia were not too thrilled about having a bunch of *fanatics* do some rather shady things, regardless of how much the kingdom needed those who would hesitate to get their hooves dirty, whilst keeping their muzzles shut about where the orders came from. That, and that there were no mention of them in any history book in Canterlot. She drew her own conclusion about why that were from there, yet weren't judging Celestia on it. They didn't go through all of that to be framed in tales and enshrined in history after all. They did it for Luna, and one day, it may be that Last would have to do so for Twilight. They'd see.

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@Sekel

Whoever the eyes belonged to, did not answer. It just kept staring down at her.

That were, until Enzo reacted on this and swung the torch upwards to try and get a better look at whatever Karmic were looking at, and the creature let out a low, guttural growl before slithering off and further into the cave.

For a brief second, Karmic might have been able to get the outline of a vaguely equine head, but more elongated and with a singular sharp, large tooth sticking out in its upper muzzle. More of it wouldn't be shown before it took off though, clearly not too thrilled about the light. Enzo did not manage to get a look at this, and frankly it annoyed him. He did not like being looked over by something he couldn't see.

"Did you see anything? Were it a specter, or something living? And where did it go?"

Urgh, just the thought that might be a ghost, or remnant of some kind... It made the hair on his tail stand tall. Ghost always meant problems in the old stories he had heard when he were a kitten, as did any creature who didn't announce themselves, but just observed, and kept to the shadows.

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@Sekel

They wouldn't have to go far before they found three reformed changelings. Two wearing some pretty rough looking armor with spears that were little more than sticks with a rock tip, and one mare who seemed to desperately look around in a panic, whilst calling out for a whistle, over and over, in a highly panicked voice. The guards seemed more collected, but they were still a pair of nervous stallions from the looks of things, and not too trained to remain cold and calculated during a situation like this.

Said guards saw their group first and lowered their spears, to which Happy just responded with a grin and stopping up. He could almost smell how nervous and inexperienced these two were, and frankly, it would be pretty easy for him to use this against them, and take them out if he were so inclined. A good thing that he wasn't.

"Hey there. You wouldn't happen to be looking for this lil' champ, would ya?"

The mare looked over, just as the nymph rose her head and made eye contact with her.

"Whistle!"

"Miihrahm!"

Happy bent his neck to allow the rapidly approaching nurse to quickly scoop up the little thing, who were about as happy as could be to finally be back with someone she recognized.

"Yeah, we found the lil' one a bit off the path. Figured there'd be someone out looking for h-"

The nurse threw herself around his neck and gave him a hug, to which Happy looked well surprised, whilst she kept rapidly spouting off *thank you*. Seemed like she had been really riled up by losing this nymph, but who could blame her? Nurse changelings took their role raising the lil' ones pretty serious. Having one just wander off and get hurt would be mortifying.

When she finally let go off him, she quickly went over and grabbed hold of the Whistle, who had decided to go over to the more relaxed looking guards to wait, and got a good, solid hold in her, with a little magical leash. Better safe than sorry, right? And it were only wrapped a little around Whistle's mid section. She didn't want to hurt the nymph after all.

"I can't thank you enough, but... Who are you? And what are you doing here?"

"Call me Happy, and this over here's Aurora. We wanted to see if we might have a shot at a lil' chatter with the big guy on top?"

The guards tried to focus on Aurora, trying to see who were hiding behind the cart, though both them and the nurse looked rather confused, and stood silent after Happy had spouted off his words.

"Not familiar with the lingo, eh? I meant King Thorax.

Hey Aurora, be a sport and come up front so they can see you too, eh? Just a small peek, before these two gets more antsy."

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@EcstaticWind

"I have not tried this in quite a while, and my first impression were less than perfect. I were unaware at the time that it were unwise to consume a large bowl of it in quick succession."

Brain freeze were a horrendous experience, which his own kind were unfortunately not immune towards. in fact, as his nervous system were a little more spread out, rather than being completely focused there, it presented a rather... Troubling time for him, which he had not wished to test again.

"I c-can't remember if I e-ever tried it..."

The issue were the opposite for Brittle, who had no memories before the circus, and were never treated well enough to get stuff like ice cream. Combined with the fact that she couldn't eat all kinds of food, she couldn't say for sure whatever or not it were even a good idea to try.

"Perhaps then, this is a sign that it is time for us both to take a chance. Would you be so kind as to inform us the price of them, Velvet? I'm afraid the sign is not speaking loud enough for me to hear it."

Sometimes it made others uncomfortable when he joked about his eyesight around others, but in his mind, it were less awkward than having to deal with others stepping on eggshells around him. He could understand it, yet he wished to cause less discomfort in his presence. Why else would he try and keep his teeth hidden, and wear this cape to shield others from watching the buds growing from his body, if not to try and seem less of a threat? Or at the very least, an outsider?

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@EQ_Theta

"I'm in no hurry, but I don't want to keep you here, if you prefer to leave."

"Sounds like you two're at a stalemate. What about you, Spotty? You got an opinion on this?"

He'd look past them, and towards Omen, who had been so quiet for a time now that it were possible to forget she were even there. She hadn't been too focused on what they were talking about though. She had been looking outside, with her back turned, and gazed upon the work the others were doing to get the apples down from the trees. She didn't react to this inquiry either, as she didn't know who were being spoken to, before Rosa poked to her a little and she finally turned around.

"Yes?"

"Ome-"

"Woah, what's with the mind messing here? Sounds like some of those folks at the carnival."

Rosa let out a sigh. He supposed it were too good to imagine he wouldn't have to explain this today, but if he must-

"Omen is mute, and can only communicate telepathically."

"Awh, poor gal. Sounds like somepony who could definitely use a glass of our famous cider, and a slice of pie. You folks just stay here, and I'll be right back."

There wouldn't be much point in arguing, as the stallion wandered off, and with determination took off towards the main house. Guess he had been set on this, and just looked for an opening to force it through before the guests would take off.

"Members of the Apple family tends to be overly hospitable, so it can be difficult to get away from partaking, unless you stand steadfast. In his case, even that is not always an option.

I guess we may have a little time for ourselves then, until he returns. Perhaps you could humor me a bit then Sen, and tell me how you are currently doing? It have not been too stressful or odd to interact with the Apple family so far, no?"

On 11/14/2019 at 1:04 PM, EQ_Theta said:

"You're getting close, Shrimp!" The longma jovially said, almost in a sing-song manner. "Just look around a little more."

Shrimp got his head back out of the saddlebag, and gave off a small sneeze from some dust tickling the inside of his nose.

A small flame spouted from his nostril as a response, but it thankfully only hit the ground, and the sudden movement did mean that the small refraction would get to look around again. Something which finally made him see the box in which the berries were stored, and with a triumphant yelp, would slither over and wrap himself around the box as best he could.

He'd try to show off after that, by pulling the box out into the open, and look up at Lin to see if she were impressed with his hunting skills. He'd get to the food soon, but like with many other small beings, he were looking for approval on his improvements. Hunting for something on his own - even if it wasn't actual prey who could fight back - were one of the things he'd seek approval from completing, then get to the food if he were ignored or got that.

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@Moonlit

"Well, Fah'lina's not really that difficult to work with, she's just very prideful. Others thinks that she's some sort of pet, but she's still a wild animal. She just figured out that hanging around us were safer, and that we had food, so she hangs around with us. Or it's a flock thing, maybe? I've never seen her go around with others like her, and I couldn't find any sort of books on her sort, so I dunno if it's normal that she's on her own."

In fact, it weren't. Mimics - Or Discordian Snappers, or any of the other roughly eighteen or so widely discussed names that were used for them - were a communal creature. Being on their own weren't normal for long periods of time, with the most being a few hours whilst out scouting or scavenging for food, before returning to the village. Fah'lina had been without her kind for an unknown amount of time so far, but had found a community in Serenade and Ziggy, along with a safe base in the formers home. Necessity had forced her to adapt to this, but it weren't all bad. Less mouths to share with like this.

"I think the two of them get along a lot since they're kinda the same. They hide what they're really like, they're mostly active at night, likes to nap a lot and eat waaaay more than you'd think when looking at them. If they had normal tummies and metabolism, we'd have to roll them around. And me? Well, I'm tall. She seems to like high places, hehe.

Sorta surprised you had to get in fish. Were Serenade not good at hunting fish when she were tiny? Oooh, wait, I get it. You were trying to hide her. Whoops. Certainly can't have her swimming about and robbing fishing nets then."

Whilst talking, Ziggy had snuck over all ninja-like, to get a better position to hear what Harmony were on about, if she elaborated more on what were in her letters. Ziggy sure wanted to read them too over her shoulders or something, but that seemed kinda rude, so she just sorta... Waited, and wondered who had retired.

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@Catpone Cerberus

About six gulps in, whereas Ruby were only feeling the start of this, Spicy were swaying, and looking like she weren't completely sure about what were going on around her. Sure didn't mean that she couldn't have just a little swig more now, did it? Hehe.

That sort of mindset is what tended to cause this drink to be an issue. One of the reasons why Diego had made sure that she were locked here in The Bunker. It were less about protecting his property, and more about making sure that She were safe. Something which his mother would likely scold him for in time, but he could always use the argument that she were purchasing the room, as well as the drinks, from their casino. That entitled her to as much hospitality as anypony else, long as she paid her bill. Something which she so far, had always done.

"Ehehe... This here's some good stuff, huh? Just looking all nice and sweet, and then Whammo! Right in the kisser, Harh!"

Then came the eight sip, which meant that around half the glass were now empty. At which point she'd put it down, and come over to stand a bit to the side of Ruby, then would attempt to get her front right hoof around her shoulders, and poke her in the chest. Push her away some and she'd eventually just give up and just poke in Ruby's general direction.

"Y'know, you're alright, Ruby? You're always so stiff and boring, but I think you're fine. And a changeling. Hehe, whoopsie, did I say that out loud?

Now now, don't go get bent, alright? I like it. I know, it's not easy to just show your itsy bitsy bugsy side to others. It's just that you're weird for a pony. Reeeeal stiff and dry. Like a twig. Hehe, Ruby the Twig."

She'd be able to have a good laugh at this for a bit, even if it weren't really funny.

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@Catpone Cerberus

Lyriel came over and put a barked hoof on Nada's shoulder. Or she'd try to at least, though it may be too high up, and she'd settle for holding the tip against the sirens chest.

"I thank you for your offer, to bring word if you find them in your books. As for my maddened kin among dragons: Please, don't worry yourself about that. When time comes, my aid shall come from pony and dragon, as the travel are between their lands. It will be up to them what happens.

Besides, your own life have much more immediate concerns than that of my kin. Soon enough, you will be called upon to stand with the princesses, as a shiny example of what your kind can be, and speak of peace. It must be a relief to to think that you will soon be welcome to live openly, without fearing being sent away. Yet I can imagine that it must be quite a nervous endeavor, given what I have understood of your kinds history.

How are you coping with it all so far, Nada?"

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@Rising Dusk

"The correct term is scrying, young man."

Peeping. Urgh, much she had to hear for, but this were just demeaning to be accused off. Made it sound as if she had used her baubles to glance at public baths or something of the matter. She may look young, but that kind of frivolous idiocy was far, far behind her.

"As for Harrowmark... It depends on the eyes that see. To some, I would have just assisted Twisted in his madness. To others, I would be just as guilty in creating his monstrosities. My guess is that the high priestess will be the one to judge, and I can't imagine she's as forgiving as you make it sound like. Not after Twisted's betrayal, and imprisonment of her.

Still... There's no turning away from going back there. I need to face my daughter, the high priestess, and pray to both Suusha and Viz'nay that I can get to Her, and help her out of the country before word start to spread. With him gone, I can't imagine it will take many moons."

The cage started to creak again, though this time, quite a bit louder, and as Lily looked up, she saw how one of the bars above her physically bent inwards, quite forcefully even. It were still in place, but seeing this were making her quite nervous about what were going to happen, in case more parts of her current prison ended up doing this.

"...If I tell you who I'm looking for exactly, could I ask for a new cell? I don't think this is st-"

She didn't even get to finish the sentence before the next bar bent inwards, then another right after. This were about the time that Lily started to lose all color in her face and get panicked, which she had every right to be. The catastrophic implosion that Molotov had said were going to happen sooner or later, were beginning it's chain reaction, and within the next three minutes tops, all that would be left of the cage and its prisoner, would be an extremely dense rectangle the size of a common dice.

"For the love of the gods, I'll tell you everything! I swear!"

In Lily's eyes, as she did not know the technology behind this, it seemed as if this were a scare tactic being done by Rising. Which were working quite effectively, as even her backwards view of the world could tell where this were headed, and she were rightly terrified of the prospect of it happening.

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@Blitz Boom

Thunder would smile a little more, being able to get to his adopted parents home quicker made him happy, not that he minded seeing Twilight, but she would ask him plenty of questions, which would delay him getting home. He would also breathe in the scent and aroma of the coffee before nodding "Okay sir, so long as Shell here is ready, I am ready to go home" he would say.

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@Blitz Boom "We were...but not the way your thinking. Sunlight and I met....Serenade's Birth mother one evening." Harmony's eyes darken. "All the stories you've heard about Sirens, how they are monsters. She ponified every one. It took me and three of my Guard friends to make her back off." She suddenly smiles, "Enough of that...tell me Ziggy....how well do you sing?" She turns to face the Zegasus and gives....an alarming smile. 

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@Sekel

 Instinctively, Kaltrop curls his tail around too, towards Dawn Streak. However incidentally showing his reluctant empathy.

  "Dragons don't help each other. It's important to be self-reliant. You can't tell what another drake is going to do unless you fight them.

    …  Besides, I don't expect to be welcomed here. Either your neigh-bors get sick of a dragon among them and chase me out, or I get sick of all your little love piles."

_____

@Catpone Cerberus

That is to say-

 Widdershins bends the teacher baton he had been pointing at the chalkboard with, between lobster claw and tentacle.

That this isn't something to be controlled. Harnessed, if you will to just mindread. Though, that could be where that spell comes from theorhetically.

 No, its just a natural bit of the inherent Chaos magic intrinsic to every world & being! Best not to attempt to harness such Wild Magic! It's just something that can occasionally, and does-

 With a loud, perfunctory snap, the baton cracks in half and disappears along with the chalkboard.

 -Makes it Easy!

 After all! What stories would we lead if we didn't have at least something to talk about, from buddy to buddy?!!?

 

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17 hours ago, Critical-Hit said:

@Blitz Boom

Thunder would smile a little more, being able to get to his adopted parents home quicker made him happy, not that he minded seeing Twilight, but she would ask him plenty of questions, which would delay him getting home. He would also breathe in the scent and aroma of the coffee before nodding "Okay sir, so long as Shell here is ready, I am ready to go home" he would say.

@Critical-Hit

Azure Acrylic, a tiny Pegasus pony, was flying around Ponyville, when she notices a odd scene going on below her. She thought, “What could be going on down there?” and decided to take a look.

She flew down to Thunder and landed on his muzzle, looking at him.

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@Blitz Boom

“It’s the opposite, really. It feels like it’s getting easier to converse with ponies now that I’m doing it almost regularly. Between you, Amethyst, and all of these friendly creatures we’ve been meeting these last few days, I think I am getting accustomed to being less uptight and behaving like myself around them. And I heard lots about how famous the Apple family’s cider is. It’s a win-win.”

Sen smiled both outwardly and at the thought of being able to try some of that famous cider. Ponies would spend hours lining up for a taste and that line would wind through towns, bending into itself. Everypony who has ever heard of the Apple family’s quality product would pay for a mug and at a premium to have barrels of that stuff stocked in a cellar to be consumed at their leisure. Businesses that avail of that product for distribution would be the envy of everyone else, a matter worthy of being bragged about. 

Being welcomed to dine with the family? That is a whole other level almost up to dining with royalty. Of course, that could just be exaggeration but the Apple family is a well-known name. They would’ve had built up that reputation over generations and every bit of it is hard-earned. 

“If you don’t mind me asking, Rosa, you seem to have some history with Golden Delicious. Like you two know each other well. How’d you come to meet him? Is it a sensitive topic?”

Back at the cave, Lin eagerly watched Shrimp pull the box out into the open. As much as she had a part in the refraction’s success, there was still a feeling of pride and joy as she cheered on the creature. There would be time for the diamond chunk later but Shrimp was successful and that deserved a reward. 

“You did it! Not bad for your first hunt!” The longma stroked and nuzzled the refraction before opening the box and pulling out a handful of berries for him. “Time to eat now, Shrimp. It’s another day to work on the diamond chunk and you need energy!”

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@Blitz Boom

AURORA LIGHTS

"I-I-uh ... n-no," Aurora squeaked out from behind the cart, speaking loud enough for Happy and the other changelings to hear her. She pranced in place before peeking her head out to the side, looking at the different changelings while shaking like a leaf. Her red and orange mane fell in front of her eye in a shy manner. "I-I-uh ... I don't ... I um ... can I just stay here?"

@Blitz Boom

KARMIC FATE

"Not a ghost. It had an elongated pony head, along with a snaggletooth protruding out of its muzzle," Karmic said quickly, doing her very best to keep calm. She looked behind herself again and squeaked uncharacteristically, spotting the same two eyes from before. She wanted to speak up but found herself immobilised from fear.

@Blitz Boom

TWILIGHT SPARKLE

"Cherish, you're going to be spending a lot more time at my castle after we perform this ritual. What do you think of everything Last has said?" Twilight asked the ghost as they entered Ponyville. She was eager to get to working on the ritual that tied Cherish to her stick and get it someplace else. She took in what Last had said though and let out a small sigh. "That all sounds very harsh, Last. I'm just not used to that kind of environment."

@Widdershins

DAWN STREAK

"If they're not sick of me then they won't get sick of you. You're my ... guest? Bodyguard? We need to come up with an official title later. If they've got a problem with you, I can knock their teeth out," Dawn grinned, showing somewhat of a maniacal side of herself in her manic grin.

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@Blitz Boom
Ruby didn't push Spicy away even after she put her hoof around her shoulders, sure she wasn't necessarily fond of her doing it, but she figured it would be easier to just endure it. She hid the relief she felt and acted shocked when Spicy admitted she thought Ruby was a changeling, she had been wondering if Spicy had been catching on, so it was nice to know that she had went to totally wrong direction. She laughed with Spicy, not because she found Spicy's words funny, the joke was actually pretty awful, but because it was lot easier to fake laughter when you were drunk and maybe it would make Spicy forget the topic at hoof before it even starts.

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"I'm not really sure,  I'm feeling many things." Nada admitted "I'm optimistic based on what I have seen so far, but at the same time I feel skeptical that things will go well because of what happened in the past." "Then to add to those conflicting feelings is everything i missed during my isolation, it's lot of information to learn and understand, and it doesn't exactly help that the language has changed too." 

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@Widdershins
Cerberus had somehow changed location during the lecture even though he had been sitting down the whole time, the skull had also disappeared, and he had a cat sleeping on his head "So chaos magic." he then stated, though since he didn't continue from there, it wasn't clear to what he had actually replied to, if to anything at all. He pulled a piece of paper from behind himself using his tail, the paper had the same incomprehensible drawings as Widdershins had on the chalkboard earlier "But this still doesn't make any sense, are you sure you drew it right?" 

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@Sekel

The tension didn't seem to lessen once the two guards saw that it were a changeling of the old kind. Who could blame them really, what with the open hostility some of the original variants of their species tended to have towards them, and the memories of how life were with Queen Chrysalis.

"Hey hey, relax guys. Don't you see she's just a bit shy in it? No need to get all riled up."

Honestly, Happy felt like it were gonna be way easier to just sort this by knocking out these two, and perhaps handle the nurse and the kiddo with a sleep spell - one of the few spells he actually tended to do relatively well - but that were going to cause so many more issues down the road, so yeah... Better to try and be smiling, jovial, and defuse the situation the old fashioned way.

"It could be an... Ambush? Maybe?"

"By two changelings, of which one is reformed? Come on mate, think it through. Plus, if this were an ambush, you would've been swarmed by now."

The guard who spoke up looked like he wanted to say something, but he didn't really have an argument against this.

"I guess that makes sense, but... King Thorax will have to decide on it."

"And we directly asked to be brought right to him. See? We're all aiming for the same thing. So just start leading the way, and we'll be following you, no tricks."

The guard nodded, and started to wander in front along with the nurse and Whistle, whilst the other went around and would get ready to follow the cart from behind.

"Afraid staying behind ain't an option anymore, Aurora. Now brace yourself, and don't get spooked, alright? This lad's just there to make sure that we actually are following the others, and not trying to veer off the path or something. You can come up and walk a bit more at the side if he unnerves you."

This were working out pretty well in his opinion, though for his nervous companion, it were probably somewhat nerve wracking. Oh well, she had to face their kind sooner or later, so it was just ripping off that band aid and get to it now. Heh, not like there was another choice, because of she tried to run off, Happy were pretty sure she'd get wrapped up in a little spell he'd noticed a few other guards at his old hive make use of before.

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@Sekel

"Times like these, I wish I had been given more books to read."

Enzo were frankly feeling irritated at what he heard. Not because Karmic got on his nerves, no. It were more because he had no idea what sort of creature she were speaking about. The few things he knew of the outside world did not cover anything like what he had just been told about. Elongated pony heads at best made him think of Wendigos, but with a snaggletooth? That were more the kind of thing mollusk eaters had, and their kind certainly didn't eat that, from what he had been told.

As for the eyes of this unknown creature starring down at her, Karmic would find that there weren't just two anymore, but rather six, spaced out, and indicating the presence of three of these creatures. They'd stick around for about three seconds after Karmic had spotted them, before the eyes closed, and whoever they belonged to went away, this time in the direction of the mine shaft they had followed to get here in the first place. It appeared as if they wanted to egg them on, or surround them at the very least.

"Enough of this. They wish to face us? Then they shall have their wish."

With the torch held high, Enzo summoned a thick line of parchment where one end wrapped itself around the handle, and the other his forehead, causing it to function sort of like an antiquated headlamp, or peculiar candle holder. Why he did this? To keep both paws free of course, in case something came towards them. If they were, he would have more mobility to swat the insects aside. It also functioned to give him a chance to move faster forward, which were what he did next.

If these things looked for a fight, then so be it. If not, then he were going to the heart of this matter and figuring out why.

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@Sekel

13 hours ago, Sekel said:

"Cherish, you're going to be spending a lot more time at my castle after we perform this ritual. What do you think of everything Last has said?"

"Uhm... That it's harsh, but makes sense."

Cherish stopped floating after them once they entered Ponyville, and set hoof on the ground so that she could walk instead. Optimally she wished to have just vanished from sight currently, but the princess had asked her a question, so it seemed like the wrong approach to take right now. Especially since said princess were going to help her. Being rude towards a pony like that were just wrong.

"If you don't have anything to work with, you have to make due. I just hope it doesn't have to come to that here."

She also had some thoughts on the implications of what Last had said, which rang quite a bit more sinister to her than it likely did Princess Twilight, but she really didn't want to start something bad here. Talks about what she suspected Princess Luna might have used the Shrine Maidens for, and why it were they weren't mentioned in history, gave her some rather bleak ideas that were probably best left for Last to explain herself, if the time came.

13 hours ago, Sekel said:

"That all sounds very harsh, Last. I'm just not used to that kind of environment."

As for Last, she didn't answer at first, but instead looked around her at the calm energy wafting through the currently peaceful town of Ponyville.

"As I am not used to yours, your majesty. Blessed be the stars that I have to get used to your world, and not the other way around."

Last had grown up in a harsh, unforgiving battlefield, and had the scars to prove that. To her, that were the reality that she were used to, and thrived in the most, but Twilight were more innocent of mind than that. She weren't accustomed to those harsh realities, nor the environment in which they were fostered. It would cause a cultural divide between them for the time being, yet as said, it were thankfully Last who had to get used to Twilight's reality, and not the other way around. And while Last had issues with the idea of a relatively calm life currently, she were adaptable enough to eventually tolerate and live with it. The same would likely not be true if the princess had to spent the rest of her life fighting varied kinds of monsters and invaders, often with less than kind results.

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@EQ_Theta

14 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“It’s the opposite, really. It feels like it’s getting easier to converse with ponies now that I’m doing it almost regularly. Between you, Amethyst, and all of these friendly creatures we’ve been meeting these last few days, I think I am getting accustomed to being less uptight and behaving like myself around them. And I heard lots about how famous the Apple family’s cider is. It’s a win-win.”

"Their cider is well regarded for a reason, yes. The amount of things that some will do to gain even a thimble of the stuff would amaze you."

An image ran through Rosa's head that gave him a small smile, of a small glass of this being auctioned off right at the back of the long line, where no one would have a realistic chance at getting to the register in time to buy their own. The Apple Family had not been too thrilled about that, but it had been an entertaining sight none the less.

"And it is good to hear that you are getting more accustomed to other races, Sen. It will potentially be of some importance if your kind are to extend a friendly invitation for trade to the outside world, in case your elders wishes for ambassadors of their kind who are less judgmental, or fidgety, when meeting other higher ranked individuals. Having one who does not need to be trained for that part, but only the beginning steps of general diplomacy, would certainly be something that I would consider valuable at least."

He could say more, but talking politics and implications constantly were not the wisest thing. Either it bored others, or they got stressed about the magnitude of what it would entail for them in the future. Or they got really into it, and he'd have to make pauses himself as to not end up with an annoying knowledge sponge. Somewhat like Princess Twilight, just less tolerable.

14 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“If you don’t mind me asking, Rosa, you seem to have some history with Golden Delicious. Like you two know each other well. How’d you come to meet him? Is it a sensitive topic?”

Ah, and here were the question he had waited to hear. It were just a matter of time before Sen would ask what the connection between the spy and Apple stallion were, though he would be honest here: Rosa hadn't expected the question to come before they were back at the cave. Sen's inquisitive mind in an unfamiliar territory spoke well of how he - as proclaimed - were getting more used to others, and were more relaxed than Rosa had at first given him credit for.

"I came to this town to lay low, several years back, and hit at a time when the Apple Family had gone through a robbery. Someone had broken in and stolen their entire storage of cider, and the sheriff weren't much help finding clues.

So I approached Golden Delicious, and offered him a hoof in the matter, in exchange for him holding on to some things for me, if I succeeded. Desperate times caused him to say yes, and I managed to find the necessary clues to track down a small band of thieves that had thought this an easy task. I had them personally deliver the barrels to this farm again, and turn themselves in, without mentioning my involvement. Trust me, you do not wish to know how I got them to do so."

He might be acting kid around Sen and the others, but that were him personally, whilst the other had been work, and there were little room for emotion and morals in that. It were not as bad as he made it sound though. He didn't torture them or anything. Not physically anyway, though his beat down and consequential list of things that he could make happen to them if they did not follow his instructions to the letter, were pretty illegal, and best not discussed.

"I kept my end of the bargain, and so did he. I had to lay low for a while longer though, so I assisted here and there in the shadows, and helped with a few papers or... Other troubling matters, in exchange for shelter and nourishment. Golden is not a fool, so he figured out to some degree what my deal were faster than you may think, yet we managed to keep a fairly respectful tone towards one another. I do not think we are friends per se, but reliable allies are often nearly the same in my line of work.

As for the thieves, far as I am aware, they were sentenced to some community service, and most of them left town afterwards. I believe I heard some rumors about one of them marrying into the Apple family last spring, but I did not follow up on that enough to say for sure."

17 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“You did it! Not bad for your first hunt!” The longma stroked and nuzzled the refraction before opening the box and pulling out a handful of berries for him. “Time to eat now, Shrimp. It’s another day to work on the diamond chunk and you need energy!”

Shrimp joyfully went at the berries one by one, chomping them down with a big grin on his scaled face from the praise he had gotten. As Lin had said, this were good for a first hunt, though a real one would have to wait until he found some more lively prey to go after. Not meat, as like Amethyst had told them, refractions were strictly vegetarian, and could barely take a few bugs here and there. Still, there were some fruits that did require more, such as climbing large trees, dealing with living flora that weren't keen on parting with their fruits, and carefully extracting a little cactus meat from a prickly bunch of cacti. It'd be a little painful for him now and again as he learned, but it were still better than having to deal with Shrimp suddenly slithering over with a partial bird or something along those lines.

After about four berries, Shrimp had gotten his fill for now, and went over to climb Lin again, as he had a tendency to do to. He wouldn't go fully up to the top of her head right now, but rather keep slithering around her torso, legs, and membranes, patting varied parts of her with his forehead at times and letting out a few chirps. It seems like he were in a playful mood now, though Lin might have to put in a bit of authority here and try and get through to him that it were time for work first, and fun later. Or she could play along with the refraction, as he'd try to avoid her grasp and continue to pat at her.

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@Moonlit

Eeeergh, yeah. Ziggy could understand the want to not go on with that story, since it sounded pretty nasty.

Poor Serenade, to have her own birth mother be the ponification of everything bad that sirens had their bas reputation for... Good that Harmony and her friends were able to deal with that, and then keep Serenade away from the bad siren's grasp.

"My brother says that my singing sounds like I've sat on a sneezing pelican. Kinda harsh, but I guess it's fair since it's reeeeally bad, hehe. I'm better at whistling though, wanna hear?"

Ziggy would whistle a little in a clear, happy melody. She had forgotten the name of the song a while back, but it were something about gumdrops and jelly beans. A foals song that were almost out of her mind, but the melody were there, and whenever she felt a little sad, she'd always feel better by flying around and whistle this tune. She just made sure not to whistle too loudly. She didn't want a face full of mimic teeth.

"See? Why do you ask though? *gasp* Are we gonna make a barbershop quartet?"

She were pretty excited at this idea. Sure she didn't sing well, but she could add a bit of melody in it. She were sure that'd work just fine too somehow, and she could wear one of those cute little striped outfits that sort ran around in. That'd be pretty sweet too!

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@Rainbows2424 @Critical-Hit

The lieutenant sent them off soon as Shell nodded that she were ready, confirming that both were prepared, and in the blink of an eye, they'd find themselves at the steps to the Cloudsdale library. A bit of queasiness would be here this time too, as this were still a long distance teleport, which tended to be felt, but it should be as bad as the first time. For Thunder at least, though Shell looked like the world was spinning for her for about a minute after they landed.

Once she regained focus, the earth pony mare would look around herself at the cloud city, and let out an excited gasp. Sure she were still feeling a little wonky in her tummy, and the air felt a bit thin in it, but just at this town! It were so pretty, and unlike anything she had ever seen, what with her never having been away from Shark Bay before. Closest thing she had been were around three meters outside of the city limits to get a ball she had kicked too far when she were little, but that didn't count to her. It wasn't a trip away from home, as long as you could still see said home.

"This is Cloudsdale? Just look at all those pretty bui-"

Shell had looked around as she talked, but halfway through, she had turned towards Thunder, and seen a most unusual sight.

A small pony with wings, seemingly no bigger than a kitten, had landed on Thunder's muzzle.

"Wauv, is that a Breezie? Hello fairy-pony! I swear I'm not going to hurt you."

Shell Tooth might be a pretty strange sight for the small pony, considering that the mare were completely covered in gauze, with armor pieces of varied blue on her, and a well polished trident slung over her back. The only thing that showed off any actual part of the mare were her right eye, which were the only part of her that were uncovered, and if not for her speaking in a tomboyish, but feminine voice, it would've been impossible to even tell that this were a mare, as she didn't have a mane or tail currently.

As for her calling the small one a breezie... Well, she had never left Shark Bay before, and those creatures never went there. So all she knew were stories that said that breezies were tiny ponies with wings. This one seemed to fit that description.

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@Catpone Cerberus

"Y'know why else I know you're a changeling? It's... Hehe..."

Spicy went over and took another sip of her drink. Whatever sense of dignity or smarts were visibly just draining out of her as she did, and showed once again that she were just about totally plastered, but still had no intentions of stopping until the glass was empty.

Still, as she could still walk - kind of - she'd go right back to Ruby and lower her voice, whilst looking from side to side.

"Don't tell anypony, right? It's a secret.

It... It's because Marley likes to hang around you... Hah! It happens all the time. He likes somepony, he starts to really get into a talk, and then Tadaa! Changeling. It's the funniest thing ever. Oh man, this one time, right? He just-"

Spicy's eyes rolled around in her head and she looked like she were on the brink of just stumbling back and bashing her head into the counter, before suddenly, it seemed like the light on the top floor turned back on again.

"- with her own queen! Crazy story, start 'til finish, but there's a lot of life lessons to learn from it too."

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@Catpone Cerberus

"It sounds like cautious optimism, among confusion of a world that seems foreign to you. Perfectly understandable though, is it not?

We are many who wishes to help you, but what history I understand, have not been in favor of you, nor the other daughters of the ocean deep. Much as those who holds you up can bring you hope, it is only natural to wonder if that is enough, against those who does not know you as we do, and does not wish to risk doing so. Such caution is valid, Nada, though I pray to the earth mother that in the end, your worries will be unfounded."

Lyriel could certainly understand this apprehension to feeling too confident in being accepted. Though she did not carry the baggage that came from being part of a race that had historical hostility towards the ponies, she too had her worries that much as others told her that she would be welcomed, others may not think so, and would try and take actions against her. She wished to think better of them, and had entered the town twice since arriving in the area now, to try and confront her worries, but even one as open-minded as her, were not blind to the potential issues, and it were a worry that she carried with her whenever her hooves exited the forests domain.

Being cautiously optimistic were a healthy attitude to have, though it were likely hard to maintain for Nada at times. As thought, the poor thing had far more stacked against her than the dryad, which also increased the odds of the princesses reassurances in the end, meaning nothing, as the people would not accept Nada. One could only hope that this would not be the outcome.

"At least your other worry can be mended with knowledge, which can only come with time, and perhaps help from your equine friends. Hearing them speak, or reading of their history, no matter which, I know that you will learn, and adapt to the new world around you. I have tried to read and understand too, but alas, I can read and write only draconian, so it must wait.

Though... How much have the language truly changed since your time, Nada? You speak well with the ponies from what I have seen, and appears to understand most of what they are saying. What have changed since your time?"

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@Blitz Boom Harmony smiles, "actually a friend of mine just retired after twenty years working for..." She coughs, "And it's hits unofficial retirement party tonight, since he helped alot with Serenade, you wanna come along.?"

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On 11/13/2019 at 3:52 PM, Blitz Boom said:

if the intention were to be trapped, as soon as they passed, a thick slab of stone would slam down from behind them, sealing the door shut. A minor trap to ensure that they'd have less entering or escaping without issue perhaps, or just a faulty door, that chose now of all times to suddenly thaw enough to just fall down. In either case, they should be thankful they only felt the cold air displaced and blown towards them by this sudden action, rather than the stone hammering down on them. one were uncomfortable and potentially scaring, the other would have left a nice, pony-smelling splatter on the floor.

With the slamming of the door behind the two the small construct gave a surpised chirp even making the unicorn jump

"Cadence's Mane! ok guise we can add active traps still, you good zot?" 

Feeling the ball try to crawl under his hat answerd the question. Seeing the size of the door red lead had to thank maybe luck, cadence or what ever helped them out of the near splattering.

On 11/13/2019 at 3:52 PM, Blitz Boom said:

A pony were one. Bat pony by the looks of the wings, along with a dragon, a griffon, and a zebra. It gave a sort of intimidating look to it, as the towering figured loomed above, and the gap between where their heads almost met were where the pale, frozen over line the sphere hung on came down, but there were no indicators that they were going to move or anything like that.

As for paths, they'd find seven in this room, with three (among which they had just entered from) on this end, and then one below each of the statues, leading to who knew where. If there were something of value to find, it would likely be down those paths, though each of them had a small layer of ice and snow that needed to be cleared to go through.

 Seeing the Batpoy and dragon oddly put the unicorn at ease with a tad note of meloncolly,

"wonder how Dracul and his family are, well dragons and bat pony's have helped out in the past so you two might be useful....however" 

The unicorn looked to the zebra and griffon statue "if anything is to tell us why are you 4 this far north? you i can understand" he pointed to the dragon and gryphon statues. 
"you two confuse me" he pointed to the pony statues. 

The little construct gave the unicorn a curious look "think about this far north and a bat pony is a statue found here unless these are lost tribes this cant be an accident" 

The construct made a small understanding note. Its eyes going to the statues glowing. "see if you can get any magic readings off it zot, these don't looked trapped but, we may need to revisit here" 

The unicorn lit his horn up also trying to feel any magic coming from the entrence's in front of them 

 

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@Blitz Boom

“Don’t take this the wrong way, Rosa, but I’m happier knowing you as a friend. I wouldn’t know what to do if I got on your bad side. I mean, between your past and whatever you did to those thieves… well I, um… I can imagine you being the very creative type. But about what you mentioned, being an ambassador? It’s been something I’ve thought about for a while now. If talks with the other races will really happen, I think Lin or I would be picked for that. Would that mean living away from the other longma?”

At first, Sen’s thoughts were on the history between Golden Delicious and Rosa and that one was understandable, if not a little terrifying. Even his response was a cross between half-joking and nervous. What could Rosa have mentioned that would have led to the thieves turning themselves in? Frankly, the longma’s mind might not be large enough to comprehend the complexity of the matter, or it were as simple as a few words whispered to the right ears. 

But once that matter has been shaken out, his train of thought returned to the earlier mention of ambassadors. The longma didn’t have a word for it but knowing Ghilan, he would want someone to fill in that kind of position. For all of Sen’s talk about being at ease when talking to others beyond his kind, representing them in an official capacity is a whole other level with its own pressures. That and living away. As much as he wanted to settle down and live a simple life, his goal of wanting to see the longma expand their knowledge and relations beyond their borders probably meant he’d have to make some sacrifices. 

“I feel like all of this is happening really fast and I’m not sure just how much things are going to change. I want this to work but do you think I’m getting in over my head here? Like I’m asking for too much?”

Meanwhile, Lin would get ticklish at Shrimp’s amusing antics. Playful little creature but she could begin to see how he behaved in new situations. A little encouragement here and a little recognition there was the approach to go with. Still won’t make things easier but it’s a start. Now to see how it can handle a little assertion after some playtime. 

“Hahaha! Okay, Shrimp. I know you’re excited but we have some work to do.” The longma brought out the heavy diamond chunk and placed it before her. She, however, didn’t pick up the refraction and move it closer to the diamond, hoping to see how he will respond. 

“Can you, uh, do your thing with this diamond? No need to go through it all in one go. We get this done and we can play some more later, alright?”

Edited by EQ_Theta
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