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@Blitz Boom

Not the detective's most preferred way to travel.  Climbing into the lavish satin carriage and feeling that soft fabric on his coat when he took a seat.  A familiar feel.  Couches of comfy pillows, drapes to cover windows and a side bar with crystal bottles that contained drinks far too out of Rising's price range. There was no other occupant in the carriage and after Lily joined him, the door swung closed.  The driver pulled the carriage along, but a pony would only notice by looking out of the window as no movement could be felt inside the enchanted vehicle. No bumps or shifts as the carriage weaved through the high class streets and deeper into the north district of Manehatten.  "The everyday citizen does not usually travel this way," he chuckled.  "Our royalty are alicorns, and tend to fly or teleport to get around," or take the train, but no need to dive deep into all the modes of transportation in Equestria.  It wasn't hard to see the possible confusion as the carriage came to pick them up and appeared to open its doors for the unicorn.  "This belongs to who I hope will be our benefactor in getting you home," he explained, but cast his gaze out the window.

The trip wasn't a long one, but they had entered an area the normal taxi drivers hardly visited.  Approaching a gilded gate guarded by a mare and stallion with similar suits to the driver.  A brief nod was exchanged between the trio before the mare ignited her horn and the golden gates swung open.  Beyond was a winding road that led into a small forest with a large three story chateau set upon a hill just on the other side.  Leaving the forest revealed a large garden and lawn, complete with a fountain just in front of the chateau. Pulling the carriage up to the drive way, the door swung open on their own to allow the passengers to disembark.  With a deep breath, the detective slipped off the satin couch and left the carriage.  Rarely did Rising have to visit this home.

Climbing the steps to the large front door, he turned to face his companion at the top of the stairs, "This... is going to be different," he warned Lily, drawing back to their previous conversation about the difference in culture.  Even in Equestria and Manehatten, what was beyond these doors, was different.  The world between the high class, middle class and low class even in such a modern land, could still be jarring to work though.  Using his horn, he pushed open the double doors and entered the dark manor.

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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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On 2/4/2020 at 9:56 AM, Blitz Boom said:

"I understand. We all have sides to ourselves that we are not proud off- Some more than others, and I for one am not one to judge you for yours being more dangerous than most's to show to others. It would make me a hypocrite, seeing how much I try to distance myself from the darkness that lies within myself as well."

That caught Clever - he'd always been of the opinion that having an 'explosive' side to himself had always been something most wouldn't understand... yet, here was this mare who not only understood, but possibly far better than he did himself.  Though that concept was frightening, she was not - in fact, she was downright pleasant to him.  Internally, he was thrilled to find someone who had not only a deeper understanding of having something to have to hold back, but who also seemed to want his company as well.

The kirin had always felt as though the ponies never really understood what it was like to have to restrain yourself, to keep from being as fully expressive as he could be, for the sake of others... but Vivid had an even harder time than he did with that fact, as the sigils and runes were standing proof of.  She seemed to have FAR more than a simple flaming mane to worry about, and for some reason?  That made Clever less worried; why worry about your own mental grenade going off when someone else has to concern themselves with an entire bomb blast inside?

 

On 2/4/2020 at 9:56 AM, Blitz Boom said:

"I can show you, but I will need a vessel to focus the magic into, and you to keep an open mind. Quite literally, as the memories will need to be replicated from your head, and when it is done to another, rather than on yourself, it can become... Problematic, if the one with the memories tries to resist."

A vessel?  What sort of vessel?  Clever's mind rolled through his inventory, taking stock of what might be good enough to use for something like this.

"I am uncertain that I would possess a particular item that would be best utilized for such an endeavor in this circumstance... though the item in question may possibly not require any element of importance, it would perhaps be a much more significant gesture towards respecting such memories to seek out a worthy container for such a creation.  As I do not believe that I curently carry anything that would effectively qualify for such an important utilization, mayhaps it would be within range of possibility for us to perhaps seek out such a worthy recipient at, perhaps, a bazaar or a similar location of purchase?  I am uncertain if your august personage would be willing to press forth into whatever local burg we may be in closest proximity to, but I feel that I would much rather prefer a recepticle that would be exceedingly worthy of such interest and focus."

He gave a smile and motioned towards the path he'd left to find the source of the singing to begin with.  "Would you possibly endeavor to accompany me to such a location, Madam Vivid?  I find your astute companionship to be exquisitely refreshing, and I would be most appreciative if we might possibly pursue a friendship together... if you find such a decision to be favorable unto you?"

 

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@Blitz Boom

Sen was happy at the moment, learning and having a chance to give back to Rosa one way or another. The gaseous concoctions needed to create a smoke bomb would mean having more knowledge on the chemical compositions and the ingredients to create one, something Lin took interest in. Even that little demonstration and with the thestral throwing one down and letting their vision cloud for a while was impressive. Seeing one in action was icing on the cake. 

“So even simple plants could provide ingredients for a smoke bomb? Huh, looks like the longma could learn a thing or two from studying our own flora beyond food and medicine. This will change the way we look at what nature provides, more than just a means for survival. I’d like a copy of those ingredients; maybe it wouldn’t be of much use back home but I’m sure I’ll find them around Equestria. I suppose proper doses means a firm understanding in a certain subject but the name escapes me.”

“I can see you two are having an engaging conversation,” Lin patted both Sen and Rosa on the shoulders before turning around and appearing to walk away. “I’ll give you two some space. There’s another matter Mother asked I look into.”

“What do you mean?”

Lin didn’t speak, only raising the golden orb before her brother. Sen was confused, only remembering brief mentions of the conversation the scholars had with Mother. Still, he expected his sister to have had a talk with Mother about what she was to do and nodded. Lin would find herself sitting by a distant corner of the cave to have a delicate discussion with the orb’s occupants, still no more confident about it. It’ll have to be done sooner or later, mind as well be now while there is a moment of respite. 

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@Blitz Boom
Ruby observed her surrounding when creatures started coming in, looking for the one that was said to be a good target, and soon enough  she spotted him, and he was alone, good. She also noticed the new dragon that had arrived, or at least she believed she was a dragon, as she hadn't personally ever interacted with the water-breed of local dragons, but based on what her senses told her, she indeed was a dragon. She also noticed that the newcomer's bags were made of scales, but didn't think much of it other than this one may be less bothered by killing than some of the others she had met.

Ruby stopped paying attention to the newcomer after not seeing her as a threat, but she could tell she had headed to the bar and was saying something to Snuzzle, but there was no way for her to hear what was said through the noise.

Ruby then made her move, first getting closer to her target, acting a bit buzzed, but not too much to make sure she wouldn't get pushed away due to 'drunkenness', she would then slowly but surely get closer to him and start interacting with him, going as low and pathetic as she needed to get what she was after. Good thing about not caring for things like modesty and class, was that Ruby would be willing to do lot of things that others in her line of 'work' most likely wouldn't due to feeling uncomfortable. She wouldn't stop before she got what she wanted, until of course someone interrupted her. 

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Nada didn't stop Agni from landing on her, she had no reason to "It's nice to see you again, I hope you slept well after I left." she then said to him with a smile, before turning towards Nerzhei and Lotus "Nerzhei and Lotus, this is Agni, I sang him to sleep after he and my friend's pet had a situation, Agni, this is Nerzhei and her dragon-bunny Lotus." 

 

 

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On 2/7/2020 at 3:36 AM, Blitz Boom said:

A few weeks would have passed since Briar and Brittle had left town, and things were rather calm in the city. Or well, as calm as the large town could be anyway, as the day to day life were filled with busy ponies everywhere, doing whatever it were that they had set out to do over the coming days.

For Velvet, one thing that he would likely have done a few times by now, were reading some letters sent to him by three different beings within four days of them leaving town.

The first being Briar himself, who in a rather bad hoofwriting, would apologize for being absent as long as he were, but explained that Brittle were not feeling well, and that they would come along another day once she had calmed down enough, as well as gotten over her illness. He would also explain that he had taken the liberty of telling a few of his contacts to reach out to Velvet, to give him the push towards learning about what adventurers actually went through, as well as getting him some friendly connections outside of town.

The second were in a pretty elegant, flowing writing style, explaining that the name of the sender were called Lulu Leila, and that she had heard from Briar that he wanted to write with someone familiar in the adventuring scene. With it, were a tale of one of her adventures, that revolved around sneaking into a well guarded gravesite, and take some pictures of the various tablets and wall inscriptions before getting caught, and ending up escaping by stealing a set of guards clothes, and shapechange into the one she had nicked them from to escape safely. It were a rather tame one, and ended up with her saying that she hoped to hear back from him, as well as a return address, and a signature written with a little heart over the i in Leila.

The third one to send a note were a little less elegant, and written not in a simple envelope, but on a thick roll of parchment, with big letters and a surprisingly fluent writing style, that did seem a little jagged at times, as well as deep. It seemed to indicate that whoever wrote this, did so not with a pen or feather, but the tip of a claw, dipped in ink. The one writing also seemed to have a few issues with proper grammar here and there, but it were all perfectly readable, so it shouldn't be much of a problem.

It started much the same as the one from Lulu, but quickly went into an enthusiastic and bombastic tale in solid details about how she had pulled a wagon full of supplies through a thunderstorm, whilst fighting off dune smugglers to the east of Equestria. When she had reached the end station, the ones there had been thankful enough to show her a hidden entrance in the temple they had been huddled in, where she fought off a large snake for a shiny, golden collar with rare stones in. A crude depiction of that were included, with a note beneath going *It very shiny*. The finishing last words would enthusiastically encourage Velvet to write back, with the signature identifying the sender as Flaxxy.

The second and third letter would both have an open invitation to write back, and if he chose to do so to one or both, he'd get some responses back with more tales, or answers in case he had questions, as well as curious words about what he did on a day to day basis.

This would be the day when things would change up some, yet in what way? It depended on Velvet himself, and the actions he took regarding these two.

 

It took Velvet some time to muster up the courage to write back to Lulu and Flaxxy, though he wished Briar and Brittle well and expressed how he was looking forward to seeing them again after the time away. To the other two, he would eventually write back and share his own experiences, even if he felt they were not so grand and exciting as their adventures, and ask many questions about adventuring and what it's like out there beyond the borders of pony civilization. He'd write back often once he crossed the threshold and communicated with them in earnest.

He had done much thinking since Brittle and Briar left, and the more he considered it, the more his curiosity burned. He would pour over the information they provided until finally, he began to study books on medicine, outdoor survival, bestiaries and self-defense. He practiced his healing touch talent to get better at it and looked into hiring a storehand he could trust to look after the little nursery while he was gone. The road beckoned to him, promising knowledge, adventure and, most surprising to him, a way to better himself. Remorse and lingering guilt over his extreme and immature response compelled him to at least try it and see if he could be a better pony somehow. But even still, be it fear or wisdom, he was hesitant to face the trip alone.

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@Blitz Boom

KARMIC FATE & ATZY

"You seem tired. Very tired. You don't want to take a break for a bit?" Karmic asked in concern. She had noticed how he had acted since her argument with Atzy and was wondering if they should wait for a while.

"Maybe we can stop in the castle gardens? I'm sure the guards won't mind that," Atzy said optimistically.

@Blitz Boom

TWILIGHT SPARKLE

"It's possible it means something. What, I'm not sure. If this ritual goes well to separate you and have you inhabit my castle, and if the runes stay on there, then we can study it. But for now, we can't do anything since you're attached to it," Twilight explained with a small shake of her head. She didn't know what it would do to Cherish but she'd rather be safe than sorry. Twilight returned her attention to Last and took note of the co-ordinates. "I'm sure I can teleport us there now. Do you have everything we need to find the tower?"

@Blitz Boom

AURORA LIGHTS

"What?" Aurora asked immediately, taken aback at the sudden appearance. She wanted to let Thorax take charge but she had no idea if the scout would hurt them if she said she wasn't the leader. She took a breath and looked down at Thorax with an apologetic expression and then back at the weird gem creature. She leaned down and whispered to Thorax and Happy. "Please play along, this is a very scary situation and I don't want to alarm the creature," she told them in a very quiet voice. She then straightened and attempted to look as regal as she could. "I am the Queen of this hive. What is it your Queen wants with us?"

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@Pastel-chan

*gasp* Another one from out of town? And a big one like Manehattan no less? This were going to be great!

"My daddy says a lot of good things about Manehattan, with there being lots of different guards, police and that... O.M. I. thingie, the place sounds super safe."

She honestly didn't get a lot of the talk about the O.M.I. though he hadn't spoken off it a lot either. Apparently a pretty new branch of their police dealing with magic-based cased, artifacts, etc. Sounded really important, even if Jelly weren't entirely sure what their deal were beyond helping and protecting. Something which were always the best thing to do for sure.

Momentarily forgetting about her lunch as she looked at Pastel with curious eyes through her tinted glasses, Jelly wondered what sort of wondrous stories this filly might have from the big city. Sure it wasn't as big as Canterlot, but that were the capitol. It wasn't fair to compare the size like that, and Manehattan were apparently still really big from what she had heard. Nothing to be ashamed off there, plus this filly would know the strangeness of trying to fit into what were objectively a tiny community by comparison too. Definitely one to make friends with.

Sure she seemed a little trouble-seeking and might get into all sorts of accidents, but that were just her first impression of Pastel, and she knew that even though you shouldn't ignore your instinct when meeting somepony, you should still give them the benefit of the doubt, and see how they really were like. Her daddy were really clear on second chances being super important, and this being the best way to deal with new faces, as they might not be bad, but just misguided, or having a bad time themselves.

"Ponyville seems like fun too, even if I've heard others talk about there being dangerous things going on sometimes. They think whispering keeps it to themselves, but I hear lots of things."

Jelly perked her big, pointy ears, and pointed at them with her front hooves. As with many bat ponies, she had a rather sensitive hearing, which meant that whispers like this were easy enough to pick up on, though it also made yelling hurt her head if it were too close. It were a sort of give and take, though she did enjoy hearing more things, and chose to focus on that, rather than the negatives.

"How long have you been in Ponyville? My daddy came here four days ago, and I got here yesterday. Been really busy, so I haven't seen a lot of the place. I heard there's all sorts of famous ponies and stuff around here."

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@Sekel

"I'm fine, just a little under the weather."

Truth be told, he wouldn't mind a nap and some fish, but as they were now more or less at Canterlot, the fish at least would have to wait. *sigh* He should really have thought of this before, rather than having to deal with this later. Sure he wasn't all that hungry right now, but he might be tired later when going for some, and it would be a chore to fish at that point. Still better than eating bugs though. If he never had to rely desperately on that for sustenance again, it would be greatly appreciated. They tasted vile.

Approaching town properly, he'd force his way through the forcefield (or it let him through. At this point he honestly wasn't sure why it didn't stop him) and would aim for the garden this had all started in once again. And as could be expected, there would once more be some guards raising up their spears and swords when they saw him, with fear in their small eyes. Something which were given an eye roll from Enzo in return. Ponies sometimes.

He hit the grass with a mighty- Okay, a soft tap of his paws, and looked down at the one who were seemingly in front of the rest of these. Might mean the one in charge out of the currently present one? Hmph. Didn't look like much, but then again, these creatures were not known for getting places with brute strength, so what talents this silvermaned pegasus might posses, were probably in a more strategical sense.

"Boo."

A small smile crept unto Enzo's face as he saw the little one jump back nervously, clearly out of his debts. It perhaps wasn't the kindest way of approaching them, but it were a welcome spot of joy in his life right now.

"Tell your generals that Enzo have returned. And I bring news of some importance."

The pony didn't move, which would cause Enzo to give another eye roll, and look around until he saw one of the guards poking out of a window who didn't seem too fazed at his presence. Just sort of surprised that he had returned.

"You."

He looked at said pony, who surprised pointed to his own chest, unsure if it were him the sphinx meant. Even when the large creature's paw started to point his way.

"Yes. Relay the message to your general that this one cannot. He appears to be broken."

Finally, a pony who turned around, and did as told. So now it were just to wait, whilst standing in this here garden, carrying a gemling and a mare, with a dozen or so guards ready to defend the castle, whilst another half dozen or so were looking for reinforcements. How delightful...

Best he could say about this were that his depressive mood were starting to be overtaken by an annoyed one, which were at least an improvement from his own perspective.

"So far, I am not impressed by the communication in the guard. Nor their bravery."

Enzo chuckled a little as he let his claws out on his front right paw, and saw them scamper around. Foolish little creatures were too tense towards one whom were not here to hurt them.

"Be that as it may, you two should prepare yourselves, Karmic and Atzy. Something tells me that when either of their generals return, we will end up having much to discuss."

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@Sekel

Last looked through the saddlebag on her right side, opposite the sword in it's scabbard, still clearly letting off the surprisingly non-burning white flames that engulfed the blade. A strange heirloom she had gotten through the monster attack a few days past, yet one she were happy to have.

As for the content of the bag, she'd find some bottles of water, a few ration packs, a small telescope, and a short knife. The last of which she put on the counter with some reluctance.

"I suppose I do not need that, considering my orders."

She'd put a few chilies and sharp gems she broke off from the clusters around the walls for potential use, and then closed it up again and nodded at the princess.

"We should have what we need for a three day trip, your majesty. Two if it isn't rationed properly. Further than that, and we will need to restock."

"Hopefully that should be enough time. And uhm... No worries, Princess Twilight. I'm sure that you will find out what the runes means soon after we're done with all of this. You have a lot of books here. Must be something on runes here I think, yes?"

Cherish appreciated that Twilight wasn't gonna test it whilst it were connected to her, as that might cause some issues with the possession. It seemed safer to do it like she were going to, and well, hopefully she would be able to help the princess with it when it were. It were the least she could do, for all the help Twilight were willing to throw the way of some random spirit that she had no connection to. Such a kind hearted pony deserved all the help she could get, and this would be but one of the things that Cherish hoped she could assist the princess in, in the years upon years to come. Provided she wasn't somehow getting hurdled away to the final afterlife that were.

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@Sekel

"Queen Dia'thiz wants to learn of this new time, and make allies. After all the years we have spent secluded from other, we need to make contact. You are the closest to what we are now, so she sent a few of us out to find some willing to speak. I am Wall Render."

This one were acting strange in the eyes of the gemling, but who were he to judge? it had been a long, long time since he had been a changeling himself, and things changed. This might be how it were now, or this hive in general just were. They didn't seem overly calm about his presence at least, judging by the risen spears and buzz he could hear coming from around them. Very jumpy hive this one. And weird looking too, with these three alone having each their own look, which were just confusing.

A small, blue glimmer seemed to go over his crystalline eye, and he looked even more confused, at first the towering Happy who were currently sitting down on the floor, which kept his height more in line with regular beings, then back at Aurora.

"They say this one is called a human, and that they should all be dead. They want to know if this means their kind have returned, and where to find more."

"Nah, just me. Fell through a random portal thingie and things just spiralled on from there on out."

The same glow went over the eye of this drone, before he nodded towards them.

"Good. I'm told that your kind were dangerous."

Happy shrugged at the somewhat ominous message, before giving a nod that seemed to signal *Eh, about right*. Couldn't argue that this world were better off not having some humans rummaging around, messing everything up and just leaving a trail of devastation in their wake.

"Your hive is large, and well protected, nameless queen. Is it old?"

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@Catpone Cerberus

Seemed to be quite a lot to look at, the more she followed what the strange pony with the necklace were doing.

Considering how she had been before, and now all of a sudden did a complete turn as she had approached this pompous fool of a griffon in the corner, told her that this pony were a con artist of some kind. And a rather good one too, as despite her not being able to hear what were going on over there, the visuals spoke for themselves, as the griffon had at first acted rather annoyed at the pony's presence, yet for some reason had suddenly taken a more... Well, *Welcome* stance were perhaps not the correct term, but more like he looked as if he were being praised, or had his ego stroked in some other way that made him think that whoever the pony were, she were acceptable to have around, as she knew someone important when she met him.

Quite honestly, if this one hadn't already been swarmed by this strange pony, the dragoness would have gone after the griffon herself for the principle of it, and stolen his jacket. For one who cared so much about their appearance, that were a treasured possession in its own right. Plus he likely kept his wallet in there, and while she enjoyed collecting pieces for her collection, she were still a dragon and liked her shinies, as well as being able to pay for stuff, rather than scrounge around like some sort of cheapskate savage. What good was a mountain of gold ever gonna do her, if it wasn't being used to actually make her life better? It just seemed pointless.

To return to the pony though, she had to find some sort of access point to work with when it came to this one, though it were likely not going to be easy whilst she were dealing with her *prey*, so to speak. It were probably best to keep an eye out for her, and then strike when she had the chance. Perhaps it were better that she sat down until then, and tried to find a target of her own before this one, just so she wouldn't get bored in case the pony turned out to be slow with this.

Giving a glance to the side, she noticed another griffon entirely that were getting some attention of his own. The one who had wandered with the pony, who seemed to be talking well to what had at first been a group of females, which had now also included some males whom - judging by how close they stood tot he females - were likely mates of them. Maybe some who had come out to try and discourage the outsider from speaking to them, but had seemingly found themselves part of the conversation in a positive way now. Seemed this one were a smooth talker, and one who might have some luck with him, as one of the females were not standing with one another, and seemed to eat him up with her eyes. She were a more scruffy looking one though, and not the tallest among these, but eh. Griffons seemed to like the ones who looked like they were outside more often than not, right? And at least the tooth necklace spoke about her not being a weakling unable to keep herself fed. That might possibly mean a lot to one of the lesser races, though what did she know? She might have observed some, but what went on exactly in the bulky male and slender, yet still muscular female, were ultimately not that easy to say for sure. For all she knew, the female simply wanted to kill the large one, and add his beak to her necklace. These birds were weird enough sometimes for it to fit.

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@Catpone Cerberus

Lotus looked up at the cooing Phoenix, who didn't seem to spare her even a small glance, as he were enjoying himself on top of his scaled friends head.

Some chitter talk went on after that, with the bunny pointing at the phoenix whilst looking up at her dragon, whom shook her head slowly at whatever were being said. Something which also seemed to bring relief to the face of Lyriel, who had gotten a slight concerned glance on her features, once Lotus began her rambling.

"Not everything wants to fight you, Lotus. And phoenixes can be dangerous."

This line of talking did finally seem to make Agni bite notice in Lotus, and he'd raise his wings threateningly whilst keeping eye contact with the critter, who in turn would rise up on her back legs and get hers paws up as if she were ready to box with the bird.

"Both of you, please. There is no need for hostilities."

The two animals exchanged looks once more before Agni lowered his wings, and Lotus turned around with a *Hrmph* sound escaping her puffed up cheeks. Wasn't friendly terms it seemed, but an armistice were better than fighting she supposed, and safer too. Mostly for the dryad, as Lyriel were incredibly flammable, which made it an issue if she were stuck in the area where a phoenix were to fight. Even if this one were still a juvenile, who had barely left the nest.

"Were the situation about your attention by any chance, Nada? I have studied these birds a little whilst being here, and they seem very possessive about what they like. Did that other pet per chance show interest in you, and that's why they got into an altercation?"

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@EcstaticWind

"Hello?! Is funny pony home?"

The booming, somewhat feminine voice would be heard down the street as a rather large, limber looking diamond dog with quite the amount of close-packed muscles rippling under her short brown grey fur, would knock on a door a few times, seemingly looking for someone.

She appeared to have a few golden teeth in her upper and lower maw, a short blue hair and tail style, and around her neck, a rather expensive looking collar of gold with precious stones in the metal. She also seemed to be wearing a vest and pants made of leather, along with a large satchel bag of the same material slung around her back.

As for the door she were knocking on, it eventually opened up to reveal a very confused elderly mare, who hadn't the faintest clue who this were, or why she were knocking on her door in the first place. The diamond dog also seemed rather confused, as this were not whom she thought she'd see when the door opened.

"Hey, this all wrong. You're no stallion."

"Hmm, perhaps we have misread the house number."

On the bag on the diamond dogs back, sat a changeling with her back legs slung towards the ground and her back leaning on the diamond dogs own, in a rather elegant manner. And elegance seemed to be the word to go with when it came to this one, as everything from her adventurers outfit with several pockets, a tool belt, and the leather saddle bag currently slung on the large diamond dog's shoulders, appeared to be if not perfectly clean, then at least as much as it could be for one on the road, and sewn together here and there if you looked really close.

This lean changeling were as dark as her normal counterparts, with a slick back horn, small fangs, and the only color in her likely on her stomach like with many other changelings of the olden kinds, though some color were possible to see in the dozen of so dark pink, glowing crystals hanging in a steel chain around her neck.

Her horn glowed to pull up a letter from the saddle bag, which she read over before looking over at the house, and then finally shake her head, somewhat demoralized.

"Appears I were right, we needed to go down around five more houses. Apologies for the intrusion miss, we'll be on our way again."

She'd give a dignified smile to the mare before they'd be on their way again, with the diamond dog more or less functioning as a mount to the changeling, who whistled a little as she looked around at the citizens. Many of whose eyes were following them. Urgh, how droll... But it were what to be expected she supposed, as per usual.

"You sure this time?"

The diamond dog scratched her head whilst the changeling waved the notion off dismissively, still back to back with the diamond dog.

"Positively. Before were just a minor fluke, nothing to be concerned abo-"

"Hey funny pony! Are you here?"

The changeling didn't get to finish her sentence before her companion started again. And this time, they should be at the right address, right outside where a certain pony had sent them both letters from over the past few wees, and they had sent some back towards.

Lulu Leila and Flaxxy had arrived for an unannounced visit.

===================================================================================

 

@Randimaxis

Vivid just stood and blinked a few times, after Clever had finished talking, unsure of how to tackle what she had just heard at first.

"To think that yet another have asked me this, after millennia without corrupted companionship..."

She had had her fair share of *friends* per se since she got turned into this, but it weren't ones that were smart to trust fully, as they were after all still demons, and their kind were trickery by nature. And yet, this were the second who had offered her friendship within the past few months since she were released, with the first of those haven hurt Vivid quite a bit by suddenly leaving her behind, without even as much as a goodbye, or message explaining what had been of her. Sure she new were this one lived, and could wander there to get answers, but it had been but a few days, and it were still nagging her. It were something which she didn't want to approach until she didn't feel so slighted by the mare anymore, as to avoid shouting matches and visibly disturbing outbursts from her own side.

And now, here were Clever. A peculiar creature of a race she had never heard of, whom may well have sprung up in the time since her imprisonment, also reaching out to offer her friendship, and it felt genuine from his side. Even more so than it had from the other one, since as much as he rambled on, Clever sounded sincere, and seeing as he seemed able to understand her quarry better than most, he were more relatable too. This were certainly one whom she wished to know better, and befriend for whatever comparatively short amount of time he had left in this world, though she feared some that he too were going to turn her back on her...

*sigh* Still, it seemed worth taking a risk on now, did it not? May the gods watch over her in this.

"I'll be more than happy to call you a friend, Clever, and show you were to find something useful as a vessel. You needn't think too much on it though, it simply needs to be an object that can have runes carved into it. Even a simple piece of wood can be used, were it deal with properly in advance.

But we can go to a town if you'd please. I have every legal right to wander upon these lands, as I did long before any of them were even born, and will continue to do when they are but dust. They cannot refuse me, even if I don't much care for their stares and their words. I am not the monster they perceive me to be.

However, I do wonder: Are your kind welcome there? In my days, ponies were slow to accept those who were different, even among their own. Do tell, are You welcome within their towns, Clever?"

The alluring tone to her voice might make it sound as if she were teasing him, but she were genuinely curious as to whatever or not this peculiar new firned of hers were welcome there. She'd hope so, especially as he had brought up the idea of them wandering there in the first place, yet she preferred to be sure. Besides, it may be that he were technically free to go as he pleased, but were looked down upon or shunned away from others, which in her own experience, were sometimes worse than being told to just stay out of town. At if she were barred entry, the looks of fear and disgust that sometimes came her way couldn't hurt her.

=====================================================================================

 

@EQ_Theta

16 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“So even simple plants could provide ingredients for a smoke bomb? Huh, looks like the longma could learn a thing or two from studying our own flora beyond food and medicine. This will change the way we look at what nature provides, more than just a means for survival. I’d like a copy of those ingredients; maybe it wouldn’t be of much use back home but I’m sure I’ll find them around Equestria. I suppose proper doses means a firm understanding in a certain subject but the name escapes me.”

"The book of things you can use plants for in my profession are larger than you, Sen, and quite a bit thicker too. Many countries with many different plants, studied by quite a few interpret alchemist, results in a substantial list of varied importance and efficiency. Of course, the zebra still have us well beat, but there is nothing to be done about that. Their knowledge on nature and how to use it properly edges on the line of impossibility."

Even after countless hours put into studying and making trades with the zebra, trying to get their secrets, no being could come close to getting to all their secrets on this, with especially the strongest things being seemingly impossible to make, even if they did get a recipe that were followed to the letter, just as a zebra had done. Not even actual zebra spies were able to get to this, as they had no singular tome with everything in it, and the races premonition abilities tended to make it very hard to get the jump on the more important ones that actually mattered. That were, unless they wanted you to, which were mostly if they had set a trap. Or had seen something that would end up being important for some reason, which were irritating and made you paranoid when you did get something from them.

Honestly, he considered it mostly pointless to do that sort with them, and just openly traded with some of the more shady or careless types openly. They seemed to at least somewhat respect honesty, rather than the trickery ways folks in his line of work tended to go about things.

"I also cannot give you knowledge of all the things that we do have access to I'm afraid, as I'd have to return to my former home for that, and horrible things would happen were I to do so, considering they're wanting me for high treason at this point I can imagine.

Still, I do have some memorized, and a few written down that I can share. Though you'll need to read rather closely."

Going down into another pocket in his belt, Rosa would pull out a truly tiny book. About the height of a half apple, and when it were opened, would reveal two things.

1. That Rosa, or whoever else wrote this, wrote with incredibly tiny letters, to a point where you almost needed a magnifying glass to read the thin pages.

2. It were all gibberish. Or rather, written in code, as could be expected from someone like this. Couldn't risk it being used as evidence if he were caught after all.

"Standard issue cheat book so to speak, when entering a particular country. This one only works with some of the plants in Equestria, and doesn't include anything outside the country, but it's better than nothing at least.

Ignore the scribbled over letters on page five though. I did not think the one I singled out there as something that anyone should meddle with, so as an extra precaution, I tried to obscure it, without leaving the other things mentioned unreadable. Ah yes, and speaking of which, let me explain the code."

Rosa would use however long Sen would need to explain the honestly simplistic way of reading through the code, whilst also keeping an eye on Lin, wondering what it were that she had wandered over to do with that bauble of hers. What did this Mother of theirs ask her to do? Hopefully nothing dangerous, as he'd much prefer that these friends of his were all safe.

Shrimp might make that somewhat tough, seeing how the little one liked to get the attention and play when he weren't sleeping, yet sleeping the little one indeed were, curled around Lin's neck from right to left, not touching her throat, so her breathing should in no way be hampered by this. At worst, she'd feel something from his warm breath going down her shoulder, but she had likely gotten used to that by now, seeing how much Shrimp liked to both be carried, and sleep on high places like on her or Omen.

=======================================================================================

 

@Rising Dusk

On 2/7/2020 at 2:43 PM, Rising Dusk said:

"This... is going to be different,"

"Hmph, it changes nothing who resides in this wasteful temple of opulence. I will never grovel before the hooves of any creature just because they have means and thinks it makes them superior, so if they look down upon me in here, I shall return the disdain tenfold."

The only one she had ever groveled before in her life, were Twisted. A pony who did not govern by flaunting wealth and thinking that made him superior, but a more openly *Might makes right* approach. Whoever had in abundance that got his attention would often find themselves stripped of their means and left in the dirt as he liked to be spiteful and hammer folks down a peg or five when he were bored. What he did with the riches had been mostly unknown to most though, as he were not exactly living above his means himself. Surprisingly, despite his ground being large, his buildings were not in a much better state than in the towns like Oaksbrook, and he didn't have riches or expensive things stashed everywhere in his land just to have it.

It wasn't as if he used it either, as again, he considered might making right, and only scarcely used any sort of payment. Usually only if he felt in a given mood, and the ones doing work for him were exceptional in both their work, and treating him in complete reverence, like he wanted to be. Those he were not above enriching to some degree, which were why it weren't unusual to find high position beings in Harrowmark, who had been if not apprentices of his, then at least devout followers. She imagined that quite a few were going to get a rather abrupt change of their lives over the next few days, soon as the defeat of Twisted had spread out throughout the land.

Regarding the riches though, she knew were to find them, and that were going to be her bargaining chip against the kingdom, were they to want to make her accountable for what were mainly Twisted's work in the time she had been his apprentice. She could imagine that all of this would at least pique the interest of the queen, and give her an option to talk her case, even if Thistle would break in and make her objections. She might be a religious adviser held in high reverence, but the queen had the final say in anything, as were the law.

Personally, Lily could live without getting anything of the riches, just as she had throughout her life. Oaksbrook had been a rather poverty stricken place that only made it through the town working hard to sustain itself most of the time, and knowing when to ration what. They had learned to live without having great means, and as such, Lily could get past this until she managed to make herself a more reasonable living, and potentially get up to a somewhat better position. Never rich, but she wouldn't want to be so either. She had seen her fair share of pompous rich beings, and quite frankly, she despised them, and had no respect in any capacity for them. In that respect, Twisted and her had some similar opinions, even if his solutions were more extreme than what she might do.

And respect were the key word here. If whoever were in here acted like one of those pompous creatures who wished only to look down on those who were less fortunate, there were a better chance of her igniting this house than for her to bend her knee. Yet if the one in here could speak to them with some degree of respect, as if they were if not equals, then at least beings deserving to exist, then she might be able to tolerate whoever were in this opulent place. They'd see soon enough she supposed, as she followed the detective and readied herself to face whoever were in here with some degree of neutrality.

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59 minutes ago, Blitz Boom said:

"To think that yet another have asked me this, after millennia without corrupted companionship..."

Clever gave a small, sheepish grin.  "About the closest thing my personage possesses to any assemblage of corruption would be my innate and overwhelming affection for chocolate, as I have found my appetite for such to be... embarrassing at times; otherwise, I do believe I am currently free of such maladies."

Poor Vivid.  She appears to be as starved for companionship as I am; nay, moreso, as her incredible lifespan far surpasses my own.  As melancholy as my own lonely existence can be at certain intervals, I cannot even begin the process of fathoming the misery and sorrow she must feel at such a social solitude.

 

59 minutes ago, Blitz Boom said:

"I'll be more than happy to call you a friend, Clever, and show you were to find something useful as a vessel. You needn't think too much on it though, it simply needs to be an object that can have runes carved into it. Even a simple piece of wood can be used, were it deal with properly in advance.

"For such an application?  I believe it would not only do a grievous injustice to the possible memories to be contained within, but I would find it equally uncouth to allow such a demonstration from your august personage to be utilized upon a trifling and inadequately proper item.  If you are to put forth such efforts into said object as a friend, then I reciprocate that allegiance by insisting that the possession in question be fit for the attentions of such a kind soul."

 

59 minutes ago, Blitz Boom said:

But we can go to a town if you'd please. I have every legal right to wander upon these lands, as I did long before any of them were even born, and will continue to do when they are but dust. They cannot refuse me, even if I don't much care for their stares and their words. I am not the monster they perceive me to be.

Clever nodded.  "As far as my own observations serve, I only perceive of an individual who holds an entire world of mystery and history between her ears, and one that I hopefully will be capable of referring to as a compatriot for the entirety of my lifespan from this particular moment forward.  Opinions, Madam Vivid, I have discovered to be akin to rectums; everybeing has one... and some of them are exceedingly foul."

Perhaps it was a touch vulgar, but it was a fact... and it didn't hurt that it was funny, either.

 

59 minutes ago, Blitz Boom said:

However, I do wonder: Are your kind welcome there? In my days, ponies were slow to accept those who were different, even among their own. Do tell, are You welcome within their towns, Clever?"

His muzzle lit up.  "Most assuredly; as a freelance chemist, there have been many applications of my chosen profession that have proven beneficial to a number of individuals, therefore my usefulness is typically welcomed within a township... though, admittedly, there have been a number of questions regarding my origins from those who have never witnessed a kirin in their midst before."

Again, the shy grin came across him.  "Unfortunately, not everyone who converses with myself on such matters is able to decypher my... verbose responses."

He made his way to the path, then looked back and gestured for Vivid to follow.  "Please, accompany me - I find not even the slightest hesitation to be witnessed within your presence."

 

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@Blitz Boom

"Hehe, I grew up in Manehattan! Lemme know if you ever want a tour, I'll totally take you to all the different places! Manehattan Times Square, the big theater, the night lights, the big stadiums, and-and more! There's much more than just all that safety stuff. Besides, the unsafe stuff is the most fun."

Pastel winked after adding that last part. This filly was definitely a walking source of trouble... This was further evident as her eyes dialated the moment Jelly mentioned "dangerous things". She listened intently, hooves resting on her chin in fascination. She seemed to be enjoying herself a lot, perhaps a sense of comradery was being felt since they both seemed to be outcasted.

"Oh, really? I've only been here a little bit too. Maybeeee a week or so? I went on a couple walks and got lost. This place is WAY bigger than it looks! I do miss home, but this a chance to see new things for me!"

Pastel seemed to be cheerful, it seemed like she was avoiding mentioning something important, however.

"Celebrities? Like Princess Twilight Sparkle, right? I saw the castle! It's huge! I've always wanted to meet her in person, she's soooo pretty and nice and cool~ maybe we actually can! We could like, look around Ponyville and see what stuff there is to do, maybe even meet the princess if we're lucky! Do you wanna hang out after school?"

Pastel was going a mile a minute as she smiled, leaning toward Jelly from the other side of the table in a cute but mischievous manner. If Jelly actually took time to hang out with this misfit, something may definitely happen, for better or worse.

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@Blitz Boom

A book larger than a longma? That would be quite the sight. Sen couldn’t imagine such a thing seeing as the only books he’s ever seen are the ones ponies occasionally read. Longma texts were even smaller unless one were to ask about their codex and even that is only larger by a margin. The whole thing combined would probably be enough to rival a dictionary. And then there’s the knowledge of the zebras mentioned once more, compounding the hypothetical amount of knowledge that could fit in a book larger than Sen himself. All in all, that was quite the achievement and if the longma back home were to start looking into this subject, of alchemy, they’d know who to start with. It would also mean training a whole new batch of apprentices instead of just picking two or three at most. 

“I’d be satisfied by just learning even a fraction of these! The way you put things into perspective… it’s a little intimidating to be honest. I’m grateful for whatever you are comfortable with teaching me.” Sen peered closer to the text and while it was interesting to look at, he didn’t understand a thing on the pages, only able to pick out a few words behind the chaotic scribbles among other things.

“Eh, I doubt I would get much from this; already having some difficulty with the tiny letters. Even if I could decipher this, it would take some time because of the writing. Still, how does this code work?”

As for Lin, she gently raised Shrimp off her neck and placed him on the corner nearby. Given how this matter might take a while, it would be better for the little guy to not be disturbed; he already had a fuss with Rosa talking earlier. The scholars also caught onto this and offered to try and keep this conversation about as silent as they could.

“We know what this is about but we would rather not call vocal attention to this matter. We request that this conversation be kept amongst ourselves.”

“Alright, what do you have in mind?”

The orb glowed bright, raising at eye level and projected a soft golden beam towards Lin. In a moment, the halfling would find herself in a place similar to Mother’s realm only with darkness replaced with white light. An empty void slowly filling with familiar objects like an ornate round table and chairs enough for six. Seems like this was going to be a very formal conversation. From the outside, nothing would appear out of place save for Lin’s eyes glowing gold. A private conversation indeed, one happening away from the physical realm. 

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@Blitz Boom @AzureMoon

Azure giggles as she puts her tea down and flies off Thunder’s mane.

”Well, Thunder, it seems that you do like pretty mares. But just asking, do you too like me? I sure am pretty-looking.”

She flies up to Thunder’s eye level and strikes a cute pose, smiling and batting her eyelashes at him.

“And Shell, who’s Sergeant Kelp? She seems like a pretty tough pony. Reminds me of the generals in the Canterlot royal guard force.”

”And what’s blinkers? Never heard of them before. Are they indicator devices? But darn, crashing into a pool and being covered with pond water and frog eggs is the last thing I would want to happen to me now.”

She shivers at the thought of her mane being tangled up with pond muck and frog eggs. At the same time, she noticed Shell giggling slightly, and perks her ears up.

”Shell, are you giggling? I admit, the thought of somepony being covered in pond water does sound funny, but I heck would not want it to happen to me.”

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@Blitz Boom
Ruby would hang around after getting what she wanted to make sure her eventual separation from the griffon wouldn't raise suspicion, and after she finally left, she would head to the mares' room, where she then would put anything shiny into her box and throw everything else into the trashcan, no point in carrying evidence she didn't want. If the dragoness was observing her when she made her way away from her 'prey', she would most likely notice that the moment Ruby was out of the griffon's view, all emotion disappeared from her, leaving only the coldness that was her normal.

Ruby stayed in the room to make things less suspicious, acting like she was fixing her appearance if someone came in.  

---------------------------------------------------------
Nada got ready to sing in case the two animals started to fight, and was happy when there was no need, because even though she had seen first-hoof how brutal nature could be, being a predator herself, she didn't like to see creatures in harm's way, especially not small friendly ones like these two. "I don't thinks so, I don't remember either of them showing any special attention to me before it started, and Agni seemed wary of me at first, so I doubt he liked me before I sang." "My guess is my friend's pet annoyed him somehow, as she seems to be mischievous little creature." 

 

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@Azure Acrylic @Blitz Boom

Thunder chuckles at what Shell was saying "Blinkers and training wheels, so to speak. Lots of ponies had to use them at first at Junior Flight Camp" he'd say and shake his head with another chuckle, sipping on his tea. He would then see Azure in front of his eyes and he'd smile "I won't lie, you certainly are a pretty little mare" he would say "and I do quite enjoy your company" he'd then look to Shell "You as well"

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@Blitz Boom

KARMIC FATE & ATZY

"So all these ponies are meant to be guarding a castle? They don't look like they do much," Atzy sighed heavily, watching over the hurrying guards from Enzo's shoulder. She didn't think they were much to look at but she supposed they'd be a lot more fearsome if she touched down on the ground. Beside her, Karmic's eyes glowed white for a good couple of seconds before they disappeared.

"Atzy, if you jump down like you're thinking, the guards will rally against you a lot faster than what they're doing with Enzo," Karmic warned in a nervous tone, realising she actually didn't want anything bad to happen to Atzy. Atzy ground her wings together in a moment of frustration and growled out a soft note of pebbles falling against each other.

"I hate it when you have visions," Atzy muttered darkly. "What do you suggest I do then?" She looked over to her ex-host and Karmic gave a small shrug.

"Levitate-throw a rock at one of them? I don't see anything bad happening with that," Karmic replied in an easy tone.

"It will have to do I guess, but I thought the point was to not have Gemlings seen as hostile," Atzy reminded her and went back to looking down at the slowly rallying guards.

"You're bored. What else are you going to do?" Karmic questioned and joined her in looking down at the guards.

"Sit here and wait and mentally prepare myself, I guess," Atzy huffed.

@Blitz Boom

TWILIGHT SPARKLE

"Of course there are books on runes in here. There are multiple books, ranging from Amarebic to Zebrica thanks to Zecora letting me take a copy," Twilight said happily to Cherish and then her gaze was drawn to Last's currently-on-fire-sword, every other word spoken sailing in one ear and out the other.

"Why is your sword still on fire? That could burn the library!" Twilight couldn't stop herself from asking, pointing with a hoof at the white flames. It didn't even look like it hurt Last in the least. It distracted her from casting the teleport spell and she groaned to herself, knowing she wouldn't be able to do so until her question was answered. "White flames are meant to be incredibly hot. A lot hotter than red and orange flames. You should be burning alive."

@Blitz Boom

AURORA LIGHTS

Aurora hesitated in answering and thought back on what Thorax had told her. "Yeeeess, it is very old," Aurora said slowly, the uncertainty clear in her tone and it just kept on getting more and more uncertain as she spoke further. She was clearly acting to be the Queen, yet it didn't seem like Wall Render was noticing. "Why isn't your Queen here herself to ask for an ally in us?"

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@Sekel

The sight of Atzy did indeed cause a bit of an increase in the speed the guards arrived in, as well as causing the scared little leader of the sk far gathered to spread his wings and seem like he were about to open his muzzle and bark out a command. However, a narrow, very hard look from Enzo made him choke on his words before they had a chance to get out of him.

"Don't, even, consider it."

Whilst he were stil not sure where he stood when it came to Atzy and Karmic, he knew that he would not let them get harmed, and this insolent little coward considering orders to capture Atzy, simply because of this place's history with changelings, would not stand. He cared not what consequences it might have for him, which for now weren't anything but seeing more of these small creatures swarm forth, like ants from their nest.

"If we throw the first stone, this will end in a battle, and I do not intent to lose that. Refrain from doing so unless they do not give us a choice."

It were an irritating situation, yet one that were a small spark away from erupting into something far worse. Just one wrong action amidst this tension, would be all it took, and Atzy throwing a stone could well be that catalyst. It were best if she tried to do as little here as possible.

"What say your visions about waiting for the general to himself, Karmic? Will it end better than what you saw, were Atzy to take the first step.?"

Whilst he said this towards the pony among them, movement started to happen elsewhere, as another group stealthily flew down from the castle behind Enzo, and swooped down to darkened corners of the castle to take position, ready to strike at the first chance given. It seemed some tactical pony in charge might be nearby, though it weren't the general just yet. Had Karmic or Atzy looked, they would have seen a bat pony with a set of armor and some medals leading this sneak assault, just waiting for his opening.

"Mind me asking what is happening here?"

cPIxACZ.png

The pegasus walked calmly out of the castle and looked around him at the scurrying guards, as well as the ones who were causing all this commotion. How quaint... *sigh* To think that all of this were for a young sphinx with two equines riding him, were truly astounding. Who were to blame for this?

His eyes fell on the one in question fairly quickly, and he openly grimaced at the sight. Of course it were this one.

"Lieutenant Bark, why am I not surprised? Everypony, lower your weapons."

His voice were deep and booming as he said the last four words, causing the others to hesitantly put their weapons down, unsure what to do about the sphinx and strange changeling, but following the order of their superior regardless.

"C-Captain Hailstorm, sir. We're being i-invaded, we got to-"

A stern glance made the lieutenant once again choke on his own words, and squirm under the gaze of the warmly clad pegaus.

"We will talk about your unlawful behavior later, lieutenant. Return to your station.

As for you three-"

Hailstorm turned to face Enzo and his companions, whilst Bark scurried away to whetver he were supposed to be. Someplace calmer more than likely, until he'd get reprimanded later. Harsh words would likely be exchanged by then.

"The generals have been clear about you, sphinx. But who are you two? And why are you riding this creature?"

The pony were not phased in the slightest as Enzo snared at him for his forward attitude and way of speaking about him.  The captain had seen far worse than this, and were good at judging others. This sphinx weren't going to do anything damaging to him right now. Hard to say about his handlers though, but they'd see soon hopefully. He did not enjoy having unknown parties as part of something like this, and right now, that were what those two equines were.

"And you specifically up there. The laws are clear that we're supposed to welcome changelings, long as they follow the law, and doesn't adorn another legal citizen's face without proper cause. You seem to have... Glamoured up with some gems and changed yourself around a little, but that is not strictly against the rules as you're not looking like an Equestrian...

The law says to allow it, but do not let it go too far. Canterlot have not forgotten what happened."

And neither had he, which the narrowed eyes behind his ski glasses told of. A lot of good ponies he knew of had gotten hurt on the big attack on Canterlot, and the only thing holding him back, were that the law protected them, and he refused to go against the law. So long as Atzy were following it, there were nothing he could, nor would do.

Honestly, the tension had not waned in the area, even if the captain had stopped open hostility attempts. Hopefully the general would show up soon.

============================================================================

 

@Sekel

"I figured you hadn't brought it up since you knew."

Seems like much as the princess knew about magic, this sort wasn't her forte, though it were curious how it had been this long with the sword constantly burning like this, and only know did she bring it up,even though she had no idea. Perhaps things had simply been that hectic that she hadn't focused on it. Considering the state of the town the last few days, the deal with the sphinx, then a couple of sirens, etc. that honestly made a good deal of sense.

Slowly, as to not cause alarm, Last would draw her sword, and put it down on the floor in front of her. Just as it had not burned her, neither would it leave any sort of mark on the floor, though Cherish floated a little further away from it. Something about the flame made her ectoplasm tingle all of a sudden.

"During the attack of the large shadow creature, I were dragged into a strange realm by the creature, and met an ancestor of mine, who handed me this family heirloom that had been thought lost for centuries. She said that the flame is magical, and just allows the sword to harms enemies residing on a spiritual realm. I have yet to see it harm anything but that creature in a way that any blade normally wouldn't be able to.

I do not understand the details of how this works, your majesty. Just that she said something about a dying phoenix. Whatever the real tale is, have been lost to our tomes, though there may be something in Princess Luna's collection. My ancestor were among the first Shrine Maidens chosen by her majesty personally, so if anypony would have knowledge of this, it would be her."

Cherish shivered slightly. So this blade could hurt on a spiritual level then? Such as the one she were at? No wonder why she suddenly felt wrong around the thing now, and thinking back on it, it could explain a small chill she also felt back in the forest, when the guardsmare had drawn it to hit that strange plant, though she hadn't focused much on it, since the princess were in danger. Without that distraction, it were a lot easier to focus on this, and it did not feel comforting. Nor did it sound good, if it included the flame of a dying phoenix, though what that had to do with anything were beyond her. It had to be some sort of strange old magic that others - like Princess Twilight - were better off looking into than her.

===================================================================

 

@Sekel

"Their majesty have just gotten freed, but there are many of my siblings still settling into their new forms. They stays there to lead them in this confusing time, and send us of their children who acclimated faster. Yet they still see what I see. Hear what I hear. Through the diamonds, Queen Dia'thiz keeps contact with us, so that they can learn and tell us what to do."

His eye glowed slightly again, signalling that this connection with diamonds were likely talking about the ones embedded into the gemling's body. It were not unlike how the hivemind worked, just seemingly with more freedom and having a larger range to work with, rather than the all consuming presence of a queen's will, with the small wills of her drones surrounding her and following the strongest voice among them.

"I used to be like you were once. Incomplete. Starving through hostile lands, looking endlessly for prey. But it's different now. We've evolved in silence, and emerged stronger. Still, the world is strange to us now, and it will not recognize us either. We need allies, and a hive your size, would be valuable ones, your majesty. If you wish to only talk with my queen about this though, they have just told me to extend an offer to meet in person. Either in our home, or in yours."

======================================================================

 

@Catpone Cerberus

Hmhmhm, what a fascinating one this were. For a pony anyway.

Far be it from her to praise the lesser races too much, but this one seemed to really know how to get others to just play be her word, and manipulate what she wanted out of them, including this griffon who likely thought he had the upper claw throughout all of it. As were clear to see though, he were gravely mistaken there, and soon enough the mare would leave carrying just what she wished to get. And what a look on her face as she did so. Coldness like that were in her experience, pretty rare to find on a pony, and were more fitting of better lifeforms, such as say, dragons. Something which this soft little creature were a far cry from, regardless of behavior.

Now might be her own time to strike though, seeing as the mare had retreated to the bathroom, which were likely not occupied by others, and if it were, she could do a bit of magic to clear out. It weren't normal for the local dragons to be proficient at magic, but for those who had the ability and decided to actually train it, some interesting effects could come into play. So were the case with this particular dragon for instance, and she'd likely need to make use of this, rather than try to con a con artist, to gain what she wanted.

So she made her way towards the bathroom quietly, not drawing too much attention, and once she got over there, would creak the door open and look from side to side before letting out a slow breath through the crack. Said breath would not look like much on this side, yet in the bathroom itself, it would suddenly start to get awfully foggy, with barely any visibility the more seconds ticked by. If Ruby had not attempted to leave - at which point a rather skilled hand on this dragoness would try and pilfer her necklace whilst potentially pushing her back into the bathroom, in case Ruby took notice - she would enter the room herself and lock the door behind her, readying herself for the hunt in which she had all the advantages. Ponies were so incredibly lackluster when it came to sensing something without their eyes that it really were just so incredibly easy to pilfer something. And in case this one were more alert, then what were the issue? No one could prove this fog was her doing, and, and she could simply say that she were there to see if something was perhaps burning or something similar, and then she'd make her angle on the prey from that point on.

So, time to see what sort of prey this little one were going to be.

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@Catpone Cerberus

After Nada were done talking, Agni spread his wings and let out a loud shriek on top of Nada's head. Afterwards, he'd keep this position and puff out his chest to seem more fierce than he actually were, which didn't really work. At least not on Lyriel, Lotus, and especially Nerzhei, as she did not fear a creature that had neither the flames nor the claws to harm her.

"It seems as if regardless of how you started, Agni have taken a substantial liking to you, just as Nerzhei thought."

It might be for the best to not translate that the phoenix had quite literally just proclaimed *Mine!* as loudly as he could, and then just discuss it with him in private later. She knew the poor thing wanted to get connections with the higher sentience beings, rather than simply stay in the forest like many others of his kind, but this kind of obsession were probably best to not openly tell Nada about for the time being, and just let her think that he enjoyed her company when she were around. It would likely ease her into things a good deal better, and not crush Agni's small heart again, after the last time.

"I can imagine your voice must have much to do with it. Avians such as this, tend to enjoy a good singer, and that is a skill one cannot deny that you possess.

As for Fah'lina, you're sadly correct about her. She's a devious little thing, and much like Agni, rather territorial. Beings like them does not clash well."

"Hm, might have just been a territory dispute then I suppose."

The draconess weren't convinced, but she'd play along for now, and observe what would happen. She'd likely be able to draw a conclusion in the end like this, if it even mattered. Might not be worth thinking too long about, even if it might entail Nada getting a small, feathery stalker of sorts. She were a big siren. She could make her own choices on how to handle something like that.

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@Pastel-chan

On 2/9/2020 at 3:30 AM, Pastel-chan said:

"Hehe, I grew up in Manehattan! Lemme know if you ever want a tour, I'll totally take you to all the different places! Manehattan Times Square, the big theater, the night lights, the big stadiums, and-and more! There's much more than just all that safety stuff. Besides, the unsafe stuff is the most fun."

Jelly got a big grin on her face as she heard this. Seemed like if she ever went to the big city, she'd have somepony to show her around,w hilst she'd then have somepony to make sure she didn't get too deep into trouble. Sure sounded like a perfect teamup, right? Sure it could get mighty dangerous, and it sounded as if that were exactly what pastel yearned for, but Jelly wanted to be a big, strong Night Guard when she grew up, so keeping others safe were something she focused really much on when she could. Y'know, for practice and stuff. Besides, it couldn't be as bad as it sounded like. Probably just something small and silly.

"Hehe, deal. If we go to Manehattan, you'll show me around, and if we go to Canterlot, I can show you around. There's a lot to see there, like the castle, the library, the guards training grounds, the streets full of all sorts of shops, and someplace in the east part of town that Daddy says can be kinda dangerous if you're not careful. Something about empty houses and spooky stuff."

On 2/9/2020 at 3:30 AM, Pastel-chan said:

"Celebrities? Like Princess Twilight Sparkle, right? I saw the castle! It's huge! I've always wanted to meet her in person, she's soooo pretty and nice and cool~ maybe we actually can! We could like, look around Ponyville and see what stuff there is to do, maybe even meet the princess if we're lucky! Do you wanna hang out after school?"

"Uhuh, and I bet that if we go look for her friends, she's gonna be around one of them, right? Or they'd know where to look for her when she isn't in the castle doing important princess work.

I just gotta tell my daddy after school before we go anywhere, or he'll get worried about where I've gone. Perhaps he could even tell us where the princess goes around? He's a Night Guard, and real good at spotting things. Maybe he's seen something. Though that might be kinda cheating to ask him... You decide then, okay? It was your idea to go look for the princess and other things to do, so that's kinda fair I think.

But I still gotta go tell him I'm going out to have fun with a new friend. I don't want him to be worried."

Jelly were almost dripping rainbows and puppies from her gleeful expression. This were the quickest she had made a friend in... Well, ever really. The ones she had in Canterlot had taken months, if not years to feel connected to her, and they had mostly moved away to other towns by now. Which she also had, so she didn't really know any. Only Pipsqueak, who had asked if he could take some pictures where she looked all menacing. She weren't sure what he were gonna use them for, but she bet it was something important. Like a school project.

"Should we tell your parents that we're going out too?"

The small half-bat pony looked with big eyes at her new friend as she said this, curious to hear whatever or not they were gonna go that. Perhaps just after school, if she were one of those who got picked up? Hard to say, and it might also be that Pastel's parents just let her wander around and trusted her to come home safe when it were, so she wouldn't have to say a peep about this to them. Jelly did though. She were a well behaved bat pony, and her daddy meant everything to her. Making him worried from not hearing about where she went after school, and especially this early after she moved to Ponyville to live with him instead of her mommy, was more or less unthinkable to her.

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@EQ_Theta

Rosa would take Sen step by step through the code, which essentially were just to find a pattern and then follow it. If you had broken the code on how the pattern went, you could decipher every page rather well. They could have used different codes for every page of course, but when you had to figure out a concoction in a hurry, and had to think about which of fifteen or so codes you used for this particular page, it started to get real clunky and messy, so more often than not, only two at best were used in the same cheat cheat book, with more used if the spy in question had a really strong memory. Rarely more than three though, with five being the most he had heard used of.

After showing him the ropes of how to decipher a page, he's run him over a page where a few things were scribbled into the chaotic mess, and run him through it slowly, allowing him to decipher it mostly on his own, and only stepping in if he seemed completely lost. Sen were an observant sort though, so he doubted that these training wheels had to be on for long before he got the gist of it and were able to decipher another one on the same page using the same pattern, this time without help. They'd see if perhaps he could learn to write in this sort of code too, and teach others of it. Sometimes, having an encrypted message to another were an extra layer of security that were sorely needed.

"- and that's all there is to it. I were never a top student in code class, so I have to use one of the more simplistic ciphers to not confuse myself with these. My teacher in the first three years of my advanced studies used runes and sound notes. I still haven't a clue what he wrote on my finals, but the look he gave me did not inspire me to think it were anything pleasant."

Just because Rosa were a fine spy, did not mean he had been top of the class. He had been close in a few, but in most ways, he were a somewhat higher middle one. More or less a B or B- averaged out over his last year. Now had he been like Archon, he likely could have found and then overpowered his mother in about three days. Give or take a couple of days more if he met heavy resistance, and he wouldn't have even needed any help to do so, nor would've left any clues. She'd just be vanished, and taken away to somewhere that she could be questioned properly.

He sometimes wondered what happened to Archon actually. After that time he got sent to Equestria, he never saw him again... Wouldn't surprise him if the clever bat had entered as a deep cover operative honestly. He had the talent to play that off well, and likely never be caught.

Taking another glance to the side for a moment, he noticed that Lin had seemingly entered some sort of magical induced trance, judging by the way she held the orb in front of her. A peculiar situation, but so far nothing that made him think there were reason for alarm. Though they should properly keep a closer eye on her, just in case. He didn't entirely trust that the spirits did not have ulterior motives that hadn't yet been revealed.

"...So, do you have any further questions on this topic, or would you like for us to move on to another. I may have some more things I could teach whilst we wait for our companion to be done with her meditation."

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@Randimaxis

On 2/8/2020 at 9:24 PM, Randimaxis said:

Clever nodded.  "As far as my own observations serve, I only perceive of an individual who holds an entire world of mystery and history between her ears, and one that I hopefully will be capable of referring to as a compatriot for the entirety of my lifespan from this particular moment forward.  Opinions, Madam Vivid, I have discovered to be akin to rectums; everybeing has one... and some of them are exceedingly foul."

This brought a small smile to Vivid's face at the start, and ended in a minor, yet still noticeable chuckle from her side as she heard an expression that were not exactly uncommon, but said in a way that made it sound quite a bit more classy than what she were used to.

"In my time, we had a saying akin to that. A little harsher though I'd say, but it suits you well to twist the words. You don't strike me as one who likes to linger on vulgarities to get his point across. But who knows? I have only just met you. We have your lifetime ahead to see whatever or not I'm wrong, and how often going forward that I will miss."

Fact of the matter were that unless she suddenly turned evil and were pulverized by intense harmony or holy magic, Vivid would outlive Clever, just as she had everypony else that she had ever known, bar the princesses and Discord, and it wasn't as if she knew them per se. In her old life, she had met the princesses only at a distance, and never talked with them, whilst Discord had been but a story. Then after she had become a servant, she avoided getting anywhere near the princesses if she could help it, and met Discord a single time. That being when she were sent there to force him into submission, and he effortlessly demolished her efforts, then punished her for the hubris of her former masters.

Urgh, and to think that if it were not for that punishment, she would likely be in a far worse position now... It irked her how she honestly owed him thanks for what he did to her,and how she were sure that when she eventually tracked him down, he were going to find himself highly amused at her behalf. Draconequui and their ilk sometimes...

On 2/8/2020 at 9:24 PM, Randimaxis said:

His muzzle lit up.  "Most assuredly; as a freelance chemist, there have been many applications of my chosen profession that have proven beneficial to a number of individuals, therefore my usefulness is typically welcomed within a township... though, admittedly, there have been a number of questions regarding my origins from those who have never witnessed a kirin in their midst before."

Again, the shy grin came across him.  "Unfortunately, not everyone who converses with myself on such matters is able to decypher my... verbose responses."

He made his way to the path, then looked back and gestured for Vivid to follow.  "Please, accompany me - I find not even the slightest hesitation to be witnessed within your presence."

Ah, so his kind were a peculiar sight for ponies of this age too, and not just her? An interesting thing to have confirmed that she weren't sure how would come into play yet, but might be worth keeping in mind i the future. Potentially if she ran into others of their kind. Knowledge towards them might be a rather important tool, were the day ever to come.

"They must not be around many high standing beings then. I've listened to enough drivel from their kind to understand you, even if it does not hold that tone of arrogance to it. A fortunate thing really, or I might be tempted to put you down a peg or two."

Vivid send Clever a small, mischievous smile, as she followed and joined him on the path forward. Not how she usually wandered these days, as she tried to stay out of sight, but showing him Her path were likely best saved for another time, when she had the chance to discuss that he had to expect from her, considering her corruption, and the perks and disadvantages that it entailed.

Perhaps something that would be brought up as they wandered. There were a bit of way to the nearest town, and until they got there, they might as well keep the conversation going, and seeing how it went after they shared some more details about one another to the other part. Starting with something that caught Vivid's interest, considering what Clever had just mentioned before rambling on about kirin and their apparent rarity in equine society.

"So, you say that you are a chemist? Is that a new word for an alchemist by chance? There were a fair deal of those around on my days. All searching for that one concoction to make their dreams come true, yet few ever getting there. A profession for the mad and the zebra. Only one of whom got somewhere with it."

=========================================================================

 

@Azure Acrylic @AzureMoon

"Oh, I only giggle because I know he got through it perfectly safe. I'd never laugh at somepony getting seriously hurt, that's just crazy."

Shell would also have a more hearty laugh as she saw Azure messing around and teasing Thunder, which for some reason just looked downright comical to her. Perhaps it were because it reminded her of those comic books that had been popular in her younger years, provided that you sorta stretched it a little and replaced Azure with a flying cat. It had been a pretty weird one honestly, but pretty entertaining, and were a welcome break between her studies on shellfish to make sure the oyster farm were taken care of the right way.

"And blinkers are sorta like small pieces of cardboard on both sides of your eyes, preventing you from looking to the sides unless you turn your head. It helps not distracting you, and gives you a real good tunnel vision. It sorta makes it hard to see what goes on around you though, so it's not smart to use all the time. Buy you know, if focus is the issue, it can sometimes help.

Oh, and Sergeant Kelp isn't a pony, she'd a mermaid. She's the underwater combat instructor at the Coastal Guard headquarters. She'd pretty fun to be around, but she's a tough teacher. Says she'd rather see disdain in her cadets eyes, than caskets at sea. I sorta get where she comes from with that really. It'd likely never get easier to look at somepony who didn't come back from a fight at sea, and having to think about whatever or not they would've made it, if you had just pushed them a little bit harder. She cares a lot more than she lets on.

Although some I'm pretty sure she just liked to bash around for fun. Keeps the arrogant ones in check, which they sometimes need. Overconfidence is a real danger in all the guard branches."

At Thunder's comment, she'd look away from the silly little breezie, and give the stallion a happy smile.

"Awh, Coast Mummy likes your presence too, Thunder. I'll make sure to embalm you last, hehe."

Edited by Blitz Boom
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@Blitz Boom

"Ooohh, your dad is a Night Guard? How fancy, you're practically royalty! Hehehe, whether you wanna ask him about the princesses' whereabouts or not is up to you. I'm fine with searching or going straight somewhere, whatever's more fun for you!

Pastel smiled, now lounging in her seat. She seemed pretty laid back for wanting to go on a task as incredible as stalking the princess. 

Upon being asked about her parents, the cocky expression of Pastel briefly turned to one that was taken off guard. She shook this up before sitting back up and facing Jelly again, putting her smile back on.

"Umm... I don't have parents. Well, maybe I do, but I don't remember them. I was an orphan for a long time before grandpa took me in. He's okay with be being out as long as I'm not getting in trouble. If you're going home after this, I could run home and tell gramps I made a friend and meet you in front of the school! Or we can go together!"

Despite the bombshell reveal, Pastel seemed happy as she smiled at Jelly, ready to bounce out of her seat any second on the word "go". The thought of having parents was foreign to Pastel, who had none, for all intents and purposes. To her, all she needed was her grandpa to look after her, though she always wanted friends who weren't superficial; and now it seems she did! 

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@Catpone Cerberus 

Oh, I just fail to see how they could pose a threat to Ponyville like you said! Widdershins said facetiously. 

What do you mean, F- the draconequus clears his throat then floats effortlessly towards Cerberus to bob around his head playfully. You got a lead then, on where the parasprites may be? They made a sorta weather station to keep track of something like flying snack cakes since I've been gone, huh?

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@Blitz Boom

 "Oh, uh, Magistrate in reference to your ascribed title, Madam." Blither blinked in comprehension for a moment. "...Wait, Mayor is your first name as well as your job title?! Heh, you must forgive me, Pony practices still catch me off guard sometimes!

 Heh, that's sort of the problem there. It's... not so much of an Attack. There's no ill intent, I assure you! We were just raised... well, in the Wilds. The Cephalli family isn't quite used to getting along in organized, rational society. I mean, well... for example. We got along for a good while in Kludge Town and I'm sure you know its, ah, reputation for being a wretched hive of scum & villainy. My family is just more inclinded to react to things.... well, like wild animals sometimes. I do beg your pardon for such societal fopahs!" 

As if to demonstrate their disconnect from pony culture, the small blue stallion turns to Long Stare polietely. "Oh! Oh, I'm so sorry to take from you what food you had fought to find! I thank you dearly for your offering!" And gratefully, he took it from her proffered hoof... in the accidental habit of their species. Rather than reaching out for it as a pony would with limbs or horn magic, the Cephalli family had little experience with using else but their mouths. Stepping up to Stare, Blither bent his head down as if to bow and instead worked his mouth fully around the granola bar up to nearly kissing the mare's hoof with his lips, craned his head upwards and swallowed the bar whole down his outstretched neck in one fluid movement without pause. Not only was this decidedly unponylike behavior but quite clearly snake-like from repeated practice. Unaware of any difference, Blither stepped back again to smile and gratefully reiterate his thanks to Long Stare.

 "*Ulp*" , Thank you, Madam. You shouldn't worry. It oughten't take much to meet the required nourishment levels! I shouldn't ask much of ponies!"

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 "But hugs is comfortin'! If you was to hurt someone wit' one, you just hug 'em and then they'd feel aaaaaall Better!" Clearly, new ideas were not one to get across into Sunny's head, as steadfast as she was in her beliefs. For that matter, her definitions of certain concepts needed to be treated with a sliding scale of rational to much more vague, "laypony" terms as upper crust unicorns used to describe the more working class farmponies. More down-to-earth in the sense of "lower social elevation" as the elite would "politely" refer to it as.

On 1/31/2020 at 6:18 PM, Blitz Boom said:

Can you speak in more details about how he looks perhaps? It might help us quite a bit in finding him, or at least somepny who have seen him pass through another part of town."

   "Oh! Blither's the cute blue one! He's smart so he knows where to go! Where'ver that is now!" Sunny began in that gossipy way all little sisters had a habit of doing. "Not as smart as Monolith though! He is A Much Smart! He's e'en bigger! You'll sure know him when you see him! He can be all big n' spooky n' cute n' serious n' stuff!

 Shortstack's the cute little one that's always big in fer a fight! He's like a lil' plushie pone! He's so cute! Flit's the green one and he's super fast and good at flying and finds cute things as cute as I do! 

 Oh! There's Slimpsy! He might be even faster except he isn't because we gotta drag him all over the place because he doesn't find things cute and keeps goin' on about how stuff'll kill us all but we, like, haven't actually died yet so I don' know what up with his head!

 Oh! and of course ME! I'm even MORE super cute too! I'm probably the cutest one, huh huh?!!?"

  Scarcity should likely know when to take things with the proverbial grain of salt, considering how often Sunny somehow found a way to refer to everything as cute, no matter the context. Whether this made her easier or harder to deal with would vary wildly with the situation... and patience of the pony she was with. Accuracy in words took a backseat to how you felt about what you were saying, which sometimes made it harder to be around the Party Pony Personality one came across so often in Equestria. Like a huge Pinkie Pie, she was and that was scary depending on your view of things.

*****************************************************************************************

@Sekel

"Me NAM-E? Yee blooterin' CHUFF!" The little red stallion that couldn't take much sass rose his head back up, showering rubble from his head as he spun around to take a wide stance at Dazzle in what was decidedly an aggressive expression. "Lake yew gawt ah use for it ot'erin' draggin' et tru da mud!" He sputtered in a voice buried in spittle, accent and too many rolling R's.

 "Et's ShortSTACK! STACK! One Word! Lake I'd tell you jist so you can use it against me! Like tha Wee Glowbug tinks she kin pick a fight wit' tha likes o' me! Thinks she's bigger'n me! I ain't no less than yew, yeh wee INSECT! ANTS like yew get STEPPED ON!"

 

*Meanwhile!* ...I just really like saying "Meanwhile."

Sekel's Dawn Streak:

 Kaltrop rose his head in a very catlike, smug judging position from where he rested. It was ironic how many traits cats and dragons seemed to share that provided so many snide comments against a much larger species over the years. "We dragons have a much different metabolism from you ponies who just lay around on pillows and suck in cupcakes all day. We reserve our power for magic and hunting instead of bursting into random songs about how we Feel.

 I can't imagine how you can feel comfortable on squishy surfaces like this. Like the floor was going to give out under you. Nothing says home to a dragon like having a rock nudge into your spine all night. It strengthens the wing muscles.

 You'll have to pardon me, pony, if I don't leap up first thing in the morning to skip merrily around your house to use my  Proud Wings to dust your furniture." 

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@Blitz Boom

As much as Sen liked the idea of learning something his fellow longma didn’t know about, his head was starting to hurt from the lesson. Was this normal? He was moving at snail’s pace, learning a little about patterns in the encoded text and creating some imaginary copy of the page in his head with the deciphered text. There was some strange gymnastics going on until he slowly made some progress. One word, then two, then phrases and sentences, advancing little by little until he could sort of get a hang of the process. 

It would repeat itself for a new page: getting stumped but moving back and only keeping a terribly slow pace going on as an indicator that he is getting it, if only somewhat. This is definitely nothing like the lessons back home, only being related to this in a sense that it involved a basic understanding of languages and being able to communicate it to a degree. Well, that and picking up secondary meanings behind what is explicitly said. But, the ideas behind that and the current lesson on deciphering encoded text were similar enough that the longma could push onward knowing the point behind it, or the one he could perceive anyways. Eventually, he attempted to run through a few sections of a page over and over again, repeating the simplest code and surely got the idea.

“Uh, I think I need a quick break. My head’s throbbing a little,” Sen placed a claw on his head, rubbing his forehead with two talons. “I doubt I’d survive long in that class of yours. Maybe we could have another run through a few more pages before we proceed further. What do you call these kinds of codes? Like the simplest one we went over, does that have a specific name?”

Sen would glance over to Lin, seeing her and the orb are attuned with some kind of magic. If they’re having a conversation, that would be the strangest way to do it. He didn’t want to worry over what is happening at that moment, trusting both she and the scholars would be cordial over their talk. 

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@Blitz Boom
Ruby could tell the door was opened, and was able to tell who it was that opened it, but didn't react to it as she didn't yet think anything of it, though that changed when the fog appeared. She faked a confusion with her reaction, wanting to see what the other dragon was planning, after which she wandered around like she didn't know where the exit was, using her other senses to figure out what the small dragoness was doing.

She didn't try to leave, only acting like she was trying to find the way out, and eventually heard the sound of the door getting locked...interesting.. she then pinpointed the dragoness with her senses, and 'accidentally' walked right towards her.

If the dragoness was to snatch the necklace, she would be able to open it and move it a bit, but she would then be stopped by Ruby's hoof, and faced with not only her dragon-eyes....if it wasn't too foggy to see even that....but also Ruby's true size, as she would no doubt be able to sense it through Ruby's disguise now that the necklace was separated. If that was the case, Ruby would then say as coldly as ever "I have killed for less."

------------------------------------------------------------
Nada seemed amused by Agni acting more fierce "Well I'm glad he likes me, it always feels good to have a smaller creature that doesn't fear me and comes near me without singing." "And my guess it was bit of territory dispute too, since Agni's nest is pretty close, but I'm sure Fah'lina did something to annoy him to start it, not that I thought about it too much since I know that in nature creatures don't always get along." 

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@Widdershins
"Fail as much as you may, but it already happened." Cerberus pointed out "But yes, I have a lead, for some reason I have a feeling that they are in that direction..." he pointed to a direction "...though I'm not really sure what you are talking about with the weather station, I know nothing about such things, or flying cakes in that matter, though I'm sure Pinkie would like the latter.

 

 

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@Catpone Cerberus

So her plan worked perfectly then. The fog were laid, the pony still in here, and with the door locked, no one was going to be able to see anything, ir stop her as she made her move and afterwards gave the pony a small shock to get her to pass out. Everything were accounted for.

Waiting until Ruby went closer, she quickly got hold of the necklace she were after, and had her other clawed hand reached out, with a little spark dancing on the end of her index claw, ready to pacify her target before the blind one could identify her attacker.

And then the pony in question got hold of her, and stared back at her with surprisingly reptilian eyes. Among other things, as the draconess' senses picked up on a whole lot more things that had not been apparent before when this necklace were on. Such as more reptilian traits, a noticable size difference, and a bunch of other things adding up to this not being a pony, but a dragon.

Her response to the threat weren't fear though, but rather surprise at seeing this, as she let go of the necklace and let it fall back down around the neck of her out of nowhere kin.

"My mistake, I didn't think you were one of us."

Taking a step back, she flapped the tip of her wings, and the thick fog started to vanish rapidly, giving her a better view of the dragon in disguise, with a rather bemused look on her face at the reveal.

"I've never met a dragon who could change their shape before. That borders on the arcane, and we don't have that. Not here, anyway, so you must be an outlander. How odd that you'd hide yourself as a lesser creature like this when you get here though. It can't be easy, demeaning yourself to their stand like this..."

The dragoness looked at Ruby with pity, genuinly sorry for her having to sink this low, just to stay off the radar, or whatever else reason she had. Their kind were not meant to be mingling and hiding like common changelings. No wonder the poor thing seemed so annoyed, even before her necklace had been threatened.

============================================================================

 

@Catpone Cerberus

"If I remember correctly, they both tried to lay claim to the same teritory, even if one lives mainly in the trees, and another sticks to the water and ground most of her time. I'm hoping I can one day get them to understand that they can share the lake, rather than keep it all, but they are both proud creatures. It tajes time to mediate a compromise between such creatures."

"Stubborn and not willing to budge? Sounds rather familiar."

Now, dragons were by far not the only stubborn race, as for example griffons could get set on something for a real long time too, and not move an inch on the topic no matter what. Yet Nerzhei's kind were a far longer living one, which made way for longer lasting feuds based on trivial things and stubborness.

Also, she hadn't studied griffons much, but had been around her own kind for centuries, so it were easy to draw on experience here.

"Be that as it may, I am happy that you two seem to get along, Nada. Opposing elements does not always mingle well, and in the case of Agni, I worried some when he cast his interest on you in parts because of this. I had feared it might make it more likely that you would not mingle well, and I do not wish to see his little heart broken again, on the account of rejection from either side. Birds can be exceedingly emotional creatures sometimes.

Ah, but seeing as he is here, I take it this might mean we are near said area he have claimed as his. I take it that you wish to go there and sate your hunger, Nada?"

============================================================================

 

@EQ_Theta

"It's called a Crescent Cipher. Named after how the code works in a pattern reminiscent of a crescent moon's shape."

Not the most imaginative perhaps, but it were hard to argue with it being rather fitting, and sounding beautiful as well, though he might be biased on that last point, due to him being a bat pony. They had a bit of an above average fascination with the moon, so it certainly painted things regarding it, and Princess Luna, in a bit of a different light to them. One of the reasons why so very few had been chosen to go and spy on the princess of the moon since her return, as they barely had any non-thestrals in his old organisation, and it were a risk sending anyone else. Well, unless you included rather corrupt and unscrupulous thestrals who'd sell their own family for an advantage, but even among spies those were rare, as having too immoral spies made it harder to keep them loyal and not only try to forward their own agenda.

"Here, let me try and guide you on this. Follow my hoof from here-"

His hoof stood still in the top left corner, sitting on an P. Then, following a pattern reminiscent of a small crescent moon, going left to right, he'd lead him over more which started to add the letters A-R-A-L. After that, it would go the other way around, in a narrower angle leading towards the top letter once more, which gave them the end pieces Y-S-I-S. to spell out one of the words in the text.

"The trick is mostly to discover what angles things are in, but in general, if you find the beginning one, you can then extrapolate from there and follow the same pattern over the rest of the page, just clock or counter clock wise. So soon as the first word is found, it tends to be a good deal simpler. Though even if your first word is from the middle, it will still eventually open up for the whole text. It will just mean that sometimes, your first ones will be the last.

Trust me, these are low rung things. We have far more difficult ciphers, some of which I couldn't wrap my head around if my life depended on it. As my father said many a time: Advanced classes is where the skills truly lie. Yet it also tags on several years. I didn't make it through everything, yet even I spent a little over twenty years in school. Keep in mind though, that some of those studies did include regulars like geography and math, even if it were often expected to be done at the same time.

Still, we all learn what we need in life, in the time required. Your time at school, or whatever the longma have as an equivalent teaching system for younglings, surely taught you what you were supposed to know for your life and potential career path, yes? I'm sure there were several of those I didn't ever get to so much as glance towards at my school, such as farming."

==================================================================

 

@Widdershins

On 2/11/2020 at 12:06 PM, Widdershins said:

"*Ulp*" , Thank you, Madam. You shouldn't worry. It oughten't take much to meet the required nourishment levels! I shouldn't ask much of ponies!"

"It's okay, I still have a few dozen at home and at work."

Wasn't like she had a diabetic issue, but her blood sugar sometimes crashed after long days, or she got hungry and had forgot to shop and the weather were bad, or something else, and in cases like that, it were good to have a quick meal alternative at hoof. Sure there were other alternatives, but these were tasty, helped on the blood sugar levels, and had a long shelf life, so for the purpose, they were the best of the options she had readily available. Only issue one could point at were cost, though she didn't have money issues. Hay, she didn't even need to work and she'd get by fine throughout the rest of her life, with what her sister had set up. She mainly did it for social interaction, and because she liked working at Sloppy Joe's. It were comforting in a way, and made her feel more normal.

"I'm more interested to know why you speak of ponies like we're separate species. Usually I only hear this sort of talk from griffons, or dragons... Or changelings."

The mayor's eyes narrowed some, but she didn't say more. The law were clear on this, and Thorax's hive had some sweet ones among them that she wouldn't wish any harm upon, but Chrysalis and others like her were still out there, along with vagrants looking for a good place to settle down and harvest away, so she had to be careful when she picked up on things like this. It might be nothing, or it were the lynch pin that would break the bank.

*slam* "Fear not my friends! I, the great Alonsus, have returned victories with a bountiful harvest for our guests."

And speaking of breaking...

The door might not have been broken as much as slammed open, but it were still not good for this old building before they had a chance to get it fully repaired one of these days. She were still finalizing some papers to get that done, and had found an alternative living space for Stargazer and her daughter when it were, but there were still things to get ready. Something which would not be helped if Alonsus ended up accidentally smashing the place to pieces.

As for the stallion in question, he carried two, large saddlebags where steam were rising from the right one, with a smell indicating a bountiful harvest of varied coffees, and the other smelling of baked goods, some sandwiches, hay burgers, etc. He were a big lad, so he could carry a lot. Though not everything it seemed, judging by how another stallion joined in, carrying two more saddlebags with heating pads on, indicating that this were proper food. Things like soup, stews, curries, additional hay burgers, fries, that sort of thing.

Chop Chop however, were not as bombastic. The average sized earth pony just wandered in, offset his load, and looked at the gathered ones without a word, ending on Blither. Someone who might get somewhat intimidated by the stallion, due to Chop having pale scars over his head and upper shoulders at various angles, telling about how he had been bit multiple times by something with some rows of real sharp teeth, with another larger one, having gone for his midsection, where even through the grey fut, you could see the large bite pattern. Shark bites the lot of them, if Blither knew his marine life, though he might not be as focused on that as how the chef looked at him. As if he were trying to scrutinize him enough to look right under the outsiders skin.

===================================================================

 

@Widdershins

On 2/11/2020 at 12:06 PM, Widdershins said:

 "But hugs is comfortin'! If you was to hurt someone wit' one, you just hug 'em and then they'd feel aaaaaall Better!" 

"In general this is true, but there are some who likes their personal space, so one shouldn't always simply jump to hugs as the first response. It's wise to observe the situation first, and see if it appears they could need one."

Personally, Scarcity did not consider herself much of a hugger, but she could see the occasional appeal and usage of the gesture. It just felt rather personal, and she didn't have that sort of connection in her life yet, beyond to some extend with Brick. Perhaps just a bodyguard to some, but to her, he were the most trusted being she had in her life, and with everything they had gone through so far, it gave some unavoidable personal connections. Not that she minded really, he were a rather handsome stallion she would admit, and knew how to behave properly, so were it to happen, she would not be dismissive of the idea that things could be taken further. But she still had some years to think of this, so there were no rush.

On 2/11/2020 at 12:06 PM, Widdershins said:

Oh! and of course ME! I'm even MORE super cute too! I'm probably the cutest one, huh huh?!!?"

"The cutest member of your family I have yet seen."

She said this with a bit of a smile on her face, as her mind raced with the descriptions. Rather bare-bones, and had to be translated some over into some more useful details, but it were a start no less, and gave her some that she could ask around for. Now it were just to find out where to start among the varied ones she had been given information on. Shortstack perhaps? He sounded aggressive, with a name and description that made him out to be of a rather small stature, and those sorts had a tendency to make a scene that'd get attention. They might be able to figure something about about that one within a reasonable amount of time, even if she loathed dealing with this kind of pony. Logic weren't a forte of those and she wasn't much of a physical brawler.

Though, an opportunity seemes to fly into their lives, as a rather large, muscular Night Guard suddenly swooped down on leathery wings, and looked between a piece of paper and Sunny.

"If it isn't Officer Stargazer, and in Ponyville of all places? What a strange coincidence. Do tell, how is your dear daughter faring?"

He'd give her a bit of a side glance, and nod his head in her direction.

"She's fine ma'am. Just moved here with me to assist Princess Twilight."

"An important task, granted to you by Princess Luna herself I can imagine. How splendid. I'm sure you'll have a lovely time here dear."

The two knew one another a little. Scarcity were a well known antiques dealer in Canterlot, and as part of an exhibition here and there she had donated artwork or something else to, where Stargazer had stood guard, she had come around and talked with him, among several other ponies of high to low social ranking. She seemed nice enough, especially for a wealthy pony, whom tended to sometimes be rather irritating to deal with, to put it mildly. Just strange to see her here of all places.

"Been a bit hectic actually, and it still is. I've been sent out to look for the family members of a Mr. Blither, and this one seems to fit the description of one of them. Miss? Are you per chance named Sunny?"

===============================================================================

 

@Pastel-chan

On 2/11/2020 at 5:22 AM, Pastel-chan said:

"Umm... I don't have parents. Well, maybe I do, but I don't remember them. I was an orphan for a long time before grandpa took me in. He's okay with be being out as long as I'm not getting in trouble. If you're going home after this, I could run home and tell gramps I made a friend and meet you in front of the school! Or we can go together!"

Even though Pastel had said that she had her grandpa that took care of her, hearing how she were an orphan without her mom and dad, made Jelly wander over and hug her new friend.

"I'm sorry to hear you're an orphan, Pastel. Daddy and I have helped out in the orphanage in Canterlot lots of times, and it's really sad to see so many foals without somepony to take them home. I'm really happy that you have somepony now, friend."

Stargazer had grown up an orphan, and were one who always got send back since nopony had been able to deal with the issues in raising a bat pony foal, compared to a normal one. After he had become a guard and gotten responsible about things, he set about not just rectifying his past mistakes and seen to make them right, but often go to the orphanage he grew up in, help out those who needed it, and show the foals that there actually were ponies out there who cared for them. Something he tried to teach Jelly too, to make sure she grew up a better pony than he had ever been when he were her age.

It worked too. Jelly got along well with the orphans, played with them, told them stories, helped her daddy teach them how to act around potential parents, and how they should try and go easy on them, as it were tough the first few weeks for both parties, etc. She also overheard him telling them that if any of their foster parents became abusive, to take immediate contact to any guard, or him directly, so that they could get help. He considered it somewhat of a personal mission of his to go and deal with those things personally if possible. Within the legal bounds of the law, of course.

After she were done giving Pastel a hug, she'd take a step back and  look over her thankfully happy new friend again.

"Daddy's probably gonna pick me up after school, if he isn't busy. We could tell him here, then go see your grandpa and tell him? If daddy's not there, I can just swoop home to leave him a note, and we could meet up somewhere. No matter what, we're gonna have a fun time looking around town, seeing if we can find the princess and other stuff. I bet there's plenty of fun things to see here in Ponyville. It's real famous in Canterlot, and not just for scary monster attacks, so it's gotta be something special."

So now, on to happier things, which included play plans after school, and of course, eating their lunch before the bell rang again. Couldn't be all that long again, and then it would be history and math until the day were done. A bit dry, but important stuff. Just a shame it were often kinda boring. Guess everything in life couldn't be fun.

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@Blitz Boom

Pastels eyes widened as Jelly suddenly hugged her. She smiled awkwardly as she blushed, returning the hug with a giggle. What was that, she thought? That kinda thing only happens in those cheesy romance novels! Or so she thought.

"Hehe, it's not a big deal anymore! I was just kinda on my own for awhile. Grandpa gave me shelter and the freedom to be the filly I am now so I'm pretty happy!"

Pastels time in the orphanage were a distant memory at this point. Her adventurous spirit originally came from being tired of the rules of the orphanage, and snuck out whenever she could. She would imitate heroes from books and get teased for it. A chance encounter with her grandpa to be would lead to her adoption.

She seemed kinda unwilling to let go, nearly falling forward as Jelly released her before cartoonishly springing back into place.

"Oohh, okay! Sounds good! Your pops must be like, omega cool! If you're gonna wanna meet grandpa afterwards, weeelll... He's kinda different, so don't get scared if it seems like he's yelling at you, it's just how he talks. Oh, and don't drink any of his juice! It's weird stuff. Don't ask him about his job or his music records either, he'll go on for HOURS! he kinda says some funny words too but don't mind that."

...Pastels grandpa sounded interesting to say the least. It makes sense, it would take a quite the odd pony to take in a misfit like her. The filly seemed to bounce around from one subject to the other, until it was time for class again. Her grades were gonna be low again; but that was okay to her. She was saving her study energy for "more important things"... so she tells herself anyway

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@Blitz Boom

Rising could hear past lectures of his father in Lily's comment.  What if the pony has the means because they are superior?  Ever the scholar, pushing the boundaries of thought, and ultimately, patience.  Many a times has one of father's philosophical deep dives going off the deep end required the shoving of cake into his mouth to get him to stop.  Lily was expecting the wrong sort of thing though if that's what she thought she was in for.  The detective remained silent, but held a smirk as he disappeared into the darkness of the manor. 

The front door closed on its own behind them, casting the duo in complete darkness, save for the orange glow of Rising's horn.  Only the marble floor their hoof's clacked upon was visible beyond the small field of vision his light offered. The unicorn navigated solely on memory, taking small turns here or there, but nothing of the inner manor could get seen.  For the lights to be off this time of day, their host could only be in one place.  The clacking of their hoofs started to be joined by sounds of boop boop boop.  Moving further on the sounds started to get louder and louder with added mixed of other musical tones, bases, scratches, higher toned electronics.  A faint light, softly flashing in a multitude of colors at the end of the darkness.  A light from under what appeared to be a door the music was escaping from.

The same magic that had lit their way was then used to open these new doors.  Opening to a world of electronic club music and dancing lights to match the beats.  The image of any amount of sophisticated proper high society in these parts of Manehatten were out the window.   In the grand ball room, younger adult mares and stallions partied like many of their matching lower classed counter parts.  Hot tubs and pools dug out in the marble floor hosted groups of ponies sharing laughs, drink and snacks.  Long crystal slide aloud the occasional party goer to make a triumphant splash that erupted another round of roaring laughter.  Padded booths allowed for less than wet encounters for others enjoying themselves.  Tables with various snacks made for easy pickings for ponies to load onto platters to take with them.  The future of Equestria's political and business power was in this ball room.  Sons and daughters of some of the most powerful figures in all the lands, heirs to financial empires ready to take Equestria into a new bright future with new ideas and prospects.

Set up in the back corner, a DJ unicorn of white coat and blue hair bobbed her head to the beats as she provided music to the party.  Her hoofs spinning records to add to the flair and enjoyment of the mixes, horn aglow to adjust various knobs and switches to her station.

The back wall, a crystal staircase ascending a half dozen steps up to a large lavender plush pillow throne.  Laying upon this plush throne, having her hoof daintily hooficured by the finest spa pony in Equestria on loan from Ponyville, the host of this party.  A coat of the brightest fiery sunrise orange and a mane of the retreating dark blue evening night sky.  Her mane, long, curved and speckled with faint white dots that twinkled like the last stars to bid the day good morning.  Dressed in a fine violet nightie that complemented her coat.  Her cutie mark, a dark blue magatama in the setting position over a familiar star bust.  The unicorns's attention lingered on the spa pony only a moment longer before she flipped her hair and brought her gaze upon the two newcomers.  

The music stopped, the party went still and the lights remained on their last color, casting the room in a soft blue.  "Our guests have arrived," the mare expressed with a small smile and half lidded eye-shadow painted eyes.  Her tone matched that of the sirens in ancient legends and commanded the attention of all that heard it.  Taking her hoof from the spa pony to climb to her hoofs and descend the crystal stairs.  Each step causing a ripple of soft rainbow colors to cascade out as if on a pond.  Her posture measured, elegant and practiced.  There was an aura about her that was hard to ignore for any pony with any amount of magical knowledge.  Something hard to place on whether one should fear or be in awe of her presence. 

 Crossing the ball room floor to stand before the two strangers, she measured the two up for a brief moment.  Tilting her head every so slightly to the side at Rising's appearance, "Bro, you look terrible."  

His swamp dirtied hoodie and tired appearance singing his ballad harder than any story that may have filtered out to her channels.  "Slipped in a swamp," he acknowledged with a solemn head nod to his poor tattered hoodie.

 

Edited by Rising Dusk
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@Blitz Boom

KARMIC FATE & ATZY

"I don't know. It's changing a lot now. It's very uncertain," Karmic said in a slightly scared tone. Her eyes looked permanently white and intense with how her visions bombarded her. She clung onto Enzo's shoulder, fearing she would fall if she didn't. "There's too many uncertainties. There's too many paths."

"We are friends of Enzo," Atzy spoke down to the general. She shot Karmic a concerned expression and then steadied herself. She leaped off and landed in front of Enzo, her wings grinding to a halt as she fixated her gaze on the new captain. She smirked to herself and tilted her head slightly. At the very least this one wasn't as hostile as the other guards appeared to be. Maybe Hailstorm could be talked with? So dedging up what little she knew about diplomacy, she did her best attempt at looking regal as much as a royal Gemling could. "Captain Hailstorm, was it? I'm not exactly a Changeling anymore. There are these peaceful species my friends and I found far away on a distant island. They call themselves Gemlings, and what you are looking at, is one of their royalty. Ask me any questions and I'll try to answer as best I can."

@Blitz Boom

TWILIGHT SPARKLE

"I don't mean to offend, but as long as that doesn't touch Cherish, we're safe?" Twilight asked in abject confusion while she absently went over a mental checklist of everything Last had prepared in ways of supplies. "Yes, I know a lot about runes but these specific ones Cherish has are new to me. I possibly have a book that'll help me decipher them but that's neither here nor  there," she told them and chuckled. Nodding to herself at completing the checklist, she lit her horn a soft purple hue. "I hope teleportation doesn't affect you too badly, Cherish, but this is going to be a first. Teleporting two live mares and a dead one. Definitely one for the books."

@Blitz Boom

AURORA LIGHTS

Aurora hesitated, and not for the last time, as she tried to think of the best appropriate response. Thorax and Happy didn't seem to be helping so it appeared to be up to the recently ascended Queen. "A meeting with your Queen would be perfect. I don't want the hive scared by the sudden appearance of what you look like," she said with a nervous smile. "So, we could meet up where you lot are? I do have one condition. Thorax, my advisor, has to come with us."

@Widdershins

DAZZLE GLEAM

"Uh ... huh," Dazzle didn't know what to make of the runt. She idly stepped from side to side, preparing to either dodge, fly, or something to get out of the way of his eventual charge. She opened her mouth and spoke casually with a small smirk playing around her muzzle. "Shortstack, then. I still prefer Short but that's only because it's easier to say. I am Dazzle Gleam, and you should know that I have fought monsters a lot worse than the runt I see before me."

@Widdershins

DAWN STREAK

"Lay around on pillows," Dawn repeated and the barked a short burst of laughter. "I do not lay around on pillows, thank you very much! What of last night, or yesterday? When you saw me leap from rooftop to rooftop? Huh? What about then!?" She managed to stop laughing long enough to push Kaltrops off of the pillows he was on. "There. You're off the pillow. Is that better, oh mighty boyfriend?" she added and then blushed, realising what she had said. "Oops, shouldn't have said that. Dusting wasn't a part of the deal. I never said anything about dusting."

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It all made more sense the way Rosa quickly broke down the cipher into its simplest form. Remembering a shape and using it to extrapolate the content it keeps encrypted was an interesting way to hide messages but this was enough for Sen to understand. Still, he went over the pattern again and slowly did it click, giving Sen a little more confidence in understanding how it works. After that, he returned to Rosa’s example and could readily see the word PARALYSIS. 

“Alright, I think I’m getting the hang of this. It’s kind of simple when you put it that way. We don’t have lessons like this back home; the longma don’t really see the need to create a system to encrypt messages. It’s all about being straightforward and getting the message through.”

“Back home, young longma are taught the basics, mostly communication and tradition. Old stories about our past is handed down through various ceremonies around a fire and lessons revolve around our history. Everything else related to everyday living and prospective work is taught by parents or whoever takes them in. For example, if someone was to be a healer, they’d become an apprentice to the village’s current healer for years before taking their place. I can’t say the same about farming, though; our forest’s land isn’t suited for it.”

All while Sen was chatting with Rosa, there was a faint reverberating in the air. At first it seemed like nothing, then gradually becoming more prominent. Easily resembling tremors to those unaccustomed but the ground wasn’t shaking, it’s epicenter was within the cave itself and enough to make anyone nauseous. Afterwards, faint voices permeated, sounds of worry and anger from familiar sources. The intensity of the conversation, the emotions behind the voices, seemed to make the reverberations worse.

…You can’t be serious! I can’t make that choice for you! You have to decide for yourselves…

…She entrusted you with the task. We are just as conflicted about the matter as you, and indecisive about what is to come…

“That doesn’t sound good,” Sen rushed over to the far end of the cave, worried about where Lin’s conversation is going. “We have to get Lin out of there.” 

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"Sometimes one needs to do unpleasant things to reach their goals, but please, save your pity for someone who wants it." Ruby responded in her usual cold manner "And yes, I indeed am 'outlander' as you put it, but I don't see myself as one of you, even though our species share the same name, because based on my experience with you local dragons, you don't really compare to my kind." "Though I must acknowledge the fact that your reaction surprised me, because you didn't act like a coward nor like a fool." 

-----------------------------------------------------------
"I can see why you would worry about that, and if this were millennium ago, we possibly wouldn't get along, but during my time alone, I gained a new appreciation towards animals of all kinds." Nada concluded. "But to answer your question, yes and no, I indeed was heading towards the river, but it is not to feed, I just planned to use it to get back to my residence when we eventually part ways." 

 

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