Diaries of a Madman

When Discord breaks free of his stone prison, he proves to be much older and wiser than he was on the show. A being of ancient and unimaginable power, he forces Celestia to make a deal to save her little ponies. What she doesn't realize is that one of the terms of the deal is that she forgets ever making it. Enter Navarone, a poor human just trying to get by—or at least, to the ponies that's what he looks like. Pulled from his home by an accidental summoning from one Twilight Sparkle, Navarone is thrust into a world of ponies and more violence than he expected from such a peaceful seeming world. These are his adventures—with a few asides from everybody's favorite Lord of Chaos, of course.

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14. Chapter Eleven—Summer Wrap Up

All things told, I wasn’t looking forward to the change in season again. It felt like spring and summer just started and they were already ending. And since I’m from a place where the climate is a lot warmer on average and snow is more of a myth than a hard (or soft) reality, the winter weather was particularly harsh to me.

Hell, it’s not like the ponies couldn’t control the weather anyway. I don’t see why they couldn’t just skip winter entirely. Fall is nice, sure. But winter? Ugh. Sadly, none of the ponies seemed to like my suggestion.

Anyway, the day of summer wrap up came not too long after the Gala. Ponyville was in full swing, with a large fair set up through the entire village. Dozens of people from out of town were there, all for the apparently semi-famous festival. The hospitality of the earth ponies was known far and wide, apparently.

I was not. As the fair was setting up, a good number of the ponies stopped what they were doing and stared as I passed. Since I was in the middle of dealing with Twilight at the time, I didn’t pay them any mind.

“And that’s why I’m hosting a history show this year!” she finished happily as we walked.

I trudged along next to her, slouched with my hands in my pockets. “So because a few foals didn’t know who Starswirl was, you decided this would be a good idea,” I said.

“Yes! Everypony out there should know our history. It’s important!”

“And it took you almost an entire year to do this.”

“...I wanted to be thorough. You’re going to help me, right?”

Sorry, I don’t speak English. “Can’t. Luna’s coming in tomorrow. She asked me to be her… guide. Don’t know why she needs one, but I ain’t gonna complain.”

“Oooh, that means I need to find somepony else! Hm… Maybe Princess Luna would help! She knew about Starswirl!”

I snorted and said, “Yeah, but she’s going to be busy having fun. If Halloween—”

“Nightmare Night,” she interjected.

“—Halloween was any indication, she likes carnival games. And she likes winning. I imagine she’ll be spending all her time competing. But hey, I heard Celestia was coming in as well. Maybe you can drag her to it. She probably knows just as much history as Luna.” Or more, considering she wasn’t away from things for a thousand years.

“Hm… I don’t want to take away from the princess’s time like that…” But you were willing to do it for Luna? “Maybe I’ll ask somepony else. I think I know all I need to know, anyway. I just need some actors!”

“And a booth.”

She smiled and asked, “Where do you think we’ve been walking?”

“I assumed we were going to a bakery,” I answered with a shrug.

She stopped in front of a taped off space and shook her head. “You always think that! But no, this is where my tent is going. Now let’s get it put up.”

I looked around our small area then back to where Twilight was just standing there with a smile. “...Where’s the tent?”

“...Buck!”

The next day was an early one. Even if I had been planning on sleeping in, the screams and gay laughter of the children outside would have woken me up.

Of course, I didn’t actually go outside yet. For one, I’m really not all that interested in carnivals in general. Sure, they’re interesting. And yeah, they can have some amazing—and really unhealthy—food. But they tend to be really expensive and not all that fun. The only reason I was going to participate at all is because Luna wanted me to and I have a real problem saying no to people.

And the other reason is that Luna needed some way to find me in that mess. Sure, I stick out like a black man in Europe, but the town nearly doubled in size with the large extension set up outside of it. Even with me looking very different, it could be difficult to find me. So I just told her that I’d be waiting in the library and to not hurry when she decided to come.

With luck, I thought, she would decide against it.

I had no such luck, of course. She reached the library a lot later than I thought she would, at least. “I was beginning to think you weren’t going to get here,” I said, letting her in.

“I had business to take care of first,” she said, peering around the room. “Is Twilight Sparkle not in?”

“She’s at her booth, running a history fair.” I noticed something on Luna at that point and reached over to grab it. “Why is there a leaf in your hair?” I asked, holding it up. Looks like something out of the Everfree.

She looked at it for a moment before shrugging. “It’s windy and I flew in. Are you ready to begin the day?”

“Sure, I guess. I just need to put some shoes on. I was starting to think you weren’t coming.”

“I said I would, did I not? I would not let you down so easily.”

Let me down. Right. “You want to eat before we go? Carnival food ain’t usually cheap. Or healthy. Got some pork in the fridge from your griffin friends.”

“I shall front the cost, should we grow hungry,” she said. “I am most eager to finally begin the day!”

So much for stalling. And unfortunately, my shoes were obviously within sight as soon as she walked in, so that plan was out as well. Ah well. Hanging with Luna’s pretty fun. Maybe that’ll offset the shitty fair.

With that not very reassuring thought in mind, I slid my shitty cloth shoes on and popped my knuckles, signifying that I was ready. To Luna, however, it signified something else. “Does that not hurt?” she asked, tilting her head as she watched me fiddle with my hands.

“Nope. It limbers them up, making them easier to move. It’s probably a bad habit, but it’s not like I have much going for me anyway. Shall we?”

“Let’s,” she replied, flashing me an oddly sinister smile. I just shrugged it off as we left the library behind.

“So what do you want to do first?” I asked.

“We shall wander, seeing what activities are offered. I believe my sister said she participates in one of them often. Perhaps we can find and best her.”

“Then let’s wander.” And so we began. “Anything come of that slut at the Gala?”

“...Slut. Is such a word used to describe the mare that attempted to steal you?”

“Slut, whore, hussy. There are a lot of words for it. Any repercussions?”

“None of which I am aware. There are few that would dare seek vengeance against a princess. Though I did have many ask what happened to Egill.”

“Did you tell them that he died in a tragic bunny fire accident?”

“I informed them that the warrior-poet Egill returned home. Many were disappointed, mostly mares.”

“And nothing of value was lost. You know, I’m surprised you can get away without guards at something like this.”

“I do have guards. They remain inconspicuous, but would come if I called. We never leave the palace without them.” Unless you’re Celestia, apparently. “Why? Do you worry for my safety?”

“Just an observation,” I replied with a shrug. “I doubt you would find many people willing to hurt the two beings everyone thinks moves the sun and moon.”

“...Thinks, Navarone?”

“Oh hey, that guy fixed his bell!” I pointed over to the strength-tester thing, hoping to turn her baleful gaze away so I didn’t have to explain that her moving the moon was bullshit.

Thankfully, she took the bait. “Indeed he did. I bet I can ring it again.”

“If he’ll let you try,” I replied, following her as she walked to the guy with a purposeful gait.

When the poor bastard saw us coming, his ears flinched back and he looked away, hoping we’d take the hint. However, Luna is either terrible at social cues or just completely apathetic. Either way, she said, “I will ring that bell, citizen.”

The guy sighed and turned back to us. “Hello again, Princess. I uh… modified the machine this time. Instead of bucking it, you uh… use this hammer,” he said, grabbing the rubber sledgehammer that was resting against the machine.

“And I just… swing this down?” she asked, taking the thing into her hooves.

“That’s right!” he answered, hastily nodding.

Luna reared up on her back legs, taking the hammer in both of her hooves, and very quickly slammed it down onto the target. The vendor’s eyes jerked as they followed the weight on the machine, watching it slam into the bell on the top… and come sliding back down, leaving the thing intact. He let out a sigh of relief.

“Nice,” I said appreciatively. At least she didn’t destroy it this time.

“I have bested your machine of strength once more!” Luna happily said, pushing the hammer my way. I caught it and realized the fucker was probably about as heavy as a toddler.

“Ah, indeed you did, Princess!” he answered, smiling. “And won a very nice prize, as well!” He reached into the large bag next to him and pulled out a massive lamb, handing it to her.

She took the thing with a smile before looking my way. “Now it is your turn, Navarone. Let us see how well you do.”

“Nah,” I said, setting the hammer back against the machine. “I’m not strong at all.”

“You will either try or you will become my prize holder for the day,” she said, her eyes narrowing slightly.

I just sighed, grabbing the mallet again. “Prepare to be underwhelmed,” I said before lifting the thing overhead. It slammed against the target with a thin thud. I barely scored a five. “Alright then, we’re done,” I said, setting the mallet back.

“You didn’t even try,” Luna said, her eyes narrowing even further.

“No, I’m just really not strong,” I said. “My power is in my mind, not my arms.” And also I didn’t try. Even if I had, though, I probably only would have gotten a six.

Luna snorted and said, “Fine. Perhaps I need to begin training you.”

“Not interested. Shall we move on?”

“...We can discuss it later,” she said, using magic to float the lamb to her back. “Let us… roam.” We started walking again, leaving the relieved hammer guy behind. “You know, my first time at one of these, you gave me all your winnings. Should I not give you mine in recompense?”

“I’m afraid not,” I hastily said. “That goes against tradition.”

“...And which tradition is that?” she asked.

I shrugged and replied, “The guy wins prizes for the girl. And I’m afraid that I’m the guy here, so you can’t be winning me anything.”

“And could I not give them as a gift instead?”

“You could, but it would be tacky. What I did wouldn’t be gift-giving, then. It would simply be belated trading.” Here’s hoping she buys it.

“...Very well.” Hook, line, and sinker. “I shall find some other way of giving you a gift, then. That is what… friends do, is it not?”

“I don’t know, maybe? There’s not anything I want, anyway.”

“Too bad. You shall be rewarded this day for all that you have done for me.”

I chuckled and said, “What, spending time with you isn’t reward enough?”

“I…” Oh man, did I really say that? When I looked over at her, she was blushing quite hard and looking away. “It is… flattering that you think so.”

“So what other games do you want to play?” I asked, doing my best to change the subject.

“I have heard of one called… caber toss?” she said, sounding not quite sure.

“No clue what that is,” I said, shrugging.

“It is when you throw a log. I saw it when I was flying in and asked one of my guards about it. Apparently it is quite a popular sport here.”

“...Log thro—Oh! I know what that is, yeah. Saw some guys doing it once. You’d have to be really strong to do that.”

“Then that is where we shall go!”

“There are plenty of other games out there, you know,” I said. “Less things involving strength. Or are you just trying to find games that you can beat me at?”

“Is it so wrong that I would like to do something that I enjoy?” she tossed back.

“Fair enough. Lead the way.” Just means I don’t have to play carnival games… Or beat her at them.

Off we went, toward the outskirts of the town. “This is quite a crowd,” she commented as we walked. “I didn’t realize Ponyville had this many citizens.”

“It doesn’t. Most of them are from out of town. A traveling fair always comes to town for this event, apparently. And a lot of other people come here for the event. Earth pony hospitality is quite famous, it seems.”

“Hm. I remember a time, long ago, when things were… different. Those were simple days, when magic was magic and spells didn’t even exist…” What? “But the past is the past. It is good to see that the work my sister and I did paid off well, that this peace exists so freely.”

“If you’re equine-shaped, at least,” I muttered, seeing plenty of stares getting sent my way from the crowd and some vendors that we passed.

Luna didn’t catch what I said, probably due to the crowd. It’s likely for the best, either way. Then I felt a hoof across my stomach, stopping me. I looked over and saw Luna looking at one of the tents. “...Fortunes?” she slowly asked.

“Lies,” I corrected. “They use extremely ambiguous and vague statements that could apply to anyone and slowly narrow down your problem with a series of lucky and pointed guesses. Just a waste of time and money.”

“How does one read a hoof?” she asked, still not moving.

“Again, you don’t,” I said. “They make a show of tracing lines and then spout random statements that could apply to anyone and sound hopeful, but are completely meaningless.”

“And… tarot cards?”

“More bullshit. Let’s just keep moving.” Thankfully, she dropped her hoof so we could move on.

“It seems… odd that somepony could build a profession upon lies,” she said. “Is such a thing not frowned upon?”

“People are fucking stupid,” I answered with a shrug. “And hope is always a very valuable commodity. Fortune-tellers give hope to those that aren’t educated enough to realize that they’re just spouting bullshit. Some people are just comforted by the thought that someone can read their fate and give them advice based on it. But such a thing is impossible.”

“Nay, it’s not,” she said. “I just have yet to rediscover the tools that allow me to do it. Though my sister advised me that such a thing might be for the best.”

“Hm.” I very much agreed with Celestia, but I figured Luna could do whatever she wanted. Either way, it wasn’t my problem.

“YOU!” some male voice yelled right next to us. Luna and I both jumped at the suddenness, turning to face a massive white pegasus with ridiculously tiny wings and red eyes. Steroid junkie? Compensating? Albino? “ARE YOU READY TO BULK UP?!” the dude yelled at me.

“Uh… no?” I slowly said, my eyes taking in the sign over the tent behind him that said ‘personal trainer’.

He grabbed something behind him, loudly saying, “Yeah!” Protein powder? Can horses even use that?

“...No,” I said, either way.

He tossed that behind him and grabbed a few more things, this time energy bars. “Yeah!”

“Cease, citizen!” Luna answered him, sounding somewhat peeved. “If anypony is to train Nav, ‘twould be I.”

All the energy bars fell to the ground. “Yeah?” he asked, almost smirking. It was hard to tell with the horrifying muscles all over him.

“Yes!” Luna replied. “Do you not think I could handle it, citizen?” she asked, a icy edge entering her voice.

“...Yeah,” the trainer answered, his eyes narrowing slightly.

“Is that a challenge?” she shot back, her head lowering and her foot revving her body up to charge.

“YEAH!” the weird guy shouted.

“Then so be it. How wouldst thou like to proceed? No magic, hoof only?”

“Yeah!”

“Hold it,” I said, putting a hand on Luna’s shoulder. “Let it go, Luna. You have nothing to prove.” And there was a crowd growing, having heard the very obvious spectacle.

“I shall teach him manners,” she said, not even looking at me. “Stand aside and hold these.” Her horn lit up, pushing me to the edge of the small circle that had formed around us. The lamb and her four shoes and tiara were thrust into my hands. “Are you prepared?” she asked him.

“Yeah!”

“Then have at thee!”

The fight was over in two seconds, one of Luna’s front hooves smashed into the dude’s face. He dropped like it was hot, completely delirious.

“Stallions these days are more fragile than I thought,” she said, looking down on the poor bastard in surprise.

“Good job, you broke him,” I disappointedly said, dropping her crap and walking over to kneel down next to him. After looking him over, I said, “Best guess is broken nose, but I’m no doctor. Either way, he needs to get to the medical tent.”

“...Yeah,” the stallion whispered, his eyes crossed.

“‘Tis my fault, so I shall heal him,” Luna said, walking over. Her horn went to the dude’s face and she poured some magic into him. His eyes corrected themselves and he blinked, proper consciousness returning. “Are you well?” Luna asked him.

“Yeah,” he said, sitting up and rubbing at his face. Luna and I backed off, giving him room.

When I realized he was okay, I just walked over to the stuff I dropped, grabbing it off the ground piece by piece. Though why I was doing that instead of letting Luna do it, I don’t know. But she seemed to be talking to the trainer dude, so I don’t suppose she was paying attention. So I just draped the lamb across her back and then set the crown atop her head, making sure it was askew enough to be annoying. I wasn’t about to fuck with her hooves, though, so I just held onto the surprisingly heavy shoes.

“Farewell, citizen,” Luna finally said to the dude. “This was an interesting discourse.”

“Yeah,” he answered, nodding. Luna and I finally began walking again.

“These aren’t very light, you know,” I said when we got a few meters away.

“Perhaps this should be the beginning of your training,” she said, casting a glance toward the large horse-shoes I was still holding onto.

“Or you could stop being so lazy and take them back,” I said.

“Oh, very well,” she sighed, stopping and holding up one of her front hooves. I carefully balanced one of her shoes on top of it. “What are you doing?”

“Handing you the first one back,” I said.

“...You are supposed to put them on, Nav.”

“Do these things look like they’ll fit me?” I asked, not liking what she was implying.

“On me,” she emphasised.

“Do I look like a servant?” I asked. “Because I ain’t no slave. Now if you ask politely, I’ll consider it. But otherwise, I’ll just drop them and let you sort them out yourself.”

“...It is rare that anypony would speak to a princess in such a manner,” she slowly said.

“I ain’t no pony,” I replied. “I feel like we’ve been over this before. Honestly, it’s a little insulting that you would even have a term like that, when there are plenty of other races out there that aren’t ponies. Are you saying they’re not included?”

“It was a ploy created by my sister three thousand years ago to increase nationalistic fervor among ponies to inspire unity,” she answered without thought. “Now will you please assist me in putting on my shoes?”

“Sure,” I replied, fitting one of them onto the hoof that was still outstretched. It took me a second to get the weird thing on correctly, but she stamped her hoof down gently, making sure it stuck, before lifting her other front hoof. Another shoe went into that one, once again stomped into place. Then she turned around and thrust one of her back legs up. That had the unfortunate side effect of showing me more than I ever wanted to see, but I was good at ignoring such things by now, so I got the last two shoes on easily.

“Was that really so hard?” she asked, making sure the shoes were properly settled on each foot.

“I don’t know. Is it really so hard to treat a friend like a person instead of a slave?” I asked.

“Fair enough,” she said, starting to walk once more. “I am… unused to friendship. For the longest time, there were three castes. My sister, my servants, and the ones outside of the castle. Aside from my sister, all would hop to obey at my command. It is… different, having somepony that is not beholden to follow your commands.”

Figured a thousand years on the moon would break that habit right quick, but whatever. “Hm. Be mindful of it in the future,” I said. “Even outside of just your friends, you should at the very least be polite and ask for things instead of demanding them. Or worse, just assuming them.”

“I am aware. It just takes practice and time. But I am better than I was, am I not?”

“True. Hey, is that the log tossing thing?” I asked, nodding ahead of us where I saw some stallion attempting to pick up and throw a log that was three times my height.

“Indeed it is,” she said, smiling. “I trust that you are going to compete as well?” she asked, casting me a sidelong glance.

“Hell no. That shit would throw out my back faster than you can say the.”

“...The what?”

“Just the word the. It’s only three letters, so it’s really quick to say.”

She just shook her head at my cleverness, continuing to walk toward what looked like a place to sign up. Of course, I followed. After all, I figured it would be amusing to see how well she could throw something like that.

When we got to the small booth set up, the mare behind the counter looked up from filing her hoof… and continued looking up, not realizing just how tall her two new customers were. “Oh my…” she whispered, her eyes going wide as she realized with whom she was dealing.

“I am here to compete,” Luna said.

“Uh… really?” the chick asked, blinking in surprise.

“Yes, really. Is this where I sign up?” Luna asked.

“Um. Yes. I just… You know what, I think you meet the qualifications,” she nervously said. The mare grabbed a quill and wrote Luna’s name on a card, then pushed it to us. “Just… give this to the stallion over there by the logs. He’ll fill you in.”

“Excellent.” Luna grabbed the card with magic and began to march off to the throwing line.

Of course, I started following, but the mare stopped me. “Are you also going to compete?”

“Nah,” I answered. “Just here to watch Luna.” She blinked in shock at my informality, but I didn’t give her time to ask another question, just continuing to follow moonbutt.

When we got to the guy at the front, who was watching someone prepare to throw, Luna gently cleared her throat, catching the dude’s attention. He turned our way and blinked. “Can I help you, Princess?” he asked after a few seconds.

“I was told to give you this,” she said, floating the card toward him.

He took it from the air and scanned it. “Oh, you’re competing. Are… Uh, are you sure?”

“Yes. When may I throw?”

“After this fellow tosses,” he said. “Standard earth pony rules, so no magic or flying. I suggest stretching before you throw.”

“Hm. Navarone, would you help me remove my shoes?”

“You got ‘em off yourself last time.”

“Yes, and that was before I realized you might be willing to assist.”

“Sure. But I’m going to find out if ponies can be ticklish on their hooves while I’m doing it.”

“...I shall manage alone,” she said before using magic to pull each one off. That didn’t stop her from floating them next to me for safekeeping, however. And I also got the crown, since apparently it’s uncouth for something that goes on her head to be in the dirt. And I also held the lamb thing so it wouldn’t get dirty. It’s what comes from being friends with royalty, I suppose.

As she stretched, I couldn’t help but notice how well toned she was, despite being in a place that wasn’t supposed to have gravity for so long. And since she was turning and stretching in a way that disturbed me, I looked to the fellow throwing the caber instead. It seemed that he finally finished preparing and was lifting the log. I saw the muscles on his body strain as the log lifted and finally cleared the ground before flying several meters and landing.

“Not too bad,” the guy controlling the field said, turning back to us. “I suppose I should mention, Princess, that the goal isn’t distance as much as it is technique.”

“What?” she asked, straightening.

“Oh, distance is important,” he continued. “But not as important as making sure the log lies pointing toward you. You could throw the thing clear across town, but if it lands poorly, you’ll still lose.”

“That is not what I was expecting,” she slowly said, looking at the pile of logs again.

“Everypony always says that,” he answered, shaking his head. “But it looks like he’s done and his throw was scored. You’re up, Princess.”

“Hm.” She walked over to the line, pulling one of the large logs to herself. After a few deep breaths, she grabbed it with her two front hooves, leaned back to get some lift, and fucking launched it like a spear. What the absolute fuck.

It easily cleared the other guy’s throw by several meters, thudding into the ground and sliding forward a few feet before collapsing and bouncing, rolling slightly.

“That was the strangest bucking throw I have ever seen,” the guy said, eyebrows raised.

“How was it?” Luna asked, walking back over with a smile.

“Uh… Not that good,” he said. “The way it rolled means your score’s going to be fairly low. But you definitely get the prize for the farthest throw, if not the prize for the actual competition.”

“And that is why I came,” she said, her smile becoming triumphant. “Where may we claim the prize?”

“Let me just jot your score down…” He looked out to the field, where a guy with large cards was showing some message. The dude quickly wrote the numbers down and nodded. “Here you are,” he said, handing her the card. “Take this back to the booth. Marey will set you up.” I could practically hear the pun in her name. It hurt.

“Come, Nav,” she said, turning back to the original chick.

“You forgetting something?” I asked, not moving.

She stopped and looked back, noticing her hat, lamb, and shoes. “Hm. I trust you would not attempt to tickle a poor lady in need, would you?”

“I suppose that’s a risk you’d have to be willing to take,” I said by way of answer.

“Then will you assist me once again?” she asked, lifting one of her front hooves. And sticking out her lower lip in a very practiced pout, her eyes growing slightly watery.

The guy behind me muttered, “I think I just had a heart attack…”

I rolled my eyes and grabbed the shoes, walking over. First, I got rid of the crown. Second, the lamb. Then I finally fitted her shoe on. “You’re lucky I’m nice,” I said, fitting the second one on.

“Thank you, Nav,” she happily said, grinning.

I could already feel the smile forming as I moved around to put her back ones on. The first one was no problem. The second one… Horse hooves have something called a frog in the center. It’s for blood circulation and yadda yadda, these ponies can be ticklish there. So when I safely secured her back leg, I gently stroked her frog. She gasped, her wings shooting straight out.

I took that as my sign to keep going, tickling the spot. Soon, she was laughing like mad and trying to jerk her leg away from me. I was just holding on steadily, making sure she couldn’t escape my oppressive grasp easily. Well, until I remembered how strong she was, then I finally stopped.

“Now what have we learned?” I asked as I fitted on her final shoe, covering up her sensitive under-hoof.

“That thou art a menace,” she growled, jerking her head away from me and slapping me with her tail.

“Damn right,” I replied with a nod. “Now, you ready to drop that card off?”

“Hmph!” She turned her head away from me in a little huff.

“Man, you ponies are so adorable sometimes,” I chuckled. “Makes me just want to…” I leaned in and snatched her in a hug before she could get away.

“Unhoof me!” she shouted, making no attempt at all to make me stop.

“I don’t have hooves, sorry,” I answered.

“Then release me at once.”

“Are you going to stop your little tantrum?” I asked.

“Princesses do not have tantrums!” she said.

“Then why are you so mad?” I asked.

She didn’t reply. After a few seconds, I pulled away, smiling. She was just glaring at me. I opened my mouth to say something, but she just turned and started walking to the booth.

“...Are you suicidal?” the caber guy asked as she walked off.

“I’ve been considering it ever since I got here, yes,” I happily answered before following the irate princess. When we got to the booth, Luna handed the card over without a word.

“Wow!” the chick said, her eyebrows lifting. “I think that’s a new record! Shame about the angle, but it’s hard to get right without a lot of practice. I think it’s safe to say that nopony will be beating that distance, though! That definitely deserves a prize.” She reached down under the small booth and pulled out the largest stuffed banana that I have ever fucking seen. There’s absolutely no way that thing could have fit under the damn booth, not unless she had some kind of bag of holding or something. “Here you are!” she happily said, handing the thing over.

Luna smiled darkly, taking it. “Thank you. I believe you should be the one to hold this, Nav,” she said, passing it to me. “How very fitting.”

I was suddenly very tempted to throw that fucking banana in her face, but restrained myself. Instead I narrowed my eyes slightly and said, “Do you want to hear about the time my grandfather and I broke a horse in?”

“Only a horse?” she asked, turning back to town. “I’ve broken more species than you have fingers.”

The chick behind the booth and I both just stared at Luna in some manner of horror as she walked away. What the fuck? After what she said, I didn’t really want to spend the rest of the day with her… But I was already in deep enough. What’s a little more?

It didn’t take long to catch up with her since she didn’t seem to be in any manner of hurry. “So what big events are planned for this day?” she asked as we walked back to town.

I was slow to answer, thinking about what she said. Jesus. Did she really torture people? “Uh. There’s supposed to be some big competition thing going on, but it started at noon. Pretty sure it’s too late for us to enter.”

“Blast! I knew I should have left sooner. No matter. There will be another year. Surely there is more than just that, though.”

“There’s a big hoedown near the end of the day, which is a considerably less formal dance thing. There are also several rides going on, like that giant ferris wheel there, but that’s not really an event. I don’t really know what all’s going on since I didn’t do much to help with or pay attention to the preparations.”

“Hm. And there are, of course, plenty of games for us to play. I suppose we shall manage, even without the large competition.”

We were once again back into the town, at this point, so the crowds were getting larger. Still, they parted before us as though we were pony Moses. Luna’s princessness and my freaky alien form probably did it.

As she was pondering what she wanted to do and as I was not paying attention, a familiar voice called out to us. “Nav, sister!”

We both turned to face the voice, which turned out to be Celestia. She was waving one hoof at us while the other was being held by a stallion, straining as hard as he could to bend it. If I had to guess, I’d say they were hoof wrestling or something stupid like that. With a casual flick of her leg, she slammed the guy’s hoof into the table, then stood and walked over to us.

“How are you enjoying the festival?” she asked, looking over the prizes we had and smiling.

“It is… most entertaining,” Luna said, not sounding overly enthusiastic.

“Not really my thing,” I said with a shrug. “You having fun yourself?” Looks like that stallion sure ain’t.

“Oh, it’s a way to get closer to my subjects,” she said, turning her head slightly toward the guy. “Say, would you happen to be interested in a match?” she asked me.

“Nope.”

“Hm. That’s a shame. Well, I don’t want to keep everypony waiting,” she said with a shrug. “I hope you two enjoy the rest of the festival.”

“You aren’t going to offer me a match?” Luna pointedly asked.

“Oh, Luna,” Celestia laughed. “Of course we may compete, if you want. I don’t think everypony would mind waiting an extra minute or two.”

“Excellent,” Luna practically growled, her horn lighting up. Once again, my hands were stuffed with the lamb and the crown. She only took off one of her shoes, though, and left it on the ground next to me. Together, the two of them walked over to the table and took their seats.

“Why do I have a feeling that table is about to break?” I muttered to myself as they both propped their legs onto the table before them.

“Are you ready, sister?” Celestia asked with a smile, their hooves meeting.

“Indeed.”

“Then let us begin.” Their muscles both instantly began straining, which was actually somewhat freaky to watch. “Honestly, I’m somewhat surprised you would choose to do this,” Celestia said, not sounding like she was even exerting herself.

“And why is that?” Luna asked, sounding slightly more strained.

“Oh, I think you know why,” Celestia said, her eyes flicking to me for a second. What? “After numerous examples over the years, I thought you would have realized that size truly does matter, when it comes to strength.”

“Perhaps…” Celestia suddenly pushed, sending Luna’s hoof a few inches closer to the table. “But there is more than one measure of strength!” With a thunderous crack, the table shattered, sending both of them to the ground. Luna took advantage of the sudden surprise by sending a surge of strength down her hoof, bringing Celestia to the edge of ruin.

But being on the edge is not being over the edge. “I believe some would call that cheating,” Celestia exhaled, her smile slipping.

“It was hardly my fault the table broke,” Luna answered. “Perhaps it was your oversized leg that did it.”

“There are many cultures that find larger women very appealing,” Celestia said, her grin turning sly and her eyes once again flicking to me. Luna’s eyes and ears twitched and her surprise let Celestia recover slightly. This shit’s getting weird. Maybe it’s time to step in…

Actually, I’m not going to interrupt two really powerful people when they’re in a pissing match. But… “You can do it, Luna!” I called, figuring I could give her at least some kind of support. Even though, you know, she was fucking retarded for even trying. I mean, Celestia’s huge.

Both of their eyes flicked to me. “It seem some disagree with that,” Luna said, smiling darkly.

“Loyalties die hard,” Celestia replied, pushing Luna’s hoof a few more inches.

Man, she really is gonna lose. Unless… “Use your freaky hair!” I called to them.

Celestia probably had no idea what I meant by that. Luna, however, had a better idea. “For good reason, perhaps,” Luna grunted, her freaky moving hair starting to tilt toward Celestia.

“What are you—pfft!” Celestia got a faceful of hair, distracting her slightly. When she shook her head enough to get it away, her eyes narrowed. “Two can play at that—Oh!” It seems Luna’s starry mane found a more… sensitive spot, under Celestia’s front legs. And it seemed that the sun princess was quite ticklish, given that she began flinching and laughing as Luna’s hair gently teased her. “Ch-ch-cheater!” she managed to say between laughs, giggling like crazy.

With that distraction, Luna was easily able to slam Celestia’s hoof to the ground. “You lose, sister,” she triumphantly said, letting go and standing up.

“You cheated!” Celestia said from the ground, still red-faced from the ticklish menace.

“Your hoof is in the dirt, is it not?” Luna asked. “And I was given no rules. There’s no cheating when the only goal is to win, with no guidelines stated.”

“You’ll never impress anypony like that,” Celestia said, rolling her eyes and standing. Her pristine white coat was now very much more dirty, but what do you really expect when going to a fair?

“Perhaps. Now, what did I win?”

“Nothing,” Celestia answered with a smirk. “There wasn’t a prize for this competition.”

“Tch. Figures. Come, Nav. Perhaps we can find somepony more sporting with which to compete.”

“Have fun, you two,” Celestia said, her normal motherly tone coming back.

Ugh, having fun“See you later,” I replied with a nod. “Have fun pulling a train.”

“Oh, that game is for another festival,” she said, thankfully not getting what I meant. “I’ll see you back at the palace, sister.”

“Until then,” Luna said, nodding and starting to walk away.

I joined her, hearing Celestia say, “Now who’s next?” as she walked back to the remains of the table.

“Want to have a miserable day just to spite her?” I asked.

“No, no,” Luna said. “And I shouldn’t have antagonized her anyway.”

“Hey, at least you won. Though I’m surprised you did it anyway. I guess sibling rivalry never dies.”

“I likely would not have succeeded if not for your suggestion,” she commented, gently bumping into me as we walked.

“Nothing wrong with cheating,” I said, shrugging. “Anyway, I’m getting tired of holding all this shit. Want to just drop it off at the library and then keep going?”

“That is acceptable, though everypony would no longer be able to see our success.”

“‘Our’? So far, we’ve only gone to games that you can play. All I’ve been doing is moral support. I mean, I’m okay with that, but none of this success has been mine.”

“If you desire to play one of these games, all you need do is say so,” she said, looking down the row of games we were passing.

“I’m okay with not doing that. The ones back home killed my desire to really do much, since a lot of them were plain unfair. And from the looks of things here, it’s the same way. See that ball toss game?” I asked, nodding to one of the booths. Her eyes looked over there. “The ball is really light and the targets are full of weights. It’s possible to knock them over, but it’s much harder than it should be. The game of horseshoes we passed? The shoes are weighted in different areas, meaning each throw is inconsistent. And most of the games of chance, like throwing the ball into one of the right cups, are made specifically to scam people who don’t know how statistics work. Sure, it’s possible to win and I’ve done it a few times, but good fucking luck actually doing it. You can tell how hard one of the games is by looking at the possible prizes. The more expensive or large they are, the more impossible the game is. That’s to entice more people to come and play.”

Luna took some time to consider my words, looking around at the games we passed. “Such… dishonesty!” she said, shaking her head in disappointment. “How can such a place exist?”

“Because it makes people happy to actually play the games, win or lose. If they lose, it gives them solidarity, knowing that just about everyone lost because the game is unfair. But if they win, they beat the odds and got something cool out of it. It’s a money sink, but it’s one that’s fun. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a free hobby, anyway, so what’s the harm here?”

“Hmm…” I don’t know if she really bought it, but at least she wasn’t going to go hammer crazy and start trying to ban fairs or something. “I suppose it is a good thing that there is more to do than just the games,” she finally said, casting her eyes around and letting them stop on a certain booth. “Even if some are… less normal than others.”

I followed her eyes and saw that she was looking at a kissing booth, a very slutty looking mare sitting on the other side. Just the thought of that made me shudder. “Yeah. Plenty of rides, though. And I think the Wonderbolts are supposed to be doing some stunts all day, but I’m not really interested in that. And of course, there’s all kinds of shows going on. Music, talent stuff, weird little magic shows, puppet shows. I’m just not interested in most of it.”

“...What are you interested in, then? Why did you decide to come away from your dwelling?”

“Spending time with a good friend,” I answered with a shrug, earning the smile I knew it would. “And also, Twilight threatened to do something to me if I stayed antisocial today.”

“Good. It would be most shameful to lock yourself away during such an event. Especially since I am here.” Self-flattery, hm?

“If you say so.”

Thankfully, it didn’t take us much longer to get to the library. I dropped all the stuff off in my room, including her tiara and shoes so she wouldn’t have to keep removing them for everything. Of course, that was probably unnecessary, since I don’t think she really wanted to play anymore games after what I said. Still, at least it was easier to look at her as more of a horse without them.

“So what manner of… rides are available?” she asked when we got back outside.

“Log ride, ferris wheel, a few small roller coasters, a drop tower, I think there might be a tunnel of love, a pendulum, a carousel, a teacup ride, bumper cars, and a few slides. Might be a few others.”

“Hm. And what would you suggest?”

“Do you want to get wet?” The way her head shot to face me, I think she might have misunderstood me. “The log ride involves water.”

“...Oh. I do not mind water.”

“Then let’s start there. The other stuff will dry us off."

And so I led her through the list of rides, skipping the obvious ones. So no bumper cars (she was too big to fit in them), no teacup (same reason), no carousel (she took one look and started giggling), and no tunnel of love because ew.

Our last stop was the ferris wheel. By that point, the sun was starting to lower on the last day of summer, casting an interesting shade of colors across the sky. The hoedown had already begun, so there weren’t large lines for some of the rides we hit up. It was feeling like a nice end to an interesting day.

“So what do you think?” I asked as we slowly spun across the sky.

“This was fun,” she said, smiling. “‘Tis a shame we didn’t get to partake in the actual competition, but there is always next year.”

“Yeah. Just make sure not to get here so late.”

“I doubt I shall have that issue.” We lapsed into silence at that point, just watching the fair unfold before us. After some time, I felt her shift on the seat next to me, but I didn’t look over that way. “Do you regret it?” she finally asked.

“Sometimes,” I answered, still not looking at her. It was obvious what she meant. “I don’t belong here. But everyone is doing a good job of making me not think about it. And having some really good friends helps. It’s… not as bad as it used to be.”

“Do you ever… consider actually making a life here? Twilight Sparkle sends in her letters that you seem lost, untethered. Aimless. Do you not desire something to hold you down?”

“...I don’t know.”

She shifted again and I flinched when her wing and front leg wrapped around my shoulder. “Have you considered… finding a mare?” she asked. Oh God…

Unfortunately, I had a feeling that by ‘a mare’, she meant herself. “I—” Her other hoof on my cheek cut me off as she turned my face toward hers. This is bad. Gotta find a way out! Unfortunately, I felt my mind blank and all I could do was lean back as she loomed closer, presumably trying to go for a kiss.

Thank which god was listening, the ride shuddered to a stop at the point, with us at the very bottom. “Ride’s over,” the operator said, releasing our restraint. As soon as Luna realized we were being watched, she stopped her shit and let me go. “You two uh… have fun?” the guy asked, realizing what he might have interrupted.

“Yes,” Luna answered. I didn’t have anything to say, so I just hopped off and started walking. Luna didn’t take much time at all to catch up with me. We walked in silence. Awkward silence, on my part. I was completely horrified at the thought that Luna had any kind of crush on me. Jesus, how would she take it if I told her that I wasn’t even close to interested? “Nav—”

“Yo Nav!” a new voice called. I took that hint of salvation with glee, turning to see Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy walking over our way from one of the roads to the dance thing. “And hey, Princess,” she said with a small bow, not even close to the one she’d give Celestia. “You two heading to the hoedown?” she asked me. “It’s going real good, now!”

“Then why are you leaving?” I asked.

“Just taking a little breather with Fluttershy, here,” she said. Yeah, I know how she is. “We’re gonna be heading back soon, though, if you’re interested.”

To risk going to a large dance thing versus possibly being alone with Luna… “I guess I could,” I said.

“Cool. I can’t wait to see all those cool human moves of yours!” she said with a smile.

Sadly, Luna wasn’t going to give up so easily. “Would you perhaps be interested in walking me back to the library to get my things first?” she asked me. “It would not do for me to be seen in a setting such as that without my tiara and shoes.”

“Uh…” I sent a pleading look Dash’s way, hoping she’d get the message.

“Hey, we’ll walk with you, too,” she said, pulling through for me. “I know Fluttershy here wouldn’t mind being away for a little longer. Right?”

“Well, actually—”

“Let’s get going,” Dash continued over her with a smile.

“Very well,” Luna coldly said, her mouth shutting with an audible click. And so we began walking. I tried to keep some distance between myself and Luna, but she didn’t seem to want to have any of that, making sure to walk right next to me.

Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy either didn’t notice anything wrong or didn’t dare say anything. Either way, the two of them were talking about what they had done all day, though I wasn’t paying them any attention. Dash was talking about the Wonderbolts or something and how they were doing stunts and looking for some cool fliers to hang out with.

That is, until… “Do you hear that?” Fluttershy asked, stopping in her tracks.

“Hear what?” Dash asked.

“Sounds like… a critter!” Fluttershy answered with a smile, turning to look behind us. Sure enough, I could hear something pounding after us, though it didn’t sound like anything I’d be too happy to see. After hearing Fluttershy’s squeal of horror and turning around to see what manner of creature it was, I understood why.

Holy shit, it’s the dingonek! The monster was running straight towards us… towards me! Fluttershy immediately jumped behind one of the booths next to us, hiding from the beast. Dash up and fucking vanished, flying off to who knows where. Luna jumped forward, a dark smile forming on her face as the beast ignored all of them and seemed to run right at me.

“I shall defend thee!” Luna said, charging toward the monster.

“Wait, we have wings!” I shouted, trying to get her to just fly up with me so it couldn’t reach us instead of trying to fight the thing by hand. She didn’t listen, but that didn’t matter since it wasn’t even looking at her.

So when she got in front of it, she whirled around and bucked it in the face, actually sending it reeling even though it was covered in scales. She turned back and started moving forward, continuing to attack the thing. It still wasn’t paying her much mind, but it didn’t have to…

Right after Luna pushed it back a few feet and jumped forward to press her advantage, Rainbow Dash fucking crashed into her from above, sending both of them into the dirt. Oh shit! Learn to correct your fucking aim, Dash!

Of course, with Luna out of its way, it had a straight line to continue barreling toward me. I lifted my wings in an attempt to take off, but there was no way I had enough time. The last thing I saw before entering a whole new world of pain was its glassy eyes staring at me in some form of confusion.

 
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