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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67. Chapter Fifty-Three—Thank God for human insurance

I woke up to a world of liquid pain. Both of my wings felt broken. I tried shifting my legs to find that one of them was broken as well. I managed to move both of my arms. When I did, I found that I was actually laying down in some liquid.

It was too thick to be water, but there was too much of it to be blood. It was neither warm nor cool. I would have sat up, but I think my tail bone was broken too. I really just wanted to sort of die at that point. I settled for opening my eyes.

I was lying at the bottom of a large shaft. Without being able to look too far around me, I couldn’t tell what else was down there with me. Given that I was alive, the spider obviously wasn’t down here. And since I couldn’t see the top of the shaft, I knew that by all rights I should probably be dead.

I shifted again, trying to see what I could move. One leg was responding. My arms worked. My upper body seemed fine and my neck was alright. I wouldn’t be able to climb out with my leg broken. I managed to get up enough to look at it and couldn’t help but flinch in horror. The flinch jerked my broken parts, giving me another wave of terrible pain.

Yeah, legs weren’t supposed to bend that way. “Where’s a princess when I need one?” I groaned, letting my head fall back in the water.

Instantly, the chamber was bathed in a dull light. I couldn’t be assed to move again, so I didn’t really care. And then I felt the liquid around me getting pulled away, leaving me on a painfully rocky floor. I didn’t realize how much the liquid had been cushioning it. I moved my arm to find that there was no moisture left at all.

“Warrior, why are you here?” The voice sounded feminine and for some reason it was like she was gargling liquid.

“Fell down a shaft,” I said in a dry voice. “Fighting spider.” I tried laughing, but it turned into a cough. “Guess he won. My friends will kill it, though. You my guardian angel? Coulda used your ass before, I tell you.”

“Once we were worshipped as angels of sorts. But no, we’re just… spirits, might be the closest word. Some called us elementals, and that title fits. Why were you fighting the spider?”

“Attacked us. Had to help my friends. We shoulda ran. We had wings. It didn’t.”

“A noble cause. Did you see a sword there?”

“Yeah. I told her to leave it… She didn’t. Yours?”

“In a way. It was a gift from the days we were still worshipped. An old memento from back when magic was used to create weapons. Some would call it enchanted. Its cuts leave an iciness in the victim’s blood. Not enough to kill, but it will slow them down and the pain is supposed to be terrible.”

“Had to borrow it. Sorry.”

“Oh, that doesn’t bother me. I don’t have much use for the old thing down here. I would understand if a new owner claimed it. You know, you aren’t very talkative.”

“Everything hurts. Wings, broken. Leg, broken. Can’t move.”

“Oh my.” I heard a liquid sound and felt a presence closer to me. I managed to move my head up to see a female human shape leaning over me, looking at my leg. “That’s not supposed to bend that way.”

“Yeah.”

She pulled away and I let my head fall back. “We elementals have powers. As a water elemental, I specialize in healing. However, there are rules in place. We can’t just use our powers for free. There must be a price.”

“Name it.”

I heard a sigh. “I’ve been down here for a long time. There is a reason for it, yes, but still… I long for a touch. I long for feeling. Elementals do not have a gender, but most water elementals associate with females. Do you have a purity oath?”

“No.”

“My price is that you make love to me.” The first thought in my mind was that when I told Twilight that I met a water elemental, she’s going to ask me what I talked to her about. And I’m going to have to tell her that I fucked it.

She’s going to be so pissed.

“Have to heal first.”

“Of course.”

“Deal.”

I heard her moving toward me. I looked up and saw that she was looming over me. I could tell then that she was just the upper torso and head of a human. Her face was dull, with eyes that had no pupils. She was glowing a faint blue, but I could see right through her. Everything from her stomach down was moving, just plain water. How am I supposed to… Eh.

Her stomach elongated so that she was as long as I was, her head level with mine. Her arms moved to the sides like she was about to hug me.

Then her body lost form and crashed into me, soaking me. I felt liquid worm its way into any open hole it could find: ears, nose, mouth… I could feel it being sucked into my very pores. It was terrifying, but completely painless.

When all the liquid around my body was gone and she was fully absorbed, I felt changes start to happen. My leg picked itself up and straightened with no pain. I turned over onto my side and my wings extended fully, the broken bones mending. I saw that the light was now flowing from me, my skin glowing pale blue. I felt all the pain disappear from my body, to be replaced with a peaceful, tranquil feeling. My half-regrown finger finally popped back out fully formed, though lacking a fingernail. And let me tell you, that thing was fucking creepy to look at before, too.

And then I felt her in my mind. I felt a cool presence in my head, caressing my thoughts. “You’ve been through much,” I heard a whisper say. “I can see that I am not welcome in here, but all the same I am curious. For my transgressions, I will give you a gift ere we part.” She paused. “Yes, I know that doesn’t make it up to you. But there is no way to do so, and this will make me feel less guilty.” She was reading my thoughts as I had them. “Before you leave, I will offer you another deal. You do not have to take it and I would understand if you didn’t. Now, this will be uncomfortable but painless.”

With that, I felt the liquid seeping back out of my body. Every open hole it could find, it came out of. It felt… interesting. Uncomfortable was a good word for it. When she was completely out of me, I sat up, giving me my first real look at this place. From what it looked like, we were in the part of a very tall ring. What I thought was a shaft was actually a large chasm type thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire cavern with the spider was ringed by this chasm, with that as an island in the center. No telling how the stone formed above it. Maybe the elemental had something to do with it.

Most of the floor was smooth, but the area around me was covered in rock splinters, probably from the ground cracking above me. Most of the walls also looked smooth.

“My payment?” the elemental asked, a tone of hope entering her voice.

“I’ve a few questions, if you wouldn’t mind,” I said.

“Ask.”

“Do you feel as a human would? Will you get pleasure from this?”

“We do not feel the physical pleasure of sex. We have no organs, no senses. What elementals feel when making love is the mental pleasure of stimulating a lover, the feel of love within us. I can’t feel your touch, but I can feel the mold of your body as mine shifts to accommodate you. And you… you’ve been through so much. I admire you, in a way. A poor, tortured soul stolen from his home and forced into a world where he was almost made a slave of love by the very same people he fought to protect. I want to make you feel good.”

“Why are you here?”

“That is a question I will have to answer later. I will explain my story to you after you give me payment.”

“What is this place, then?”

“This will just invite more questions, but this is a prison.”

“Can you explain that a bit more?”

“I will, later. I will have to tell you why I am here for you to understand why this is a prison.”

“Fair enough. I suppose I should just shut up and love you, then.”

The blue light she was emitting got a tinge of pink in it. For some reason, that made me smile. I stood and removed my weapon belt and my shoes. She was slowly moving closer. I lost the socks and the straps of knife belts. She was right next to me. Her hand met mine on my pants belt buckle.

I looked up just in time to catch her kiss.

(Sex is coming. Ctrl+f Sex is over to skip it)

 

 

My mind stopped working for a second when she kissed me and my hands went limp around my buckle, falling. She took over, managing to open it and let my pants drop. She wrapped her arms around me and that woke my instincts up. I pulled my arms up around her and started returning the kiss. She didn’t have a tongue, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t get mine in her mouth.

I felt the moan across her entire body. For just an experiment, I tried increasing the tightness of my arms around her, seeing how much give she had. I couldn’t pierce her at all. I grinned around the kiss and started leaning into her. She took the hint and broke the kiss.

Her body began to lower, melting down to the ground backwards. I lowered myself with her, so that I was lying atop her. I went back in for a kiss and she moaned again, stimulating my member and finally getting it to wake up. I felt myself start to get hard, finally. Given how weird as fuck this situation was, I can understand that it took this long.

When I was finally standing at full attention, I began gently thrusting. There really was no need to ‘aim’ or anything like that. As soon as I got hard I was already inside. She was like a great big pussy just waiting to get fucked. And I can honestly say that the sensation I was feeling as I weakly pumped was definitely unique. It wasn’t warm, like a mare. It wasn’t cool, like a naga. It was barely room temperature, and it molded itself completely to my manhood. There was no ‘empty space’ or any need to take myself out. I was constantly hilted. Thrusting just gave me a sensation of movement. Although… I paused for a moment and realized that her entire inner body was actually flowing already. I just grinned and slowed down my thrusts so I could get the full benefit of pumping and her internal flow.

A minute or two after I began, I felt part of my lower body sinking into her and widened my legs a bit to compensate. My legs were trapped, and I felt liquid creeping up to a place I wasn’t comfortable with it being. If she had been in my mind, she should have known that.

She obviously did, because she stopped right where my thighs ended and my ass began. Better lover than Luna, that’s for damn sure; this elemental knew limits and respected them.

The only complaint I had was how absolutely quiet she was. No moans, no gasps, no sighs, just her staring up at me and slowly turning pink.

It was kind of boring, actually.

Still, it felt amazing for me, at least. My entire member was being tended to perfectly. There was a gentle rubbing on my head that increased as I thrusted, my shaft was bathed in a nice liquid, and my balls were cupped just perfectly. So it felt great, it was just boring. It was like fucking a toy; even though I knew she was getting some manner of pleasure from it, I still couldn’t think of her as any kind of a person while she was being so silent.

I did my best to give her what she wanted: The feeling of being loved. I moved my head back in to kiss her, and I felt her arms pull me further against her. I molded with her form as I continued my slow and steady pace of in and out. She gave me another full body moan, quivering against my dick and making me sigh into her mouth. My eyes widened as I saw a bubble drift to the side of her head and pop out. That was… huh. I quickly forgot about it in the moment.

I finally realized that she could fully support my weight, so I didn’t need to hold myself up. I let my arms wrap around her again and saw as she turned an even deeper pink and felt her heat up a bit more. I just let our bodies mold together and become one.

As soon as I realized that’s what I was doing, her body lit up bright pink and shot light across the entire chasm. I felt myself cum at the same moment and coat her insides. I don’t know how the hell that happened; I wasn’t even close to done. I pulled my head away from hers and looked down at her.

She removed her arms from my back and put them on my chest and pushed me back a little. When she did that, I felt something drain from my ears and heard the sound of water meeting water. “I left a small part of me inside you, so I could feel the love.” She raised one hand and caressed my face. “We needed this.”

“I… understand. What happened? Why are you glowing so brightly?”

“The closest analogy would be an orgasm. It isn’t the same at all, but you would see it as one. It happens when we are so pleased that we can’t hide it any longer. The more intense the emotion we feel, the brighter we glow. We have different shades for different moods. Blue for depressed. Pink for love. Red for anger. Yellow for fear. Green for desire. There are others.”

So does that mean she loves me? I was afraid to ask.

I felt her start to recede from my body, allowing me to pull away from her. I stood to my feet and realized that I felt completely and totally refreshed. I stretched my wings out and fanned the air a bit before grabbing my pants and sliding them on.

 

 

 

 

(Sex is over)

 

With my pants back on, I sat back down, a bit away from the elemental. She seeped toward me, letting her liquid pool around and under me. “So I believe you had more questions to answer.”

“There is something you must know about elementals. There are four main types: Air, water, fire, and earth. Air and water are feminine, fire and earth are masculine. Fire and earth hate water, air loves fire, earth and fire hate each other, air and water are friends, and air and earth are neither friends nor enemies. Fire is warlike and destructive. Air is fanciful and curious. Earth is patient and slow. Water is tender and meticulous. A long time ago, elementals roamed the planet. Some were worshiped, some were loved, some were hated, some were rulers, some were ambivalent. While there was some violence among elementals, there was generally peace. Until we met the elemental.”

She stopped, looking around the cave. The violent pink glow she had from our session quickly faded. “There are four main types. There is one type that no one knew of, that came before all of us. The element of chaos. He saw the peace we had and tore it asunder. He used his trickery to get fire elementals to attack the water. We had no defenses, as we had never been attacked before. The earth elementals, though they always hated us, never openly expressed dissatisfaction with us. They, too, began to attack us. The air elementals could not help us against the earth and they loved fire too much to aid us against them. We fought as best we could against both fire and earth. We were able to easily defeat the attacks of the earth elementals, as water has nothing to fear from the earth. But the fires… As badly as we hurt them, they hurt us. Yes, we could survive their attacks, but the pain was immense and pulling yourself back together from steam was nigh impossible. I lost so many sisters to steam…”

I leaned in and wrapped my arms around her, pulling her close. She was surprised by the gesture, I believe, but returned the hug a moment later. When I saw some of the pink return to her hue, I let her go.

“With fire elementals scattering water elementals and water elementals killing both fire and earth elementals, the air was left to its own devices. They were always fond of tricks and pranks, so it was little surprise that the element of chaos convinced them to pull a prank on their friends the waters and their lovers the fires. The prank went perfectly, but the air elementals didn’t realize how far the prank went until it was too late. Essentially, it was a way of trapping some of the elementals for a short period of time. What they didn’t realize is that short has a very different meaning for chaos. I have been trapped here for so long that time means nothing. I did not see the end of the war, but I saw in your mind that the world above is different. We have a connection of sorts to other elementals. I know there is one earth elemental still alive, but I don’t know where. I know there are three fire elementals still alive, but I don’t know where. I know there are thirteen water elementals. Three are completely frozen. Seven are hiding in the sea, survivors of the war long gone. One is right here. One is trapped underground, as I am. One is far to the south. I don’t know how many air elementals are left, if there are any. They can’t be tracked.”

“And you want me to find some of them.”

“Some of my sisters, yes. Or the earth elemental, if you could wake him up.”

“I… You know who I am. You know what kind of life I have. I have responsibilities. I have family and friends. I understand that you are lonely, but I can’t just leave everything behind.”

“You wouldn’t have to. I can give you a gift, a part of me. Any elemental that you come in contact with would know you for one of mine. I could talk with you, though my voice would be quieter the farther you get away. Your healing rate would quicken even more. You would be able to breathe underwater. There are several more benefits, but you already have them all. You will live for a very long time, assuming you stay safe. There will be a time in your life when you have years to spare. When that time comes, I will guide you to my sisters. The ones that are frozen can be moved and thawed. The one in the south can be convinced to leave her place of power. The three in the sea that rule can be convinced to step down. Those seven can break free the four trapped in the sea. Those eleven can break free those of us that are trapped in the earth. Between us all, we can find the earth elemental and try to sway him to our cause. Then we can find the fire elementals and sway them. And then the air elementals.”

“To what end would you do all this, though? What purpose would it serve?”

“So we can be together again. There are not enough of us to rule this plane again. But maybe we can help destroy the element of chaos, if it is still around.”

So basically I get a brain leech that sees everything I do, can talk to me, and lets me breathe underwater. I also get an epic quest that helps me destroy some element of chaos or some shit. I wonder if I get any kind of experience points or gear or something.

“Any stipulations?” I asked. “Rules? Anything I can’t do with you inside me?”

“Nothing. I can protect your mind from intrusions, if you desire it. Your ring won’t affect me at all. Neither will your stones. I can do all sorts of things while I’m in your mind, but I wouldn’t do a thing without your permission.”

“Can I tell anyone?”

“Some, yes. I will tell you who you can and can’t tell. Just ask first.”

“Fair.” I wouldn’t include this journal entry with the others, then. “Though how do you know we aren’t already being watched?”

“There is a reason I can’t leave this prison. Magic can’t scry into this location. Spells or real magic.” I don’t know what the difference is, but okay.

“And you won’t be obtrusive?”

“I will not. I will do my best to be helpful, pointing out things your body noticed but your mind didn’t. And you will never be lonely.”

Oh fun. I’d have another voyeur. I decided not to mention that. I’ve gotten used to it anyway, truth be told.

So… From everything she said, I would be getting even more benefits and powers. I would have a friend that would never leave me. She would help me and could do all manner of other things for me.

But I would have more responsibilities, a possibly very dangerous quest to do at an unspecified point in the future, another voyeur—though she could block out the others—and essentially a brain leech.

I wonder what kind of rewards I could get. Like, if these are all powerful elementals, surely they have some kind of cool stuff or something.

“Eh, fuck it. I’m in.” Well, I always did make my best decisions in the spur of the moment, but I don’t even remember planning to say that. Oh well.

She pulled me in for another hug. “Thank you, Navarone. It will be some time before you can assist me, but I know when you are able, you will bring us all together.”

“I will certainly do my best. It will be nice to finally have company on the late nights.”

“And it will be nice for me as well. I have lived in silence and darkness for a very long time. It is wonderful to speak with another, and I am ashamed that I ask such a great task. Still, I would not ask it if I did not believe you were one that could get it done.” She pushed me away. “There used to be a ceremony for bestowing our gifts, but that seems silly if there are just the two of us here.” She moved her hands to the side of my head, covering my ears. I felt something enter me and stiffened.

“Feels so weird,” I said.

“Yes, it does. Now, I see you have another question. For politeness sake, ask.”

“If the other elementals can sense each other, and at least four of the water elementals are free, why have they not come for you?”

“They have not come for me or the sisters under the water because four is not enough to free us. I do not know why they have not used mortal followers to free our frozen sisters. I wish I knew, and I have often pondered that question, but I do not know.”

“How does the whole breathing underwater thing work?”

“You breathe, but you do it underwater. I wish I could tell you more, but I don’t breathe at all. I will be with you the first time you try it, so you needn’t worry. I don’t imagine it will be comfortable, but you can get used to it.”

Good enough for me, I guess. “So, what now?”

“You fly away, my avatar. Return to your life. I will be with you and will know when it is time for you to begin my quest.” I saw my knife belts floating over to me. I picked them up and strapped them on. I then put on my axe belt. That done, I stood and turned to her.

I held out my hand. She grasped it. I drew hers in close and kissed it. “Until we meet again, my lady.” Her pink hue increased slightly and she let off what might have been a giggle. I lifted my wings and shot into the air.

As I was flying up and trying to find the hole I fell down, I realized that I never even asked her name. I’m kind of an asshole.

“Flo.” I heard her whisper in my head before, but this was somehow softer. “I’m only here in essence, not in body. It will get softer the farther you move away. I should be able to guide you to at least the first frozen elemental.” I noticed that she didn’t contradict me calling myself an asshole. She also didn’t comment on me noticing that.

Thankfully, I didn’t move far from where I had landed, so the hole was straight above me. I couldn’t count the distance, as high as it was, but by all rights, I would have died if she hadn’t been there to break my fall.

I put on an extra burst of speed as I freed myself from the hole just in case the spider was still around. When I got above the ground, I saw that the forest was pretty well devastated. The spider was nowhere to be seen, but I did see a very, very angry Chrysalis flying above the forest.

“WE WILL NOT LEAVE HERE UNTIL WE FIND HIM! NO MORE EXCUSES!”

I heard Flo whisper, “Don’t tell her. She will attempt to harm me. It won’t work, but I might have to hurt her.”

“She’s not just going to believe that I disappeared and didn’t get hurt at all.”

“Tell her you were knocked out. And be careful. She wants you. The only reason she doesn’t steal you is because she knows the consequences.”

Well, that’s comforting. I flew over to her. “I’m right here, Chrysalis.”

She whirled about when she heard my voice and a large smile replaced the rage on her face. She flew at me and caught me in a hug. “What happened?”

“Damn spider knocked me into an alcove. I passed out. He couldn’t get to me, I guess. Is it dead?”

She let me go. “Yes. I did not leave much of him after you disappeared. I was a bit… angry.” She began to lower herself to the ground. I followed. “CHANGELINGS, ASSEMBLE!” I heard a few noises as the survivors began to form up.

“What were the losses?”

“Four dead. Three wounded.”

“Damn. This is just not a good week for us. I don’t suppose anyone found my axe?”

“We left your weapons at the altar.” All of the changelings were now in front of us. None of them looked injured, so I assume she healed them. “Let’s move.” She started leading the way back to the center. It didn’t take us long to get there. I saw that my axe was sitting there, along with the sword.

I grabbed my axe and let it fall back into its loop. I looked at the sword. “Take it,” Flo whispered. “You are my avatar, and should wield my weapon.”

“For all the trouble that sword put us through,” Chrysalis said, “we aren’t leaving it. Grab it.”

I shrugged and grabbed the sword. I didn’t have any kind of sheathe for it, so I just held onto it and turned back to Chrysalis. “Are we going to continue exploring, or fall back and just block this tunnel?”

“I’m not going forward without an army behind me. If this spider is what we found just inside, I’m not going forward with this small a number. We will return home.”

“Cool. I don’t want to carry this thing for too long anyway.” I looked around the battleground. “How much is this silk worth?”

She looked at it. “Changelings, grab as much web as you can carry.” When they had grabbed all they could and wound it up on their backs, she used her magic to grab more.

And with that, we began our somewhat defeated march back to the hive.

So, what happens if the changelings find the hole I fell through?

“Any damages to my prison slowly repair themselves. They used an earth elemental to help trap me, so the land itself works against me.”

And what’s to stop us from just getting a large tub and lugging you out?

“A magical barrier. I cannot leave in person. I am honestly surprised I was able to send an avatar of mine away from here. I am not complaining, of course.”

There’s never an easy way out, is there? I just heard a sighing in my head.

“You are quiet, Nav,” Chrysalis said, bumping against me lightly.

“Just thinking. That damn spider almost killed me. This line of work is going to be the death of me, I fear.”

“You’ve made it so far, despite the odds. There are many that would have fallen. More that would have given up. Yet you’ve stayed and flourished. Why is that?”

“A warped sense of duty and being too stubborn to know when to quit. Also, Celestia would probably kill me if I didn’t do what she told me to.”

I heard the voice in my head, “She wouldn’t kill you now, but she might have at the beginning.” Well that just makes me feel great.

“I doubt that,” Chrysalis answered. “She likes you as much as I do.” She lightly swished her tail at me. “Of course, I think you have more fun with me.”

That’s actually true. Chrysalis has a lot more skill and being able to change her insides to fit is awesome. Though when Celestia turns herself human… She’s fun. Lots of it.

I just shrugged. “You both have your high points. And given that Celestia is basically the sun goddess, there are some definite perks to porking her.”

“Oh? And what might those be?”

“I’ll let you know when I start getting them. Aside from her friendship, there’s little I’ve gotten.”

“Only friendship? I’m honestly surprised she didn’t scoop you up as soon as you left her sister.”

“She probably wanted to, but that would have been very poor form. Like, imagine me fucking you and then immediately leaving to go spend the night with Doppel. How would that make you feel?”

“I would not be overly pleased. Though I do not think I would have let you walk out.”

And that’s why I’m not going to consider dating Chrysalis, everybody.

I shrugged. “Luna would probably feel worse, given that she already feels she has to constantly compete with Celestia. If I left her and immediately went for Celestia, that would pretty much be akin to telling her that she lost yet another competition.”

“I see. To you, which of the two is more beautiful?”

“In their pony forms, Celestia is. There is just… I don’t know. That said, I also grew to love Luna’s form, but objectively I would say Celestia is hotter. In their human forms, Luna wins hands down, though there are some that would disagree.”

“And if I am added to the three?”

“I haven’t seen your human form. I will say that you look the coolest, but otherwise the list stands.”

She hmphed, but didn’t comment further.

One of the soldiers spoke up, “I… I think you’re beautiful…”

We both looked at him, shocked. He quickly looked away, a green tint on his face.

“Holy shit,” I said. “Dude, that took guts.”

I looked at Chrysalis and saw she was actually blushing a bit. “Thank you,” she said after a moment. She looked at me for confirmation and I nodded. I then held my hands, put my fingers in a circle and plugged it with another, pantomiming sex. I was looking her in the eyes while doing it. Her blush deepened. I jerked my head at him. She shook her head. I shrugged. She pulled my head down a bit with magic and whispered, “It sets a bad example. I can’t just buck every subject that compliments me.”

“Eh, fair enough.” She let me go and we continued walking.

Flo whispered, “Ask her how often she gets complimented by her subjects.”

I leaned in close and quietly said, “How often do they compliment you, though?”

Chrysalis didn’t answer me. “Soldier, what is your name?”

The one that said it flinched. “Counterfeit, ma’am.”

“Rank and number?”

He rattled something off that for the life of me I couldn’t spell. I won’t even try. The number was some random large one. When he finished Chrysalis just nodded. The silence returned.

Until I broke it. “What’s with the ridiculous rank name?” I asked.

“I didn’t make them,” Chrysalis answered. “I saw no reason to change them.”

“I suggest simplifying them. It makes it easier to deal with in the heat of battle.”

“Rank names are not for the soldiers. They are for the civilians. Soldiers learn differences in pheromones and can tell the different ranks apart. I don’t spend enough time around the lower ranks to know them all.”

“I still say they should be simplified, but whatever.”

“I will mention that to Ditto. Knowing him, he will take it as an order, but it is worth a try.”

More silence. Gotta love it.

We arrived at the hive in good time, at least. Less changelings means less time, I suppose. She left the dead behind, or burned them. I didn’t see their bodies back there.

Chrysalis said, “Changelings, return to your commander. Report to him. The silk you carried is yours to do with as you please. Sell it, bed in it, have a crafter make you something, I don’t care. Tell the commander that I will not be long in seeing him; I have things to discuss.” They sketched hasty bows and flew away. “Navarone, come.” We flew back to the palace and landed on the floor with our rooms. She split the wad of silk she had in half. “This is yours to do with as you desire. I will probably make sheets or a gown with my half.” She floated one wad to me.

I grabbed it and shuddered at how sticky it felt. We went to our respective rooms and I dropped it off. It actually made a squelching sound when it hit the floor. I set the sword down next to my bag. The axe followed it.

“You need sunlight,” Flo told me.

“I know. Now’s probably a good time to go get it, though.” I went to the door between our rooms and entered hers. “Chrysalis, after that fight, I’m feeling drained. I need to go to the surface for a few hours. You cool without me?”

“Go. I will be fine down here. Do not wander far, though. The outer edge is guarded, but there are still enemies in the waste.”

 

I got to the surface just as the sun was starting to set. I could probably get enough light for a few days down below, so I just found a nice low rock to sit against and watched the sun set. It was nice.

“If you stay up here any longer, you won’t make it to your room in time to sleep,” Flo told me.

I sighed as I stood. The guard that came up with me jumped down the hole ahead of me. I followed him and made it back to the hive.

I got back to the palace just in time to see Chrysalis leading a familiar looking changeling into her room. I just smiled and shook my head as I went to bed.

When my head hit the pillow, I heard Flo lightly begin to sing. I couldn’t understand the words, but it lulled me to sleep almost instantly.

The nightmares that habitually plague me were not present that night. Instead, I was shown a paradise of sorts. I recognized the general layout of the land as the petrified forest I found her in, but the trees were vibrant and green. I reached out to touch one of the leaves, but flinched when I saw my arm. It was red and scaly.

“What is this?” I asked, holding my hands up. I saw they were closer to Spike’s hands than mine.

I heard Flo say, “My old subjects were very different from you and the ponies of today. They were lizards, of a sort. Not quite dragons, for they had no wings and could breathe underwater. They were a quiet, stealthy race. Many were warlike and followed the fire elementals, but those that were peaceful gave their allegiance to the waters. Go to the center of my glade.”

I shrugged and walked into the forest. I tried flapping my wings to find nothing happened. I didn’t expect anything to, but whatever. Since I didn’t have that to distract me, I just looked around the beautiful forest. It reminded me of my life back on earth. It wasn’t oppressive and chilling, like the Everfree. And it was less tame than the Whitetail Woods. It was, as I said, a near paradise.

And when I got to the center, I stopped. There was a perfectly clear pool of water surrounding the altar, upon which rested flowers of all kinds, fruits, the sword, and a single book.

As I stepped closer, Flo slowly materialized out of the water. She met me at the edge and slowly reached a hand out to caress my face. “I so miss my friends… They worshipped, though I told them not to. They tried to tell the air elementals they were hurting me, but they wouldn’t listen. I wish… I just wanted to see one of them again.”

She slipped her hand through my face and I felt my body shift back to human. Well, sort of human. I stretched my wings out, happy to feel them back. She smiled at my reaction. “It is good to see you accepting of your changes, forced though they are,” she said. “Even though the princess could have removed them.”

“What? She told me she couldn’t.”

“She lied.” Fucking bitch. “But that is no matter. Here, we can do whatever we desire. Well, sort of. I could show you the past, giving you a better history lesson. I could teach you some number of things. We could,” and here she turned a light hue of pink, “make love again. Well, with a small consequence; you would need to change your pants in the morning.”

I smiled and pulled her close, wrapping my wings around her. “I’m planning on taking a shower in the morning anyway,” I whispered.

 

I woke up to nastiness, but it was worth it. I removed my pants and shuddered as they hit the floor. With that, I took a shower.

When I got back into my room, I got dressed and laid the silk out a bit more so it could dry out better. I don’t know if it actually would, but I was hoping so. That shit was nasty.

I also checked the sword out. I was afraid to test how sharp it was, as Flo warned me that it hurt like a bitch. That said, if it cut through the leg of the spider, then it was definitely sharp. I looked it over and noticed more details today than I saw before.

“Runes,” I muttered, tracing them with my fingers. The sword was icy to the touch. “What do they say?”

“I do not know. The language predates us. The sword itself might, but I do not know much about it. I was a lesser known elemental, so I did not have as many artifacts as some. This was my only one, and I am well proud of it.”

“I will do my best to ensure it comes to no harm, then. How would you suggest I explain how I found it to the ponies?”

“Tell them the truth without mentioning me. Twilight will study it and find nothing but that it is enchanted. She will attempt to confiscate it, but you will get Celestia to intervene on your behalf.”

“That just seems like it will piss Twilight off. Why would I do that?”

“She likes the curiosity you represent. Yes, you anger her, but it is usually a good anger. Where she is quick to anger, you are calm. Where she is usually methodical in her actions, you are impetuous. Where she has failed, you have succeeded.”

“What does that mean?”

“I am not entirely certain. All I have to go off of are your past experiences with her. She lusts for you and yet builds up anger. You would do well to distance yourself from her.”

“If all you know is my past experiences, how do you know more than I?”

“I pick up on more facial and body expressions than you. I notice what your subconscious has noticed but you have not. And right now, Chrysalis is about to enter your room.”

I heard the door open when Flo said her name. I gripped the hilt of the sword and whirled to face the door, standing at a ready position. I relaxed when I saw it was her.

Flo sighed. “She already knows you are dangerous. There is no reason to try to increase your image.” Yeah well… Whatever.

“Alert as ever, Navarone,” Chrysalis said, smiling. “Are you ready?”

“What is today?”

“The fourteenth of February, I believe. I have a busy schedule, as usual.”

“Oh, it’s Valentine’s Day. I wonder what the ponies are up to…”

“Valentine’s Day? I know the ponies have a ridiculous holiday called Hearts and Hooves Day, but I do not know what you refer to.”

“In spirit, the day is the same thing. Ponies take it to a whole new level, though. In my world, the man was expected to do most of the work, as it was seen as more romantic. Here, it looks mostly even. Well, except for in Ponyville, where mares make up most of the population. Hey, you could take your soldier friend on a date.”

She looked thoughtful. She even turned her head to look back in the room behind her before turning back to me. “Navarone, how well would you say you know me?”

Flo whispered, “I know her very well.”

“Pretty good, I’d say.”

She slowly nodded. “I am taking the day off. You will go to my meetings and answer their demands as I would. If this goes well, I will see about making Valentine’s Day an official holiday.”

“Chrysalis, how will I know where all of your meetings are?”

“Doppel will assist you. She knows my schedule, in case any emergencies come up and I need to be found.”

“Speaking of, what if there is an emergency?”

“Have a mage send a large green flare to the roof of the cavern. I will know.”

“Awesome. Send Doppel here on your way out and I’ll do it.”

“Thank you, Navarone. I needed this. Do not damage my kingdom.”

“Chillax, bro. I got this.”

“I have no idea what you just said, but I feel comforted. Stand still.” She walked over to me and began to rub against me. Like, her entire body. It was really weird. “I needed to get my pheromones on you. Until tonight, then.” With that, she went back to her room and closed the door behind her. That was kind of awkward.

“That random changeling owes me,” I commented as I set the sword on the bed.

“Perhaps. It will be interesting to see how their relationship turns out.”

The wait for Doppel didn’t take long. “So I’m supposed to lead you around again?” she asked.

“Yep. Lead the way.”

“I gotta say, it’s gonna be funny watching you lead the kingdom into ruin.”

“We’ll see. How hard could it be?” I snapped my fingers, remembering something. I quickly strapped my axe on. “Let’s go.” She just shook her head as she led me to the hole at the end of the hall.

Alright, this day was boring as fuck. Like, I listened to changelings bitch and moan all day. I don’t want to write it down. There were no redeeming parts of it at all. Even Flo in my head just seemed to drag me down—no offense, of course. I don’t even know why I bothered writing that when she knows everything I’m thinking as I think it.

I hate meta-discussions.

When I got back to my room, I moved the sword off my bed, took the axe off, and just fell on the bed. It was nice, after so long of dealing with useless shit.

Flo began to lightly sing again, but I knew it wasn’t time for me to sleep. It did help me relax, though.

I don’t know what time Chrysalis poked her head in, but I was back to writing when she did. I was finally able to perfectly record books as they were originally written rather than as I remembered them; Flo was able to dredge up what I knew but forgot. I was planning on writing all of Shakespeare’s stuff out and giving them to Luna for a birthday present, if I could find out when her birthday was. I knew Luna would see that they were published, even if they were darker than Celestia would like.

“Navarone,” Flo said, breaking my concentration. “Chrysalis is here.”

I set the quill down and turned around. “How did it go?” I asked.

“Better than I expected, but not as well as I dreamed.” She shrugged. “Well enough. I trust my kingdom is not going to collapse?”

“It shouldn’t. Also, fuck your life.”

She grinned at that. “Yes, the life of a royal is not amusing. I imagine your princesses feel the same, though having two of them lets them split the load at least slightly. There are few I can swap with, though.”

“Raise some of the smarter ones to take your place sometimes. Maybe you could create an actual dynasty and pass the torch while you retire and serve only as a source of advice.”

“I might think on that. The children you gave me will probably be intelligent enough. Between the three of them, they might be able to handle the kingdom. It is a nice thought, though I don’t know what I would do with myself if I didn’t have a kingdom to run.”

“Travel the world. Go to parties. Act as an ambassador of sorts.” I shrugged. “I’m sure you can figure something out.”

“Yes… Yes, that does sound nice. I will definitely put thought in that. Now, I need to know when you will leave the hive. A definite answer, not ‘a few days.’”

“If you no longer need me, I can leave tomorrow. I know my time is running short, and Taya is probably missing me. Knowing Twilight and her friends, they might be planning a rescue operation for me.”

“Fools. I will have an escort waiting for you when you are ready to leave. They will take you back to your little town. I would offer to let you stay here forever, but I already know your answer.”

I just held up my hands and shrugged in a general, ‘Ey, what-are-ya-gonna-do’ way. She rolled her eyes. “Is your new boy toy in your room?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“Before you start torturing him, send him in here. I want to say something to him.”

“Please don’t threaten him. He knows just the right things to say sometimes.”

“I won’t. It shouldn’t take long, either.”

She nodded. “You may borrow him, then. If I am gone in the morning, know that I will miss you.”

“Same here. Your hive is a pretty cool place, even though I almost died here at least twice.”

“And it’s a shame you had to be there for this time of trials. But that is life.”

“Yep. Now go on, you do look tired.”

“Good night, then.” With that, she walked back into her room. A moment later, her new little toy stepped into my room, looking very nervous.

I walked up to him and knelt down. “Hold up one of your front hooves,” I told him. He did. I lightly punched it. “You owe me. Now, go get her.” He grinned and went back into her room. I pulled the door closed and went back to writing.

That night, I had Flo show me some history. Some of the fights between the elements were fucking amazing. She showed me the largest battle there was before she was trapped, wherein earth, fire, and water elementals all fought each other in a massive orgy of violence. It was awe-inspiring, and I’m not a man that truly enjoys violence. From what I saw, most of the fire elementals looked like balrogs and the earth elementals looked like titans. The water elementals came in every kind of body type you could imagine.

It’s just, I’ve never seen a battle of that magnitude before. Each group of elementals brought a large warband with them. The water elementals had unarmored troops with spears and daggers, the fire elementals had troops with heavy weapons of every type and a mishmash of armor. The earth elementals had troops with heavy and bulky armor, most of which didn’t even have weapons.

The water troops were light on their feet and dodged most of the attacks. The fire troops dished out as much damage as they could, letting their armor take some blows and trying to dodge everything else. The earth troops just lumbered into combat and went swinging their fists left and right, trying to hit things and letting their armor take all of the damage. The three groups were relatively evenly matched.

The stalemate was broken at the sound of laughter. A fountain of earth erupted from the center of the melee and an abomination flew from the created hole. This… thing… When I try to write it, I can’t think of anything that fits. There was nothing even remotely recognizable about it. It was hard for me to even focus on it; whenever I tried looking at it, my eyes would just slip past and try to look beyond it. It was just… monstrous. Terrifying. Hideous.

And powerful. I heard its voice ring out. “I love a party, but I hate not getting invited. I do hope you don’t mind if I crash it.” Several of the troops appeared to go insane just looking at it, attacking their fellows. All of water elementals began to retreat, trying to pull as many of their troops away as they could. The fire and earth elementals tried to fight it, but it just laughed as it dodged and absorbed all of their attacks.  Unfortunately, Flo didn’t get to see the end of the battle.

At the end of the history thing, I saw that she was getting a little blue. I pulled her close and just held her, knowing that nothing I could say would help. I like to think she appreciated it.

 

 

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