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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184. Chapter One Hundred and Forty-Nine Part 2

My daughter and I walked over to the side with the volcano. From where I was, I could faintly see two purple shapes, presumably Spike and Twilight, along with thirteen blobs of water. I tried leaning in to get a better look, but I don’t really know why since it was so far.

When I turned back to talk to my daughter, I found that Grey Boulder and his pegasus squadmate were behind me. The pegasus was stretching his wings and Boulder was standing at attention, legs closed. Both seemed amused by something, but I didn’t really care what. “I’ll be heading down to the volcano, if anyone needs me,” I said.

“Yes ma’am,” Boulder said. “Try uh… try not to fly over the village.” The pegasus snickered at that, for some reason.

“Why? Are they mobilizing?” I asked.

“No, no,” the pegasus said, trying not to laugh anymore. “Say uh, you need an escort? I wouldn’t mind keeping you company.”

“Nah. I’m gonna be in and out quick, just the way I like it,” I said with a nod. His ears started twitching. “I’ll see you later, Taya.”

“Have fun, mommy!” I turned back and put a foot on the ledge, then leaned into it and dove off.

The flight there was slow but steady. I avoided the village, which cost me a minute or two. As high up as I was, I doubted they could do much to me. But then, I imagine Gilda had the same thoughts. Without my armor or my weapons, I figured avoiding it wouldn’t be such a terrible idea.

Once I got up to the volcano, Flo glided over to meet me where I landed. Before she could get there, I was surrounded by wind again and Aerie said, “I will protect her for now, water. You focus on saving my soon-to-be-beloved!”

“You mean my one-and-only love?” Mist shouted from across the volcano.

“Get roasted, hussy!” Aerie shouted back.

“Blaze will slow roast me for eternity, you air-headed tart,” Mist smugly replied.

Aerie howled, but turned her attention back to Flo. “Free my fire! You can protect your slave then.”

“Very well then, Aerie,” Flo replied with a nod. She turned back to her sisters and continued doing whatever the hell waters do to free someone from a volcano.

“Thanks for the help,” I said, walking over to Twilight.

The wind followed me and Aerie said, “You’re welcome, Navarone.” Honestly, I wasn’t really expecting her to answer.

Twilight was standing next to the edge and Spike was covered in ashes and holding two handfuls of lava. There was a small orb of water covering Twilight’s head. “We having fun yet?” I asked when I joined them.

They both looked over at me. Twilight started to look back at her notes but then something seemed to register in her mind and she quickly looked me up and down. “Wow. You look very pretty, Nav.” When she spoke, the water moved out of the way of her mouth.

“Well, first impressions matter. I figured it would be nice to greet our fire looking somewhat decently.”

Spike shrugged and held up one of his hands. “High five, Nav!”

“No thank you. I prefer my skin attached to my body. How are you even holding that?”

He lifted his claws into the air and let the lava slide down his arms. “It doesn’t hurt at all. It honestly feels like a nice, warm blanket.”

“No, I meant, how are you holding onto it? I know it’s viscous, but I figured it would still be running out of your claws.”

“Magic,” Twilight said. “I wanted to test some of its properties up close, so I flew some close and enchanted it to hold together much better, then let Spike hold it.”

“I also got to go swimming,” he said with a grin.

“And it got you filthy,” I said, brushing my hand down his side and knocking off some volcanic dust. “Ask one of the waters to clean you off before you go back to the ship.”

“But I like watching Doppel bend over to clean up the ship!” he said. Twilight snorted, which just came out as bubbles.

“Too bad. Maybe if you ask nice, the water will give you a happy ending.”

“I would be pleased to assist…” Aerie whispered. Some wind picked up around Spike.

He shivered and quickly shook his head. “N-no! I’ll ask a water!” That made the air giggle, which felt pretty weird around my body. Thankfully, it was a good weird.

“Anyway, you find anything cool around here?” I asked.

“Yes, actually,” Twilight said. “Magic here is acting very strangely. I can feel it resonating in tune with the planet, though I don’t imagine you would really understand that.”

“No fucking clue what you’re talking about,” I said with a shrug.

“Let me think…” She tilted her head slightly for a moment before her face lit up. “Let’s say you had a vibrator in you at all times.”

“Oh yeah, this’ll be good,” I said, smirking.

“Normally, it’s on a very low setting, because you wouldn’t want to get too excited. But when you want to feel cute and you dress up in a nice skirt and no panties around a bunch of cute stallions, you turn it up so it’ll smell like you’re in heat. That’s what it was like when we got to this island for me. Then a few of them pick you up and you give them the controller so they can play with it. That’s what it’s like standing right here, on this volcano. All unicorns can feel magic in the air. Those of us who study magic more can feel it much better and are more in tune with its ebbs and flows. The only time I’ve ever not noticed it was in the dead center of Africa. Right here, it’s… insanely intense.”

“Well, your tail’s not raised, so it’s obviously not quite like having a vibrator in you.”

She rolled her eyes. “Way to take the analogy literally. Slut. What I feel isn’t pleasure. It’s like a resonation deep in my mind. It’s… indescribable for someone who hasn’t felt it. And different types of magic have different types of resonances. This is a mix of earth and fire elements, so it’s strong and fast, like your heartbeat after running.”

“Neat. Can you do anything with it?”

“Yes. Sort of. Tapping into the actual magic here is extremely dangerous, but any earth or fire elemental magic would be greatly enhanced. If I actually tapped into the latent magic in the air, I could create entirely new islands. I could bathe the island and several dozen kilometers around it in fire. But tapping into natural, latent magic removes the normal limit on a unicorn’s body and if I didn’t carefully watch my magic output, I could very easily burn myself out entirely.”

“...Would you explode?” I slowly asked.

“No. But with this much magic, everything within a hundred kilometers would. And if I survived, my horn would turn to ash and I would be in a coma. If I ever woke up, I could never do magic again.”

“That sounds pretty shitty. Don’t do that.”

“Okay.” She turned back to her notes and jotted a few more things down. A few seconds after that, her ears twitched. “Now?” A second went by and she nodded. “Alright, we need to move. It’s time.” We all looked around the volcano. The water elementals were moving into positions around the edge. Flo and Aqua were already next to us.

So we backed up about as far as we could get, because none of us really knew what was about to happen and only Spike wanted to get bathed in more lava. Once all thirteen waters were in position, they stretched out their arms to either side, linking them together. When they were connected, their bodies started flowing into each other until they lost any semblance of individuality. Finally, they began oozing up to form a dome around the top of the volcano.

As soon as their tips touched, the dome immediately sank into the volcano. It didn’t take too long for the lava to begin hissing and spitting out steam. It sounded like the dome was saying something, but I couldn’t tell what.

“Waters are so dramatic,” Aerie whispered, caressing my hair with her gentle wind.

“They definitely can be,” I said.

“Aqua told me to slap you for that,” Twilight said.

“...Are you going to?”

“I’ll give you a spanking tonight. That’s like slapping, right?” Spike groaned and Twilight and I giggled.

“Don’t be jealous, Spike,” I said. “I’m sure Twilight wouldn’t mind spanking you, too.”

He hasn’t been naughty,” Twilight said.

“I know how to behave,” he said with a nod. “Unlike some naughty little human we all know.”

“Little compared to who, exactly?” I asked with a smirk.

“Well, your chest is tiny compared to Twilight’s, that time she was a human,” Spike replied.

“Go fuck yourself, Spike,” I said, crossing my arms. Of course, that got all three of them giggling.

Thankfully, it seemed that the shit the waters were doing was coming to an end. Their dome was now pure white and retracting out of the volcano. When it was finally level with us, we beheld the fire elemental Blaze.

He was taller than Nestorats, but not by much. His horns jutted and spiralled about half a meter above his head, each one a black tube that ended in sharp points. His head had no definite form and seemed to flicker with every movement. When he realized he was free, he slowly stretched out his arms. They had no joints at all and while we watched, he made a large three headed flail appear in one of his claws with fingernails of flame. He swung it in two wide arcs before letting it vanish. That done, he began walking toward us. Each leg bent the wrong way and steam came from the water elementals under him each time his large talons pressed against them.

Once he finally got to the actual rim of the volcano, the waters began retracting and slowly started forming back into their bodies. He didn’t stop to wait for them and continued walking toward us. Every instinct in my body was telling me to stay the hell away from that guy, but I wasn’t too interested in listening to them. Instead, I started walking toward him.

Finally, we stood in front of each other. Twilight was behind me on my right and Spike to my left. “Welcome back to the world, Blaze,” I said. I tried to force a smile to my face, but I couldn’t.

“So you are a human,” he slowly said. Once of his arms shot out, making Spike flinch and Twilight gasp. But he just carefully caressed my face, almost making me flinch back from the heat. “When this is done, my flail will meet your blade, creator against created, and only the strongest will walk away.”

“We’ll see what the future brings, Blaze. But for now, there’s someone who’s been waiting a long time to see you.” I nodded behind him, where a very pink water elemental was standing with a large smile on her face.

He turned and looked, then took a step back. “I-is that…”

Mist held her arms out. “I told you I would never leave you, my love. You are mine forever!” She began moving forward, but Blaze took another step back.

“No! Was it not enough to lock me on this infernal island?! You wretched water, must you hound me even now?!” Um. What?

“Now, now, Blaze. You don’t want to make a scene, do you?” Mist sweetly asked, though she was starting to turn slightly red. “Don’t forget what happened the last time you tried acting out.”

“You forced me onto this island!”

“I just wanted to help protect you. It’s a very dangerous world, and I wouldn’t want anything to happen to my beloved. I know you’re scared and confused, but Mist is here.” She moved forward a little more, prompting him to take another step backward. Since he was getting uncomfortably close to me at that point, I decided to step out of the way. “I had to keep you safe, my lovely fire. After all, we were made for each other! I just had to give you enough time to realize it.”

“You almost killed me!”

“But I slowly nursed you back, letting you build your strength more and more and showing my love for you every day.” She was more red than pink, now. “And I gave you so many worshippers to show how much I cared!”

“You gave me spies and prison guards so I could never try to leave.”

“Why would you ever want to leave me, silly? I knew you couldn’t really want that. I just had to make sure you didn’t try hurting yourself, at least until you realized how much you truly loved me.”

Blaze growled and summoned his flail again. “I despise you, water. But I’m no longer weak. I am not recovering from a battle, not now. Touch me if you dare!”

Mist turned bright red and her form expanded. “THEN MAYBE YOU BELONG BACK IN YOUR HOLE FOR ANOTHER MILLENNIA!” She surged forward, but was blocked by a huge blast of air that threw her back several meters.

“STAY AWAY FROM MY FIRE!” Aerie howled, working herself up to a full tornado.

I turned to Twilight and Spike, who were watching the scene with horror and strange fascination. “I think this is a family matter, guys.” The howling behind me started picking up in intensity. “Yeah, it’s time for us to go. Spike, grab Twilight.” He wrapped his arms around her middle and took off. I immediately joined him. After a brief struggle against Aerie’s winds, I got off the mountain and picked up as much speed as I could. Flo, let us know when that’s all sorted and we’ll pick you guys up.

She very loudly sighed.

By the time we got back to the ship, everyone on deck was staring over the side at the volcano. I hadn’t looked back and I honestly didn’t want to. “So that could have gone better,” I said when we were all safely on board.

“It… looks like they’re fighting,” one of the guards said.

“They’re a very dysfunctional family,” I replied.

“And I thought my family was bad,” Doppel quietly said.

“Didn’t they have you tortured?” I asked.

“Yeah, but they didn’t actually try to kill me.” She gasped. “Ooh, that one was close!”

“Are they gonna be doing this when we get them on the ship?” one of the crew unicorns asked.

“No. I have an ice sword and a fire axe for any uppity elementals that feel like starting trouble on my ship. If they want to swing around flails or get all big and red, they can wait until they are no longer on a magic flying wooden ship full of people. And I dunno, I guess if Aerie acts up, I can spank Pinkie or something. I’ll figure something out.”

The ensuing silence told me they weren’t too enthusiastic about their odds. To be fair, I wasn’t either. Flo, you tell them to get everything out of their systems now. I don’t want this shit on the ship.

“I’m a little busy now, Nav.”

I shook my head and started walking to the door down. Spike and Twilight followed, so I looked over at the dragon. “You better take a fucking shower, Spike. You’ll regret not doing it if you get your bed all sooty.”

“Okay, mom.”

“And don’t forget to wash behind your weird ear spine things,” I said. “And then get dinner. You never have enough meat on your bones, young man!”

“Are you gonna tuck me in, too?” he sarcastically asked.

“Nah, dragons have sheathes. I can’t tuck you in.”

“Do I even want to know?” Twilight asked.

“Human guys that want to look like chicks will tuck their dick in between their legs to hide their bulge,” I said. “And I’ve heard a story or two about insane mothers who wanted girls but got boys to tuck them in with glue or something and raise them like girls.”

“You could have just said no,” she sighed, hanging her head.

We were now at my room, so I ducked inside. They continued on their way, Spike to a shower and Twilight presumably to her room.

After a few minutes had passed, Taya wandered in. “They’re still going at it,” she said, hopping up onto the bed.

“I told Flo to make sure they got it all out of their systems, so hopefully they’ll tire themselves out and get all the anger done with.”

“How is Blaze even gonna stay on the ship, anyway? Won’t he burn it up?”

“...Hopefully not. I’m sure the waters took that into consideration. Besides, he’s not entirely fire, just mostly. There’s gotta be some corner we can just shove him into or something.”

She pursed her lips, but didn’t say anything about it. A few seconds later, she said something else, though. “I think your guard stallions are perverts.”

“I’m not surprised in the slightest.” She didn’t say anything, so my mind couldn’t help but go to somewhere bad. “They didn’t… touch you, did they? Are you in heat or something?”

Her head slowly turned to mine and her disbelieving eyes met my concerned ones. “Are you being serious?”

“Taya, I can’t tell when ponies are in heat. My nose isn’t that sensitive. Unless they tell me or I can work it out from their behavior, I have no clue.”

“I am not in heat and they didn’t touch me.”

“Oh.” She shook her head and went back to staring at the wall. “So why are you saying they’re perverted?”

She lifted a hoof to her head and massaged it for a second before hopping off the bed. “I’m going to bed. I’ll talk to you later, mommy. And that’s a very nice skirt you’re wearing. Nice and short. And obviously you think it’s a little warm, since you have nothing under it.

“Taya… Why are you looking up my skirt?”

I wasn’t.” She walked right on out, ignoring all my followup questions.

Once she was gone, I picked at the skirt for a moment before shaking my head. “Flo, what was she talking about?”

“I’m still a little bit busy here, Nav!” I rolled my eyes and grabbed the Celestia doll I took from Canterlot. It was currently a better and less judgmental cuddle buddy than my daughter. The original plan was to give it to Taya to get her used to the idea of seeing Celestia a lot more and also acting as a teddy bear, but she laughed at me for a while after suggesting it.

While I was contemplating ways to make Taya suffer for being mean, Kat silently slipped into my room. I didn’t notice she was there until the door slid shut with a loud click. She was turning back to face me when I looked up. Our eyes met for a short period of time before hers flicked to the Celestia doll.

“Am I… interrupting something?” she slowly asked.

“My daughter didn’t feel like cuddling, so I had to make do. She also didn’t like the doll I got for her, so I had to keep it.” Her eyes met mine again. “Did you need something?”

“Yes, but I am… not sure how to go about it.”

“Directly. I know that’s not really how assassins tend to do it, but it works out great for me most of the time.”

She paused for a moment before shrugging. “I want to have sex with you. I have never been with another female and I think I might find it a pleasureable experience. But I do not have fingers, my tongue is uncomfortable against bare flesh, and I don’t have toys. I’ve been considering it for a while and finally decided that I could make something work if you were even interested in trying it with me.”

“I’m willing to try it, but right now’s a bad time. Also, next time we’re in Canterlot, you should head to the Crop. It’s a super famous and popular sex toy store. They love seeing unique or rare species in there. They’ll probably offer you a discount if you do some stuff, but they won’t push it if you’re not interested.”

“What… kind of stuff?”

“Well, when I was a dude, they wanted a cast of my dick. Last time I was there, they had a few on shelves. I think it was called the ‘otherworldly ape-beast’ or something like that. And once I got a vag, they asked for a cast of that, too. Let me tell you, getting that made was an interesting experience. I’m kinda interested in seeing how that one turned out, too.”

She sighed and slowly ran a paw down her face. “I will never understand how ponies can be so shameless!”

“Kat, they don’t have hands. If they wanna get off, they can’t just jerk it. They either have to fuck or use a toy. They can also only get pregnant when they’re in heat and automatically abort the fetus if they don’t want it. And I haven’t seen any signs of STDs at all, so there’s literally no risk involved with sex.”

“I don’t know what a lot of that means, but I’ll take your word for it.” She eyed the doll again before walking in further and tossing it aside. Before I could ask why, she slid into bed and hugged me instead. “I’m afraid I’m not your daughter, but I hope I’m good enough for now.”

“You’re much better than my daughter. I can actually kiss you and it’s not weird. Or fuck you.” She grinned and leaned in to make good on that first one. When she was done, I continued, “But we can’t do too much at the moment. Once we’re on the way back to Equestria, sure. But we gotta pick up the elementals after they get done trying to kill each other.”

She leaned in next to my ear and whispered, “Then I’ll only nibble a little…” She ended that with gently biting on my ear and one of her paws went to my feathery wing. Her other paw reached behind me and slowly hiked up my skirt. “Oh my, no panties back here, hm?”

“Yes to the wing and kisses, no to anything lower than the belt,” I said, shifting my legs slightly. “For now.” She sighed and lowered the skirt again. “If you give me until tomorrow night, I can probably make some arrangements and borrow some things and we can make this work a lot better.”

“Cats are not known for our patience…” she purred. The paw that was at my skirt slowly trailed up my back before gripping the back of my head. Her claws bared out and she tickled my scalp to pull me in for another kiss.

When she finally pulled away, I said, “You’ve been waiting this long. You’ll have to wait another day. Channel your inner assassin. I’m sure you’ll find some patience somewhere.”

The paw on my wing suddenly became sharp and she pulled me very close. “I am… trying to fight myself, Nav,” she whispered. “Everything I am is screaming at me to take you in any way I can.”

“Alright, you see, there’s a such thing as too much information and directness. Now I’m feeling a lot less comfortable about this.”

She completely pulled away from me and snarled. One paw went to her face and the other just bared its claws repeatedly. That was kinda creepy, but I slowly eased forward and wrapped her in a gentle hug. The sounds she was making were absolutely inhuman, but I couldn’t judge her for that given that she wasn’t actually a human.

Once she was done making horrible noises, both paws went to her face and she curled in. She began muttering something that slowly picked up in intensity until I realized she was just chanting, “Stupid!” over and over.

I leaned in and kissed the back of her neck, making all her fur stand on end. There was no way for me to tell what else was happening since my face was buried into her fur, but she stopped muttering. Her body slowly relaxed as I continued kissing her.

Finally, she sighed and shifted, so I pulled back. “Forget I asked about this, my lady,” she quietly said before pulling away and standing up. She started to walk off, but I managed to grab her tail before she could get too far, making her stop.

“Kat, what’s happening here?” I asked. “You don’t have to tell me, but I want you to.”

Her shoulders slumped and she jerked her tail away so she could face me. I could immediately tell she had actually been crying while calling herself stupid. “When I first met you, before you even woke up, I decided I was going to make you mine. My predatory nature craved your submission. Your wings and your… I wanted you. So I claimed you, in full view of the camp. I claimed you in every way I could think to, but I couldn’t break your mind. I didn’t realize that until it was too late. Then later, I saw you again and realized I still wanted you, so I tried to make you dependent on me so I could own you in a different way. That failed and you abandoned me yet again… And in the time we were apart, I was able to think. A lot. And I realized that my nature is wrong. But it’s become an… an obsession. I’m trying to fight it so much and when you finally became female, I thought it would be done, I’d be free. But I wasn’t. Then my chance came to bind myself to your service so I could never be the one to own you in the hope that I wouldn’t want to anymore. But I still did. And then you lost your wing and I thought surely, this was my moment. But no, it wasn’t. And my head is all messed up and I want to break you but I know I shouldn’t and I want to make you mine but I know you aren’t and I HATE BEING A STUPID PREDATOR!”

Her claws bared and she slashed the wall, breaking a few of them.

“I HATE THE PHEROMONES!”

She slashed it with her own paw, breaking even more.

“I HATE THE BURNING EMOTIONS!”

She hit it again, breaking the rest off her first paw.

“I HATE THE UNSTOPPABLE URGES!”

And there went the last ones on her second paw.

“I JUST WANT TO FORGET ALL MY FEELINGS!”

She leaned her head back and started to rush in to head butt the wall before I jumped in front of her. Instead, she hit my chest and immediately started crying. I hugged her and stopped her from falling any further, though I didn’t really feel like supporting her so instead I just helped her to the floor.

So instead of breaking her face against the wall and probably either knocking herself out or just earning her an immediate trip to Black Fate, she clutched at me with bleeding paws and cried into my chest for several long and honestly kinda awkward minutes.

When Flo finally cleared her throat in my mind, I decided it was probably time for me to think of something to say. I kinda zoned out there for a while, so I didn’t really have anything prepared. But winging it usually worked out pretty well, so, you know, whatever.

“Alright Kat, I’m gonna level with you here.” She sniffled and stopped sobbing for the most part. “All that shit you said you hated while fucking up my wall is absolutely normal.” That made the sobs stop entirely. “I mean, completely and one hundred percent normal for literally every sapient species, from humans to ponies to cats to dragons. Some races are affected by pheromones a little bit differently, but the rest of that is shit literally everyone goes through.”

“W...What?”

“No shit, completely true. None of that is predator specific. I mean, I’d tell you to read a book, but you spent most of your life being a slave so I can completely understand not realizing that. But no, yeah, that shit’s all normal. You won’t go anywhere and not see that. Unstoppable urges? Shit dude, I got raped by a crazy naga bitch for the same reasons you wanted to do it. Raped by ponies when they were in heat, too. And I almost got killed by my best friend back when I was still in the human world.” On accident, but she didn’t need to know that.

“I… I don’t…”

“And the burning emotions? Dude, you shoulda seen Fluttershy that one time she thought someone was gonna hurt me. She went crazy and beat the shit out of him. And Rarity got super pissed and tried attacking me when I called her ugly. Let’s see… Oh yeah, the naga goes apeshit in battles. Totally horrifying, believe me. And Cadance’s love for Shiny is kinda creepy at times. Oh, and Luna has an intense and burning jealousy for her sister. Hell, the elementals are currently beating the shit out of each other because Mist loves Blaze but he hates her.”

She shifted slightly against me.

“Don’t even get me started on pheromones. As far as I know, all races get fucked up on that shit. Ponies get rapey, humans get clingy, dragons get even more hoardy and jealous, and I don’t really know about the rest of them but I’m sure they all get fucked up somehow.”

Her body finally started pulling away from me, but I didn’t let her go just yet.

“Point is, all that shit you said is completely normal and you’re not odd for feeling any of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super weirded out by the part where you said you wanted to break me or whatever and don’t do that or I’ll be very pissed, but the rest is normal.”

“...Oh.”

“Yeah. Sorry, I’m really shitty at this sometimes. Flo’s usually coaching me but she’s currently busy and you know what, never mind. Kat, I would not have made you a vassal if I did not trust you. I gave you responsibility because I believe you can handle it. And if you can’t at the moment, I believe you can and will learn how to.”

She fell silent for what felt like quite a while, minus the occasional sniffle. She finally leaned back against me and quietly said, “Thank you, Nav.”

“No problem, Kat.” I slowly patted her back a few times before asking, “How do your paws feel?”

“They hurt like fire.”

“Yeah, I fucking bet.” I pushed myself to my feet and helped her stand. “Go talk to the medic. He probably can’t make them grow back, but he can do something for the pain. I need to go talk to the captain because I’m pretty sure it’s time to pick Flo up. But we’re going to have another talk tomorrow.” Her ears fell. “Don’t worry, Kat. I’m not angry. Yes, I’m a little concerned about you still wanting to break me, but I might have a solution for that.”

“...You might?”

“I dunno, maybe? That’s what we’ll talk about tomorrow. Until then, please remember that you’re not unusual.” Aside from going through your emo stage several years later than average. “Everyone feels things and sometimes they feel them very strongly. Being able to temper your emotions with your thoughts is what makes us above the animals.” Flo snorted. “And knowing when to give in to those emotions…” And throw a piece of shit into a volcano. “...Is also important.” I imagine that made my elemental roll her eyes.

She pressed her body against mine again, though she took care not to put her poor little paws near me. “That means more to me than you probably think, Nav. I never really… I never considered how other races thought or felt about things… Knowing they’re the same is comforting. Knowing I’m not alone is good. And knowing you aren’t angry with me is relieving.”

“I’m happy to hear that, Kat. If the medic asks, just tell him you fell down some stairs.”

“Okay, I will.” Oh man, let me know how that works out for you. She finally walked to the door, her tail back to waggling aimlessly. When she got to it, she lifted up a paw and almost grabbed the handle. “Um…” I went and opened it for her. “Thanks.” She went further into the ship while I went to the deck.

Once I got up there, I realized we were already moving. I went up to the wheel, where I found Smiles and the crazy mare that wanted my vag. “So I see we’re moving,” I said.

“Ice told me they were ready and that you were busy,” Smiles said with a shrug. “We’re heading to the volcano now.”

“Alright, cool. Amber, don’t drop the ladder until you hear back from me. Smiles, let’s go.”

“Um. Where are we going?”

“Down.” I walked to the side and hopped off. He followed me down to the volcano, because what else was he gonna do?

As soon as I got into the air, I noticed how fucked up the top of the volcano was. Before, the lava was at least a dozen meters under the rim. Now, it was leaking on one side, thankfully not the side with the village, and it was cracked and damaged in several other places. The towering fire elemental was still holding his flail and from the dancing flames coming off his body, I imagine Aerie was surrounding him. Three waters were holding a quivering red blob at bay.

Smiles and I landed between the group of waters and the fire. Two waters, presumably Ice and Flo, oozed over to provide us watery masks against the poisonous smoke. After I got over essentially drowning in Flo, I held up a hand and waved to the group of waters. “Brook, over here.” One of the waters holding what I assumed was Mist broke off and joined me as I walked to Blaze and Aerie. “So what just happened?” I asked when we were all together.

Blaze immediately pointed at Mist and said, “She is crazy.”

“Yes, thank you for that,” I sarcastically replied. “Let’s get a little more specific, shall we?”

His body shifted and he slammed the flail into the ground less than half a meter in front of me. I crossed my arms and lifted an eyebrow. Once he realized I wasn’t intimidated, he let the weapon go and it disappeared, leaving a few more craters in the volcano. “During the war, I spared her life. She decided she loved me, so she stalked me, waited until I was injured, saved me, kidnapped me when I said I didn’t return her feelings, brought me here, and held me prisoner until I locked myself into the volcano, where she could no longer get me.”

Smiles rubbed the back of his neck with a hoof. “That wasn’t very nice.”

“Shut up, Smiles,” I sighed, massaging the bridge of my nose.

“Yes ma’am,” he quietly replied.

I turned to Brook and that’s when I realized Flo and Ice also followed us over. That wasn’t important, so I asked, “Can you guys unfuck Mist?”

“You mean, make her fall out of love?” Brook asked.

“Yes, that. Or at least, make her not fucking crazy. I mean, fuck, you’re all computers anyway. Can you guys reprogram her?”

“Fuck you too, Nav,” Flo said, giving me a middle finger.

“Thanks for your productive contribution, Flo,” I replied. She blew me a kiss, so I returned her middle finger.

“To answer your question, no,” Brook said. “And even if we could, I wouldn’t.” I slowly looked back at Blaze, who was still burning red hot. Then I looked back at Brook. “...Even though I really want to.”

“Fair enough. Alright, next question. Anyone know if the earth elemental is trapped? And part two to that question: If he is trapped, do we need Mist to free him? Or the other fire?”

The volcano suddenly seemed uncomfortably silent. Brook finally slowly asked, “What are you implying, Anonymous?”

“...That we ask Celestia to lock Mist up until we have time to deal with her craziness later?”

“Oh. That’s a lot… Never mind.”

“Did you think I meant to kill her?” I incredulously asked.

“You did just murder that mage,” Ice awkwardly said, turning slightly green.

“First, go fuck yourself,” I said. “Second, you could have prevented that if you just… Never mind, this isn’t productive. Alright, here’s the dealio: That bitch is crazy and just instigated a fight that scared the shit out of my crew. They’re worried that this is going to repeat itself when we’re, say, flying. Because it’s an airship. And if there’s gonna be a historical reenactment of the elemental war, doing it on an airship is a really bad idea. So I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say a lot of us, most notably those of us that actually have to breathe and have bones that can break, are somewhat reluctant to have a ticking fucking time bomb on board.”

“What’s a ticking time bomb?” Smiles asked. Everyone looked at him. He hung his head and said, “Shutting up now…” We all went back to looking at Brook, except for Brook, who went back to looking at me.

“We will need her to save the next fire,” Brook said. “But we will not need her to save the earth. We also will not need Blaze or Aerie to save the next fire, so we can leave them somewhere.”

“Aerie, how did you like Canterlot?” I asked.

“It was wonderful,” she said. “Tall terraces, lovely clouds, flowing falls… It’s an air’s paradise!”

“Good. Can you keep Blaze from destroying it?”

“She will not need to,” he replied. “If it means I am away from that… water, I will behave.”

“Good. I’ll handle getting Celestia to agree to it. Somehow. Maybe. If that doesn’t work, I have backup options.” Here’s hoping fire demons from human nightmares are foal friendly...

“So that handles everything after we drop off Blaze,” Brook replied. “So what about until then?”

“Well, who says you have to take the airship back?” I asked.

She blinked, her eyes going orange. “Oh yeah. We know where the next fire is. I’ll leave Flo, Ice, Cascade, and Naiad with you. The rest will come with me in the ocean. We can probably move faster than you, but we also have a lot more distance to cover since the Panama Canal doesn’t exist anymore.”

“...Wait, really?”

“Yeah, it’s gone. It was completely artificial, so it eroded pretty quickly after the humans stopped taking care of it.”

Well, now I have a really good future investment idea. Flo rolled her actual eyes. “Good to know. Whoever gets there first can wait, then. I still need to find Reginald anyway, so you’ll probably be cooling your heels for a minute.”

“Then I’ll see you on the other side, Nav,” Brook said, holding out a wet hand.

I took it in mine and shook it, making her eyes go pink. “Until then, Brook.”

Once the moment was over, she oozed back to her main group of sisters and most of them started dragging an increasingly angry Mist away. Cascade and Naiad joined those of us who were staying while the others descended the mountain toward the village. “Are they staying here?” Smiles asked.

“That’s a very good question, actually,” I said, turning to look at the group of waters.

“We discussed it,” Flo said with a shrug. “We were highly considering asking you to wait here for a little while so we could talk to the villagers. But we’ll probably beat you to Iceland, especially given your tendency to get sidetracked in Canterlot, so they’re probably just going to stay here for a little while.”

“Whatever.” I looked back to the two new lovebirds. “Blaze, can you climb a ladder?”

“He won’t need to,” Aerie said. “I shall ferry him aboard.” At that point, the ship was close enough for the ladder to have actually reached us, so it wasn’t really that long of a flight. She wasn’t one for waiting for instructions, so they immediately took off.

I had a feeling that would lead to disaster, so I joined them in the air. Smiles followed me up to the ship and the water elementals all converged together and stretched up to grab onto it.

By the time I landed, Aerie and Blaze were already on board, being stared at by several very nervous looking ponies. I walked over to stand in front of the two elementals. “Welcome aboard, Blaze,” I said.

“A flying ship made of wood,” he slowly said, reaching a painfully hot hand out to one of the rails. “You do remember that I am made of fire, correct?”

“Yeah, I was really hoping the waters had a solution for that,” I said. Thankfully, the waters actually did manage to get back up to the deck. “Please tell me you had a solution for that.”

“His feet aren’t made of fire,” Flo replied. “So as long as he doesn’t go into the ship, everything should be fine.”

“Thanks for the proactive solution, Flo,” I sarcastically replied.

“Better than yours,” she muttered.

We all turned back to the glowing ball of fire that was starting to look increasingly red. “So there’s your answer, Blaze. Stay on deck and hope it doesn’t rain.” Of course, that made him go a lot more red. “Alright, I’ll put it this way: Would you rather be a love prisoner of a psychotic water elemental? Because I mean, we can make those arrangements. Mist is still down there, just waiting.” That did absolutely nothing to abate his rage.

Naiad surged forward and put a wet tentacle on my arm. “We’re sorry for the poor arrangements, cousin. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of being made of fire is that accommodations aren’t simple. Which was, of course, the point. It’s hard to settle down when you can’t make a safe home, so you constantly have to keep moving and fighting for new land.” That makes a lot of sense, actually. “The journey to Canterlot is not a long one, and should it rain, we can make sure you do not get wet.”

Aerie shot forward to get right up in Naiad’s face. “You will stay away from him, water! Your siblings have done enough damage to my lovely fire!”

“I can speak for myself,” Blaze softly replied. He lost a lot of his red and was back to what I was hoping was his standard orange state. “I appreciate your thought, air, but do not become that whom you seek to replace.” Aerie gasped in surprise and Naiad actually seemed to flinch. “I will take that assistance should it rain, water. Perhaps it will help repair the damage your bitch of a sister has done to my opinion of your kind.”

Naiad said and held a hand up to him. “On behalf of all of us—”

“Save it.” Aerie giggled and snuggled against her fire elemental. He continued, “Actions speak louder than words, water. We shall see what yours will say.”

My other arm was also grabbed by a watery tentacle and Naiad pulled me away from Blaze, toward the group of other waters. She set me down in the center of them and very calmly said, “Please stop provoking the extremely violent being made of fire on your wooden ship, Navarone. And also please don’t provoke him when you’re not on your wooden ship, either. In fact, provoking people in general is usually a pretty bad idea.”

I slowly reached a finger out and placed it again Naiad’s lips. “Shhhhh.” She turned several shades more red. “Can we talk about the fact that you almost got Gilda murdered because you were too chickenshit to go talk to your own ex-subjects?”

If you wouldn’t have called her red before, that definitely turned her bright scarlet. “Navarone, we literally just talked about provoking others.”

“Sorry, I wasn’t listening.” The tentacles gripping my arms got very tight very quickly.

Flo decided to step in a placed a hand on one of Naiad’s arms. “Please save choking my host for later. Fires respect strength, including strength of mind. They also refuse to take lip. Navarone is not stupid, despite how convincing she plays the act. For the moment, Blaze is calm and while I wouldn’t say he would obey Nav’s orders, I think he would be amenable to following the ones he agreed with.”

Silence took over for a few seconds before Naiad’s grip loosened and she lost a few shades of redness. Then Ice had to ruin it with, “I gotta side with Lady Navarone for this one. Why didn’t you let me save Gilda?”

Naiad side and released me, then smoothed my blouse with those same tentacles. “Because the need of the many outweigh the need of the few,” she coldly replied. “Gilda is one cog in a large mechanism that is working to save the world. I do not like it, but she is replaceable.”

“No one is replaceable,” Cascade replied, placing two hands on my shoulders and pulling me back against herself.

“That’s the path Brook chose,” Ice said. “And that’s the path she realized was wrong and fell away from! It’s our job to protect all life, all the time, not just when it’s convenient for us. Otherwise, what’s the point? How much of ourselves do we lose when we refuse to think about the little picture?”

The accused elemental leaned back and ran a tentacle down her face. When that was done, the scowl on it was replaced with a kind smile. “This is a conversation for family, Nav. We’ll speak to you later.”

“If you let another one of my crew members die, I’m gonna have your sisters hold you down and let Pinkie and Rainbow Dash take turns blowing bubbles in you.” All four of them went silent. Cascade slowly released me. “Alright, that sounded a lot less gross in my head.” They all decided to start leaving without saying another word. “For the record, I meant with their mouths!”

I shook my head and turned to the stairs heading up, only to end up face to air with Sunshine Smiles. “If it makes you feel better, I understood.”

“It doesn’t.”

He sighed and hung his head. “I know…” I started walking and he followed. “I was really impressed with how you handled Blaze, Nav. I can’t believe you just stood there when he slammed that flail down.”

“I have stared down undead abominations that tried to eat me and steal my soul for all eternity. Honestly, it takes a lot to actually scare me these days.” I looked over at Blaze, who was staring down at the volcano. “Besides, he isn’t gonna hurt me. Not yet.”

“What do you mean, not yet?” Smiles asked. We were starting to walk up the stairs and his eyes followed me up. “Oh, and I can see right up your skirt, by the way. I know you don’t care, but a lot of the other guards talk about it and how sexy they think you are.”

Oh, so that’s what Taya was talking about. “Thank you for letting me know. And also thank you for being normal again. The sexual harassment was getting old.”

“I know, ma’am.”

We got to the top and to the helmsmare, who was still the chick who wanted to eat me out. “We’re heading back to Canterlot, Amber. If you see the captain before I do, let him know that he can plot the course back as long as we don’t take longer than two weeks once we hit land.”

“You got it, Nav,” she said. “Say, do you mind keeping me company tonight?”

“Can’t, unfortunately.” I looked out to the horizon, where the moon would have probably been in full view if it wasn’t still overcast. Night had fallen an hour or so ago. “I need to head to bed. Flo’s keeping me awake at the moment, but that’s not healthy for me.”

She sighed and nodded. “I understand. Sweet dreams, Nav.”

“Nah, I’ll just play in someone else’s.” She giggled and Smiles and I started back below. “To answer your other question, Blaze won’t try to hurt me until Discord is dead. No matter how pissed I might make him, he wants revenge on Discord more than he will ever want to hurt me, and at the moment, I’m giving him the best chance to get that.”

“Oh. That actually makes a lot of sense.”

“Unfortunately, trying to use violence against a thing that was probably created because of violence in the first place won’t work. I think. Or maybe it will, I dunno.”

Smiles stopped in his tracks for a few seconds, then had to hurry to catch back up. “Nav, be honest: How much of any of this is planned and how much are you just making up as you go along?”

“You don’t want to know the answer to that, Smiles.” We were back in the ship now, at the bottom of the stairs.

He stopped and grabbed my demon wing to make me stop, so I did him the favor of turning to face him. “Do you at least have a plan to beat Discord?”

“Psh, hell no. Why do you think I let Twilight fuck me to the point of exhaustion every night, and muck about in everyone else’s dreams instead of staying in my own? I’m absolutely fucking horrified and I have a feeling we’re all gonna die horribly. I’m really hoping the elementals have a plan or that the Elements of Harmony can give us more time, because at the moment, we’re dancing to his tune, and I’m afraid I don’t know the steps.” His face very slowly fell. “So make sure to find time to live the life you got, Smiles. We’re gonna try to save the world, but there’s never a guarantee it’ll work. Might as well have some fun in the meantime, right?”

He didn’t reply immediately, so I turned back and continued heading to Twilight’s room. After a few steps, he said, “Can I join you two tonight?”

“Smiles, you’re gay.”

“...So?”

I stopped for a second, then shrugged and said. “Good point. Come on. But just this once.” He grinned and fell into step behind me.

 
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