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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178. Chapter One Hundred and Forty-Six Part 2

“Watcher.” That was pretty much predetermined; Kat was irresponsible and Gourd wasn’t interested in the responsibility. Watcher stepped forward to stand before us.

“Lady Navarone, hold up your emblem and repeat after me.” I held up the heavy metal seal thing and she continued speaking. “Do you swear to serve and protect me to the best of your abilities?” I repeated that, of course.

Watcher pressed a hoof against the seal. “I do, my lady,” he replied. The emblem lit up and transferred some light into his hoof.

“Do you swear to forego all other oaths and serve only me?” I repeated again.

“I do, my lady.” Another band of light shot into him.

“Do you swear to treat my employees fairly and never quarrel with your fellow vassals?” Once again, I repeated.

“I do, my lady.” Another piece of light shot into him and the emblem went dark.

“Then you are now my vassal.” I repeated that last part and Watcher bowed again and backed away. “Now swear in your other vassals,” Celestia said, moving back to her original spot.

I did that whole process again with Gourd and then Kat. When that was done, I turned back to Celestia. Flo was now holding a large book, one that had the colors of all the elements of harmony on it. Celestia used magic to pull it in front of her. “Sign the Book of Nobility, Navarone,” she said, summoning forth an inkwell full of golden ink and pulling a single feather from her own wing.

I took her feather and dotted it into the ink. The entire thing instantly turned gold and the inkwell fully drained. I moved it over to the book, which opened on its own to the last empty page. None of the other entries interested me, so I just pressed the feather against the page and very slowly signed it. When I finished the last letter, the quill absorbed into the book and then it snapped shut.

Celestia floated it back over to Flo and started speaking again. “You came into this world alone and afraid, Navarone. You came to us rough and scarred. In your time here, you have wildly transformed, farther than I or anypony ever could have imagined. You have become great, in every sense of the word. With your newfound power, continue striving forward and continue bettering yourself, so that may we all follow your excellent example. Leave now, Lady Navarone, and continue your service to us all.”

Since it seemed like the proper thing to do, I curtsied before turning around and leading my little procession of vassals, guards, and one very bored daughter out. The crowd picked up its cheering again and dozens of photographers snagged photos of me on the way out. Hopefully I didn’t give them any particular weaknesses to exploit for their next bout of yellow journalism.

When we were all back in the hallway, the two day guards pulled the doors closed behind us. I let out a breath of air I didn’t realize I was holding and leaned against the wall for a moment.

“Okay, Nav?” Gourd asked, stepping up and lifting a hoof to one of my hands.

“I honestly don’t know,” I quietly replied. But I pushed off the wall and turned to my followers. “Watcher, Gourd, take those documents to the bank. Get what you need.”

Watcher saluted and Gourd bowed. “Do you need anything else?” Watcher asked.

“Not at the moment. If anything comes up, I might be difficult to find today. I’m going to spend some time with Fleur and there’s no telling how that might go.”

“We’ll be fine, ma’am,” Watcher said. “Don’t forget to take some time soon to hire an accountant.”

“I will today, if I have time after I deal with Fleur. If not, then I’ll do it tomorrow. Kat, walk with me for a bit.” Watcher and Gourd fucked off and the rest of us started heading back to my rooms.

“Do you have a task for me?” Kat asked.

“Sort of, but it’s nothing big or too important. You said you don’t have many sets of clothes.”

“I don’t. I left almost all of my casual clothes behind in Egypt when I betrayed King Jim. I’ve been replacing them as needed.”

“How much fancy shit you got, and how much of it can you hide weapons in?”

“Not much and all of it. Of course, you also must remember that I am a weapon.”

“You are not a weapon, you are my friend and vassal.” She blinked. “But I was thinking that you would make a very good secret guard. No one here knows your past or your skills. If they see a cute and cuddly kitty following me around, dressed all fancy-like, they’d never think you were armed and dangerous. And since you’re my vassal, I can probably take you places I couldn’t bring normal guards. Would you be okay with that?”

Taya teleported in front of me, forcing the whole procession to a start. “Why can’t I do that?!”

“Everyone knows you killed Blueblood and got a cutie mark for doing it. The goal of this is to be stealthy, not wave it in front of everyone’s face. By all means, help protect me and everyone else, but it’s hard to be a secret weapon when everyone knows about you.” I finally walked around her and we continued on our merry way, though Taya was muttering up a storm.

“I would be happy to serve you that way,” Kat said, now that Taya’s outburst was dealt with. “I honestly thought you wouldn’t have too much use for me.”

“I hope I never need you. But in case you didn’t hear, I was almost murdered at a fancy party a few days ago. No one there had guards, but there were probably a few vassals here and there.”

One of the guards Watcher assigned me spoke up, saying, “It’s actually your legal right as a noble to have us wherever you want us, my lady. But it’s their legal right to deny you entry if you do have us.”

“It may be my right to have you, but that doesn’t mean I should exercise that right. Not that I don’t trust you guys to protect me, but I’d rather not give other people the impression that I think I need guards around them. It’s an insult. But if Kat doesn’t look like a guard, no one can be insulted.”

“That… does make sense.”

Of course it does, I said it. “There’s not too much of a hurry at the moment,” I said. “I’m not expecting there to be trouble any time soon. Right now, the only people that might want to hurt me are probably cowed. But you rarely expect to have trouble until it’s on you, so I’d like to be prepared. Whenever you get a chance, get someone to make you some fancy clothes. I’ll leave it up to you what you get. If you need more money, let me or Gourd know and we’ll get you sorted.”

“I’ll speak to Rarity when we all get back on the ship. I don’t know how she’s doing so much with the limited tools she has, but she’s managing.”

“Yeah, she’s a fucking trooper,” I said, running a hand across my dress. “That’s all I needed for now. Are you gonna be on the ship?”

“I’ll be sleeping there, but most of my time will probably be spent around the city with Spider. Canterlot is a fascinating place.”

“Yeah, it has its moments. Enjoy, don’t molest any pegasi, try not to get arrested.”

“Of course. If you need me for anything, just let me know.” She bowed for a moment before dipping off down a side hall. Which is funny, because I happened to know that side hall went pretty much nowhere. She’d likely be wandering around the palace for a few minutes before she could even find someone to ask for directions.

But I let her do her thing and continued on my way. When we got to my room, the guards took up their positions outside while Taya and I went to change. “So what are we doing for the rest of the day?” Taya asked.

“I am going to track Fleur down and spend some time with her. She just got divorced. I know it’s what she wanted, but it’s still a very big and very final step. I need to make sure she’s doing alright. Then I need to head to a bank and get an accountant, then I need to confront Celestia about her captain of the guard being an unholy undead abomination.”

“When did we start liking Fleur?”

“I’ll let you know when I figure it out. But she’s on my side now. Or I’m on her side, whatever. Point is, she’s not the vapid slutty noblewoman that I thought she was. She’s a surprisingly intelligent slutty noblewoman that uses all manner of cunning and conniving to maintain her personal status quo. Very charming, very nice, interesting to talk with. Anyway, we like her now, but I’m not really sure when I actually started liking her instead of just pretending to so she would leave me alone about it.”

Taya sat in silence for about a minute, just staring at me as I changed out of that super fancy dress. I didn’t really know what to do with it, so I just laid it across the bed to be dealt with later. Finally, she sighed and shook her head. “I don’t understand adults, mommy.”

“I don’t understand adults sometimes either, dear. What do you need help understanding in this particular instance?”

“Why did you have to pretend to like her to begin with? Why not just tell her to leave you alone once you two stopped fighting?”

“Two reasons. First, because Fleur is very powerful in her own ways and having her as an ally is more useful than having her just neutral. Second, Flo wanted to see me suffer so she made me spend more time with Fleur. In that time, I realized I actually didn’t completely hate her. Eventually, I actually started liking her. It’s amazing how different people can be when you actually give them a chance to be themselves.”

“...That sounded a lot like something Twilight would say.”

“Shit, you’re right. I’m spending too much time with you adorable miniature horses.” I finished putting on a much less proper set of clothes and stretched. As nice as that dress was, it felt good to be wearing pants and a regular shirt again. “Are you going to be fine here on your own, or are you heading back to the ship until I get back?”

She blinked. “I thought I was going with you.”

“Oh. Well, that’s probably for the best. The plan was to have some freaky-deaky lesbian horse sex with her, but I’m on my period and I really didn’t want to make her deal with that. Do you actually want to go?”

“I can deal with her if it means getting to spend time with you.”

“Cool. Then get undressed unless you want to go looking all fancy-like.” Her horn lit up and she teleported out of the dress. A second later, it crumpled to the floor. “And don’t just leave it there. Rarity finds very inventive ways to punish people who treat her work poorly.” She rolled her eyes, but used magic to drape her dress across mine on the bed. “Alright, you ready?”

“Yes. Are we going to bring the guards?”

“I’ll put it up to them. I’d prefer not to, but I’m sure they have their orders and if I’m not fucking Fleur, then privacy won’t matter as much. And, you know, after almost getting murdered, might be nice to have them around.”

“That’s why I’m going, silly!” she replied, beaming.

“Uh huh.” I rolled my eyes and walked to the door. She hastily followed. When we were back in the hall, I looked at the guards. “I’m going to go find Fleur. You guys can come if you want or you can take off.”

“We’re coming,” the squad leader said. “We all know what Watcher would do to us if anything happened and we weren’t there.”

“...What would he do?” I asked. I had a few guesses, but I wanted to hear what they thought.

“It would start with yelling, possibly move to castration, go to forced PT until we couldn’t move anymore, and probably end with throwing us overboard when we’re above the ocean. All the same, I’d much rather shadow you for a few hours, especially if somepony actually has it out for you.”

“Glad to know my safety is foremost on your mind,” I sarcastically replied.

“We live to serve,” he said with a very theatrical bow.

“Sure you do,” I muttered, brushing past him. I happened to have Fleur’s new address, but I had no idea if she was home or not. But I figured if she wasn’t, I could probably track her down from there fairly easily.

It ended up being a moot point, because I bumped into her at the main entrance. “Looks like I decided to come by just in time,” Fleur said with a big ol’ grin.

“Looks like it. I was just about to head by your pad. Hope you don’t mind company, but my highest ranking vassal is concerned about my safety.”

“He has every reason to be,” she said with a nod. “I don’t mind at all. And now that you’re finally a true, proper lady, it’s only fitting that you be accompanied by strong, tough stallions.”

One of my guards looked at her own rump. “I’m a mare, actually,” she said, turning to look back at Fleur.

“...Being accompanied by strong, tough mares is also suitable. Shall we away to my new home? I’d love to give you the tour.”

“Sure. The palace has its benefits, but I’m not a fan of all the bowing and scraping.”

“Oh? I heard you were quite the maid chaser…”

Ugh. “That was one time. And she was blackmailing me! All I did was finger her a little.”

“Well, it seems you left quite the impression. From what I understand, the princess had to make sure a mare with more feminine tastes was assigned to your room so your maid would not seek to… ahem, blackmail you again. Though it seems that backfired on her quite heavily after your affliction.”

Taya snorted. “You sure know a lot about maids.”

“It pays to know who is assigned to who in the palace, dear,” Fleur replied, her grin turning sly. “The servants in Celestia’s personal palace are notoriously difficult to bribe, but they do so enjoy gossiping. Why, I’ve heard some unscrupulous ponies could easily listen in on their conversations and hear all manner of interesting details about the most famous ponies in the world.”

“So you eavesdrop on maids to learn secrets?” Taya asked.

Fleur pretended to be shocked and offended. “I would never do such a thing! I am a proper lady, not some… some blackmailing maid!”

“But you just said—” I cut my daughter off with a hand on her head. She looked up at me in confusion.

“Forgive my daughter,” I said, patting Fleur’s neck. “She is used to me, not the indirectness of polite and proper conversation.”

“I see. There is a reason many nobles consider that a filly should be seen and not heard. Colts and fillies occasionally have difficulties keeping some things they have heard silent. It can take them some time to learn how to speak circumspectly, so to say.”

“Why would I wanna learn that?” Taya asked. “Shouldn’t I just say what I want to say?”

“Unfortunately, no,” I said. “Part of growing up is learning when to say what. There’s certainly some merit to speaking only the truth and only what you’re really thinking, but getting and keeping friends and allies can be difficult. A lot of the time, people will lie just to avoid hurting someone’s feelings or just because they need that person to think or feel a certain way. And sometimes, speaking around issues is important, because some things don’t need to be said. Learning what those things are is also a part of growing up.”

Taya looked ahead and glumly replied, “Growing up sucks.” All three of my guards laughed.

When we got to Fleur’s pad, she gave us a tour of the place. This house wasn’t anywhere near as opulent as her old place, and it wasn’t decorated at all. I guess Fancy Pants kept all his shit or she hadn’t had time yet to fix it up. There weren’t too many boxes lying around, so I was going for the first one. I had a feeling Flo was already planning on what paintings to give her.

Once we all had the grand tour and she offered to feed us (I turned her down because she probably didn’t actually know how to cook), she very gently and politely asked to speak to me privately. I had been waiting for it the whole time, so I told everyone to cool it in her new living room while she led me elsewhere.

“I’m surprised you waited this long,” I said as soon as we were far enough away from the others.

“I’m surprised you brought them.”

“Well, I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with my daughter and the guards told me they’d come if they had to secretly follow me, so I figured that was a moot point. I hate to saddle you with them, but you know how it is.”

“Indeed I do.” She pushed open a door to a room she hadn’t shown us in the tour, what I was expecting was her personal bedroom. When we got inside, I found that it was actually an office. “I’m afraid I don’t have a chair made for a biped yet, but that will change soon. Please, sit wherever you’d like.”

“This is not what I was expecting,” I said as I picked a couch to chill on.

“Well… I mentioned before how I wanted to… celebrate my divorce. And I’d certainly like to do so in a carnal manner of some sort, but not with your daughter and guards in the next room. I will not be fast and I will not be quiet. Should we ever be together in that way, I will make it a long and enjoyable experience for both of us.”

“Truth be told, now that you aren’t married anymore, I could definitely see us having some fun. But I’m currently on my period, so there would be blood and I didn’t figure you’d be too interested in that. I didn’t feel too bad bringing the others, because of that.”

“It would be… a very different experience. But I would handle it. Anyway.” She sat on the couch opposite of me and took a moment to settle in. “With everything finally moving so quickly, it feels like I haven’t had any time to just relax with a friend in some time.”

“Yeah, you’ve had a lot on your plate. Moving, getting divorced, convincing me to ruin my life even worse, the beauty pageant thing, and probably a bunch of other shit.”

“I’ve certainly been busy. And yet… I feel strangely fulfilled. I’m not used to it.”

“It’s called happiness, Fleur.” She very weakly flinched. “What?”

“I… I don’t deserve happiness. Not after everything I’ve done. Not until I’ve made up for so many mistakes…”

I sighed and walked over to her couch. She decided not to look at me, so I sat next to her and started rubbing her back. “Happiness isn’t something you earn, Fleur. It’s not something you ever ‘deserve’. It isn’t something to be held hostage and only felt when you’ve accomplished something huge. Happiness is something you make for yourself. It’s a sign that you’re doing something right. You like being busy, you like doing these new things, you like being who you are now. Being happy doesn’t make you a bad person. And you can be happy even if you have regrets. Something something learn from your past mistakes.”

“Did… did you just say ‘something something’?”

“The point is, you’re happy with your new life and you don’t need to feel guilty about it. Hell, it’s a good thing. Happiness is infectious, and the world always needs more of it. And don’t think it means you stop changing, either. Now that you finally know how to feel happy, it only gets better as you refine your interests deeper and deeper until you truly look forward to getting out of bed every morning.”

She sat in silence for several moments before sighing. “You… always seem to know what to say, Nav. Life seemed so dull before I met you. Even before we became friends, you posed an interesting challenge to me. I’m glad I found somepony so happy and good to help guide my path.”

“...I’m not either of those things. Though I’m slowly working on the happy part.”

She pounced forward, knocking me back onto the couch and straddling me. “If you don’t consider yourself good, I would be interested in seeing the being you do consider good.”

“I’m a pretty shitty person, all things told. Is there any reason you’re laying on me now?”

“You’re comfortable.” She pressed her nose against mine. “And because I think you’re cute when you’re off balance.”

“Uh huh. Well, it’s hard to rub your belly when you’re on top of me like this.”

“Oh?” She pushed herself up and then rolled over onto her back, so my stomach was pressed against her back. “It should be much easier now that I’m on top of you like this.”

“You silly ponies are so adorable,” I sighed, moving one of my hands to her tummy. “And you’re sluts for belly rubs, too.” She sighed in contentment. “You know, my hands can do all kinds of wondrous things. Would you be interested in discovering some more of them?”

“Yes,” she instantly breathed, brushing her tail over my legs.

(A good, hard fingering ahead. Ctrl+f “Sex is over” to skip)

I didn’t do anything at first. My hand slowly continued caressing her belly, making her coo softly in contentment. Her legs here starting to twitch and her tail was beginning to hike up between my legs, knowing what was coming.

After about a minute of just rubbing her tummy and letting her relax, my other hand moved over and started rubbing lower. She gasped as my hand started tweaking her nipples, warmly rubbing her crotchtits. I’d much prefer to be playing with some nice sweater puppies, but horsey crotchtits weren’t all bad. They weren’t as perky, but you could still shove your dick between them.

...If you had one.

When she started moaning, the hand playing with her nipples moved lower still, while the other hand continued rubbing her stomach. As soon as I started tweaking her clit, her legs opened wider and her back arched, pressing her body more into me.

“Sh, now,” I quietly said. “You wouldn’t want them to think we’re doing something naughty, would you?” She softly whimpered and covered her mouth with both of her front hooves. “Oh, you’re so beautiful,” I whispered, moving my mouth closer to her ear.

Her entire body started shaking as I continued teasing her. And the effort to not make any noise was turning her entire face red, though I couldn’t really see much of it at my angle.

Since she was behaving, I slowly moved my fingers down lower, so I could play with her lips. A fun-fact that no one should ever read because this is a diary you fucking piece of shit is that a mare’s labia is very sensitive. While I was rubbing that between my fingers, she came for the first time. Her body writhed against mine in throes of pleasure as I continued teasing her lips.

When her orgasm finally subsided, I kissed the back of her neck and eased two fingers inside. She squeaked and her lower legs started bending. Then I pulled those fingers up, pressing them against her special spot, and she let a moan out.

I pulled the fingers back and said, “We can’t let them hear, remember? You gotta stay quiet for me, silly. Can you do that?” She hastily nodded, rubbing her hair against my face. I blew it away from my mouth and said, “Good girl. Just sit tight, now…”

Three fingers pressed into her this time, then pulled up to lovingly caress her most sensitive of areas. She was very weakly grunting every time I pulled them up and after a few seconds, I felt water dripping down from her face onto mine. Tears, I assumed.

“You’re so sweet, Fleur,” I said, continuing my two-pronged assault. “Such a nice, pretty mare. Don’t you think so?”

I roughly jerked my fingers up, making her cry out, “YES! OH CELESTIA, YES!” She came again, pushing more fluids out and riding my hand as well as she could. Her body bucking against mine might have given me some bruises, but she couldn’t even think about my well-being at the moment.

Finally, after about a minute of shaking, she finally calmed down and just panted heavily, leaving her entire body pressed against mine. “I’m glad you think you’re so sweet, Fleur. How about you get a taste, hm?” She rolled over and off of me, onto the floor. Her mouth opened invitingly and her tongue lolled out. I moved my fingers over and she greedily took them into her mouth and started suckling, giving me a beautifully sultry stare. I used my other hand to brush her hair back while she cleaned me off.

When she deemed the job done, she pulled away, letting her tongue trail out for a moment before finally sitting back, grinning. “Thank you for the taste, mommy,” she breathed, fluttering her eyebrows.

“Don’t… don’t call me that, please.”

That killed the mood for both of us, though I was honestly done anyway. She blinked a few times before nodding. “Noted.” Then she leaned in and kissed me. I returned it, since it would be hard to deny her after fingering her like that. When she pulled back, she sighed in relief. “I really needed that, Nav. Thank you. If you’d like me to return the favor, I would be happy to, blood or not.”

“I’m fine, Fleur,” I said, pulling myself off the couch. “Shall we head back to the others?”

“Yes, though my legs might be a little shaky.”

“Well, after that screaming, I doubt they have any illusions about what we were up to anyway. Let’s go on ahead and pay the piper, shall we?”

She smiled sweetly and nodded. “Happily.”

(“Sex is over”)

When we got back to the living room, all the guards were slyly smiling and Taya was just staring straight ahead. None of them looked at us when we entered. “Your new house is lovely, Fleur,” I said.

“Thank you, Nav. I hope in time, I can turn it into a proper home. It will be lonely and quiet at first, but I’ll find one or two servants to help liven it up. I’m sure I’ll also have friends over often. Finally being free feels so… amazing.”

“You say that now,” I said. “Freedom seems nice on the surface, but there are always hidden caveats.”

“Of course. But all the same, I firmly believe the benefits will heavily outweigh them. If I were totally on my own, I would be far more concerned. But I have friends aplenty and my ex-husband to assist me in any way they can. So for now, all I can do when I look ahead is smile.”

Must be nice. “I hope everything continues working out for you. After this, you certainly have your work cut out for you.”

“Indeed. Which reminds me, I believe I happen to have an appointment soon with the organizers of the Miss Equestria pageant.”

Either that’s bullshit or you weren’t actually expecting us to fuck today. “Then we’ll get out of your hair,” I said, standing. “I need to stop by the bank before it gets too late, anyway.”

“Before you go, I wanted to know when we were going to meet with Captain Midnight tonight.”

“As early as possible. My sleep schedule goes with the sun. I can be kept up with magic, but the last time I was kept up for too long, I almost got murdered by ghosts and other hallucinations.”

She blinked. “Um. That sounds… unpleasant.”

“Yeah, it sucked. I should be in the palace tonight, when you’re both ready. Probably in my room.”

“Very well. And I would like to hear that story about ghosts at some point.”

No you wouldn’t. “We’ll see. Until tonight, then.” She showed us out the door and we went on our way.

“You work fast, ma’am,” one of my guards said.

“Fingers are amazing little tools,” I said, booping him on the nose.

“I uh… you did wash them, right?” he asked, going cross-eyed to stare at his nose.

“She has a mouth, if that’s what you’re asking.” He shivered and rubbed his nose with a hoof. The other two guards laughed at him. “Don’t be such a baby.”

“Forgive me for caring about sanitation, ma’am.”

“Maybe this time.” Torturing bat ponies is fun. They’re super adorable and only look more cute when they get angry. Of course, it probably makes me even worse of a person, but I’m okay with that.

It took us a little while to get to the bank, since it was on the complete opposite side of the city. Honestly, I was surprised that no one tried bothering me for some kind of stupid bullshit. No reporters, no random citizens, no thugs. It was nice and made me consider having guards with me more often.

As soon as I walked up to the door, it jerked open and almost slammed right into my face. One of my guards grabbed a wing with his teeth and pulled me away fast enough to save my beauty. Before I could thank him, a very irate Silver Quill stalked out, fuming up a storm. She blinked when she saw me.

“Having issues?” I calmly asked, grabbing the door with my hand before it could close back on her.

“I… Did I just hit you with a door?”

“Almost.”

“My… my apologies, Lady Navarone. I’m… not in the best of moods.”

“I can see that. I figured you’d be celebrating your return to civilization.”

She sighed and hung her head. “I wish. It’s hard to celebrate when you have no money left. Everypony thought I was dead, so my bank account was closed. I’m not married and my parents are out of the picture, so the money just defaulted back to the bank. Apparently they burn old account records every six months and my home was cleaned out and sold, so there’s no record that I ever had an account with them. I have nowhere to live. I have no money aside from the back pay the princess gave me herself, and that wouldn’t last me a month here, even if I already had a place to live. I’m very happy to be alive and free, but this homecoming… wasn’t what I was expecting.”

“Yeah, I fucking bet.” Gears started turning in my head and I looked back at her cutie mark for a moment. “Say, what exactly did you do for that trader, anyway? Like, what were your tasks?”

“I did fairly standard secretary work. I handled all of his trading books, wrote out letters to contacts he had, arranged a few minor money transfers, and a few other things. I don’t suppose you’d happen to know anypony looking for a secretary, would you?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. Let’s get out of the door, shall we?” The front of the bank was super fancy, with marble pillars and unicorn guards and crystal windows. It also had a few park-like areas with benches. I walked over to one and sat. My group all followed and Taya hopped up next to me.

“So you think you could get me a job really quickly?” she asked.

“I think I can get you a job immediately,” I said. “You might have heard that I became a noble today.”

“I didn’t hear that, actually. Congratulations, my lady!”

“Thank you. Of course, being a noble comes with having vassals, guards, and other employees, all of whom need to be paid. I’m lazy and bad at math and my other vassals have more important things to do than keeping my books straight, my bills paid, and watching my income. If you want the job, it’s yours.”

“That sounds… almost too good to be true!”

Tch, nerd. “If you take the job, I’ll put you in a room on my ship until you get everything straight and organized, and then let you return to Canterlot or let you stay in my house near Ponyville. Or you can stay on the boat, if you want, though it’ll be hard to keep in contact with the bank while you’re with us.”

“So I… I get a place to stay? Do I have to pay rent?”

“Um… No? You don’t have to pay for food, either, but you’re stuck eating whatever they’re serving at mealtimes.”

One of my guards shivered and muttered, “Always serving stewed carrots…” The female guard slapped him with her wing.

“And you’ll pay me.”

“That typically comes with jobs, yes. I mean, did I not explain it right?”

She flinched back a little. “I’m sorry, I… I’m not used to good things happening to me! Even before… what happened, I was always super unlucky. This… this is unbelievable!”

Why the hell would you agree to go to Africa if you know you’re unlucky? “If you don’t want it, I’m sure I can—”

“I do! I really, really do! When can I start? When can I move in? Is there a dress code? What are my hours? Oh, and how much do I get paid?”

“Now, as soon as we get done at the bank, no, work whenever as long as you get the job done, and I’m not sure yet. The pony economy is so weird that I honestly don’t know how much a normal salary is. You’d be on the same pay schedule as the guards, which I believe Watcher and Gourd set up as bi-weekly. Though you’d be put in charge of that, so you could move it to weekly if you want. Was the pay you got on the merchant ship enough?”

“More than enough, honestly. I’d be happy with—”

“Then that’s what you’ll get, for now. Let’s go talk to the bank people and get the paperwork you’ll need to manage my money.”

“Um. Not that I’m not super happy and very excited, but don’t you think that’s a lot of trust to put in somepony you really don’t know?”

“Taya, do you know Deceit’s End?” She nodded. “The sky is purple.” Her horn lit up. I looked back to Silver Quill. “Do you plan to abuse your new position?”

“No!”

We both looked at Taya’s horn. It didn’t light up. We looked back at each other. “Welcome aboard. Let’s go get that paperwork.” Her smile split her face and she practically pranced at my side as we went into the bank.

Once we got all that shit sorted, I sent a guard with her to help get any supplies she’d need and to make sure she didn’t get thrown off the ship. That left my group shorthanded, but I was going back to my room anyway.

Brook and Flo were there waiting for me. When Taya and I walked in, they were both merged. Once they realized we were there, they split apart. “We have come to a consensus,” Brook said.

“Good. About what?”

“The fire elementals. We will assist you in saving them. Our first stop is the island that you know as Hawaii.”

“Um. What do you know it as?”

“Hawaii. Mist and Naiad had no reason to go to it recently and the ponies have not discovered it, so we have no knowledge of what it is like now. But we do know that the first fire elemental is there.”

“What makes this one the first one?” I asked. “There are two we could get first, aren’t there?”

“Mist knows this one,” Flo said. “We believe getting him on our side will be slightly easier because of that. We’d much rather start there, because of it.”

“Fair enough. Do we know anything about where the second one is?”

“Yes. Getting to him will likely be very easy. Getting his support might be… less so. We’re of the opinion that getting the one in Hawaii on our side will be easier and that we should start there.”

“And you don’t think that should be my choice?” I asked. Honestly, their idea was the correct one, but I really didn’t want them to try superseding my authority.

“Nav—” Flo started, but she got cut off by Brook.

“The other one is in Iceland, the land of dragons,” she said. “If you choose to get him first, we will support you. But it is our opinion than starting at Hawaii is wiser.”

“In this case, you’re definitely correct. The main reason I was asking is so I could have people start finding information about our next destination, in case it was somewhere we didn’t know much about. Once we pick up the first fire, we’ll find Reginald and see if he can escort us. That’ll get us an easy ticket in.”

“That is a good idea,” Brook said with a nod. “Dragons were always very territorial and secretive. You could probably get your ship in with your own reputation, but having him with us would make things much easier.”

“Hm. Not really much we can do to prepare for the unknown… Let Gourd know where we’re going when you return to the ship. He’s looking to make some extra dosh while we’re traveling anyway. He can start planning on goods to pick up.”

“Of course,” Brook said with a nod. “And Aqua mentioned that Twilight was hoping to speak with you. Are you planning on being here for some time?”

“I have no other plans until night falls, so I do plan on being here. You can send her my way if you can find her.”

“I believe Aqua can let her know,” Brook said. “I’ll return to the ship now and then I shall explore the city. Canterlot and its mountain are very interesting, to one who has spent so much time in a jungle.”

“Have fun. Just be careful around the mage’s tower. They mistook me for a test subject once. They might do the same for you.”

“I will be discreet, of course. I’ll speak to you later, Nav.” She lost her shape and slid out the window and then up the side of the palace.

“Well, I always did want to go to Hawaii,” I said, falling onto the bed. “Didn’t expect to go like this, though.”

“What’s Hawaii?” Taya asked, joining me on the bed.

“A small island chain in the Pacific, the ocean where we found Mist and Naiad,” I said. “Though it might not be so small anymore. I imagine after this much time, volcanic activity will have made it a lot bigger. Honestly, I kinda wonder how a fire elemental even got there.”

“Not willingly,” Flo said, joining both of us and engulfing us in her expansive body. “Mist said she knew him. What she did not tell Brook is that she was his warden. Naiad told me Mist kept him there as a prisoner, though I do not know why.”

“...And this isn’t something she thought should be shared with the group?” I asked. “I mean, all of us are going into this together. Going there blind seems pretty fucking dumb, don’t you think? Especially if we don’t know that our only contact with this guy was his actual fucking prison warden.”

“I am aware. But I believe he is still our best option, all things told. And Naiad also agrees.”

“I ain’t getting caught flat-footed on this, Flo. I’ll speak to Mist myself when we’re on the way and get the full story.”

“Very well. I do agree that we should all be on the same page when we get there. Knowing what we’re getting into is important.”

“Good. Do you want to be there when Blossom comes out tonight?”

“I do not think I will be needed, but I will be there until the situation is resolved. Your assumption about me wanting to assist Fleur in decorating was correct. I am planning on painting several things and hiding very lewd and sexual things in each one.”

“I absolutely love what I turned you into, Flo.” She sighed and turned a delightful shade of pink just in time for me to disappear.

I blinked and quickly realized that I was on the bed in Twilight’s room at the palace. Somewhat surprisingly, she was standing next to me instead of on the bed with me. “I hope you don’t mind the sudden entry, but I don’t think either of us have much time to spare while we’re here,” she said.

“I mean, it’s kinda weird, but whatever. Flo will tell Taya where I am, I’m sure.”

“That was the plan. First off, congratulations on joining the nobility, Nav. Even though I’m sure you’re not too enthusiastic about it, it’ll open a lot of doors you never even realized were closed to you.”

“I keep hearing that, but I haven’t seen any proof of it yet,” I replied, finally sitting up.

“You might notice it more in time. Second, can you make time to take me to your publisher some time before we leave? I’ve written enough to publish the first book in our series.”

“Oh. Uh, yeah. I wasn’t actually expecting you to ever publish those.”

She lifted an eyebrow. “Is that a problem?”

“No, I trust that you kept my identity hidden. I just really wasn’t expecting you to put this out there. But yeah, I can take you to my main publisher tomorrow, probably. Only one person got anywhere near discovering my identity, and the farthest they got was figuring out who the publisher was.”

“Perfect. I’ve already edited it as well as I could, so it should be ready to go soon after they get it. I don’t need the money, but it’ll still be nice to have.”

“You wanna talk about opening doors, money does that a lot more than titles.”

“Sometimes. The last thing I wanted to talk about was your past.”

“My past is a pretty broad topic, Twilight,” I slowly said. “Most of my time was spent in the past, you know.”

She rolled her eyes. “Whatever Jane would have wanted me to know. I believe that’s how you put it.”

My breath caught when she said that name. I almost did something I would have regretted before several flashes of memory came back to me and I realized how she knew it.

“This… is going to be more than one talk, Twilight,” I sighed, lying back down on the bed.

“I can make all the time in the world for my friends,” she said, plopping her ass on the floor. “I want to get to know you, Nav. The real you. The you that you’ve hidden from us all for so long. I’m willing to let it take as long as it needs to.”

“You’re lucky that you’re the second most adorable of your friends,” I said. “I would never have this talk with the third most and lower.”

“...Who do you consider the most adorable?”

“Rainbow Dash. Anyway, my real name is—”

“Wait, you consider Rainbow Dash more adorable than Fluttershy?”

“Yes.”

“...And Pinkie?”

“Dude, Pinkie’s fucking horrifying.”

“Fair point. Anyway, please continue.”

And so we walked for a few hours. It was a very interesting experience, one I honestly never thought I could let myself have with a pony. But of all the ponies I had met, I believed that I trusted Twilight the most, aside from Taya.

It felt very good to get some of that shit off my chest. For some reason, just the act of telling someone what I had been through made a lot of the pain leave me. It had the unfortunate side effect of letting Aqua also know everything, but I’d deal with that problem if it ever presented itself. With Flo free, I doubted she would be an issue.

When my confession was done, Twilight teleported me back to my room. Flo and Taya had buggered off at some point. It was almost night, so I figured there was no real reason to hunt them down when I’d just have to abandon Taya again to deal with Celestia and Blossom.

So I took a shower and touched myself inappropriately to calm my nerves and alleviate some of the godawful bleeding that comes from being on your period. And also to have an orgasm, of course.

When I extricated myself from the bathroom, Flo was in my room. She immediately surged toward me and used herself to whisk away all the water from the shower. “It’s just about time,” she said.

“Sure is. You mind being stealthy tonight, unless you’re needed? I don’t want Celestia to think she’s being ganged up on too hard.”

“I have no problem with that. Things should go well, regardless. Celestia trusts you at this point. I’m of the opinion that she also trusts your judgment.”

“I hope so. I’d really like Blossom as my vassal, but I’d hate to have to clean her up if Celestia dusts her.” Especially since I’d probably also get punished for siding with an undead abomination.

Before Flo could continue reassuring me, someone knocked on the door. She instantly abandoned my naked body and opened it, because making me suffer is one of her only joys in this world. A large bug pony was standing on the other side. “Hello, water elemental,” Moonbeam said. “I have come to speak with Navarone.”

Flo moved aside, letting Chrysalis enter. She walked in and closed the door behind her with magic. When her eyes beheld my naked form, she blinked.

“Is there something you need help with?” I asked, crossing my arms. I remembered far too late that doing that just made my breasticles even more prominent.

“No. I came to apologize for my actions last night,” she said. “Offering myself to you as your daughter was… more than inappropriate. After Celestia told me that you had a few problems with ponies assuming things in the past, I realized I struck far more of a nerve than I meant to.”

“Oh.” I had actually already forgotten about that. “Apology accepted, Moonbeam. And it wasn’t just random ponies that had the wrong assumptions. Taya also had them. Growing up adopted gave her a disturbing Elektra complex.”

“I… I don’t know what that is.”

“Taya wanted to fuck me.” Her ears shot straight down. “Let me tell you, her first heat? Super awkward. Because of that and because of my reputation as a womanizer, I’m very sensitive to people implying I have an inappropriate relationship with her.”

She actually blushed. “Oh. That explains why she… Oh.”

“That explains what?” Flo asked.

“Well… As a changeling, I can sense and smell emotional states that most would be otherwise unaware of. Every time I’ve seen Taya since she got her cutie mark, she’s been shrouded in lust. Whenever she was with you, it was more intense. I may have… made some assumptions based on that.”

“...Every time?” I slowly asked.

“Yes. Even after you turned female.”

I sighed and slowly ran a hand down my face. “Alright, I thought I had dealt with this. You’re a mother and old and wise and all that. Do you think if she had a chance to get it out of her system, she’d be over it?”

“Do you… Are you thinking about actually…?”

“No, Jesus! That’s disgusting! But you’re extremely good at roleplay. You think you could… you know?”

Her eyes left mine and started jerking around the room. “I… find it very hard to believe you’re actually asking me this, Nav.”

“Yeah, well, I find it very hard to believe that my daughter wants to bump uglies with me, even after all this time and all that I’ve done to try to squanch her desires.”

“I will consider it. If I do it, I will never talk about the experience. I won’t even tell you if I ever did. The fact that I even need to… Hmph. I will consider it, Navarone. Goodnight.”

“‘Night, Moonie.” She nodded before teleporting out. “I don’t wanna talk about it, Flo.”

Instead of replying, she floated over to my clothing drawers and pulled out an outfit for me. It was a very simple yellow sundress. “Wear this tonight,” she said, holding it up for me.

I took it and slid it on. I had no idea why she wanted me to wear that, but I’m sure she had her reasons. “Flo, am I a quitter for giving up on keeping my male image?”

“No. It just means that you’ve come to accept reality, even if it’s not a reality that you like.”

“Okay, just checking. So where’s Taya?”

“On the ship. I told her that you didn’t need to worry about her tonight while you were talking to Celestia and that if all went well, you probably wouldn’t be returning to your room tonight.”

“Cool.” I sat on the bed and we just chilled until another knock came at my door. Before Flo could even move, I said, “Don’t you dare.” She made it halfway there before I could finish saying that. When I did, she paused, looked at me, looked back at the door, and then looked at me again. “You may open the door.” She finished surging that way and opened it, revealing Fleur and Blossom. “Hello. Come on in.”

They entered. Fleur took a second to look around and then asked, “We aren’t interrupting anything, are we? Your guards said Queen Chrysalis was in here…”

“She teleported out.” I hopped up. “So, you ready?” I asked, looking at Blossom.

“Yes, my lady.”

“Don’t call me that.”

She shrugged. “Just practicing, in case things go awry. So how are we going to go about this?”

“I’ll go in first, ask her to put my ring on, then call you guys in when she does. You’ll tell her, Fleur will assure her she’s not worried about you, I’ll step in if shit starts getting out of hand. Worse comes to worse, you run and I try to distract her. If she just kicks you out of the guard, I’ll make you a vassal on the spot. Best case scenario, you two leave and I fuck her for a while.” Blossom flinched. “What?”

“Sorry, it’s just… The thought of the princess doing anything like that… It feels weird.”

“Dude, she’s into all kinds of kinky shit. Anyway, not the point. Flo, can you carry my seal? Dresses don’t usually have pockets.” She moved over to where I left it and grabbed it. “Alright, let’s fucking do this.”

I led the way out of the room. Flo was the last one out and pulled it shut behind her. All three of my guards stood at attention when we stepped out. “We’re right behind you, ma’am,” the squad leader said.

“Not tonight you aren’t,” I said. “I’m not leaving the palace, so you don’t need to worry. If I’m not back in an hour, you all have the night off.”

“Where will you be, if Watcher asks?” he asked.

“Celestia’s bed.”

“Oh.” He blinked. “Oh! Uh, yes ma’am. Have a nice night.”

“I plan on it.” His entire face lit up bright red before I continued walking, Fleur, Blossom and Flo all behind me. When we were away from them, I asked, “Where would Celestia be at this hour?”

“Sun room,” Blossom said. “She’ll be finishing up lowering the sun and then she’ll head to her personal dining room..”

“Hell, the sun’s already down. She’s probably there now. And if not, she will be soon. Let’s head that way.” So off we went. Strangely enough, Fleur didn’t say a single word the entire trip. Probably nerves, if I had to guess. Once we got to the dining room, we found two day guards outside it. “Is the princess eating?” I asked.

“Yes, my lady,” one said. “She was expecting you and a few others. You are free to enter.”

“Excellent, thank you.” I looked over at Flo. “Tell them when it’s time.” She nodded and I entered the belly of the beast. Celestia was sitting at the table, sipping at some tea. The food hadn’t arrived yet, but all the places were set. “‘Sup, honeybuns?”

She eased the teacup down. “That was not the correct dress.”

“I ain’t the one who made it. Blame Rarity, not me.”

“Hm. Right or wrong, it was still beautiful. As were you, my lovely lady.”

“Go fuck yourself. Anyway, you ready for that talk?”

“I am. Though you appear to be alone. I thought others were going to join us.”

“They’re on the way. Put this on.” I held up the ring for her.

She did so without question, surprisingly. I took the seat closer to her, facing the door. As soon as I did, Blossom and Fleur entered. “Hello, Captain, Fleur,” Celestia said with a nod. “Navarone said we need to have a talk. What is troubling you?”

Blossom stopped in front of the table and stood at attention. Fleur stood at her side, using Blossom as a shield from Celestia. “A few years ago, I led a force of guards tasked with investigating a few missing ponies from Ponyvania,” Blossom said. “Did you hear about that?”

“I did not,” Celestia said. “You were under my sister’s command at the time. Your orders came from her desk, not mine.”

“My guards and I quickly discovered where the ponies were. They had been taken by an eternal, one that managed to stay hidden for years and was finally stretching his hooves and taking more power. In the ensuing struggle, most of my guards perished, claimed by his dark magic and unholy skills. I was… I was taken captive, to my shame. And while I was enthralled, he made me a vampony.” Celestia’s lips very slightly tightened. “As soon as I killed him and returned to Canterlot, I informed Princess Luna. She allowed me to keep my place as the captain of her night guards. I could not in good conscience stay your guard captain without letting you know, but until just recently, I was too afraid to tell you.”

Silence filled the room. All eyes were on Celestia, to see how she would react. After about half a minute of silence, she used a wing to grab the teacup and lifted it to her lips. She daintily took a few sips and then set the cup down. Fleur opened her mouth, but Celestia cut her off with, “How much of what happens in my kingdom do you think I am not aware of, Captain?” Blossom blinked. “You may return to your duties.”

Blossom stood there for about ten seconds, shock written across her face. Finally, she got over it and bowed. “Yes, Princess Celestia.” She very hastily left, leaving Fleur and I there alone.

Celestia turned her gaze on Fleur. “Is there something you needed, Lady Fleur de Lis?”

Fleur flinched and rapidly shook her head, then practically jumped for the door. When she was out, Celestia lifted a hoof to her horn and pulled the ring off and set it on the table.

“You had no fucking idea Blossom was a vampire,” I said with a smirk.

“I am holding you accountable for her, Navarone,” she quietly said. “And that is the end of it.” Celestia’s horn lit up and the dinner bell rang, signalling her servants to begin bringing in food.

That was a very interesting night.

The next day was a lot more calm. I took Twilight to my publisher and helped her stamp out a good contract, I dropped off all the books Kat stole with my super secret publisher, and then I did practically nothing for the rest of the day. It was nice, after having been busy for so long.

The day after that, I had to answer a ton of questions for Silver Quill to help her get a handle on all my sources of income. The bank gave her the numbers, but she needed more than numbers for her personal records. So I filled in a lot of details, which took a while.

The last day was a day of rest and relaxation, not that I particularly needed more. But after having gone through so much, being able to just spend time with friends and Taya was nice.

Finally, the time came for my ship to leave Canterlot once again. Despite my general distaste for the place, the time off to relax and get over the horrors of my journey was nice. I wish I could have given my soldiers more time, but we had no clue what kind of time scale we were on. Relaxing is important, but saving your entire species from getting wiped out by a genocidal monster seemed like a higher priority to me.

Once everyone we had in Canterlot was accounted for, we moved to Ponyville and picked up Twilight’s friends and finally set off on our next adventure.

For the first time in a long time, I felt nothing but optimism for the coming trip. It felt… right.

 
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