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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141. Chapter One Hundred and Sixteen

When it was further into the day, I figured it was time to get the rest of my errands in Canterlot done. “So where are you going now?” Taya asked as I got dressed into less casual clothes.

“Unicorn tower,” I said. “Then a few other places all over Canterlot. It’s going to be a lot of flying.”

“So what am I supposed to do?” she asked, looking around the relatively bare room.

“You have a giant palace at your disposal, complete with its own library, swimming pools, gardens, mazes, kitchens, and statues. I’m sure you’ll figure something out.”

“Can we do something when you get back?” she asked.

“What do you want to do?”

That one stumped her. “Um…”

“Think of something while I’m gone,” I said. “It’ll probably take more than an hour or two. And don’t forget to eat lunch.”

“Hey, when was the last time you ate?”

“This morning,” I lied. Thankfully, her horn didn’t light up. At that point, I was ready to go, having everything I was planning on taking with me. “I’ll be back when I’m back, I suppose.”

“Do you know where Twilight is?” Taya asked as I walked to the window.

“With Cadance, probably. Oh, you should find them and do fun girl things with them!” I got the flattest of the flat stares for that. “It’ll be fun!” The flat stare intensified. “I promise!” I think her eyes were starting to break. “I’ll see you when I get back, Taya.”

“...I’ll miss you, daddy,” she said, her creepy stare shattering.

“Then I’ll be sure to hurry.” With that comfortless statement, I defenestrated myself and flew off, quickly gaining air. The unicorn tower isn’t that far out of the city, but the city is fairly large, even though a good portion of it hangs off a fucking mountain. Either way, it only took about seven or so minutes to get there. Passing through the guard station out front and getting inside didn’t take very long either, though I did get hit by a bolt of magic that dissipated through my ring.

When I got inside, a different secretary was on duty, though this one was just as female. “Can I help you, Sir Navarone?” she asked.

“Yeah.” She blinked at my voice. “That’s what I need help with. I need to talk to the time traveling guys, anyone who might be able to break a curse, anyone that might know about magic artifacts, and anyone that might know about gender magic.”

“I can grant you access to the mages that know about curses and those that focus on gender studies, but I need to talk to some of the administrators about letting you back to talk to the time unicorns.”

“Well, they’ve granted me permission before. I don’t see why they’d deny me again.”

“In that case, it shouldn’t take long. But you might as well talk to the others, first,” she said, walking over to the teleporting pad. I followed her and stood on it, removing my ring. “I’ll send you to the curse mages and artificers first, since they’re on the same floor. When you’re ready to talk to the gender mages, go to the top floor.”

“Alright, easy enough.”

“Second floor.” With that, she pulled the lever thing, teleporting me up a level. The directory on that floor listed the artificers and the curse guys on the exact opposite levels, since my life is suffering and it’s not like it was going to get better anyway. Since I had the gender stones on me and getting those fixed was my main hope, I started walking down to the magic item guys.

When I finally got to their room on the very far side of the building, I just let myself in because I’m a bad person or whatever. One of the unicorns within looked up when I walked in. The others were all too busy poring over several magical items that I recognized from Athena’s realm. “You!” she shouted, making all the others look up.

“I get accused of being me a lot,” I said, nodding. “You guys mind—”

Before I could continue, all of them teleported across the room to surround me. “Twilight told us you helped her obtain these artifacts,” the one that ended up in front of me said. “Where did you find them?”

“I’ll tell you if you try to help me with my problem,” I said, crossing my arms.

“An acceptable trade,” he said, nodding. “What ails you, Sir Navarone?”

I reached into my pocket and pulled out the grey stones. “These used to be pink and blue and they would swap the gender of whoever touched them. Now they’re grey and I’m stuck as the wrong gender. Are they fixable?”

“Excellent question,” the leader said before teleporting back across the room. The others all followed him, surrounding the table of artifacts. “Bring them over here and we shall look at them.”

“You could have just taken them with you,” I said, walking over to the table.

“It’s unsafe to handle any magical artifact unless you know what might possibly trigger it. Since you are already holding them, I know they won’t be bothered by your hand. Since they were in your pocket, I know they won’t be bothered by inanimate objects.”

“Those are very good points,” I said, setting them carefully on the table so they didn’t risk rolling and hitting the other artifacts. “But they’ve been handled by magic before. Simple telekinesis, at least.” After I said that, I backed away from the table so I didn’t get in the way of whatever the fuck they were doing.

“It’s still better to be careful,” the lead dude said as someone else stepped in front of the stones. That chick’s horn lit up and a light aura surrounded the two of them before seeming to get sucked in. A moment later, a bolt of magic shot out of both of the stones and hit me.

It took the researchers far too long to recover, but by the time they did, I realized what happened: I was back to being a guy. “Yes! Fucking YES!” And then another bolt shot out and turned me back into a woman. “God fucking dammit.”

“What… just happened?” the lead guy asked.

“They turned me into a guy for about two seconds and then turned me right back,” I sighed, my body sagging.

Everyone’s attention was drawn to one of the chalkboards on the far side of the room as a high-pitched squealing noise came from it. When we looked over, we all saw something being carved into it. “You didn’t think it would be that easy, did you?” it read.

“That… chalkboard is not magic,” someone said as they all eyed it in wonder.

“That’s someone reminding me that my life is a cruel joke,” I growled, snatching the stones up and shoving them into a pocket. “Thanks anyway.”

“What do you mean?” the leader asked, grabbing me with magic to stop me from leaving. It was then that I remembered I forgot to put on my ring.

“These gender stones were made by a demon of chaos. They worked well for a while, but their curse hit me a few months ago. I was hoping it would be an easy fix, despite every other expert I spoke to saying it was impossible. I forgot that hope was a commodity I’m not allowed to own.”

“That’s… really, really depressing,” someone behind me whispered.

“Well, the stones are unfixable,” the mare that cast the spell on them said. “They have no detectable magical properties at all.”

“We just watched them shoot magic!” the leader said.

“I’m well aware,” she replied. “But I wasn’t able to detect it, aside from by sight. Diagnostics turned up nothing. As far as I can tell, they’re just normal rocks.”

“I’m not that surprised,” I sighed. “If you guys find anything else that swaps gender, let me know.”

“I… guess we can do that,” the leader said. “But before you go, where did you and Twilight find all these artifacts?”

“In a pocket dimension inhabited by an extremely ancient mage. Twilight actually has several more artifacts she didn’t give you, too.”

“She does? Where?”

“I dunno. I just know we got a lot of stuff out of that place and that’s nowhere near all of it.”

“...I see. Where’s the portal to the pocket dimension?”

“You don’t want to go there. You do not want to go there. That place is extremely dangerous and if you make one mistake, you can get killed by a magic resistant golem, a glob of ink, mindless husks, living books, or worse. Getting through the maze is damn near impossible and it almost killed both of us.”

“If you both survived, couldn’t you escort others through the maze?” he asked.

“No. If either of us go through, even with other people, we go straight to the end. The mage there is ornery and unhelpful. The true prize is in surviving the maze, though I wouldn’t hold your breath on that.”

“But it can be done. Who are you, to hold the keys to a locked museum of artifacts?”

“I am the one entrusted with the portal,” I replied. “I am one of the few that survived the gauntlet. But tell you what. If you really, really have a deathwish, come find me at the palace tomorrow. Bring whatever you want, because whatever you bring carries through with you. Which means, of course, bringing a large bag, some food, and some water, because it took us hours to get through it. I’ll give you a night to think about it and to decide if an extremely large possibility of death is worth whatever you might find. Anyway, I’m leaving now.”

They were all silent as I walked out. I didn’t expect to see any of them the next day.

My next stop was all the way across the building, but I didn’t bump into a single person in the halls as I walked. That wasn’t really too surprising, because all of the researchers were busy researching and most everyone else stayed away from the tower. When I got there, I first put my ring on and then let myself inside.

And I was immediately glad that I put the ring on, because as soon as I opened the door and put my foot in, one of the ponies within shot a black wad of magic at me. “And that’s why you knock,” he said with a smirk.

“Yeah, sure, whatever,” I said, walking in the rest of the way. “I need your help with something, if you don’t mind.”

“...How are you not a frog right now?” the guy that shot me asked.

“Magic nullifying ring. Is it possible for you to tell if someone is cursed?”

“How much do you want for that ring?” the guy asked.

“There is not enough gold in the world. Or enough anything else.”

That guy seemed somewhat dismayed, so someone else asked, “What makes you think you were cursed?”

“Because I was born with a penis. I touched a magic artifact that stopped working afterward. I no longer have a penis. The princesses seemed to think the artifact was cursed.”

“We… don’t really deal much in artifacts,” he said.

“I already spoke to the guys that do deal in artifacts. They said I was shit out of luck. I was hoping you might be able to do a curse removal or something and see if that does anything.”

“Oh, sure. That’s easy enough. Just take the ring off, if you don’t mind.”

I shrugged and did so. Before that fellow could even charge up his horn, the first guy shot that spell at me again. “Ha! That’ll teach you to knock!” he laughed as I easily sidestepped it. “Oh come on!”

One of the others smacked him in the back of the head. “Stop embarrassing us,” she said. He rubbed at it and muttered, looking away.

The nice guy’s horn lit up and a white spell hit me. “Depending on the magnitude or strength of the curse, the removal process could take a while. If it ends up taking longer than five minutes, you either aren’t cursed or the curse is beyond anything anypony here can fix.”

“Well, it’s probably going to be pretty powerful…”

“Maybe. You’d be surprised how weak magic can become with time. If it’s a magical artifact, it’s probably rather old. Those are very rare. Where did you even find it?”

“The Everfree Forest. It was in a magical room hidden somewhere in there. I later learned that they were created by a demon that likes playing pranks. They successfully worked for a while, but stopped while I was in the wrong body.”

“Bummer.” More boring and pointless small talk happened while we waited. When the time finally ended, nothing happened. I expected nothing, and yet I’m still let down. “Well, that’s that,” the guy said. “Do you have your uh… dongle back?”

“Nope. I kinda didn’t expect to, though.”

“Well, sometimes curses wear off on their own. If it actually is one, don’t give up hope. It’s entirely possible that one day you’ll wake up and be right back to normal.”

“That would be nice. For now, I guess I’ll go talk to the gender guys.” Everyone in the room flinched. “What?”

“You don’t want to do that,” one of the mares said. “They… aren’t what you think they are.”

“Well, I still gotta try.”

She sighed and shook her head. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” On that ominous note, I let myself back out and started walking back to the teleporter, removing my ring as I walked.

When I got to the teleporter pad, I said, “Top floor,” and pulled the lever. It deposited me all the way up there, whereupon I quickly remembered that the higher up you went, the more useless the mages were. The directory didn’t have that much on it since I was in the actual tower at that point and the area wasn’t very large, but everything there seemed really, really strange. Gender studies was right at the top of the list, which thankfully meant I didn’t have to walk very far to get there.

Just a few moments later, I was standing outside of the room. Remembering what the lady told me, I slipped my ring back on and let myself in. A very… frantic looking stallion was the only fellow in the room, and he looked up when I entered, surprise on his face. “Ah, brother! Welcome!”

“Uh… Hi.”

He blinked at my voice, but got over any shock quickly enough. “How can I help you today, brother? Is the matriarchy oppressing you? Is that princess trying to keep you down? I know she thinks she owns you, with all the time you’re forced to spend around her!” Oh my God, it’s a men’s rights activist. I took a better look at him and sure enough, he had what looked like a neckbeard and there was a trilby on the table next to him.

“I uh… I got the wrong room,” I said, backing out without breaking eye contact. A look of supremely profound disappointment came over his face when I said that. It almost tempted me to try talking to him, but I didn’t want to do that to myself. As soon as I got out of the room, I pulled the door shut and ran to the teleporter, immediately zapping myself to the ground floor.

The secretary looked over when I appeared. “You’ve been granted permission again, Sir Navarone,” she said. “They’re in the first room on the left when you step into the hallway.”

“The first room? I had to walk half an hour to find them, last time.”

She nodded. “That was probably a year or two ago, then. They recently completed a large experiment that raised their reputation a lot.”

“Yeah, I… heard about that. Maybe they can help, then.”

“Good luck,” she said as I walked to the back doors. They yielded easily to my superior human might, and I opened the first door on the left. When I stepped inside, I found myself out in the hall again, making me sigh. Then I turned and knocked, because apparently that’s what you’re supposed to do.

Sure enough, the door opened on its own and I let myself in again, this time to the proper room. It also happened to be the exact same room as before, despite being in a different place. They all looked up from their places around one of the tables when I walked in and most of them smiled. “Sir Navarone!” the leader called, hopping to his hooves. The others started whispering to themselves as he approached and I walked in further. “We were wondering when you would visit us again.”

“I’ve been busy,” I said. “And once again, I need your help.”

“Did your… voice change?” he asked.

“Among other things. I need to go about a year back in time.”

“Well, I wish we could help you, but that’s sadly impossible.”

“You sent me back untold eons in time before. What’s a single year?”

He sighed, shaking his head. “If it were that simple, we would be a lot more active than we are nowadays. Going back short jaunts accurately is simple enough, up to around a week. We’ve done extensive testing and found that anything further than nine days is nearly impossible to control. Past that nine day period, it’s impossible to pinpoint a time. A month has a deviation of ten years. A year is longer. After we sent you back the first time, we realized we very, very badly misaimed, since we had to use the spear of destiny to age you. We were over two thousand years off, though it’s probable the inclusion of the other three weakened the spell to make it more accurate.”

“What about five months?”

He shook his head. “I’m afraid you don’t understand. The deviation is forwards and backwards. It’s entirely possible that you could end up twenty years in the future. Time magic is hard to control and extremely dangerous. Starswirl the Bearded was one of the only unicorns to ever make the attempt, and he only mastered it to a week. Since that time, several thousand years ago, we’ve only improved it by two days.”

“What’s so bad about going to the future for a day? Can’t I just promise to stay hidden or whatever? I only need to go back for an hour, to any time within the past two years. Surely that’s not so much to ask. You guys should be able to get it right on the second or third try, right?”

“I’m sorry, sir, but we can’t.”

“I will give you ten thousand bits if you do this.”

“That kind of money won’t be useful if we break the mage’s law and end up in jail,” he said. “We know the possible consequences of going to the future and we know it’s possible, now. We’re not going to do it again.”

“But didn’t you go back once? Back when I first met you guys?”

“Yes, I cast a spell to go back in time a few years. It wasn’t specific. I just knew it was five years because I remembered the incident and I had been keeping track. In short, I got lucky.”

“...Fifteen thousand bits, a magic key that unlocks anything, and the promise to break you out of jail if you get arrested.”

He sighed and asked, “What’s so important that you’re willing to do so much to go back?”

“About three months ago, I had working magical artifacts that changed your gender whenever you touched them. About two months ago, they were no longer working. However, I was currently under their influence at the time. So I am now a female. I would rather not be female.”

“That is… unfortunate for you. Was anypony else affected?”

“Everyone around me, when I go into heat. No one’s used to my pheromones, so things… get awkward. My girlfriend left me because she wasn’t a lesbian. Everyone’s acting weird around me and it’s getting annoying. I will write you a blank check and you can write whatever number on there you want, and I will pay it. Send me back in time, man.”

“As tempting of an offer as it is and despite how much you helped us, I can’t. And no pony else here can, either. All I can promise is that we’ll continue improving the magic required to go back. After the experiment we did with you, we got a lot of interest and a lot of support, so we can actually properly research things now.”

“If you’re only at nine days now, by the time you can send me back a year, I’ll have been a fucking girl longer than I was a guy!”

“Well… Once we pick up the trick, I expect the time we can travel will increase exponentially. I don’t know how long it’ll take, though.”

“It will never be soon enough, but find me whenever you do. I don’t care how you track me down, just do it.”

“Of course, Sir Navarone,” he said, nodding. “I don’t suppose you have the time to talk with us about the trip to the past you took?”

“Only if you can answer another question about it for me.”

“Ask away,” he said, nodding.

“I left some clothes back there. Would it be possible to home in on them and cast a spell to open a portal between the two times?”

“...Perhaps. Why would you want to?”

“Because humanity is currently extinct. I want to know if it’s possible to bring some of them forward to build a colony here so we get a second chance.”

“...Let’s go for a walk, Sir Navarone,” he said, walking over toward the door. I shrugged and started following him. When we got into the hall, he closed the door behind us with magic and then opened it again, walking through. Since what was on the other side of the door was just more hall instead of the room, I followed him again. “Alright. It’s possible, but we can’t do it here. And I certainly can’t do it now.”

“Why not?” I asked.

“We can’t do it here because the standard policy is that nothing other than the caster is allowed to cross between times, and definitely not permanently. However, in such a situation like this, I think that policy is highly unethical. So if you can find me a location to cast that spell, where the other humans won’t be noticed for some time, I will find other unicorns that agree with me and we can cast the spell for you.”

“...Then why can’t you agree to cast the other spell on me?”

“Because while I would be willing to help you, I wouldn’t be able to find many others that would be willing to do so. Going back in time to save a species is one thing. Risking going into the future on accident to save your… genitalia is another. I have to warn you, though, it’ll probably take us a while to home in on the items you left behind. Even then, there’s going to be a small deviation. The only reason we can do it at all is because we already transported you in those clothes, so they’re marked with magical residue.”

“Spells have far too many fucking bullshit rules.”

“There are times when I agree. But they are still very useful. I regret that I couldn’t help you, but surely there are others here that could. Have you tried the artificers?”

“Yeah. And the curse guys. I even tried the gender studies guy.”

“...How’d that work out for you?”

“I immediately walked out. I tried talking to a mage that was nearly as old as time itself and was not able to get any help. Long story short, I’m fucked.”

“Where did you find that mage?”

“A pocket dimension inhabited by things that want to kill you. Don’t worry about it.” He shrugged. “If there’s nothing you can do to help me, I guess we’re done for now. I have other shit to do while I’m in town.”

“Then I won’t keep you. Let me walk you back to the lobby.”

“I really hope that’s not you trying to hit on me,” I said as I followed him back through the door.

“Just saving you half an hour of walking,” he said. “Good luck, Lady Navarone.”

“I’m afraid I’m going to need it,” I sighed, my wings sagging.

 

My next stop was the bank, where I checked to make sure I was still being paid for all the books I was writing, and that all the gems from the changeling mine were being dealt with appropriately. I also picked up a few checks, so I could get things I needed in town without carrying a ton of gold.

After that, I stopped by my publisher’s company to drop another book off, since I didn’t have much else to do in my spare time aside from trying to be a good father. The secretary at that place gave me a packet full of letters and envelopes from someone that actually managed to figure out who the publisher of the books was.

That might merit some explaining, so I’ll say that I went out of my way to make sure I would never let anyone figure out it was me writing the books. Or at least, I did my best to hide it as well as possible and still have them about humans. I made sure my name wasn’t on them anywhere, which meant a pen name, and I made sure every reference to myself painted me as the opposite gender. Of course, that didn’t fit anymore, but it made sense at the time. And the only stipulation I had for the publisher is that their name never appeared on the books either, so no one would think to ask them.

I’m paranoid, alright?

Anyway, I took the letters with some small disdain and shoved them into a pocket so I could put them somewhere back in my room to forget about later. Then I went to my next destination, actually feeling somewhat nervous. Despite the nerves, I knew what I was doing was right.

That became somewhat easy to forget when I entered the doors, though. “Welcome to clown college!” a smiling pony shouted as he jumped over the front desk, shooting confetti into the air. “How can we make you smile today?”

...Maybe this was a mistake. “I was uh... I was wondering if you guys needed... I don't know, donations or something.”

“Our laughter jar is always open! I know my suit sure is threadbare! All the polyjester is wearing out!”

I guess some things never change. “I meant more in terms of gold. Or gems.” Or maybe sexual favors, if you get me drunk enough.

“Ooh, I could use some of that to go to the doctor. I've been feelin' kinda... funny!”

As soon as he said that, another clown wearing some kind of doctor's clothing kicked a door open and jumped through. “Feeling funny, you say?”

“Well, more like feeling kinda sad, I guess…”

“Oh, sad? What's wrong?”

“I think I broke my funny bone!”

“I have just the treatment for that!” The doctor clown reached into the room behind him and pulled a massive cannon out, as if that made any sense. While the first clown was still marveling at it, two nurse clowns ran out of the room and threw the guy into the cannon. “YOU'RE FIRED!” The doctor pulled the cannon's cord and shot the guy through a conveniently placed window, then looked at me. “So, are you looking for a job? It's a fun job, but you'll have some large shoes to fill!”

“...I'm just gonna look around the campus, if you don't mind.”

“Well, if you need anything at all, just pout and we'll be there to help!”

“Right.” He gathered his nurses and they started pulling the cannon back into the tiny room. I just shook my head and started looking for some kind of financial office or something.

For better or worse, the 'campus' wasn't overly large, so the place I was looking for wasn't too hard to find. When I let myself in, there was an older stallion sitting behind the desk, a massive blue frowny-face painted onto his lips. “Can I help you?” he asked, his voice extremely low and dull.

“I was wondering if you guys accepted donations,” I said.

“And why would you like to make a donation?” he asked, his voice sounding more and more resigned.

“A clown helped me when I was in a very dark place, and I always pay my debts,” I said.

“What kind of donation would you like to make?”

“Preferably gold,” I said. “Or rather, a check. I can't imagine I have much else that you guys would want. Maybe some old training weapons for some more literal slapstick humor, but that would probably be unpleasant.”

“The commonly accepted donation is laughter. Would you like to make a donation of laughs, as well?”

“No, I doubt you could get me to laugh. To be honest, I don’t even like clowns. But I know you ponies do, and, as I said, one saved my life, so I figured I would repay him.”

“Not all ponies do,” he sadly said, shaking his head. “How much would you like to donate?”

I shrugged, pulled out one of the checks, filled it all out on his desk, flipped the paper over, and stood, keeping one finger on the back of it. “Turn this over in ten minutes,” I said. Instead of making any kind of vocal answer, he just stared at me. Since that was kind of creepy, I started backing away until I was out the door.

Then I walked to the nearest door I could find and flew off, my good deed done for the day. After all that Popsy had done for me, just leaving a tip didn’t really feel like enough, but there wasn’t much else I could do. I mean, the original dude was dead. I figured the best I could do for him was leave a donation to the pony clown college.

That was really the last ‘errand’ I had to do for the day, but I just rode the winds above Canterlot for around fifteen minutes, scouring my mind for anything else to really do. Honestly, there isn’t much there I’m really interested in. If I could find him, I could visit Fancy Pants, but I’d be more likely to just run into him at the Gala if I ever took a break from Celestia. Vinyl or Octavia might have been in town, but there would be no way for me to know where they were. Every one of my crew members disappeared without leaving any contact information, so I couldn’t talk to Watcher or Jak.

So unfortunately, I was left with only the most boring thing left in my arsenal: Spending time with my daughter. Still, that gave me the chance to get her a teddy bear or something, so at least we didn’t have to stay in the damn palace until Celestia could summon me to her chambers to fuck me in the ass.

I had my own special plan to avoid that, even though I knew she would be very gentle. I just didn’t want her to have the satisfaction. With things as they were, I didn’t know if I’d be able to enact that plan, but I was certainly hoping. Living in the palace, I’d only be able to avoid her for so long before she made time when she knew I was there.

Anyway, I flew directly up to my room’s window and let myself in. Surprisingly, Taya actually wasn’t in there. That gave me a chance to change into something less formal and more comfortable, not that I had been dressed overly formally in the first place. It also let me grab and hide a few weapons about myself without Taya staring judgmentally at me, as if I should be ashamed for daring to try to protect myself when she was around to do the protecting for me.

When I was good and ready, I turned to the door to find that a maid was standing there. There’s no telling how I didn’t hear it open, but whatever. “Princess Celestia would like to know if you are available,” she quietly said.

“I’m not,” I said. “I promised my daughter I’d spend time with her when I got back.”

“I shall tell her you’re… busy, then.” She turned to go, but stopped and turned back. “Sir, did you… change something?”

“Yeah, I’m a woman now. I mouthed off one too many times at Celestia, so she cut it off and is keeping it as a trophy.”

“Um… That’s not… That’s not true, is it?”

“No. God no. I got hit by a curse and nothing can fix it. Or at least, nothing I’ve found so far will fix it.”

“...There are some ponies that might call such a thing justice, you know. Many newspapers have reported that you’re a marizer.”

“I had a lot of sex, but I have never bothered a mare that didn’t want it. If someone tried calling this justice, I would have a few unpleasant words to say to them. And then a few unpleasant punches to give them.”

She shrugged. “I have a report to give to the princess. Farewell for now, Lady Navarone.” She left before I could correct her, though after a second of thought, I realized that it honestly didn’t fucking matter. If not even the unicorns could turn me back, I figured I was probably going to be stuck as a girl for a long, long time.

Anyway, I waited a few seconds after the maid left, so it didn’t seem like I was creepily following her or whatever, and then went down to Taya’s room. Since we weren’t on the ship anymore and I couldn’t relatively easily hear through the walls, I knocked on her door. After all, I didn’t want to barge in on her doing something I didn’t want to see.

Imagine my surprise when no one answered. After about a minute, I just let myself in to find the place empty. Since she wasn’t there, I walked down to Kat’s room, because I didn’t expect Doppel would be in her room. Now, I wasn’t expecting to see Kat getting freaky with Spider or some kind of orgy if I walked in, but to be polite, I knocked first. Kat opened it a few seconds later.

“You know where Taya is?” I asked.

“She’s in here,” Kat said, pushing the door open further so I could see. Sure enough, there she was, sitting across the room from Spider. “We were just… talking.”

“She was telling me about the march, back in Egypt,” Taya said, standing. “You never really talk about it, so…”

There’s a reason I don’t talk about it. “Well, did you still want to do something together?” I asked.

Given that she was already walking toward me, her answer should have been obvious. “Of course. I even came up with something to do.”

Kat scratched at the back of her neck. “Before you go, can you show me where the library is?” she asked. “If we’re going to be stuck inside all day, we might as well have something to do.”

“Sure. It’s not that far of a walk. He coming?” I asked, looking over to Spider.

“Not today,” she answered. “I don’t think your princess wanted him out yet, even in the palace.”

“Fair enough. And she’s not my princess,” I said, starting to walk down the hall.

“Do you not serve her?” Kat asked as the two of them joined me in the hall.

“I do her favors occasionally. Sometimes we trade services. But I never paid taxes and I’m not certain I’m even technically a citizen.”

“So who is your ruler, then?” she asked.

I almost said my dick, but then I remembered that was no longer possible. “I’m a free man, I suppose,” I said with a shrug. “It’s nice.”

“Could you not claim your own kingdom, then? Become a king, or queen?”

“Couldn’t you?”

“I suppose I could… But I doubt there would be many that would choose to follow me. You, however, have a… habit of finding those that are useful to you and earning their trust and affection. It seems you’ve turned into something of a leader. I am a mere…” Kat eyed a passing servant and changed what she was about to say. “...agent. Should you ever found your own land, I might be happy to serve.”

“And so casually throw away your homeland?”

“My homeland is ruled by one that enforced the laws that kept me a slave. King Johnson is no abolitionist. He didn’t care for the plight of slaves. He freed us because he saw an opportunity for power. If he supported Celestia’s ideal of freedom, he knew she would help him if he needed it. And when he finally took over, he knew he had to actually put what she wanted in motion. We were freed as a political move, nothing more. So yes, I would casually throw away my homeland, assuming I saw something better on the horizon.”

“Wow. You must really hate that bastard to consider me a viable alternative.”

“What was that, daddy?” Taya asked. “Did you just call yourself a bad person?”

“No, just a bad leader. Or maybe a bad king. I can do military stuff, but I don’t think I’d have the patience to be a ruler. Dealing with those monkeys made me want to slit my wrists at times.” Though I have to admit, seeing the trust they had in me and watching things get better around me felt really, really good.

“That is what advisors are for,” Kat said. “And I imagine you would gain the patience in time.”

“That’s more time than I want to give it. Anyway, this is the library.” Hopefully, Kat had been paying attention as we were walking. She had a pretty good track record about it and getting lost isn’t a very catlike thing, but you never know. We all walked in, though she immediately stopped, just looking around. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s… been some time since I saw this many books,” she said. “I don’t even think that crystal place had this many.”

“Well, this is the heart of imperial power,” I said. “There’s gonna be a lot of books here.”

“And I can just take some?” she asked.

“You can check some out,” I corrected. “Talk to the librarian there, behind the counter.”

“I shall certainly do that. Thanks, Nav.”

“No problem. Oh, and if you’re interested, I’m planning on visiting some friends tonight, after Taya goes to bed. If the place I’m going is open, it’ll probably be a lot of fun, if you’re interested.”

“Why can’t I go?” Taya asked.

“Because you’ll be in bed, silly,” I said, tousling her hair. She rolled her eyes.

“I’ll probably be in bed, too,” Kat said. “After all, I want to explore the city tomorrow, and I’ll need plenty of sleep for that.”

“Fair enough. You remember the way back to your room?”

“I should. If not, I can ask one of the ponies. As long as I do not run into another one like that nurse, I should be fine.”

“Blackberry was… special.”

“We have another word for that,” she muttered, walking off toward the librarian. I shrugged and walked back out, with Taya following me.

“So what did you have planned?” I asked her.

“Well, you know how you told me I should start trying to do some art?”

“I think I actually said painting, but yeah. You want to paint?”

“Not quite…” Her devious little smile told me we were probably going to be doing something painful. Or at least, I was going to be doing something painful.

“You know, this isn’t as painful as I thought it would be,” I said. In short, she was using her magic to heat up metal to make it very easily malleable, while I used my hands and fine motor control to mold it. Of course, she was also using magic to make sure none of the super-hot metal was hurting me, because that would be a good way to ruin my day. There’s no telling where she got the idea for it, but it was a neat idea.

...Even if I wasn’t good at it. “Daddy, what is that?” she asked.

“A wad of metal,” I said without even pausing to think. “It was supposed to be a flower, but there’s a reason I told you to do the painting, not me. I’m bad at art.”

“Well, can’t Flo do it?”

“She already said no,” I sighed. “She refuses to risk cutting into parental bonding time.”

“That’s stupid. She can control your hands and you can control everything else. We’re still spending time together. She’s just helping you not suck at it.”

“Hear that, Flo? She said the same thing I did.”

“You are a terrible influence,” Flo said with my mouth.

“But you love me anyway,” I said with a winning grin.

“Not as much as me,” Taya said, pressing against me.

“True. So how about it, Flo? You feel like being nice now, or are you going to continue being a big meanie-head?”

“I’m going to really, really enjoy being free,” she said within my head as she took over my hands. “Dealing with you will be so much easier.”

If you can get through Taya.

“Oh, don’t you worry about that,” she replied, chuckling darkly.

Man, I really am a bad influence on you.

“So where are you going tonight?” Taya asked.

“The night guard bar, if they’ll let me in. I got a few friends in the guard I wouldn’t mind seeing again, especially now that I’m not a knight anymore. I might invite Doppel if she’s back when I leave.”

“I could wake myself up with magic, you know.”

“First, that’s a terrible idea. I went through that haunted bunker hyped up on magic and it was absolutely horrible. Second, you’re too young. It’s a bar. They probably wouldn’t even let you in. Third, you’d be really bored, since you’re antisocial and wouldn’t talk to anyone. Bars are to talk to people and have fun, usually.” Or to just get drunk, which I might end up doing. I mean, the guard is mostly male. Surely there would be one or two willing to fuck, even if they did know me back as a dude. Since I wasn’t a knight anymore, it wasn’t fraternizing with the lower ranks.

“Daddy, how do you get so good at coming up with excuses?”

“Lots and lots of practice,” I answered, trying to tousle her hair before realizing Flo was controlling my hands and that they were covered in molten metal.

“How do you… practice that?” she asked.

“By being forced to do a lot of things you don’t want to do. Eventually you come to realize that you can get out of it without hurting anyone’s feelings too much if you have good reasons not to. And that’s when you start trying to come up with excuses.”

“Oh. Why does everyone say you’re such a bad influence when all you do is tell the truth and not try to hide how weird life is?”

“Because kids are supposed to figure that out on their own, I guess. Maybe it’s because I’m making you cynical. I don’t know. You should ask someone why the next time they say it.”

“If I remember. So what are you making?”

“A water lily,” Flo answered with my mouth. “It’ll be grey and lifeless, but it will still be a nice memento of my old glade.”

“Hard to believe my fingers can actually make something like that,” I said, watching her work.

“When they know what to do, it’s not that hard. It’s just the same as singing or dancing. Anyone can do it, if they have the skills or practice. Or, in my case, a perfect memory and total control over muscles. If you ever decide you need more bits, I can start recreating human art for you.”

“Oh man, we can do some of that hyper realistic freaky proto renaissance Jesus art and make all the ponies throw up every time they see it.”

“You have severe problems,” Flo said. “I think I would rather make things that the ponies would actually enjoy. And since it would be my hand making them, I would determine what we’d make.”

“Well, if we ever have any free time while we’re here, I guess we can paint a few things, see if anyone’s interested. Painting never was my thing, but it would be interesting to have some human art in circulation. Not like anyone cares about my books anyway.”

“What about the fan mail you got?”

“...Totally forgot about that. I should read that, I guess.”

“You got fan mail?” Taya asked. “Also, it’s really weird listening to you two talk.”

“Yeah, I bet it would be. It’s funnier when I’m talking to her out loud and she’s talking in my head and I’m walking around where people don’t know about her. But yeah, I did get some mail from what might have been a fan. Several letters from the same person, anyway. I was just going to throw them away without looking at them, honestly.”

“No, you’re going to read them when we get back,” Taya said.

“I guess I probably should. I mean, he went through all the trouble of finding the publisher. Least I can do is see what they say.” She didn’t say anything, so I just let Flo keep shaping the metal as I looked around.

Taya and I were in Canterlot’s semi-hidden scrap heap. Celestia did her best to keep Canterlot looking nice, but a city of any size produces a lot of trash. Some of it, like the metal, gets recycled. Until it does, it sits in the scrap heap, open for anyone to claim it.

“It’s gonna be getting dark soon,” I said after a few more minutes. “We should probably start heading back soon.”

“Probably,” Taya said without moving.

“Did I tell you about the time some thugs tried ambushing me in Canterlot?” I asked.

“Yeah. You also told me that no one that says they’re going to teach you a lesson will help you with magic.”

That’s probably not quite how I put it, but I guess it’s accurate. “Yeah… Well, did you want to hear any other stories, I guess?”

“I wouldn’t mind hearing more about what happened the first time you were in Egypt.”

“A lot of bad things that don’t matter anymore. You want war stories, ask Miguel.”

“...I killed Miguel.”

“And that’s what comes from war,” I said, nodding. “Monsters like him. Soulless. Murderous. Good only for killing. That is what fighting and wars make, Taya. That is not something anyone should want to know about.”

She turned her head to look at her flank. “So what does that say about my fate?” she asked.

“Your cutie mark isn’t war, Taya. It’s two lightning bolts. Lightning is electricity, which powers machines. Machines can create. Lightning has heat, which brings life when used in moderation. Lightning is beautiful and can be used in a light show. If you truly choose to be defined by that mark, be defined by the mark, not what you say it represents. Even now, you’re using what could be combat magic to create rather than kill. This flower symbolizes what you can do with your talents, Taya. When our journey is done, I truly hope you don’t forget this flower and what it means.”

Taya was silent for several long seconds before her horn stopped glowing. “It’s getting late, daddy. We should go back.”

Flo held the rapidly cooling flower with one hand and shook the metal off the other, making sure it stayed away from Taya. When that hand was clean, she repeated the process with the other, leaving a clean and very interesting looking flower behind. As an afterthought, she pressed some of the remaining metal into a long stem.

“We probably should,” I said when the flower was complete. I doubt it would win any art contests, but we also didn’t put very much time into making it. If Taya ever wanted to do something like that again, we’d probably be more thorough.

As it was, we started walking back. When the metal was cooled and hardened, I very gently placed the flower in Taya’s hair. She didn’t comment.

Since eating in the palace would have forced me to interact with Celestia and I didn’t want to do that just yet, we grabbed something to eat on the way. I didn’t really want to, but Taya actually forced something into my mouth and then I had to pay for it anyway.

The distance to the palace wasn’t overly large, but having to actually walk instead of fly made it even longer. It felt even worse, given that a lot of ponies were staring at me for some reason. I didn’t think news of my new gender would already be out, but the ponies in Canterlot were used to me, at that point. They’d have no other reason to be staring.

When we were almost to the palace, an annoyingly familiar mare suddenly showed up behind me, hugging me. From the weight and the white legs I could see around my neck, I immediately thought… “Celestia?” I asked.

“Not quite,” Fleur chuckled into my ear. “I have quite the surprise for you, my succulent little human…”

“I’m considerably taller than you are,” I said. “Now let me go before my daughter atomizes you.”

She slid down and started circling me, her tail trailing around my waist. “How would you like to come to a party of mine?”

“I’m leaving soon and until I do, I’m going to be very busy. Also, I got hit by a curse. I’m a female now, so I doubt you’re interested.”

“Hm… Not quite. Last year’s accidental… meeting with the princess woke up a new desire. However, that’s not quite the purpose of this little party. You see, my good friend Rarity has told all the mares of Canterlot about a wonderful human art style called anime, or something like that. She told us how fans back where you came from held large parties where they dressed up as characters. Since you’re the only human here, I thought I could bring you, so you could show us all about it!”

“What Rarity failed to mention is anime was something enjoyed only by the fringe groups. Namely, the nerds, losers, foreveralones, and generally just people that couldn’t hack it in civilized society. I did not fall into any of those categories, and never developed any interest in anime.”

“She… did fail to mention that, yes… But the invites are already sent, the venue is already planned, bits have changed hooves, and human anime is in. As are, according to my… husband, human books. But anyway, you are going to be there, aren’t you?”

“Nope.” I patted her on the head, then said, “Give Fancy Pants my regards. Come on, Taya.”

Before I could even get a step away, Fleur was right back in front of me, a very… disturbing look on her face. “It would not behoove you to make me an enemy, Navarone,” she quietly said.

“I already have. Twice. Remember a certain stallion a few years back at the Gala? Luna’s escort?” She blinked a few times. “You’re speaking to Egill right now.” When she heard that, her eyes widened and started twitching. “And then later, when you hosted Rarity and a stallion model with no cutie mark? You tried to seduce him and then drug him. Well, you’re speaking to him, too.” Her eyes narrowed and she opened her mouth to say something, but I put a finger on her lips and leaned in. “If you even think about doing anything, I will straight up just slit your throat. Close your mouth.” Her lips shut. “Turn around.” She very, very slowly turned around, her eyes not leaving mine until she couldn’t see me anymore. “And walk away.” She stalked away.

“Was that really a good idea?” Taya asked.

“No, probably not,” I said, continuing to walk to the palace.

“Then why did you do it?”

“Because I cannot abide useless people,” I said. “Fleur is a trophy wife that forgot she was supposed to pretend to be in love. I doubt there’s any more depth to her than that. She cheats on Fancy, she’s annoying, and she wouldn’t leave me alone. So I dealt with that. Now she’ll hopefully be leaving me alone.”

“And if she doesn’t?”

“Then I might have some problems. But no matter what connections she might have, I believe I can one-up her.”

Thankfully, Taya let that kill the conversation. We were mostly silent all the way to our rooms. “So when are you leaving?” Taya asked when we both entered mine.

“Well, it’s already night, now. Celestia will probably be turning in soon, which means she’ll send a messenger by for me. I need to be gone before that messenger gets here.”

“Why don’t you just tell her to leave you alone?”

“Because I wouldn’t mind spending time with her, for one. I just have something else I need to do first. Second, she’s being nice enough to let us stay in the palace. The least I can do is see her when she requests me, if I don’t have any big plans. But if I’m not around to get the message that she wants me, I can’t really go see her, now can I?”

“Daddy, that’s kinda silly. You know the messenger is coming, right?”

“Yeah. But I can say I didn’t. It’s a lie, but she can’t really call me on it. Now, I need to get changed.”

“You never worried that much about clothing when you were still male,” Taya said. “This would be at least the third time you’ve changed today.”

“I didn’t have a freakily obsessed clothing designer making stuff for me when I was a guy. Rarity did make my clothes, but I managed to tame her into making what I wanted her to make. Now, she makes more or less what she wants. Also, Ava.”

Taya rolled her eyes. “Well, let’s see it,” she said, sitting down.

“Nope. You’re free to go talk to Kat, if you want. But I’m getting changed by myself.”

“Ugh, fine. But only after you read some of the fan mail.”

“If you’re going to be like that,” I muttered, walking over to where they were still bulging out of the pocket of the pants I discarded earlier. The secretary that gave me the letters said they were in chronological order, so I grabbed the first one and opened it. To make a long letter short, he or she (it wasn’t signed) really enjoyed my writing and wanted to know what my inspiration was, despite me putting in every book that I was just a translator.

The next letter was talking about a specific book and how it touched him or her. As much as I wanted to roll my eyes, the reason I copied a lot of the early books is because I felt the same way. The third letter asked about me, actually. The writer wanted to know more about me. The fourth had some speculation about who I was, assuming I was a pony writer, despite that being very obviously false. The fifth letter spoke about another one of the books and how he or she really liked it.

“There, that’s five of them,” I said, tossing the rest of the pack of letters aside. Taya was busy reading through the fourth one that I had dropped on the floor. “I can read the others later.” Yeah, right.

When she carefully folded it and set it aside, she started grabbing the last one with magic. “Why not now?” she asked. “These are good for you, daddy.”

“Because,” I said, picking her up and making her drop the letter in some small amount of surprise, “I’m busy.” I started walking to the still-open door. “Later, I won’t be busy. But now, I need to get dressed before Celestia starts looking for me.” I set her down outside the door. “Goodnight, Taya. I will definitely see you in the morning.”

“Can’t I read the last one, at least?” she asked, trying to fly it toward herself.

“Knock yourself out. Love you, dear.”

“I love you too, daddy,” she said, snatching the letter through the door as I started closing it. When it was finally shut, I immediately slid my ring on and locked the door.

Since that made me about as safe as I could be in the palace for a short amount of time, I let out a sigh of relief and started changing. I didn’t want to do too much, since I wasn’t quite ready to openly advertise myself as a girl. So no skirt and no blouse. It was mostly just my normal casual clothes with the sexiest panties I had underneath. For someone else's benefit, of course. I also grabbed a small bottle of lube, since I was going to be looking for a certain someone while I was out.

After I determined I was probably as ready as I’d ever be to meet a group of people to tell them a horrible secret, I pushed the window open, removed my ring, and jumped out. Honestly, I expected to be immediately teleported into Celestia’s warm embrace as soon as I removed my ring, but that didn’t happen. Instead, I soared out, into the night air.

Canterlot, as per usual when night falls, was already clearing out. Most of the ponies were off the streets and those that weren’t seemed like they were hurrying home. There were a few younger ponies in groups that were obviously headed toward clubs or bars or something, but they were few and far between. Most would have already been there, I figured.

Since I had never actually gone to the night guard bar alone by air, it took me a few minutes to find it. That was probably a good thing, because those few minutes gave me time calm my nerves. Despite having been a girl for so long and knowing a few groups were okay with it, letting the night guards know was… unnerving. I knew they wouldn’t care, but the nerves were still there.

I was also just a touch worried that a few more of them might try to join me. Truthfully, I would have loved to have an army with me, but we didn’t have room for them and we didn’t have room for their supplies. The miners were uncomfortable the entire time they were on the ship, and I wasn’t going to do that to any of my troops. That was just a minor concern, though.

Anyway, after I found it and stalled for as long as I figured I could justify to myself, I landed in the street next to the alleyway the bar was down. As soon as my feet touched the ground, two night guards seemed to appear from thin air in the alley. “We were wondering when you’d come by, sir,” one said.

“It’s not sir anymore,” I replied.

“Knight or not, it’s still sir,” the other said, smiling.

“No, as in, I don’t have a penis anymore,” I said. “I got cursed and now I’m a female.”

“No buckin’ way.”

“Can I see?”

“Jesus, really?” I sighed, crossing my arms. That drew their attention to my chest, where they noticed my mosquito-bite boobs.

“A-are those…?”

I rolled my eyes and lifted my shirt and bra, showing them off. “Yes.” One of them reached a hoof forward to poke at them, but I slapped it away and pushed everything back down. “Touching a lady’s tits without even buying her dinner first? Your mother would be ashamed.”

He rubbed at his hoof and looked away. “Sorry, si—Er, ma’am.”

I snorted and said, “Nah man, I’m kidding. You know I’m a slut.” Flo facepalmed as I lifted the shirt back up and said, “Feel free, just be gentle.”

They didn’t need any second thoughts and both immediately lifted a hoof to carefully poke and prod at the boobs. “So why are they up here instead of under your stomach?” one asked.

“Human babies can’t walk for a while after they’re born, so human mothers hold them up to their chest so the baby can get to the milk. It would be harder to hold them to our stomach and still be able to do anything with the other arm. So they’re on our chest.”

“Why are they so much larger than a mare’s?”

“No clue. But honestly, mine aren’t that large. I’ve seen some the size of my head.”

“By the night,” they both whispered, looking up at me with wide eyes. One added, “Can yours grow bigger like that?”

“Maybe with magic, but I wouldn’t want them to. Let’s see you carry two bouncing sacks of flesh on your chest and try to fight.”

“Well, we both have bouncing sacks of flesh between our back legs and we manage just fine.”

“It’s different. Yours doesn’t really do too much moving. Mine…” I suddenly jumped, showing off how they moved. “They move a lot. It’s worse when they’re larger.” Since both had pulled their hooves back at that point, I pushed my shirt down. “But you don’t care about biology. Is the bar open?”

“Yeah, of course. Not many of us are there yet since it’s so early, but it’s open. And knight or not, you’re welcome to enter, ma’am.”

“No need to call me any honorifics, now,” I said. “I don’t have rank anymore. Speaking of which, I won’t get into any trouble if I try flirting with any of the guards now, will I? I know last time I did, some of them were upset.”

When I said that, one of them slowly started to smile. The other said, “Well, you’re not a knight, so it should be fine…”

The one that started smiling said, “So uh… mind if I help break that new body in?”

“A friend already called first dibs. But if he’s not here tonight, I’ll see what I can do about organizing an orgy or something. That would be a fun way to relieve some stress, I think.”

“You uh… sure that’s a good idea?” the other one asked. “I mean, with your reputation…”

“What about it? I already got forced into one orgy in Canterlot a few years back. What’s wrong with another one?”

“Well, as much as I’m going to kick myself for saying this, a lot of stallions have a… way of treating mares they’ve slept with. You may not be a knight anymore, but you might become one in the future again, or get some other kind of position of power. Having sex with all the guards might backfire on you.”

“Ugh. Too many people that can’t tell when something’s just sex…” I sighed. “Fine, I’ll behave. Mostly.”

The one that had been smiling kicked the one that did the explaining. “You just had to open your mouth!” he said, turning and walking to the trap door heading down. “Good job!”

The kicked one rubbed at his shoulder and started following the other one. “Just trying to be nice, dude.”

“Nice guys get friendzoned!” he called as he climbed down into the bar. I chuckled, following them both.

The bar hadn’t changed at all in the time since I left, though the mood in the place seemed more… somber. My first thought is that it was caused by the place being emptier than it had been the first time I was there. However, when I actually got further inside and all the guards looked up and then immediately turned their heads away, I understood why.

They were ashamed.

Now that was something I hadn’t quite anticipated and honestly didn’t know how to deal with. Before I could make a disastrous attempt that would probably end up with me sold as a pet in Neighpon, a familiar cute batmare hopped out of her chair and walked over to me. “Let’s go for a short walk,” Blossom quietly said, walking right past me and up the staircase out. I shrugged and followed her, since I liked watching her tail sway.

“Are we going to do any talking on this walk?” I asked when we were outside and the door was closed.

“How long are you gonna be in town?” she asked.

“A few weeks. Hey, if you don’t want me to be in the bar, I can go. They uh… didn’t seem to want me there.”

“All of us failed to protect you from Luna. When we finally had her prosecution down with all the witnesses we could find, she disappeared. Celestia assured us she’s being punished, but refuses to say where. We… thought she went after you.”

“Haven’t seen hide nor tail of her. I haven’t even seen her in the dream world. I don’t know why you guys would be ashamed. If a ruler did what Luna did to me in my world, the military would almost definitely help cover it up, not spearhead the investigation into it.”

“We let it happen!”

“Did you know about it until she confessed?”

“...No.”

“Then you didn’t let it happen. It happened and you were ignorant about it, so you didn’t punish it. There were signs you could have watched out for, but you didn’t even think about it.”

“We did think about it. Princess Celestia warned us all to watch for possible signs of corruption, in case Nightmare Moon reappeared. But we failed to notice any wrongdoing…”

“Luna is a manipulative princess with around five thousand years of practice at getting her way. I’m a pretty decent actor and pretend with the best that nothing’s wrong. You guys didn’t fail. I don’t know what it would take to convince you of that.”

“For some of us, you can’t,” she sighed, looking down. “But for others, spending time in the bar would certainly help.”

“Well, that’s what I came by to do. Been a little while since I got to see my favorite guard captain, after all.” She snorted. “Since Shiny isn’t in town, I guess you’ll do instead.”

“Shining Armor isn’t a guard captain anymore. He’s a prince now.”

“Oh, I guess he finally revoked his captainness, then. I was only up in the Crystal Empire for a week or so.”

“You went up there?”

“Oh yeah. Found it as they were being attacked by Sombra. We wrecked his shit, I got what I was there for, and then we left.”

“Huh. Well, let’s get back to the bar while we can. I have to get on duty tonight.”

“Want a little snack before you do?”

“I already ate tonight, though I wouldn’t mind a taste of something fresh some time before you leave. As… horrible as it is to do that, it’s also liberating to have somepony else know. Better, somepony that doesn’t mind if I… you know.”

“Yeah, I can imagine.” We had only walked around the block a few times, so we were now on the way back. Since everything that needed to be said for the moment was said, we fell silent.

Until she finally realized, at least. “Is it just me, or is your voice higher?”

“Oh boy, that’s a long story. A story I don’t want to tell more than once. When we get down there, let’s tell all the bat ponies a story…”

A few hours and more than a few drinks later, the bar was kicking back into gear. Most of the bad mood was gone, most of those that were off duty were some kind of impaired, everyone had molested my boobs at least once, I had told several stories about my time away, and everything was going well.

The only problem is that my target wasn’t showing up. A few other people of note did appear, like Quisling (who made sure to get a snack), some of the troops from my ship, and a few of the night guard’s griffins. If I didn’t have literally all night to wait, I would have been somewhat upset.

As it was, he finally showed up about an hour after I was finally tired of waiting for him. I saw him enter, of course, but made sure not to pay him much mind. He would approach me, there was no doubt of that. All it would take was time.

Then I remembered I was dealing with Smiles. So as soon as he walked in, he immediately walked to my table. “Hey, sir. I didn’t expect to see you down here.”

“Well, I had to do something for fun,” I said, leaning back in my chair. “Celestia’s asleep, so I can’t do her. Figured I’d come here and visit some good friends.”

“Oh. Well, you could have come by my place.”

“If I knew where you lived, maybe. Everyone left the ship in such a hurry that no one left me any contact details. Anyway, I need you to do something for me, so don’t leave without telling me.”

“What do you need, sir?” he asked.

“I’ll tell you later. Nothing bad, so don’t worry.”

“Well…” He looked around before shrugging. “Everypony I was close with seems to be on duty. I don’t mind doing it now.”

I shrugged, grabbed my glass, drained it, and stood. Almost everyone immediately noticed, which disturbed me more than it should have. Guess I was the center of attention longer than I thought. “Time for me to go, guys.” There were a few groans. “I know, I know. Business comes first, though. I’ll be in town for a while. I’m sure I’ll have time to stop by again.” A chorus of goodbyes saw me out the door and into the dark night.

Smiles followed me out, of course, and closed the door behind us. “So where are we going?” he asked.

“Your place. We need to talk about something.”

“Did I do something wrong?!”

“No, no. You’ll understand when we get there. Just lead the way.”

“You aren’t making me feel comfortable, sir,” he sighed, walking out of the alley and spreading his wings.

“You’ll live.” We both jumped up and started flying. “So where’s Jak staying?”

“With me.”

“I can’t imagine he’d be okay with sharing a bed.”

“Oh, that’s… not a problem.”

“You got a hotel or something, then?”

“...You could say that.” He was definitely flying toward one of the larger buildings in Canterlot, one that I had never been to. “You see, my parents are… Well, rich is a mild term…”

“So your parents are loaded. Big deal.”

“They also own the largest hotel in Equestria, which is where we’re going now.”

“Lucky you. Why join the military if they’re loaded?”

“To do my part, I guess.”

“...And why did you join my crew if they could take care of you?”

“Promise you won’t be mad?”

“God dammit, Smiles.”

“Spending time with you wasn’t the only reason! I also wanted to explore some, see the world. I thought I was going to get to when I joined the guard, but then I got assigned to Canterlot…”

“Yeah, because your parents are fucking loaded. Ten bits say they bribed the guard captains so you were assigned to be around royalty.”

“I… never even thought of that. Do you really think they’d do that?”

“I don’t know your fucking parents, dude. Do you think they’d do that?”

“Uh… I dunno. I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.” We were landing and I didn’t really care anyway, so I just dropped the point. We stopped outside of a set of large brass doors, both engraved with several pleasant images. When the doorman saw Smiles, he hastily saluted and then started pushing the doors open. “Thanks.” Smiles and I started walking in. “Don’t worry about meeting anypony important. They’re all asleep at this time of night.”

“When have I ever worried about meeting anyone important? The first time I met the griffin king, I insulted him. Same for the changeling queen. Hell, I just straight up made an enemy of the wife of one of the more powerful solar knights.”

“Fine. Then I won’t worry about you meeting anypony important.”

“Why would you be worried? It’s not like they think we’re dating, and if you tell me you told them we were, I’m going to kick you between the legs and leave.”

“...That would really hurt,” he quietly said, shivering slightly. “And it won’t be necessary,” he hastily added, shying away when he saw me lift one of my legs for a kick.

“Good. So where’s your room?”

“We can’t talk here?” he asked, looking around the giant anteroom of the hotel. This place was fancier than even the palace, with gold paneling and sapphires covering the large chandeliers, giving the room a blue tint. Each wall seemed to have dozens of pictures and paintings, usually of important ponies or nice scenery. Aside from us, there was only a single person behind the counter and a single guard.

“No, we can’t.”

“Oh. Well, if you or Taya or anypony else on the ship needs a room, I can get that set up right now.”

“Nah, we’re staying at the palace.” That perked the ears of the lady behind the counter up, but she didn’t say anything. “And this is private, so let’s just go to your room.”

He shrugged. “Alright, I guess. It’s kinda messy, so I hope you don’t mind…” he said as he started walking to the large spiral staircase in the right corner of the room.

“I doubt it could be worse than my room back home,” I replied.

“I saw your room back at your house. It was pretty clean.”

“I meant my real home. The one I had before Bitchlight Spankle stole me.”

“...Oh.” Thankfully, that killed whatever conversation he might have wanted to have, so he was silent as we walked through gilded halls and past highly ornate sitting rooms. Finally, we stood before a surprisingly plain door. “Well, this is it,” he said, pushing it open with his hoof without even twisting the handle. He let me in first, perhaps hoping I’d catch the blade from whatever assassin might lurk within. My augmented eyes saw most details of the perfectly clean entry-room before he even flicked the lights on. “Yeah, sorry about the mess…” he awkwardly said, walking past me and further in.

You call this a mess? Jesus, I guess I’m more of a fucking slob than I thought. “No problem. Not like I was really expecting anything better.” He flinched slightly, which made me smile to myself.

“You want anything?” he asked.

“Dude, I’m already kinda drunk. I don’t think I need more.” I followed him anyway, though, because it seemed weird to be talking to him from the door when he was in some kind of kitchen or whatever. I quickly saw that he was at a nice little minibar, though I don’t think he had any alcohol back there.

“Alright, I guess. So what did you need?”

“Long story short, Celestia bribed me into doing a weird sleepover thing with her and someone else. We got to playing truth or dare and Celestia’s kind of a bitch. So I need you to fuck me in the ass.”

“Oh, that’s not so—What.”

“Well, she dared me to try anal. I’m pretty sure she meant with her, but I’m not going to give her the satisfaction. So—” Before I could continue, he fucking jumped across the room and grabbed me, then started dragging me somewhere else. “Uh…”

“Less talking, more me cornholing you!”

“How does that word even exist with ponies? Can’t you guys digest that stuff perfectly?” We got to his bedroom, so instead of answering, he threw me onto the bed and then jumped on top of me, trying to kiss me. I put both hands on his head, stopping him. “Hey, I may be drunk, but I have rules that you are going to follow.”

His quick breathing slowed down slightly and he nodded. “Alright, what are they?”

“You’re going to go slow, you’re going to be gentle, you’re going to use plenty of lube, you’re going to stop if I tell you, and you’re going to be gentle.”

“You already said that one.”

“Because it’s fucking important. I have done something like this exactly once, with Luna. She locked me into something called a sybian and left me in it for hours. My ass felt funny for nearly a day afterward. So yeah.”

He took a deep breath and stood, sliding off me. “Alright, I can do those things. Usually I’m a bit more… aggressive. But I can be gentle.”

“Good.” I pulled the lube I brought out of my pocket and tossed it at him. “If I like it, we can do it again later. If I don’t, you’re never going to mention it again.” His ears started twitching. “So no pressure.”

Suddenly his eyes turned blue. “Can I help?” Ice asked.

“Hell no. You aren’t experienced with ass fuckings. Unfortunately, Smiles is.”

“Hey, I know all the theory!”

“Too bad. Smiles has wanted it longer than you have. Just sit back and watch.”

He sighed and muttered, “I never get to have any fun…” Then the eyes went back to their normal gold and Smiles took back over.

“That’s so weird,” he said, shuddering.

“You never get used to it,” I said with a shrug. “Anyway, shall we?”

He nodded and asked, “So… I don’t suppose you already… Er, cleaned yourself out?”

“That won’t be an issue. My biology is very different. I’m as clean as possible.”

“Alright. No need to worry about diseases between species, so we’ll only use a condom if you want.”

“Any difference in feeling?”

“Not for your first time. If you were more used to it, you might notice something. It wouldn’t feel as good to me, but… culminating inside scares some first-timers.”

“Did you really just call it culminating? Jesus, dude. I’ll be fine without. I just hope you have some way to warm me up.”

“Yeah, I got something. And this lube’s just fine. As nice as your hands would feel putting it on, I’m more experienced and I don’t want you to get hurt.”

“Whatever, man. Just tell me what to do. The sooner I can get this stupid dare over with, the better.”

“Well, first thing’s first: Get out of those clothes.”

“Easy enough.” I stood and started taking stuff off. “I was actually planning on doing some kind of stupid strip tease, but then I started drinking and now I don’t really care anymore.”

“No offense, but I’m really not that attracted to mares anyway. I’m doing this because I know you’re a stallion underneath and I promised myself I’d tap dat ass as soon as I got a chance. Nice panties, though.”

I rolled my eyes as I tossed them aside, standing before him naked. “Well, now what?”

“Well, you’re drunk and I really want to get to the good part, so I’ll skip basic foreplay. If we do it ponystyle, we’ll lose some length, but that might not be a problem. So on your… hands and legs? Is that right?”

“Hands and knees,” I said, getting on the bed like that, with my ass facing him.

“Dear sweet Celestia, dat ass,” he whispered. When I looked back, he was staring at my ass and biting his lip.

“I know it’s not that sexy,” I said. “If it was, I’d carry a mirror around so I could look at it.”

“It’s exotic,” he said, reaching a hoof out to gently caress one of my cheeks. “Smooth. Hairless. And mine!”

“Creepy. So you gonna fuck me or what?”

“Relax,” he said, gently patting the cheek he had been caressing. “Look the other way.” I did so, rolling my eyes. “You aren’t the first stallion I deflowered, don’t you worry.”

(Guess what. ctrl+f “Sex is over” to skip)

“You aren’t—ah!” He chose that time to lean in and fucking lick my asshole. “Not my fetish!”

“Well, you don’t like anal at all, so deal with it,” he said. “This is a good way to make you loosen up, and you said you’re clean. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever even seen you go to the bathroom, aside from showers.”

“That’s because I don’t. Those down there are reserved entirely for fun.”

“Then there’s nothing to worry about,” he said. “You’re perfectly clean, after all.”

Before I could make another rebuttal about how nasty it was anyway, he leaned back in and continued rimming me. I really wanted to get him to stop, but I had very little experience dealing with anal without having fingers, so I figured that was how he stretched his toys out. So lacking any other option, I let my head hang low and just bore it.

It felt… slimy, at first. Good, but slimy. “You’re a lot different from stallions,” he said after a few seconds of just tasting the outside. “We have holes that push out, kinda like donuts.”

“I know. I’ve fucked plenty of mares.”

“Yours is nice and different, a cute little innie…”

“I should have just let Celestia ravage me…”

He chuckled and went back to it. This time, his tongue actually pushed inside, making me gasp and instinctively try to pull away. To deny my escape, he grabbed my hips with his hooves and held me steady, forcing his tongue deeper. My hands clenched at the bed sheets as my wings slowly spread, my arousal showing despite my personal disgust. After I didn’t move for a few seconds, his hooves were replaced by leathery wings to hold me still.

One hoof went between my legs instead, rubbing at what we both wished was a penis. Instead, he was stuck with my boring vag, rubbing it and letting me feel that it was actually getting wet. I immediately realized he had no idea what he was doing when he started aimlessly poking it.

To help him out, I pushed one of my hands down there, grabbing his hoof and pressing it against my clit, then rubbing it in circles. He got the message and started doing that, so I pulled my hand back and just started rubbing at one of my nipples instead. With three points of stimulation, even if the analingus felt weird and unwanted, I was starting to pant. Or maybe because it felt weird; the wrongness felt good, in a way.

Either way, after about a minute of exploring my body with his tongue with the kind of kiss I never expected, he pulled away, smacking his lips. “Not bad. Definitely clean.” He stopped rubbing at my crotch and shuddered slightly. “So… wet. Weird.”

“Hey, I don’t go calling your horse cock weird. Now hurry up. That felt good.”

“Hold your monkeys.” As much as I really wanted to slap him for that, I realized it probably wouldn’t do any good. Instead, I arched my back slightly to push my ass closer to him. As little as I wanted what was about to happen, I knew it was going to happen, so I wanted it to be over with.

In the few seconds after he said that, I heard a pop and then a weird schlicking sound that I really didn’t want to turn around to see. If I had to guess, I’d say he was putting the lube on. The very cool sensation of his slick and wet hoof pressing against my smallest hole confirmed that. He proceeded to coat the area with lube, though he couldn’t get inside.

Finally, he very unexpectedly mounted me, putting a lot more weight on me than I was used to. Both my arms collapsed before I could hold them steady, pushing my upper body to the bed. “That’s a much better angle,” he said from over me, his hooves going to either side of my head. “I get more penetration and you feel more. Good idea.” Before I could tell him to go fuck himself, he decided to go fuck me instead. Or at least, he pressed the head of his mighty stallionhood up against my opening. “Ready?”

“If we’re going to wait for that, we’ll be here forever. Just… you know.”

“Hardest part’s the first step,” he said, slowly putting pressure on me and spreading my cheeks. “Just… gotta…” My eyes widened and I gasped as the head broke through. His weird wings hugged me tight and he stopped, letting my body get used to that unwelcome intruder.

It felt… big. Warm. Slick. Intruding. Slightly painful. Wrong.

And it was moving. Smiles was pushing it further in, apparently thinking I was used to it. He wasn’t going fast, but it was definitely a battle my body wasn’t enjoying. “S-slower,” I hissed, making him stop.

“Really?” he asked. “It’s barely even in!”

“Body’s different!”

“...Right.” He sighed and started moving slower, giving my ass canal enough time to actually accept the large intruder. It still hurt, but at least it didn’t sting as it had been.

Flo finally made herself known, at least. “I could ease the pain, you know,” she whispered.

If it gets too bad, do it. But I want to know how it really feels so I can give Celestia a more honest excuse about why I’ll never do it again.

“That’s weird, but I’ll respect it,” Flo said before going silent again.

His horse cock was slowly pushing its way further and further in, and my body was naturally trying to pull away, even if I couldn’t really move that much in the position I was in. After a few inches, my shoulders hit his hooves and then I was stuck, unable to move any further. He chuckled at my predicament, moving his hips side to side to grind on me. That made the feeling of wrongness shoot back up, because it actually felt good for a short moment.

Then he started moving in again. “Does it hurt?” he asked.

“T-too big,” I said.

“If you had told me sooner, I would have some stuff that would stretch you better. But on such short notice…” That did nothing to make me feel better, so I just put one of my hands back on my clit and started rubbing that, hoping it would make the process go smoother or at least offset the pain with some pleasure.

Sure enough, that extra little bit made me relax slightly, enough that he could finally get the last inch in. Then he just waited, jiggling his hips around to make it pulse inside me and remind me how violated I was.

“The first insertion’s always the hardest,” he whispered, starting to withdrawal. “Hopefully, there won’t be too much blood… After all, yours is really sticky and might hurt me.” Thanks for the concern, dick.

Honestly, and as weird as it is to say it, him pulling out felt like taking a shit. A really hard one, but my abused hole felt a lot better when he was mostly out, leaving just the head inside. When most of his furry body removed itself from my back, I turned my head. “What are you doing?”

“Adding more lube,” he said. “I want it to feel good and you can never have too much of this stuff.” I just sighed and turned my head back. “If it makes you feel any better, there isn’t any blood!”

“Why would people even want to do this when the most fun place in the world is just a few centimeters away?” I sighed. “Far too much work for far too little fun…”

“It’s an acquired taste,” he answered, tossing the empty lube bottle aside and putting his weight back on me. “You gotta get into it before it feels good. But when you do, it feels really good! It just takes a few times for it to not hurt. For stallions, at least. Dunno about mares.” He started pushing back in. It didn’t hurt as bad that time, thankfully. I suppose some of the lube stuck inside and adding more really did the trick.

“Celestia definitely prefers it,” I said, then immediately flinched when he jumped slightly, pushing in several inches at once.

“S-she what?” he asked.

“Celestia loves getting fucked in the ass,” I told him, shaking my hips slightly to try to ease the pain. “Luna didn’t, though.”

“You… you know the strangest things…”

There was no answer to that, so I just stayed silent. Talking was hard anyway, with something jammed into a hole that was supposed to be one way only. I was taking it like some kind of a champ, despite that. At least I wasn’t bleeding.

He was going faster that time, so the invasive hunk of meat maxed out sooner. When it did, he immediately started pulling back out. That’s when I knew we were finally started, unfortunately.

Despite my body being somewhat used to it, the new speed, and the extra lube, what we were doing didn’t feel any real kind of good. It stopped hurting, but it just stayed uncomfortable. As he continued plowing me, the only real good part I could say was the delicious wrongness the act gave me. Rubbing my clit was the only part doing anything for me, though.

Still, Smiles was definitely enjoying it. He picked up speed quickly and started truly pounding my tight ass a few minutes in, his breath picking up just as quickly as his speed did. Every time he thrusted in, I felt his sack bump against my somewhat wet vag, delivering an odd and not unpleasant sensation. The suction as he was pulling out also felt alright, but then he ruined it by thrusting again.

Thankfully, it has been a while since our resident gay stallion got any. Not much longer than ten minutes in, his pace started getting erratic, which felt even worse. I figured he was close, but then he whispered my name and actually fucking bit the back of my neck. Before I could complain, he thrusted in one last time, as deep as he could get, and twitched. I knew it was coming before the flare on his dick shot out and the first torrent of uncomfortably hot juice hit me.

As much as I wanted to push him off, I really didn’t want cum all over me, especially not in my hair. That stuff is hard to clean out. So I let him cum balls deep into my ass, filling me to the brim with his useless seed. Honestly, it felt… alright. Surprising at first, since I wasn’t used to having any extra fluids up there, but it wasn’t too bad.

Finally, his flare died down and he started pulling out, his softening dick giving me one last little suction. As soon as his head left me, I felt a trail of cum start dripping down onto my cunt, combining with the few juices I was releasing. Smiles fell onto the bed next to me, sighing in delight. “Well, how was it?” he asked as I slid down more fully onto the bed.

“A once in a lifetime thing, probably,” I said, shrugging slightly. “Uncomfortable, not fun, I’m nowhere near cumming, and my ass is leaking jizz.”

“Oh, it’ll stop that once your gape closes. Lying on your stomach should help.” I rolled my eyes and laid flat instead of on my side. “Anal is really, really something you need to do several times before it really feels good. And I don’t know much about… mares and anal. Or human females and anal. If you were still a stallion, your cum would be all over the bed. As it is…” He shrugged. “Sorry.”

“Well, I did Celestia’s stupid fucking dare. That’s good enough for me. I’m going back to the palace.”

“What? Why? Don’t you want to… I don’t know, hang out?”

“No. I’m going to go take a fucking shower so I can get all this sticky stuff off my ass.”

“...I have a shower here.”

I stood and started gathering my clothes, thanking whoever that most of the cum had stopped leaking. Most of my ass was still covered in lube, though. I figured that would wash off the clothes just fine, and I left my window in the palace open, so I could just fly straight there.

He sighed and said, “You’re gonna be walking funny for a little while.”

“I know. I’ve seen plenty of people waddle after taking it up the ass. The stallion I fucked actually couldn’t move his legs for half an hour.”

“Nice. I’ve done that once or twice, but it’s been a while, so…”

“I’m not complaining. I came into this expecting to hate it. I didn’t hate it, but it’s not something I want to do again.” I had been getting dressed as I was saying that, so I stood before him full clothed at that point. “You mind if I go out the window?” I asked.

“Just use the balcony,” he said, nodding toward it.

“Spoiled bastard. Not even my room at the palace has a damn balcony.”

“Hey, you can stay here if you want!”

“Psh, yeah right.” I started walking to the glass doors heading outside. “See you when the ship is done.”

“...Alright. And uh… thanks for this.”

“Shut up, Smiles. You tell anyone but Celestia, I’ll deny it.” He sighed and looked down. I nodded and threw the door open, jumping out and away, into the night.

(“Sex is over”)

 
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