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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153. Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Seven

Right after I got out of the shower on the next day, a knock came upon the door. Since I figured it was probably just Taya (who I didn’t let stay in my room the night before because she was laughing at me), I opened it up without bothering to cover up any of my body.

The maid on the other side was definitely not expecting to get a full view of my sexy naked body, but she didn’t have any complaints. In fact, she barely gave it a cursory glance. “You have a guest, my lady.”

“Can you stop calling me that?” I sighed.

“It is only proper for a lady of your stature. And it’s quite obvious from here that you’re a lady… my lady.”

I hate you. “Ugh. Who’s my fucking guest?”

“Lady Fleur. Shall I tell her you’re on the way, or would you like me to send her here?”

Christ. What the hell does she want? No way she could have read any of those books yet; my publishers are good, but not that good. “Send her here, I guess. I probably have too much damage control to do to make this take longer than necessary.”

“She shall be here shortly, then.” With that, she curtsied and walked off, leaving me to close the door. After that, I set about getting dressed. No reason to give Fleur any ideas, after all.

Right when I got my shirt pulled on, a much firmer knock came upon the door. I casually opened it, already mentally preparing myself to deal with Fleur’s bullshit.

I wasn’t quite prepared for the ferocious hug that greeted me, though. “Oh Navi, you two make such a cute couple!”

“...What?”

“It’s all over the papers!” she said as she finally let me go. “You and Soarin’, out on a date!”

I blinked a few times before walking over to my sword, pulling it out, and walking toward the door. There were a few reporters that I needed to have some conversations with. Unfortunately, Fleur apparently disagreed with that notion, and used magic to gently close the door.

“Um… Nav?”

“Yes, Fleur,” I quietly answered, gripping the pommel so hard I could feel my knuckles slightly cracking.

“Was… was it supposed to be a secret…?”

It wasn’t a date!

“He… kissed you.”

“It wasn’t supposed to be a date! He said he wanted to talk to me about something and that we could do it over dinner! I figured it’d just be two guys shooting the shit. Then that fucker takes me to a park and tries being all romantic and shit, then flies me home and fucking kisses me! It’s not supposed to be a secret, because it wasn’t supposed to be a fucking date!

“...Oh.” She was silent for a few seconds before slowly continuing. “So a stallion asked you out to dinner… A cute stallion like Soarin’, mind. And he asks out a wonderfully eligible bachelorette like yourself… And then takes you to a park while the sun was setting… And then flies you home while holding your paw… And you didn’t realize it was a date?”

“I… kinda had suspicions,” I sighed, walking over to the sheath and putting the sword up. Then I turned back to her, angry again. “But I didn’t expect him to be gay!”

“Nav, oh Nav…” she giggled. “You’re a mare now! Like it or not, some stallions aren’t going to think about what you used to be, only what you are now! Maybe you should start doing the same, you know. Soarin’ is quite the catch, after all.” I gave her a disturbingly flat stare. She sighed. “I can bury the news. But telling Soarin’ is your problem.”

“It won’t be a problem. The dude probably wakes up covered in bitches anyway. I doubt he’ll even bother hunting me down to ask for another date. And if he does, I’ll just say no.”

“I don’t think he has any pets, actually. Especially not dogs; they’d be hard to keep in Cloudsdale.” I fucking hate this place. “But would it really be so bad? I certainly don’t want to push you into anything, but I would like to understand.”

“I’m still looking for a way to turn back. Until I succeed or give up searching, I’m not going to get into any kind of relationship. It wouldn’t be fair on the off chance I was successful. And I have a reputation to uphold. A reputation that doesn’t paint me as gay. After what Luna did with her stupid dream bullshit, I’d rather the stallions of the world not think I’m on the market. It’s bad enough that so many mares are fine with doing stuff with me.” Although it can be fun sometimes. “If I realized beforehand that he was asking me on a date…” Thanks, Flo. “...I wouldn’t have agreed.”

“...I understand that position. Stallions can be quite demanding. So can males of other species.”

“So can the chicks. They just usually aren’t demanding sex.”

“True, I suppose. Though I know a few that would beg to differ.” We fell silent for a few moments before she sighed again. “Well, you know what always calms me down after I get upset?”

“Sex?”

“Sometimes. But I was thinking more about shopping. Shall we? My treat!”

More like Fancy’s treat. “There’s nothing I need and nothing I want. I’m still mentally a guy, so shopping for me is the opposite of therapeutic. You’ll pay one bit for a two bit item you don’t need. I’ll pay two bits for a one bit item I do need. But in general, I’d rather not have to buy anything at all.”

“Have you ever tried it in a therapeutic sense? Just browsing and picking up whatever you happen to like? True, I can’t imagine you’d find much clothing that would fit you, but there’s plenty of other stuff you could get!”

“I haven’t, but I’ve been with my mother while she did. It was miserable then and I bet it would be miserable now.”

“Well, of course it was then. You weren’t doing it for yourself! Now, we can go at your own pace and go wherever you’d like.”

“...Fleur, I’m not going shopping. It would be like taking you sparring with me. You wouldn’t enjoy fighting and I wouldn’t enjoy buying shit.”

“I might enjoy it. After all, I’ve never tried it. If I go sparring with you, will you go shopping with me?”

“I’m not going shopping. And I’m definitely not taking you sparring. I don’t want you to get hurt. Besides, don’t you have some campaigning to do? Or shouldn’t you be convincing your husband to come out?”

“He already said he would talk to his ‘friends’. And I’ve been waiting for your new books to come out before I do too much.”

“You won’t have to wait too much longer. I sent them to the publisher already.”

“Good, then I’m sure you could use a break. How shall we spend the day, Navi?”

“Shouldn’t you be burying the news about Soarin’?”

“Oh, we can do that on the way. Now, I would suggest a makeover, but it seems you already dyed your hair. And I must say, I quite like it. Orange is in this season, after all.”

Fucking fall. “That’s more a byproduct of my biology than something I did, but whatever. You know, another thing you could be doing right now is convincing more nobles not to be fucking twats. Start a book club or something with like-minded individuals and spread the wonderful news of humanity.”

“I’ve already begun that process, actually. And I’ve already spread word about your Miss Universe pageant. It seems Princess Cadance was also interested in such a concept a few months ago, but she never really pressed it. I’ll reignite that interest and ensure the concept goes places.”

“You’ve been a busy little bee, haven’t you?”

“Indeed I have, and I feel like a little break would be quite nice. Also… there appears to be a bat pony at your window.” I blinked and turned around to find that there was, in fact, one there.

Since Smiles (probably) wouldn’t be bothering me if it wasn’t important, I sighed and walked over to open it for him. “Message from Ice, sir,” he said, gripping the window seal with his front two hooves to hold himself steady. “The others are free and they’re all heading back to the city to talk, now. He’s thinking they’ll be here within two days.”

“Good. Better than good. Spread the word, starting with Gourd. If you can find Watcher, even better. I want everyone but the elements of harmony back in Canterlot at the very least and ready to go within that time frame. I’ll deal with Spike tomorrow.”

“Yes sir. It’ll be good to be in the air again.” He went silent for a second before reminding me why he’s annoying. “So how was your date?”

I slammed the window shut and turned back to Fleur. “I need to make preparations to leave. There’s a lot that needs to be done and not too much time in which to do it. If I survive, we might hang out when I come back. If not…” I shrugged. “These things happen.”

“Leaving so soon? It feels like you just got back!”

Feels like it’s been months, to me. “I go when and where I’m needed. I certainly wasn’t planning on being gone before Celestia gets back, though it might be for the best after what happened with Soarin’.”

“You know, he might be willing to go with you…”

“But I wouldn’t be willing to take him. He’s not a soldier and we have enough fast fliers. Just another mouth to feed. And also, I’m not dating him. Christ, we didn’t even have sex!”

“...Have you ever actually been with a stallion?”

“Yes. The flares hurt. Was with a dog once, but the knot sucked. Been with a dragon, and holy shit is their cum hot. I heard cats and griffins had spikes on their dick, so I’ll pass on them.”

“Strange. I heard griffins had knots like dogs. I’ve never actually seen one’s… pride and joy, so I can’t say.”

“Well, with the body of a large cat, I figured they’d be hung like a large cat, which have dicks about the size of my thumb. But talking about dicks isn’t something I really wanted to do today. I need to take Taya running and then get ready to go.”

“You know, I don’t think you’ve ever really introduced me to her…”

“She probably doesn’t like you. She seems incapable of treating old enemies like new friends, and heard me talking all manner of unpleasantness about you. It probably ain’t such a good idea to try to meet her just yet.”

“If you try to shelter her away from anypony she might not like, she’ll find herself having very few friends. Or at least, that’s how it would seem to me.”

“Alright, fine.” Maybe she can make you take a hint. “She probably isn’t awake yet, but that’s easy enough to fix. Although truth be told, I’m also surprised you’re awake this early. Isn’t it, like, barely past dawn?”

“The early pony gets the crispest hay,” she replied with a shrug. “But if she’s still asleep, I suppose you should let her continue to rest. Fillies and colts need plenty of sleep, after all.” She sighed and seemed to sag a little. “And I was hoping for such a nice day, too… Well, up until the party tonight, at least.”

“That’s tonight?”

“Indeed it is. Did you truly read none of the invitations I sent?”

“Not really, no. You know, tonight might be a good time for you to scout out more people interested in change. Find more stallions interested in the gay stuff or mares interested in the lesbo stuff. I imagine finding freethinkers would be harder, though.”

“I have my eye on more than a few already. I’ve been watching mares and stallions both for years now, trying to find secrets and weaknesses for all the wrong reasons. It will be nice to finally use them for good causes.”

“Just make sure it is a good cause. A lot of the bottomfeeders in Canterlot will latch onto anything someone more popular starts doing. You might think you have a decent and good movement started only for it to swerve and lose momentum when something more popular comes around. Or worse, when Celestia takes note and starts playing games.”

“The thought has come to my mind, yes. My plan was to establish a strong base of just a few upper elite that’ll stay the course, then slowly branch out to make sure all those we have converted are coming to us for the right reasons. It might eventually snowball out, but hopefully by the time it does, all of the highest ranking members of the elite will be with us for the right reasons.”

And there was a time I thought you were just a slutty trophy wife. “You’ve definitely thought this through. Gotta admit, I’m kinda impressed.”

She smiled. “I’m glad to see you approve. If you would like to be there when I have the first book club, it’ll be today, before the party. My plan was to see who might be interested in a revolution of the mind and have them scout the party with me.”

“I would, but preparing a ship full of mercs takes a lot of work, especially with just two days to work with.”

“If it’s anything like organizing a large house for a party, I imagine it would be quite time-consuming… If there is any way I can assist, I would be all too happy to help.”

I was getting to the point where I wanted to just tell her to fuck off, but I finally thought of something. “...How do you feel about spiders? And cats?”

“I quite like cute little kitties. But I’m not so much a fan of spiders. Why?”

“I promised two of my crew members a tour of Canterlot, but I’ve been too busy to deliver on that. One’s a cat and one’s a giant spider. If you’re really bored, you can show them around. I wouldn’t be surprised if you had a lot in common with Katrina, too.”

“That would certainly be… interesting. Um. How giant is giant?”

“About the size of a normal filly, I guess. He’s still pretty young.”

“Well, I suppose that’s certainly something I could help you with. Where are they?”

“Two rooms down. Just tell ‘em I sent you. Oh, and don’t worry about the spider’s venom. It just makes you really, really sensitive.”

“Um. As in, anything that touches you feels magnified?”

“Yeah. The one time I was hit by it, I almost came just from the wind.”

“Hm. I’ll be happy to help you, Nav.” Her horn lit up and she pulled me into her for yet another hug. “Hopefully I’ll see you again before you leave, but in case I don’t, goodbye for now. And thank you for giving me a chance.”

“I do what I can,” I said, returning the hug. “And I’ll definitely miss you.” Probably not, actually. When she finally let go, I said, “And don’t forget to talk to your reporter friends about Soarin’. I’d like that little thing swept under the rug quickly.”

“I rather doubt it’ll be forgotten that quickly, but it might be possible to have it stop being reported. Also, might I suggest not bringing a sword with you the next time you want to speak with the media? It might do your reputation with them some good.”

“Fear is powerful.”

“And hate is dangerous when your reputation is key. But I suppose I can train you on proper court rituals when you return. Should you start living here, knowing how to live here is useful, even if you very rarely choose to demonstrate the proper mannerisms.”

“That certainly gives me something to look forward to,” I sarcastically replied.

“It’s definitely not all it’s advertised to be,” she sighed. “But every life has its hardships, it seems, even if they’re more like tests of tolerance than hard work. Now, I should get the tour started quickly if they want to see everything in time for my meetings. I shall hopefully see you again soon, Navarone.”

“Same to you, Fleur. See you when I see you.”

And just like that, she was back out and I could relax. Never thought I’d be so happy to see Smiles.

“You’re lucky he came by when he did. I was just about to help you agree to spend some time with her.”

“Why do you hate me, Flo?”

“Because you’re cute when you’re suffering. But just think: In a few short days, I’ll be able to make you suffer in person!”

“I bet you’re looking forward to it, too.”

“I’m definitely looking forward to being free again. Making you suffer is just a fun side benefit. I’m making myself wet just thinking about all the hugs I’m going to give you.”

“Slut. So what should I do now that I’m finally leaving soon and Celestia’s not here?”

“Paint something for Midnight.”

“...Forgot about that. Might as well go ahead and get started before Taya wakes up.”

“Set up the painting supplies. I’ll take over when you’re ready.” After doing it a few times, setting up didn’t take much time. Flo started her next masterpiece moments later.

“So what are you painting this time?”

“You’ll see. It’s a surprise.”

“If it’s a portrait of her, she’ll probably kick me.”

“I’m aware. And yes, I know she also wouldn’t find a picture of Dracula funny.”

“If I knew how to sew, I’d give her the Count and let him teach her numbers. Oh, maybe I should write the Twilight series for her!”

“If you wrote those books, you’d probably give mare-heavy towns like Ponyville a collective orgasm. Especially the ones that have things for predators. Also, Twilight might kill you for ruining her good name with such trash.”

“...I’ll get started on them as soon as you finish the painting.”

She didn’t waste any more time.

Taya was happy to hear the news. I wasn’t the only one tired of being in Canterlot, but at least I had a good reason for it. She was less happy about still having to run, though. I also wasn’t too happy about having to eat, but I got over it.

While I was back to painting, another bat horse came up to my window. Taya noticed him this time and let him in. “Watcher wants to know your plans for the elements of harmony, sir,” the soldier said.

“I’m planning on leaving them here for now. We can pick them up after we come back from the changeling hive. Chrysalis already said she doesn’t want too many people knowing where the main hive is and she hates Twilight, so I’ll just save us the trouble and leave them. I’m also gonna talk to Celestia about leaving them when we head to Africa, but I’m pretty sure she’s gonna make them come with us no matter what.”

“And the naga?”

“Gonna pick him up on the way to the hive. Probably do the same for Spike, too. They’re both on the way.”

“Have you sent a message to let Chrysalis know we were coming?”

“Celestia made me send her a letter a few days ago. I told her then, though I didn’t say why. I’d rather her not know.”

“Good. He also said you can’t take your boyfriend with us.”

“When you get back to the ship, smack him upside the head. If he gets upset, tell him I said it was okay.”

“Yes sir. Any other orders?”

“If he hasn’t already, tell Watcher to dig up any maps he can find of the rest of the world. There’s no telling where the hell we might end up, and I’d rather not unknowingly find a large undead menace waiting for us next time. Africa’s the next definite goal, though.”

“That’s part of what he’s been spending his time doing. He says we should be fine unless we plan on doing something stupid, like going into Tartarus.”

“Welp, thanks for jinxing us, dick. Might as well tell him to go ahead and start looking for maps of that place, too.”

“He said it, not me,” he defensively replied.

“Yeah, yeah. I ain’t got no other orders, though. I’ll probably start moving back to the ship tomorrow. Until then, the palace has much nicer beds and mares that don’t get too angry when you flirt with them.”

He smirked. “The ones on the ship don’t mind, if you’re a handsome stallion.”

“If you can bed Rainbow Dash, I’ll be impressed. Until then, keep your good luck to yourself.”

“Yes sir. You mind leaving your window open, in case Watcher has any other messages?”

“Yeah. It’s a nice enough day out anyway. Just announce yourself when you get here, in case we zone out or whatever.”

“Yes sir. See you later.” I nodded and he hopped back out to fly to the ship.

“He is kinda handsome…” Taya quietly said.

“Man, all those damn guards look almost exactly the same. To me, anyway. I guess if you’re also a horse, you can see more differences. Whatever.”

Before I could go back to painting, Taya asked, “So what is that, anyway?”

“I dunno. Flo’s being all mysterious. It’ll be a gift for a friend, though, so I know she won’t make it too bad.”

“Is it a friend I know?”

“You’ve met her once. She’s the captain of the night guard.”

“Oh yeah, the lady with the fangs. She looked kinda funny.”

“She sure doesn’t tell many jokes. She’s really adorable, though. Not quite as cute as you, but she tries.”

“...I somehow doubt she really tries that hard.”

“She doesn’t. She just gets flustered when I tell her and it’s funny.”

“Some day, someone’s gonna find a way to get you flustered and they’re going to use it on you all the time. Normally, I’d be upset that someone’s messing with my daddy, but I might just sit back and watch.”

“As long as you’re as cute then as you are now, I’ll find a way to get through.” She rolled her eyes and let me finally get back to painting.

Celestia got back to the palace not too long before dinner. Of course, I didn’t actually know about that until she sent one of her slaves to me with an invite to supper. Taya was finally back in her room doing whatever girls do in their free time, like lighting farts or whatever, so I went alone.

When I got there, Celestia and Twilight were having some kind of talk about where the ghosts came from that they quickly stopped discussing when they saw me. “There’s no need to censor yourself for my benefit,” I said as I eased myself into the chair opposite Twilight. “Hell, I’m interested in anything you can tell me about that bunker.”

“Don’t you worry about it, Nav,” Celestia warmly said with her typical smile. “We took care of the ones down south. Hopefully that’ll be the end of them.”

“The ones here, maybe. What about elsewhere?”

“If any others come into Equestria, I’ll take care of them,” Celestia very diplomatically replied. Note how she specified that it had to be in Equestria. “Did anything interesting happen while we were away?”

“I accidentally went on a date with a stallion. And the elementals are done, so we’ll probably be leaving soon.”

“Aqua told me about that,” Twilight said with a nod. “She did not mention your… date. How do you accidentally date somebody?”

“I’m an idiot and Flo’s a jerk. After Celestia abandoned me, Soarin’ said he wanted to talk about how I got turned into a chick, and asked if we could do it over dinner. I didn’t realize he was asking me out on a date until we were already eating.”

Twilight sighed and shook her head. “I can’t believe you got to date a stallion before I did…”

“Did you have fun, at least?” Celestia asked.

“Yeah, actually. He was nice and we both had interesting stories to tell. The food was also pretty good. And surprise surprise, he wasn’t actually all that interested in sex. I just wish he had realized it wasn’t supposed to actually be a date. But you know, whatevs.”

“You seem a lot more casual about it than I thought you’d be, given your previous attempts to hold onto your reputation,” Celestia said.

“Eh. It is what it is. Sucks, but you know, whatever. I’m leaving in two or so days now, so I’m perfectly content to not give a fuck. Well, as long as he doesn’t come back hoping for another date. Then we might have some problems.”

“If you had fun, maybe you should go on another,” Twilight said. “Nothing really wrong with that, after all. Even if you were still a male, you know nopony in Equestria really cares about sexuality. Rarity told me about Braeburn, so I don’t really see a problem here.”

“The problem is that fuck you, Twilight,” I said, flipping her off. “Anyway, how did expelling the ghosts go?”

“Fairly well,” Celestia replied.

“Except for the part where they were screaming your name,” Twilight casually replied. Celestia very slowly turned her head from me to Twilight. “What? I already told you I wasn’t going to lie to him. I’m not going to risk us missing one and it finding him unprepared.”

“...They were screaming my name?” I slowly asked.

Celestia sighed. “They were. And they were saying a number of things in a dead language that we understood after casting the translation spell. The undead in the south are not pleased that you escaped their grasp.” She fell silent up until I started to ask a question, then quietly continued, “I would go so far as to say you would be better off dead than falling into their hooves again.”

“Being dead might well put myself in their hands. I think whoever you sent to deal with them fucked up. I definitely would have preferred them down there not doing anything to roaming around the world looking for me.”

“Well, the ones we encountered certainly won’t be doing any more looking,” Celestia said. “Now, I think Twilight and I have gone long enough without any good food.” Her horn lit up and a hidden bell rang, followed by servants bringing in food. For better or worse, that killed all discussion until we finished eating.

After, though… “So what’s the plan for getting Flo?” Twilight asked.

“Since Chrysalis hates you and your friends, I’m leaving you guys here,” I said. “I’ll pick Spike and the naga up on the way. She should already know we’re coming, but I’ll be stopping over Appaloosa first and sending a scout in to get permission.”

“Don’t they dislike you?” Twilight asked.

“I never said I’d be going down there. It just happens to be the closest pony town to the hive. A place I can leave some people if Chrysalis doesn’t want everyone to know where her base is.”

“And if she decides not to help you?” Celestia asked.

“Then things get harder. But not impossible. Flo is about a kilometer or two away from the hive. All we really have to do to get her is dig down. Starting underground would save us time, but even if Chrysalis goes full bitch on us, we can still get Flo. I don’t anticipate that being a problem, though.”

“She might not lend assistance, but I doubt she would stop you,” Celestia said. “It sounds like you have a good plan.”

“I hope so. Now, there’s something else I wanted to discuss. Twilight’s friends.”

“You don’t want them on your ship,” Celestia said with a nod.

“I don’t, no. And I’m pretty sure Twilight can back me up on why.”

Twilight sighed. “You are right… in some respects. A few of my friends are… not good at taking orders and doing things conventionally… or the way you’d prefer. But we do need to be there, Nav. And I would like to think that I, at least, have proven my worth. I know Rarity, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash have as well. I imagine that, should we stay on your ship, Fluttershy and Pinkie will also both prove themselves.”

“Oh, I’m sure they might,” I said. “But until they do, they’re a drain on resources and my nerves. Yeah, I know you’re really useful. I’m talking about your friends, not you. Applejack and Dash are training with the soldiers, which is good. And yeah, Rarity’s been useful with clothing and cooking. But we could do without them and we can definitely do without Fluttershy and Pinkie. I got a feeling the road’s only going to get more dangerous, and keeping them all safe is going to be more trouble than it’s worth. So far, I’m the one that’s found the only elements of harmony we’ve seen. So tell me again why you guys are on board.”

“Because you can’t use them,” Twilight said. “We can. And so far, those are the only things we know of that can stop Discord.”

“Stop him, not kill him,” I shot back. “We can keep him in stone until the sun blows up, but that ain’t killing his ass. I want that motherfucker dead more than he wants to die, and I figure he probably wants to die pretty hard. You can use them fancy stones on him all you want, but it ain’t gonna do me no damn good.”

“They also worked on Nightmare Moon,” Twilight said. “And I have a feeling you’re going to run into more than a few evil beings on the trip. If nothing else, they might work on a fire elemental, if one proves to be too recalcitrant to help us.”

“We gotta find them all first, and ain’t none of you done that yet.”

“Because you don’t let us off the ship much or really use any of us. We’ve only even found two anyway. We couldn’t have found one of them, because the bunker only opened for you. The other was with the spiders, and you refused to take any of us.”

“Which was my bad, I’ll admit. You woulda been pretty useful with your teleportation shit. But Kat and Doppel were more important at the time, and we didn’t want to bring too many people. Especially not a colorful purple one that’s been known to attack people in underground cities.”

“Wha… That was one time! And you saw what those changelings were doing!”

“Yeah, yeah. The point remains, none of y’all are probably ever gonna be useful enough for me to bring when I’d have a chance at finding one of those necklaces. And even if you are, why bring one of you when I have someone that can probably do the job better? You’re the only one that’s really irreplaceable. I need a hard-hitter, I got five earth pony soldiers. I need a fast flier, I got Gilda. I need fine magic control, I got several very well-trained unicorns. I need to deal with an animal, I got several well-trained unicorns that can blow it up. I can’t imagine I’ll ever need to plan a bloody party.”

“And if you do?”

“Then congratulations, you found the one possible reason I might ever really need one of your friends. But I reckon I could figure something out. Flo has pretty much every piece of human knowledge in her head right now. Kat’s very familiar with the court life. And if all else fails, Celestia’s just a dragon-fire message away.”

“What about Aerie? Don’t you think she would be upset to leave her host behind?”

“Probably not. Airs are about getting new experiences. Being in Pinkie’s head in Ponyville and on the boat at the same time gives her more to work with. And I got Ice in Smiles and Flo in me, so we don’t really need you to talk with the others. But again, this ain’t about you. You’re perfectly welcome. It’s the others I don’t want on board.”

Celestia finally spoke up. “That’s a shame, because I’m afraid they’re staying. I asked you to allow them there for more than one reason. The elements of harmony represent all of Equestria, Navarone.”

“This isn’t an Equestrian mission.”

“It’s a pony ship with a pony crew doing a job that benefits all ponykind. It’s not specifically an Equestrian mission, but it’s a job that very heavily overlaps with our interests. I’d be a fool not to send representatives of my own with you. And those six girls need experience of the world, Nav. I’d rather them get it with your crew than on their own.”

“Why the hell do they need that? They live in Ponyville. That place is hella sheltered, constant disasters or not.”

“Twilight and her friends have the most powerful weapons in the world. I will not always be able to tell them when they should or should not use them. They need to learn what true evil is and how to recognize it so they will know when their weapons should be unleashed. Some evils can be fought or saved without utilizing such dangerous tools, and they need to learn when and how to do so.”

“So we’re babysitters.”

“...I prefer the word teachers.”

“Yes, I’m sure you would. It’s pretty obvious Discord wants them on our boat as well, else he wouldn’t have hidden the elements in the first place. Why give that bastard what he wants?”

“Because what he wants happens to coincide with what I need,” she answered. “And what you need, like it or not. A few thousand years of experience tells me that you’ll probably have a need for them before your trip is over. Even if it is just for more friendly companionship than what you’d get from your soldiers. You can’t tell me they haven’t already livened up the trip.”

“We’re perfectly capable of keeping ourselves entertained.” Though I have to admit, having them there did add some much-needed life to the place. Especially Pinkie, as much as I hated to say it.

“Entertained, perhaps. But there is more to being healthy than being physically well, Navarone. As much as you probably hate to think it, you are not a soldier. You need comfort, and no one else on board is able to truly provide it. Doppel gives you a bandaid. Taya, a balm. The naga and Spike give placebos. Your friends… the elements of harmony… give you healing. Don’t even try to deny it.”

“I’m perfectly okay with being unhealthy. I’d rather not risk their lives or the lives of my crew dealing with them. And hell, most of them don’t want to be there anyway. Applejack’s all kinds of pissed about it.”

“I had a conversation with her,” Celestia said. “In fact, I had a talk with all of them. I’ll have another talk with them before you leave, to make sure they don’t give you any trouble. As much as I hate tethering them to such rules, I know it’ll make things easier for you and your soldiers.”

“It would be even easier without them there.”

“Unfortunately, I’m afraid that’s not a choice.”

“...We could always refuse to take them.”

“Just the same as I could refuse to let you return to Equestria. But I’d rather not have to do that, and I think there are many ponies that would prefer you here.”

“Man, why do you have to be such a bitch about this?”

“Eh. I’m a bitch, I’m a lover.”

“More like a child.”

“Closer to a mother.”

“You’re a damned sinner.”

“I’d say saint. I know I don’t feel ashamed.”

“You’re my hell.”

“You know I’m your dream.”

“Tch. Nothing in between.”

She smiled quite sweetly. “You know you wouldn’t want it any other way.”

“You’re lucky you’re too much fun to have sex with or I’d just leave them here and take the damn consequences.”

“At least I have one redeeming quality, dear.”

“Bah. I have a painting to finish. Anything else I need to know about the ghosts?”

“You already know more than I’d like,” Celestia said. “I don’t believe there’s any more you need to know.”

“What about stuff I’d like to know?”

“If you like knowing they’re after you, you’re crazier than I thought,” Celestia replied with a small smirk.

“You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Now, I reckon I’ll see you two later. Gotta get this thing done before morning.”

“Good luck, with your hair like that,” Twilight said.

“Flo can control me in my sleep and Taya can give me a small boost to keep me going. I’ll be fine.” I finally pushed myself back from the table and stood. “I’m sure I’ll see you both tomorrow, unless you want a midnight snack.”

They both said their goodnights or whatever and I wandered off, heading back to my room. Surprisingly enough, it was empty. I figured there would be someone waiting to bother me about who knows what, but I got off easy. Thankfully, it let Flo work on the painting in peace. It was at the point where I could finally tell what it was a painting of: a large field of flowers under a night sky with a full moon shining brightly above it. If Blossom didn’t like it, I figured it would at least fetch a pretty penny.

Aside from Taya stopping in to say good night and give me a nice energy boost, I was left alone that night. It let me finish the painting at around three in the morning, so I was perfectly happy about that. Unfortunately, I couldn’t just immediately move it because it really needed to dry. So I policed dreams for about an hour until it was ready.

Finally, I carefully wrapped the thing up in Vinyl’s curtains and started carrying it to the guard barracks in the palace. I didn’t actually know where her office was, but I figured about half the guards would be willing to help me. More, if I was willing to show a little leg.

Sure enough, one of the nice batponies was very willing to show me right to her office. Unfortunately, he refused to see any leg. But gays are perfectly accepted in Equestria, so I knew I couldn’t get upset with him for it.

Of course, Blossom wasn’t in her office. From the stories I’d heard about her, I don’t think she spent much time in there at all. She was more proactive, out looking for crooks and whatnot herself, or inspecting the troops.

So I leaned the painting up against her surprisingly ornate desk and wrote her a quick note. Nothing too fancy, just explaining that I was leaving her a going-away gift and that she was hella cute and yadda yadda. You know, the basics.

Of course, it’s pretty hard for me to have nice things. As soon as I turned around, I jumped back in surprise, because she was standing at the door in her full armor. “One of my guards said you were looking for me,” she said, not moving. “Did you need something?”

“I was just dropping something off,” I said. “Now that it’s here, I’ll get out of your hair. I know you’re busy, after all…”

Her predatory eyes flicked to the painting for a moment before looking back at me. “And what did you bring me?”

“A goodbye present. Now, if you’ll excuse me…” I started awkwardly walking to the door, but she stepped in and kicked the door shut behind her.

“It’ll just take a second to unwrap it. And if you were trying to get in and out quickly and quietly, I’m sure it’s something that I’ll be upset about. Let’s do this the easy way so I won’t have to hunt you down.”

“The joke’s on you. If you start spanking me, I’ll get excited and cum.”

“Pervert.” She walked up to the painting and poked gently at the covering. “A painting? Let me guess: It’s an erotic picture of me and Celestia?”

“Oh damn, that would have been a pretty good idea… Wish I had thought of that.”

She snorted and pulled the covering back. When she saw the scene beneath it, she blinked in surprise. Of course, she wasted no more time uncovering the rest of the masterpiece. “This is… beautiful.”

“I like your suggestion better, though. Want me to take that one back and paint you with Celestia?”

She turned back to me with what looked like a genuine smile. “I can’t believe you painted this.”

“Believe it or not,” I said with a shrug. “It’s yours, either way.”

“I don’t really have anywhere to hang it, aside from above my coffin…”

“What about in here? The walls are pretty bare. Might as well add some life to the place.”

“When I was a lower-ranking officer, I was told that I should make my office similar to myself. I’m lifeless, so I thought my office should be as well.”

“You may be dead, but I wouldn’t say you’re lifeless. You got plenty of troops that like and respect you, a good position with good benefits, all the blood you could drink, the sexiest human in Equestria as a friend, and the best anti-aging solution ever. You just gotta look on the bright side of life… Or unlife, I guess.”

“It’s hard to see the bright side when I can never feel the sun’s warmth again. Or when I remember that I live a forsaken, loveless life. Or when I look in a mirror and see only my empty armor staring back at me.”

“It means you never have to wear sunglasses or worry about a sunburn. And you don’t need to worry about dating creeps or having your heart broken. And there’s no need to ever be self-conscious, because you can’t see yourself anyway.”

“You’re horrible at this.”

“Yeah, but at least someone likes you enough to try. That’s a sign that you aren’t as lifeless as you’d like to think. It may not be a life you particularly wanted, but it’s the one you have. Might as well make the best of it. But I’m not here to talk philosophy, just deliver a gift. It would look nice behind your chair, up on the wall.”

“Thank you, Navarone. It… means a lot to me.”

“You’re welcome. I figured you would like a painting, after what you said. Now, do you need blood before I go to bed?”

“No. You can’t give me more just yet anyway. After what I… You need more time to recover, even if you don’t think you do.”

“Eh, it wouldn’t be as much fun with my period over anyway. I’ll see you later, Blossom.”

“You said this was a goodbye present. Where are you going?”

“Back on my ship, pretty soon. It’s time for my journey to begin again.”

She nodded and shot toward me, pulling me into a hug before I could even try to react. Her armor shielded me from her fairly cold body, so returning the hug didn’t feel too weird. “Things will certainly be less interesting without you around,” she said.

“That’s not always a bad thing.”

“It will be this time…”

“...Are you saying you’ll miss me?”

“Yes, I’m going to miss you.” She finally pulled away from the hug. “It’s been a long time since I had somebody I could call… friend.”

“Well if you want, we can hang out when I get back. I’m sure we can find something to do at night. I’ll even keep the flirting at a minimum.” Certainly more fun than hanging out with Fleur.

“That’s something to think about. Goodbye until then, Nav. May the shrouds of darkness keep you safe.”

“Creepy. See you later, Blossom.” I finally turned to go and she let me leave. Before I rounded the corner out, I took one last quick look behind to see that she was looking at the painting, a small smile on her face. I think you did good, Flo. She didn’t reply, but I felt a nice warmth in my mind.

The next morning was a late one, because Flo figured it would probably be good to recuperate all the energy I lost by staying up so late. It gave me extra time to give all the changelings wet dreams about Luna, so I didn’t complain.

When I finally did wake up, it was to Taya sitting on my stomach and staring down at me. “Finally awake, daddy?”

“Yeah, finally awake,” I yawned. “You need something?”

“I don’t, but he does.” She looked to her left, where Watcher was sitting there, reading one of the manuscripts I hadn’t sent off yet. Well, I assume that’s what he was doing before Taya said something. Then he looked up.

“Finally awake, sir?” he asked when he saw me looking.

“Yeah. What do you need?”

“Did you speak to the princess about the elements of harmony?”

“Yeah. She told me to eat a dick, essentially.”

“Unsurprising. She isn’t in the habit of changing her mind. At least we don’t have to take them to deal with Chrysalis. Will you need assistance getting all of your things back to the ship?”

“Taya can probably teleport all the stuff we have up there. Getting herself that far might be more difficult, but we can just walk to it and let her climb the ladder, if needed.”

“Excellent. I don’t suggest trying to paint on board, sir. The fumes might get to you.”

“I wasn’t planning on it. Seems like my books have an unexpected audience anyway, so I’ve been writing more of those. It’s fun to tweak Celestia’s cute little nose, after all.”

“There are times I wonder about you. Smiles says the elementals should be on the coast some time tomorrow morning. We could probably have them come down a river straight to us, if you want.”

“I don’t. I’d rather not have them too close to Canterlot for too long, personally. The less time Celestia can spend around them, the better. For now, at least.”

“...Very well. Then I suggest being on the ship tonight, since I know you’ll be sleeping again. Or if you’d really prefer, we can send a skeleton crew to pick them up and have them come back to get us.”

“Honestly, I want to get out of here. I’m tired of being in Canterlot. I doubt we’ll need many people in the hive, though. If anyone wants to stay here, they’re welcome to do so, as long as we don’t need them to dig or whatever. We’ll be swinging back to pick up the girls anyway, so we can grab everyone else at the same time.”

“I’ll spread the word. I imagine a lot of my troops want to see a hive, though. We’ve been to many strange and magnificent locations, but never a changeling hive.”

“This one definitely has a strange beauty to it, but Chrysalis might not want too many people knowing where it is. And if she does let you in, I don’t want anyone near the food halls for any reason. They’re… horrifying.”

“I’ll make sure of that.”

“And hopefully giant ants won’t attack this time.”

“That would certainly be inconvenient. Do you have any other orders?”

“Nah. I’ll hopefully be back on the ship before night falls. Well, unless Celestia decides to molest me, of course.”

“Of course. I’ll see you tonight, sir.” He walked on out, leaving me and Taya to ourselves.

“So why are you still sitting on me?” I asked.

“You’re warm and kinda comfortable.”

“As bony as I am, I doubt that. Anyway, hop up. Time for you to go running.”

“...I don’t think I want to move, now.”

I quickly rolled over, dislodging her and sending her to the floor. Luckily for her, she rolled over mid-air and landed on her hooves. “Let me just get dressed and we can go running.”

“Daddy, why do you like torturing me?”

“Because you’re cute when you’re suffering.”

“I thought you said I was always cute.”

“I did. You are. That means you’re also cute while suffering.” I pulled myself out from under the blankets and started throwing clothes on relatively quickly. “Anywhere in particular you want to run?” I asked.

“Into bed. Is that a choice?”

“Nope. I would suggest the guard training area, but the day guards own it now and they’re all dicks. We could hit up the maze or find a park in the city.”

“Can’t we just call today a lazy day?”

“Nope. It’s gonna be hard to run on the ship, so we’ll have to get you going while we can. The maze would be hard with all its corners and shit, so let’s hit a park.”

“Daddy, why do you say so many bad words?”

“Because I had poor home training.” And also I’m a terrible person. “Let’s go.”

And so we went. The streets weren’t all that crowded, thankfully, and I didn’t see a single reporter. It seemed that having friends in high places was definitely worthwhile. Or maybe they either all got better at hiding or realized trying to interview me was a bad idea.

Since I don’t really get out all that much, I only knew where one park was, which happened to be the park where Soarin’ dragged me. It was nice enough, large and open, with plenty of places to run, so I figured it didn’t matter all that much. I know Taya didn’t care, since she was too busy hating the world and everything in it.

...I quickly started feeling that same hate when a familiar blue stallion landed next to me while we were running. “Hey Nav,” Soarin’ said, falling in step next to me.

“Hi,” I somewhat coldly replied.

“Didn’t figure I’d see you out here again.”

“Gotta take my daughter running somewhere.”

“Huh. Didn’t know you had a foal.” He looked back to see Taya laboring to keep up. “Shouldn’t she be in school?”

“Yeah, probably. But we travel a lot, so I figured home school would be easier.”

“Well, you’re a pretty smart mare, so I guess that works out.” I didn’t reply. “Say, you doing anything tonight?”

My feet unconsciously started moving slightly faster. They both matched my pace. “Yeah. Leaving Canterlot.”

“Oh. Heading back to Ponyville?”

“Nope. Heading out to Appaloosa on my ship. Gotta visit the changeling hive.”

“Ah. When are you coming back?” Once again, I started moving a little faster. Taya grunted, but they both followed.

“For more than a few hours? Dunno. Our little vacation’s over and we’re heading back into the world.”

“Huh. Well, are you doing anything up until you leave?” He was starting to breathe a lot heavier and Taya was starting to lag behind.

“Gotta pack and get my stuff moved. Also have to say some goodbyes and make sure all my crew’s settled. I was just taking Taya out for a run before I got started with that.”

“You’re definitely… good at that.”

“Having trouble keeping up, there? I thought you were an athlete.”

“I’m a flier, not a runner…”

I rolled my eyes and slowed to a stop. “Taya, keep walking. You know what happens if you stop moving after running.” Actually, she didn’t. I didn’t either, but I heard it was bad for you. She groaned and kept going, though at a very reduced speed and she tried to act as dramatic as possible to garner sympathy.

“I’m surprised you can run like that,” Soarin’ said.

“I’m surprised you can’t, flier or not. I figured Spitfire would have you guys in all kinds of good shape.”

“You learn how to shirk really well once you’ve been doing this a few years. That’s actually why I was out here in the first place.”

“And here I was, thinking you were out hunting for me.”

“Nope. But you can keep thinking that, if you want. I’m sure that’s how the reporters will spin it, if there are any watching.”

“They sure like their fucking tabloids, if what I’ve heard is any indication. Thankfully, I have friends in high places. I doubt they’ll report about it again. And with no new material to work with, it shouldn’t matter anyway.”

“I’m used to having weird things said all about me. Figured you were too, but not like… that.”

“It ain’t the first time they’ve done their best to rub my name in the dirt. Pretty sure it ain’t gonna be the last, either. Maybe next time I’ll give them a good reason.”

“As long as you’re careful. Reporter or not, I don’t want you to actually hurt anypony.”

“I’m not in the habit of attacking those that don’t deserve it.” That said, reporters usually deserve it. Or at least, the ones that hound me. “Unless they ask, at least. It’s amazing the amount of people into BDSM I’ve run into.”

“I don’t even know what that is.”

“Maybe if you ask real nice, I’ll show you when I get back. Don’t worry, it’s a good kind of pain.”

“I didn’t know there was a good kind of pain.”

“You’d be surprised. Now, you need anything before we head back to the palace?”

“Well, I wouldn’t mind flying…” His eyes darted to Taya for a moment. “Er, walking you back. Gotta shirk somehow, and Spits would prefer hearing I was with you than that I was just in the park.”

“Alright, whatevs. But don’t expect a goodbye kiss this time. I had to kick a guard in the dick to make him stop laughing at me.”

“...You assaulted a guard?”

“Ain’t the first time. Let’s go.”

We collected Taya on the way to the park exit. She, of course, greeted the presence of our partially unwanted guest with the same casual apathy she displayed for almost everything else. For his part, he did his best to engage her and break that apathy.

When he realized what a futile effort it was, he asked, “So uh… when did you assault a guard?”

“I think the first time was right after Luna went full crazy and stabbed me with her horn. They tried to stop me from seeing Celestia, so I kicked their asses and went in anyway.”

“...While you were bleeding?”

“No, she stabbed me in a dream world thing. I felt all the pain, but nothing actually happened to my body. Those same guards actually tried to stop me again later, but then they realized what would happen and decided to do things the easy way.”

“I didn’t realize you were so… tough.”

“Dude, I was a royal knight. They don’t give that position away to just anyone. I’m also a royal savior or whatever and the defender of harmony. It also helps that a good chunk of the royal guards are honestly just for show and aren’t good at fighting or war. And, you know, you guys are a prey race and I’m a predator.”

“I don’t know how I keep forgetting that.”

“It’s because he’s too nice,” Taya said.

“Or because I’m cute and cuddly,” Flo said through my mouth, because it’s her job to make me suffer.

Soarin’ snorted. “We haven’t cuddled yet, so that probably isn’t it. Can’t deny the cute part, though. I bet you find a lot of mares, and probably a few stallions, that like the whole predator thing.”

“Dude, you don’t even know,” I sighed, my mind going to the big white horse waiting for me at the palace. And then my mind took a darker turn. “And of course, there are those that like to tame big strong predators, too.”

“Which do you prefer?”

“The ones that don’t stab me in the chest with a horn.”

“...I can understand that.”

“Of course, other predators playing with me can also be fun. Dragons and griffins, mainly. Avoid cats like the fucking plague.”

“I’ve been with a griffin before. It was an… interesting experience. Not the first time I’ve done it in the air, but it was the first and only time when I was dressed like a mare.”

“...It was a chick, right?”

“Oh yeah. She wanted to use a strap-on, but I absolutely refused.”

“Huh. Well, I still haven’t technically joined the mile high club, but I did do it a few times on a cloud.”

“Most pegasi I know say that doesn’t count, since they usually live in the clouds anyway. But if you’re interested—”

“I’m really not,” I hastily interjected.

He shrugged. “Just saying. I know both stallions and mares that are really good at it. Gives them a nice thrill. Especially with earth ponies, since they’re totally dependent on us.”

“Weird.”

That killed the conversation for about half a minute before I remembered Taya was there, when she asked, “Daddy, what’s the mile high club?”

God dammit. “People who’ve had sex while flying,” I said.

“Isn’t that… dangerous?” she asked.

“That’s part of why people do it,” I said. “The thrill and excitement. Some people aren’t really into it as much, though. I’ve done enough weird stuff, myself.” Though if I still had a dick, I wouldn’t mind trying it.

“I’ve never really thought about that,” she slowly said, looking somewhat pensive. Oh great, now I gave her ideas. God dammit.

“If I have to come in and untie you after you did something dirty and fucked up, I’m going to be really pissed,” I said. “Just a warning.” She blushed, but didn’t say anything. Soarin’ just shook his head.

For better or worse, that killed the ‘real’ conversations. After that, it dipped into small talk up until we actually got to the palace.

“I never get tired of seeing the palace,” Soarin’ said, staring up at the large thing.

“Far too garish for me,” I said. “But then, look at the person who probably picked the colors. Her hair proves she’s just begging for attention.”

“You are far, far too comfortable with the princess,” he said, shaking his head.

“You learn to stop seeing people so formally when they jump your bones as often as they can. Especially with all of her kinks. If you ever get a chance, try to get a good look at her ass. Twenty bits says she’ll be wearing a plug, but it’ll be hard to see.” His eyes slowly widened as I spoke and his face got quite red. “Anyway, we gotta get ready to go. I’ll catch you later, Soarin’.”

Before he could muster up a response—or worse, try to kiss me—we let ourselves into the protective enclosure of the main palace. As soon as we got inside, one of the day guards at the inner doors smirked at me. “No goodbye kiss this time, ma’am?”

I looked at his partner, who was a reassigned night guard. “What’s his name?”

“Pointy Hat, sir.”

“...Seriously?” He shrugged. “Well, expect wet dreams involving a lot of stallions tonight, Pointy.” His mouth dropped. “And for the next several nights, probably. Maybe some other races, too. The servants that do laundry are gonna hate you.”

“B-b-but—”

“Yes, your butt. Being penetrated. A lot. And since I can control dreams, I’ll make sure you enjoy it.” He whimpered. “Sweet dreams. Come on, Taya.” We left the two of them behind, with the night guard snickering like crazy.

Packing our stuff was fairly easy, because we didn’t really have too much to pack. Getting it sent to the ship was even easier, because magic is occasionally awesome. Getting ourselves to the ship was slightly harder, because Taya’s stubby legs are slow as fuck. Thankfully, we got out before Celestia could send me a summons for anything.

When we finally got to the ship, it was actually starting to bustle again for the first time in days. The crew looked relatively happy and the soldiers looked even better. We were finally starting to move again, and everyone was pleased about it. God knows I was looking forward to getting shit started again, too.

Gourd found me before I could find him. “Ship’s looking good, sir. We’re clear to fly as soon as we’re all aboard.”

“Excellent. Set sail for the coast as soon as possible. One way or another, I figure someone’s gonna have to wait on someone else. If we’re going to be on the ship anyway, we might as well be waiting on them.”

“Yes sir. Watcher gave me the expected passenger list, so we’ll head out as soon as they’re all accounted for.”

“Good. I’m headed below to get all my stuff stowed away. If you need anything, just let me know.”

“I could use a back rub.”

“If you need me for anything I’m willing to do, just let me know.”

“Worth a try,” he said with a shrug.

“Ask Spike when we pick him up. He has some practice with it.”

“I’ll think about it.”

That was that, so we went on down below. Thankfully, my room no longer stank of sex and shame, so I didn’t feel too bad having Taya in there. It didn’t stop her before, but I kinda felt bad about it.

Of course, knowing me, it was only a matter of time.

“So what are we doing now?” Taya asked.

“Waiting. Then we’ll be heading to pick up a bunch of waters, then headed to Chrysalis’s main hive again.”

“So I’ll finally get to meet Flo in person?”

“Soon, yeah. You’ll probably learn pretty quickly that—”

“She’s the best elemental anywhere,” Flo broke in. “Just totally awesome. You’re gonna love her.”

Taya slowly lifted an eyebrow.

“...That distance makes the heart grow fonder,” I finished for myself.

“How will she feel when she’s inside me?”

“Judging by my dreams, you’ll cum almost—Wait, hell no. You aren’t gonna be a host. At least, not to Flo.”

“It’s cute that you think that,” Taya said with a bright smile.

Flo, I’m telling you right now: If you take my daughter as a host, you aren’t staying in me.

“I know, Nav,” she said. “And I have absolutely no plans to take your daughter as a host.”

“Flo says she doesn’t like you enough,” I said with a shrug. “She thinks I’m prettier.”

Taya stuck her tongue out at me, so Flo took the reins again. “I’ve always only had one host, and I’m going to keep it that way. What your father and I have is special, and I wouldn’t want to water down the experience by having another involved. And none of my sisters would take a young child as a host, because we passively slow down aging. You’ll have to wait until you’re older.”

“But… if I have you in me, I can always know if he’s safe! And where he is! And he can know the same for me…”

“Be that as it is, I’m afraid I can’t take you as a host. Maybe when you’re older, I can speak to one of my sisters, if you truly want one of us within you. But until then, I’m afraid I can’t help you.”

Taya looked down for a moment, before her horn lit up and she teleported out.

“Good job, Flo.”

“There’s no easy way to tell an adorable filly no, Nav. She’ll get over it.”

“Yeah, probably. Now, let’s get situated…” I started going over the stuff Taya teleported in. It was mostly all over the floor, so I started putting it all where it belonged, or at least in a location that fit it all better.

Right when I finished, I felt a small jolt as the ship kicked into motion. When I looked out the window, sure enough, we were finally moving. A smile stitched itself across my face when I realized we were finally leaving Canterlot behind. Again.

We’re coming for you, Flo.

“I can’t wait…”

 
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