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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147. Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Two Part 1

When I reappeared in Flo’s glade, I asked, “How are things lookin’ out there, Flo?”

“Rather poorly. Trixie managed to extract Aqua somehow. It seems you’re going to start cheating on me a lot sooner than you thought.”

“What?”

“I’m sorry.”

Before I could ask what she meant by that, she appeared right next to me. “...Flo, now’s really a bad time to check on things in here.”

“I am not Flo,” Aqua said, turning a light shade of red.

“Flo, what the fuck did you just do?”

“This part of my body needs a host to survive, Nav,” Aqua said. “Twilight is… unable to house me.”

“Oh my god… Did…”

“She’s alive. Sort of.”

“The fuck do you mean, sort of? Either she’s alive or she’s dead! And she better not fucking be dead, or I’ll choke that bitch to death with her own entrails!”

“She is alive, Navarone,” Aqua said, putting a hand on one of my shoulders. “Trixie turned her into an inanimate object. Twilight’s spirit is still within, so she yet lives, but I cannot survive within her.”

“...How in the hell?”

“I do not know. Nor do I know how and why I am still alive. Sister, Chaos knows full well we are here. He pulled me out of Twilight.”

“...I feared as much,” Flo slowly said.

“Welp, you’re both fucked,” I said as I shrugged and fell backwards into an armchair that appeared behind me. “Wake me up when I have to take over again.”

“If he wanted me dead, he would have killed me, human,” Aqua said, slithering over and onto me. “And I suggest you take over your body again so you can allow Flo to rest in case your captor begins truly torturing you.”

“Oh come on. I have two of you fucking parasites in me now. I’m sure that between the two of you, you can keep control over my body indefinitely.”

Aqua very quickly turned a darker red. “I am not your slave, human. You will not order me around.”

“You want to get out and walk? The door’s right there,” I said, waving my hand to the sky. I didn’t actually know where the door to my body was, but I assumed she could figure it out if she was so damn smart.

Since she was currently all around me, I was very quick to notice when she picked up heat. “It is very unwise to anger something that has control over your central nervous system, human,” Aqua quietly said, raising her head so that it was well above mine.

Of course, I stared up rather impassively. “You forget who owns him,” Flo said as a lot of the light in her glade vanished instantly. “You are a guest here, sister. This is my domain. If he annoys you, don’t talk to him anymore.”

“You must teach the lesser races respect, Flo, or they will never learn it.”

“And you must deliver it yourself before you should ever expect it,” Flo shot back. “Now both of you shut up. It’s hard enough dealing with Trixie without your catfighting in the background.”

Didn’t complain about the pussy before.

“I heard that!” I snorted and closed my eyes, trying to close myself off from the world. I felt Aqua slide away from me, so it seemed she was willing to do as Flo asked. Unfortunately, the silence didn’t last too long. “She wasn’t wrong, Nav,” Flo finally said. “I can’t keep control forever. And if, as Aqua suggested, things take a turn for the worse, I’ll need to be ready to help you then.”

“So, what, you want me to just be Trixie’s perfect little slave?”

“Don’t let your pride get in the way of what’s smart, Nav. Yes, I do want you to be Trixie’s perfect little slave. I have been managing so far. I know you are capable. Unless you want your body to collapse unguided soon, you will have no choice anyway.”

“Remind me to never lose again.”

“I will certainly do my best to keep that from happening. Now pay attention. I’ll let you watch through your eyes for a few minutes before you take back over.”

“What a privilege,” I muttered, rolling my eyes.

“I’m starting to wonder if there really is a correlation between gender and sass,” Flo said. “I don’t remember you being this bad before.”

“You know you love it, babe.”

“It’s actually starting to get somewhat annoying. But you’re a cutie pie in a bad situation, so I’ll let it go for now.”

“...Definitely gender related.” She didn’t reply again, and just opened a window to my eyes, which definitely didn’t happen to correlate to my soul.

I was currently standing next to a very fancy table for two, currently only set up for one place. Trixie was sitting there, of course. Phinny was sitting on the ground at her side, staring very disdainfully at a bowl of dog food set down for him. Thankfully, Trixie had already eaten whatever she had, so that wasn’t my problem. I had a feeling that Flo fed her, though.

“Trixie is going easy on you today, ape,” she said after dabbing at her chin with a nice napkin. “Tomorrow, you will make all of Trixie’s meals. There will be instructions in the kitchen, since Trixie knows your limited ape brain couldn’t figure out what to do otherwise.”

“What if my limited ape brain can’t read?”

Right as I finished speaking, parts of her horn lit up and I floated closer to the table. Before I could ask what she was doing, something pushed my back down so I was partially lying on the table, then spread my legs slightly. A paddle appeared out of god knows where and she started spanking my ass with it. Apparently Flo was either feeling vindictive or thought I deserved it, because I felt all ten of those smacks with a bright red ferocity.

When Trixie finally fucking finished, I actually felt tears forming, even though I’m very used to dealing with pain. “Trixie did not say you could speak, ape. But since Trixie is a more loving mistress than your precious Twilight Sparkle, she will answer anyway. Trixie made sure to put pictures on those instructions so even the least intelligent pony could manage. Since you’re so far below even that, you might have difficulties, but Trixie is sure you will manage. If you can’t, Trixie will just have to punish you more. Now, Trixie is going to her chamber. Clean the table and join her there, ape. Trixie suggests doing it quickly.”

“Yes mistress,” I said through gritted teeth, doing my best not to reach over there to try and strangle her.

“Phinny, you may show the ape around if she needs directions. She is yours to play with tonight, of course, so don’t let her sleep without filling her up. If she misbehaves or speaks out of turn, punish her as needed.”

“...Of course, mistress,” Phinny quietly replied. Trixie nodded once and teleported out. Of course, my necklace immediately started glowing, so I finally removed myself from the table and winced slightly as the skirt brushed against my cherry-red butt. I’m going to enjoy killing you so much.

When I got over the pain, I began grabbing all the plates and shit Trixie had, as well as the silverware and whatever. I didn’t know exactly what all I was supposed to clean, so I just grabbed all the dishes on the table and stacked them all up. Thankfully, I was still fairly used to dealing with dishes for a family of three or four, from when Cadance was chilling in my house.

By the time I got everything in hand, Phinny was standing at the door waiting to go. “Come on, then,” he said.

“So why does she want me in her room?” I asked when we got into the hall.

“I don’t know. And may I remind you that I’ve been authorized to punish you for speaking out of turn? Working some aggression out would be a wonderful nepenthe for this accursed state we’re in, having to deal with such an officious mistress. I’m afraid a slattern such as yourself might well enjoy it, but I suppose we both need some relief.”

After Flo told me what three of the words he said meant, I replied, “Your vocabulary is a lot better than what I’d expect from a demon out of Tartarus.”

“I have had many masters, ape. Only the most powerful… or dedicated, I suppose, could hope to summon me for long. The most powerful are usually also the most learned. It’s amazing what you pick up when you are treated as an equal rather than as a… pet.”

I would have replied to that, but the pendant on the collar was still lit up, so Trixie was presumably still watching. Besides, he might have been serious about punishing me and I really didn’t want to get spanked by talons.

...Or at all.

Thankfully, Trixie wasn’t completely retarded, so the kitchen wasn’t that far from the dining room. As soon as we stepped into the kitchen, the amulet around my neck stopped glowing. I assumed Trixie didn’t really care to watch me wash dishes.

“So how old are you, that you’ve had several masters?” I asked.

“Old is relative, ape, and my kind do not measure time in years.”

“Alright, so you’re pretty fucking old.”

“I suggest shutting your mouth and washing dishes. Our mistress would be displeased if you take too long because I have to punish you.”

Since he very obviously didn’t want any kind of conversation, I just sighed and started washing the dishes. There weren’t all that many and Trixie also isn’t a complete slob, so that took me about five minutes. The alphyn stared at me the whole time, which was a little disconcerting. If I thought he had been staring up my skirt, it would have been at least slightly less annoying. As it was, it was just creepy.

When I finished, I finally got to stare back. “So now what?” I asked. “What do you think little miss blueberry wants me for?”

“As I already said, I don’t know. Now come. The longer you take, the more upset she will be.”

“And the more upset she is, the more rosy red my ass will be.”

“Are there not some apes that view such thing as a sign of a good mate?”

“There’s not exactly many people here that I’m in a big hurry to start mating with. Especially if she keeps hitting me.”

“Then I suggest thinking of a loophole for the command she gave me earlier. If you want to get any sleep, I’m afraid we are going to have to mate.”

“I don’t sleep during the summer.”

“That is strangely convenient.”

“Yeah. But I mean, if you want to—”

“I do not.” Truth be told, I didn’t really want to either, given that he had a knot, but teasing people is always funny.

Although teasing someone that was probably twice as strong as you are and that doesn’t have many compunctions about hitting you isn’t always wise. I decided to leave him alone as we walked the rest of the way to Trixie’s pad.

It seemed he actually didn’t have the same idea, surprisingly. “How do you walk in those?” he asked after a few minutes of silence.

“The heels? Balance and being very careful.” And forcing me to sway my hips a lot more than I’d like in such a tiny skirt. “I was a queen a month ago, so I got a lot of practice then.”

“...If you are a queen, why are you here?”

“It’s a long story. I thought your kind didn’t talk much?”

“We don’t. But your kind obviously does. I want you at ease for what is to come.”

“You mean for Trixie or for…?”

“For what is to come.” We were finally nearing her room, so he said, “Remember not to speak out of turn, ape. Is there anything you might need from your possessions?”

“My weapons. Failing that, it’s cold in these damn stone halls and if I’m going to be wearing this skimpy fetishistic bullshit, I’m going to need a cloak or something to keep warm.”

“I shall see what I can do.” He knocked on Trixie’s door, so I didn’t reply. It opened a few seconds later and Phinny let himself in.

“About time,” Trixie nastily said from her position on her bed. Horrifyingly enough, what looked like a stuffed version of Twilight was on the bed next to her. Aqua sighed. “What do you want, Phinny?”

“It is cool in this castle for those without fur, mistress,” he said, bowing his head. “I would like permission to get the ape’s cloak so it won’t catch a cold in the night.”

“Well well, look at this!” Trixie said, a smirk coming to her face. “It seems my two pets are starting to get along! But I don’t see why she would need a blanket when she has you, Phinny.”

“I am large, but she is long, mistress. If you would prefer a maid that is ill to prepare your food, I can attempt to warm her by myself. But otherwise, it would be best if she had some manner of blanket.”

“Ugh, very well. Go to the dungeon and get her stupid cloak, Phinny. Then return to your room and warm yourself up for her. The two of you will be doing a lot of…” She paused to chuckle rather ominously before finishing with, “...bonding tonight.”

“...Yes mistress,” Phinny said before backing out. Since I hadn’t really stepped in her room yet, I finally did so, waiting for an order or a chance to kill either her or myself.

“Close the door, ape,” Trixie said after Phinny got out. I did so without a word, then stood still again. “Trixie’s master has told her much about you. Are you missing your dear sweet Celestia?”

What? “...My place is here, mistress,” I neutrally answered.

“Trixie is pleased that you are learning, ape. Now, Trixie’s master also informed her that you know your way around a mare. You will prepare Trixie for bed.”

Oh god. “Is there… anything specific you would like, mistress?”

“Prepare Trixie for bed! Trixie will not repeat herself again!”

You have got to be retarded, I swear. “Of course, mistress.” Flo, suggestions?

The least favorite elemental in my head decided to try to be helpful. “If she wants to act like a child, give her a stern talking-to about treating others equally and put her to bed without a hug.”

Emphasis on try.

Thankfully, Flo wasn’t as retarded. “Start with brushing her teeth.”

“Would you like me to brush your teeth, mistress?” I asked, though I couldn’t force anything like enthusiasm in there.

“That is part of getting Trixie ready for bed, is it not? Of course Trixie does, ape! Hmph!” Finally, she got off the bed and started walking to one of the other doors in the room. “If Trixie began punishing you for being stupid, Trixie imagines she would never stop!” I didn’t see any safe way of replying to that, so I just followed her into her bathroom in silence. “In the morning after breakfast, you shall bathe Trixie. It will be a nice way to begin the day. But for now, prepare your mistress for bed.”

Ugh, we have something in common. Time to start taking showers at night again. I approached the sink and quickly washed my hands so she couldn’t bitch at me for trying to corrupt her with my nasty ape germs or whatever. Then I grabbed her annoyingly large horse toothbrush and readied it for her horrid mouth.

“Did you just wet the bristles before applying toothpaste?” Trixie rather testily asked.

“...Yes?”

“Barbaric ape.” She ripped the toothbrush from my hands, swatted my behind, then scraped all the toothpaste off. “Do it again, and properly this time! Be grateful Trixie isn’t punishing you for wasting toothpaste!”

“Thank you for your mercy, mistress,” I quietly replied as I seethed inside. How am I the barbarian? Who the fuck puts toothpaste on and then wets it? Christ. But I did as she asked, because I unfortunately didn’t have much of a choice. When it was done to her specifications, I turned back to her, holding the brush up. “Are you ready, mistress?”

“Yes. And you better not make Trixie gag!” Not even if I still had my dick. She opened her mouth and closed her eyes. I pretended to be a dentist and started brushing her teeth. Thankfully, I had a small amount of experience with Taya, back when I first met her. She didn’t really know what to do, so I had to demonstrate.

That small amount of experience translated to just enough to get me by with Trixie, it seemed. I was slow and gentle so I didn’t risk making her gums bleed or make her gag. Soon enough, that awful business was done and she was rinsing her mouth.

Without my help, thank god. Then she pushed me out so she could do the things a mare apparently has to do privately. I had a feeling I knew what that meant, so I didn’t even say a word until her door was closed.

When it was, I walked over to Twilight’s pillow and whispered, “I don’t know if you can hear me, but I’m going to assume yes. I have a plan A and a plan B. Plan B is already in motion; Celestia’s on her way. I’m going to begin plan A when Trixie falls asleep. When I take the ring off your horn, wait. This damn collar I have makes me defenseless against her, probably even with the ring. But I’ll need it for plan A.”

She didn’t reply, not that I really expected her to. I poked her a few times to see if she’d do anything at all, but it seemed she was either gone or just completely incapable of responding.

“Do you enjoy Trixie’s handiwork?” the blue bitch asked as she removed herself from the bathroom.

“I… didn’t know such a thing was possible,” I truthfully replied, not looking away from Twilight.

“For any normal unicorn, it isn’t. But for the Great and Powerful Trixie, it was mere foal’s play. She can hear everything around her and feel every touch. Trixie imagines she can even see.” Trixie chuckled again and said, “I’m going to quite enjoy my new cuddle buddy. It has been… quite a while since Trixie shared a bed. And since you cannot assist Trixie in her more base needs, Trixie knows somepony who shall.” Oh god. “Now, finish preparing Trixie for bed!”

Honestly, I had no idea what else she wanted me to fucking do. Me, I brush my teeth, take off all or most of my clothes, and fall in bed. And that’s assuming I even feel like brushing my teeth. But I knew I needed to make her nice and relaxed so she would be too tired to do anything to Twilight, so I quickly looked around the room to try to find anything I could use.

My eyes quickly found a set of hair brushes. One was definitely for a coat while the other was probably for the mane. I grabbed both and sat on the bed. “Would you join me, mistress?” I asked, setting the coat brush on the bed and patting my lap.

“...Very well, ape. Trixie shall see if you truly know how to treat a mare.” Given a daughter and a few years working on a farm back home, I know all about mares. But dealing with bitches is a completely different ballpark.

She hopped up onto my lap. The added pressure on my sore ass made me wince, but I lived and started carefully drawing the brush through her hair. It had gotten somewhat raggedy because of the fight, so I slowly put it into a reasonable shape, doing my best not to hurt her. If I had a knife, I would have happily driven it through the back of her skull while she was relaxed, but instead I just brushed her hair.

When it was good and straight, I swapped the brush to my other hand and started brushing her tail. That got her attention. “W-what are you doing, ape?!” she demanded, pulling her tail away from me and turning to glare at me.

“Preparing you for bed, mistress,” I said. “It is very relaxing, from what I’m told.”

She snorted and turned back, releasing her tail. “Fine. But no funny business!”

Not even if you paid me. I slowly dragged the brush down her tail again, though. And since I really wanted her to go to sleep right after I left, or even before I left, my spare hand lifted up to her head and started playing with her ears. Of course, they both flinched at my touch and she jumped again, but she didn’t try to rebuke me this time.

Her tail was fairly long, but it was also rather straightforward. I had it finished in no time and picked up the other brush. When I stopped doing things to her tail, Trixie lowered her head to the bed, sighing in delight. My other hand continued playing with her ears while I started brushing her blue coat with the second brush. She moaned quietly as the brush went further down her back, which was a sign to me that she had been under a lot of stress or whatever.

Not that I really cared. It wasn’t going to stop me from doing my best to kill her.

Strangely enough, it felt like I should have been talking to her while I was brushing her down. I guess that’s because I used to do that with the horses back home and that’s what I did with Celestia whenever she asked me to brush her. Aside from the occasional moan or whimper from the worst pony in the room, it was silent.

Well, until I finished her back. “Would you like me to brush your tummy as well, mistress?” I quietly asked, slightly hoping she would just tell me to fuck off so she could sleep.

“Trixie did not tell you to stop,” she sighed. Her ears were just drooping down and letting me scratch at them in peace, so I knew she was getting tired. But I still had to follow her commands, so I slowly shimmied out from under her then slid off the bed. She finally opened her eyes when I got to standing and had time to look confused before I rolled her over, revealing her soft underside. “...You better keep your hands decent, ape,” she quietly warned, followed by a yawn.

“Of course, mistress,” I replied, very slowly drawing the brush down her chest and then onto her belly. Of course, she gasped as soon as she felt the transition, meaning that not even the great and powerful Trixie was immune to my bellyrubs.

That wasn’t the point of the exercise, though, so I brought the brush back up and slowly pushed it back down, smoothing out her coat as best as I could. Soon enough, both of her eyes slid shut again and a small smile came to her face. Her tongue wasn’t lolling quite yet, but I imagine it was getting close.

Her body sagged when I stopped brushing her front, but I was finished with it and there was nothing left for me to do. But since she wasn’t quite asleep just yet, I swapped the brush from hand to hand again and started turning her into a tummy slut. The hand with the brush started working on her legs, though there wasn’t really much fur to work with there. Either way, she definitely enjoyed my tender ministrations.

Luckily for Twilight, Trixie enjoyed my attentions enough that she was snoring softly when I finally finished. As tempting as it was to grab Twilight and book it, I had a feeling that would end poorly if Trixie woke up before I could get the collar off or find the exit to her damn palace.

So instead, I gently pulled the blankets up around the worst pony there and tucked her in. She probably woke up a few times during that process, but didn’t open her eyes. I imagine using as much magic as she did in the fight tired her out. When she was finally settled, I walked over to the door and turned out the lights, then stood and waited for about five minutes.

When Trixie was hopefully well and truly asleep, I pulled the heels off and tip-toed over to her bed again. Trixie was on one side and Twilight was on the other, so I carefully reached over Trixie and started pulling the ring off Twilight’s horn. As soon as it was off… nothing happened. Twilight presumably either got the message, had fallen asleep herself, or was actually completely incapable of doing magic.

I was hoping it wasn’t the last one.

Since I didn’t know what defenses the castle might have, I slipped the ring on as I grabbed my heels and left. I kinda wanted to leave the damn things there, but I figured I’d trip on them or something when I came back without the collar. Or, god forbid, Trixie woke up in the middle of the night and wanted some milk or something.

Though she’d probably try to make me get it.

While I walked back to my room, awareness of a debate going on inside of me was forced onto me. “So Flo thinks Trixie might be redeemable,” Aqua said. “What do you think, Nav?”

“I think I’m surprised you’re asking me,” I replied.

“Despite your opinion of me or mine of you, I know you are intelligent. Being forced to live in your body, even if only temporarily, shows me that clearly. I also know that in the end, what is done with Trixie will likely be your choice. So I ask again, though by this point I already know the answer: What do you think, Nav? Should we attempt to capture and redeem Trixie? Or is she a lost cause?”

“Starting this expedition, I thought she was lost. It’s obvious her body has changed. Discord did… something to her. When I saw her expressionless face in the apparition she sent, I thought it truly was a lost cause. But now, I realize that it’s pretty much only her body that’s changed. She might well not be a lost cause.”

“But…?” Flo prompted, knowing I wasn’t quite finished.

“But just because I think it might be possible to redeem her doesn’t mean it is possible. Trixie is hellishly dangerous and there’s no telling what she might be capable of. She was getting trained by Discord, so she probably has some propensity for true magic. Dealing with her isn’t a risk that I think it’s worth to take, redeemable or not. Especially if there’s a chance Discord would rescue her.”

“And the alphyn?” Aqua asked.

“I don’t want to hurt him. He’s a prisoner just as much as I am. But in fight time, when it’s me or him, I’ll be the one walking away. I just hope it doesn’t come to that.”

“I meant his request, Nav,” she said. “You say Trixie is too dangerous. Is she too dangerous to give to him as well?”

“If I give her to him, he’ll drag her ass to Tartarus, which is on the opposite side of the world. That makes her no longer my problem, unless Discord wants to go through all that trouble of freeing her. Personally, I get the feeling he’s in the mood for throwing away pawns. That’s why we’re still alive and why you’re in my head instead of dead, Aqua. He wants Trixie to lose.”

“That was… our thought as well,” Flo said. “Though we don’t know why.”

“Me either. He trained this bitch for what, five years? Why just throw all that time away?”

Aqua snorted. “To one that never dies, five years isn’t a particularly long time.”

“True enough. I still can’t help but wonder what he’s getting out of this. With Miguel, he presumably wanted to show me that he could get to anyone around me, even Taya and someone I barely knew. With Blueblood, he wanted to show me that he could even get to royalty. When he appeared in the museum in Stalliongrad, he wanted to show me that he could be anywhere. But this… I don’t get it.”

“Understanding chaos is an exercise in futility,” Aqua said. “We tried for a long time but never succeeded.”

“Understanding your enemy is the first step to killing him,” I replied. “And I’m going to be doing my best to kill him.”

“It is usually the goal of a water to cool hot heads,” Aqua said, trying to sound disapproving.

Flo wasn’t having any of that shit, though. “Don’t tell me how to live my life, mom.”

“By the waters, it truly is too late for the both of you,” Aqua sighed. “I never thought I’d see the day when I actually wanted my own host.”

“I probably don’t need to tell you this, but you do know that Twilight—and ponies in general really—are very sensitive, right? They forgive easily, but when you offend them or are mean to them, it actually hurts them.”

“I am… aware. It is difficult to remember that, at times. Sombra was very different, and so were the few I had long before him. This is only the second time I had a host that didn’t feel obligated to obey me. Even Sombra owed me some respect, since I saved his kingdom. It’s a very large adjustment.”

“And one I suggest figuring out sooner rather than later, if you want to keep your host. See her as your friend, not as your servant.”

“I am unused to friends, Navarone.”

“So was I,” Flo said. “But you have access to Twilight’s memories. You know she’s been studying friendship for a while. Perhaps you could learn something from her.”

“...Perhaps. But it seems we’ve reached our destination. I suppose I have time to ruminate on it.”

We had definitely gotten to the room I was supposed to share with the alphyn. Since I definitely wasn’t expecting him to be doing anything inappropriate, I let myself in and wasn’t disappointed. Though I was somewhat confused by one thing. “Why are you under my cloak?” I asked.

“She told me to warm myself up for you.”

“That’s not what she… never mind. Anyway, I got some good news. Trixie fell asleep, so I got my ring and stopped Twilight from getting molested.” Though who knows? She might have enjoyed it. “How long do you think we should wait to go get Fluttershy?”

“A little while. We have to bond.”

“...Why? I mean, you’re not a bad dude, but once we deal with Trixie, we’re probably not gonna see each other again.”

“That was also one of her orders. It likely will not matter, but just in case, I suggest listening well and remembering the things she phrases as orders. If we do not follow them, we will receive pain.”

“That’s retarded.”

“Indeed, but it is also true.”

“Ugh. Can’t I just take these damn collars off while wearing my ring?”

“If they are tampered with by someone wearing one, our mistress receives an alarm. If she realizes what we plot, we will be in much trouble.”

“So even with the ring, we can’t risk it. Fuck. So how do you want to bond?”

“Questions. You said you don’t sleep in the summer, but you were sleeping earlier. Which is it?”

“I can sleep. But that wasn’t technically sleep. I was Princess Luna’s knight for a while, so she gave me access to a magical artifact that lets me access dreams. I went to tell Princess Celestia of our predicament, so she’s on her way right now.”

“That is… not good news for me. She does not like familiars and she definitely does not like anything that is supposed to be in Tartarus out of it.”

“If you’re with me when she gets here, or already gone, you’ll be fine. I’ll just tickle her under the chin, remind her how much she loves me, and then tell her you’re my friend. She’ll be cool.”

“That disturbs me more than a month of serving our mistress ever could.”

“You just don’t understand our love,” I said, trying to sound overly theatrical. It worked, because he actually snorted out a laugh. Since it seemed he was slightly more relaxed, I walked over and snatched my cloak off him so I could wrap it around myself. I was not expecting the uncomfortably large dog cock that was hiding under it, though, so I stopped. So much for not warming himself up for me.

“What? You’ve been waving yours around my face all day, ape. Don’t be so shocked when I return the favor, accidental or not.”

“...Fair enough. I just… where’s the knot?”

“It only appears when I am near release.” He finally rolled over so it wasn’t out in the open. “That is hardly what I meant when I said we would ask questions, though.”

“Tch. A question’s a question. Bonding over physical differences and similarities is still bonding.”

“...True enough. So then what of you, ape? I know you used to be a male, unless that was a different one. You have a similar scent, but it’s noticeably different. What happened, or are there two of you?”

“Just me, for now. You can blame that blue bitch’s fucking master for turning me into a chick. I’m looking for a way to turn back, but I’m stuck for now.”

“I see. Well, at least you’re stuck in a fair form that tastes and smells nice.”

“Alright, creepy, but okay.” I walked over to a wall and sat against it, making sure to fold the cloak over my legs so I could at least pretend to be a proper lady. “So you think my uh… form is fair?”

“Yes.”

“Any particular reasons why? I thought you found me ugly.”

“Smooth, hairless skin has some… unforeseen benefits to it. And I have been alone, away from my mate, for over a month at this point. You are not exactly making the utmost effort to cover yourself, so I can hardly be blamed if my eyes wander and take in more than they should.”

Victim blaming cis scum. “If I recall, you were the one that told me to strip down, and then stay naked. You were also the one to start licking me. Seems to me that you can definitely be blamed for letting your eyes wander.”

“...Well, you aren’t complaining.”

“It’s flattering,” I said with a shrug. “But I’ll feel a lot better when I have proper clothes on and my weapons back.”

“You are free to put on your other clothes,” he said, nodding at them. “And check the pockets of your cloak. I believe I felt one knife in there.”

“And she let you just take this thing?” I asked, laying it out in front of me.

“Yes. You were there when she told me I could. Our mistress is not overly intelligent. Are you not going to change, then? I can’t imagine the… outfit she gave you is overly comfortable.”

“It isn’t. I’ll change after I check the pockets.” I started doing just that. Thank god, I found some jerky in my pockets that I had completely forgotten about. It had been days since I last ate and Trixie didn’t seem to be in a hurry to feed me, so I tore into that as I continued looking.

The next thing I found was a backup knife. It was well-made, but small enough that it could hardly do much damage. “Well, at least you have a single tooth now,” the alphyn said. “Though that doesn’t seem nearly as menacing as the much larger one you had earlier.”

“It’s not. But it’ll do until we can get to the dungeon for the rest. Let’s see what else we have in here…”

Before I could get back to eating, his eyes moved to the jerky. “And is that meat?”

“Yes, it is. I eat meat. What about it?”

“It has been… a long time since I’ve had a proper meal…”

“You don’t say.” He continued staring at it, reminding me of an old dog my grandparents had. He would always sit next to you at the dinner table, silently begging for any scraps. This guy was too sapient for good puppy-dog eyes, though. Well, that’s what I thought until he turned his eyes on me. “Ugh. You can have what’s left if I can pet you.”

His front legs twitched, but then he realized what I said. “What?”

“Dude, I haven’t eaten in days. You got to be weird by licking me, so now I get to be weird by petting you.”

He sighed and slid off the bed, then walked over and sat next to me. “I never imagined I would have to debase myself in such a way for food.”

“Don’t worry. I won’t play red rocket with you unless you really want it.”

“I don’t even want to know.” I smiled and held up the jerky. He snatched it out of my hand with one of his talons and started gnawing it down. While he was seemingly distracted, the hand closer to him started scratching at his ears. They both twitched once before going still. He did bare his teeth, but I resolved to ignore it until he started barking.

When he finished what little was left of the jerky, he actually lowered his head to give me better access, but didn’t say anything. I started moving my hand further down, scratching at his neck and back. We both ignored his leg when it started pumping slightly.

Since he was enjoying that and not likely to go for my throat, I continued searching my pockets with my other hand. Most of them were empty, but the very last one I searched had our salvation within it. When I first felt it, I didn’t quite know what it was. “Why is there a necklace in here?” I whispered, feeling around for the amulet.

That’s when I realized what it was.

I slowly pulled the alicorn amulet out of my cloak and stared at it in horrified wonder. “Dear god…”

That got Phinny’s attention and he pulled himself out of his stupor. “What?”

“This amulet! If we can get this on Twilight, she’ll become more powerful than Trixie could ever be!”

His eyes widened and one of his talons shot up to my mouth, blocking me from saying anything else and stopping me from scratching his back. “Do not say her name, ape,” he very quietly whispered. “The collars detect it. If she awakens now…”

We both sat in silence for nearly a minute, just waiting for either of the collars to light up. When he deemed that enough time passed, he removed his talons from my face. I said, “That would have been a very good thing to know before we came up with the plan to deal with her, dude.”

“...I assumed you would have figured it out.” He finally stood and walked back to the bed. “So this amulet is powerful, then?”

“Yeah, if you’re a pony, or have pony-like attributes. It gives unicorns a huge magic boost. It’s also cursed, but using it for just a small amount of time won’t hurt much.”

“So we cannot allow our mistress to obtain it.”

“Correct. And we also still need to get these collars off so we can be useful.”

“Also correct. I cannot lay an unwanted talon on her while wearing this thing, and it’ll be hard to drag her to Tartarus without touching her.”

“Good to know. Think we’ve bonded enough for her stupid mandate?”

“I am… not certain.”

“Want me to keep petting you?”

“I can’t imagine why you would possibly want to. I recall you saying that I was ugly when we first met.”

“Did I?” Flo whispered something and I smiled. “I remember saying that you were uglier than I am. Since I’m a pretty sexy motherfucker, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ugly. It just means I’m hotter. You’re a pretty handsome dude, I gotta say.”

He snorted. “That still doesn’t explain why you would want to pet me. My coat is bristly, my mane is shaggy, and I have the power to rip you limb from limb if I desired.”

“Eh. I could explain it, but you wouldn’t like the answer. If you don’t want it, you don’t want it.”

“I would prefer knowing than staying ignorant. Why, then, would you like to pet me?”

I sighed, leaning back. “Alright, I suppose I should start this off by saying I know you’re not a dog. That said, you look a lot like one, minus the very long ears and the talons.”

“I am well aware of this, ape.”

“Yeah, yeah. What you ain’t aware of is that humans and dogs have a special kind of relationship, at least on our end. When my people were still young and surrounded by predators of all kinds, we found an unlikely companion in one such predator, what we then called wolves. Our fire kept them warm and scared away their own predators at night. In turn, they helped us catch prey and protected us while we hunted. But dogs where I come from aren’t sapient, so in time, they became completely subservient to us. Wolves slowly became dogs, our most loyal and loving of pets. The bond between humans and dogs is very, very deep, and while I know you can talk and you don’t know or care about that relationship, just seeing you makes me think about it.”

“...I see. You were incorrect; I did not find that insulting. It is humbling and honoring to work at your side given such a history, as long as you remember that I am not inclined to be subservient to you.”

“I wouldn’t even dream of forgetting it. So, do you want me to pet you some more?”

His ears twitched again and he replied, “No. I believe we have bonded plenty enough. It is time to go find the yellow one.”

“I’m definitely gonna want to change first.”

“Then change. Nothing is stopping you.” I sighed and slid the amulet back in one of the pockets before standing and stripping down again. Of course, the alphyn watched my every move, not that I really blamed him. I made sure to bend over right in front of him to pick up my shirt and my panties, too. When I finally turned back, his face was actually slightly red.

“Ready?” I sweetly asked, bending over one more time for my cloak.

He cleared his throat and said, “Yes.”

I tossed the cloak over my shoulders and pulled it tightly against me. “Then let’s go. I’m sure Fluttershy’s just dying to see us.” Well, if she wasn’t too busy being asleep, that is. I started walking out and he followed me, of course. “So when you said we had to go find her, you didn’t actually mean that we had to find her, right? You know where she is?”

“I know where she was. Assuming that’s where she still is, I know where to go.”

“Then lead the way.”

“...However, I am not the one with the ring that defends against magic in a maze full of magical defenses.”

I rolled my eyes and said, “Then direct the way. I don’t care what we do, as long as we start moving.”

“The night is young yet, ape. There is no need to be in such a hurry.”

“There is if you want to keep our precious mistress all to yourself, because you just know Celestia wouldn’t let you drag her blueberry ass to hell.”

“...To the right.”

“Thank you.” I started walking the directed way, the cloak trailing me and making me shiver slightly every time it bared featherless wings to the cold. Of course, Phinny also followed me. “Would it kill that bitch to put a fucking heater in this place? You just had to burn off my damn feathers and now I’m freezing.”

“You were attempting to stick a sword in me at the time, so I consider that fair play. That said, I… apologize, ape… Navarone.”

“Oh wow, I actually got you using my name.” We got to an intersection, so I stopped.

“Left.” We started walking that way. “I know those on this side of the portals prefer actual names. I generally strive to give respect when respect is given. So for now, you are Navarone.”

“Neat. And you know, I didn’t particularly want to put a sword in you. It was strictly business, I swear.”

“I’m sure.”

“And it didn’t help that my armor is kinda possessed by an ancient evil entity that seems to want to extinguish all life.”

“I’m sure that wouldn’t help, yes. It seems that such an artifact would not be worth using.”

“Well, I didn’t learn about that until a few hours ago, or I wouldn’t have been using it. I’m probably going to beat the shit out of the person that gave it to me and then dump it in the ocean.” Or sell it to the unicorn tower. Surely nothing bad could come from that.

“That seems the wise course of action, but I can tell you right now that there are—or were, at least—many mages that would be quite interested in such an artifact.”

“It’s like you’re reading my mind, man.” The conversation tapered for a second and I awkwardly asked, “You… you can’t actually read minds, can you?”

“That is not one of the gifts my kind possesses.” Oh thank god. We got to another intersection and I stopped again. “Straight ahead.”

I continued walking, but as soon as I took another step, a wall of air slammed into me. With the ring on, all of it flowed right into my cloak instead, making it smack the alphyn in the face. I just chuckled and walked right on to the other side. As soon as I got out of the intersection, the flow of air stopped.

“Think you can follow me?” I asked.

“I… very seriously doubt it.” I removed my ring and tossed it across. He caught it and just stared at it.

“Put it on one of your talons. That should work.”

“It is… strange that you would trust me with such an important artifact, especially given that you have no way of knowing if I truly want to assist you.”

“Should I trust you?”

“Absolutely not.” He slipped the ring on and started walking across. When he got to me, he pulled the ring off and held it up. “But that doesn’t mean I will betray you.”

“Good.” I took the ring and put it back on, then continued walking. “So why did the alphyns end up in Tartarus?”

“We didn’t. Tartarus ended up around us. We made… deals some of us weren’t proud of in order to survive. But now we have one of the few free states left in that hellish domain, so perhaps it was worth it.”

“That depends entirely upon what you had to give up in the deal.”

“Yes, I suppose it does.”

We walked in silence for another few seconds before I asked, “So what were you doing with this bitch for a full month before she sent us the message?”

“I have no desire to speak or think of the things I did.”

Sounds kinky. At least half of the elementals in my head sighed. I assumed it was Aqua. “So what’s Tartarus even like?”

“Roving bands of dark and evil creatures constantly war with each other for any reason they can. Resources, land, imagined or real slights, or just on a whim. A few communities like mine have common defense pacts and come to each others’ aid when needed, though there are many times when we’re all too busy dealing with our own problems to assist each other. Tartarus is not—”

A jet of flame shot up right in front of me and he grabbed my cloak to yank me back. Right as he pulled me away, a fountain of fire erupted from the stone where I had been standing.

“That would’ve been a shitty end to a bad day,” I said, flexing my wings slightly under the cloak. “Though the ring might have made it just dissipate.”

“Perhaps.” He stood up on his hindlegs and grabbed me around the waist, then tossed me onto his back before I could protest. Then he sprinted through the hall and passed over the flame spout area before it could trigger.

“If I could’ve been riding you the whole time, why was I walking?” I asked when he stopped.

“You didn’t seem that enthused about me riding you earlier, so I assumed the offer would have been rejected out of a feeling of fair-play.”

“Well, I’m not really a fan of being raped,” I said as I slid off him. “But I do remember asking if you were interested after that.”

“The puppies in my community have an interesting concept called ‘no take-backsies’, or something of that nature. I posit that it applies here. Shall we continue?”

I started walking again and he followed. “So how did you know the flames were coming? That was a fast fucking reaction.”

“I heard the trap trigger. Our mistress is not half as clever as she would like, nor as skilled in magic. It appears that most of what she knows is sleight, and even then she’s too arrogant to put it to good use.”

“If she’s good enough to beat Twilight, she has to be pretty fucking good.”

“She did not beat the purple one in magic, ape. The first time we fought, our mistress used a headbutt. Today, she used a rock. The purple one was overconfident the first time and did not treat the fight with the care it deserved. This time, our mistress was covered by a passive shield that the purple one could not penetrate.”

“Wait, she had a shield?”

“We both did. There is an enchantment of sorts on my collar such that certain objects cannot pass through without being blocked by a shield of earth. She has a similar shield on herself, though I do not know how it is maintained. Surely you noticed that in the fight.”

“...I thought she was doing that actively. How the fuck are we supposed to fight that?”

“Overwhelm it. Pure strength is a brutish solution, but one that works wonders at times.”

“Cool. I’ll let Twilight handle that. I’ll just sit back and look pretty.” I only found it a little insulting that he didn’t reply. Then I turned my head and realized why he didn’t respond. “Jesus!” He was hunched over in pain, clutching at his ears with his talons. I hopped over next to him and knelt down. As soon as he saw me in his peripheral vision, he whimpered in pain.

Since he was clutching at his ears and I couldn’t hear anything wrong, I had to assume it was some kind of white noise that only his dog ears picked up. I grabbed his talons with my hands and tossed them out of the way, silently thanking him for not trying to fight me, and then stuffed my fingers into his ears.

That blocked off enough of the sound that he could at least think again, so he looked up at me with watery eyes, then slowly stood back up so I could follow him with my arms. When we were both situated, we started awkwardly walking on, both hoping the noise could fade away quickly.

After we got a few dozen meters down the hall, Phinny stopped and slowly pulled one of my hands away with a talon. A few seconds later, he sighed in relief and I pulled both hands away. “That was more than mildly unpleasant,” he said, shivering in pain.

“I guess it ain’t always advantageous to hear those traps coming, huh?”

He snorted. “Having dexterous digits that don’t end in sharp points would be a blessing, I imagine. Assuming, of course, you’re bipedal.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. I actually got into a few debates with some griffins about having hands that can hold tools and weapons versus talons that can be used as tools and weapons.”

“What did those debates decide?”

“That some griffins are fucking idiots.” He tried to hide it by looking away, but I saw a small smile on his face. “Let’s keep going.” Once again, he fell into step behind me as we continued. “So when you guys get summoned by a unicorn, is it random? Or do you have some way of choosing who gets picked?”

“The first time is semi-random, based partially on things we choose and stipulations the summoner lays out when they summon us. They can pick from a greater alphyn and a lesser alphyn and an age group from either. We have a pool of our kind that are assigned to be summoned, and are placed into those categories. The summoner will get one of us that fit into his or her specifications. Then we and the summoner are bound, so the summoner will always get the first one he or she summoned, unless he or she drags another one of us out of the abyss. Then it will be a random choice between all the ones that have been summoned.”

“And you just got the short end of the stick with Tri—the blue bitch.”

“Yes.”

“And you have to follow every order they give unless it’s one that would kill you?”

“Unfortunately. I have done many, many things of which I am not proud.”

Sounds even kinkier. One of the elementals, also probably Aqua, smacked me in the back of the head. “Well, if I knew magic, I’d summon you and we could go bar hopping or something. Get you so drunk you’d forget all those big words you keep using.”

“I don’t know what bar hopping is or what being drunk would entail. I’m also not certain I would want to be summoned again. After… this, I think I will attempt to have my status as a familiar revoked.”

Tch. Some wingman you are.

“Not like you would need help to get laid,” Aqua said. “Just open your legs a little and I imagine all the stallions you could ever want would be all over you.”

Yeah, if I wanted stallions. “Understandable,” I said. “I wish I could tell everyone looking for my help to just fuck off. Life would be a lot easier.”

“Do you not have freedom of choice, Navarone? If you would like, I can drag you back to Tartarus with me as well. I can’t promise life would be overly easy there, however.”

“I always have the choice to say no, but I have the responsibility to say yes. And I think I will definitely pass on going to Tartarus, especially with someone that said he and his kind exist as familiars to try to kidnap people and turn them into slaves.”

“It is not… entirely unheard of for a being brought into Tartarus to enjoy limited freedom in our community. Still, it was an offer made mostly in jest. After seeing you in action, you do not seem the type to be subservient to another, and my kind have rather rigid castes.”

“Yeah, fuck that. I work better when I can be pointed at a problem and told to deal with it. Although being a leader can definitely suck sometimes. There’s a reason I got away from being a queen as quickly as possible.”

“Aside from being forced to wear heels?”

“Oh my god, don’t remind me. Ugh, dressing up is just the worst. Don’t even get me started on the fucking makeup. Those fucking monkeys spent an hour a day getting me ready. Being a girl sucks.” If you know what I mean. Aqua face-palmed.

“Yes, I can certainly imagine it wouldn’t be easy. Especially if your kind go into heat and have live-births.”

“We do have live-births, but we have a process that’s different from heat. It involves a lot more bleeding from our vagina and leaking egg stuff than it does getting horny.”

“Our females bleed as they go into heat. Most dog-like races do.”

“You learn something new every day, I guess. Either way, it’s fucking disgusting and I hate my vagina. I really want my dick back.”

“Part of being happy is accepting one’s self, Navarone.”

“Being happy is overrated. Happiness doesn’t fix problems. Contentment doesn’t get things done. You want something changed or fixed? Get mad. Get pissed. Humanity has gotten more things done in anger and in spite than they have ever done because they were happy. You want to know what contentment brings? Complacency. My lifespan was multiplied by ten, and I still won’t live long enough to be happy. I’m not gonna be like the damn ponies, too placid and accepting to ever try to act. Fuck that. Life sucks and that pisses me off, and because I’m pissed, I’m gonna try to make it better.”

“You have problems.”

“I have humanity.”

“Then humanity is a problem.”

“Strangely enough, I can’t say you’re wrong. One thing I’ve noticed about my kind… and myself, for that matter, is that we always seem to want more. We all have our vices and it seems we can never have enough. Money, power, sex, violence, knowledge. It seems so hard to be happy just with what you have.”

“Foolish.”

“Maybe. It kept us going, though. We wouldn’t have gotten to the moon if we didn’t want it enough.” He just snorted and we continued in silence for several more seconds. Finally, I said, “Before I was forcibly introduced to other sapient races, I honestly thought that need for more would be a requirement for rational thought. If you could think, you’d automatically want. It… astounds me that other races don’t have that burning need in them. I can’t help but wonder what it is about my kind that we have such a thing in us.”

“Some races do, Navarone. Dragons, for example. And it seems our mistress had an overwhelming need for beating the purple one.”

“Dragons, I’ll grant you. But I don’t think a goal or a desire is the same as what humans have in them. I don’t really know, since I haven’t really thought about it that much.”

“Hm. Stop.” I froze in place, since I didn’t know exactly what he meant. He slowly walked past me, looking at the wall to our right. “Let me use your ring.” Since it seemed we weren’t right in front of a trap, I set my foot down and passed him the ring. He put it on and straight up punched the wall. I winced in what I thought would be shared pain, but his talons went right through. “As I thought.” He removed the ring and tried poking the wall. It acted like just any other wall.

“This’ll be a conundrum,” I said. “But one I’ve solved before. The ring can work on two people if they both have it on. I put it on the tip of my finger, you put it on the tip of your talon. We both go through carefully.”

“Sounds simple enough. Let me judge the size of the hole.” He slid the ring back on and stuck his arm through, then walked around until he figured out how big the thing was. It would be easy for us to walk through side by side, so that’s just what we did.

When we got through, I put the ring back on and asked, “So how much further do we need to go? This shit’s getting ridiculous.”

“She should be at the end of this hall. It has been… easier to get to her than I thought.”

“We aren’t there yet.”

“Indeed we aren’t, but we can see the door from here.” It was a very plain door, too. “Hopefully there won’t be many traps in this hall.”

“You just had to fucking jinx it.” I started walking and he followed me, of course. Within the first few feet, my eyes caught some movement down the end of the hall and I jumped to the side. The alphyn saw my reaction and followed me, so the long spike that shot out missed us both. “Don’t think my ring woulda stopped that.”

“I rather doubt it,” he replied as it started slowly retracting.

Thinking quickly and possibly stupidly, I jumped to it and grabbed the thing, hoping it was strong enough to carry me. Somewhat surprisingly, it was and did, slowly pulling me all the way down the hall and completely bypassing all the pressure plates. When the part I was holding started sliding into the wall, I let go and got ready to move in case there was another trap under me. Thankfully, there wasn’t, so I turned back to the alphyn with a smile on my face.

“Cheater,” he called.

“You’re just jealous you didn’t think of it. Trigger the trap again and do what I did.”

He rolled his eyes and got low to the ground, then crawled to the pressure plate for the trap. After checking to make sure I was out of the way and that it wouldn’t hit him, he triggered it again. Sure enough, the thing shot out. When it stopped, Phinny jumped up and wrapped both pairs of legs around it, letting it slowly pull him to me.

When we were both at the end of the hall, he asked, “So how are we going to get back?”

“That’s future me’s problem. Is this a magic door?”

“I don’t know.”

I shrugged and reached out a hand to open it. Unfortunately, it was locked. Even worse, it started talking. “Anyone that seeks to open this door must answer my riddle. There are two sisters—”

“Celestia and Luna.” The door clicked and I opened it without a problem. When I looked over, the alphyn was looking at me very strangely. “I’ve heard that one before.” He just shrugged and I walked in. Fluttershy was lying on a very nice and comfy-looking bed in the middle of the room. There was some kind of light above her that was shooting down slow moving little stars, covering the entire bed. I could only guess those were keeping her asleep and probably keeping her from starving.

“She looks quite peaceful,” the alphyn said when he joined me at her bedside.

“She usually does,” I said, crossing my arms and wondering how I was going to go about getting her to wake up. “So what do you think?”

He started slowly circling the bed. When he got to the foot, he stopped and said, “There is an inscription here. ‘Only true love’s first kiss can wake this fair maiden from her eternal slumber.’” He looked back up to me. “Drag her out of the bed?”

“Drag her out of the bed.” I slowly put my hand on the bed to make sure it wouldn’t fall asleep. When nothing happened, I reached both arms over and grabbed her front legs. She didn’t respond at all, so I started pulling. She slid right out of the blankets and then off the bed, hitting it with an uncomfortable sounding thunk.

She didn’t wake up.

“Well, I’m out of ideas,” I said, crossing my arms.

“Can you get your ring on her?”

“How? Bitch doesn’t have talons or fingers. Her ears are too wide. Using her tongue risks choking her. It doesn’t work on hair.” He walked over and flipped her onto her back, then gently poked one of her nipples. “Too small.”

“It worked on just the tip of my talon and the tip of your finger, did it not?”

I shrugged, pulled the ring off, and put it on one of her nipples. Sure enough, nothing happened. “I wasn’t expecting this to be so hard.”

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