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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94. Chapter Seventy-Seven—I get the weirdest guests Part 2

When I had successfully fled from the library, I tried going straight home. I didn’t quite make it: Rarity intercepted me just outside of town. “Ah, Navar—What are you—UNHOOF ME YOU BRUTE!”

I’m sure Big Mac was quite surprised to find me giving Rarity the fiercest spanking of her life. His normally red face grew even redder when he pushed his head into the little bush I had dragged her into.

“Having fun yet?” I demanded right as his head poked in, probably drawn in by her screams of indignation.

“…What’re y’all doin’?” he drawled, his eyes like saucers.

Rarity was a little bit busy sniffling and moaning to answer, so I said, “This naughty mare has a certain fetish. As the resident expert with hands, I was helping her out. Keep quiet about it, yeah?”

His face grew even redder and he quickly pulled his head out of the bush with a loud “Nope!” He kept repeating that as he galloped off into the distance.

This is the second time he’s found me like this, I thought as I gave Rarity a few more spanks.

“See, this is what happens when you don’t keep things a fucking secret like I told you to,” I said as I finally pulled away from her, surveying my work. Somehow, the white fur on her flank had red handprints over it from where I had been spanking her. I figured that was enough to teach her a lesson without me having to do anything else.

“You violent monster…” she whispered, still sniffling.

“You were just asking for it. That squishy, spankable flank. The way you constantly beg for attention. How you always do whatever you can to make me suffer. For some reason thinking I was gay and wanted to be a cross dresser. Raping me. I keep saying that I need to slap your shit and I finally did.” That one time in the Google bunker doesn’t count. “Now why were you looking for me?”

She just hmphed and stuck her nose in the air, tossing her head away from me.

“Good, I don’t have to deal with more of your bullshit. Have a nice day, then.”

I merrily continued on my way for all of a few steps before I heard a barely whispered, “Wait…” I turned back, raising an eyebrow. “I… was going to apologize. But then you had to go and start hitting me!”

“Don’t even try to pretend you didn’t enjoy that.” I had her positioned in a way that it was hard not to tell that she was enjoying it more than she should have been.

And now her face was as red as her ass as she just blushed and stammered for a few seconds before saying, “I do need your assistance with something, however. I believe helping me with what I require might help turn my head from this… incident.”

“I’m listening, though I can’t make any promises.”

Her horn lit up and surrounded one of the saddlebags that I had casually thrown off her when I was dragging her into the bushes. The flap opened and one of the shitty little comics she looted from Earth pulled itself out, surrounded by a light blue glow. It flew over to me. “The spell that allowed me to understand these mangas wore off, Navarone. I was wondering if you would be able to read it and perhaps translate it.”

“Why not just get a translator spell and do it yourself?”

“Do you know how high level those spells are, Navarone? Everypony in the world has been speaking the same language for thousands of years. The kind of magic it takes to cast something like that is more than I could handle without a lot of practice. Twilight might be able to do it, but I would have to explain to her just why I need it.”

“Tell her you want to put something in an ancient dead language on one of your clothes.”

“That’s an idea… But I would prefer you help me instead, if you can.”

I sighed and rolled my eyes, holding out my hand. The comic landed in it and I lifted it up. I looked over the cover before flipping it open and looking at some of the text.

I closed it and shook my head, looking up. “This is in Japanese, or some other moon rune language. I don’t know it. You find me some English and we’ll talk.” That was a bold-faced lie. This thing was in English; I just didn’t want to translate it. To be fair, I don’t think you’d find many people that would willingly read Bible Black, which is what that one was.

Yeah, if I ever saw those manga fuckers she got those things from again, I would be doing some professional ass-kicking.

She sighed, pulling the abomination away from me. “I suppose it was a little too much to ask. Very well then. In that case, would you be available to assist me with something else later on?”

“I don’t know why you keep asking me this. The answer depends entirely upon what the activity you need help with is.”

“Well, if you must know, it’s more modeling stuff.” I immediately got ready to tell her no before she said, “You won’t be the model, of course—I remember your distaste for it after last time. No, I will be asking Fluttershy or perhaps somepony else to help. You will just be a judge of sorts.”

I sighed, rubbing at one of my temples. “You’re making human clothes and you want me to tell you how accurate they are.”

“Close. I’m making human clothes and I want you to tell me how sexy they are.”

“…And you want to use Fluttershy? Rarity, that shit could scar her for life.”

“Relax, Navarone. Nopony will be taking pictures or filming it.”

I shook my head. “I’m not going to do it, not if Fluttershy is the one modeling. Someone else, sure. Fluttershy? She’s too innocent for that and I refuse to see her corrupted in any way.”

“…Well, I can honestly say that I’m surprised. Pleasantly surprised, of course. It seems that you do still have some morals left.”

“When all you’ve got left is strings, you cling to them all the harder. If you find anyone else, you know where I live.”

She nodded. “Very well. Have a good day, Navarone.”

“You too, Marshmallow.” She huffed again as she used magic to settle the saddlebags over her back. I debated internally about mentioning the handprints that graced her behind, but decided in the end not to. I also decided not to tell her what happened with Big Mac.

When I finally got home, I found Taya alone, sitting in the living room and reading a book. She looked up at me with a grin. “So what do you think, daddy?”

I debated using the key to make her tell the truth versus giving her the next part of the punishment. I decided not to use the key just yet. “It’s a start,” I answered, crossing my arms. “It amuses me that you think I’m stupid, though.” Her smile faltered slightly. “That’s what I thought. Go find him and apologize. You have one day left to find a friend that wasn’t bullied into being here before I put you in school. After that, if I don’t see you doing friendly things with that friend or another pony every five days, I’m going to have a chat with Cheerilee. Is that understood?”

Her face slowly drooped more and more until she looked close to tears. At the end of it, she teleported away. I sighed and stalked upstairs, more unhappy than I should have been. Why is it so hard to tell her to do something that’s good for herself?

For some reason, Flo burst out laughing at that.

 

The next day, I took the wolf down to the train station to meet Vinyl and possibly Octavia. The letter didn’t mention if the cellist was coming, but I did ask for her so I was hoping. If she wasn’t there, I know Vinyl could get her down after I showed her the laptop.

I settled down on one of the benches to wait, the few out-of-towners flinching away from Freki as he hopped up next to me and laid his head down in my lap. For being made of wood, he really liked getting petted. I gave him some attention because frankly, I’m slightly neglectful of that poor dog. Not on purpose, of course, I just sort of… forget him sometimes, I guess.

Equestria’s trains are usually on time, so we weren’t waiting at the station for long. “Dude, what’s—What the buck is that?” Vinyl asked, looking at my timber puppy.

“Remember when you asked about the wolves made of wood that lived in the forest? I got one as a pet.”

“…Aren’t those things evil?”

“Nah, just territorial. This guy is harmless until you piss me off. Where’s Octavia?”

“She couldn’t make it on such short notice. What’s this new product you got for me?”

“It’s easier shown than explained. Oh, and good news: I got a house, so you don’t need a hotel. C’mon, you’ll probably love it.”

“Awesome! It’s about time you got a cool pad of your own. Is it a stellar bachelor pad?”

“I wish. It’s hard to live like a bachelor with a daughter, an annoying chick that might as well be your wife, a foal, a maid, and a hulking warrior all living in your place.” I hopped up and started leading her into town.

“You sure there’s gonna be room for me?”

“This place is massive. Even with all of that, I still have four spare guest rooms. I got some stuff to tell you about some of the other tenants, though, and I hope you don’t mind other races.”

“Griffins are pretty cool, for the most part. Very different from ponies, though.”

“Yeah… I’m not talking about griffins. The one I had here left for home and I haven’t seen her in a little while. I’ll tell you a little more when we get out of town, away from listening ears.” Like anyone from that annoying little school newspaper. I didn’t want word about Cadance getting out. “So how’s the business?”

“Booming on all fronts, and I have you to thank for it! Why do you think I came down here immediately?”

“I figured you were bored again and wanted another short vacation.”

“Nah. I’m getting back into the groove of things and remembering why I love it. What about you? How’s… what you do when you aren’t helping the princesses?”

“Going very well. Quills are going to be obsolete soon, if you write a lot. I’ll probably stop writing books, though. Not like there’s a lot of demand for them anyway.” As it turns out, human books about human problems don’t attract a lot of attention from ponies. Some are definitely interested and many of the books grew quite popular, but I don’t think anyone would notice if they stopped coming out.

…I was hoping no one would go Misery on my ass.

“You’re a writer?”

“Yep. Well, not really. It’s more that I transcribe books from my world into this world and make a pretty penny doing it. Long story short, I’m a little bit rich. And if you factor in the mine I accidentally sort of mostly own, I’m more than a little rich.”

“Huh. So, what’s this about your weird guests?”

We were now mostly out of town, so I felt more comfortable telling her. “Do you know what a naga is?”

“No clu—wait, aren’t they mercenaries or something?”

“A lot of them are. That’s about the only occasion you’ll ever find one outside of their home. It’s a large carnivorous snake-fish mix. Just don’t bother him and don’t get him drunk and you’ll be fine.”

“…What happens if he gets drunk?”

“We agreed to never talk about that again. The next person of interest is a changeling maid. You might have met her in Canterlot at the wedding, a girl named Doppel. If she tries to seduce you, go for it. She’s an amazing lay.”

“She’s a changeling, dude.”

“Yeah. That just means she can do whatever fetish you want. Last on the list is Princess Cadance, and you are to tell no one she is here.”

“Whoa. This is where she’s hiding?”

“Yep. And on the off chance Shining Armor visits and you ever get asked about it, tell everyone that he’s cheating on Cadance with me.”

“Dude… Hot. I would pay to see that.”

“Really? How much?”

“I don’t bucking know, a lot. But anyway, why’s lovebutt living in your house?”

I shrugged. “Wish I could tell you. Oh yeah, her kid is also here. A more evil and vindictive baby you will never find. Stay away from her.”

“I never was a foal pony. So what’s the big secret plan to make me more money?”

“It’s another thing you’ll have to keep secret from everyone. This is more important to me than keeping the Cadance thing a secret.”

“Alright, I won’t tell anypony. It’s good to keep business secrets safe.”

“I found a way to get music from my world into this world. There are problems, though; the lyrics are in a very different language. I might be able to translate, I might not. But all the dubstep without lyrics? You should be golden to copy it all.”

“As awesome as that is—and it’s extremely bucking awesome—isn’t that… immoral?”

“Probably. But even if you don’t copy it for your own stuff, it might give you ideas. And if nothing else, you can say that you were one of the first and only ponies to listen to human music.”

“True. So how do you get the music here? Is it some kind of portal?”

“Nope. I’ll show you. As I said, it’s impossible to explain. I have a feeling you’ll love it, though. Just make sure to not tell anyone about it, or I’ll kill your family.”

“…What?”

“That won’t be a problem, though. How long do you have to be here?”

“Uh, a few days? How long should it take?”

“I don’t know. I can show you the songs instantly, but there are a lot of songs to go through. If it goes well, do you think you can get Octavia or some other people out here? Some people that you can trust to keep silent, of course. Needless to say, if a few certain interested parties learned about this, bad things might happen.”

“Of course, dude. Or I can just record some stuff and bring it to her. If it’s really that incredible, I’ll just track her down and drag her here. Depending on what you humans have, I can bring a few other ponies here too. I got a few friends that are trying to ‘find new sounds’ and aren’t having much luck.”

“Tell them to go into a desert and save a village of mares from a bandit.”

“How would that help them do anything?”

“Hey, it would get them laid.”

“Can’t argue with that. So how far away is this little house of yours, anyway?”

“Hah, ‘little.’ It’s not too far out of town. We’ll be seeing it pretty soon. Just a note, though: It’s right up against the Everfree.”

“But it’s safe. Right?”

“Oh yeah. The only problem we’ve really had so far was the giant squid, and that was just because of a misunderstanding. Last I heard, he’s settled down with a sea serpent.”

“I would give fifty bits to live your life for a week when I’m not around, just to see what the buck you’d get up to.”

“It’s mostly kinky sex with Doppel and training with the naga. Pretty boring, I gotta say. And since I can’t sleep at night yet, I spend that time building stuff.” I’ve been tempted to make a cannon, but storing it would be too much trouble and bringing it on an airship would be just asking for trouble.

“What have you been making? More human stuff?”

“Yeah. Nothing high tech or anything, though. What do you do in your spare time, when you aren’t partying or whatnot?”

“Whatever I feel like. I’m swimming in bits, so there’s not much I can’t do anymore.”

“Ever think of settling down? Finding someone nice and popping out a few brats or something?”

“Thought about it, sure. Ever really considered it? Nah. I don’t want to get slowed down by any foals just yet. Not my style.”

“They definitely change your priorities.” Aside from the whole ‘Taya shouldn’t have chosen me’ angle, I didn’t have many regrets with her. I mean, I’ve had to change a little, but not as much as I would have for a baby or something.

“You ready to find a nice mare and settle down yet? I know you gotta be tired of your career.”

“I definitely am tired of it. I’m going to pass on any kind of relationship for now, though. It would be nice, but… Well, I have my reasons.” Emotionally stunted, dead inside, leaving soon. Take your pick.

“How’s your daughter handling not having a mom?”

“No clue. She seems okay with it, but then she’s kind of mentally unbalanced. Oh hey, there’s the outer wall of my house.”

“There’s a wall? Awesome. No wonder nothing gives you any trouble. But what about things with wings?”

“The only manticore that tried popping his head over the wall got eaten by the naga. We haven’t had any trouble since then. No solicitors or random songs, either. It’s nice.”

“Huh. Sounds kinda boring, actually.”

“I’ve earned some boredom. And sometimes you just need a break from it all, you know?”

“Eeeh, I guess. Hey, do you have a gardener too?”

“…No. That looks like Lily. And there’s Taya, who I swear you had to have met by now.” Have I introduced them? I don’t remember. “Taya took up gardening, so I assume she had one of the Flower sisters come by to teach her how to keep the flowers alive.” I wasn’t ready to count it as a ‘friend’ just yet, but it was a step in the right direction. And as long as Cadan—Oh wow, I didn’t really think this one through, did I?

Meh. Cadance would be fine. The Flower sisters are harmless and the assassins are dead anyway.

“I wish I had somepony to make a garden for me…”

“Get a loving daughter, then. Or hire a gardener; that would probably be cheaper.” We could barely even see them through the gates, but it looked like Taya was acting a bit more frantically than normal. I didn’t want to rush her too much into making a friend, but she had to force my hand. Honestly, I was hoping she would go for someone closer to her own age, but going after cute mares was also okay.

…As long as she didn’t try setting me up with them. Then we’d have a problem.

When we finally got inside the gates, the two of them noticed us. Lily paled slightly when she saw Freki, but she knew by now that he was harmless. Still, all three of the sisters were pretty much cowards, and spent the longest time being afraid of me. I was honestly surprised Taya even managed to get her to agree to come into my fort.

“Hello, Ms. Lily,” I said, walking up to the two of them. Given that the garden was right in front of the house, I had to walk up to them to get inside. “Welcome to my home. Do you two need anything?”

“Nothing right now, Sir Navarone,” she said. “Taya here just wanted to learn how to take care of these lovely little lilies.” I had no clue what kind of flowers they were. “I’m always happy to help somepony start a garden, so here I am!”

“I’m glad you can help. I know nothing of gardening, other than that you dig a hole and put the plant in it.”

“Ooh, would you like to learn? It’s a great bonding activity!”

…Fuck. “I would, but I need to get Vinyl here situated.” Also, I hate gardening. “Some other time, perhaps?”

Taya put on a smile for some reason. “Surely it won’t take too long, Daddy. I’m sure she’s tired from her trip, after all.” Oh you little… I’m teaching her too well.

“If that is the case, I will be back out in a few minutes. Vinyl, come on.”

She followed me on in. “This place is awesome! How much did it cost you?”

“In terms of bits? Nothing. In terms of other things? An ass-whooping, two pissed off princesses, and being forced to go to Luna’s winter party.”

“Which you’re going to love, by the way. I’m helping her with it, and with the resources we have, it’s going to be the most amazing party in history.” We both jerked as we heard a distant howling that for some reason reminded me of Pinkie, but I dismissed it as something from the forest.

“I’m not much of a party person, but I can survive one night. Up the st—Doppel!” I spotted her peeking out of the living room. “This here is Vinyl Scratch. She’ll be staying in one of the guest rooms for a few days. Vinyl, this is Doppel, my maid.” As soon as I called her, Doppel stepped out of her cover, showing off her sexy body and the frilly Prench maid outfit.

“What’s with the getup?” Vinyl asked.

“Master makes me wear it,” she said before I could answer. “He says he likes the way I shake my hips and the easy access for when he gets bored.”

“Bitch please. You’re the one that refuses to take it off. Given Chrysalis’s threat, that’s probably a valid refusal, but still.”

Doppel grinned, winking. “I don’t hear you complain any more, master.”

“That’s just because you make sure to bend over in my face whenever you have to dust something. We’ll be upstairs if anyone needs us. No listening in; you can get your fill later.”

She sighed, looking disappointed. “Yes master...”

Vinyl and I continued up the stairs. When we got to the second floor, I led her to one of the many unused rooms, far away from Cadance’s with the baby. “This here’s your room. You’re welcome to take another unused room, but all the other ones are closer to a room with a baby—or a foal, whatever you want to call it.”

“Got an awesome maid, a loving daughter, and guest rooms that would make most ponies clop their hooves in glee. You’re living the good life, Nav. Seeing this place makes me want more than just a nice penthouse suite.”

“You got the money. Why not go for it? Though I gotta say, home ownership has its downsides, even if I don’t have that many bills. Anything breaks down, have fun fixing it, or paying to fix it.” With the schematics I got, I was thinking about hiring a few people to build me a generator that would never break and work better than the one that Chrysalis built me.

She shrugged. “I can’t build a big fancy house in the city, where I do most of my work. It would be a very long commute.”

“Eh. Either way, this is your room. If you stumble in drunk to the room next to it in the middle of the night and snuggle up with my daughter, we’re going to have a problem. Namely, of the her brutally murdering you kind. So yeah, watch out for that. Now, you want to see the music thing?”

“Nav, you’re kinda freaking me out, man. First you talk about killing my family, now you’re saying that going into the wrong room’s gonna get me killed. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like or care about my family, but I still don’t want them dead. And me getting killed is even worse.”

“You gotta understand this about my… ‘family,’ then. Taya’s parents were either murdered or abandoned her and she was left on the streets of a place that mistreated her in ways that I still don’t know about. She’s been learning all kinds of magic, but has a disturbing proficiency for combat magic. So she’s not only jumpy and paranoid, she can back it up by making your head pop. Doppel’s a sex addict and instead of the normal taste of love, she prefers lust. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to get it, too. Cadance is Cadance, and that’s all you need to know about that. The naga… Yeah, don’t mess with the naga. And of course, Freki is still a wolf at heart, even if he acts like a little puppy. You already know I’m fucked in the head. Now come along, I want to get started early.”

She just sighed and fell into step behind me. “So after you start showing me this music stuff, you’re going to go and spend some time with your daughter and her garden?”

“I don’t like gardening.”

“And if what you said is true, you need to spend more time with her anyway. She’s safe in Equestria, and you spending more time with her will hopefully help her remember that. That way she won’t make my head explode.”

“And I suppose it means you can keep making my head explode instead.”

“Wha—Oh.” She grinned and said, “Well, I wouldn’t say no. But I thought you had a bit more fun on the more feminine side of things.”

“It would take a lot of convincing to get me to bring those stones out of storage.” Doppel managed to do it a few times. “But no matter. Here’s my office.” I pushed the door open and stepped on inside, almost expecting someone to be there waiting for me. Thankfully, there wasn’t. I walked to the other side of the desk and plopped myself down in the chair. “You ready for the big secret?” I asked as I pulled the skeleton key out and unlocked the laptop’s drawer.

“Sure, I guess.”

I shrugged and set the laptop on the desk. “This here is some powerful human technology.” I opened it up and turned it on. “I don’t know how good the speakers really are, though; it was not at all designed for this purpose.”

“What was it designed for, then?”

“Rebuilding society in the event that it collapsed.” It booted up almost immediately and I opened the folder I made for Vinyl. “What are you in the mood for?”

She shrugged. “I’m cool with whatever.”

I grinned. “Then I’ll start with my preference: Chillstep. I can set you up with a good long playlist. If you get tired of one song, just say ‘next.’ If you want to hear the song that was running before, say ‘back.’ If anyone opens the door, say ‘stop.’ If that person leaves, say ‘play.’ Feel free to look around the office if you want, but don’t touch this device. It’s sensitive and it is irreplaceable.” I clicked the play button. “I’ll be back in less than an hour, hopefully. If you need to use the bathroom or whatever, just stop it and go next door; there’s a bathroom in my room. Any questions before I go torture myself?”

Her head was tilted, listening to the music. “Can you turn it up? And do you have some paper?”

I turned the volume up a few pegs before reaching into another drawer and pulling out some paper and a pen. “Just click the top and use the point if you need to write,” I said, standing. “See you soonish, then.”

She mumbled something as she listened to the sounds of Woon’s “Night Air.” The lyrics would go over her head, but at least she could hear the basic sounds of chillstep.

I walked over to my room to get some work clothes, the wolf still dogging my heels. When I got some clothes I didn’t care about getting dirt on, I looked down at the wolf and got a decent idea. “Guard the door to my office. Anyone but me or Vinyl tries going in, hurt them. Can you do that for me?”

He happily wagged his tail, glad to finally have a task from his master or whatever he considered me.

“Good boy. Or… girl, I guess. Whatever gender you consider yourself. I’ll be back up in a few minutes, hopefully. If you see me, sniff me. If I smell more like Doppel than I should, be ready to bite.”

I let him out and he actually took a position at the door, sitting down in front of it. I shrugged and grabbed my rifle and loaded it, not bothering to chamber a round. But there’s no reason not to be careful, you know?

Unfortunately, it was a rather typical summer day out. The sun was being an asshole and attempting to oppress the citizens of the world. Normally, I’d be all too happy to let it do so and stay inside, but Taya had to go and try to make me look like a bad father in front of Lily. So instead, I joined them outside in the shitty little garden thing I was stupid enough to get Taya to try to grow.

Since this wasn’t my garden, I was doing my best to not pay attention to most of what Lily was trying to say, instead doing the minimum amount of work possible to make it seem like I cared.

You know, when I write it that way, I do seem like a terrible father. But since I knew that was true and I had been trying to tell everyone that since the beginning, it didn’t weigh much on my mind.

After about half an hour, Lily looked up to the gate entrance. “Who is that?” she asked.

I looked behind me and saw that it was a pony that was completely covered in some kind of clothing or something. “I have no clue,” I answered, grabbing my rifle and finally locking in a round. I didn’t pump it just yet, because this didn’t look like a unicorn. “Hello!” I called, getting the fidgety pony’s attention. It started walking to us. “Who are you?” I asked when the pony was close enough.

“Fluttershy,” she quietly whispered, twitching. “C-can you help me, Nav?”

I immediately put the rifle down. “What do you need?”

“I’m… I’m…” She mumbled something else that I couldn’t hear.

“You’re going to have to repeat that,” I said, crossing my arms. I’ve played that game with her a few times. When she gets nervous about something, her voice just disappears.

“I have fleas,” she whispered so quietly that I could barely understand it.

Lily jerked back, almost stepping in the garden. “F-f-f-FLEAS?!” She immediately bolted for the gate.

“God that mare is skittish. Taya, you passed. You have five days starting tomorrow. Fluttershy, I have no idea how to get rid of fleas. Or at least, not on something that enjoys living.”

“I… I have some—Ee!—some things you can use. And if those don’t work, I’m sure somepony in town or Zecora can help.”

I shrugged. “Do we need to be inside to do it? No offense, but I don’t want fleas in my house if I can help it. Bad for Taya and Skyla, you know?”

She rooted around in a pocket and pulled out a comb. A very fine-toothed comb, too. “We can try this part outside. Can you, um, hurry?”

“Get outta those clothes and I can get started. Taya, go inside, or away from here. You do not want fleas, trust me.”

“Okay, daddy.” She sprinted inside, not giving it any kind of second thought.

I pulled my shirt off and tossed it on top of the gun, then walked over to the side of my house and sat next to it, resting my back against it. I really didn’t want to risk getting fleas living in my shirt, after all. Those things spread and you have to bake clothing to get them out of it.

Soon enough, Fluttershy was out of her silly little clothes and was standing next to me, averting her eyes and flinching every few seconds.

“Do you need an invitation?” I asked. “Come on, lie across my lap. And pass me that comb.”

She settled down on me with a sigh. “Sorry for bothering you, Nav,” she whispered as I started combing at her. “It’s just… you’re the only one without any fur.”

“Except for Spike.”

“…Um…”

“And the naga. And Doppel. And you might be able to get Stephen Magnet to do it, if you could find him.”

“I… I didn’t mean to bother you…” She tried getting up, but I held her down, continuing to comb her.

“I don’t mind. Between you and me, this is a lot more fun than gardening. Am I doing it right?”

“Um… No. Here, let me show you how…” She maneuvered over until she was lying on her back and took the proffered comb. She then demonstrated the proper way to comb fleas off of something. I crushed one of the ones that was squirming on the end of the comb and she flinched again. “Can’t you just… knock them off and leave them in the grass?”

“And let them jump back on you? Pass.” I took the comb back and began properly running it down her belly. A few minutes later, I had her flip over. “So if this doesn’t work, what do you want to try next?”

“Well, I have a special shampoo… I just… Well, I need somepony to help me wash. Everywhere.”

“So wash your body. Awkward, but not too bad.”

“Um… Everywhere, everywhere.”

“…Oh.” We sat in silence for a little while as I continued to comb her. Eventually I said, “Well, it’ll only be weird if we make it weird. Do you feel any less itchy, at least?”

“A little…”

A few minutes later, I asked, “So has Rarity bothered you yet about modeling?”

“She asked me if I could help her. She didn’t say what lingerie was, though. I told her that I couldn’t help until all of the fleas were gone. She… she didn’t stay much longer.”

“Tell her no. As a favor to me, if nothing else.”

“Why? Do you know what lingerie is?”

“Yes. It’s something a mare uses to attract a stallion. In my world, it was used in sex-play. I made the mistake of mentioning it to Rarity and she got all gung-ho about the idea. It isn’t something you should do, Flutters.”

“…Why not?”

What? “Fluttershy, do you really want to be identified as the first mare to wear something that sexualizes women and turns them into little more than sex objects?”

“Well no, but it can’t be that bad. It’s just clothing.”

“Clothing designed to make someone look sexy and inviting in bed. That goes against your entire personality. You’re too innocent for something like that.”

“Says who?” I stopped combing her, surprised. She turned her head to look at me. “I’m a mare with needs, Nav. I might be… more shy than most…” Her eyes flicked to the side for that before meeting mine again with an uncomfortable intensity. “…But I still want somepony to want me. To love me. Is that so wrong?”

“…No. But you shouldn’t resort to something so base to do it.”

“If somepony else ignores everything else, maybe appealing to his base desires would do it.”

“Or maybe it’s just a sign that it wasn’t meant to be. Do you really want to change yourself to get someone?”

“It’s not changing anything. It’s just showing off a side of me nopony has ever seen before.”

I sighed, closing my eyes and rubbing at a temple with one hand before saying, “Well, let me know how that turns out for you.” I began combing her again. “For what it’s worth, that would probably piss me off.”

She didn’t answer.

When I had determined that I combed over all parts of her at least once, I patted her back. “Still itchy?” I asked.

She twitched and sighed. “Yes…”

“Fuck. Well, time to give you a bath… Though I don’t know why you need me so much for that.”

“I can do most of it myself! I just can’t reach my back that easily. And… some other places.”

“Well, hop up and grab the shampoo. I don’t want to dally in the house, letting the fleas get anywhere. Do you mind cool baths?”

“They’re good for my mane, I guess. Why?”

“Because it means that we can go in through the back and straight down to the spring instead of running through the house and getting fleas everywhere. The water feeds into a stream behind the house, so the naga shouldn’t have to worry about getting soap and shit where he sleeps.” And if he does bitch about it, I’ll just let him try to say no to a miserable looking Fluttershy.

She finally hopped off me and went to her clothes, rooting around in them for the shampoo or whatever. She finally leaned up with the bottle in her mouth. I stood up, grabbed my rifle and shirt, and started leading the way to the back door.

“I do hope you got the fleas gone from all your animals before coming here. You’re just wasting your time, otherwise.”

“I hope I did… Poor Angel Bunny was so distraught over them.”

I grinned to myself at the thought of that little fucker running around with fleas eating him alive, but didn’t comment on it aloud. Instead, I said, “Most people would concentrate on getting better themselves first, so they don’t spread the disease around while they’re trying to help.”

“That’s people. I’m a pony. We help others first.”

“Which works well enough when what you have isn’t communicable or disabling. But whatever.” I pushed the back door open, stepping inside. Cadance looked up from trying to feed Skyla some kind of harder food than crotchtit milk. I held a hand out to stop Fluttershy. “Cadance, put a shield around yourself and your kid, please.”

“Uh… Why?”

“I’m helping someone get rid of fleas and I don’t want you to bitch at me if Skyla gets them. We’ll be out of the kitchen and down the stairs in less than a minute.”

She shrugged and put a shield up. “When you get done, we need to talk,” she said as I led Fluttershy inside. “Oh. Hello, Fluttershy.” There was more coldness in her voice than I was used to hearing from her, though it still wasn’t all that dark sounding.

“Hello, Princess,” Fluttershy answered, also not sounding overly amused. I sensed an undertone in there, but decided not to press my luck in asking about it. So instead I pushed the cellar door open and started down the stairs.

“Um, Nav?” I stopped and looked back to find her looking down the cellar in confusion. “I can’t see.”

“What? The light’s...” I looked up to see that the light bulb was off. “Oh yeah. The light switch is to the right.” She reached up and flipped it, letting her see what my messed up eyes already could.

“So… what’s that thing?” she asked as she pushed the door shut behind her and started walking down. She was looking at the generator.

“Industrial hair dryer. The naga likes them for some reason. Come on.”

She followed me for a few more steps before it clicked. “But… the naga doesn’t have hair…”

“I know, that’s why it’s so weird. It’s no problem, though. Just don’t ask him about it; he’s sensitive about his strange habits.”

“Okay…”

When we finally got to the spring room, we found that the naga was nowhere to be seen. “Now, this pool thing is deep. Very deep. You know how to swim, right?” She slowly nodded, looking down into the pool. “Good. Now, can you get started? I need to go talk to another guest I have. I told her I’d be back in an hour, an hour ago. I should be able to get down here quickly.”

“I can wash most of myself.”

“Cool. I’ll be down soon, then. And don’t worry, this place isn’t haunted.” It did seem kind of spooky, with the sound of the water echoing in the cave and the light playing off the water and spreading around the place.

“I… wasn’t scared,” she whispered, looking around.

“Cool.” I set the gun and the shirt down as a hint to the naga that she wasn’t an intruder if he got back before I did. Fluttershy eased into the water as I started back up and out of the dark cellar.

Cadance was waiting for me in the kitchen, where she belonged. “Two things. First, who’s the new guest? Doppel mentioned somepony?”

“A friend of mine. She won’t sell you out, trust me.”

“I just wish that you had asked me first, Nav. Shiny could have checked up on her! I know most of the ponies that planned the attack were caught, but I don’t want to risk my foal…”

“I know. But I also know Vinyl. She’s mostly harmless.”

“Okay. I trust you know what you’re doing with her. But I don’t trust that you know what you’re doing with Fluttershy. First you say you don’t want her, and now here you are helping her! Nav, I went and talked to her on your behalf already. She didn’t take it well. If you truly don’t want her, doing this isn’t a good way of showing it.”

“I’m just helping her. Have you ever had fleas? They aren’t fun.”

“By giving her a bath? And I see all that yellow fur on your legs. I bet you were brushing her coat, weren’t you?”

“Combing it, actually. It knocked loose a lot of fleas.”

“Navarone, as your friend and as the princess of love, it is my job to tell you that you are being foolish.”

I pulled the cellar door shut and crossed my arms. “Alright. Tell me what to tell her to show her that I’m not interested. What more can I really do, aside from straight up tell her?”

“Offer to help her get a special somepony. You don’t actually have to do it, but if you word it correctly, you can make sure she knows you don’t consider her anything more than a friend.”

“You’re surprisingly good at this.”

“And I find the entire idea abhorrent. If you weren’t leaving Equestria, I would never even consider this. You and Fluttershy would make a good couple and I hate myself for helping you avoid it.”

“Trust me, you get used to hating yourself after a while. Now, I need to go check on Vinyl so I can help Fluttershy and hopefully get her off my case.”

Cadance just rolled her eyes and went back to attempting to feed her little brat. “Open wide for the train!” I left before I could see the reaction, knowing that Cadance would clean any mess her kid made. Of course, as long as I wasn’t around, Skyla would be a perfect angel.

So off I went to make sure Vinyl was being good and not… “What the fuck are you doing?” I asked, standing at the door of my office with the puppy wagging his tail next to me.

She jerked her head toward me so quickly that her goggles slid off her face. She stared at me like a fat kid stuck in front of a train, her eyes wide as saucers. One of her hooves was in an inappropriate place and she was sitting on my desk in a very Lyra-like fashion.

“…This is exactly what it looks like.”

“You masturbating to “Breathe in Air”?”

“Yes.”

I rolled my eyes before stepping inside, closing the door in front of the puppy. “I have ten minutes.”

A few minutes later, I left a much more relaxed Vinyl in my office with an enlarged playlist, since she seemed really pleased with chillstep. I walked right on back down to the kitchen. “Nav, what’s that on your face?” Cadance asked.

“Mare juices. My guest was feeling frisky.”

“And you’re going to help Fluttershy with that dripping down your chest?”

“Yeah. Is that a problem?”

She just sighed and shrugged. I walked on down to the cellar. Fluttershy flinched when I stepped inside, quickly moving to cover her chest for some reason. I looked at her hooves for a moment before turning an incredulous look to her face. She grinned sheepishly, blushing and moving her hooves.

Then she noticed the fluids on me. “What’s that?” she asked, shifting in the water.

“My guest was rather enthusiastic.” I did a quick pocket check before sliding into the water. “So what is there left to wash?” I asked after a quick dunk.

“What do you mean, enthusiastic?” she whispered.

“Eh, you don’t want to hear about that. I suppose you need me to wash your back?”

“Would you please tell me?” She even tried the cute, innocent triple blink thing on me.

“How about this: I’ll tell you when you find yourself a good stallion—or mare, if you’re into that. Hell, I can even help you find a special somepony, or whatever you guys call them.”

“N-no, that’s—”

“I know a lot of stallions would probably be interested. I’d be happy to help you find someone. I’m not looking for myself and I know it’s fun looking, so just say the word.”

Her ears seemed to fall back with each word until they were lying against her head. “N-no thanks…”

“Then let’s get rid of those fleas. You’ll definitely never attract a good stallion if you make them itch whenever you’re around.”

“Okay,” she whispered, holding out the shampoo. She reached out with one of her front legs and grabbed the side of the pool so she wouldn’t sink while I was applying the shampoo.

“So you want to do this the easy and awkward way, the easiest way that also involves a mess, or the unnecessarily annoying way?”

“Which is the easiest?”

“Both of us getting out, me lathering up your body, and you jumping in.”

“The regular easy way?”

“Me straddling your back and applying it that way.”

“…The annoying way?”

“Doing the entire thing underwater through air transfer.”

“Um, how would that even work?”

“I can sort of breathe underwater. One of the perks of being a half-wallflower.” Or a tree, I guess. But it’s mostly the voice I have in my head.

The voice that decided to make itself known. “You realize that air transfer involves kissing her, right?”

Oh fuck. Well, she doesn’t know that.

“The easy way seems fun… I mean, I don’t want to make a mess, after all.”

I sighed and nodded at the side of the pool. “Turn around and hold onto the side, then. You’re going to steadily be scooting up to make it easier on me.”

“Okay.” She did as I asked, leaving the shampoo bottle floating. I grabbed it with one hand and one of her withers with the other, pulling myself onto her back and latching on with my legs around her flanks

“You already get your mane?” She weakly nodded. I popped the shampoo bottle open and squeezed some onto my hands before setting the bottle on the side. “I still say you could get just about anyone to do this,” I said as I started gently rubbing it into her back.

“Nopony with fingers, though,” she moaned, her wings twitching.

I looked down at those wings. “So do fleas get in wings, too?”

Immediately after asking that, I flew off her back from the force of her wings shooting straight out. It took a few seconds for it to register what happened. When it did, I pulled myself out of the water to find Fluttershy looking very flustered and trying to force her wings down.

“I-I-I… Please don’t hate me!”

“You took care of me when I was hurt and you helped me learn how to use my wings. It’s only fair that I help take care of you now that you’re in need. Now turn back around and let’s get on with this. And remember: It’s only weird if you let it be.”

She gulped very loudly before turning back around, her wings still sticking straight out. “At least this gives me something more to hold onto,” I said as I reattached myself to her back. She just whimpered as I continued applying the soap to her back.

She slowly relaxed again, her wings going limp and somewhat floppy instead of sticking straight out or folded against her back.

The naga slithered in when I had Fluttershy mostly out of the water and was applying soap to her flank. “Ah, human, it is good to see you finally took the yellow one as a mate.”

And I went soaring back into the pool as Fluttershy’s entire body jerked, kicking me and shooting her wings out again. She was stammering something as I resurfaced, spewing water. “What?” I asked, cutting off Fluttershy’s confused stammers.

“It is customary for naga mates to wash each other. Is it not the same for ponies and humans?”

“Well, some couples do that, but it’s not really customary. We also occasionally help our kids or our friends wash.” But not usually the second one. “We aren’t together. I’m just helping her with a problem.”

“You are helping wash her. Alone. In the dark, somewhat romantic light of this cavern. And you are washing her backside. And you say you two are not mates?”

“Yes, that is what I say. Is there a problem?”

“I think the two of us need to have a talk one of these days. Anyway, I will wait to make you practice for now. I need to hunt anyway.” Fluttershy ‘eeped’ at that. “My apologies for interrupting you.” And just as quickly as he entered, he left.

I waded back to Fluttershy and continued rubbing the shampoo into her nice plump ass. I think she wanted to say something about what the naga had said, but lost whatever she was going to say when I began touching her again.

“Don’t mind him,” I said, gripping her tail to steady myself in the water. “Naga have some very weird customs. And we’re almost done, thankfully.”

She whispered something that I didn’t hear and shifted slightly. I started moving down her legs, leaving the weird part for later.

Unfortunately, later has to come eventually. “Alright, Fluttershy. We’re down to the most awkward part. Let’s make this quick, shall we?”

Before she could answer, I lifted her tail up and spread the soap around places I wasn’t supposed to touch. She flinched and almost sent me back again, but I was holding on tightly to her tail and just continued lightly molesting her and trying to get the soap wherever a flea might try to hide.

When the unpleasant task was finished, I gripped her tail with both hands and used my legs to push back from the wall, pulling her into the water by her tail. She squealed as she hit the water and I let her tail go so she could flail around, getting all the soap off of her in the funniest way possible.

When she finally stopped jerking around, I was chilling out on the other side of the spring. She slowly turned her head toward me. “Still itching?” I asked.

She lost her look of concentration for a short time before slowly nodding. “I… think they’re gone.”

“Well, you’re welcome to stay the night here just in case. No reason to risk starting the infestation all over again.”

“Oh, I don’t want to impose!”

“You’re too quiet to impose on anything. You’d just be sleeping in one of the rooms and then leaving in the morning.”

“I… I don’t know…”

“Eh, no one sleeps in my room and it’s far away from the foal, so that’ll do.” I pushed myself out of the water. “Whenever you get out and dried off, come on back up. I’ll probably be in my office on the third floor.” In hindsight, I should have grabbed some towels while I was up there…

That didn’t bother me, though; I grabbed my rifle and my shirt and started walking back up. Sure I was dripping, but there weren’t any carpets in the areas I was going to be walking through.

Cadance was no longer in the kitchen, but thankfully Taya was. She jumped when she heard the door to the cellar open, but relaxed when she saw me. “Hey, do you know how to dry someone off?” I asked.

“I could try.”

My eyes widened. “No thanks! I’ll just go find a towel.”

“You don’t… trust me?”

“The first thing that comes to my mind when drying someone off is using heat. If you don’t know how to do it, I don’t want you to start on me. We’ve been through what could happen once and I don’t want to be even more of a tree than I already am. If you’re still in here when Fluttershy comes out, don’t jump at her. She’d probably freak out and fall down the stairs.”

Flo sighed. “Dammit, Nav.” I blinked, not understanding why Flo was pissed. “You just had to tell her you thought she’d go and kill you again.”

Taya didn’t look like she thought I meant that at all. She was looking back at whatever she was making. I just shrugged and kept walking, hoping no one slipped and broke something on the water trail I was leaving behind.

It didn’t take me long to get to my bathroom, where I promptly dried off and put some shorts back on. I didn’t bother with a shirt, because why would I? I unloaded the rifle and popped the one in the chamber. When I was back in business, I went next door to where Vinyl was listening to “The Storm” by someone called Draper. I let the wolf in and pushed the door shut, walking over to the other side of the desk and sitting down.

I waited for the song to end before saying, “Stop.” The music stopped. “That’s enough of that one genre, I think.”

“I love humanity,” Vinyl said, slowly taking off her glasses. “If this is what you humans can do, I want to be wherever you come from.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” I started looking for another of the playlists I made up for her. “Here we go. What do you know about rock?”

“Uh, they’re hard and good for throwing?”

“But not if you live in a glass house.” I clicked play. “This here is what we call rock and roll. It’s not nearly as calm as most of those songs, but it might be that new sound some of your friends were looking for.” After what she told me, I loaded up “Johnny Be Goode” first. It got progressively harder. Vinyl was bobbing her head and taking notes or something. I was content to just lean back and listen, happy to finally hear some of the music I had been so long without.

Some time later, I heard a very gentle tapping on my door. “Pause,” I regretfully said. “Come on in, Fluttershy!” The door slowly pushed open and we got to see Fluttershy standing in her birthday suit. “Fluttershy, meet Vinyl. She’s one of my other guests.”

“Um, we’ve met,” Fluttershy said.

“Yeah, I remember you! You’re the mare that doesn’t talk!”

“That’s accurate,” I said, nodding. “Fluttershy, you don’t really have to quarantine yourself here. It was just an offer. If you do want to stay, I have a study somewhere on the first floor where you can find plenty of books to read. I would offer to let you stay up here, but I have business with Vinyl.”

Fluttershy’s eyes flicked to Vinyl and she blushed deeply. “I… I think I’ll just go home. Thank you for the help, Nav.”

“No problem, Fluttershy. You’re always welcome here if you need anything else.”

“O-okay…” She stood at the door for a few seconds more before awkwardly walking away.

Vinyl turned back to me and said, “That mare needs to get laid.”

“Yeah. Play.” The music kicked back on and Vinyl used her magic to shut the door again.

 

The next morning, Spike showed up at my place with the crossbow awkwardly strapped to his back and a quiver over a shoulder. He may be a lot bigger than when I got to Equestria, but he was still too small to be using straps and stuff designed for me. It would take him a little while to grow into it.

“Hey Nav. You wanted to talk?”

I was about to go hunting anyway. “Yeah. Let’s walk, shall we?”

“Uh, okay?” I stepped out of the house, pulling the door shut behind me and the puppy and lifting up my rifle to load it and chamber a round. “What’s that?” he asked as he watched me operate it.

“The reason I was able to give you that crossbow. You’ll learn more about it and some other things if you decide to take me up on my offer. Let’s go hunting.”

“Awesome!” He immediately pulled the crossbow up and began pulling the string back, but I stopped him.

“If you’re going to be carrying that around, there are some things you should know. First, don’t load it until you think you’re about to enter a place where you’ll need it. So never leave it loaded in town. Second, don’t dry fire it; if you’re going to cock it back, you have to shoot a bolt off with it. If you aren’t shooting it at something you want to kill, use a practice bolt into the ground for decocking. Third, never point it at something you aren’t willing to pull the trigger on. Fourth, don’t carry it around everywhere. Sure, it’s useful to be ready to defend yourself, but you don’t want to worry any of the ponies by having a weapon.”

“Nav, I’m a dragon. I worry the ponies by existing.”

“No, a dragon they don’t know would do that. You’re the cute and loveable Spike that would never harm a pony. Carrying a weapon around might ruin that very useful image you have. Now let’s go.”

I started walking to the gate. He jumped to follow me and did his best to keep pace. “Normally I fly in, but we do have some important things to discuss. I have an offer for you, Spike. But first, I need you to give me your word that you will stay silent about all that we discuss here. That means telling no one unless I give you permission.”

“What’s going on?” he asked.

“I won’t tell you until you agree to tell no one.”

“Alright, I won’t tell anypony. You have my word!”

“Excellent.” I pumped my air rifle, stopping in front of the forest. “Load up. We’re about to enter dangerous territory.”

“You made me wait just to get in front of the forest?”

“Yes. Now load it.” He rolled his eyes and did so. “I’m leaving Equestria at the start of spring and I won’t be back for a while.” He gasped. I nodded and started walking into the forest. “I’m going on a long journey away from Equestria to look for some important things. I’m offering you a spot on my crew.” He had been automatically following me, but stopped when I made that offer. I turned back to look at him.

“Really? Why me?” he asked.

“Look at yourself, Spike.” He took a second to look down as I continued, “You’re a dragon in a pony country. You belong here less than I do. I’m offering you a chance to see what’s out there, beyond this herbivore’s paradise. Dragons thrive on violence and combat. You’ll find little of either here. I’m offering you a chance to find out more about yourself. And if you don’t like what you find, you are welcome to leave my crew at any time. I’ll pay for you to get back to Equestria.” He was silent for about half a minute, looking away from me. “You don’t have to answer now. I just need an answer before winter, so I can know if I need more supplies. I will allow you to talk to Twilight about it, because she already knows. Don’t talk to anyone else about it. Promise me you’ll think about it, Spike. I wouldn’t mind having another close friend with me.”

“I’ll… think about it,” he finally said.

“Good. Now let’s go kill something, shall we?”

 

 

A note from Discord

I sighed as I leaned back on my throne, clutching at my skull with both hands as I wondered how things had come to this. “It should be impossible,” I whispered.

I thought back to what I remembered of the time before I tried to wipe out humanity, the events that kicked off the disorder I needed. I thought back to the MacCraig family.

Jessica made a big mistake when she let that family stay in their little home after taking Navarone away. As it turns out, Irish Catholics are very vocal about angels being kidnapped by what looked like government agents storming the place. And since they had very well hidden cameras set up around their house, footage of the event was put on the internet immediately. Within a month, it was the talk of every major news agency. A year later, tensions were brewing everywhere. Soon enough, war was the only option.

And so died a mighty race, killed by the great and almighty Discord by their own weapons.

…Or so I thought. Several bunkers survived, created by several different companies and a few governments. There was too little chaos and Discord in the world. For once, everyone was getting along with the mutual goal of survival. They knew humanity was either dead or would never be the same, but they had ideas for what to do, ideas for a future.

Ideas given to them by one time traveling living construct.

When I created Navarone, when I started the little game with Celestia… Had I known that it was the catalyst that killed humanity, I would have rather risked a time paradox than start the game.

Learning that my attempt at suicide had been thwarted by none other than myself was enough for me to decide to throw one of my pawns sooner than I had anticipated…

 
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