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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47. Chapter Thirty-Six—Parties, weddings, and dreams Part

“Ugh. Fine.” After a moment we disappeared and reappeared in the dining room. I ended up on top of a table somehow.

There were a multitude of gasps and shouts when we appeared in the middle of dinner. I noticed one of my feet was in soup. “My apologies,” I said, jumping off the table. The guard whose soup I was in grumbled something. Sounded like he was trying to call the waiter about a human in his soup.

“There you are, Luna!” Celestia called from the front table.

“You two are free to do whatever,” Luna told us as she made her way up to the table. “Just don’t leave Canterlot without telling me.”

Taya was already moving to the line to get some food. I joined her, though I wasn’t all that hungry; I had been eating quite a bit recently. We grabbed some stuff and sat at a mostly empty table.

“Where are the others?” I asked as we started eating.

“If you mean Twilight and her friends, they left earlier today. Pinkie wanted to wait for you, but the others pulled her away.” Interesting.

“What about Chrysalis and Doppel?”

“Still in the palace. They didn’t try anything.”

“And the shield?”

“Gone.”

“Good. Looks like we made a peace of sorts. Do you know if a deal has been made yet?” She shrugged. “Well, it’s not really our problem. As long as I’m not called to fight, at least.” She just continued eating, and I joined her. The soup was pretty decent, but I suspect it was less so with a boot in it.

We finished eating quickly and got up to leave. I almost ended up back down when I found myself getting hugged by a night guard. “Uh, hi,” I said, patting him on his back.

He pulled back grinning. “Thank you, Sir Navarone. That bonus you gave me helped me finally get married and buy a house. Thank you so much.”

“No problem. Just don’t forget that the princesses don’t exactly know about this. Be careful with your spending, and make sure to spread the word around.”

“Oh no, Princess Celestia knows. She knows and she approves.”

“Oh. Huh. Well, I guess do whatever floats your boat. But just remember that this bonus was a onetime thing, unless you get picked for a job like this again and you end up getting lucky. Don’t spend more than you have.”

He saluted. “I’m not going poor again.” He dropped his salute. “And if you ever need a bruiser, ask any of the night guards. We all have your back, now. You may have only given the bonus to those of us in the expedition, but we look after our own; that money was enough to give everypony a bonus of four years’ wages.”

I raised my eyebrows in surprise. “That was really generous.” It probably wouldn’t have happened in my world. “Sounds to me like you guys need thanks more than I do.”

He smiled at that. “You’re the one that gave us the idea and the bits to use. Anyway, I need to get to my shift. Nice talking to you, Sir Navarone.” With another salute, he went off.

I turned and found Taya looking at me. “What?” I asked.

“You’re not a bad person.”

“Let’s go... do something, I guess. Any ideas?”

“We can talk to Chrysalis and Doppel. I know Doppel, at least, wanted to talk to you.”

“Talk to me, or punch me in the face again?”

“Talk. And that’s all she’ll be doing.”

“Good. We can to go my room so I can get out of this damn armor first.” And off we went. We got to my room easily enough and the armor went clattering to the floor. “Can you magic this stuff clean?”

“Easily.” Her horn glowed and it all returned to pristine condition.

“I knew there was a reason magic didn’t completely suck. I just need to get changed and we can go.” I did that and grabbed my throwing knives and we went down a door.

I knocked and it opened. Doppel looked out at me. She blinked, and motioned us inside. “So you’re finally back, Navarone,” Chrysalis said from her couch. “We were wondering when you would return. Oh, and you have new wings and even prettier eyes.”

“I’ve been in the palace for quite a while. I’ve just been busy. Unfortunately I didn’t get to get drunk, so there’s still a barrel of booze next door that you’re welcome to. I have been running all over the place.”

“I’ve heard. Or at least, I have heard a bit of it. Apparently you did something quite nice, or so Celestia seems to tell it.”

I shrugged, a much easier feat without armor. “You could say that. Apparently I just helped loot and then activate a dream machine or something. While we were looting that, we picked up a bunch of coins and gems. I just made sure the guards that were with me got a cut.”

“That is quite nice of you. I would not have done that. I doubt Celestia or Luna would have either, though Celestia appears to have approved, now that it’s done.”

“Well, she kind of had to. It would have been political suicide to take the money from the troops now that they have it, and it would be better to be seen as generous by approving it than be seen as cruel by denouncing it. And saying nothing would probably hurt rather than help. So she might as well do the smart thing and appear kind and generous.”

Chrysalis smiled. “It is a shame Luna has sunk her claws in you. I know I could use you, though politics are of much less concern where I come from. There, I rule.”

“I have to wonder though… If the shield is gone, why are you still here?”

“I saw Ditto today. He assured me that the promised convicts and love poisons have been delivered. I am currently not needed among the swarm. I will be leaving shortly, however; some things just need finalizing before I return home.”

“A shame. I will miss talking to you. I am unable to talk to any of the ponies as I was with you. I can’t win with some of these ponies.”

“I understand. They are not quite like us, which is in some ways a good thing.”

“I even got Luna a little freaked out today. I had to protect her in that dream world we were in. That entailed killing quite a few constructs that chose the form of people we knew and loved. She seemed disturbed that I didn’t hesitate to shoot any of them.”

“If they were constructs, why would you hesitate?”

“Exactly. I knew they weren’t real and she knew they weren’t real. Apparently I was supposed to feel some hesitation.”

“Who all did you have to kill?” Taya asked.

“Twilight and her five friends. Celestia. Luna. My parents. My sister. You. Myself. A few other friends. Luna’s parents. A kitten. A few other things.”

“Oh,” she said in a quiet voice.

“That wasn’t the real you, Taya.”

“I know.”

“Can I watch it all play out, Navarone?” Chrysalis asked, looking at me with a bit of hope.

“There’s not really much emotion in there, but if you can read my mind like Celestia, sure. Just don’t go any farther than that.” She eagerly got to her feet and stepped over to me and Taya and bent her head down, her horn glowing.

A few minutes later, she stepped back. “Marvelous. Such destruction… such carnage! If only you had such tools to work with here… Do you think you could make them?”

“It might be possible to make a basic gun. Gunpowder isn’t too hard to make, I don’t think. I couldn’t manufacture anything as refined as an AK-47, though. The power armor and the bolter were way ahead of anything in my time.”

“If you would be willing to make simple guns for my people, I would give you anything you desired.”

“I don’t know how to make a gun that a changeling would be able to use.”

“Navarone, we are changelings. Make a gun you can use and they’ll turn into you to use it.”

“Most of them can’t walk on two feet, but that can be changed. Still, I think I will pass. I might teach a few how to do it, but I don’t think Equestria really needs that knowledge.”

She made an unhappy sound. “Very well. You have helped me and my changelings out enough, I suppose. If you are ever near our territory, you are welcome.”

“Where is your territory, though?”

“We have hives spread out all over Equestria. There is one not too far away from a place called Ponyville, and another near a place called Hoofington. I personally live near a place called Appaloosa. All of our hives are interconnected by several tunnels.”

“So you’re like the naga and a few of the dog clans, then.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Do not speak to me of the dogs.” She calmed herself. “But we are somewhat similar, yes. I wonder if your princesses would be willing to let me borrow you…”

“What for?”

“Hopefully to help wipe out a persistent problem. If not that, then to help negotiate with that persistent problem.”

“You’d have to ask them.”

“I will. I’ve a bit of time left before I leave. When do you return to your home?”

“Tomorrow, hopefully. I am growing weary of living in the palace. Now that all of the spells have been removed from my mind, it might be easier, but this past week has been… interesting.”

She smiled. “You finally detected that, then? I was wondering when you would.”

“There were three others on me when I decided to get Luna to check me.” Her eyes went wide. “Apparently Celestia hit me with one over two weeks ago. Twilight hit me with one when she was poisoned. And I think I got another one when I was drugged.”

“It’s a wonder you were able to do anything at all, with that many libido spells on you! How did you manage?”

“I have a bit of natural resistance to mental spells. Not too much, but I guess it’s enough. Shining Armor actually tried to read my mind a few hours before the wedding. I was able to kick him out three times. He was not happy to receive images of me having sex with his sister or with you.”

She grinned. “He was probably ashamed at the feelings you gave me that he couldn’t. I feel sorry for Mi Amore Cadenza.”

“I feel sorry for Shining Armor. Cadance is annoying, though she did get a bit better there at the end.”

“It’s possible to grow accustomed to anything, I suppose. Can I trouble you for another light snack? So few ponies are willing to feed me.”

“By all means.” She stood again and approached. “What do you want tonight?”

“Surprise me.” Her horn lit up.

 

 

An intermission from the lovable Discord

 

When Chrysalis entered Navarone’s mind, she did not find what she was expecting. She went in looking for emotions.

She found me.

“This isn’t right,” she said as her entire mental form was pulled into my grasp. “What is going on here?”

I appeared before her. “Hello, my dear,” I said as she backed away a bit in surprise. “You might remember me. I am Discord.”

With a scream of rage, she charged me. I snapped my fingers and she stopped in place, what looked like bubblegum holding her hooves to the ground.

“Now now, my dear. There’s no need to thank me for what I did for you!”

“You took me from my people! You doomed an entire race just for your laughs!”

“The alicorns were so boring, though! I like them much better now. Horns, but mostly unable to use them. Brains, but unable to think. So much better than the beasts they were before. They hated me mindlessly, so I made them mindless in turn.”

“Hated you for good reason! Release me, monster!”

“Why? So you can attack me again? I think not. We need to have a talk, you and I.”

“I am not interested in anything you have to say! Not after last time!”

“Oh? And what if I promise to remove the curse upon your people?”

“Your promises mean nothing. I found that out the hard way, and I refuse to make the same mistake!”

I snapped my fingers, bringing up a mirror. “The alicorn race is dead, Moonbeam.” She flinched at that name. “They might still be fighting back, but they will never recover. Celestia finally realized this, and allowed Cadance to marry in peace. A few male alicorns might be found, but the race will never come back. So why try to relive the past? You are a new species entirely. I made sure of that. But you are a species dependent upon others. I can remove that dependency.” I showed her a possible future in the mirror. She looked at it in wonder before shaking her head and glaring at me.

“At what cost? You have full power over us, if memory serves. Why would you want our willing help, if you could just force it?”

“Because, my dear, I grow weary of forcing all of you to work with me. I want companionship for the eternities, not slaves. But I don’t want just anyone with me for eternity. I want those that can earn it. Those that can earn my respect. Voluntarily helping me in the coming battle—if it can be called that—will earn you a place at my side. You have lived for some time, Chrysalis. What would you say to living a bit longer?”

I knew her thoughts. I could see her mind, after all. “And you could remove my pony’s need for emotions?”

“I gave them that need, Chrysalis. Of course I can remove it. And I will, if you join me.”

“What would it entail? Who would we have to fight?”

“Why, all that oppose me! Celestia and Luna are most likely, and the dragons will probably be on the fence. I will work for peace with them, but be ready for anything. Luna and Celestia will, of course, oppose me, but I will likely subvert them in time.”

“And the human? What of Navarone?”

I smiled. “Dear Chrysalis, who do you think my real agent is in this world? What better species to plan a war than one that lives a constant war within as well as without—as I know you have seen? Where Navarone goes, I go. What he sees, I see. And Celestia has been sending him to some very interesting places, recently…”

She blanched a bit at that. “So how do I know you’ll keep your word? And how do I know that this isn’t a test from Celestia?”

“Because you know what Celestia, of all ponies, thinks of me. She would be very displeased at any pony that ever considered using my beautiful form in any manner at all. But if you want a way to test my word, let Doppel feed off Navarone. I will remove her hunger. Forever. So, do we have a deal?”

I snapped and the bubblegum disappeared. I proffered my hand. She looked at it for what seemed like a long time. After a moment, she reached her hoof out to shake it.

“And Chrysalis? No one is to know of this. You will be unable to speak of my return to anyone you want, and this memory will be blocked from any other access. You won’t even be able to write it down.” I let her hoof go and she left it fall to the floor, considering all that I had told her. “Be ready, Chrysalis. I am coming.” I snapped my fingers.

 

 

Chrysalis backed away from me with a sharp breath. “Are you okay?” I asked. “I didn’t know if you would like the taste of that one…”

She opened her mouth but nothing came out. I looked on, concerned, and Doppel came forward. After a moment, Chrysalis coughed. “I have… had a lot… on my mind.” She went to sit down and then gave me a long and hard look. “There is more to you than meets the eye, Navarone.”

“I’ve been told that before, Chrysalis.” I looked do Doppel. “Are you hungry as well?”

Chrysalis answered for her. “Yes, she is. Feed, Doppel.”

Doppel looked back to Chrysalis for a moment before turning to me. She approached. “Sorry, Navarone,” she whispered. She reached her horn over and it glowed for a second. I gave her some memories. She pulled back with an odd look. “That’s… odd,” she said. “I feel a lot more full than I should.” She shrugged. “Interesting memories, though.” She walked back to her place at the door.

Chrysalis was looking at me in shock. “Are you sure you’re okay?” I asked her.

“Yes. Though I think I need to cut our meeting short.” Taya hopped off me and I stood.

“I might see you later, Chrysalis,” I said. “But I’m probably leaving some time tomorrow.”

“I see. Then I suppose we might meet again. Goodbye for now, Navarone.”

Taya and I headed back to my room. “She was totally not fine,” I said as we sat down.

“Then why didn’t you stay and comfort her?”

“Because I’m not good at comforting others. You saw how terrible I was at it when Twilight was crying on my floor. Hey, do you know if the DJ from the reception is still in town?” She shrugged. “Damn. I wanted to talk to her. Oh well.” We were silent for a bit. “How would you feel about owning our own place?”

“Our own house, you mean?”

“Yeah. Moving out of Twilight’s place. I have the money, have for some time. I just haven’t done it.”

“It would be nice… But having the library right there is also nice. And she is my teacher.”

“It isn’t something we have to do. I’m pretty ambivalent about it, honestly. It might require me to get a real job, though.”

“Can you keep a steady job, with Celestia and Luna pulling you away so often?”

“There’s the problem. I was hoping for something more mercenary. Hunting in the forest, for example. But again, this isn’t something we have to do. Twilight knows we’re even. Well, sort of. She still owes me for that dragon thing. But I’ve also been living with her for a while, so whatever. We don’t have to move.”

“Are you going to turn your wings back?”

“I’ll know tomorrow. As of right now, I’m leaning to yes. They’re cold this way, and I really do prefer the feathers, even if they are a bit of a pain to keep up. Luna probably won’t like it, but this is my body. If she wants to go around with bat wings, she can do it to herself.” I looked out the window. It was fully dark. “I need to go see Luna again. Go to bed when you’re tired but remember that we return home tomorrow.”

“Okay… daddy.” She jumped on the bed. I went over to the door and turned out the light for her.

“Night, Taya.” I left the room and went down the hall towards the throne room. I figured Luna would eventually end up there.

She did.

“What are you doing here, Nav?” she asked as she walked in.

“Just chilling,” I answered with a shrug. “I think your night guards like me now.”

“I have heard a few of them talking, though I don’t know what about. They definitely like my choice of knight.” She smiled. “So do I. Are you ready to sweep me off my feet again?”

I smiled. “I thought you’d never ask.”

 

A little while later, we were back in the throne room. “Must I turn your wings back?” Luna asked in a disappointed tone.

“You don’t have to, but I don’t like them this way,” I answered. “Besides, if I’m going to be living in Ponyville, I don’t want to be feared by everyone. It took me long enough to get them to stop staring at me every time I walked past.” Some of my mannerisms after getting back from the Middle East probably helped delay the process.

She sighed. “I suppose you are correct. At least you found the eyes useful.” She bent her head in and changed my wings back.

“If it makes you feel any better, I did like the way I looked before. I just couldn’t stay that way for functional reasons.”

“Not even the skin color?”

“We’ve been over that. Or rather, we’ve been over why I won’t go over it. Skin color means a lot more where I come from than it does here, and I refuse to explain why.”

“But you’re not on Earth anymore.”

“No, I’m not. But that doesn’t mean I lost all of my sentimentalities from that place. I still say someone and everyone instead of somepony and everypony, and I always will. I might change eventually, but for now I think it’s best if I stay as close to myself as I can. It’s one of the few ways I have left of staying human, with all the modifications I’ve had done to me.”

“I remember reading something in one of Twilight’s letters about you… The technological singularity. Tia and I discussed that at much length. You said your race was always dedicated to becoming more than human. Better. And yet here you are, declining gifts to do just that.”

“This is different. A different skin color doesn’t make me better. Different kinds of wings don’t make me better. Longer canines don’t make me better at anything but looking scary and eating meat. I kept the eyes because I have yet to see a single downside to them. And none of this is technological, it’s all magical. I’m all for becoming better; I kept the wings, after all. But different… why change if what you’re changing to isn’t better?”

She sighed. “You are correct, I suppose. Now, I am bored, and I honestly don’t think anything important will happen soon. There are a few nightclubs in this city. Are you interested?”

“Do I have to dance?”

“Yes.”

“Can I get drugged first?”

“That night you got drugged… how many mares did you go through?”

“There were around thirty mares in the pile and ten stallions and Spike. I have no idea what actually happened, but I’m pretty sure a lot of sex was involved.”

She smiled. “I might have to find the recipe, then. But no, you don’t get to get drugged tonight. Hopefully. Shall we?”

“I’m in; Taya’s asleep and everyone else is gone. Good thing you only got banned from leaving the city.”

She smiled. “That has been a saving grace. Let’s go.”

The night was spent the right way: Partying. I had all the stamina I could ever need and Luna had magic to keep herself sustained. I didn’t get drugged, sadly, and I did have to dance. A bit of time was spent just chilling with the party goers, though. Since I did that favor for the night guards, most of the young partiers around knew all about me and were quite pleased that I helped the guards out.

That might not make sense in a world like mine. I mean, the rebellious youngsters going to these kinds of parties are supposed to hate the fuzz. It’s quite a bit different here, especially when Luna started going to nightclubs. Here, the night guards make sure the youngsters get home safely after all is said and done. They break up any fights and make sure the guy that starts it only spends the rest of the night in the brig until he can calm down. Basically, the night guards are pretty chill. Giving them shitloads of cash made them even nicer.

The morning found Luna and me back in the palace. “Don’t tell Pinkie about this,” I warned her.

“I can do anything I want. You have to follow my orders now, remember?”

“That was an oath under duress. It shouldn’t count.”

“Magical oaths mean a lot more than regular oaths, Nav. You’re just lucky you got oathed to someone that likes you.”

“I think I’d prefer not to be oathed at all,” I answered with a sigh. “I really didn’t want to do that. I hate being tied down!”

“Too bad. And it’s a shame that I have an order for you.”

“Does it involve sex, at least?”

“No. Well, maybe. But mostly no. I need you to explore the Everfree forest.”

“What.”

“Nav, I have read some of those letters about your new capabilities. Most animals ignore you, unless they’re smarter than normal. And your jaunt in the ruined castle proves that manticores can’t see you. You should be almost perfectly safe there. And… well, the Everfree has gone mostly uncharted because of how dangerous it is. We know it is a place of magic, but we don’t know what might be hiding inside. Celestia and I both want it explored, and I believe you can do it.”

“I’d really rather not do that,” I answered with more than a little trepidation.

“Too bad. Do it. Feel free to take your time, though. It isn’t really urgent, and I wouldn’t want you to get harmed because you rushed through it.” Dammit. Fucking oaths.

“Do you have any other suicidal orders for me, or is that enough for you?”

“That’s enough for now. But remember when I said that I would never order you to your death? I meant it, Nav. I do not believe you will die—or get hurt—there.”

“And you’re not the one risking your neck based on that belief. But fine, since I have no choice. Can I at least murder the shit out of anything I find there?”

“You are free to kill anything you please. In fact, Celestia and I would prefer you do so; the more dead monsters there are, the less live ones that might make it out and into any of the surrounding cities.”

“Then why not just burn that fucker to the ground? Hire a few dragons to scorch the place. Or do it yourself with magic.” I swear I felt a disturbance in… something… my mind searched for an f word that reminded me of Rarity… Anyway, it felt like I should have been slapped in the face for that comment. Dammit, Rarity. Now you’re reaching across time and space to show your annoyance for common sense.

“It’s not that simple, Nav. Well, I mean, it could be that simple. But both Celestia and I think it would be a bad idea. That forest is evil in more ways than one. It is entirely possible that trying to burn it would result in dire consequences.”

That’s really specific. “So how do you know it won’t react to me exploring with some manner of consequence?”

“You’re only one pon—person. We’re both hoping you’re too alien or too similar for it to notice you.”

“Oh great. You’re making me go into an evil forest because you think the evil inside me resonates with it. Fun.”

“Well when you put it that way… I’m still going to make you do it. There’s no reason to talk it out, Nav. This is an order, and you have to obey.”

That really, really grated. I don’t recall anything about not murdering Luna in my oaths, but that might fall under ‘defending Equestria.’

“It’s really not that bad, Nav! You can stay in a few hours at a time and come out to recover. It might take you a few months, but I believe it can be done.”

“Fuck that. If I’m going to do this, I’m going in for the long haul. I’ll stay there until the damn job is done. I’ll spend a few days back in Ponyville to get some info about the damn place and then get to it.”

“By all means, wait until you’re ready. Just as long as it gets done.”

I muttered something unpleasant. “Fine. When can I leave this city?”

“Whenever you want. I can have a chariot for you and Taya whenever you are ready to leave, and I’m sure Tia will be just as pleased to help.”

“I hope so. I’m ready to just get back. These past few weeks have been… horrible.”

“I can imagine. You’ve been through a lot. It is still early, but you can go now if you want.”

“You know what… Yeah. Get me a chariot called up. I’m not getting delayed here because Celestia wants to talk my ear off about something or another or because Chrysalis wants another snack. I’ll be in my room getting my stuff together and waking up Taya.”

“Of course, Nav. I’ll be there to see you off.” She teleported me to my door, which saved me a few minutes.

I let myself in to find everything as I had left it. Which was good, because I’d have killed a bitch if anything was wrong. I started putting things together, which was kind of hard given that I now had armor and another useless weapon that I didn’t know how to use.

Some of the clattering woke Taya up. She sat up with a yawn. “Are we leaving already?”

“As soon as our chariot’s ready, yeah. You can sleep when we get back to Ponyville; we’re leaving this damn place before I get caught up in another scheme.”

She hopped off the bed. “Works for me. You need any help?”

“Just a place to put all this crap,” I said, waving a hand at the armor. “I don’t have any bags, given how I came here.”

She looked at it. It disappeared.

“Okay, I’ll admit that I didn’t like the armor that much, but I was probably going to use it eventually.”

“It’s back in Ponyville,” she answered. “On your bed. Teleporting objects is a lot easier than teleporting living things.”

“Cool. Think you can do my clothes as well? I can handle the rest.”

“Do you want everything there?”

I pulled out the drawers and set all the clothes on top. “I really don’t want the liveries… But I may have to use them eventually, now that Luna pretty much owns me. God, I HATE that! Why can’t they just let me fucking live my already ruined life? Is it really so much for them to just leave me alone?”

I sighed and rubbed my temple.

“Send it all, Taya,” I finally said, turning to my pile of weapons. I saw a flash behind me. “Sorry to burden you with this. I’m just sick and tired of these motherfucking ponies. Maybe getting to the Everfree will be a nice change of pace for me… I can spend weeks at a time away from them.” I started putting weapons on. “God, I hate how familiar these weapons feel now… Except for that fucking axe. It doesn’t belong on my back.” I walked over to the writing table and looked down. I sighed and began putting things into my large pockets. “Taya, don’t become beholden to anyone. Ever.”

“What does that mean?”

“Don’t owe anyone money, don’t give anyone promises or oaths, and don’t let anyone do the same to you. It’s just not worth it.”

“What about marriage?”

“If you’re interested in it, by all means. I never saw the appeal, personally; if you love someone, shouldn’t your love be enough? Why get married to prove it? I mean, if you love them, you shouldn’t have to get married to prove it.” I shrugged, still facing the writing desk. “Maybe it’s because my heart is fairly barren. Maybe it’s because I can’t see myself in any relationship at all. Maybe because I’ve been a fish out of water ever since I was born.” I turned. “Are you ready?”

“What about this barrel?”

“I’m leaving it in front of Chrysalis’s door with a note. She can keep it if she wants. If not… Well, I don’t fucking care.” I bent down to the writing desk to write a quick note. I put the note on top of the barrel and left the quill from my feather on top of it. “Do you mind taking that to her room? I want to make sure the room is stowed away.”

Her horn glowed and the barrel floated away. When she was out the door, I checked under the bed. The toys were gone. I walked around the rest of the room, looking for anything of mine or anything that might be Taya’s. There was nothing there. I got outside as Taya was coming back.

“Now what?” she asked.

“Now we wait. Shouldn’t be too long, I hope.”

It wasn’t. A few minutes after I said that, Luna came walking down the hall. We walked up to meet her. “Are you leaving your armor here?” she asked.

“Taya teleported it home,” I answered.

Luna looked down at Taya, who was looking ahead. “You are really progressing, Taya.” Taya didn’t answer. After a moment, Luna looked at me. “Are you ready?”

“Yes,” was all I said. She led the way to the chariot. There wasn’t much conversation on the way, though Luna tried to foster a bit.

We managed to get on the chariot and were back home before the sun did too much in the way of moving. It was nice.

I eased the library door open and was not surprised in the least to find Spike and Twilight already awake. Twilight greeted me with a massive hug attack. “I dreamed last night!” she said as she smothered me in a hug.

“Congratulations,” I answered. “Welcome to my world most of the times I sleep.”

“I know Luna explained it to you, Nav. You know ponies aren’t like that.”

“I know. I just don’t really care. I’m surprised you didn’t stay at the palace to study the dream artifact thing. Or to examine any of the ancient books and magical items we brought back.”

Her eyes went wide at the mention of those. “Do you think Princess Luna would let me?”

I shrugged. “Fuck all if I know. You’d have to ask her. She was awake when we left, but she might not be anymore. Just send a message to Celestia asking her to ask Luna.”

“SPIIIIKE!” Taya and I left them there. I went up to my room to check on the stuff Taya teleported in. It was all there, though it was strewn about my room as though someone had thrown it. It’s a difficult spell, I figured, so I wasn’t really angry.

I put the regular clothes back where they belonged and put the liveries in the darkest corner of the drawer full of clothing I didn’t like—everything Rarity made that she didn’t listen to me while making. I took one look at the armor and left it all wherever it fell on the floor. I set the axe down against the wall and put the other weapons where they usually were.

I looked around one more time. My room looked like it belonged to someone that knew how to fight. Homecoming’s a bitch.

 

 

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