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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/17/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Some time later... It had been some time since Feng had stepped foot in the Imperial Palace; modern as the transportation was between Long Guo and Equestria, the journey would never be a quick one. Log enough, in any case, for the magnificent structure to loose the dull matte of familiarity to shine in all its splendor to new eyes! Or perhaps that was the effect of approaching the Dragon throne by way of the Audience chambers, which were designed to Impress, rather than the more utilitarian back corridors that the Imperial Watcher used in taking up his position of duty. The longma was taking this path due to returning successfully from a diplomatic mission. It was a little unusual to send one of the Empress' feared security forces on a diplomatic task, but the task itself had hardly been usual. Feng had been sent as a Long Guo representative to the Equestrian Iron Pony competition, meant to show strong cultural bonds between the two countries... as well as gain a little glory and renknown in the eyes of foreigners. As for how he did? Well, if he hadn't won, he certainly wouldn't be coming in through the front door. As it was, he couldn't help but want to make a little show of it all. Speaking of a show... the sight of the Dragon Throne and the Empress upon was truly striking, when viewed through the golden doorway into the inner Court. All the furnishings and decor were meant to overawe in a display of magnificence, and for a moment, they did, even for Feng, who had seen it many times before. But of course, what truly took his breath away, every time and always, was Yu Yue, the Empress, herself. Whether clothed in all the silks of royalty, or in the plainer garb reserved for non-public appearances, he never failed to find her beautiful and captivating. And she knew it, which might possibly have been a contributing factor as to why he was sent away, in addition to his athletic skills. His affections were known to her, but not, as of yet, reciprocated. True to all old sayings of absence and the heart, however, Feng had never once let her leave his mind. It was for her sake that he gave 110% of himself on the field of play, and it was because of her that he was able to approach now, bedecked in medals of gold. "Your Imperial Majesty!" He called out, bowing before her hooves to let the medals and laurels of victory to slip off, making an offering before her throne. "I return from the far lands of Equestria to report success of my mission! I have spread good words of our intentions and character, forged bonds across the seas, and have won glory for Long Guo, for I have taken the title of Iron Pony!" Looking up, he tried to gauge her reaction; it had been a faint but unshakeable hope of his that a good performance may yet open up the Empress' heart towards him...
  2. 2 points
    Lamp couldn't help but smile as Rosemary told the new guest just exactly he would be doing at the party. It was true though, this party was for guests and the set up was almost complete. "Rosemary's right Dream Wanderer! Thank you for the offer but we're pretty much under way here. Would you like to go out back and meet who's here?" The stallion trotted out the front door for a moment to use his magic for hanging the sign above the inn. It looked perfect and he hoped it would attract lots of attention. He ducked back in and led the way to the open dining/party area. "So! What bring you to town Dream Wanderer?" Lamp lead the way out towards the others. "Oh Rosemary!" He nodded towards the dragon and yak. "Come meet my friends!" "Lamp!" Spike turned from Hawthorn for a moment to greet his friend. "Cool to see you outside of the donut shop!" The dragon grinned and held up a claw. "You too Spike!" He high hoofed his friend and nodded to Rosemary. "This is Rosemary, the sister of my new friend Hawthorn." He pointed a hoof to Spike and Yona. "This is Spike and Yona!" Yona puffed up a bit as Hawthorn talked about being nervous. "Ha! Yak not nervous!" She tossed her braids back and grinned. "Yak not afraid of anything! Especially not making new friends!" Lamp couldn't help but laugh with good nature. "Well then, you've come to the right place Yona!" He glanced around. "Looks like most of the set up is complete. Does any of the food need to be cooked or just laid out?" He questioned Hawthorn.
  3. 1 point
    "That's six, seven, eight dozen rainbow cream, chocolate cherry frosted, sparkling sprinkle cupcakes!" The Ponk turned around to quickly stir two different bowls of ingredients on another counter. "That takes care of those Gummy!" The gator blinked from his perch on a shelf above the chaos that was Pinkie baking. "Now! On to the chocolate marshmallow swirled pumpkin surprise cupcakes!" There were a few patrons in the seating area of the confectionery but most of them were almost done with their snacks and picking up their belongings to head out. It wasn't the rush part of the day so Pinkie had set to mixing up some of the orders that had been made for earlier today and tomorrow. Basically it was a long list of cupcakes this time. Of course the pink mare added at least two dozen onto whatever order was made. Taste testing was not an option, it was a requirement! Pinkie popped another batch in the over and grabbed a cupcake off the cooling rack. Into her mouth it went! "Yum! Perfect as usual!" She grinned and reached up for her gator pet. "Come on Gummy! Time for a break!" She was about to head up to her room for a little snooze when the door opened. "Whoops! Forgot to lock the door for break time! No problem of course." She spoke to Gummy with a smile as she trotted over to see who it might be. "Valen!" Pinkie greeted him at the door. "What a surprise! Come on in!"
  4. 1 point
    Yona glanced at Gallus and then back to the front. He didn't know who this Professor Shimmer was either. Oh well, she'd find out soon enough. The yak glanced towards the griffon as Gallus greeted. "Hey Gallus." She showed about as much enthusiasm as he did, trying to mimic his 'coolness'. "Yona wonder what this class is about..." Yona was beginning to feel a bit apprehensive about this. After a few minutes more students began to show up. Some she knew, others she didn't. That was a good thing! If she didn't know then and they were in her class she's soon be able to be friends with them! Yona was all about making friends! She watched as Smolder took the book for the class and opened it up. Yona grabbed her bag and riffled through it. "Oh no! Yona no have the right book!" She was about to ask Smolder if she could share hers when Professor Shimmer entered the room. She was a unicorn. A very yellow and red unicorn. Yona watched with interest as Sunset set down her things and introduced herself. When asked if there were any questions Yona stuck up her hoof and waved it about. Without waiting to be called on she shouted out. "Are you friends with Headmare Twi-," She corrected herself. "ex-headmare Twilight?"
  5. 1 point
    Well now! Braeburn had to take moment to decide how he was going about this. First he mentally went over everything he'd heard from AJ over the past few months and everything he'd seen since they arrived. There was no way he was going to drop this bit of news without being completely sure of himself. The stallion went over it all from the moment they got off the train til the last moment that his cousin had scampered awkwardly away in search of Abby and Strongheart. Next, he took a deep breath. Figuring this might come as a shock to the pretty unicorn he began to slowly walk once more. At least for himself it was always easier to listen and take big deal sorts of news while moving around. He was nothing but an honest pony and though he wasn't always the most sure of himself he certainly was sure of this! There was no other explanation. That along with the fact that cousin Applejack had confided in him her interest in other mares and not stallions even before he had been so bold as to let the truths of his life slip. He also had to take into consideration what this news would do to AJ and Rarity right before the rodeo. If he'd had a bit more sense he would have kept this to himself until after the event but this was just too important to hold off on any longer. It might through off Applejack's game but it might also bring her some closure. It would probably be best to ask Rarity to keep this between them two until AJ was done competing. He didn't have any idea how she was going to react though. Tarnation, she might not even believe him! But how could she not! They'd both seen what she was doing, there was no other way about it. "Well Rarity," He began, slowly making his way on a small walk near the food stands. He glanced about, making sure AJ wasn't in sight. "Yah know I'm nothin' but an honest stallion. I wouldn't tell yah what I think on this particular matter unless I was certain." He took a breath. "Applejack's been nothin' but 'intrestin' ,as yah put it, since she got here." He glanced at her and then away. "What's got my cousin so worked up is that well," He glanced Rarity's way and gave her a half smile. "She's love sick..." He looked away again. "Over you."
  6. 1 point
    The glowing eyes in the dark had him on edge, and it didn't help that most of the others were trying to talk to the owner of those eyes as if it would respond. It annoyed him. Whatever lurked in the bushes wasn't here to talk.. although Sombra was beginning to doubt it was dangerous. Despite the glow of the eyes, they didn't seem to belong to anything big.. He tensed as Alizarin was the one to make the first move and approached it. He had to fight himself not to move when she suddenly stumbled back.. .. and it turned out to just be a squirrel. Dark magic flickered blackly around the curve of his horn and he scowled, briefly debating on lashing out at it just to scare it off. Despite his irritation, Sombra eventually decided against it and let himself relax. He didn't want to frighten the young filly, Apple Bloom, nor did he want to end up making Fluttershy more scared of him than she already was if he was to ever try to hold any sort of conversation with her later on; not if he was hurting animals. The others wouldn't have been as much of a problem. Alizarin and the Captain were the only ones that came off nigh unshakeable. Sombra turned, ready to throw himself back down on top of his sleeping bag when the ground began to rumble underneath their hooves. "Either that's the squirrel army or it's whatever must be in this forest causing trouble," Sombra replied dryly. His gaze returned to the shadowy treeline. He'd heard a yelp from something, deep out in the woods. He couldn't determine whether it had been a pony's frightened yelp, or perhaps a sound made by an injured animal.. only that it was a yelp. "Did you hear that?"
  7. 1 point
    A tummy-ache was inevitable should his rate of consuming the tasty victuals on his plate that Gran-Gran stewed to Apple family perfection. Fortunately, his mouth was a mess and his mother interrupted his needless race to finish the food by cleaning his face off when the sauces drifted too far east or west from his lips. He would occasionally grunt to act out his displeasure of what he deemed was a waste of time. Typically, a foal like Zap would be slow to eat because the urgency to finish eating was not there or because the activities following a meal might include cleaning or foal-appropriate farm work, things he rarely looked forward to. But when he knew that the nightly playtime was to follow the meal, he would compete with the clock in order to maximize his time to play before bed. And luckily for him, he was kin to one of the few families in Equestria that didn't mind their matters at the dinner table as much as they probably should. Zap nodded in agreement when his mother shared the short story of their adventure in the forest. "Hmm hmm." He yupped, before taking another sloppy bite of kale. Next to Zap Apple's plate sat the stick he brought to the table. It shook for a split second, creating a jostle as if somepony had shaken the table from underneath. Zap closed his mouth from taking another bite and looked at the stick with a perplexed look on his face. Did the stick move? Zap wasn't sure about the nature about cool sticks that glow green from the forest, so he just assumed that this was a normal jumping green-glowing stick. The thought of another discovery made him smile again. "Heh, funny stick." He then returned to eating and finished the last bit of salad. He planned on skipping the dessert since he knew it was optional, but he knew he would never get to leave the table if he still had something on his plate. "Yesh, I'm full!" He said enthusiastically with his mouth packed with his last bite. With permission from his mother, Zap Apple grabbed the stick in his mouth, and climbed down the high chair to start running for the play room. When his mother asked him if he had put his toys away last time he played with them. He stopped and put the stick down temporarily to respond before picking it back up and scurrying to have fun. "Um, yes." He hadn't.
  8. 1 point
    Alright, y'all! I got the post up!
  9. 1 point
    Rosemarey beams from ear to ear when Lamp immediately identifies her and Hawthorn as siblings. "Mmhmm! Hawthorn's my big bro, and my name's Rosemarey!" She trots around Lamp giving him a look over. "My brother said you two were fast friends, you know! He said you 'had an easygoing and inviting disposition,' whatever that means." She guesses it means he's a nice guy. That seems accurate to her. She didn't contribute much to the banner and is ultimately bored by the bigger ponies talking about it. As such, the filly is about to wander off and explore when Lamp starts heading out front. She decides to follow him, hoping he'll go and greet some of the other party guests. Her wish pays off when she and him end up encountering a pegasus from out of town. She smiles and nods as Lamp introduces her. Maybe it was a bit rude not to let her introduce herself, but hey, it was also less work on her part! But when the pegasus starts asking what he can do to help, her smile fades. Doing her best to imitate her mother's stern voice, she says, "Oh no you don't! Party guests are not to lift a hoof to help with the work. You have fun, and leave the hard work to Lamp, Hawthorn, and your adorable waitress Rosemarey!" Acting stern was already tough for her, but with that last line she cracks. Her voice raises back up to its usual pitch as she stifles a giggle. Satisfied that his sister is in good hooves with Lamp, Hawthorn decides to greet the other two guests he saw. But just as he is making a move to say hello, the baby dragon has already approached him. "Yes, I think you could say we're friends! Even though we met yesterday!" he chuckles. A baby dragon and a yak... and just the other day I met an Aerion... This is shaping up to be a very interesting week, he ponders. "I'm Hawthorn, by the way. Pleasure to meet you." He glances over at the yak, noticing she's seemingly being led around by her smaller companion. "A bit shy, is she? No need to be nervous, Yona." Hawthorn tries to encourage the yak to stand next to Spike.
  10. 1 point
    Dream Wanderer stood for a moment inside the Inn's entrance looking around at the interior. It didn't seem that anypony was inside at the moment. Just as he began to raise his hoof to head outside the door to the lobby opened, as a chocolate brown unicorn came in holding some kind of banner. An event of sorts was being set up? He thought to himself. Dream listened as the unicorn introduced himself and his friend. "It is nice to meet you, Lamp Light." Dream Wanderer replied with a smile. "My names Dream Wanderer, But you can just call me Dream, or Dreamy if you like. I'm a bit of a traveler you could say. " The orange pegasus returned the introduction. He tilted his head slightly as Lamp Light unraveled the banner for him to read. Ah a party. It was certainly good timing indeed. This would be a good place to get to know some of the local ponies, and to look for some work or hear some rumors. "Oh no, I wasn't waiting long at all." Dream Wanderer replied as he looked at the banner. "Say, Would you all need any help? I'm always more than happy to help." He asked out of curiosity.
  11. 1 point
    Alizarin wasn't scared. Of course not. It was just a little creature chillin' behind some bushes, makin' their way towards- what they probably smelled- which was food on their campsite. The eyes sure looked creepy though, especially when all the ponies stood there glancing around it. Their shadows made the eyes glow brighter, and Ali kind of got chills. She wasn't scared though. No way. The short farmer was probably the bravest one here. Totally. 100%. She was the leader after all. Ali had a different way of approaching the animal. She really just stood there, staring at it with curious, yet, menacing eyes. Everypony, besides Sombra, was talkin' to it like it was a little puppy or somethin'. It kind of threw Ali off. Fluttershy said something about it not being a good idea talkin' to a stranger in the middle of the woods, and Ali completely agreed with that statement, surprisingly. "Ah agree with Fluttershy. We have no idea what that darn creature is, and y'all are fussin' over it like it's your friend." The farm girl was not convinced with the group's actions towards the creature. Yet, the animal kept sitting there, looking at them. The earth pony finally got the courage to step in front of everypony and stare it down. The eyes were smaller than a large cat, or dog, or whatever animal bigger than a house cat. She noticed that when she got closer to it. She understood why everypony was talking to it now, and just huffed and stepped closer to it. For the first time, the little creature moved, kind of violently, jumping right in front of Ali. The mare jumped back out of shock, almost hitting Fire Walker and Apple Bloom. "Ah!" What stood there, was a little fluffy squirrel. Ali frowned, kind of embarrassed from being scared over a little rodent. The little animal just stared at the group, cleaning it's ears and fluffing up it's tail. Ali was mad now, her face turning a little red and she trotted to the squirrel, ready to start yelling at it. "Dumb squirrel! You know there's some creature takin' little rodents like you? Whatcha' thinkin'? If there even is a creature takin' animals." The little animal just stared at her, showing it's cute little eyes and tilting it's head. Ali growled, finally stepping back and pouting. Too bad the drink she had didn't kick in yet. Suddenly, a large shake hit the ground, making Ali fall over. She was kinda done getting thrown around emotionally and physically. They weren't even in the forest for a long time and there was already stuff happening to them. "Lemme guess, there is an entire squirrel army taking down the missing animals?" Ali was just joking, but the ground shook again. Something big was coming for them, but slowly. Then there was a yelp, probably a half a mile away from them. It was loud though, very loud.
  12. 1 point
    "Got enough for a lot more of that repellent, Granny. If ya make it 'fore Ah do mah work in tha morning Ah can go right on ahead and apply it ta tha orchard," Applejack said in between stuffing her face. She wasn't an impolite mare by any stretch but the entire Apple family downed food viciously. It didn't create much of a mess if only because food and drink not in the mouth wasn't doing much to satisfy them and the Apples were plenty good to satisfy themselves. Big Mac's day had been relatively uneventful- well, after he had returned home from a date with Sugar Belle. "When do you plan on making her an honest Apple there, Big Mac? Zap Apple could use some more family," She said with earnestness devoid of sincerity, mostly doing it to cause her brother to blush. Which he did, meaning she won. Her victories were always so sweet. Granny Smith had a nice enough day, though Applejack could see the matron of the family starting to slow down finally. No great sin there. She was in her golden years. Time to relax! She couldn't relax though. She wanted to make sure her Zappy was clean and as he was active and terrifying an eater as the rest of them, Applejack would find herself making small trips over there to help clean his face up, and then the area around him. When she was a new mother this felt like a chore but now it happened so seamlessly that she sometimes imagined that it had always been this way. While she did so, she spoke about the day. "Had a bit of an adventure, didn't we? Managed to get everything just fine but some timberwolves started ta track us. We kept our cool an' such, lost 'em in a cave. Even went into an underwater stream for a swim. Never caught a glimpse of one, but Ah imagine they got awfully frustrated. Ah wonder why they were tracking us so well, though. Can't say Ah've know them ta have good noses," she said as she sat back down and continued eating. Time would pass... Near the edge of the Orchard, a series of low howls and grows permeated the barrier between civilized society and wildness. One pair of yellow eyes, then another, then two more- each one smaller than the last- pierced the dying and dead light of the land. With paws less sure than they would be normally, the smells and character of the orchard anathema to the animals, a pack of timberwolves breached Sweet Apple Acres and slowly made their way to the barn where the Apples lived... "Zappy, are ya full?" Applejack asked rhetorically. Everypony had evaporated their food like a beam had struck their plates, and the sound of burping and laughter reigned supreme. They were a simple family. Applejack helped collect the plates. "Play for a bit an' then we'll do some numbers an' countin an' such. Did you put yer toys away well last time?"
  13. 1 point
    The plan worked well enough, and for that at least Gallus was pleased. He was even going to leave the underside comment to rest because he wasn't sure he wanted the answer. Or he did want a very specific answer, and just thinking about either possibility made him feel a bit strange. Her enthusiasm to help show him how to string shells was super relieving. Yeah, he wanted to learn but he was sure it was easy. Most importantly, he was able to see the shells. Not a great selection but he'd make do. It was more about the effort and the time they spent than what he did. Right? That sounded right. Something that a pony would say and he was constantly reminded that they were right and griffons were always terrible wrong. Uggh, that seapony had really got to him, hadn't he? He watched her go about it, getting caught up in the crab briefly. And then she was done. he had to run it back in his head once or twice to really understand just what she did. Her claws were fast! Flippers. Flippers were fast! She knew what she was doing with them. Gallus was pretty excited to give it a try. Not because he cared about the activity, the activity was whatever, the activity was merely a way to hang out with Silverstream and hopefully make her happy. He never wanted to make a friend disappointed. After analyzing it all for a second he swam up to the shells and nodded. "Okay. I think I got this. And if I don't, well, I'll do it anyway. I'll be fine," he said with a reassuring smile. When she was away, he looked back at it. Okay, how to do this... He was big and kind of intimidating, at least compared to others, and they certainly gave him a little space to work with likewise. While he didn't play it up he wasn't about to misuse his biggest and only advantage as he slid around to get some of the better-looking shells. Then it was stringing time. She made it look a lot easier and he was still absolutely unable to fully control the process. Why couldn't he just have his claws? He was praying just to survive the day underwater so he could feel normal again above the waves. He continued the effort. One by one they went in and his slightly frustrated groaning subsided as he really put the effort in. And that was it was all about, right? Whatever the end product was, friends cared about the effort. Right? Right. But he was going to try really, really, really freaking hard to make this work. He'd make sure it was worth that much, if nothing else giving her something nice to wear. Where were you when Gallus the Great gave Silverstream the Se- Special something that he hoped she really liked, which was this half-necklace and half INDESCRIBABLE PIECE OF FRUSTRATION WHY WASN'T IT WORKING- ahh, there it went. Satisfied, he took a look at it. The nicely colored ones, of which he had a few, were strung out evenly in a pattern that ended with pink and aqua hues dancing together in harmony. It looked really nice if Gallus said so himself. "I think this looks really nice!" He said so himself with a smile, offering it with his left flipper. Then his face grew a little more panicked. "Now how do I get him off?" He asked, a little pain entering his calm attitude as he raised his right flipper. On it was a snow crab, a mixed look of impish glee and boredom evident as it clamped tightly onto Gallus' bruised flipper.
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