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PrinceBlueblood last won the day on May 20

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About PrinceBlueblood

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    Books, games, and general internet doings

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  • Main Character
    Prince Blueblood
  • Character 2
    Earth Writer
  • Character 3
    Feng Yinhaitao
  • Character 4
    Wordsworth Psmith

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    PrinceBlueblood #8840

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  1. Sky was glad to hear that Icy was willing to accommodate his recording schedule, which was really all he had to ask, at the moment. "Nice to know I won't be double-booked against Windy, I couldn't compete with that. Besides, I want to see her shows myself!" He laughed softly, agreeing to meet Icy later. "Hope I made the night good for you two, you were here for the whole set, I could see you. Goodnight!" Soon after, another casino owner approached. Once Wind Dancer let him in on just how Golden Bit had helped her, the pieces did begin to fall into place for Sky Sailing. But it was indicative of his current state of mind that he was most occupied with what Golden did than with what it implied about her position. He beamed at her approach, quickly swallowing down another bite of his sandwich before getting up to shake her hoof. "It's good to meet you at last. I was just told I have you to thank for being able to see Wind Dancer, well, dance. And probably for ever meeting her in the first place, so... thank you, very much, from the bottom of my heart." Said heart was currently being worn on his sleeve, but between the high of the performance, and the... well, call it what it was, the love he was feeling from and for Wind Dancer, it could hardly be any other way!
  2. The vehemence of Copper's response was unexpected; Spoiled hadn't been so naive to think that absolutely everything she said would be interpreted charitably, but that certainly sounded like a leap of logic to her! With a genuinely surprised reaction, she leaned a little away from him behind her podium. Apparently, her research upon Strong Copper hadn't uncovered all his triggers, but fortunately, her research into the issues under discussion gave her what she hoped was an unambiguously exonerating reply: "All I am saying, Mr. Copper, is that what several citizens fear will happen to Ponyville if growth is not managed properly, namely pricing out and class pressure, is already happening in Canterlot. That is why it is feared, because it does happen. The capital's loss has in many cases our gain, but that doesn't mean that everypony who's barely scraping by has the wherewithal to foot the bill for their own moving expenses, or have any reserves to support themselves until they find a productive place in their destination. I had thought it obvious enough that the Crown would have every reason to open the treasury to assist in such movements, for the mutual benefit of Canterlot, Ponyville, and other towns besides. But do tell me your objections to this idea, Mr. Copper. Are you prepared to maintain that everypony has the resources to alleviate their own misery, with no need for the Crown or Mayoral Office to bother about them? Do you think that Canterlot is simply the shining city in which nopony could possibly face social exclusion from the local nobility and their clients? If not, them please explain your issues, with either my words or myself, as it is clear that you have them."
  3. Now here was an interesting question, but also a somewhat delicate one. While Spoiled Rich had many and varied opinions about the influence of Princess Twilight upon Ponyville, she couldn't afford to be as free with them here as at the Rich family dinner table. The purple pony was popular here, and it was altogether for the best to trade up on that favor, rather than waste political capital trying to tamp it down. Fortunately, the way Mayor Mare phrased the question allowed her to take a tack on the question. "It all depends on if you're asking about Canterlot the city, or are specifically referring to Crown initiative and funding. The best thing that Canterlot the city ever did for ponyville was give us it's..." She paused to try to think of a better word than 'rejects', which some political instinct warned her would not go over well. "Shall we say, it's refugees? There are many here today for whom the Mountain City of Marble was just not a good social or economic fit, Princess Twilight being technically among them! Many take a house here because they actually can, and quite a few of our signature businesses are run by urban exiles. All of whom have integrated themselves very well. "If I were to give a suggestion to the Crown side of the question, I would make such resettlement an act of policy, rather than a happy accident. Celestia knows that Canterlot is not short of ponies who would do much better in less... rarified environments. Not all are aware of the opportunities which would await them in a growing country town. It has the double benefit of also relieving pressure in that city, making it much more likely that such a policy will actually be enacted! The easiest deals to cut are those which benefit both sides, after all."
  4. "By preference, a small but even cut across all expenditures." Spoiled was quick to respond; this was very much in her wheelhouse, and an issue which she'd dedicated thought to even before considering being a mayoral candidate. "It never struck me as wise to increase compulsory taxation during hard times, but special requests for donations to cover potential shortfalls would probably be employed in acute cases. I am pleased to say that Ponyville's town government already runs without any great deal of unnecessary or inefficient expenditure, but that does mean that there are no non-essential programs that make for easy targets in a crisis. That's based off the current budget, by the way; obviously any proposed investment or development spending increases I would enact would have to be put on hold to handle and stabilize the situation."
  5. After the rather rough exchange that occurred over the question of finances, Spoiled couldn't help but be somewhat pleased to observe Strong Copper's little stumble over the question of business development. And nopony could accuse her of any rhetorical shenanigans, either; she'd very much given him more than ample opportunity, and all her could muster was a confessions of ignorance! Excellent... "I myself have had a chance to observe Downtown Ponyville for many years. For a small heartland town, it shows every sign of health. Most citizens do their business there, both buying and selling, my family being no exception. Being a farming town even affords us a small degree of economic autarky, which is to say, we can stand up to a pounding. And so we have!" That could get a few memorial chuckles out of the audience. Ponyville was famous for its periodic need to rebuild, which had led to the ponies here being quite good at it. "Should a sudden economic depression fall upon the country, we have some degree of robustness to pit against it. What troubles me is some more long-term problems, we are beginning to transition from a small heartland town to what might be called a University City, or Royal Seat. That has increased the amount of commerce in town, but a lot of that is wealth flowing out, as well as in. Both necessities and luxuries are being ordered in, rather than being traded in the downtown. Local production should be expanded, both agricultural and industrial, with each firm or family having some assurance of being able to operate a storefront or market stand in the town. Fortunately, we are not yet under space constraints as far as real estate goes, though some adjustments to zoning will be necessary to maintain sustainability."
  6. All pegasi look great like this.
  7. *Deep Breaths, Spoiled, Deep Breaths. This is what dear Filthy warned you about, he's trying to get your goat...* As much as Spoiled Rich was telling herself this, it was hard to keep her cool under Copper's needling. With another deep breath, let out with a sigh, she laid it out with as patient a tone as she could muster. "Princess Twilight's school is a Private, not a Public, educational facility. It is funded by the personal funds of the Princess, the tuition of the students, and private donations. Ponyville proper hasn't borne the costs, but has reaped outsize benefits. It seems only fair that a prominent citizen among the beneficiaries give back. As for the playground, it was indeed a donation to cover an expense that normal budgetary processes could not. The Rich in this town do feel that more is expected of them than would be for those with less to spare for civic functions. "What I am very much interested in is what problems you have with either arrangement, or if there are none, why such irrelevancies were brought up, if not for the purpose my husband alleged?"
  8. Strict debate decorum be bucked! Spoiled had been preparing a withering response to Strong Copper's insinuation, but her dear husband put the point with more sincerity and apt prose than she could. And it wasn't often she'd admit to that! *I'll have to give him a "special" thank you at home after this...* She thought, with a smile, she was able to maintain a much more pleasant tone of voice as she responded, "I have nothing to add to what my husband said, other than a desire to put my agreement upon the record."
  9. So many questions about transparency and auditing. It was almost as if ponies didn't trust her, Spoiled Rich! The absolute nerve, and she had half a mind as to who exactly was responsible for these insinuations. Directing a severe look towards any visible representative of the Foal Free Press, she answered with emphasis. "Oh believe me, there is nothing more that I should desire than the opportunity to educate certain ponies about the financial realities of real governance. I'm not the sort of candidate to offer ponies bribes with their own tax money; part of the reason my aims are focused on widening the tax base is to ease the per-capita load. Anypony who likes will be able to see the progress, writ large in black and red ink." And it had to be said, in all fairness, that her aims had nothing to do with lining her own pockets or needlessly monumentalizing herself from the town budget. Not until she could be certain that statues would not be torn down or lawyers sent around by her successor. You couldn't be so blatant about political ambitions or corruption these days. Plus, she was a bright enough mare to know, after that little "incident" over the window and her guest lecturer application, that she wouldn't be able to get away with it. When all else fails in pursuit of glory, one might as well try to actually deserve it.
  10. Blueblood looked up towards the approaching Belladonna, relieved to have the tension between him and Applejack at least a little loosened. "A bit of a disagreement over... hm, the nature of justice and the demands of duty." He could have elaborated on the point, expanding on the contrasting philosophies of paternalism versus democratic equality, and how both developed divergently in the unicorn and earth pony tribes respectively, but some instinct told him that the rising pop idol was not a history buff. The orange-coated Apple mare in question, though, looked pretty near at the end of her lasso. The experienced diplomat within him knew that a concession would soon be forthcoming, he just needed to facilitate it. The country mare wouldn't be as trained in the moves of the game, and would probably have little patience for the prevarications that went with normal play, so he decided to take the bold move of spelling out the gambit. "I don't mind playing the role of public-facing subordinate for this; if we do well, all credit goes to the Apple Clan, if not, the blame shall fall upon my shoulders. That all agreed?" He raised his eyes to his Auntie, hoping that his soothing words would placate both Luna's ire and Applejack's stubborness. Seeing his friend Taira come in to discuss as well only bolstered his confidence, and he added, "I know these ponies, kirin, and others very well, and can vouch for their character and work ethic."
  11. Sky blushed at the compliment, flush with the adrenaline of public performance that was only just now beginning to ebb. Though his performance was considerably more "chill" than many musicians on this circuit, it was still just as heart pounding to him as it would be to any performer. Of course, a certain pegasus mare might also account for his heart's accelerated activity... "Thanks, Windy. But, um, who is Golden Bit? I thought she was just the cafe manager." His ignorance revealed, Sky was honestly more concerned with the stacked sourdough sandwhich headed his way, which he tore into after a quick word of thanks to the waiter. It took a few large bites before the beast of hunger was quelled within him, and he felt able to take questions from the audience. The first to approach was an icy blue unicorn, who introduced herself under a startlingly appropriate name. "Pleased to meet you, Ice Storm! And honestly, I would definitely love to do more shows, though I'll be a bit busy in the coming weeks putting together my new LP. If you don't mind me doing a bit of album promotion, though, I can definitely make time!" After a second or two, another thought came to him. "Oh, and I do actually have a studio and label of my own; if any of your acts want to cut a record, I can help out with that, too."
  12. Hoo boy, this was actually a pet issue with Spoiled Rich, one she couldn't let go without putting in her own two cents. "I've long been of the personal opinion that it is well past time that we had some ponies dedicated to keeping order. We just haven't attracted or cultivated those with a particular talent for it. I think starting up the office as a volunteer association, like our current fire brigade, would be the best start. Give ponies with the time and inclination some practice with the job. When a talented constable shows himself or herself, then we can put them on the town payroll."
  13. It was late at night, probably too late for any sane pony to be up and awake. Even in a tourist-heavy spot like the Gallopagos, where a luau of some sort or description could generally be found if you were in a partying mood, most of the locals and the more sensible of visitors would simply let themselves be lured to sleep under the cooling tradewinds. But to every rule, there are exceptions. There are two weeks where the winds die, and leave ponies alone to deal with the heat, and their thoughts. Among these was Earth Writer, a stallion who felt washed up in most every sense of the word, and yet was unable to shed the old habits of a bohemian urban reporter, walker of the late night coffee shop beat. He was up, writing, and for the first time in a while, writing something that would appear in a periodical. Not as a news article, though; this was of a more… personal nature. “Dear Princess Cadence, I’m writing to you in a moment of quiet desperation. I’m still not entirely certain you will be able to help me, but at the very least, this letter can be published as a cautionary tale for your readers. I’m in a bad state, and I really can’t blame anypony more than myself for my situation. It’s a long story, but I’m hoping that it helps another stallion not make the same mistakes I did. It all began when I’d just gotten my first job, as a junior reporter on the Canterlot Chronicle. I was taking a little trip back down to Ponyville, to both participate in the annual Running of the Leaves, and write a little article on the event. During that time, I met a mare, who I’ll call Honey Pear for the sake of her privacy. We ran alongside each other, and ended up helping each other out of some sticky situations. It was the sort of thing that would make any stallion or mare bond, and bond we did. Over time, we’d meet up more and more. My work was still keeping me in one place, and her work at the weather factory allowed her to visit regularly. Eventually, I became certain that she was my special somepony, and I took the opportunity to tell her so. And she reciprocated! I still look back on that day as when I was both happiest and most hopeful. But after that… Life started to intrude on our plans and dreams. Both of us were doing well at work, which led to us having extra duties and responsibilities, and less time and freedom of movement. We both tried to keep a long-distance relationship, to hold on to what we had, but the letters became more and more infrequent. Speaking from my perspective, as my work sent me farther and farther afield, it became harder and harder for me to keep Honey in mind. Things came to a turning point, though, right around the time of the Crystal Faire. Honey Pear had just gotten a new assignment from the weather bureau to the Gallopagos Islands, and I found myself on the spot when the… attack happened. As you know, it was pretty traumatic for everypony present, but being on the spot gave me the opportunity to write the definitive eyewitness account of the events. Because of that, I could basically ask my editor for any assignment post I wanted after that. Honey and I had never officially ended anything; it would have been the perfect opportunity to take a tropical beat and re-kindle what we had… but my fickle heart decided not to. I buried my good memories, told myself they were in the past, and that I should look towards the future. And this is where the other mare enters the story: Heart Stopper. I have not changed her name, such protections are for the innocent. We met when I was covering the World’s Friendship Faire in Manehattan; she came representing the Maretonian city of Kastrot, where she is head of one of the noble families. The best way to describe her would be both as 'the mare your mama warned you about' and 'the mare he tells you not to worry about'. But I was lonely, lonelier than I wanted to admit to myself, and to be flattered and feted by a high-class, (outwardly) beautiful mare was a temptation I did not resist. I ended up cashing in my favors with the Chronicle to get the Kastrot posting, and sailed over where Heart Stopper put me up in her manor. To make a long story short… that mare ruined me. I was used partly as a propaganda tool, partly as a plaything for her. It was a slow stripping away of my dignity and self respect that I willfully blinded myself to until everything finally caught up with me. My articles had degenerated into outright flank-kissing, and the editor wasn’t going to take that any more. Having tanked my reputation so badly, the guild of journalists practically blackballed me from every respectable publication. Of course, without me having any reach in Equestria through my pen, I was of no further use to Heart Stopper, who tossed me like yesterday’s food wrapper. I fell hard and fast after that. I don’t want to go into details here about what I did to get home, or get by. Suffice it to say that I felt my life to not be worth much after having made such a mess of it. And yet… through an act of undeserved caprice, I did manage to find a half-respectable source of pay, which allowed me a chance to get back on my hooves. And guess who I coincidentally met up shortly thereafter? None other than Honey Pear. That almost sounds like an unrealistically happy ending, but in reality that’s where my current troubles begin. I really want to reconnect with Honey Pear, to salvage whatever kind of relationship I can out of what we once had. Or, at least, all the uncorrupted part of me does. Which may not even be as much as half, by now. Because, even after all that witch did to me, I still can’t stop thinking about Heart Stopper. It’s like my desires and expectations have been totally mis-calibrated, or I’m still under some kind of enchantment. It’s like my own mind is trying to sabotage my chance to regain a happy life. And that part is what’s driving me to this. It’s one thing to hit rock bottom, but to be offered a chance to climb out, yet feel it slowly slipping out of your grip? If I buck this up, if I lose the last chances offered by both my employer and former special somepony… I don’t think I’ll recover. I’m not gonna lie, it kind of hurt putting this all down; and even then I’m worried I haven’t made myself clear enough to get a good answer. And if you can’t offer me anything… just print the letter without a reply. I’d like to know at least that I served as a warning of what can happen when you don’t take your love and relationships seriously enough. It’s not a matter of pursuing saccharine greeting-card type lives, as the cynical put it; but of cherishing the ponies that build you up over the ponies that will just use you up. And being wise enough to know the difference. Sincerely, Washed up on the White Sands. It took three whole sheets of paper to write it out longhoof. And even as late as it was, Earth Writer made sure to stuff, stamp, and deposit the envelope before going to bed, out of fear that his nerves would fail him come the morning.
  14. This next number would require a lot of setup, so Sky Sailing could only catch a few glances of his audience’s reactions to his last number in between setting things up. The guitar was fully put away now, stowed behind the stage while speakers, what looked like crystal amplifiers, lights, and… foals toys? The whole was spread around his hooves as he worked, but to keep his audience captive, he kept speaking. “I know I’ve said before about how the cloud of dreams I drift through make life a little hard, and a little strange, but I also feel that it makes everything in some way wonderful. There’s always something potentially amazing in waiting for me every time I close my eyes, or open them. This one’s about a sweet dream I had, some time ago, that I’m still not sure wasn’t real, which is a much better doubt to have than the opposite.” The last addition to his set was a panel of lights on top of his keyboard. Once that was done, he looked up again, catching the eye of Golden Bit. He saw his cue to begin, and to be perfectly honest, he couldn’t wait. The sounds were very electronic this time, but instead of the reverberating distortions common to dance music, the notes came out as clear as chimes. Wind Dancer might even recognize the tune, as the one which she danced to for him the first time she visited his cloud home. He’d managed to make some lyrics for it by now, and now she might understand where the inspiration for his suggestion concerning her dance… “You would not believe your eyes If ten million fireflies Lit up the world as I fell asleep” As he sang out the first lines, all the lights around him would begin to illuminate, blinking in time with the music as more and more of them were synced to the melody. “'Cause they fill the open air And leave teardrops everywhere You'd think me rude but I would just stand and stare. I'd like to make myself believe that planet earth turns slowly It's hard to say that I'd rather stay awake when I'm asleep 'Cause everything is never as it seems” As his whispered first repetition of the chorus concluded, the various toys around him would behind to come to life, waking up, walking, or just looking around as the magic of the music seemed to fill the room all around them. “'Cause I'd get a thousand hugs From ten thousand lightning bugs As they tried to teach me how to dance A foxtrot above my head A sock hop beneath my bed A disco ball is just hanging by a thread (thread, thread) I'd like to make myself believe that planet earth turns slowly It's hard to say that I'd rather stay awake when I'm asleep 'Cause everything is never as it seems (when I fall asleep)” The second chorus had been a loud drop of sound, with the speakers now all coming in line for a full room-filling portion of the song. As the bridge began, this full sound began to wake up flying toys and vehicles in the back of the room, which then made their way through the tables and audience to circle and race around the singer at the front. “Leave my door open just a crack (Please take me away from here) 'Cause I feel like such an insomniac. (Please take me away from here) Why do I tire of counting sheep (Please take me away from here) When I'm far too tired to fall asleep? To ten million fireflies I'm weird cause I hate goodbyes I got misty eyes as they said farewell (said farewell). But I'll know where several are If my dreams get real bizarre 'Cause I saved a few and I keep them in a jar (jar, jar) I'd like to make myself believe that planet earth turns slowly It's hard to say that I'd rather stay awake when I'm asleep 'Cause everything is never as it seems (when I fall asleep) I'd like to make myself believe that planet earth turns slowly It's hard to say that I'd rather stay awake when I'm asleep 'Cause everything is never as it seems (when I fall asleep)” Just then, as the song was at its peak of volume Sky hit a button on his keyboard, and the lights started to go out one by one. The toys surrounding him began to sputter and drop down, asleep, or void of the life the song had given them. He sang out the chorus one last time, in a soft whisper, as once again the stage grew dark around him, and the speakers faded to just the simple string of melodic notes: “I'd like to make myself believe that planet earth turns slowly It's hard to say that I'd rather stay awake when I'm asleep Because my dreams are bursting at the seams.” The song ended, leaving a second of silence before any applause would come. Sky would greet it with a smile, and a somewhat tired look in his eyes. "Thank you, thank you all for coming out here. It means a lot to have everyone I know in this city here, and maybe some new friends, too. Now, I'm kind of hungry, so I'm going to get a sandwich myself. I'll hold a Q & A at my table, too, if you don't mind waiting between bites." At this, he would turn off the last of the switches on his keyboard, before getting up to take the other chair at the table Wind Dancer sat at. Sitting back down with a sigh, he looked over at the mare and smiled. "Well, I did it. How'd I do?"
  15. Had Feng been a more astute fellow in perceiving the feelings and inner world of mares, then he would definitely have seen the tripling of the weight upon his back coming. As it was, his highly-trained body could take the burden and balance it fairly well. "Whoof! There we go. You know, this would make a pretty good Iron Pony in itself. Score time deducted by dropped apples, and all that." Getting all three bushels secure, he began to step back upon the path. "Alright, let's be going! We'll take the next train to the coast, and then it's a long sail back home." And with that, Feng Yinhaitao, the Iron Pony and hopeless-in-love-stallion, took his leave of Ponyville. *Exit Feng.*
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