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PrinceBlueblood

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Posts posted by PrinceBlueblood


  1. 'It never rains, but it pours.'

     

    The remark was coined in reference to the weather in Seaddle, but Blueblood was about to see that the metaphorical application to Ponyville's response to any large social event.  Only time would tell whether the hastily-prepared shelter of the Prince's preparedness would spring a leak or not.  At the first 'raindrop' was one he had some degree of authority over.  Not that Gallus would ever dare publicly acknowledge deference to his Archancellor, but for all that, he was good griff.  Wouldn't go out of his way to make trouble if one told him just how much the trouble would trouble others.

    "Well, I won't requisition you for volunteer labor, if that's what you're asking, Gallus."  He'd had a tendency, fairly early, to give out tasks for extra credit on a fairly liberal basis, but a talking-to from Applejack had dampened, though not wholly dammed, the flow of extra marks.  "I am expecting some new students, however, so please keep an eye out for your future classmates?  Some of them may have... little to no familiarity with Equestrian manners or customs.  I'm sure you can relate."

     

    One such student was expected shortly, but before Blueblood could spare an eye for him, the clouds rained opened up depositing a big three-one sequence on his doorstep.  But ingrained hospitality kept the tiles in place upon the roof, and the Prince really needed to get his head out of this metaphor.  "And welcome!  I'm afraid I never caught your name."  He accepted the git with grace, but didn't open it immediately, instead putting it on a table marked "donations."  If nothing else, it would serve as a light fixture for the school, whenever the Prince got around to seeing what it was.

    "This event isn't... quite the same a solstice celebration, or even the old Summer Sun celebration.  But I understand Ponyvillle still loves to hold a party this time every year, and I wanted the School of Friendship to be a part of town life."  Further explanation wasn't quite possible, as the group began to scatter, and a doppleganger of himself appeared before Blue!

     

    The Prince's response... was a slow blink.  And a sigh of resignation.  It had been such a long day even by now, and this was just the sort of thing that would happen, wouldn't it?  Even the revelation that it was a momentarily confused changeling didn't really do much to improve his mood.  "No, you've mistaken today for the holiday I've repeatedly lobbied to remove from the calendar."  Immediately he regretted his his testy response, and quickly apologies.  "Sorry, but it's been a long day.  No, wait, that's not-  necessary..."  He wasn't quite able to prevent Fleeting Hope from giving him a melon.  Well, School funding donations were clearly off to a great start...

     

    Chipper Banner.png

     

    The perils of leaving the young unattended were often exaggerated, with concerned parents freaking out over what the big bad world would do to their precious foal.  But in Chipper Demise's case, one might be forgiven for harboring the opposite worry.  Oh, sure, he was friendly, outgoing, and cheerful, like any Equestrian pony, but that was a miracle running against his talents and upbringing.  Hence, his current guardian's decision that the School of Friendship was the exact education he would need for life.

     

    And now, here he was, in Ponyville.  His presence was preceded and announced by a pair of raucous crows, flapping and settling on the edges of Bonbon's booth.  One of them was staring at her with beady red eyes, while the other took a curious peck at the candies.  "Cauw!  Caw!"  One called out, and the berobed colt answered.  "Aw sorry, I thought they were eyeballs.  They looked like them from a distance."  Trotting up to Bonbon, he explained, as if it were the most natural thing in the world.  "Eyeballs are Muginn's favorite treat. So when I saw a pile of sort-of white balls, I thought I'd give him a little snack.  So, uh, what are they?"

    • Like 1

  2. "Well, no.  We'll save that for the music video!"  Sky laughed, but he was only half-joking.  If he ever became big enough to commission a film crew for such a venture, he definitely wanted Wind Dancer to be in it.  And a 'tornado of stage props' would be just the sort of exciting visual that one would want recorded rather than with a live audience.

     

    Sky nodded in agreement with Kick Beat's assessment of Bonk.  "He's certainly driven, and I heard he found somepony to pair up with and form a band.  They call themselves 'Twenty-One Pegasi,' even though neither of them are.  I guess that's part of the joke?  I really don't know, but I've put out an offer to help produce their record.  Some of their early work is promising, but... well, I get the sense that there's a high ceiling for both of them that they haven't reached yet.  It's gonna be kind of exciting to see them soar, wings or not."

     

    The drummer's next remark caused Sky to blush alongside his marefriend.  "I mean, we haven't... well, um.  Don't quite understand why you phrase it like that.  It sounds a bit too violent for me; I'm a pacifist by nature and conviction!"


  3. Sensing the awkwardness emerging from the cheetah-patterned citizen, the mustachioed "Emperor" turned to address himself pretty much exclusively towards Zelda.  "Ah, a bespoke crafstgriff!  Truly, your kind were pillars of the Imperial glory back in the days where it shown; one cannot conceive greater evidence of the present Republican decadence in Aquellia that you had to leave your homeland to find a patron worthy of your art."  He might have been slightly hyperbolic in his classification of the Talonopolis regime, but he was right enough as far as history went.  The greatest smiths of each Emperor's reign were often listed alongside them in the histories, as the royal glory of both arms and architecture alike were so dependent upon them.

     

    "The Imperial Treasury, alas, is not currently of such a state where it can hope to outbid Equestria's for your services.  Nonetheless, your efforts at the restoration of our public art have the Gratitude of the Crown.  I should be honored to conduct you personally to each remaining edifice. "  He even gave a little bow in return, only half as deep as the one Zelda gave to him, of course.  Didn't want to allow any confusion as to relative rank.  "It is to be hoped that the renewed displays will attract the interest of more than the odd academic; I see little recourse for revenues outside of tourism for the immediate future.  It is as much as We can ask of you... but there is one further favor, if you both would not mind."  He nodded to Gillian once again.  "There are two spaces open at the Imperial Banquet table, and We should love to have you two grace it for lunch."  For a moment, the Imperial airs slipped with a chuckle.  "Truly, it has been too long since I have treated two lovely young hens to a meal!"

    • Like 2

  4. "Watch out with that!"

     

    It had been a few months, but the archancellor had finally gotten around to moving the rest of their household to Ponyville for long-term residence.  Just in time to welcome new enrollee's to the school!  Trouble is, Blueblood had cut things a bit close, and with a rushed move-

     

    *CRASH*- *tinkle*

     

    -came wrack and ruin.  "It's OK, that was only one priceless antique.  And Twilight probably wouldn't appreciate my attempts to redecorate this place anyhow..."  

    One could only hope that student shenanigans would disrupt neither Blue's move into the Crystal Castle, nor the fundraising event to be held that evening.  But, the Archancellor knew their students only too well...

     

    Thread is Here!


  5. "Ehe, thanks."  Sky blushed a little, not really used to being complimented on appearance.  Though, to be fair, he hadn't appeared enough in public for any decent sample size to accumulate until recently, so it was possible that Windy wasn't just flattering him.  "You know, that's probably one of the things I'll have to ask Golden Bit about when I next see her.  She's seen and managed so many shows, it stands to reason she'd know a thing or two about what fits mine, right?"

     

    He could only hope that the look fit him as well as a tramp's look fitted a dulcimer show.  Though, it seemed that his pony normally used a more primal percussive in their career.  "Kick Beat, really?  It's an honor to meet you sir!"  Though he wasn't deep in the industry, Sky had heard of him.  "There's a diamond dog I know who really looks up to you.  Well, sort of.  He practices every day to someday surpass all the recordings he ever heard of you.  Is that sort of competitiveness normal in the drumming world?  It's not my instrument, so I wouldn't know."


  6. 1000?cb=20140512194130

     

    "GAAAHHHH!"

     

    A scream, simultaneously of panic and frustration, not unmixed with excitement, echoed down the halls of Ponyville's Crystal Castle.  The resident royalty had recently been switched; with Princess Twilight Sparkle taking over full rulership duties in Canterlot, Prince Blueblood had been tasked with looking over the Ponville Demense, as well as assume the position of Archancellor of the Friendship Academy.  It had taken some time for everything to be arranged on either end, with them both traveling between Ponyville and Canterlot trying to arrange everything.  But, finally, Blueblood was ready to complete the long-term move of themselves and their household to the tree-like crystal palace.  It was kind of an extended house sitting (castle-sitting?), but never let it be said there was no solidarity among Equestria's royalty!

     

     

    It wasn't the move that was causing the erstwhile unicorn to expectorate his emotions so freely, however.  While packing up and transporting one's domicile was a legitimate source of stress (especially when one's domestic posse included a sphinx), it was the timing of the whole thing that was proving most unfortuitous.  For, his arrival day had coincided with the day of the Summer Sun celebration, as well as falling in between the spring and summer terms of the School of Friendship, typically when new students were signed up.  Not to mention, at some point a fundraiser for the School was planned for this period of time.  It had seemed like such a good idea to combine all three into one event... two weeks ago.

     

    Internally cursing his past self for being so optimistic,  the flustered stallion stopped by a crystal wall to quickly check his reflection.  Blue and bloodshot eyes stared back, framed by locks of golden mane he brushed back and slipped under a doctoral tam.  He had his robes in the black and silver colors of the school uniform draped around his body, and he took a moment to arrange them.  Closing and rubbing his eyes, he took a deep breath.  The movers were still carting in boxes in the back, but the front hall and ballroom were fully arranged, so it wouldn't be too hard to play host.  He didn't expect too many socialites to show up on short notice all the way from Canterlot anyway, so this would mostly just be a local affair.  And the Ponyville crowd were much more tolerant of ad-hoc arrangements.  Heck, wasn't this where Pinkie Pie herself called home?  As averse as he was to... the more common "birthday party" like affairs she was famous for, were the mare to suddenly show up and take over Party Planning, Prince Blueblood wouldn't object.

    *Relax, it's gonna be fine.  Open the doors, have the punch and snacks ready, and let who will come, come.*  Taking another deep breath with that resolution, he drew himself up, and walked proudly to the doors, triggering the magic that slid them open.  They would stay that way all day, and anypony, or any non-pony for that matter, who had school business, or just wanted to celebrate midsummer with the town, could come in!

     

    "Welcome, one and all, to the... um, something-th Ponyville Summer Sun Celebration!"

     

    Celestia help them all...

    • Like 5

  7. Sky closed his eyes for a moment to picture the look; Windy in her flight suit with the charm.  "I can definitely see that working.  Wouldn't take too much for me to work my own into my show get-up.  That said, I've never really had much of a signature outfit or look, I've always been focused more on sound than visuals.  Any thoughts about that?"  It was pretty much impossible for any longstanding relationship between creative artists to not be collaborative, after all.  It was a mode of thought that Sky Sailing found himself slipping into easily when he was around Wind Dancer.

     

    "I think the Fire and Ice lobby sounds good, at least the last half."  He brought up a hoof to wipe sweat from his brow; the poor stallion hadn't been in the city long enough to build up much of a heat tolerance.  That, plus his schedule was nocturnal at least half the time, so being out in the sun like this wasn't his habitual mode of being.  "I'll definitely drop by Golden Bit's office when the final presses are done; she sounds like the sort that wouldn't mind me putting in good words for my colleagues on the short-wave circuit."

     

    It was with some relief that he finally led her into the shade.  And if their luck held, well, maybe it would be worth a flutter on the tables, for there was indeed a busker taking in the shade.  A older-looking stallion, dressed like an old-time hobo, though that might have just been a part of his act.  He was playing a dulcimer with his hooves, an instrument traditionally associated with the lower-classes, but now rare enough to command attention for novelty seekers.  They were old songs, songs of the roads and rails, back before this place was anything more than a strip of street and a fever dream.


  8. The impromptu meeting was beginning to break up.  Which was fine, the ceremony was mostly done.  Unfortunately, Tiger Blood wouldn't get much time to settle in.  Truth be told, this would be the last day and night that Blueblood would spend in Canterlot for some time.  Just needed to get all the paperwork done, for the most part, before shelling out the bits to get the movers to work on what needed to be brought down.  Maids could look after the rest.  Speaking of which...

     

    "Well, I think you'd best take care of equipping yourself first, Tiger.  I can do much of the paperwork before you come back, and you'll just have to sign."  Oh Faust, was his new guard literate?  He thought so, but couldn't rightly recall.  Bringing up the question now would likely be embarrassing for the poor fellow, however.

     

    Once Tiger was sent away, The Prince turned his attention back to Niil, waiting until Tiger was safely out of sight before sticking his tongue out at his big kitty.  "[Well, the wings certainly are, I'll give you that.  But you'll have to clear anything major with the mares in my life too, you know.  Otherwise, that will bring harm on me, via relationship.]"  Not that Blue didn't think Niilavin was joking, but it never hurt to make things clear.

     

    "And now!  Sorry to have you on the move so soon after coming back, Star.  Still, Ponyville should give our new household member room to move, and generally be less restrictive of a space altogether.  We're a household that needs room to move as it is, you know?"  He laughed, opening the door to usher those who could fit back inside.  It would be a bit of a day arranging the last of the move alongside a new guard, but the day was still young.  Plenty of time to get things done, then it was off!

     

    (Last post from me; will have an "arrival at Ponyville thread" up soon)


  9. Wind's reluctance to engage with the subject of the darkness surrounding certain musicians was noted, but Sky didn't force the issue.  Truth be told, he didn't have the language to himself; he'd never been around specialist ponies who could give him the right language to understand the technical names of inner demons.  All he had was the metaphors of amateur singers he knew, which had proven to not be much help right now.

     

    As far as he was concerned, though, it was far too bright and happy of a day to let one's thoughts linger in such places!  He smiled again, admiring the look of the jewelry around Wind Dancer's wing.  "Yeah, but that probably means the chain will snap if it's put under heavy-duty work.  Don't want the charm flying into the audience stands during a show!"  He laughed a bit at that, shading his eyes against the sun.  The Las Pegasus summer was going in full swing, Celestia's sun beginning to scorch.  The glass and concrete of the city was not helping either.  "I don't there's a lot of ponies out in this; I can respect the buskers, but I don't today would be particularly good for them to be out.  I wonder if any of the casinos let them use the lobby?  Seems like it would be a good idea on days like this.  I know that sometimes is done in cities where it gets cold."


  10. "That's... not quite what I mean either."  Sky's voice was still soft, but he was growing visibly frustrated at his meaning not coming across to Wind.  "Pain isn't something they're getting out of their music or audience; it comes from their life into both of those, in hopes of finding some outlet or relief.  Which I suppose goes all the way back to the blues, but a lot of the blues I heard was about the outside world getting you down.  What I'm talking about are those whose inside world is getting them down."  He sighed, as they made their way to the exit via the gift shop.  He paused at the shelves, as if looking for some souvenir to take home, but she would be able to see his eyes staring elsewhere.

    "I've spent most of my life in the inside world.  That's where I found my music.  But my dreams are happy ones, not nightmares.  Others have pain that shows no scars, and... I just hear a lot more of that than I used to, mostly after Princess Luna's return.  I guess because we all suddenly got a public example of what can go on inside a pony's head while nopony pays attention; I suppose its a good thing that we're all more willing to listen now.  But what did we miss when we weren't looking?"

     

    With a couple of blinks, he came back to the present.  "Sorry, didn't mean to ramble on like that."  Whether it was out of embarrassment or inspiration, he ended up picking out a pair of matched wing dongles, one for each of them with a symbol of a golden record and dancing sock.  "These are just too perfect for us, aren't they?"  He said with a laugh, paying for them before going back out on the street.

    "Well... I don't really know, I hadn't planned for anything.  Usually I'm not out on the town when I find myself with spare time.  But daydreaming is a lonely activity; what do you usually do?"


  11. "Well, Fame hasn't been too unkind to me so far.  But I was thinking of some other ponies I knew on the short-range radio circuit.  Barely known outside their group, but you could tell they got little peace at night, from the music they made."  The cliche of 'tortured artist' was cliche for a reason.  It ended up being surprisingly apropos of the next exhibit after the cathedral-like chamber.  It was a corridor, with displays on both sides set up to directly contrast each other.  On the right side was a glittering display of golden records, glamour shots, and the historical accounts and artifacts of rock stardom for the next few decades after the pivotal one from the chamber before.  The left side, however, showed the darker side of the art and industry.  The trashed and trashy parties, newspaper clippings of bad acts and tragedies associated with the famous names, and the album covers of flop records.

     

    Windy was right in terms of the need to keep space tight, as the corridor had three bends, rather than being straight on.  It also stopped some 15 years before the present, with there simply being no room to add displays of similar density in recent years.  Sky couldn't help but wonder, though, if there wasn't a subtle attempt at judging the quality of recent music.  What was definitely less than subtle, however, was the prominent glass case full of bits, and the signs asking for donations to help fund an extension to the museum.  "Huh, is it over already?  I knew that city real estate was expensive, but the pictures in the brochure made it seem bigger."  He did fish for a few bits to drop in, remarking, "It's a bit of a flight up to the reservoir, but renting the cloud space is practically negligible, as they want as much cover for the reservoir as they can get.  Helps that I came in with it, though; making the cloud material that actually works for permanent structures is much cheaper in Cloudsdale than it is here."


  12. Sky smiled.  "Thanks for the vote of confidence, I do like to think myself open to whatever drifts into my mindscape.  I suppose I've been fortunate that no nightmares took up the invitation; I know some musicians who have had more than their fair share darken their mental door."  He sighed, moving in to nuzzle Wind, the thought bringing up memories of conversations with fellow artists.  The successful among their career path were lauded for fame and fortune, but there were many others who dealt with fear and famine.  Sometimes, not even success could exorcise those demons either, if the tabloid stories of eating disorders and depression among celebrities were to be believed.

     

    At leas the sock-hop exhibit brought with it brighter thoughts, including the very bright thought of how Wind Dancer would look in socks.  *I should pick up two pairs for her birthday, isn't it coming up?*  Sky Sailing made a mental note as they made their way into the next exhibit.  They were well into their way of the true Rock and Roll history, the electric guitars now being displayed alongside the amplifiers, which really were the second half to the true defining lead instrument of the genre.  The paired system really came into its own with masters of the craft like Jimmy Reignbits.  But he was but one of many masters on display, as the exhibit opened up into what could almost be called a cathedral to the peak of Rock's cultural relevance in Equestria, where it was not only the music that mattered, but the wider culture in which it was embedded.  Many an old record store owner would swear by this time period, and several were there still who remembered the concerts, the marches, the songs that spoke to a generation.

     

    In terms of composition, it was honestly a little overwhelming.  Trying to fit the Trottingham invasion, Hoofstock, and the Summer of Love and Tolerance into one room was probably too great a task for any curator.  Sky simply sat in the middle of it all, struck with wonder, and not a little bewilderment, as if he were but a young colt again.  "Wow... that's a lot to take in.  I suppose it must have been worse if you had to live through it all, but at least you could take it one day at a time, and not try to fit it all into one day and one room."


  13. Sky looked a little surprised at Windy's take on the music.  "Oh, well, I suppose some ponies do give new genres a hard time, but that isn't quite what I meant... but maybe it's just me that has a problem.  When I first heard electronica, I thought it was just my own mind messing with me.  It didn't sound like anything I'd heard before, musical or otherwise.  Living in a dreamcloud has that effect on you... though I'm not sure what my first reaction would have been if I were the sort of pony who was always awake."  They walked down the hall of pioneers into the exhibit of the first true Rock and Rollers.

     

    Besides the images, there were some prize displays, such as the first, classic electric guitar design by Fetlock Bender, used by Neighlvis Paisely on the first radio broadcast of "You ain't nothin' but a Hound Dog."  The little placards telling not only the story of the music, but the culture around it.  There was a bit hostility that had brewed up among the more uptight ponies when this music first hit major airwaves, to the point where informal bans were put in place in Canterlot.  This, in turn, led to the 'Great Curtained Sock-Hop', where the Veiled Garden tavern, in cooperation with the Bohemian club, defied high society by staging the biggest dance featuring the new music to date in Equestria.  The pictures showed a lot of young couples dancing together, clearly having a good time in socks.

    "Huh, look!  There's some testimonials here from ponies who met their special someponies at this very dance.  Music and movement... I head somepony say once that both originated from ancient tribal rituals, back before the unification, where ponies from different villages would meet and find mates.  Still happens even all those centuries later, I guess."


  14. (I'm going to assume the house they stopped in front of is the one with Norton)

    Once the tarps were in place and secured, the mustachioed griffon gave a nod of approving inspection before landing on the ground in front.  This brought him fairly close to the pair of griffons, one of which was not among any of the faces he knew.  With a smile, and a stentorian voice, he called out, "Welcome, stranger and exile, to the Imperial Restoration!"  The small crowd around him began to mutter and nudge each other, as if they expected some kind of entertaining show to ensue.  It often did, when newcomers encountered-

     

    "I am Emperor Norton Breakbeak the First, Restorer of the Imperial Seats, true heir to Griffonstone, and Lord Protector of the Nations."  The titles he assigned himself had been adjusted since his first public appearance; he used to call himself 'Lord Protector of Equestria' before some irate pony visitors had given him a piece of their minds.  "You have arrived in the middle of the palatial renovations."  He gestured back to the tarped building behind him.  "A longterm work in progress, as will be the Restoration as a whole.  But as the wise say, it is good for a nation that the old plant trees in whose branches they shall never perch."

     

    While he recognized Gillian, he can't have said to have interacted with her much.  It was fair to say that her life plans did not include him and his notions being at all relevant to her future.  Hence, he could only address her as he saw her.  "Citizen-subject, is she a relative of yours?"

    • Like 2

  15. Hearing the young fillies' excitement made Sky smile as well, though he was clearly still unused to the situation.  "You're welcome.  Maybe we'll meet again, when I'm signing that album."  He doubted it, though.  'Platinum' still felt like a pipe dream to him; sure, he could make good music, but it was pretty unique to his style.  Hitting it big, real, big, still didn't seem really in the realm of possibilities.  It probably wouldn't push through his dreamscape until it actually happened, but until then... it was a nice dream.

     

    "I wish I could have been there in the beginning, for you.  It's honestly an exciting thing, like those fillies said.  Seeing a performer make their big journey, and being there along the way."  They both entered the museum; this not being Canterlot, the museum was privately run, and therefore not free.  The fee wasn't exorbitant, though, and Sky's performances were now more than enough for him to cover both tickets.  "Never can resist the opportunity to be a gentlecolt."  He chuckled.

     

    The first exhibit wasn't about rock itself, but Rhythm and Blues; the first musical hybridization that had come with Unyasi immigrants into Equestria's Strand.  When tribal percussive patters met the Equestrian melodic tradition, that was when the magic began to happen.  From there, the lineage was clear.  "Must have been rough for the early players."  Sky remarked.  "Nopony would have known what they were doing, probably doubted it was even real when they heard it."


  16. spoiled.png.79a5adac26b4aa2af55d6279984da003.png

     

    Hm, interesting question.  Spoiled Rich didn't often visit the library, having other ponies fetch books for her.  Nonetheless, she had little problems with how Golden Oaks was managed, and couldn't really say that the new home for the Ponyville Library served her needs any less.  Still... "As far as providing reading material and research help, the library has if anything improved.  As a social hub for bibliophiles... I've heard from several fellow citizens that they still feel weird about hosting book clubs in a palace.  The rustic and welcoming architecture of Golden Oaks served a function for welcoming in ponies that, to my knowledge, has yet to be replaced.  But without the ability to clear a lot in the center of town to build a replacement building, there isn't much that can be done.  Perhaps a wing of Town Hall could be reserved for a reading room?  I understand that not all of the building is constantly in use."  Not her own pet issue, but it couldn't hurt to generate concern

     

    • Like 1

  17. Sky laughed softly at Wind Dancer's remark on theater food, banking to depart the Strip for downtown.  "I guess I'm similar, though half the time I space out and walk out of a movie with an unfinished bucket of popcorn.  I'm not sure if the Symphony has that, though; I've never seen a classical concert that had the same snacks as a theater.  Maybe wine and cheese, but that's not really the same, is it?  Of course, certain movies probably would pair better with that; I hear ponies talk about pairings of wine and food, but what of show and food pairings?  Some certainly fit more than others."

     

    This characteristically rambling thought was interrupted by the simultaneous arrival of the pair at the museum, and the interception of them by young autograph seekers.  It wasn't the first time that Wind Dancer's fans had approached her, and Sky was content to hang back in such situations.  This time, however, he himself was noticed, much to his bemusement.  "It's Sky Sailing, actually, and sure, I don't mind!"  Taking the quill after his marefriend, he gave a quick flourish of his name in their little booklets.  Once they left, he turned to her as they made their way to the museum entrance.  "So, about how long was it before ponies always got your name right?"


  18. Among all the signs of construction and commotion that dotted the old and rotting city, one of the most conspicuous surrounded an incongruous splash of color in the drab tones of Griffonstone.  Some weeks prior, the East Canyon wall had been festooned with banners emblazoned with an... interpretation of the old Imperial Crest, below which a seat had been carved out of the stone, roughly, almost as if in hasty preparation for the arrival of its occupant.  But where was the claimant to the ancient throne, the would-be restorer of Griffonstone?  Perhaps the first clue would be the shouts from underneath the roof of a nearby building, as mouldering thatch shook and rustled, muffling the sound of shouts and cu-catrses until, at last, a whole section of the roof gave way, falling to the ground in a great heap of rubbish.

     

    "Damn and Blast the hides of our ancestors!  How in the name of Tartarus can you maintain a glorious Empire while living in a fire hazard?"  The figure that emerged from the hole in the ceiling would have been remarkable and eye catching even without the straw festooning his head, wings, and various patches of staticy fur.  He was an older male griffon, who had managed to cultivate a moustache of truly awesome proportion, waxed and curled so much that not even straw could fit through the fibers.  Less immune to bethatching was his magnificent feather hat, which matched in color to what looked to be the dress uniform of the Aquellian Marines, festooned with medals, some of them genuine!

     

    "Well, never mind that, we'll have the palace properly tiled yet!"  The griff didn't seem to be one to be kept in a bad mood for long.  "In the meantime, let us have the tarps!"  Around the house, a small crowd had gathered, some to spectate, others to jeer, and a few more besides to actually help.  Not like there was any better show in town.  Whatever his Imperial Pretentions may have been, he clearly wasn't too proud to get his claws dirty, working with his few helpers to fly a tarp that matched the banners to cover the roof.  Insignia and all; any newcomers to the town would immediately have their eyes caught by the spectacle....

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  19. Sky was glad to see that Windy wasn't long in being ready, and he spread his wings to let the breezes lift him.  "I just remember what the old disk jockey I knew used to tell me, that I had to respect the classics.  I don't know if he meant Beethooven's Third when he said that; maybe it was something more ancient and primordial, but that was the oldest music that was available.  Oh, and it'll be starting around 6:30, should give us enough time between the museum and the show to eat."

     

    As the winds picked up, the two pegasi would take off, heading towards the downtown as a couple.  Sky's nerves were calmer, now, than the first days when he was in public with Wind Dancer.  The heart-pounding amazement that this was all real, and potentially being seen by all, had dissipated, leaving only a warmth of gratitude.  That was mostly thanks, so far, to the fact that no severe consequences from Windy's celebrity had hit either of them.  Hopefully, today would be no different.  Hopefully....


  20. Even now, the small peck on the cheek was enough to elicit a slight blush from Sky, the pale blue of his coat showing it quite easily.  He had at least gotten over his hesitation at returning such gestures, though the mere fact of their occurrence would probably never cease to amaze him.  "That's alright, though I think you always look lovely."  He did have a stallion's sense of looks, in that a mere couple of combs through his mane would produce a nice look, and never felt the need to go beyond that.  That is, when he didn't forget altogether and go into public with full bedhead, as Wind had seen him do more than once.  But not today.  Today he put in the effort.

     

    "I was thinking about dropping by the museum of rock and roll first, before dinner near the conservatory, and after taking the symphony that's visiting.  Not many ponies take in the Philharmonic these days, or at least not here, so I managed to get some tickets!"


  21. Above the din of morning traffic and turmoil, a stallion softly sailed over the streets.  A lone pegasi, dressed in a shirt and tie, blocked the din of the world outside with a song only he could hear.  Sky Sailing could wrap himself in a dream, even in the light of the morning sun, and awaken at will once the travel time was complete.

    That was hardly necessary these days, though.  Life had, through pure serendipity, gone up for him in a huge way.  He'd drifted into Los Pegasus in his cloud home, on the mere hope that he'd find his place as a performer.  Within the space of a month, he'd met a dear friend, perhaps more than that, in Wind Dancer, who was also instrumental in starting his live performances in the various casino venues.  These had given him a chance to not only explore his live shows and special effect ideas, but also market his home-pressed records, which would circulate his songs to the point of actually gaining wide distribution.

     

    It was like a happy dream, but so far, no cruel alarm had stolen it from him.  And today was to be yet another episode in that dream, a downtime between two performer's schedules where they could have a day to themselves... and therefore to each other.  Sky landed on the balcony of Wind Dancer's apartment, giving a knock on the glass door to the interior to announce his presence.  Being a pegasi, and a stallion-friend, gave him other valid methods of entry.


  22. spoiled.png.79a5adac26b4aa2af55d6279984da003.png

     

    Well, that situation was diffused somewhat.  "Apology accepted."  Spoiled remarked, regaining her professional cool as she patted down her mane.  Interesting that her husband's investigations hadn't turned up that little detail yet, but with that in mind, Copper's move to Ponyville made all the more sense in her mind.  He was one of a number that included Berry Punch, Lyra, BonBon, and even, as mentioned before, Princess Twilight.  Canterlotian exiles, the lot.  Much of what made Ponyville great came from their efforts, joined with the native "old families", if the Apples and the Riches could really be called that.

     

    Next question was a bit of a softball, perhaps an act by the Mayor to pour some oil over troubled waters.  An appreciated effort.  "Well, a good deal of that, more than half, would go into infrastructure upgrades.  Specifically into replacing the dirt roads with cobblestones.  Packed earth just does not stand up well to rising cart traffic; money invested now will save much work and bits in maintenance down the road."  Not to mention, make walking into town a more clean and attractive prospect to a mare like her, but no need to emphasize that.  "But with the remaining surplus, I would actually like to invest in the local art and architecture community.  Recently, our town aesthetic has grown more... eclectic over time, departing further and further from the rustic charm that first defined its identity.  While I have no desire to stand in the way of progress, I don't want to see the town I call home degenerate into a chaotic mess with no aesthetic identity in the name of growth.  Every city with a claim to greatness has its own look, and I think it's high time we knew what ours was.  I will defer to those with aesthetic judgments better than my own, but I desire for those judgments to be organic and rooted in those that live here."

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  23. 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!


  24. spoiled.png.79a5adac26b4aa2af55d6279984da003.png

     

    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."

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