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Everything posted by Ciraxis

  1. In those few hours since Squall and Applejack met at the later's apple stall, the weather have turned foul. Not that Squall was bothered by it. Befitting his name, he rather enjoyed the dark clouds, buffeting wind and sound of rumbling thunder coming from over the nearby Everfree Forest. Being in good mood, he hummed to himself the melody of one of his favorite symphonies, while the gift basket he brought levitated next to him. "If only a rain would come with that. This scorcher lasted far too long." Swift mused as he entered the Sweet Apple Arces grounds. For all his travels - to Ponyville, around Equestria and even beyond realm borders- this was a first time he was in 'Honest to Aeather' orchard. Ranches? Yes. Farms? Absolutely! Orchards? Well, about time he checked out that one. As such noblepony made curious glances left and right, taking mental noted and making comprehensions to places he visited before. After all this was a new experience, and Count Squallcoast was always hungry for new experiences. Finally he passed through small archway in the fence just before the house. That's odd. Twilight - because of course he sough Sparkle counsel before this visit - mentioned that upper part of the door were usually open, bad weather or not. Unless no one was inside that is. "Certainly she didn't forgot.....?" Squall turned around shoot a question to a surrounding space, but predictably, it didn't rewarded him with an answer. Squall again faced the door, and rose his hoof to knock, but hesitated. Instead he respectfully touched the house entrance. The multiple layers of old pain he could see. Numerous scratches around the keyhole, the signs of wear on stone pathway made by a thousands of hoofsteps. This place was old. And yet no signs of crock or rust, the latest paint layer no older then a year, and everything was clean. This told him a lot. Yes, this place was old, but was cared for, loved. Swift smiled slightly. Honestly he should expect nothing less. This time he didn't pause. Noblepony knocked at the door a few times, but the silence was all he could hear. Swift waited for two minutes before knocking again, this time stronger - yet the result was very much the same. "......Are they out because of weather....?" swordstallion guessed. For Squall, physical effort was always a welcomed way to spent his time. Yet he had to admit to himself, he had little idea how it could be applied at the farm. Was this weather necessitated actions to protect the crops, explaining Applejacks and her family absence? There was only one way to find out. "Perhaps I could lent a hoof..." he murmured at he directed his steps deeper into orchard grounds in search for a hat bearing mare.
  2. "Hmphh....I wonder if you ever find question you can't answer." he pondered before deciding to drop the topic for now. "The question is what broke the seal. Certainly not some sinking of dirt and rocks mixed with water, I refuse to believe Mycus didn't foreseen that. Especially since his time didn't had an unified weather control as it is today, to prevent that sort of thing." Squall pointed out. All the questions about reason of that phenomenon had to take a backseat in the face of very discouraging, even explosive evaluation done by Twilight. ".........I think I prefer to have Everfree 2 spontaneously sprouting around us." he answered in deadpan tone. Right, another location in danger of exploding. For Swift it seemed like a rerun of that one adventure in Unyasi.... "....At least there is no lava this time around. Or insane cultists...." he mused aloud as he begun to lead Purple Princess to where his staff kept more unusual equipment in. ".......In regards to your question - I actually have three....." he said while opening the massive container. What Princess witnessed was perhaps the most expensive collection of gadgetry in Equestria. "Oh don't give me that look. I am sitting on 57 billion bits Sparkle, and that's only counting liquid assets." he commented while rummaging through gathering of magical gizmos. That took several minutes. "...THERE we go...." noblepony finally exlaimed while he laid two Aetherage Slippers on the table. "We may as well take additional one, just in case. And speaking of precautions...." Squall took another quick look at the report they received earlier. "I am worried how high aeather saturation supposedly is down there. Don't get me wrong, I have full faith in you spellcraft Miss Twilight, protective or otherwise. However if something goes wrong, you alicorn physiology will allow you to shrug aeather pressure...at least for a while. I on the other hoof am but an unicorn, and for all that we know, Mycus could kept something with properties of Chrysalis's throne in his lab. Thankfully I have something that will act as additional layer of protection..." he mused as he walked to what was a circular metal container..... The metallic casket opened at stallion's touch, to unveil a suit of full body armor - a very advenced, high tech armor judging from it's looks. What followed was a lengthy rundown made by the Swift. "This is something that Bevel and Zelda cooperated to make, the XA Suit. Flexible enchanted adamantite plates overlay a liquid crystal from the Crystal Empire with sungold particles and powdered Whitescar wood added in. Underneath that is moonsliver dipped tri-weave mesh made from Laval Moth silk. The crystalline layer absorb all unwelcome aeather which also power's up suit's enchantments and any additional equipment I decide to bring with it, thanks to modular construction. The liquid also harden in response to impact granting unrivaled shock absorption without limiting mobility. Not only that, but in unlikely case the adamantite will be pierced the liquid fully crystallizes around the wound to stop the bleeding, while moonsliver acts as the dis-infectious and antivenom dressing. The metal parts are each enchanted individually, with strength increasing spells and were submerged in alchemical formulas to enhance their durability without adding weight. The muzzle-plates act as the filters to all harmful gaseous substances, and dragon jade lenses...." Squall could kept talking about capabilities of this armor, but meaningful look from purple mare made him pause in his tracks. "R-Right. I guess you get the idea. So ummm, feel free to take anything else you could judge as helpful..." swordstallion added while waving his hoof at he container insides. "On the house."
  3. I myself may offer my main - Swift Squall. Squall is a Count of Fillydelphia and one of the descendants of Princess Platinum, but he is far from idle noble. Ex-solider, former mercenary, billionaire, philanthropist, globetrotter and adventurer - if a job required the use of the sword he certainly did it in the past. He is also very business savvy, being one of richest beings in the world making him a right pony to go for economic advice. He has taken about himself to better the lot of ponies of Equestria, both through his business expansion - to propel economy if his homeland thus improving nations welfare - but also as an agent of EPIC - a organization answerable only to four Princesses that deals with threats both internal and external. Swift takes his responsibilities seriously, but also has unquenchable thirst of adventure and thrills - this he is always on lookout for excuse good enough to pack his sword and jump into yet another quest. Here is his application, but warning, it's a quite wall of text.
  4. I was counting on both of you being in this . Welcome aboard.
  5. If you though to visit the island nation of the Far East, you couldn't choose a better time! The Neighponeese Shogunate celebrates the yearly cherry trees blossom, but also it's 5th century of existence, which mean fairs, celebration and - for those in the know - opportunity. Many different characters rally to the event, each of them with reasons for their presence. Will this trouble be opposition? Competition? Or both? Sides involved: Aria Ami - The newly christened lovely duo of Platinum Gem AKA Prince Blueblood and Ossia di Nerezza as the villainous protagonists. After Ossia's latest stunt in the center of Manhattan, she managed to convince Blueblood to skip country to wait out the uproar. And what's better place them celebrating Neighpon? A land where magical relics old and new are for the grabbing. Supposedly. The Titanic Tobohime! - For the young Yo-Kajiu this will be most likely her first big public appearance since she was gifted with ability of miniaturizing herself and capable of equine speech. Will she able to prove herself, or will the festive novelties prove to distracting? The Courageous Kaminari - The Shogunate anniversary is not a reason to stop being vigilant. Sanda know this, keeping a watchful eye over upcoming events. But can she spring into action, when things even she couldn't see coming arise?
  6. Ciraxis


    From the album: Memes

  7. Ciraxis


  8. That newest thread......hmmm....


  9. Twilight make quick work of Beronccolo, so much that he didn't had to interrupt. So he didn't , instead opting to wait before Roam official was away from the earshot. "......I just can't muster myself to like him you know Sparkle. That selfishness of his and...." Swift paused as he walked past the purple alicorn "...we had a talk resolving around this last night didn't we? What's the difference between the Beronccolo and Pathfinder then? Hear earnest, infectious joy from doing what does? Her honesty in her commitment to it.....?" Squall asked, as much himself as his companion before pausing again,, this time for longer. "......Sorry. I usually not hang-up on one topic like this. That it hardly a place to do so...." noblepony apologized for his poor timing before leading the way towards...... "........you know, now that I said it out loud...it sounded better in my head. Not like a title of flick of a certain kind." Squall mused to Twilight, now that they were standing on the edge of the giant sinkhole, big enough to swallow Crystaller Building whole. "Did anything new came up while we were still getting here?" he asked, turning towards couple of TEMPEST employees that were bustling around aetherical measuring devices. In response to the question, a bookish looking mare trotted towards the pair. She shot the Princess a quick look and blushed fiercely before focusing her attentionon her boss. "A-Actually I have a ton of new data Sir! We still s-s-sieving through it, but this is what we got so far." she said before hoofing the Squall a printout a hurrying away, his face still furiously crimson. "Thank you Vanilla. Somepony has a fan." Swift thanked the bespecteled mare before teasing royal one. The business-stallion then turned his gaze at the document. As he did this his amused smile slowly disappeared to be replaced by a troubled frown. He was no specialist on obscure wizardry or alchemy - a reason he asked Twilight for help in a first place - but he had enough experience with sorcery, curses and enchantments to have broad idea what they were against. He quickly gave Sparkle the document so she could have a look herself. "This...this is problematic. I only once saw something like this - in ancient tomb at Pharaoh's Vale - and it wasn't as vitriolic as this. Whatever Mycus was doing down there, it made and artificial lay-line, and now it's bleeding out now that the cork was pulled. If we don't deal with this, Roam can have a new Everfree at it's doorstep. From where in Tartarus he got all of that excess aeather from?!" Swift spoke aloud the question both of them were having. "We will need some very special equipment for this." he added.
  10. -SUBMITTED FOR JUDGING- "Hmmmm...." a baritone mutter could be heard as a certain latecomer approached the competition area. "...I suppose this can be as good way as any to judge fruitfulness of my training...." Swift Squall - for it was him - mumbled to himself. Disappearing for three whole months, leaving only the most bare-bones of instructions the noblepony embarked to places unknown, once again propelled by desire to surpass his chosen rival, Sigrun Askr. What kind of hellish exercises he gone through was a mystery, but a tattered clothing, band aid on his cheek and disheveled looks could give those who knew him well some ideas. "......I guess it would be unfair to attempt this while geared...." Squall mused while he to approached the rope. And so a pair of sheathed longswords hit the ground. Followed by six spellsabers, four daggers, dozen of chakrams, three dozen of throwing knives, two small thwoing axes, kusari-gama, collapsible spear.... The eyes of both rope pulling team on other side of mud pit and the referee has steadily gone wider and wider as the pile of weaponry grew to one that could supply the armed assault on Canterlot Castle. After a while , sword-stallion managed to empty the armory in his pockets and proceeded to flung away his longcoat....which in itself landed with ground sinking 'THUD'. "Alright then...I am up." the stallion said as he put the rope between his legs in specific way. It was a trick that Squall learned back in his pirate-hunting days, when he often wrestled with buntline on his lonesome - a grip with optimal amount of pulling power while making minimal strain. But this was not the main reason why he risked abrasions by allowing the rope to hug him so tightly..... "Hwooooooo........" Swift audibly expelled air from his lungs as a ref pony managed to get himself together "Errr..R-Right. Next Contestant Swift Squall!" "Haaaaaa......" the orange stallion took a breath depth, apparently unfocused on everything but his own breathing. "....3...!" "Hoooooooooo........" exhale. "....2...!" "Haaaaaaaa......" inhale. Those with an eagle like sight could see that the end of the rope that Swift was holding started to vibrate, with the wave moving toward the trio on the other side. "....1...!?" Now even referee could see what was happening and he gave the assisting unicorn mare a quick look. A confused shrug was all he got as an answer. Whatever the noblepony was doing, it wasn't magic. "...BEGIN!" At this point a sharp yank from the three ponies should ensue. Instead what happened was disorganized pull, that failed to do the job. Somehow, by imparting the rope with a rhythm through his breathing technique, Swift was able to disturb the rhythm of his opponents. Apparently however it took all of noblponyy attention. Through he dug his heels, and locked his joints, he didn't appeared to make any pulls himself. Even his eyes were closed! What followed was truly bizarre spectacle, where three ponies pulled in disorganized matter against a stallion that provided "no resistance". For Swift, the real struggle was emptying his head from unnecessary thoughts as he focused on his breathing. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale..... I wonder..... Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale..... She must be mad at me...... Inhale, exhale ,inhale,exhale..... I should at least write..... The weird vibrations that the rope was going seemed to lessen. The Rope pullers clearly felt it too, as their tugs become more organized, more well-oiled.... The Squall realized that too, but the opposing team pulls interfered with his inhales, and his attempts to calm himself backfired as unicorn's thoughts Wandered towards the wedding.... Just like that Swifts breathing rhythm was broken. SPLOSH! Business-stallion was at last dragged into the mud with a final sharp yank. The noblepolny was submerged whole, lingering in the mud for few seconds before emerging. It was clear he wasn't all pleased with his performance. "I messed up." Squall thought as he cleaned himself with the quick spell. It seemed that he still had a while to go before he perfects the skills he learned during this three months....
  11. "House staff? Yes, I can see a reason in this. As long as their loyalty lays in more than a paycheck, and with you doing some background checks when hiring." Ossia replied, with an emphasis on certain words to give Blueblood something else to ponder on. "Also....be more mindful which Aquelian idioms you borrow. We don't have thumbs." Ossia could only smirk when Blue tried to predict this Bravo fellow's actions. "Ufufufu...how ironic - some would say that he is an unwanted intrusion here. And if it's his family he seeks to reach out, then his task will be difficult one indeed." pink alicorn mused. After all if she - with all her alicorn powers and skills - had so much trouble with reaching this world, what chances had this soldier stallion from a dying world? "........???" Ossia could only rise a confused eyebrow at Prince's when he succeeded at whiplashing a mood. However, instead of outright disdain like she displayed when the dragon did similar thing, it only incurred a giggle from the alicorn. "I guess I walked into this one. But if this comes to age you don't have to worry. I am a best kind of mare. Experienced but forever fresh. And like fine wine I just keep getting better with passage of yours. Yet another thing that makes me superior to your cousin - because for all her power she is still mortal." she explained. When seeing, hearing Blueblood pledging himself to her goals, Ossia's face turned positively radiant. "........I am happy. I am so happy to finally see.....someone who has a sound mind to rise beyond the ignorant ponykind, to grasp what is turly good for them. Right now you took first step to surpass your alternate selves not just in spirit but in deeds. The first step over realizing Love ,shining over the World, over all Worlds...no, not that either.....The Love Over Heaven." Ossia paused for a moment, to give the moment the proper weight it deserved for....before waving her hoof, making the whole illusionary void shatter like a dome of glass. "Our journey begins now..."
  12. My break lasted long enough. Jumping into The Pavilon later this day.

  13. Ossia tilted her head in amusement upon hearing yet more robo-speak coming from the cyborg. Did that mare had any thoughts of her own left? "Good brand representation, but can't trash talk." alicorn mused before giving Lightning a menacing look "Still you got hurricane part right, because I will rock you like one. Ufufufu...Ahahahahaha!" she giggled as she rushed forward herself. As LDEL6370 dodged the aeathers discus and proceeded to rain of magical bullets on Ossia, alicorn returned the favour with gusto, although in much more varied fashion - lightning bolts, flame chakrams, screaming shadowy skulls and acid arrows - di Nerezza bag of tricks was deep indeed. But none was as sharp as her tongue.... "So, what's your story Tin Mare?" she asked while dodging yet another salvo with a barrel roll. "The one behind you being turned into a half of a washing machine. Did Big Bad Corporation did Miss Junkyard wrong, and you joined the rival one to get even?" Nerezza 'asked' in condescending tone. "Or did mommy and daddy were shot in the dark alley, with your state being a way of extracting vengeance on all criminals big and small? Victim of horrible accident perhaps? Give me some ideas Tin Mare!" Ossia further antagonized the mare as the dived down, continuing their high speed dog-fight among the park's surviving foliage. "SCOPPIARE!" pink mare suddenly cried out, her horn shining brightly, with powerful explosion of aether ripping through the air, knocking down and charring even more trees. Lightning themself apparently had enough sense to dodge the initial burst and rise her protecting shield, but the shock-wave still send her tumbling into the sky..... Before she was send down by Ossia that is. The alicorn appeared next to the cyborg with a familiar flash of the teleportation, flashed a malicious smirk and delivering a spin kick that made turquoise mare crash into the ground....Straight into waiting, dark tendrils that Hexxer invoked. "Such a sensible mare, it appears you grey matter is better preserved then I thought....." Ossia praised dullahan mare in roundabout way, while still smuggling some stealth insult. "Normally I would rip a wings from such butterfly for a little while longer, but that wound in this worlds reality that she made urgently needs closing. Hold her for a while like good martyr should." she added while surrounding herself in her magical aura. Nerezza's horn glowed brightly as she started incantation of powerful spell..... "Frammenti del cielo si riuniscono per dispensare un'ira esaltata....!" she murmured as twelve spears of crimson lightning coalesce from pure aeather above headless mare and the cyborg. "Trasforma i miei nemici in cenere. Rabbia di......!" Suddenly Ossia's eyes squinted, as she turned around in air..... Just as the last word of the spell escaped her lips. ".....Fulmine....." Electricals projectiles, instead of striking straight down, instead flew into direction of Nerezza's gaze. Three of them flew over the park and crashed into skyscrapers bordering it with a strength of the cruise missiles, doing a catastrophic damage. One fell into parks water reserviour, exploding into column of water, but most scarred the miserable remains of the park, further likening it to the battlefield that it became. And one of the lightning strikes hit close enough to the particular bush that it caught on fire. Ossia wasn't all that thrilled by all the devastation she caused. Those ponies and non-ponies in those buildings did nothing to deserve her ire. "........That. Was. Pointless." she said with emphasis, her face a stone mask, but her grey eyes showing how infuriated she was. For a moment she forgot about LDEL6370 and a Gan Ceann mare that did her best to bind her. Pink mare's gaze turned downwards, at the ground obstructed by dust and smoke. "I hope you pleased with yourself gnat. Now, come out so I can twist you inside out." Ossia said, quickly putting blame on her mistake on sompony else. With this she started to scorch the already abused earth with powerful magical rays to force Kyūkei out of hiding.
  14. Aaaaand of course only now I realized that I missed my Centerversary it's just so......Me.

    1. tacobob


      Boo. Well there's always next year.

    2. SteelEagle


      Well, happy late Canterversary anyway!

  15. "This lot that I faced, shouldn't be called alicorns really, I did only due to lack of better term. They were bootleg versions, made by somepony...or something that only heard about genuine articles, an attempt of emulating, one that slapped horns and wings and bit more power then common pony has and called it a day. Even your aunts are more qualified than those...parodies were." Ossia further explained, with disgust in her voice clearly discernible. "At the same time, you are not wrong Prince. You and Me - as perfect combination as it is - won't get far if opposition is as strong as I suspect. We need allies, that is clear. But we have to be picky. For example madponies and other maniacs are simply unreliable, no matter what amount of power they hold. So are mercenaries, who are ready to turn on their employees at the sound of heavier sack of bits dropping. No, we need those who act for the cause, but a cause that wouldn't contradict our goals." pink alicorn mused, as much to herself as to the stallion. "Hmmm...." the winged mare murmured when Blueblood once again mentioned the other, dimensional traveller. This gave her an idea.... "And where this...Bravo is now Prince?" she asked. Ossia only smirked when Blueblood expressed her surprise at her age. But instead of answering his in straight way, Ossia did what often ponies did, while mysterious cloaked figures appeared, almost indistinguishable from the dark background....Figures that started to assist Ossia with their melodious chanting..... Oh Prince, Born and Raised Know that I am experienced mare Of skills of mine I am justly proud (Gloriae cupiditate!) Oh Prince Born and Raised Know that I much wiser then This clueless blind ignorant crowd! (Amor vincit omnia!) So tell me Platinas Why is love in world so rare? Cry of empty hearts scorching my soul! (Praeposterum!) I see it, I feel it The world that is much more fair So why the love is not in it's control? (Factum est utandi!) This fire Love's fire This radiance from within! This burning Desire It's time for it to win! At those words the 'chorus' robes turned passionate red, with them towering on both left an right, like a a honor guard of sorts. Di Nerezza started to fly back and forth, like a tiger trapped in the cage. It is their fault! (Aeternum!) It's them to blame! The foolish sisters Dousing desires flame! (Semper in aeternum!) But I have plan! (Aeternum!) They will feel woe! (Aeternum!) Those who will try For love to lose once more! (Ultimum aeternum!) So join me, Platinas! Halting turns of this unjust wheel Let flames of love ignite your soul! Rebel against Sisters! And let them taste very well How's it's to be one helpless and alone! (Amor vincit omnia!) This fire Love's fire Now Blueblood, it's your turn! Choose me and build pyre Let's make old order burn! (Ossia Eleison) Love have mercy on world (Ossia Eleison!) Love have mercy on them (OSSIA ELESION!) They will bow to us Or they, will, BUUUUUUUUUUURN!
  16. "We would have to access medical records of every hospital in Roam, and even those go so far back. Perhaps Archives of Biblioteca Gloria Augusta could shed some light..." Squall said before stopping, realizing he got carried away by Princess enthusiasm. "Well maybe after we search the site, and if our appraisal proves inconclusive." he added. Swift couldn't help by Twilight dismissal of his prior occupation. As such his following words were said in much colder tone, the prior one, even if they were still respectful. "We are, the difference is I used to do what she still does. And so I understand her while you....don't." he glanced at the Princess and she could see fire in his eyes. "Pathfinder and I are cut from the same cloth, even if tailor is different. We may stay at home, but sooner or later a howl in our hearts calls us. And so we go, seeking new experiences, new adventures, new horizons. There are many ponies and beings like us, some do it for glory, some for a challenge, and others for sheer thrill of it. We don't die in our beds." he explained with fiery passion. "Dismiss what she does as silly, or as vandalism or whatever Miss Sparkle, but if not for restless spirits like ours that dare to leap in unknown, we still would live in caves and smash each other heads with clubs." Swift said with conviction. Moment's later he slumped on his seat with depressed expression however, as he often did. "I love my Fire, more than anything. And I know she's tired and just wishes for some stability. But sometimes I miss that burning look in her eyes, when she would jump into adventure without second thought, just so she could have another amazing story to tell at the bar." noblpony confessed. "Is it wrong for me to think such way?" he asked. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * By the afternoon of the day 'Découverte' and it's passengers were already over the rolling hills of Itaily. Vineyards and ancient ruins passed below them, while the sparkling of the sea already lit the horizon. "We are almost there....." Squall said as he emerged from his cabin. A little rest - short as it was- rejuvenated him, and no swordpony looked much better, hsi step firmer and his gaze sharper. "By now my employees must have finished construction of the survey camp." he mused to the purple alicorn. "Again, don't worry if you forgot something in hurry Miss Sparkle. The equipment they brought with them should prove more then satisfactory if you need it." Squall reassured his royal companion. Soon enough he was proven correct. Situated around a large 'sinkhole' was something that could only be be compared to a military base. How TEMPEST managed to this just overnight was...well, a trade secret. The signals from the sky-control tower soon directed them to land along with dozne other airships. No doubt it was them that brought all of those materials and equipment. "And here we are. Hmmm?" he murmured while they departed. Almost immediately some corpulent stallion, surrounded by what looked bunch of clerks begun approaching their landing site. "Oh, this is going to be good." "Count Squallcoast this is outragous!" Mayor Beronccolo wasted no time in laying his complaints with thick Itailian accent. "This land is under Roam's jurisdiction! I ask, no DEMAND that you and your employees end this unsanctioned occupation.....!" "I have my sanctionist right here Mayor." Swift said while stepping aside to reveal his companion "....Right noftfhwyspp--Princess...Y-Y-You Highness..." other stallion eyes opened wide upon seeing WHO Squallcoast brought with him.
  17. "More or less..." Ossia said. The things were more complicated than that, but since it made no difference, the time spent on explanation would be wasted. "I know of the world you speak of...." pink alicorn said and waved her hoof to the right. A green marble flew into a view before growing into a huge circular window, giving Blueblood a 'pleasure' of seeing Castle Bravo's home timeline with his own eyes. ".....ravaged by balefire bombs, and poisoned by experiments gone wrong, this dimension is haunted by innumerable horrors. It remains to seen if it recovers or truly becomes tomb-world." she described before turning her head at Blueblood. "In short, a poor choice for vacation spot. Half star out of five. Wouldn't visit again." di Nerezza callously 'summed up', inadvertently revealing that her hooves touched the soil of this dimension. "The most ridiculous thing I seen there were local 'alicorns'....or rather bootleg versions. And mass produced one's at that. They were very confused why the couldn't 'feel me in Us', and even more so when I steamrollered them." she added with some clear pleasure in her voice. "Ahhh see, but there is a big difference between that Blueblood and You. Or rather many, many other Bluebloods and You. Most of them, if they ever took to fighting was due to circumstances, peer pressure, expectations of others....." Ossia explained "...You on other hoof, took to action on your own. Your sucess rate doesn't matter, the very fact that you took initiative, decided to not be idle by your own free will is what makes You superior to most of your counterparts." Ossia said, doing her best to build up Prince's confidence.... "But remember, if not careful, You can repeat their failings still. You have unique opportunity to learn from mistakes of your counterparts them because of my presence. Don't waste it."...without making him too arrogant that is. When Blueblood asked his mentor about her home dimension, he could see her frreeze. For a moment, a hint of pain and fury flashed in her grey eyes before she recomposed herself. Whatever she experienced in her reality that made her what she was, it wasn't a pleasant to remember. "My world? By now probably dead. And....." her gaze turned towards Prince. "I am NOT Cadance...." she said interestedly, yet without anger. "I may look like her, sound liker her, be alicorn of love like her....but.....I am not her. My existence is because of a desperate gamble take by a desperate mare, end that I taken to wandering realities is due to pure dumb luck as well." she said, while the look she gave the unicorn stallion made it clear that he shouldn't press for more details, at least for now. Di Nerezza paused for a moment before proceeding to answer the later of royal pony questions. "You deduced correctly Your Highness. This is actually a fourth time I entered your world." she explained. "You must know that for some reason, your reality is much more difficult to enter than others. If I have to guess it has some kind of Guardians or Watchers present that maintain the shield around it, although I wasn't able to confirm it due to my previous visits being very brief." Ossia said. "It usually takes some weakening of that barrier from your side, for beings like me to breach it. The first time I managed was by pure accident, I wasn't really seeking any specific world...." Ossia paused for a moment, unsure if she should continue. But so far her stay with Blueblood was one pleasnt surprise after another. It wouldn't hurt to reward him with another tidbit of trust, right?. "....Even for me entering new reality is...taxing. Unless I preparations before-hoof, it's a risky endeavour. It leaves me weakened, like fish needing to acclimate when moved from old aquarium to the new one." Nerzza revealed. "Your timeline is very difficult in that regard as well. When I first arrived to your world it was like diving into waters of an arctic sea....and yet at the same time a felt mightier then I was ever before." pink alicorn said before focusing on Blueblood again. "Alicorn's...the true alicorns that is, are mighty regardless of universe, but in yours...something in yours make them mightier still." she explained before flashing an audacious smile. "...Not that is helped me first time before. Still confused and trying to sot things out, I was jumped by a group of five...or rather Avalon Five as the called themselves. I believe it was their experiment of sorts that allowed me to go in. I guess they were searching to enter some nasty place, because they mistaken me for some fiend, and they wasted no time in 'showing me the door'." Ossia explained her encounter with legendary - and now half retired, half dead - superhero group. "Of course once I recovered I tried to return immediately. I had to understand this phenomenon, study it..see if it can be...replicated in other words. But I found the entry barred. Someone or something had founded distortion in the barrier. I had no choice but to wait, while I tended to other issues. So I placed an arcane ward and waited......" she paused for dramatic effect.... "....For 126 years. At least from my perspective. And when next opportunity occurred I took it right away. But it wasn't Avalon Five that gave me the trouble during my second visit. It was Hopesguard."she repeated the name of her enemy, with clear disdain in her voice. "Our very first encounter....."
  18. Posts will resume tomorrow. Stay tuned!

  19. "Nopony who wants power for power's sake is fit to wield it." Squall mused, along with the acknowledging nod when Twilight revealed that she herself was far from fond of politics. "That's.....good.....Good that we don't have to worry about it. I just hope that Roam will get a competent mayor for a change once his term is over." he added. "History tends to repeat itself, but when it comes to this city, it's wheel need to be replaced." "Fruitless or not, we can cheat entropy for more precious time to explore Mycus's lab if we ever need it. And I recall, a pony with 'passing' knowledge' is standing next to me. If anything you are overqualified." noblepony pointed out before pausing. "Although......if Mycus himself could stave off his own aging for so long, how we can say if he didn't found a way to do the same for his sorcery?" he asked. Squall could only roll his eyes when Sparkle nitpicked his choice of words. "But you DID study those disciplines, did you?" he asked on reflex before dismissing the subject with wave of the hoof. "Nevermind, have it your way Princess Thesaurus." stallion conceded while borrowing one of MANY nicknames that Pathfinder gave to the purple mare. "I am quite familiar with tomb raiding myself. Used to have a few scars to proved it before Fire pressed me to get rid off them." he added. While physically gone without trace, he still had phantom pains form a wounds long gone, especially on his back. When they boarded the ship, and Annurca left to the vessel's bridge, Squall leaned towards Sparkle and whispered to her ear. "Just don't mention Applejack when near her. She doesn't like to be compared to her cousin. Also mentioning REA higher command is another Big No." he warned Twilight. Apparently his subordinate was very touchy when it came to those subjects. Squall gave yet another affirmative nod. "I kept sending her various materials, end eventually she found much better atherical conductor. I think she remedied the leakage too, although if you want details you have to press Bevel herself. On our part, we worked on how we could make more efficient battery. Neighponese golemmu and their power cores were very...educational in that regard. After some search we found manufacturer who was more willing than others to part with their trade secrets, so we could improve on them." unicorn explained.
  20. "Well then, perpetrators of this 'inside job' should start worrying about keeping in their own insides." Ossia said threateningly. Pink aliocorn gazed for a moment at Blueblood after he made his question. This was going to get complicated.... "Think of me as a possibility Your Highness. A 'Mare that Could Be' throught the circumstance that couldn't happen in the world." Nerezza explained. She made a long pause, to give the unicorn stallion time to digest what she said. But upon seeing that he didn't really followed her subtle words, pink alicorn opted for a more 'blunt' presentation. "Blueblood, what you think of as reality ...." she started while she stood up, and surrounded herself with magical aura. "....is One of innumerable amount of Worlds." Ossia said while her spell 'ripped' the said 'reality' apart, to replace it with endless black void, leaving only two of them and bed they were on, in it. Of course it was only a very convincing illusion that Ossia conjured to help with her presentation. One learned better when she or he could absorb with eyes, along with the ears. "And I don't mean a worlds like those floating near the faraway starts, hosting alien life, like your aunts for example. I bet you wondered more then few times. 'What if I have gone left?' , 'How lucky I didn't ate that!' or 'Maybe I really should have gone to that interview.' " she said while raising into the air with a flap of her wings "But here's the thing Prince, you did. All of those decisions you could make...you made. Or rather, of of your other You did. There is You that did gone left, one that perished from the fatal food poisoning, and one that changed his life through the evening talk-show." Ossia revealed with an enigmatic smile. Only now Blueblood could see that the vast dark is not as empty as it seemed. It was filled with countless marbles. most of the blue, but here or there he could witness greens, purples and oranges. And yes even black ones. Those last somehow seemed much more dreadful then others. "Life...or rather sentience does funny things with time. If one could think about time as a river, then every decision an individual makes could be likened to digging irrigation ditch. Except the act spawns and whole new river from the old one that is." Nerezza continued her lecture as they sailed through the 'void'. "Of course not all decision is equal. Time doesn't like to be split, and will fight tooth and hooftip to solidify itself again. Just as badly dug furrow can be muddied up with time, the alternate timeline that spawn from each decision will collapse or merge back into the parent one when the water stops flowing. The currency in this case are lives, or rather how much of them your decision affects. A stallion deciding his breakfast would not force change, but a, say, kingslayer will." Ossia said. "And, if the action brings ripple big enough, the new timeline gets strong enough, that it starts to stand on it's own. And with time, it's starts to bear it's own, children realities. A never, ending delta." alicorn grinned. "And branching enough times will bring you to a possibilities and worlds that you would deem impossible. And I..." Ossia touched the amulet that was hanging from her neck. "...I am a mare that walks from one of those 'Could Be' to another. And now I came to this one. And I found You." she finished while gazing intensively at the royal pony.
  21. "Not just Twilight, Pathfinder. If this plan is to pass, we need to secure the support of at least one other Princess. Perhaps we can have Twilight convince Candace?" he mused. "I am also not naive. Not all nation will be hot on supporting such initiative. Aquelia is watching us with with a suspicious eyes since we got closer with Griffonstone. And Maretonia city states will probably try to use us as a means to one up each other. Neighpon is also facing a political struggle since it's Shogun has gone missing. We have to go to one's that we have good relations first, and through partnership with them show that such initiative can work" Squall pointed out to gathered mare. Of course for all of noblepony logic, he was once again left flabbergasted by Pathfinder's antics. "Why do you even have an intel like that?! If somepony caught you aboard with this, you could be accused of being a spy!" unicorn said in astonishment, before quickly regaining composure. Before he could comment on the possibly EPIC candidature that winged mare brought up, Rose came up one of her own. And while both brought some challenges when it came to recruiting them, the potential benefits that those two could bring greatly outweighed them. There was just one small thing.... "Hold on, I just a pony that came with an idea how to reform our group. I am not a leader, Dexter Silverbeak is." Swift pointed out to gathered mares. "Which brings me to next issue. I....I don't think he should be one. For one, I always had a feeling he's treating it more as a job, not a calling. Second he has very condensing attitude towards everyone - although perhaps it's not I that should call him out on this. Third, he was way to passive when it comes to our operations, way too reactive. And fourth....." Squall paused, it was hard to of accusing anyone of something, especially without the proof and without them being present. ".....Fourth, I don't believe he would place good of the world over good of Aquelia." he said before turning around and walking towards window once more. ".....At this point I don't think we should have a one leader, period. Each of us has some different ideas of what's right and wrong, and while they more overlie on each other then they don't, there is certain that sooner or later will come the issue that will start frictions. Perhaps a rotating council of EPIC members is in order...." swordpony mused. It was than when Fire decided to remind of herself. Despite her patience, it was clear that she was worn out from her duties, and -as she reminded them - she will have to be up by daybreak to tend to them tomorrow as well. "Thank you Dear. And thank you for being some patient with my antics. I will join you as soon as I can." he said. Squallcoast's were lot of things, but never quitters, and stallion was not giving up on extending his noble house so easily. "Let's see...how about spare key to your bedroom here?" he said when his fiancee asked if they needed 'anything'. "Sleep well Love..." he returned crimson pegasus kiss with a smooch of his own before returning his attention to two other mare. "Both of the po....errr beings you brought up are excellent picks. As your colleague I don't see why would we shouldn't attempt to sway them both to our side." he complimented Rubble and Pathfinder. "That said, one of them will have to wait for now. Rose, you said this yokai works at Miss Applejack farm at the moment?" Squall 'asked' for confirmation before heading towards the staircase leading below. Seeing that neither of them was following him he turned around. "What? This is not far away at all. We should make hay while the sun shines." he pointed out. The time of being reactive was over.
  22. <Cracks neck> Alright, back in business.

  23. "Thank you." Squall said gratefully when Twilight offered to take the political burden on herself. "I myself know how to play this 'game' but I take no joy from it. I guess it makes me an odd kind of noble, isn't it?" he asked. "..........Not for a while you say. Does that means that somepony could brute-force thought the spell-fields after a while? And this aeather decay....if the sunlight is the cause, can we stop it by blocking further exposure to sunlight? Casing Reldar's Looming Shadow, Sphaera Tenebrae, Shield of Winter's Night or.....setting a giant tent over the shaft?" Squall inquired. Twilight joked about how obscure some of the information she gathered was. Swift however, didn't found anything funny about it. "There is no such thing as 'useless knowledge'. Only poorly utilized." he commented. Unicorn nodded in agreement on Princesses comment about Gear's inventive skill. "Creative she is, although I wish half of the things she make wouldn't roar like thunder. Thunder....." he repeated before giggling against himself as the boarding ramp extended down from still airborne vessel. The insides of the aircraft were surprisingly quiet despite of the noise that the engines were making outside. There also shown that while it's owner was not above the luxuries that his fortunes brought, the practical uses were far more important than that. The pair were welcomed by spectacle wearing earth pony mare in uniform resembling a military one. There was something familiar about her.... "Welcome back Sir. And Welcome Princes Twilight aboard 'Découverte'. Please enjoy yourself during voyage." she said before raising an eyebrow at the poor state Squall was in. "Long day, Sir?" the mare asked. "Make that two. I will take a leave after this. Take a trip to Saddle Arabia with Moto...." he answered before realizing that he wasn't alone. "Miss Sparkle, this is Alexandrite Annurca. One of most trusted and competent ponies under my employ."
  24. "Well then, maybe next time I will show you that I am able to bring the very best from the mares too. You wouldn't mind, do you? I guarantee, it's an unforgettable experience" Ossia whispered avidly into Blueblood's ear. Ossia tilted her as she listened about Blueblood's associate with interest. "It's mentor's failure to not see student's potential. Even more so to squander her time on many, instead of polishing one into perfection. Make no mistake Prince, I won't go easy on you, but neither you will suffer negligence from me." pink alicorn reassured royal pony once more. "I know who they are! First. Hoof." Ossia snapped at Blueblood. It was only his further words that made her regain her focus. "What do you mean infiltrated?! They disbanded?! How am I supposed to track them down now? How long I was gone?!? Who stole my revenge?!" she asked. It's was only moments later that Nerezza eyes opened wide, upon realization that she said more than she should. Alicorn froze for a moment, givin an impression that she will explode with rage moment later. Instead Ossia took a big breath, and forced her magic back into control. "Hmph, not the first time I suffered setback like this. It was unbecoming of me to lose my temper like so." she said to herself before shifting her attention back to the unicorn. "And you, my Lovely Student, deserve at least some of the answers I believe. Well, go on, I am waiting. You surely have many questions." she encouraged the Prince to satisfy his curiosity.
  25. " Hmph." Squall snorted when Pathfinder chivvied him. He was getting to that part. " It's a simple one, in concept. I believe it was palpitating inside my head for a long time now, just unformed. It's only when Miss Sparkle founded this..." he waved his hoof at the School of Friendship, visible through the window. "....Institution, I realized what was missing in our endeavors." Squall walked away from the window and now gazed at the all three mares. "We were gathered to protect Equestria, but the truth is, our sights were inward all the time. Equestria may always been amicable to other nations, but the truth is, despite this friendly disposition we didn't bothered to reach out and offer a helping hoof when it was needed. Did we do anything when Griffonstone lost their Idol of Boreas? Did we act immediately? No, Miss Sparkle had to do the job decades after the fact. How about when Storm King came knocking at Abyssinian's door? Ditto. Or did we attempted to do anything, about the abhorrent situation on Stottinsberg Islands? Nope, still continuing. It was always Equestria first, Equestria above all else..." Squall paused while giving a heavy sigh. "We do all know that nopony is an Island. We can stand on our own, but not necessary alone. And the same - with a bit of good faith - can be applied to nations, as Sparkle's school showed. We can get along, regardless of race or shape, that school proved that. What am I saying is, that EPIC was founded to protect Equestria....But now....well....'Non Sufficit Equestria'." Swift paused again, this time to take a sip of offered juice. After giving his fiancee a thankful kiss on a cheek, unicorn continued. "If we are to aid our nation, we have to do this by offering kindness to other countries as well. Operation in Whitescar was a good start, but we have to get bigger, more involved. And this is an offer I am about to present to Princesses. The question is...?" he gave the gathered mare another, meaningful look. "Are you with me on this?"
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