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Found 6 results

  1. Scions of the Royal House of Blueblood had never been known for their patience, and as far as Princess Bluebelle was concerned, this whole thing had gone on long enough! All things considered, it was hard to impute her impatience as a vice. After all, when one has been born as a Prince, living contentedly as one for one's entire life, to suddenly be made a Princess by magical accident was a little disturbing, to say the least. Princess Twilight had been working on a reversal spell, but the unusual circumstances under which the transformation took place (involving a sneeze messing up a healing spell), made the research slow going. And in the meantime, several circumstances had been wearing down Bluebelle's ability to wait. First was the fact that the transformation was bizarrely inconsistent. While most of the time, she was a mare, from time to time she would revert back to her old body, which necessitated constant re-adjustment of everything from walking pace to wardrobes. It was quite trying. But perhaps even more disturbing was the fact that such reversals started out as very common, almost daily, but had slowly become more and more infrequent. This started to breed a worry in the Princess that if measures weren't taken soon, the transformation might turn out to be irreversible! Which would be terrible. *Gah! I need to focus! It's even starting to affect my mind now.* So it was, after a good few months of putting on a good show of taking her change calmly, Bluebelle took matters to rectify the situation into her own hooves. And, after an intensive few days of research (on the part of her secretary), she felt a solution might finally be within her grasp... ~***~ "We can't be lost, that's impossible!" Dressed impeccably in tailored khaki, Bluebelle frowned and fumed at the old map she was levitating in front of her. "I can find a small island in the trackless oceans! Surely one temple in one forest can't be hard to find..." The expedition to the Leota had not been hard to scrape together. She had royal funds, as well as an honor guard to serve as traveling companion and protector. But once she had let slip that she was going hunting for an ancient magical artifact, said to be held by an all-stallion tribe that once lived in the Leota, she unexpectedly found her party increased by one, a mare from EPIC. Not that she minded the extra protection, but she could not imagine what on earth any potential villains would want with a statuette that turned mares into stallions. Well, except smashing it to spite her. "Are either of you familiar with finding your way through forests? Because I think we've passed that tree before." She turned to her traveling companions, sizing them up for likelihoods. Star Crusader, Bluebelle's honor guard, had proved to be a resourceful mare in the past. It was this secure unflappability and readiness from the gigantic pegasus which had first caught the royal figure's admiration, even before Blueblood had seen what she looked like underneath the bulk of her armor. The help she had lately given her in dealing with her current situation only increased that admiration, and Blue had come to trust Star implicitly. The other mare, Rubble Rose, was more of a cipher. For one thing, she was neither talkative, nor silently expressive in much of any way. In addition to this strong, silent attitude was the fact that... it really didn't make a lot of sense for her to be here, as far as the Princess could see. EPIC surely had more members available that were better suited to wilderness adventures... unless they anticipated some difficulty in breaking into the temple. Then it would make sense to bring along an urban demolitionist. *Is there something else, though, that I'm not seeing? She had personally requested to come along as soon as she heard that we were going to an ancient temple....*
  2. The summer air hung thickly about the crypt, in a haze of grey and dirty green, thick enough to stifle all screams. For three weeks the weather had stayed like this, as if the sky were trying to smother the earth in its bed; for three weeks the night had brought no relief, as if the moon could hold by reflection all the cruel heat of the sun. And for three weeks, Prince Blueblood had become more and more certain that he was going mad. He had taken this trip to his country house, partly out of a desire to be quit of Canterlot and its attendant cares, partly to recuperate from his first visit to Whitescar, and partly to decide what he was going to do about the great rotting heap of wood and masonry. Now, it seemed, the more relevant question was what the house would do about him. He’d arrived, expecting the normal gothic trappings of aristocratic decay; drafty windows, howling breezes, moonlight illusions of ghosts. But from the first, he could not help but feel the presence of some more subtle malevolence. He had at first attributed it to the weather, and tried to put it out of his mind. But for the past 20 nights, he had not woken up in the same place he had fallen asleep in. At first it was the wrong side of the bed, then it was the floor, then it was a different room, and now he was waking up right underneath a headstone with his name on it. The Prince let out a gasp, and then a groan. His whole body hurt, not just with the stiffness of sleeping upon the earth, but as if he had been locked in some desperate struggle all last night. He’d come in with a retinue of servants; none of whom had seen what happened to him all those nights. Some had even had similar incidents happen to them, and not a few had fled afterward, fearing some dark magic. After assuring himself that this was not his own grave, but that of one of his ancestors, Blueblood shook himself awake. “This can’t go on. Either I’m going crazy or…. Something really is happening.” With a stilted, painful gait, he wandered back into the house in search of someone he could get to call a bath. He needed to clean up… and then he was going to write some letters. *There’s got to be somepony who knows about this stuff. I’ll have my secretary to get a name of some expert in… whatever this stuff is. Supernatural, paranormal? Bloody weird, I call it. And… best see if I can’t get a few other ponies, solid sorts, to counterbalance whatever lunatic I’m recommended.* That resolution made, he began writing down a brief account of the incidents that had afflicted him since arriving. Beside the odd bouts of sleepwalking, there had been strange, five-minute blackouts experienced by… pretty much everypony that stayed a while in this house. Sudden feelings of chill and clamminess despite the heat, and the dreams! Dreams of drowning, and being trapped in a burning building, the flames spreading like water leaking into a ship, determined to drag the whole down into an unmarked tomb- He blinked. His hoof was wet, ink pooling about a stilled quill pen and an upset pot. The puddle spilled across the stationary, but it had not spread randomly. Staring back at the prince was a fanged, grinning skull, too symmetrical to be coincidental. He made to scream, but there was too great a tightness in his throat. His lungs burned under the blockage, before bursting out in a series of gasps. With dislodged heart still pounding in his skull, Blueblood sealed the letters and gathered the remains of his retinue. He didn’t care what it cost to put them all up, he was sleeping in a hotel tonight! ~***~ The hotel had at first offered relief, but as Blueblood waited for replies to his inquiries, he felt something like the same atmosphere seep in. This was the closest town to his country house, and had once been economically dependent upon it. As it was, it had languished slightly, leaving few visitors or reasons for them to come. Now, as he waited in the hotel lobby, there were none other than himself and the few who stayed with him. He left a mostly full cup of coffee untouched, the stifling air made hot drinks unpalatable...
  3. Unless one is a total coward, or a total pacifist, holding one's own in a fight was an essential skill. As Prince Blueblood was resolved not to be the first, and lacked the mental and moral fortitude for the second, some training was in order. A lot of training, actually, in light of his recent 'diplomacy' in Whitescar. To this end, he'd asked a friend of his to help him brush up on the basics. He'd reserved the back gardens of Canterlot palace for the purpose, since the grass and flowers would provide a softer landing place than the floor of a gymnasium. He wondered, briefly, if it would be worthwhile to install a training room in the manor while he waited for Java to arrive... ~ And as if by queue, the stallion arrived. He'd announce his prescence if he could, but his jaws were currently occupied carrying a rather heavy duffle bag for his little tutoring session today. He was being lead by one of the castle guards whom held the typical aloof expression. Though this did lead the stallion into wondering about something. Did the prince just do this often enough that the guards paid no mind? Or had he reframed from alerting the guards of his activities to prevent a crowd. But then... his eyes turned to their destination, where he could see the Prince waiting... in a field of flowers. The stallion's brow quirked a bit at the unusual location. Sure... the flowers might be softer than a gym mat. But if the prince was so concerned about keeping up apperances... he should be glad that the stallion he invited was carrying something that doesn't say "This is a date and not training." ~ If the Prince was not caring about appearances, it was a sign of how nervous he was. Misconceptions were one thing, but pain was quite another. The prospect of pain was at this point more of a worry than the prospect of rumor circulation. What that said about Blueblood's courage was for a psychologist to analyze. "Ah, there you are Java. You may leave us, officer." He waved the guard away, probably not assisting his case. "Did you come with a lesson plan? I wasn't sure where you were planning to begin." ~ The stallion looked back to the guard who was leaving. He could of sworn he saw his expression cracking. Looks like the barracks will have some racy story telling happening tonight. The stallion shook his head some and then finally dropped the bag to the ground. "You... didn't think about this location did you? I kinda knew that stallion back when I was in the navy. So... in his eyes... a prince and a stallion - whom's barndoor is know to swing both ways - alone, behind the castle?" The stallion waited, giving the prince a flat stare. He waited for some signs of that sinking in before finally sitting down and giving a light nod. "But yeah, I came with a lesson plan. My sister and mother might end up killing you if I don't get you practicing some of the basics. These things I'm gonna show you are technically designed for earth ponies. But it applies just as well for the other two races." ~ Blueblood returned Java's flat stare with a blank one. It took a minute for the little hamster in the Prince's head to get the wheel up to speed, before realization dawned. "Eh, what? Oh. Oh!" The unicorn sighed, being a little too high-bred to actually face-hoof. However, it was too late now. He'd just have to deal with... whatever story was cooked up by the guard to explain this situation. Saying that he'd brought Java here just for 'sparring practice' would probably not help the situation in the slightest. "I didn't expect you to try to teach me magic. I'm actually half-decent at that part, it's the rest that I'm rubbish with." Vain as he was about his looks, Blue was honestly humble about his skills. At least, after his due humiliation at the hands of the Caribou King. And Sigrun, for that matter. Being swatted like a golf ball will knock the cockiness out of any pony. ~ The stallion lowered his head down, and bit down on a zipper, and pulled it down the length of the bag. He was only half listening, only because he actually expected to hear this exact thing the moment he stepped up to the palace gates. "Right right..." he hummed as he now bit down on a sack and gave it a light tug. There was a sound of shuffling as a few items spilled out of the bag in the wake of netted bag of tennis balls. "So... firstly I'd like to ask a few questions," he mumbled around the bag. He then set it down and pulled it open. Tennis balls were a really good training excercise when it came to teaching ponies how to move, and dodge. Raised reflexes, and in some cases taught ponies how to deflect oncoming punches if they were too scared. It was a win reguardless if done right or not. But... Java wasn't working with a boxer... or a fighter. No... he was working with the prince... so that required a lighter touch. "How good of a dancer are you?" ~ Blueblood blinked at the question. For a moment, he wondered if Java really had something like a date in mind. This was not a notion he wished to overly encourage. "Well... decent. It's one of the many things expected of a Prince." The tennis balls he saw emerging from the bag only served to deepen his confusion. "Look, I'll admit I haven't been to many dojos or whatnot, but... really, what in the name of Tartarus is all that, and what does it have to do with fighting? Or dancing? and what does dancing have to do with it anyway, I didn't ask you here to dance." ~ The stallion tossed it up in the air with a cheeky grin. "Well you don't have to get uncomfortable with the question, Blueblood. I think we established already that I don't exactly have any romantic interest in you. Annnd if I did, I think I'll be a red smear on the wall if Crusader found out." He paused at that. Then thought about it. Blueblood really was the mare's first date. Would she be furious? Maybe? "Er... actually I don't know about that... BUT POINT IS..." he quickly blurted out. He caught himself, gave out a light cough, and started again. "The point is... fighting is a lot like dancing. There are stances, your hoofsteps, your holds, your tosses, your ducks, your wances, et cetera. Your hoof and body movement are going to be incredibly important in later lessons and survival." "So... it's imperative that we get you started on this now. The fact that you can dance means I can actually skip ahead a bit. But I need to know how far." ~ Admittedly, yes, Java had said that, but one could never be sure. At least, Blueblood never was. Chalk it up to vanity and habit, but the Prince always subconsciously assumed that any expression of attraction in the past, even just a look, was something that had to be kept in mind for all future interactions. Living among the neuroses of the upper class had probably warped his judgment on that point, but that was probably why he'd been attracted to Star Crusader in the first place. Her stoic countenance was straightforward, rather than enigmatic, coy, or disingenuous. Although, that didn't provide him with any more knowledge than Java about how she would react when the inevitable rumors reached her. That would probably depend on how much she took after her mother. Yeesh, disturbing thought. The Prince banished it to the back of his mind, forcing himself to pay attention. He nodded along to the explanation. "That... that makes sense." He began to stretch his legs, loosening up in preparation. "So... the tennis balls?" ~ Java felt it absolutely unnecessary to bring this to the Prince as lightly as possible. He signed up for this, and he knew that he may end up with some bruises. The stallion raised one up and looked to the stallion with a deadpan serious expression. "I'm going to throw these at you." He waited for some time, before continuing. "Your goal is to keep as light on your hooves as possible, and try to dodge as many of these balls as you can. But... if you want to improve, you're gonna have to dodge them with as little movement as possible." ~ The deadpan delivery at least served to make the matter relatively clear. Even the Prince wasn't completely dense. "Oh, alright then. Seems simple enough." He'd handled tennis balls before, though he'd never actually played the game. Thus, he knew then as light spheres of fuzz, and not as whizzing projectiles ricocheting from the court. Hence, the relaxed expression as he prepared himself for the initial test. "You may begin when ready." ~ The stallion blinked, wondering if the Prince actually knew the difference in strength that a good number of earth ponies actually had over pegasus and unicorns. But... he seemed fairly confident enough. That said... the stallion decided to start it off on "easy" mode for now. He scooped up another ball into his wrist, now creating two possible projectiles. He gave the pair a squeeze to hold them in place as he reared back. A second later, his body lurched forward, hurling the two balls at the same time at the awaiting stallion. But perhaps now would be a good time to annotate what easy mode is. Easy mode details the rate at which balls were thrown... and not speed. So... that being said... Java might have accidentally sent two balls hurling at the Prince... as hard as he could... as fast as he could throw them ~ Until a sufficient time of training shall have passed to trump one's inborn instincts, or to put it more bluntly, until a pony conquers his bad habits, he defaults to them. Thus, instead of dodging, Blueblood immediately threw up his hooves to guard his face, trying to deflect the balls with magic at the same time. Since his eyes were covered, this did not go well. "Ow..." He waved his left forearm; the impact stung. "Ah... let's try that again, shall we? I didn't think they'd be that fast." ~ The stallion gave an understanding nod, and waited for the stallion to get himself situated. "Alright... here's a bit of advice. Do not focus on the ball all the way. Focus on how my hooves are moving the moment I let go of the ball. Then how it moves for just a second. Don't follow it. It's path won't change much after that." ~ "Right.... watch the hooves, not the balls. Got it." Nodding at the sage advice, he readied himself once again. This time, it worked a bit better. He didn't flinch automatically, though he only dodged one. "Mph.... didn't think they'd leave a mark." ~ The stallion sent another set out after waiting for the prince to ready up. "Relax... you'll get the hang of it soon enough. And then we can move faster. Now... get your feet moving. You don't have to stay in the same position." ~ They say the third time's the charm. In any case, the third time, Blueblood didn't get hit. Granted, the way in which he dove head-first to dodge was probably not the most efficient use of his energy, but his alertness was high, at least. "Ptuh!" He spat out he bit of dirt that got into his mouth. "Well, that's a bit better, I suppose." ~ The stallion blinked as he watched the prince eat that dirt. This... might take longer than he had initially expected. But, at least the prince is showing signs of improvement. That is always a benefit. "Er... right. I'm gonna ask you to stay on your hooves. The last place you want to be in any sort of fight in close range... is on the ground. Good way to give your opponent domination over you." ~ "Oh... er, right." The image of a certain caribou jarl standing over him, sword in hand, was more than enough to drive home the wisdom of sensei's words into Blueblood's head. He got to his hooves with alacrity, brushing them down with a bit of vigor. "Well, at least I'm starting to see why it's all gone wrong for me before. Don't know why my parents neglected to give me lessons." ~ The stallion tossed a tennis ball up in the air, and caught it with the opposite hoof as he reguarded the stallion for a moment. "Well... Equestria is mostly at peace. So... the need for learning how to fight is slim I'd imagine." He then thought for a moment, "Really, I think only Luna and Celestia knows how to brawl when it comes to the royal family." He then tossed the tennis ball to the prince. "Here, I think it might help to see another do it." he hummed as he kicked the rest of the sack towards the stallion. "Just throw the balls at any rate you want, then watch how I react. But, I want you to really watch how I move my hooves and where my eyes are looking. ~ Blueblood could not remember himself the last time he'd seen either of his Aunties 'brawl.' True, they'd fought, with magic, but that didn't seem to count. Especially since Celestia had still ended up captured by invading changelings. Twice. The Prince set his game face; he wasn't going to be subject to such a fate if he could help it. Not again. He picked up a few tennis balls out of the sack, picking up one with his hoof and two with his magic. "Alright, let's see how you handle this, then!" Java might have known that Blue had played cricket back in the day. He was not so good at the bat, but had been a decent bowler back in the day. The windup was elaborate, but the force with which he threw the tennis ball was justification for the odd run and hopping start. The other two followed after, somewhat irregularly. This would not be an easy pattern to dodge... ~ The stallion set his hooves in motion. His body bouncing on just the toes a bit lightly, never quite leaving the ground but almost like he was raising and lowering himself just by the toes alone. Java kept his eyes on the prince as he threw the first round of pitches. The first one caused the stallion's eyes to fidget when he noticed how quickly it left his focus, and entered his peripheral vision. Now, Java was actually surprised by the first pitch he had seen come from the buck. He had never really pictured him to be the star bowler for a cricket team. But... well this as proof enough. The next two... seemed a bit sloppier... but intentional. The stallion's body shifted to the right, just as his body dropped for it's next bounce. And just as his body rose up, the shift in the angle caused him to slide off to the side. His hooves all moved at the same time, hardly falling behind one another. It almost looked like he was just scating across the ground as he drew his hooves back under him. The first ball, whos impact would have been the right side of his body, now tore through the air in a curve passing his left cheek. On his next drop, the stallion skipped a beat when it came to rising back up. This time the next balls flew over his head and back. ~ Blueblood had to admit, he was impressed. He'd never seen a batter move like that before. Well, except for Willow Proudhoof when he knocked one of his leg bowls for six, but even Willow only had to deal with one ball at a time. "Ah... I think I see it now. It really is like dancing. More like a rapid tango than a waltz." ~ The stallion rose back up, moving a hoof to rub his left eye. That... came a little close to actually beaning him right in the eye socket. Yeesh. "That's right. But... push come to shove. If canes don't work for you, try pelting the poor sod with rocks." He grunted. Before moving his hoof a in a gesture to recollect the tennis balls. ~ "I'll keep that in mind." Indeed, given how much a hollow ball could sting, a solid rock would be quite the weapon. Of course, so would pretty much anything that came to hoof. "I've known wine bottles to work pretty well, too. I'm more likely to have them to hoof, given the sort of places I'm usually seen at." The Prince began to ready himself again, trying to get a feel for how Java had kept so light on his toes. He closed his eyes, trying to imagine music. A strain from some long-ago ball traveled through his brain; humming it under his breath, Blueblood felt his limbs loosen and free themselves. "There, now let's try this again..."
  4. Zeig

    Team Lake Squad

    From the album: OC Art

    All the Teams! ...Actually, that is all the teams, since I don't have a character working with animals. But maybe I'll just draw another team, because seriously, these events are fun. Star Crusader (c) moonshineTheleocat Skyhaven (c) RainbowPony
  5. Part 1: Where Blueblood Buys a Broach There was something in the very nature of Jewelry that implies something more solid than any other gift. It was unambiguous and conspicuous in its meaning, at least insofar as affection was concerned. Hence, to see Prince Blueblood in this particular part of the Canterlot shopping district was cause for the rumor mill to grind. He didn't seem to be particularly directed, in fact, currently he looked a little lost, looking in the shop windows... ~ Fleur was humming, she had cast some nice pieces, which were cooling, set in a few beauitful purple stones in a necklace, and was now sweeping the floor a bit, seeing the lost looking Prince in the window, she chuckled, moving to tap at the glass gently to get his attention. "Monsjourrrr You will have a better look einside zhe stoore~" ~ The Prince started, like a dozing bird that had his cage tapped. "Bah! Oh, um, Good day, Fleur. What are doing- do you work here?" Blueblood was first made familiar with the mare from her modeling career, but he'd heard that she'd chucked it to go back to an earlier job. Was this it? ~ "Oui Come on in ief you are looking for something! You cannot see zhem proper in zhe window~" She chuckled, going back to sweeping, she always thought the Prince rather cute ~ He paused to consider the point, but only for a moment. It was quite clear that he was going to get nowhere just staring into windows. The shop, of course, had the little bell that announced customers. "So..." He wasn't quite sure where to begin, as Fleur was something like an acquaintance. He was unused to knowing shop-ponies personally. "Well, I'm looking for something, though I don't know what, really, you know?" ~ "Oui! Eis it for you? Or for a accquaintance? Or perhaps" She smirked, batting her eyelashes softly "A mare you 'are 'oping to woe?" She teased, though knew what a flirt the other was. ~ Blueblood may have had a reputation for a flirt, though in truth there was some slight exaggeration in it. And he certainly received flirting with less aplomb than he was said to give it on at least one memorable occasion... Here, at least, he only gave a slight smile and cleared his throat. "Well... its not for me." ~ "Well Vhat does zhis other being like? Colors? Shapes?" She asked, moving to be behind the display cases, all glittering with a wide variety of jewelery ~ Blueblood looked over the Jewelry with the look of a complete amateur, to whom it all seems the same at first. "Well... It's hard to say. They, well, she... I've never seen her in anything... ornamental." ~ "So you would like somezhing a bit more subtle?" Her horn glew, and all the flashy, ornate pieces had their lids closed to not distract. ~ "Hm, Probably, though I don't know if it's possible to be both large and subtle, when it comes to Jewelry." Blueblood remarked, eyeing over the pieces. "She isn't what you would call a 'petite' mare; statuesque is the word I would use." ~ "So you want somezhing to accent her features? Perhaps a necklace?" ~ Yes... That would probably work." The Prince seemed still not quite sure, but Fleur could tell that he was now thinking more constructively. "I'm afraid I can only give you her basic colors, I don't know what sort of thing she wears when off duty. She's a... pale sky, whitish blue in the coat, reddish blonde mane." ~ ""HnN Well what are some of her FAVORITE colors? FOr instance, I am of a pale champagne color, and with light pink, but I do so adore a good red gemstone..." ~ Now came the hard questions. Blueblood's lips pursed as he tried to remember some, any clue, that would help him here. "Well... you see, I've not ever seen her off duty, so I've not really had a chance to see her preferences. I'm not even sure if she has any, especially." ~ "Zhen I suggest you get a tad more information before buying something so personal" SHe chuckled "Zhough maybe something small to test zhe waters? Like a Broach?" ~ The Prince let out a huff of air at that. "Well, that's no easy task, you know, with a bodyguard like mine! There's never point when I'm around her that she's not on duty, which makes sense, I suppose, but it makes it hard to bring up these sorts of things." Blueblood paused, realizing he may have raised his voice just a tad. "Sorry, but yes, I suppose a broach would be best to start." ~ She raised a brow at the raised tone of voice "Zhere is no need to shout at me mousiour.." She muttered, opening a few boxes of broaches, getting one that had a beautifully shaped sun, with a stone that seemed to EMIT light.. "It would go with her uniform.." ~ "I know, it's just..." He trailed off, then shrugged at Fleur. "I have no idea what I'm doing, really." The Prince had less doubt upon seeing the proffered broach, however. "My word, that IS impressive. She'd look marvelous in this... how, how does it do that? ~ "Eit is a special kind of stone, a Diamond Dog sold eit to me recently, it absorbs light and then reflects it out ward, it's simple and magical, perfect for a mare I do zhink" ~ "I should say so!" He pictured it in his mind, the light from the stone reflecting and making Star's armor shine with it's light. "You know, I believe I shall buy this. Thank you!" ~ She giggled "But ofcourse" Already wrapping it up to look like a lovely gift. ~ Purchases among the upper class were rarely a matter of cash payment. Merchants usually billed the noble House for their commission, and to be fair to the nobs, they rarely defaulted on their commitment. Taking the package gently with his own magic, Blueblood gave a little bow. "Until next time, then. Will you be at the Gala this year? I'm leaving Canterlot pretty often these days, and that's the next major thing I'll be in town for." ~ She chuckled "I will try my 'ardest to attend , If you are zhere I shall try even 'arder to " She winked at him, she was fond of the prince, she was sure they could be dear friends if given the chance. ~ "That is very good to hear. I look forward to seeing you there. And perhaps I shall be able to introduce you to Star." Blueblood was smiling. It was very much possible that they could be friends. ~ "I would love to! Oooh you could tell her as an extension of zhe gift you have reserved zhe entire jewelry store just for her browsing pleasure?" ~ Pursing his lips, the Prince had to think if Star was the sort of mare to enjoy browsing the store. "I... shall, yes. Will you be there to guide, though? I think she would appreciate somepony to talk with about this." ~ "Of course! Why else would I offer eit?" She flipped her mane a little bit "I'll help learn her tastes, to make sure you will know for sure~" ~ Blueblood smiled at that. An ally! Navigating the roads of actual affection was a new challenge for the Prince, and having somepony help in figuring out how best to shower gifts upon his favored mare was, in its way, a relief. "Very well then. Until next time, Au revoir." And with a bow, he made his exit. ~ "Au Revoir!" She called after him, making a note to her boss with a request for a day to reserve the shop, this should be the start of something wonderful! It was about time BlueBlood got a true relationship, one based on affection at that! She was proud of him!
  6. Drills could only prepare guards for so much. Repeated marches across a green, weapon strikes against an immobile dummy, and spit-polishing armor meant nothing unless they could integrate their skills, together with their comrades, to address a situation. What was more, these situations could come on at any time, practically without warning. Given the... recent performances of the guards of Canterlot during previous crises, Prince Blueblood was not convinced that their current training regimen prepared them sufficiently for such situations. Well, he certainly wasn't going to stand for that in his honor guard! Hence, the little exercise he'd come up with for today... "Guards!" He called them to review in his back garden. There were currently only two of them, Captain Star Crusader, an absolute titan of a mare, and Arcus, a recent assignment whose mettle Blueblood hoped to see demonstrated. "There will be an extra drill today. A test, almost a practice game, if you will." He held a dueling cane in one hoof, stalking back and forth as he addressed them, aping the style of a commander talking to his troops. "I have contacted a certain specialist to test our perimeter and personal security measures. For the sake of the exercise I will not give a name, or expected tactics. They will be trying, on their own initiative, to breach your watch and... inflict certain things upon my person." He frowned a little at that. It sounded wrong, but he honestly didn't know what was being planned on the other end. "The exercise begins now. I wish you good luck hunting. That is all." He nodded at them both, signaling them to return to normal patrols. Or at least, their practiced patrols given a heightened security threat. To be perfectly honest, Blueblood wasn't exactly certain how confident of their success he ought to be. He'd be the last stallion in the world to denigrate Star Crusader's performance, and Arcus had come highly recommended... But the "red team" was no slouch either. After all, one didn't become an Element of Harmony and "fastest mare in Equestria" for nothing. *I hope she was kidding about that green dye...*
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