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Oh Java loved the outcome of this little bet that he and the prince had in the past. He had actually expected the prince to not even show up to the train station back in Canterlot. But something drove him to it anyways. And much to his disbelief there he saw the high and mighty prince. Through the entire trip, Java had been giggling madly to himself. He hadn’t thought he’d live to see the day when the mighty Prince Blueblood was brought down to the “boondocks” of equestrian lands for menial labor.

Sure the stallion may have lost two of the bets before finally the last one. But in all honesty. The first one wasn’t too bad. The stallion had always meant to re-establish connections with his noble family. It’s just the life of high-society normally drove him away. However, the second bet he loss, was more of a kick in the teeth. To be forced to have a high society party, was something that invoked a seething rage in the stallion. But still, neither one of those would prevent him from enjoying this moment now.

The stallion did his best to try and speak to the young prince. Originally intending all the nicest of intentions. But the prince seems to be rejecting any attempts of contact for the ride. So, he simply reduced himself to making the slightest of cracks. His timing for each one intentionally being as precise as possible. Just to gently remind him that he would be working in the heat, the grit, and in the open for a full twelve hours. Just as soon as he forgets that fact.

And when the two had departed the train station. Java allowed the peace to stay. Leaving silence unbroken as he and the prince slowly strolled on to legendary farm of Ponyvile. There were plenty of other farms, and much harder working ones than this one. But, Java isn’t to cruel of a pony. The stallion actually labels the Royal Pain just slightly under the term of friend. Even if the other doesn’t generally see it, or wants it for that matter. Java had actually grown a fondness for the prince, and does care enough for his reputation and dignity, and perhaps a lower chance of injury for being out of shape. If that was even possible.

So what better way for the Prince to keep his reputation than working on one of the mostly highly regarded farms? Not to mention, with nightmare night being just around the corner, this would likely be seen as the prince simply making an appearance, and supporting his community. Plus, he would be able to keep his dignity by not being worked completely to the bone and to the point of tears at a colorless rock farm?

Java finally broke the silence when the two arrived at their destination. He looked to the prince with a grin. The stallion was a little curious if the Prince had thought more about why he was here with him. His tone was a lilting mock. A playful mock. Not intent on any malice, but simply to tease the other. “Oh come on grumpy. Look at the bright side! You’d be able to get one heck of a workout, loose a bit of weight, and get some fresh air away from those perfumes~."

Java paused as he lifted his head up to inhale deeply. The fresh air of the country side quickly filled his nostrils, and caused the stallion to shudder with a small hint of delight. He always enjoyed the smell away from cities. Clean air. Much more floral. It kind of reminded him of the days he'd go to Dodge Station for a family reunion. Though without the flowery smell. It was dusty, had quite a large amount of work when he decided to help around the ranches, and tended to get a bit rough during dinner time, but it was one of his happier times when he was a foal.

Yep! Nothing like the smell of grit.”

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If the old stories were to be believed, the Canterlot Aristocracy used to be a much more truly noble thing than it now was. After all, the very word for the highest virtues in a pony derived its etymology from Nobility, did it not? One might well lament the passing of those bygone days, when faced with the pack of snobs one saw grazing at all the garden parties, but even then, one would have to admit that there were some forms of honor that died last. Among these, was the conviction that one should never welch on a bet.

Hence, even though he knew that nothing good could possibly come of it, Prince Blueblood arrived punctually at the station, carrying his own suitcase. He couldn't bear to have his valet witness his humiliation. And, of course, there was the source of his misfortune, that dashed rotter who just had to draw the exact right card at the exact right time, Voronoi "Java" Fractal. The Prince did not consider himself on speaking terms with him, although it seemed the other stallion had not gotten the message. Therefore, instead of the ride down being the last, savored bit of leisure before his day of penal servitude, it was merely a foretaste of the difficulties and indignities under which he must bear.

After enduring wisecrack after wisecrack on the way down, at last he was able to escape from the train. It had only been a slim hope that Java would not accompany him into town, but he probably wanted to see that the Prince didn't chicken out at the last minute. *No fear of that, you little gnat.* Given that a letter had already been forwarded promising his labor for a day, he did not feel like incurring the ire of the strong-willed proprietress of Sweet Apple Acres. Again.

Although he did not dignify his companion's remarks with a reply just yet, he did take a tentative sniff of the air. It did smell rather nice, he had to admit, all floral and arboreal. Taking the hint, Blueblood sucked in a deep lungful and-

"A-cuh, cach, HACH!"

-inhaled a fly. Discarding the remains from his throat, along with the shreds of his dignity, he heaved a sigh, finally speaking to Java. "I suppose she's expecting my arrival? We had best go on then."

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Java's gaze was fixed on the massive escape of rolling plains, trees and grass. Such a wonderful view, especially with the mountain range of Canterlot behind him, made home look so dull and depressing. He actually found himself wondering why did he even live in Canterlot in the first place. Sure, the view was nice and all. But the large handful of snobbish ponies was enough to reduce Java to a hermit.

However, his state of wistful thinking had been errupted by the sound of gagging. The stallion's eyes blinked, and his head whirled to his unwilling companion. He gave him a concerning look. He had half a reason to quickly roll the stallion over, and start compressing his chest. He'd hate to be the blame of the prince's untimely death. But instead, he resisted the urge. Just watching for now after bringing in some reasonable thoughts.

The prince didn't have anything to eat recently. Nor did he have anything to drink. If he were to choke on his own spit, then it'd pass over quickly.

But instead of being provided a mere clue on what happened. The prince seemed prudent to get this show on the road.

And so, with a shrug, Java lead the two to the large, and proudly standing house of the Apple Family. Though instead of coming up to the porch, Java stopped only a few hoof steps short, and looked up with a gaze of awe. For such a theoretically old home, Java couldn't help but to feel a tinge of envy for such a beautiful structure. This house had been standing for years! But it hasn't shown any true tattle tale signs of it's age.

Strange, Java thought to himself. His eyes flickering over every-single-nook-and-cranny he could spot. The house is only wood and nails. And yet, it's completely sturdy for such a place where a foundation could easily shift. And speaking of foundations.

His eyes now dipped down lower, even his body was beginning to lower onto the ground as he spied at the junction between the very bottom of the house, and the ground below. The foundation work was perfect. No signs of shifting. No signs of splintering wood. The Apple Family seemed to take an incredible amount of pride in their work!

His gaze then shifted to the barn house in the distance, with the expression similar to a foal who had discovered something amazing. EVEN THE BARN looked incredibly new! It was almost like it had been built recently, if not a year ago!

" B-bluebood... You... go ahead.... I." The stallion began with a dizzy tone. His flank now dropping to the ground with a soft thump. "I... am just going to admire the carpentry work a... bit longer."

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There was in Blueblood's ancestry, if memory served him correctly, at least one architect of note who had wholly failed to give any sense of his professional eye or passion to his descendants. Whatever especial merits the house and main barn of Sweet Apple Acres possessed, therefore, were mostly lost upon the Prince. He would not have called them ugly, they did not offend the eye in any way, but 'common' seemed about the right word for them.

Therefore, witnessing his companion's paroxyisms at the sight of them, the stallion could only conclude either a: Java really was insane, or b: He was using his reputation for insanity as an excuse to be annoying. On the whole, he thought the second more likely; Blueblood would sometimes do the same thing, only with a reputation for snobbishness. Not that he was actually any freer of snobbery than Java of crazy, but this is a digression.

Giving the other stallion something approaching a look of pity, the Prince shook his head, and turned back towards the house door. This was it. This was going to take all his courage, perhaps even more than when he'd last met Applejack at the kissing booth... He trotted up to her door and knocked smartly on the frame.

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Applejack got to sleep in today! She was a mare who always wanted to help sort out a deal. She wanted everypony to be honest and fair. She would always assign ponies to tasks around the farm and other areas to help support Ponyville and its citizens. Applejack was a pony who sacrificed her own desires for other pony's wants and needs. But more than most things, she enjoy getting a chance to get some extra rest in the morning. Having agreed to be on the receiving end of a lost bet between a silly pony acquaintance and one of Rarity's past misfortunes, she might as well have left most or all of the morning chores undone. After all, what's the point in having ponies do hoof labor on the farm if all the dailies were already done?

Applejack heard a few knocks on the front door. It was about time they showed up. Applejack felt like she might have failed to mention just how early a normal farm day starts. Regardless, she was right next to the door ready to jump start their walk-throughs. The moment the third knock vibrated on the door, she opened it violently, smiling at the unicorn prince with the brown earth pony with wandering eyes behind him. "Well it's about tahm!" Applejack leaned back and grabbed some farming gear. There was two horse collars, a box of tacks, a couple tool belts, all featuring basic carpentry utensils, two aprons, and four pairs of working horseshoes. The shoes were rusty and well used. "These horse collars were Big Mac's a couple years ago, but uh, heh, they don't fit him no more."

Once the goods were piled onto either the prince of Java, Applejack shimmied herself outside the door and put an excited face on. "Well, let's get started! How about I show you inside the barn first." She walked around the broad side of the barn to the large doors where all the large farm work was either stored or prepared. She did not mind however, any intimidation or regret being shown on the pony's faces.

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Java's head spun around after hearing the hard southern accent from the all to familiar apple family member, Apple Jack. His eyes searched around for a moment, before finally locking onto AJ, where he quickly gave her a smile. He almost laughed at the fact that she called them out of tardyness. Realistically, the only way they would actually be able to get here any earlier is by an AirShip, which would be a pain to land his in Ponyvile, and he highly doubted that the Prince would want to ride a “contraption that must power it's self or crash.” He chuckled at the memory of that. But it still stung pretty deeply to hear those words.

“Sorry. But the train isn't the fastest way to get down a mountain and over the hills,” Java hummed with a lilting note. Now rising off of his rump and back to his hooves, he turned about and drew closer to the two with a smile.

The smile only grew bigger as he watched all the pile of provisions pile up. Growing larger and larger with each item that she piled up on the prince. His smile was even the point of nearly turning to that of the fabled Chesire cat. His glistening teeth nearly touching ear to ear. But finally, he decided it was best to get a move on, and so he craned his neck forward. He bit down one of the aprons, and gave it a quick jerk to pull some of the gear off of the poor prince and down to the ground.

His eyes wondered over each item intricately. Wondering what he would actually need, and what he could easily do without. His eyes, of course first went to the apron. He wasn't even sure why he would need such a thing. He already knew well in advance he was going to get filthy and sweaty. And getting down and dirty was just his style. He was no coddled colt when he grew up, as much as his nobile origins would say other wise. He played. Jumped off of cliffs. Went into caves. Played hoof ball on concrete. And even helped work on trains and ranches back in Dodge. He was a real tough and energetic colt back then! Not much has changed however. That's including his mentality.

And so, he just simply placed a hoof on the apron and pushed it to the side. Besides, it would just make the day more painful by blocking out the cool breeze.

The next thing he looked down to were... a set of rusty work shoes. He was a larger stallion, with a partial build of a work horse down to the bone. But the sight of them made the stallion a bit uncomfortable to even risk using these. He tapped his hoof on one, to knock it over so he could examine the tack section. And his suspicions were pretty much correct with his anyways. There were chips of jagged metal rising up, and rust coated the entire thing. It was like, some sort of sick and evil princess of pain had created these things for a torture device. Not to mention how filfthy they were. He was down with dirty. Always down with dirty. But when it comes to hoof ware, he took extra care in what went onto his already scratched and banged up hooves. Them being dirty would just irritate the pony even further as they dig into all the wrong places with each step he took.

He promptly pushed them to the side as well with a grimace. The set he wore were mulch-purpose anyways. He was a utility sort of stallion. He didn't give two bucks about fashion.

And that left him with the horse collar and the tool belt. He quickly lifted one of them up, and slipped it around his neck. He gave his head a few gentle twists to check to see if it caused him any problems or not. His eyes then turned to the Prince. He was now wondering even more the prince had actually wondered if the prince had figured anything out yet.

“Well, suit up your lordship~”

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Prince Blueblood's third knock very nearly booped Applejack on the nose, which would have been extremely undignified. Not that he expected that such a vul- er, robust mare would care particularly about such things, but it had put him off-balance. Instead of the airy and somewhat bored reply he usually gave when accused of a lapse in punctuality, all he could manage was an abortive "Ah- oof!" as the energetic farm pony began to load him up with supplies.

The apprehension upon the unicorn's face was slowly transmogrified into a kind of aristocratic horror at each new addition. The collar, as one might expect, was obviously a thing made more for utility than for aesthetics. Unlike the house and barn, however, the Prince had no qualms about calling this... thing the ugliest accouterment he'd ever been obligated to wear in his life. The apron did not improve the ensemble, but he certainly wasn't going to argue with its purpose. Better that common linen by muddied than himself.

But the absolute crowner, figuratively speaking, was the set of horseshoes. While the sea-boots Blueblood had worn down could hardly be expected to last in any appreciable condition by the day's end, he could easily replace them. But, tacking on these poster warning for tetanus would probably impose the necessity of having to purchase replacement hooves, which were by no means so easy to come by.

On top of and aggravating to this whole business was the constant presence of Java, grinning like a demented loon at the Prince's state. The stallion tried to direct his best attempt at a death glare on the way to the barn, in an attempt to parry that infernal smile, but this quickly turned to a quizzical expression as he saw a similar load to his own piled upon his companion's back. "Hang on, I though the bet was... you're not actually working here, too?" His tone, though low, was incredulous. That a common pony would do, and even be happy doing, this sort of work was expected enough, and that he himself would do it after losing a bet was a point of honor; but that a pony of his class would voluntarily take this burden upon himself was nearly incomprehensible.

Then again, Java was one of the... eccentric ones. One hardly knew what to expect from his sort. It would be comforting to reflect that his tormentor would share his miseries, if the Prince was not certain that Java was going to be insufferably chipper throughout the whole proceedings, which would only make them that much harder to bear. *Such are the burdens of royalty.* Blueblood sighed inwardly as he plodded into the barn.

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Once inside the barn, Applejack tipped over a large trough. The trough was empty. "Pigs need to be fed. They must be really hungry at this point. I usually feed them by this time, but I wanted to give you the chance to do it yerself! The feed is over there in those bags, and you should mix with it all of the ingredients in that bucket. That includes rotten apple cores, old vegetables, spoiled corn, bruised tomatoes, outdated potatoes, and thirteen pounds of lard for flavoring. We don't have a mixing spoon that big, so just use your hooves. It's the best way to do that anyway." Applejack made sure the barn doors were closed when the stallions entered with her, and she opened the pig pen gate, letting the pigs wander around eagerly waiting for the feed to be mixed and put into the trough. The pigs swarmed around the prince and Java and oinked their anticipation for breakfast at the ponies.

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All during the approach to the barn, and now nearly overwhelming that the Prince had entered it, was the smell. The smell of any farm usually consists, in varying proportions, of wet earth, sweaty pony, hay, and manure. All four of these were almost completely alien to Blueblood's daily life, and therefore an instinctive degree of repulsion may be allowed for. Still, there was something about this barn that even overpowered that olfactory assault, overtaking it upon the vanguard of its invasion into the Royal Nostrils, now quite thoroughly wrinkled.

Applejack was, at least, kind enough to promptly point it out as the bucket of rotting plant matter that was proposed to supplement the feed of the pigs. The natural question quickly sprung to his lips, "Wouldn't they prefer fresh produce? Have you ever asked them?" Blueblood simply could not conceive of any beast preferring rotten food to food that was not rotten. Surely he couldn't be the only one to see how really disgusting and degrading this whole business was!

Well, the mare didn't stay long to answer, and Java and the Prince were left facing the oinking masses, who were seemingly indifferent to the question. Giving a sideways look-what-you've-gotten-us-into expression to his fellow noble, Blueblood eyed the bucket, as if by staring at it long enough, he could avoid the necessity of actually dirtying his hooves in mixing-

"Hang on, I'm a unicorn! I don't have to use my hooves!" The thought burst upon his brain with the light of inspiration and good news, bringing forth a grin that Java might have actually seen in a mirror, when a difficult engineering problem presented a solution all in a flash. Levitating the bucket and the feed bag, he placed the opening of one over the other, and shook it vigorously, like a bartender mixing a martini. *Is this what being an inventor feels like? No wonder that Voronoi looks so self-satisfied all the time.*

Unfortunately, the porcine audience were not getting into the spirit of the thing. Quite unused to seeing their food treated in so cavalier a matter, they were first stunned to silence, and then made their dissension known through sudden squealing, getting quite close to do so. "Hey, respect the Royal Personal space-"

But the ill work was already done. Distracted, Blueblood let his magical control of the feed slip, and fall.

*KER-SPLOTCH*

At least half of it made it into the trough. Perhaps a quarter onto the ground, which did nothing to deter the pigs from eating the mixture. The remainder was liberally dispersed all over the person of the Prince, who was frozen in a rictus of horror and disgust, and did not even budge when a sow trotted over to pick the larger specimens of rotting vegetable matter out of his mane...

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Java watched with a curious exp<b></b>ression as the mare lead the two of them into a barn, and closed the doors behind them. His head shifted to glance back towards them, before finally looking back down to the pens she was about to open. And once the latch was released, and the first pig was let out. Java quickly backpedaled a few paces to prevent himself from suddenly being over-run and knocked over by all of the pigs so suddenly.

And then came the tasks at hand, The pony troted closer to one of the many bags of feed that needed to be mixed, and pulled a sack open to take a look inside. If the smell and discoloration of some of the produce wasn't already unappetizing. Then the easily comparable aesthetics of swiz cheese, and the dumpster juice that had collected within the bag would certainly put any pony off of even trying a nibble. He did hold a curious exp<b></b>ression however. As he looked through the contents of each bag when she began to list off the ingredients.

Something she mentioned however, did cause that curious grin of his to waver a bit when he stopped at the bag of rotting corn. He was curious about how badly you have to be taking care of corn for it to begin to spoil like this. Last he checked, keeping it dry was pretty much the only thing you had to do for it to be stored for extended periods of time.

But it wasn't this that concerned him. It was the idea of how the mare managed to get a hold of a large quantity of lard. And what in the name of sweet Celestia HAD EVEN COMPELLED HER to think it would be a wise idea to feed pigs the bi-product of their brothers! He wasn't frowning when he was looking into the bag of lard. But his smile had faded just slightly.

He decided to say nothing about it though, as the pigs certainly didn't seem to mind the caniballism. And likely them knowing probably wouldn't benefit anyone. So for now, he just bit his tongue after finally looking back up to the prince, after his sudden realization.

Java studied his friend for a bit, and then grinned broadly after noticing the stallion's grin. Sure, it kinda defeats the fun of torturing the prince. But he wouldn't be an engineer if he decided to strip away a stallion's chance of ingenuity so he decided to see what he would do.

“Well, this takes away the fun in today for me, but I wouldn't be an engineer if I denied a pony their moment!” But then, the stallion noticed something odd. The magic along the bags wavered the moment the prince took his focus away to look down to the pigs. A mere hot second later, and the bags of feed had apparently exploded, landing feed in the slop, the ground, and all over the prince.

Java stared dumb founded. His grin remained open as his brain registers the hilarity he just witnessed. Finally, a snirk sounded from the stallion. Then a burst of laughter as he strolled closer to the prince.

With one hoof, he pushed a porcine away from the stallion, and guided him on towards slop on the ground and in the trough. And then with his other, he hooked it along the prince's muzzle by the wrist. Applied a bit of pressure and casually pulled it downwards to scrape some of it off of him and down to the ground.

“Hey! Don't worry about this. If you weren't going to get dirty now, you certainly will later. Right, Apple Jack? Anyways... just... use an Orison, hose... or something to wash that off... or that smell won't leave ya for a week.””

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As the pigs ran wild as normal, they noticed right away the new ponies. The swine loved new ponies, even if the ponies weren't giving the same enthusiasm back. Applejack could tell right away that the stallions would be met with somewhat of a displeasure, but there was really only one way to get it done, and this was the deal. The prince asked about fresher vegatables, and Applejack kindly replied, although the answer may have gotten lost at some point between the squeals of a couple dozen pigs and the imminent tripping of the white unicorn. "Oh, I'm sure they would love fresher produce. It's just that, they don't really care. They'll eat all of the old stuff, and it's not really unhealthy for them as it would be us, so we just decide to feed them this, and save the fresh produce for the market where all the fancy ponies get to buy them at a higher price."

Applejack was a little bothered when she noticed the prince using magic. It wasn't exactly against the rules to use magic on the farm, as Twilight had been allowed to use levitation spells to help Applejack move apples faster on a work day she was behind, but the farm did value its earth pony way. And after the pigs were fed, Applejack might have to suggest that the prince no longer use his horn for magic. Although, as Applejack would find out a few seconds later, the magic would back fire anyways. "Heh, I should have told ya before. Pigs get a little extra antsy when they see somethin' supernatural. Might want to leave unicorn magic to a minimum from now on. OK, Sugarcube. Oh, I mean Prince Sugarcube." Applejack wasn't sure how that came out, but she wasn't meaning anything negative or snarky. But the situation at the moment was kinda funny.

To Java's question on being dirty to start, Applejack replied vaguely. "What are you talking about? These vegatables might be old, but they are by no means dirty. The dirty stuff we'll do happens later." Applejack, seeing the boys needed to clean up a little, gave them some moments to use a couple water buckets nearby. "Hurry up and wash yourselves up a little, and we'll go on to the next chore for the day. We'll feed the chickens."

Applejack walked outside the barn and towards the chicken pen. The pen had a coop in it, which featured a dozen chickens. A few of the chickens were outside searching the ground for spare grain that wasn't really there. "Hey Hennifer. You looking for some breakfast? It's a comin'!" All of the chickens in the pen had names, and they all responded to Applejack with subtle body language when their names were called.

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Java looked down to his arm where he had scraped off some of the goop, and spotted an old pepper sticking to his fur. It wasn't leaking anything unfamiliar, like green goop or slime. And it certainly didn't smell like the unclean backside of a bull. Smelled just like a regular plant actually. Just a bit discolored and softer than he'd care for.

He hummed softly to himself, slowly giving into the thought of just tasting what these pigs loved so much. The added insight from the mare also helped egged him before she wondered away.

“Well if that's the case, I suppose there's nothing wrong with eating spoiled vegies,” The stallion chirped with a serious expression. His tongue flicked out to snatch up the parcel from his arm, and tug it into his mouth. The moment his teeth sank into it, it practically disintegrated into a slight sour pepper juice. The texture nearly caused the engineering pony to gag, and immediately hack it up. Likely didn't help that there was a bit of lard mixed in with it. But he was still resiliant. He continued chewing, and quipped out a brief comment.

“Oh....mmph,” the pony uttered. His face warped away from his usual smile into a grimace. He continued his comment as he allowed his tongue to try and find the better portion of the meal. “Well... y-yeah. No. No. No... y-yeah they would likely prefer something else.”

When he tried to swallow it... his body quickly rejected the idea by raising up the back of his tongue and preventing further entry. Eventually, the stallion couldn't take it anymore, and turned his head to spit the plant matter down to the ground, where a nearby pig just happily lapped it up.

“Well...” the stallion rasped, quickly moving to a nearby bucket, and filling it with water from a nearby facet. He quickly sloshed it around, before dumping it out to wash the dirt away, and refill it once more. “I think I am actually ashamed to say that wasn't the worst thing I have actually eaten. No... so far that's still reserved for a friend's wife's rock candy with a salt content twelve times the lethal dose.”

The stallion placed his hooves around the bucket, and stared into the water. Oh remembered that night all to well, almost killed him... four times. Couldn't quite figure out it was the candy, and not him till that last one. Cadenza, the pony thought to himself, You should really stay far away from stove top. The stallion then dunked his head into the water, and pulled it back out with a mouthful of water. He swished it about, and quickly spat it out once he was sure that the taste was gone. Along with any other residue.

“Caused me to go get a few of my teeth repaired. Though I should have realized that when he was watching me a bit apprehensively along with Gaffer. And... that it smelt a little too close to crystals and tungsten.”

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As Java pulled and posed the Prince about to push the putrid produce off his person, he would have felt a tension in the stallion's muscles suddenly release, like limbs twisted out of rigor mortis. At the end of it, a slightly more presentable Blueblood would have slouched limply, slowly gathering his wits and pieces of shattered dignity. "Hose. Clean. Yes." He muttered, as articulation slowly returned to him and he was gently guided towards the water bucket.

Not attempting any magical manipulations this time, the unicorn just stuck his head down into the bucket, and then lifted his head and neck straight again to let the water course over him. This wasn't exactly efficient in cleaning him, but it did clear Blueblood's head, which shook the bucket off into a corner of the barn, revealing a most irritated expression. "That would have indeed been a very useful piece of information. Far be it from me to be an irritation to these... pigs." He replied to Applejack's laughing remark with a sardonic hauteur. Certainly, if he had any say in the matter, the Prince would have absolutely nothing to do with such creatures in the future. It would be for the best, for both of them.

Speaking of beings whose society Blueblood would rather not possess...

Watching Java deliberately put into his mouth vegetables which he knew to be spoiled only confirmed in the Prince's mind that his fellow noble was mad. Bonkers. Not that the scion of the Fractals ever denied it, as such.... at least he was sane enough to acknowledge that bad food was bad. The Prince was even willing to extend a sympathetic nod to the rock candy anecdote.

"Oh, Faust, the atrocities that I have had served on a silver platter to me. I don't ask for much, surely! If it's fresh and of high quality, I consider it sufficient. One of my cousins gets so enamored with her spice rack that every recipe tastes like it came from an apothecary than a kitchen." He remarked as they proceeded over to the henhouse. Contrary to popular guesswork, the Prince wasn't fond of fancy cooking, or really much of any cooking at all. He survived mostly on salads, though that was far from a sign of austerity in Canterlot, where the freshest of produce had to be shipped specially at high rates.

And now came the task of feeding chickens. While Blueblood felt uncomfortable when the fowls fixed their beady little eyes on him, this had much lest potential for disaster. After all, it was only scattering grain. He could handle it without his hooves getting too dirty from the contact. Surely, he thought, as he tentatively scooped out a little grain and put it down int front of the nearest bird, this couldn't go too wrong?

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When Blueblood came and dropped some bird feed in front of a hen, he waited for the chicken to peck away at it. For some reason, the chicken would not engage. Instead it would cock its head from side to side, tilting curiously and looking at Applejack. "Heh, um. Somethins wrong. They don't usually stay away from the fence like this. One of you might have to go into the pen and stand next to the coop to feed them in order for them to trust you." Applejack watched as another chicken, this one named Marebeline waddled out, looked at the feed, and the stepped away from the fence. "Yeah, so, which one of you ponies wants to go into the pen? All you gotta do is go in with a bucket of grain and just sprinkle some around and then place the feed in the chicken feeding pan over there. Oh and don't make an sudden movements. They might get nervous."

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Java raised a brow to the princess old poetic style of speaking. Heck, the young buck was practically waiting for the moment that the prince purposely jumbled up his words to match a pentameter syntax. After all, dated words are being tossed about freely. Or… maybe the prince was actually several hundred years old? That would definitely explain a lot.

“Mmmhmm… the sad truth is… it actually was your cousins cooking… she’s a sweet girl. And a good friend. I don’t want to hurt her feelings about it… I thought it was a mere fluke.” Java began once the prince was done. His exp<b></b>ression quickly shifted from his usual devilish smile, to something a bit saddened. He even lifted the back end of his hoof up to his lip. Though really, that was just the stallion resisting the urge to cover his eyes… which would cause him to weep like a baby. Oh how he really wanted to enjoy that rock candy crystal delicacy. A beauty so tangible in the shape of heart like crystals. Perfectly sculpted to resemble the crystal heart. So clean, that it was transparent with no visible grimes or scorches inside. But with the touch of the tongue, it caused so much pain that the stallion entered a fit of struggle… before finally managing to catch his breath. And wheeping in agony and disappointment in front of his guests. Luckily his face was covered then.

His eyes focused on the bucket for a moment, till he finally looked up to spot the prince laying out seeds. It took a few more seconds to snap out of his mental disappointment, and back to his cheery nature. And just as it happened, he had a large hoof full of seeds ready to spread. But unlike the stallion, who placed it down into a pile. He spread it out along in a line. His hoof giving a tilt enough to four the contents to spread out as he ran it along in a horizontal crescent.

He then spoke with a teasing scorn. “Mmm now.... I should warn you that tossing around archaic or less common words like ‘faust’, ‘doth’, ‘augur’, ‘bode’, ‘agin’, ‘vorpal’, ‘cataract’, ‘cob’, ‘ere’, ‘ire’, ‘athenaeum’, and maybe ‘chrestomath’… will get you confused for a lexicon a year or two before Luna found herself stapled to the moon. Shoot, even old phrases like my family’s motto ‘Nemo me impune lacessit’, None shall insult me and seek impunity.”

Java paused suddenly. His exp<b></b>ression turned into a quizzical one as he mulled over his last thought for a few seconds. Huh, he followed that one quite unexpectedly through his life. He gave a shrug and continued on. His eyes drifted down to the chickens as he spoke. Sparkling with curiosity as why they all seem to be giving them nervous glances.“ Or…’hc svnt dracones’, Here there be dragons. The latter’s longer version with a different meaning, ‘et sunt etiam serpents tante magnitudinis, ut unum bovem comedant integrum’ But you can probably get away with ‘deus ex machina… as that is just a literary trope.”

He then rolled his eyes, and muttered in a low tone, “er… probably shouldn’t take advice from a stallion that took several years to break away from a dodge drawl… and still slips”.

He then glanced up to AJ, when they finally were informed about the fowls… strange behavior.

“Apple Jack… you have some of the stranger ranch animals I have seen to date…” He commented openly, before reaching out with a hoof to pluck up the feed barrel by it’s handle. He unconsciously, began to twirl the feed bucket about his wrist. Displaying the very delicate display of centripetal force when not a single seed had been spilled, or flun about wildly. Even a spectacle of earth pony dexterity was shown when the stallion casually pulled his hoof away allowing the bucket to fly high into the air. Still whirling about it’s center of gravity. And allowing it to plumet back down.

It’s bottom landed with a soft thunk on top of the stallion’s head. The recoil of it caused his head to dip a bit, as a small sprinkle of dried seeds popped into the air and landed on the stallion’s mane. But this went completely unnoticed. Well… it did seem to rattle something in Java’s head. Perhaps it sparked some of the reserved energy deep inside him... yes. The wake up slap he needed on top of his usual dosage of coffee.

“But I suppose when your farm is a legend in Equestria and one of the most prominent foundations in this town’s history… not just anypony can tame it so well,” Java gave the mare a grin so broad that could out shine a cheesier cat. Much less be physically impossible to any pony that’s not a demented buck. Even less so with the sudden energy leap. “So! No sudden movements! Nervous chickens! All armed with razor sharp talons! And likely defending eggs! Possibilities of nasty clawing!? Eighteen point two, two, three repeating percent!”

The crazed engineer quickly spun about, while twisting his head to counteract the forces being acted upon the bucket, to face the Prince. Approaching him with a tone of fondness when he applied a derived nickname to the stallion, “Now then! Lexicanium my dear boy! I’ll take care of this one! I came here to work, and sitting by to watch is not something I tend to do! Oh! Funny! By family tradition I was supposed to challenge you to a friendly duel by blade for previous insulting quips! To late now!”

Then back to Apple Jack, “Welp! Shouldn’t delay! Probably as hungry as our friends in the barn!”

If it’s not clear yet about the stallion’s mental situation. Then the way that the stallion had cartoonishly flung himself – cartwheeling in the air- into the coop with one swift leap, after being warned of sudden movements… probably should.

“Hello my dearies~” the stallion chimed happily to the group of birds inside.

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The Prince wasn't sure which was the more exhausting, manual labor or dealing with Java's company. Probably the latter, as so far Blueblood hadn't much to do in the way of heavy lifting, but even passively watching his fellow noble was draining. Actually mustering a reply, consonant with dignity and class, would tax the most laborious of ponies. "My vocabulary is antiquated? I hardly know what half those words mean!"

Er, hm. That was a much more devastating retort in his head.

As Voronoi's antics proceeded, however, his annoyance was transmuted to alarm. He'd always thought of the Earth Pony as mad, in the social sense, but this sort of thing made Blueblood suspect that he was crazy in the medical sense as well. Celestia only knew what the chickens thought, but the Prince were a chicken (as many had accused him of being in the past), he would be making a break for the hills right now.

As inconspicuously as possible, he scooted over to Applejack while Java was busy traumatizing the poultry. "I shall keep him occupied. You run for the doctors!" He whispered hoarsely.

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Oh he's eager and excited. Or no, he's overly obsessed, er what is he doing? He's losing control of his mind? Oh, no he's just trying to make it fun. Wait. Nope, he's insane. These were the thoughts running through Applejack's mind as Java did his presentation for the two onlooking ponies, but most unfortunately, the chickens. "Oh, the animals here are pretty ordinary. The best kind of ordinary!" Applejack would say with a confident expression, but then regretting the energy she may have given to an already supercharged Javasun.

The chickens were shaking nervously, not knowing what this pony was about. Why would Miss Applejack invite such a stranger into our pen? Are we being punished? Is this how it all ends? The moment Java made his last graceful acrobatic move towards the chicken coop, the chickens scattered with fear and panic. Applejack knew Java would never hurt a chicken, and she also knew the chickens would be able to sort themselves out eventually. What would happen to Java, however was probably best left up for the imagination.

So, with respect to the amount of time the two had to do chores, Applejack offered a solution, and it was this: let Java do his thing and prepare the Prince for the next round of activities. "Well, Prince Blueblood, how about her get you set up for the next chore then, since Java's got everything *winces* under control." Applejack grabbed the Prince by the shoulder in case he felt it necessary to stare at the nutty stallion still wrestling with madness and sharing some sort of planned monologue with the chickens. "You're in luck. You get to get clean! I'll need you to take off whatever garments you got on and take a quick shower out here by the outhouse." She pointed at the shower house, which was practically a barn stall with a shoulder high fence around it with a bucket with holes hanging above connected to the water pump. Applejack started pumping to give the water some flow. "Just get in, get a good rinse, and come back out." Applejack hadn't exactly told her what he was 'getting clean' for just yet.

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The chickens inside the coop were far more than delighted for Java's sudden acrobatic feat. In fact, they were every enthusiastic! Ecstatic event! Only... probably to the pony himself, in his currently... more aware... mind set caused by a gentle bonk to the noggin by a heavy bucket of seeds. Oh yes these were most definitely happy chickens to Java.

The clucking chickens were all dancing. Wings were beating. And they were all jumping joyfully into the air, scattering feathers around like some big confetti storm created by pillows smashing into fillies late at night in their slumber party.

And like all good things, parties must come to end. What could have been a terrific celebration of the acrobatic earth pony's arrival, had turned into a terrifying display of frolicking chickens.

These joyous fowls, didn't seem so joyous anymore when their five to ten pound bodies began smashing into the larger buck's. Claws were digging into his mane. Claws were digging into his coat. Claws were digging into his tail. And claws were digging into his face!

Java began to panic as well. His bucket of seeds went flying into the air the moment a wing-spread beast had blocked his line of sight, bawking angrily. Or were they simply still paniced as well? Not quite knowing what they were doing? Well either way, Java's body began to thrash about, as more chickens bounced around him, onto him and into him. And soon he too began bouncing. Into the walls. Into the ceiling. Onto the other wall, and back on the floor.

But wait, that's not quite right? Physics don't quite work that way. Lets back track a couple of paces and think about what happened outside the coop.

Oh yes, with all the commotion inside, the coop had suddenly leaned off of it's struts and began to roll like a lop-sided wheel.

“WAIT! N-JU-hflkljdlfjTO -Feeaad- you!” Cried out a masculine voice inside of the rolling structure.

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In the years to come, whenever ponies would propose in his presence that a regimen of supervised manual labor should be prescribed as a cure for "snobbishness," Prince Blueblood would retort with a complete account of today. The working classes had enough hardships as it was, without being burdened with the disasters arising from incompetent help. Naturally, Java's misfortunes would be given more prominence, and it had to be said that the noble was being most obliging in having his failures be as spectacular as possible!

It was too painful to watch; you could make a horror movie starring those chickens. It was with relief that the Prince turned away, and with gratitude that he heard that he was being given a chance to clean up. "Oh, thank you." He sighed, levitating the apron off with magic. He'd known better than bring any of his own clothes to such a place.

Blueblood wrinkled his nose on instinct as he made his way over to where the showers were, though to be honest he himself probably didn't smell much better after the incident in the pigsty. He turned the faucet, and was immediately drenched in an arctic rainstorm. "YIPE!"

Right, he forgot. Hot water was for civilized ponies. And it was probably not a good idea to turn the water on full-blast anyhow. He turned it back halfway, and washed up as best he could. Of course, without the full compliment of soaps, shampoos, conditioners and the like, he still didn't look his best coming back, but at least he smelled like a pony, now.

"Now, that's better. Ah, what was it that we were doing again?" He asked Applejack, hearing still in the distance the crashings of Voronoi as he was thoroughly traumatizing the poultry...

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Applejack could hardly heard the squeals from Blueblood on account of all the commotion still going on in the chickens' den. Java sure knew how to make a simple task interesting. She would have to be sure in the near future to give him tasks that are a little less requiring of violence.

Blueblood came out of his cold shower quicker than Applejack expected. Although his displeasure shown on his face was easy to read.
"Aw, now come on. Granny always told me a cold shower is a good way to build confidence. Now come this way, and I'll show you what you're going to do." Applejack walked towards a giant vat. One could not tell what was in the vat since the top of the vat was taller than a pony's head. The vat had a spigot attached to it on the outside lower part of it. "Apple Bloom is gonna kill me when she finds out I gave this task to you. She loves doing this. What you're going to do is climb this here ladder and jump into the vat. It's fully of discarded apples."

While waiting for Blueblood to plunge into a vat of apples, Applejack walked over to the chicken area to check on Java. Apparently, he found himself rolling around inside the coop, the coop itself rolling around. "Um, uh, that's enough I think. The chickens are fed. That'll do! Stop!" Once she got Java's undivided attention (or as much attention as you can get from him) she started directing him towards the vat Blueblood was climbing. "How about you do something that requires a little less physical effort. This here vat is full of apples, and Blueblood is going to start mashing the apples with his feet. Your job is to take these nicely clean glass jars here on the table next to the vat and pour the apple sauce from the vat into these jars. Get them full, but not to the rim. Make sure you close the spigot when you've filled a jar so it doesn't end up all over the place."

"Alright Blueblood, whenever you're ready, you can start stomping around."

 

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The stallion was busy covering his eyes in the swarm of Chicken feathers and bodies that were thrashing against himself. Some chickens, whom had calmed down, began to vigilantly chase the poor stallion at the sight of the corn that was clinging to his coat and main. Some were even running along his body and rapidly pecking away at him to try and grab some grub in all the chaos.

 

But eventually, like all horrible things, it came to an end. The voice of AJ was quick to regather the attention of the chickens whom then proceeded to stroll outside of the house. Or... well at least most of them. As the rest were riding on Java's back, pecking at his head to pluck up bits of seeds that were still stuck in his coat.

The stallion looked nervously behind himself, spotting that the house had in fact been rolled over onto his side, and then glanced back to AJ. While she gave him a new instruction, he made a small mental note to come back later to fix that topsy turvy hen house for her. After all... it was the least that he could do after practically traumatizing the poor hens... whom took it upon themselves to roost on his back. He had practically forgotten about them till he received a sharp reminder from a peck to the ear.

 

He approached the tap, and slowly looked over the large tub full of apples with a burning hint of curiosity.

“Less physical effort? Well, I guess I appreciate the sentiment... but I don't mind dragging a boulder up a mountain.”

The stallion soon rose up on his hind legs to peer inside the basket. The chickens who were riding on his back, began to flap their wings to prevent themselves from falling off.. “Well, this is a good time to be used to getting dirty eh Blue? I'm kinda envious though... this does look pretty therapudic.”

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Upon hearing what his next task was going to be, Prince Blueblood's first thought was, *What!?  You made me take a cold shower just to get all filthy again?  Why bother washing up, then?*  The second thought came close on it's heels, as soon as the unicorn realized what he'd just said in his head.  *Oh sweet aunt Celestia, I'm going native.*  He shuddered as Applejack left to fetch his poultry-geist haunted fellow laborer, gingerly mounting the short step-ladder to peer into the vat.

 

It was just as he'd feared; it was full to the brim with apples in various states of mushiness.  Now, it wasn't that the Prince didn't like apples, he'd hardly have lasted this long on Sweet Apple Acres if so, but he had a very high standard for freshness in produce.  He would hardly touch spotted fruit, and now they expected him to dive in a vat full of it?  It was high enough for him to actually drown in there!  And what would the headlines make of that?

 

Prissy Prince Perishes in Pulpy Produce!

 

It was too horrifying to contemplate.

 

 

 

Blueblood was still perched on the edge, wrestling with existential difficulties, when Java came up beside him.  "Theraputic?  I'd hate to meet the disorder this was meant to treat!"  He sighed, there was really no getting away from it now; even if he wanted to welch on the bet, there were two ponies in prime position to give him a push if he started to back down.  Instead of jumping in, though, he gingerly set his front hoof on the top layer of apples.  This, like most attempts by males not to follow instructions, turned out to not be a good idea, as it sank at first with a slow, lingering *squelch*, but then it suddenly gave way, pulling the Prince off-balance!

 

"Augh!"  Yelling in surprise and disgust, Blueblood reached out to steady himself, and ended up grabbing hold of Java's neck.  This only ended up with him pulling the earth pony into the vat on top of him (along with one chicken who was too slow to dismount.)

Struggling desperately for life and air, the unicorn attempted to wrestle Java off of him, with muffled, gurgling shouts of "Gerrof, gerrogf!"  The apples were quick to disintegrate into sauce, making the whole affair much more messy and slippery.  In almost no time at all, Applejack was hostess to a sight that many a pony would have paid good money to see...

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Java was too curious for his own good. Applejack knew this. She had hoped her stern directions would veer him in the right direction. Applejack knew what it took to get a pony's attention. When Apple Bloom was hyper, she knew how to push her buttons, how to say the right word in the right inflection to make her understand she needed to quit bouncing around the living room. Many times when Applejack was in charge of something like the plant team during the annual winter wrap up, she could vocalize her trust and delegations to her workers to be properly motivated to do the work the right way. Applejack had figured Java would be no different, and that he could do the task Applejack asked without much of a hitch.

She was wrong.

As Java fell into the vat with Blueblood and a stray chicken, she climbed the small ladder and looked over the top. What she saw could only be categorized as two novice wrestlers swinging their hooves around trying to keep their head above a couple feet of apples. They made noises of anguish, but there was no real harm to be seen, besides Java's peck marks. To many ponies this would be entertaining, but to Applejack, she was just annoyed. Her expression, if the colts playing in the apples could even stop to look at it, was flat faced with eyelids half closed to show their lack of enthusiasm. A small sigh puffed from Applejack's muzzle. "When ya'll are good and ready, I guess I'll be the one to pour apple sauce." She climbed down, and opened the spigot, filling a jar. When it was full she tightened the spigot and grabbed a new jar and started to fill it. Applejack could still here them painfully sloshing around in the vat. She paid the sounds of desperation no mind. "Only twenty more jars."

 

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