Bellosh

A Silver Lining (Bellosh & Pretzel)

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Bellosh    1,573

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*THE IMPERIAL PALACE: ROYAL BEDCHAMBERS*

 

Curse the overdiligence of palace servants!

 

Whereas a normal being would have been left to limp on following a sky chariot crash in the mountains, the Empress of Long Guo was confined to a world of rest and recuperation on the recommendation of the imperial household's wood synergist. As long as the healer Xiu deemed it necessary, Empress Yuè was kept a virtual prisoner in her own palace while she recovered from a bruised left foreleg and other minor cuts and lesions. Until the royal qilin's leg was fully healed, she wouldn't be permitted to go anywhere — not even to the washroom — without the assistance of a palanquin... and all its bearers.

 

No expense was spared in maintaining the imperial sovereign's well-being.

 

Although the Empress understood that her good health was of paramount importance to the Dragon Kingdom, it didn't make her recuperation any less frustrating. So many things Yuè could be doing to rule her nation, yet none of them feasible without constant interruptions from the many many treatments ordered by Healer Xiu each day. Between those and all the prescribed teas, the qilin mare was currently reduced to laying belly-first on her implausibly luxurious emperor-sized bed, not bothering to wear any garments. With the drapes surrounding the bed all closed, Yuè was at least free to waste the afternoon catching up on her anthology of historical Trottin Hoof ballads, all translated into Dragonese.

 

Suddenly, Qing's voice from the entryway; "Miss Yuè, Mister Silverheart is here to see you."

 

That news from Yuè's personal assistant elicited a smile out of the qilin. "Send him in," she authoritatively instructed. The silver-maned stallion from Trottingham never failed to be a good source of company; something the Empress could probably use right about now.....

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Pretzelparty    1,898

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When Silver had first heard about the carriage crash he was ... well, horrified. If this were any normal stay in a foreign land, than he would worry what would happen to the power structure and government. This time however, he'd been infinitely more concerned with the state of the qilin in the carriage. His classes at the academy had lost a bit of energy the day he'd heard just the rumor of the empress' disappearance. Normally the ivory maned stallion would be radiant with energy and desire to share what he knew but as of the day he'd learned of the carriage fall, well, there was no bounce in his step of as much honest enthusiasm in his tone. His drop in performance only lasted the two days however, as soon as he'd heard that Yu had returned and she was safe (if a bit scuffed). Silver's heart could have jumped out of his chest the second he'd heard a seemingly sympathetic student inform him.

 

Once the empress was back it would likely surprise the entire court at the speed of which this pale headed outsider desired to see their divine empress: Once might even view his actions as perhaps a bit overzealous. Still he had filed paperwork alongside all of his usual documentations in order to get him a chance to see the mare he'd met on that fateful night at the gala. 

 

Qing was, as always at her empress' side (even if not in the same room.) Yu couldn't have been having a very good time being cooped up in her room. Silver couldn't say he knew what it was like to bear the weight of a whole country on your shoulders, but he was sure that it had to be exhausting. Now to have this horrendous accident putting her in harms way and leaving her with wounds that required the attention of the top healing in the dynasty: Silver could only pontificate on the miserable feelings Yu might have been left wallowing in despite the undoubtedly kind words of those who watched her. 

 

So Silver had come to try and bring her at least a little bit of cheer if not some nice company. 

 

Since his Arrival Silver had taken to wearing a simple, but well made Hanfu. He did greatly enjoy how it looked on him even though he couldn't help but feel as if he stuck out in it more than blended in. He brushed some of his locks from his face to better see Miss Yu. When he first laid eyes on her, he would quietly gasp out those familiar words of relief: "Ohthankgoodness." He approached Yu's ... intimidatingly large bed with a slightly hurried step and then would bow down to her. Even at this angle it was easy to see that the pony was trying desperately hard not to be overwhelmed by the profound feeling of solace that now filled every corner of his mind. When he got brought his head back up he wiped something from his eye and offer the qilin on the covers a smile."Welcome back..." His cadence was a bit shaky at first, "I'm so... The palace is so grateful for your return."

 

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Bellosh    1,573

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It had been something Yù Yuè gotten used to over the last few days; the occasional well-wisher who couldn't quite keep their composure. Some of it was undoubtedly faked, but phonies were easy to detect, and they had easily been outnumbered by the genuine. At least, Yuè thought so. Seeing Silverheart trying to pull it together brought the Empress a measure of mirth in her heart.

 

Yuè turned her head to the side and smiled at the Trottingham stallion, although he would have a hard time seeing it through the drapes; "Thank you as always for your kind words, Silverheart." The qilin closed her book and set it off somewhere to the side so Silver can be accorded proper attention. "Feel free to come in front of me." Another issue when recovering from an leg injury while being empress: one was strongly implored to call for assistance before aligning the body in any direction. Otherwise, Yuè would have simply turned her body towards Silver like a normal mare.

 

"The weather today is rather agreeable, don't you think?" An idle question shot towards the unicorn as he walked on over, but it was always the job of an empress like Yuè to put the hearts of others at ease....

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Pretzelparty    1,898

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Silver carefully stepped around the bed, soon finding a good angle where he could more easily face the empress. "Thank you kindly, Y-" The stallion paused and glanced to the door, making sure that noone was listening in. So far it seemed alright, "Thank you, Yu... " With that he finally sat himself down in a position easier for the the bedridden to face. As much of a relief it was to see she was alright, Silver still felt a twinge of worry seeing the marks of injury upon her. His mind turned to the possible appearance of her before her healers had gotten to her and immediately chided himself.

 

'Stay in the present...'

 

He would think in his mind, "In the present." The last part of that thought managed to escape his lips, not without him noticing however: He managed to go on and tie it in to his response on the topic of the weather. "... I'd say it's most lovely. I saw the cherry blossoms come to bear not too long ago, combined with the sun's rays and the clouds shade it made for an amazing sight. Still I think I prefer your company to the trees and sun if I may speak so boldly." The equestrian's cheeks flushed for a moment before he itched his neck, "Besides it the blossoms seem to make my nose itch." He would give a little smile, still hoping to keep Yu in brighter spirits while he had her ear.

 

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Bellosh    1,573

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Ah yes, the cherry trees. Goodwill gifts sent by the Neighponese Shogunate about a century ago, back when the Féng Dynasty first earned the Mandate to Rule. Yù Yuè had been rather fond of viewing the blooms of the Palace's sakura grove around this time of year. That reminded her; sworn sister Mei wrote that a caribou dignitary friend of hers would be taking her to see the Sakura Spring Festival, happening right now in Neighpon. Hopefully, the two of them were having a memorable time.

 

Empress Yuè smirked in delight at Silverheart's bashful attempt at sweet-talking; it didn't seem the unicorn had much experience yet in that sort of field. The stallion earned a soft chuckle from Yuè with the nose itching quip. Flower allergies ran strong in his bloodline, it seemed. "If you thought our cherry blossoms are impressive," Yuè remarked; "The Sakura Spring Festival in Kyoma is a different beast altogether. The whole of that city becomes enveloped in a sea of pink. I was fortunate to view those blooms myself, when I was brought on one of Father's diplomatic trips to Neighpon. It's something... that can never be forgotten."

 

The qilin mare neglected to add that part of the magic of her Sakura Spring experience was sharing it with her escort; the handsome ryuma stallion who would later become Shogun Ryuichi. As a filly filled with immature thoughts of romance, Yuè had taken a huge liking to the Shogunate's heir-apparent. That was long ago, however. Yuè knew that such a match now was impossible, although with it known throughout the Palace that Yuè and Ryuichi had been trapped alone together in that mountain, who knew what scandalous thoughts dwelt in the thoughts of others? Especially Silverheart?

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Pretzelparty    1,898

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Silverheart brightened as Yu let out that soft laugh, "Good to know I can still make you laugh... maybe if my position at the academy doesn't work out I can serve as your jester... wait, do they have jesters in Long guon culture?" Not really expecting a serious answer, Silver scooted closer to the empress in small increments before looking out the window. The stallion let out a contentedly sigh as he watched the thousands of pink petals gracefully dance through the air, "Maybe one day I could see the neighponese version of it with someone special at my side." Silver smiled at Yu playfully, "I think I have someone in mind already."

 

With a partly stifled yawn, Silver would stretch in place and look back to the corridor. He could still hear the mutterings of the staff, "You wouldn't believe what some of the rumors your attendants have been talking about by the way. Just walking from the academy to the palace, I'd heard so many spins on what had happened out there. Ridiculous things like a clumsy attempt to somehow weaken the dynasty by the shogunate to some secret romantic getaway with you and Shogun Rakuen. Even some of them were about you two kissing before you'd been rescued." Silverheart wasn't the type to entertain such unfounded rumors, but it never hurt to keep one's ear to the ground. He had hidden any feelings of jealousy away and tucked them into his stomach as his own imagination treated him to some silly images of the proposed scenarios that burrowed into his mind through hearsay. 

 

 

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Bellosh    1,573

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"Heh heh," Yù Yuè chuckled as Silverheart inched his way closer to her; "We have employed jesters in the Imperial Palace for thousands of years, although I imagine there are substantial differences between ours... and the ones you're accustomed to."

 

Silver wasted no time in laying on the adorable sweet-talking. Empress Yuè would have thought herself immune to such romantic charms, it helped to know that he — and his younger sister for that matter — were unicorns of pure hearts, whereas the Empress would have distrusted any other who dared speak the exact same words. "Then I hope you find the courage to invite this special someone one day Silver," Yuè coyly teased; "Once you've found a way to suppress your allergies, of course. Flower petals don't enjoy being sniffled at, as we all know."

 

Flirting time didn't last much longer, as Yuè quietly tsked tsked under her breath upon hearing the various rumors being woven. "Baseless gossip," the smug Empress dismissed out-of-hoof with a gesture of her uninjured foreleg, not appearing flustered in the slightest; "Only a weak empress pays heed to idle, attention-seeking speculation that will be forgotten about within a fortnight. Rest assured, my experience in the mountains was, well... harrowing, to say the least, but the Shogun and I worked together and pulled through."

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Pretzelparty    1,898

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"Hmm... How different? It's never too early to get head start in learning a valuable new skill!" Silver could picture it now, him dressed in a harlequin's outfit covered in make up: A silly, and hopefully not prophetic daydream.

 

"I'll speak to an apothecary about it at once." Silverheart laughed softly and rubbed at his muzzle, "I'm sure I'll find someone who can cure such things by the year's end... And  maybe this is the flower's revenge upon me for not convincing my sister to take her own treatments more often. The Chamberlain mane's might have some peace if I had."

 

"Baseless gossip can be quite the bother. Back in the guard there were more than a few rumors about me... I can't say I'm surprised. Given how I look!" He glanced down at himself before looking back up to Yu, "But as you said, you're not one to indulge in gossip. I'm glad that you made it out safe... and one day I should thank the Shogun personally. If I'm allowed, of course." Silver scooted up on the bed once more, worried inside that he might be pushing his luck in doing so. "Still... a fortnight, hm? Maybe some new rumors will surface before then and give you some of the rest you need." 

 

 

 

 

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Bellosh    1,573

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Empress Yuè almost laughed envisioning the continued misfortune of her Chamberlain's hair, but thought otherwise of vocally causing the elderly servant to lose even more face. Quickly however, the conversation turned back to the meta discussion of rumors. "If they're not rumor-mongering about me, then they're gossiping about each other. Anything to get a leg up on their rivals and curry favor. Such is the way of things in the Imperial Court..."

 

Yuè took a long hard look at the floor below Silverheart as she dryly commented as if making a curious observation; "You've had difficulty figuring out where to sit ever since entering my chambers, Silver." All that scooting indeed went noticed by the Empress. "I can ask a servant to retrieve a more comfortable cushion should you desire....."

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Pretzelparty    1,898

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Silver looked down to his place and laughed nervously, "Oh! Not at all. My apologies, Yue... Lately I've been experiencing a strange abundance of energy not long after I arrived in Long Guo. Usually I would rid myself of it by channeling it into the teaching but with all that happened it's been harder to concentrate." The unicorn itched his neck for a moment before stilling himself this strange fidgeting he'd been experiencing had caused him a bit of worry lately but he was determined to stick it out, like he imagined his father would. 

 

"As for the court: I must say that the more I hear about it the more similar some aspects of our countries can be. Back in Equestria the nobility can be ambitious, spoiled, and sometimes mean well, but be terribly out of touch with citizens they wish to win over... and that's only in places where the nobility still hold sway over governance. Politics can be even messier, I heard the first election in Ponyville was rather intense! Pies were thrown, apples mistreated, thank goodness things worked out." With a small nostalgic sigh at the memories of his homeland's history, Silver glanced out the window again in the direction of the equestrian mainland. His bright green eyes soon glanced back to the empress in bed, "... If I might be so bold... perhaps I could find my most comfortable place by your side, Yue?"

Edited by Pretzelparty

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Bellosh    1,573

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Of course Yuè knew that Silverheart was trying to get situated as close to her as possible, but it required making playful light of his antics first before the stallion confessed. The empress wondered in the back of her mind whether she was the first mare Silver felt... feelings for. Certainly, his behavior hadn't been too far removed from how Yuè herself acted around her first crush so many years ago: nervous and bashful. "Oh uhh," the qilin answered Silver's inquiry; "Certainly. Take care not to disturb the bed too much; my left foreleg needs to be kept still. And keep the drapes closed. .....Healers' orders."

 

After Silver made himself comfy on the royal bed and shut the drapes surrounding the two, Yuè broke the silence. "I have been meaning to ask; how is your instructor position working out for you lately, Silver? You used to serve in Princess Celestia's royal guard, so I hope working at the Academy hasn't been too jarring of a transition....."

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