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Generosity of Spirit (SPONSORED- Canterlot)

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(Sorry if I was unclear there, but the first part of that quote there was for Medo. The other part was indeed for you though.)

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The boasting professor seemed to smirk at Honeywing’s enthusiasm. Oh little did they know. Turning his head the distracting sweater seemed to change its scene with every turn a phrase. As they discussed Rarity’s so called old flame, his ears pricked up as the Neighponese rattled back and forth. As Honeywing has words with Rarity he decided it has been best to move along and tease the solar princess. She seemed dismayed by the idea of him having a progeny amongst her ponies. Chaos was a powerful thing and to fully understand that the present determined the future, while the approximate present did not precisely determine the future there was a level of deterministic chaos that gave unicorn an edge.

 

While Chaos Theory serviced ten or more fields in education, leave it to Discord to teach dynamical systems. As if to present his point to the mare his sweater changed design to show a Caribou’s silhouette grazing among the trees. “Very well.” He determined as Celestia requested he save her some cake. Cake?!

 

He hummed and gave Honeywing a smirk as he made his way to the buffet table. It seemed ponies were getting up to dance. He slowed a piece of cake, before levitating an enormously large piece onto his plate. When Ishi looked in his direction the handsome unicorn arched a brow and waved the fork in his magic after taking a large bite, pouching it in his cheek. They already seemed to be asking other ponies to dance. He would have liked to ask Celestia, but she was busy playing diplomat. While he could see how boring that might be it was opportunity to late waste to the table of treats piling his plate in a tower of colorful treats the unicorn simply held the plate in place with magic, letting the tipping totem of treats tremble with his trots.

 

Finding a suitable standing point, far away from the crowd, the professor settled with his plate. He pursed his lips, making eyes at his mountainous meal. Parting his jaws the male's fleshy, pink tongue peeked out to wet his lips. His dark, raccoon shadowed eyes turned to the socializing ponies only for him to perk up, ears snapping to attention at the sight he beheld. In all her now masculine glory: the inventor had strode her way into the party. The past place he would have thought Bevel would brave given their track record with group activities. He sucked wind over his tooth. His magic pulled open a small pocket on his sweater and dropped his tray of treats into a tiny dimension.

 

Before one could blink the lithe figure was upon the mar-- stallion, his horn alight as he would attempt to pull on Gearbox’s shoulder to grab his attention and disrupt him from name dropping. “I have not seen you yet. I am Professor Theory. Perhaps you would like to dance?” He looked into the male’s eyes with his own intense ones, brows arched.

 

Before even receiving an answer he would look to Blueblood and Rarity. “Pardon me while I take this dance.” He pardoned with his deep, chocolatey voice.

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Applejack was always happy when three subjects came up. The rodeo, Equestria, and anything to do with her family. She couldn't be happier also to see the kindness come from the Prince who once was a byword for rudeness and inconsiderate virtue. Now he was a nice fella. Not that he wasn't still a bit rough behind the edges but anypony who put their back into the work of the common and greater good was somepony with their head screwed on right. And somepony who had their head screwed on right was somepony who could throw together this sorta shindig without it turning into a big disaster. “Howdy, Prince! Jus' stoppin' on by ta sell some cider, see tha sights, and model this here outfit for Rares,” she said moving in place to best show off the outfit. It wasn't something you'd see in any showroom or being sold in a boutique for hundreds or thousands of bits, but it still looked good. And it was made from a thicker, warmer fabric, so it kept somepony warm in the cold. “Gotta say, y'all know how to throw yerselves a fancy party. Ah'm expectin' ta see a bunch of waiters hoofin'around some sorta fancy schamncy stuff. Rarity once made me taste...what she call them... Ah Brit-Zo Grape Fo-ka-Seeya? Was mighty tasty, but gone in just one bite!” She laughed.

“Zap Apples doin' as well as tha very best foal can. Did you know he can say fifteen whole words? Such a smart lil' cookie! An' 'ere-” she leafed through her dropped saddlebag, getting out some black and white photos. “See how much he's grown? He's almost two inches taller now!” she looked at the photo and smiled, tears welling up, “mama's so proud of 'er little Apple! Aww, an' look at this one- he made a mess of tha table!” she said, deciding to show every baby picture and artist rendering she had made to Blueblood right then and there.

 


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Now the stallion was really barking up Rarity's tree. As it was, it was very much the proper tree to bark up. She loved few things more than an honest discussion about the fashion industry. She knew a little about Glitzen as well. Very much a specialty designer who nonetheless had made a name in the field. It was hard to crack into the consciousness as a specialty designer, which meant that Glitzen was unusually talented in the field chosen. “Hmm, I guess I can see Glamour's hoofwork in your clothing. Always a way with needle and thread, not to mention creativity! I am also rather excited to get my hooves on some new materials. Shimmersilk will soon be here in bulk enough to really dig into. The Trade Association has finally negotiated for the rights to special Unyasan Cotton, and Whitescar Fur will really put some zest on older designs. But what I'm really excited about the new accentuations from Long Guo! Oooh, such pretty new jewels and gems. They're to die for! Truly a very exciting time for any designer worth his or her salt,” she said, her passion evident in the rapidly changing and exciting tone.

It wasn't long until a stallion approached, asking if they had seen Discord. She didn't really know who this stallion was and she certainly didn't know where Discord was. She didn't dislike Discord- well, as much as she used to, anyway. She appreciated that he was making an honest effort to change and promoted each and every one of his successes. She could only assume that through sheer effort he would someday truly understand Harmony. And on that day, she would be immensely proud of his transformation. “I'm sorry, but I don't know where Discord would be at this moment. He can be a bit hard to keep track of, as I'm sure you're aware of. No matter that- a pleasure to meet you, mister...?” She said, reaching her hoof out.



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Octavia was always happy to perform at the Castle, never forgetting the vital role they played in jump starting her career. Tonight would be an eclectic bit of performance. They would start with some classical music and then transition into modern classics. There would be many musicians involved, but only she would remain throughout the whole show. Some musicians had already begun playing as Octavia and the rest of the night's ensemble made their way up on stage. Tonight she would be playing a bevy of instruments. While her specialty was string instruments she would be playing just about everything at some point. It was the advantage of being multi-talented- and having Royalty wanting both quality and the ability to cut on talent costs! They also had a superstar on the piano- she would only be revealed later, the white mare currently hidden underneath a dark veiled costume. She would play a more important part in the later proceedings.

When everything was set, Octavia stepped up to the single microphone provided.

“If I may have your attention?”

A pause as she allowed the attention to be given.

“Tonight we will be honored to play for you both the classics of Hearth's Warming Eves Past and Present. May you all have a warm season of love and kindness,” she stated simply, taking her seat, pulling up her bow, and starting the show.

The music began to play in earnest.

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Rarity was always ecstatic when the dances began. After all, she doubted many other Ponyville ponies practiced in their bedroom while imagining the heights of joy and sophistication at such parties. It was all she could do to not vibrate in place- Blueblood was a potential dancing partner, as was that delightful Kirin prince, but as was custom the lady would await an offer.

Speaking of awaiting an offer, Applejack didn't. She downed a cup of cider and took Rainbow by the forelegs, pulling her in tightly after she put the pictures away. “We got a dance or two 'fore we gotta get up on that stage, Sugarcube. Lets make it count.”

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"Just great !  I've only been here a few minutes, and I've already managed to annoy somepony !" T-Twister MUSED TO HERSELF before continuing to herself, "Wait - was I broadcasting my thoughts, or musing out loud ?  Am I doing it now ?!  If even *I* can't tell, how can anyone else ?!"

 

After a few moments of fretting, she slunk away to get some cookies and cider, then listen to the music.
 

She noted there was a great diversity of guests, who donated a great diversity of gifts; therefore, the odds that many foals will have a great Hearth's Warming Eve from receiving the perfect gift was pretty high.  Her mom Shady Dealer was much better at calculating the odds of that sort of thing than she was; Shady could probably give an exact percentage (with profitable betting margins) if she had enough info.

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~~~Niradaña~~~

 

 

So far so good. The introduction to the princess had gone swimmingly and while she still felt her explanation of the holiday back at home was lacking. She was content that she found it at least satisfying. She wished that she could say the same herself but it was the best that she could really give. Of course she wasn't sure if the princess had meant it or if it was the fact that she had other matters to attend to that made her not question it anymore. She heard the other white Ryuma speak on the holiday more and pretty much filled in the holes that she had left which made her sigh internally with relief. 

 

Once Celestia had departed, she naturally followed Ishi over to where he was heading. The White Unicorn seemed to be accompanying them a bit further as well as a pony with a very thick accent and another white pony with a very well kept mane and tail. The dress that she wore was exquisite to say the least although she couldn't say that she would ever be caught in something like that. It wasn't practical. The extra bulk of the fabric would hinder movements, and would keep her from being able to defend the lives that she was entrusted with. True, with her breath she could practically prevent a death if she caught them in time, but it was far better to not have to worry about such a thing to begin with.

 

She heard the pony introduce herself as Rarity, and she seemed positively excited to meet Ishi down to the fact that she even loved his name. Deep down inside of her, she couldn't help but feel a slight ping of jealousy, but she maintained her professional statute. At the mention of dancing though, the ping struck a second time. She knew that it was just a simple formality, and that she was but a guard for him.... so why should she feel this way? She took a deep, yet quite breath, as to not sound exasperated. As she was about to speak up though another stallion came over with... an accent that she hadn't heard before which immediately put her on edge. She wasn't expecting trouble at an event like this too much, and she wasn't going to anything other than watch and listen naturally. Being a guard required a lot of deductive reasoning when establishing a possible thread. From what she could understand from the thick accent, this pony seemed to be looking for another pony. A Pony named Discord. She couldn't say that she knew what he was talking about but she looked to Ishi for a possible answer. Before the anything came though, she heard an announcement from the stage. Apparently the music was starting soon, which also meant the dancing would also begin

 

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Either she was a very fortuitous pony, or something was about to go horribly astray somehow. It appeared that yet again the Royalty from her region had taken notice of her. With Empress Yue, it was understandable, considering that the Empress was the entire reason why she had her cutie mark right now. Albeit she wished that both of their first meetings had been under better circumstances. It wasn't often that a pony had two chances to meet somepony for the first time, but the first time she had met the Empress, she was unconscious from a rare poisonous berry, and the second time was the battle of the phoenixes. She could only wait and wonder now what was going to happen here.

 

As she looked around though, she couldn't help but lock onto another set of eyes. One that she recognized from somewhere before. She couldn't place where, but she definitely recognized them. However she didn't recognize the pony associate with them. She wasn't sure what to make of it, but the way that he looked at her, she could defintely tell that he knew her. She thought back to see if there were any instances when she might have run into somepony with eyes like that before. Or somepony that was unique or unusual. She then remembered once again when she was stranded in Kyomo a serpantine creature. She couldn't remember his name, but she remembered his eyes. These were the same eyes. This pony must have been this creature that she remembered as well. However it made her wonder just how powerful this creature was that he could change his forms like that. It was a pony that you definitely wanted on your good side at the very least.

 

She wondered if it was the shimmersilk that gave her... what was she thinking, of course it was. Shimmersilk was so rare over here in Equestria that it would attract attention with ease. At least from anypony who knew what it was. Seeing as these ponies were royalty, it made sense that they would know about it. Regardless, when the kirin made his way over to her and began speaking in her native tongue, rather than Equestrian, she was thankful and nodded in respect just as another White Unicorn approached her, also reasoning that she was not from the area. She nodded to him as well before responding to Ishi first in her native tongue, "{It is a pleasure to meet you, Ishi-sama,}" she started before transitioning into Equestrian to address both ponies and answer the other unicorn's question. "I am Medo Asai from Jikan-tekina Teien, Ryushima. I am in Canterlot to further my studies in the art of botanical pharmisuticals," she added with a smile, albeit a bit forced. She ultimately wanted to try to hide the fact that she was, in all honesty, very lonely and homesick. She would much rather be home with her family right now.

 

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It was unfortuante that, at this juncture, there were just too many ponies for Blueblood to greet personally.  This wouldn't usually be too much of a problem, since a critical mass of guests would allow them, at a certain point, to greet each other.  However, one pony seemed to have felt rebuffed, and slipped towards the back.  Having his hooves full with, among other things, an enthusiastic mother showing off pictures of her young son, he gave a desperate nod towards Honeywing, hoping that the pegasus would get the message to check up on Twister.  He didn't want anypony to have a bad time at his party!

 

Right, host duties taken care of.  Now free to converse, he dutifully chuckled at Applejack's little quip about the size of the appetizers.  "Well, the little things add up, just like all the fractional inches a colt grows every day."  He looked as interested as a stallion could in pictures of a foal not his own.  Speaking of...  "Ah, very nice.  Makes me wish for one of my own, some day.  However, miss Applejack, I do have other guests I must address..."

 

Bowing out was not so easy as he thought it would be, as she tended to follow him with the pictures as he stepped backwards, but fortunately, a fellow stallion was there to provide an excuse to break out.  "Ah, yes, monsieur...?"  Blueblood picked up on the accent, looking at Gearbox curiously.  Again, there was a kind of familiarity about him, similar to the vibes the Prince was getting from the Professor.  "I am afraid I haven't seen him lately, I would have thought he'd be in Ponyville actually-"

 

Speak of the Prof, here's where he actually cut in, and the sudden juxtaposition of the pony and the idea of a draconeqqus suddenly connected the synapses in Blueblood's brain.  His pupils immediately shrank, as internal panic alarms rang through his skulls.  Discord, at his party!  Not that the Prince was opposed in principle to the god of Chaos, having received good things from his brand of fun before, but.... well, you never could tell with chaos, could you? At least he kept his mouth from gaping, though he hardly trusted himself to open for speech before the Prof and Gearbox seemed to leave for the dance.

 

Speaking of, there was one more guest surrounding, and if Blueblood was hearing her voice rightly, there was in her a strong element of loneliness, more so than the normal of a pony coming to a dance alone.  Sparing a glance around, but not spotting a certain guard, the Prince knew that he'd be free now for the first dance.  "Well, pleased to meet you, Medo.  The first dance is just beginning."  He offered a hoof.  "Would you care to join me?"

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The stallion paused a moment, bringing up his own hoof so he could shake the offered one. It was a shame that seeking out discord couldn't be made easier, but he was here now and Starlight was telling always telling him that he needed get out and mingle more. "My name is Gear...box. "He said with a momentary pause between the two components to his name, "

C'est un plaisir de vous rencontrer, Mlle Rarity: It's a pleasure to meet you."

 

Not long after his introduction he felt a tug on his shoulder, the stallion arching a brow and looking over to the mysterious, slightly familiar looking stallion propositioning him to dance. "Professor Theory... Well, Sorry to say I'm looking for someone at the momen--" something occurred to Gearbox for a moment. What if following him was what Discord wanted him to do. Maybe it would be a fun blow to the spirit's ego if she spent some more time with this stallion here, "On second thought, I'm not too used to dancing like this... but I could certainly talk with ou for a time." Something of a half truth, Gearbox knew how to dance... in his old form. Now his legs were longer and his sense of balance was different, not the best state to be in for ballroom dancing.

 

 

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"Ah, yes, happy Hearthswarming!  Welcome, do partake of a few refreshments, and don't forget your donations!"

 

"Oh, sorry about the snow sir. I hope you're not allergic to it, otherwise this winter might be a problem for you. Oh, right, the donation!"

 

It was then that he mentioned a donation. Although she wasn't prepared for it, there was something that the filly had for the donation. It was a rather interesting white flower in a pot that was painted blue with snowflakes. It was a snowdrop, a flower that bloomed even in the winter. She flew over and placed her present on the table. 

 

At last the music was warming up as ponies began to take their place and partnering up. While she did like dancing, Snow Dancer usually did so by herself. The trouble was that there weren't any colts or fillies for that matter.

 

"Hmm...who do I dance with?"

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Rainbow gulped down another mug of cider. As much as she hated froo-froo affairs such as this, at least her AJ was here with her. After a couple mugs she began to loosen up a bit. It wasn't really that bad. Plus the outfits they had to model weren't nearly as girly and frilly as usual. 

 

"Yep! Let's make it count!" She blushed as AJ pulled her in tight and they began to twirl around the dance floor. She held onto her mare and kissed her lightly on the neck. "I guess this isn't so bad..." She smiled. 

 

Other ponies made their way onto the dance floor as Rainbow and Applejack continued their dance. 

 

Rainbow felt her heart swell. That feeling happened so often with AJ. Being with her was the absolute best thing that had ever happened to her!

 

"Happy Hearths Warming AJ," She let out a little breath. "Love you,"

 

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Vinyl came into the castle wearing her earphones as usual. The beat pumped loud enough for others to hear and the pony nodded her head along. She was dressed up for the occasion and feeling ready to party! She was so proud of Octavia! Being invited by the Princesses to host the music for the evening was not uncommon but it never made Vinyl any less proud of the musical mare.

 

She made her way through the crowd of dancing ponies and moved her headphones around her neck. She smiled at Octavia and swayed back and forth as she listened to Octavia play.

 

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The unicorn raised a brow as Rarity seemed to have the sense of generosity to praise him even in his absence! Though he was a bit unsure of it. One would almost think she was convincing herself! Honeywing and the mare went on about fashion. He puffed up his chest and folded his ears back. He was never into fancy baubles or high trimmed collars. Even in this form his collared shirt sleeves were messily rolled up over his elbows and the sweater a size or two too large for his more slender figure. This Glitz sounded a real patience tester. Who could stand such long hours pouring over individual threads for hours to come!? Well except Rarity of course. His jaws parted, the hair of a quip resting on the edge of his lip. It was bit down when Rarity and Honeywing went on about clothing. He had to stop his eyes from rolling clean out his head as the Harmony Stone user and Winged chatterbox began their flights of fancy over pleased pants and other inane banter on style, which he had plenty of!

“They sound lovely,” he offered to Honeywing. “They would have stopped this party.” After all those sorts did find themselves only able to go one about a singular topic.

Having a hobby was nice, but weaving through and between conversations was a skill known by only a few bards, ah despite his rolling Archer. He slipped away to Celestia some point after a bit of gossip with Honeywing, only for her to depart and play the part of diplomat. It had left him with little choice but to horde choice snacks and hold them hostage later for her neglect! How dare she be dutiful during the holidays! That had been when he spotted Gearbox, more so their sound as his name on the lips of mortals did often send chills down one's spine. It seems one of those spine tingling epiphanies came to Blue when he seemed to all but manifest beside the group.

When the look of realization came upon the the stallion the professor hooked his hoof into Gearbox's free one, were it hanging free after shaking hooves with Rarity. "Enchantée…" he purred, that voice dripping with teasing amusement when the stallion accepted his offer. "If you'd pardon me Master Blue…" he led the masculine figure out to the open floor.

Discord was charmed by the music. It was always fun hearing Octavia twist her chords in a display, whilst Vinyl watched would surely make her play harder, and what fun that would bring. It was true chaos. He stood with his hooves close together. He leaned his left foreleg forward, despite having to lead with your right, and bowed to the fit looking inventor. He trotted up to him until his nose nearly touched his partner's, eyes starting down into their golden ones. A stunning fellow who was a strange and unpredictable force. He would attempt to lead Gearbox in their dance. His eyes drifted to the side as he turned with the stallion, catching sight of a familiar coat of green. Were Medo to caught his gaze he offered her a wink, tempting maidens to fall to their knees! Turning his attention back to Gearbox he hummed.

"Who is this fellow you're looking for? I could have sworn you said Discord, but for such a handsome stallion to be involved with such a -- figure. I hope he wasn't your dance partner of choice." He spoke with a soft, alluring tone. He would dance about Gearbox with steps and moved that contradicted traditional waltzes, yet fit for the current state of music from the mare of song! "I'd hate to have competition…" he drew close, speaking his words with a hot softness.

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Ishi smiled at Medo’s introductions, nodding at her. “Well, it is a pleasure to meet you as well Medo. Perhaps you could save a dance for me later.” He said with a wink before letting Blueblood take the first dance with her. With that taken care of, the kirin smiled a bit, looking around again before noticing that the other filly seemed a bit lost as to what to do. 

 

“Hello there, is something wrong?” He asked as he approached the filly. “If you are looking for something to do, you could go talk with my sister, she’s right over there. Her name is Kaze.” He added, pointing out Kaze for her. 

 

Now for the other member of his group. 

 

“<You do know you can have some fun once in a while, right?>” He teased his guard in Neighponese, smiling over at Nira. “<You don’t have to be my shadow, Nira. Make some friends, relax. If you wish, I’d be more than happy to share the first dance with you.>”

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It took some time, but Celestia finally returned. Two guards joined her, their helmets and manes messy and their eyes a little dulled. Celestia herself seemed fine- whatever magical problem there had been vis a vi the sleigh and its delivery was solved. The party, when she returned, was in full swing. Quite good. Celestia was no stranger to parties but she rarely seemed to get too heavily involved. She prefered to move about with her intentions to her own, seeing if there was a problem she could help with and being there to receive and aid those who sought it. She did so in many ways and though nopony would know why she had left, her return came with a gift.

Kaze was the recipient of it. Celestia believed in relations for the long term. She also believed that care given and taken could be extended to others, and that was what her goal was with the young one. Celestia held in her magic a simple gift no bigger than a hoof. It wasn't wrapped, but rather obscured in a veil of blue and gold mist that moved around it at all times. When she could, the Princess approached, a smile wide and nearly giddy. "<Kaze, I have a gift for you. I hope you appreciate it>," she said, hoofing it over. When Kaze took it the mists would start to vanish, eventually revealing a small diorama that seemed to expand or retract in size depending on who was holding it. It featured Ryuma and Kirins, Ponies and Dragons, and other creatures native to the two lands.

They were made out of silver and gold, with age showing on some of the older bits but even they looked the equal of anything made today. In the middle was a ancient Kirin and a mare who looked exactly like a younger Celestia- even in the diorama, her mane flowed. "<This diorama is ancient, a gift given to me hundreds of years ago, with the expressed intent of one day giving it to a creature from Neighpon whom I found worthy. It has always reminded me that love and harmony transcends borders and that friendship can conquer any problem we face. I give this to you now, and I hope that it helps embolden you in your own life. It will change to reflect the time and place of whoever has it. Hopefully I will be a part of it as you grow older and wiser>," she finished, happy to share the gits of aeons past. It was a magical artifact that displayed the times it was given in stark beauty. As Kaze took it, the kirin male became a small Ryuma filly.



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Applejack was happy she didn't have to drag Rainbow around the dance floor. Not that she wouldn't have taken the Pegasus by brute force around it anyway! Rainbow couldn't escape Applejack's grasp. Not that she would ever want to, of course, and who could blame her? Applejack may have been eager to please as a trait but if she loved you, well, lets just say there was few things she liked to do more than make you happy. She exchanged kisses with Rainbow and allowed a warm breath to accompany her reply, soft and sweet on Rainbow's ears. "Love you too, Sugarcube. Now don't be a slow-poke and let's buck this beat and show these fancy who's it how two real mares dance," she ended venomously, dangerously. no longer twirling and instead deciding to move around with her mare like it was a particularly active night club.



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Octavia played, the movements of the music thrilling her even with their vast histories and her familiarity with them. She loved music. No matter the type of music that was ringing in her ears that particular time and place in history, she loved it. Right now it was classical. But soon it would change. She could see Vinyl in the crowd and gave her a wink. It was so nice she found her way to the party tonight and later they would likely be sharing the stage. For now though, Octavia continued to play and waited for the next roll to decide what the music would be. Vinyl would have her time tonight. And when she did, Octavia would be more than happy to share the stage with her!

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“Hello there, is something wrong?” He asked as he approached the filly. “If you are looking for something to do,
you could go talk with my sister, she’s right over there. Her name is Kaze.” He added, pointing out Kaze for her.

 

"What the buck ?!?!" Tongue Twister THOUGHT TO HERSELF, "I walked away from him !  Now here I am in front of him again !

Like I did NOTHING AT ALL !

Like my actions are as pointless and irrelevant as my existence !

Like they are so trivial they can be overwritten by the whims of another !

If this is how it's going to be the rest of the night, I'm wondering if I should even stay here at all !
.
.
.

No ! I MUST play along with this farce until it ends !  I have no choice !  If I go outside to fly back home, I'll be put
back at the snack table LIKE I HAD DONE NOTHING AT ALL the moment someone wants me there !"

 

Tongue Twister took a deep breath, to calm herself from her (hopefully unheard) thoughts.  Before fixing her gaze on Ishi.

 

"Why would you PRESUME that something is wrong ?  After all, not all who wander are lost."

 

She noticed that Princess Celestia has given Kaze one impressive gift; now that Kaze was busy, Tongue Twister took the
opportunity to go THE OTHER WAY.

 

She noticed a rather unusual donation - a flower in a white vase decorated with blue snowflakes.  A gift from the pegasus
mare with the snowflake Cutie mark that arrived with a swirl of snow earlier.

 

She found her rather quickly - she appeared she was waiting for a dance partner.  But since mares outnumbered stallions at
least five or six to one in Equestria, it might be a LONG wait !

 

"A snowdrop is a very interesting gift !" she stated to the mare, "A rare plant that blooms even in snow ?  That could be
the coolest thing ever to a foal that loves plants !  You might hear the 'squeee !!' for miles around !"

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Momentarily left to her own devices, Kaze took it upon herself to explore her surroundings. Hmmmm... not too many kids her age running around. Big brother Ishi was off with grown-ups, who rarely (if ever) were up for the sort of amusements that Kaze relished in. It now appeared that the adults were splitting up into dancing pairs. Perhaps there was a certain fun there to be had if one had a partner; something the young ryuma sorta lacked. Aww mannnnn, the Ballroom was turning out to be a bust after all.

 

It was in this moment that Princess Celestia resurfaced... with a gift shrouded with a magic veil! Oh my!!! That definitely attracted Kaze's curiosity, yes siree. Eagerly reaching out to it, the little filly briefly felt heaviness as the veil faded away, and was more than surprised to see the present shrink to a more manageable size. As if the magic Kaze witnessed wasn't already awe-inspiring enough, the diorama itself... it was simply beautiful! All those well-crafted figurines, the way even the little Celestia inside had flowing hair..... words failed to describe the girl's astonishment.

 

And that was all before the final magic act, when one of the kirin figurines transformed into a small ryuma filly with an uncanny resemblance to Kaze. Her eyes watering up, the Neighponese filly could only think of one proper way to express her gratitude. She slowed placed the diorama down in a solemn manner, hesitated for a moment... then used a wing-powered jump to latch onto Princess Celestia's neck with her hooves! [Oh... thank you very much, Princess Celestia!!!] The happy little one nuzzled the royal alicorn with the side of her cheek; [I'll cherish this gift forever and ever!!!]

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“Hello there, is something wrong?” He asked as he approached the filly. “If you are looking for something to do, you could go talk with my sister, she’s right over there. Her name is Kaze.” He added, pointing out Kaze for her. 

 

"Huh," Snow Dancer said as the unfamiliar voice shook her from her watching the ponies dance, "Oh, your sister? Sure, I'll go talk to her. Thanks...um...I didn't get your name." 

 

She was about to wander over to said filly when she saw Princess Celestia appear and offer her a kirin statue. Snow was about to go back to looking around when she heard another voice. 

 

"A snowdrop is a very interesting gift !" she stated to the mare, "A rare plant that blooms even in snow ?  That could be
the coolest thing ever to a foal that loves plants !  You might hear the 'squeee !!' for miles around !"

 

"Thank you. Yes, Snowdrops are very special. I think this is only the fifth one I've seen. I do hope that somepony will like it."

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"Thank you. Yes, Snowdrops are very special. I think this is only the fifth one I've seen. I do hope that somepony will like it."

 

"I doubt that will be a problem." T-Twister replied.

 

"ghuy'cha !" she cursed TO HERSELF upon noticing Ishi, "Is there no escape ?!"

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ooc : I will be taking my 1st vacation of the year, and will be out of communication until the 29th.

 

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~~~Niradaña~~~

 

 

The pony that had the accent seemed to be of no threat, and was merely asking for a certain pony. This put Nira at ease a bit. She heard the stallion introduce Himself as Gearbox, although there was a long hesitation between the two words. Perhaps it was because of the thick accent he was trying to get the pronunciation down. Perhaps Equestrian was not his native language so trying to translate his name was a bit difficult. She knew that to be common in Neighponese. There were certain things that was difficult for most in Neighpon to be able to pronounce. The 'L' sound being one of them as they didn't have any sound like that in Neighponese to base it off of or any symbol to represent it. It was... just odd. Of course, she herself was forced to learn the sounds and the languages fluently. It was important that she know many languages so that she could pick up threats or possible dangers from others in events like this one. 

 

It was then that Ishi spoken to her, pulling his attention from the little filly that had been speaking with him. It was one thing that never changed between cultures. The little ones were always cute and always found a way to bring a smile to her face. This one... reminded her a lot of the friend that she had when she was younger. She then remembered what Kaze had mentioned and that they normally reserve this type of celebration for new years. This really put her in a state of unease. The possibility of there even remotely being fireworks at this event made her wholeheartedly not want to be here. She knew all too well of the dangers of what can happen when they don't work as planned. However, Ishi's words rang to her, stating that it was okay for her to have some fun once on a while. That she didn't have to be his shadow, and that he would even be happy to share the first dance with her. Upon hearing those words, she could feel her heart skip a beat and her eyes light up. Try as she may to maintain a professional pose, she felt her entire demeanor change. She blushed a bit and smiled. "{It would be an honor to have the first dance with you, Ishi-sama,}" she replied also in native tongue.

 

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Medo gave a respectful nod to Ishi as he commented on the introduction, adding that she should save a dance for him later. Her? of all the ponies that he would be able to dance with tonight, he would choose her? she wasn't sure if she heard him correctly at first, but there really couldn't be any mistaking it. She also heard him mention to his guard that she could have some fun as well and that he'd even have the first dance with her, albeit in their native tongue, but she was able to understand them. HE also took the time to address a filly that had come up to them. Truthfully he was much more laid back than what she had expected a member of the royal family to be. She was okay with this development.

 

The other unicorn that had addressed her, and seemed to be the host of the party also extended a typical greeting of sorts before he extended his hoof to her and offered her a dance. She couldn't help but blush a bit before placing a hoof on his with a smile. "I would love to.... although.... I've never really danced before.... so um..... go slow... please?" she said blushing a bit more letting the unicorn lead her to the dance floor.

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Ah, the Nieghponese mare was willing to accept the dance!  The Prince was quite glad to see that, and accepted her hoof with grace, leading her to the dance floor at a relaxed pace.  "Naturally.  I didn't commission musicians that would lead anypony to, ah, 'tear up the dance floor,' as they say."  He chuckled at his statement, though his laughter rather significantly dissipated once he spotted a certain DJ enter the ballroom.  Not that Blueblood had any objection to Vinyl Scratch as a guest, but some instinct told him that she wouldn't stay as a mere audience member...

 

Well, that would be a problem for his dance with Rarity.  For now, it was the elegant melodies of Octavia that guided his and Medo's hooves.  Although, it seemed that they were the only pair on the dance floor currently following the beat; the two mares had accelerated the tempo almost threefold, and the pair of stallions seemed to be dancing to a different tune altogether!  *And if that's the most discordant thing that happens tonight, I'll eat my Santa Pony Hat!*

 

Easy Bluey, put your hosting worries aside.  Give Medo a good first dance, let her know something of the joys of the season, and joys of the dance.  Let her forget for a moment that she was far from home, and feel that a second home might yet be made here... The notes ran their course to finish, and Blueblood stepped back to bow, strategically leaving the unicorn mare right next to where Ishi and Niradana had finished their own dance.  "Enchanted.  And I do believe you have another stallion who wishes to dance with you!"  

 

He turned, hoping he hadn't taken himself too far from Rarity.  Well, at least not on the other side of the dance floor.  Unfortunately, he found that he had to make a less than dignified trotting pace to make it over to her before the next dance started.  "Ah, there you are!  While I would be shocked if you were left available, I still do have your name on my dance card."

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Honeywing laughed and shook his head at the professor. "Glitz? No, he would've enjoyed a big party like this if I hadn't been working tonight. I believe he's back home in Ponyville helping out a business contact of his to expand into the town. You must find all this chatter boring, though, so far out of your scope of study." he said. Not that the professor had mentioned it. He was about to answer the new (Prench?) stallion's question when both he and the teacher vanished to the dance floor.

 

"Ahem, well then. I'll admit it's been a little harder for me to keep abreast of the developments in Long Guo, beyond shimmersilk, pearl, and jade. I'm told there are a few culinary things I should look into as well, but that's sort of my father's scope, heh." the stallion answered Rarity. Granted, he had intended to broker some sort of trade between Whitescar and Neighpon that would help cool the tensions even faster, but he hadn't done enough reserch on the far East to determine what a suitable arrangement would be. "In either case, I can't imagine you having trouble setting a few new fashion trends. Anything in particular strumming the cords of inspiration? I can pass it along to Glitz so he can brainstorm a few coiffure styles to accompany them."

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Yak are never late, Yaks come when Yaks want to come. And Rutherford saw fit to come this time. Well he has never taken part in a pony celebration before he wanted to this time. Why? Well there was plenty. First he needed to work on "being firends" with the ponies more. So says the handy guide book he got about diplomacy. It was very useful! The pony that made it was smart. Almost smart as Rutherford. And taking a hint from the book he was coming to the celebration with big gift! That was not made from Yaks. He got some diamond dogs to make gold jewelry. Well nothing close to Yak level of jewelry crafting it did look nice and if they hated it... Well he can join in and make fun of stupid dogs as well! It was very cunning.

 

Looking at the large wooden chest tied to his back he nodded, he had this in the bag. Go in, give gift. Greet. Try none pony food! That was key as well. Pony food sucked but so did all none Yak food. So, eat none pony food and make fun of it so pony may join it. Rutherford was so glad he was so smart! Even if the book told the same thing… Whatever. Rutherford came up with it, so says Rutherford. Puting the book away he watched the train come to a stop and got ready for some runing as not to be even more late…


 

“RUTHERFORD HERE, YAK NOT LATE! YAK COME ON YAK TIME!” Was the first thing to leave Rutherford’s muzzle like shot from a cannon as he dashed into the castle with a few guards trying and failing, to slow him down as they were just dragged along. He looked around the inside of the castle… So clean. So white. It was… Not yak. But this was not his home, of course it will be nowhere as good as HIS home. So no need to get getting mad, he has to get use to silly pony buildings. “I have gift for…” He blankes, what was going on? Something about giving gifts was all he really remembered in the letter he found. He wish he did not toss it into the fire so fast. “For the giving of gift! Yak bring good one, Yaks being best of course.” He says smugly before looking at a guard hanging off his fur. “Where do Rutherford put gift?”

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Ishi smiled at Nira’s acceptance, gently taking her hoof and leading her onto the dance floor. The music was slow at the moment, which honestly was probably perfect for loosening Nira up, so he led her in a slow gentle dance in time with the music. 

 

“{That was wonderful, Nira. Thank you for this opportunity.}” He said quietly in their native tongue, smiling at her a bit as he slowed them to a stop and let her go. “{Now, please go enjoy yourself.}” He motioned for her to get going, to meet new ponies. With that complete though, he turned his attention to Medo and Blueblood as they finished their own dance nearby. 

 

“{Indeed, Ms. Medo. Would you care to join me for a dance?}” Ishi smiled, extending a hoof in invitation. Once the Yak showed up though, he kinda drew attention. The kirin blinked slightly at the loud announcement, looking over at the Yak and chuckling slightly before looking back to Medo. 

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Rarity enjoyed the music, even if she had been left to her own devices while the dances went on. It was somewhat alarming that nopony had offered to dance with her though. She had briefly considered the possibility that she wasn't nearly as attractive as she used to be and had a moment of pure, inescapable existential horror. Then she realized that it was a silly thought to give credence to. She was still young, beautiful, and increasingly famous. She was a prime candidate for a dance partner! Of course the lack of a dance partner told her that perhaps she wasn't as marvelous as she thought she was. A horrifying thought to have rolling around one's skull, no? She maintained a friendly demeanor though, talking and smiling with others as they walked up to donate. Regardless of the sincere horror she felt at being at such a formal gathering and not having a partner, she never lost focus on what mattered tonight.

Still, her discussion partner was delightful enough. She knew that Honeywing was capable and that Glitzen didn't need the additional inspiration, but she nonetheless couldn't help but comment on the current thoughts rattling in her head. “I have been trying to look into more obscure areas in terms of fashion, but most of those paths lead to ideas that are more...radically creative rather than actually beautiful. Truth be told I find that too many designers lose themselves in the creativity of their passion and forget to make actual beautiful clothes that can help ponies shine on the outside as they do on the inside. So lately I've been looking into more public areas that are less touched on by the industry, to tackle some new ground. The exciting, adrenaline fueled world of sports clash so much with the more demure world of fashion, does it not? But it would be an excellent challenge to see if one could make them shine for beauty, rather than pure physicality, without losing it. And of course you have some of the statement cases, such as foreign dress and symbolic ones like the Night Sky Becomes Her, but honestly, there is so much out there in terms of possibility that it is difficult to pin down a single motivation,” she said, about to continue on when the Prince came to her.

She smiled. “Well, it looks like I am being whisked away. Ta-da, Honeywing, and remain well!” She said, prancing alongside the Prince to the dance floor. “Well now, here I was wondering what took you so long.”



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Celestia was pleased with Kaze's reaction. The magic was ancient, a pact formed between friends of an old and bygone era. As time passed Celestia was sure it would come back to her and, in the fullness of time, it would go back to Neighpon. Time passed and those involved may change, but the friendships would endure throughout the eons. Kaze would endure throughout, the friendship forged and the kindness shared memorialized for generations long past hers. The kirin figure that Kaze had replaced slowly returned amongst the other figures, each one as exquisitely made and detailed as Kaze, with only age dulling them.

“I'm so happy that you enjoy it, Kaze. I hope you look to it and are happy each and every time. Of course you have to keep good care of it. The enchantments prevent any sudden breaking, but even such powerful magical creations can be eroded with the passage of time. Neighponese enchanted spring water with breath magic infusion actually acts a rejuvenator which, when applied carefully, will help keep it looking beautiful. I'm sure you can take care of this gift, Kaze, and I look forward to seeing all the places you'll go,” Celestia said with a small bow, taking her leave of the small Ryuma when she was done.

Prince Rutherford arrived. Yaks were always...delicate business. They favored forthrightness in all things and took offense to being treated the way others thought they needed to be treated. They enjoyed pony company for the attributes that ponies had. The Prince was the one taking the most sincere efforts to do so, and while he was far from perfect, such was true of all creatures, Celestia most of all. "Prince Rutherford, I'm so happy you could make it. You're right on schedule for the sleigh tonight," she said happily. "How has Yakyakistan been? I am so pleased you decided to join us on our warmest of holidays, Hearthswarming Eve, where we celebrate the light and greatness of friendship," she said, seeing in his eyes that he was at a loss yet unwilling to make a fool of him. He was trying and that was enough. A guard pony came and slowly moved the gift to the sleigh. "A mighty gift you are giving, Prince Rutherford!"



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The music was reaching the end of its classical section, with time left for one more dance. The pianist pony, still hidden by her cloak. She turned to Vinyl in the crowd and winked once, revealing her opal eyes and white coat, the barest hints of a multi-colored musical note cutie mark visible. Octavia for her part continued playing, though as the music went on it was har to mask completely the preparations behind them.

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"Well, Miss Rarity, not every mare is gifted with the ability to shine alone.  Some must be drawn out and encouraged, and I wish for all to shine at my party."  He grinned, feeling for sure that the fashionista would understand the generous statement.  Of course, that left unsaid the fact that every mare or stallion who shone at a gathering hosted by him granted the Prince no small amount of reflected illumination.  But wasn't that also true about every dress that Rarity made?  Truly, there was much in common between these unicorns besides their coat colors.

 

Further discussion, however, was interrupted, as the pair were not two steps into their dance before another, significantly less couth, Prince showed up on the scene.  "Er, the sleigh over where my assistant is."  He waved a hoof over to Honeywing, swallowing a nervous laugh and keeping a straight face.  "You will find the refreshments over there as well.  I'm, uh, sure we have something to your taste on the table."  In point of fact, there was no Yak food there; an oversight Blueblood would shortly come to regret.

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After letting go of Princess Celestia, Kaze eagerly nodded along as she was instructed on how to take care of her magical diorama. The little one hung on to Celestia's every word; once everything was said and done, the ryuma filly grabbed her gift and gave a final farewell bow. "Sayōnara, Princess Celestia! I hope I can one day visit you again!!!"

 

Okie dokie, time to get this precious present back to the room before anything happened to it. Oh... and Kaze better check on Mr. Twig as well; she left her golem companion to relax outside in the gardens. Seeing that her big brother was still preoccupied, the filly proceeded to leave the Ballroom with careful haste.....

 

*EXIT KAZE*

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Eventually Gearbox relented and was lead into the dance by the professor, despite the strange steps ad odd patterns gearbox managed to keep up fairly well (not counting an occasional stumble). As they went along to the festive music Gearbox's eyes scanned the horizon of the crowd, each spin giving him a new angle and still no serpentine creature in sight! A  frustrated snort left the stallion before he looked back to his partner, "W-well.. it's a very complicated situation, Monsieur." he said with a slight blush as the dance drew on, "But yes... I am looking for Discord. He has something I very badly need is all..." 

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