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Bluebelle, meanwhile, had been listening to Nilaavin's tale, though from time to time she diverted her attention to the sphinx himself.  The casual way her new... companion, bodyguard, what have you, spoke of violence was somewhat disturbing for the career diplomat.  Of course, given what Blue had learned of the real and terrible dangers that existed in this world during the past few years, having all that violence on her side was comforting in its own right.

 

In the meantime, she was just going to have to get used to being around Nil.  Not quite able to banish the tension from her body, she approached the giant feline hybrid's side, resting a hoof against it.  Warm to the touch, the fur was a little rough, to be expected from a regimen of tongue baths with no conditioner.  *That will have to change if he's to continue in my service... but where am I going to find a bathtub that big?*

 

The Princess was distracted from this potentially suicidal line of thinking once Basira put a date to Nilaavin's age.  "Twenty-five hundred years?  I believe that predates the founding of Equestria!  Oh, the world's changed since you last roamed it; I rather look forward to introducing it to you.  Starting with my own home city!"  Indeed, picturing the looks on the faces of friends and rivals among the nobility when she rode into town on the head of a sphinx brought a grin to her face.

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“At least Saddlelon still stands.” Nilaavin says with a waving of his paw in a rather dismissing manner as he keeps sunbathing. “Even if Ubar was my favorite city. They cared to my kin rather well and found us as its guards do to that. Even had grand baths for us to relax as an army of servants saw to are needs. Wonderful city to visit thanks to that, even if I did not wish to live in it.” He glances down as he felt Bluebelle touching his body, brave thing. He was not distracted long as he chews over the last thing the Basira told him. “That is… a long time. I’d not have lived that long without being in stone. Even if we far outlive your tiny race that is no small amount of time. Even to us. If I was alive i’d be very old.” Looking back at his master he shrugs. “I never heard of this ‘Equestria’ master, so i’d believe so… I will be happy to have you guide me and see what has changed. I believe the saying is… ‘fish out of the sea’ for where I sit today. What is the name this lands Pharoah today?”

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"Hmmm It's good to know those weren't just tall tales..." Basira finished up her notes, "Today, there are no pharaohs. Instead we have Sultans..." The horse stepped towards Nilaavin, "I am Sultana Basira El-amin. I care for this land and have stood among the greatest most honed minds of Saddle Arabia. This dig was a joint effort between my country and your master's own. Until you depart for Equestria, you and and your master are under my care." 

 

The Horse closed up her book and set it down on the nearby table, "To thank you for the valuable information you have provided, me and my people will do our best to pay you back in whatever way is fit and Rational. Welcome to the Modern day!" WIth a pleasant smile she turned toward Bluebelle, "I'm sure the princesses will let you keep him... so long as you are sure to care for him properly." She didn't say it aloud but Basira couldn't help but hope that the sphinx could shrink himself down. As wealthy as Blueblood was, Basira couldn't help but think caring for a pool sized litter-box may be costly even for her.

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Basira's satisfaction was mirrored by Bluebelle's own.  Another cross-cultural negotiation successfully completed!  And she could add "sphinx" to the list of species she could work with too!  All in all, the Princess' CV was looking mightily impressive right about now; which was good, as she couldn't help but think she would need to emphasize every possible positive point to keep her aunties from freaking out.  Granted, they weren't likely to be put off so much by Nilaavin himself as much as the fact that he would answer completely to Blue...

 

"Oh, don't worry about that, I ensure all my staff and servants have the highest possible level of care!"  As for requisitioning the proper resources for cleaning and feeding Nil, well, she supposed they would just have to ask in person.  And if anypony was brave enough to say 'no' to a sphinx, well!  Blue still had a few slots left open in her honor guard.  "I'm sure you'll love it.  I'll bet you've never been to a place that had no deserts, but was green all over with forests and grasslands, and some mountains as well, eh?"

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Nilaavin leans his head to one side as Basira talks. Than chuckles gently before speaking. “So ends the never ending pharaohs. Now stands sultans. How long before one stands where you do, looking at the sultans as you do the pharaohs? I wonder if I may yet see that as well.” He says with grin before looking down at his master. “I am most welcome to this change I feel. So much more to see and none I dreamed of… And wise to treat me well master. Should you loss that necklace somehow a wise will not end up as my next meal.” He licks his lips to make that point very clear what fate may befall his master if he’s treated bad.

 

“And such changes… will be welcome. Green lands… forests. A rare treat here but common as are rock and sand for you? Yes I do wish to see such lands. Pray must be common and easy to hunt.” The sphinx smiles as he looked away from them both to the sky, one paw moving too the golden band over neck. He rubs it gently but did not frawn. “Times moves, kings fall. All things change. So does my fate and I eagerly wish to see where this ship takes me now.”

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