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[Age of Heroes] Love and Disdain. Again. [OPEN]

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The explanation of the metaphor... made sense, Platinum supposed, even though it seemed quite foolish for anypony to act like that.  If you didn't want the hay, why get in the manger?  It was all a mystery.  *Foreigners.  Exotic, often attractive, but never fully comprehensible.*  She blushed a bit, though, at the mention of the choker, her hoof tracing a line across her throat.  The selfsame shade of pink deepening to red as Ossia sought, as gently as possible, to dismantle her ego.  Truly, a task worthy of an alicorn.

 

"Heh, I suppose you are right..."  The talk of 'lessons' could have proved even more disheartening to the decidently non-academic unicorn, until a thought suddenly occurred to her.  "Hey, would that make me your... your personal student?"  Growing up with 'Auntie' as his primary example of family, Blueblood had no other real example of a close relationship to imprint upon.  The royal was lonely, though he was loath to admit so, either in villain or civilian guise.

 

Such sweet reflections, however, could not be focused on for long.  Not only was Platinum being ponyhandled like a plush toy, she was suddenly warped out the place, throwing the timing way off on her previously-laid plan.  That disruption was minor, however, to the even more troubling apparition before them.  "AIEE!"  The fashion-conscious mare shrieked, covering her eyes as if to protect them from a wave of ammonia.  "They're hideous!  The absolute bottom of the barrel, sartorially, of those darn students!"

 

It had to be said that the writhing mare in Ossia's magic cut something of a pathetic figure.  But her scream was not out of mere helplessness; it was pitched to carry, and so to alert her maid squadron inside the museum.  In a few minutes, the pair of them would have a backup force sufficient to allow them to escape.  They just had to keep these jokers off their tails for long enough...

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"Why, this is exactly what I am talking about." Ossia said, confirmed her with to take Blue under her tutelage. "And I have a lot to teach indeed. Ufufufu...if you thought your 'Aunt' is experienced, wait until you spend a week with me. I will mercilessly pour wisdom and knowledge onto you at mornings, noons and evenings. Very looong evenings." alicorn mused with a purr.

 

 

 

"Yes, they are an affront to the eyes. Although I am think they are a bit too old to be student." Nerezza agreed with Platinum while adding her own observation.

"CORRECT. AND-WE-PITY-YA-FOOLS. IT'S-YOU-WHO-ABOUT-RECEIVE-A-SCHOOLING." android minotaur chimed in

"..........I loathe basically everything in that sentence." pink alicorn said in completely deadpan tone before turning her head towards the Platinum.

"It seems those jokers don't bother taking us seriously." she mused while setting the royal pony down onto museums steps. If Platinum had any doubts about alicorn's intention's towards the quintet, Ossia's psychotic smirk was enough to lay all of them to rest. "Let's witness how bothered they will be when they see what you do." she added before raising into the air.

 

"Haaaaaaaahhhhh......" she took a deep breath, while shrouding herself in the raw power, the spire of aether she was floating in reaching high into the darkening sky. Slowly, but surely the expressions of the five 'heroes' turned from that of confidence into those of horror and confusion. And as suddenly as it started, Ossia's display ended. For Blue's eyes nothing changed, but it was obvious that onl;y now the five could witness Nerezza true form.

"Ahahaha. What's wrong? Never saw an alicorn before? Where is it all that prior bravado?" she mocked the quintet.

 

"Isn't she....? How?" unicorn mage gasped, demanding answers.

"SHE-SUPPOSED-TO-BE-IN-SAN-FRANCISCOLT-RIGHT-NOW. IT-CAN"T-BE-HER." android clarified.

"It isn't her. She feels...different. Wrong. What are you?" the quilin mare asked, apparently more distraught then her comrades.

"Me?" Ossia said, quite pleased with bewilderment of the quintet. "I am a heart's true desire. The lover's touch of passion. A mother's first kiss for a child. Every gaze filled with longing. I am the Love given flesh, the guardian angel for this one..." the pink alicorn gave Platinum an knowing look "...but for you five....I will take a role of an executioner." she added, which made the 'heroes' take a step back.

 

"Platinum Dear...." she addressed the unicorn mare beside her, while the misfits before them were still struck with terror. "Why don't you assist me in this one? That way I can measure how capable you already are, before our first lesson." Nerezza explained while stroking Bluebelle's neck.

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To a mare of any kind of aesthetic sensitivity, and Platinum was nothing if not that, there was little in the way of rough stuff that naturally appealed.  Now, rough stuff to the ugly and mean?  Forgivable, and even, in it's own way, beautiful.  But there was... something in Ossia's look that gave Bluebelle a sinking feeling within her stomach that what was about to happen would go way, way beyond that.  And as the alicorn offered her a leading role in this next act, the genre-savvy within Platinum Gem was put on pins and needles.

 

*If I do this, I'm about to go way beyond what I already am.  I will go from tolerated villain heroes treat with amusement to someone feared and despised.  Will I lose friends over this?*  She had to pause a moment at that, but a moment's consideration only brought up one name, and that belonged to one who was by no means a goody four-hooves himself.  Certainly wouldn't put them off speaking terms.  As for the rest... the sad truth was, neither Prince Blueblood nor Platinum Gem had real friends beyond that.  And thus, nothing was stopping her from partaking in this baptism of blood.

 

Nothing, that is, save for a forgotten circumstance.  "DRAGON!!!"  She shrieked, about two seconds before a huge, scaly body arced into view and smashed into the street, scattered cobblestones like skittles and headed straight toward the five heroes in it's skid, aiming to crush them against the side of a bank!

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".....!!!" Ossia was so transfixed on the Blue, and quinted before her, that even she didn't noticed the approaching wyrm. It's only due to the royal pony cry of warning that she had enough time to put the magical barrier to shield herself and Blue from the granite shards.

 

"What audacity from this beast, to steal both the prey and the spotlight from us." pink alicorn commented, her voice somewhat between disappointment and annoyance - as if it was beneath her to be bothered with being angry at the reptile. "....But perhaps that is what should be expected from a dragon - an avarice given flesh." Nereza pondered for a moment before shaking her head.

"....Normally such malfeasance would be a death warrant for creature such as this one...." she explained while observing the dragon and five 'heroes' go at it. "....but right now it would change nothing. The mood of the scene was simply, irrevocably tarnished, a shadow of what it was. And I, Ossia, refuse to be satisfied with a mere scraps." Nerezza stated, haughtily before turning towards Bluebelle.

"It looks like  we have to seek new means and occasion to assert you, Pretty Gem." she mused with yet another endearing term. "Rejoice! This means you have a chance to better yourself in the meantime!" pink alicorn proclaimed.

 

Right then - following the yelp of shock and pain - the sword in black and gold flew the direction of the skirmish, and got embedded in the stone stairs.

"Hmmm? What's this?" Ossia mused while pulling the blade out. "How surprising. While this faker-knight and his colleagues appearances are affront to the eyes, this weapon is of excellent craft. Not really my color but this is something that can be remedied..." she mused while studying the blade. "Ufufu....I will keep it, as a reminder of my promise to those jesters, and of the insult towards us."

 

"You....witch! That's not yours!" the golden 'knight' protested while struggling with the dragon's jaws.

"Hmph." Ossia scoffed. "A lizard's chew toy has no right to claim ownership over anything." alicorn dismissed the stallion' objection before turning towards Platinum Gem.

"The wizards interference is gone, and we lingered here long enough. There is nothing else for us in this unsightly scene." Ossia declared.

"I trust you servants are shrewd enough to find way on their own? Grab my shoulder Pretty Thing, and think about place you desire to find yourself in and I do the rest." alicorn instructed, her aura flaring up around herself and their loot in preparation for teleportation.

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Oh bloody Tartarus, the wyrm was still conscious!  Platinum Gem had barely enough time to realize that she was not about to die, thanks to Ossia's shield, before having to catch her breath long enough to respond.  "Yeah... Not quite de riguer anymore."  It was honestly a bit of a relief not to cross the final villain barrier quite yet, not that 'Pretty Gem' would ever admit that to her mentor.  Anyway, she did better with less impromptu scenes.

 

The mare shook herself.  Time they weren't here.  "Right, they're on their way home right now, and we should be as well."  Reaching out towards the alicorn's shoulder, Platinum wasn't at all surprised to find the texture to be absolutely exquisite, like the richest of velvets imported from exotic clothiers.  *I can't wait to find out what her wings feel like...*  No, bad, don't picture that, otherwise Ossia will create some kind of spatial paradox.  Picture instead the caverns under Blueblood manor...

 

 

And just like that, they were there.  They had been crystal mines, back in the day, before the mining operations had to stop out of fear that the city's foundation would be destabilized.  The chamber was cool, half-furnished with shelves holding various relics, some valuable, none really powerful.  Off in the corner was a pile labeled 'Fakes' that probably should be disposed of at some point.  "Huh... well, here it is.  They won't find us here, and we can drop off the load before going up to the house."  Sighing in relief, shaking a bit to get the tension out, she levitated the Glamour Garnet off of her neck.  Just like that, in a kind of of sudden shift of transformation, the handsome prince from before stood once again.

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While Ossia imagined that the spell would take them straight to Blueblood's mansion, what she saw was special surprise.

"Oh, a secret cave . You can't go wrong with the classics." pink alicorn commented in a sing-song voice.

Nerezza looked around noticng how...unfinished the place seemed.

"Good location, but could use some more 'touch' - have to get to that soon. You did all of this yourself, didn't you Pretty Prince?" Ossia inquired. Having to maintain his secret identity, there wasn't much of a choice on his part. Yet, seeing that Blue wasn't exacly....the physical kind of pony, it had to be daunting for him to do even that much. Ossia smiled while picturing an image of Prince trying to put together pieces of furniture.

"Oh, how much your muscles had to ache how labored you had to be....My advice is learning to enjoy that kind of thing. While some would regard this as a grunt work....There always is a certain amount of satisfaction when doing things yourself." she said, with expression that made it clear she wasn't talking about carpentry.

"That and the fact you can't always rely on servants to do the job for you." Ossia added, her gaze getting harsher for a moment "If the Soldiers are to follow, the King has to make the first step. Learn to lead through the example, not just paycheck."

 

With that said, Nerezza face quickly brightened up.

"Still, seeing that yu got what you wanted, I guess the congratulations are in order. So: Congratulations on taking the initiative so resolutely!" pink alicorn genuinely praised the Prince. She even clapped to show her appreciation! "Taking hold on the ample opportunity is not something many could do, they don't know when to be...spontaneous. Plans are good, but one has to not hesitate to abandon them when a better occasion present itself. So, Good job Your Highness." Nerezza said with a smile.

"Buuuut don't allow this one success to make you rest on the laurels. Examine the order of event's, learn from your experiences, ponder what you could do different or better. Don't revel in your victories - better yourself through them. And if you do well enough...Well...." she said before making a twirl. "...You get the idea. You didn't thought I started this way, did you?" Ossia asked giving Blueblood's brain something to munch on.

 

"Well, enough of the lectures for one day. Downtime, time!" she suddenly announced before taking off the green sash around her waist. The metal bracelets on her legs soon followed, and so did the black tiara on her head. Oh dear. Was this going where it was going?

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"The classics generally are so for a reason."  Blueblood remarked, as he stowed away his most precious relic in the special velvet-lined box reserved for it.  He lingered a bit before closing it shut, with a little more emphasis than was necessary.  *Machina was right... this transformation will eat at my identity if I let it.  But it synergizes so well with with my plans and other relics...*  There was a risk of losing himself, but what was the alternative?  Remaining a practically powerless pretty-pony.  No; whatever came of this, Blueblood would persevere until he, or she, commanded their due respect...

 

But the Prince still had a ways to go before then, judging by Ossia's appraisal.  He had not, in fact, assembled the entire thing himself, though it was only with a few trusted servants that he brought down the furniture.  Apparently, his alicorn mentor appreciated a DIY stallion?  Hopefully that is what she meant.  In any case, he nodded.  "A project for when we sort our current haul out.  Heh, did pretty good there, didn't we?"  He ventured a grin, pleased that she seemed to agree with the statement... conditionally.  "Well, no I don't suppose you did.  We all have to start somewhere, though I'll admit this was the first time I'd gotten anywhere."  Opportunism was often borne out of desperation, but apparently today's first lesson was to keep it around, even for the better times.  Don't leave home without your relics, and always pay some attention to where the dragon is.  Right.

 

Upon seeing Ossia begin to shed her accessories, Blueblood raised a brow, thoughts already wandering away from villainy, though not quite away from naughtiness in general.  There was just something about her aura, he supposed.  "Perhaps... we should take the elevator to somewhere more... comfortable?"

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Ossia of course couldn't help but notice Blueblood's strange behavior when he put away that gender-bending Garnet  of his. Was something bothering him? It would be better to do some preemptive maintenance just in case....

"Don't ponder to much over tools." she said while nonchalantly leaning against one of the shelves. "I saw relics capable of turning whole realms to ashes turn useless in hooves of incompetents. The item - no matter how magical or not - is only as capable as the will of it's user. Take this blade for example...." Nerezza proceeded to summon the sword she took as a trophy a mere minutes ago from some pocket dimension.

"Remember that dragon those nincompoops were struggling against? It may be not obvious at first glance, but this weapon should - by all means - fell the wyrm in one blow. And yet...." she shrugged before dismissing the blade.

 

"Well in that case that 'sorting' shouldn't take long at all. This escapade was a show of quality over quantity." she mused when Blueblood commented on her proposition of making improvements. Carpentry wasn't exactly something she found exiting, but she picked a thing or two during her dimension-hopping life.

 

Ossia mercifully omitted to comment on Blueblood prior success rate. Was it really his first genuine victory? If that was the case, then Di Nerezza had more work before herself then she expected.

 

"Well....it's a bit chilly out here." Ossia said after Prince's proposition, while rising her hoof to neck part of her bodysuit. With an audible hiss coming off the suit, and gasp off relief coming from the mare, Prince could witness her garment inflating, before splitting into half on her back and finally falling to the ground.

 

"Uhhh finally. You have no idea how long I was in that thing. My coat is all matted from sweat." pink alicorn complained as she stepped out of her suit, allowing Blueblood to fully contemplate her physique. Sure, her cloth was form fitting, but the black color was hiding more then few details.

 

This how Cadence could look like if she spent her life as a fitness instructor. Athletic, but not unfeminine, the sculpted features only highlighting the softness of the other parts.

Speaking of which, Blueblood finally could take a good look on her Cutie Mark.....

 

A crystal heart, just like Candace's. But slightly smaller, jade instead of cyan and incumbent on what looked like a black throne.

"You are a Prince correct? You do have pool upstairs, correct? I haven't been able to enjoy one in ages!" Ossia said, for a moment completely oblivious of any effect her unclothed form had on the royal pony. Only after taking a few steps and gazing down at her own leg she came to realization.

"Oh right. That won't do."

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Blueblood received his teacher's admonition over relics with a wry look.  "That assumes that it is only the will of the user controlling the artifact.  It's not uncommon for the reverse to be the case.  And then where are you, if you can't verify that your thoughts and desires are your own?"  A sobering thought for sure, one that may well have caused the Prince pause on his own feelings concerning Ossia.  That is, if she hadn't at that point removed her bodysuit, showing off her form in it's full glory!

 

Blue thanked his lucky stars that he had been born a unicorn, for if he had been a pegasus, it would have taken a full half-hour to get his wings tucked back in again!  Everything about her form was pushing all his buttons, from the strength evident in her physique, the charm of her large wings, or the mere fact of her height; these all blew any doubts and second thoughts about his future plans straight out the back of his skull.  He blinked, unsure of why she had hesitated.

 

"I think you look wonderful!"  He blurted out, before realizing that her striking looks may well give them both a bit of trouble when seen in public.  "But, yes, you'll want to get into some sort of disguise, I suppose.  Er, did you want a hot or a cold bath?  I can have either drawn."

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"Ahahaha well yes. But in such cases you only need to be greater then relict itself, either in will or pure power. And as I stated earlier we will be working on enhancing both." Ossia reminded her newly 'appointed' student. "This also another thing to keep in mind - don't rely on items that hold power greater then you own, otherwise you will find yourself lost without it." alicorn paused before giving a heavy sight. "Of course it's easy to say for me. You don't exactly have a luxury of turning that maxim into a practice yet." Nerezza lampshaded  "But once again, I will do everything in my power and beyond to help you grow."

 

 

"Hmmmm we have to craft a backstory first. How about 'Clear-headed mare in a need of work brought Hoofsome Prince away from danger after some irresponsible costumed freaks engaged rabid dragon in a public space? Grateful he hired her as personal assistant.' Ho-Huuum." she mumbled while giving a self-satisfied nod.

"Of course it needs ironing out. Ponies may - or rather, will - ask for details. For example, from where this...." Ossia paused, pondering. "Misty Note came from. Germaney perhaps? As of the appearance....."

 

With those words pink alicorn lighted her horn and the royal stallion could witness how the colors changed after a flash of amaranth light - her pink coat turned lime green, and her multicolored mane became solid black, and so did her tail.

"Hmm not a bad start. Now....." a few smaller magical burst ensued. Her female musculature was toned down a bit, manestyle changed form a high ponytail to a pixie-cut, and she added a pair of glasses to give more 'professional' look for this 'unicorn mare'. Something that was also suggested by her 'new' Cutie Mark, a document holder and a signing seal of some sort.

"Well that sha...." Ossia started but cut herself short upon seeing a shadow of disappointment on Bluebloods face. It took her a few seconds to connect the dots before she realized the reason for stallion's chagrin.

"Ufufu...very well." she mused and in another display of magic, Misty Note horn was 'replaced' by a pair of wings. It seemed that flying mare were one of Blueblood's triggers, an useful thing to remember.....

"I guess writing using wings is still fun. And I guess I could use some dexterity exercise for them anyway, so I could put the to a very good use later. Like a massage." di Nerezza noted, her voice practically purring. "I have to make a proper 'anchor' and do some more work to make it into a proper solid form. It's too fragile otherwise seeing it's just an illusion. See?" she added before grabbing Blue's hoof with her magic and guiding it to her stomach. While it looked relatively average right now, he could without a doubt feel a sculptured muscles hidden by the arcane mirage. "It's still me underneath all of that."

 

"Oh I fine either way." the winged mare answers Prince's question. "I have a feeling it will turn into hot bath regardless." she added with half-lidded gaze. "Now, would you lead the way Hoofsome?"

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It was of some relief to know that he wouldn't have to deal with potential psychological disintegration or personality re-writing forever.  Altogether, the prospect of being an apprentice was more and more appealing to Blueblood, which he expressed through a grateful smile.

 

As his teacher crafted her disguise in front of him, Blueblood watched with interest, and a bit of frank relief as the wings were ultimately preserved.  "Thank you; if I can help in your practice of dexterity, that will at least be something towards paying back everything you're doing for me."  That was actually not an irrelevant question; what was Ossia getting out of all of this?  A place to stay and cover for her identity, naturally, but that seemed hardly sufficient for what she was willing to invest in this relationship.  Was it, perhaps, the Prince himself?  The unicorn would certainly be flattered to think that was the case, though perhaps the full implications of that hadn't fully sunken in.

 

It was a bit hard to be contemplative, in any case, in the presence of an alicorn, even a disguised alicorn, that continually brought to his mind her sheer physicality.  Just the touch and feel of her musculature was a unique sensation in and of itself; and Blueblood couldn't help but infuse his caress with a bit of reverence.  They had to break for now, but he would gladly lead her upstairs, to his manor and the bath, where no doubt some closer acquaintanship would be developed.  In the meantime, no harm giving her a good view of himself.  "Alright then!  Just into the elevator here..."

 

The doors slid open, cracks in the rock parting to reveal a fairly lush scarlet interior; a portal to a much brighter future, the Prince couldn't help but think.

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"Well Pretty Prince...there will be a lot of things I would like you will help me with in the future." she answered with a wink. For so long she desired to return to this world that granted her power unlike any other that only now she realized how little she had planned what to do next......

 

How fortunate that she ran into Blueblood then. For all her confidence, teaching will be a new experience for the pink alicorn. Ossia was sure that -regardless of the outcome - she will come to enjoy herself. And who knows? Maybe along the ride, Blueblood really will transform into a pony who's haughtiness was actually justified. With some guiding nudges from her of course.

 

For now however, they had to get upstairs. She really needed that bath.....

 

Ossia couldn't help but rise the eyebrow upon seeing the insides of the secret lift.

"So....it just came this way, or was it designed to make potential trespasser think it was a way to the other kind of dungeon?"she asked.

 

                                                                                                                        * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

They said that time flies when you enjoy yourself. But right now di Nerezza was taking enjoyment from the passage of time, as she observed Blueblood rousing from the slumber after a very eventful afternoon and evening.

"Slept well Pretty Prince?" she asked, while sprawled on the linens next to him. "Oh what am I saying. Of course you did. But don't worry, that's because you attended to your duties as a host and student verrrry serrriously ♥." Ossia said with a purr. "You surprised me, you know. You have such handsome face, but surly are brutish where it counts. I just have to show you how to throw a few mean right hooks. That and the equanimous composure. That bit of nervousness is really endaring but can be bad for business hmmmm?" pink alicorn added while rolling onto her back. She certainly had a room for it, seeing that the bed could only be described as 'emperor-sized'.

 

"And speaking of businesses.....I did some things when you are sleeping. First thing some reading list." Ossia said before levitating the paper page up to stallion's face.  Among position on it were such titles like 'The Art of War' , 'The Lord' by the Neighchavelli, Enûma Eliš and Nibelungenlied.  "And before you ask, yes those are mandatory." she quickly added before presenting the Prince with his very own notebook.

"Also you should think about a better password. But I digress. Knowing is half the battle and if you going to commit you have to study the opposition. Your aunts may be a bit too much to bite for now so.....How about this one?" Ossia asked while half rolling and showing the unicorn the image of earth pony heroine one the screen.....

 

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Ossia's remark about the elevator, while perhaps apropos considering the usual utilitarian nature of similar fixtures in other buildings, rather went over Blueblood's head.  Mostly because the decor of his manor was similarly luxurious, and all the fixtures were simply ordered to match.  Including, as Ossia would find out to her great pleasure, the bathing facilities.  The sleeping arrangements weren't too bad either...

 

 

The morning after a thorough use of both, the Prince found himself slowly swimming up from the depths of sleep.  He only made any great effort to return to the land of the wakeful when the sight of the mare confirmed that yesterday and last night had not been a mere, pleasant dream.  "Good morning indeed, We aim to please."  His grin with the use of the royal we slipped a bit, as he recalled that today marked his return, after several long and largely fruitless years, to the world of education.  Wonderful.  Ossia could flavor it with compliments all she wanted, the whole thing was pure kale salad.  But the Prince wouldn't have the figure he did if he didn't know how to diet.  And after the binge of 'sweets' the night before... it was only fair.

 

"Let's see that list."  He cast a bleary eye over them.  "You're not going to ask me to translate from the native language, are you?  I never did that well back in school."  Truth be told, the ponies he got to do his homework for him didn't do it all that well.  There was only so much money could buy, at least the money of a student not yet come into his inheritance.

 

He bristled a bit at the remark about his password, though on reflection, using his own name was rather a bad idea.  'Hiding in plain sight' didn't really work as a cryptographic principle.  But Applejack- ooh, there was a reason that mare had a file in his notebook already.  "I first noticed that she was resistant to the effects of the Glamour Garnet; not only does that gem transform the wearer into a beautiful mare, it makes those around the wearer more susceptible to seduction.  Not her, though.  Pity, as the muscular mare's my type, in many ways, though the lack of wings are a bit of a knock."

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