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dragonofruin

Out on the Road [Closed]

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Everything about Equestria was both strange and wonderful. Elysium had come to like it far more than the homeland, Maretonia. So much less.. restricting, and the species mingled freely without trouble. The longer they lived here, the more they found a liking to it, and to the freedom it granted them. They could wander forever if they wished, though -- they didn't. Exploration was just something enjoyable to do to see the sights of a kingdom they still barely knew.

 

As of right now, Elysium was in between places, their hooves traveling one of Equestria's many beaten dirt roads, packed down hard by the travel of hooves and sunken in where the wheels of many carts had all worn down. They were on the flat area in the middle of these wheel ruts, their purple eyes wandering over both the road and the woods surrounding them, admiring what they could see. There was faint birdsong to be heard, and the air was not quite so warm as it had been. The seasons were changing, and Elysium couldn't help but look forward to how Equestria would change then, and how it might look covered in snow. They could only imagine it until they could see it with their own eyes. It wasn't quite chilly yet; Elysium had dressed simply enough for the journey.

 

The unicorn was on their way to Canterlot from one of the coast-side cities, heading further inland to look into a few things they'd come across in Equestria's books. Magic was their prime interest, and a place like the old Castle of Two Sisters had caught their interest- if Equestria's alicorn diarchs once lived there.. was there anything left behind? Perhaps spellbooks of old? Elysium was lost in thought as they strolled along, pondering what sort of magic, dark or no, might be lurking within those ruined halls.

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Gray has been on the road for some time already. Moving his hooves slowly and to the beat of a tune that he was gently humming under his breath to accompany him on this road. This day was no different then the one before and probably no different then tomorrow will be. A Sun shining with a slight breeze that was moving through his messy mane. 

 

His target was Hoofington yet again. This old stallion was heading home again for some time. How long he will stay no one knew, not even nim, but probably not for long.

 

So there he was, steadly moving forward with packed pouches on his Back and a slight smile on his face when he noticed a shape moving in the distance. Gray squinted a bit and noticed that it was a pony going the other way. It was every day that Gray found someone on the trail, especially on The roads that long. And without a cart as well... 

"Who is that?" He Wondered to himself. Maybe a follow adventurer? Or maybe  A bandit... Well. He will see for himself soon.

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Elysium didn't notice the moving speck of another pony up ahead, as lost in thought as they were, but as the distance between them was steadily closed and the shape began to resolve itself into a pony.. their thoughts fell apart. Pale purple eyes squinted, focusing on the approaching traveler. Their pace didn't falter, though they did idly pluck at the straps of their bags, adjusting them against their sides. They had nothing of importance on them beyond traveling necessities: food and water, and the bundle of a small tent.

 

Though weaponless they might be, Elysium could wield their magic well enough should this other traveler prove dangerous- something, unbeknownst to them, the same was being thought of them. The possibility of meeting a foul character out on the road. The dual-colored unicorn kept a steely facade upon their face as the distance between them shrank, and they began to pick out more individual features. All grays, green eyes, bags packed. This approaching stranger struck them as unusual compared to most ponies: the entire lack of bright, pastel color that most Equestrians were blessed with. Were they a foreigner too, or.. just an unusual native? Their curiosity piqued, Elysium slowed and stepped off to the side of the road, carefully watching their footing in the wheel ruts so that they wouldn't trip.

 

Elysium stood still and waited, watching the pony- a stallion- draw near. "Good evening," they greeted, taking care to say what Equestrians did; their appearance and voice alone made it hard to determine if they were stallion or mare, as androgynous as they were, though there was some femininity about them.

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Gray continued to look at the pony that was slowly walking ahead of him, steadly getting closer and closer. His Green eyes jumped around a bit, taking some time to look at the bag that they had strapped to their back. They were oviously packed, so maybe they we're travelers just as Gray was.

 

Noticing the pony stop, he squinted and bit and took another close look at them. No weapon, but they were a unicorn. Might be a problem... Gray himself Has a short sword harden inside one of his bags in case something terrible happens, but he usually could do just fine without it.

 

When Gray approached The pony he stopped and smiled Warmly "Good morning..." he said with a stop as he tried to figure Out it he should use miss or mister... But he couldn't Tell so he decided to say nothing at all "What are you doing on this Road? It is getting quite late"

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The unicorn's expression was a neutral one in the face of a smile given their way by the stranger, who had finally closed the distance between them and returned their greeting. One of their ears twitched back as they struggled how to respond- socializing had never been their strongest forte, and to know that they were in a foreign kingdom made them self-conscious. A hoof idly scuffed at the worn wheel rut in the road as they gathered themself.

 

"Seeing more of Equestria," Elysium replied. "It's been an interesting experience for me, and it's given me a chance to learn more about it on a more.. personal.. level than books, though I do not entirely shun them, and hear all the legends that ponies believe in here." Their simple answer helped them find something to mention, something they thought might be of a passing interest to a stranger that was out on the road like themself. And, Elysium wouldn't admit it, mentioning it just to see what this gray stallion thought, a look into what this pony was like. Besides, it didn't hurt to use one of many things they were interested in as a topic of conversation in the absence of anything else to say.

 

Though, Elysium wasn't sure how much this stallion might care to hear about their studies of magic.

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Gray listened to The stranger with interest. There weren't many ponies he would meet along his travel, So The ones he met, were usually the ones with the most interesting stories.

Now Gray took a closer look of The pony in front of him. A defenietly unusual colors and paterns on their body defenietly stood out. Maybe they were a zebra... But they didn't talk in this weird pattern... 

"So you have never been to Equestria before?" Gray's eyebrow rised. So they were a traveler from really far away... "Where do you come from, if I may ask?" The stallion asked and took a look at the bags of The pony in front of him. They seemed to be full so Gray assumed they came from far away. "Legends you Day?" gray smiled a bit as he nodded a bit "Equestria is filled with legends and tales so you won't have a problem finding them"

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Elysium still couldn't be sure if they'd run across a potential threat this day, even if the stallion had been friendly enough thus far, and they judged him by his response. "Maretonia," they replied. "I've been in Equestria for some months now, merely exploring." They weren't sure why they were spilling some of this information to him, not that it had any worth or use. It just felts right. They shrugged.

 

"Ye.. Yes. I've found a few already and I can't help but find myself intrigued about this Castle of Two Sisters I've heard about. Perhaps you could give me more information about it? About its location?" Elysium queried, sounding a little hopeful. If they got more information, then perhaps their journey to it wouldn't be as difficult if they had a better idea of, well.. everything. "There must be a lot of old Equestrian.." they trailed off, struggling to think of a proper word and failing, "stuff left in their castle. Old spellbooks. I wish to see what I can find." The unicorn couldn't help but leap into asking about what drew them most, but.. Elysium didn't feel like they were wholly into it. Like they were simply going through the motions since they'd run into some stranger out on the roads. Almost.. pointless.

 

The unicorn frowned to themself, angular gold eyes averted from the stallion's green ones; it wasn't just because they found it difficult to hold eye contact with ponies, but because they were uncertain about what they were meant to be doing, here. "I.. suppose I should ask, who are you?"

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"Maratonia..." Gray echoed The traveler. Gray was never personal There but he heard some stories and planned a couple of trips There but never got to it ad other trips took priority "It is quite a place! Heard Many stories about it" Gray said with a warm smile on his face. "Just walking around is one of The best things to do in Equestria. From my perspective, that is" The stallion added. He was a travelers so hearing that someone else liked to just Wander around as well made him happy "Where have you been up until now?" 

 

Hearing The name of The castle Gray though for a second. He did know about it. Even wisited it Long time ago, When he just started his travels. But he wasn't sure if he could pin point exact rout to it. "Well.. yes. I know where it is. But it is quite a while from here... A couple of Days of travel on hooves I would say.." He sated after a couple of seconds of silence. "When it comes to The stuff. I can't be Sure. Never inspected it too well. it is a weird place..."

 

When The pony asked about who Gray is, The stallion caughted "Oh, right. I am Gray Shield. A wanderer and ex-bodyguard. Pleasure to meet you..." He said, raising his eyebrow, waiting for whoever they were to introduce themselves

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"Elysium," the unicorn simply replied with an unenthusiastic little nod following Gray's amazement over Maretonia. Personally they never did like it much, especially the cities- they were too restricting. Their entire life in Maretonia had been too restricted, but now they were free here. Free to do as they wished, pursue what they wished.. and they had the freedom to find out who they really were as a pony. It was difficult when they hadn't really gotten to figure themself out when so much had been stifled; a reason that they were always so outwardly calm.

 

"It's certainly been.. nice, and so few dangers. I've noticed that things get worse the further away from the capital one is." Pausing, they thought about the places they've visited thus far. "Manehatten, Hoofington recently.. and a few of the smaller towns. I did get to see a little of the capital but I never stayed long." They quietly made a mental note about the distance that they'd have to cover to reach the Castle of Two Sisters, glad to know that it wasn't terribly far now thanks to Gray's answer. "So, you were an ex-bodyguard?" Elysium asked, their interest piqued. "How.. curious. I was once a soldier, but I escaped that life.. for the most part. I daresay I could never forget how to fight, and that some part of me yet still itches for that excitement." It didn't scare them, nor did any form of magic; the latter fascinated them deeply, and wielding that which ponies called dark had always given them a certain thrill. Learning it thrilled them.

 

"My armor has come with me, though it currently rests at the cabin I'd moved into."

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Gray listened to the pony in front of him as they spoke about their city. The name they gave him wasn't a great help for this stallion to decide whether to speak to them as he or she... or maybe something else? He was not used that. Almost everyone he met was easy to recognize from the first glance. It wasn't that easy here... But it was something fresh, something new, something interesting. Maybe a small sort of mystery... 

"Having a safe place to live in is always nice..." Gray said as he tilted his head a bit. Of course, he wasn't a great fan of just staying in one place, but he appreciated the peace from time to time as much as he appreciated his venturing. "Ah... Yes. Those are probably the biggest cities around here you can find" He said as his hoof raised a bit. When Gray first went away from Canterlot, Manehattan and Hoofington were one of the first cities he visited and they brought him many memories.

"Yes... Back in the days..." He chuckled a bit as he realized he sounded like an old pony "I used to fight and I used to get money for that... Maybe not my most glorious days..." The stallion commented on himself. The jobs he took weren't always exciting and full of excitement. Most of the time it would be a simple routine... And weirdly, he remembered more of the routine then of other bits...

"You were a soldier?"  Gray's eyebrow raised as his hoof pointed at the pony in front of him. They seemed to be quite similar to Gray... Travelers, with military connections... How interesting "Well... Fighting is one of those things that you never forget" He chuckled and shrugged slightly "Well... My fighting days are well past me. Maybe one day I will face a foe for one more time... We will see, I guess" Gray didn't long for a fight, but the thought of standing face to face with danger again filled him both with excitement and disgust. It was a part of him that would always remain split.

"Your armor? You kept it? I heard they don't let anypony do that... At least in Equestria..." Gray said and thought for a bit "You don't happen to have like a drawing or picture of it, do you?" He asked.

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