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The Royal Equestrian Guards' Ball [signups in OOC]

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You are hereby cordially invited to attend the Royal Equestrian Guards' annual Ball. This year's event will be held in the illustrious Royal Grande hotel in Canterlot. Security will be handled by a private firm, so please remember to have your invitations and identification with you when you arrive at eight hours past noon five nights before the autumnal equinox. Proceeds from this year's Ball will benefit the Equestrian Services Organization in their efforts to improve interdisciplinary cooperation and morale, as well as to fund improvements to the training grounds and academies for the Wonderbolts, the Royal Equestrian Army, and the Twilight, Solar, and Crystal Guards.

 

Please indicate your meal selection and that of any guests who will be attending with you on the enclosed RSVP postcard no later than three weeks before the event. This is a formal event for guards and civilians to mingle and understand one another. Evening dress is strongly recommended.

Spoiler

The meal choices are portabella bucatini al nero, aubergine parmigiana, or ratatouille. There will be a choice of soups served at each table, followed by the main dish, and then desserts, snacks, and drinks will be butlered through the remainder of the event.

The Royal Grande was one of the largest hotels in Canterlot, and tonight the entire top two floors had been reserved for processing and housing the annual Guard's Ball. On the floor below, attendees were vetted quickly and efficiently by the hired security, then processed through the registration desks by the maîtres d'hôtel who then passed the guests off to hotel staffers, with the entire operation overseen by the Equestrian Services Organization.

 

On the top floor, the orchestra was playing a selection of light melodies on the stage of the Grande Ballroom and several smaller event halls had been arranged with tables for the various branches of the armed services and policing forces.The lighting was warm and mellow as a summer sunset, and speakers in each room conveyed the orchestra's performance or the occasional interlude or speech to all attendees. Periodically the orchestra would bring a full band onto the stage as well to combine for a symphonic version of one of the REA branches' marches or anthem.

 

True to the spirit of the event, no table was populated entirely by any single group, and even the smallest hall contained seats reserved for civilian ticket holders and donors alike. The seating arrangements had all been planned, with little cards at each place setting to let the attendees know which seat at which table in which room their meal would be served, and hotel staff were busily busing attendees to their assigned places.

 

There were quite literally hundreds of guests seated already, and the rooms looked to be set to accommodate even more before the evening was over. In short, the ESO had done everything in its power to make sure tonight was as stress-free as possible for each and every one of its attending servicemembers, a place and a time where they could let their manes down and just enjoy the evening without the distinctions and duties of rank and regiment. At once formal and informal, exquisite and relaxed, tonight was a night to let down walls and build inroads, and to remind the isolated and insular that the armed forces and its members were a unified whole. Tonight was the Royal Equestrian Guards' Ball.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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"You know Dear, this is not exactly what I was expecting....." Swift said to Fire Walker while shooting disappointed glances left and right. "Is it like that every year? Because if it is, I am starting to understand why Celestia is bored out of her mind with G.G.G. I would retire too if I had to sit through another rerun of the show I watched over nine-hundred times already." noblepony said, smoothly moving from a question to the jab at event itself. For a thrill seeker like Squall, event like this was like laying in the bed of nails.....Even more so seeing that he had to attend 'balls' like this every other business meeting. His fiancee knew it too, but being a Captain of the Twilight Guard she couldn't weasel out from being present. And since Squall didn't wanted to let down his Love, he had to go as well.

 

Perhaps due to this, despite the recommendations, Swift decided to dress as casually as he could get away with. Jade sunglasses, mane tied into a low ponytail and white bomber jacked in the style that would get Equestria Air Forces approval. Except snow white, with furred collar and with some added silver and emerald bling here and there - he was a Count after all. Swift also lugged around two long suitcases. The security was quite surprised when they saw their content, but seeing that it was in no way hazardous the let him pas with his baggage. The other attendees gave noblepony weird looks, but stallion couldn't care less. Even his Darling didn't knew what was inside, with Swift muttering that 'it's a surprise'.

 

"And the music Fire, the music." unicorn shook his head like a complainer he was "Don't get me wrong, I am fond of classics. But if I wanted orchestra I would get us tickets for for 'Der Ring des Neighbelungen' tonight. Actually It's not bad idea, I think it's performed in the Hoofington tomorrow...."  Swift recalled before going back to the topic. "....I was hoping they would at least get Keen Logger to perform tonight since Wonderbolts are attending. To get some themes with more buck, but nooooooo......has to get all official." swordstallion rolled his eyes as they closed to their table. He would pay millions for Ashened Coopers being here right now.

"This is like those parties that nobles like to throw up. Of the most effete kind." he mumbled while moving back the chair for Fire. Squall took his seat next, and immediately moved to dinner card, only barely holding off yet another groan of disappointment. He hoped that at least his taste buds will have something to enjoy - but nope! All the dishes Itailian, not a single thing from Unyasi, Saddle Arabia or Long Guo. This was patriotism taken too far!

 

Businesspony didn't had time to check the available meals before the event, leaving the choice to Fire. Perhaps if he did, Swift would save himself from at least this letdown.

 

Noblepony silently put the menu down, choosing to not vocalize his complains  he figured that he annoyed Fire enough already with his whining.

"Dear, is there anything to look forward to today? Besides drowning in your beautiful eyes that is?" unicorn asked his fiancee while also buttering her up to stave off any potential frown crimson mare could display.

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Heart Shield had been so excited to attend tonight's ball, He was most looking forward to being able to chat with other guard members. Sure he had been around them often enough, but he had never gotten a chance to chat with them. he had thought about it all day while on guard duty. Heart had to work that day but was given off early enough to attend. After the day was done. The gray pegasus trotted swiftly down the streets of Canterlot to his little home. It had been a stressful day but he could now finally relax. Relaxing in his home for awhile awaiting the time to get ready to go. Heart Shield trotted over to his closet, and opening it pulled out his Formal attire for the night. It was the typical guards red dress outfit. Slipping it on, the bright red of the coat stuck out among his dark gray fur. Glancing himself in the mirror for moment he made sure his mane was in his signature ponytail. Trotting downstairs he grabbed his invitation from the table by the door, He couldn't forget that. Sticking it in a pocket of his coat he trotted out the door closing it behind him. Stopping for a moment Heart shield remembered the way to the Royal Grande hotel. Trotting excitedly down the street, He made sure he was careful not to mess up his suit before he got there. It was a little ways walk from his house but he made it soon enough. Stopping for a moment he gazed up at the Grand hotel to take it in. walking in through the main lobby door the gray pegasus glanced around the room. It had appeared there was security watching over tonight's party. Approaching one them he pulled out his invitation, and Identification. After going through registration, Heart shield headed up stairs to the top floor where a orchestra was being played. The rooms atmosphere was warm and soft. There had seemed to be plenty of guests already in attendance for tonight's events. Glancing around Heart shield calmly walked across the floor to take it all in. Glancing across to one side the room, A table was laid out with various types of food displayed in a decorative fashion. Looking around Heart Shield tried to determine if there was anypony he recognized here yet.

Spoiler

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Aquamarine Gleam was sitting at a table with a pair of donors from Trottingham, one of the Lunar guard she'd never met, and a sheriff from one of the wild land border towns. She'd reached a compromise with her family, who'd partly funded the rental as their 'donation to the cause' this year. She was officially attending as Private Aquamarine Gleam, but she'd been obliged to do so in a ball gown rather than her dress uniform.

 

The gown was haute coutre of the latest fads, which her parents had just happened to have commissioned for her. She had wondered why her parents had wanted to provide a custom tailored dress uniform for her, and now she knew - to make sure this gown had been cut perfectly for her. It was in the style of classic ball gowns, with billowing bell full skirts and petticoats, but just enough not the classic ball gowns that it looked modern and completely messed with her five-year-out-of-date sensibilities. Her dam's staff mares which had helped her get dressed had been very polite about how she had been doing it all wrong, but they had nonetheless completely taken over in dressing her in this frippery, making sure her dam would not be embarrassed by her lack of current style. Even she had to admit it was gorgeous, perfect for her colors in powder blue silk and silver threaded seams, and she had to appreciate the concession to her affiliation to the guard in the form of the crest of the Crystal Guard filigreed into the breast of the tight bodice, but even despite that, she hated the thing almost as much as she hated the socialite she was sitting next to, exchanging pleasantries while he bragged about all the successes he'd had that year thanks to the REA.

 

She and the aerion guard shared a knowing look when the stallion turned to a waiter to ask for his first course. It was a look nearly every lawpony knew, one part rolled 'get a load of this one' eyes, and one part 'grin and bear it' smirk. THIS was why she'd joined the REA in the first place, avoiding parties like this one with blowhards like this one. It was a tedious reminder of the life she'd escaped. Then there was a blessing in the form of an unthinkable faux-pas. The jerk went on bragging about the size of his donation and when he mentioned an exact figure Aqua's head whipped around so fast one of the curls of her mane pulled free from where it had been tucked into its elaborate updo and ended up danging at her temple. The entire table and the two nearest him went silent as every single eye locked onto the boorish stallion and Aqua employed the sneer she actually appreciated having learned from her sire. She wasn't as good at it as he was; her look said 'you are inadequate' rather than 'you are the type of thing left behind after bottom feeders consume pond scum and I never want to see you again' but it got her point across.

 

She exchanged a glance with the other guards at the table and said "I think I shall enjoy the company over there. If you'll excuse me." in a passable imitation of her dam's clipped inflections. Everyone nodded and stood up together, the other serviceponies drifting off in various directions while Aqua, the only unicorn among them, pulled the chairs in and bid the embarrassed looking wife of the offender a good evening. She headed in the direction of the dance floor, pointedly ignoring anything further either of them said. It was an act, of course. At least once a year at these events somepony broke the taboo and tried to use the donation as a bragging point and the others at the table would stand up and walk away, but the guards would be back to the table in a few minutes to eat, and hopefully the braggart learned some manners by then. If not it might actually be a fairly enjoyable Ball. All of this was before dinner was done and the actual planned entertainment started even.

Although now that she thought about it, tradition also dictated that she find the pony who had inherited the invitation she'd relinquished as a guard and get to know them. She hadn't been introduced to anypony yet by the staff, maybe it had gone unclaimed this year?

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Corporal Flash Sentry blew a long whistle of contemplation as he took in the exquisite scene around him. It had been a good long time since he’d been to a fancy military ball like this one; back when he was still a fresh rookie out of boot camp. Much had happened to Flash since then; Queen Chrysalis’s Nightmare Night invasion, being brainwashed into participating in the Crystal Faire Attack, and getting cleared of all treason charges in the subsequent aftermath. Recently, Cpl. Sentry had transferred into the Twilight Guard in the hopes of being able to make up for what had been so far an iffy service record.


Flash Sentry’s dating life since joining the Army was... also a bit of a roller coaster. No stable long-term relationships yet, but by some fluke, he had managed to get asked out once by the famous fashion model Fleur de Lis while stationed in the Crystal Empire. And then there was that equally flukish date with Princess Twilight Sparkle... the less said about it, the better. The moral of that story: beware any mare who may potentially know how to cast an allure spell.


It was another mare yet who accompanied Flash to this latest ball: the artist Presteza. She and the guardstallion had bumped into each other on several occasions over the years, starting with the Nightmare Night plot. But Pres never stuck in one place for long; it was only by coincidence that she was going to be in town the night of the Ball. Flash learned this during a chance encounter with Pres only a couple days prior, and since part of the stallion always considered the young mare cute, he figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask if she’d like to attend as his guest, which Pres accepted!


And so the two of them were now ambling in the ballroom, Flash Sentry wearing the scarlet tuxedo-esque mess dress in vogue with REG serviceponies. Despite the twists and turns of his Royal Guard career thus far, Cpl. Sentry felt assured in the fact he finally earned enough bits from his job to afford such dashing military-grade evening wear. “Looks like quite the shindig they’ve set up here,” he made small talk with the mare he was leading towards their assigned table.....

 

 

Spoiler

OOC: Princess Cadence will arrive in a later post with her husband, Shining Armor.

 

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Aegis hummed a song to himself that the band was writing, trying to figure it out and possibly add some lyrics later. For now though, he was at the ball, and with a mare no less. At least that’s what his guard friends had said, he hadn’t met her yet, all he had to go off of was a description. Still, she sounded like a good mare to know, so he hoped to come out of this day with at least a new friend. 

 

As for himself, he was wearing his dress uniform, since he had nothing else that would fit the bill. His mane and tail were their typical selves though. The bat chuckled a bit as he overheard a unicorn complaining about the music, looking over to see he was with a good-looking Pegasus mare. Loggins? Yeah, that’d be some good music to listen to right now. He didn’t have anything against classical perse, but it wasn’t really his style. 

 

He wandered over to his seat, figuring it’d be easier to meet up with Reckless there as he sat down and ended up laying across her seat too. He stared at the ceiling and tried to figure out words for the song as he waited for her to show up. 

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After receiving the invite and wondering if she would be able to attend, or if her fiancé Swift Squall would also be able to fit the event into his usually busy schedule...Or if she could order the dress and get in time, it was time for the ball.
 
As the red mare slowly entered the venue with her stallion, she glanced around the room. This was practically a family reunion as every single one of her brothers that were officers were here. From Cordy Walker to Moon Walker...Her older brother Punk Walker could be seen trying to hit on one of the R.E.A Head Enchanters, who was one of her very good friends, Ilinalta. Who was also married. This does not go well for her brother. “Ugh.”, she groaned as they continued to walk. She was pleasantly surprised to hear that her old teacher and now head chef at the impressive Cupid II Resort Airship, Greasy Spoon would be preparing the meals for the ball, or at least there to supervise. Her father was probably in the middle of having a chat with him and seeing what he and his staff would be working on. 
 
Now she needed to deal with her grumpy little pony she had at her side. “Swifty...”, she whispered, “These are supposed are not supposed to be wild parties, but just nice little, relaxing..”, she stressed that word, “Get togethers...I get to see more than a few ponies I rarely get to talk to..Outside of letters...Even a few I haven’t seen since officer school graduation...",Oh crap...There were a couple of ex-coltfriend in attendance. Storm Chaser was looking a little on the heavy side.  And Player One, her very first boo was with his wife.
 
“I’m going to need to find your ‘snark button’ and flip it off.”, she whispered with smirk. “You’ll just need to relax...Nothing you need to do but make small-talk. I’ll make sure you talk to the right ponies....And hopefully General Pummel isn't here...", she had spoken about the elderly stallion before. Fire Walker had faced all kinds of terrifying monsters in her lifetime...Armies of evil Changelings...Pirate Griffons. Shadow beasts..But the old grey Pegasus pony had been giving her the 'jibblies' since she was an filly.
 
"No...No drunk royalty here. Not even sure Alicorns can get drunk..." The closest thing she saw was Princess Twilight before she became a 'princess' dancing at a Canterlot garden party she was standing guard near. The purple pony had been either dancing drunk or just wasn't very good at shaking her flank. "Just relaxing music....Pleasant conversation. And oh, look!", she pointed to one of the servers. "I requested they serve  Bon Marché, and here it is....Nice red wine. Perfect for an relaxing evening with friends." , she curled her eyes up in pure bliss.
 
Besides Ilinalta, there were a few ponies she recognized, but none she was super-close with. "Miss Presteza told me she was attending with one of the guards...You remember her? Cute gal. Freckles. Kind of sassy. Uses her tail as a paint brush, which I would normally not recommend...", she glanced around to see if she could find her old friend. "An't no party like a Pressy party and there an't no party without my Pressy pal....ie...", she was not a good rapper...
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Spoiler

Working on ball art, so simply imagine the gown for now!

 

 

"I know right?" Said the unicorn as she looked around the aforementioned 'shindig', "I've been in Long Guo so long I was worried I'd forgotten when big expensive Equestrian parties can really look like." Indeed it had been such a long while since, Presteza had attended any sort of ball like this. She'd received letters about the latest from family and friends, but now that she was back in Equestria she could experience them all over again! It would take some time to truly get back into these things... When she was a filly she never cared for the pomp and circumstance of nobility and their fancy parties, but with all the changed Equestria had gone through perhaps things had changed.

 

... Not enough that she didn't have to bring out her old ball-gown. It had been so long she'd worn it. A quick trip to a certain tailor helped take it out a little for all the growing she'd done while out of town. 

 

"I'm glad I was able to dig this out of my cabinet's back home." She said with a small smile before looking over flash as they walked over to the table with him, "... You said that tuxedo was new? You pull it off really well!" He really did. She hadn't thought too deeply on it, but she had to admit that Flash did look rather charming in his regalia. Appreciating it for long wasn't really an option as a certain red pegasus not far off caught her attention, along with a certain emerald maned stallion. 

"Oh-Oh!" She waved her hoove excitedly in the other couple's direction, "Fire! Fire! Over--- uh." She blinked as she realized just how badly that could have been misunderstood by the rest of the attendees. She cleared her throat and called out in a more relaxed tone, "Fire Walker! Squall! Over here!" 

 

 

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Glancing around the room with his blue eyes He searched for any pony he might now, Heart Shield spied a table where fellow guard members where dining on the far side of the room. With a awkward growl of his stomach He remembered that he hadn't ate much today in anticipation of the ball. Gently making his way through the crowd the Gray stallion softly walked up to the tables to find a seat. Walking along Heart Shield noticed a Red mare at one of the tables reserved for the guards that looked vaguely familiar, He felt like he had seen her somewhere before. 'Ahh yes, She was in the running of the leaves last year.' The gray pegasus remembered briefly running amongst her during the late stages of the race, which he had joined in lately. 'What was her name again?' Heart shield thought to himself, he wasn't even sure if he had gotten to learn it. Glancing around at the tables it appeared everything was organized and tables where assigned to each member by a little ornate card laying on the table in front of all the chairs. Searching around awkwardly for a moment. The gray Pegasus finally found his table. Pulling the chair back, Heart shield sat down sighing for moment as he finally got to relax. He had spent most of his day on his hooves, and it was finally nice to give his sore hooves and back a rest. Taking a moment to relax he glanced down at the menu which was laid out on the table. Picking it up with his hooves he glanced it over, Looking it over with a odd gesture in his eyes he stumbled over all the items on the menu, He might as well been looking at some ancient script written in some foreign language that he didn't understand. Thankfully for him there was a description of each dish below each name. 'The portabella buc- portabel- Uh how ever you say that looks pretty good' Heart shield said awkwardly to himself. Sitting it back down again he glanced over the room once more. More and more ponies seemed to be piling in. To be honest with himself he wasn't much into formal parties, But he was rather much excited to get to know some ponies.

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The concept of being “fashionably late” had never really made sense to Shining Armor.  Being raised in a family that believed in punctuality and politeness, and immediately transitioning into the REA, where lateness was met with swift reprisals, had driven any hope of empathy with such high-society foibles far away.  He suspected the first pony to come up with such a concept was merely trying to cover themselves for travel time delays.

 

Much like he and Cady had encountered on the way down from the Crystal Empire.

 

To be fair, it was a far trip down through the Frozen North, and with the weather being what it was, trains were preferable to airships, especially with the recent accident he’d led a rescue team to recover.  And, of course, they weren’t technically late, just arriving after most of the others.

 

Still, travel troubles aside, the Captain-turned-Consort was looking forward to this.  Any evening that he could spend out with his wife, Princess -turned-Empress Cadence, was a good evening.  Especially now, with a new little Princess running around the Crystal Palace; fortunately, the royal Crystaller had made getting somepony to take up babysitting dute much easier, and now the two of them could enjoy a weekend trip back to Shining’s home city, and meet with some old friends.  Or, at least, his old friends.

 

“I kind of feel bad about dragging you all the way down here for this.”  Shining admitted to his wife, as they walked down the cobblestone streets to where the ball was being hosted.  “I don’t know how many of the ponies you’ll know here, and I don’t want you to feel left out.  Still, I know you love it when we can dance together, and it’s been a while since we’ve been able to do that since Flurry was born.  Not since that nice dance instructor gave us those lessons…”  He did have to give the pink alicorn a somewhat cheeky grin at the memory.  That had not been the kind of dance they expected to learn, but the couldn’t either of them say that they didn’t enjoy it.

 

“And the food’s going to be good, too.”  He remarked, as they handed in their invitations at the door.  “Remind you of home any?”  He checked himself one last time before entering the grand ballroom.  As this was a formal military function, he’d come in his mess dress, a sharp suit of scarlet and cobalt with silver piping.  It was similar to the one he’d worn as Captain of the Palace Guard, though this particular one had all the Equestrian sigils replaced with Crystal Empire regalia.  New medals and coats of arms.  Some of his own new command had come down as well, and he certainly wasn’t going to let down the side!
 

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Security hadn't given anypony any slack, and even though Swift Squall had been able to get his cases into the event, they had been THOROUGHLY searched and nearly confiscated. Other staff too were busily doing their various jobs. Wait staff had approached the now empty table where Aquamarine and her cohort had been seated and left a card and a small silver bell they could use to alert staffers they were ready to order, as well as the table where Heart Shield had been seated.

 

The tan-coloured unicorn nearest Heart Shield bowed and said "Ah, yes. The pasta al nero was an excellent choice. We recommend the tomato basil soup beforehand, though of course the gentlecolt is welcome to whichever first course he wishes." which was an offer one of his tablemates took up. A piping hot bowl of the thick soup was promptly and smoothly laid before her, just as others at the table were when the orders were placed.

 

In fact, in the entire ballroom floor, only one pony seemed not to have a job already that he was busy doing. An elderly stallion of indeterminate race wearing the full Parade Dress version of the defunct Solar Guard. It covered the top of his head with an elaborately plumed helmet, and his back and shoulders with a formal cape, all in shades of orange and gold. A small card was levitated to him from a tube that lead downstairs, and the stallion cleared his throat and performed the one function still reserved for that ancient order. The one dread job he could possibly be there to do. "PRESENTING!" he declared in a voice loud and clear enough to be heard over the orchestra without magic "HIS EMINENCE, ROYAL CONSORT AND SOMETIME CAPTAIN OF THE ROYAL GUARD, COMMANDER SHINING ARMOR OF THE CRYSTAL GUARD!" he was a herald. "HE IS ACCOMPANIED THIS NIGHT BY HER AMOROUS RADIANCE, KEEPER OF THE CRYSTAL HEART, VANQUISHER OF DREAD CHRYSALIS, AND DISPELLER OF FALSE KINGS, MI AMORE CADENZA, PRINCESS OF LOVE AND LADY REGENT OF THE CRYSTAL EMPIRE!"

 

The stallion hadn't even taken a breath, but once he was done he just sat back down and pulled out a newspaper. He'd done this bit twice already tonight when Fire Walker and the main Royal Guard's commanders had shown up as well, though their cards had been shorter. Much shorter. Even the conductor of the orchestra had been impressed by the herald's lung capacity.

 

Aquamarine Gleam, who had been at the edge of the ballroom when she heard her commanding officer's arrival announcement, quickly ducked into a particularly thick knot of ponies and tucked the errant curl of her mane back into its updo. It promptly fell back out again, and she didn't have time or a mirror to spend adjusting it back into position. She adopted the haughtiest expression she could muster and did her absolute best not to be recognized in this outfit.

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“Tehehe, now’s not the time to bring that up,” Princess Cadence gently chided her love when he brought up that dance lesson; “Let’s try to get to the Ball first before it ends... and THEN we can worry about what to do in our castle guest room afterward.” The alicorn’s devious smirk could have been placed in a dictionary alongside a definition of “wink wiiiiiink”.


“And don’t worry Shiny,” Cadence further reminded Shining Armor; “I love any moment I can to get a dance with you... even if I’d rather do it in the company of respectable, high society ponies so that we can increase our social standing among the ponies most worth knowing.”


....................

 

“I’m kidding, honey. Of course I’d love to meet all your old army buddies! In fact, you can think of it as having more of you to go around!” The Crystal Princess couldn’t help but giggle loudly; it never hurt to play the role of teasing vixen every now and then.


It should go without saying that Princess Cadence loves balls... or at least, the concept of such fancy events. Like Auntie Celestia, she too could find the typical soiree attendee to be... insufferable. Fortunately, as this was a REG Ball the royal couple would be attending tonight, no spoiled cousins or snotty trend setters would be around to put a reality check on Cadence’s foalhood dreams of playing dress-up with pretty dresses and waltzing with knights in shining armor.


On both of those two fronts, the Princess of Love failed to disappoint. There was Shining Armor obviously, and then there was Cadence’s lovely gown, sparkling with hues of pink and purple. Her mane had been done special for the occasion, crowned with two ornate crystals harvested in the Crystal Empire itself (where else is a Crystal Empress supposed to find gems?). The heart-adorned crystal slippers were also products of Crystal Empire craftsmareship, and then there were the Itailian pearl necklaces; mementos once owned by the mare’s used-to-be-long-lost birth mother, Amore Della Familia, who was now gladly back in her life.


Speaking of mementos of the old country, Princess Cadence was salivating at the thought of portabella bucatini al nero when a herald’s booming cry announced the royal couple’s entry onto the ballroom floor. Hearing the long list of her apparently official titles made the alicorn blush a deep shade of red. Nonetheless, Cadence quickly gathered up her mischievous wits; “.....Oh sir, I do believe you forgot to mention Mother of Alicorns and Foalsitter of Princess Twilight Sparkle among that list of titles.” That was one of Celestia’s most important lessons of leadership: always have a sense of humor!


And yes, if Twily was going to end up on the majestic Equestrian Throne in the near future, then yes the entire world was going to hear how Cady once foalsat that cute adorable lil’ filly.....

 

 

 

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"It's not a button. It's a dial Moto. And there is no off option on it. It simply goes from 'Low' to 'Shut Up Already'." noblepony corrected his fiancee while adding some self-shade.

"Well not my kind of relaxing...." Swift grumbled in muted protest. Then again it was probably him. Not many other ponies would find, say, bungee jumping as a refreshing experience.

Events like these in comparison, absolutely bored him.

"And small talk about what Dear? So far besides you and me there is nopony else that I kno...."

On 9/19/2019 at 10:58 PM, Pretzelparty said:

"Oh-Oh!" She waved her hoof excitedly in the other couple's direction, "Fire! Fire! Over--- uh." She blinked as she realized just how badly that could have been misunderstood by the rest of the attendees. She cleared her throat and called out in a more relaxed tone, "Fire Walker! Squall! Over here!"

 

Oh thanks Harmony! His prayers were delivered! If only some of his fellow EPIC members could show up, this event would get even more bearable. Than again, EPIC was not an official formation. Did they even count as a, military? A commando unit like Honor Guard perhaps? Come to think of it, most of members were the civilians, even if they had prior experience in REA or REIN, himself included. He needs to talk with Sparkle about this. seeing that soon enough everything will be in her hooves, perhaps she has few ideas to reorganize things a little.

"When did she came back? Wasn't Pretzy....a Court Artist for Long Guo Empress?" Swift was asking real questions here....

On 9/19/2019 at 6:55 PM, tacobob said:

"No...No drunk royalty here. Not even sure Alicorns can get drunk..." The closest thing she saw was Princess Twilight before she became a 'princess' dancing at a Canterlot garden party she was standing guard near. The purple pony had been either dancing drunk or just wasn't very good at shaking her flank. "Just relaxing music....Pleasant conversation. And oh, look!", she pointed to one of the servers. "I requested they serve  Bon Marché, and here it is....Nice red wine. Perfect for an relaxing evening with friends." , she curled her eyes up in pure bliss.

"Probably they can. Everything counts in large amounts." Swift answered unconsciously. "Wait what am I saying?! And why we are sitting here? Let's join her!" swordpony was so hungry for social activity that he bounced from his seat, pulled Fire from her own and proceeded to move through the crowd while dragging their meals (and his suitcases) through the air. Thankfully his large stature made this easy, with him to move akin to icebreaker through the mass of other guests, allowing Fire to follow him without trouble.

"Pretzy it's been....how long exactly? Well, too long the way I see it." he greeted the painter, with a very delicate shoulder punch "Knew you couldn't be tied to one place forever, even if it was nice one like Huangjing's Imperial Palace. Wanderlust always get better of us." noblepony mused before leaning to Fire. "Family trait Dear. In-blood for at least 500 years. Our ancestor married quite an explorer, Miss Chart Smart, and it's from her that we got it." Swift dropped some trivia about his and Presteza shared lineage before taking sip from his glass. Thankfully, Fire Walker knew his habits well and despite the color suggesting otherwise, it contained a simple grape juice. Of non-fermented kind.

"And who is this gentstallion that invited yo......Wait, didn't I saw you somewhere? During.....Crystal Fair?" Swift addressed the Flash Sentry.

 

But before he could get his answer the herald had to announce the arrival of the latest guests from Crystal Empire, just like he did when he and Fire came in. His eardrums still ringed a little from that one.

"So the Empire strikes back....at least now we know where Celestia's Canterlot Royal Voice goes when she's not using it." Squall commented. "And Cadenza businesses card has to be very long indeed. Or it uses small font, which is low blow to the elderly." noblepony didn't omitted to make a playful jab at Mi Amore long list of titles. "Also Pretzy? You BFF calls you Miss when you can't hear her." he added while pointing at Fire and taking another sip of juice.

The snark. It never ends.
 

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Another card arrived and the herald picked it up and eyed it, then shrugged and stepped forward.  "PRESENTING! SERGEANT LICORICE WHIP OF THE ROYAL GUARD! HE IS ACCOMPANIED THIS EVENING BY ESTEEMED ENTREPENEUR, LEADER OF THE RUBY HEART PACK OF SOLSTICE HEIGHTS, SPARKLES THE JEWELMASTER."

 

It was not as ostentatious as the previous titles had been, but a bribe can only earn one so much. Much like the herald had been, Licorice was not wearing his mess dress, or not merely mess dress. He was wearing the formal uniform with his Sergeants' bars on his shoulder and a sash with every service medal, commendation, rank insignia, pin, patch, and ribbon he'd ever been awarded. He only lacked the cape and ceremonial sword to make the difference between what he was wearing and what would be Parade dress. He was making sure every mare and stallion in the gala knew exactly who he was and what he was capable of. Primarily because it would clarify that the diamond dog perched on his back was someone there by HIS choice, and his stance suggested that he was ready for a fight if one came to him.

 

"That should get their attention, do you think?" The guard said to his plus one in a half joking tone. This was the first impression he was giving the general public of His diamond dog, and he wanted no misunderstandings.

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While taking a quick scan of the crowd, Flash Sentry noticed one unpleasant face he’d rather stay far away from at all costs: the REG’s resident clown, Punk Walker. Given the nature of their last encounter — which Presteza had been present with Flash — the two ponies would never hear the end of it if Punk saw them attending the Ball together. Thankfully, Punk was too busy being Punk.


Like any red-blooded stallion, a wave of euphoria hit Flash upon his date complementing the pegasus for looking good in his mess dress. Even stallions face anxiety over their appearance, believe it or not! “Thank you,” Flash beamed back; “That dress of yours l-”


"Oh-Oh! Fire! Fire! Over--- uh. Fire Walker! Squall! Over here!"


“Fire where?!?” Corporal Sentry jerked his head from side-to-side as he momentarily entered Duty Mode, thinking that Pres had spotted a fire! But... it turned out to just be his commanding officer, Captain Fire Walker, whom Pres happened to be acquainted. Flash deflated with a sign, realizing he lost one opportune moment to playfully flirt back with the mare accompanying him.


But no matter: the night was still young! Flash Sentry’s perked up his spirits just in time for Capt. Walker’s companion to drag her on over. And almost right from the get-go, Squall directed an awkward question Flash’s way. “Errr,” the flushed servicepony rubbed the back of his neck; “You might have. A lot of us were s-


“PRESENTING!.....”


And there it happened again, somepony speaking over Flash. Although this time, the guard was quite happy for something to divert everypony’s attention. And yeah, that long list of Princess Cadence’s titles was... something. When that entrance was taken care of, Flash commented to his commander; “So Captain, I see your brother’s company is back from its... reassignment. The legend of how General Pummel relieved Punk’s company commander of his command and deployed the unit on a year-long arctic border patrol as punishment for Punk breaking dress code had become something of a horror story shared between members of the Royal Equestrian Guard.....

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Setting the menu down on the table a Tan colored unicorn approched him bowing, must have been part of the staff he though as he approached. Taking a moment to think the offer over Heart Shield began to respond. "I. Um, I guess I'll try the pasta first?"  The gray pegasus answered unsure if he would like it or not. Just then a loud booming voice echoed over the crowd introducing Shining armor, and Cadence. Glancing up he saw them entering from the other side of the room. He had never got a chance to meet them before. Being a Royal guard in Canterlot meant he had heard much about the two. Granted he had seen Shining armor on occasion, but never had he actually get to meet him before. Glancing around the room Heart shield eagerly awaited on his dish of pasta. The gray pegasus had kind of zoned out at his table for a moment as he gazed around the room when suddenly someone shouted 'Fire!'

On 9/19/2019 at 4:58 PM, Pretzelparty said:

"Fire! Fire! Over--- uh."

Heart Shield snapped his head up wide eyed for a moment before realizing it was just one of the guest seeing someone they knew. Resting his head on one of his hoofs he lazily glanced around the dance floor with his blue eyes, Absent mindlessly playing with the menu card that laid on the table with his other hoof. 

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"The only problem with that joke,"  Shining Armor laughed, not fooled for a minute, "Is that I don't think it's possible to climb higher than Empress.  Unless you harbor dreams of actual world domination.  Er, you don't do you?"  One could never be sure.  Cadence wasn't the megalomaniac type, but Shining could definitely see her becoming convinced that her rule would be necessary, if things got too crazy.  With great feelings of responsibility came great great desires for power.

 

It had to be said, though, if Cadence was in the mood for ego-stroking, having that herald announce one would do it.  Though, if he was reading her expression correctly, her mood was somewhere else, significantly more playful, in fact.  "You might as well add Level 25 Paladin to my list while we're at it."  He added to Cady's gentle teasing, before turning to view the guests coming up to them.  It looked like a group of four; he recognized Fire Walker from his service days, and Flash was... well, all too familiar to him.  Their respective dates, less so; he knew Swift and Pressy more by reputation than by anything more substantial.

 

"I think the Canterlot voice comes back to the days when the capitol was still a fortress, and one needed to shout orders to be heard over any potential din.  It's actually kind of nice to see the tradition be kept alive."  He paused, as the herald chose this appropriate moment to announce two more newcomers, whom he spared an interested glance before turning to the male pegasus of the group.

 

"At ease, Private."  He greeted, in an easy tone.  He had to admit, he'd held a lot of complicated feelings towards this soldier, given everything he'd gotten himself into.  At this point, it was more pity than anything else.  Even the prospect of him dating his LSBFF Twilight Sparkle just made him worried for Flash.  Looking over to the mares of the group, he smiled warmly at Fire, "It's good to see you again, but I don't think I'm familiar with your date, or with Flash's.  Are they just your companions for the evening, or something more serious?"  He knew Cadence would be interested in the answer to this...

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Reckless trotted up the steps and glanced around.

 

"Whew! Kinda stuffy around here," She muttered as she made her way down the entryway towards the ballroom. 

 

The pegasus had only been a part of the Guard for a few weeks now and already she found herself as this stately affair with a date no less! She smirked. He was a lucky stallion! Yep, not just anypony got to spend the evening with her company. She hadn't met Burning Aegis yet but from what she heard from some of her guard pony girl friends he was quite a handsome stud. Well, she'd soon find that out for herself.

 

Some ponies were entering with cards, allowing a herald to call out their names and titles. She chuckled at the notion. She didn't really have any titles anyway. It did peak her interest to hear the names of Shining Armor and Princess Cadence. 

 

"Wow! They sure have the finest here tonight!" She felt herself flush a little. It was exciting to know ponies of such stature at this event! She'd have to introduce herself at some point. But first, she'd have o introduce herself to her blind date... where was he?

 

The ballroom was plush and opulent, no expense had been spared for this  regal occasion! She could smell delicious foods being prepared and noted just how many of Equestria's finest had shown up tonight! Reckless had the confidence of ten mares and the face that she had a a simple black chiffon did nothing to sway her as she noted the frills and lace of other mare's dresses. Her dress was simple but clung to her lithe frame in just the right ways.  

 

She noted that the tables were set with name places and as she got closer to where her name was she saw a stallion laying down across a couple of the chairs.

 

"Hmmm, tired already?" She wondered as she made her way over to the stallion. Could this be Aegis? "Hey buddy. Night's still young. You callin' it in already?" She bumped one of the chairs lightly, a smile playing on her muzzle. 

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“Nah, just trying to figure out some lyrics for a new song. And waiting for someone.” He smirked back, looking at her upside down for a moment before rolling himself off the chairs so he could greet her while standing. Wow, she looked nice. 

 

“Name’s Burning Aegis, Lunar Guard and singer, nice to meet you.” He smiled, extending a hoof to shake or bump or whatever she wanted to do with it. Assuming this was Reckless, his friends seemed to have made a good choice with her. 

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~~~~~~~Two Hours Earlier~~~~~~

Sparkles sighed softly, leaning against the wall, watching as Licorice ran to and fro in what could only be labeled as a panic. Ever since the letter of the ball arrived the stallion had been worrying about what they should wear, who would be there, how they should arrive. It was like watching a filly get ready for her prom and the diamond dog couldn't help but to giggle at this a little bit, but as time ticked closer and closer to the ball arriving he knew he'd have to step in and get the poor dear to focus a little bit. It was a time to relax, a time to unwind and enjoy themselves. And maybe a chance to show off a little bit. At the very least, Licorice needed to do the former or he'd tie himself into a Licorice Knot. Having already decided on what they were going to wear, most of the dog's time was spend helping get Licorice set up. Licorice's medals and commendations were shined up and pinned onto the stallion's top by the tiny dog, a little brush of the mane, a little spritz of some delightfully rose scented cologne, and he was ready. All that was left was for the dog to get dressed and the two of them to decide on their arrival...Which Sparkles already had a little bit of an idea for~

 

 


~~~~~~Now~~~~~~

Perched atop Licorice's back sidesaddle and legs crossed with an air of grandeur at least ten times bigger than he was, Sparkles smiled and gently rubbed the stallion's back. The diamond dog himself was dressed in a stunning sapphire blue tuxedo with dazzling silver cuff links that adorned the wrists, also studded with sapphires of course. "Oh I think it certainly might. Whether it's the call out or who, or rather what, your plus one is, guess we'll know before the night's through huh?" Sparkles giggled to themselves as their eyes glided around the room, he wasn't personally acquainted with...well anyone here. Though they did recognize a few faces. Prince Shining Armor and Princess Cadence being the most obvious two, but there were a couple they vaguely recalled seeing at the costume contest during Nightmare Night if they weren't mistaken. But that was neither here nor there.

Sparkles would casually lean in and whisper to Licorice. "Shining Armor is all the more impressive in person, cuts a really dashing figure. And Cadence, gosh, what I wouldn't give to hair like hers." the dog idly fiddled with the fluffy fur atop their head and sighed softly before shrugging. "Let me know if I'm starting to make a fool of myself sweetie. Cus I'm not quite as used to the sorts of affairs."

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"Maybe it's more like switch...With a gentle tug, I can make you go from grouchy to feisty..."
 
It was like magic! With the help of her song, her old friend magically appeared. Oh was already there and Fire Walker had not seen her yet. Nope. It was the magic of her sweet, sweet, melodic voice. She was like one of those princesses in an Whinny movie. Just sing a song and you soon have animals doing all your chores. Heh. That would never happen in real life.
 
"I'm sure it was just a temp job...", she whispered back.
 
With her Swift hopefully at her side, she made her way over to her friend. And since it was generally frowned upon and usually detrimental to the structure of their delicate dresses, a big hug was not the right thing to do, although she owed the unicorn about a year’s worth, she gave the mare a proper, R.E.A hug. No sudden moves and nopony was going to be pushed across the room. “We have so much to catch up with...”, she was attending the event with Flash Sentry? Really? Not a bad pick. He was handsome and even with all the mess that had happened in the past, he was still dedicated to the guard. “Corporal”, she politely acknowledged him. She would have to hear how they met. She wouldn’t be surprised if Pressy’s brother was involved somehow. As he was part of the guard....Now she was pondering where he was.  It did make her feel considerably better that her old companion was hopefully seeing somepony. Fire Walker had a somewhat antiquated view on these sort of things. She was rather sure that single ponies were the most miserable creatures ever and the only cure that lead away from the darkened caves of loneliness to the bright and shiny castle of companionship was being with somepony. And the painter pony had been in that cave for far too long. On the corner of her eye, she noticed Flash's expression. While she would have liked to spend the entire night at her friend's side, she would need to keep it brief. Let the good Corporal have the lion's share of the spunky mare's time. There was always going to be another day for Fire/Press bonding.
 
"Punk just got back the other day...And he has not learned a single thing.", she groaned. Where would Pummel send him next? Ghastly Gorge patrol? The Gates Of Tartarus? Hayseed Swamp? It only was going to be worse...
 
As she glanced through the crowd, she caught sight of a few more ponies she knew. There was the rather swift Heart Shield, who like her brother Walk, spent a good deal of his job as a guard on the street. And then there was...Oh. Captain Shining Armor, and when he was around, so was Princess Cadence...Probably one of the prettiest creatures to ever have existed in Equestria. Oh, to have those hips....legs....and the rest of her...Shining has to be one of the happiest stallion's ever. With that thought, the unicorn made his way over to the small group.
 
She could not help but chuckle when the good Captain mentioned he did not recognize Swift. And while she had a snarky response that would probably turn her green stallion beat red, she wisely decided not to..."This rather handsome young stallion is my fiancé, Swift Squall." She really wondered if he should be introduced as 'Prince Of The Crystal Empire'. Even after spending the majority of her life in the R.E.A, she still couldn't understand Equestria's monarchy system. "And you probably know Captain Shining Armor...Or at least of him.", she nodded at her stallion.
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For all the bravado Licorice was projecting, he was grateful for Sparkles's attempts to lighten the mood. "Well this is meant to be an informal gathering, there are just a few...concessions to the donors, shall we say." the dark-coated stallion replied, trying to keep his war face on. He wove through the crowd, following the host who led them to a table that was already being served. Licorice pulled out the first seat with his horn and quietly indicated a soup preference to the waiter by levitating and tilting a spoon toward the nearly empty tureen of minestrone while Sparkles took take his place.

 

Licorice took a quick glance and appraised him and everypony else at the table with the detached, almost bored eye career guards use for tactical assessments. As some of the other guests at their table were already engaged and the waiter moved away, Licorice inclined his head by way of greeting to Heart Shield. "Good evening, quite a to-do they've got rolling this year, hmm? Sergeant Licorice Whip, Royal Guard. This is my...hrm...well coltfriend isn't exactly the right word, but this is Sparkles." he said, pushing the diamond dog's chair in before he himself settled in the seat next to the pegasus and fellow Royal guard.

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Heart Shield Glanced around the room as he awaited to be served. His blue eyes roaming around the room watching to see what everypony was doing out of boredom. He hadn't been waiting but a couple of minutes, when one of the hosts approached a table near him, Seeming to show a Stallion, and a diamond dog to their seats near him. Snapping out of his daze, The gray pegasus lowered his hoof that he had propped on his chin, Glancing in the way of the stallion , as he greeted him. "Oh, Good evening to you too. I suppose they do. Its my first time to this" Heart Shield said in an enthusiastic tone. "Its nice to meet you Licorice! I'm private Heart Shield, But you can call me what ever you like." The gray stallion softly smiled returning the greeting, nodding to Sparkles as he introduced him, As He sat up in his chair now focusing his attention on the two know that he had somepony to talk to.

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yg8tDkr.png?1

 

"The only problem with that joke is that I don't think it's possible to climb higher than Empress.  Unless you harbor dreams of actual world domination. Er, you don't do you?"

 

Princess Cadence gave Shining Armor a shifty-eyed glance out of jest. Of course the alicorn lacked megalomaniacal aspirations; she was too much of a goody four-shoes for that. Although... “I don’t know, it’s just if I was Empress of the World, I’d spread faith in True Love to those corners of the globe that hold fast to romantic cynicism and pragmatism.” The Crystal Princess seductively batted her eyelashes; “Surely that’s as good a reason as any for taking over the world, my love?”

 

"I think the Canterlot voice comes back to the days when the capitol was still a fortress, and one needed to shout orders to be heard over any potential din.  It's actually kind of nice to see the tradition be kept alive."

 

The first two couples that came the royal duo’s way was naturally half-composed of noble-folk; Count Swift Squall of House Squallcoast and Presteza of House Aethermane, although neither had a reputation for partaking in the high society scene. While Princess Cadence wasn’t too terribly acquainted with Count Squall, she could personally attest to Presteza’s friendliness and skill in art.


Cadence recognized Flash Sentry, who she once believed Twily was growing feelings for. That romantic thread sadly got cut before its time, and these days the Princess of Love couldn’t precisely guess who her sister-in-law desired as her special somepony. Some gossip tabloids claim it’s some Kastroti sorcerer, while Princess Celestia recently thought it necessary to point out to her adopted niece how Twily was spending a curiously large amount of effort bonding with Sunset Shimmer. Either way, lil’ adorable Twily clearly had a thing for ‘bad ponies’, or at least those who presented themselves in contrast to... well, Shining Armor’s noble paladin type.


Speaking of: nopony cares about your O&O player characters, you lovable dork Shiny. Cady rolled her eyes at what her husband “wisely” considered to be worth adding onto his own list of titles.


The last mare Cadence knew only by reputation. Captain Fire Walker was one of those royal guards Twilight held in high esteem, which is how Fire became the leader of Twily’s personal guard service. Perhaps tonight would be a chance to get to know her better!


“You and me, both!” Cadence did agree with Shining about Royal Voices; “That’s why we refused to remove the Royal Canterlot Voice from the curriculum at the Imperial School of Knighthood and Chivalry. And I must say that our cheerleading squad is better off for it. It’s... pretty much the only counter we have to my auntie’s enthusiastic support for her buckball team.”

 

"This rather handsome young stallion is my fiancé, Swift Squall."

 

Briefly, Cadence’s attention was grabbed by the Presenter’s voice announcing more guests, but before she could see who they were, the alicorn heard Capt. Walker utter that most beloved of F-words, and gasped! “THE TWO OF YOU ARE GETTING MARRIED???” With excited wings spread out and hearts in her eyes, Cadence unwittingly shoved her husband, Flash, and Presteza out of the way as moved to give Fire a quick celebratory hug; “CONGRATULATIONS!”


Upon letting go of the pegasus mare, Cadence bombarded her and Count Squall with questions; “Do you have a wedding date set? Where’s it gonna’ be? How many guests? Is there a theme? You have a wedding planner? An officiator? Where’s the honeymoon-?” And so on and so on.....

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20 hours ago, tacobob said:
"Maybe it's more like switch...With a gentle tug, I can make you go from grouchy to feisty..."

"I believe I have separate switch for that Dear." Swift kept the banter going "Although you can tug my switches all day long if you want to check that first hoof." he added in kittenish tone.

 

20 hours ago, tacobob said:
"I'm sure it was just a temp job...", she whispered back.

"Most likely. Nopony needs permanent painter, unless they are extremely narcissistic." noblepony agreed. "Although painting frescoes could take one artist a couple of years. Still, I don't think Pretzy would have patience for that kind of endeavor. And I have yet to see her working on something other then canvas" Swift mused in whisper of his own.

 

On 9/21/2019 at 11:20 PM, Bellosh said:

But no matter: the night was still young! Flash Sentry’s perked up his spirits just in time for Capt. Walker’s companion to drag her on over. And almost right from the get-go, Squall directed an awkward question Flash’s way. “Errr,” the flushed servicepony rubbed the back of his neck; “You might have. A lot of us were s-

Flash stammered a little when it came to answering Swift's question, but noblepony understood. This was a day that was supposed to be recalled fondly, but actions of those with dark hearts made the very opposite happen.

"Yes. The many brave ponies that were, and less then a hour later, they were not..." noblepony said solemnly before reaching with his hoof and patting him in a reassuring gesture.

"There, there Corporal. Red Jarl's head will be removed from his shoulder's soon enoug...."

Swift wasn't able to finish his words of encouragement before being interrupted by herald once again. This stallion had the worst timing!

 

On 9/21/2019 at 10:18 PM, Windwright said:

Another card arrived and the herald picked it up and eyed it, then shrugged and stepped forward.  "PRESENTING! SERGEANT LICORICE WHIP OF THE ROYAL GUARD! HE IS ACCOMPANIED THIS EVENING BY ESTEEMED ENTREPENEUR, LEADER OF THE RUBY HEART PACK OF SOLSTICE HEIGHTS, SPARKLES THE JEWELMASTER."

 

"Oh for Tartarus sake! I know it's his job but this is so distrac.....Oh, that's not kind of guest that you see at those kind of parties every day." noblepony started to complain before being...well....distracted by his curiosity. If this was a party thrown by nobility, the guest's would certainly cal foul at diamond dog entrance. Luckily, although Squall could say that Equestria military had a lot of issues, tolerance was not one of them. And besides, this 'Sparkles' certainly knew how to look the part, if his chic clothing was any indication.

 

On 9/22/2019 at 12:32 AM, PrinceBlueblood said:

"You might as well add Level 25 Paladin to my list while we're at it."  He added to Cady's gentle teasing, before turning to view the guests coming up to them.  It looked like a group of four; he recognized Fire Walker from his service days, and Flash was... well, all too familiar to him.  Their respective dates, less so; he knew Swift and Pressy more by reputation than by anything more substantial.

 

 

"I think the Canterlot voice comes back to the days when the capitol was still a fortress, and one needed to shout orders to be heard over any potential din.  It's actually kind of nice to see the tradition be kept alive."  He paused, as the herald chose this appropriate moment to announce two more newcomers, whom he spared an interested glance before turning to the male pegasus of the group.

"Which edition?" Swift asked. he wasn't sure if the three at his side were understanding his question (and Fire was bound to call him 'geek' again) but at the moment Squall's attention was on Shining Armor. "Second, Three-Point-Five, Fourth? Because if this is Fourth, then level 25 is only somewhat impressive. 'Epic Destinies' rubbish...." unicorn muttered the last part under his breath before taking another sip of his juice.

"Also, Canterlot could use at least some fortress elements being re-introduced. For...reasons..." Squall added, his tone pointing at the elephant-in-the-room that was Capital tendency o being invaded or infiltrated. He politely decided not to mention that Empire could do the same given it's similar track-record. After all, following the deed of seemingly tightening the security, the Crystal Spire was still infiltrated, and the couple that now stood before him captured along with their only daughter. Luckily the conversation shifted onto something everything could agree on, namely: Fire's brother latest anti-achievement.

 

20 hours ago, tacobob said:
"Punk just got back the other day...And he has not learned a single thing.", she groaned. Where would Pummel send him next? Ghastly Gorge patrol? The Gates Of Tartarus? Hayseed Swamp? It only was going to be worse...

 

"Dear, I wanted to prod you about it for some time. Why is he's a soldier in the first place? Does Punk even enjoy it?!" he asked. The talk shifted towards his old mentor. Well, one of his mentors.

"General's no sadist. He may be very strict, but his also fair...." unicorn gave his fiancee a meaningful look. The way each of them seen General Pummel was one of few things they didn't agree on. Whenever Fire found herself in the mood to complain about Pummels methods, Swift was quick to remind her that he helped to shape noblepony a stallion she loved, and thus a reason why they were together.

"....if he ordered reassignment like this, Punk had to really 'work' on it." the orange unicorn said with conviction.

 

 

21 hours ago, tacobob said:
“Corporal”

 

On 9/22/2019 at 12:32 AM, PrinceBlueblood said:

"At ease, Private."

Swift quickly shifted a confused look between Shining Armor and Fire Walker.

"Wait so is he Corporal or a Private?" he asked in confusion while leaning out to see Flash's distinctions.

 

1 hour ago, Bellosh said:

Briefly, Cadence’s attention was grabbed by the Presenter’s voice announcing more guests, but before she could see who they were, the alicorn heard Capt. Walker utter that most beloved of F-words, and gasped! “THE TWO OF YOU ARE GETTING MARRIED???” With excited wings spread out and hearts in her eyes, Cadence unwittingly shoved her husband, Flash, and Presteza out of the way as moved to give Fire a quick celebratory hug; “CONGRATULATIONS!”

 

Upon letting go of the pegasus mare, Cadence bombarded her and Count Squall with questions; “Do you have a wedding date set? Where’s it gonna’ be? How many guests? Is there a theme? You have a wedding planner? An officiator? Where’s the honeymoon-?” And so on and so on.....

 

"Yes we are, and soo- GACK!" swordstallion answered before being forced to backdash to dodge an excited mass of royal pink that took his wife-to-be into almost a bear-like hug.

Upon letting her go, Swift moved next to his love, quickly ensuring that crimson mare's organs were still in right places. Next that he knew, both of them were assaulted by almost literal hurricane of questions that quickly got uncomfortably ponysonal.

 

Swift has faced cruel dragons, throat-cutting pirates, manticore's from Unyasi jungles, a literal oni and some horrors that didn't even had a name. But this mare? This mare, in such state? She scared him.

 

Wide eyed, Swift made aside glance over his sunglasses at the Prince Armor - who probably knew better then to get involved.

"She's always like that when it comes to those, isn't she?" noblepony guessed, even his unease not being enough to stop his sarky comments.

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