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Silverstream's curiosity had soured the moment it spurred, as the stranger she inspected was disturbed enough to pull away. Just as he did so, the Chancellor walked by expressing his own perspective on the social blunder Silverstream would so commonly make. Although the role model would quickly get in line ahead of them, a line which lost it's meaning every second that passed. And the griffoness near the batpony was also outraged at her breach of conduct, calling her something she had never heard before. She would have to ask the elderly griffon about it later.

 

She rubbed the back of her neck and looked away at the ground. She chuckled as she explained herself. "Oops, sorry. I just get so excited about things I've never seen before. I grew up in Seaquestria where we don't have many of the things that you can find on dry ground, and because I was born into a society trying to escape the Storm King, we never got many visitors either, especially a..." Silverstream looked around the batpony for a clue to the name of his kind, but she could not think of what it could be and she refused the obviousness in her head. "What kind of pony are you? Like a vampire pony or something?" She didn't think he was a vampire, but now that she said it out loud she started to notice the incredible length of the pony's fangs and began wondering if vampire ponies were actually a thing and not just a silly campfire story Gallus told her when they went camping not too long ago.

 

Current fresh cider supply: 29%

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Apple Bloom served others as she spoke with the Chancellor. Would Bluebelle get an extra mug today? Hmm, the thinking cap had to go on for Apple Bloom to ponder that question. Would Bluebelle count as a different pony, or were Bluebelle and Blueblood the same person when it came to what mattered most? Which, today, was a mug of cider. The sound of a barrel changing behind her told her what the answer was. “Heh, sorry ta say but nope! Bluebelle or Blueblood, yer still Blue ta me! Now come on by tomorrow, yer gonna be able ta get yerself another mug regardless,” she said with a wink. And soon after she said that it was as if the swarm continued, and Apple Bloom could scarcely say a goodbye to the noblepony before she was working the cider as quickly as possible.

Two bits, mug. Two bits, mug. Two bits, mug.
“Yep! It's a new blend!”
Two bits, mug.
“Hehehe, well, there'll be more tomorrow!”
Two bits, mug. Two bits, mug.
“Ah'm movin' as fast as Ah can.”
Two bits, mug. Two bits, mug. Two bits, mug.
“Stop yer pushin' and pullin' back thar!”
Two bits, mug.

This here is a REAL workout!

It went on for a very long time, it felt like. Mug after mug, customer after customer. As Apple Bloom pumped the cider and continued the sales she could feel the contraption knocking around some empty barrels, a number that grew and grew. She didn't know how long it all went on but it certainly felt like a while. She wasn't sure how much cider they had left but she was sure they had enough to make another batch or two of Sweet Apple Acre's sweetest customers satisfied.

Like the next one, Midnight Oil. Apple Bloom didn't see many batponies around Ponyville. They weren't unheard of mind you, but they certainly were a rare breed apart from the others in the more rural parts of the land. His wings were really different from pegasi wings and a different coloration to boot. His eyes were super pretty too!
“Howdy there! Nice ta see y'all makin' it out. Ain't seen you before! What's yer name, stranger?” Apple Bloom asked as she poured out a nice mug, this one flowing over so slightly with the foam, sending it across the table with energy as she collected the bits.

@Skycoaster

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Bell was loving the attention she got from such a handsome stallion. Something about him made her heart flutter, maybe because she knew he was some kind of royalty. Though she couldn't fit a name onto him, the way he talked seemed higher than normal pony folk. She knew a high class pony when she saw one. She wasn't an idiot, a fraud. She knew who she was talking to. "Why, you're not too shabby yourself." She fluttered her eyes, bringing a small smile across her face. "Ah, yes, that's right. Prince Blueblood. How quaint to meet you." She gave a smile again, noticing the line become more of a blob. "Well, I hope your duties well. Hopefully we can meet again, yes?" 

 

Fast forward..

 

After she got her cider, she looked at the little filly with a sparkle in her eyes. "That sounds very.. appetizing!" Bell grinned, grabbing the cider with her magic. She then hunched over, acting like she dropped something. "If only I could understand this little spec of mud- She sounds like she was raised by farm animals," she whispered to herself under her breath, very unlikely anypony heard her. "Thank you, again, little one!" 

 

The unicorn trotted away with her cider, leaving room for the next ponies up to try some. She looked around, making sure she wasn't just awkwardly standing by herself, and took a quick swig. The cider was very smooth, and very tasty. Bell actually thought it was the best drink she's ever had, and that says a lot. It was sweet, and tasted fresh and homemade. It probably was fresh and homemade. Now, the pink unicorn actually thought this was time well spent, until somepony came up to her.

 

A black blur swooped in next to her, making Bell jump a little in shock. The mare looked incredibly athletic, grey and pink, didn't look 100% pony. Bell scrunched up her nose, trying to hold in the squeal she had in her. She didn't want this thing approaching her. The unicorn was picky with the ponies she talked too, and this was the main reason. The only thought that ran through her head was that some weird dirty half-pony got enough courage to talk to a gorgeous specimen like herself. There were so many ponies around her though, she couldn't be anything but nice. 

 

Bell took another sip, looking away then looking back at the grey mare. "Hello, there." Was all she said, as she gulped down another sip. 'Stay calm, stay calm, stay calm'.... 

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Dunnie chuckled at Blueblood's late thoughtfulness with the kitchenette. It was the thought that counted, afterall. "Oh, Blueblood. Lack of a cooking space is no worry, I get to take a break and we get to try the local cuisine!" She pulled the fast-food bag free from under her wing and set it inside the tent. The brown bag's bottom was stained noticeably dark from the oils.

Just as soon as the bag was set down, it seemed that the line was moving. Talk about good timing, "Right, lead the way!" She tried not to get swept up by the crowd and stick close to Blueblood. How this place managed to not turn into a full on riot was beyond the brown pony. So many bodies were lined up and eager to taste something of such a limited supply. The Apple family must be flattered.

She was trotting alongside Bluey while glancing about the trees and landscape. She would have flown overhead, but, she also wanted to blend in as well as she could. When the unicorn pulled her attention toward someone she knew, she glanced over to see none other than...Zelda. "Ah! Zelda!" Her eyes lit up. Indeed, she was an old friend. They had been through a lot and shared a lot with each other. Though, the bird has not seen this form of Dunnie.

"Oh, two cups?" She asked. Perhaps she could get another cup with some cunning. "Well, it seems most ponies already know you are as you are, so." She took one of the mugs, thanking Blueblood for the payment and smiling down and thanking Apple Bloom too. So cute! "Anyway, seems that the cider is going to run out before you can try." She eyed the cider stocks, already getting dangerously low.

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Taira kept up his run on the mill, "I understand." he said with a nod of his head. He kept the response short since he wanted to save his breath for this sustained sprint.  The wolf was mildly miffed knowing he'd be on longer than usual, but he gave his word and there was no way he was going to break it. If he was in this for the long haul there was no use crying about it... At least the scenery was nice. 

 

In the crowd he saw Blueblood looking his way and gave the prince a smile from the distance. He could also see quite a few interesting faces. That blue Griffin was interesting to watch awkwardly talk with that admittedly attractive member of his species. It was almost like watching himself as a pup talking to the rest of the pack on the mountain. The rest in the line that caught his attention were so fascinating looking. Was that a griffin with the hindquarters of a pony and a stallion with bat wings?There were so many he'd need to make sure to pester... someday he'd have to sneak into that school and see what the fuss was about.

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After taking a quick second to note that his student's excessive enthusiasm had been tampered, Blueblood was able to devote his entire attention to the matter at hand: the best cider that Equestria had to offer!  Of which no second mug would be forthcoming today, apparently.  "Well, you can't blame me for trying, can you?  I'm sure you've endured flimsier pretexts in attempts to wheedle you and your clan into inequitous generosity.  Ah well, thank you, Miss Applebloom!" 

 

Taking his now full mug from the growing filly, he raised it in a toast with Dunnie, then with Bellissima in turn, before taking a deep draught himself.  "Ahh, now that's the good stuff.  Nothing quite like it; the only thing that can possibly compare is taking in the Beaujolais nouveau straight from the Prench vineyards."  He had to chuckle at how... fancy that sounded, though the actual experience was, indeed, very much like this: wading through the crowds in a rural town to take in a near-divine libation straight from the hooves of the local earth ponies.

"You know, Applejack," He raised his mug in greeting to the orange mare behind the fence, "If you ever get the chance to travel, I do hope you'll get a chance to visit the vineyards yourself.  Honestly, as fancy as wine seems to to most ponies, and don't get me wrong, it is; but the ponies who actually grow the grapes themselves are as down to earth as they come.  They might even be distant cousins of yours!"

 

Speaking of the workers behind the fence, he owed a greeting to a certain yokai.  "Taira, you old rogue!"  He called out, after taking another quaff of cider to wet his whistle.  "That's a pretty far fall for a king of the mountain, treading a mill on a valley farm, eh?"  He laughed, feeling the fizzy feeling of the cider he just drank flowing through insides, lubricating his social self.

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A brown earth pony with green mane and tail walked down the path to Sweet Apple Acres. A typical journey she would make any other day to collect different resources from different farms for her botanical studies, the dusty path was now extra-trampled having seen the fresh hooves, paws, and talons from a plethora of four-legged beings gathering for a taste of the famous cider. Granola Gracie paused her leisurely canter upon seeing so many crowding around the entrance to the farm. "Cider season started today!?" Granola had completely forgotten about the annual cider season and that it was today that the Apple family would make an effort to process as much of the cold-pressed apple mash to make the perfect apple cider. The plan was that she would come by to introduce to Applejack a new breed of apples she discovered in order to see if it would pass the sales test.

 

Not wanting to add to the madness, Granola tried to jump a peak over the crowd to see if she could find where Applejack was. It was likely even if she did, the orange mare would be too busy to deal with Granola's findings. And in truth, her findings could wait a day or two. But Granola's walk back to her tree shack in Whitetail was a far enough walk where she would rather just wait out the crowds. Like she was at a rock concert, she would slowly squirm her way towards the front. "Um, excuse me. Sorry, not trying to get cider, just need to get close. Don't mind me, I wont step on your tail, don't worry."

 

 

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Applejack was pleased with the response to the lucky few who were able to get their hooves on a mug of cider so far. Their smiles said it all. This was one of the few moments Applejack could relate to Pinkie Pie in searching for joy and happiness. She had tried so hard to perfect the process for apple cider making and it was very satisfying to her that she could create a drink to make ponies smile, almost like it was some kind of elixir.

 

Prince Blueblood, having gotten a mug of cider, approached Applejack by the fence to tell her about the Prench vineyards and how she should visit them some time. He even implied that her down to earth farming nature could be blood-related with the ponies who grow the grapevines. "Oh, I don't know. Heh. I have a large extended family, but if they were really a distant cousin, I probably would have seen them at a reunion at some point. It's sounds like a great place for me to vacation to, but I can't imagine leaving the farm for more than a few days. If you get word of one of those grape ponies traveling around Equestria, you tell 'em to meet me here."

 

Blueblood then made his way to Taira who was building up quite the sweat on the treadmill. As they made small chatter, Applejack noticed the reserve barrels were completely gone. They were down to their last barrel for the day. She sighed and swallowed nervously. It was going to happen eventually, but the cider would soon run out and customers were going to be upset. Since Taira seemed to be getting tired and his production wouldn't matter for the next hour or so, she spoke relief at the magical canine, "Alright Taira, you can take a break now." She even whispered to the wolf yokai information related to exclusive employee privileges. "There is a workers-only barrel of cider behind the broken treadmill. Help yourself to a cup."

 

Current fresh cider supply: 2%

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Apple Bloom was mighty sure that as she went along the barrels got louder and louder with their hollow protests, allowing her little else but the dawning realization that day one was almost done. Every mug that came flying from her hooves did little to assuage the growing concern in the crowd, who were going to be less than pleased when it was announced that they were all plum out. Apple Bloom was confident most of them would jst mutter a bit and then resolve to come again the next day, when there would be another batch of cider awaiting them. And now that a good batch of ponies had been served, those who were bound to show up earlier were those less likely to have been served today.

Still, she had some work left to do!
Two bits, mug.
“Don't drink it too fast, remember ta savor it!”
Two bits, mug. Two bits mug.
“Well duh. Of course we'll have more tomorrow!”
Two bits, mug.
“Shhh, jus' hide it from yer ma.”

The final customer of the day was Zelda. She was a nice looking griffon with some cool markings. If Apple Bloom wasn't so overwhelmed by activity she'd ask about 'em, but she reckoned that she;d see the griffon the next day. Maybe then! And if not, well, she wouldn't be the first awesome looking creature that Apple Bloom would strike out on.

“Well-” she said as she pulled the handle once more and found the tap sputtering out its last mug. This one was extra foamy and extra...aromatic. “Well well lookie here! Lucky you. Looks like yer getting' tha last of today's cider! Tha bottom has some of tha most special cider in tha whole barrel, ya know,” she said as she pushed the cider over to the griffon with a smile. She leaned back against the barrels, taking a deep breath as she wondered whether this was the best cider season ever or if it just felt that way on her account!

@tacobob

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Midnight would give Silverstream a half smile, though this emphasized his fangs. “It’s alright,” he would say with understanding in voice. “I too grew up in relative isolation as well. Before Princess Luna returned, we where see as almost sub-pony.”

 

He chuckled at the vampire comment she said. “No....not a vampire that I know of, but you never know....” He would remove his sun glasses so they hypogriff could see his purple eyes. “
 

“Areion is the proper term...though most of us just use Bat Pony. It’s easier to remember.” He would wink.

 

As the mob continued to move, he would find himself at the counter being greeted by a filly who was handling the sales. It caught him a bit off guard that he had made it to the head of the line.

 

He would put his bits on the counter as well as a small tip for the youngest Apple Family member.

 

”My name is Midnight Oil,” he would say as he licked his lips as the cider was poured in front of him, his eyes locked onto the mug. Taking the first sip was like heaven to him as he savored it. It was the sweetest, most perfect thing he had tasted...better even then Areion Ale. 

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Keeping up his dash on the treadmill, Taira was only distracted a moment when he heard the familiar voice of Blueblood. The dapper stallion had a bit of a silly look on his face after his swig of cider, a look that made the old wolf very curious. "Come now, Blueblood!" He said as he kept up on his sprint, "A noble savvy as yourself must know the importance of keeping oneself in shape! None with a lofty titles can claim they're truly beyond the need to work now and then!" 

 

Taira had been at it for a short while now and despite the want to push on, he had to admit: he was feeling the burn. He was more than happy to try and push through it, but eventually he would need to take a break. At the very least he'd have to re-hydrate. All the resistance on the mill from that giant stone grinder made for quite the challenge. By the time Applejack got over to relief her new ranch-hoof (or was it paw in his case?) was panting heavily. Ears perked up when he heard the word break and soon he slowed his gait down until he could come to a full stop, "Wow... This is hard work. No wonder your family is so strong!" 

 

Now armed with the information of a Barrel of the cider behind the other mill, Taira perked up. He may get to taste what all this hubbub was about after all! Rather than speaking up about the barrel and potentially causing a riot if the crowd knew there was a backup barrel, Taira gave a calm nod and smile. He casually made his way to the back and found the barrel in question. After a few seconds fiddling with the spigot , He had his cup and took his drink. To any in the back it may look as if the old wolf might have been paralyzed. In actuality, Taira was completely floored by how incredible it was. He'd not gotten to taste anything this good in years! How many other things had been developed by the Equine that would be so amazing! Maybe that fox from the valleys had the right idea all those years ago to look into equine Kiwizeen... was that what she called it? Oh well, no time to get lost in his thoughts, Taira had seen many a curious creature in that line and he was hoping to get to know a bunch of them! 

Once he'd downed his cup and set it back down beside the barrel in a handy space marked "used mugs" He made his way back over to the front and into view. First he gave his attention to Blueblood and grinned, "Good to see you again, My prince." He dipped his head gracefully before sniffing at the air, "Oh-ho! Did someone get a new pet? I smell cat on you... Hoping to bring him a sample? Speaking of cats..." He looked over to a few of the catbird visitors nearby, "Are you friends with any of them? I don't believe I've gotten to speak to a griffin before... Or that stallion with the bat wings,  or her with the pinkish coat and baby blue mane. I never knew ponies and griffins had gotten so close!"

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Art by the awesome: GoldenDaze!

 

Playing "hard to get" already? Reckless let a tiny breath escape from her muzzle. That was a classic move, classic for a mare who was wanting more. The pegabat could take care of that and then some. After she had some of that cider of course! Looked like the unicorn could use some too, she seemed like she was about to jump out of her skin at the moment. 

 

"I think you might need another sip babe," She spoke casually, like she'd known this lovely creature for years and years. 

 

She raised an eyebrow, watching the reaction she was getting. She knew she was one hot item but she hadn't thought she was attractive enough to make an obviously refined and oh so beautiful mare get all nervous. That was new. After the unicorn had enough time for at least one more sip she pressed a question on her.

 

"So is it the best you've ever had?"  The words were coy and her eyes were fixed on the unicorn's at the moment, not her cider mug. 

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Bell felt like there was a little fly swarming around her, and she just wanted to swat away. It was like the fly was hitting her in the face and sticking in her perfectly styled mane. She'd use her magic to poof this little sucker away, but she didn't know the spell for that. Who did these days? She figured out this little mutt of a pony was the annoying little fly. Even just the way the pegabat was looking at her, the pink unicorn just wanted to vomit. Like, actually vomit. She'd vomit her dinner from the night before all over the ground. She was holding in her gag. 

 

Just the look from this pony made her cider taste soiled. "I don't need to sip-" she stopped herself from losing it. There were so many ponies around, she couldn't just take out this.. creature with her words. So, all Bell did was lift the bottom of the mug up and take a swing of the sweet drink. It did calm her down a bit, but she felt so uncomfortable. Who did this pony think she was? This wasn't the country where all the lunatics ran about.

 

Wait.

 

This was the country.

 

 Bell let out a soft groan, holding in what she could from the sudden realization. This stuff was probably going to happen. A freaky weirdo would come over and antagonize her wonderous beauty. This poor, poor girl. 

 

Reckless's question left Bell trying not to spit her drink out. The unicorn took a big gulp, and looked anywhere but the mare in front of her. "Yeah- it's pretty- sophisticated for such a dirty location." Her voice quivered with the word "dirty", as she finally looked at the pony in front of her. Bell just gave a small smile, her deep blue pupils growing smaller as she noticed the pegabat was staring right at her. She was confident, and Bell couldn't handle it. She cleared her throat, looking back at the sky. She had to be nice, she had to be nice, she had to be nice...

 

"So- you try any of this cider yet?"

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Seaquestria? Seriously? That sounded so made up. And she mentioned -dry- ground? Did her kind escape that bloated snow-baboon by hiding in the clouds? Or did she mean she lived under the sea? Like a sea-pony? But she was an....
 
Ugh, it was far too early to be thinking so much. She just needed to be patient and wait in line like a good little birdie and soon she would have her fancy pony apple juice and then her friends would shud-up about it already!
 
It was like this every year! Did you go to the opening day of cider season? No. I had to work. Did you go to the opening day of cider season? No, I want to sleep in that morning! This was supposed to be the best of the best! Something to make your feathers stick up!
 
The black griffon did roll her eyes up a little when the pink gal mentioned something about vampires. Oye. A somewhat familiar voice called out to her. She turned.
 
"Oh.". Yep. Fire Walker wasn't messing with her. What was his...her name now? Donnie? Dander? Danny? Dunnie? Drander? Flanders? Oh crap.
 
The big griffon gave her old friend a hug. "Hey...Haven't seen you in ages....", she purred. It took her a moment to figure out what she was doing with Blueblood, when she remembered the little job he..she...Fire and Muggo went with him all those years ago. She wanted to say a few more things, but someone, or somepony was trying to get her attention.
 
"Oh. Last mug?", were the others going to have to wait until the next day to have their cider? Holy Moley!
 
"Thanks kid.", she handed over the bits and took the glass. "Hey Brownie...If you want half my glass, just ask...Feel odd drinking this right in front of you.."
 
She took her sip. "Mazel tov!"
 
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Silverstream was relieved to see the bat pony she was curious on wasn't so abrasive to her invasion as much as the dark griffon close to him that seemed annoyed for him. "An areion. Wow! I haven't learned about you ponies at the school yet." Silverstream hovered up and held her talons to her cheeks in typical astonishment. "And your eyes! Your eyes are so so cool!!  They're like... up and down!" She exclaimed as the bat pony drifted away from her towards the front of the line.

The pink hippogriff zipped back to Gallus, which took her a few minutes to see where he had moved, which happened to be close behind. "Gallus, this is incredible. If I had known there would be creatures I had never seen before, I would have insisted we camp out together to get a good spot in front of all the different things to see!" Silverstream did not know how cider season was typically run. The moment she would find out about a second day, she would plan her entire evening around preparing for it.

 

 

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Applejack saw that the spigot was sputtering on the last barrel, as Apple Bloom poured the last drink. She hopped on top of the cider counter to get a good look at all the crowding ponies and griffons, and bat ponies, and whoever to soapbox her planned speech at this time of the day. "Alright ya'll. That's it for today. We knew we'd run out, and its that time that we ran out." She paused for expected groans. "But, with the help from a few friends, including my new best farm-paw over there helping me press apples, we should have plenty of cider to sell first thing tomorrah. Just give us tonight to make some more, and we'll be back to selling the best cider in Equestria!" Applejack hopped down and stayed nearby to receive any criticism to block any that would be unfairly directed at any other member of the family. Even though Apple Bloom would declare she could take it, Applejack would never want her to.

 

 

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Meanwhile, in the crowd of ponies, Granola was attempting to reach the front but failed to get closer enough to the orange mare who was addressing everyone. She would continue to stand close for an opportunity to talk with the apple orchard's future matriarch.

 

 

Current fresh cider supply: 0%

((The day will reset in 7 days, on November 11th 12:00am UTC))

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Apple Bloom fell back from the counter, wiping the hard-earned sweat off of her brow. A few customers were getting a bit antsy with their words, saying how it wasn't right how some ponies got cider and others didn't and what a waste of time it was. Yet they'd be back tomorrow and Apple Bloom'd serve 'em all the same. The Apples well knew the passions their products could easily inflame in the hearts of others and didn't hold against them the flowing filth that screeched out of some mouths. If you were denied a taste of heaven, wouldn't you be cranky? Speaking of cranky, Apple Bloom had to roll her shoulder once or twice to get some soreness out of it. Talk about a workout!


"Wooo-wee Applejack, that was a good first day! Mah crank-hoof's gonna feel it once tha season's over. Whatcha want me ta do now?" the filly asked as she approached her sis, ready and willing to take some additional orders. Hours had passed and the day grew long but her energy had yet to be fully spent.

--------------------------------------------------
Somecreature whose willpower for the day had been spent was Gallus, whose mouth was agape at the knowledge that the day's cider had been sold. They had all year to prepare for this and they ran out this quickly? It was busier than it had any reason to be yeah but did they really just prepare a few hours worth of cider and then pump more for the next day? That was absurd. This as absurd. Everything was absurd because he didn't have a mug of cider and he could smell it and it smelled good. Damnit!


"Oh what, really? You're out already!? I thought the Apples were supposed to be good at preparing for this event!" He yelled, though it would be hard to be heard over the din. It died down quickly enough- ponies held their anger so briefly. Good on them. Good for him. That meant he'd be the one to get cider at some point. 


Forcing his anger to evaporate was Silverstream's excited report about a new type of pony and how excited she was to know that this line provided for something else other than fuel for Gallus' frustrations. It, for example, gave him fuel for another idea. "Yeah...well I guess we'll have to come even earlier tomorrow. Hey, Silverstream- wanna camp out here together? You might need to go and get a tent or a bag though. I don't have a lot of room," he offered, happy to spend time with a friend rather than alone. Especially with that black griffoness and her indecent floof.

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Oh, wow. That was a very, very large dog working the treadmill on that machine. Not only very large, but also enveloped in an aura of smoky clouds that blended in with illuminated markings across his body. As the creature responded to Blueblood's wisecrack, Dunnie could only watch in awe as the creature moved legs and jaw. Only after a familiar voice entered her ears, did she realize that she was staring. Her cheeks flushed red as she took a deep breath. Her reaction can't be that bad, can it?

 

She smiled as she laid eyes on the black griffoness. "Hey." Dunnie said back, then paused a moment, "Hay is for horses."

 

"I haven't seen you in a while. I think you've gotten a lot taller." Dunnie grinned at the black catbird.

 

While Blueblood was distracted, she dropped a bit of her own cider into his mug to give him a little more. He had saved her a spot, afterall, and he was the one excited about all of this. On time with Zelda's cheer, she took a sip. After a gulp she was starting to realize why ponies lined up for this stuff. The flavor, apple, acidity, smooth. All with the zing of fermentation at the end.

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Given how... comprehensive Apple Family reunions were, Applejack was probably right.  Still, there had been that whole business with them discovering a distant relation to the Pie family, wasn't there?  Or was it Rarity's?  One of AJ's friends, at least; he remembered that much from a long spiel from Twilight he'd only been half-listening to at the time.  "I certainly will, though unfortunately the only one I know of who has left the farm is a certain quote-archaeologist-unquote going by the name of Doctor Merlot.  I doubt you'll ever see him, though; he's the sort that can't bear to stand in line with ponies that won't give him money or social standing, even for the best Cider in Equestria!"

Insufferable snob as he had once been, there were many snobs that had always seemed insufferable to the stallion.  Snobs, in fact, almost never enjoyed the company of other snobs; they were just competition for the attention of the really important ponies.  The Prince had at least come to learn that those who love and care for you are those who are really important.

 

Speaking of which, a good friend had come down from the treadmill to greet him.  "I suppose that's why you're looking hale and hearty as ever in your old age."  He continued the good-natured joshing as the wolf yokai approached.  "And Niilavin isn't a... pet exactly.  Yet to be housebroken, though we're making progress.  I made him promise not to eat anypony while I was gone, and he does take his promises seriously.  At least, the ones to me."  Taira directed his gaze to Silverstream and the griffons, just as Dunnie was secretly topping off his mug.  "Oh, Silverstream and Gallus, the pink and blue one respectively, are my students.  Oh, did I tell you that Princess Twilight appointed me the Archancellor of her school?  I'm taking over for her, now that she's moving into government.  As for Zelda, she's more a friend of a... dear friend."  He gave a warm smile with some fairly obvious implications towards Dunnie.

 

Words nearby attracted his attention, and he caught the exchange happening between Bellissima and Midnight.  Oh, what a delightful frission!  He gave Dunnie and Zelda a nudge, indicating the unicorn and thestral with a discreet wave of his mug.  "I think we're in for a show, ladies."  He spoke in a low tone.  "Bellissima's cracks are starting to reveal themselves."  High society meltdowns were so entertaining, and to get one in the country, just as one was enjoying a lovely beverage?  A perfect end to a perfect morning.

Edited by PrinceBlueblood
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Taira listened curiously as Blueblood explained the situation with the feline scent clinging to him. It was such an old scent, the type that you'd think to find in some musty old tomb. The old dog brightened up as he heard some details. Nilaavin must be a sphinx: How incredible! Taira may be almost as old as the last sun princess, but there were many things he'd never gotten to see. A Sphinx was one of those very things. When he was a pup his traveling uncle used to share stories of all the creatures that lived across the seas: Such stories were what inspired him to want to travel in his old age now!


The revelation of Blueblood's new position as archancellor of the school brightened the yokai even further. "It's a shame I don't have a mug in my paw or I'd raise a drink to you. Maybe once I get some time off we can celebrate! ... And as for your students and friends." The wolf smiled over to Dunnie and Zelda. In the case of the former creature he noticed the stare.  "Wonderful to meet more of a friend's Friends! " The wolf rubbed at his muzzle once in case some bit of suds might be clinging to the end of his nose, "As For your students I can tell they must be fun to work with! The pink one isn't lacking in energy and the Blue looks like the sort who thinks often ... and may work himself up with such thoughts." He snickered as he caught the bluebirdcat sneaking another look at the fluff of Zelda's chest. 
 

While a certain prim and proper pony not far off was looking rather stressed, Taira offered his hoof to the griffin and pegasus. "Again, wonderful to make your acquaintances. I'm Taira of the Northern Neighponese Misty mountains.  I hope that the both of you are enjoying this cider season!"

 

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Kay Dreamer had arrived a little late to try the famous Sweet Apple Acres cider, if the empty barrels and the dwindling line of disappointed faces were anything to go by. But that was okay. The cider wasn't the only reason she'd come. The gleaming crystal mare trotted past a very strange assortment of creatures on her way to the front, trying not to stare too obviously as she did so. The tales she had heard weren't exaggerating - it seemed Ponyville really was the most diverse location in the whole of Equestria. There were many disorienting things about jumping a thousand-or-so years forward in time, and this was certainly one of them. Kay had seen paintings of some of these creatures but she never imagined meeting them in the flesh - let alone so many all at once. It was a little overwhelming.

 

'I suppose if anypony- any- anycreature? If anycreature is upset by my staring, I can just ask to draw them and maybe they won't be offended,' she reasoned to herself. And there were some remarkable looking creatures here. The griffons, with their fierce shapes and sharp eyes, one of the bat-winged ponies she'd only ever seen with Princess Luna's royal guard… but as she looked around, one creature in particular caught her eye and she immediately stopped dead in her tracks, her staring not even remotely concealed now.

 

There was a huge wolf running on a contraption of some kind. A huge wolf with horns. A huge wolf with horns and green fire on his head. A huge wolf with horns and green fire on his head and a tail made out of swirling clouds. Kay was watching him run, open mouthed. Never in her life had she seen anything remotely like him, not in a painting, not in a book, not anywhere. All discretion gone now, she cantered over and skidded to a halt just off to the side where the light best caught the edges of the flowing clouds drifting from his body, took a thick-papered book and a pencil from her saddlebag and started to sketch.

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Applejack gave her little sister a quick hug with one leg. "Well, Granny Smith has a large pile of rejected apples over yonder. Maybe you can heap them out of here and giv'em to the pigs."

Peering out over the crowd of customers slowly dispersing, Applejack saw that some were disgruntled but many of them were taking the moment to chat with friends they haven't seen for a moon or two. At least this year wouldn't need added security. Applejack started cleaning off the counter and started rinsing out some of the used mugs using a water pump a short walk away.

 

 

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Silverstream responded immediately to Gallus' invitation. "Do I!? Let's camp here for the night! Lemme go pack an overnight sack and I'll be back." Silverstream pranced with talon and hoof in place, clawing and stamping the ground simultaneously. "Ooooo, I'm so excited!" With a burst of energy and a small cloud of smoke, Silverstream zipped back up the road to Ponyville to get to her dorm were she would gather the things she needed to sleep outside.

 

 

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The closer to Granola got to the counter, the further Applejack got from her. Having to fight the leaving crowd caused her to not be able to walk against the grain and she was pushed back further away from the stand. "Aw, crabweeds, the day's sale is done already? I'll need to arrive first thing tomorrow before the sale starts, that'll probably be the best chance at grabbing Applejack for a short conversation." Granola grabbed seeds out of her back and held them in her hoof carefully. She whispered to them, "And maybe then you little guys will see what it's like to be grown by the best apple grower in Equestria."

 

 

 

Current fresh cider supply: 0%

((The day will reset in 7 days, on November 11th 12:00am UTC))

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Midnight would continue to enjoy his mug of cider as the mob of ponies seemingly dispersed with quite a few grumbles and sighs. He would look up from his mug with froth on his muzzle before returning his attention to the wooden mug of apple perfection. After a few more sips, he would begin to take note of the remaining pon-er creatures that remained near the cider counter. Most he recognized from earlier in the day in the line, though there where a few new ones that caught his eye, including a giant wolf? And not just any wolf, one that had a horn and what he assumed where mystic powers.

 

Midnight's eye would then be drawn to the unicorn from earlier in line and her new companion? She looked similar to an Areion, but also had pegasus features. A hybrid perhaps? He wondered if perhaps she had the same affliction for sweet things as himself and other bat ponies. In the back of his head however, he could not help but think he had seen her around Canterlot Castle before...maybe for a split second. None the less, his attention quickly went back to the cider in his cup as he began to contemplate just how early was two early to set up his tent again...

 

 

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Spoiler

Out of characterDay 2 of Cider Season has begun! You may continue dialogue as normal or come up with interesting ways your character re-entered the event. As like yesterday, two bits to one mug, per character. Cider supply will deplete over time. The only way your character gets cider is if Apple Bloom serves you. When cider is gone, the day will reset and everyone will be put back in 'line'. This cycle will continue indefinitely.

 

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Another day, another cider camp-out. The sun was just peaking up over the rolling hills of the orchard when Applejack started to walk out to the cider stand to greet the ponies and creatures reaching for a sip of the sweet apple nectar on day two of the season. But she was noticeably jumpy. Something had gone wrong last night. As Applejack, her family, and the farm aides were helping to process more apple cider, one of the treadmills fell apart, its gears and cogs seemingly worn out. This left only one out of the three treadmills operational, an thus, only left one treadmill's worth of cider to reserve for the next day. Applejack feared how little cider there might be, but to save herself some grief, she decided to not even count how many barrels there were. Instead, she would continue as normal, doing her best to pretend like this would be like any other day. And honestly, it was like any other day, and Applejack would face the challenges just like she would normally, her friends and family to support her by her side.

 

"Alright ya'll! It's day two of cider season. Soup's on!" Applejack winked back at her sister, giving her the ready signal for the next round of insanity. There were just as many who attended today, but they did not seem as happy. She even saw some who had been lucky to get a taste yesterday back in the line today. There would be no way to tell if somepony got to taste already, so as far as Applejack could best they would just continue to serve the next in line, no matter who it was.

 

Oh, a line. Right. That didn't exist on days like today. And much like the day before, the cider counter started becoming crowded by ponies and creatures eager more than ever to get their cup filled by the yellow apple filly. Some were noticeably patient, while others were more urgent to get as close to the front as possible. "Take it easy, just be patient, there will be enough for everyone..." Applejack turned and muttered under her breath, "...eventually."

 

Current fresh cider supply: 100%

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Kay Dreamer awoke as soon as the sun rose, sparkling through the bright crystal panes of the window on her little caravan. She'd left it to the side of the apple orchard, hoping the morning breeze would carry the scent of fresh apples through the crisp, dewy air. It did not disappoint. Breathing deeply, and with a contented sigh, she gathered up her sketches from yesterday, placing them into a saddlebag along with a set of field paints and a small jar of water. She hadn't had a chance to speak with the great wolf creature from the day before, as he had seemed much too busy on the treadmill - and to be fair, she was much more interested in drawing him, anyway - but she hoped she'd have a chance to learn more about the many other creatures who had come to sample a mug of Equestria's best cider.

 

Kay was delighted to see that she was one of the first ponies in line this time, deciding that she'd take this opportunity to try some cider herself before settling down to paint and sketch some of the more interesting looking ponies and creatures as the day wore on. 'Just keep your cider away from your paint water, Kay,' she thought to herself with a smile. She'd lost count of the times she'd swigged a glass of paint water, or dipped her brushes into her tea or her wine. It wouldn't do to waste good cider like that!

 

Kay trotted to the up to the counter just as an orange mare called out that it was ready to pour. Fishing a few bits out of her saddlebag, she clinked them onto the counter. One of them was stained with black ink, while another was suspiciously antique looking, but bits were bits, right? "Hello," she said cheerfully. "One cider, please!"

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"Sounds good ta me, Applejack. Ah'll get right ta work!" Apple Bloom replied as her older sister gave her the prospective marching orders. She was just happy to he,p the family any way she could so she trotted her way to where they kept the rotten apples and the badly bruised ones and went to work. The pigs had themselves a rather tasty pig feed that would go into their trough with lots of fruits ad veggies but mostly apples and more apples. Lucky pigs! It was hard work over the course of several hours that night but she had the energy for it. She had a hearty dinner, shared some laughs about the day, and went t bed with visions of the day's following work dancing through her head gainfully. The first day had been a big success. The second day was bound to be an even bigger success, right? It stood to reason. Apple Bloom almost had trouble sleeping because she was just so excited to see all the happy faces in the morning!

 

Boy howdy did she wish she saw more happy faces in the morning.


They normally had three treadmills which they used to get the cider milled for the next day. One treadmill needed repair and they had ordered parts but it hadn't arrived in time. That was a bad time but two treadmills were more than enough to satisfy a daily quota. But as Apple Bloom had slept- she'd turned in early on account of being all tuckered out- something had happened to another treadmill. It was broken and needed some rather big repair work done. Parts and a labor, the whole shebang. That meant they had much less today. It had been a nervous sort of glum behind the scenes, but she'd worked alongside Applejack long enough to know not to allow that to seep into her sales-face today.

 

So here she was wearing a smile, cups and cider barrels behind her ready. They had arranged them in a way so it didn't look as bad as it was, like they had enough. But it wouldn't last long. She wasn't gonna fill the cups up to overfilling like she was yesterday. That should get a few more mugs out there. And with a wink from her sister it began, the rush starting up in a hurry. And as the rush started, so did Apple Bloom.

 

Apple Bloom moved like a mare on fire, taking bits and pumping cider as fast as she could. Two bits, mug. Two bits mug. Two bits mug.
“Y'all have a nice one!”
Two bits, mug.
“Well, it's always a good day for a drink! Remember ta use it if you come back or return it!”
Two bits, mug. Two bits, mug.
“Drink up fast, I see you can't wait for it!”
Two bits, mug. Two bits, mug. Apple Bloom tried to have a quick talk with everypony but there was so many.
“Have a good'n Filthy-”
“Say hi ta Sugar fo-”
“What a charm-”

Two bits, mug. Two bits, mug.

 

Eventually she heard somepony actually bother to ask instead of just crowd her. She turned and saw a face she'd never seen before- and a Crystal face at that. Why, it was one of 'em Crystal ponies! You didn't see them all that commonly in these parts and she thought they were awfully pretty. Their coats shimmered in the sunlight in an awfully pretty way, and she was gonna make sure that these awfully fetching pony fetched a fair mug of the best cider in Equestria for a fair price. She made the mug and flitted across the table to Kay Dreamer, smiling all the way. "Ain't seen yer face 'round these parts before! You look like a Crystal Pony. Whatcjher name?" She squeaked excitedly, washing the counter briefly after a customer had dropped 


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Gallus woke up on the ground again, his bedroll as a pillow, even with Silverstream's bright pink tent pitched alongside him. She had gathered her tent and met him back here and they made a firm commitment to this whole concept of being really early. Some marshmallows were roasted, topics were strung along, and a good time was had. He had eventually decided to just stare up at the stars and wait for sleep to claim him while she did...something in her tent. After a while she had offered him a place inside the tent. He had quickly rejected it- it was too small, he didn't like small spaces- and then tried to laugh it off. He thought he was a little quick on the draw and he didn't know why and he also didn't know if Silverstream fully accepted it. 

 

All he knew is he had a hard time sleeping and woke up when somepony or creature stomped on his outstretched tail.
"Yoowww!" He bellowed as he flew up, clutching his tail. "Hey, watch-" he started to yell before noticing what time it was. He was late!
And the stallion who stepped on his tail was now in front of him as the line disintegrated. He zoomed to Silverstream's tent, fussing with the zippers like in most bad teen romcom projector pictures and stuck his head in.
"Get up! We're only like five feet away yet we're somehow late!"

@KayDreamer

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‘Twas early in the morning as the sun began to peak over the rolling hills of apple trees. A midnight blue alicorn gleefully trotted the winding dirt roads that lead to Sweet Apple Archers. She would begin humming to help pass the distance and time till she was at the familiar farm. 
 

“There’s a lot of little thing mmm mmm mm mm mmmm. Mmmm m mm mmmm mmmm....” she would stop humming as she passed the first few tents along the road as her glee turned to a growing worry. “I know Pinkie Pie said that the Apple Family’s cider season was popular but I hand no ideas it would bring this many ponies.” She would say aloud to herself. “Many still seem to be asleep. Hopefully some will sleep in.”

 

As the soon to be retired princess neared where she assumes the counter to be she got her first glimpse of the mob. Her happy trot soon turned into a frantic sprint as she could hear the sound of tents unzipping. Reaching the swarm of ponies, she would being her wait, waiving friendly at Applejack and Apple Bloom.

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