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[Age of Heroes]Through Space and Time (Closed:PrinceBlueblood)

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It been few weeks since Ossia di Nerezza as Prince Blueblood sexy and hyper-competent secretary, 'Misty Note'. His guests could notice that stallion's surroundings became much more organized, efficient etc.

 

But that that was on the surface....beneath the surface - of the Blueblood's Manor that is - intensive works were happening day and night.

 

The small cave that Prince initially possessed was expanded into full blown dungeon complex. Ossia just kept adding room after room, digging through the rock with her raw strengths and magic.

That said, after each new chamber became sclupted in stone, the alicorn shown that she's knowledgeable in carpentry and decorations as well. Somehow she managed to smuggle all kinds of furniture, equipment and Saddle Arabian carpets to make thme more cozy, but how exactly Ossia did that was a mystery.

 

Still, right now she happened to be in the main room, staring at magical image of known heroine - Battlemage. Prince has left a few hours ago, but all she managed to do in the meantime was getting herself frustrated. Volmes of open books were laid on the tables and shelves, and many pieces of paper were scribbled with notes and calculations. All to no avail....

 

"Twilight...." she muttered to herself, massaging her temple while staring at magical visage of the robed mare. It was clear that some kind of dilemma was giving di Nerezza a headache.

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Taking all things into consideration, Blueblood could say without a shadow of doubt or hesitation that the past few weeks had been wonderful.  Ossia's arrival had provided just the shake-up in routine that the, frankly speaking, sub-par villain(ess) had needed in their life, and submitting to the alicorn as her student had brought with it benefits beyond the Prince's imagining, with the promise of greatness yet to come!

 

lair.  An honest-to-Celestia lair was set up in his basement, much quicker and more discretely than he could ever have managed to do on his own, no matter how much he spread his fortune.  Together, he felt, the pair of them would be unstoppable... provided Ossia did not get stuck on one of her rivalry obsessions.  Which, recently, she seemed very at risk of being so. 

*That won't do, that won't do at all.*

 

The best way to remedy this perilous situation, no doubt, was a change in scenery, which Blueblood had left a few hours ago to remedy.  Arriving back at the manor, he doffed jacket and hat to go back down the elevator to the subterranean lair, finding his mentor staring at the same image she'd just summoned as he left.  Oh dear, not a moment too soon had he come!  "Hello!  I've got a little surprise for you!"

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Ossia turned her gaze from unicorn's image and turned her gaze on the tomes she scoured and notes she made. Not good. Not good at all. Not enough of it here. And what supply was present, it undoubtedly resided very in heavily guarded locations....Already in forms of swords, shields or whatever.

Seeing how much trouble she got getting her by herself, to secure more they would need to find a gateway. Thankfully they had Andromalius. The question that remained - which one would be most suitable to use....?

 

Thus, in her pensiveness, di Nerezza didn't registered the elevator moving, nor it's door opening, and certainly not Blueblood hoovesteps.

So when Prince spoke to the alicorn....

 

"Porca troia!" pink mare jumped in surprise, her wings unfurling  and knocking few pages and books she gathered around herself.

The image of Battlemage dispersed, fading into smoke-like strands of aether.

Ossia whipped around, opening her mouth to scold the royal pony.....but those kinds of words never came, instead replaced with embarrassed flush.

"I guess I deserved that one...." she muttered before recalling what Blueblood said to her. Sitting in Prince's basement made her feel too safe, too indolent. So she earned that scare.

"A more enjoyable one I assume, Handsome." she said while picking up her notes and tomes of the stone floor. "To be honest, I have one for you too. But go first, please." she encouraged the stallion with a wave of her feathery appendages.

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Blueblood's cheeks puffed out in stifled laughter at seeing Ossia discombobulated, however temporarily.  A rare sight, and by no means a safe one to capitalize upon wantonly.  And, it seems, his restraint was rewarded with another rarity: an alicorn's blush!  Truly, the Prince was among the most blessed of mortals.  "Oh, I should certainly think so.  Take a look at what I managed to find..."  Drawing a small box out of his mane, he undid the lead-lined lid to reveal what looked like a small, silver pin, gleaming in the cellar light.

 

"A Maretonian focal needle, in prime condition.  Not many ponies know how valuable it is, since the magic in it isn't very powerful.  But it's essential to repairing or upgrading the power of many kinds of relics.  And guess where I found it!  A pincushion in my tailor's shop!  Easiest thing in the world to pocket.  Didn't know it would be this valuable at the time, naturally, I just detected the magic coming off the cushion.  A closer look, and voila!  Pays to keep your eyes open, eh?"

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"Well, would you look at that..." Ossia said upon seeing the item he produced. The pink mare grabbed box to get the closer look.

"These aren't common....in about 97% of the worlds. Mostly because how challenging it is to make them, much less one that won't break after more then four users." Nerezza commented, giving Blueblood some more trivia.

"You took my talk about opportunism to the heart. I am very happy that you did. See this little trinket will save us a lot of work now and in the future." alicorn mused while lighting her horn.

"Such teachable student deserves the proper reward....this evening."

 

Soon, the  the box adorned with very familiar sigil - the very same they squired the day they met - came into view, flying from one of the deeper rooms.

 

"So Prince, two questions." Ossia said, while placing the case on the table. "What do you know about Dragon Wars, ad do you know why it's so important it's You who managed to get his hooves on Andromalius?" Prince's mentor asked.

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Blueblood beamed with pride and satisfaction at being so praised by the alicorn.  It was quite true that his attentiveness at her lessons would have done him credit as a student under any teacher, and as for this particular teacher's rewards for 'good grades'?  Some days he just could not believe his luck!  *It must be more than luck, it must be destiny.  I should trust my instinct for such things.  Who knows what else it might lead to?*

 

In any case, it seemed that the next lesson would begin soon.  Looking over the sigil, Blueblood thought back to how they came to acquire this relic, and tried to remember its significance.  "The Dragons are rather notoriously silent about their internal conflicts.  Or rather, will talk up the latest fight they had with their neighbor so much that they never get around to the great battles of the past, which I'm convinced is deliberate.  In any case, all I know are the tales told by bystanders, mostly of the collateral destruction.  I believe treasure was at stake, but whether it was anything specifically, nopony seems to agree to."  And as for why it was important that he get his hooves on this... Andromalius?  "Well... we certainly don't want anypony else having it to use against us.  Be reason enough to take it for ourselves, regardless of what else we could do with it."

 

All that to say he had no specific knowledge on either of those subjects, but had full confidence that Ossia would soon enlighten him.

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"Heh...." Ossia smirked when Blueblood mentioned how tight lipped Dragons were when talking about their past stunts.

"You too would be hush after b r e a k i n g the w o r l d....." pink mare dropped the bombshell right of the bat. "...or at least being descendants of those who did." she quickly added. She couldn't help but feel some satisfaction from Blueblood's astonishment.

 

"The world as you know it looks like this...." alicorn projected the map of globe in the air before stallion's eyes. "But before the Dragon Wars, it was vastly different." the second map came into existence, and although one could point similarities, the disparities were that much prominent because of this. Enormous sea bay in place of the Painted Pinto Desert, Whisescar so much larger and fused to Equestrian continent, a great peninsula protruding from Aquelian near the Coil...

As royal pony eyes glided at the image of long-lost world more changes became apparent at other continents. Long Guo, arid despite Lake Haohuo being so large that it was practically inland sea in itself, along with another now no-existent peninsula south-west of it. Neighpon, sporting half dozen more large islands. Polyneighsia, replaced with Mustangia sized island in the shape of teardrop. Unyasi 2/3 larger then it presently was, shallow tropical sea with many islands where Saddle Arabia Great Desert now was......

 

"Shocking I know. I've yet to find a world that have gone through Dragon Wars, and preserved complete record of the event. But in various timelines, different pieces of that tale survived. And being a being that can walk through them, I managed to glue mostly complete story...." Nerezza said in ominous tone.

 

"You see, five million years ago.....reptiles ruled the world. Sea serpents in the sea, and three kinds of dragons on the land....." the winged mare started her tale but paused upon reflecting.

"...You know, this might take a while. You want a full version, or abridged one?" she asked.

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The revelation about the Dragon Wars stunned Blueblood, but it honestly didn't surprise him.  His own ignorance as to history was large enough, even by his own estimation, to hide such a massive thing within.  A world ruled by reptiles... "Well, I suppose I'm glad to be born after that whole mess."  He took a seat opposite Ossia, pulling out a flask and tumbler from a storage nook.  "I don't have any objection to the full version now; I have the time, and it will probably save questions later."

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"So be it. May as well get comfortable, yes." Ossia nodded seeing that Prince got himself a drink. In response, pink alicorn summoned full blown fainting couch with a flash of her horn.

After climbing it (and getting sure she made pose that was alluring enough ) Nerezza continued with her tale.

 

"As you can guess by the name, Dragon Wars was the time when reptiles got at each other throats. Why did thy did so? This is something that even I wasn't able to confirm. I uncovered few trails, that supported few theories, each as likely as the other. Regardless, whatever was the case, dragons were at high of their civilization - And yes, that includes ancestors of those brutes that now roam the Badlands." Ossia revealed, before pausing, to play with a lock of her mane for a moment.

"So as it comes, dragons of west and east came into conflict. But there also a third kind, one that stood to the side. I have yet to find any record of theirs that would mention term that they used to refer about themselves but let's call them...frost wyrms...." Nerezza's gaze - that for now lazily scanned the room - landed on Blueblood directly.

"As the term suggest, they were fond of ice weather, unlike their other scaly brethren. Arctic tundras, glaciers, or places high enough that they were frigid were their preferred homes. But it's not their residential preferences that made them...interesting. No, it's the unique properties of their breath that makes those long-gone lizards worthy of attention. You see Handsome Prince, frost wyrms were...unicorns among the dragons if we can say that. Besides being more icy then factory supply of mint drops, they were capable of something called  'cold-forging'. Frost Wyrms could  forge a piece of metal into any object or item they desire, and at the same time enchant it. The more dragons involved in the procedure, the more powerful/versatile relic in making became. And frost wyrms used that skill of theirs to make many, many powerful artifacts...and to supply them to both long, and dragons of west. They called the, 'ARMS Goetia - and one of them is laying on table before you." pink mare said, while summoning the glass of Chianti into her hoof. That was a lot to digest to be sure.

 

"Why that did so? Perhaps they were counting on making each side of the war bleeding out the other, and to swoop in and elevate themselves on the top. Whatever the reason, the plan backfired. During the final battle of those few hundred years war most of the relics were gathered in the final showdown. The result was...devastation of the world, that those in the know call 'Dragons Folly'. Among things that were result of it was exchanging the place of our planet and the sun in our star system, upheaval or sinking of major landmasses, and creation of many foul beasts that to this day plague the land. Western dragons and long were reduced to fraction of their number. Which - following their already heavy losses in the war - collapsed their civilization. If you could pear below the glaciers surrounding the Crystal Empire, you would witness fields littered with dragon bones...."  Ossia paused to make a sip of her wine and preen few unruly feathers in her wing.

 

"Of course those ARMS were not forgotten. They tend to pop up across history time and time again since the fall of the lizards, sporting many different names. Mostly anyone can use them, since they can change size to suite the wielder. But three that I know of were 'Bound' to a certain bloodline..."

The pink mare stopped, flashing most smug smile Blueblood seen yet. "...the blood of Platinas. That right, yours, handsome Prince."

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Pouring out a dose of Fet Loch's finest, Blueblood did indeed relax.  Ossia certainly knew how to keep a stallion's attention during what might otherwise prove a fairly dull history lesson.  If one could call a tale of draconic hubris dull, which would have been near impossible in any case.

 

"Hum, so the Frost Dragons acted as war profiteers?"  Blueblood asked, as the respective roles were laid out for him.  "That makes sense; if they're equivalent to unicorns, but with crafting rather than spellwork, they probably wouldn't last in a straight-up fight against either.  Which might also explain why they tried for the Eastern and Western Dragons to reach a state of Mutually-assured destruction, rather than play kingmaker, which would leave them alone against the winner."  He took a sip as he pondered the wisdom of the decision that ultimately would lead to their downfall.  "I suppose, if they couldn't stop the war, there's not much else they could have done for themselves, from what I can see.  Of course, given what ultimately came out of the respective fates of the tribes, maybe they did try to play kingmaker on behalf of the Easterners, and miscalculated.  Hard to say, given the mists of time..."

 

He'd already half-guessed, as soon as she mentioned that the Frost Dragons created relics, that the relic in front of him was from the frost dragons.  But then to hear that it was linked to his bloodline- "Really now?"  He was quite surprised at this.  "There were old, really old and fragmentary rumors of us having claim to ancient magic, but mine's not the only family with such tales.  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but... why would dragon relics be bound to pony bloodlines?"

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"Not unlike Kastrotians as they are now, isn't it?" Ossia agreed with Blueblood impression of icy lizards.

"They were too clever by half my Student. They set up a scheme, but weren't able to anticipate all of it's outcomes. Or perhaps they weren't flexible enough to deal with those they couldn't foresee?" she briefly pondered.

"Whatever it was, it ended even poorer for them then for those they tried to trick. They died in that battle Blue, but it was a death that lasted for a millennia. Slowly diminishing, they limped through centuries, until the last whisper of their past disappeared from pages of history, at first rays of Equestria's dawn...." alicorn revelation of frost wyrm's fate was perhaps too much poetic, but one had to indulge themselves once in a while.

"Learn from their failure Blue. Those who gamble everything on one hoof, may find themselves with no chips to play further...." pink mare warned her pupil before flashing the noblepony another - warmer - smile. "So don't be a player. Be a croupier."

 

Prince's question made di Nerezza blink a few times...before she bursted into sparkling laughter. After the last giggles starting to die down, the mare managed to answer.

"Blueblood think from their perspective. Would You secure a crossbow you have on display...so a rat wouldn't shoot you? Ponies back then didn't knew what a wheel was! The only equines that had any civilization were abadas, but this is a can of worms we should leave for later. Frost wyrms simply couldn't fathom that ponies would - in the future - develop magic that would allow them to hijack their work!"

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"Mmmm..."  Blueblood's brow wrinkled, as he tried to square Ossia's statement with his knowledge of geography.  "Most Maretonian profiteers are in Hipposition, actually.  That's also where most of their relics are made, since Kastroti mages prefer to work off their inherent magic.  Or perhaps it's different in the world you came from."  That all said, her strategic assessment was spot on.  "Perfectly right.  But one must, at some point, acquire the casino to play the role of the house.  That in itself is not a low-stakes game.  But, hm, it's somewhat easier with a spoiler in tow."  And he returned his mentor's warm smile.

 

He was a little nonplussed at the alicorn's laughter, however.  "I... understand why they wouldn't bother with us.  But that doesn't make it any clearer as to how one of their relics became tied to my bloodline.  Did one of my ancestor's hijack it, as you said?  If so, how is it that my family came to lose the relic?  We're not usually so careless as all that."

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"The city-state of unicorns is different in many words Prince..." Ossia confirmed. "Although what I noticed. is that they have similar with frost wyrms, is their fondness of complotting. For icy lizards, arming their less cunning brethren was only a mean to an end. Kastrotians too do many things that have hidden objectives. But unlike the frosty reptiles, they become slick enough to avoid their schemes from blowing up in their faces." Ossia explained.

 

"Be wary when dealing with denizens of that lands. Assume every gift from them as one with a hidden back, often hiding poison." pink mare warned her student.

 

Di Nerezza was pleased with how inquiring Bloodblood was. This meant that he wasn't satisfied with a simple answers - this trait will certainly serve him well in his studies. Especially when it will be paired with healthy doze of caution - something that Ossia was set to nurture in him.

"Hmmmm..." alicorn pondered, while taking another sip of her wine. "....This was something that I assumed you will know better then me. But I see you auntie dearest do her best to keep you as oblivious towards your legacy as she can." winged mare said. "You must understand - while I obviously studied some of the ARMS, once I got to know that those specific three were unusable by myself, I didn't bothered much on learning about them afterward. That I both met one of few ponies capable of using them, and that we got one of the three in the same day, is very wild coincidence."  Ossia explained "...Although on some level, I think that Andromalius wanted to be found by you." alicorn toyed with the possibility.

"With that in mind, keep what I will say now as a speculation. A highly probable one, but speculation still." pink mare said, being honest with the royal pony.

 

"The three relics in question are probably more familiar to you under different names: Goldgrasp, Blackblade and Cold Mirror. As you certainly know, one of your ancestors, King Adamatias was the one one who first got his hooves on those relics, but it wasn't unlit his son Platinum Gleam that they saw usage...." Ossia said.

 

All of this was common knowledge. King Adamnatias was killed during Saddle Arabian surprise invasion on his kingdom - which spanned modern Itaily and Germaney. Young Prince however fled from the rout at the capital, starting a resistance that fought for years and gathered allies in Unyasi and Maretonia, eventually regaining his crown. The three magical items served the valiant Gleam well in his adventures during this endeavour.

"But I don't think it was Gleam that bound those three to your family. Rather I would point at his granddaughter...." Nerezza continued.

 

Alluvia Palladias was known as a wise queen, but was even more famous as powerful sorceress - being the most skilled in the art of arcane among her family - and for her short temper. She was credited as creator of many spells that were used to this day. If anypony could permanently seize control of such items - it was her.

"If I have to guess, Palladias probably assumed that her grandfather relics were too useful to fall away from family hooves. She certainly was using Cold Mirror at least, being aware how much advantages possession of such items brought. Did she was aware of their origin? I doubt it, after all you have to posses more then mortal pony lifetime to uncover such knowledge. Regardless I think it was her that bound those three to your 'Bloodline'. As such only ponies that can prove that they are Platinum descendants, are able to use them." Ossia revealed.

 

"As of why they were lost...I don't think they are." Blueblood teacher said. "Remember you ain't the only pony that can claim such ancestry. After all Platinas married into other nobles.....and one of their sons and daughters probably took other two relics with them, as dowry. So they aren't lost - merely hidden. As of Goldgrasp...or rather, Andomalius..." Ossia gaze drifted to the ornamented box one again.

"We would have to access museum secret documentation to confirm anything. But I suspect Celestia was involved with that one as well. If it would be donated by your family to museum, I think it would be clearly on display, not in some dark storage. I believe the institution was only 'safekeeping' it. I guess Andomalius was with your family all the way till your parents, and only after Sunlight became your legal guardian..." the last word was spoken as venomously as possible "...that she thought you are not suited for it's ownership. Not the first time she judged poorly."

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Ossia didn't need to tell Blueblood twice to beware Kastroti dealings.  He had as few of those as possible; there was little to be gained in his mind for any Equestrian from such.  Besides, of course, magical power beyond the ken of even most wizards.  But not relics, so that wasn't part of his concern.

 

Speaking of relics, as the alicorn continued, Blueblood's curiosity and confusion began to give way to realization and clarity.  He did recognize those three names, no study of his family history could go without mentioning them.  In fact, now that he thought about it, it was such legends that had inspired his initial interest in magical items in the first place.  "Goldgrasp..."  He murmured under his breath, looking at the box with a new, more appraising gaze.

"I... can't say for certain whether or not you're right, but the theory accounts for all known facts and contradicts none."  He snorted in agreement with her judgment of dear Auntie Celestia's judgment.  "In all likelihood, she got the other two the same way.  I doubt essential relics would have been used for dowries, not when more ordinary riches were to hoof.  Perhaps they were even in the museum as well, though they would have been moved by now if so.  However... if what I heard about Goldgrasp in the stories is accurate, it could be used to find the other two.  Or Andomalius, I suppose I should call it?  I prefer Goldgrasp, to be honest."

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"Hmmm perhaps, perhaps not. Being over millennia old doesn't mean she's bottomless well of knowledge - even if she likes to make other think she is. It's a habit of hers, isn't it? Half-truths, omissions, vagueness. Foolish is a teacher that pretends to be all-knowing. I am even more ancient, and have benefit of many different perspectives, but I would never lie to You that I am onnisciente."

Ossia didn't misses the opportunity to strike iron while it was hot. The flames of resentment burned in Blueblood splendidly, and what's more wonderful - they were deserved.

"In time I will lay bare all of her secrets and failures, so you can properly grade her. It would be fair for Celestia to being one evaluated for once, seeing that she did the same to, oh so many others." pink mare added. "Don't you agree Prince?"

 

"Weeeeeeell....kind of....." Nerezza started, preparing to give Blueblood rundown on what Andromalius was was capable of. "It can help in a way that it 'brushes aside barriers'. So with enough mastery it will make any hindrances between You and what You seek....insignificant." alicorn said. Upon seeing royal pony blink in surprise Ossia felt that clarification is in order.

"Doors will open, fortress walls crumble, magical barriers will get holes poked in them....perhaps even boundary between life and death can be bypassed....?" Ossia pondered. Andomalius was one of the relics she studied least, and as such she had little idea of it's limit's.

"Be wary however there is a difference between 'barrier' and 'resistance'. I doubt Andromalius would be a direct help if somepony would try to directly punch you in the face." she quickly added. This hopefully should prevent Blueblood from using relic in situations poor suited for it...at least until he gets creative with it's usage.

 

"....Now that I think about it, it can help us with my worries. See Prince I was thinking about your aunt's...and some of their students. Or rather what countermeasures can be done to deal with them. Materials for those that I came up with are unfortunately are not of this world. But with Andromalius...." winged mare gazed at the boxed artifact and then the royal stallion.

"Or Goldgrasp if you prefer...seeing it was in your family for so long, it should respond to both names when you invoke them. Actually it can work to your advantage - using newer one when you want less power, and more ancient for opposite. But I digress Blueblood. Open the box and take the glove. Claim your legacy....." Ossia encouraged her student while standing up from her couch. Such moment deserved proper gravitas.

 

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Ossia di Nerezza was skilled at stoking all sorts of fires in Blueblood's heart, not just resentment.  Nonetheless, the heat now currently steaming through his metaphorical veins could forge most any resolution, and temper petty grievances into a blade of retribution.  The Prince knew, on some level, that he was being molded, but it was a molding of scrap into a sword.  An improvement, to which he had and continued to agree fully.  "Ah, yes.  It would be a fine thing, to give her a taste of her own medicine.  Not that I have much hope of it curing her, at this point."

 

Upon getting a rundown of what it was exactly that Andromalius was capable of, Blueblood had to admit it was impressive.  "A two-speed relic... certainly, a change from the all-or-nothing Glamour Garnet.  A glaive to open what charm cannot..."  Reaching out with magic, he pulled the box towards him, opening the reliquary to behold an old-style glaive, bronze, age apparent along the base and opening, though the metal close to the top looked newer.  "Alteration to fit a pony's hoof."  He remarked, reaching out his own, before hesitating.  "But that which was altered once-"

 

Without regard for the gravitas of the moment, he sat back suddenly, pulling out a crystal lens from his pocket, through which he inspected Andromalius.  After a minute, he re-pocketed the monocle.  "Just had to give it a look for tell-tale signs of being booby-trapped.  I've been burned before, literally, through impatience."  Clearing his throat, though attempts to restore the prior moment's mood were mostly futile, he simply pulled out the relic and slipped it on.

 

Immediately, it began to glow, the bronze color beginning to burnish before their eyes, into a dirty, then clean yellow golden gleam.  The Prince felt a tingle at the base of his horn, the familiar feeling of a relic augmenting the magical powers at his command.  "It forms to fit."  He remarked, gingerly placing his shod hoof on the floor.  "I'll need shoes to walk with- no, hang on, it's flat enough in the sole to not throw off my balance."  With a final two steps to get the feel of it, he looked in the mirror nearby (there was always a mirror nearby in Blueblood manor).  "Not bad... have to fit an ensemble around it, of course."

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"Well if there is no curing then is has to be cu...." Ossia started but shut her mouth....."...Errr we will worry when we get there..." she dropped the subject.

 

Her eyebrows rose up started to apprise the ARM. Not that anypony could open the box beside him but....

"......You certainly became more prudential since we met. I like it." alicorn said with a purr before blinking in surprise. Did her heart rate just got up?

 

Alright it wasn't hard to piece together. Her student was simply handsome, and through mentoring the capabilities of his brain cells has steadily gone up. It simply was natural that Ossia got to enjoy the fruits of her endeavors...right?

 

"It does look good on you. Not surprising seeing it's where it belongs at last." pink mare complimented the royal pony. "I would be careful when it comes to using it in open too often though. Your other...self still has your true colors. And since Andomalius can only be used by Platinum bloodline, it wouldn't be hard for Sunlight to add two to two." Nerezza warned Blueblood.

 

"Well not something we have to trouble ourselves with today! Now, what would be best gate to use for our purposes?" Ossia wondered aloud "The ones in Canterlot Castle and Castle of Sisters in Everfree are either heavily guarded, under watchful eye or...." alicorn stopped, realizing what nonsense she was saying "...or doesn't exist in this reality."  she finished with pouting expression.

 

"It still slips my mind how different your reality is from most Blueblood." she addressed the prince again "In yours your aunts are...well...aliens...but in most others they are ponies of this planet, just like you and me. Not only that, but after defeating Discord they took reins of leadership establishing diarchy. Well...monarchy in practice, since in majority of those Nightmare Night banishing still happened...although in few the roles were reversed....." Ossia kept explaining, but cut herself short, before she starts to ramble too much.

"What I am TRYING to say, it's that I so used to seeing some landmarks, it's off putting to me when they are not there...." she confessed.

 

"Now back to a picking the right location. It should be one with very little populated, and far enough from eyes of that glorified parking maid that your auntie calls students....." she pondered while tapping her chin.

 

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"What can I say?  You're a good teacher."  Blueblood basked in the praise he got from Ossia; after all, he'd gotten more from her in her short span of mentorship than from any other alicorn during the rest of his life.  A situation that a certain swan-like specimen would someday come to rue, if the pink one's cut-off vocabulation was any indication.  Not that the Prince was paying it any mind, which was fortunate for Ossia.  He hadn't quite reached the point of absolute hatred for dear Auntie Celestia yet...

 

Taking in the advice on not being so obvious, he nodded.  "Perhaps, if I fit a stocking set over it... the Glamour Garnet can store an outfit, which sort of... overwrites whatever clothes I'm wearing before I put it on.  They come back when I take it off.  I've never tried to disguise relics when I've used it like that before, be useful to see if that works.  If I can still use Goldgleam while it's disguised..."

 

He blinked, somewhat, on hearing his mentor rattle off the list of nonexistant castles.  Apparently, other realities were quite different.  "Well, um, hm.  All that aside, think I'd like to start with a lab test first."  Looking over to the liquor cabinet, he had an idea that he wanted to test out.  Setting his not-quite-empty tumbler back into the cabinet, he closed the doors, and latched them shut, leaving the key inside the pair of locked doors.

"One obstacle, insurmountable by normal means."  Nodding, he closed his eyes, looking inward for his connection to Goldgleam.  The relic activated at a mere thought, sending a tingling sensation down his spine into his shod hoof, which he tapped against the door.  The lock clicked, and the door swung open.  "As if there were any doubt.  Still, field testing is a bad time to find out that you can't use something."

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"Am I? It's been so long....." out of sudden the gaze Ossia sported turned...nostalgic? Contemplative? Whatever it was, she wasn't trying to hide it. It seems that pink alicorn opened up towards the Blueblood...at least a bit.

"When you live as long as I am...you....try many different things." she explained "I still remember lectures I gave in Manehattan at Coltumbia University....." Nerezza allowed herself to reminisce a little.

 

The moment passed quickly, and when Blueblood mentioned how he planned to mask Andomalius, Ossia was back to her witty, flirtatious self.

"Chokers, stockings....should I get you garter belt as well, you naughty filly?" she mercilessly teased him...."Or maybe you would like to see Me in such getup?" ...before going for a killing blow.

 

Winged mare cocked her head when royal pony got through his little test. He really was cautious.

"You read that Long Guo book I prescribed you." Ossia stated. She could see that Art of War made an impression on the young Prince, judging from the way he carried himself today. He must've have finished it last night. She knew he was reading something, but she allowed him to go through them at own pace and order.

"How appropriate. This is where we going today. I just hope that country's history turned less different then I used to." she mused. While she was speaking she summoned her bodysuit , and jewellery - appearing once more the same as the day they met.

 

"Have you ever been there Prince?" she asked while extending her wing, slowly channelling the teleportation spell.

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To say that Blueblood's mentor was full of surprises was merely to state  the corollary of her being an alicorn.  That said, her being an actual teacher at some point in her life wasn't so great a surprise to her current student.  His compliment, after all, had been sincere.

 

Equally as sincere as any flirting between them, anyway.  At least from his side; the Prince was in a very real way, besotted, and Ossia had to know it.  "Ooh, I'd like that.  We could go out in a matching set!  After all, every good team needs it's uniform!"  He grinned, lifting his tumbler up in a toast before downing the last of the liquor inside.

 

"And yes, I did read it.  It all seemed to be a bit obvious after I'd done with it, but that's the real sign of a brainy chap, isn't it?  Being the first to think of that sort of thing."  Hm, perhaps it would be wise to wait until that little drink had its full course through Blueblood's system, it was loosening his tongue to a great degree.  It didn't affect the steadiness of his magic, however, as he easily retrieved the Glamour Garnet and the Aqua-Marine, the standard issue relic kit for his expeditions.  "And to Long Guo?  Hardly; they only recently opened up their borders after a period of isolationism.  It seems to vary from ruler to ruler, honestly."

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"I wonder...." Ossia mused, standing up when Blueblood mentioned 'uniforms'. Not bad idea, but wrong time. "Team uniforms are supposed to be more then pleasure for an eye...." pink mare said, walking next and behind the Prince. "...matching suits would also be a give away that we affiliated with each other...." Nerezza kept going, while her wings crept on Blueblood's back.

"......Don't get me wrong. I am proud to have such...talented student. But there are advantages in keeping our connection a secret." alicorn's feathery appendages moved to stallion's shoulders, giving Blueblood slow, relaxing massage.

 

"For all my power, all experience in disguising magic - whenever I do more then sneezing I have those...heroes all over myself. And catching your aunts attention is not something that I wish to do, before we place all of our pieces on the board." Ossia explained.

"You however - and forgive me for putting it that way - are beneath notice. At least for a time being. Both Prince Blueblood and Platinum Gem can go to places, and do things that Ossia di Nerezza can not. Oh, in time those nincompoops will lament their error in underestimating You. But while this obliviousness lasts, we should milk it for all it's worth." winged mare whispered her advices to royal pony's ear.

"And when the time comes...Celestia will realize that her 'nephew' is not a Prince she can manipulate anymore. But One. True. King. One with much more cunning, foresight and shrewdness then the brutes like Sombra." Nerezza spread sweet pictures of future glory for unicorn stallion. By now, the magic she poured into Prince should diffuse all the drinks he had. Hopefully.

 

 

"Whatever the case, don't bother with the passport. Our visit is uninvited one. And to a desolate place at that..." Ossia walked away from Blueblood and moved to the centre of the room. Conjuring a piece of chalk, she begun map out a magic circle. Complicated one at that.

"I could teleport us there no issue. But moving at such distance would leave us...open, to eyes of those in knowing what to search for. A circle, inscribed with incantations in language not of this world will give up protection we need." pink mare inscribed.

 

As soon as she stoke the last line with a chalk, the whole ring started glowing.

"Should we?" Nerezza asked while extending her hoof. As soon as Prince touched it, they were gone.

 

 

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Ossia did not so much shoot down the idea of matching uniforms as lay it to rest, gently, in a featherbed of her wings' glorious touch.  Any kind of bad news could be made palatable by that kind of massage, and what the alicorn had to say was by no means so difficult for Blueblood to accept.  "King..."  He repeated in a low tone.  Such a short syllable, and yet one weighted with meaning.  Being born a Prince, with no real prospect of ever becoming anything else, he'd put such things out of his mind.  But now?  Now, the possibilities beckoned.  Heavy the crown may be, but as a hat, it never went out of fashion....

 

"Well, one can afford to wait to announce one's presence.  Though, I have to confess, stealth was not a large part of my modus operandi, working as Platinum Gem.  As you probably saw, in that little museum caper which recovered Goldgleam."  He didn't think his identity was compromised yet... though, he might simply not have been thought worth the trouble at this point.  A severe strategical error, as the world would soon see!  All those who ignored his potential would rue the day they had done so!

 

He shook his head, securing his relics about his person.  Don't sink into monologueing, that was a tactical error.  Once he was reasonably equipped, he joined Ossia in the summoning circle.  "Let's shall."  And joining hooves, the transport activated, sending the pair off.

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It seems that Ossia's words really got into Blueblood. good. So far, his activities amounted to...well...sticking it out to his aunt so she acknowledges him. To make her protegee grow, Nerezza needed to plant a seed of ambition in him.....His desire to be recognized made him latch to that idea quickly....Goooood....

 

 

"Ahhh...It may have not been in the past, but this is where you are selling yourself short my student." Ossia said to the stallion. "There is more to the stealth then just remaining unseen. Ever heard of 'Beakbreak City Shuffle'?" alicorn asked.

 

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

 

When magical flurry of sparks and lights faded from their vision they were.....elsewhere.....

The first thing that Blueblood could notice was the breathtaking view they had on the star filled sky over mountain peaks..

 

The second was that the lack of air was certainly not just metaphorical, and how freaking cold it was!

 

"........Amazing is it......?" Ossia asked, her gaze glued to the stars above. For a moment oblivious to the problems the unicorn was having, probably because she showed none of the same issues.

"....You may have been told otherwise, but nopony created this view. There is no great destiny written in them, nor are secrets of the gods or past or future hidden in their patterns. There just...are. A distant suns, glimmering at us from million and billion of light-years away. And it's beautiful....Eh?" Nerezza paused her monologue, noticing that Blueblood started to turn...well...blue....

"Ack! I forgot!" Ossia cried out, casting a spell, one that made Prince breathe normally "Usually at such altitudes I am alone. Are you all right? Need something warm?" she asked with a concerned look. Without input she conjured a fur coat to appear on his frame.

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Blueblood had not, in fact, heard of the "Breakbeak City Shuffle."  It's possible he was familiar with the concept under a different name, but the recognition of the term escaped him.  As did every molecule of air in his body, upon the shock of arrival.  The view really was breathtaking.  Unfortunately so was the temperature.  And the lack of air in general.

 

"Y-y-y-ye-gg-gg-g-"  Was about all the reply he could muster before Ossia graciously offered both air and fur to recover him.  Thinking of nothing but getting free of hypothermia, he took both gifts, along with the alicorn's personal space as he pressed into the only source of warmth for miles.  After a minute or two, he felt enough like a living being to answer his mento.  "Ah, I d-didn't quit-t-te c-catch that..."  His teeth were still chattering, but his eyes were now open and receptive enough to take in the display of stars. 

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It appeared that the fur coat that she summoned didn't quite do the job, judging how hard the royal pony was cuddling to her. But as befitting a mare centuries old, she had solution for that too. Even if the clones felt rather nice.

"Hold still." she asked while flaring her horn, and then poking Blueblood's temple with her hoof. Immediately, Prince could feel as if he was wrapped by dozens upon dozens of hot towels.

His sight somehow was improved too, allowing the the stallion to see much farther and sharper in the dark then he could in the day.

 

"Don't worry, it wasn't anything that important really. I will share you some it at different time." she reassured him before walking to the edge of the stone shelf they were on.

"Do you know where we are?" Ossia asked. Apparently it was a rhetorical question, because she didn't bothered to wait for his answer.

"Far north my Apprentice. Beyond Mount Faba, the desert surrounding it, the mountains that border the dry expanse and even the swamps that lie beyond those peaks. In fact when you turn right, you will see marshlands in question."  she waved her hoof in dramatic question, showing Prince wetlands below. The reservoirs of water dotting it seemed so small from this height.

 

"And when you gaze to the left....the cold, windy tundra, ending at the other arm of the mountain chain. And at feat of those other mountains a a thin line - a branch of Serpent Wall that bars the path of the hordes that call this place their home." Nerezza explained. Those that read about Long Guo history at least in passing, knew well capabilities of the barbarians  from those frozen wastes.

"But neither of those places are of interest to us. Looks east." she commanded her student - whcih amounted to looking forward.

"Can you see Prince? A  long cloud of haze, sandwiched between two smaller mountain ranges? There is a valley beneath this ashen cover. This is where we need to go. But this is place, better explored during the day - even if little light pierces this cloud." finally pink mare revealed their target. Ossia stepped away from the precipice and begund walking down the snowy 'path' - for the better lack of term. It was clear they were first ponies who stepped on this mountain.

"There is a cave down below where we will wait till daybreak. Watch your step, but fear not. I am near."

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