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Lilium Candidum (Closed: SparkSan, PM for invite)

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Granola Gracie faced a lot of fierce competition. Every time she set up shop at the Ponyville Marketplace, the so-called 'flower mares' always cornered the market on pretty-looking flowers. It forced Granola to cater to more interesting means of plant-selling gestures. Her cart of goods would have a few flowers on them, the usual roses, a few bundles of tulips, and the ever-so-inviting towering sunflowers. But she also featured more exotic options like cacti from Appleloosa, snowvines from the mountain tops in Yakyakistan, and a well-matured venus flytrap that seemed to take the center stage. She might not have the heavy hitters, but if you needed something strange that grew from the ground, chances were Granola Gracie was your mare.

 

She didn't attempt to sell things in the market every day. Most days, she investigated new plants and researched on better methods of cultivating them. She had contracts and deals with many farmers in the area in order to help their plant growth, cooperative weather from the pegasi notwithstanding. Unfortunately, she felt that the art of plant-rearing wasn't as interesting to the next generation of ponies as she thought it should be. Maybe some day she would have the opportunity to impart her wisdom to students eager to learn about all things botany.

 

With many ponies passing her cart, she started trying to make small talk to strangers that passed by. "Need any special fertilizer for your cabbages? I got it! Tired of the same countertop flowers? I have just what you need! If you don't see it, I probably have it somewhere in my shack. Don't be afraid to ask questions." Granola spotted a yellow unicorn within an earshot of her table. "Hey you, you lookin' for some companionship in a seedling today?"

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Angelis, herself, was enjoying her after school time running some errands at the marketplace, happy to be finally free of a long and tiring session of grading tests. She was holding a basket with her magical grasp, slowly filling it with fruits and vegetables as she went from stand to stand, taking her time to pick the products that suit her needs and wants. She looked around with a sweet smile at the the ponies behind the stalls every time she passed by one, politely declining when she was called out specifically by the ones that sold things she did not want or need to buy.

 

Eventually, she would reach Granola Gracie's cart, and just as she was about to pass by it, hearing her voice call for her caused Angelis' head to turn and look towards her, but not after looking around to make sure there was no mistake and it was to her she was talking. She then fully turned to face Granola, the surprised expression she got seconds ago turning again into a smile. "My, my, well, I certainly do not mind taking a look at what you have to offer." She replied as she took a couple steps closer to the cart, her strong foreign accent hinting of her origins. "I definitely could use some flowers in my small garden, may I take a look?" She added with a soft, small chuckle.

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"What kind of flowers do you need?" Granola mused. "Go ahead. I have many types of flowers. And I even have some common roots and vegetable saplings if you need something you want to sink your teeth into." The brown earth pony held up a basket full of assorted cut grasses and weeds. "I have some canarygrass here, its very tasty. One bit for a bundle, and I have some seeds for it too, if you're interested in growing it yourself, but it takes a lot of space." Granola continued to suggestive sell her goods to the curious unicorn, but she paused to let her newest customer decide what she wanted. While she paused, she took notice of the unicorn's appearance. She had never seen this mare before. Was she new to Ponyville?

 

Granola took notice of the customer's flank and got a good look at her cutie mark. She leaned forward and stared a little closer, possibly appearing rude to those who had no idea what she was doing. "Ah yes, lilies. Genus lilium, species candidum, to be exact." She remarked on the flower type that was magically adorned on Angelis. "Are you a flower grower, too?" Granola question, wondering if this new customer of hers happened to be of the faction of ponies that rivaled her in the marketplace just down the road.

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The unicorn hummed in thought as she eyed the merchandise, before shaking her head at her third comment. "Ah, sadly, I will have to decline that offer, as I do not have much space to grow many things myself." She said, before going back to looking at the different plants available to purchase. 

 

Though when Granola then commented about her cutie mark, Angelis glanced back to her flank, realizing the earth mare was referring to her cutie mark. To that, she shook her head and let out a soft chuckle "Me? Ooh, ho ho, no, I am not. I guess it is fair enough to assume so, but I am in fact a teacher." Angelis corrected with a soft smile "Though I am impressed by the fact you could identify a flower from someone's cutie mark with such ease!" She added 

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"Been doing so ever since I decided to start my own flora laboratory. Everypony who's anypony has a greenhouse, right?" Not everypony had a greenhouse. "But not everypony has a workshop where they dedicate themselves to tap into the different kinds of plants and how we can better understand them. For instance, did you know that the stems of rosemarinus officionalis can help relieve sore muscles?" Granola was excited that this pony seemed to engage in her discussions of plants to this extent. Typically, by the time she started spitting out the old ponish terms for the items she surrounds herself with, the ponies she's talking to would start ignoring her and walk away.

 

Having been relieved that the customer was not, in fact, a potential rival in the growing market, Granola had to guess what kind of pony she was. "So you have a ring of flowers as a cutie mark, but not really for flowers." Cutie marks were sometimes a direct correlation to a pony's destined occupation, but more often than not, the symbols had an ambiguity to them that could not easy be discerned over with a few words. "Do you make things into circles?" Granola grabbed an unwoven basket beneath her table. "Because if so, I have this basket that I'm trying to weave into a circle, but I can't... seem...to...get...it...to...stay..." Granola was forcing the weaves of the basket to take a rounder shape, but it bounced back to its triangular resting state, snapping several twigs, sending them harmlessly flying everywhere in a three meter radius. "...round."

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Angelis couldn't help but let out a soft little giggle at Granola's failed attempt at fixing the weaves of her basket, before shaking her head and waving a hoof, before her horn began glowing, carefully taking the basket off the other mare's hooves and now attempting to weave it with her magic while continuing the conversation. "Oh, I am afraid I can not help you with that..." She said at first, before picking up the basket. "...Or maybe I could, if I gave it enough tries, I do not know. But the point is that it is not my talent either. Honestly, it appears that my cutie mark is better at showing why my parents gave me my name than what my talent actually is... And if you are wondering... Well, I am not the one to brag, but, it is that I do fare pretty well with foals. Teenagers too, actually, but to be honest with you, the younger ones are better at showing that they enjoy my presence." The mare explained, still keeping that warm and sweet smile of hers, taking advantage of the pauses in her speech to readjust her red-mounted glasses every now and then. 

 

"Ah, speaking of... What you said about... 'Rose'... 'Rosemarinus'... I believe you said...? While it is true that I do not practice physical activities, if any at all, taking care of multiple foals has proven to be more tiring than one would think. If you do have anything that would help me relax better when arriving back home after school is over, I am all ears." She added, going back to the earth mare's first comment about rosemarinus officianalis. Even if it did sound a lot like rosemary, and not quite remembering the full name Granola spoke earlier, she did make the extra effort to recover at least one word, afraid to upset her.

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Having the basket magically taken from her, she returned her frown into a smile as the friendly unicorn mare offered to attempt weaving it with her minor telekinesis abilities. As the weaving continued, banter about individual talents were passed back and forth between them. "Yes, rosemary as it's commonly called. But for stress relief? That one is easy!" Granola disappeared under her table and returned quickly with a bundle of lavender in her mouth. She set the bundle on the table towards the unicorn. "Lavandula angustifolia, or lavender as most people call it. You can crush the flower spikes and use it in baths or even cooking. You might already have lavender in your soaps and don't even know it! But using more would definitely help decompress from a long day with energetic screaming foals." Granola chuckled.

 

As she invited the unicorn to inspect the lavender, she returned to what she had mentioned prior to the question on stress relief. "Oh, so you're a school teacher?" Granola scoffed in agreement when the mare mentioned the lack of enthusiasm from the fillies and colts that were coming of age. "I was asked a few moons ago to give a lecture at the school of friendship. When I did, it was mostly fine, but I didn't expect so many different kinds of students with so many different perspectives. It was kind of intimidating. At least for me. I have no teaching talents, but I'm sure you would be way better than I was."

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While still doing her best to weave the basket in the wanted shape, Angelis stepped closer to inspect the bundle, and took a smell of the scent of the flower, and smiled after letting out a soft sigh "Ah yes, this smells...  Absolutely amazing." She said with a small chuckle. "I would very much like to buy some, then." She added, nodding her head gently.

She then remained silent as she listened to Granola speak of her experience with the school of friendship, her face displaying a curious look. Once the earth mare finished talking, she spoke again after a few seconds of thought. "The school of friendship...? I have only heard little about it, sadly. But it does sound quite interesting. Is there a way you could tell me more about it?" She then asked. Being relatively new to Ponyville after coming all the way from Prance, there was still a bit of catching up that the unicorn mare needed to do, and learning more about a place that sounded important definitely sounded like the next step.

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The brown earth pony perked at the sound of her newest customer offering to pay for the lavender. "Great! It's three bits for a bundle. And one bit for a pouch of lavender seeds if you'd like them for your garden." Granola reached down and scooped some lavender seeds from her cache into a small fabric pouch used for seed carrying and tied it up with its drawstrings. She set the pouch on the table.

 

As she listened to the golden-maned unicorn express her ignorance, Granola responded with unbridled energy. "I thought you looked new around here! Where did you come from? How long have you been here?" Granola sometimes had a horrible knack for asking personal questions at ponies she barely knows, but this time the pony seemed nice enough to oblige an answer to her curiosity. "Lotta of ponies been moving to Ponyville lately, this place is booming!" A kirin from the other side of Granola's table motioned to her attention. Without haste, Granola grabbed a pouch from underneath the table, similar to the one she had for her new customer, except larger, and gave it to the kirin. In return, the kirin tossed Granola six bits for the transaction. The kirin approached daily to get their seed orders, and Granola always made sure she had them ready. After the kirin walked off, Granola turned back to the unicorn. "A lot of non-ponies, too!"

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As Granola spoke up the price of her purchase, Angelis responded by setting down the basket she was still trying to weave as the two conversed. It definitely looked a bit more like something, but that was definitely not it yet, but at least it held still and didn't bounce back in its original shape. She then used her magical grasp to get four bits from her purse that was lying in her very own basket, among her previous purchases at the previous stalls "I will take them!" She replied simply with a soft giggle, as she placed the currency on the table in front of Granola. 

Her face then displayed a surprised expression at the sudden question and remarks, and despite the fact that her own question remained unanswered, she was more than happy to reply anyway. After all, she came here in hopes to meet and bond with lots of different ponies. "Ah, indeed I am. I arrived here from Prance, about a trimester ago." The unicorn mare replied with a soft smile. "I have noticed that too, and that is actually what pulled me there... Well, that, as well as the fact that this place is significantly less busy than where I come from. But It really fascinated me to learn that there was a place where a lot of different creatures could coexist seemingly in peace... I had to see it by myself! And after doing so, I knew this was the place I wanted to stay at." She explained, her smile growing bigger and brighter the more she spoke about why she moved in here. She did realize she didn't asked the why, but it always made her so happy to ramble about how she loves Ponyville.

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