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Ciraxis last won the day on July 10 2022

Ciraxis had the most liked content!

About Ciraxis

  • Birthday 12/21/1989

RP Characters

  • Character 4
    Hou Shuren
  • Character 3
  • Character 2
    Homura Esaka
  • Main Character
    Swift Squall

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  • Interests
    Magic the Gathering player, video game fan, comics and books reader. Avid pursuer of lore in various universes that interest me.
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    Pits of Nerdiness
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  1. "You don't have to sing to be a juror Rose." Hou deadpanned "And while I can guess that your own repertoire includes more of the hits like 'Shiver My Timbers' or 'Fish in the Sea'......I actually wish to sing the later in space one day......your tastes or knowledge of genres are not a reason why I want to romp you into this Rose." sorceress said. "It's because I trust you." Unicorn let the implication really sink in for a few seconds as she turned aside and faced a wall. "....Such thing....comes not easy to me. Not for somepony as old as I am." Shuren admitted "But I nevertheless I do. Perhaps I just feel you proved yourself that much, time and time again with your own trust. Or perhaps that's first signs of dementia." she joked. "And because of that, I feel you, and you alone can be truly impartial - as somepony who knows both myself and Sparkle, and fond of each in equal measure. A tiebreaker that will really be needed. One I can have faith in. And only one I can accept the verdict from. Regardless of what one it would be." Hou said, as she gave Compass a genuinely warm smile. With her piece then turned towards Twilight "Well, I got more sappy then quota I gave myself for this year. What will it be Princess? Are all those terms acceptable now? Are we done here, so we can prepare - while you also will crack your brain over how I can experience and show what you represent while also being Me?" sorceress asked.
  2. Egret one eye drilled into Sunny as she offered an explanation. "Sprout? Involuntarily so? What are you talk....Oh! Oooooh...." unicorn mare interrupted herself, as glint of realisation sparked in the silver pupil. "So it was you." Egret mused as nodding her head as she took a whiff from her kiseru. "I see....it's yours, but like a garment not out of fitting phase yet..." she added. "I guess 'inconvenience' is one thing to describe it." Egret said, before leaving this topic for another time. " 'Nakama' would stand for 'true companions' in your language as closest connotation, although it's not really full explanation either. Some things just doesn't....translate fully..." white mare started "...So I guess that 'significant other' would qualify too, since what is love but greatest of friendships? Also, uhhhhh...." Egret groaned as she rubbed her temple. She expected to land herself on ready, fertile ground of the entertainment market. Instead she now realized it was up to her to clear the field, plough it and plant the seeds before she would enjoy the juicy fruits of profit. A one she still stood to pluck for herself but.... "None of you are wrong. But although there are advantages in being trailblazer, there are also certain headache inducing challenges that come with it too." she explained while scratching her head. "You all awfully nice you know?" Egret said. "Alright, %&*@ it. I usually don't do freebies, but this time I do exception." she said as she reached inside her garments and pulled out...tickets? Shiny, silvery one's too. "Those are one time VIP passes to 'Isle' for each of you, and one extra. Who know, maybe you will like it there? Just don't bring kids along. For your sanity, and to save bits on brain bleach for them." she explained, as she gave Sunny one ticket, and Jazz two, to pass to Allegro once he comes back. Invitations given, Egret was ready to move to next topic as she turned to Sunny again when punch-clock alicorn explained that yes - there was significant amount of shipwrecks in surrounding waters. "....Well I stand corrected. But it also seems like a reason to build a taller lighthouse." unicorn deadpanned, but this part apparently flew both other mare's heads when Allego came back.... "Oh? I suppose if your talent wouldn't already be singing, it would be swimming then. Seems almost like you were born for the ocean." Egret mused at stallions rebuttal. Before she could continue, she was interrupted by Sunny and Jazz gushing over Allegro's costume. "Well now, it seems that it's mine turn to prove somepony wrong. I don't know what prompted you to use 'E' word so carelessly, but the two I spoke with back from where I come seemed very much alive. Just because they don't hang around your shores any more, doesn't mean they are gone. You three races where ready to jump at each others throats for years at a $%@&*^# pin drop. Yeah, big shocker they left. Especially when magic was gone, so all they could really do was 'Splash Attack' to anypony who looked at them funny." white mare commented, while exhaling some smoke. "Also the word you are searching is....in your language it would be s i r e n, I guess."
  3. "Yeah, you certainly ain't one. You don't have that hazy, almost dream feeling that tends to accompany the best ones. You DO seem like bakery though. Probably cause of that 'sweet cinnamon roll' vibes you sending." the one-eyed mare teased the Sunny as she pulled from her pipe. "Also Sunny-lass, those wings are real or not? I kinda get contradictory signals here...." Egret prodded. When Jazz mentioned...deficit of certain type of establishments in the town, Egret whipped herself around to look at the mare in disbelief. "The $#@%?! Then what you did you did before that 'ponykind segregation' rubbish got thrown into the trash where it belongs? Where did you go with your nakama to relax in the evenings? Sure, you got nice beach, but you can skinny dip only so much before you look like a $#@%!*& salted raisin." Egret didn't mince words. "Next thing you tell me is that you don't have karaoke here....." she muttered. Now she knew that opening her club not so far away was correct choice. Those ponies clearly NEEDED 'watering' hole of some kind! "Usually it's ocean that does menacing...." tall unicorn cut in during Sunny's and Jazz's exchange. in deadpan tone "Also, getting a shipwreck - much less anything from it - might be a challenge. Your place doesn't have a proper port to begin with. And as long as this..." Egret pointed over her shoulder towards the lighthouse in the distance. "...is what I think it is, and not oversized ice-cream sculpture, then chance of finding one are even slimmer." It was this moment that Allegro chose to pull a disappearing act, before promptly returning. He looked...fishy. Egret fore a moment didn't said anything, her expression hidden behind cloud of tobacco smoke, with only her solitary silver eye visible and drilling into the stallion with a sharp gaze. "....It clicks." she finally judged. "You even got the smell right. Talk about going and extra mile or two. I even bet you got a little moist, eh?" she asked, with an inscrutable expression. "You commissioned this, right? Earth pony would have a lot of t r o u b l e getting the details put into 'life' after all, even if you clearly knew about details themselves." unicorn mused. "Shame you been premature with showing the goods...like too many other colts these days. Don't you know that most impressive things should be saved for last act? Waiting extra day till tomorrow wouldn't kill you." she admonished Allegro before cracking a smile. "Then again, can't blame you for showing off. Have to lay groundwork before February hmmm?" Egret added as her gaze shifted meaningfully at Jazz.
  4. Egret grunted "Yeah I get it that you dressed as Luna-hime meaner, very bitter side. What I am getting about, is that garb of yours is too good lass. Those wings look almost real." the tall mare said as she pointed out at Sunny. "Combined with that magic of yours...well imagine if some grandma walked out of her house and dropped dead on sight? Some elderly have weak hearts." Egret mused while taking another puff from her pipe. She was getting slowly swarmed with questions here, as now both that Sunny lass and two ponies she was scouting shifted attention to her. First, Lady glanced over her shoulder towards Allegro. The colt seemed to have a sudden surge of bravado, but her meaningful gaze with her one eye and slight shake of the head send a wordless 'Don't' towards the guy. Very noble of him, but he should learn to gauge the strength of those before him. Lady was sure she would manage to tie the poor meaning cutie into pretzel if it came down to it. "I am way past being called 'Miss'....." she drawled as she looked on both Jazz and Sunny. "But I answer to 'Egret'. Most add 'Lady' before that, for one reason or another...." she explained before she extended her toned leg to return the Jazz offer for hoofshake. "Charmed." the unicorn said, before deciding to be more direct. "I am starting to conduct some.....business in area nearby. And seeing that Maretime was the most accessible of three settlements, I figured I drop by before first evening and familiarize myself with the town. Get to see some local talents, see places of interest....And speaking of places of interests...." Lady paused to take drag from her kiseru. "I am looking for some well established Bars in area, and perhaps even some brewery with good produce." she explained, hoping that the three will at least give her directions. As the colt started to talk about his music, Egret pricked up her ears. Unfortunately his tastes in music was.... "Creepy and haunting? Tsk...." unicorn grimaced in disappointment. This won't do at all. She was running entertaining establishment, not funeral house.
  5. Well would you look at that? A stallion and mare meeting for a first time, a picture as old as ponykind herself. Although the dork of a colt seemed a little skittish, perhaps to a degree that was a 'lil fishy..... But of course it wasn't her damn business. Aside from the fact that maybe the guy would bring the gal for dance and drink somewhere down the line - and it would be in Egret's best interest if that "somewhere" was 'The Isle'...... Not that she saw a way to promote her club without seeming pushy. Perhaps she could play matchmaker, but not without getting herself familiar with town first and hitting the streets about that Allegro boy and Jazz lass.... Wait a second, Jazz and Allegro? Weren't those...musically aligned names? Could it be that those two worked as music performers? Probably - western ponies were descriptive like that. While 'The Isle' had it own small ensemble of house musicians, Lady Egret was under no delusion that all customers will be satisfied with just eastern melodies - whatever new or old. Perhaps she could listen in, to get some names from local industry or to see if those two would be interested to perform a gig or two in her club once in the while? Or better yet, poach them outright! As she was pondering this , Egret felt the presence of something else. Almost ;ike a tiger on the prowl....Her one eye widened as she whipped around, one of her hooves already moving into overhead strike..... Only for her to step back and shake her hoof loose once she saw that mare behind her was as surprised as she was! And that one had both horn and wings! What in the.....?! Egret mumbled some cuss word under her breath as she moved to pick up her kiseru that fell out due to jaw drop that she did for short moment. "Dammit lass! Don't sneak on others like that, especially when flopping the girth and weight of your sp....magic like that!" she chastised the mare as she took a puff from her pipe to calm down. "The only reason you not having third nostril is cause despite it, you have about as much enmity as chinchilla kit. And what's with the getup?!"
  6. "So this is Maretime Bay...." the unicorn mare mused as she took a puff out of her kiseru. Truth to be told, she could postpone this.....but Lady Egret wanted take a look at little town just before the evening. After all once kids will be done with that little holiday and put to bad, adults will want to unwind a little at late evening and all the way to morning..... And what a better place then newly open establishment? Her establishment. Of course when you an foreign mare, and one that had to take into account just recently overcome prejudices, you couldn't exactly count that customers - and more importantly, the mint they brought along - will be beating down your door. Thus, a little marketing was in order. A little demeaning, but hell, what else could you do? At least Egret had brought three of her girls along to spread the buzz and hang the posters. One dresses as yuki onna, one dressed as ao andō and one as jiāngshī cause variety. Egret herself dressed as....well...herself, since she was $@%*-ing intimidating already as she was. "Alright girls you know what to do. We got posters, we got flyers, and we got candy bags for brats with business cards in them. The bigger target group we get for ourselves, the bigger money we will make down the line, and this, the bigger bonus you will be able to make...." Lady explained as she took another puff from her metal pipe. "Now let's spread out, make a word about the isle, hoofle out the stuff you got and do some sightseeing or some other $#!^. We have two...no...three hours. Move it." After some declarations of acknowledgment, Egret gazed after her disappearing hostesses before sighting. "What the pain in the butt...." she mused to herself as she exhaled some smoke. "Still....guess it's better to establish yourself before Heartwarming season." Lady scratched the back of her silver-maned head. "Now....to find a bar and karaoke box. Propably near beach or something...Actually, does this backwater HAVE a karaoke here? $#!^." and with that, and further muttering under her nose, the tall unicorn wandered towards the coast, while continuing puffing from her pipe.
  7. Name: Kei Amon. However everypony calls her 'Lady Egret'. Gender: Female Age: Mare Species: Unicorn Eye colour: Lady Egret only possesses the right - silver - eye. The left one was apparently lost in shakedown attempt gone wrong. Coat: Snow white Mane/Tail: Silver-white, with the exception of two 'wings' behind her ears styled with hair clips and dyed black Physique: Tall, lean and athletic, surprisingly for a club owner. Although given some ongoing rumours about her background, not so much..... Residence: 'The Isle' an exotic eastern land inspired, multi-floor establishment that acts as nightclub, hotel, jewellery saloon and an auction house in perfect distance in-between Zephyr Heights, Bridlewood and Maretime Bay. It is build on artificial island, which itself is build on artificial lake. Very eye-catching and imposing, with total floor area equalling 18 ha. It's also situated just outside law enforcement jurisdiction of all three settlements. Occupation: Owner, manager and occasional bouncer in her establishment. Lady Egret also provides appraisal and goldsmith and jeweller services, while also overlooking auctions in 'The Isle'. Cutie Mark: A one-eyed oni, holding golden and jewel encrusted kanabō. Unique Traits: One Eye Lady of the Night: Lady Egret has only one eye and thus has some slight troubles with depth perception, as well as being an obvious blindspot. In a scrap, her instincts allow her to compensate, but if somepony doesn't have 'malicious' intent, they can sneak by her. Underworld Connections? : While nothing has been proven, Lady Egret has some shady connections all over the place, most notably from eastern lands. While she refuses for 'The Isle' to get dirty in any way, or for any fights to break out inside, she is surprisingly well informed about lot of stuff, suspiciously so. Magic Prodigy: While magic returned to world only recently, Lady Egret took to it like duck into water. She already very skilled with telekinesis, and she apparently started to delve into some defensive applications of sorcery. Punch-Out Artist: Whatever Lady Egret past is, it made her learn how to handle herself in hoof-fight very, VERY well. Egret is surprisingly graceful and quick in movement and dodging, with a hint of deeper technique beneath, but very brutal with her strikes - perhaps unnecessary so - and with mean grappler streak as well. She also has no qualms about picking anything and everything in the range and just smacking some trouble making sap with it. The first poor nincompoops that started to brew trouble in her club, quickly learned how bad idea it was, as they were carried out on the stretchers. Wing and Feathers All Over: 'Lady Egret' moniker is not just for show, because apparently Kei Amon likes feathers - and by association, wings - a LOT. All of her clothing (and she always wears some clothing) has feather trim instead of fur one, she wears golden, feather shaped pedant, styles her 'do into pair of black wings, 'The Isle' logo is floating island with pair of wings attached.....the examples could be piled whole night and day. 'Lady Egret' also appears to collect actual feathers, both from pegasi and other winged creatures. The rumour says that she has a whole room or more, of preserved feathers displayed in glass cases. She also is willing to provide some discounts for those who bring her unique and rare plumage, or provides their own. Hobbies: Jogging, bartending, karaoke, amateur winemaking. History: Since she is foreigner that only got to continent only year at most, her past is mysterious and full of rumours. Apparently her real name is Kei Amon, although she refuses to acknowledge it or answer when called such. The most consistent of those gossips say that she had some prior connections with eastern mobsters, although what ties exactly is unclear. Some say she was a member of a Clan, and she permanently dealt with matriarch or patriarch of her Family. Other that she was Family head herself, and was forced to get out of the way after her attempt at becoming Chairmare of the clan failed. There are also talks about her being involved with disappearance of cash amounting no less then 10 billion, and thus she became too hot to remain in the country. Whatever the case was, Lady Egret travelled to Equestria around a year ago, with some underlings, and immediately started recruiting among locals, as well as claiming specific spot of land for herself. In quick order she acquired large amounts of building materials, as well as necessary workers. Her establishment, 'The Isle' was build just after 8 months, a thing unprecedented for an building of such size. In the meantime, Lady Egret got in touch with various suppliers and logistic experts to provide for her auction house, jewellery store, nightclub and hotel. No one knows one her goals and ambitions are - aside from profit. But whenever they are, she is playing long game, and she is in Equestria to stay. Character Personality: Reserved, rarely smiling and often scowling. Lady Egret always knows what to say, even if she has really foul mouth about it half of the time. She has a keen eye (heh) for talent, and always is seeking to poach staff for her own establishment, although she is quite subtle about it. That said all the subtlety goes out of the window in the fight, when Egret jumps into a scrap. In it, she appears as almost unhinged slugger, although it's unclear if it's just stress relief for her, her true nature leaking out or just scare tactics. Egret word is her law, and unlike most she sticks both to word AND the spirit of it - although if you double-cross her or attempt to weasel out of the deal the 'spirit' part is thrown out of the window, and Lady shows that she can be one of the meanest 'rules lawyer' on the continent. The only soft spot she apparently has are kids, with Egret ready to do sillies of things to humour them - even if she's scowling all the while. Character Summary: A possible ex-mobster with mysterious past, and with very fancy establishment she build herself. 'Lady Egret' can be pony's best friend or nastiest foe, but whatever the case her goals and ambitions are things that she keeps to herself...for now.
  8. As soon as Rose words of rebuke left her mouth, a scoff could be heard. Not from Hou. This other mare. "Is she for real? Did she not heard or remember your earlier explanation? I am not impressed." said the stranger in a haughty tone. This prompted Hou to sight and turning her head towards the owner of the voice. "Do not undersell her. She did had to face memories she would rather revisit, one after another. It's bound to shake up anypony." sorceress defended the changeling. "She lives with those very memories in the back of her head. Constantly. It defines what she wishes to be." the other mare disagreed. "It might be what motivates her, yes, but she's more then just some cast-off copy, haunted by memories not even her own. As unpleasant as it might her wisdom to grow beyond, and avoid pitfalls her Template fell for." Hou shot back before focusing on Rose again. In the background, the hoovesteps could be heard, before the owner of the haughty voice shown herself.... A quilin mare. A very regal looking mare, garbed like queens from Saddle Arabia's ancient ages stood next to Hou, her cold, glowing blue gaze glued to Rose. Yet...something was off about this quilin. Unnatural. Aside from from those blue irises, everything was of varying shades of silver...and with metallic sheen....and they actually reflected the desert light. "....Fine, I will humour you Hou...as unlikely as I am to be proven wrong." the quilin said while still sizing Compass up. "You much more irritable the usual Mercury...." Shuren mused....which prompted and angry response. "I TOLD YOU TO CALL ME AMI!" the Mercury in question. thrown a minor tantrum., which only made Hou give a noise that was akin to a an groan. Apparently this was usual occurrence for the unicorn mare. "I sorry for her. Since that one trip to Neighpon, Mercury Queen started insisting to call her *sigh* Ami. Must been due to those Neighponese comics. Now idea when she got her hooves on those. I was staying in penthause...." "It's called manga!" "Yes, yes...manga...." sorceress repeated, more for the piece of mind then anything. This little exchange seemed to completely sidetrack them both.
  9. "My....you are terrifying when you get serious Miss Sparkle." said the sorceress, while giving an audacious smile. "I don't doubt that you don't need any kind of permissions to be judge, jury and executioner - opinions of others irrelevant. If that came up to pure contest of arcane might, you you almost certainly best me. The question is - are you willing become closer to being like Me, to bring me in? And are you willing to accept the collateral? The path to Nightmarehood is paved with good intentions. And I also believe we both had a look at that 'Path not Taken'.....and neither of us liked what we saw. I hope it will never be realized." Hou mused, at last leaving her enmity behind and getting more contemplative, as she stopped levitating herself. "I actually see a lot of myself in you Twilight Sparkle - us starting from opposite points on this 'boardgame' of life and magic notwithstanding. I can see that we are both arrogant, prideful and it's so easy for us to dismiss others. I have to keep reminding myself that you're not some yet another Watcher and that you can actually comprehend what am I saying. It's kinda refreshing really, if also unusual. Actually...." Hou squinted her eyes and considered Twilight. Carefully considered. For a moment, her thoughts drifted to a knife under her robes, a blade useful for certain blood magic spells that Hei gifted to her. It would be so easy to confirm..... .....No. It would be better if she didn't know. Sometimes knowledge could be nothing but burden and torment. Nowt hen.......Uhhhh? Where was she going with this, actually? Thankfully it was a moment that Rose chose to interfere. 'Social awkwardness aside, could kiss that changeling at times. I have to settle for being second best aunt figure for that grub of hers.' "Rose did you consider....sense of accomplishment? I know that if our situations were reversed, and I would asked to you the same question you would answer 'Yes please!', but most ponies don't think like that. For example...." Hou turned to Twilight again "If Her Highnesses friend, Rainbow Dash were to find a lamp with genie inside it, and that hypothetical genie would offer to make her the fastest thing alive....Well, I am sure that Miss Dash would cast the lamp in question into deepest ocean abyss she can find, and never look back." sorceress shifted back to insectoid-equinoid. "I don't actually agree with your philosophy of hoofing off freebies, but believe me....ponies would value them a lot more if they felt they had to work for them - ironically enough." When Hou felt that Sparkle started to change the surroundings she wasn't really paying her full attention. She was so focused of her own gauntlet throw, and the perspective of having some fun competition, that she acted without thinking - she simply reached out with her own magic and squashed that reality warp in a bud.... At least that was what she expected to happen. While yes, Shuren managed to stop the reality shift, it took way more effort then she anticipated. She used all her acting talent - refined by years of experience - to not have it show on her. Despite this, sorceress was convinced that Twilight noticed anyway. .......Sparkle was indeed scary. Avoiding direct confrontation was indeed the correct choice, which only reinforced Hou's belief for the massage she revived those few years ago. "If my choice of meals offend you so much, then I don't mind playing things your way Miss Sparkle. I have stockpiled enough to not notice century or four of dieting. We can see in the meantime who will be right. Who knows? Perhaps you might send up one of your friends or two and end up'Discording' me? We shall see. However, I will have this. And I have this the right way." Hou shook her head before giving a heavy sight "I swear, both of you are from the same cloth when it comes to this. Newspaper is just out of reach? Why get up when I have Magic? My tea got cold since I was spaz and didn't paid attention, so magic. I forgot my umbrellas, but who cares? After all, I have magic. Tell me, what actually warrants an effort to move your body? Celestia and Luna know answer to this, so why don't you?" sorceress said irritated, before poking Sparkle lightly in the chest. Apparently, her annoyance over not gibing arcane the proper respect and gravitas made Shuren more bold as well. "The contests is something that requires audience, jury and effort. An actual effort. So....No. Magic. We doing this properly. With multiply songs per each of us, jury - and you are the first member of it Rose, no complains. Four months from now. And by Seven Sages of Qing, Manheattan in October is dead season when it comes to cultural evens anyway." Shuren finished with a huff.
  10. "Right they don't...." Hou agreed with Sparkle "Unless one actually observes those choices...or rather their results - which, in turn can potentially affect target of observation in question. I believe High Oracle Blackruby the Perceptive described this as 'quantum scrying' , when simple act of observation created yet another timeline...." Shuren mused. "Well, perhaps we should pick up this topic some other time Your Highness. You clearly not in the mood...." sorceress said with dismissive hoof-wave. Sparkle displayed the same, insufferable 'know-better-the-thou' attitude that Celestia did in her younger years. Twilight mentioned an editor....and Hou actually had to spend few moments to recall who the blazes was she talking about. "Page Proof, Page Proof.....ahhh I remember now. Very faithful to source material yes. Very professional. It's certain he won't alter the work in any means to push forward any of his opinions, yes." unicorn mare approved. "You know, I actually ponysonally knew his great-grandfather. Very ponysonally." Hou said, while making a genuine smile, while her gaze towards the wall as she reminisced. "Of course this was before he met his wife...but I later still accompanied him during his travel to Unyasi, in purely platonic sense this time. I even helped write first movement of his 'Great World Symphony' . It actually supposed to have four movements but after he died in house-fire...." sorceress sighted "And the last one....the 'fragment' I read....magnificent." When Sparkle confirmed that her thoughts indeed wandered towards motivations of Hou and other beings that 'opposed' her....in her own way. "Do you hear it to Rose?" Shuren scoffed. "She's over forty times our younger, but that big princess brain of hers can't help but be patronizing and judgmental towards her elders." white mare mused before she turned back towards Twilight. "Ponies values change over time Your Highness. In a hundred years you will see what is controversial now, became a norm....and what is norm today, become a taboo. So perhaps you should leave your ' moral standards' you came with on the rack, for the length of this discussion. After all, you will outlive society that gave birth to them." Hou chided the young princess. "Now...as for actually answering your question....I won't call my existence 'necessity' , more like insurance. An 'Ark' of sorts....." Hou started. "I won't lie....if you presented me a risk free, no drawbacks other means to enteral life, I would take it. That said I wouldn't stop my 'soul hunting'.....but I would perhaps limit it to top of the crop, the most talented, most exceptional individuals, by visiting them at their deathbed." Shuren admitted. "Of course it did not start this way. When I was young I saw it merely as a way to a means to extend my capabilities. I was angry, lashing out at what displeased me, and perhaps too easily influenced. The wisdom came later, when I actually had to...negotiate with souls I took into myself...." sorceress paused and rubbed her chin. "I integrated millions upon millions of them into myself. And as a world foremost expert on soul magic I can tell you this Princess - doing that much, by force, without loosing yourself in the process is impossible. So I had to reason. I have to convince. I have understand. And by understanding I realized that all of those...persons, are not just bits of life-force, talents, capabilities...each of them is a is a greatest story never told, a part of a whole. Within myself Sparkle, I house parts of the nations and cultures that no longer exists. So as I said - not necessity but insurance for either one of such dead ends you and I so desperately wish to avoid...or for a moment when Celestia's little pet project reaches it's ultimate triumph. What I take, one day I will give back, one day or another....Shuren Samsara..." Hou allowed what she said to sink in, before speaking again. "Now...as for your...'request'....I must remind you, that we are not in your country. Furthermore, since your took the throne, you Your Highness can only speak for Equestria. And I doubt the other nations would be very enthusiastic about you playing 'World Policemare' without their consent." Hou grinned as atmosphere tensed. "That said......" Shuren picked up. "I actually might be wiling to stop from pursuing and taking souls of all individuals within border of Equestria entirely.....But under two conditions." Hou said while pointing her hoof upwards. "First.....I long suspected existence of of extremely ancient ruins beneath Crystal Empire, ones that are perhaps preceding even mysterious Age of Reptiles. I want to confirm and - if they prove to still be there - explore and research those ruins. I even willing to have somepony 'escort me' during this.....whatever that would be you You Highness, your brother or anypony else doesn't matter for me. I just have to see them." Hou said with determination. "My second condition is for you to defeat me....!" Hou flourished her robes, and opened her front legs as she shifted into dramatic pose. "In a song off!"
  11. So...I missed my Cant-niversary. Again.


    It's okay though! I Pinkie Promise I will be on point for 20 years one!


    Also, obligatory....



  12. "Do as you wish then." Hou said, after Rose rebuffed her. "Just be warned, there are risks in having your mind in too many places at once." Hou gave Sparkle a very telling look. "That, and it might considered impolite." Shuren said. After Compass gave her confused glance sorceress sighted and elaborated. "Never though about this, did you Rose? consider this scenario. Assume you meeting with somepony both important, and knowledgable enough that they dealing with your aetheric facsimile? Well, they might be offended. It doesn't matter how good the copy is - the very fact that you sent one, can be take as the fact that you didn't consider the meeting or being in question important enough to appear in person. 'Sorry, my schedule is very busy, here is my copy though - we have constant link, I swear!'. How would you thing if you been in such situation Rose?" Hou asked the changeling queen. Twilight provided to be more chatty about the Journal then Hou have expected. Still, there was no reason to not to pursue this topic. Or being slightly more civil. "I doubt you ever be novelist, but this very good writing style for more....academic title. Wasn't...a more scholarship career, combined with perhaps publishing a title or dozen was what you envisioned for yourself. Before...this?" Hou gestured at her own head, or to be more precise, the part of head where usually regalia rested. When Sparkle brought up the issue of Journal itself needing some more work Hou blinked. Then blinked again. "I fail to see what stops you from hiring editor for second edition. Of for potential Volume II for that matter. Surely you do not believe that well has dried up yet?" unicorn mare inquired. Princess mentioned about limits of her clairvoyance Hou snorted. "Well of course you wouldn't. Although assuming that you ever will without becoming conceptual being is kinda arrogant." Hou mused closing here eyes in the moment. When she opened them she was in full 'academic mode'. "Even if we skip such things or places that are simply unscryable - by making 'Oath to the World' or other means - there are simply too many risks involved. Even exceptional or enhanced mind - like yours or mine - can only process or retain so much. Sure, you might skip the limitations by linking yours and your alternative selves into gestalt consciousness and thus forming some....'Ultima Twilight'. Of course that in itself comes with it's own list of dangers. Not only either Arcane or Information singularity becomes a very real concern, there is nothing really that you could do either join or rather expand the collective. Voluntarily or not. After all....." Hou paused and smirked. "Just like there are versions of me, that are more close to you...there are versions of you Sparkle that are closer to me personality wise then to your current self. Possibility of any personality bleed-over.... well I am sure it's something that Princess wouldn't want to risk...." Hou shrugged. "One shouldn't forget about possible loss of perspective and ability to empathise. When you seen billion upon billion variations of the same timeline, it's easy to see any one of them as....expandable. You can see the forest, but stop being able to distinguish the trees." sorceress shook her head. "And as you yourself said using different words - if you seen it all, you might as well seen nothing at all. The only thing that is thus produced is boredom." Shuren summed up before giving a heavy sight and turning towards Rose. "In short, as I said to you before Rose, one should top wondering 'What If?' and live a little. You can peer into 'Possibility', but there are diminishing returns the more you do it." Hou said. "That said.....I certainly became aware of something. Not from scrying but from discussion itself." Shuren refocused on Sparkle again, and her smug expression returned with vengeance. "You doubt yourself Your Highness." Shurned said. When Twiligh expressed her wish white mare scoffed. She conjured a Long-guo fan and proceeded to wave it at herself. "Such boldness Miss Twilight. You making me blush. Shouldn't you buy me a dinner first at last?" Hou asked. "....And did you really considered why I still resort to such method for eternal life after all those years?" foregin mare asked.
  13. "And yet, however much you despise it, it's one of the pieces that make you what you are." Hou said "It's tempting to think 'What If?', especially for beings like you or I that - with some effort - can peer through 'Possibility' and find answers for such musings. But be wary, as useful may be to solve those riddles, it's equally easy to start obsessing over them. And this way, lies madness." Shuren warned her companion. When the surroundings within Rose's mindscape changed again, Hou found herself looking around. For all her visits in Ponyville, she never did set hoof into spa it housed. And why would she? At Wunyun she had numerous servants who tended at to every need of her eternally youthful body at her very whim. But perhaps change of pace would be nice? Wasn't boredom an one enemy she always wrestled with? That, and finding what kind of mares Compass chosen mate and her eventually sister-in-law would to be. Upon Rose's question sorceress found herself focusing on her companion again. "Do you find it too easy Compass? It is not. Finding the place to belong is one thing, but you have to preserve it, care for it and at times, fight for it.....there lies the challange." for a split moment, an image of Ponyville building was replaced by dried rice fields, and desolate village at the foot of the mountains in faraway eastern lands. Hou's image squinted her eyes, recomposing herself before they disappeared, replaced by insides of spa once more. "It's not once and done affair Rose, you have work for it every single day." Shuren explained, before she was interrupted by door of the spa suddenly opening. As if by enormous vacuum, both mare found herself pushed by a mighty wind that seemed to move them towards the whiteness that laid beyond it. "We are not fonished yet Rose. While both your Mind and Soul seems to welcome the sprouting Root, I suspect your Magic might require some ponysonal convincing..." unicorn mare mused. With those words, Hou tackled the Rose, ending any potential resistance against the suction. They fell through the door, and whiteness surrounded them... Which was soon replaced by cloudless blue sky. When Rose came to herself, she would find herself laying on the surface of the sand and stone desert. No...actually not desert. Upon closer examination, the stony formations around where actually reefs. Dead and dried reefs. And the sand beneath was coral sand. This was bottom of dried up tropical sea. "So, this is reverse part of your soul...." Hou's familiar voice could be heard. Upon looking around, the sorceress - now no longer mere lines of light, but identical looking to her flesh and blood self if clothe-less could be seen, standing upon top of one of the reef formations. "Makes perfect sense. As a creature of the water, it's depths must represent comfort. Thus, the reversal is true. This dried up landscape is your sorrow, rage, regret and fears. That your Magic chose to hid itself here is...telling" "Is the owner of this dreadful place the mare you so heavily invested in?" came the second voice, one that Rose did not recognize. "Yes. Just like Hei, she is...very special changeling." Hou answered while looking behind over hr shoulder. "I looking forward what kind of the waves in the world she will make." Shuren admitted bluntly.
  14. "Yes you did. Which is why you are getting an A. The minus is because you took your sweet time. That and left plenty of evidence. if anypony cared enough to investigate. The true predator has to be cunning, decisive and subtle." Shuren said with emphasis. "Also yes, yes, that's enough. I know where's you coming from, and I know since I was deeper in you they your wife ever was." she quickly added with mock dismissal. Sorceress amusement quickly turned into more troubled thoughts when Sparkle kept talking. Her refusing to take the bait was one thing.... "You speak as if you know me....'Always' you say - as if you were a mere extension of your mentor - instead of being your own mare..." Something didn't quite add up. Despite their constant clashes, Celestia was never able to uncover anything more then her being once part of Fenghuang monastery. All Imperial records were destroyed - by themselves, willingly at that. Longri-La was not talking either - not even to Sun Princess. So how....? That couldn't be necromancy, or spirit summoning. Any names she could uncover that was in the know was already assimilated by Hou herself. And she doubted that Sparkle would be willing to cross such line, limited by her own morals. Refrain potion could help, but Sparkle didn't when know where to look - either in years or in vicinity. After all, Long-Guo was wast. Far larger then Equestria was. And she was busy running the country after all. "...And so quick to dismiss the days gone by too.... did nopony tough you that those ignorant of mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them Sparkle?" That and how composed she was. Actually she was far more composed then most reports fro her agents. When she turns to Rose, she matched the descriptions she saw and read, but as soon as she spokes to her, Twilight appears to put tight lid on herself. She really keeps herself in check.... Keep herself...in check.... Could it be? It was too soon wasn't it? Not enough years has gone by..... And yet, there was precedent. The moment where she wielded that bequeathed power and duelled that foolish, short-sighted centaur. That would be enough to spur her own magic to bloom early and more greatly.... Hou took a big whiff of the air.....Yeeeees. It was indeed leaking, no matter how much she tried to lid it. Sorceress masked frown quickly turned into outright grin... "Still...lack of though pattern flexibility and being judgmental aside....congratulations are in order." Shuren said as she leaned back in air and proceeded to hoofclap. "Through your phenomenal cosmic power, you got to know all that you want about yours truly. Meanwhile I had to rely on 'gossip' and print...." Hou proceeded to conjure copy of Friendship Journal that she allowed to fell on the floor. "Quite enjoyable read actually. You were the one who wrote commentary, didn't you? A little dry about situations you weren't involved in ponysonaly, and most ponies would need a thesaurus to get quarter of it, but good page turner nonetheless." sorceress nodded while closing eyes for a moment. "So, once again. Congratulations! You had figured me out!" Hou spread her forelegs theatrically, allowing herself to be nudged by the changeling queen, as if she crept closer to the alicorn. "But...." unicorn's eyes opened slightly, making them squinted. Waiting. Like a snake. "Which 'Me' exactly? And which 'You' did it?" "Also, Rose. As impressive as it is, you might consider cutting down your simalucrum usage."
  15. Oh Rose, you never case to be either interesting or amusing. At the moment her awkwardness gave both, so Hou couldn't help but close her eyes and scoff. "Compass, you so bad at this that I can't help but be disarmed by it. Thank you." sorceress said with brutal honesty and gratitude. "If not for you it would be....less manageable. As for hoofshake..." Shuren eyed Twilight's extended limb....and ignored it. "...those are usually saved for after the talk. When....No, IF agreement is reached." unicorn pointed out. "And being 'acquainted' .....It's about same as how I was acquainted to you Rose, via knowledge about your 'Template'. Although in this case...." Hou grinned "...my knowledge about Sovereign Sparkle was much more...excessive. You have no idea how tempted I was to intervene during that long, oblivious journey towards the throne. Visit to her parents perhaps, so see what a little...push in one direction would do.....Of course in the end, I held back towards almost the very end. I was simply curious what Her endgame was......and ultimately, as with many things, it only met with disappointment. Not necessarily by the replacement, that is still up in the air...." Shuren waved at Twilight, before tilting her head. "Don't tell me Sparkle that you believe it was some vague cosmic force that placed you where you are? It wasn't some non-existent Fate, Will of the Magic, or even Friendship itself. No, it was by actions of one mare only that you came to wear the crown." white mare summed up. "As for the time Compass and I met.....she did all the work herself. I wouldn't call it 'defeat' either, this implies overcoming some odds, and she was not in any disadvantage at any point. It was more of a...butchering." Hou recalled fondly "Naturally I was curious who would possess enough finesse to down the beast without damaging the most crucial alchemical...components from it. I give Rose A- for that performance, although that minus shouldn't be held that much against her. After all, she was still unfamiliar with lay of the land back then." sorceress finished while flashing inscrutable smile.
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