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It's Dangerous To Go Alone... Take This! [Rose/Hou/Dox]


Aisede
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It felt like forever since she invited Dox to her secret lab so many months ago. Since then, Rose had found love, created life, and made friends with the most powerful being in this world. She'd made a lot of progress as a pony, and no negligible amount of progress on her alchemy. She was sure that ponies would appreciate what she had to contribute to the communities of the world.

 

But that's not the purpose of this expirement. This is for something a little more... Selfish.

 

She'd contacted Dox about a week back, sending him some magical mail explaining that she had something of great importance she wished to share with him, and to keep the meeting private. It was someplace innocuous, and out of the way. Someplace in Technotitlan that the natives had long ago forsaken. 

 

She still hadn't arrived yet, but her magic perfused the place extensively. Some kind of spell to keep it hidden from prying eyes, and resistant to scrying. She really did want this to be private.

 

Coincadentally, she also burned that copper stuff Hou gave her.

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Well, this invitation was quite the intriguing one. He remembered his time in Rose’s secret lab, and it was something he’d be more than happy to repeat. The location the letter led him to wasn’t one he remembered seeing her at, but he could tell her magic permeated the area, so he was pretty sure he was in the right place. As he waited for her to show up, he poked at the magic in the area, dissecting and reconstructing the spells, occasionally adding in little improvements or hiding little spying spells in it. He was excited to see what Rose had in store for him, and was hoping it would be some new discovery, though he was still on guard against threats. 

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The spells were a little resistant to tampering, but nothing beyond his ability to toy with. Luckily, he wouldn't be waiting for long. He could feel her coming before she even arrived, like a mouse racing through a funnel, before she spilled out of a spell that had actually managed to stay hidden. She could have teleported the regular way, but she liked showing off, and this also made it more difficult to track her for outsiders.

 

"Good evening, Mr. Star."  She inclined her head, smiling cordially as she took a seat. "Thank you for coming. We should have one more arrival on the way, but in the meantime..." Her horn flashed, and a tea set appeared between them. Ironically, she summoned a bottle of Luna Rosa for herself and poured some into her own dainty cup. "I've discovered a new breed of zap apple in a temple some distance from here. Naturally, I experimented with it a little, and even tried making tea out of the leaves. It's surprisingly mellow for what it comes from." she took a sip

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"Yes...Yeeees! YES!" certain sorceress proclaimed with joy after her latest work made it way through labyrinth of flask and tubes, and was now dripping steadily from the condenser into designated container.

"Yes! She simply wouldn't be able to resist!" Hou said with wide grin. "The Perfect. Red. Pigment!" she proclaimed as she picked up the piece of silk that was until then soaking in the fruit of her experiment.

"It's the colour of most noble scarlet but it shines with flame of most valuable of opals! And it smells like best Pinot Noir, with a hint of roses *sniff* Berry will love a dress made using these." sorceress said dreamily as she hugged the small piece of fabric.

 

However the unicorn mare wasn't allowed to indulge in her fantasies, due to a crystalline hum coming from the other room. Hou gave an annoyed sight, put down the silk she was levitating, and turned off the alchemical aperture, before heading to the room from which noise was coming from.

"Always at your private time..." she grumbled under the breath, but followed the alert regardless.

 

The hum was coming from a crystal detector that she had in her workshop for ages. This detector particular was attuned to a special kind of magical lantern....and in recent years Shuren gave only one of those away.....

 

".......That soon?" Hou mused before reaching towards the lever on the pedestal the detector was resting on. A surge of magic flown from it, to the floor - which in reality was intricate and detailed arcane map of the world: made of amber, lapis lazuli, jasper and other gemstones. White mare gaze followed the green dot of light that travelled from where Wūyún currently was, to where the magic lantern was now. It finally stopped in the region squeezed between Badlands, Aquelia and Crystal Empire territory.

"Technotitlan...." sorceress said aloud. What would healer like Rose do in that land of ruins, ghosts and half-feral natives?

 

The basin was far, far away from southern Unyasi seas where her domain now floated....and yet, why not? It was some time since her little adventure in Arabia, and it will take more of it to study and analyse all spoils she got from it. And Rose motivation was mystery worthy enough of her attention.

"Don't disappoint me , Andalusian." Hou muttered to herself as she started to gear up: her favourite Hydrargyrum, meteor hammer, a light scale armour underneath her trench coat, and a pouch belt that contained many, many nasty alchemical surprises and other useful tools. Finally she took enchanted sanyanqiang as her main arm for this trip. The weapon had faint lustre of strange deep purple alloy made only on the island, while it's zhuànshū inscriptions glowed pale green in dark of the workshop.

 

Without the word, Shuren raised the weapon and stabbed the air. The strike actually left a 'wound' in the space, one through which sorceress was now sending her soul energy, to lengthen and widen the gap. Once this gash was big enough, Hou wrapped herself in her own magic and walked through it....

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Rose perked up as she sensed the spatial disturbance, turning an interested gaze upon the emerging pony. She had to admit, seeing her all geared up was enough to make her arch a brow, but she suspected that she was treating this as an 'emergency', so it made sense. Rose never really had a need for equipment, not to mention she wasn't very knowledgeable on runes or enchantments that don't sustain something. 

 

"Well hello, Hou, or should I call you Jade?" She shook her head, putting down her teacup (Filled with rum), and rising to her hooves to greet her guest. "You're just in time! I was about to reveal a new alchemical formula to my acquaintance here, Mr. Shooting Star." She gestured towards the unicorn... If that's what he wanted to go by. Honestly, she wasn't sure what to make of him, but decided not to comment. 

 

"Oh! What is that?" Curiously, the mare brazenly approached the mare to study the archaic purple weapon, horn already flickering with her favorite analytical spell. "Hmm... Unique forging methods, probably not extraplanar... Oh, also you may be using your soul magic a little inefficiently. It'd be better to poke a hole and teleport through it. Conserves mass and energy." Mentally, she shrugged. That's just how she'd go about it, but Hou probably knew what she was doing.

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Well, it seemed Rose wasn’t that versed in protecting her spells. Or she just didn’t feel the need to make these ones all that more secure. Either way, he enjoyed himself tinkering on the spells until he felt one activate and Rose stepped out. Interesting, that was not the typical teleportation, and he hadn’t even found the activation point in this web of magic. 
 

“Good evening to you as well, Ms. Rose. It’s a pleasure to see you again.” He said as he took a seat at the table. “A new breed of zap apple? Quite intriguing, I must say. Is this tea you mentioned in the pot there?” His horn activated, lifting the teapot and conducting a basic scan of the contents. He was mostly looking for harmful stuff in there while Rose was distracted greeting Hou. Not that he really thought Rose would try to poison the two of them, or succeed, but when dealing with unknown substances, some caution is good. 
 

“Greetings, Hou. You are quite well equipped, it seems. Would you care to join us for a drink?” He said, smiling at her and holding back a chuckle. 

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This...wasn't what Hou was really expecting to see when she stepped from the 'Pathway'. Between the tea, the presence of Hei and Rose's audacity, sorceress froze, not knowing how to react. It soon passed, and it seemed that shadow of all her years wreathed her like a shroud while changeling was studying her spear while dropping unflattering remarks.

 

A little reminder was in order.

 

As soon as Roses chose to finish running her commentary, she found her throat at the spear tip in display of martial skill. Too fast to react, too fast to notice until it was already there. Shuren chose to raise Andalusian's chin with flat part of the blade, until healer's eyes were at level of sorceresses.

"Nascent Queen....no...Miss Compass." unicorn said with emphasis. "You should be smarter then this. It was just a short time since our last meeting......and yet, you managed to slight me twice already. But it's alright, I understand. As an expatriate you might have trouble adjusting....comprehending how some things work around here. So I let this fly." despite the friendly tone, her stare was cold like waves that washed northernmost shores of Long Guo.

"However....a host should always remember to keep decorum and elegance. Don't you agree, Your Highness?" she asked, making step forward, while forcing Rose to  take one backwards.

"If you breech etiquette for third time within this year....well, I am afraid penalty for that would be...regrettable. But both don't want to waste effort and time going through this, when we have much more important things to do, don't we?" Hou said, withdrawing her arm from changeling's neck, while offering her 'reassuring' smile. With this she turned her attention towards other face in the room.

 

"You know me, Mr. Shooting Star. One can  can't never be too careful when stepping into unassesed situation...or when dealing with the unknown." sorceress spare and aside glance towards Rose at the last phrase. She then waved her hoof in the air, and faint flaming 'ᛋᛏᛁᛚᛚᚾᛖᛋ' could be seen in the air, before disappearing. - shutting down Rose analytical spell in the process.

"And I sit for a cup or six, I don't mind." she added, taking seat next to Hei, but sitting in unmistakeably 'Long Guo' way. And fittingly she too summoned a bottle of beverage, an old and aroma rich Xiang Xue Jiu. Shuren poured herself a cup but didn't drink, instead staring at Compass Rose expectantly.

 

"You Highness...?' she prodded.

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For Rose's credit, the greatest reaction she had to the sudden threat was a widening of the eyes. That was fast, faster than her own reflexes without alchemical enhancement at least. And here Rose was thinking they'd become great friends.

 

Well... This was work, so she supposed friendship wasn't mandatory. 

 

She could have probably been more courteous, too. She let her curiosity get the best of her, and that cat has been killed more times than she can count. Maybe that's why, though? Still... Best not to offend her a third time. She'd rather have Hou as a neutral acquaintance than a hostile one.

 

"Oh!" She snapped back to, banishing her musings for now to focus on the matter at hoof. "I've never been royalty, and don't go by those titles. 'Queen' is for aristocrats, I am but a humble scientist."

 

Smiling, she sat down, but similarly chose not to drink. "And I must apologize for my... Less than appropriate antics, it's just been a very long time since I've encountered anything new or exciting." When you live as long as they have, life tends to get a bit dull.

 

"Anyways, the purpose I have called you here is twofold: one-" she gestured between them, and two cases of four vials each appeared in the accompanying space. "A formula I have devised that will, in practice, eliminate the harmful effects of aging. It elongates the telomerase at the end of chromosomes, amongst other things. I'm currently in the process of acquiring the appropriate connections to make it a... 'service.'" she didn't sound too happy about this, frowning down at the cure to old age like it had personally offended her.

 

Rose really was not in-tune with modern politics. 

 

 

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“Yes, a good policy to have.” Dox smiled at Hou again as she took her seat. He had yet to summon a drink for himself, and really didn’t need one, but now he was feeling a bit left out. After a bit of consideration, he reached into his bag, through a portal, and pulled out a bottle of Grenache. He hummed to himself as he poured a glass, swishing it around and taking a sip as Rose summoned the vials. 
 

“A way to prevent the harmful effects of age… Well, a step in the right direction, that’s for sure.” He said as he picked up a vial and examined it more closely. He held it up to the light, swished it around a little, all in all getting a sense for what some of the ingredients could be. After living for as long as he had, and spending much of that time experimenting, he got a feel for what certain ingredients did to a mixture. “This is quite intriguing indeed. Can we take these vials? I would like to study mine further.”

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By the time Rose sat down, Shuren seemed to be placated somewhat - which she shown by taking a gulp of her wine and exhaling a somewhat misty breath. Whatever she was drinking, had to be a strong stuff. She acknowledged the apology with a nod, but spoke not further about this topic - instead chosing to converse abour something different.

"......I can relate." Hou agreed with changeling when it came to boredom. She however had many more things to say about Compass 'Royal' status.

 

"You say this like one excludes another. But regardless whatever you chose to see yourself as first and foremost, you can't ignore how others do or will view you." sorceress took another small sip of wine before putting down her drinking vessel.

"You might be from other dimension, but that doesn't change the fact that your are fertile - and breeding - 'queen' of literal lazurus taxon of previously extinct changeling subspecies. You will be leader of the 'clan' by seniority if nothing else. So whatever you think you are a royal or not is irrelevant - the 'view' of being one will be thrust upon you by the world." unicorn mare pointed out "And your spawn will sooner or later grow up. You don't expect  them all to follow your hoovesteps, do you? Many will want to go out into the world and pursue their own vastly different hopes and plans for the future. And like all youngsters they will make mistakes, because that's what young do. Lot's and lot's of mistakes. When that happens, who do you think will be seen as one who should take responsibility? Sparkle? Just because they hatched on the land she's sovereign of? No, it will be you, and not just as the parent." Shuren took another sip to refresh the sore throat. Then another. It ultimately took three further ones, and refilling her drinking vessel before she picked up from where she left.

"It's not like you can avoid it either. What can you do? Lock your spawn up?! Like your mate wouldn't stand up to this!" sorceress scoffed.

"So you better start to pick up more things then just healing. For your children if nothing else. Unless you prefer to be grossly unprepared helping them with whatever mess they put themselves in." Hou was finally finished with the topic, and instead found herself studying vials like Dox.

"Surprisingly sparse with magic too." she added her two bits to Hei's observation "How very....frugal. But it supposed to be like this by design, is it? To be easier to make and distribute to the masses. Not what I would do, but seeing our differences in views...." sorceress left some words unspoken.

 

When Dox made his question, the white mare answered instead. "I suppose we can...but obviously not for free.  What do you want in return Miss Compass?"

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More and more Rose came to respect the strange mare- if not for her insights, than for her candor. She may be threatening and just a little too hostile, but most of what she said rang true in the changeling queen's skull. These were things she just didn't... Really think about all too often.

 

In hindsight, her past self never invested much effort into the raising of her young. They had been tools to be used and discarded when convenience demanded. That's how she lost her master-at-arms, and her liuetenant...

 

It was true she was still very fertile, too. Hells, the maternal compulsions of her 'queenly' status are what drove her away from her first love in fear of succumbing to her predatory instincts. She'd long mastered those, but she could never master her own need to propogate.

 

"... Advertisement," she said after a moment. She had to reacclimate to the here and now first, but she eventually came to. "I need my formulas to be known wide and far. I won't limit my findings to the Equestrians, or just our neighbors. All creatures deserve a longer, healthier life."

 

"I would also like to trade notes, if you're not unopposed to the idea," she added, quickly adopting a more formal tone for the occasion. "Alone, we can do much, but combined our knowledge can do wonders. I'm confident."

 

She nodded to Dox, signalling it was okay for him to take them. Then, she raised her hoof, and a luminescent greenish sphere manifested above her frog.

 

"Wonders such as this. Whatever may happen, this will make certain my children are prepared. I will, of course, take responsibility for their upbringing- although in a peaceful environment I will have to make changes- but this... "

 

She was getting too sentimental. Best to just explain it.

 

Settling it down between them, she looked to each pony in turn, expression clinical.

 

"This is an expiremental autonomous spell meant to learn, adapt, and cast independently. My hope is that, as it gathers and processes data, it will develop the tools neccesary to do so without input. For now, all it can do is gather data on its environment and relay this to a bonded host. What I need from you two-" she pointed to each in turn "- Is to simply take one of these and go about your daily lives as normal, using it whenever you wish."

 

Suddenly, the sphere divided into three, the two duplicates floating over to Hou and Dox. 

 

"It was created from my and Twilight's essense, and possess both of our magic. It has yet to be seen what the consequence of this is."

 

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“But of course, I’d be happy to trade notes on your formula here.” Dox said, nodding to Rose and sliding the vial he was examining back into the case. This was certainly turning out to be a good decision to make the trip here, though it seemed things were not quite done yet. He blinked a bit at the revealing of the ball, leaning towards it as Rose began explaining it. He was getting more excited by it as time went on, a wide smile on his face as he examined it. The splitting in three, and the reveal that the two of them were to both take one and utilize it, made him look over at Rose in surprise. 
 

“Wow, I cannot wait to get started on this. This is… amazing. I look forward to seeing it in action.” He said, his gaze sliding back to the orb in front of him as he already began to poke and prod at it somewhat, the new toy almost making him forget where he was. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Exchange of notes seems like a reasonable price. Especially since this formula of yours could still use of improvements." Hou said, magically incarnating a parchment and a quill, and sketching map of Hesperia at lightning speed.

"It isn't a jab at your skill with flasks and condenser Miss Compass. But you have to spread your horizons. Just as in this dimension your species became a past tense, in yours there are species of herbs and fruits that failed to survive, or never existed to begin with in your home one." sorceress said before floating the pierce of paper to female changeling. On it, surprisingly detailed map of the continent, geographical coordinates and a sketch of a plant of some sort.

"This is Hesperia Silverleaf Thyme. It only grows on crossing laylines of the dry and iron rich 'soil'. In short red sanded deserts. Those coordinates lead to one of such spots. The fermented extract from it's leaves added to healing concoctions greatly boosts it's potency. Just make sure to dilute it first in water at 1:10 ratio. Otherwise...side effects might become quickly apparent. Also never take whole plant. Just up to 35% of leaves from one and not more. It's a hardy little bush, but overharvesting will make it focus it's healing powers on itself, instead of distributing those juices evenly - resulting in lose of potency for many years to come. Also make sure to cut diagonally, and only with electrum coated knife." Hou spewed very detailed instructions to come along with them map. "Of course that's not just one plant endemic to this dimension. I am willing to showe more..." Shuren left 'for a price' part unsaid. Rose was certainly perceptive enough to take a hint.

 

With this show of goodwill as part of 'note exchange' done, she was once again free to dissect her propositions.

"So you want recognition of that mixture you made to spread? I can't speak for Mr. Shooting Star here..." she gazed at Hei when saying this. "...but I myself can accomplish this through my servants. However...do you really want to?" she asked, in tone that Rose recognized as 'You idea suck, and I am about to explain why'. However instead of waiting for answer or confirmation Hou kept going.

"We spoke of this before, didn't we? While not really an outright immortality inducer, and from your description it doesn't lengthen lifespan in any way...." Shuren spoke "....you must've realized that this will outright eliminate old age related sicknesses and afflictions - leaving organisms free to deal with other issues. While on paper good, you have to consider that those ponies - now living longer - have to eat and need places to live in?" sorceress pointed out. "I know your specialization is medicine, but you should think about increasing yield of crops and other things before you introduce this. Those ponies staying productive longer should help somewhat, but it's not enough, something else will need to be done. Perhaps tamper with your formula a bit, so it reduced fertility - not too much, mind you - to balance out higher expectant age? If you won't I guarantee you that either a) overall standards of living will drop, period or b)it will result in class and wage divide, with 85% of world's population living in poverty and the top 5% of the richest  taking a lion's share of resources." unicorn mare advised. "Also, do not delude yourself that this concoction will not be used or tweaked to make some weapon. It was done before, even as recently as five years ago. Ask Sparkle what W.R.A.I.T.H. forced Clan Askr from Whitescar to go through if you want some details." sorceress warned Rose.

 

As of that autonomous spell that Compass was tempting herself and Hei with....Hou couldn't afford to show her reaction. Sparkle's essence was something that she desperately wanted to get her hooves on....however there was a catch with it. More then one, even. Perhaps she would be able to haggle for more if she points them out?

 

"I am afraid I don't really share Mr. Star's enthusiasm, even if design is indeed elegant. My worries and reservations aside - and yes, I can and am willing to explain them - it seems like you want to give your children a crunch before they learn to walk. What you will think happen when you take this crunch away?" she asked before taking a sip of her wine.

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More and more Rose's admiration of this mare grew. What was she doing in her past life? Asides from causing mass chaos. 

 

She gracefully accepted the notes, dedicating them to memory before porting them off to a safe place. She'll definitely go investigate this site and see for herself what this plant can do. The idea of different dimensions having different plants... The potion. That one, missing ingredient. The key to immortality. She could still get to it if only she could find what world she came from, and what time.

 

Time is important. She doesn't want to encounter her old self under any circumstances.

 

"I... Have little experience in agriculture, unfortunately, but I have shared what knowledge I possess with the new griffon kingdom and their Tenochtitlan allies. I'm confident their crops will grow fruitful and abundant, if they follow my instructions."

 

If

 

"Reducing fertility is also a good idea..." Now she was really musing, rubbing her chin with the top of her hoof as she thought. "And yes, I know some ponies will use it for ill. That is pony nature, and they will be dealt with if and when they become a problem. I doubt many mortal ponies will be able to modify the potion in any meaningful way."

 

And then there was the whammy. The purpose behind her experiment. There was another reason for it asides- many reasons, in fact- but a legacy was the main one.

 

"... I won't give it to her immediately," she said, failing to mention she only just now decided this. "I won't stunt her growth. I just..."

 

She hanged her head, scuffing the floor with a hoof.

 

"... If something were to happen to me. If something were to happen to Aloe- I need something of myself to remain, to guide her. To help her. I never had a mother. I never had anyone to pick me up when I fell. Nobody has ever given me a gift, or love- until Aloe."

 

"I'll be there for Albedo, and Rubedo and Nigredo. I'll be there for them for as long as I can, and beyond. This... Is just a tool."

 

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Dox hummed slightly in thought as talk turned towards children. He had never really thought about making one the old fashioned way, though he had managed to create some over the years out of material from creatures like timberwolves or smaller animals like snakes and mixing it with that of ponies or zebras. He even used his own essence in a couple of them. 
 

“As a teacher, I have certainly learned the value of the next generation, and equipping them to avoid the mistakes of the past, but Huo is also correct that sometimes they just have to grow on their own.” He said once they were done, looking over at the two mares. “By all means, leave this as something to help guide your children should you not be around, but be careful it doesn’t become suffocating to their growth. Sometimes they need to learn how to pick themselves up. Guiding the younger generations is often not an easy task, it’s a balancing act.”

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"By 'new' you mean Griffonstone, the that only now started to crawl away from being butt of Aquelia jokes for centuries?" Hou 'asked' in most sarcastically deadpan tone she could manage. Griffonstone was many things and was many things, but it wasn't new for long, long time. "And by their 'allies' you mean a bunch of spear shaking savages from the woods and forests we currently are in? Yes, they both certainly are in position to make promises." she added, barely restraining herself from scoffing.

 

"Mrs. Rose, since you clearly don't know how to do politics just yet, you might wish Sparkle for help. I am sure she might have a diplomat at hoof - a retired ambassador or something - with enough free time give you some lessons. As I explained, and you acknowledged, you will need it." sorceress said. "When they 'promised' to expand their farming, they meant taking more space for more crops. What I meant, is increasing yield from the same amount of land, without depleting the soil." white mare took another sip of her wine.

"It's good that you admitted your inexperience. However, that doesn't excuse you from finding somepony who is knowledgable about the topic....." Shuren said as she refilled her vessel.

"Nor does it excuse your overeagerness. You want to bite too much and too fast, and without knowing what side-effects on society it will bring. If I was in your horseshoes - and if I cared - I would find a bunch of experts on topics I am not familiar with yet: agriculture, military, politics, economy etc. I would wait a decade, or two or three, all the while focusing my children and broadening my knowledge on those aspects I mentioned. This would also ensure that you mixture have no long-effect drawbacks. Only then, when I would get sufficient data from the nation, I would start distributing the concoction. The world is running just fine without that elixir of yours right now. I am sure being ignorant of it for a little longer would hurt that much. As Equestrian's say 'Out of sight, out of mind'. " Hou explained, refocusing on the drink. When Compass however showed how haughty she was about anypony figuring out her 'work', sorceress glanced at her, but without saying anything. Seems she still had some of her 'Template's' arrogance.....

 

Hou allowed Hei to say his part, in response to Rose.....very dramatic confession.

"I don't know about the 'suffocating' part. She already started." Hou said, drinking one more time before setting her wine aside for a moment and focusing on Rose.

"That. That what you just said, shows you on a road to become the biggest cosseter any changeling queen ever was. Your Original treated her children like arrows in a quiver. And like with most things, you take way too hard swing in opposite direction, to distance herself from her." Shuren berated newbie parent, without raising her voice however.

"What if something happen to you or your mate? Then your children will have their Aunt. They will have their grandparents. They will have nameparents - if decide to partake in that tradition, and as a royal on Equestrian soil, you certainly allowed." she reminded the Compass.

 

"Half-cognizant, autonomous and self-improving spell. Most parent's with the same worry as you write memoirs." Hou summed out how much of an overkill Rose endeavours were. "Your biggest problem Mrs. Rose, is that you are projecting your own experiences unto your children. You attempting to give them what you never had, instead what they need." unicorn mare said with emphasis before giving up resigned sight "....I guess that much should be expected. It's not like you had any references aside that disaster of parenthood that was your 'Template'." sorceress lampshaded before leaning in towards changeling.

"You want to watch you children? Fine. But first, better learn to be subtle, and I mean very subtle. Your spawn will come to know you better then anyone, at some aspects they will know you better then you do yourself. And they will NOT need a constant reminder that you are hovering above their heads. They will come to resent you for that, if you do. Learn when to allow them to earn few bruises as the lesson, and when to step up." she advised.

"Second, never, ever, show them that your work comes before them. This may lead them to do stupid, dangerous things to make you pay attention to them. Be there for your spawn, but never force themselves on them. Show they can count on you." Hou explained.

"Third: Never assume they are too young to understand something. Children are not pets, and smarter them most realize. If they old enough to take interest in something, they are old enough to comprehend it it too. Answer them truthfully, and if you can't, tell them why you cannot." Shuren said, before sitting down again, and coming back to her wine.

 

"Now. About that spell of yours...."

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That was a lot to digest, and not a lot of context to digest it with. For once, Rose actually came to doubt her own capacity for memory, and summoned a blank journal to begin writing in. The words, of course, simply etched themselves onto the paper. Transmuting ink onto the page.

 

Why do things the simple, mundane way? Alchemy is much more fun.

 

Was she really taking this too far? Was she sabatoging herself by trying to become the opposite of her original? She had thought that, by being a positive influence and helping hoof, her children would grow to be prosperous and powerful. Well, Albedo will already grow to be powerful, but she'll need the discipline to use that power. 

 

But of course her work won't come before them! They're her legacy, her gift to the world. Preserving life is one thing, but making it... Making it is quite another. 

 

"Right..." She finished off the notes with a flourish and an uneasy look, before banishing the booklet and returning her attention to the matter at-hoof. "The spell."

 

She took a breath, closed her eyes... And took a drink.

 

"The spell... You've given me much to think about, friend Hou. But present matters are why we're all here." She gave Dox a look, but Hou is who really had her attention. 

 

"The spell still serves a purpose, outside of coddling my children. If and when it gains sentience, I will transfer it into an artificial body. With luck, it will be an incredibly intelligent and efficient mind capable of solving problems beyond any of us, given the right tools. There are many ways that can go wrong, however."

 

"Corruption. Thaumic Decay. But it is too soon to begin worrying about much more. First... we let it grow and develop, and see where to go from there. Do you have any questions? Concerns?"

 

 

 

 

 

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